Disclaimer: No copyrighted characters belong to me.
This one shot was written last Christmas for a friend of mine. She liked it, so I eventually decided to post it, pretty much unbeta'd.
The young man known to the murky world of international espionage as Q sighed. This, he thought, this was why they had minions. Cannon fodder. Mooks. Otherwise known as field agents. Like Bond. You trained them well, fed them regularly, pointed them in the right direction and let them loose, sort of like hunting dogs. Or, in Bond's case, a rogue cruise missile. Powerful, dangerous, unpredictable, explosive and liable to cause a minor war if left unattended for any length of time.
He smiled slightly. He liked Bond. He admired the older man's tenacity, his strength of will, his old fashioned loyalty to Queen and Country and his surprising bursts of intelligence. He had looked up the man's background as a matter of course. But as he'd delved into Bond's past, he had gone further than he had with most. Bond was simply far more interesting than other Agents.
His parents had died in a rock climbing accident when he was ten, and he'd been raised by an aunt and uncle thereafter. An Old Etonian, he had gone straight into the service. While there were better shots, better linguists, and undoubtedly better undercover agents – Q smirked. If there was one thing Bond was not, it was inconspicuous. But Bond was instinctive. Put any of those masters of marksmanship and deceit out of their comfort zone, and they often froze. Regrettable, but true. Bond, on the other hand, adapted. He was a survivor. He turned his surroundings to his advantage.
But what made Bond the best was his tragedy. He didn't dwell on it. James Bond was well known for possibly being the least sentimental man in the service. Something, Q privately thought, that had started with the death of his parents and been confirmed by the Vesper Lynd affair. The short summary of the long, protracted and tragic tale was that Bond had fallen for her, and she had betrayed him.
She'd made sure to save his life in the process and she'd been manipulated, but everyone Q had talked to said that Bond had closed off. According to the now deceased M, he had abruptly said that, 'the bitch was dead'. He had then taken an exceptionally violent revenge, leaving a global trail of destruction, and then he'd never brought it up again. He was cold, efficient and brutal. He was a creature of darkness and shadows. He was an assassin. And very good at it.
Q did feel somewhat sorry for him. The man had no one who was close to him – well, Q supposed that that old gamekeeper who had sat with Bond after M's death and talked to him was relatively close, but the man hadn't seen Bond for the best part of twenty five years. Lynd, the former M and Rene Mathis, the only three people he could describe as Bond's friends – and he used the word loosely – were dead.
He had seen surveillance scans of Bond's apartment, both the old one and the new. The one thing they had in common was that they were decidedly cold and unwelcoming. Superficially luxurious, and nice looking on the outside, maybe even appearing friendly at first. But cold and hard on the inside. The man's lair reflected the man himself.
He sighed and shifted his bound wrists slightly. And now he had been captured by some terrorist group on what should have been a routine pick up. As usual, however, the field team cocked it up. Doubtless they wanted him to hack into something for them, or some such. And here it is, Q thought, as one balaclava wearing man walked over.
"What do you want?" he asked testily.
"We want Bond," the man said. They were in a small, grubby, deserted building in
Q stared at him. Of all the questions he'd been expecting, this was not one of them. "You're kidding."
The man punched him.
"Okay, so not kidding," Q said, wincing. "I've met him once, for a drop off, and then a couple of other times on business. Usually to give him some valuable piece of technology that he was doubtless going to either wreck or lose within three hours of receiving it. Surely you could have kidnapped someone who's met him more than once."
"The number of people who have met OO7 more than once is limited," the man replied. "Because he's killed most of them."
Q had to concede the logic of this. The list generally extended to himself, M, Miss Moneypenny and the Queen. And while he was pretty certain that Bond wouldn't shoot the Queen, he wasn't so sure that, under the right circumstances, Bond wouldn't shoot the rest of them. Including him. Then he saw movement and smiled.
"What do you want to know? Everything, or the most important stuff?"
"Really? Well, there's quite a lot. But the most important fact," Q said, smirking. "Is that he's right behind you."
The man whipped around, just in time to get Bond's right cross to the cheek. He fell to the ground, and Bond shot him.
"You took your time," Q said tartly. "What sort of time do you call this?"
"The right moment," Bond retorted, checking if the man was still alive. He wasn't. Living people tend to have more than half a skull.
"Did you have to shoot him?" Q asked. "He could have been after something important."
"Most people who want to meet me more than once want one of three things. One, to get me to do a job. Two, to kill me," Bond said, untying him.
"And three?" Q asked, standing and flexing his fingers.
"To tell me that I was the father of their child and to cough up child support," Bond said, completely deadpan. "I'm pretty sure that he wasn't the third, and I have no interest in finding out about the other two."
"You're a father?" Q asked in surprise. Even his most in depth research had never found anything about Bond having children.
"Twice over," Bond said curtly. "The children are looked after."
His tone said very clearly, 'talk about this ever again or tell anyone else and I will kill you slowly and horribly.'
"I see," Q said, resolving to take a very close look at Bond's bank statements and financial outgoings. Preferably some time when Bond was a very long way away. "Well, since you took your sweet time in getting here, why don't we make our way out?"
"Probably a good idea," Bond said, carefully looking around the corner and shooting the sole survivor of his rampage through the terrorist group's stronghold. "The building's rigged to blow in about…" he consulted his watch. "Five minutes."
Q peered at the watch. The hands weren't moving. "Bond, the watch has stopped," he pointed out.
"Really? Then it'll blow up any moment now then," Bond said casually. "Only one way of doing this." He grabbed Q and threw him out the window. Yelping, Q landed on a small market stall outside, falling through the canvas and landing on a very large and very pungent cheese.
As he disentangled himself from the cheese, and glowered at the gesticulating and yelling shopkeeper, he mused that Bond had very likely chosen that window on purpose. Bond left the house at a steady trot, straightening his tie. As he did, the upper levels exploded. Bond didn't even flinch.
"Does every building you go into blow up?" Q asked in a tone of vague disbelief.
"Only the one's with cheesy architecture," Bond said, lips twitching slightly.
"Oh wonderful. The famous 007 wit," Q moaned, flicking some cheese off his clothes. He noted that Bond was standing deliberately downwind of him. "Or half of it, anyway."
"Takes one to know one," Bond said, as he hailed a taxi. "What's a lab rat doing out in the field?"
"That is a good question," Q said sourly. "A very, very good question."