“So what’s this I hear on the gossip chain about you and the very lovely Moneypenny? Rumour has it you had a hot and steamy time of it in Macau. Spill.”
James Bond and Alec Trevelyan were catching up for the first time in over year. In the time since they had last met up to get drunk together, James had died and come back to life, MI6 had been bombed, and then James had lost both the home of his childhood and the mentor of his adulthood in one fell swoop.
Alec meanwhile had come in from assignment just after James had been shot off the train, and had been reassigned immediately following the explosion at headquarters. Two rather harrowing missions that had ended up requiring some time recuperating in Medical.
Stocked up with alcohol, chips, and several takeaway numbers on speed dial (they actually diverted to MI6 where one of Q’s minions was on double-oh duty to avoid incidences like the time when a completely shit-faced 007 and 006 had decided that the local pizza delivery people were talking in code, and therefore the whole chain were likely spies in need of termination. Luckily they only managed to burn down two outlets before M had discovered what was going on) the two oldest and longest running agents in double-oh history proceeded to fill each other in on their last respective years.
When all the important stuff had been gotten out of the way, Trevelyan had nudged Bond with his foot, and started on the latest inter–office gossip.
“She turned up expecting sex, and so I gave it to her, but it was a bit boring to be honest.” He inspected the amber scotch in his glass, before taking a healthy swallow. “No initiative, quite happy for me to be completely in charge, and she seemed to think my suggestion that she shave my face made the whole thing wild and exciting. I have a feeling she traded on her looks a lot when it came to the seduction evaluations.”
Alec raised one eyebrow, and slumped back against the couch.
“So, no ongoing torrid affair?” He shook his head sadly. Bond frowned.
“She’s given several indications she’s up for a repeat, but to be honest I’m not that interested.” James shrugged again. “The last thing I need is a co-worker getting the idea that a romp is something more meaningful. And Moneypenny… well lets just say that I’m a little uncertain of her ability to stay detached.”
“Well, that’s just disappointing. I was hoping that the flirtatious manner hid a real tiger, but I suppose it’s true what they say. It’s always the unlikely ones.” Alec’s lopsided smirk was so slyly self-congratulatory that James felt his interest engage.
“Anyone I know?” Bond asked, running some of the newer faces and names through his internal database. None of them really stood out, but then he had been a little preoccupied with other matters.
“Oh yes.” Alec reached for the vodka bottle, and rather than refilling the glass James had provided him with, took a swig straight from the neck. “And traditionally, he’s more your type than mine too.”
“He?” Both James brows rose towards his hairline. While Alec wasn’t a stranger to sex with men, he generally preferred women. And the men he went for tended to be other MI6 agents, men that he technically outranked due to his double-oh status. James was the one that had a bit of a thing for men and women in authority, whether it translated to sex or to other attachments. Bond’s friendship with Alec was his only significant relationship where both participants were on an equal level. Even Vesper had been above Bond in the pecking order, although she wasn’t in his direct chain of command.
“He.” Alec confirmed, clearly enjoying Bond’s impatience. Usually the shoe was on the other foot, James had a knack for spotting the talent early and none of the double-ohs were shy about going after what they wanted.
So more James’ type, which probably meant someone who outranked them, male, someone unlikely, someone James would definitely know…
“Tanner?” Highly unlikely, Tanner was a long timer who had never given any indication that he played both sides of the fence, and as far as Bond knew he’d been in a committed relationship with one of the legal staff for several years.
Alec rolled his eyes, and took another swig, his smirk becoming more pronounced.
“Mallory?” James asked, deciding to get the truly unlikely ones out of the way first, so he could concentrate on the real mystery. He eyed the level of single malt still in the bottle, and then poured the rest into his glass. There was another bottle on the bench after all.
Trevelyan gave a deep sigh and shook his head patronizingly at Bond, but there was an anticipatory gleam in his eyes that made James hesitate before making his next suggestion.
“Not Q?” The smugness practically rolled off Alec in waves as he nodded gleefully.
“Q.” Alec said on his next exhale, almost reverently. “The best kept secret in the northern hemisphere.”
“I’m sorry.” Bond shook his head slightly to clear it. “Do you mean our Quartermaster, Q? Crazy hair, wears awful brown cardigans, can’t be more than sixty kilos of skin and bone, still has spots, new head of Q branch Q?”
Alec was nodding along, until Bond got to the bit about skin and bone. Then he began shaking his head in denial.
“No, James. Not skin and bone. Lean muscle, toned, strong.” Alec’s eyes glazed over. “Very strong. And extremely flexible. I’m telling you James, our Quartermaster is one of the unsung wonders of the world!”
“Not so unsung any more it seems.” James said dryly, still somewhat skeptical. “Go on then, tell me about it.”
“I overheard two of the geeks talking about how legendary he was in the sack.” Alec said, draining the bottle in his hand. “I was bored, and they were so very complimentary, so I thought I’d give it a whirl, you know?”
Bond nodded. All the double-ohs tended to get restless after more than a week back at headquarters, and it was accepted by the higher ups that one of their methods of stress relief was seducing their co-workers. So long as it didn’t interfere with productivity, everyone turned a blind eye.
“So I gave him the old three step and then invited him out for drinks, and was shot down harder than I can remember.” Trevelyan grinned reminiscently. “He told me he wasn’t planning on being an un-memorable notch on a double-oh bed post, and that if I was truly interested, I’d have to put a lot more effort into it. Then he added that he also wasn’t interested in a committed relationship, so if I ever came up to scratch that it would only ever be casual.”
James snorted in amusement. If Q had thought he’d been sufficiently off-putting, he had another thing to learn about double-ohs.
“Those were my thoughts precisely.” Alec nodded, getting up to retrieve two full bottles from under the bench. “Same again?” At Bond’s nod, he passed over the whiskey. Resuming his seat on the couch, he cracked open the lid took a swallow. “Ah, mothers milk.”
“So you pursued him, I take it?” Bond said encouragingly, hoping to move this story along. Alec looked like he was trying to drag it out, but he was impatient by nature, and clearly wanted to share.
“Oh yes. Can’t resist a challenge like that after all. It took me two months to get him out for drinks, but fuck, it was worth it.”
“So, he took you back to his place?” James prompted.
“Nah, he said that as the higher ranked of the two of us, his security was more important. Can’t really argue with that, so we came back here.” Trevelyan was smirking again at Bond’s open mouth.
“And?” James asked impatiently when he finally managed to get his mouth closed. To his knowledge, Alec Trevelyan had brought a grand total of two of his co-workers back to his personal space. And that number had only just changed from one. “Particularly adventurous is he, given your sterling recommendation?”
Trevelyan hesitated with the bottle halfway to his mouth, before lowering it again.
“Not really. Adventurous isn’t really the right word. Intense? Focused? He puts all that great intellect of his to work, and the mission is to have great sex. He had me on my back with my legs spread and his cock in me before I really knew what was happening, and then he scraped his nails over my nipple while he bit the scar behind my knee, and I swear, I came like a freight train without him touching my cock even once.”
Bond’s eyebrows rose again. Trevelyan didn’t have quite the reputation James did, but he was no slouch. For him to be so overwhelmed… James felt himself getting a little interested, despite his initial skepticism.
“I was a bit embarrassed, haven’t gone off that quick since I was a teenager, but he seemed unsurprised, said it’s better to get the first one out of the way quickly so that we can both concentrate on the rest.” Alec gave a sigh, his eyes unfocused, before he looked at James again. “Lets just say that he’s not shy, he’s extremely flexible, has no hang ups about either giving or receiving, and is quite talented technically. And for all that he looks like a strong breeze could blow him over, he’s strong and has stamina to burn.”
James found himself considerably more than slightly interested. Q was beginning to sound like a very intriguing prospect.
“Then when we were finally finished, he thanked me for the tumble and left. Said he had to be at work in four hours. I saw him later the next day, and you’d never know he’d been up half the night shagging. And the next time, it was even better! He just… everyone knows how smart he is. Hell, youngest Quartermaster in MI6 history. But when he focuses all that energy and intensity on you…” Alec shook his head. “I can’t really explain it.”
Bond took a thoughtful mouthful of scotch. He eyed his fellow agent for a moment, considering the matter as carefully as he could, given his slight intoxication.
“So, would you have any problems with me trying to get a look in?” He asked curiously. Usually neither of them cared about crossovers in the bedding department, but if Alec wanted to be serious for once… even Bond’s stirring predator instinct wasn’t enough for him to risk the one true friendship he had left, as dysfunctional as it was.
“Nah.” Trevelyan waved the hand not occupied with his vodka bottle at Bond in a gesture of dismissal. “He’s great in the sack, and I quite like him, but it’d never go any further than that. The thing isn’t there, you know?”
“The ‘thing’?” Bond repeated, a smile quirking his lips.
“Yeah, you know.” Alec’s hand was in the air again, this time waving in circles. “The thing you get when you find yourself all possessive, and you start thinking that it might be worth it to be faithful if it means you’re the only one to get to fuck them from now on. Where you start to irrationally hate the arseholes they’ve already slept with. That thing.”
“Right.” Bond nodded in understanding. He’d had the ‘thing’ with Vesper, and that had led him to send his resignation in to MI6. “So, two months, you said. I reckon I can beat that record. Want to lay a wager? Perhaps the loser has to take three of the winners next escort missions?”
Alec raised his eyebrows, before laughing uproariously. When he’d finished, he wiped the tears from his eyes with the back of his hand before extending his bottle.
The two agents knocked their drinking vessels together in agreement. Bond sat back smugly. Everyone knew that of the two of them, he was the smoother operator. This would be like taking candy from a baby.
Three months later, Bond had just arrived back from two weeks in Belgrade, encrypted flash drive intact, personalized Walther PPK very much not intact. In fact, not even with him. He was quite looking forward to the expression on his Quartermaster’s face when he was told that it had been blown to pieces in the explosion that had ripped through The Hyatt following his visit.
He walked through the corridors of Six, noting several changes since he had last been here. Lights were now embedded into the stone, the floor was much smoother and there were far fewer wires hanging about. Rumor was that they were due to relocate to a new building, just as soon as construction could be completed. No one was supposed to know the location, but James had used his wiles on Tanners assistant and then hacked into Moneypenny’s files.
He intended to use his knowledge sometime in the future in his quest to finally lever Q into dinner. Despite Alec’s warnings, Bond had been almost flabbergasted when his usual methods of seduction had fallen flat. It was only two weeks ago that R, Q’s second in command had made what was in hindsight a very obvious remark.
//“You do realize Bond, that all of the agent handlers here in Q branch have seen you use these tactics before? None of us are stupid, and we find you treating Q like a mark to be just a tad insulting.”//
If James had even slightly less control over himself, he would have blushed furiously. Of course R was right. He had used his time in Belgrade to consider the matter.
His desire to take Q to bed had evolved from his initial curiosity and the resultant abraded ego when he had been summarily dismissed. With just a little more exposure he found that he quite liked Q, enjoying his acerbic responses to stupidity and somewhat impressed with the light handed yet strong grip he kept over a department that was half full of young impetuous computer geeks, the other half being primarily older (and with more time in Six) than their new leader. Scuttlebutt was that there had been some noses distinctly out of joint when such a young, relative unknown had been appointed to the top job, but Bond could see no evidence of unrest on his visits.
He had already lost the bet with Alec, so there was no need to discard any longer term plans. Clearly, Q was unaffected by the repertoire he had perfected over his years as an agent, and therefore a new approach was called for. James had finally decided that perhaps befriending his elusive prey would give him the insight needed to succeed where he had been miserably failing so far.
With that in mind, he entered Q Branch with a jaunty step, and a whistle on his lips. He made his way through the sea of desks to the area where Q and the higher ranked agent handlers had set up the incident area. As expected Q was at the metal table typing lightning fast on a laptop, eyes on the large screen while two of his minions (one of them tall and wearing glasses, and the other around medium height and sporting two nose rings) hovered nearby. Unusually, Q was dressed in a suit complete with jacket, although it wasn’t the best fitting specimen Bond had ever seen. The Quartermaster was almost swimming in it, and looked like nothing more than a boy playing dress up in his father’s clothes. Bond almost groaned as he got close enough to see the other side of the pillar and saw that Moneypenny was standing off to one side speaking with R.
“007.” Q announced when Bond was still three workstations away. “Please tell me you managed to keep the flash drive intact on the journey home.”
“Could you doubt me?” James asked, handing over the flash drive, along with his transmitter and both earpieces. This time he made no attempt to brush their fingers together, and stepped back as soon as the exchange was made. Q raised an eyebrow in his direction, before running a cursory glance over the equipment.
“Could I afford to do otherwise?” Q responded evenly, handing everything but the flash drive off to tall-glasses-wearing minion. “Especially given the recent evidence that you’re something of a slow learner.”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Moneypenny interjected, having finished her conversation with R in time to hear Q’s last comment. “James has always seemed rather quick on the uptake to me, although to be fair, most of our interactions have been somewhat… limited.”
“Shame on you, Moneypenny.” Bond said as Q’s eyebrow rose once more. “Q oversees all of the double oh missions. Surely his evaluation is the one that must be accepted as truth.” He turned back to his Quartermaster, giving him an obvious once over. “Some sort of meeting today perhaps Q? If you’ve got nothing better fitting than that to wear, I’d be happy to take you out and help you find something a little more appropriate.”
James was surprised, but highly gratified to rate a rather sly, conspiratorial smile for his rather uncomplimentary comments.
“Your kindness is, as always, appreciated Bond.” Q leaned slightly towards James in a confidential manner, although his voice didn’t lower much. “This is the spare suit I keep on Six premises in case of emergencies. Such a shame that Marcus spilled gun oil all over the significantly nicer one I was wearing earlier. It would be awful if the CIA were to get the wrong impression of my maturity and make assumptions about me and my skills based on my age. After all, being underestimated can be such a chore.”
Bond could feel the grin spreading over his face, and made no effort to suppress it. That sly dog. He could clearly remember his own dismissal of the man standing in front of him at their first meeting, a conclusion based almost entirely upon his presentation of himself as either a student or an entry level professional. He wondered if that had been a test, and if it was whether he had passed or failed. A rather salutary reminder… as a double oh agent he couldn’t afford to relax his vigilance in any potentially unsafe situation, including meeting new co-workers. After all, spies were adept at bypassing even the most stringent precautions.
“So, you do have better clothes than that in your wardrobe?” Bond asked again, since technically his earlier question wasn‘t answered. He wished there was a chair around to lounge in, or a wall to lean on. Q seemed to be in an uncommonly friendly mood, and James wanted to take advantage of it as long as he could. Usually by now he would have been dismissed, and one of the minions would have required Q’s attention elsewhere.