It happened at least twice each year, as each influx of new staff made its way through all the departments. It had gotten to the point where Eve was running a book. Everyone had to place their bets by the end of the first week and after that, it was just a waiting game.
James Bond was a double-oh agent, the most successful in recent MI6 history. Q was the youngest Head of Department in any nation’s spy agency since the invention of the combustion engine. Both were exceptionally brilliant in their fields, and in their own way exceptionally attractive.
They had been in a committed relationship for five and a half years now.
Every six months without fail, one of the new intake would ignore the warnings given in the induction lectures and the recommendations of their new colleagues.
Three times, one of the new agents made a play for Q.
Despite the fact that 007 was a legend with a lethal reputation, a new agent would take advantage of one of his many mission-related absences to bring the quartermaster gifts and start hanging around Q branch. Q just rolled his eyes, put the gifts to one side, and waited for Bond’s various spies to report back to him.
Within short order, the over confident new agent would be abducted and terrified to within an inch of his or her life. Bond was rather proud of his skill in this area, and his fellow double-oh agents were always willing accomplices. The agent in question resigned each time. Nothing was ever proved against anyone since Q was indulgent of his lover’s jealous eccentricities. M turned a blind eye, the loss of someone so stupid was really no loss at all.
More frequently, one of the new hires disregarded Q as a threat and went after Bond, generally in a rather direct fashion. Q, of course, had access – legal or not – to all surveillance everywhere and was not above abusing his position to maintain a close eye on a lover who was notorious for finding himself embroiled in dangerous altercations wherever he went. Each time it happened, Q gave the perpetrator one civil warning. After that, the clearly terminally stupid agent’s life became a living hell.
After the second time it happened the entirety of the Secret Service, both foreign and domestic, learned to keep their distance from the deluded fool for fear of being caught up in the inevitable collateral damage.
Everything in their life that could go wrong would start to go wrong. Their gas, power and water would be turned off, their credit cards revoked. Local police would receive anonymous tip-offs about drugs related behaviour, prompting public busts. Any embarrassing or incriminating information on any electronic device owned by the poor, deluded fool would be forwarded to every contact that could be found, both past and present. Vehicles would be towed to cover ‘unpaid fines’, indoor sprinkler systems and electronic locks would malfunction in their presence, the HMRC would send notification of irregularities found in tax paperwork, and an impending audit.
All in all, it was much less painful in the long term to be abducted by Bond and his band of merry misfits. All three agents found work as private security guards and went on their way with a new terror of dark places, plastic ducks and teddy bears. Q’s victims wound up having to leave the country and create new identities (not to get away from Q, that wasn’t possible, but to get away from the train wreck he had made of their lives).
Without once saying anything overt, M actually encouraged his Quartermaster in his efforts. Anyone who discounted Q as a threat was almost too stupid to live and the last thing the Secret Service needed was agents that stupid in any kind of position where they could cause England harm.
Since their decision to commit to each other, Bond had managed to avoid the necessity of sleeping with anyone on his missions. To his surprise, the women he needed information from were even more charmed when he presented himself as a gay man missing his young lover than they were by his best seduction routines. They were more open and confiding to his friendliness than they ever were to him as a lothario.
One of the things Bond loved best about being with Q, was that aside from monogamy there were no expectations. Q didn’t care if he forgot to put the trash out or if he didn’t wipe down the bench after grabbing a sandwich before crashing after a mission. They had a cleaning service after all. Q knew all about his frequent absences for Queen and country, and positively shoved him out of the door on regular occasions, encouraging him to get drunk with Alec and whichever of the double-oh agents was in town. And even better, there were no expectations in the bedroom. Bond wasn’t always expected to be in control, Q was quite happy to take the reins and drive them both out of their minds.
Tonight, they lay side by side in each other’s arms, cooling down rapidly as the air from the open window brushed over their sweaty sated bodies. Q’s latest target had handed in his resignation today, and as usual, the celebratory sex had been explosive. Bond chuckled deep in his chest and then buried his face in the crook of Q’s neck, lapping at the salty moisture there before heaving a great sigh.
Q ran his fingertips lightly through the grey-tinged blonde hair, scratching lightly every now and then as his lover pressed into his touch. Eventually, it grew too chilly to lie there uncovered, so Q reached over to the side of the bed for the towel that was kept there, gave them a cursory wipe over and drew up the previously discarded blankets.
“You do know that you have nothing to be concerned about.” Bond’s voice was slightly muffled by the skin at Q’s neck.
“I know,” Q replied drowsily. “Their actions don’t concern me, so much as make me hopping mad. It’s not like they’re not warned more than enough. And, while I have no objections to being slightly underestimated, being totally disregarded as a threat is just insulting. Lights, five per cent.”
The light in their bedroom dimmed as they both drifted off sleep.