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Title: lover of the light

Pairing: James Bond/Q

Rating: T (though it’s really more of a precaution)

Warnings: none

Summary: Q wants James to look at him and see not another tragedy waiting to happen, but a chance at happiness just waiting for him to grab hold.

|AO3




There isn’t any particular catalyst for their relationship.  It grows, intensifying at a slow burn each time they interact.  Their exchanges become tinged with subtle affection until Q is saying “Next time I’ll let the building self-destruct” and meaning I’m glad you’re safe.  Bond walks into Q-branch after his missions to dump the pieces of his equipment all over Q’s desk.  He stands there and lets Q berate him for his inability to show the (very expensive and time-consuming) tech that Q gives him even the remotest bit of respect and care.  Occasionally Bond will snipe back, a gleam in those cerulean eyes, until Q just sighs or huffs in frustrated defeat.  If these dressing downs begin to result in a steaming mug of Earl Grey on Q’s desk within the hour well, Q just sips the apology in contented silence.  It surprises neither of them when they fall into bed together some 17 months into their partnership.

 

 

And in the middle of the night

I may watch you go

There'll be no value in the strength

Of walls that I have grown

There'll be no comfort in the shade

Of the shadows thrown

But I'd be yours if you'd be mine

 

 

The thing about it is that Q is under no illusion that he can somehow heal the wounds that this job has left on James’s heart and psyche.  He is all too aware of the way Vesper’s betrayal and subsequent death led to James all but giving up on emotional attachment.    The late M’s death has only reinforced the notion that everything and everyone that James loves will be taken from him.  But Q has always prided himself on being a stubborn little shit.  If he wants something he will do everything his genius intellect can come up with to get what he sets out to acquire.  The only difference with James is that Q decides to take a more careful approach.  He allows James to set the tone and pace. 

Three weeks into their liaison, when James has started staying for breakfast the morning after, Q leaves a spare key to his flat on the kitchen table before heading into work.  James leaves for some simple mission in Bangladesh that afternoon.  The key is sitting in the same place when Q gets home, but he’s neither surprised nor deterred.  He merely goes about his normal routine, making himself tea and then spending the night fiddling with some project ideas that he keeps for when he’s got a spare moment to himself.  When James returns a few days later, flush with success and looking surprisingly intact, Q simply takes his (miraculously) intact weaponry back with a brilliant smile.

They continue this way, bantering back and forth at the office, returning to Q’s flat at day’s end, the key sitting unmoved in the center of the kitchen table.  When Bond returns from missions, Q either hustles him off to medical (stubborn bastard) or lets him know in no uncertain terms how disappointed he is about the state of his equipment.  The sex is as impassioned as ever, a frenzy of hot wet kisses and bruises sucked into tender flesh.  They don’t say I love you or anything of the sort.  But every once in awhile, urgency will give way to affectionate nibbles and soft worshipful kisses.  If Bond has begun to feel anything more than affection and attraction, Q has yet to receive any verbal indication.  But four months on, when Q wakes alone and goes to the kitchen for his morning tea, the center of the table is bare.

Q smiles as he preps the kettle.  Baby steps.

 

I know I tried

I was not stable

And flawed by pride

I miss my sanguine eyes

So hold my hands up — breathe in and breathe out

 

 

Q has been no exception to the dimming effect working at MI6 usually has on one’s view of the world.  He is not the same young man who unwittingly allowed a mad man hack what should’ve been the most secure system in Britain in part because of his own self-assurance.  He is capable of admitting now that he was a bit arrogant at the start, eager to prove that he was just as capable of playing this shadow game as the veterans.  Q has always been a quick learner and this is no exception.  He checks, double checks and triple checks everything he makes, every system and protocol that he sets in place.  He has a mental filing system for the numerous contingency plans he’s concocted should security be compromised.  If someone wants to get at MI6, at Bond, then Q is ready to unleash all of his considerable intellect in defense and retaliation.

Sometimes, during a rare moment of calm, he will look at the man he’s become and think wistfully of the optimistic person he used to be.  He is nowhere near as cynical as Bond or Mallory, but he is not as trusting or confident in the world as he once was.  It isn’t something he dwells on though.  It is what it is and if he can help change things even the slightest bit for the better, then he will carry on with his job and give that negative voice in his head a sound kick.

 

And in the middle of the night

I may watch you go

There'll be no value in the strength

Of walls that I have grown

There'll be no comfort in the shade

Of the shadows thrown

You may not trust the promises

Of the change I'll show

But I'd be yours if you'd be mine

 

 

Being in a relationship with Bond, regardless of what it’s called, isn’t easy.  As someone used to relatively instant gratification, Q is not all that great with patience.  But the longer they dance around this thing between them, the harder it is for Q to maintain his resolve to allow James the reins.  It becomes harder to ignore that twinge in his gut and the stutter of his heart when Bond leaves for a mission at a moment’s notice or cries out in pain while Q listens helplessly over the comms.  What Q wants is for James to realize that he’s not going anywhere, that Q will not give this up without a fight.  He realizes that no matter how many times he tells James that he is very capable of taking care of himself, or shows him exactly how competent he is both behind a keyboard and in more physical situations, history has left Bond jaded and hardened.  Be it his parents, Vesper, M…James has lost too many people for Q to be able to truly convince him that there’s nothing to worry about.  And Q doesn’t try.

He won’t lie to Bond and say that nothing will ever happen to him, because full disclosure was part of the package when he was offered the position as Quartermaster.  He could bring down nations as easily as he could raise others from the dust with the resources at his disposal.  It’s only a matter of time before some organization or power-hungry psycho cottons on and comes for him.   He is well aware of this, and while he has quite a few tricks up his sleeve, he knows that there is still the very real possibility that he’ll be kidnapped, tortured and/or killed as a result of his job.

But James has allowed his past tragedies to overshadow his present for far too long.  Q wants James to look at him and see not another tragedy waiting to happen, but a chance at happiness just waiting for him to grab hold.  There are no guarantees in this job, but Q sees the haunted look that darkens his lover’s eyes and he wants to be the one to offer shelter.  He wants to be the one that James comes back to after a tough mission, wants to hold him as he surrenders to the comfort offered.  They can be great together, already are if Eve’s approving glances and his department’s idle whispers are any indication.

Q will remain at James’s side for as long as the agent wants him.  His faith in the world may be diminished, but Q’s faith in the heart that James guards so closely is unshakable.  And he’ll wait, however impatiently, for James to realize and accept what Q is offering.  Love, home, companionship…

A chance, however long or brief, to exist in the light.

 

 

So love the one you hold

And I will be your goal

To have and to hold

A lover of the light

November 2012

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