Full summary:

After the loss of the woman he loved, James Bond is devastated. He tries to drown his sorrows in alcohol, but it doesn't work. One day, a bad feeling makes him go back to London. There, he meets a beautiful man with black hair and green eyes in a bar and they spend the night together.

At the same time, Q just wants to spend a nice evening alone in a bar after working with one of the Double-Oh's. Then, a very handsome stranger with blond hair and blue eyes approaches him, which leads to the best night in his life.

They meet again when James officially returns to MI6 as 007. This is my version of what happened then. Can Q help James to get over his sadness and start a new life? - 00Q

Hey everyone, this is my new 00Q story! The idea came to me a few days ago when I've been hearing a certain song. 'Patience' by Take That in the Abbey Road version. This story is based on it. You might listen to it since it inspired me to all this in the first place. I'm also quoting the lyrics from time to time. I hope you like the story, please let me know!

I don't own the characters, places or lyrics!

Just have a little patience
Still hurting from a love I lost
I'm feeling your frustration
But any minute all the pain will stop
Just hold me close inside your arms tonight
Don't be too hard on my emotions

The man moved through the dark streets of London slowly and without looking around. He knew exactly where he was heading to and didn't have to look at the names of the streets. This was his city and he knew it by heart. He didn't always stay on the main roads, sometimes he also walked through narrow alleyways or other dark districts, not caring if it might not have been wise to be there at night. There was a certain grace in his movements and everyone who saw him would have never dared to approach him. It was like a dangerous aura surrounding the man.

Soon, he came to the more noble parts of the city and walked towards a certain building. From the outside, it didn't look impressing, but he knew that he was in the right place. He'd been here a few times by now, after all. If his visits had been welcome by the owner was another story.

Getting inside the building wasn't difficult, even if the room he wanted to be in was on the second floor. It was an office and ever since his last visit, the room had changed. Which shouldn't have surprised him, after all, he'd been gone for more than two years. Most probably, everyone thought that he was dead. No one ever bothered to search for him anyway.

He decided to sit down in one of the comfortable armchairs while he waited for the person he wanted to speak. She would come, he was sure about that. He doubted that her habits had changed in the past years.

Even if it was dark and only the light of the moon illuminated the room, he could see a few things. The big wooden desk was still the same, as well as the chair behind it. The screen was new, though. There were many papers lying on the table, but he resisted the urge to have a look at them. He wasn't here because of that.

Right now, he was glad that he'd closed the window again. It had been necessary because of the alarm system, but it also kept the hot air outside. It was one of the hottest summers London had ever seen and even the nights were far too warm. Maybe he should have really stayed away a little longer. However, there had been this nagging feeling on his mind for a few weeks now, telling him that he really had to go back because otherwise, something terrible would happen. His feelings had rarely betrayed him by now, so he'd given in at last. And besides, there hadn't been anything keeping him away anymore. Not since she was gone...

The sound of footsteps on the stairs told him that his presumption had been right. She was coming to her office, most probably to look at something again. She often did that at night when it prevented her from getting any rest. She was working too much, but he would have never dared to tell her that. No one did.

The door handle moved and then it was opened. However, she hesitated before she opened the door completely. Most probably, she could already sense that someone else was there. Did she have a gun close by? He wouldn't have been surprised by that, she was a smart woman and never defenceless.

The woman stepped into the room slowly. He couldn't see her face in the darkness, but she stopped close to the light switch. "Are you here to kill me?" She asked calmly, her voice not giving away any of her feelings. She was a professional.

"I just came by to say hello." He replied just as calm, even bored and leaned back in the armchair.

"Shouldn't you be dead, 007?" She asked after a few moments of silence, in which she'd taken in the sound of his voice. Then she switched on the light and closed the door behind her.

"You should know by now that it's not that easy to kill me, M." He smiled at her, but she didn't smile back. Her expression was blank. Only her eyes showed how surprised she was by his sudden appearance.

"What are you doing here?" She demanded to know.

"I wanted to let you know that I'm back." He said simply. It was the truth, his feelings had told him to come back, but he didn't know why.

"Was your holiday long enough now? I assume that's what you've been doing?" She raised her eyebrows and sat down opposite of him slowly.

"Actually, I planned never to come back." He explained.

"What made you change your mind?" For half a second, M looked curious.

"Let's say that I had the feeling that I should be here instead of there." He answered vaguely.

"Your intuition told you to come back?" M didn't look convinced. "And what now? Are you expecting us to take you back?"

"There isn't a new 007." James said. "Even though you believed that I was dead. Shouldn't that tell me something?"

"Just that we were too busy to find a suitable successor. Many things have changed in the past two years." She replied without hesitation. To his surprise, James noticed that he'd missed this about her. She always had a good answer at hand.

"For example?" He asked curiously.

"Why should I tell you anything?" She raised her eyebrows. "What tells me that you won't just vanish again after a mission, just like last time?"

"Last time was different." He muttered. And it was true. On his last mission, he'd met someone he loved. Just that she was gone now...

"Was she worth it?" M asked, her voice softer now.

"She was." He said, his throat feeling dry. "But she's gone now. So no, it won't happen again." He hated that his voice sounded hoarse while saying this.

"I'm sorry." M said.

"I don't want your pity." He grumbled.

"You want something to distract yourself." She concluded. "Why should I trust you again, James?"

It was true, he needed something to distract himself. Drinking and sex didn't help anymore. He needed something else. Something more.

Suddenly, an image flashed through his mind. Black, curly hair and green, intelligent eyes. He regretted not asking for his name or number the previous night.

"Because I know that something is coming. A storm. And if it's there, you'll need my help." He said darkly, knowing that his words were true.

M looked at him through narrowed eyes for some time, but James didn't start to feel uncomfortable. He looked into her eyes the entire time, waiting for her to make a decision.

"Fine." She said in the end. "But I assume you will have to train a lot before we can send you out there again. Things are different now. We also have a new Quartermaster, he's doing a very good job so far."

"Another old man?" He asked and quirked an eyebrow.

"No, a young, innovative man with a very bright mind. Others would also describe him as brilliant." M smiled at this, which told James that she really liked the new Quartermaster. "I'm sure you will get along well."

"So do you want to tell me about him?" Eve asked and smiled widely. "Was he charming? Handsome? A gentleman?"

Q sighed, regretting that he'd even told his best friend about the man he'd met at a bar this weekend. "Let's not talk about this." He muttered and dodged when someone almost ran right into him. "It was only one night, Moneypenny. Most probably, I'll never see him again." It was their lunch break on a Monday and they were on their way to their favourite café.

"Never say never!" She exclaimed seriously. "Sometimes, life takes the most unexpected turns."

He envied her for always being to positive. "He didn't even want something serious. You weren't there, it was obvious that he was grieving. I could see it in his eyes when he let his guard down, which didn't happen often, by the way."

She raised her eyebrows. "Are you serious? Why did you even let him in your bed then?" Eve asked incredulously. She looked more attentive now. Q used to forget how protective she was of him.

He sighed once more, hating this conversation. "Call me stupid, but something about him just felt right. It was so easy with him..." Hell, he didn't even know himself why he'd jumped into bed with that man. Actually, Q just wanted a drink after working the entire Saturday as a guide for one of the Double-Oh's on a mission. But in the bar, a handsome stranger who'd been watching him had caught his attention. First, Q didn't think anything about this, but then the man had approached him with such confidence...

"You should know by now that I would never call you stupid, Q." Eve threw in. "I just want to understand why you did it. It's not like you to have one night stands. You hate such things." It was true, he did.

"As I said, I'm not even sure why I did it." Slowly, this was getting frustrating. And he didn't even realise that the man was sad because of something at first. He'd only seen that later and just because he'd been watching him so closely. Those beautiful blue eyes...

"Do you know his name?"

Instead of answering, Q just shook his head silently.

"He didn't tell you his name?" Eve whispered in shock.

"No, and I didn't tell him mine. We didn't exchange numbers as well. So there's no way to contact him." Just that he wanted to... Which was completely stupid. It had been so obvious that the man was in love with someone else. He shouldn't even think of him any longer, the risk of of getting his own heart broken was too high.

"I bet you could find him. You've got such a good memory. Maybe his face can help you." Eve muttered.

"I'm not an artist." Q reminded her. "There's no way I could recreate it. Just drop it, Eve. I'm not in the mood to talk about it any longer. I've got this important meeting later, apparently, the missing Double-Oh is back. M wants me to have a look at him."

Eve's eyes widened. "007 is back?" She whispered incredulously. "Oh my god, I've always wanted to meet him!"

"They say that he's grumpy, difficult to deal with and an asshole." Q repeated what he'd been told. "I think no one wants to meet him. They're not even sure why M took him back."

"He's famous. And the best agent they ever had." Suddenly, he regretted changing the subject. Eve was just as passionate about this than his meeting with the handsome stranger.

"Well, we'll see how good he is after being lost for more than two years." He muttered. "I bet he didn't have the time to train then."

"You'll be able to deal with him, I'm sure of that. All the Double-Oh's love you, Q."

"004 threatens to kill me every now and then." He threw in, remembering the last time Q had been his guide and something didn't go as 004 wanted it.

"He threatens to kill everyone." Eve rolled her eyes. "Well, except for M, of course." Even all the Double-Oh's respected her far too much for that.

"I can't wait to get over with it." Q muttered. "Actually, I have better things to do than babysitting 007 after coming back. 002 should be back from her mission soon, she was on her way back yesterday. She's got the prototype she was sent to get."

"You were her guide on Saturday, right? That's why you cancelled our shopping tour in the afternoon." She still sounded disappointed because of that.

"I've promised to make it up to you." He reminded her. "And yes, working with 002 isn't so bad. She's one of the Double-Oh's who actually listens to what I have to say."

At this, Eve laughed. "That's because she's a woman, sweetheart." She kissed him on the cheek while they walked back to the MI6 headquarter.

An hour later, he was at Q Branch and looking at something on his laptop. He knew that Tanner should arrive with James Bond every minute, but he'd decided to use his time instead of waiting for them. All around him, he heard the usual clattering of keyboards and people talking softly. It had a calming effect on him. Then he heard sound of the doors opening, followed by footsteps. Two men were talking softly, but Q didn't look up yet. He was focused on his work, M wanted him to locate a few suspects.

Right now, he heard Tanner explain why Q Branch wasn't located inside of the MI6 headquarter anymore, but in another building which was close by and connected to the headquarter. The other man, 007, replied something and Q frowned when his voice sounded somewhat familiar, but most probably, he'd just imagined that.

When they were close enough, Q closed his laptop, breathing in deeply. He really wasn't thrilled to meet the infamous 007. He turned around, a wide smile on his face -

And froze when he looked into a pair of piercing blue eyes, which looked just as surprised as he felt.

James Bond.

He'd slept with James Bond.

He was so screwed.

Saturday evening, bar somewhere in London

The music was loud in the bar, but not annoyingly so. It helped to take his mind off of the events of the day. Actually, this should have been his free weekend, but of course something came in between and Q had to work anyway. A mission of one of the Double-Oh's had been about to go wrong and the actual guide was too overwhelmed to continue, which was why Q himself had replaced him. He always did that when something bad happened, Q didn't even have to think twice.

Of course Moneypenny had been very disappointed and he surely would have to hear that every single day for the next weeks, but he didn't care. This had been important, he couldn't let down one of the Double-Oh's who was in trouble. Well, except for 004, there it would be an easy task. Secretly, Q had also been a little relieved not to go shopping with Eve in this terrible heat that was hanging over London for weeks now. It was exhausting and he preferred staying inside.

After getting 002 to a safe place for the night and making sure that she would reach London safely the next day, Q had called it a day and decided to leave his house for some time. He really needed a drink after sitting in front of his laptop for about twelve hours straight. First, he'd been wandering the streets aimlessly, enjoying the fresh air, even if it was still too warm for this time of the day. In the end, his feet had carried him to a small, nice-looking bar in his neighbourhood. Q hadn't been there before so he decided to give it a try. He just hoped that he wouldn't meet anyone he knew, he really wanted some time for himself.

So now he was sitting at a small table in the corner and looked into his glass thoughtfully. He knew that he would have to make up for the lost time with Eve soon, otherwise his best friend would stay disappointed and he didn't want that. They also would have to test the new weapons he'd invented this week and maybe there would also be time to work on one of the cars. That was one of the parts of his job Q loved the most.

The music, which had been slow until now changed to something faster. Q looked up and saw that some of the couples in the room headed to the very small dancefloor which was already far too crowded. He grimaced, knowing that it would be much too warm in here soon, now that all those couples started moving. He took another sip of his drink, wanting to get out of here as fast as possible. Maybe going out hadn't been such a good idea after all.

He looked around once more, trying to find the fastest way to the door and that's when he saw him. He was leaning against the bar, hands buried deep in the pockets of his jeans. He looked relaxed, even bored, and his broad chest was emphasized by the simple t-shirt he was wearing. He was taller than Q, but not that much and he had blond hair. Most probably, he was a few years older than him. There was something about him which made it impossible for Q to look away.

Suddenly, as if he'd felt that Q had been staring, the man turned to him and their eyes met. He had piercing blue eyes, he could even see that from the distance. They looked at each other for a few moments and Q thought that he could see something like mild interest on the face of the other man. Then his lips turned into a smile and he started to walk right towards him.

Q froze in his position, all thoughts of leaving this place as fast as possible running through his head again. However, he didn't move and just looked at the handsome stranger silently, who approached him with such confidence that it nearly looked like he owned the place. Why on earth was he coming to him now? He surely would have found someone else to spend the evening with, after all, Q had seen how the women had watched him.

"Beautiful evening, isn't it?" The man asked and sat down opposite of Q without asking for permission. He smiled slightly and now that they were closer, his eyes looked even more stunning.

"A little too hot for my liking." Q replied calmly.

The man laughed. Q had to admit that he liked the sound of his voice. "It's summer, that shouldn't surprise you."

"Normally, summers aren't this hot." He argued. Was he really talking with the stranger about the weather, of all things?

"You're right." The man smiled mildly. "I just returned to London a few days ago from a holiday. When I stepped out of the plane, I regretted coming back here."

"Why didn't you leave again?" Q asked.

"Who says that I still regret coming back?" He raised his eyebrows and looked at Q more closely. He couldn't help feeling a little self-conscious next to the other man. He knew that he was too skinny, too pale, his black curly hair tended to be a mess and his glasses didn't make him more attractive. Next to that, he was just wearing jeans and a simple t-shirt this evening because of the heat. Normally, he would never even leave the house like this. What could this handsome man want from someone like him? However, the look he was giving him didn't leave much room for imagination. "Besides, I'm here for business. I can't just leave again." The man continued and leaned back in his chair. It was obvious that he could sense how uncomfortable Q was feeling.

"But once your business is over? Can't you leave again?" Honestly, he wasn't sure what to say to this.

For half a second, some kind of emotion flashed in the eyes of the stranger, but it was gone too fast for Q to recognize it. "No, it wouldn't be of any use." He muttered, his voice suddenly sounding a little colder than before.

"If I could take a few days off, I would also leave." Q blurted out, not liking the tension in the air at all. Why did this strange man have to approach him of all people?

He raised his eyebrows. "Where would you go?" This time, he sounded honestly curious.

Q shrugged. "Anywhere. Does it really matter? I've always wanted to see the world." It was true, next to working for MI6, one of his biggest dreams had always been travelling around the world.

"The world is smaller than you think." Was the simple reply.

He raised his eyebrows. "I always thought that it is much bigger, it always depends on the point of view." He stated with a slight smile. "So I assume that you're travelling a lot?"

The man nodded. "It's my job." His tone made it clear that he didn't want to talk about this any longer.

"You're lucky, then." Q said. "I'm stuck here in London."

"Let me guess, you're a scientist?" He guessed, his eyes slightly narrowed.

"Sort of." Q nodded. "I rather see myself as an advanced technician." It was a joke between Eve and himself.

The man quirked an eyebrow. "What should that mean?"

Q chuckled. "If I would talk about my work, I might have to kill you." He joked, having heard this sentence from the Double-Oh's far too often. He knew that it was also famous because of some kind of action movie, so it was safe to say that in front of outsiders.

He laughed. "You're watching too many movies."

"Actually, I'm not into that stuff." He admitted.

They continued like that for some time, chatting about unimportant things without really saying anything. They also didn't exchange names or anything like that. However, Q soon discovered that he liked this man. He was easy to get along with, despite the strange look that appeared on his face sometimes when he thought that Q wasn't watching him. Something was weighing heavily on him, it wasn't hard to see that. Was he here to forget about someone? Q wasn't so sure. But if that man was really looking for a night of meaningless sex, he'd chosen Q as his target. To his big surprise, he didn't mind that. Actually, this thought should horrify him. Q had never done one-night stands before and he'd sworn to himself not to do that. It wasn't worth it.

After about an hour of talking with the man, Q decided that it was time to leave. By now, it was incredibly hot in the bar and even if he wasn't dancing, he started to sweat.

"I think it's time for me to leave now." He said in the end and when he made an attempt to stand up, the man placed his hand on Q's on the table.

"The night has just started." He noted, but didn't try to hold him back. "Let me walk you out, at least."

Together, they manoeuvred through the crowd, Q following the other man who moved between the people without problems. Yes, he was at such places more often, there was no doubt of that. Once they were outside, Q breathed in the fresh air. After that hot, sticky bar it was a relief to be outside again. Next to him, the other man seemed to feel the same. He ran a hand through his short, blond hair.

"Where do you have to go?" He asked.

Q snorted. "If you just assume that I'll take you home, you're quite mistaken -" He didn't get a chance to finish his sentence. Suddenly, the other man took a step towards him, grabbed his shoulders and pushed him against the next wall, holding him there. Damn, he was even stronger than suspected. Then his lips were on Q's and he just stopped thinking. First, he kissed him slowly, nearly hesitant, as if he was afraid that Q might protest. But when a quiet sigh escaped his lips, the other man seemed to be encouraged by this. He deepened the kiss, parting Q's lips and sliding his tongue into his mouth without problems. While doing that, he ran his hands down Q's chest, making him shiver. There was no way for him go take control over this situation and actually, he also didn't want to.

Then the man drew back, Q was breathing heavily. The blue eyes were shining in the dim light of the street lamp and he grinned. "What were you saying?" He whispered into his ear. "I think we could have a very nice time together."

"I still won't take you to my flat." Q muttered weakly. That the other man was pressing his erection against Q's hip didn't make the situation any better. God, he wanted him. They both wanted each other. What had happened to his plans of spending a nice evening alone?

"I've got a room not far from here." The man muttered. "You don't have to worry, I won't hurt you. I would never do that." The seriousness in his eyes surprised Q. He believed him.

"Alright." He whispered, shocked by his own words. "I trust you."

For half a second, there was a flash of emotion in the other man's eyes once more. This time, Q could tell what it was. Pain. Who had hurt him in the past?

The man took Q's hand. "Then let's go." He smiled.

The hotel room was small, but comfortable. Once the door had been closed behind them with a thud, Q's companion switched on the light and he took a few moments to look around. It was very clean in here and everything was in perfect order. Did someone clean up in here or was the other man this tidy?

Slowly, Q turned to him again. He was watching him closely, his blue eyes didn't give away what he was thinking. "You can still leave." He offered.

"Why should I want that?" Q asked curiously.

"I don't want you to regret this night." He sounded vulnerable while saying this words, as if that had happened to him far too often in his life.

"I won't." He didn't know why he was so sure of that or where he took the confidence to approach the other man and wrap his arms around him from. However, he also didn't care. Again, their kiss started soft, but it turned to more heated within seconds. Before Q could really realize what was happening, his knees hit the edge of the bed and he fell back onto the mattress, the other man climbing on top of him without hesitation.

Now that he knew that Q was sure of this, he didn't waste a single moment anymore. He slid his hands under Q's shirt, the light touch making him shiver. At the same time, he parted Q's legs and pressed their hips together. "You're so beautiful." The man muttered and while saying that, he looked into Q's eyes.

"Says the handsome man who's been watched by dozens of women this evening." Q replied and pulled on his shirt as well.

"I didn't even notice that." He sounded amused. "I only had eyes for you."

"You also didn't see the disappointed looks on their faces?" Q groaned when the man kissed his throat.

"Let them look. I don't care." In one swift movement, he first took off Q's shirt and then his own. Q didn't have much time to look at his chest since the man started to place kisses all over him, his hands wandering to his pants, but one thing was for sure. The skin wasn't as flawless as Q had expected. There were scars. Many of them.

He didn't get more time to think about that when the other man opened his belt and his mouth wandered even deeper...

"Any preferences?" The blue eyes were shining mischievously.

"Yes, one." Q groaned. "You. Now get on with it."

"As you wish." He winked at Q before he continued.

The next morning, Q woke up with the sound of someone breathing behind him. There was an arm wrapped around his waist tightly and first, he didn't know where he was. Then the events of the previous night came crashing down on him again.

The stranger in the bar. Their really awkward conversation. A kiss in front of the bar and the silent walk to the hotel room. The amazing sex. He'd taken Q more than once and he was very good. It had been the most amazing night of his life. He'd been so dominant and strong, but at the same time also gentle... Well, at first. Later, his patience had run thin. Q knew that he would feel sore for days. However, he didn't mind that. It had been worth it.

"Good morning." A voice behind him whispered. "Did you sleep well?" Apparently, he'd just been waiting for Q to wake up.

"I did." He muttered and rolled around slowly so he was facing the other man. They were both still naked, but Q didn't care. "You too?"

"The best sleep I had in months." He sounded as if this surprised him and his eyes narrowed slightly when he looked at Q. Was there wonder in them?

"That's good." He wasn't sure what to say now. What did you say to someone whose name you didn't even know after a night of amazing sex?

Apparently, words weren't needed at all. The other man leaned in once more and kissed Q softly. This time, there was no heat in his actions at all. It rather looked like he just wanted to enjoy the moment. Q did that too.

But it was over far too soon, interrupted by the beeping sound of Q's phone. He cursed quietly. "I'm sorry. But it could be important."

"Don't bother." He watched when Q stumbled out of bed and searched for his phone on the floor. There it was, together with his pants. He unlocked the screen to see who was calling.

It was R. He cursed again. "It's work." He told the other man and accepted the call.

"Good morning." He greeted her. "What's going on?"

"008 is back from a mission and wants to talk to you. He says it's important." R told him.

"What does he want?" He asked and began to look for his clothes on the floor. He was fully aware of the fact that he was being watched.

"He refused to tell me anything. Just that it's really urgent."

Q sighed. "I'm on my way." He muttered, not happy about this interruption at all. "Give me an hour." He would have to go home and have a quick shower first. There was no way he could show up at MI6 like this. "Or maybe a little more."

"008 is at the infirmary anyway. He was injured."

"Great." He groaned. "Just great. Alright, see you soon." He ended the call and closed his eyes.

"You're working on weekends?" A curious voice ripped him out of his thoughts.

"Only when it's necessary." He said, turning around to face the other man once more.

"It sounded like something important." He noted.

"An emergency." Q confirmed. "I'm sorry, but I have to leave."

"It's fine, I get that." He didn't look happy, though. When Q got dressed, the other man copied his movements.

"Last night was wonderful." The man smiled when Q was about to leave the hotel room.

"It was." He smiled as well, not sure what to say. He considered telling him his name, but could they ever see each other again? He wasn't so sure. Then he remembered the pain in his eyes he'd seen a few times last night. Maybe it was better if they didn't see each other again.

He was nearly out of the door when the other man reached out to touch his cheek. He ran his thumb down Q's skin to his lips and looked like he wanted to say something, but then he closed his mouth again. "Get home safely. And don't work too long." He whispered.

"I will." Q smiled one last time before he walked towards the stairs. On his way home, he couldn't shake off the feeling that he'd just lost something.

Present day

Q looked at the man in front of him and forced a smile on his lips. James Bond. He'd slept with James Bond, the best and most dangerous of the Double-Oh's. Someone with whom he should work from now on. Those thoughts repeated themselves in his head over and over. James was still staring at him as if he'd seen a ghost, even if his surprise could only be seen in his eyes. His posture was still relaxed and his face completely calm. Q knew that James had sensed his own surprise as well. This meeting had surprised them both.

"007, it's a pleasure to meet you." Q said and tried to sound cheerful. "I've heard so much about you." He held out his hand and James took it, his grip firm.

"I hope only the good stories." James smiled slightly.

"The worst." He replied immediately and chuckled.

"Nice to meet you, Q." James emphasized his name and Q would have loved to know what he was thinking in this moment.

"I assume Tanner has already told you why we moved out of the main headquarter?" He asked, trying to lessen the tension between them. Behind James, Tanner shifted uncomfortably. Apparently, he'd noticed that something about this meeting was odd.

"He said it's for security reasons, but secretly, I assume that all the explosions annoyed everyone else in the building." James smiled mischievously. The same smile which had been on his lips right before he...

"Well, you're not completely wrong, Mr. Bond." Q replied to get his mind away from the weekend. "It might have also been one of the reasons. Shall we continue with your check? M wants to do everything and here is only your first station, you'll also have to see the doctor and one of our specialists in the training centre." In this moment, he wanted nothing more than to have James Bond gone as fast as possible. He really needed time to think. Luckily, Tanner would be with them all the time. That would prevent James from mentioning their earlier activities. At least that's what Q hoped.

"It would be a pleasure." James smiled once more and gestured for Q to lead the way.

In the end it turned out that Q didn't even have to say much while he ran some tests on James Bond. Tanner updated him on everything that happened in the past two years and Bond seemed to listen carefully. Or it looked like that, at least. Sometimes, Q thought that he glanced at him when he thought that he wasn't looking.

Bond's vitals were fine, which didn't surprise Q. Apparently, the older man hadn't been idle in the past two years. The only thing he had problems with was his shoulder, but just at some movements. Before he'd vanished for two years, he got shot there. However, Q was optimistic that the doctor and the personal trainer could fix that as well. He wasn't so sure why the fact that Bond might be hurt bothered him so much.

Just before Tanner and Bond wanted to leave Q Branch again, Tanner's phone rang and he excused himself. That left Q and James alone in the room.

"Q." James muttered more to himself and shook his head slowly. "From all the people in this city, I ran into Q..."

Q chuckled. "Do you think it didn't surprise me to get to know that you're a Double-Oh?" He raised his eyebrows.

"It did surprise you. I already thought Tanner would notice immediately that something's wrong back when he introduced us." James crossed his arms. "I just wonder why you didn't recognize me on Saturday. They have surely told you many stories about me." He looked curious now.

"Stories, yes. But they haven't shown me pictures and honestly, I didn't have the time to look into your file. You were dead, remember? I had to concentrate on the living." Q stated. No one at MI6 had even considered that 007 might still be alive. Except for M, he knew now. Otherwise, she would have given his position to someone else years ago.

"Advanced technician." James said suddenly. "It's quite fitting."

Q was surprised that he remembered that. "My best friend always teases me with that. She's M's assistant, I'm sure you'll meet her later."

James looked surprised. "Miss Moneypenny? I've seen her name tag on the table in front of M's office."

"She's dying to meet you. One of your biggest fans, I assume." He smiled slightly.

"And you're not?" James raised his eyebrows.

"I was told that you're a grumpy old man who ruins everyone's day." Q stated. "I wasn't looking forward to meeting you, if I'm honest."

"I always want you to be honest." Came the immediate reply. "What are you thinking about me now that we've officially met each other?"

"That I don't know anything about you except for the information in the files and the few things you said on Saturday. Or were those all lies?" He raised his eyebrows.

"No. I never lied to you." It really looked like James was being honest. "Would you want to get to know me better?" Damn, that man was incredibly curious!

Q hesitated. "Time will have to show that, 007." He said to remain the professional distance. He didn't know what to think at all about this man.

Luckily, Tanner chose this moment to come back. "That was M, she said that we should go to the training centre first, 007." He turned to Q. "Everything finished?"

He nodded. "You're ready to go."

Q accompanied them towards the elevator. "Did you already talk to 008?" Tanner asked on their way. "I've heard that he wanted to tell you something important."

"I did that yesterday. R called me in the morning to tell me about it." He glanced at James while saying this. Somehow, he wanted him to understand that he'd left because of a real emergency and not because he didn't want to stay with him any longer. "Apparently, the problem in India isn't solved yet."

Tanner frowned. "It isn't?"

"No. Unfortunately, he escaped. But we're on it. We should find him again soon." Q said confidently.

"What happened in India?" James threw in curiously.

"That, 007, is top secret." Tanner said before Q could answer the question. Then they both stepped into the elevator and Q was alone again.

'Cause I need time
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I'm still healing
Just try and have a little patience
I really wanna start over again

James didn't see Q again in the next days. He was kept busy with several fitness and weapons tests. He thought that all of this was useless, but M didn't give him room to argue. She wanted him to prove that he was still worth being one of the Double-Oh's. He knew that she would never give him a new mission if he didn't do all this, so he endured it silently. The only thing that bothered him was that none of his several walks through the building brought him anywhere near Q Branch.

Because James wanted to talk to the Quartermaster again, even if their first official meeting hadn't been that successful. They'd both been shocked, that had been obvious. However, it surprised him far more that Q didn't recognize him. They didn't show him a single picture of James at MI6? Unbelievable. But maybe also good, otherwise, he would have never gotten this amazing night with Q...

Honestly, James didn't even know what he wanted from the other man. He was beautiful, smart and had a good sense of humour, but next to that? Actually, James had just planned to find someone for another night of meaningless sex when he'd approached him in that bar. He'd never planned to see him again, that's also why he didn't ask for a name. Yes, it might have felt wrong when Q had just left his hotel room on Sunday morning, but wasn't it always like that? The sudden feeling of loneliness that appeared when someone left after some time?

James was used to it by now. In the past months, all he ever did was feeling lonely. Ever since she was gone... Even the nights with others couldn't fill the hole in his chest where she had been. He just wondered why it didn't feel like he was incomplete with Q. Why it had just felt so right just to talk to him, not to mention how good touching him had been...

In fact, James Bond was confused when he thought of the Quartermaster. He just couldn't make sense of the whirlwind of feelings this man caused inside him. Or was it just the confusion because Q was so different from everyone he'd met before?

He thought of her again. How she'd always been so positive when everything around them seemed to fall apart. Her wide smile and her laugh which made his heart beat faster. She had brown eyes and long, blond hair. Her face had been covered in freckles and the sound of her voice... He'd met her about two weeks after he'd faked his death. Her name was Angelina, and he'd never planned to fall in love with her. It just happened. For many months, James thought that they could be happy together. That they had a real future. But the past always found a way to catch up with him. She got shot and didn't survive it, he also barely escaped with his life. He didn't know who the attacker was and even now he didn't find a single clue. That was also one of the reasons why he came back to London, next to the bad feeling which was making him restless. To find the ones responsible for her death and make them pay.

Ever since she was gone, he hadn't been the same. Loneliness had eaten him up and he'd tried to drown it in alcohol, a useless attempt to make all his problems vanish. Then he'd tried it with other people, but that also didn't work. Especially not with those who looked like her. In the end, he'd settled for men whose appearance didn't resemble her at all. Also not of any use. However, in that time, he'd discovered that it didn't matter to him if he was with a woman or a man. It just mattered if they made him feel anything at all. It happened rarely.

With Q it had been like that. For the first time since she was gone, he'd desired someone. Not just for the appearance – he'd met other beautiful men before Q – but because there was something about him that was just irresistible. He even wanted to know more about him. When Q refused to talk much about his life, James had tried not to be disappointed. Now he knew why the other man held back so much on their first meeting. Just like James, he wasn't allowed to say anything! Because he was the damn Quartermaster of MI6!

He wanted to see him again so badly. Had it just been on Saturday that he made those emotions flare up inside of him? Most probably not, when they saw each other on Monday, James' heart had been beating so furiously in his chest, he'd thought that everyone at Q Branch would hear it. What was it about Q that made him so special? He had to find out more. The only way to do that was seeing him again.

He knew that M would send him to Q Branch again as soon as he was allowed to go on missions. Unlike his predecessor, the new Quartermaster always handed the equipment to the Double-Oh's personally. They respected him deeply for that, a chat with 008 and 002 had shown James how much the others cared about him. He wasn't sure what to think of their respect for Q. It was a good thing, he knew that. But why did it bother him as well?

Nearly two weeks after getting back to MI6, M gave James his first mission. It was nothing difficult, he just had to find someone who dealt with highly illegal information in Liverpool. He was told that they suspected a connection to 008's mission in India, but it wasn't confirmed yet. James should find out more about it.

He entered Q Branch that day and was surprised to see that most of the workplaces were empty. When he stepped into the large room, James also realized why. Q was leaning at his desk in the middle of the room, arms crossed and an annoyed expression on his face. In front of him stood 004, the most annoying, self-obsessed and arrogant Double-Oh. James hadn't met him ever since he returned to MI6 and he'd hoped that it would stay this way. Even before he'd vanished, they didn't get along well. More than once it ended in chaos and injuries.

"Come on, Q. It's just a small favour!" 004 said and James tried to stay out of sight. He didn't want them to notice his appearance just yet.

"No." Q replied simply. "I don't do favours, you should know that, 004."

"What about that corrosive lipstick you made 002 the other day?"

"It was important for her mission. She was being searched on that party and everything else would have been far too obvious." Q's voice was still calm and 004's attempt to convince him didn't seem to impress him at all.

"You gave 003 a walking stick that could shoot poisoned arrows." 004 continued to argue.

"He was playing a duke, they don't carry weapons. It was the only way."

"What about the car you updated for 006? She really didn't need one that fast!"

Q shrugged. "I like experimenting on cars." He smiled slightly at that.

"Then why can't you make me an exploding pen?" 004's voice was getting louder now. "It's just a very small favour!" By now, James had the impression that he should do something to end this conversation. He moved towards them behind 004's back, which meant that Q could see him now.

"Because you don't need it!" Q argued. "You'll use it once and then it's gone. And besides, we're not really doing that anymore." When he said the last sentence, Q's eyes wandered to James and he smiled slightly.

James grinned back at him.

"Why do you even hate me so much?" 004 asked, not realizing that James was there as well. "Was it because I tried to flirt with you when we first met? I already apologized for that! Or the laptop I lost about a year ago? I also said I'm sorry!" 004 tried to flirt with Q? That caught James' attention and he already knew that he didn't like it.

"Maybe because you just can't shut up and always threaten to kill me when I'm your guide and things don't go as you please? None of the other Double-Oh's does that! They all curse on end, but they don't threaten me. And honestly, I don't hate you, 004. I just won't make you an exploding pen!" Without waiting for a reply, Q took a step aside so he could have a better look at James. "Ah, Bond, I'm sure you're here for your equipment?" Suddenly, the annoyed tone in which he'd spoken to 004 was gone and replaced by his usual friendly manner.

When Q said his name, 004 whirled around, his eyes wide. "What are you doing here?" He nearly shouted. Apparently, no one had informed him about James' return yet. "They said you're dead!"

He smiled. "Back to work." He said simply and looked at Q. "Yes, M sent me."

"Then we should get going, I'm sure you don't have that much time, 007. I think your flight leaves in two hours." Q gestured for him to follow him, but 004 blocked James' way.

"I can't believe they took you back after everything you did!" He muttered. "I really hoped you were dead."

"Sorry to disappoint you." James shrugged. "It happens."

"Oh you -" 004 started and James already prepared himself for many curses, but Q interrupted 004 loudly.

"004!" He shouted. "Stop threatening James! And don't say something like that again. Otherwise, I'll never make anything for you again. Or maybe an exploding gun. When you pull the trigger!"

To James' surprise, 004 shut his mouth and glanced at Q. The Quartermaster looked angry now and in this moment, James understood why the others respected him so deeply. Without another word, 004 headed towards the elevator. When he walked past James, he hissed "This isn't over!" into his ear, but James simply ignored him.

They both watched him leave in silence until Q cleared his throat. "Shall we?"

James nodded and followed him to a room at the end of the big hall. It was Q's office. Until now, James didn't even consider that he also had a room on his own. Once they were inside, James knew why Q didn't use it that often. The entire room was a mess. There were piles of paper on the table, empty cups and other technical devices James didn't even try to understand the use of.

"I prefer working with the others close by." Q, who'd seen James' look, explained and gestured for him to sit down in front of the desk. He showed a few papers aside and handed James a small box. "Your equipment, 007."

James raised his eyebrows and opened it. Inside was a gun and another small object. Somehow, James had expected more.

"The gun only reacts to your fingerprint so no one else can fire it." Q explained. "The other object is a tracker. Once you activate it, I'll be able to find you anywhere." He smiled at that.

"And that's it?" James asked.

"Why? Did you also expect an exploding pen?" Q raised his eyebrows sceptically.

"I already had that. It was horrible." James grimaced, which actually made Q laugh. He liked the sound of that.

"Normally, I only do special stuff when it's necessary." The younger man grinned. "Or when I'm in the mood. However, I never give anything to 004. It would only make him more annoying."

"That's even possible?" James shook his head. "I doubt it." Then something else came to his mind again. "So he really tried to flirt with you?"

Q sighed. "I already feared that you would ask that." His face fell. "Yes, he tried that when we first met. It was about my second week at MI6. It was very awkward and I ended it quite fast. After that, he never tried it again. Otherwise, I promised to make his life hell."

"You never said something like that to me." James said curiously. "After everything we did, it would be only logical." He tried to keep the images of that night out of his mind. The pleasure on Q's face, his quiet sighs and groans...

"You would never do that in public. You're far too polite for that." Q threw in.

"Or maybe you just wouldn't mind if I do it?" He smiled charmingly. "I had the impression that you enjoy my company, Q."

"That was before I knew who you are." Q shot back without hesitation. "I separate work and my private life. And since you're work now, it wouldn't be possible, if you wanted it or not." He shrugged as if he wanted to say that there was nothing which could change that.

Even if James also tried to tell himself that it might not work with Q – hell, he was still crying and had nightmares because of her nearly every night! – he felt slightly disappointed at those words.

"You should leave now, James." Q muttered and looked at something on his desk absent-mindedly. "Otherwise, you might miss your flight. I bet M wouldn't be amused if your first mission back here starts like that."

He sighed. "I'm sure she wouldn't." He stood up slowly and walked towards the door. "Q." He didn't know why he said his name again, but the sound of his voice made the Quartermaster look up again. James couldn't interpret the look on his face. "I'll see you soon."

"Try not to blow anything up." Q smiled slightly before James left the room.

Q could tell exactly when his life became so complicated. It all started on a certain night he wanted to have a drink, alone. Then, a certain handsome stranger with blue eyes had approached him, leading to the best night in his life. Later, it turned out that the man was one of the best agents of MI6. One of the agents Q was kind of responsible for.

And he couldn't get that man out of his head.

Maybe it also didn't help that he saw James Bond on a regular basis now. Of course his first mission back at MI6 was short and he did it without problems. He found the suspect, got the information and even found the connection to the events in India, which he also solved in his next mission. They had been right when they said that he was one of their best agents. He never disappointed, even if he often came back injured.

Three months had passed since James Bond was back and slowly, Q was losing his patience. It wasn't that the man was kind of difficult sometimes, all Double-Oh's were. He was used to that. It was rather the fact that James always looked at him with this odd expression on his face Q really couldn't interpret. Or that he made his heart race as soon as they got closer.

Yes, it was the fact that Q really liked him. Much more than he should. And that James Bond was obviously still in love with someone else. Actually, Q really didn't want to have a look at the events during his absence, but in the end, he couldn't stand it any longer. Her name had been Angelina and she was dead. Killed by assassins who were sent after Bond. The ones who were still searching for him, if everything Q found out was correct. He didn't know why they were after him, though. He also didn't try to find out more about that. He already felt guilty enough because he'd looked at the files concerning his girlfriend.

He'd known all along that starting something with Bond was hopeless. He'd seen it in his eyes the first time they met. This sudden sadness that appeared out of nowhere. Now he knew why it was there. He still loved her. Q felt bad for him, knowing how much loss he already had to endure in his life.

Which he didn't get was why Bond often flirted with Q now when they were alone. It had started a few weeks after his first mission. Apparently, he'd noticed that Q wouldn't do anything against it. On the contrary, he even felt flattered, which didn't happen often. If he was completely honest to himself, he even missed how James' hands had felt on his body. But that's all what Bond wanted from him, right? His body. Q didn't just want to be there for a quick fuck now and then. He wanted something more.

Which meant that he had to forget James Bond. No matter how difficult that might be.

However, he also couldn't let him down completely, so he decided to keep an eye on the people who were following him. Well, or if there were any signs of them, to be more exact. They hid their traces very well and even Q couldn't locate them.

Eve also noticed that something was wrong, but until now, Q was able to keep the fact that his mysterious one night stand had been James Bond secret. But he knew his best friend and it was only a matter of time until she would get to know it. Bond wasn't really hiding his affection for Q all the time. He was sure that Moneypenny would get behind everything soon.

Sometimes, he really wished that the night with James had never taken place. It would make everything so much easier. Or would he have felt attracted by the other man anyway? He wasn't so sure. There was something about James that just made everything so... easy. Even when Q was informing him about his next mission, they could keep it light and sometimes, they even joked around. It wasn't like that with the other Double-Oh's.

He was at a loss what to do.

I know you wanna be my salvation

The one that I can always depend
I'll try to be strong, believe me
I'm trying to move on
It's complicated but understand me

James didn't know what to do anymore. Weeks had passed since he first got to know that the beautiful man he'd spent the night with was the Quartermaster and he was still confused. He felt attracted to Q, that was obvious. He was beautiful, smart and charming. James liked his sense of humour, even if Q was a real mess considering tidiness, something which was very important to him. It bothered him when other men got too close to Q and he tried to socialise with his best friend Eve Moneypenny, even if that didn't work too well. She liked to tease James very much and he wasn't sure if it was only about him or if she was like that with every man except for Q.

So why did everything feel so good and wrong at the same time? He'd desired others before, but with Q, it was different. He didn't just want his body. He wanted to be the one Q came to when he had problems, the one he went home with. The one who was allowed to hold him while he was asleep.

James could still imagine the feeling of the younger man in his arms. It had just felt right, something that didn't happen ever since Angelina was gone. That night, no nightmares had haunted him. Instead, he'd just felt at peace. Like he finally came home.

But it also felt like he was betraying her in some way when he thought of Q. He couldn't just start falling for someone else and it didn't matter that he had no control over this, it wasn't fair, even if she was gone. After all, he'd promised to always love her.

The door in front of him opened and M gestured for Q to enter her office. He wasn't sure why she wanted to see him, their last discussion because of the ongoing missions had just been the previous day. Did she forget something? That was unlikely for M. Or did something else happen? But then another agent would be here as well.

He sat down in front of her desk. "How are things with Bond?" M asked without hesitation.

"Bond?" Q asked in surprise.

"I've heard that you like him, Q. And he seems to show interest in you as well." Of course M came to the point without much talking. "Much more than in anyone else. A few others would even call you friends."

Q swallowed. He'd expected anything, but not this. "We get along well." He said slowly, not sure how he could describe his relationship with James Bond.

"You didn't guide him on a mission yet, is that true?" M kept asking.

"No, it wasn't necessary until now." He explained.

"James Bond is a heartbreaker." Alright, even more unexpected.

"Excuse me?" Q raised his eyebrows, showing her that he didn't know where this was heading.

"He's been hurt terribly in the past, Q. More than once." M explained. "There was a woman he met on a mission once. He fell in love with her and she ended up betraying him. Then Bond vanished and met someone else, I'm sure he thought that he could be happy with her this time. But his past got in the way once more."

"He told you what happened during his absence?" He asked incredulously.

M laughed. "No, he would never do that. I just like to know how my agents are doing. Even those on a holiday." She looked at him meaningfully.

"Why are you telling me all this?" He still didn't get it.

"Bond likes you more than he wants to admit, Q." M sighed. "Maybe he doesn't even know it yet. And I know that you like him as well. I don't know what it is, but I'm sure that something happened between the two of you."

He opened his mouth to protest, but she cut him off.

"Don't try to deny it, Q."

"So you want me to keep my distance from Bond?" That would be difficult, considering that he liked to show up at Q Branch every time he had the chance.

To his surprise, M shook her head. "I just want you to be patient with him. After everything that happened, it's difficult for James to trust people and open up."

Even if it was impolite, Q couldn't stop staring at her. "You... you are saying...?"

"That you two could make each other happy? Yes, I'm sure of that." M smiled at him. "Just don't get frustrated by him. The waiting will be worth it."

Q didn't know what to reply to this. Were they really that obvious?

"I'll send Bond to you with another mission later." She said when he didn't say anything. M handed him a file. "Those are the details."

"Thank you." Q muttered, still confused and stood up. He had already reached the door when M called him again.

"And Q? No one knows about it. I'm just very observant."

He nodded slowly before he left the room. Outside, Eve raised her eyebrows. "What did she want?"

"I'm not so sure..." Q muttered and left, ignoring her curious expression.

The next mission for James came rather unexpected. Apparently, there had been a terrorist attack somewhere in Mexico and they suspected that a big criminal organization was behind this. It was James' task to find out more about it. M had already warned him that it could be dangerous, but he didn't care. That had never bothered him before.

When he entered Q Branch that day, he was surprised to hear someone shouting angrily. His heart sank when he recognized 004. After their first meeting a few weeks ago, James didn't see him again and he'd been glad about it. But now there he was, standing in front of Q in the middle of the room and shouting loudly. All around, the other employees had stopped working and were also looking at the two men anxiously. Then they glanced at James, most probably expecting even more trouble now that two Double-Oh's were there.

Suddenly, James felt incredibly angry. How could he even dare to shout at Q? He felt the strong urge to punch 004 now, not caring if they had an audience. But a small voice inside his head held him back, telling him that Q wouldn't be happy about this at all. Maybe James was also a little curious about how Q would deal with 004.

"The mission was a total disaster!" 004 shouted in this moment. "And it's your fault!"

Q, who'd been standing there quite relaxed until now, crossed his arms. "My fault?" He asked incredulously, his quiet voice a sharp contrast to 004's shouting. "Why should it be my fault? May I remind you that it was you who didn't listen to me when I said that you should get out of the building? It was also you who jumped into the river."

"I didn't even want to jump into that bloody river! Most probably, it was poisonous." 004 sounded frustrated and James' lips twitched. By now, he could see that Q could handle him. "And then? You called a random telephone box to contact me!"

"Because you lost your communicator in the river!" Q shot back immediately, his voice a little sharper now. "So it's also not my fault!"

"How did you even manage to call a telephone box?" Honestly, James had been asking himself the same question. It wasn't like every one of them had its own number. 004 didn't wait for Q's reply, though. "And remember the car and the hiding place?"

"There was nothing wrong about them." Q argued. "I saved your life, remember?"

"With a pink Smart and a dirty old cellar as a hiding place. People will laugh at me for ages." 004 muttered.

"Just because you keep shouting those things through my department." At this, Q's lips twitched. "Otherwise, I would have kept everything to myself."

James couldn't see 004's face, but he could imagine his expression pretty well. From the amused glance in Q's eyes, he knew that he was right. 004 looked at Q for a few more moments before he turned around to leave – just to run right into James.

"Oh no, not you again!" He hissed angrily.

James held up his hands. "I'm just here to get my equipment."

004 muttered something, but James couldn't understand the words and then he stormed towards the elevator. Not after throwing angry glances at all the other employees, of course.

Q leaned against his desk and ran a hand through his hair. "And people wanted to tell me that you're difficult." He muttered and smiled. James noticed that there were dark rings under his eyes and the Quartermaster was paler than usual.

"You look tired." He noted. He knew that he was the only person in this building who could say those words out loud without getting an angry reply. Well, except for Eve, of course.

"004's mission has kept me quite busy the past days." Q explained with a sigh. "He returned this morning and his first action was to scold me for being a lousy guide."

"I'm sure you're a great guide." James threw in and he meant it. "He's just an ass."

Q chuckled. "He is." He agreed. "And maybe you'll get to know what kind of guide I am soon." He reached for a file on the table. "M gave me this, it's about your next mission."

He nodded. "She already informed me that you know everything."

"It was a long night. I had to do more research, there's so much missing in here." Q didn't look happy, but James rather thought that it was due to the lack of research and not his own far too long night. "You'll have to leave this afternoon, otherwise the trace in Mexico will grow cold. And I fear that you'll not be staying there for long." Q opened the file and handed him a piece of paper. There were names and places written down in Q's messy handwriting.

James scanned the names and places. "Italy?" He asked in surprise.

"And Russia." Q confirmed. "They're connected pretty well."

"I see..." James muttered thoughtfully. However, none of the names sounded familiar to him.

"Here's your equipment." Q ripped him out of his thoughts and handed him a small box. "A gun, the tracker, communicator, recorder and GPS."

James opened the box. "And the last object?" It was a pen and he raised his eyebrows.

Q grinned like a child at Christmas. "This, 007, is an exploding pen."

Q was an awesome guide and James decided to buy him flowers or something like that once he made it back to London. With his help, he'd been able to track the organization from Mexico over Cuba, Italy and Greece to Russia. It had been true, they didn't hesitate to try to kill him more than once, but James' experience together with Q's skills always made it possible for him to escape, most of the time even uninjured. They were a really good team, even if he suspected that Q neglected some of his duties at MI6 to help him all the time. Well, or he didn't sleep at all, but that was something James rather not wanted to think about.

In the end, he found the leaders of the organization and made sure that they could be brought to London. Well, or at least one of them, the other man didn't survive the meeting with James. He didn't have a choice than to kill him, his own life had depended on it.

Back in London, James was disappointed to see that Q wasn't at Q Branch when he came to bring back his equipment. Instead, R was leaning against the big desk in the middle of the room. "007, it's good to see you." She greeted him with a smile.

"Where's Q?" He asked and looked around, but the Quartermaster was nowhere to be seen.

"I sent him home, he really needed sleep after being awake for days." R didn't sound happy about that. James could only agree with her. "He'll be back tomorrow." She told him. "Actually, he wanted to wait for you to return, but I was afraid that he might pass out, so I let Miss Moneypenny bring him home."

"That's good." James was glad that Eve had been with him on his way home. He didn't like Q wandering through London alone, especially not when he was so tired.

"Shall we deal with your equipment then?" R smiled. "Q said that he expects you to bring everything back."

At this, James smiled sheepishly. Of course he didn't have everything...

In the end, he decided to go home after bringing his equipment to Q Branch and telling M about everything that happened. Since Q wasn't there, he didn't see the need to stay at MI6 any longer. After his return, they'd gotten him a small apartment which he didn't like at all. However, it was enough to live in for now.

The door closed behind him with a thud and James threw his bag to the ground carelessly. Honestly, he was also tired after such a long mission. All he wanted was a shower and sleep. He took off his jacket and stopped in front of a picture on the wall. It showed her and he smiled sadly. "I'm back." He touched the frame carefully. "It wasn't so bad. Q was my guide this time, we're a good team." He told the picture, knowing that it was stupid. However, he couldn't help it. "I bet you would like him."

In the shower, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of the warm water on his skin. To his surprise, he saw a certain face very clearly in his mind. Black, curly hair, green eyes and pale skin. He also heard Q's amused voice when James had started to walk into the wrong direction in Athens. Really, 007, why are you so distracted today? Maybe because of the addicting voice in his ear... He was falling for Q, he'd realized that in the past days. Now he didn't see her anymore when he closed his eyes, but the Quartermaster of MI6.

He remembered their first evening together. First, Q had been surprised by the attention he got from James. Confused, even. But after some time, he had relaxed. When he'd laughed at something James said, his heart had started to beat faster. Already back then this man had made him feel something. And not just the want for his body.

He was about to get dressed when a sound startled him. It was the sound of shattering glass. He wasn't alone in his flat anymore. The adrenaline began to run through his veins and James tensed, looking around for something to fight with. Unfortunately, there weren't many things in his small bathroom. He cursed inwardly. So his hands would have to do the job.

He decided not to wait until the intruder came to his room. Instead, he placed his hand on the door handle and opened it carefully. It was dark in the room, apparently the attacker had switched off the lights. James listened for a few moments and he could hear breathing to his left, close to his small kitchen. So the possibility to get a knife there was small. Was it only one person? Most probably, he couldn't hear anyone else.

He still had an old gun in his wardrobe, but wasn't sure if he would make it there in time. And the noise would distract the neighbours. As soon as he stepped out of the bathroom, the intruder threw himself at him with full force. James had just enough time to throw himself to the ground. Otherwise, the knife would have already hit him. He turned and got to his feet again, but then the attacker was already back. He felt a stab of pain in his chest where the knife had cut his skin, but he didn't care. Luckily, there was enough light from the bathroom so he could make out the movements of the other person. It was a man, he was sure of that.

After struggling with each other for some time, James was finally able to get the knife from the other man. He got another cut on his back now, deeper than the first one, but he couldn't take care of that. "Who sent you?" He asked, the knife on the throat of his attacker.

"They will always find you. There's no place for you to hide." The man hissed. "They will kill everyone you love to make you suffer and in the end, you will beg for them to end your life." He laughed at this and James resisted the urge just to kill him right here. Instead, he just knocked him out with full force and searched for something to tie him up. He knew that he should have a look at his wounds, but there was no time right now. They knew where he lived, so he had to leave immediately. He grabbed a bag, shoved some clothes and his gun as well as a few knives into it and left the flat, locking the door behind him. He hoped that the attacker wouldn't be able to escape before reinforcements could be there.

However, in this moment, he didn't really care about that. His words were still ringing through his mind. They will kill everyone you love to make you suffer and in the end, you will beg for them to end your life. He didn't even have to think about it twice, his body moved on his own.

Q. He had to get to Q.

After much sleep and nearly a whole day in bed, Q was feeling much better. Being the guide of James Bond had worked very well, but staying on alert all the time, as well as doing his usual work at MI6, had led to him being really tired. In the end, Eve had forced him to go home – of course not after Q had made sure that James would come back to London safely.

As soon as he'd been in his house and his back had hit the mattress, he'd fallen asleep. It had been necessary, he knew that. However, he couldn't just let James on his own during that mission. They were a team and Q had to help him. He was always staying up too long and working too much when he was guiding one of the Double-Oh's, but with James it had been different. Somehow, Q had the feeling that his own life depended on James coming home in one piece.

The lazy day in bed with so much sleep had only one disadvantage – Q was awake now, in the middle of the night. He doubted that he could sleep again soon, so he went to his office and opened his laptop. Maybe he could do some work or think about his new inventions. He hated wasting time when he could also be productive.

In the end, he decided to work on a plan for a new car. Well, or rather a very old car. He suspected that James would like his plans for the Aston Martin – which were a secret, of course. He wanted it to be a surprise for the agent.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been working in silence when a sound startled him. It sounded like a door opening, which should have been impossible. At least, Q had one of the best alarm systems in the whole city. He'd invented and installed it in his house all by himself. There was another sound, a quiet thud.

In this moment, Q knew that he wasn't alone in his house anymore. He froze, but then he forced himself to stand up slowly and switch off the light in his office. He closed the laptop after locking it and moved towards the door. For half a second, he considered trying to contact Eve, but most probably, she was already asleep and wouldn't answer the calls anyway. Who knew, maybe she was even with her boyfriend again. Then her phone would be turned off.

He knew that he wasn't a good fighter so he decided not to look for possible weapons. If the intruder got too close to him, it would be his end. There was no way he could fight someone, not with his lack of strength. No, he had to outsmart whoever broke into his house, which also wasn't so easy. Actually, the plan had been that no one would ever be able to get into his house because of the alarm system. Who did even know where he lived?

He stopped in the hallway close to the door of his office and listened, but it was quiet in the house. Could he make it to the front door? The sounds had come from the living room, where the back door to the garden was. But if he moved through the hallway, he would be visible for the intruder, if he was still in the living room. Maybe the kitchen window? But too many things were standing in front of it, he would make too many noises.

So the front door. Or were they already waiting for him there?

Q breathed in deeply and tried to move as quietly as possible. Luckily, he wasn't wearing shoes that could make noises on the stone floor. His heart was beating furiously in his chest and he tried to keep his breathing under control, but he knew that it wouldn't work much longer. His hands were sweaty.

He was just already sure that he would make it to the front door without problems when a figure moved out of the shadows and a hand was placed over his mouth. The other arm of the intruder was wrapped around his body now to prevent him from moving. It all happened so fast that Q barely had time to react. His throat escaped a strangled cry, but then an oddly familiar scent hit him.

"Hey, easy, it's just me." A voice he knew too well whispered into his ear and immediately, Q relaxed again. "I'm sorry that I didn't take the time to knock." James Bond said when he let him go and took a step back. It was still dark in the hallway.

Q breathed in deeply and tried to calm his still furiously beating heart. "What are you doing here?" He demanded to know and turned around. In the meantime, Bond had already found the light switch.

After blinking against the light, Q's eyes got used to it again and he took in the man in front of him. Bond's hair was wet and a complete mess. He was wearing a t-shirt, sweatpants and boots. There also was a knife in his hand, but that wasn't what made Q inhale sharply.

His shirt was ripped on his chest and covered in blood. He could see a long, ugly cut on his skin and suddenly, his heart was beating faster from a totally different kind of fear. "What happened?" He whispered quietly.

"I got a visitor." James muttered and looked around once more. "And I thought that you might get one as well." Only now Q noticed that he was gripping the knife so tightly that his knuckles were white.

"A visitor? What are you talking about, I don't understand -" That's when it hit him. The attacks on Bond Q wasn't supposed to know about. The death of his girlfriend and the people who were following him. The people Q hadn't been able to track, even if he tried his best. "We have to stop the bleeding." He muttered when James narrowed his eyes, most probably startled by Q's reaction. "I have bandages somewhere." Without really thinking about it, he grabbed James' free hand and pulled him towards the kitchen, just to see another cut on his back. "If I think about it again, I'll stop the bleeding and then I'm going to call an ambulance." How was he even still able to move around? Hell, he'd nearly crossed half the city to get to Q's house!

"No." James said quietly and sat down on a chair.

"No?" Q asked incredulously.

"If someone will have a look at my injuries, it will be at MI6. No ambulance." James muttered. Q decided that they could also discuss this later and went to his office to get the first aid kit. From the corner of his eyes, he saw that James tensed when Q left the room alone, but he didn't follow him.

"What happened?" He wanted to know when he looked through his supplies.

"An assassin broke into my flat and tried to kill me. I knocked him out, packed a few things and came here." James said simply.

"Is he still there?"

"We'll have to send someone." He nodded slowly.

Q sighed and reached for his phone on his pocket. "I'll just call Tanner. You keep pressing that onto your wounds."

"I know how to deal with injuries." James muttered, but did as he was told.

In short words, Q explained to Tanner that someone had to be sent to Bond's flat. Luckily, he agreed without asking questions. Tanner also agreed to inform M before they would meet at MI6 as soon as possible. "How do you even know where I live?" He asked when he bandaged James' wounds. It might not be very professional, but it was enough for now since it would stop the bleeding.

"I didn't stalk you, if that's what you mean." James said simply, but he made no attempt to answer Q's question. He decided that it wasn't of importance for now and kept focusing on James' injuries. It was the first time they were so close to each other since they spent the night together. Q only noticed that when he finished bandaging James' wounds and looked at his now bloody hands.

"Q..." He said it hesitantly, as if he wasn't sure what he wanted to tell him at all. Very slowly, James reached out to take his hands and finally, Q let the shirt he'd still been holding drop to the ground and looked at James' face instead.

The sadness he could see in his eyes made him swallow. There was still a little blood on James' cheek and Q resisted the urge to wipe it away. Those blue eyes were looking at him with such an intensity as if James could see right into his mind. "I thought that they would be here..." His voice was uncharacteristically quiet and nearly trembling. "I was scared, Q." James' eyes were wide while he admitted this, as if the realization shocked him.

"I'm fine." Q whispered calmingly. "Nothing happened, James."

"But they'll try again." He muttered darkly. "They're after me. This will never end."

"Why did you expect them to come here then?" He dared to ask quietly and raised his eyebrows. "How should they know about me?"

Suddenly, James didn't dare to look into his eyes anymore and Q knew that something was on his mind. However, he remembered M's words. I just want you to be patient with him. After everything that happened, it's difficult for James to trust people and open up. He decided not to urge James to tell him what was going on.

Outside, they could hear a car pulling in the driveway and James tensed again.

"It's Moneypenny, she promised to pick us up." Q explained quietly. He'd been so worried about James that he forgot to tell him that he'd texted her after calling Tanner.

James didn't look convinced and when Q wanted to go to the door, he grabbed his wrist to stop him. There was a knock on the door and only when Eve called their names James let him go again. He opened the door and stared right into the face of a very concerned looking Moneypenny.

"Q, what's going on?" She asked and froze when she saw the blood on his hands and clothes. James' blood.

"Bond is here and injured." He explained. "I'm fine." He guided her to the kitchen where James was already leaning in the doorway.

"Miss Moneypenny." He greeted her and his lips twitched, even if he looked tired now.

"Mr. Bond." Eve replied and narrowed her eyes at him. "You don't look good, we should leave."

"Do you have a weapon?" James asked when Q grabbed his laptop from the office and James' bag which was still standing close to the front door.

"Of course." Eve said simply. Since she wasn't just M's assistant but also a former agent, she was also a good fighter. "But why?"

"I'll explain everything once we're somewhere safe." James said simply. When he got in the car and winced (it seemed as if Double-Oh's also weren't immune to pain), Q rushed to his side to help him. He could feel Eve's eyes on him, but didn't turn to look at her. Instead, he sat down next to James in the back of the car. Their fingers touched when they both placed them on the space between them at the same time, but they didn't pull back. Q glanced at James, just to find the other man already looking at him thoughtfully. There was something else on his face he couldn't quite place.

They spent the drive to the MI6 headquarter in silence. Q glanced at James from time to time to make sure that he was still awake, but the Double-Oh just looked tired, nothing else. After watching Q for a few moments, he'd turned away and looked out of the window instead.

At MI6, they made their way to the infirmary. There, they also met M and Tanner. "What happened, 007?" M asked immediately. "Ive heard there was an attack at your flat." Her eyes narrowed when she saw the bloody bandages on Bond's body and the blood on Q's clothes and hands.

"We could arrest the intruder." Tanner added. He looked tired and Q felt guilty for getting him out of bed. As well as Eve, though she hadn't been with her boyfriend. Otherwise, she would have never seen his text in time.

"I bet he won't say anything." James muttered darkly.

"He's still unconscious. You did a good job there." Tanner didn't sound so happy about this.

A nurse appeared and forced James to come with her. The cut on the back had to be sewn. M, Q, Eve and Tanner waited outside of the small room, being told that it wouldn't take long. Q took the time to wash his hands. It felt terrible to have James' blood on them. When he looked into the mirror of the small bathroom, he sighed. Only now he realized the full extent of what just happened. Someone was after Bond, but that wasn't a surprise. After all, Q had already known that and M hinted something as well. However, for some reason he didn't understand at all, James had thought that they would also be after Q, which didn't make any sense. They couldn't know about them, could they?

He realized that his hands were shaking and clenched his fists. Even if he couldn't admit it at that time, not even to himself, he'd been scared when he saw all the blood on James' shirt. He knew that he cared for the other man's well-being for some time now, but the sheer extent of it surprised him anyway. The thought that something might happen to James terrified him.

Q knew that they had to find whoever was after James as soon as possible. Now that they'd tracked him to London, it wasn't safe anymore. They'd already caused him so much pain in the past, he couldn't let that continue. In this moment, he made the decision to help James, no matter how difficult it might be.

Twenty minutes later, they were allowed to go into James' room. He only had to stay the night and had argued fiercely, but when M pointed out that he couldn't go somewhere else either way, he'd finally accepted his fate with an resigned sigh. Somehow, Tanner had managed to get James a clean suit he could wear once he was allowed to get out of the bed again, it was hanging on the wardrobe now.

"What happened?" M asked and James repeated the story he'd told Q about the attacker in his flat and how he'd fought him. When she asked why he'd gone to Q's house of all places, James had just shrugged. "I didn't know where else to go." He'd said, but Q could see that the lie didn't convince M.

"We have to find those who are responsible for this." M said in the end, looking more tired than ever. "Otherwise, it won't be safe for those close to you, 007." While saying this, her eyes wandered to Q. James noticed this and copied her movement. Did he just imagine it or was James paler now?

"It can't be that difficult to find them." Q threw in. "Everyone leaves traces."

"If someone can find them, it's Q." Eve agreed and he smiled at her.

"It will have the highest priority." M decided with a nod. "Before we know who's responsible for this, none of you should leave the headquarter alone."

Her words were followed by silence. Honestly, Q wasn't entirely sure what this was all about. He wanted to ask James about it, but he knew that the older man would only speak if they were alone. It wouldn't be of any use now.

"I can also find them on my own." James said suddenly, not looking happy at all.

"Don't be ridiculous, Bond. You need our help." M said.

"She's right." Q threw in immediately. "We want to help you, James. You don't have to do everything on your own."

"I won't let you get in danger because of me." He said stubbornly.

"Well, tough luck, then. It's not your decision." Eve smiled sweetly and James.

"We're in this together." Q looked directly into James' eyes while he said this. They stared at each other for a few moments and in the end, James groaned in defeat.


"Maybe we should talk about the details tomorrow, 007." M said and her lips twitched. He knew that she also wanted to speak to James alone.

"So I won't be able to go home now?" Eve asked incredulously.

"I could drive you there." Tanner offered. "I've also got to go home to get a few things."

She nodded gratefully.

Tanner turned to Q. "And you?"

"I'm good." Q shook his head with a smile. "I've got clothes in my office." Luckily, there was also a small bathroom with a shower at Q Branch. He had to get rid of the rest of the blood...

"Then I'll see you all tomorrow." M glanced at her watch. "Or in a few hours, to be more exact." She nodded at them one last time before she left, followed by Tanner and Eve. Before she left the room, Eve looked over her shoulder at Q and James one last time.

Q didn't leave the room immediately. Instead, he sat down on one of those uncomfortable plastic chairs next to James' bed. For a while, they both didn't say anything, too lost in their own thoughts. In the end, it was Q who couldn't stand it anymore.

"You thought that they were coming for me, right?" He asked quietly and without looking at Bond. "That's why you came to my house and didn't go here straight away."

"Yes." The whisper was so quiet that Q nearly didn't hear it at all. He glanced at the other man just to find him staring at the ceiling. "He said they would haunt and kill everyone close to me. They already did that once."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Q asked hesitantly, not wanting to make James do anything he would regret later.

For a long time, James was quiet and Q already thought that he'd fallen asleep when he finally spoke. "I assume they've told you how I just vanished more than two years ago. I was tired of all this, the killing, the missions, the constant danger. This job had already taken too much from me. I wanted it to end. I found a nice place in the south of Europe. Actually, I didn't want to stay there for a long time. But one day, I just met her. She was the one, I knew it. Every time she smiled, I could forget everything. I felt free with her. But it didn't last long. My past came back to me in the form of two killers. She didn't make it and I killed them both." He laughed dryly. "I've been wandering around for weeks, not knowing how to go on. If I even could keep going. I tried to drown my sorrow in alcohol and sex." He glanced at Q. "You know how that worked. I know that I could never hide it from you. The pain. You were the first one to see it in a long time." Q just listened silently, even holding his breath, afraid that James might stop if he made a single movement. "In the end, a bad feeling made me come back here. My intuition told me that I was needed again."

"Is that really what made you stay? The feeling to be needed?" He couldn't hold himself back from asking that question.

"No." James muttered. "You make me feel alive, Q. Like no one else has been able to ever since she's gone."

He stared at the other man. He made James feel... alive? But what did that mean? That James just felt as free as Q always did around him? It couldn't be true though. He was still in love with her, even if she was gone. The pain which was still in his eyes when he talked about her confirmed that.

"Normally, I really don't do one-night stands." Q told James with a slight smile. "There was just something about you I couldn't resist. Ever since, I've felt drawn to you. I've been wondering if it would have been the same if we'd met here for the first time."

"I also couldn't have stayed away from you then, I'm sure of that." James' lips also twitched.

"If only to annoy 004..." Q muttered.

"No." James argued softly. "Well, or maybe a little bit. But it's not about him. This is about us."

Was there an us, Q asked himself. And if there was, how did James see them? Because Q knew one thing. He was falling for James Bond, which was most probably a very bad idea. Mostly because the other man would never return his feelings.

Honestly, he didn't know what to reply, but there was also not the need to say anything. In this moment, the door opened and the nurse came in. She raised her eyebrows in surprise when she saw Q sitting there.

"What are you doing here? The patient needs rest!" She said sharply and Q stood up.

"I was already about to leave." He said and smiled softly at her. This seemed to soothe her and she smiled back at him.

"That's good. Now go and get some sleep, you need it, honey. And you should eat more, you're terribly thin." Inwardly, Q cursed that he was just wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

"I'll see you later." He said to James and left the room hastily, not sure what to make of the mixture of feelings on the older man's face.

'Cause I need time
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I'm still healing
Just try and have a little patience, yeah
Have a little patience, yeah

'Cause these scars run so deep
It's been hard
But I have to believe

James was allowed to leave the infirmary the next morning, but he was told not to move too much. Otherwise, the wounds might start to bleed again. After promising the nurse about ten times that he would only go to see M and Q, he was finally allowed to walk away. The new suit Tanner had brought him the previous night fitted pretty well and he was glad to have something normal to wear. He'd just come to MI6 in sweatpants and that ripped, bloody t-shirt which was most probably already in the trash now.

On his way to M's office, James kept thinking about his conversation with Q. It was the first time he'd told anyone the truth about her. He suspected that M also knew about it, but they'd never mentioned this. Honestly, James also didn't want to know how M got to know so much about his absence. She didn't even seem to be surprised when James returned months ago.

To his surprise, telling Q everything felt like a big weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He'd expected to feel sad or angry, as he did most times when he thought of what happened to her, but those feelings wouldn't come. Instead, he was just glad to share this with the younger man. He wondered what Q was thinking now. There had been sadness in his eyes, but why? Because of what happened to him in the past? Or was there another reason, something James didn't know about? Why couldn't the Quartermaster just stop to confuse him so much?

One thing was for sure, James had realized it the previous night when he'd ran through London with his injury just to make sure that Q was alright. He was falling for him. Hell, if he wasn't already in love with him and just didn't realize it the past weeks! James had been so scared that he might arrive at Q's house too late. That he was gone, just like her. Luckily, the Quartermaster had a good alarm system (which made it nearly impossible for James to get into the house without being noticed) and no one was there. He'd nearly pulled him closer from relief, but James could hold himself back in the last moment. He wasn't even sure if Q wanted him. Well, emotionally. If he wanted him physically was out of question after that first night together.

He'd nearly reached M's office when he froze. One feeling which had accompanied him all the time ever since she was gone and he'd met Q for the first time wasn't there now. Guilt. He didn't feel guilty.

"Are you just going to stand there?" A voice asked before James could truly understand why exactly the feeling was gone. It was Eve Moneypenny. She still looked tired, but in contrast to last night, she was properly dressed now. The rings under her eyes were hidden by make-up.

He shook his head to clear his thoughts. "I've just been thinking about something." He muttered and walked past her.

"It's about Q, isn't it?" When Eve asked that question, James froze. "I've seen the way you look at him. He's important to you." She stated.

Very slowly, he looked over his shoulder, just to see her serious expression. "He likes you a lot. I don't know what happened between the two of you, but I know that there's something." She hesitated. "Don't break his heart. Otherwise, I'll have to kill you."

"I wasn't planning to." James muttered and then the door to M's office opened.

"007, I've already been waiting for you!" She said and looked from him to Moneypenny. James wasn't sure if he just imagined the frown on her face, her expression changed so fast.

"Can you tell Q to inform us about his research, Miss Moneypenny?" M asked and Eve nodded.

When James entered her office, M closed the door behind him. "There are many things we need to talk about, Bond." She sounded troubled now that they were alone.

"You want to know why they're after me." He suspected.

"Do you know why?" M asked curiously when they both sat down.

"No." He admitted dryly. "I've been asking myself this question for a long time now." James swallowed and tried not to think of it again. Of how they'd found him the first time.

"Q is already on it." She explained. "Maybe soon we will know more. I assume those are the same people who have found you last year?" Of course she already knew everything.

He nodded and told her about the words of the attacker. Until now, he didn't tell anyone except for Q about it.

"You like him." So Moneypenny wasn't the only observant woman in this building.

"I like many people." He replied with a slight smile.

M didn't believe him, her face remained serious. "We both know that's not true, Bond."

He sighed. "I do. Are you happy now?"

"You thought they would be after Q." M muttered, ignoring his question.

"Most probably, it was stupid to think that they would know about him." He admitted.

"No, it wasn't. From what we know so far, they're very good." M frowned. "But I'm sure Q can find them. I think by now you know how good he is."

Yes, James knew that. He'd never seen someone as brilliant as Q.

"And until we have a trace? Are we just going to wait here?" James didn't try to hide his dislike for that idea.

"I fear there is no other way. They know where you live, Bond." M said simply.

"I didn't like that flat anyway." He muttered.

"I will not risk your safety or that of anyone else because you're to stubborn to stay here for some time." M crossed her arms and her tone made it obvious that her decision had been made. "It's not even sure if you can go out again when we find them. You're injured."

"I already had worse."

"This one time, you'll do what I say, Bond." She stated and her voice left no room to argue.

Since he didn't know what to reply to her words, they sat there in silence for some time. It was only interrupted by a knock on the door. "Come in." M called and James already hoped that it would be Q, but it was only Eve.

"I've talked to Q." She explained. "He's on it, but it might take some time. He suggested that 007 should get more rest and he'll inform you once he finds out more." She smiled slightly at James.

"That's a good idea, thank you." M said to her and stood up. "You can be lucky that we have a few guest rooms in the headquarter, 007. You can stay in one of them. Miss Moneypenny will show you the way." It was obvious that he was dismissed for now.

He followed Eve through lots of hallways and into a different part of the building. "Those rooms are new." She explained when she saw his curious expression. "M decided to set them up when more employees had to stay over night because of missions."

"Good idea." James muttered and thought of Q. He also stayed in the headquarter when he was working as a guide.

"Q had another message for you." Eve said before James could close the door and he looked at her curiously. "He said you shouldn't do anything stupid, James." Her face was serious now. "So stay put and get rest. You really need it. Especially when we have to face whoever is after you again."

Without waiting for his reply, she turned around and left.

In the end, James only managed to stay in the room for half the day. Then he slowly started to get restless and decided to visit Q. The way to Q Branch was long from his new room, but he didn't mind. It was good to walk after sitting around for half the day. James also had to see the nurse in the infirmary once more, but he decided that he could also do that after visiting Q. It wasn't like he could leave this building anyway.

At Q Branch, he was greeted by the familiar sound of clattering keyboards and talking people. The Quartermaster was standing at his usual workplace in the middle of the room, focused on his laptop. Unlike the last time James had seen him, Q was wearing dark jeans, a button up shirt and a pullover now. Dark red. James thought that it suited him.

Q was concentrating on the screen so James cleared his throat when he was close enough. The younger man looked up in annoyance, but when he recognized James, he relaxed again. "That's not what getting rest looks like." He said instead of greeting him.

James smiled slightly. "Also good to see you, Q. I thought that I could just drop by and say hello."

"You were getting restless already?" The Quartermaster guessed and he nodded with a sigh.

"Could you already find something?" He asked curiously and pointed at the laptop.

"Not much." Q admitted, not looking happy about it. "But I'm on it. Seems like whoever is after you is part of a bigger network."

"Another network?" James raised his eyebrows, remembering the mission they'd worked on together. Had it only been just days ago?

"You should know that they're everywhere." The younger man pointed out.

"And mostly also connected..." James agreed thoughtfully. "Can I stay here for some time?"

Q nodded and pointed at a chair. "Make yourself comfortable." James knew that the other employees were watching them when he sat down, but he didn't care. He just hoped that none of the other Double-Oh's would show up now.

For some time, Q explained to James how he tried to follow the movements of the network. It was clever and he just listened to his words in silence. Maybe this was really going to work. "I... erm... also used data from the accident last year. Just in case you're wondering how I got so much information in such a short time." Q ran a hand through his hair nervously, but James just nodded.

"Good idea." He said without looking at the Quartermaster. And it was, he also had to admit it. he was just wondering why the usual pain he felt while thinking of that accident wasn't there now. Instead, he just felt sick because someone could hurt Q in the future.

He couldn't tell how long he sat there and watched Q work. It must have been for some time because when he finally looked around again, most other people at Q Branch were gone. "You should go to the infirmary soon." Q said quietly. "They'll be already waiting for you."

Honestly, he would feel much better having Q by his side.

"I'll be fine, nothing can happen to me down here." Q chuckled softly. Apparently, James couldn't hide his feelings as good as he thought. "I'll sleep in my office, just in case you're wondering about that. I've got a quite comfortable bed there."

"You also do that when you're playing guide." It wasn't a question.

"That's the main reason why the bed is there." Q explained. "Eve thought that it would be better than me sleeping in the office chair."

"That woman is smart." James noted with a slight smile.

"She is." Q grinned. "And now go, I don't want to get in trouble because I kept you here for so long. The nurses can get really scary."

"They can." James agreed and grimaced. He'd met them very often ever since he joined MI6. He left reluctantly, but in the end he also had to admit that it might be better not to let them wait for too long. Just before he stepped into the elevator, James turned to Q again. He was leaning onto the table now, his eyes on the screen once more.

James smiled softly before he left.

"I've found them." Q announced about a week after the attack on James.

"You did?" James repeated incredulously and stared at the man in front of him.

Q's eyes were shining with excitement. "I did, don't look at me with so much surprise, James." He scolded him softly. "Or don't you have any faith in my abilities?"

"I believe in you." James threw in hastily and the Quartermaster laughed. "But yesterday, you let it sound as if it was nearly impossible to find them."

"It was." Q agreed. "But they made a huge mistake."

"Which one?" He raised his eyebrows.

"They fell for your trick?" Another voice interrupted their conversation and they turned around to see Moneypenny, M and Tanner walk towards them.

Q nodded at M. "They did." He confirmed.

"What kind of trick?" James asked.

"You just got a new flat, 007. Congratulations." He grinned and slowly, James realized what Q had done.

"They can't have possibly fallen for that." He muttered in surprise.

"Normally, they wouldn't." Q agreed. "But I've been very careful with the information. Once someone tried to gain access, I hacked into their server."

"So who's after me?" James raised his eyebrows.

"Maybe we shouldn't discuss that here." Q gestured for them to follow him and went to his office. James was relieved to see that it wasn't that messy anymore. Well, or not again. He'd helped Q to clean up a few days ago because he couldn't stand all this chaos any longer. The Quartermaster had complained very much, but James had just ignored his protests.

"With whom are we dealing?" M demanded to know as soon as they were alone.

"I'm still trying to get into their main server, but I've found a few things by now." Q explained. "They're calling themselves Spectre."

"Spectre?" James repeated.

Q nodded. "You've already met a member of them." He turned one of the screens on his desk around and James looked at a familiar face.

"Mr. White." He muttered.

Q nodded. "You might also know this man."

"Le Chiffre." James began to feel sick. They had both been part of the organization that wanted to kill him? An image flashed through his mind, a face he didn't think of for a long time. Grey eyes, dark, long hair. Vesper. Another person he'd loved and who was gone now. He forced himself to look at Q again. Would the same happen to him if James allowed himself to love him? He was afraid of the answer.

"Who's behind all this?" M asked, ripping James out of his thoughts.

"I'm not sure yet." Q admitted. "But they're not the heads of that organization, I'm sure of that."

"We have to do more research."

"Do you have any idea why they're after me?" James wanted to know.

"Except for the fact that you crossed their plans?" Q quirked an eyebrow. "No."

He groaned in frustration. "There has to be something else behind all this. I can't be the main goal. Otherwise, they would have found me earlier or followed me last year."

"You're part of a bigger plan." M agreed thoughtfully. "We need to figure out how to go on now."

"Mr. White." James threw in. "He has to be hiding somewhere. Maybe he can tell us more." He looked at Q. "Do you think you can find him?"

"What would you say if I already know where he is?" Q asked back.

James' lips turned into a wide smile.

Have a little patience
Have a little patience
Woah, 'cause I, I just need time
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I'm still healing
Just try, and have a little patience
Have a little patience
My heart is numb, has no feeling
So while I'm still healing
Just try and have a little patience

In the end, he found out who was behind all those threats. With the help of Mr. White's daughter, Madeleine Swann, James could find out more about Spectre and they even managed to find their hiding place. It wasn't a nice journey and even if he had Eve Moneypenny – who was a very good agent, James had to admit – by his side and Q in his ear, the mission was tough. They got all the support they needed, which was a good thing. Otherwise, James suspected that everything would have gone terribly wrong. Because the head of Spectre was clever and had everything planned perfectly.

His name was Ernst Stavro Blofeld and James knew him. Another ghost of his past.

However, that didn't stop him from knocking out and nearly killing Blofeld in the end. Not because he'd tried to kill James several times, held a knife to Dr. Swann's throat or even because he took the two women James loved most from him. That wasn't the reason at all.

But he threatened Q. Even tried to kidnap him from the MI6 headquarter, where he'd just been able to escape with the help of M, Tanner and Gareth Mallory, the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, who was at MI6 at that time.

When he'd first heard the news of the attack on Q, James had just arrived in Morocco with Eve and a few other agents. They'd left Dr. Swann in one of the bigger cities, knowing that it would be too dangerous for her. Only Moneypenny's fast thinking had prevented James from just storming into Spectre's headquarter and running right into a trap. Thanks to Q, who'd been quite shaken but alright, they'd been able to surprise them there and James could face Blofeld. Which ended in the battle after which he'd knocked him out. The knife had already been on Blofeld's throat, but then James had hesitated. Was killing him the right decision? He thought of Q and how he always tried to keep the losses as small as possible on missions. In the end, he'd just knocked Blofeld out and tied him up, deciding to let M deal with him.

"It's over now." Moneypenny whispered when they stood in the desert and waited for their ride home.

"About time." James muttered. He'd always thought that he would feel good once it was over and he finally had his revenge, but instead, he just felt... empty.

"Will you tell him?" Eve asked.

"What do you mean?" He frowned.

"Q. That you love him." She smiled slightly. "Your reaction when you thought that something happened to him confirmed it."

James remained quiet at this. Honestly, he wasn't sure what to do.

"He loves you too." Eve whispered. "But please don't tell him that I said this." She hesitated. "He thinks you'll never have a chance to be together. We've talked about it before we left. He thinks you're still in love with someone else."

"I was." James muttered. "When we first met."

"What changed?"

"I realized that it's in the past and she would have wanted me to be happy." It had taken him quite a while, but in the end, he'd finally realized it.

"And Q will make you happy?" He knew that Moneypenny asked all those questions because she was afraid that he might break Q's heart.

"He already does." He smiled at this. Yes, it was true. The chaotic, beautiful, brilliant Quartermaster of MI6 made him happy. He'd even done that back when they first met, even if James didn't recognize that feeling back then. He'd just made him feel so alive...

"There's the helicopter." Eve said suddenly.

"Let's go home." James smiled.

Back in England, the first thing James did was to go to Q Branch. He had to see Q, there was no way he could just go to M's office without seeing him first.

Most employees looked up in surprise when a tired, but determined looking Double-Oh stormed into their department. However, James ignored all of them. He just had eyes for the man who stood in the middle of the room and looked like he'd already been expecting him. Q had his hands buried in his pockets and smiled when James approached him. There was a cut on his cheek from the attack on him, but otherwise, he looked unharmed.

"Good to see you, 007." Q greeted him, but James would have none of that. Without hesitation, he wrapped his arms around the Quartermaster and kissed him, right in front of all the people at Q Branch.

First, Q stiffened in his arms and James was already afraid that he would pull away, but then the younger man relaxed and returned the kiss. They pulled away far too soon and James barely heard that people were cheering all around them. He even thought that he could hear someone shout 'Finally!', but he wasn't so sure.

"I'm so glad you're alright." He whispered and pulled Q closer again.

"I'm fine, James. I was rather worried for you." Q stated. "I already feared that you wouldn't come back to me."

"I will always come back to you." He promised with a smile.

"That sounds great." Q whispered and James noticed that his cheeks were a little red. He touched the uninjured side carefully.

"Are you hurt?"

"Next to that?" Q shook his head. "Thanks to the others, I'm fine. You should have seen Mallory, he's really good. Without him, it would have ended worse."

"Remind me to thank him later." James said.

Q chuckled. "James Bond wants to thank someone?" He asked incredulously.

James shrugged. "There's a first time for everything, I suppose."

"Are you sure, James?" Q whispered suddenly, a rather anxious look on his face. James knew exactly what he meant. Was he sure about starting something with Q for real now? Could he really love him without being haunted by his past?

He smiled. "I love you, Q."

Instead of answering, the Quartermaster pulled him closer for another kiss. When they pulled back, James thought that he could see tears in his eyes, but Q wiped them away quickly. "I love you too." He whispered. Unfortunately, they were still in the middle of Q Branch and most probably also being watched by everyone else in the room, so James didn't dare to kiss Q a third time. They would have to do that later, he already knew that he'd just invite himself over to Q's house after they'd talked to M about the mission. He didn't have a flat anymore, after all. And maybe, just maybe he also wouldn't need a new one.

Q glanced at his laptop and suddenly, he tensed. "004 is on his way here." He whispered to James and closed the laptop quickly. "I think I'll just accompany you to M. Come on, there's another way out of here, through the garage." Without hesitation, the Quartermaster grabbed James hand and they both began to run towards the garage.

"You will just let me deal with 004?" R shouted incredulously when they ran past her.

"You'll do a perfect job, I'm sure of that! Just tell him we're all busy and he should stop complaining!" Q grinned at her.

"And tell him that he's an arrogant ass!" James added and just saw R rolling her eyes before they turned around the next corner. By now, they were both breathing heavily, but also laughing.

"We should do that more often." Q grinned. "Running away from 004."

James just wanted to reply something when his eyes fell on the car right behind Q. "Is that...?" He didn't finish his question and Q nodded.

"I already told you I like to work on cars." He smiled shyly. "Do you like it?"

Before him stood the Aston Martin he'd thought he would never see again. It had been destroyed during one of his last missions before he vanished for two years. "You're brilliant, Q." James whispered and reached out to take his hand.

Just that the short contact wasn't enough. The next thing James knew was that he'd pushed the Quartermaster against the car with his body and stepped between his legs. He kissed him passionately and Q sighed into the kiss.

They were interrupted by the sound of Q's phone. "I fear that's M. She will be waiting." The regret in his voice wasn't hard to miss.

"Maybe we can continue later, at home..." James suggested with a seductive smile.

"I like the sound of that." Q agreed.

Together, they began to walk to M's office, discussing how their lives would continue now that they were together.

Thank you so much for reading! What do you think? :)