I'm sorry for going off a bit when I submitted "Where is the Love" - travel sickness makes me horribly opinionated and I retract all insulting/offensive comments. With apologies.
"Hold up. You told me you haven't spoken with your mum since the end of Fifth Form!" Polly interruped Kelly's story, her words slightly muffled by the cutting probe she held in her mouth as she wired a hacking computer into the controls before her. Reunited for the first time in five months they had a lot to catch up on.
"I haven't. Over four years of dead silence between us!" Jones protested, both hands holding either pliers or tweezers to keep wires and cables out of the Geek's way as she violated the machine.
"Then how'd she know about Fritton? What she looked like? Or that she was with you? How'd she even know you lot were in India?" Polly spat the probe into her hand to cut through several cables and expose the copper filaments, twisting them together in a new combination.
"She's a St. Trinian, Pol. She was at the school back in the days of Belle's aunt and the director! Took the tribes some digging in the library to find the Headmistress' pictures but they're definitely there, bad 80's hair and all. They overlapped by a few years. Near as I can figure none of them ever lost touch with the old girls' gossip channel."
"Bloody useful. We should set the Posh Totty up with their own radio channel for us to all stay in touch." Polly suggested thoughtfully, chewing her lower lip as she concentrated on getting the hacked system to do her bidding.
"You want to call Saffy and try to have a sensible conversation on air?" Jones' eyebrow arched in tired rebuke. She sometimes wondered if Polly had already forgotten what some of their classmates were like. Letting a Totty manage a radio program would be a crime on par with letting a four year old play with lighters but even more dangerous.
"Fair point. Just bloody strange, your mum knowing your life so well all this time."
"Not really. Remember in the lower Sixth when the network got hacked?"
"Hell! Took me months to get those mirror viruses cleaned out!" Polly growled, the memory obviously still fresh. The Geek took such trespasses very personally.
"Pretty sure that was her. She must've decided she wanted to keep an eye on me."
"Piece of work, your mum." Polly shook her head as she tapped commands into her computer, overriding the programming.
"And a half." Kelly agreed with a sigh, wishing briefly she could've been an orphan. Only her mother could turn maternal instinct into a global spying operation. Being tracked around the world for years was disturbing enough, now she had to deal with digital nagging over her cell and email. Belle didn't even WANT a ring!
"That should do it," Polly finished typing and began disconnecting the wires, "Try it out. The code is the year after we graduated."
"Why the year after?" Kelly's eyebrow danced up suspiciously. Polly was never random; every number, code, trigger and name had a reason.
"Cause that was when you finally pulled your head out your arse." the Geek smirked as she closed her laptop. Jones rolled her eyes and tapped the number into the keypad, followed by her own order. A loud humming noise immediately followed as the primitive computer obeyed its new programming. The vending machine began vomiting out Red Bulls at a rapid rate.
"Lucky thing you're too useful to be killed." Kelly grinned and scooped up several cans. This would make break time much simpler. Jones never could remember to carry change. She cracked the energy drink open and took a long grateful swallow. There could never be too much caffeine. Four red bulls might get her through the day.
"Belle keep you up all night again?" the redhead teased, packing her tools away and swiping one of the cans from Kelly's clutches.
"Maybe." Jones' tongue ran across her smile. She knew the Geek assumed they were up all hours shagging. Last night had actually been sleepless because she and Annabelle sat up on the roof watching the city lights and talking. Kelly just wasn't going to share that with her friend. Her phone went off before Polly could make any editorial comments. Glancing at the ID Jones' smile grew wider.
"Director Hall." Kelly greeted her boss. Right on time.
"Jones, I just wanted your assurance that the strange activity in the Nikkei has nothing to do with the fact that my two best deviants arrived in Tokyo three days ago."
"Director, you have a very suspicious mind," Kelly was glad her employer couldn't see her smile, "That's a bit like me thinking you'd know how it is every time I change my email address my mum has the new one in less than a week."
Polly just shook her head, stifling a chuckle. Hacking the TSE had been a diverting way to spend their first night in Japan. Besides, focusing on the Arrowhead system kept her distracted from Belle and Kelly's heavy snog session. Couldn't even trust them to hold the torch steady.
"I suppose if the traders, bankers and financiers of the world destroyed the economy it can't really be hurt by a bunch of school girls." Hall sighed, trying to sound irritated but unable to mask the hint of pride in her tone.
"She's obviously forgotten what school she's dealing with." Kelly remarked once she was sure the call had ended. St. Trinian's were never just 'a bunch of school girls.' "Harriet has definitely made use of the delay I inserted." Polly agreed as the two walked back towards the main office. The new leader of the Geeks was quite ambitious with the tribe's investment strategies. Amazing what a 2 millisecond pausing function could do.
Kelly spotted the branch supervisor at her desk, apparently briefing a new arrival. All transfer agents had to be routed through her when they arrived for assignments, it was part of learning how to coordinate the branches. Mostly she was learning that every secret service agent on the planet was a colossal tosser. The women were almost as bad as the men. It was hard to decide what was more annoying: the over-inflated egos, the compulsive sex drives or the nearly pathological competitiveness. Put any two field agents in a room and they would instantly want to either shag or shank each other. Either way, Jones always ended up using a Tazer to break things up.
"Time to break in a new toy." Polly remarked as she also spied the agent with his back to them. The supervisor nodded to the approaching women, summoning them for introductions. No, I was just going to try to work at my desk with a stranger's ass on it. Kelly didn't even bother hiding the roll of her eyes.
"Agent Jones will compile your stats and update your profile with any relevant progress." the older man finished his comments and left, allowing the new arrival to turn around. Kelly, to her eternal credit, didn't even blink. This just wasn't going to be her year.
"Fields?" Bond wasn't quite so effective at hiding his surprise.
"Actually, it's Jones, Mr. Bond. It's been quite some time since our paths crossed, hasn't it?" Kelly forced her tone to stay neutral, suppressing the screaming irritation that was clawing at the back of her throat. She extended her hand in professional greeting. Polly's eyes had gone huge but she clamped her lips into a thin line, holding her breath to see if that hand was going to turn into a fist.
"You'll have to forgive me for assuming it would've been much longer. Never, in fact." Bond couldn't just shake her hand. That was far too pedestrian for such a prat. No, he had to lift her hand to his face and kiss the fingers briefly in the old 'look how suave and charming I am' style. Christ, if he could just shag himself he'd be the happiest man on earth.
"I decided I didn't care for being dead." Kelly shrugged, pulling her hand away as quickly as possible without making it too obvious. Where was the damned sanitizer when she needed it?
"And MI7 was your upgrade on the afterlife?" James inquired with a spark of humor.
"More like a suspension. I'm sure hell will still be there when I'm ready. Have you been traded from MI6?" Kelly sincerely hoped she wasn't going to spend the rest of her career bumping into this sod. If Bond had been transferred to MI7 . . .I will kill Hall before I quit.
"Just doing a brief collaboration. Apparently the JIC would prefer this assignment be carried out with a touch of restraint." Bond's face clearly expressed his annoyance with the orders. Discretion was not his forte. Anything that caused less than £1 million in damages, permanent hearing loss and a small civil war was just too subtle for his taste. No wonder Joint Intelligence wanted MI7 doing the job.
Thank you, god! I will go to church sometime this decade, I promise.
"Then what say we get to work on your available assets and resources." Jones nodded for him to sit. In the chair, not on her desk. Polly, who had her own job to care for and plenty of other things to be doing, sat in a second unoccupied chair. Kelly gave her a glance of annoyance that was completely ignored. Nothing was prying her away from this slow-motion train wreck. She was already calculating how badly she'd get hurt if she tried to turn on a camera.
"James Bond." 007 nodded greeting to the Geek, only just realizing that another female was present.
"I know." was all she replied, not hiding her in depth scrutiny.
"I assume you're the agent fortunate enough to be teamed with Fie-Jones?" he caught himself before using the fake name.
"Polly is in IT. She's redoing SIS' networks." Kelly interjected before her friend could go off on a much more detailed, completely unnecessary explanation of her work. She wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.
"Then you're solo these days?" Bond's eyebrow arched up slightly, putting a social undertone into a professional inquiry. Jones felt a surge of bile rise in her throat. He was going to try to hit on her. She could tell. Damn, Belle would scoop his eyes out with a rusted spoon if she saw how he was looking at her right now. She would use a tranquilizer dart, tie him down and then slowly dissect him in one-inch increments. Christ, if he only knew! Belle's wanted to spit in his face for so long . . .
The twitch of thought caused a sudden flash of mischief in her eyes.
"Actually, no. Why don't we have dinner tonight? I'm sure Annabelle would love to meet you." Kelly's lips began to curve into a smile. Polly's gaping eyes whipped around to stare at her friend, mouth dropping open. Jones could grow an additional head and the Geek wouldn't have been this shocked.
"Ah, Annabelle. Is that your partner now?" Bond perked up at the thought of dinner with two women - at least one of whom was hotter than sex in the Sahara.
"You could call her that." her smirk grew into a wicked grin that only someone as ignorant as 007 would completely miss. Polly knew she wasn't invited. That wasn't going to stop her moving heaven and earth to get a spy camera into whatever restaurant Kelly chose.
The hardest part of the entire day was telling Annabelle. Jones had never seen a reaction like that. Just telling her that 007 had shown up at the MI7 office was explosive. The younger girl had been furious when she found out that man (the one man on Earth she wanted dead by any means) was even in the same hemisphere. Hearing that he'd dared speak to Kelly took her well out the other side of rage. The jealousy that flashed up in her eyes was beyond anything Jones could've imagined. It was ten times deadlier than what Kelly herself had felt towards Belle's admirers.
The name 'Bond' caused a typhoon of emotions to storm across her face. The girl had gone off on a passionate rant, gesturing violently as she stalked back and forth. She wanted to leave the city right now; the whole country in fact. Damnit, with that wanker around she wanted Kelly completely out of SIS and retired to fruit farming! The anger, hate and jealousy were loud and vibrant. It was the pain, sadness and fear underneath that had ripped Kelly apart. She'd caught hold of the pacing girl, wrapping her in a tight embrace and murmuring affectionate assurances in her ear until she felt the angry breathing and tensed muscles calm.
"I want to see this bastard." Belle growled, eyes flashing with murderous plans. Kelly just laughed. She'd expected as much, she really had. Over the past two years Belle brought him up from time to time, always with questions; wanting to know more about this would-be rival. The news of their dinner plans brought a malevolent smile to her face. Of course, Annabelle wasn't thrilled with the idea of sharing Kelly with him for the evening until it was explained that the entire purpose of the night was to prove to Bond, once and for all, that Kelly was not available. Fritton would be making that her mission.
Kelly's only real doubt was whether Belle could control her temper. She'd seen the girl do incredibly stupid, violent things when she was truly angered. Like getting into a naked knife fight with a Chav that had interrupted their late morning private time during one of Kelly's visits back to the school. It was quite possible the younger girl would stab 007 before the first course started. Kelly wouldn't be overly upset if that happened but it would mean a good deal of paperwork.
"Help me with my necklace?" Belle interrupted Kelly's musings. The dark-haired girl looked up, surprised she hadn't noticed the sound of high-heeled footsteps approaching. She felt her mouth go dry at the sight that greeted her. The tiny black cocktail dress clung to Belle's figure. Strapless and short it showed far more than it concealed. Kelly swept her eyes over the miles of exposed flesh. It was amazing that the girl could look even more tempting in a bit of clothing than completely naked. That dress was screaming to be ripped off. Kelly licked her lips, fancying she could already taste skin.
"Are you planning on making me the jealous one tonight?" Jones rose from her chair, not even trying to hide her predatory expression as she approached and took the necklace. When she dressed like this Annabelle was like a secret treasure; Kelly torn between the proud urge to show her off and the selfish desire to keep her totally hidden.
"Just making sure we're on the same page for the evening." the young brunette laughed, giving Jones a flirtatious wink before turning around.
"I'm not the one dressed to tease." Kelly pointed out, taking a breath of the perfumed scent on Belle's skin. She'd actually been careful to wear a dress that was more professional than most of her evening wear. Granted, neither of them owned a skirt that reached their knees but she had chosen her more most modest garb. Straps AND a small jacket. She figured the less she gave Bond to look at, the greater his chances of survival. She swept the waves of soft brown hair off Belle's shoulders and away from her neck, noting the way the girl shivered at the touch. Someone's all wound up.
"You live to tease, Kel," Annabelle sighed, feeling the fingers that were deliberately lingering in their task, tracing her shoulders and neck, "Besides, you roll out of bed looking like sex."
"That's cause I roll out of a bed with you in it, Belle." Kelly purred, leaning in and placing a feather-light kiss at the base of her neck. She was rewarded with a soft whimper, making her smile wider. Kissing Annabelle was like doing shots of tequila: one led to another and another and another . . .
"You're trying to get out of the dinner." Belle gave a weak protest, even as she tilted her head to one side to give the teasing lips more room to work.
"I'm trying to get you out of this dress." Kelly corrected her without interrupting the pattern she was creating. If I ever get tired of this someone had better shoot me. She could feel the war raging in her girlfriend, mind and body fighting a grudge match to make their vote heard. Her graceful muscles twitched and clenched as she debated fighting back vs. total surrender.
"You will. Just not before that prick knows he's never touching you again." Jealousy won out over lust and Belle spun around, jaw set and eyes determined. Jones had the definite feeling that Belle would shag her on the table if that was what it took to make her point. Damn, this is going to be fun! Kelly grinned and kissed Belle before escorting her out to meet her nemesis.
James Bond had carved himself an illustrious career in the secret service by always surviving and succeeding. He managed both tricks by being exceptionally quick witted, observant and a good judge of character. On being introduced to the striking brunette named Annabelle he salivated for only a second. His glance took in the proprietary grip with which she held Jones' arm and gave Kelly a quick look of recognition. He didn't have to be told. Jones saw the faintest flicker of disappointment in his eyes before he covered himself with a charming smile and kissed Belle's hand. That was the survival instinct coming to his rescue.
He wasn't enough of an ass to be insulted by the existence of lesbians (a label neither girl applied to themselves). He was just enough of an idiot to think it improved his chances for a threesome. Kelly had expected as much. Fortunately, the hope of seducing them both at the same time put him on his very best behavior. Whole minutes of conversation would pass without Belle contemplating her fork as a weapon.
"How long have you known each other?" he inquired, sipping his third martini. The girls exchanged a brief glance, both knowing he wasn't interested in when they met.
"We've been together over three years now." Belle answered the question he had been too polite to ask. She took a healthy amount of pleasure in spelling that out. Three years.1,095 days. 65,700 hours she got to be with Kelly Jones.
Kelly watched his face as he counted backwards. That's right. She saw his eyebrow dance up a fraction as he realized roughly when their relationship started. More than six months before I had to play damsel in distress to your dashing hero. His glance towards her was only slightly surprised, mostly just chagrinned. Now he knew why Annabelle had maintained some form of physical contact with Jones the whole evening. She'd even eaten with her left hand just so she could keep her right on Kelly's wrist. He finally understood that he was the intruder tonight. It was not his role of choice.
"Well, here's to a woman who found a way to make love and life in the service work," James raised his glass in salute to Kelly, "A trick I have yet to learn."
"I think there's some sort of saying about dogs and tricks." Kel smiled as Bond made a dramatic sound of offense. He was old; compared to her and Belle anyway. At least he could be gracious and fairly good-humored about the whole matter.
"Tell me, in fairness, why did we meet under such false pretences?" he leaned forward now. They were finished with their meal so there was less risk of serious talk causing indigestion. Jones raised her glass to her lips to buy a few seconds of thought. This turn of conversation had to be handled delicately. Like an egg made of blown glass. She could feel Belle holding her breath.
"The director of MI7 needed to stage my extraction from MI6. A mission fatality seemed the simplest method." Kelly carefully avoided all mention of manipulating the hell out of 007 or the fact it had been part of her assignment. Bond studied her, running her words through his internal lie-detector and apparently not hearing any warnings. It was probably a tad faulty after 9 ounces of gin.
"It was a convincing cover. I rather fancied your hair that other color, though. Did you see her in strawberry?" he directed the question to Belle. Jones didn't like where this was going. He was being stupid. Nothing new; just dangerous.
"No." Annabelle wished the waiter hadn't already cleared her cutlery. She was feeling the desire to fondle a sharp fork. She wasn't even sure why.
"Very striking. Of course, with her skin I'm sure she could pull off any color she chose. But strawberry blonde was very . . .innocent."
"Kelly is very good at pretending to be many things she isn't." Belle quipped, her smirk suggesting a light hearted joke but the flash of her eyes telling a different story. Like straight, free or even vaguely interested in you.
"So, I imagine. It's always the attention to detail that sells the story, isn't it? I found her terribly convincing. She's remarkably," he paused, searching for an appropriately suggestive but tactful word, ". . .thorough."
Sodding bollocks! He's trying to tease her. Bloody juvenile. He's deliberately trying to get under her skin! Kelly realized his intent with a start. It was working too. No one else - especially not Bond - would be able to see that Belle was getting upset. In public settings, her anger had a way of shifting the temperature of the air around her without ever coming through in her face. Kelly could feel the heat rising. Best get her out of here before -
"Kel, something in this dress is bothering me. Could you help me fix it?" Annabelle got to her feet. Jones nodded quickly, rising before she even understood the question.
"Excuse us a moment won't you, Mr. Bond?" Belle smiled so sweetly at the MI6 agent it was impossible to imagine the violent desires raging behind her eyes. He nodded quite gallantly, urging her to see to any discomfort.
Belle led Kelly to the lavatory. In small, expensive restaurants like this one it was a full private bathroom. Complete with a lock on the door, which Annabelle set the moment they were both inside. Kelly heard the click of the deadbolt and smiled. Knew it.
"So your dress is bothering you, is it?" she teased, turning to face the other girl but found her smile smothered in a hard kiss. Belle pressed her into the wall before the spy even had a chance to respond. Pinned between the sink and the towel dispenser, Kelly could only catch hold of Annabelle with both hands and hang on.
"I know. . .why . . .I hate him." Belle muttered between kisses and gasps for air.
"Why?" Kelly was having trouble keeping up with the attack of hands and lips overriding her thoughts.
"He's seen you," she paused to leave a mark on the smooth skin of her lovers' neck, "I can see in his eyes. When he's looking at you. He's still seeing you like he never should've."
"Never should've happened." Kelly agreed, biting her lip to stifle a moan as Belle's mouth found the pulse in her throat.
"He doesn't even care it was a lie," Belle growled, tugging at the collar of the obstructing jacket, "Just knows he was with you when I wasn't."
"Annabelle," Kelly whispered, her throat burning, "I'm sorry."
"He knows the touch of your skin, Kel; the taste." Annabelle's hands fisted her dress, clenching tight in anger, "I want him off you. The touch, the smell, the memory; I want it off!"
"So do I!" Jones gasped as teeth and nails scraped over her skin. Holy hell! How was she already this undressed? Three years and she had no idea Annabelle could be like this. It was like drowning in another person.
"He's never seen this," Belle smiled, hazel eyes admiring her handiwork in the flush of Kelly's skin, "He's never seen you at your most beautiful. Never seen the real you."
"Belle." Jones' whimper was a plea in itself. There was no way she was going to leave her like this. Now was not the time to be stopping. Belle pulled Kelly into another scorching kiss.
"He'll never see you scream." Annabelle let the words fall into waiting lips.
"Will you or the ladies be interested in coffee, liqueur or desserts?" the waiter asked as he set an after-dinner menu on the partially vacant table.
"I'll just find out." Bond got to his feet. It had been more than ten minutes since his two companions vanished with some wardrobe difficulty. He tapped cautiously on the bathroom door. Mostly he wanted to be sure the two girls hadn't slipped away without warning. His male pride wouldn't care for such evasions. No answer but the door was fastened so someone was certainly within.
"Jones?" he knocked again.
"Y-ye. . .bloody . . .Yes!" Kelly's voice came back, breathless and quavering ever so slightly.
"The waiter wants to know if either of you would care for coffee."
Silence, except if he listened carefully he could hear heavy breathing and some whispers.
"Or would you prefer liqueur?"
"Yes!" the enthusiasm of her answer was completely disproportionate to the question. If Bond weren't such an unwavering gentleman he might allow himself a few scandalous theories.
"I'll just order for you then. Will you two be long still?"
"I-I-" Kelly's answer vanished in a choke.
"Jones, are you coming?" Bond repeated himself.
"I - Christ! Yes! Yes! I'm coming!" the final words were a drawn out yell that would've left a less disciplined man very embarrassed. James just concentrated on taking a few slow, deep breaths and quickly returning to the table; thinking a lot about bloody gun battles and dismembered bodies. He called up the memories of loud gunfire, deliberately trying to drown out the echoing sound in his ears.
He ordered and received a decanter of cognac before the two women finally returned. They shared a vivid flush to their skin and hastily smoothed hair, not to mention recently reapplied lipstick. Were he the prying sort, 007 would've noticed the splashes of color along Kelly's collar. As it was he had to focus to keep his eyes from lingering on the raised, red scratches on Belle's naked shoulders. The waiter nearly poured liquor onto the table when he returned and saw their state. Neither girl could completely suppress their tiny smirks.
"Would you, I mean, either of, or any! Would any of you care for dessert?" the waiter fumbled with the menus as badly as he stumbled over the words.
"I think I've already had enough." Belle's sated smile grew wider, eyes still lingering on Kelly. The raven spy's giggle was a story in itself. A small whimper escaped the waiter as he left, tripping on his own feet. His roommates weren't going to believe this one.
"Well, Miss Jones," Bond cleared his throat to draw their attention, "Time in your company is always stimulating."