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The Many Practical Uses of a Rubber

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James had only seen his Quartermaster sick a handful of time. The first had been a week after the events of Skyfall, when Q had spent upwards of 6 days repairing MI6's mainframe. He had crashed afterward, and he hadn't been in the branch for two days while he recovered from the cold that had been brought on entirely from exhaustion.

The second time had been a month after their first official date. Bond had arrived at Q's flat, and the boffin had answered the door wrapped up in a blanket, dark circles under his eyes and a glare that Bond was sure had leveled cities at some point. “Not in the mood,” he'd said shortly, and he'd tried to close the door.

Bond had ended up spooned behind Q, pounding lightly on his chest while the hacker coughed, covered in two blankets with a hot water bottle pressed against his back.

The third time, though, Q was the kind of sick that had him sent home to the flat he and Bond shared, but didn't knock him out. He was impatient and bored and miserable, and by the time Bond finally managed to extricate himself from the tangle of the boffin's limbs in the morning, Q had a frown on his face and crease already on his forehead.

“You'll be fine,” Bond said gently. Q didn't reply, but he closed his eyes and sighed.

“Be safe.”

“Always, love.”

*

Bond returned later that night, flicking on the lights as he walked through the flat. He felt the tension leaking out of his shoulders as me made his way back to the bedroom, eager to simply fall into bed with Q and go to sleep with the hacker tucked against his chest.

When he pushed open the door, however, he just stopped, looking at the scene that confronted him. Q was sitting up in bed, clearly bored out of his mind, opening what appeared to be the... sixth box of condoms they had in the drawer.

Bond watched as he ripped open the foil, unrolled the rubber, stretched it out, and then shot it across the room, making it hit Bond's thigh. He looked up with a smirk on his face, and then Bond glanced down, looking at the pile of rubber lying just under the doorknob.

“Q.”

“James.”

“Is there a reason I'm standing in a pile of unused skins?”

Q bit his lip, grinning. “You left the door open when you left. And since you made sure to tell me that I was on bedrest until Saturday, I had to find a way to close it without getting up.”

“So, condoms.”

“It's not like we use them for anything else.”