Pain. Hot, glaring pain was all he felt. Every hit, every shot hurt, but he had refused to give them the satisfaction to even scream. He had welcomed the darkness when he had finally lost consciousness. But there had been a moment where something inside him forced him to wake up. Something inside him had been screaming to open his eyes, if just for a moment.
When he had, he had been met with the worried eyes of Mildred. He had thought that it had been a hallucination, a sweet solace before he would die. The last thing he would see before he would finally succumb. It had been a nice thought. Especially since there had been warmth and his pain had stopped. When he had been moved and when he suddenly felt the cold air, he didn’t question it. Even when he smelt the salty air of the ocean he didn’t think twice about it.
When he had felt hard ground under him, he had felt how panicked Mildred had been and he didn’t understand why. But he wanted her to feel safe again. She seemed to want to call someone but hadn’t known who. So he told her to call the one person he knew he would have reported back to. Make no mistake, he didn’t really have any real loyalty to MI6, he hadn’t liked the former M. She had been too manipulative and scheming for his taste. But the new one wasn’t so bad. He was still new to his job and even though he had been a pencil pusher, he was starting to grow into his new role. The old M had retired after the whole Skyfall debacle because of old wounds, but she still pestered the new MI6. That the new M was giving as good as he got and didn’t let himself be manipulated had been a huge plus for him in Alec’s eyes. He knew that Mildred would be in good hands.
Shortly after he had felt the air again and the warmth of the small body in front of him had been a great comfort. He had felt the pain starting to come back and almost grunted when he had been out of the cold air and had been not too kindly put onto the ground. When the pain stopped again, he felt like he could breathe easier and the small warmth in his hand calmed him.
Then he could feel the typical hands and form of a stretcher and darkness surrounded him.
He had been hearing whispers and people talking when he slowly started to come back to himself. It was hard for him to open his eyes. His body hurt all over and his eyes felt like glued together. He had wanted to just stay asleep, but he heard the voice of his beloved daughter. And something inside him wanted to see her. To talk to her and to make sure that she was alright. So even though it felt like the hardest thing in the world, he forced his eyes to open.
And it had been worth it. He was met with the sweet sight of his little daughter standing next to him and giving him the sweetest smile, her eyes gleaming with a sheen of tears, pure relief in her features. Hearing her voice was like the sweetest tune and he couldn’t help but smile back, ignoring how everything hurt and pounded.
In the corner of his eyes he saw James giving him a look he was too tired to decipher before he called the doctors and nurses.
It was a flurry of moments since then, where the doc explained what had happened to him with a lot of holes he didn’t seem to understand himself and what he ended up with. Several broken rips, a punctured lung, and several other wounds he didn’t bother listening to.
All this time Mildred had held his hand in worry, her eyes growing bigger with every new wound that was mentioned. He squeezed her hand in comfort and Mildred squeezed back with a weak smile. He had a bunch of questions himself actually, but he thought it might be better to wait until they were alone.
After the medical staff had finally left to give him time with his daughter, the door opened, and M, Moneypenny, Tanner and Q tumbled inside, having heard that he had woken up. Mildred smiled and waved at them and a few greeted her with a big smile.
“How do you feel?” M asked standing next to his daughter.
“Worse since the bunch of you stumbled inside,” He answered, barely a wince inside his voice.
“Dad!” Mildred chastised him, but he didn’t hear any heat in her voice. When he looked back at her she couldn’t supress a grin.
“Only the truth.” He replied and gave her a warm smile. Mildred rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything.
M cleared his throat and the two gave him their attention back. “I’m pretty sure you know that we need to know what happened after we lost contact with you.”
Alec shrugged and immediately winced in pain. “There isn’t much to tell. They subdued me, strapped me to a chair and had a go at me as their punching bag and knife sharpener.” He immediately regretted his callous response when he felt Mildred flinch next to him. He squeezed her hand in comfort.
“Right,” Mallory sighed.
Alec now frowned. “But I would like to know what happened after. I was pretty sure it would be the end of me. Suddenly I wake up in the medical ward, still alive and my daughter sitting next to me. Out with it. What’s going on.”
Mallory looked at Mildred and she looked back. There was an uneasiness he clearly didn’t like. “I think it’s better if Mildred explains it to you, since you’re here thanks to her.”
“What?” He asked in disbelief, staring back at Mildred, who fidgeted uneasily in her chair. “Mildred, what did you do?!” He demanded and Mildred winced at his tone. He ignored the guilt he felt and gave her a hard stare.
Finally she relented and told him what had happened. With growing horror he listened to her recounting what happened. He couldn’t even interrupt her, so speechless was he. He couldn’t believe what she had gone through, what danger she put herself in just to save him.
When she was done retelling the events which had led them both here, he felt speechless. He couldn’t understand how she could do this for him. How she could put herself in danger for him like that.
“That was really stupid and reckless of you Mildred. You shouldn’t have done this.” He finally croaked out with a hollow voice he could barely recognize as his own.
Mildred flinched, but refused to back down. “I had to! You were dying and I had to do something! I just couldn’t stand back and do nothing!”
“It was still dangerous! You couldn’t have known that I would still be alive. This organisation is ruthless. They don’t hold back, not even against women and children. And that’s what you are. A child. What if they had captured you? You could have been seriously hurt!” He countered, not backing down.
“I don’t care!” She yelled, hurt in her eyes. “You are my dad and you were dying! If you had been alive and I wouldn’t have come for you and you had died because of that, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. I just had to try. I just can’t stand back and do nothing!” Her eyes filled with tears and she angrily wiped them away. “I was so worried and scared that I wouldn’t be able to make it. That I’ve been too late. Dad, I love you. And I wouldn’t know what to do if you had died! I thought I had lost you.”
Mildred’s tears were now flowing freely down her face. He could see that she was angry and hurt because of his words and not even bothering to wipe them away. He felt bad for making her feel like that, yet he still didn’t regret scolding her. She had to understand how dangerous it was and that she could have been hurt. He couldn’t have lived with himself if something would have happened to her. Yet he still couldn’t deny that it made him happy. That Mildred loved him enough and that he meant enough for her to risk everything and just go up and search for him, regardless of how dangerous and how slim the chance was that she would find him alive. Even though he knew he shouldn’t, he felt happy.
“I know myshko,” He replied, his voice softening. He squeezed her hand in comfort. “I didn’t mean to yell at you and tell you you did badly. It’s just, so much could have happened to you. I know what those people are capable of and just the thought of something happening to you is unbearable for me. I know you did this because you were worried, but I’m your father. I would have never been able to forgive myself if something would have happened because of me. You were lucky that it didn’t, but imagine if.”
“Then I would have just turned them all into mice, witches’ code be damned!” She replied, still a pout in her voice.
Alec raised an unimpressed eyebrow at her. “You told me you got kangaroos last time. I’m not sure if you would have fared better against them. They have mean kicks.”
Mildred rolled her eyes but seemed to have calmed down enough to give him a sweet smile back. Alec sighed. Oh well, it had happened and thanks to her he was still alive. He couldn’t deny that he was proud of her despite everything. It took guts and a healthy dose of luck to pull something like this of. Especially if someone was untrained like her.
“Just promise me you won’t do it again,” He gave up and leaned back, waiting for her reply. When it didn’t come however, he opened his eyes and gave her a frown. “Mildred!”
She just crossed her arms and pouted. “I won’t promise that because I would do that again in a heartbeat. You can’t make me.” Alec sighed. He knew when he had lost.
“Fine,” He just murmured. Was this the famous puberty phase? He really hoped it was just a whim.
Mallory, who had been silent the whole time and had watched the exchange and with clear confusion, and a little bit of amusement, like the rest of them, cleared his throat and gave them both an unimpressed glare. “Not that this parent-daughter spat isn’t interesting, especially since it’s the infamous 006 we are talking about, but we should get back to the topic, don’t you think?”
Alec nodded and returned his focus back onto the head of the MI6. Mildred looked between them, uncertainty and confusion clear on her face. The agents’ gaze softened. She shouldn’t be here for this.
“Mildred, kotyonok,” He called her attention back. He smiled at her, “Why don’t you go and take a look around? Not everyone gets the chance to visit MI6. You should use this chance while you have it.” The girl was silent, but Eve jumped up to his rescue.
“That’s a great idea!” She said, “He’s right. And I promised you I would show you around, right? It’s fine, isn’t it?” She asked Mallory and he only nodded.
“Sure. You don’t get that chance every day. I’m sure there are a lot of things you’ll find interesting.” He replied and Mildred still looked unsure, but stood up. Alec knew that Mildred knew that what they were about to talk about was way above her clearance and not for her ears. She nodded and with one final squeezed she followed Eve out of the room.
“I’ll see you later. Bye.” She said and waved at the rest of the room.
“Bye Millie. Have fun. I’ll see you later.” He turned to Eve, a mock stern expression on his face. “Make sure to take good care of her, okay? When she returns, there better be not one scratch on her!”
Eve giggled and gave him a mock salute. “I promise I’ll protect her with my life! She will be safe and sound with me.” She answered and waved at him in good bye.
After they had closed the door between them, the tension in the room returned. Mallory gave him an unimpressed stare and sighed. “I don’t need to tell you how much has changed now that we know that you have a daughter. But we can talk about this later. What else did you find out while you were undercover?” He asked, tone no-nonsense like Alec was used to. He turned serious and tried to sit, only to be pressed back by James. Alec threw him a withering glare.
“Stay still. Your wounds were heavy enough and we don’t need you to open them again. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure that daughter of yours would turn us all into frogs or something equally annoying like that should she find out that you aggravated them while you were under our watchful eyes.” James countered and threw him an unimpressed stare. Alec rolled his eyes and leaned back. James wasn’t much better, he knew that from experience, but he was right. Mildred would be pretty angry at him, should he open his wounds again and he really didn’t want her to worry more than she already did.
“Yeah, well, with your luck she would turn you into a pig and forget the counterspell,” He murmured and sighed.
Tanner laughed. “You are not really confident in her abilities, are you?” He asked and Alec rolled his eyes.
“It’s not like I don’t have confidence in her, I do. I just know that she’s eleven years behind her peers in magic because she didn’t grow up in a magical household like the others and thus has a lot to catch up to. And she’s still busy catching up. It’s not like I think she’s weak, I’m pretty sure she’s a great witch, she just needs more training.” He explained. “But enough of my daughter. I have a lot of stuff to report.”
Mallory nodded, all signs of amusement gone. “Right. Then give us the report. What else could you find out that was not in the information you were able to send us?”
And so he spent the next hour telling them everything he had been able to get out of this mission. He knew he would not be able to be the one to see it to its end, but he could see on James’ and Q’s faces, that they were more than ready to do it for him.