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Fidelity

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When Q was eight, he had a pet dog, who he named Biscuit. The dog was a shelter mutt—scruffy, ill-trained and ill-tempered—and Q adored it. He took the dog everywhere, had lengthy (one-sided) conversations about physics and ice cream flavors with it, and worked on the dog’s training with infinite patience. After four months, the dog ran away.

When Q was twelve, his father was the center of his world. His father was a busy man, always away at work in sales and acquisitions, but when he came home, he would talk to Q over dinner. He taught Q about economic policy and corporate acquisitions as a way of working through his own thoughts, and Q listened in complete fascination. In Q’s free time, he studied economics and statistics, in order to better understand his father’s conversation. When his father left them, he didn’t even say goodbye to Q.

When Q was sixteen, seventeen, twenty-one (twice), twenty-three, and twenty-eight, he fell in love. Each time, he fell head-over-heels. His entire universe shifted to a focus point on his boyfriends, and for one to four months, everything was perfect and blissful. There were in-depth conversations of quantum physics over ice cream, stolen kisses in the library stacks, and long nights of incredible, mind-blowing sex. Until the day that they left him, or he caught them cheating; and every single time it knocked the breath out of him with hurt and surprise.

From this, Q learned that he loved with absolute, blind devotion, and that his loyalty went bone-deep. Whether he gave his loyalty to a partner, a cause or an employer, he gave it completely and unshakably. And, more importantly, he learned that his loyalty would never, ever be reciprocated.

Q accepted this as the way of the world.

The next time a boyfriend cheated on him, he shrugged, reminded him of the upcoming rent payment, destroyed the bastard’s credit rating, and moved on with his life. The boyfriend after that, Q infected all his devices and accounts with a self-perpetuating virus that would administer mild electric shocks at random once or twice a day (per device), and after a week had forgotten the prick’s name.

When (after being head of the Q division for about a week) he learned that a former star agent of MI6 had been betrayed and abandoned to pain and madness for the greater good, he accepted that as normal and inevitable, and assumed that his fate would be the same. He didn’t blame them for it. Occasionally, he wondered what kind of supervillain networks and viruses he would design when he was (inevitably) mad and betrayed, and did his best to build his beloved MI6 a system that was immune to every single one of them.

~

His contact in the Met’s Ballistics department was just Q’s type. Tall and solid, with a hello grin that made Q go weak in the knees and dropped his IQ by at least thirty points, not to mention a reputation a mile long and confidence to spare.

(Q did have an awareness that he was attracted to arseholes. Once, he’d tried dating a decent bloke. For a month, he’d been bored out of his mind and the sex was mediocre, until he walked in on his boyfriend in the middle of a pair of busty brunette twins. After that, he figured he was cursed either way and might as well go ahead and date the smarmy pricks who got his blood racing.)

When his new favorite bobby flirted with him, Q blushed and grinned and tried not to forget his own name, but when he finally got to business and asked Q out, no one was more surprised than Q when he said ‘no.’

He went home alone, and watched the London skyline from his balcony with a mug of tea to warm his hands while he tried to figure out what had gone wrong. The guy was hot, and smart (compared to normal people), and Q’s type. He’d kept himself company more than once to thoughts of his contact in Ballistics. But when it came down to it, the thought of dating him made something clench in Q’s stomach, and he had no idea why.

When he got cold enough that the tea wasn’t enough to keep him warm, he went back inside and started up his laptop, checking on 007’s status as a matter of habit.

And it was then, as he refilled his tea and watched through traffic cams as James Bond (inexplicably shirtless) battled terrorists on top of moving trucks halfway across the world, he realized what had happened: He didn’t check on any of the other agents as a matter of habit. Nor did he zoom in and watch appreciatively, chin in hand, when any of the other agents was engaged in topless combat. Although he had been aware for months of his crush on 007, it wasn’t until now that he realized that his self-destructive sense of loyalty had kicked in.

Q was infatuated with Bond, and his damaged sense of loyalty killed any desire he had to date anyone else.

It was the best thing that happened to him in years.

Watching Bond fight from halfway across the world, Q began to grin as he realized what this meant. Because Bond would never date him, Bond would never betray him, and Q would never be able to get over him. It meant he was safe. His weird, brilliant brain had devoted him to an unattainable relationship, which kept him from going out and getting his heart broken by attainable love.

“Cheers,” he said, raising his mug in toast in the direction of his laptop screen.

On the far side of the world, James Bond punched out a villainous foreigner, retrieved the valuable documents from his pocket, and obtained a taxi to the local embassy.

~

Three months into their acquaintance, Bond had begun showing up at Q’s flat between missions.

It didn’t mean anything. Q was aware that Bond had shown up at M’s flat once or twice on similar circumstances, and been in no way tolerated. Because Q tolerated him, he returned.

The first time Q had walked in and found Bond fast asleep on his couch, he’d assumed that there was some kind of threat wherein Bond didn’t dare go to his own flat. But Bond hadn’t said a word about it, and when it happened again, Q served him tea in the morning and informed him that there was a second bedroom available in the flat. The third time Bond showed up at Q’s flat (Q didn’t know how he got in, but asking questions like that seemed like a waste of time with a double-oh agent), he landed in the spare bed, and Q started making an effort to keep clean sheets in case of unexpected (occasionally bleeding) visitors.

He supposed it was just an aspect of Bond’s nature. Having no personal boundaries of his own, 007 tended to overlook the personal boundaries of others, and Q assumed that Bond came to his flat as a sort of safe haven. Even though 007 had a perfectly serviceable flat of his own, he showed up at Q’s because no one thought to look for him there (friend or foe). It was just a bonus that if he showed up bleeding, Q would patch him up without scolding.

As far as Q could tell, it was the nearest thing either of them had to a friend. Or, in Bond’s case, family. Q still had parents in Bristol and a sister in Brighton who called him once a month. Their job wasn’t very conducive to an active social life outside of work, and in Bond’s case the work-related social life was constantly trying to kill him. Q could sympathise with the need for human company with someone who wouldn’t try to kill him and wouldn’t ask anything of him.

On the third visit, Bond surprised him by demonstrating a knowledge of the operation of an electric kettle and the ability to put teabags in mugs. Q accepted this as a reasonable part of their unspoken arrangement: Q provided a no-questions-asked place to sleep and a well-stocked first-aid cabinet, and Bond occasionally reciprocated by making tea.

It didn’t do anything to help Q’s crush, especially on the occasions when Bond tossed his clothes in the wash and walked around the flat partly or completely nude. The first time this happened, Q choked on his tea and had a coughing fit, which was deeply embarrassing but at least served to cover up his otherwise red face. After that, Q just accepted it and appreciated the view.

Occasionally he sat alone in his flat, nursing a cup of cold tea and contemplating the troubles of being infatuated with a double-oh agent who sometimes walked around nude, and who in six months had never given Q a second glance. Usually, he just did his work, and let his sense of devotion to his country and his job help keep the field agents alive, Bond among them.

What he had was as much as he was ever going to get. Q had come to terms with that.

~

Q knew exactly how bad the mission had gone before Bond showed up at his place.

In truth, he hadn’t expected Bond to show up at all. Failing the mission was one thing. It happened, sometimes. But in this case, Bond had been badly embarrassed, and most of MI6 knew it. He’d been tricked and betrayed. She’d gotten away without a scratch and then dropped off the map, with billions of dollars of information in her hands. And Bond had been left empty-handed and humiliated.

Q expected that Bond would go to his own flat, and spend a few days licking his wounds while Q Branch did their jobs trying to pick up some wisp of a trail. He didn’t expect Bond to turn up in his kitchen, rummaging through the cupboard for a glass and a bottle of scotch. When he did, Q politely ignored him, giving 007 as much space as he wanted or needed.

For the first drink, Q stayed in the kitchen, typing away at the laptop sitting on his kitchen counter. Bond had moved into the living room, sitting in the dark and drinking, and Q didn’t dare intrude on that. He personally drank more tea than scotch, but he understood the need to sit in the dark and stew.

When Bond returned, having left the bottle in the kitchen, he got out a second glass and set it down on the counter, pouring scotch for the both of them.

Q took the glass, turning away from his laptop and leaning back against the counter, opening himself up for conversation.

They drank in silence. Bond refilled their glasses again. On the third refill, he started to talk.

“I can’t count how many times I’ve done that to someone,” he said.

Q stayed quiet, not sure of the context and not wanting to intrude on Bond’s confession.

After a minute, Bond sorted out enough of his thoughts to continue. “Part of the job, isn’t it? People get hurt. People die. Governments crumble. Someone always has to lose. Usually I’m the one who walks away with the goods, with someone on the other side who has to report back to HQ that they’ve failed. Usually it’s someone else left looking like a fool and a failure.”

Q knew the feeling. He remembered the image of a grinning, stylized hispanic skull, and the words think on your sins. He knew what it was like to look like an idiot while the bad guy walked free with a bounce in his step.

“Did you have feelings for her?” he asked, because he knew that, too. All too well, he knew that kind of betrayal.

“No,” Bond said, with a wry smirk, but he was too thoughtful and sad for that to be an easy answer. “Not really. I admired her.”

He still did, by the sound of it.

“Do you know what it’s like?” Bond asked. He sounded genuinely curious, as though he wasn’t sure.

It made Q wonder how Bond saw him, to ask a question like that. As an awkward, bespectacled computer nerd who couldn’t get a date? As a prim, antisocial and elitist genius who couldn’t emotionally connect to other people? Both thoughts were partially accurate, in their own way.

“I’ve had eight boyfriends,” Q answered, flatly. If Bond was shocked by his sexuality, Q didn’t care. “Six of them cheated on me. The other two simply dumped me.”

Yes. I know what that’s like.

There wasn’t any bitterness left in him toward those boyfriends. He felt sad, sometimes, and lonely. But he’d accepted that this was his fate. He was always going to be loyal, and he was always going to be betrayed. That was fine. Knowing that, he could deal with it.

“You don’t deserve that,” Bond said, voice as casual as though he was observing a basic fact of the universe. Sky blue, clouds white, Q does not deserve betrayal and desertion.

Deserve it? Q wondered, baffled. What does that even mean? Life isn’t fair. God isn’t real. How can anyone deserve or not deserve anything?

“What?” he blurted.

“Have you ever been on the other side?” Bond asked, eyebrows raised like a challenge.

Oh. Now Q got why the conversation had taken this turn. Bond had opened the discussion with a remark of how many times he’d broken hearts and damaged reputations in order to get a win for the British Government. They’d never really left that topic.

That was what he meant. Bond deserved to be hurt and betrayed, for all the damage he’d done.

“No,” Q admitted. He wasn’t sure if he should be proud of that.

No. I’ve never won. I’ve never walked away the victor, with a broken heart in my pocket. I couldn’t if I tried.

The damage Q did was on an international level. He didn’t know the people who were on the losing side of the strings he pulled from his laptop. He didn’t have to look them in the eye and lie in order to win. Bond did.

Q’s glass was empty again. He felt tired, dizzy, and unsure of himself.

Bond moved, reaching past Q for the bottle of scotch. When Q looked up, they both paused, and Q felt his heart give a thud. Bond was right there, a breath away from him, still mid-reach. They were almost of a height. For once, Q thought that they were almost alike: committed to a doomed loyalty to a job that was killing them. Hurt. Lost.

The bottle clinked softly as Bond set it back on the counter.

Q hadn’t moved. His eyes had locked with 007’s when he’d looked up, and he couldn’t remember the physical and emotional coordination required to pull away and make some kind of polite comment to pretend that he wasn’t infatuated and hadn’t been staring.

And then Bond reached for him, fingertips still cool from touching the glass. His hand brushed past Q’s jaw, clasping around the back of his neck and pulling him in for a kiss.

Q’s heart already knew how it felt about this. It had already chosen Bond, no question. He was already devoted, stupid though it was. As far as Q’s heart was concerned, Bond was only taking what had been his for months.

Q’s brain wasn’t available to weigh in on the matter.

He’d considered this possibility before. He’d considered it many, many times, in great detail, with every conceivable scenario. Bond was a man of cosmopolitan tastes, and a tendency to help himself to anything that was available. Q knew it wasn’t out of the question that Bond might decide that Floppy-Haired Quartermaster was the flavor of the day.

That was fine. Q knew his reputation, and knew he wouldn’t stay. And that was okay. That was good. Bond wouldn’t ever betray him, because Bond wouldn’t ever offer him a relationship. Couldn’t offer him loyalty, even if by some mad quirk of fate he wanted to. Promiscuity was in the job description.

So, all well and good. Nothing would change. It was what Q wanted, to be stuck eternally in a one-sided relationship with a man he couldn’t have, so that he wouldn’t have to be hurt again. He’d long since accepted that.

Grabbing his fate in both hands, Q pulled him in by the lapels on his suit jacket, kissing back without restraint.

Bond was firm and steady, kissing him with bold confidence and exquisite technique. Each brush of his lips and tongue seemed carefully planned to drive Q out of his mind with lust. It was unfair how good he was at this.

Both of them needy and impatient, Q attacked the buttons of Bond’s shirt, breaking the kiss to curse in frustration that they had to be so small and slippery while he was in no mind to be meticulous.

Grinning lopsidedly at him, Bond slipped his hands up the t-shirt top that Q wore by way of pyjamas. His broad, warm hands clasped Q’s hips, holding him steady as Q triumphed one by one against the buttons.

“You have altogether too many buttons, 007,” Q complained, finally getting the last one open.

“I’ll have a word with my tailor,” Bond promised, probably lying. His voice was warm and relaxed, lightly teasing. “I thought you were good with your hands.”

“Yes, well, two glasses of scotch ago, I was.”

Bond’s laugh was a deep, warm rumble that shot straight down through Q’s belly to his cock, stabbing through his heart along the way. And then he was being kissed again, with Bond’s tongue flicking against his own. He tasted of good scotch, clear water, and a deeper, spicy musk that was uniquely Bond.

Losing all the remaining coordination necessary to strip off Bond’s clothes, Q abandoned the effort, focusing his attention instead on unfastening Bond’s trousers and wiggling his hand inside. Bond’s length was thick and heavy, and Q closed his hand around it appreciatively, mapping it with his fingertips.

Bond was much more composed, his alcohol tolerance much higher. He pulled Q’s shirt briskly over his head, tugging the drawstring on Q’s pyjama pants open left-handed. And then he was gone, leaving Q’s arms empty.

Half-drunk and surprised, it took Q a moment to re-focus, finding Bond on his knees. Strong, deft hands curled around Q’s waistband, holding it for a second as Bond waited for Q’s gaze to catch and for comprehension to dawn. Whatever Bond saw, he took it as permission to continue. Smoothly, he pulled Q’s waistband down over his hips and down to his ankles.

Q watched him, lips parted with surprise, as Bond lifted his cock with one hand and took it into his mouth. There was no pause, no warning. In a single moment, he had taken Q’s length into his mouth, swallowing him to the hilt.

Before now, Q would have said that he’d had plenty of experience receiving oral sex, and that he had a perfectly adequate understanding of them. This was something entirely different. Bond sucked cock with smooth, intent movements, the muscles of his mouth going about their business with sleek coordination. Q made an incoherent sound, hands clutching at the edge of the counter to keep himself upright.

In all his fantasies of this, Bond had always been rough and possessive, taking what he wanted. This focused, generous Bond was unexpected. He knew Bond had a reputation for being good in bed, but he’d always just attributed it to physical form and fitness.

And then Bond did something with his tongue that made all Q’s thoughts of Bond’s reputation evaporate in a white blaze of pleasure. His eyes rolled up, lashes fluttering, and his elbows hit the counter as his knees gave out for a second.

On his feet again in a movement that Q didn’t see him make, Bond kissed him once, bold and grounding, and held him there with his hips as he stripped off the jacket and shirt that Q had left on him, unbuttoned.

Dazed and still very, very aroused, Q stared at his bare chest. He’d never been this close to Bond while unclothed, never touched before.

Meeting his eyes for a moment, he found Bond grinning, and couldn’t help but grin back. Q pounced, initiating the kiss this time and letting his hands roam freely. If he never got to have this again, he planned to take everything he could get tonight.

Biting playfully, Bond let him lead this kiss this time. The two of them clumsily got Bond out of his shoes and trousers without breaking the kiss, stumbling from counter to counter around the kitchen in the general direction of Q’s bedroom.

They dropped onto the bed in a tangle, Bond on top (which was good because Q wasn’t sure he could hold himself up without knocking their heads together), sharing wet, messy kisses. Bracing himself on one arm, Bond wrapped a hand around both their dicks (Q’s longer, Bond’s thicker) and squeezed.

Q groaned, hips thrusting up into the warm press of Bond’s fingers, relishing the firm, hot feeling of Bond’s cock sliding against his own. His eyes closed, reducing his world to pleasure, heat and sensation as Bond rutted their hips together, thrusting both of their dicks into his hand. Lips trailed down his neck, teeth leaving light marks against his collarbone and over his shoulder. The moment caught and hung, suspended there for an eternity of perfect pleasure, and Q came hard, all over Bond’s hand and his own belly.

Drunk, exhausted and sated, Q blinked his eyes, not quite focusing. When he closed them this time, they didn’t open again.

Chapter Text

In the morning, Q staggered out of bed, warm and sleepy, and hauled on a pair of pyjama pants. He found Bond in the kitchen, sipping a pot of tea—no, that was coffee he smelled—and typing on Q’s laptop one-handed while he talked to M on the phone. “Ten o’clock. Heathrow. Fine. Do we have any information about where in Peru?”

Q found himself a mug out of habit, and stared blankly at the half-full pot of coffee sitting in the machine on the counter. Where the hell did that even come from? Did Bond find it in a cupboard somewhere?

This was highly suspicious, but the coffee was there and made. He might as well drink it, inferior liquid though it might be.

Adding milk aplenty, Q made faces at the mug but drank it without comment.

Bond hit a button to turn his phone on speaker, and set it on the counter. Pushing Bond away from the laptop as he listened to M brief him on the mission, Q found himself already logged in with the relevant information pulled up. The idea of Bond hacking his system was absurd, so somehow Bond must have gotten his password. He blinked once, but he’d heard M complain about Bond’s habit of doing just that on her system more than once, and accepted it as a Bond-centric mystery of the universe.

“I’ll have Q get back to you with information on the security key you’re going to need,” M was saying.

“He’s right here,” Bond said. “I’ll tell him.”

M paused, taken by surprise. “What do you mean, ‘he’s right here’? Where are you?”

Leaning over the counter, hoping that his cheeks weren’t unusually red, Q cleared his throat to talk. “007 seems to have developed the preference for sleeping on my couch rather than in his own bed.”

“Oh. Yes, that does sound like him. You know you can always just throw him out, don’t you?”

“Q is rather more warm-hearted than you are,” Bond commented, grinning.

“He doesn’t know you as well as I do. Try not to seduce your Quartermaster, Bond, please.”

Bond’s grin only widened. “I will make every reasonable effort to refrain,” he promised, and hung up.

Q immediately snapped his gaze back to the laptop screen, which was far safer than looking at Bond. Playful joking aside, they all had work to do. “I’ll send the security key to your phone when I finish writing it. You’ll be able to use the USB attachment I gave you to load it.”

“Thank you,” Bond said, pocketing his phone and retrieving his jacket. Q stole a glance. His clothes still looked flawless, even after a night on Q’s floor.

While Bond was in the room, Q kept his eyes on the screen and his posture tight, completely focused on his job. Bond didn’t say a word about the night before, and didn’t touch Q once.

When the door closed behind him, Q felt himself sag, posture dropping as he stared after him. It meant nothing. They were drunk, and seduction was just a reflex for Bond. He was just another notch on the bedpost, and that was fine, although his own performance had been embarrassingly lackluster and he’d fallen asleep before Bond had finished. That alone ruled out any possibility that Bond would ever consider a second attempt.

He had the memory. Q could live with that, as an aspect of his safe and unattainable little crush. It was enough.

~

It wasn’t a surprise when Bond showed up at his place again (although Q had yet to figure out how Bond kept getting in through the balcony of his flat on the thirty-second floor).

Q was in his pyjamas, working on trying to break a code that needed to be done yesterday. “007,” he said in greeting, as Bond wandered—bleeding—through the living room.

“Q,” Bond replied, heading straight for the shower.

He was still bleeding when he emerged, with nothing but a towel slung around his waist. “I’m going to need you to stitch this up.”

“I can see that,” Q said, trying to ignore the way his stomach dropped out with worry to see the gash on Bond’s shoulder. Any normal person would have gone straight to a hospital. Q wasn’t sure if Bond even had a concept of what hospitals were, given his tendency to brush off near-fatal injuries as minor wounds.

Shutting his laptop, he took the first aid supplies out of Bond’s hands and sat him down, stitching it up with careful, straight stitches. He’d lost track of how many times he’d done this for 007. Once, the sight of blood had made him queasy. Now, it was just an aspect of life in the vicinity of James Bond.

“I’m advising M to give you a few days to let these stitches heal before sending you out on your next mission,” Q warned, keeping his tone stern and disapproving in hopes that it might encourage Bond to comply. Left to his own devices, he’d be off on another mission before sundown.

“I’ve had worse,” Bond said, which didn’t make Q feel any better. He’d seen Bond near death more times than he wanted to count. The last thing he needed was encouragement to continue.

“Do you even have a flat of your own anymore?” Q asked, trying to keep the fondness out of his voice.

“Yes.”

“Do you remember where it is?” Q teased.

Bond shot him a grin. “Sometimes.”

Once his shoulder was cleaned, stitched and bandaged, Bond passed out on the couch. Unable to help his sense of fond longing, Q spread a blanket over him and returned to his code.

Three hours later, Bond did surprise him.

They both knew that Bond moved very quietly, and that Q had a tendency to get involved in his work to the complete exclusion of his surroundings. He was accustomed to Bond appearing out of nowhere and spooking him.

The hand on his neck, however, was completely unexpected. One minute Q was deep in code, and the next minute a hand closed on his neck, fingers unerringly finding the tension in the nerves and starting to massage. Q’s knees nearly gave out from surprise and pleasure. He’d had massages before, but they were rare, and usually he preferred dealing with the tension rather than letting strangers touch his neck.

Bond knew exactly what he was doing. His broad, warm hand worked the muscles with deft skill. It had always amazed Q that a blunt instrument like Bond was capable of such incredible precision, and this was a skill set he hadn’t realized Bond possessed.

“You’re tense,” Bond said.

Q tried to reply, parting his lips and exhaling, but the sound that came out didn’t resemble words and he quickly abandoned the attempt. Code completely forgotten, he had to focus entirely on staying upright as Bond stepped closer behind him, kissing the side of his neck and winding one arm around his waist as the other hand continued to massage his shoulder.

Every part of this was unexpected. Q had no idea what he’d done to earn this kind of generous, skillful attention from 007, when he’d assumed that they’d go back to what they’d had, and Bond wouldn’t touch him again.

After a few stray kisses, Bond focused more completely on the massage, both hands intent on Q’s neck and shoulders. Barely upright, Q shut his laptop and pushed it to the far edge of the counter so that he wouldn’t knock it off, holding himself on his elbows and letting his head drop forward as he surrendered to this. There was no way he was going to be able to summon the sense of mind to object. Might as well admit he was at Bond’s mercy.

“Shouldn’t you be recuperating?” he managed, after a few minutes. He was grateful for the counter at his front, hiding that he was achingly hard and just about ready to beg.

“This is recuperating,” Bond argued, hands migrating down to Q’s hips and then up under his shirt.

“Finger me,” Q blurted, trying to tell himself that he was giving orders, not begging.

Bond laughed, warm and low. “Getting there,” he promised.

Moving a little faster, both of them now fully aware of where this was going, Bond stripped off Q’s shirt. He trailed a few biting kisses down Q’s spine, earning stifled little moans at each one.

Q made a promise to himself that one day he was going to manage to be an actually competent partner, despite James Bond’s ability to reduce him to an incoherent mess with just a single touch.

Pulling away, Bond pressed a hand down between Q’s shoulder blades for a moment, in a gesture that Q interpreted as stay. He did, ready to do anything Bond asked of him. Behind him, he could hear Bond moving through the apartment, but couldn’t see what he was doing and certainly didn’t have the spatial awareness necessary to track what he was doing.

Q heard the whisper of cloth—silk?—as Bond returned, and twitched in surprise when the first thing Bond did was to reach for Q’s glasses.

He froze for a moment, wary of that level of intimacy. He didn’t let other people touch his glasses, not even his other boyfriends. But he didn’t let other people touch his neck, either. Saying ‘no’ to 007 was incredibly difficult, and Q absolutely didn’t want him to stop. His glasses went on the counter next to his laptop, something he heard rather than saw, and then Bond’s tie dropped down over Q’s eyes. It wasn’t a very effective blindfold, but Q liked the kink, tipping his head back to make it easier for Bond to tie. He loved the feeling of it, the heavy, exquisite silk of Bond’s tie so much different than the cheap ones Q wore.

It was a high level of trust that Bond was suddenly asking of him, but Q didn’t even hesitate before giving it. He was devoted. Everything Bond asked of him lit up all Q’s brain cells with yours, yes, please.

Bond pressed up against him from behind, and oh, yes, Bond was definitely still naked, his erect cock pressing against Q’s clothed arse. Shivering at the mental picture, Q arched his back and pressed into it. Physical begging definitely didn’t count.

Nuzzling against Q’s shoulder with an affectionate generosity that was dropping Q’s crush fast into the category of blind, hopeless love, Bond’s fingers quickly opened Q’s trousers, pushing them down and stripping them off.

Heart pounding, Q spread his legs wider, keeping his elbows on the counter and his head hanging down over them. Behind him, he heard Bond chuckle, and then felt cold, slick fingers pressing into him. Gasping at the cold and the intrusion (his brain tried to start calculating how long it had been since he’d last been fucked, and he shut that down fast), Q’s hands fisted, trying to relax. He hated this part, hated the way his body tensed and fought against it, hated how damn long it took for him to open up enough that he could deal with a dick up there. Once the fucking got started, he warmed up to the idea fast. He loved fucking, whether he was on top or bottom. But this part was just something to be endured.

Except that whatever Bond was doing with his fingers felt incredible.

All of Q’s boyfriends had approached this with techniques of stretching and scissoring their fingers, opening him up as quickly as possible to get to the fun part, and Q took the same approach when he was fingering others. But Bond was doing something entirely different. His fingers were massaging and caressing, with absolutely no attempt being made to stretch him out.

It felt good. It felt hot and perfect and made Q’s cock ache for more. He wondered if this was what fingering was like for women, where the pleasure was meant to be in the act itself, rather than as preparation for something else. And that was what he’d asked for, wasn’t it? He hadn’t asked to be fucked—he’d asked to be fingered, and that was exactly what Bond was giving him.

For the first time, Q began to wonder if he’d been having crappy sex all his life. He’d thought it had been pretty amazing at the time, but Bond’s skill level was something else entirely. All of Q’s other partners suddenly looked like fumbling idiots.

“More,” Q gasped. (Not begging. Still definitely, absolutely not begging.)

Bond pushed in another finger, undulating them inside him with strong, sure movements. Q felt full and hot, his hips doing their own begging as they rutted back against Bond’s hand. He’d never relaxed and opened up so fast, and he couldn’t tell if he was ready because he really just wanted this to go on forever.

But he was determined that he wasn’t going to let Bond get him off without getting anything in return this time, and he was starting to worry that would happen any second now if Bond kept this up.

“Fuck me,” he said, the words coming out far more steady and determined than he thought possible.

The fingers inside him slowed, then withdrew. “With pleasure,” Bond purred. (Q wondered if he could come from the sound of that voice alone.)

Eyes closed beneath the blindfold, he heard the crisp of a condom packet and the slick sounds of lubrication, and then Bond was behind him again, pressing inside.

True to form, he had a technique for this, too. Rolling his hips with each thrust, Bond withdrew almost to the tip and then pushed in a tiny bit deeper on each thrust. Every time Q wanted to whine in frustration because it was never quite as deep as he wanted, and the series of quick, slowly deepening thrusts made him impatient. But when he felt Bond’s hips still for a moment against his arse, buried to the hilt, his head lifted in surprise, realizing that it hadn’t hurt even once, and Bond’s thick length was larger than he thought he could comfortably take.

“How do you do that?” Q asked, disbelieving.

Slow and steady, Bond thrust into him, each one making Q squirm with pleasure. He had exactly the right angle. Of course he did, the talented bastard. “Do what?”

“All of it. How are you so bloody good at this?”

“Practice,” Bond joked.

Q didn’t believe him. Practice could only get you so far, if your technique was crap. But he didn’t feel inclined to argue while Bond was behind him, playing Q’s body with consummate skill.

Bond seemed inclined to take his time, so Q just surrendered to it, letting himself feel the waves of pleasure building inside him. His analytical brain finally shut off, leaving him suspended in the moment as Bond took him.

The orgasm hit him by surprise, as caught up as he was in savoring each feeling. Crying out, Q came long and hard. His knees faltered, but he gripped the counter harder, staying on his feet. Bond slowed behind him, and then went still, letting him recover.

You stupid wanker, Q thought, dizzy. Are you really that unselfish?

He stirred his hips back, wanting that firm, solid heat moving inside him again. “Don’t stop.”

Brushing a light kiss between Q’s shoulders, Bond started to move again, shifting his angle so that he wouldn’t hit Q’s prostate and increasing his speed.

“Good,” Q moaned, focusing what few brain cells he had left on staying upright as Bond fucked him. Content, he had no concept of the time it took before Bond came, with a breathy grunt that Q wanted to record and pour into his ears on repeat.

Q winced as he pulled out, feeling tender, but he turned around and pulled off the blindfold. He still needed the counter quite a bit for support, but somehow he found a confident grin.

Grinning back at him, Bond leaned in and took a kiss.

~

They didn’t talk about it.

Bond was as smooth and professional as ever outside of the bedroom, as if nothing had happened. Q spent a few days feeling flustered, his safe, easy crush having dropped into being hopelessly in love, but he hid it behind an aloof exterior and didn’t say a word to anyone. He felt confused by Bond’s affectionate generosity in bed and what it meant, but Bond still landed in plenty of other beds while he was out on his missions.

As far as Q could tell, the only thing that had changed was the type of haven that Q provided for him. Bond was the sort to have a girl in every port, so to speak. In London, that was Q.

Sometimes, when Bond was sweet and thoughtful—bringing him tea and mind-blowing orgasms—Q wanted to ask. What is this? What are we doing?

But he thought he knew, and the last thing he wanted was to go seeking rejection.

So he kept his mouth shut.

As directly involved as he often was with Bond’s missions, he sometimes got far more details than he wanted on Bond’s seductions, even considering Bond’s tendency to destroy government cameras and comms in order to get himself some privacy.

He couldn’t be jealous. Jealousy was a useless emotion in this case, and he had no claim on Bond, nor ever would. It was a part of Bond’s job to use his sexuality to get the intel he needed, and it always would be.

When he was with Q, they used condoms, and Q started getting himself tested once a month just in case. He knew perfectly well that Bond was also getting tested once a month, but in Bond’s case it was part of the routine physical maintenance done on field agents.

It was twisted, but sometimes he enjoyed the voyeurism of seeing Bond seduce a target. More often than not, Bond specifically knew he was watching. Q would listen in through whatever comm Bond was wearing or whatever nearby devices he could hack, and savor the rough velvet sound of that voice as it flirted and quipped, sparring with the clever, deadly women who tried to seduce him in turn. Q told himself that he was just appreciating Bond’s skill, like watching a predatory cat going in for the kill—it was a beautiful, vicious sight.

~

Bond had a plane to be on in three hours.

Over a month he’d been gone, and he was back in London for two measly days, neither of which he spent with Q. Q ached with missing him, but he was at work for the only times they saw each other, so he kept his displays of affection nonexistent.

There was plenty of work to be done, so Q kept himself distracted and only peripherally aware of where Bond was at any given moment as he was debriefed and run through two days worth of tests. But for the last hour before Bond hopped a taxi to the airport, he had nothing particular to do and had evidently settled on making a nuisance of himself around Q Branch.

Ignoring this as steadfastly as he could manage, Q typed in lines of code, working on hacking via satellite a single cell phone in Mumbai.

A bored Bond was an annoying Bond, and a flirtatious Bond. One of Q’s best technicians—a pretty, voluptuous thing with extremely deft hands (which knowledge he had from the devices she produced, but which he now imagined Bond would be experiencing in an entirely different capacity)—started flirting with the bored double-oh agent, and Bond flirted back with interest.

Q could—and did—dispassionately observe Bond flirting on the job, when international security was at stake. But for Bond to flirt right in front of him with one of Q’s own people grated on his nerves. His typing slowed as his focus split, shoulders tightening with irritated jealousy. He knew he had no claim on Bond, but the way Bond had ignored him for two days and now was flirting openly in front of him lit a red rage in Q’s brain.

“The sonar device was your work?” Bond asked. (Did he have to sound so impressed? Well, yes, okay, Q had been a little impressed by her work on that piece, but that didn’t mean Bond had to be.) “That got me out of a very tight spot.”

Q tapped vindictively at the keyboard, having to pause once or twice to keep from breaking something.

“It was!” she bragged. Q had liked her and her straightforward, irreverent attitude until about five minutes ago. Now, he was angry and hurt, even though he knew he had no right. “Let me give you my number, I’d like to show you some of my other devices sometime.”

“Thank you, but I’m going to have to decline. I have a boyfriend.”

Q’s fingers stuttered on the keyboard, making a mess of his code. A boyfriend?

Cheeks flame red, Q focused furiously on trying to correct the error he’d just entered into the code, which was going to take some time. He barely heard the girl stammer and apologize, or Bond’s graceful repair of her feelings.

Bond had a boyfriend? When? How? Who?

His heart went immediately to the hope that Bond meant him, but his logic made a mess of that theory within minutes. Bond had never offered any kind of discussion that they were serious, and it seemed like a hell of a thing for Bond to decide for them both without talking about it. But what was more damning was that they hadn’t talked in a month, and since Bond had been back, he hadn’t made his usual visits. It seemed safe to assume that Bond had met someone else in the past month, and that he’d now be staying somewhere else on his visits to London.

He couldn’t ask. Q knew he’d had months worth of chances to ask Bond about the nature of their relationship, and he never had. Asking now would make him look like an idiot (in the slim chance Bond had meant him) or, worse, it would reveal that Q was pitifully in love with him, and that it was as unrequited as he’d always thought.

So he just kept typing. When Bond went to catch his plane, neither of them said goodbye.

Chapter Text

The next time he saw Bond was at three in the morning when Q had just staggered home from work, head aching and eyes tired. He knew that Bond was back in town because he’d booked 007’s tickets, but the last place he expected to find him was fast asleep in Q’s bed.

Q’s bed. Not the couch, not his own flat, not the flat of his mysterious hypothetical boyfriend.

Mind and heart reeling—because he’d only just gotten used to the idea that Bond had some other boyfriend, enough to make him turn down the advances of pretty women, and that it wasn’t him, except that maybe it was?—Q flipped the light back off and stumbled back to the kitchen.

A month ago, he would have crawled right into that bed, happy to have the warmth and company of his unrequited love. But now, it was all too much. He couldn’t climb in with Bond while he had the fear of some other man in Bond’s heart, and he couldn’t curl up on the couch without Bond finding him and knowing what a confused idiot he was.

Making himself a cup of tea, Q turned his laptop back on and returned to working. It was easier to deal with sleep deprivation than to deal with the choice of sleeping with Bond or sleeping on the couch while Q was getting such mixed signals from his not-boyfriend.

He had to admit now that Bond probably had meant him. The probability of that had suddenly rocketed higher than the possibility that Bond had met someone within the last month but hadn’t mentioned it, had in fact hidden it remarkably well, and then broken it off in the past three days. But even if that was true, Q didn’t know what it meant, or why Bond wouldn’t have mentioned ‘oh, hey, would you like to be boyfriends I promise not to sleep with anyone if it isn’t work-related’, if that was what he was doing.

Q didn’t look up from his work when Bond got up. He tracked his progress through the flat by sound and with his peripheral vision, as Bond flipped on the kettle and helped himself to a banana. Shoulders tensing, Q actively ignored him, at least until Bond reached out to kiss his shoulder, hand closing over the back of Q’s neck to start massaging the way he often did.

Except that Q twitched away from the touch, and Bond pulled his hand back.

Giving him a few feet of space, Bond leaned against the counter and watched him. Q could feel the weight of his gaze. He could almost hear Bond thinking.

“What have I done?” Bond asked. He sounded confused, but willing to assume this was his fault.

They were talking now, evidently. Q didn’t have any idea where to start, or what to say. He stopped typing, but didn’t look up. “Last time I saw you, you said you had a boyfriend.”

“I thought I did.”

Heart aching with what he didn’t quite dare to believe, Q looked up at him, scared and confused.

“I meant you,” Bond specified, meeting Q’s gaze with steady honesty.

James Bond thought that Q was his boyfriend. Q opened his mouth to scold him about how this was the sort of thing people normally discussed in advance, and then he got it.

Bond didn’t have much in the way of relationship experience. His job didn’t allow for fidelity, and most of his partners ended up dead. And with what Q knew of his background, he doubted if James had ever had a lasting relationship. As masterfully experienced as he was in the bedroom, it made sense that he wouldn’t have the first clue how to behave with a boyfriend.

Worse, he’d probably been taking relationship cues from Q.

Q; who ignored him at work, barely talked to him at home, and had locked down any hint of attachment toward him. His mouth fell open in shock as he realized what an utter prick he’d been. In trying to provide Bond with the lack of commitment that he thought 007 wanted and needed, he’d ended up behaving like a total dick.

“Oh, I’m an idiot,” he breathed.

Needing to fix it and reassure Bond before he did anything else, Q took a step towards him, kissing him warmly to communicate that it was all okay, and this was good. Bond’s hands settled on his waist, and Q broke the kiss, grinning at him. “We should talk about what that means.”

Bond tensed a little. “I can’t offer—“

“I know exactly what you can’t offer, 007,” Q said, reminding him that he knew the details of Bond’s job. All of the details, even the ones he didn’t like. They were still coworkers, and Q knew for a certainty that they would both always put the job first.

“I love you,” Bond tried, instead.

Q stared at him, emotions in a tangled mess. He wasn’t sure what he wanted or needed from this relationship. “Really?”

“Really. I don’t want anyone else. I’m still going to—“

“Sleep with lots and lots of very dangerous spies,” Q finished for him.

Bond smirked, fond and affectionate. “Yes. But as long as I have a choice, I only want you.”

Q nodded, trying not to let himself spook. “That’s fair.”

Really, he thought it was more than fair. He thought it was amazing. He was ridiculously in love, and maybe, in a few days, he’d find the courage to admit that.

“What else do we need to talk about?” Bond asked.

“That’s good, I think. We could have sex now, and talk more later.”

Bond grinned and kissed him. “I think you should sleep now, and we can have sex later.”

“Lots of sex.”

Bond reached out and shut Q’s laptop, steering him firmly into the bedroom.

“But it’s morning,” Q attempted to argue.

Ignoring that, Bond pushed him face-down on the bed, straddling his hips and starting to massage Q’s back and shoulders.

Oh, he had missed Bond’s massages. Hugging a pillow under his chin, Q relaxed into the touches (from his boyfriend), and fell asleep in utter bliss.

~

“Close the laptop,” Q ordered.

He was leaning back against the footboard of his bed, watching James against the headboard. It was nice, almost domestic: Q with a book, James with a laptop.

Bond looked up, meeting his eyes, and Q could see the moment of insubordination as he decided whether or not he was going to obey. He was used to that look, in or out of bed. Although Bond’s loyalty was beyond question, he always took a split second to react to orders as he decided whether or not he was going to do things his own way.

Today, he was feeling cooperative. Keeping his gaze locked on Q’s, he shut the laptop and waited.

Feeling a little thrill of power at Bond’s obedience, Q shut his book, focusing his attention completely on his partner. “Set it aside.”

Q loved the I’m only obeying you because I feel like it challenge in Bond’s eyes as he set the laptop by the side of the bed.

“Covers off,” Q continued, fully aware that Bond was naked beneath the covers. Even now that James kept spare clothes at Q’s flat and practically lived there, Q had yet to see him deign to wear pyjamas.

Lips tilting in an indulgent smirk, Bond tossed the covers aside, some of them landing in Q’s lap.

Lazy and confident, James shifted comfortably, letting Q look. His body was beautiful, even with all the scars from so many near-death scrapes. Q took his time enjoying the view, reveling in the fact that he had a right to look and the way that Bond’s dick filled and hardened as he watched.

“Touch yourself,” he said, after a minute.

Bond kept his eyes on Q as he wrapped a hand around his length, stroking slow and firm. Q watched, feeling his cheeks heat from the look Bond was giving him: challenging, adoring, and absolutely self-assured.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked, unable to help asking. Bond was increasingly looking at Q like he was some kind of creamy dessert to be devoured.

“The way your breath catches right before you come.”

Q blushed to his ears, embarrassed and flattered. “Spread your legs,” he said, glad that his voice was still steady.

Bond obeyed, bending his knees up to expose himself. He was making himself vulnerable, for Q. Only for Q. No one else got to see this side of him.

Heart pounding with how much that meant, Q watched him for a minute before nodding over at the nightstand. “Lube’s in the drawer,” he said, letting Bond figure out the order contained within that.

Smirking at him, Bond opened the drawer without looking, and pulled out the bottle of lube. Q was going to need to buy a new one soon, at the rate they were using it.

“Finger yourself,” Q said, having to reach down and adjust his dick. He was wearing pyjama pants, which were now visibly tented.

Never taking his eyes off of Q, Bond slicked his fingers and reached down, hooking two of them inside and starting to fuck himself with them. Even now, he looked completely confident and in control, as though this was all his own idea and he was just letting Q talk because he thought it was cute.

“You are maddeningly sexy,” Q told him, pretending to grumble about it.

Dropping his book aside, Q climbed up and kissed him. It was slow and heated, and he could hear the slippery sounds of Bond continuing to finger himself while they kissed.

“Grab me a condom,” Q said, his tone dropping back to casual instead of commanding as he kicked off the pyjamas.

Stealing one last kiss, Bond reached over and fetched the condom, tossing it at Q without taking his fingers out of his arse.

“Cocky bastard,” Q scolded, fond. Sitting back on his heels, he opened the packet and rolled the condom on, taking the lube so that he could prep himself.

Bond pulled his fingers out only as Q settled between his legs, arms wrapping around Q’s back.

“Good?” Q asked, to make sure he was ready. Bond just nodded, a warm little smile tucked into his mouth.

Bond made a contended little groan as Q pushed in. He was noisier when Q topped, letting out the occasional gasp and moan that he always kept contained when he was in control. It made Q love this, how vulnerable his boyfriend was willing to be for him. There were still layers upon layers of walls between them, so many of Bond’s defenses still in place, but a few of them dropped for Q, and that was an honor.

“Hard,” Bond said, the first thing he’d said without prompting since they’d started. Q grinned.

“You always want it hard,” he teased, taking his time with a few slow, patient thrusts.

“I like it hard,” Bond grunted, grinning back at him.

“Masochist,” Q said, stealing a kiss before he shifted his hips and started increasing his speed, fucking him in earnest.

Bond rumbled approval at that, lifting his hips sharply into each thrust and making the occasional stifled moan as Q hit just right.

“Touch yourself,” Q ordered, his lips falling next to Bond’s ear as he rutted into him. Bond had the ridiculous ability to get Q off without touching him, but Q was not similarly talented. Not yet, anyway.

Bond complied, hanging on to Q with one arm as he jerked himself off with the other.

This was the other thing Q loved about topping. Everything else they did, Bond would go out of his way to make sure that Q finished first. Sometimes it got a little annoying, how determined Bond was to be a generous lover. Q suspected there were a few things in Bond’s psychological file that would explain the compulsion—orphan, abandonment issues, need for approval, inability to accept approval—but he’d never read it.

When Q topped, things changed. Suddenly Bond’s goal became to come first, and Q got to watch the raw pleasure rippling over his face as—for once—Bond didn’t hold himself back.

It was wonderful, the feeling of pounding hard into his James—his James—as that tight, breathtaking body beneath him shuddered.

“I love you,” Q whispered, and got the incredible ego boost of hearing and feeling Bond gasp and come in response to his words. He didn’t slow down—Bond always asked for harder, no matter what Q gave him. Within seconds, he felt himself coming, spilling into the condom and gasping out Bond’s name. “James.”

Completely composed within seconds, except for slightly quickened breathing, Bond leaned up and stole a kiss. “You’re going to have to do that more often,” he said, not being any more specific.

Q took it as encouragement in general, and caught his lips for another kiss.

~

It was good, loving Bond.

Sometimes it was hard, to battle down his sense of jealousy when Bond went out seducing beautiful, clever women. Some days, Q thought this is it, this is the day where he leaves me. Bond faced such brilliant, deadly, gorgeous women, and there were days when Q couldn’t even fathom why Bond would come home at all instead of running away with them.

But he did begin to understand Bond’s sense of loyalty.

As openly insubordinate as he could be, Bond’s loyalty to queen and country was unshakeable. It went bone-deep, that willingness to go to any lengths to protect the interests of his country. No amount of money, sex, or even threats to the people he cared about would dent Bond’s loyalty to his job.

That was what made them so much alike.

It still amazed him that some of Bond’s loyalty had attached itself to him. Somehow, Q had earned a place in Bond’s heart just beneath queen and country. It was the spot beneath, he had no illusions about that. If Bond had to watch yet another lover die in order to complete his mission, he would.

That was fine. Q didn’t think he could do the same, not anymore, but he admired it in Bond. It let him know that there was another person in the world whose loyalty was as unshakeable as his own.

And Bond loved him: truly, deeply, and with his own particular brand of fidelity. That was all Q needed in the world.