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The Criminal Element

Chapter Text

The rain had been falling all week. It was a cold freezing rain that seemed to seep into one’s bones. There was no way to escape the chill outside but inside the club it was hot and muggy. Bodies gyrated to the music. Rubbing up against each other as the music played and lights changed colors. Another busy night at the Layer Cake.

James Bond watched as the crowd moved in and out around him. He stood near the bar, keeping an eye on the front door as well as the dance floor. The night club was loud and the lights were strobing in time with music. It was early on Friday night but the place was already full. The music competed with the sound of the voices and conversations. The youthful executives and the pretty young things moved around Bond like the ebb and flow of a vast ocean. Beautiful women passed him, smiling seductively. He let his eyes pause on them for moment then dismissed them as he let his gaze move on to other prospects. He took another sip of his martini. This was a business night and he needed to keep his head about him. Therefore he let the young women pass by while he waited for the messenger to arrive.

His eyes glanced over to his right-hand man and lover, Alec Trevelyan. Alec was dancing with a girl who looked too young to even be in their club. She had caramel skin and thick black short hair. She looked like she was fourteen or fifteen. Lean and petite. Under developed breasts and narrow hips. Alec’s hands were moving seductively over the young woman’s back, down over her rump and between her thighs. Bond should have been jealous, but he knew the girl meant nothing to Alec. She was just a tool to scratch an itch. Bond smirked as he watched his lover grope the girl in the middle of the dance floor. Suddenly, Alec lifted the woman up, her legs instantly wrapped around the blonde’s waist. Her arms slipped around Alec’s shoulders as he kissed her. With long forceful steps, Alec left the dance floor. Pushing dancers out of his way as he headed towards the office in the back.

James took another sip of his drink as he watched Alec leave with his conquest. Bond couldn’t get angry. It was not what the boss was supposed to do. Bond had to remain calm at all times, regardless of what was happening. James Bond had stepped into the position of boss of the crime organization after the untimely death of two of its major players, Jimmy Price and Eddie Temple. The fact that Bond was responsible for both of their deaths was never mentioned. And although the underworld prided itself on being modern and up to date with the needs of the world, they were still somewhat backwards towards the idea homosexuality. Therefore, Bond couldn’t show any jealousy. Bond and Trevelyan, although lovers, kept their relationships private. Both men were routinely seen in the presence of women. Beautiful women. As Bond watched Alec disappear with the under-aged girl down the hallway, he knew that regardless of what happened in that office, later tonight, Alec would be in his bed.

James took another sip of his drink. He hoped Alec was going to be quick. James needed Alec to be done shagging the girl by the time the office was going to be required. His chief rival had requested a meeting with Bond. A truce between the two gangs was being called and his rival had promised to send over an incentive. Bond had fought for control of the criminal element in his part of London for several years now. His most feared enemy was a woman named ‘M’. She had control of everything south of the river and had been in control for decades. M was a petite woman of an undetermined age and looked more like someone’s grandmother rather than the cold-blooded leader of a major crime organization. Bond had often wondered how she got her start. Had she started off in the brothels or had she married into the job? She didn’t appear to be someone who would murder her way to the top of the pile, but who knew. No one really ever spoke about how the woman came to power, only that she had held it for over thirty years and was ruthless with it.

Bond had control of most of London northeast of the river. He had taken over a minor drug cartel with the deaths of Price and Temple, but over the years and with the help of his original gang, it was the second largest criminal enterprise in London. Second only to M’s. Now the two of them were rubbing up against each other. There had been a few skirmishes between lower echelon members. It would soon break out into full blown war if he didn’t get things under control. Bond was certain M wanted a war less than he did. It was bad for business and brought to much attention from the police and press into their world. He needed to settle things with M and soon.

He looked up to see Morty walking across the room towards him. Morty had been with Bond before he had taken over the gang. He had been involved with Jimmy Price from way back and had a violent reputation. The older black man had worked as an enforcer for Price and Temple before he ever met Bond, but when James took over, Morty was one of the first people to follow him unquestioningly. He was very dark skinned Jamaican with a scar cutting through one eyebrow. His hands were calloused and scared. The knuckles swollen from years of punching other people in the face. He had spent ten years in jail when he was found with the body of a dead man. The fact that he didn’t have the gun the man had been shot with was the only reason Morty had been paroled. The entire time he was in the ‘nick’, Morty never once told the cops who was actually responsible the young man’s death. For that loyalty alone, when Morty got out he was instantly back on the payroll with Price.

Walking beside Morty was a smaller man. Shorter and thin framed. Morty had his hand resting on the neck of a young man. Anyone watching the tall black man would have thought it was a friendly gesture, but Bond could see the frightened look in the smaller man’s eyes. James took in the young man’s appearance as Morty pulled him along. He was a few inches shorter than Morty. Dark haired and pale skin. The two men together were exact opposites. One tall, muscular with broad sloping shoulders of a boxer and the other shorter, pale, and waif thin. The man wore thick hipster glasses and seemed to look completely out of place in the club in his mustard cardigan and dark checked trousers. The young man’s eyes moved quickly left and right, as if he was looking for an escape.

Morty stopped just in front of James. The boss looked the young man up and down. His pale skin had a slight shine of sweat in the club’s light.

“Well?” James asked looking over at Morty.

“M sent him.” The black man’s Jamaican accent was strong.

Bond returned his gaze to the young man again. The man looked like he should still be in school not hanging out with the criminal element.

“You have something for me?” Bond asked. A feeling of dread began to gnaw at him. The tingle up the back of neck that something bad was going to happen.

“She sent me to you.” The young man said. His voice matched the picture of a geek. Posh and upper class. Awkward and naive.

“Yes, we established that. You have something for me?” Bond said again wondering if the young man might be dim witted.

“No, you don’t understand. She sent me. I’m the something. The present.”

Bond felt a stab in his stomach. What did M mean by sending this boy to him? Was she making a statement that she knew Bond’s preferences? Bond didn’t care if Alec was done or not. This was not a conversation he was going to have out on the dance floor of his club. He jerked his head to the side and Morty nodded his head. The three men walked through the dancers and towards the back hall. Alec and the girl be damn, things just got bad.

Chapter Text

Morty, James and the boy walked down the hallway towards the office. The music started to fade away the further they went. They turned the corner and paused in front of a heavy steel door. Bond knocked on it before opening it

There sprawled on her back, across the only desk in the room was the dark haired woman. Closer up, James could see the woman was not as young as she was dressed. She had to be well over twenty. Her legs were stretched up at a right angle to her body, held in place by Alec’s large hands. Alec’s trousers were down around his hips and his groin was shoved against the girl’s crotch. Sweat was glistening across his brow. It was obvious what they were doing.

“Do you mind?” Alec said calmly, then shouted. “Bugger off!”

James slammed the door closed. Quickly the sounds of the club were totally drowned out by the woman’s groans and Alec’s grunts. James glanced over at the young man. His pale skin had taken a lovey rosy color as embarrassment swept over him. His hazel eyes were large behind the glasses and he slowly turned to look up at Bond. When the young man was caught in Bond’s stare, his blush deepened, moving all the way up his ears. James smirked and the boy quickly looked away.

Finally there was a joint shout from Alec and the woman. James rolled his eyes and reached for the door. He was slow to open it this time. Pausing as it was half way open to shout in at his friend.

“Are you quite through this time?”

“Shut the fuck up.” Alec growled.

James pushed the door open further. Alec was zipping up his trousers and tucking his shirt back into his waistband. The woman was applying a second coat of lipstick to her already heavily painted lips. James looked her over. He had known many woman who would dress to look older to get into his club but this was the first time he met one who dressed as a teenager. He pushed her age up fifteen years. He felt relieved to know that he wouldn’t have to reprimand his front door crew for letting a fourteen year old in and he didn’t have to worry about Alec turning into a pedophile.

As she walked past Bond she glanced up at him through her thick eyelashes and winked. He could see the start of wrinkles around her eyes and creases in her lips from smoking.

“Next time maybe we can make it a three way.” She smiled. Her accent was heavy Latino.

James ignored her as she sauntered out, swaying her hips exaggeratedly. She glanced at Q as she walked pass. Bringing her finger up, she dragged it across his cheek and then down around his jaw.

“Oh, I see what you’ve got planned for round two.” The woman purred as she walked off. “Have fun boys.”

James turned back towards his friend who looked like he was the cat who just ate the canary.

“Did you at least get her name?” Bond asked.

“Lupe something.”

“Obviously.” Bond snorted and walked into the office.

Morty followed, dragging the younger man with him. He closed the door behind them. The music and noise of the club fell back to a soft hum. Alec poured himself a vodka and looked the stranger over. He nodded to James and asked.

“Problem?”

“Maybe. M sent him.” James hesitated at sitting down at his desk. He looked at the scattered papers and the suspicious wet marks on the wood before he stepped in front of the desk and leaned against it instead. “So what is M’s message?”

The young man took a glance up at the two men then seemed to gather his courage.

“I was told to tell you that M was not responsible for the attacks on your shipments from Amsterdam. That she has been hit too. Also she wants to make an alliance with you.” The young man couldn’t look the two men in the eyes any longer. He bowed his head.

James glanced over at Alec. They both shared a moment of silent conversation.

“What proof does she offer?” Alec asked.

The young man glanced up. “For what? The alliance or she wasn’t involved?”

“Both.” James said quickly.

“Like I said, she’s had her shipments hit too. Two from France and one from North Africa. Three of her men were killed.”

Bond glanced over at Morty. The black man nodded his head. “Yeah, Markham and ‘Skinny’ Lenny both were killed down on the docks. They worked freelance but M’s used them in the past.”

“Any chance she killed them herself to make it appeared she was targeted too?” Alec asked. His green eyes sharp and determined.

“Bad for business. Brings the coppers sniffing around. No, she’s not that stupid.” Morty said.

James nodded. “Okay, so she’s been target too. There’s a third player. Any idea who it is?”

The young man shook his head then glanced away from Bond. “I don’t know. I don’t think she knows.”

“The bitch knows everything.” Alec growled.

James felt that statement might be truer than he wanted it to be.

“What did you mean that you are the present?”

He watched as the blush returned to the young man’s face.

“M said I was a present. I was to be your . . . gift from her.” The young man’s voice shook.

James and Alec quickly glanced at each other.

“What did she expect us to do with you?” James asked.

“I don’t know.” The young man’s voice broke and he was shaking.

“On your knees!” Alec barked.

The young man collapsed down immediately. James looked over to see a concerned expression on Morty’s face. The older man didn’t understand what was going on but harming an innocent bystander was not something Morty tolerated easily. And this was quickly dissolving into a situation that Morty wanted to avoid if at all possibly.

“Better he kneel than pass out and hit his head.” Alec said calmly.

“Morty, go out and look around the club. Make sure no one from M’s crew is here tonight. I don’t want any surprises while we are in here. He may have been sent as a distraction.” James said.

“Sure, boss.” Morty seemed relieved to be leaving. He quickly stepped out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Alec walked slowly around the young man. Both men were letting their eyes travel up and down the thin frame. The boy was attractive. Dark wavy hair that seemed to scream for your fingers to run through it. Smooth pale skin that would look lovely with love bites coloring it. Dark red lips and large hazel green eyes. As much ethereal as real, the young man was exquisite.

“What do you think she meant by sending you to us?” James asked softly almost gently. The boy was shaking as James studied him.

The young man glanced up with pleading eyes. “I think she thought . . . you would . . .”

The young man looked like he was going to be sick. Alec poured him a glass of water and handed it to him. He grabbed it quickly and drank.

“Why did she send you?” Alec asked as calmly as James had.

“I owe her money. A lot of money. She said I could come here and do . . . do whatever you wanted or she could kill me.”

“I doubt she would kill you.” James said.

“I owe her fifty thousand pounds.” The young man said quickly.

“Fifty thousand? What for?” Alec asked.

“I needed the money to develop my program. Computer program.”

“And what happened?” James asked.

“I needed a few more months to get it ready to show investors but the bill came due. I had nothing left and she said I could either give her the program, die or come here and become your . . . toy for the night.”

James and Alec shared another glance.

“And you thought becoming our toy was a better option than just giving her your computer program. Stupid.” James said.

“It’s worth millions once I’m completed it.” The young man said quickly looking up at the two men.

Alec smiled. “Even stupider telling us that. What is your name, pet?”

“Q . . . I mean Quinton, but I prefer Q.” The young man said.

“Quinton what?” James asked already agreeing Q was a better choice.

“Quinton Wallace.”

Alec walked up beside Q and slipped his hand into the young man’s hair. He combed his fingers through the dark curls as James watched him. Q shifted and glanced up into Alec’s bright green eyes. The young man’s expression softened slightly and he slowly closed his eyes. Alec closed his fist and pulled on Q’s hair. The young man tensed but didn’t try to move away.

“Why did M think we would want someone like you as a toy?”

“I don’t know. I thought she believed you were gay, but she was wrong.” Q hissed as Alec kept a tight hold on his head.

“Maybe she thought you would be so frightened of us that you would be eager to give up your program to her instead of being raped by us?” James said as he watched his lover with the young man.

Q opened his eyes and stared up at James. “I didn’t think . . . maybe she is playing all of us.”

Alec laughed and let go of Q’s hair. “That sounds more like her. So if she really is innocent of intercepting our two shipments, then who is stealing from us?”

The three men looked at each other.

“If you want, I might be able to find out for you.” Q said from where he was still kneeling on the floor.

“How?” James asked.

“If you give me where and when your shipments were intercepted I could check CCTV feeds and various databases and see if I can get a picture of them. You wouldn’t need to give me any specifics about the route, but if you did, I could check and see if your people were followed or ambushed. It could tell us a lot about who was involved.” Q looked hopeful at the two men.

“If they were followed, the attack may have just been by chance, but if they were ambushed, then the route was known in advance and someone on our side leaked the information.” James said staring down at Q. “Why didn’t you offer this help to M instead of selling yourself to us?”

“She was holding a gun on me, why would I offer to help her? She threatened me with you. Neither one of you has seemed interested in . . . harming me much.” Q said as his cheeks took on a slight pink color.

Alec and James looked at each other again. A smile came to Alec’s face as he stepped back away from Q. James pushed himself off the edge of his desk and stepped forward.

“So you don’t think we would bend you over this desk and take turns?” James teased as he loomed over the kneeling man.

Q looked up at James. His eyes wide with fear but James could see Q was fighting to gain control of it.

“I think if you were really interested in that you would have already done it. Besides, Mister Trevelyan hasn’t recovered yet since his last encounter. I believe M was mistaken about you.”

James squatted down so he was eye level with Q. A smile on his face. “You are wrong, pet. Alec and me are both interested but not inclined. Get up and get out.”

Q’s eyes had grown bigger. His mouth fell open before he could stop it. James stood back up and turned away from the kneeling man. James went to the liquor bottles sitting on top of the cabinet in the room. He poured himself a large tumbler of scotch. When he turned around Q was still kneeling on the floor.

“I said leave.”

“But . . . but what about M? She’ll kill me if she sees me without you? She’ll think I didn’t give myself to you.”

“Tell her we fucked you from left to right. You could barely walk afterwards. We threw you out after we were done with you.” Alec said as he poured another vodka.

“But . . .” Q sounded like he was almost begging as he slowly climbed to his feet.

“But nothing,” James snapped at him. “We may be cold hearted bastards that sell drugs and murder people, but we are not rapists. Get out!”

Q dropped his head. His eyes focused on his toes. “May I leave by the back door? I don’t want to be seen going out the front just in case M has some one watching the door.”

For a moment James and Alec stared at the young man. He wasn’t giving any more argument to leave, but he also seemed resigned to his fate if M caught up to him again.

“How are you going to get home?” James asked.

“I’ll walk.”

“It’s still raining. Can you catch the ‘tube’?” Alec asked.

“No, I like walking in the rain.” Q said still not looking up.

James and Alec shared a glance, then James set his alcohol down. “Com’ on. I’ll get you a taxi out the back.”

James stepped forward and took Q by the elbow. The young man glanced up at the blonde, but allowed himself to be pulled out of the office. As soon as they were out in the hallway again, the music and noise from the club hit them again. Instead of turning right to go back into the main room of the Layer Cake, James turned left. He headed towards a black fire door. Pushing on it, Q heard the quick sound of an alarm going off. James pushed the young man out into the alley behind the club and let the door close behind them. The alarm immediately shut off.

The rain was still coming down. It was cold and its icy fingers were clawing at the two men as they walked out of the alley and back onto the main road. The front door of the club was around the corner and they were out of sight from the line of people waiting to get in. James waved his hand and whistled. A cab pulled up to the kerb and Bond pushed Q over to it. Just as he opened the door for the backseat of the cab, there was a bright flash of light, then a rush of heat and air.

James and Q were shoved forward and into the side of the vehicle. James’ shoulder slammed hard into the metal. He hit his head on the side of the cab and slid down to the pavement.

There was explosion and crash. Q looked up to see the back wall of the club collapse into rubble. Flames were already beginning to take hold and grow. People were shouting and some woman was screaming. Q could see the injured slowly climb out of the bombed nightclub. In the distance the sound of sirens were already approaching.

Q looked down and saw James semi-conscious on the ground. He struggled to pick the blonde up and push him into the backseat of the cab.

“GO!” Q shouted at the drive.

“Wait a minute, mate! Was that a bomb?!” The cabbie gasped.

“YES, NOW GO! BEFORE THE COPS GET HERE!”

The taxi took off quickly. Its tires squealing on the wet tarmac.

Chapter Text

Bond woke to the smell of cooking bacon. He slowly opened his eyes as the morning light slipped pass the shades. It was two heart beats later that Bond groaned and closed his eyes again. The pounding in his head was merciless. He bought up his hands and smoothed them down his face wishing he was still asleep.

Opening his eyes again, he looked around the room. He didn’t recognize anything. He struggled to sit up. His head felt like it was going to explode. He sunk his face again into his hands trying to remember why and where he was.

The last thing he remember was being at the club with Alec. There was a kid there with them. Q. Bond glanced around the room again. It appeared to be a dingy bedroom in a council flat. He could hear the sounds of street traffic outside the window as well as shouting from one of the other flats. Inside the room there were few furnishings. A double bed, a bed stand with a light. A set of drawers and a chair. He slipped his feet out from under the thin blanket and set them down on the cold floor. Bond noticed he was still dressed in some of the clothes he had on the night before. He didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad one.

He struggled to remember. Alec and Q. The club. M had sent the boy over as a gift. Bond shook his head trying to clear it. ‘Why did it hurt so bad?’ he wondered. ‘It must have been the explosion.’

EXPLOSION! Bond sat up straight and glanced around himself again. There had been an explosion at his club. He and Q were out on the side street when the whole back wall of the building exploded out. A bomb. Probably in the office.

Suddenly, everything slipped into place. Alec had been in the office. He had been there when the bomb went off. Alec must have been killed. But where was Bond and why was he here? Bond struggled to his feet and shuffled towards what he thought was the door. He opened it to find a small bathroom inside.

On second thought, a bathroom was just what he needed. He stepped inside and leaned up against the counter. He looked at himself in the mirror over the sink. There was dry blood in his hair. A dark purple bruise along the side of his face was visible. Tentatively he pressed at the margins of bruise and his hairline. It was sore but nothing seemed broken. He turned on the tap and splashed the cold water on his face. The world became sharper but the pain also intensified. For a second Bond thought he might vomit. He leaned forward against the counter wondering how he had gotten here and more important where was here.

“Oh, there you are.”

Bond stood up straight and looked at Q’s refection in the mirror.

“How are you feeling?” Q asked. He was standing in a pair of sleep pants and a ratty t-shirt.

James turned and looked the young man over. As good as he looked last night on his knees in James’ office, he looked even better this morning with sleep tossed hair and pleasant un-kept look to him. His skin was still pale but had more color to it and his dark red lips seemed plumber and ready to be kissed. The barest hint of beard growth could be seen shadowing his pale skin. For a moment Bond felt guilty he wasn’t able to appreciate the young man more but he didn’t think his body could support his libido.

“What happened?” James asked trying to steady himself against the counter.

Q saw how shaky James was. He set down a mug full of coffee and reach his arms around James’ waist and shoulder to support him. Bond tried to wave the boy away but Q ignored him.

“How about we get you back to bed.” Q offered.

“NO!” James tried to bark but his legs started to buckle under him.

Q didn’t wait for him to agree. He carefully guided James back to the bed. There was tray sitting on top of the covers, with a plate of butter toast and some bacon, fried up. Q helped James to sit down. The young man moved the food out of the way, then lifted James’ legs and laid them back down on the bed. He then turned and went back into the bathroom to retrieve the mug of coffee he had left there.

“We were leaving the club last night when there was an explosion. You hit your head on the taxi so brought you here. We’re in my flat.” Q said as he held out the coffee to James. “Would you like some paracetamol?”

“You set the bomb?” James asked in a deadly whisper looking up at Q through hooded eyes.

Q took a step back. A frightened look in his eyes.

“NO, it wasn’t me.”

“Who then?”

“I don’t know. Maybe M?”

Bond thought for a moment. Then reached up for the mug.

“Not her style. Is Alec dead?”

“I don’t know. His name was mentioned as one of the ones killed.”

James eyes flashed up at Q. In that moment, the young man knew the absolute fear and the pure terror that James brought to his work. Q wanted to run but was frozen in place.

“Where is my wallet and mobile?” James voice was still deadly.

“In the drawer. I only used a few notes to pay for the taxi. I hope you don’t mind.”

Q moved towards the bed stand but James hand flew out and stopped him. He pulled the drawer open while he stared at Q. Feeling around in the drawer, James pulled out his mobile and wallet. Then he reached back in and removed his handgun.

“You left this here? Where I could get it?” He held the gun up for Q to see.

“I thought you would want it close by.”

James looked carefully at Q then nodded. He finally took a sip of the hot coffee. Dropping the gun into his lap, James picked up his mobile and looked at the screen. Twenty missed calls. James pressed the buttons and held the phone up to listen to his voice messages. As soon as he heard Alec’s voice, James closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh. Alec was safe.

Q glanced around the room then back to the tray of food. He quickly picked up the tray and then held it out for James to see.

“Breakfast?”

James nodded and Q set the tray down on the bed again. James picked up a piece of toast, and took a bite out of it.

“So you brought me home?” James asked as he chewed.

“I didn’t know what else to do. Fifteen people were killed in the explosion. Two dozen more were hurt.” Q said, keeping his eyes lowered. “They said it was a gas leak, but I hacked into the police, and there is a preliminary report from the arson unit saying they thought it was a bomb.”

“You found all that out in just a few hours? How long have you been up?” James asked as he finished off his coffee.

Q took the mug away from him and went to stand up, but Bond grabbed the young man’s wrist and pulled him back down on to the bed.

“It only took me an hour to get into the police database. I don’t sleep much and I’ve been up for hours. It’s almost nine.”

James glanced towards the drawn shades. The sun was shining today. No rain.

“How long was I out?”

“You collapsed in the taxi. The driver helped me get you into my flat. I hope you don’t mind but I used the money in your wallet to pay him. I didn’t have any myself. I got you into the bed and I woke you every half hour to make sure you were okay.”

James let go his wrist. “I’ll take that paracetamol now, if you are still offering it?”

“Yeah, sure.” Q turned to bathroom then turned back. “More coffee too?”

“Black this time. No sugar.”

Q nodded his head and rushed off to retrieve the painkillers. As soon as Q disappeared, James quickly texted a message to Alec. As soon as Q returned with the paracetamol, the mobile rang in James’ hand. Q stood watching James but the blonde didn’t answer it.

“Coffee?” James said as he raised an eyebrow.

Q glanced down at the man then the mobile ringing in his hand.

“Oh, yeah, privacy. Sorry.”

Quickly, Q left James alone to answer the call.

“Alec.” James said causally.

“Don’t you fucking act like I haven’t be scouring the city looking for you? I thought you were buried under the rubble in the alley when you didn’t answer any of my calls. I’ve been fucking crazy for the last eleven hours. Where are you?”

James could hear the fear and frustration in his lover’s voice.

“At the kid’s flat. Q.”

“WHAT?!” Alec screamed down the phone line. “I’ve been thinking you were dead and you’ve been fucking that little fluff?!”

“No, haven’t touched him. Apparently, I was knocked out by the blast. The kid got me out of there before anyone knew what happened. He saved me, Alec.” James kept his voice calm and low.

Q knocked on the door before coming back in the room and set the fresh mug of coffee down on the bed stand. He nodded once to James then turned to leave.

“Alright, so the kid saved your life.” Alec seemed to calm down. “James . . . Morty is dead.”

James eyes focused on something in the middle distance. He flashed back over the years of Morty and their exploits together. The man’s dry wit and stoic attitude. His strength and gentleness.

“What happened, Alec?” James asked. A cold detached tone in his voice.

“It was a bomb, not a gas leak like they are reporting. In the office. After you left with the kid, Morty came in and said Clarkie needed me. I had just stepped out into the main room when the explosion happened. Morty was still in the office. Clarkie was crushed under part of a wall. He’s in hospital. A bunch of patrons were killed or injured. Everyone else came through with just scratches.”

“How’d a bomb get into the office? You, me, and Morty are the only ones in there routinely.” James asked.

“Q was in there last night.” Alec said.

“How could Q plant a bomb, on his knees with us looking at him? And if he did set the bomb to kill us, why did he save me? He could have disappeared after I was unconscious and we would never know where to look for him.”

The two men were quiet for a moment. James remembered there was someone else the office last night. Someone who was alone with just one person to watch her.

“Alec?”

“No, I never took my eyes off her.”

“Are you sure?”

Alec was quiet for a moment, then said. “Maybe I turned my back on her when she asked for a drink. I got us each a vodka. It would have been less than a minute.”

“Last night, Q said M was being targeted too. That there was third player. Do you think they sent that woman in to club? That this third player was trying to kill both of us?” James asked.

“Last night the kid said he could help us track down who had hit our shipments. Do you think he could find Lupe?”

James thought for a moment. Then pulled the phone down from his lips.

“Q, get in here.” James shouted.

The young man quickly opened the door and came into the room. James held the phone out to him.

“Give him the address and tell him to get over here. Bring me some clean clothes.” James threw the covers off his legs. “I’m going to take a shower.” James picked up his gun and checked to make sure it was still loaded.

Q watched as James pulled the slide on the gun back verifying there was a round already in the chamber.

“Why am I doing all this?” Q asked suspiciously as James started to unbutton his shirt.

“Last night you told us that M gave you to us. You were our pet. Well, snap to it pet. You’re not free until I decide to set you free.”

Chapter Text

For the eleven hours when he didn’t know if his lover was alive or dead, Alec had been frantic. He had searched ever where he thought James would be. Then he went to places he never thought James would go. He had finally gathered up enough resolve to go to the morgue and look at the unidentified bodies. Then he got the text message.

‘Alive and missing you’

Alec wasn’t sure if he was going to kiss James or punch his smug face. He suddenly felt lightheaded, like a weight had been removed from his chest and air was finally reaching his lungs. He sat down hard and read the message again. Then he quickly pressed the speed dial. It took far too long for James to answer the phone. Then he heard the deep voice of James.

“Alec.”

“Don’t you fucking act like I haven’t be scouring the city looking for you? I thought you were buried under the rubble in the alley when you didn’t answer any of my calls. I’ve been fucking crazy for the last eleven hours. Where are you?”

James quickly told him he was with Q. Anxiety and fear quickly gave way to anger and jealousy. Alec had been terrified James was dead in the rubble and instead he was having a lay-in at the boffin’s flat.

“No, haven’t touched him. Apparently, I was knocked out by the blast. The kid got me out of there before anyone knew what happened. He saved me, Alec.”

Alec could tell that James was talking softly. Apparently he didn’t want to be overheard by anyone else in the flat. Alec felt a wave of guilt come over him. How could he be jealous of James and boy when Alec had been shagging that woman not twelve hours earlier? Then explosion and all the people killed. Their friends killed.

“James, Morty is dead.” Alec said quietly. “Clarkie is in hospital.”

“What happened?”

“It was a bomb. Probably set in the office.”

“How’d a bomb get into the office? You, me, and Morty are the only ones in there routinely.” James asked.

“Q was in there last night.” Alec said.

“How could Q plant a bomb, on his knees with us looking at him? And if he did set the bomb to kill us, why did he save me? He could have disappeared after I was unconscious and we would never know where to look for him.”

The two men were quiet as they thought. Then it hit Alec like a punch in the stomach.

“Alec?” Apparently the same realization came to James at the same time.

“No, I never took my eyes off her.”

Alec was trying to convince himself as much as James. Images of the night flashed before his eyes. The woman sought him out on the dance floor. She made a point of dancing next to him. Rubbing up against him. Letting her willingness be very apparent. He remembered it was her who suggested they find a quiet spot. As soon as they were in the office, she was on Alec. Kissing him and pushing him across the room towards the desk. As soon as they bumped into the desk, she asked for a drink. Alec had to pick her up off him, and go back to the cabinet where the bottles were stored. When he turned around, she was leaning against the desk. A hungry expression on her face. Her dark brown eyes laced with desire. Her small purse was open and laying on the desk. Her panties wadded up beside her purse.

It had only been a few seconds. Maybe a minute but that was all. He wondered if it was enough time for her to place something around the desk. Maybe the purse was the bomb. Did she leave it in the office? He didn’t remember. Did she push it off the desk when they were fucking? Did she hide it somewhere in the office when he wasn’t looking?

“Look, I’m on my way over there.” Alec said.

“Bring me some clothes. We will get Q help us track your girlfriend down.”

Alec felt gutted. He was probably responsible for the bomb being planted in the office.

“James, I’m sorry.”

“Alec . . . It is obvious that she wanted to kill you and me. If she hadn’t planted the bomb in the office, she would have planted it in the main room. More people would have been killed. Strangely enough, you may have saved a lot of lives by taking her in there. I just can’t believe she would be willing to fuck you before she tried to kill you.” James said trying to make his partner feel better.

“She was cold. I’ll check in with everyone then get over to you. Stay put. I won’t be long.”

Alec disconnected the phone and quickly packed a backpack with clothes for James. He still wasn’t sure how James ended up in Q’s flat, but it seemed like he owed the young man his gratitude for saving James’ life.

Alec had quickly checked in with the various members of his gang after he had spoken to James and was heading out of their flat. He had parked his car in the garage that was a block away from the building. As he stepped out onto the pavement, he turned and walked quickly towards the garage. He passed several display windows of the shops along the street.

He glanced up and saw his reflection in the shop windows. The stores were still closed but would be opening in the next half hour. The street was almost empty of traffic and only a few people were out walking on the pavement. He glanced over again and noticed the black saloon. It was driving slower than normal for the street. Almost like they were looking for a specific street address.

Alec quickened his steps to cross in front of the car. Just as he started to step off the kerb, the car sped up. Alec jumped back from the street as the car swerved towards the pavement. Alec dove to the side and behind a heavy metal bench that was bolted down to the ground. The car swiped the bench. The sound of scratching metal and squealing tires could be heard over the shouts of by-standers. Alec rolled to his side and saw just two letters on the tag. The car sped off down the street and disappeared in the traffic.

Two strangers came over and helped Alec up to feet. An elderly man and a younger woman.

“Mister! Are you alright!?” The woman was almost hysterical. “They tried to kill you!”

“I think you’re exaggerating.” Alec said, trying to stand.

“He drove right at you!” The woman claimed.

“They were probably texting. Not paying attention.” Alec gently pushed the woman and man away from himself. “No harm done.”

“You should call the police.” The man said.

Alec looked at him carefully.

“Did you get the license plate?” Alec asked.

“No, it happened to quickly, but I could describe the car.”

“Let me guess, black saloon with tinted windows.”

“Yeah.” The man agreed, then realized it wasn’t much of a description. “I’d still call the police.”

Alec brushed down his clothes and picked up the backpack with James’ things in it.

“No reason to get them involve. Wouldn’t even be able to identify the driver as male or female.”

Alec gave the pair a hard stare and the man and woman backed away from him. He glanced up and down the street again before he stepped off the kerb to cross over to the carpark. Alec lied. He knew it was a male driver and although he didn’t know who the man was, he knew he would know that face again if he ever saw it.

~Q~

M hated being wrong. It was an irritant she didn’t want to deal with. She prided herself on being able to read people and knowing how they would react before they even did. In her seventy-three years, her being wrong very rarely happened. Since she took over her former husband’s business, thirty-five years ago, she could count on one hand how many times she had been wrong about someone.

But she had been wrong about Quinton Wallace. She thought as soon as she had threatened him with physical harm at the hands of Bond and Trevelyan, the boy would instantaneously crumble and hand over all of his inventions and programs to her. He didn’t. She thought on the drive over to the Layer Cake club, the boy would start crying and beg to be brought back to her. But he didn’t. Felix Leiter walked the young man into the club and handed him off to Morty. Not once did Quinton ask to be returned to M. He bravely met his fate and held tight to his possessions.

M didn’t believe that Bond or Trevelyan would harm the boy. There had been rumors that the two men were actually bi-sexual and not straight, but she didn’t believe they would rape the young man. They were just props M was using to convince the young man to hand over his computer program that even by her conservative estimates was worth millions of pounds. Legal and taxable millions.

It could have been the start of something she had wanted to do over the last ten years. Make her criminal organization legitimate. Bring it out of the sewer and into the light of a thriving money making industry. It was time. She had been doing this for too long and she wanted to retire, but you couldn’t retire from the rackets. M needed to pull herself and her organization out to become legal so she could finally walk away without having to look over her shoulder anymore.

She was a grandmother but she had never been able to see her grandson. It was too dangerous. Her enemies would use her daughter and her grandson against her if they could. M wanted to change that. As cut throat as big business was, you didn’t need to worry about bombs or drive-by shootings while running a multimillion pound legitimate company.

But she had underestimated the resilience of the young man, Quinton. All of her plotting had backfired. She had given him the loan knowing there was no way he would be able to pay her back in the time she allotted him. It had been her hope that she would fold the young man into the organization and with his intelligence and creativity, bring the whole group forward. Now it was too late.

She glanced down at the newspaper sitting on her desk. The headline boldly told of the carnage from the bombing. Quinton’s name was not included in the list of the dead, but Felix had said the last time he saw the boy was when he was being escorted back to the office. The office where the explosion took place. The newspaper stated it was a suspected gas leak, but also speculated that since the club was the known location of various criminal activities, foul play couldn’t be ruled out.

Snatching her mobile from the desk, she pressed the speed dial.

“Tanner. Come get me. I want to go in and meet with every one of my lieutenants. I want to know if any of them took it upon themselves to rid me of Bond and Trevelyan.”

“I’m already on my way, ma’am. We should be at your home in ten minutes.” Tanner’s usually calm voice seemed tense today.

M didn’t even respond to the news her second in command had anticipated her need to take things in hand. She read through the newspaper article again, refusing to turn the television on and watch reporting there. The television news programs had devolved into more speculation and self-aggrandizing than actual news. She despised them.

Dropping the paper on her desk, M marched out of her office. Her butler met her at the door with her coat and briefcase ready for her. He quickly slipped the coat on over her shoulders and reached for door.

“Shall we be expecting you home for dinner, ma’am?” He asked with his solicitous voice.

“No, I will be late tonight.”

“Yes, ma’am. I will have a cold dinner ready for your return.”

“Thank you, Bernard.” M said as she walked forcefully out the door. Her heels clicking on the wooden floor.

The Jaguar XJ was just pulling up in front of her house. M quickly walked down the stone stairs as Tanner jumped out of the front passenger seat and opened the back door for her. Tanner then quickly rushed around the back of the car and got into the backseat form the opposite side of the car. As soon as his door was closed, the car took off.

The car swiftly blended into traffic and headed to M’s office. The office was inside her bonded warehouse near Battersea Power station. She had been working hard for several years now to establish a legal business that would supplant her illegal one. She had legitimate shipping companies and several warehouses where properly taxed and tariffed goods were stored.

“Well, what do we know?” M asked as Tanner opened the case sitting on his lap.

“Bond’s and Trevelyan’s names were not listed as dead or injured. Leiter saw both of them at the Layer Cake before the blast so they were there. We aren’t certain it was a bomb. No one is taking credit.”

“Of course it was a bomb.” M hissed. “The question is are we responsible for it?”

“I’ve notified the lieutenants you wanted to see them. Crammer and Denbigh won’t be able to be there. Both are out of the city. They are in the middle of shipments. Everyone else will be there in an hour.” Tanner said as he handed over two different newspapers he knew M hadn’t seen yet.

M quickly glanced through the articles to see if there was anything different than what she had read earlier.

Suddenly the car lurched forward as the driver slammed on the brakes. The case on Tanner’s lap flew forward out of his grasp. M cursed and looked up at the car that just had cut them off. It had stopped in traffic for no apparent reason. A sharp realization hit both M and Tanner at the same time. M twisted to look over her shoulder. Yes it was there. A motorcycle with two people on coming up quickly between the cars.

“Tanner!” M shouted.

The man next to her reacted faster than she did. He removed both of their seatbelts and pulled her down into the wheel well. The gun was Mac-10. The rapid fire peppered the Jaguar with 9mm projectiles. The sound of glass shattering and tearing metal matched the sound of the gun firing. Tanner threw his body over M’s. The interior of the car was shredded. The expensive leather seats were sprayed with blood. The upholstery torn. The wooden accents splintered. Then it was over. Less than four seconds. Almost a thirty rounds littered the inside of the car.

Tanned kept his hand pressed down on M’s back as he slowly lifted his head. He glanced around the destroyed car.

“Tanner?” M’s voice was muffled in the wheel well.

Tanner let go of M’s back.

“You may want to stay down there, ma’am.” Tanner said.

By-standers were slowly approaching the car. In the distance, Tanner could hear a siren approaching.

M twisted and looked up into Tanner’s pale face. “The driver?”

“Dead. We need to get out of here. Can you walk?”

“Yes. Let’s go, before someone else decides we are responsible for Bond and Trevelyan.”

“I don’t know if it was their gang. They are not known for such violent retaliation.” Tanner said as he helped M out of the car.

She stood for a moment, steading herself as Tanner brushed the broken glass off her dress. M looked over and noticed blood on Tanner’s coat.

“You’ve been hit.”

He looked down. Surprised he wiped the blood away and more blood came rushing out. He swayed a bit, then slumped down to the tarmac.

“Oh my God, I am hit. It must be the adrenaline.”

M rushed to his side and helped him sit down next to the car. “The ambulance will be here soon, Bill. Don’t worry. I won’t leave you.”

“But ma’am . . .”

“No, I won’t.” M said with determination.

If Bond’s and Trevelyan’s gang was responsible for this she would see every one of them burning in hell.

Chapter Text

Q was still dressed in his t-shirt and sleep bottoms when the pounding at his flat door started. He cautiously stepped over to the door and looked through the peep-hole. He could see Trevelyan. The blonde appeared to still be wearing his clothes from the night before. There was dried blood on his shirt and his jacket was torn at the sleeve.

Q glanced behind himself. The bedroom door was closed and he could hear the water running in the shower. James said he wanted to clean himself up. Trevelyan started banging on the door again.

“Open this fucking door, or I’ll kick it in!” Alec shouted.

Q quickly removed the chain and unlocked the dead-bolt. He only had the door opened a few inches, when Alec pushed himself in. He knocked the smaller man out of the way as he stormed into the flat.

“Where is he?” Alec demanded.

Q quickly regained himself and closed the door. Slipping the security chain back into place.

“Taking a shower.” Q said.

Alec spun around and wrapped his hand around Q’s throat. He pinned the young man to the door and glared at him.

“Why didn’t you call me? Let me know he was okay.”

“I didn’t have your number and I didn’t want to use Bond’s mobile without his permission. I honestly didn’t think you were alive. The back wall of the club exploded out at us. I thought you were killed in the explosion.” The words rushed out of Q.

Just then the bedroom door opened and James stepped out. His blonde hair was spiky and mink brown, still wet with water. His bare chest had a light shine across the sculptured lines of defined muscles. His only covering, a bath towel, was wrapped low around his hips. The trail of damp hair from his navel down disappeared under the terrycloth. The two blondes turned to each other.

“You fucking wanker.” Alec said with a sigh.

He let go of Q and within two strides, the two men were at each other. Arms wrapped around bodies. They didn’t kiss as much as attacked each other with their mouths. Sighs and groans as the two lovers reunited.

Q quickly turned around and stared at the wall. His face flushed pink as he listened to the moans and the sounds of the two men kissing.

‘Alec and me are both interested but not inclined.’ Q remembered what James had said to him the night before. They were interested in him but weren’t going to have sex with him. They were both bi-sexual but not going to force him. They didn’t need to force anyone. Two of the most gorgeous men Q had ever seen slept with each other. It just didn’t seem fair. At that moment, Q realized he had been interested in them too. He didn’t want to admit it. Not when he had been sent to them to be punished for refusing M. But now that he knew he didn’t even stand a chance at enticing one of them into his bed, did he really want them. Both of them.

Q’s scalp tingled from where Alec had pulled his hair the night before. The sensation of being dominated by the man simply by saying ‘kneel’ sent another rush of warmth through Q’s loins. It was ridiculous. It was insane. Why would he now be so powerfully drawn to these two dangerous men when he knew they only wanted each other?

“Q, get your computer.”

Q was pulled back from his thoughts by James’ voice. He could tell the two men had stopped kissing. He turned around only to be stunned into complete immobility. James was naked. The towel he had been wearing had dropped to the floor. Alec was handing over a pair of cotton pants for James to slip on.

James Bond was stunning and Q was left speechless. He watched as James slipped the pants on and Alec handed him a pair of blue jeans from a backpack. James glanced up at the dazed expression on Q’s face and grinned.

“See something you like?” James asked coquettishly. Q’s blush deepened. “Computer? You said last night you could hack into the CCTV system.” James said as he slipped the jeans on over his muscles thighs.

Alec glanced over at the younger man and laughed. He could see the infatuation in Q’s expression. The embarrassment as well as the desire.

“So exactly why were you here last night, James?” Alec asked.

“Ask him, I don’t remember a bloody thing after leaving the club.”

Alec glanced at Q who was trying to shake himself back into speaking. His hands flaying at his sides.

“The explosion . . . uhm . . . James flagged down a taxi for me when the explosion threw him against the car. He was knocked out. I pushed him into the car and got him out of there before the police arrived. I didn’t know where else to go so I brought him here.”

“Does M know where you live?” Alec asked coolly.

“Yes, but why . . . oh, I didn’t think.” Q realized if M wanted them dead, she would come looking for them here once she knew they had survived the bombing.

James was slipping a t-shirt on. “Grab whatever you need for a few days. You are coming with us.”

“But I’m not . . .” Q looked at the two men and their intense stare. It would be next to impossible to say no to them. “Okay.” Q took a step towards his bedroom but James and Alec were blocking his way. He hesitated for a moment, shifting from one foot to the next. Alec smiled at the young man awkwardness, while James reached out and took Q by the shoulders.

“You said you could help us find out who was behind the hijackings. Now, I want you to find out who tried to kill us. After you do that, you are free.”

“But you said . . . You said I was your pet. You weren’t going to let me go.”

Q suddenly couldn’t decide if he wanted to stay with them or leave. James eyes studied Q carefully, scanning over the man face carefully.

“Q, you don’t need to be afraid us.”

The young nodded then pulled back out of James’s reach. He stepped around the man and rushed into his bedroom. Alec and James watched as the young man retreated. Alec leaned over into James’ space.

“Should I be jealous?” Alec whispered.

“Of me or him?” James asked, smiling back at his lover.

~Q~

Alec wanted to take James and Q to his safe house but Q insisted they make a stop first. It was a lock-up in Canning Town, just north of the Royal Victoria Docks. The dilapidated building had a row of garages with padlocked doors. The doors were so small even Q had to duck to enter into the dark room beyond. The walls of Q’s lock-up were old brick and stone. The floor was unpainted concrete. It was cold and dark inside the small room. Like being underground. It made Alec nervous as Q turned on the bare light bulb lamp. James walked in and looked at the various object on the shelves around the room. Q went to a table that was pushed up against the back wall where two more computers were along with an electrical cords, a dissecting scope and a soldering iron.

James was still entranced by the various gadgets sitting on the shelves. There were scopes for guns, and wrist watches. There were also detonators and blasting caps. James cleared his throat and Alec glanced up at him. James waved the other man over and pointed out the detonators. Alec nodded his head.

Then James’ attention landed on two small items. They were flesh tone plastic and cone shaped with tiny wires coming out of each that were wrapped in clear tubing. James held up the two small curves of tubing. “What are these?”

Q glanced up at James then back to the computers he was packing away in a messenger bag.

“Those are two way com-links.”

James looked at the miniature radios. “You’re joking.”

“No, I’ve seen the larger ones that were being used by the secret service and thought I could do better.”

“What is their distance?” James asked turning them over in his fingers.

“Not sure. I’ve never been able to do any practical trials. Maybe a few miles. I haven’t actually ever shown any of this stuff to anyone.” Q looked away from James and Alec.

The two blondes glanced at each other.

“Why not?” asked Alec.

“I didn’t think . . . I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of a nine to five job. You know working in an office. If I was able to sell my ideas, then what would they expect of me. I don’t want to be a drone for some defense contractor or tech company.”

“Why do you have bomb making material?” Alec asked calmly but there was a deep threat percolating up in his voice.

Q paused in his packing and glanced up at the two men standing next to the shelves with the detonators.

“I was working on miniaturizing a self-contained bomb. You know like in a watch or pen. Something you could put next to a door to open it. I needed to know how the detonator worked so I could make it smaller. More effective. I haven’t actually built any bombs. I don’t have any explosives.” Q explained hoping he alleviated their concern.

“So M didn’t ask you to build any bombs for her?” Alec asked as he stepped closer to Q.

The young man suddenly felt trapped in the small lock-up. He glanced at the open door behind James and Alec. He wondered if he could make it before they grabbed him.

“She didn’t know about the detonators. She never asked me to build anything for her. No one has ever seen any of this stuff . . . I mean no one but you two.”

“And if we could get you some explosives . . . could you build us something . . . small?” James asked.

Q blinked several times at the request. “If that is what you want, I could take my designs to the next level.”

James nodded and slipped the two way com-links into his pocket. “Do you have everything you wanted? Can we go?”

Q turned back to the table and grabbed the last of the computer cords and two spare thumb drives. He closed the flap on the messenger back and turned to leave, but before he could reach the door, Alec grabbed his arm.

“Convince me we should trust you.” Alec’s voice was deep and threatening. He was not as easily convinced as James.

Q sputtered then pulled against Alec’s hold on his arm. He looked up into Alec’s green eyes.

“M threatened to kill me. She held a gun to my head and told me to give her either the money or my program. When I refused, she said you would take care of me. You are a criminal like her. You carry guns and shoot people. You seemed like the less reliable individual here. Tell me why ‘I’ should trust you?”

Alec looked stunned at the young man’s resolve. James just laughed. He stepped forward and wrapped his arm around Q’s shoulders. The younger man stiffened but didn’t pull away from the touch.

“Obviously we all need to learn to trust each other. Do you think M set that bomb to kill you as well as us?” James asked Q.

“It would solve two problems at once.” Q said. “I believe she is known for her efficacy.”

“That she is.” Alec said as he let go of Q’s arm. “But if you are dead, could she get her money back or get this computer program of yours?”

Q’s hand unconsciously smoothed over the messenger bag. He glanced away from James’ and Alec’s stare.

“No, I don’t think so. I don’t want to believe she could get it.”

“Or she could have and she will be trying again. To kill all of us and get the program.” James said. His arm still slung of Q’s shoulders.

“No. Not now.” Q said looking back up at the two men.

“Why not?”

“Because now, we are going to work together.”

Chapter Text

“Is that her?” Q asked. He actually didn’t pay much attention to the woman the previous night.

His fingers were rapidly typing away as he hacked into various CCTV feeds. He had quickly gotten into the logs from the previous night and he was now going through camera angles to get the best photo of Lupe. Alec leaned over the young man’s shoulder and glared at the grainy picture of the young woman getting into a car. Her short black hair was falling across one side of her face, but he remembered the bright stripped blouse she was wearing. It carried the scent of tropical flowers on it. Gardenias and hibiscus. Alec glanced down at the time date in the corner of the screen. It was just minutes after she had left the office. She must have rushed from the club as quickly as she could.

“Yeah, that’s her. She got out of there as quickly as she could.”

Q zeroed the screen in on the car’s plates. He wrote down the plate numbers. Q twisted in his chair to reach another computer and started typing. He pulled the photo from the first screen and placed it into another program. Within seconds, the multiple photos of other woman started streaming rapidly beside Lupe’s photo.

“Facial recognition?” Alec asked surprised.

“My own program. It is faster than the one the Met uses. I based it on eye spacing and nose length instead of head shape. It is not hindered by wigs or beards.” Q explained. Although, he didn’t want to tell Alec that sunglasses tended to throw it off. He turned back to the first computer and opened another screen. He started typing and Alec glanced over his shoulder.

“Are you hacking into the Metropolitan?” Alec asked.

“I’m checking for the registration on that car.”

The three men were in the safe house in East Ham. It was the whole upstairs in a Victorian town house. The entrance was a back door that led to a flight of stairs. The flat had two bedrooms and small sitting room and kitchen. The bathroom had a large footed tub with a shower curtain that could be pulled around it for showers. The furnishings were mismatched but comfortable. The large windows looked down on both the front and back entrances to the house.

Alec’s car was parked in a carport that took up the old back garden of the house. He had thought about moving the car further away from them but decided it would be better to be close in case they had to leave quickly.

Q had commandeered the kitchen table and had his three computers set up on it. Each computer was presently engaged in the search for Lupe.

Alec watched Q work. He remained silent as the young man worked first through the CCTV recordings then slipped effortlessly into the MET’s network. Alec raised an eyebrow when he noticed Q had also hacked into Interpol. Using their records to compare with the picture they had of Lupe.

“Is this the program M wanted?” Alec asked.

Q paused for a moment in his typing. “The facial recognition? No.” He returned to typing. “This was just a lark. I wanted to see if I could make a better program and I did.”

“You’re fucking kidding me.” Alec teased. “You do this for fun?”

“Well, yes. Of course.” Q seemed surprised by Alec’s comments.

James had been reading the different newspapers Alec had brought with them. He had been half listening to Alec and Q from the sitting room. He looked up and watched as Alec started question Q about the facial recognition.

“What about the other computer program? The one M wanted.” James asked.

He stood up and walked the short distance into the kitchen. James watched the photos switch rapidly next to the photo of Lupe. He set his hand on Q’s shoulder.

“What was so special about the program M wanted?”

Q could feel the heat from James’ hand through his clothing. For a moment he wondered how it would feel to have James’ hand on his bare skin. Q shook his head forcing himself back to the computer screen and searches.

“It is a program that uses an algorithms to prevent hacking into a secure network system.” Q said quietly.

“If the system is secure then how can it be hacked?” Alec asked as he stepped closer towering over the younger man who was sitting.

“Any system is susceptible to hacking. Many are secured to one degree or another, but there is no such thing as a completely hack-proof system. I mean if I really wanted to, I could get into MI6 or the CIA. FSB is actually quite easy. I’ve been there several times.”

“Do you speak Russian?” James smiled at the young man. Q shook his head.

“No, I used another program I wrote to translate documents in real time.” Q was getting excited. No one had ever asked him so many questions about his work before.

“I can understand now why M wanted to manipulate you into joining her. She saw you as a money making source. If half of your programs you’ve told us about work for real, then you are a future millionaire.” James said. He squeezed Q’s shoulder with is hand. “Why haven’t you tried to sell some of this stuff? Like to the government?”

“I tried once. I almost got arrested-they thought I was trying to hack into the defense system. Accused me of cyber terrorism.” Q almost whined. James and Alec laughed.

“Their loss, our gain.” James said.

Just then the computer running the facial recognition pinged. All three men turned to see the photo of Lupe next to a mug shot from Interpol.

“Lupe Lamora.” Q read the name. “She’s a Colombian national. She is wanted for armed robbery, drug trafficking and . . . murder.” Q glanced up at James and Alec.

The two blondes were studying the woman’s face. Memorizing every detail. Q twisted in the chair until he was in front of the first screen. He typed on a few keys and another face appeared. A man’s face. He was also Latin, with a rugged dark tan. He had a sharp nose and narrow face. His dark eyes were evenly set but emotionless. His black hair was slicked back over his round skull. Alec knew him immediately.

“Franz Sanchez from Cartagena. Record for illegal drug distribution and smuggling. Also extortion, robbery, rape and attempt murder. He has been arrested in the US and Canada. He is here illegally.” Q read the report to James and Alec. “Known associate, Lupe Lamora.”

“I’ve seen that son of bitch before.” There was deadly tone to Alec’s voice. It cause a cold shiver to run up Q’s back, while James stepped closer to his partner.

“Where?”

“He tried to run me over today. Before I went to Q’s flat. I got out of the way, but I saw his face clear as day. He was trying to kill me.”

“That makes two attempts. But why?” James said looking back at the picture. He wanted to memorize the face so when he saw it again he would know to shoot first.

“What the fuck are the Colombian’s doing in London?” Alec asked. “Do they want us to start buying their coke instead?”

“Fucking stupid way to encourage us to buy from them.” James scrubbed his hand down over his face and sighed heavily. “The mysterious third party M was talking about? Could M be right? We are both being attacked by some South American drug cartel?”

“Shite, this is going to turn into a blood bath.” Alec said stepping away from James and Q. James followed him into the living room.

Q suddenly felt sick. He had thought M was the one had planted the bomb at the Layer Cake. The thought of a South American drug cartel was to blame was terrifying.

“Are you sure they don’t work for M?” Q asked. Both men looked at him.

Alec and James glanced at each other for a moment. Then back at the images of Lupe and Franz.

“It’s not her normal MO but maybe she is trying to deflect blame. If this breaks out into a full-fledged war then it would be better for her to look like an innocent bystander who got pulled in instead of the instigator.” Alec said.

“Alec, who know about this place?” James asked.

“No one. I’ve been very careful about not letting anyone know. I’ve never used this house before.”

James nodded his head.

“Okay, this is what we are going to do. You go and make contact with whoever is left of our guys. Make sure Clarkie is safe in hospital. Put a guard on him if you must. Then pull up our tents. Go to ground. We need to get everyone into hiding. Since, everyone thinks I’m dead, I’ll stay here with Q and we will find out everything we can about Sanchez and Lamora. If we can’t find any connection between M and the Colombians then we will tell her about them. Convince her to help us. Then when we have a plan, will go after the Colombians. But if she is involved, we will need to be prepared for the worse.”

“As long as I know you are safe, James. That’s all that matters to me.”

Alec wrapped his palm around the nape of James’s neck and pulled him into a searing kiss. Q shifted uncomfortably and turned away. He tapped at his computer trying to distract himself from the sound of the two men kissing. When he heard Alec laugh, Q twisted and looked over his shoulder.

“You better get used to watching that, pet. When James and I are alone we tend to get rather grabby.”

Q glared at Alec. “I’m not a prude. I just thought you would appreciate the privacy.”

“The three of us will be shacked up together for the foreseeable future. I doubt there will be much privacy.”

~Q~

M sat in waiting room for operating room. It had been two hours but no one had come to speak to her yet. Her solicitors had kept the police away while she waited. She didn’t want to deal with idiotic question while she wondered if Bill was going to live or die.

William Tanner, Bill. He was the most unassuming person. No one would ever look at him and think criminal. He was of average height and build. Round face and balding. Although well-dressed, he always seemed like an ‘unmade bed’. Comfortable and relaxed. He had been an accountant for a major law firm when she met him thirteen years ago. She plucked Bill up from the solicitors and placed him to take care of the books for her business. In a few short years, Bill had proved himself very resourceful and reliable. M moved him up and soon Bill stood beside her. She knew he didn’t want to take over the organization but he also blocked anyone who wanted to take it away from her.

Over the years she had pushed herself further and further into the shadows and away from the actual danger. She had pulled Bill with her, isolating them from the guns and violence that came with the drug business. It had been profitable and Bill had always been there for her with a smile and good advice.

Now he was in surgery having three bullets removed from his body. The adrenaline that had kept Tanner on his feet and protecting M until after the shooting had stopped. It wasn’t until it was all over and they were safe did he realize he had been shot and was bleeding. He collapsed in M’s arms. She had stayed with him until the ambulance had taken him away ignoring the man’s pleas for her to run.

The police had tried to question her then, but fortunately, the paramedics insisted she be taken to hospital for a check-up. When she was given the all clear, she immediately went to the OR to wait for Bill. She sat pensively as she waited. Her fingernails stained with Bill’s blood tapped on the armrest of the chair.

The door to the room opened and M looked up hoping to see a nurse or doctor. Instead she saw Gareth Mallory, the superintendent of CID for the MET. M glared at the man as he stepped into the room and sat down beside her. In his hand he had a cardboard drinks carrier with two tall paper cups.

Mallory sighed and handed over one of the cups to M without saying a word. M glanced down and saw the dark coffee. The steam was still rising off the drink.

“It’s from the shop across from your warehouse, not the vending machine.” Mallory said when M still had not taken the coffee.

M glanced up at the man then reached for the cup.

“Did you tell them it was for me?” She asked as she took a sip. It was a dark French roast she preferred. Bitter and strong.

“Yes, they said this was your favorite.” Mallory took a sip from the second cup. He sighed, the coffee was actually better than he expected. “How is Bill?”

M paused for moment before answering. She wasn’t sure if it was sincere concern or a ploy to get her to speak.

“Three rounds. Two in back and one in his thigh. They haven’t been out to speak to me but I’m hopeful.”

The two sat quietly for several minutes.

“Will I need to find the shooter or will they turn up on the south bank of the river next week?” Mallory asked without looking at the older woman.

M wasn’t even surprised by the tone of his voice. Resigned.

“If I knew who was responsible for this, I wouldn’t be waiting around here.” She said just before she took another sip of coffee.

“So this is not because the Layer Cake got bombed last night?”

“I had nothing to do with that. And if you ask me another question about it or Bond and Trevelyan, I will insist on the solicitor being present.”

Mallory sighed and took another sip of his coffee. “Noticed you weren’t surprised to learn it was a bombing and not the gas leak that was reported in the papers.”

“Only an idiot would believe it was a gas leak. Is Bond dead?” M asked now curious as to what had happened to the blonde, blue eyed man.

“Five bodies still not identified but his biometrics don’t match any of them.” Mallory said. “I’m sorry to hear Bill was shot. He’s actually someone I like.”

M finally glanced up at the man. A calculated smile on her face.

“Well, we can’t all be sociable, Inspector Mallory.”

“No, we can’t. Look, M. I know you think Trevelyan did this and I know Trevelyan thinks you blew up his club. If this is going to turn into a war, then both of you are going to lose. I won’t let you destroy my city for your pleasure.”

M stared at him for several long seconds, then she set her coffee down.

“Thank you for the coffee, Inspector. I will tell Bill you came by for a visit.” She turned away. Mallory knew he had been dismissed. He stood up and turned to leave. “And Mallory, rest assure, Bond and Trevelyan have nothing to worry about from me . . . for now. If anything more happens to Bill, though . . .”

“Let’s pray nothing happens, then.” Mallory said as he took a large drink of coffee, draining the paper cup. “M, I will be in touch.”

He left the old woman by herself. M waited and wondered. If it wasn’t Trevelyan, then who else in London would be willing to kill her in such a public way.

Chapter Text

Following his instinct, Felix Leiter went to the hospital and waited outside Clarkie’s hospital room. The young man had a broken leg and internal injuries from the blast. He would recover but for the next three weeks he would be restricted to the hospital. It was late in the afternoon, when Felix’s gamble paid off. He watched as Alec Trevelyan and another man walked into Clarkie’s room. Ten minutes later, Alec stepped out followed by the round faced man with pudgy cheeks. Alec glanced up and down the busy hallway while he spoke to the man. The round faced man was obviously being put in charge of guarding Clarkie.

Felix remained down the hall from Alec and the guard. He tried to look inconspicuous as he kept glancing up the hall at the two tall men. He couldn’t hear what Alec was saying but it was apparent the man was concerned. Alec’s eyes were sweeping everyone who walked pass the two of them. Felix watched as Alec nodded to the guard then turned to leave. Quickly, Felix pushed himself off the wall and started walking down the hall after Alec.

Felix watched as Alec walked around the corner and down the hall towards the lifts. Felix sped up his steps. He turned the corner expecting to see Alec stepping into the lift, but when he got there Alec was gone. The lift doors were open but the compartment was empty. Felix stopped suddenly, glancing to the left and right. Alec was nowhere to be seen. He glanced back over his shoulder but he only saw the busy hallway and the guard. Felix turned back and noticed the door for the stairs.

He rushed over to the door and pressed his ear to listen for a moment. He heard nothing. Slowly he opened the door and stepped into the stairwell. His footsteps echoed off the concrete walls. He paused as he let the door close behind him. It clicked shut and sounded unusually loud in the confined space. He listened again. Nothing. No sound of retreating footsteps, no doors opening or closing. Not even the sound of breathing.

Carefully, Felix glanced over the railing and down to the lower staircases. He slow reached into his jacket and slipped his fingers around the grip of his gun.

“You don’t want to do that.”

Felix froze. He glanced up to see just the barest amount of Alec’s face above him on the next landing. The blonde’s gun was already out and pointed down at the black man.

“I thought there was a truce.” Felix said as he slowly moved his hands up and out from his sides in surrender.

“I thought so too, until our club was blown up.” Alec slowly lowered his gun, but kept it out and at the ready.

“You know M didn’t do that.” Felix said slowly lowering his arms back down to sides.

“Why would I know that?”

“She wanted to scare the kid, not kill him.”

“She wants him back? Too bad, James and I have decided to keep him.”

Felix narrowed his eyes as he looked up at Alec.

“She won’t like that. But it is good to know he and Bond are still alive.”

Alec frowned. He felt like an idiot for letting the information slip. Felix waited for Alec to say something to deny the statement but Alec didn’t.

“Would you and Bond be willing to meet with M? Bring the boy back to her?”

“I told you, we aren’t giving the boy back. He likes our company.”

“You won’t even discuss it with M?” Felix asked.

“There are numerous things we want to discuss with her. Like who set the bomb in our club.” Alec shouted down.

“I promise you, it wasn’t on M’s orders.”

Alec tried a dangerous gambit. “What about the Colombians that were sent to our club? Are they working for M?”

Felix frowned this time. One of the main reasons he left the States was because the vicious drug cartels. The British criminals could be just as lethal, but they didn’t seem to take the morbid pleasure in it that the cartels did.

“I don’t know about any Colombians. Are you sure?”

“I have a photo of one of them leaving the club just before the bomb went off.”

“M didn’t hire them. Trust me, I would know and I would quit her service immediately if she did.” Felix said with sincerity.

Alec studied Felix’s face and saw the man was telling the truth.

“Q said M’s shipments had been hit too. Could they be after her as well as us?”

Felix thought for moment. “That would explain the attempt on her life this morning.”

This was news to Alec. He thought about it for moment. If M’s life had been threatened too, then there was definitely a third party in the game.

“Tell M we will meet, but Q stays with us.”

“Is he your new pet?”

“Just as M said he would be.” Alec smiled. Felix didn’t return the smile.

Both men stepped back from the railings and disappeared through the doors behind them. Alec made his way out of the hospital without running into Felix again. He needed to get back to the safe house quickly. He wanted to believe M was behind all their troubles but Felix had given him good reason to doubt that. Most of all, the fact M wanted Q back was proof she didn’t set the bomb that almost killed him. Alec wondered for a moment what it would be like if Q actually belonged to James and himself. Profiting from that brilliant intellect, as well as enjoying the young man’s attentions. But he didn’t dwell on the idea too long. First he had to guarantee that they would all be around to enjoy a life.

~Q~

Bond tried but couldn’t get any sleep. The mattress was lumpy. The cold and damp from outside had seeped into the tiny flat. Not even the blankets wrapped around him could keep Bond warm. He got up and went looking for Q. The young man was still working. He kept searching for the car that Sanchez had picked Lupe up in. Bond walked over to stand behind the young man, glancing over his shoulder at the two different computer screens.

“Any luck?” James asked.

“No, not really. I’ve been checking the various streets around the Layer Cake to see if I could pick up the car on the traffic cameras and follow it. I was able to trace it as it crossed the river and headed south, but then lost it. It went into the Blackwall Tunnel but then I lost it. It didn’t come out the other side.” Q sounded frustrated and angry. “A car can’t just disappear in a tunnel.”

Bond followed the footage of the black saloon driving into the tunnel. The O2 loomed in the background. The screen split and showed the southern exit to the river tunnel. The car that was in front of Sanchez drove out. Then there was a space. A few moments later, the car that followed Sanchez in the tunnel came out.

“How did he do that?” Bond whispered.

“I don’t know.” Q started typing wildly across the second computer. He started muttering to himself.

Bond waited and watched for a few moments but it only seemed like gibberish to him. He pulled himself back and stared down at Q’s back. The young man’s shoulders were hunched forward and Bond could see Q’s neck muscles tensing. Bond thought the young man would be sore by the time he was done doing whatever it was he was doing.

James stepped away and over to the sink. He filled the kettle and set it on the element. Finding a box of tea bags on the shelf, James pulled down two mismatched mugs. He waited till the water was boiling then poured them over the individual bags in the mugs. He glanced into the fridge but didn’t see any milk. The cupboards didn’t supply any sugar either. He removed the bags and dropped them in the bin.

“There.” Q said as he pointed to a line of code.

James stepped over and set one of the mugs on the table next to Q’s hand.

“What am I looking at?” asked James.

“The feed was hijacked. Someone already altered the video. Sanchez drove out of the tunnel but there is no way to know where he went from there. I’ve completely lost him.”

Q picked up the mug and drank the black tea. Q hissed and glared down at the tea.

“What is this?”

“Tea.” James said.

“I could argue that point.” Q set the mug down on the table, then buried his face in his hands. “I’m exhausted. I’ve tried but there is no way I can find them now. Maybe I could come up with a program that would do random checks at traffic cameras for the plates, but it would a miracle if we actually caught them again.”

James set both of his hands on Q’s shoulders and started to rub the young man’s tense muscles.

“I was so stupid. I should have seen it.” Q said with his head bowed. “I’ve wasted all this time and it was so obvious.”

“You got us further than we were before, Q. You gave us two names and two faces. It won’t take long for someone to come forward with information about them.”

Q sighed heavily as Bond worked on one very tight knot. Q sat up and pushed into James’ hands. He dropped his own hands down to his sides and groaned. He tipped his head to the side and exposed his neck to James, who moved up to rub the cords at the nape of Q’s neck. Q actually purred in pleasure as James’ fingers rubbed circles in the young man’s skin.

James was amazed at how soft and smooth Q’s skin was. It was creamy white and his tan hands contrasted against it. Q’s dark curls brushed against the back of James’ hands. He could feel how silky the strands were. He wondered how it would feel to drag his fingers through Q’s hair. To let the dark curls slip between his fingers, like satin ribbons gliding across his skin.

“You are very talented with your hands” Q said dreamily.

Bond laughed softly. “I’ve been told I’m better with my mouth.”

Q suddenly stiffened. Bond could feel the uneasiness of the young man body. Bond realized he stepped too far. He pulled his hands away.

“Did I hurt you?” James asked.

“No, I um . . . sorry. I’m just very tired.” Q quickly grabbed the mug of tea and took another sip. Then regretted it immediately.

“Why don’t you try a shower? Hot water always does wonders for me.” James said as he stepped further back. Moving back over to the sink. “Alec should be back here soon and hopefully the berk will have remembered to bring us some food.”

“Do you think that I could request a different tea?” Q asked.

James turned and leaned back against the counter. He smiled at the childish frown on Q’s face.

“I’m sure Alec would be more than happy to indulge your wants.” Bond smiled wider when Q looked up with a definite blush to his face. “Does sexual innuendoes usually embarrass you? If it does, it’s going to difficult being around Alec and me.”

“I’m not a prude, James.”

“Maybe not, but you are still embarrassed around me?”

Q glanced away for a moment then stood up. “I think I’ll take that shower now.” Q stepped over and poured the tea out in the sink, and set the mug down. He glanced up into James’ face as if daring the man to say something more. James remained quiet and just watched as Q went to the bathroom and closed the door.

Once the door was closed, Q leaned heavily on the vanity counter. His breathing was short and fast as he tried to slow his heart rate down. Bond had a way of looking at the young man that sent Q’s libido into overdrive. It wasn’t fair, Q thought. Just a few simple words from Bond had Q wanting to rip the blonde’s clothes off and truly indulge himself.

Q looked up at his reflection in the small mirror over the sink. He wanted to see someone different but instead he saw himself. The skinny kid with wild hair he could never tame. The black framed glasses of someone who was short-sighed and pale skin that would never hold a tan for more than a few days.

Bond and Trevelyan were Greek gods in comparison. Blonde and tan with bodies that seemed to be sculptured. They moved like jungle cats on the prowl. And their eyes . . . oh God, their eyes! Alec’s eyes were a laughing green that were both mischievous and alluring. And James’ eyes were fire in arctic ice. An intense blue that was sharp enough to cut glass. What in God’s name was Q doing here with these two men.

The only help he could think to offer he had failed at. He had lost Lupe and Franz in the car. He couldn’t trace them. Q wondered how long it would be before James and Alec tired of his gawking and kicked him out. Then what? As soon as M found him again, he would be kneeling in her office once more with a gun pointed at his head. Q sighed and hung his head down again. Either James or Alec would throw him out for leering at them or for not being useful to them. In the meanwhile, they would humiliate him by teasing him.

Q reached over and turned the water on in the shower. The water sputtered before it started spaying out in a steady stream. Q slowly unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off. Then he did the same with the rest of his clothes. He folded them and set them on the closed toilet seat. He climbed into the shower and quickly washed. The hot water felt wonderful and he wished he could remain under it. But after just a few minutes, he noticed the water was already beginning to cool. He turned the taps off and grabbed a towel. Efficiently drying himself, Q glanced down at his clothes, then realized he hadn’t brought any clean ones in to change into. Without thinking Q opened the door to the bathroom and stepped out into the flat.

Bond was standing in the hallway between the two bedrooms, blocking Q’s access to the room he was going to sleep in. Bond didn’t move out of the way. Instead, he stood staring at the near naked man. Q had a towel wrapped low over his thin hips. His skin was still pink from the hot water. His dark curls were in complete disarray and small drops of water with dripping out of the strands and sliding down Q’s flushed skin.

Q’s eyes locked onto James. Both men just stared at each other. Silent in their examination. James took a step closer to Q. Slowly raising his hand up as if to touch. Suddenly, they heard the door open and Alec shouting.

“Dinner’s here! Hope you like Indian, Q.”

Bond stepped back as Q dropped his eyes. He rushed back into the bathroom, slamming the door. Alec came around the corner of the hall and saw James standing there.

“Where’s Q?” Alec asked.

“He’s . . . in the shower. Let’s eat.”

James pushed past Alec and went into the kitchen. Alec stood there for moment wondering what he had missed. He knew where James had been standing and he didn’t miss the two wet foot prints on the floor mere inches away from his lover.

Chapter Text

Dinner between the three had be awkward and quiet. Q had finished first, barely eating anything as James and Alec watched him. When they were done and the food containers were binned, Q dashed off to his room alone. James and Alec waited until Q had closed the door to his bedroom. Within seconds the two men were on each other. Hands reaching and grabbing at clothing. They stood, twisting and fighting for control of the other. They bumped the table and shoved it a couple of inches across the floor. Alec bit at James’ lips and pushed the man backwards against the wall. They hit hard and a solid thud could be heard.

“James, don’t you ever fucking scare me like that again.” Alec whispered into the skin on James’ neck before his bit down hard.

James groaned and bucked his hips forward.

“It was the kid. Not my idea.” James’ hand reached up and cupped the back of Alec’s skull. His fingers pulled through the blonde hair.

“I’m going to give that brat a solid spanking later.” Alec dropped to his knees in front of James. He grabbed at James’ belt and yanked open the button and fly on the other man’s jeans.

“I’m sure he would like that. I know I would enjoy watching.” James teased as he watched Alec get him undressed.

Suddenly, the cool air hit James’ very hard member. He hissed then groaned as Alec’s warm mouth surrounded it. James’ hand was still resting on top of Alec’s head. Every instinct told him to take hold but James closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the wall. The sinful sensation of the Alec’s mouth on him was euphoric.

“Fuck, you’re good! Take it deeper.” James’ voice was harsh. The rush of Alec’s talented tongue caressed James as the man bobbed up and down the length.

Alec reached up and grabbed James’ jeans and pants. He pulled them down lower, exposing James’ arse and thighs. Alec’s hands palmed over the tan skin and kneaded into the muscles of James’ backside.

James rocked and hit his head several times against the wall as Alec teased at his slit, only to plunge deep again. James could feel the back of Alec’s throat and the muscles contracting around him. He fought to hold off his climax but Alec was too perfect. He was excellent at this.

“Alec . . . you may want to stop.”

Instead of stopping, Alec pulled back till just the head was in his mouth, then he sank forward again. He took James all the way in, burying his nose in the pale brown hairs of James’ groin. James’ hand fisted in Alec’s hair as he nearly shouted. His release pumping deep into Alec’s throat. Alec pulled back and let the last few spasm of cum coat his tongue.

James fell back against the wall. He was lightheaded and completely relax. With hooded eyes, he watched as Alec stood and leaned into him. There was a feral glow in Alec’s green eyes. Alec’s lips pushed into James’ and James could feel the prodding of Alec’s tongue. Compliantly opening his mouth, he received the offering. The splash of his own release smeared across his mouth. James hummed as Alec licked and tasted James.

As Alec pulled away, James sagged against the wall.

“I’m done for. Let’s go to bed.” James whispered.

“You’re not done yet.” Alec growled. “I’m not through with you. My turn.”

Alec grabbed James and dragged him down the short hall to the where their bedroom was, next to Q’s. He pulled James into the room and tossed the pliant man on to the squeaky bed, slamming the door behind them.

~Q~

Q shivered under the covers. The rain was turning into freezing sleet outside the window. He could hear it pelting against the glass. Q had his sweater on over his pajamas. He pulled on two pairs of socks and was thinking of pulling on his jacket if he couldn’t get warmer.

He would have gotten up and walked around the flat to warm up. Maybe go back to working on his computer but the sound of the other two occupants in the flat had stopped him.

Q had turned into bed just after they had finished eating dinner. He had offered to clean up the take away boxes, but Alec said it wasn’t important. He and James would deal with it. Q, having nothing else to do, went to the room he had claimed and got ready for bed.

He was just pulling on his t-shirt when he heard what sounded like a body being tossed across a room, followed by a groan. He rushed for the door, when he heard the sound of James moaning and calling out Alec’s name.

“Fuck, you’re good! Take it deeper.”

Q slowly closed the door and jumped into the bed. Pulling the covers up and burying himself deep in the pillow, Q tried to shut out the obscene sounds coming from the other room. But he couldn’t help but listen to the two men. Moans and grunts. Heavy breathing and curses. They started in the living room and ended up in the bedroom beside Q’s. The sound of the springs on the bed made it obvious what they were doing. It was like being blind and forced to listen to a pornographic movie.

First James was moaning and cursing, then Alec started. They weren’t overtly loud, it was just the walls in the flat were thin. After a while, Q gave into his baser instincts and let his hand travel down his body to his very interested cock. He had listened to the two men for what seemed like hours and now he couldn’t take anymore. The sound of rhythmic groans and the sound a slapping flesh was too much. Q wrapped his hand around his cock and closed his eyes.

He thought about how it felt to have James’ hands rubbing across his back, but this time he wasn’t wearing any clothes. He was naked and James was dragging his hands up and down Q’s back. Smoothing over his muscles and mapping out his body. Q whimpered as he sped up his hand. He remembered how Alec looked when he stood over the kneeling Q. How the blonde looked as he dominated Q. The feel of Alec’s fingers as they dragged through Q’s hair, tugging slightly, taking command.

Q’s hips began to rock to the image of both men slipping into bed with him. Their bodies naked next to his. Q being overwhelmed by them. Possessed by them.

Q bit down on his lower lip to keep the sob within himself. His body shook as he came. His hand warm with his own release. Q felt drained and limp. His head began to hurt as the blood was slow to return to it. Q wiped his hand on the sheets and frowned. He was still cold and now he had a thin skim of sweat on his body. For a moment he wondered if this was going to be an every night event or if the other two men would take pity on him and just go to sleep.

He rolled over onto his side and curled up into a ball. He closed his eyes and hoped tomorrow would be better.

~Q~

It was very late. After two in the morning. James and Alec had been up for hours, sharing and exploring each other. The fear and anger of thinking they had lost the other only a day before had made this bout of sex more intense. More acute. They needed to reassure themselves of the other’s existence. The touch and feel of each other’s body. It was as much a healing of souls as it was a physical release of frustration. They last coupling had been slow and almost gentle. Neither one of them would admit there was a moment of tenderness as James rocked slowly into Alec’s body.

They had taken each other and later that day, they would both be having difficulty with sitting, but it didn’t matter. They were sharing with each other. Allowing themselves a moment of comfort with each other. One could even say love.

Now, James was laying on his back with Alec’s pillowed on his chest. One arm possessive wrapped around James’ waist and their legs were tangled together. James’ fingers were dragging slowly through Alec’s sweaty hair. The night air was beginning to cool their heated bodies.

“Were you joking about spanking Q?” James asked.

“Kind’a.” Alec’s words were muffled in James’ skin. “Why?”

“I think he is interested in us.”

“It’s taken you this long to see that?”

“Have you notice how Q watches us when he thinks we aren’t paying attention to him? How he blushes when we catch him staring?” James’ hand moved down and palmed over Alec’s back.

“I thought at first he was spying on us, but later I decided he was just interested.”

“Are you interested?”

“I know you are.” Alec twisted to look up into James’ face. “I know you saw him just after he got out of the shower.”

James looked down into Alec’s face. He cupped Alec’s cheek, dragging his thumb over the man’s brow.

“You’re still the one in my bed.”

“I know, but he is alluring.” Alec said with smug smile.

“He is that. And intelligent. He found out why we couldn’t trace Sanchez and Lamora. Someone else had hacked the CCTV and erased the video.”

Alec rolled off James and sat up. His fingers scrapped across his beard stubble.

“So another computer expert? Do you think it was M?” Alec asked twisting to look back at James.

“If she already had someone that good, why would she want Q back?”

“Leiter said she wants to meet with us. She wants a truce and she wants the kid.”

“Do you want to give Q back?” James asked.

Alec glanced at the wall that was between the two of them and the younger man. He took a deep breath and shrugged.

“Would you get upset if I said no?”

James sat up and leaned into Alec’s shoulder. “Only if you would get upset if I said no. I find Q very enticing. I find myself wanting to do things to him. With him. With both of you, together.”

Even with the limited light in the room, James could still see Alec’s eyes darken with lust.

“Me too. I want to know if his lips taste as good as they look.”

“He wants to stay. He’s willing to help us.” James said pulling Alec back with him to lay down with him. “We have time to convince him that there is more he could do other than tech support.”

Alec laughed softly as he laid his head back down on James’ chest.

“I still owe the whelp a spanking for not telling me you were safe.”

“You do and I most definitely would like to watch.”

The two men laid silently for several minutes. It was apparent there were still so many questions they needed answers too.

“So if M is not behind Sanchez and Lamora, who do you think is?” Alec asked.

“You believe Leiter was telling you the truth that M didn’t hire them?”

“I’ve known Leiter for years. We both have. You know if he says that she didn’t hire the Colombians then she didn’t hire them. Someone brought them in specifically to kill us. To kill M.”

“We are only a small part of the criminal element in London. It could be anyone. Who would want to get into our niche for drugs?” James asked as his hand went back to rubbing circles into Alec’s back.

“We aren’t that small James. We are big enough to draw someone’s attention. Someone who covets not only our territory but also M’s. But normally they would approach us first. Try to do it the simple way first. Buy us out. Threaten us. No one goes straight for the kill first.”

“So this is personal.” James said.

“Someone who wants M and both of us dead.” Alec’s arm reached around James’ waist and pulled it tighter to him.

“Maybe . . . remember we weren’t the only ones who were in that office.” James said.

Alec thought about it a moment. “How would they have known that Q was going to be there?”

“M had made a big production of threatening Q with the two of us. Who knows how many people knew he would be there before we even met him.” James said.

“But why try and drive me down the next day if we are just collateral?” Alec remembered Sanchez near miss of him.

“If they killed both of us, maybe no one would look too closely at who would want Q dead.” James took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Either way, we still have targets on our backs.”

 

Chapter Text

Felix Leiter was sitting in the office of M’s bonded warehouse. The room was inside a smaller building, two story made out of sheet metal, was within the larger warehouse. The ground floor had the business office that maintained the records of the legitimate items stored in the warehouse, while upstairs was M’s private office. The place she did her ‘not so legitimate’ work. Each office had a large plate glass window that looked out over the floor of the warehouse. Unlike normal warehouses, M’s was clean and well lit. The containers were stacked orderly in neat rows with wide aisles between them for the forklifts. The concrete floor was flat and grey but the walls of the metal building were painted white and added to the impression of cleanliness.

Felix glanced out at the floor, watching the various forklifts shift the box containers from the rows to the loading docks. They reminded him of worker ants moving great big pebbles around their anthills. Scurrying to and fro and dancing around each other.

The tall rolling doors of the loading docks were open and the cold winter air was quickly filling the building. Felix could see the men’s breath in puffs of white steam as they worked to quickly get the job done so the doors could be closed again.

From small entrance next the loading docks, Felix watched as a man came walking in. He was immaculately dressed in a long black wool coat that was tailored to fit his lean frame. His light brown hair was combed back and exposed his broad forehead. He paused and glanced around the floor of the warehouse. Felix cued up the intercom system and spoke.

“In here, Villiers.”

The man glanced up at the glass window and nodded. Villiers walked across the floor of the warehouse, dodging the forklifts. He pulled off his leather gloves and opened the buttons on his coat as he greeted Leiter. Villiers’ hollow cheeks were red from the cold weather giving him a rather fevered look. His nose seemed to be runny.

“M will not be in for a few days.” Villiers said. Felix nodded his head. “She wants guards on Tanner’s hospital room until he is able to go home.”

“How is he doing?” Felix asked. He hadn’t been by to see his friend yet.

“He is still unconscious but the doctors are keeping him that way. One bullet went through his lung, just missed the heart. The other two weren’t as bad. Have you seen the car? Remarkable only the driver was killed.”

“Luck.” Felix turned back to watch the men work. “Do we have any idea who’s to blame?”

“I still think it was Bond and Trevelyan but M hasn’t said anything to me.”

Villiers stepped over to the coffee machine. Grabbing one of the paper cups, he poured himself a cup of coffee. He took a sip then hissed.

“Not the best I’ve ever tasted.”

Felix didn’t look at the man as he sneered.

“It’s caffeine.”

“If it’s the buzz you’re interested in, cocaine would be more palatable.”

Felix twisted slightly to catch Villiers in his periphery. Felix wondered about that runny nose. The man was glaring down at the coffee like it was a personal insult.

“Coffee is cheaper.” Felix said. Villiers just hummed then tossed the half-filled cup in the bin. The black coffee splashed out onto the floor. Felix frowned at the mess.

“M will be wanting a full report about your meeting with Trevelyan.” Villiers said as he went to pull his gloves back on.

“I will tell her when I see her.” Felix twisted back to look out the window again.

“Why not tell me now and let me relay it to her. She is very busy. I don’t know when she will be able to find time to speak to you personally.” Villiers ignored Felix’s arrogance.

“It would be better if she heard it from me personally. Just tell her I doubt Bond and Trevelyan are responsible for Tanner.” Felix finally turned and looked Villiers in the face.

Villiers seemed surprised by Felix’s comment. He stared at the black man, waiting to see if he would elaborate.

“Really? I’m sure M would question that opinion. Maybe you should rethink that before saying anything to her.”

“M has me around to tell her what I really think. I don’t have to worry that she might disagree with me. I just have to worry about doing right by her and keeping alive.”

Villiers examined Felix’s expression. It appeared Felix knew something but he wasn’t going to share it. Villiers nodded and went to leave.

“I will tell M to expect your visit. When do you think you will able to make time for our boss?” Villiers asked while his hand reached for the doorknob.

“I will go to visit Tanner after I’m done here. If she is still there it would be a good place to meet.”

Villiers paused again as if he had something else to ask but then he just nodded his head again and left. Felix watched as the man moved across the warehouse floor and back towards the loading dock doors. He buttoned up his wool coat and disappeared in the white fog produced by the exhaust from the lories.

Felix turned around and went to the coffee maker. He grabbed a handful of napkins and dropped them on the floor to sop up the spilled coffee that Villiers had left. He dropped to his knee and started to wipe the coffee up when he heard the first gun shot.

Felix quickly jumped to the side and out of the way of the window. The glass shattered as a spray of bullets entered the office. Felix pushed himself up against the wall and pulled out his Glock. The back wall of the office was marked with a haphazard line of bullet holes. There was another spray. The bullets firing so fast the individual reports were impossible to distinguish. It was a rattle like from a snare drum.

Felix heard the workers shouting and a scream from someone who was shot. There was the sound of tires screeching on concrete. Someone had driven onto the warehouse floor from one of the side entrances. Felix glanced quickly around the edge of the shattered window. He could see the black saloon with the front doors open. A man was firing a small machine pistol at the workers, while a dark haired woman was shooting at the office. Felix looked at the woman carefully. She was small in height. She almost looked like a teenager, but when Felix looked again, he decided she was older. Maybe in her mid-twenties. Carmel colored skin and short black hair. She was smiling almost laughing as she shot her gun. Felix watched as the woman shot a man who was trying to run for cover behind a shipping crate.

She sprayed the office again. A round caught Felix in the shoulder, spinning him around. She fired again. The second round hit him square in the chest. Felix fell to the floor. His head bouncing on the concrete. Felix felt a heavy weight on his chest. He couldn’t breathe. He blinked his eyes as he heard the man shout.

“Tell M, Bond and Trevelyan send their regards!”

The shooting had stopped. Felix heard the sound to the car speeding away. There was the hollow sound of men groaning. Then silence. Felix felt very cold. His limbs were heavy and he couldn’t lift them. He blinked his eyes but realized he couldn’t see anything. It was dark. Very dark. And Felix knew it would never be light again.

~Q~

Q stumbled out of the bedroom and collapsed into the hard chair next to the kitchen table. Alec and James glanced at the young man then back at each other. Q’s eyes were closed and his head was resting in his palm, propped up on the table. He kept nodding back to sleep. His head bobbing up and down ever few seconds.

James smiled as Alec stepped closer to the dozing man.

“How’d you sleep?” Alec asked. Q grunted but didn’t actually answer. “How about some coffee?”

“Teeaa.” Q slurred. Before he could say anything else he heard a mug being set down firmly in front of him.

Q cocked one eyelid up, looking suspiciously down at the mug. It was dark and steaming. Then the aroma made its way to Q’s nose. Flora and bergamot. A slight hint of honey. Q opened both eyes and looked carefully at the contents of the mug. Picking it up, he took a deep breath of the tea. Then brought the mug to his lips. One . . . two . . . three deep gulps and half the tea was gone. Q sighed deeply and then finished the rest of the mug.

James was standing at the stove scrambling some eggs. He smiled softly as he watched Q. The young man had lopsided smile on his face, as he finished his mug. Then looking down and seeing it empty, the young man actually pouted. He held it up with two hands, looking forlorn at Alec, like a character from ‘Oliver’.

“More please.”

James couldn’t help it any longer. He burst out laughing in a loud boisterous voice. Even Alec started to giggle at the young man’s antics. Alec grabbed the mug and quickly went back to the kettle to make Q another cup of tea.

“James told me you about your fixation on tea.” Alec said as he swatted at tea towel at James’ backside. The other blonde easily avoided the swat.

The kettle clicked off and Alec quickly made a fresh cup for Q, adding just the right amount of honey to enhance the favor and not overwhelm it. He set the fresh mug down next to Q but then grabbed the young man’s wrist.

“Let it cool a little. Don’t want you to burn yourself.” Alec smiled at Q’s confused expression. “So how did you sleep?”

“Poorly. Doesn’t the heat work in this place?” Q said as he wrapped his hands around the thick ceramic mug. The heat from the hot tea infused into Q’s palms. He could feel the warmth travel up his arms. He wanted to crawl in to the mug and bath in it.

“Cold? Maybe the radiator have an air block in your room. We were fine last night. Nice and warm.” James said as he turned back to his cooking.

“Obviously.” Q muttered.

“What?” Alec asked, looking sideways at the young man.

“Nothing,” said Q, just before he took another sip of tea. This time the drink was hotter than the first time. Apparently, Alec had made the first cup sometime before Q had gotten up. The blonde had anticipated Q’s arrival and wants. The young man didn’t know how to categorize that piece of information. He didn’t want to put too much importance on it.

“You’re welcome to sleep in our room.” James said as he spooned eggs on to three separate plates. James glanced over at Alec who had the same feral expression on his face as he did the night before. “The more in the bed the warmer you will be.”

Q choked on his sip of tea. He coughed as Alec gently patted his back.

“No, no that’s alright. I’ll be fine in my room.”

“Just an offer.”

James placed a plate in front of Q and one in front of Alec. He grabbed the other plate and set it down with a plate of toast. Alec waited until Q was eating before he sat down next to the young man to eat his own breakfast. The only sounds were the three men eating. As the self-imposed silence stretched out, Q became more anxious. He kept giving the two men fleeting glances till James finally took pity on him.

“Q, we want you to look at the two shipments we had that were hijacked. I want to see if Lupe or Sanchez were involved.”

Q looked at James then nodded. “That shouldn’t be a problem. I can look to see if the same car is anywhere along the route the drugs took, then maybe I would be able to backtrack from there. In fact that might be the best way to find them. Let me get started.” He went to stand up, when Alec reached out and took his wrist, pulling him back down to sit.

“After you finish your breakfast. You’re too skinny. And I will make you a third cup of tea.”

“You don’t have . . .”

“We insist, Q.” Alec said, his hand lightly squeezed Q’s wrist.

The young man felt the warmth of Alec’s hand. He wished he could feel that warmth across his whole body. Q looked into Alec’s face and into his bright green eyes. The young man felt his skin flush.

“You’re right, James. He is gorgeous when he blushes.” Alec smiled.

Q’s eyes flashed over to see James looking at him too with a very hunger look. Q ducked his head down.

“Quit teasing me.” He growled.

“Who’s teasing? James told you we were interested at the club, remember? We get the very strong opinion you’re interested too.” Alec let go to Q’s wrist but let his fingers drag slowly up Q’s arm. “We’re stuck here together until we can find those two and find out who brought them in. It can be cold and lonely or it can be very enjoyable.”

“You said you weren’t inclined.” Q wouldn’t look up.

“M said we would rape you. We won’t. That’s not our thing. We are interested in sharing. In sharing an attractive young man who seems to be as intelligent as he is beautiful.” James said as he watched Q.

“I’m not beautiful.”

Alec’s hand reached up and he lifted Q’s chin with his fingers. “Let us be the judge of that.”

Alec dragged his thumb over Q’s bottom lip. Without thinking about it, Q let his tongue slip out and lick at the digit. Alec sucked in breath at the warm wet touch.

“May I kiss you, Q?” Alec whispered.

Q seemed to be shivering. He wanted too. He really did, but he was too frightened to answer the man.

“We won’t force you, Q.” James said from the opposite side of the table. “We won’t make any demands you don’t want.”

Q glanced at him then back at Alec. The blonde’s fingers were still holding his chin.

“Please . . . please kiss me.” Q wasn’t even sure he said the words out loud till Alec leaned in closer and breathed over Q’s lips.

He hovered in front of him. His eyes moving slowly over Q’s face as the younger man remained frighteningly still. Afraid to move for fear it would stop Alec. Then Alec let a smug smile come to his lips, a slight curl of the corners of his mouth that only showed the barest hint of teeth. He leaned forward the remaining centimeters and kissed Q. Alec’s lips were warm and dry. Slightly rough and very firm.

Q sighed and slumped forward, wanting Alec to take more. The blonde accommodated him by swiping his tongue over Q’s lower lip before pushing in. Tasting the coffee Alec had been drinking, Q’s tongue quickly licked and lavished the other man’s tongue.

Alec was slow to pull back but Q wasn’t done with him yet. He leaned forward trying to chase after Alec as the kiss broke.

“He tastes as good as he looks, James.” Alec voice was getting rougher.

“I can’t wait to find out.”

Q glanced over at James and saw how dark his icy blue eyes had gotten. Q felt a warmth build in the lower body and spread upwards.

The ringing of James’ mobile was very unwelcomed at that moment. James growled and Q would deny it but he made a whimpering sound. James grabbed the phone and jabbed his finger down on the screen.

“What is it?” James almost shouted at the caller. Suddenly, James expression changed from frustrated to stun. “Cody, are you certain?!” James listened to the caller. Alec could tell something was wrong by the change in James’ body. “If I find out it was one of us . . .” James glance over at Alec and Q. “Alright. Get into hiding. Find a rock and don’t come out till I let you know it’s safe.”

James disconnected the phone call. He looked pale as he stared at Alec.

“What is it?” Alec slowly stood up.

“Felix Leiter is dead. He was killed by a man and woman.” James said.

“Lupe and Sanchez?”

“They told everyone we sent them.”

All three men knew there was practically no way to avoid a war now with M. The city of London was going to be drenched in a blood bath.

 

Chapter Text

“Felix Leiter is dead. He was killed by a man and woman.” James said.

“Lupe and Sanchez?” Alec asked.

“They told everyone we sent them.” James said as he stood up from the table. He walked to the front room of the flat and stood back from the window as he glanced out to the street below. He seemed to be searching.

“M will come after us for sure, now.” Alec said. His hand still resting on Q’s neck.

The younger man shivered in Alec’s touch but not for the same reasons he shivered before. If M believed that James and Alec were responsible for Felix’s death and the assassination attempt against her, then Q knew the woman wouldn’t rest now. She would hunt them down and kill them. All of them.

“You’ve got to convince her it wasn’t you.” Q blurted out.

“Of course, but how?” James stepped back from the window and turned to look at the young man. “You should be safe. I doubt she would believe you were involved.”

“But she will still want my program. She said she would kill me.”

“I doubt it, Q.” Alec said as he stood and pulled the young man to his feet. “She will want to use you for your inventions and your brain. She could make millions off of you. Finally make herself legitimate . . . after she kills us.”

“I think you are exaggerating. They are just things I make to keep me from getting bored.”

“Q, if half of what you have showed us work as well as your facial recognition program, you are a valuable commodity. You could be traded on the open market.” Alec said wanting to reach out and pull the young man closer.

Q blinked and frowned. “I want to help you. How can I stop her?”

“You? You are out of this. It is just between the two of us and her. You would be safer if you weren’t anywhere around us.” James said as he stepped up to the young man. “We will help you get out of town. Maybe disappear in Amsterdam. We have contacts there.”

“No!” Q growled. “We will stop her together. Besides the real enemy is Lupe and Sanchez.”

Alec dragged his fingers through Q’s hair and slipped his hand back at the nape of Q’s neck. He smiled at the dark haired man. His green eyes shining brightly.

“He is right, James. Even if we stop M, the Colombians will still be after us. Why do they want to start a war between M and us?” Alec asked.

James thought for a moment. “No idea. I don’t even know why they are here. Someone must be funding them but who?”

Q leaned into Alec’s touch. The two blondes were giving the young man emotional strength. He felt courage he hadn’t felt before.

“Do you honestly believe she won’t kill me the first opportunity she gets?” Q asked.

“No, she was hoping to scare you into giving everything up to her. Frighten you by threating you. Killing you would be wasteful.” James said.

“Then maybe I can meet with her. If I told M, convinced her that you weren’t involved, then maybe the four of us could figure out who is behind the bombings and hijackings and the murders. They all have to be connected. It has to be the same people.”

“You would speak to her? I thought you were scared of her?” James said studying Q’s expression.

“She scares the shite out of me, but you said she won’t kill me. I’m the only one of us who can get close enough to her. I still don’t trust any of her crew. Tanner and Leiter where the only two who could be reason with.” Q explained. “But with them gone . . . I don’t know who she will turn to.”

“Do you think that is why they were targeted?” James asked.

Alec nodded his head. “Yes, whoever is framing us is also isolating her. She is vicious and Tanner kept her from going off the deep end. Without Tanner and Leiter to depend on, M will react swiftly and deadly.”

“All the more reason to get Q out of London. Get him away from her.” James said as he stepped closer to the young man.

Alec pulled Q into an embrace and held him close as he looked into Q’s hazel eyes. “James is right. You don’t have to do this. You don’t have to speak to her.”

“But I have too. I have to save both of you. We have to figure out a way to speak to her where I won’t be shot by her body guards on sight.”

~Q~

King’s College Hospital was a combination of various buildings connected by glass and brick hallways. It was a hodgepodge of architectural styles from the last hundred and twenty years that blended together into attractive NHS Foundation hospital.

M walked up to the Victorian entrance, past the four stone pillars and through the modern glass doors. M’s heels clicked across the old marble floor as she was followed by three men. Two guards and Max Denbigh, one of her lieutenants. Q watched from a small couch that was in a seating area just inside the doors. As soon as he saw the small woman step into the lobby, Q called out to her.

“M.” Q’s mouth was dry. He fought a wave of nausea as he stood up. Alec had told Q to make believe he was one of them. Act tough. Q swallowed hard before he spoke again a little louder. “M, I need to speak to you.”

The diminutive woman stopped and turned to him. Her two bodyguards immediately stepped forward to protect her. Their hands already inside their jackets. M’s bright blue eyes were surprised to see the young man. She quickly glanced around the room, studying the faces of everyone present.

“They are not here but are expecting me back.” Q said reading the woman’s thoughts. He squared his shoulders, as he wondered if he could pull off Alec’s swagger as he walked across the marble floor.

“You are expecting to return to them?” M let her eyes narrow in on the young man. She motioned for her guards to stand down.

“It would be better if you allowed me to return quietly. I have information for you.”

“Yes, what is it?” M wondered how quickly she could get the man out of the hospital and into her car.

Q stepped closer and whispered. “Bond and Trevelyan did not kill Felix.”

Q could see M expression harden. One of the guards was slipping his hand back into his jacket at the mention of the two names.

“M, the two shooters said . . .” Max Denbigh started to speak. M waved him off.

“I know exactly what was said.” She turned back to Q. “They clearly said Bond and Trevelyan. Why should I doubt them and believe you, Quintin. Obviously, you have been with Bond and Trevelyan since the explosion. I’m sure they are putting you up to tell me this.” Her eyes bore into the younger man. Something was different about the young man. He seemed more confident, more assured.

“I think by now you know I’m not one to be manipulated by force. Why would paid killers shout out the name of who is paying them. Only rank armatures would be so foolish or professionals trying to lay blame elsewhere. I believe you can tell that these two were not amateurs. I have CCTV showing the same woman leaving the Layer Cake just minutes before the bomb went off. She was there in the office. The man tried to run Alec down with a car next day. They are probably the ones responsible for shooting Tanner. You are being set up just like Bond and Trevelyan. This is just like the hijackings.” Q was forcing himself to meet M’s stare. He kept repeating, ‘just like James and Alec, just like them.’

M pondered for a moment what Q had said. Beside her, she could sense Denbigh was shifting his weight. He wanted to attack the other man.

“Who are the two shooters?” M asked calmly.

“According to Interpol, Lupe Lamora and Franz Sanchez from Cartagena.”

“Colombians?” M raised an eyebrow.

“How the hell would you know?” Denbigh asked. He turned to lean in and whisper into M’s ear. “Interpol, my arse. He knows because Bond hired them. He is their patsy to get to you. They know you have a soft spot for this man.”

“I don’t have a soft spot for anyone.” M said in a normal tone. She focused her attention back on Q. “What does Bond expect me to do with this information?”

“He wants to meet with you. A truce. No weapons, no guards. Just you and him.” Q said.

“You can’t, M.” Denbigh rushed to say.

M tipped her head to the side slightly. “And discuss what?”

“Who would be wanting to set the two of you against each other? Who would benefit from a war between the two different fractions?”

“It’s a smoke screen M. He’ll meet with you and then Trevelyan will show up and kill you. Let’s strike first.” Again Denbigh whispered to the woman.

Frustrated, Q finally glanced over at the other dark haired man. Q had never met Max Denbigh before, but he doubted he would ever forget him. Max was thin, just like Q; but the young man was dressed in a Westwood suit that made his slight frame seem proportional. His inky black hair was combed in a conservative short style and framed his pale slim face perfectly. Denbigh had the darkest eyes Q had ever seen. They almost appeared black and enhanced the reptilian appearance of the young man. Denbigh was attractive but in almost lethal way. Like the beauty of a dagger or the exquisiteness of a sniper rifle.

Q was going to start to argue the point with Denbigh directly instead of letting him continue to interrupt his conversation with M, when the sliding glass doors opened and Gareth Mallory came in. M and her guards turned to see the Detective Inspector enter with five constables with him. The constables had been issued side-arms. A rarity in London.

“M, you will need to accompany me to Scotland Yard. There are some question regarding the attack at your warehouse you need to answer.” Mallory said as he walked up to the woman. He paused for a moment to glance at Q, but then quickly dismissed the young man in the plaid trousers.

“Inspector Mallory, I’ve told you I would not speak to you without my solicitors present.” M said calmly.

“Three of your solicitors are waiting for you in my office at this time. They are on the clock so you may want to hurry up and come with me.”

“You called them before you came after me?” M asked, smiling slightly.

“I just thought it would speed things up if we didn’t have to wait for them to finish their tea. Are you going to make this easy?”

“My men and I will follow you. Robertson will you please escort Quinton back to my office.” M ordered one of her guards to take Q away. Q started to step back to run as the man went to reach for Q’s arm but Mallory blocked the guard.

“No, M. You will not be following me. You and your men will be escorted down to the Yard to join me. Now, let’s go?” Mallory said.

Q took another step back. “Good day, ma’am. It was nice to finally meet you. Please tell Tanner I asked after him.” Q said trying to sound innocent. Fear was quickly taking over. Q couldn’t keep the façade up any longer.

“Who are you?” Mallory said.

Q glanced back and forth between M and the police officer. He could see the warning in M’s eyes.

“Really, I’m nobody. I just came here to ask how William Tanner was doing. He was an acquaintance of mine. That’s all. I wouldn’t be able to answer any questions about his boss.” Q said trying to appear as non-threating as he could.

“Quinton and Bill worked together on a computer program for my shipping company. Book keeping program.” M quickly picked up on the lie and carried it on.

Mallory didn’t believe the two of them for a moment, but he also did not have any reason to detain the young man. As far as Mallory knew, the young man’s only crime was knowing and speaking to M and that was not a valid reason for arresting him. He waved his hand and frowned.

“Just give your name and address the constable. We may need to speak to you in the future.”

Q nodded and stepped back even further. Mallory motioned for M to move to the door. Denbigh followed closely behind the short woman as she strode out of the hospital followed by Mallory and four of the officers. The fifth officer stepped up and looked at Q.

“Address and full name, and let me see some identification,” he asked in a deadpan voice.

Q quickly gave the man the information and watched as he too, left the lobby. Q’s legs began to wobble and he reached the sofa before he collapsed.

“James did you hear all of that?” Q asked in a half voice.

The small com-link in Q’s ear buzzed with James’ voice. “Yes, loud and clear. These ear mics of yours are wonderful, Q. I think that was a successful field test.”

Q would have been very excited if he didn’t think he was about to pass out.

Chapter Text

Q crashed through the door of the flat. He ignored James’ hello as he rushed to the cupboard where he saw James place the bottle of scotch. Q had taken two gulps of it before James pulled the bottle away from him.

“Q what are you doing?” James joked.

“Getting drunk.” Q took the bottle back forcefully and took another swallow.

Alec stepped up behind Q and wrapped his arms around the young man’s body, pulling his arms to his sides while James took the bottle back again. James glanced at the bottle. Q had drunk several ounces in a frightening short period of time. James glanced at Q’s eyes and noticed they were already beginning to lose their focus.

“You can kill yourself drinking like that Q.” James said softly. He reached up to cup the young man’s face.

“Good. Better I kill myself than M.” Q tried to reach for the bottle but Alec held him back while James moved the bottle out of reach. “Give it to me!”

“No, not until we talk.” James said.

He pulled Q out of Alec’s arms and walked the young man over to the couch. Pushing Q down onto the cushions, James looked the young man over carefully. Q’s complexion had sallow. He had almost greenish tint to his skin, and Q seemed to be swallowing rapidly. For a moment James wondered if he should get the young man to the bathroom quickly.

“Are you going to be sick?” James took a step back.

“I’ve been wanting to vomit since I saw M. You should have seen the look she gave me. I thought I was going to die right there. Max Denbigh would have had me shot if we weren’t in a public place.”

Q leaned back and rested his head on the back of the couch. He closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around his chest. Alec sat down next to him on the couch. He threw his arm over Q’s shoulders.

“We heard every word, Q. What is Denbigh’s problem with you?” Alec asked.

“I don’t know. I never met him before. I guess it was my association with you two.”

“Did M look like she would consider meeting with us?” James asked.

“Denbigh was telling her not too, but I think she believed me. I think she believes the two of you were set up.” Q’s words were beginning to slur slightly. “Please can I have another drink? I don’t want to think about it. The way she looked at me. What she threatened to do to me. What she threatened you two would do to me.”

James quickly glanced at Alec.

“What did she threaten?” Alec asked as he leaned in closer.

“I don’t want to go back to her. She tried to scare me with you. She threatened to kill me. She threatened to have me raped. I’m gay so the idea of a man . . . I’m not scared of men, but the idea of being forced. Not having a choice. It’s like she is trying to rip my humanity from me. Make me less than human. She would destroy me just to get at what is in my head. She’s turning my intelligence against me.”

Q was shaking. James rested his hands on Q’s knees and leaned forward while Alec pulled the young man closer to his body.

“Q, you know we would never hurt you, intentionally.” James said as sincerely as he could. “You are safe, Q. We will protect you from her . . . her and anyone else who is out there wanting to harm you. You can stay with Alec and me until we can guarantee your safety away from us.”

“You must think I’m be’n stupid . . .” Q’s words were slurred as his body slumped into Alec’s.

“No, it’s fear. We understand fear. How it can make you do things you never thought yourself possible of. And M is a very scary bitch. She had to be to last this long. M has been perfecting her intimation for years now. She has it down to an art.” James smiled as the young man burrowed into Alec’s side.

“Gim’me the bottle and I’ll blow you . . .” Q words were garbled but James and Alec understood what he had said.

“What?” Alec was surprised by the young man’s brazen offer. He twisted his neck to try and look into Q’s face.

“I’m good at blow jobs. I’d been told.” Q’s eyes were closed as his hand flopped in his lap.

Alec looked up at James. Both men had broad smiles on their faces. It was a shame that Q would probably never remember soliciting the two of them.

~Q~

Q woke up feeling warm and snug. Very warm and snug. It took him shamefully too long to realize why he wasn’t alone in the bed. His face was buried into James’ bare chest. The man’s right hand was sitting on Q’s left hip, holding him closely to James’ very naked body. It took Q several seconds to realize he wasn’t completely naked. He still had his pants on, but nothing else.

He shifted slightly to look up into James’ face, that’s when the headache came roaring forward. Q groaned and he tried to reach up and cup his forehead. His eyes felt like they were going to pop out of their sockets and that his head was cracking from the inside out like an over ripe melon.

“Oh fuck,” hissed Q.

“Good morning.” James whispered laughing softly.

The blonde’s body reverberated with the soft laughter and Q could feel it through his skin. Unconsciously, he moved closer to the warmth of James’ chest. Then Q felt another solid mass move up behind him. A hand slipped smoothly over his waist and around forward. A warm palm spread out over his chest, right over his heart. The sensation of skin to skin touch moved across Q’s back.

“Do you want some aspirin?” A deep rumbling voice came from behind Q. He knew at once it was Alec.

“Yes please.” Q whispered.

He felt warm lips graze over his bare shoulder just before Alec pulled away. The sudden loss heat from behind him made Q shiver.

“You’re naked.” Q said into James’ chest.

“So are you . . . almost.” James fingers started strumming over Q’s skin.

“Did we . . .” Q couldn’t finish the question.

“Does it feel like we did?” James smiled.

Q did a quick assessment of his body. His head hurt and it felt as if his mouth was full of cotton wool, but there was no soreness in his limbs or back side. His lips weren’t chapped from kissing. He didn’t feel any bruises on his neck.

“No, but . . .”

“Trust me Q. If we had had you last night, you would know it. Alec and I tend to get enthusiastic with our partners. And you are quite delectable. We wouldn’t be easily sated.”

Alec slipped back into the bed. He held his hand in front of Q’s face and the young man saw the two paracetamol tablets. Q took them, then Alec handed him a bottle of water. Popping the two tablets into his mouth, Q twisted to sit halfway up while he quickly drank half the bottle of water. Q capped the bottle and collapsed back into the bed. James and Alec quickly took up their position from before.

Alec scooched up behind Q and wrapped his arm around the young man’s torso. Resting his palm over Q’s heart. James pulled Q back into his chest as his right hand slipped down behind Q’s thigh and pulled it forward. James pulled Q’s leg up and rested it over his own hip, drawing Q’s groin closer to James’.

“Not saying the offer wasn’t made.” James said as he positioned Q’s head under his chin.

“You tried to seduce me?” Q asked.

“No you offered to give Alec and me blowjobs.”

“Oh God . . .” Q twisted to hide his face in James’ chest.

Q’s nose was buried between the mattress and James’ underarm. There was a very masculine musky scent there and Q wanted to bathe in it. He felt his body beginning to react to the two men’s nakedness and their proximity to him.

“We didn’t think you were truly up to giving us your best work last night so we turned you down.” Alec said softly as he dragged his chin between Q’s shoulder blades.

The younger man could feel the scratch of beard stubble across his back. It made him shiver. He pulled his face back up to where he could talk without his voice being muffled.

“I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry about. We thought you were adorable. You already know we are interested. And Alec said you taste divine. I would like to know too.” James said as his hand drew up and his thumb and forefinger pinched Q’s chin. James twisted Q face so he could kiss the young man. Warm dry lips that were soft yet firm pushed into Q’s. A warm breath of mint and coffee passed over Q’s face. Just lips, nothing more. A gentle but solid press then James pulled back. Q found himself chasing after the contact. Lifting slight off the bed to continue the touch.

“You’ve been up for a while.” Q whispered.

“What makes you think that?” James asked.

“I taste coffee.”

James smiled and leaned forward to kiss the young man again. It was just as chaste as before, but Q’s pulse rate was speeding up.

“I taste morning breath.” James teased.

Q blushed and bowed his head. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be. At least you didn’t throw up last night. Anyway, it’s not bad. A slight hint of honey and oranges.” James kissed the young man again. Q’s arms moved slowly up to wrap around James’ body.

As his mind focused on James, Q also felt the drag of teeth over his shoulder then a kiss. Alec had pushed his body right up behind Q. Curving his larger body around the young man’s. Q felt himself getting lightheaded. The heat from the two men and his own traitorous body making him want to toss the covers off but fear of the cold air making him want even more contact.

Q moaned as James’ tongue finally pushed into his mouth. He could feel his penis harden and twitch. An ache deep inside his groin began to build. Alec was now sucking bruises to the back of Q’s neck and slowly rutting into the young man’s backside. Q could feel the jab of Alec’s very hard cock against the back of his right thigh. While James shifted so his interested length brushed up against Q’s clothed one.

Q pulled back from James’ mouth, panting. “We need to slow down. Maybe get up?”

Alec’s hands tightened on Q’s body, pulling the young man even closer while James pulled back far enough to get Q’s hazel green eyes into focus.

“Why?” James asked. His hand firmly holding Q’s left thigh in place now over his own hip.

Q struggled to speak. It seemed his ability to decipher words into sentences had fled him.

“I mean . . . It’s just, you two are . . . well, are . . .”

“Are what Q?”

“Together. And I don’t want to- to come between you.”

A feral smile came to James’ lips and his hand slipped from Q’s thigh down to his groin. James’ fingers slid over the hard cock hidden under the cotton knit. Q felt the electric surge flow through him as James’ hand rubbed gently over him. Q couldn’t control the deep moan that escaped his mouth.

“We have every desire for you to come between us- over and over again. And I think your body is hoping so too.”

Q shivered as Alec’s hand reached down and joined James’ in teasing Q.

“Oh, fuck . . .” The words were carried out of Q on his breath. “But . . . but you two are . . . together.”

“Yes we are and we share many things.” Alec whispered into Q’s ear. Then just before he closed his teeth on the shell of Q’s ear, he asked. “Will you let us share you?”

Chapter Text

The man studied the computer screen. The corners of his mouth were turned down in a frown. His eyes quickly scanning video after video from hacked CCTV cameras. Anger was slowly being replaced by admiration. Quinton Wallace had scrubbed the footage from every vantage point of King’s College Hospital and the young man disappeared even before he left the front door. The other computer geek had out done even himself. It only took him a minute to see his own code had been used against him. Quinton had stolen it and improved on it. The man smiled broadly now. He would have to change his plans about the other hacker. Maybe it would be better to keep him alive instead of killing him. Use him, exploit him.

The man closed the laptop and stood up, slipping his Westwood jacket back on over his white silk shirt. He smooth down the front of the immaculate suit and stared at himself in the mirror.

“Admiring yourself again?” His partner asked as he stepped into the room.

“How could I wear clothes like this and not admire myself.” The dark haired man said. His voice practically purring. “Wallace has proven to be cleverer than we thought. He erased the videos before I could even track him.”

The first man watched as his partner cursed.

“The fucking little twink. He talked to M.” His partner hissed as he dragged his fingers through his soft brown hair.

“He is supposed to be dead. I arranged for him to be dead. Sanchez and Lamora were supposed to deal with it. You told me they would kill Bond and Wallace.”

“They killed Leiter.”

“Yes, but they missed Bond and Wallace. We failed to set M and Trevelyan against each other. I don’t have a territorial war. Then to top it off, Sanchez tried to run Trevelyan over. How is that supposed to help us?” The dark haired man snapped. “I want Bond dead and Trevelyan out of control.”

“Don’t you blame me! This isn’t my fault!” Brown eyes barked back. “Sanchez found out Lupe fucked Trevelyan. The man is crazy. He got jealous and tried to kill Trevelyan.”

“You promised me that the two of them were professionals. They are the vilest of amateurs.” The dark haired man turned on his partner. His eyes flashed with the madness that lay hidden there.

For a brief moment, brown eyes wondered if it was still a good idea to be working with this man against M and Bond. His partner may have been a genius and wonderful fuck, but still, he was insane.

“We still have time. We can turn this around.” He tried to calm his partner down. The dark haired man approached and wrapped his fingers of his left hand around the brown eyed man’s throat.

“Instead of having my war, M and Bond are now going to meet and discover who has been plotting against the two of them. And Quinton Wallace is still alive with his computer programs that if sold, will make my little extracurricular activities difficult. I believe I will skin Franz to get my point across to him that I’m displeased.”

Brown eyes felt a wave of fear slip through him. The dark haired man’s hand closed around his throat just enough to reduce his oxygen, but not enough to strangle him. Although he and his partner had planned to take over and reap the rewards together, he didn’t delude himself into believing the dark haired man wouldn’t kill him if the whim hit.

“I’m sorry. I will do whatever you need me to do to make this up to you.” His voice was a mere whisper.

The dark haired man rolled his eyes as he stepped closer. He removed his hand from around the man’s throat and carefully set it on the other man’s chest. His fingers played at the brown haired man’s tie before they slipped up along the bruised neck then cupped the man’s cheek. Dark eyes looked into milk chocolate brown.

“Darling, we are on the verge of becoming the most important criminal organization in England. We will be at the top of that organization. I’m expecting you to make me happy.”

“Anything, love. Anything.” Brown eyes whispered. “If you want, I’ll shoot M myself.”

The dark haired man glanced off to the side for moment, then smiled.

“I don’t believe that will be necessary. We are overlooking the advantage we have now, with all four of them meeting. All together in the same place. Why didn’t I think of this before? How perfectly simply. If it works out, then I won’t have to make you into a pair of shoes.”

~Q~

Q woke as he felt Alec slip out of the bed and James crawl back in. James was damp from the shower. His skin was cool as he wrapped himself around Q’s body.

“Hmm, you’re warm.” James purred into Q’s hair.

The young man hummed and moved further under the covers. He was pleasantly sore from a night of very pleasurable sex. Q burrowed into James’ embrace. James’ lips brushed over Q’s temple as his arms tightened.

“How do you feel?” James asked.

“Good . . . better than I have in a long time.” Q answered honestly.

Q remembered the night before in flashes. Alec asking if Q would be willing to become their shared lover. The awareness of James’ hands removing Q’s pants, as Alec kissed and nipped down the young man’s neck. The thrill of both James and Alec jerking him off. The feel of Alec’s cock in Q’s hands. The weight and girth of the organ. The taste of James’ length on his tongue as Alec licked at Q’s entrance. The sounds of sex replaying in the young man’s head. The deep groan from James as he came. Alec cursing in Russian as he sprayed his seed over Q’s chest.

Q blushed deeply and hid his face into James’ neck. The skin under James’ hands burned with sensation. Q’s body was already beginning to respond to the mere presence of the other naked man.

“Where is Alec?” Q asked wondering if he could convince his two new lovers for a repeat of the night before.

“In the shower. He won’t be long. Hot water was just about to give out when I was done.”

Suddenly, the two men heard a loud shout. “YEBAT!”

James laughed softly. “Hot water’s gone.” He kissed Q’s cheek. “You’ll just have to stay in bed with me, now.”

“Like I was about to get up and freeze my arse off.” Q’s arms wrapped around James as he sighed. “Why couldn’t Alec have picked a safe house with a decent heater and hot water tank?”

“What were you expecting? The Savoy?”

“It would be worth it.”

“And who would pay for it?”

“I could.” Q hummed.

“Don’t make me laugh.”

“You doubt me?” Q leaned back to look into James’ face. A guilty smile on Q’s face.

“How?”

Q looked at little sheepish. “I could hacked their system and set up an account with nonexistent funds.”

“You’re joking?” James said disbelieving.

“No, really. It would be very easy to hack in and set up the reservations and the charge accounts. It takes the hotels about a month to discover that the accounts are bogus and that there is no money but by then we would be gone. It would be fun.”

“You would do it for fun? Like the ear mics?” James asked.

“When I get bored, I try to see what I could do.” Q buried himself back into James’ chest.

James hummed as he snuggled closer to Q’s warm body.

“Remind me later. I always wanted to stay at the hotel in the Shard.”

Alec came back into the room and leapt in the bed, curling behind Q. His icy skin sliding next to the young man.

“Oww!” Q shouted.

Alec laughed and wrapped his arms around the younger man shifting to rub his cold body next to Q’s bed warm one. James growled and tried to pull Q closer to him.

“Not my fault, James used all the hot water.” Alec voice was muffled in Q’s hair.

“Your fault because you chose this dump. Q’s going to move us out.” James said as he leaned in and kissed Q’s forehead.

“How?” Alec asked as he nuzzled at the younger man’s neck. Q shivered for more than one reason.

“Because our little pet in a genius.” James smiled as his hand reached down and started to tease at Q’s semi-interested cock.

~Q~

Bill Tanner had woken up. There were still tubes running out of chest to drain any accumulating fluids in his lungs, but he could sit partially up and have visitors. M chose to stand next to his bed. Her small stature made it difficult for her to sit next to the bed and be easily seen by the man. M had refrained from the habit of holding the injured victim’s hand as so often seen in the movies. Instead she stood up straight, her hands resting comfortably at her sides.

Tanner was pale. He looked like he had lost weight but that was impossible having only been in the hospital three days. Bill’s cheeks were sunken in and his lips were thinner and chapped. His left leg was raised slightly in a sling. A thick bandage was wrapped tightly around his thigh.

Bill brought his hand up and fumbled with the oxygen cannulas in his nose. M tutted at him and pulled his hand back down. For a brief moment, Bill thought he saw a sympathetic expression in the woman’s bright blue eyes. A fleeting glimpse of motherly concern, but then it disappeared and Tanner convinced himself it was his imagination.

“Any idea who did this?” Tanner asked as he glanced away from the woman and towards the opposite wall.

“Everyone believes that I believe, it was Bond and Trevelyan.” She said as she crossed her arms over her chest. She brought up her right forefinger and tapped on her chin.

“Too obvious. It’s a trick.” Tanner said, his eyes flicking back to hers. “Someone wants us to start a war with them.”

“Yes. Between the hijacked shipments and the bombing, there is a greater plan to eliminate both Bond and myself.”

“But who?” Tanner asked.

“Who indeed? Who would benefit the most from removing the two of us?”

Tanner and M were silent for a moment, while they thought.

“There aren’t any other gangs who would have the man power to take over both territories. They would have to recruit our men as well as Bond’s to actually achieve control.” Tanner said.

M smiled. Tanner was always very astute. There was a soft knock on the door and Tanner called out for the person to enter. Max Denbigh looked around the partially opened door. A raised eyebrow in questioning.

“I was told Bill was awake.” Denbigh said.

“Max, yes, come in.” Tanner tried to sit up straighter in the bed but winced and groaned. M pouted and cleared her throat to express her displeasure.

“M . . . Bill.” Denbigh stepped closer and smiled meekly at the man in the bed. “Don’t move, please. I was just so glad to know you are alright.”

“Hardly ‘all right’.” M’s voice was sharp. Denbigh ducked his head sheepishly.

Tanned shifted and sighed as he pressed the button to dispense another dosage of morphine.

“It’s okay, Max. I’m on the mend. How was your trip? You get here safe and sound?”

Denbigh glanced around the room for a moment as if there would be someone nearby to listen in on their conversation.

“Got here with the complete shipment the day after you were shot. No problems at all. I guess whoever is responsible for the other shipments being stolen was down here shooting at you.”

“Maybe.” M said glancing sideways at the man. “Have you spoken to Villiers about the warehouse?”

“Villiers said he didn’t see anyone hanging around when he walked in. I think it is safe to say that Bone and Trevelyan were expecting him to be there so they could take him out too. Leiter wasn’t the main target. With both Villiers and Tanner removed, your main advisors would be gone.” Denbigh said.

M stared at the young man for a moment then nodded her head. Max Denbigh was very good with computers but he now appeared to have a head for strategy. He could be someone she could rely on later on.

“I can see where Villiers would be the supposed target, but we are reasonably certain that Bond and Trevelyan were not the perpetrators of this attack. Someone else is responsible for hiring the two Colombians.” Answered M. “The sooner I meet with Bond the sooner we will know who we need to be fighting.”

Denbigh glanced at Tanner then back to M. “You don’t want to do that, ma’am. You must see it is a trap. They will promise to meet you under a flag of truce only to kill you once you get there.”

“If it isn’t them, then there is nothing for us to worry about.”

“Let me go instead of you. Let me hear what they have to say and you won’t need to put yourself in harm’s way.” Denbigh argued.

M studied the man’s face for several seconds. She turned back to Tanner. “What do you think?”

“I think Max is right. We don’t know for sure and you shouldn’t risk your safety. Let him go. Let him listen and report back.”

M nodded her head then smiled. “Don’t worry, Tanner. You need to heal. I’ll send some grapes for you and see you after the meeting.”

M turned and walked out of the room. The door closing silently behind her. As she walked down the hall, she pulled out her mobile and typed in a number she very rarely used. Sending the simple text, she waited for the lift. As the doors opened, she read the reply. The smile slipped from her face as the doors closed and she started to prepare herself to meet James Bond face to face.

Chapter Text

Bond allowed M to pick the place for the meeting as long as he picked the room. M chose a non-descript chain hotel near Heathrow. Bland beige rooms with identical furnishings. James was standing in the lobby of the hotel when M’s car pulled up. He was fighting his third craving for cigarettes when the glass doors slide open and small woman stepped into the sterile lobby. The cold air followed her in and James fought to not shake from it.

M walked up to Bond and stared up at him. Her bright blue eyes looking the other man over carefully. She glanced to the corner of the room and noticed the CCTV camera.

“Should I assume the room is wire too?” M asked as she glanced back at the man.

“Only if your men put something in there before we arrived?”

Bond waved towards the lift and M led the way. Villiers and two body guards followed her. Bond glanced at the men as they stepped into the lift with them.

“You understand this meeting is just between the three of us. You, me and Alec.” Bond said once the doors of the lift closed.

“No, M is not be left alone with you.” Snapped Villiers.

Bond sighed and pressed the button for the lift to pause. “That was not the agreement. And if you aren’t going to abide by the agreement, then there is no reason to go any further.”

M’s face didn’t show any emotions as she stared at the taller man. She considered the probability of him trying to kill her when so many people knew about the meeting. There would be no way that Bond could escape if he did shoot her and it wouldn’t just be her men hunting him down. Mallory would also know it was Bond who had killed her. He would have nowhere to hide. It was ridiculous to believe he would try something when there was no profit in it for him.

“I will meet with one of you. The other one will stay with Villiers.” M said.

Bond seemed to think this over for a moment then nodded his head. It wasn’t the best option but it could still work.

“Alec and I reserved the suite. There are two rooms and a sitting room. Villiers and Alec will be in on bedroom. Your guards can wait in the sitting room. You and I will be have our discussion in another room.”

“Acceptable.” M nodded and smiled.

The bell rang and the doors of the lift opened. Bond stepped out first and walked down the narrow hall passing the doors for the three other suites on the floor. He knocked on the last door and called out Alec’s name. The door opened the tall Russian was standing there. A scowl on his face. He stepped back and let M walk in with the four other men.

In the suite’s sitting room was another man from James’ and Alec’s crew. Duke was a large man with drooping jowls. His eyes were black and beady. His hair was slicked back with product. Duke’s eyes darted around between the other men in the room as his hand twitched towards a concealed weapon.

“Don’t Duke. It’s okay. Change of plans, though.” Bond said as he closed the door. “Alec and Villiers will stay in the other bedroom while I meet in private with M.”

“No!” Alec growled.

“It’ll be okay. You can understand why she wouldn’t want to be alone with both of us.” Bond tried to sound reasonable.

“We’re partners. We do this together.”

“Bugger it all, Alec. For once in your fucking life, will you just do something easy?” Bond wanted to appear annoyed at the other blonde.

“James, this is not what we agreed to.” Alec snapped back.

“No, but it’s what we are going to do. Get over it.” Bond went and opened the door to one of the rooms off the sitting room. He looked at M. “Ready?”

M glanced around the room. “Where is Q?”

Bond glanced at Alec.

“The twink is being held elsewhere. We’re going to keep him for a while. He is very entertaining.” Alec smirked.

“I want him back. That was one of the conditions of this meeting.”

“I don’t remember that being one.” Bond said.

“I told you I wanted him here. Where is he?” M was being firm.

Bond and Alec shared another glance.

“Alec, call Terry and Gazza. Tell them to bring the kid here.” Bond turned to M and spoke. “He will be here when we are done with our meeting.”

Alec glared at Bond but pulled out his mobile. He dialed a number then started speaking.

“Gazza, bring the kid down here. Bond is going to give him back.” Alec waited for a moment. “I know, but the bastard’s decided he is running the show now. Bring him.” Alec pressed the button hard on the phone and shoved it back into his pocket.

Alec crossed the room and grabbed Villiers by the upper arm and pulled him to the opposite door from Bond. Alec gave James one more withering glare before he pushed Villiers into the room, slamming the bedroom door closed.

M glanced from the closed door then back to James. She turned to her guards.

“Be aware and don’t let him out of your sight.” She nodded towards Duke.

M followed James into the bedroom. He was standing behind a chair, offering it for her to sit in. Once she sat down, James sat on the edge of the bed staring at her.

“M you are intelligent enough to know we had nothing to do with attempt of Tanner and yourself or the murder of Leiter.”

“It would be reasonable to suspect you but I doubt you are stupid enough to announce your involvement.”

“Exactly. Q told us you have had shipments hijacked just like us.”

She nodded her head. Bond frowned.

“I need you to remain very still, please. If this is to work, you can not make any sudden movements or gestures.”

M frowned. “What do you mean, any sudden movements?”

“Q is presently videotaping us. We found the camera that was placed in the room. Well, he found it. He is making a video so he can place it into the feed and loop it. It needs to be a minimum of five minutes and you must not move please.”

“I don’t understand? Who put the camera in here? You picked the room. I picked the hotel. Who put the camera here?”

“The same people who hired Sanchez and Lamora. The same people who have been hitting both of our shipments. The individuals who want us to go to war against each other.”

M’s eyes scanned the room but she kept her head still and her hands resting in her lap.

“It’s a hit, isn’t it?”

“More than likely. They wanted to get the three of us alone so they could kill all of us at the same time.”

There was a crackle in James’ ear.

“James, I have enough tape now. I’m starting the loop. Get out of there.” Q voice hummed in the ear mic.

James smiled and grabbed M’s wrist. He pulled her over to another door in the room. Unlocking it, the connecting door suddenly opened and Q was standing in the bedroom of an adjoining suite. Q’s laptop was sitting on the table. The screen showed various cameras angles around the hotel. One was of M sitting in the chair and Bond sitting on the edge of the bed talking in the other bedroom.

“Where is Alec?” Q asked frightened to not see the other blonde with James.

“Problem. He will have to get out on his own.”

James quickly pulled M into the other suite and locked the door behind him. He glanced at the computer.

“Well?”

“Four men came into the lobby just after I told you I was ready. They are in the lift now.” Q said.

James pulled out his mobile and called Alec.

“They are on their way. Three minutes tops.” James paused. “Okay, see you in the lobby.”

“Villiers?” M said.

“He will try to rescue him, but there is no guarantees.”

Bond looked back at the split screen on the computer. He watched the four men were in the lift coming up to the top floor. He watched as the men removed Mac-10 machine pistols from under their coats. James pulled his pistol out from its holster. He checked the clip and the made sure there was a round in the chamber. He then turned to M and held it out for her to take. M glanced at the Walther then up at Bond’s steady blue eyes.

“I was never a good shot. You should keep it.” She said calmly.

“James.” Q said as he looked down at the screen.

The men were exiting the lift and walked down the narrow hall.

“We’ll have less than a minute once they are in that room. Q is going to freeze the lifts on the floor below us. Are you going to able to make it?” He looked at M.

“Don’t worry about me.” She said firmly.

Bond and the other two went to the door of the room and waited until they heard a loud explosion and then the rapid bangs of gunfire. Bond opened the door and peeked around the corner. The four men were in the room, shooting at and being shot at by M’s guards and Duke.

Bond grabbed M’s wrist and pulled her out of the room. Q following quickly with a tablet in his hands. They hit the door to the stairs at a run.

“Police are five minutes away.” Q said as they made it to the next landing. James glanced out the door and saw Alec running down the hall to them.

“Did you just leap out a five story window and come in through the fourth story?” James asked looking at Alec’s flushed face.

“Yeah, it was fun, you should try it some time.”

“Where is Villiers?” M demanded.

“Safe if he keeps quiet.” Alec said as he pushed the small woman into the lift. James grabbed Q’s arm and pulled him in too. They could still hear the gunfire.

The doors of the lift opened on the ground floor and the four people stepped out to see the guests in the lobby frantic with fear. The receptionist was calling the police again as guests were flooding out of the building. James and party blended in and fled with everyone else. They made it to the hotel car park just as the police arrived.

~Q~

The armed response unit had already cleared the hotel by the time Detective Inspector Gareth Mallory arrived. The carnage was reserved for the top floor of the five story hotel. The last suite on the right hand side of the building. There were five dead men in the sitting room. Two other shooters had been killed as they exited the lift in the lobby. Shot by response unit as the two men opened fire on the police.

Mallory stepped into the room and looked around. Five bodies were presently laying under bloody white sheets, waiting for the morgue transport to bag them and remove them. The walls of the room were sprayed with bullet holes. There was broken furniture and shattered glass. Mallory walked into the larger bedroom and glanced around. There were additional bullet holes in this room too, but no dead bodies. No blood. It look as if the shooters just came in and started shooting in an empty room for the fun of it.

Mallory walked back out of the empty bedroom and into the other bedroom. Villiers was sitting on the bed. A makeshift gag was still tied around his neck. He looked pale and was shaking. A WPC was handing him a glass of water and Villiers took it with trembling hands.

Mallory scanned the room. Bullet holes lined the walls of this room too. But the sliding glass doors to the balcony were open and not shot out. The bed was unmade and the pillowcase was missing from one of the pillows. It had been the source of the cloth had was presently tied around Villiers’ neck.

“Can you talk now?” Mallory asked standing over Villiers.

The man looked up at the officer with soft brown eyes. Mallory could tell the man had been crying. Probably from fright.

“Trevelyan and Bond. M came here for a meeting with them. Trevelyan and I were supposed to wait in here. As soon as we came in, he hit me. Tied me up and stuck me in the cupboard. I heard the shooting but didn’t see anything.”

Mallory looked around the room, then back at the man sitting on the bed.

“He probably saved your life.” Mallory said. Villiers glanced up disbelievingly.

“And M?”

“Not here, neither are Bond and Trevelyan.”

Villiers blinked his eyes and took another sip of water before he spoke. “Bond and M were in the other bedroom. We had two guards and they had one.”

“There are five dead men in the next room. None of them are Bond or Trevelyan. Why were you here? Why was M meeting them?”

Villiers drank the last of his water and handed the glass back to the WPC.

“They arranged the meeting. They wanted to talk to M about stopping any territorial war.” Villiers stood up. “I guess they believed if they killed M, they could simply just takeover everything.”

“But M isn’t dead.” Mallory said.

“Isn’t she? She’s not here and you don’t honestly believe they are going to let her live if she is in their hands. She is as good as dead now. This was obviously an assassination.” Explained Villiers.

“Except for one thing.”

“What is that?”

“Why are you still alive?”

Chapter Text

The dark haired man looked at the computer screen. There were three different views of the hotel suite where the meeting between Bond and M was supposed to take place. The main sitting room and the two bedrooms. The man watched as his men kicked in the door of the suite and tossed in a flash grenade. Next he watched as the shooting started. One of the guards went down immediately. Bond’s man returned fire. The chubby man squatted down behind a couch and was shooting wildly. He hit one of the attackers before shooting M’s other guard. He was finally killed but not before wounding another of the men sent to kill them.

The dark haired man was confused. As he watched the men burst into the suite and kill the three guards, M and Bond sat calmly in the other room, as if nothing was happening. He then looked at the video of the room that Trevelyan and Villiers was in. The screen showed the room was empty. He thought that the two men hadn’t stepped far enough into the room for his cameras to see them. But now he wondered. He watched as the attackers stormed into the bedroom where Bond and M were sitting. He could see the men enter from the sitting room, the view from the bedroom showed just Bond and M talking. They were calmly sitting there and talking.

The man grabbed his computer and threw it across the room. That bastard Wallace must have found the Wi-Fi signal and piggy-backed another video feed onto it. They had known that it was going to be an ambush and had prepared for it. He had been tricked by the clever boy.

Max grabbed his mobile and quickly texted the men. Maybe he could at least be rid of Villiers.

‘Get out. Trap. Leave no witnesses.’

He was sure they understood him when he heard the wounded man shout ‘No’ just before there was a single gunshot.

~Q~

Bond was driving them back on the ‘Great West Road’ into London. M sat in the front seat with him, while Alec and Q were in the back seat of the non-descript saloon. M had a pensive expression on her face. She thought her guards were more than likely dead, as well as Villiers. Leiter was dead, and five men at her warehouse. Her driver was dead. Tanner had been shot and eleven people had died in the bombing of Layer Cake.

“Too many people are dying and it’s my fault.” M said out loud.

Q and Alec glanced at her, but Bond kept his eyes on the road.

“You didn’t start this war.” James answered her.

“No, and neither did you. But we will be blamed. And I’m responsible for the information leaking out about that meeting unless you told more people than those in this car and that dead man back there.”

“All of our men are went into hiding after the hit on your warehouse. We were afraid you would come after us because of Leiter, so I told our people to go into hiding. Duke is . . . was someone who was expendable. We are better off with him dead, than alive,” said James.

“Then the one responsible for all of this came from within my organization. I have a traitor.”

The men were silent. M continued.

“There were only a few who knew about Q meeting me at King’s College Hospital. Three of them are dead now.”

“Villiers may not be dead. He was locked in the cupboard and hidden. I doubt they would go looking for targets when they realized you weren’t where you were supposed to be.” Alec said from the backseat.

“What do you mean, not where I was supposed to be?” asked M.

“Q . . .” James asked Q to explain to M what he had done.

“I found three separate cameras in the suite. I discovered the Wi-Fi signal and blocked the original signal and sent a different video feed through. The sitting room was real time but the two bedrooms had looped video so we could get you out without anyone watching to know we had.”

M looked at the young man in the rearview mirror. For a brief moment there was a flash of pride in her blue eyes.

“I knew you were valuable. I should have kept you closer to me. Never should have trusted these two.” M waved her hand, gesturing to James and Alec.

“You can’t have him back now.” James said. “We have plans for him.”

“I had plans too. As you can see they didn’t come to fruition. Be very careful with the young man.”

“So other than you and Villiers, who knew about the meeting?” asked Alec.

“Tanner, my two guards . . .”

“The guards are dead and I doubt Tanner would try to take the organization away from you by a bloody coup.” James said.

“There was one other person. Max Denbigh. He was there when Q came to me. He was in the room with Tanner when I was discussing the pros and cons of meeting you.”

“Max Denbigh?” Alec said. “That little scrawny Irishman you have working shipment for you?”

M finally twisted in the seat to look at the man sitting behind her. The fire burned brightly in her eyes.

“Exactly.”

“Would he be able to turn your lieutenants against you?” James asked. M thought for a moment.

“It would be easier if they thought I was dead. If they found out I was still alive, I doubt it. Unless he promised them something I couldn’t?”

“Like what?”

Again M paused. Her eyes flicked over to Q in the backseat. The young man met her gaze.

“I told you I had plans for Quinton. I wanted him to help me pull my organization out of the shadows and into the light. Make us legitimate.”

“The computer program. You were going to sell it and start over again as a tech company.” Alec said guessing at M’s plans.

“Yes. I’m tired of the rackets. I wanted to have a fresh start. Money without bullets. Q was going to be able to give that to me. Not as much money as drugs. Very few opportunities give you more money than drugs, but still it was a way out. Q’s program could have changed the future of my whole organization. Not just me but my men too.”

“But everyone would have to take a cut in pay.”

“Yes but we would be out. I was going to use Q to keep us out too. His inventions- have you seen them?” Bond nodded his head. “Q and I would take the whole organization with us. The warehouses would now hold only legal goods. No more shipments from Morocco, no more shady deals, no more guns. It was going to be the best way for me to retire. Then Tanner could take over and be safe.”

“But Max Denbigh disagreed with you.” Said James.

“Obviously. He may have convinced other in my organization but I don’t know who. I may be already listed as dead, and they were to go after your crew as being responsible for my death.”

James’ eyes flashed in the rearview mirror at Alec’s.

“Our men are underground right now.” Alec said.

“But how long can they stay that way? How long can you keep your territory if you don’t fight for it?”

M was correct. Denbigh had both of them at the cliff’s edge if they stayed in hiding much longer the ground would crumble out from underneath them.

“We need to get ahead of Denbigh right now. He knows you are probably alive but he doesn’t know where you are. We are going to drop you off at your house.” James said.

M laughed. It would be the last place anyone would actually look for her. “Alright. Then what?”

“Then Alec and I will notify our men what is going on. We will tell them not to retaliate against any member of your organization. Will you do the same?”

“I will call Tanner. He can convince everyone to hold back, but Denbigh may have already turned some against Tanner as well as me.”

“Do what you can. If we can head this off, maybe we can stop him.” James said.

~Q~

The Welcoming Lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel was on the ground floor of the Shard. It was a simple glass fronted lobby that led to lifts reserved for the hotel. The lifts carried Bond, Trevelyan and Q to the hotel’s actual lobby which was on the thirty-fourth floor. The polish grey marble and white onyx glistened in the winter sunlight that slipped past the clouds and poured through the glass windows. Q walked subtly up to the desk and gave the receptionist the name of ‘Fredrick Lyons’. The attractive twenty year old looked at the reservation in the computer and immediately called over the day manager.

James glanced at Alec and the two men stepped closer. They prepared themselves to grab Q and make a dash for the lifts. Alec told them this was insane and they wouldn’t be able to get a suite at the exclusive hotel.

“Mister Lyons?” A round faced man with thinning ginger hair approached Q. His hand out already, waiting to shake Q’s. “It is a pleasure for us have you visit. We look forward to making this stay memorable.” The man shook Q’s hand vigorously. “The rooms have been prepared to your specifications. May I escort you to your suite?”

“Yes, thank you.” Q nodded his head.

Bond and Alec glanced at each other. Stunned by the fawning of the manager, they missed when the two men had started to walk towards the lifts. Q snapped his fingers and spoke over his shoulder.

“Do keep up, you two.” Then Q turned to the manager. “New bodyguards. They still haven’t learned how to follow me.”

The manager smiled then looked back at the two growling blondes. His smile fell quickly away as he swiped a key card to call a reserved lift.

The ride to the upper floors was brief. The suite was on the forty-fifth floor. The suite door opened up unto a large room with distinctive modern oriental deco in soft muted beiges and greys. The large sitting area had an ‘L’ shaped sectional couch and a large desk that looked out over the city. The view to the north was of the river and the Gherkin. Bond stepped to the window and looked out over London. The HMS Belfast was moored nearby and James looked fondly down on the old ship. Memories of his time in the Navy slipped back into him. Alec veered off from the sitting room and into one of the two bedrooms. This room had a king size bed and eastern view. The other bedroom just off the sitting room had two singles beds.

“Is there anything else I can do for you, Mister Lyons?” The manager fawned over Q.

“No, thank you.” Q turned away from the man. “Alec . . .” He snapped his fingers again.

The blonde Russian kept from sneering at the young man. Instead he walked over and escorted the man to the door.

“Fredrick Lyons? Sounds like you should be reading the news on BBC.” James said.

“Would Freddy Lyons be better?” Q asked.

“Now you’re reading the football scores.” James joked. “So who is Fredrick, Freddy Lyons?”

“He is the CEO and owner of a telecommunication network in the Far East. Permanently based in Hong Kong, but travels a great deal with a net worth over forty million. An identity I made up. Does he sound legitimate?” Q said as he pulled at the knot of his tie.

“How do you keep up the impression of all that money?” James asked as Q stepped next to him. The two men looked out over the city.

“Multiple accounts in banks around the world. I’ve set up a program that automatically moves electronic money around from place to place without it ever being there in the first place. On paper there are millions of pounds being shuffled. In reality, nothing.” Q smiled as James laughed.

“And we’re your ‘bodyguards’?” James lifted an eyebrow.

“Well, it was either that or my personal chief and masseuse.”

“I have no problems with bodyguard, but if you ever snap your fingers at us again, I’m taking you over my knee for a spanking.” James growled before he pulled Q into embrace. He nipped at Q’s lips.

“Oo that could be interesting. Not much of a deterrent.” Q smiled as he pulled back from James’ lips. James pulled Q back and continued to kiss the younger man.

Alec came back into the room, having escorted the manager to the lifts. “If you two are quite finished we need to figure out a way to stop Denbigh.”

James dragged Q over the couch and pulled him down to sit on his lap.

“Why do we have to do anything?” Q asked. “M knows who has been attacking both of us. She will take care of him, won’t she?”

Alec was pacing around the room. He glanced over at James and the two men shared a silent conversation.

“It is in M’s best interest to deal with Denbigh quietly. Without not letting her people know that he tried to take her out. If it is learned that M is vulnerable, then there will be more attempts to take over her organization.” Alec explained to Q.

“But if she does it quietly, it could take time.” Q said.

“Yes, and we can’t stay in hiding forever. There is also Sanchez and Lupe to worry about. They are still out there waiting to kill all of us.”

James and Alec watched as Q hummed to himself. The young man stood and started to pace around the suite’s sitting room too. James glanced at Alec then back to the younger man.

“Q?”

Q stopped and looked out the windows and down on to the city. The winter clouds had closed in and the rain began to pelt against the glass.

“This is going to end, isn’t it?”

“Eventually, yes.” James said.

“But until then, we are in hiding? Is there no other option?”

“This isn’t the worst place to hide, Q.” Alec said waving around the room.

“I can only maintain the charade of Fredrick Lyons for so long. Maybe a week. Then I don’t know what we will do.”

“A week is a long time, Q. Remember, we’ve only known you for four days and I believe it is safe to say that neither Alec nor I are ready to see you go.”

Q’s glances shifted between the two men. He wanted to believe that this could be a more permanent arrangement, but he doubted himself. He always doubted himself.

Chapter Text

It had been four days since the Layer Cake had been blown up. In that time, Bond’s crew had been in hiding. It looked like they were going to have to stay in hiding, but for how much longer was the question? There were still drugs that had to be bought and sold. There were still lower level dealers who wanted the pills and coke. There were still upper level criminals who wanted payment for shipments. Alec and James couldn’t stay in hiding for much longer. They had promised M that they would stay low while she dealt with the traitor Denbigh, but she needed to act quickly or James and Alec would have too.

There were also other consideration for the two blondes. Clarkie was still in hospital. He was out of surgery and awake but how much longer did the man have to stay there? Also where was he going to go once he was discharged? Clarkie could be left alone and unprotected unless Bond did something. Arrangements had to be made. Also, Gazza was coming in with a shipment of pills from Amsterdam and Alec need to be there when the load arrived. Gazza had been close with Duke and Alec needed to tell him what had happened to the man at the hotel. James and Alec decided to spin the tale differently from how it actually went down. Gazza didn’t need to know that Duke had been set up by James and Alec.

James went to the hospital while Alec went to deal with Gazza and the drugs. Q was left alone at the Shard. It was the safest place for him. No one would get past the concierge even if they did know that Quinton Wallace was now Fredrick Lyons. Alec and James shared an earlier dinner with Q before setting off.

Room service had removed the remainders of the meal as Q sat on the ‘L’ shaped couch and stared out at the city. The winter clouds were close in and the buildings were beginning to take on a ghostly appearance in the fog. The city lights were muted and the clouds glowed in shades of yellows, reds, whites and blues. Q’s mind began to wander. He thought of all the things that had happened in the last four days. The bombing, and James waking up in Q’s flat. The flat in East Ham. Speaking to M at the hospital. Then he remembered the night before. Having sex with both James and Alec. In four days, more had happened to Q than in the twenty-six years before it. For a brief moment he wondered if that was what it was like to be the lover of a gangster.

Was that what he was now? A gangster’s lover. The lover of a pair of criminals? It sounded romantic and frightening at the same time. Q wondered if this was a good choice. James and Alec praised him constantly. They admired things about him no one else ever had. They found him desirable. His body. Q always saw himself as scrawny and unattractive, but both James and Alec had called him beautiful and sexy. They made him feel sexy and uninhibited. When they touched him, he wanted to touch back. He explore their bodies and learned giving pleasure as enjoyable as receiving it. His other encounters with sex had never been that sensual.

The two blondes also seemed to be interested in his inventions too. They asked questions and told him he was brilliant and creative. Everyone else had told him he was a fool and nothing he made would work like he said they would. He was a dreamer and wasted their time. But Bond and Trevelyan were interested. They wanted to know more, and told him he was a genius. They were as impressed with his mind as much as his body. The thought made Q shiver.

He stood up and went to the window and stared out at the hazy outlines of the buildings in the glowing clouds swirling around them. Ghostly structures in the mist. Q set his fingertips to the glass. It was warm despite the cold weather outside. The hotel room was nice and warm. He’d been cold for so long. Not just the safe house in East Ham or his own dingy flat, but for as long as he could remember. He left his home when he was young. Sixteen. He didn’t so much as leave as he was thrown out by his step-father who considered him less than human. His mother was an alcoholic and unable to take care of herself, let alone him. At sixteen he was on his own. It was a struggle but he got by. He was always interested in computers and got a job repairing them at a shop. He started tinkering with the spare parts and learned how to hack while he worked there. He kept his head down and stayed away from trouble. Always away. Q told himself never to draw attention to himself.

Ten years later, he made his greatest mistake. He thought finally he might have something worth developing. His security program. The one with the ability to defeat hacking. He just needed a little money to get it finished. Well not a little money. He needed fifty thousand pounds and the only one who would loan it to him was M. Now he was in the middle of a possible gang war. People were dying around him and he had fallen into bed with two killers. What was he thinking?

In the past, when Q was faced with doubt and fear, he hid. He buried himself in his work and created. Ear microphones and exploding pens. He hid in codes and computer programs. He started hacking as a distraction. Soon, he was able to trace other hackers. He discovered how they wormed their way into a network and he tracked them back out. Occasionally, he would close the backdoors they left or he would leave messages to the network on how to stop the hackers.

Then one day he came across ‘Him’. Q never knew his real name, or if he was even a male. He found the hacker slipping into the MOD. He tracked him back out and followed him into MI5’s network. He was called the ‘The Archenemy’. When Q realized what files Archenemy was hacking into, Q triggered the security alarms within the network. Both he and the other hacker were instantly shut out. That’s when Q decided to write his new program. The algorithm for a polymorph firewall that would stop hacking. He designed it specifically against Archenemy. When M saw the program, she had her computer man look at it, then she wanted it for herself. She threatened him then said he could either give it to her or be given to the two criminals. Q still didn’t understand why he said no to her. Where he found the strength to deny her.

Rain was falling and streaking down the windows. Q didn’t even remember it starting. He had been lost in his mind for over an hour. His view of the city was washed with smears of color. Sighing heavily, Q decided he would have a hot shower. A long hot shower. He was tired of being cold. He was tired of being afraid. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do. James and Alec told him he was special and gifted; and they made him feel that way. Maybe they were right.

~Q~

The bathroom off the larger bedroom had one wall that made out of glass with a view of the river. The shower was huge with large ‘rain’ shower head. With the frosted glass door closed, the shower stall soon filled with steam as Q stood under the hot water. He tipped his head back and looked up. The water poured down on his face and slicked his dark hair back. It felt so good, and so decadent.

Q was so absorbed in enjoying himself, he didn’t noticed when James slipped into the bathroom. The older man moved silently up to the glass door and opened it, stepping in the steam and behind the younger man. Q felt the shiver of cold coming off James’ naked skin. The other man had been out in the winter sleet only minutes before. James moved closer and leaned over to kiss Q’s bare shoulder.

“I was hoping you would already be in bed, but I must admit this is was a better solution to warming up.” James stepped closer and lightly placed his hands on Q’s shoulders. Slowly sliding his fingertips down the young man’s arms. Q trembled then leaned back into James’ broad chest. Q’s head tipping back to rest on James’ shoulder.

“Was Clarkie okay?”

“He’s fine.” James’ voice was deep and husky. He kissed the bare shoulder again. “I think I am going to enjoy having such a big shower. More room to indulge.”

Q hummed as James hand moved forward around Q’s waist and rested over his flat stomach. Q could feel James’ cock rub against the crack of his behind. He shifted his weight and let himself push up slightly against it. James other hand slipped down to Q’s hip and held the young man in place.

“Is Alec with you?”

“No, he’s still meeting the shipment.” James whispered into Q’s ear before he started laying soft kisses down the man neck. “Do you mind if it is just the two of us?”

“Not at all.” Q hummed and tipped his head to the side to grant James more access.

“Do you like being taken against a wall?” James whispered in Q’s ear as he dragged his lips across the sensitive flesh.

Q whimpered. He bit his lower lip, embarrassed at how fast James had made him desperate. It seemed the blonde’s sole ambition was to take Q apart.

“Please.”

James’ teeth closed on the muscle at the point where Q’s neck met his shoulder. Q sucked in a deep breath. His whole body shook. He felt light headed as blood rushed to his groin. Q tried to keep from shaking as James’ hand skimmed down from Q’s stomach to the nest of black curls. Scratching lightly at the skin there, James watched as Q’s length twitched in anticipation of being touched. Q stepped wider, opening his stance up for James.

“Eagar, aren’t we?” There was humor in his tone.

“Please, James. Don’t tease me.”

James growled and twisted Q around to face him. Q gasped as James’ arms wrapped tightly around the young man’s body and his hands gripped Q’s thighs. He easily picked up the smaller man and stepped in, pushing Q against the tile wall. Q grunted as his back slapped against the wall. His arms flew around James neck, as he held on. The fear of falling was irrational because James had complete control of his body, but Q’s heart rate still jumped. He stretched his abdominal muscles and lifted himself in James’ arm.

“Condom?”

“Don’t you want me to stretch you first?” James joked as he nipped at Q’s collar bone.

“Oh fuck . . . James, you’re tormenting me.” Q moaned as he twisted in James’ arms. The blonde’s teeth worried at the sensitive skin of Q’s nipple.

Their naked groins were in contact and with the water to make them slippery, the two ground their hips together. Q twisted and tried to get his mouth on James, but was pinned and helpless to aid in his own pleasure. All Q could do was moan and plead for James to hurry up and fuck him. James was determined to take his time and draw out Q’s suffering. The young man was keening to be taken. To feel James fill him and bring him to completion.

Just as the wave was beginning to crest, James reached down and encircled Q’s throbbing length with his thumb and forefinger. Staving off the climax, Q whimpered as a low rumble came from deep within James.

“Not until I tell you.”

“Please, James.”

James slowly lowered the man down to his unsteady feet. Q felt like a new born colt. Loose limbed and uncoordinated. James grabbed Q’s shoulders and twisted him around. Q brought his arms up and rested them on the cool tile wall. He buried his face in his folded arms and hummed when he felt James’ hands smooth over his back.

The first finger was slick only with water. It dragged and was as uncomfortable as it was welcomed. The stretch burned slightly and Q arched into the intrusion.

“I knew you wouldn’t want to do it without proper preparation.” James pulled his finger out.

He grabbed the conditioner from the shelf in the shower and squeezed a generous glob into his hand. He massaged Q’s opening for several minutes before he slipped him finger back in. Q sighed and pushed back into James’ hand. Within minutes James had Q open and ready. He grabbed the condom packet off the shelf in the shower where he had left it and slipped it onto himself.

He leaned into Q’s body slipping his arms around the young man’s torso. “Ready?”

“I have been ready for a fucking half hour, get to it!” Q practically growled.

“Pushy.” James laughed just before he bit at the nape of Q’s neck.

He plunged into the young man. A slow continuous push. Q’s groan matched the slide of James’ prick into him. Q pushed his hips back as he arched his back. His face pressed into his arms. James wrapped his upper body around the young man and started thrusting.

The sound of the shower mixed with their panting and moans. Q tried to step wider as he stood up on his tiptoes. He wanted James deeper. Then the blonde’s cock dragged over Q’s prostate at just the right friction. Q fought to stay on his toes. It was perfect. His whole body trembled as he felt the man sliding in and out him.

“Oh, God! Yes . . .”

James slipped his hand down and wrapped it around the younger man’s cock. He matched the pulls on Q’s length with his own thrusts into the man’s body. Less than a dozen strokes and Q was spilling his seed against the grey tiles of the shower. James held Q on his feet as the young man collapsed. James’ own thrusts intensified as he chased after Q’s climax. Sharing the euphoria, as he groaned and shoved himself one more time deep into Q. His own cock pulsating within the muscles of Q’s body.

“You are fucking addictive.” James whispered into Q’s shoulder.

The young man tried to laugh, but it seemed like too much effort. James slowly pulled himself out and carefully helped Q stand up straight then lean into the wall.

“Bed now?” Q said. His eyes closed as his head rested against the tiles.

“Are you finally warmed up?”

“Warm and happy, yes.”

Chapter Text

James woke with his fingers playing down the smooth curve of another person’s arse. The sheer window curtains were closed and the bedroom was lit with diffused sunlight. James glanced down and saw a dark head resting in the crook of his shoulder. Q’s face was pressed up against James’ ribs. The young man’s arm was tossed over James’ abdomen.

James smiled as memories of the previous night came back to him. He had barely gotten Q into the bed from the shower before the two of them had fallen into a deep and restful sleep. During the night, their bodies sought each other out.

James’ hand slipped off Q’s bum and reached over to the opposite side of the bed. James didn’t remember Alec coming in after they had fallen asleep. His palm spread over the cool sheets. No one was there. James lifted his head up and twisted to see if that side of the bed appeared to have been slept in. The pillows were still fluffed up. The sheets were still tucked into the bed.

James tossed the covers off himself and threw himself out of bed. Q grumbled as he was dislodged from his warm nest.

“What’s it?” Q words were slurred. He was barely awake.

“Alec’s not here.” James was quickly slipping his jeans on without any pants.

Q sat up in pool of covers. He rubbed his eyes as he tried to settle his sore backside.

“Maybe he just got up earlier. He could be in the other bedroom.”

“No, we don’t sleep apart if we are in the same city.” James said as he pulled the jersey over his head. “Something is wrong.”

James grabbed his phone from its charger. He quickly looked for any messages from Alec. There were none. Frustrated he pressed the speed dial for his lover. The phone went to voice mail.

“Alec, where are you?” The words rushed out of James’ mouth. He pressed the disconnect button and turned to look at Q. The young man was still sitting in the bed, naked. His pale skin showed James’ marks. Love bites and bruises up and down the ivory torso and neck.

“What?” Q blinked at the man. He leaned over and slapped at the nightstand till his hand landed on his glasses.

“Is there a way you can trace Alec?”

Q slipped his glasses on and frowned. “You mean like on television? Those cop shows?”

“Yeah?”

“Well, I could maybe hack his phone. You have all his contact info.” James nodded and Q crawled out of the bed. He pulled the duvet off the bed and wrapped it around himself. “I could get into his phone and activate his GPS. Then maybe I could track him down.”

“Do it. I’ll see if I can reach Gazza and Terry.” James started to walk out of the bedroom.

“James . . . I’m sorry but I will work better with caffeine. Tea?” Q pleaded.

“Room service. Then hack Alec’s phone!”

James was looking for his shoes as he dialed the number he had for Gazza. The phone kept ringing for several minutes before a woman answered.

“Hello?”

“Who is this? Where is Gazza?” James asked concerned by the stranger answering Gazza’s phone.

“Who is speaking please? Are you an associate to Gary Burn?”

James hung up the phone immediately. No one he knew would call Gazza by his legal name. No one but the police. James quickly called Cody. Cody Fletcher had connections within the police.

“Cody?” James answered as soon as the call connected.

“James, what the fuck. Where are you?” Cody sounded afraid.

“What happened?” James felt a wave of fear wash away his anxiety.

“Gazza’s dead. The shipment was ambushed. They didn’t take anything, just shot the shite out of everything.”

“What about Alec?” James asked as he collapsed onto the couch.

“Alec? What about him?” Cody asked.

“Was he shot? Is he dead?” James found the words difficult to say.

“He wasn’t there? We didn’t see him. Maybe he got away before the shooting started. It was that woman again. The one from the club.”

Lupe Lamora. When James met her again he promised himself he would kill her with his bare hands. James dropped his face into his palm. If Alec was there . . . if he wasn’t at the meet, then maybe he was still alive. Maybe Q could find him. It wasn’t over yet. His lover could return to them.

“Cody, get out of town for a few days. It should be over by then. Tell anyone else who is still alive to watch out.”

“What about you, mate?”

“I’m going to find Alec. Don’t worry. We’ll be leaving too. All three of us.” James said as he sat back up.

“Three?” Cody seemed confused.

“Yeah.” James disconnected the phone call.

He had sent Alec off to the meet not thinking Lupe and Sanchez would be there to ambush it. Anger and hatred blazed through the man. This all fell back onto Max Denbigh. James was certain Denbigh had brought the Colombians into London. He would strangle the man for that. Take pleasure in squeezing the breath out of the little bastard.

~Q~

Villiers parked the car by the entrance near the loading docks. The blue and white police caution tape had come down the day before. He turned the engine off on the saloon but sat for a few minutes in the warm car. M had given him the order to deal with Max Denbigh. Villiers was to pick up the man along with the two goons who were presently holding him in the office of the warehouse. He was to take him to an abandoned construction site about ten miles away and shoot him. Leave his dead body to be eaten by the rats. Villiers felt sick.

The last time he had been in this warehouse was the day it was shot up by Lamora and Sanchez. He had just gotten out of the building when the bullets started to fly. Now he was back. The building hadn’t been opened up for business yet. The police had only just released it back to M that morning. The bright orange doors on the loading dock were closed and the normal bustle of people working around the place was gone.

Villiers slipped his gloves on. His hands were shaking. It had been a horrible few days. The shooting here at the warehouse, then the attack at the hotel with M. Finally this morning when she called him to her house to tell him to kill Denbigh. He couldn’t believe it. He didn’t even stop to ask her how she survived the hotel attack. He just stumbled out of her house and into his car. He drove here with the sole purpose of killing Max.

Villiers got out of the car and went to the door. He used his keys to open the door and climbed the short flight of stairs up to the warehouse floor. Only half the lights were on, making the large expansive room dim and dark. His footsteps echoed off the concrete as he walked towards the office. The window was still broken out. Bullet holes decorated the walls and many of the wooden crates around the warehouse floor. Villiers walked passed one of the forklifts and saw blood dried on the seat of the machine. He looked away before he became sick.

He didn’t want this. This was not what he had expected when he agreed to work with him.

Villiers opened the door to the office and stepped in. Max Denbigh was tied to the chair. His lower lip was split and bleeding. His left eye was black. There were bruises to the side of his face and his exposed arms. The t-shirt he wore was stained and bloodied. Apparently the two guards who M had sent to hold Max Denbigh had been working the young man over. Villiers was shocked when he saw Max.

“What did you do?” Villiers practically shouted.

“Boss lady said he was responsible for Leiter gettin’ it. He’s lucky we didn’t cut his fuckin’ bollocks off.” The gruff man slurred his words through the toothpick that dangled from the corner of this mouth.

Villiers thought he was going to be sick. Max opened his one good eye and stared at Villiers. Max spat blood out of his mouth then smiled. His teeth were pink with blood and spit.

“The bitch didn’t have it in her to face me, did she?”

Toothpick man punched Max hard in the stomach. Max grunted and doubled over best he could with his hands tied to the back of the chair.

“It’s over Max.” Villiers said softly. “I’m sorry. But this is it.”

Villiers reached into his pocket and pulled out the snub nosed .38 revolver. His hands were shaking again. Max sighed and rolled his one good eye.

“Just get it over with, will you.”

Villiers nodded. The gun fired, once, then twice. Villiers hit the first guard who was standing behind Max, square in the face. He went down quickly. Toothpick man was shot in the neck. His hand flew up and covered the wound as blood poured from his neck. He turned and took a step towards Villiers, then fell to his knees.

“Shoot him again!” Max shouted.

Toothpick man glanced up at Villiers.

“You bastard . . .” he hissed.

Villiers aimed and fired again. The bullet entering just below the dying man’s left eye. The back of his head exploded and sprayed blood across Max’s legs.

“Fuck! What took you so long?” Max growled as he tugged on the ropes.

“M is alive!” Villiers shouted as he rushed forward and started untying Max’s restraints.

“Of course she bloody is. How else would I end up here? What about Bond and Trevelyan?”

“They made it out alive too.” Villiers said.

“And I see you did too.” Max stood up and gingerly rubbed his thumb over his split lip. He glanced down at the blood smeared across his thumbprint. “How?”

“How what? How did M get out? I don’t know?” Villiers was busy trying to pull Denbigh from the room.

“NO!” Denbigh shouted and grabbed the gun from Villiers grip. Villiers jumped back. “How did you survive?”

Denbigh pointed the gun at Villiers. Villiers’ eyes grew wide and fearful.

“Trevelyan and I went into the other room. As soon as we were in there, he attacked me. Knocked me out. I woke up in the cupboard, gagged and tied up. The police found me there.”

Denbigh lowered the gun. He looked carefully at Villiers. It had been his intention that the man be killed along with M at the meeting but he survived. Denbigh considered if this was a good thing or not.

“Where are Lamora and Sanchez?” Denbigh asked.

“They just took out Bond’s shipment from Amsterdam. I was supposed to meet them at the safe house near the City Airport.” Villiers looked desperate. He wasn’t sure what was going through Denbigh’s head.

“Give me your coat and get me out of here.” Denbigh ordered.

Villiers removed his expensive wool coat. The slim tailored coat engulfed the smaller framed Denbigh, but the man appreciated the warmth. His lip had stopped bleeding but the bruises on his face were darkening. Villiers took Denbigh’s elbow and helped him out of the office and across the warehouse floor.

“The keys for the car are in the right hand pocket.” Villiers said as he opened the door.

A blast of cold air smacked into both men. Villiers shivered but didn’t dare complain. Max almost stumbled down the stairs outside. Villiers caught him and the two men got into the car. Villiers behind the wheel and Max in the backseat. Max tossed the keys into the front seat as he leaned back into the leather. He slipped down and laid across the back.

“Get me to that safe house.” Max said as he closed his eyes.

“Do you want me to get you a doctor?” Villiers asked.

“No, we don’t have the time. I want M dead for this. Call the boys.”

Chapter Text

Detective Inspector Gareth Mallory was a patient man but that patience was wearing thin. In the last month, there had been over twenty-five killings. All of them were associated with either M or Bond. All of them were leading to a gang war he didn’t want to see break out in his city.

There had been the three men killed on the docks. Men who worked for M. Then the bombing of the dance club, the Layer Cake. The shooting at M’s warehouse and the assassination attempts on her car and at the hotel. Now there were four dead men at a petrol station just outside the city. Boxes full of Ecstasy and amphetamines were found with the bodies. The boxes torn to pieces by gunfire.

Mallory couldn’t imagine how much worse it would get if the two finally decided to actually go to war. How many innocent bystanders would be caught in the crossfire? That was the last thing Mallory wanted to deal with.

He leaned forward in his chair and glance through the pile of photos taken from the last shoot out. Bond’s man Gazza was dead with three other no name criminals. The ballistic report said it had been two different shooters. That reminded him of something.

He grabbed the report of the attack on M’s warehouse. Yes, right there it said two separate shooter, one male and one female of Latin extraction. Mallory pressed the intercom for his office.

“Yes, sir?” The disembodied voice on the other end of the line asked.

“I want CCTV from around the petrol station shooting half an hour, no make that an hour before the shooting started.”

“But sir, there must be hundreds of people on those tapes to look at.”

“We have CCTV photo of the two shooters from the Battersea warehouse shooting, don’t we?” Mallory asked.

“It is grainy but we have numerous statements given to us by the men who were there. They all describe the same two people.” The voice said.

“Good. I want an identification on any individuals who match the description of the shooters.”

Mallory went back to his reports. He may not be able to find Bond and M but he still had a thread to follow and maybe a chance to stop a war.

~Q~

Alec wondered how much blood he could lose before he was dead. Sanchez had shot him hours ago-maybe even a day. Alec couldn’t be sure. All he knew was his leg hurt like hell and he was going to ring the fucker’s neck if he got his hands lose again.

Alec was laying face down on the floor of the house. The carpet smelled of dirt and grease. His wrists and ankles were tied together. The muscles in his thighs and shoulders were in agony. He could turn his head and look out the window and see airplanes flying over. Several of them every few minutes. He must be near an airport. Alec worried he’d been here for too long. James would be frantic looking for him and make a mistake. Alec couldn’t afford for James to make a mistake now. His life depended on it.

Alec tried to twist and lay on his side. The wound in his thigh had stopped bleeding but moving around opened it up again and the blood oozed slowly out. His trousers were black from the dried blood. Alec was feeling woozy and he wondered again how much blood he could still lose without losing consciousness then his life.

He closed his eyes and focused on any sounds he could hear. There were the planes over head. There was road sounds. Traffic nearby. Yelling wouldn’t help. No one would hear it over the sounds of the cars and horns. He heard the pipes rattling in the walls. One of the two Colombians must be taking a shower. He listened again and there it was. The soft whoosh of water. A woman’s voice singing softly. Lupe.

Alec’s mind took him back to that night at the Layer Cake. Lupe looking up at him with hungry eyes. The way she grabbed his shirt front and pulled him down on top of her. The sounds she made as he fucked into her. She didn’t care if he was enjoying himself. All she cared about was her own pleasure. He wondered when she actually placed the bomb in the room. Did she calmly lay there on the desk as it ticked away just a few feet from her? What would she have done if Alec told her to stay? Would she have given a reason to flee or just take off running? Alec cursed at himself for being such a complete and total idiot.

His head was hurting and his mouth was beyond dry. His lips were stuck together and his tongue was glued to his soft palate. Twisting up on his side didn’t relieve any of the pain in his shoulders. It would take a week in a hot baths to pull the knots out of his muscles. Alec thought he should get Q to rub him down after he got free. The memory of the dark haired man came flooding back to him. The difference between Lupe and Q. The differences in the way the two approached sex.

Lupe pursued Alec, where Q was led. Q was generous and adventurous. He was willing to do whatever Alec or James asked of him. It was as important to Q to pleasure as to be pleasured. A secret smile came to Alec’s mouth as he remember the wonderful sounds Q made as he and James teased and tormented the young man. Q was a lover. The best Alec could say of Lupe was she was a diversion. A fucking miserable diversion.

Alec laid on the floor thinking of Q then James came into his mind. He wondered what James was doing at that moment. He knew James would be looking for him, or at least trying to track down who had attacked the shipment. James would be merciless. He would kill anyone who got in his way without blinking. James would walk through hell for Alec. Just as he would for James.

Alec’s limbs began to feel heavy and dull. Was it blood loss or was he just losing consciousness, Alec couldn’t be sure. His body was becoming numb to the pain now. It had to be the blood loss, he thought. He wondered what James would say to him. How would James look when he found Alec’s lifeless body? The shift in James’ arctic blue eyes.

That was what Alec was going to miss the most about James. His eyes. It was amazing how much James could express in his brilliant blue eyes. The subtle expressions through a slight curve in his lips or a raised eyebrow. The shifting moods and feelings that were silently translated to Alec. The swell of James’ mouth as he smiled.

Q would get to taste that mouth now. Linger on James’ kisses. Q would be the one to see the soft changes in James’ expression that carried his emotions. Q would hold James together. Alec should have been jealous. He should have been angry that his time with James was finally coming to an end but he wasn’t. Alec sighed relieved to know that James wouldn’t be alone. Q would be there.

Alec felt himself slip deeper into the darkness, when he heard the door open. The footsteps were too soft, even for carpet. He forced himself to try and open his eyes. The lids felt glued. He struggled then slowly they peeled apart and Lupe Lamora was standing over Alec with just a towel wrapped around her thin body.

“Hola mi amigo.” She said in a sultry voice.

Alec groaned and closed his eyes. “Bugger off.”

“Mi hombre gaupo. Didn’t you have fun with little Lupe?” She teased at opening the knot holding the towel around her body. “I bet you miss your little Lupe.”

“Like the clap.”

Lupe faulted in her striptease. Alec was not responding as she had expected. She narrowed her eyes at the man laying on the floor.

“It can’t be true what they say about the two of you . . . you and the other blonde hombre.”

Alec opened his eyes and looked up at the woman. With his last few moments, Alec was going to enjoy hurdling insults at the woman.

“If the choice was between you and a diseased pig . . . I would take the pig.”

Lupe hissed and spat at the man. Alec wished he could wipe the spittle away, but then if he had his hands free to wipe his face, he would rather throttle the woman.

“I’m going to Franz! He will teach you some manners.”

“Is he the reason you dress like a child? He likes them young? Younger than you? You have to dress up so he can be interested in fucking you?” Alec smiled internally. He saw the anger in the woman’s face. He had hit a nerve.

“El cabron!”

Lupe pulled her foot back to kick Alec in the stomach. He tightened his muscles expecting the blow.

“IF YOU KICK HIM I WILL SHOOT YOU HERE AND NOW!”

Alec didn’t recognize the Irish voice. Lupe froze with her foot already pulled back to kick. She twisted to look over her shoulder at the dark haired man with the bruised face.

Denbigh walked into the room and looked down at bound man. He squatted down on his heels and pushed at Alec’s shoulder. Alec rolled away from Denbigh and onto his back. His tied hands trapped under his body.

“Well look at you.” Denbigh’s voice had a sing-song quality to it. “All tied up and no one to bugger you.”

“What a relief.” Alec said holding Denbigh’s stare. “I see M tracked you down.”

“She tried to end our relationship but I am so very resilient. I will have to repay her for the little party she threw me. Now what am I going to do with you?”

“You could always untie me and let me leave.”

“Now where would the fun be in that? No, I think you will be very helpful to me in getting that little computer genius away from Bond.”

“Q? Why do you want Q?” Alec asked.

“He has been interfering in my other activities. I mean drugs are fun and lucrative, but the real money is in secrets. Big secrets. And I was tracking down several of them when that little bastard stopped me. And his new program is especially designed to interfere in my projects. Can’t have that. He had cost me time and money and now I will make sure he will compensate me for it.”

Denbigh stood up and went over to the table in the room. He glanced down at the items Lube and Franz had removed from Alec’s pockets. Alec’s wallet and gun sitting there. Denbigh picked up the gun and jokingly pointed it at Lupe, then Alec. He set it down and looked at Alec’s mobile. He frowned as he picked it up.

“Has this been turned on the whole time he’s been here?” Denbigh waved the phone at Lupe.

“Si, why not?” She snapped at him.

Denbigh picked up Alec’s gun again and pointed it at Lupe. He pulled the trigger and the powerful Tokarev jumped in Denbigh’s hand. Lupe fell backwards. Her towel flying off her naked body and she landed on top of Alec. Blood pouring out of the chest wound.

“Bitch.” Denbigh gritted out.

He dropped Alec’s mobile on the floor and stomped on it, disconnecting the mobile from the internet.

~Q~

“Something happened.” Q said as he looked up from the computer screen. “Alec’s phone just turned off.”

“So maybe he did it. Maybe he is still alive. Did you get the location?” James asked.

“Yes, right down to the very building.” Q smiled at the blonde.

Chapter Text

Franz Sanchez knelt on the floor. Cradled in his arms was the dead body of Lupe Lamora. His hand gently caressing her still face. The physical pain swelled in his chest as he stared down at his lover. How many years had the two of them been together? How much time had he spent teaching her? He had bought her from her mother when Lupe was only fourteen. Her frightened brown eyes staring up at the deadly man. She was terrified but learned to use her fear to fight. Franz knew she was more than just another assassin. He had trained her to not only kill but to please him too. His little orchid. His prize possession; now dead in his arms.

“You . . . cabrón!” Sanchez growled as he let the woman’s dead body slip from his grasp.

He stood up and glared at Denbigh. The Irishman just stared back. An impassive expression on his round face.

“She was an idiot, just like you. You can’t seem to follow simple instructions. Every step along the way the two of you failed to observe the basic information. She left Trevelyan’s phone on. I’m sure by now Bond and Q have traced it to here.”

“I’ll murder the pinche puto after I kill you!”

“Oh, so much drama for a whore.” Denbigh said.

He raised his gun and quickly fired. Barely even aiming it. Franz Sanchez fell in a heap next to Lupe. Trevelyan pulled his tied legs out from underneath the two bodies.

“Do you mind, I’m trying to die over here.” Alec hissed out through clenched teeth.

Denbigh glanced at him, then waved the guards over to the man.

“Pick him up and get him on his feet.”

The two guards picked Alec up and pulled him to his feet. Alec tried to but couldn’t hold in the groan. His body ached and he couldn’t hold himself up on his injured leg. The two men held him by his elbows as Alec swayed forward.

“You could always untie me?” Alec said trying to look up into Denbigh’s face.

Denbigh glanced over the wrecked body. He nodded and one of the guards pulled out a large switchblade. With a simple twist of his wrist, a four inch long narrow blade came out and was sliced through the bonds around Alec’s ankles. As soon as they were free, Alec spread his stance out and finally could put solid weigh on his uninjured leg. He exhaled heavily as he straightened himself up to his full height. The guards still held tight to his bound arms.

“My hands?” Alec asked. Denbigh shook his head no.

“I’m not an idiot. You might be shot and suffering from a loss of blood, but you are still dangerous. Shame I can’t kill you right now. You and Bond and M have been uncooperative for far too long.”

Alec shifted his weight again and sighed. “Sorry, we didn’t jump into the gang war you so desperately want.”

“The gang war was just a diversion. Just like you. Now that I have you I can go after what I really want.”

“What is that?” Alec asked wonder what insanity would warrant the escalation of murder and destruction in London.

“Why that gorgeous little computer geek who is now sharing his bed with you and Bond.”

Alec blinked his eyes. Q was the reason Denbigh had wanted to bring down both M and Bond. Denbigh smiled when he saw the confusion in Alec’s face. He stepped closer and leaned into Alec’s personal space. Alec tried to shift back but the guards held him still. Denbigh leered as his eyes swept over Alec’s body and face.

“You are completely wrong you know.” There was a sing song quality to Denbigh’s voice. It made the hair on Alec’s arms rise.

“What am I wrong about?”

“You think I’m wanting Q for my own pet . . . and as nice as the idea would be to have that little twink available as my own personal fuck toy, that is not the reason I want him. No, I really do want him for his mind and not his body. So blasé I know, but it is the truth. You all are so stupid. You think the best way to earn money is with drugs. Clean, simple, and profitable. Well it is child’s play. But knowledge . . . it is where the real money is at. Knowledge. Knowing ever one else’s secrets. That silly little program that Q was wanting to market as a new security program, I had a chance to glance at it. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. With some simple code alterations it can go from being the ultimate in security to the golden ticket entry into any system. My golden ticket. With Q’s program and my skills, I could have access to everything. Everyone. It would make NSA’s domestic spying program look like amateur hour. No one will be safe from blackmailing and extortions. I call the program ‘Nine Eyes’ because it will have eyes everywhere. Foreign, domestic, private, governmental, individual, industrial, professional, international, everywhere.”

Alec watched as Denbigh became more and more ecstatic while talking.

“You’re fucking insane.” Alec whispered.

“No, I’m brilliant.” Denbigh glanced at the two guards. “Get him into the car. The boot. I don’t want blood on my leather seats. Bond should be here soon. Don’t let him get away but don’t kill him either. If Trevelyan dies, I’ll need Bond to flush Q out.”

The two guards dragged Trevelyan from the room, leaving the bodies of Lupe and Franz dead on the floor.

~Q~

Bond had parked his car a street away from the address Q had given him. He was walking quickly down the pavement while his eyes shifted back and forth looking for anyone out of place or any camera watching him. He turned the corner and saw Alec being pulled out of the building by two men, one on either side of him. Alec’s hands were tied behind his back with a zip tie. Alec was limping. He looked pale.

James quickened his pace. His attention now fixed on his lover and the two men holding him. He made it within twenty feet of them when they noticed him. James’ hand was already reaching inside his jacket for the gun in its holster. In a smooth well practiced move, James’ hand came out and swung up. The safety already disengaged. His finger squeezing enough pressure to pull the trigger. The gun popped. The muzzle lifting slightly in James’ grip.

The first man was knocked back into the open boot. He almost pulled Alec in on top of himself. The second guard let go of Alec and was reaching for his gun when James fired again. Sudden and quick. Two more rounds came out of the .380 and into the guard. The man’s gun dropped from his hand and clattered on the pavement. His legs collapsed out from under him. He slumped and slide to the ground next to Alec’s legs.

“Where the fuck have you been?” Alec teased as his body swayed.

James rushed forward and grabbed his friend. Alec tried to take a step forward but nearly fell.

“No time for this.” James said.

He picked up his friend in a fireman’s lift and carried him quickly to his car. He knew a doctor who wouldn’t ask too many questions. That would be his first stop. M would be his second.   

~Q~

M was in her private office at her home. She was looking over the lists and contacts for her employees. M thought she had Denbigh isolated but she knew he couldn’t be working alone. Other had to have been helping him. She looked at each name and wondered if the person was someone she could still trust or not.

She heard the bell for the front door. M didn’t even glance up. She knew Bernard would get the door and tell who ever it was to go away. Her concentration was so fixed on the list of names, it took her several minutes to notice the raised voices in the foyer. The clear educated voice of Gareth Mallory was reaching her within the confines of her private office. M stood and went to the door. She looked out into the hallway she could see Bernard had blocked Mallory from entering the house.

“This is a police matter and if you do not let me enter you will be arrested for obstruction.” Mallory’s voice was loud and precise. The vein across his forehead was pulsing and a bright red of anger showed on his face.

“Detective Inspector, what could possible warrant such behavior in my house.” M chastised as she stepped out from behind the door and into the hall.

Bernard and Mallory glanced over at the tiny woman. Mallory pushed himself passed the butler even as the older man sputtered and tried to stop him.

“M, you need to come with me.” Mallory announced in a demanding voice.

“I believe you know perfectly well, I don’t need to do anything I don’t want to do, Inspector.”

“Two more dead men! Two more murders on your doorstep!” Mallory’s voice dropped to threatening gravel. “I won’t have you and Bond throw my city into a war. Civilians are already being killed. It stops now!”

“Two? Who?” M stepped closer, waving Bernard away as he tried to block Mallory from approaching her.

“At your warehouse. Two men I know work for you. Shot dead in the office.”

Confusion passed over M’s eyes and Mallory caught it.

“Who?” She asked again.

“You weren’t expecting two were you?” Mallory raised an eyebrow. “You knew someone was going to die. You ordered someone shot but only one.”

“I don’t know what you are referring too.” M tried to compose herself in front of the police officer.

“You will come down to the station for questioning. I have officers out now searching for Bond and Trevelyan. I want this stopped. This isn’t Chicago or Detroit. This is London and my town. You don’t get to seek out revenge on my city.”

M threw her shoulders back and tipped her chin up in defiance. “And if I choose not to come?”

Mallory opened his raincoat and showed the woman the holstered gun in his waistband. An indignant smile came to the man’s thin lips.

“Please, one less criminal is one less headache for me.”

M narrowed her eyes as she curved her lips down in scowl. She had never seen the man this angry before.

“Bernard, my coat please. Also call my solicitors to meet us at Scotland Yard.”

The balding butler lunged for the closet and pulled out M’s dark blue wool coat. He held it out for her to slip her arms into.

“Mallory, just so you know. I am not frightened by your futile attempts at showing masculinity. You know perfectly well that I am not responsible for killing those two men.”

“Too many people have died in the last few days and as far as I can tell you are the reason. Do I believe Bond and Trevelyan are foolish enough or brazen enough to do it so openly? No. But someone is and you are at the center of it. If you are under arrest, maybe they will slow down and we can catch them.”

“And if it doesn’t?” M asked as Bernard handed her the handbag.

“Then I will have you and Bond out of the way while I track them down.”

Bernard held the door open as M and Mallory stepped out onto the front porch. Another constable was standing there. The young black officer was wearing a tactical vest with his radio clipped to the shoulder. His attention was fixed on the Range Rover that had just pulled up behind the parked police car. M paused and looked up at the car just as the doors on the left side of the vehicle open. Two men jumped out of the car and M recognized them. They were men who worked for Villiers. She waved them away, but instead of getting back into the Range Rover, they slipped guns out from under their coats. M watched in horror as they sprayed the front of M’s house with bullets. The black officer’s hand barely reached his radio when he was shot. Falling immediately to the ground dead. His body was hit two more times. His dead body rocked with the impact of the rounds.

Mallory twisted and grabbed M, pushing her the ground as the bullets flew passed them and into Bernard. The elderly man groaned and slid down the door. His impeccable white shirt bloomed red. His hand still clinging to the brass doorknob.

M was trapped under Mallory’s body. She could feel the man being shot in the back as he cried out in pain. Mallory looked down into M’s face. His pale brown eyes stared into hers. Mallory could feel M’s hand moving between their bodies. He nodded his head just before he collapsed, his shoulders blocking her view of the shooters.

M felt the gun man grab Mallory’s shoulder and pull the dead body off her. As soon as Mallory’s body was moved, the shooter stared down at M. Mallory’s gun in her hand. She fired before the man could raise his gun. The bullet tore through his face and into his brain. M fired again. The second round sliced through the side of the man’s neck. Blood sprayed across M and Mallory.

M heard another gun shot and looked up to see the second attacker. He was turning to shoot behind himself. Another shot was fired the man fell backwards into the side of the Ranger Rover. The car sped off quickly, side swiping the police car as it left.

M’s legs were trapped under Mallory’s dead body still. She tried to sit up and push the man off herself when she saw Bond stepping closer. His gun already raised and pointing at the dead man he had shot. Bond saw M move and turned his gun on her. The woman quickly lifted the gun she took from Mallory’s waistband and pointed it at the blonde. The two just aimed their weapons at each other waiting. Then simultaneously, they lowered their guns. Bond stepped forward and removed Mallory’s dead body from off M.

“Friends of yours?” Bond asked.

“Former employees.” Said M.

“Time to leave.” Bond helped M to her feet. “I’m sure your neighbors have called ‘999’. Don’t want to stand here to explain the dead police officer on your front step.”

Bond took M’s elbow and helped her to her feet. M looked down into the dead expression on Gareth Mallory’s face. Bond was pulling her along before she could say anything else. The final words Mallory had said to her kept coming back. ‘Too many people have died in the last few days and as far as I can tell you are the reason.’ He was right. Too many people had died and now five more were dead right on her doorstep.

Chapter Text

M stood at the window in the hotel room. She looked out over the city. The ancient and yet vibrant London sprawled out at her feet. It was a perspective she had never seen before. The view of London from the suite of Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard. It almost gave her the sense of invincibility. But the sensation was a delusion, a lie. M’s world was not safe, not protected. If anything, she was more than ever in danger of losing everything she had built for over the last thirty years. Everything was slipping through her fingers.

Q paced around the room behind her. His eye kept glancing back at the closed door of the master suite. James and the doctor were in there with Alec.

Earlier in the day, when James had brought the other blonde up the service lift and snuck into the suite, Q was shocked to see how pale and weak Alec looked. His trouser leg was dark red with dried blood. Alec didn’t ever recognize Q as the two slipped past him. The doctor came quickly behind the two men. He was carrying a large suitcase. Q watched as the doctor opened the bag and revealed numerous medical supplies, including an IV set up and a cool pack with O negative blood stored within.

The doctor had quickly started to work on Alec as James closed the door and shut Q outside. James left a few minutes later only to return with M. Q watched as the woman immediately went the bar in the room and poured herself a bourbon. She drank the brown liquor down in two gulps, then poured herself another. James returned to the bedroom with Alec, ignoring Q’s questions.

“Are either one of you going to answer me?” Q finally asked.

M turned and looked at the young man. Q had not noticed before but there was dried blood on her neck and across her skirt.

“Are you hurt?” Q asked as he rushed towards her.

M shook her head. “It’s not my blood. It’s . . . it’s someone else’s. Bond saved my life.” M turned back to the window. “I’m afraid, Mister Wallace, I owe you an apology. I’ve unexpectedly involved you in struggle to grabbed power. It was never my intention that you would be . . . physically harmed. I did send you over to the Layer Cake, but I actually believed you would cave and give up your computer program before you got there. I didn’t think you would be caught in an explosion or be kidnapped by Bond and Trevelyan. I sincerely hope they have not harmed you.”

Q was confused by the woman’s hesitant apology. She seemed very brittle. As if she would break if he spoke to loudly.

“James and Alec never hurt me. They didn’t kidnap me. I willing went with them . . . well to be honest, I took James and Alec followed.”

A weak smile came to M’s face as she turned back to the young man.

“You are always a surprise Mister Wallace.”

“Q, please.”

M nodded her head. “You never believed in yourself, but of all of us, you are the one who is the most remarkable. The one with the greatest talent. You should be the one with the most self-confidence of the four of us. Bond and Trevelyan are hoodlums and me, well I’m just an old woman who was given a job to do after her husband died.”

“You are one of the most powerful people in London, M. Even if you are a criminal, you are formable.” Q said, unsure why M was being so strange.

A weak laugh came from M just before the door of the bedroom opened and the doctor and James stepped out.

“He took two units of packed RBC’s. Make sure he stays in bed as much as possible for the next few days and push his fluids. The wound is clean and I’ve started the antibiotics. Call me if he develops a fever. And no extra-curricular activity!” The doctor emphases the word no. James nodded his head. “I will return in two days.”

The short doctor turned and saw M standing by the window with Q next to her. For a moment the man was stunned into silence. His bald head and face flushing red with embarrassment of seeing M.

“Is there anything else you need me for?” the doctor asked.

“No, we will be fine. Thank you again for making a . . . hotel visit.” James held his hand out to the man.

“You know there were be an extra bill for it?” The man said trying to not sound worried.

“Of course. Not a problem.” James escorted the doctor to the door.

Once the doctor was gone, Q rushed forward to James.

“How is he? Can I see him?”

“He is a Russian mule. Stubborn and hard to kill. He wants to see you too, but remember what the doctor said, no extra-curricular activity.”

Q rushed into the bedroom were Alec was at. James turned to M. She finished her bourbon and was starting to pour herself another.

“Do you want anything?” she asked.

“Answers would be nice, if not that, then a scotch.”

M finished pouring her drink then poured a single malt for James.

“I doubt I have any more answers than you have.” She handed him the tumbler. “I ordered Denbigh shot. Mallory told me that the two men I had guarding Denbigh are dead at my warehouse. Denbigh is missing. The man I sent to shoot him is missing. I now do not know who within my organization I can trust. There are two dead police officers on my front porch and I feel like the sand is slipping rapidly out from under my feet.”

“I can tell you Denbigh is still alive. Alec spoke to him. Denbigh also removed our Colombian problem.”

“Colombians? Lamora and Sanchez?”

“Yes, he shot both of them. Apparently they weren’t doing what Denbigh told them to do, which was get the two of us to start fighting. When he didn’t get the war he wanted he decided they were no longer needed.”

M collapsed on the couch with a heavy sigh. Her sharp blue eyes had lost their focus. She looked older than ever before. For a moment James worried the woman would fall apart on him.

“M?” James spoke softly.

“I wouldn’t want a war between us. I only wanted a way out. I wanted away from the guns and the threats.” M sounded brittle.

“We didn’t want a war either. Alec and I are live let live if at all possible.”

M huffed out her disbelief. “I’m sure your various victims would argue that.”

“Alec and I never killed anyone who wasn’t trying to kill us. There were never any innocent victims.”

“Innocent? Like your customers at the Layer Cake or the men who worked in the warehouse on the legitimate shipments?” M’s eyes fixed on James’.

He nodded then went to sit down across from her.

“So, we know who is after us. Your men we can’t be trusted, and I won’t bring my men out where they can be shot. What do we do?”

The door to the bedroom opened and Q poked his head out. The two other people twisted to look at the young man.

“James, Alec is awake and asking for you.”

James quickly rose and M followed him. Together they walked into the bedroom and saw Alec trying to sit up.

“No!” Q rushed to the edge of the bed and sat down. He gently pushed the blonde back into the pillows. “The doctor said you were to stay put for a few days. If I have too, I’ll sit on you.”

A salacious smile crept to Alec’s lips. His bright green eyes began to darken.

“I could agree to that if I got to choose how you sat on top of me.”

“Not now, you berk.” Q rolled his eyes and pulled the covers back up over Alec’s chest. Standing, Q turned and addressed James. “Do you two ever think of anything else?”

James shrugged off the question and stepped over to his friend. “Well, Doc Mathis said you should be resting. What do you want?”

“It was Denbigh, Max Denbigh.” Alec said slowly.

“You already told me, and why is the question now.” James said.

Alec’s eyes slipped over to M. “It’s not what we thought. Getting the two of us to try and kill you was not the reason he started this.” Alec glanced at Q. “It was you, Q. He wants your program and if all possible you.”

Q’s mouth fell open and he leaned back as if pushed.

“All those people? Everyone dead . . . because of me?”

“He said your program can be altered to make it a key to access any computer network.” Alec explained.

“Well, yeah, if you change a few lines of code but why would he think it was that valuable? Worth killing for?”

“If he used it to hack into various networks, he could manipulate people, business, and governments. He could blackmail anyone . . . he could extort millions of pounds from his victims. Nothing would be safe from him.”

“But if Q was the target, then why is he trying to kill M and us?” James asked.

“He could take over both organizations and have the largest criminal network in London. Then with Q’s computer program, he could go global. Be a spider sitting in a web here in London and control crime throughout the world.” Alec said, wincing as he shifted in the bed. “He’s insane . . . brilliant but insane.”

“I never meant for the program to be used that way.” Q turned and looked at M. “Was that the reason you wanted it? To extort governments?”

“No, I wanted to sell it and make enough money to get out. I wanted to make money off you so I could finally leave the gangs.” M looked pensively at the men. “I’m tired of all the threats and hiding. I have a grandchild I can’t even visit because of this. I wanted out. I was going to take my people with me and you were going to be the one to help us, Q. You and your inventions would give us a new start.”

“Me? But no one ever offered to buy my things. Why would you think they are good enough to help you get out of the gangs?” Q was confused.

“Did you ever show them to anyone else?” asked James.

“Well, no . . .”

They are great inventions, Q.” James said stoically.

Q glanced up at the man, then over to Alec who nodded his head in agreement.

“Q, you are a genius. Didn’t you know?” Alec said reaching to take Q’s hand.

“No, I’m not . . . I’m just . . . me.”

“Q, you are creative and imaginative. Based on what few things of yours we have seen, you are capable of making millions,” James said. He stepped closer to the young man.

“But they are not worth killing all these people, Felix, and Morty. The people at the club and the men at the warehouse. They really are not.” Q pleaded.

“I know people who have killed for less.” James slipped a hand onto Q’s shoulder.

“I’m really to blame for the deaths? All the deaths?”

“No, not you. Denbigh is the one who ordered the killings. He was just using them to get to you.” Alec said as he sighed and leaned heavily into the pillows. “So what are we going to do about it?”

“Denbigh has successfully neutralized me.” M said as she crossed to the chair in the room and sat down. “I don’t know who I can depend on in my organization and the one police officer I could trust to go to is dead.” M’s hand slipped to the stain of blood on her skirt.

James turned and looked at Alec. “Denbigh wants Q’s program. He wants Q. Maybe we should give Q to him?”

“What?” Alec raised an eyebrow.

“I’ll do it! If that what is takes to make sure the two of you are safe, I’ll give myself up.” Q jumped in.

James smiled lopsidedly. “That’s not exactly what I have planned but it is going to take a lot of trust from you for this to work.”

“I want to be there.” M said from her seat. “I want to look that bastard in the eye when I pull the trigger.”

James and Alec shared a glance then turned back to the other two people in the room. It would take luck for James’ plan to work and he wouldn’t have Alec there to back him up. It would be dangerous and he didn’t know for sure he would be able to save his new lover.

Chapter Text

Villiers watched as Denbigh paced around the room. The dark haired Irishman was fuming. Not only had they let Alec Trevelyan slip through his fingers, M had survived the attack at her house. The fools had killed two members of the Met and now not only was he being hunted by Bond but by the police. By now Denbigh wanted to have Bond and M dead as well as that little computer geek Wallace under his thumb. How could these idiots screw up his simple plan so badly?

Denbigh was shouting at the men in the room. “It’s a good thing Bond killed those two fools who I sent to kill M. If he hadn’t I would be using them for fertilizer now!”

The thin man stormed around the room. Villiers watched as Denbigh picked up one of the guns laying on the table and shot the driver who had escaped before Bond could kill him. The man cried out in pain as his shoulder joint shattered. The man fell to the floor as everyone else stared on in disbelief.

“Get that trash out of here!” Denbigh ordered. “Dump him in the river.”

“He’s not dead, sir.” Another henchman said.

“I don’t care!” Denbigh snapped back. “Tie weights to his legs and throw him in.”

Villiers paled in the corner. Denbigh was out of control. The men might turn on the two of them if he didn’t get Max under control.

“We still have control of M’s organization, Max. Bond’s crew are in hiding and are not a threat. And the police believe it was M who killed Mallory. We are still on top.”

Denbigh turned on his partner and glared.

“We?! We?! I’m the one who has made all the plans! I’m the one who took all the risks! The one who had the crap beat out of him! No not we . . . me! I’m the only one who is to be on top. Am I making that perfectly clear to you? Learn to say it correctly.”

“You . . . you are on top. We are here to support you and keep you there.” Villiers ducked his head down.

Denbigh hissed at the man’s fear. Why couldn’t he have someone with of him like Bond or Trevelyan? Denbigh knew the two blondes would be perfect right hand men. They wouldn’t shuffle off with their heads down and the tails tucked. Max growled at the idea of not having reliable people working for him.

Suddenly, Villiers phone vibrated in his pocket with a text message. Denbigh glared at him as Villiers froze and didn’t reach for the phone.

“Aren’t you going to get that? I mean really, it’s not like anything important is going on here!” Villiers watched as Denbigh waved the gun casually at him.

The brown haired man swallowed and slowly reached into his pocket and removed the phone. He kept his eyes locked on Denbigh’s until the last second and his phone was raised before his face. When he saw the name of the person texting him, he almost dropped the phone.

“It’s from M.” Villiers gasped.

“WHAT!?” Denbigh lowered the gun and rushed forward. He wrenched the mobile from Villiers’ hand and looked at the screen. With a gleeful smile, Denbigh pressed the button and read the text.

“Are you alive? What happened at the warehouse? Were they dead when you arrived?” Denbigh’s voice took on a laughing tone. “Oh how precious.”

His fingers danced over the screen as he answered her. “Yes, Denbigh had escaped. Where are you?”

“With Bond. Wallace is here too.” Denbigh read M’s response.

Denbigh quickly answered her. “Tell me and I’ll come and get you.”

Denbigh expected the woman to text him right back. When the phone rang in his hands, he nearly dropped it. He tossed the phone at Villiers who fumbled before he was able to bring it up to his ear.

“Hello?”

“Villiers, I need to get out of here. Bond wants to go after Denbigh by himself. I’m not sticking around for the police or my own men to shoot me. Is there anyone left you trust?” M asked quickly.

“Ah . . .” Villiers stumbled over the names in his head. “I don’t know.”

“Put it on speaker you idiot!” Denbigh whispered sharply.

Villiers pulled the phone away from his ear and pressed the speaker button. “M where are you? I’ll come to you.”

“No, it’s not safe here. I’m going to sneak out with Wallace. I’m going to bring him with me. We will go north. I have places I can hide in Scotland. The three of us can wait this out. Let Bond and Denbigh kill each other. Then after it cools down, we will come back and pick up the pieces.” M’s voice still carried the authority of the woman in charge.

“Are you sure? I mean we can stay here and wait. Just let me come to you.”

“If Bond sees you he will probably kill you and me. He is not stable right now. Alec Trevelyan is dead. Bled out after he was shot.”

Villiers glanced up at Denbigh’s smiling face.

“Meet me at the statue next to planetarium in Greenwich. I’ll convince Wallace to come with me.”

Villiers looked at Denbigh. The dark haired man nodded.

“Alright. By the statue. When?”

“Make it nine o’clock. I think I’ll be able to sneak out with the boy by then. Bond is supposed to be out with his men looking for Denbigh. And Villiers, don’t trust anyone. We don’t know how many men Denbigh turned. I don’t know who I can trust other than you and Tanner.”

Villiers felt a surprised warmth at the old woman’s compliment. He suddenly felt ashamed for betraying her. He looked up at Denbigh and saw the bright light in the man’s unusual dark eyes. Delight and anticipation. A wave of fear swept over Villiers.

Chapter Text

It took Cody and Tiptoes most of the day to track down the sniper rifle that James asked for. It was military grade with a specially designed hole in the stock so James could hold it more like a pistol grip instead of a rifle. Q quickly attached the special night vision scope he had designed on the top of the gun. The scope had the ability to see warm objects in the dark as well as detail of faces. James was happy about that. He would be pointing it in the direction of Q later that night and he definitely didn’t want to shoot the boy.

Cody had also gotten his hands on two bullet proof vests from Scotland Yard. James didn’t ask him how but was glad to see them. It wouldn’t stop a round from a sniper’s rifle but it would stand up to the regular handguns that Denbigh would be using, James hoped. Cody, thinking they were for James and Alec got large vests. He was surprised to see who would be wearing them. It wasn’t going to be Bond and Trevelyan, instead Q and M were handed the vest.

Q looked up at Bond as he was handed the heavy black Kevlar. An unspoken question resting between the two them.

“I insist,” James said quietly.

Q looked back down at the vest then pulled his cardigan off and his shirt. James helped him put it on then Q quickly redressed in his shirt, cardigan and coat. Under all those layers, the Kevlar just looked like more bulky clothing. But on M it was not going to work.

Regardless of which coat M wore, it was obvious she was wearing a bullet proof vest underneath. It could not be disguised. M swore as she handed the heavy vest back to Cody.

“Better make sure the first shot counts, then, shouldn’t you.” M said looking forcefully at Bond.

“Yes, ma’am.”

Alec had watched the exchange between the other people not joining in the conversation. Alec green eyes followed James’ controlled movements as he check over the rifle and dry fired it. James wanted to put his lover at ease, but even the smug expression was quickly dismissed by the Russian.

“James . . .”

“It will alright, Alec. Trust me.”

Alec’s response was a loud push of air out of his lungs. James smiled broader now as his eyes softened on the man still lying in the bed.

“Cody and Tiptoes are staying here with you.” Explained James.

“They should go with you.”

“No, if too many people show up then it will be more difficult for the plan to work. M, Q and I. That’s all we need.”

“So quickly forgotten am I? Replacing me with one of them?” Alec didn’t appear hurt but worried. He tried to joke his concerns off.

“Not hardly. Just rest. We won’t be back until midnight. I’ll even make sure Q and I tuck you into bed.”

Alec didn’t smile. He held James’ gaze for several seconds when James turned to the other two people and asked.

“Will you give Alec and me a moment?”

M nodded and left. Q hesitated for a moment then stepped closer to Alec. He leaned forward and gently kissed the man’s lips.

“You keep a place warm for me.” He whispered into Alec’s mouth.

“I’ll keep more than a place in bed warm for you,” smiled Alec.

Q stood up straight then nodded at James before he joined M in the other room. Q made sure he closed the door after leaving.

“Alec?” James stepped closer to the bed, but not close enough that Alec could reach out and touch him.

“James, this isn’t a lark. He’ll have shooters there. He’s going there to kill you . . . all of you.”

“I know. We will be ready for him.”

“And if he gets there first? If he has thermal scopes too?”

“Do you honestly think Denbigh has access to scopes like the one Q made?” teased James. Alec tried to smile again.

“No, but still . . . be careful. Come back to me.”

James finally stepped closer and leaned over the man in the bed.

“Always.” He kissed Alec firmly but pulled back before the other man could deepen the kiss. “You know what Dr. Mathis said. No excitement. We’ll be back before you know it.”

“No you won’t.” Alec said sincerely as he stared up into James’ vivid blue eyes.

~Q~

The air was cold. The sun had set several hours before and the little warmth it had infused into the stone pathways and the statue were leached away by the night. M stood beside Q as the two looked north, over the grounds and towards the river. The breeze was picking up and Q flipped the collar on his coat up in hopes of blocking some of it. M didn’t move. Her face remained impassive and unreadable. A slight frown and strong jawline.

“Do you think they are watching us now?” Q asked her softly.

“I think we have been under observation since we walked into this park.” M didn’t turn to look at the younger man. “I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there are at least two different rifle scopes trained on us at this moment.”

Q’s stomach felt like there were rocks in it. He knew James was hidden somewhere within the grounds of the park, but he didn’t know where. James was there to search for the other shooters while M and he were left to deal with Villiers.

It surprised him when Bond suggested that Villiers was involved with Denbigh. He thought the man was committed to protecting M. But what surprised him more was M’s quick acceptance of Villiers’ guilt. She apparently had been feeling or fearing his betrayal for several months now.

Q brought his bare hands up to the mouth and cupped them together. He blew warm air into them and rubbed them hard before shoving them back into his pockets. He didn’t have any gloves. Wondering if there was really any reason to think about buying a pair given there was a high probability he would not make it out of the park alive by the end of the night. It seemed to him that he had been cold so many times in the last few months he would never be able to warm up again.

Q glanced out over the dark landscape. The lights for London barely penetrated the inky darkness of the surrounding trees and the lawns. There was no moon tonight and the winter sky was void of many stars. Only the occasional twinkle that was more pitiful than illumination. If he and M were killed here by Villiers and Denbigh, how long would it take for their bodies to be discovered, he wondered.

Q’s eyes scanned the area again. He was hoping he might get a glimpse of James. The blonde was out there somewhere in the darkness, watching them. The rifle with the special scope Q had made in James’ hands. Watching and waiting. A silent guardian angel with a thirty ought six rifle. Q shivered and knew it wasn’t the cold this time.

“Don’t look for him.” M said softly.

“What?” Q startled by her turned to speak.

“Do not look for Bond. Just relax.”

Q looked at the older woman standing beside him. Her face was set with a stern glare. Her red lips were thin and drawn down. Q couldn’t remember anyone else looking more like a scowling aristocrat than M.

“Do you believe this plan will work?” Q asked.

“We don’t have much choice otherwise.” M glanced around then pushed her hands deep into her pockets. “It was never my intention to put you in harm’s way, Quinten.”

Q was confused by the woman’s comment and it took him several seconds to catch back up to her conversation.

“You told me they would rape me. You threatened me.”

“I just said that to scare you. I knew they wouldn’t actually hurt you. I thought you would cave in. You would hand over your program. I didn’t think you believed in yourself enough to fight back.” M looked up at the man studying his face, then a small smile came to her eyes. “I am glad to see I was wrong. Regardless of what you say to others, you do know you are exceptional.”

Q blinked several times. “I wouldn’t say exceptional but yes, I knew the program was worth fighting for.”

“Not just the program, young man. You . . . yourself. I don’t know why you don’t share your inventions with others.”

“But I do, I gave them to James and Alec.” Q corrected her.

“Yes, for some reason you trust them. Is it because you know, even though they are criminals, they are also honorable?”

Q thought about her statement. James and Alec had never lied to him. What they said they were going to do, they did. They didn’t try and force him. They didn’t trick him. It was odd but the two killers and drug dealers were better people than anyone else he knew.

“After this is over you know you won’t need them anymore.” M continued. “You should leave all of this behind. Forget us and get on with your life.”

“I don’t believe I could forget any of this or any of you.”

“You are better than this.” M sighed. “I should have been better than this. I tried but I ended up killing too many. Get out of it, Quinten. You should have never come to me.”

“But then I wouldn’t have gotten to know you or James and Alec.” Q said firmly.

“You wouldn’t have gotten to know Max Denbigh either.” M reminded him.

“I think I knew Max from somewhere else.”

M cocked her head slightly to the side. Her blue eyes flashed with concern. “Where?”

“There was a hacker by the name of the Archenemy. He and I fought against each other on the internet. Based on what Alec told me Denbigh wanted to do with my program . . . use it to hack into secure systems and steal classified material, I believe Denbigh might have been the hacker.”

The two people heard the sound of hands clapping slowly. Startled, they both turned to the sound. Slowly, the clapping continued as Max Denbigh walked around the statue and out into the open. Villiers was standing beside the man. The revolver was already in Villiers’ hand and pointed at M and Q.

“I was wondering how long it was going to take you to figure that bit out.” Denbigh said, dropping his hands to his side.

M and Q just stared at the other two men. Denbigh’s smile slipped away and he glanced over his shoulder at Villiers.

“They don’t seem to be very surprised to see the two of us together.” Denbigh joked with Villiers.

The brown haired man knitted his eyebrows together and looked over at M. He could see the woman’s stern glare at him.

“You knew?” Villiers asked as fear seeped into his voice.

“Of course she knew. That’s why she called you and set up this little trap.” Denbigh snapped back.

M smiled. “If you knew it was a trap why did you come?”

“Because the cheese you are using is so yummy.”

Denbigh stepped forward and circled around Q. His dark eyes moving slowly up and down Q’s lithe frame. Q tried to remain still, not appear frightened.

“So you decided to see if you could outwit me and spring your own trap?” M asked.

“As soon as Bond shoots, my men will know his position and fire.” Denbigh said as he stepped back around to face M and Q.

“Bond is out there?” Villiers asked.

“Of course he is, that’s why you are holding the gun. He’ll shoot you first to protect his little pet.” Denbigh chose to stand apart from Villiers.

Villiers glanced around the hillside looking for Bond in the darkness. He couldn’t see anything and turned back to Denbigh.

“You set me up to be the target?!”

“Yes, of course. When he shoots we will have his location and my men will shoot him. Then I will kill M and take Q off for my own.” Denbigh smiled in delight.

“That is assuming he fires first.” M says calmly. Q had already looked away and was scanning the area looking for the other shooters.

“Well, Villiers is a coward and won’t shoot first and you are armed. We all know you don’t like guns.” Denbigh teased.

“Yes, that is true. I never liked them. Wanted to get away from them. Found them to be too indiscriminate. Anyone could be shot, not just the intended target.”

In a smooth and controlled movement, M pulled the small gun out from her pocket. Without a word she fired it. The bullet tearing into Denbigh. He didn’t even have time to register surprise on his face as his stomach burned with the lead projectile ripping a hole through him. A second round was fired in the darkness.

Villiers was slow to react. He stood back and watched Denbigh fall to the cold ground before he fired. His gun firing at the same moment Bond shot. The two different gun shots merging into one thunderous sound. Villiers round hit Q square in the chest.

The young man felt the bullet’s punch. The air was driven out his lungs. His arms flailed out as he was knocked back. Falling backwards and hitting the ground, he couldn’t catch himself. The sharp pain radiated outward from the hit. Pain washing away his vision into blackness.

M didn’t watch Q fall. She twisted and fired a second shot just as Villiers did. Both at each other.

~Q~

Bond had been listening though Q’s ear mics as the young man and M spoke. Though the thermal scope he had been slowly scanning the area surrounding M and Q. He found the first shooter within two minutes of looking for them. He had set himself up under a tree at the base of the small hill. Laying flat on his stomach.

Bond kept looking for any other shooters while he listened to M and Q talk. He heard M call him honorable. A small smirk came to James’ lips. He wondered how difficult it was for the woman to admit such a thing. He found the second shooter on the roof of the museum. It would be a difficult shot for him to make. The man was behind a parapet wall and well protected.

Bond heard Denbigh’s voice. He forced himself to not look at the man and trained his gun on the first sniper he saw. The one under the trees. Bond listened carefully to M as she spoke to Denbigh. He heard the signal they had agreed on. ‘Not just the intended targets.’

Bond pulled the trigger and the sniper rifle pushed back firmly into his shoulder. He didn’t wait to confirm the kill. He moved the barrel to the left and aimed at the museum’s roof. The man on the roof was standing now. A rifle thrown to his shoulder as the scope swept the area looking for James. Bond fired as he heard a gun being fired near the statue. It wasn’t M’s gun. It was a larger caliber weapon. He heard M’s gun and the second gun fire again, almost simultaneously. Then he heard silence.

Chapter Text

 

Bond raced up the hill towards the statue. His heart pounded in his chest as the winter air burned his lungs. He ran as hard as he could, but it seemed his legs were not working. The distance between him and the four bodies increased with each stride. His limbs felt sluggish but his mind seemed to be speeding up with awareness of what had just happened. Q was laying on the ground. Q was not moving.

He had heard the gun shots. M had agreed to shoot the man with the gun first, but something had happened. Something went wrong. What if both Denbigh and Villiers were armed? What if they shot her first? What if they had shot Q? What if they had shot him in the head? Q’s bullet proof vest would have been useless if that was the case.

It seemed like an hour before Bond finally reached the statue where M and Villiers were to meet. At the base of the grey marble were four bodies. Bond rushed to Q’s. The young man was prone, his eyes closed. Bond didn’t waste time checking for a pulse. He tore at Q’s coat and then his jumper underneath. Lifting and pulling the layer of clothing away, Bond sought out the Kevlar vest.

There over Q’s heart was the deformed lead slug, wedged in between the fibers of the vest. Slowly, James removed the spent bullet from the vest and held it tight in his hand.

“Q!” James slapped Q’s face.

The young man groaned and hissed as he woke up. He tried to curl his body in on itself as the pain surged again through him.

“Fuck! That hurt!” Q gritted his teeth.

“Yeah, you’ll be bruised for a few days.” Bond said as he pulled the young man up into a sitting position.

“Bond . . .” The two men heard a raspy voice coming form M.

Q twisted away from Bond’s grip and reached for M. She seemed so incredibly fray all at once. The shrewd cold blooded crime boss was gone and instead was a very old woman who seemed small and delicate. Her bright blue eyes the only sign of the old M still there.

“Wallace . . .” M breathed out as Q lifted her shoulders and rested them on his legs. Her tiny frame seemed weightless.

Q could see the inky blackness spreading across the ground around them. He glance over at James and the blonde shook his head.

“Is it too late to make a run for it?” M tried to joke but her words didn’t have any strength behind them.

“I’m willing if you are.” Q said softly.

M’s eye flicked between Q’s and James’.

“I shot Denbigh first. I had too.” She took a breath as she struggled to speak. “I couldn’t let that bastard win. He had to go first.”

Bond nodded in agreement. Q pulled her closer to his body to give her just a little comfort.

“You always have to have it your way, don’t you, M?” Q asked as felt a sudden affection towards the woman. She had been his advisory for so long but now he could see their relationship was something more. Something beyond her demands for his creation. She had pushed him to be better. Like a determined mother to her petulant son.

“That way the only one you have to blame is yourself when you’re not happy with the results.” M sighed.

M lifted her hand and rested it on Q’s chest.

“I’ve made many mistakes. I’ve done many things I’m ashamed of . . . that is not . . . but I was right.” M’s words were getting softer.

“What were you right about?” James asked.

M took a deep breath before she spoke. “I was right about you, Quinton. I was right that you are extraordinary. Don’t ever doubt that. You are more valuable than you could imagine.”

Q felt M sag in his arms. Her head shifted as her arm dropped from his chest. The bright blue eyes appeared to focus on something in the distance, but Q couldn’t tell. His own eyes were filled with tears and his vision blurred. He bowed his head and wept for the woman who tried to manipulate him before she told him his worth. His body shook as he fought to hold her to him.

Bond could only wait a moment before he pulled Q away from the dead woman. There were five dead people in the park. The police would be responding soon to the sound of gun shots. He needed to get Q out of there. After a moment he wrapped his hands around Q’s elbows and lifted the man up. M’s body falling away from Q’s arms.

“We gotta go. Come on.” Bond whispered.

He pulled the young man from the statue and dead bodies. They made it to their car as they heard the arrival of the police sirens to the park. Q was slumped in the front seat of the car as James drove slowly down the road. They passed several police cars racing towards the carpark. Bond pulled over with the other traffic to not draw attention to themselves. His mind still racing through the events of the night, then those of last few days.

Bond thought over what M had said. How she wanted to get out and become legitimate. To spend the rest of her life with her grandchild. Her little getting out speech.

Felix Leiter and Morty. Markham and Skinny Lenny. The patrons at the Layer Cake, the men who were working at M’s warehouse. The Duke, M’s bodyguards. Lupe and Sanchez. Villiers and Mallory. Denbigh and M. How many other nameless people had died just so one man could be on top? How many more would die to keep Bond there? Was it worth it?

He thought about M’s plans for Q and how the young man could make it happen for her. How she had placed such faith in his skills while doubting the young man’s resolve. Q was intelligent, but he was also brave. He was inventive and quick. And he was here beside James. Q had chosen to stay with James and Alec. To be theirs.

As James drove back to the hotel where Alec was sleeping he knew he had the answer to his question.

~Q~

Alec was not asleep when they returned. Bond smuggled Q up the service lift so no one would see the blood on the boy’s clothes. When Alec saw it, he tried to pull himself out of the bed. Falling to the floor as his legs gave out from underneath him.

“Q! ARE YOU HIT?!” Alec shouted.

The young man rushed forward and collapsed on the floor beside the Russian. Q threw his arms around Alec’s warm body as Alec glanced up at James. The green eyes scanned his other lover looking for an answer.

“M?” Alec asked softly, knowing already.

James shook his head as Q started to cry openly. Alec’s arms slipped tighter around Q’s thin shoulders. James stepped closer and bent over other the two men.

“Mathis will skin me if you tore your stitches. Up on the bed, Alec. Q let him breath.” James slowly pulled Q away from Alec and the two of them lifted the other back onto the bed.

“Now what?” Alec asked.

“Denbigh is dead.” James said as he pulled the covers back over Alec’s legs. “Villiers is dead too. Tanner is the only one left to take over M’s gang. Our gang is falling apart and we can’t keep going like this.”

Alec pulled Q into the bed and up to him. Q stretched out beside the blonde and buried his face into Alec’s chest.

“And Q?” Alec asked.

“He is here with us now.” James said looking down at his two lovers.

Q twisted in Alec’s arms. “And I’m not leaving. I want to stay with you.”

James sat down on the opposite side of the bed from the two men. He rubbed his hands over his face and sighed.

“Alec? Maybe we should listen to M? Maybe it’s time to retire? She wanted to but didn’t get the chance. We came close to losing our chance to night. I can’t go on losing so much for . . . what . . . what have we gained?”

Q sat up and looked at the two men. “We’ve gained each other.”

“And we almost lost you tonight.” James said.

Alec’s hand tighten onto Q’s “Nyt.”

Q’s eyes glanced at Alec. A small sad smile came to his dark red lips.

“I almost lost both of you. I can’t risk that again. I would rather walk away with nothing but the two of you than have all of London at my feet and be alone.” James confessed.

Alec nodded. “Agreed.”

The two blondes turned to Q and stared at him.

“Agreed.” Q whispered.

~Q~

Eighteen Months Later

“I can’t tell you how much I wish I had my Tokarev.” Alec whispered.

“Too right!” James whispered back.

“Will you two please just shut up till we are alone.” Q snapped at the men.

The three approached the Royal Marine stationed at the ornate oak door. Q carefully removed his identification badge and handed it to the young marine. James and Alec did the same. The young man glanced at the badges then at the three men standing in front of him.

“Thank you, Mister Lyons and Mister Sterling and . . . Sterling?”

“Brothers.” Q smiled at the marine as he explained why the two blondes had the same last name.

The marine nodded and handed the badges back then opened the heavy oak door. The marine’s eyes glanced at the deformed lead slug that hung by a then silver chain around Q’s neck. Q’s eyes followed the man’s and saw the chain and its odd charm.

“Oh, a memento.” Q said as he quickly slipped the chain back under his collar. The marine thought for moment it looked like a spent bullet.

“The Vice Admiral will be joining you shortly, gentlemen. There is tea and coffee waiting for you.” The Royal Marine held the door open while James, Alec and Q entered the room.

Today, the British government was finalizing a contract with Phoenix Industries for the new computer program that would improve the security of the military computers network. The contract would guarantee two hundred and fifty million pounds in the bank accounts of the company owned by Fredrick Lyons and the brothers, Richard and William Sterling.

Eighteen months earlier, there had been a mob hit in Greenwich. Notorious gangster, Emma Mansfield, also known as M, had be found dead with four of her associates. Max Denbigh, Tobias Villiers and two body guards. It was believed that criminals James Bond and Alec Trevelyan were responsible for the murders but the two men had disappeared and had never been seen since. It was believed the two men had been murdered themselves and their bodies disposed of in the Thames. It had been a bloody gang war that had included the bombing of a night club and the murder of a Scotland Yard detective inspector. The lurid press had dubbed it ‘The Murderous March.’ Over a dozen people had be murdered in the span of just two weeks. No one was arrested and no one had be held accountable for the crimes. The two criminal organizations seemed to melt away and been replaced by new less violent groups.

The following September, there had been a successful hack of the Metropolitan police department as well as all other governmental and private agencies that would house any photographic images of known criminals. Records of dozens of individuals associated with the March crimes disappeared electronically. There had been an investigation into the hack, but again no arrests and months’ worth of records had been lost.

“I hate coming here.” Alec said as he watched Q pour the three of them cups of coffee.

The three men were in a conference room in at Whitehall. It was where they had met with members of the Foreign Office and the Secret Service for the last few months discussing the sale of Q’s computer program.

“And you say that each and every time we come in here.” Q commented as he dropped two sugar cubes into his cup.

James stepped closer and picked up one of the cups and took a sip.

“I’m just waiting for when they finally realize that Richard and William Sterling and Freddy Lyons didn’t exist two years ago.” James whispered as he leaned close and kissed Q’s ear.

“Richard, if they haven’t figured it out by now, I sincerely doubt they are going to keep looking.” Q leaned into James’ body. “Besides, I promised after this deal we are taking that vacation we promised each other. We can disappear for quite some time on ten million pounds.”

Alec stepped closer. “Have you decided? Sail boat around Italy or skiing in Switzerland?”

“Sail boat,” Q said softly as he twisted to kiss Alec’s lips. “I so hate being cold.”