The gun hung loosely by his side, grip barely there. His free hand glanced along the sleeve of the suit, its wearer’s hand resting gently on Q’s hip.
“No one knows where I live,” Q breathed the words against his cheek. “I demand to know how you found me. I know I wasn’t followed.”
Bond said nothing, instead answering with a move of his hand into the pocket of Q’s cardigan.
Q looked down. “You said you’d lost that, lying bastard…”
“You promised me a reward if I brought everything back. And we know it’s… fully functional,” Bond’s lips lightly caressing his jawline. “I’m here to collect.”
“Nine times out of ten, you cause a diplomatic incident that M has to clean up, or several million worth of damage that either I or the taxpayers of another country have to compensate. One sliver of good behaviour doesn’t cancel out a history of misdemeanours, 007.”
Not the response Bond was expecting but nothing if not adaptable to most situations. He leaned back to assess the mark.
The facade was cool, measured, but eyes cannot hid their truths, even behind a lens of slightly distorting glass…
His gaze lingered on Q’s parted lips. “Then small rewards for small deeds?”
We choose the line we walk early in life. In Bond’s case, the line is that split decision taken on every mission to sacrifice or save.
And here he was again, watching himself and Q, weighing up his next move with care and due process. Ever the agent, occasionally the gentleman.
He glanced the back of his fingers along his neck, fanning them out around his throat to feel the swallow of his Adam’s Apple against the rough pad of his palm, and the strong, rapid morse of a pulse against his fingers. Bond moved the hand down, a soft caress of a collarbone before coming to rest on his chest. He sighed, finally looking up from his scrutiny of Q’s lips to meet his eyes once more.
“Reward enough in measure I think,” Bond whispered.
Stepping back, he headed for the door through which he had not arrived. He glanced around in brief assessment. “You have impeccable taste, Quartermaster,” the observation ending on the lock’s soft click heralding the closure of their all-too-brief dalliance.