- Death-Minor Character
- Explicit Sex
- Established Relationship
James slipped away from it all by going to one of the open air parking garages and lighting up a cigarette. If he smoked a lot of them in a short time, no one needed to know. He hadn’t been able to get away to smoke as much as he usually did, mainly because the people watching inside of the MI6 was at an all-time high. James was enjoying himself greatly. There should have been no one around as it was the middle of the afternoon and most people were still at least two to three hours away from leaving for the day while the others had been back from lunch for over an hour, even if they were the ones that took lunch late. It had been two days since Vesper’s interrogation and still three from her trial.
The sound of keys falling to the ground had James’s interest piqued. He lit up another cigarette, his favourite blend that was only made at a single place. He missed them when he was far from home, but he didn’t take them with him for a reason. He didn’t need made to be a British agent because of his cigarette brand that did not ship outside of London. James wasn’t sure what he was going to find, so he made sure that he moved the cigarette to and from his lips with his hand that wasn’t on the side where he was carrying his holstered gun.
Coming around the corner, James stopped because he recognised the body that was there in front of him, leaning against the purple Mini Cooper that was parked in a spot. The car was not a shock at all to James given the personality that James had learned was perfect of Gale. There was something wrong, though. Gale had dropped the keys and hadn’t picked them up. He seemed to be just staring at them on the ground while he leaned against the car.
For a few seconds, James debated between making noise and not making noise at all as he approached the younger man. He was halfway across the distance between them when he figured out that making a noise of some kind would be good. Gale was shaking slightly. James scuffed his foot on the ground, and Gale reacted in a split second.
Gale turned around, his hand going into the pocket of his dress shirt and pulling out what looked like a cigarette case. James stopped as he had seen some of the things that Q-Branch had weaponised, but with a further look, James saw that this was a taser, a normal every day but small taser. That didn’t mean that it wasn’t going to hurt James if Gale pressed the button to shoot out the barbs.
“007, sorry.” Gale moved to push the taser back into his pocket, but his hand seemed to stop working. The taser fell down to the ground, and that just seemed to make Gale give up. He slid down the side of the car and landed on his arse before he reached out for the keys and the taser. He grabbed the taser on the first try and just dropped it down into his lap while the keys proved to be harder for him to do.
James walked over to him slowly and picked up the keys before dropping them into his lap with the taser. It was only then that James saw that a few of the joints on his fingers were swollen and red. There were also other marks on him. Marks that James knew well from the form of interrogation that happened when it wasn’t a large group of people talking to someone. James dropped down, not caring if his suit got something on it. The garage was kept reasonably clean, and anything that would get on it his dry cleaner could take care of quickly. He had a damned good one that did well at repairing a lot of horrible things that happened to his suits during work and out of it.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“M’s already made me see Psych,” Gale said.
“And Psych is a bunch of idiots. If they can’t handle us Double-Ohs on a regular enough basis to actually help us, there is no way that they are going to be able to handle geniuses.” James looked at Gale’s face. There were a few bruises around his neck that spoke of being pinned against something but not trying to choke him. James reached out to make Gale tip his chin up, and he saw that while Gale wasn’t too injured, it looked like it was hard to swallow for him. “Have you ate lunch?”
“Haven’t felt like eating anything at all.”
James slowly reached into his pocket, but he stopped when he saw Gale eyes the cigarette. James took a last puff of it before handing it over to Gale. Gale took it, and it was pressed to his lips in seconds. James finished pulling his cell phone from his pocket and texted Tanner to tell him that he was going to take Gale out to lunch to get him to eat something that wasn’t the tea he was probably surviving on. The response came in seconds, and James figured out that Tanner was well pleased by this revelation. James rankled a little at making someone from the upper offices happy, but it was Tanner and James liked Tanner.
“I know a great place that has some filling soups and meals you can technically swallow without chewing that much. How does that sound?” James asked.
Gale just shrugged.
“What were you getting from your car?”
“How do you know that I wasn’t going to drive off?” Gale asked.
“Because if you can’t hold your keys, you can’t exactly drive and you don’t strike me as the type of person to do something so stupid.”
“You are,” Gale said with a smile, trying to break the dour look on his lips.
“I am trained to drive with broken things,” James said. He stood up and tried to figure out the best way to help Gale stand up. First, though, James took the keys from him and slipped the taser back into Gale’s pocket. The younger man was easy to get up by grabbing him under the armpits and just lifting. It didn’t seem to hurt him, but James could tell that he was thinner than he should be just by that. The clothes were doing well at hiding that he wasn’t eating the greatest. It wasn’t a shock given everything, but still, it made James just hate Vesper more. She was uncaring about what happened to her brother. If they were at war, or it had been even just a decade before, Gale would have been thrown into a cell and severely tortured to show his loyalty to MI6 and England. It wasn’t hard to see that something close to torture had happened to him, but James wasn’t going to storm Tanner and yell at him until he found out exactly what happened. Gale was just stupid enough to want to prove that he was trustworthy and do something as stupid as submitting to something as asinine as rough interrogation. James knew that he couldn’t say a thing, though, as it was Gale’s life.
“I think I could eat, and I was getting my spare bottle of pain killers from my car. I bought them and left them in the car the day I came in for the start of the Montenegro mission. I went for the bottle at my desk and found it empty. I remembered that I had left the bottle down here.”
James wondered why Gale didn’t have something that would help more with swelling, but he was going to keep that to himself. He would ask around to Tanner during lunch. The man would know if Gale had gone to medical or not after his near torture. James opened up Gale’s car to allow him to get inside of it and get what he wanted. There was a bag right there on the passenger side seat that held a bag from the local chemist. Which meant that he had stopped on his way to work.
“So what are you doing about the flat?”
“M’s had some people pack up my things and Vesper’s things. Things have been up in the air and weird, but I don’t want to go back there. It will never feel like home again to me. So I’m looking for a new place. I have no clue what I want or where I want it to be. Tanner found me a list of places that are vetted for the higher up staff of MI6.”
“Two birds with one stone?” James asked.
Gale shrugged and turned to shut the car door, but as he did, he whimpered a little and James saw his shoulder rotate like he was healing from getting his arm pulled out of its socket. James kept his emotions to himself before he did something stupid. Next, he pulled out his phone and asked Tanner to look into whether Gale saw anyone medically for what he went through.
James followed Gale to the lift door, and he used his credentials to get them back inside. Gale dropped the butt of the cigarette into the ashtray that was by the doors. He looked at James as he got into the lift after him. Gale was eyeing him like he was trying to figure out where the cigarette case was. James did not figure Gale for someone who liked to smoke at all. Though everyone had vices, James just figured that Gale would have safer vices. James smoking and drinking to excess wasn’t that big of a deal as his life expectancy wasn’t the biggest, and he was probably going to die before the smoke, or the drink killed him.
The ride down to the level that Gale worked on, James watched as Gale packed up a messenger bag with a few things. There were a tablet and a few notebooks and other things that James couldn’t tell what they were. Tanner came into the room and handed James a slip of paper. James took it and put it into his dress shirt pocket. He didn’t need to read it until he had a good time without Gale watching him reading it. He figured that it had to with Gale’s medical exam or what James assumed as a lack thereof. James nodded at Tanner, who gave him a bit of a smile in return. It wasn’t a happy smile at all and James figured that good things were not afoot.
Tanner walked away before Gale even noticed that he was there. Gale finished shoving the things he wanted into his bag. James took the messenger bag from him and waited to see if Gale was going to protest. Gale didn’t. James flipped open the flap to start to pull out everything except for the tablet and what looked like an array of various over the counter vitamins. At least James hoped that was what they were. He saw that a few looked like ones from medical when he was given when he was healing up from injuries. There were a few things he didn’t know either, but given that Gale spent a lot of time sitting different pills were needed to maintain his body. James found that he was worried about Gale more than just what he would another victim that he would come across during a mission.
James tried to stand there and understand why he was feeling different about Gale when he never became friendly with anyone inside of MI6, outside of other Double-Ohs. Their bond though wasn’t friendship, it was brothers and sisters in arms. This was different. James was worried about him, he was worried about a friend.
“Ready?” James asked.
“Sure.” Gale looked a little upset at James, having taken his things from him. James slung the bag over his shoulder and waved for Gale to walk first. James followed behind him back to the lift and then down they went to the level where Gale’s car was. James jangled the keys, and Gale nodded. James had not driven one of the newer Mini Coopers yet. He laughed and pushed the seat to recline a little less, but the leg work was pretty much spot on given that someone else drove it. He settled into the seat a little more and checked the mirrors before he started the car.
The drive to the restaurant was short, but then James liked it because it was close to MI6, he didn’t like to have to drive far to get his lunch. He had a good many places scoped out to go to and eat. Sometimes that took two hours if the place was really good. James wondered how long he could keep Gale out and M not bitch at James. She wouldn’t have too many issues with it, James assumed. She had been rather careful with trying to keep Gale’s spirits up. She was a cold and a heartless bitch but only when she needed to be. Only when doing so would get the best out of her people, but even she understood that being mean didn’t always get the best results.
“I’ve never been here before,” Gale said as he looked at the front of the restaurant. He reached over to unbuckle his seat belt but hissed in pain. James reached over to pop it open instead. Gale shot him a smile in thanks before opening up the door. Gale got out safely onto the kerb while James had to hustle around. He liked that the place nearly always had a spot open right in front of it, at least at the times he came to eat there during the off hours.
“They have a lot of good food that I will gladly bring you back for some more of at a much later time. Your throat is sore, and that means resting your mouth and the muscles used for chewing as they do connect to your throat.”
Gale gave James a look that said that he wasn’t entirely on board with that, but James figured that he would win on it. He wasn’t above flirting with the waitress or waiter to make sure that they listened to him and not to Gale. James figured that if things kept on going the way that they were, he would end up having to confess to someone that he liked Gale as a friend and not someone that he wanted to tumble into bed with. Which was a strange feeling for James. He didn’t have someone like that and James thought that maybe it was high time that he did. James wondered if it would fill that void inside of himself, at least a little bit. He looked around the restaurant as he opened the door and waved Gale inside. Gale walked passed him, his eyes going around the room, looking at everything. James figured that he was looking at different things than James. He was probably just looking around at everything and seeing it with the feel of a tourist while James was making sure that everything was still in the same. That the staff was the same and that nothing was blocking any of the exits that he had already mapped out.
“This way, Mister Bond,” Sue said as she gave James a big smile. They were escorted over to James’ preferred table with James being stuffed into the corner and the third chair was taken away so that Gale could only sit at the one that didn’t block James’ sight at all. Gale was only looking at the table with had a pair of metal chopsticks on it that rested on a pristine white cloth napkin. There was a second napkin for their lap to be placed after they sat down.
“This is…posh,” Gale said as he looked at the placement of everything on the table. A busy boy brought out two glasses that were full of ice and a pitcher of water that was settled in front of James to settle on the other side of the table. There was a small pad there that was just for it. James found that Gale was watching everything that he did very carefully. James didn’t feel upset by the watching. He could see Gale taking in everything that was around him. It wasn’t bad to be under the eye of a person as beautiful as Gale. James knew that Gale was good looking, he knew well what others would think of Gale as well for how he seemed. He was strong, though, just a little weak at the moment. He would get over it, with the help of those around him, and James found that he wanted to be one of them. He would be quite happy with Gale leaning on him. The feeling was a very strange one, and James had thought of running away from it. They were told to never get attached to anyone or anything in the job, but that didn’t really work because that meant that you had no one to come back to. James knew that M liked orphans because there was no family that would hold anyone back from doing what was needed for the job but that also made people who went off the rails. James hadn’t known any that had gone off like that since he had joined MI6, but there were stories that had enough weight that James didn’t like they were bogey stories.
“It’s very posh, but they don’t care what you dress in for here which is part of why I like it.”
“Like you dress down for anything but missions. I see you when you come into MI6, Bond.”
“I do prefer suits because I see them as my uniform.”
“Ah, the Navy coming out in you.”
“It did train me well in that regard.” James saw that the waiter was coming out with a seaweed salad. Which James wasn’t sure that Gale would want to eat at all or would be able to. He started to wave his hand, nixing it, but Gale looked around to see what he was doing and saw the food. Gale’s eyes lit up. James settled down. The plate was set down in between them on the table with no secondary plates set down as well. James had never brought anyone with him, so he didn’t think that it was odd that they thought he was a date. Gale picked up his chopsticks and started to gather up a little of the seaweed salad. He looked like he was pleased before he started to eat it. James was glad that at least this portion of the meal was enjoyable. The place was a strange mixture of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and a few other authentic dishes from the East. James had found it while wandering one evening when he had been waiting to be given the go-ahead for an intelligence-gathering mission to the Middle East. He went back there as much as possible.
The meal was mostly silent outside of James ordering each course. As to not make Gale feel upset about things, James got himself the same things that he ordered for the other man. The soups were filling mostly able to be sipped from the bowl with little issue, but with some of the heartier ones, there was the need of picking up dumplings and the like with chopsticks and eating them. Gale seemed to be enjoying himself. He was quite content to sit there in silence while they drank soup, munched on seaweed salad, and James even splurged a little and ordered his favourite roll. It was the house creation, and James had never seen it anywhere else. It was the last course of the main meal, and dessert was going to be matcha ice cream. The cool would be soothing on Gale’s face.
Just before the roll came out, James watched Gale stand up and head toward the bathroom. There was no exit from that small hallway as it only held the three bathrooms, all unisex, and the closet for the cleaning supplies for the bathrooms and the main dining room. James smiled as the roll was set down, and there was a small cup of eel sauce set in front of where Gale was sitting and not in front of James. James frowned. It had never come with that before. He saw that the sauces were not on top of half of the roll.
“We have a new chef,” Sue said as she walked up to the table with a smile on her lips. “And he knows your young companion from the last place that he worked. I guess he doesn’t like the spicy mayo unless he’s putting it on and loves the eel sauce so I figured that it would be best to just send out the one, given the poor dear’s throat.”
James remembered the paper from Tanner and pulled it out of his pocket. He read it over and stuffed it back down to where Gale wouldn’t see it if he came out of the bathroom. Tanner wanted Jame to drop Gale off at medical when they came back from lunch so that scans could be made. It seemed that Gale had played off the injuries and the report had not been filed on what exactly had been done to him. Pain was a good motivator, and M had gone for it because anything else would have damaged him mentally and did not want to be seen as being soft on him.
Gale came back out just as Sue was walking away. He walked toward the table, slowing down as he reached it. He was frowning. Gale looked at James and the look on his face was one of him trying to figure out if he should be upset at James seemingly knowing something that he shouldn’t given how short of a time that James had been aware of him.
“That was not me. It seems that the new chef is from someplace that you visit a lot as this was the way that it came out. The hostess, Sue, came over to tell me about it.”
“I would have eaten it the other way, and I guess I didn’t hear you order this.”
“You were indulging in the seaweed salad again when I did.”
“Ah,” Gale said as he sat down. He was still moving very stiffly. Gale sighed. “Bond?”
“When we go back. Do you mind escorting me to medical?”
“I don’t mind at all.”