- Explicit Sex
James knew that his headache was from the injury to his head, but usually, he could push that kind of pain off. Instead of that, it was bugging him and making him irritable. He had snapped at Gale once already, and so Gale had retreated into his actual office. He had even shut the door on James. There was no other access to the office from anywhere else. James was camping outside of it while trying not to let the techies bother him with their moving around. Doctor Heather had given him pain medication that wouldn’t dull his senses too much but would give him some relief so James would take those when breakfast was finally brought to them.
“How did that take that long?” James asked, worried but sounding too gruff to be anything but mean. He took the drink that was offered to him from the tray, and as soon as he had it in hand, he smelled the coffee. The nurse winked at him. He was pretty sure that coffee was on his not to drink list. He wondered what had been procured for Gale. He couldn’t smell it over the coffee, so it was probably tea.
“Tanner had the food looked over before it was allowed to be brought down here.”
James frowned at that. It wasn’t his worry about Gale that was doing this. This was something more than that. This was an active threat, it was the only time that food was inspected. James took the bag that the nurse gave him before he watched as the man took the food to Gale. The door was opened, and James saw that Gale wasn’t even working. He was sitting on the couch with his arm on his chest in the sling and his head back.
“James, just leave me alone, please. I can’t handle your upset and my own pain at the same time.”
“Well, I hope getting some food in you will help.”
“Ta, Robin,” Gale said as he sat up to take the bag. Robin, the nurse stayed and actually sat down beside Gale, pulling the food out of the bag. James saw a wrapped sandwich from the place around the block that was open twenty-four hours. The food wasn’t the best in the world, but it was good for store food that was made who knows when and probably from frozen. James grabbed his own and found that there was a fruit and yoghurt parfait in there. James liked them, but few knew that.
Robin was too friendly with Gale and James didn’t like it. Though, Gale hadn’t noticed the subtle flirting that Robin was doing. Which that made James happy. Though James knew that Gale had gone out a few times to get laid; usually James heard about it afterwards and how Gale found it enough for his needs for human connection when he had friends like he did. James had too much casual sex to miss the human connection at all.
James unwrapped his breakfast sandwich. It had cheese and egg and a healthy amount of bacon on it. It seemed to be a match for Gale’s except for the fact that Gale’s was on a muffin or possibly a crumpet, James wasn’t sure on which though he would guess it was a muffin. Gale liked to eat sandwiches on both, usually only crumpets when he was out of muffins. Halfway through the sandwich, Gale took his pills and James did the same after nearly forgetting. His pills were much more than Gale’s, and it took him a few swallows to get them all down. The times to take each pill were written on the side of the bottle in the fine print. It made it much easier to remember and to not miss anything.
Medications were easy to track, and it wouldn’t do good for MI6 to have their Double-Ohs, and other agents tracked that way. Things like this were given to them with the records made for personal files, but it never went further than that. Especially the higher up officials inside of MI6. While they all had a doctor of record, that doctor was their personal MI6 doctor. Gale’s was the same as James’ and while he had not been on staff the night before he would be made aware of everything that had happened to the two of them.
The other issue was that with the Double-Ohs, their injuries were nasty, and extra attention could be brought to them. There was the whole privacy thing, but doctors wondered and looked into things if they thought that their patients were in bad situations. It had proven horrible a very long time ago, and so it had just been settled into MI6 hiring in doctors to take care of the staff who would be injured or needed more security around their file. There was also the whole; not everyone worked a nine to five, and it was easier to just pop down to medical than to leave the building and traipse about London.
Robin stayed in the room long after Gale had taken the pills and finished off his food. James wasn’t sure until Gale’s head started to droop. Robin then waved at James. James got up and walked into the office and saw that Gale had his pills sitting out and the one that was a muscle relaxer was one of the ones that medical gave to Double-Ohs to knock them out. However, there was only a single pill in that one according to the bottle.
“He’s not slept all that much since you went to Rome. Doctor Heather had me slip in a sedative for the first dose. His one that won’t knock him out is in there as well. She would like him to get at least four hours of sleep.”
“Sure. How bad is the threat against him?” James asked.
“I don’t know. I’m not given that kind of information. Just told that I could only give him the pill if he was with you.”
“Thanks. I’ll take over from here. I have a tablet that he’s given me to entertain myself when I visit him so flip the lights off when you leave.” James grabbed Gale’s favourite blanket and threw that over him before slipping his pillow under his head as well. Robin left and shut the light off before shutting the door. James found the tablet in the drawer that he could reach and turned it on. It was still at a lower light setting, so it was perfect for him to read on without waking up Gale sooner than he should be.
James trolled through all of the news websites. Tanner had got in front of the information and lied his ass off that this wasn’t a terrorist attack but an isolated rescue attempt that was well taken care of now. The blowing up the old MI6 building was something that was going to attract attention no matter what so it was better to control the information now instead of letting it get a head of its own. There were still going to be those who didn’t believe what MI6 put out abut it all, but there was no fixing that at all.
There was also nothing to be done at the moment about getting Gale alone and not at work. The man had a damnable way of being too professional at work. Especially if James was around. James had only got him to drink at work once. It was just after Skyfall, and when Gale had lost the only Double-Oh, he had lost so far to death. Gale did everything in his power to get all of his agents back.
After a while, James settled on the couch and put Gale’s legs over his lap. The couch was the only comfortable thing in the office to sit in long term. James was reading through his third magazine that he had a subscription to when he heard the knock on the door. He looked up as the door opened and it wasn’t Tanner as James assumed would be the one to come in give James and Q an update but Mallory.
“Don’t get up, Bond.” Mallory waved at James when he moved to settle Gale’s legs off of him. James did slip the tablet into the space between Gale and the couch. Gale was still dead to the world, which James counted to be a good thing. There was a little blood seeping through where the bandage was. It was stark on the white bandage, especially paired with the blue hospital scrub top that he was wearing.
“What can I do with for you, Sir.”
“I’ve just come from medical. Doctor Heather is going to clear you for a mission.”
“A mission?” James interrupted when Mallory paused to take a breath. With the injury to his head, there was no way that he would be cleared for anything.
Mallory raised an eyebrow at him. James shut his mouth.
“It’s not a standard mission, and according to your file, you are going to be on medical leave. R will step up and take care of everything here in Q-Branch, including the inquiry into why we withheld information. Between her, Tanner, and I, we can cover.”
“Where will Q be?” James asked. Calling Gale by the name of Q felt funny, but he had tried to show that he wasn’t that attached to Gale, though given the way he was sitting at the moment, it wasn’t doing him any good.
“Wherever you can convince him to go.”
“What’s with the security detail?”
“When I assigned that, there was just a few things popping up on what little bit of the underworld that we could find that made me upset. One, someone within Spectre, and we are unsure who has put out a hit on Q. The money is sitting in a bank that we can’t touch, and all that they have to do is bring his head back to the bank, and when the account manager runs the DNA, then the money will be handed over.”
“That’s lovely,” James said. He looked at Gale, who moved a little. There was a hiss a few seconds later as he tried to roll onto his injured leg. James started to rub a thigh, digging in when he got to the knee, Gale settled nearly instantly.
“Two, today C found out that Gale Lynd is in fact GRLVRL.”
“I assume that is his hacker handle? Or used to be?”
“Oh, no. He stays active with it so that no one can steal it. Your M made sure that he couldn’t be traced back, but he still worked on things at random and even for a few companies getting the money through bitcoin and such. He was always above the board with it, and in the years since I’ve taken over, he comes to me each time someone wants to hire him. He declares his money and does everything that he should. It’s how he supports his flat.”
James knew how much that flat cost now that he lived in the one right below him. Gale had purchased it while James had been faking his death using James’ money. Gale had also stopped Skyfall from being sold. He couldn’t stop M from emptying his other flat, but he had made sure that James had somewhere to come home to when he was done enjoying death as it were.
“So we have a hit on not only Q but his real-life name and his hacker handle as well.”
“Yes and that’s not the end of it.”
“Really?” James wondered what else he was going to say.
“There was a prison break. Seven prisoners escaped from their personal cells, but it was assumed that all of them were put back until the rounds this morning.”
“Vesper Lynd is out of prison, and we have no clue where she is. We have to assume that it was Spectre. They were the ones that recruited her if we believe that they are the hidden group behind Quantum as per Mister White.”
“What are they going to do with her?”
“That is unclear. Gale has had no contact with her. He receives letters every few months, but he has Tanner read them, deal with what she says, and then destroys them. Gale does make sure that she has what she needed as far as books go and that the library at the prison gets the books she likes, other prisoners are enjoying that as well. But it’s all done through the family lawyer.”
James knew that all of that as Gale had kept him up on it all. Gale had written Vesper off and still had not actually spoke her name at all.
“I didn’t trust him at first. I knew of him. I knew of the shit that had happened with Miss Lynd. While your file was full of information on her and the whole thing, his was less so. Then I found her file. The psych evals that he had been put through. That he had submitted for deep interrogation that we don’t use on our own damned people unless we have full proof they did something wrong. I’ve never known a set of twins before. Never seen them interact. His interrogation was recorded, you know. I watched it before making sure that I was the only one who could ever see it. It’s one thing to read a transcription of it, but it’s another to see it. He was broken by the end of it. Not by anything that our people had done. His mind had already divorced itself from what had been done to him by her. He was building himself up from the ground again as someone who didn’t have a twin. Most people would have been broken by that. I know that family is supposed to stick by each other but twins I thought were supposed to be the same. Twin souls who yearned to be one again, split in ways that it was hard to not be in each other’s pocket.” Mallory walked around Gale’s desk and opened up a drawer. James knew what was in there, it was kept for James to drink. Mallory filled a glass much more than he should have given it was a workday and still not yet noon at that, but he downed it before putting both things back.
“I’ve come across a lot of twins in my job, but none have ever been like Vesper. Given how the flat was, how he was. He tried his best to be the family that she needed, but she took him for granted, and it very much showed. I don’t think I could even understand what he went through when he figured out that she was a traitor to the nation.”
“Your M theorised that in the wake of Vesper never allowing Gale to get that close, he put the country into the spot for family, MI6 into that slot when he got there. I have never found a more loyal person, but I was unsure of him. I understand why he did what he did now, but when I first came in here, I didn’t. He gave up his sister, his twin sister, for a life prison sentence if not death. He could have hidden that and tried to get her out, but he didn’t. Then there was the friendship with you. Tanner can’t explain it to me how the man who fell in love with her after a few days became the centre of Q’s world. Tanner knows that Gale is partial to you over a lot of other Double-Ohs. You and he have dinner at least one night a week when you are in town, and that’s just the ones you announce when you come and collect him from his branch. You should hate him for what he reminds you of, and he should hate you because if you had never existed, he had never heard of her flirting with you, his sister could still be free and happy. We both know that rationality rarely comes into this.”
“The first time I met him, he was distraught. It wasn’t until I’d already taken a friendship liking to him that I realised who he was. I was devastated by what she had done and what it meant for me, but then I saw that my anger was nothing compared to his. He took up kickboxing after that, using it to get rid of his anger. He literally beat all of his feelings out about her into a punchbag. It wasn’t the healthiest thing for him, but he could do it when he felt like it. He used the gym here when he needed a break and then would spend at least an hour a few nights a week training.”
“Yes, his file on the kickboxing makes him one of the best trained non-field agents we have, myself notwithstanding, and not including security and the like. We have to assume that she will be used against him. She’s already hurt him enough. I want you to take him somewhere. I don’t care where. He’s got your Aston Martin finished, and it’s ready to go. I’ll have R remove the trackers. Your Smart Blood is already locked to where only Q can access it. I don’t care where you go, but please don’t take him flying anywhere. That will bring too much looking at him. Too easy to trace. I’m sure he has IDs that don’t have his birth name on them. And for once you use your cover ID as well.”
“Of course, Sir.” James knew that he never used it, but then he wasn’t afraid of people coming after him, and it had served him more than it had harmed him before this. But with Gale at the end of it all and it being his protection that was called into question with him using his real name, James would do it.
“Good. Tanner will get with you and R and work on the IDs and such. There is a computer that Q has set up for that, and it’s got the best protection. It will be wiped after R makes them up.”
“Gale isn’t going to make them just to be sure?”
“What do you mean?”
“This whole group is much more detailed on a lot of things than other groups we’ve come across. I wouldn’t put it past them to take R and make her give up the ID if it’s both Gale and me on the run.” James looked at Gale to see him moving more now. He was waking up, and it wouldn’t be long at all.
“I think you might be right on that. I’ll send Tanner down to get things going. He’s nearly awake, yes?”
“Yes.” James rubbed at Gale’s thigh a little more to hopefully keep him down a while longer, but he wasn’t sure it would work, not with a drug-induced sleep. “I’ll handle telling him, Sir.”
“Thank you. Bond, keep him safe.”
“I will.” James picked up the tablet again as Mallory left the room. James had a little bit of work to do that he needed to figure out before they left. He would need weapons from Q-Branch and a sure way to get more ammo wherever they landed. Whatever background they went with, it would be better to have Gale’s input on that instead of him doing it all on his own. James would be good at the cover ID needed to look at them the least, but he didn’t want to put Gale into a situation where he would be uncomfortable. James didn’t like running and hiding. This was like Skyfall and running with M where a trail was being led to get the enemies onto James’ own turf. No this was something very different where he would have to stay hidden and hope that no one found him and Gale while MI6 was finding whoever it was that was after him and get the contract killed. James could do that but too many assassins coming after Gale would mean he couldn’t control anything. Too many cooks in the kitchen as it were. He would have to trust that someone was going to get word to them when it was safe again.
James looked at Gale again. He was upset at what was happening but being alone with Gale where Gale couldn’t run was going to help, at least James hoped that. If Gale didn’t want more, James would have to live with being friends. Gale had been steadfast since Vesper’s betrayal at never having a lover that could be used against him. James could be used against him. He could be held, but James trusted that Gale would never let that deter him. Gale would never betray England, no matter the cost.