- Explicit Sex
James watched as Gale got around slowly inside of Q-Branch. He was not returned to duty yet, but he was moving a lot better, and there was a lot less risk of him injuring himself, so James had figured that a tour around Q-Branch for Gale to see his techs was a good idea. The techs were happy to see Gale, and it was giving Gale something to do. Entertaining Gale had proven to be something that James was not good at, at least not at first. Gale’s mind didn’t like to stop, and while James would have preferred to keep a laptop out of his hands, it just didn’t work. So R had come over and removed Gale’s ability to get into MI6 from his work laptop and had made sure he understood that bypassing it would alert her and she would send someone to take it and break it. The look of betrayal on Gale’s face and the way that he had clutched his computer to him made James know that he wasn’t going to do it.
Gale did work on coding and various other things that he could do without a connection to MI6, and within the first hour of letting him do it until he couldn’t, Gale was calmer. James still put limits, and he learned what Gale looked like when he was in pain but hadn’t noticed it yet. Gale didn’t fight him on stopping as usually James would cuddle with him and rub at his head or legs if James sat down at the end of the couch, and lull Gale into a nap.
“How is he doing?” Mallory asked, sneaking up on James, showing that he was too comfortable watching Gale.
“Mentally, about as good as can be expected. He had his meeting with Psych, it did not go well.”
“None of his meetings with Psych go well. He fails them on purpose because he’s a little shite. The only time that he has ever done well with those kinds of things was when he wanted to get into university early, according to your M. After that he showed his true colours when they didn’t have as much of a chance of screwing him. Psych knows that he is messing with them and as long as they don’t feel that he’s a danger, he’s fine. Do you feel he’s a danger?”
James knew why Mallory was asking him that. While neither Gale nor James had actually spoken about the relationship with Mallory, there were notes in the file from the hospital that it had been evident that Gale had consensual anal sex before being taken. It wasn’t rough, and so no rape kit had been done. The hospital had been thorough, and James liked it, but it was leaving things hanging as Gale was barely ready to talk to James about what the relationship was going to be, much less Mallory.
“Not to anything but his own recovery by being bored. I understand now why some people don’t want kids.”
“Kids can be a blessing and a curse. Tanner has filed the paperwork needed to make sure that your asses are covered in case someone wants to be an arse about the relationship. While you are not under him, it’s best to cover with his family’s history with SIS and everything. Tanner even forged your signatures and I couldn’t even tell that they weren’t yours.”
“That’s because Bill is great at that. He could have made a lot of money doing that kind of work in the real world, and no one would have caught him,” Gale said from across the room, telling James and Mallory that their conversation was carrying across to him. Gale was, however, smiling as he said so he wasn’t that upset. “James, I’m hungry.”
“Then let’s go and get lunch. I think I heard Tanner telling me that he made reservations at your favourite place.”
“Which favourite? I have one for each type of food that I like.”
“I think it was sushi,” James said.
Gale started over to James with barely a wave goodbye to his techs. It was slow and steady, Gale’s gait, but he had been making a lot of progress. His physical wounds were healing, but the mental ones were going to take a lot longer. James would be there for those long after Gale was back at work. Mallory hadn’t asked him to come back yet, and James knew that he wouldn’t until James approached him for a mission.
While Gale had found them a lot of information before blowing the computers in Tunisia, there was still the chance that not every single member of Spectre had been found yet. It was a worldwide intelligence agency effort to pull in those inside of their shores. MI6 was sharing everything that they were finding so that it could be taken down, along with detailed reports on the crimes committed on foreign soil for them all.
Even Japan and Russia were showing that they understood what had almost happened and were helping to find their own national citizens that were trying to undermine the authority of every single nation.
“Bond,” Mallory said as James turned to follow behind Gale.
“Yes, Sir?” James asked.
“You did well. I am pleased with your efforts on this mission.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
James waited for a beat, but when Mallory just turned to look at the techs that were watched Gale leaving, James turned to follow his lover. The doors on the lift opened up, and James saw that Tanner was waiting on them.
“Bill,” Gale said.
“Hello, Gale. I was just coming to get you, so we don’t lose our reservation for delicious sushi.”
“I’m starved, and it’s nearly time for more pills, which I can’t take unless I eat.” Gale leaned in close to Tanner after getting on the lift. “And someone doesn’t allow me to take them until I’ve got a little bit of something on my stomach.” Gale’s voice was at a stage whisper, but it made James laugh a little.
“I’m a mother hen, as I have been told time and again by Gale.”
“Well, he has to be good at something besides killing and blowing things up,” Tanner said.
That comment made Gale laugh, but still, James glared at the other man.
“Then after that, I have a present for you that will be waiting at your flat. R is working on it right now, and she’ll let herself in and then out.”
James wondered what kind of present Tanner would have got for Gale. HE wouldn’t be shocked by nearly any of it, but it was entertaining to try and figure it out.
Tanner took his own car to where they were going to eat, and James drove the Land Rover that Gale had pulled out of the pool at work because the smaller cars were harder for him to get in and out of with having to bend in half. The Land Rover was much easier for him to use and with appointments to make sure he was healing fine and just needing to get out of the flat, Gale was a lot more active than he had been before.
James had been to the restaurant once before but not with Gale. He had come alone as he hadn’t been able to stand to be in his flat, alone, for one more minute. It hadn’t been as fun of a night as what he thought it would be because he had been alone. This was going to be better though, James thought.
The meal went by too quick for James with Tanner and Gale’s chattering back and forth, keeping him entertained. When it was over, and they were going their separate ways, James found that Gale’s eyes were brighter than average. He had enjoyed the day, and it seemed that it was good for him. James would have to see about having anther lunch out with R or someone from Q-Branch that Gale like the day after tomorrow. Gale would probably be more tired the next day, so James didn’t want to push him.
“Is that R’s car?” James asked as he pulled into the parking area for their flats. In Gale’s guest spot, there was a car that James had never seen before.
“Yes.” Gale unbuckled but waited for James to come around to help him out. It wasn’t the usual way that they did things, but James knew then that Gale was more tired than James thought he would be.
“Let’s go see this present,” James said. He held out his arm and let Gale use it to lever himself up out of the seat of the Land Rover, and before James could move back, Gale was getting in close. He yawned a little and put most of his weight on James. James pressed a kiss to his head and then started to move them both toward the lift door that would take them up.
James heard noises in the flat long before getting close enough to it. He heard what sounded like claws on the hardwood floor and then a screech from a kitten.
“OH!” Gale let go of James, and in a burst of energy that would probably have him aching later, he shot forward to the flat door. The door opened easily under his hand, and James sped up just to make sure that Gale didn’t drop. Inside, the flat looked much the same, but there were a few new things inside of it. Including two kittens. Both of them stopped and just looked at Gale and James.
James shut the flat door so that they didn’t dart outside.
“We went ahead and grabbed you the kittens. The whole branch and a few other people from across MI6 pitched in and got everything you’ll need for at least a little while. They have vet appointments next week to get checked over and to get their first yearly check-up done. Their names are Woozy and Pipt. Both male Norwegian Forest cats. Bond I brought a few books on kittens, read up, so you don’t kill them. I have to go. There is a minor emergency on a mission. Nothing I can’t handle, but Double-Ohs are assholes and aren’t listening to anyone else.”
“Tell every single Double-Oh that until I get back if they don’t treat you like they treat me, you will tell me and they will be sorely upset with what they get as far as accommodations on their missions for a year.”
James snorted because he had been at the bad end of that just before Silva had happened. He had been in the worst possible hotels and the worst flight, not only the class he flew in but Gale always found a way to have him seated next to a child. Every damned time. It wasn’t worth the fun of riling up Gale to have that happen.
“I will gladly tell them that. I’ll see how they shape up. Text you soon!” R was gone, leaving them with two kittens.
“I can get someone to come and take care of them,” Gale said.
“What do you mean?”
“Well they make messes, they sick up, and then there are the cat boxes. As long as I have the no bending shit on me, I can’t do them. You don’t have to.”
James knew that Gale had remembered the cat conversation, but he hadn’t brought it up. James had seen him on the laptop looking at toys and a cat tree for them to play on and sleep on if they wanted. James hadn’t wanted to bring it up but not because he didn’t want Gale to have them but because Gale was too injured. If a kitten jumped on him at the moment, it wasn’t going to be good. Yet, James could see why Gale wanted the companionship as he settled onto the couch, and the two kittens rushed over to greet the new person that they had been left with.
Gale was smiling, despite the pain that James could read in his eyes.
“Mom got Vesper, and I kittens when we were three. Ozma and Mombi were their names. When our parents died, they were nearly taken to a shelter, but a family friend took them in. When I was an adult and got my own place, I took them back. They had missed me. I visited as much as I could, but it wasn’t the same. They were waiting for me. They didn’t get too attached to anyone in the new family. They were the only two left out of a litter. It was the mother’s first and the rest died just after birth, I fell in love. Ozma was mine and Mombi was Vesper’s.”
It took until James noticed that Gale had said Vesper a second time for him to even realise he had said it the first time.
“They died of old age within moments of each other. Before everything you know. Vesper had cared a little. Helped me get them cremated. We took them the ashes to a little hiking place, and that’s where I want to spread Vesper’s. Mother and father used to take us both there a lot. It was when we were younger and wanted to get out of the city. I didn’t like it, but Vesper was happy there.”
“When you are better, we can take the ashes there, and you can say your final goodbye.” James knew that the ashes were still at MI6. He had asked about them once, and Gale had told him that he was not ready to say goodbye. James hadn’t pushed it, and he wasn’t going to push it. Gale would be ready when he was ready. There was no healthy way to push Gale into being ready faster at all.
James left Gale to get to know the cats. He found the books on kittens in the kitchen. James smiled when he found one of the books was for making treats and even food for cats and kittens that were healthy for them. James flipped through that and saw that with a little modification, meals that made at home could be given to the cats as long as he pulled the food out at a specific time and didn’t add certain spices. He was sure that the kittens would enjoy that as a treat for one meal a week.
There was a weird sensation that brought James out of his thoughts about the kittens. He looked down to see that one of them was crawling up his trousers. He snagged the little thing and pulled him up to his chest. The kitten was already purring and trying to butt its head up to where it was rubbing it on James’s chin. The thing was adorable.
“Pipt?” Gale called out even though James knew that cats were smart, but there was no way that it had learned its name already.
The kitten in James’ arms though did jump out of his hold. He made a mad dash for the living room after landing in a splat. James followed behind to make sure that it wasn’t hurt in time to see it scaling the back of the couch to get to Gale.
“Oh, I didn’t expect that to work. I was just going to call the name and then when I found him on my own, see that he knew it was his.”
“They are bizarre names,” James said.
“Yes, I had wanted more cats as a child. I wanted to males, and these were the names I was going to call them.”
“Well, he knows it. Are these the cats from Clara?”
“Yes,” Gale said.
“Then I would say that she has been calling them that from the beginning and knew you would take them. She’s the sneaky sort. Has to be to get the drop on us Double-Ohs and get us to submit forms the correct way.” James was kind of glad of that really that Clara had made sure that they were going to go to Gale. It seemed like something had happened that had stopped him from getting the ones that he had wanted when he was younger, so James was glad that Gale was getting them now.
“What was he doing?”
“He was climbing my trousers.” James reached out and petted Pipt there in Gale’s hands. He saw that Woozy was asleep on the couch already, worn-out no doubt from learning his new environment, as well as just the whole getting took away from the only home he had known to go to a strange place. He had to admit that they were both cute. They were the standard colouration that James knew of for Norwegian Forest cats but in varying degrees. Pipt had a deal more white on him than the blackish tabby colour that Woozy had more of. It was like instead of being split in half each picked a colour and wanted more of it and so his brother got less. It was quite striking, and James was glad that they weren’t perfect matches.
“Sorry,” Gale said.
“You don’t need to be sorry. Kittens will do what they want, but you will have to start to keep the closet door shut, so they don’t shred your clothes or mine.”
“Your clothes are in my closet?” Gale asked. He turned to look at the bedroom like it was going to show him the closet.
“Yes…” James trailed off because he had no idea if Gale’s tone was good or bad. James really thought that he would be better at reading him after them being friends as long as they had been. It should have been easier to read him. James took a deep breath as Gale just turned to look at him. Gale was staring at him, and his face told James everything. They were both being fucking idiots. He was reading too much into everything while Gale was just going along like he did with nearly everything. “I’ve had clothes in there for a while now. For those nights I stayed over after we would stay up too late yelling at the TV. I have more now as I’ve been living with you since we got back.”
“I don’t even remember you bringing them up.”
“You were out of it after getting you back here. You were asleep, snoring if I recall.”
“Yes, snoring, that thing that everyone says I do but can’t prove it.” Gale was smiling as he said the words.
James walked over to him and straddled his body, disrupting Woozy’s nap a little, but the kitten just moved over. Gale quickly dumped Pipt onto the couch to allow him to get out from between them. “Well, I will gladly record you snoring if you need proof.”
Gale huffed, but his eyes were shining as he did. James leaned in and kissed him. He didn’t let it get to be too much because it wasn’t like Gale was up for anything, even just James jerking him off. The abdomen clenched too much when Gale orgasmed, James knew it would hurt no matter what. Sex would have to wait, which James figured was a good thing. They had a good solid friendship, but their relationship needed a bit more than sex.
“Is this going too fast? I mean neither of us have had a good start with any relationship. I swore them off until recently. You-” Gale closed his lips tight.
James leaned in and kissed his forehead.
“I have had a single start of a relationship that ended up with her betraying everything. I know, Gale. I know. Neither of us are particularly exposed to anything that could be a good relationship. So that just means that we need to pay a little more attention to each other. Just-” James wasn’t sure how to word what he wanted to say. “I’ve been second guessing things all day. You’ve been doing it as well. Neither of us needs that in our lives, but it’s what’s going to happen. You’ve got some time before they allow you back to work, we can work on us.”
“If we don’t kill each other.”
“Yes, that.” James laughed at the grin. He felt something and looked down to see that Pipt didn’t like not being the centre of their attention. James laughed and picked him up.
“And you don’t mind the kittens?”
“I know you had brought it up, and I wasn’t sure, but you need something, someone, even if it is cats while I am away on missions. And I wouldn’t mind the company when I am home from a mission, and you are working.”
“You make it sound like you are going to be staying here.”
“I planned on being here as much as possible. I already am Gale. There is a reason my flat looks like I still just moved in. I like your place much better. I thought it was the location, but after living here six months, I knew that it wasn’t. I mean I like my flat cause it’s close to you and that’s about it. I’m glad I moved here because at least I had somewhere to go.”
“That wasn’t drinking? It was in your file when I became Quartermaster that you had an addiction to alcohol and random sex, yet there was something over the years that had stopped you from doing both with a lot of frequency. There was a notation that M had not looked into what it was for fear of you sliding back down. Then it was Mallory, and he was just glad you were reined in some.”
“It was you.”
“Me?” Gale looked at James with such wonder in his eyes at that statement from James.
“You were losing it, you had lost everything, and I just stopped being that. I mean the sex was slower, by a lot but still I was cutting down on all of that. It was very slow, really as I hadn’t noticed it until recently that I had even been doing either. I don’t know what to say about it.”
“How about we just say I love you?” Gale asked.
“I think I can do that.” James leaned in and pressed a kiss to Gale’s lips, sealing the words with a kiss. “I love you.”
“And I love you, Bond. James Bond.”
“You little fucking shite,” James said as he laughed.
“But I’m your little fucking shite.” Gale leaned up a bit to brush his lips over James’. It felt too damned good to James. Like he was coming home, and James hadn’t even noticed that he was there already.
“You very much are, and I don’t want anyone else.”
“Well, you might not want anyone else, but you will be ‘having’ other people.” Gale waggled his eyebrows at James, and James knew exactly what he was talking about.
James shook his head back and forth. He wasn’t sure that he was going to survive this relationship with Gale, but he was sure going to give it everything that he had. He owed that to himself and to Gale. He just wondered if finally, Vesper was going to be at rest with Gale being happy. James wasn’t sure that she would be given the way that Gale talked about her, but James knew that in some way, she loved him. Even if she didn’t always show it.
There was no way that they had been twins and she didn’t love him, in her own way. She might not have been able to show it in a way that was understandable by Gale, but she couldn’t just dislike him that much. He was the other half of her, and that meant something even to someone like her.
James wasn’t going to let Gale ever not think that he was loved. James would make sure that until the day that he drew his last breath, Gale would never wonder if James really did love him. He loved him more than anything else in the world, but he would also never taint that love by not doing right by the world.