- Work in Progress
- Violence - Canon-Level
He felt just awful. It was against his guide nature to cause a sentinel pain but then again, James Bond could assassinate Q without a second thought if he felt he needed to. Q’s only defense was his ability to shield or not shield the man from his hyper-senses. In those seconds James had him against the wall, Q didn’t even think through dropping the barrier he had around James’ mind.
Watching James still lying on the cold stone floor, Q did acknowledge he needed to work on not getting so panicked he did something so stupid again. In his defense though, it was the second time in one evening James Bond had threatened his life.
He hoped that this was the last time James would see him as a threat but the man was like a wounded bear and Q didn’t think he’d get lucky enough to earn James’s trust in the near future. Q did have a few other guide tricks up his sleeves but they were fairly benign and not something he was able to control when he was in a state of panic.
Of course, panic was just such a little word to describe his terror being under 007’s hands.
Q could feel James was still a bit woozy from the overload he’d experienced. Not that feeling under the weather would stop the agent from wringing Q’s neck again, if he decided he’d had enough of being in the dark about what was happening between them.
James tried to avoid Q’s helping hands to get himself up under his own steam. He wasn’t successful and it took quite a bit of effort on Q’s part to get James up off the floor. The man was built like a bloody lorry, his form solid and heavy with muscle. His ungraceful flop into the chair was so unlike him, Q worried he’d damaged James more than he’d thought.
Settled in amongst the cushions, James made no other move besides continuing to glower at Q. That bright blue-eyed stare was a bit disconcerting and Q could feel the prickling heat of a blush in his cheeks.
Q frowned back at him. At least James could drink the tea Q had put in the effort to make, under extreme duress no less. The agent still had yet to touch it or even look at it. The man had to be a bit dehydrated by now, between his boozing and unconsciousness for the last twenty-four hours. Q was reluctant to acknowledge that perhaps whatever drug Sherlock had used could have also contributed to James’s current state.
“I promise you, the tea is not drugged in any way, James,” Q said, settling into his own chair again. “It’s safe to drink, and I’m sorry I had to resort to nefarious means to get you here but I didn’t have a choice.”
“If you’re not reading my mind, how did you know I was thinking the tea was drugged?”
“It was a logical assumption based on the fact you haven’t touch it,” Q sighed.
James still didn’t pick up his tea. Q just shook his head and took a fortifying sip of his own cuppa. It wasn’t like he could force James to do anything, least of all drink the damn tea. James Bond, agent 007 of Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the most contrary, stubborn, and just plain obstinate man Q had ever had the displeasure of meeting.
God, he liked him though.
Persevering, Q said, “When I met you, I knew your abilities had manifested.”
James raised a brow over a sky-blue eye. “How did you know, I was… what is your preferred term? A ‘Watchman.’”
The finger quotes almost made Q roll his eyes. This was going to be fun.
“I saw your aura.” And it was beautiful, probably one of the most beautiful Q had ever seen in another person, sentinel or mundane. It’d had a bit of a sickly undertone but the longer Q shielded James’s senses the healthier his aura light burned.
“Aura? Seriously?” James scowled at him. Q would’ve preferred a roll of the eyes to that bloody intimidating frown.
“Yes, but that is neither here nor there, James,” Q replied with a sniff. There wasn’t much of a point in trying to convince the man what he said was true. Only time and eventually hard-won trust was going to do that. Though, he was getting more offended the longer James disbelief presented itself.
Of course, Q had never met a sentinel that didn’t know what they were. He supposed he’d have to work on his own colossal Holmesian impatience with James Bond and that was going to be a tough row to hoe if he was honest with himself.
They were quiet for a moment and Q wasn’t sure how to proceed.
“So, auras?” James asked.
“Yes, as a guide, I can see the energy that surrounds you and all other sentinels and guides. That’s how I knew what you were and that your abilities had presented.” Q paused for a moment before asking delicately, “How long have you been feeling under the weather?”
“Since I woke up with a bullet in the shoulder in Turkey.”
Q hadn’t been sure James would actually answer the question and was surprised by his honesty.
Hesitantly, James asked, “What was that?”
“As a guide, I have the ability to provide a mental barrier around another person, usually a sentinel but I’ve done it with guides before, as well.” It was difficult to put his guide abilities and what he was doing into words that people who weren’t aware that sentinels and guides lived among them, could understand. James was wholly ignorant of the existence of their people. “I’m basically shielding the sensory input that has been causing you discomfort.”
“If I am what you say I am,” James said. He was contemplative and Q could only hope James was actually listening with an open mind to what Q was telling him. “What are you going to do to help me?”
“I’m going to train you to control your sentinel gifts so the sensory stimulus around you no longer hinders your ability to function. Your brain needs to learn to process the external stimuli and I’m going to help you learn how to do that.”
“You do understand, I think everything you’ve told me is complete nonsense and I could leave anytime I wished. There’s no way you could stop me.”
“I do,” Q said slowly, arrested in his seat at James’s uncompromising focus. “But I am entirely certain you’ll eventually come around to my way of thinking, 007. The way you’re feeling now, I can take that away at any time, so I don’t think you’d get very far.”
Q jumped a bit in his chair when James snarled, “Don’t threaten me, Q.”
“I’m not threatening you. I’m only stating a fact. If I released my shielding, you’d be back on the floor in less than a second. It’s not a threat, it’s just the way it is.”
Q was tensed to move quickly if James decided he needed to attack him again. Not that Q would get very far against a Double-O agent but he could certainly try.
“Relax, Q,” James grumbled, relaxing back into the chair. “I’m not going to attack you again.”
“I should hope not,” Q replied, trying to relax.
“How many of there are you?”
“Around seven-hundred-thousand between the UK and Ireland, which is the largest concentration of our peoples in the world. But there are robust clans throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States and oddly enough, there’s a population of Welsh speaking clans in Argentina.”
“So about one percent of the population are… sentinels and guides,” James stated thoughtfully.
“Yes, as I told you, sentinels and guides are descendants of the Celts. The Indo-European peoples of the Iron Age and Medieval Europe,” Q replied. “Of course, the population has declined over the years as fewer were born with the psionic gifts.”
“Psionic,” James snorted. “Psychic powers, the paranormal. God Q, it’s so unbelievable.”
“Perhaps to someone who is ignorant, 007. But you have experienced, have been experiencing your own gifts for months. Please open your mind to the possibilities.”
“I know what I’ve been feeling,” James acknowledged. “It’s more believable that the way I’ve been feeling is from physical trauma.”
“You have no explanation for what happened only a little while ago,” Q pointed out. “What you’re feeling right now, having a normal range of sensory input is all due to the fact of my guide gifts and our compatibility as a sentinel and guide.”
James was silent, his gaze on the fire.
It would take time for Q to convince him of the truth, time to educate him in the ways of sentinels and guides. The only experience Q had really with working with sentinels, as a guide was his brothers. That experience came from a lifetime since childhood and he wasn’t sure guiding an unrelated sentinel would be something he could do. They were compatible, which was a relief but guiding a non-relative unbonded sentinel was going to be tricky, difficult.
If he wasn’t careful, he’d inadvertently bond with James Bond and Q was sure that would be something this rabidly independent man wouldn’t accept.
“It’s late, we have a long day tomorrow, 007 and should get some sleep.”
Q came out of the bath, his ablutions complete. He wasn’t sure how James would take sharing a bed with him, but figured James had probably realized there was no other option since the cottage was only one room beside the bath with only one bed for them both.
And he wasn’t bloody well sleeping on the stone floor.
Of course, James Bond had claimed the whole of the mattress, lying as he was in the middle on top of the duvet. He still had his boots on for fuck’s sake.
“We need to share, move over,” Q ordered. “And take off your bloody boots!” He was still really afraid of the Sentinel that he needed to get over it. He was MI6’s Quartermaster and technically, Bond’s boss so the man had better do what he fucking wanted him to do. Q was still a bit irritated by this whole affair.
What had he been thinking? He’d never trained a sentinel before. Perhaps he should’ve differed this entire affair to his brother, Mycroft.
James assessed him for a moment, his blue eyes glowing in the gloom, before moving over slightly. The man still didn’t take off his boots but Q figured one win at a time. At least he was on top of the covers rather than getting dirt and grit on the sheets under them.
Q slipped between the soft sheets burrowing under the bedclothes.
The bloody man was still hogging the majority of the mattress and Q was on the edge trying not to touch the figure radiating an enormous amount of heat at his back.
“I’m not going to jump you, Q. You can relax.”
“I’m relaxed, 007,” Q retorted. Sure, try to relax with a hostile Double-O in bed with him.
“I promise, I’m done protesting, at least for tonight,” James murmured into the dark. “Tomorrow, all bets are off though.”
“Fine,” Q grumbled, scooting further away from the edge of the bed. He bumped up against James solid form and stilled for a second. When his bedmate made no move of protest, Q started to relax.
“How are you away from work?” Their quiet breathing was broken with James’s hushed question.
“I’m on loan to MI5, as far as M is aware.”
“And how did you work that out? Is there a bloody ‘Watchman’ conspiracy in the heart of the SIS?” He could feel James tense behind him, as if ready to erupt out of bed to go save the Secret Intelligence Services all on his own.
Q flapped a hand behind him. It landed on James’s hip, much to his chagrin and he pulled away as if he’d touched a piece of hot coal. “No, not as such. I know a high ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, who was happy to help me out with dealing with your little problem.”
“They know what you are?”
“Yes, of course. They are a Sentinel, and are aware of your current state.”
“How long are you going to try to keep me here… to train?” Q could feel James’s breath on the back of his neck and his awareness of his dangerous bedmate surged under his skin. He wasn’t going to sleep a bloody wink tonight.
“Hopefully, for a few weeks, a month at most. It depends upon how good a student you are. Now hush and get some sleep, 007. You’re going to need it.”