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Looking After an Agent (James Bond: 007) Complete 11/20


matilda3948

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Hi all! Might be a one-shot or I might write a second part. Not sure.

 

Q looked at the screen checking Bond’s vital signs once again. He’d been watching the agent’s pulse, respiration rate, and temperature for the last two hours—all slightly elevated. Of course, running around chasing a terrorist could do that to a person, but that was hours ago. Bond had cleaned up, left his hotel, and had been at the airport waiting to leave Prague for a while now; his body should be back to normal. Q sat down at his computer and worked for a couple minutes before contacting 007 on his ear piece.

“Bond?”

“What?”

“I just got you on an earlier flight into London. Gate 17. Leaves in thirty minutes.”

“Why wasn’t I on the flight in the first place?” He sounded tired and a bit testy.

“It was full.”

“You hacked the airline.” It wasn’t a question and Q swore he could hear the smile in 007’s voice.

“Once you’re back in London, I’ll have a car waiting to bring you to MI6. Go straight to medical—I’ll have M come to you.”

“I’m not injured. I don’t need medical,” Bond said.

“Do you forget I can track your vital signs in real time?

“You’re only supposed to do that during an active mission.”

“You’re not home yet.”

“The mission is done.”

“The mission is to eliminate the target and get you back to London safely.”

“Q, I really don’t think—”

“You have a fever. You’re going to medical. No arguments.” When Bond sneezed a damp, congested sounding pair of sneezes into (what Q was guessing) a handkerchief he wasn’t sure if that was the agent admitting defeat, trying to disgust the Quartermaster, or some combination of the two, but he decided to err on the side of generosity. “Bless you.” A wet sniffle was all he got in return. “Get some rest on the flight home, 007,” Q said. “And don’t miss the car to MI6.”

As soon as Bond heard the line disconnect he buried his nose in his handkerchief and let loose a small fit of sneezes.

hhmptchh! Huhmptchh! hihhmfshh!

He pinched his nose shut to try and stem the tickle he’d been fighting since before Q had called with his updates flight plan. It was difficult to deny being ill when one party was privy to the other party’s vital signs. The fever hadn’t come on until that afternoon but Bond wasn’t surprised when Q told him—he’d been feeling chilled since arriving at the airport and ambient temperature usually wasn’t something that the agent gave any thought to.

huhIHmmpshh! Damnit,” he mumbled, blowing his nose and picking up his bag. Thankfully, his new gate was close and Q, bless him, had gotten him a seat in first class. When the attractive flight attendant who showed him to his seat offered to get him some complementary cold medicine and a pack of tissues rather than a private rendezvous once they reached cruising altitude, Bond knew he really must look ill. He asked for hot tea instead of his traditional hard liquor and said a silent thank you when his seat mate immediately sat down, put on headphones and an eye mask, and left Bond to himself. That seemed to be where his good luck ended, however. The high altitude and cabin pressure made his head pound and congestion settle into his sinuses making sleep nearly impossible. Every time he would start to drift off his nose would run or he would have to fight back the urge to sneeze. He was uncomfortably cold and his muscles felt stiff and sore. MI6 be damned—a hot shower and sleep was what he needed when he landed.

Bond dozed fitfully without ever really falling asleep. As the plane began its descent into Heathrow, he felt a sharp pain at the bridge of his nose. His eyes watered and James struggled to get to the dwindling supply of tissues he’d stashed in the seat pocket in front of him. He seemed to get two up to his nose at the same time he turned towards the window and sneezed.

huhihhntschh! huhhngtSHH! Huh IhhNTshhh!

His efforts to restrain the outbursts was rewarded with a stabbing pain in his left ear and, while not normally a man prone to self-pity, James couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit miserable. Adding insult to injury, he had to page the flight attendant and ask for more tissues. When she returned she gave him a sympathetic smile and told him she hoped he felt better soon.

As the plane pulled into the gate, Bond felt a rush of relief to be back on home soil. He rubbed his nose in a handful of tissues, unable to get any air either in or out of his stuffed and swollen nostrils. Dizziness caused him to grip the seat in front of him when he stood and he slowly made his way off the plane. He had no intention of going back to MI6 and he walked out into the sharp London cold to hail a taxi when he heard a familiar voice.

“You’re so predictable there isn’t even any challenge to it,” Q said.

“What are doing—”

“I told you: medical’s not optional.” By this point, Q was standing on the sidewalk eye to eye 007.

“You think you’re going to stop me from getting in a cab and going home?”

“Get in the car and warm up,” Q said, ignoring the challenge. “See a doctor, debrief with M, and then you can sleep for a week.”

Whatever retort Bond had quickly died on his tongue as his breath caught.

Heh HuhhTSCHH! hehIHHKTSCHH!

“Bless you.” Q’s voice was closer and when the pain in his sinuses receded, Bond realized the younger man was gripping his elbow as though he was afraid he might fall.

“M’fine,” he managed.

“Yes, of course you are,” Q said, waiving away the cab and tugging one of England’s most elite spies towards the waiting town car. After tossing Bond’s bag in the trunk, Q slid in next to him and the driver pulled out into traffic.  He looked at his agent and frowned. Frankly, he was surprised (and concerned) at how easy it was to get Bond into the car. He was pale with a fevered flush high on his cheekbones. His nose was red and chapped and, based on how he was breathing through his mouth, completely blocked. “So, how was Prague?” Q asked. Despite how awful he was feeling, James huffed a laugh and leaned his head back.

“Beautiful as always. If you ever conquer your fear of flying or bothered to take time off, you should go,” he said. It was the longest sentence he’d uttered in nearly twelve hours and it gave them both a chance to hear how thick and raspy his voice was. It also caused him to cough, lightly at first but then harsher until Q’s face was clouded with worry again. “Sorry,” Bond finally whispered.

“Didn’t know double 0s were allowed to catch cold,” Q said.

“You know my love of company rules.”

“Even your arrogant smirk looks sickly.”

Huh…ehh…M’alright, Q. huhEHMTshhh!

“Bless. Forgive me for not sharing your optimism.”

TBC (probably)

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As usual, I lov your writing. And it's even better when it's the Bond-Q duo!!!

6 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

When Bond sneezed a damp, congested sounding pair of sneezes into (what Q was guessing) a handkerchief he wasn’t sure if that was the agent admitting defeat, trying to disgust the Quartermaster, or some combination of the two, but he decided to err on the side of generosity.

Oh God this line is perfect. Sneezing + humour.

I'll definitely be there to read the next part if you write it!!!

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This is lovely!! Please continue, I've never considered what Bond would be like with a cold and I'd love to see more!

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19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

When the attractive flight attendant who showed him to his seat offered to get him some complementary cold medicine and a pack of tissues rather than a private rendezvous once they reached cruising altitude, Bond knew he really must look ill. 

Omg I love how perfectly Bond this is!! 

This was a great story. I’d really love to read more of it. 

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This is perfect! I love it! Can't wait for more...

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Goodness, thank you all for the kind feedback! I didn't expect so many people to like a sort of obscure fandom. So, another section and I think I have an idea for a third.

 

Q opened his laptop as soon as the car pulled away from the curb. Bond closed his eyes for a moment and leaned his head against the side of the door. He felt unbelievably ill. He sniffled thickly and rubbed the area where his throat met his chest trying, in vain, to alleviate some of the pain and congestion. When he realized the Q had stopped typing, Bond dropped his hand to his lap.

“Is it possible someone poisoned me?” he asked.

“Unlikely,” Q said. “If you’d been poisoned you’d most likely be dead already. Plus, most poisons affect your neuromuscular system. Respiratory poisons are usually paralytics—”

Huh IhhNTshhh! huhihhntschh! huhhngtSHH!

“—and your respiratory system is anything but paralyzed,” Q added. He reached into his laptop case and took out a packet of Kleenex. Bond nodded his thanks and folded several over his nose, blowing it as lightly as possible. Q wouldn’t say it, but the fact that Bond didn’t take the opportunity to obnoxiously exploit Q’s…not germaphobia but high cleanliness standards, concerned him a little. Bond never missed a chance to irritate the Quartermaster; if Q had any lingering doubts about taking his agent in for a medical exam they were gone now.

Bond’s legs were shaking by the time he made it to the exam room in MI6’s medical center. He stifled a tight cough into his fist as Q followed him inside.

“I’ll check your equipment back in now,” Q said. Bond put his radio transmitter and service weapon on the exam table next to him. He quirked an eyebrow when Q deftly cleared out the ammunition from the gun like it was second nature to him. “I custom build these weapons, Bond. Do you really think I don’t know how to handle them?” he asked. There was a knock on the door before the doctor walked in. Q gathered up the equipment and his computer bag then looked at his agent. “Behave, 007.”

If there was such a thing as small mercies, the fact that Dr. Jill  Banks was the one who came in to look at him would certainly count. Of all the MI6 medical staff, Bond disliked her the least.

“And what have you done to yourself today, agent?” Instead of answering, Bond sneezed into the last tissue he still had from the car.

hhmptchh! Huhmptchh!

“I see. Bless you,” she said. Jill snagged a box of tissues off the counter and put them next to a sniffling 007. He took two and did his best to restrain the outbursts.

hihhmfshh! huhGNTchh!

“Bless you,” she said. “Alright how long has this been going on?”

“Just the last 24 hours. Might have been slowly coming on before that but I was a little preoccupied.”

“Saving the world?”

“Someone’s got to do it,” he said.

“Well, let’s see the damages,” she said, grabbing her stethoscope.

Twenty minutes later and Dr. Banks had started him on an IV for dehydration, put a bonding agent in his ear to fix the eardrum he ruptured stifling his sneezes on the airplane, done xrays on his ribs, given him something for his fever, and written him prescriptions for both a decongestant and antibiotic to treat the sinus infection that left him unable to go five minutes without sneezing or coughing.

“Impressive, even by your standards,” she said as she reviewed his xray. “Two cracked ribs and three more bruised. Did you take a boot to the chest?”

“How’d you know?”

“Telltale pattern,” she said. “Have the fluids helped at all?” James paused and considered how he was feeling. He really should have done a better job getting fluids into his system; he knew better than that.

“Muscle aches are better. Feel more clearheaded too but I Huhngtchh! HihhNTshhh!

“Sorry, not much I can do to help with that,” she said. “M’s on his way down for your debrief. I want to leave you on the IV until the two of you are done. James nodded, reaching for fresh tissues, his breath stuttering quietly.

huhNtschh! hihTSHHew! huhSSHHew!

“Bless you. Good heavens, Bond, you sound dreadful,” M said as he strode into the room.

“That seebs to be the consensus,” he mumbled before blowing his nose. M sat down in a hard plastic chair and reviewed something on his tablet, giving 007 a moment to compose himself.

“What’s the verdict?” M asked, glancing at the IV line hooked up to Bond’s left hand.

“I’m fine.”

M rolled his eyes and accessed Bond’s medical records on his tablet, scanning Dr. Banks’ notes.

“Hm. Could be worse I suppose,” he said. “And it seems congratulations are in order. You managed to eliminate your target quietly and without millions of pounds worth of collateral damage. Did you—” M paused when he saw Bond teetering on the edge of another sneeze. His nostrils twitched and he struggled to keep his eyes open as he made a quick grab for the tissues.

HuhihhNTshhhew! huhhngtSHHEEW!

“Bless you. More?” M asked when Bond held up a finger. He seemed frozen on the precipice for a moment before taking a huge shuddering breath and jerking forward.

huhntschhew! HUHngtSHHeew!

“Bless you.”

“Excuse me. You were saying?”

“Did you get a name?”

“I got more than a name; I got his cell records.” Bond reached into his pocket and pulled out a slim case with a tiny SIM card inside. He handed it to M and then smothered a cough into his opposite forearm.

“Good work, 007. I’d say you’ve earned a few days’ off. You do seem to be a bit worse for wear if you don’t mind me saying. We’ll follow up on the cell phone data.”

“Yes, sir.”

M stood and buttoned his coat.

“Do take care, 007. I’m sure Dr. Banks will have you on the mend in no time.”

“Thag you.” James was nearing the end of his ability to withstand the scrutiny of so many of his coworkers. He felt ill, he looked ill, he sounded ill, and he was getting impatient with it being pointed out to him. It had also been multiple days since he’d had a good night’s sleep. With a wince, he took out his own IV and rolled down his shirt sleeve. He noted his legs were steadier now that he was rehydrated and he realized he was hungry as well. “One thing at a time,” he mumbled to himself. After putting his jacket on he stuffed a handful of clean tissues into his pocket, then opened the exam room door to find Q leaning against the opposite wall with his mobile in one hand and Bond’s prescriptions in the other.

“Ready to go?” Q asked. 

TBC...

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Bond, baby, if you didn’t see that coming, then the fluids didn’t really clear your mind at all! :wub:

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This is totally wonderful. The lovely misery. 

17 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“—and your respiratory system is anything but paralyzed,” Q added.

LOL

 

17 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

He quirked an eyebrow when Q deftly cleared out the ammunition from the gun like it was second nature to him. “I custom build these weapons, Bond. Do you really think I don’t know how to handle them?” he asked.

Duh. Bond really is off his game.

 

17 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“That seebs to be the consensus,” he mumbled before blowing his nose.

Poor dear!

 

17 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

James was nearing the end of his ability to withstand the scrutiny of so many of his coworkers. He felt ill, he looked ill, he sounded ill, and he was getting impatient with it being pointed out to him.

Oh dear.

 

17 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“Ready to go?” Q asked. 

Yay Q!

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19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“Is it possible someone poisoned me?” he asked.

Mwahahahahahaha.

19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

your respiratory system is anything but paralyzed

Oh I love Q.

19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

Two cracked ribs and three more bruised.

Ouch. It must hurt like hell when he sneezes. :cry:

19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“Ready to go?” Q asked. 

:D :D :D I can't wait to read the third part!!! It's excellent!

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I love this! I'm so here for a sick, vulnerable Bond and Caregiver Q. The fact that he knows Bond so well and isn't letting him get away with his usual shenanigans is absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing this!

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Thanks guys!! Appreciate your comments ❤️❤️❤️

 

“Ready to go?” Q asked.

“Aren’t you a little overqualified to be my chauffer?”

“Infinitely. There’s a car waiting for us out back.” Bond raised an eyebrow at “us” but ended up coughing before he could question Q any further. He knew the Quartermaster had a bit of a protective streak in him, so Bond wasn’t especially surprised Q wanted to make sure he got home all right. The car ride was quiet; Q typed on his mobile, Bond sniffled and coughed. When the car stopped in front of his townhouse, Bond got out and shivered when the wind hit him. As Q joined him on the sidewalk, the hair on the back of Bond’s neck stood up—someone was watching them. He glanced over Q’s shoulder and saw a man in a black jacket with a paper shopping bag approaching them. 007 tried to angle his body so that Q was behind him when the younger man waved a hand and called out to the stranger.

“Who is that?” Bond asked.

“Delivery service. I placed an order before we left. Doubt your house has anything edible.”

Q paid the man and then stood expectantly waiting for James to open the door. Bond shook his head and tried to slow his pulse while fishing in his pocket for his keys.

“Were you ready to go into ninja mode?” Q teased.

“Shut up.”

“Crack his skull with a can of soup?”

“I hate you.”

**

He’d been hoping a shower would help him feel better, but Bond had to admit he felt just as bad as earlier. At least he was cleaner. Q had made himself busy, fixing soup and making a pot of tea. He’d also put Bond’s medications on the kitchen table along with a box of tissues and some throat lozenges. Q frowned when he heard the rattling cough coming from Bond’s bedroom—the man really sounded terrible. He schooled his features trying not to look concerned when he caught his first glance at 007 in sweats; gone was the elite assassin and in his place was a feverish, sickly man who looked like a gentle shove could land him flat on his ass.

“I made soup,” Q said, putting a couple bowls down on the table.

“Thags.” Bond pulled up a chair and immediately got to work devouring a bowl of beef stew. Q put a glass of water on the table in front of Bond and nodded towards his pills.

“One of each of those before you go to bed,” Q said. “And I’m sorry but I have to wake you every two hours for more water so you don’t get dehydrated again. Doctor’s orders.”

“She didn’t say that.”

“She told me while M was in with you.”

“Why did eh she—huh ehh HuhihhNTshhhew! huhhngtSHHEEW!

“Bless you. She told me because I was planning on keeping an eye on you.”

“Yes. Why is that, exactly?” Bond asked as he wiped his nose in a napkin.

“Because you’d probably be in a bar right now if I hadn’t made you come home.” Q poured them both a cup of tea and Bond narrowed his eyes. Q was avoiding the question. Interesting. Before he had a chance to push him for the real truth though, his nose prickled sharply and he leaned away from the table.

huhngtshh! HuhhNTSHHew!

“Bless you.” Q nudged the tissue box closer to him.

huhIHHntschhew! huh uhh…huhngtSHHeew!

Bond mumbled a curse under his breath as he felt his nose run and his breath began to hitch again. After several quick, stuttering breaths he nearly doubled over with a huge sneeze.

huhRuhhSSHHeew!!

“Bless you again,” Q said.

It took him a moment but Bond finally straightened up and took a couple sips from his waiting tea. He glanced at Q and suddenly understood.

“You’re worried about me,” he said.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“It’s my job to know when someone is worried and pretending not to be,” Bond said.

“Have you taken a good look at yourself?” Q snapped. “You look terrible and you sound worse.”

“And so you’re worried,” Bond said with a smirk.

“I hate you so much right now.”

A laugh dissolved into a hoarse cough before James had a chance to reply. He drained what was left in his water glass and then stood up, taking both empty bowls and putting them in the sink. His body ached and he was desperate for some sleep. He squeezed the younger man’s shoulder briefly as he walked past him on his way to the bedroom.

“Thanks, Q.”

**

In retrospect, Q admitted that it wasn’t his smartest move. At the two hour mark, he’d gone in to Bond’s bedroom to wake him and get him to drink more water. The man was sound asleep, breathing loudly through his mouth, his face still tense as though he was uncomfortable. Seconds after Q laid a hand on the older man’s arm, Bond gripped Q’s wrist like a vice and twisted it until Q fell to the ground with a yelp of pain but Bond only tightened his grip. In addition to the pain, Q could also feel an alarming amount of heat coming from Bond’s skin.

“Who sent you?” 007 snarled.

“It’s just me, Bond,” Q said gently. “You’re home, sick and in bed. I’m here looking after you.” He felt the agent’s fingers tighten even harder around his wrist, but noticed that Bond was looking around the room and taking stock of where he was. “Just take a few minutes and remember what’s going on. I think your fever is back up so take your time.”

“Why are you here?” He didn’t sound as menacing as before but he still hadn’t made a move to let go of his arm and Q did his best to keep his voice low and calm.

“I came back with you when you left MI6. Dr. Banks wants you drinking water at regular intervals because you were dehydrated and have a fever. I came in to—”

huhnktshheew! Nktsschheew!

Somehow Bond managed to half stifle two sneezes into his shoulder while still pinning Q’s wrist to the bed.

“Bless you.”

Slowly, Q felt 007’s fingers release their crushing grip and, careful not to make any sudden movements, Q turned on the lamp on the bedside table to give them a little more light. He sighed when he saw Bond’s face clearly: there was an angry red flush high on his face that told Q his fever was way too high.

“Can you drink that water?” he asked. “I’m going to get a thermometer and something to try and bring your fever down.” He saw Bond was still only partially with him and watched as the agent eyed the water glass with an air of distrust. “I can get you a sealed bottle instead,” Q offered. Despite a brief look of embarrassment, Bond nodded.

“Habit,” he said quietly. Q nodded.

“I know. It’s fine.”

When Q returned he could see Bond was a little more aware of his surroundings. He had a handful of tissues up to his nose, alternating between trying to blow and coughing. Q put a thermometer and a bottle of water on the bed and then worked to open a bottle of fever reducer, shaking out a couple pills. He didn’t say anything as Bond examined the water bottle to make sure it hadn’t been tampered with—though this side effect of their lifestyle did make him a little sad. Bond drained half of it quickly, then paused and held out his hand to take the pills Q had waiting for him. Next, Bond took the thermometer and placed it in his left ear, quickly taking a reading and glancing at it before handing it to Q: 39.6.

“We have to get that down,” Q said.

“Icepacks are in the freezer,” James said. “Ribs hurt like hell anyway.”

If there was one thing a double 0 was sure to have in their house, it was a well-stocked kit of first aid supplies. Q took three icepacks from the freezer and wrapped them in towels. He frowned when he heard a nasty sounding trio of sneezes come from the bedroom and he briefly considered calling Dr. Banks for advice but decided to wait and see if he could get Bond’s fever down on his own. The man was still sneezing when Q came back in.

huhIHHGSCHHew! heh uhh RuhhAHHsssschhheew!

“Bless you. Here,” Q handed two icepacks over and Bond tucked one under each arm. Q wasn’t sure if the grimace was because of the sudden cold, the pain from his bruised ribs, or just general misery. Once he was settled, Q put the third one on his forehead, keeping a hand there until he was sure it wouldn’t fall off. He sat on the edge of the bed and, except for Bond’s congested breathing, it was quiet for several minutes. He thought the older man might have drifted off again when his deep voice broke the silence.

“How’s your wrist?” he asked.

“It’s fine.”

“Let me see it,” Bond said, turning his head slightly and opening his eyes.  Q hesitated, but lowered his arm. Bond sighed and shook his head. “I’m sorry, Q.” There were clear bruises where each finger had clamped down on his wrist.

“It’s not a big deal.”

“Rotate it,” Bond said.

“Fever must be down—you’re being bossy,” Q quipped but he did as requested and showed Bond that there was no indication that anything was wrong beyond the bruises.

“I’m sorry,” he said again.

“I’ve had worse.”

“Not from me,” Bond said.

“Hold still,” Q said, reaching for the thermometer again. This time it revealed a much more reasonable, if still elevated, number. “Better. Put the ice on your ribs now.” Bond reconfigured things and settled back against the pillows with a deep yawn. “How should I wake you next time?” Q asked.

“Turn the overhead light on. Don’t come close enough to me that I can reach you.”

“You don’t have a gun under your pillow, right?” He was only half kidding. Bond shook his head but couldn’t answer, his breath suddenly hitching eager to remind him just how miserable he felt.

huh uhh…Huhihh…uhhKTSHHew! Huh uhhHAHHGNTSHH! GNSHHHEEW!

He just managed to get another handful of tissues before being overtaken again.

huhSNGtschheew! HUHihhGNSHHeew!

“Bless you,” Q said with a frown. Those sounded wet and painful, coming from deep within his sinuses. The cough that followed sounded equally as nasty—it was as though everything in his respiratory system was thick and damp. Bond rubbed his chest and tried to catch his breath. “Can I do anything?” Q asked. Bond shook his head and yawned again. Q stood and straightened the blanket. “See you in two hours.”

“I’ll try not to kill you.”

“Always so considerate.”

 

Maybe TBC...

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This is so wonderfully cute, Matilda!! 

I adore how Q blesses every sneeze!! Aww :heart: 

I would love another chapter, but only if you have time and feel up to it.

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This freaking amazing and hot. You write these two so well!

On 11/3/2018 at 2:36 PM, matilda3948 said:

“Were you ready to go into ninja mode?” Q teased.

“Shut up.”

“Crack his skull with a can of soup?”

“I hate you.”

LOL

 

On 11/3/2018 at 2:36 PM, matilda3948 said:

“And so you’re worried,” Bond said with a smirk.

“I hate you so much right now.”

So cute!

 

On 11/3/2018 at 2:36 PM, matilda3948 said:

Somehow Bond managed to half stifle two sneezes into his shoulder while still pinning Q’s wrist to the bed

Impressive!

 

On 11/3/2018 at 2:36 PM, matilda3948 said:

“I’ve had worse.”

 “Not from me,” Bond said.

Awww, sad.

 

On 11/3/2018 at 2:36 PM, matilda3948 said:

“I’ll try not to kill you.”

“Always so considerate.”

LOL

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Thanks!! :blush:  Poor guy is going to have to get worse before he gets better ;) 

 

The next time James remembered waking light was coming in through his bedroom window. He took stock of how he was feeling: achy, head pounding with congestion, completely unable to breathe through his nose. In a word, he felt like shit. Being awake for the last three minutes had already left him ready for a nap, but he decided to at least move to the sofa for the sake of variety. Dizziness clouded his vision for a moment when he sat up on the side of the bed and he placed a hand to his forehead. Slowly he felt things stabilize and he made his way out to the living room, his blanket gathered up in his arms. Despite how terrible he felt, James couldn’t hold back a slight smile at the sight that greeted him. Q was curled up in one of the arm chairs looking remarkably like a house cat. His laptop was open on the ottoman, mobile on the arm next to his head, and his glasses totally askew. James sunk down onto the sofa with a hoarse sigh. His throat was tender and irritated and his next breath caught painfully right at his Adam’s apple making him cough harshly into the bend of his arm. Even Bond could tell he sounded worse than yesterday; the rattling congestion making it difficult to get the spasms under control. He vaguely registered that he’d woken Q and that the younger man was now up and likely getting him something to drink. No matter how hard he tried though, he just couldn’t get the cough to stop.

“Here. Try some water.” Q’s voice came in from his left and when Bond held his hand out he was handed a glass of water. It took a minute and a combination of the water and Q patting him between his shoulder blades before the fit finally passed. It left Bond flushed and breathless, his nose running, and his eyes watering from the strain. He sipped his water and focused on getting his breathing back under control. Q sat next to him on the sofa and tried to figure out his next step. When he woke to the sound of Bond coughing he wasn’t overly surprised but when the man seemed unable to stop, he felt a knot of worry in his stomach. After the first disastrous attempt to wake him during the night, the rest of his check-ins were fairly uneventful but the man sounded as bad as ever this morning.

“I can hear you worrying,” Bond rasped.

“Well, that was quite a wake-up call,” Q said.

“Sorry.”

“Don’t be. I was scheduled to wake you up again in another twenty minutes or so anyway. How do you feel?”

“How do you think?”

“Right. Tea or coffee?”

“Tea.” Q stood up and stretched, rolling his neck from one side to the other—he really should have moved to the sofa to sleep. Bond watched him and felt a twinge of guilt for snapping earlier. “Thanks, Q. Sorry I—”

“It’s alright. You’re entitled to a bit of grumpiness. Going to stay out here?” Bond nodded but now had another annoying symptom to deal with—a deep, burning sensation in his sinuses. You didn’t need to be a genius to see what was about to happen, but the current genius in the room frowned in sympathy then went to get the box of tissues from the bedroom.

James tilted his head back slightly, his breath growing shallow. He sniffled wetly as the itch made his nose run and he felt himself right on the verge of sneezing. He gasped once, then twice before the prickle in his nose finally surged and he snapped forward, nearly hitting his head on his knees.

huhhIHHH! uhh! huhihhhGHSSSSHHEEW!

Like his own personal head cold guardian angel, Q appeared at his side with tissues before heading to the kitchen to make tea. Bond blindly grabbed three or four tissues, getting them to his nose just as another sneeze struck.

RUHAHNGSHHHHEEW!

He tried blowing his nose but it was more than his beleaguered nose could stand.

huhAHHSNGSSHHHEEW! uhhh uhhRAHHNTSCHHEEW!

By the time the kettle boiled, Q had counted 8 wrenching sneezes from the agent in the other room. Poor man couldn’t seem to catch a break—either sneezing, coughing, or blowing his nose almost constantly since he woke up. By the time the tea was ready, Q had decided he was calling Dr. Banks. He put tea down on the coffee table by Bond (who currently had tissues clamped to his nose either fighting off another sneeze or trying to coax it out—Q honestly wasn’t sure which) and then got the thermometer and the small trash bin from the bedroom for the mountain of used tissues currently on Bond's lap.

huhh Ahh…hahhUHHGNSSSHHHEEW! huhhAHHNTSSSHHHHEEW!

A stream of profanity followed. Q couldn’t really blame him; he might do the same if he’d suffered through a sneezing fit like that.

“Bless you,” Q said, trying to keep his voice neutral. “Have you stopped?”

“For now,” Bond sighed. He held out his hand and took the thermometer from Q, placing it in his ear. “It’s better,” he said after glancing at the number before letting Q verify.

“That’s good but I still think I should call Dr. Banks later this morning.” He was shocked when Bond nodded in agreement. Q settled in his chair and grabbed his mobile. “I’m going to order a few things. Anything you want?”

“Don’t care.” Bond yawned and stretched out on the sofa, pulling the blanket up to his chin. Q watched him shiver and cough into his fist, glad when it didn’t turn into another long attack. In addition to a restock of tissues, soup, juice, and other cold-fighting necessities, Q ordered himself some basic toiletries. He thought he’d be on his way home by now, but since that wasn’t happening anytime soon, he needed to brush his teeth and shave. By the time he put in the delivery information, Bond was softly snoring. Time for more tea and to get a little work done.

Q appreciated that cyberterrorists were having a slow day. He hadn’t slept much and it was nice to have a day where he was just doing routine, proactive coding. His agent had been asleep for nearly three hours now. After texting with Dr. Banks, she gave Q the okay to let Bond sleep longer so long as Bond called her once he eventually woke. She didn’t seem terribly surprised that he sounded worse: “All that congestion has to go somewhere” she told Q but she agreed to a video phone consult to put Q at ease.

Just before noon, Q heard muffled noise from the lump on the sofa. If it hadn’t been James Bond, he might have called it a whimper. Q paused his typing and listened—definitely a whimper. Discarding his laptop, Q got up and stood near Bond’s head. There were stress lines around his eyes and his face was twisted in some kind of discomfort.

“Bond? Are you awake?”

When he didn’t get a response, Q decided it must be a nightmare. He wasn’t exactly sure what to do. He didn’t want to leave Bond in the claws of a bad dream, but he really didn’t want to have his arm nearly ripped out of the socket again either. However, when Bond twitched and muttered something unintelligible, Q sat on the edge of the sofa. He very lightly put a hand on Bond’s forehead. Almost instantly the older man stilled and so Q let his hand settle more firmly. Thankfully, Bond wasn’t burning up again—just the same low-grade fever he hadn’t been able to shake all day.

“What am I going to do with you, hmm?” Q asked quietly. Bond’s breathing began to deepen again, the stress slowly receding. Q brushed his thumb lightly over the man’s warm skin. “Nothing’s ever easy with you. Always so reckless.” Just as Q thought he was resettled, Bond made that same sad noise in the back of his throat. “What’s going on in that head of yours?” Q muttered, putting firm pressure on Bond’s forehead, stilling his movements again. “Just sleep. Everything’s fine. You’ll be back to destroying all my genius inventions in no time.” He continued a quiet one-sided dialogue both comforting and chastising the man in front of him until he was certain James was back in a deep, steady sleep.

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A heart-achingly cute chapter 😭😭❤️

And that ending awww!! I love how your Q doesn’t just turn into the perfect nursemaid but keeps an air of the MI6 Quartermaster about him!! OF COURSE he would be admonishing Bond even through worrying and caregiving! Ugh!! So cute ❤️❤️ 

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19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

Q was curled up in one of the arm chairs looking remarkably like a house cat. His laptop was open on the ottoman, mobile on the arm next to his head, and his glasses totally askew.

Awwww. Precious!

 

19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“I can hear you worrying,” Bond rasped.

LOL

 

19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

“Bless you,” Q said, trying to keep his voice neutral. “Have you stopped?”

For some reason I love this response. 

 

19 hours ago, matilda3948 said:

He continued a quiet one-sided dialogue both comforting and chastising the man in front of him until he was certain James was back in a deep, steady sleep.

This is adorable and perfect for Q.

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On 11/8/2018 at 5:44 AM, matilda3948 said:

By the time the kettle boiled, Q had counted 8 wrenching sneezes from the agent in the other room.

... Q, counting Bond's sneezes? OK, you already had my full attention, but that little detail just blew my mind, I don't know why. This is amazing, as always, and I really hope there will be more ! Just after sneezing, fever and fever dreams are my favorite thing, so I'm really spoiled with your fic! Thank you!!!!!

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Thanks all! :hug: Here's the final piece. Sorry for any typos--it's late and I'm sleepy.

 

Q kept himself busy while Bond slept. He did some work, took a much-needed shower, made some upgrades to Bond’s home security system, played around with back hacking MI6 (and was delighted when he couldn’t do it). Bond slept through it all. Q suspected this six hour stretch was the longest period of rest his agent had had in quite a while. It was nearing seven in the evening when the older man finally stirred. His eyes felt gritty and heavy as he blinked, slowly taking stock of how he felt. The familiar sound of Q’s fingers tapping across his keyboard told him he was still being looked after.

huhAHHSNGTSSHHHEEW! uhhAHHNTSCHHEEW!

The sudden sneezes forced James into a sitting posture. He groaned and reached for the tissues with one hand, the other hiding the mess his spiteful nose just made.

“Bless you,” Q said. “Temperature please, when you have a moment.” Bond nodded and blew his nose several times before picking up the thermometer off the coffee table.

“Norm—” He raspy voice cracked and he coughed into his fist before trying again. “Normal.” Q raised an eyebrow so Bond tossed the thermometer across the room forcing Q to make a clutch catch to keep himself from getting hit in the head.

“Feeling more like yourself, I see,” Q said, glancing at the number. “Dr. Banks wants a video conference and we need to do something for dinner.”

Bond got up off the sofa and stretched his arms over his head, flinching at the forgotten rib injury. Q rolled his eyes but went about getting the video call ready. When Bond came back, he dropped a handful of takeout menus on Q’s lap.

“Paper menus? How old are you really?” Q asked.

“Shut up.”

“Hmm. Not quite well enough for a witty comeback, I see.” James scowled but dropped his credit card on Q’s lap as well.

“Order me one of the things I’ve circled while I talk with Banks.”

Q ordered several items off a Thai menu, all fairly spicy. Bond’s call with the doctor was brief and it seemed that as long as he didn’t spike a high fever again, he was on the mend. No one seemed to have told James’ nose that, however. After closing Q’s laptop, he muffled a quick trio of sneezes in the bend of his arm.

huhhMphhfsshh! huhMFSHHHew! Mffshhhheew!

“Bless you.”

James nodded, sniffling thickly and getting himself a handful of tissues. The ensuing noise made Q want to cringe, but he resisted.

“Do I have time to shower before the food gets here?” Bond asked.

“I think a shower would be an excellent idea,” Q said. “In fact…” he got up and went into the kitchen, rustling around in one of the shopping bags that had been delivered earlier. He returned while scanning the label of a small yellow box. “I’ve never used this but it says it’s good for colds. You attach it below the shower head and as the hot water hits it, it releases steam to help clear your head. Thought it might be worth a try.” Bond had an odd expression when Q looked down at him. He took the box and stood.

“You think of everything, don’t you, Q?”

“I worry.” It slipped out before Q could stop himself and he wasn’t sure if the comment or the blush that immediately followed that embarrassed him more. He mentally braced himself for an insult or at least a little teasing. What he wasn’t expecting was the quiet comment Bond made as he walked away.

“It’s nice to be worried about occasionally.”

James stood under the pounding shower and felt his shoulders droop. Despite sleeping all day he still felt surprisingly weak and fatigued. It had been a very long time since he’d been so sick. Most of his time since getting back to London was blurry at best. One thing remained clear though—Q’s quiet, steady presence. He felt a lump of regret when he thought about how he hurt Q’s wrist the previous night but, like all things, the younger man just seemed to take it in stride. The smell of eucalyptus and menthol began registered in the agent’s consciousness and he tried to inhale the steam through his nose but it was still completely stuffed up. James gingerly raised his arms to wash his hair, careful not to hurt his ribs. He hated rib injuries; they were easy to forget about until you did something that caused a sharp stabbing pain to cut right through you. After rinsing his hair, he turned the water up a touch higher and leaned his head back. His nose was beginning to run and he scrubbed a hand back and forth, sniffling and managing to actually get a little air this time. A few seconds later, Bond began to feel a prickling, needling feeling high up in his nose. He realized he was going to sneeze a split second before it happened, snapping forward and sneezing openly towards the shower floor.

huhAHHKTSHHHeew!

He shook his head and audibly gasped.

huhAHHSNGSSHHHEEW! RAHHNTSCHHEEW! huhAHHSNGTSSHHHEEW! uhhAHHNTSCHHEEW!

huhAHHNTSSHHHEEW! HuhAHHNTSCHHEEW! huhKTSHHHeew! HahhNTSCHHEEW!

He braced himself with one hand on the shower wall as he sneezed over and over.

HahhNKSSHHHEEW! huhAHHNTSCHHEEW! HuhhKTSHHHeew!

“Oh, for fuuhhAHHTSCHHEEEW! AHHHKTSSSHHeew!”

As soon as he got a break he stuck his face directly into the spray of warm water. His congestion was better but he wasn’t sure sneezing it all out was the most pleasant way to get results. The bathroom was still warm and steamy when he stepped out of the shower. He wrapped one towel around his waist and dried his hand on a second before getting some tissues. He blew his nose repeatedly and then towel dried his hair. As the fog cleared from the mirror James got a good look at himself. It was a bit embarrassing if he was being totally honest. His nose was red and raw, lips chapped, and if he’d been able to summon the energy, he really needed a shave. However, since he was pretty sure he was going to be asleep again without the hour it didn’t seem worth the investment.

Q had the various takeout containers arranged on the kitchen counter and looked up when he heard Bond come back into the common area. The older man looked half asleep again but a little better since he’d showered.

“Hungry?” Q asked.

“Yeah. What’d you get?”

“Bit of everything. You should have enough left over for a few days. You want to sit at the table or go back to the sofa?”

“Sofa,” Bond said as he began filling a plate.

The food was good and both men ate quietly, except Bond had to stop every few bites to blow his nose.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, tossing more used tissues in the trash bin. “I’m disgusting.” Q shrugged.

“It’s fine. That’s the point of the spicy food and you’re done far more annoying things when 100% healthy.” It was the first smirk Q had seen from the older man in two days—weak but still there. Medication and some decent sleep seemed to have done Bond some good and Q decided that, barring any unforeseen development, he’d feel comfortable returning to his own flat in the morning. He glanced up when Bond turned the television on, switching to a football match on. Q wasn’t sure why but it was odd to see Bond do something as normal and mundane as watch sports.

“This alright?” Bond asked when he noticed Q watching him.

“I don’t care.” Q got up and cleared both their plates. “Do you want tea?” When he didn’t get an answer Q glanced over his shoulder and saw a familiar sight: Bond with a handful of tissues a few inches from his face, head tilted back, eyes closed. “I’ll go ahead and make some,” Q said.

huhAHHSNGSSHHHEEW! huhAHHSNGTSSHHHEEW!

Bond blew his nose and felt the urge to sneeze come roaring back. He really didn’t want to repeat the episode he had earlier in the shower. He pinched his nose and kept his head tilted back but it didn’t help.

uhhAHHNTSCHHEEW! huh Uhh…

He kept a fist pressed to his nose and got fresh tissues.

HahhNTSCHHEEW! HuhAHHNTSCHHEEW! huhKTSHHHeew!

“Bless you. Going for a record?” Q asked, putting a cup of tea down on the table. Bond, otherwise indisposed, shot his middle finger at the younger man. Q genuinely laughed at that—definitely on the mend if that was his response.

huhAHHNTSSHHHEEW!

That seemed to do it for the time being. James rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache forming again. Tea and then he was going back to bed. Being awake was too much work. He picked up the warm cup and took a sip, then he raised an eyebrow in Q’s direction.

“Whiskey?” he asked.

“Hot toddy. Strictly medicinal,” Q said. Bond hummed in approval and took another sip. He waited until Q looked up at him, then fixed him with those sharp blue eyes.

“Thank you, Q,” he said genuinely.

“Any time, Bond.”

 

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I love this so much! It's perfect.

36 minutes ago, matilda3948 said:

He groaned and reached for the tissues with one hand, the other hiding the mess his spiteful nose just made.

 

LOL, I like this description.

 

37 minutes ago, matilda3948 said:

“Paper menus? How old are you really?” Q asked.

“Shut up.”

LOL

37 minutes ago, matilda3948 said:

“I worry.” It slipped out before Q could stop himself and he wasn’t sure if the comment or the blush that immediately followed that embarrassed him more. He mentally braced himself for an insult or at least a little teasing. What he wasn’t expecting was the quiet comment Bond made as he walked away.

“It’s nice to be worried about occasionally.”

Awwww!

 

38 minutes ago, matilda3948 said:

His congestion was better but he wasn’t sure sneezing it all out was the most pleasant way to get results.

Mmmm. It works for me!

 

39 minutes ago, matilda3948 said:

Q wasn’t sure why but it was odd to see Bond do something as normal and mundane as watch sports.

It would be, but I like the image.

 

39 minutes ago, matilda3948 said:

“Thank you, Q,” he said genuinely.

“Any time, Bond.”

Awwww.

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This fic has everything I love: Bond, Q, illness/fever/fever dreams, lots of H/C, some sarcastic lines but not too much because Bond's really sick, and... well... everything.

On 11/20/2018 at 6:27 AM, matilda3948 said:

Not quite well enough for a witty comeback, I see.

... Did I mention that I love Q? Yes? Well, I love YOUR Q as much as I love him in the movies.

On 11/20/2018 at 6:27 AM, matilda3948 said:

“You think of everything, don’t you, Q?”

“I worry.” It slipped out before Q could stop himself and he wasn’t sure if the comment or the blush that immediately followed that embarrassed him more. He mentally braced himself for an insult or at least a little teasing. What he wasn’t expecting was the quiet comment Bond made as he walked away.

“It’s nice to be worried about occasionally.”

I'm not sure I've recovered enough to make an intelligible comment on those lines... :wub:

Thank you so much for sharing this!

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