Double O What Now?

Title: Double O What Now?
Series: Secret Agent Genius
Fandom: Criminal Minds, James Bond (Craig Films)
Year: 2013
Tags: Pre-Slash, Established Relationship, Eventual Threesome,
Ratings: R
Pairings: James Bond/Q, Pre James Bond/Q/Spencer Reid
Characters: Spencer Reid, James Bond, Q, Alec Trevelyan,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 8 of CM and Skyfall for Bond.
Summary: Spencer finds out the true reason that he was brought into MI6. He just hadn’t realized what exactly he was getting himself into.
Words: 15,842
Notes: Highland Park Ice Edition
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence,
Beta: rivermoon1970

Q had given in and started to drink coffee two days before because tea just wasn’t doing it anymore. He hadn’t left MI6, really Q Branch, in three weeks. Outside of a week ago when his tea had been drugged by a well meaning underling on the request of M. When he woke up, he used his watch to disable everything electronic in a thirty meter radius and went right back to Q Branch.

Four weeks ago two agents, a Double O Agent and a field agent, had gone to China on a mission. Three weeks ago their trackers went down. Two weeks ago, 002’s body had washed up in the Yangtze River with a bullet in his head. There was no still was no visual trace of Reid anywhere. 006 and 007 had been dispatched to try and find him, but up until two days ago they had been empty handed. Only three people had known the location of the tracker in Reid. Q, who had put it there himself, Reid, and a nurse in Medical who had found it during an exam after a lab explosion. That meant that there was a mole because as soon as it was figured out that the trackers had been pulled out of them, Q had looked for the nurse. She was found dead by Eve in her apartment with a bullet in her head.

M, Tanner, and Eve were handling the witch hunt for more moles while Q tried to find Reid. So far nothing had panned out. Reid was proving to be as elusive to find as Bond was when he wanted to hide. It was unsure if he was on his own or still in hostile hands, but Q had money on the fact that he was alone.

“Q, we have DNA confirmed. The skin and the blood belong to Doctor Reid. There was no evidence of 002 in the building. Not even a hair fiber,” R said as she came up behind him. She set down a stack of papers that stated in many more words what she had summed up for him. Bond had tracked a group of movers and shakers to a warehouse in Guangzhou where evidence of waterboarding and other tortures were found in a room. An eyewitness had put a man walking out of the place two and a half hours before the Double O Agents had got there. The description had matched Reid, but with no visual, Q didn’t want to go off of that alone. Especially considering the witness was Chinese and the man he described could have easily been anybody that the man saw as white.

Then the reports of what Bond and Alec had found inside the warehouse started to filter over the comms. Q wasn’t sure that the tone of voice used by both Double O Agents was exactly the tone they should be using to describe the utter horrors of what was inside. Fifteen bodies were found inside. Five were found shot in the head with a gun that looked like it was taken from a guard that was found in the room with a lot of blood. That guard had been shot in the stomach and left to bleed out. Three were found in the room across the hall from where the guard who had been shot in the stomach was Those three looked liked they’d been poisoned. Two in the hall were shot in the heart. Three more near the exit had been shot in the heart. What was the most disturbing was the man who had been found hiding in a corner. His body had been stuck in the position so long by the time that he’d been found that the clean up team had been forced to pull him out like that. Further tests had shown he had died of a massive heart attack. His body had been flooded with fear hormones in the moments leading up to his death. That was a mystery that could only be fully solved when they found Reid but guesses could be made.

“Thank you, R.” Q clicked on Bond’s comm and waited for the click of a answer that told him he was listening. “Blood and skin match Reid, so we have to assume that the man seen leaving that warehouse matching Reid’s description is him, which means he’s figured out that we have a mole, and is hiding from us as well.”

“Bloody hell,” Bond said over the comm, and Q had to agree.

“Reid knows the location of every single safe house in the world that MI6 has access to. And the cameras in the area around the warehouse he escaped from were down which means that he has his tech on him.” Q knew that because he had made that watch for Reid for the mission. It would knock out anything that recorded in a two block radius. Q’s own watch was another prototype for future missions. It was meant to be a way to slip away from cameras, not hide from MI6. He needed to invent a better tracker for troublesome Double O Agents and other field agents. Bond and Alec would be the first that it would be used on. If Reid proved to be just as bad as them, he’d get it too. There was something there. Between him and Reid. It was different than what he felt for James. Different, but no less thrilling. It hadn’t taken James long to figure it out. What Q had endured during sex after the agent had found out, held down by James. Arms pinned above his head, his lower half pinned by James’s cock, thrusting inside of him. James’s words had painted an erotic image of Reid in bed with them. He had come, cock untouched by James, in a short time. Afterwards, they’d laid in bed and James had admitted his own more than attraction to the man. Slowly they’d worked up a friendship with Reid and were slowly working towards more. Or, he and James thought they were working towards more.

“I only remember the safe house I blew up in Shanghai,” Alec chimed in. Q held in the sigh at the words. He knew what it was, and it was appreciated even if it was a misguided attempt to lighten a fairly dark mood that had overtaken Q Branch. Not only were they reeling from the death of 002, but they were all upset that they weren’t able to find Reid. Reid was all of Q Branches favorite. He was smart and capable, and had thrown out an agent or two who were causing mayhem in the branch.

“007, Reid hasn’t met 006 yet, even if you did use him as a ruse with Reid’s former team. He is not going to react well to him going in first. I’ll feed you the addresses of the ones in Guangzhou. Alec you keep checking around town. Anything remotely medical.”

Q waited for his agents to acknowledge his command before he clicked off. Turning, he found M standing there.

“May we speak in your office?” M asked and nodded towards the office.

Q waved the man into the small office. He hadn’t wanted a big one as most of his job took place outside it. There was a desk, a bank of monitors on the wall, a chair at the desk, and a couch. Bond had put in the couch and slept on it regularly when he was hiding from everyone.

“Sir?”

“Medical report on the body in the warehouse. The man died of a heart attack. Cause? Fear. Comm system inside warehouse was in use in the hours leading up to Reid leaving. The timeline paints a pretty interesting picture.”

“How?”

“Reid killed the two guards at the door four hours before the bystander saw him leave. The guard who died of a heart attack, died just moments before he left.”

“What was he doing for four hours?” Q knew that he’d walked out under his own steam. Had he been patching himself up for four hours? No. There were no medical supplies inside. Not even a bottle of paracetamol. He looked at M.

“Taunting the hiding man. From what we can get from the audio system inside he used what he knew of serial killers he’s caught before, and scared the man so bad that his heart stopped.” M looked rather proud of that, but it turned Q stomach a little. He could see the damage of thinking of talking about someone flaying someone alive. It was horrible. Sickening. But Q never let it show.

“Why?” Q asked.

“Because the man hiding was the one who was the ringleader of the whole thing. He was the one that had everything done to Reid. He gave the orders and the others followed them . They were lackeys, so Reid killed them and taunted the other. We also have a list of things that were done to Reid from his own mouth. He was going to do the same to the man. We still have no name on any of them.”

Q swallowed even though there was no moisture in his mouth. He knew that he needed to know. Reid was his agent more than M’s. He’d sent him on the mission. He’d swore that it was a safe mission, but someone within MI6 had betrayed them all.

“No rape or sodomy, but everything else was on the table. If I didn’t know that it was him on the recording, I never would have guessed. His knowledge of exactly what the human body can handle before passing out is astounding. Also, I would like to never hear the best order of body parts to flay a person for maximum torture ever again. I locked the recording to myself and you, but you can open it when he picks someone in psych to talk to.”

“Why are you telling me this instead of letting me read the report.”

“I’m giving you a go on Project X.” M’s face didn’t change as he spoke the words, but Q wanted to cheer, but it wasn’t the time or the place. He would have celebrated, except if Reid wasn’t recovered, it wasn’t going to mean a thing because he’d have to start at the drawing board again with another agent. He didn’t want to. He hadn’t found another man with the intelligence needed to fulfill Project X.

“Really?”

“With this op alone, Reid has the kills necessary by a long shot. We require two to make sure the agent has it in them to continue to kill when necessary. Psych is already having a field day with trying to figure out if he’s snapped. We know he hasn’t. Get him home, get him fixed up, and he’s yours.”

“We’ll find him. Get Bond’s face around China enough and Reid will search him out.”

“You think that Reid knows there is a mole. Why would he trust Bond?” M’s face held pure confusion.

“Reid trusts slowly, but he’s worked with Bond enough to trust him. He isn’t British born, but his loyalty is to us. If we attacked America it would be different, but we only go after those who would hurt so he doesn’t mind missions there. Reid trusts me, Bond, and before his death 002. You, he trusts that you know what needs to be done, but as far as a mole goes sir, it could be you. He trusts that Bond would never turn on MI6.”

“Unless MI6 turned on him first. When I agreed to this, to bringing Reid on. There was a lot of people who said he couldn’t be what you wanted him to be. This mission proves them wrong, but also kind of scares me. He reminds me a lot of you.” M did looked worried. If Reid was still all there, he could be one of the most deadly agents in the Double O Program. He would never be able to go hand to hand with someone like the rest of the Double O’s, but he could be deadly in a way that the program needed.

“I’ll take that as a compliment. Now if you will excuse me, I have an agent to find and bring home.” This M had no idea of the past that had put Q into place as Quartermaster. Olivia Mansfield had left no paper or digital trail left of him. Q had erased the rest of it. M had asked, but Q had never felt a need to give him any of it. His family was out of his life, and he needed nothing from them. He hadn’t since he was seven.

Q moved to the door and stepped out to chaos. R was running towards him.

“Blackout of all recording devices in the last known location of 006. 007 is enroute, but a shot was fired in the area. Locals are responding.”

Q went back to his station and brought up Bond. “007, report.”

“Unknown at the moment. I am half a block away and already it’s a circus. I’ll keep my…hold.” Sounds of Bond talking rough Chinese came over the comm and Q waited. “Medical extraction from wherever they take 006 will be needed. Looks like he was shot in the leg, and then knocked out. He’s also handcuffed to a pipe. He’s being cut free at the moment.”

“Bloody hell.”

“Hold.” More rough Chinese and then the click of the comm as it shut off. Q brought up the feed. He hadn’t turned it off. The feed had been cut.

“R, I want techs on the comms. I don’t want our kill device to short the comms anymore. Also, was Reid’s comm pulled from the warehouse?”

R grabbed her tablet and started going through it. “No. It was either tossed when he was taken or he has it on him. Track?”

“Yes. Direct Bond towards…” Q stopped when his phone dinged. It was an email. To his secure, private account. He’d designed it before becoming the Quartermaster. It was just as secure as MI6’s internal email system, but used for those outside it. He didn’t recognize the sender.

“Q?” Bond asked as his comm flared back to life. “Reid left something with 006. It’s ten numbers. 1123345569. Wrote on scrap. I recognize his scrawl. He ran the jammer again, but I turned my comm off and back on outside the blast zone and its working fine.”

Q opened the email. It was short and from an unknown account. Probably from a stolen phone. The mole won’t have the chance to take me alive. Call the dogs off or more will die. Q sighed and worked on getting a triangulation on the exact location that Reid sent the email from. He looked at the numbers he’d scrawled as Bond had said them. His mind started to jumble the numbers around.

“Q?”

“Pi. R! I need a list of everything in the…” Q looked at the map of the area and the location where the email was sent from. “Half mile radius around where 006 was found. Bond hang tight. I’m going to get back to you. Stay there.”

A box appeared on his computer and a list of things started to scroll over the screen. It was the fifteenth thing listed. He knew exactly where Reid was.

“This mission is now locked. R, keep our agents back and searching, but do not follow Bond.”

“Sir.”

Q locked his office down and encrypted the feed between him and Bond. “James, there are things that are not written down on paper anywhere about Spencer. There are links to him that if searched, will alert me. One of which is his mother. Diana Reid is in Bennington Sanitarium in Las Vegas, you know that. I know that. No one else does, that information can’t be found on a server anywhere without me seeing it. You were only told because of his team catching him in Vegas. A block and a half away is a sanitarium. That’s where you’ll find him. It’s the only thing in the radius that he gave that fits. If the mole knew, they’d show up there and he’d kill them and disappear because that means that he’s not safe. M doesn’t know that about him. The only person besides you and me was the old M.”

“I’m on it. I was sent on that Vegas mission as backup. Reid was always going to be sent on it. Why was I sent?”

“Reid told me to send who I trusted the most.”

“Lovely, Quin. Lovely. Was this before or after you decided that a roll in the bed with him was a good idea for the two of us?”

“It was that mission that made me think it could be fun.”

“Stand by.” The line went dead and Q waited. It was hard to wait. He looked at the cameras that watched the main area of the technical services section of Q Branch. He wanted to be in R&D, but he needed to be here. He wanted to be home, but not until Bond and Reid were in the air safe, and headed home. In R&D he could relax and he hadn’t in so long.

It was half an hour before the comm came to life again only to be cut again by the sound of an earwig being crushed. Three seconds later, a second one kicked on and he heard a sequence of bips before it was crushed as well. It was the code. The code that Bond swore he would use when he was going off radar for his own good and didn’t want MI6 to know he was alive. Just so that Q would know that he was alive. It had been the one concession that Bond had given him when they started whatever the hell they were.

Q stood up and moved towards the rest of the techs. “I lost contact with Bond, two miles from 006’s location. I want eyes and ears. R work on getting 006 out of China. I want Station C ready for anything. No one is stopping until I have eyes on Reid and Bond.”

The room became a flurry of activity and Q sat back. Whatever was going on, Bond thought it worth going off the grid for. He’d just have to keep the act up. Hopefully any loose ends would be found by them.

Seven hours later, Q got another email from the same device. Out of China. Taking the scenic route. He sighed and erased all record of the email and back end hacked the phone again to destroy it. It wouldn’t be good to have whoever the mole was try and access it. By Reid’s own words, he was pretty hurt. There were only a few reasons that Bond wouldn’t be getting him to medical care and every single one of them spoke of Reid not being safe to get into medical care attached with MI6. A text sent to Eve ensured that by the time that he got to M’s office, M and Tanner would be there as well.

Grabbing his personal tablet, Q ran from Q Branch. He bypassed the elevator, going for the stairs as it would get him there quicker. They were still in temporary housing as Vauxhall cross was being looked over to see if they were going back there or somewhere new, or even tearing it down and building a new place. Eve was at her desk just outside M’s office with a frown on her face, she motioned with her head into the office. He grabbed her arm and pulled. She followed him in.

“Sir, we have a situation.”

“Q, we are still dealing with the situation that is 002 and Agent Reid,” M said as if it would stop his situation. There was a tumbler half full of scotch at his elbow.

“That’s the new situation, a spin off of that one. We’ve been operating under the assumption that…” Q stopped talking and started tapping on his tablet. Finding the secure mode for M’s office and putting in his own override. The system screamed from M’s mobile and the man looked at it. He frowned but typed in his own bypass. The hum of equipment kicked up in the room.

“It’s a wonder that you even allow me an override.”

“Your office, Sir. Bond has Reid in hand, but we are the only four that know this. He’s taking the scenic route home which means that it could be up to two weeks before we see either one of them on home soil. We’ve been operating under the assumption that the mole is a general mole. The Quartermaster before me has tried for our X agent for ten years before I took over for him. What if 002 wasn’t the target but Reid?”

“Reid was left alive when 002 was killed.” M leaned back in his chair. “It makes sense. For now, Reid and Bond’s statuses are my ears only. Eve, keep an eye out for more on the mole. The moment that it’s firsthand knowledge that Bond and Reid are in the wind, they might make their move.” M looked at Q. “What can I do to help?”

“Right now nothing. Bond has only alerted me that he’s alive and is on the scenic way home. I’ll go into other candidates over the years for the position. Reid was M’s first choice when I brought up the program, and she was willing to try and woo him from across the pond to get him. That he dropped in our lap like he did was fortunate, but unseen. I wanted him as well, once I read his file, but I have no clue who else M wanted before him. I’ll start looking into them.”

“Carefully,” M cautioned.

“They’ll never know that I am looking at them.” Q tapped a few buttons on his computer and the total blackout on the office ended.

“I pity the idiot that decides that he wants to break into your flat,” Tanner said as he stood up from where he’d been sitting on the edge of M’s desk.

“Thankfully my security measures stop at non lethal for intruders who have a fingerprint match to those in my database as well as DNA. Bond found out two weeks after M’s funeral. He woke up in a holding cell in my basement.”

“Frightening,” Moneypenny said.

“I took pictures of him while he was still knocked out. He showed them to the other Double O Agents.”

“That’s what that picture is in their office?” M asked.

Q smiled. “Yes. Bond put it up as a reminder to those who would try. Since then seven of them have tried. All failed. 006, 7, and 9 tried a joint measure. They failed as well.”

“What happens if someone tries that doesn’t have DNA or fingerprints in the system?”

“Death.” Q strode to the door and opened it. He found R outside.

“We have 006 in hand and he’s pissed. He wants to speak to you.”

“I’ll deal with him.” Q started towards his branch and only smiled internally. Only one person had died trying to get into his house. A known assassin two days after he had taken over as Quartermaster. The old M had disposed of the body in some way and he’d never known.

XxXxXxXxX

Pain was something he had got used to. Pain was normal. Days of waking up in pain had taught Spencer a lesson that he hadn’t known that had already been instilled in him. That he knew how to cope with it. But waking up not in pain was new. He was shocked at the feel of a gun in his hand. He didn’t move though. He catalogued where he was. All he could tell was that he was in a house or a large apartment. There was no one in the room with him so he opened his eyes. The bedroom door was closed. He catalogued his body and found that he’d been given medical care. And it wasn’t haphazard care either. It was the care that meant that someone wanted him functioning in top form. That usually didn’t bode well.

Checking over the gun, he found it was his own. He wrapped his hand around the grip and found the lights going green. Still he popped the clip and checked the round in the chamber. Movement down the hall alerted him that he wasn’t alone. He tried to remember how he had got where he was. He remembered being in the sanitarium and sending the message to Q. Everything after that was a blank. He had flashes of waking and being knocked out again.

There was a single window in the room and Spencer had to climb off the bed to get to it. As he sat up in the bed, he catalogued all of his injuries. His broken wrist was set. His hobbled ankle was also set and braced. His wrist only had what felt like a strip of metal wrapped to it tightly. His skin felt tight so all of his injuries were healing. There was an ache in his thigh where the worst injury had been. The boxers he was in didn’t cover the wrapped wound at all. He pressed around the bandage and knew that infection had set in. He wasn’t that shocked. He was on the mend though.

The honk of a car drew his gaze out the window as soon as he was level with it. He was about five floors up in some kind of apartment. He tried the window and found that it was locked. He was able to unlock it, though, but there was nowhere to go. The window didn’t open to a fire escape or anything that he could use to escape. He closed the blinds halfway. He looked around the room. There was nothing there except the bed. It was easily a place that could have been a bolt hole for whoever had him. Nothing personal. The gun though. Whoever had him, gave him a working gun. Not just any gun, but the one that Q had given him. He’d had it on him in Japan. It wasn’t until a cop car went by the window that he knew where he was. He was in London. How had he gotten back to London, and why had whoever had taken him brought back here?

Steps came back towards him and stopped outside his door. He didn’t move and forced himself to breath normally. Whoever it was moved again after a moment. Once the steps faded again, Spencer stood up slowly. He found to the door and found that there was a set of glasses on the second pillow on the bed. He grabbed them and slipped them on. It was his prescription. The footsteps came back and Spencer moved to the door. He aimed the gun at head height and slipped to the area behind the door. The door opened slowly and then faster, but it wasn’t allowed to swing open wildly.

“Fuck,” a familiar voice said. Still Spencer didn’t lower the gun. Bond didn’t even react when Spencer pressed the gun to the back of his head. He just raised his hands and said nothing.

“How did you get me back to London?”

“An alias that only I know. I created it on my way back just before Skyfall. I had a stash of materials to get you back. I had medical papers forged. We took buses and trains from Japan to Russia and then to Italy. From there it was another train to France. From there it was a car I have in another alias. Q isn’t looking so we won’t be found.”

“How do you know?”

“I let him know I was coming home with you by the scenic route and with us, that’s two weeks. It’s been a week. In Italy you started to develop a fever and you’ve been in and out since then.”

“Why would Q allow that?”

“You are a profiler.” Bond sounded amused. Spencer pushed at his head with his gun and Bond stiffened for a few seconds but then relaxed. “I know that you assume that Q and I are fucking. He’d have my bollocks for garters if I fell off the map and didn’t tell him. We have codes and procedures. This is one of my two safe houses within London city limits. We are safe here.”

“So you want me to put down my gun?”

“No, just stop pointing it my head.”

“What the hell happened?”

“That I am unsure of. Q will be looking into it. I haven’t made contact with him, and I didn’t want to until you were up and about. I can meet with him soon.”

“Whoever sent those men after 002 and I were given mission specific details that had to come from Q Branch. Because the addition of a new tie pin taser was added last second and I was in Q Branch when Q gave it to me. I checked the mission log, Q didn’t update it.”

“Interesting. That I think will change what we need to do.”

“How?”

“I know of one place safe for you. And it’s not here. I won’t force you to go because once you are there, you will be stuck there until Q deems it safe for you to leave..”

“Where?”

“Do you remember that picture that 002 showed you, trying to pass it off as me drunk out of my gourd?” Bond turned and Spencer lowered his gun. He clicked the safety off, just as his leg gave out. Bond caught him and helped him to bed. Bond’s hands went right to checking over his wounds. Outside of medical, this was the only time someone had touched him since he’d left Aaron. He wasn’t able to hold back the shiver.

“The one that it was obvious that you were knocked out?” Spencer had wondered who in MI6 had believed the story.

“Yes. That’s the basement of Q’s house. I tried to break in. That’s what I got for it. If someone in Q’s department is helping, they’ll find me. Q isn’t looking, but if he was, two hours I would say. It’ll take us an hour to get there from here.”

Spencer looked at Bond. The man had yet to lie to him outside of things he wasn’t allowed to answer. Even then the man made it obvious he was lying. Bond had got him out of Japan. He had bandaged him up.

“And his first room is on the first floor. No stairs for hobbled geniuses. If I can’t get in, no one can.”

“I’ll have to try some time. We can get in?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s go. I’ll need pan… trousers. I have pants.” Spencer smiled as he spoke. Bond gave a small laugh. Everyone loved to trip him up on words.

“You prefer shoulder holsters correct?”

“Prefer yes, but I can’t draw from one right now.”

“Okay then.” Bond thought for a few seconds and then nodded. He was up and gone before Spencer could even say a word. He was back four minutes and thirty three seconds later. A stack of clothes were in one hand and a holster in another. “These clothes should fit close enough. Turn towards me and I’ll dress you.”

“I can dress myself.” Spencer reached out for the clothes but Bond just moved out of his reach. He waited, but Bond showed no sign that he was going to give them over. Spencer sighed and turned to where his legs were off the bed. Bond dropped to his knees and laid the clothes down, keeping the trousers in hand. The agent carefully slid his injured foot inside before doing the same to the next. He slid them up to his knees before pulling out socks. Spencer was shocked. Bond had a pair of white tube socks in hand. He never thought Bond would own anything like it. He was shocked when both went over his injured foot. Another, pale purple sock was pulled out of the stack and slid onto his good foot. Then a lime green sock came next and stretched over the two white socks on his foot.

Bond stood, gracefully, and smiled before reaching out for Spencer. Spencer stood on shaky feet as the trousers were lifted to his hips. The button was fastened and then the zipper closed. Spencer couldn’t look Bond in the eye. He hadn’t been dressed by someone since he was a child. Bond moved behind him, wrapping an arm around his waist to hold him up. He felt a hand at his waist and looked down to see a belt being threaded through the loops of his pants. Thankfully his injured hand was his non-dominant hand. The holster wasn’t on the clothes pile. He knew then what kind of holster it was.

The only thing that stopped Spencer from an embarrassing moment was that it hurt to stand. Bond’s hands tightened the belt and fastened it. The gun was slipped in next.

“Make sure this works,” Bond murmured behind him. Spencer reached back and pulled the gun free. It pulled on his shoulder slightly but not too bad. A lot better than if it was hanging from a shoulder holster. “Good. Now back in.”

Spencer knew Bond flirted like he breathed. There were a few other Double O Agents that did as well. The only one he hadn’t met was 006. A memory from Japan filtered into his mind.

“I shot 006.”

“You did. Then knocked his ass out and cuffed him to a pipe. I assume he’s already been returned to MI6 and escaped medicals loving hands. If he let you get the drop on him as injured as you were, he deserves it.”

“I shot first and asked questions later.”

“That’s good. You’ll live longer.” Bond’s heat disappeared from his back, and he watched the man grab a t-shirt, and a jacket from the floor. Spencer slipped his arms in the shirt before Bond pulled it down over his head. His glasses didn’t even twitch.

“Did you break into my flat?”

“Yes. I grabbed glasses and checked what antibiotics you can use. Good thing as I would have given you something with Beta Lactams in it. I stock up on pills from medical so I had plenty you could take. Also found evidence of an opiate allergy. So you have the not quite as good painkillers in you.”

“Good.” Spencer was glad about that. He hadn’t even thought about what Bond had given him to combat his pain. He’d just been happy to not wake up in as much pain as he thought he was going to.

“We should go now. Your last dose will start to wear off soon.”

Spencer hoped the safe house had an elevator. He didn’t want to try and do stairs.

XxXxXxX

Q was tired. 006 had escaped medical and was not inside MI6 anymore. M had Tanner bully Q out of the building and Q was upset about it. No word from Bond in the week since he had gone off comms. M was playing well at being irritated, but it was helping. Q Branch looking for Bond and Reid had the added effect of narrowing down who the mole was. He had an uneasy feeling that the mole was in his own branch.

Setting his keys on the stand just inside his house, Q marveled at the emptiness of the place. He had got used to Bond being there. Then he realized that Mombi hadn’t come running to him. He walked to the kitchen and found it mostly as he’d left it except there were dishes in the dish drainer. Still wet. Reaching into his back holster, Q pulled out his gun. He cleared the kitchen before moving towards the living room again. Each room on the first floor only fed out into the living room. He’d remodeled the house that way before moving in. He cleared all the rooms before moving towards the stairs. It wasn’t until he was halfway up them that the first of his two cats made themselves known. He heard the tell tale scratch of claws before seeing a red ball go rolling down the hall, Ozma following after it. The cat slid on the flooring and grabbed the ball before running back down the way she had come. That red ball lived in Q’s underwear drawer as it was the only place the cats seemingly were unable to find it.

The ball was thrown again and Ozma ran after it. Q wondered exactly who broke into his house, and why the hell they were playing with his cats until he heard the telltale jingling of Mombi’s belled collar. James put that on her when he was home as she moved just silent enough post mission to sometimes startle him. The first time James had scared her so bad that she’d not come out from under Q’s bed for two days. After that the bell had been added to her secondary collar and post mission, James put it on her.

Still, as Q crested the stairs he kept his gun trained towards the direction that the ball had been thrown from. He moved closer and stared right at Reid, who had his own gun trained on him. Mombi was prancing around Reid, trying to get whatever he had been holding up. Ozma trotted back at him dropping the ball in his lap before nudging at his knee when he didn’t throw it.

“Bond said you wouldn’t be back for a few days at least.”

“M had me thrown out, not to return for seventy two hours. Where is Bond?”

“Grocery run. He said the fridge was a biohazard waiting to happen and spent an hour cleaning it before he left. He also left me here on the floor to get to know the cats. He should be back any moment.”

The sound of the door shutting alerted Q that they weren’t alone and given that no sounds of his security going off meant that it had to be Bond. Q though turned to aim his gun down the stairs, but he wouldn’t let Reid out of his sight. Reid was behind them his gun still in hand.

Q waited patiently, moving down the steps slowly until he could just see Reid’s leg. Bond appeared at the base of the steps. His hand moved towards his gun before he recognized Q.

“You are home earlier than I thought.”

“M threw him out,” Reid yelled helpfully from up the stairs.

Q waited for Bond to relax before he holstered his gun. “Is he okay?” Q mouthed at Bond. Bond motioned back with a tilt side to side of his hand. It was the same motion that Bond used after M’s death. He was okay enough, but on the mend.

“Can you help him down to eat? I think getting back to normal will help him more than anything. He’s not used to being betrayed like he has been. Betrayal never came from the inside,” Bond whispered.

Q nodded. He holstered his gun and stepped up the stairs. Ozma and Mombi were staring at him. Reid had the red ball in his hand, ready to throw.

“It’s just Bond. We are safe.”

“Okay.”

Q watched as Reid shifted the gun to his back. He figured that it was a holster that Bond had at one of his safe houses for him. He used back holsters as they were easier to hide with his clothing. He was a little shocked at how quickly Reid had started to adopt some of the more paranoid habits of the other Double O Agents. It would keep him alive longer, but it was sad to see. He wondered how many more habits he was going to pick up once he became a Double O Agent as well. Alec was going to be over him like crazy after he realized exactly how bad off he had been when the younger man had got the jump on him in Japan. Alec like dangerous things and Reid was dangerous, more in mind than body, but just enough to make the man sit up and take attention.

Reid climbed to his feet slowly. Q watched him, but didn’t offer to help. Instead, he hovered. The psychological profile of Reid was spot on, given the time that Q had spent with him. He’d take the help if he thought he needed it, but would bristle if someone tried to help him before he admitted he needed it.

Before Q could react, Mombi was climbing Reid’s trousers. The man stopped his movement and looked down at the cat. A smile broke out on his face and he moved to grab the cat but stopped, a look a pain coming over his face. Mombi meowed at the man so Q took pity and moved forward, untangling the cat from trousers, handing her up to Reid. Mombi started to purr as soon as Reid nuzzled at her face. Reid though looked up at Q.

“Bond said I was safe here but…” Reid looked unsure like he wasn’t sure that he was welcome here.

“You are. There is no way that anyone is getting in here, but I would like to see you try one day. I can disable all lethal measures and have them instead just knock you out. It’ll help me find any bugs. R went through when she started, and found two issues, but never made it inside the house.” Q motioned towards the stairs and Reid started to move that way. He moved without a crutch, but Q figured that it would hurt to even use that. When they got to the stairs, Reid motioned for him to go first and he did, pausing at the second step down and waited. The shuffling sound got closer and then there was a hand on his shoulder, holding tight. He let Reid get down a step before he went down to the next. It was slow going, and Q decided that Reid wasn’t going to be going up to the second floor anymore. There was a full bath on the first floor. He had that installed because there were days, before Bond, where he would never go up to bed. He’d bunk on the couch or even just slumped over his desk. So his first floor bathroom was just as opulent as his second floor.

Bond was in the kitchen and the counter was already covered in the makings of whatever Bond was cooking. Q helped Reid down onto where he assumed Bond wanted him. There was a stack of files there on the counter.

“What are these?”

“Files on everyone who was an option for the next opening in the Double O Agent group,” Q said. He wasn’t shocked that Bond had pulled them from his bag.

“Making a hole for themselves by killing 002?” Reid opened the first file and scanned page after page after page.

“We think something like that,” Q said. He watched as Reid’s eyebrow went up.

“At least do better at fake lying if you are going to, Q. I know when Bond is lying because he’s not allowed to answer anything else.” Reid stopped at the fifth file and looked up. “This isn’t just any regular replacement. This is more than a man to pull a trigger.”

“Yes. I can’t say more than that right now. Just…look over the psychology profiles and help us figure out who would go so far as to kill to get what they want.”

“And 002 stood in their way?” Reid asked. He looked up at both Bond and Q and when neither said anything he smirked. He went through the rest of the files and pulled out three of them. He set those in a pile and then pulled out two more. “These two are listed as no longer working for MI6. I would say that they might have to do with it except for the fact that whoever took me, knew the kit that I had. Only your branch knew that. These three are members of Q Branch who fit it as well as were there when we went over the kit. So one of those three did it, or gave information to whoever did.”

“Thank you.” Q took the files and moved away. There was a smirk on Bond’s face where he was stirring a pot of something on the stove. He’d listened with both ears while concentrating on the food as Q and Reid had talked.

“Now Quin, get him a pad and have him make a list of everything that he wants from his apartment. Alec and I will be going over there later tonight and cleaning it out and moving him into storage for now.”

“What?” Reid looked up at Bond in shock.

“I’m sure that M will want you into secure MI6 housing and there is a flat available in the building next door. Even with Q’s house being so hard to break into, there is the chance that someone will burn it down to get to him so three Double O’s live next door.”

“002?” Reid asked. There was a look on his face that said he really didn’t like the idea of living where 002 used to, and Q could understand that.

“No. 008 married Louise in HR. Louise owns a house so 008 moved in with her. So it’s open and no other Double O needs a residence at the moment.”

“Though Alec just might when he gets bored of being on medical leave.”

“Hard to do when everything in his flat has been made fire resistant,” Q supplied. He glared at Bond a little.

“It’s Alec, he’ll figure out a way. In the meantime, Reid, a list.” Bond pointed with a knife to the pad that was on the counter just on the other side of Q. Q handed it over and Reid started to write as soon as he had pen in hand and pad set down.

Q watched him as he wrote quick as lightning.

“You already broke into his place once didn’t you?”

“Need glasses for him and clothes that were his. Creatures comforts are the best thing.”

Dinner was a quiet affair with Bond telling the tale of his trek from Japan to London with Reid in tow. The younger man was all for listening and trying to figure it all out. Q wasn’t shocked to find out that Reid remembered none of it. He could see the flush of the fever on him now that he was ensconced on the couch. Reid had started out in the center of the couch, but when he’d started to get a little tired, starting to slump down, Bond had turned him around to where he was resting on the older man. The genius’ legs were down the couch with a pillow propping up his hurt leg. Bond force fed him pills, promising that none of them were narcotics. Now the hurt man was dead asleep. Q draped a blanket over him and took a seat on the arm of the couch where Bond was seated.

“What was that with the narcotics?”

“His file states that he had an allergy,” Bond said.

“Yes. I know.”

“That allergy popped up within a year of him being in the hands of a man who took Dilaudid cut with something else to mentally escape his father.”

“Did that man inject him with the drug?”

“Case file on the FBI’s database says yes, but that he was coming down by the time that he was checked out. They didn’t believe that he developed a physical dependance on the drug, but I’m thinking that he might have developed a mental addiction to it. I’ve hid away the stronger drugs here in the house already. Anything narcotic is in your hidden safe, just to be safe. He’s stronger now than he was back then, but this comes before he’s fully back on keel after Agent Hotchner. Did you get a new phone for him?”

“Yes. I gave him one of the prototypes from Q Branch. He keeps in email contact with Henry and now Jack.” Q moved to his bag and pulled out not just one phone, but a second as well. He handed the first over to Bond and waited for the man to turn it on. It opened up with the standard operating system for all of the MI6 work phones. Bond looked over the phone, recognizing that Q wanted him to look it over.

“Two holes for voice pickup?” Bond asked as he stared at the bottom edge of the phone.

“No.” Q smiled as he took the phone from his lover and produced a paper clip. He turned the phone back off, pushed the paperclip into the far left hole and then handed it back to Bond. The agent looked at him as he turned it back on and instead of Q’s OS it was a standard phone again. Bond played around and opened the contacts and such. It was a perfect clone of the Android system. “Those two holes have a small push piston in them. Pushing in one side breaks the second and vice versa. 009’s first phone was found on him during a mission and it was easily figured out that he was an Agent by my operating system. The actual SIM card and SD card for the data for the secret part of the phone are hidden inside and only literally breaking the phone will have them found. There is a code that can be typed in either OS to switch to the other if needed, but this way it can be done without someone being the wiser. During missions, the new protocol will be to have it in personal mode unless actively needing to talk to Q Branch, or access mission specs. Each agent that will be given the phone will have their own server that is disconnected from the rest for the phone. Your mission files are dropped onto it and pulled off as each mission warrants.”

“Interesting.”

“Also it’s harder to figure out an agent if they only have a single phone instead of two in some cases. You and Reid have the first prototypes and will be testing them out. You on missions and him on making sure that it works well as a personal phone. I already have his standard work email synced to it as it’s what he uses with the boys. I also have the official work email synced on the other account.”

“Looks like a very fancy toy that we Double O’s will break easily.”

“The circuits are not that hard to make and it’s not like Double O’s don’t break both phones on occasion as well. Not using a standard factory phone for the base helps. It’s easy to buy the cases cheap. We might even be offering cases other than standard black that can be picked from after every time the phone is brought back whole to the branch.”

“Intriguing.” Bond took the phone back and turned it off before turning it back to the work phone and messing around on it. Reid huffed and tried to roll over and Bond settled his hand down on Reid’s chest before trailing it up and rubbing at the base of his throat. Reid settled down as soon as the warm hand stayed in contact with him. Q wasn’t even sure if Bond knew that he was doing it. Reid intrigued Bond to no end, sometimes Q thought even more than he did, but he knew that it was different. Bond liked broken creatures and Reid was that.

Q and Bond’s relationship wasn’t anywhere near statistical. Q didn’t really care about that. There was love there, it had formed slowly after their physical relationship had started, but then Q’s childhood had been less than normal. Bond didn’t care that Q didn’t want to talk about his childhood. He was quite fine with the lie that Q told him. As far as MI6 knew, Q was an orphan and given that both his mother and his father were now dead, that technically meant he was, but he wasn’t familyless. He just cared to never see his family again. He’d made a family at MI6 and was slowly building one with Bond.

“How long will he sleep?”

“Most of the night. His body is healing and he needs a lot of sleep. Help me and I’ll carry him to the bedroom.”

Twenty minutes later, Reid was asleep in bed and Bond and Q were on the couch again, this time Bond had Q pushed down into the cushions, reuniting himself with the taste of his lover.

“How long did Mallory kick you out?” Bond asked as he kissed down Q’s neck.

“Didn’t give a time.” Q shifted on the couch, spreading his legs so that Bond could slip in between them.

“Good. Take a week and we can do some work here while you help me with Reid.” Bond sat up abruptly and pulled Q with him, making his way to their shared bedroom. Q was looking forward to their naked reunion.

XxXxXxX

It was a week later that Spencer went with Bond and Q back into MI6. The agent drove them to work in an Aston Martin. Spencer has seen Bond driving it on occasion, but given that it had been in Q’s garage with many parts lying around, it was a sure bet that there were modifications to it. It was the newest model and Spencer just hoped that his wounds didn’t open and he get blood on the seat.

In the parking garage, Bond pulled up to the elevators where Moneypenny and Tanner were waiting. Q got out and helped Spencer out. The mission report from both Spencer and Bond had already been typed and sent over, but Spencer knew that M wanted to talk to him personally.

“Moneypenny, please see that Bond gets down to Q Branch. The underlings are waiting for him in the range.”

“You have prototypes that I don’t know about?”

“Enough to keep you busy for a few hours,” Q said with a smirk on his face. Spencer looked away. He had seen them living together for a week, and Spencer knew that the affection between the two of them ran deep. Over the week it had just driven home exactly how much he’d lost with Aaron. There was attraction to the other two men on Spencer’s part, but he wasn’t sure if that was just from living in close quarters to them, or if it was an actual attraction.

Bond took his leave with a kiss to Q’s cheek and surprising a peck to Spencer’s lips. Spencer stared in shock at the other man as he walked away. Q also was staring at Bond in a little bit of shock, but it wasn’t angry shock, it was more that he was shocked the man had even done that. Bond hadn’t stopped flirting with him even though they had been living together for the past week. Skirting touches that bordered on way too much while changing his dressings on his leg as well as just touches in general.

“M is waiting for us,” Tanner said, steadfastly ignoring what he had seen in favor of looking at his phone.

There was no wheel chair which Spencer was glad of. He was doing well at walking around on his own with only a little bit of a limp. As the day wore on it got worse, but the only option was a wheelchair. The elevator opened up to the empty antichamber before M’s office. Moneypenny was in Q Branch. Tanner opened up the door to M’s office and the man was seated there at his desk. Q stopped beside a chair and let Spencer use his arm to help himself down.

“You look well, Reid. Better than I expected after convalescing with Bond for over two weeks.”

“He took good care of getting me out of Japan, even if I don’t remember much of it.”

“The blood tests that Q sent back here all look fine. No diseases or anything like that, which is good.”

“Sir, is there a reason that Tanner and Q are here for the debrief?”

“This isn’t a debrief in the normal sense of the word. You fit in well in Q Branch and my bosses have finally seen the light in a few aspects. Years ago, the old M and the old Q tried their hardest to show that an agent of exceptional intelligence was needed in the field. Not an agent that can be cannon fodder, but someone who is trained to come back, and is trained to use everything to his ability to get the job done. Bond is close to what was wanted, but his intelligence isn’t up to what we want. When Q approached you, it was for the endgame of you being the first Q Branch agent. It’s been proven that you are valuable. I signed the budget to recruit five more agents exactly like you over the next two years, from anywhere in the world. Five agents are replacing you as a Q Branch agent.”

Replace. Spencer could only hear that word. M stopped talking and Spencer knew that he was expected to say something, but he couldn’t. He’d just got settled in there. He’d just started to build bonds. He tried to figure out exactly what he had done wrong. The mission went through his head lightning fast. He analyzed everything. He could hear voices, but he didn’t pay attention to them. Not until a hand cupped the side of his face. It was a familiar hand. Spencer turned towards the hand and looked into Q’s face.

“That was a poor choice of words on M’s part, Reid. You are being replaced, but that’s because you are moving up.”

“Up?” Spencer asked.

“Yes, I’m sorry.” M drew Spencer’s attention back to him. “The reason you were targeted in Japan was because it was evident to those who knew about the X Agent Program that you were Q’s only choice for it. On paper, nothing about you is going to change. You are still going to be listed to everyone outside of MI6 as a field agent for Q Branch, but in fact you will be 00X. The information on 00X attached to you will only be in Q’s brain, mine, and Tanner’s, besides yourself, and I figure that within a few hours all of the Double O’s will know. The monitoring of your solo missions will be under Q’s purview, and no one else’s. Outside of MI6, Agent 00X I’m sure will be talked about but given how someone is already gunning for you before you’ve even signed your name to it, I feel the more protection we can give you the better. Bond has already stated that he’s cleaned out your old apartment and started to move you into the building next to Q’s house. So is everything good?”

“I…”

“You like reading, read over this,” Tanner said as he handed him over a packet of information. Spencer started to read it over. There was the standard hiring clause that looked a great deal different than what he had signed the last time. The hazard pay was nearly triple and his yearly salary and it’s zeroes were startling. Every single aspect of his medical was going to be covered by MI6. A car that was going to be detailed by Q Branch after he picked it out. That explained the Aston Martin that Bond drove around. The apartment that Bond was already moving him into. There was a note to see page thirty five so Spencer scanned through the next pages until he hit page thirty five. The name at the top of the page had Spencer looking at M.

“Every Double O asks for something. Whether it’s someone they can kill with no strings, a ridiculous vacation or something like that. I figured that this was going to be something that you would want.”

Spencer looked back down to the paper and read through it all three times. It was care for his mother. That started from the time that he signed the paper to the time that she died. Not him. Better care than what he was able to give her. She would stay where she was unless Spencer and she decided to move her to the UK. Even if he died, she would be cared for until her death. There was also a clause in there that he would get one week of vacation a year that was uninterrupted that was just for the purpose of visiting her as well as three long weekends.

“Ninety percent of Double O’s are orphans but you…you are as close as we can get. Your love of your mother is strong, but you’ve proven that you’ll do what you can to get back to her, and to your Godson. I want to start to recruit agents like that. Ones who will give life for country, but only as a last resort. Family is a weak point, but having no ties makes for agents who go rogue. You can turn this down. If you do, you’ll stay as you are and help Q pick someone else. Obviously it’s going to be a little bit before you can do any of the tests needed to be included into the Double O program.”

“No, I want it. I will sign the paperwork right now.”

“You don’t need to read over it?” Tanner asked.

“He did read over it, Tanner.” Q laughed a little. “He reads at twenty thousand words per minute. You’ll be fifth in line in Q Branch. And Bond has agreed to share his office with you.”

“Bond has an office?” Spencer asked. He’d never heard anyone discuss Bond and an office other than how much he lived in Q’s.

“Bond took over what was supposed to be R’s office in Q Branch three days after his leave after Skyfall,” Tanner said a scowl on his face. “He rigged it to only open to him and when Q changed it back, he rigged it again. R gave up and took over another room. Of course, he spends more time in Q’s office than his own. I’m sure that you have heard him discuss it, he just doesn’t call it his office.”

Spencer ran over conversations in his head that he’d heard Bond have. The only room that Spencer had ever heard Bond talk about more than once was… “I thought that it was a joke!”

“No. He figured that if he called it that, most of the Double O’s would stay away just because of catching him and Q in a sex act. It’s the room in Q Branch that has the label of toxic. 006 put that sign on the door after he really did catch Bond in a lone sex act in there. Q was away at a conference in France with M, and Bond thought that phone sex was a good idea. When 006 was heard over the phone, Q hung up on him. Bond was grouchy for weeks. I’m sure, though, that if you are going to be using it for an office, Bond will behave. He likes you.”

“That’s evident,” M muttered. Spencer turned to look at him. M just looked at him with his resting face. “Sign the papers and then Tanner will take you to medical in a wheelchair. I saw the limp, and while I know that you can make it to there on your own, I’d rather not hear more bitching from them about allowing Double O’s to take care of their own medical problems. 006 has barricaded himself in his flat and isn’t coming out.”

“There is the question of the explosives that have gone missing from Q Branch right at the same time he escaped medical. Now that I am back I’m going to make sure whether he has them or not, and send Bond to get them back.” Q stood up and made his exit. The door though was shut again.

“We do mean it, Reid. The age of intelligence is here and you’ve proven time and again that you are just as deadly with your mind as Bond is with his body when you mean it. You will not be going out alone as much as other Double O’s, but you will be used to the best of our ability.” M stood up and moved around his desk to lean against the front, trying to tower over Spencer. That form of intimidation was normal to Spencer. He was used to people doing it. He just stared up at his boss. “I do however had one request to make. Do not start to act like the other Double O’s. Try and bring back your tech, and do not take on Bond’s habit of fake dying.”

“That’s three requests, Sir. And I make no promises.” Spencer smiled at him and Tanner laughed a little before he left the room and came back with a wheelchair. Spencer carefully transferred himself over. Tanner was silent the entire trek down to Medical and Spencer was thankful. He needed time to process it all.

Just outside of medical his phone went off. He looked down to see that it was an email from Jack. Spencer read over it while he waited for his turn with the doctor. Jack sent him near daily emails to tell him how his day had gone. It was rare for them to come at this time. When he got to the bottom though he saw why.

Jack forgot to click send on the email last night so when I woke and couldn’t get back to sleep, I logged onto the computer to find it. So I sent it.

The email ended there and Spencer looked at the time. It was just after nine which meant that Aaron had probably woke from a nightmare and couldn’t sleep. Spencer thought about what he wanted to open communication to the man with. Jack had sent daily emails, and knew that just because he didn’t reply didn’t mean anything. He’d responded to all of the backlog as soon as he had woke up after a good night’s rest at Q’s that first night.

Do you want to talk about it?

It was just a nightmare about not making it to the last victim in time from the last case. Aaron’s text came quick so Spencer knew that he had probably been waiting.

Still, I’m here.

I know, but it’s nothing that can be helped. I just need to process and move on. The team is on stand down as Blake, JJ, and I all have concussions. We were in a wreck on the way to the airport to leave. The SUV was rolled, but the only damage was the concussions. I think it’s part of why I had trouble sleeping.

And you mean that? You are all fine?

Yes, Spencer. We all went to the ER and were given a clean bill of health. I’ll scan and email the discharge orders if it will make you feel better.

Spencer didn’t know what to say to that. He felt though that maybe he ought to share back.

I was taken captive on my last mission. I’ve been on stand down for two weeks so far with a broken ankle, wrist, and a deep laceration to my thigh. I’ve been staying with two other agents and they have been taken care of me. JJ knows so don’t worry that I kept it from her. She gets worried when I don’t email Henry back quickly.

What happened to the person who had you?

There wasn’t a record of that mission anywhere other than MI6’s database and getting caught hadn’t been an issue. Still, did he want to tell the truth or not?

I killed the guards but the main man who had tortured me was hiding and in my condition I couldn’t go after him. I talked to him until he gave himself a heart attack.

Spencer waited nearly ten minutes for Aaron to answer him. He let the sound of Medical wash over him while he waited for his phone to vibrate. He barely paid attention as he was ushered into a room. He was left alone in there.

You know Dave once told me that if you ever turned dark, turned into someone we had to chase that he would be scared. I told him that he was stupid. That we wouldn’t know until you wanted us to know, and by then it would be too late. I think I won that bet.

What does Rossi have to do?

Dress in drag at Halloween.

What would you have had to do?

Be a wingman for him at his next seven dates. I’m very happy that I won. I can’t wait to see Morgan’s face when Dave’s in drag.

You’ll have to get me a picture.

That reminds me about a picture I need to send to you. Seconds later an image started to download on Spencer’s phone. It was Jack asleep at what looked like the park, curled on a blanket with a little dog curled into his body. This is Doc. He found Jack at the park and has decided to never let him go. He sleeps with Jack. Jack wanted to tell you about him in last night’s email, but I told him to wait until we made sure that we can keep him.

Why wouldn’t you?

We are not in one of the pet apartments in the building.

Hold on.

Spencer tapped on the screen for the Internet and searched his history. He found the house that he had seen when he’d gone looking for JJ. She’d been frustrated with neighbors. He copied the link and sent it to Aaron. Since then the neighbors had calmed down as the entire neighborhood had shown their dislike of them.

That…How did you have a link for that house so handy?

Looking for someone else. It has a nice backyard and is close to Jack’s school. It would be good for Jack to set down roots. There is a park a block over.

You looked for JJ.

Yes.

It looks like a good house. I’ll look into when I get into work. Thank you.

You are welcome.

You are doing what the doctors are telling you right?

Yes, I am. I’m in a doctor’s office right now waiting for them to do a checkup.

The door opened and Spencer looked up to see the doctor entering the room.

Good.

And the doctor is here. I’ll text later.

Bye, Spencer.

Goodbye, Aaron.

“Agent Reid, I hope you had no plans today because you are going to get a full workup and I’m going to cast your ankle and wrist better.”

“I prefer the soft wraps thank you.”

The doctor looked at him with a frown but Spencer didn’t really care. His body, his choices.

“I have a feeling, Agent Reid you and I are going to get along just as well as Bond and I do.”

“I think I would prefer to be called Doctor Reid.”

Hours later, Spencer was released from medical with new wrappings on his foot and arm and an actual prescription for his pain and antibiotic medication. He walked down to Q Branch, finding a few of the members who were staring at a door across the room. Spencer looked at it and sighed.

Bond & Reid Attorneys at Law was on a small sign that had been attached to the door. It looked like a sign one would find on the door to a lawyer’s office. At least he knew where his office was. He walked over and opened the door, shocked that it actually looked like an office. There was only a single desk that was a little on the small side, but he was sure it was because there was a regular sized couch along one wall, and a chair with ottoman in the far corner. Bond was sitting in the chair with a laptop in his lap.

“Well you escaped medical before I had to stage an intervention.” Bond closed the laptop and set it on the corner of the desk before he stood up. He stepped towards Spencer and offered him the chair. Spencer hobbled towards it and carefully sat down. Bond lifted his foot and carefully set it on the ottoman. A tablet was handed to him next. Spencer booted it up and he found a list of things in there that Q wanted him to work on over the next few weeks while he was on light duty.

“Busy, busy.”

“Q Branch never sleeps, even when it should. Did medical feed you?”

“No.”

“I’m meeting Alec for lunch, but I’ll have something sent down to you.”

“I’m capable of ordering my own food.”

“Yes, you are, but I am ordering lunch for Q as well so it just makes sense to order enough for the both of you.”

“And if I’m eating, he’ll actually stop and eat to make sure that I do.”

“You know me so well.” Bond leaned over and Spencer was expecting a kiss to his forehead, Bond did it all the time, checking for fever. He remembered when his mother used to do it. Instead, Bond kissed him on the lips again. Spencer stared at him as the agent sauntered away. If Spencer wasn’t sure that Bond would never cheat, he’d be worried. As it was, he chalked it up to Bond just being Bond.

XxXxXxX

Spencer wasn’t sure what to expect from his first solo mission as a Double O, but having to blow up a house, steal a hard drive, and shoot a woman wasn’t it. He came home on the standard flight with Q’s voice in his ear. The only injury was the knife wound to his back where the target’s wife had gone after him. It hadn’t even needed stitches.

In and out of medical with an antibiotic shot and a few days of pills, and Spencer was going to turn in all of his equipment outside of the explosives.

Spencer settled into his office with barely a word to anyone else. Q wasn’t there to turn his equipment into so he carried it to the office with him. He bypassed the desk and the couch and settled in the chair with his back on the seat and his legs draped up the back. The bed he’d slept on during the mission had wrecked his back. His head rested on the ottoman. There he worked on his mission report. He sat there typing out the entire report from the second he boarded the plane to Spain to the moment he’d come back to English soil.

The sound of breathing pulled Spencer out of his work as he caught up on everything inside of Q Branch. He turned his eyes upward to find Bond staring at him.

“It’s a boffin thing right?” Bond asked as he looked Spencer up and down, his gaze settling on Spencer’s mouth. There was a look on his face that Spencer couldn’t place. It wasn’t heat or desire. It was almost like longing. He had to be missing Q.

“What?”

“Q lays like that in bed with his tablet sometimes.” Bond stepped up to stand right at Spencer’s head. “I’ve been sent to grab you. You’ve been a good little minion and filed your report so it’s time for fun.”

“I’m quite fine here.” Spencer wasn’t sure that Bond’s version of fun and his own matched up. He just wanted to finish his work day and leave. A glance at the time showed that he was okay to leave at any time.

“Come willingly with me or Alec is going to kidnap you.”

“I’d like to see him try.”

“Q let him try a prototype delivery system for knockout gas. He stole several vials and then two weeks later, the device.”

“Better to give in to the devil I know?”

“That is one way of stating it.”

“Will I need a gun?”

“Need? Probably not. Want? Yes.”

“Hmm. Meet you topside in fifteen minutes.”

“Better or I’m sending Alec.”

Spencer wasn’t sure what to expect, but when he exited the building fifteen minutes and twelve seconds later, Bond waiting in his Aston Martin wasn’t quite it. They drove the roads that he was quickly equating with coming home. The Aston was parked in the garage and before Spencer could even touch the door handle, 006 was opening it.

“The others are already there and waiting.” Alec offered his arm, and Spencer wasn’t sure what to do except take it. Instead of being led into the house they started down the street towards an area Spencer hadn’t explored yet.

There on the corner was a bar. There was a sign on the door that stated it was closed due to a private party. Alec opened the door and ushered him in. The inside was lit just like many bars were in movies. There was light around the bar that faded to inky blackness in the corners. It didn’t take long for Spencer to figure out exactly who was inside the bar either. The rest of the Double O’s were all in there, including the replacement for 002, Clara Berkshire. Spencer had been the one to kit her out for her last mission, going out three week ago.

“What’s he doing here?” 009 asked.

“That’s right,” Bond said as he came up behind Spencer, stepping really far into his personal space. Spencer could feel every single exhale of breath on the back of his neck. “Jimmy Boy has been out of town.”

“I thought that we were celebrating the new 00.”

“We are,” Alec said with a grin on his face. “We celebrated Clara’s ascension two weeks ago when she came home from her mission. You decided to stay in Russia so you missed it.”

“Are you saying that the geek is a 00?” 003 asked.

“He is. 00X, a Q Branch 00. Newfangled and all of that. All I care about is how much he can drink.” Alex wandered to the bar and grabbed the bottle of vodka that the bartender was holding out. The other Double O’s had glasses and some a bottle of something in front of them.

“The way this works is that the bartender keeps track of how much we drink. There will be a waitress or two in here later, but for now it’s self serve. If we drink under what he would make in a night, we have to make up the difference, if we drink a lot more, we still pay. The rest of us Double O’s split that nine ways now. It’s an excuse to drink our asses off.” Bond’s voice was low in his ear and the man was still right there against his back. “It’s not a party that you’ve ever witnessed before, so don’t worry about loud noises that seem like someone is dying in the back rooms, that’s probably sex. Don’t worry about drinking us under the table, that would be near impossible. Just try and have fun.”

“And if fun is me leaving?” Spencer wasn’t so sure about drinking with the rest of the Double O’s. He might be one in name, but none of them would ever see him that way. He wasn’t going to waste the time to even try and make them see him any different.

“Then I’ll send you with a bottle of something and you can party alone at home.” Bond kissed the side of his neck, just below his ear. If it had been Aaron or anyone else in general, Spencer would have let the gasp inside of him out. As it was he kept that to himself. That was the one spot on his body that set his pulse racing. The bartender handed over a bottle of whisky to Bond before he moved over to a table with Alec. The man didn’t sit though. He just stayed standing. The Double O’s were paired off for the most part with 004 standing from his lone table to take the seat next to Alec. Spencer stepped up to the bar to look at what there was to offer. He saw a blue glass of Highland Park that was unopened.

“Ice Edition?” Spencer asked in a soft voice. Rossi had made him try a shot of Highland Park before, but he’d never seen a bottle like that. The bartender smiled and pulled an opened bottle from the counter and pulled out the wooden stopper in it. He poured some into a glass and handed it over. Spencer smelled it before he took a sip. It smelled like pineapple and mango and had hints of vanilla and what Spencer was sure was orris root. He nodded at the other bottle and the bartender handed it over.

“You the bloke that was staying with James and Quin?”

“I was.”

“James says you talked a dude into a heart attack.”

“I did.” Spencer looked over at James who was staring at him.

“Don’t worry about state secrets. I signed all but my leg over years ago. The two waitresses coming in later have as well. It’s why all of these are held here. One of Quin’s people already cleared the place, just drink and enjoy.”

Spencer took his bottle and glass and moved over. He slid into the seat next to Alec and startled a little when Bond slipped in on his other side.

“That’s an interesting choice,” Bond said into his ear, leaning into him.

“Rossi had a bottle, I think it was the thirty year. I liked it. This though looks really good and tastes even better.”

“You’ll have to let me try it later.”

Spencer offered the glass that had some in it.

“James likes it second hand,” Alec said.

“Second hand?”

“You take a drink and he tastes it in your mouth. Best seduction technique he ever taught me.” Alec bumped his shoulder into Spencer’s before he winked. “If you let him try it that way, you have to let me try it that way.”

004 laughed but Spencer didn’t blush.

“Why don’t you try a sip and then Bond can sample your mouth.”

“Ah, little boffin, you’ve been around Q too much. Come, lets go play darts. James will protect your drink.” Alec grabbed his arm and drug him out of the booth, after Bond stood up.

The two of them played darts until a poker game started. Every single one of them played that. It was exhilarating playing with people who were not only damned good at it, but sneaky as well. Even as all of them slipped farther and farther into drunkenness, they played like their life depended on the game.

When it ended near midnight, many of the Double O’s were slowing down on drinking but not on pestering Spencer.

“I can’t remember,” 001 started as he leaned into Spencer from behind at the card table. “Did we ever actually do the kissing contest or did I dream that?”

“Dream, we’ve talked about it. Last time there was a serious discussion, Q was brought up as the test subject and Bond nearly broke your jaw. Why are you wanting to try X out for a ride.”

It was the alcohol in Spencer’s system that he didn’t connect X as him. Not until the rules for the kissing contest was already underway. The bartender strangely enough had a blindfold on hand. Spencer let their voices wash over him. He’d never allowed himself to get drunk outside of his own home. Yet here he felt safe.

“Spencer?” Bonds voice was soft and Spencer opened his eyes to see the man crouched in front of him. “There you are. Have you been listening?”

“Nope.”

“You smile funny when you are drunk. Do you want to be the judge?”

“Of a kissing contest?”

“Yes.”

“I’d have to what? Judge who gets one of the waitresses the most horny? No thank you.”

“Pretty boffin,” 003 said. He leaned over so Spencer could see him. “We are going to kiss you.”

“What?” Spencer looked at every single one of them for a second each before settling his gaze on Bond. “Why?”

“We’ve all made out with the waitresses. We’ve made out with each other. You are the unknown entity. You can be impartial. So what do you say?”

Spencer tipped his head back and looked above. He thought about it. Every single Double O was a looker in their own way. He looked down at Bond and smiled.

“Blindfold me.”

The first Double O kissed liked it was his job. Spencer wasn’t sure how to react to it. After being blindfolded, Spencer had been moved to a bench seat. The man straddled him and kept his hands totally above Spencer’s shoulders. When the two minute timer went off, the man stopped.

The second, fifth, and eighth were the females and they kissed a hell of a lot better than any other woman that he’d ever kissed. It was heat and soft and mind blowing to him. He curled his hands for want of touching, but never did. Four and six were better than the others but still didn’t match three and seven.

The ninth and last Double O to go though, he kissed Spencer like it was the only thing in the world that he ever wanted to be doing. Spencer’s hands lost the battle to touch and as soon as they closed on the hips of the man kissing him, the hands on Spencer’s cheeks moved down down his neck, down his chest to just touch, everywhere. He barely paid attention to anything around him, holding the man right where he wanted him to try and consume him with the kiss.

The kiss ended abruptly, but before Spencer could try and remove the blindfold to figure out just who he had made out with, another person sat down, holding his hands still before leaning in. Spencer wasn’t sure who was coming back for seconds, but he knew it was a male. From the build it was one of two of the smaller build Double O’s.

“May I?” a voice asked and Spencer was nodding before he even figured out who it was. Unlike any of the other’s, this man was tentative. He coaxed Spencer into opening his mouth. They played a game of cat and mouse with their tongues, and Spencer barely realized that his arms had been pinned down to the back of the booth he was seated on. He flexed his fingers and the hands holding him let go only to threads fingers between fingers. Spencer held onto those hands tightly. Spencer lost track of time as he and the new man kissed.

Spencer had never felt passion like he did with the man he was kissing at the moment and the man before. He’d felt that way once before and it had been about Aaron, he’d never felt possessed like he had with him but this…the passion in the kiss he was sharing now left the passion he’d felt for Aaron in the dust.

“That is just a tease,” Alec said from somewhere to Spencer’s left as the man kissing him pulled back. The blindfold was slipped down and Spencer got an eyeful of Q, sitting on his lap. “You at least get to go home with one of them and fuck them tonight.”

“So,” 002 started like he was trying to stop a rant from Alec. “Reid, who is the winner?”

“Whoever the man who kissed me before Q was,” Spencer said. He didn’t look away from Q and whatever that look in his eye was. The man was analyzing him like he would a computer virus that he hadn’t figured out. There were groans all around, and it finally drew Spencer’s gaze from Q, and to the room around him. He watched as it looked like several hundred dollars from each Double O was dropped into Bond’s hand.

“But I have to say that being on the receiving end of James’ kisses on a regular basis, Reid’s enthusiasm was quite enthralling.”

“Did your boy say that Reid kisses better than you James?” Alec asked.

“I think that he said that because my kisses were becoming old, Spencer’s were more exciting. I’ll show him when I get home.” Bond smirked and stepped up behind Q, helping him off Spencer’s lap.

Spencer though just watched them for the rest of the night as Bond stopped drinking and Q started to. Q was rarely more then an arm’s length away from his lover the rest of the night. Spencer tried to figure out exactly why Q had done what he had done. Kissing Bond had been part of a bit of a lark for the Double O’s. He’d seen it as a way to integrate himself with them. There was little that he could figure out though in his own inebriated state. So instead he decided to keep drinking. He tipped his head back to lay against the soft cover of the booth that he was sitting in and closed his eyes for a second.

XxXxXxX

James settled into the booth just as Reid tipped over. Instead of falling down and startling himself awake, Q watched as James lowered the other man down into the seat, letting his head land on his lap. The calloused hands settled into Reid’s hair and James sipped at his beer like it was nothing. Alec followed him over, but Q was listening to 003 and 8 complain about the weather of their last two missions and who had it worse. He listened for a few more minutes before he moved over to where Reid was dead asleep and Alec and James were talking.

“…did he even do that?” Alec asked and Q stopped moving so that Alec wouldn’t see him. He wasn’t sure if James had or not, his focus might have been too much on Reid at the moment.

“Everyone wants to kiss him. I know that those in the branch want to do what we did. Q wouldn’t cheat on me, Alec. Q and I…” James stopped and looked down at Reid. “Reid intrigues the both of us.”

“What are you going to do? Ask him to let you two bed him?”

“Not quite,” Q said as he sat down on Alec’s side of the table. The agent moved over to allow him to do so. Alec looked between the two of them and James was just paying attention to Reid.

“I think I found my type,” James muttered under his breath.

“Lanky, smart, and looks like a kitten until they have their knife to your throat. I knew that years ago, James. Take your boffins home. That one drank too much for his own good. And good luck getting him in bed. His boss turned him against getting involved with someone he works with.”

“That’s the good thing of already having a partner. It seems all friendly while we woo him.” Q smiled as James’ hand never stopped playing with Reid’s hair. He stood and cleared away their drinks, putting the stopper in Reid’s and slipping it in his satchel. There was no sense in taking Reid home. He still had things at their place and James would cook breakfast. It wouldn’t take much to convince Reid to stay the day as they all had the next day off.

Walking in and seeing James kissing Reid, Q hadn’t been able to stop himself. There hadn’t been much of the taste of the whisky that Reid had been drinking left in his mouth, but the taste of James had been all over him. The smell.

Q knew his kinks and knew that James delighted in letting him peruse them at his will. There was a new kink forming though, just a spin off the old one.

After he and James had got together, Eve had brought up the honey pot missions. It had taken several minutes of her talking to understand that Eve didn’t want him to be upset, but that James had not asked to not be sent on them.

Eve had even gone as far as to be in Q Branch when James went on his first. So Q had locked himself in his office to oversee that section of the mission alone. Q knew that James and fidelity didn’t seem to go hand in hand, but James did what was needed for country, and when he was with someone, that meant only fucking when there was no other resort.

Q had listened in as James had fucked the target so hard she’d gone hoarse. Once James had been signed off, the information he needed on the hard drive, Q had wanked to the noises he’d heard. Just as he did on every single one of James’ honey pot missions.

James had been the one to start it, making sure that Q was the one to cover a mission where the man he had to steal info from was much like Q. James had seduced the man over the comms and Q understood that when James had fucked him, James would rather be fucking Q. It had devolved from there, and Q was quite certain that M and Tanner knew as he’d never been asked for the recordings of those missions.

“Come Q,” James said as he lifted Reid up into a bridal carry. “Mombi has missed him.”

Q followed behind James, letting his mind slip to his new kink. Reid fucking James.

One day soon, he’d get his wish.
The End

Zoo

Title: Zoo
Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 7
Tags: Established Relationship,
Ratings: PG-13
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: The household wasn’t fully complete.
Words: 4,020
Notes: Spencer’s Flat The Tank
Warnings: None
Beta: rivermoon1970

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Going Home Changed

Title: Going Home Changed
Series: The Stronger Will
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Year: Season Five
Tags: Sentinel/Guide, Sentinel!Spencer Reid, Guide!Aaron Hotchner,
Ratings: NC-17
Pairings: Aaron Hotch/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, David Rossi, Derek Morgan, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Emily Prentiss, Penelope Garcia,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 5
Summary: Going home sucked. Especially when it’s for work. Spencer now has to go home to Las Vegas to hunt a killer killing teens at his old high school. The school is filled with old teachers he disliked, new teachers that bullied him, and the lead detective on the case was his chief tormentor. Going home just sucked.
Words: 13,909
Notes: None
Warnings: Canon Level Violence, Murder, Explicit Sex, Graphic Depictions of Violence,
Beta: rivermoon1970

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Ye

Title: Ye
Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds, James Bond (Craig Era)
Year: Season 7
Tags: Established Relationship, Mile-High Club, Public Sex, Gun Kink,
Ratings: NC-17
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid, James Bond/Q
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, James Bond, Q,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: The long awaited day is finally here. Aaron and Spencer get to go on their honeymoon.
Words: 4,853
Notes: Spencer’s Flat
Warnings: None
Beta: rivermoon1970

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(I Wish I Was) Waking Up in Vegas

Title: (I Wish I Was) Waking Up in Vegas
Series: Yes (At Some Point)
Fandom: James Bond (Craig Era)
Year: Post Skyfall
Tags: Sentinel/Guide, Sentinel!Q, Guide!James Bond,
Ratings: NC-17
Pairings: James Bond/Q
Characters: James Bond, Q,
Spoilers: Through Skyfall
Summary: Returning from the dead was never easy. James knew his Guide abilities were close to the surface but the constant buzzing in his head was driving him nuts. He wanted to find out where it was coming from but London had needed saving. Then he passed out at Skyfall. When he woke, he was bonded.
Words: 13,292
Notes: None
Warnings: Canon Major Character Death, Canon Level Violence, Explicit Sex,
Beta: rivermoon1970

The day that James’s parents had died, everyone had walked on eggshells around him. He had not understood why until after he’d gone back to school. Then he learned that he’d been marked a Guide as a child and had been watched for years after their death. He had been classified as on the cusp of coming online from a young age, but their death didn’t cause him to come online.

He’d gone through school without coming online. Through the Navy and started at MI6 with the Guide tag still on his file. MI6 valued Guides and Sentinels, but online, unbonded Guides were like the ultimate for them. Over half of the 00s were Guides.

When James had agreed to become a 00, he’d had to sign paperwork that he’d never submit for a Sentinel search. There were eventualities of what would happen if he were to bond with a Sentinel. Spontaneously coming online during missions wasn’t unheard of, but for James it wasn’t an option.

M thought it was sheer will that kept him just at the edge of coming online for so long. That he didn’t want to have a Sentinel, so he made sure that he never came online. James had hacked his file often, after every single mission in fact. He was never sure if M or even Q knew that he did it. He didn’t care. Psych always had a field day with him. He always made sure that he passed, playing off the doctor sent to talk to him.

Waking up on the riverbed, half drowned and in the biggest pain of his life, James had cursed the hum that had been with him since the day before he’d started the mission to retrieve the hard drive. He hadn’t been able to figure out what it was. He’d hoped upon waking up that it would be gone, but it wasn’t. It hadn’t been gone away at all. Neither did it increase or decrease.. It stayed with him throughout his hiding away and healing up on the beach. The only time that it decreased was when he was passed out from drinking, or buried balls deep in whatever woman he’d picked to be his companion for however long they stayed. Some were days, others a week.

Sex felt good to James, it always had. He figured that out at sixteen, and hadn’t looked back at all. Instead, he embraced the stereotype of a sex craved Guide, even if he wasn’t a full Guide, because it stopped people from looking deeper.

Psych thought he’d forced himself to never come online, but in fact James wanted it. Because in this state, he could feel the hole in his heart, in his body, and was unable to do a thing about it. If he was online, he’d be able to do something about it.

So he fucked his way through every single woman that would have him and a few of the more adventurous men of his sandy paradise while he ignored that hole in his heart.

Until an explosion rocked his world. He hadn’t thought anything of it until after he was back on British soil. He knew he should have been passed out drunk for hours longer. Once back in London, he’d gotten the exact time of the explosion. When converted to the timezone he was in, he’d woken up from his drunken stupor at the exact time of the bombing. That was something that he should have looked at more, given what happened after but he’d pushed it away, calling it coincidence.

The hunt for the person responsible started, and James was laser focused on getting approved back into the Double O program so he could go after the perpetrator. . He’d been shocked to hear that Boothroyd had been retired just hours after the explosion. Whispers from those around him inside the new headquarters that the man who had replaced Boothroyd was a very strict man.

The new Q had been nothing like what James had thought he would be. James was always able to read those he came across, as much as his dulled senses allowed, but Q was a mass of nothing. James had been tempted to ask if he was a Sentinel or a Guide, but hadn’t had the chance before he felt the urge to leave, almost like he had to get away. That meant that Q was online, whatever he was, and he was a very private person. If he was a Guide, it could mean that he was already bonded to someone, and wanted no one to ever link them. Or he was a Sentinel who was intensely private. There were those that unless they were agitated would never feel like a Sentinel.

Silva had felt like a cesspool of greed and corruption . When the man had touched him, James had nearly puked, but only his training had stopped him from doing it. His death had felt like the world was cleansed.

M’s death, though, had been painful. So painful. It had felt like his world was being ripped apart. He had held onto her for so long while the pain had got worse and worse. The only thing that had pushed into his grief and pain had been the sound of a helicopter. Afraid that Silva had sent another helicopter to take him out had caused him to lash out. The helicopter had landed and he felt people on it. He lashed out to try and stop them from coming after him. From taking her away from him.

Even when he felt a mind that he knew well, Tanner, he didn’t stop. He pushed and pushed and pushed. Not willing to stop. Tanner stopped at the edge of the building, but there were still footsteps moving towards him. He pushed even harder, trying to make whoever it was stop.

Whoever it was should have had the weight of the world pressing on him. Every regret, every choice, every sadness, weighing on his soul. It should have killed him, but the man got closer and closer to James and then all he knew was blackness.

XxXxXxX

James always knew where he was when he woke up. Even after getting blinding drunk to dull the hurt of being an almost online Guide, he knew where he was. James had no clue where he was at the moment. He didn’t move from the bed. Instead, he just laid there. The smell of the room was very telling of one thing, there was other scents, whether it was to hide them from him or someone else, he didn’t know. He remembered that Tanner had been there, but it could have been a trick. It had felt like Tanner, but then his senses had been fooled before. As a not online Guide, he had little training besides what all latent Sentinels and Guides were given.

Over a half an hour went by before James moved. In that time, anyone else in the room would have declared themselves, unless they were like him, and if they were like him, he’d rather not wait to surprise them. He had heard nothing in the room, and nothing outside of it, but still he moved slowly and carefully to a sitting position that the bed didn’t even make a sound. While he moved, he realized that he wasn’t in his clothes from Skyfall. He was dressed in a loose fitting long sleeved linen shirt and equally as loose linen pants. He wasn’t afraid of them falling off but they were the type of clothes that Guides wore when in Centers across the country. The only difference was that the shirt was a dark grey and the pants black. The Centers stocked their clothes with natural colors. James filed that away. Whoever had him, knew he was a Guide. He reached up and felt at his chin. When he’d joined the Navy he’d been afforded hair treatments in readiness of him coming online. He’d agreed to everything except his face and head. The hair on his face told him that he’d been out at minimum of a day, and a maximum of three.

There was no lethargy from drugs, and James knew what each and every single one of them felt like, so he knew that he’d been in a form of natural sleep. He looked around the room as he tested the muscles of his body and found them all in working order. There was a large twinge from his shoulder so he turned to look at it. He didn’t expect to find a large plaster poultice slapped across it. He peeled it back enough to see that the wound had been cut into and restitched correctly. The deep ache was less than it had been. He relaid the plaster and looked down his shirt more. All of his wounds were taken care of. He’d had medical care, but it wasn’t something that was professional. Something better than when Alec would stitch his wounds, but not up to a doctor’s standards, but it was done with care.

Slipping up from the bed, James stood on steady feet. When his feet were settled, he took in the room as a whole. There was a closet that took up nearly an entire wall. The decorations were sparse and very much in his taste, which did freak him out just a little. There was a single painting of a Scottish Moor on the far wall. The windows were not barred. He knew his feet were bare so he carefully moved towards the first window, coming at an angle to where no one outside would see him. He saw no one on the grounds and knew from the low lying wall that he could see that the grounds were massive. It was a proper English estate. The house that he was in was two stories. He could see many exit points if he could made it to a ground floor door.

James was staring out the window when he realized that the hum was gone. He tried to focus on it more, trying to find it, but instead he found something else.

He was online.

James closed his eyes and reached out, like he used to, and found that instead of a slow molasses, he found that the link was sharp and quick. His mental net blew wide and James tried to pull it in before he hurt himself, or someone else, but all he found in that web was a single person. It was startling for him. He expected someone else in that web, but there wasn’t. He focused on the person but tried not to hurt them. What happened next had James landing on his ass on the floor.

The person reached back. But not with their own gifts, no through the green tether between his mind and theirs. James realized that the reason he’d slept for so long was that he’d come online so violently that his brain had shut down to preserve itself, after bonding with a Sentinel. His mind had felt safe with the Sentinel so it was someone good. Someone from MI6 he was sure. Which was odd as MI6 would never employ someone who was close enough to James to match to him. Every applicant was screened which meant that they weren’t that close of a match. They’d have to sever the bond as soon as possible because a match that low would never survive, especially not with James on the other end.

The sound of claws on floor had James turning around to look. There at the door was what looked like a wolf. Yet it was unlike any wolf that he’d ever seen. He stared at it, and it stared back at him. Neither of them moved. James then looked back out onto the property. There was no safe way for him down to the ground because he didn’t know where the Sentinel was. He, or she, could be watching from anywhere, and James didn’t have enough of a grasp on his abilities to be able to narrow it down. The wolf didn’t move behind him. James wondered how long his Sentinel’s Spirit Animal was going to live with being ignored before it pushed the issue of making James interact with him.

James finally stood and moved around the room, taking in the view from each of the three windows. It told him nothing more except that the only way he’d get out was if he’d make a run for it, and the Sentinel didn’t know that he was thinking that. In all reality, the Sentinel was probably tracking him, and it would be futile to try and escape. There was no escaping a Sentinel.

Double O agents made careers in doing the impossible, but no newly online Guide with little control of his abilities had a chance in hell of escaping a Sentinel, especially when said Sentinel was bonded to the one who wanted to escape. Especially since James was injured, there was little chance that running wouldn’t send the Sentinel into a feral drive.

The Spirit Animal moved but instead of coming to him, it moved towards one of the windows. Like a guard it moved from window to window and back to the door, settling down there. It laid on it’s belly and crossed it’s paws before laying its head on the said crossed paws.

It was like a switch had been flipped. He looked at the wolf and knew that it wasn’t the Sentinel’s Spirit Animal. James held out his hand and the wolf came to him. He dropped to his haunches and the wolf bumped its head into his hand.

“You are very pretty, but what kind of wolf are you?” James asked. The wolf just looked at him like he was insane, asking a question that it couldn’t answer. James could almost feel emotions coming off of the wolf and knew that he was male. When James lifted his hand, the emotions went away. He reached back down and petted the wolf from head to tail. He tried to figure out why his Spirit Animal was so different than other Guides. Even the other 00’s that were online didn’t have hunters for Spirit Animals. He wasn’t sure what that meant. Especially a wolf that James didn’t know.

England had no native wolves anymore, hunting had killed them off long before, and he wondered if that was what his wolf was. An English Wolf. It would fit. His love of England was second to none, and he could see himself having an extinct Spirit Animal. He knew that it was possible. There was a man in California who had a dinosaur as a Spirit Animal, it was thankfully a very small one, and not one that was bigger than a house.

“You will fit in just fine with me, all pretty coat and I can already tell a cocky attitude. Have you met the Sentinel downstairs?”

The wolf just cocked an eyebrow.

“I need to name you.” James stared into the wolf’s eyes for a very long time. Trying to figure out a name for him, and it wasn’t until the wolf looked away that it came to him. “Adair.”

Adair licked up the side of his face, leaving no actual moisture behind, but there was a feeling of being wet. Still James wiped it off his face.

A growl unleashed from Adair’s mouth and James turned to the door. He wasn’t sure what was upsetting the wolf but he braced himself for what was coming through that door.

James watched the handle of the door thinking that he would have rather woke up in Vegas drunk off his ass, and no understanding of how he got that way, than hidden in the English countryside with an unknown Sentinel bonded to him. The handle never moved, and the growl of Adair got louder and louder. James stayed where he was as far from the door as he could get and waited. Adair still growled, and James reached out to pet his head. It wasn’t long before James finally looked at Adair.

The wolf wasn’t focused on the door handle like James was. No, he was focused on the area below the door. The small patch of space between the bottom of the door and the floor. From his height, James could see nothing. So he crouched down again to look from Adair’s height, but still nothing.

A minute later, something was moving under the door. James reached for a gun that wasn’t there. He couldn’t tell what was moving under the door, but when something small and blue popped from under the door, James nearly laughed. It was a blue poison dart frog. Those creatures were nowhere near indigenous to the area so it was a pet. Adair stopped growling and chuffed at the frog. The frog croaked at him and Adair settled down.

The frog was the Spirit Animal of the Sentinel. Not a bloody pet.

James stayed crouched as the frog crawled ever closer to him. James waited for the frog to touch him first and when it did, he was shocked at the restraint that he felt. The Sentinel was staying away to give James the chance to adapt on his own. Whoever the Sentinel was, they had been online for a long while. James marveled at how well the person was at staying away. The frog crawled all the way up onto the arch of his foot. It settled there and just stared up at him.

It was over ten minutes before the frog jumped off his foot and hopped all the way to the closet. It climbed the door and settled on the handle. James walked over towards the door and lifted the frog up to settle it on his shoulder as he opened the door. He shouldn’t have been shocked that it was his clothes inside. Various outfits that he wore when he was dressing down. It was his jeans and his polos, and his softer dress shirts. There were several more pairs of the linen clothes inside hanging on the opposite end. All of them fit for him.

The bed in the room wasn’t big enough for two to share comfortably so this was his room. There was another somewhere else that the Sentinel stayed in. He didn’t even try and act shocked at finding the clothes in there. The care of the wounds told him that no matter the link between them, and the weakness of it, James was sure that the Sentinel cared. A chirp like sound had James looking to his shoulder for the frog but it wasn’t there. Instead it was on the hangers in front of him. It crawled carefully over them until James saw it was walking away from the linen clothes towards the back of the closet. It disappeared from sight as it dropped down. James parted the clothes, and found that he was looking down into boxes. The boxes were sturdy plastic and lidless. What shocked him though was the contents. Each box held a type of gun holster. The biggest was shoulder holsters and it had several different kinds of them inside of it. From single gun to double to gun and knife, to even one that looked like it had places for grenades. Next was back, hip, and even ankle holsters in the other three boxes.

The frog was sitting on top of the top shoulder holster in the box. James reached down to lift him out, but the frog hopped out on his own. James expected him to move towards the door but instead he climbed the interior wall with the painting of the moors.

James moved to investigate it, and it didn’t take long to find the hinge. He swung the painting away from the wall and found a safe. It was a palm reader, state of the art, and something that James hadn’t seen at all in the line of duty. He laid his palm down and it didn’t shock him when the lock clicked and it unlatched. He opened it to find several handguns inside. There was a Walther as well as a Glock, and strangely a revolver. The Walther and the Glock had the same palm print scanner that his other Walther had, but the revolver didn’t. That explained why the revolver.

The Walther was picked up first and when the lights flashed green, James knew that MI6 knew where he was, and whoever the Sentinel was it was most likely a high member of MI6. Eve was the only unbonded Sentinel that he knew of that high in MI6, and shuddered at the thought of her being the person waiting on him.

There was no way for James to work in MI6, even if the bond was broken due to incompatibility, no Sentinel would be fooled by him anymore. He’d be worthless to the Double O programme. He wondered who owned the house he was in. Was this his retirement package with a Sentinel guardian to watch over him? He lived for the rush of adrenalin that his job gave him, and he’d wither and die hiding in the countryside of England. He’d rather eat a bullet than stay where he was.

He just had to get away from it all. Arming him had been his Sentinel’s mistake. He had what he needed to get out of there. The room he was in was rather warm, but a touch to the glass told him that it was cool outside, what he expected for nearing winter. He pulled the second Walther from the safe before shutting the door and putting the painting back where it was.

Guides were incapable of hurting their Sentinel’s, James had been told time and time again, just like Sentinels were incapable of doing harm to their Guides, but James had seen the worst of people, and knew that it was all down to mindset. He’d put a bullet or three in the knee of the Sentinel and escape. He just had to put distance. He’d get the training he needed. There were shady places that he knew of where he could get Guide training, and then he’d end the link. He’d be free then. He probably go back to his beach at the end of the world and drink himself into death, fucking anything and everything along the way. He’d probably fuck everything he could before he ended the link. MI6 wanted him corralled and he’d not let them do that.

The frog moved to jump towards him but James stepped back. His Sentinel might care for him but he didn’t care. The frog aborted the jump towards him and jumped to the bed instead. It seemed to stare at him like he could read his mind and didn’t approve. The way the eyes bore into him reminded him of the new Quartermaster and he wasn’t sure why. The frog jumped down from the bed and made his way towards the door, slipping underneath it in the same place that he had done it the first time. James moved over towards the door and tried the handle. He found that it turned and the door creaked just a little as it tried to open. He shut the door again and moved back to the closet. He took off the linen clothes and instead found the pair of jeans that were the warmest. Beside the boxes with the holsters were his shoes. None of his fancy ones but his running shoes, his regular boots, and his working boots. He found socks in the dresser in the corner as well as undershirts and underwear. He dressed for warmth. Two pairs of thick socks and underwear that was older and more worn just for ease of movement, as well as an undershirt. Back in the closest he found a dress shirt that he preferred above the others before slipping a double gun holster on and paired that with a flannel shirt that was near the dress shirts. It would hide the guns and give him the warmth he’d need when he escaped.

He’d debated adding in a gun at his back, but he didn’t figure that the Sentinel was really that prepared for him. They’d probably expect him to be what all other bonded Guides were, meek when it came to their Sentinel. James wasn’t going to put to pasture like MI6 wanted.

His plans had been to get to the continent and make his way towards Asia, but he might just visit the new digs for MI6 before he left. Getting as much information as he could about what their plans were for him, and possibly put one in the head of whoever thought that they could make him retire like they were.

When he was ready, James moved back to the door and carefully turned it so that the tumblers barely made any noise. He opened the door even slower than he wanted to really be moving, but knew that surprising the Sentinel was the only way of getting away from there. He cleared every single room on the top floor except for the one that was locked. Finding something to pick it was not on his list of things he wanted to do. If the Sentinel was in there, he wasn’t getting out with James seeing him or coming down the stairs.

There were two sets of stairs that lead down to the first floor and James knew that his best bet to get away was the kitchen. Which was the stairs at the back of the house. The kitchen would have outside access, and he’d hopefully be able to slip into woods or something like it. He started down the stairs, listening as hard as he could for any noise from the Sentinel. He was tempted to reach out in the bond, but didn’t want to alert the Sentinel that he was moving about.

Adair rushed past him, trotting down the small hall that led to the kitchen. James almost called for him to come back, but the damned frog was hopping right there at his side. The smell of food and coffee drew James in towards the kitchen. There he found a table laid out with a single breakfast that was sitting on some kind of contraption. He held his hand over the food and found it still warm. The coffee was still steaming and he debated drinking it. He’d not eaten in three days at the most and while he was sure that some sort of nutrition was given to him, the body did better on food.

It wasn’t until he really looked at the food that he figured out that whoever was here knew him. Intimately. It was his preferred breakfast. He’d not really had it made for him by someone else since the last time that he’d stopped in to see Kincade and his wife while in the Navy. It was a full Scottish breakfast, prepared exactly the way that he wanted it.

Adair’s ear perked up and James spun to the direction that his wolf was facing. There was a curtain on the window on the door and there was someone on the other side, opening the door.

James raised the Walther in his hand and aimed it where the head of the person would be when they came through the door. Adair wasn’t growling, but James didn’t care. There was no way to slip out before the door was opened and a mess of dark hair appeared before slipping all the way in. When the person turned, James was surprised enough that he almost dropped his weapon..

Q looked at the gun in James’s hand and smiled. “Oh, good. You found the guns.” Q stepped all the way inside, and shut the door before moving towards the sink and washing his hands. If he was nervous of the gun pointed at him he didn’t show it. In fact, he was very much ignoring the gun, and the Double O Agent pointing it at him while he cleaned what looked like blood and mud from his hands. Blood. There wasn’t a lot, but the only thing that made sense was the butchering of an animal. That didn’t fit with Q though. He looked too normal, too city for something so country.

“Q?” James asked, but Q just dried off his hands and moved to the fridge in the corner. He opened it and pulled out a glass of some kind of juice before setting it on the table beside the breakfast food and coffee.

“You need to drink that as well as eat.” Q finally looked him in the eyes, frowning slightly at something. “You can’t eat and point a gun at me. If you want to know exactly what has happened, then you need to eat because you’ll pass out otherwise. Come here, Romulus, you nosy little bastard.”

The frog jumped from the counter where he had been to the counter by the fridge where Q was now leaning. The little frog jumped up to Q’s shoulder next and settled there before disappearing.

“How is your shoulder?” Q asked and it looked like he wanted to come over and check him out himself but he stayed back.

“Fine.”

“There were a few more fragments in there that you didn’t get. I could feel the pain of them after you tried to kill Tanner and I. Passed out you couldn’t block a single thing from us and all your pain was crippling. Emotional and physical. There wasn’t much I could do for the emotional so I focused on physical.”

“You stitched me up?” James lowered the gun as he looked at him.

“I took several lower level medical classes when I was in college.”

“Why?”

“I think that it’s better if I start at the beginning, 007, don’t you?” Q pushed himself off the counter and moved over towards where James saw an electric kettle setting. He poured himself some into a cup and added a tea bag to it. He figured that Q would be one for loose leaf tea not the bagged, especially in his own place. Because James was one hundred percent sure that this man was his Sentinel. It changed his plans greatly on what he was going to do. Q had proven that he could be dangerous, and James wasn’t exactly sure that he could truly run from him. When Q set his cup on the island where the food was waiting, exactly opposite James, he dunked the bag a few times and James realized it wasn’t a commercial tea bag but some kind of fill your own. “You need to eat.”

“You fixed this?”

“Kincade showed up before we got you on a helicopter out of there. He brought the missus and she told me what you liked as you’d be out of sorts when you woke up. Something about not having it in a while probably. It wasn’t hard to search the Internet for a few recipes. I don’t sleep much and I’ve been pacing like a cat since you went under.”

“That room up there is a lot more put together than just three?” James paused and waited for Q to nod. “Three days.”

“That’s another part that it’s best to tell from the beginning.” Q reached out and touched the plate, shoving it just a little closer to him. James picked up the fork and started to eat. He took a drink of the coffee and found that it was perfect. Even someone who it seemed preferred tea, he could make a good cup of coffee.

“Go ahead.”

“I came online during a car crash. It was a six car pile up that was caused by a drunk driver. I was in the back seat working on homework. I was in my final year before college.”

“How old were you?”

“Fourteen. I’d already been accepted to the college of my choice and it was just a matter of graduating. My mother died when I was three giving birth. My little sister did not make it either. So the drunk driver slammed into the side of our car, driver’s side. My father was killed instantly, and the drunk driver was able to walk away. Our cars careened into an intersection and two other cars couldn’t get out of the way. When the drunk driver made it out of his car, he started to walk to get more alcohol, and caused two other cars to crash. I was getting out of the car. I was already online, the death of my father causing it. I heard the drunken mutterings of the man and knew that he was going to get more alcohol. It sent me into a feral drive. I ran at him full speed and took him down. Medics got to the scene first and had to sedate me with a dart gun. The total death count that day was seven dead. Of the cars, only the drunk man and I were the survivors. Five drivers and two passengers dead, because a man decided that driving to get more alcohol was more important than lives.”

“And how did that set you on the course MI6.”

“The aftermath. My family didn’t have a lot of money but we had enough. This house was sitting in the country. My father had thought about setting it up as a retreat for long weekends, but his job and mom’s never allowed that before me, and after me, well it was too much work. When all of that came to me, I saw it as my retreat from a world that presses on my senses. I had it redone to Sentinel standards and had a room set up that my Guide could retreat into when I found them.”

“Was a search done?”

“Yes. And my results were called hard and that it would take more time. So I waited, and then I got my results. I looked at them for weeks. Graduation came and went. I started college, emancipated with a college professor set up as my sort of guardian. The one who had to check on me. I was a month into classes when I figured out what didn’t feel right. The results didn’t feel right. I had good matches, but the few that I had met didn’t feel right. So I bided my time. I gave it until I turned eighteen and I had the results run again. Those who come online before eighteen can have that done as not all the Sentinels and Guides of the age group come on before then. So I had it run again and this time I was given the exact same matches. That was statistically impossible. That no one in the world had come online that was a better match for me.”

“What was the closest match?”

“Eighty nine percent and I disliked her so much that I wanted to glue her mouth shut. Below her was a man who felt wrong to me. He was killed two years later when it was found that he liked to torture innocent things. A Sentinel found his kill collection, and went feral and killed him. I spent another year researching why a Guide would be left off a list and buried in the middle of a report from the sixties was something from MI6. All Guides who are tapped to become Secret Agents are left off Guide searches, but instead of just not having them on the list at all, oh no. They are part of the search, and their Sentinels are watched to make sure to never cross paths. And vice versa for certain Sentinels. So I figured out how to hack into MI6 and find my record. There I was and my Guide’s file was there as well, but I wasn’t able to figure out who, as that is only on a paper file in M’s office. Olivia Mansfield tried to get that turned around. To bring the treatment of Sentinels and Guides by British Secret Service out of the dark ages, but she wasn’t able to. However, Mallory is currently getting things changed very quickly.”

“What do you mean?” James tried to figure out exactly why Mallory would want things changed. He settled in though, and worried more about eating than anything else.

“If I still had that mark on my file, I never would have become Quartermaster and while Mallory may not like you very well at the current, he doesn’t want to loose you or I.”

“Why would he lose you?”

“Because when I left after grabbing all your things from storage, I tendered my resignation.” Q looked at him like he was an idiot but James just wasn’t following. Q sighed. “I am not going to work in a place that would have you pushed out because we bonded. While yes, I wasn’t going to ever force it on you after I had found you, I did it because you were dying. The emotional backlash after M’s death was horrible, and you were dying from it. You were searching for me, and I could feel it in London. It was a creeping feeling, and I boarded a helicopter, and when we landed, you were desperate. It was bond or die. And if you had died, I’d probably have gone into a feral rage.”

“How long have you worked for MI6?”

“Two months. After I got all my degrees, it took a little time to figure out the best way to get into MI6. I made a great deal of money in the private sector and continue to do so. After my hacks of MI6 I realize how vulnerable it all was. I went back to school and added a few degrees to my name because I had a new job in mind.”

“Quartermaster.”

“Yes. As my job application, I hacked M’s home computer and made my resume her desktop background. I also added my number to her phone. Remotely.”

“I’m sure that she shit kittens.”

“Yes. I’m sure that she did. I expected a Double O agent to invade my house, but instead, she had a car pick me up from my flat, and we went out to tea. By the time that we had drank a pot of very good Oolong, I had a job. I was to replace Boothroyd in two years. I was to spend the first year getting our systems up to where no one would be able to do what Silva did. I found the code that allowed him to do it. It was embedded on his file. It had been there since he’d been an agent. I would have found it, but my job first focused on the ways in and not the ways out. As soon as his computer was hooked up to the system, it hunted for the end of the file. It was supposed to do more damage, but I’d changed those parts of the system so it’s codes to change things didn’t work.”

“Mallory isn’t going to let you leave.”

“Mallory has no way of making me stay. I’m not just a regular citizen, 007. I have enough money that if I disappear, people will look for me. I also have fail safes. Other hackers that will look for me and find me, if they don’t see my tracks on the web. I’ll be found and the UN will have me and you pulled and possibly every single Sentinel and Guide from England. They don’t want that backlash. And I made sure that Mallory understood that before I left headquarters.”

James sat back, tossing the cloth napkin that had been under his silverware down on the island counter. That was nowhere near the story he had been expecting. He was more than a little turned on from the feralness that Q had been talking with at the end. He was sure that Q could smell it, or hear it in the beat of his heart.

“And if you don’t want the bond, once you are settled, I’ll have it severed.”

“How would that work?”

“How does a bond severing work?”

“No. I know how that works. I would go back to being a Double O and you would stay as Q?”

“No. I would finish the upgrades to the system, giving over all of your missions to someone else and when it was done, I’d leave.”

“You’d just leave?”

“I wouldn’t force you to be around me. There is only a single caveat to that. We are only softly bonded. Once we do that hard bond, we won’t be able to sever it. My entire uncensored dossier is in the living room. I need to call Mallory and give him an update now that you are awake. Maybe then Eve will stop calling your phone.”

“Worried is she?”

“All anyone, but Mallory and Tanner know is that you came online.”

“What is Mallory telling them about your absence?”

“That I’m protecting you. Eve is of the idea that only a Sentinel like her can protect you. Then Eve wasn’t aware of my status. She gets the same read as you did there in the gallery. That I am something. Mallory feels the same way. Then his Sentinel is a badass. Works directly for the Queen.”

James didn’t let the shock show on his face. He had a lot to think about.

“I’ll be on the grounds. Send your wolf for me or call out my name and I’ll come.”

“Adair. His name is Adair.”

“He’s paced the exterior of your room since we got here. Your mobile is by my files.” Q stood up and moved towards the back door again but James reaching out and laying a hand on his arm stopped him. Q allowed himself to be pulled back towards James as he stood up. He cupped the side of his Sentinel’s face and leaned in to kiss him. It was probably assholish of him to tempt his Sentinel like this, but he had to know. He drew the younger man in and kissed him, hard. Q only stuttered for a few seconds before he kissed him back. James expected control of the kiss to be taken over by the Sentinel, but he didn’t. He let James control the kiss from first touch of lips right up until he moved to pull back, then he dove back in. Q took his mouth in a kiss that was so claiming that James was afraid of his ability to tell him no. He didn’t feel anything over bond, like Q was keeping a tight lid on it. James relaxed down and took the kiss, giving back as much as he could. He tried to calm Q down, but the Sentinel wasn’t having it. In a show of his deceptive strength, Q picked him up and spun them to set him down on the counter behind.

It wasn’t making it easy on his erection, the jeans were tight across his spread legs. Q though shocked him by pulling back and staring at him. “You always have liked playing with fire. This time it burned back. Make your decision and don’t send for me until you do.” Q was gone before James could answer him.

James shoved himself down and moved towards what he assumed was the right room. He found his mobile beside a stack of files. He had a lot of reading to do. The first thing that he noted was Q’s real name, along with a post it note stuck to it telling James that if he ever called him that, he’d find out what a sexless love life was. So James filed the name away to listen for, but never use. He was okay with calling him Q.

As he read through the files, James had realized that he made a decision before he’d even kissed him. As a Sentinel, Q was everything that he wanted. He was strong, mentally. He didn’t seem to be horrible in any other aspect of his life. He seemed okay with James staying as a 00. He was sure that at some point, they’d have fights about missions but Q knew he was needed and he knew that Q was needed. And if Mallory fought them on it, he’d be content, he figured to live here with Q and possibly in the city. Q would find work, and he was sure that the flying thing was that a plane would send him into a zone out without a Guide. James trusted his gut and his gut said that this was right. Q wouldn’t let him stagnate and die.

So James planned as he closed the files and slipped up the stairs to find out what was in the locked room.

XxXxXxX

Q found the silence of his land the best thing about it. He didn’t count the creatures that lived on it because his mind didn’t focus on them. The sounds were filtered out, unless they stopped. He moved to the edge of the property, close enough to hear 007 if he wanted him, but far enough away that his senses didn’t try and stay focused on him.

Grabbing the low lying branch of one of the older trees, he swung himself up into it. The higher ups in the British Government had been pushing him to find his Guide, them thinking that he’d be more settled over the short time he worked there. Q had looked for his Guide, but hadn’t been that shocked when he hadn’t found him at headquarters. There were seventeen agents out on long term and undercover missions when he’d been fully brought in. By the time that the attack happened and he was made Quartermaster, there were still ten out, so he’d not really wondered about the agent who was back from the dead seemingly for not the first time. As soon as he’d entered the National Gallery, he’d known that his Guide was there. When he’d entered the room with The Fighting Temeraire, he’d nearly dropped to the floor. Looking at the infamous James Bond and feeling that pull.

Q had kept himself in check, holding on tight to what wanted him to grab the Guide and take him away and protect him. It hadn’t been hard to let him go, 007 was the best agent that MI6 had, and even if he was hard to control, he got the job that was needed, done. M had told him after 007 was on his way that she seriously considered finding his Sentinel, and dragging them in to help her control him. Then she would fight the battle that was getting him still labeled active duty from the front lines, instead of the cold war she had going on with the upper reaches of the government. Of course, Q was fairly certain that M hadn’t known that 007’s Sentinel was right there.

The fallout from M’s death at Skyfall wasn’t fully known to Q yet. He’d felt his empathic backlash all the way in London, and it was the only reason that he got on the damned helicopter. The flying contraptions were the one machine that Q was unable to fight a zone out on. He’d only stayed out of it from London to Skyfall because of sheer determination, and his inner Sentinel knowing that if he went into one, his Guide would die.

Theoretically, every single Guide and Sentinel on the island probably felt that event, whether they understood it, was another thing. Mallory was handling that, and trying to get years of standing thrown out of the books. Q was totally serious in that he’d leave. The other Guides and Sentinels that had tested him as a teenager were shocked that his drive wasn’t to protect and serve like many of the other Sentinels, but instead to wage a bloodless battle over the Internet. Over the years, those people had figured out exactly how bad that fight was going for the good guys. Q had been brought in and paid handsomely when hackers had tried to take out the database of online, latent, and dormant Sentinels and Guides the world over.

That wasn’t to say that he wasn’t a one man fighting show. He trained in self defense and offense. He figured that if he fought with a Double O that wasn’t 007, he’d win. His ability to think fast and his genius level intellect were boons for him where many thought they would not be given he was a Sentinel, as Sentinels were prizes for their fighting, and not how to avoid fighting by using sneaky tactics.. He proved that Sentinels weren’t just guided killing machines and foot soldiers. He’d been pressured into law enforcement on a regular basis until he turned his computer skills into making sure that anyone who tried was going to regret it. As far as he knew the old Captain of the London Police was still on a no fly list for America.

A high pitched whine started up and sent out seven pulses. 007 had broke into the master bedroom. That sound wasn’t heard by the agent, but some of the animals in the area had to have heard it, and Q would hear it anywhere on the grounds. He was intrigued by what was going on, so he dialed his hearing up to where he normally kept it, and moved towards the house. He didn’t run and he didn’t even walk fast. He wanted James to be caught red handed with whatever he was planning to do.

Opening the doors and moving through the house silently was something that Q could do easily. He was up on the second floor just as 007’s heart rate dropped to a steady beat. Whatever he was doing he’d settled to a seated position. Obviously, he’d found whatever he was looking for. Q found his bedroom door open, with no attempt at hiding that the agent was in there and Q smiled. At least 007 wasn’t trying to be that sneaky.

007’s file was a mess of contradictions. He was bloody smart that was well documented and able to hide how smart he really was. Psych had a field day with him and had spent the last few years trying to find any doctor that could deal with him. Thankfully that was no longer needed, if 007 chose to keep the bond between them. There were a lot of perks to being a bonded pair. But the biggest thing on the file was exactly how much he liked sex. He was their best agent for honeypot missions and he did them well. Q wasn’t exactly convinced that it was the Guide in him that made him so good at it. He figured it was a combination of factors.

Still, to enter his bedroom and find 007 sprawled on his bed, naked, Q was actually shocked. He guessed it was 007’s way of answering, in a truly 007 manner. Q didn’t give him the benefit of a shocked expression though. Instead, he let his eyes travel from the tips of his toes to his slowly darkening eyes. 007 knew that he’d already seen him naked. He’d cared for his wounds and bathed him, not that 007 had shame. He’d shown up for a meeting with M just dressed in a towel once when she’d sent Tanner to fetch him while he was in the Double O Agents showers. M had taken it in stride, but had sent out a memo after that stated that all office staff were to wait until 007 was dressed before demanding a meeting with him. Q knew about it because it was part of 007’s file, which as soon as Mallory had figured out what was going on had given Q access to, not knowing that Q had access from the moment that he’d figured out that 007 was his Guide. He’d built the systems that were in place, nothing could keep him out of them.

“And what do you think is going to happen right now?”

“That all depends on how good a fuck you are,” 007 replied calmly.

“Tut tut, 007. Who said that I wanted a sexual bond with you.” Q raised his eyebrow at the agent who just barked out a bit of laugh. Q knew that this was a game right now to see how Q would react so the best way to get under 007’s skin was to react in a way he probably wasn’t expecting. Q spun on his heel and moved out of the room. If it wasn’t for his hearing, he never would have heard the agent from from the bed or the soft padding of his feet as he near chased after his Sentinel.

Q allowed himself to be pinned to the wall, face first, 007 crowded at his back. 007 didn’t say a thing though, instead his hand moved down from shoulder to hip and then around to cup Q through his clothing. He was half hard and when 007 touched him through his clothing his cock gave a jump and started to fill in the rest of the way. He didn’t moan, not wanting to give 007 the pleasure.

“This does and so does that kiss back in the kitchen.”

“Too right, but now we are on equal footing,” Q said before he spun in 007’s arms and pushed him back into the opposite wall. As his lips crashed on his Guide’s own, Q allowed a moan to escape his throat. He settled his hands on 007’s hips and picked him up. 007’s arms wrapped around his neck and Q started the short walk back into the bedroom. He dropped 007 on the bed with no warning, the spark of laughter in blue eyes had Q smiling down at him.

Q took a few steps back as he started to undress. He’d dressed for warmth as it was chilly outside. His eyes never left 007’s face as he stripped and he wasn’t disappointed at the widening of his eyes when Q pulled his own gun out of holster and set it down on the dresser beside 007’s two. He preferred back holsters for wearing around every day. 007’s eyes roved up and down Q’s body as it was revealed for him.

The smell of their combined arousal was the only thing that Q could smell. The sound of their breathing was the only thing that he could hear. 007 was all that he could see. 007 sat up on the bed and when Q was naked, he pulled the unrelenting Sentinel into his lap. Q straddled him with ease and leaned into kiss him. The urge to mark and to claim was growing higher and higher and taking more and more of Q’s brain to keep at bay.

007 pulled back from the kiss and laid back on the bed. “Stop fighting. I can feel your urge. You can’t hide it from me. So come, Sentinel, imprint on me.”

“Scoot up,” Q said as he raised up just enough so that 007 could do just that. When 007 was laying with his head on the pillows, Q started at his feet. He was already mostly imprinted on the smell of him, he’d done that while cleaning up his Guide after Skyfall. The sound of his heartbeat was something he’d learned while in the National Gallery as well as in their small interlude in the new Q branch. The sight of him, he was sure he’d know him from anywhere. So all that was left was touch and taste. He licked from the bottom of his toes to the bend of his ankle on both feet before he started to move up him. Turning his head at his knees, he nipped at the sensitive flesh of the side of 007’s knee. As he did, 007 brought his legs up so he could splay them out, giving him access to more skin but at the same time making 007’s hard cock more noticeable.

Q bypassed his crotch and went right for his hips then up to his stomach. There were minor cuts and scrapes that were mostly healed all over his torso and Q stopped at every single one and kissed it. 007’s hands were laid on the bed, but he could tell that he was getting impatient for some kind of contact more than just a nuzzling of nose and the few kisses, but he kept quiet. His own hard cock was aching, but he could push that off for now. He straddled 007’s waist and braced his upper body on his arms.

“Turn over, 007.”

“James,” 007 gasped as he did as he was asked. Through the bond they had Q could feel it as his cock rubbed on the bed as he settled down. Q smiled wickedly as he lowered himself to plaster his body along James’. His own cock settled in between the Guide’s arsecheeks. James’s entire body went taut and Q started to thrust his cock a little as he mapped the scents of his Guide right at the nape of his neck, along with the taste, and how the skin felt on his tongue. He moved down the bed, slowly. When he got down to James’s arse, he only bit once on each cheek before going down to the backs of his thighs. He had plans, but he had to finish this first.

When he reached feet, Q looked up and took in the whole of his quivering Guide. His hands were gripped tight on the pillow that his head was resting on. His breath was coming in sharp pants. Q smiled as he reached up and laid his hands on James’s arse cheeks, the sharp intake of breath followed by the snapping open of James’s eyes told Q that he was on alert. The smile turned to a smirk as he spread his cheeks and licked a stripe all along his crack. James moved and while Q was prepared for it, he wasn’t prepared for how fast his Guide moved to get his legs under him to present his arse even more for his Sentinel.

From the new angle, Q could access the entirety of him, taking in his scent and taste from the core of him. As James took in all the sensations, Q could feel his empathic shields dropping for him more and more. This was what he wanted, James was letting go and letting him in all the way. Q reached out and felt under the edge of the mattress of the bed to grab the lube he’d stored there. Knowing that when it came time, he wouldn’t even want to waste the seconds that it would take to reach up into the nightstand by the bed, the normal location for the lube. Q slicked up his fingers as he pushed his tongue into James. As he pushed in as far as he could, he could feel James give himself to his Sentinel utterly. Q started to let go of the parts of himself that he kept hidden, letting James in, as much as James was letting him in. Letting him feel everything that he could feel.

When Q pulled away, James keened and he quickly pushed in the first finger, slipping it in and out a few times before he pulled away and then added a second finger. James was having trouble concentrating so Q forwent the third finger.

Q prodded James onto his back as he slicked up his cock. Once his Guide was settled Q inched forward. James’s eyes were blown wide. The bond between them was right on the precipice of becoming more. Of becoming something that only death broke.

“Are you ready?” Q knew that he was asking about more than if James was ready to be fucked. He was asking if he was ready for it all because they could still back out. James reached up and cupped the back of Q’s neck. He gripped tight and nodded.

The remaining walls around James mind, the last bit of self that he was holding dropped away. Q felt all that he was. The grief about M that was barely contained, Q allowed it in himself and gave back comfort. Q held himself back because letting go was going to mean that he’d take James’s recesses and leave nothing hidden. First, though he needed to be inside of James. He wanted to feel what the agent felt like wrapped around his cock. What it was like to be fucking 007.

Taking himself in hand, Q leaned up and over James, slipping himself in his agent. He went from nothing to full hilt with ease. When he was fully pressed inside him, the last barriers fell. They were laid bare before each other.

Q had wanted to remember every single second of the first time they had sex, but as he stared into James’s eyes as he fucked him, all he could remember was the emotions. The swell of lust as James gave into it. As he trusted that he didn’t have to be on guard all the time now. That Q would protect him. The swell of possessiveness from his Guide shocked Q. They were two strangers. It was near impossible that James would trust him after what little time they had known each other, but here he felt it.

The was no time seemingly from the instance where he was first inside James and when he felt himself let go. He came with a silent cry and it was only the clenching of James’s body that told him the Guide tipped over as well. Q was barely able to hold himself off James long enough to pull out. He collapsed on his side and James wrapped his arms around him, pulling him in tight. Q settled there and James bussed a kissed on his head.

“Why did you choose me?” Q asked.

“Because with choosing me, you stand to lose as much as I do. You are willing to leave Quartermaster behind and go away. You chose me with all my flaws, with my issues. I know that you have read my file and that you know all of them. You wouldn’t be a good Sentinel if you didn’t. I wouldn’t be shocked if you didn’t know all the things about every single person inside of MI6.”

“So you chose me because I am willing to stand with you.”

“You had no reason to, from even the beginning, bond with me. No reason at all. You could have stayed in London and chose to live like you already were. I would have died and while you might have mourned, you don’t know me. Not well enough for it to make enough of an impact. You who followed my insane idea, who didn’t know me from Adam and helped me when you had no reason to. You chose me so I chose you.”

James rolled a little bit, dropping Q face first onto the bed. It was a large bed and they were nowhere near the edge. James covered his back with his body. Q waited to see what James was going to do. “My turn.”

Q remembered every second of their second time together. From the first touch of James’s hands on him to the burn of the breach, to burying his head in the pillow so he didn’t scream when James worked him to orgasm. James cleaned them both up before tucking them in for a nap. Q fell asleep content for the first time in a long while.

When they woke up a short while later, Q was still wrapped in James’s arms as much as he was wrapped in his mind.

“You sleep like the dead after sex.” James’s voice was a low murmur and Q turned his hearing up just a little so that he could hear him. James’s hand was on his stomach, trailing up and down the light hair there. It felt good.

“I sleep like the dead all the time. It’s horrible, but I do wake up for the odd noises. I live in a house about seven blocks from MI6. A kid threw a rock through my window by the front door and I woke from a dead sleep after being awake for three days straight after hacker attacks on MI6 three weeks before Silva first attacked. It was upstarts in college, but they tried. I ended up back hacking them and leaving recommendations on their college files that they needed more to keep them busy. I also have my eye on one of them. They almost got all the way in.”

“Sounds like someone that MI6 does want to keep an eye on.” James nuzzled in at his neck.

“As soon as they graduate, I’m picking her up. If she doesn’t want Six, I’ll make Five take her in.”

“Who maintains this house?”

“I have full time staff that does. There is a village three miles away and they live there. I gave them a few days off while we nest. They stocked the house up with foods and I usually only have minimal staff when I am here anyway. They are quite happy that I found my Guide.”

“Are the grounds marked well?”

“Yes. Feel free to explore later. I can take you around if you wish as well.”

“No. I’d prefer to walk alone.”

“That’s fine. I have some work to do on my home network here. Upgrades. It’ll take me a while and when you get back we can do dinner.”

“Do you cook?”

“Marginally. I have a few things that I can cook and I do them well.” Q had never been too interested in cooking. He could cook when he put his mind to it, but he never wanted to put his mind to it.

“I can cook.” James nipped at Q’s ear and he wrapped his arms around him tighter. “Can you do the work in the kitchen?”

“I can. Why?”

“If we are doing this, we do need to get to know each other. You can work on your network and I can cook and we can talk. We can get to know one another before we go back to MI6 because Mallory isn’t going to let us hide here.”

“I’m mandated a two week leave and you have been attached to that. We can head back for M’s funeral or we can not. No one would dare raise an eye at me for not being there, and I doubt you’d have been seen at it, been there yes, but not seen.”

“You are very correct. You know when I was a kid I used to dream about frogs. Never knew why. My mother told me when I was a toddler, I’d bring them home from the moors around Skyfall.”

“I wasn’t shocked to meet Adair. I always dreamed of wolves. I saw him for years in my dreams and it took a long time for me to realize that he wasn’t a breed I’d find anywhere. That he was an English Wolf.”

“Destined,” James said with a laugh and a kiss to the back of his neck. “Destined and I don’t think that MI6 will know what hit them.”

“They didn’t when you joined the ranks and they started to learn it about me.”

XxXxXxX

James walked through the halls of MI6. He’d already been down for his second set of requalification tests of the past month. He’d balked at them, but when Q had looked at him with narrowed eyes that clearly stated that it was take the tests or work a desk job, James did them. The tests had been exactly the same as before, but there were a few new ones, that he knew from the talk that all online Guides had.

Q had spent the entire two weeks helping him get control of his Guide abilities. He’d been just as hard a taskmaster as he had been when James’s had been running the tunnels to get after Silva. James wasn’t shocked that Q wanted the best out of him. It wasn’t a shock to James that they fit together well. The bond between Sentinel and Guide was hard to top as far as relationships went. The bond that, when formed, romantics called the pairs soulmates.

After four days of being alone, Q called his household staff back so that they could meet James. It had been a quick meeting, and James had figured out that while Q paid them to work the house, he genuinely liked them and was going to do his best to not be an ass to them. The cook had gone back to the village while a few of the staff had stayed to do their jobs, like the head groundskeeper and the two young men who worked under him. With expansive grounds like he had, James wasn’t shocked that he had several people to maintain it. That was also when he found out that Q had a bit of land that wasn’t within the wall, that was all hunting grounds, full of trees and paths. So he went hunting on the first day of the second week of his time off. It had also been M’s funeral as well as the first day of Mallory’s official instatement as the new M.

“Bond?” Eve called out, and he turned to see her standing at the elevator that he’d just passed. There was a twinge in his now pretty much fully healed shoulder. He figured that that twinge would always be there when she surprised him. Eve wasn’t happy with the fact that James was being allowed to stay in the Double O program. James, and Q, didn’t care either way. She was a professional and if she couldn’t do her job and keep her mouth shut, well again MI6 needed Q more than it needed her. Mallory had already called her to heel. “M wants to see you please.”

“I’ll be right up. I’m to drop off something from medical to Q. One of the PAs dropped a piece of tech that Q built for them.”

“Very well.”

Bond nodded and turned back to start going the way he had been. He did have something to drop off to Q but it was more that medical hadn’t wanted to brave Q Branch. Since Q had got back, he was a slave driver, according to R, who laughed the entire time. Q’s second and a bloody hilarious woman, James was half in love with her at the moment because she called Q on his shit when he was an arse or backed him up when other’s were arses to Q. She was fully human and Q had handpicked her from Boothroyd’s staff to be his second within ten minutes. It seems that no one in Q Branch had been happy about it. And James knew why. Q Branch was it’s most efficient with those two in charge and nothing happened without them knowing it.

With a goal now needed, James turned and started towards where his Sentinel was. The tunnels weren’t mapped by him mentally yet so he relied on his bond with Q to find the man. Just as he opened the doors to Q Branch, he stopped. Q was in the middle of a strop that was bloody fantastic. R had done her best while Q was away to keep things going, but with M’s death and the new M coming in, she’d been busy with meetings and such. Another person had been put in temporary charge, and he’d cocked up everything except the teapot, if Q’s texts weren’t exaggerating. And James didn’t think that he was, especially with the strop he was in at the moment. James stood there at the door just watching as Q berated two of his staff for idiocy. That was all that he was yelling at, James figured that he missed the real reason they were being yelled at. When he knew that it was going to take a bit longer for Q to fully realize that he was there, he set the device down beside R and moved to Q’s office, shutting the door. He sat down in Q’s chair and grabbed the tablet on his desk. There was a post it stuck to the screen that simply said For James. James smiled and ripped off the post it. He booted up the tablet and found that it was loaded with a few games as well as what he was quickly learning was MI6’s new operating system.

James played with the tablet, feet propped on the corner of Q’s desk as he made himself familiar with the tech.. He found a few games he liked, and a few he loved as well as every single form that he’d need when filing his mission reports. He frowned at those, but was smiling inside. He’d complained that he hated his shared office with the rest of the 00s, and it seemed Q made it so that he didn’t have to go there to file his reports. He could do it anywhere in MI6, but would probably be right where he was in Q Branch. Q had gone in hours before him so this was the first time James had seen him since he’d got to work. He set about working on his files for work since Mallory had told him he did need them as soon as possible.

It was two and a half hours later that James finished his reports and emailed them off to Mallory. He laid his head back on the chair and closed his eyes for a few seconds. When he was relaxed, he reached out to find that Q wasn’t in the branch anymore. He was good at judging the distance that Q was away from him, they’d tested it on the grounds before leaving. He found that Q was a good ways away but coming closer. His mind was frazzled but nothing too bad. Probably going over all he had to do to get caught up. James tracked him as he got closer and closer. He heard more than felt when he entered Q Branch again. James cracked his eyes open and watched the door open.

Q entered with a bag of take out in one hand, and a tray of three drinks in the other. He sat up, and took the tray offered him as Q turned to shut the door. James easily figured out which was his cappuccino, and that the other two were tea. One was marked EG while the other was just C. Earl Grey and Chamomile. One for during lunch and one for in the late afternoon. James was used to his drinking habits by now. James moved to stand up, but Q tutted so James stayed where he was. Q set the food down and lifted out four different Chinese take away boxes. Two were passed to James while the other two were set down. Chopsticks were next and before James could say a thing, Q sat down in his lap.

“What’s this?” James asked, but he wrapped an arm around Q’s waist and held on.

“Just need a few minutes of silence from them, and when we are touching, all my senses focus on you and not on everything else.” Q opened his food and then James’s since he was basically keeping James from using his second hand. James hummed as he worked his hand under the cardigan that Q was wearing and then popped two of his buttons on his dress shirt to touch skin. He could feel how much more settled Q was when he touched his skin. Q’s body went near lax at the touch.

“Better, Quartermaster?” James asked with a smirk on his face.

“Much, 007. Now eat. Mallory told me that you near gave him a heart attack, filing your paperwork not only on time but correctly, even if you did duck a meeting with him to do it.” Q used chopsticks, which James delighted in. It was nice to share the smaller things like that with him.

“I had to try out my new toy.”

“I figured when you entered my office you would find it. Any issues?”

“No porn that I could find on it.”

Q snorted and giggled. Which was exactly what James was hoping for.

“You don’t need porn on your work tablet.”

“I also didn’t find any pictures of you.” James grabbed his chopsticks and started to eat.

“That can be remedied easy. I can email you some from the last two weeks.”

The longer Q sat there, the calmer he became.

“So what decision was made on me?”

“Full Double O agent. Honeypot missions obviously not on the table. Time between missions is at my command. Actually, the time between all 00’s missions are at my command now, human, Guide, or Sentinel. It seems that the Queen likes you, James. Something about a covert mission where you infiltrated the Palace and found an assassin?”

“Mum’s the word.”

“Yes well, she called Mallory as soon as it was found out you had bonded. I don’t know what she said. but it seems that even she didn’t know what happened to Sentinels and Guides in the Double O program. There will be a meeting across the board for all government offices.”

“Mallory is a Guide.”

“Yes and he was pushed from his job into an office when he bonded. Mallory wants me to be the Sentinel that goes and he’ll be the Guide. I told him that was fine, but that you go as my security. Miss Moneypenny will go as his.”

“When and where is this to happen?”

“Unknown at this moment, but you’ll be on stand down until then. The Queen wants it to happen in the next week. MI6 has already agreed to be there whenever it happens. MI5 is trying to not go at all. There are others as well, including the PM. At this point it’s a game. I guess the Queen is going to tell them that whoever shows up, makes the rules and everyone else has to live with it. There are going to be some shake ups, and it’s not going to make anyone happy. Well those who want to use Sentinels as bloodhounds and Guides as lie detectors.”

“You’ll do fine for us.” James left his hand on Q’s belly, rubbing slightly. It astounded him, exactly how much his Sentinel ate and still never gained an ounce of fat. Training with Q had been hard, but James was better off for it. He was the fittest he was in years, and Q still beat him on a daily basis. He wanted to talk Q into letting him test some guns and making it a game. Seeing who was the better shot.

Q and him fit together better than he and Vesper ever had. There were no secrets between them. There was no hesitance. Love would come slowly. With meals shared and beds. With time and work. This was the most important relationship of either of their lives, and James was ready to give his all for for it.
The End

Xylology

Title: Xylology
Series: The Alphabet Game
Fandom: Criminal Minds,
Year: Season 7
Tags: Established Relationship,
Ratings: PG-13
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid,
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, Spencer Reid, Jack Hotchner,
Spoilers: Up Through Season 7
Summary: There was always the chance that he’d walk in on science. He just didn’t expect science to come in the form of wood, everywhere.
Words: 2,549
Notes: Spencer’s Flat
Warnings: None
Beta: rivermoon1970

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Heroes Always Fall

Title: Heroes Always Fall
Series: Probably
Fandom: Star Wars
Year: Five Years Post The Force Awakens so 39 ABY
Tags: Sentinel/Guide, Sentinel!Rey, Sentinel!Luke,
Ratings: R
Pairings: Finn/Poe Dameron, past Han Solo/Leia Organa, One Sided Luke Skywalker/Han Solo,
Characters: Rey, Chewbacca, R2-D2, Gavin Darklighter, Mace Windu, Poe Dameron, Finn,
Spoilers: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Summary: Sentinels are whispered about. After the destruction of the Empire and their stranglehold on all things Jedi related, it was found out that Sentinel Jedi were rare and no one had seen one in thousands of years, until Luke Skywalker. And now Rey.
Words: 12,262
Notes: I’ll be using mainly what is now considered Canon but using creatures for Spirit Animals from what is now called Legends. Also filling in things that current canon doesn’t have and using Legends Canon for it.
Warnings: Major Character Death, Graphic Depictions of Violence, Canon Character Death, Suicide
Beta: rivermoon1970

Part 1
Rey looked around the stone hut she’d called home for the past five years. She’d built the hut with her own blood, sweat, tears, and mind. It had felt like home more than Jakku ever had. It had taken a while to get used to the colder climate of the planet Luke had named Sanctuary.

Living on the water planet had been hard. The physical part had been easy, but learning to use the Force at Luke’s hands had been a trial. Using her body for fighting had been difficult to learn. Her fight with Kylo Ren had been instinct, and what she knew now was help from the Force. But in training, instinct wasn’t there. She knew how to fight with her staff well enough, but training with a lightsaber was different. It was very different, and her body had taken on a new shape because of it. Living on Jakku had made her very thin. She never ate enough, and was always in the overly hot sun too long, scavenging and trying to eek out some kind of living. Life’s circumstances made her not only thin, with a constant gnawing ache in her belly, but also wary of people. Living on Sanctuary, she found not only peace, but an inner strength that Luke coaxed out of her.. Her body changed, as did her mind and Rey felt more complete than she had been since being abandoned on Jakku.

Luke had vegetable gardens with native vegetables. Fruit trees and bushes were hardy on the small island just a few miles over. Sea creatures were the main part of the diet for the planet. There were some land masses that held herbivores and carnivores that breathed air, but the hike to them wasn’t worth it. The only time that she went to the largest island was when she wanted to visit with Chewbacca. She’d been shocked when the Wookie and R2-D2 had decided to stay near her.

The only time that Rey had left the planet was when Chewbacca had taken her to get the materials needed for fabricating her own lightsaber. That had been just six months before. Four and a half years of training to center her mind and settle her body. She used the lightsaber she had brought with her to train with. Her personal lightsaber hung on her belt as she grabbed her staff from it’s home beside the door. She shut the door behind her and didn’t look back as she walked away.

Chewbacca was waiting for her on the Millennium Falcon, at the base of the stairs below where she’d met Luke Skywalker for the first time.

Making her way across the small path between her hut and where she met Luke, she kept her eyes on the blazing high flames that had been burning all night long. She looked at the base of the flames in the rock ring that she had scattered at the edges. In her hand was the lightsaber she had brought with her. She tossed it into the fire and heard it land on the rocks at the bottom.

“Now you can rest.” Rey looked at the man standing just beyond the flames. Beside him was his wife, his Guide, and he wrapped his arms around her and they disappeared. It was her job now to fix what was was broken.

In the space of seconds, the flames went from high above her head to gone. There was nothing left but blackened rocks and ashes. The lightsaber was gone. She wasn’t shocked to not see either it, or the one that had she had placed on Luke’s chest before she’d lit the funeral pyre.

A strong wind picked up, carrying the ashes to sea.

“Even in death he avoids him?” Rey asked.

“Stubborn, Corellians are,” the wizened old voice said from behind her. She didn’t turn to look at him. He’d visited her in her dreams first, just days after arriving at the planet. Then she’d seen him for the first time in Force ghost form just days after the event that had changed her more than fighting with Kylo Ren had. “Heartbroken, he is.”

Rey didn’t know what to say to that. There was nothing to be said to that at all. No words could take the pain that Luke had felt every day since the death of his Guide. He’d hung on long enough to train her and then he’d let go. Passed in the night. It had been so peaceful that she hadn’t felt it. Hadn’t realized it until she’d gone most of the morning without seeing him. He’d been in his bed, looking like he was just sleeping. She’d known though that he wasn’t. A broken heart compiled with the death of his Guide meant that Luke had only held on through sheer will.

“Died, my own Guide did thirty seconds after me on my home planet. Choices we both made. The Force I chose, she chose her people. Mistakes. All of it mistakes. The future you are.”

“All of it on my shoulders. I know. Balance I have to find.” Rey smiled.

“Heroes always fall in the eyes of those who look up to them.”

Rey turned and there was nothing except the sun setting. There was nothing left for her on the planet. There was nothing left for her at all. Her Guide was out there in the galaxy somewhere waiting on her. She had to find them. She had to find the perfect person for her and make sure that she never lost them. Because the hope of the galaxy rested on her shoulders.

Han Solo may have rejected Luke Skywalker, but his legacy wasn’t all bad. There was good as well as the bad. The history books, though, would only know part of the bad. The part that he was the father of Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Solo. She had long haul in front of her, and standing, and staring wasn’t going to get it done.

Starting down the steps, Rey looked towards her future.

She was needed out in the galaxy where everything was going to hell.

Sentinel Jedi had been whispered about prior to the Empire taking over but Jedi weren’t allowed to be the full Sentinel that they could be. Hadn’t been allowed to be that way for a very long and it created the world that they had to live with. It wasn’t a great world and it wouldn’t be for a long time. She was the first cog. More would soon be coming.

Part 2
The inside of the Millennium Falcon was the same as always. Mental ghosts haunted the halls. The ghosts were not her own though, they were the ghosts of the past. R2 tweeted at her as she entered the hall leading to the cockpit. She laid her hand on his head as she passed him.

Chewbacca, though, wasn’t sitting in the pilot’s seat as she expected. He was seated in the co-pilot’s chair. He looked at her and it broke her heart. She stepped closer to him and he opened his giant arms and enveloped her in a hug. Chewbacca was a good Wookie and a good friend. He barked a few words and smiled after.

“No.” Rey couldn’t believe that she had heard what she had heard. There was no way that the Falcon was now hers. R2 twittered something and Rey just stared at the Wookie. “No.”

Chewbacca started to talk, and he didn’t stop for many long minutes, Rey just stood there listening to him. She heard every single word about how the Falcon picked who piloted her, and allowing her to escape Jakku meant that the Falcon liked her. She listened to Chewy as he explained that Han had brought Rey on board so he could hand off the Falcon to her when the time came.. He said that Ben had never liked the Falcon. The Falcon had chosen her and it wasn’t up to her to refuse the Falcon what it wanted and she would just have to accept it.

Rey sat down in the pilot’s chair more out of shock than anything. She looked between R2 and Chewbacca before she looked at the controls for the Falcon. The Wookie had spent the past five years while she’d trained on getting the Falcon back up to perfect working order. Chewbacca had made trip after trip off world as he worked on system after system. The Wookie had been planning this along with R2. She turned to the droid with a cheeky grin.

“And I assume that you were given to me as well?”

R2 made a sound that was unlike any that he’d ever made before. It sound like pure happiness and that shocked her because it was happier sounding then the noise he’d made when seeing Luke for the first time after years apart. She had never been shocked that she’d been able to understand droids. Niima outpost had plenty, and many of the people living there could understand them. The Wookie language she’d learned at the hands of a Wookie called Malla, who had been stranded on Jakku for nearly a year when she’d been a child.. She’d never told Rey the rest of her name and after the third time asking, Rey had stopped.

“Not given, but asked to come along?” Rey asked and R2 just flashed lights at her. “Fine. You can come but you may not like it. Another forest planet is at the end of our journey.”

R2 twittered something and Rey only smiled. She turned to start to input the first set of coordinates that she had been dreaming of. It wasn’t their final destination, but it was a good start. She had no clue what was waiting for her when she arrived at her destination,e she but she was going to face whatever it was. She wasn’t alone, though, and that gave her strength face it head on.

XxXxXxX

Chewbacca was the first to say something as the stars reverted to their normal pinpricks of light as they eased out of lightspeed. From their far orbit of the planet, it looked much like Jakku, only without the large barren wastes made by the crash landing of the ships during the Battle of Jakku.

“Tatooine,” Rey whispered. Luke had told her all about it. It was the first stop on her journey. There was the first piece of a puzzle on the planet. Luke had found it on a visit to the planet in the aftermath of the defeat of the Empire, but he’d known right away that it wasn’t for him. It was for her. She now had to claim it.

Chewbacca asked a question and R2 bleeped out a string of curses that had Rey laughing in her seat.

“I can go alone, R2. You don’t need to get sand in your servos. What I need to find, only I can. We just need to land at Anchorhead.” Rey looked to Chewbacca, “Maybe you can find that part you’ve been looking for.” He smiled a toothy grin at her that she’d not seen on his face since the death of Han.

Rey set them on a course towards Anchorhead, which took them no time at all to arrive. Chewbacca laughed as they were given the bay to land in saying that it was the same one they used all those years ago that had put the same path as Luke.

The outfit that Rey had worn on Jakku no longer fit her, so when she left the bay they were in, she made the first stop at a shop to get planet friendly clothes. She had money, given to her by Luke, for when she left him. He’d told her that his life was on Sanctuary, and that he no longer needed it. Rey hadn’t known that he hadn’t planned to even attempt to see his sister before he died. He’d also given her paperwork to transfer everything that he had in banks across the galaxy for the continuation of the Jedi. That she hadn’t been shocked by at all.

No one paid her any mind as she moved through Anchorhead. Strangers were the way of life for that area, and many of those strangers were not ones that someone wanted to bother, for the sake of their own life. Rey had no clue the direction of the place that she needed to find, and it was five vendor stalls before someone pointed her in the direction of the Jundland Wastes.

“Only fools go there,” a voice said from behind her. Rey turned to him and cocked her head to the side, looking at him. It wasn’t hard to read him. His pulse was slow, he didn’t see her as a threat. The people around, though, were wary of him. It wasn’t fear though. It was respect.

“Then call me a fool,” Rey said, but she didn’t stay for him to say anything else. She turned in the direction that the vendor had pointed, and started towards the Wastes. She was at the edge of the city, when she heard a speeder coming in her direction. She gripped her staff tight in her hand, the flowing shirt she had bought hid her lightsaber.

Stopping, Rey waited. She wasn’t shocked to realize that it was the man from before. She looked at him as he approached her. His dark hair was a little strange for the desert planet. Planting her feet, she readied herself for a fight if it came. Her senses were on high alert and the shifting sand beneath her feet wasn’t helping her in settling down.

“You’ll not make it to the wastes without a speeder,” the man said as he shut his speeder down.

“And who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do?”

“My name is Gavin,” he supplied, looking at her like he expected her to give him her name as well. She only stared at him. His heart rate was still calm and he was radiating worry. Worry about her, or about something else she wasn’t sure.

“My name is Rey.”

“I’ll take you to the Wastes if you want.”

“And if I said no?”

“I’d probably follow you until you came back.”

A growl from a distance told Rey that Chewbacca had indeed left the ship. Her ears were attuned to the Wookie, him being one of two living humanoids she’s spent any time with. Her eyes found him and saw that he was looking at her. His eyes were narrowed in recognition. He knew the man.

“Gavin, before we make any more plans, I’d like to tell you that my Wookie friend is watching us now.”

Gavin turned his head and his whole body stiffened as he found Chewbacca looking at them. “Chewbacca.” Gavin turned back to her. “Who are you?”

“My name is Rey. And that is my companion. Who are you?”

“Gavin Darklighter.”

“Biggs’ cousin. Luke talked about him often.” Rey stepped towards the speeder. She got into the secondary seat. Gavin looked at her shocked. “To Ben Kenobi’s hut.”

“Are you…” Gavin stopped talking when Rey shifted in the seat and her shirt parted enough to see the lightsaber that was laying against her inner thigh. “You’re a Jedi.”

“Luke’s final apprentice.”

There were no more words as they sped through the desert. Rey catalogued all the differences between Tatooine and Jakku. In a world of shifting sands, and the creatures who lived in those sands, the whine of technology in the middle of the Wastes was easy to find for her. Exactly like Luke had said. The hut was a waste, and Gavin didn’t offer to get out with her. It was easy to tell that no one came out there, not even the Jawas.

The small cube that she found buried five feet down in the sand was deceptive. It looked much like a child’s toy, but she knew what it was. An ancient holocron. From before Sentinels had stopped being allowed to seek out, and bond with their Guide. Before the Jedi Order killed those who did it anyway. The way of life that Rey was determined to bring back for the Jedi. No one else would have to suffer like Luke had,

“Anakin never understood what Padme was because we kept that knowledge from him,” a voice said and Rey turned to see an old man there.

“Master Kenobi.”

“I didn’t know what Luke was until after I died. I wanted to tell him, but Yoda forbid it. I understand now why. To be rejected by one’s Guide hurts. I’ve seen the aftermath in my death. We are lucky he didn’t go Dark Side because of it.”

“No, you are lucky that he didn’t kill himself in the aftermath of the destruction of the second Death Star. He could have, and then none of this would have been. Kylo Ren has his part to play and so do I. I have what I need.”

“Rey.”

But Rey didn’t let him say anything else. She turned and left. As if that holocron was the only thing holding up that hut, it collapsed. The Force willed it that it had stayed until she could get the holocron and it was no longer needed.

“Thank you,” Rey said.

“I think that the only thing that I did was save you time.”

“Still, it allows me to get away from here sooner rather than later. Luke said that the Darklighter family had left Tatooine.”

“I come back and visit on occasion. To remind me what I am fighting for. It was luck that you came when you did. I’m leaving tonight.”

“There is no such thing as luck to a Force user.”

“You said you were Luke’s last apprentice.”

“He died before I left the planet he was on.”

“Then you are the girl that Poe and Finn talk about.”

“You know them?”

“I’m in Poe’s squadron.”

“I’m glad. How are they doing?”

“Finn recovered from his injuries perfectly. General Organa made sure that he was put into a bacta tank. Do you want me to…” Gavin stopped.

Rey didn’t answer. She watched as Anchorhead grew bigger and bigger on the horizon. It looked like a mirage.

“Don’t lie to them. You can tell them that you saw me and tell them that I’m good. That I’ll be back soon. I have something that I need to finish and then I’ll rejoin the Resistance along with Chewbacca and R2.”

“So R2 is with you?”

“It seems he’s decided that I am his new person.”

Gavin laughed.

“It was hard to see him on powerdown mode for all those years. He was always so active, and happy, tormenting C-3PO. I swear he lived to make 3PO lose his mind.”

“He’s sad but I think that he knew what Luke was planning before I did.”

“R2 understood him better than anyone else in the galaxy.”

The speeder stopped and Rey realized that they were outside the bay where the Falcon was. Chewbacca was standing there and shook hands with Gavin as he stepped out of the speeder. The Wookie barked a greeting and Gavin just smiled at him.

R2 popped opened a small door on his side and Rey saw that it was a hiding spot. She slipped the holocron inside of him. The door snapped shut and R2 rocked back and forth, twittering at Gavin and then making a raspberry sound. Gavin made the sound back and Rey just laughed.

Part 3
Rey was alone in what was now her room on the Falcon. The sound of nails on the floor of the room had her looking up.

“I’ve been wondering where you are.” The Vornskr didn’t react at all, he just came closer. He sat down at her feet, staring at her. “Durm.”

Rey held her hand out and the Spirit Animal pushed his head up into her hand. The bed giggled a little as Strang moved across the pillow towards Durm. The Vornskr jumped onto the bed and wrapped itself around the Ysalamiri. R2 was in the cockpit and would alert them if they dropped out of lightspeed before they arrived at the waypoint to head towards their next stop. There was only one more after that before she went to the final destination.

A knock on the door startled Rey out of her thoughts. A thought opened the door. There stood Chewbacca. He waved his hand to ask permission to enter.

“Of course.” Rey stood up from the bed and took the chair at the table used for eating. The bed was the only place big enough for Chewbacca to sit down at. Strang and Durm disappeared. She’d known that Chewbacca could see the Spirit Animals. It had been apparent from the moment that the Wookie had seen Luke’s barely there Spirit Animal. The large Krayt Dragon had been evident in the moments after Rey had met the Jedi.

Chewbacca sat on the bed and relaxed back. The room had been cleaned, and rearranged by the Wookie during the last five years. It looked nothing like how it had been when her and Finn had escaped from Jakku. A growled question had Rey turning to him.

“Strang is mine. Durm is not. I’m just watching him for his person.”

A wuffed statement and another question had Rey smiling, but not answering. She just shrugged her shoulders. The Wookie chuckled another statement and all Rey did was smirk. Durm appeared on the bed at Chewbacca’s hip. The Vornskr lowered his head down and growled at the Wookie before jumping at him. Chewbacca didn’t react and the Spirit Animal just passed through him.

“He’s a mite playful.”

Chewbacca barked laughter for a minute before he settled down. He wanted to know where they were going.

“R2 knows. R2 has been there before. He holds the coordinates.”

Chewbacca spoke again and Rey just shrugged.

“Luke called the planet Dagobah. He only told me that it had the second of three things that I needed. And that the last planet had to be last and that R2 would tell me where it was only after Dagobah.”

The Wookie bid his goodnight and lumbered from the room. Rey moved back to the bed and laid down with Strang arranging himself at her head and Durm laying at her back. She was excited to meet Durm’s person. She had hoped that on the third planet she would meet them. She felt so alone, and while Chewbacca helped, she knew that she would need to meet her guide and do it soon.

Rey closed her eyes to dream of a planet of green full of trees and happiness. It made her heart ache to dream of her guide like that. She pushed the dreams away to dream of space, dark and cold.

XxXxXxX

Dagobah was as dark and dank as Luke had said it would be. Rey found the spot that Luke had told her would be the only place that would hold the Falcon as they had no landing craft that she could take down alone.

Chewbacca didn’t want to let her go alone into the swamps of the planet. He made sure that she knew it loudly and often as they were landing.

“I have to do this alone. You may be Force sensitive, but this is my quest.”

Then Chewbacca said something low enough so that Rey almost missed it. She turned to look at him. Luke had never told her that.

“What do you mean that you want to see the resting place of Master Yoda?”

Chewbacca told her the tale of how he came to be in slaver’s hands when Han rescued him. How he had been there on Kashyyyk when Order 66 had gone out, and the Jedi had been wiped from the galaxy. How he had helped Yoda escape and his capture by the Empire was worth it. He told her of how he wanted to say goodbye to his friend properly.

“I’ll leave you at Yoda’s hut, but his body disappeared.”

Rey’s heart broke when Chewbacca told her that his spirit was still bound to the swamp and that just being there would help him. She nodded and allowed him to follow her to the hut that had been taken over by the creatures that Yoda had kept back for decades. She could feel the darkness in that section of the swamp, but first she had to leave Chewbacca where he wouldn’t cause her an issue.

The Dark Side cave was exactly how Luke had described it. It made her skin crawl, but she knew that she had to enter it. She unclipped her lightsaber from her belt and laid it, and her staff on a rock. She only took her mind and her body in with her. Both scared her enough.

Darkness was everywhere as she entered the cave. It wasn’t long before she realized that she walked farther than possible, still she kept going.

After nearly ten minutes of walking, she realized that someone was behind her. She turned and saw a young man standing there. He was smiling at her, dressed in dark brown colors and his hands covered in blood. Rey’s heart plummeted to her stomach, and then tried to escape through her throat as she saw the bodies behind the man. It was members of the Resistance that she remembered seeing.

The man just stood there staring at her, and Rey wasn’t sure what to do. She feared making him angry. She felt nothing off of him. Was this what her Guide would do if she never found him? Was this the fate if she had never found her Force abilities? Or was this what was going to happen no matter what?

Then the ache in her heart started. Rey cocked her head to the side and stared at him. The ache was coming from him. It felt like he had no heart at all. That it had all been burned out of him. There were but fifteen steps between them, but Rey took them at a run. She crashed into him and they fell backwards onto the ground of the cave. He tried to fight out of her hold, but all she did was wrap her arms around him and hold on tighter. Slowly, the man stopped fighting her and just laid there. Rey started to sob as she held him close.

It was like all breath left his body and Rey sat up to find that she was straddling a grave instead of a body. The language on the graver marker wasn’t in one that she could read. There were two lightsabers crossed on it and beyond the marker she saw herself standing there. She was dressed in black and her eyes were hard. She was standing there with vengeance wrapped around every single line of her body.

The vision blinked out and once again she found herself at the mouth of the cave with the darkness behind her, and the weak sunlight in front of her. She turned back to look at the darkness, and found that it was just darkness. She wasn’t sure if she had passed the test or not, but she knew that she didn’t understand it. Not yet.

As she climbed out, she felt something in her hand. She looked down to find that it was another holocron cube. She smiled as she emerged fully from the darkness. There was little more that she needed to do on the planet, but she would give Chewbacca all the time that he wanted to grieve for a friend who had been the last of the Jedi, who had no one, but a lost boy to grieve for him when he passed. His name not uttered by friends and cast into oblivion.

A tree looked perfect for climbing as she approached the hut so that was what she did. There had been a few trees on Sanctuary that she had liked to climb and sit in for hours when she had the time. Just being around so much life was still so shocking for her. The life here in the swamp was different than it had been for her on Sanctuary, but it was somehow felt the same. Jakku had it’s own forms of life, but she hadn’t been able to interact with them that much because they were night creatures, when the planet was cool they would escape from their hiding places deep below the sand.

The sound of chittering started above her and for a few seconds she was afraid of being attacked, but when she reached out with the Force, she only found playful feelings. Something was playing in the tree limbs above her. Just as she looked up, something fell down and landed in her lap. It looked up at her with bright eyes. One was bright purple and the other was ice blue. It chittered at something still above her. Something chittered back and then she had a second creature in her lap. It had the same color eyes except the eyes were reversed. The first creature used her like a climbing post and clambered up to her shoulder to chitter back at it’s friend.

Rey was about to push the first creature off her when she felt it. It wasn’t a friend, the other creature was a sibling and they were fighting. There was a feeling of playful love between them. The second creature climbed up the other side of her and sat down on her opposite shoulder. Still chittering back and forth, Rey laughed at them. She leaned back into the tree trunk and closed her eyes. She pushed the world around her out of her mind and meditated. She hadn’t since Luke’s death and she knew that she needed to.

When Rey meditated she always lost track of time. On Sanctuary she would track how long she’d been doing it by how the sun moved across the sky, but here on Dagobah, she couldn’t do that. The only thing she knew was that the creatures were no longer on her and Chewbacca was staring up at her with a smile on his face. He held his arms out and she shifted and dropped down, the Wookie catching her. Chewbacca chuffed laughter as he set her down on the ground.

“Are we ready to leave?” Rey asked as she righted her clothes. She was still wearing the clothes from Tatooine as the swamp was muggy. She was very happy she hadn’t changed out of them yet. The clothes she had from Sanctuary would have been way too hot for her. Chewbacca nodded his agreement that he was ready to leave.

R2 was waiting for them at the bottom of the ramp of the Falcon. The hiding place where the first holocron was inside his body was popped open and Rey slipped the second in there with it. R2 twittered something at the both of them. Chewbacca just ignored the droid but Rey was a little confused. The droid was talking about going home. The droid started towards the cockpit and when Rey entered the room, R2 was docked into the ship and she looked at the readout. Naboo.

“Where is Naboo?”

Chewbacca wuffed out a long answer about the history of the planet in his long memory. About the blockade years and years before, and how it had propelled an otherwise unknown planet into the spotlight in the galaxy. And then how it went back to anonymity after, then Senator Palpatine, became the Chancellor.

“Palpatine, like Emperor Palpatine?”

Chewbacca barked a short answer.

“He was the Senator for Naboo?” Rey asked.

Chewbacca nodded.

“And we are going there? Why?” Rey asked but R2 just unjacked himself and rolled away. “You are an asshole!”

Chewbacca laughed as he set up their first path towards Naboo.

Rey wondered about the reasoning behind why there would be a holocron on Naboo. It didn’t make any sense at all.

Part 4
Rey sat in the cockpit of the Falcon while she waited for clearance for a docking bay in Theed, the capital city of Naboo. She looked at the half of the planet that she could see. It looked beautiful, she could tell why Queen Amidala, had wanted to protect the planet.

“You’ve been cleared for landing in bay thirteen. Follow your escort to the bay and be prepared to surrender all weapons when you debark from the ship.”

“Of course,” Rey said and moved the ship out of orbit. A one man fighter appeared in front of her and she followed it down. She wondered what they would want her to do about her lightsaber because she wasn’t leaving it with them. If they forced her to take it off, she’d just take it back to her room on the ship.

Chewbacca wasn’t going to let her out of his sight on this planet. There were too many chances of her having a sensory spike and going into a zone out in a populated place like Theed.

Chewbacca barked at the guard who was at the bottom of the ramp when it was down enough for them to exit the ship. The guard’s eyes went right to the lightsaber at her waist. He turned towards a guard at the edge of the bay and waved. It meant something, but Rey wasn’t sure what.

“Hold please, Mistress Jedi,” the man said.

Rey stopped halfway down the ramp and just looked at the man. Chewbacca was growling lowly under his breath at the guard, but the man ignored him. R2, though, came down the ramp and bypassed both of them, twittering at the man.

“R2-D2,” a woman said from the entrance to the bay. R2 twittered at her and went right past the guard to stop at her heels. Rey looked up at the woman and her voice left her. She knew what the Queens of Naboo looked like from the historical pictures that Chewbacca had showed her on their way to Naboo. Why was the Queen there? To meet with them? “It has been too long since you and Luke visited us.”

Luke had been to Naboo? Why had he come to Naboo?

“Come, Mistress Jedi, we will go to the palace and talk. Naboo is always a friend to the Jedi. The Jedi helped to save our planet and Queen Amidala.”

Rey started down the ramp and when she passed by the guard, he did didn’t try and take the lightsaber from her waist or stop her. Rey followed behind the Queen through the streets and just looked at the beauty of the city. It was so pretty. Sanctuary had been wild lands, but it never looked like humans lived there. But Theed was a natural beauty, the human additions didn’t detract from the nature around it.

The throne room was the location that they stopped in. The Queen sat upon her throne, but Rey and Chewbacca were given seats right at the edge of the dias. There were guards at the back of the room but there was no one else.

“Queen…”

“Jewla. My name is Jewla. What is yours, Mistress Jedi?”

“Rey.”

“Rey what?”

“That I do not know.” It had never bothered her before. There were a lot of people on Jakku who had no last name. Whether it was on purpose, or because they truly didn’t know, she was never sure, but she had never felt left out because of it.

“What do you mean?”

“I was left by my parents on the planet Jakku when I was younger. I only knew my given name not my last name.”

“Interesting. You have a look about you. Something very familiar.”

“I don’t know how, Your Majesty.” Rey looked at her and tried to catalogue everything. She wasn’t lying. The Queen thought that she looked like someone that she knew.

“Sola Naberrie, Your Majesty,” someone said as they entered the room. Given the smell of gun oil, sweat, and leather, Rey knew it was a guard without turning around. Another scent entered along with a heartbeat. The scent, though had Rey inhaling sharply and focusing just on it. She inhaled the scent again and it sent her on a wave of memories. The scent of her mother as she hugged her for the last time before leaving her on Jakku. She’d never been given a reason for why she was left. She’d never really known. Luke hadn’t known either. The memories of her childhood assaulted her mind, and she didn’t want to leave. In that moment, there was nothing but those memories.

The pain of an electric shock connected with her hand. She looked down and saw R2 right there, his little electric probe primed for another shot. She’d zoned out. She’d focused so much on the scent of the new person that she had zoned out.

Chewbacca was there behind R2 and was keeping several people away from her, medics by the look of them.

“I’m fine now, Chewbacca. But please continue to keep them away.” Rey looked to see the Queen looking at her with a soft look on her face, beside the Queen was the woman who had sent her into a zone out.

“Jedi Rey, this is Sola Naberrie. Sister of Padme Amidala. Aunt of Luke Skywalker.”

“Luke and R2 visited me before he went into hiding,” Sola said. She had a frown on her face. “I wasn’t aware that Padme’s child had lived until he told me that he was Padme’s son. He told me that he had a sister, but that Leia refused to know anything about her parents. That she’d had good parents who had raised her well, and she didn’t want to diminish her memory of them with others.”

“You smell like my mother did,” Rey said.

“Yes. It’s a family perfume. The knowledge of making it is passed down from mother to daughter. I taught my daughters. What was your mother’s name?”

Rey wasn’t sure that she should answer. She knew why Luke had sent her to Naboo, but she hadn’t realized that Luke’s own family was from Naboo as well. But if that scent was passed down from mother to daughter and her own mother smelled of it… “Ryoo.”

Sola gasped and rushed forward. Rey opened her arms and let the woman hug her. She heard Chewbacca step back away from her and even R2 wheeled away. She let her grandmother hold onto her so tight that she was afraid that the woman was going to hurt herself, but she didn’t let go of the woman either. She held onto her, but not hard enough that it would hurt. She was strong and it would be easy to hurt someone.

Rey’s mind was racing. It was overwhelming that she was related to Luke. Had he known? Had Luke known that she was the granddaughter of Sola or had this whole trip here been to see the evidence of his own past?

“What do you know of Sentinel Jedi?”

“Sentinel Jedi? Are they like the Jedi Masters?” Sola asked.

“No. Sentinel Jedi are not made, they are born. The history was wiped by the Jedi order a few hundred years ago, but there were holocrons hidden across the galaxy byJedi who felt that it wasn’t a good idea to remove that information.”

“And what brings you to Naboo?” The Queen asked.

“I was sent here by Luke. He passed away in his sleep.”

“Oh.” Sola looked sad.

“I don’t know if he knew that I was your granddaughter or not, he never told me why I was coming here. In fact, only R2 knew that. Just as R2 knows the final location of my quest.”

“Do you like being led around with no understanding of why?”

“In this case, the destination is only important for the information that it holds. The Jedi that hid the Holocrons chose locations that were only significant to them. It could have been Coruscant or Mustafar, or any number of planets. There are three holocrons out there. One holds the history of the Sentinels, one hold the history of Guides, and the final holds the history of their rise and fall inside of the Jedi order. I don’t know which I have found.”

“Anakin loved my sister,” Sola said.

“Yes, he did. He loved her and he didn’t understand what she was to him, and it sent him down a very dark path. The Jedi Order’s decision to hide what she was meant to be to him created the world that we have today. If he’d had the training necessary to understand that Padme was his Guide, and they were allowed to be together, he would have never turned. The Jedi used cases like his to show them why Sentinels and Guides had to be separated. Sentinels rely on the Force like other Jedi, but their ability to stay sane and stable, a Guide is needed for that. Luke lived a long time without his Guide.”

“But Padme was human. She wasn’t a Jedi.”

“No, she wasn’t. All Guides are not Jedi. Sentinels are Jedi, Guides are not.”

“Why?”

“Because the mind of a non-Jedi works a little different. A Guide is perfect for their Sentinel.” Rey smiled at her grandmother and relaxed back into her chair. “I’ll find my Guide out there somewhere.”

“Who was Luke’s Guide?” Sola asked.

“That is not information that you need to know. It’s private and nothing can be done now to fix what happened there.” Rey sighed and looked at Chewbacca. “When the Jedi removed the knowledge of the Sentinels, they also removed the knowledge of the Guides. Where Jedi were identified as children, and Sentinels not long after the Jedi were found, Guides used to be found around age seven. Luke’s Guide would have known what he was and understood what he was by the time that he met Luke. Luke wouldn’t have been rejected by him.”

“And you hope to change that?”

“In some ways, yes. There is a lot to be done but first, I have time. I’d love to stay and meet my family.”

Part 5
The Falcon was in orbit around one of the moons in the Naboo system before Rey allowed her emotions to get the better of her. The Naberries were a lovely family, but all had gone into politics, and Rey had little use for politics. It hadn’t helped the Jedi in anyway in the long term.

Chewbacca was silent in the seat beside her. R2 was behind them both. He was jacked into the Falcon’s system and downloading and updating the star charts. Queen Jewla had given them all the current star charts that Naboo had. Which, for the outlying areas, was a huge update on what the Falcon had.

“What is that planet?” Rey asked as one appeared on the screen.

Chewbacca knew it. He looked at R2 with a confused look on his face. R2 twittered at the Wookie and Chewbacca woofed back at him. It was nonsense to her. Half words and unfinished sentences. Rey wasn’t able to follow it at all. Five minutes of nonsense and then R2 unjacked and left. Chewbacca bellowed after him, but the droid ignored them.

“Where are we going?”

Chewbacca pressed a button and the information for the planet popped up on the screen. Rey had never heard of the planet before or the system. Yavin was a gas giant and it had several planets, but the one in particular they were going to was Yavin 4. It was currently uninhabited, but there was a small blurb of information about it. It was the site of the destruction of the first Death Star. Yavin 4 was the location that the, then Rebel Alliance, had made their base. The note was typed in as an addendum, probably added by Chewbacca.

“Who would have hidden that holocron there?”

Chewbacca just shrugged. He nodded towards the back before getting up and leaving. Rey gunned the ship out of orbit and moved towards the first hyperspace path that they needed to use to get to the Yavin system. Once the stars were stretched along, Rey was able to relax.

They had stayed on Naboo for a week. Chewbacca had been shown around the forest by a group of Gungans, and Rey had stayed at some lake house that the Naberries owned. It had been wonderful, and Rey was thankful for the swimming lessons that Luke had given her.. He hadn’t been the best at it, learning out of necessity, then never really using it anymore, but he had taught Rey enough. Younger members, cousins, of the family, had taught her more. The kids were all intrigued by the fact that she’d been born on a ship, and had then lived on a desert planet. The thought of a whole planet being a desert was a shock to them. Though they knew of them in passing from their lessons in school,, it was different meeting someone who had been on one.

When Luke had visited them, he’d not talked about his past that much. He was mute where Rey was talkative. Her past had brought her to where she was, and she wouldn’t be who she was without it. Anyone who shamed her for it would just have to learn that they weren’t going to get a rise out of her for it.

It got her thinking of Finn, though, and how he was doing with the Resistance. She wanted to know how he was really doing. Darklighter had been able to tell her some things, but it wasn’t any of the personal things that she wanted to know. He was her first friend, even if he had lied to her, but she’d understood. Poe had trusted him, and for her that had been enough once she found out the truth of Finn’s life. She even missed BB-8, even if she had become attached to R2 through the long years.

General Organa probably figured that she was never coming back after being gone for five years. Rey had to have the knowledge contained in the holocrons before she went back to the Resistance. Then and only then would she be able to move on to the New Republic. That was her ultimate goal. To stand before the new Senate and declare the Jedi an entity of their own.

There would be those that would not like it, but there was safety for the Jedi out there. For the Force users who had no training, but who wanted it. Luke had spent his years in hiding making plans and doing what needed to be done to create a safe place for new trainees. He’d failed with Ben Solo, he didn’t want a repeat of that failure.

Rey was going over everything that Luke had taught her when she remembered something that Malla had taught her as well. She stood up from her seat and moved towards what had once been a smaller hold. It had been retrofitted to be a bedroom for Chewbacca. She knocked on the door and looked at the Wookie who opened the door.

“I had a friend years back that taught me a lot about Wookies, and I forgot some of it until just now. Humans have scents, and those scents are passed down by family lines. You knew that I was related to Luke in some way from the moment that we met. You knew that Luke and General Organa were related.”

Chewbacca barked an agreement, and then went a step farther, telling her that he knew that she was a Sentinel because there was a scent that Sentinels put off, and he’d not smelled it before Luke since Yoda. He’d never smelled a Guide, but he was sure that he’d be able to pick out the scent that Han put off that marked him as a Guide as soon as he smelled it in someone else again.

“Were Wookies how Guides were found before?”

Chewbacca weaved a tale of the races that had strong olfactories. How there were thirteen races in the galaxy that had been found that could do it. But it was generally the Wookie Jedi who found Guides on planets, from what Luke had told him.

“Did Luke make you want to stay?” Rey didn’t like feeling that Chewbacca had been forced to stay out of a sense of duty to Luke, or as a way to help Han in the afterlife.

Chewbacca hugged her tight, making it a little hard for her to breath, but with him wrapped around her, she could feel his emotions.The Force giving her what his words couldn’t. He loved her, and it wasn’t out of being anything other than what she was. Han had taken a shine to her and he’d liked her because of that, but it was the aftermath of it all that had proven she was worthy of his love. He saw her like a cub, a child. Rey wrapped her arms around him tighter and clung to him as she cried into his fur. Chewbacca didn’t try to get her to stop crying, he just held her close while she purged her emotions. She’d never cried for the loss of her family when they had had left her on Jakku. She hadn’t cried when Sola told her that Ryoo and the man that she had ran off with had been found dead by the First Order years before in a cargo ship. They had been trying to make it as smugglers. Sola had no clue why her daughter hadn’t come home until Rey had shown up.

It was rumors and supposition that the First Order had been looking for Force users throughout the galaxy, Luke told her that he had heard whispers, but he didn’t have any proof to go on. If Ryoo had known that Rey had the Force, why wouldn’t she have taken her to Luke? Or at least the Resistance? What had scared them so bad to leave her on Jakku? Rey knew that she’d probably never know. Only the Force knew, and so far it wasn’t telling her anything.

Rey finally pulled back from the Wookie, and dried her tears, a smile on her face.

“Luke said that sometimes the best family was the family that one finds when trying to get away. That’s you, R2, Poe, BB-8, and Finn.”

Chewbacca huffed an agreement and motioned for her to sit down. Rey noticed that he’d been getting ready to eat, and it didn’t shock her to see a secondary food plate on the table. Rey took the seat as the Wookie pulled food out of the warmer. Rey had found out that Chewbacca preferred to eat things he had hunted himself, but often settled for what was available to them in space.. Rey had never had the luxury of choice, subsisting mostly on rations, so she was just thankful for food.

They ate dinner together, laughing, talking, and just being what they were, a family, even with R2 at the edge of the room, hooked into the computer to keep track of the ship. Life was good.

Part 6
Rey looked at the planet through the viewing area of the Falcon. She then turned her gaze out to where the Death Star had been. All of the pieces of it had been collected from where it had been destroyed. The Alliance hadn’t wanted anyone to be able to replicate even one bit of it.

The upgraded sensors that Chewbacca had put on the Falcon while she’d been training were being used to scan Yavin. There was no evidence of villages or anything remotely similar, but there were small areas of concentrated life, most likely hives of animals. There was one area near one of the larger temples on the planet which seemed like a good spot to land the ship on.. Sensors picked up what looked like a housing unit. It was up in a tree and didn’t resemble anything like what an animal would create.

Chewbacca wasn’t going to let her go alone this time. He quickly prepared his bowcaster and checked over her newer blaster before leaving the ship. With there being so much native life on the planet, Rey understood why the Wookie wanted her to have a blaster on her. A lightsaber was good for combat, and freeing oneself, but if there was a charging animal headed for her, a blaster would be needed to take care of them. She was taking her staff with her as well. The whole planet was untamed forest, and she was going to take everything with her that she thought she’d need.

There was a clearing two clicks from where the tree house was and Rey landed the Falcon there. Chewbacca was waiting for her at the ramp when she had cycled the Falcon down.

“R2 stay on the Falcon. Anyone tries to get on, alert me. I have the comlink with me.”

R2 twitted an affirmative and moved out towards the cockpit. She smiled as she watched him go. He was a plucky little droid and she was very happy that over the years, Luke had never had his memory wiped like so many other droids usually had. It made for a less controllable, but more loyal droid. R2 did do what he wanted, but he did everything that he could for those he considered his family.

“Chewbacca, do you want to take to the trees?” Rey asked. If there was anyone actually alive in that area of the planet, they would have seen or heard the arrival of the Falcon. Chewbacca nodded and started up one of the closer trees. She waited until he was up in one of the taller ones and he’d started from limb to limb. She followed and kept her ear out for him making sure that they stayed at the same pace. It wasn’t hard to keep up with him. While he was good at going from tree to tree it took time as he wasn’t used to the trees on Yavin. As they got closer to the treehouse, Rey was able to pick out the sound of a heartbeat. It was too big to be a creature in the tree, she recognized it as a human heart beat. She wasn’t shocked to find a man standing at the base of the tree.

Rey looked at him. He was old, older than Luke had been, and very dark skinned. He was dressed in simple clothes that looked like he made them from native animals skins t. It wasn’t until he moved that she saw that he was one handed. His second wasn’t there at all. It was odd given how accessible prosthetic were in this day and age. Even simple non moveable hands were given out for free on most planets. The mechanical hands were harder to come by for most, but still, something that could be done.

“Hello,” the man said.

“Hello.”

“What are you doing? Coming to visit me?”

“Just visiting the location of the Rebel base.”

“Now see, you did that well,” the man said. He looked at Rey like she was a puzzle. “I can’t tell if you are lying or not.”

Rey didn’t say a thing. She let her hearing dial up to where she could hear the subtleness of his heartbeat. He didn’t react at all. Chewbacca was in the trees above him, getting ready to drop to help her if she needed.

“Why would I be on this planet if not to visit?” Rey asked.

“This planet holds many secrets. Some are easy to find and others are not so easy to find.”

“And you think that you are the person to stop me?”

“Who says I am alone?”

Rey knew that the man was stalling, but stalling for what, she wasn’t sure. It wasn’t hard to tell that he was calm. Almost too calm. His heart rate never jumped above a resting rate. His eyes were still and calm as well. He was a man who was in total control of himself.

“The only people who live on this planet do so because they want to be left alone. There is no other recluse on this planet that will come to your aid. Just as I mean you no harm. I come for a bit of treasure and that’s it.”

“What one calls treasures another calls trash.”

“And what one calls trash, they call it so to hide it.” Rey relaxed into a stance that Luke had taught her. One of the few bits of training he’d learned from long dead masters of the art of Lightsaber fighting.

“You are a learned girl,” the man said as he stood up and moved closer to her. Rey stayed where she was. Her robe that she wore against the chill of the wind of the planet hid her lightsaber but not her staff.. A perfect weapon if a fight broke out, and if dropped, the symbol for Chewbacca to know that something was up. So far Rey was sure that Chewbacca was hidden. “I like learned people. Come inside and we can chat and break bread over a meal.”

“I have nothing to bring to the meal.”

“That is fine.” The man turned and grabbed a bit of rope at his side. He pulled on it and up he went while a rock came down. He stopped just at the top of the ladder that led onto a landing of sorts. He looked down at her before waving Rey up.

At the top of the ladder, when Rey was on two feet at the landing, she looked out into trees surrounding the house. She was barely able to spot Chewbacca and that was only because she knew where his heartbeat was.

“You picked a beautiful spot to make your home on Yavin 4.”

“Thank you. I like it and that’s all that really matters.”

Rey stepped into the main living area of the tree house and found that there were two rooms branched off of it. It was a rather large place for a man to live in alone. She sat down at the table when the man directed her towards it. From the seat that he took, he could see everything in the house. From where she sat, she could see little. It was a strategic placement of the table. She shifted in the seat and a coin fell from her pocket, aided by the Force. Rey bent down to pick it up and she noticed that the floor was marked under the chair that she was in, but that the one under the man’s wasn’t. Whoever regularly sat in her seat shifted or stood and shifted the chair as they did.

“Did you find it?”

“I did. It rolled a little.” Rey held up the coin and showed it to him. It was just a random coin from a random planet. It helped to sell that she was just a traveler who went from place to place. The man’s eyes narrowed at it but he smiled. He turned and moved towards what looked like a chest. It was easy to see that he and whoever lived with him did live a simple life. From inside the chest it looked like he pulled butter and bread followed by some kind of dried meat.

The man kept his back to her while he worked on the food. It left Rey to look around the entire place. There were signs of a child being raised in the place. Dents and nicks in the walls that were at a much lower height than the man. There was a height chart along the wall outside the bedroom farthest from the door. There was only a single way in and out that she could see, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t a roof access hatch.

So the man was here with a child that was pretty young when they had arrived. There was no way to tell the sex of the child from what she could see, but she knew that whoever the child was they were no longer a child. She couldn’t hear a heartbeat from the person so they were out of her range of hearing.

“You are a good liar, Sir. But where is your child?”

The man turned to look at her and before she could even think, he was across the room and trying to go out the door. Rey reacted as quick as she could and was across the room, lightsaber in hand, activated with the blade stretched across the door. The man’s eyes widened out and he tried to move back but the thump behind them had Rey turning.

Standing there was a tall slender young man. His eyes were narrowed as they stared at the lightsaber she had out. On his hip was a lightsaber as well. His hand went for it and it was drawn before Rey could react, the dark purple blade slid free. The older man backed up away from both of them. He moved to stand behind the younger man, in a safe location. Only then did Rey look up at the younger man. The face was thin, much like her own.

As if she was seeing into the past, his face changed and turned into that of a chubby cheeked child. Whose eyes were a perfect match for a buried memory of her childhood.

“Race?”

“Rey?”

Part 7
Rey didn’t even hesitate. She dropped the lightsaber to the floor. As her finger left the activator button, the blade slide back into the hilt. Race dropped his as well and when Rey jumped into his arms, he wrapped them around her tight. She buried her nose in his neck and inhaled. Underneath was the scent she remembered as a child, lying in their bed because they hated to sleep alone.

“I was told what happened to mom and dad and I worried, but I hoped. I hoped that we would be together again.” Rey had kept him a secret because it was better to never talk about him. She had known that her parents were scared when she was left on Jakku, and she wasn’t sure if Race was the reason they were scared. He was the long held secret of her heart and mind.

“Mom and dad dropped me here after they dropped you off on that other planet I was found by Wind here. He took me in and…” Race looked down at Rey’s lightsaber. “Who found you?”

“I was on Jakku and there was no one to help me there. I didn’t realize that I had the ability to use the Force until five years ago. I have been with Luke Skywalker training.”

“Skywalker?” Wind’s head shot up and his face was full of confusion. “What about Leia Skywalker?”

“Leia Organa. She’s the General of the Resistance.”

“What of the Empire?”

“You really are isolated here,” Rey pointed out. Race dragged her over to the table and sat her down in his spot while he stood beside her. Wind took his own seat before turning to her. Rey told him everything that she had learned from Luke in her lessons from where he grew up to how he joined the Rebels and the aftermath of the killing of Palpatine and the forming of the New Republic. From Luke trying to reform and teach Jedi to the betrayal of Ben Solo, and the death of all trainees except him, and to Snoke. Then her training with him for five years. She left out everything about Sentinels, though. If Wind had trained Race to be a Jedi, and even made him or had him make a Lightsaber, he was Jedi. Given his age, he was a Jedi that had made it through Order 66.

“That’s…” Wind stopped suddenly and he looked out the small window. “Why was I here? I could have…”

“Who are you?” Rey asked. Race inhaled but he didn’t say a thing.

“I was a Jedi Master when Palpatine had the Jedi wiped out. I was called Mace Windu, but I just took the name Wind in the aftermath of the Order. I fell from a building on Coruscant and was found by a smuggler in the aftermath of it all. He got me off planet and when I was healed enough to live, he dropped me off on the planet of my choosing.”

“What about your holocron?”

“What?” Wind looked at her like she had five heads.

“I have Kenobi’s and Yoda’s. Luke came online as a Sentinel in the aftermath of killing Palpatine and the death of his father. His Guide knew nothing of what he was and rejected him. My Guide is out there. Race’s Guide is out there.”

“I’m a what?” Race asked.

Rey looked at the corner of the room where Durm and Strang were visible to her. She wasn’t sure if Wind or Race could see them. A growl broke the air and the two men turned to look at the Spirit Animals.

“He’s a Sentinel. And you are a Sentinel. There has been no record of twin Jedi being both Sentinels, ever. Yoda and I spent years researching everything. Just like there are no Guide Jedi.” Mace looked shocked.

Strang tugged on Rey’s pants and she leaned down to let him crawl up the arm of her shirt. “This is Strang, a Ysalamiri. Yours is Durm and he’s a Vornskr.”

“Where are they from?”

“Myrkr. Vornskr hunt using the Force. Strang here can create a bubble of space where inside of it, the Force can’t be used and yes, he can do it even though he is a Spirit Animal. When I came online as a Sentinel they were both there. It took a while for me to figure out which was mine and which was not. Luke thought that Durm was my Guide’s and that my Guide was online and waiting for me, but I knew he was yours. I knew you were alive and somewhere out there in the galaxy. After I completed Luke’s quest for all of the holocrons, I was coming to find you. I need you to help me hunt down and kill Snoke. I need you to try and save Ren, but if I can’t save him, I’ll kill him.”

“You two are not ready for fighting like that,” Wind said.

“No, but I know that you were one of the best lightsaber fighters of the old order. You are alive for a reason, and while part of that was probably to teach Race what you knew, it might also be for this, fighting training. I was only taught by a few Force Ghosts. One talked about your ways of fighting.”

“I can’t move like that anymore, but I can train you. What do you have to do after you find the holocron?”

“Learn from them. Luke told me to learn from them and go back to the resistance when I was ready. He said he wasn’t when he left Yoda. So, I’ll be your student until we are ready.” Rey looked at Wind and smiled. Race touched her shoulder and she looked up at him.

“Mom and dad were being hunted. I think that that whoever was hunting them were actually hunting us.”

“If Snoke is as powerful as you say that he is, he may have felt your birth. He might have been looking for you, and your parents hid you. Together, you are probably like a beacon.”

The sound of a fighter ship shooting over them had Rey jumping up from her chair and moving towards the door. Race and Wind were right behind her. The fighter was out of sight before she could even think about trying to see it.

“Chewbacca! Follow!” Rey screamed and the sound of snapping branches took her gaze to where she could see him fleeing.

“Who is that?” Race asked.

“My mentor at the moment. And at the current, my family besides you.”

“Wookie named Chewbacca. He helped Master Yoda escape Kashyyyk. You are strangely connected.”

“He found Luke, of sorts, a long time ago. He and Han Solo are how Luke escaped Tatooine. He’ll follow. The ship we came on is protected by R2-D2.”

“Skywalker’s droid,” Wind said.

“Yes. Luke left him behind when he went into hiding.”

“No. I mean Anakin Skywalker. Well, he built one called C-3PO, but basically those two were his. R2-D2 stayed with Senator Amidala more, but he was loyal to Skywalker.”

“Luke never told me that,” Rey said. She was shocked.

“He may not know. Kenobi did something with them.”

“They were with the royal house of Alderaan. With General Organa.”

“We can talk more later. Go find whoever is in that fighter because it landed. That was a landing approach.”

Race grabbed a robe and in a controlled drop landed on the forest floor. Rey followed behind him but didn’t use the rope. She landed, absorbing the impact into her legs and pushing it out. Race ran off and she ran behind him. This was his planet and he knew the way. If whoever was in the fighter was looking for her, they would land as close to the Falcon as possible. Rey reached out her hearing to find Chewbacca and found that they were catching up to him. Running with help from the Force made them fast. Race would be faster once he came online. Rey was having to hold back to stop herself from overtaking him. They overtook Chewbacca’s swinging path with ease. She reached the distance to where she could hear the cycling down of the engine of the fighter. She put on a burst of speed and overtook him. Race said nothing, but changed his path to follow her. She turned sharply to the right. The clearing that the pilot chose was to the right of where he had been taking them.

It wasn’t until Rey got closer that she realized that it was two heart beats under the cycle of the engines, and then a warble of a droid. Rey stopped so fast that Race ran into her, knocking them both down. She scrambled to get her feet underneath her and launched towards the fighter. Race was confused, and she could feel that through the Force, but when she burst out of the trees and wrapped her arms around a dark skinned man who had just stepped off the ladder out of the ship, she felt better than she had in awhile.

“FINN!” Rey screamed. She took the startled man all the way down to the forest floor. She heard Race enter the clearing and who she assumed was Poe start towards her.

Finn wrapped his arms around her back and held her close. Rey buried her nose in his neck, imprinting the smell of her friend to memory now that she could track him by it.

“Hello, I’m Poe, this is BB-8 and you are?” Poe asked from above her.

“My name is Race.”

“The knucklehead that Rey is hugging for dear life is Finn. When the last time she saw him, he was in a healing coma before being put into bacta to save his life. Gavin told us that he saw you, Rey. General Leia had a dream about you being here and sent us. It’s a personal mission. Then we saw the Falcon.”

Rey listened but stood up as well. She grabbed Poe and pulled him into a hug. When she scented him, she learned two things. One that his natural scent was calming to her and that two, he and Finn were having relations.

Crashing in the underbrush had them all turning to look at where the noise came from. Chewbacca along with Strang riding on Durm appeared there. Durm trotted right up to Race and when he nuzzled in at his dangling hand, Rey felt it. She felt him come online. There was no way that Wind missed it from where he was at the house.

“Who are these loving creatures?” Poe asked as he squatted down to reach out to Durm. Strang reached out and raked a claw across his hand and Poe pulled it back. Looking at the not quite there marks. No blood was drawn and it was more Force injury than physical.

“We have a lot to tell you, but for now, that’s Strang and he’s riding on Durm and don’t ever touch. It’s time for introductions. Poe Dameron, Finn, this is my brother. Race.”

Rey looked at the faces of her friends and laughed inside at the shock on them. She knew that they would need to be told as much as possible, and she trusted them. Race would learn to trust them as well. She wasn’t sure if Wind ever would trust them, but for now, this was her family. New friends, old friends, and old family coming together. With them at her side, she could take on the First Order.
The End