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27 August 2013 @ 10:34 pm
FIC: Emergency Protocol (2/2)  
Title: Emergency Protocol (2/2)
Author: joonscribble
Fandom: Skyfall & Sherlock (BBC)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Nothing really.
Disclaimer: I don't own a single person who appears or is even mentioned in this.
Summary: Sometimes you have to balance work with family.
Author's Note: And there we have it. Glad I managed to finish it before my school began. This became a little longer than I'd intended and perhaps a bit more disjointed because Bond insisted on showing up again. He balanced out Sherlock who was starting to become uncooperative and like a stern parent, I just took away his privileges. I also owe John Watson a fic where he goes on vacation with his girlfriend and drinks cocktails by the beach.


The best word to describe Q’s flat was neutral. While not completely devoid of décor inside to make it suspect that it was the home base of a serial killer, the furniture and sparse wall decorations made it hard to discern if a man or woman lived there. There was a painting of some sort of geometric design over the metal desk that sat in the living area. On the other side was a sofa of a non-descript beige color and a coffee table sporting one lone coaster. An additional sofa chair sat perpendicular to its larger, matching furniture piece. Over the 8 years Q had lived there, it had never undergone any sort of redecoration, other than the odd object on the desk every now and again. Much like all the other flats that Q had lived in and his room at home before.

Entering his flat, Q noticed the entryway light was on. By the entrance way that led to his kitchen was a pair of shoes that definitely were not his. Glancing into the kitchen itself, he could see the take out container from last night now mostly empty and sitting on the table. Even in the still darkened living area, he could make out the familiar coat that was slung over his sofa chair. If he strained his ears he could make out the sound of someone showering in his bathroom.

Sherlock had never visited him before at this particular flat. Q had moved in shortly after taking a position at MI6 which had also coincided with a rather ugly argument they’d had. Q had been recruited a couple of years after he had graduated from University. At the time he’d been much like Sherlock as he was now, somewhat aimless but making a living doing what he enjoyed for private clients. And then their father had died.

Looking back on it, Q knew each of them had dealt with the event very differently, despite what Sherlock believed. Mycroft had grown increasingly more controlling while Sherlock had grown increasingly more chaotic. And Q…well, Sherlock had accused him of becoming like Mycroft at the time of their argument. Becoming boring and regulatory by taking a government job. But Q hadn’t accepted the position out of some need to order his life. Rather, he’d simply wanted to do the work because it had reminded him a lot of his father and he supposed it was a way to have him back for a time.

To Sherlock it had been like a betrayal, if he had to be dramatic about it. Their father had always understood Sherlock’s need for anarchy and as a child Q had always admired it with a near hero worship. Now, one was dead and the other was embracing order, leaving Sherlock alone. Events soon after had been extremely unpleasant. But it had worked out more or less in the end. Sherlock hadn’t been alone then, even if he had thought so. And now he had one more person. Someone who was hopefully still considered clinically alive.

The sound of running water stopped. Turning on a few more lights, Q pulled out his mobile and texted Mycroft.

Found him. Update later.

There was no alert from the tracker he’d left in the hospital’s systems. No update for John Watson then.

“It took you long enough,” said Sherlock. He was wearing the pieces of one of Q’s suits, which to his dismay was getting wet from the water dripping off Sherlock’s hair.

“Feel free to help yourself to everything in my flat,” Q replied, dryly.

Sherlock flopped down on the sofa. “If you had a better security system this wouldn’t happen.”

“I designed it to keep out the average assassin, Sherlock. Not you.” There was a slight smirk at that. “You haven’t been answering anyone’s calls or texts.”

“By anyone you mean Mycroft.” Pulling his coat to him, Sherlock took out his mobile and tossed it to Q.

From his job, Q had seen all the various ways a phone could be destroyed. This one had clearly met with a shoe that was the same size as the ones parked by his kitchen entranceway. Dropping it on his desk, Q rummaged through one of the drawers before finding the spare mobile and handed it to Sherlock.

Sherlock grimaced. “I hate this model.”

“No, you don’t,” said Q, patiently. “I’ve given it a few upgrades. You can pay me back later.” Sherlock snorted but pocketed the mobile. “How were you planning on receiving news about Doctor Watson?”

“John won’t be out of surgery for hours, they said. I could go back to the hospital.”

“Why aren’t you there now?”

Sherlock scowled, “That place is impossible. People everywhere.”

“Yes, hospitals have that annoying aspect,” commented Q.

“I could see the overworked doctors there. The attending who met us at A&E hadn’t slept for over 13 hours and hadn’t eaten more than a bag of crisps in the past 10.” Suddenly Sherlock looked decidedly less angry and more something else. “In the waiting area I could see at least three people had been informed that their husband, brother or son had died. Lestrade was going on with his insufferable platitudes. Three hallways down there were at least seven patients left untreated.” He cut himself off, staring ahead. During his rant he’d shoved his feet onto Q’s coffee table, his hands pressing down hard on his knees.

Q took in the tense posture and nodded. “You’ve already had something to eat. Do you want a tea?” he asked.

“Don’t start acting like Mrs. Hudson,” Sherlock snapped, looking furious again which was better than what he looked like just before. “I avoided Baker Street for a reason.”

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” Q replied, heading into the kitchen anyway. “She would never offer you something to drink without some arm twisting.”

From where he was Q could hear a resentful, “Fair point.”

Q moved to start the kettle but decided to go for the saucepan instead.

While Sherlock didn’t give praise easily, he’d often been open about his approval of his younger brother’s lack of information-giving detritus lying about his living space. His flat was reliably colorless and devoid of any troubling data which he supposed was a relief considering the amount of information the hospital was giving Sherlock without meaning to. With the person who shot John already in custody and the case itself solved for now, there was nothing to occupy Sherlock’s mind other than deduce the several various ways the Royal London Hospital was not able to save lives.

As if reading his mind, Sherlock called out from the living area. “You’re getting messy,” he criticized. “I saw two pieces of evidence in the bathroom that pointed me toward where you work. And in your living area as well. At least a paperweight on your desk would make it a little more difficult to deduce your line of work.”

“Luckily, the only ones who would be able to deduce my job already know it,” Q said, walking back with a full mug that he deposited in front of Sherlock. “Problem solved.” Sherlock looked at the warm milk speckled with cinnamon. Q could tell his brother wanted to make a caustic comment but looked rather conflicted about it. “I won’t tell Mycroft,” he promised, settling back onto the sofa chair.

Sherlock took a sip. “The information can be deleted,” he said after awhile.

By information he meant John Watson.

Sherlock’s love of equating his mind with a computer consistently rubbed Q the wrong way. The parallel was too absurd but he forgave that for the moment. “You could,” Q supposed. “But some data can’t get wiped out completely without damaging the main systems.” Sherlock gave him a look. “You started this asinine analogy.”

“It’s not an analogy, it’s the way my mind is.”

“Self-aggrandizing is extremely tiresome.”

“It’s the way my mind works!” Sherlock suddenly shouted.

The two brothers stared at each other. Q opened his mouth to reply when his mobile went off. It was Gunderson.

“Sir, I’m sorry to trouble you,” said Gunderson, sounding a little anxious. “We have a bit of a situation.”

At least Q could be glad he was in his flat which was technically a secure area. “Nevermind, Gunderson. You can patch me through,” he said, grabbing his laptop. He glanced back at Sherlock who only sullenly took another sip from his mug.

“Q, I hope your evening has been going as well as mine,” Bond’s voice filtered in.

“You sound cheerful.”

“Escaping a room with a ceiling about to crush you will do that.”

“A mechanized collapsing ceiling. How old school.” Q caught Sherlock’s look at that and merely shrugged. “What seems to be the problem?” he addressed Bond.

“I have three doors to choose from. One leads me to the hard drive. The others are rigged with some sort of acid mix explosive device.”

Q frowned. “How do you know this?”

“It’s what Colverton said before he tried to kill me and before I killed him,” Bond replied, sounding fairly pleased about the whole thing. At least someone was having a good time. “Each door has a keypad on it.”

A collapsing ceiling and three doors with the chance of an acid bomb. Colverton had seen one too many spy films.

“If you would be so good as to activate your eyes, please,” Q requested. A screen popped up from Bond’s microcamera feed. Indeed there were three doors, all identical looking with identical keypads. Disarming the keypads would be simple enough but that still left the question of which one was the correct door. Q looked over at Sherlock again who had obviously been listening to his side of the conversation. It was possible for Q to eventually figure it out but it was also possible to move things along and kill two birds with one stone.

“In your own time, Quartermaster,” Bond said, dryly as the silence stretched on.

“Hold, please.”

Muting his phone, Q swiveled the laptop so Sherlock could see. “Can you see which one might have an acid bomb behind it?” At Sherlock’s incredulous look, Q insisted, “I’m serious.”

Leaning in, Sherlock studied the image. “I need more data than that.”

“All I can say is that a man who is now dead activated the set up. He was in his 50s, three ex-wives, no children. Worked in textiles that masked an illegal weapons construction plant.”

“That’s hardly pertinent,” Sherlock dismissed. “Show me the rest of the room.”

Q unmuted the phone. “Bond, can you show me the rest of the area?”

The camera slowly roved around. The room was empty except for a single desk with a chair, over which was a single lightbulb. Q rolled his eyes at the dramatic set up. On the chair was the corpse of Colverton.

“Good to see the British government hasn’t lost its nerve for murder,” Sherlock commented, seeing Colverton and the hole in his head.

“For Queen and country,” Q murmured. “Was there anything on his person?” he asked Bond.

There was a momentary pause from the agent but it passed and Q saw Bond’s hands as they rummaged through Colverton’s pockets to turn up a thin butter knife, some used looking tissues, and a small bottle of sanitizer.

“Show me his hands,” Sherlock instructed, beating Q to it.

There was a pinky ring on the left hand, the nails unusually well varnished though chipping on the right hand.

“Back to the doors,” said Sherlock. “Have him get in close. I want to see the door handles. Tell him!”

“I think he can hear you,” Q replied, wryly but an excited Sherlock was an engaged one.

Bond methodically showed the handles for each door. By the time he got to third, Sherlock gave a less than amused laugh. “Your supervillain has decided to rig all three doors with acid,” he said, pointing to the faintly white marks on all three handles.

Q nodded. Espionage had well moved past the days of fair play. “Yes, but let’s hope that the hard drive is indeed behind that one.” Q tapped the image of the middle door. “Bond, it’s the middle door. However, you’ll still have to disarm an acid bomb before getting to the hard drive. All in all, a productive evening.”

“M will be pleased.”

An alert sounded off on Q’s mobile. An additional screen automatically popped up on his laptop with an updated copy of John Watson’s medical file.

**

The next morning, Q drank the last sip of his third cup of tea at his work station. At times like this he wished he liked the taste of coffee to get some additional caffeine in his system. He could work long hours but some sleep would have been preferable. His mood was somewhat lifted when Mycroft restrained himself and only sent two text messages.

John Watson was fine. Or rather, he would be fine soon enough. The doctors would be keeping him a bit longer to make sure that pneumonia would not be a risk thanks to the collapsed lung but the surgery had gone well and his prognosis was good.

Q hadn’t spoken to Sherlock since last night, not that he expected to after reading that John Watson was fine.  Everyone would live to breathe another day.

As if to give an example of just that, Bond walked into Q branch. Q’s mood was further brightened when he saw the issued microcamera and gun being returned, both in one piece.

“Good morning, 007,” Q greeted. “I see Medical was exaggerating when they had you on light duties only.”

Bond himself looked immaculate for someone who had spent half the night escaping a booby trapped lair. He was the only person Q knew who seemed to look better the more his life was in endangered.

“All the better as last night was hardly light.”

“But you sailed through with flying colors,” said Q as he began to dismantle the firearm.

“Would I be correct in thinking we had some assistance last night?”

Q paused in his movements before returning to the task at hand. “He was a special consultant. Clearance is not going to be an issue.” Or it certainly won’t be once Q was done.

“I’m guessing he isn’t strictly official.”

Looking up, Q could see the glimmer of amusement in Bond’s eye that matched his tone.

“To borrow your words, not even remotely,” he answered.

Bond smirked. “Careful, Quartermaster. You’re learning bad habits.”

“It’s much too late for that, 007.”

**

By the time Q got home, he was ready to sleep for 12 hours straight and looked forward to it. When he entered his flat, he again noted that something was different about his living area.  Q sighed inwardly and really hoped the average assassin hadn’t gotten smarter in the last few days. Or for whatever reason Sherlock had broken in again. He really wanted some peace and quiet.

But soon it became obvious to him what was different. There was a paperweight on his desk.

It was made of pewter and depicted a snake eating its own tail. As gifts went, it wasn’t the worst Sherlock had ever given him. It was, in fact, almost thoughtful. Q guessed John Watson was most likely responsible for it as no doubt the doctor would have pushed Sherlock to say thanks in some way if he’d heard about where Sherlock had been camped out last night.

After settling it back on the desk and angling it to sit on the top left corner, Q headed to the bedroom for some sleep.

THE END

 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Trioawanderingbard on August 28th, 2013 03:45 am (UTC)
This is totally awesome! Wow! That fact that Sherlock went to Q's is so touching and sweet and the conversation is perfect and wonderful. And then the paperweight and Sherlock helping Bond and it's very, very good. Very well done! I love the backstory for Q's joining the government and Sherlock's resentment of it, it all works so nicely.

Really great job!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on August 28th, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I was a bit surprised when Bond decided to show up in person but he has that quality, I guess.

I was a little worried about Q consulting Sherlock who doesn't really have clearance but figured that he would bend the rules as this was a special situation. Plus, Bond clearly wouldn't tell anyone after half the stuff he's pulled.

I love the backstory for Q's joining the government and Sherlock's resentment of it,

Yeah, in my head canon Sherlock viewed the loss of their father and Q joining a government job as two people who understood him just up and leaving. He didn't really respond that well.

I think there's a fic out there in my field of plot bunnies of the day Sherlock found out that Q would be taking over as head of Q branch. And so it happens again. Seriously, series 3 and the next Bond film needs to hurry up and get here.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on August 28th, 2013 04:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, in my head canon Sherlock viewed the loss of their father and Q joining a government job as two people who understood him just up and leaving. He didn't really respond that well.

I really love that our headcanons are so different, it's very cool to see how two people can have the same visual information and create entirely different worlds out of it.

Unsurprisingly, your world is a little more angsty than mine. But I enjoy your world very much!

Seriously, series 3 and the next Bond film needs to hurry up and get here.

By they time they do, we will completely fail to recognize the characters on the screen.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on August 28th, 2013 04:41 am (UTC)
Unsurprisingly, your world is a little more angsty than mine. But I enjoy your world very much!

Your world will always be flufflier than mine. Which is good because I love reading your world as it gives me the optimism that life isn't all pain to write a world that's got pain in it. If that makes sense.

By they time they do, we will completely fail to recognize the characters on the screen.

Oh, dear. I had this problem with Torchwood. Once the US version came into being, it was all over.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on August 28th, 2013 04:49 am (UTC)
Your world will always be flufflier than mine. Which is good because I love reading your world as it gives me the optimism that life isn't all pain to write a world that's got pain in it. If that makes sense.

Dustlines mentioned something similar to that once. Basically that she felt my stories had an innate optimism to them. I think that's influenced by my philosophy on life, which is that everything bad that has happened to me has somehow led to something good. So, I just sort of mosey along and find as much prettiness as I can. I'm glad it works for you!

Oh, dear. I had this problem with Torchwood. Once the US version came into being, it was all over.

I watched the first episode, and then sort of forgot to care. Jack and Gwen were my least favourites of the team, and I never finished Children of Earth because it was too dark for my tastes, and I just never went back.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on August 28th, 2013 04:53 am (UTC)
I watched the first episode, and then sort of forgot to care. Jack and Gwen were my least favourites of the team

It really said something that I found Jack and Gwen to be the intruders on the show. I half wanted the American cast to continue investigating and for Jack and Gwen to just leave as they weren't really helping any situation.

I never made it to the end of the season. I read a synopsis of what happened and...it didn't help.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on August 28th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
I always felt like Barrowman would be a great actor if someone just sat him down and told him we could hear and see him fine and he could relax a little and not shout and gesture. I just felt like he overdid everything and ruined moments that would have been good. When he went quiet and solemn, he was great.

On the hand, Eve Myles is a lovely actress with a terrible character. I could never warm up to Gwen.

So, yeah, I didn't see much point in carrying on.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on August 28th, 2013 05:04 am (UTC)
I warmed up to Gwen by the end of Children of Earth. I felt like her character had truly grown from the way she was in season 1. Which is why I was so disappointed that she was more or less back to season 1 Gwen only harsher when the show moved across the pond.

My main issue with the move overseas was that with the huge influx of new characters, Gwen and Jack felt superfluous. Their knowledge that aliens existed wasn't all that helpful and with Jack becoming mortal again, he didn't even have that edge.
aelfgyfu_mead: Sherlock and Johnaelfgyfu_mead on August 28th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
Unexpectedly sweet! I had no idea where Q was going to look and was a bit surprised that Sherlock was at his flat; I also didn't understand why Sherlock had left the hospital.

When Sherlock explained, though, it made complete sense. And he knew that Q would be able to update him at least as fast as anyone at the hospital; he may have had the news while hospital staff were still walking to the waiting room.

I do enjoy seeing Sherlock and Q together.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on August 28th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
It seems rare that I write sweet stories so I'm glad this one worked out. (despite me injuring John again.) My solemn promise to him that next time he'll remain unscathed.