CHARACTERS: James Bond, Eve Moneypenny
CATEGORY: Gen (AU)
WARNING: Mild spoiler for early in the beginning of the movie.
SUMMARY: Moneypenny owes James. A lot.
NOTES: I’ve had this fic in my head since I saw the movie. Life often gets in the way of writing fic. I finally was able to finish this.
“Agent down. I’m going after him.” She can hear M and Tanner in her ear, yelling at her to stop, asking what the bloody hell she thinks she’s doing. She shot 007. This is not how he’s supposed to go.
The prayer she sends up as she sails through the air isn’t over by the time she hits the water.
There isn’t anyone at MI6 that doesn’t know James has more lives than a cat. All the agents do. Like God bestowed upon them extras. Some locals by the river see him fall and decide to see if they could save him.
She watches as they drag him out of the rush of water. She finds out later about the waterfall.
The Medevac comes ten minutes later.
“You’re up,” she says, surprise coloring her words. No one told her. And they should have. She’s been coming by for days, sometimes spending her time curled up in the armchair waiting. He looks like he’s been up for awhile. He’s been in the hospital for about a week, most of it in a medically induced coma.
“That I am,” he says, smiling at her like she’s not the reason he’s in this place. He has to have been up awhile. His voice is nearly normal, just traces of nonuse around the edges.
She smiles back, equal parts embarrassed, happy, guilty beyond belief. “I’m sorry.” She’s still standing at the foot of his bed, coat and purse in her hands.
“Apology accepted. I heard you came in after me.”
“I had to do something. I owe you.”
“That you do.” In those three little words she knows how he’s been able to get into the knickers of women around the world. She thinks she should be a little insulted, if he really meant it the way it sounds. All she feels is gratitude.
Two days later she visits and he’s smiling much too broad for someone in his position. He does look good. His skin no longer ghostly white, the pink edges of his eyes are not so stark in his face. She remembers how he looked once out of the water, how ghostly pale was an improvement.
“Good news?” She drapes her coat over the back of the chair, makes to sit down in it.
He pats a spot on his bed. “For me, yes. For you? I don’t know.”
“For me?” she says as she sits next to him.
He folds his hands in his lap and looks her straight in the eye. “They won’t allow me to leave without someone looking after me full time, at least for a few days.”
She asks the question even knowing the answer. “What does that have to do with me?”
“I volunteered you for the job.” There’s that smile again.
“What? You hardly know me?” They’d just met a few hours before he and Ronson were to recover the drive. It was a twenty minutes spent in each other’s company going over what was to happen. “And I have a job.”
She shouldn’t be surprised that he knows that. She knows she’s not the only one to have visited.
“You can’t be bloody serious!”
“You owe me.”
That shuts down any further argument she would’ve made. She stands and gathers up her coat. “When do I start?”
“Tomorrow. Eight am.”
She’s at his room by 7:30. He sits on the edge of the bed, partially dressed in a dark blue jogging suit. His nurse, Beth, stands in front of him tending to his dressing.
“Eager, are we?” He smirks, she presumes for he’s facing away from her.
“To get this over with? Yes.” She’s proud that it comes out as sharp as she meant. She’s truly sorry for what she did but playing nurse seems a bit much. Especially if it’s just to get into her pants.
MI6 sends a car for him of course. The drive is quiet, him on one side and her on the other. Inside his flat, he tells her where she’ll be staying and then goes off to his room. He seems fine, not asking for her help into room, just leaves her staring after him. She tells herself it’s only going to be a few days.
The flat is as she imagined. A cliché. Clean lines. Minimalist. Black, white and gray. Not a speck of dust as if someone cleans it every week. She thinks it’ll be like staying at a really nice hotel except she won’t be getting too comfortable.
She goes to check on him a few times. He’d gotten a clean bill of health. A part of her though thinks it’ll be just like him to die when she’s supposed to be taking care of him. Some fluke like her missing the shot and nearly killing him. It doesn’t make sense but she thinks it anyway every time she checks his breathing.
The third time she checks on him, he wakes up as she rests her hand over his heart. She pulls it away, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Making sure you’re still alive. You’ve been sleeping for nearly the whole day.”
“Bloody hospitals don’t let you bloody sleep.” He doesn’t make a move to sit up or anything. “Always checking on something.”
“Would like some take away?”
“Yes. Indian. Curry from the Ankur’s.”
Outside his bedroom door, she can hear him hiss, a sharp sound in the quiet. She wonders what she’s here for he’s not going to ask for help.
Dinner is on the patio because his view is gorgeous and should be enjoyed much more than he does. She talks the most, telling him what’s going on at the office. His face stays mostly neutral as if he doesn’t really care one way or other. The only real emotion is a hard twist of his lips when M is mentioned. She can tell just by that that he’s angry. He knows why she shot him, who made the call. She wonders if she would be angry, too. They’re agents. Two of many. Expendable when one gets right down to it.
“I’m going to take a proper bath. A sponge bath isn’t as exciting as it sounds.”
“Not the stuff of male fantasies, then?”
“Perhaps if you had been the one giving it.” From anyone else, it’d sound like a to-be-ignored pickup line. On anyone else, his look would be a leer,
She runs the water in the tub then helps him remove his shirt. This close she can really see some scars, smell the hospital grade soap covering what he really smells like.
“Will that be all?”
“Eve,” he calls about fifteen minutes later. She sticks her head into the room. “My hair.”
She had wrapped plastic over his bandage to be safe. She still drapes a towel over his shoulder to cover the bandage. Again, it’ll be her luck he gets an infection because she let it get wet. Eve kneels next to the tub, conscious of the placement of her chest in relation to his face. Her outfit is a modest one. Jeans, nicely fitted blouse unbuttoned just enough to show off the cross she wears, that keeps her safe, and trainers. She pours cupfuls of water to wet his hair then rubs in the shampoo. He moans then catches himself. She smiles, remembering what it felt like when her mom used to wash her hair. Till this day, it’s her favorite part of getting her hair done. He doesn’t moan again, doesn’t say anything at all. She doesn’t try to fill the silence.
When she’s done, she asks, “Would you like a shave?”
“Some other time.”
“Need any help getting out?”
“No.” His doesn’t look at her, just keeps staring ahead at the white tile.
For some reason, she can’t help but be annoyed. Even a bit worried.
He’s not up when she checks on him the next morning. He’s got one leg out from under the sheet, which barely covers his groin. She wouldn’t have guessed he sleeps naked. She doesn’t. For one, takes too much time to put something on if someone were to attack her in the night. And for two, mum’s teachings are harder to let go of then one thinks.
She takes the sheet and covers him up more. She wonders how many people know what she’s doing, who’ll ask her to spill secrets about the James Bond. They’re all probably wondering how long did it take before she slept with him. If anyone dared to ask, she doesn’t know if that’s saying something bad about her or something good about him. She really hopes no one but M and the doctors know about this.
The morning of the fourth day he’s up before her, already dressed sitting at his table, all glass and steel. He’s wearing gray, a light version of the tone, from head to foot except for the shirt, it crisp and white. The suit fits perfectly, as all of his do.
He eyes her over his cup of coffee, sips it as she enters the room and asks, “What are you dressed for?”
“Back to work.”
“You don’t get to make that decision.”
She goes into the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee, calls out, “It’s only been three weeks James.” He doesn’t respond. When she comes back out, she asks, “You think the doctors will say you can return?”
“I don’t care about the doctors.”
“My own personal Florence Nightingale.”
The smile he sends her way is the same way he gave her in the hospital, when she found out what she was going to have to do. “I see now.” She understands now what this was all about. “James Bond. What do the Americans say, the man with the plan.”
She’s not convinced her words will have any sway. Not even as she says them to M, her voice not giving away any of the uncertainty she feels. James knows M better than she does. She’s also pretty sure M doesn’t appreciate Eve disobeying an order.
“Is that all?” M asks, when Eve hasn’t said anything for at least a minute. She has the tone of Eve’s mother, that get on with it if you have anything else to say tone.
“Yes, mum.” Eve nods then, then turns to leave, not waiting to be dismissed. Outside M’s office, she lets out a harsh breath. James isn’t waiting like she expected.
In the end, James does go back to work. Silva saw to that.