A Twist Of Fate [1/?]
Fandom: James Bond
Pairing: James Bond/Olivia Mansfield
Characters: James Bond, Olivia Mansfield
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Bond franchise.
Summary: Everyone is destined to die at some point in their life, but for James Bond, losing M was too soon. When Tanner arrives at Skyfall’s chapel with reinforcements, he is greeted by the sight of Bond cradling a lifeless M in his arms. When Bond refuses to let her go, Tanner decides to use force. However, when James regains consciousness, he realises that not everything is as it seems.
James felt his world stop as M started to collapse towards the cold, concrete chapel floor. Rushing to her side, he held her in his arms and lowered them both to the ground. He felt panic wash over him when he saw her coat and hands painted red with her blood. She had been shot, and he didn’t even realise it.
He looked over at Kincade who looked at him with sadness, as he took off his bonnet, not knowing what to say. It was obvious from the older man’s face that he knew she had been shot. James looked back down at M, whose breaths were now coming out in short rasps as she tried to get precious air into her body. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. She was supposed to live. He had sworn to protect her and he had failed.
Putting pressure on the wound, he tried to stop the bleeding, but it was no use.
“I guess… it’s too late to make a run for it?” She stared up at him through pain filled eyes.
“I’m game if you are, he whispered, feeling his heart break that the woman who had stood by his side all these years was now dying in his arms.
“Well… I did get one thing right.”
James heard her exhale her last breath as her lifeless blue eyes stared back at him.
Letting his tears fall, he reached up his hand and closed her eyes, and leaned down, pressing a soft kiss to her cooling forehead, pleading for her to come back.
“She’s gone, son.”
Kincade’s words were the final nail in the coffin and he had to face the harsh truth that she wouldn’t be coming back, no matter how much he wanted her to. She looked serene as if she were just asleep after a long day at the office. He didn’t know how he would be able to go on after this, without seeing her day in and out, as she reprimanded him for his inability to follow orders. The one woman who had always been there for him was now gone, and he was alone.
He never even got the chance to tell her how he felt. Now she would never know. It seemed everyone he tried to protect always ended up dead in the end. She only went along with this plan because he suggested that they use her as bait. Now look where that got him. Perhaps she was right in that hotel room in Bolivia. He had disregarded her words, but now they came to haunt him.
“Look how well your charm works, James. They’ll do anything for you, won’t they?”
“I’m sorry, M.”
She had trusted him, but it seemed her trust had been misplaced. He didn’t deserve to hear those precious few words slip from her lips with her dying breath. Even though he had managed to take care of the threat, the cost of his victory was too high.
The faint sound of choppers in the distance caused him to hold her closer to his body. He wasn’t ready to let her go just yet. He could already hear the accusations from Tanner and the other personnel at six about how he had failed in his duty to protect her. But, their accusations would be nothing compared to how much he blamed himself.
He should have disregarded M’s orders about it being just the two of them, and instead called Tanner to have reinforcements ready. Perhaps if he had, then the outcome may have been quite different and he wouldn’t be kneeling on the chapel’s cold floor with the woman he loved dead in his arms.
“We need to leave.”
James caressed M’s cold cheek, trying to memorise every last detail of her into his memory.
“I’m staying,” James said never taking his eyes of M.
“I don’t think that’s wise lad.”
“I’m not leaving her.” he tore his eyes away from M’s body and looked over at Kincade. “You had best go. I would rather you didn’t get caught up in this mess more than what you already have done.”
“Think about this for a second lad…”
“For once listen to me, Kincade and just go. I’ll contact you in a few days.”
“You always were too bloody stubborn for your own good.”
“So, I’ve always been told.” he replied seeing the man’s hesitancy in leaving him.
The choppers were getting louder and he only had a few more minutes to try and get Kincade to leave.
“Go”, he repeated before turning to look back down at M.
James could hear Kincade’s footsteps start to echo around the chapel, before feeling a comforting hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry son, she was a fine and brave woman.”
“She was.” he agreed with a sad smile feeling the hand leave his shoulder.
James heard Kincade’s footsteps grow fainter until it was just the two of them left alone in the chapel. The moment was broken a few minutes later when the sound agent’s voices filled the area.
James closed his eyes at hearing the hesitancy in Tanner’s voice. He never expected the man to come, but then again he had worked with M for years, so it was hardly surprising that he would be one of the people who wanted to make sure she was all right. It made it all that more difficult for him to look the man in the eye only to see the accusation and anger directed towards himself for getting her killed.
“She’s gone, Tanner.”
Tanner kneeled down next to him, feeling his own tears prickling in his eyes as he stared at her unmoving body.
“It’s not your fault, Bond…”
“I brought her out here, thinking the two of us could handle it,” James told him spitefully as he looked the other man in the eyes. “And it only went and got her killed.”
“She knew the rules of the game, and I doubt she would hold you accountable for her death.”
“She should have. You know what she told me before she died, ‘I did get one thing right.’ I don’t know whether to interpret that as a good sign, or the fact she had been right about me being reckless and irrational.”
Tanner didn’t know what words of comfort he could give the broken man next to him. He has never seen Bond like this before in all his time in the service. Even when Vesper died, he had shown little emotion. But it didn’t take a genius to know there was something more to his relationship with M. You would be a fool to miss it.
“Truthfully, that’s up to you how you interpret her words, Bond. However, if it were me, I would take it as a good sign. She trusted you. Even when she had her doubts, on some level she still knew she could trust you to get the job done. No matter what sacrifices had to be made, she knew she could always count on you until the end.”
“That doesn’t make it any easier, Tanner.” he focused his attention back on M trying to hide the fresh set of tears that started to fill his eyes once more.
“You loved her, didn’t you?” Tanner asked him softly, as he saw Bond’s shoulders shake, no doubt trying to muffle his sobs.
It was all the confirmation he needed, even if he had suspected it for months.
“Sir, we’re going to have to move her body.”
Tanner looked up at the agent, seeing the medical personnel standing behind him, waiting to put M’s body in the standard black body bag. He had to fight back his own tears at the thought of her lying in one before she would later be placed in the morgue drawer until her burial.
If the agent heard his voice break, he didn’t mention it. It was a sad day for everyone at SIS. They may not have seen eye to eye with her on certain matters, but they looked after their own and M had stood up for each of them on more than one occasion over the years.
“Bond, you’re going to have to let her go,” Tanner tried to coax the agent to let go of her body, only to see him hold her tighter.
“She didn’t deserve this, Tanner and she doesn’t deserve to be put in a damn body bag either!”
“I know, Bond. She will be well looked after, but you have to let her go.”
“And if I don’t?” Bond challenged.
“Then I’m sorry I have to do this, Bond.”
He was about to ask what he meant when he felt a sharp pain in the side of his neck. He felt his vision start to blur and his body become sluggish as he thought to keep his eyes open. James looked over at Tanner with betrayal as he tightened his hold on M’s dead body.
Fighting to keep his eyes open, he felt his grip on M weaken as his body started to slump forward. With his last remaining strength, he could just make out M’s peaceful face through his darkening vision before everything went dark.