No Present Like The Time
Fandom: James Bond
Pairing: James Bond/Olivia Mansfield
Characters: James Bond, Olivia Mansfield
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Bond franchise.
Summary: James and M thought they had all the time in the world to reach for love believing they would always have tomorrow, but when tomorrow doesn’t come, all they have left is loss and regret.
Notes: A little idea if it was Craig’s Bond in Die Another Day. The idea wouldn’t leave me, until it was written. It was originally only meant to be a 100 word drabble, but my muse had other ideas. The title is a quote from The second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
No Present Like The Time
M felt the ground shake as Graves weapon Icarus was activated. She looked over at Tanner and ordered him to contact Q to see if he could shut it down.
The area around her was chaotic. She saw James fighting Graves on what appeared to be a fight to the death. The computer’s behind her exploded, causing sparks to erupt from the monitors. M knew they had only minutes before the device reached the De-Militarized Zone.
Pulling out the gun, James had given her earlier; she shot at the control panel hoping it would deactivate the device. When the shaking stopped, she breathed out a sigh of relief. Looking over at Tanner, she smiled seeing the same relieved look on his face, which quickly turns into panic.
“M!” he screamed out in warning, but it was too late.
He could only watch as M began to turn and the blade entered her abdomen. He blue eyes widened in pain and shock, as her attacker twisted the knife, then roughly pulled it out. The gun fell from M’s hand as she sank to her knees; her hands covering the wound as her body collapsed to the floor.
Tanner eyes found Frost’s who was holding the blood-stained blade and was now looking down at M with a triumphant smile. He saw her attention turn to him, causing him to take a step back, as she approached him with murderous intent.
He looked around frantically for a weapon when a single gunshot rang out. Tanner turned, to see James standing behind him, with his gun raised. He glanced towards Frost, seeing her dead body lying on the floor, with a bullet to the heart.
James lowered the gun, and ran over to M, dropping to his knees beside her. He felt her blood soak his trousers, but he didn’t care. He gently removed M’s hands from her abdomen and ripped open her blouse, his face paling when he saw the extent of the damage. James pressed down hard on the wound, causing M’s body to arch up, as she gasped in pain.
“Tanner, get a bloody medical team in here!”
“James… how bad?” M rasped blood flecking her lips, as she tried to keep her eyes open.
“Shh, don’t speak. You’ll be fine. Helps on the way, M. I need you to hold on a bit longer.” He pleaded staring into her eyes.
“I know, but I need you to stay awake. You can’t leave me.” He whispered. “Please, don’t leave me.”
“I never… did apologise…”
“You can tell me later.” He said wishing the medics would hurry up and arrive. “Besides, you were right not to trust me. I couldn’t even protect you.”
“You did your duty.” M choked gasping for breath, “and you… kept your promise.”
James blinked back his tears feeling her breathing slow, knowing he was losing her.
“What promise?” he asked hearing his voice break.
“You never left me.”
“And I never will.” He whispered brokenly.
A faint smile crossed M’s face, at hearing his declaration. She felt her body grow cold, and the pain start to fade causing a sense of peace wash over her. She knew it was time to let go.
With those final words, James noticed that her breathing had stopped and her eyes had closed. He could feel his tears flow freely down his face, but he didn’t care. Lifting M’s limp and lifeless body, he cradled her in his arms and pressed a kiss to her forehead.
“Goodbye, M,” he said in a broken whisper, burying his head into her neck to muffle his cries.
He had no idea how long he had passed when he heard the sound of hurried footsteps enter the room. Lifting his head, James saw Tanner had finally returned with the medical team.
“You’re too late; she’s gone.” He told them, seeing Tanner’s devastated look as if the other man didn’t want to believe it.
He looked back down at M’s dead body, knowing he was partly to blame. He should have protected her better; perhaps if he had, she would still be alive. No matter what M had said, it was all his fault, and he would never forgive himself.
“Well, that was an outcome I wasn’t expecting 007.”
James jumped in surprise and looked up to see Q crouching down next to him, his hands reaching out towards his face, seeing the room he was in disappear. He blinked a few times, realising he was back in Q’s lab. He let the older man remove the virtual reality glasses, feeling the wetness still on his face caused by his tears from when he had cried over M’s body.
“Are you alright, 007?” Q asked his blue eyes showing concern.
“I’m fine.” He denied turning away from the quartermaster to wipe the remaining tears form his eyes. “Where’s M?”
“In her office, I believe.”
James gave his thanks to Q and nearly ran from the room in his haste to see her. He didn’t know why the training exercise had shown that particular scenario since M wasn’t even with him when Icarus was activated. She had been in the underground bunker at the time.
Out of all the woman he had lost over the years, her ‘death’ seemed to hurt him the most, almost as if she had taken a piece of him with her. He just needed to see and reassure himself that she was alive. He couldn’t imagine living each day without seeing the older woman on a daily basis. As much as it hurt when she had told him she didn’t know if she could trust him when he was released from his imprisonment, thinking he had been compromised, he never could hate her. Sure, they had their disagreements, but it had always been a part of their relationship dynamic. It was probably one of the reasons that many political officials often questioned the nature of their relationship believing there was more to him and M than meets the eye.
They were deluded to think M would even think about starting a relationship with one of her agents and display it so openly. She had always been a professional keeping her working and private life separate. If people thought there was something more profound and more meaningful between them, that was their problem.
James finally reached the corridor to M’s office, noticing Moneypenny wasn’t at her desk; for which he was silently relieved, he didn’t want to explain what had made him on edge. As he stood outside M’s office door, he tried to compose himself, before knocking twice, hearing her voice telling him to enter.
Opening the door, he walked into her office to see a very much alive M sitting behind her desk, a pile of folders in front of her, but her eyes were focused entirely on him.
“Are you alright, 007?” M asked her eyes softening at seeing the dry tear tracks on his face.
“I’m fine, M. Just one of those days.” He said giving her a charming smile, taking a seat in front of her desk.
M’s eyes narrowed not believing a word of it. When he didn’t elaborate further, she inwardly sighed, pushed her chair back from her desk and stood up.
“I think a drink is in order,” M said picking up two glasses and pouring a generous amount of scotch into each glass.
“After tonight, I think I need it.”
“So, are you going to tell me what’s on your mind, James.” She asked handing him one of the semi-filled glasses.
“It’s nothing important.” He replied taking a swift drink.
M retook her seat and studied him intently. “I wasn’t born yesterday, James. I know when something is troubling you. I thought we were past keeping secrets from each other?”
“We are, but as I say it’s nothing to concern yourself with.”
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with Q’s training exercise, would it?”
James closed his eyes, “Let me guess, Q called and told you the details?”
“In a matter of speaking. Q merely told me that the scenario had a lasting impact on you. So, care to tell me what happened in this scenario for you to run out of Q branch and come straight to my office?”
“You died, and I couldn’t save you. I blamed myself for causing your death.”
M placed her glass on the table, “James, it wasn’t real. The chances of me being killed out in the field are slim. And even if I were to die by a bullet, it wouldn’t be your fault, and I certainly wouldn’t blame you. You would have done your duty. I know the risks of the job, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be here.”
James opened his eyes, seeing the truth in M’s eyes. “I just hope I never find myself in a situation like that simulation; I don’t think I would be able to cope with a real-life scenario.”
M stood up, walked around her desk and sat on the chair next to James, taking one of his hands in her own. “We don’t know what the future will bring, but there is no point dwelling on what if’s, James. Let’s just concentrate on the here and now, anything else we will deal with it when the time comes.”
He brought her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. “You always are the voice of reason in our relationship.”
“One of us has to be, James.” She smiled fondly. “Now, why don’t we call it a night and head home. If you’re good, perhaps I’ll show you how alive I am.”
“With an offer like that how could I refuse,” James replied smiling at the prospect. “I do love you, M.”
“I know you do, James, and I never tire of hearing it. But if you tell me that in my office again, I’ll withhold sex for a month.”
“Try me? Besides we agreed not to broadcast our relationship at work, anyone could overhear. It’s already a dangerous game we’re playing.” Olivia reminded him, standing up to gather her things.
“I know, but after tonight, I just had to let you know.”
M nodded in understanding, “Yes, I gathered, which is why I’m letting it slide.” She said picking up her bag and coat. “Now, are you ready to go. You can tell me you love me as much as you like when we get home.”
“Oh, I intend to,” James said standing up, as they both walked towards the exit of M’s office.
“By the way James, just for the record. I love you too.” M said softly, causing James to smile.
He knew he would lose M one day, but until such a time came, he would heed her advice and live in the moment because there Is no present like the time.