See the Master Post for Summary and Story information including warnings.
Chapter Four: Bond Brothers Reunited
Tony was standing in Q Branch preparing to oversee a mission one of his probie handlers would be leading for 005. Alec and his third probie a newly retired agent from MI5 named Harrison were nearby observing. The young blond had been injured in the field and unfortunately, there were lasting consequences that would prevent him from doing field work again. However, both Q and the Director of MI5 thought Harrison would make a perfect candidate for Tony’s new department.
Everything was still in the group stages of learning, and Tony thought there would be at least one more mission for each probie in the group before Tony felt comfortable in letting them try things on their own. The former NCIS agent had been part of MI6 for almost a month at that point and had been in London for almost two. Things were betting to slow down, and routines were beginning to be automatic instead of things Tony had to think of, for which he was grateful.
Alec applying for one of the new Handler positions was unexpected but something Tony was grateful for nonetheless, even if it did create a couple logistic headaches for the new process. As much as Tony had been willing to spend weeks and months without his partner while the agent was out on a mission, the new MI6 employee was glad that he didn’t have to. He was also glad that he’d never have to explain to TJ why Alec was never coming home because he’d gotten killed in another country while trying to save the world.
Fighting the impulse to turn and make sure that Alec was still standing somewhere behind him, Tony was about to tell Ursula that she could begin her mission with 005 when movement on the walkway above them to the left caught his attention. Distracted, he turned his head to see who had come into Q branch and immediately forgot how to breathe. After all this time, after nearly two months of waiting, his brother was finally there in person. As Tony watched, James strode along the path from the secured entrance to Q Branch to Q’s office with one hand in the pocket of his impeccably made suit pants and a grin on his face.
Tony wanted to call out. He wanted the older man to look over and see him. He wanted a lot of things, but for once he was frozen in place, and all he could do was watch his older brother as he slid into the office without so much as a knock. The glass door and walls turning white removed the MI6 agent from Tony’s sight and there was no force on earth that could have held in the wounded sound from escaping Tony’s lips.
James was back.
~*~~*~ ~*~~*~ ~*~~*~
Ashcroft heard the door to his office open and then immediately shut but didn’t look up. He didn’t need to smell the scent of the cologne that Bond loved to wear when he was at home to know his lover had finally returned. The second the man entered the building Q had known thanks to the alerts he’d set up whenever James passed through certain checkpoints, or his biometrics opened certain secured doors. It might be a tad bit stalkerish, but Ash had found that when it came to his sneaky lover, all really was fair in love and war.
Q had hoped that Tony and his probies would be neck deep in their mission with 005 before James entered Q branch. Ashcroft had considered warning his cousin or going out to meet James, but he was afraid of causing a public spectacle. In Q’s opinion, the last thing the Bond brothers needed was for their family reunion to happen in front of the mass of gossipy prats that made up Q’s minions.
So, instead, he’d waited for James to come to him, and hoped that there would be no hiccups. A quick glance through the glass walls that made up his office told Ashcroft that James’ entrance hadn’t gone unnoticed by his younger brother. With a sigh and a few keystrokes, Ashcroft enabled the security measures that would allow himself and James some privacy for the discussion that was about to take place. Ash trusted Alec to see to it that Tony was comforted and calmed down by the time that Q had finished filling in his boyfriend. So, pushing Tony from his mind for the moment, Ashcroft turned his attention to Bond and the discussion that needed to happen.
“I see that you’ve remembered where MI6 is,” Q started out dryly, ignoring James’ smirk of amusement, “how very kind of you, 007.”
“You know how it is, Q,” James began as he slid into a chair and made himself comfortable, “one must on occasion stop and smell the roses.”
“Hmm, I see,” Q returned as he took his glasses off to polish them quickly before slipping them back onto his face, “and this took nearly a bloody month?”
“Did it occur to you that possibly you were needed back here? I thought we agreed that you were no longer going to give into these bloody disappearing acts of yours?”
“What can I say?” James asked, smirk still firmly in place, “I was bored.”
“You know how boring I find those information-gathering missions,” James whined, and Q fought the urge to roll his eyes, “It’s your fault for not giving me something more exciting to do.”
Ashcroft narrowed his eyes but stayed silent until his ire was under control. Knowing what was coming, the last thing he wanted to do was to get into a fight with Bond and have the man storm off without finding out his missing brother had been located.
“We needed you,” Q observed calmly, “we needed you here in London, and because you decided to take a bloody holiday, we’ve had to wait nearly a month.”
“You must not have needed me too awfully badly, Q,” James pointed out, obviously not repentant in the least, “things are still standing.”
“You haven’t even blown up the place again. So, it would seem as if you managed without me.”
“The reasons you were needed were more personal and less MI6, James,” Q snapped before forcing himself to be calm again.
“What could you possibly need me for that is personal?” James asked confused, “is your mother alright?”
“Yes, she’s fine,” Q assured and knew he needed to just rip off the plaster, or band-aid as the Americans would say. “It wasn’t about me, James. Why have you never mentioned to me that you have a younger brother? It’s not in any of your files with us. The official or an unofficial one. I know because I verified it myself.” Ashcroft knew by the way James froze and his features practically turned to stone that he had about half a minute before his boyfriend either stormed out and disappeared again. “Did you know that Alec has been mostly seeing someone for about two years now?”
“What?” James snapped, shaking his head at the sudden subject change with a scowl on his face. “Q, how did you…”
“Please, James,” Ashcroft said softly as he stood and moved around the desk to perch in front of James where the older man would be within reach. “I am asking you not to take off and just hear me out. I would not bring up your brother without a very good reason. I know it seems like I’m jumping subjects, but I have a good reason. So, I ask again, did you know Alec has been seeing someone?”
The office was so quiet that Q could almost hear James’ teeth grinding together as his partner tried to decide what to do. There were a couple flares of pain and anger that flashed across the blond’s face quickly, but the fact that Q could see them all spoke to how shaken the older man was. When he finally spoke, it sounded as if the words were being dragged from him against his will.
“No, I was not aware that he’d been seeing someone. When the bloody hell as he had time to find himself a boyfriend?”
“Apparently, they met when Alec went on that holiday after he hurt his foot on that mission in Russia and had to take several months off. It seems the gentleman came here to London to see him some months later. They’ve mostly been communicating via email since then and put any relationship on hold because the other man is an American and at the time couldn’t leave his job. Nearly two months back, it seems he showed up at the flat that Alec uses when he’s going to be in London for a longer bit of time. Uncle George ordered Edward and me to go see Alec the next day and was quite mysterious about it. We were both quite surprised to find out that this mysterious boyfriend was actually our American cousin Anthony, my deceased Aunt Claire’s son. It seems that he got some unexpected news that shook him up, and he decided that some life changes were necessary. Amongst them was a commitment to a relationship with Alec. Needless to say, 006 is quite happy about the whole affair. Anthony has a son named TJ, who is quite the adorable child.”
“Q, what in the bloody hell does any of this have to do with…”
“My father apparently put directions in his estate to have a letter from Aunt Claire sent to Anthony upon father’s death,” Q barreled on knowing his time with James being patient was running out. “In it, she confessed that not only is Anthony not either her or that wrestle of a husband of hers’ son, but that she had adopted him after her best friend and the woman’s husband died. It seems that the couple actually had two children, but the husband didn’t want the older child because he felt he wouldn’t be moldable enough.”
“Q, stop,” James ordered as he stood and started to storm toward the door.
“He’s here in Q branch leading a mission!” Ashcroft blurted out causing James to freeze again. He ached to go and throw his arms around the man he loved. Ash couldn’t imagine what was going through Bond at the moment but thought it must be something like having all of your walls not just broken down but exploded violently. “You probably passed him on your way to my office. He’s taken a position here in Q branch and has already made a change as to whom we allow to handle the missions. He has a beautiful son that has your blond hair and blue eyes. Tony confessed he always assumed that the blue eyes were from the mother’s family. He said that when he was a small child, he had hair as light as TJ’s but didn’t know of any blue eyes in his family. He’s here, James. Your brother is here. He’s come back to you. James?”
All the answer Q got was to watch his lover turn and sink to the ground with his head in his hands and his back to the door. While Ashcroft couldn’t see his face, he wasn’t sure he needed to. What he could see spoke volumes enough.
~*~~*~ ~*~~*~ ~*~~*~
Tony was vaguely aware of Alec ordering Harrison and Ursula to work together on 005’s mission before the older man led them toward the office Tony had been given within the Q branch. The next thing the father found himself conscious of was sitting on the couch in his office with a bottle of water in his hands, and Alec kneeling in front of him looking concerned.
One of the first things Tony had done once gaining full access to MI6’s systems was to look up James so that he could see what his brother looked like. At first Tony was heartbroken to find out that he and James looked almost nothing alike. It was Alec who pointed out that while Tony didn’t look like James, TJ was nearly a mini-clone of Tony’s older brother, which made the former NCIS agent feel much better.
Tony had tried not to pester Q about how long James’ mission was going to last, but about a week after he started, Tony found himself pulled into his cousin’s office. There it was explained to him that his older brother had a habit of disappearing after missions and would eventually return. Unfortunately, they had no way of knowing when or where he was to contact him to come home sooner. Since then, Tony had been trying not to think too much about the whole situation or what he would do once James finally returned.
Because of it, Tony now found himself somewhat unprepared for the whole situation and panicking.
“What if he hates me?” Tony asked softly and looked up when he felt Alec wrap their hands together. “What if he doesn’t believe that I didn’t know? What if he doesn’t want to have anything to do with me? What if he’s mad that I took you out of the field? I don’t… What if he hates me, Alec? I’ve fucking never been enough for anyone. What if I’m not enough for him either?”
“You’re enough for me,” Alec pointed out softly as he began to rub his thumbs over Tony’s knuckles. “You’ve always been enough from me. Since the very first day, I met you. You’re enough for TJ. Even Edward and Ashcroft are fond of you and you’ve already won over a good chunk of the bloody minions and they’re prickly to anyone who isn’t Q. As for the rest…
“All he has to do is read the letters to know that you weren’t aware he didn’t know. I can’t imagine him not wanting to have anything to do with you. I know for a fact that James has always longed to have a family. He’s said as much enough when he’s too far into his cups. You didn’t take me from anything. You didn’t even offer me the position. M did because he knew I told him after I came back from the last mission that I wasn’t sure I could do it any longer. My original plan was to retire and come find you, but luckily you beat me to it. There’s no bloody way James will hate you. You’re amazing, and all he’s going to care about is that you’ve come back to him.”
“You were going to come to find me,” Tony said softly, his lips quirking into a half smile.
“I was,” Alec confirmed with a nod. “I can’t imagine what I’d do though in America with that joke of an excuse you people call football and the whole driving on the wrong side of the road. So, I am grateful that you beat me to it. I’m not sure I would have survived in that chaos.”
Tony snorted and leaned forward to capture Alec’s lips in a quick peck. “I need him to not hate me.”
“He isn’t going to hate you,” Alec repeated as moved to sit next to Tony on the couch and then pressed their foreheads together. “You have my word. I know James as well as anyone on the planet outside of Q maybe. He’s going to adore you and be horribly overprotective of both you and the Poppet. Just you wait and see.”
“I hope you’re right,” Tony murmured and squirmed until he was stretched out with his head on Alec’s shoulder as they waited for whatever was going on in Q’s office to be done.
~*~~*~ ~*~~*~ ~*~~*~
Coming out of his fog of panic and decades-old anguish, James lifted his head to see Q knelt down in front of him. “How certain are you, Q? Don’t say he’s back if you aren’t completely sure it’s him.”
“We ran DNA tests, James,” Q rushed on to assure. “In addition to the letter, which came from father’s lawyer, we ran DNA tests on you and Anthony, err Tony. He quite hates being called Anthony. He’s considering changing his name again to Tony Daniel Bond instead of Anthony Daniel Bond.”
“His, Daniel?” James started questioning feeling his heart pinch, and Q nodded frowning.
“Yes, he said that he has always just had a middle initial of D, but when he had his last name legally changed in America from DiNozzo to Bond he chose Daniel for his middle name since that is what Claire said his real middle name was.”
“It was,” James started, but had to stop to swallow the thick ball of emotion clogging his throat. “That was what Mother and Father named him. Daniel Philip Bond. He was named after father’s grandfather. He, you said that he has a son?”
Q nodded fast and getting up darted to his desk where he retrieved his phone before scurrying back. When Ashcroft thrust it in James’ hands, the MI6 agent found himself looking at a light brown-haired man that he vaguely remembered seeing in Q branch as he strolled through. With the man was a young boy who couldn’t be more than 3, who had blond curls and laughing blue eyes. The child looked so much like the pictures James had seen of himself at that age that it was a little hard to believe. “Jesus, he looks nearly exactly like me. The boy that is. The child looks almost exactly as I did at that age.”
Q hummed as he slid to press against James’ side, and automatically the 00 put his arm around the younger man’s shoulders. “There are several pictures in there of them if you want to look at some more,” Q prompted, and James quickly took him up on it pausing only when he got to a picture of Tony alone standing at the windows in Alec’s flat looking quiet and contemplative. James imagined that he must have a whole world’s worth of thoughts rushing through his mind. Heaven knows he had seen the expression on his own face in the mirror enough times to recognize it.
“He looks like mother’s father,” James pointed out staring at the picture of Tony, making the image bigger until his younger brother’s face filled the screen. “Or at least what I remember from pictures. I think that Kinkade has some albums at Skyfall we’ll have to look at. Did you say that the woman who adopted him died? What about the husband?”
“Hmm, yes, Aunt Claire died just after I was born,” Ashcroft confirmed and frowned thinking about Anthony Senior. “Unfortunately, that scoundrel of a father of his is still alive, although I can assure you that he will not remain free much longer if I have any say over the matter.”
“Do I want to know?” James asked amused as he felt himself relaxing.
“Probably not just yet,” Q warned frankly with a shrug, “just know that I am on top of the matter as always, and I will let you know when you can enact your revenge.”
“You’re a bloodthirsty boffin,” James murmured happily as he pressed his lips into the younger man’s hair. “Did I see Alec in Q branch? I would have thought they’d have him out on a mission by now.”
“Alec has accepted a new position within MI6, and you will not give him grief about it, James,” Ashcroft warned, and James quirked an eyebrow at him in question.
“Oh, won’t I?”
“Not if you ever want to receive a working gun, 007,” Q warned, very much the quartermaster again, even though the two of them were still snuggled up together on the floor. “Alec us happier than I believe I have ever seen him. M himself offered Alec the position, and 006 had already told him weeks earlier, before Tony was even in London, that he wasn’t sure he wanted to continue field work.”
“He’s been making noise about it,” James admitted frowning, “I didn’t think he was serious about it though.”
“He’ll still retain his 00 status, just in case we need him on occasion,” Q admitted pulling away slightly, and James turned to look at the younger man. “He really wants this, James. He’s very attached to Tony and TJ. So much so that I don’t know how none of us realized there was something going on. Even Edward says he had no idea.”
“If he’s serious about it then he won’t get any grief from me,” James promised sincerely. “Alec deserves to be happy. Don’t expect me to rush headlong into retirement though. I would go out of my bloody mind with boredom.”
“Hmm, quite,” Ashcroft acknowledged as he stood up. “What say you we go to Anth… Tony’s office? I am sure that Alec has taken him in there by now. Hopefully, the two of them aren’t bloody shagging on the couch.”
James snickered at the thought and stood to follow Q out of the office. It seemed that James and his little brother had at least one thing in common and couldn’t resist a glance back at the desk that James had shagged Q across on more than one occasion. Office liaisons were possibly one of James’ favorite things ever. It was nice to know that he and his brother would have things in common.
~*~~*~ ~*~~*~ ~*~~*~
When the door to his office opened, Tony immediately stood. When he saw James standing behind Ashcroft though he froze as he watched his cousin and boss enter with his brother following closely behind. Thankfully, like Ashcroft’s office, Tony’s was quite spacious, but unlike Ash’s its walls were not glass, as he had several monitors covering them so that he could follow whatever missions were going on at the moment. The last thing he wanted was for this moment to be observed by all of Q Branch.
Rarely in his life had Tony been at a loss for words, but as he watched his older brother, Tony had no idea what to say or do at that moment. Fortunately, it seemed James knew exactly what to do. Because after muttering a soft, “fuck me,” the blond stepped around Q and quickly pulled Tony into his arms.
“It’s really you,” James murmured, and Tony nodded as he squeezed his eyes shut tight enough that he could see stars in the blackness.
“James,” he shoved out with difficulty as his hands clenched the back of James’ suit coat.
“All I’ve ever wanted was to have you back,” James growled into Tony’s ear and the younger man shuddered. “But they hid you, and I couldn’t find out who took you. The records were just gone, and I didn’t know where to look. Figures Alec would find you first, the bastard.”
Tony let out a surprised bark of laughter through the tears that he was not admitting t. “Yeah, that’s totally an Alec move.”
“Hey!” The man in question protected with a quickly followed sound of oof.
“Do hush, 006. Can you not see they are having a moment?” Q offered and Tony snickered again but tightened his arms around James when the older man went to pull back.
“Not yet,” Tony whispered softly and thickly as he closed his eyes again. “I’m not ready yet. Can we just… Can I just have a few more minutes? Even though I just recently found out about you, it feels like I’ve been waiting to get you back since the second they tore us apart.”
In lieu of speaking, James just released a shaky breath and settled back into the hug. Eventually, though, the two men pulled apart and spent a few minutes just looking at each other. “I don’t know what to say first,” Tony admitted reluctantly. “I feel like I have a million things to tell you and a million questions I want to ask, but I don’t know where to start first. Are you done here? Can we go back to Alec’s apartment?”
“I am,” James admitted as his eyes shifted briefly to Q. “I have more debriefing to do tomorrow, but for the moment I am done. I was hoping to steal Q away, but that was before I found out you’d come back. Are you… Can you go? I think Q said something about a mission?”
Tony swore and turned to look at Q who seemed unconcerned. “I believe that Harrison and Ursula will be just fine. I am happy to oversee things. I cannot leave at the moment, but I can do what I need to from the floor so that I can monitor their mission. We knew that you would need some time off when James returned and have prepared for this. Tomorrow I will have 002 come in and work with them until you return.”
Tony let loose a sigh of relief and flashed a weak smile at his cousin. “Thanks, Ash. I guess I’m yours then, James. I guess I should have asked if you’d prefer your place over Alec’s? I know you haven’t been there in a bit. TJ and Isla are at the apartment, but I’m sure they’d come to your place or wait if you aren’t ready or…”
“Tony, it’s fine,” James offered, looking amused by his brother’s nervous rambling. “I usually spend more time at Alec’s apartments than I do my own anyway. I would love to meet your son. I honestly don’t care where it is as long as you and I are there together.”
Tony took a calming breath and offered a smile as he ran a nervous hand over the back of his neck. He’d had a month to think about this moment, and yet, now that it was here, he had no clue what to do next.
“Well, let’s go, shall we?” Alec prompted and when Tony felt the touch of his partner on his back, he offered the Brit a grateful smile. Happy to let himself be led and prodded out, Tony left Q Branch with a wave to his Probies knowing Q would explain things and spent the drive to the apartment trying to calm his chaotic mind.
Later that same day, Tony sat on the couch in the apartment living room with James as they watched Alec play cars on the carpet with TJ. “They seem to have connected quickly,” James offered quietly, and Tony turned his attention back to his brother. It was still a little hard to believe that the older man was really there.
“Yeah, I’m grateful that Alec has taken to TJ so fast and TJ to Alec. TJ was one of the reasons why Alec decided to take the Handler position when it opened. He said the last thing he wanted to have something happen to him in the field and he have to explain it to TJ or to have something happen that puts TJ in danger because of his work. It means a lot to me that Alec is taking this whole parenting thing so seriously.”
“Well, he would be an expert on such things,” James pointed out thoughtfully, “his parents and the Paddingtons in some ways did as much for him when he was adopted. I know that he is incredibly thankful and grateful to them. He’s aware that his life could have been much different had he not had their love and attention as a child. He’s a beautiful boy, Tony. We will have to go to Skyfall so that I can show you the albums. He’s got a bit of father in him, I think.”
“I would like that,” Tony admitted easily. “I will have to go see the Paddington’s at some point, but I want us to be on a firmer ground first. I don’t know what is going to happen there, and I want to make sure you know that I am your brother first.”
“I am not worried about the Paddingtons,” James admitted honestly, and Tony lifted an eyebrow surprised. He’d let his brother read the letters from Claire and Clive’s lawyer, and expected James to hold some anger toward the family. “It seems that the ones who are responsible for separating us or keeping us apart are dead. Well except for your adopted father. I know enough of the Paddingtons through Edward to know that they are mostly good people. I don’t wish to start a war with my friend’s family because of the actions of people who are no longer with us. I have you back now, and there’s nothing they can do that will keep us apart any longer. So, that’s all I care about.
“You are here. Soon we’ll all be at Skyfall and we’ll be even more isolated from them until you are ready to see them. And when you are, we’ll do so as a family so that they know they will never be able to come between us again. I wage wars for a living. I have no interest in doing it in my personal life, especially when it isn’t really warranted. What I want now is to show you our home and our parents’ graves. I want to show TJ the highlands and introduce him to Kincade. I want time for us to be a family. I know you’ll want Alec there, and I am fine with that. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and he is more my brother than my friend. So, having him there feels right. Isla is TJ’s nanny, and I have no interest in separating the two of them when they’re just forming a bond. She could be responsible for his safety someday, and I would like a chance to make sure she is up to the task for myself. Someday Skyfall will be the boy’s and I want him to understand the importance and the history of the place. More than all of that though, I just want time with you in the safety of our home where you belong. I want to take you home, brother.”
“I’d like that,” Tony admitted softly and reached out to place a hand on James’ shoulder. There were still a million things he wanted to ask and a million more he wanted to know, but they had time now. As James pointed out, not the Paddingtons or anyone else could separate the Bond brothers again.
And, maybe, finally, at Skyfall Tony would find the place that is home.
End Note: I write fanfiction for fun. It’s a hobby and a stress relief. I refuse to stress over my writing. What you see is what you get. Errors, plot holes, and all. Thank you for reading my story!
Go to the Master Post
Go to the Epilogue