A film based on Daryl Toh’s Spectre brothers (Alex and the bara demon) who have to restore their father, Satan/Stan the Goat, to his rightful place as the ruler of Hell before their mother, who has seized control of the Inferno, literally induces hell on Earth
we need a fic wherein a mission finds bond shot or stabbed and he’s left bleeding in a london alley where danny finds him. danny is about to call an ambulance but bond hisses, “go away” or “it’s not safe” and danny wants to bloody help dammit, the man’s going to bleed to death. so he rummages through his bag and finds a plastic water bottle, not unlike the one alex gave him long ago, and he doesn’t think too much about it, just makes bond drink until bond tells him to leave.
bond barely makes it out alive, but he does. another day to die, etc. medical tells him he’s very lucky, he would have died of blood loss and dehydration if evac didn’t get to him on time. then he remembers the blasted water bottle the boy - because he must have been a boy, with that face - left him; when they bandage his wounds he starts wondering where the boy’s gone to, where he lives, what his name is, if he’s even alive at all.
this happens much later, two weeks into his leave. he needs caffeine, and he’s above drinking instant coffee, thanks. bond spots the boy in a cafe, hunched unassumingly over his laptop, earphones wired in. he thinks it might be a hallucination, or wishful thinking or maybe too much morphine so he exits immediately. but it goes on for days, the boy in the exact same spot, lost in his own little world. bond makes up his mind and sits across from him on a wednesday afternoon; the cafe is full enough that he’s got an excuse.
he recognises bond quickly and startled, he says, “you’re the man. from the alley.” bond can’t help but smile a tiny smile at that, even though his stitches are still throbbing. he picks up his coffee and says, “i’m going to go for a walk.”
they wade through westminster. the boy is wary, clutching his laptop bag like it has state secrets and bond huffs a laugh. “i’m not here to rob you.” “i know.” bond lights a cigarette, a conceit, and offers the boy one; it takes him a second to decline. “thank you for the water bottle,” he says finally, watching the smoke dissipate above them, and the boy looks up, too, less wary this time, but he looks tired when he says, “it’s just a water bottle.”
bond walks him to his apartment. run-down neighborhood, grimy walls and big dumpsters, but they have a charm to them that bond can’t quite pinpoint. belatedly, he says, “i didn’t interrupt you in the cafe, did i?” “no,” the boy says, a few inches away from bond, “i do work in my own time.” “freelance?” “something like that.” his keys jangle from his hand, and this might be the first time bond hesitates in the doorway, waiting to move like he might spook the boy. “i’m james,” he says. “i’m – edward. ed. to some.” bond knows in that space of breath that it’s not his real name, but he smiles nonetheless, wonders what exactly happened that this boy – edward – has been deprived of using his own name.
“good night, then.” “where do you live?” ed asks, the words whipped fast, like it was an impulse decision. bond is a bit surprised. “pimlico. why, do you plan to send me more watter bottles?” the boy smiles for the first time that day. “i was hoping we could get a pizza actually.” he looks older now, bond thinks, in this dilapidated flat and under the sodium light, and he wants to run a thumb over that furrow in his brow, over the crooked lips and even more crooked lines.
“yes,” bond agrees. and it sounds like a promise.
(AND THEN BOND FINDS OUT THAT HIS REAL NAME IS DANNY AND DANNY HAS BEEN STUDYING COMPUTERS AND WORKING WITH THEM FOR A WHILE NOW, AND DANNY REALISES THAT BOND WASN’T REALLY MUGGED LIKE HE CLAIMS, THAT HE ACTUALLY WORKS FOR MI6 AND BOND FINDS OUT ABOUT ALISTAIR TURNER, AND IDK MAN MAYBE THIS COULD BE A PRELUDE FOR DANNY BECOMING Q OR STH LIKE THAT (yah, i haven’t given up on that like i said))
it’s a popular theory/reading in the london spy fandom that the series takes place in the same verse as ian fleming’s 007, and that danny is in fact the person who will become bond’s quartermaster after studying alex’s research and being trained by claire at ucl.
but what if it’s the other way around?
what if the young q started flying too close to the sun, going rogue, going off-mission? what if he got caught taking risks with assignments too many times, so that the only left thing for m to do was to subject him to a fate similar to silva’s? but instead of turning q in, or killing him outright, his memory was partially erased, false memories of childhood, partying, and meeting scottie were implanted (his being kept alive probably the result of a compromise negotiated by bond, who felt to blame for q’s misbehaviour), and he was moved to another neighbourhood of the city so mi6 could keep track of him.
danny, the new q, feels his mind works too much. he is constantly running from his thoughts, like they’re bursting his brain. he tries to write them down but they come too fast, too inarticulate, every idea is eventually abandoned. he has the niggling feeling he used to know so much more, that he’s missing out on something big. he numbs it with drugs and clubs. the closest he comes to peace is social analysis, the gay scene of london becomes his stomping ground. he takes almost spiritual satisfaction from learning what makes every man tick, like breaking a code.
every person in danny’s life has only been there for a short period. when his parents visit under the guise of his father dying, their relationship seem cold and jaunty, like they are actors — because they are.
danny is abnormally intuitive, forward-thinking, and brave. he can lie under pressure, smoothly escape pursuers, and is able to withstand intense physical pain (sexual abuse, being stabbed with needles, swallowing metal canisters): all signs of secret services training. while seeming to lack the education, his emotional intelligence allows him to capably joust with people in social standings much superior to his own (frances, scottie, the interrogators), implying he has a unorthodoxly large capacity for verbal and visual information. he cracks the code for alex’s canister (the sequence of him recalling significant sequences of numbers before cracking it functioning as a window into the mind of his old self). he is able to recreate the business card of the escort service perfectly, weeks after seeing it, when he saw it for only a second or two.
what if scottie was never excommunicated from mi6, but was employed as a handler to keep an eye on q and make sure he settled comfortably into a life of mediocrity, with no contacts connected to his previous life? why did the relationship between danny and alex, a new mi6 code genius, go so blissfully smoothly for 8 months, only for alex to disappear days after meeting scottie for the first time? scottie could have been a veteran of q branch who knew alex as the shiny new prodigy of his department. scottie could have been killed by his employers for taking pity on danny after alex’s death and leaving him breadcrumbs to follow to figure out the truth, whilst they couldn’t kill danny himself because only he knew the whereabouts of alex’s canister (and, potentially, because of a promise m made to bond not to kill him).
while shaw was also probably affiliated with q branch, and knows what happened to danny, he loved alex like a son and cannot stop himself from blaming danny for his death, so would have never got close enough to him to tell him the truth. the only one who would have been prepared to do so was claire, and that was what she was implying when she told danny she would be waiting for him at ucl, when he was ready.
what if, when the true magnitude of alex’s research needs to be understood in the wake of his death, danny is the only one with the combined mental capacity and personal intuition to comprehend it? what if this ends with him being brought back to mi6 and being told the truth, perhaps even restoring the memories of his training?
as q returns to mi6 for the first time in years, he returns as a completely different man, who has experienced completely different atrocities, but with the vague but unshakeable sense that he has seen these faces, these walls, before, as if in a dream.
Justice League #40 (2015)
pencil by Kevin Maguire, Phil Jimenez, Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Scott Kolins, Jason Fabok, & Jim Lee
ink by Kevin maguire, Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway, Scott Kolins, & Scott Williams
color by Brad Anderson & Alex Sinclair