pub AU! i know normally is “café AU”, but, seriously -that’s too cliché, even for me. so.
James Bond is the owner of a irish pub that mainly lives on regular costumers. lately, however, the most unusual computer geek comes in, plugs in his laptop and works himself through the night helped by a couple of quality beers… — fridatwin
Fuck yes. Jen.
It had to be said, Bond couldn’t fault the boy’s choice of beer; he came in, asked for a pint, sat himself down and began generally working his way through the finest of Bond’s collection.
True, his taste in ale was a little dodgier, but Bond could forgive him; he was quiet and he was unassuming, and was something of a regular. They exchanged light talk and laughs from time to time – Bond enquired about work, the boy did the same, they managed to move on from weather into the realms of personal lives – and it was nice, it was companionable.
‘Q’ refused to tell Bond his real name, but promised it was due to embarrassment rather than caginess. “I’d happily tell you my home address and entry passwords to every single electrical item I possess before giving you my full first name,” he laughed at one stage, and Bond snorted back and wished him a good evening; Q nodded, eyes a bright and sparkling green, and installed himself in his favourite corner booth.
Over the evening, Q would have two or three drinks. He would start off with a lager, then either a second or an ale. Bond had no idea why, but accepted it as just a little quirk that did nobody any harm.
“On the house,” he said lightly at one stage, as Q came back for his ale.
Q’s smile had been near-enough blinding.
One week, Q simply didn’t show.
The next week, he managed near-enough no conversation. He didn’t smile any more. The sadness was pervasive and awful, Bond watching him with raw concern as he curled himself up into a tight knot and didn’t respond, didn’t look up from his computer, barely touched his drink.
As the night dragged on, Q barely moved. He didn’t seem to be doing much, either; he just seemed to be an empty space, a hollow shadow of the boy Bond considered an almost-friend.
“Hey,” he said at the end of the night, voice gentle, as Q stared blankly at a screen that had gone onto standby a while ago. “We’re closing up.”
Q glanced up, let out a slight sigh. “Sorry,” he mumbled; he saw the state of his computer, shook his head slightly, shut it with a crisp snapping sound.
Bond watched him, tangibly concerned. “Q. Are you alright?”
Q glanced at him. “No,” he said, very honestly. “I’m not.”
Bond slid into the booth opposite, taking a quick sip of Q’s unpleasantly tepid beer. “Want to talk?” he asked lightly, smirking at Q’s expression as he sipped the man’s beer.