Bond kills a lot of people. He’s not denying it. But sometimes people try to blame him for deaths that aren’t his fault, and it grates, okay?
That British bigwig’s bodyguard that got shot by Greene’s men at Tosca? Not Bond.
Mathis in Bolivia? Not Bond.
That guy that got eaten by the komodo dragon? Bond didn’t make that fellow tackle him into a BLOODY KOMODO DRAGON PIT, that was a CHOICE that he MADE OF HIS OWN FREE WILL, but did the officials in Macao see it that way? No, they did not.
The most galling one is Vesper. The Venetians noted a “blond man fleeing the scene,” and as the man sharing her hotel room, he is their prime suspect. It’s easier for them to blame a rogue boyfriend than to guess that international intrigue was afoot. It doesn’t matter in the long run. (It just burns when he thinks about it.) (Even as he discovered her betrayal, he knew that he wouldn’t kill her.)
He’s a killer, but that doesn’t mean he’s their killer.
Sometimes, on a mission, he’ll do something that Q thinks should be rewarded. Nothing like returning equipment, or refraining from property damage, or anything that could be given official praise. Sometimes even things that earn an official scolding.
He saves a boy’s life even though it gives his target a head start. He shoots some human traffickers and opens their cargo crates even though it’s not relevant to his mission. He dives off a villain’s yacht to save someone from drowning even though it weakens his cover.
And one by one, Bond gets letters in the mail. ‘Cleared of all charges’ and ‘no longer a suspect.’ Signed documents that take a great deal of bureaucratic wrangling, not just technological interference. He images Q working with the translators, talking, blackmailing, bribing—getting his hands dirty.
For Bond. For no reason. Because Bond’s job is to be a blunt instrument, but Q values his humanity.
Q works backwards. He hasn’t got to Vesper yet. But if Bond keeps going, then maybe… Maybe.
Maybe one day the whole dying thing will take, and Q won’t be the one to write his obituary, but he’ll have unwritten all the wrong bits, and that will be even better.