Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Bond franchise.
Summary: Several months after the events of Skyfall, James is still mourning over the loss of the woman he loves. Trying to bury his past and move on, he continues to pursue the leads left for him in a cryptic message, which have led him to a hidden facility in the Morocco desert. James realises that the past though buried; can have a way of rising to the surface when one least expects it...
James looked out in the distance of the Moroccan desert, thinking about what would be waiting for him at the facility. The interrogation tape of Vesper he found in L'Americain caused memories to resurface, of a time where everything seemed much simpler. It was a time when he was naive, and his ego interfered with the job, and if M's reply to him at the time was anything to go by, it seemed she agreed with the sentiment.
He could feel the pang of hurt in his heart as he thought of Olivia. She always seemed to stick by him, even when she should have washed her hands of him years ago. They would clash on various occasions about his ability to follow orders, and the destruction he caused whenever she sent him on a mission. It was when Mitchell tried to kill her that he realised just how deep his feelings were for her. He had always brushed them aside, knowing she would never have felt the same way about him. She wouldn't let anything interfere with her job, let alone a relationship with one of her agents.
It was only when he saw her walking alone down the corridor of the hotel in Bolivia that he knew he couldn't suppress his feelings any longer. He knew what he wanted, and that was to spend the rest of his life with the one woman who meant everything to him. The look in her eyes that day when they met in the corridor, gave him a sense of hope that perhaps there was a slight chance that he could have a relationship with her.
When they were back in London after the arrest of Yusef Kabira, he approached M and told her everything; laying his heart out on the table, in the hopes she wouldn't trample on it. It took some convincing on his part, that his feelings were genuine and that it wasn't a one off. He loved her more than he ever thought possible and after some hours discussing how their relationship would work, she finally admitted her own feelings towards him. He had never felt such happiness than in that moment.
They had their rough patches from time to time, but it didn't affect the relationship they had built between them. He loved her even more with each passing day; she had filled the void that had been a part of his life for so long. He should have known it would have been only a matter of time before she was taken from his as well. It was the little things he missed the most; the way her blue eyes would light up with amusement whenever they got into one of their discussions, or her laughter filling the house after he had burnt their dinner when he tried to surprise her after she had called to say she would be home late. The first time they had made love, those were the moments that he would treasure and would keep close to his heart.
Her death left him feeling empty; it was why when he received her message after her death that he never thought twice about carrying out her orders to kill Marco Sciarra. She was still doing her job, even after her death and she had entrusted him to ensure it was taken care of. If it hadn't been for her, he would never have obtained the silver octopus insignia ring that led him to the mastermind behind everything; Quantum, White, Patrice, Silva they were all linked to Oberhauser creating one bigger organisation known as SPECTRE.
It was thanks to them that he had lost Olivia in the first place. If they hadn't sent Silva, after her, then she may still be alive. When he had found out the information from Q, he vowed he would make sure this organisation was brought to an end.
"What is that?"
The sound of Madeleine's voice brought him back to the present as he turned to look in the direction where she was pointing. Withdrawing his gun, he walked over to where she was standing. He could make out a vehicle approach them, creating a dust cloud in its wake. As it came closer, James gave a smirk at seeing the car that Oberhauser had sent for them.
"That would be a 1948 Rolls Royce." He whispered to Madeleine, as re-holstered his gun and took off his sunglasses.
The maroon and black car stopped in front of them as their driver dressed in a white suit got out and held open the door for them.
James looked over to Madeleine and picked up their cases as they both walked towards the car. Placing the cases in the boot, James joined Madeleine in the back seat of the car as they headed towards their destination.
"I'm scared, James," Madeleine whispered so only he could hear.
He took her hand in his, hoping to give her some comfort for what they were about to face. He just knew he would be finally ending this once and for all.
Keeping his attention out the window, he looked for any sign of the facility, but there was only desert stretching for miles out into the distance. It reminded him of Greene's facility that was in the middle of the Bolivian desert. It seemed this organisation never learned from past mistakes.
He had no idea how much time had passed before he finally saw the facilities building shimmering through the haze of the sun. Upon approaching, the building came into full view, with its dome-shaped buildings, complete with glass panel windows. The design was all too familiar to him.
When the car finally came to a stop, James got out to see a man with glasses waiting to greet them.
"Good afternoon, Mister Bond, Doctor Swann. I want you to know just how excited we all are to finally meet you."
"Well, it's a pleasure to be here," James replied giving the man a fake smile.
"Your host invites you both to rest, relax and join him for drinks at four."
"Tell our host we won't be late."
"Wonderful. Before we show you to your rooms, there is just one more thing..." The man looked over to a server holding a metal tray giving a nod of his head to signal him over.
James looked at him in fake confusion, which didn't seem to work on the man who stared back at him with a knowing glint in his eye.
"Oh." He unclipped his gun holster containing his Walther and placed it on the tray. "You be careful with that. It's loaded," he warned the server, before following the men to their rooms.
Upon entering the building, James looked around his surroundings taking in the cream and white corridors with a set of rooms along each side. Although modern, it was all very plain and dull to look at.
"This is your room, Doctor Swann."
James turned to see Madeleine stop in front of one of the doors as she looked towards him, before entering the room.
"Mister Bond, please."
James continued to follow the man to his room, stopping three doors down from Madeleine's. Opening the door, he murmured his thanks and entered, noticing the man didn't move, but rather stood guard outside his door.
Slamming the door behind him, he looked around his room, noting the double bed in the center with a tailored navy suit sitting on top. Next to the window were a table and two chairs and further along on the wall in front of the bed was a fireplace fixed to the wall that had two pictures sitting on top.
Taking a few steps forward, he looked at the first picture seeing the exact same photo he had been given in his personal effects. The only difference was this one was undamaged. He tore his eyes away from it and looked towards the other photo that was next to it.
Picking it up, he felt a lump form at the back of his throat as Olivia's face stared back at him. He had no idea how Oberhauser managed to get a copy of it. The photo itself had been taken a few days before he was ordered to go to Turkey to retrieve the missing hard drive. It was one photo he never let out of his sight when Olivia had been alive. The original had been damaged at Skyfall and was no longer salvageable. But now seeing it again, it caused him to smile.
She was never one for allowing him to take her picture. So, when she had allowed it after they had lunch and took a walk in Covent Gardens, he took the opportunity, and he was glad that he did. Olivia was standing in front of the Alex Chinneck building, her hair windswept against the autumn wind as she tried to look annoyed, but her facade was ruined by the small smile that had formed on her lips and the amusement in her blue eyes. It wasn't one of the best pictures he had acquired of her, but it held a special place in his heart. Even more so since it was the last time they had together without work getting in the way.
Turning the frame over, he saw the latches holding the back and slid them to the side. Removing the photo, he threw the empty frame on the bed. He was about to turn it back over when he saw the familiar handwriting on the back of the photo.
' 12th August 2012.'
His confusion deepened wondering how Olivia's handwriting managed to find its way to the back of the photo. Turning it back over to the front, he looked over it once more, before walking over to the bed and sat it down.
Picking up the suit that he was no doubt expected to wear, he went into the room to the right of the main doorway and decided to quickly change. The photo still played on his mind; there was something more to all of this, something he was missing. He didn't know what it was, but he had a feeling that it wouldn't be long before it was finally revealed.