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Moneypenny misses.

Moneypenny misses, and when he hears the shot but neither of them fall he has less than a second to decide what to do.

It's enough.

Bond pushes off against and lets himself fall over the side of the train.

 

 


 

 

There are several things that Bond knows in that moment, each one hitting him with all the force of - well, a bullet.

The first is that with the two of them struggling on a high-speed object, it would be impossible to get a clear shot. Yet Moneypenny has taken it anyway.

The second is that that means she’s been given the all clear, which he knows can only come from one person.

The third is that he’s tired. Tired of having his decisions questioned and his motives doubted. He's been in service ever since he possibly could be - since before he possibly could be - and yet M feels that a one in-a-million shot is worth his life instead of waiting for another opportunity? And there will be another one. There always is. But M doesn't want to take that chance, apparently. Would rather see him dead than simply trust him and wait.

So Moneypenny fires, and misses, and with one bullet already in his shoulder Bond figures that it's time to go.

 

 


 

 

He drinks, he fucks, he gambles. He's never had the chance to learn how to spend his time so he wastes it instead.

But in the end, he’s weak. In more ways than one. He hears about the bombing and starts running, like a dog towards it's master. Only this master never even had to call.

She's pleased to see him, relieved, but he can see the guilt she tries so hard to hide. She doesn't apologise. She has no reason to.

In her mind, she’s sacrificed him, yes, and she feels bad, but she thinks it was for a good enough cause that she can defend herself. And that reason could be true, but he knows it isn't.

He's not sure when he lost her trust, but she has no such uncertainty about when she lost his. He’ll do what needs to be done, but none of it will be for her.

Underneath the guilt in her eyes is fear, and they both know he's seen it.

 

 


 

 

It turns out that he’s not the only sacrifice she’s made, when other opportunities could’ve been available.

Silva tells his elaborate stories, weaves his metaphors, but in the end it's her that tells him what really happened.

Hacking China is a dangerous move, especially with the lives of captured agents at risk. Bond can't think of a reason an agent would do such a thing - unless they believed it to produce an advantage. But M won't have listened to theories or beliefs. Promises mean nothing to her; the only results she wishes to see are those that can be achieved there and then, not the possibility of ones down the line, if she would only give her agent a little time, a little trust that they would follow through. But when China knows that one of her agents is sniffing about where he doesn't belong, she doesn't have time for trust. Trust isn't enough for her, not when she only gets possibility in return. No matter what imagined advantage Silva could have brought with his own skills, with hers he can bring her a peaceful trade off. The price will be worth it; one agent for six. Silva might be excellent, but no agent is so good that they are irreplaceable in the face of an easier result - a lesson Bond has learned a lot later than Silva.

So she made another call. She sold Silva out, burned him out, and he never forgot. And now he’s back to haunt her.

M is very good at making ghosts.

 

 


 

 

Silva escapes.

 

Bond expected nothing less, and when he catches Silva halfway up the ladder his gun is already in hand, raised and lined up perfectly.

The ladder offers no protection; his shot is perfect, clear as crystal. It’s made even easier by the fact that like many of their more psychopathic enemies do, Silva takes the time to talk, to boast and banter.

It's a fatal mistake of the ego, and one Bond has never hesitated to use against them. Considering his years spent as an agent, it seems odd that Silva would be allow himself to be so over-confident.

Then again, if he were facing any other agent, Bond doesnt think that Silva would.

It's like he knows Bond won't shoot. When it's them, it isn't overconfidence. It's simply confidence.

Bond doesn't shoot, and when the train crashes down behind him Silva has already gone, not a scratch on him.

 

 


 

 

 Later, when Silva’s helicopter appears on the Scottish skyline, blaring a sadistically appropriate love song, Bond doesn't bother to bite back his smile.

“Always got to make an entrance,” he mutters, a faint note of fondness in his voice, and relishes in the way M's eyes widen.

 

 


 

 

He throws the knife in Silva’s back and watches him fall. No second glance is spared, but he can feel Silva’s surprise at his betrayal.

M, bleeding out on the floor, rejoices. Bond has been playing triple all along, conning Silva with false sympathy. She calls for him, waiting for him to come and help her - or at least to comfort her in her final moments.

Instead he sits on the floor in front of her, just out of reach, and watches her bleed.

She doesn't plead, doesn't beg him for help. She falls silent when she realises that he won’t be coming any closer, but the look in her eyes speaks loud enough to fill the church she’s dying in.

Regret may be unprofessional, but he hopes that’s all she feels as he watches her quietly slip away.

 

 


 

 

Silva is still breathing, blood pooling underneath his body.

He wheezes as Bond crouches to stroke his hair.

“I’m sorry.”

“No,” Silva croaks, “you are not. Regret is unprofessional.” He smiles up at Bond. His teeth, both false and real, are stained red.

“It was the right choice,” Bond says quietly. “But I'm sorry that it was.”

Silva gurgles as he laughs. "Last rat," he rasps, and uses the last of his strength to lean his cheek into Bond’s hand. "One must always eat the other. I hope I tasted good."

James huffs a laugh. "Oh," he says softly, "you did."

Silva smiles.

 

 


 

 

When MI6 arrive, they find M lying on her back, eyes open and blood coating her thin shirt.

Silva’s body lies on one of the pews, curled up like he’s sleeping, the knife that killed him placed near his head. M’s coat has been draped over him, and when an operative pulls it back they find that his eyes have been closed  - and later, during the autopsy, that his blue lenses have been removed, eyelids lifted to reveal the natural brown of a man twice dead.

They never find the contacts.

They never find Bond either.