"You already sleep on the correct side," James answered readily, sipping his own coffee rather more carefully.
That was a strange thing to say, he reflected. It was strange to talk about a coworker sleeping on the right side of one’s bed, uninvited. Particularly when that coworker was the Quartermaster, who technically outranked him despite being several years his junior.
"If you didn’t, I assure you I would have evicted you long ago."
"Is that how you choose bed partners?" Q asked curiously, genuinely curiously. "I mean, say you have someone here for the evening, some sort of date, shall we say. I suppose after drinks you’d get frisky, no way to prevent that, and then the bed is used for…” The tech paused and filled the awkward verbal search with a sip of his coffee. “Purposes other than sleeping.”
He sat back into the comfortable sofa, pleased that he had the more used end. That usually meant the more comfortable spot. Then the Quartermaster leaned forward again to continue his line of thought.
"Afterwards, you fall your respective ways. Should this guest, shall we say, happen to topple to the wrong side of the bed, do you kick them out? And should this guest happen to lie on the correct side, will you allow her to stay?” Or him, he added silently.
The agent enjoyed Q’s look of momentarily fried circuitry. He smiled to himself a bit childishly, knowing that he should have let Q take first choice of seating; in this instance, he had actually invited him to stay, so he could technically be considered a guest despite that he had long outstayed his welcome.
He nodded in response to his question, “Yeah, CIA. He’s one of th ebetter agents I’ve worked with. Good man.”
He took a sip of his coffee, looking thoughtfully over at his companion.
It really wasn’t horrible to have there.
"Oh…well…I’m glad he likes coffee." Q knew this wasn’t the right response to the agent’s most recent statement, though it seemed as though the comment perhaps fit somewhere into the conversation. Or could, should the opportunity present itself.
To cover the disastrous repartee (why was it so difficult lately?), he took a rather long sip of his own coffee. He would have scalded the inside of his mouth had the coffee not been already cooled by the liberal addition of cream.
"I don’t suppose you’ll make me take the wrong side of the bed, will you?" he asked finally, looking over at the agent but not making eye contact. He very rarely did. "You seem to be enjoying changing things up this evening."
“With a bit of milk,” Bond replied with a quick smile. Taking a sip of his own coffee, he added, “I’d never thought of black coffee as being specifically American, but I could see that conclusion.”
He gestured wordlessly for Q to come to the living room with him, though he walked ahead of him so that he could take the highly contested “favored” end of the sofa.
Giving Q a smug, oddly-playful smile, he said, “Leiter always takes his coffee black.”
Seeing his preferred end of the sofa already occupied, a mere ten seconds before he could have planted himself there, left the tech speechless for a moment. He wasn’t even planning ways to get Bond to vacate the spot, he just had no thoughts, his mind momentarily blacked out by the disturbance in his natural order of things.
"Leiter? Oh…yes, the FBI chap? Or was that CIA? CIA. Everyone’s using acronyms these days." He eyed the couch for a moment more, as though just by looking at it he could induce Bond to decide arbitrarily to move to the other side. The side he himself didn’t want and that Bond therefore should want. Or at least make do with. Bond was the host, after all. That was his job.
Another minute made it rather obvious that the agent wasn’t moving, and Q had been standing there watching for slightly too long. He walked quickly past Bond’s knees to sit at the other end of the sofa. It felt almost wrong.
Bond smirked, shaking his head, “I’m usually the one bringing them back for other people, you know that. No one brings them for me, thank God.”
He laughed to himself as he poured a cup of coffee for Q. He filled it about two thirds, then then dropped in a piece of chocolate and stirred it until it had dissolved completely. He filled the rest of the mug with a mix of milk and cream, then added a healthy measure of sugar.
He handed the cup over to Q, commenting, “Kindercoffee for you.”
Q observed this whole process with some interest, wondering how exact Bond was in the concoction of this drink. He had to confess he had never seen actual bar chocolate used in coffee making before. He decided that it was a step that should probably be included every time as he took the coffee mug and drank before commenting. He’d learned that sometimes the best way to curb his tongue was to busy it with something else.
Then he could say something.
"I don’t know what you mean," he commented, raising the cup to his mouth for another sip. "Unless you tend to take it completely black or something. I have to say, drinking coffee that seems to just be coffee has always been very American to me. How are you taking your’s?"
For some reason, Bond felt like making Q laugh was a small victory each time. It wasn’t just his either; he felt as though it took great effort for the painfully introverted intellectual to both comprehend humor and to allow himself the luxury of laughter.
It made him want to make Q laugh more, and more sincerely as well.
The question, however, was typical Quartermaster fare, though. James smirked as he considered whether or not there was any coffee-suitable liquors in the cabinet that he could add to Q’s mug.
“Don’t most people’s?” he asked.
Q raised his eyebrows, considering Bond’s question. It was rather true that he didn’t have experience with most people’s kitchens. Even many people’s kitchen. Really, he had experience with very few kitchens but his own and his parents’, and those of a very very few friends. Acquaintances. “Colleagues,” as they often termed themselves.
"Well, I’m not saying that all your bowls shouldn’t match or something insane like that. I just…I don’t think any two of my mugs are the same, especially when people are always picking them up as souvenirs and the like. Don’t you get any of those? ‘Sorry you didn’t get a vacation’ mugs?" He leaned back against the counter edge, watching the agent as though there would be some interesting, secret agent way he could make his coffee.