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Lexi

Flu, Swine Flu (A James Bond fanfic)

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Lexi

Bond reached blindly grasped around groggily trying to stop the shrill noise emanating from his phone. When he finally got the damn thing to shut up, he was surprised to hear M’s no-nonsense voice. 

 “007 report to HQ. Now.” click. M hung up the phone before he could so much as breathe into the receiver. He rolled into a sitting position like a body emerging out of molasses. Gravity was working extra hard on his limbs as he pulled a slow hand over his face and croaked “Fuugck." The breathy curse was hardly above a whisper it cost him dearly in pain and set off a deep, chesty coughing fit. The coughs raked through his throat like gravel over a skinned knee. He gasped for air, the effort exhausting him mere minute into the day. And again he said “ fugck.”

 

He knew that had M heard even a single congested breath she might have called for the next agent down the line 008 or 009 or whoever to do whatever dire thing needed doing. But he wasn’t so lucky as that. He could call back, under the guise of asking what it was he’d been called for, or to say anything really, and gotten out of it. But he wasn’t so clever as that. Not today at least. Today his mind was as sluggish as his body, as though the thick mucus was clogging up his neurotransmitters as well. 

 

The thought of leaving bed was heart breaking, the thought of changing out of his soft, warm pajamas, and into a rigid suit was almost worth tears. He got up, running on autopilot and sense of duty to the Queen, a thick woolen blanket encasing him. He was freezing but it couldn’t be colder than a balmy 68, a summer day in London. He took his breaths in short controlled intakes, lest he start up another coughing fit, as he stood.

 

He let the blanket fall and the temperature change sparked an intense tickle in his nose. He drew in sharp, involuntary breaths as the sensation built “hh! heh! heh!” “HEHHSHuuuh!” He sneeze, uncovered and wetly onto the grey carpet. 

 

“HEEEHSHUUU! ehshhh! ESHHH’uh!” the spray landed in small, dark droplets creating charcoal freckles on his carpet. The sneezes ate up his energy greedily. He flopped back down onto the bed with a groan that bubble up from his very soul. He was exhausted. Exhausted as he’d never been before. It wasn’t the bones, or to his core, it was deeper. The exhaustion was all encompassing, as though he was mad of it. 

 

He peeled himself off the bed once again and stumbled to the shower. It was one of those showers that was like a car wash for people. Hot steamy water sprung from all sides and warmed him, finally stopping his shivers. The steam welled up around him and he had time enough to think ‘oh no’ before the sneezing started. It was fast, desperate and messy. 

He put a hand up to the shower wall to stablize himself, the idea of actually showering cast off and he sneezed, and sneeze. He sneezed openly, with our restraint, “ESSHhhHH!” he took in a shuddering breathe and sneezed it out a moment later "HETCHOO!!" He could do nothing to resist them. He was a conduit for the abstract notion of the sneeze. “iSHH-uhhh!” With each sneeze he mercifully found his congestion easing. The sneezes became airer, and relieved the tense congestion in his head.

“Ishhooo! Eshhho!!” They hurt his throat no less, wrenching through it with no regard for its delicate state, but with each his easing congestion he felt, for the first time since waking up, that he could perhaps make it through the day. “HESHHHOOO!” he bent nearly in half, almost falling over, and amended he earlier thought - perhaps he could make it through the morning. Or at least to the car. 

 

Finishing up the shower, he stepped out and was immediately created by that familiar chill. He shrugged on his thick rob and began to dress. Sliding his arms into the white long-sleeve button up, goosebumps prickled up as the cool, smooth fabric slipped over his skin. He worked his way up the ladder of buttons with more concentration and determination than the task usually required, energy flagging. He slid into a charcoal grey cardigan. He slowly raked through his wardrobe, looking for his warmest suit. It was a thick black wool suit, a winter 007 special, though it was late summer. Even under all his layers he bristled at the ‘chill’ in the air. 

On his way down to the garage he caught an accident glimpse of himself and started. He looked more than half dead. He almost went right back to bed, MI6 be damned, but he was too far gone. 

 

As he pulled put into the street and the sunlight caught he eye it hit him that he certainly should have gotten an Uber. He launched into a sneezing fit and struggled to keep his eyes open. Silently he cursed himself for not bringing any tissues and he fished out his handkerchief. It was no match for endless train of wet sneezes. He could only try to hold them back until the traffic light. He let them loose as soon as the light turned red. 

 

“HESHHUMPH! HESHHUUU! RSSSSSHUH!” the last launched him into his steering wheel unleashing a loud honk. The woman in the other lane was staring at him, and not in the way women usually do. She looked at him with pitying disgust. He didn’t know what made him feel worse, the pity or the disgust. 

 

He didn’t have long to ponder this before the next sneeze ripped through him “RHHESSSHUUU!” He looks up to see that the light is green and he’s off again. Breath hitching and eyes squinting he fights back sneezes, desperately trying to keep his eyes on the road. Experimentally, he sniffs to try and quell the tickle. A grave mistake. His nostrils flair and “HEEETSHHUU!!!” he fights his eyes open to see that he swerved a to the left, and course corrects before another sneeze over comes him. 

 

“HESHHUH! ESSSHUUUH!” the sounds of his sneezes mix with a distant wee-ooo wee-ooo of an approach police officer. 

 

“HETCHUU!” Another sneeze and another swerve. As the police approach he realizes their trying to stop him. And again, he said “Fuggggk” 

 

He pulled over and waits, window down.

 

“Have you been drinking sir?” the officer asks him with a judgmental look. He looks like a drunkard all right, pale yet flushed face, glassy eyes with slow comprehension. Disgusting. 

 

The look the officer gave him was like that of the woman earlier, but without the pity. He opened his mouth to respond and quickly turned to catch a sneeze in the crook of his arm.

 

“HHESSHU!” He sniffed and tried to respond again “Pard- ooh uhh UHHSHUUU!” he whipped away from the officer to sneeze again. 

 

“Pardod mbe officer.” He punctuated the statement with a gurgling sniff. 

 

The officer eyed him suspiciously and said “God bless. Have you been drinking sir?”

 

“Dno officer.” he replied with a heavy sigh which became wracking coughs “Excuse bme”

 

“You were serving back there, mind if I do a breathalyzer?”

 

“Officer I haved’t been drigkigg. I’ve beed sdeezigg. Cadt keep bay eyes opedd whedd I sdeeze” His voice failing by the end of the sentence, hoarseness giving way to a gravely whisper. 

 

The police office burst out laughing. He laughed until he was wheezing like Bond. When he finally regained his composure he asked “What the hell are you doing out in this condition sir?” 

 

“Got called idto worgk” he said in his too-deep whisper, like the scrape of coarse sand over dry rock.

The officer looked at him with a kind look and said “I can’t let you go on driving like this, its not safe.” 

 

And thats how James Bond ended up with a police escort the the headquarters of MI6 on a day he wanted nothing more than to attract as little attention as he could until he could finally fall back into bed.

END OF PART 1

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silentdreamer789

What an amazing start! Can't wait for more...

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Lexi

@silentdreamer789 Thank you!!

PART 2

 

“Good morning 007” Norman the doorman called out cheerily. He noticed that 007 had even less cheer about him than usual, and was surprised it was possible. 

 

“HREESHUUH!” Bond sneezed away from Norman and into his wet handkerchief 

 

“Ble-“

 

“HETCHUUH! ehh EHSSSH!” the aches in his body sang in protest with every sneeze. 

 

“God bl-“

 

“EEHTSHHU!” mercilessly, the sneezes persisted. 

He had almost forgotten his audience when Norman asked, dumbly “You ill, sir?”

 

“Ahh an aah’h’AISHHUU! Pardod, quiet ad astute observatiod Dormand” he grumbled through his ruined throat. His face, pallid and obviously ill as it was, was a stone mask of annoyance. Norman did not respond. 

 

He called the elevator and thankfully it was empty when it arrived. He melted on to the wall, every last presence of health and strength dropped. He wanted nothing more than to rest. Bond’s head sank onto his chest and he slid down onto the elevator floor. It was a long ride to the top floor of the MI6 HQ. Mircaulously he dozed uninterrupted the whole way up. 

 

DING!” the elevator roused him with a start. He gathered himself into a standing but crumpled figure and walked toward the front desk.

 

“Dneed to see Emb” his words come out thick with congestion and heavy with exhaustion.

 

Without looking up Moneypenny said “I’m sorry sir but I don’t know what you’re talking about” She usually could recognize all the agents by their voices and toted out this response whenever she heard an unfamiliar voice. She was about to call for security and ask the gentleman to leave when he spoke again. 

 

“Bondeypeddy its mbe.” At the sound of the odd butchering of what could be her name she looked up and gasped in shock and horror and sympathy. It was no stranger at all! It was 007, but it was 007 as she’d never seen before. He was ghostly pale and wan, his face was drawn, with deep purple bruises under his eyes and a bright feverish flush on his cheeks. His nostrils were red and chapped, his eyes glass and red-rimmed. He look as if a gentle wind would knock him right down.

 

“007! My God! You look dreadful! What are you doing out bed?” She exclaimed the question in a shrill voice that drove sharp pain into his already aching head. 

 

He repeated, tiredly  “DNeed to see Emb” he punctuated each word with a thick sniff ‘Dneed sniff to sniff see sniff Emb’

 

“A doctor is the only person you need to see!” she said it knowing he would be persuaded. 

 

“Bondeypeddy” he said with as much breathless frustration and congestion “Just call her, I’b rudding out of patiendce” and with that he took out a stunning maroon handkerchief, nostrils flaring, breath hitching and “uggggh” he moaned softly. The sneeze had escaped him. 

 

Meanwhile Moneypenny was entranced by his sickly display. The trance was broken when he shot her a tired glare, oozing with annoyance. 

 

“Sorry!” she chirped quickly, as she pressed the intercom and said “M, 007 for you.”

 

“Finally! Send him in.”

 

Without another gravely hoarse word, 007 strode through the glossy black doors, knowing he wouldn’t like what waited him beyond.

————

 

M was standing at the far edge of her office, which today seem farther than one could reasonable hope to cross. She looked out the wall of glass onto the city. Her city. All the lives milling below, vulnerable in ways they’d never image, dependent on her protection. The weight of the responsibility sat heavily in her chest as she spoke. 

 

“Where. have you been?!” she spoke the words without turning. Moments passed in silence and she thought for a second she was mistaken when she heard the doors open.

 

“HESH! EhhhhESHU! RRSSHHUGH!” the sounds startled her and she turned around with a jump to see 007 bent in half into a handkerchief he was clutching dearly. She opened her mouth to speak and was cut off again by three more harsh sneezes. They seemed to rip through the man, mercilessly thrusting him forward with each expulsion. 

 

And, quietly, she said “Fuck.”

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Aliena H.

I really love your first parts. The image of Bond going to MI6 escorted by policemen is precious. And I can't wait to see how M is going to react... Thanks for the beginning of this story, and do not hesitate to continue it because it's great! :yes: 

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matilda3948

I love a good 007 story! Great job.

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