(I grossed myself out with the levels of SAP but hey, it's Xmas fic)
The Weather Outside is Frightful...
"Hello! Home again." Nigel said automatically as he shook his key out of the stubborn brass lock on his front door. Juggling a heavy bag of groceries, he attempted to set his damp umbrella into its stand while taking off his dripping rain coat at the same time. "What weather! You should be glad you are not out there tonight!"
A cold winter rain drizzled against the windows and thudded softly on the roof above.
"I hope you are hungry!" Managing to accomplish both he set the bag down and rubbed his cold hands together. "It isn't right to have a Christmas without something nice now is it?"
He tried to smile at his cozy flat as he flipped the electric switch to the small tree he had set up in the corner near the window.
"I'm sorry I am so late. You know how work can be! Can you believe the analysis office was late again!" He shook his head. "Second time this week."
The tiny colored lights were a bit garish and the meager ornaments he'd seen for sale at the chemists weren't anything as special as the kind he'd had growing up in his small country house with his family, but they brought him a small bit of cheer. It was, after all, much nicer than the nothing at all the student he was, had been allowed in his previous residence.
Nigel Watts, like most Academy graduates, was obligated to spend at least four years in the stark yet practical dormitories during his training. His particular branch and country had set up it's school facilities in the cold north of the Isle of England and from the air looked like nothing more than a fishing village. The activities far below the ground of the mock up town however were a far cry from trolling for smelt.
Needless to say, when Watts and much of his class became full agents, they were eager to receive their reassignments and hoped it included a warmer clime, fresh unrecycled air and lacked the smell of fish.
To his great disbelief, Watts was assigned to the London branch Technical Laboratories, a position that only admitted a scant few a year and was greatly sought after. His parents were very happy about his new "Accounting" position he'd found, in of all places, London. They promised to ring once a month to give him news about the weather, his younger married sister and his dottering grandmother. Despite his now somewhat better means to provide for himself Nigel had declined taking residence in the Agent facilities or the ritzy highrises like many did. The new agent found he had outlived his ability to exist very far above or below the ground and instead wandered the old town for something better suited to his tastes. To his delight he found within his first day there a perfectly fine three story walk up building owned he soon found by an ailing but kind elderly lady that was very pleased that he was single and had a decent church upbringing. Nothing in London was new but the old awnings and century old moldings reminded him of the places he had grown up in. When he climbed the uneven steps it was easy to forget the city just outside.
After a very half hearted negotiation, Nigel Watts had hired out the very top floor which had a small bedroom, an even smaller living room, a closet of a kitchen and lots of windows which Nigel discovered that when the fog cleared, he could see a sliver of the river. It even still had the furniture of its previous owner which consisted almost solely of the older over stuffed oak legged types Nigel had always been fond of.
Now here, on his very first Christmas night in the grand town of London, he pushed the heavy livingroom chair as close as he could to the small fireplace that he discovered long ago worked perfectly well although the landlady had insisted it smoked. As he stoked the fire to life, he settled back in his chair and despite all his efforts on his surroundings, felt very much for the first time in a long time, far from home. He imagined, as in his childhood, his mother busy cooking the goose and his father quietly reading the newspaper by a fire just like this one.
A gray tabby cat jumped up into his chair and settled in his lap.
"There you are." Nigel scratched her ears as she rubbed her head under his chin.
A sharp meow brought a small tired smile to his face.
"Yes, yes, Christmas dinner!"
Dropping her to the floor Nigel got up and before unpacking the toppling bag of food, put the kettle on to boil. Setting the steak on the counter (and the small parcel of chicken liver for the cat), he pondered if he should bake his single potato or mash it with some cream like his mother used to-
There was a small but firm knock on his door.
Having had only two visitors in the year of his living in the flat, one being his landlady who barely made it up the 3 floors to hand him his keys and seconded by a Chinese delivery fellow that had gotten the wrong building, he was understandably suspicious.
Supper forgotten, Nigel slid open a kitchen drawer and felt the underside of the counter for the pistol he kept hidden there. Aiming it head level at his door he waited for another knock when he didn't respond. None came. He slipped the safety off and cocked back the trigger.
"Watts." A soft voice said. "Put that pea shooter away."
Nigel's eyebrows went up in shock and it was several moments before he thought to lower his gun. "S-Sir?"
He fumbled at the old lock before the door finally creaked open. He had been correct. It was Agent Fancy. A little more than worse for wear and soaked through. Nigel couldn't stop the smile that spread across his face. "Sir! What are you-why are you-what on earth-"
Agent Fancy pushed past him and shut the door.
Nigel's embarrassed smile faded when he took note of the dark crimson stain that was growing above the agent's hip. "How did you know I live here-"
Fancy grimaced as he leaned back against the closed door while clutching his wounded side. The other hand was wrapped tightly around the handle of a briefcase. He pulled his GPS from his belt, one corner shot through and sparking with smoke. It clattered onto the floor.
Headquarters must have guided him here when they realized he wouldn't be able to make it to any of the other safe houses in this part of the city. Nigel shut his mouth and hurried into his bedroom to drag out the metal first aid case he kept under his bed. He returned to find the agent had slid down to the floor, his face pale, his clothes soaked with frigid rain water.
"Now now, let old Watts have a look." Watts pried Fancy's shaking hand away from his ribs and ripped the already frayed fabric of his now deep red stained tank. Small caliber bullet entry. A careful tip of the agent forward allowed a quick check of his back which revealed no exit wound. Nigel frown as he looked back at the well stocked but inadequate equipment of his medical supplies. "I'll have to call for a Recovery Team sir, you've got quite a-"
"No." Fancy gasped. "They'll be followed." The agent shoved the briefcase away from him on the floor and looked at it with disdain. "...he'll never find it...h-here..."
Nigel chewed at the inside of his mouth as he watched the growing pool of blood collect on his wood floor.
"...I'll rest for-for 15 minutes....then contact interpol..."
Nigel studied his pale features dubiously. "Sir, I think you are hardly in any condition to- erm sir?"
Kit Fancy had passed out.
"Right." Watts took a deep breath. "Hm, yes, nothing to get into a panic about!"
The agent groaned in his unconsciousness as Watts arranged him more neatly on his back. "It is quite okay, I received very good marks in anatomy you know." He swallowed as he quickly rummaged through the first aid case. He produced a small plastic packet that he hastily ripped open with his teeth. Morphine. He flicked the end of the syringe and carefully slid it into the agent's white arm.
The gray tabby mewled behind him.
"I'm afraid dinner will be a bit late Ms. Mewbury."
He had moved his very sagged but undeniably comfortable down pillow sofa in his chairs place by the fire and had laid the agent on it very carefully with blankets he'd warmed on his radiator.
Nigel watched hopefully as the agent began to stir. It had been a very long night. Nigel had done the most he could but as he diligently monitored Fancy's vital signs he was confident that Fancy was stable enough to wait until he could transfer him back to the Agency's London office. As Fancy had warned, Watt's transmitter set off several red lights indicating that it was being traced when activated on Agency frequencies. Even his laptop was useless on the Agencies most secure channels. He had to pull the plug out of the wall before he had time to even shut it down. Thankfully, he had a secure line located only two blocks away that he'd placed himself in a public phone in case of emergency.
But he was unwilling to attempt it until he knew Agent Fancy was awake.
Kit Fancy's eyes slowly blinked open hazy from the morphine. "Where am I?" He immediately asked.
Nigel smiled. "I suppose you could say safe sir."
The agent's eyes suddenly widened and he tried to sit up. "The case-"
Nigel held his shoulders and stopped him while looking worriedly at his neat bandages. "It is secure sir!"
Fancy stared up at him as if slowly recognizing his face then looked down at the gray ball of purring fluff that was nestled under his arm on his good side. "Watts."
"I'm-uH-" He sneezed.
"Oh!" Nigel picked up the offending feline and ushered her away.
He accepted the sip of water Nigel gently pushed against his lips and allowed himself to be helped and eased back onto his pillows. Fancy looked at the fire and then slowly towards the small tree that glowed in the corner. "Is it Christmas?" He asked.
"Erm, yes?" Nigel hadn't thought to turn his ridiculous tree lights off and the thought of the agent seeing it made his face flush red. He looked around at the old furniture that was losing its stuffing and the dusty bookcases self consciously. "It is sir."
Agent Fancy was quiet once again and his eyes slowly closed. Nigel tentatively felt the pulse at his neck and was soothed by the steady rise and fall of his chest. He was sleeping peacefully.
The small unmistakably bleep of his transmitter startled him. There was no audio but an encrypted code which was altered and updated on a weekly basis. Watts quickly deciphered the brief but important information. "Thank Heavens." He murmured when he saw that it would barely dawn before the Recovery Team would arrive.
He looked regretfully at his dinner that sat uncooked and forgotten on the kitchen counters.
With a sigh, Nigel nudged his great large chair closer to the sofa and fire and settled down into it. He glanced over at the slumbering agent and grinned softly. The fire crackled and hissed in the hearth.
"Happy Christmas sir."
EDIT: I'm such a loser! Look at darthneko's awesome KF picture! (He lost his shirt)