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Title: House of Cards

Fandom: James Bond

Pairing: Vesper Lynd/Simone 'Solitaire' Latrelle

Rating: Eventually NC17, currently PG.

Summary: After the events of Live & Let Die, James abandons Solitaire and goes off on another engagement leaving M to clean up his mess. Psychic girl is sent to boarding school, but she's not the only one of 007's harem at Uppington Hall...

Notes: Obviously slightly AU, this assumes that Solitaire is around 16 or 17, that the film version of L&LD followed the film version of Casino Royale, and that Vesper faked her own death.

The young woman who stood in front of Miss Everton looked exactly the same as countless young women before her. Smartly dressed in a green skirt and white blouse, green and yellow tie matching the ribbon on her straw boater, and with an expression that said she would rather be anywhere in the world except Uppington Hall.

"Good morning Simone," the headmistress smiled. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Your aunt has told me a lot about you."

The sullen girl opened her mouth to speak, but the older woman squeezed her shoulder warningly, keeping her fake smile pasted on.

Flashing her aunt an insolent look, the girl spoke anyway. "Solitaire," she insisted. "My name is Solitaire."

The headmistress glanced over at the grey-haired woman, shorter than her niece by a good head, and stern-faced. She pitied the poor girl - losing her parents and stuck with a career woman who clearly saw the girl as an imposition. The other woman shrugged. Call her what you like, her expression said, it's no concern of mine.

"Well, let's get you settled in then," Mrs Everton smiled cheerfully. "I'm sure your aunt will want to be getting off."

Simone - or Solitaire, if she preferred - looked at her aunt for the first time, her eyes wide with fear.

"I don't want to stay here," she protested. "I want to go home."

"Well, you can't," the woman snapped, before adding after an excruciating pause, "dear. I'm sure you'll settle down in no time."

"James wouldn't have left me here," she complained.

A murderous look in her steel grey eyes, Solitaire's aunt smiled tightly. "My son,” she explained. “Rather the black sheep of the family, but terribly protective of his new cousin. Very…fond of her." She turned to Solitaire. "Now you must promise to write." It was less of a reminder, more a deliberate attempt to change the subject.

The girl nodded dutifully. "Yes, aunt."

"Well, then. I'm afraid I must be off. Thank you for taking Solitaire in at such short notice, especially after the beginning of term." Embracing Solitaire in an awkward hug, she turned away.

Her smile didn't reach her eyes, Mrs Everton noted, as the door swung shut behind her. She and Solitaire watched her walk off, heels clicking across the drive as she strode to the glossy black car that was waiting for her. She wondered if the woman would even bother to visit her niece.

The car's interior was soft leather, black and obscenely expensive. It was occupied by a neat blonde who held out a cardboard coffee cup as her fellow passenger got in.

"Back to London, ma'am?"

"Back to London, Moneypenny.”



Lady Christina

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