“Alright, I’m going to take off Harold. I’ll be back in the morning, are you sure you don’t want me to stick around?” John asked one last time.
“No Mr. Reese I’m quite alright here by myself.” Harold scoffed back to John.
John walked down the stairs and to his apartment. Not knowing what was to follow...
<p>John awoke to the sun shining through the windows in his loft. He expected to have a voicemail or a text from Harold when he woke up saying that they had a new number. Nothing. John worried a little, but he just thought that maybe Finch had fallen asleep at the command center again. John got dressed and left to go. Stopping to pick up coffee and of course Finch’s sentia green tea, he made his way to the library. He turned the corner to face the library, something was off. He didn’t know what it was but something just wasn’t right. All of the training he had received made his stomach churn with suspicion. He ran to the door, he could feel his heart start to beat faster and faster as he saw that it was unlocked and the door cracked open.
“Finch!!??” John shrieked upstairs.... No reply.
He dropped the coffee and Finch’s tea, the cups seemingly dropping to the floor in slow motion. John ran up the stairs and saw what he was afraid he would see. The place was trashed. Finch...nowhere to be found. Blood on the floor and signs of an obvious struggle. “No. Not again. Not him.” Reese thought to himself in despair. He started to trash the place, his breathing ragged and heavy, and he felt his knuckles start to bleed. He didn’t even notice that he had punched the wall in frustration. He felt the warm blood start to trickle down his long boney fingers. His chest felt like it was about to explode with every rugged breath he took.
When he finally got ahold of himself…He knew that he had to calm down. He had to find Finch.
Every time Reese managed to let himself sleep, he saw Finch in his dreams. Not the kind of dreams that he had before of Finch. These had blood and yellow tape and Carter and Fusco telling Reese that it was too late. Too late. Like Reese had been too many times before.
He had looked for Finch everywhere, trying to find clues but he couldn’t find anything. Which made him even more furious. With all his training and all his years of experience, all of the terrorists he had found without so much as a strand of hair, he couldn’t manage to track down the one man that he had actually cared about.
Four days pass and John can’t help but blame himself for Finch getting taken. He could have stayed with him that night. He should have stayed with him that night. If he had Finch would be okay. But they just had to have a fight. They had disagreed with how to proceed with a number, John just wanted to put two in the guy’s chest, but Finch had never been much about killing people so he wanted to tie him up nicely for Detective Carter to arrest. Why didn’t Reese just do what Finch wanted? He was so damn stubborn and now it was probably going to end up costing Harold his life.
He started to imagine Finch’s limp fragile body strapped to a chair somewhere being slashed by knives, electrocuted and even worse. He had imagined the things he had done to people in the past.
“I could have helped him. I could have saved him. I’ve saved so many people...except the ones that matter the most to me.” John was visibly shattered...even more, than he had been before. He staggered into his loft and stared lifelessly out the window. Remembering where he was when Finch found him, broken and on death's door, and realized that’s exactly how he felt right now.
Then the phone rang.
“We found him, John.” Carter said in a low voice. John hung up the phone and was out the door.
John pulls up to an abandoned warehouse. It looks eerily like one that John had used before to interrogate his captors. No people around, only Carter’s car. It was a good location, not anyone around to hear Harold’s… screams…
“John, stay in the car...the ambulance is on its way and Fusco is in there with him.” Carter says, running out to her car to call for more backup. She has blood all over her. John’s heart was pounding and stomach churning.
“Hell no.” John replies as he jogs into the warehouse. Carter didn’t even bother trying to stop him. Because she knew he wasn’t going to be stopped.
When John walked into the warehouse, he saw Fusco kneeling down next to a lifeless body. John suddenly feels like he’s forgotten how to breathe. He’s never felt like this before. He’s never gotten sick at the sight of scenes like this one. Hell he’s caused plenty of these scenes over the years. But it’s not just some person...it's Harold.
Fusco turns around to see John slowly walking toward them with the sick and broken look on his face. “What are you...I told Carter to make you stay out of here. You shouldn’t see this.”`
Harold’s top is bare. The red gashes and black and blue bruises splatter across his fragile pale white torso. He has burn marks on his hands and some his fingers have been broken. John takes a closer look as he approaches and sees Harold’s chest moving up and down...barely...but it’s something.
“I came in and...and he was...I didn’t think it was this bad.” Fusco shuddered back at Reese.
Reese’s knees started to quiver and become weak before they gave out and he fell beside Fusco... “L... let me...go out and wait for the ambulance with Carter.” Reese whispered because he couldn’t raise his voice or he would crumble to a million pieces. He took off his jacket and wrapped it around Finch’s limp, cold body.
“Do you...are you sure...” Fusco replies back with a slight crack in his voice. Reese interrupts him...
“Lionel...please.” he said as his eyes fluttered closed and he brought Finch up closer to his chest. He takes off the rope surrounding Finch’s arms and legs. Being careful of his shoulder because he can tell it’s obviously dislocated. John looks down at the man that had given him a second chance...a purpose...a reason to live, saw the blood that covered him and that was now staining Reese’s shirt...he lost it.
“I’m sorry.” Reese was sobbing holding onto Harold’s fragile frame “I’m so sorry.”
The paramedics arrived shortly after. Reese wouldn’t let go. He couldn’t let go.
“He’s a very private person.” he muttered rocking Harold’s limp body back and forth in his arms.
“John...you have to let these men take him. He needs their help right now. You’ve helped him as much as you can.” Carter whispered to John with her hand on his shoulder. But she was wrong. He didn’t do everything he could. If he had, Harold wouldn’t be dying in his arms.
John managed to let go after Carter had spoken to him. Carter and Fusco helped the paramedics lift Finch’s flaccid body onto the gurney...Reese watching as the paramedics said things like,
“I got a pulse, weak but it’s there.” And “We need to move if he’s even going to have a chance to make it.”
John stands there, terrified and motionless as the ambulance pulled away. As Finch pulled away. Possibly forever.
“Come on John, you look like you could use a lift. I’ll drive you to the hospital.” Carter said as she put her hand on his shoulder slightly leading him to the car
They arrived at the hospital and while Fusco and Carter went to the desk to find out where to wait at, Reese wandered into the ER to see Finch in one of the bays. A swarm of doctors and nurses working on him. He stands back because he can’t bear to see what they’re doing to Finch. He hears alarms sound and a doctor yell
“He’s in v-fib!”
Reese’s stomach drops...drops out of his body, drops to the center of the earth. A nurse starts to compress on his chest and a doctor grabs the defibrillator. Just then Fusco grabs Reese’s shoulder and tells him they need to go. John can’t pry himself away. He’s glued to the sight of Finch lying there lifeless. A doctor closes the curtain to Finch’s bay and John turns around to see Fusco and Carter standing behind him. They can see him trembling, shaking.
“Come on John.” Carter grabs him and peels him away from the sound of his partner’s heart fading away.
The waiting is the worst part. Reese had always been good at waiting; he had been trained to wait...but this was pure torture. He felt himself start to hyperventilate.
“I... I can’t do this.” He breathed. He was convulsing and started to walk out the door grabbing onto whatever he could to steady him,
Carter grabbed his wrist to stop him, “John. If you leave now, you’ll never forgive yourself. You always say he saved your life, well...let him do it again. Because if you walk out that door, I have no doubt that I’ll be called to a scene that involves your body in the river.”
“I can’t watch him die Carter. I couldn’t save him. All the people that I’ve saved, that we’ve saved and he was the one I couldn’t save.”
“Hey wonder boy, he’s not dead yet. So sit your ass down and wait with us. He’s going to want to see you when he wakes up.” Fusco yelled at Reese.
Surprisingly enough, between Carter and Fusco, Reese sat back down, his breathing steadied and he buried his face in his hands with his elbows on his knees. He was still in the blood soaked dress shirt and probably looked like he had just come off a 4 night drunken stooper. Suddenly a doctor came into the waiting room...Reese’s heart started to pound in his chest, with every step the doctor takes toward them he died a little more inside.
“Yes?” Carter stood up with a finger in the air.
“Why don’t you guys sit down?” Reese couldn’t breathe. He felt like a cinderblock had just been dropped on his chest.
“Well we had a little scare with him, but he’s stable right now.” Reese let out a deep breath as all the tension in his shoulders came flooding out. “He had water around his lungs, we inserted a chest tube and put in a breathing tube that will stay in until his lungs heal. He has 4 broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder, a concussion along with 3 broken fingers and a broken ankle. Not to mention the cuts, burns and bruises.”
“Is he...going to be alright?” Reese asked softly,
“Right now he’s stable, but heavily sedated. The next 12 hours are going to be crucial, he’s in his room if you want to see him. Just go to the front desk and they can tell you which room he’s in. My name is Doctor Hanter. I’ll be in tomorrow to check on him.”
The doctor left and Fusco, Carter and Reese were just standing there.
“Well I have to go, Lee’s at my place tonight and he hates being home alone.” Fusco said walking over to Reese, “He’s going to be okay.” Fusco said goodbye to Carter and started walking out the door,
“Lionel...” Reese’s voice was quiet “thanks.” He whispered. Fusco didn’t say anything but he stopped and nodded his head back at Reese.
“I’m going to go get us some food and a new set of clothes. Taylor’s at my mom’s so I can stay all night. Do you want me to get you anything?” Reese looked up at Carter with tears streaming down his face,
“A... uh...maybe a new shirt?” Reese replied realizing he was still covered in Finch’s blood.
“No problem.” Carter replied softly with a tiny smile on her face. “He’s going to be okay John.” She reassured him again.
“I know. Thanks Joss.”
Carter left and Reese walked up to the desk where one of the secretaries was, she looked at Reese a little shocked and maybe even a little scared. His shirt was covered in blood and his eyes bloodshot red and puffy.
“Hi...uh sorry to bother you but the Dr. said that you could tell me what room Harold Fi... Wren is in.”
“Oh of course! Uhmm... It looks like he’s in room 348 on the third floor. Would you like me to take you to him?”
“No, I think I can manage. Thank you though.” Reese replied and started to walk away. He took the stairs, it meant a longer time before he had to see Finch. He got to the floor and saw the room number on the wall...348. He stood there for a while, of all the terrible things he had seen in the past, the death and torture that he had witnessed, this was what he couldn’t bear to see. When he got to the doorway he saw a nurse putting something into Harold’s IV and fiddling with the machine that he was hooked up to. When she turned around to see Reese she looked surprised.
“Hi can I help you?” Reese was too caught up looking at Finch’s tattered body that he couldn’t reply. “Sir...hello?”
“Oh...uhh I’m sorry. I’m his...partner. The doctor said I could come up here?” Reese whispered in shock. “Oh okay. Do you want me to bring you in a cot so you can sleep in here?”</p>
“Oh okay. Do you want me to bring you in a cot so you can sleep in here?”
“No I’ll be fine, I don’t plan on sleeping much.”
“Yeah most people don’t.” The nurse said with a slight frown creeping over her face. Reese still stood in the doorway staring at Finch. He was connected to so many wires and tubes that Reese could hardly recognize him. “You can come sit down hun, I’m almost done here.” Reese moved slowly over to the chair next to Harold’s bedside.“Can I...” Reese said looking down toward Finch’s hand.
“Can I...” Reese said looking down toward Finch’s hand.
“Of course. Just be careful of his IV. He’s highly sedated so he won’t wake up until we want him to, but he can still feel you here.” Reese reached down for Finch’s pale bruised hand and gently grasped it with his, still a bit stained with Finch’s blood. “Your partner here is a fighter. He shouldn’t have made it out of that warehouse… let alone this far.”
Reese looked up at her with watering eyes, “Yeah, yeah he is.”
“Okay well I’m done here for right now. I’ll be back to check up on things about every hour. I’m here all night so if you need anything don’t be afraid to ask...my names Sarah.”
“Thank you...” Reese whispered as the nurse started to walk out of the room, “Do you...is he going to be okay?” Reese asked as he couldn’t take his eyes off Harold’s body, his chest moving up and down with the help of the machine he was hooked up to.
“I’ve been working here a long time, and one thing I know is that generally, if a person has something...or <em>someone</em> to fight for, they usually make it.” Reese nodded
“I’m John.” the nurse smiled at him and walked out the door.
Reese woke up to Carter putting a hand of his shoulder. He looked at the clock and realized he had nodded off for about an hour.</p>
“Got you a shirt. Go clean up John, I’ll stay here with him until you get back.” Carter whispered with a smile. John got up and went into the bathroom. He took off his shirt and put it in the plastic bag Carter had brought the new shirt in. He looked at his blood stained hands and started to wash them off in the sink. He couldn’t stop washing them. Harold’s blood was literally on his hands.
“How’s he doing?” Reese asked the doctor that had come in to check on Finch.
“Well his breathing has gotten remarkably stronger in the past 12 hours. He might be able to come off the ventilator later today if this keeps up.”
12 hours had passed and Finch was still alive. Reese hadn’t left his side since he changed his shirt and got the remaining blood off of him. The doctor left and in came Fusco and Carter. They had donuts and coffee for Reese since he had only slept for an hour, they had figured he’d need it. The loud machines Finch was hooked up to mainly kept him awake. That and the fact that he felt like if he closed his eyes... Finch might not be there when he woke up. Carter had stayed with John all night. She fell asleep on the couch in the room but she was still there. She had left early on in the morning to go meet Fusco at the coffee shop.
“Thought we’d bring these by before we went to work.” Fusco said dropping the donuts onto the table and handing the coffee to Reese. “How’s he doing?” Fusco asked with a saddened look on his face.
“Doctor said he might be able to come off the ventilator later today if his lungs keep improving.” John told Fusco before he took a sip of his coffee.
“Well that’s something!” Fusco chirped.
“Yeah, doesn’t mean he’s going to wake up.” Reese replied looking straight forward sipping his coffee. Carter and Fusco didn’t say anything, they knew Reese felt like it was all his fault and nothing or no one except Harold himself could change that.
“Well if you need anything from town, just call me John.” Carter said.
Sarah came in to check on Finch later that night and she gave Reese the good news. “Well, I think we can take him off the vent and start to ease him off of the sedation."
“Does that mean...he might wake up?” Reese asked. Sarah could hear the desperation in his voice.
“If his body wants too. He’s been through a tremendous trauma John. It might take a while for him to wake up. But there’s no way to tell.”
Hours passed after they had taken Harold off the ventilator and eased him out of sedation. John sat there staring at him, just waiting for any little movement to tell him that his partner was awake. He sees one of Finch’s fingers twitch followed by,
John jumped up in his chair grabbing Harold’s hand. Harold winced in pain,
“Oh...sorry Finch...” John said as he let go of his hand. How could he be so dumb? He knew Harold’s hand was hurt, why did he grab it?
“No... It’s ok.” Harold said softly to the surprise of Reese.
Reese grabbed his hand again and rubbed Harold’s forehead, “How you feeling?”
“Not particularly well Mr. Reese.” Finch started to cough and groaned in pain because coughing with broken ribs wasn’t really the most comfortable thing, John knew the familiar feeling which only made him frown even more at Finch’s pain.
“I’m going to go get the nurse, I’ll be right back.” Reese assured him
“No. Mr. Reese please don’t leave.”
John gave a sympathetic look and said “Harold, I’m just going to go to the door, I won’t leave the room I promise.” He went to the door and called for Sarah. She arrived and then paged the doctor that was assigned to Finch when he got to the hospital.
“Welcome back Mr. Wren, you’re a very lucky man. Do you remember what happened at all?"
“Bits and pieces of it.” Finch said
“Well I need to give you a quick exam and explain some stuff to you, then I’ll be out of your hair. John would you kindly go out in the hall?” the doctor asked.
“No, John stays. Please.” Finch pleaded.
The doctor gave Finch his exam and Sarah was running some tests when the doctor asked John to go out into the hallway with him.
“Harold. I’ll be right outside. Sarah here is a very good nurse and she has been very good to us while you’ve been in here. She’s going to stay until I get back. Okay?”
“Okay John…please hurry back.”
John and the doctor walked outside,
“He has severe PTSD, I think you should set him up with a therapist. There are some good ones here in the hospital, one of them specializes in this area. She can even come to his house when he gets out of here.” Doctor Hanter said softly.
“I…I don’t know. It might upset him even more if we suggest it. He’s a very private person.”
“If he doesn’t get help, he’ll never be the same. He will never let you leave his side. These cases are not easy, especially since he’s showing the signs so early.”</p>
“What signs?” John was confused, he was so caught up in making sure Finch was okay, he didn’t even notice…
“Didn’t you notice he doesn’t want you to leave him?” that hit Reese like a ton of bricks. How could be have missed it?
“Fine, I’ll talk to him. Do you know when he’ll be able to leave?”
“If everything goes well…2-3 days."
“Okay thanks doc, for everything.” Reese said as he left to go back into Finch’s room.
“Alright looks like I can leave now! If you need anything don’t be afraid to buzz for me Harold. If you are in pain, just press this button okay? It’s morphine and will make you more comfortable.”
“Thank you Sarah.” Reese smiled at Sarah as she left.
John sat down next to Finch and grabbed his hand again, tears started to well up in his eyes…
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry Harold. I should have never…"
“Mr. Reese stop.” Finch made Reese look into his eyes while grasping his hand, “This is not your fault. There was absolutely nothing you could have done."
“They ae never going to get to you again. No one. I swear on my life.” He softly spoke as Harold let go of his hand to wipe the tears from Reese’s face.
“Here Fusco help me get him in the car.” Reese said starting to help Finch out of the wheelchair. Three days had passed and Finch was well enough to leave the hospital. Fusco and Reese lifted him into the car. Carter leaned down to the window to talk to Finch before John started the car, “Okay Harold, Fusco and I will stop by sometime later tonight to make sure John’s taking good care of you. You get some rest okay?” Carter started to smile,
“Thank you detective.” Finch sincerely replied grasping her hand through the window.
Reese and Finch got to the safe house and when they got to the stairs Finch couldn’t help but sigh.
“I think I can make it up Mr. Reese, if you just follow me and take it slow…”
“Don’t be ridiculous Harold.” Reese scoffed as he scooped Harold up into his arms and carried him up the stairs.
He sat Harold down on the couch and went back to get the wheelchair, “Wait! Mr. Reese where are you going?” Harold was starting to sweat, remembering what happened the last time John walked out the door and left him alone.
“I’m just going down to get the wheelchair Finch…are you going to be okay? I can just leave it.”
“No…you can go get it, just hurry please…”
Reese ran down the stairs and grabbed it. He locked the door and shut all the curtains to Finch’s request. Then went and sat down next to Finch on the couch. Finch had agreed to see a therapist, although not easily. It only came after he had talked to her once while he was still in the hospital and Carter had said she’d helped her once after her first major shooting on the force.
"Okay, well the therapist is coming tomorrow, she’s going to come 3 days a week. Fusco and Carter are bringing dinner by in a couple hours. Do you want to take a nap?”
“I’d actually like to just sit here Mr. Reese if that’s okay…” Finch breathed out.
“Okay. Do you want something to drink? Want me to turn on the TV? Pain meds?” Reese was clearly struggling with this, he wasn’t very good at taking care of people after the fact. He had always just tried to stop the bad things from happening. But it was Harold. He would do anything for Harold.
“You can turn the TV on if you’d like Mr. Reese. If you could go grab the pain medication we got from the pharmacy though?”
“Of course Finch.” Reese grasped Harold’s hand and then got up to go get the medicine.
The next day, the doorbell rang. Finch jumped as Reese got up to answer it. He looked out the peephole with his gun drawn,
“It’s just the therapist Harold. It’s okay.” John said as he put the gun into the back of his pants and opened the door.
“Hello John. How’s he doing today?” the therapist asked not realizing Harold was in the room.
“Quite alright doctor,” Finch said. The doctor seemed a bit embarrassed as she walked into the apartment.
“Well let’s get started shall we, is there a place more private we could go?”
"I uh…what about.” Finch started as he looked up at John.
“Here this should work…” Reese opened the spare bedroom’s door. “I’ll be right here Finch, don’t worry.”Finch and the doctor went into the spare bedroom and Reese shrunk down onto the couch.
Reese awoke to the doctor shutting the door. His eyes were still heavy and he rubbed them to try to wake himself up.
“Well that’s it for today. I should get going.” The therapist told John.
“How’d it go??”
“Well, he’s getting there, but it’s going to be a long process.” She said. John sighed as he forced himself off the couch, “You know…there are other options for his care. Facilities are wonderful, but if you want him to stay here you can have a nurse come in and help out.” She could tell John was exhausted.
“Thanks but…it’s the least I can do for him.”
“Okay…well if you ever need to talk, just call me. Things like this can be even harder on the caregiver.” She said as she left.
Reese went into the spare bedroom to find Harold looking out the window.
“Finch? You okay?” Reese asked.</p>
“Yes Mr. Reese I’m fine. Just a little…tired that’s all.”
“Okay, well I think it’s time for your bath, unless you want to take a shower.”
“No…no a bath should be fine.” Finch sighed feeling more helpless then he ever had before.
Reese wheeled him into the bathroom and helped him get undressed. He could barely look at Finch because of the scars and bruises that were left on his body. He couldn’t believe what Harold had been through. His fragile tiny body had withstood so much. He went to take Finch’s boxers off but Finch stopped him.
“Come on Harold…not like I haven’t seen it before.” Reese said a little annoyed.
“Mr. Reese…please just leave them on…” Harold said as his cheeks started to feel hot.
“Whatever you say Finch.” Reese said as he picked him up and carefully lowered him into the tub. They had wrapped a plastic bag around the cast on his leg from his broken ankle.
Finch was sitting in the tub with John carefully washing his back when Harold broke the silence “Mr. Reese…I want you to leave.”
“Finch what do you mean? If you feel uncomfortable, don’t. This is…”
Harold interrupted him, “No. It’s not a matter of whether or not I’m comfortable, it’s a matter of you don’t deserve this. You shouldn’t have to sit here and watch me 24/7 like a child.”
“Harold. You saved my life. This is the least I can do. Please just let me do this.”
Harold didn’t say anything. He knew no matter what he said that John was too good a man to leave.
John had wrapped Finch up in a big fluffy robe that Carter had brought by the previous night when she and Fusco brought dinner over. He had situated all the pillows just right so Finch would be comfortable sitting up in bed. Reese picked Finch up out of his wheelchair and sat him down on the bed.
“I’m going to go cook dinner, think you’ll be fine in here by yourself for a little?” Reese asked as he tucked the comforter around him.
“Yes I should think so…just leave the door open just in case I need you.”
“Voilà! Dinner is served! My specialty, spaghetti and meatballs.” Reese said with a sly smirk as he brought the plate in to Finch.
Finch got a slight smile on his face, the first since all of this had happened. “Well it looks great Mr. Reese.” He said as he started to laugh.
John gave Finch his plate and set down a glass of water along with all of Finch’s medicine on the end table beside the bed. While he had been out in the kitchen, he changed into a comfy sweatshirt and was wearing just his boxers.
“What should we watch?” Reese asked Finch as he slipped into the bed, grabbing the remote, resting his back against the headboard and sitting his plate of spaghetti on his lap. Being extra careful not to irritate Finch’s injuries.
“I think the Cubs game should be on…” Finch said twisting the noodles on his fork.
“I forgot you liked baseball Finch…” Reese was stuffing his face with the spaghetti as he hadn’t ate all day.
“You know Mr. Reese, this is actually quite good!” Finch said complementing the spaghetti. They finished the spaghetti and Reese took the plates out to the kitchen.
“MR. REESE! GET IN HERE!!” Finch yelled from the bedroom.
Reese dropped the dishes in the sink, grabbed his gun and sprinted to Finch,
“What? What is it? What’s wrong?!?” Reese gasped out of breath.
“The Cubs just won on a walk-off…” Finch whispered realizing what a poor choice it was to yell… given the circumstances.
“Finch…” Reese sounded a little upset but then realized after all they had been through in the past couple days, all he cared about was that Finch was actually there, “just…be more careful next time…” Reese couldn’t help but start laughing which in turn made Finch start to laugh a little before he winced from the pain in his ribs.
Reese went over and grabbed the pain killers for Finch and opened the bottle. “Here, take these, you haven’t had any since this morning, and don’t forget to take deep breaths… even if it hurts. You could make it worse if you don’t.” Reese got up and started towards the kitchen, “I’ll go get you an ice pack…the first week is always the worst with ribs.”
Harold had forgotten that John had known almost exactly how he was feeling. He had probably even been through worse…and seen worse. Reese got back with the ice pack and placed it on Harold’s fragile ribs and held it there for about 20 minutes.
“T…Thank you John…” Harold groaned as he shifted back into bed under the covers.
Reese tucked the covers nice and snug around Harold. “Night Harold.” He put a hand on his forehead and bent down to give him a kiss on the cheek. “I’m going to go out in the living room, if you need anything just call.” He started to make his way out, he hadn’t slept more than 2 hours a night since Harold was in the hospital and tonight didn’t look like it would be any different. Last night he sat in the bedroom watching Harold sleep, watching to make sure that his chest kept moving up and down.
“Mr. Reese…maybe…I…” Harold fumbled around with his words “would you mind sleeping in here tonight? I just…feel safer with you.”
Reese smiled and slipped into the bed next to Harold. “Are you sure? I don’t want to be in the way or anything.”
“Positive Mr. Reese.” Harold sighed and closed his eyes.
John lay awake for a while with his hand holding his head up on the pillow watching Harold sleep. Harold would mumble in his sleep here and there, mainly stuff John couldn’t make out. Pretty soon he started to feel his eyelids get heavy and eventually gave in to the exhaustion and drifted off to asleep.
John woke up to Finch screaming next to him. He had his fair share of nightmares about everything he had been through, so he knew all too well that’s what was happening to Finch.
“Finch?” John asked concerned that Finch wouldn’t snap out of it. “Finch it’s me John.”
Finch finally woke up and couldn’t help but cringe from the dream he had just had. “John? Did I … Did I wake you?”
“No…I couldn’t sleep.” Reese couldn’t bear to make Finch feel any worse than he already did.
“Oh…okay.” Finch sat there catching his breath. “Well doubt I’ll be able to sleep again either.”
“Do you want to go out into the living room? Or just stay in here?” Reese almost slurred as he was still kind of sleepy.
“We can stay in here. You look tired John, maybe you should go back to sleep… I’ll just read or something.”
John was itching to ask but he knew how Finch liked his privacy. He wanted so badly to talk to Finch about what had happened when the men took him. He wanted to comfort Finch and reassure him that it would never happen again.
“Don’t worry about me Harold…can I do anything to help? You were flinching pretty badly there…does your neck hurt?”
“A little…but not too bad…It’s mainly my ribs… would you mind…no never mind you need sleep.” Harold started but quickly saw how tired John looked.
“Harold…I’ve gotten more sleep tonight than I have in the past 4 nights combined…what do you need?”
“An ice pack…and also I think I can take more pain medicine…”
“Say no more, I’ll be right back.” John said as he flung the covers off of him and rose up out to the kitchen.
“Okay here…” Reese lifted the covers off of Finch and carefully pulled his robe aside, “It’s going to be a little…” Finch gasped at how cold the ice pack felt against his tender skin. “Sorry…” John whispered.
“No, no it’s quite alright Mr. Reese.” Finch reassured him as he got used to the chilling temperature on his skin.
“Here’s a glass of water, and I brought you two naproxen…they should hold you over until the afternoon at least.” Reese was still holding the ice pack and maneuvered his other hand around to give Finch the pills. He swallowed them down.
“Mr. Reese…I just…” Finch was trying to find what words he wanted to say…he finally decided on “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it Finch…really.”
“No. I have to. You’ve been so… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you for this. Once I’m better…” Finch trailed off… “If I get better… You are going to get a well-deserved vacation.”
“Stop it Finch. I don’t want a vacation. I want to be here with you. And you <em>ARE</em> going to get better. You’re already getting better. I’ve left you in here alone at least 3 times today and you were fine. You’re taking less pain medication too. So you are getting better Finch.”
“Mr. Reese…” Harold whispered but was interrupted…
“And as for repaying me…” John felt his voice crack… “You already did.”
“What do you mean John?” Finch was confused and John wouldn’t look him in the eyes. He cupped his hands around John’s face making him look at him, it was a little hard with the cast on his hand, but he managed…trying to conceal the obvious pain he had from moving like that…
“You repaid me before any of this even happened Harold. You saved my life. So at least let me do this for you now.” John pressed the ice pack harder to Harold’s ribs,
“John…I…” Finch didn’t know what to say. He finally blurted out “I love you.”
“I… love you too.” John said as he leaned in to kiss Harold on the lips. It was a long warm embrace between two people who desperately needed it
“Well we better stop… you’re in no shape to keep going…” Reese said with a smirk. He took the ice pack off and sat it on the end table next to the bed. He slid back under the covers next to Finch and snuggled in as close as he could without hurting him. “You okay? I’m not hurting you am I?”
“Yes I’m fine Mr. Reese.” Finch said nuzzling even farther down into Reese’s grasp. “I suppose you want to talk about it…”
Reese didn’t think he heard Finch right. “What… Finch not if you don’t want to. I’m not going to force you, you can talk about it when you’re ready.” Reese didn’t want to pry, even though it was killing him not knowing.
“I…I think it’ll help.” Finch started, “It seemed to help with the therapist this morning and I didn’t even tell her very much.”
“Okay Finch…” John said rubbing his fingers through Harold’s hair.
“Well…I guess I don’t quite know where to start Mr. Reese… and I’m still a bit fuzzy, I’m assuming from the concussion.”
Reese closed his eyes and tried to stop himself from thinking about what they did to Finch to give him a concussion. “Just start from the very beginning, when they…” John felt himself get angry before he finished. The heat in his chest was rising, “took you.” John clenched his eyes shut.
“Well… you left that night and I was on my computer working on another alias to make for you since you had to burn one of yours. And I heard the gate open and I had just figured you forgot something, but I was indeed wrong. There was 3 men and they started to trash the place. I didn’t know what to do so I went to call you… but one of them grabbed me and ripped me out of the chair. I was trying to get away and kicked one of them away, but that only made things worse.” Finch started to shake and he was clenching Reese’s hand and wouldn’t let go.
"Finch, if you… you can stop.” Reese said not knowing who it was affecting more, him or Finch.
“When I kicked the one, the other punched me in the face.” Reese grimaced and wanted to get out of the bed and kill them right now. “My glasses fell off and I fell to the ground. I couldn’t see anything and the whole side of my face was burning. They grabbed me again and I tried kicking again but they had twisted my legs and I couldn’t move. They threw me into the back of a van or car or something and shoved a needle into my neck. The next thing I remember is waking up in a warehouse strapped to a pipe with a horrendous headache and my hands and legs tied.” Finch was still shaking and Reese was holding his hand, rubbing the top of his knuckles. “They… they wanted to know about the machine. At first I thought Root had hired them. But after a while I knew it couldn’t be her.” Finch steadied himself and prepared himself for what he was about to say. John knew it had to be what they did to him, “They were punching me at first. I’m guessing that’s when I got the concussion. But I thought hey this isn’t all that bad… then they brought out some other… techniques.” Finch swallowed. Reese almost didn’t want him to finish. “I wouldn’t tell them anything… so they broke my fingers. Then moved on, I’m assuming after they got bored of that. Then they ripped my shoulder out. I screamed so loud Mr. Reese. It felt like my throat was bleeding. I was so out of it I couldn’t even comprehend what was going on, so they decided to try something to wake me up.” Finch gritted his eyes shut, “They laid me down and got out a big can of something.” Reese knew what Finch was going to say, he had done it to people more than he’d like to admit. His heart also stopped when he remembered what had almost killed Finch… water in his lungs. “It turns out it was liquid, so they threw a bag over my head and started to pour.”
Reese couldn’t take it anymore “Finch… please… stop.” he could feel the tears start to come down his face. He got up and went over to kneel beside Finch whose eyes were also watering. He grabbed his hands, being careful of the one with the cast. “I’m so sorry Finch. I should have stayed that night.”
“Stop it. What did I say in the hospital?” Finch looked him directly in the eyes. “This is not your fault. There was absolutely nothing you could have done. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“Finch…” Reese started to smirk, “you are just too damn considerate. Usually the one who gets tortured isn’t the one who apologizes” Reese had a smile on his face. But it quickly faded, “do you… wanna keep talking? I mean if you think it’ll help…”
“Yes… I think it will indeed.” Finch said grasping Reese’s hand.
So they lie there through the night. Just talking. Once Finch was done, Reese just started talking about his time in Kandahar. Each of them comforting the other until the sun started to shine through the windows and told them it was morning.
“Well…I guess it’s time to get up Finch.” Reese said as he started to get out of the bed.
“No reason we can’t lie here a little longer Mr. Reese.” Finch said motioning him back to the bed.
“And here I thought I was going to be the clingy one after this all happened.” Reese joked as he climbed back into the bed, snuggling under the fluffy covers with Harold.