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Reading Lounge

Reese gave Finch half an hour to get settled and fall asleep before he went to check on him, just to avoid further temptation. Because the prospect of talking to Finch in his altered state was tempting, but it also wasn’t fair. Digging into Finch’s background was one thing, having Fusco tail him, snooping around the library, trying to break into his computer – that was the operative trying to better understand the asset, but this…this felt like taking advantage of a friend. If Finch ever sat down and talked with him, he wanted it to be because Finch trusted him, not because the man was high as a kite.

He found Finch in one of the reading lounges, sprawled across the sofa, his blanket piled on the floor and an empty bottle of water lying beside him. With a small shake of his head, Reese picked up the blanket and reached for the bottle, but frowned as he realized the lid wasn’t on it. Turning on the table lamp beside the couch, Reese stared down at his boss, drops of water clinging to the lenses of his glasses and the front of his shirt soaking wet.

“It was easier to keep Leila out of trouble,” Reese muttered, loosening Finch’s tie. The man woke with a start, blinking owlishly up at Reese before smiling, a broad, easy smile that made Reese unexpectedly angry and sad for reasons he couldn’t explain. Shrugging it off, he reached down and took Finch’s arm, helping the man sit up. “Looks like you had a little mishap,” Reese said.

“I’m wet,” Finch observed, making no move to assist as Reese removed his tie and began unbuttoning his waistcoat. “Was it the sprinklers again?”

“No, I think a bottle of water just got away from you.”

“Oh,” Finch said, nodding. He let Reese peel off the waistcoat, then leaned back against sofa and stared up at the ceiling as Reese worked on unbuttoning his shirt. “Do you know what?”

Reese hesitated. “No…What?”

“I’ve missed you.”

There was something so sweet and innocent and heartfelt in those simple words, Reese found himself struggling not to be angry at the man. What the hell was wrong with him? “I wasn’t gone that long,” Reese said, unbuttoning Finch’s cuffs before untucking his shirt from his trousers. He worked the shirt off and hung it over the back of a nearby chair to dry before considering Finch’s undershirt. It was wet down the front, too, but Reese imagined Finch would be offended as hell that Reese had undressed him as much as he had; the shirt would dry. But apparently Finch had a different opinion. He raised his arms in the air and looked up at Reese, waiting.

“You sure?” Reese asked.

“Mmm-hmm,” Finch responded, that big, stoned smile on his face again as Reese peeled the shirt off, resisting the urge to examine him for clues to his injuries.

“All right,” Reese said, reaching for the blanket. “Lie down and go back to sleep.” He started as Finch caught his hand, staring at it like he’d never seen one before.

“Wow,” Finch breathed. “I forgot what big hands your have. Big hands, big feet, big-” He giggled and rolled his eyes upward, his smile taking on a mischievous quality. “I remember what that means.” And to Reese’s surprise, he lay back on the sofa, trying to draw Reese down with him.

Reese gently extricated his hand from Finch’s. “You need to sleep now, Harold.”

“Oh…” Finch pouted. “What’s wrong? You’ve never said no to me before.”

Reese frowned. “I’m starting to think you have me mistaken for someone else. It’s Reese. It’s John.”

“John?” Finch struggled to sit up, squinting up at him. Then his eyes widened. “Oh! John! How are you?”

“Fine, Finch.”

“I feel really strange,” Finch said, “but…I think I like it. You should try it sometime; you need to smile more. Oh, do you know what I read?” He leaned closer, lowering his voice to an exaggerated whisper. “MDMA makes sex a-may-zing, like whoa. Is that true?”

“I don’t know,” Reese said, rubbing at his temple to try to ward off the headache he could feel coming, “and I don’t think you’re going to find out tonight. Just go to sleep.”

“Oh, c’mon,” Finch said, pushing himself up off the sofa, “I may look like a genius billionaire recluse, but in bed I’m an animal, like a wildebeest…or a marmoset. Rawr.

Reese could only stare at him. Finch was going to have an aneurysm in the morning when he remembered this, if he remembered this…Reese didn’t know if tripping on Ecstasy resulted in blackouts, but one could hope. Finch suddenly glanced down, fingers fumbling with his belt, and Reese reacted quickly, reaching out and placing a hand over both of Finch’s to stop him.

“Let’s leave that alone, shall we?” he said.

Finch looked up at him, the lamplight sparkling in the tiny drops of water still clinging to the lenses of his glasses. “Why? Don’t you want me?”

Reese sighed and reached up, plucking Finch’s glasses off his face and drying the lenses on his coat before gently settling them back in place. “Harold, I want you to listen to me very carefully. The E in your system is making you do and say things that are going to make you very upset in the morning, and I don’t want you mad at me because I let you do something I knew you shouldn’t be doing.”

“I could never get mad at you; you’re my friend,” Finch said, stirring up that irrational anger again. Reese forced a smile.

“You’re my friend, too, which is why I want to do what’s best for you. I know it’s hard, but you need to trust me.”

“Okay,” Finch said with another of those sweet smiles. Reese took his arm and helped him back down onto the couch, spreading the blanket out over him and tucking it in around his bare feet.

“Now get some sleep,” Reese said, turning off the table lamp and heading for the door.

“No kiss goodnight?”

Reese stopped, closed his eyes, and wondered if Finch would forgive him if he knocked him unconscious. Probably. He glanced back. “If I do, you have to promise me you’ll stop talking and close your eyes. Can you do that?”

“Cross my heart,” Finch said with exaggerated solemnity as he drew an X on his chest. Reese stepped back over to the couch, leaned down, and placed a quick kiss on Finch’s forehead. “Oh, not like that,” Finch pouted. “Right here.” He pursed his lips.

“I deserve a raise for this,” Reese muttered, leaning back down and pressing a chaste kiss to Finch’s lips. He was surprised by the hand that caught him by the back of the neck, sliding up into his hair, enough so that he didn’t pull back when Finch deepened the kiss, soft lips parting, coaxing his mouth open, a skilled tongue stroking his. When Finch finally let go and drew back, Reese was dazed and out of breath. He just stood there as Finch settled himself more comfortably on the sofa and pulled the blanket up to his chin.

“Goodnight, John,” Finch murmured, his eyes closed.

“Goodnight, Harold.” Reese walked to the door, where he stood and stared in at Finch for several long minutes. Suddenly, his anger didn’t seem so irrational. It wasn’t fair that it took a mind-altering substance to get Finch to trust him, or to admit that they were friends, or to- He reached up, brushing his fingertips against his lips, the memory of Finch’s kiss lingering. Who knew?

“Hey…Finch?” he said, his voice soft, not wanting to wake the other man if he was finally asleep. He didn’t get a response, but that didn’t stop him. “Just in case you do remember this tomorrow, and just in case that wasn’t just the drugs…I wouldn’t say no if you wanted to kiss me again sometime.” He waited for a heartbeat or two, the silence punctuated by a soft snore. With a sigh, he stepped out into the hall and pulled the door closed behind him.

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One Comment
  1. managerie76 permalink

    “like a wildebeest…or a marmoset”

    Oh yeah. LMAO

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