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Finch sat in the quiet restaurant, his fingers absently smoothing the crease in the linen tablecloth as he watched the flame dancing within the crystal candle holder. This was such a bad idea. Such a bad, bad, stupid, irresponsible idea. He glanced at his watch, then toward the door, then picked up his glass of water, the ice clinking inside as he his hand trembled. What the hell was thinking?

He cleared his throat, his mouth dry in a way that no amount of imported ice water could fix, and licked his lips as he stared down at the menu without really looking at it. He’d been contemplating this action for weeks, but now that he was there, and Reese was on his way, he had no idea of what he was going to say.

“Mr. Reese, I’m sure you’re wondering why I asked you here this evening,” he said under his breath, then shook his head. That sounded like he was going to fire him. “Reese, I– John, I thought– Thank you for joining me, John, I was hoping–” He sighed and peeled off his glasses, rubbing at the headache that was starting to form between his eyes. “John, I’m in love with you. Take me home and make love to me.” He laughed, a soft, bitter sound. This was so stupid.

He put his glasses back on and started to slide out of the booth, his nerve failing him…or perhaps his common sense kicking in. He would text Reese and tell him something had come up, apologize, and forget this moronic idea. It was a good plan, until he glanced up and saw Reese crossing the restaurant toward him, absently adjusting the cobalt blue tie that Finch had bought for him and left in the library, next to the address for the restaurant.

“Sorry I’m late,” Reese said, sliding into the semi-circular booth and sitting across from Finch. “Traffic was a nightmare, every couple in the city heading out to dinner. But you probably didn’t realize that it was Valentine’s Day, did you, Harold?” He glanced around the restaurant, then back at Finch, his eyes twinkling with mischief. “People probably think we’re on a date.”

Finch felt his face flush, the room almost unbearably hot all of a sudden. “John, I didn’t forget what day it was. I–”

“Oh? Is that our cover, then? A gay couple?” He shifted around the table, sliding up against Finch’s side and resting his arm along the back of the booth, behind Finch’s shoulders, pressing the outside of their legs together from hip to knee. He leaned close, his proximity making Finch’s heart pound. “What’s the plan, Harold? Is it a number, or an asset?”

Finch moistened his dry lips. “It- it’s neither, Mr. Reese–”

“Then why are we here, Finch?” Reese said with a hint of exasperation as he picked up his glass of water. “I’m sure there’s someone out there who could have put this reservation to better use than us. It’s not like either of us is going to get lucky tonight.”

“You might if you’d just stop interrupting me,” Finch said as Reese took a drink. “I want you, John.” Without thinking, he put his hand on Reese’s thigh, just to make his intentions clear.

Reese jumped like he’d been stuck with a pin, spraying water all over the table, and all over Finch. The restaurant went silent and Finch felt his face heat up again. He couldn’t really see through the water drops on his glasses, but he could imagine all the other patrons craning their necks to see what the noise was about.

He dug into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a folded hundred dollar bill, laying it on the table as he slid out of the booth. “My mistake, Mr. Reese,” he said, hobbling toward the exit as fast as he could. This had to be the worst idea he’d ever hard, the biggest mistake he’d ever made. It would be a miracle if Reese even answered his phone the next time there was a number. More likely, Finch would find his loft empty, his phone left behind, him and Bear gone, vanished. And all because of fucking Valentine’s Day.

Outside, he turned, threading his way through the strolling pedestrians out for an evening walk after dinner or a movie, couples holding hands and gazing adoringly at each other. He wanted to grab them, shake them, shout at them, tell them that it was all a chemically induced euphoria, a biological high, an illusion, a lie. Love was not real, it was just another way for people to make themselves look stupid.


He heard Reese call his name, but he did not slow, did not turn. He could never face the man again.

“Finch. Harold. Hey!”

Finch stiffened as Reese grabbed him by the arm and spun him around. He opened his mouth to apologize, to beg Reese to just forget it, but found his words stopped by Reese’s lips crashing against his own. Hands cupped his cheeks, his eyes sliding shut as Reese kissed him, deep and slow, their tongues touching, stroking, exploring each other’s mouths, leaving him light-headed and out of breath.

Reese drew back, his face flushed. “Sorry about in there,” he said, taking Finch’s glasses and drying them on his sleeve. “You just caught me by surprise. I never imagined you might feel the same way about me that I do about you.”

Finch took back his glasses, ignoring the lingering smears on the lenses, so he could make sure Reese wasn’t laughing at him. He wasn’t, but that didn’t mean his words weren’t a joke. “Mr. Reese, if this is some kind of game to you–”

Reese kissed him again, hands sliding under his jacket, strong arms wrapping around him, pulling him close, Reese’s tongue sliding across his, skilled, determined lips moving against his own. “Does this feel like a game?” Reese asked between long, slow kisses. “Damn it, Harold — I love you. I have for…it feels like forever. But I never thought you would want me.”

“I do,” Finch confessed. “I have for…forever. And I love you, too.”

“I know,” Reese said, finally drawing back. He reached down and took Finch’s hand, giving it a squeeze as he tossed his head in the direction of the restaurant. “C’mon, let’s go have dinner. I asked the maitre d’ to hold our table.”

“After the scene we just made? No,” Finch said shaking his head. “I can’t go back in there. I’ll have to sell the place–”

Reese laughed. “Why am I not surprised? It explains how you got reservations, though. Now come on, no one cares if we made a scene. I’m sure us holding hands and making out while we wait for our food will cause them to forget it completely.”

“We’re not making out,” Finch said firmly, his steps reluctant as he allowed Reese to lead him back to the restaurant. “Did you hear me, Mr. Reese? John?”

Reese just glanced back and gave him a crooked grin.

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  1. OMG, I loved the part where Finch was trying to decide what to say and the bit about taking him home with him. Hehe. CK You certainly made me laugh, though I probably shouldn’t have. XD Embarrassed Finch is just so darn cute. ^.^ Very adorable fic. Thanks, dear. 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. And laughing is good. These are (usually) cute or funny little stories (a couple are darker).

  2. Kate permalink

    Oh – how delightful! I am always such a huge fan of your water spots series and this was one of the best yet! The best sort of valentine’s present!

  3. managerie76 permalink

    Harold rehearsing was so very cute.

    “You might if you’d just stop interrupting me,”

    He wanted to grab them, shake them
    Whimper poor Harold.

    • It was one of my favorite parts. Flustered Finch is adorable.
      Thanks for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it. ^_^

  4. Plink42 permalink

    Since it so rarely happens, it’s nice to see Reese & Finch unsure of themselves sometimes. It makes them more relatable and more fun, and this was A LOT of fun. And so romantic at the end… my heart might burst. ^_^ Can’t wait for the other two!

  5. meh, Finch and Reese are just too darn cute! And I just wanted to cry when Harold was all like “love isn’t real”….great job, i loved it. And a Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

  6. D’awww… XD XD XD

    And of course he owns the restaurant! ROFL

    Sequel? Please? Pretty please with Bear on top???

    • Hahaha, in my headcannon, Finch owns most of New York, LOL

      Oh, I don’t know about a sequel. I haven’t done any sequels for any of these one-shots. But who knows what the plot-bunnies will want next. XD

  7. managerie76 permalink

    Re-reading this lovely piece

    Might have a typo~ he’d ever hard,
    should that be ~ he’d ever had?

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