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Merry Christmas, Mr. Finch

Author’s Note: I wanted to try something a little different with their roles, since all the fic that I’ve read (and written) have Reese being the more dominant, experienced one, or have them both be equal. I think inexperienced Reese turned out pretty sweet.

A bitter wind howled outside the library, pelting the windows with huge, icy snowflakes and making it seem like twilight though it wasn’t yet noon. A slow-moving front heavy with moisture had moved up the eastern seaboard into a pocket of arctic air from out of Canada, burying most of New England under several feet of snow. It had knocked out power in several areas and effectively brought the city to a grinding halt. There was one upside, though.

“Still no numbers, Finch?”

“Don’t sound so disappointed,” Finch said, over in one of the back corners reorganizing his books or something. Reese wandered over in that direction, his gaze sliding over the walls of books, many trapped behind ornate metalwork.

“Have you read all these books?” he asked, stopping behind Finch and leaning against one of the concrete pillars.

Finch turned, one eyebrow raised and that guarded, deadpan stare firmly in place. Reese liked that look; it amused him. It meant that Finch was ready for him, that he’d have to work for every hint, every glimpse at the man behind the curtain. It was a challenge. He liked that.

“If you need something to pass the time, Mr. Reese, you’re more than welcome to borrow a few,” Finch said, evading the question.

“What do you recommend?”

“I doubt our taste in literature runs in the same vein,” Finch said dryly. “Feel free to poke around downstairs; it’s all genre fiction down there.” He said it as though the words left a bad taste in his mouth.

Reese smirked. “C’mon, Finch, who doesn’t enjoy a good romance novel now and then?” Clearly not Finch, judging by the look he gave Reese. He went back to playing with his books, like some men tinker with clocks or build model trains, Reese supposed. After a minute, Reese stepped closer, right up behind him, and Finch froze, his whole body tensing. It was a reaction Reese had noted before, almost like Finch was afraid of him. And with good reason, though Reese couldn’t imagine ever harming the brilliant, broken little man, with his quiet, dry humor and haunted eyes. Quite the opposite, in fact. Finch was a good man, better than most, and such a man deserved to be protected.

Reese reached out, past Finch, and carefully pulled one of the old books down off the shelf. “Maybe I’ll borrow this one,” he said.

“That,” Finch said, reaching up and taking it out of his hand, “is a signed first edition from the eighteenth century.” He gently slid it back into place.

“What about this one?” Reese asked with devilish innocence as he reached for another. He stopped, startled as Finch’s hand closed over his. The contact lasted only a moment, then Finch pulled away.

“I’m really very busy, Mr. Reese,” Finch said. “I’ll call you when I have another number.”

“You’re throwing me out?” Reese pretended to be hurt. “Into that storm? On Christmas Eve?”

“Drive carefully, Mr. Reese,” Finch replied.

Reese sighed. He’d pushed too hard. “All right. I’ll see you.” He started to walk away. “Oh, and Finch?”

Finch turned to look at him, as wary as a wounded animal.

“Have a Merry Christmas,” Reese said with a small smile. Finch regarded him for a moment, then turned away again. Reese’s smile faded as he tucked his hands into his coat pockets and headed down the hall.

“Mr. Reese?”

He was almost to the stairs when Finch’s voice came echoing down the corridor. He glanced back, surprised to see his employer hurrying after him with his distinctive stiff gait. Reese walked back to meet him halfway. Finch handed him an index card with several lines of Finch’s neat handwriting upon it.

“What is this?” Reese asked.

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” Finch said, turning away and heading back down the hall. “Just be there at six. And wear something nice.”

Reese frowned and glanced down at the card. It was an address for an apartment on the upper west side. Reese considered the possibilities and then let a cautious smile tug at the corner of his mouth.

~*~*~*~

At a quarter to six, Reese trudged through the snow, just a few blocks from the address Finch had given him. Cautious as always, he had parked some distance away, just in case. Just in case of what, he wasn’t sure. The storm had turned Manhattan into a ghost town, the usually crowded streets deserted. Well, almost.

“Hey, mister, wanna buy a candy cane?”

Reese stopped beneath the awning of the apartment building, surprised to see three kids, maybe twelve or thirteen, sitting huddled beneath a blanket behind a rickety old card table. Spread out on the table were various Christmas decorations – a few candy canes, a sprig of mistletoe tied with a red and silver ribbon, a couple of evergreen scented candles, a wooden rocking horse ornament, a Santa hat, and a headband with cloth reindeer antlers stitched to it. Beside the items was a sign detailing which school the children attended and why the music program needed new violins.

“Shouldn’t you kids be inside?” Reese asked. “It’s freezing out here.”

“You’re tellin’ us!” one of the kids said. “C’mon, man, do us a favor and buy somethin’ so we don’t have to drag all this crap back downstairs in the morning.”

Reese chuckled. “I like your honesty, kid,” he said. “How about I give you twenty bucks for everything?” The children looked at each other, then at the items, probably taking a quick inventory to make sure they weren’t being ripped off.

“Yeah, okay,” one of them said after a minute, climbing out from under the blanket. “You want the table, too?”

“No, thanks,” Reese said, “but a bag would be nice.” He handed over the money and the children helped him pack everything into a plastic bag.

“Thanks, mister,” they called as he walked away. “Merry Christmas!” He waved and tucked his hand into his pocket, whistling Silent Night as he made his way down the dark, quiet street.

The building Finch had directed him to was fairly new, upscale, only a dozen or so stories tall, with warm brass and dark marble in the lobby. He surprised the doorman when he walked in, the man clearly not expecting to see any foot traffic in that weather. Reese just smiled and nodded to him. “Merry Christmas,” he said.

“You, too,” the doorman said.

In the elevator, Reese checked his reflection in the gleaming panels, shaking the snow off his coat and out of his hair. His cheeks and nose were red, bitten by the cold wind, and after only a moment’s hesitation, he dug into his bag of treasures and pulled out the Santa hat. Hat in hand, he made his way down the corridor to the apartment written on the card. Not quite sure what to expect, he drew his pistol out from under his coat, where it rested at the small of his back, and tucked it into his belt at his hip, where it was much easier to reach.

The apartment had a peephole in the door, so he knocked and waited until he heard the rattle of the safety chain being taken down before slipping the hat on. He suspected that if Finch had looked out and seen him wearing it, he might have pretended not to be home. If Finch was even here. The other most likely possibility was that Finch had set him up on a blind date, perhaps to get back at him for all the teasing, or perhaps out of a genuine desire for Reese to not be alone on Christmas Eve. There were a handful of other, unlikely possibilities, and it was these that had Reese’s hand sliding to the butt of his gun as the door opened.

Finch stood in the doorway, a look of startled bewilderment in his pale eyes as he stared out at Reese. Reese smiled. “Ho ho ho,” he said.

Finch just sighed and shook his head. “How…festive,” he said dryly. “Please, come in.” He turned and hobbled away, allowing Reese to step inside and close the door behind him. The apartment was small and smartly furnished in shades of blue and cream, the kitchen, dining, and living areas blending together into one large, open room and keeping the small space from feeling claustrophobic. Off the living room was a short hall, a door on either side, one to the bathroom and the other to the bedroom, Reese suspected.

“I got you something,” Reese said, reaching into the bag and pulling out the reindeer antler headband.

Finch, on his way into the kitchen, stopped, glanced back, and frowned. “Mr. Reese,” he said, sounding like a disappointed school teacher, “what on Earth possessed you to get such a thing for me?”

“All right, I didn’t get it for you,” Reese confessed, tossing it down on the counter that stood between them. “Some kids were out on the street fundraising for their school and I felt sorry for them, standing out in the snow, so I bought everything they had left.” He set the bag on the counter and reached inside. “Candy cane?”

Finch gave him a long-suffering look and turned away, grabbing pot holders off the glass cooktop and opening the oven door. Delightful aromas filled the room, making Reese’s mouth water. “Aw, Finch, you didn’t have to go though all this trouble for me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, Mr. Reese,” Finch said, shutting the oven and turning to the refrigerator. “The restaurant down the street hasn’t seen a customer all day; they were more than happy to throw together a Christmas dinner.” He pulled out a bowl of green salad full of frilly lettuce and what looked like purple dandelion leaves. He set it on the counter next to the reindeer antlers. “Would you mind putting that on the table while I open the wine?”

“No problem,” Reese said. The table was small, with seating for six, draped with a simple white tablecloth and set for two, one at either end. Reese set down the bowl and shrugged out of his coat, draping it over the back of one of the chairs. As he returned to his former place at the counter, he regarded Finch for a long moment, standing with his back to the room, working on removing the cork from what looked like an expensive bottle of wine. “You know, I changed my dinner plans to be here with you,” Reese said, taking the mistletoe out of the bag and smoothing the ends of the ribbon. “I was going to share a can of tuna with this stray cat that keeps hanging around on the hotel fire escape, and I bet he would have been better company.”

Finch just stood there at the counter for several long moments, then he finished working the cork out of the bottle and set it aside to breathe. “Forgive me, Mr. Reese, I’m not used to entertaining guests.” Finch had promised never to lie, so Reese didn’t doubt the truthfulness of his words, just the sincerity. Finch turned around, his gaze falling to the desiccated greenery in Reese’s hands. “That’s poisonous, you know.”

Reese rolled his eyes in exasperation and pulled his hat off. “I’m not going to eat it, Harold,” he said, tossing the hat down. He stalked over to the front door, peeled the backing off the double-sided tape stuck to the bow, and affixed it over the door. “There. And who knows, you might get lucky this holiday season.”

Finch’s gaze lingered on the mistletoe before shifting to Reese. “Not likely,” he said and turned away to check on the food again. Reese regarded him silently as he took a large tray out of the oven, the stiffness in his movements and the way he stood and drew several slow, careful breaths revealing the pain it caused him. That was the only sign, though. After a moment, he took a large platter out of the cupboard and set about arranging turkey, ham, and baked yams upon it.

Moving quietly, Reese walked around the end of the counter, picking up the reindeer antlers as he went. He wasn’t sure what tipped Finch off to his presence, but the smaller man suddenly went rigid, his breathing becoming shallow and rapid. Reese stopped behind him, so close their bodies were almost touching, and he watched his breath ruffle the meticulously groomed hairs on the back of Finch’s head.

“Relax, Finch,” Reese whispered. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

Finch swallowed loudly. “Then what are you doing, Mr. Reese?” he asked, his voice strained.

“Just spreading a little holiday cheer.” Gently, he settled the reindeer antlers on Finch’s head, making him flinch. After making sure the headband wouldn’t slide, Reese stepped back, expecting Finch to knock the antlers off his head, or tell Reese to get the hell out, but he just stood there for a moment before going back to what he was doing. He placed half a dozen warm rolls in a basket and covered them with a heavy linen napkin before stirring the mashed potatoes and ladling rich, dark gravy into a gravy boat.

“Here, let me help with that,” Reese said as Finch started to pick up the heavily laden platter. He didn’t wait for permission, he just reached past him and took the platter, carrying it to the table. Finch carried over the potatoes and gravy, his body stiff and his eyes averted as they passed each other. Reese paused to put the Santa hat back on his head before grabbing the basket of rolls and the bottle of wine.

Finch stood behind his chair, surveying the table. Reese waited until he had deemed it satisfactory, then both of them took their seats in silence. Neither spoke as they dished up, Finch passing the rolls without a word and Reese returning the favor with the salad. Reese watched Finch pour himself a full glass of wine, one hand reaching up to absently adjust the antlers on his head.

After a moment, Reese cleared his throat, making Finch tense. “You don’t have to wear those if you don’t want to.” He hadn’t even finished the sentence before Finch yanked them off and dropped them on the table beside his wine glass. Reese watched him pick at his food for a minute, taking a small bite of this, a small bite of that, washing it down with a sip of wine, his gaze never straying from his plate.

Finally, Reese sighed. “Why did you invite me here, Finch?”

Finch finished chewing what was in his mouth, swallowed, and dabbed at his lips with his napkin before answering. “I’ve been wondering that myself,” he said.

Reese could put up with a lot – and had – but he’d had enough. Any information he could gather wasn’t worth remaining in a place where he wasn’t wanted, not today. He set his napkin beside his plate and stood.

Finch glanced up, a startled look in his pale eyes. “Mr. Reese – Don’t go.”

Reese hesitated, surprised by Finch’s tone. It sounded almost…plaintive. “Then talk to me, Finch,” he said, his voice low. “Make me want to stay.”

Finch licked his lips and looked away. “I only meant that I was questioning my motives for having you over for dinner, not the wisdom of the invitation.”

“Hmm, still not feeling real welcome,” Reese said. “What motives?”

“Altruism,” Finch said, frowning as he picked up his wine glass and took a drink. “I thought I wanted to do something nice for you, to thank you for all that you have done and so you wouldn’t be alone on Christmas Eve, but now I think my reasons may have been more selfish. Maybe I didn’t want to be alone, either.”

“And that bothers you,” Reese said, sinking back into his chair. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting some company once in a while, Finch. Humans are social animals, and as brilliant as you are, you’re still only human.” He reached across the table, grabbed the bottle of wine, and poured himself some. “Now, let’s see if we can’t find something harmless and non-interrogative to talk about.”

“Like what?” Finch asked warily.

“Like…” He glanced around the apartment, his gaze falling on the windows, the sills piled with snow, driving flakes pattering against the glass. “Like the weather. Have you ever seen a storm like this?” He didn’t wait for answer, because there were no innocent questions in Finch’s mind. “January in Moscow was dryer and colder, same with December in Siberia. I spent some time in Norway one winter – it snowed four feet in two days. I got really good at snow-shoeing that year. It’s quite a workout.”

He knew he was babbling, but he didn’t want to stop talking, he didn’t want to give Finch the chance to not talk to him. “I heard they’re predicting another two days before this storm blows out. The city’s going to be a mess when it’s over. I can’t even imagine where they’re going to put all this snow until it melts. Parking and vacant lots, I suppose.” He suddenly drew a blank as to what to say next, and covered by picking up his glass and taking a drink of the wine. It was rich, woody, and fruity – knowing Finch it was probably expensive, a quality vintage, but considering what variety of alcohol Reese typically chose to drink, a fine wine was wasted on him. Why the hell was he even there? They had nothing in common.

“Yes, I have,” Finch said quietly and Reese froze, staring over the rim of his glass at him.

“Have what?” Reese asked.

“You asked if I had ever seen a storm like this,” Finch explained. “Yes, I have. I spent some time in Connecticut. I discovered that I don’t like to ski.”

“Skiing isn’t my favorite winter activity, either,” Reese said. “I can think of many things I’d rather do than get cold and wet, sweaty and sore, going up and down a mountain all day.”

“I didn’t mind that so much,” Finch said. “It was when I fell and broke my collarbone that I decided I didn’t like it.”

“Ouch,” Reese said. The conversation lapsed and Reese could feel the silence like a yawning gulf between them. “I’ve never broken my collarbone,” he said, though he was pretty sure Finch already knew that. “I’ve broken seventeen other bones, though. Mostly ribs. Those aren’t any fun, let me tell you.”

“I’ve had broken ribs before, Mr. Reese,” Finch said quietly.

Reese regarded him across the table for a moment, then picked up his glass and took another drink. “This is good wine,” he said.

“Not bad,” Finch said. “2005 was a decent year. 2003 was better, but the restaurant was all out and I didn’t have time to visit my private collection.”

“Just as well,” Reese said. “No sense wasting the good stuff on me.” That finally got Finch to look up from his plate, but he just stared across the table at Reese for a moment before looking away again. “Are you sure it’s a good idea to be serving booze to man with an alcohol problem?” Reese asked, filling up his glass again.

“You don’t have an alcohol problem, Mr. Reese,” Finch said, “you have a guilt problem, which you medicated with alcohol. And as far as I know, you’ve stopped doing that.”

“Well, shooting people in the kneecaps isn’t as much fun with a hangover,” Reese said with a crooked grin, but Finch wasn’t looking. Thankfully, he also wasn’t looking when Reese crossed his eyes at him. Glancing away, Reese let his gaze wander over the living area. “This is a nice place, Finch. Did you do the decorating yourself?”

“Yes.”

“You have good taste.” Not surprising, really. “Maybe if I ever save up enough to rent a place, I’ll have you do the interior design.”

“Oh?” Finch glanced up, a slight frown creasing his brow. “I was not aware that you wanted a more permanent residence.”

Reese shrugged. “Sometimes. Even the nicest hotel is still just a hotel.”

“That is true,” Finch said, nodding slowly as he looked back down at the remnants of his meal. He picked up his wine glass and took a drink. “If you really like this apartment, I could sub-let it to you – on paper, I mean. I wouldn’t ask you to pay rent.”

“Careful, Finch,” Reese said and drained his glass. “Someone might think you were my sugar daddy.”

Finch snorted. “No one could be that imbecilic. Besides, no one will know.”

“So it’s a clandestine love affair?” Reese said, smirking as he reached for the bottle.

“I think you’ve had enough,” Finch said dryly, pulling it out of his grasp. He hesitated, then poured what was left into his own glass.

Still grinning to himself, Reese finished the turkey and potatoes that were on his plate before leaning back in his chair and sighing contentedly. “Thank you, Harold,” he said, only realizing after the fact that he’d used Finch’s first name. Usually, it was a deliberate choice intended to irritate or unsettle his employer. “Dinner was delicious.”

“I’ll pass on your compliments to the chef,” Finch said, sliding his chair back and picking up his plate. Reluctantly, Reese helped him clear the table and refrigerate the leftovers, aware that once everything was cleaned up, the evening would be over and he’d have to leave. Most nights, he didn’t mind going back to his hotel room alone, watching TV alone, and falling asleep alone. Often, he was too tired to even care, but with this storm, the quiet days and long, cold nights, it made the emptiness in his life echo.

“Well,” Reese said with a sigh as he picked up his antler headband off the bare table, “I guess I should be going.” No sense waiting for Finch to kick him out.

“Oh…all right,” Finch said. “Are you sure you’re okay to drive? You had quite a bit of wine.”

“I could call a cab.”

“Or you could stay a while longer and have some dessert. There’s an apple pie keeping warm in the oven and I’ve got ice cream in the freezer. I could heat up some buttered rum…” Reese had a feeling it was the wine making him hear things, but it sounded like Finch didn’t want him to leave.

“That sounds nice,” Reese said, “but if you’re trying to sober me up so I can go, hot buttered rum might not be the best beverage choice.”

I’m not,” Finch said, a hint of exasperation in his voice. “If you want to leave, you know where the door is, but it’s not like I have other plans tonight. I’m not going anywhere in this weather and I didn’t think to bring any books with me, so I’d be stuck here watching It’s a Wonderful Life all by myself until I fell asleep on the sofa.”

“Well, in that case…is there anything I can do to help?” Reese asked, shocked by Finch’s candor. It had to be the wine. Which made him wonder what a couple glasses of rum would do.

“There are plates in that cupboard if you’d like to dish up the pie,” Finch said, fetching himself a saucepan and putting it on the stove. While Finch melted butter and stirred in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, Reese cut each of them a generous slice of hot apple pie.

A la mode?” Reese asked as he found the pint of vanilla in the freezer.

Oui,” Finch replied, opening a bottle of Bacardi and pouring it into the pot. He left the rum to simmer as Reese placed a large scoop of soft, rich ice cream onto each slice of pie. Reese put the ice cream away, then followed Finch to the table. He kept stealing glances at Finch down the length of the table as they ate, but Finch never looked up. He couldn’t possibly find his pie that fascinating, which begged the question, why did Finch want him to stay if he wouldn’t even look at him?

Seemingly unaware of Reese’s scrutiny, Finch placed his fork down on the edge of his plate, wiped his mouth with a napkin, and returned to the kitchen. Reese watched him stir the rum before drawing up a spoonful, his lips puckering as he blew across it. He took a taste, licking his lips as he stared down into the pot. After a moment, he added another dash of nutmeg and stirred it again before returning to the table.

“So, is that an old family recipe?” Reese asked, nodding toward the stove.

“No,” Finch said to his pie. He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like ‘Google’.

“The reason that I asked,” Reese explained, “is because there’s a recipe in my family that has been passed down from my great-great-grandfather. It’s a hot apple cider that would knock you on your ass.” He hesitated. “Maybe I’ll make us some for New Year’s.”

Finch glanced up from his pie, which was little more than crust and melted ice cream, a familiar blend of surprise and suspicion in his eyes.

“Unless you’ve already made plans,” Reese said.

“No…I haven’t,” Finch said. They finished their dessert in silence, a very strange feeling in Reese’s chest that he doubted had anything to do with the wine. Finch’s odd behavior made no sense – which was highly uncharacteristic of the reserved and logical man – except when viewed from a certain angle, but Reese had to be more drunk than he thought to even consider it.

They cleared the dishes and Finch filled two mugs half full of steaming, spiced rum. Standing in the kitchen, they sipped their drink, which was wonderfully smooth and strong and warmed Reese down to his toes, and then Finch motioned him into the living room. Reese eyed the armchair and sofa, trying to decide where Finch would prefer to sit. Probably the armchair. Reese sank down onto one end of the sofa, surprised when Finch lowered himself onto the other end. It wasn’t a terribly big sofa, either – barely larger than a loveseat – which left almost enough room between them for a third person, but not quite.

“Would you like to watch the television?” Finch asked.

“Sure,” Reese said. He didn’t know what was on, but anything would beat sitting there like a pair of virgins on their wedding night. Finch picked up the remote off the coffee table, examining it for a moment before he found the ON button. Clearly, not a device he used often.

Ironically, It’s a Wonderful Life was on, but rather than look for something else, Finch set the remote back down and sipped his drink, staring at the black and white images on the screen. With all the black and white surveillance footage he watched, Reese wondered if Finch even noticed that the movie wasn’t in color. Relaxing into the soft support of the sofa, Reese sighed and nursed his rum, letting Jimmy Stewart’s voice wash over him.

“Do you think that’s really true?” Finch asked suddenly and Reese glanced over at him, his gaze fixed on the screen. “Do you think the world would be a different place if we had never been born?”

“Um…I suppose so,” Reese said. “Yeah, I’m sure it would. I mean, without you, there would be no Machine, right? That would change things.”

“Really?” Finch looked over at him. “You don’t think the government would have just asked someone else?”

Reese was silent, considering that for a moment. “Yeah, but could they have done it like you did? Would they have cared about the irrelevant list? Would they have offered me a job?” He shrugged and raised his mug. “I think I’ve had a bit too much of this for such heavy conversation, but I do know one thing for certain – without you, I would not be here.” He left his statement deliberately ambiguous, leaving it for Finch to decide if he meant ‘here’ as in sitting on the sofa, or as in still alive. Either was probably accurate.

“A toast, then,” Finch said, holding out his mug, “to being here.”

Reese smiled and touched his mug to Finch’s with a quiet clink, careful not to chip the cups. They watched the movie for a while longer, until Reese finally swirled the last mouthful around the bottom of his cup and drained it in a single swallow.

“Would you like another glass?” Finch asked, pushing himself stiffly up off the sofa. Reese noticed he swayed on his feet for a moment before steadying himself. Of course, Reese had no room to judge, the room spinning as he stood up.

“No, thank you,” Reese said, carrying his mug to the kitchen. “I really should think about calling a taxi. It’s getting late.”

“Of course,” Finch said. There was an awkward silence, then Reese walked to the table and slipped into his coat before collecting his bag of treasures and heading for the door. As he unhooked the security chain and drew back the deadbolt, he tried to think of something to say to Finch, but the rum was really making it impossible. He supposed a thank you and good night would be good enough.

“Mr. Reese?”

Standing in the open doorway, Reese glanced back as Finch picked up the headband with the antlers and carried it over to him.

“Here, these are yours,” Finch said, handing them to him. His gaze darted upward, his pale eyes flickering behind his glasses, then he glanced away.

“Thanks, Finch,” Reese said. “And thanks for dinner and the drinks. I really enjoyed your company tonight.”

“Me, too,” Finch said. “I’m glad you came.”

Reese looked down at the antlers in his hands, then grinned and reached out, placing them back on Finch’s head. “You go ahead and keep those. They look good on you.”

Unexpectedly, a flush of color rose into Finch’s face. He glanced upward again, at something above Reese’s head, and Reese followed his gaze, to the mistletoe hanging over their heads.

Reese laughed. “Don’t worry, Finch, I’m not going to make you kiss me.” He was surprised to see the color in Finch’s face darken, the smaller man moistening his lips and swallowing hard as he avoided Reese’s eyes. Reese stared at him for a moment, trying to convince himself it was just the rum making him see things, but it wasn’t working. Hesitantly, he took a step toward Finch. Finch stiffened, drawing a sharp breath as he looked up, his pale eyes wide.

Leaning down, Reese pressed his lips to Finch’s, a soft, chaste kiss – a joke, if need be. For a moment, Finch just stood there, then his lips parted, a breathless whimper escaping him, a sound of mingled desperation and despair. Reese drew back, regarding him as he stood shaking, his breathing fast and ragged. Reese swallowed hard, his mouth suddenly dry as he realized what he’d done.

“Finch,” he whispered. “Finch…I…I-”

Like doors being slammed and curtains drawn, Reese watched Finch close down, his face growing hard, his eyes guarded as he mastered himself once more. “Good night, Mr. Reese,” he said, his voice tight, his entire body stiff as he turned and started to walk away. Reese didn’t think, he just reached out, caught him by the arm, and turned him back around. “What-”

Reese kissed him, his hands rising up to rest on either side of Finch’s neck, his thumbs gliding back and forth along Finch’s jaw, feeling the rough stubble on his chin. After a moment, Reese pulled away, trembling inside. “Finch, I’ve never…I’ve never kissed a man before…I’ve never wanted to…until now. And I just…I don’t…It’s not often that I find myself in situations where I don’t know what I’m doing.”

He waited, his heart pounding, as Finch drew a bracing breath and let it out slowly.

“It’s all right, John,” Finch said, taking a step back. He wasn’t angry this time, though. “I think it might be best if you left now, and we’ll just forget about this.”

Feeling dazed and confused, Reese nodded and turned to go, but his steps felt leaden as he remembered the soft noise Finch had made during that first kiss, a sound that echoed inside him. It had been so long since he’d felt anything for another person, did it matter if he felt it for a man? How often did he get the chance to connect with another human being? Would he ever have another chance again?

Reese grabbed the door and closed it, his hand shaking as he slid the chain in place and turned the deadbolt.

“Mr. Reese,” Finch said behind him, his voice just a dry whisper, “what are you doing?”

“I’m not sure,” Reese said, turning to face him, “but I’m not leaving, and I’m not going to pretend that this didn’t happen. I want you, Harold.”

“Mr. Reese-”

“And I know you want me, too.”

Please-

Reese grabbed him and kissed him, his lips parting, his tongue delving into Finch’s mouth. That was all he knew how to do. All of his knowledge of intimacy, his experience, no longer applied. He was in unfamiliar territory and he didn’t speak the language.

After a moment, Finch placed his hands on Reese’s shoulders and gently pushed him away. “You’re drunk,” Finch said. “We both are.”

“I’m not that drunk. But you can be drunk, if it helps.”

Finch closed his eyes, pain shadowing the lines on his face. “John, please. Do you have any idea what you’re doing to me?” The longing in his voice made Reese ache.

“I’m starting to,” Reese said. He reached up, cupping Finch’s cheek with his hand. “So what’s stopping you?”

“I don’t want to make a mistake,” Finch said. “What we have is too important.”

“You’re right,” Reese said, stepping close to him. “What we have is too important…to let one mistake ruin it. If it even is a mistake. You don’t know that it will be.”

“I…” Finch shook his head. “I’m not a man who takes risks, Mr. Reese.”

“It’s Christmas, Harold,” Reese whispered. “Take a chance and I promise I’ll try not to disappoint you.”

Finch stared up at him, his walls crumbling, loneliness and need bleeding through. He drew a sharp, noisy breath and let it out in a rush. “Oh, damn it all,” he muttered, lunging forward and reaching up, one hand finding the back of Reese’s neck, the other clutching at his shoulder, pulling at his coat. More nervous than he’d been the night he’d met his handler, he kissed Finch back, his hands hanging in the air, not sure what to do, where to touch. With a long, low moan into Reese’s mouth, Finch drew back.

“Are you sure, John?” he asked. “Are you really sure you want this?”

“Yes.”

“You said you’d never kissed a man before; do you even know what I’m asking?”

“I- I have a pretty good idea,” Reese said, feeling the heat rise into his face.

Finch regarded him for a moment, then reached up and removed his Santa hat. “All right, but if this turns out to be more than you can handle, you tell me. I’d rather be disappointed than force you to do something you don’t want to do.” He set the hat and the antlers in the armchair before taking the bag off his arm and beginning to peel Reese’s coat off of him. He tossed the coat over the back of the chair, then began working on his sport jacket. Sliding the jacket off, he set it aside and took Reese’s hand. “Come with me,” he said.

Reese followed silently as Finch led him across the living room and down the hall, to the door on the left. The bedroom was small with pale walls and dark, wine-colored carpet, the bedroom set in glossy cherry wood, the comforter burgundy and cream, the pillows and sheets dark navy. Reese stood at the end of the bed, watching as Finch turned down the blankets, his heart thudding against his ribcage.

It would have been easy to blame the alcohol for the situation he now found himself in, but that wouldn’t have been fair to either of them. He felt a slight fuzziness around the edges of his thoughts, his mind moving a little lazier than usual, but he was by no means impaired. If anything, parts of his brain were working better than normal. How else could he explain the sudden realization that all of Finch’s quirks, his tensing when Reese got too close, his avoidance of casual contact, his formality, his distance, were just ways to cope with his attraction? It was so obvious Reese wanted to smack himself for not seeing it sooner.

As for his own actions, he was sure the rum carried some of the blame, but this was not just a drunken fling. Knowing that Finch wanted him, seeing the longing in his eyes, hearing the desperation in his voice, Reese couldn’t stop himself from wanting to ease that pain. He knew what loneliness was, what hopelessness felt like, and knowing that he was the anesthesia for Finch’s agony gave him another purpose. He wasn’t just a weapon, an instrument of pain and death; he could also heal.

“Mr. Reese?”

Reese glanced over at Finch, standing beside the bed without his shoes or tie, his waistcoat unbuttoned, his gaze wary, as though he were bracing himself for the worst. “Just…thinking,” Reese said and he began unbuttoning his shirt. Finch slipped out of his vest, laying it neatly on the dresser before turning his attention back to Reese. Reese glanced away as he shrugged out of his shirt, the air cold on his bare skin, but it wasn’t the only reason he shivered. He’d never seen a man look at him the way Finch was looking at him and it made the short hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

“Come here, Mr. Reese,” Finch said softly and Reese obeyed, his body thrumming with nervous energy. He stopped in front of Finch, not sure what to do next, and Finch reached down, taking his hands and guiding them to the buttons at Finch’s throat. “Undress me,” he said, quickly unbuttoning his own cuffs.

Reese’s hands shook as he worked the tiny buttons, moving slowly, but there was no impatience in Finch’s expression as he reached out, laying warm hands on Reese’s chest. Reese faltered, his breath catching as Finch began to touch him, soft fingers tracing old scars, gliding over ridges of muscle and dipping into faint hollows. Reese’s heart raced, his skin tingling, the simple touch somehow exciting and alien, but at the same time familiar and comforting. He had forgotten how gentle a hand could be.

He reached the last button and hesitantly untucked Finch’s shirt before pushing it back off his shoulders, his gaze roving over the fair skin that was exposed to him, but it was the scars that caught and held his attention. No more than a year or two old, he bore an incision on his chest, near his right shoulder, and several smaller, rougher scars down his left side. I’ve had broken ribs before, Mr. Reese. Compound fractures, from the look of it. Car accident? A fall? A beating?

“Is everything all right?” Finch asked, drawing back and slipping out of the shirt.

“Yes,” Reese said, forcing his gaze away. This was not the time for questions.

“Then touch me, Mr. Reese.”

Reese swallowed hard and reached out, but hesitated, his hands shaking. “I- I don’t know…how,” he said. It sounded stupid, but that was how he felt – stupid.

“You’ll figure it out,” Finch murmured, stepping closer. “Explore me.”

His words sent a shudder right to Reese’s groin and he felt himself start to harden. Was that where Finch wanted to be touched? Reese wasn’t sure he was ready for that. When he didn’t move, Finch lay his hands on Reese’s chest again and leaned close, his lips brushing against Reese’s collar bone. Lightly, Reese placed his hands on Finch’s sides, feeling the rough scars against his palm. Finch moaned softly against Reese’s neck as Reese let his hands wander up and down Finch’s back, feeling more scars and knots of damaged muscles under his skin.

“I know how curious you are, Mr. Reese,” Finch whispered, “and you know how private I am. I will tell you one secret, one thing that you must be wondering right now. I’ll tell you how I was injured, or I’ll tell you where I like to be touched the most. Which would you like to know?”

Reese had wondered about Finch’s injuries since the day they met, but at the moment, it didn’t seem all that important. “Where?” he asked, his voice hoarse.

Finch stared at him in shock, then suspicion, those pale eyes narrowing. Reese didn’t blame him. Under any other circumstances, his response would have been different. After a moment, Finch dropped his gaze. “My hands,” he said finally. “I like having my hands touched, massaged, kissed…There is very little that I find more sensual and intimate.”

Reese glanced down at the hands resting on his chest as he considered this new information, then he reached up, taking Finch’s left hand in both of his own. He watched Finch’s face as his calloused fingertips explored the soft skin, moving lightly over the back of his hand, caressing the valleys between his knuckles. Finch was right – it was incredibly intimate. As he raised Finch’s hand toward his lips, Finch let his eyes slide closed, a quiet sigh escaping him as Reese kissed his palm. He was surprised when Finch pulled out of his grasp.

“Take off you pants, Mr. Reese,” Finch said, hastily grappling with his own belt. Reese gaze lingered on the bulge in Finch’s trousers, his mouth going dry as Finch’s slacks hit the floor, revealing tailored black silk boxers stretched taut over Finch’s arousal. Reese did as he was told, finding a strange comfort in Finch’s orders. He knew how to follow orders, even if he’d lost faith in those that had given them. He didn’t have that problem with Finch.

He kicked off his shoes and slid his slacks down, stepping out of them to stand awkwardly before Finch, well aware that his cock was clearly evident pressing against the thin material of his briefs. Finch’s gaze traveled all the way down his long legs before rising again.

“Are you certain you want to do this?” Finch asked.

Reese didn’t say anything, he just hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his briefs and slid them down. Finch stood rapt, just staring for a long, silent moment. Finally, he licked his lips and raised his gaze to Reese’s face.

“Lie down, then,” he said. Reese sat down on the edge of the bed and stripped off his socks before scooting to the middle and stretching out on his stomach. “No, on your back.”

Reese turned over, unexpectedly disappointed when Finch turned out the light, plunging the room into darkness. It didn’t take long for Reese’s eyes to adjust to the surreal glow filtering in through the windows, every light in the city reflected from a million dancing snowflakes. He was able to make out Finch removing his glasses and setting them on the bedside table before slipping out of his boxers and climbing into bed. Reese’s heart began to pound again.

“Just relax,” Finch murmured, “and if you want me to stop, just say so.” As he spoke, he reached out, his fingers brushing against Reese’s hip before sliding through the tight curls at his groin. Reese drew a sharp breath as Finch’s open hand glided up the length of his cock before his fingers curled around the head, his thumb stroking the slit and collecting the thick drop of fluid that welled up.

Reese moaned, his whole body shaking as Finch began to stroke him, one hand on his shaft, the other kneading his balls. It was, without a doubt, the best hand-job he’d ever been given. Finch seemed to know just where to touch, how fast and how hard, when to slow down, when to squeeze harder. He gasped, his body tensing as he felt his climax approaching, but before he could tip over the edge, Finch pulled his hands away, leaving him out of breath and aching, the air cold after the warmth of Finch’s hands.

The mattress dipped as Finch shifted position, lying on his side and leaning over Reese. There was too much darkness and shadow for Reese to make out what Finch was doing, but a moment later, he felt the wet warmth of Finch’s mouth close around the head of his aching cock and he cried out, biting his lip until he tasted blood as he fought the urge to come. Finch made soft slurping sounds as he licked and sucked, his tongue finding and teasing all the most sensitive places.

Suddenly, Reese tensed, his hands balling into fists. “Stop,” he said. “Harold, stop.”

Finch drew back, sitting up and regarding Reese in stiff silence. Reese couldn’t see his face in the darkness, but he could hear a guardedness in the way he drew a long, slow breath before speaking. “What is it, Mr. Reese?”

“Will you turn on the light?”

“Why?”

“I want to see you,” Reese said. He wasn’t, and he wouldn’t, but in the dark, it would have been easy to imagine he was with someone else, that it was a woman touching him and sucking his cock, and he didn’t want Finch to wonder if he was doing just that.

“No,” Finch said. “No lights, not this time.”

This time. The words lodged in Reese’s brain and stopped all other thoughts from passing. This time meant there was a chance for a next time. It was no good putting the cart before the horse, though.

“Then do something else,” Reese said. “I want to know that I’m with you.”

Minutes seemed to pass before Finch responded. “Sit up,” he said softly. As Reese obeyed, Finch shifted to his knees. With a muted grunt, he swung one leg over Reese’s, straddling his thighs.

“Does that hurt?” Reese asked.

“Just the effort of the motion,” Finch said, sinking down on his lap and inching forward until their cocks stood side-by-side, creating a delicious, dizzying friction with every breath either of them took. “It’s fine now.” He leaned closer, wrapping his arms around Reese’s shoulders as he kissed him. Reese hesitated, then placed his hands on Finch’s hips, a low groan escaping the smaller man as Reese slid them up his back, holding him close.

Finch drew back far enough to ask, “Can you tell it’s me now?”

“Oh, God, Harold,” Reese whispered, capturing Finch’s mouth again. Reese rocked his hips, grinding against Finch as he gasped and groaned into his mouth, intoxicated by the feel of the other man’s body, the sound of his voice, the smell of his skin. Finch slid one hand up the back of Reese’s neck, fingers combing through his hair, and he slipped the other between them, wrapping his hand around both of their cocks and stroking them together. It only took a moment for Reese to come undone, a strangled cry escaping him as he clutched at Finch, his hips jerking as he spilled himself.

“Almost…almost…” Finch gasped, his back arching as he continued to pump them both. Reese whimpered, the continued stimulation of his hypersensitive flesh almost unbearable, and reached down, pushing Finch’s hand away before wrapping his own fingers around Finch’s cock and stroking him to a sudden, hard orgasm, the thick strings of semen landing on Reese’s chest and mingling with his own contribution.

Both of them gasping and shuddering, Reese sank back into the mattress, the muscles in his abdomen twitching like he’d done too many crunches, his legs tingling. After a minute, Finch climbed off of him, another not-quite-stifled grunt of pain escaping him. By the light of the snow, Reese watched him pick up his glasses and his boxers and put them back on.

“Don’t move,” Finch said as he headed for the door. Reese waited in the dark, his skin growing cold as the sweat cooled in the chill air. He could hear Finch running water across the hall and he shifted uneasily, resisting the sudden urge to get up and go take a shower. He could feel their thick fluids clinging to his stomach, the cold, sticky evidence of what they had just done. He wasn’t sure how he felt, or how he was supposed to feel, about what had happened.

Finch returned, wearing a dark bathrobe, and turned on the bedside light, a steaming washcloth in his hand. As Finch sank onto the bed, Reese looked down at himself, at the pearly splatters of semen on his skin. Without a word, Finch began to clean him up, the heat of the wet terrycloth against his chilled skin making him shiver. When there were only a few drops left, Finch suddenly leaned down, making Reese start with surprise as he licked one of them away.

Sitting back up, Finch watched him for a moment, his own face revealing nothing. “Would you like a taste?” Finch asked, and though there was nothing in Finch’s tone to suggest such a thing, it felt like a test, like Reese couldn’t really be serious about this if he didn’t like the taste of semen.

“All right,” Reese said. It wasn’t like he hadn’t tasted his own on occasion, and without a DNA test, who was to say he wouldn’t be tasting his own now? He started to reach up, to drag a finger through the fluid, but Finch caught him by the wrist, stopping him. Leaning down again, Finch licked up another large drop, then twisted around, slowly lowering his lips to Reese’s.

Reese kissed him, his eyes closing as Finch’s tongue slipped into his mouth, a little salty, a little bitter. He moaned into Finch’s mouth, his hands roving up Finch’s back, trying to draw him closer, but Finch resisted and after a moment pulled away. He finished washing Reese and climbed off the bed, returning to the bathroom across the hall. With a sigh, Reese got up and found his underwear.

He was sitting on the edge of the bed in just his briefs when Finch returned. Finch’s steps faltered, just a momentary hesitation that anyone not familiar with Finch’s distinctive gait would have mistaken for his limp, but to Reese it was plain as day.

“Are you leaving, Mr. Reese?” Finch asked, his tone neutral as he stopped a few feet away.

“I don’t know,” Reese said. “Do you want me to go?”

“I’m not going to stop you.”

“That’s not what I asked, Finch. Do you want me to leave?”

Finch let out an exasperated sigh. “No, I don’t want you to leave, but I’m not going to make you stay. You can do whatever you want.”

“Good,” Reese said, swinging his legs back onto the bed and pulling the covers up. “I don’t want to leave, either.”

Finch stared at him for a moment, then sighed and peeled his glasses off. “And if I had wanted you to leave?”

“I’d have tried to talk my way into sleeping on your sofa,” Reese said as Finch hobbled over and set his glasses on the bedside table.

“You got lucky, then. It’s not a very big sofa,” Finch said, motioning for Reese scoot over. “Move; this is my side.”

Reese shifted to the middle, feeling unexpectedly nervous again as Finch turned out the light, slipped out of his robe, and slid under the covers. Reese found himself staring into the darkness, listening to the pounding of his own heart, his fingers twitching as he wrestled with the urge to reach out, to touch Finch, to hold him. After so long alone, he wanted that contact, he needed it, but he wasn’t sure Finch would be receptive. Finally, he decided to just ask. Finch was nothing if not practical, after all.

“Harold?” he said. “Would you be opposed to…” He searched his vocabulary for a more dignified term, but drew a blank. “To cuddling?”

“Cuddling?” Finch repeated, as though it were a foreign word. “I’m not…accustomed to that sort of thing, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it, as long as you didn’t intrude into my personal space.”

Reese had started to slide closer, but stopped, a frown creasing his brow as he tried to figure out how to hold Finch without getting into his personal space. A soft, strange sound filled the silence and it took Reese a moment to identify it, since he’d never heard Finch laugh before. Finch rolled onto his side and reached back, finding Reese’s arm and pulling him close. As Reese settled in, spooned behind Finch with his arm draped over Finch’s side, their position suddenly made him realize something.

“I thought we were going to have sex,” he said.

Finch was silent for a moment. “I’m curious to hear what it is you think we just did.”

“No, I mean-” He felt his face color. “I mean real gay man sex.”

“Oh,” Finch said. “You mean penetrative anal intercourse.”

“Yeah, that.” Reese wasn’t sure, but Finch sounded like he was taking pleasure from Reese’s discomfort.

“Well, since I hadn’t planned on this happening, I didn’t bring any lubricant with me. Did you?”

“No. Is it really that necessary?”

“Yes, absolutely,” Finch said. “Without proper lubrication, it can be very painful for the person on the receiving end.”

Reese considered that for a moment. “I’m very good at dealing with pain, Finch,” he said softly. “If you wanted to, I would-”

“No, Mr. Reese,” Finch said, finding Reese’s hand resting against his chest and slowly rubbing it, all the way down his long fingers. “When I make love to someone, I want it to be a mutually pleasurable experience. Next time.”

“I’m going to hold you to that, Harold,” Reese said, bowing his head to place a light kiss on the side of Finch’s neck, just behind his ear. He felt Finch shiver, but the noise he made was one of annoyance.

“Go to sleep, Mr. Reese. It’s late.”

Reese raised his head and glanced at the alarm clock on the bedside table. “It’s only half past twelve,” he said, then he realized what that meant. “Merry Christmas, Mr. Finch.”

In his arms, Finch sighed. “Merry Christmas, John.”

~*~*~*~

A screaming alarm dragged Reese up from the depths of sleep and he forced his eyes open, blinking hard as he tried to clear the film from his vision. He glanced around, finding himself in a strange bed in a strange room, but unlike the last time, he wasn’t bound to the headboard and he wasn’t alone.

He stared at the pale arm that reached over and turned off the alarm, a strange hollowness opening up in the pit of his stomach and a knot forming in his throat as Finch sat up and swung his legs out of bed. Reese lay very still, trying to determine whether or not Finch knew he was there. He didn’t seem to. He just ran a hand back through his disheveled hair, his fingers lingering on the scar at the base of his neck before he reached over and picked up his glasses.

After a moment, Finch started to stand, but then stopped, looking down at the floor. He bent over and picked something up, shaking out Reese’s shirt and holding it at arm’s length. Suddenly, Finch drew a sharp breath and let the shirt drop, lurching up out of bed and whirling around, his eyes wide.

“Mr. Reese!” He grabbed his robe and pulled it on. “What- What did we-” He fell silent, the expression bleeding out of his face as a dark flush rose up his neck. “How much do you remember?”

“Everything,” Reese said. He had a bit of a headache and his memories of the previous night had a fuzzy, dream-like quality, but he certainly wasn’t that hungover. “Finch, are you all right?”

“I…I can’t believe I’d be this…stupid, this irresponsible. I’ve put the entire operation in jeopardy.”

“No, you haven’t,” Reese said, climbing out of bed. Finch stared at him for a moment, standing there in just his briefs, his morning wood clearly visible, then Finch looked away, his blush darkening. “We took a risk. And maybe it was a bad decision, but the worst thing that can happen is I’ll put my clothes on and leave, and things will be a little uncomfortable between us for a while, but our job, our purpose, is too important to both of us to let something like this destroy it. And I’m not convinced it was a bad decision.”

“Of course it was,” Finch said. “We were drunk and lonely – no good decision has ever been made under those circumstances.”

“I wasn’t drunk,” Reese said, walking around the end of the bed and toward Finch, “and neither were you. If you don’t want to pursue a sexual relationship with me, just say so, but don’t cheapen what we had last night. I haven’t felt a connection like that with anyone in a very long time.”

Finch looked up at him and for an instant, Reese could see the recognition in Finch’s eyes. He understood what Reese was saying; he felt it too. Then the walls came back up and Finch turned away.

“Mr. Reese, I think you should go,” he said, his voice hollow.

Reese took a shaky step backward, feeling like he’d been slapped. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a small voice chided him, saying that he should have known better, he should have seen this coming, this was Finch, after all, logical, methodical, secretive, paranoid, brilliant Finch, who could build a supercomputer from tinfoil and dental floss, but wouldn’t know what to do with an emotion if it was handed to him gift-wrapped.

But that wasn’t all Finch was. Reese remembered the need, the loneliness, the tender patience, the compassion. He was human, a vulnerable, fallible, flawed, perfect human being.

Reese grabbed him by the arm and spun him around, stepping right into his personal space. Finch tensed and tried to move back, but the dresser was directly behind him, trapping him, and Reese watched a sort of panic fill his eyes. It hurt, like a 9mm point-blank into the middle of his soul, to see Finch afraid of him.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Harold,” Reese whispered. “I would never hurt you.” He leaned down, capturing Finch’s lips and feeling him tremble. As he drew back, he reached down, taking Finch’s hand in his own and raising it to his lips. Their eyes locked, Reese softly kissed the back of Finch’s hand, watching him suck in a sharp and shuddering breath. “Now, tell me that you want me to leave.”

“I- I want…What I want doesn’t matter, Mr. Reese,” Finch said.

“Right now, it’s all that matters,” Reese replied. “Harold, tell me what you want.”

Finch stared at him, then he closed his eyes and swallowed hard. “I want…you to come back to bed, John.”

Reese knew it was only a small victory, but he accepted it gladly, sliding back into bed as Finch removed his robe and glasses. He didn’t ask this time, he just eased his body up against Finch’s, savoring the warmth and softness of his skin. As they settled back into the pillows, Reese found Finch’s hand beneath the blankets, his thumb rubbing a slow circle against the back of Finch’s hand. After a moment, he felt Finch relax against him. With the snow still pattering against the windows and the most amazing man he’d ever met lying in his arms, Reese allowed himself a small, contented smile as they drifted back to sleep on a quiet, snowy Christmas morning.

8 Comments
  1. Mamahub permalink

    I just absolutely HAD to come and revisit one of my favorite (and first!) Rinch stories today!

    I hope that you had a wonderful and happy Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!

    • Aw, thank you! I had a great Christmas. I hope yours was, too. ^_^

      I have a secret! I’m working on a new Rinch fic, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. XD Lol It’s not a holiday fic (I tried to write one, but the plotbunnies weren’t cooperating), but I hope to post it before the new year. ^_^

  2. Mamahub permalink

    OH..EM..GEEEEEE!!!!!! Can you hear me squeeing from there? Now THAT is the best Christmas gift I’ve gotten – a possible new Rinch fic from you!!!! 😀

    I can’t wait! I also can’t promise to keep it a secret but I will TRY to while I sit on my hands and bounce up and down in my chair!!!!

    • Was THAT what the noise was?! 😀 I thought you might enjoy that news.
      And I was just kidding about keeping it a secret. You are the only one I’ve told, though. 😉

  3. deliacerrano permalink

    I can’t imagine Reese not knowing everything about sex no matter what kind but it sure made a very sweet and tender story…even had a little humor thrown in. It was great!

  4. Mamahub permalink

    It is Christmas Eve again and I’m making my annual visit to one of my very first, and very favorite, Rinch fics. Thank you Katica for your beautiful fics – I’m so sorry that you are no longer writing for the fandom, but grateful for all the works that you did provide your fans with. Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful 2014!

  5. Mamahub permalink

    It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by! Making my annual visit to one of my favorite stories and authors. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year!

  6. apicturewithasmile permalink

    I don’t even shipt them but this was a very great read. Very well written 🙂 also “real gay man sex” had me laughing for about 5 minutes because I can totally hear Reese say that

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