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Want (Not A Valentine’s Story)

This is the sequel to Need (Not a Halloween Story). Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤


Finch sat at his desk, doing some minor online housekeeping, his gaze darting again and again to his phone, sitting beside the keyboard, dark and silent. For the first time since Reese had discovered his secret, the former operative had not shown up to accompany Finch to his cabin. It was never something they agreed upon; no arrangement was ever made, but Finch found himself feeling abandoned, alone. Perhaps Reese had grown tired of Finch’s broken body, tired of being used.

Yes, Reese had confessed to love him, and every month he repeated himself, as though he thought Finch needed the reassurance, but they both knew it was not love that compelled Reese into Finch’s bed time and again. It wasn’t sex, either. God knew just about anyone would have been better in bed than Finch. No, he did it out of obligation, because he felt he owed Finch. As far as Finch was concerned, they were even, but he’d never be able to convince Reese of that.

Finch glanced at the clock and sighed. He’d waited long enough. He had to leave or he wouldn’t make it to the cabin before the pain started. Turning off his computer, he tucked his phone in his pocket and headed downstairs, locking up the Library before walking the three blocks to where he’d left his car, his overnight bag already in the trunk, along with a small bag of non-perishable groceries — Reese had done the shopping for the last few trips, but Finch always packed his own little something, just in case. It seemed he wasn’t just paranoid after all.

His phone rang just as he was getting onto the interstate and he quickly tapped the button on his earpiece. “Yes?” he said, trying to keep his tone neutral. Reese didn’t owe him anything.

“Hey, Finch,” Reese said. “Sorry, I lost track of time. I’ll have to meet you up there, okay?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Finch said. “If you’ve got more important things to do, I’ll be fine on my own.”

“Well, I do have a few more errands to run,” Reese said. “All you sure you’ll be all right if I’m a little late?”

“It’s nothing I haven’t handled a hundred times before,” Finch assured him.

“All right, I’ll see you soon, then. I have to go.” He hung up and Finch couldn’t stop his heart from sinking into the pit of his stomach. As much as he tried to convince himself that he didn’t need Reese — and he didn’t need him — the thought of facing that agonizing pain again, even if only for a little while, made him feel sick. And weak. He’d become dependent on Reese, and now Reese was flexing his muscles, showing Finch just how much power he had. Well, two could play at that game. He wondered how Reese would react when he arrived at the cabin and found the door and windows nailed shut and boarded up. Maybe he’d stick up a wireless camera so he could see the look on Reese’s face.

It was after dark when Finch finally pulled up behind the cabin. He took his things out of the trunk and covered the car up, then let himself into the cabin, his hip stiff from sitting in the car for so long and his limp more pronounced as he made his way through the dark cabin to the bedroom. The rug that usually covered the trap door was crumpled to the side and he frowned, adding to the list of Reese’s infractions. He should have put it back before they left last month. Lifting up the trap door, he started down the stairs, but stopped short as he realized that he wasn’t the first to arrive.

Warm, golden candle light flickered throughout the room — the only source of light. Sultry music played and a mouth-watering aroma filled the air. He came down a few more steps, peering cautiously into the room. Reese sauntered over to the foot of the stairs, barefoot, in his black slacks and stormy blue shirt, a glass of wine in each hand.

“Hello, Harold,” Reese said, his voice low and a quirk of a smile on his lips. “Here, let me trade you–” He held out one of the glasses. Finch set his bag down to take it and Reese grabbed the bag off the step, carrying it over to the foot of the bed. He glanced back, taking a slow sip of his wine. “So, are going to come in, or do you want to stand on the stairs all evening?”

Finch hurried down the stairs, careful not to spill the wine. “Mr. Reese, I wasn’t expecting to find you here.”

“I know,” Reese said. “I wanted to surprise you.”

“You succeeded.” He glanced at the little table, now draped with a red cloth, two tall white candles burning in the center. “What is this?”

“I know Valentine’s Day was a week and a half ago, but since this is the only place we show our feelings, I figured late is better than never.” He closed the distance between them, his movements slow, prowling, predatory. “You have no idea how hard it was not to do this on the fourteenth.”

Finch frowned at him. “How much of that wine have you had?”

“Don’t be like that, Harold,” Reese said with a laugh. “I’m not drunk, I’m in love. I know you don’t believe it, which is why I’m just going to keep saying it until you do. I love you.” He leaned in and gave Finch a quick kiss. “Dinner will be a few more minutes, so you can wash up, change, relax, and enjoy the wine. It was expensive.”

Finch looked down at the glass in his hand, the wine a deep, dark burgundy. He raised the glass and took a deep breath, savoring the aroma of fruit and wood, before taking a sip and swirling it around on his tongue before swallowing. It was excellent.

“Very nice,” he said, setting the glass down on the table. “If you’ll excuse me…”

“Of course,” Reese said.

Finch retreated into the bathroom and shut the door behind him, splashing water onto his face before making use of the facilities. He tried, but he couldn’t find Reese’s angle, his motivation for this surprise dinner. It didn’t get him anything. Not doing it wouldn’t deprive him of anything. It wasn’t like he had to smooth talk Finch into bed. All he had to do was wait a couple of hours. This was more than guilt required of him, more than obligation, more than duty, more than friendship. The only reasonable explanation was that Reese was telling the truth.

Turning off the light, Finch opened the door and stepped out, finding Reese in the small kitchen nook, the door of the oven open and that delicious aroma thick in the air. It smelled like herbs, chicken, fresh bread, apples, and cinnamon. Reese noticed him and closed the oven door, tossing an oven mitt down on the counter.

“Almost ready,” he said, but he didn’t seem quite as sure of himself as he had just a few minutes ago. He picked up his wine glass and took a drink, then cleared his throat. “Listen, Harold, I know it’s not easy for you to trust people, which is why I’m not going to ask you to. You don’t have to open up to me. You don’t have to let me into your life. You don’t have to do anything different than you are now. I’m still going to love you, and I’m still going to be here for you, and I know you love me, even if you can’t show it most of the time. And that’s enough for me.”

He paused, then nodded, like that was all he needed to say, and peeked into the oven again. “Looks ready,” he said. “Are you hungry, Harold?”

Finch drew a slow breath, then let it out again. “Starving,” he said at last. “That smells delicious. What is it?”

“Rosemary chicken roasted with new potatoes, baby carrots, and pearl onions, dinner rolls, and for dessert — apple crisp.”

“Goodness,” Finch said as Reese pulled the roasting pan out of the oven and began to carve the chicken, laying neat slices upon a plate. “Did you make this all yourself?”

“Of course. I enjoy cooking, I just don’t have a reason to very often.” He spooned the potatoes, carrots, and onions onto the plate with the chicken and smothered the meat in rich, savory juices. “I’ve been up here since about noon, actually, getting all of this ready,” he said as he took the rolls out of the oven and dumped them into a basket lined with a cloth napkin. “That’s why I didn’t call sooner — I didn’t realize there was no cell service up here and had to drive back down to civilization.” He carried the plate and the basket over to the table, then filled their glasses back up and motioned for Finch to have a seat. He let Finch dish up first.

Finch took a small bite of chicken, chewing slowly to allow the flavors to saturate his palate. Reese glanced up from buttering a roll, watching him expectantly. Finch swallowed and took a sip of wine, the rich taste of the wine complementing the chicken perfectly.

“Fantastic,” Finch said. “Better than anything I’ve been served at any five-star restaurant in New York. And this is certainly the most thoughtful, intimate, and special date that I’ve ever had, with the most wonderful man that I know.”

For a moment, Reese looked completely caught off guard, then he gave a slow smile. “The feeling is mutual.” They made companionable small talk while they ate, discussing the weather, the Numbers, the Machine, the role apathy plays in the struggle between Good and Evil. Any time the conversation strayed into personal territory, Reese deftly steered it back into safe waters, like he was determined to make Finch believe that he had no ulterior motives. If it was a ploy, it was clever, but Finch didn’t think it was.

After they finished dessert, Finch leaned back in his chair, loosened his tie, and sighed. “John, that was excellent. Thank you.”

“Any time,” Reese said, rising to clear the dishes. “And I really mean that. Any time.” Settling in to their unspoken routine, Reese cleaned up and Finch began preparing himself for what would soon begin – removing his shoes, tie, and waistcoat, taking off his shirt and trousers, digging into his overnight bag for his robe and the bottle of lubricant. He placed the bottle on the nightstand and slipped into his robe, then grabbed the book he was in the middle of reading and hobbled over to the loveseat to wait.

Once the leftovers were put away and the dishes washed, however, Reese made his way across the room to stand before Finch, instead of sitting at the table to read the newspaper or clean one of his guns. Finch glanced up from his book, his mouth going dry as Reese began unbuttoning his shirt.

“Is it time already?” Finch asked.

Reese reached down and took the book from him, carefully putting his bookmark back before setting it on the loveseat and taking Finch’s hands. “I know you don’t enjoy having sex with me,” Reese said, coaxing Finch to his feet. “It’s not easy to enjoy something you’re forced to do, but I remember that first night, when I asked you to make love to me because you wanted to, and you did, and it was wonderful. It could be like that again. We don’t have to wait until your condition forces us together. We could choose to make love because we want to, because we love each other.”

Finch looked down at his hands, clasped within the safe, warm confines of Reese’s. He took a deep breath and swallowed hard. “John, I was seventeen when my condition first manifested.” Reese opened his mouth, like he was going to try to stop him, but Finch just kept talking, didn’t give him a chance to speak. “I was on my own by then, at MIT. I didn’t know what was happening. It seemed like half the students on campus were in my dorm room, and as soon as one was finished, another took their place. it was horrible. I didn’t want to be aroused by what was happening, but my body reacted to the physical stimulation. It was like that for hours until I finally couldn’t fight the orgasm anymore. I was so ashamed, but once I came, my pheromones abated and I was able to escape. I drove out into the woods and spent two agonizing nights nearly freezing to death in my car.

“After that, I made sure I had a place to go when it happened, somewhere that no one could find me. I spent years and millions trying to find a cure, but never found anything. I resigned myself to a lifetime of pain and loneliness, because I never told anyone about what I was, not my best friend and business partner, not Grace — no one. Until you found me.”

“Do you wish I hadn’t?” Reese asked, his voice low.

“Sometimes,” Finch said. “I wonder when you’re going to get tired of this, and when I think about going back to the way it used to be…”

“Well, you can quit wondering,” Reese said. “I will be here for you until the day I die. And when that day comes, or if I’m incapacitated by injury or am in some other way unable to be with you, I’m sure we can ask Zoë for a favor.”

“Ms. Morgan?” Finch arched an eyebrow and looked up at Reese, who gave him a crooked grin.

“I think she likes you, Harold.”

“Oh, please–”

Reese silenced him with a kiss, slow and tender, one hand rising up to slide back through Finch’s hair and cup the back of his neck. Their lips parted and Finch moaned as Reese’s tongue eased into his mouth. He pushed at Reese’s unbuttoned shirt, shoving it back off his shoulders, his hands gliding over hot, firm flesh. Reese drew back, letting the shirt fall to the floor, and then divested Finch of his robe, tossing it over onto the loveseat. Dropping his trousers, Reese peeled Finch’s undershirt off, and wearing just their underwear, they climbed into bed, sliding under the covers. Finch reached for the lube, but Reese put a hand on his arm.

“Not yet,” Reese said, pulling Finch up against him. “We have time, and I never get to just hold you.” He placed a soft kiss on Finch’s lips before snuggling up against him, one hand slowly stroking a trail through the graying hair on Finch’s chest as they lay with their foreheads touching, their eyes closed, their legs entwined, just holding each other. A small smile on his lips, Finch heaved a contented sigh, wishing the moment would never end.

Finch opened his eyes, blinking sleepily, to find the room nearly dark, only a couple of candles still burning, tiny golden flickers casting dancing pools of light on the walls. Beside him, Reese snored softly, his face relaxed and peaceful. Finch lifted his head, adjusting his glasses as he peered across the room at the clock on the wall. He blinked, rubbed his eyes, and looked again before giving Reese a slight shake.

“Hmm? What is it, Finch?” Reese asked, his eyes fluttering open.

“It’s four in the morning,” Finch said, reaching over to the nightstand to turn on the light. He double checked the time on his watch, then looked back over at Reese. “We’ve been asleep for eight hours.”

“How is that possible?” Reese asked, frowning as he sat up in bed. “I usually can’t keep my hands off of you by about ten. Do you suppose we were just too tired? We have been working ourselves pretty hard lately.”

“We’re not tired now.” Finch regarded Reese for a moment, then flipped the covers back, the chill air making him shiver. He hurried into the bathroom, relieved himself, washed his hands, and returned to the bed before his side had gotten too cold. “Do you feel it?” he asked Reese.

Reese closed his eyes and took a deep slow breath. He looked down at Finch, then leaned over him and did it again, his nose tucked into the crook of Finch’s neck. “Maybe,” Reese said. “I want you, but that might just be because I do want you. My turn.” He climbed out of bed and disappeared into the bathroom. Finch lay staring up at the ceiling, trying to figure out what could have happened. Were they a day early? Had something delayed it? Had he finally outgrown it?

The answer to those questions came in the form of deep, rolling wave of pain, an ache clear down to his bones that made him curl onto his side, his fists and jaw clenched, drawing sharp, noisy breaths through his teeth until it passed. He lay gasping and shaking. Why now? Why had it taken so long? He raised his head as the bathroom door opened and Reese stepped out, stopping short.

“It’s started, hasn’t it?” Reese said, taking a deep breath. “I can smell it.” He stripped off his boxer-briefs as he rushed back over to the bed, his hands trembling as he helped Finch out of his shorts. Finch grabbed the bottle of lube, but Reese closed his hand around the bottle, stopping him from opening it. “Wait, wait,” Reese said. “I think I know what happened, why it was late.”

“John, we don’t have time.” He couldn’t go through the pain again, and it would be worse the next time, so much worse.

“Trust me, Harold,” Reese said, taking the lube from him. “Just relax and trust me. I’m right about this.”

“Right about what?”

“Oxytocin,” Reese said and kissed him, their bodies pressing together, Reese’s arms wrapping around him, strong hands caressing his scarred back, holding him close. “I love you,” Reese murmured between kisses, “and you finally believed me. You love me. You felt safe, taken care of, loved, and your body produced oxytocin without needing an orgasm. Love is what held it at bay. Love will make it stop now. Do you love me, Harold?”

“I do,” Finch whispered, his hands sliding into Reese’s hair. “I love you so much.” But could love really save him? Would it be enough? His breaths grew short and fast, his grip on Reese tightening as he braced himself for the pain. He clung to Reese, eyes squeezed shut as he waited…and waited. And waited. Slowly, Finch opened his eyes, the tension in his body easing as Reese placed light kisses on his cheeks and forehead, his touch the soothing balm that kept the agony away.

“You’re right,” Finch whispered. “The euphoria of being in love is the result of a chemical cocktail produced by the body, in the brain and various glands, that acts on the limbic system and — Mmnph!” His words were smothered as Reese kissed him, leaving him out of breath.

“Or we could just say that love conquers all,” Reese said with a crooked smile. After a moment, he grew serious again. “You know what this means, right? We don’t have to have sex anymore.”

“I know,” Finch said. “It’s wonderful. Now that we don’t have to, we can just because we want to.”

“And do you? Want to?” Reese asked. In answer, Finch reached down between them and wrapped his hand around Reese’s cock, giving it a slow, deliberate stroke.

  1. Plink42 permalink

    Love really does conquer all and it results in fluffy, happy endings. Yay! Great as usual! ^_^

  2. managerie76 permalink

    Ah, nice.

  3. Daw. I really liked it. Thanks for the sequel. 😀

  4. AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You quit THERE?!?!?

    Oh. Em. Gee. I want more, I want smut, I want them rolling around in sweat and tangled bedsheets…
    but this was a very sweet, satisfying conclusion to Harold’s problem. Cuddle hormone! And what a wonderful man with whom to cuddle. 😉

    • I know, I’m evil, lol. 😀
      I wanted to build up to the big, smutty finish. The next one has lots of rolling around, clawing, biting, growling, and knocking over furniture. 😉

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment! ^_^

  5. deliacerrano permalink

    Ooooo that was good! They are abolutely, positively the cutest, cuddliest couple ever and this ficlet just proves it.

  6. rainiejanie permalink

    That scene you described of Reese wating for Finch at the stairs… What I would give to have that waiting for me when I get home. Love me some domestic Reese. Thank you!

  7. T'LIRA permalink

    Oh that was so sweet and wonderful. Warm and loving that was a great gift of writing. Thank You! I loved it!

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  1. New Story – Want (Not a Valentine’s Story) « A Concerned Third Party

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