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Damaged – Ch. 32

A soft knock at the door woke him, and Reese raised his head as the door opened and Carter peeked in. She looked momentarily startled to see them in bed together. He supposed he didn’t blame her. She motioned for him to come with her, but when he tried to get up, Finch tightened his grip on Reese’s hand. He looked so peaceful, Reese didn’t want to wake him. Fingers still entwined, he gestured with the other hand for Carter to come in.

“He won’t let me go,” he whispered, giving her a small, crooked smile.

“He has been through a lot,” she said quietly, her gaze soft as she looked at Finch. Her eyes didn’t quite harden when she turned to Reese, but there wasn’t the same affection in them. “So have you. Are you sure you’re all right?”

God, he wished people would quit asking him that. “I’m f-” He stopped himself. Denial wasn’t healthy, either. “Actually…no, I’m not all right. But I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Good, I don’t want to hear about it,” she said, but he could see the concern in her face. “I actually wanted to talk to him, too.” She nodded at Finch.

“I think he’ll be out for a while; he’s sleeping off the pain meds.”

“Yeah, I figured. You can tell him when he wakes up, I guess. It’s not like I’ll ever get a straight answer out of either of you.” She gave him an annoyed look, then continued. “The prints came back on Kirkland-”

“You mean Snow.”

No, I mean Michael Kirkland, and let me tell you, he was not happy to get the news. He swears Finch had something to do with it, although I can’t for the life of me imagine how he managed to alter the data in IAFIS.”

For a minute, Reese could only stare at her. It had done it. The Machine had reformatted Mark. He realized she was waiting for a response. “I’m just as surprised by this news as you are, Carter,” he said. Perhaps more so.

She looked skeptical, but resigned, as though that was the answer she’d been expecting.

“So, what’s going to happen to him?” Reese asked after a moment.

“He’s being charged. He’ll be arraigned tomorrow, and depending on what his bail is and whether or not he can make it-”

“He’ll be released,” Reese said, turning to regard Finch, his face so peaceful in sleep. Mark could not be allowed to hurt him again. Reese would have to do something.

“John…” Carter said. “Whatever you’re thinking – don’t. You can’t take the law into your hands.”

“Mark doesn’t play by the rules,” Reese said quietly. “He never has. This has gotten personal and he won’t stop. He won’t stop until he kills us…or I kill him.”

“I won’t let that happen,” Cater said. “Fusco and I will protect you-”

Reese laughed, falling silent when Finch jumped in his sleep, startled by the noise. “No offense, Carter, but Mark is a trained CIA assassin, and changing his fingerprints isn’t going to make him forget that. You just let me know when Mark gets out, so I can get Harold to someplace safe.”

“How? I tried calling you, but your number goes straight to voicemail.”

“Right,” Reese said, frowning. “I had to take the battery out- Oh. When Mark was arrested, he had a cell phone on him, one he took from Finch. That would be with his personal effects now, wouldn’t it?”

Carter sighed. “You want me to get it back for you?”

“Well, he did steal it from us, so you’d just be returning stolen property.”

Carter shook her head, but wore an expression that said she’d always known this day would come. Reese didn’t think the situation warranted quite that level of resignation, but this was Carter, after all. “All right, I’ll get it.”

“Thanks,” Reese said. “As long as I know he isn’t going to get it back, I’ll put the battery back in my cell.” He tried to work his fingers free of Finch’s grasp, but the older man tightened his grip again, an anxious sound escaping him. Reese stopped. “I guess I’ll wait until he wakes up.” Carter didn’t respond, and after a moment, Reese realized that she was just standing there, staring at them. “Something on your mind, Carter?”

“Just…thinking,” she said. “I never would have guessed that he was your type, but…it doesn’t really surprise me, either. You two need each other. I could feel it the first time I saw you together under that parking garage. It was one of the reasons why I let you go.”

“Aw, and here I thought it was the puppy-dog eyes that I gave you,” Reese said with a small smile.

“No, can’t say that it was,” Carter replied, smiling back at him, “although the look Finch gave me also had something to do with it.”

“Oh? I missed that.”

“Yeah, he had this, try to stop us and I’ll take you apart with an abacus look on his face, and I thought, anyone who could earn that kind of fierce loyalty couldn’t be all bad.”

Reese smiled fondly at Finch. “Yeah, that sounds like Harold.”

“All right, well, I’m going to let you two rest. I’ll get that cell and give you a call as soon as I have more information about ‘Kirkland’s’ arraignment.”

“Thank you, Joss,” Reese said as she turned to leave.

She glanced back at him. “You’re welcome, John.” He waited until the door had closed behind her before laying his head back on the pillow. He dozed, but was always aware of the other man in bed with him, the weight on the other side of the mattress, the tiny adjustments Finch made in his sleep, the quiet, steady breaths on his face, so when Finch woke suddenly, Reese’s eyes snapped open. Finch looked confused, disoriented.

“You okay?” Reese asked. Only then did Finch seem to focus on him, and he visibly relaxed.

“I am now.” He glanced around the room. “What time is it? How long have I been asleep?” The clock was on the wall behind him, beside the door.

“It’s almost eight. You’ve been asleep for about three hours.” Now that he didn’t have to worry about waking Finch, Reese disentangled their fingers, flexing his stiff joints for a moment before reaching into his back pocket for his cell and battery.

“What are you doing?” Finch asked, reaching out to grab the phone from him. “That’s how Agent Snow found us, remember?”

“Relax, Harold,” Reese said, taking the phone back and sliding the battery into place. “Snow is in custody and I asked Carter to-” The phone rang and he glanced down at it, startled. “I asked her to get the phone from him. Now it looks like she’s calling me on it.” He finished putting the back on the phone and answered. “Hello?”

“Jesus, John, where the hell have you been? I’ve been trying to call you for twenty minutes!”

“What’s happened?” he asked, but he already knew, and he felt like he was choking on his heart, the pounding up high in his throat, making it hard to breathe. Finch had a grim look on his face as he reached over, took the phone, and put it on speaker.

“Agent Snow’s friend from the CIA came and got him about twenty minutes ago. When I couldn’t reach you, I almost drove over there to warn you, but I was afraid they’d follow me.”

“Thanks, Carter,” Reese said, already planning the fastest way to get Finch out of the hospital. He’d need Dr. Tillman’s help, a wheelchair, and a car. This time, they’d put some distance between them and Mark, maybe Queens, or even leave the city completely, head upstate-

Finch reached over and placed a calming hand on Reese’s arm. “Detective, did you notice who, specifically, came to get Agent Snow?”

“Oh, you’re awake,” Carter said. “Yeah, it was his preppy friend, the one that shot John.”

Reese wasn’t sure why, but Finch actually looked relieved. “Thank you, Detective,” he said. “Please keep that phone safe until we can get it back from you. And don’t worry about Agent Snow. I have a feeling he won’t be troubling us again any time soon.” He hung up before Carter could ask any more questions.

“Not that I’m opposed to deceiving her if the situation calls for it,” Reese said, “but why are you lying to her?” He started to get up, but Finch reached out to him again, stopping him.

“I’m not lying,” he said, tugging on Reese’s shirt until he laid down again. “First of all, if Carter has the cell, Agent Snow can’t use it to find us.”

“But you registered under the name Harold Wren – didn’t you say he knew several of your aliases?”

“I did? I must not have been thinking clearly because of the pain medication. But still, I doubt he’ll be looking for us. You heard what he said – he had to go off the rails to continue pursuing us. He said that his partner – Evans – had ‘turned’ on him. If Evans has him now, I doubt they’re out having a beer.”

“Did he say that?” Reese asked, frowning. “I guess I was more concerned with how to kill him before you bled to death, than listening to his ranting.” He hesitated. He felt like they were wasting time, that they needed to get moving, that they were putting themselves in danger. He was suddenly glad he’d closed the blinds. “Do you really think it’s safe to stay here?”

“I do,” Finch said, a thoughtful line creasing his brow as he regarded Reese, “but we can leave if you’d like.”

Reese took a slow breath. He trusted Finch’s judgment in most things, but Finch didn’t know Mark like he did. Mark wouldn’t stop until someone was dead.

“I think we should,” Reese said.

Finch gave a stiff nod. “All right. Find my clothes.”

<– Prev   ~*~   Next –>

  1. Aww! Not again. Not that I think Snow is a threat anymore, but I ache for the boys to have to worry and move. But if they’re somewhere private, it might be more conducive for some :::drumroll please::: SEXUAL HEALING!!! ROFL XD

    Okay, so on a more serious note, favorite line, perhaps of this ENTIRE story thus far: “try to stop us and I’ll take you apart with an abacus” XD XD XD
    Ninja!Finch!!! XD

    A couple of nitpicks:
    maybe Queens, or even leave the city completely, > maybe go to Queens or even… (since “put some distance between” doesn’t provide a verb for this)
    until he laid down again > until he lay down again (“until he laid down” would require an object, such as his head)

    Comma splices (unnecessary comma separating subject from predicate):
    She looked skeptical, but resigned
    Carter shook her head, but wore
    He dozed, but was always aware

    Unnecessary commas (when the two parts of a compound sentence are closely related):
    He tried to work his fingers free of Finch’s grasp, but the older man tightened his grip
    Reese wasn’t sure why, but Finch actually looked relieved.
    He started to get up, but Finch reached out
    before you bled to death, than listening (this is an actual error whereas the other three are a matter of preference)

    Misplaced comma:
    Carter didn’t respond, and after a moment, > respond and, after a moment,

    I know I hit the commas hard this time, but that’s only because I found a lot of erroneous uses in my own writing that I was editing today. *sigh* I’ve learned from DSP that every comma is a pause for the reader, so the fewer used, the better (especially for an action scene).

    Anyhow, I’m so glad when Friday rolls around each week, now that I know I can count on an infusion of POI! I loved the interaction with Carter — how she’s still a bit wary of John but had decided he was okay because of Harold’s fierce loyalty. ^_^ And the mental image of the two of them sleeping, holding hands… *sigh* You make my fangirl heart melt!!

  2. farmgirl1964 permalink

    This just gets better with every chapter!! I love that you post on Fridays. It gives me something really good to look forward to all week. Love it!! Keep it coming…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. New Chapter – Damaged – Ch. 31 « A Concerned Third Party
  2. New Chapter – Damaged – Ch. 32 « A Concerned Third Party

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