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Damaged – Ch. 39, Part 1

Author’s Note: Sorry, I thought I could get this chapter finished in time, but this is one of those in-depth, intense, angsty, psychological smutty scenes, and it’s taking forever to write. Plus, I spent almost three days writing my Halloween story, which turned out to be not so Halloweeny after all, lol. So, I’ll post the rest of it next week. I hope you enjoy. ^_^

~*~*~*~

“Harold, you have to hold still,” Reese said for the third time, reaching over to tilt the desk lamp a little closer, the bright, clear light bathing the back of Finch’s pale thigh, his boxers pushed up to expose the line of black sutures dotting the new scar tissue. He lay on his good side on Reese’s bed, and even though he was missing his pants, he was still far too overdressed for Reese’s liking. A pair of tiny surgical scissors in one hand and tweezers in the other, Reese tried again to clip the thin threads that were no longer needed to hold Finch’s healing flesh together.

“I’m trying,” Finch said through his teeth. “Maybe if you wouldn’t make it tickle so much-”

“Oh, suck it up,” Reese teased, his brows knitting as he snipped the first of the threads and slowly tugged it free of Finch’s skin. Finch shuddered, but otherwise didn’t move. “Very good. Just three more.”

“I still don’t know why we couldn’t have let Dr. Tillman do this,” Finch grumbled.

“You think she’d have tickled less?” Reese asked, removing the second suture.

“She has access to local anesthetics,” Finch said, making Reese laugh.

“You just wanted to flirt with her again,” Reese said.

“Me?”

“Yes, you. That day at the hospital, you were flirting with everyone – the doctor, the nurse, Carter, Fusco-”

“Now, hold on a second-”

“Of course, you were enjoying some pretty serious pain-killers, so I won’t hold it against you, but I will be keeping a closer eye on you from now on. There, that’s the last of them.”

“Really?” Finch said, grunting under his breath as he worked himself up into a sitting position. “I didn’t even feel those last two.” Reaching beneath his leg, he ran his fingers over the raised line of scar tissue.

“It’ll fade,” Reese said, gathering up the paper towel with the black threads on it and walking it in to the kitchen wastebasket. “And it’s a lot better than the crater that was there.”

“I know,” Finch said. “Now it itches.”

“Don’t scratch it.”

“I’m not,” Finch said, but he continued to rub at it.

“I know what’ll make it stop,” Reese said, coming back. He was barefoot, in faded jeans and a pale blue T-shirt. “Take a long soak in the tub and then I’ll rub some warm mineral oil into it. It’ll soften the scar and stop the itching.”

Finch didn’t exactly cringe when Reese mentioned the bathtub, but there was a definite change in his expression, and not for the better. He pulled his hand away from the scar. “That’s all right; it’s fine now. I can hardly feel it.”

“You’re lying,” Reese said quietly. Finch didn’t respond, except to climb off the bed and grab his pants. “Do you really think I haven’t noticed?” Reese asked, stepping up behind him and wrapping his arms around the smaller man, stilling his hands as he tried to get dressed. “The only place you ever shower is the library. And I’m guessing the reason why we haven’t made love yet is because you can’t bring yourself to wash up in my tub. That’s not normal, you know.”

“I know,” Finch replied, his entire body closed and tight. “I’m…working on it.”

“I’d like to help.”

“There’s nothing you can do.”

“Do you trust me?” Reese murmured, his lips brushing against the shell of Finch’s ear and making him shiver.

“More than I’ve ever trusted anyone,” Finch said, a slight hoarseness in his voice.

“I’d like to try something, a technique the Agency used to desensitize its operatives.”

Finch swallowed hard. “I think I’ve had enough of the CIA’s ‘techniques’.”

“They called it ‘exposure therapy’ and it was quite effective,” Reese continued, taking Finch’s pants out of his hands and laying them back on the bed. Gently, he turned Finch to face him, meeting those nervous blue eyes. “You know I’d never do anything to hurt you.”

“I do,” Finch said. “I just…I don’t want you to see me like that.”

Reese knew exactly how he felt, the shame and self-disgust at not being able to master one’s fear, at being so helpless, so weak against a memory. He still had nightmares, still woke in a cold sweat, still glimpsed Mark in a crowded restaurant or a dark alley or his bathroom mirror. He hadn’t broken anything or shot anyone because of it, but it haunted him, every hour of every day, like a poison in his blood.

“It’s all right,” Reese said. “We’ve both seen each other at less than our best.”

“But not by choice,” Finch said. Reese briefly wondered if taking away Finch’s choice would solve the problem, but immediately decided that that would only make things worse. This had to be something Finch wanted to do, or at least agreed to do. “I…I will consider it,” Finch said finally. “I’m just not sure it would help.”

A moment later, his cell phone chirped, that strange sound that indicated that the Machine had an opinion on the subject. Reese looked over Finch’s shoulder to see as Finch fished the phone out of his slacks.

ODDS OF SUCCESS: 66.3%

“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Reese said.

The Machine chirped back at him, a second text appearing.

ODDS OF PERMANENT DAMAGE: 7.2%

“See there? Even if it doesn’t help, it’s not going to make things worse.” Reese wrapped his arms around the smaller man again, holding him to his chest. “Please, Harold, let me try.”

Finch shook a shuddering breath. “I…I suppose…” He stiffened in Reese’s embrace, squaring his shoulders, lifting his head, setting his jaw. “All right, I’ll do it.”

“Attaboy,” Reese said, giving him a kiss on the temple. “Give me five minutes to get things ready.” Reese pulled away, hurrying over to his bureau and digging through the drawers. He pulled out a black T-shirt, concealing within it a pair of handcuffs, and headed into the bathroom. He ran the water until it had heated up, then rolled up a clean towel and placed it at the foot of the tub. It wasn’t going to be comfortable, but he didn’t want Finch to be in more discomfort than necessary.

He returned to the loft, a little surprised to see Finch sitting on the edge of the bed, looking down at his phone. He’d half expected to find him dressed and trying to sneak out of the apartment. “Everything okay?” he asked, walking over.

Finch nodded and set the phone aside. “The Machine linked me to information on exposure therapy,” he said. His hand visibly trembled as he reached up and adjusted his glasses. “So, you’re going to do what Agent Snow did until I get used to it, correct?”

“Not even close,” Reese said. “Remember what we were doing in the shower, before you got paranoid and I got angry? It’ll be more like that.”

Finch took a breath, moistened his lips, and finally nodded. “All right.” He stood up, holding his body rigid as he limped past Reese, into the bathroom, as though to face a firing squad. Reese followed, closing the door behind them.

“Just try to relax,” Reese said, noting the way Finch flinched at the hollow, echoing quality of his voice in the enclosed space. “This isn’t a quick fix; it’s not going to ‘cure’ you. This will be something we’ll have to work on for a while, so we’ll only go as fast as you want to, and only until you want to stop.”

“Understood,” Finch said, about as relaxed as a coiled spring. “Should we establish a safe word?”

“I think ‘stop’ will do, don’t you?”

“All right. What do I need to do?” He was breathing faster than normal, a sheen of sweat on his forehead and upper lip, and Reese’s heart ached at being the cause of his distress. But he wasn’t the cause, he reminded himself. He was trying to help.

“All you need to do is concentrate on staying calm and relaxed,” Reese said. “Let me worry about everything else.” He stepped closer, reaching out to deftly unbutton one of Finch’s cuffs. Finch watched him, wary as a wounded animal as Reese moved around him and unbuttoned the other cuff. He took off Finch’s watch, reaching past him to set it on the counter beside the sink. As he turned back, he found Finch staring up at him with pale eyes darkened by fear. Bowing his head, Reese placed a soft, reassuring kiss on Finch’s lips, surprised when Finch grabbed at him, fisting handfuls of his T-shirt, Finch’s lips parting, his tongue slipping into Reese’s mouth. Reese moaned and kissed him back, hands finding the front of Finch’s shirt, his fingers quickly undoing the buttons, exposing the wonderful mat of soft hair on Finch’s chest.

Working the shirt back off Finch’s shoulders, Reese had to break the kiss, drawing back and waiting until Finch relinquished his hold on him. Flushed and out of breath, Finch allowed Reese to slide the shirt down his arms. It fluttered unnoticed to the floor. Stepping close again, Reese recaptured Finch’s lips, letting him find comfort and solace in Reese’s kiss as he eased Finch’s boxers down off his hips. Finch drew a sharp breath, his back stiffening as his underwear hit the floor, but Reese just wrapped his arms around the smaller man, holding him close as they kissed.

Slowly, the tension seemed to bleed out of Finch’s body. Reese felt him relax, tight knots of muscle softening, his grip easing. That was good. Reluctantly, Reese pulled back. Time to take the next step. Reaching past Finch, he grabbed the shirt off the counter, the cuffs still hidden inside it, and then he sank to his knees, letting his breath slide across Finch’s cock, a teasing caress that made it twitch.

Lips almost touching Finch’s shaft, Reese looked up at him. “Put your hands behind your back,” he said, his voice low. Finch hesitated, then did as he was told. “Try to keep them there.”

“O-oh-oh,” Finch breathed as Reese kissed the head of his cock, the thick shaft filling, swelling. Reese brushed lips and tongue against the hardening flesh, making Finch’s breath catch and a delicious flush spread across his chest. Carefully unfolding the shirt in his hands, Reese let it fall to the floor, his attention on Finch’s face as he slowly, deliberately tightened one side of the handcuffs, the tick-tick-tick sound echoing in the small room.

Finch jumped like he’d been stuck with a knife, but before he could panic, Reese opened his mouth, capturing the head of Finch’s cock between his lips, his tongue flicking against the slit. Finch shuddered, his breathing ragged.

“Oh, so that’s how it’s going to work, is it?” he asked, his voice unusually tight. “Like I’m Pavlov’s dog or something? Be careful there, John, you don’t want me getting an erection every time someone pulls out handcuffs.”

Reese chuckled, then let Finch slip from his mouth. “Oh, I don’t know – could be fun.” He leaned close, licking Finch slowly from his balls to the tip of his cock before drawing back. “I’m going to put them on you, you know,” he said, ticking the cuffs again.

“I know,” Finch said, a tremor in his voice.

“Just tell me when you’re ready.” Reese returned to his gentle ministrations, caressing Finch’s cock with his lips, a measured amount of stimulation, just enough to distract him from his fear.

“I- I’m ready now,” Finch said after a minute.

“Are you sure?” Reese asked, taking Finch into his mouth and sliding down his shaft, hollowing his cheeks as he sucked.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Finch panted as Reese drew back. Reese raised the handcuffs, brushing the cold metal against Finch’s wrist. Finch cringed, but didn’t pull away. Reese lapped slowly at the sensitive spot underneath the crown as he eased one side of the cuffs around Finch’s wrist. He could feel Finch shaking as he tightened it, tick-tick-tick-

Finch jerked back, the handcuffs swinging from his wrist, and Reese could see the panic in his eyes as he shook his arm, trying to dislodge the restraints. When that didn’t work, Finch grabbed at the cuffs, like he was trying to force them down over his hand. Reese knew from experience that it wouldn’t work, wouldn’t do anything except bruise and scrape the base of his hand. He grabbed the key off the counter, reaching out to remove the cuffs, but Finch pulled away from him again.

“No, John – don’t.” He was shaking, gasping, his hand closed over the steel bracelet, but he wasn’t trying to force it off.

“Are you sure?” Reese asked quietly. Finch nodded. After a moment, he let go, the loose side of the handcuffs swinging like a pendulum as he slowly put his hands behind his back again. “We don’t have to keep going-”

“I’m fine,” Finch insisted, then he looked down at Reese, his voice softening. “I can do this.”

“Okay.” Reese leaned forward again, taking Finch into his mouth again. The fear had wilted Finch’s erection, but it didn’t take long for him to grow solid and heavy again on Reese’s tongue. He suckled the crown, lapping up the salty drops that seeped from the tip and making Finch moan. Slowly, so as not to startle him, Reese moved his hand up along the outside of Finch’s thigh, reaching back to touch his cuffed hand, to catch at the free side. Finch tensed, his breathing ragged, but he didn’t move as Reese eased the cuffs closed around his other wrist, tightening them down.

Gasping and shaking, Finch stood rigid. Reese sucked him for a minute, giving him a chance to put an end to this if he needed to, but Finch remained silent. Standing up, Reese cupped Finch’s cheek with one hand, the other wrapping around his cock and stroking him with deliberate care from root to tip.

“You’re so strong,” Reese murmured, his lips brushing Finch’s. “I don’t know if I could be as strong as you. You’re so brave, so amazing. I love you so much. You know that, don’t you? How much I love you?”

“How much?” Finch gasped.

Reese closed his eyes, lips soft and wet as he kissed him, and he found himself trembling as he drew back. “Harold, if I lost you, the sun would not rise, the stars would not shine; there would be no color, no music, no warmth in the world. I would have nothing without you.” Reese kissed him again, deep and slow and smooth, like melting chocolate.

“That was more than I was expecting,” Finch said when Reese drew back. “A whole damn lot would have been good enough.” Reese smiled. Finch was handling this better than he’d thought he would. But it was going to get harder.

<– Prev   ~*~   Next –>

6 Comments
  1. Awww, what a wonderful, smexxxy therapy!! XD I’m glad Reese is letting Finch set his own pace, though. But how funny that the Machine spoke up with its two cents’ worth! Wonderful. And don’t worry about posting every week — your readers will eagerly await. (In agony, perhaps, but we’ll wait…)

    Only one typo: Reese knew exactly how her felt > “he” 😉

  2. Oh wow! I thought this was done…you have no idea how glad I am for being wrong right now. 😀 Gah, this made my whole day. My smile right now is hurting my face…now it’s cramping…my face is cramping…crap, smiling that big and that long is not good!
    Okay, yea, anyways, this was a stellar chapter: dialogue was amazing as usual, characterization is what made this chapter better than it already was, and the pacing was flawless. There are mistakes in this chapter of course, but it does nothing to impede on the story line…plus, I’m not exactly sure where it is…I’m just going on the assumption that every chapter has some sort of mistake because of human error. xD So really, I find nothing wrong with your story!!

  3. kilthunter permalink

    This is an amazing story. Very complex and totally believable as far as Finch and Reese’s behavior is concerned. Giong by the show so far, I can see them reacting just like this.

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. 🙂 Aw, poor little Finchy. But Reese is there to protect him and help him through it, so it’s all good. *^.^* Thanks for this. 😀

  5. Plink 42 permalink

    Reese may have learned about this at the CIA, but this particular technique is distinctly his own. 😉

    Wonderful as usual. I have mixed feelings about next week. While I’m looking forward to the new chapter, it also means the story is over. I won’t know what to do with my Fridays anymore. *pout*

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