Title: Like the Birds in the Sky.
Characters: Harold Finch, John Reese, Lionel Fusco.
Disclaimer: I don't owe Person of Interest or any of its characters.
Spoilers: 1x18 "Identity Crisis."
Summary: A fic where questions like what happened when Reese retrieved Finch from Fusco's care, how Finch got his hands on the book "The Trial" and what happened the day after are answered.
Notes: Thanks to PJTL156 for the beta.
"Which do you like better, good cop or bad cop?"
"You tell me. Am I under with HR, or am I working cases with you?"
"I'll let you know."
Fusco looked at the man walking away, shaking his head slightly.
Fuck him and his 'don't give a damn' attitude. It was only Fusco's life he was putting on the line after all. Damn him!
Turning his gaze ahead of him, the patrol car with Tara -the fake Jordan Hester- pulled away. Fusco took a second to feel proud of himself. He not only had helped arrest a wanted criminal, but also had proved the innocence of a man who everyone thought was a criminal, giving him a second chance.
The corner Fusco's lip is curled up. He couldn't wait to get Kyle Morrison out of prison and back to his little girl. The smile became a frown when he reminded that Mr. Friend of a Friend, the nerdy guy with the glasses, was still in his car.
Great, more talk with Mr. Friendly, Fusco thought bitterly, as he hurried to catch up with him.
"Hey!" Fusco called, but waited until he was beside Reese to continue. "Ain't you gonna ask about your friend?"
Something flickered across Reese's face, just for a moment, before being replaced by his usual blank expression. "Where is he?"
Fusco shrugged. "Left him in the car,"
Reese turned toward him, a flash of anger in his eyes. "You left a drugged man alone in a car? Good work, Detective."
"Hey, got a better idea? 'Cause I don't think getting him in a place full of cops would have been any better."
Reese fixed the detective with a cold stare, but didn't said anything, knowing Fusco was right. The last thing they needed was Finch attracting people's attention in his state.
"Though so," Fusco grunted before he made his way to the door of the restaurant.
Walking together, Fusco looked at the other man out of the corner of his eye, his lips pressed into a tight line.
"Whatever the hell she give your friend got him really chatty, ya' know." Fusco eventually commented, feeling the weird need to break the tense silence between them.
Reese turned his head toward Fusco, arching a curious eyebrow at him.
Of course that gets the guy's attention, Fusco thought amused. "He didn't say anything that might interest you, though."
This time both of Reese's eyebrows went up; an expression that clearly said it would be him to judge if it would interest him or not.
Fusco rolled his eyes. Jackass.
"Fine, you wanna know what the guy did? What he said?" Without waiting for an answer -not that he would get one anyway- Fusco went on. "He was fucking stubborn about turning on the siren and lights, you know? Fucking stubborn! And he just kept saying nonsense, babbling like a fucking lunatic about stupid stuff. And let me tell you something: Your friend is obsessed with lights. He keep talking about how 'bright and pretty' they were. His words, not mine." Fusco rushed to clarify, watching a spark of humor in the other man's eyes.
"Then, when we drove near a library, he went like crazy; babbling about some old book 'he had to have.' Give me all kinds of nerdy information about it. Couldn't keep up with all the shit he spit out." Fusco shook his head, feeling annoyed just by remembering it. At first it had been funny, seeing the upright man act like that, talking nonstop when he normally just offered Fusco a few refined words of what he wanted him to do, but it had quickly become annoying.
It had crossed his mind to interrogate the man; getting any information he could about his past to try and get on Mr. Deadly's good side. The guy was so out of it that he probably would have answered any question he asked, but Fusco had backed off at the last minute. It had feel wrong to take advantage of the man who had been with him when he thought he would die after he had been caught destroying the papers of that undercover cop. Truthfully, it had been him and his friend who had gotten him into the mess in the first place, but still. He remembered the oddly reassuring voice of the other man in his ear, telling him to stay calm, that they were going to help him. He still remembered clearly the last thing the guy had told him.
"Detective? Mr. Tulley is safe, you helped us save him." *Pause* "I've tracked your coordinates, Detective. Mr. Reese is on his way."
That had been a hell of a lot more than what he would have ever expected from the Suite. Beside, he doubted there was anything he could do to get well with the guy. So, if he wanted to take advantage of Mr. Glasses' condition, he would have the chance to do so himself.
Reese felt dispointed and relevated learning Finch hadn't told Fusco anything important about himself. It seemed the man was still a very private person, even high. He felt the corner of his lips curl up.
After turning the corner, Fusco's car became fully visible, and strangely as they keep walking, Reese could make out Finch's form, lighted by the distinctive glow of a screen. The image made Reese relax; loosening his shoulders just a tad. Surely if Finch was operating a computer he wasn't as bad as Reese first had thought.
Walking around the car, they stopped right in front of the passenger side window where Finch was typing away, oblivious of their presence. It was Fusco how reached and pulled open the door, getting Finch's attention. The billionaire blinked at Fusco a few times before a broad smile spread across his face.
"Detective, you are back!" Finch exclaimed, voice completely different, a cheerful, almost childish tone on it. "Did you catch the bad guys?"
"Yeah, yeah, we did." Fusco answered distracted as he walked closer, reaching for his laptop.
Keeping a short distance, Reese watched Finch's behavior and interaction with Fusco. He know it was the MDMA, but still, he was having a hard time accepting that the man in front of him was the same quiet and reserved man he worked with.
Watching the black screen of his laptop, filled with white letters and numbers he couldn't make out, Fusco cursed under his breath, turning to glare at Finch.
"You better hadn't screw this up, you hear me?"
"Relax Lionel. Even if he did he can buy you a new one in no time," Reese intervened dryly, watching Fusco glaring from the laptop, to Finch and back.
Fusco turned his gaze toward Reese, a sardonic retort on the tip of his tongue. But before he could deliver it, the sound of a laugh -a real one- filled the silence, drawing both men's attention toward the man in the car as the giggling billionaire reached to turn the laptop back toward himself.
"I did not decompose it, silly. I was performing some code adjustments to optimize its performance." Finch tapped a few keys before turning the screen toward Fusco again, a grin on his face. "See?"
Fusco snatched the laptop from Finch's hold, examining it and pressing a few keys. It looked okay.
"Yeah, yeah, we'll see." Fusco grunted, closing and tucking the laptop under his arm.
Without moving an inch from where he stood, Reese watched Finch thoroughly. He wasn't about to admit it. Ever. But even when it was confusing, and even kind of scary, it was also nice to see Finch so relaxed and... well, happy was the best way to describe it. He looked younger; with a sharp and soft glint in his eyes, remarkable even in the dim light of the street, with a smile that hadn't left his face since Fusco and him had gotten here. He was brought out of his musing when Fusco started speaking.
"Here's your friend. He's come to take over the babysitting duties," Fusco told Finch, nodding to where Reese stood.
"I'm not a baby, Detective." Finch's voice and expression were sober, resembling to his normal self just for a moment before a fit of giggles came out of his mouth.
Fusco give Finch an incredulous look, but a gaze at Reese told him he better keep his mouth shut, so he swallowed the mocking comment and settled just for a murmured, "Yeah, whatever."
Once Finch had calmed down, he looked at Reese, his eyes wide open as if he had just noticed him -which he may had, for all Reese knew- a shy smile playing on his lips.
Without saying a word, Finch began to struggle with the seat belt, his tongue stuck out between his lips in concentration.
Watching Finch struggle uselessly to open his seat belt, Reese didn't even hesitate as he stepped in. "Here, let me help you." He murmured softly, waiting a moment for any signs of rejection, but the only thing he got from Finch was a couple of blinks before a broad smile spread across his face.
"You're nice," Finch murmured happily as Reese reached out to open the seat belt for him. Without another word, Finch used Reese's arms for support to get out of the car.
As soon as Finch was steady on his feet -or as steady as he was going to get on his current condition- he did something that took Reese by surprise: Finch threw his arms around his neck in a strong grip, burying his face in Reese's chest.
"I'm glad you're here," The billionaire murmured, voice muffled by Reese's coat.
Reese just stood there, too stunned by the unexpected contact coming from a man that always kept everyone at arm's length. He was distracted by a snort that sounded suspiciously like a muffled laugh coming from his right. He looked over the top of Finch's head at Fusco, who wasn't doing a very good job at hiding his amusement.
Reese gave him a cold, murderous look that made Fusco's grin deflate, but not disappear fully.
Hugging a high Finch in the middle of the street with Fusco at his side was not an option. It just wasn't. But he didn't want to upset Finch, since he would have to take care of him for the night, and would need him to cooperate with him, so he opted for give Finch a couple of gentle pats on the back.
Reese waited for a moment, but when it became clear Finch wasn't about to let go of him anytime soon, he gently took Finch's arms and pulled them away from his neck, giving Finch a slight smile.
"Seems you've gotten really cozy and loving, so I'm gonna take off. Got a live of my own, ya' know?" Fusco didn't wait for an answer, he just began to walk toward the driver's side.
Reese looked closely at Finch as the billionaire turned his head to watch Fusco. Finch wasn't turning his neck completely, but he was turning it more than usual, which meant the MDMA was reducing the pain. With him not feeling it, Finch was being careless with his neck and leg, which he was going to resent in the morning. Reese wince sympathetically. Tomorrow wasn't going to be a good day for Finch.
Fusco got into the car, turned on the engine, and pulled away as soon as he could, just in case Mr. Lethal decided he was going to need help with his friend. There was no way in hell he was gonna spend a sleepless night looking after a guy whose real name he didn't even know. Consequences be damned!
Finch waved and shouted at Fusco "goodbye" until the Detective's car was out of sight, then he turned to Reese, looking at him expectantly.
Reese turned his gaze away at the intensity in Finch's eyes, clearing his throat. "Come," he murmured, nudging gently at Finch's elbow, and leading the billionaire in the same direction where Fusco's car had gone.
Without saying anything, Finch followed Reese's lead and walked beside him, twisting and turning his head around, watching his surroundings.
"Where are we going?" Finch asked after a moment, voice thrilled.
Reese turned back to Finch, noticing for the first time he was keeping his hand firmly on Finch's elbow as they walked together, but made no attempt to let go of it.
"I need to take you someplace safe where you can rest until the effect of the Ecstasy wears off fully."
Finch's brow furrowed. "But I don't wanna rest, I'm not tired. Ohhhh, we can do something fun!" Finch's face lit up, and he started tugging at Reese's sleeve thrilled. "We could go to the museum or the cinema. It's been soooo long since I went to see a movie! Can we? Pleaseeee!"
Reese shifted his weight from one foot to the other almost imperceptibly, watching as Finch looked up at him with big, hopeful eyes.
"I'm sorry, we can't." Watching Finch's smile vanish, Reese hurry to say more. "Not right now. I... uh, I'm a bit tired now, but we can do it later."
Reese breathed a sigh of relief. At least Finch was acting somewhat rational given the situation. He looked around the nearly empty street. There was a couple walking in the opposite direction across the street, and about twenty feet ahead of them a man was walking in the same direction they were headed.
He needed to get Finch off the streets and somewhere safe, and right now the safest place for Finch was the library; but of course they were well away from it, so he would need to "borrow" a car to get them there.
Reese's eyes came to rest on a black sedan parked around fifteen feet away from where they were. He cocked his head. That one would do it just fine. He just needed to-
"You are tall," Finch commented out of nowhere, looking up at him.
Reese's eyebrows shot up, and he blinked at Finch, not knowing how to respond to that.
Finch either didn't hear or ignored his response, fascinated by the world around him.
Finally, finally, they reached the car, and Reese stopped Finch with a firm but gentle hand on his arm.
"Wait here," Reese murmured as he quickly forced the car's passenger side door open.
Stepping to the side, he pulled the door wide open, looking around in case the car's owner came, before turning his gaze back to Finch.
Finch hesitated, his expression serious. "That's not our car. We can't- we can't use it."
Reese looked at Finch incredulous. Of all the times Finch could have expressed his moral insight regarding his methods, this was the worst possible one.
"Finch, you know I don't like stealing cars; we're just going to borrow it for a while. We'll get it back in one piece." Reese promised, watching the still reluctant expression on Finch's face.
After a beat, the billionaire finally nodded, slowly getting into the car.
Reese closed the car door, leaving out a relieved sigh, before walking to the driver's side.
This was going to be a very long night.