Characters: Harold Finch, John Reese.
Disclaimer: I don't owe Person of Interest or any of its characters.
Summary: John Reese likes to share the Christmas spirit in his own way.
Notes: Thanks to PJTL156 for the beta.
Hands buried deep inside his coat pockets, Reese walked among the crowd of people, struggling to keep eyes on their latest number. Elizabeth Burke: A woman in her early thirties currently doing Christmas shopping along with her ten year old daughter.
December was just starting, but the streets were filled with people carrying bags and boxes full of Christmas gifts or ornaments, making the already chaotic streets of New York even harder to walk through.
He had nothing against people's Christmas spirit. Quite the opposite. He enjoyed walking around the streets watching people being happy, friendlier with each other, and admiring the bright lights decorating every corner of the city. It was a nice change. And even if it made easier to follow someone without attracting attention, it also made it a hell of a lot harder to keep track of them. He had already lost the woman and her daughter once, having to turn to his phone to locate them.
And of course there was the cold. Even with his coat and gloves on he was freezing; the thin fabric of his pants doing little to keep him warm. He really should change his wardrobe during this season.
To distract himself from the cold and bustle, Reese turned to his employer through his earpiece.
"How's your tea, Finch?" Reese murmured, his voice smooth.
Finch paused his typing, looking at the hot cup of tea he had just prepared a couple minutes earlier.
"Quite good, Mr. Reese. Thank you." Finch resumed his typing. "Everything's all right with Mrs. Burke and her daughter, I presume?"
Reese watched the woman entering a store, her daughter behind her. "Yeah, they just went inside a small shop."
Waiting a few seconds, Reese entered the shop filled with Christmas ornaments and, like any other store, filled with people. It took him a couple of seconds to spot the woman and her daughter watching some colorful stockings.
"I haven't bought you a present yet, Harold. Any hints on what you would like me to get you?"
Finch blinked, brows drawn together. His hands hovered over his keyboard as he tried to think how to answer to that.
"I don't think that's necessary, Mr. Reese."
Reese chuckled softly. "Of course it's not Finch, that's what presents are about. You give them because you want, not because you have to."
Finch opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by Reese.
"There's a guy paying too much attention to them, Finch." Reese moved close carefully, pretending to look at the glass balls placed on a shelf to his right.
Finch's fingers flew over the keyboard.
"There's only two security cameras in the store," Finch started after a moment. "One is pointing at the counter and the other to the door. I have no visual of Mrs. Burke or the man, I'm afraid."
Reese took out his cell phone, discreetly taking a photo of the man. "Sending you a photo."
"I'm running it through the facial recognition software, but it may take some time." Finch adjusted his glasses. "What's happening, Mr. Reese?"
"He's exchanging glances with another man," Reese murmured, taking another photo. "I think they are planning to strike now."
Finch received the second photo, immediately doing the same as with the first one.
"Wouldn't it be too risky attacking someone in such a crowded place, Mr. Reese?" Finch asked, his voice anxious.
"No really. It can even help you hide among the crowd. If someone was attacked among so many people nobody would notice who did it between the chaos and shock."
Finch swallowed. "What are you going to do?"
"For now, wait. I'm close to the first guy. If I see any suspicious movement I'll be able to interfere before he can hurt them."
Reese watched as the woman and her daughter walked toward the section where the Christmas lights were, followed closely by the two men.
"What about the other people in the place? They would also be in jeopardy if the men decide perform their assault."
Before he could answer Finch, Reese watched the second man nod to the first one, who took a knife out his pocket. He immediately jumped into action.
Finch was startled by the sound of shots coming from his ear piece, immediately followed by cries of panic and horror.
"Mr. Reese? Mr. Reese?!"
Through the surveillance cameras on his screen, Finch watched as the two employees took shelter behind the counter, and people started running out of the store.
Finch almost jumped when he felt something wet near his left hand, and it was then that he noticed Bear had abandoned his bed and was looking at him with an almost worried look; whining softly, as if asking what was wrong.
"It's okay," He murmured softly, putting his hand over Bear's head, petting the dog softly as he continued listening to the commotion at the store.
In less than a minute, the sounds of struggle in his earpiece missed its intensity, exposing the recognizable sound of a heavy breathing and occasional sobbing and whispers almost drowned out in the background.
Reese straightened his coat before turning toward the woman. "Are you okay?"
The woman bobbed her head up and down furiously, eyes wide and arms tightly around the thin form of her daughter. Reese turned to the employees, nodding to the unconscious men on the floor. "You should call the police."
"Mr. Reese?" Finch called tentatively, his hand firm on Bear's fur.
"Have I ever told you I like Christmas time, Finch?"
Finch blinked. "I... I beg your pardon?"
Reese smirked. "I like it because it gives you a chance to be creative. Would it have ever occurred to you that a Christmas wreath could be used as a weapon?"
Finch's confused expression became one of horror as his mind wrapped around what Reese had just told him.
Lips curled up into a smirk, Reese looked at the men lying on the floor, one of them with a lovely and complex Christmas wreath around his neck.
"Mr. Reese," Finch started, a reproachful note in his voice. After a moment he just let out a sigh, rubbing a hand over his forehead. Why did he even bother anymore?
The smirk on his face widening, Reese turned his attention back to the people still inside the store, who were watching him with wide-eyed, open-mouthed and frightened expressions. Reese nodded politely at them before walking away.
As soon as he stepped outside, he drew a deep breath. "So, have you decided what gift you would like, Harold?"