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the_machine_mod ([personal profile] the_machine_mod) wrote in [community profile] meme_of_interest2013-03-28 06:03 pm

Prompt Post 01

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sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 09:36 am (UTC)(link)
I hope this is somewhere in the vicinity of what you wanted! Fic went in an interesting (and slightly unexpected) direction on me. (Note: does include some references to self-destructive drinking and depression.)



1) denial;

Harold is kissing him, softly but insistently, and John has to fight every instinct he possesses; every last piece of him is telling him to give into it, to let himself go, because he belongs to Harold, and if Harold wants this from him, he deserves to have it.

(Harold deserves every last piece of him, truthfully, every last slightly rusted and hollowed-out part of his soul.)

But he can’t give him this. It’s not his to give. He may belong to Harold, but Harold belongs to Grace, and John knows where he falls.

He pulls away, face carefully blank. “I should go.”

Harold’s faltering, wounded expression carves another hollow spot in his chest.

---

Harold sits in front of his monitors, Bear’s head on his lap, and wonders where he miscalculated.

Interpersonal relationships have always been tricky for him, especially his own. Being an impartial observer can make it easier, but he knows it’s nearly impossible to have that kind of impartiality when it comes to one’s own life.

He had thought…he’s seen the way John looks at him when he thinks he’s not paying attention. He’s captured both photographic and video evidence of that look, repeated so many times that the pattern had appeared obvious: longing, need.

(He had been, selfishly, thrilled. His selfishness being a vice he’s long since accepted, he had acted.)

Clearly, he’s missed something.


2) anger;

John shows up at the Library the next day in jeans and a t-shirt. The suit hanging up in his closet had been unapproachable, a monument to Harold’s presence in several thousand dollars of custom-made Hugo Boss.

(He feels like he’s charging into battle without body armor.)

“Do we have another number, Finch?” he asks, careful to call him by that name.

Harold is staring at him. He looks…frankly, John thinks he looks pissed off.

“Did something happen to your suit, Mr. Reese?” he asks, tone sharp. “I have your measurements recorded. I can order you another one.”

“Suit’s fine,” he says, almost snaps. “Our number?”

Harold of all people should understand this, he thinks.

---

Harold doesn’t look at John through the entire briefing on their latest number, stares pointedly at either the board or his screens. He can feel the tension in his neck and shoulders, knows it’s going to wreak havoc on him all day, and he wants to blame John.

John, who doesn’t call him Harold once, not even to needle him; John, who has shown up improperly attired like it means nothing; John, who apparently felt the need to reject him not once, but repeatedly.

(He tells himself he has no right to feel this way, but apparently selfishness is not his only major vice.)

Harold dismisses him early that night, and he thinks…John looks wounded.


3) bargaining;

He’s back in the suit. It’s a peace-offering, he tells himself, an olive branch. It’s to let Harold know that things can continue as they have been.

(He ignores how it feels right, being dressed the way Harold prefers him, because those are thoughts he can’t let himself indulge.)

Harold looks surprised and speculative when he sees him, but doesn’t comment, and the day proceeds as normal—kneecappings included.

He hates how much more comfortable he feels, hates that he can’t make a clean break; Harold deserves that, deserves someone stronger, deserves someone who isn’t hoping he’ll try again.

John can’t want it, and he knows he wouldn’t be able to resist a second time.

---

Harold has noticed that John appears to be flinching.

It’s not obvious; it would never be obvious. Careful observation, however, has revealed the minutest of flinches when he thinks Harold is looking away.

Revulsion, he thinks, at first, but upon closer inspection, he suspects it’s regret.

None of this makes sense to him, John’s bizarre behavior. He had seemed to make it perfectly apparent that he wasn’t interested, yet all evidence points to the contrary.

(There’s more that doesn’t make sense, of course—like the surprisingly base emotion he experiences upon seeing John back in his suit.)

Contrary. There’s a word for John, apt in many ways, and Harold isn’t quite sure what to do.


4) depression;

John is having a staring contest with a bottle of whiskey.

(He thinks briefly that Harold wouldn’t approve, and he’s not sure if that makes it more or less likely that he’ll lose.)

It’s been a while since he’s really thought about drinking; having a drink doesn’t count. Drinking is another thing entirely.

He did the right thing, he’s sure. He can’t be what Harold needs him to be. He wants to be, because he’s weak, but that changes nothing. It changes nothing and the sooner he stops wanting the impossible, the better off he’ll be. The better off they’ll both be.

The whiskey would help with the wanting. It would help with feeling anything.

---

He didn’t miscalculate.

Harold has run the numbers, simulated the code—the data always yields the same result.

Yet it’s midnight and he’s sitting at one of his safehouses, staring at the wall, trying to make sense of the nonsensical. He picks up his phone, looks at it intently for a long moment, and then makes up his mind; he dials a number, calls a car, promises an excellent tip. The receptionist assures him he’ll have a driver within ten minutes.

Twenty minutes later, he’s standing outside John’s door, raising his fist.

(His apartment, his suit, everything is his, including John, and he’s lost too much not to be selfish now.)

The door swings open.


5) acceptance;

“John, this is ridiculous,” Harold says, eyeing him. John looks away, at anything other than his expression.

“What’s ridiculous, Finch?”

“This…mutual and unsatisfactory abject misery,” he says. “I can’t see a reason for it beyond stubbornness and possibly some sort of misunderstanding.”

“I can’t replace her, Harold,” John tells him. “There’s no misunderstanding.”

Harold stares at him. “Is that what you thought? That you were going to be some meaningless, tawdry fling?”

John makes an impatient noise, but he can’t help but smile, if sadly. “Of course not, Harold. That’s my point. You think of me as more, but I’m not more. I’m not as good as she is, and deep down, you know that.”

---

“John,” Harold says, and he imbues this sentence with every ounce of authority he possesses, “come here, now.”

John appears to move without being aware of it, his back straight and his hands falling behind his back when he stops a couple inches in front of him. Harold’s noticed him doing that before, posture very soldier-like, when he’s giving him information about a new number.

“You are my partner, John. You have saved numerous lives. You are more, John. You are good. You are not to tell me otherwise ever again.”

He kisses him, tenderly, like the first time.

John sways and curves against him, fitting them together as close as it’s possible to be.

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

(Anonymous) 2013-04-08 10:06 am (UTC)(link)
I'm such a sucker for insecure!John. Lovely. ♥
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 03:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Me too, man. Me too. Thank you!

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

(Anonymous) 2013-04-08 11:31 am (UTC)(link)
(OP) I love you! Thank you!
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 03:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay, I'm glad! Thank you!
orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] orockthro 2013-04-08 12:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooooh. Yes. I liked this because you really opened up their heads for us to see! Really great!
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad it worked! Thank you!

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

(Anonymous) 2013-04-08 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, my heart! This is a wonderful progression, tying the Kubler-Ross stages to something so very *not* grief. Angst, confusion, pining, (deliberate?) misunderstanding, and finally getting together. Gorgeous!
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so glad it worked! Thank you very much!

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

(Anonymous) 2013-04-08 05:33 pm (UTC)(link)

Loved the use you made here of the Kübler-Ross model and how very true it rang for them.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 06:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!
killalla: (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] killalla 2013-04-08 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Wonderful. I love that level of repression and self denial in characters, and seeing that moment when they both give in to their desires is just perfect.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-08 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Man, me too, especially with these two (and especially John, bless his poor little broken heart.)

Thanks so much!
aerye: (reese and finch)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] aerye 2013-04-09 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, I am such a sucker for angst and pining. ::g:: Love this!
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-09 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
John is so pretty when he angsts and pines! XD

Thank you!
dien: (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] dien 2013-04-10 06:51 am (UTC)(link)
loooovely <3
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-10 05:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!
ceares: cookie all grown up (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] ceares 2013-04-12 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
I love stories where people get to have things they think they can't. I also love agressive, selfish Finch in this.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-04-12 12:38 am (UTC)(link)
Same, especially where John is concerned. He has so little self-worth, it's nice to give him things he wants.

Thank you!

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

(Anonymous) 2013-07-17 08:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, boys! Such a painful but hopeful fic, with Finch knowing just how to reach John. *hugs them* Brilliant fic, well done!
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-07-18 03:09 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much!

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

(Anonymous) 2013-11-23 07:03 pm (UTC)(link)
This was positively adorable and very IC. :) I liked how you edited it, as well.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

Re: FILL: Half Past the Point of No Return (Finch/Reese) [General] [No meme warnings apply]

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2013-11-23 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much!