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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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Psych AU: Finch is a "psychic" detective

(Anonymous) 2013-04-19 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
I guess Finch would have to be not "dead" for this to work, or I guess he could do it under one of his other identities... but, ok, the Machine gives him numbers, and to cover up that trail... he pretends to be psychic, and that's how he explains knowing things about people & being able to predict trouble. He has an office and a PI license and Reese is his partner, and Carter & Fusco are the long-suffering cops who put up with their shenanigans. :D

Fill: Psych AU Doodle (Reese, Finch) [General] [Warnings: none]

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 11:12 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know what I'm doing, it's really late at night.

Image (

Reese/Finch - Prison AU

(Anonymous) 2013-04-20 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Reese & Finch meet in Prison where they share a cell. What happens is up to you.

Re: Reese/Finch - Prison AU

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Fuck YES! This needs to be written!

Dom!Finch / Sub!Reese

(Anonymous) 2013-04-21 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Ok, that's it...Actually, this prompt has been in my mind for many many days already, and I can't resist it any longer! I REALLY REALLY want this!

Some ideas below,

(1)Finch finally finds out that Reese is a Sub or otherwise;
(2)Finch pretends that Reese is his Dom, because he doesn't want Reese to be threatened by their Dom numbers
ricochet: (Default)

Re: Dom!Finch / Sub!Reese

[personal profile] ricochet 2013-04-21 07:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Are you thinking of this in a BDSM-verse?

I require this information for Reasons.

Re: Dom!Finch / Sub!Reese

(Anonymous) - 2013-04-21 23:53 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Dom!Finch / Sub!Reese

(Anonymous) - 2013-05-20 18:14 (UTC) - Expand

Reese/Finch Baby Blue AU

(Anonymous) 2013-04-21 05:33 pm (UTC)(link)
In Baby Blue, when Elias locks Reese in the refrigerated truck he doesn't put Leila in there with him. So Reese holds out and keeps quiet. Finch has to find him.

I wouldn't mind cuddles for warmth afterwards but whether it's friendship or slash is up to you.

Re: Reese/Finch Baby Blue AU

(Anonymous) 2013-04-21 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
@_@ +1
ceares: cookie all grown up (Default)


[personal profile] ceares 2013-04-22 08:35 am (UTC)(link)
this will not go away, so

Either their scene in Relevance a/u where no one shows up for a while longer and we find out that neither of them were lying about what they like.

Or a later meet up where it's all S/m, hate sex and mind games

or an a/u where Root manipulates things so Shaw is sent to kill her because she wants to meet her.

Just any Shaw/Root really, but preferably not a death fic.

Logan Pierce/Reese (and/or Finch/Reese)

(Anonymous) 2013-04-22 12:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Pierce's seduction attempts grew more blatant! Finch, of course, hears everything. (I have no preference as to whether or not Pierce actually succeeds, though I hope it happens as filthily as possible if so)

Terminator Crossover

(Anonymous) 2013-04-22 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)
While the idea of The Machine being Skynet has come up quite a few times, it never seemed right to me, after all it's hard to see an AI created to save lives and protect people going 'kill all humans' on everyone, not to mention that Harold raised it better than that. In fact, if anything it'd make more sense for The Machine and Skynet to be enemies, waging a war with humanity. It then occurred to me that the two AIs waging a war with the future of mankind at stake would most likely be awesome. Skynet may have more firepower but the Machine has far better intel and as far as I can tell is probably smarter.

Then you've got the humans who are going to be involved in the whole mess; 'Team Machine' and the Conners; what's going to be happening with them? There's also the matter of whether or not the 'Reese' issue is just a coincidence.

Crossover or Fusion with Robert J. Sawyer's WWW Trilogy

(Anonymous) 2013-04-23 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know whether or not any of you are actually familiar with the trilogy in question but I can't shake the idea that it'd be an interesting series to combine with Person of Interest, most likely because both series feature all-seeing AIs with no concept of privacy, plus the fact that part of one of the latter two books takes place in New York.

A crossover would probably involve Webmind and the Machine encountering each other, members of various agencies having a collective heart-attack, Finch probably having a bit of a heart-attack of his own, and things becoming all kinds of complicated for everyone involved. As for a fusion of the two, I'm not sure; maybe combine the two AIs into one or something.


(Anonymous) 2013-04-23 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
Okay people, how have we gotten to page nine and there is still no tentacle fic in this kink meme!

My prompt (please feel free to make other tentacle sex prompts however): John was right back in Super: there is no Machine, Harold is actually the master of eldritch powers. Every so often, however, Harold has to recharge with magic tentacle sex. John follows Harold at the wrong time and ends up stumbling into a recharge session (I am vaguely envisioning a big orgy of willing participants but not picky -- plz no non-con) and ends up throwing himself enthusiastically into Harold's arms and miscellaneous other limbs.

Would be delighted for a story that begins in medias res or tells the whole thing, either way!


(Anonymous) 2013-04-23 01:49 am (UTC)(link)

This little ficlet from Esteefee may help to tide you over/put a smile on your face. :D


(Anonymous) - 2013-04-24 14:37 (UTC) - Expand


(Anonymous) - 2013-04-24 15:25 (UTC) - Expand

AI Free-For-All

(Anonymous) 2013-04-23 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
People are posting a lot of great prompts involving other AIs. So how about *all* of the other AIs? Skynet (Terminator), JARVIS (Marvel), GLaDOS (Portal), Wintermute & Neuromancer (Neuromancer), The Puppet Master (Ghost In the Shell), The Master Control Program (Tron)--any you care to include. What happens when the Machine goes live, but it's only one of many, many secret AIs living in parallel with humanity. How do they interact? Do they secretly run everything? Is there an AI war that humanity doesn't even know about going on? This could be a serious take or total crack.

Role Swap AU focused on Root & Carter

(Anonymous) 2013-04-23 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
Samantha Groves, angry that she wasn't believed when she reported what happened to her childhood friend, creates the Machine to provide irrefutable evidence to protect the innocent. Samantha brings on Carter, a disillusioned combat veteran trying to put her life back together, to help her right wrongs and defend the defenseless. She couldn't save Hanna, but she'll save as many others as she can. Samantha's nemesis is the legendary black hat hacker only known as ph1nch. The elusive ph1nch may or may not be being aided by a Detective Reese of the NYPD, a cop with a shady past. Any other characters and any ships are welcome as long as the focus is on the above roles.

(Anonymous) 2013-04-23 11:13 am (UTC)(link)
Finch wants Reese to teach him to shoot. (Possibly Reese is torn between pragmatism and his dumb secret desire that Finch never need to learn such things?)

there is definitely sexy touching because Finch's form is terrible.
melodyunity: Screenshot of Buffy walking through the desert in "Restless." (BTVS_buffydesert)

BtVS/PoI Crossover

[personal profile] melodyunity 2013-04-23 08:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I was reading Astolat's Love and Marriage today, and it struck me that the moment at the wedding when Finch and Reese see all of the people they saved in the crowd was, in a way, kind of similar to the moment in "Prom" when Buffy gets the class protector award. So now I'm jonesing for a Buffy/Person of Interest crossover.

I have no idea how to cross these two universes over in a feasible way -- does it even need to be feasible? Maybe the machine starts a new team of slayers to deal with supernatural threats, I don't know -- but I just really want to see Buffy hanging out with Finch and Reese and the three of them being awesome together.

Re: BtVS/PoI Crossover

(Anonymous) 2013-04-24 03:20 am (UTC)(link)
I've actually been trying to wrestle a Buffyverse/PoI plotbunny into submission for awhile. Maybe having a request on the meme here will make me actually finish the thing.

Re: BtVS/PoI Crossover

[personal profile] melodyunity - 2013-04-24 03:23 (UTC) - Expand

AU: Reese/Finch or gen, what if Finch was a plant?

(Anonymous) 2013-04-24 03:36 am (UTC)(link)
Dien writes this gorgeous drabble:


At first Reese had suspected Finch was Agency. Even when it didn't make sense, the suspicion had persisted subconsciously: paranoia isn't rational. Paranoia can entertain logical explanations by daylight, and whisper conspiracy theories in the dark.

He trails Finch, spies on him. Finch has onion layers of secrets; is the Agency one of them?

Only when he gets shot and Finch comes for him does he put that fear to rest.

Months later, standing in his new home, he thinks: Finch is not a plant-- but Finch has planted him, and that he now has roots is much, much worse.

But what if Finch is a plant? A CIA plant or worse? I want that AU. Reese/Finch would be a bonus.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)

Re: AU: Reese/Finch or gen, what if Finch was a plant?

[personal profile] arduinna 2013-04-24 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
... I spent too much time in SGA fandom, and read the subject line as literally "what if Finch was a plant" -- like a ficus or something.

The Machine would be Finch's giant root system, spread out and connected to other root systems, gathering information from near and far...

Re: AU: Reese/Finch or gen, what if Finch was a plant?

(Anonymous) - 2013-04-24 18:52 (UTC) - Expand

Re: AU: Reese/Finch or gen, what if Finch was a plant?

(Anonymous) - 2013-04-25 11:33 (UTC) - Expand

Re: AU: Reese/Finch or gen, what if Finch was a plant?

(Anonymous) - 2013-04-25 16:05 (UTC) - Expand

Trophy Wife AU

(Anonymous) 2013-04-24 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
So what if Finch really was a trophy wife? I know there is one where Finch is pretending to be one but what if it was for real? I was thinking about this to pass the time at the hospital this morning. Perhaps Finch was targeted in college or maybe poor innocent Finch was lured away from Nathan later on. Or maybe Nathan is the one who did the luring. Or perhaps Finch set out to be a trophy wife. Hahaha. Can you tell I was bored at the hospital?

A Prompt Inspired By a Fanfic

(Anonymous) 2013-04-24 07:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Anyone here read Dien's exceedingly good story 'The Ghost and the Machine'? (If you haven't here's the link so you can go and fix that: Basic description is that it's an AU where the line between Finch and the Machine is a very thin one indeed. It ended before the events of the show, which just made me wonder how things would end up going if the relationship between Finch and the Machine was significantly...closer. Hence this prompt. 'Why' is up to the author; they can either go with the same sort of scenario as Dien or they can come up with something else, just don't make things any darker than they are in the show.

(Anonymous) 2013-04-26 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
John and Harold do NOT have the same taste in TV and it's seriously harshing John's secret boner for Harold.

(Anonymous) 2013-04-29 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
just the prompt lol'd me. this would be hilarious!
ladyvyola: Mr. Finch at a computer, Mr. Reese standing beside him (secret masters of the universe)

Elias &or/ lady!Finch

[personal profile] ladyvyola 2013-04-26 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, people.

Hit me -- I need Elias interacting with lady!Finch (and related Reese feels, of course).

Any flavor welcome, from flirty chess games with Reese uneasy about their rapport to menace-laced "favors" with Reese frantic to keep Finch from paying the price.
ladyvyola: Mr. Finch at a computer, Mr. Reese standing beside him (secret masters of the universe)

What we need in here is a high school AU

[personal profile] ladyvyola 2013-04-26 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
C'mon, it practically writes inself. :D

Finch is the chess/computer clubs' president, Reese the bad boy everybody knows is in a gang but no one can prove it. (It's probably the motorcycle he rides.)

Fusco's one of those second-string football boys who can't quite figure out if he's a stand-up guy or one of nature's thug, Carter's all straight As and ROTC-bound.

Shaw's a hipster drama student and Root's queen of the mean girls (they've been in the same classes together since pre-K and neither will concede the name "Sam/Samantha" to the other).

And then therei's Elias the lowe-key fixer who seems to know where to get booze, weed, and stolen exam keys for you (all for a price, of course).

Or, you know, whatever works for you. :P

Finch/Reese - Reese has to hurt Finch until he screams

(Anonymous) 2013-04-26 01:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Finch and Reese are captured. Reese is ordered to hurt Finch until Finch screams. If Finch screams, Reese will die. If Finch does not scream, Finch will die. Finch tries to remain silent in order to sacrifice himself to save Reese; Reese tries to hurt Finch in order to sacrifice himself to save Finch.

Re: Finch/Reese - Reese has to hurt Finch until he screams

(Anonymous) 2013-08-06 06:32 am (UTC)(link)
Ahhhhhahaha.... OP is brilliant. Someone write this.

Death Miscommunication

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
Finch thinks John Reese is dead, killed on the job (John is not, reasons up to filler) --What does Finch do?

AU Reese/Finch, Reese is Finch's physical therapist

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 08:10 pm (UTC)(link)
What the subject kine says: Reese is Finch's physical therapist. Up to you how much of their canon pasts you keep.

Please? :)

Finch/Reese, John tries to gain Harold's trust through sex. It backfires.

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 11:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Early on in their partnership, Reese seduces Finch because sex is a good way to gain someone's trust and find out their secrets. By the time he starts to genuinely care for Finch, and starts to feel bad for trying to trick Finch into a fake intimacy that way, he realizes he really fucked up: Finch is in love with him, and thinks they're in a real relationship, and the last thing John wants is to hurt him.

John/Harold, wheel of time crossover

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
It's been a decade or so since I read the Wheel of Time books, but a few things stuck with me (sort of, really not sure about the details anymore): Male mages go insane if they use their magic, unless they wear a control collar - which their handler can use to not only support them while they use magic, but also to control them and inflict horrible pain on them.

Basically, all I want is Reese wearing one of those collars for Finch (consensually or not, at least at first), and Finch only ever using it to help and protect him, never abusing his power or hurting John like he could, and like John expects he will.

(Maybe John escaped from the CIA when they found out about his talent and tried to put a collar on him, or maybe Kara or Snow was his handler for a while, and fucked him up pretty badly, and he's well on his way to insanity by the time Finch finds him on the streets. Or maybe Finch finds him at a slave market for mages and realizes his talents are too valuable to be wasted?)

Re: John/Harold, wheel of time crossover

(Anonymous) 2013-04-28 05:29 am (UTC)(link)
That sounds amazing!

harold/john, john has sex with harold because he doesn't want to tell him no

(Anonymous) 2013-04-27 11:12 pm (UTC)(link)
The backwards remix of this ( When Harold asks John to have sex, he says yes even though he's not sexually interested in him, because it's Harold, and he wants Harold to have everything he needs or wants.

Up to the author whether John ends up liking it/falling in love with Harold or not.

Fill: A Very Private Person [Reese/Finch] [explicit]

(Anonymous) 2013-04-29 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Love the prompt.

When Harold pushes him down and shifts over him, the sudden weight on John’s bare back is a surprise. John’s entire world view is cut down to the sheen of the pale sheet under him, high thread count, velvety. But for all its luxury it feels too closed in. He turns his head so that he can see out the high windows, watch the spangle of city lights, headlights crawling across the bridges and the deep, dark sky beyond. There are determined, quick movements behind him. Harold arranges John’s legs, pulls one out to the side, bends the other at the knee. John pillows his hands under his head and waits, still.

And then the burn . . . that’s a shock. John goes rigid, even though he knows that will only make it worse. But Harold is insistent, pushing forward firmly, and John feels a hand on his neck, stroking him, pinning him.

John reminds himself that he can throw Harold, if he wants to. Could break him with one blow. John pushes his forehead into his hands, wills himself still. Tonight he could probably break Harold with a few words.

He closes his eyes, relaxes a little, against all instinct. Harold surges forward and John breathes out carefully, smothering the urge to buck. The pain is okay. But the feel of invasion, of surrender when Harold finally moves into him . . . it’s too much. Just for a moment, it’s more than he can take.

Fortunately for both of them, Reese knows how to take more than too much. His coaches were the first ones to see it, when he was still in school, and then his officers. They understood how valuable it could be, that John knew how to take, how to survive and take more. Though it’s not very often that he takes it lying down.

He grits his teeth and fists the sheets and wonders, not for the first time, how they got here. It’s not an honest question, really. Reese knows exactly how they got here. Every faltering step along the path to this moment, to Harold’s hot breath, whisky sour, panting over his shoulder. To Harold in him, around him, pressing into him everywhere.

The first time, the first move, Finch was high as a kite on ecstasy. Someone somewhere said it always comes down to chemistry, one way or another, and from his current perspective that seems pretty accurate.

John breathes out a laugh, but Harold is moving above him now, rhythm strong and slow, and any sound John makes is swallowed up in the satisfied, breathy moan above him. Harold’s hand rubs up and down John’s back, followed by his mouth, wet, tender.

John feels the care behind it, feels Harold’s lonely desire. Harold is a good man, a caring man. The need to be close to someone, to protect something, is an almost desperate want in him, when he allows himself to feel it. John closes his eyes, feels sorrow well up in him for his loss, for all that both of them has lost.

John is soft, but Harold is solid above him, murmuring endearments, pain of his injuries forgotten, lost in pleasure. Harold has given him all that he is. John can give him this. He lifts his hips experimentally. Harold hisses in delight.

They met in an abandoned lot after the Hester case and the subsequent ecstasy debacle, since Fusco wasn’t in on the library’s location.

Reese was there early. He stood back and watched as Finch pushed open the passenger door of Fusco’s vehicle, hauling himself out of the police cruiser by degrees. Finch clung to the door, swaying dangerously until Fusco came around from the driver’s side and grabbed him by the elbow.

“Better keep an eye on him,” Fusco said. “Pretty sure he tried to hack the Pentagon on the way over here.”

Reese nodded and Fusco guided Finch in his direction, a little push in the last moment sending Finch stumbling along to where John stood. Finch’s face was happy and loose, his movements discombobulated, like a toddler’s.

“See you,” Fusco said vaguely, and John heard a car door slam, an engine rev. He didn’t watch the detective’s hasty retreat, though, because Finch was already sagging against him, moving his arms and legs weirdly against John’s heavy coat. He was either trying to use Reese’s body as a wall to prop himself up or as a fun new jungle gym to climb, Reese couldn’t really tell.

“You are . . .” Finch grabbed Reese’s lapels and leaned back, an unannounced trust fall, forcing John to catch him around the waist before they both toppled over. Finch felt incredibly light in his arms – maybe not toddler light, but Reese instantly knew that if Harold fainted or got confused he could handle him easily. Reese could contain him and carry him for miles, whether Finch liked it or not. Finch giggled and patted his chest. “Strong.”

John smirked. He was leaning over Harold, keeping them both from falling, figuring how to push him in the direction of the car without straining his neck or his back or his bad hip. For just a moment they held each other in a parody of a dance.

Then Harold looked into John’s face, eyes darkening, and the parody faded in an instant, like the flip of a switch. John watched, incredulous, as Harold strained up toward him, searching, wanting, too close.

John hauled Finch upright, smooth and easy, and put a foot of space between them as he moved them toward the car.

He’d wondered at first, cataloging Finch’s fussy habits, the funny suits. But Harold never made the slightest move, the least hint, and then John found the woman Finch left behind and he figured that was the whole story on Harold.

Seemed like he might have gotten that wrong.

John held Finch up with one hand and popped the rear door to the sedan with the another. It was a twenty-minute drive to the library, at least. Finch could sleep in the back. But when John tried to maneuver him in Finch got a hold of the top of the car and clamped down, abruptly halting progress. “Backseat?”

“Yeah,” John said. He put a hand on Finch’s and started to pry it up. “That way you can take a nap.”

“Hm.” Finch considered that. “No. No, I don’t think so.” He giggled. The flirty seduction was gone. The toddler had made a comeback. “I want the front seat.” He tipped back his head before John could reply and howled, like a dog at the moon. “Shotguuuunnnn!”

“Okay,” Reese said easily, “Front seat.” It was late as hell and all he wanted to do was get off the street, get secure, and sleep. But he helped Finch ease back from the car and push closed the backdoor. Controled Finch’s immediate fall into the front door, got it open despite Finch’s full bodyweight slumped against it, and finally swiveled Finch around the door and down into the seat itself. Finch was unharmed, still grinning happily, and Reese barely noticed the bang and scrape of his knuckles against the side of the car.

He pulled the seatbelt out and leaned over Harold to secure it and Harold instantly reached up with both hands to explore John’s waist, slipping in where his winter coat and suit jacket had fallen open, sliding his palms over John’s shirt.

John’s ear was about three inches from Harold’s mouth, which is the only reason he heard it. Harold’s satisfied, “Oh. Nice,” as his fingers spread and traveled rapidly up John’s sides, rubbing firmly over his torso. The touch wasn’t the least hesitant or tentative. It wasn’t an experiment or the odd tangent of a drugged mind. It was Harold taking and enjoying something fine, something the billionaire connoisseur in him knew and approved of. His favored merlot at the Carlyle, the steak at the Grand. John’s chest, apparently.

John secured the clasp and pulled away, satisfied. Scraped up knuckles and a doped, horny boss were the least of his worries – Finch was in the car, seatbelt on, and Reese headed around to the driver’s seat to get them home.

Finch was quiet the first few blocks. Then he started to hum to himself, absently. At a traffic light Reese looked him over and handed him a water bottle, instructing him to drink it. Finch rolled down his window and tried to throw the bottle into a trash bin on the corner. He missed.

“She tricked me,” Finch said, like he was talking to himself. Then he said it again. “She tricked me,” and it sounded lost, forlorn. Reese glanced at him as he sped down an avenue, weaving around late night traffic, wondering about another try with the water. He decided to wait till they were in the library, where the windows were nailed shut.

Harold turned toward him as they cruised through Chelsea. John heard the telltale click of the seatbelt catch releasing and frowned. He was about to protest when Harold reached out lightening fast, a move worthy of a boxer, and seized John’s hair.

“Harold,” John reached up and pulled the hand away, pushing it back toward Finch. “I’m driving.”

Finch didn’t seem to notice. “Are you tricking me?”

The words were low, suspicious. Brittle. John didn’t know the details of whatever had screwed Harold over in the past. But he knew enough to know the scars ran deep.

“No,” John said. “We’re friends.”

Harold relaxed, his voice going happy again. “My very good special friend.”

John smothered a laugh, wondering how much of this Harold was going to remember in the morning. “Something like that. Put your seatbelt back on.”

Harold leaned over the divide and touched John’s arm, his leg. “Are you okay?”

John let his eyes drift from the road to Harold’s upturned face, his wide open gaze, and wondered fleetingly what that meant. Was he okay with working for Harold? With his new life? Or with Harold’s hand moving up his thigh?

John grasped the hand gently, just before it found his crotch, and pushed it away, back toward Harold. “I’m great. But I’d be even better if you moved back to your seat and put on your seatbelt.”

Harold’s body shifted closer, his free hand moving up to stroke the back of John’s head and neck. “You get hurt a lot.”

John gave up on the seatbelt, and his neck. “Not really.”

“It’s not fair,” Harold said sadly. “I feel good.”

John activated the turn signal and shifted lanes. They were coming up on the library’s cross street. “Well, you should. You’ve been drugged. You’re high.”

“Nevertheless,” Harold said sagely. “The fact remains.” And hopefully, “Are we home?”

“We’re almost to the library.”

“Oh good,” Harold yawned. “I missed it.” His hand flopped from John’s neck to the arm of his coat, fingers clinging to the thick wool. “It was exciting, being out and about, thrilling, really. She said she got me high because that’s more efficient. Do you find it to be more efficient?”

John maneuvered them into the parking spot Harold kept permanently clear by fake marking it as a bus stop. Harold surged out of the car almost before they'd stopped moving, turning circles on the sidewalk, cooing up at the streetlights. He met John under the scaffolding, grinning, swinging around one of the poles. “Well, do you?”

John took Harold’s elbow and escorted him to the entrance. “Do I?" Oh yeah. "More efficient than what?”

“Why, than killing, of course.” Harold pushed his glasses up his nose seriously. “What is your view?”

His eyes were warm, bright and inquisitive. John cleared his throat and did his best to push the dark away. “In your case? I think high is better than dead. Though not necessarily more efficient. Watch the step.”

Harold was quiet the rest of the way up the stairs. John thought it was because he was out of breath. But when they got to the top Harold said stoutly, “I’m glad you’re my friend.”

They’d stopped by the library gate and John leaned Harold against it so that he could jimmie the lock. When he could slide it open and propel Harold forward again, Harold stepped close, stepped into him, and raised a hand. It hovered for a moment over John’s chest, and raised slowly to brush his cheek. “You need to be careful.” Harold's breath hitched painfully and John frowned down at him helplessly. “My friends are dead now, mostly. Did you know? You be careful.”

Harold’s eyes lowered from John’s, settling on his chest again. His hand slipped slowly from John’s cheek, gentled over his throat to rest on his heart. He leaned forward, just as slowly, until his forehead rested next to his hand on John’s chest, and John felt Harold’s other hand creep around his waist, gripping him tight, holding him close. “Please be careful,” Harold whispered. “Please.”

John patted Harold’s shoulder calmly. “It’s okay, Finch. I am careful.”

“I can’t lose you. I can’t lose anymore. Please.”

God. “You won’t. It’s okay,” John said gently. He rubbed slow circles over Harold’s shoulder, trying to shuffle them down the hall, toward the bed he knew Harold kept made up.

Harold pressed closer, pressed his body along John’s. His hand slipped down to John’s ass and squeezed.

“Okay, Harold." John stepped back, set him upright, on his own more or less. "You need to get some sleep.” And hopefully forget every detail of this night.

“Whoa.” He studied his own library like he'd discovered the gold at the end of the rainbow. “Why didn’t you tell me I had so many books?”

John snagged a six-pack of water bottles and lifted them up into Harold’s view, stepping away as he did so. “It’ll be out of your system in a few hours. But you should drink this so you don’t get dehydrated.”

“You’re leaving?”

Harold looked gutted.

“I’ll stick around to keep an eye on you. But you should really get some sleep.” John pressed a blanket into his hands.

Harold cradled it like a teddy bear. “You don’t want to talk?”

Talk. Right. “You might regret it in the morning. You’re a very private person, remember?”

# # #

That was the first time. It hadn’t come up the next morning. It’d never come up again. John figured Harold didn’t really see him that way. Only turned to him that once because he was out of his mind, drugged and desperate with loneliness.

Tonight would back that theory up. John suggested a beer and Harold had swallowed his fear, his hurt after Root, and stepped out into the city with his guard dog by his side.

But Harold hadn’t wanted beer. He’d started with wine and quickly moved on to whiskey. From whiskey into emptiness. From loneliness into John.

Harold finished above him, gasping, and sank bonelessly down on top of him, pressing his face into John’s back. “John,” he whispered, “John.”

A moment of absolute quiet, absolute stillness, nothing but their breath disturbing it. Then Finch rolled, slipping off him, and John followed the move. “Harold?”

Harold had passed out.

John collected his things quietly, eased into his pants gingerly. Finally closed the door behind him silently. He doubted they’d talk about it in the morning.