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Posted November 3, 2011

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Series: Knowledge is Not Their Problem

Title: The Things He Cares About

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: "You like her, don't you," Finch says, lifting his eyes to meet Reese's intent gaze. 500 words.

Spoilers: Person of Interest 1.6 "The Fix"

It takes a moment, as it usually does, for Finch to become aware of Reese's arrival at the library. He's fairly certain the man finds his startled reactions a perpetual source of enjoyment.

He's not startled this morning, however; he's been expecting him. Finch ignores him for a moment as he brushes his fingers over the article about Dana Miller's aneurysm, remembering the stricken look on Keller's face with a glow of satisfaction. He hadn't been in a position to help her when the machine gave him her number, but he's avenged her now and made certain no others will follow in her footsteps. It gives him hope that more of those he's failed might eventually be given closure.

And as for the fixer whose dealings had brought Ms. Miller back to his attention...

"You like her, don't you," he says, lifting his eyes to meet Reese's intent gaze.

Reese shrugs. "Zoe's a fine figure of a woman," he says, words measured as if carefully chosen. "I admire her."

Admire is a neutral sort of word; it could apply to her choice of occupation, her personal appeal-- or both. Finch suspects Reese means both; he also suspects that, if asked, Ms. Morgan would say the same in return.

And yet. Finch turns away from the wall and walks haltingly to the nearest computer table, considering the morning's events. Reese had returned to her, borrowing a window of time to make certain there were no loose ends to pose her further threat-- but had made no effort to court further involvement, despite her implied invitation.

Finch had exposed himself a bit more than he'd intended during her case; Ms. Miller's voice on the stolen recording had brought back the helplessness of the months he'd spent alone and unable to act, made him somewhat incautious in his explanations. He'd nearly said we; had shortened the emotional distance he'd been holding between them. But Reese had not mocked him, or made a facile remark to blunt the moment. He'd simply-- stared back at him, understanding.

Just as he's doing now. Though he'd been considerably less smug about it, then.

"She seems to be a woman of influence in the city," he says mildly, unable to resist prodding further at the subject. "We may see more of her in future."

"Perhaps," Reese replies, unruffled. "Though you may have noticed she didn't ask for my number."

"And why is that?"

Reese smirks. "I'm a ghost, Finch. She thrives on being the star that everyone else orbits." The rest of the explanation is left to hang, undefined, in the air.

"Ah." Reese has claimed he has no 'things' he cares about; and power amassed for its own sake doesn't appeal to him, either. If that makes him a ghost, and this library his anchor-- well. Finch much prefers his sort of haunting to those hollow months of unanswered numbers.

He sits, warmed with irrational pleasure, and reaches for the keyboard to pull up their new case.


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