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Posted January 19, 2012

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Series: Knowledge is Not Their Problem

Title: Down the Rabbit Hole

Author: Jedi Buttercup

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

Rating: PG.

Summary: Joss wonders how she could ever have thought of Burdett as harmless. 500 words.

Spoilers: Person of Interest 1.11 "Super"

Sitting there, staring across the table at the narrow-eyed man who'd just run her all over town for his own amusement, Joss wonders how she could ever have thought of Burdett as harmless.

Part of it's the wardrobe, she's sure. Part of it's the setting, too. The first glimpse she'd ever had of him had been on that security footage, folded up under a counter and then manhandled by the man she now knows to be his partner. Then, at his supposed apartment: the carefully demonstrated limp, the sweater, the little round wire-rimmed glasses? All that babble about the legal case he was working on? His whole image had been calculated to add up to a small-scale annoyance, a bland irritant to shake her head at and forget when he failed to provide any useful information.

He's just as much a chameleon as his partner, though, isn't he? Looking at him now, Joss feels an instinctive, cautionary check that she doesn't even get from Snow. The dark suit, the heavier glasses, the glare, the way he's made her dance to his tune? Burdett-- or whoever the hell he is-- holds all the power now, and he knows it. Not to mention, the fact that he's working with a man of John's talents says enough all on its own. She's pretty sure her instincts aren't wrong.

It's a damn good thing she's not officially on the case anymore. Bad enough that Fusco's going to have questions when she gets back; she'd just as soon keep the lying to a minimum. Despite all the trouble John's given her over the months since she met him, she wants to understand him; has ever since the beginning. Because for every broken law, every body left behind, every reason he's given her to distrust him... John's also saved lives, hers included, and brought justice where it was needed.

What's that saying about justice being blind? Joss might as well be, for all she's been able to see her path clearly since it crossed his. She wants-- needs-- to know how he does it. And why.

And apparently, this guy is part of it: this cipher of man who obviously distrusts her, and keeps dodging her questions with a tragic story about some guy at the bar. But if 'Derek Watson' was really why he'd chosen this particular meeting place, he'd not only have to know the man's habits and history, he'd also have to know Joss well enough to predict how long it would take her to track down that cell phone data...

"You can't know that," she says, half-laughing; half struck with apprehension.

Burdett doesn't smile, though; just launches one last barbed remark before leaving. "Did you bring your service weapon, Detective? Sorry to toss you into the deep end. But as you know, my friend is indisposed."

Indisposed; well, that's something. Tit for tat: okay, she'll play.

But when Joss reaches the end of this maze? Her answers damn well better be waiting.


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© 2012 Jedi Buttercup.