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Posted February 2, 2012

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Series: Knowledge is Not Their Problem

Title: Looking Underneath the Underneath

Author: Jedi Buttercup

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

Rating: PG.

Summary: There's one thing Reese can never allow himself to forget, irrespective of trust or emotion. 500 words.

Spoilers: Person of Interest 1.12 "Legacy"

Reese knows it bothers Finch that he places so much significance on his interactions with Detective Carter. It's true, there's a certain element of risk in continuing to involve her in their operations, particularly after the incident with the CIA. Joss is a principled woman, and there's only so far she'll be willing to bend.

But those very principles are precisely why he'd agreed to meet with her at the diner that morning. In some ways, he understands her better than he does Finch; it's not that she's any less complex a person, but her convictions burn right under the surface, no obfuscations or intermediaries between motivation and action. He has no doubt, for example, that her offer of help the first time they'd met had been in earnest. Cautious, but genuine: that's the way she operates.

Making that transition back can be tough. Some guys I knew... got a little lost.

She'd been closer to the mark than she knew with her little speech. And despite her suspicions, even then-- it had been obvious what she was up to with that cup of water-- she'd also been the first person to really try to see him since he'd arrived in New York. He can't forget that, not even with all of Finch's resources and connections at his fingertips to make her participation ultimately unnecessary.

Because that's another thing he can never allow himself to forget, irrespective of trust or emotion: that Finch deliberately recruited Reese as an asset, just as Reese did with Fusco. And an intelligent asset should always be wary of his handler.

Oh, they're partners, now, sure. Finch is committed to their cause; that's one thing he's never tried to hide. And choosing Reese for this job had kept him from a slow, wasteful death. One might even call him Reese's savior without an undue amount of irony. But it's an undeniable fact that he'd been observing Reese for some time before finally making an offer, watching his downward spiral until he reached just the right degree of desperation. And Finch still does his utmost to preserve a certain distance, even after everything they've been through. One has to wonder who he's protecting.

He lifts his camera, snapping another photo through a window as he listens in on Finch's "meeting". From what they've said, the kid who lives there is a doctor, a do-gooder, and the son of an old friend... but not, apparently, aware of Finch's real identity either.

Puzzles within puzzles. It's almost admirable how much the man manages to conceal from even such a close connection. But it's concerning, too. People in their position can't afford weaknesses, and the way Finch talks to this Will, he's definitely a weakness. And since a vulnerability for Finch also effectively threatens Reese now... especially when he might prioritize that vulnerability over him... that means Reese needs more information.

He's probably pushed at Carter's boundaries enough for one day, though. It's time to give Lionel a call.


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© 2012 Jedi Buttercup.