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Posted April 26, 2012
Series: Knowledge is Not Their Problem
Title: All out of Faith
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: She believes him. God help her, she believes him. 500 words.
Spoilers: Person of Interest 1.19 "Flesh and Blood"
Notes: A slightly pessimistic Carter. Because much as I went "aww" at her last scene with Reese and Taylor, all the reasons she broke it off with Reese in the first place shouldn't melt away that easily.
There's a moment, when Joss first spies Taylor's name on her caller ID-- when her breath catches and she realizes what John had been trying to say-- that she feels a white-hot burst of reflexive anger tangle with the fear blossoming up her spine. Szymanski, Moretti, and now her son? She's just seen Elias' guys pulling up outside, and her nerves are still tingling with a half-guilty dread that John and his friend have found some vital reason to betray this safe house, too.
Carter, I've got to tell you something....
Not words Joss ever wants to hear in that tone of voice. And on the heels of that dread: Elias' voice. On her son's phone. Her heart clenches, and her first impulse is to blame the messenger.
Even if he isn't immediately to blame, isn't John at the root of it all, anyway? Giving Elias what he wanted. Betraying a good cop-- getting him shot in the gut for half a chance at saving a little girl. Saving Elias himself months ago, when the Russians had torn up their own territory to get at him. Step by step enabling the guy: allowing him the freedom and wherewithal to attempt whatever coup he's got going on now.
...But to say John should have done anything differently is to say he shouldn't be what he is; and she's known for months now exactly what he's made of. She'd just been ignoring the full ramifications of what that meant until she'd knelt at Szymanski's side and found sorrow, but no regret, in John's eyes for his part in it. And even if he hadn't been involved, there's a good chance Joss still would have ended up here, fighting to stop Elias from ruining her city.
Alone, with no hope of saving her son. If she was even alive at all.
The anger shifts, burning behind her eyes, leaving her sick to her stomach. No, it's not John's fault. She might as well blame the Earth for striking a man blind, because it hadn't been between him and the sun when he'd looked up into its fire. John's actions are tangled up with the roots of today's events, but so are hers, and Moretti's, and Marlene Elias'-- and the one to blame is the man who's using those actions to justify his own greed and desire for revenge.
But that isn't all. She'd taken the help of John and his friend earlier that day out of necessity, not because she was ready to forgive them. But now-- the only reason Joss can afford to stand on her principles and reject Elias's crooked bargain is because someone else has promised to save her that choice: to rescue Taylor for her.
I'm going to get your son back. No matter what the cost....
She believes him. God help her, she believes him.
They may win against Elias this day. But she's lost the high ground, now. And she's not sure she'll ever get it back.
© 2012 Jedi Buttercup.