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Posted May 3, 2012
Series: Knowledge is Not Their Problem
Title: Bloody But Unbowed
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: It all comes down to a matter of trust. 500 words.
Spoilers: Person of Interest 1.20 "Matsya Nyaya"
Notes: More pragmatic!John. Title from "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley.
Reese wonders, from time to time, exactly how much Finch knows about the mission that had broken his ties with the CIA and set him adrift without purpose. How many details of that particular example of CIA 'good business'-- the divide and conquer, scald the earth cover up in China and its fallout-- had been captured in sound files, scanned orders, or salvaged video for Finch and his all-seeing Machine? He's read far too deeply into Reese from their first meeting not to know a lot more than the official line.
But how many of the details had his investigation uncovered?
...And how many of them had Finch already known, without having to be shown?
The order Reese had questioned, and the ones he hadn't. The faith Reese had broken, and the faith that had been broken with him. And perhaps most critically, in hindsight: the nature of the device Reese and Stanton had been sent to secure. The laptop she'd been carrying when the missiles fell.
It all comes down to a matter of trust.
The only way to opt out of the law of the fishes is to stop swimming, and Reese forfeited that choice the moment he took Finch's offer. He knows what the consequences of reentering the current will be-- but he hasn't forgotten the lessons of his past, either. Tommy had been right about at least one thing: if the bullets, knives, and explosions don't eventually take him out, insufficient attentiveness will. He trusts Finch to do his utmost to save lives; Carter to remind him of the line between right and wrong; and Fusco to do the necessary things the others won't. But they all have their own agendas, too, just as Kara had, and the moment he forgets that is the moment he invites his own destruction. Again.
He's done with not asking questions, with simply following orders. Carter wants to know where they're headed? So does Reese. But there's no guarantee their destinations are the same-- and there never will be. Carter and Fusco have each chosen a divergent path when their goals came into conflict with his before, and a betrayal once made is more easily repeated. Finch hasn't-- but Reese has seen enough signs to predict that eventuality. If the right number comes up, with the right association to his past....
We clean up our own mess, Reese. You know that.
But as dark as the future might be, there is still a faint spark of light in the present. More than he'd ever thought there'd be again after the long journey back from Ordos. He does trust his new colleagues, to a point; and that's enough to do what needs doing. Nothing he does may make a difference for him-- or for Finch; but it may very well change the lives of a number of smaller fishes. So until someone proves that he has outlived his usefulness, that's what he's going to do.
Obsolete or not-- he's still here.
© 2012 Jedi Buttercup.