Disclaimer: I don't own Person of Interest. I'm not making any money from writing this.
A/N: Italicized text is from the episode.
Reese watched in a daze as the black Cadillac squealed away from the curb. Lying on the pavement, a bullet hole through his shoulder, he mused that most people would probably never see a vehicle's departure from this perspective. Oddly, though, it wasn't his first time.
Without thinking, he reached for his phone with his bad arm, planning to call Finch and alert him to the kidnapping of Judge Gates' son, but pain knifed through the space just below his collarbone, stopping him cold. It took several long seconds, but the stars eventually cleared from his vision and he saw his phone - or what was left of it - smashed on the roadway next to him. Damn, he must have dropped it in the scuffle. Steeling himself against the inevitable discomfort, he pushed upright with his good arm. It wouldn't do for a passer-by to notice him lying in the street and call the authorities. Then again, this was New York City. He probably didn't need to fear a stranger's concern for his well-being.
Reese scooped up the phone's remnants, stuffed them in his pocket, and wavered only slightly as he straightened. Blood hadn't yet penetrated his jacket, but his shirt clung to his skin and a trickle of warmth dripped slowly down his chest. Reese slipped his left hand into his other pocket in an attempt to take some of the strain off his throbbing shoulder, and then calmly walked away from the scene of the abduction and hailed a cab the next street over.
"Wouldn't someone in your physical condition appreciate a working elevator?" Reese asked crossly as he entered the room. The staircase leading up to Finch's second-floor library office had been one obstacle too many in a day that was already less-than-ideal.
Finch turned from his bank of monitors and frowned. "I appreciate anonymity far more, Mr. Reese, as you well know."
"I also know that your machine is broken. The judge wasn't the target. His son Sam was kidnapped twenty minutes ago," Reese said with a sigh, stepping further into the room and leaning against one of the cinder-block walls.
"What? Why didn't you say something sooner?" Finch turned back to his computers and began typing frantically. He jumped slightly when a mangled cell phone clattered onto the desk in front of him, and once again regarded Reese, this time with a raised eyebrow. Reese grimaced, and Finch watched him stiffly shrug out of his jacket to reveal a large, and growing, red stain on the shirt beneath. Finch's other eyebrow joined the first in alarm.
"I got in their way. Not sure how bad it is." Reese wearily dropped his jacket on the cart of books beside him and slumped more heavily against the wall.
Reese's eyes shot open automatically at the sound of his name and he found Finch hobbling toward him looking concerned, or maybe annoyed. He didn't yet know the computer genius well enough to tell which. Reese was certainly annoyed, though. Annoyed at himself for letting those men get away with the boy, annoyed that the information he'd been given was flawed, that his knees had begun trembling to the extent that he had to lock them to avoid collapsing to the floor, and most of all that Finch was now definitely looking concerned rather than annoyed. For some reason, that concerned Reese.
"Perhaps you should sit down," Finch said. "Not there," he added, when Reese's eyes moved toward a table and chairs a distance across the room. "I'm a fairly observant person, Mr. Reese. You passing out in the middle of the floor won't serve either of us very well, not to mention the judge and his son." Finch gestured the opposite direction, through the doorway they were standing next to, "This way. I'll help you."
Reese looked at Finch skeptically - he was a bit surprised that the other man was offering assistance, as standoffish as he'd been at breakfast - but he knew that he had to make a choice or gravity was going to make one for him. With a brief nod of assent that only made the room spin a little, he allowed the computer genius to support his shaky steps down a short, unfamiliar hallway and into the adjoining room.
Finch deposited him on an old leather sofa, which Reese sank into gratefully. He might have allowed himself to drift off then and there, but a rustling off to his right piqued his curiosity and he roused himself enough to take a better look at his surroundings. What had probably been a kitchenette or break room at one time now bore a closer resemblance to a doctor's office. A substantial first-aid kit was spread out on the counter, and Finch was rifling through it. Noticing Reese's scrutiny, he glanced over. "I anticipated the need for medical supplies if we were to stay below the radar...I'd rather hoped to not have a use for them quite so soon, though."
"Just don't tell me I have to start calling you 'Dr. Finch'," Reese replied wryly, leaning his head back against the sofa and closing his eyes.
Finch snorted. "Hardly, Mr. Reese. With your military training, I'll leave the specifics to you. I think you'll find the necessary items are here, though."
"Disinfectant, bandages, preferably some painkillers...that ought to be sufficient for a through-and-through, but I may need a hand with the bandages."
The sounds of more rummaging followed and when Reese next opened his eyes, Finch was standing over him, sleeves rolled up and wearing latex gloves. He looked vaguely uncomfortable, but asked simply, "Ready?"
"As I'll ever be," Reese answered, going to work on the buttons of his ruined shirt. Finch helped him out of it and ended up having to hold him upright when the maneuver made him so lightheaded he nearly blacked out. "It hasn't stopped bleeding, has it?" Reese said quietly after a few moments. Still incredibly dizzy, he shifted to lie on his good side, and felt Finch carefully lean him forward enough to see the exit wound.
"Your chest, maybe, but your back is a different story, I'm afraid."
"How bad is it?"
"I'm not sure. The wound is an inch and a half...maybe two inches in diameter. What can I do?"
"Apply pressure to slow the bleeding. After that, you'll need to clean and pack both the entry and exit wounds." Reese proceeded to give Finch detailed instructions on how to properly do so, reciting field medicine procedure from memory. Even lying down, the room continued to shift and swim before him, and he wasn't sure how much longer he'd be able to remain coherent.
The answer was not long. Finch was meticulous, following his directions to the letter, and the pressure necessary to get the bleeding under control was enough to leave Reese spent and shaking from the pain. When Finch started in with the disinfectant he must have finally passed out, for the next thing he knew something was tapping the side of his face. It took Reese far longer than it should have to realize it was Finch, and when he did manage to focus on the other man, he found that the look of concern was back. Finch offered him some pills and a glass of water, which Reese accepted with unsteady hands. Asking the particular variety of medication was too much effort, and besides, if anyone knew painkillers it was Finch.
"I'll wake you in an hour." The words filtered through Reese's mind, but held no meaning as sleep quickly pulled him under.
He came to sometime later in a dim room, huddled under a blanket, and several seconds passed before he recognized the place he'd mentally dubbed the doctor's office. Slowly, Reese swung his legs over the edge of the sofa and sat up, hissing at the pulsing pain in his shoulder. It was dull now though, courtesy of whatever prescription painkiller was currently buzzing through his bloodstream. The sleep had helped too. He still felt wrung out and weak, but could at least sit up on his own without falling over. Standing up could prove to be more difficult. Reese was on the verge of attempting it when he heard footsteps approaching.
Moments later, Finch walked in carrying a shopping bag. "Mr. Reese," he greeted.
"How are you? You're looking better than when I left."
"Not great, but I'll live. Any news on the kidnappers?" Reese asked, shifting forward as if to get up.
Finch waved him off and handed him a large bottle of Gatorade from the bag. "Drink that. I'm not sure how much blood you lost, but it was enough to put you out cold for the past hour and a half."
Reese uncapped the bottle and downed several swallows of the purple liquid. "I thought you were only going to let me sleep for an hour."
Finch blinked in surprise. He hadn't thought Reese would recall his earlier return to consciousness, let alone the conversation. "You know how difficult it can be to get a cab at this time of day, Mr. Reese. Get cleaned up. We have work to do, and we're running out of time." With that, he handed Reese the bag containing a new shirt and jacket and left the room.
He'd scarcely reached the opposite hallway when he heard Reese's irritated voice call after him, "I can't be there in time if I'm getting bad information."
Altering his course, Finch followed Reese back to the main office as he replied, "The machine did not send us the wrong number. If it said Judge Gates is in danger, then he is."
"Well tell that to his son,"said Reese, pausing to tuck in his shirt. He rolled his shoulder a couple of times, testing his range of motion.
"The kidnapping must connect," Finch reasoned. "It could be the first step in a larger plot that ends with the judge dead. We can still put a stop to it, all of it, but we need a plan."
Reese frowned. "I have a plan. Find Sam. The man just lost his wife. I won't let him wind up alone." He picked up his jacket and gun and headed out the door with Finch on his heels.
"And how do you intend to do that? You don't have a clue where he is, and you can't very well talk to his father about it."
"That's exactly what I'm going to do."
"Mr. Reese..." Finch called warningly, but Reese didn't stop or turn around. He just put his hand up in a wave as he disappeared down the stairs.
Finch sighed and made his way back to his desk. They had to be careful. A word too many to the wrong person - a judge no less - and their entire operation could be compromised. "I hope you know what you're doing, Mr. Reese."