As always I do not own POI. I receive no money for writing this. Please read and review. If there is something you like, please let me know. If you don't like it let me know too. It is how I perfect my writing. I want to thank Alice for proof reading for me.
John Reese stepped out of the hotel room into the hall way and shut the door, making sure it was locked. Dawn was still an hour off. He had left the key on the dresser. It had been one of his better random choices. The water was hot, the bed not too lumpy and the sheets had at least looked clean. It had actually also been a fairly quiet night, only one crying baby a floor down and some drunk above him. And this cheep hotel had actually had an in-room coffee pot that worked. He walked to the end of the hall and went down the three flights of stairs. There were a couple of junkies lying on the steps on the second floor. He stepped over them, continued down and out the back door. Would this rain ever stop? He sipped at the paper cup full of coffee and watched as the rain fell from the dark gray skies. Manhattan was a very wet city right now. It had been raining for four days almost without a break. Not really heavy, but just raining. There was some kind of disturbance in the weather pattern sending all the storms right up the east coast line.
He would stop and get Finch's favorite pastries this morning. He knew Finch would be experiencing a lot of pain from the continued wet weather. His ever alert eyes scanned the area around the back of the hotel. Two of the seven cars that were parked along the alley last night were gone. He couldn't see any occupants in any of the remaining others. There was a beat up old Ford that had not been there last night. He stopped and studied it for a long moment, there was no one in it…It would have been a good undercover car.
Looking up he quickly scanned the windows and roof tops. Everything looked good. He turned left in the pass way between the narrow buildings. Walking along the tall building gave him a little reprieve from the falling rain. He had seen a pastry shop last night called Delice Pastry on the corner of 3rd Ave and E. 27th street as he was hunting for a place to bed down for the evening. It had looked interesting. He walked between two buildings in a narrow little path and came out on E. 27th Street. Across the street was a church, St. Illuminator's Armenian Apostolic Church. Next to it was what looked like an apartment building that sported three red double doors on each of the entrances. There were Grotesques spaced across the bottom of the second floor windows with fire escapes over each set of doors.
He walked along the street, going under several old trees. He walked on toward 3rd Ave. He eyes scanned the street and the intersection as he approached it. There was a little traffic, a few cabs, one bus and one police car that was pulling away from the curb across the street with it lights flashing. It roared down 3rd Ave. The pastry shop was open. He could see the flashing "Open" sign through the leaves of several tall trees that lined the street. He crossed against the light.
Looking inside before entering he saw there was only one other person in the shop, an elderly looking man. There were three employees behind the counter as he walked in. "Good morning, how can I help you today?" She was a little on the heavy side but she had a beautiful face, deep blue eyes and yellow blond hair with a nice smile. He looked along the glass case. "I'd like a dozen please…"
He watched as she got a box and folded it together. He saw her walk toward him and smile. He knew what Finch liked, he pointed to several different pastries. "I'd like a couple of these, two of these and two of those." Then he looked at her and smiled. "And six more that you would suggest…"
He watched as she expertly put his selections in the box and then added her choices. When finished she folded the lid down, put a piece of tape on the edge and walked down to the end of the counter where the register was. She rang up the purchase and took Reese's money. He left her a tip. She pushed the box across the counter at him.
"Would you like a free refill on the coffee?" She nodded to the cup he had in his hand.
"That would be nice, thank you…" He handed her his cup. She took the cup over to the coffee machines, selected the freshest pot and filled his cup. She walked back toward him. Reaching across the counter she handed him the cup. She took her pen out, wrote her name and number on top of the box, winking at him she turned and walked away. Reese took the box, laughing in his silent way and walked out of the pastry shop, hailing a taxi.
Harold Finch had already tried to do his stretching exercises, but the damp weather made it miserable for him. He carefully sat down in his swivel office chair and breathed a sign of relief. A Number had come in. He had something to concentrate on. He lifted his throbbing arms to the keyboard and let his fingers flow over the keys. He had the Social Security number.
He tracked that to a name; Joan Freeman, late fifties. Up until about three years ago she had been an executive in a clothing manufacture business, making well over two hundred thousand dollars a year, and then she dropped off the grid. He did a search in the Fashion trade papers and magazines. Dozens of articles popped up with full color pictures; he selected several articles and printed them. Reaching over, he started to grab the printed papers when a muscle cramp on his whole right side started at the bottom of his rib cage and crawled upward.
He'd been having small ones all night, waking him up and making him have to get out of bed and walk them off. Even a hot shower had not stopped them. He had finally taken the extra medication that had been prescribed to him for these. He didn't like taking the pills because it made him a little dopey. This one felt like someone had grabbed him with a large vice and was clamping down. He straightened up in the chair immediately, hoping that would stop the cramp, it didn't. He sat straight-backed in the chair. That didn't help. He sucked in a breath and tried to stretch his right side, but that didn't do anything for him either.
As quickly as he could, he got to his feet and walked off down the hall. He had glanced at his watch and saw that he could take another dose of the anti-spasm medication. Turning his wrist to look at his watch sent a spasm from the back of his shoulder, over the top of the shoulder and down his arm. Finch's upper arm muscle became rock hard, his hands curled as the cramps went into his fingers, making them become distorted.
Finch staggered to the spare room that he used here and went into the little bathroom. Using his left hand, he opened the medicine chest and grabbed the bottle. He knew he couldn't get the bottle opened-one handed so he put the cap in his mouth; the spasms tore across his face as he had flexed his jaw. Finch doubled over as the rest of his torso followed suit and the muscles on the left rib cage seized as the right side had. Dropping to the floor in agony, he lost his glasses. He was sweating, panting making small noises as he lay withering on the cold bathroom floor. His body twitched and jerked as one muscle spasm started and another would release.
John Reese had gotten out of the cab two blocks away. The rain was still coming down in a drizzle. He quickened his pace and cut through a side alley that came out across from the Library. Watching for a long moment, he saw nothing out of place and he crossed the street, went to the back of the building and tapped the code to get in. He pushed the door open and went to the service elevator. Pressing the button he heard the old elevator's motor start to lower the lift. It took three and a half minutes for the elevator to come down three floors to the basement. Reese opened the lift cage, slid the inside door slightly open, just enough to get himself and the box in and closed everything up and hit the floor button. The elevator started up. Opening the door and the cage he stepped out. No need to close it. He knew Finch was here the car had been in the garage basement as he had come in.
He walked down the hallway and turned and headed to the desk. "Finch…goodies…?" The smile he wore carried in his voice. He set the box on the desk top. He started to look at the print-out in the printer when he heard a groan.
His head snapped up. "Finch?"
He moved toward the spare room his hand automatically filled with his gun. He brought it up into the ready position, arms against his body, gun just below his chin. He pressed himself against the wall. "Harold?" He called the name out softly, listening. He heard the moan again. Reese brought the gun to firing position and stepped around into the room.
It took all of four seconds for his eyes to sweep the room, assess it and move. The room was clear, Finch was down on the floor in the bathroom. In four strides, John was at the door, sweeping the bathroom visually and with the gun. He saw nothing in the bathroom except a withering Finch.
Holstering the gun he knelt down over Finch, and saw the pill bottle lying with-in arm's reach. It was then that he noticed that Finch's face was distorted; his one hand looked like the fingers were all broken. He reached across Finch and caught up the bottle and looked at the name of the drug…Carbnazepine…He saw that it said something about 'for spasms' He looked Finch in the eyes, seeing him try to reach for the bottle.
"Harold…I am going to give two of these to you." The bottle said he could have two and since the cap was still on, Reese figured Harold had not taken any. He saw Harold try and nod. Reese straightened up in the kneeling position and reached for a glass on the sink and turning on the water filled the glass. He shut the water off. Setting the glass on the floor next to him… Then he opened the bottle and shook out two pills, re-capped the pill bottle. He set down the pills and picked up the water glass. Reaching over, he put the two pills in Harold's mouth and lifting his head, he got the water glass to his lips. The back of Finch's head felt hot against his hand.
He could see the torment in his eyes. He saw Harold swallow. Reese laid Finch's head back down. He set the glass back on the sink. He caught Finch's attention with his eyes."I'm going to move you to the bed." He got to his feet, crouched and got his arms under Finch's body and lifted. Cradling him he stood up, just missing the sink. He turned and got him though the bathroom door and to the bed.
Laying Finch down in the center of the small bed he reached down and pulled the comforter that was at the foot of the bed over him. He hoped the warmth would help relieve what was going on with Finch's body. Reaching up he loosened the bow tie at Finch's neck and undid the top couple of buttons of his shirt. Unease was etched across his face.
His eyes scanned Finch's face and saw the pain still there. He was sweating and almost panting. "Be right back." John ran out of the room, coming back in a few seconds with the comforter from his bed. He threw that over Finch, tucking it in against his body. It took a few minutes but Reese noticed the change in Finch's face. The knotted looking muscles were relaxing. A couple minutes later he saw the drugged look come to Harold's eyes.
The pills were starting to take effect.
Reese pulled the covers up on his right side and looked for his right hand. The fingers were still a little oddly spayed apart, but they no longer looked broken. He tucked the covers back down. He saw Harold swallow and lick his lips. And then he realized what was wrong…Finch didn't have his glasses on.
Reese walked back into the bathroom, picked up the pill bottle and Finch's glasses off the floor and got some fresh water. Walking back to the side of the bed, he set the pills and the glass of water down on the bedside very carefully put Finch's glasses on his face.
"Thank you…" His voice just a whisper, Finch blinked a couple times.
"Should I call someone…a doctor?" Reese looked down at the man in the bed. Worry and concern crossed his face as he drew in a sigh and let it out. "Harold…" His voice was soft, he was speaking tightlipped, fear griping at his center. "What can I do for you?"
"No…Nothing…I'll be alright in a little bit…the spasms, are letting up." His eyes tried to focus in on Reese's face. This is why he hated to take this medication. It made it hard to think, to work. He felt exhausted just from the muscle spasms, let alone what the drug was doing to him.
"Want to try some water?" Reese watched as the medication took over and Harold's body began to relax under the comforters.
"No…Tha…yo…u." Then Harold remembered… "Num…Number…ne…w" And with that his eyes closed, a deep sigh lifting his chest.