Shock had blurred most of his memories from that point on. Somehow he had ended up in Reese's bedroom in a bundle of blankets and shutter shadow light burning his eyes. A few car horns hummed in the background and he could make out some scuffling somewhere else in the apartment. For a moment, he wondered if he dreamed the whole terrifying experience. But then he felt his raw wrists under the sheets and the widespread ache of his body. His hand automatically reached out to the nightstand for his glasses as he slowly swung his legs off the bed. But his hands grasped at empty air. His palm grazed the nightstand's glossy finish. Forcing his eyes to focus, he looks dumbly at the bare night table minus a very modern looking lamp and realized that he was not at home. His side table was stacked with books, two burner cell phones and a stained glass desk lamp that really had no reason to be there. Harold rolled on his back, and looked around.
Reese's apartment – his bedroom, to be more precise.
He recognized the cheap framed print of Monet's House of Parliament Sun. At the time when he was putting together the gift of the apartment, he had struggled a little trying to make every detail fix John's personal. He needed a painting that was refined yet power in its statement. An Impressionist painting seems to be quite the subtle allude to how much he knew of John at the time. A general shape could be seen – a guarded ex-federal agent but no details besides what was on paper, hence the blurriness. He shook his head subconsciously as he reminisced his weird poetic tendencies. A Van Gogh had been out of the question – too predictable and Degas was too feminine. There was a Pissarro print – Boulevard Montmartre at Night (with no people of course) - placed in the hallway but this Monet had been the one that he had seen and automatically deemed apartment worthy. The cold blue shadows of Parliament contrasted with the fiery sun similar to Reese's cool demeanor to the quick and violent outbursts of strength that came through in a fight. Again…Finch was being far too poetic for a part of the male species.
Besides the painting, everything else in the bedroom was standard modern bachelor quality – not including the general cleanliness of the place though. That was to be attributed to time in the military. The blue-gray walls were very streamline and felt alien compared his humble abode where the walls were a rich green with crowning. But he had decorated the apartment to fit the profile of a New York businessman, not an aging computer junkie, he reminded himself as he struggle to get out of bed. Harold's stomach growled as he swore he smelled sausage. He shuffled his bare feet out the door and down the hall, side eyeing the Pissarro as he passed. He was not terribly shocked to see Reese in a comfortable but tight gray t-shirt, cooking sausage and what looked like pancakes on his stovetop.
"Morning, Harold." Reese did not turn immediately but set down the sausage pan with leisure before making his way over to where Harold was awkwardly standing.
"How long was I…incapacitated?" He didn't realize that he had been hugging himself like a lost fifth grader until Reese gently pulled his folded arms apart and scrutinized his breathing for a bit. After a long stare and brief pulse taking, Reese seemed satisfied and ushered him to the breakfast bar. "Mr. Reese, how-"
"Ten hours – not too long." John's arms were laying flat on the corner top as he leaned toward the older man. "You were in shock for a while after I took care of Root. I doubt you remember us taking a taxi back here?" His eyebrow rose.
Finch adjusted his glasses on his nose. "Well, no I do not recall what happened after the struggle that occurred after the gunshot." He rubbed his chest with his right hand, half in question.
Reese had turned round and attended to the meal halfway through Harold's sentence but sensed the question in his voice. "She shot next to your head and didn't even graze you. I'm guessing she didn't want to harm you just yet. Not sure why – she's a good shot so it wasn't a miss. It was intentional. "
"Perhaps she was trying to prove her humanity to herself…" Finch's voice trailed on thoughtfully.
John's voice turned harsh as he plated some sausages and pancakes. "Well, I don't see how kidnapping two men and bribing a nurse shows much humanity."
"She believes she has a proper purpose behind her antics – an attitude I can sadly relate to." The older man toyed with the sausage on his plate with a fork as he spoke, darkly pensive.
"Harold…" A warning tone.
Finch waved his fork in dismissal.
"I trust I wasn't too much trouble in my state of shock…"
Reese's mind automatically drifted back to hours earlier.
Root's still body was lying lifelessly on the ground, her eyes closed and blood gushing from her head wine red on the tile. Still blind with rage over Harold's safety, Reese had felt no remorse for the beating. Instead, he raced to his fallen friend, calling his name repeatedly. But Finch wouldn't answer. The cripple was shaking like a leaf and had watering eyes but refusing to say a word. In fact, he didn't show any sign of acknowledgement as Reese supported him around Root's body and down the fire escape of the building. The only sign of life was the wheezing that passed for breathing and his left hand that desperately clung to Reese's torso. Reese had taken off his companion's glasses at one point in the taxi ride to look into eyes like looks so panicked and yet so empty.
John rubbed the shaking man's back all the way to the apartment.
"Not really, it was easy to carry you," Reese commented as he bite into a sausage, the picture of nonchalance.
Harold still seemed doubtful as he cut nimbly into a pancake but didn't press the issue. They eat the rest of the meal in comfortable silence.
Finch finally asked as he placed his plate in the sink.
Reese didn't miss a beat as he opened the faucet. "Not a problem anymore."
Harold seemed noticeably sad about the hacker's fate but nodded.
"Thank you for saving me…John."
Here, the younger man grinned playfully, "Well it's hard to find reclusive billionaires nowadays."
AN: Sorry for the long wait again – I'm on spring break right now from my first year in college ^^ and probably won't write the epilogue for a while. Thank you guys for following through like you have though – it's been fun! One more chapter to go!