Disclaimer: nothing you recognise belongs to me.
Sequel to "Fix"(I'm not sure that it will make any sense if you haven't read it first). Starts off with spoilers for "Firewall" and will continue through the start of season two so there will be spoilers there as well. Short fic, mostly h/c, a little bit AU.
Harold and Zoe have an unspoken agreement that they don't discuss work. When they return to either Finch's townhouse or her appartment and the door shuts behind them then they manage to do a decent facsimile of a normal nine to five couple. It doesn't really work if either of them take the time to think about it of course. They never come home at the same time for one thing. Harold can and does track her movements, something Zoe chooses to ignore. She knows that he won't use the knowledge against her, and of them both he has the most to lose if it came to a breach of trust. She's also pretty sure that if a job goes south there'll be a man in a suit taking out anyone who dares to threaten her physically faster than she could call 911. And of course there's the small matter that if Harold is a "white hat" then hers would be a very muddy shade of gray.
Both of them get urgent phone calls at odd hours of the evening and early hours of the morning that have to be taken; carefully prepared dinners are often left abandoned because of one emergency or another, and more irritatingly the term "coitus interruptus" should be shortened to "cellphone" Zoe has decided. Harold changed her ring tone to "Stop! In the Name of Love" by the Supremes after hearing her swearing like a sailor while trying to locate her panties, drag a brush through her hair and ignore the naked man in the bed watching her with amusement. It made her smile even though the next time her phone went off it was when she was in a meeting with a senator who did not look impressed at such silliness.
So when Harold asked her for help on a case Zoe agreed without a second thought. After her last weeks work extracting a politician from a well deserved sex scandal it was nice to think that she was helping to do some good. The research on Caroline Turing was basic stuff. The psychologist seemed to have a knack of attracting the sort of clients that spelled bad news, and the likelihood that one of them were dangerous wasn't hard to guess. Narrowing down the suspects Zoe tried not to smile when Finch set up a meeting at a bar for her and John. She knew that Harold was a little insecure and a touch jealous when it came to her and Reese; he'd heard them flirting before, and yes, were it not for the fact that both of them did it now more out of habit than any real interest he might have had cause for worry – they did after all make a good looking couple. But... John only has eyes for Carter and she only has eyes for Harold. Nonetheless she gave her myopic genius an extra lingering kiss before grabbing her coat and heading out.
"She's cute." Zoe looks down at the slender dark haired woman nibbling on a chocolate tart from her vantage point. Beside her Reese is well, Reese. Pretending as though every female isn't tracking him as he stands oh so nonchalantly by the window. He's even got the soulful angst in his eyes to go with the tall dark and handsome package. Zoe resists the urge to giggle. Give him a frilly shirt and a sword and he could have come from one of the Harlequin romances her mom read secretly. She wonders when tidy hair became a turn-off.
Zoe runs down what she knows about Ms. Turing's patients which is at once too much and not enough information. This one was obviously a case where Reese would have to actually get up close and personal with the target. A Psychologist? Oh come on that's practically begging for a quip.
"I don't think that there is a woman alive that could fix you, John." He doesn't make a retort about Detective Carter who is often sharing his bed these days and Zoe inwardly sighs. Fine. Don't play, then. Don't even bother to buy a gal a drink. One of these days she's going to get Joss nice and drunk and pump her for information. John was entirely too smug for his own good. There isn't much else to say and she leaves him to his surveillance. He nods politely and she knows that he's dying to make a comment about her and Finch but dares not since his employer is listening in to their conversation. Harold might be a seemingly mild mannered man, but John knows that when riled he's quite capable of rearranging both his and Detective Carter's schedules so that they barely see each other for a week.
It's not difficult for Zoe to break into the psychologist's office – for a woman who apparently was so careful with her cyber security you'd think that Caroline'd have spent a little more on the lock protecting her office, she thinks. Since the ex-patient been eliminated as a threat, Harold needed a little more information of the tangible kind, and lets face it she was far better equipped at both stealth and charm than he was. The short red dress wouldn't hurt if a security guard stumbled across her either.
The advertisement masquerading as a treasured photograph provides the first stab of fear. What she finds on computer sends her into full-blown panic.
Harold's cellphone is turned off, John's, thankfully is not. She tells him what she knows and he hangs up tries Harold's number again. No luck. She's going to have to wait until one of them managed to contact her – ringing Reese if he happened to be in the middle of a gun-fight could get him killed. But he's not it a gun-fight, they're both fine. Reese will get to Harold in time. Zoe feels itchy and hot. Her heart is thudding against her chest and there doesn't seem to be enough oxygen in the air. Dimly she wonders if the air conditioning unit is broken.
Breaking herself out of her trance Zoe takes a deep breath and looks around the small office. She can't stay here much longer; the security guards were lax but they weren't non-existent. She grabs the laptop - the files might have been deleted but she knows people who can find things on computers that should have been erased. Flicking quickly through the filing cabinets she can't find anything but patient records. There might be some that are coded, Zoe thinks, but there are too many to carry and they all look the same. She settles for taking a few at random, tucking them under her arm with the laptop and exiting the office with a confidence that would fool anyone who happened to run into her in the hallway. No-one pays her a second glance when she steps out of the elevator and makes her way past the security desk. When the first taxi she flags down stops she finds herself wanting to kiss the driver and settles on tipping him extravagantly instead.
John had been very kind. In a John way at least – a couple of "I'm going to get him back statements" and a brief squeeze of her shoulder before leaving her be. He's got a lot to lose if Harold didn't come back too, Zoe acknowledges reluctantly. But he's not the one in love with him.
The thought makes her slightly sick.
Zoe can smooth over the CEO of a major bank's predilection for statuesque transvestites without making it look like a total farce when he poses with his wife for the New York Times. She can make or break political candidates depending on whether she wants to take on their cause or not. She's been offered diamonds by princes and had diplomats literally on their knees in-front of her.
And none of that really matters because she never told a short little man with a clever brain and sharp blue eyes that she loves him.
She sits on the edge of the bed where they had made love that morning and stares at the bottle of painkillers on the bedside table. Harold should have had one at least two hours ago. Wherever he is then he's got to be hurting, and he's not dead, not dead, because even she can't fix that.
Zoe's made too many deals with the devil to ask for any favours from God, but Harold, she thinks as she finally falls asleep shortly before dawn. Surely he's got a few to call in...