Point of Origin

Disclaimer: We've been over this before, right? Still not mine.

Warnings: Spoilers for season one, 2x01 and 2x02.


"The greatest love stories are not those in which love is only spoken, but those in which it is acted upon."― Steve Maraboli


Come a little closer, and I'll tell you a story.

It's a story of violence and death, of guilt and penance. Of people to be saved and men who need each other to do the saving. Of partners and men and losing oneself and then being found again.

It's a love story.

With grenades.

Interested yet?


This is how the story starts.

Boy meets girl. Boy leaves girl-for her own good, or perhaps out of fear, no one really knows-and girl marries another boy. But the other boy is no prince, and the girl asks the boy to save her.

And the boy can't.

A day late, a dollar short, the boy finds out the girl is dead-that the other boy killed her-and he goes a little mad. Kills the other boy-don't ever think that he didn't, because there are no men that good, that let killers like that live-and then goes about killing himself.

Romeo used poison. Reese uses whisky.

Same intent, though. Same result.

I know, I know. Routine so far. But worry not; this is where it starts to get good.

Because this; this is where our story a takes a turn.

Because the boy doesn't die-is saved from the poison and the penance.

Because it's then that the boy meets a reclusive billionaire.

Told you it was a good twist.

Because this particular billionaire takes our boy and saves him; gives him a job-gives him a purpose.

Gives him a partner.

And it's the last one that is important, because it takes more than just a job to save someone. To save someone, to save their very soul, you have to give a part of your own. Fit a part of yourself into the broken pieces, even as they cut on jagged edges-not let the pain stop you until you fit together like you were never separate.

And it's this that turns out to be very important, because the boy has had a better half, has had partners, and he thought he'd never find someone like that again-he thought it was the end.

And then, with the billionaire, he realizes it's only intermission.

And that Act Two packs one hell of a punch.


When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different. Someone better.

But what happens if it's not just one person? What happens if you find another person who connects you to the world, who makes you someone different? Someone better.

What then?


There is a moment-the moment-where everything that Finch has become to him becomes clear to Reese.

But it's meaningless without context; without the moments that some before it. Because trust never comes easily to men who kill for their country; men with half a dozen aliases; men who, even standing in their parents living room, are still behind enemy lines.

Little moments like sencha green tea instead of coffee, not to needle but because he knows Finch likes it, and it feels nice to be nice again-to be able to be nice again. Like you should get some exercise, not to tease, but because he knows that it must hurt Finch's neck to lie like that, and the exercise will loosen the muscles. Like saying things to make Finch smile, because he's a man who doesn't smile enough and he should.

Like investigating Finch's past, but not to harm but because he wanted to know this man, this man who could do anything but chooses to risk his life save strangers, this man who claims to know absolutely everything about John.

Eggs benedict will never be used against Finch-isn't tactical information-and yet it still fills him with a sense of warmth when Finch trusts him with it.

Friendship. John's missed having friends. It makes him feel like one day, he'll be able to come home again.

Like who's taking care of you now, John?...Someone new...and meaning it. Knowing that there's a man, there's Finch on the other end of the line, a friend and a partner to care for him. Someone who cares when he doesn't pick up the phone, who cares if he's alive or dead. Someone who would mourn him if he was gone.

He hasn't had that, not in a long time.

Or bigger moments, like getting shot, knowing that he's dying, and calling Finch because he was the voice he wanted to hear, at the end of John's world. And knowing that despite telling Finch to stay away, he was going to come anyways.

In the end, we're all alone. And no one's coming to save you.

But Finch did.

Someone to have his back, after so long alone; the trust to let someone have his back. A partner, in the way that so few understand the term; a person to pick you up when you're bleeding and make you smile when you're not.

It matters, it all matters, don't ever think it doesn't.

Or like leaving a half frozen Leila, the child who, after he'd had to listen to her agonized cries in the freezer, he never wanted to let go of again with Finch, because he knew Finch would take care of her.

Because he trusted Finch to take care of her.

Or even like letting Finch carry the burden of Jessica's death. No, Finch has never mentioned it, and she's nowhere on his wall, but Reese knows all the same.

Because, well, Reese was in the CIA.

He saw the man in the wheelchair.

Brown hair, glasses, recent injuries by his handling of the chair.

Information without context.


And then he meets Finch, learns about the Machine, and suddenly, it's all quite clear. Perhaps there should be anger-should be rage, but there isn't. Finch didn't kill Jessica, no more than Reese did; this was never his guilt. No, his guilt is in that he couldn't save her, that he wasn't in time, and this too is Finch's guilt.

It should be just his-his burden to bear-but Reese is too smart a man to believe that he can make Finch release it-make her death weight any lighter on him.

He remembers so that's what I'm going to take from you. Your money; all of it, all too well; to ruin a man for a woman never met, for a number not saved.

And so, if he can't take the burden from him, Reese decides to split it. Finch is a good man, good enough for Jessica's memory, and that is not praise Reese bestows upon many.

Besides, the weight alone was far too crippling for one man; a load is always easier to bear split between two people.

This too is trust, in its most base form.

Care, trust, friendship, partnership.

All pieces of the puzzle, all data collected, but useless without a catalyst. Without a way to put them together-a map to make sense of them.

And then he gets one.


Be careful what you wish for.


When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different. Someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become then?

He asked that of Arndt, right before he killed him-Arndt, who had taken that person away from him-and although he never gets an answer from the man, he supposes that's an answer in itself-the only answer he will ever get.

It's not like he's going to ever find another person like that for him; experience that loss again and have an opportunity to ask it again.

And then Caroline Tuning shoots Alicia Corwin in the face and calls herself Root and takes Finch, and it occurs to Reese that the first thing he's going to ask her when he finds her and Finch-and make no mistake, he will find her and Finch-is that very same question.

Needless to say, it's quite an epiphany.

That, in case you were wondering, was the moment.


When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different. Someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become then?

But what happens if it's not just one person? What happens if you find another person who connects you to the world, who makes you someone different? Someone better.

Someone who saved you.

And what happens if you find that person, that other someone that fits in your soul, that completes you-that makes you better again-after you lost the first person?

What would you do if that person was taken from you?

What would you do to make sure they survived? To make sure you never felt that loss again?




Root takes Finch, and John's world becomes very narrow indeed.

Find Finch.

Find Finch alive, or die, because Reese knows this time, he wouldn't survive. He hadn't died after Jessica, and he'd wondered why-why the alcohol hadn't killed him when it should have, but now he knows. He loved Jessica-she was his better half, but Finch-Finch is more.

Reese has had partners and people who've made him better, but never have they been one in the same, and perhaps that makes all the difference. Finch, just by being Finch, snuck into his very soul, into that gapping chasm that Jessica left when he wasn't looking and made a home there with his suits and his prissiness and his privacy issues; twinned himself so tightly with Reese's own self that now Reese couldn't get him out if he wanted to.

He doesn't, by the way.

He likes the person he is with Finch-the person Finch helps him to be; a better person.

The person he is without him…

Well, he hopes that person is only around for a short while, or even the machine won't be able to defend the world against Reese's rage.

The machine gives him a number-another man to save.

Reese gives it an ultimatum-find Finch, or I'll never work another number.

Find him, or I'll burn the world.

And then Reese waits; he knows from his work that the machine doesn't respond to idle threats.

The machine gives him the number he needs.

After all, it's a very intelligent machine.

There was nothing idle about that.


In the café, Reese knows that both Carter and Fusco are afraid. Carter, because she is a good woman, and she fears what he might do if they don't find Finch; Fusco, because he is a man who has walked in the darkness, and knows what Reese will do.

They're right to be afraid.

He only needs one of them to come with him to Texas, and one to stay here and monitor the Alicia Corwin case. He takes Carter to Texas.

Someone is going to have to watch over the innocents they meet during their search, make sure they don't get hurt.

Fusco doesn't have the moral fiber for it, and John isn't capable of that right now, so, that leaves Carter.

He hopes she'll be enough.


Texas, and a missing girl, and a revelation. Not Hanna Frey but Samantha Groves. Not the victim but the best friend, betrayed by the system that should have protected her.

Reese can feel for this girl-knows what it is to do the right thing and be punished for it, knows the pain of that betrayal, of that loss.

He cannot feel for Root.

It won't save her, when he finds them.


Weeks's cottage, empty, but not useless. The clear presence of Finch, alive-cufflinks, and numbers; breadcrumbs for John to follow.

Things that he knows Root missed, because she isn't them-not partners, who know how to communicate in so much more than words.

It's always numbers with them.

John runs to save his partner.

To save both of them.

And he doesn't mean Root.


The train station, and Root and Finch, alive, and a weight lifted off his very soul.

And then a gun shot, and Finch crumpled to the ground, and that weight gets put on again, one hundred fold.

He should chase after Root-should find her, and kill her, and make sure she can never do this again-the agent, the ranger, all tell him this is the course of action to take.

The man he was, before Finch, would have.

The man he is with Finch, the better man, stays and with Finch. Makes sure he is unharmed-not shot, the lucky bastard-and its then, and only then does John feel like he can breathe again.

Root lives, and John supposes this is an answer to his question as well.

Finch tells him he didn't intend for him to come find him.

Reese wonders if it would have even been possible for him to do anything but.

Finch's weight, alive and warm, drums into the side of Reese as he hustles them away from this place, a presence that makes him complete.

They're going to have to a have a talk.


If he was looking for a sign that he and Finch were on the same page, emotionally, Finch's decision to let Bear stay in the library, after he's already eaten one of Finch's precious books, just because he knows that Reese wants to keep him, would be an excellent clue.

Root's phone call, strangely, is also a good sign.

Because it's a threat, it should inspire fear, but Finch…Finch just looks…relieved. Like he knows something, understands something that Root will never understand, and because of it, her threat has no weight.

Reese thinks he knows exactly what that something is.

"How did you find me?" Finch asks instead, drawing John's thoughts back into the moment, and yet for all that it's a question, John can't help but feel that Finch already knows the answer, and is just looking for confirmation.

"The machine-I…negotiated with it," John says, deliberately vague, willing to give Finch his answer, but not quite as willing to detail exactly how he had convinced the machine. First rule of CIA training-jumping the gun, even when you know you can win the race-gets you killed. It has to be Finch that makes the first move.

"For me?" Finch asks in response, a furrow of something crinkling across his brow, and John wonders how Finch, who seems to see everything, can't see this; all the things he's so sure must be so clear in his eyes. Still, John too understands the values of words, of things spoken, and so he says, careful not to reveal to much-it has to be Finch who moves first after all-but he knows some of this thing between them leaks out into his tone, "Finch, the list of things I wouldn't do for you happens to be a very short one."

And then Reese stops, considering something that he hadn't before, and his stomach clenches just so as he takes another careful, slow step into Finch's personal space before he asks, gently, so as not to startle, "Are you sure you're alright?"

And then, as a follow up, and he has to physically stop the hand that wants to reach out and just comfort Finch, not wanting to breach boundaries. "She didn't do any…lasting damage?" He asks carefully, because Finch might not have been physically hurt, but Reese saw Weeks's body, and the chair, and he can imagine what happened.

To make Finch, the man who had to listen to so much death he couldn't stop already, witness more of it…

Root is very, very lucky that Finch makes him a better man.

At that, it seems that something clicks in Finch, because the man seems to come to some decision, as his shoulders brace, oh so slightly, and he fixes his eyes on John's own, and if Reese was still unsure if they were on the same page, the emotion there would be the only sign he needed, "She wanted to carve a part of me open-a part of my very soul-and fit herself in the hole."

But Reese knows that Finch isn't done, and so he stays put, even though every fiber in him yearns to move forward, to take Finch into his own embrace. But his patience pays off, as Finch takes a limping step closer, locks his eyes with Reese's own, and says the words that are to be Reese's reward, "But she couldn't. There was already someone there."

It takes him a moment, just to absorb it all, to take in everything that Finch has said and that he means, and to know that their both on the same page with this-to savor it. But, he realizes, it shouldn't be that much of a surprise; Partners-always in it together.

And then he looks back at Finch, takes in the anxiety there, that Reese's silence has born, and he realizes that unless he wants to lose the moment-for this to become just another missed opportunity-he has to act, and so he does, smiling as he takes that final step into Finch's so closely guarded personal space before he says, the lines of his body brushing Finch's own, "Well then," and he brings his forehead down to rest on Finch's own, skin so warm beneath his, so his words ghost across his face, "If I'm to live there, I should at least pay rent, don't you think?"

And then, before Finch, can think up some rationalization or cheeky retort, John continues, not an ounce of teasing in his voice, tone as serious as death, "If anything had happened to you, I would have burned the world. I don't know how or when you did it, but I'm not me without you anymore."

And then, he lets his hands creep from his shoulder to his chin and tilt it upwards gently, so Finch can meet Reese's eyes without aggravating his neck, and he pours everything that he feels into his tone, and knows that Finch will hear exactly what he is saying, "I told you Finch, you saved me."

Finch kisses him then; kisses him like he can't not, and Reese is powerless to do anything but open to him, draw Finch in closer, keeping his hands, deadly weapons, as gentle as can be as he reels him into the warmth of his arms where Finch fits perfectly, like he was meant to.

He knew he would.

More than a partner, more than another half; how could he not?

Still, even as he herds Finch towards the bed he knows Finch keeps here, as he finally pulls that tie from his collar to expose a pale strip of skin that Reese plans on marking with his mouth, for the whole world to see, Reese harbours no illusions; he knows it will end someday, no matter how hard he fights it. They'll prolong it for as long as they can-lengthen it by just being them-but it's an inevitability; all stories end, even the great ones.

But as his hands trail naked skin, it's not a thought that worries him.

Yes, it will end someday.

But not right now.

Now, they've still got time.

Reese doesn't intend to waste a second of it.




A/N: Yeah so I wasn't expecting to write anything else relating to Platonic, but then the feedback was so appreciative that this fic just sort of wrote itself. I really like Reese's POV; it think he's really fun and complex because we know so much of his background that we can really make him a detailed character and still be in character. Also, the title of this fic is in regards to an arson investigation; the point of origin is the clear point in which a fire was started and from which it spread. Burn the world, after all. That said, as always, enjoy, and reviews and constructive criticism are welcome.