Reese eased up to the apartment door and picked the lock as silently and quickly as he could. Thankfully, there was no squeak as he opened it slowly. He slipped down the entry corridor, his eyes taking in all details, looking for signs of struggle and seeing none. The living room, furnished and bland, was empty. So was the first bedroom he came to, neat, featureless, and empty. Someone had been cooking recently though. He sniffed the air. This kidnapper liked apples and cinnamon. Maybe it was just a candle.
Silently and with his gun ready, he went across the living room and turned the corner to the kitchen, and the sight he saw there froze him in a pillar of complete shock.
Finch, in his shirtsleeves, was rolling out pie dough.
His brow was furrowed, as if his task was intricate and complicated. Not a speck of flour marred his green and brown waistcoat. Beside him a bowl of neatly chopped apples stood ready.
Without looking up, he said, "You're late, Mr. Reese."
"Finch, when you said you needed my help…"
His spiky head came up slowly, and his eyes frowned when he saw the gun in Reese's hand. "You leapt to the conclusion that I'd been kidnapped again, didn't you?"
"Naturally. It's a more reasonable conclusion than that I'd find you making pie."
"Well, now that you've arrived, you can peel the potatoes."
An eyebrow cocked. "Do I look like the kind of person who makes mashed potatoes, Mr. Reese?"
"Mashed potatoes? You want me to make mashed potatoes?"
"Well, unless you would prefer them roasted. I'm not the one who can cook."
"But you can make pie."
"Baking is an exact science, whereas cooking is more of an art or, perhaps, a science like psychology which depends upon the subjective experience of the humans involved. I'm a programmer, not a psychologist. You, on the other hand, know how to interpret subjective data, and you are quite an adequate cook. Therefore, I left the rest up to you. I did put the pheasant in the oven, though." He was neatly scalloping the edges of his pie crust with sure and efficient movements of his fingers.
"I thought a turkey a little large for two."
"Harold, are you sure there isn't someone in the pantry with a gun pointed at your head forcing you to make pie?"
"Do you even know what today is, Mr. Reese?"
"Your birthday. Tell me it's your birthday."
Reese paused, doubtfully, pulled out his phone and googled "Thanksgiving." Yes, it was Thanksgiving. "I would never have taken you for a man who celebrated Thanksgiving, Harold."
Another eyebrow. "I was recently kidnapped and not killed, John. I feel there is adequate reason for giving thanks this year." He washed his fingers fastidiously and beat something in a small bowl with a fork.
Reese stepped closer and noticed that Finch had cut precise little leaf shapes out of his top crust and was now arranging them on top of the pie and brushing the whole thing with egg. "It's very pretty, Harold."
"It was the way I learned," Finch said stiffly. "Are you going to make the rest of the dinner or not?"
He leaned against the counter. "I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving in years. I always thought that to celebrate Thanksgiving, you had to have something to be thankful for and something to give thanks to."
Finch's large grey eyes came up and met his. "Does that mean you're not?"
"I think it means that this year I will."
The pheasant was a little dry, because when Finch said he wasn't a cook, he meant it, but Reese's mashed potatoes and celery root with caramelized onions and sage were silky and rich, and his homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest was bright and tangy, and his sautéed asparagus and mushrooms were all asparagus and mushrooms should be. But Finch's apple pie was the best part of that Thanksgiving dinner.
Author's note: Actually I think Finch would probably be a very good cook. But the mental image of him being unable to make anything but pie was too good to pass up.
P.S. Finch rented the apartment specifically for Thanksgiving so that Reese wouldn't find out where he lives, 'cos he's paranoid that way, and we love him.
P.P.S. My friend and fellow writer Pickwick12 has written her own version of how Reese and Finch might celebrate Thanksgiving. Read it, because it's delicious. ( ww w . fanfiction s/8666754/1/)