In Which Reese Reads A Book

Reese was sitting with his feet up on Finch's desk, his nose buried in a book.

"John…" Finch said with a warning tone in his voice.

The heels came down, but the nose stayed in the book for a few minutes. "Harold, I think I found your grandfather."

Finch reached over and took the book from him. He'd been reading it and had left it beside his computer so he could pick it up while he was waiting in those quiet, terror-filled moments of not knowing if Reese had caught their perpetrator or been caught by him. He hadn't expected to find him reading it, but maybe something inside him had unconsciously wanted his partner to find it.

"Atticus Finch?" he said. "There's not much of a resemblance between us."

"Oh, I don't know. A man who defends the Irrelevant, no matter who he is? Who's more irrelevant in this society than this man, Tom Robinson?" He took the book back from Finch and rifled through the pages. "I simply want to tell you," he read, "that there are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them. And so are you, Harold Atticus Finch."

Finch looked at him for a moment. "So are you, John. Actually, Atticus reminds me of you, in a different life, under different circumstances. If I might have been a lawyer like Atticus, you would have been a father like him."

John looked away from him. "I'm guessing that the trial doesn't go his way."

Finch's mouth dropped open. "Have you never read To Kill A Mockingbird? How can you never have read this book before?"

"Not everybody grew up in a library, Finch."

"But it's To Kill A Mockingbird! Not even in school? No one ever recommended it to you?"

"It's one of those books you're supposed to read. Who reads books you're supposed to read? They all end up like Lord of the Flies, with the innocent dead."

Finch winced. "I read this book when I was very young."

"And you picked your name out of it, too, didn't you?"

"Not at first. Not consciously. But of all the fictional people in the world to identify with, Atticus Finch is one of the best."

Reese stared through the cracked glass wall where no photograph was presently hanging. "Withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe," he murmured. "Winston Churchill," he said to Finch's raised eyebrows. He dropped the book on the desk and rose from Finch's chair.

"All will be well," Finch said. "We have, I believe, within us the life-strength and guiding light by which the tormented world around us may find the harbour of safety, after a storm-beaten voyage." He retorted to Reese's own raised eyebrow, "Winston Churchill." He held out the book. "You should finish it."

Reese took it, tucked himself into a chair, and finished it. When he was done, he made no comment on it but gave it back and said, "You got anything else to read?"