Disclaimer: The characters of Person of Interest sadly don't belong to me. I'm just borrowing them with no intention of gaining any profit by doing so.
"Hold still, Mr. Reese." Harold Finch admonished as he tried to get a better look at the nasty looking cut high on John Reese's left temple.
"It's not that bad, Finch." Reese said as he tried to squirm out from under his employers worried gaze. Finch grabbed his chin, effectively putting a stop to John's attempt of brushing it off.
Having let himself being manhandled into sitting on one of the libraries chairs upon his arrival, John Reese endured Finch's closer inspection of his head wound in suffering silence.
Finch forced John's head to tilt to the side to get a better look at the gash, expertly ignoring the daggers Reese's eyes were sending his way. Harold winced. The cut looked ugly. Blood was still oozing freely from the wound and the skin around it already showed signs of swelling. Judging by the hiss of pain uttered by Mr. Reese after Harold had gently probed the area, it was rather tender to the touch, as well. Finch was sure that by tomorrow morning Mr. Reese was going to sport one doozy of a bruise.
"It's just a scratch." Reese grumbled as he once more tried to dislodge Finch's grip of his face.
"I don't know, Mr. Reese", Finch murmured as he let go of John's chin. "Looks like it might need some stitches."
"It's fine. Just … put a band aid on it." John's face morphed into that impassive unreadable expression of his, that he must have spent years to practice.
Finch sighed in exasperation, "As you wish", and left to return just a few moments later, carrying the library's extensive med-kit. He regarded John, easily picking up on the other man's bad mood. "You know, Mr. Reese, I'm sorry that my concern for your well-being is inconveniencing you, but maybe next time you might want to consider not sneaking up on little, old ladies."
"I wasn't sneaking up on her!" Reese exclaimed defensively, his voice rising just a bit.
Finch dropped the med-kit on the table and started to rummage through its contents.
"No, you just thought it to be a wise idea to approach her in a deserted dark street." Finally finding the bottle of anti-septic spray Finch had been looking for, he ripped open the packaging of a sterile cotton swab and applied some of the solution on it. He turned to Reese, who glumly stared off somewhere into the direction of the periodicals.
"She probably thought you were about to rob her." Finch said as he started to gently wipe at the wound with the anti-septic soaked swab. A small twitch of Reese's eyebrows the only sign of the painful burning that he must have been enduring.
"I told her I didn't mean her no harm."
"Well, with the way you talk, she probably didn't understand you."
A look of confusion flitted across John's face. "What's wrong with the way I talk?"
Finch stopped in his administrations and looked at him, blinking his eyes a few times. Do you really have to ask?
"Mr. Reese, the woman is 78 years old." he stated, as if this would explain everything.
Finch shook his head and continued cleaning the wound. "Her hearing is by far not what it used to be and she refuses to wear the hearing aid her son got her. So, maybe, speaking a little louder than your usual rasp might have benefited the situation greatly."
Finishing with the swab, Finch noted with satisfaction that the bleeding had about stopped. He then focused on the med-kit again in search of the butterfly bandages he knew that were somewhere in the bag.
"You could have told me that before I approached her." Reese said accusingly as his hand made its way up to his temple to finger the wound. Finch swatted it away before Reese managed to start the bleeding again.
"I did", he said, applying the first bandage. "But, apparently, you weren't listening. Though, I do admire your display of self-restrain. Your instinctive urge to hit her right back must have been overwhelming."
John's expression darkened, but he wisely chose to remain silent for the rest of the treatment.
After applying the last of the bandages Finch regarded his handiwork. "There. How's that?"
"It's fine." Reese still sounded slightly annoyed. Finch sighed again and started to put the med-kit back together. He fished out a bottle of painkillers and handed a few pills to Reese.
"Here, take those and go lie down." Looking at the bloody collar of John's shirt he added, "And I suggest a change of clothes, as well."
John looked at him exasperated and handed him the pills back. He got up from the chair. "I'm fine, Finch." He started to walk across the room to where he kept his spare clothing when Harold inquired. "What are you doing, Mr. Reese?"
"I'm just gonna get changed and then I'll go stake out our number's apartment."
Harold pointedly looked at the lump that had already formed on the side of John's head. "Lying down was not a suggestion, Mr. Reese." he said, permitting no argument. Softening his tone he added, "Your head must be killing you."
Reese pinched his nose and sighed. "Again and for the last time, I'm fine." Stressing the last part. "And I've had worse." He continued to walk away from Finch, but turned to face Harold after the later had determinedly called out his name.
"I'm sure the police would be extremely interested in getting their hands on a surveillance video of the Man in a Suit being beaten up and nearly knocked out by a handbag wielding little old lady." Finch deadpanned.
Squinting his eyes Reese tilted his – admittedly throbbing – head to the side.
"With the police being Detective Fusco … and Carter." Finch continued in the same deadpan as before.
John's squint intensified, his look clearly stating a threatening You wouldn't.
Not one to back off from a staring contest that easily, Finch innocently raised one eyebrow. Try me.
After a few seconds Reese threw up his hands.
"Fine!" he huffed, though he did not move. With a smug smile Finch held out his hand, offering the pain meds once again. Reese glowered at him and growled, "Well, then I guess it's your turn to stake out our number."
"I can live with that." replied Harold, not the least bit intimidated. He wriggled the fingers of the hand still holding out the pills.
Sighing in defeat John retraced his steps from before, accepting the pills and immediately dry swallowed them. "Satisfied?" he asked dryly.
"Almost." Finch pointed his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the sofa in the back room. "Couch. Rest. Now." he said sternly.
Reese tried raising his eyebrow at Finch's newly developed mother hen routine, but ended up wincing in pain instead as the movement aggravated his injury. Maybe Finch did have a point. Harold shot him an "I-told-you-so" look.
John plastered a fake smile on his face. "I guess I'll go rest, then."
"Good. I'm glad we are agreeing on this." Harold beamed at John, earning him a dirty look as Reese passed him by. He watched John's retreating back, making sure he did make his way to the back room.
Still smirking over his victory Harold got busy collecting the things he would need for a potentially boring stake out. His eyes fell on his computer equipment and with a quick look over his shoulder to make sure the coast was clear he limped over to it and called up the traffic camera surveillance feed that had managed to capture Mr. Reese's misadventure of earlier this evening. And in a great angle, too.
At the part where the petite 78-year old's handbag solidly collided with John's head Finch just couldn't help the dirty laugh that escaped him. It looked just too comical.
The voice right beside his left ear made Finch jump right out of his skin. "Good Lord!" he yelped. Startled and having been caught red-handed Harold tried desperately to get his breathing and racing heart under control. He found himself face to face with John Reese, who'd just demonstrated his ability to move as silent as a cat upon entering his Ninja-mode, easily sneaking up on him.
John's eyes moved slowly over to the screen and back to Harold again. In a low voice he usually reserved exclusively to intimidate Detective Lionel Fusco Reese menacingly purred, "That video feed had better be deleted by the time I get done … resting."
Harold tried to get his mouth to form something akin to words, but giving up altogether he clamped his mouth shut and just nodded.
John allowed a lopsided smirk to creep onto his face. "Good. I'm glad we are agreeing on this." echoing Harold's words from before, he softly slapped the flustered man on his upper arm. "Have fun tonight, Finch." He turned to leave again, but stopped and added as an afterthought, "Take Bear with you to keep you company. I'm sure he could use a change of scenery, too."
"Ah, yes, I will." croaked Finch, thinking that John took way too much pleasure in having just scared the bejesus out of him. This time it was his turn to shoot dagger's into the retreating man's back. Before John finally disappeared in the room they had designated their 'resting-area' for their occasional all-nighters, he stopped and turned in the door frame, smirking.
"And Harold? Watch out for that handbag. It's filled with stones, or something."
- Fin -