Thank you for your reviews. I hope I didn't forget to reply to any of them. I also thank the guests that took the time to review. It's late again, or early morning, depends on how you see it, I guess. I hope the second chapter does not disappoint you.


John felt content tonight, alive. Not exactly something he was used to. But it made him smile. His life hadn't really given him many chances to feel this way or enjoy it.

It was a quiet night and he sat on the couch looking through the old magazine that didn't interest him at all. He couldn't concentrate on it anyway. His thoughts were still on the late dinner he had had with Finch nearly two hours ago.

They had been to a nice place. One of the restaurants he wouldn't have known about. An insider tip as far as Finch had told him. The food had been delicious. But even more than the peace and food he had enjoyed the company.

He knew Finch for more than a year now and he never failed to surprise him. The man made him smile, even laugh with his dry humor. John had noticed more than once now, that the guy always helped him to relax and feel better. Or more accurately, just having Harold's voice in his ear or having him around brought his life in balance, even with the things they were facing on an almost daily basis.

Finch wasn't his boss or partner anymore. Well he still was, of course, but he was also John's friend. Probably the best he ever had. There was something about the man. He couldn't put a finger on it, but that was okay. There were things that didn't need to be figured out. And this friendship was certainly one of them.

It was really rare that they had a dinner or something together for no reason. Just enjoying a few hours with a friend. Something private. Rare, yes, but not unwanted. They just didn't have the time to do it a lot and they both enjoyed being alone, too. Reese thought, that it was much easier to feel happy being alone, since he knew that he wasn't alone in this cold dangerous world anymore. He wondered, if that made any sense. Harold would probably know.

After the dinner they had separated. John had offered to bring Finch wherever he wanted to go, but Harold hadn't accepted. 'Thank you, Mr. Reese, but I have something to do close by. Just drive home and rest. You need it. Your job is exhausting.' And somehow John hadn't been surprised, when he had seen the smaller man getting into a cab just a few minutes later. Yes, he had smiled about it, again. Finch and his secrets. There had been a time, when he had tried to know all and everything about the guy, but not anymore. He wouldn't follow him nowadays. Let the man have his privacy.

John yawned. He was tired and he had learned that he could actually feel content, just by such an ordinary thing. His bed was calling, but he needed something to drink first. He left for the kitchen in order to get some cold water. It was then, when his phone rang. It was getting close to midnight. Who would call him this late? Not that there were a lot of people that knew his number, but still.

John got the phone and saw Finch calling him. "Harold, are you already missing me?" He couldn't help but grin. But that didn't last long.

A mixture of different human and mechanic voices spoke to him through the line and he took another look to make sure the call really came from Finch's phone number: "SOS! Admin in danger! SOS! Admin in danger!"

"Finch, are you there? Trying out some new stuff?" John asked, knowing how silly it was.

"Take over! Take over!" The machine didn't stop and he hung up. He got his keys and walked out the door, dialing Finch's number, but the man didn't answer. John hurried to the library. He hoped his friend was there and had just fallen asleep or that there was some sort of computer problem.

He tried to stay calm. This was new. Finch's phone, or probably the machine using Finch's number, contacted him?! To tell him Finch was in danger! He hoped it wasn't serious, but he knew that Finch never would have programmed an alert like this for situations that were no threat to their lives or the machine. He also knew that the older man had only done it to please him. He had insisted on a way to know, if the man was in some sort of serious trouble. Finch had argued about it, but John was thankful now, that he had been so determined about it.

He had to get to the machine. He had to get to Harold. The need to protect his friend was all he had on his mind now. This kind of feeling responsible and protective for someone was another thing that was new to him. He had to make sure that nobody would take that away from him, take Harold Finch away.