Disclaimer: This is the property of CBS, J.J. Abrams and Johnathan Nolan.
She had made a mistake. John couldn't believe it. The last thing that ran through his mind before the sedative had taken effect was making sure that Joss was okay. He wasn't able to move much in the mangled mess that was Donnelly's car, but he could hear her behind him. He wanted to reach out to her and make sure that she was alright. Unfortunately Kara had other things planned for him.
For some unexplained reason, she had killed Donnelly. Maybe it was because he would have been a witness or maybe it was because he was digging into the deeds of the CIA a bit too closely. Either way he paid the price and despite how he may have felt about the man for not understanding him and his motives, he didn't deserve to die.
His world went black soon after she had injected him and he became fearful of what she had planned for him. He had figured if she had gone this far to keep herself hidden all this time, she may have been seeking revenge for what happened in Ordos. The CIA had tricked them into trying to kill each other then finish off the survivor. No one was supposed to get out there.
He found himself waking up prematurely in the back of a car that she may have had stash a small distance away from the intersection. This wasn't like her. He knew her methods well from all the years working with her and he shouldn't have been awake until they reached their destination. It may have seemed impossible to believe to him, but she really had made a mistake in the dosage.
He may have grown a resistance to the drug from his all his run-ins while working for Finch or she used a smaller dosage that ended up not being enough to knock him out for long. He found himself trying to keep from making any sudden movements until he was ready to make an escape. From the fleeting buildings, he deduced that they had not made it out of the city. He had time before the machine would lose him temporarily.
It was likely still watching him and Finch would try to find a way to reach him. He looked down at himself to find that he was still surprisingly free of any restraints, probably from the assumption that the drug would keep him immobilized until she was ready to do whatever it was she was going to do with him. The next few minutes were a blur to John. As soon as he saw his opening, he charged the driver.
He overpowered Kara for control of the wheel and for the second time that night, he found himself in a roll. The sound of crushing metal was deafening, but he had to try to keep himself from being to beaten up. Once the vehicle finally stopped, John kicked the door open. Kara had been knocked unconscious in the crash and he could see blood trickling from her head. Luck was on his side and he was going to make sure to take advantage of that. He was sore as hell, but that didn't mean that he wanted to stick around. He crawled through the door and ran away from the scene under the eyes of the machine that registered his escape and reported it to Finch.
Harold was back at the library, typing frantically at his keyboard. He had been keeping track of the events after seeing the car accident through the POV of the machine and made sure not to lose sight of the assailant. He couldn't physically do anything to stop the unknown woman from leaving the city with John, but he could try to follow them for as long as he could.
By a stroke of luck, only a few miles before the city's border, he saw the car taking a sharp turn before rolling a half a dozen times before coming to a complete stop. He could make out movement and saw the disheveled image of Mr. Reese exiting and running off. Changing his course of action, his new objective was to make contact and get him out of there. The police would be nearby, inspecting the first crash which he managed to get Detective Carter out of with the help of Fusco.
John had managed to get around the police blockade that had formed around Donnelly's car. He took a few seconds to scan the bodies, wondering if Carter was still there. It wouldn't help her case if they found her there with a body that had two bullets in his head. After searching and confirming that she was gone, he turned around and ran back into a business district that was still somewhat busy despite the hour. He had sustained injuries to his head and shoulders, but he didn't draw any attention to himself. He was able to stay incognito while trying to find a way to get extracted from the area.
Right when he passed the first payphone on the street, it did not disappoint as it began to ring. Turning back to it, he walked over and picked up the receiver. "Well it seems that you are a man with 9 lives Mr. Reese," Finch replied on the other line. "I think I may have left about 7 of them back there. Where can I go to rest up and get a drink?" His employer couldn't help, but find his nonchalant attitude impressive. He seemed to take things in strides. "There is a safe house located two blocks from your position. The code to the door is 8636. You'll have everything you need to lay low for the night."
Before hanging up, he had to ask the question irking at the back of his mind. "How's Carter doing?" It was inevitable that he would ask about her. Finch wasn't surprised by that fact that he asked, understanding that he would be concerned. "She is alright Mr. Reese. She suffered a few minor injuries. Me and Fusco managed to evacuate her from the scene before anyone could ask any questions. I had a friend of mind look her over. She should be back at her home by now. If you wish to contact her, there is a untapped phone at the safe house." John was relieved. He wanted to talk to her as soon as possible. "I'm glad that you respect people's privacy Finch," he replied before hanging up the phone and making his way to the address that Finch provided.
Meanwhile Joss was on the other side of town, finally able to make it back home after getting double checked by the doctor that Finch had as an associate. She was still disoriented from the crash when they found her. She had been a witness to John's kidnapping and felt something tug at her heart as she found herself unable to do anything for her friend. They had gone through everything together with the ability to trust the other to be there for them if they were in trouble.
She wanted to yell for him, somehow thinking that would wake him up but she thought otherwise. She didn't want to risk suffering the same fate as Donnelly and pretended to be dead from the crash. She could hear the woman's voice, but she missed what was said. The warmth of John's body disappeared and he was just snatched away into the night.
As she sat there, waiting for a potential rescue from Finch, she thought about Donnelly's fate. She had many emotions running through her, one that surprised even her which was a sense of relief that he would never chase John again. She scared herself at thinking so morbidly, but soon thought about the karma behind the action because of the events back at the prison.
She knew that when she released her anger on him after the assault on John that she had given herself away. John didn't have to apologize when he arrested them. It was all her fault. In the end, all the actions and underhand methods she took to keep his identity a secret, she wouldn't have changed for the world. She did what she did to help a friend who she felt didn't deserve to be locked up.
The retrospect over the last few hours took her mind off the current situation long enough that she heard a car pull up on the deserted streets. In the distance, she could hear the voices. "Let's get her out of there before the entire NYPD makes an appearance." She could see Fusco in the corner of her eye as he approached along with Finch and another young woman, presumably a doctor. In a few moments, she was extracted from the car and taken away to an abandoned building a few feet away to have her looked at.
After being deduced that she didn't suffer any serious injury, she insisted on helping Finch look for John. Unfortunately he told her that there was nothing she could do for him and to just go home.
Here she was, at home, unable to do anything except wait for any news on him. Before her trip to the prison, Carter sent her son over to his grandmother's house. She didn't know how long she was going to be so she wanted to make sure he was taken care of for the week. For the situation, she was grateful to have the apartment to herself.
Somehow she anticipated that there would be a phone call in the next few hours and tried to keep herself awake, the adrenaline keeping her awake wearing off. She didn't want to miss any chance to help John if she could. The minutes seemed to fly by as if they were seconds. In no time, it had been 3:00 am and she was wide awake on the couch.
She figured by now that the accident had been reported by someone and the police would be taking a look at the scene. Eventually she would be asked when she last saw Donnelly. She would lie of course, and say that she left him at the prison and refused to work with him any longer because of way he treated John Warren. There was evidence in the video footage from the yard and the warden could vouch for Donnelly's behavior during the time of his investigation there.
Maybe it wouldn't all be a lie. She had thought about working with the FBI her whole career, but her views of them changed with the extremes they would go to capture someone, whether they were legal or not. Her mind went back to John. Was he alright? With his stroke of luck, he may have gotten away from his captor. The man seemed like he had Lady Luck on his shoulder with all the situations he managed to get his way out of. Hopefully she was watching over him now.
The ringing phone caused her to jump despite the fact that she was expecting it because of her lack of attention. She jumped up and rushed over to pick it up.
"Well it seems like I'm not the only one with 9 lives Detective." Her heart leaped at the sound of his voice.
"Thank goodness. Where are you John?" She was concerned. For now, she wasn't in the mood for their usual banter. Apparently the feeling was mutual.
"I'm here at a safe house that was pretty close to where I caused another car accident." Joss' ears perked at this new information.
"I'm only staying the night then I'll be back home."
"Will you be alright? Can I see you?" She hadn't meant to ask him the second part, but she was still worried that he was only telling her what she wanted to hear. In reality John wanted to see her too. He wanted to see how she was.
"Let's meet at this address. It wouldn't be smart to meet in public again so soon after that accident. I do hope your lock picking skills are up to par." It was a strange comment considering that most of Finch's safe houses have a code to open the door to prevent easy access. Joss wrote the address that he relayed down, making plans to head over there as soon as she could.
Since she was working with the FBI, her chief gave her time of leave. She didn't have to report back until the day after tomorrow so she had time to kill. She reluctantly hung up the phone. She was relieved to get the news that he was alright, but she still wanted to see him. When they were arrested by Donnelly, the reality was that she didn't regret anything that she had done which confused her.
She wouldn't have gone to such extremes for this man if there wasn't a real reason. She thought that it was because of their friendship, but Joss felt deep down it had to be something more. John wasn't the only one experiencing vulnerability. The interrogation gave them a chance to learn more about each other. She knew at that point that they were closer then ever before. It was a thin line for them before they crossed into unconventional territory for either of them.
After a few anxious minutes, she decided to head on out to the address. She took a cab to the address that John had given her. After paying the driver and exiting, she noticed something strange about the area. Joss entered the brick building, finding the front door unlocked. This part of the neighbor she never found herself in often which meant that she wouldn't be recognized by anyone. That would be her advantage for now.
She took the elevator in the lobby to the 5th floor. Something about this building seemed off to her. She had been in plenty of safe houses in her career and there was a different feeling here. There was a ding and the doors opened. She went through the hallway looking at the doors looking for the correct number. She found 5A around a corner and sure enough it was a door that required a key.
Her suspicions about the apartment were still adamant with all the evidence presented before her. She took out her lock picking kit that she kept from her younger years. Despite putting her past behind her, she still had uses for these skills that she learned on the streets. She began working on the lock and in a matter of seconds worked the tumbler to get the door open.
As she passed by the threshold and closed the door behind her, the feeling in the air changed drastically. The apartment was huge, with large pane windows lining the northern wall. There was single bed against the western wall and a oak desk with plenty of things cluttered on it for someone who was working on something. Joss slowly walked around, taking off and leaving her jacket on a chair she passed by.
The sound of her shoes echoed loudly off of the hardwood floor. The apartment felt domesticated, not cold and isolated like the safe houses she'd seen in the past. Passing by a closet, curiosity got the better of her and she decided to take a quick look inside. The contents inside confirmed her suspicions as she saw the large arsenal of guns lining the closet.
This had not been just another safe house. Her heart skipped a beat at the realization that this was the first time she had ever been in John's apartment. It seemed to suit him perfectly, especially with the contents of his closet. It's strange how she first met him as a completely different man. He was broken and could give less of a damn about the world unless it pushed him enough.
Now he fought to protect complete strangers whose lives were in danger including hers and Taylor's. She thought that he really deserved more for what he did, the apartment being only the start. Her mind was in another space so her focus was taken completely away from the door.
"I guess you haven't lost your touch Detective." She almost jumped at the sound of the voice and turned to the source. There in the threshold stood her best friend who she had been worried sick about. "John…"she whispered as she tread her way over to him to wrap her arms around him neck and embrace him. She could feel him return the hug, but she also felt him wince.
Remembering what had happen, she quickly loosened her hold and backed away. "Sorry, I forgot that you got yourself in another accident." She wouldn't ask any questions about the woman that attacked them. She remembered when John warned her about the boundaries for how much she needed to know. When she was ready, she would ask. Right now, she just needed to make sure John was alright.
He still looked pretty banged up with multiple cuts showing probably from glass. They shared a small smile with each other and then he walked passed her. She followed him to the kitchen area, watching as he dropped off his jacket on the chair near the desk. He was very inviting for such a private person. Joss didn't mind, she welcomed the small times when John would open up. Suddenly something occurred to her.
"That woman that drugged you, was she the same woman that attacked me when I met up with Snow a few weeks ago?" His stoic silence confirmed her suspicions. "I'm sorry." He turned around, the confusion apparent on his face. "If it hadn't been for me running your prints, the CIA wouldn't have known you were still alive. First it was Snow and now this woman…"
"Kara, her name is Kara Stanton. I worked with her during my time in the CIA. She was the one that made me a killer, forcing me to make a choice. She got really annoyed with me for acting like a boy scout when we first started out."
"That's not really a bad thing. It's who you are. I would love to have someone like you when I was in the military. It was hard to find someone to watch your back out there."
"Yeah, I know." He had told Carter more about himself during the interrogation then he himself even expected. He may have changed a few names, but he had told her of his past discretions and the first time he had ever killed someone. They had shared more in common then he had thought. That was the reason why he trusted her, kept her close, and even considered her a friend.
She understood his past and didn't look at him in disgust. "What was it that she wanted?" John took out two beers from the fridge, opening and handing one to her.
"I didn't get the chance to ask."
A change of subject was needed. It was then that she remembered him wincing.
"Did you manage to patch yourself up at the safe house enough so you could come back home?" He took a seat across from her.
"Yeah, I wasn't hurt that bad, but I'm going be sore and bruised up in the morning." Joss nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I'm starting to feel the effects too." John's signature smirk sprouted up. "I honestly wasn't expecting you to come around so soon. By now, your buddies in the department are over at the crash site." Joss tried to keep a neutral face.
She didn't want to appear too vulnerable to him. She wondered herself why she came over so quickly. John was strong and capable of taking care of himself. She then realized her error in judgment. There would be police patrols to quarantine the scene. The officers would question anyone that looked remotely suspicious. "I'm an idiot," she said comically.
"You could stay here until the heat cools down," he offered bluntly. "I don't want to impose. I just came to make sure that you were alright. I was scared that you were going to disappear and no one would be able to find you." She could feel a warmth bloom on her cheeks. She hadn't meant to say that out loud. Why was she acting like this around him?
There was something different. Maybe it was the fact that she was in his home for the first time and she didn't want to leave just yet. "Well they may take all night. Would you just let me stay here for that long?" she asked jokingly. John responded without hesitation. "Yes. I wouldn't want something else to happen to you." She thought the proposition over one more time, trying to find the cons that could convince her to leave.
"I guess it wouldn't hurt for one night." John could see her visibly relax more. He was glad that she accepted the offer and continued to drink up. "So I'm going to get the couch?" He shook his head. "No, you can have the bed. I'll just do some work on a number that Finch wants me to start looking into then I'll go to bed." She was awestruck.
"I guess there is no rest for the wicked. Are you sure you don't want to wait to recuperate first?" John walked by Joss to get the bed ready. "I don't really have that luxury. Even if people still think I'm a killer, I need to do this." Joss couldn't help but sigh as she finished up her beer and followed him.
The fact that he still thought about himself like that was disconcerting to her. After everything he's done, he still didn't think he deserved anything? She stood by and watched him turn the bed. While he was preoccupied, she made herself comfortable. Undoing the hair tie and removing her shoes, she put them together on a nearby table. She was dressed in only jeans and a red v-neck sweater.
She rarely found herself in casual wear outside of work unless she was going out with friends. After John finished, he turned to acknowledge her. He took a second to take in her appearance, burning to his memory how beautiful she looked at that very moment. "Here you go. I'm going to try to dig up some dirt on that number."
"Want some help?" she offered. He shook his head as he walked past her. "Not yet. This is fresh from the boss so I am pretty much blind right now."
"Oh okay. If you need some help, let me know." She smiled to him before he moved to sit at the desk near the window. Joss maneuvered to the right side of the bed and took a seat. The mattress molded to her body. It was a different texture then the one that she had at home.
She could also feel that the bed was still relatively new. The sound of typing reached her ears and she turned her attention behind her. John was already hard at work doing his research. Concern suddenly fluttered her mind. How many times did he really sleep here?
As she placed her head on the pillow, she was surrounded by a lingering scent, his scent. When she was at home dealing with anxiety, she would wrap herself in her coat, finding comfort in the lasting scent that was his alone. She couldn't admit to anyone that she felt this way for a criminal.
It wasn't the norm and society would have frowned on her. She could care less as she took one last look at John across the room. Sometimes it was nice to take a risk, even if it was wrong. Her eyelids got heavier as she watched him type something. The serene feeling overtook a few moments later and she was sound asleep.
John looked through the information banks, managing to find an address on the newest number. It was a lawyer who may have made quite a few enemies by the way he handled his cases. He wrapped up his search, deducing that he would begin his usual routine of surveillance and blue jacking his phone in the morning.
Turning off the monitor, he spun around in his chair and saw that Joss had managed to drift to sleep. He couldn't help but be surprised at how comfortable she was around him. Then again, he never gave her a reason not to be. He always watched her back and made sure nothing happened to her if it was in his power.
He got up and walked over to the nearby linen closet to get a thick, wool blanket. Carefully treading up to the bed as not to wake her, he draped the blanket over her. For a moment, he saw her bury her body under the new source of heat before settling down again. It was strange to see her so comfortable around him, despite all the trouble he seems to attract.
Tonight was probably the biggest reminder of how many enemies he really had. It was different because Carter was caught right in the middle, despite the fact that he had warned her about getting in to deep and giving her a choice. Now he had dragged her into his business. He would make Kara answer his questions in due time.
For now, he was exhausted and needed some sleep. He wouldn't normally sleep this early, but after today he needed the downtime no matter how short it was. He went over to the couch and got comfortable. He would get cleaned up later after Carter left.
He laid down and put his head on the cushion. Glancing over at the body that laid in his bed, he was satisfy that she would be alright for now and closed his eyes, silently hoping that there would be no other surprises in the morning.