Absence ~ Chapter 2

A/N: Finch’s point of view.

Finch hoped desperately that Reese would not look for him, and yet he also hoped — equally desperately — that he would. Although he was nervous around guns and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Root would not hesitate to use hers, he was more concerned that she might turn its lethal aim on innocent bystanders — people going about their daily, mundane lives with no inkling of who Finch was or what he had created or that it was watching them constantly, day and night. In this as well, Root had judged him correctly: Finch was not afraid to die. After all, he was already dead, and he knew exactly how much pain a human body could and could not withstand. He had prepared a contingency (he was confident that Reese would be able to figure out his encryption system) in the event that he became unable to work on the Numbers. He was, in fact, ready to die.

But he also was not about to throw away his life unnecessarily. He wanted to find out, first of all, how much Root knew about the Machine, and next what she was attempting to do with that knowledge. If he could distract her, mislead her, foil her in any way, he would. Or die trying. He tried not to think about that, concentrating instead on gathering information, on not giving out any more information than was necessary, and on not reacting to what she said in a way that might betray what he was thinking.

However, he could not help reacting when she mentioned Nathan’s name in passing — very casually, almost off-handedly — with enough context to tell him that she knew exactly how his late friend had been involved. She had heard Alicia’s remarks about him, of course, as she had made clear by her comment upon entering his car; but it was obvious, as he recalled what the murdered woman had said, that Root had already known about Nathan as well as Alicia. Finch was sure there had been no information regarding Ingram on his computer system in the library when Root had hacked it, so she must have worked it out from the other end, figuring out which companies had been contracted by the government after 9-11. She had put two and two together — or, in this case, the one dollar payment from the federal government to IFT, which (he now realized) must have seemed like a glaring aberration in a sea of normal government overspending.

She knew more, far more, than Finch had expected, which rattled him. It also meant that she was far more dangerous as well, so he became more determined than ever to try to stop her in her efforts, whatever they were. He tried not to think about Reese, to not hope for a rescue, although as he grew wearier the longer he remained in Root’s clutches, he caught his mind wandering more frequently to thoughts of his partner. In those moments, he acknowledged that Reese was too determined and too stubborn to give up, even if the Machine gave him no assistance (as Finch had been careful to instruct it) and he could not access the library computer (since Finch had not given him the password). But what the former operative sometimes lacked in subtlety, he more than made up for in tenacity, and Finch could not suppress the tiny bird called Hope that rustled in his breast. Reese would look for him. He would not give up unless there were no options left. And if he did manage to find Root, Finch would bet all of his significant savings on John.

He caught himself thinking of the taller man, remembering how they had first met (though Reese had no recollection of it), how they had met again after he had finally tracked the elusive man down, and how they had slowly grown to trust each other. Finch mentally shook himself, forcing his mind to concentrate on the task at hand, but his brief lapse in self-discipline did serve a purpose: it made him remember what he had to live for. The teasing banter his employee-turned-friend would bait him to engage in, the quiet camaraderie they shared over their respective drinks, the sly smiles that he occasionally managed to elicit from Reese and which took his breath away. If he ever got the chance to enjoy those moments again, he would not take them for granted; he would cherish them as the precious, priceless gems they were. And he would make sure that Reese knew how much he appreciated him. Perhaps, even, if the right moment presented itself… how much he meant to him.

And so with his resolve strengthened, Finch continued playing his deadly game of chess with his captor.

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Leave a comment


  1. Plink42

     /  2012/10/01

    Hang in there, Finch! Reese is coming… though he’s really annoyed with you for making him your “contingency”. When Finch told the Machine that is was to protect everyone and not him, my heart sank a little. I wanted to yell at him that he’s part of “everyone” and he deserves help too, you adorable ball of angst!

    Root creeps me out more and more each time I see her. When she called Finch “Harry” I seriously wanted to punch her. You’re taking a lot of liberties, lady. Touch him again and I won’t be responsible for my actions.

    Getting back to the story, this was a great chapter. You write their POVs so well. Can’t wait for more (if there is more).

    • LOL “adorable ball of angst” YES HE IS!!! 😀

      Yep, Root is scary crazy. O.o I wanted to punch her, too! But of course, Reese would probably come up with a better nickname for his little birdie… If both Jessica and Bear are “sweetheart”, what would he call Finch? 😉

      Thanks so much!

  2. rainiejanie

     /  2012/10/01

    The line for punching Root forms behind me. Not just when she calls Finch “Harry” *shudder* but also when she flashes that smug smile of hers. And when she talks. When she’s on, period! I really hope she gets hers, and gets it hard.

    • Have you seen the photo of Reese from the next episode, gun out and leaping over cowering citizens? I think Root will deeply regret having ever laid a finger on his Finch!!

  3. I love this line: “and Finch could not suppress the tiny bird called Hope that rustled in his breast.” 🙂

  4. (I pushed Enter at the wrong time. XD) Thanks for a chapter from Finch’s perspective. I so hope Finch finds a way of manipulating the manipulator that is Root. ^.^ If anyone can outfox her with brilliance, it’s him. 😉

  5. deliacerrano

     /  2012/10/03

    So excellent! Wonder if Root was horrible as a child or teenager also. Wonder what twisted her? Harry? He doesn’t look like a Harry nor act like one.

    • Probably. No doubt thought she was so much *better* than everybody else!
      She’s probably calling him “Harry” just to aggravate him… 😡

  6. Reblogged this on quintessentiallysimplistic and commented:
    I had to reblog this. Emily Dickinson may have been an agoraphobic pansy, but her poetry is to die for. And, well, SeveRemus on FP has always been one of my favorite authors.

    • Awww, thanks! 😉
      I remembered that poem from when I had to memorize it in high school. Her work really is classic!

  7. Poem-fic! I love it. Once again, you captured Finch’s POV totally in character. And it fit right in with this week’s episode.

  8. delia cerrano

     /  2016/12/27

    Rereading early chapters of your so excellent story…yep, it’s still excellent!

  9. Now I am all confused (sorry to say that’s not hard to do) and don’t know what to do or type. That is the password that I had written down for this site.

    • Don’t know what happened with your first comment, but it doesn’t show as gravatar, so maybe that’s why it needed approval before it posted?
      Thank you so much, though!!! ❤ ❤ ❤


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