Voyeur


A/N: After episode 2.19 “Trojan Horse,” Shaw is curious to find out more about the two mysterious men. Mild Rinch.


Cole had been the tech-head of the team, but that didn’t mean Shaw was incapable of triangulating the location where the two confiscated cell phones had often remained stationary for hours at a time. One of the phones stayed there almost all day, every day. She did not immediately capitalize on her knowledge, however; for one because she wasn’t certain of the extent of the security system protecting the building, and for another because she didn’t want to get entangled with the two mysterious men any more than she had already been. But her curiosity was piqued when she found Reese standing outside of Cole’s parents’ house, correctly assessing her motives for being there as well as for not walking up to the door and telling them something – even a lie – to help them with their pain. Then she saw the newspaper article exonerating Cole and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the man who had given her a card with “Harold Wren” printed on it but whom his hired ex-assassin called “Finch” must have hacked the CIA (no mean feat) and also leaked that information to the media. More than just the requisite skill, it showed that he had a heart, which was something she could not say about any of her former employers.

Still, she did not want to commit to working with them, much less for them. Once she had surprised Finch in the library (just to prove she could) and taken the slip of paper with Root’s known aliases, she had used her considerable skills in an attempt to track down the other woman – who, ironically, had been born as “Samantha” as well. But coming up empty and frustrated, she decided to pursue another hobby: hunting down “Harold Wren” or “Finch” or whoever the hell he was. She managed to tail him for a few blocks each time he left the library, but he seemed to know she was on to him or perhaps he was habitually cautious about being followed; either way he always lost her, whether by blending into crowds of New Yorkers or slipping into a taxi or even jumping into a limousine at a street corner. Shaw was sincerely beginning to wonder if she had lost her edge.

However, she made up for her failures by switching her target to the taller man of the duo, who had obviously been in the same line of work as herself. On the third try she succeeded in tailing him to a bodega on the outskirts of Chinatown, where he shopped for some groceries – picking up a small bouquet of flowers as well – before heading into a spacious loft apartment. Situating herself in an unoccupied room in the building across the street, Shaw watched as Reese removed his suit jacket, put on an apron, and began cooking dinner. The flowers, she noted, were placed in a vase on the coffee table by the ultra-modern sectional sofa.

A lady friend for dinner? she mused. Or possibly an asset?

She was surprised by the size and number of windows in the apartment until she used her collapsible binoculars to get a closer look at the frames. Each pane was at least an inch thick. Bulletproof, she realized with something approaching awe. With as many windows there were, and as large as each pane was, the glass alone would have cost a small fortune. She wondered whether Reese had paid for them out of his salary or if his boss had outfitted the apartment for him. In any case, she could not help but be impressed with the deep pockets the mysterious “Finch” seemed to have.

She was also grudgingly impressed by the adroit manner in which Reese was preparing dinner: a pile of what looked to be Ribeye steaks, a few baked potatoes, steamed broccolini, a salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, and some kind of chowder soup from scratch. Her stomach rumbled at the sight of the food. The last thing she had eaten had been a protein bar for lunch. She tensed for a moment as Reese picked up a long, black object – a remote, she saw with relief, which he was apparently using to control the stereo; she could see his lips moving as he sang along to whatever music was on. Definitely a lady friend, she thought with a soupçon of disgust. The bastard looks downright happy.

Shaw was shocked, however, when the door to the apartment opened and Finch walked in, preceded by Bear. While the dog bounded in and headed straight for the kitchen to be petted by Reese, Finch followed at his distinctly uneven gait and placed a tall, skinny gift bag on the table. Wine? Shaw realized, stunned. Maybe they’re celebrating something… maybe some poor sap they had to snatch from the jaws of death. It gave her pause to remember that she herself had been one such victim – she would have liked to think she could have survived on her own, but she was honest enough to admit that it would have been difficult, if not downright impossible. And that was part of the problem, a part of the reason why she was standing in a cold, dark room watching these two men chatting and preparing a lavish dinner while her stomach growled at her: she owed them her life, and she could not bear to feel beholden to anybody. She needed to repay her debt, one way or another. But she wanted to tread very carefully where these two men were concerned. This was her reconnaissance mission.

Finch opened the bottle of expensive-looking wine and set it out to breathe before removing his coat, suit jacket, and tie. By the time he moved to the kitchen with his shirtsleeves rolled up, no doubt offering to help, Reese was already plating the food. Finch helped carry them over to the table where Bear was watching with intense interest but, as befitting a dog of his training, did not move past an invisible line. His ears were pricked up, though, and they twitched when Reese came in with a large bowl containing a generous slab of steak. Finch made an expressive gesture and Shaw could almost hear him protesting that his partner was spoiling the dog rotten; Reese said something back as he cut the meat into bite-sized squares, then he set the bowl down on the floor in front of Bear.

At least you’re eating well tonight, Shaw thought with a wry smile. She had always liked dogs. Dogs were honest – much more honest than humans. From what she could see, Bear was enjoying the steak very much. The two men sat down to their meal as well, making a toast with the dark red wine before sipping it. Shaw’s mouth watered at the look of bliss on Finch’s face when he took his first bite of steak. Apparently, Reese was a good cook. ’Course you can’t go wrong with a good cut of beef, she considered, and any idiot can bake potatoes in the oven. Still, from the complimentary looks Finch was giving Reese, she could tell that the dinner was receiving high praise. Her stomach was so empty now it hurt.

For dessert Reese pulled out a carton of gourmet ice cream, which also garnered enthusiastic approval from Finch. Bear was given some leftover broccolini stalks to munch on while the two men relaxed over their bowls of ice cream (Shaw double-checked with her binoculars to confirm that it was Double Fudge Brownie, her favorite) and talked about whatever it was two ultra-secret vigilantes talked about on a rare evening off. They looked relaxed, contented, and… happy. Something Shaw had not felt in a long time. And for some inexplicable reason, she was feeling inordinately angry at the moment. After observing Finch finish his ice cream (scraping up every last drop of it with his spoon) and Reese sipping his wine with a contented smile, Shaw finally realized where her hostility was coming from: it was resentment. She resented that the two men – particularly Reese – were enjoying themselves as though they didn’t have a care in the world.

Her hand holding the binoculars grew cold as her entire body stilled, her eyes continuing to watch the two men while her analytical mind turned inward for the first time since her partner had been murdered. Why should she resent the men who had saved her life and, from what she could tell, were doing good and helping people in need? What right did she have to resent Reese for spending a relaxing evening at home? He worked hard for his employer – she had shot him herself in what, for him, would be considered the line of duty – so why was she so tempted to march over there and punch him in the face with all her might? Where was all this hatred coming from?

In the darkness of the empty room, Shaw stared down the answer. She didn’t think he deserved to be happy because of what he had done in the past; he had obviously been a government operative like her (which branch or department didn’t matter) before hooking up with Finch; ergo, Shaw felt that she herself did not deserve to be happy, either. She had traced her feelings backwards to find the truth: she loathed herself for her deeds and misdeeds (not the least of which was her inability to protect her partner) and had subconsciously transferred those emotions onto Reese, so seeing him enjoying himself and acting happy – guilt-free – made her resent him and feel unreasonably angry. And, by association, she had resented Finch as well.

Shaw sighed. She knew she needed to stop over-analyzing things, but it was something she had always done, even as a child. It had made her good at her job, of course, even if there had been times she wished she could turn that part of herself off. Now her mind was pointing out that, as the two men began putting things away, they were moving in sync. There was a definite rhythm to their steps and actions, heightened rather than obscured by the fact that she was standing in almost perfect silence. She realized why soon enough, remembering what Reese had been doing while preparing the meal: they were moving in time to the music being played by the stereo. Perhaps it was a catchy tune – at first they didn’t look as though they were conscious of it themselves. But then Reese paused in washing the griddle to stare at Finch, who was wiping down the table with his back turned to him. The boyish grin that crept across the former assassin’s lips transformed him, taking years off of his face.

Reese rinsed and dried his hands hurriedly before stepping over to Finch and tapping him on the shoulder. When Finch turned to him, startled, Reese confiscated the dishrag and threw it across the kitchen into the sink. Then he slipped his arms around his partner and drew him close, still smiling but with a softer expression on his handsome features. Finch was undisguisedly flabbergasted as he was wrapped in the taller man’s embrace, but after a moment’s hesitation he consented (or resigned himself) to being held in a cheek-to-cheek – or cheek-to-jaw – position. Reese swayed gently to the music, leading with small enough steps for Finch to follow, albeit with some stiffness in his gait. From her vantage point Shaw could see Finch gradually relax against Reese’s chest, allowing his hands to rest on the other man’s shoulders while they turned in small circles around the kitchen.

The music must have ended, since the two men stopped their dancing and stood there, somewhat awkwardly. Then Reese drew back just enough to look Finch in the eyes and said one word: “Stay.” Shaw had always been a good lip-reader. She couldn’t see Finch’s face at the angle he was standing to her, but she guessed that he had answered in the affirmative – Reese planted a tender kiss on the older man’s forehead before disappearing into a back room. Finch fidgeted with the things in the kitchen, not really putting things away so much as moving and organizing them, until Reese reappeared with several plastic bags. They contained a new pack of socks, a pack of t-shirts, a pack of boxers, and a pair of striped blue pajamas also still in the original packaging. It looked as though Reese had bought all of the items specifically for Finch, in the event that he did stay the night. Finch raised one eyebrow askance as he said something to Reese – Shaw could not read his lips since he was holding the pack of undershirts in her line of sight, but he seemed to be getting a few digs in to Reese about that very thing. It didn’t abash Reese in the least, though, and he continued to smile blissfully, tidying up the kitchen while Finch took a turn in the back room.

By the time Finch limped back out, dressed in his new pajamas, Reese had finished cleaning and had even turned down the lights. It was harder for Shaw to make out their faces, much less lip-read, but their body language spoke loudly enough. Finch approached Reese hesitantly, no doubt feeling shy about the whole situation. Since Reese had prepared brand-new clothes for him to stay in, this was obviously the first time. Reese was slow and deliberate in his movements, trying not to startle Finch, as though he were worried that his little bird might fly away if surprised. He kissed Finch’s forehead again, and this time Finch turned his face upward – Reese quickly moved his lips down Finch’s face until their mouths were aligned. They stood there for a long minute, each groping the other with needy hands, and broke off the kiss only when they had to stop for air. Reese then led Finch over to the large bed and helped him get up into it and get comfortable, adjusting an extra pillow for him.

A part of Shaw clamored that she should turn away – that she should leave this place and give the two some privacy – but another part of her protested that if they didn’t want to be seen, they should have closed the blinds or curtains. It then occurred to her that the apartment didn’t have either. Did they actually want people to see them? Or maybe Reese was some sort of exhibitionist, putting his conquests on display behind those ridiculously large windows? But the way he had touched Finch seemed much more caring – he had not treated him like a mere conquest, a notch to put on his belt or wherever. As Shaw continued to watch, Reese toed off his shoes and removed his shirt and slacks, draping them over the back of a chair before slipping into bed clad only in his underwear. There was some rustling as he settled in, then the two lovers grew still.

Shaw waited. And waited. And waited. She admitted to herself that she had hoped to see some man-on-man action, and although she felt slightly repulsed by the idea, she couldn’t deny that the image of Reese humping against the other man made her burn with a long-forgotten desire. After half an hour had passed with no sweaty male acrobatics, however, she realized that the two vigilantes must have fallen asleep. They might have been talking, of course, whispering sweet nothings to each other, but if they were going to do the deed tonight, they would have started something by now. With a sigh, she pulled herself back from the window and tucked away her binoculars. At least she knew where Reese lived now – she could keep checking back from time to time until she caught them in the act. She might even record some prime footage for blackmailing them later, although if they were concerned about that sort of exposure they would install curtains before they did anything.

Shaw grimaced, her emotions conflicted. At the moment, her first priority was to find an all-night diner where she could get some decent food. Then, once she got back to her current residence – an upscale apartment whose owners were on vacation – she might catch some sleep herself, dreaming about what the two men might do in the morning when they awoke with raging hard-ons and each other conveniently in the bed. The mere thought sent shivers through her body. When she had the chance, she was going to plant an eavesdropping device in Reese’s apartment – possibly in the library as well…

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14 Comments

  1. Kate

     /  2013/05/02

    Sweet!! Poor Shaw! Great story, Thea!

    Reply
    • Thank you! If I had more time I might have had our boys rumpling up the bedding, but I have other commitments so poor Shaw never got her show… XD

      Reply
  2. Plink42

     /  2013/05/02

    So Shaw does have feelings, and a bit of a naughty side. 😉

    This was excellent. You’ve really caught Shaw’s voice and attitude. She may be resentful, but she’s also jealous. Can’t blame her, really.

    Lovely! 😀

    Reply
  3. They are so adorable!! I hope that Reese knows she was watching…wouldn’t like to think of Shaw getting over on him, possibly harming them now or later.

    Reply
    • In my mind, Reese saw her in the window and that’s why they didn’t go all the way. But he also loves just cuddling with Finch. 😉

      Reply
  4. managerie76

     /  2013/05/02

    Reese being all romance and sweetness. NICE.
    Shaw needs to chill…although….maybe she can share some pics?
    LMAO

    Reply
    • Yeah, once she catches them doing anything! And assuming Finch doesn’t buy drapes for Reese before then. 😉

      Reply
  5. rainiejanie

     /  2013/05/02

    Add much as I (embarrassingly) like smut, I like cuddling just as much. This was so sweet. That dinner sounded yummy! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Kate

     /  2013/05/08

    I’ve always liked to picture Finch as a secret exhibitionist!

    Reply
  7. Sam Rawana

     /  2013/11/17

    What Shaw never thought she’ll see, is a breath of life, that John and Harold are living. They living the here and now, and that unsettles Shaw, because she now putting her own life under the microscope, and coming up short.

    Reply

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