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Kelly ([personal profile] gonerunningaway) wrote2013-10-05 03:36 pm

Mnemosyne, Chapter One: Erato

Title: Mnemosyne, Chapter One: Erato
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: NC-17
Word Count (this chapter): 3,996
Notes: Beware the explicit sex, as well as John Reese's black hole of self-worth. [personal profile] orockthro illustrated the sex from the chapter (obviously not safe for work or children), and it is amazing.

Master Post

“Mr. Reese,” Finch said.

John looked up from the book he’d mostly been staring at. “Yes, Finch?”

“Have you forgotten how to read, or are you just trying not to sleep?” When John didn’t answer, Finch said, “I thought as much. We’ll pick up something to eat and take it back to your loft.”

“Why don’t we go to your place, Harold?” It probably would have worked a lot better if John hadn’t immediately followed it with a yawn.

Harold just gave him a look. “Mr. Reese, you haven’t slept in more than two days, and you’ve been involved in at least three and a half altercations in that time.”

“Half?” Before Harold could answer, John did it himself. “You mean the one where the guy tripped on Bear’s leash.”

“I don’t believe it counts as a completed altercation if the other man knocks himself out,” Finch said tartly. “Regardless, you have an appointment with a good meal, a hot shower, and sleep, and I don’t think either of us would enjoy it if you woke up in a strange place and you couldn’t remember getting there.”

“Maybe you can read me a bedtime story.” He punctuated it with a slight smile, rather than a yawn, and it got a better result: Harold smiled back.

“That depends entirely on what you have on hand.” He called for Bear and snapped the dog’s leash on once he got there, then stood with what looked like some effort and a lot of pain.

“You need a hot shower, too,” John said reproachfully.

“I planned on a warm bath and a narcotic,” he said.

“Then it’s a good thing I have a tub. Your meds are still in your bag, right?”

“This is not a sleepover,” Harold said. “This is an attempt to get you to sleep before we get another number.”

“The Machine might take pity on us,” John said, but he didn’t bother to really hope for that outcome. “Come on. You won’t have to call a car or take a cab back to wherever you planned to stay tonight, just get to my loft.”

Rather than answer, Harold picked up his phone. “Vietnamese tonight, I think,” he said, then dialed. “Get my bag, please.”

The tone sent a jolt through John, brain to cock; despite the ‘please’, it had the definite sound of an order. “Sure, Harold. Vietnamese sounds fine.” He stood and found Harold’s bag, and the two of them and Bear left the library. John closed the gate behind them and opened the door ahead as Harold placed their order.

The restaurant was only two blocks out of the way, and Harold said, “The walk will be good for me, and Bear could use it,” when John stopped to hail a cab. John held the umbrella over all three of them as they walked at the pace Harold set. He’d have to dry Bear later, though.

John took the bag when they paid for their takeout. “You paid,” he said at Harold’s look. “And you have Bear.”

“I’m not sure why having Bear’s leash means I can’t carry a bag of food,” he said, “but I’ll let it go.”

John really was very tired; Harold had been right in how he’d summed up the last couple of days. They’d saved Gina McCarthy, though, and gotten her brother, Ethan, arrested. He’d probably already been disinherited by their grandmother.

Those facts did not mean John didn’t seriously consider going to bed in his suit, but he could imagine Harold’s expression if he followed through on the thought. Instead, he hung their coats, put his shoes and jacket away, and went to dry Bear while Harold unpacked their food.

They ate bánh mì on the couch while Bear had the designer dog food they’d recently started him on (though John gave him a couple of pieces of ham; Bear had been working hard, too). Then they finished off by vegetable rolls, and by the time they were done, John felt pleasantly sleepy, which fit his physical exhaustion.

“Shower, Mr. Reese,” Harold said when John started to collect their dishes. “I know where the dishwasher is.”

“Thank you, Harold,” John said and kissed him.

They both froze, John instantly aware of the fact that Harold wasn’t moving into it but also wasn’t pulling away, while about half his mind shouted at him about what a terrible idea this had been, how Finch wasn’t going to want to do more than work with him after this, and then—

And then Harold rested a hand on the back of John’s neck, kissing him back, and John opened his mouth when Harold did the same. John might be bone-deep tired, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy this, and just as he was considering what he might be able to do for Harold after they were done kissing, Harold pulled away.

“Shower, Mr. Reese,” he said in almost the same tone, but with a hint more steel and a touch more affection. “I believe I’ll stay here tonight, if that’s all right with you.”

“Which side of the bed do you sleep on?”

“The left,” he said.

“I sleep kind of in the middle, so I might end up on top of you,” John said. He thought it was an entirely appealing idea.

“That should be fine, Mr. Reese.” Harold stood and gave him a gentle push toward the bathroom before collecting the dishes John had already stacked.

John detoured only to collect a pair of pajama pants on his way to the bathroom. He nearly dozed off in the shower, something he hadn’t done in a few months, and that told him he probably wouldn’t be up for much more than a little kissing before he did fall asleep. Then again, Harold had been sitting on either the couch in the library or in his computer chair for the same two days as John had spent running around after Gina. While it was a good enough ergonomic chair, John figured anyone would be sore after spending most of two days sitting in it.

Once he’d toweled off and pulled on the pants he’d brought, he picked up his clothes. He’d normally just toss them into the closet to deal with when less exhausted, but, this time, he was aware of Finch’s presence on his couch. Because of that, he took the time to rehang his pants, smoothing out wrinkles before he put them in the closet beside his jacket, and tossed the rest into the hamper. Then he went over to the couch, where Finch was working on his laptop, and bent to kiss him.

Finch kissed him back, willing and easy. His faint stubble—Harold had stubble; John had half-thought he just willed his facial hair to stay below his skin—caught at John’s and left the faint feel of scratches behind. He wondered if, one week, he could get Harold to not shave at all. He’d have some wonderful beard burn at the end.

Harold broke the kiss with a hand on John’s chest and gentle pressure, making him straighten. “Do you have anything I might wear tonight, Mr. Reese?”

“I have some pants and boxers that should be your size,” John admitted.

Harold gave him an inquisitive look.

“In case you had to stay here because your safehouses were blown or you were in too much danger, or if…” John trailed off. It felt stupid, had even when he bought them, but he’d had that tiny grain of hope.

“Then it was a good idea, wasn’t it?” Harold said briskly. “I have clothes in your size in various places around the city, too, I must admit.”

John relaxed. “I’ll get them for you. Shirt, too?”

“No, I think I’ll go without one. Your bed should be warm enough.” Harold set his laptop aside and stood slowly, as though unlocking his joints. “I’ll take a bath before I join you.”

John felt giddy as he got out the clothes for Harold. The idea of Harold sleeping in his bed was enough to make him feel something beyond happiness; the idea of Harold sleeping in his bed shirtless, with the potential for more than just sleep once they’d both woken up, was dizzying. He wound up pinching the underside of his own forearm to make sure he hadn’t fallen asleep back in the library and dreamt the whole thing.

He knocked when he brought the clothes to the bathroom door, and Harold called, “Come in.” He had the bath running, but it wasn’t making the mirror fog, John saw when he opened the door; he must have meant it when he said he wanted a warm bath. “Do you have any Epsom salts?” he went on.

John looked away from the not-fogging mirror and over to the toilet; Harold was sitting on the lid as he peeled off his socks. He’d already taken off everything from the waist up, glasses aside; his undershirt, shirt, vest, and jacket were all draped over the counter. John was suddenly glad he kept it clean. “Under the sink,” he said. His throat felt dry, and he took a sip of water from the glass on the counter before bending to get the salts, then set the bag on the counter. “You’ll smell like Vicks for a while, though,” and now he was stalling and Harold had to know it.

“That’s the kind I use. Thank you. I find it helps when I’m particularly stiff.” Harold stood and glanced at John pointedly.

“Yell if you need anything else,” John said and stepped back out, closing the door. He groaned, rubbing his eyes. He was much too tired to think this through. Bear looked over from his bed, ears pricked, and John gave him a look. “Don’t be like that.”

Bear gave him a doggy smile, leapt to his feet, found a ball, and brought it to him.

“Five minutes,” he told the dog. “No more than five minutes.”

It didn’t matter how long it actually was, though; dogs couldn’t tell time, and John wasn’t keeping track. By the time his throws were slightly off kilter, Bear looked ready to quit. John just set the ball down, and Bear walked off, claws clicking on the floor, to slurp water from his bowl.

Since John didn’t know how long Harold usually soaked, he decided he’d just go to bed. He got a glass of water and brought it to the bed, then stopped. The nightstand was on the left, where he usually reached for water, but Harold would sleep there. He could move the nightstand…

Or he could just reach over Harold when he got thirsty. It probably wouldn’t wake him, and it definitely wouldn’t be as awkward as getting caught moving the furniture around.

So he set the water down, folded back the sheet and blankets, and went about turning off most of the lights, just leaving on the under-cabinet ones in the kitchen and the one on the nightstand. He put all of the most comfortable pillows on Harold’s side, since he didn’t know how many he used, and punched down the others before he slid in, just to the right of the middle.

Harold came out before he was asleep; he stood beside the bed a moment, seemingly indecisive, and John blinked up at him.

“I found your spare toothbrush,” Harold said. “I hope that’s all right.”

“You pay me more than enough to replace a toothbrush.” He patted Harold’s side of the bed. “Get comfortable.”

Harold’s mouth twitched slightly; then he set down his glasses and got in bed. John realized a moment later that ‘getting comfortable’ meant, to Harold, a couple of minutes to rearrange pillows around and under himself. One wound up under his knees, another below his lower back, and the third shifted around to support his head in what was probably an imperfect way.

“Do you need another?” John asked, his voice sleepy.

“It’s hardly fair to use nearly all your pillows,” Harold said.

“I could sleep on the floor with none and be fine.” John lifted himself up on one elbow and gave Harold one of his last two pillows.

Harold sat up to fold it in half and position it between his knees, then lay back down. “It’s not that I’m not glad you do, but why do you have so many pillows, Mr. Reese?”

John shrugged with his right shoulder; he lay curled on his left side, facing Harold. “It’s a luxury. I didn’t have many of those for a long time.”

Harold switched off the light and didn’t answer for a moment. Finally, just before John edged into sleep, he said, “Perhaps I’ll get you more, then.”

John smiled to himself in the dark. He reached over to set a hand on Harold’s arm and fell asleep.

When bright light poured in through the south-facing windows the next morning, John groaned and shifted closer to the warmth beside him. He should get up and walk Bear, but he didn’t want to leave Harold in his bed. This was his for now; when he got up, it would slip away.

Then Harold made a small, pained sound, one that probably only escaped because he was mostly asleep, and John was fully, immediately awake and upright, if still in bed. “Harold. What do you need?”

Harold’s eyes squeezed shut for a moment, then he squinted at John. “There are medications in my bag. Bring it, please.”

John got up and hurried to the couch to grab the bag. Bear beat him back to Harold, nosing at his arm and making little pleading sounds.

“Yes, very good, Bear,” Harold muttered. He’d put on his glasses in the seconds John had his back turned. He stroked the dog’s head, then pushed him away gently.

“Which ones?” John asked, finding the little toiletries bag of bottles at the bottom.

“Just give them to me, please, Mr. Reese.”

A couple of pills, washed down with John’s glass of water, and Harold handed the toiletries bag back. “Those should help shortly.”

“How can I help?” John asked; he couldn’t stand the way the skin around Harold’s eyes looked tight, his mouth drawn.

“There aren’t many things that work better than the medication,” he said dryly, “but breakfast would help me digest them faster.”

“What do you want?” John asked.

With what looked like tremendous effort, even though he didn’t make a sound, Harold sat up and turned so he sat on the edge of the bed. “I don’t suppose you could poach eggs.”

“Harold,” John said, injured, “do you think I can’t cook?”

“On the contrary, I know you can. I also know that poached eggs aren’t something everyone who can cook knows how to make.”

“Two?” he asked.

“Two and toast with jam, if you have it.”

“Anything else?”

“I don’t suppose you have tea,” Harold said.

John did, in fact, have tea. Good tea, too; he’d gotten Zoe’s opinion. She didn’t know much about tea, but she had a contact who imported it and who gave him expert opinions on all the main varieties. He’d replaced his stash twice already without using any of it more than once, since tea apparently went stale; he donated it to Carter, whose mother loved tea, both times. (“I don’t want to know how you know that, John. We’ve talked about boundaries.”) “Green, black, oolong, or white?”

The smile Harold gave him made John want to kiss him, so he did, crouching down to do so. Harold kissed him back, stroking one hand down the back of his head, then pulled back. “Oolong, please.”

“I have some good ones,” John said. He rose again and went into the kitchen. “Ten minutes,” he called back.

While the eggs cooked and the toaster heated, he fed Bear so that he’d leave them alone while they ate. Harold’s tea steeped while John kept an eye on the moka pot. He got their food together just before their drinks would be ready and brought the plates to the living room. Harold had already made his way to the couch, and John set their food on the coffee table in front of him. Then he went back for Harold’s tea and his own not-quite-espresso (he hadn’t felt like using the hulking espresso machine that took up a corner of his generous counter space to make the real thing). He’d made the tea in the one cup he owned that had a saucer; he put two cubes of sugar on the saucer, beside the cup, and a spoon in the tea. Harold looked appropriately pleased by that, though he didn’t use the sugar.

John sat close to Harold as they ate, but not so close that he’d jostle him or keep him from being able to actually eat. He’d like to be much closer, at least touching him, but he wasn’t entirely sure of where they stood. Carter would laugh in his face for it, but he didn’t know the boundaries of whatever they’d started. Even so, his breakfast tasted better than usual, and he could swear his coffee was richer.

“Thank you, John,” Harold said as John cleared away the plates. He looked more relaxed, the skin around his eyes less tight. “That was very good.”

“Next time, I’ll make you Eggs Benedict and a whole pot of tea,” he said.

As he took the dishes into the kitchen, Harold asked the obvious question: “You have a teapot?”

John didn’t answer until he got back to the living room. “You like tea.”

He knelt before Harold and reached up to kiss him, slow and easy. Harold still tasted like raspberry jam. He kissed him back, cupping his face at first, then running one hand up and through his hair. He slid the other hand lower and back, grasping the back of John’s neck with just enough pressure, and John moaned. He surged forward hungrily, trying to kiss Harold harder, and Harold stopped him with a sharp tug on his hair. He’d already been half-hard, but that brought him all the way there.

He rested one hand in the middle of Harold’s left thigh and ran the other up the inside of his right. Harold nipped gently at John’s lower lip, and he took that as encouragement. Once he reached Harold’s cock, Harold’s grip on the back of his neck tightened, and he rubbed Harold’s thigh while running his hand, using just a little pressure, up the length of his cock.

Harold pulled back and used the hand that had been in John’s hair to grip his chin; their eyes met. “Do you want this, John?”

John licked his lips, gaze dropping to Harold’s lap and back up. “I’ve wanted it for years, Harold.”

“Then you can have it.” He leaned forward to kiss John again, lighter, and John took it, fumbling at the same time with the button fly of Harold’s pajama pants.

He managed to get Harold’s cock out of the flies of both his boxers and pajama pants, and he dropped from kneeling upright to resting back on his heels and bending forward. It had been some time since he’d given a blowjob; the last time had been part of an assignment in Germany, giving the guy enough of a distraction that he wouldn’t go back to his apartment before Kara could ransack it. This was entirely different, entirely better; this was Harold.

Harold made a soft sound as John licked a line up his cock. Then he took it in his mouth, just the head at first, where he could easily run his tongue all around it and find the especially sensitive spots. Harold moved the hand on the back of his neck up to the back of his head, slid the one that he’d used to grip John’s chin back into his hair, and John half-moaned, half-tried to mumble Harold’s name around the head of his cock. Harold pressed, just the tiniest bit, on the back of John’s head for half a second, and John read it as instruction; he took as much of Harold’s cock in his mouth as he could without choking. He kept one hand on Harold’s thigh, used the other to play with Harold’s balls as much as he could through two layers of clothes. Harold didn’t thrust into his mouth, although John would have loved it if he had; instead, he used his hands on John’s head to direct him. Slight pressure on the back of his head forward, gentle tug on his hair back, and Harold set up a rhythm. He made small, sharp sounds as John sucked him.

John was so hard it ached; his skin felt too tight, and he felt little electric sparks from everywhere he and Harold touched. He kept his hands on Harold, but he couldn’t help jerking his own hips at how raw this made him feel, how open and hot at once, and he couldn’t imagine how it might feel with more contact. He shuddered under Harold’s hands, around his cock, and sucked harder. His own cock twitched in his pants, and he thought how it would feel if Harold fucked him, if he held him in this same way when he fucked his mouth, his hands on John’s head and controlling everything that way. His cock rubbed against the waistband of his pants, and he was more feverishly glad than ever that he didn’t wear underwear to bed. He humped air and cloth, matching Harold’s rhythm, and then Harold made a sound, desperate and purely sex, and John came. As soon as he relaxed, he closed his eyes and focused on Harold.

Harold didn’t seem to realize what had happened. He sped up the pace John moved his head at, and John used every trick with his tongue he remembered, did as much as he could to get Harold there. It worked within a couple of minutes; Harold choked out, “Oh, John,” and then spurted into John’s mouth.

John swallowed it all, and Harold’s hands on his head relaxed. He tucked Harold’s cock back into his pants and boxers, then rested his cheek on Harold’s thigh, looking up at him.

Harold looked at him tenderly, as though he valued John, and it was too much; John closed his eyes. “John, let me—” Harold began, and John shook his head.

“I already…” Heat rose in his cheeks. “I already finished.”

“Oh.” Harold sounded startled. “Then you did enjoy it.”

John’s eyes snapped open. “Why wouldn’t I?” He’d tried to show Harold how much he wanted it, but if he hadn’t done it well enough, then Harold probably wouldn’t want to do this again.

“The way I controlled how you moved.” He looked vaguely uncomfortable, but his voice stayed steady. “I apologize, Mr. Reese, if that wasn’t something you wanted…”

“It was perfect,” John interrupted. “You can do—you can do anything to me, Harold.”

Harold stroked a hand tenderly through his hair. “You mean that, don’t you?”

“You gave me my life,” he said.

His hand stilled. “I don’t want you to do this out of—out of some misguided sense of obligation, Mr. Reese.”

John cringed inwardly. If he’d screwed this up, he’d never forgive himself. “No, not like—it’s not that, Harold. It’s—I wouldn’t have you or Bear or anyone else without you. And I—” He stopped again, trying to find the right words. “I don’t think I owe you for it,” he said finally, which was not entirely true. “But I want you to have all of me.”

He must have understood something; he started to stroke John’s hair again. “I see.”

John wasn’t sure he did, which Harold apparently divined telepathically.

“We’ll have to find a way to make it clear that you’re mine, then.”

John turned his face into Harold’s thigh and beamed.

Chapter Two