Title: Fire on the Water
Pairing: John Reese/Jordan Hester
Fandom: Person of Interest
Table: 2, writers_choice
Prompt: 491, Clay/Mold
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely John Reese or Jordan Hester, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***John sat alone at a table in his favorite restaurant, trying not to look at his watch. Jordan was joining him for lunch, and he was happy to be able to give his boyfriend some good news. He'd finally, after what felt like forever, talked Harold into letting Jordan into their confidence.
This wasn't going to go smoothly or easily for any of the three of them; he was all too aware of that fact. But it was something that had to be done, and Harold had finally admitted that, albeit reluctantly. Jordan already knew so much about what they did, after all.
Just the thought of Harold talking to Jordan had made John nervous, so had had convinced his partner that he should be the one to talk to his boyfriend. The two of them would have to spend time together eventually, but Harold was too prickly over revealing his secrets at the moment.
John didn't think that Jordan would take the information badly; in fact, he was fairly sure that his boyfriend could be an asset to the two of them once he knew everything that was going on. Jordan might be invaluable to them when they needed an extra person.
Of course, he wasn't crazy about that idea, but he'd had to reluctantly agree with Harold that there were times when they needed more help than they had. He just didn't like the idea of putting Jordan into the middle of what they did. He hadn't signed up for this, after all.
But as Harold had so succinctly pointed out when they had talked at length about the situation, Jordan was already a part of what they did, simply by virtue of being involved with John. He couldn't simply keep his head buried in the sand. Not any longer.
John felt as though he was caught between a rock and a hard place, and he didn't know which direction to turn in. A part of him wanted Jordan to know everything about his life and what he did, and another part wanted to protect his boyfriend from anything that could happen.
Bringing Jordan into what he and Harold did wasn't going to protect the man he loved -- it was only going to expose Jordan to more danger. That wasn't what he wanted -- but he didn't have the right to keep Jordan out of what was an intrinsic part of his life.
Harold had said that this would be a chance for him to mold Jordan, to form someone who was more or less a piece of malleable clay when it came to the world they inhabited. But John wasn't sure that he wanted to do that. He loved Jordan just the way he was.
He himself had become a bitter, jaded man long before his time, and Jordan was slowly but surely erasing that bitterness and anger from his life. He didn't want to turn the tables and add that kind of attitude to Jordan's life; his boyfriend didn't need to deal with that.
Harold and Jordan were the two people closest to him in all the world, and they were like oil and water, John thought with a wry smile. There were things about the two men that were very similar, but he had the feeling that they would never mix easily.
Or maybe it was more like fire and water, he mused as he sat back in his chair, his eyes on the doorway of the restaurant. Jordan was the fire in his life, the man who made his heart and soul burn; Harold was the cool, soothing water, the person who knew how to keep him steady.
Jordan was good at that, too, but still, he was more the fire in John's life. Whenever he was saw Jordan or was near him, he couldn't stop his heart from beating faster, or the blood from pumping through his veins more strongly. Jordan set him on fire.
Though there were times, too, when Jordan soothed his soul. When he was lying in bed with his boyfriend after they had made love, or when he awakened in the pale grey light of early dawn, Jordan made everything seem right with the world. Jordan made his soul sing.
It was as though Hardol was the cool depth of water that John immersed himself in to hold himself away from the rest of the world, and Jordan was the fire that swept across that water, setting his heart and soul aflame and reminding him that he was indeed human and had needs.
It was interesting combination of people in his life, John mused, another wry smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Fire on the water, both of them managing to coexist in his life without crowding each other out -- though it was a delicate balance at best.
Which one of them would give in to the other's questions first? He couldn't help thinking that Jordan would; he wasn't used to dissembling in the way that Harold was, and he really didn't have as much to hide. Compared to Harold, Jordan was an open book.
Besides, Harold already knew almost all there was to know about Jordan from the time they'd spent helping him get his identity back from that bitch. John's lip curled in disgust when he thought of her; she was lower than dirt to him, and he was glad that she was behind bars.
He'd helped put her there, and he was glad that she would never trouble Jordan again. He wanted to forget all that had happened, and just concentrate on the fact that it had all brought Jordan to him. In some ways, maybe that identity crisis had been a good thing.
There were still a lot of hurdles to get over, he thought with a sigh. It wasn't going to be easy to make Jordan understand just why he did what he did, why it meant so much to him to continue helping people, even though it put him in the line of fire. He couldn't simply stop.
No, that would be impossible. And there was no way that he and Harold could make themselves slow down; the machine gave them a new number every day, and the two of them couldn't just turn their backs on anyone who needed their help. It was unthinkable.
Who would do this, if not for them? They had to keep on with it -- and Jordan had to become a part of what they did. He couldn't be the center of John's life and not be involved in this; John knew that it wasn't an option to hold anything back any longer.
But neither was it an option to try and mold Jordan into what they thought he should be to help them, as Harold had so obliquely suggested. He wasn't the kind of man who would simply accept that -- and John didn't want to change him. The less Jordan was involved, the better.
He didn't want his boyfriend to change. He loved Jordan just the way he was; if they brought him all the way into what they did, then they might take something away from him, a kind of naiveté that John found charming, an attitude that was a part of who Jordan was.
If Jordan lost that air of innocence that he sometimes had about him, then he would have become a different person -- and John didn't want that. Maybe it would fade away at some point, but he didn't want to be part of what sent it on its way, never to be seen again.
He couldn't mold Jordan into a different man. He didn't want to, no matter that Harold might think it would be a necessity for Jordan to keep being a part of his world. If that meant that he himself had to keep a foot in two separate worlds, then so be it. He would try his best to do that.
Harold was just going to have to accept Jordan exactly as he was, John told himself firmly. The two of them might not mix well, they might be like fire sweeping over water, but they would have to learn to deal with each other, as they were both a big part of his life.
He was sure that the two of them would adapt, and that he could reconcile the two parts of his life, both the part that faced danger and darkness with Harold, and the part of his life that lay with Jordan and represented light and love. He would bring both sides together.
There would be no molding of one person to fit the ideas of another. He was going to make that clear; Jordan wasn't going to be forced to fit into a position that Harold might envision him in. He was going to have the opportunity to walk away from this life, if that was what he chose to do.
John sincerely hoped that things wouldn't come to that point; he didn't want to force either himself or Jordan to make a choice that would cause them both a lot of heartache. He wanted to make this work, for all three of them. He wanted to bring all the disparate sides of his life into focus.
He would have to find ways to smooth over any problem that might crop up between Jordan and Harold; it might not be easy, but he would do it. They were the two people he cared about most in the world, and he didn't intend to give either of them up -- or walk away from what he did.
Seeing Jordan walk through the door brought a smile to John's face; he raised a hand to catch his boyfriend's eye. He could already feel that flame of desire starting to rise inside him with just one look at the man he loved, spreading over the calm waters of his soul like wildfire.
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