Title: Innocence
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: John Reese/Jordan Hester
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: PG-13
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 propped himself up on one elbow, blinking in the moonlight that streamed in through Jordan's bedroom window. He looked down at the man beside him, a soft smile curving his lips as he studied Jordan's handsome features, memorizing them.

His boyfriend looked so young and innocent when he slept like this, John thought to himself. All the worries and cares were wiped away; he looked like a teenager, or at least like a younger man. Not that he was so very old, John mused. Jordan was only thirty; that was young.

He himself was in his later thirties, and there were times when he felt twice that old. There were days when it was hard to go to Harold's office, to wait for the machine to give them a number. It wasn't how he wanted to spend the rest of his life.

What he did was an atonement, a way to somehow try to make up for some of the damage he had caused in the past. But he didn't intend to be doing this twenty years from now, when he was old and grey. No, by then he wanted to be out of this, and building a life with Jordan.

It was what Jordan wanted, too; he knew that from the few discussions they'd had thus far about their future together. Jordan respected what he did, and he consented to be with John even though he knew that it could be dangerous. But how much longer would that last?

He didn't want Jordan to have to wait for an interminable length of time. And he didn't want to put off leaving what he was doing for so long that Jordan got tired of waiting, and decided that he'd had enough of it. That, more than anything else, was his greatest fear.

Losing Jordan wasn't an option. At the very beginning of their relationship, he might have been able to force himself to turn and walk away from this man, telling himself that doing so would be best for Jordan, that it would keep him safe. But he could no longer do that.

He was in love with Jordan Hester, more deeply than he'd ever loved anyone else. He hadn't expected this; he hadn't thought that his emotions would become so deeply involved so quickly. But it had happened, and now, for him, there was no turning back, not for any reason.

John couldn't take his eyes off Jordan, even as all of his thoughts seemed to swirl like a whirling dervish in his mind. He was drawn to the complete innocence that Jordan exemplified, the innocence of not knowing exactly what John's life entailed.

He knew that what John did was dangerous; he'd known that before they had become a couple. Jordan wasn't completely innocent of what he did; he knew that it could get John killed, that he put his life on the line every day. But there were so many things he didn't know.

John desperately wanted to tell him, to draw Jordan into that magic circle around his life, to be able to confide in the man he loved, to talk to him, to unburden himself. But he knew that if he did so, that would only put Jordan's life at risk as well -- and he wouldn't risk Jordan being harmed.

He knew well enough that sooner or later, his enemies would discover his relationship with Jordan -- and try to use his boyfriend against him. They could even try to kill Jordan as retribution for all that John had done to brign them down. But hopefully, things wouldn't go that far.

If he was lucky, he would be able to get the two of them out of this city, leave this furtive life he led, and take Jordan some place where they could be together, without having to look over their shoulders every day. That was what he wanted, more than anything in the world.

But at the same time, he couldn't lie and pretend that a part of him wouldn't miss this life. He liked knowing that at the end of the day, he had helped someone. It made him feel that he did some good in the world, that he was important in the scheme of things.

He hadn't realized before that he wanted that, John mused as he gazed down at his boyfriend. He knew that Jordan thought of him as a hero; he had thought that was enough. But in some ways, he wanted other people to see him in that light, as well.

Why wasn't it enough to have his boyfriend's love, and his own self-respect? Was he so damaged from his years of working for the government that he needed everyone he tried to help to look at him as some kind of avenging angel, come down from the heavens to protect them?

He didn't want to be that kind of person; he didn't want to think of himself as someone who had to have the adulation of others to think well of himself. He had done some pretty horrific things in his past, but that was over now. He couldn't keep blaming himself for them.

And he couldn't keep atoning for them, either, John thought with a soft sigh. He had to put the past behind him, and stop trying to make up for it. He had to start looking ahead to his future with Jordan, not behind him at a past that he couldn't change.

If Jordan knew everything about his past, there was a good chance that he would be the one to turn away. John knew that Jordan might be horrified at some of the things he'd done, at how many lives he had knowingly ended. But he didn't think that would happen.

Jordan would still love him, even if his boyfriend knew the whole story of his past. John was sure of that; he knew that Jordan was the kind of man who was steadfast and constant, and that once he gave his heart to someone, that person had his heart for eternity.

That was one of the things he admired the most about Jordan, John told himself as he reached out to brush a lock of dark hair back from his sleeping boyfriend's forehead. Not many people loved that deeply, or would stand by someone they loved as faithfully as Jordan would.

In a way, that was a part of his innocence, John mused. He hoped that Jordan would never lose that quality; it was rare these days. That kind of steadfast fidelity was hard to find; too many people were too cynical about love and being faithful. Jordan would never be like that.

He wouldn't have thought it was possible to love someone so deeply, and yet not be able to share everything about his life with them, John thought with another soft sigh. He should be able to share his life with Jordan. It didn't seem fair that he couldn't.

Somehow, he had to talk Harold into letting Jordan into their world. He had to be completely honest with his boyfriend about what they did, and how they did it. Even though it might mean putting Jordan in more danger than he already was, he had a right to know.

John couldn't expect the kind of unconditional love that Jordan gave him to continue if he didn't open up about his life. Jordan wasn't going to go on indefinitely without knowing where he went and what he was doing, and John didn't blame him. Their relationship had to be more honest.

It wasn't enough for them to simply love each other; there had to be perfect honesty and trust between them for the relationship to work. That was one of the reasons his past relationships had failed, John thought, closing his eyes. He hadn't been completely honest in them, either.

This relationship wasn't going to fail. He wasn't going to lose Jordan. They weren't going to walk away from each other, and he wasn't going to risk his lover's life. He was going to be more open with Jordan, though he didn't know exactly when that would happen.

It had to happen soon. It wasn't fair to Jordan to leave him with all of these blank spaces surrounding their life together; he had a right to know about John's life, and to make the choice of whether they should stay together or not. It was all up to Jordan, really.

No, he couldn't do that, John told himself, one hand clenching into a fist. He couldn't force Jordan to make the decision about whether or not their relationship should continue on for a while in the way that it was. He was a part of this relationship, too. He couldn't put all of the burdens on Jordan.

He had to take responsibility for the fact that he hadn't told his boyfriend everything about himself and what he did. It didn't matter if Jordan said that didn't matter at this point; sooner or later, it would matter, and he wanted everything to be open and honest between them before then.

Of course, once he opened up and told Jordan everything, a part of his boyfriend's innocence would probably disappear for good. John hated to see that go, but he knew that they couldn't keep on indefinitely the way they were going. Sooner or later, Jordan would have to know.

He'd have to confront Harold about telling Jordan, too -- and that would be even harder than making himself tell Jordan everything about his life and what he did. Harold was adamant that they not tell anyone about the machine -- but John felt that Jordan had to be let into their world.

Grappling with Harold about this wouldn't be easy, but he would manage to come out on the winning side somehow, John told himself firmly. He had to. Something told him that the future of the relationship he shared with Jordan might depend on it -- and he wasn't giving that up.

Hopefully, finding out about his past, and what he did now, wouldn't cause too much of that innocence he found so appealing in Jordan to disappear. He wanted his boyfriend to hold on to that quality; he didn't want to see Jordan become as cynical and jaded as he himself was.

Or maybe he wasn't so jaded now, John thought with a soft smile, gazing down at the man he loved. Jordan's innocence had rubbed off on him, in some ways. He didn't look at life with quite such a skewered vision as he had before they'd met; he wasn't the man he used to be.

That was fine with him, as he was discovering that he liked the man he was becoming the longer he was with Jordan. John smiled as he leaned down to press a gentle kiss to his boyfriend's cheek. It seemed that he was regaining a part of his own innocence in some ways -- and he welcomed it with open arms.