Title: My Back Pages
Pairing: John Reese/Jordan Hester
Fandom: Person of Interest
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 up in bed, looking over at the clock and sighing when he realized that only ten minutes had passed since the last time he'd looked at it. He really should be with Jordan tonight, but he had wanted some time to himself, ostensibly to sort out his feelings.
He was becoming more and more convinced each day that he and Harold needed to take Jordan into their confidence, to let him know exactly what they did. But still, a part of him didn't want to get Jordan involved in the shadiness of the world they inhabited.
Jordan was already involved in that world, just by virtue of being with him, John reminded himself as he ran a hand over his face. He might not be in too deep, but the longer he was with John, the more curious he would get about just what his lover did, until he'd have to be told.
Sooner or later, Jordan would have to know. Harold resisted telling him, because he didn't think anyone should know about the machine -- but John was convinced that Jordan could be trusted. His boyfriend might even be able to help them, at least in ways that weren't dangerous.
He sighed, pushing that thought away as soon as it coalesced into his mind. Everything they did was dangerous, and he wasn't going to have Jordan caught up in that world if he could help it. No, he wanted his boyfriend kept far away from that side of his life.
Jordan had already been involved in that part of what he did once -- and he'd had to look down the barrel of a gun during that time. He didn't blame Jordan for freezing in fear; it wasn't an experience that anyone should have to deal with who hadn't been trained to face that eventuality.
Jordan was a brave man, but he didn't want to put his boyfriend into the position where he had to face any kind of danger. He didn't want to think about anything happening to Jordan; he needed that part of his life to stay inviolate, untouched by what he did for a living.
But sooner or later, Jordan would have to know. He couldn't keep things from his lover forever; he hated to keep evading questions, and he didn't want to lie to Jordan outright. He wanted their relationship to be open and trusting, and that wouldn't happen if he had to keep prevaricating.
He had hidden so much of himself from former lovers; he didn't want to keep doing that with Jordan. This relationship wasn't going to be a copy of any of the others; this was going to be something that lasted, a relationship that would keep him grounded.
It had been so much easier to lie to his partners in the past than it was to lie to Jordan, John thought as he turned over onto his back to stare up at the ceiling. Maybe that was because he loved Jordan more than he had thought he could ever love anyone.
Oh, he'd been in love in the past, he wouldn't deny that. But those loves, as strong as they'd been at the time, paled before what he felt for Jordan. Those people had been a part of his life; Jordan was a part of him, his heart and soul, the very air that he breathed.
Jordan made his life happier. That was the long and short of it. Without Jordan in his life, he would be a much older person now; Jordan kept him young. In fact, he had felt much older in the past, when he hadn't had this kind of love to light up his life.
His back pages had been full of deception, lying to the people who had been closest to him. He shouldn't have had to do that; the people he loved should be the ones to be able to shore him up, to know the worst about him and still love him for who he was.
That was what he wanted with Jordan, John told himself. He wanted to be able to tell Jordan everything about his life, the good and the bad, and still be loved in spite of some of the things he had to do. He needed that love, that acceptance.
He had felt so much older then, the weight of the world, as well as his lies to the people he loved, aging him before his time. But now, with Jordan, he felt younger, rejuvenated. How much longer would that last if he had to lie to his boyfriend, to keep holding things back from him?
John sighed, turning over and punching his pillow savagely. He didn't want to lie to Jordan, but it seemed that the only way to keep his lover safe was to do just that. He felt guilty, but at the same time, he wasn't going to risk Jordan's life by pulling him into the shadows that he himself lived amongst.
Jordan didn't need that darkness seeping into his life, bringing him down into the shadows. It was enough that one of them had to dwell there, John told himself fiercely. He wasn't going to pull Jordan down to that level. Rather, he was hoping that Jordan could help him climb out of it.
He didn't want to stop doing what he did -- he knew that he and Harold were helping people, even though their brand of help came from the shadows, behind the scenes. If they weren't committed to what they did, he would never have met Jordan and found love.
But he didn't want Jordan to be a part of it, either. Though he couldn't help thinking that it was inevitable for Jordan to at least find out about it -- not only the surface, but all of what his work involved. And then he had no idea what would happen to them.
Jordan could very well decide that he didn't want to be with a man who had to keep so much of his life cloaked in secrecy. John didn't think he would take that attitude, but just in case he did, it was best to be prepared for it. He couldn't count on anything.
John closed his eyes, swallowing hard and pushing that thought away. He wasn't going to think of Jordan in that way. His boyfriend wasn't the kind of man who would walk away just because of what John did; Jordan had more loyalty to him and their relationship than to do something like that.
Jordan would stay by his side, no matter what. He'd already said that several times, and John believed him with all of his heart and soul. He wanted to believe those words; knowing that Jordan was committed to their relationship meant more to him than he could say.
No one else had ever evinced that kind of commitment to him. They'd said they would stay, but they had turned their backs on him when he'd needed them. Either that, or he'd pushed them away himself, not wanting to taint them with what he considered to be his own personal darkness.
It was different with Jordan. This man had given him a new life. He'd been so much older back then, when he felt that he was facing life alone; he was younger than that now, with Jordan by his side to make his spirits soar. He wouldn't give that feeling up, not without a fight.
Ever since he'd been with Jordan, he had felt the weight of his years lifting away from him, evaporating as though he was regressing back to when he'd been a man younger in years. Though during his younger years, he'd had heavier burdens to carry than he did now.
It was strange, he thought, to feel that he was younger now than he'd been then. But he did, and that was because he'd found the love of a good man. He only hoped that he could hold on to that love -- and that he would prove that he deserved it, as well.
Harold might think it was a bad idea to tell Jordan everything about what they did, but John didn't think so. Jordan could be trusted; he wasn't someone who would take some sort of moral high ground and threaten to turn them in to the authorities. Jordan would understand it, all of it.
After all, they'd helped him, hadn't they? So he owed them, in a way. John was sure that Jordan felt that way; even though John demurred whenever he said the words, Jordan still seemed to think that he owed John much more than gratitude for getting his identity back.
As far as John was concerned, that shoe belonged on the other foot. He was the one who owed Jordan, for pulling him away from an edge that he'd been gradually moving closer towards. Jordan had pulled him back from that edge, kept him from letting himself topple into oblivion.
He would have done that sooner or later, he was sure of it. Even though he felt that he was doing some good in the world, he had felt more and more alone and isolated, as though his life didn't really matter other than in relation to what he did for other people.
He didn't matter to himself. He hadn't for a long time. But Jordan had changed all that; Jordan had made him hope again, after having given up on hope for so long. There was a light at the end of a very long tunnel now, and he wasn't going to turn away from that light.
His back pages had effectively extinguished that light for years, but now that it was back, he was going to keep moving towards it, and never let it go out again. If that meant taking the risk to make Jordan even more a part of everything in his life, then he would do it.
Somehow, he would have to convince Harold that taking Jordan into their confidence was the best thing to do, and that wasn't going to be easy. But he would manage to do it somehow -- because he couldn't keep holding things back from his lover. It simply didn't feel right.
He didn't think that Jordan would simply turn and walk away, but it would put more and more of a strain on their relationship if he kept secrets from his boyfriend. He wanted to be completely honest with Jordan, to lay his life bare before the man he loved.
With that thought in mind, he swung his long legs out of bed, looking at the clock. It was nearly six o'clock in the morning -- and even though Jordan would be surprised to see him showing up at the door so early, he needed to see his boyfriend, spend time with him.
He needed to keep feeling young, and being with Jordan did that for him. He was so much younger now than he'd been years ago; Jordan had done that for him. And right now, all he wanted was to hold the man he loved in his arms and feel young again, even if it was only for a little while.
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