Title: Violent World
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: John Reese/Jordan Hester
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: PG-13
Table: 1, stories_a_z
Prompt: V
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 raised himself up onto one elbow, looking down at the man sleeping peacefully in his arms. Jordan was breathing deeply and easily, completely relaxed in John's embrace; John wished that he could feel as calm as his boyfriend looked at the moment.

He hated that his life was so filled with danger that he couldn't tell Jordan where he went and what he did. He knew that Jordan accepted that, even though his boyfriend worried about what might happen to him. But he couldn't reveal those secrets -- not without putting Jordan in danger.

His world was full of a violence that he had no control over -- a violence that he added to, not out of desire to do so, but of necessity. Sometimes, the only way to fight for what was right was to fight fire with fire. There were times when he had no choice.

He didn't want to add to the violence in the word; he wished that he could stop it. But when the people on the wrong side didn't play by the rules, then he couldn't afford to do so, either. He wanted Jordan to be able to understand that, and to accept what he did.

Of course, Jordan did accept that -- and so far, he hadn't asked a lot of questions about it. It was enough for him that John tried to help people; he wasn't going to throw a monkey wrench into the works by asking questions that his lover wouldn't be able to answer.

But John was sure that eventually, Jordan would want to know more. He couldn't have a relationship with this man and not be honest with him; it went against his sense of right and wrong to lie to the person he loved, even if those lies might help to protect Jordan.

He simply didn't want Jordan to be drawn into the violence that seemed to surround his life; he'd seen what his boyfriend was like around guns. Jordan might know how to shoot, but he didn't like guns; he'd never be comfortable with them.

That was one of the things that he loved about this man, John thought as he gazed at Jordan's sleeping face. Jordan was a gentle, loving person; he had tried to be hard and tough when he'd gone through the identity theft incident, but that wasn't who he was.

Jordan would never be the kind of person who would be hardened by life, no matter how much it might make him suffer. There was something about him that was intrinsically gentle, and even a little innocent. John never wanted that to change.

They lived in a violent world, and there were times when John hated being in the middle of that violence. But if he hadn't been, then he would never have met Jordan, he reminded himself. It was because of what he did that they had met and fallen in love.

Jordan had been trapped by the violence for a while; it made John's blood run cold to think that this gentle, peaceful man could have even contemplated turning in a dark direction. He was grateful that he'd been there in Jordan's life to stop that from happening.

If Jordan had turned towards that dark side of himself and embraced it, there was no telling what he might have become. Yes, he was a gentle, kind man, but given enough time in the situation he'd been in, he could have become hardened and cold.

That was the last thing John wanted to see happen to Jordan. His boyfriend was better than that; better than him, really. John's lips quirked in a wry smile at the thought; he might try his best to help people, but sometimes his methods weren't the best.

Jordan would never be able to do what he did. If he was faced with making the kind of decisions that John did on a daily basis, he would more than likely be dead by now. He simply wasn't the kind of man who could deal well with violence.

He wanted to keep Jordan away from the world he inhabited every day, a world that could change the man he loved in ways that he didn't want to think about. He wanted to protect Jordan from that violence, to make sure that none of it ever touched him.

Could he do that? John wasn't sure that he could, but he was going to try his best. He wanted to keep his love safe in every way that he could -- and that included keeping him protected from the more unsavory aspects of what he himself did on a daily basis.

He didn't want anything about Jordan to change; as unrealistic as that might be, John wanted his lover to remain as he was. Any kind of exposure, even for a short time, to the world that John inhabited might wreak changes in Jordan that wouldn't be for the better.

John sighed softly, closing his eyes. Could he protect Jordan from the violent world that he lived in, keep him locked away from it forever? Of course he couldn't, but he wanted to try. He couldn't bear the thought of his world twisting who Jordan was in any way.

That wasn't going to happen, John told himself firmly. Jordan had both feel planted firmly on the ground; he'd had a taste of the world that John lived in when he'd been dealing with his identity theft crisis, and it hadn't changed him. He'd walked from that world unscathed.

Well, not completely unscathed. He might have ended up being a little harder-edged for that experience, a little less trusting and open than he'd been before. But John hadn't known him before he'd been through all of that, so he didn't know just what Jordan had been like before.

He loved Jordan exactly the way he was; he didn't want his lover to change. He didn't want the man he loved to be exposed to the kind of danger he faced every day; he didn't want Jordan to feel that he had to look over his shoulder and that he had enemies around every corner.

Was it wrong for him to want to protect the man he loved? Would it be better to let Jordan face the world at large, to stand up to whatever might come his way? John didn't think so; Jordan was the kind of man who would fight back, but he wasn't completely equipped for that fight.

Violence had already touched Jordan -- when he'd first met his boyfriend, Jordan had been carrying a gun. He might not have known how to use it very well, but he had been willing to carry one -- which proved that he'd been drawn further into a violent world than John liked to admit.

He would keep Jordan out of that world as much as he could, John vowed to himself, reaching out to brush a lock of dark hair away from Jordan's forehead. He wasn't going to let his bofyriend be pulled back into that darkness, not if he could keep it from happening.

No one could remain completely untouched by the violence of the world they all lived in, he thought sadly. But he would protect Jordan from that as much as he could. Jorfdan was the one good and pure thing in his life, and he wanted to keep it that way.

He wasn't going to let violence enter into his life with Jordan any more than it had to. But could he stop it, if his enemies found out about Jordan? How much longer could he keep his lover safe if it became known that he and Jordan were a couple?

John shuddered at the thought; he could imagine only too well what his enemies might try to do to Jordan if they ever found out about him being in John's life. He had to be as careful as he could, and not let anyone other than Harold know about their relationship.

Jordan knew that it wouldn't be a good idea to tell anyone about him; he had agreed that he wouldn't talk to anyone about the man he was dating. John knew that Jordan didn't like having to be so secretive, but he also knew that his boyfriend wanted to keep him as safe as possible.

One day, they would hopefully be able to leave the violent world that John existed in for the moment behind them, and not have to worry about the consequences of being open about being together. John hoped that day would come soon, but he knew in his heart that it wouldn't.

There was still too much for him to do, still too many people that he and Harold needed to help. He didn't have to do this; he could walk away from it, tell Harold that he was done, and move away from this city with Jordan, live out their lives together far away from here.

Yet he couldn't bring himself to do that. He wanted to help the people that the machine pointed out to them; maybe he was trying to make amends for all the times that he hadn't been able to help people in that past, but that was a good enough reason. Wasn't it?

John sighed, lying back down against the pillows and pulling Jordan into his arms. His boyfriend stirred against him, lips moving as he whispered something in his sleep, something that John didn't quite catch. It sounded like his name -- coupled with the words "I love you."

Those words seemed to squeeze his heart; for just a moment, it was difficult to breathe. He could feel his own love for Jordan welling up inside him, threatening to spill over, to make him take his lover into his arms and press kisses over his face, move his hand over that slender body ....

John swallowed hard, closing his eyes as he gently moved one hand down Jordan's back. He didn't deserve that kind of love; he wasn't being completely honest with Jordan about who he was and what he did, and it made him feel guilty.

But he wasn't being entirely truthful with Jordan in the other man's best interests, a voice in the back of his mind argued. He was doing it for Jordan's safety, to protect him as much as he possibly could. So in this instance, not being completely forthcoming was a good thing.

All he could hope for was that Jordan would continue to understand why he couldn't be entirely open and honest about what he did. So far, things were working out, but he couldn't help feeling that there would come a time when Jordan would have to know more.

And then, his boyfriend would be pulled into the violence of his world in a way that he'd never intended. It wasn't something that he wanted to happen, but John couldn't help feeling that it was inevitable. And that Jordan would be placed in danger because of him.

The thought made his blood run cold, sending a shiver through his body and making him press Jordan more closely against his heart. Sooner or later, their time would run out --- and his enemies would stop at nothing to use Jordan against him.

What would he do if that happened? Jordan would come first, of course. His boyfriend would always come first, ahead of his job, ahead of every other person in his life. Jordan was at the front of the line; no one else's safety was as important as his. Not even John's own.

Closing his eyes, John pressed his face against Jordan's hair, hoping with all of his heart that the two of them wouldn't have to keep living in the violent world that he was a part of now. With any luck, he would be able to break away from it -- and that couldn't happen soon enough for him.