Title: Witness
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: John Reese/Jordan Hester
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #483, Witness
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.


Jordan pulled his coat around him as he headed out of his office, deciding that he'd run to the coffee shop across the street from the building he worked in before he headed for the bus stop. He still had a little more than twenty minutes before the bus would arrive, so he had plenty of time.

He hated not having a car, but he really didn't need one in New York. He hadn't been able to keep his car when the trouble with the identity theft had started, and now, there were times when he was glad he didn't have the bother of it any more. However, this wasn't one of them.

On cold evenings like this, he didn't like to work late, but he hadn't had a choice. He'd had a brief that he had to get done by tomorrow morning, and he hadn't wanted to take it home with him. He had intended to spend this evening reading a book, and hoping that John would call.

His boyfriend had warned him that he might be busy tonight, but he had the feeling that John would call him even if he was doing his job -- whatever that was. Jordan sighed at the thought, wishing that he could push all of his worries about what John did to the back of his mind and keep them locked away.

Unfortunately, that wasn't always easy to do, especially when he was heading home from work on a cold night and he had time to think about the man he loved. It seemed as though John was on his mind a lot of the time lately; his boyfriend had taken over his thoughts.

More and more lately, he wanted John to trust him with the full story of what he did for a living. Jordan knew that it was a privilege for him to know as much as he did; he could understand that John worked in secrecy, but that didn't stop him from wanting to know more.

John didn't want to put him in any kind of danger; he knew that. But judging from the attack on him in his own home, that had been intended as an apparent "warning," he was already in the middle of John's life and work, whether he wanted to be there or not. He couldn't turn and walk away.

If he did, then he would lose John -- and he couldn't let that happen. So he was holding on, taking everything day by day, letting their relationship progress slowly. And so far, things weren't going badly. He had more time with John than he really had any right to hope for, and he was happy with that.

Still, there were little doubts niggling at the back of his mind, doubts about whether John would ever open up to him completely and be honest about what he did for a living. John might be keeping it from him for the best of reasons, but Jordan still felt that he had a right to know.

After all, if he was going to dedicate his life to John, he should know just what he was getting into, shouldn't he? That was only fair. He shouldn't have to worry about John all the time, wondering if he was safe, or if he was always in some kind of danger.

Sighing softly, he pushed open the door of the café, going in and ordering a large coffee. He'd probably finish it long before he got home, but that didn't matter, he told himself. There was a coffee shop right next to his apartment building; he could always go there if he wanted to.

Emerging from the café, Jordan headed for the bus stop, taking a quick look at his watch. Less than ten minutes before the bus would arrive, so he'd have a little time to relax as he waited. He'd be home within the hour, then he could make dinner and sit down with a good book.

Just as he sat down on the bench at the bus stop, a shot rang out, shattering the quiet of the evening. A woman screamed near him; Jordan jumped to his feet, his coffee forgotten on the bench beside him. He didn't know whether he should run, or stay where he was.

He was frozen for a few moments as another shot rang out, and more screams erupted around him. There was the sound of running feet, a car starting near him -- and then, a tall man stepped out the shadows and fired a gun directly at the windshield of the car.

It stalled, the man behind the wheel jerking once, like a puppet on a strong, before going ominously still. It was obvious that he'd been killed; Jordan blinked, unable to breathe for a few seconds. The man in the passenger seat was still, too; he could see the hole in each man's forehead.

Two people had just been murdered right in front of him. Jordan had no idea who they were, or what they had been doing, but surely it was wrong for someone to come out of nowhere and shoot them in cold blood, even if they were criminals.

Should he call the police? He wasn't sure of what to do; he didn't want to even move a muscle until that man who stood in the shadows was gone. Jordan hoped that he would vanish as quickly as he'd appeared; he would feel much safer knowing that a murdered wasn't in the vicinity.

The man turned towards the light as Jordan watched him; when he saw the face of that shadowy man, he couldn't hold back a gasp, his heart starting to pound in his chest. He knew that face, those eyes, that quiet, stoic expression. He knew this man, was intimate with him.

He was looking directly into John's eyes. There was no mistaking who it was; John's face was fully in the glow of the streetlight close by him. There was no shadows over his features; Jordan could see him clearly, as if he was standing in the glare of the noonday sun.

John had killed those men, for reasons that Jordan was sure he couldn't begin to fathom. Was this what the man he loved did for a living? Was John a killer, a man who murdered with impunity? Somehow, he couldn't believe it. This didn't seem like the man he knew at all.

John was a good man. He wouldn't be running around shooting people if he didn't have a damn good reason for it, Jordan told himself, his inner voice frantic. He wasn't the kind of man who would murder someone in cold blood unless he had to do so. Maybe he'd had no other choice.

While those thoughts went through his mind in a few seconds, he and John stared at each across the distance that separated them. Jordan desperately wanted to reach out, to call John's name, to do something, anything, that would restore the world to some semblance of sanity.

Everything was going crazy; it felt as though his world had turned on its axis and was spinning wildly, ready to fall into some kind of black hole that it would descend into without a sound, never to be right again. He didn't want that. He wanted his world to go back to the way it had been.

But could it? Could it ever? Now that he'd witnessed John kill someone with his own eyes, he wasn't sure that his world would ever be the same. He wasn't sure that his relationship with John could be the same; he didn't even know if they could still have a relationship after tonight.

John abruptly turned away, striding towards an alleyway between two buildings. He disappeared as quietly as he'd appeared, without a word to Jordan, nothing that indicated he'd had any kind of emotional disturbance at seeing his boyfriend there. No indication that he felt anything at all.

Jordan could feel something inside him wither and die; he wanted to sink to the ground and bury his face in his hands, to deny what he'd seen. But he knew that was impossible; he was sure that the events of this night would haunt him for a very long time to come.

He didn't want to believe what his eyes had just witnessed. He didn't want to think that his boyfriend was a killer, that the man he loved could possibly kill anyone in cold blood, seemingly without a reason to do so. He didn't want to admit that hte might love a criminal.

He would have to wait and hear John out, see what his boyfriend had to say about this. He couldn't condemn John without giving him a chance to explain what he had done; that wouldn't be fair. But after what he had just seen, it was hard to believe that John could have a logical explanation.

John and the man he worked with said that they helped people, Jordan told himself. They weren't the sort of men to kill unless it was unavoidable -- and Jordan couldn't believe that they would kill anyone who was on the side of good. His lover wasn't a killer. he couldn't be.

He felt numb, almost unable to move. Looking up, he saw his bus coming slowly along the street; he had to manage to get onto the bus, to go home, to get into his apartment and be safe behind closed doors. Then he could collapse, and let this trembling fear overwhelm him.

He couldn't do that here. He had to pull himself together while he was still in public; he couldn't make a scene, or the people around him would think he'd gone insane. In a way, he felt as though he had. Nothing seemed sane since that moment he'd realized that John had killed two people.

Jordan didn't know how he made it onto the bus; he couldn't have told anyone a thing about the ride to the bus stop in front of his building. He didn't recall getting off the bus, going up on the elevator, and opening the door to his apartment, then closing it and making his way to the couch.

He sank down onto the couch, his legs trembling, refusing to hold him up any longer. He'd witnessed his boyfriend killing a man tonight. That was something he'd never thought he would see; he hadn't thought that John's work involved him possibly doing things like that.

John would be able to explain what he'd done, Jordan told himself. He had to. There had to be some kind of sane explanation for what he'd seen; John couldn't be a killer. He couldn't love a man whose job involved murder. He couldn't. John couldn't be that kind of person.

Even though the evidence pointed overwhelmingly to the fact that John was a killer, he wasn't going to believe it. Not until he'd talked to his boyfriend, gotten the truth straight from John's lips. He was going to give the man he loved the benefit of the doubt. He had to.

So much for spending the evening reading a book, Jordan thought with a sigh. He couldn't eat, either. His stomach felt as though it was tied in knots; he wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything until he talked to John and straightened out this tangle.

All he would be able to do was sit here and wait for John to call, or better yet, to show up at his door. He only hoped that he was right about his boyfriend, and that he wouldn't open the door expecting to see John and instead find himself looking into the barrel of a gun.

He closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the soft couch cushions. He hoped that John would come by tonight, so they could talk. He didn't know what would happen, but he hoped that it would all work out, and that what he'd witnessed wouldn't mark the end for them.