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All He'd Had to Do Was Ask

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Together, Reese figures he and Finch make up about two thirds of a superhero. The reclusive billionaire genius and skilled fighter intent on saving as many people as possible: all they're missing from the Bruce Wayne picture is a glib, public face to run interference for their business.

Well-- that, and a power on their side in the police department. And an omniscient butler.

They don't really need the social butterfly or the staff, but their very own James Gordon would definitely prove useful. It won't be Detective Fusco, though; the dirty cop makes a decent source of information, but he's not sharp or trustworthy enough to make a good long-term option. Detective Carter, on the other hand, has both intelligence and motivation in spades, enough to already have some idea what he's doing in her city-- but she's much too wary to put any trust in him. It still might work out for the best, but it'll take a while to see which way the chips will fall.

In the meantime, he's got Finch to cover him. He'd been a little impressed that the prickly guy who shut him down so hard at the cubicle farm had not only set up the gang's courier in person, but also willingly walked into the middle of a trap to make sure Reese knew it was coming. That had taken some nerve. Reese isn't sure he wants to know what Finch considers "trust", if he'll already go that far for someone who doesn't even know his real name.

Time will tell there too, he supposes. It amuses him to keep Finch on his toes a little, but the details probably aren't actually necessary, not unless they impact the job. Reese can cut him a little slack, especially since he hasn't said one word about the alcohol since he'd hired him.

He's old enough now that it's not as easy to bounce back from a couple of months anesthetizing with booze and slacking on his conditioning as it would be for a guy like Joey Durban; he'd been stupid to let things get that far. Coffee, sunglasses, and a lot of hard work have helped, but he still isn't in the best shape he could be, and until then he really has no stones to throw on the subject of self-sabotaging habits.

If he ever had, really. It had been bittersweet, watching Joey take the step he hadn't, walking into the sunset with a woman who loved him. Reese had told himself that Jessica would be safer without him-- and nothing could have been further from the truth, in the end. He doesn't think there'll ever come a day when he doesn't wake up wondering what would've happened if he'd asked that question.

Tell yourself you're better off alone often enough, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Reese lifts his binoculars again, scanning the windows across the street from his perch, and listens to pages turning on the other end of the connection.

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