It begins with a secret.
Meeting Grace, hearing the way she talks about Finch and seeing his sweet smile in photographs, plucks at John's heartstrings. The woman and his relationship with her is probably not Finch's biggest secret, but it's certainly his best kept. Because that man no longer exists.
John can relate. He's loved before, too, and lost in ways he never imagined were possible. Knowing this, knowing he's not the only one anymore, changes his view of the genius. Especially later when he wistfully confesses they had four years together. It's longer than he had with Jessica. Maybe even longer than he'll get with Finch.
So what exactly is he waiting for? As a child his father used to tell him to take his time with things to make sure he made the right decisions. Once he joined the military, then the CIA, decisions of any kind stopped being up to him. And time is no friend to either of them these days. If he's going to do something about his feelings, if he wants to change how the other man sees him, he has to do it before it's too late.
“Finch?” he calls after turning on the comm in his ear.
“Yes, Mr. Reese?”
“Any new numbers?”
“Not at present. Is there something I can help you with?”
“We need to talk.”
“Mr. Reese-,” Finch starts, a warning in his tone.
John ignores him. “Are you at the library? I'll be there in two minutes.”
“Mr. Reese, I-”
“Please, Finch. Be there.” He doesn't hide behind the plea, doesn't try to play it off or pretend it away.
For a long second there is only silence. Then, “Alright.”
When he hangs up John finds himself grinning. He's looking forward, not back, which in itself scares him a little. He could be diving into a sea of rejection. He needs this, though, needs Finch. That's what scares him most of all. The need, the risk, the reward...The reward, he thinks, and, incredibly, his grin grows until he can barely recognize himself in each storefront window he passes. He'd forgotten what happiness looks like until now.