John got back from the building he’d stayed in during those months when he had been trying to destroy what was left of himself, arriving at the library around seven. He let himself in and went up the stairs to the workroom as usual, but Finch wasn’t there. He nearly left then, but something made him stay. He’d told Joan someone ‘new’ was taking care of him now and he just wanted to see that person one more time before the day was over.
He walked around the floor that held the workroom, but Finch wasn’t in the stacks or in their break room. But the lights were on, so John suspected he was in the building somewhere. Walking back out to the hallway, he noticed that the lights were illuminating the upper stairwell, indicating that Finch had gone up to the floor above. John had never gone up there and he wondered fleetingly if Harold actually lived up there rather than actually having a residence somewhere.
As he arrived on the upper floor, he could hear a faint mechanical sound, one he couldn’t at first identify. It didn’t sound like a computer but who knew what mysterious computer parts Finch might be running?
He started following the sound, noting that it would start and stop, then start again. It was like something pistoning, like some sort of motor. Not only did it go for a moment or two, then stop, then start up again, it also seemed to speed up from time to time, then slow down. It sounded like a vehicle or maybe a model train set… John smiled at the thought of Finch running model trains up there, the billionaire at play. Was it an exercise bike perhaps? That seemed unlikely as it should start and just keep running, unless maybe he was working on it to fix some problem.
He had followed the sound to a back room. He moved up against the wall, not wanting to announce his presence. There it was again, chugging along, stopping, then going even faster until it stopped and didn’t start again. He cautiously leaned just far enough to glance inside the room.
If he had been anyone else, his jaw would have dropped. As it was, he schooled his expression to neutrality, but he was still shocked. Finch was… operating a sewing machine.
“You might as well come on in, Mr. Reese,” he said, his voice mild as usual, despite any misgivings he might have had upon being discovered.
“I...” John started, not really knowing what to say. “I was looking for you,” he finally settled on, stating the obvious but having nothing else that wouldn’t sound even more uncool.
Finch turned his upper body toward him. “And so you did.” He turned back to the sewing machine, pulling a length of black fabric from under the needle, shaking it out and holding it up to look it over.
John walked further into the room. “You’re sewing?” He felt a bit ridiculous but if he’d found Finch had an entire gourmet kitchen up here he wouldn’t have been more surprised.
“Yes, that’s what I’m doing.” There was an undercurrent of amusement in Finch’s voice. He glanced toward John again. “I take it you find this somewhat unexpected?”
John spread his hands wide. “A little.” The black fabric Finch was holding looked very familiar. “Are you making… one of my suits?”
A tiny smile quirked Harold’s mouth. “Just altering it, I confess. While I find sewing garments from scratch very soothing, I really don’t have the time to devote to the hobby these days.”
John resisted the temptation to say I see, having decided he didn’t need to offer any more feeble comments. He thought back to the moments before their last case started, with Finch down on his knees pinning his trouser hems and making other adjustments to his new suit for his John Rooney cover. He had thought… well, that Finch would have sent the suit out for those alterations. It had been surprising enough when he’d realized that Finch had known all about pinning and such, now to see he’d actually done the work himself…
“You never fail to surprise me, Harold,” he said, sliding up closer. He picked up the jacket to examine the work, opening the coat to examine the interior. “It looks so professional… I never guessed.”
“I once thought of becoming a designer,” Finch said, switching off the sewing machine and sliding his chair back so he could look up at John more easily. He took the jacket back, snipping off a stray thread or two. “I’ve added an extra pocket in the lining for more… bullets or whatever you need to carry without them being seen.” He sounded rather proud of himself. “I was wondering, should I make one for you with some Kevlar in it?”
John considered. “It wouldn’t be quite as protective as an actual vest.”
“But as there are some places where a bullet proof vest would be impractical,” Finch concluded for him, “that might at least afford you some protection. I’ve been researching getting some that wouldn’t affect the hang of your suit too noticeably.”
John shook his head, as usual, totally bemused and thrilled by both Finch’s inventiveness and his thought processes. And touched that he would think of ordering fabric weight Kevlar for his jacket. “Do you alter all my suits?” he asked.
“Most of them,” Harold nodded. “The tailor makes them up and if they need any adjustments, which they often do because of our work, I am able to do that myself. It’s always easier to do things yourself rather than to try to pay someone not to mention to certain authorities what we paid them to make for us, don’t you think?”
“True. Best to keep things ‘in house’ so to speak,” John smiled, still stunned at the idea that Finch had once wanted to design clothes. There were a million questions he wanted to ask, but tried to stop himself from voicing them, knowing he wouldn’t get very far. He glanced at the machine Finch had been using. “This looks kind of old,” he noted, “don’t they have computerized sewing machines now? I’d think you’d want state of the art.”
Finch turned back to regard the huge machine, rubbing a hand lovingly over the dull gold metallic cover. “They don’t make them like this anymore,” he said. I’ve had this one for many years and it will hold up long after those computerized ones fall apart. They don’t make them with metal motors anymore!” he pointed out, as if that were to be considered abhorrent. “This is an old industrial model. I had it with me at MIT” he said, eyes twinkling.
“MIT?” John couldn’t believe it.
“Most of my fellow students thought I was building a computer to install in it,” Finch said with a smirk. “But I often used to repair some of Nathan’s things…” his voice trailed off.
John noticed the brief sadness that Finch quickly concealed. “You are a man of many talents,” he said.
“Yes. If we ever get a number who is a tailor, I’m sure I will be able to go undercover as an assistant or something.” He got awkwardly to his feet.
John cleared his throat. “You know, I… found it interesting when you were fixing my suit for this case, Finch.” He was talking about the alterations Finch pinned for him. About how he’d said the hem of his pants should shiver over the shoe… John had shivered then himself, at the idea of Finch down on his knees before him, at the light touch of his hands on John’s clothing, of his tape measure going places that Finch had never touched before.
When Finch met his eyes, it was obvious he knew exactly what John was talking about. His eyes lost their usual diffidence, lighting up with mischief and more direct interest than John had ever seen from him. “You did?” he asked. “I’m sure I could arrange to take more measurements from you… if you like.” His eyes seemed to focus on John’s mouth.
John leaned closer. “How about I take some of your measurements?” he asked, his voice slipping into the low register he knew Finch liked to hear.
“Mr. Reese!” Finch cocked his head at him, his tone scandalized, his expression avid.
John leaned in to capture his lips.
It was a long, slow, deep kiss, John putting all his admiration and caring into it, Harold responding with enthusiasm. After many moments, John broke away, glancing at the pile of sewing supplies on the table. He picked up a long, yellow tape measure, and dropped to his knees.
Harold lifted both his arms up as John wrapped the tape around his waist. “Thirty-four,” he said absently as though making note of the measurement. Then he loosened it and sank to his knees. He held the end of the tape in his left hand, pressing it against Harold’s inseam. Harold accommodated him by opening his legs just enough. John measured again. “That’s thirty-two,” he said, noting Harold’s inseam number. He then followed the tape measure back up from the hem of Harold’s pants, slowly, as slowly as he could manage with his fingers trembling and his heart pounding with need.
John’s fingers encountered warmth and a pulse at the join of Harold’s legs. He pretended to fumble with the tape and there it was, Harold's growing erection. He traced its length lightly with his fingers.
“Why, Mr. Finch,” he breathed, pretending shock. He put his other hand up at Harold’s crotch, then ran both of his hands down the man’s legs and back up. “I believe your zipper might need to be checked,” he whispered, knowing he sounded absurd, but wanting Harold so much he nearly couldn’t hold back and wait for permission.
“Quite likely, Mr. Reese,” Harold agreed. His voice held the tiniest shake, John noted. That sound fueled his desire even more. Finch wanted him too.
He undid the zipper carefully, mindful of the expensive clothing he was granted permission to touch, of the silk boxers he encountered underneath. They matched Harold’s purple pocket square. Of course, John mused, happy at the discovery. He reached inside and brought Harold out, looking at his cock for the first time.
Harold was lean and long, cut and beautiful. John leaned forward and gave him one long wet lick from tip to root and back again, then opened his mouth to take him in.
He heard a gasp from above, and Harold’s fingers clenched in his hair. “John,” he gasped, making the name sound lewd and beautiful at the same time.
John felt his own cock harden as he worked on Harold’s, as Harold’s clean taste filled his senses, as his body surged toward him in time to John’s sucking, as his hands directed John’s motions. He opened Harold’s pants farther so he could reach in and caress his balls and Harold groaned, a deep, needy sound of pleasure. John wanted to hear him make that noise every night for the rest of his life.
He was turned on just from the act he was performing, needing only Harold’s hands in his hair to arouse him to a state of readiness. He continued sucking, alternating with letting Harold’s cock slip from his mouth so that he could lick it delicately all over. He lifted it, finding that spot where he’d been circumcised, and sucking gently with his open lips at the scar. Harold’s body jerked and trembled.
That was all John needed to hear. He took Harold deep again, sucking as he cupped his balls, fingers slipping behind them to press in where it was dark and warm and secret. Harold’s body began thrusting and hot semen burst into John’s mouth.
His own body tightened and trembled too, his orgasm ripped from him by the knowledge of bringing Harold off with his mouth. He felt the hot warmth wetting his pants and it felt so good, as if Harold had made love to him. He could hardly keep the other man’s cock in his mouth as he rode out his own pleasure.
He let Harold’s spent cock slip free and just leaned his head against his thigh, trying to catch his breath. Harold continued to pet his hair, fingers gentle and expressive. Neither spoke for long moments.
Finally, his knees letting him know that he shouldn’t stay down there any longer, John moved to get to his feet. Harold’s hands helped him, moving to his shoulders to steady him as he got up. Their eyes met and John leaned in for another long kiss.
He felt Harold’s hand move down the front of his body, encountering the wetness near his zipper. “Sorry, Harold,” he said, breaking the kiss but not really sorry at all.
“Mr. Reese,” Harold said chidingly. “Perhaps I should do some further alterations in your pants if this is going to occur very often.”
John met his eyes. “I would be happy for this to occur often,” he said, his voice still slightly shaky. “And we wouldn’t want to have to ask the tailor to…”
Harold kissed him again before he could finish. “You’re quite right, John. Luckily, this is something that I can handle on my own.”