unbelievable2: (TS colourjim)
Just updating the "journal" (hah) for some stuff posted elsewhere.

The Professionals:
Discovered in a Silent Night Christmas challenge
fic: Roast Spuds

http://discoveredinalj.livejournal.com/278486.html

The Sentinel:
Sentinel Thursday challenges

fic: And Stones in his Pockets

http://sentinel-thurs.livejournal.com/905152.html

fic: Confidentially Speaking

http://sentinel-thurs.livejournal.com/902903.html
unbelievable2: (poi gun)
Title: Change of Plan
Author: Unbelievable2
Chapters: 1
Word count: 786
Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
Rating: gen
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harold Finch/John Reese
Characters: John Reese, Harold Finch
Additional Tags: Topical crack, humour
Summary:  Concealing the Machine is never easy




CHANGE OF PLAN

John’s face is shuttered, more unreadable than ever. Finch waits for a response, touching first his glasses, then his tie, in nervous distraction. Finally John speaks.
“You said you wouldn’t lie to me. Not anymore.” He still hasn’t looked Finch straight in the eye.
“And I won’t,” Finch breaks in quickly. “Not about the essentials, not about important things.”
John’s lips thin.
“I would say this is a pretty damn important thing to have lied about.”
“Not a lie,” Finch blusters, “I submit, John, not a lie. I never said I didn’t know where it was, only that it would not be found if it didn’t want to be found.”
“And your reasoning being…”
John’s studied coolness unnerves Finch even more. He has to mentally rally himself, remind himself why this whole strategy was a good idea in the first place. And as he does so, a modicum of righteous indignation starts to reassert itself over his initial embarrassment.
“In the main, to try to keep you, and our other friends, safe. The Machine has laid a pretty good false trail all by itself, but there is such a thing as too clever, Mr Reese, even in our paranoid world. The Machine is safest with a physical footprint than it is buffeted by the four winds in cyber-limbo.”
John looks at him disbelievingly.
“And I’m going to be safer because it’s in your apartment?”
“You are aware of the concept of hiding in plain sight, Mr Reese? If the Machine is to be anywhere, why not somewhere where you yourself are unlikely to be?”
John looks at him archly.
“Only because I don’t get invited.”
Finch’s eyes go wide.
“Mr Reese… John… I never expected….”
John reaches out a hand.
“Can open it?”
Still wearing a startled expression, Finch gives him a confused shrug. John presses the handle and the door swings wide. Finch watches his face, now bathed in the unnatural glow of the Machine, for a reaction. He thinks he sees the barest flicker of a smile, and thinks he may be able to relax a little.
“The main processors?” asks John. Finch gestures towards the upper door.
“Freezer compartment. I never keep much in it anyway, apart from Bear’s Kongs.”
John puts his hand in and pokes at the packages on the upper shelf.
“Well, these don’t contain high security-clearance data, not unless the NSA is now into groceries as a sideline.”
“Ah, no, you’re right, Mr Reese. That’s fillet steak for Miss Shaw, and the other one is that smoked salmon you particularly liked last time.”
John straightens up again.
“The motherboard?”
“Under the eggs.”
John looks at him in surprise.
“What if I wanted an omelette?
Finch thinks now he just might be being teased, so he responds in kind.
“We just get more eggs, John. It’s a simple process.”
John nods thoughtfully, and shuts the door. They are left in the gloom of the unlit kitchen.
“So why is this now a problem?”
Finch sighs, takes off his glasses and rubs his hand wearily across his eyes.
“Early this morning I received an unexpected delivery from the Carnegie Deli – the steak and the smoked salmon? It appears the Machine has taken to doing its own online shopping. I checked further and discovered that it has set up a number of email accounts via which it has been sending messages purporting to be able to supply high quality… um … medication for budget prices. Then only an hour ago, just before I called you, I received a package of… well … what can only be described as pornography. Quite tasteful it would seem, but of the … um … gay variety. Why on earth the Machine thinks I have a need for that…”
A smile is twitching at the edge of John’s mouth for definite now.
“You want me to take a look….?”
Finch starts back.
“No, I most certainly do not, Mr Reese! I just want you to … um… advise how best to recycle this particular white goods article so that I can move the Machine elsewhere.”
John ponders for a moment.
“Okay, I’ll call Leon to go get a truck. We’ll need those coveralls from, you know, that other job.”
“Of course, Mr Reese. Thank you.” Finch turns to go and fetch the specified items. John takes out his phone, but pauses before dialling.
“Hold on, Harold. So, where’s the Machine going to go next?”
Finch halts in mid-step, turns carefully and judges that he is probably now at a safe enough distance.
“Well, John, you recall that you were talking about a new expresso machine…?”

-FIN-

Author’s note: inspired by this news article
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25780908

Cross-posted to POI fic on LJ and AO3
unbelievable2: (TS killers srsly)

Just a little fic in response to this challenge  - "Humane"

Me? I'm no one

“You can get dressed now, Mr Ellison.”

He sits up, automatically reaching round to drag off the surgical gown. The machines have stopped beeping, and now he's pretty much stopped caring. He had come into the hospital with a determination to get answers, but the non-committal shrugs and kindly smiles of the various technicians have pretty much squashed any optimism that he’s going to find the answer here – the answer to whatever it is that’s slowly and steadily destroying his life.

As he drags his shirt back on he surveys his torso dispassionately. He knows people look at him admiringly, but he’s not fooled. He's felt so long like he’s a shell, disconnected from the rest of humanity, that his body looks to him now like some kind of artificial device, perfectly moulded in plastic, not flesh, and filled with imperatives and instructions that he no longer controls. He's a real-life, full-size Action Man by Mattel; there’s a string in his back, somewhere, and if anyone pulls it, the right things come out of his mouth.

Hold your fire until I give the order!
Freeze! Cascade PD!
Gimme a Wonderburger to go!

Except right now, not even the standard programming is coming out right. His colleagues, co-workers – he can't talk about friends, he doesn't really have any - look at him like he’s the freak his childhood told him to fear. They keep away from him like he's radioactive. Like he’s not safe to be around.  Like he’s gone wrong.

And what do people do with things they can't fix? The job is the one thing that holds him to any kind of human contact. If he can’t do that, if he loses that, he knows with absolute, cold certainty that he is lost, too.

Human contact – not his specialist subject. It’s always been easier to stop people getting too close, to avoid the searching questions and dangerous commitment. Because other people break too, go wrong, go away…..

And not just people. He’s thought a lot in recent days about his childhood, and one image keeps coming back. Betsy was very old when he was very young – Steven still in the baby carriage. She was rheumatic and wheezy and he loved her warmth and loyalty and stability. He would sit for hours with the dog’s head in his lap, pulling gently on her soft ears and running his hands through her thick fur while she happily dozed her elderly years away, or gazed at him adoringly with her cloudy eyes. It was to Betsy he ran when the shouting and the sniping got too much, so he could bury his head in her warm flank and concentrate on her gentle breathing, blocking out the adult arguments circling round his head.

And yet one day she was gone. No preparation, no farewell. Sally had been crying – Betsy had been her dog far more than his parents’ – and trying to tell him that Betsy had been so ill, so old, that everything was going wrong with her, that she was suffering…. And then his father had simply swept into the kitchen where Jim had been bawling his eyes out and told him sharply that it had been the humane thing to do, and Jim should quit his blubbering.

He had looked the word up in the dictionary a few years later, when Stevie was still too little to understand but Jim had been old enough to listen unwillingly to those adult arguments and flinch vicariously with every cruelty inflicted. When he had heard his mother hiss:

“You know, if this marriage was a dog, it would have been put out of its misery years ago!”

he had looked it up then. Humane: Pertaining to kindness to other persons or animals. Funny, that people used that word, that concept, as a justification for their actions when kindness seemed so very far from their aim.

What would be the humane thing to do with Jim Ellison now, this malfunctioning piece of kit? He reckons that the medical world’s opinion would be to say as little as possible and render him as harmless as possible; therapy, exploratory surgery, disability. Jim Ellison is suffering all right, and that’s the medical fraternity’s best approximation of kindness when faced with something they don’t understand. But he’s not ready yet to be tested to destruction, thanks all the same. Though his options right now seem as dead and grey and featureless as this tiny hospital room.

So when the door opens to admit not a Marcus Welby clone but the smiling, antsy guy with the too-big white coat and the trainers that squeak on the polished laminate floor, why is it that colour and light seem to flood in? Why do all his too-active senses reach out for the contact even while his cop’s logic and cynicism keep his outward reactions severely in check? And even while’s he’s snapping at the perceived intrusion, part of his troubled brain is listening hard, picking out those words with the little bits of hope attached:

“You don’t need medicine, you need information!”
“Me, I’m no-one, but his guy, he is…. The only one who can truly help you.”
“You’re too far ahead of the curve for this techno trash…”

And when the real Marcus Welby clone brushes past the fleeing imposter, Jim is still holding tightly on to the little business card. The words are ringing in his ears:

“You’re a detective. See the man!”

Someone who has a real interest, finally? Someone who cares enough to listen? No, don’t get ahead of yourself, Ellison. The world doesn’t work like that. You know that for a fact.

But Jim’s going to see him, anyway.

----+++----

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