Author: Bj Jones
Creative Consultant: Timothy Quinn
Summary: They were calling it a snowpocalypse
ADMIN NOTE: This story has elements of Non-Canon due to the fact Harold & John have changed their canon and storyline *glares at them* – This will at one point be re-edited and updated to fit it. When it is we’ll make an announcement and link it to the Archive. Meantime enjoy the story 🙂
They were calling it the ‘snowpocalypse’.
The news was telling everyone to baton down the hatches, stock up, and stay inside.
Reese tried not to roll his eyes at the drama of it all, but after spending two weeks in an actual full-on Siberian Winter, getting stuck in a small blizzard was nothing.
Of course, he figured he could well be the only person on the East Coast who thought that way.
Still, he made sure Carter and her son were both secure, along with Lionel and his boy. Then he checked in on a few of the numbers they had helped over the years to make sure they were safe too. And he dropped off extra supplies for Joan and the homeless population.
And if he stopped by Sammy and Veda’s, Leila’s grandparents, with food, clothes, water, and fuel for the generator, then he was just being neighborly. He still couldn’t believe how big Leila was getting! She would be entering Kindergarten soon.
Finch had already set up a college fund, and made sure she would be able to attend the best schools. Sammy and Veda pretended they didn’t know about it. It was cute, really.
He made a supply run, for himself and Harold, stocking up their hideaway with all the essentials – including food, water, extra wood for the fireplace, weapons and ammo, blankets, clothes, and extra blood.
Bear’s nest in the reading room, was well insulated and equipped to handle a few days of snow. Reese added extra blankets, filled up the water and food dispenser, and double-checked to make sure the heat lamp was functioning. He even had doggy piddle pads in the small bathroom on the first floor for him to use.
By the time the storm hit, the library had been well and truly bolted down, the generators were running smoothly, and everything was secure.
All he had left to do, was drag Harold away from the computers.
“Time to hibernate.”
“I’m just finishing this code.”
“Harold.” John looked at his Mate and sighed. “I’m pretty sure no one is going to be out in this snowstorm to perpetrate any crimes.”
“Mr. Reese.” Finch gave him a sideways look before focusing back on the monitors. “I’m taking the time to do some much needed diagnostics on the systems…”
“Harold.” John moved closer to the power source for the main CPU unit. “I told you four hours ago, I was locking up the library and securing the premises, and that I would expect you to finish up with what you were doing and shut down the systems. The snow is starting to come heavier, and the reading room will get cold. I’m not going to allow you to sit down here and work in this.”
“I only need a few more hours,” he continued typing.
“At what point did you think I was going to let you get away with that?” John’s voice held no room for argument.
Reese knew very well, that Finch could sit and work for hours on end, not thinking about himself or his own physical needs. After they had Mated, he could feel Harold’s exhaustion and pain from those sessions of intense focus, and he refused to let him continue doing such things too often, especially when they came at great detriment to his own heath. John wasn’t stupid enough to break Harold’s concentration, especially while the man was coding, but whenever he began to feel exhaustion creep through their Bond, he would tell him it was time to stop, and then give him plenty of leeway to wrap up whatever project he was working on.
If Harold ignored him, he would simply turn off the power and finish it for him.
Harold didn’t take John’s threat seriously the first time.
Consequently, he’d wound up sitting there in stunned horror when the computers went dark in front of him. Though John had stayed calm as Harold yelled, growled, threatened, and belittled him, he’s slept alone at his apartment for three days afterward.
Harold’s chair squeaked as he turned it and stared at his Mate. “You wouldn’t!”
John continued to give him the ‘do not argue with me on this, you will lose’ look.
“Mr. Finch.” His hand reached for the power strip.
“Fine!” Harold glared at him before quickly finishing up what he was doing. When he was satisfied, he began shutting down the systems. “I am perfectly fine down here. There is no reason for me to hide upstairs from a little snow.”
“Humor me.” John moved behind him, laying a hand on his neck, rubbing it softly, feeling his Mate relax under his touch. “I wouldn’t mind a few days of just you and me. No numbers. No Machine. Just us.”
“Well, when you put it like that, Mr. Reese.” Harold leaned into the gentle touch slightly. “Is everything secure?”
“Yes.” He bent down and kissed his Mate’s neck, letting his fangs drop just enough to slide across the skin, sending goose bumps along Harold’s spine. “I even stocked up on supplies.”
“You were a most efficient Boy Scout weren’t you?”
“Well, you would know, Harold.” He pulled his Mate out of the chair and into his arms. “I have your favorite flannel pajamas. I’ve stocked up on Sencha Green tea, plus extra sugar. And your top 25 books are stacked by your side of the bed.”
Harold laid his head on John’s shoulder. “You take good care of me.”
“When you let me.” His hand settled on the base of Harold’s neck, holding him securely as he leaned down and took his mouth in a passionate kiss.
Even after what was nearly three years of being Mated, they still needed time adjusting to each other. Many of their deep, dark secrets had come out, finally. The worst one Harold had hidden so far down he could barely admit the truth of it even to himself, yet it came to light after the last confrontation with Root, when there seemed no further reason to keep anything unsaid anymore.
Reese still chuckled quite regularly at the image in his mind, of when Michael and Sam had shown up at the Library, loaded for war and ready to take on the world. He was still, in so many ways, getting used to filtering through the Bond, the fierce rage and powerful sense of protection he felt for his Mate, and though he controlled it well enough for Harold to never really get much of the backlash, his poor Sire wasn’t as lucky.
Though that strong Sire and Childe Bond had come in handy when Larry made his last move against Michael, but that was something he didn’t want to think about.
He chose to still kept his apartment. At times he simply needed to get away from Harold for some personal space. That, and it had been a birthday gift from his Mate, one he would always cherish. He also knew Harold had safe houses all over town, some John didn’t know about and hadn’t actually found yet. As much as he needed to get away from Harold, he knew his reclusive Mate needed time away from him too.
It had only been six weeks into their being Mated, when John knew they needed their own home together. One they either built, or found for themselves that was a blend of the two of them. After six more weeks of useless searching, had come the sudden realization that the Library was in fact, their home already. And with that, the idea for converting an apartment on the top floor was born.
It had been finished four months later with help from their friend, Trask, and over the past few years they’d ended up spending more of their time on the top floor of the Library, than in any of their other locations. Gradually, the wardrobe was filling with suits, casual clothes, and even a Tuxedo or two. The bathroom – that had been designed for Harold’s injuries – was stocked with both sets of toiletries for the pair of them. The small living area was covered with books stacked in every corner, and at least two laptops. The bed had gone from a Cal King to a custom made mattress for both Harold’s comfort and John’s height. Bear even had a second dog bed over by the fireplace, for when he was invited upstairs. John also kept a cache of weapons hidden in the bottom of the wardrobe, which Harold knew about, but pretended he didn’t.
Now, it would become their hideaway from the raging blizzard.
“Bear?” Harold asked with concern.
They both looked at the dog, who was curled under a few blankets, settled next to his heater.
Finch had conducted extensive research to find the right one, ensuring that it wouldn’t set the library on fire, yet still keep Bear warm while he slept in the reading room.
Keeping watch over their home.
“He’s fine,” John assured him. “He has extra food and water. I’ll make sure to check on him.”
“Well then, I guess we’re good.”
John took his hand and led him toward the elevator. As he closed the gate, he looked over at Bear, giving him the command to stand down. The dog huffed, then curled up and went back to sleep.
He was warm, secure and would be the first to alert them to intruders.
Once they reached the top floor, John held the gate open on the old elevator for Harold to step out, and then closed it behind them, ensuring it was locked it position. Despite knowing that it would be immensely difficult for anyone to get into the Library, get past Bear, and then get up ten flights of stairs, he still made sure his Mate stayed behind him as they moved from the elevator to the front door of the apartment.
The entrance looked like a typical set of double doors, but both were heavily armored, and nothing short of a rocket launcher would break them down. There was a keypad on the wall, but it was more for decoration, and even if someone got the passcode, which was changed at random intervals with a set of arbitrary numbers and letters, they weren’t getting past the watchful gaze of The Machine.
Harold entered when John was certain all was safe, and it gave his Mate a moment to close and lock the doors behind them. The sound of the metal bolt sliding into place, always made him feel safer. The large living room was already warm from the fire, showing Harold how much his Mate really had prepped everything for the weekend.
With a small smile he made his way to the bathroom, and began undressing. He sat down on the chaise that took up one side of the space. He had at first thought it cliché and tacky, until he realized John had gone out of his way to make sure it fitted him perfectly. He could easily sit down and take off his shoes, slip them under the seat, then pull off his socks and toss them into the laundry bag that sat next to it. The whole bathroom had been created for his comfort. The walk in shower, designed for two, had bars for him to hold onto, and a bench to sit down. The only thing that truly accommodated John over Harold was the taller shower head. His added four inches past six foot, had always made it difficult for his Mate to find a shower he didn’t have to contort to get under.
Not that Harold didn’t mind John’s ability to contort into unique positions. All he had to say, was that Yoga did his Mate a lot of good.
After his shoes and socks were off, he slipped off his suit coat and laid it across the end of the chaise. Later he would put it into the dry cleaning bag.
Then he started working on his vest…
“Let me help you.”
John’s voice washed over him, sending shivers down his spine. There was something about the low growl that permeated his words and went straight to places Harold could not control.
He dropped his arms and gave his Mate a soft smile.
Reese knelt in front of him and slowly unbuttoned the vest, gently stripping it off, laying it on top of the suit coat. The cufflinks were removed next, and set in small glass dish on the table next to the chaise. The shirt was laid beside the vest and coat, and the undershirt landed in the hamper.
John stood up, leaving Harold on the seat. He took a few minutes to slip off his own jacket and toss it into the dry cleaning bag. It was soon followed by his white cotton shirt. He turned on the shower, making sure the temperature was just right, before slipping off his shoes and socks and leaving them kicked over by the door.
He ignored Harold’s eyerolling, and instead held out his hand, giving him the leverage he needed as he stood slowly up, grimacing at the stretch of his hip.
One eyebrow rose, a small smirk appearing on his face that had Harold glaring at him.
“Fine. Yes. You were right as always, Mr. Reese,” he grumbled, flinching at the stabbing pain down his leg. He had to admit, though never out loud, that since his Mate had dragged him to see the uncouth Dr. House and forced him into doing stretches and exercises every morning, his hip wasn’t nearly as stiff as it had been.
Pants and boxers ended in a heap in the floor, as they made their way into the oversized shower.
Harold sighed in contentment at the warm water pulsating against his neck, back and hip. And it had him moaning in pleasure as John gently rubbed his aching muscles, loosening them up in the heat.
He leaned back against his Mate’s strong chest, feeling safe and secure, while those large, calloused hands that could be so tender, yet so deadly, moved across his body with practiced ease. It was a touch filled with the softest comfort as the wash cloth moved across his skin, but soon enough each caress became more sensual, pulling a very different moan from Harold’s lips.
John’s hand gripped his hardening cock, stroking with a firm, steady grip. “Let go, Harold,” he murmured, his thumb moving over the swollen head, and sliding across the slit. Harold moaned, thrusting into the tightening hold, seeking release. “Come for me.” It was the low growl again, that set him over the edge, spilling his seed all over John’s hand and his own stomach. “You are so beautiful like this,” Reese assured him, nuzzling behind his right ear, enjoying the feel of his Mate’s release in his arms.
Harold stepped out of his embrace, turning and sitting down on the bench. His needy gaze rested on John’s hard cock, jetting out of a nest of dark hair. It made his brilliant blue eyes flash with silver as a demonstration of his desire, and reaching out, he took John’s hands, pulling him closer, loving how the bench was the perfect height for him to blow his Mate without straining his neck.
He was pretty sure that John had built it for that very reason.
He ran a hand up the thick shaft, stroking it softly, before following the same path with his tongue, tasting the saltiness that was essentially John. Taking the head into his mouth, he sucked slowly, pulling a shuddering moan from his Mate, who leaned forward, bracing himself with his hands against the shower wall.
Harold smirked at the unfettered access John gave him. It was a privilege he would never take for granted.
Sucking, biting and teasing, he kept the pressure building until John’s was shaking with need, and begging for release. Putting his hands on his Mate’s thighs as he swallowed him down to the hilt, Harold relaxed enough to let John fuck his mouth.
It didn’t take long before he was shouting Harold’s name as he came down his throat.
Licking him clean, then licking his own lips as he sat back against the wall, Finch looked wickedly smug at the amazed expression he’d put on John’s face. No one got to see that pure, unadulterated, blissful happiness but him. And he would do anything to keep it close to his heart.
John grinned down at his Mate. “Smug bastard.”
Harold wiggled his eyebrows cheekily, and it won him a rich laugh as his Mate pulled him up off the seat and proceeded to wash them both down.
When that was done, John turned off the shower, got them both dry and helped Harold into his favorite flannel pajamas. It was cold enough for even John to pull on sleep pants and a t-shirt, though he preferred to sleep nude.
They spent a few hours by the fireplace, drinking tea and reading quietly, listening to the storm pick up speed and dump increasing amounts of snow onto the city. There was some concern about the scaffolding that hid the lower floors of the Library from public view, but there was little could be done unless it fell, and in the end, John figured it would be best to just leave it alone.
As the night grew colder, he got Harold settled into bed, turning up the heat on the mattress pad. Before he himself could lie down though, he took a quick moment to put on a coat and a pair of actual fuzzy slippers, before running down the stairs to check on Bear, who seemed content under his own messy ball of blankets. His area was cooler, and the reading room cold, but nothing was freezing.
With one last security check, John made his way back up to the apartment, hung his coat on the hooks by the doors, took off his slippers, and slid into bed with a grateful sigh.
John chuckled as he kept his icy hands on the nice warm skin at his Mate’s waist. “I’m cold, Harold.”
“That…” He huffed as he settled against the solid body of his Mate, letting his bad hip rest on the strength of John’s unmoving protection. “Well, just don’t do it again.”
“G’night, Harold.” He kissed the back of his neck and pulled him tight against him.
The howl startled him awake.
John moved quickly and efficiently.
He was out of bed, gun in hand, moving towards the door even before the second howl came wafting up the elevator shaft at them.
“John?” Harold sat up blinking at the terrifying noise, shivering when it hit him just how cold it had gotten.
“It’s Bear.” Reese moved across the room, hearing the next howl come closer. He was ready to pull the door open, when he heard the faint sound of scratching.
“Is he okay?” Finch reached for his glasses.
John opened the door to see their dog sitting with a blankie in his mouth, looking all pathetic. “Get in here,” he ordered, his gaze roaming over the immediate area, and his Vampire senses stretching outward to ensure there were no intruders lurking in the vast, darkened building. “And drop the blanket. God alone knows what you dragged it through on the stairs.” The Library wasn’t the cleanest building in some places, and there were sporadic rat invasions that he fought off from time to time. With a sigh, he commanded the dog over to his bed by the fireplace, and proceeded to add extra logs, stoking it back to a nicely roaring blaze. “Okay, so what’s the catch, buddy?”
Bear whined, holding out his paw to Reese, who cringed when he felt how cold it was. Kneeling down, he checked each paw for injury, and then ran his hands over the dog to warm him up. “He’s freezing, Harold.”
“Ah, Bear!” Finch wormed his way out of bed, putting his feet into warm slippers and making his way across to the dog. “Did we lose power? Is this the start of an attack?”
“No. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” John looked around to see the few soft night lights they’d left on, were still flickering properly. “I’ll go check. Grab some extra blankets and get him warm.”
Harold snagged two thick fleeces from the cupboard, and wrapped them around Bear, settling him in his bed by the fireplace. After a few moments, he began to warm up, eyes drooping as he pushed his nose against his Master’s hand.
Harold smiled, gave him pets, then found the treats bag and snuck him a chewy liver nugget before John got back.
Bear was quite contented by the time Reese returned.
“What’s happened downstairs? Is everything alright?”
John slipped off his coat, shivering slightly. “Heater went out, that’s all. It’s freezing down there now. I tossed a few blankets over the computers just to make sure. And checked the windows to the reading room. It’s all secure. Just really, really cold. The scaffolding is groaning a bit but holding.”
“That was a brand new heater! I shall be calling them in the morning!” Harold used one of the chairs to steady himself as he stood up. “I will be demanding a refund, an apology, and a whole new heater. How dare they endanger Bear!”
John leaned over and kissed his forehead. “Let’s fight one storm at a time.” He pushed Harold toward the bed, then reached down and gave the dog a quick pat. “Back under the covers. Right now.”
Harold huffed, still upset over the heater. He climbed back into the warmth, fluffing the pillows and blankets, sighing with growing satisfaction until there were cold hands on his…
John chuckled softly, pulling him closer. “Just warming my hands here, Harold.”
“Do I look like a hot water bottle?”
Finch grumbled but didn’t move away. There was nowhere more comfortable than being curled up with his Mate, even when the man had hands like he’d been throwing snowballs.
Finally though, they managed to settle down, easily falling back to sleep.
John jerked awake when he felt a cold nose on his feet.
Sitting up, making sure not to disturb Harold, he found Bear at the foot of the bed, looking pathetic and forlorn.
The dog whined softly.
“Oh, you are so working it. Get your blanket. You can take the end of the bed.”
Bear yipped softly, ran back and grabbed the thickest blanket off the doggie bed, then jumped up onto the big bed, turning around and around until he was wound tightly into a ball, secure under the blanket.
“You’re spoiling him,” Harold muttered sleepily.
“It’s a blizzard, Finch.”
Moving his own blankets, he turned slightly and stared at his Mate for a moment, before curling as close as he could get to John’s body. “Go back to sleep.”
The blackout curtains at the windows, kept light from spilling out of their cozy apartment, but also kept the daylight from coming in. The two of them had worked hard to make sure no one thought the Library was being used, let alone lived in, but it had its limitations occasionally.
Still, it wasn’t the fact dawn had come, nor was it John’s internal clock that got him out of bed. It was a kick and a shove that had him flailing, and falling on the floor. Harold startled awake, scrambling for his glasses and struggling to discover what the commotion was about.
John blinked up from the rug, to see Harold and Bear staring down at him, side by side. Somehow in the middle of the night the dog had gotten under the covers and wiggled his way up between the two Mates.
And suddenly John was on the freezing cold floor, while the dog was in his warm spot.
Bear woofed quietly.
Harold tried to hide a smirk but failed miserably.
“Oh! I see how this goes.” John stood up, made his way to the bathroom, and came back out a couple of moments later, pulling on pants, a sweater, boots, coat, gloves and wooly hat. He ordered Bear to his side, and grabbed the leash they kept by the door. “I expect coffee when I get back.”
“I’m not moving from the warm spot.” Harold flipped the covers over his head and curled up as much as his body would allow.
John snorted and looked at the dog, who looked back and cocked his head.
Harold ignored the commotion generated by the two of them going down the stairs, tuned out his Vampire hearing and settled back into the pillows. He was almost asleep when he heard a yelp, a grunt, and a few choice curses. Not wanting to move in the least, he refused to look out of his blanket cocoon even as he heard John and Bear come in again.
There was some banging around as his Mate stoked the fire up and command Bear to lie down on his bed.
There was stomping and the sound of wet clothes hitting the floor, and he hoped John picked his discarded items up off the rugs before things got damp. The shower ran for about ten minutes, and then he heard the rustling of more clothes.
Harold smirked when he heard John rummaging around the side table, putting the kettle on.
Then suddenly the covers were lifted and his Mate slid into bed, complete with cold hands and feet.
“Mr. Reese!!” Harold squeaked in alarm as he was assaulted for a third time.
“There’s at least two feet of snow out there, and more coming.” John pulled him close, his cold hands moving under the flannel pajamas, finding soft, warm skin and sensitive places. “You’re nice and cuddly, Harold.” He grinned.
“I’m not your personal heater.” Finch wiggled but couldn’t escape.
John, careful of the injuries his Mate endured, pinned him down into the bed, taking his mouth in a passionate kiss. “There’s one other way for you to warm me up.”
Harold chuckled against his lips, deepening the kiss still further until they were interrupted by a pathetic whine.
“Really?” John shifted and looked at their dog.
Bear lay on the ground, paws over his nose, looking all sad.
“John, he’s cold.”
“What I have planned for generating heat, doesn’t actually include Bear,” Reese pointed out.
He looked from Harold to Bear and back again.
“Yeah, I’m not getting laid this morning.” He held up the corner of the covers.
Bear yipped and jumped onto the bed, moving under the blankets, climbing over John and squirming lazily until he was right in the middle of his two Masters.
“Mr. Reese, I think something has come between us.”
“You think, Mr. Finch?”
John scratched behind Bear’s ears, then reached to take Harold’s hand. As he leaned over to give him a quick kiss, he got licked instead. “You are in so much trouble,” he growled, and Bear whined, laying his head on Harold’s shoulder. “We’ll be talking about personal boundaries later.”
Settling down, Reese pushed Bear further away and deeper into the bed so he could have Harold lying against him.
“You smell like dog, John.”
“I could lick you.” He nuzzled his Mate’s neck.
“Not in front of Bear!” Harold’s indignation was rather hilarious.
The dog made his way back up again, settling next to Finch, head on the pillow, falling into doggie slumber with an ease his Masters rather envied.
They smiled at each other, and were about to try and close their eyes when the kettle boiled.
“Oh!” Harold laughed lightly. “Tea, Mr. Reese?”
“Only if I get to warm my hands up on the mug…”
“Rather that than my stomach.”
“I can’t get both?”
Bear snuffled noisily.
“Maybe later,” Harold teased, winking at him suggestively. “It’s going to be a long day at home for us after all.”