Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Sylum Advent 2015: December 25th

Sylum Advent 2015: December 25th



Title: Red Lights

Author: Bj Jones

Creative Consultant: Timothy Quinn

Author’s Note: If you haven’t downloaded the Sylum 10th Anniversary Fanmix – do it now – click on Red Lights!

ADMIN NOTE:  Elements of this story is Non-Canon due to the fact Harold and Reese totally changed their canon.   We will re-edit and update this story once and let you know when it’s been uploaded to the Archive.  In the meantime enjoy!


Autumn 2013

Following on a series of security cameras, the steady progress his Mate made in pressing his way through a heaving mass of pulsating bodies on the dance floor of a trendy club, was hardly the most difficult system Harold Finch had ever hacked in his life.

Such places had better means for watching over their clientele than they used to in years gone by, which was probably more a direct response to facing one too many drug raids and devastating fires, than actually giving a damn about the people. But Harold also knew a great deal about insurance too, and could absolutely guarantee that there were certain requirements for better public liability coverage, than the public ever rightly appreciated.

He could easily hear the music that was playing – something synthesized, with a ridiculously addictive beat. Everyone was bouncing to it like they’d been simultaneously wired to the same circuit, getting their ears tortured by auditory overload.

Since his own Turning, he had come to have an astute mastery of his particular sensory requirements, knowing easily how to control and manipulate them for his best advantage whenever necessary. It had taken some considerable time, practice, patience. But he was good with all those traits, even though no one had stopped long enough to consider he might actually need lessons at some point, in what he had been forced to become.

At least John had been granted the benefit of a fine Sire – a man he trusted, a worthy colleague to guide him in those first few vital weeks.

Harold was almost envious of that.

Just as he was really quite decidedly jealous of the looks his Mate was receiving, there at ‘Club Sinz’.

He rolled his eyes, as much at himself as the rampant stupidity of business owners in New York who honestly thought the deliberate miss-spelling of the English language was somehow cute. It was harder than he had actually anticipated, having his Mate be the object of so many lustful and greedy advances.

Not that it had been that much easier back before John had become a Vampire, but their Bond was still so new, he could only hope it would settle onto a more even keel with time.

Still, there was something about the way John moved through the crowd, that he could not ignore, and there was suddenly a lot to be said for the allure of a hot and rhythmic pulse that stirred the flesh into its most basic and primal of instincts…

Their Person of Interest being safely handcuffed less than ten minutes later, and delivered to the waiting arms of Detectives Carter and Fusco, there was a sense of satisfied achievement to be had for those others who were blissfully unaware of how they had be fortuitously saved by the handsome man in the suite. And Harold happily closed their latest case with what had become a highly familiar sense of anticipation for whenever Jarvis saw fit to give them a new number to track down.

“A most satisfactory conclusion.”

Harold nodded as his A.I passed suitable judgment on the moment. “Indeed.” He stretched his aching back a little tentatively as he pushed his chair away from the desk and stood up. “Not a single punch thrown or gun pulled. I do believe that may be a first for us.”

“Mister Reese is on his way back to the library.”

“Excellent! We shall have some tea.”

Having been sat for far too long that day, Harold felt stiff and definitely in need of a decent Feeding before his muscles ceased completely. He had to stop with the hours of sedentary work he had recently been undergoing, and get out more for some exercise, yet even with the best will in the world, just walking Bear inevitably drew him back to his desk sooner or later.

The dog promptly yawned expansively, licked its chops and curled into his fleece-lined bed for a snooze, almost daring him to suggest they should go for an evening stroll.

Harold snorted at his four-legged companion’s lack of fortitude, and limped over to his book cart instead, patting it like he might otherwise offer comfort to the dog.

He did actually have some recent research material to resolve, and figured that making his way through the stacks for a while, would at least grant him some small relief from the alarming sensation of having a red hot poker run the length of his spine. When he was done, he’d warm a mug of blood and make some tea, and hopefully time it just right for when John arrived.

Over the last few months, the library had in effect, come their home. Not that they didn’t already have separate living spaces, assorted safe houses, bolt holes, and even hotel suites dotted across the city. They might – on occasion – be men who very much needed their own privacy, and some personal space, but they were still learning to be with each other on a level which required far more than a mere passing nod and a quick nap in the Archaeology Section. So with that in mind, they had steadily converted the very top floor of the old library into a Studio apartment that was functional, remarkably well equipped, and quite miraculously secure enough for them both to sleep in without being constantly on edge.

Blackout boards at the big, round windows kept curious New Yorkers from spying lights on that far up a building which was meant to be long abandoned. There was a skylight too, for emergency egress should the need ever arise and there was no way to reach ground level. Though Harold had no idea what exactly might compel him onto the roof through a hatch that Bear would be hard pressed to wiggle his tail into, he had to admit he was finding himself in some increasingly life-threatening situations of late.

He snorted again, wondering when exactly he’d gone from everything being a threat of one form or another, to a sliding scale of potential risks, with some being markedly more worthwhile than others.

Trundling steadily around the History Section in a building which still managed to creak and groan with age about as much as he did himself – not to mention his poor old cart – he soon found the damn stupid music he had been hearing from the club, pounding away inside his skull no matter what he tried to blot it out with. And he was nothing if not exceedingly resourceful in such matters, not to mention fluid in multiple languages, fine poetry and mathematic problem solving.

It wasn’t sufficiently terrible a song to warrant giving him a raging headache, but its rhythm was easy, its words simple, and its over all effect attractive enough that he found himself singing and dancing along to it before he consciously realized there might be a problem. When his mind did react to what he was doing, he knew it was far too late to stop it in mid-flow.

Blacked out, everything’s faded…

Later, he would blame the steady rattle of his cart as its wheels hit the floor.

He would blame tiredness.

Being at his desk all afternoon.

Even temporary mental aberration.

Or lack of blood sugar.

On your love I’m already wasted…

Reese, on the other hand, having secured the building for the night, chose not to blame anything, and after petting his faithful, sleepy Bear, proceeded to track his Mate’s passage through the dark and dusty bookshelves of his peculiar domain

As Vampires, lights were not always a vital necessity for safely traversing darkened spaces, and he fully appreciated the extra practice it permitted him in stretching out his other senses to locate the wayward billionaire genius who had saved him from himself and given him a new reason to live.

Besides which, Harold invariable smelt like old books to him even when he wasn’t hiding amongst them.

It wasn’t hard to pick out the humming either, though he had to admit it was one more unusual occurrence to document in the permanently growing mental filing cabinet of strangeness labeled ‘Harold Finch’. For just when he thought he understood at least some of his Mate’s personality traits, habits, skills, hobbies, subtleties, interests, and passions, he tended to find another.

And another.

A bit like all those incredibly expensive, hand-tailored suites that hung in the closet, each a veritable myriad of color, texture and style.

He stood for the longest while just inside the doorway to the History Department, where the ambient light would not reach him and cast his shadow on the frame. To his surprise, and strangely to his delight, Harold was dancing past the end of the main aisle, books in hand. Or at least that was how it appeared, if the definition of dancing truly extended to anyone with hips.

Doing the sideways shuffle on alternating toes and heels, his Mate look about as geeky and stiff as every drunk, elderly, decidedly lovable uncle had ever done, at every wedding reception in the history of the known universe.

It was sufficient to warrant what passed on Reese’s face, for an actually full-on, honest to God, hundred percent genuine smile, and a desperately choked back laugh of sheer delight, as Harold grooved his way from left to right, then right to left, utterly oblivious to his audience.

Though John suddenly understood with complete clarity exactly what was meant by ‘dance like nobody’s watching’.

After a moment, Harold boogied his way to the right again, and as he sang the words in what was really a very passable tenor, his coat tails flapping to expose the lilac hued silk lining that matched his pocket square, the damn song from that club hit John too, despite the man’s very valiant attempts in the last couple of hours, to stop it circulating in an endless loop through his head. But it wasn’t as though he had anywhere else to be just then, or anyone he needed to go rescue.

Unless of course, that should include Harold himself, whom he feared might later regret being quite so free with his damaged spine. It still irked him that even after their Bonding, certain information remained beyond the older Vampire’s capacity to explain, despite that ‘high dollar’ vocabulary of his. Their trust in one another was absolute, yet their capacity to sometimes talk about themselves, remained elusive.

Harold scooted his way back to the other side of the aisle and vanished from sight.

Still singing.

So close that I can taste it now…now…

There was a small, wicked smirk on John’s face then, as he set out in pursuit, turning up the collar of his jacket, to hide the white shirt he wore beneath.

Melding into the musty shadows, he stalked his target as keenly as any other, yet with an added edge that never came from simply doing his job.

So let’s break right out of these gilded cages…

It was a thrill, to balance power with purpose, not for the benefit of his country’s ideals, or even the safety of innocents, but for himself.

For the Vampire he was even then barely starting to appreciate in all its complexities, wanted its Mate, and refused to be denied.

We’re gonna make it now…
Don’t ever turn around

Harold had no idea what was coming. He certainly never heard his Mate, nor did he smell him. And he was far too preoccupied with his books to notice anything but the rhythm in his head, and the beat he was moving too.

Don’t ever turn around…  

It remarkably loosened his muscles, all that twisting and turning, but he tensed rigid sure enough, when his safe and unthreatening environment, became anything but.

His book cart lurched into the nearest shelves.

Had his heart still been beating it would likely have leapt into his mouth, and wound up on the floor at his feet, as he was pressed against the cart rail by an unseen man, who had no problem whatever in not only invading his personal space, but making it more than apparent that resistance was utterly futile.

Nobody else needs to know…
Where we might go… 

Exceptionally strong arms embraced him from behind, holding him still.

He hiccuped.

Caught unawares, it was at first horrifying that his sanctuary had been violated, and the fear that coursed through him as a million terrors, old and new, passed into his consciousness, was positively palpable.

Until he realized who had him.

“Easy there, Finch,” Reese murmured, purring the words in his ear.

“Bear was meant to alert me when you got back,” Harold gasped, as familiar hands suddenly slipped under his jacket.

“Bear’s asleep.”

“He is such a traitor!”

“He just knows what’s in his Masters’ best interest.” Reese ground his hips into his Mate’s, the club beat still strong enough in his mind to drive him. “You were clearly having fun without me.”

We could just run them red lights…
We could just run them red lights… 

Harold struggled to be free, that he might be permitted chance to defend his personal sense of mortification, but John was having none of it, and their Bond tingled with a rich sense of anticipation. “What is it you want of me, Mister Reese?” he asked, those hands exploring his waist and chest.

“Keep the music playing.”

It was the barest suggestion, whispered against his neck, and yet it seemed his instincts were in complete agreement, regardless of rational thought, and he found his own hips moving to that beat as they had before, only with a more meaningful purpose.

There ain’t no reason to stay…
We’ll be light years away… 

John’s hands tugged his shirt tails from his belt, and touched bare skin.

It was like being struck by lightning, as the tempo moved them together.

The pain Harold normally knew when he was tired and under Fed, became a secondary concern in those moments when the Vampire could not be denied. And he had been learning the sometimes not very subtle art of how to let go his self-control and trust himself to the man who made him whole in ways he had once never even dared imagine.

His belt came open just a fleeting second later, and his body melded so very tightly to John’s, that he could feel so much more than just those hands busy mapping his flesh.

We could just run them red lights…
We could just run them red lights… 

Moving to the beat, he let it guide him and focus his thoughts.

His Mate was complex. Sometimes demanding, sometimes quite coy, yet always considerate, and thoughtful as a lover.

Suddenly however, he was most forceful.

We could just run them red lights…
We could just run them red lights… 

“You think I didn’t feel what you feeling while I was in that club, Harold? Knowing your eyes were on me…?” Reese muttered. “The Bond we share can never lie to us.”

It was a truth they both struggled with, being men of such secrets as might change the world.

“I may have broken some traffic laws, getting home that fast…” John smirked, his lips against Harold’s left cheek as they moved to the song only they could hear.

White lights, flirt in the darkness…

This road leads where your heart is… 

Heat rose from his Mate’s flushing neck.

“Don’t turn around,” he growled, sensing what Harold wanted. “Not until I’m done with you.”

These signs, something we can’t ignore…no…

There was sufficient danger implied in his words, to have Finch shivering with an unexpected arousal that had him harder than he really ought to have been, given his current physical predicament.

John’s hands slid into his boxers, and found their prize, moving still with the pulse of that same music.

Harold closed his eyes and let go.

There was nothing to fight.

Nothing to protest.

Nothing to struggle for.

We can’t back down…
We’ll never let them change us… 

There was only his Mate.

And their Bond.

It exploded with a scintillating brilliance that made him quake as he fell into John’s arms, allowing himself to be supported as he climaxed with quite alarming speed.

The book cart shook violently.

He tried to draw a heaving breath, but was not permitted chance to even gather his wits as he was pulled right around to the shelves on the opposite side of the aisle, and shoved firmly against them.

We’re gonna make it now…
What are we waiting for…? 

It had him flailing, seeking purchase for his hands on the edge of a row of books dedicated to the fall of the Roman Empire.

He blinked, his brain wanting to make connections to certain ironies that just refuse to solidify, not with his most immediate sphere of concern being anything but humor.

What are we waiting for…?

Reese growled in his left are again – a deep vibration that suggested they were far from done, and he was indeed the prey the predator had won.

Harold felt goosebumps run down his spine.

And still the music pounded in their heads, expressing itself in the movement of their hips.

John had always been a man of the utmost self-control and personal restraint, never loosing his emotions on an unsuspecting world unless he had a target of strategic value in his sights. Working with Harold at the behest of The Machine, had encouraged him to rationalize those same emotions in a way he never before understood, for a purpose that made considerable difference to the more immediate lives of others. Since his Turning, however, he had learned the advantage of permitting himself an entirely different form of control, that could be released without threat to those around him.

And in the scant few months since he had died in the arms of his one real friend in the world, he had truly found reason for the creature he always knew lived inside him.

It had a name suddenly.

And a passion it craved.

He thought he knew what it meant to be connected to the world.

He thought he knew what it was to love.

And be loved.

For a while it had been real.

Painfully so.

Desperately so.

Until it simply wasn’t anymore.

Until his reality changed.

Then there was regret, for the road not taken as weighed against he value of the one he had chosen for himself instead.

Until everything changed again.

And he was dead.

Only then did he truly see the bigger picture.

The deeper meaning. 

And the better purpose.

It came with Harold.

All of it.

Then it all made perfect sense.

From the left hand pocket of his Mate’s pants, he pulled a small bottle of lube.


In a handmade suite.

Reese smiled to himself, his fangs nipping at the lobe of Harold’s left ear.

Nobody else needs to know…
Where we might go… 

They were made for this.

Nothing had ever made so much sense.

But this…?

This was perfect.

More perfect than he knew he deserved.

Jessica had connected him to the world.

Harold connected him to his Soul.

Still using his body weight to pin his Mate exactly where he wanted him, John flipped the bottle cap with one hand, and opened his pants with the other, prepping himself in a matter of seconds. Which action also had the added benefit of getting Harold’s trousers and underwear to finally hit the dusty library floor as he moved.

There would be some petulant fussing later on, over his audacious treatment of fine, expensive apparent, but he was not in any mood to care. Not when the very smell of his Mate was enough to have him more painfully hard than he could tolerate.

And John Reese could tolerate a lot of pain.

We could just run them red lights…
We could just run them red lights…

With his right knee, he urged Harold to put his right foot up a few inches, on the very bottom shelf of the bookcase. He encountered no argument, not even an attempt at resisting his will, though a warning alarm somewhere in his subconscious reminded him to get his Mate a decent Feed when they were done, as there was no way in hell such a position would be painless on Harold’s weak hip.

In truth, he wasn’t entirely sure how being Turned had failed to properly heal the injuries his Mate had endured back in the 1970’s. He’d researched the Arc Reactor explosion at Stark Industries, and seen the subsequent images of the funeral for a ‘Harold Raven’, Systems Engineer and personal friend to none other than Howard Stark himself. John had the sneaking suspicion that there was much, much more to the real events behind Harold’s ‘accident’ than met the eye – or the ear for that matter – given how very ‘private’ his Mate still was, even after their Bonding. But finding some actual historical evidence of at best the fractional story he’d pried out of Harold’s mouth six months ago, had left him with a burning anger in his gut that refused to go away. He knew his own Sire so very well, and could honestly say there was no better man for the role, so it felt particularly strange to even contemplate what it would be like not knowing who had done so personal, so intimate, and so very intense a thing to him. It seemed somehow to be pitied. And his Mate deserved better than that.

Which then determined for him, that given the right circumstances, he would be hunting the party, or parties responsible.

If only for his own personal peace of mind.

There ain’t no reason to stay…
We’ll be light years away…

Being inside his Mate was an experience there were no words for.

And Claiming his pert, tight, always immaculately clad ass, was a privilege all his own.

Harold forced himself to relax as best he could, despite the awkward positioning and the overwhelming tension that ran through John like roiling storm clouds.

Personally, he had a strong tendency for the romantic – fine food, good wine, stimulating conversation, beautiful music, elegant and tasteful surroundings. Yet there was something to be said for the risqué, and learning how best to fully grasp the moment. A little rebel still lived inside him after all – one who rather got a thrill from non-conformity, breaking the rules and breaking the law. He also enjoyed seeing others react to his occasional bouts of restless youth, which were generally in response to his not exactly having had much ‘youth’ to speak of after he did certain things to certain computer systems that were best left in the realms of ‘urban mythology’. He especially enjoyed watching John try to figure him out now and then. It was rather amusing. And utterly endearing.

So it was more of a thrill than he would actually ever admit, being roughly manhandled and forcibly taken by his clearly very lusty Mate that night, and he cried out as he was filled to the core, with not all that much in the way of preparation.

There ain’t no reason to stay…
We’ll be light years away… 

John was a large, strongly built, well proportioned man whose parts perfectly complimented his size.

In every way.

It occasionally made him feel a touch inadequate, given his own particular physical stature, which by comparison was rather diminutive. Not that he’d ever say so. He was a supremely confident man when it came to the certain skill sets he had been gifted with, and he was not exactly inexperienced in matters of sex.

Nathan had opened his eyes to certain possibilities, and of course it should never be said that size was more important than one’s natural talent.

He wondered for a moment who it was he kept trying to bite his lip for. It wasn’t like they had neighbors, or guests. And the dog didn’t really care all that much, even if he did have voyeuristic kink.

Gripping the shelf edge near his chin, Harold let the power of his Mate’s need swamp his own senses, and the passion of their Bond overwhelm him, shouting his joy to the darkened corners of the room as he was quite literally fucked to within an inch of his life.

We could just run them red lights…
We could just run them red lights… 

All the while, that song still pounded through his thoughts, even as John’s huge girth pounded against his prostate.

Everything else in the world was just bullshit.

All of it.

All the fear.

The hiding.

The moments of wishing he had truly, absolutely died in the collapse of Howard’s first Arc Reactor construction.

He knew he had been granted an incredible gift in the Vampire.

An honor he had done nothing to deserve, and for which he had not been respected sufficiently to warrant anyone asking if he might desire it.

But then John had changed everything.

All of it.

Given him meaning that went far beyond the expectation of human desire.

John shaped his existence.

Shaped his Soul.

Made him whole.

Gave him love without limitations.

Without end.

Without doubt.

And it was incredibly humbling.

He gasped, his face pushed into the books, his hips firm in his Mate’s hands as he was used.

It was sweaty.


And ruthlessly good.

His ribs ached against the shelving.

His shoulders pained his spine.

But he didn’t care.

He could feel John – every inch of him, every fiber of his being, every ripple of his torso, every breath against his over sensitized skin.

Nothing could separate them.

We could just run them red lights…
We could just run them red light… 






Closing his eyes again, he surrendered as his Mate’s need stoked their Bond to a searing roar.

And he came for the second time in that very moment, crying John’s name and going weak at the knees.

A dark chuckle in his left ear was but the prelude to feeling his Mate tear open his shirt collar, and fangs sink deeply into his neck.

Harold shuddered, and he came again almost instantly, thrust beyond the point where his senses could cope, and he passed out as he was filled with the hot splash of his Mate’s juices.

When he woke, it took him a lot longer than it probably ought, to fully appreciate that he was in fact, lying down.



His body alerted him then to more than his usual quota of aches, pains, spasms and twitches, most notably the fact that his ass had been well and truly reamed the night before.

Or at least he assumed it was the next morning, when there wasn’t exactly an obvious way to tell what time it was without rolling over to look at the bedside clock.

The mattress beneath him, shifted gently as John moved behind him, snuggling into his back.

“Hi,” he murmured sleepily, familiar hands working their way up inside his pajama shirt.

“Hi,” John whispered. “You slept good.”

“You got me into bed?”

“Yes…” he chuckled dryly. “Got you cleaned up too.”

“I don’t recall.”

“Well, that would have a lot to do with you being blissfully unconscious for a while.” Reese kissed the soft curve of Harold’s neck, worried by the stiffness of the muscles there. “You need to Feed.” He pressed his left palm to his Mate’s chest. “I’ll warm you some blood.”

“Don’t move just yet.”

They had learned early on in their Mating, that it was incredibly easy to lie together.


They fitted to such perfection in each other’s arms that Harold could rest his damaged hip against John’s thigh, and finally sleep for more than just a few minutes at a time without waking in pain. Subsequently, neither man could actually sleep much without the other, as John also felt strangely lost without his Mate there close at his side, reassuring and solid.

“It’s okay,” Harold whispered, pushing backward a little into his embrace. “How did you get me up here?”

“I carried you.”

“Tell me that was not as humiliating as it sounds?”

“The hardest part was trying to decide what color pj set you’d want.”

Blinking, as he held up his own sleeve to examine his Mate’s choice of nightwear, Harold practically purred with delight. “Hmmmm,” he murmured, a naughty little smile spreading over his face at recalling how John never wore anything in bed. “Would you very much mind fetching me some blood now, so I can watch you walk naked across the room for it…?”


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