ext_9222 ([identity profile] aprilvalentine.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] crack_van2014-01-15 08:01 pm

The Crossing Over by Managerie (teen and up)

Fandom: PERSON OF INTEREST
Pairing: Harold Finch/John Reese
Length: 1030 words
Author on LJ: [community profile] menagerie
Author Website: AO3

Why this must be read: this fic looks at the most divisive and shattering episode of Person of Interest from a slash perspective and works.

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The death of Detective Joss Carter was the peniultimate event in POI fandom. It broke hearts, drove many out of the fandom and caused anger and despair among those who stayed. It happened in December 2013 and was one reason I had trouble doing the recs for this comm the way I should have because even if I wasn’t sobbing over her death, the way the fandom was affected upset everyone. Not only was a loved character and woman of color killed in what some saw as a senseless quest for ratings or to inflict man pain on John Reese, many fans, myself included, felt scenes between Carter and Reese in what proved to be their last hours together were greeted with accusations they were out of character, too soon, too little, too much and worse, a retcon of the motivations of John Reese’s character from the previous two seasons. While those who shipped him with Carter saw a slow building sexual tension on screen, others, both non-shippers and slashers alike, didn’t pick up on those elements. For two years, Reese told anyone he met, strangers, numbers he was helping, random passersby, that it was Finch who saved him and gave him a reason to live. Suddenly, in the episode The Crossing, while trapped and surrounded by bad guys and facing near certain death, he started telling Carter that it was she who saved and changed him. Not to downplay her role in his life, many still felt this came out of left field, while the het shippers were rejoicing to see their fondest dreams realized – only to have them dashed not fifteen minutes later when Carter and Reese were shot by ambush and she died in his arms. For the Careese fans it was a shock to have the rug swept out from under them by apparently deceitful show runners. For the Rinch contingent, it was equally baffling. Did TPTB intend to forget that Reese had said dozens of times that he regarded Finch as the one to whom he owed his life and that, even with Carter dead, would the relationship we had come to adore be ignored in the “new direction” the show was taking? For many, POI is their first fandom or first slash fandom and this seeming reversal took even long time fans slash goggles and ground them under the heel of writers who had apparently thrown out the canon of the last 40 episodes of the show.

How could John Reese show affection for Carter, say those things to her and even kiss her when he loves Finch? If they had never taken their relationship that far, how could they now? If they were already lovers, what did it mean?

Thank goodness for Managerie. Into this maelstrom of anguish and tears, she delivered this fic that put things into perspective.

Reese has also been shot and since this fic picks up immediately after the end of the episode and was written before the subsequent one in which we saw the severity of his injuries, Managerie skillfully tells us just enough about how badly he may be hurt, having Finch and Shaw do first aid in a hotel room they’ve gone to hide from authorities in, as Reese sobs out his pain and despair to Finch.

Managerie not only posits an ongoing sexual relationship between Reese and Finch, she doesn’t shy away from the canonical idea that Reese and Zoe have been friends with benefits either. In her hands, we learn that Reese, the damaged warrior, has been trying to figure out what Finch wants with him by the mixed signals Finch has been sending out. He also hints at what kind of a man his father expected him to be and his self loathing for his misdeeds with the Army and CIA are never far from the surface of this man who only seemingly has put himself back together since joining Finch in his quest to save lives.

Through Managerie’s words, I could see Reese’s trembling body, hear his catching breaths and practically taste his tears and he tries to express to Finch why he said what he did to Carter and how confused and lost he now feels. Desperate, he says what he never would if he were wounded and grieving, he asks Finch what he did wrong. Of course, Finch says he has done nothing.
John gathered some toilet paper to wipe his eyes and blow his nose, “Then why do you keep kicking me out of your bed? I thought we figured out the sex pretty well.”
Harold blushed, stood and busied himself with the medical supplies before he answered. “Our sex life is wonderful Mr. Reese. However, I feel it would be wrong of me to steal your chance at a family.”

But Reese feels he doesn’t deserve a normal life and family and hthis man who will never forgive himself for the lives he’s taken has been unable to reconcile what he does want.
Managerie ends on a poignant note, just as the next couple of episodes did, giving the reader just the right amount of explantion and hope. POI fans know that Reese and Finch, however they regard their relationship, have entered into a pact that may all too soon end in both their deaths.
As for the fandom, I am seeing signs of recovery as the few episodes since Carter’s death have aired. It remains to be seen whether the fiction or the fannish energy will return and only time will tell.



The Crossing Over/a>

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