Title: Lonely No More
Pairing: Don Flack/Jordan Hester
Fandom: CSI: NY/Person of Interest
Table: 1, stories_a_z
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Don Flack or Jordan Hester, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Don took a deep breath of fresh air as he came out of the courthouse, moving as quickly as he could down the front steps of the building. He never liked being in court; he hadn't wanted to be there today, but his testimony had been needed.
The woman he'd helped to put away had gotten away with identity theft for years, and she was finally going to be behind bars, where she belonged. Don had been one of the cops who had brought her in on charges years ago, but none of those had managed to stick.
This time, she'd been caught with her hand in the cookie jar -- and it was going to be a long time before she had the chance to harm anyone again, if ever. He didn't think that she would get parole, not after Jordan Hester's impassioned testimony against her.
Don hadn't been able to take his eyes off Jordan when he was on the stand; he was sure that he'd never seen such a beautiful man in his entire life. Just looking at Jordan had made his pulse leap, and his body had been responding to that accelerated heartbeat in uncomfortable ways.
Somehow, he was going to find a way to see Jordan again -- away from a courtroom, and out of sight of any prying eyes that might put two and two together. He wanted to spend some time with the other man and get to know him, not as a victim of a crime, but as a person.
He was tired of being lonely, and Jordan Hester was the first person who had caused such an immediate physical reaction within him for a very long time. It wasn't just physical, Don told himself firmly. He felt for the man. Jordan had been through a lot.
All he wanted was to talk with Jordan, to get to know him a little, to find out if he might be interested in the same way that Don was in him. He didn't know for certain if that interest might flow both ways, but he would never know unless he had the courage to ask.
With his luck, Jordan probably didn't even swing his way, he thought wryly. But the only way to find out was to talk with him, right? So he would have to figure out some way to do that -- and hope against hope that Jordan might be interested.
It wouldn't be hard to find Jordan; he knew where the man worked, and finding his address wouldn't be hard, either. But that might look a little odd, just showing up at the door of Jordan's apartment, he thought with a sigh. He'd have to think of some other way for them to meet.
He'd been lonely for too long, Don told himself firmly. He was going to try to exacerbate that loneliness -- and Jordan was the person he was interested in, so why not reach out? If Jordan wasn't interested, he'd be disappointed, but not devastated.
Don turned the corner to head down the street to his car, not looking where he was going. As he did, he collided forcibly with a man who was moving in the other direction -- someone who had apparently come from the back of the building around to the front.
His hand flew out to steady the other man, even as he struggled to regain his own balance. When he was firmly on his feet and was sure that he wouldn't fall, he looked up -- his eyes widening when he looked into Jordan Hester's handsome face.
This was the last thing he'd expected -- but it certainly gave him an opening. And it would be much easier to talk to Jordan now than to try and find some pretense of running into him later. He just had to find the right words, a way to invite Jordan out for coffee so they could talk.
"Sorry about that," he managed to say, his grip tightening momentarily on Jordan's shoulder. "I wasn't looking where I was going. Too much on my mind. Can I take you out for a cup of coffee to make up for almost knocking you off your feet?"
He was sure that his heart was going to melt at the sight of Jordan's smile. What was it about that smile that made his heart skip a beat? He didn't know why he was so attracted to this man, but at the moment, he would lay down his life for just one more smile from Jordan Hester.
"Sure," Jordan said, his voice only a little hesitant. "You were at the trial, weren't you? You testified a couple of days ago, about arresting that woman. I remember you." He didn't ask why Don had been there today, and Don didn't volunteer a reason.
"Yeah, I arrested her a few years ago, but it didn't stick," Don said, the regret he felt evident in his voice. "I knew she was a bad apple -- I'm just sorry you had to go through all of this for it to be proven. But at least she'll be in jail now, where she should have been all along."
"You got that right." Jordan's relief was obvious in his tone; Don couldn't hold back a smile at the sound of his voice. "I'm just happy to have my life back. I hope I'll be able to start repairing everything she destroyed pretty quickly. I just want to forget all of this happened."
"I can understand that," Don told him, nodding. "Identity theft has to be pretty scary, especially if the innocent party is the one who ends up in jail because of what the thief is doing." He shuddered, then took a deep breath. "There's a café just down the street."
Jordan nodded, falling into step beside Don as they walked along. "It just feels good to know that all this is behind me now. That I've got my life back, and I can start over. It's just not going to be as easy as it sounds. I lost a lot more than people realize."
Don nodded again, wishing with all of his heart that Jordan hadn't had to go through so much. "But you've still got what matters most," he said softly, turning his head to look at the other man. "You've still got your self-respect, and your pride. You never lost that."
"That's the one good thing about all this," Jordan said, his voice soft and thoughtful. "It's made me a lot stronger than I ever thought I could be. I hate to say that something like this might have been good for me, but maybe it was, in a weird way."
"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger," Don said with a soft laugh. "Don't remember who said it, but I think they were right. I've been through a lot of stuff that was pretty awful, but it made me a stronger person because I had to deal with things I never thought could happen."
He almost hated himself for the small surge of joy that was rising within him; he didn't want to feel that it might even be a good thing that all this had happened, in a way. If it never had, then he wouldn't have met Jordan. He'd never have known that this man existed.
"I was lucky," Jordan murmured, sounding as though he was reluctant to keep talking about what he'd so recently dealt with. "I had someone who was willing to help me get out of the trouble she was tossing me into. I just wish I knew where he'd gone, so I could thank him again."
"Whoever he was, I'm sure he knows you're grateful," Don answered, his heart sinking. Could this man who had helped Jordan be someone he was interested in? He'd sounded wistful when he'd spoken; could the man who'd helped him out have a hold on his heart?
He hoped not, but he would do his best to find out while they were talking over coffee. If Jordan's affections were already otherwise engaged, he didn't want to fall for a man he could never have. He didn't need that kind of heartache in his life.
"The worst thing about it all was feeling like I didn't have any friends left, that nobody cared about what was happening to me," Jordan said, his voice still very soft. "I'm tired of being lonely. I hope that since my name has been cleared, I won't have to worry about that any more."
"I know how that feels," Don said softly, hope surging within him. Could Jordan already be trying to tell him something? He was going to have to take things slowly, he was sure of that -- but maybe, just maybe, he could push them along just a little bit.
He wanted to stop walking, turn to Jordan and tell him that neither of them had to be lonely any more, that they'd found each other now. But that might seem a little too brash; he didn't want this man to think he was trying to come on strong, when that wasn't his intention.
Don wanted whatever the two of them might share to be more than just a quick fling; he was looking for a relationship, and he was sure that Jordan was the man he wanted to be involved with. Hopefully, he would find out within the next little while whether Jordan might feel the same.
"I'm pretty tired of being lonely, too," Don said, the words coming out before he could stop them. "I guess that's partly why I asked you out for coffee. To get started on being lonely no more by making a new friend. I hope you might feel the same way about that."
He didn't know where those words had come from; somehow, they sounded lame now that they were out in the open and Jordan had heard them. Don almost wanted to hold his breath -- or sink into a hole in the ground and disappear from view.
To his surprise, a soft smile curved Jordan's lips as he nodded and turned his head to look at Don. "I'd like that a lot," Jordan said, the words still spoken softly, but more behind them now. Don could swear that he heard a hint of promise in that tone, hidden behind the innocuous words.
"That sounds like a great idea to me," he said, his words barely above a whisper. "I don't know about you, but I could use a .... friend. And maybe something more," he added, his dark eyes meeting Don's, their gazes locking and holding for what felt like an eternity.
It took Don a moment to reach out and open the door leading into the cafeé, his pulse pounding as he did so. What did Jordan mean by that last remark? As he led the way to a table near the back, he hoped that it wouldn't take him much longer to find out.
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