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Limitless fic - Endings and beginnings

Character(s): Brian Finch, Piper Baird
Genre(s): missing scene, friendship,
Episode(s): 1x22
Summary: Missing scene. I don't think Piper left right away.
Notes: Written as a Yuletide fic for Mosca. Hope you enjoy.

Brian closed his eyes as he felt the pinch at his neck and the cold liquid rushed straight to his brain. He could tell the vaccine was already working. He could feel the soothing effect it had on his brain cells and there were small fireworks going off behind his closed eyelids. The headache he battled for the last three days was starting to abate and his thoughts... they finally started calming down. Though it might've just been that Piper was pulling him into a passionate kiss and Brian could finally take her into his arms, the fear and guilt of the last few weeks slowly seeping out of his body as his senses were overcome by the feel of her skin, by the smell of her hair. He could tell that she was similarly affected, because the only reason they separated was the need for oxygen and for a chance to look into each other's eyes, to touch with their foreheads and just be.

"I really missed you," Brian said after a moment. "When I saw that empty cell, I-" he choked back a sob, then shook his head as Piper put a hand on his face.

"I know. I'm sorry. There was no other way. I couldn't let the FBI find me. I still can't, “ she added with a sigh and Brian nodded. He knew what that meant, knew how little time they had left.

"They'll be waiting for me at the hospital for a detox."

Piper bit her lips. She was hoping they'll have more time, maybe even few days, but when she planned this she thought Brian would still be immune. Somehow the fact that he continued taking NZT even after the side effects started made her heart ache even more.

"I'm sorry," she muttered and put her head on his shoulder, her arms tightly hugging his torso.

"No. Not your fault. Maybe I can call them... tell them I'll come in the morning."

She shook her head.

"Too risky. Your friends might come looking for you. I can't stay..."

"I know. But we still have few hours before they'll start wondering where I am."

She ran the risks through her mind and even though everything was telling her to leave now, to get away as soon as possible, her heart was disagreeing strongly with her brain, and finally they found a compromise.

"Few hours are more than I thought we'll ever have again," Brian said as he brushed his hand through Piper's hair and she smiled sadly.

'Maybe that's all we'll ever get,' she thought, but couldn't find the strength to say it aloud. But they were both on NZT and although Brian's brain was still adjusting to the vaccine and was in dire need of sleep, he understood that as well.

"Yeah. Come on, I want to show you my collection of butterflies," he said with a smirk and she slapped his arm jokingly.

"Brian Finch, don't you know I'm not that kind of a girl?"

"I'm sorry Miss; would you rather see my awesome, too cool for words, music collection?"

"Now you're speaking," she winked and let herself be led into Brian's room.

ooo

They were lying in bed, tired and satiated, but knowing that for some time this will be all they'll have, the memories of these moments. Brian was gently running his hand over Piper's hair that rested on his shoulder, while she was drawing symbols on his chest. It was the perfect moment and Brian planted a kiss on her head.

"I don't want to lose you," he whispered as she drew an infinity symbol right over his heart. "I want to go with you," he said after a moment and she stilled, and then sighed.

"I really wish you could, Brian. But... you can't."

"Why?" he frowned. This wasn't the first time he thought about leaving, hell, he left and went to Russia just to save Piper and bring her back. And while the NZT was screaming dozens of reasons why this wasn't a good idea, his heart was having none of it. For once, the pragmatic Brian lay in the corner, knocked out by the romantic Brian in the pullover with red hearts, who was shaking off his fist and nodding towards Brian. 'You're welcome,' he said, but then there was Piper, always the smart one. She touched his face and Brian blinked, looking into her eyes, which were quite visible in the moonlit room. "Why can't I come?" he repeated the question and the romantic Brian threw his arms in the air, frustrated.

"Look where we are, Brian," she said and Brian frowned, looked around his dark room.

"I would think that getting out of my parent's house is a reason to leave, actually," Brian said and she chuckled.

"That's not what I meant, and you know it. You have something I don't, Brian. This."

Brian was still trying to play obtuse.

"A great Ferris Bueller collection?"

Piper slapped his arm.

"Family, you idiot."

"Nicely said," he snorted then shook his head. "It didn't stop me from leaving before. Why should it now?"

"Because it would mean you have to leave them... maybe for good. You love your family, Brian. Love your friends at the FBI, love the job. With me... we would be on the run 24/7."

"So instead you'll be running alone. How is that better?"

"At least I'll know that there's someone who I can count on if I need help. If you came with me... it would be harder. No connections, no clue what Morra was planning. This town needs someone on guard, Brian. I gave you the tools; you just have to use them."

"So you say I'm the Batman and New York is my Gotham?" Brian's eyes shone and Piper smirked.

"I don't think you can call this your bat cave," she said and Brian snorted.

"You should've seen my cool office at the bureau. When I get back, I'm totally taking it-" Brian paused, realizing what he just said.

"See? That's what you're meant to be, Brian Finch."

"An FBI consultant?" he asked, his voice getting somber. Piper leaned over and gave him a long kiss.

"No. Someone, who can help people, someone who is good at the job and enjoys it. I don't want to take that away from you. Not the job and especially not your family."

"I still don't know what you told my dad. I swear he never looked at me like that before..."

"Like what?"

"Like he was proud. I never gave him a reason..." Brian sighed, pulling Piper into a tight hug.

"I just told him the truth, “ she whispered into his ear and was surprised when Brian suddenly moved and they rolled on the bed playfully.

"I love you, Piper," he growled and gave her a fierce kiss, which she returned with the same passion. The moon was shining into the room, they still had some time and they planned to use it the best they could.

Two hours later when they were both lost in a slight slumber, Brian's phone started ringing. Startled, he grabbed the phone from the bed stand and cursed when he saw Rebecca's number.

"Time's up," Piper said and pulled herself into a sitting position, her hand gently squeezing Brian's arm. "You'll need to answer it, or she'll send in the cavalry."

"I know. I just... I don't want to let you go."

"Brian-"

The ringing continued and Brian could imagine the growing frustration of the person on the other side of the call. With a sigh, he returned the squeeze to Piper's hand and accepted the call.

"Brian? Are you alright?" were the first words from Rebecca and he grimaced.

"Yeah,  hi. Sorry, I just fell asleep."

"Oh. I thought something happened. The hospital called that you didn't arrive yet." She suddenly sounded sheepish and nervous. "Are you okay? Do you need me to stop by and give you a ride?"

Brian looked at Piper who gave him a supporting look.

"Look, Becca... I'm not going to the hospital."

"What? Why? Brian, you know how bad the detox can be, you can't do it alone-"

"I know, I know. I'm not trying to. Just... there's something we need to talk about, first."

"Brian?" there was sudden suspicion in her voice and Brian cringed, already thinking how he'll have to put out the fire before she decided to send some patrol to check up on him as soon as possible. "Is everything okay?"

"Everything's squeaky fine," Brian said and rolled his eyes. "Listen, just... call the hospital to hold their horses and then... stop by and I'll explain everything."

"What is there to explain, Brian?" she asked and Brian heard the sound of rustling clothes. Of course she was already halfway out the door. He looked over at Piper and realized that she was also putting on her clothes and getting ready to leave. What was it with those women? When he needed them to move quickly, they took their sweet time, but when he wanted them to stay, they were up and ready before he could blink.

"I don't want to do it over the phone, and seeing as you're already locking your apartment door, I think it can wait that half hour it'll take you to come here," he said and with a short "See you then," ended the call.

„You know I could probably hide you in my room while I settle things with Rebecca. We might... get a bit more time?“  Brian tried, but even as he spoke he knew it was useless. Piper just looked at him, as if questioning his intelligence, while trying to locate her shirt. Brian reached under the bed and handed it over to her, if a bit more ruffled and dusty than it was before. Piper sighed and pulled on the shirt then sat on the bed next to Brian and took hold of his hand.

"If anyone can find me, it's you, Brian," she said and squeezed his hand. "You already did, more than once."

"I've also managed to lose you a few times," he said a bit grimly, then shook his head. This was not the time for regrets. He looked at her face, locking it into his memory forever. She did the exact same thing, then leaned over and gave him a slow and gentle kiss, savoring every second of it. Afterwards, she whispered something in his ear and without another word walked out of the room, leaving Brian sitting on his bed and fighting the urge to run after her, to stop her from leaving. He watched as the pragmatic Brian in a jumpsuit pulled the romantic Brian from the door and threw him head first on the bed, then without a blink sat down on his back and waited, eating an apple, while the romantic Brian struggled to free himself. It would've been a funny scene, if not for the sound of the outside door closing.

Brian stood up and took two steps toward the door, when the pragmatic Brian threw the apple at his head with a warning glance.

"You can thank me later with some apple pie," pragmatic Brian commented, ignoring the death glare Brian was sending his way, or the muffled string of curse words coming from the fighting lump right beneath him. He made a show of cleaning his fingernails looking bored for a minute or two then he slid off the struggling romantic Brian and sauntered out of the room without the care of the world. "I'll also accept cheesecake or milkshakes," he uttered, ducking from the flying pillow, then vanished, along with the image of the romantic Brian, just as there was the sound of a car passing by the house. Piper was gone and it was time to figure out what would happen next.

The End

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