Title: Reassurances

Summary: A simple dinner gets a little complicated.

WARNING: story contains non-sexual spanking of an adult, if that's not your cup of tea, don't read!

Disclaimer: I own nothing. The following story is for fan entertainment only.

A/N The end of "3rd Life" didn't sit well with me. Reid was obviously disturbed by what had just happened, but Morgan does nothing but say 'you alright?'. Yes, he's just dandy, Mr. Morgan, watching a girl beg her father to shoot someone right in front of her isn't shocking or anything. So, this is what resulted.

Agent Derek Morgan frowned when he heard Dr. Spencer Reid decline a dinner invitation from JJ and Garcia. Reid hadn't been acting himself over the past few weeks, and the kid looked worn down. He had been with Reid the whole day and knew for a fact that he hadn't eaten. He figured it was time he got to the bottom of things.

"Come on, grab your stuff, you're having dinner with me" Morgan said, clapping the younger man on the back as he threw his jacket over his shoulder.

"Morgan, thanks, but you don't have to" Reid said, looking up from his desk. He wasn't in the mood to hang out with anyone today; he just wanted to be alone.

"I'm not asking kid" Derek shot him a look, and Reid complied, too tired to argue.

The ride back to Derek's apartment was short and awkward. Morgan kept trying to start a conversation with the younger man, but was only treated to one word answers and shrugs. When they finally had made it into the apartment, Spencer stood in the entryway, not sure what to do. Morgan had tossed his stuff on the couch and headed straight into the small kitchen.

"Make yourself comfortable" Derek said from the freezer. Spencer sat awkwardly on the couch with his messenger bag clutched tightly on his lap. He had been to Morgan's place before, but never alone. He was offended that the older man insisted on making sure he ate, he was quite capable of taking care of himself.

"You like stir-fry?" Morgan asked. He was piling vegetables onto the counter and pulling out various pieces of cookware. Spencer eyed the mushrooms and baby corn, probably his least favorite foods.

"Not really" he replied, sounding like a petulant ten year old.

"You want me to make you something else?" Morgan asked.

"No, I told you, I'm not hungry" Spencer replied. Morgan went back to preparing the meal, choosing to ignore Spencer's comment.

"I've got some frozen won-tons I can pop in the oven too. They're not as good as takeout, but they're decent" Morgan continued to chat, more to himself than Reid, who obviously wasn't listening. He had pulled out a book and was quickly scanning the pages.

"Food's done" Morgan called about twenty minutes later.

"Reid" He tried again as he set the plates on the kitchen table. Spencer was still reading and either ignoring Morgan or completely engrossed in his book. Derek walked over to him and pulled the book out of his hands.

"Hey!" Spencer yelled, reaching for his book.

"Dinner's ready" Morgan repeated, setting the book down on the coffee table.

"How many times do I have to tell you I'm not hungry?" Spencer replied, throwing himself back in the recliner and holding his bag protectively in front of him. He was actually getting hungry and the food smelled pretty good, but he didn't want Morgan to know that.

"Reid, come on. I know you haven't eaten today" Morgan pressed.

"Fine!" Spencer said, pushing himself off the couch and throwing his bag down.

"Hey, hey. What's up with you Reid?" Morgan finally asked. He had hoped to at least get some food in the younger man before he talked to him, but his outburst had made him rethink that plan.

"Sorry, I—I guess I'm just tired" Reid said as he sat down.

"You sure that's all it is?" Morgan asked, sitting across from Spencer.

"Yeah, I'm fine" Reid replied offensively.

"Okay, okay" Morgan backed down and picked up his fork. This was going to be harder than he thought.

The two ate in silence, Morgan having given up on holding a conversation with the younger man and deciding he'd try again after dinner.

"You done already?" Morgan asked when Reid pushed his plate away and sat back in his chair.

"I'm full. I should probably get going anyway, it's getting late" Spencer said, pushing his long hair behind his ears.

"Reid, it's only six thirty, and you barely touched your food. Come on, eat a little more" Derek said as he pushed the plate back toward the younger man.

"God, will you stop telling me what to do!" Reid yelled as he stood up, causing the chair to fall back on the floor. He grabbed his plate and threw it none too gently into the sink, sending some of the meal on to the kitchen counter. "I don't want any more!"

"Hey, calm down" Morgan said as he stood. Spencer was now at the couch, picking up his bag and roughly throwing it over his shoulder.

"No, I'm going home!" Spencer tried to open the door, but Morgan grabbed his shoulder, turning him around.

"No, you're gong to stay right here and tell me what the hell is going on!" Reid tried to pull away, but Morgan had him by both arms. He didn't know why Reid was fighting him so much when all he wanted to do was talk.

"Fuck you! Let go of me!" Reid was angry, but Derek was a lot stronger than he was.

"Calm down!" Morgan demanded, but Reid didn't comply. He yelled something unintelligible and tried to kick Morgan.

"That's enough!" Morgan yelled, turning Spencer around and tucking him under his arm. He landed a series of hard smacks to the younger man's backside, causing him to yell more.

"What the hell are you doing? Stop it!" Spencer struggled as Morgan pulled him back to the couch and over his lap. He pulled Spencer's bag off his shoulder and let it fall to the floor. He pulled the younger man close and landed another series of swats to his ass. Reid didn't want to talk, fine. He'd get his attention another way.

"You can't do this!" Spencer cried, trying to cover himself. Morgan grabbed his wrist and held it against his lower back.

"Listen to me" SMACK SMACK "I've had enough of your attitude lately" SMACK SMACK SMACK "You're going to stop acting like a child" SMACK SMACK "and tell me what's been going on with you" SMACK SMACK "You understand me?"

"Okay, okay!" Spencer yelled through his tears. His backside was burning, but he was more embarrassed than anything. Morgan let him go and Spencer quickly stood up. He turned away from the older man and hid his face in his hands.

"Hey, come here" Morgan said, pulling the smaller man into his arms. "Tell me what's wrong"

"It's com—complicated" Spencer said through his hitched sobs. He felt like he was unraveling. He was shocked that Morgan had just spanked him, even if he had succeeded in calming him down. Did he know that Gideon used to, before he—

"Is it about Gideon leaving?" Morgan asked, running his hands through the mass of hair resting on his shoulder. He felt the smaller man nod.

"I thought you were okay with—"

"It's not just that" Spencer interrupted. "Everyone thinks they can tell me what to do"

"They're only trying to help" Morgan reassured.

"I know, I know. But it only makes things harder"

"Makes what harder?" Morgan tried to pull the smaller man away so he could look at him, but Spencer held onto Morgan tighter.

"Come on, sit down" Reid allowed himself to be pulled back onto the couch. He sat close to Morgan, but didn't want to look at the older man.

"Makes what harder?" Morgan asked again.

"When they leave" Spencer said quietly.

"Spencer" Morgan tried. He knew it was hard for the younger man, having been abandoned by his father and then Gideon.

"No, you don't know. Everyone leaves me, so why should I bother" Reid sniffed.

"Why should you let them get close to you?" Morgan guessed, already knowing it was the truth.

"Yeah" Spencer said meekly, playing with a thread on the couch.

"Is that why you won't talk to me?"

Spencer nodded.

"I'm not going anywhere; I want you to know that"

Reid looked up at him, tears still in his eyes. "You don't know that. You don't know what will happen"

"Hey, as long as I'm breathing, I'll be here for you, understand?" Reid took note of the seriousness in Morgan's eyes and nodded.

"Now, can you tell me what you haven't wanted to talk to me about?"

"Lindsay" Reid said quietly, referring to a case they had worked a few weeks back.

"Kid, you did everything you could"

"I know, and that's the problem. I tired, but I couldn't…"

"Sometimes that's just how things play out. We can't save everyone. You know that"

"But I let Jack kill him, it was what she wanted. And he's going to get away with it. It was so wrong" Reid said, finally looking up at Morgan. He knew that Lindsay would never be the same, and he felt guilty.

"It wasn't your choice. That girl was lost long before she was kidnapped. We did everything we could" He grabbed Spencer's hand a squeezed it reassuringly. "You did everything you could"

Spencer nodded

"You talk to me when cases start to get to you, okay?" Morgan stated. He didn't want Spencer pulling away from him again. He knew the younger man needed someone to be able to turn to.

Spencer nodded again; feeling reassured that Morgan would stand by him. He smiled slightly when heard his stomach growl.

"Um, Morgan?" Spencer asked tentatively


"Can you make me something else to eat?"

"Sure, kid" Morgan laughed. He ruffled the smaller man's hair before getting up and heading back to the kitchen.