Author's Note: Thanks to Michaela for all those prompts. This was a small conversation playing in my head that would not go away. As ever, I don't own Criminal Minds
"You know you really need to stop this shit, Morgan," Dave said softly, watching as Derek's head dropped into his hands as Penelope Garcia stomped from the room. "You really think she'll always be waiting, don't you? That she'll just stand around forever while you figure things out."
Raising slightly hungover eyes to Dave's, Morgan shook his head. "What do you know about it, Rossi?"
Staring back at the younger man, Dave sadly shook his head. "A lot more than I'd like to admit," he murmured as his eyes wandered to where Jennifer Jareau stood making another pot of coffee. "I know that sooner or later, you're going to wake up one morning alone and the only person that you really want in the world is way too good for you…because of the choices you made. You'll realize that you're afraid to touch her…afraid to try…because you feel dirty…soiled. Because of the actions you CHOSE to take. That one perfect woman will be just beyond your reach because of your own stupidity. Is that what you want for yourself, Derek?"
Staring at Rossi, Morgan whispered, "You mean do I want to end up like you?" Eyes following Dave's to rest on JJ, Morgan remarked softly, "You know it might not go the way you think. You could try."
"No," Dave said firmly. "My time ran out a long time ago for anything truly meaningful. All I'd bring her is more pain. But, you…you still have time, son. Every time Garcia comes in and sees you like this, it puts a knife in her heart. But you still have time to change, Derek. Still have time to make things right. Go talk to her. Tell her how you really feel before it's too late," Dave advised. "Before you ruin your one chance at real happiness before it even begins."
Nodding, Morgan slowly stood. Eyes traveling to JJ, Morgan looked back at Rossi's wishful eyes. "Maybe you ought to do the same."
Smiling sadly, Dave shook his head. "My time has passed. But yours, kid, yours has just begun."
Watching as Derek walked toward the bank of elevators that would lead him to Garcia's office, Dave sighed. Perhaps his stupidity over the years could preserve at least one relationship. If so, maybe it was all worth it.