Author's Note: Beta'd by the ever patient, exceptionally awesome tfm and my ace in the hole, super secret, name-cannot-be-said beta who...well, I can't tell you much more cuz then I'd have to kill you. And no one wants that, right?

Part Two

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You allow your body to take the lead, kissing him back, tasting the liquor and the salt of your tears. He seems to have been waiting for your cue, the kiss growing slightly more urgent now, still unhurried but leaving no doubt as to where things are heading now that he's not just testing the waters.

The kiss doesn't last nearly long enough but it is you who breaks away, your breathing ragged and shallow as you satisfy your need for oxygen. Right away you can see the question in his eyes, the beginnings of an apology too. He shakes his head, starts to speak. "I shouldn—"

Countering with a sharp shake of your own head, you cut him off, replying with a low but firm "No." You back it up by shifting to face him more fully on the sofa, knee sinking into the plush cushions as you draw it up under you. "Just…don't, okay?" you say, and your words low, breathing still uneven, tinged with need and just slightly with the sadness that's still lurking close to the surface. You don't give it the chance to reclaim its hold on you, reestablishing a physical connection before either of you can voice anything further. You don't want to think, but feeling is something you're more confident you can handle.

Derek doesn't seem to doubt that fact, his hands no longer passive as they trace down your sides, coming to rest on your hips. Neither of you are trying to rush things and for a while they just retrace that route as you explore each other's mouths, the only change when his hands delve beneath your top and touch your skin.

It is he who breaks the contact this time and you let out a noise that's half way between disapproval and a gasp for air. At some point you had come to straddle his lap. You don't really remember it but your knees are now planted on either side of his hips, though you're still hovering a few inches above him, something he's apparently not pleased with as his grip tightens on your hips and he pulls you down so that you feel him pressing against you. He moves his hips, grinding against you, spurring another gasp, softer this time, your fingers curling in the soft material of his shirt. What had started out as a dull, aching need catches and spreads, your body going warm from the inside out. You rock against him and he grunts, the sound mingling with your own soft curse as his lips find your jaw, drawing a line up to the sensitive area below your ear. You tilt your head to grant him better access, your mind going blissfully blank as every available bit of your awareness focuses in on the way he's making you feel.

He's tugging at the bottom of your shirt and you move to help him, sitting back and gripping the hem and tugging upward, dropping the top to the floor. He makes an appreciative sound as his gaze catches on your breast, and his open appraisal is enough to make you blush slightly at the nothing special black cotton bra you had grabbed blindly from the drawer that morning as you got ready for the funeral. Hotch's funeral.

The memory sends another wave of sadness, smothering some of the heat that has built up in the past few moments. You frown slightly, mad at yourself for reasons that aren't entirely clear but having a lot to do without being able to control the pain. Morgan's back hits that of the sofa with a bit more force that necessary when you push him back, his brow arching slightly at you though he remains silent on the unexpected aggression. You have little doubt he doesn't already know where it's coming from.

Instead his hands reach for the clasp at your back, making quick, expert work of it before circling around to grasp the soft flesh he's just uncovered. His voice is almost a growl when he murmurs a soft curse, his thumbs grazing sensitive peaks, chasing away the memory and making your eyes drop closed as you breathe a sigh.

His mouth replaces one of his hands and you drop your head, your hair falling forward and forming a curtain around your face. "Jesus, Derek…" A soft shudder traces along your spin as he switches to the other mound, treating it to the same teasing play. It's distracting and frustrating and you quickly want more than he's giving. You rock your hips against his again, more forceful this time, and he gets the message instantly, leaving your breast and reaching for your neck to tug you forward, meeting your lips with his.

"Bedroom," he grunts against your mouth, and you actually have to think about it for a brief moment before you reply.

"Upstairs."

He grunts again, his only reply except to wrap an arm around your waist and use the other to push off the couch. Your legs automatically wrap around his hips, even as you start to protest that you can walk. He ignores you, carrying you the short distance to the staircase, managing to navigate the stairs with his face buried in your neck.

"First door on the right," you breathe, and he obliges entering the darkened doorway and pausing momentarily, his lips leaving your skin as you can only assume he lets his eyes adjust enough to see rough outlines. The bed isn't hard to spot, it's in the center of the room, headboard against one wall, just a few steps from the door. He has your back against the mattress before you have time to tell him this, and you can feel his gaze on you in the dark as he quickly loses his shirt and begins to work on his pants.

"You're beautiful, you know that?" he asks, low and husky.

His words surprise you, your fingers stopping at your zipper as you feel a different kind of heat creeping up your chest and into your cheeks and suddenly you're thankful for the dark. He hadn't had to say that, it definitely wasn't in the script you had written in your mind. You're not sure what to make of his statement—and that's what it had been, really—and so you say nothing. He doesn't seem to mind the silence, stepping out of his pants and boxers as if he hadn't spoken at all.

Your eyes aren't fully adjusted so you can't see anything more than his shadow as he joins you on bed, next to you not on top. The feeling of his hand brushing yours as he reaches for your zipper drawing you from a trance you hadn't realized you were still in. You let him guide the zipper down, your body tensing slightly in anticipation as his hand brushes so close to where you want his attention most. The increase in adrenaline, in your need, almost makes you forget what he said mere seconds ago. Almost.

"You really think I'm beautiful?" You hear the words before you realize you've said them and close your eyes, thinking for the first time that the last drink or two probably hadn't been a great idea. You can feel the heat rise further and know that your face is blazing red. Again, he catches you off guard.

His chuckle is deep, his breath warm on your ear and neck, his hand slipping past the waistbands of the last two pieces of clothing you wear. "I know you are."

You shudder and know it has to with more than the fact that his fingers are inching towards your center. You feel silly for it. Sillier still when you reply. "You too."

He laughs again, his lips against your neck the sound vibrating against your skin and making you shudder again, the light nip that follows gaining him a soft moan. "That so, Princess," he says, at your ear now, the sometimes nickname sounding a lot better when his voice was a low rumble, rough with desire.

His fingers reach their destination then, before you can reply and you gasp and arch when they press against your clit. "Fuck," you murmur, biting your lower lip and closing your eyes. He says something but you can't make it out, his voice muffled by your skin as he moves back to your neck, suckling your pulse point, the sensations mingling with those coming from the bundle of nerves at his finger tips.

Your fingers circle his wrist, more for something to hold on to than any desire for him to stop or slow down. Your breath hitches as he shifts slightly, finding you more than ready when he eases one finger inside and then another, his thumb taking their place on your clit. You arch harder as he picks up speed, his voice registering again but the words as indiscernible as before, or maybe your thought center is too muddled to process them. It doesn't matter. Not as your muscles clench and your body gives a hard shudder, a soft cry leaving your lips.

You're breathing hard when he moves to kiss you, soft and reminiscent of when he had first kissed you on the couch. You can feel the bed shift as his weight is removed from the mattress and seconds later his fingers brush your skin as he slips them over your waistband and tugs your pants down and off.

It's vaguely ironic considering what he had just finished doing to you, but now that you're completely naked a feeling of vulnerability strikes you. You tense, just slightly but Derek notices instantly, his head cocking in the dark as he looks at you.

"We can stop."

He means it and that fact alone does something to quell the nerves that have sprung up. They don't simply disappear, but it's enough to remind you that this is Derek and you trust him. If you didn't things never would have gotten this far. You would've gone their separate ways after everyone had gathered at the bar.

It's another reminder of the day, of its magnitude and for a moment the weight is crushing, fresh tears springing to your eyes before you can lock it all away again. You give a shaky sigh, closing your eyes against the tears and then the bed dips again and you feel Derek's arms come around you. You don't want to cry again though, not anymore. Not today. You don't think you can take any more.

"I'm okay," you say, cursing yourself for not sounding it. He kisses your forehead but doesn't say anything, his arms still snug around you but it's clear you can pull away when and if you want to. You linger for a moment, taking deep soothing breaths until you feel you've got yourself under control. You don't pull away though, not completely. Instead you simply search out his mouth with your own, a slow, lingering kiss that you're almost certain helps you put the final pieces back together.

You reach between your bodies, noticing his size for the first time, and the nerves spike again. "Shit," you murmur, another unintentional slip of the tongue, and you bury your face against his shoulder at the sound of his soft laughter.

"That wasn't funny," you manage, running your hand along his length, an act that cuts the laugh short.

"No?" he asks, but his voice isn't as nonchalant as you have a feeling he meant it to be and you smile despite yourself.

"No," you reply shaking your head and plant a soft kiss to the underside of his jaw.

He grunts a reply and you can hear the shallowness of his breathing, feel his pulse against your lips as you press another kiss to the base of his throat. He groans sharply when you run your thumb across the tip, and you grin but he doesn't let you get much farther than that, gripping your wrist with one hand and rolling you both until you lay on your back beneath him. You can feel the weight pressing passively against your center but it's still enough to send a tremor of awareness coursing through your body.

He leans down to kiss you, another slow, drawn out affair that leaves you just breathless but not entirely ready to give up the contact. He forces your hand though, rocking his hips slightly so that his length rubs against you, the resulting spark making you break away with a moan.

He moves away too and you're unsure for a moment as to why until realization dawns that he's most likely going for a condom.

Donning the protection, he returns to the bed quickly. He's watching you now, studying you almost and you know exactly what it is he's looking for. You give a short nod, licking your lips. "It's okay," you tell him, lifting up slightly to catch his mouth, assuring him of your words. He hesitates only briefly before reaching down and guiding himself to you, easing inside. You wince, just slightly, but he notices and waits for your nod before continuing, slow and gentle.

"Christ," you groan softly, swallowing hard and wrapping your legs around his hips as he starts to move. It's a mixture of sensations at first, pleasure and a very faint amount of pain. But the pain fades almost instantly, your breath ratcheting with each controlled thrust.

He feels good, very good and you hear yourself tell him so, a hissed 'fuck' your reply as he ups the tempo a little. You catch yourself digging your nails into his shoulders and back more than once, but he has yet to utter a single complaint and stopping yourself requires too much thought. Instead you wrap your legs around him, closing your eyes and letting the words bubble freely from your throat. It doesn't surprise you that about half of them aren't even English.

That's he's close is evident in the tensing of his muscles, the way his thrusts have gone a little erratic, the pick-up in pace. The fact you aren't far behind can probably be attested to by at least two neighbors, but tonight you don't care about that. You're learning to live in the here and now. And now Derek is shifting to one arm and letting his other snake between your bodies. His intended target makes you buck under him, your nails digging into his skin again as you grind out his name and another curse.

When you come, it's not accompanied by the same soft cry as before. It couldn't possibly be when he is still thrusting as you clench around him and his hand is still firmly planted between your legs. No, it's hard and delicious and limb-numbing, and you're pretty sure the list of neighbors with complaints may have risen.

Derek follows almost immediately behind you, a few final thrusts and he grunts your name, kissing you hard and rolling so that you lay on top of him. There is a long moment of silence as both of you catch your breath, the only sound in the room your panting and the soft woosh of the central air.

Derek presses one last kiss to your temple, his hand tracing lazy, nonsensical patterns on your back and you admit to yourself that it feels nice. You are an optimist but you're not out of touch with reality. With the reality of what the two of you have just done.

You can't help but wait for regret to surface as the afterglow fades away and the almost silence permeates the darkened room.

It doesn't. And you don't question this. Not as Derek's hand stills on your back and you hear his breathing even out in sleep and not as your own lids grow heavy and exhaustion begins to sing its siren song for you. It is no longer on your mind when you finally succumb to the song, allowing it to pull you into a dreamless sleep.

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"We have to believe that even the briefest of human connections can heal. Otherwise, life is unbearable."—Agate Nesaule

The End.

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A/N: Hope you all enjoyed my little experiment and though reviews don't quite make the world go 'round, it's always nice to hear what you all thought. And a big ol' thank you to those of you who've already given your feedback. 'Til next time...