Hello all! This is my first Criminal Minds fic ever, but I plan to do more so I hope you all like it! Basically this fic came from two scenes of season two's first episode. First, when Reid introduces his mother to Morgan, just Morgan even though JJ (I think) also came in the room. Of course, my Morgan/Reid muse thought it was because Reid wanted to introduce his boyfriend to his mother, even if it was under the least ideal circumstances. Then there was the scene during the end montage with Garcia and Morgan in her computer room and I figured they were probably talking about the aforementioned meeting. Thus this fic. Also, thinking about it, I realized that not too many people go around thinking of their friends (or themselves) by their last names, which is why I decided to use their first names even though on the show they use last names more often.
And, as always, a great HUGE thank you to my beta, Sprite89!
Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds, Morgan or Reid. If I did, we wouldn't have to go looking for the subtext (not that we have to look very hard anyway)!
Derek walked through the open door to Penelope's office, carefully cradling two cups of hot, albeit crappy, coffee. The technical genius was sitting among a mess of motherboards, drives and tools; intently and carefully screwing something into a mainframe.
"Hey, sugar," he said softly yet Penelope jumped all the same. She turned, smiling slightly before going back to her work. He frowned at her lack of response and settled next her in a spot relatively free of expensive parts.
"What are you still doing here?" she asked dully as she fiddled with the computer in front of her. "Shouldn't you be with Reid?"
"I wanted to see how you were doing," he answered softly, holding out the cup of coffee. She stared at it for a moment then sighed and took it, before promptly setting it on her desk without taking a sip.
"I messed up, big time." Penelope said to her hands. "If it weren't for me--"
"Garner would have found a way to get the information, anyway. He had all the stuff from Spencer's mom, it was only a matter of time before he got into our computers." Derek gently forced Penelope's head up, making her eyes meet his. "You made a mistake baby girl, we all do. But we love you and we've forgiven you."
"I don't think Gideon ever will," she mumbled, her eyes brimming with tears. "Every time I look at him, it's like I can hear him calling me stupid all over again."
"Penelope, you are not stupid." Derek's voice was harsh enough to get her to listen but not to hurt her more. "He was upset, we all were. Our privacy was invaded--"
"Yeah, because of me."
"Because of the unsub. He ruined our vacations, was pulling us around and we were two steps behind, frustrated out of our minds. You were there, an easy target to take our frustrations out on, Gideon the most. But I know he'll forgive you, it just might take some time. Alright?"
Penelope reluctantly nodded though Derek knew she didn't fully believe him. She went back to work on her computer for a moment before smirking. "Now, back to my original question, oh sensitive stud mine. Why aren't you with our favorite pretty genius?"
Derek grinned and leaned back on one hand. "He's flying his mom back to Nevada. But…." He shook his head. "I just can't believe I met his mother! I mean, we've been together for a few months and hadn't talked about meeting our families yet, but Penelope, he never talks about his mom, other than she's all he's got left. And I tell him everything." The smile slid off his face as he spoke.
"Honey, you have to know why he didn't tell you."
"Yeah.." And he did. He and Spencer had talked about it a bit on the way back from taking Rebecca to the hospital. He understood that Spencer was scared and embarrassed, not because his mother was sick, but because he put her there and never visited. He admitted he couldn't bear to see what his future could be like, seeing it in her was terrifying.
But Derek still couldn't help but feel a little hurt that Spencer not only didn't tell him, he told no one. Surely Hotch knew, he hired Spencer and therefore was in charge of his background check, but still. They all came to Spencer and told him things they would tell no one else, because he's Spencer and he can store all that information in his head. But until now Derek didn't realize how little about himself Spencer told them. And didn't help this happened on top of the fight they had before leaving for their time off.
Derek had wanted to take Spencer to Jamaica for a romantic getaway, but Spencer had already planned to see his mother, though he didn't tell Derek that at the time. Derek had followed him out after he refused again in the office and tried one last time. Spencer made up a lie using statistics and inane facts and Derek had stormed away from Spencer's car, never looking back. He had flirted with the women on the beach as his own way of showing his anger, even if Spencer wasn't there to see it
"Sweetie?" Penelope's concerned voice broke Derek's thoughts. She looked expectant and he quickly recalled what she had just said.
"We talked about it before he left but...meeting the only family Spencer has left, that was a big step, one I wanted to be prepared for and make a good impression. Not to have it come in the middle of an investigation and me on no sleep in the past 48 hours. Then to find out his mother is schizophrenic only because he told the unsub, rather than him wanting to tell me."
"But no one knew about it, and even after I found out he barely said anything."
"I know. I get it, really I do. To understand why he kept her a secret is to understand him and I think I do." The smile returned, if a bit hesitant. "At least I'm beginning to." He thought of his lover's departing promise to reveal as much as he was comfortable when he returned. It was a huge leap of faith from the man who knew everything but revealed very little. The impromptu meeting of his boyfriend and his mother forced the young genius to realize he couldn't hide things from Derek forever.
"You are the sweetest thing ever, you know that?" Penelope pronounced with a grin.
"And humble too." They both chuckled. "Now do something useful and hand met hat screwdriver."
Derek left Penelope a few hours later, much happier and her computer system almost completely restored. He sighed as he entered the empty house, having put Clooney in a kennel for two weeks and checked the phone that he knew had its ringer set to loud and he checked at every stoplight. Spencer still hadn't called and it was starting to worry him. His flight should have landed three hours ago, and though Derek figured it would take some time to get Mrs. Spencer back into the hospital, and he did remember Spencer mentioning something about lunch, but couldn't he have sent a voicemail or even just a text to let Derek know he was okay, especially after the past 48 hours?
Derek flopped onto the couch, his phone clutched in his hand. What if Spencer wasn't okay? Derek had kept his ears open to the radio for any reports of a downed plane, but what if it was something else? The icy fear that flooded his body when the bomb had gone off still hummed in the back of his mind. What if it wasn't over? What if Garner had more traps waiting for them? Spencer and his mother could be in danger, could already be hurt.
Resolved, Derek flipped open his phone and dialed Spencer's number. Images of Spencer kidnapped, of Spencer unconscious, of Spencer burning flipped through his mind with greater ferocity the longer the phone rang. Something was wrong, he could feel it-
"Derek?" Spencer sounded rushed, worried and tired.
"Hey, pretty boy," he sighed in relief.
"What's wrong? Are you okay?" A woman's voice muffled by a PA and the phone's tiny speakers echoed in the background. Spencer was still in the hospital with his mom.
"I'm fine, it's just…I hadn't heard from you and I was worried." He winced at how pathetic he sounded. Just like that girl he dated in college for a while but dumped after she started checking up on him every time they were apart. "I guess I'm still jumpy from the case."
"I know what you mean. I've been jumping at every shadow, convinced someone is looking too long before realizing I'm the one who's staring."
Derek huffed a laugh and leaned back into the couch, his body finally relaxing. "When are you coming back?"
"Spencer, we have the rest of our vacation time. You should spend it with your mom. Not," he added hastily when his sluggish brain realized how that sounded, "that I don't want to see you too, it's just…you've finally got a chance to spend some time with her. I see you every day." Guilting Spencer into staying with his mother probably wasn't the best way to prevent him from leaving early, but exhaustion was starting to set and Derek couldn't think of anything else.
There was a pause. "Do you think--could--do you want to come out here?" Spencer sounded so impossibly young and tiny, like he was waiting for a refusal.
"You mean go to Las Vegas?"
"Yeah." Derek could imagine Spencer's nervous shuffle and his free hand flapping as he spoke. "I mean, I was thinking about what we, uh, what talked about before I left and I thought…maybe it would be easier to tell you about how I grew up if I could show it to you."
Derek stared at the ticking clock on the wall opposite him, a little shocked. He hadn't planned on doing anything else with his time off, and if Spencer was willing to open up to him, Derek knew he couldn't let it go, it might not come again. Plus, they would get a week and a half of uninhibited time together. No worrying they might be seen. It sounded too good to be true.
"…don't have to, you probably have things you want to do and it won't even be that interesting-" The young man's nervous babbling quickly pulled Derek from his thoughts.
"Spencer." The chattering stopped immediately. "I would love to." This was just what they needed, their fight was still fresh on both men's minds. They had little time during the case or after to sit down and talk about it, but the fear of nearly losing one another was enough for them to realize their argument was petty, but the emotions behind weren't.
Derek returned his attention to the phone. "I'll book the first flight I can find and call you back, okay?"
"Okay. Don't worry about a cab, I'll pick you up at the airport and I have a hotel still booked for the rest of our time off, even though it's a single."
"I think we can manage." The leer on Derek's face crept into his voice.
"You're incorrigible." Spencer's eye roll was audible. "Hey Derek?"
"Yeah, kid?" Despite Spencer's numerous half-hearted protests to stop calling him that, Derek refused. He was the only one who used that nickname and it meant something to the older agent that Spencer let him.
"Thank you, for everything." For not leaving me when you found out I lied, for not being angry when you found out the truth. For proving I'm capable of something normal. Derek heard all the unsaid words Spencer would never find the courage to say; they both knew it and they both knew it would always be that way. It's what made them perfect together.
Please let me know what you think! Your reviews and constructive criticism really help when I start writing another fic.