With A Little Help From My Friend
Running a tired hand down his stubbled face, Morgan slowly stretched his arms over his head, wincing at the tight pull of muscles. It was official. Hotch's job sucked in ways that Derek Morgan had never realized before. Flat out, no holds barred, BLEW!
Looking around his new office, he grinned in slight amazement as he took in the wonder that Garcia had created. Reaching out, he ran a finger over the edge of the desk, the firmness of the wood letting him know that it was not a figment of his imagination. How could he explain how much he appreciated his shiny new digs?
Glancing at his watch, he wondered if the team had left, knowing that he wouldn't be surprised either way. But, he still had another person he needed to thank, and if he didn't hurry, she'd be out the door before he got that chance. That new parent glow hadn't worn out of her eyes yet in the six months since Henry had joined their intrepid little posse, and Morgan knew she would be quickly making her way home to her bundle of joy.
Pushing out of his chair, he took one last glance around his darkened office before grabbing his keys and depositing them in his pocket as he headed for the door. Striding quickly through the dim hallway, he noted the empty bullpen, a sense of disappointment hovering around him. Crap. He hoped he wasn't too late. In addition to his desire to thank the blonde media analyst, he wanted to make sure she was suffering no lasting effects of their latest adventure. He could tell that unsub had creeped her out…even if she'd quickly slammed down her professional mask.
And if he was truly honest with himself, he had to admit that he wanted her opinion, too. He needed an honest opinion of how he was measuring up against the Boss Man. Shrugging as he walked down the carpeted hallway, Morgan readily admitted to himself that he was no Aaron Hotchner. He'd never professed to be. He was secure enough in his own psyche to know that he'd learned a lot from the other man. But he wouldn't lie to himself and say that he didn't aspire to be as successful as he was. And he was anxious to know if he was doing an adequate job. It wasn't that he needed an "Atta Boy!". He just wanted to know his team was comfortable with him.
And Derek Morgan was no one's fool. He could feel the tension in the bullpen before they'd left on the case. The tension on the plane. The tension, period. It had almost been palpable enough to be considered another member of their team.
Speeding up his steps as he neared JJ's office, he knew that if there was one woman that would tell him the brutal truth about the job he'd been doing, it was her. Jennifer Jareau didn't know how to lie…not to someone she cared about. Reaching her door, he was gratified to still find it open, a clear indication that the woman was still inside. Rapping perfunctorily on the door, the slight taps louder than normal in the empty hallway, he grinned as he found her packing up her briefcase.
"Hey, got a minute for me, Jayje?" he asked from the doorway, keeping his voice deliberately casual. Not that that was a hard stretch, as he genuinely liked the petite blonde in front of him.
Glancing up from her desk at the sound of his deep voice, JJ smiled as she caught sight of her coworker. Well, rather her new Unit Chief. Cocking her head, she replied, "Depends. Do we have another case already? If the answer of yes, this whole conversation is a figment of your imagination. I'm already gone."
Laughing as he slowly slid into her messy office, he shook his head. Looking around at the stacks of files placed haphazardly around the room, he rolled his eyes. Par for the course, he knew. JJ had a unique system of organized chaos. But, it worked for her. Thus, it worked for the team. And right now, anything that worked for the team was a win-win situation in his book. "Nah, nothin' like that," Morgan assured her with a grin. "I just had a couple of things I wanted to say to you."
"Am I in trouble?" JJ asked quickly, raising an inquisitive brow at the bald man, automatically analyzing the tone in his voice. Grinning slightly, she leaned forward as she said, "Cause I'm gonna blame Reid or Garcia for whatever it is."
Laughing again, Morgan shook his head at her words, having no doubt that she would do exactly as she implied. "No, girl, you aren't in trouble. Who're you kidding? You're the golden child around here."
"Yeah, right," JJ snorted, stuffing another file into her overstuffed bag, expertly shifting folders to fit one more. "So," she said, lifting her blue eyes back to his, "if I'm not in trouble, what's going on?"