So the plan is for this to be a threeshot, and then after the holidays, it's back to finishing my other stories. I just can't resist the Christmas spirit for right now! Hence the Morgan/Garcia holiday drama. Enjoy!

This is more like a prologue to set us up for what's to come.

Derek Morgan put his fork down and studied his three year old sons face. "Something wrong, Buddy?" he asked. Marcus hadn't had a bite to eat since they'd sat down at the table for supper. And his little legs, usually swinging for all they were worth, were still as stone.

Marcus shook his head but wouldn't look his father in the eyes.

"What's wrong?" Derek repeated softly.

Marcus sniffed and put his hands on the table, then rested his chin on them. "Why is mommy sad?" he asked, looking up with big, brown eyes identical to his fathers.

"What makes you think mommy is sad?" Derek asked carefully. He picked his fork back up and began picking at his supper. Suddenly he wasn't so hungry anymore, either.

"We heard her crying last night," Braden answered when his younger brother didn't.

Derek cleared his throat. "I'm not sure why mommy is sad."

"I think she misses you," Marcus said.

Derek didn't say anything.

"I miss you," Marcus said.

"I'm right here, buddy," Derek said, choosing his words carefully.

Marcus frowned. "But you're not home with us," he said with a pout.

"Come here," Derek said, pushing his chair back from the table to make room for his son.

Marcus got up from his chair and walked over to his fathers waiting arms. Derek picked him up and put him in his lap. "No," he said softly. "I'm not home with you like I used to be. But…we're gonna make a home together here."

"But I like my other home, Daddy. It's where mommy is. And my toys. And Jack Frost," he said, referring to the dog the boys had received last year for Christmas as a puppy.

"Lucas Dalton, a boy in my class—he said that when his daddy moved out, he didn't see him anymore."

"Hey. That's not gonna happen to us," Derek said firmly. "We're together now, aren't we?"

Braden nodded. "Lucas Dalton said that he saw his daddy a lot at first." He shrugged indifferently. "But then his daddy just stopped coming to pick him up."

"You're not Lucas Dalton and I'm not his dad," Derek reminded Braden. Logic was his older son's constant companion, and it wasn't always easy to reason with him.

Marcus' eyes welled up with tears and his lower lip began to quiver. "Are you gonna stop coming to pick us up, daddy?" he asked.

"No," Derek said determinedly. He hugged his son to him. "I promise you, I will never stop coming to pick you up."

"And you'll talk to mommy? To find out why she's crying?" he asked. Apparently he was going for broke.

"Yeah, buddy, I'll talk to her," he agreed.

"And she'll stop crying?"

"I hope so," Derek said sincerely.

If Derek Morgan had had a hero complex before, it had increased tenfold when he became a father.

___

"What's going on?" Derek asked as he walked into Penelope's office the next morning. He'd dropped Braden off at school and Marcus off at daycare and then made his way in to work.

"I'm…firing up my computer so I can start my day," she told him, not bothering to turn around. "What's up with you?"

"My kid thinks his mother is sad," he said.

She spun around in her chair. "What?" she asked.

"Marcus and Braden said they heard you crying the other night."

"Oh, and what? I'm not allowed to cry?" she asked angrily. "And…why is it any of your business anyway?"

"I'm just checkin' on things," he said.

"Well, check on things at your own place, Derek. And leave mine alone." She got up out of her chair and stalked out of her office.

Derek sighed as he rubbed a hand over his face in frustration.

And reasoning with Penelope could be just as impossible.