Learning to Fly


A/N: Alright, this is my entry for "Chit Chat on Author's Corner- Round Two." I already wrote something, but I never posted it because I figured I could do better… hopefully I'm right. Um, I've never written slash before, but I'm gonna give it a shot. So… I hope this doesn't disappoint.

Oh! This takes place some time during the third season, around "3rd Life" and "Elephants Memory."

Disclaimer: I do not own anything recognizable. Including, but limited to Criminal Minds, the characters, or the song used in this prompt.

Prompt: Morgan/Reid, Blackbird (Dave Matthews Band)


We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.

~Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt


Morgan sighed and stretched his stiff muscles. He was tense from lying in one position for so long, but he didn't dare roll over. That would run the risk of waking his sleeping companion and it would also put said companion out of his sight. Even if he could feel his bedmate occasionally shifting his weight on the mattress, Morgan felt much better keeping the younger man in his view. He reached over and gently brushed away some of the brown hair that had strayed across the sleeping man's face.

Hours ago, if someone had told Derek Morgan that he would be sharing a bed with one Spencer Reid, he would have laughed them off. Morgan had never considered himself a prude as far as sexuality went and he'd never put much thought into Reid's orientation; if he had, he probably would have made a guess at gay- maybe bisexual. But it really wasn't sexual orientation that would have made him laugh, it was the fact that Reid was so uptight, Morgan didn't think he would ever consent to sharing a bed with anyone, let alone a coworker. No matter what kind of signals a coworker might be sending the genius…

However, when Reid had shown up on his doorstep around 9:30 that night, hugging his arms around his lanky frame and looking slightly desperate, all preconceived notions of the skinny genius were promptly thrown out the window. Morgan had stepped aside to let Reid in and the younger man had muttered his thanks, following Morgan back into his living room and sitting down on the couch. "You said if I ever needed to talk…" He mumbled awkwardly, refusing to meet the other man's eyes.

Morgan nodded but didn't push Reid to talk; he knew he would talk as he was ready. "I…" Reid paused to clear his throat. "I've been having a… really hard time. I just didn't want to be by myself."

Surreptitiously, Morgan moved closer to Reid on the couch, offering him the comfort of proximity. "It's just… everything's been piling up lately. Watching that kid die… and what happened in Texas… and can't even stay for an entire…" Reid paused and glanced at Morgan before he continued speaking. "Movie without being interrupted by work."

Morgan nodded but remained silent. He noticed that the younger man was shivering slightly. Whether it was from being cold or upset, Morgan wasn't sure, but he took a chance and slung and arm around Reid's shoulders. The genius tensed and for a moment seemed to want to pull away, but he relaxed into the larger man's hold instead, leaning against him. "You know how when you're stressed… your mind sort of starts dragging old things up? Things you were over, but now they feel like fresh wounds again?"

Morgan nodded as Reid spoke and waited for some technical or psychological explanation of why that was, but none came. It surprised and worried him; if Reid was speaking like a normal human being he had to be fairly shaken up. "It's… It's everything. It's my parents and bullies and Elle and Nathan Harris and Tobias Henkle and Gideon and… and everything! It's just all running around in my head and it's driving me crazy!" Reid's voice had increased in volume and pitch and Morgan could feel him tensing again.

"Reid…" He began in his best soothing tone, but the younger man didn't appear to hear him.

"It's frustrating and aggravating and maddening… and…" Reid pulled out of the circle of Morgan's arm and leaned forward with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. "It's pathetic." He finished quietly.

"Hey, now," Morgan started in, a little fiercer than intended. "Don't say that. Don't call yourself that."

"It's the truth, though. How am I supposed to do my job if I can't let these things go? Hell, how am I supposed to live if I can't let them go?" Reid asked, still not looking up from his hands.

The older agent froze at that statement. "Reid, you listen to me." He said firmly. "Don't you dare go down that path. You will be okay. I know it."

Reid finally looked up and turned towards Morgan. There were a few tears trailing down his cheeks, shocking the other man; he'd seen Reid get a little misty-eyed, but never had he seen the man outright crying. "How can you possibly know that?" The younger man asked.

"Because I know you. You made it through all of those things before, you can make it through this now. You are one of the strongest people I know."

The look Reid gave him was disbelieving and so utterly broken that Morgan couldn't stand it anymore. He swept the thin man into his arms and held him tight against his chest. Reid didn't struggle against him, but simply went lax against the other man, as if he was relinquishing control. Morgan could feel a few warm tears soak into the shoulder of his shirt, but he didn't mind. He held the younger man until the shivers stopped and then pulled back, looking Reid in the eye again.

That broken look was still there and Morgan was sure he would be able to see it when he closed his eyes, but exhaustion was prevailing in Reid's, so Morgan stood up and helped Reid to do the same. He took him gently by the arm and led him to his bedroom where he took his shoes and then let him lay down on one side of the bed. He was undecided about whether or not he ought to take the other side or go back out into the living room, but when Reid looked up at him and murmured please stay… Morgan was slipping his own shoes off and lying down on the other side of the bed.

Now, hours later, Morgan still didn't want to let Reid out of his sight. As predicted, he could still see that look in Reid's eyes, even though the younger man was currently asleep and now facing away from him, and it saddened him. He had known Reid for years and in the beginning, he'd had so much youth and innocence. When he really got to know him, Morgan had thought that Reid could do just about anything he put his mind to. It would have surprised him if the younger man knew how to fly. But now… Now Reid's wings were broken, Morgan thought. He just couldn't fly anymore.

He watched over the younger man and sat up slightly on his elbow when he noticed Reid's breath quicken and a noise of discomfort escape his lips. Gently, Morgan placed an arm around Reid's thin waist and pulled him up against him again. Shortly thereafter, Reid's breathing evened out again and he slept on. He shifted slightly, pressing closer to Morgan's chest, and his mouth curled into a tiny smile. Morgan smiled a little as well. For the first time in a while he thought perhaps he could see a small bit of the old Reid. The Reid who was cheerful and enthusiastic. The Reid whose wings worked. With a little help, maybe, Morgan wondered, Reid could learn to fly again.


Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.

~Gary Zukav


A/N: Hm… a little cliché, I think, and it's not exactly "slash," but it is most definitely better than the other one I wrote. I guess it didn't adhere much to the prompt, but it was definitely inspired by it! Hope you enjoyed… now I can finally get some sleep…