Author's Note: Hello, readers! Again, several announcements to make...please visit our discussion forum, "Chit Chat on Author's Corner". We have introduced a new discussion thread called, "Announcing the Profiler's Choice Criminal Minds Awards on fanfiction. net 2010". Please see this thread for tentative guidelines and know that more details are coming soon. With all of the readers and authors support, I believe we can make this venture an incredibly fun experience! So, please everyone, come on over and take a look.
Thanks to everyone taking the time to continue reading our work. As always, we couldn't ask for better readers than those in the CM fandom and we appreciate everyone taking time to let us know what you think!
We have a couple more announcements for you all today. We're proud to announce that signups are open for the Fanfic Challenge - Round 4 on our forum, "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" or, as we like to call it, the "PYOP Challenge" (pick your own pairing challenge) through September 1st. For those interested, simply go to the forum to the PYOP Challenge thread and sign up with your favorite pairing. On September 2nd, we'll assign you a scenario to write provided by some of our lovely fellow authors. This will give everybody an opportunity to write what they love and provide readers with some awesome stories. Please sign up at the forum or shoot us a PM signifying your willingness to participate. So, please come join the fun and let's make this the most successful challenge yet!
We've also added a new 'Getting to Know" interview with our fellow author, canny-bairn. Please check it out!
The Twice Told Tale
Deftly balancing the standard-issue plastic ice bucket in the crook of his arm, Spencer Reid slipped the plastic keycard into the key slot. Waiting ever so patiently for the green light and audible click, he pushed open the door to what was his home for the week. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like a generic four walls in nowhere, USA!
"Morgan, I'm back," he called out as he stepped into the cookie-cutter hotel room. Hearing no response, he shrugged as he took another step further, only to find Derek Morgan sitting statue-still on the edge of one of the double beds.
Cocking his head at the uncharacteristic vacant look blanketing his friend's usually animated face, Reid dropped the ice bucket onto the dresser before crossing the room to Morgan's side. Glancing from his colleagues catatonic looking face to the darkened screen of the laptop he held in his lap, Reid frowned. "Morgan?" Reid asked, lightly tapping the elder man's shoulder as he stared off into space, unblinking.
Getting no response to his light touch, Reid waved a hand in front of Morgan's face. "Morgan?" he called, louder this time, wondering if his friend had suddenly succumbed to the horrors that surrounded them on a daily basis and chosen to retreat from reality. And if he had, Spencer Reid was going to be mightily pissed that he was not taken along for the ride!
Jerking his head suddenly at the loud noise, Morgan blinked rapidly, stirred from his stunned reality. "R-reid.. I...uhhhh...I don't..."
Watching as Morgan stuttered and fumbled for words, Reid tilted his head in confusion. Tilting the other man's chin toward the light and examining his dilated pupils, Reid asked worriedly, "Are you having a stroke, Morgan? You don't smell burnt toast, do you?"
"What?" Morgan yelped, jerking his chin from Reid's fingers as he swatted at the other man's hand. "No! I'm fine. Well, not fine. But I ain't sick, Genius Boy."
"Really? Because you appeared comatose when I entered the room," Reid stated factually, raising his eyebrows as he clinically examined the protesting man.
"I was...in shock," Morgan said hoarsely, his eyes fixating once again on the now-silent computer on his lap.
"Why?" Reid asked curiously, turning to open one of the sodas he'd purchased in the hotel's vending machine room. Passing one off to Morgan, he nodded toward the bright red can. "Drink that. Given the fact that you've a very dark complexion for a black man and you're almost completely white, I'd say you need some sugar in your bloodstream."
"You'd be pale, too, if you just got the news that I did," Morgan muttered, raising the can to his lips and gulping the soda, barely tasting the sugary treat as it slid down his parched throat.
"What news?" Reid asked, popping the tab on his own can of soda.
Flicking his finger over the laptop screen quickly, Morgan gestured for Reid to take a look.
Peering over Morgan's shoulder, Reid quickly glanced at the screen. "That's an ultrasound," he stated plainly, his eyes widening at the wavy sonogram staring back at him.
"Ya think, kid?" Morgan grunted, scrubbing one hand over his bald head as his chest tightened again. Just looking at that grainy black and white image was enough to send him sailing toward the deep end again….and again…and again.
"Yes, I do," Reid nodded as he took another quick sip of his drink. "But what does an ultrasound have to do with why you look as if you've just endured a massive head trauma?"
"Because I did, Reid. I just found out I was gonna be a father and it knocked me on my ass," Morgan groaned, barely resisting the urge to bang his bald head against the top of the laptop.
"What?" Reid squeaked, taking an involuntary step backwards as he stared in wide-eyed surprise.
"Penelope's pregnant, Genius Boy," Morgan clarified, each word enunciated with a growl. "She found out this morning. I'm gonna be a dad, and there's no way in hell I'm prepared for THAT."
"Well, if it helps," Reid said nervously, well aware that this was rapidly escalating into one of those awkward social situations he felt overwhelmed by, "by the look of the image on the screen, you have approximately thirty-two weeks to get ready for the change in lifestyle."
"Gee, thanks, Reid," Morgan replied sarcastically, rolling his eyes as he reached for the cold can once again.
Licking his lips before taking a sip of his soda, Reid asked, motioning toward the screen, "How does Penelope feel about this?"
"She's ecstatic," Morgan sighed, memories of her thrilled laughter ringing in his ears once again. "Over the moon freaking happy. So happy that, fortunately, she didn't notice my lack of enthusiasm."
"You didn't want offspring?" Reid asked hesitantly, severely doubting his limited abilities in navigating what was surely to become a relationship minefield.
"Offspring? They're called kids, Reid," Morgan grunted, his fingers pressing against the screen for a moment as he stared down at the picture. "And I'd never really thought about it. It's just been me and Baby Girl for so long...I just never thought about...hell, I don't know."
"Are you happy at all?" Reid asked, his voice small in the quiet hotel room.
"Of course, I'm happy. It's a part of Penelope and me. A mini-combo of both of us. The kid's gonna be unstoppable."
"Then I don't understand where your issues lie," Reid replied uncertainly, dropping to the bed to sit beside Morgan as they both stared at the enlarged picture on the computer screen.
"My issues?" Morgan muttered, shifting slightly against the mattress as he let out a deep sigh. "Where do I start, man? I'm not cut out to be anybody's role model, Reid. Some of the things I've done...that I've had done TO me... How the hell can I be a father with my past, Reid?"
"In the words of Frank A. Clark, a father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he was meant to be," Reid stated factually, the words tripping off his tongue.
"English, Dr. Genius," Morgan grunted. "I'm not in much mood to decipher philosophical metaphors tonight."
"In other words, you know where your faults and fallacies have detracted from the man you could have been. You can help your child prevent himself..or herself.. from befalling the same pitfalls."
"So, what you're saying to the kid is, 'I've been there and done that.'."
"Exactly," Reid nodded with a faint smile, wondering why he could never condense his thoughts as concisely as Morgan just did.
"What if I can't give this kid the kind of security it needs, Reid?" Morgan whispered to his friend and would-be therapist.
"According to Freud, he could not think of any need as strong as the need for a father's protection," Reid informed Derek sagely. Seeing Derek's glare, Reid amended, quickly, "In other words, as long as you let said child know that you will always be around to assure him or her of his or her security, you should, theoretically, at least, be fine."
"Really, that's all I gotta do...let the kid know that he's safe with me?" Morgan asked Reid thoughtfully, his shoulders relaxing slightly. "'Cause I can do that."
"Speaking as a child that was abandoned by his father, I can honestly tell you that it's all I ever wanted," Reid confided softly, hunching forward. "To feel safe and loved. That was it."
"So, bottom line, kid. You think I can do this?" Morgan asked anxiously, his eyes glued once again to the tiny blob that was his child.
Smiling faintly, Reid offered Derek a sidelong glance. "I think you HAVE to do this. The man you are...the character you have...it will not allow you to be my father. You don't know the meaning of the word fail, Morgan. You'll find your own way. And if you don't," Reid shrugged, his eyes crinkling slightly, "Garcia will murder you with nothing but a mother board and a computer mouse."
Grinning widely, Morgan nodded. "You make a good point, Pretty Boy. Mama doesn't suffer fools gladly. And, seriously, I can't wait to meet this kid," he said, his eyes softening as he looked at the screen again with a feeling of awe. "I guess I can handle having a son."
"It could be a girl. Sixty-seven percent of first children are female."
"Yes?" Reid replied readily, taking another swig from his can.
And Reid did.