Spencer limps through the door after Derek and winces at the sound of his cane thumping unnaturally loud against the hardwood floor. He's so tired that he aches deep in his bones and each step draws a small hiss of pain from between his clenched teeth. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Derek dropping his keys on the entryway table and move through the open arch leading into the living room where Clooney's passed out on the couch, completely unaware that they're back. Spencer smiles faintly at, remembering Derek listing the desire for a good watch dog as one of the reasons he got Clooney, and slowly makes his way back toward the bedroom. He leans his cane against the night table on 'his' side of the bed and sits down heavily on the edge of the bed. His fingers feel thick and clumsy as he fumbles with the buttons on his shirt and after a moment he lets them fall to his sides.

The mattress is comfortably springy against his back and he lays there contemplating falling asleep fully clothed until Derek walks in, their away bags looped over one of his strong shoulders. He looks upside down from Spencer's half sprawled position on top of the bed and they both just look at each other for several long, quiet seconds. Finally, Derek drops the bags by dresser and moves to Spencer's side. He drops to his knees and gently unlaces Spencer's shoes, slipping them and Spencer's mismatched socks off of his feet. Spencer watches him through slitted eyes as he kicks off his own shoes and strips out of his shirt, then reaches to start undoing Spencer's. Derek keeps his eyes focused on his hands, which are tender as they undress him. Spencer sits up when the shirt is completely undone and lets Derek push it off his shoulders before slumping against his side. Derek's arms come up to encircle him immediately and he rests his forehead against the side of Spencer's head, his slow breathing stirring his hair.

"We solved the case," Spencer says before the silence can turn oppressive. Derek doesn't say anything, but he nods and his arms tighten barely enough to be noticable. Spencer notices and turns so that his forehead is against Derek's. "We should feel good about that. We can't change the past, but we saved that woman's life and we should be happy over that."

Derek sighs, his nose bumping against Spencer, and carefully pulls him closer until the warmth of his broad body begins to thaw the chill that has been settled in Spencer's bones since they left Hotch, surrounded by people but so utterly alone. "Things aren't that simple, baby."

"I know," Spencer says so quietly that he isn't sure Derek actually hears him. His tired eyelids fall shut and he leans more of his weight against Derek. Derek's breath is slightly bitter from the coffee he drank earlier, but Spencer breathes it in, taking comfort in the warm reassurance of it against his lips. Derek's fingers soothingly stroke up and down his spine and Spencer's body feels too heavy, like he would sink through the mattress, the floor, and deep into the earth if Derek wasn't there to hold him up. Derek shifts a little like he's about to get up and Spencer tightens his grip and says brokenly, "Don't leave me."

Derek closes the tiny space between them and kisses him then. It's tender and soft and so achingly perfect that Spencer's heart hurts in his chest and he clings to Derek as the threat of tears sting at his eyes and choke his throat. When Derek pulls back, he cups Spencer's face in his hands and slowly, reverently traces Spencer's features, his touch as light as butterfly wings as his fingers flit over the curves of his eyebrows, the line of his nose, the swell of his lips. Spencer leans into his touch and sighs when Derek begins pressing kisses to all the places his fingers had touched, pausing between each one to whisper, "Never."

Thank you for reading. Feedback is overwhelmingly appreciated.

Don't know why I've been in such an angsty mood lately, but this scenario just wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it down.