When the doorbell rang, Emily wasn't sure she should answer it, it wasn't her home. Wiping off the last of the burped up milk from Addy's mouth, Emily tossed the towel on the counter, and walked over to look through the peephole, Clooney following her. The pitbull-lab mix was very friendly, at least after he got over his initial fear of the baby. He sat beside Emily as she looked through the peephole. After her initial surprise, she opened to the door, to the visitor's shock.
"Jordan, hi," Emily greeted.
The other woman's mouth fell open, then she blurted out. "Wow, so it is true."
Prentiss frowned in confusion until Jordan nodded toward the six-week old baby. "Oh, yes, this is Addy."
"Thanks." It started to get awkward, so Emily moved aside so her former colleague could enter. "So, is the gossip mill still going crazy?"
Clooney sniffed Jordan thoroughly, deciding that either he knew her or she wasn't a threat, and moved back to following Emily.
Jordan seemed to relax at Emily's easy joking. "Are you kidding? It's been insane for weeks. No one knows what to think, and the team isn't talking. But then, no one really expected to get anything out of them."
Emily smiled at that. When they needed to be, the team was like an impenetrable force. She walked over to the couch, and sat down, adjusting Addy to a cradling position. Jordan sat in the chair across from her, while Clooney laid down by her feet.
"So...on a plane?" Her former teammate asked.
Emily nodded slowly. "Yep. I don't recommend it."
"Yeah, that sounds scary and just...horrible." Jordan gave a shiver.
Prentiss chuckled. "Well, it had a happy ending. Thank god, Reid kept his head."
Jordan's eyes widened. "That's true too? Jesus, poor Reid."
Emily nodded. Like the rest of the team, he'd been by to visit her a couple times, and still seemed a little shaken by it.
Then they were both silent, the awkwardness of the unexpected meeting returned. Jordan finally opened her mouth. "Is uh, Derek around?"
"No, he's actually at my apartment, getting the baby's room together," she explained, running an affectionate hand over the baby's head.
"Really? Wow, that's nice of him." Jordan looked absolutely floored.
"Yeah, he's been great since she was born." Emily was smiling, focused on Addy, so she missed the look of realization that passed over Jordan's face.
"Well, I better run," Jordan said, rising from the chair she'd been sitting in.
"I'll let Morgan know you were looking for him." Emily got up, and followed her to the door, Clooney trotting behind.
"Thanks, and uh, congratulations." She nodded to Addy.
"Thanks," she barely got the time to answer before Jordan disappeared.
As soon as Emily came in the door, Morgan swept the baby out of her arms. Addy was perfectly happy to go to her second favorite person in the world. He'd been over at least a few times a week since Addy was released from the hospital. When he didn't go over, he at least called to check in on them, especially if the team had flown off on some case. And, usually sent Garcia over to check on them, not that the tech would have resisted going. She and JJ and most of the team stopped by weekly, to make sure they were okay.
But, Morgan was the one there most. He and Addy had bonded in those early days in the hospital, when he stayed with Emily during the night. He was happy to hang out with the baby while Emily grabbed a shower or a nap. He'd even changed a couple diapers, which the first time had been quite an adventure. It really wasn't a complicated process, but one that was very foreign to him.
Now, he kissed Addy's forehead, and let her lay against his chest, what seemed to be her favorite position. Her brown eyes were open, and she moved her mouth around, generating a considerable amount of spit, which he wiped with the towel Emily handed him. She'd gotten bigger, gaining almost a pound and a half, and the tiny bit of dark hair on her head had gotten thicker.
Morgan led them up stairs to the nursery to show off his hard work—and it was hard work. He was exhausted from working almost non-stop to get it together. But, it was more than worth it. He pulled Emily inside, and let her take in it all in.
She'd picked a dark-stained wooden set, a deep espresso color for the fairly basic nursery set. A crib that would convert into a toddler bed when the time came, a changing table with a couple shelves underneath, a four drawer dresser (knowing Garcia, the kid was going to need it, JJ already claimed that Henry's wardrobe was bigger than either of his parent's), and a small bookshelf. He'd teased her about how necessary she found that item, that she was going to raise a little nerd.
The décor itself was pretty simple, green and blue polka dots over white, with dark brown trim. Simple, modern, and not uber-girlie or uber-cutsie, because Emily wouldn't tolerate either. It had made shopping for nursery décor a little complicated.
Morgan watched her walk straight for the one piece of furniture she wasn't expecting. A wooden rocking chair, dark stained, and a simple classic style to match the rest of the furniture. And, a floppy brown and white stuffed pony perched on it.
"Now this," she said, "I don't remember picking out."
He smiled, and walked over. "Well, my mother told me no nursery is complete without a place for the mama to rock the baby, and according to Garcia every little girl wants a pony. I figured I'd take care of both."
"What? Because getting this all together for me wasn't enough of a gift?"
"Just say thank you, and enjoy it."
She smiled at that. "Thank you, Morgan. Really, this is all incredible."
He watched her turn around, still admiring it all. His chest might literally have puffed up with pride. Not the same kind of ego-boost as women falling all over him, that wasn't that special anymore. This was different, the kind of feeling a man gets when he's provided for his family.
"Alright, I'm definitely making you dinner. It's the least I can do."
"Can you actually cook?" He asked, lips upturned and eyebrows raised skeptically.
She turned to him, hand on her hip, face trying hard to look angry, but battling with amusement. "You'll just have to wait and find out."
He shook his head. "I'd love to, but I'm going to have to take a rain check, princess. It's already late, I'm beat, and tomorrow's Monday." He watched disappoint cloud her eyes. "How do you feel about tomorrow night though?"
Just like that, her brown eyes lit up again. "I'm going to hold you to that."
"Deal. I better give her back, I don't think she'd enjoy a night away from her Mama." He gently pulled Addy off of his chest, and eased her into Emily's arms.
The baby objected with a sleepy whimper, but Emily soothed her with a hand and a few whispered words. Morgan didn't want to leave, he hadn't seen them all weekend, and he already missed them a little. But, he had to work tomorrow, and he'd been up late working on the nursery two nights in a row. Tomorrow night, he told himself, tomorrow night, he'd be able to hold Addy again.
At the door, they hugged goodbye, careful of Addy. It was a habit they'd developed over the last month, after having shared several when Emily was having trouble dealing with single motherhood. A gesture of comfort that had become normal to them, even natural.
Then he leaned down and kissed the baby, and almost as if he'd done it a hundred times before, his lips went to Emily's cheek. He'd only realized what he'd done as he pulled away, and saw the same surprise in her eyes that he was sure was in his. Only for seconds, before she smiled to cover it up, and bid him goodnight.
Morgan shook his head. Real smooth, man.
Morgan finished locking up his car, and turned to the source of the very pleased voice. "Jordan Todd. I heard you stopped by."
"Yes, and imagine my surprise when it wasn't you that answered the door, but Emily Prentiss, with a baby in her arms." She was like the cat that swallowed the canary-flirting with the dog.
"Yeah, I was at her place working on the nursery."
"So she told me."
He headed toward the building, Jordan walking beside him. "What brought you by? It's been a while, and I thought you were seeing that guy from the NSA?"
"We broke up a couple weeks ago, and I was hoping for some company. Though, now I'm wondering..." she said.
"And, what is it you're wondering?"
"How long you and Emily have been at it-besides apparently nine months, and with how many other women at the Bureau do you have arrangements like ours with?"
Morgan whipped around to face her. "Excuse me?"
She actually jumped back in surprise, then raised her hands in surrender. "Relax, Derek. Just simple questions."
Simple question, his ass. She'd just basically implied he was the worst kind of player-screwing around with multiple female colleagues and getting one pregnant. He'd admit to being a player, but he wasn't a bastard like that. Jaw tense, he inhaled to calm himself down.
"I've never slept with Prentiss, Addy is not my child. And, you are the only woman in this building that I have that arrangement with. I generally avoid getting involved with women with guns."
She raised her eyebrows at that, and then smiled then. "Alright, call me when you want some company then."
Once she disappeared down the hallway to her unit, Morgan shook his head, and made for the BAU. After she'd returned to Counterterrorism, they'd hung out of few times, and eventually arranged a friends with benefits situation. It worked. They were attracted to other, and the sex was great. Now though, after her accusation, it left a bad taste in his mouth.
"They want to shrink me." Morgan turned abruptly from his papers, to the familiar albeit pissed off voice. Emily had a diaper bag slung over a shoulder, and Addy in her car seat.
"Hey." He smiled.
"I have to get cleared by the shrinks before I can come back," she clarified.
"Well, it's not like you'll be back for a while anyway…right?"
"No, I won't. But, since when does maternity leave require a psych eval?"
Morgan sighed, and leaned back in his chair. "You know why, Prentiss. They just want to make sure you don't have PTSD or anything like that."
She sighed and fell into a chair. "I know, I know, it's probably smart, but I don't like it."
"Since when do any of us like seeing the shrinks?"
"Emily?" They both turned to see Reid returning with a cup of coffee.
He gave her a hug, and offered the baby a finger to grab. She promptly stuck it in her mouth, much to his chagrin. Emily chuckled at the expression on his face.
"Sorry, everything goes in her mouth."
He shrugged. "How are you doing?"
"Good. I think I'm actually starting to get the hang of this…at least she seems happy enough." Emily shrugged, like that was good enough for her.
Reid nodded. "Why are you here? Are you meeting with Hotch?"
"No, I've got an appointment to see one of the Bureau shrinks, I was actually about to drop Addy with Garcia."
"I've got her," Morgan said, grabbing the carrier from her.
"Are you sure, cause Garcia's been nagging me for an opportunity to baby sit." She gestured a thumb in the direction of the tech's office.
"I've got this," Morgan assured her. He'd only briefly seen Addy when Emily came home the other night. They'd gotten a case first thing Monday, so their dinner had been postponed. They got back only last night, and he planned on going over after work today. He'd missed the baby.
"Alright," Emily said, relinquishing the diaper bag. "If you get tired, pass her off to Garcia."
"We'll be fine, go prove to the shrinks you're not crazy," he joked. Emily rolled her eyes, and gave Addy a little kiss before heading off to deal with the shrink.
"Where are you going to put her?" Reid asked, apparently noting the same predicament Morgan found himself in. No space on his desk.
"Alright, little princess, looks like you're coming out of there." Morgan unbuckled her, and eased Addy out of the carrier, setting it on the floor, and settling her on his chest. He leaned back in his chair, and picked up a case file, keeping one hand on her back.
Hotch stretched and dropped his pen, walking across his office toward the bookcase. Keeping a well-stocked reference library really couldn't be underestimated. He turned to look out toward the bullpen, and noticed someone standing against the railing. He moved to get a better look and realized it was Dave. He was looking over the bullpen, eyes fixed on something, studying, analyzing it.
Frowning deeply, Hotch stepped out, and walked over to where the other man stood. He moved beside him, and followed his gaze toward the pod of desks their three younger profilers occupied, well two at the moment. He started at the sight. Morgan had a little blanket-wrapped lump on his chest, one hand running up and down her back absently while he took notes with the other hand.
"Is that Addy?" He asked. Hotch couldn't fathom what other baby it would be.
"Yeah, I saw Prentiss walk out not long ago."
"Why are they here?"
"Not sure, I can't hear anything from up here. Nothing that worried Morgan or Reid though."
Hotch could almost see the wheels turning in the other man's head. "What's on your mind, Dave?"
The older man suddenly turned to him then. "Have you ever known Morgan to be so attentive to a child, let a lone an infant? Or so attached to a friend?"
"What are you getting at?" Hotch so didn't like where this was going.
Rossi nodded back toward Morgan. "Tell me that doesn't look like a man who's been in that position a dozen times before."
"So, he's been helping Prentiss a lot, we know that."
"I heard a rumor today, I didn't pay much attention to it, until I walked out and saw that." He turned to Hotch. "You know, she never said who the baby's father is?"
"That's because it's her business, and hers alone."
Rossi nodded. "I agree, as long as it's not a member of this team."
"You think Morgan is Addy's father."
"I think it's a more than plausible theory. He's over there constantly, he calls her when we go away on cases, he was with her those first nights in the hospital, it makes you wonder doesn't it?"
Hotch sighed. God, this would really complicate things. "I think we shouldn't speculate. Besides, I've known Morgan for a long time, if she was his child, he wouldn't hide it."
"He might if they wanted to protect their jobs. Think about it Aaron, you'd have to transfer one if you found out they had a baby together. If they wanted to avoid that, this is a pretty good way."
They were both distracted by a squeal. They whipped around to see Garcia heading straight for Addy, and a wide-eyed Morgan. Hell, the entire bullpen was distracted.
They watched her sweep the baby off Morgan's chest, and coo at her. Addy stared at her, but wasn't upset, just curious it seemed. Hotch sighed, well now was as good a time as any to deal with this.
"Morgan," he called down, motioning the other man up. Before returning to his office, he turned to Rossi. "This conversation never happened."
"Hotch? What's up?" Morgan slid into the seat in front of his boss's desk, leaving the door open a smidge.
"I'm not entirely comfortable with this, so I'm just going to jump in," the other man began. "I need to know the nature of your relationship with Prentiss."
Morgan's eyebrows shot up. "Excuse me?"
"Normally, your personal life is none of my business, but if it can interfere with the dynamic of this team, it is."
"You're kidding me with this, right?" Morgan couldn't believe Hotch was actually suggesting what he was suggesting. "She just had a baby, you really think I'd be messing with her now?"
"Actually, I'm less concerned with now, than earlier."
Morgan groaned, couldn't he just asked whatever the hell he wanted to ask, instead of trying to be discrete? "What are you talking about?"
Hotch sighed. "Are you Addy's father?"
Morgan actually leaned back, his eyes wide. "Whoa. Are you kidding me, man?" When Hotch didn't respond, her was forced to. "No, I am not, Hotch."
"Are you sure about that?"
Morgan practically sputtered. "Damn it, Hotch, I'm not screwing Prentiss!"
The creak of the door, had them both spinning to see a wide-eyed JJ. "I-I'll come back later," she said quickly and disappeared.
Morgan shook his head and mumbled, before looking back at his boss. "Satisfied?"
"I told you, I didn't really want to be asking about this, but you understand how it all looks, Morgan."
"What do you mean?"
Hotch blew into his hands, looking as miserable with the conversation as Morgan. "You've been very…attached to Prentiss and Addy since the baby was born, it's a natural assumption."
Morgan shook his head and tried to control his anger. "I've been attached because the jackass that did get her pregnant isn't doing a damn thing to help her. And, since she isn't likely to ask for help, I haven't given her a chance too."
If Kevin got Garcia pregnant and took off, Morgan would be attached to her too, at least after he beat the pulp out of Kevin. Not that he thought the scenario likely; Kevin was a good guy.
"It wasn't my intention to upset you, I just needed to know."
"Can I go now?" He was still pissed, and he would be a while.
Hotch simply nodded.
He trudged into her office just after seven, looking the absolute picture of a lost puppy. A really, really adorable puppy that she just wanted to hug until that look left his eyes, because it was just about breaking her heart.
She finished her little project with a great grin, and turned her attention to him. "Hey hot stuff, what are you doing here so late?"
"I could ask you the same thing, baby girl. What did you just hack into?" He walked up, and leaned against her desk, facing her.
Garcia smiled widely. "Oh, just a little side project for Counterterorrism. Their techies were having trouble, and bet me I couldn't do it."
"So, what did you just win yourself?"
"Spa weekend, the couples kind."
He nodded appreciatively. "I'm sure Kevin will be thrilled."
"He'll resist going like hell, but I'll win him over with my feminine wiles. But…that's not what you came to discuss. And weren't you going to Em's tonight?"
"I told her I'd see her tomorrow." He was looking at the monitors on her desk as if they held the answers to the universe.
"Does this have anything to do with what JJ overheard from Hotch's office?"
He looked at her then. "She told you then?"
"Of course she did. Something like that, JJ knows better to withhold." He chuckled lightly but went silent again. Garcia sighed. "You aren't looking so happy, hotstuff. Tell me what's bothering you."
"Aren't you supposed to be omniscient, babygirl?"
"Oh, I am. For example, I know your woes do involve a baby girl, an actual baby girl, not yours truly. But...I figured you came to talk, so I should let you talk."
Morgan sighed then and rubbed the back of his head. "Is it wrong that I'm helping her out?"
His eyebrows rose, and he studied her. "That's it? No? When did you become a Magic 8 ball?"
"Ah, there you are wrong. If I was a Magic 8 ball, I'd have said something hinky like, 'my sources say no'. I just said no."
"But, that's all you have to say? No sage words of wisdom, nothing to help me out here?"
She shook her head. "I'm not Yoda or Gandhi, sugar. There's not much else to say there. You're being a nice guy, there's nothing wrong with that."
"Then why do I suddenly feel like there is?" He leaned heavily against her desk, his eyes begging her for a little guidance.
Beautiful men. More potent than a bottle of moonshine.
"Derek," she said seriously, taking his hand in both of hers, "People will always gossip, and always make the wrong assumptions. It's part of life. It doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing what you're doing."
"What if the assumptions aren't entirely wrong?"
Garcia opened her mouth, and then abruptly closed it. What was he saying? "Okay, I know you aren't Addy's father, so are you trying to tell me you are involved with Emily?"
That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, except you know, Hotch would blow a gasket. Or two.
"No, not really. I was referring to Addy, actually. She's not my child, babygirl, but..." He trailed off, biting his bottom lip, and looked away.
"Derek?" He was worrying her a little.
He looked back at her, brown eyes more open than she'd ever seen them. "I kind of wish she was."
Her mouth fell open. That she hadn't been expecting. Closing her mouth, Garcia shifted her chair back, and got up, wrapping her arms around him, squeezing him tightly. She was pretty sure she'd never seen him so…confused wasn't quite the right word, but she didn't think the word she needed existed.
Garcia drifted off, busy picturing her best fried, the eternal bachelor, as a daddy. The mental image had so consumed her that she nearly jumped when he spoke.
Or more, blurted. "I kissed her the other day, uh Prentiss."
Her mouth opened uselessly once more, until she managed. "Was there tongue?"
"Babygirl!" he admonished, shaking his head, but then smiled, "It was on the cheek."
"Oh, then what are you worried about? Friends do the cheek kissing thing all the time."
"No, you girls do the cheek kissing thing. You and I have done it, but Prentiss and I do not do the cheek kissing thing...besides, it wasn't on purpose."
Her eyebrows rose up beneath her bangs. "Oh, this I need to hear."
"It was Sunday, I was leaving her place. I kissed Addy, and then I kissed her reflexively. She looked surprised, but then we both pretended it didn't happen."
Garcia shook her head. "How is it you two are so awkward? Huh, Mr. Smooth?" Then realization dawned and her eyes widened, and her mouth fell open for the third time since he'd walked into her office.
They liked each other. Only part of this was about Addy.
Derek Morgan had feelings for a girl, and had no idea how to handle it. That was a not something she ever expected to see, especially being that girl was Emily. Now that was just weird to think about. Though, it seemed her friend finally ended her streak of bad taste, and opted instead for off-limits.
"Babygirl?" Derek was eying her with curiosity and utter confusion. "What's going on there in that mind of yours?"
Garcia studied him, his eyes once again guarded, no sign that he had any conscious idea of what she'd already figured out. She got the feeling that this was a place he wasn't ready to go. She sighed, and smiled softly at him.
"Just that you'd make a very good daddy."
His eyebrows went up.
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "Honey, you can either keep wishing it or you can make it happen. Talk to Emily, tell her you want to fill that role for Addy; I doubt she'll turn you down."
He nodded without conviction. "Maybe."
"No maybe, you will go, and talk to Emily. And, while you're discussing that, considering discussing boundaries, you know, if that whole cheek kissing thing bothers you that much."
"It doesn't bother me, it just…" He cut himself off and shook his head.
Makes you feel all tingly and nervous inside? Garcia thought to herself. God, she really needed to get JJ on the phone or something, this realization required someone to squeal and 'oh my god' with her.
Morgan straightened himself up as he knocked on the door, and waited for Emily to come. Garcia was right, he needed to talk to her, and tell her what was going on in his head. He could hardly fathom how much his life had changed in the last six weeks. He'd been a happy bachelor, his only responsibilities being his job and Clooney. Then he'd held one of his closest friends while she gave birth, watched her daughter come into the world, and suddenly he was ready to take on the biggest responsibility a person could.
"Hey, I just put her down, I thought you were catching up on paperwork tonight...?" Emily held the door with one hand, stepping aside to let him in. She looked exhausted.
"I decided paperwork can wait, and I actually came to talk to you." He followed her into the living room, where it looked like she'd been folding laundry. At least Addy's laundry. Tiny little onesies, footies, and dresses (no doubt from her Aunt Penelope) were in piles on the sofa, beside a laundry basket full of more clothes.
"Is everything okay?" She shifted some of the clothes and waved him to sit beside her.
"Everything's fine with me, but you seem kind of tired, well more than usual. Are you okay?"
Emily nodded. "She was just fussy last night, didn't want to sleep. I think she missed you, actually."
He smiled. "Well, the feeling was mutual then."
This week had been the longest he'd gone without spending the night with them, and it had been surprisingly hard. He missed holding her, and hearing her little baby gurgles.
"So, what did you want to talk about?"
He'd decided he was going to jump right into, because either way, it was going to be a little awkward. "You're sure her sperm donor isn't going to be involved?"
She smirked at the title. "Yes, I'm sure. Why?"
"If the role of father is open for her, I'd like to take it."
Her mouth fell open. "Oh Morgan, that's really sweet, but you don't have to-"
He cut her off. "I'm not asking because I feel like I have to do it. I'm telling you what I want to do, and asking if you'll let me."
"You want to be Addy's father?"
"Yes, I want to be her father."
"You're sure? Because, that's a lifetime commitment. We teach her that you're her daddy, then you're her daddy forever...are you ready to do that?"
She seemed uncertain, and he couldn't really blame her. He didn't have the greatest history for commitment, but that was different. Committing to a woman was messy and complicated; committing to love and protect Addy for the rest of his life...well, he was pretty sure he'd already done that emotionally.
And, he knew that while Emily's relationship with her mother was tense and uncomfortable at the best of times, her relationship with her father was non-existent. She'd only ever mentioned him once, when Reid asked why she never mentioned him. He'd left her mother when she was 12, and remarried, pretty much leaving his little girl too. Morgan could understand her hesitation.
So, he took her hands in his, and looked into her eyes, so she could read the naked honesty in his. "I am ready to be her father. I want to be her father, and I swear to you Emily, I will not abandon her."
He watched her eyes fill with water, as she quickly nodded her head, and smiled. "Job's yours."
Morgan felt the corners of his mouth turn up, and as he pulled her into a hug, he whispered against her ear. "Thank you."
Her arms went around him. "I think I should be the one saying that."
They settled into a quiet conversation after that, talking about Addy, about work, and flicking on the TV because neither of them were really tired. Or at least he wasn't. Emily fell asleep after about ten minutes, and by the time the Addy's cries came through the baby monitor an hour and a half later, Emily was curled up on her side at one end of the couch. Morgan flicked the monitor off, so it wouldn't wake her, and headed upstairs to get the baby.
Addy was wiggling around in her bassinet, yelling, but not really crying. Morgan scooped her up, cradling her tiny form in his strong arms. She quieted almost immediately.
"Hey little princess, you did miss me didn't you?" He pressed a kiss to her head. "I missed you too."
He untucked her from her sleep sack, and left it in the bassinet as he made his way to the nursery. Emily had already gotten much of it organized, little toys and things on the shelves he'd put up, the changing table stocked with everything. Changing diapers wasn't as offensive a process as he'd once imagined. Sure it was smelly, and pretty gross sometimes, but it was one of those things you just do. He'd been a little nervous the first time, but he did okay. Now, he handled it like a pro.
After he redressed her, he grabbed a blanket from the drawer beneath the crib, and swaddled her. He wanted to hold her for a while. His daughter. His baby girl.
He looked into her big brown eyes, and said, "So, your mommy and I talked, and guess what?" He smiled down at her, completely secure with the decision he'd made. "I'm your daddy now."
So, first thing, still no real Morgan/Prentiss love going on, but I just can't slap them together like peanut butter and jelly, I have to work up to it. Which means, this series is still ongoing, and will be for a few more stories. Sorry, I can't give you an estimate on the next part, but alert this, and I'll add a chapter w/ an A/N letting you know when the next story is up.
Second thing, we have absolutely no information on Emily's father. She's never mentioned him, her mother never mentioned him. I feel like most people when they see their mothers, would say, 'hey, how's dad?' or something like that, if he was around. And, I don't get the impression he's dead, so I used some creative license and decided he left. I think him leaving when she was a kid actually tracks pretty well with her character.
Lastly, thank you for reading, and reviews are very much appreciated!