A/N: This one wasn't really written to combat writer's block; I just got this idea in my head and decided to write it. Hope you enjoy!
And this is a ONESHOT guys…
Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell.
~Emily Dickinson, "Parting"
For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been'
It's not often that Derek Morgan thinks about that night. The night that he made what he will always consider the biggest mistake of his life. The one thing that if he could, he would undo. But there are days when Spencer Reid comes into work with that look on his face and he remembers it all so clearly his heart aches. He looks as if there is no hope in the world, as if the brilliant light that shone within his more than intelligent mind spluttered out and it's all because of Derek. He wishes that he could go back and change what happened… but he can't. And bridges burned can never be rebuilt. He made a mistake and now he's suffering for it.
It had been one of those long nights, after a particularly trying case. They'd finally managed to isolate a profile and catch the unsub, but not before three innocent little girls lost their lives. They told themselves that at least they had saved the fourth girl, Amber-Lynn Simms, but it they didn't really believe it was enough. There were three families in mourning, three mothers and fathers who'd had to bury their children before they'd even reached their teens. The only appropriate word to describe it was tragedy.
They'd gotten back late that night, later than usual, and like they often did when getting back from difficult cases, they went out to a bar to try and remind themselves of humanity, of living. Of looking past the losses and finding some way to cope. Hotch hadn't gone with them; he hardly ever did anymore. He went home to Jack; Jack was his solace, his brightness in a dark world. JJ had called Will and he'd come out with them and Kevin eagerly went with Garcia. Morgan, Reid and Prentiss went alone, but neither Morgan or Prentiss really planned on leaving alone.
It hadn't taken long for Prentiss to be sitting with some dark haired guy at the bar, smiling with slight tension, but smiling all the same. Morgan danced with a few girls, but his heart wasn't really in it. He just kept seeing those three little girls lying dead and bloody in the dirt of the woods where the unsub had dumped them. He finally gave up and plopped down in a chair next to Reid, throwing a half-hearted smile at his young co-worker. Reid smiled back, but his smile was even more half-hearted than Morgan's.
"What's wrong, Pretty Boy?" Morgan asked, concerned.
Reid licked his lips and looked at him, shrugging. "Nothing," he said slowly. "Just… those girls…" Normally, Morgan would've believed Reid, and maybe in part the case was bothering the younger man, but Reid had never been a particularly versed liar and it was showing at that moment. Morgan sighed, shaking his head.
"Come on, Reid, what's bothering you?" he asked, nudging him gently in the arm. Reid frowned and absently rubbed at the spot, shaking his head. "Nothing." He insisted, a hint of an angry edge in his voice. Morgan frowned, but before he could say anything else Reid got up, leaving his drink on the bar, and hurried off toward the bathroom. Morgan sat there for a long minute, wondering what the hell was wrong with him. It didn't take him long to decide, however; Reid was his best friend and he wasn't going to just let this go until he found out what happened.
A part of Morgan wished he'd decided not to follow Reid that night. It would've solved the entire issue right there, quickly. But that wasn't really the decision that he regretted. That decision came later. He entered the men's bathroom, where he'd spotted the younger man escaping to, brushing past another man as he exited. It looked like they were the only two in the small space when Morgan came up behind Reid. "Pretty Boy, what's going on?" he asked worriedly.
"I'm fine, Morgan." Reid insisted. He looked slightly pale, staring at himself in the mirror. He refused to meet Morgan's eyes, even when Morgan moved to stand closer to him. He reached out to put a hand on Reid's shoulder, but quickly corrected himself because he knew how Reid reacted to physical contact. Instead he stayed where he was standing and frowned his co-worker.
"Reid, something's up with you; what's wrong?"
"Nothing!" Reid almost snapped again, his fists tightening, stretching the skin across his knuckles until they stood out whiter than the rest of his pale skin. He whirled around, apparently about to storm out of the bathroom, but Morgan was standing in the way and he ran into the other man. He stumbled and nearly fell to the floor but Morgan was quick to grab him by the shoulders and steady him.
"Are you alright?" he asked. But that was when things went… weird. Wrong. Reid looked up at him with cloudy eyes. That far away look that he got on his face when he was thinking about something that was worlds away from what everyone else was even considering. But there was something different about the look this time. He seemed… farther out of it than Morgan ever remembered seeing the young genius. There was a dark, glazed over stare behind the usually expressive, bright brown eyes that made Morgan nervous.
Then, Reid did something neither man expected. He leaned forward and pressed his lips, cautiously but firmly, to Morgan's. The kiss lasted more than thirty seconds. Reid didn't seem to really realize what was happening and Morgan was too much in shock to react at first. When what was happening to his body caught up with his mind his reaction was visceral. Completely automatic. He spluttered and shoved against Reid's shoulders, getting the skinny young man as far away from him as he could.
Reid stumbled back, hitting the sinks in the bathroom and blinking. The fog cleared from his eyes and they lit with dawning comprehension as he realized what had just happened. What he had just done. Terror flashed in his eyes then, along with guilt and briefest glimpse of what might've been hope. He stuttered, apparently trying to explain himself, but totally unable to form an articulate sentence. "I… I…"
"What the hell is wrong with you!" Morgan yelled, half terrified, half panicked. The first and only thing he'd been able to think of was Carl Buford. It was just the briefest flash of a memory, but it was enough to scare him. And then he saw the hurt blaze in Reid's eyes. The devastation was so clear it almost tore Morgan's heart. Reid's entire body was trembling and there were tears glistening in his eyes. Instead of explaining, like he was failing to do, he scrubbed angrily at his eyes and pushed his way past the other man, rushing out of the bathroom without another word.
That was when Morgan made the decision that by the next morning he regretted. He didn't follow Reid. He didn't even consider it. He didn't want to be anywhere near Reid at the moment. He leaned against the sink and shut his eyes, breathing in and out slowly. He didn't know what to do or how to really process the entire thing. After a minute, he rubbed his hands over his face tiredly and went back out to the main bar. He scanned the place for Reid but couldn't see him anywhere. He spotted Garcia and made his way over to her.
"Baby Girl," he said, surprised at how steady his voice sounded compared to how fast his heart was still beating. "Have you seen Reid?"
She frowned up at him, "He just ran outside. He said he was gonna get a cab and go home. He looked kind of sick but he wouldn't talk to me." She looked hurt for a moment and Morgan almost smiled at her, but he was internally debating about what he should do.
"Ok, thanks, Baby Girl." He smiled at her and walked back over to the bar, taking the seat where Reid had been sitting and staring at the countertop. That was when he made the second decision that he regretted. He didn't go to Reid's apartment to talk to him. He stayed at the bar for the rest of the night, dancing half-heartedly with a few more women and going home late, alone, to stare at the black TV screen, thinking about Reid.
He didn't call the younger man, but his hand reached for the phone more than once. He wasn't sure if it was a good idea to talk about it or just let it die like it had never happened. The selfish part of him wanted it to have not happened, but the rational part knew that they should've talked about it. The selfish side won. Maybe if he'd known that when Reid got home he'd sat alone on his couch, hot tears trailing down his face… maybe then he'd have made another choice. But he didn't know and he wasn't thinking about Reid. Not then at least.
He sat in his living room for hours, his mind spinning around in circles. Normally, he could've said it was an effect of the alcohol, but he hadn't even had a whole drink the entire night. It was all because of Reid and that damned kiss. It wasn't until he finally fell into a fitful sleep that the completely unexpected happened. He dreamed about Reid. About those lips moving against his, his body pressed against his… And he woke up even more confused than he'd been before he went to sleep.
He'd gone to work the next morning unsure of what to do. The selfish part of him still wanted to ignore it and pretend like nothing had happened. And that seemed to be just what Reid had realized he'd wanted because despite the now obvious longing in his eyes, he avoided Morgan for the entire day. He never made eye contact, though Morgan could see the hurt that flashed behind those eyes every time he looked at him. There were several times when Morgan considered following Reid to the break room to talk about the night before, but he didn't. That selfish side of him was still winning the argument. Reid never said anything more about it, giving Morgan the chance to do just want he wanted and act like it hadn't happened.
And Morgan was selfish enough to do just that.
It had been nearly three months now since that incident in the bathroom at the bar and Morgan caught himself throwing glances Reid's way when he thought no one was looking. Reid was more distant than Morgan could ever remember him being and every now and then Morgan could catch those glimpses of hurt glittering in the younger man's eyes. Some nights, most night lately, Morgan found himself dreaming about Reid. And it was all he could do to ignore that irritating and terrifying sense of loneliness and longing whenever he thought about the young genius.
He'd blown his chance at there ever being a relationship between them anyway. If he'd just talked to Reid that night, they could've understood what had happened, why it had happened and where it was leading. But Morgan hadn't been prepared to face anything even remotely resembling a relationship and he had certainly not wanted to even acknowledge that the kiss had ever happened. It was easier for him to pretend it hadn't happened; at least, that's what he'd thought. But here they were more than two months later and Morgan was still trying to ignore the feelings that the kiss had churned up.
There were some nights that he would lie awake and think about what might've been, but it was too late for that. There was nothing he could do besides wonder and curse himself for being so stupid and so selfish. His reason for not talking to Reid now wasn't a selfish one… if he were being selfish he'd have talked to Reid a long time ago about how he felt. No, he wasn't going to talk to Reid now because Reid deserved better than him, if he was even interested at all. Either way, Morgan had hurt Reid enough by shoving him away that night and basically ignoring him since then. He couldn't risk doing more damage to a man he cared about; to his best friend even if he wanted more but couldn't have it.
He tried to stay focused on his paper work these days. It was getting easier to focus again, though there were days when Reid would walk into the office with that look on his face and Morgan's mind would travel back to the bathroom and what might've been, what could've been if only he'd been a little less selfish and a little smarter. He'd fallen into that kiss, whether or not he wanted to truly admit it to himself, and every time he looked into Reid's eyes he started falling again. He wanted to fall forever, but he couldn't allow himself that luxury without a guarantee that he wouldn't hurt the younger man. And with a thing so fickle, so unpredictable, as love… there were no guarantees. He would be left to wonder forever; regretting not doing the right thing that night, or the next morning, those few months ago for the rest of his life. Never knowing what could've been.
Within you I lose myself
Without you I find myself
Wanting to be lost again
E/N: Well… that certainly was depressing. I feel like crying now :'(
Not 100% sure why I wrote this, I just had the idea and had to get it out… hope you guys enjoyed it! Let me know what you think!
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