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Chapter 3

"Hey Spencer."

The lanky genius turns his head to look at the man standing behind him. He nearly steps back into the counter.

"U-uh, hi Morgan," he mumbles. The barista hands him his coffee and he walks to a booth at the back of the café. Derek follows and sits across from him.

"I'm sorry." The darker man fidgets with his hands, but looks Spencer in the eyes. "I shouldn't have tried to tell you what to do."

"No," Spencer pouts slightly, "you shouldn't have."

"I just…" he trails off, looking down at his lap, "I don't know."

"You just what?"

Derek sighs and rubs a hand down his face. Spencer looks confused and upset, and he feels guilty for being a part of the sad-puppy look on the kid's face. "I just don't want you to get hurt. And yes I know you're capable of taking care of yourself," he cuts off the protest, "but I still feel the need to protect you from guys like him."

Spencer's face visibly falls even further. Slender fingers clutch at the Styrofoam cup and a faint tapping comes from under the table.

"How did the uh, date go anyways?"

"Awful." Derek wants to go find the bastard and beat his face in, while doing a victory dance at the same time, but Reid continues before he can do or say anything. "I made a mistake. He's a great person, but he wasn't…"

"The right person." Morgan finishes for him. All he gets in response is a slight nod. A wave of relief washes over Derek, and then he sees the distraught look on Spencer's face. "Why was it so awful?"

Spencer winces and launches into the story. "Well, it was actually alright in the beginning. He took me to this Lebanese place up the street and we talked and he was really nice. And then I don't know what happened. He went to wipe some sauce off my cheek and it just felt wrong. I thought it was going be-" he pauses, remembering how Derek's face had popped up in that moment, and blushingly continues, "I thought it would be different. So we left and when we got back to the office we, uh, kissed and it just didn't feel right. So I told him I didn't like him in a romantic sense, and I left. Somehow I uh, ended up here, with you."

Finally Spencer lifts his eyes to see the understanding and tiny bit of happiness in Derek's face. There's a moment of silence before the other agent replies.

"It's better that you ended it there, rather than leading him on."

"But I must have embarrassed him! I mean he kisses me and I just run off!" Spencer cries.

Derek grins, and Spencer stares at the crinkles around his eyes, and the tiny twitch of his nose and his heart seems to swell in that second (even though it's highly improbable, he tells himself).

"Always a heartbreaker, huh, Pretty Boy?" Spencer doesn't reply. Instead, he sips his coffee and studies the table top. "So if DiNozzo didn't have what it takes to be Mister Right, what are you looking for?"

The genius licks a stray drop coffee from his lips, not noticing the black eyes dropping down to watch him do so. "I ah," he glances up and is captivated by the want and intrigue in his friend's eyes. "I guess I want someone I know I can trust. Someone who can protect me, but doesn't push too hard," he gives a pointed looks that melts away quickly. "I want someone who is sincerely kind and caring for not just me, but everyone around him. "

They're staring unblinkingly at each other, and the words float between them. They lean a fraction of an inch closer at the same time. And Reid finishes his thoughts with a shy whisper.

"I want someone who won't leave me."

The barista walks by to clean off a table. The pair shift back in they're seats, looking away bashfully. When she leaves again, Spencer manages to speak again. "I'd also like someone who actually lives nearby. Studies show that long distance relationships have a higher percentage of break-ups in the first six months than proximal relationships."

"You know, I'm just a desk away." Derek feels the words spilling out before he can filter them. His breath catches in his throat and he tries to think of a way to take it back, or pass it off as a joke, but he can't make his brain work fast enough.

"You were jealous."

Spencer's voice is soft and shocked. His eyes are impossibly large. Derek doesn't say anything, or even move. He's scared if he does anything Spencer will run away from him like he did to Tony. Suddenly, the lanky youngster laughs.

It's full and loud, echoing in the small shop. It isn't from embarrassment, and it's not mocking. It is pure shock and happiness. He hiccups, and tears begin to stream down his face, but he's laughing and not running away. Derek is so relieved that he lets out the breath he was holding in in a giant sigh. His head drops into his hands, but he's grinning. He works up the courage to glance at the laughing agent.

After a few seconds Spencer calms down, and shakes his head. A large warm hand reaches out and wipes away the tears dripping from his chin and cheeks. He bites his smiling bottom lip and watches the man across from him.

"You were jealous," he repeats.

"Yeah kid, I was jealous." Derek concedes. Even though his hand is wet, he lingers on the soft skin. "I like you Spencer, a lot."

The fingers are calloused, and send shivers from Spencer's face down his spine and to his toes. The dark eyes are staring at him with amusement and fondness. Despite his best efforts, a goofy lopsided grin works its way onto Spencer's face. But it shrinks as he averts his eyes for a second before looking back.

"Do you think this right?" he asks quietly. "If we were to um, you know, don't you think there would be consequences?"

Morgan drops his hand to grab Spencer's and rests them on the table top. He considers the question; it's a legitimate concern.

"You know the team, we're like family. They wouldn't be upset about it as long as it didn't affect us on the field. As long as we're smart about it, no one in the office would have to know unless we want them to."

"I know that. But what about everyone else?"

Derek squeezes the hand in his lightly, reassuringly. "Fuck them." Spencer eyebrows twitch at the profanity. "We'd be happy Spencer. That's all that matters. I'd have you and you'd have me. That's all we need. All I need."

Spencer sighs heavily. His thumb rubs the back of the dark hand as he thinks. He knows he wants Derek; he's known that for a while. But, he wonders, is it worth the trouble? He looks at their entwined fingers and he smiles again. In less than half an hour, he's gone from confused and angry to confused and happy. He peeks at Derek's face once more. There's a patiently loving look. Yeah, he decides, it's more than worth it.

"It's all I need, too."

They look like a couple of lovesick teenagers, staring at each other with silly grins. Morgan grips Spencer's hand tightly and pulls him out of the booth. Reid just manages to grab his bag but has to let go of his cup. Derek leads him through the door and out into the chilly air. He wraps his arms around his new lover and holds him close, nearly delirious with happiness. He spins them and Spencer chuckles as he's lifted off the ground.

"Pretty Boy, you have no idea how damn happy I am right now," Derek whispers. He backs the smaller man against the brick wall. The thin face in his hands is hot to the touch.

Impulsively, Spencer leans forward and kisses Derek. His lips are firm and warm, and only slightly chapped, but it feels undeniably right. Derek tilts his head and their noses bump lightly. They pull away laughing.

Derek has never felt so light-headed from a simple kiss. It wasn't overly sexual, and yet he finds himself wanting more of the genius, but he wants to let Spencer lead the way. Spencer grasps his hand and smiles. He returns it wholeheartedly.

"Hotch is probably waiting for us," Reid says. "I've been gone a couple hours now."

Derek nods and backs off a little so Reid can stand properly. They turn back to the NCIS building a couple blocks away. They don't let their hands untangle while they walk. Sharing a few shy glances, they walk down the sidewalk. Then something clicks in Reid's mind and he stops and turns towards Derek.

"How did you know I was at the coffee shop?" he asks.

"I didn't know," Derek shrugs. "I guess I just got lucky."

Reid purses his lips. "Luck doesn't really exist. It's all probability."

"Alright, alright," Derek laughs as he pulls Spencer in for another hug. "It was a happy coincidence."

The doctor chuckles and nods against the broad chest. It's quiet again, but a comfortable quiet. Suddenly, Spencer's throat tightens, and tears threaten to well up in his eyes. He leans back to watch his boyfriend's face. He bites his lip and starts a mental mantra of 'Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry.' A shaky breath escapes him.

"I'm really happy," he explains to the unasked question. Derek tightens his arms and they sway slightly. "Can we, uhm…"

"Can we what?" Morgan urges him to continue.

"Can we… tell them? Or should we wait?" Spencer finally asks, looking up with wide eyes.

Derek licks his lips and ponders it for a second. "We should let them figure it out on their own." He smirks lightly at the puzzled face. "It'll be fun; our little secret," he winks.

Spencer lets outs a little laugh. He pecks Derek on the lips and pulls away. His eyes are starting to dry, and he can breathe again. "Sure," he responds. They start walking back to the NCIS office, shoulders pressing together every other step.

The entrance pops up sooner than they would like, and they reluctantly let hands fall apart. Morgan opens the door for Reid. They climb the stairs, delaying their arrival to their team by a few minutes. They exchange comforting smiles before Reid pushes the door open.

Hotch, Rossi, JJ, Emily and Gibbs are standing in the office. They all look up at the duo. Hotch turns away from Gibbs to face his agents. He gives them a knowing look.

"We just finished the interrogation, and Rachel's been sent off. We're ready to head out."

Morgan and Reid nod and smile warmly at the NCIS agent when he comes to shake their hands. Gibbs thanks them for their help and offers to show them out. Hotch politely denies, telling him that he should go home and rest as well. Gibbs shakes his head and sits at his desk. While the team gather their things from the conference room and their temporary desks, Reid walks up to the remaining NCIS agent.

"Excuse me, Agent Gibbs." The older man looks up at him with tired, but kind eyes. "I was wondering if you know where Agent DiNozzo is."

Gibbs gives him a small smile. "He went home. He sad he had an important call to make."

Spencer's brows knit in worry. "O-oh. Well, uh," he stumbles over his words, "Can you tell him I said I'm, uh, sorry."

Gibbs nods silently and Reid thanks him. He slouches over to Derek, wanting nothing more than to lean on his shoulder, but he restrains himself. They decide to go ahead to the SUVs waiting in the parking lot. Morgan takes the driver's seat, and Reid slips into the passenger side. Their fingers find each other immediately, resting on the center console. Derek leans his head back against the headrest and closes his eyes. Spencer studies his face.

He notes the laugh lines around his mouth and eyes. The dark skin is smooth and firm, interrupted only by the immaculately kept goatee. His lips are thin and worried, but twisted up in the corners. Short lashes frame nearly black eyes. Spencer blushes; he was caught staring.

Before Derek can say anything, footsteps echo in the empty garage. They're hands slip apart. Derek waves to Rossi, who is walking towards their vehicle. The older agent slips in the back seat with a groan.

"I'm getting too old to be up all night working."

The secret lovers laugh. The drive is short, barely forty five minutes. The BAU team all trudge into the building. Hotch, JJ, and Rossi disappear into their offices while Prentiss, Morgan and Reid drop into the desk chairs. They work slowly on the necessary paperwork. Garcia stops by to give them all hugs and kisses before leaving for the night. Prentiss is quick to follow in the techie's footsteps. Derek looks over the little barrier separating his desk from Reid's.

"Hey kid," he mock whispers.

Spencer quirks an eyebrow. "What?" he plays along.

"Come spend the night with me." Spencer laughs at the requests but agrees.

He stands and walks to Hotch's office. He knocks on the door, and pops his head in. The Unit Chief is sitting at his desk, looking at his cell phone fondly. Spencer knows he's just gotten of the phone with Jack.

"Hey, Morgan and I heading out." Reid goes to take a step back, but his boss's voice stops him.

"Alright. Have fun tonight Reid."

Spencer blushes bright red at the remark. He even trips over his own feet in his hurry to get back to Derek's desk.

"He, uh, said we can go." He rubs the back of his neck in embarrassment. Morgan jumps to his feet and grabs his keys. "He knows." Derek snickers at the squeaked statement.

"Of course Hotch knows," he sighs. Reid steps over to his own desk to grab his bag, turn his computer off, and stack his files neatly. They link their hands, never tiring of the secure feeling it gives them, and leave for a wonderful night of simply sleeping curled up in a loving embrace.

"Oh God, this place is stealing my soul."

Morgan yawns widely and steps off the elevator with Reid. Emily giggles at the statement and twirls in her chair to face her friends.

"Tell me about it."

"Did you know almost all religions believe in some form of a soul? It's supposed to be the essence of a person, and the body merely a vessel for the soul. Some people even believe that animals, plants, and inanimate objects like rivers and rocks, have spirits. That's more common in animism, which is practiced mostly in Eastern religions. And-"

"Reid, chill. Too early," Morgan interrupts the rant. Reid shrugs apologetically and greets Emily. She nods her head at Morgan when he sits with another yawn.

"Oh!" she snaps her fingers, "There was note dropped off on your desk this morning, Morgan."

He cocks his head and frowns. Note? he wonders. Reid takes his seat across from him and waits for an explanation. Derek sets his coffee down and picks up the folded paper on his keyboard. It's short, only five words, and two initials. He smiles and shakes his head.

"Well?" Emily asks impatiently.

"'Congratulations. You're a lucky man. T.D.'," he reads.

The woman twists her face into a questioning look, but Spencer groans and drops his head onto the desk.

"There's no such thing as luck!"

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. - Michael Leunig

The end! I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did.