This is part of an ongoing series, the last of which was, 'Favorite Mistake'. You can find a complete listing of all those stories in my story titled, 'Series'. This may not make much sense to youwithout reading those first.


"So, what we going to get you tonight?" Morgan asked Addy as he pushed the cart to the baby food section.

She was sitting in her carrier, playing with her foot, and looking at him with wide eyes. She was nine months old now and growing so fast he could barely believe it. In nine months he'd learned about things like tummy time and colic, developed a large repertoire of lullabies, and had a bedtime schedule for the first time since junior high. To his continuing surprise, he didn't mind any of it. Sure, sometimes he missed the bump and grind of clubs, and the freedom of bachelorhood, but he wouldn't trade what he had now to go back to that.

"Alright, Mama says we have to get you to eat something with protein. What do you think, little Princess?" He rested his hand on her belly, shaking her gently as she giggled, and then faced the baby food section.

He'd already grabbed some of what he knew she liked, some veggies and fruit, and some fruit with grains, but they wanted to get her eating more variety. Addy was a good eater, and fortunately not terribly picky, but they were slow introducing new foods since she was developmentally behind. And she was still very attached to Emily. Neither of them were looking forward to weaning her off breast-feeding.

"How about turkey and cranberry and rice?" Morgan held up the jar for her, while Addy busied herself sucking on her thumb.

He chuckled and kissed her forehead, setting the jar in the cart, along with another with chicken. He was preparing to move on when a voice stopped him.

"Derek? Is that you?" He whipped around to see a familiar face with a basket in her arms.

"Tamara? Hey, how are you?" He smiled.

"Good, I've been good. What about you…you uh, have a baby?" She nodded to Addy, a look of shock on her face.

"Yeah, this is my little princess, Addy."

"She's beautiful, how old is she?"

"Nine months last week, she's a little small for her age though. Aren't you, baby girl?" He wiggled her feet, smiling when she did.

"Wait a minute, that would mean..." Tamara suddenly looked pissed. "You were with her mother when we were together?"

"What? No, of course not-"

"I can handle basic math, Derek."

"No, that's not what I mean." He sighed. "Addy isn't biologically mine, so no, I was not involved with her mother when I was involved with you."

His former...well he wasn't sure what the hell they'd been, looked at him with a confused frown. "So, how did this happen? You're good guy, but I never saw you as the diapers and soccer practice type."

He shrugged. "Things change. Emily and I had been close for years, and then Addy came along and I guess this just happened."

She nodded slowly. "Are you married now?"

His eyes widened. "What? No, no we're not even near there yet."

Tamarra looked like she was going to ask something else, and then seemed to abruptly switch her train of thought. "So, how are things going with your team?"

"Actually, I'm leading my own team now. I got promoted a month ago to running the HSK task force, that's-"

She held up a hand. "In your line of work, I don't think I need to know." She smiled. "I can't believe you left your team, they seemed like the most important thing to you."

"They're more like family, but it was time, and actually, do you remember my team at all? Agent Prentiss, the brunette?"

"A little, is she running it now?"

He grinned at that thought. "No, my old boss is still running it, but she's Emily, Addy's mom."

"Oh...you're living with one of your coworkers?"

"Actually, we don't live together." As soon as he said it, he heard how bad it probably sounded. They'd been doing things completely ass-backwards and at their own snail's pace, and the team knew them well enough not to be surprised, but someone who didn't...

"Oh," she repeated, looking even further perplexed and then seemed to nod. "That sounds like you."

"What?"

"Being afraid to commit."

"I'm not afraid to commit, I'm very committed to them." He felt himself getting defensive and silently told himself to tone it down.

She nodded, eyes wide. "Okay, sure...it was uh, nice running into you Derek."

"You too." He watched her head away and turned the cart toward the produce section.

He was committed, very much. He loved Emily and Addy more than he'd ever loved anyone in his life, he'd do anything for them. So why were her words making him squirm?


Emily yawned into her hand, and glanced mournfully at her empty coffee cup. She'd been back in the field less than a month and already it felt like it was kicking her ass. She'd swear she didn't remember there being this much paperwork, but she knew it had always been there. What hadn't been there was someone to go home to, and now she had two someones, and thinking about them was constantly distracting.

Her eyes found the pictures on her desk: a copy of the same one she'd given Derek's mother, a more recent shot of the three of them together, and one of just Addy, beaming up at the camera with her sweet, chubby-cheeked smile. The family she never believed she'd have, and still found a little shocking every time she got to hold them.

She was one of few people left in the bullpen, Reid was gone, and even Hotch had left to help Jack with a project. Rossi was still camped out in his office though, and Emily was pretty sure he handled some of the paperwork now so Hotch could get home to Jack a few nights a week. It was good for both of them, Hotch needed to be with his son, and frankly, Rossi less time to be finding wife number four.

"Hey Prentiss," a voice called to her. She turned to see Anderson beside a familiar tall, thin figure. His hair needed to be cut, and exhaustion was written into his eyes. "You have a visitor," he added unnecessarily, as the man was already coming toward her.

"Johnny." She stood up, mouth half open in surprise.

He embraced her tightly, nearly crushing her body to his, not unlike what he'd done after the failed exorcism.

"What are you doing here?" She asked, when he finally pulled back.

"I just got back from being overseas...I was in Italy."

Her back straightened and all her shields went up almost unconsciously. Was she that accustomed to blocking people out? She led them away from the desks. "And?"

"And...I guess it made me think about you...and everything back then."

Emily inhaled and looked at the ground, pressing her lips together before meeting his eyes again. "So, you decided to pay me a visit and reminisce?"

"I just...do you ever wonder...if we'd done it differently?" Up close the exhaustion looked more like ghosts he'd been carrying around for too many years.

"My mother would have had you castrated."

He smirked. "Probably. But, seriously Em, do you ever wonder?"

A sigh. "I don't need to, Johnny. Our parents would have forced us to get married and work in politics with them, and we'd have been divorced by our early twenties."

"Were you always such an optimist?"

"Yes. What's this about, Johnny? All of this was 25 years ago, and neither of us have ever felt the need to revisit it before."

He shrugged. "It wasn't all bad...I did care about you."

Her expression turned sympathetic. "I know, and I cared about you too."

"You look great, Em."

Instead of responding, she stood there looking into his eyes, studying him, trying to profile his reason for visiting her. What she found in the same brown eyes that had her swooning when she was fifteen, was only need and loneliness. She rested a hand on his bicep. "I have a family now, Johnny. A daughter."

He actually leaned back in surprise. "When?"

"She nine months old. You remember Derek Morgan? Tall, dark, built like a superhero?"

"He came busting into the room with you when you saved me."

"Yeah, we're together now." And I'm happy and desperately don't want to screw this up, she thought.

Johnny was silent for several incredibly awkward seconds, and Emily felt increasingly more antsy. Then he inhaled sharply. "He treats you well?"

Emily smiled, the slightest bit of relief flooding through her. "Yeah, he's wonderful."

"Then I guess I can't ask for much more, right?" He smiled, but she could see the sadness in his eyes, the disappointment. Then something else caught her eye.

Morgan was just entering the bullpen, Addy snug in his arms. She saw his eyes land on her, and then notice Jonathan and darken at the sight of the other man. Emily shook her head and inhaled, still not quite used to Derek Morgan being territorial over her.


"Are you okay?"

Morgan glanced away from the road briefly toward Emily. "Sure, why wouldn't I be?"

"I don't know, you seem quiet."

"Just thinking, I guess."

"Anything in particular on your mind?" She asked.

Morgan shrugged. There was a lot on his mind, and most of it was making him question their generally happy status quo, and that was making him well, very unhappy. They were silent for a minute, and she gave a quick glance at the baby before turning back to the road. Emily looked a bit annoyed, but at least she wasn't trying to play twenty questions.

Twenty minutes away from Emily's apartment, he turned to her and blurted out what was on his mind. "We should get married."

Emily turned toward him so fast she should have gotten whiplash, her eyes were wide and her mouth was open. "Excuse me?"

"We should get married," he repeated.

She blinked, then just about exploded. "What? Are you on something?"

"I didn't think it was that outlandish an idea. That's what people tend to do."

"Yeah, but we've only been seeing each other for four months! You do not get married after only four months!"

"Plus five of co-parenting, and practically seeing each other everyday. Besides, I thought we were doing pretty good. Or am I mistaken?" That came out nastier than he intended, but he was feeling incredibly defensive.

"No, of course not. But jesus Derek, what's the sudden rush?"

"This is not about a rush, this is about making things official. You know how weird it sounds to explain us to people? We don't even live together, Emily."

"So? What does it matter if it's weird or not? It's no one's business, but ours," she insisted vehemently.

"Well, maybe I don't want people thinking we aren't committed, that I'm not committed. Because, I am to both you and Addy, to our family." Morgan argued back.

"I've never doubted that. Do you doubt that I am—oh my god, that's what this is about isn't it?" She asked eyes wide. "Please tell me this isn't about you marking your territory, because Derek, you really don't have to worry about Jonathan. I'm not interested, even if he is…"

He was about to speak, but that stopped him cold. "He is what?"

"What?"

"You said you weren't interested, even if he is, so he is what? He's interested in you?"

Her mouth opened, and her jaw made soundless movements for a few painful seconds until she managed to speak. "Yes, he is. He came by to revisit the past, but I told him we were together, and he dropped it."

Morgan's heart was racing in his chest, and he wasn't even sure why the information was so upsetting. Emily had said no. "The past? So you dated him in the past?"

Emily groaned and her jaw tightened. "Yes, I was fifteen, it was brief and ended horribly. We barely even spoke up until I saw him a couple years ago."

"It did not look like it was completely over for him a couple years ago." He remembered that vividly, and sure the guy was traumatized and messed up, but he was awfully intimate with Emily.

"What? What are you talking about?"

"I saw the way he held you, I was surprised you could even breathe, and I saw you with him, you were…tender with him. That is not how you react to an ex-boyfriend that you haven't seen in twenty-five years." Frankly, thinking about it, and knowing that same man came today to try and start something with her, it turned his relaxed hold on the steering wheel to a white-knuckle grip.

Emily didn't answer. She ran her tongue over her lips, pressed them together, shifted in her seat, and forced her eyes to stare out through the windshield.

"There's something you aren't telling me, and frankly, and it's making me a little nervous."

She finally turned, and he saw a surprising combination of pain, self-doubt, confusion, and if he wasn't mistaken, self-loathing. "Yeah, but it's not a conversation for the car. We're almost home, I'll feed Addy, and then we can continue this."

He nodded, but Morgan felt like a hot stone had settled in his stomach.


Emily walked over to the infant activity mat, removing Addy's bib as she went. It had been a gift from Garcia, and Emily had gone nearly as deep a pink as the bib when she saw it. In fun, green lettering it proclaimed, 'My Mom is Hotter Than Your Mom'. Morgan had chuckled and whistled; he had loved the bib.

Emily watched Addy shift her focus to the toys hanging above her head, wiggling around and grabbing the colorful plastic and gurgling. With a sigh, Emily moved to the sofa, where Morgan sat, watching his daughter play with a warm look in his eyes. She sat on the opposite end of the sofa, and braced herself for the conversation she'd have preferred never to have again.

"So?" He asked. The warmth had vanished and his eyes were now guarded.

"So, Mathew, Jonathan and I went to an international boarding school together in Rome. We were all Americans who had barely spent time in the States in our short lives. We became close, the best of friends. Mathew was sweet and shy, and if it hadn't been for Johnny and I, he probably never would have gotten into trouble. Johnny was…I guess, he was as miserable with a life of moving around as I was, so when you put us together we kind of fed off each other. One night we went to this dance the school hosted, it was formal, and boring and stuffy, and we ditched, just the two of us. Jonathan had gotten a cheap bottle of whiskey, and we snuck into the janitor's closet."

Emily sighed. "Private boarding schools are different than public schools…it was 200 kids together constantly with little supervision, access to enough pharmaceuticals to supply a drug store, and more than enough booze to wash it down. Sex and drugs were the norm, not the exception, and if you wanted to fit in, that's what you did. We had just moved to Italy that summer, I had three schools in two years before that, and I just, I wanted to fit in…desperately." She paused, taking a breath, and willing the past not to completely swallow her whole. "I lost my virginity on a dirty cement floor, tucked in between the industrial grade vacuum and the floor buffer."

"You were only fifteen when you were in Rome." His voice was level, but she could sense a lot going on behind it.

"Yeah, I think that was about two weeks after my birthday. But, that's only part of the story."

"Okay." He nodded her to continue.

She pressed her lips together, and resisted the urge to fidget. "We sobered up the next day, and I realized…it was stupid, and I just wasn't ready for that. Jonathan was though, we fought, and then didn't talk much over the next few weeks. It was the last week of November when I started feeling nauseous all the time, and was waking up in the middle of the night to run to the bathroom and vomit."

"You were pregnant…" He said it like he wasn't quite sure he believed it, and the stunned expression on his face bared that out.

She nodded. "Yeah, I eventually took a test, and I cried for about two days. I was terrified, I didn't know what to do, my mother would have lost it; in fact, you might have heard her screaming all the way in Chicago." She gave an empty laugh. He didn't.

"Do you…does Addy have a sibling?"

Emily shook her head. Her voice cracked. "No. Mathew found a doctor, and he went with me and we stayed in a crappy hotel afterward. I spent the night crying and trying to will the pain away, and Mathew held my hand and laid with me all night."

"What about Jonathan?" His voice was still calm and level, but his jaw was tense, and his body rigid.

"When I told him about the baby, he looked as sick as I felt. He told me to leave him out of it, to handle it on my own." That had hurt like hell, and had been young Emily's second lesson in not trusting men. By then, she'd been fatherless for almost three years.

Morgan was silent for several seconds, and Emily was anxious waiting for some kind of reaction from him. "You expect me to feel better about this guy and his…connection to you, after hearing that he got you pregnant and then told you to get lost? Because, Emily I don't. In fact, I almost wish we'd let that crazy priest finish his little exorcism."

"That's a little harsh. He was a kid, and he was stupid and scared. I got over it, so can you."

"Why? I still hate the sperm donor, even if that sorry son of a bitch is the reason I have a beautiful little girl and you." At that his attention went to the baby, still playing on her activity mat, oblivious to her parent's heavy conversation.

"Well, I still hate Max a little too, but that's different, he's an adult. Johnny and I were just kids." She watched him watching their daughter, and was surprised when he turned back and his eyes were even more intense, and a deep penetrating brown. "Derek?"

He swallowed. "I can't judge you for the choices you made back then, and I won't, but I have to ask you, Emily. If you had known you were pregnant with Addy, if it had all been normal, would you have even had her?"

She bit her lip, and offered empty hands. "Truthfully? I don't know."

"You don't know?"

"No, I don't know. I got pregnant from a married man, I would have been looking at single motherhood, and our work isn't exactly accommodating to that. But, I can't say I wouldn't have decided to have her either."

He nodded slowly, looking back toward Addy, and then facing her again. "I need to get some air."

"What? You're leaving?"

"Yeah, I need to feed Clooney anyway." He rose, and started to walk away.

"Wait a minute. Derek?" He turned and she tried to read his eyes, but all she saw was confusion and hurt and turmoil bubbling beneath that. "You can't seriously hold what I might have done had the past gone differently against me. That isn't fair."

He held up a hand, stopping her attempts to catch up to him. "I just need some air."

Then he was gone, and Emily sunk onto the sofa with her head in her hands. She didn't even realize she was crying until the tears started running down her arms.


The slow motions of the rocking chair should have soothed her. Watching Addy sleep should have soothed her, but the pit of worry in her stomach wasn't about to be soothed by anything. Except maybe Derek coming home.

Emily pushed herself out of the chair, switched on the baby monitor, and grabbed the set from the bedroom before heading back downstairs. She would clean to tire herself out enough to sleep. It hadn't been one of her methods of dealing with stress until Addy came along and she had to find alternatives to the usual. You can't go jogging or hit the heavy bags at the gym with a baby at home.

When she hit the bottom of the steps the doorbell rang, and she winced at the noise, and ran to answer it before a second ring could wake Addy. She could feel her eyes were still red from her short crying binge, and felt completely drained, but she ignored all that. She'd certainly looked and felt worse.

There was an older woman on her stoop, with professionally dyed blonde hair, and an expensive dress and sweater set. Her back was straight, her face impassive, and she carried herself much the way Emily's mother always had. Yet, Emily couldn't place her. "Can I help you?"

The woman's impassive expression slipped, and she looked unsure. "You know my husband." She paused. "Maxwell Jeffries."

Her mouth fell open, and she found herself opening the door wider for the woman to enter. What the hell was this woman doing here? And why today of all godforsaken days?

"Uh, please have a seat." Emily gestured to the living room.

Lynn Jeffries walked into her living room with the same tall, regale disposition as Elizabeth Prentiss, and Emily had to shake herself to send the thoughts away. "Has something happened to Max?"

The other woman opened her mouth, and seemed to abruptly change what she was going to say. "You could say that, I suppose. I filed for divorce."

"Oh, I'm so sorry, I—"

"Don't be, it's been coming for years, and you're what prompted me to it, or I suppose your child is." Lynn glanced around the room, studying the décor, the space, the few photos, most of Addy.

"He told you?"

"No. No, he didn't have to, there has always been someone. That part wasn't new. But, I found the papers severing his custody rights to your daughter, and…that was new." She smoothed her dress over her legs, even though there wasn't a single wrinkle.

"I'm sorry, I had hoped not to disrupt your family. My relationship with Max was short-lived, and only during your separation," Emily explained.

"Separation? Is that how he did it?" She looked almost amused.

"I don't understand, did what?"

Lynn glanced at her hands momentarily, then back at Emily. "When I found the papers, I made Max tell me about you, about the child he threw away. Based on what he told me, you seemed far too respectable for his usual floozy. He told me you refused the money he offered you, that you're an FBI agent, that your mother is a US Ambassador. Not the typical profile of a woman looking for score from a wealthy married man, so I wanted to know how he got you to ignore his status."

"Well, you were legally separated then, he said it was just a formality before divorce, but then you ended up working things out instead." She was still confused,

"We were never separated. Not legally or otherwise."

Emily's mouth opened. "But, he said…he lied to me?"

Lynn nodded. "Max lies like he breathes, constantly and without any conscious effort."

"I don't understand, why would he do that?"

"He saw you, was a attracted to you, and decided he wanted you. Lying was his way to get you. It's actually very simple. Max is as attracted as much by the hunt and the challenge as he his by physical beauty. You were an entirely different sort of challenge for him, I imagine."

Emily sat there in stunned silence for several minutes, before finally snapping out of it. She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry, did you come by for something specific?"

Now Lynn became unsure again. "No, I suppose I just felt like I needed to meet you. Our children share the same father."

"Maybe by blood, but Addy doesn't know Max as her father or anything else."

"Yes, Max told me that another man was adopting her?"

Emily nodded. "Yes, and that man is her father."

"Good. Then you aren't keen for our children to meet?" She asked.

"As I said, I had hoped not to disrupt your family, so I hadn't planned on that, no."

Lynn nodded. "I haven't told my children about you, your daughter, or any of Max's affairs. They still love their father, and I'd like to keep it that way. I don't want to cause them any pain."

"I understand. But, I do plan on telling Addy the truth when she gets older, and she might seek out your kids then."

"She's an infant, by the time your daughter is old enough to go looking, my children will have their own families, and will be better able to handle their father's infidelity."

Emily thought about that. "Stephanie is about to start her senior year now, right? And, the boys are already in college?"

The other woman looked surprised. "Max told you about our children?"

"Yeah, he carried around a picture of them, he was very proud."

Lynn swallowed and then smiled. "Stephie is already narrowing down the colleges she wants to visit this summer. Michael's is at the top of the list, he's going to graduate Brown in a couple weeks, then onto Tufts for medical school."

Emily smiled. "That's wonderful. You must be very proud."

"I am. We're getting him a new car for graduation."

"And, what about James? How's he doing?"

Lynn's smile immediately faded, and she grew guarded. "James is no longer in college. He has some problems."

Alcohol or drugs, Emily immediately thought. She nodded slowly, just as a piercing cry hit her ears. She glanced up. "Would you excuse me a moment?"

While she was upstairs, she heard the door open and close, and wondered of Lynn took the opportunity to make a quick exit. She was surprised to find, as she came down the stairs with Addy in her arms, Lynn off the sofa, shaking hands with a surprised Morgan.


It took Morgan a second to place the woman, and when he did make a connection with her last name, he wasn't even sure he was right. Why would the sperm donor's wife be here? Before he could ask, both their attention was diverted by Emily coming near, an awake, but sleepy-looking Addy in her arms. He quickly saw opportunity for an exit from the awkward situation. "Here, I'll se if I can get her back to sleep, so you can get back to your guest."

He took Addy and hurried up to the nursery, sitting in the rocking chair, and shifting the baby to recline in his arms. "Time to sleep, Little Princess."

Their earlier conversation had thrown him off far more than he'd expected. He had never pictured Emily as one of those gossip girl-type private school kids suffering from too little supervision, and having sex and drinking and drugging way too young. It made him rethink what he knew of her. And, that wouldn't have been a big deal, after all, she'd only been a kid then, but then she had dropped the pregnancy-abortion bomb.

He couldn't have imagined facing parenthood at fifteen, and Morgan couldn't swear had he gotten his girlfriend pregnant that young, that he wouldn't have wanted her to do the same. It was against the religious beliefs he was brought up on, but by then Buford had been molesting him for a while, and his relationship with God was piss-poor at best. Abortion being a sin probably wouldn't have stopped him.

As much as he wanted to smack the shit out of Cooley, he couldn't have said he would have done better under the circumstances. Most fifteen year-old boys would probably have told a pregnant girlfriend to figure it out on her own. Teenagers are self-centered by nature, their worlds revolve around themselves, but they eventually grow out of it. Still, it pissed him off to know that not just one, but two men had gotten the woman he loved pregnant and thrown her away like she meant nothing.

But, he could have lived with all that. It was sitting there, holding his baby girl safe in his arms, wondering if she might never have had the chance to exist that was ripping his heart out. It was knowing that even 18 months ago, if Emily had decided to have an abortion, he wouldn't have let her go through that alone. He'd have gone with her to the appointment, waited while some doctor ripped Addy from her womb, and then driven her home afterward. He would have spent the night crashed on her sofa, just in case she needed anything, and never known that they just lost the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them.

That sat in his stomach like spoiled meat.

But he had to remind himself that life didn't go that way, and it wasn't about to snap back to that alternate reality just because he had that thought. Emily had endured a hellish nightmare to bring their daughter into the world, and he knew neither of them would change that.

Of course, her confessions had made him realize that marriage was perhaps a little premature. Their relationship wasn't that secure yet; it was still fairly new.

He swallowed, and stood up, Addy barely stirring as he moved, and gently transferred her to the crib. She wiggled for a few seconds, but soon drifted even further into sleep. Morgan watched his daughter for a few minutes, before turning and finding Emily at the doorway, watching him. She held up the other half of the baby monitor, and nodded him out. They still had a conversation to finish.

Morgan followed her to her bedroom, or rather their bedroom. He spent far more nights at her place than his. She faced him, teeth planted in her bottom lip, and body rigid and defensive. "So?"

Instead of responding verbally, he walked over and wrapped his arms around her. "I'm sorry I ran off, I don't hold anything against you, I just needed to think…it's been a weird day."

He felt her body relax against his, and her head rest against his chest. "You're telling me," she said softly.

"That was the sperm donor's wife, right?"

Emily nodded against him. "Yeah, she filed for divorce. And Max lied to me. They were never separated."

Morgan initially tensed, but forced himself to ease out of it. "I thought he was an asshole anyway."

"Yep." She was holding him very tightly, and he wondered if she was feeling a little insecure too. "Do you want to tell me what the spontaneous marriage proposal was about?"

Morgan nuzzled her neck, pressed a kiss to her head, and finally backed away so they could talk. "I ran into an old friend today too."

"Oh?"

"Do you remember Tamara Barnes?"

Emily frowned. "The name is familiar, wasn't she involved in a case somehow?"

He nodded. "Yeah, her brother was killed by the three construction workers."

"The murders in southeast DC? The ones where we found the body in the nursery wall?" She made a face at the memory.

"Yeah, Tamara's brother was one of the men in the two couples killed."

"Oh yeah, okay I remember her, she came to the station after that mob of kids ran through DC. She was pissed, you drove her home, and—" She suddenly stopped talking and frowned deeper as she remembered. "Garcia yanked JJ and I into her office that day, she was worried you were getting too close to the sister of one of the victims. JJ and I told her not to worry, you were a grown man, capable of making and living with your own decisions." She paused again. "Did you have a relationship with this woman?"

"Briefly. It didn't last long and it ended amicably. I had just taken over for Hotch, and I didn't really have the time to date."

All the tension that disappeared returned to Emily's body, and she regarded him like she was bracing herself for another fight. "So you ran into her today…and?"

"We talked a little, I told her about Addy and you, and she implied that I wasn't committed. I didn't like it. I'm aware I don't have the greatest reputation for that, and that seems to be stuck like me to glue, and I guess I don't like people seeing that with you and Addy."

"So, you thought the way to remedy that would be for us to get married."

"Yes. I realize now that that is a little hasty and we aren't ready for it, but that doesn't mean we aren't ready for other things. I thought about more than what you told me earlier, and I think we should move in together." His throat was so dry it felt like swallowing over sandpaper, but he still projected confidence outwardly.

"You want to move in together."

"At least start looking for a place. This is getting impractical, and Clooney gives me a guilt trip every time I see him, because I barely see him. Besides, as much as I like your place, I want Addy to grow up with a yard to run around in, and good schools nearby."

Emily blinked, her face completely blank. "Uh Derek, are you telling me you want to move out to the suburbs?"

He chuckled. "No, we can stay in the city. There are places in the city with yards, though it might be kind of on the outskirts."

"Alright. Okay. Yeah." She was nodding to what she saying, but clearly still trying to wrap her mind around it.

"Yeah, you want to start looking for a place?"

"Yeah, I want to start looking for a place." His smile was cut off when she raised a hand. "But no cookie cutter housing developments, no attached units, and no picket fences."

"You had a problem with picket fences?"

Emily made a fence. "I just look at perfect little homes and neighborhoods like that and all I can think is Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, and what are all those people hiding?"

Morgan smirked. "You need to stop watching David Lynch flicks."

"Twin Peaks was a TV show, not a movie."

"Yeah, one of those nerdy ones with a cult following," he teased.

"Oh, if we're going to be living together, you better brace yourself for more nerdiness than that." She smiled.

Morgan beamed. "Can't wait, Princess."


As I was writing this, I realized with what I'd written for this storyline, Max would be the second guy to have gotten Prentiss pregnant and left her to deal with it herself. I felt very bad for her, and a little guilty for writing it, but she has Morgan now, so that makes it all better, right?

Anyway, what I've got in my head for the foreseeable future with this is another five or six short stories leading into a longer one taking place over a two/two and a half year period. The longer one will be a case-fic type, because I learned from the last long one in this series, I'm really not very good at lengthy family-type fics. Case-fics, I can do though. So, there you have it. Who's excited?

Oh, and same deal as usual, alert this and I'll add a chapter with a note, so you know when the next story has been posted.

Thanks for reading and please review!