The inspiration for this came when I was studying, and I should still be doing that right now. Somehow, even when what you're studying is schizophrenia and polygraphs, it still sucks. Anyway, it's been a very long time since I wrote a story of this sort, but it's one of those that kind of wrote itself. So, let me know your thoughts, and thanks for reading!

UTSS will be up middle of this week. If you haven't hit the poll in my profile, go take a look, I'm leaving it up a few more days.

Morgan blinked his eyes awake, squinting at the Saturday morning sun streaming in through his window. The chill of the winter was still blowing fierce into March, but the clear skies of the last several days were trying to trick them all into thinking spring had actually come. He rolled over, turning his back to the light, and facing the brunette on the other side of the bed.

This wasn't just any brunette.

Morgan stared at her face, the last vestiges of sleep falling away from his brain, leaving only crystal clarity. He wished for just a few more minutes of sleep-induced haze, but it wasn't going to happen. Not now that he was awake, and fully aware of the day.

A year ago today, he'd carried her coffin to a gravesite, set a red rose on top, and said goodbye for what he'd thought was forever. It turned out, it was only a temporary goodbye, but that didn't make the memories any less painful. Her presence mere inches away from him, her face peaceful in sleep, didn't make it any less painful. It almost made it hurt more.

A year and three days ago, he'd held her hands, and begged her to live. They had been close then, best friends, partners, and family all rolled into one. Now though? He was far too cowardly to try to define their relationship, but it had grown, it had matured, and it had become something else. Something he wasn't sure he could survive losing, and that's what hurt so much.

A year ago she was a friend.

Today she was everything.

He watched her sleep, her long lashes splayed dark against her skin, her lips slightly parted, and her hair drifting toward her face. It had gotten longer since she'd been back, an ebony wave falling over her shoulders. She was turned, sleeping on her right side, so he could just barely see the shamrock burnt into her chest. It was a pinkish white permanent indentation in her skin, an imprecise, jagged mess of lines.

She had moved, and Doyle hadn't been able to keep his torture device steady. It was clearly a clover, but was obvious to anyone a job done by an amateur. One of two scars the bastard had given her. The other was only a raised pink line, far less obtrusive than the brand. Her doctors had done a good job. Morgan had considered writing them a letter of thanks more than once, but he wasn't sure he could adequately express his gratitude.

They'd saved her life.

Derek Morgan was not a sentimental guy, not the type of guy that writes sonnets or love songs. But laying there, watching her sleep, and remembering almost unwillingly what he'd been doing on this day a year ago, he could do nothing except swallow, and close his eyes in a wordless prayer of thanks. She was alive. She was alive with him, and he was crazy about her.

The first time he'd been with her, he hadn't been that nervous since he was a teenager, with a girl for the first time and trying to think of anything but Carl Buford's hands on him. It had been after one of their Sunday mornings at the shooting range. They'd gone for brunch like they'd made a habit of doing, and then he dropped her back at her place. Only that day, she'd invited him in to just hang out. Ten minutes later, he was holding her hand under the kitchen faucet, and she winced at the bright pink skin. Scalding hot coffee was still dripping off her counter. He'd been far more concerned about her than the mess.

It wasn't until he'd turned the water off, the initial crisis passed, that he'd realized how close they were standing to each other. And how her cry of pain had sent his heart into overdrive. Then somehow Morgan had found him pressing his lips against hers, gentle and almost hesitant. Her eyes had been closed, and when she opened them and looked at him, she looked only thoughtful.

"I think it's supposed to be the injury."


"That you kiss and make better. I think it's supposed to be the injured area. You know, the booboo?"

He grinned.

He'd kissed her hand, and then her mouth again, and that second time, she hadn't let him pull away. There was only a moment where they'd hesitated, staring at each other for several seconds, contemplating fraternization rules and friendship boundaries. Then they made love. And with Emily, that's exactly what it was, even from the first time.

He'd had a lot of sex, and every other first time he'd ever had with a woman had been only sex. Not with Emily. He'd found himself running his hands over every inch of her body, and following that exploration with his lips. With each touch, each whisper against her skin, he'd traveled area Ian Doyle had known years before he even knew she existed, and he claimed it all as his own. He'd caressed her scars with his lips and washed that monster off her forever.

The first time he'd entered her, he was sure his head was going to spin right off his shoulders. Their connection was already intense; being intimate was almost like being pulled under in a riptide. When he closed his eyes, he could still feel her fingers digging into his flesh, hear her breathy moans and gasps, and feel her body contracting around him. He'd held her as she rode through her orgasm, lapsing briefly into French before words turned to nonsensical screams. His own climax had left him breathless, and pulling her close as he rolled onto his back.

Emily shifted slightly in her sleep, her hair falling clear into her face now. Morgan gently brushed it back behind her ear, and ran his hand over her head. This woman had become the central focus of his life, probably had been for the whole year, since the moment he'd thought he'd watched her die. This woman who'd walked into his life six years ago, and somehow slowly worked her way through every defense he'd ever built himself. He pressed a kiss to her forehead, letting his lips linger before pulling away.

She stirred. Groaned. "Mmmhmm…Derek." Her voice was hoarse and low. She blinked and winced against the light. Then she shimmied closer, leaning her head against his chest, her body tucked into the curve of his.

"You feel like snuggling, Princess?" He smiled.

"Sure…and you're keeping the light away." He chuckled, and she groaned again. "Human pillow is not supposed to shake."

Morgan wrapped his arms around her, and rolled onto his back, pulling her on top of him, earning another groan and a squeal. They were still naked from last night, and she shivered as the blanket slid toward her waist. Morgan tugged it back up, and kissed her. Even though he'd disturbed her from her precious sleep, she returned the kiss, then promptly laid her head on his chest. Morgan ran a hand over the smooth expanse of her back, watching her try to fall back asleep and knowing it would never happen. She could never sleep on her stomach.

Then his cell rang and interrupted the quiet moment. Morgan grabbed it, glanced at the display and sighed. "Morgan."

He listened to Hotch describe a series of murders up in Michigan. They'll do the briefing on the plane, go straight to the airport, wheels up in two hours. He'd barely closed his phone when Emily's went off.

She offered another, longer and more genuinely irritated groan, before she rolled off him, and snatched her phone. "Prentiss."

She hung up after a few minutes, and then yanked the covers over her head. He smiled, leaned over her and then gently tugged them down, earning an unamused glare. Morgan turned her face toward him, and kissed her again, slow, sweet and deep. She moaned.

He pulled back. "Good Morning."

Her only response was to pull him back in for another kiss.