Title: Doctor Reid's Deceptions
Author: John Faina
Ratings/Warnings: NC-17 for mild language, dealings with sexuality, and sexual innuendo. DO NOT READ if you are uncomfortable with homosexuality.
Pairings/Characters: Spencer Reid/Derek Morgan
Disclaimer: I definitely do not own or have anything to do with Criminal Minds, aside from taking its characters and forcing them to do things for my own entertainment.
Genre: Friendship/Slight Romance
Doctor Reid's Deceptions
Sometime around midnight, Derek Morgan awoke, television still on, lamp still lit. Clooney was gone from his lap. Morgan felt a brief flash of something like panic-sprinkled sadness before he relaxed; it felt as if he'd only been asleep for a single second, yet he knew hours must have passed.
Yawning, he leaned forward to set his warm beer on the table in front of him and then ran both hands over his face and stood. After turning off the lamp and television, he began to make his way toward his wonderful, inviting bedroom, bleary-eyed and thick-throated, his mind vaguely wandering off to that case.
He didn't register the knock at his front door at first.
It came again when he reached the end of his hallway. Turning sharply and squinting at the door, Morgan was instantly alert. He stood there for a moment, wondering if he ought to go and fetch his gun before he answered it. It seemed quite a paranoid thing to do, but...who in the world would visit him at this hour?
Ultimately, weighing his options, he decided against the gun and walked back to the front door and stuck one eye into the peep hole. He snorted in disbelief, withdrew, unlocked, and threw open the door.
Spencer Reid blinked at him, then smiled tightly and offered him one of his awkward little waves.
"Hi," he said.
"What the hell, kid," Morgan rasped. "You know what time it is?"
"Uh - yes, I - I do, and I'll tell you why I'm here - listen, it's like really cold out here, so if you could perhaps let me in, that would - wait, if you were asleep, why are you still in your clothes?"
"Yeah, come in, come in." Morgan stood back, rolling his eyes. "Fell asleep in 'em, genius. I was just heading off to bed."
"Oh, right. Sorry." Reid stepped through the doorway and Morgan closed it behind him quickly; it was cold out there. He stood in front of it, crossing his arms, and surveyed Reid with questioning eyebrows. Though it was dark, he was still able to make out that the kid was fully dressed, a scarf draped around his neck. His hands were shoved deeply into his pants pockets.
Irritation at the sleep interception quickly faded as curiosity took its place. Reid had never come to his place before. Something must be wrong. However, no way was he going to speak up if Morgan continued to frown at him, so he softened his expression considerably.
"Hey, Reid - are you okay, man?"
Reid glanced up at him, sniffed, and glanced down, and as he did do, a strand of hair fell out of place, brushing the side of his face. He took one hand out of his pocket and used his fingernails to comb it swiftly back behind his ear.
"Yeah, I - it's really dumb, actually, but I - had a nightmare. Only this time, I was having a lot of trouble going back to sleep afterward, and I figured you've always been my - nightmare guy, so - I didn't really know what else to do." Reid sounded uncomfortable as he finished.
"Your nightmare guy?" Morgan repeated, slightly amused, but mostly to gloss over the fact that they both knew what could have happened if Reid hadn't come here.
Reid flashed him an embarrassed little grin in response. "Feel free to kick me out if there's even a slight a possibility that you might lose your mind if you don't go to sleep right now. I'm sure I can - "
"Don't be ridiculous, kid," said Morgan, warming up to him as usual. "How does my couch sound to you?"
"Well, honestly, I've never listened to your couch."
Morgan chuckled. "Your version of a joke, huh?" he teased, heading past him toward the kitchen. "You want anything? I think I got some hot chocolate hidden someplace..." He trailed off as he pulled open his cabinet doors and began rifling through them. Reid appeared in the doorway, his hands still shoved into his pockets.
"Hot chocolate," he murmured, sounding distant, yet pleased. "My mom used to make hot chocolate when she wasn't...when she was in a really good mood."
"Yeah?" said Morgan, locating the old box. "We're in luck. This is the best - my mom used to make it too." He set about the kitchen, dragging out mugs, milk, and a spoon, speaking as he did so. "So, kid. Do you feel like talkin' about it?" The spoon clinked against the mugs. He liked to stir in the powder to the milk before placing it in the microwave; it was an old habit his sisters had turned him onto.
Reid cleared his throat and Morgan imagined him swallowing. "It really wasn't dissimilar to all the others. Horror, blood, murder...my parents and Riley Jenkins..."
"Come on, Reid," Morgan scoffed. "Who d'you think you're talkin' to here? There was something different about this one, and we both know it, otherwise you'd still be at home in your bed with your nightlight, scared but adjusted." He placed the mugs into the microwave and turned to face his co-worker and friend, who was looking at him, his eyes a little wider than usual. His expression clearly said that he didn't want to talk about it at all. Morgan sighed. "Alright," he said, remembering that he had been respected earlier for not wishing to discuss something. "We don't have to."
They stood there in silence until the microwave beeped. Morgan extracted the mugs and walked with them to the circular table near where Reid was standing. He pulled out a chair and sat down, pushing Reid's mug across the surface toward him. Nodding his thanks, Reid sat down as well, finally removing his hands from his pockets and wrapping them around the warmth to hide the fact that they were indeed shaking, as Morgan had already vaguely suspected. The hot chocolate was good. Really good. Morgan felt his eyes begin to droop, while Reid's did everything but. Frankly, Morgan thought he looked scared as hell, now that he had the chance to see him properly. His eyes were still wide, there were faint bags under them, and an air of general uneasiness surrounded him like a thick fog. Morgan blinked hard a few times to clear the sleep from his mind and leaned forward. Reid's grip on the mug tightened.
"Okay, kid, I changed my mind. I think you need to tell me what it was all about."
"Don't play with me. It's botherin' the hell out of you, isn't it? It's not gonna do any good for you to stifle it up and pretend nothing's wrong."
Reid's eyes briefly flashed with defiance. "Oh, you mean like you're doing?"
Morgan's eyes narrowed. "Excuse me?"
"Don't play with me," Reid mocked.
Of course, Morgan understood what he meant. Laughing softly, he took a long drink, contemplating what he was going to say to that. Really, what could he say to that? He set his mug down on the table with a dull thud. As he turned out, he didn't need to say anything, for Reid interrupted him as soon as he began to speak.
"Listen - "
"I propose that I tell you what's bothering me if you tell me what it was about this case that got under your skin so much today."
Morgan raised his eyebrows. He started to shake his head, but then he paused. It sounded...fair enough, actually. Leaning forward again, he said, "Okay, kid, you got yourself a deal. But you gotta go first, and you have to give me every gory detail. Alright?"
Reid surprisingly disagreed. "No," he said firmly. "You need to go first."
Curious, Morgan asked, "Why's that?"
Reid met his gaze dead on before looking down at his mug and muttering, "Will you just...please."
Morgan tilted his head a little to the right, considering the man in front of him. There was no choice now. He had to go first. Scowling, he glanced at the ceiling then at the tabletop. There was about two minutes of complete silence. Eventually, his jaw clenched as his thoughts wandered off to the case.
"Didn't it piss anyone else off?" he suddenly burst out, unable to contain it. "The way those guys - they - they - got the girls for each other, like some sick version of a present!"
Reid blinked, looking up. He took on a thoughtful expression and began to slowly nod. "Yes...they were trying to impress each other, since it was discovered upon their meeting that they had the same mental process and worldview. That's what bothered you?"
"Yeah, man - didn't it anybody else? They were disgusting, corrupt, vile, worthless sons of bitches - "
"Morgan, we see that every day. Or hear about it, or - "
"No," Morgan cut in. "No, no, these guys were...worse. The worst." He shook his head. "I know it shouldn't be gettin' to me like this."
Reid shrugged. "It gets to all of us at some point or another, as I seem to recall you telling me once upon a time. But...there has to be something else about this particular case that's affected you. Right?"
Blowing out a breath, Morgan replied, "Hell, I don't know, Reid. It was - more that bastard we interrogated than anything. I'd have given anything to be able to knock his ass out and - "
"Okay," Reid intervened before his words could become particularly violent. "Okay...what was it about him? Can you...pinpoint it?"
Morgan noticed something odd about Reid's expression, but his flaring anger was getting in the way of his ability to analyze it. "Tell me you didn't want to rip his face off!" he said loudly and disbelievingly. "The guy knew what he'd done, and what his partner had done - was doing - and - you saw it." He gestured. "The way he behaved as if he were completely and irrefutably innocent! That calm, arrogant demeanor - he had the guts to try and insult me, man!"
Reid drew his bottom lip into his mouth as he did whenever he was concentrating on something. He appraised Morgan with one of those familiar looks, and Morgan could almost hear in his head the tone of voice he was about to use.
"What did he say?" Reid asked quietly, his gaze intent, focused, questioning.
Morgan looked away, shaking his head. "He implied that the two of us were...alike."
Drawing his lip into his mouth again, Reid nodded, his brow furrowed. Eventually, he cocked his head a little, inhaled, and asked tentatively, "Morgan, d-does this have anything to do with...uh...Carl Buford?"
What? Morgan looked at him so sharply, he thought his neck might have cricked. Reid did not back down, but he appeared very anxious asking such a personal question. Morgan forced himself to relax slightly.
"What the hell makes you think that." His tone was almost dull.
"Because I - I mean, most of us - heard what went on in there and I did hear him say something to that effect. A-and I just wonder if you dislike him so much because he represents, almost perfectly, your past."
Morgan closed his eyes, breathing out of his nostrils. The damn kid was too smart for his own good. Either that, or he was too concerned, too inquisitive. Either way, Morgan did not want to get into this with him. Which was why his next few words surprised them both.
"Dammit, Reid, you nailed it. Like you usually do. I've been trying not to think about it, but, yeah, that repulsive, homosexual rapist reminded me forcefully of Carl, and to have him tell me that we are alike in any way was too much for me to handle. The only thing we had in common was the color of our skin, and I'm damn ashamed of even that after all this! And I had to let him know how sick he was. I am nothing like Buford. Nothing."
"And anyone who's met you can testify to that anyday," said Reid in that way he had. Softly and sincerely, if not a bit nervously. Then he frowned and rethought his words. "I mean, anyone who's not technically a serial killer or a rapist," he corrected looking slightly sheepish.
Morgan couldn't help but crack a small smile. "Thanks, kid," he said, taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly.
"Hey, Morgan?" Reid said, seeming hesitant. "Can I ask you something else?"
Morgan regarded him with suspicion. Surely no good could come out of more questions at this point. He replied with "Sure", however. "Just watch it."
"I couldn't help but notice that you seemed especially offended by the fact that he was a homosexual."
Morgan sighed, closing his eyes again. He shook his head back and forth. "Reid, man. Reid, Reid, Reid. You're killin' me here."
"I heard you coldly say that he was right, and that you had no idea what it was like to be in love with another man," Reid plowed on, seemingly oblivious to the words he'd uttered.
"Yeah. What's your point?"
"Well, I - I just wonder if you have a strong aversion to homosexuals specifically because of what Carl did to you, and if so, have you already realized it or have I only just enlightened you?"
Morgan stared at Reid in disbelief. "You are somethin' else, you know that?"
Reid shrugged, still clutching his hot chocolate mug, his expression as intent as Morgan had ever remembered seeing it.
"What's your interest in all this?" he asked after a moment of silence.
"Uh - " Reid blurted, looking slightly confused. "I mean, you are my friend, aren't you? Don't we work together, see each other everyday?"
"Yeah, man, but - "
"I'm just trying to dig into and solve the puzzle that is SSA Derek Morgan."
There was a pause, and Morgan burst out laughing. Reid's brown eyes lit up in a very pleased sort of way, yet he didn't smile.
"The puzzle that is me," he repeated, chuckling. "Reid, I tell you what. You are officially invited for sleepovers after bad cases like this one. Every time. It's smart because that way, you can make me feel better about it, and I can chuck a fat pillow at your head when you start up with those nightmares. Speakin' of which..."
"A-actually, Morgan, I didn't have those nightmares tonight. I lied."
"Nuh-uh. Don't even try to get outta this."
"I'm not! I honestly didn't have one tonight. It was an - an excuse."
Morgan looked at Reid's wide, innocent, and quite truthful eyes and, in one horrible moment, realized what must have happened. He felt another surge of anger that was much different from the rest of the anger of that day.
"An excuse?" he asked, pushing his mug away from him. "So, you're telling me that you come stumbling over to my place at midnight actin' like the boy who cried wolf, barge in looking scared as hell, drink my hot chocolate, and just start interrogating me? Is that okay in your book?"
Reid bit his lip. He, as Morgan had already guessed ahead of time, had the decency to look ashamed, but still determined. Morgan himself was bewildered by the fact that he had been utterly fooled. Was he a profiler or not?
"Morgan, I'm sorry for lying, but - there's something I really need to know. A-and I was worried about you. You wouldn't talk about it. You're always the one forcing me to - "
"I don't force you to do anything," Morgan interrupted, annoyed.
"Okay," said Reid, nodding slightly, "okay, you don't. But I usually talk about things with you...I just want you to talk to me."
What was this? Morgan wanted to be angry with him. He really really wanted to be pissed off enough to kick him out of his house and tell him to mind his own damn business. But he found that he couldn't. He couldn't because it was extremely difficult to remain angry with the young doctor, especially when he was being reasonable and acting worried. So he attacked him with the only thing he could think of.
"You wanna talk, huh? Why couldn't you have ambushed me during the daytime then, instead of bustin' in here while I'm half unconcious?"
"See," Reid answered quickly, "this way, you have nowhere to run and we have more time." His tone was matter-of-fact. It was true of course; they spent most of their day at work where there were plenty of distractions and places to run. Morgan didn't know whether he ought to punch him in the face or be slightly impressed. The kid had apparently given this some thought, which meant that he cared quite a lot about what was going on with him. And he was right - Morgan did, more often than not, go to him and get him to open up about things that were plainly troubling him whenever they arose. Logically, it was only fair for him to open up in return. By that point, Morgan's anger had somewhat evaporated. He established eye contact with Reid before he spoke.
"Listen, you know you didn't have to come up with an excuse to come and talk to me. You know that right? Am I that unapproachable? If so, I apologize for that, I never meant to come off that way. I was always under the impression that we - " he stopped. Reid was shaking his head fervently.
"No, no, no, you know you're not unapproachable," he scoffed. "Not at all, in fact. The issue was that I knew you wouldn't talk about something like this voluntarily. I - I know you. At least, I'd like to think that I do after all these years."
"Sure you do, kid."
"I did it this way to sort of break the wall down. You know? M-maybe it's not working, but - "
"No, it's workin', Reid." Morgan gave him a little reassuring smile because he still seemed so flustered and ashamed, sighed heavily, then glanced down at his hands, which he'd clasped in the middle of the table, and looked back up. "Truth is, it's nothin' like that, what you were saying. I don't have an aversion to homosexuals. I've had years to come to terms with all that - I fully understand that not all of them are sick like Carl. What triggered me was the throwback to my past that way - certain tones and - words came outta my mouth and I couldn't help myself. I couldn't help but treat that particular aspect of it as something disturbing because that is what he made me feel as I remembered what happened to me. If it were anybody else, it wouldn't be like that."
"Really?" said Reid, paying him rapt attention.
"Really. That answer your question?"
Reid combed back another piece of stray hair behind his ear. "Yes," he said. "Wonderfully, in fact."
There was that odd expression again, Morgan noticed. Squinting in interest, he asked, "You said there was somethin' you needed to know."
"I did?" Reid blinked.
"Yes," Morgan replied simply.
"Oh. That's funny because I don't even recall saying anything like that."
"You said you really needed to know it." Morgan raised one eyebrow.
"Well - " Reid was getting anxious again. "What you told me - that must have been it. I feel fully satisfied that my questions and worries have been answered and resolved, so..."
"Reid," said Morgan, totally unconvinced. "'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me'. Come on, man."
Reid was looking at him almost pleadingly. The kid had a pair of seriously expressive eyes; they had been known to earn him maternal pats on the arm from the women on the team and sympathetic feelings from the men. And from Morgan specifically, a few hair ruffles and an arm slung around the shoulders. But not this time. Morgan stared him down.
"I...I lost my nerve," Reid eventually muttered.
Morgan continued to stare, despite his becoming much more intrigued by that statement. He studied the way Reid wouldn't meet his eyes, the way his knuckles had turned white from gripping the mug so hard, the way his shoulders had tensed up. Morgan silently tried to let him know that whatever it was, it was okay. He felt this...unsettling sensation in the pit of his stomach...
"Y'know, maybe I should go and, uh, let you get to sleep." Reid made to push back from the table and stand, but Morgan swiftly slid his hand to Reid's mug, removed it from his hold, and grabbed onto one of the thin hands before he had the chance. Reid furrowed his brow, and looked away from the sight seemingly as quickly as he could, yet he did not pull away.
"Pretty boy...it's your turn to talk. Talk to me."
Morgan waited until he was sure that Reid wasn't going to yank his hand away and walk out before he slowly let go himself and sat back.
It was only a few moments before Reid spoke. "Another - " He cleared his throat, still not really looking at him. "Another version of the question I asked you was - Do you have a strong aversion to homosexuals because - because they stir up certain feelings in you that you - that you're confused about? B-but - " he rushed on to say, as if terrified that Morgan was going to start slapping him around, "that's no longer necessary."
Morgan was quiet at first. Marveling.
Then - "Is that what you thought?" he asked.
"That was one of the things I thought," Reid said quickly. "But not anymore."
"Huh," Morgan said, amazed...
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I only - "
"No, will you quit that? It's fine, Reid, I'm not gonna beat you up for usin' that brilliant mind of yours."
"You mean you're not mad?" Reid asked tentatively.
"Me mad at you? Man, that's like Hotch in love with Garcia."
"You were mad earlier..." Reid muttered. Morgan bit back a smile.
"You ever gonna take that scarf off?" he asked, nodding toward the object. Reid blinked and looked down at his chest as if realizing that he was indeed wearing something around his neck.
"Uh, no, actually, I figure I should probably get going, so it wouldn't be too wise."
"Get going? No way, you're more than welcome to crash on my couch like I said. You look like a dead man walkin'."
"I - "
"I'm not taking no for an answer."
Reid gave a little chuckle at that, and for a very brief moment, his true smile broke through. It almost literally lit up his entire face - and it certainly lifted it. Morgan didn't get the chance to see it often, given their profession. It was, frankly, astounding. He found himself sort of starstruck until Reid said, "If you insist."
Morgan nodded. And, just like that, it all came pouring into him as if a dam had been broken. He could no longer pretend, like he had been doing since the day Reid had joined the team - like he had been doing since Reid had asked him if he was okay before they'd gone home for the day - that his feelings were not really there. They were there. They were there, and they were screaming at him louder than they had ever been known to do. All this pretending - it was no good, no good. As he thought about it, though, everything he'd told Reid so far that night was the absolute truth. He'd only been lying to himself. Ignoring himself, really. Like he always did, dammit.
All of it was hitting him hard: the simple stuff like Reid's smile, along with the heavier stuff like Reid's staggering intelligence, his sweet, bumbling personality, his deeply caring attitude, the way he had come here to corner Morgan into talking with his shallow, convincing deception and frightened brown eyes -
"Wait a minute, wait a minute," Morgan suddenly said, his voice thick, making Reid cock his head. "If you weren't having nightmares tonight, then why did you arrive lookin' about the same as a scared rabbit? Why - " he said squinting, "were your hands shaking?"
Reid stared at him like a deer caught in headlights. "It...was cold," he said slowly, as if he himself did not really believe that to be a satisfactory answer. Morgan simply gave him a You-can-do-better-than-that look, and waited somewhat impatiently.
"I - I was nervous," he eventually said, "about your reaction to me showing up and bombarding you with questions in the middle of the night, honestly."
"And that's all there was to it?" Morgan persisted, noticing with a stab of victory that Reid would have ceased being nervous by now if that were the simple case. Instead Reid was stuttering and glancing about the room as he had been doing the whole time, only looking straight at him every now and then.
"Y-yes, I really was nervous."
"About what, though?"
"I just told you!"
"Reid," Morgan said in a low voice, "I'm tellin' you, be completely honest with me right now. I'm not jokin' around..."
Something flashed in Reid's eyes then. He looked at Morgan, his throat moving as he swallowed, and said, "What happened? Something's changed..."
"You're right, kid. And I'll be honest with you, if you'll be honest with me first," Morgan told him, half-mocking his proposition of earlier.
Reid licked his lips, looking more nervous than ever, and rocked back and forth in his chair. "Morgan, I - "
"Does it have anything to do with all those questions about homosexuals?" Morgan probed relentlessly.
Reid blinked a couple of times and shook his head jerkily. "Oh, oh - you - you already knew - yeah it - why didn't you just - ?"
"Because I want to hear exactly what it is that's going through your head, pretty boy. Please." Morgan watched him intently, his gut clenching.
Reid bit down on his bottom lip, watching him just as intently in return. "Morgan, I - I didn't know how to tell you about it. I wasn't even sure that I wanted to tell you about it, because I was afraid that you hated all homosexuals on principle and if you hated - me - well, I wouldn't be able to handle it. So I had to investigate. Luckily - "
"Oh," Morgan interjected quietly, sitting back in his chair. "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh." He pointed an index finger at Reid. "I knew...see, I knew it was somethin'."
"Something?" Reid inquired with raised eyebrows.
"Somethin' about you, kid, somethin' about you..." Morgan was muttering more to himself than anything, but he could not help it. He had never found himself attracted to another man and he knew it had to have more than simple looks or personality. Though, Reid's personality was far from simple. Morgan knew he must have sensed...this. This had to be part of it. Once he realized what he was doing, however, he stopped and looked straight up at the object of his musings. "Listen to me," he said firmly, "First of all, I could never have hated you for anything, no matter what. Even if I was prejudiced like that - because it's you, I would have found a way to look past it because I know you. There's nothin' wrong with you. You're - I mean, you're damn near close to being the greatest guy I've ever known."
Reid was very obviously latching onto every word, drinking it all in with this hopeful, vulnerable expression. "I am?" he asked.
"No contest," Morgan confirmed, keeping his eyes soft. "And here's me being honest with you now..."
"What?" Reid practically whispered, his eyes wide. For some reason, this gave Morgan a much-needed boost of confidence.
"I...I have feelin's for you, man. Have for a long time."
And that was it. Morgan understood that he was either making or breaking an important friendship, but there was no covering it up anymore. Things could go up or they could crash down hard from this point. Morgan was ready because, if he had bottled that up any longer, the friendship would have imploded anyway without question.
Reid continued to stare at him as though he hadn't spoken, and he was still waiting. Morgan felt unbelievable nerves, and he struggled to allow it to show through in his expression. He needed to make sure Reid knew he was serious. Vulnerable.
Finally, after what seemed like half an hour, but in actuality was probably a minute, Reid began to blink rapidly.
"What?" he asked hoarsely.
Morgan bit hard on the inside of his cheek and nodded. "I'm sorry if that scares you, kid, but - "
"Scares me?" Reid said incredulously. "Scares me? It makes no sense! I've known you for years - you're my - my best friend - "
"I know, I know," Morgan said, gesturing for him to tone it down a little. "And I get it if you don't feel that way. I get it. Nothin' needs to come of it, we can go on...working together." His voice cracked at the idea of their not being able to remain friends. Because he knew that that would eventually happen, even if they tried to move past this. "But I had to get it out. Somethin' else you might not know about me is that, for a while, I saw a psychiatrist. If he taught me anything, he taught me that I need to express my emotions at every possible opportunity. I'm sorry if it's ruined everything, but I had to, man. I know myself."
Reid stared raptly at him. One single tear slipped down his cheek; he didn't even bother to brush it away. "This isn't something I ever expected, Morgan," he said. His voice shook.
"Reid, I'm so...I'msorry." Morgan was fighting against his own tears.
"Don't be sorry, I just...I don't understand how you have feelings for me." The look on his face would have melted the hardest of criminals. Morgan was going to have to stop being friends with this man? Sometimes, he couldn't believe how cruel the world could be.
"Why not?" he asked. "Why don't you understand?"
Reid abruptly stood up from the table, his features screwed up in confusion and frustration. "Because I'm - I'm this," he made a gesture toward himself, and Morgan jumped to his feet as well, willing him not to say anything more, shaking his head. "And you - I mean, you're that. Statistically speaking, alpha males like you a-and Hotch and Rossi only seek out the most attractive females - a-and certainly not - "
"Reid, stop. Stop right there. I don't care about any of that, y'hear me?" Morgan walked around the table to stand in front of him. "Don't sell yourself short," he said, quieter now that he was closer. "You are more attractive to me than any female I've ever known, do you know why? Because you're a sweet guy, you care deeply about people, your feelings only get easily hurt by the people who are closest to you, you love kids, your favorite holiday is Halloween, you start spoutin' off statistics when you're excited or uncomfortable, you don't get annoyed when I call you 'kid' 'cause you know that I don't mean anything degrading by it and you're secretly glad to be included - "
"Morgan," Reid whispered, watching him almost desperately.
"No, no, no, there's more," Morgan told him. "Reid, your smile stuns people. You don't realize it, but it stuns people, man. Well, really, now that I think about it, you probably don't want to get me started on your looks..." He trailed off purposefully with a small smile. "The point is, you're somethin' else."
Reid's eyes were glistening. "I never even put it together," he sniffed. "Garcia told me once told me that she thought you had a special attachment to me, but I just rolled my eyes at her."
"That woman always knows what she's talkin' about," Morgan grinned fondly. Reid was looking at him in a way that gave him hope. His chest swelled with it. "Do you know what I thought when Giddeon first introduced you to the team?"
"No, what?" Reid asked quietly, clearly interested.
"I thought, 'Damn, there's a nice-lookin' boy.'"
Reid, surprisingly, laughed. It was apparent that he had been expecting something a little different. "In other words, pretty boy," he clarified.
Morgan smiled. "Pretty boy all around. Understand?"
Reid slowly nodded, his expression still full of wonder and a bit of confusion. "Can I ask you something?"
"Hey, don't try to dig deeper into this than - "
"Will you start calling me Spencer?" Reid said, talking over him.
Morgan blinked. Then his face split into a wide smile. "Spencer?"
Reid nodded, that true smile coming out for the second time.
"Spencer," Morgan repeated, watching Reid's eyes light up. "Yeah, sure I can call you Spencer. As long as you call me whatever you want, because I am willing to do anything to keep you around."
Morgan chuckled, that hope expanding in his chest. "Does this mean what I think it means, kid?"
"I hope so," Reid responded, taking a step closer to him. "Listen, I'm not exactly sure how to say this...could you - I'm sorry - hold on for just one second?"
Morgan nodded, curious as Reid reached into his pants pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Pressing a couple of buttons, he lifted it to his ear. There was a pause.
"Garcia?" he said into it, looking at Morgan.
"Hello, my darling baby genius. What do you have for me?" came the bubbly voice of the technical analyist.
"You were right."