Warning for language and M/R sexy times! : D
This is my CCOAC Christmas Fic, written for (drum roll please):
And my prompts were: All I Want For Christmas is You (which I've listened to, like, hundreds of times now, trying to get in the mood of the story, lol); Santa Claus, Christmas miracles, mistletoe.
Well, not-a-mastermind, I do surely hope that this fic pleases you! It was a monster beast to write, and really kicked my ass, but I really hope you enjoy!
Now, on with the reading!
Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.
But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.
Bess Streeter Aldrich
As far as Derek Morgan's concerned…
Worst. Christmas. Ever.
He thinks back to the fiasco of '95, when he went back home to Chicago and, given his past, less than pleasant, experience in the kitchen, had been bestowed with quite possibly the easiest job he could imagine. When the timer goes off, call mom. That simple. Well, unfortunately to his mom and the copious amounts of Christmas-y goodness cooking, he seemed to have a case of selective deafness on that certain day. So while his ma cleaned up for a nice Christmas diner, and he flicked the channels carelessly…
Well, that Christmas was spent stealing egg rolls from each other on the living room floor while picking through Dragonfly Pao's supreme beef combo instead of gorging on homemade sweet potato pie. Which was an admittedly fun bonding experience, but considering he still gets glares whenever the disaster is mentioned, thinking that a few minutes couldn't hurt that much just so that he could catch the ending of a Rockford Files marathon (he's a classic kinda guy) was definitely not his best move.
Which is exactly why that whole ordeal made it to number three on his Worst Christmas list. Number one was the first Christmas his family spent without his dad.
Morgan glances over his shoulder at the impressively confusing tangle of wires and large blocks of C4 behind him.
Yeah. This is pretty shitty Christmas.
"So…" Comes the timid voice of Reid. "Can you disarm it?"
"No I can't disarm it. If I could disarm it, I'd do it by now, wouldn't I?" Morgan snaps, pushing down a wince at the cold metal biting into his wrists.
Reid makes a small huffing noise like that of an indignant prairie dog.
The thought makes Morgan grin.
"Sorry, man, I didn't mean to snap at you. It's just…" Morgan trails, not at all sure how to word his emotions at the moment without alarming his friend. On the precipice of scared shitless isn't the most promising of explanations.
So it surprises him when Reid only nods sagely at his crappy excuse, before blowing away a long sigh filled with things that no one should have to understand.
"Yeah. I know."
A comfortable silence blankets them, as Morgan continues his assessment of the room they're trapped in. Dark, keen eyes searching for something, anything, that will lead to their escape.
"Uh, so, Reid…" Morgan starts, shifting his weight slightly.
"You know what Morgan? Don't. Just—Just don't." Reid's body tenses and he turns to face the opposite wall, red lights blinking off his high cheekbones.
"I was just going to ask what your plans were going to do for Christmas." Morgan defends, setting his mouth into a hard line.
Reid laughs a dry, scathing laugh that breaks off a little of Morgan's heart. "Right. Of course you were."
Defiance sprouts up in his chest, and Morgan straightens his shoulders, locking his jaw as he bites out, "You know what? Let's just not talk, okay?" Because being a jackass is so much easier than facing all of the horribly contradictory emotions drowning Morgan's thoughts.
"Good." Reid scoffs.
"Great." Morgan retorts, pitching his voice an octave higher like a petulant child.
"Good." Reid affirms, a rivulet of crimson blending in with the twinkling lights as it curves down his jaw line.
They both scuttle a little farther away from each other, and if they could, Morgan thinks they'd have matching arms folded over their chests and pouts screwing their lips down.
The bomb is deafening, each beep adding another layer of tension between the two until Morgan's sure that not even the blast could dent it.
If only they were so lucky…
Staying mad at Reid turns out to be an exceedingly difficult task. Even if it were under normal circumstances, Morgan's pretty sure he wouldn't last sixty minutes of holding any kind actual grudge against the kid. But now, in their situation…
He doesn't last five.
"… How's your head?"
He waits with bated breath, squeezing his eyes shut and hoping, praying that…
"It's fine. Head wounds bleed more profusely than wounds on other parts of the body, so it looks a lot worse than it is. The cut's superficial and I'm around eighty percent sure there's no risk of a concussion." The words melt Morgan's insides to an ooey, gooey mess like the stringy, bubbling mozzarella cheese on a real Chicago pizza. Mmm, pizza…
No, you idiot, your friend is bleeding and all you can think about is your stomach? Morgan chastens internally.
"Good," Morgan nods, "that's good."
Reid sighs and Morgan fights the urge to twiddle his thumbs. God, who knew being strapped to a bomb could be so impossibly boring?
"Hey, don't worry, pretty boy, the team'll find us." Morgan comments, twisting his wrists for the umpteenth time, desperately trying to shimmy from his handcuffs. Literally his handcuffs. The irony stings at his skin as the metal digs in deeper.
Reid sighs again. "Yeah." Is all he says in return, and Morgan wonders what mind blowingly complicated thing he's trying to figure out now.
"So… what were your plans for Christmas?" Morgan asks, taking a moment to study all the highly festive decorations.
"Well," Reid curves his lips in a dry smile, "this certainly wasn't one of them."
Morgan releases a breathless laugh. "Yeah, I love JJ, but damn, we can't even get Christmas off of working."
"Unfortunately, serial killers don't seem to take a holiday."
Morgan absently nods his head in agreement. "True. 'Be nice if they did, though."
Reid parrots his action, expressive eyes tracing the walls, the expansive window view and overload of decorations surrounding them.
"You know… it's completely illogical, but I can't help but think how funny it is that the one thing that would really help the team find us is my geographical profile."
Morgan barks a well-needed laugh, but it shatters on the cold walls, a hollow echo of the desperate, hopeless situation. "Yeah, kid, if there's ever anyone that we need working a case, it's gonna be you."
"What about you? What were your plans?" Reid questions, shifting his weight a little to angle his body back towards Morgan.
"Well, I was banking on not having a case, and heading up to Chicago to be with my family. But then, you know…" He trails off.
"Ya know, I really thought I'd seen it all until this case." Morgan says, and Reid laughs through his nose, bobbing his head in agreement.
They were supposed to have time off for Christmas.
That was, until a Santa started shooting people. In the streets. Dressed as Santa Claus. Right here in D.C.
Paul Ritkens, who many years ago changed his name to Nicholas Claus, had dedicated his entire life to being Santa. He was practically brought up by a "How To Make Your Child A Psychopath" textbook. Then, he spent fifty years of his life sinking so far into the delusion of Santa Claus he really didn't know anything else. Poor, jolly old Nick's life got a little topsy turvy, though, when he got canned. New directions, his boss had said. Nick was too old, too in the past. They wanted fun, high tech Santa's that could relate to the target audience. Nick just didn't fit the bill. Nick was the best Santa in town. He was on magazine covers, and reveried by all budding Santa's as the best—which he was. He was the real deal. He was Santa Claus. And you can't just fire Santa Claus. It was the last straw for poor, old Nick's woeful life.
Nick's boss was the first to die. In the course of three days, he'd injured six, and killed five people at random. Now people couldn't walk down the street without worrying if the red-clad, rosy-cheeked man on the corner was about to whip out a 9mm and start shooting. He was in a total mental break. And he thought he was fucking Santa.
Yeah. It was bad. And also highly ironic, considering it was Christmas Eve.
Morgan and Reid had been paired off to interview Ritken's mother. But when they arrived at her white picket fence, perfectly manicured lawn, all too normal, home, she was lying dead on the floor, her head pulverized to a tarry red puddle, and small chunks of what reminded Morgan of Hamburger Helper on the walls. They'd profiled that his mother had been the largest source of abuse he'd suffered as a child, but they never thought he'd circle back to confront her. They were very wrong.
And now Morgan and Reid were very, very kidnapped. Nick, that quick, ferret-like bastard, knocked them both out and stuffed him into his trunk. When they woke, they recognized the upper level of an old toy store his father used to own. It represented everything he hated. Which was why there was a bomb in the middle of the room. And why they were next to it. Nick figured he'd kill two birds with one stone—pun intended. The bomb had a timer on it, so that it would detonate at midnight, Christmas day. Morgan could twist his body just enough to peek back at the rapidly decreasing, blinking red numbers that held many, gory promises, but from his vantage point, he couldn't see the intricacies of the device—he didn't know if it would take out the store, or half a block of civilians as well.
Now they just had to wait for the team to find them before the bomb went off. It wasn't that hard to profile when you thought about it. It made sense he'd want to destroy this place, even they'd already checked it out yesterday, and it had been cleared.
For all intents and purposes, it was a nice toyshop, not that they could see it, exactly. They were stuck in the dusty attic, overcrowded with defective Christmas décor and toys, but its façade was just one big window that overlooked the city's blinking lights and far off monuments.
Still, being handcuffed behind your back to a broken, five-foot, light up snowman that sits just in front of a bomb, is not made up for by a nice view.
Morgan risks another glance at the small gash on Reid's forehead. Asshole Ritken pistol-whipped him, sending his body into the cold, hard ground of his mother's house when he got the drop on them. The red has turned crimson, and the cut seems to have congealed into a thick, caking substance on his pale skin. Morgan's lips curve slightly, a fraction of his worry sated.
He shifts, digging the cuffs deeper into his wrists. Even though they both already exhausted every way to get out of their restraints, and it was to no avail, Morgan can't help himself. He hates feeling so… useless.
"You okay?" Reid asks, angling his body to look over at Morgan, unaware he is wincing.
"Fine." Reid looks at him suspiciously, pursing his lips, but doesn't comment.
Morgan closes his eyes, blocking out the stuffy attic, plethora of Christmas decorations, and monotone beeps taunting him from behind. He lets himself slip away into memory, and he lets himself smile a small, secret, wonderful smile.
"My best Christmas? Oh, damn, it was back when I was nine. I wanted this bike, see, I remember I just had to have it. It had these crazy red flames on the side and glittery tassels—no I'm serious. Anyway, money was kinda tight, and for months, my parents hinted that Santa might not have enough bikes to bring me. So we wake up and do our thing, and Des and Sarah are fighting over pie, when my dad comes over and asks me if I'll go out to the store with him to grab some more milk or something. And I walk out of the apartment, and yup, there it was, my dream bike, sitting in the snow outside our building. I was so shocked, that I didn't even realize it was for me until my dad sorta leaned over and whispered Merry Christmas. It was easily the best gift, totally unexpected, you know? Like, complete Christmas magic. It was snowing and everything." Morgan grins, an action Reid's been mirroring, as he finishes the story. They'd been talking aimlessly, shifting from topics, desperately trying to ignore the super sonic ticks behind them, getting lost in random tangents and anecdotes. It was… well not nice, but as close to nice as your could get considering their situation. "It was the last… um, the last Christmas we all had together, and it was… perfect."
"That's really nice."
"Yeah…" Morgan shakes his head, focusing back on Reid and pulling his head from the fog of the past. "Anyway, what about you?"
Reid shifts a bit, uncomfortable. "Ah, well… we didn't really do Christmas."
Morgan furrows his eyebrows.
"My mom," Reid begins to clarify, "was a paranoid schizophrenic, Morgan. Songs playing all the time about a big red fat man watching her sleep didn't exactly help. Plus, she hated any big commercial things. They were all government conspiracies to her. My dad did the best he could, and would give me as much as a normal Christmas he could manage while still compensating with my mom, but once he left…" Reid smiles sadly. "I just tried to block as much Christmas stuff as possible so not to trigger any more episodes. Besides, I never got that into it."
Morgan frowns, and wishes there's some way to make up for everything this amazing person has been through. "There has to be one memory though, one good one." He prompts, desperately hoping he's right.
Reid narrows his eyes, and pauses, getting a look that Morgan recognizes from cases, the one he gets when he's about to piece together a major part of the puzzle.
"Well…" He licks his lips, and blows away a stray lock of hair that had wandered into his eye. "I, ah, I was eleven. It was July. I was in my room, rereading my collection of Tolstoy, when my mother just burst into my room, frantic. She thought it was Christmas, but she didn't seem worried about that fact, she was freaking out because we hadn't decorated. This is the woman who spent hours deciphering Billy Joel lyrics for hidden meanings, and here she was, in the middle of summer, going on about how we needed to be ready, and how she had to go out and get my presents. I tried explaining it to her but…" He smiles faintly. "She was so adamant, no matter what I did, so we—we spent the whole day decorating the house, and we put up this old plastic Christmas tree from the garage, and it was the most festive Christmas the house had ever seen. She cooked Christmas dinner, too. And she was a, ah, well, she was a terrible cook. I think at least half of everything was burnt, and the other half undercooked, but it was… by far the best meal I've ever had, if that makes sense. Somehow we managed to throw together Christmas in a day. Of course the day after, she spent eight hours locked in her bedroom, hysterical because someone had broken into our home and changed everything the night before, completely forgetting our impromptu celebration. But, ah, I don't know, that day with her is still one of my best memories."
Reid peeks over at Morgan from beneath long lashes, and blushes.
"Ridiculous, I know, bu—"
"No, no!" Morgan interrupts quickly. "No, I, no—I just… didn't know that. But that's really great, kid. It doesn't matter how unconventional, you had a good time. You embraced the spirit of Christmas with your mom, that's a lot more than what most people can say."
"Yeah, well," Reid flounders a bit, and Morgan imagines he'd wave his hands around in an awkward little dance if he could.
"So… most embarrassing Christmas moment? I know mine. BAU Christmas party of oh three or something, before you were there, anyway it was…"
The moon is sending sharp, slanted beams of light through the window, casting delicious shadows across Reid's face, as he's enthusiastically recounting Christmas's origins.
Morgan nods absently, and this seems to please his friend, as he quickly launches into a new tangent.
God, he wishes he'd just say it. Just blurt out: Hey, you know how we're best friends? Yeah, well, I'm also hopelessly in love you. Just sayin'. But no, he's far too much of a coward. Morgan wonders how much longer he'll be able to keep it up. He wonders if these feelings will fade. He thinks not, but he hopes so, in a twisted sort of way. They have no chance together, obviously. He's pinning for something he'll never have, and it really just hurts. It's the most stupid kind of pain he's ever experienced, but it's real, and it's there.
"Hey kid," Morgan cuts off Reid's ramble.
"And that's—Oh, sorry, what?"
"Do you ever wonder about quitting?"
This seems to completely throw Reid off balance. "I—Quitting? From the BAU?"
"Yeah," Morgan bobs his head a bit, unsure of where the question came from himself, but feeling as though it was somewhere important. "Just… I mean look at us: we've got a bomb to our backs on Christmas Eve, and it's ticking down the seconds until we could possibly die." Morgan stares out at the faraway window and the beautiful city lights that dance on the distant horizon. He gives the tiniest of sighs.
Reid mulls over this information for a few minutes. "Well," he starts slowly, "I mean, I know that our job is dangerous. But… but I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the fact that I help people, that I've made—that I'm making a difference in the world, you know? I guess it's ah, it's worth it to me. I understand why some people burn out with this job, and I know I won't last forever, but right now I'm glad I do what I do." No, Morgan wants shake his head and say. No, that isn't what he meant at all. But the moment is gone, and Reid, sweet ever loving Reid, just doesn't understand.
Reid's gazing intently at Morgan, eyes searching his blank face.
Morgan nods. "Yeah. Yeah, okay." Reid's brow softens. "So anyway, you were saying something about Sinterklaas, or…?" Reid grins again, easily gliding back into his conversation—or lecture, more accurately. Morgan grins back, but it's tight and fake and he hopes Reid doesn't notice. He really tries to pay attention this time.
"I still don't see the point of the game."
Morgan groans. "There is no point, Reid. It's just… something people do. For fun or when they're bored or whatever."
"You're bored?" He asks, raising his eyebrows and widening his eyes into the perfect Reid look.
"Well, I'm sorry, there's not a whole lot to do. Would you like to try and escape some more? Because short of a miracle, I do not see us getting out of here. We've exhausted every possibility. So yeah, man, we've been here for hours, I'm bored."
Reid huffs a little.
Morgan releases a long-suffering sigh. "I'm sorry, I just… I just really want to get out here. I didn't mean to snap at you."
"It's alright." Reid forgives, eyes warming. "The team will be here soon. By now they must have come looking for us, and realized we were taken. If they can find Ritken, they might be able to get a confession, but that's unlikely. Plus he's either hiding out at the moment, or has, or is about to go on another shooting. He's ramping up to midnight tonight to make his endgame and… Well, I'm sure they'll find us soon." Even with the glaring flaws in his oh-so-sure plan, Reid still holds a steady, confident look, so completely sure in the team.
He hates it, but Morgan is not nearly as sated. They'd been gone for an uneasy amount of time. He doesn't like it.
"You're probably right. I'm just pissed that Ritken's still has the upper hand. I'm sure Garcia would say he's seriously squashing her Christmas spirit with his Grinch-ness." Morgan snorts a laugh, and shifts his weight. His ass is falling asleep, and his legs tingle uncomfortably from the rigid position. A small chill races up his spine as the cold from outside seeps in.
"Grinch?" Reid cocks his head to the side curiously.
"… How are you a genius?"
"Well, I'm sorry, Morgan, if I'm not as well versed in this holiday as you."
"Well versed? You just gave me the entire history of Christmas and yet you've never heard of the Grinch? How hard did that guy hit you?" Reid flinches involuntarily, and Morgan regrets the words, though they were spoken lightly, immediately. "Sorry… You're—You're okay right?" The question has an underlying pulse of electricity to it.
"Yes," Reid sighs, "as I've stated before, I'm fine. Actually, did you know that someone is affected by a traumatic brain injury every fifteen seconds?"
"Reid, that's not what I meant." Morgan's face sags a bit, and he captures a sigh on his tongue.
"About seventy-five percent of all bicyclists who die each year die of head injuries."
"And males between the ages of 14 and 24 have the highest rate of injury." He looks over Morgan's shoulder, studying some reindeer figurine, rambling on nervously.
"Reid. That's not what I meant. Are you okay?" His dark eyes, like that of two obsidian marbles, bore deep into Reid's softer ones. They both know what he's really asking, and Morgan, as a beat of tense silence blankets them, hopes, prays, to God that he'll take this opening that he's giving him…
Reid finally levels his gaze to Morgan. The answer is hard, and obvious in them before he ever speaks.
The swelling, surging, growing feeling in Morgan's chest pops, and the flayed balloon flutters down from the great height of anticipation. He feels the irrational urge to throw some sort of two-year-old tantrum.
"Alright then." His words are as firm as both of their eyes. He feels bits of himself crumbling away to dust. The beeping behind them is suddenly much more pronounced.
"So, you were saying about this game? We're supposed to say something we don't want to do and then…"
Just like that, they smooth over the moment, and move on as if nothing happened.
Morgan thinks it's becoming their specialty.
"I don't believe it.
"It's really not that big a deal…"
"I am… stunned.
"It's not that bad."
"So I have a bit of an… it's not a crazy obsession."
"It's just a… I'm a fan. But, I mean, barely even that."
"And so what? I don't wear fake ears and dress up like a freak."
"Why are you making such a big deal out of this? And exactly how many adjectives are you going to come up with?"
Reid's lips twitch up into an amused smile. "First, the majority of those were verbs. Second, I just never… expected this from you."
Morgan narrows his eyes. "This is not a big deal."
"You keep saying that." He remarks, unable to hide the smirk from his face any longer. "And I agree, but… Honestly, I never thought of you as a nerd."
Morgan groans, head hanging down, chin tucking to his neck, defeated. Reid's smile grows exponentially.
"Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just surprising. I mean… you a Trekkie? I would have never guessed."
"I'm not a Trekkie."
"Oh come on. You always give me slack about being a 'nerd'. And now you can't even admit to it."
"Because," Morgan drags out each syllable, "I'm not a nerd. Yes, okay, I've seen the Star Trek series. But out of curiosity only. You talk about it all the time, I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about."
Reid looks affronted. "I do not talk about it all the time." He pauses, sweeping his eyes over Morgan, scrutinizing him. A big, shit eating grin starts to form on his face. "You're a closet geek, aren't you?"
"Wha—No!" Morgan splutters. He most certainly is not a geek!
"Yes!" Reid practically bounces in excitement. "Yes, yes, yes! I heard about your shared love for Vonnegut, and now Star Trek—You, are a closet geek."
"Okay, one: how is it you call me a closet geek, and you've never heard of the Grinch. Two: I am not a geek. I only enjoy some—some—scifi cinemas. But only some! And I'm not a geek."
"What, are geeks really that horrible?"
"No—Ye—No. There's nothing wrong with being a geek. I'm just not one."
Reid rakes his gaze over Morgan, still smirking, big time. It's the kind of smirk that would usually make Morgan want to bash someone in the face with a chair. On Reid, it's insufferably cute. "What other certain scifi cinemas—as you put it—are you not geek about?"
Morgan opens and closes his mouth like a flopping fish out of water. "I… don't know. That's it I guess."
"No way you—Oh my God!" His expressive eyes brighten drastically, and he looks suddenly like a little kid on a surprise Christmas morning.
Morgan notes the irony.
"What?" He asks, watching as Reid looks ready to jump out of his skin.
"Last week," Reid begins on a rush, single stream of breath, "we were discussing different cultures in the unsubs house, and Rossi commented on how odd some can be and you, you said that some people juggle geese! And that nagged at me but now I can place it—You're a flan!"
"A—Wait, a what?" Morgan twists his mouth down in confusion.
"A flan. Oh, never mind—The point is, you're a Firefly nerd as well!"
"I… am not." He protests weakly.
"Yes! You are. Which only further proves my point that you are a closeted geek."
"I… I plead the fifth."
Reid laughs brilliantly. "I can't believe this. You are never going to be able to tease me about being a nerd again."
"Whoa, hey, you're a way bigger nerd than I am—Not that I am one!" Morgan backtracks immediately. Reid's eyes glint mischievously.
"So… Inara or Kaylee?"
"Kaylee, easy." He answers, wiggling his back so that his spine isn't pressed so harshly against what he thinks is a snowman's arm.
"Really?" Reid's eyebrows kiss his forehead in surprise. "I thought of you more as an Inara man."
"She's a prostitute."
"Companion," Reid corrects.
"Yeah, okay, same basic idea. Besides, Kaylee's more fun and free spirited. And she can fix an engine—hot. But why wasn't Zoe included?"
"She's with Wash."
"Wash is—No, you're right, she's with Wash. What about you?"
"Well, um, Mal is more my type, so…"
"Oh. Right." Morgan gives an awkward little cough, throat tickling. "Although I'm a little surprised you didn't say Simon."
"Come on—Genius doctor ring a bell?"
"Maybe that's why I picked Mal. Because he's not like me." They're eyes linger on each other for a moment, a tangible second, too long. They both ignore it.
"Well if you want opposite," Morgan grins broadly, "then Jayne's your man."
Reid scrunches his nose. "Eww. No." Morgan laughs at his facial expressions, and then pauses.
"You're never going to let me live this down, are you?"
Reid flashes a toothy smile, canine's glowing in the dull lighting.
"Not even a little."
"Hey… kid. Reid. Pretty boy."
Reid stirs a bit, and blinks rapidly as Morgan hisses his name.
"I just… I was worried about your head. Can't have you falling asleep on me."
Reid, startled, jumps as much as he can, and looks at Morgan wildly, his cheeks flushing with embarrassment. "I—I'm so sorry—I didn't, I mean I just—"
"Don't apologize on my count, we've been here for about six hours I think. I was worried about your head, is all. I know you said not to, but, I mean…"
Reid shakes himself slightly. "Right, no, thank you Morgan." He gives a small smile, and leans back again, resting his head on some cardboard box, slitting his eyes, and staring at something Morgan's sure he'll never be able to see.
Morgan gulps slightly, his throat thick with dehydration. His eyes trace Reid's face, soaking in the relaxed stance of it, and floating his gaze across his soft, full lips, elegant neck and defined bone structure, with silky, cream skin that glows against the darkening backdrop. His wide, hazel eyes with feather light strands of hair falling into them, glazed over with distant memories. Morgan's stomach clenches, and he breathes deeply.
"Reid… I-I want to… to talk about—well about, you know…" Oh, wow, what amazing communication skills you have there, jackass.
"Morgan," Reid says, not moving a millimeter, "please don't." His voice is soft and pleading.
"No, I want to—"
"Derek," he snaps suddenly, struggling to keep his composure, "I said I didn't want to talk about it. Just… don't. There's nothing to discuss."
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. The word plays round and round in his head, a merry-go-round of being sucker punched, an echo in some sodden, black as night cave.
Nothing. That's what he thinks of him. Of them. Nothing. They're nothing.
"Stop it." He commands huskily, still very much not looking, but very much feeling, as Morgan's intense gaze is locked on him, glistening in the dim attic. "Please, just stop. I'm tired." And he does, he sounds so tired, so utterly exasperated with the entire situation. "Just don't Morgan. Please."
He's pleading with Morgan not to discuss it. Quite practically begging him to just not talk. Morgan's so completely blindsided by his desperation, by his disgust of even speaking, that he finds himself silent, and diverting his eyes to somewhere less painful, as memories cloud his mind.
Red lights twinkled against sweaty, highly inebriated skins, blinking to the overly festive music and tone-deaf squalls from within the FBI building.
A Christmas party at its best.
Of course, that's not what they were calling it. It was the 'Winter Celebration'. Garcia had scoffed at that one, pinning up as many Santa posters as she could, which was a surprisingly high number.
"Heyyyy, hey, Hotch. Y're name? It's like… It's like Hooters. Y're like, like Hootchers!" JJ snorted on the spiked eggnog, and nearly collapsed into Will's arms as her lithe body erupted in laughter at her own poor joke. Will almost dropped her, wiping at the mirth that collected in his eyes at his girlfriend's face, and Prentiss clutched to Hotch's arm as she too attempted to fight hysterics. Hotch sighed, but his lips curled up into a wry grin, dark eyes glinting in amusement at his friends' states.
"C'mon, chere, no more of Penelope's 'special' eggnog for you." JJ pouted as Will selected the cup from her hand. "Let's go show 'em how it's done, instead, kay babe?" He smiled and pulled her close, detaching from the small group to head to the make shift dance floor people had created. JJ bobbed her head enthusiastically, pulling him into the crowd as Mariah Carey's, 'All I Want For Christmas is You', came on.
"I can't remember ever seeing JJ this drunk before," Morgan commented, sipping at his baby girl's special concoction.
"I do." Reid, of course, piped, twirling a candy cane between his lips. "Rossi's last birthday, when Garcia insisted on throwing him a surprise party a week before his actually birthday to ensure that it was actually a surprise. JJ almost drank her weight in tequila."
Morgan chortled slightly at the memory. "I forgot about that one. I'm still never letting her live down the fact she tried to marry that lamp."
Reid grinned, his lips painted a slick, deep red from the treat he licked at. Morgan turned to anything but his plump, succulent, so goddamn kissable…
Shaking his head, Morgan brought the plastic cup with little reindeers bouncing on the sides back to his mouth, taking down another swig of… well, he wasn't exactly what it was, but it did taste vaguely of eggnog. Reid looked as though he was about to say something else when the cute guy from Violent Crimes tapped on his shoulder. Morgan momentarily entertained the idea of taking his perky little face and tossing it out a window, when a new voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Ho, ho, ho, my dear, has someone been a naughty boy this year?" Morgan couldn't help the smile that engulfed his face as Garcia skimmed her long, red and green nails down his chest.
"Oh, mama, you have no idea." He chuckled, glancing at her outfit.
"Does thou doubt my all encompassing genius?" She gasped in mock offense.
"Of course not, Mrs. Claus." Garcia tinkled a laugh, flattening the short, tight, if you squint your eyes a little, Santa costume. Her bosom, covered in silver glitter, was pulled skin tight in the patent leather suit, and she pressed a dramatic palm against the exposed skin, batting her mile long lashes and shaking her shockingly red (to get in the 'spirit' of things) hair a bit.
"Mrs. Claus? Try Sexy Claus."
"Mm, ain't that the truth. I think every man in here has fallen over their selves trying to get on your nice list."
She leaned in close his ear, hot breath and the smell of her perfume enveloping his senses as she whispered, "Ah, but the naughty ones get a spanking."
"Um," he coughed, "I think you mean coal."
She gave a throaty noise that was somewhere between maniacal laughter and amusement at his naïvety. "Not in France, my smoldering little elf, not in France."
He grinned that stupid grin he got around her, and wrapped an arm around her white-feathered waist, tugging her to him. "You're drunk."
"And you're God's gift to kinds of both gender variations." She nodded matter-of-factly, her warm eyes glimmering in the low lighting. "I like this game of stating the obvious. Let's do another one… Hmm, let's see, oh yes. Right now you want to be making hot heavy love to a certain genius that is not me."
His grin teetered before falling away completely.
"Talk to him, sweet cheeks. Trust me, and talk to him. You two are meant to be. It's been prophesied by me, so there. Done. Whammo. You're officially soul mates." She balanced on her tippy toes and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "I love you, Der, and you love him and you're idiot because he loves you too but he's also an idiot. Get smart, sweetie."
"I—" Morgan tried.
"I'll be with Kevin if you need anything." Garcia interrupted, slipping from Morgan's hold. "And by 'with' I mean having awesome pre-Christmas sex with." And with that last, and totally unwarranted piece of information, she flounced away, shining red Santa suit and five inch pumps disappearing before him.
He swept dark orbs across the room, unsurprisingly landing on the back of Reid's head as he sighed again. Reid was still talking to perky blonde guy. Bleh. It was so not his day.
God he was pathetic. Pining over Reid like some schoolgirl with a crush.
Perky blonde placed a hand to Reid's shoulder, and tipped his head back, giggling, well, perkily. Reid reciprocated the action.
Morgan gripped the poor reindeers on his cup tighter, before discarding it all together as he rushed from the room and out in the much brighter hallway. He winced at the harsh fluorescence, and dragged his hand down his face. Get a grip man, you're freaking over nothing. How many times has Reid seen you practically dry hump girls in the bars? Not of course that it would bother him, since he's one hundred percent not interested in you and even if he was your job doesn't exactly have the best track record for relationships, not even considering the whole you work together fact…
"Hey," Morgan whipped around, and, because life really, really hated him, Reid was clicking the door closed, padding softly out to the empty hallway by Morgan.
Morgan gave a slight tilt of his head in acknowledgment.
"It was getting kind of crowded in there. JJ started a Macarena flash dance on top of the snack table."
Morgan snorted at that, crinkling the corners of his eyes as he grinned at the mental picture.
"So I saw you talking to Brett."
Reid hummed, studying the holly on the walls. He very unceremoniously came out to the team when his boyfriend surprised him with lunch almost a year ago. They'd since broken up, but Morgan was floored at the prospect of Reid being gay. He'd struggled with his own sexuality for years, before finally being able to accept that he was in fact attracted to men and women. Garcia, though, was the only one who knew.
But, he was finding it infinitely harder to come to terms with the fact he had a… crush seemed too juvenile, but it was more serious than infatuation.
"Yes, he asked me out on a date."
Morgan choked a little on the air. Was it suddenly very hot in there?
"I didn't know you liked him," was all he responded with, his mind enjoying that comfortable buzz from the alcohol he'd consumed.
Reid chuckled. "Well, no. I don't. That's why I turned him down." The younger agent sent his friend a loopy smile which confirmed Morgan's suspicions that he hadn't been the only one who'd drank Garcia's eggnog. "No," Reid continued, "I'm keeping myself available."
"Oh?" So boy genius liked someone else. Fan-frickin'-tastic.
"Mmm." Reid winded that damn candy cane around his fingers, his long, elegant fingers that Morgan could just imagine…
No. Stop. Bad, Morgan, bad. This is so not the time.
"Did you know that in 1962 a law was passed in France decreeing that all letters written to Santa would responded to with a postcard? When a class wrote a letter, each student would get a response."
"Interestin', kid," Morgan crossed their short distance, slung his arm around Reid's shoulder, leading him back to the door. "Come on, I want to see if Hotch'll join in. That is an image I wouldn't miss for the world."
It would seem that his simple statement would soon turn to a lie, as he felt Reid's shoulders tense beneath him. Hand hovering just above the door handle, he twisted his head to glance at Reid.
"I, ah, nothing—it's um, just, ah…" Reid floundered a bit, dancing hands forming their own strange ballet in the air. "… Mistletoe."
Morgan's gaze shot to the ceiling. The small green plant did indeed dangle above their heads. Morgan gulped inaudibly.
"Hey, no worries I—" His humorous, brush-it-off statement never finished as a pair of lips pressed against his.
Spencer Reid was kissing him. By God he was—
Backing away very quickly.
The kiss was barely a peck, a surge of confidence and lips on Reid's part before he tore himself away, cheeks glowing red like the lights in the party.
"I-I-I'm sorry. I just, I…" Reid's Adam's apple bobbed, and Morgan stood, stunned, as the gentle, lingering taste of peppermint prickled his mouth. Reid's eyes, like crumbling gingerbread cookies, sparkled under the harsh fluorescent lighting Morgan suddenly loved. He ducked his head, staring at the floor, with creases of… of disappointment and embarrassment drawing his brows together. "You don't have to um, I mean—I just—"
Reid too was never able to finish his sentence as Morgan reached out and gathered him into his arms, furiously kissing him back, the candy cane tumbling through the air until it thudded to the floor, forgotten.
Blame it on Garcia and her damned eggnog or Morgan's low self control or the fact that once the damn breaks the flood comes, and Christ, Reid kissing Morgan was too much, but Morgan couldn't help himself.
Reid seemed momentarily shocked as Morgan pushed him back, trapping his body between the door and Morgan's chest, but the other man's very eager mouth quickly wiped away any hesitancy. Reid groped up Morgan's hard, warm chest and fisted the black material of his shirt, stretching the fibers as he groaned into his lips. Morgan nibbled at Reid's bottom lip, as Reid, wasting no time, thrust his tongue past Morgan's already parted lips—and fuck. Where the hell did he learn that? Morgan snaked one hand around Reid's neck, gripping the back of it tightly, pulling his lean body even closer, and twisted his other one around Reid's waist, fingers digging into skin as Reid's long, elegant, God-knows-what-they-could-do fingers splayed along Morgan's collarbone, inching to his jaw. It was all harsh breathing and fantastic little suction noises as Morgan's blood surged, alive and on fire and amazingly hot like Reid's mouth.
When Morgan's lungs began howling particularly loud, he forced himself to pull away. They panted against each other, foreheads resting together, as Reid stared at him through half-lidded, swirling caramel eyes that shot fire-poker, red-hot tingles through Morgan's body.
"Reid…" He wasn't sure what to say—there was too much.
But, as it seemed to be coming a common occurrence between them, he never got to finish his thought as this time Reid plastered his figure against him, welding their lips together once more. Morgan immediately began tangling his fingers through Reid's hair, which was silky smooth and soft and, Christ, he wanted to stay like this forever. Hand still caught in the fabric of his shirt, Reid began pulling Morgan away from the door. His hold traveled down, until he had Morgan's forearm clutched in his grasp, and started towing the older man down the hall. Before he could ask where they were going, Reid shoved Morgan through the first door he could. It was Jean Perry's office, but Morgan couldn't find a single cell in his body to give a shit.
If it had been anyone else, if he'd had any less eggnog, if Reid didn't smell like the warmth of the sun and cinnamon and didn't taste like a residual coffee flavor and a sharper, fresher peppermint candy tang, he probably would have pulled away. Would have been coherent enough to have what they were doing to sink in. But it wasn't, and he did.
Grappling in the dark room, Reid seized control again, which, considering the bolts of electricity shooting to his groin, Morgan was very, very happy with. Bossy Reid was goddamn hot.
Reid shoved Morgan away from him, the agent tripping back and bumping into Jean's desk. Reid stood there for a few moments, soft streams of light thrown from the hallway catching some dust particles as they danced through the air and bathed half of Reid's face dimly. A sultry, borderline dirty, smirk played at his features and he darted his tongue from his mouth, moistening his lips as though he was staring at a world-class, five course dinner, and—Morgan shot his arms forward, yanking Reid to him in an angry clash of skin and teeth. A surprised squeak chirped from the back of Reid's throat, and Morgan responded with a dark, predatory growl. Reid soon fell into the comfortable frenzy, Morgan pushed up completely against the back of the desk. Reid took advantage of the fact Morgan was more or less pinned, and thrust his hips closer to Morgan's, eliciting a positively delectable moan, as he ground his cock down. Morgan, who had his arms locked around Reid's form, squeezed him impossibly closer, only to have the other man respond by hitching one leg higher against his thigh. Reid, helped by the one hand Morgan moved to his ass, which was fantastically round and firm and sweet Lord he should have done this a long time ago, wrapped both legs around his friend's (he wasn't at all sure what to call him at this point, but friend would have to suffice) waist. Morgan moved sloppy, wet kisses down his jaw. Reid curved his neck into an arc, giving him perfect access to the sensitive, butter soft palate of skin. Morgan's hot breath steamed on Reid's clavicle, and the smallest, tiniest whimper escaped the younger man's mouth that had utterly magical effects on Morgan's flesh, a shiver rippling across it.
Morgan retracted his arms from Reid and brought them behind him, blindly swinging them across the desk, as a plethora of miscellaneous objects clattered to the ground. Pens, papers, staplers, even poor Jean's computer, toppled over, flying from the cool mahogany top as Morgan leaned back against it, Reid straddling him. Something, he thought maybe a paper clip, dug into his back but he didn't care even a little bit, because that moment was absolutely perfect. Better than anything he had ever dreamed. A delicious amount of heat was shared between their bodies, skins glistening in the dark with thin sheens of perspiration, and Morgan would be the first to say: best.workout.ever.
Reid's tongue swirled down Morgan's jaw line, taking a minute to nibble and suck at his ear, while Morgan's lips trailed further down Reid's creamy chest. Reid made a satisfied humming noise on Morgan's skin, tickling a particularly sensitive part of his neck with tiny vibrations.
"God, pretty boy…" He rasped, husky and filled with desire.
His lips still massaging a spot on the other man's collarbone, Morgan felt Reid's entire body tense. A second later, his spine straightened, pulling his body from Morgan's. Reid's legs were still bestriding his hips, groin flattened against groin (oh the sweet pressure), as he sat with his back at a perfect 180 degrees.
Morgan squinted up at Reid, blinking harshly. "Uh—"
What? No! No, no, no! Morgan's mind screamed as Reid scrambled off his body, kicking a lamp to the floor in the process. But Morgan's body was too slow to do anything. All the warmth was gone, leaving him to face the chill of the room alone. It was too many changes to grasp at once.
"Y-You're drunk, and-and I'm drunk—I'll just, ah… I'll just go." Reid mumbled to the ground, tucking an askew piece of hair behind his ear.
"Wait, Reid—No, Spencer wait!" Morgan lurched from the desk, trying to catch up to Reid who was already out of the door, but his ankle caught on the keyboard's cord that they had so carelessly tossed to the side, and he staggered on one foot, trying to de-tangle himself. Reid was gone by the time he looked up.
A large, oppressive sigh weighed down on Morgan's lips—the ones that were still tingling with the peppermint, the ones that had just been kissing, been marking, Reid—as he drew a hand across his head, dragging his palm down his face in frustration.
His shirt was rumpled and his lips burned with a wonderfully daunting aftertaste and his mind was a bit fuzzy from those motherfucking eggnogs and he felt the irrational need to punch something and then burst into tears.
Instead, he stood for a good ten minutes in Jean Perry's ransacked office, basking his utter confusion.
What the hell just happened?
They never spoke of it again.
Well, almost. As the one time Morgan began to bring it up, Reid effectively shut him up by saying not to worry, they could both be adults about one drunken mistake (that word still makes Morgan visibly cringe), and that he hoped it wouldn't affect their friendship. Any other instance where Morgan even attempted to breach the subject, Reid proved himself to be a fantastic agent, managing to squirrel away from any questioning.
Garcia, besides Reid of course, was the only one who knew. At least as far as Morgan was appraised, but he really couldn't see the man who seemed so adamant to pretend that something never even happened, to tell anyone of the situation's existence.
Garcia, as it seemed, was a miracle worker, and Agent Perry, a big sympathizer of love. Garcia had very conveniently had a bug in the bureau's security tapes, so that there was no evidence of their… well, shit, Morgan didn't know what to call it. Once she'd gotten rid of the visual proof, she promised Jean that she'd personally replace all her stuff, and explained what had happened, but also very conveniently left out any names. Morgan had to give it to Jean, as she was incredibly understanding. More than he thought he'd ever be, if he were she. Then again, it sure didn't hurt that she and Garcia were already pretty good friends, sharing an occasional wine and cheese and good office gossip night together when their busy schedules allowed.
And also Garcia got her a massage membership to Spa Envy. And a Starbuck's gift card.
'Tis the season.
Morgan slips a sigh past his lips, and feels sick to his stomach.
A little more than an hour.
The team is coming for them, he has to trust in that.
The constant ticking, countdown until detonation, added to the fact they have been trapped for hours, is very swiftly extinguishing all lasting rays of hope.
Morgan looks over at Reid and the ridiculous amount of defective Christmas decorations, and then back to what little he can see of the bomb. He flinches.
"I'm sorry." The statement startles Morgan, and he whips his head to Reid, who is staring over at him. "I… I didn't mean to—I'm sorry, I just want you to know that… in case."
The words play in Morgan's mind, and he waits, and he… Oh. There's a terrifying realization at what Reid is implying. "Reid, no, we're going to be fine. They team will find us." He watches Reid's eyes carefully, which are dark and he can't tell if it's from the crappy lighting or something he really, really doesn't want to confront right now.
"Morgan…" Reid's tone is slow, placating as if he's speaking to a small child. "We—The chances of them being able to find us and save us are rapidly decreasing. And I just… I want you to know that you're my friend."
His heart beats, a sonic boom, a clap of thunder, the steady rhythm of a basketball thudding concrete; he can hear the blood rushing in his ears. No. No, this isn't right. This is not the end; it simply cannot be the end.
"Reid, don't think like that. We're going to be fine." But it comes out more desperate than he meant, and he wonders briefly which one of them he's really trying to convince.
Suddenly, he notices shadows in Reid's eyes. A heaviness to the warm orbs, the color of root beer Morgan likes to relate. But it isn't right. Reid is wrong. They will be saved.
But he glimpses back at the flashing red numbers, and to the crusted blood of Reid's forehead, and his own pain as sharp, needle like sensations stab at the sensitive flesh of his wrists, and it's like someone's placed a hot stone in his stomach.
Why is everything suddenly going so wrong?
He can feel nervousness pulsing through him, and a cold sweat gathering on the base of his neck. No, this can't be the end. It isn't. But… But if it was, would he want to go out feeling so… clogged with emotions that never even were given a chance to grow?
He steels something within himself, and levels his eyes to Reid.
"I… Reid I want to talk about it. About the night we…" Spit it out. "The night we k-kissed." Well, it was a hella lot more than that, but keep going.
"Wha—No, Morgan, stop. I get it, okay? There's no need to spare my feelings, I know it was just a drunken mis—"
"No! It wasn't!" The words burst out, uncontrollable, and harsh.
Reid flops, his lips puffing out, and his eyebrows drawing together.
Oh, wow, great grave you just dug yourself, genius. "I, it wasn't a mistake. Not for me, anyway." Morgan darts his eyes away, and fuck, when did he become a twelve year old girl? If he weren't handcuffed behind his back, he'd be very inclined to slap his palm on his face. Get a grip, man.
"… It, wasn't?" Reid asks, though it's more like a squeak, uncertainly.
"I… yeah." Bravo. Truly. Your ability to express your feelings is just astounding. Morgan mentally berates himself.
"But, um, you're straight." Reid points out awkwardly, and though Morgan's sure he could give the older man hours upon hours of lectures and studies showing that one's sexuality isn't really classically defined within, blah, blah, blah, blah, he knows this is just Reid hedging the entire subject carefully.
Morgan swallows with some difficulty. "Um, I'm bi, actually. Garcia's just, the only one I told."
A beat, and then:
Morgan makes a small coughing noise. "Yeah."
"…" You goddamn coward.You've got a bomb to your back, and neither one of you has anywhere to run, and you still manage to royally suck at opening yourself up in the slightest. You could die here! This is quite literally the most horrifically perfect and cliché moment to declare your feelings! And you can't even form a proper sentence!
Morgan really can't find any argument against the tiny voice in his head. He drinks in a deep, cool breath of air, and weighs his thoughts before spilling them over his thick tongue.
And so he turns to the second worst thing, after conveniently forgetting how to speak, and begins to ramble, "I, I… like you. Reid, I lo-like you a lot, and I have for a while, and I'm really sorry to just dump this on you, and I completely understand if you don't return the feelings and I hope we can still be friends but I—"
"I do too." The words are barely a whisper, and Morgan freezes, mouth clamping shut, doing a double take on Reid.
"What?" He sputters.
Reid sighs through his nose, a long, weary sound. "I, um, am also attracted to you. I just… I didn't know that there was ever a, ah, a chance. I mean, you're Derek Morgan, ladies man."
"I… Okay, just so I'm clear, you like me?" Reid nods. "And I have a mutual liking to you. And we are both… mutually attracted… to each other?" The question is a choppy, clipped sentence as Morgan forces his thoughts together.
Reid frowns. "It… would seem that was the case."
They both meet eyes.
"I, um, well that was…"
"A bit, yeah."
They continue to stare at each other. Ever so slowly, a smile crinkles the corners of Morgan's mouth. A grin glides easily onto Reid's lips, and they both stare at one another, smiling silently.
"We're… kind of idiots, aren't we?" Morgan finally asks.
Reid gives a breathy laugh. "Yes. I suppose we are."
"I… if we survive, could we, maybe, go out for coffee?"
"A… yeah. A date." Morgan's eyes squint at the sheer force of his smile now.
"That sounds… really nice. If we survive."
The smile shatters. "I'm… God, I'm really sorry that we didn't do it sooner."
"It's not your fault," Reid assures quickly, "we're both to blame, I guess."
Morgan feels his chest tighten, and his eyes prick uncomfortably. "We'll get out of this."
"Morgan, we… Our chances of survival are low."
They both glance back at the timer, and suddenly, the true impact of their situation crashes down, an unexpected anvil to the head.
"No." Morgan is firm in the statement, a complete opposite to his rollercoaster, stomach in your toes, cartwheel feeling inside. "No. We can't die. You owe me a coffee date." He's so sure in these statements, Reid grins a little.
"Sad, isn't it, that it took mortal terror to get us to agree to that?"
"What are our chances, really, of making it out of here alive?"
"Optimistically? Very bad. And realistically…" Reid trails, giving the faintest shake of his head.
Morgan bites down on the tip of his tongue, and floods his mouth with a warm, familiar metallic taste.
"Then if we're going to die, I want to tell you the truth." Reid's eyes widen, worried. "I love you. I mean, I Star Trek, Vonnegut, love you, Reid. And I don't just want a coffee date. I want a life, with you. And I'm… shit, I'm so sorry that we won't get that. I'm so sorry that I didn't just tell you sooner, or fight hard enough for you after the Christmas party. I wish I had. You have no idea how much I wish I had." Fantastic. You've gone from moron who can't talk, to scaring him away with that shitload of information.
Reid sits perfectly still, and Morgan thinks he catches a tear roll its way down his cheek, but it could have just as simply been his imagination. "I… I love you too. I have been in love with you for—Do you even know how long I've tried to get over you? How much I wished for this moment—Well, not this, but, I mean—"
A watery chuckle passes his lips. "Trust me, Re-Spencer, I know. I—God do I know."
Reid returns the laugh with a thick and yet brittle one of his own. "Jeez. We're… We're a really fucked up pair, aren't we?"
Morgan nods, and grins like a fool. "Yeah, we really are."
"In the interest of honesty, I feel like I should tell you I very much would like to repeat our first kiss before I'm blown to bits." It sounds crude, and maybe it is, but Morgan's eyes are soft, a gentler shade of black.
Reid swipes his tongue over his dry lips, moistening them. "There, ah, isn't any mistletoe here."
"Across the room, in that box next to the inflatable Santa." Morgan leans in slightly, his cuffs not giving him much leverage, but he sends a silent, sort-of-thanks to the psychopath that tied them up just close enough to be able to do this.
"It's not above us, and therefore does not stand to tradition that we are obliged to kiss." Reid's breath tickles Morgan's skin, as he too slowly floats closer until there's but a thin sheen of air keeping them apart.
"To be honest, I really just don't care." They both grin, and fall into that tiny distance, capturing each other in a kiss. Morgan takes Reid's bottom lip between his own, as they begin to move against each other. Morgan's eyes squeeze shut, and he tastes, he remembers, that Reid-ness, and smells the thick sunrays and cinnamon sticks. They deepen the kiss, and block out the beeps from behind them.
Somehow, the kiss becomes words, and they both feel, listen, to it, understanding its urgency and its sacredness. Skin on skin, and tongues tangle, and they breathe into each other the letters of their heart. They wish it wasn't like this, matching thoughts as they convey themselves through the connection, but they must make do. They must treasure every moment, ever beep that secures that they are still here, for the moment.
"I'm scared." It's a whisper, a secret shared only in the deepest trust and quiet.
"I am too." The admission is equally as vulnerable and terrifying.
"It's irrational, as statistically there is very little chance we will be saved, so it should be accepted that we will die."
"This is irrational, but it doesn't mean it's not real."
"Is it?" So much desperation, like a hungry dog clawing in a dumpster for scraps.
"I love you. And it hurts, and it's real." So much truth, it leaves a burning after taste on the tongue that is already tingling with a different need.
"That is irrational. I love you too."
"Promise me," Reid requests, "that you mean it. That you're not lying to comfort me or some other ridiculous notion like that. To be honest I don't know if I'd care if you were at this point. But promise me anyway."
They're talking only centimeters away from each other's lips, so it doesn't take much for Morgan to push a kiss against him. It's warm, and soft, and lingers a lovely feeling on both of their mouths but it doesn't last nearly long enough.
"Only if you promise the same."
Reid kisses him back.
"Tell me again, what do you think the chances are the team will miraculously burst through the door at the last second and save us?"
"Slim." Reid answers, molding his lips to the corner of Morgan's mouth. "And besides, bomb squad wouldn't be with them. So, very, very slim."
Morgan attacks Reid's jaw line, tasting, swirling, committing every tiny detail to his brain because if this is how he's going to die, then dammit, he's going to make every second count. He licks and sucks at the petal soft, smooth skin, and loves the barely there flavor of cinnamon and the simple flavor of just Reid, and he thinks maybe if he shuts his eyes hard enough, he'll be able to feel the residual tingling of their first, peppermint kiss.
"I wish we'd done this a long time ago," he admits to Reid's racing carotid.
"Seconded." Reid groans, and nudges Morgan's lips back to his. Their foreheads rest on one another, and they can feel each other's quick bursts of breath, ticking their upper lips. Morgan reaches forward in the slightest and takes Reid's bottom lip between his, tugging gently, in a small, sweet kiss.
"It's an entirely morbid thing to say, but I'm kind of glad that if I'm going to die anywhere, it's here. I wish it didn't have to be with you, but I'm glad that you're with me. Does that make sense?"
Reid opens his eyes halfway, and Morgan does the same. Reid stares, long and hard with swirling caramel that Morgan just wants to dive into. His lips pull into the saddest smile Morgan's ever seen.
"That's exactly what I—Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes." Each yes is punctuated by the lightest brushing of lips, and Morgan feels a tear slip down his cheek.
They're both crying. Not hysterical sobs, or hiccups, or even any sniffling or moans of agony. Just cold tears gliding from their eyes and down their skin and mingling in with the tender kisses they keep pressing to one another's lips. Morgan's hands are tied behind his back, as are Reid's, and he desperately wishes to entwine his fingers with Reid's, just once. He figures it's but another once that he'll never have with him.
Their necks twist and curve as they sweep their noses over one another, a silent dance of gentle nips and pulls and lots and lots of languidly swirling tongues. Reid pauses, and turns away to rest his head on Morgan's shoulder as much as their restraints will allow. Morgan's tears cascade onto the other man's hair as he tucks his chin on top, the only kind of shield Morgan can offer his friend—boyfriend? partner? love? soul mate? He thinks maybe all of the above.
Morgan risks a glance back at the timer, and winces. Reid is still nuzzling his neck, occasionally pitter-pattering his lips low on his collarbone, as Morgan inhales deeply.
"What do you think our name would be?" He asks randomly.
Though reluctant, Reid lifts his head from Morgan, and arches an eyebrow. "Our what?"
"Our name. You know, couple names. Like, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie—Bradgelina." He smirks lopsidedly and Reid laughs, really laughs, and realizes that yes, this is why he fell in love with this man.
They both scrunch their noses in distaste.
"How about Sorgan?" Morgan offers. Reid frowns.
"Doesn't that make you think of some kind of ointment for bunions?"
"Okay, okay, um… Meid?"
"Maybe. How about Reiderek?"
"That's just both of our names said together."
"Oh. Right. Um, Dencer?"
"Sounds too much like dentures. What do you think of Deid?"
"Meh. What about Reigan?"
"Could be. Hmm… Oh, hey, I think I have it: Sperek. Right? Sounds like some awesome medieval knight." Morgan grins, and his eyes sparkle as the Christmas lights twinkle on the wetness shining in them.
"Sperek," Reid chews on the word, clicking it against his tongue. "That could work. I'm sure Garcia would think of something even better though."
"Yeah," Morgan mutters absently, the fun of the moment evaporating at mention of his baby girl. Christ, he's going to miss her. She'll miss him too, he knows it. It's irrational, but he actually feels a pang of guilt. It's not by choice, but they're leaving the team and it just... hurts.
Reid leans in a little, and steals a kiss from Morgan. "I like Sperek. I like us having an us."
Morgan smiles again. "So do I." He leans back into the kiss, and lets his tongue explore the land he's been charting for the last forever it feels, and yet every swipe and flutter of his heart are so extraordinarily new.
Their kisses are hot and wet and taste salty and of each other. Prickly, warm sensations burn in the backs of their eyes, and they let their mourning blend with their lips.
Because they are mourning. They're mourning their life they never got to live. They're mourning all the times they could have, should have, would have been together, if not for here, if not for now. They're mourning each other and what they lost and especially what they'll never even have.
"I love you, Spencer Reid. I love you and I wish I had said it when I first knew, and I wish I could tell you million more times, but damn, you have to know that I just love you." Morgan declares harshly, biting and licking at Reid's bottom lip, eliciting tiny moans.
"I love you too. I love you so much. I'm so sorry that I—that we didn't—I love you." He forces his lips onto Morgan's in an angry clash of skin and teeth, because, yeah, he's angry. It's not supposed to end like this. They're supposed to have their happy ending. It isn't fair.
Morgan pushes back, and suddenly both of them are breathing the words 'I love you' onto each other's mouths, desperately and with the rawest, most glaringly bright emotions Morgan's ever witnessed. The top halves of their chests press against once another, as they try to mold every bit of themselves to each other, pulling against the cuffs, and not caring as their wrists bleed as they force more, more of their body harder onto each other. They want to feel as much as they can as long as they can.
The kisses are blistering hot and harsh, uncoordinated, a frenzy of everything they're feeling. They push into each other as much as they can and them try some more. This is it.
"I love you." Morgan pants, gasping for breath, and already pulsing his lips on the bottom corner of Reid's, not caring about oxygen. It's not as it they'll need it for much longer.
"I love you." Reid responds, urging Morgan's tongue back to his, and they don't so much as battle as they tango, in a beautiful array of sensations and sounds.
It's slower now. Still just as forceful, but slower. They can hear each other's heart beat, and they're out of sync, and yet beating just as one. They can taste each other on their tongues, and they can feel each other's skin even under the fabric of their shirt, as everything exposed is sweating on each other, and they just are, with each other, and it's so incredibly painful and frightening and real and lovely.
Noses are squashed together, and foreheads molded, and necks sticking, and lips fused, and tongues tangling, and hearts thumping. They mumble I love you again, reverberating the words into each other's throats. They both flick their eyes to the blinking red numbers.
They stay, leaning into each other as vigorously as possible, tear tracks combining into one, eyelashes weaving together as each small tear becomes both of theirs, and they keep their eyes open, looking so deeply into each other, and they're so close, and it hurts, and it's right.
"I love you."
It doesn't matter who says it, maybe they both do, because they already know it. They're already screaming it with every tiny motion.
They practically solder their lips back together, and don't really move, just push and push even more into each other because they want as much as they can for their finally moments. Selfishly and completely they want each other as the monotone beeps from behind them cause more tears to slip, and their tongues to twist even tighter together.
It's the worst kind of agony they've ever experienced. It's a blooming, exploding pain that consumes every molecule of their being.
And yet it's the most delicious, fantastic feeling, of being one, of knowing you're going to die, and being almost content, just as you're ripped apart with sadness for all that never was. But they are there. With each other. As one. And it's the most blindingly beautiful pain either of them have ever experienced.
Morgan peeks an eye open. Reid is doing the same. They both glance back at the timer, as the long, metallic beeps screech in their ears.
Delayed reaction, they think. They squeeze their eyes back shut, still joining their bodies as much as possible. Their hearts are ballooning with anticipation for what they know will come.
Reid carefully, slowly, begins to pull away from Morgan. Just the smallest, fraction of movements, still keeping each other mere centimeter's apart.
They stare at the flashing red numbers, which read zeros straight across, with bated breath.
… Still nothing.
They continue to trap the air in their lungs, not daring even a blink. There's a buzz in the atmosphere, a buzz of absolute silence.
The beeping has stopped.
Nothing has happened.
Several minutes pass, and they stay in this seemingly perpetual state of ice.
With the most cautious of actions, they begin to pull apart, still looking back at the timer. The numbers have disappeared. It's just… blank.
Morgan sweeps his gaze back to Reid at the exact moment he does.
They lock eyes.
And then… something incredible happens.
Morgan gives a kind of strange, almost delirious smile.
Reid returns it, with a small huffing noise of disbelief, pulling his lips higher and higher with every passing second as ever so slowly, the glacier melts away, and the tension uncoils itself.
They continue staring at one another, grinning like idiots.
Then, at the exact same moment, they'll swear by it, they start to chuckle.
Just a low tickle at the bases of their throats, that suddenly, instantaneously, blossoms, explodes, into huge, booming laughter that echoes off the silent, cold walls, and showers them with the beautiful sound.
The laughing quickly turns to hysteria, and soon both of their bodies are convulsing with guffaws and chortles and snorts. They accidentally knock heads with the involuntary movements, which only somehow makes them laugh harder.
They're mirroring each other with this strange chocking noise, and they can't quite breathe right and their throats start to burn and it's one hundred percent, abso-frickin'-lutely wonderful.
They shake and giggle and snicker and make bizarre suffocating sounds and pinch their faces into ridiculous, wheezy masks, and roll their bodies with the hysterics as much as possible, as tears race, boiling hot, down their cheeks.
"We-we-w-w-we're a-al-ive." Morgan forces past his trembling lips, which are still yanked to his ears in the widest smile anyone's ever seen.
Reid beams, and nods his head, hiccupping a few times until he spills the words from his lips, "I-I k-know! W-we're a-a-a-alive!"
"I-I lov-love you." Morgan chuckles out, but his shining, moist eyes are as dark and sincere as ever.
"I love y-you, t-t-too—I l-love you, too." Reid says, and another bout of laughter bubbles and bursts from both of their lips that are suddenly and wonderfully connected and they taste each other's laughs and each other's relief which is just about as loud as the stomach clenching, breath stealing hysterics they're in.
Approximately seven minutes and a whole lot of kissing and laughing and sweet nothings later, the team rams through the toy store doors.
Approximately eight and a half minutes later, they are kicking down the attic doors.
"Are you hurt? Are you both okay?" Hotch asks immediately.
"Oh, God… is that a bomb?" Someone sucks in a breath sharply, and a pause settles in the air.
Morgan and Reid share a glance. They break out laughing.
"N-No, you see, the bomb didn't work, w-w-we're al-alive! It's like a Christmas miracle!" One of them blurts, as if this explains their behavior. Obviously.
"Um…" Prentiss says, awkwardly lowering her weapon to help her friends from their restraints. As soon as Morgan stands, he turns to study the device behind them, still wearing a huge grin. He leans in a little. And… idiot. That idiotic, big red fat man didn't full connect a wire. That one stupid mistake saved their lives, he explains to the team. They'll need bomb squad to come and completely check it, but he's sure in his observation.
The team leads them out of the room, and ushers them to an ambulance as Hotch goes to make a call, still shooting worried glances as Reid and Morgan smile all the way. They ask them if they've been drugged. They just smile a little more.
Rossi mutters something about psych evals, before they're taken to be looked at.
"I'm fine." Morgan stresses as the paramedic flutters over his wrists.
"Sir, I'd feel better if—"
"Look, you bandaged me up, and I appreciate it, but now if you don't mind…" He doesn't wait for an answer, already hopping from the floor of the truck and to the sturdy asphalt that catches his feet.
He pushes his way through the crowd of officers and emergency personal that's gathered all around and in front of the toy store, peering over heads for a certain…
Morgan spots Reid dangling his legs on the back of an ambulance. He attempts to casually meander his way to him. He fails greatly, all but sprinting to the younger man.
"Hey," he says lamely.
"Hi." Reid responds, equally as lame, and giving a tiny wave of his hand.
"I'm waiting to go to the hospital. I said I was fine, but Hotch…"
"Say no more," Morgan raises his hand, the moon bright white bandages on his wrists glowing against the night, or, morning now, sky as he waves off Reid's words. "I'll probably go there too. Just in case, you know."
Reid's lips twitch. "I just saw you arguing with that EMT about how you distinctly did not need to go to a hospital."
Morgan shuffles a bit, an unfamiliar feeling over sheepishness overcoming him. "Yeah well…" He gives a small gesture with his hands, which feel lanky and useless and uncomfortably tight with the gauze.
"Sorry. You go first."
"Oh, ah, no, no, you can, ah, you can go first."
Morgan swallows hard. "Um… Well, I…" He stumbles a bit, and brings his eyes up to Reid's. Holding his gaze, he steels himself, and takes a step closer to Reid. "If there's anything I've learned from that, it's that life is short and I don't want to live regretting things that I didn't do. So here it goes: everything I said in there, I meant. It wasn't spur of the moment, we're about to die bullshit. I… I love you, Spencer. I love you and I want you—I want us." He moves even closer, and watches Reid's pupils dilate under the flashing blue and red lights and starry night sky. "I want you and me and a life. I want us and grandkids and swinging on a porch when we're good and old and being together for the rest of my life. I want that."
Morgan reaches forward, a barely there shake in his movements, and takes Reid's hand. Their fingers entwine together, lacing skin on skin, palms marrying palms, warmth radiating between each other. A sudden surge of brightness bursts through Morgan's chest, as he continues, "I don't know if we'll have that. I don't know if we'll have forever. I can't promise that. I can't promise what I want, and I can't promise this will be easy or it will be perfect or it will be the most amazing love affair in the history of the world. But I can promise you this—I will love you for our forever. I will work hard to make us work, because anything that easy, I've learned, just ain't worth it. I will be me and you will be you and if you'll let me, I'll spend our forever proving that you are the most important person in my life. I promise you that if you give our us a shot, I will do everything in my power to make you happy you did. I can't promise you a lot, but I promise that I love you, Spencer Reid. And I don't want any more of our us life to pass me by if I can help it."
Reid stares, unblinking wide hazel eyes with unfathomable, clear depths swirling with thoughts. Morgan stares back, nervous heart beating sonic jet loud in his ears, and there's this incredible weight that's mysteriously floated right off of his chest.
Reid's fingers squeeze around Morgan's, and his soft pink lips curve up into the most beautiful of smiles Morgan's sure he's ever seen.
Morgan leans down, not caring who sees, not caring about anything but Reid, and gently covers his everything's lips with his own. They move, tender and warm, against each other. Morgan feels the gauze of Reid's head scrape on him, and their matching, bandaged wrists tipping into the other, and it's a reminder of all that was wrong and all that is right. It's a soft, sweet kiss filled with love and an amazingly simple action, that it feels so right, they both wonder how it is they haven't been doing it their entire lives.
Morgan pulls back, their grins pressing into one another, and squeezes Reid's hand back. He hops onto the back of the ambulance with Reid, and the two scoot closer, sides touching, clasped hands lying comfortably between them.
Morgan looks out at the bustle of people and harsh, barking orders, and picks out the heads of his team, some of them looking in their direction. He finds he doesn't mind in the slightest.
So, yeah, okay, being cuffed to a bomb for more than eight hours didn't exactly constitute to the best Christmas, but…
Morgan glances down at Reid, whose face is relaxed into a smile that he feels tugging on his own lips.
Nah. Definitely not the worst Christmas ever.
Reid whispers, "Merry Christmas."
Morgan laughs, and tightens their hold.
Maybe top ten.
There's a fantastic, blooming feeling inside of him as he looks out at the full, twinkling stars and expansive navy morning and maybe, just maybe, if they look out long enough, they'll see a zip of red and hear the tinkling of bells and thud of hooves.
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds. This makes me sad. I just ate a cream cheese brownie. This makes me less sad.
A/N: Ta da? This story is ridiculous and ran away from me like the monster beast it became and I wrote the majority of it on sleep deprivation, but I still had loads of fun. : D
This is not beta-ed, and I apologize for any and all mistakes - I try to edit as much as I can!
I like to think of Morgan as a closet geek, not as awesomely geeky as Reid, but, I do think he's a very well hidden, closeted geek and I also like to think of JJ as a raving, wild, maniac when she gets drunk. These thoughts tickle me. Also, just wanted to point out that JAYNE IS MORE BADASS THAN YOU EVER WILL BE REID! SO SUCK IT!
Did I just have a feud between my own opinions and the opinions of a fictional character I'm writing an even more fictional story about?
. . . Maybe.
Zomg, though, seriously, I have so many projects that need writing I'm surprised I actually finished this. Mostly I'm surprised at how freaking long it is. This story just. . . exploded out of control. Bah, craziness.
Anywhoozle! I really hope you liked it, thanks so much for reading, please drop a review to tell me what you thought!
Merry Hanukkah, Happy Christmas, Joyful Kwanzaa, or whatever else you do or don't celebrate this season, have some awesome celebrations of winter, and a wonderful New Year! : D
Thanks again for reading, you snazzy little Internet user!