A/N: This is my entry for the Chit Chat on Author's Corner New Year's Resolution Challenge. I chose Reid, resolving to spend more time with Henry, and I was assigned Morgan. This isn't a pairing I'm super familiar with, and I'm a little low on sleep and still unsure about how I feel about how it turned out, so I would really, really love to hear what you guys think!
Thanks to the CCOAC mods for the chance to try something new and thank you for reading :D
Christmas was a time for family, and New Year's was a time for getting plastered.
At least, that was what Derek said, and he - well both of them, really - certainly seemed to be taking it to heart.
There had been no questions, only an invitation to Derek's apartment for eight o'clock and a suggestion to bring whatever he wanted to drink. Derek hadn't mentioned that he'd noticeably lost weight in the week since they had last seen each other, the way that the bags under his eyes were more pronounced or the generally pinched look that Spencer knew he was sporting. Neither had Spencer said a word about the way the lines on Derek's face had visibly deepened, the tense set of his shoulders, or the fact that - unlike every other New Year's - there was no new Morgan family Christmas picture on display.
As a matter of fact, all of the not-talking was rather reminding Spencer of the way they had dealt with the post-bar frottage that had finally ended their prank war over a month before.
Which he was not thinking of. Because Derek was his friend. His just-as-inebriated friend currently sitting next to him on the couch, arm draped along the back, fingers buried in Spencer's hair, grazing his nape.
Spencer shifted slightly, trying not to get aroused by the thought of Derek's fingers elsewhere. The fingers froze until he leaned back ever so slightly into them. They started up again, terribly and endearingly hesitant, and Spencer had to work - work so fucking hard - not to lean over and drag Derek in for an aching, long-overdue kiss.
There were ten minutes left of inane countdown television, and then probably - separately - they would head to bed. 'So have you made any New Year's resolutions?'
'Ahh, yeah, a couple, you?' Derek was worse at lying when drunk, and Spencer was worse at tamping down his reflex to profile. He let it go.
'Have you ever kept a resolution before?'
Derek looked over in surprise, a first since his - now frozen - fingers had begun to stroke Spencer's neck. 'Of course. I make two every year, one I know that I can keep, one I'm not so sure about. What about you?' Spencer shook his head.
'When I was a kid, my mom always said if you were really committed to something, you shouldn't have to make a resolution. As I got older it just seemed frivolous, I guess. But this year...' He shrugged, but didn't say anything. Derek's hand dropped to his shoulder, which he shook, gently but firmly.
'What?' Spencer leaned into the touch, and was relieved when Derek responded with a reassuring squeeze, rather than a retreat.
'I want to spend more time with Henry. Between the stuff with my mom and the stuff with JJ...' Spencer's voice cracked and Derek squeezed his shoulder again, looking back to the tv.
'The girl who's been helping out with Clooney's starting school in the winter term, so I need a new dog sitter. My sure fire resolution is to make sure the new person needs flexible employment, instead of just grabbing a student because they're easy,' he paused, and Spencer concentrated on looking forwards, trying not to tense in anticipation of whatever had Derek on edge. He squeezed his shoulder once more, but this one was light, and felt more like an involuntary contraction. 'I've also got two long-shot resolutions for the first time.'
Spencer looked over in surprise to see Derek staring intently at the screen. He turned back too, accepting that he wasn't going to get anything else on the subject. One minute to the New Year.
'Did you know kissing at midnight for luck is not, as it's often suggested, a terribly widespread tradition? In France friends and family exchange kisses and resolutions on New Year's Day, instead. And in Russia it even serves as a stand-in for Christmas, which is a tradition left over from the Communist eradication of religious holidays,' he shrugged. 'The one thing most New Year's celebrations seem to have in common,' Spencer knocked back the end of his drink, 'is alcohol.'
Derek nodded, eyebrows raised in a slightly puzzled look. 'Is that so?'
'Yep,' Spencer smirked, 'Wouldn't want you to feel too bad about not getting a kiss.'
Derek's sudden smirk seemed almost... predatory. 'Who says I'm not gonna get a kiss?'
Spencer's own eyebrows drew together in confusion. 'How-'
The countdown ended and Derek's hand, which had drifted back to the base of Spencer's neck, tugged him forward to meet his lips for a firm, mostly chaste, kiss on the lips that lasted a second or two longer than a peck. 'Happy New Year,' was a breath across his lips.
Derek stood, rather quickly and slightly clumsily, and yawned widely. 'Well I don't know about you, but I'm beat. You okay on the couch?'
After that, Spencer was tempted to say no, but knew that would just result in Derek taking the couch instead. So he nodded. 'Yeah, of course, and uh, happy New Year to you too.'
Unfortunately for Spencer, his lack of hangover - and characteristically undramatic morning after with Derek, well-steeped in denial - on the first day of the year was tempered by the discovery of a wonderful (several thousand page) corpus which captivated his attention well into the morning of the second day of the year.
He scrubbed his hand over his face as he walked into the elevator, mentally bemoaning his tendency to hyperfocus and acutely anticipating getting upstairs for his next cup of coffee.
'Late night, kid?' He looked up at Morgan in surprise.
'Jesus, Reid, what were you doing last night?'
'Um,' he scratched his head, 'reading?'
Morgan's eyebrows slid up his forehead. 'Seriously?' Reid nodded, wincing as the elevator bumped to their floor. 'You look like you were partying all night, you sure you didn't get laid?'
Reid blinked, looked him up and down, and shook his head. Morgan licked his lips and for a moment they were Spencer and Derek.
The elevator doors pinged open and they both swallowed.
'Spence!' Reid stepped out with an oversized smile that hurt his zygomaticus muscles.
'JJ!' He rubbed his head as he stepped alongside her. He and Morgan had never slipped into Spencer and Derek at work before, not like that.
'You, uh, start your new year of rough, Spence?' JJ looked sympathetic, and maybe a little concerned. 'You look hungover.'
Spencer frowned and shot a dirty look back to Morgan. 'I was reading and I forgot to drink water in between my cups of coffee, okay?' He huffed out a sigh. 'All night.'
JJ smiled warmly and handed him her water bottle. 'Was it a good read, at least?' Spencer nodded, with a smile followed by a swig of water. 'And a good new year?'
'Ah,' he cleared his throat, 'yeah. You?'
JJ narrowed her eyes at his hesitation, but nodded and smirked. 'Mmhmm. I'm not really looking forward to Henry being old enough to stay up,' she winked, 'I kinda like New Year's the way it is.'
Reid groaned and Morgan moved off with a laugh. 'Just be glad I'm not asking you to babysit for a similar reason,' she gave him a nudge.
'Oh, wait, JJ!' She frowned as he caught her wrist. 'I was, actually, um, well-'
'Well I was just, um,' he scratched his head. 'It's just, if you and Will want to go out - or, you know, something - I wouldn't mind watching Henry.'
JJ frowned in confusion, then it slipped into a smile. 'Are you offering to babysit so that Will and I can have extra sex?'
'Eh,' Reid cringed, 'JJ, I hate you.'
She chuckled and squeezed his arm. 'Seriously though Spence, come see Henry any time. And,' she cocked her head, looking up at him a little hesitantly, 'we'd like to see you too.'
He smiled warmly and passed her back her water bottle. 'Thanks.'
She shot him back a relieved smile and ducked her head as she slipped over to her desk.
'So you're still good for six?' Reid swivelled in his chair to face her, his eyebrows raised. JJ laughed. 'Alright, I'll see you later Spence.'
'Plans?' He looked up in surprise at Morgan, his bag slung over his shoulder and one eyebrow raised.
Spencer ducked his head with a crooked smile. 'I'm taking Henry for the night.'
Derek smiled back warmly. 'Nice work.'
'What about you? How are your resolutions going?'
'Ah,' Derek opened his mouth, closed it, and shifted his weight. 'I found a dog-sitter for Clooney.'
'Nice,' Spencer narrowed his eyes thoughtfully, 'what about your other two?'
Derek looked away. 'So far I've managed to email my mom every day,' his voice caught, 'we'll see how it goes.'
Spencer couldn't push for the second long-shot resolution after that. He could tell Derek was telling the truth, and that he really was upset - but he was fairly certain that he was also still avoiding divulging his third resolution.
'Hey, I'm done what I need to do today and I need some caffeine to keep up with Henry, want to go grab some coffee or something?'
Derek cocked his head, eyes narrowed. At length he nodded. 'Oh alright pretty boy, I'll let you buy me coffee.'
Reid huffed out a laugh and grabbed his bag. 'Fine.' He strode to the elevator with Morgan right behind him.
'You know kid, I'm kinda hungry too, whaddya say you buy me something tasty too?'
Spencer turned on his heel as soon as he stepped into the elevator, throwing Derek off balance. 'So you're not interested in anything that comes for free?' It was totally dead-pan and he pressed the button for the ground floor as casually as possible, pretending not to notice Derek licking his lips and staring.
Spencer bit his lip, trying not to panic. True, he had just very efficiently distracted Derek. And true, he knew he wasn't indicating unreciprocated interest.
'So, uh, what are you gonna do with Henry?'
Spencer's gaze snapped back to Derek. 'Um, I was thinking we'd make pizzas and watch a movie?'
'Nice,' Derek's smile was warm. 'You going to pick him up something for desert?'
'That's a good idea,' Spencer frowned. 'I think chocolate chip cookies are his favourite.'
'Mmm,' Derek smiled, 'I know this little bakery that's got the best triple chocolate cookies,' he slung his arm around Spencer's shoulders, 'whaddya say I give you a ride?' Derek cocked his head, Spencer's breath caught in his throat as he bit his lip, focusing on keeping his gaze straight ahead as Derek's breath wafted across his lips.
He pushed the button for the parking garage as the doors pinged open to the ground floor.
'Atta boy,' Derek laughed. Spencer licked his lips.
Derek squeezed his shoulder and then let him go as they stepped out into the garage. 'So do you know what movie you're going to get?'
Spencer shook his head as he followed Derek to his car. 'I was thinking I would let him choose. Presumably there's some favourite that JJ and Will are thoroughly sick of,' he shrugged, 'I figured I'd do everyone a favour.'
Derek caught his eye over the roof of the car, a fond little smile on his lips. 'That's adorable.' Spencer stared after him as he ducked into the car.
He followed suit clumsily, fumbling with the handle. 'What about you? Any plans?' He leaned back to stick his bag in the back seat.
'Nah,' he turned forward again in his seat to see Derek shaking his head as he fastened his seatbelt. 'Beer, cookies,' he winked at Spencer, 'maybe a movie with Clooney.'
Spencer watched him turn the key and swallowed, leaning forward to fiddle with the radio. 'You know, if you want, I'm sure Henry wouldn't mind if you joined us.'
Derek looked over swiftly. His eyes slipped from Spencer's eyes, to the lips inches away from his, back to his eyes. Spencer felt his tongue slip over his lips. Derek's eyes dropped again. 'Are you sure?' Derek's voice was breathy and Spencer could feel it was well as he could hear it.
Spencer's eyes shuttered closed as he leaned forward, his lips slightly parted. While gentle and unhurried, there was nothing chaste about this kiss. Separating slowly, lingering on Derek's bottom lip, Spencer swallowed.
The hoarse word got a smile from Derek, who gave his lips one last peck before checking the rearview mirror. 'Good.'
Spencer settled back into his seat, his heartbeat still fluttering in his ears. 'So where is this bakery?'