This is set four or five months after the finale. There are SPOILERS for that episode. Apparently, I'm desperate to find a silver-lining in Emily's departure from the team. This was actually written before the finale aired, but I tweaked things a bit to fit it. Also, I'll warn you there isn't much plot to this one.
The title came from the Rhianna song, "We Found Love"; combine the two titles and you've got the chorus for the song.
Thank you for reading, and please review!
Morgan dragged his sore, tired body up the front steps to his house. The rental in his driveway would have told him she'd be inside, even if her text hadn't.
He shoved his key first into the knob lock, and then the dead bolt. Eyes already drooping, he pushed the door open, and would have forgotten the alarm if not for the quiet beeping beside his head. He keyed in the code, and then rearmed it for the night, making sure to turn both door locks as well.
He slipped out of his boots, and left them and his bag by the door. His body felt like a lead weight as he dragged himself down the hallway, but his eyes were razor sharp. As tired as he was, he still peered into every room his passed, as if he was clearing them. Not that he expected a maniac to be there, but well, old habits.
His team had not had the best luck in recent years, and Ian Doyle was not far enough in the past for him to forget.
Morgan backtracked to the living room. His eyebrows rose, and the slight quirk in his lips would have been a smirk if he'd had the energy.
Emily was passed out on the sofa. She was sitting with her back to an armrest, a pillow supporting her, her legs stretched out, and there was a book laying open and face-down on the floor. More amusing was her company in slumber. Sergio was sprawled out over most of her body, his front paws up near her breasts, and his back legs stretched toward her knees. The cat was clearly happy that his mama was home. Meanwhile, poor Clooney was jammed into the spot beside Emily's feet, his head and front paws resting on her ankles.
Emily had decided to leave Sergio in the states rather than drag him on a cross-Atlantic flight, and leave him in kennels every time she left town for work. Even if she was stationed in London, she was hardly ever there.
Clooney looked up at him, and yawned. Sergio only quirked an ear, not as impressed as the dog. Morgan walked over and scratched and pet Clooney's head, and then stroked Sergio's soft fur. He was slowly getting used to having two pets, and Clooney was grudgingly adapting to the cat. When he at last got to where he really wanted to be, Morgan sat on the small bit of sofa next to her.
Emily stirred instantly, and blinked awake, looking around until she settled on him. "Hi," she greeted with a tired smile.
Instead of speak, Morgan leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers. When she reciprocated and leaned forward, he pulled her closer, and his gentle assault on her mouth become more forceful. He broke it after a minute, and just held her, tucking his face into the area between her neck and collarbone. Morgan inhaled her scent, and held her close, and probably too tightly.
Emily didn't object, but she her fingers began to rhythmically stroke the back of his head. "Derek…do you want to talk about it?"
He sighed. "We couldn't save her."
"He got another one?"
He finally relinquished his tight grip, and pulled back. "Yeah, she was only 25, in grad school, had to fly her parents in from Wisconsin."
"You had to interview them?" She slid her hand into his, and laced their fingers together.
He nodded. "Yeah…yeah, and I swore I'd do everything I could to save her."
"And, I have no doubt that you did."
"We got there before he finished with her, but he must have heard us coming. He cut her throat." Morgan inhaled and looked away. "He'd already gotten most of her face off."
The unsub had been using to a scalpel to carefully remove all five layers of epidermis on his victim's faces. Removing just enough to expose the dermis with the glands, hair follicles and veins, but not damage any of the veins was difficult and painstaking work. The work of a doctor, or in this case a medical school flunkie. Work that he did while his victims were alive, but under a paralytic. They could see and feel everything, but not move a muscle to defend themselves.
He breathed out. "I had to tell her parents they'd have to do a closed casket. Her mother had to be sedated."
Emily began to stroke his face with her free hand, and he couldn't meet her eyes. He couldn't see the pained empathy etched into them.
"There's something else," she said.
Morgan looked up at her in surprise. "What?"
"There's more that's bothering you." When he didn't speak, she sighed. "Derek, I know you. I've been there with you, I know this case would rip you apart, but I also know it wouldn't be this bad. Nothing hits you this hard, except what involves your family."
"She looked like Desi." Even he heard the tremor in his voice. Morgan swallowed and inhaled. "Desi was 27 when she got her M.S.W., we all went to see her graduate, and one of her friends took a picture of the four of us together." He took a breath. "My mother keeps that photo in her living room, I see it every time I go to Chicago. Now every time I see it, all I'm going to be able to see is my baby sister with her face cut off."
Emily shook the cat and dog off herself, to both their displeasure, and pulled him back against her body, dragging him more onto the sofa. Morgan didn't resist. He fused his body with hers, finding a comfort in Emily that he'd never found with anyone before her. A comfort he couldn't imagine trusting anyone else to give him. She knew him, she knew the work, and he could talk to her about women's faces being flayed and not feel like he was corrupting her. She understood it. She understood him.
He missed having her by his side in the field, but coming home to her was worth the loss.
Emily pulled back and kissed his forehead. "It's late now, but you should call Desi tomorrow morning. It would be good for both of you."
Morgan nodded. "Yeah, I'll do that."
"Good." She yawned, and traced her fingers down his cheek. "It's late, and this sofa doesn't sleep two, let's get to bed."
He nodded, but didn't move. "How was your flight?"
She shrugged. "As good as commercial flights ever are, but oh, I did read a new book. I think you'd like it actually."
"Really? What kind of book?"
"Uh, sort of humorous sci-fi."
Morgan nodded. "I'm game. You'll give me a full critique over breakfast tomorrow?"
"Sure." Emily pressed her lips to his. "Mmm, bedtime."
He gave her a squeeze, and then let her lead him to the bedroom, where he shed most of his clothing before slipping under the covers beside her. Emily shimmied close, resting her head against his chest, and he slipped an arm around her body.
Morgan pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Thank you."
He felt one finger run gently down his chest, before she said simply, "Always."