Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds in anyway.
Note – All these vignettes are 500 – 1500 words, and based on a single word. Mostly angst and h/c but some fluff. Pretty mild slash, this one happens to focus more on the relationship, but some could almost be seen as bromance. They span across all seasons, I try to make it pretty clear where if it's relevant in that one. Some connect to each other, but most are totally separate. The words have been supplied to me by my brilliant beta Little Miss Artist – couldn't have done it without you! Normally, I plan on posting on Monday and Thursday, but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I'm posting one day early.
On We March
Ridiculous and stupid though it was, Reid couldn't stop the pangs of jealousy he felt whenever Morgan made a play on some girl. He knew it was never anything serious, all just for show. For his player's reputation, of course. But it still stung.
He couldn't decide whether it was better before or after the team knew. Before, well, it made sense. It was what they expected of him…but it also meant Morgan was afraid to admit he liked the skinny, awkward genius in that way. Like he was ashamed of liking him. There were the fraternization policies to think about, of course, but Reid trusted the team not to tell. Trusted they would value his happiness over the rules.
But after the team found out…Reid couldn't help but wonder who the show was for. His reputation? The world? Or worse, Morgan himself? Was it that awfulthat only those closest to him could ever know, in absolute secrecy no less? Or was it that the only way Morgan could deal with this apparently embarrassing secret was to reassure himself that this dirty, wrong part of him was just that – a part of him.
Reid tried to reassure himself that, no, it was none of that. It was fear that his masculine reputation – such a huge part of him – would be tarnished beyond repair. And if Morgan wasn't the masculine, confident player he acted to be, then who was he?
Yes, that was it. It was about Morgan's own insecurities, not about Reid.
Or so he told himself.
It was clear Emily had noticed Reid's white knuckles on his beer – something Morgan had introduced him to and Reid had become quite fond of since – and the way his expressive, amber eyes never left Morgan standing across the bar…and the woman he was playfully flirting with.
"It's not-" she tried to defend.
"I know," Reid said calmly (was that bitterness?).
"He would never, you know…cheat," she said tentatively.
"I know," he repeated.
Emily gently squeezed his shoulder and gave him a small, it'll-be-alright smile. She went over to join JJ and Garcia at a standing table. Hotch and Rossi were off in a booth talking quietly over two glasses of scotch.
Reid sighed and turned back to Morgan.
The thing that really got to Reid was that it only went one way. Reid wasn't a player and he certainly hadn't been known as such. Morgan could hurt him in a way Reid could never. Reid couldn't just waltz up to some girl and show Morgan how very little their relationship meant to him.
To be honest, Reid could never hurt Morgan intentionally. He could never abuse Morgan's emotions or ever do anything to jeopardize what they had like that.
Morgan didn't seem to feel the same.
Something surged inside of Reid as the woman casually brushed Morgan's hand while reaching for her drink. Who did this…this bitch think she was? How could she do that? How could he do that? How could Morgan stand there and smile at her obvious advances all the while knowing Reid was right there, ready to offer himself up to Morgan? Prepared to do anything for him?
She pulled out her keys and gestured toward the door, a seductive smile on her lips and a soft hand on Morgan's shoulder.
'He would never, you know…cheat.'
You wanna bet, Emily?
Reid prepared himself. Prepared to follow Morgan and out him as the stupid jerk he was and hopefully ruin Morgan's night of kinky fun while he was at it. To announce that while he loved Derek with all his heart, he was not an on-demand, whenever you feel like it, boyfriend. He would not be used. That was crossing the line. He prepared to go home and scream and cry from a good hour. Prepared to, unable to face Morgan, cautiously ponder his resignation.
Morgan shook his head and Reid's heart leapt into his throat.
She pouted but he only smiled softly. With a disdainful look, she stalked off. Turning around to lean on the bar, Morgan finally noticed Reid's unwavering stare. A large smile lit up Morgan's face as he looked at the frowning doctor.
In spite of himself, Reid grinned back.
Because Reid was the only one who ever got that honest to the bone, true to the soul, there's-no-one I'd-rather-see grin.
At the end of the day, it was him who went home with Morgan. It was him who got to see every side – even the vulnerable ones – of Morgan.
And it was him and only him would could truly call Morgan his own.