"Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!"
- Friend Owl, Bambi
She came sputtering out of the filthy lake, gagging the greenish water back into the brackish pool, and cursing so colorfully in her head she was glad it wasn't actually coming out of her mouth.
Prentiss had decided on their first day there, that she didn't like Wyoming. By the end of their third day, she was wishing a plague of locusts on the state. Really, it wasn't the state's fault her luck had been so rotten there, but she needed to blame someone or something.
This was their fourth day.
Emily swam toward shore, still half-gasping for air, and was happy to have Morgan offer a hand to help pull her out. JJ and Hotch had the suspect on nearby path, JJ's knee pressed into his upper back. Rossi and Reid were still heading down from the little footbridge she'd been pushed off.
She kind of hoped JJ caused him a little spinal damage.
"You alright, Prentiss?" Morgan had a hand on her back, gently tapping as she finished expelling the lake water from her lungs.
"All I can taste is dead fish."
He cringed. "Don't go kissing anyone with that in your mouth."
She gave him a look. "And, just who would I be kissing?"
"I don't know, that deputy that can't stop looking at your chest?" He grinned at her, helping her onto the path where the rest of the team was gathered.
"Not likely." He'd also accidentally spilled coffee all over her chest. Twice.
Morgan chuckled. "What stuttering and jittery nerves don't turn you on?"
"Take her to a hospital, Morgan. She's going to need antibiotics," Hotch directed, yanking their unsub off the ground.
Rossi surveyed the lake with a wrinkled nose. "Better ask them for the strongest pills they've got."
"Yeah, yeah," Prentiss mumbled, already heading back towards the cars, still coughing occasionally. Eyebrows raised, and still looking amused, Morgan hurried after her rather pathetic form.
Soaked to the bone, hair plastered to her skull, white blouse turned brownish green, and stuck to her skin in a way that would win her a wet t-shirt contest, and form slightly hunched, she knew she looked utterly miserable. When they got to the SUV, Morgan cranked the heat on, and handed her, her jacket. It wasn't too cold yet, but chilly enough that she'd get sick in wet clothes.
This was not happening.
Normally, their rule of thumb was to pack for two weeks and a day. They rarely stayed longer than two weeks; by that point if they weren't able to close the case, they left the locals with a profile and went home. Usually the extra clothes served as unnecessary back-up, and if they did happen to stay a little longer, their clothes weren't so messy they couldn't rewear them. Something they usually did anyway.
Except Wyoming apparently didn't want her dressed. She had no clean tops. Not one single clean piece of clothing.
She had no hope in hell of salvaging several pieces including: one sweater covered in fruit punch, courtesy of the excited toddler of a witness she and Rossi had questioned. Why hadn't anyone given that kid a sippy cup? One sweater with a giant rip in a sleeve, from their first chase with a suspect. Two shirts stained with coffee from the over-excited deputy, who had to be about twenty years younger than her. That kid should have had a sippy cup too. One white blouse soaked in disgusting lake water.
She also had two other blouses that wreaked of sweat, and sported some unattractive yellow stains at the armpits and collar. The station house heater had been broken for two days, causing the place to feel like an oven. And, appearance conscious agents they were, after they'd all sweat through their shirts, their blazers went back on, and made them all the more miserable. But, those she could hand wash tonight, she just needed some detergent and baking soda. She could also wash the red top that wreaked of smoke from a witness she and Reid had questioned earlier in the week that insisted on chain-smoking cheap cigars in his already nasty-smelling house. But, that was it for her tops, she'd planned on re-wearing her blouses if she went through all her tops.
She should not have gone through eight tops in four days.
Emily sighed in frustration, and picked up her phone, falling onto the bed, one hand gripping the towel that was the only thing covering her.
"Feel better?" Morgan greeted.
"I brushed my teeth twice already. I still taste fish." Just thinking it made the taste all the more vivid.
He chuckled. "How about once we finish this tonight, I buy you a drink strong enough to wash the fish taste out?"
"Are you ready to head out then?"
She hesitated. "Not exactly...uh, can I borrow a shirt?"
"What?" He blurted, surprised.
"A shirt. I'm out of tops."
"No, I just want to embarrass myself," she said. "Yes, Morgan, more than half of what I brought has been destroyed, the rest of it smells. I'll wash some tonight, but I need something for now. If I walk into the station topless, besides Hotch sending me for counseling, I'm afraid I'd give Deputy Drool an aneurysm." Garcia had bestowed that nickname on him.
She could hear the smile in his voice. "Oh, but what a thing to watch."
"Sure, I think I've got a clean sweater. It'll be a little big on you..."
"Whatever, it'll work...and, thank you." Even she could hear the relief in her own voice.
"No problem. You need me to bring it over?"
"Yeah, all I'm wearing is a towel."
His vocal cords seemed to be suddenly paralyzed, until he said, "Now, that's just way too easy to touch."
He hung up before she could respond. Could this case get anymore humiliating?
She needed a bra. Shit. She could not go without, beyond being uncomfortable, that would just cause more issues with the young, amorous deputy.
Morgan had never had a woman ask to borrow his clothes before-friend, colleague, or...well, girlfriends usually just took, they didn't ask. And, it wasn't like he seriously dated many women. This was definitely a surprise, and an amusing one at that. Not that he'd missed how many times she'd driven back to the hotel to change the last four days, or the increasingly aggravated expression on her face. Prentiss seemed to get all the bad luck on this case.
Shaking his head, Morgan dug through his bag until he found a sweater, and went down the hall to Emily's door. He knocked, and when she opened the door, stuck the hand with the sweater in. He'd be a good guy, and not ogle her while she's in a towel. Besides, she was getting enough unwanted ogling from Deputy Drool. Part of him wanted to take the kid aside and tell him he was making an ass of himself, school him on the ladies a bit. The other part just wanted to smack the kid into next week, and tell him that staring rapturously at colleagues was disrespectful.
Not that he hadn't admired the view once or twice, but never so obviously and never enough to make her uncomfortable. Of course, he'd been admiring that particular view more often lately, and keeping his thoughts platonic had been a chore. He honestly didn't know what was going on in his head; he'd always been attracted to her, but he figured after four years she'd be firmly in the friend box. She was not. Well, she was a friend, but line between that box and the 'I want to have my wicked way with you' box were blurring.
Shaking those dangerous thoughts from his head, Morgan walked back to his room, and only waited a few minutes before she knocked on his door. He grabbed the car keys, and opened the door, head in the appropriate mindset and fully ready to meet-up with the rest of the team. Then his mental coaching all went to hell.
She'd cuffed the sleeves, the hem fell a couple inches past her waist, and the v-neck dipped low on her, but not inappropriately. And, he'd never seen that sweater look better. It was fitted on him, but her curves were mostly hidden, though it couldn't hide the curve of her breasts. The fabric of the shirt wasn't used to conforming that way, and showed the slightest bit of stretch. It looked like she'd only combed and towel dried her hair, giving it an almost wild look. It was decidedly hot, and Morgan...
And, Morgan suddenly felt like the biggest hypocrite in the world. He was ogling her something fierce, though fortunately Prentiss didn't notice because she was busy searching for something in her pockets.
He had forgotten how intimate it felt to see a woman in his clothes, like he was almost claiming her as his...and wouldn't she just kill him if she could read that thought? But that's what it was, why teenage girls wear their boyfriend's starter jackets, and men so readily lend their girlfriends t-shirts to sleep in or sweatshirts when it's cold. You're wearing my clothes, that makes you mine.
Except that, that wasn't true now. Regardless, of the almost primal urges surging through him at the moment. He did not expect to feel so...turned on by it. She's a buddy, just a buddy, he silently scolded himself. Of course, he didn't typically start picturing his 'buddies' in his t-shirts or uh, nothing at all. Morgan mentally smacked himself. Get a grip, and put your eyes back in your head before you run into the team, he told himself.
They would most definitely notice if he was ogling Prentiss, and then Hotch would pull him aside for a conversation. That would be incredibly awkward as well as embarrassing. He suddenly had a mental image of trying to explain to Hotch why he his attention was glued to her, and he realized, he had an even bigger problem.
He really liked seeing her in his clothes. He liked seeing her in his sweater a lot. He wanted to see her in more of his clothes. He wanted to watch her bare breasts rub against his Chicago Bulls jersey. He wanted to see her walk around in nothing but one of his button downs. He was even, you might say, excited at the thought. Shit.
That was the problem. That was a really big fucking problem.
"Morgan? Are you okay?" She was frowning and studying him.
She'd decided on the bra that had gotten soaked in coffee and sweat. The coffee covered most of the sweat stench, and she could handle smelling like coffee. At least it wasn't an unpleasant scent-like juice (which also made the fabric sticky), lake water, or cigarette smoke.
And, with Morgan's rather cozy maroon sweater, she was feeling much better when they walked into the sheriff's station. At least, until they saw the team. It took seconds for the five of them to glance and realize that she was wearing Morgan's sweater. Really, would anyone besides profilers or Garcia even notice that?
"If I didn't know you guys wouldn't be so stupidly obvious, I'd say someone had a quickie." Garcia was all amused grinning.
"Get your head outta the gutter, babygirl," Morgan warned her. He'd seemed strange since she met him at his room earlier, and she was a little concerned.
"Mmmm, but the gutter is my home," she purred at him.
JJ and Rossi looked seconds away from bursting out laughing, Hotch was struggling not to smile, and Reid look slightly uncomfortable. Morgan chuckled.
"Seriously Em, cute as you look in Derek's sweater...what's the occasion?" Garcia pressed.
"I uh, ran out of clean shirts."
"Already?" JJ asked.
"Yeah, did you miss how many times I had to change in the last four days?"
Garcia chuckled. "We better keep Deputy Drool away from you then."
"Please," she begged, a little too sincerely.
So Garcia was given the job of keeping the deputy away from her, which she did by sweeping in every time the young man headed toward Emily. The tech would sweep in all smiles, and flirt and gush over him, just before she sent him on an errand. It worked well enough to give Emily a chance to get through her paperwork.
Rossi and Hotch had already handled the interrogation of the suspect, and gotten all that they would. All they had to do was the paperwork to hand him over to the locals, and their prosecutors would take care of the rest. Since it was late, they'd spend the night, and leave early in the morning.
"Uh, A-Agent Prentiss?" She was just coming out of the bathroom when the voice stopped her, the young blue-eyed deputy was approaching her, mug of something in his hands.
She quickly held up a hand. "Stop."
He froze startled.
"Put that cup down." He did, looking confused and maybe a little frightened. "Okay, now you can talk to me. Do you need something, Deputy Hawthorne?"
"I was-was jus-just wondering if I c-could take you t-to dinner, tonight being your l-last in town." He looked up at her, seeming so young and shy it almost hurt to turn him down.
"I'm sorry, but we're leaving this afternoon."
His face fell, and he looked at the ground. "Oh, right, s-sure."
Emily closed her eyes and sighed. "Deputy, how old are you?"
He looked up, puffing his chest proudly. "Turned twenty last month, ma'am."
God, even younger than she thought. "And, how old do you think I am?"
"Uh, I was taught it wasn't polite to discuss a lady's age."
Well, at least the stuttering seemed to have left. "Well then, I'll tell you that I'm about twice your age, Deputy. Doesn't that bother you?"
He smiled. "No ma'am. You're one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen."
"That's...flattering, really, but...have you ever had a girlfriend?"
"Sure, I've gone out with a few girls, nothing stuck though."
Emily nodded, but froze, a disturbing realization coming to mind. "Have you...have you ever had sex?"
He blushed. "No ma'am, haven't found the right girl yet."
She stood there open-mouthed for a long moment, before simply turning and walking slowly back to the team. JJ and Garcia were chattering, and both noticed the shock on her face at the same time.
"Em? What's wrong?" Garcia asked.
She turned to them. "He's 20 and a virgin, and I wasn't as innocent as he is when I was fourteen."
"The Deputy?" JJ asked. Emily nodded, too stunned to elaborate. She hadn't even touched him and she felt like a cradle-robber. It shouldn't have surprised her, considering how awkward he seemed to be with women, and yet it did.
"Aww, and he wants you to be his first?" Garcia gushed. "That's sweet. Our Emily deflowering sweet little virgins."
"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." They all whipped around to see an uncomfortable Hotch.
"Oh god, that didn't sound like what you're thinking, Hotch," Emily insisted.
He held up his hands. "I didn't hear anything...are you three done with your reports?"
JJ and Garcia handed over theirs, while Emily tried desperately to convince him she wasn't a sexual predator. "Seriously Hotch, that wasn't what it sounded like, I didn't and I'm not, he's way too young for me."
Hotch looked at Emily pointedly. "I didn't imagine you had or would, as I said, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear it." He took her report and headed off.
She turned to Garcia. "Thanks."
"Oh, relax, he's knows I was just kidding."
Emily groaned loudly. "I hate Wyoming."
They were back at the hotel, Morgan pacing back and forth in his room. They were all supposed to be packing and decompressing a bit before heading out to the airport, but he couldn't be relaxed, not for anything. He did not like the young deputy chatting her up, not that he considered the kid much in the way of competition...Did he really just think that? Oh god, what the hell was going on in his brain? He needed to talk to someone, he needed to sort this out, he needed...he needed... Hell, he needed Garcia.
He stormed from his room, to the room next to his, and knocked gently on the door. He heard movement almost immediately, and she opened the door with a bright, bubbly smile.
"Hey hotstuff, are we leaving already?"
"No, not yet. Uh, do you have a second to talk?"
She seemed to notice his demeanor then, and offered a soft smile. "For you, always."
He followed her inside, and she sat on the bed, while he hunched over in a chair. "I think I've got a problem, babygirl."
"What kind of problem?"
He sighed miserably into his hands. "The sweater thing with Prentiss."
Garcia gasped. "Oh my god, you guys were doing the naughty!"
"No, we were not doing the naughty," he corrected impatiently.
The tech was silent for several seconds, and when she did finally speak, her voice was soft. "But...you want to do the naughty with her. Am I right?"
Morgan just glowered. He did not like being unsure or being confused, especially where women were concerned. There was many reasons he steered away from relationships, feelings like this was one of them. Do not fall in love, do not get hung up on a girl, and there won't be problems. Not that he was in love with Prentiss, but he was pretty sure this qualified as being hung up.
"I saw her in my sweater, babygirl, and now all I can think about is how much I want to get it off her, and how much I want to see her in more of my clothes."
Her eyebrows went up, and it was obvious she was trying not to giggle. "Oh honey, that sounds like you want to play dress up with her."
Morgan scowled. "You know exactly what I mean."
"Oh, you bet I do...have I ever told you how cute you are when you're confused?"
"Babygirl," he warned her.
"Oh relax," she admonished. "First thing, did these feelings start with the sweater thing today? Because if they did, all you're going to do is march back into your room and take an ice-cold shower."
"No, I guess I've been feeling this way a while. It's just very strong now." He stared at the floor, god this was so embarrassing.
"Okay, and when these feelings pop up, is this just a sex thing, or is there more to it?" Her voice was gentle, seeming to realize how hard this was for him.
"No, it's not just about sex."
Garcia nodded slowly. "So, you're telling me your feelings for our Emily are no longer platonic?"
He shifted uncomfortably and just stared her, giving her an answer with his silence.
"Alright then, I think you need to talk to her."
"What? I can't do that, I need it to go away!" he said.
"It doesn't work that way, Derek. There's no pill out there to make you untwitterpated."
"Twitterpated, honey. Watch Bambi sometime." She smiled gently at him and squeezed his bicep. "Go talk to her, Derek."
Easier said than done, he thought. This was an impossible situation, he didn't want to talk about it, he wanted it to just go away. He rested his head in his hands and groaned.
"She's not a praying mantis, she won't chomp on your head, just go talk to her. Now." Garcia then literally began to shove him out the door.
So, I actually forgot about this story for...well, a while. I started it the summer after the fifth season, and got stuck, repeatedly. Then I got myself unstuck and forgot due to the crap happening the last few months. So, I will post the second (and last) part I think next week. Hope you enjoy, reviews always welcome.
Oh, and congrats to the Profiler's Choice winners!