Sequel to Big Words. You can understand it without reading that one, but reading the first one will make this one more fun.
Garcia arrived at the hospital thirty minutes early, and smiled politely at the receptionist as she made her way to the elevator. This was the third day that she'd left her babies for a few hours and headed to Quantico to check in with the others and pick up some work. Garcia liked to be at home with them, where she could keep an eye on them and make sure they had everything they needed. And they couldn't hurt themselves again.
Mostly it was that.
Especially Emily, the woman was a damn magnetic for injuries.
The elevator dinged and Garcia climbed out onto the sub-basement level, where the physical therapy department was located. She flashed her Bureau credentials at the young man at the desk, and said sweetly. "I'm here to pick up some friends. You mind if I go in? The doc didn't mind earlier."
He shifted around in his seat and looked around, as if trying to find back-up. When none appeared, he seemed to deflate. "Sure, go right in."
She smiled sweetly again, and marched out of the waiting room and into the gym. There were several varieties of bikes lined up in front of the wall-sized window that opened to the carved out patio, and a variety of other machines scattered around. A set of stairs sat in the middle, the railing hung with colorful bands, resistance bands if Garcia remembered correctly. A rack of weights stood nearby, and beside that was a doorway that led to the warm-up/cool down area and the pool. Even in the short time she'd spent there, Garcia had become quite familiar with the layout.
She didn't see her dynamic duo anywhere else, so Garcia headed toward the noise coming from the warm-up/cool down room. She found three of center's staff talking and trying not to look like they were watching the trio in the center of the room.
Morgan was laying belly down on a table, one arm outstretched lifting a weight to the height of the table before slowly lowering it back down. Emily was sitting by the bed, her back to the door, and her cane propped against her chair. Her hands were both wrapped around his empty hand. Their physical therapist was on the other side of the bed, and both women appeared to be cheering Morgan on. Garcia couldn't see his face, but she could see the tension in his body.
"Is that hurting him, what he's doing?" Garcia asked the nearby cluster.
"It's for his shoulders. With his injury it's probably a little tender, but PT isn't meant to hurt." A young woman answered. "Are you lost?"
"Nope, this is where I'm supposed to be." She nodded to Morgan and Emily. "Do they normally have an audience?"
The oldest woman in the group grinned. "They're too damn cute not to watch."
The tech swallowed back her grin. "Oh? Why's that?"
"I have never seen two people more determined to see each other through PT, and I've been at this about twenty years."
The third woman nodded. "Any time one of them looks ready to give up, the other one is right there, coaching them through it."
"They share all those intense looks too, right Angie?" the youngest woman said.
"Especially her, every time he looks too tired to press on, she gets this look, like she's ready to move heaven and earth to help him."
"Well that's because he saved her life. Didn't you hear the story, Kat?" Angie asked.
Kat shook her head. "What story?"
Angie nudged the third woman. "You tell her what you told me, Trish."
Trish cleared her throat and spoke quietly. "Okay, I don't know how true this is because I got it secondhand from someone else. Apparently, she was hurt first, got shot in the leg, and then he carried her something crazy like five miles. Shelly said they were lost in the desert or something."
Kat looked dubious. "This is D.C. There are no deserts in D.C."
"Well they're CIA or something like that, they were traveling when it happened."
Kat was not convinced. "No one, even someone as in shape as that man, can carry a full grown woman five miles. He'd have killed himself just from exhaustion."
"I'm telling you that's what I was told! How else you do think he managed to bust up so much of his body?" Trish eyed her, one hand on her hip.
"It could have been two or three miles. Or that whole story could be bullshit to cover some embarrassing disaster they encountered while having wild sex."
Garcia couldn't stop herself, she snorted in laughter at that. "Oh, sorry I just…wow."
"Penelope?" She turned at the familiar voice and smiled at Derek, who seemed to have finished his exercise. Emily had turned toward her as well. "Hey Hotstuff, hey Kitten!"
Emily smiled. "Hi Garcia."
The tech took a step forward, but was stopped with a hand. Angie had stopped her. "So what's the story with them then?
Garcia was sorely tempted at that moment to have herself a little fun and confirm Kat's wild supposition, and she almost did. But one glance at her two friends smiling at each other, and she knew they weren't ready to go there yet. Instead, she smiled at the trio of gossipy women. "They're FBI, she was stabbed not shot, and it was some Podunk town in Pennsylvania, not the desert."
She went to move again, and then suddenly turned. "And it was six miles. That supreme hunk of Adonis carried her for six miles."
Finally Garcia made her way over to her two friends. Morgan already laying back on the table, bags of ice on either shoulder. Emily had one of his hands in between hers again, her fingers rhythmically rubbing over his skin.
"You're early," Morgan commented.
"You know how I worry about my babies. I guess I was a little too anxious to stay away."
"You sound like a mother dropping her kids at daycare for the first time," Emily said.
Garcia just grinned. She knew she was a mother hen, but she loved these two people far too much to do anything less than hover over them until they were back in perfect health.
"Okay, you guys go upstairs, I'm going to get started on dinner. I'll bring it up to Derek's room when it's ready." Garcia shooed them toward the stairs after they got in the door.
"Yes, mom," Emily said, looking at Derek and rolling her eyes.
He grinned. Penelope shot them both a look, before moving back to the kitchen. Emily switched her cane to her left hand, and braced herself on the railing before moving up the stairs slowly. Morgan was behind her, being extra careful moving his sore body and moving just as slowly.
Like they did most days, they headed toward Derek's bedroom. Being that they were stuck on medical leave together, they preferred having each other's company most of the time. And Derek's room had a TV. They were both too tired after PT, especially Derek, to move much, so they usually just camped out in his room watching TV or movies. Other times they played cards, or Emily would read out loud (the only thing Garcia let him hold was the TV remote or the newspaper comics), or they'd play chess or scrabble, the former of which Morgan was just learning.
They were at the end of their first week out of the hospital, and hadn't yet gotten sick of each other. Though it helped that JJ had smuggled them a few consult requests on Tuesday, so they felt like they were accomplishing something.
"So Princess, what are we watching tonight?" Derek asked, easing onto his side of the bed.
She shrugged, and then waved him to stay. "You lay back and relax, I'll dig around your movie collection and pick something."
"You know, you're almost as bad as Garcia sometimes." He shook his head, but wore an amused smirk.
Emily turned back toward him and scoffed. "I'm so not even close."
Morgan just chuckled. She went back to poking through his movie collection, and then something caught her eye. She pushed some Die Hard sequel out of the way, and then her eyes widened, and she chuckled. "Oh my god!"
"Flight of the Navigator, Stand By Me, Explorers, Batteries Not Included…You've been holding out on me, Morgan. I didn't know you liked 80's movies."
"Yeah, I used to go to the movie theatre a lot when I was a kid. It was kind of an escape I guess…"
Emily turned around, and saw his head was angled away, eyes downcast. Her enthusiasm immediately deflated, and she carefully set the films back where they had been. She grabbed the edge of the TV cabinet, and used her cane to push herself up so she could walk over to him. Emily sat on the bed, and rested a hand on his leg. "I'm sorry."
He looked up startled. "What? No, you didn't do anything wrong."
"You had them tucked away for a reason. They remind you of Buford."
He shifted and winced. "Yeah, I guess. Most of those movies, they're goofy as hell, but they let me feel good for a little while, like I wasn't in my life."
He drifted off again, and she risked taking his hand. "They were innocent, made you feel safe. I used to like them too."
"Yeah, they were."
Emily rubbed his hand. "How about we see what's on TV?"
"Huh? You don't want to watch one?"
"Not if it's hard for you."
"No, it's okay. I watch them sometimes, usually after a really tough case or…" He cut himself off, and looked away again.
"Uh, last time I watched those movies," he paused and swallowed. "It was after we buried you."
Emily ran her tongue over her top lip. "I'm so sorry you went through that."
And she would be sorry for the rest of her life.
"Not your fault. It wasn't your decision, and it kept you alive, so I can't really complain." He cleared his throat. "You know what, it's about time I make a good memory with those, let's watch one."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah…Do Explorers, I think that's my favorite."
She chuckled as she got up, grabbing her cane. "Building a spaceship with your buddies and flying into space and meeting aliens. What kid didn't dream of doing that?"
"You know, Reid is too young, but if we'd known Garcia back then, we may have had a chance."
"Did I just hear my name?"
Emily turned to see Garcia coming through the door with a class of red juice in each hand. "Do you think you could have helped us engineer a space ship back in the eighties?"
The tech froze. "Uh, well no, probably not. How did this come up in conversation?"
"We're going to watch a movie called Explorers," Morgan said.
Garcia gasped. "The eighties movie? Oh Derek Morgan, you've hid your fondness for cheesy 80's flick from me? You have disappointed me, mister." She walked over and handed him a glass. "It's cherry juice, it's good for you. Helps with inflammation."
She walked over to the other side of the bed, and set the other glass down. "Emily the Strange, I'm leaving your glass here so you don't have to carry it over. I want both of them empty before dinner."
"Yes, ma'am," they answered at once. Garcia waved a hand at them while rolling her eyes, and turned to go.
"Did you want to watch it with us, PG?" Emily called.
The tech turned back. "I actually can't, I promised Kevin that we'd have a date and some loving tonight, so once I get you two settled, I'm heading out to meet him."
"Does that mean you're going to let us take care of ourselves this weekend?"
She scoffed. "Of course not. Well, I'll be here tomorrow afternoon to feed you lunch and get dinner ready, and probably the same on Sunday."
"You know, Garcia, we will survive on our own, if you want a little time to yourself," Emily said.
"Nonsense. Besides, I have a surprise for you tomorrow, Emily."
"Uh oh." She didn't not like the sound of that, not coming from Garcia. Morgan laughed.
"Hush you," Garcia directed a pointed finger at him. Then she turned her finger on Emily. "And you, don't doubt me. You'll love it, I swear."
"Fuck! Goddamn it!"
Morgan stirred as he heard a hiss and a thud, and his partner's accompanied cursing. He yawned and pushed himself up in bed, stretching his shoulders to wake his body up a bit. Morgan slid out of bed and padded toward the door, pulling it open, peering into the dark, looking for his partner's pale skin. He found her by the stairs, rubbing her thigh and cursing her cane.
"You okay?" He asked.
Her head shot up. "Oh god, I'm sorry I woke you."
"It's okay. What are you doing up? Is your leg bothering you?"
She grimaced. "Our cheesy 80's sci-fi marathon was apparently so much fun that I forgot to take a dose before bed. I was going to get some water."
"There's some in the bathroom."
"Uh yeah, I need a glass though."
He chuckled. "Sorry, I meant there was bottles of water in the bathroom. Garcia texted me that she'd stocked my bathroom with bottled water and snacks, so we didn't have to go downstairs."
"I know I complain about her being a mother hen, but I do love and appreciate her," Emily said.
He smiled. "I know you do, Princess."
Emily frowned then. "Why the bathroom?"
He shrugged. "She said she wanted to keep everything streamlined, so we have fewer rooms to go to."
"Right…I'll just hobble in there then, and leave you to get back to bed." She took a step forward, but Morgan grabbed her.
"It's going to take a while for that to kick in, and I'm awake enough that I won't fall asleep for a while. Why don't you join me, we can talk or start another movie?" He knew she was in pain and that she wouldn't be sleeping until her meds kicked in, and he didn't want to think about her sitting in the dark in pain all by herself.
"You really don't mind keeping me company?"
He scoffed. "Yeah, cause you're such a miserable person to be around," he said. "Grab your water, I'll fish out a movie. And grab some snacks while you're in there."
Morgan headed back into his bedroom, and slowly sunk toward the ground in front of his film collection. He snaked a hand to the back row, and grabbed a movie. Gremlins. That would work.
By the time he'd shoved the movie in the player and climbed back into bed, he was feeling sore. He grabbed the orange prescription bottle on his nightstand, and shook a pill out, swallowing it with a large gulp of water. When the doctor had given him the prescription for Ibuprofen, he'd been less than convinced it would help. It did some, at least it took the edge off. His whole body still ached though.
Emily appeared at the door, bottle of water tucked under one arm, snacks in her hand, and leaning heavily on her cane. It made her footfalls sound unfamiliar to him. After this many years, he knew the sound of her walk, but now that sound had changed. A soft step, almost a shuffle, and then the second step was drowned out with the firm thud of the cane landing.
"The day I'm cleared, I'm going to take your power saw and cut this damn thing into teeny tiny pieces." Emily grumbled as she walked.
"Hey now, that thing's metal, it could wreck my blade."
She looked up at him. "It's aluminum. And I will gladly replace your blade for a chance to destroy this cane."
"It get that it's annoying, but really, Emily? A saw?" He caught her bottle of water and the snacks, which turned out to be trail mix and some something he couldn't identify.
"It isn't just that it's annoying."
"Oh, then what is it?"
He watched her press her lips together, and her tongue flick out over her top lip. "It's…I feel like an invalid. I can't just walk, I have to hobble around like an old woman. I feel pathetic. And people stare. I'm damn tired of people staring. I haven't felt this self-conscious since I was 15 and awkward."
"You aren't pathetic. You are a badass FBI woman who took a knife in the thigh while tangling with a serial killer. All these idiots that are forgetting their manners and staring at you, they aren't worth your time or mental energies."
"It doesn't change the fact that I feel like jumping out of my skin when they stare."
Morgan sighed. "Well tomorrow is the weekend. We can just hang-out here, we don't even have to go to PT. Just you and me, no obnoxious people staring." He squeezed her hand.
She smiled. "As much as I hate being confined, that does sound nice."
"Well, if you start going crazy being stuck here, I'll have a shirt printed up for you that says, 'I caught a serial killer and all I got was a knife in the thigh and this lousy t-shirt'."
She chuckled. "Then we have to get you a matching one. Uh, how about, "I caught a serial killer and saved my partner's life, and all I got was fucked up joints and this lousy t-shirt."
"That sounds a bit long for a t-shirt." He watched her expression change then. One that was filled with gratitude and guilt. Morgan shook his head. "No, don't you give me that look."
"I owe you my life, and frankly, my sanity over the last week. I'd have been going crazy being stuck in bed by myself."
"Emily Prentiss, I am going to say this once, and then we are not having this conversation again." He cleared his throat. "The damage to my body is not your fault. I chose to carry you instead of leave you there and run for help, you had no say in the matter. Would I have done things differently? Yeah, maybe. But not because of the damage to my body. I don't remember the last hour or so of carrying you, not clearly or well. What I do remember is the blinding panic I felt when you didn't answer me. Do you have any idea how close you came to dying? That's my fault. If I'd left you and run for help like you said, you'd never have gotten that close. You should be pissed at me, not feel guilty."
Emily pressed her lips together, and her tongue flicked out around her mouth. "You're right. It wasn't the best solution to the problem. But it was the solution you felt you had to chose, because of my actions a year ago."
"You didn't chose to fake your death and not let us in on it."
"But I did chose to go after Doyle. I chose to be a spy. I chose to accept the assignment to Interpol, and I chose to accept the UC assignment with Doyle. Without any one of those choices, Hotch and JJ wouldn't have had to fake my death, and you wouldn't have been put through that."
"Yeah," he nodded, "You chose to do those things, just like I chose to carry you."
She sighed. "Yes, but I – " Emily stopped and shook her head. "We could go around in circles all night. How about we just agree that no one is at fault for your injuries or mine except the asshole that stabbed me in the thigh?"
He chuckled. "I can live with that, just keep that look off your face."
"That guilty look. I've been seeing it all damn year, and I can't take it anymore."
"I do not wear a guilty look." She looked away and cracked open her water.
Morgan chuckled. "Yes, you do."
They were silent several minutes while Morgan fought to open the unidentifiable package, and Emily swallowed her pill. He'd just managed to get the package open when Emily cleared her throat. He looked up at her.
"This conversation, why you did what you did, that is going to have repercussions for our partnership."
He froze. "Yeah, I know."
"We should talk about that."
Morgan could feel her eyes on him like a physical presence. "Yeah, we should…but not tonight." He smiled. "Tonight, I just want to sit here, eat a bunch of weird health food, and watch Gremlins with you."
"Morgan…have you talked to anybody about it? About what you went through?"
"Have you?" He snapped, then turned quickly away, shaking his head at himself.
"What do you mean? I don't need to see anyone. I dealt with it."
He snorted. "Yeah, sure you did. You won't let yourself fall asleep on the jet anymore, because when you do you sleep, you have nightmares. You don't want us to know about them."
"I saw the Bureau shrink, she gave me a clean bill of mental health."
"She's a hack."
Emily tensed and threw down the twin to his unidentifiable snack, still unopened. "Maybe I am still dealing, but no shrink can help me at this point. I just have to work through it myself. But a shrink may be able to help you."
He scoffed. "Really? And how is a shrink going to help me? Can she magically make it less painful to imagine you dying?"
"Well no, of course not, but she could help you deal with it…otherwise, Derek, it isn't safe for us or anyone else for us to still be partners."
He wanted to snap at her, he wanted to hit a wall, but he knew she was right. It wasn't safe for them to be in the field together if he was more focused on keeping her safe than anything else. But still…"We did okay before this."
"We did." She nodded. "But you as much as admitted that your judgment was compromised."
"If I agree to see a shrink, can we forget this for now?"
"I don't want to force you to see a shrink, Morgan."
He nodded. "I'm not ready to give up the best partner I've ever had. I'll go and you and me, we'll be alright."
"Good," she said. "Neither am I."
They both settled back, and Emily resumed trying to open her snack. Morgan took a bite of his, some sort of chewy, red stuff. "Emily?"
"Yeah?" She looked over, having just torn open the packet.
"What the hell are we eating?"
Penelope Garcia hummed to herself as she pushed open Derek's front door, and pulled her key out of the lock. It was only about eleven, but she wanted to get dinner started before she made lunch. A theatre in D.C. was playing The Labyrinth and Kevin was itching to go. Garcia was excited to, but first she needed to tend to her injured friends, whether they said they needed it or not.
Frankly, they'd been more cooperative than she'd anticipated. Penelope was fairly certain that she could attribute that a large extent to the fact that they were together, and able to fuss and worry over each other. Considering how little they both liked mothering, it was kind of hilarious to watch them try to surreptitiously mother each other. She knew that Emily was feeling guilty about Derek's injuries, and that Derek still had some issues regarding her safety, but it was still entertaining nonetheless.
Garcia set Emily's surprise on the kitchen table, and surveyed the kitchen. She was surprised that the coffeemaker hadn't been started yet, especially since she'd never known either of them to sleep this late, except after a long case. It made her wonder how many movies they'd watched before going to bed. Shrugging Garcia started the coffeemaker, and then poured two glasses of cherry juice and headed upstairs.
She went to the guest bedroom first, and was surprised to find it empty. Garcia had never, ever seen either of them skip coffee in the morning. At least since Emily had gotten back on caffeine (and that break had been pretty short-lived). Frowning, Penelope turned back toward the hall and headed toward the master bedroom. There she found them both.
Morgan was on his back, the position he was forced to sleep in so he didn't put pressure on either of his shoulder joints. Emily was curled on her right side, facing him. They weren't touching, but they weren't really keeping their distance either. Garcia quietly set down the glasses of juice, and made her way back downstairs, though not before stopping to take a picture with her cell phone.
She texted it to JJ with a short message: I told you so!
In Derek's kitchen, Garcia turned a circle, one hand on her hip, contemplating what to make for lunch. Clearly they hadn't even had breakfast yet. Maybe she'd do a breakfast for lunch day…
The ache began as something almost dull. She burrowed further into her pillow, eyes still shut and tried to ignore it. It began to get worse. Whether it was due to the drug wearing off or her waking up, Emily didn't know. All she knew was pain, and lots of it. For about the umpteenth time over the last couple weeks she cursed the unsub that had stabbed her.
Then she felt movement beside her, and yanked her eyes open. Morgan was twisting around beside her, trying to get comfortable on his back. She pushed herself up a bit, and glanced at the TV. The menu for Gremlins flickered across the screen, silent, but still alive. She remembered starting to dose off, but she didn't remember curling up under the covers in Morgan's bed.
It was one thing to share a room or even a bed on cases, it was an entirely different sort of thing to sleep in his bed, in his home, beside him. It was crossing a line, a very big, thick black line that once traversed may mean the death of their partnership.
Emily pushed herself up, and started to shift her body to face the side of the bed. She couldn't stifle the whimper of pain the movement caused. She dug her teeth into her lip, and attempted to proceed when a voice stopped her.
Emily winced, then plastered on a smirk as she turned to him. "You address all the ladies that wake up in your bed by their last names?"
Morgan grinned. "Only the ones that still have their clothes on."
She smiled and they lapsed into a long silence that was neither comfortable nor entirely uncomfortable. Emily cleared her throat. "Alright, I need to go brush my teeth. It tastes like something died in my mouth."
Her companion cringed and his jaw began to move as he seemed to take notice of his own mouth. "Yeah, I'm after you."
Emily nodded and snagged her cane. She failed to mask another whimper as she pushed herself to a standing position. Before he could even speak, she waved a hand behind herself at Morgan. The profiler limped her way to the bathroom, cursing colorfully in her head at the pain and the cane.
Then she ran into Garcia. Fuck.
"Oh, Good Morning, sleepyhead. You and Derek fall asleep watching movies?" The tech greeted.
"Huh? Oh yeah, we did…How was your date with Kevin?"
Garcia grinned. "X-rated, just like all the good ones."
Emily smiled. "Glad it went well then."
The tech practically purred. "Yep, Kevin is very good with all the lady parts."
She chuckled and made her way into the bathroom, sighing with relief that Garcia had, for once, not jumped to any conclusions upon catching her coming out of Morgan's bedroom. By the time she made it to the sink, her thigh was throbbing.
Emily's mouth was full of toothbrush and foam when Garcia appeared again.
"Hey sweetie, here's a pill," she grabbed one of the bottles of water. "And some water. Take it, and go relax with Derek a bit. When you're feeling up to it, you guys cn come down and eat, and I'll give you your surprise. Give me about twenty minutes though, I have some cooking to finish and I have to let Clooney out back."
The profiler could only nod.
So many notes for this one. First, this one has been really hard for me to write, because there is little plot, and I don't write light-on-plot stories very well. It also took a few odd turns that I wasn't suspecting. My friend ditzieblonde asked to see Morgan and Emily's recovery, so this story is for her.
Second thing, between writing Big Words and this story, I fell and sprained my foot (yes foot, not ankle, apparently it's possible), so initial image I had in my head for this story (Emily hobbling around, snarking and cursing her cane, her injury and the world) that became me. It sucked. But this story in my head let me laugh when I wanted to throw my cane out the window and say fuckall to everything. I'm sure I vented through her a bit, hopefully it's still in character. :)
Third thing, cheesy 80's sci-fi flicks are awesome.
Thanks for reading, and reviews are always welcome!