For those of you who wanted actual Greg/Morgan romance here you go…It is longer than I intended, but I like it. I hope you do too.
Spoilers: The Skin in the Game
Greg gathered up his coat and a stack of papers. It was late, or early, he had never been quite sure what to call this part of the day, but he did not particularly care at the moment. The shift had ended nearly an hour ago, but he had gotten caught up in paperwork. As he walked down the hall Morgan popped out of a nearby room.
"Hey Greg," she said, looking at the folders in his hand, "are those the Jenkins case files?"
"Yes," he said looking at her, "Why?" He was surprised to see her. He thought he was the only member of the grave shift still there.
"I was going to finish up the paperwork on that," she told him, "but I didn't have all the files."
"Shift ended an hour ago," he pointed out.
"I know," she replied a little too quickly. "I just thought I should do this, you know, while it was still fresh in my mind," she tried to cover.
"It will be fine if you do it tomorrow," he told her, trying to understand what was going on in her head. "You could use some sleep."
"I'm fine," she told him.
"Morgan," he said, "you're not fine. You went though a lot, and you don't have to work yourself to the bone to prove you're okay."
"Its not about that," she told him, shaking her head. She could feel her control slipping a little.
"Then what's it about?" he asked, and she could see the concern in his eyes.
"I don't want to be alone," she told him, "when I'm alone, I jump at every sound, see monsters around every corner. When I'm here I feel safe, but at home…" her voice trailed off.
Greg looked at her for a moment. He hated that she had been hurt so badly, and he had not realized it. "Come back to my place," he offered, "we can watch a movie or something." Mentally he cursed himself. That sounded so weak and unhelpful, but Morgan smiled.
"I'd like that," she said, "but are you sure? You must be tired."
"I'm sure," Greg told her, "come on. I'll drive."
"It's not much," Greg said closing the door behind them, "and it's dirty. Sorry about that."
"It's nice Greg," she told him, "I like it." She could tell he was nervous.
"Thanks," he told her. He paused for a moment watching her. "I know I suggested watching a movie," he said, "but I understand if you want sleep. You look exhausted."
"No," Morgan said, once again speaking too quickly and causing Greg to look at her concernedly.
"Morgan," he told her gently, "you have to sleep at some point."
"I know that," she told him, "and it's not that I don't want to. It's just," she paused for a moment, "I can't."
"What do you mean?" Greg asked her.
"I mean that every time I close my eyes," she swallowed hard, "I'm back there. He's standing over me, and I'm terrified." She blinked back tears from her eyes.
Greg reached out and took her hand in his. "It's okay," he told her, "you are safe now. I promise." He squeezed her hand, and she smiled at him. He eyes were still sparkling with unshed tears, and several loose strands of hair had fallen across her face, but Greg did not think he had ever seen anyone more beautiful. Mentally he shook himself. "Why don't you pick out something for us to watch," he suggested, "while I go get breakfast."
"I'm not really hungry," she told him.
"I don't care," he replied, "I'm not going to make you sleep, but you've got to eat."
"Alright," Morgan replied with a small smile, "you win."
Greg smiled back at her before disappearing into the kitchen. When he reappeared a few minutes later, Morgan was sitting on the couch with a DVD box in her hand.
"What are we watching?" he asked her. She handed him the box. "Miracle?" he said looking at the cover of the box, "I didn't know you liked hockey."
"I don't particularly," she replied, "but I love the movie."
Greg smiled again. He knelt down and slid the disk into the player and started the movie. Then he returned to the couch to sit next to Morgan.
"I almost forgot this," he said handing her a muffin.
"My favorite," Morgan remarked.
"I know," Greg replied quietly, taking a bite of his own.
-0- -0- -0-
Both of them had fallen asleep by the end of the movie, each leaning against one of the arms on the sofa. However Greg had not been asleep long when he found himself suddenly awakened. At first he did not know why he had woken up, but then he heard a sound from the other end of the couch. The room was dark so he turned a nearby lamp, and then he turned to look at the other end of the couch.
Morgan was curled up in fetal position, whimpering slightly, her arms across her face. Greg reached over and took her by the shoulders. "Morgan." She did not respond. "Morgan," he said more loudly.
That shook her awake, and Morgan sat up. For a moment she was confused. She did not know where she was, but she could feel two hands holding her. "Don't hurt me," she whispered, "please don't hurt me."
"Nobody's going to hurt you," Greg tried to reassure her. Morgan met his gaze and seemed to really see him for the first time since she had awaken.
"Greg," she said wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her face in his chest.
"I'm right here," he said, putting his arms around her and rubbing her back, "you're safe." It took him a minute to realize that Morgan was crying.
It felt right, sitting on the couch holding Morgan in his arms. He wished she was smiling instead of crying, but he was glad that she trusted him enough to let him hold her while she cried. He knew that she had said months before that she did not want to date a coworker, but he knew that the events of the past few weeks had changed a lot of things. He also knew that he still loved her.
After a while Morgan's crying quieted, and she looked up, blinking her now reddened eyes at him. "I'm sorry," she told him.
"Don't be," he told her, "you have nothing to be sorry about."
"I didn't mean to fall apart," she said looking at her hands, which she had clasped in her lap, "I didn't want you to see me like that. You must think I'm…" her voice trailed off.
"I think you've been through hell," Greg said, "and that takes time to get over. You are the strongest, most resilient person I've ever know."
"You're sweet to say that," she told him.
Greg looked at her. "You don't believe me?" he asked her.
"I can't," she replied, "not when I know that every time I hear a sound I jump, and every time I fall asleep I wake up crying."
"Why have you been trying to go this alone?" he asked her. He felt guilty that she had been struggling so much, and he had not noticed.
"I didn't want to burden anyone else," she admitted. She knew how that sounded, but she was tired of lying and sugar coating. Greg deserved the truth, and she was tired of trying to hide it. "And I didn't want anyone to see me like this."
"Like what?" Greg asked.
"Broken," she said, "I'm exhausted. I'm frustrated. I jump at own shadow."
"Morgan," he tried to interrupt.
"I'm afraid that if anyone knows," she rambled on, "then I'll be forced to take leave and you'll find someone you like better to take my place."
"Morgan," he tried again.
"I mean," she continued, "it wouldn't be that hard. There are plenty of people better qualified." Sleep deprivation was starting to get the better of her, and she could no longer control the jumble of thoughts pouring out of her mouth. "People smarter and stronger and more—"
Greg leaned forward, closing the space between them, and his lips closed on hers, which effectively cut off the end of her sentence. For a moment time stood still, both of them lost in the in the magic of that first kiss. Finally Greg pulled away.
"You are beautiful and strong and smart and nobody is ever going to replace you," he told her. She just stared at him, still shocked by what had just happened. Only then did Greg fully realize what he had done. "Oh God," he said, "I know you said that wasn't what you wanted from me. You don't what romance with coworkers. I get that. Morgan, so I'm sorry."
She looked at him for a long moment. There was an apologetic look in his eye, and she knew he hadn't planned to go that far. It had just happened. "I'm not," she said finally, "I've wanted that to happen for a long time."
"Really?" he asked her.
"Really," she replied, with a smile.
"Then I really am sorry it happened this way," he said, "you deserved a proper date."
"I don't know," she said playfully, "Muffins and movie seemed pretty good to me."
They started into each other's eyes for a moment or two, and then Morgan realized something. For the first time in weeks, she had completely forgotten, if only for a few moments, about what she was scared of.
"Are you free on Friday?" he asked her.
"I think so," she replied.
"You want to go on a proper date?" he asked her.
"Yeah," she said with a smile, "I'd like that."
For a moment they just looked at each other, both a little shocked, and neither quite sure how to follow that conversation. Finally Greg broke the silence.
"You really should get some sleep," he told her finally.
"Okay," she relented, suddenly realizing how exhausted she was.
"Come on," he said standing up and taking her by the hand, "you can sleep in my room." Together they walked down to the end of the hall, and Greg pushed open the last door on the right. "You get the bed," he told her.
"Where are you going to sleep?" she asked.
"I'm going to sleep on that couch right there," he replied.
"I feel bad about kicking you out of your own bed," she told him.
"It's not a big deal," he said with a shrug.
She looked at him for a moment. "It's a big bed," she pointed out, "we could share."
"No," he told her, "not tonight." She looked at him, and he realized he needed to explain. "I need you to know when you wake up that I did not have any ulterior motives. That tonight was never about getting with you in any way; it was about making sure you were okay." Greg internally winced at the way that sentence sounded, but Morgan seemed to understand.
"Thank you," she said, leaning over and kissing him on the cheek, "That means a lot."
Greg smiled and passed Morgan a T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants so she did not have to sleep in her work cloths. Then he disappeared into the bathroom to change into his own pajamas. By the time he came back out, Morgan had already slipped under the covers.
"Try to sleep," he told her, "I'll be right here when you wake up."
"Okay," she said with a smile, as he turned the bedroom light off.
For a while, he lay on the couch watching her sleep. He could see her form illuminated in the light from the full moon outside the window. Only when he was fairly certain she was asleep did he whisper, "I love you."
Then from the other side of the room he just barely heard," I love you, too."
So what did you think? I think the conclusion was a lot cuter in my head than on paper, but you got the idea… Please review.