- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Episode Related
Aaron Hotchner looked up from his desk when one of his agents entered his office and closed the door behind him. He raised an eyebrow when Derek Morgan handed him a manila file folder. He almost didn’t open it, fearing that Morgan had decided to take the transfer to New York, despite what Hotch had said to him.
“It’s not what you think,” Morgan said, smiling a little ruefully.
Hotch opened the folder and stared blankly at the form inside. It was a request for leave. Not what he was expecting then. He looked back up at Morgan. “Have you made a decision?” He asked, knowing that just because Morgan hadn’t taken the transfer didn’t mean he wasn’t still considering it.
“I’m staying,” Morgan answered without hesitation.
“But?” Hotch asked knowing that there must be more, especially if Morgan was requesting time off.
Morgan shrugged uncomfortably. As much as he respected Hotch, he didn’t want to be discussing this with him. “I thought about what you said.” He said quietly. “You were right, about the trust thing.”
“And you think some time off will help?” Hotch asked skeptically.
“I need to go home. It’s just something I have to do.” Morgan refused to be any more specific than that. He looked at Hotch, trying to gauge what Hotch truly felt about his request. Sometimes the man was hard to read. “I know this isn’t a good time, with Reid leaving for Vegas tomorrow, but…” He hesitated, not wanting to explain that one of the reasons he had asked for this time was precisely because Reid was going to be gone.
Hotch looked down at the form in his hand and then grabbed a pen to sign the bottom.
“Thank you,” Morgan said sincerely.
Hotch nodded. “It’s actually a good time. Our caseload will be a little light. J.J.’s trying to streamline to get ready for her temporary replacement, I still haven’t been cleared for flight and as you mentioned Reid is starting his vacation.” He smiled slightly. “You couldn’t have picked a better time if you’d planned it.”
Morgan took the form from Hotch and left the room quietly, not sure if the older man was fishing for information or if that comment had been as innocuous at it sounded.
By the time he returned to his desk after his afternoon hand-to-hand class, he found Emily typing up a report. Reid’s desk was suspiciously empty. Neat and empty, which indicated maybe he’d missed the younger agent.
“Did Reid leave?” Morgan asked as he began tidying his own workstation.
Prentiss looked up from her computer. “What? Yeah, about a half-hour ago.” She watched Morgan for a minute. “Are you going to take that job in New York?”
He looked across at her in surprise. No one had asked him about it, aside from Rossi that night in the Hotel bar. “What and leave you all to your own devices? I don’t think so.” He grinned.
Emily smiled. “I’m glad. We’d miss you.”
Morgan shrugged as he put on his jacket. “Of course you would.”
He had one more stop to make before he could leave.
Penelope Garcia was firmly entrenched in the cyber world trying to find some elusive information for one of the other profiling teams when she heard someone enter her domain. “What can I do for you, my lovely?” She asked not looking away from her screen.
“Baby Girl,” Morgan said, closing the door behind her.
Garcia stopped typing and turned around. Morgan looked tense, still gorgeous, but tense. “What’s wrong?” She asked rolling closer.
Morgan shook his head. “Nothing. I just need to get some stuff sorted out, in my head. I’m taking a couple of weeks off, going home to Chicago. I just didn’t want to leave without saying something.”
Penelope narrowed her eyes at Morgan. “Is this about that job in New York?”
Morgan laughed, though it wasn’t entirely funny. “No, Mama. Hotch said something to me, and it made me think that maybe it’s time I…” He trailed off, not sure what exactly he was trying to say. He and Garcia were close, and they flirted a lot, but mostly it was in fun. He’d never had a serious heart to heart with her, not about what happened in Chicago last year, not about any of the fucked up things that had happened since then. He was more comfortable talking to her about personal stuff than with Hotch, but he still didn’t feel comfortable talking about it, not until he got everything sorted out in his own head at least.
Penelope let him trail off into silence, as she watched him. She pulled him into a hug after a moment. “I’m proud of you, studmuffin.” She whispered, squeezing him a little tighter than necessary.
Morgan pulled away to look at her, smiling. “You stay out of trouble while I’m gone. Tell Kevin I don’t want to have to hurt him when I return.” He backed away from her, eager to get out of the building and home to pack.
“Oh and Derek?” Penelope asked sweetly.
“Yes, Mama?” He paused, one hand on the door handle.
“If you need to talk, I’m always here.”
“I know, sweetness.” Morgan smiled at her, knowing that he wouldn’t call her to talk about his problems, but that she would listen if he needed her to.
Doctor Spencer Reid arrived in Vegas as scheduled. He hadn’t told his mother he was coming, just in case something had come up at work. To be honest he wasn’t sure that he wouldn’t totally chicken out. He hadn’t seen her since before Tobias Hankel and he didn’t know if she’d see the differences in him.
She wasn’t always aware enough to notice when he visited, but when she was, his mother often had a way of seeing through the distance he cloaked himself in as if it wasn’t even there. She always seemed to know when something wasn’t quite right, and although there wasn’t anything wrong, specifically, some days he still had trouble coping with the day-to-day things.
He hadn’t come to visit her after Hankel, he was having too much trouble just existing to try and pretend everything was fine. Even after he stopped using the Dilaudid, there was still the craving. He had told Gideon he was struggling, and that was true, truer than he felt comfortable admitting.
This trip was overdue and a chance for him to make up to his mother the absences she must have felt over the past couple of years. He didn’t think he could explain to her exactly what had happened, but he didn’t think he had to pretend something hadn’t happened.
“Doctor Reid, how nice to see you.” The receptionist at Bennington smiled at him, bringing him out of his own head, if just for a moment.
“Doctor Norman didn’t tell us you were coming to visit.”
“He didn’t know.” Spencer tried to smile, but he wasn’t sure how successful he was. “How is she?”
Marianne smiled. “You know she has good days and bad ones. Today’s a good day.” She nodded towards the room off to the right where Diana liked to sit and read.
Reid stood in the doorway and watched his mother read. She would pause occasionally and look out the window as if she was thinking about a particular passage in the book. Reid smiled. He felt slightly nervous about coming to visit after all this time, but it wasn’t the same type of fear he had felt during the whole mess with Randall Gardner. He wasn’t fighting the urge to run away, not anymore.
He took a deep breath and stepped closer. Diana Reid turned her head a bit and smiled. “Spencer. What are you doing here?”
Reid sat across from his mother. “I came to see you.”
She smiled again. “Wonderful.”
Derek Morgan entered the youth center with determination. He’d told Carl Buford that someone else would run the center long after he was gone, and while he wasn’t serious about doing it himself, he was honest enough with himself to realize that avoiding the place for the rest of his life felt too much like cowardice to him.
Regardless of how Buford had perverted this place, it could still do a lot of good for the neighborhood kids. After he’d returned from Chicago after that whole sordid mess, he started sending in donations, hoping he could help in some small way after the community was torn apart. He didn’t feel bad about what happened; only that it had taken so many years for him to put a stop to it and that his dirty laundry got aired in front of the team that way.
The team had been circumspect about it though. They had all respected his privacy and not brought it up once they’d returned, except the one time Gideon had tried to talk about it. Morgan had shot him down cold and it was never mentioned again. At the time he had been relieved, but now, nearly two years later, Morgan was wondering if maybe he should have talked about it, with someone.
The problem with talking about it was that he would have to actually talk about it, which he wasn’t entirely certain he was ready for, even after all this time. While his team at the BAU were more than colleagues, he didn’t feel comfortable talking with them about his own personal demons. Discussing it with his mom, or even Desiree or Sarah might be an option except that they still felt guilty that they hadn’t known what was going on.
Ultimately he had decided it would be best to deal with it on his own, which until recently had meant not dealing with it at all.
That was about to change.
“Derek Morgan?” A young woman stood up from a work desk in the corner, looking at him uncertainly. “You are Derek Morgan, right?”
Morgan blinked and stepped forward to shake her hand. She looked vaguely familiar, but he wasn’t sure where she would have known her from. She was tall and kind of gangly, the type of woman who could have passed for a man back in high school.
“Do I know you?” He asked her with a smile.
“Bernadette Mallory. I went to school with Desiree.”
Morgan tried to remember her but was coming up with nothing. Unlike Sarah’s sometimes argumentative personality, Desiree was always quieter. She didn’t have many friends, just a few people she studied with on occasion.
Bernadette grinned, showing off a lot of teeth and Morgan had a sudden flash of someone with braces and limbs too large for their body. “Everyone called me Bernie then, actually they still do. It’s possible you thought I was a boy.” She shrugged ruefully.
Morgan blinked, not sure what to say to that. The fact was he could almost remember her now. He shook his head slightly. “What are you doing here?”
“I run the center now.” She said as if Morgan should have known that. She looked Morgan over carefully. “I didn’t expect to see you again, especially not here.”
Morgan frowned, trying to remember if he had seen the woman at all during that whole mess a couple of years ago, or if Desiree had mentioned anything about her in any of their phone calls. “How long have you worked here?” He asked instead.
Bernadette frowned. “Since right after. My brother Tommy used to spend all his free time here when I was too busy with school. I had just graduated when everything happened. I didn’t want to see the place closed down, not when there were so many people it could still help.”
“That’s actually why I’m here,” Morgan said, not wanting to get into a discussion regarding what had happened, even if it wasn’t exactly a secret, not anymore.
Bernadette blinked. “Did you want to see what we’ve done with the money you’ve donated?” She started to move back towards the desk. “You can take a look at the books if you want, or have someone else…”
“Wait, no.” Morgan interrupted. “I was hoping I could do something else to help. Maybe some manual labor? You have anything that needs fixing?”
Bernadette stopped and looked at the agent in mild surprise. “You want to fix something?” She asked hesitantly.
Morgan shrugged uncomfortably, realizing he might have to be more forthcoming than he had intended. “What happened here, when I was a kid, it sort of tainted all my good memories of the place. I want to…” He wasn’t sure what else to say.
“Make new ones?” Bernadette asked softly. “Okay.” She nodded. “We just added a new room around back, but it’s nothing more than foundation at the moment. It needs painting, and carpeting,” She said, as she moved to a door in the back wall that led to the room in question. “I don’t suppose you have experience with that sort of thing.”
Morgan looked inside the room and smiled, thinking of the work he’d done on his different properties in between rentals. “As a matter of fact, I do. What did you have planned?”
Bernadette smiled. “Des thought that maybe we could offer tutoring and maybe some help with applications, for jobs, college, that sort of thing. But we didn’t really have the space.” She winked at him “Until regular donations started coming in.” She looked away from him, remembering what Desiree had told her about how Morgan refused to talk about the center or the money he had donated. “We’re hoping to get some desks and chairs, maybe some computers, a printer, that sort of thing.”
Morgan nodded. “I’ve done a little carpeting, and some painting before. I’m sure I can help.”
Bernadette smiled. “Well then, I’ll leave you to figure what kinds of supplies you might need. There are a few boys that’ll be in later this afternoon who can probably lend a hand.”
Morgan watched her leave and turned back to the unfinished room. He wasn’t sure how much this would help him sort out his own issues, but it was a start.
Spencer Reid leaned against the doorway to his mother’s room and smiled. It wasn’t that early and normally his mother would have been awake but they had stayed up most of the night talking. It hadn’t been nearly as difficult or as awkward as he had feared.
Watching her sleep now was different than all those times when he was growing up and she couldn’t get out of bed for days on end. Now it wasn’t her illness driving her sleep, just exhaustion from staying up past her normal bedtime.
Spencer turned at the sound of his name. “Doctor Norman?” The director of the Bennington Sanitarium approached him, looking tired, though he tried to smile. “I was wondering if I could have a word with you.”
Reid frowned but nodded and followed the older man away from the residential section and towards where Doctor Norman’s office was. Once they were seated inside, Spencer eyed the man speculatively. He seemed both nervous and hesitant, as if he wanted to ask a question but wasn’t sure if he should.
“Doctor Norman? Is this about my mother?” Reid asked. He didn’t think it was, judging from the man’s behavior, especially considering Diana had been in a good phase last night.
“Oh, no.” Doctor Norman shook his head and sighed. “It’s about another patient, Marguerite Elway.” He moved around his desk and opened a locked a safe drawer, pulling out a thick file. “She was brought here five years ago, catatonic. She was eventually diagnosed with some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it was unclear what type of trauma led to it.”
Reid watched the other doctor carefully, noticing not only what he was saying, but also what he wasn’t. “Was she alone?” He asked, knowing she wasn’t.
“No. Her husband was in a coma. He woke up recently, claims she went crazy and killed their children, and then tried to kill him.”
“But you don’t believe him.” Reid guessed reaching over for the thick file he assumed carried the case files regarding the Elway children.
“No,” Norman admitted. “Marguerite has been slowly coming out of her catatonia. When she does speak, she won’t admit to anything but she won’t defend herself either.”
Reid looked through the crime scene pictures quickly, imprinting them to memory as well as the statements of the neighbors at the time of the incident. He closed the file. “You want me to look into it?” He asked quietly. Normally he probably wouldn’t consider it. Every time he tried to do something like this on his own, people got hurt. But, Doctor Norman looked after his mother when he couldn’t. What would it hurt?
He looked at the psychiatrist. “You know I have no jurisdiction here. It will be unofficial at best.”
Doctor Norman nodded. “I know. I just want to help Marguerite face whatever she needs to in order to heal.”
Reid picked the case file and nodded his head once before leaving the office. “Tell my mother I’ll be back soon.”
“Are you going to tell me why you’re here?” Sarah asked with a raised eyebrow handing Derek a cup of coffee.
Derek grinned. “What, you don’t want to see me?”
Sarah continued to stare at him in that way that reminded him of when they were kids and he’d done something wrong, and she knew he had done something wrong and was just waiting for him to admit to it. She got that look from their mother. He sighed.
“I just…I wanted to come home.” Derek said, unable to articulate exactly why he was there. After everything that had happened with Buford, his sisters avoided talking about it, and he was never sure if it was because it made them uncomfortable, because it made Mama unhappy or if it was to spare Derek from talking about it, like they knew he wasn’t ready.
“Is this about Carl Buford?” Sarah asked quietly.
Derek looked up at her, surprised she had asked so bluntly, though he didn’t know why. Sarah was always more forward about things than most people. “Sort of.” He shrugged.
“Why now?” She asked taking a sip of her own coffee.
“My boss said something to me recently, and it made me realize that maybe I hadn’t dealt with all that stuff,” Derek admitted. “I wanted to think I was past it, that it was behind me, but…”
Sarah nodded. “Is that why you’ve been working over at the center?”
Derek nodded. “I guess I just needed some closure.”
Sarah smiled. “And did you get it?” She knew Derek had been over at the center for the past four days, and hoped it was actually doing some good because whatever had caused Derek to return home unexpectedly needed to be dealt with before he could move on. Derek needed to move on, that much she knew.
“I think so.” Derek nodded more to himself than his sister. Suddenly he grinned at her. “Des tells me you have a new boyfriend. So am I going to meet this Prince Charming?”
Considering he was on vacation and not, strictly speaking, on-the-job, things went fairly well at the police station. The local detective who handled the case told Reid what he could about the crime and his opinion regarding what might have happened. Reid felt he had a pretty good idea of exactly how things might have occurred and shared his thoughts with the detective.
It wasn’t until he was leaving the police station and heading back to his rental car that things started to go horribly wrong.
Reid looked up at the sound of his name, about a yard away from his rental car, and froze. Standing halfway across the parking lot was someone he hadn’t seen in nearly seventeen years, and honestly had never expected to see again.
“Dad?” He clutched his satchel closer to his body. “What are you doing here?”
William Reid stepped closer to his son, just looking at him. He nodded his head towards the building Spencer had just left. “I have a client inside.” He looked around, wondering if Spencer was alone or if he was working a case. “What are you doing here? Are you on a case?”
Spencer blinked in surprise. He wasn’t sure what shocked him more, the fact that his father clearly still lived nearby if he had clients in the area or the fact that he knew enough about Spencer’s life that he knew he could be on a case. “Uh, no, not really. I told…someone I’d look into something for them.”
“Oh,” William said, not sure what else to say. What else could he say? “It’s good to see you again.”
Spencer frowned. “I haven’t been hiding. You could have seen me at any time, had you wanted to.” He stared at the man for another second before looking away. “I have to go.” He moved closer to the car, ignoring the way his hand shook slightly.
“Wait, Spencer,” William said, wanting to reach out but knowing he shouldn’t. “Are you going to be here long?”
Spencer paused as he opened the car door. “I don’t know.”
William reached into his wallet and pulled out a business card. “Call me. Maybe we could…talk.”
Spencer took the card automatically before climbing into the vehicle not wanting to say anything else, afraid of what might come out of his mouth. He started the engine and when he was calm enough to look up, his father was gone.
Morgan was sitting around the dinner table with his mother and sisters having the first relaxing dinner he’d had since his return home.
He’d talked with both Desiree and Sarah, and while he’d helped his mama with dinner he’d broached the subject of what had happened to him as a teenager. At first, he was worried about what to say or how she would react. He knew she felt guilty for not noticing what was happening to him and for not being there when she thought he needed her, but the truth was, at that time, the person he was then, there wasn’t much she could have done, even if she had known.
He was so afraid of Carl Buford, and what he stood for, and so desperate to get out of Chicago and make his mother proud that he wouldn’t have let anyone help him, not then. Now, so many years later, after having helped so many people, he was ready to deal with it. He was ready to move on.
By the time Desiree and Sarah had shown up and dinner had been ready, they were smiling again, and both feeling better about the past and the future. This left it the perfect opportunity to harass his older sister about this new elusive boyfriend she refused to bring over to meet her baby brother.
His cell phone vibrated in his pocket pausing him in mid-word. He reached in and took it out, surprised. He still had over a week left on his leave, and even though there was always the chance an emergency had come up, he hadn’t been expecting anyone to call. He looked down at the caller ID and frowned.
“What is it?” Fran asked, concerned.
“Excuse me,” Derek said getting up from the table and moving into the next room to answer the call. “Hello.”
“Morgan? It’s Reid.”
The minute he heard the familiar voice Morgan knew something was wrong. “Reid? What’s wrong?”
“I uh…I’m not disturbing you am I? Are you on a case?” Reid asked nervously.
Morgan frowned. That question indicated both that Reid was still on his own leave, which was expected as he had the same amount of time off, and that he hadn’t spoken to anyone at the BAU if he didn’t know Morgan was in Chicago. “No, I’m actually in Chicago.” He told him, turning his back to the women in the kitchen, whose curiosity he could just feel. “What the matter, Pretty Boy?”
“Chicago?” Reid asked bewildered, his mind going in all different directions. “Did something happen? Is your mom…?”
“Hold up, Reid. Everything is fine. I just came home for a visit, that’s all. Now, are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
Reid sighed into the phone. “I ran into my dad.”
Morgan let that sink in for a second. “What happened?” He asked quietly, knowing how long it had been since the younger man had heard from his father.
“I was leaving the police station, going back to my rental car, and there he was, just standing in the parking lot like it was an everyday occurrence. He said he was seeing a client, so it might have been an everyday occurrence. Statistically criminal attorneys spend approximately 55% of their time in or around police stations prior to a trial, assuming, of course, the case actually goes to trial.”
“Spencer.” Morgan interrupted before Reid could continue. “Are you still in Vegas? Do you want me to come out there?”
Reid stopped. “What? You don’t have to do that. You’re with your family. I’m fine.”
“Spencer.” Morgan said quietly, his tone serious. “You’re not fine. I can hear it in your voice. I’ve done what I came here to do. I can be on a flight in the morning. “ He paused hoping Reid was listening to him. “Do you want me to come?”
“Do you want me to come?”
Reid heard the underlying question and while his first thought was to tell Morgan no, regardless of what he actually wanted he thought about the question seriously for a second. There was no question that he did want Morgan there, not just because of how unbalanced he felt after running into his father after all these years.
He wanted Morgan there because he missed him, as crazy as that sounded, considering he’d just seen him a few days ago. He wanted Morgan to meet his mother, on a day when she hadn’t been taken against her will from her safety zone and flown across the country. He wanted to have that safety net of Morgan’s quiet assessing glances, not judging, just observing, even at the times that he wished no one was watching. Mostly he just wanted Morgan, as simple and as complicated as that might be.
He took a deep breath and answered. “Yes.”
“Okay then.” He could hear the smile in Morgan’s answer, and maybe he was projecting, but it sounded a little like relief. “I’ll call you with my flight information.” He hung up before Reid could say anything further.
Morgan smiled a little to himself as he closed his phone.
“What’s wrong?” Desiree asked at the same time that his mother said, “Is it work?”
Morgan turned to face them. “It was Reid. He’s in Vegas, visiting his mom. I think he just needed to hear a friendly voice.” He knew it was more than that. At least he hoped it was but he wasn’t entirely certain what he was ready to discuss with his family.
“Is that all?” Sarah asked. It was the first she’d spoken since his phone had rung. He could tell from the tone of her voice and the quirk to her lips that she wanted to say a lot more than that.
Morgan shrugged. “He ran into his father.”
Sarah raised an eyebrow. Desiree frowned, not understanding the importance of that fact. Fran looked concerned. “Didn’t you tell me he hadn’t seen his father since he was ten?”
Morgan nodded. “Yeah. I think it shook him up a little.”
“This would be the father that left him to care for his mother?” Desiree asked, remembering something Derek had said once about his fellow profiler.
“He only has the one father, so yes.” Morgan answered, probably a little more sharply than he intended but he wasn’t entirely comfortable talking about Reid’s personal family issues.
“You mentioned once that his mother was sick.” Fran interrupted before Desiree could reply. “What’s wrong with her?”
“She’s schizophrenic.” Morgan answered, not thinking about how that might sound.
“Really?” Desiree asked, intrigued. She didn’t recall hearing anything about that before.
Sarah elbowed her sister hard in the ribs and looked speculatively at her brother. “So you’re going to fly over 1700 miles, across five states because Doctor Reid needs a friend?” The emphasis she put on the last word said far more than he was willing to admit to.
“Yes.” He said seriously, because whatever else was going on with him, and whatever else he wanted Reid to be, he would do exactly that.
“Some friend.” Sarah observed. She looked at her brother closely for a second before grinning. “I think you should bring him with you when you come back for Mama’s birthday.”
Desiree laughed as Fran nodded. “That’s an excellent idea. I’m sure I have some baby pictures I could show him.”
“Mama!” Derek said, horrified at the thought of leaving Reid alone in a room with his mother. He wasn’t sure what to make of their implications that there might be more going on between him and Reid than there actually was.
Fran sobered instantly. “I’m just teasing, baby. Although he was very nice if a bit…”
“Long winded?” Desiree opted, remembering Reid’s speech on the likelihood of a law enforcement officer committing a crime.
Morgan groaned before standing up and opening his phone. “I think I have a flight to arrange.”
“What’s wrong, Spencer?” Diana Reid asked as she watched her son. He seemed distracted. Ever since he had returned from whatever errand he had to run, he had seemed unusually quiet.
“What? Nothing, I was just thinking.” Spencer said, turning his attention back to his mother.
“You are troubled.” Diana observed. “Is it work?”
“No.” Spencer sighed. There was no way of deceiving his mother. It was one of the reasons he hadn’t come to visit when his struggle with Dilaudid had been at its worst.
“I saw dad yesterday.” He finally told her.
Diana looked surprised for a second then looked away from her son and towards the window. “Was he looking for you?” She asked quietly.
“No. It was an accident.” Spencer said, his voice betraying the bitterness he felt about that.
Diana turned towards her son and narrowed her eyes. “It wasn’t about you, Spencer, his leaving.”
Spencer looked away. “It doesn’t matter.”
Diana started to respond but thought better of it. “Come sit with me. I’ll read to you just like when you were little.”
Spencer smiled and moved closer. Diana opened one of the books sitting on the table in front of her and began to read. After several minutes she stopped and turned to look at Spencer. He looked like he was about to say something but was having trouble formulating the words.
“What is it?” She asked, somewhat impatiently.
“I think I made a mistake yesterday.” He said finally.
“With William?” She asked, assuming that this had something to do with her estranged husband.
“No. Afterwards. I called Morgan.” He whispered, feeling slightly ashamed at how disconcerted he’d let the encounter with his father make him.
“And?” Diana asked.
“He’s coming here.” Spencer answered, hoping she would see precisely what the problem was. He had written to her about Morgan, probably more than any of the others.
Diana processed that. “He’s a good friend.” She said at last. “You’ve written about him often.” She didn’t say anything further and returned to the book.
Spencer wasn’t sure if her lack of a response was in itself a response, if she was just being herself, or if she was allowing him to decide what to say about it, if anything. He paused before interrupting her. “I think I’m in love with him.”
Diana’s eyes remained on the page but her lips quirked slightly as she responded. “I know.”
“You know?” He repeated dumbly.
“Yes, Spencer, I know. I knew it when I met him when you had those awful men kidnap me and force me to fly.”
“They didn’t kidnap you.” Spencer said, not for the first time. “Wait, how did you know? That was over two years ago.”
“A mother just knows these things.” Diana replied.
“You’re not…upset?” He asked cautiously.
“About him being a federali? Certainly. About him being a man? No.”
“I’m a federali…a federal agent too, Mom.”
Diana tilted her head to the side a little and then continued reading.
Morgan took a cab from the airport and didn’t call Reid until he was already checked in. He had decided not to call Reid and let him know he was flying out sooner than expected. Primarily he was worried Reid would tell him not to come after all.
Reid met him at the hotel bar and they just sort of stared at one another for a few minutes. Things were suddenly awkward between them, almost as if it hadn’t only been a week since they’d seen each other.
“Are you hungry? We could grab something to eat.” Morgan said suddenly, motioning towards the restaurant attached to the bar.
Reid nodded and started moving in that direction. “How are your sisters and your mom?”
“Good. They, uh…want you to come back with me in December.”
“For your mother’s birthday?” Reid paused, confused.
“Yeah.” Morgan answered hesitantly. “So, pretty boy tell me what happened with your dad.”
Reid knew that Morgan was trying to change the subject, though he wasn’t entirely certain why. A hostess came over to seat them and Reid waited until she had gone before he spoke. “I was at the police station, like I said and when I came out, there he was.” He wasn’t sure what more there was to say.
“He was waiting for you?” Morgan asked, looking his menu over.
“No, I don’t think so. He seemed surprised to see me there.” Spencer didn’t look at his menu. He always stayed at this hotel when he visited his mother, and he had the menu memorized. “Though he seemed to know a bit more about me and…my life that I’m, uh…comfortable with.” He watched as Morgan’s eyes scanned the laminated pages of the menu and wondered what he had been thinking, calling Morgan. It seemed ridiculous, that after all these years his father could fluster him enough to need to hear a friendly voice, or more specifically Morgan’s voice.
“How so?” Morgan asked, closing his menu and motioning for the waitress.
“Well…when he saw me he assumed I was here on a case.” Spencer said awkwardly.
“Speaking of, what were you doing at the police station? You do know you’re on vacation, right?” Morgan teased after the waitress had come to take their orders and left again.
Reid smiled for a second. “Doctor Norman asked me to look into something.” He shrugged as he took a sip of water. “How did he know anything about my work with the F.B.I? He hasn’t seen me since I was a kid.”
Morgan watched the younger man for a second, trying to see whether this something Reid had looked into was worth exploring, or if it would just delay the real matter. “So, does your mom know I’m here?” He asked, finally deciding that if whatever Reid had looked into was important they’d get to it. Right now, Reid and his parents were important. That was the real reason he was here. Well, that and the fact that he didn’t really need a reason.
“Yes.” Reid answered. “She, uh, wants to see you I think.”
Morgan digested that. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? “Did you tell her about seeing your dad?”
Reid nodded as he toyed with his straw. “She didn’t seem upset by it, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what will set her off.”
“Do you think she knew where he was all this time?” Morgan asked, staring at Reid’s long fingers.
Reid thought about that for a minute. “I didn’t think so.” Reid said carefully, “But she never talked about him. When I told her about seeing him she didn’t seem surprised, just asked if he had been looking for me.”
“Are you going to call him?” Morgan asked after a few moments of silence, focusing on Reid’s face again.
Reid reached into his pocket where he had put his father’s business card, his fingers tracing the raised letters as he took it out. “I don’t know.”
Their conversation was interrupted as their food was brought out and Morgan wondered why Reid had called him. Was it just because of his father or was there another reason, and if there was could it possibly be anything like the real reason Morgan came out here without a second thought?
“Why were you in Chicago, really?” Reid asked before Morgan could refocus his attention on his parents.
Morgan looked away from the other profiler for a moment, thinking about how much he wanted to share. Finally, he looked up. “Hotch said something when we were in New York. I realized he was right, sort of.”
Reid stared at Morgan for a minute. “You mean about you not trusting anyone?”
Morgan looked shocked for a second. “How did you…” He trailed off.
“He didn’t tell me, but…I knew about the job offer, and I also knew that Hotch wouldn’t endorse it.” Reid shrugged uncomfortably. “After…Chicago, Gideon mentioned Hotch was concerned. He thought it was…troubling that you didn’t trust any of us enough to…talk to us about it, before or after.”
Morgan swallowed thickly. “That was a while ago. How come you never said anything?”
Reid looked away. “I was going to, but then…Tobias Hankel happened and I could sort of understand how you felt, not wanting to share every little thing with the team. Some things are just…private.” He sighed and then looked at Morgan…Derek again. “This job, sometimes it’s the only thing grounding me to reality…in the here and now, but other times, it’s so much a part of my life and the team an extension of that there isn’t anything separate. So I get wanting to deal with things on your own.” He focused on his food as he continued, “You could still take the job.” He said cautiously. “Hotch’s recommendation isn’t necessary, not if they want you.”
Morgan sighed. “I don’t want the job, not seriously. I thought about it for a second, just…the freedom of being in charge, and the promotion, but at the end of the day, I’m a profiler. That’s not just what I do but it’s a part of who I am.” He took a drink of his beer and then decided what the hell. “When I was in Chicago that time, I told my mom that the reason I stayed in Virginia was because of the BAU. I couldn’t do this anywhere else.” He took a breath and then looked directly at Reid. “But that’s not the only reason I stay.”
Of course, the waitress chose that exact moment to come over and see if they needed anything else. Reid was tempted to pretend he hadn’t heard what Morgan said, or more importantly what Morgan meant, but he couldn’t, not when Morgan was still looking at him so seriously, and was clearly waiting for him to respond.
“New York isn’t that far.” He said, stalling for time.
“Spencer.” Morgan said and huffed a laugh. “Help me out here.”
“I told my mom I thought I was in love with you.” Reid blurted.
Morgan raised an eyebrow and then smiled. “You only think you’re in love with me? I thought you knew everything.”
Reid smiled back. “Well, not everything. For example, I don’t know what to do about my dad, and I don’t know what’s going on here, and I really don’t know what you’re thinking right now.”
“I’m thinking,” Morgan leaned over the table and lowered his voice, “I want to kiss you right now, in front of all these people.”
Reid’s eyes widened slightly, “You want to…” He looked away and motioned towards the waitress. “Maybe we should leave.”
Morgan laughed. “Eager, are we?” He pulled out his wallet and handed the waitress his credit card before she’d even set down the bill. When she had gone to process the payment, Morgan focused all his attention on Reid. “This isn’t one of my meaningless relationships. I need you to know that. If we do this, there is no going back.”
“Because we work together.” Reid nodded, thinking the same thing.
“No, Spencer, because if I didn’t tell you before, I am in love with you, no thinking about it, and I don’t think I’d survive it if we tried this, and you changed your mind.” Morgan admitted, knowing that regardless of their work situation, and regardless of his rather dubious dating history, this much was true.
There were so many things Spencer could have said in response, but none of them were appropriate for the middle of a semi-crowded restaurant, especially when either of their hotel rooms were less than a five minute walk away, if you included elevator time. He thought about how quickly they could make it upstairs and about what exactly he would say when he got there, when Morgan reached over and gripped his wrist. It wasn’t a subtle, I-just-want-to-touch-you grip, so Reid looked from where Morgan’s hand was clenched around his wrist and up the arm until he was meeting Morgan’s eyes. Eyes that looked less happy, and more concerned. Morgan tilted his head imperceptibly, and Reid followed his line of sight.
There was a man standing in the middle of the restaurant, looking around the tables. It was clear he was looking for something or someone in particular, and when Reid saw him, he knew exactly what, or more precisely who the man was searching for.
“That’s him, isn’t it?” Morgan asked softly, still touching Reid’s wrist.
“Yeah.” Reid nodded nervously. “How did you know? We don’t look that much alike, do we?”
“When your mom was in Virginia during the Fisher King case, she showed me a couple of pictures of when you were a kid. Your dad was in the background in one of them.” He looked over at the man in question, who hadn’t located them yet. “So, are we leaving, or staying?” Morgan asked, squeezing Reid’s wrist once but not letting go.
“I was ready to leave.” Spencer admitted. “I think we have a lot to…discuss, but I’m not running away, not from him.”
Morgan smiled. “That’s my boy.” He looked down at their hands. “Should we look less like boyfriends and more like colleagues?”
Reid looked at their hands and then turned his just a bit so his own fingers wrapped themselves around Morgan’s hand where it still held him. “I don’t care what he thinks.” Reid said defiantly, and although that wasn’t strictly true, if whatever was going on between him and Morgan was going to be an issue with his estranged father, he’d rather know now. He looked up at Morgan. “Unless you’d rather…” He started to pull away but Morgan’s grip tightened and he leaned over the table even further, his lips brushing Reid’s ear as he whispered. “I don’t care what he thinks either.”
It was as Reid was pulling away, surprise in his eyes that William Reid approached their table.
“Spencer.” William Reid said as he reached their table.
“What are you doing here?” Spencer asked, more than a little irritated to see his father. Not only was he conflicted about seeing him again at all, but his timing couldn’t be worse. “Stalking may not be easy to prove but it is still illegal.”
“The person at the front desk said you might be here.” William answered, ignoring the comment about stalking, looking from one man to the next. “Who is this? One of your team?”
Spencer opened his mouth to respond although he wasn’t entirely certain what he was going to say, when Morgan spoke.
“Derek Morgan.” Morgan held out his hand, but didn’t elaborate on who he was aside from giving his name.
William shook his hand but looked uncomfortable. “It’s nice to meet you.” He said awkwardly.
“What are you doing here?” Spencer asked again.
“I want to talk to you, and I didn’t think you would be calling me.” William said honestly.
“We were just about to leave.” Spencer said as he stood up.
“Would you have called?” William challenged.
“Probably not.” Spencer answered honestly.
Morgan stood up. “Maybe we should go upstairs.” He suggested while placing a hand on Spencer’s arm, and knowing regardless of what Spencer said, he wouldn’t want people watching.
Spencer nodded. William allowed the two men to precede him out of the restaurant and dictate where they would be going. Spencer decided he would rather be in his own hotel room, where he felt slightly more comfortable.
Once inside the room, William took a look around while Morgan led Spencer towards the bathroom so he could speak to him in private. “Do you want me to stay?”
Spencer thought about that. He did, in fact, want Morgan to stay but he didn’t feel comfortable asking, and it wasn’t as if he was in any physical danger. “No. I’ll be alright. Just…” He hesitated, not sure what he was asking.
“I’ll be back in about twenty minutes. I promise. I just think that maybe you guys should try and talk.” He looked at Spencer seriously. “My room is across the hall. I’m just going to get some stuff…for later.” He grinned, trying to break the frown on Spencer’s face.
Spencer smiled weakly. “You’re awfully confident.” He turned to see William assessing the room, probably trying to determine if the two men were sharing it or not. “It’s okay. I can do this.”
“I know you can, Pretty Boy.” He leaned forward and kissed his lips softly. The kiss wasn’t anything a first kiss should be, especially not with William Reid in the same room, but it was enough to help Spencer shore up his confidence.
“Go. I’ll be fine.” He said stepping back slightly. He moved into the main part of the hotel room, where William was still looking around the room curiously.
“What do you want?” Spencer asked again with a frown once Morgan had left. He hadn’t offered William any explanations for Morgan’s presence, nor his departure. It wasn’t any of his father’s business.
“I just want to talk.” William Reid said hesitantly. He wanted to ask what exactly was going on between the two men. He’d recognized Morgan from an article he’d read that had featured both Spencer and one Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan. The article was brief, just talking about how the two men, along with their team had helped catch a killer who was trying to convince everyone that a satanic cult was to blame for his crime. The article had not said anything about how close Morgan and Spencer were, not that he expected it to. Now, it left him wondering where Morgan had gone, if he’d be back soon, but he realized he didn’t have the right to ask, and putting Spencer on the defensive right now was probably not a good idea.
Spencer sighed. “About what exactly?”
“I heard you were looking into the Elway case. Since I know you’re not here on FBI business, can I assume you were looking into this for Doctor Norman at the sanitarium?” William asked, hoping that talking about something less personal would make Spencer less defensive.
“You can assume anything you like.” Spencer said curtly. He wasn’t sure what he found more distressing. The fact that William had obviously asked the local police what Spencer was doing there, or the fact that he knew enough about Diana’s current circumstances to figure out at whose request Spencer had looked into the case.
“Spencer.” William said beseechingly. “I’m trying here. “
Spencer raised an eyebrow. “It’s a little too late, Dad.”
“Why are you really upset? Is it because I left, or because I never called?” William asked, hoping that if they got to the real reason behind Spencer’s anger he could try and explain.
“Both of those are perfectly valid reasons.” Spencer pointed out.
“You handled things well.” William said, proud of the way that Spencer had taken care of Diana when William just couldn’t anymore.
“Because I had to.” Spencer snapped. “I realize I’m not like other people. I wasn’t like other children, but that doesn’t make it okay that you left me to take care of mom. I was still a child.”
“I just…couldn’t handle it anymore.” William said, looking away from his son for a second. “It was too difficult, too hard to see her like that.”
Spencer took a deep breath before he said something he couldn’t take back. “And yet, you seem to know a lot about where she is now.” He said quietly.
“I’ve…been keeping tabs.” William said uncomfortably. “On both of you. I’ve saved the articles you’ve written, the newspaper articles on your cases. I’m proud of you.”
“Dad, I think it’s time for you to go.” Spencer said, suddenly exhausted. Hearing his father say he was proud of him, was both something he wanted to hear, and something he didn’t want to matter to him. “I’m not saying I won’t ever call, but I’m not ready to forgive you yet.” He said quietly. “Morgan will be back soon.”
“You do work together, right? He’s that Derek Morgan??” William asked, realizing that the past was a closed conversation for now.
“Yes.” Spencer answered, eyeing his father shrewdly. If his father had been keeping tabs on him, he would most like know who Morgan was, so why the charade?
“And the two of you are…” William hesitated. He hadn’t been sure in the restaurant if they were romantically involved or just close friends, but that kiss just before Morgan left had made things clear.
“Yes, dad, we’re involved, if that is what you are trying to ask.” Spencer answered, getting irritated. He didn’t want to answer questions about his relationship with Morgan, especially when he wasn’t entirely certain what it was himself.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” William asked, not sure himself whether his concern was due to their working relationship or something else.
“That is really none of your business.” Spencer said forcefully. “I think it’s time for you to leave.”
“Okay.” William nodded, raising his arms in slight supplication and moved towards the door. He didn’t want to leave, but neither did he want to push too hard too soon. He wanted to reach out and touch but was wise enough to know that was a bad idea.
“This isn’t what I wanted for you, Spencer.” William said sadly, feeling like there was something more Spencer should be hoping for in a romantic partner, perhaps someone who understood his genius, and loved him in spite of it. He wanted something normal for Spencer, after all the things that made Spencer different, he had hoped that in this at least Spencer could find some degree of normalcy.
Spencer raised an eyebrow and felt his chest tighten a little. “Being involved with Morgan isn’t what you wanted? Being loved by someone who understands both what I do, and about mom, isn’t what you envisioned? Mom didn’t want me to join the F.B.I. either, and yet, she still loves me, she still finds ways to let me know that she’s proud of me. So, forgive me if I don’t take what you want into consideration when planning out the rest of my life.”
“Spencer.” William said tiredly. “That isn’t what I meant. Don’t ever think I didn’t love you, and that I’m not proud of you, of who you’ve become, and all that you’ve accomplished.” He reached a hand towards his son but stopped just short of touching him.
“What do you know about what I’ve accomplished? You haven’t seen me since I was ten, Dad.” Spencer stepped back and lowered his voice. “If you think collecting a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings and journal articles is the same as knowing a person then you are no better than any stalker I have ever profiled.”
William opened his mouth to say something but he just didn’t know what. The fact was Spencer was right, not about labeling him a stalker, but about the fact that the sum total of his Spencer-Knowledge came from third party resources. “I’ll go, but Spencer, I do love you, no matter what you think about my leaving, it was never about you.”
Spencer was staring out the window of his hotel room when Morgan returned. He didn’t turn around but he smiled slightly at the fact that Morgan had neither knocked nor stayed away longer than he said he would.
“You alone?” Morgan asked looking around.
Reid nodded, still staring out at the darkness. “He’s gone, hopefully for good.”
“You don’t mean that.” Morgan said walking across the room and standing just behind the younger man. He didn’t touch him but they were standing close enough that Reid could feel his body heat.
Reid sighed, resisting the impulse to lean back. “I don’t want to talk about my dad.”
“Okay.” Morgan agreed easily enough. “What do you want to talk about?”
Reid turned around, his eyes focusing on Morgan’s for a second. “What are we doing here?”
“Do you mean here in this Vegas hotel room, still fully clothed, or…” He leaned a fraction closer so their clothes brushed up against each other. “Do you mean this…?” His lips brushed across Spencer’s, lightly at first, but then Spencer’s mouth opened under his and the pressure increased, in all sorts of interesting ways.
Reid pulled back after a moment. He could taste the beer Morgan must have drunk at the bar while he waited. “Should we talk about this?” He reluctantly stepped away, trying to get a little breathing room so he could think clearly, something infinitely more difficult when Morgan was touching him, and kissing him.
“Do we really need to?” Morgan countered, letting Reid step away but not allowing too much distance. “We’ve worked together for over four years. In that time some pretty crazy shit has happened, to both of us. I love you.” Morgan reached out and stroked Reid’s face with his palm. “Spencer, I’m in love with you. Even if this didn’t go any further, even if we never had sex, or never touched each other like this again, I would still be in love with you. Deciding what we’re going to do in the here and now isn’t going to affect how I feel. I don’t think it’ll change how you feel either. Do you really want it to?”
Reid stared intently at Morgan, his gaze locked on Morgan’s eyes and everything they were saying to him. “So what you’re saying is not being together won’t change anything, and instead will just make us both miserable?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.” Morgan smiled, not moving, allowing Reid to make the decisions.
“In that case, maybe we should be wearing fewer clothes.” He smiled and led Morgan to the bed where hopefully neither one of them would think about anything but each other.
“You know, when I thought about this, I never thought you’d be so…” Derek sighed not being able to come up with an appropriate word. He tilted his head against the pillow so he was at a better angle to see Spencer.
“So what?” Spencer asked curiously. “I know you can’t be surprised I’m vocal. Flexible maybe? I have been told I’m very limber.”
“Energetic.” Derek finally settled on. Once the talking was over, Spencer proved to be more than ready to advance past kissing. He shouldn’t have been surprised. Spencer usually stuck with a decision once he made it. It was just that those decisions had rarely revolved around sex before, or at least not that Derek knew of anyway. He pulled Spencer over so the younger man half-covered his naked body. “To be honest, I’m kind of surprised by your…skill.” He smirked slightly.
Spencer leaned down and placed his lips over one dark nipple. “Mmm.” He hummed. He lifted his head slightly, “Well I did do research.” He admitted as he moved his mouth upwards and nipped along Derek’s collar bone.
“What sort of research?” Derek asked, leaning further into the bedding and spreading his legs slightly to give Spencer more room.
“I read the Gay Kama Sutra cover to cover, among other things.” Spencer grinned, raising his head enough to look at his lover.
Derek gaped for a second. “You did not learn that…that tongue thing from some book.”
“No.” Spencer agreed but didn’t elaborate. After a moment’s thought he sat back a little so all Derek’s skin wasn’t as much of a temptation. “You didn’t think I was a virgin, did you?” He frowned slightly.
Morgan thought about that for a second before shaking his head. “I guess not. It’s just I never thought much about you having sex, except when I was thinking about you having sex with me.”
“Sex is easy.” Spencer said seriously. “It’s relationships that are hard.” He started to move away from Derek, deciding that maybe playtime was over.
“How so?” Derek asked sitting, his back leaning against the headboard. He grabbed Spencer’s hand and pulled him to lie next to him on the bed, not wanting the younger man to get too far away.
“In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m kind of hard to take for more than short periods of time. “ Spencer shrugged. “Then there’s work, and…my mom.” He looked uncomfortably away.
“Hey, pretty boy.” Derek said softly, placing a hand along Spencer’s cheek, making the younger man look at him again. “I’ve been taking you for more than short periods of time for over four years.” He leaned forwards and kissed Spencer softly. “And I get the job.”
“And my mom?” Spencer asked quietly, looking to Derek’s eyes even though he was afraid of what he’d find there.
“You mentioned that you told her you thought you were in love with me.” Morgan said quietly. “What did she say?”
Spencer chuckled, getting more comfortable and twining his fingers with Morgan. “She said she knew.” He smiled, remembering his mother’s words. “She said A mother knows these things.”
“So she wasn’t upset?” Morgan probed.
“Not about you being a man. She still has some issues with the whole F.B.I. thing though.” Spencer started to trail the fingers of his free hand across Derek’s chest. “What about your mom?”
Derek smiled, remembering the way his sisters and mother had reacted when Spencer had called. “I told you, they want you to come with me next time I visit.”
“I’m sure when they said that they weren’t anticipating this.” Spencer tweaked a nipple to emphasize his point.”
“I think they were.” Derek countered. “Besides, even if they weren’t, they’ll figure it out soon enough.”
Spencer paused. “Are you saying…what exactly are you saying?”
Derek sighed. “Look, I know we have to be careful at work, but I don’t want to spend the rest of our lives hiding, or pretending we’re something we’re not.” He ran a hand through Spencer’s hair. “Is that going to be a problem?”
“Hmmm?” He looked up at Derek. “No. I like the fact that this is something you want to share with your family.” He paused, thinking about what exactly Derek had said, “The rest of our lives?” He smiled, his eyes expressing some emotion he couldn’t name. “I like the sound of that.”
“Me too, pretty boy, me too.” He squeezed Spencer’s hand tugging the younger man closer. “We better get some shut-eye if we’re going to visit your mom tomorrow.”
Spencer closed his eyes, a soft smile still on his lips.
Diana Reid looked up as a shadow fell over her light. She smiled when she saw Spencer standing there with a man she recognized from her brief trip to Virginia. She eyed the man carefully. He was obviously a cop of some sort. Even if she hadn’t known the man worked with Spencer she could have read that from his body language alone. While, she didn’t necessarily approve of his career choice, what she did approve of was the way this man clearly felt about her son.
“Mom, this is Derek Morgan.” Spencer introduced as though they hadn’t met before.
Derek held out his hand. “Ma’am.”
Diana raised an eyebrow. “I remember you, Derek.” She smiled at him. “Please, call me Diana.”
Spencer was more than a little surprised. His mother had never suggested one of his friend’s call her by her first name, and she certainly had never smiled at them quite like that. Though, to be fair, it wasn’t as if he had brought many people to see her, or anyone really. She had met Ethan at their graduation. If he remembered correctly, which he undoubtedly did, she hadn’t liked Ethan much.
“Diana.” Morgan nodded.
“Please, sit.” She waved at the couch opposite her chair. She turned to Spencer. “I think Doctor Norman wanted to speak with you.”
Spencer blinked, hesitant to leave Morgan alone with his mother, especially when clearly that was her goal. Finally, he nodded and disappeared.
“Tell me what you’re doing in Vegas.” Diana asked, watching the man carefully, gauging his response. She didn’t believe in beating around the bush, especially when she knew her son wouldn’t be gone long.
Morgan watched Spencer walk away for a moment, not sure what to say. “Spencer needed a little…moral support.” He finally settled on, realizing honesty was probably the way to go.
“Because of William.” Diana said, her eyes going back to her journal. “He had a difficult time, my Spencer.” Diana said, with a touch of melancholy. “He’s so special.”
“I know.” Derek agreed readily.
Diana’s eyes went back to Derek and she smiled again. “I think you do.” She leaned forward slightly. “Do you love him?” She already sensed the answer to this question but wanted to hear his response
“Yes ma’am…uh, Diana.” Derek flushed slightly though he wasn’t sure why.
“Good.” She leaned back in her chair and picked up her pen and began to write.
Morgan wasn’t exactly sure what to say next, if anything. He didn’t have much experience dealing with schizophrenics, certainly none that weren’t somehow involved in a case. Luckily, Spencer chose that moment to return, looking slightly nervous.
“Hey, Pretty boy.” Morgan said, not thinking about the nickname until Diana’s head came up. “Uh, sorry, I uh…” He wasn’t sure what type of explanation was appropriate, if one was necessary.
“It’s sweet.” Diana said suddenly. Her eyes looked up at Spencer. “What do you call him?”
“Morgan.” Spencer said dumbfounded.
Diana frowned. “I know you can do better than that.” Before Spencer could reply, Diana turned back to Morgan. “I want to hear about your family.”
As Morgan started to talk, Spencer felt his shoulders relax, some of his nervousness lessen.
“That didn’t go so bad.” Morgan blew out a breath. He leaned against the passenger seat of the rental car. He looked across the front seat at Reid. “You really weren’t worried about how she’d react?”
Spencer smiled wryly. “Well maybe a little.”
Morgan huffed a laugh. “Okay, but come December it’s my family you have to meet.”
“I’ve met your family.” Spencer reminded.
“Not as my boyfriend you haven’t.”
Spencer frowned. “Is it too late to change my mind?”
“Yes.” Morgan answered, knowing the question was more about the foreign familial complications than about their relationship.
“Well, since you put it that way…” Spencer started the car, a smile curving his lips.
“Speaking of family,” Morgan began as Reid headed towards the airport. They had decided to catch an early flight back to Virginia. They still had some things to work out before they went back to work. “What are you going to do about your dad?”
Spencer shrugged uncomfortably. “I don’t know. I don’t think I’m ready to forgive him yet.”
Morgan nodded. “Fair enough.” He placed a hand on Spencer’s thigh. “You don’t have to do this alone, whatever you decide.”
Spencer took a hand off the steering wheel and placed it over Morgan’s. “I love you.”
Morgan twisted his hand so their fingers interlaced. “Me too.”
Morgan knew they still had to iron out how things might be different at work now, and what to do if their relationship was discovered. He knew that regardless of what Spencer said, he was nervous about going to Chicago and that the situation with his father wasn’t going to go away.
He also knew that none of that mattered, so long as they were together.