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Fic: Come in from the Wilderness

Title: Come in from the Wilderness
Rating: FRT/PG
Challenge: Thank you (November 08)
Characters: Morgan/Reid (preslash, if that), mentions of JJ, Will, Henry, Garcia
Warnings: SPOILERS for “The Instincts” and “Memoriam;” unbeta’d
Summary: Morgan and Reid have a conversation at the hospital. Tag fic to “Memoriam.”
Author’s Note: First Criminal Minds fic, so I’m rather nervous. I’m calling this preslash, but it could just as easily be construed as gen. Feedback/concrit would be most appreciated.

“Godfather, huh?”

Morgan was glad he’d stopped in the hospital gift shop to buy something for JJ; otherwise he wouldn’t have spotted Reid, standing outside the coffee shop and frowning absentmindedly at the cup in his hand. He didn’t seem to notice Morgan’s presence, even when the other agent was right in front of him, and he jumped slightly at being addressed.

“You heard about that?” Reid asked, a wide grin spreading across his face at the memory of holding Henry.

“You bet I heard about it. Garcia called me so excited that she could hardly talk, which is a first.”

“Yeah, I know the feeling,” and Morgan was suddenly reminded how ‘joy’ was a good look for Reid. It felt like years since he’d looked so carefree – Morgan couldn’t quite believe it had only been a few days since they’d flown to Vegas. “It’s overwhelming, to say the least. When she told me they wanted me to be the godfather it took me a moment to understand what she was saying. I couldn’t really believe it at first.”

“And now?”

Reid raised an eyebrow and nodded slowly. “Yeah, I’m…still working on that.”

Now it was Morgan’s turn to grin, deviously. “Makes you wonder though, doesn’t it?”

“What do you mean?” Reid picked the strangest moments to be completely oblivious.

“How things could have turned out if Will hadn’t come along.” Reid still looked mystified, sipping his coffee innocently. “JJ obviously thinks that you’re the one that got away.”

Reid choked. “What?”

“Come on, man, she wants you to help her raise her kid. That’s not exactly subtle.” Morgan knew that the offer had been made and accepted platonically, but the opportunity was just too good to pass up.

Reid recovered enough to sputter an objection. “We had one date! Years ago! That didn’t even go well! No. Just – no.” There was a hint of laughter in his denial, though.

“If you say so.” Morgan winked at him, enjoying the blush on Reid’s cheeks.

“I do say so!” The squeak in his voice was slightly mortifying. “Besides, do you really think you should say things like that – you know – with Will around?” Reid looked behind him quickly.

“Relax, man. Will’s not going to fight you for trying to steal his woman, especially since everyone knows I’m just joking.”

“Still, you don’t want to give him the wrong idea.”

Morgan held up a hand in mock surrender. “All right, all right, that ship has sailed, and I’m dropping the subject.”

“Thank you.”

“But I swear, if she names her next kid ‘Spencer…’ ”

“Do you want me to hurt you?”

“Whoa, pretty boy’s got a temper.”

“ ‘Pretty boy’ is tired and cranky. You’re lucky I don’t have my gun with me,” Reid muttered. The effect was somewhat dampened by the fact that he was still smiling.

“Remind me again of why everyone thinks you’re so nice?”

“It’s a clever ruse,” Reid declared. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ve got a bet with myself that I can keep them all fooled for at least another year.”

“Don’t worry about me, JJ’s the one you need to keep fooled. Hate to see what she’d do to someone who messed with her kid.”

Morgan was mildly disappointed but not at all surprised when Reid decided to respond to that comment seriously. “I, ah, didn’t want – I’m not good with kids. I honestly never thought it would be an issue, but now…I’m a little worried. I mean, a godson? That’s a pretty big responsibility, and I really want to get it right.”

“Don’t sweat it, pretty boy, you’ll be great. Spoil the kid on his birthday, help him with his homework, do magic tricks for him and his friends…you should probably leave the games of catch to Will, though.”

“Let’s just hope he doesn’t succumb to the Reid Effect.”

“I’m pretty sure there’s exceptions for family.”

Apparently that was the wrong thing to say. Reid’s smile slipped, loosing its easy radiance, and Morgan hated that even now, on what should have been a festive, happy occasion, Reid wasn’t allowed peace. “I wouldn’t know.”

Morgan sighed. “Look, if you want to talk about it…”

Reid’s expression had become utterly grim. “What’s there to talk about?”

“This case was hard on you, man.” Sometimes, Morgan thought, talking with Reid was like dealing with Clooney on a bad day; proceed with caution, talk softly, no sudden movements.

Reid closed his eyes with a sigh. “I know, I know, I lost objectivity.”

It was infuriating and so typical, the way Reid could completely miss the point like that. It was also infuriating having his own words thrown back at him, especially since they weren’t being used against Morgan. “Reid, no one could be in that position and stay objective.”

He seemed too lost in his thoughts to have actually heard Morgan. “I could have just dropped it. I could have walked away but if I did…there always would have been that question in the back of my head, that doubt. I would have spent the rest of my life wondering if my father was a murderer.”

“Reid, I get it. You don’t have to explain yourself to me.”

“Do you think I did the right thing?” Reid asked suddenly, staring intently at Morgan’s left shoulder – as close to making eye contact as he could get at the moment.

Morgan swore internally. He really didn’t want to answer that, and he didn’t think Reid would let him off the hook. “It’s not my call.”

Reid’s jaw clenched, and the hand that wasn’t holding the forgotten coffee cup reached across his body to grab his other arm. He looked tight enough to snap in half. “Do you think I did the right thing?” he repeated slowly, the strained quality of his voice making Morgan take a step towards him; close enough to offer physical comfort without forcing it.

“I think you had a right to know the truth.”

Reid snorted. “That’s a ‘no.’ ”

“I think you did the right thing.”

“And why don’t you sound like you believe that?”

Morgan paused to choose his words carefully, because Reid deserved honesty just as much as help, and he was afraid he could do serious damage by offering one and not the other. “Reid, maybe I would have done things differently, but that doesn’t mean that I was right and you were wrong. We don’t know how things could have turned out if you’d done something else. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I will support you, no matter what decisions you make.”

Reid still wouldn’t look at him, and hugged himself tighter. “You don’t mean that,” he said hoarsely.

“I do,” Morgan responded without hesitation, more sure of that than he’d been of anything in his life.

“What if I screw up?” he whispered.

“Then I’ll tell you you’re screwing up, and I’ll do my best to stop you from getting yourself hurt. But I’m not going to think any less of you, and I’m sure as hell not going to give up on you.”

Reid finally looked him in the eyes. “How can you have that much faith in me?”

“Because I know you, Reid. You’ve earned it.”

“I’m not sure I agree with that, but I guess, if you’ve got my back…I don’t need to worry so much.” The twisted, hopeful expression on Reid’s face was an improvement from the wretched look he’d had before, but Morgan still felt pained at seeing it.

“Let’s go, kid,” he said, throwing an arm around Reid’s shoulders. “I wanna see your godson.”

Reid nodded, taking another sip of coffee for distraction. When Morgan tried to steer him toward JJ’s room, though, he stayed firmly routed in place.

“You coming?” Morgan said, his tone suggesting that Reid wouldn’t have much of a say in the matter.

Reid shook his head. “Yes.” He frowned and clarified. “Not yet.”

“You need a minute?” Morgan asked. He didn’t like the idea, but it was understandable.

“No, I just thought,” Reid cleared his throat and drank more coffee. “I, ah, I didn’t say thank you.”

“For what?”

“For everything?” Reid laughed nervously, pushing his hair back behind his ear. “For this. For staying in Vegas when I tried to get rid of you, for, for being there – when my dad…” He paused, the memory still too raw to give voice to, and shook his head. If things hadn’t been so serious, Morgan would have been amused at the fact that his hair slipped back across his face with that gesture.

“When I had those dreams,” Reid tried again, “You believed that there could be some significance to them. You found out about Riley Jenkins.”

It seemed that Reid was determined to carry a debt of gratitude on top of everything else, and Morgan had to protest. “I just did a little research.”

“Morgan. I felt like I was losing it, and you didn’t think I was crazy.”

Morgan held Reid’s gaze for a few moments, hating his inability to find the words he needed. He swore that he would find something that would help ease Reid’s burden, but until then thought that they could both benefit from a change of topic. He grinned wickedly. “My experience is, you’re usually right…except when you’re talking about evil twins.”

Reid looked a bit thrown by the transition. He took a moment to catch up, then insisted, “Oh, come on, it was possible!”

“Sure, Reid. You keep telling yourself that.”

“An identical twin would not be the weirdest thing we’ve seen.” He sighed. “I’m never going to live that down, am I?”

“No,” Morgan laughed. “Come on, you good?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Reid reached up to clasp Morgan’s hand lightly and a faint smile flickered across his face again. It was a start, at least, and Morgan wasn’t going to stop until he’d found a way to make Reid happy again.


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Reid picked the strangest moments to be completely oblivious.

LOL - so true!

This is really lovely. The characters are spot on, and I just loved it!

First Criminal Minds fic

I hope you write more! :)
Nov. 30th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, Reid isn't always a genius profiler, is he? It's part of his charm.

Thanks so much for the compliment! I've got a couple other CM stories I'm working on, we'll see if I can get one finished soon.
Nov. 29th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
I love them! I don't know what you were worried about; I think this scene works wonderfully. It's natural that they'd have this conversation after everything settled down, and it's clear that Morgan is there for Reid above everyone else, so of course he'd be the one to check on him. And if you wanted to explore all the ways Morgan could make Reid happy, I wouldn't complain about that either ;)

Well done.
Nov. 30th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it. Partly, I was panicky because this scene insisted on being written in three parts and I wasn't entirely sure I'd be able to fit them together. Also, I'm still getting used to these boys, so I didn't want to do them an injustice. But it was fun and I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. A follow up isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, even if it is out of the realm of my previous experiences (me = 100% gen writer, until this fic).
Nov. 29th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Morgan is always there for Reid its so sweet great story
Nov. 30th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC)
Thanks you! Love your icon, by the way.
Nov. 29th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
Very nice episode tag!
Nov. 30th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC)
Thank you! I just really felt like this episode needed some further wrapping up...
Nov. 30th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
This is lovely. I love how Morgan sees Reid so clearly, how he really knows Reid and makes the effort to reach out. I think this captures their canon relationship and just puts the tiniest of spins on it. I do hope you write more with this pairing! (For that matter, I'd love to see how you envision them bridging from preslash to an actual relationship, from this starting off point. Yes, this is me asking for a sequel. *G*)
Nov. 30th, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
Hm, "canon relationship with the tiniest of spins..." I like that. It sound better than "OH SHIT I CAN'T WRITE SLASH." =D Although something about these boys just makes me want to write romance, I have no idea why. A sequel would be possible, but I kind of want to see where canon is going with the recent (possible) romantic developments before I start brainstorming ideas.

Thank you for your comment!
(no subject) - innerslytherin - Nov. 30th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shinealightonme - Dec. 1st, 2008 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - innerslytherin - Dec. 1st, 2008 01:07 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - shinealightonme - Dec. 1st, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
oh, how cute...that was very good for your first. The characters were completeley beliveable! It actually could have been part of the episode! Good job! :)

p.s. i love your userpic! Soooo cute! :)
Dec. 1st, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you, it makes me very happy to hear that everything was believable. Always the prime goal for a fic, so yay!

ps. OMG your icon is equally adorable
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
That was a very nice tag to the ep. Got both voices and yeah, I can totally see that conversation happening. There is a lot of love in that team, whether you classify it gen or pre-slash, the love shines through in this.
Dec. 1st, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
Thanks! Very glad that I could make it sound real.
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
This was lovely. Great job with making the characters so real. I could see and hear all this happening, you know? Well, course you know. You wrote it. Anyway, thanks for sharing:)
Dec. 9th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I always worry that I can't get what's in my head out on paper convincingly, so it's great to hear that the characters sounded right. =D
Dec. 11th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
Very nice. :) Extremely well written - I'd love to see you write more of them.
Dec. 11th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you - needing a happy thought right about now.

There should be more coming, as soon as my muse decides to cooperate. She's protesting my expansion into genres other than gen -__-
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Dec. 25th, 2008 08:42 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! As for the slash, well, there should be some coming...eventually. I'm working on a sequel to this, which will be actual slash if I can ever get it finished.
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(no subject) - shinealightonme - Dec. 25th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - shinealightonme - Dec. 27th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 1st, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
This was entirely lovely in every way possible. But out of all the loveliness, this line, I think, has to be my favorite:

Sometimes, Morgan thought, talking with Reid was like dealing with Clooney on a bad day; proceed with caution, talk softly, no sudden movements.

YES. Yes, yes and MORE yes!

So I see that you're one of those writers who are able to somehow seamlessly weave fluff and humor with angst, and do it brilliantly. I could easily see this being a conversation had between Reid and Morgan in the show. You've got these boys down -- their dialogue, their mannerisms, everything.

Seriously, I'm so glad I waited until now to catch up with your fic. What better way to start 2009 than with a gigantic grin and major squees over these two boys? :D
Jan. 1st, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much I am super thrilled that you like this!

In my mind, Morgan (being the nice guy that he is) adopted Clooney from the pound after Clooney's previous owners abused him, and so he gets skittish sometimes. But this might just be born of the fact that every other character on the show is messed up and traumatized in some way, so why not the dog, too?

I was afraid that switching from the angst to the fluff would seem more like I was schitzophrenic and just jumping around between tones...so yays for getting that right!

Your comment made me squee, so I guess I'm off to a great start for 2009, too!
(no subject) - luckinfovely - Jan. 1st, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shinealightonme - Jan. 1st, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - shinealightonme - Jan. 1st, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 28th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Nervous? Yes,hon you should be - THAT EVERYONE WILL ASK FOR MORE FIC!
You go!! This was so in character and sweet and awesome and I loved it so insanely much. And I'm reading this now that you have the 2nd part posted, so I feel very very happy :D

Wicked writing!!
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you, that's so sweet of you to say! I'm glad you enjoyed this ^_^
Apr. 29th, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
Thoroughly enjoyable :-)
May. 9th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Thank you, it's great getting comments on older stories.
(no subject) - mildly_neurotic - May. 9th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shinealightonme - May. 9th, 2011 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 26th, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
This was so well written. I love how well you wrote both of them. *Favorites*
Nov. 26th, 2012 08:02 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I always appreciate getting feedback on older stories.
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )