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Criminal Minds; [His] Only Bad Habit Is Me

Title: [His] Only Bad Habit Is Me
Prompt: Country Song Titles
Pairings: Morgan/Reid with implied Prentiss/Todd (Criminal Minds)
Rating: G
Word count: 2200ish





December 8, 2008:
Morgan glared at the bottle in front of him. He knew it was a gift, and a thoughtful one. Who would know how much he likes Australian Reds except someone who listened, someone who watched? He scratched at his scalp. Working in the BAU didn't exactly help narrow that down.

"Morgan, it's late. You trying to compete with Aaron for most hours clocked in a day?" Prentiss rested her hip against the side of his desk. "You do know the day only has twenty four hours, right?"

"Working on a mystery, Prentiss. You didn't leave this on my desk, did you?" The dim light focused on the dark green glass. The red inside carried a dark warmth.

"Wasn't me. Nice bottle. Someone put some effort into this. It's not an easy import."

He tipped his head back and squinted up at her. "You knew it was an import? Are you sure you didn't get it for me?"

"I'm sure." Her cheeks bloomed with the same red glow as the bottle. "I like you and all, but," Prentiss tucked her hair behind her ears "Let's just say that if I had that bottle, it's not you I'd be sharing with."

"You're all heart, Prentiss." Morgan stood up, shrugged on his leather jacket. "Come on. I gotta clear my head. It's too dark for women to be walking in parking garages by themselves." At the last moment, he grabbed the bottle and slid it behind his coat to protect it from the wind chill.

"I can take care of myself. You've let me throw you around enough during training to know that."

"Doesn't mean I wasn't raised to be a gentleman. My momma would have my head if I didn't offer you my arm."

***

Morgan stared at the bottle on his coffee table. He reached for his cell. "Hey Baby Girl."

"Are you okay? What's wrong? Who's hurt?"

"Slow down, slow down. Easy. I'm fine. Nothing's wrong. No one's hurt. I had a question for you."

"A question. At this hour? Derek, and you know I say this with love, you need to find someone to warm your bed and keep you away from your cell phone late at night."

"Late at - ?" Morgan glanced at the clock on his mantle. "Oh no, Mamacita, I'm sorry. Hey, tell Kevin I'm sorry too. I was at work late. I didn't mean to ruin your night. You know that, Baby Girl, right?"

"Of course, Sugar. Kevin understands as well. Don't you?" Morgan heard the unmistakable sound of kissing, followed by a distracted sigh. "What was your question?"

"I was wondering if you left a bottle of wine on my desk as a gift." He ran a hand over the glass neck. The bottle was handsome, fit for the wine and the lifestyle he presented, but not flirty enough for Garcia.

"Not I, said the fly." Muffled conversation and a quickly hissed shut up leaked through the line.

"You know who it's from. You and Prentiss both. Come on, Princess, give. It's killing me."

"No it's not. You're the behavioral specialists. I'm just the geek. Good night, Morgan. Try and get some sleep."


December 9, 2008:
The thick cream card with its dark green envelope was typed. No marks were easily apparent. He wasn't ready to send it for prints. Yet.

Extravagant - unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings.



December 11, 2008:
A chocolate bar rested against his keyboard. 70% bitter, dark. Just how he liked it, Morgan always joked, a reflection of himself. At one point or another, the whole team had heard that crack. Only one person shared his passion for chocolate, but never the same kind.

"The sweeter and milkier the better," Reid mocked him. "Like me."

"Hopped up on sugar and pasty as can be? That's definitely you." Morgan wrapped an arm around Reid and dragged him down to the nearest coffee shop. "Come on young Jedi. Let me school you in the ways of strong, dark, quality foods."


Morgan rolled his neck to remove the tension settling on his spine. He carefully ignored the body memory of Reid's frame or the scent of peppermint bark on his breath.


December 12, 2008:
There was a note again, printed on the same thick cream stock, this time with a crimson envelope.

Addiction - a state in which the body relies on a substance for normal functioning and develops physical dependence


Morgan squinted. He tapped the card against his desk. "Okay. Who are you?" He had ruled out Prentiss and Garcia. Rossi and Hotch seemed less than likely. His thumb traced across the note. It offered no clues but the obvious. And that made no sense at all.

"Another one?" Prentiss dropped a hand on his shoulder. "And you still don't know who it is?" She frowned. "What about one of the bartenders? Some of the people at the bar have been extra flirty with you. And not just because it's coming up on the holidays and they need better tips."

"Aren't you the sweet talker?" He shook his head. "It's someone here. There's no way it could be anyone else."

Prentiss snatched the paper from him. "Not necessarily. Not if they were working an inside job with someone."

"You know who it is." He spun in his chair, felt the punch of a hunch proved correct. "You're blushing. And you won't look at me. You're too busy making eyes at -" Morgan glanced over his shoulder. "At Todd?" He coughed. "You and Todd, huh?"

Prentiss slapped him. "Keep it down, would you? I haven't said anything yet. I'm still setting the groundwork. It's not clear that she'd be interested." The pink heightened the dark of her eyes.

"She'd be a fool." Morgan stood, took back his card and tucked into his breast pocket. "Anyway, she seems to brush off most men. I'm not the only one that noticed how she connects to you. Come on. I'll walk you to your car. It can't hurt for her to think that she's got some competition for your company."

****

December 15, 2008:

He set out to track whomever it was with Garcia's help: three separate cameras wired to text him if there was movement at his cubicle after hours. He kissed her forehead. "Mama, you're brilliant. And you know how I love a woman with brains."

"That all you like me for?" She waved the pink fluff at the tip of her pen at his ear. "Anyway, I know your secrets. You can't hide them from me."

"Secrets? I'm an open book for you."

Garcia leaned forward, the scent of cinnamon perfume heavy on her skin. "This secret admirer you've got, Derek Morgan, you know who it is?" She hushed his denial with the same pen that brushed his skin moments ago. "You do, don't you? I know you're the best of the best that we've got here. Out with it. Who is it?"

Morgan stepped backward. "I've got a thought, but I think you know more than me. Hopefully these cameras can confirm my suspicions."

"Hopefully?" Garcia's red glossed lips lit into a huge smile. "You'd like it if this person is who you think it might be?"

"I might at that, Pretty Girl. I might at that." He winked. "Thanks for the help." Morgan blew her a kiss and headed for the door.

****

It was no surprise that his next gift showed up in his mailbox. A brown paper wrapped package, typed label front and center, with a deck of cards and a pair of dice inside. High quality, professional blackjack table cards. Something that a Vegas boy would know.

Morgan rubbed at his dog's head as he debated his next solitaire move. "How did he know about the cameras? I didn't even know about the cameras. What game is he playing, Clooney?" Reid had no game. He never had. Who else could it be?



December 16, 2008:

"Morgan, in my office." Hotchener hung up, left the interoffice dial tone buzzing in his ear.

"New case?" Morgan knocked on the frame of Hotchener's door. "Shouldn't Todd have called us all to the table?"

Hotch stood up, stretched his arm out. "I believe this belongs to you? It landed on my desk with a note for me. Asked me to pass it along? Any reason why I should do that?"

"No. I'm sorry." Morgan grit his teeth, bit back his embarrassment.

"Ease up, Derek. I'm teasing. Merry Christmas. Start wrapping things up. Your vacation starts Friday at five. Your mother would hunt us all down if I didn't make sure you were on that plane home. She's called me twice to confirm dates and times. She wanted my word that you wouldn't have a case on your mind?" He raised his eyebrow, kept his tone flat.

"As soon as I know, this will be done. Let's just hope it gets resolved before I leave on Saturday." Morgan rubbed the envelope, green again, between his fingers. He heard the laugh in Hotch's voice. One he didn't hear often enough. Morgan knew when his eyes bulged, wished he could control his shock. "You know, don't you? Instead of talking to me? Instead of anything else that might have made this less awkward?" His head rang with the smack he landed on his own forehead. "This has to stop."

"It doesn't, Derek. Not the way you seem to think." Hotch folded his hand over Morgan's, locked the letter inside. "Read it first."

****

Enticement - to attract artfully or adroitly or by arousing hope or desire.


At his desk, off pattern, was another note. This one hand written in a scrawl he knew like the back of his hand.

The next move is yours.



December 18, 2008:
The red wine was packaged up, rewrapped as a gift for his mother. He stirred the chocolate fondue, 70% dark mixed with sweet milk and orange zest. The cards and dice front and center on the coffee table in the living room. Each card, each definition, placed deliberately on the mantle.

The doorbell rang. He wiped his hands on his pants. His move. Morgan held the doorknob in his hand. He swallowed. His move. He opened the door.

"According to research, men who normally consider themselves hunters are often disconcerted when they find they are prey. However, according to many sociology journals, the best way to arouse awareness in someone self-confident is to shake them, turn the tables as it were." Reid shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket.

"Come in, Spencer. Let me take your coat." Morgan stepped aside, placed his hands on Reid's narrow shoulders. "Why didn't you ever say anything?"

"When I was ten, I knew that gender was irrelevant. Some of it is determined by doctors. Jostling or movement in the womb. Gender isn't perfect. Sex isn't as pre-determined as we would like to be." Spencer tucked his hair behind his ears. He grinned. "Attraction is about people, not anything else. Have you looked at yourself in a mirror recently, Derek? Have you seen the way you smile at me?"

"No, can't say as I have." He hung up Reid's jacket. It was thin, flimsy, too cold for the weather. Derek's fingers tightened automatically. Spencer should be warmer in the weather. Even with a scarf to rival Dr. Who. It wouldn't be enough. He tipped his head toward the kitchen. "I've got to check on what I'm cooking. Can I get you something to drink?"

"Coffee? Tea? Pepsi would be fine." Spencer's body curled up into one of Derek's chairs. "I've beaten almost everything in my body. Drugs, alcohol." Each tick on his long fingers sends accidental shivers across Morgan's stomach. "There are two things that I haven't been able to overcome. Two cravings that will not stop." He tucks at his hair again. "Caffeine."

Morgan poured two mugs of coffee, handed one to Spencer. He passed over milk and sugar next. "Caffeine?" He took a careful sip, kept his eyes trained on Reid's beautiful smile. "What's the other one? You said two, right?"

"I did." He cleared his throat, stood up, paced.

Morgan glanced at his doorframe, at the white berries, their green leaves and the red ribbon keeping them hung in place. "Come here." He looped his fingers into Spencer's. "Stop thinking, not that I imagine you can, and come here."

"What are you doing?" This time Reid's breath smelled of coffee and sugar. His palms were cool in Morgan's.

Derek tilted Spencer's chin to maintain eye contact. "Two cravings, Reid. One is caffeine, which I knew you still had. The other? Extravagant, addiction, enticement? The gifts? Alcohol, chocolate, gambling paraphernalia? Trying to tell me something?"

Reid's eyelashes swept his flushed cheeks as he closed his eyes. "Maybe?"

"Look up, Baby Boy. Open your eyes." Morgan tugged him closer, inhaled at the heat formed between their bodies. He watched the moment awareness overtook Spencer's features, and used the surprise to press their lips together. He used his tongue to trace the bow of Reid's mouth, took the open gasp for the entrance that it was. Not until they were breathing more than kissing, lungs burning with the need for oxygen, did he stop.

"Wow. That was -" Reid buried his face in his hands. Still tangled with Morgan's, he carried their joined fingers to his mouth.

"What I hoped it would be, Pretty Boy. Exactly, what I wanted my move to be."


Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
amaresu
Dec. 11th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
I liked this. Very neat idea having Reid being the one doing the courting.
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
i like to think of Reid as a plotter. Thanks for commenting. I was stupidly anxious about this piece.
amaresu
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
No need to be anxious, it was great.

Reid is a plotter. Usually see Morgan being the one making all the moves though, so it was nice to see the tables turned.
carolinecrane
Dec. 11th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC)
A lovely thing to read first thing in the morning. Thanks :)
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
you're welcome. glad it was a pleasant read. :)
justabi
Dec. 11th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
DAWWWWWWWW
penguinlady
Dec. 11th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Mrow! Nice job.
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
I was hoping you might notice this here :)
tarlanx
Dec. 11th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
Liked this very much!
kuiskata
Dec. 11th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I definitely enjoyed it.
(Deleted comment)
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
oh i'm so relieved to read that! this story gave me fits because i could see it better than write it. thank you so much for commenting.

also - i love your icon. a lot.
innerslytherin
Dec. 12th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
It's SO much fun when Reid does the pursuing. :) This is fun.
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
he's a sneaky little thing. he seems like he'd have a lot of fun pursuing.
jalabert
Dec. 12th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Sweet!

Leave it to Spencer to be both maddening and seductive at once.
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
that's how i see him. seductive, maddening and oh so very pretty.
shortstuff8379
Dec. 12th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
I "awwwwwed" and squeeed so much while reading this, it's ridiculous. Wonderful, wonderful job- definitely going in my memories. :D
nouveau_monday
Dec. 12th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
:) thank you so much. i'm hoping there is more in this world waiting to sneak out through my finger tips.
duelpersonality
Dec. 29th, 2008 09:21 am (UTC)
This was really interesting, because Reid was the instigator of the relationship, but not the one to consummate it. It's a really precise balance of certainty about his desires and uncertainty about how to interact/go about getting those desires fulfilled. I think it's a very Reid sort of problem to have. Your characterization is wonderful, and I liked the Prentiss/Todd mention that you threw in. For some reason, I always like to have secondary and tertiary relationships thrown into a fic. Really nice^^
duelpersonality
Dec. 29th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC)
Oh, and another thing, I love the "I'm only addicted to two things" bit, really wonderful way to play out the confession. And, I liked how Morgan combined all of his little gifties into the Big Night
nouveau_monday
Dec. 31st, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. I've never written femme slash, but Prentiss/Todd? They whisper to me in my sleep. It's insane.

I'm glad you enjoyed the fic. It's my second one in the CM fandom and they make me nervous, but i LOOOOOOOOVE the idea of morgan/reid so very very much.
jakrar
Jan. 5th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
Lovely story! Reid having the nerve to make the first move -- or a series of first moves -- is a delightful touch, and I love Morgan's response. *purrs happily*
nouveau_monday
Jan. 5th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
thank you. i'm glad that you enjoyed it. it's not a fandom i generally play in but it was worth it.
(Deleted comment)
nouveau_monday
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
I love your icon. Love it, love it, love it! And thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I had fun writing it.
princesslacus
Aug. 23rd, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
This was great! Beautiful plot, wonderful details and emotions. Sexy ending. Thanks for sharing ^-^.
copperiisulfate
Apr. 8th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
oh man, there is something very sleek and sexy in this, smooth and intelligent in how it unfolds. i love scheming!reid. also A+ on all the voices. this was lavish in its language without being excessive.
nouveau_monday
Apr. 8th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Thank you :)
mildly_neurotic
May. 10th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
I love Reid as the pursuer, the whole secret admirer thing, his speech on gender. This is wonderful!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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