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Lonely This Christmas (CM Secret Santa Fic for ickydog2006)


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((to the wonderful and talented ickydog2006. i'm sorry i didn't write you a supernatural fic, but i haven't watched that show in so long that i didn't think i'd do the characters justice. i have been following CM, however, so here's a reid sick!fic with morgan caretaking. not much sneezing or caretaking in this part, but i'll post more soon!))

Spencer Reid was off... Morgan just knew it.

They were on their way back from a bustling suburb in Minnesota where people were being abducted and killed on their way to finish up Christmas shopping. The unsub turned out to be a temporary mall security employee who had worked at the three different malls in the area to help bolster the security force given the increased volume in shoppers. They had caught him when it dawned on them that he was targeting people who know where the service exits were and used them instead of pushing their way through the normal mall entrances.

Six hours later and Garcia had found them a name. Another two went by and Justin Wandell was apprehended in the mall security office at Pine Peaks Mall. That was what led them back to the plane on Christmas Eve, each person excited to make it back to Quantico in time to spend Christmas day with friends and family… Everyone except Spencer Reid, that is.

Morgan noticed the youngest agent was acting uncharacteristically cynical in the last day of solving the case. For obvious reasons, Reid wasn’t exactly the epitome of holiday cheer, but generally he tried to remain positive as the rest of the world relished the opportunity to come together with loved ones and show how much they cared.

Reid’s mom was really all he had and Morgan knew the youngest agent would not be spending Christmas with her. Nevertheless, Reid generally kept any personal resentment to himself. During this case, however, Reid made several comments about the holiday shoppers and the tradition of shopping in general. The entirety of the team kept their opinions to themselves per Hotch’s orders, but Morgan worried about the kid.

His worrying increased when Reid sat in the corner of the plane, removed from the cheerful spirit that pervaded everyone else who had someone waiting back home.

“Heya, Spence,” Morgan greeted as he sat down across from him.

Reid looked up at him, his eyes slightly red-rimmed and Morgan was taken aback. Had the kid been crying? He cleared his throat softly and nodded his hello.

Morgan resisted the urge to ask if Reid was okay, knowing the younger agent wouldn’t take kindly to being made the center of attention surrounded by all of his coworkers. Instead he did something to gage Reid's attitude. “Want to play a game of chess?” Morgan asked hopefully.

Reid sighed and shook his head. “I’m tired, Morgan. I think I’m just going to nap,” he said, turning so that his face was pointed towards the window. He gave a soft sniff, nearly imperceptible, and Morgan felt his anxiety grow.

“Alright, man. Let me know if you change your mind.”

And with that Derek patted Reid on the shoulder before walking away to sit by JJ.

“Is he okay?” she asked, nodding towards Reid who appeared to be asleep.

“Not sure,” Morgan said honestly. “But I’ll find out.”


Once the plane landed they all lingered as Reid gathered his belongings.

“Spence,” JJ said first as Reid approached the exit of the plane. “Why don’t you come to Christmas dinner at my place? Or I’m sure Hotch or Garcia or anyone would love to spend Christmas with you if you’d rather go there.”

Reid hesitated before shaking his head. “No, that’s okay. Thanks for the offer,” he said politely. He then looked around at his colleagues, most of whom were staring at him with inadequately disguised pity. “Have a Merry Christmas, everyone. Really, enjoy it. I’ll see you in a few days.”

Morgan followed after Reid as he exited the plane, watching him carefully as he saw Reid wipe his nose and then saw his head bob forward twice. “Reid, wait up,” he called, jogging up to him as Reid turned to look at him tiredly.

“Morgan, if you’re going to try to convince me to come to your Christmas or something, don’t. I’m fine’ehhh’ngx’tt. Knggt.

“Bless you,” Morgan said slowly, staring at Reid. “You sick?”

“I’m fine,” Reid said, his voice frustrated at his display of weakness. “But seriously, Morgan. I’m not in the Christmas spirit. Please go. I just want to be alone…”

Taken aback by Reid’s response, Morgan simply nodded, sensing that it was time to leave the kid alone. “Alright, Spence. At least pop in a Christmas movie or something… And call me if you change your mind on wanting to spend Christmas alone.”

Reid barely avoided rolling his eyes at Morgan’s advice, pulling his coat tighter as he fought back a shiver.

“I’m serious,” Morgan said quietly. “Take care of yourself, kid… And Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas,” he chorused before parting ways with Morgan, smothering two back-to-back sneezes in his sleeve. Hih’IGXtt. Txxtsch.


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((and here is part two. i'm usually not THAT fond of my own writing, but i'm somewhat partial to this part. caretaking goodness... hopefully it isn't too out of character.))

Although Reid knew that Morgan was just trying to be nice, he resented that Morgan now knew he was feeling under the weather. As much as Reid wanted to believe that Morgan believed he was fine, they were all profilers and Morgan was certainly aware of what was going on. Thus it was not a surprise when his phone rang two hours later. He shuffled to the couch from his bed and answered the phone, his voice an octave deeper than normal.


“Reid. It’s Hotch.”

Although Hotch was not physically present, Reid corrected his posture, swallowing coughs unsuccessfully until he finally gave in and held the phone away, coughing harshly into his forearm.

“Do we have a case?” he asked softly, his voice barely above a whisper as he felt his throat constrict as more coughs fought to come out.

“No....” Hotch hesitated. “Morgan called me.”

Reid sighed, annoyed with Morgan and annoyed with his nose as it twitched and he felt a sneeze building. Hih’IGXtt. Gngxxt. Gnscch’uh.

“Bless you.” He could hear the intensity in Hotch’s voice, and it made him uncomfortable.

“Thags,” he whispered, feeling even more self conscious as his voice came out congested. “Uhb… Gnoh offedse, Hodtch, bud why exagctly are you callidg?”

Hotch sighed. “I’m just checking on you, Reid. It’s Christmas Eve, and—“

Hih’IZZGtsch. GNTSCH. GNNxxt. Knxtt-gnxxt.

“Bless you, Spencer.”

“I gnow whad day id is, Hodtch,” Reid said flatly, but quickly he corrected himself as he remembered Hotch's seniority. “Sorry…”

“It’s okay. Listen… I’m having Christmas lunch at my place. I understand you not wanting to come, but I’m going to bring you a plate of food.”

“Thad’s really gnod necessary…”

“I’ll leave it outside your apartment. You won’t have to talk with me unless you want company. If that’s the case, call me. Otherwise expect it at 4:15.”

Reid knew better than to fight his boss. “Thag you…”

“You’re welcome. Take care of yourself, Spencer.”

“Thahhh’NGKTCH. Ngggschh’oo.

“And take some cold medicine,” Hotch added. “Look out for the food tomorrow. Feel better, Reid.”

Reid thanked him quietly before hanging up and making his way back to his bed. It didn’t take him long to fall into a feverish sleep, his dreams plagued by his experience with Tobias Hankel and Prentiss’ death. Spencer fought to wake up on many occasions, but it wasn’t until he heard a slamming knock against his door that he awoke in a panic. He hesitated, feeling jittery for more reason than one as the knocking continued. Working in the BAU made him especially paranoid, and he tried to fight the urge to picture an unsub at his door as he exited his bedroom, wrapped in a blanket that he silently muffled some coughs into.

As he heard his lock turning, Reid stumbled back a few steps, wishing he had grabbed his gun. He thought about going for it, but as the room began spinning he knew he’d never make it. He stumbled to the wall, leaning against it as he panted and focused on remaining vertical. It felt like it took forever as the door swung open, and his vision swam as he made out Derek Morgan. Morgan quickly noticed him and Reid could see his face crease with worry before his vision blacked out.

“Reid… Spencer… Spencer!”

Reid opened his eyes, focusing on Derek’s face as it hovered near his.

“Welcome back, kid,” Morgan tried to joke, but his voice was full of worry.

“Borgad?” he murmured, using the back of his hand to wipe sweat away from his forehead.

“In the flesh,” he confirmed, kneeling so that he was near the same level as Reid. “Let’s get you off the floor, huh?”

“Whad… Whad are you doidg here? Whad tibe is id?”

“For a genius, you’re not on your game, kid. It’s 10:30 in the morning, and I’m here because you’re sick… Sicker than you let on apparently.”

Reid opened his mouth to continue his line of questioning, but his eyes quickly became glazed.

“You still with us?” Morgan asked, snapping his fingers in front of Reid’s face just as Reid pinched his nostrils and fiercely stifled four sneezes.

Morgan let out a soft chuckle. “Bless you, Reid. I thought you were gonna pass out again. What was that about? You scared the hell out of me!”

I scared the hell out of you!?” Reid demanded, annoyed that Morgan had shaken him so badly.

It seemed to dawn on Morgan that the passing out wasn’t just because Reid was sick, but rather because Reid was scared. It made his stomach hurt, looking at his friend who was still seated on the ground, his hair wet with sweat and body trembling slightly, from chills or fear, he wasn’t sure. “I tried to call you,” he offered quietly. “And I knocked… But I had a spare key that Hotch let me take from your file in the office when I told him you were sick. I’m really sorry, Spencer.” Morgan hesitated, knowing that the next thing he was about to say would probably put Spencer on the defensive, but he needed to say it. “Do you want to talk about it, though? The anxiety, I mean.”

Sure enough, Reid seemed to bristle, crossing his arms over his chest. He almost looked like a petulant child, seated on the ground with his arms folded, but there was something unbelievably sad about this moment… Sadder than a childish tantrum. “Gnoh,” Reid said tersely.

“Alright,” Morgan sighed. He wasn’t going to press it. “Let’s get you up then.”

“I cad ged ub on by owd,” Reid argued, shifting so that he was poised to stand. He took a deep breath, but soon bent forward as coughs tore out of him.

Morgan gently thumped his back, noting the heat that Reid’s body emanated. “It’s okay, man,” Morgan soothed as Reid’s coughing continued. Reid got himself under control and swiped at his eyes, which had welled with water.

Reid focused for a minute and looked like he was trying to gather his energy to stand, but he soon gave a resigned sigh and looked at Morgan with red-rimmed eyes. “Could you helb be?” he asked softly, looking down in obvious shame.

“Sure. But just fyi, this is your Christmas present from me,” Morgan joked, offering a grin as Reid looked at him in shock. “Only kidding, Reid.” With that he hoisted Spencer to his feet, deciding not to carry him bridal style for the sake of Spencer’s pride. He instead wrapped an arm around Spencer’s narrow waist, frowning at the bones that jutted out. The kid was so skinny. He surely didn’t eat enough. Morgan knew now was not the time to harp on Spencer’s eating habits and he slowly helped him walk to his bedroom, noticing the tissues strewn about. Speaking of tissues, he felt Reid give a few gasping breaths and tightened his grip as the man next to him pinched his nose shut again. Hih’IGXtt. GXXX. GXX’TSCH. He failed to fully stifle the last one and gave a pained sigh.

“Sorry,” he whispered pathetically, sniffling to keep his nose from running.

“Bless, man.” Morgan lowered Reid onto the bed, setting the box of tissues next to him. As Reid eyed it wearily, Morgan smiled slightly. The kid was so stubborn. “If you’re worried about it being gross, it’s far grosser to have the snot in your nose than in a tissue… Where it belongs.”

Despite Morgan’s permission to blow his nose, Reid turned away from him, blowing softly at first before he gave in and attempted to clear out his nose. The effort caused a tickle to ignite in both his throat and nose, and he coughed until it dissolved into sneezes that he had no chance of stifling. Hih’IGHTSCH’oo. ISHOO. ITSCHH’uh. IGHTSCHH’oo.

“Gesundheit. Feel better?”

“Gnod particularly,” Reid mumbled honestly, leaning back into the covers. He then surveyed Morgan, really looking at him for the first time since he’d been there. Derek was dressed in a pair of jeans and a pullover. Reid couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Morgan so casual. It reminded him that this was not part of Morgan’s duty, and he felt guilt gnawing at his stomach, enhancing the nausea he was already feeling. “Dod’t you have Chrisdmas plads?”

“Clearly,” Morgan said wryly.

“Whad are they?”

“Being here. I didn’t feel like catching a red eye to Chicago, so I decided to come here instead. And you better not go kicking me out because otherwise I’ll have to be lonely on Christmas.”

Reid looked shocked and felt his cheeks heat up, knowing that they were probably cherry red against his feverish and pallid skin.

“Now don’t go getting all sentimental, boy genius. I called Hotch and he’s bringing me food, too. But for now you should catch some shut eye because I insist on you being alert and awake to eat Christmas dinner.”

Reid nodded and shivered, beginning to pull the covers tighter before Morgan took over, quickly tucking him in.

When he looked surprised, Morgan reminded him, “My dad died when I was a kid, and my mom worked a lot. I helped take care of my siblings when they got sick.”

“Oh,” Reid murmured thoughtfully. He wasn’t sure if it was the fever or the fact that he’d already embarrassed himself in front of Morgan but as he turned over he confided something so quietly that Morgan barely heard it. “I’ve never been taken care of before… It’s nice.”

“I know you haven’t, kid,” Morgan murmured, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Now stop talking and get your beauty sleep. I’m going to watch TV. I’ll check on you later.”


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Reid straightening up while on the phone with Hotch

And then forgeting about being polite/proffessional and apologizing

And Hotch being so typical Hotch.. I'll stay out of your way, but this is what I'm doing

And Reid being scared of Morgan

And passing out from fever.

And Morgan... oh wonderful amazing Morgan, balancing being caring and trying to not offend.

And Morgan in casual clothes.... HOTTTTTT!!!!

And blessings

And Morgan making it out as this isn't just for you, I'm making Hotch bring me food too

And a little chick flick moment added before he falls asleep.

Oh yumyums

You are so amazingly in character by the way. This is written beautifully.

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WOW! This is amazing. That phone call with Hotch was wonderful and that last little interaction between Morgan and Reid was just so sweet and sad. Bravo!

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((and the next part! mostly in morgan's POV. also sorry for the angst. hopefully this isn't too out of character. haha.))

Morgan flipped through the channels before settling on “A Christmas Story”. He figured he could use some lighthearted Christmas cheer as he listened to Reid’s congested snoring from the other room.

He tried to quell his worry about Spencer, but he couldn’t keep from thinking about Reid’s admission that he hadn’t been taken care of. The whole team knew Spencer had a rough childhood. Hell, they knew he had a rough adulthood too. They just didn’t talk about it, hoping that perhaps with enough love and acceptance now they could somehow erase the damage life had already inflicted. As Ralphie begged for his BB gun in the movie, Morgan wondered what sort of presents, if any, Reid had received as a child. He tried to quit worrying, but he eventually exited the living room to check on Reid who was bundled up beneath the covers, looking small and vulnerable against the expansive Queen sized mattress. Morgan watched him for a minute, trying to brainstorm what would make this Christmas good for Spencer, but when he came up blank he returned to his spot in the living room and tried to erase his mind as he watched the rest of the movie.

The movie had replayed several times when Morgan heard noise coming from Reid’s room. It was quiet at first, but it progressed to moaning and then cries for help. Morgan burst into the room to find Reid in the midst of a nightmare, his body arched in seeming pain and his arms thrashing about against an invisible assailant.

“Spencer!” Morgan called as he decisively got onto the bed to restrain Reid. As he tried to grab his arms, Reid threw a punch and Morgan let out a low groan as he made contact with his nose. “Spencer! Wake up. Right now!” he continued loudly, managing to grab hold of his coworker’s forearms and pull Reid against his torso, holding him tightly until he felt Reid’s thrashing stop and a small whimpering took over. At that point he could taste copper on his lip, but he ignored it, holding Spencer as he trembled all over. “It’s alright. You’re alright. Calm down,” he said levelly, holding onto Reid until he became coherent enough to pull away.

“Borgad…?” Reid said questioningly, turning to look at him and then staring in horror. “Gnoh! Did I…? I’b so sorry! Borgad, I’b sorry!” he cried, his expression one of distress.

Morgan swiped at his nose, refraining from wincing as he wiped blood away. He stood up and went into the bathroom, grabbing some toilet paper and stuffing it into his nose before using another piece to wipe the blood from his upper lip. He then returned to Reid’s bedroom where Spencer was nowhere to be found.

“Reid?” Morgan called as he exited. He searched every room before determining that Reid must have left. He walked into the parking lot and sighed as he saw that Spencer’s car was still there and it had started to snow. The kid was sick and he was wandering around the city in the snow. Morgan got into his own car, trying to determine where Reid would have walked on Christmas. Realizing that he needed to find him ASAP, Morgan turned down the first street and hoped for the best.


Reid had grabbed his lightest jacket on his way out into the snow and as he walked down towards the local park, he both regretted his decision and relished this feeling of self-punishment. He had hit Morgan. Sniffling, he swiped at his nose as he continued, directing wet coughs towards the ground as he tucked his head and continued on, his body shaking with the cold as the wind whipped through his jacket and chilled the sweat that coated his fever-ridden body.

He wasn’t entirely sure how long he had been wandering, but when he heard a honk, he sighed, figuring that Morgan had located him. He looked up and froze, feeling like running but knowing it was pointless as he was met with Hotch’s intense stare. On second thought, he had walked in the direction Hotch would be coming from, and he mentally kicked himself for doing something so stupid.

“Get in the car, Reid,” Hotch called in a voice that didn’t lend itself to arguing.

Reid hung his head guiltily and walked over to the SUV, pulling it open and sliding into the passenger seat as Hotch turned the heat all the way up and directed the vents towards him. As he inhaled the warm air, his nose burned, and he ducked his head, bringing his jacket sleeve up to his nose as he sneezed repeatedly. Hih’IZGTSCHH. GTSCH. GNTSCHH. KNTSCH. KNTSCH. IH’GTZCH’uh. He was only vaguely aware as Hotch handed him a handkerchief. AHHH’ktschh. KTSCHHH’oo. TSCH’oo. He blew his nose, figuring it would be less embarrassing than continuing to sneeze. He sneezed a few times in the process before crumpling the soaked handkerchief and trying to stop the violent shivering of his body.

“Bless you, Spencer,” Hotch said, his expression taut with worry. It was then he noticed that they weren’t driving but had pulled over in a parking lot. Hotch pulled out his cell phone and was dialing a number.

“W-who are y-you c-calling?” he asked through chattering teeth.

“Morgan,” Hotch greeted in the phone, answering his question. “I’m assuming you’re looking for Reid. I found him. We’ll meet you back at his apartment.” Hotch studied Reid for a minute, and he felt himself squirming under Hotch’s stare. “I think he’s fine… Just needs to get warmed up. No problem, Morgan. See you soon.”

AHTSCHOO. The sneeze caught him off guard and he sprayed the windshield of the car, feeling himself shrivel against the seat. First he punched Morgan and then he sprayed Hotch’s car with germs. “H-Hotch, I-I’m so s-sorry,” he whispered.

“Stop, Reid,” Hotch said flatly, but then clearly rethinking how harsh that sounded, he looked at Reid. Quickly he shrugged his coat off and offered it to Reid.

“I-I cad’t,” Reid argued, his eyes big and worried.

“Take your jacket off and put this on. I can’t have you getting pneumonia.”

Reid shyly slipped his jacket off, bunching it in his lap with shaking hands before he pulled Hotch’s coat over his arms, realizing just how much smaller he was than the rest of the men on the team. “I-I’b sorry,” Reid whispered, desperately trying to quiet the shivering of his body as Hotch pulled back onto the road.

“You don’t need to apologize to me, Spencer,” Hotch said, and Reid thought he’d dodged a bullet until Hotch continued. “You need to apologize to Morgan.”

“So he t-told you a-about the p-punch? I d-did’t bead to d-do id… I w-was asleeb add he wogke be ubb oud of a nightbare…” Reid wrapped his arms around his middle in shame, refusing to make eye contact although he could feel Hotch’s piercing gaze.

“The punch?” Hotch asked before he sighed. “Is that why you left? Christ, Reid…”

Reid looked at Hotch in shock, never having seen his unit chief get so worked up. “S-so he d-did’t tell you?”

“No.” Hotch’s mouth was pressed in a line as he stared at the road. It wasn’t until they pulled into Reid’s apartment complex that Hotch looked over at him, studying him until Reid thought he couldn’t take it and fumbled for the door handle. “Spencer,” Hotch began. “You need to take care of yourself.”

Reid nodded and though he bent his head down for another sneeze as he stepped out of the car, they both knew that his flu was least of all what he was referring to.


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((If you guys thought THAT was angsty fluff, THIS is the real angsty fluff. i may or may not have cried whilst writing it. haha. once again, hopefully it's not too over the top, but i feel like reid is the bottle-up kind of guy who eventually explodes. not too much sneezing and V-warning...))

As Reid approached the door to his building, Morgan exited, looking hard at him for a minute before placing a hand on his shoulder. “We’re talking. Inside,” he said, his tone serious.

Reid walked in like a dog with his tail between his legs, going to the couch without even changing. As he sat down, he realized just how awful he felt. His skin crawled and his body shook with uncontrollable chills, making it hard for him to even wipe his nose, which had started running now that he was in his warm apartment. His head ached… The kind of ache that made him want to shove his head in a freezer despite how cold he was. The worst thing of all was probably the dizziness and the nausea that went along with it. Everything in front of him looked like it was swimming in a fish bowl. Reid blinked hard, coughing openly towards his lap, unable to guide his shaking hand to cover his mouth.

When Morgan walked in, Reid looked at him desperately, feeling the nausea becoming unmanageable.

“Hotch brought food. It smells good,” he explained, holding up the bag containing multiple containers of Christmas food.

The mention of food was enough to push him over the edge and he gave a small sound as he got sick into his lap. Even if he had wanted to move, the chills wouldn’t have let him, and he shook spasmodically as his body geared up to get sick again. Morgan appeared out of no where, placing the small garbage can from Reid’s bathroom into his hands before realizing that he couldn’t hold onto it himself.

Morgan shifted so he was sitting next to Reid. Despite the fact that Reid was covered in vomit, Morgan wrapped one arm around him, guiding him so that he was leaning against his side. Morgan then guided Reid’s hand to the trash bin, pressing it against his chest. Morgan kept his hand over Reid’s, steadying the shaking slowly by holding Reid tightly.

“It’s alright,” he encouraged as Reid gagged again, staring warily at the bin. “Right in there, kid.”

With that, Reid leaned forward slightly, grateful for Morgan’s strong arm wrapped around him as he got sick. Once he was finished, he tried to raise his head all the way but it found its way to Morgan’s shoulder as Reid trembled with the cold and the muscle fatigue that came with getting ill.

“You good?” Morgan asked, slowly edging the bin away.

Reid nodded as his breathing hitched and Morgan nudged the bin back just in case as Reid shakily placed a hand over his mouth and nose, and sneezed weakly. Hih’ITSCH. Tschh. Tschh. Kngschh’uh.

“Bless you,” Morgan said with a chuckle, setting the bin down for good as he slowly shifted Reid off of him.

Reid fought to remain coherent as he watched Morgan with glassy eyes. He wanted to ask what he was doing, but he couldn’t seem to get any words out as Morgan helped him ease out of his jacket and then tugged his shirt off. His eyes must have looked confused because Morgan explained, “You know how I got a lot of practice taking care of sick people because of my siblings?”

He nodded tiredly as Morgan unbuckled his belt.

“Can’t say I ever had to do this,” Morgan said with a smirk. “But I have cleaned up my fair share of drunk, puking girls.”

Reid wanted to laugh, but he coughed instead, frowning as Morgan flinched. “’M gnod nauseous adybore,” he slurred out tiredly.

“Alright then, boy genius. Just stay awake for me for five more minutes so that I can put some non-puke-y clothes on you, okay?”

When Reid didn’t answer, Morgan snapped his fingers and he looked at Morgan tiredly. “I feel sigck,” he whispered, shivering as Morgan tugged his pants off, leaving him naked except for his boxers.

“You don’t say?” Morgan joked as he grabbed a blanket.

Reid was out of it, but he watched as Morgan’s gaze softened and drifted slowly across his upper body. Just like that he realized what his colleague was looking at: his scars. Reid pulled the blanket from him in a moment of sheer adrenaline, the embarrassment and shame giving him enough strength to hide himself and avert his gaze.

“Reid…” Morgan said, kneeling in front of him.

“Gnoh, Borgad… Jusdt… Gnoh.” His cheeks burned and he felt tears prick in his eyes. He wasn’t sure why he was so emotional—probably the fever—but it scared him that Morgan had seen not only the scars from Tobias but also the scars along his arms from the repeated injections of Dilaudid that resulted from his addiction.


This time, he felt a few tears break free, and he swiped them away, still refusing to look at Derek. “Please… Please jusdt drob id,” he begged as more tears began to fall.


Derek watched as Spencer began to unravel. He was torn. Reid was clearly ill and Morgan wasn’t entirely comfortable forcing him to fall apart whilst he was in such a fragile state both emotionally and physically, dressed in nothing but his boxers. But on the other side of things, Reid needed to talk about this. Morgan couldn’t just ignore what he had seen.

“Please,” Reid begged again, his voice hoarse with emotion and sickness.

Morgan stood up and went into Reid’s room, frowning as he heard a few violent sniffles as Reid tried to suppress emotions that needed to come out one way or another. Morgan grabbed a pair of sweatpants and a shirt for Reid. Glancing down at his own clothes, which were stained with vomit, he pulled them off, grabbing a pair of sweatpants that he figured he could get on before deciding that none of Reid’s shirts would fit.

When he returned, he handed the clothes to Reid, turning around to give him a chance to get dressed in peace. He was relieved that Reid didn’t seem to need his help. Morgan’s back was turned when he heard Reid take in a shaky breath, and he cautioned a look, seeing that Reid was dressed and poised to sneeze. H’ATSCH. ATSCHH’uh. TSCHH’uh. Hm’gxttt. GXT’uh. KXXX'hm.

“Bless you… Now let’s talk,” he said quietly as he sat down by Reid, who was staring down into his lap. “Look at me.”

Although Reid was clearly uncomfortable, Morgan knew he wouldn’t defy an order. Sure enough, Reid looked at him with an expression that made Derek’s stomach twist. Derek called Reid “kid” on a number of occasions, but he’d never seen Spencer look so vulnerable. His nose was red and his bottom lip quivered as Reid swiped at a handful of tears that glided down his cheeks. He looked so sick and scared and sad sitting there as he absentmindedly fiddled with the blanket bunched in his lap. Morgan watched as Reid noticed that Morgan had changed and was now the one who was shirtless. Morgan waited until Reid studied his own scars, which he had acquired both on the job and elsewhere.

“We all have scars, Spencer,” Morgan reminded him once Reid made eye contact with him.

“Yours are differedt,” Spencer muttered sadly, looking down as if to ensure he was still clothed.


“Because you did’t get yours for beidg weagk.”

Morgan barely heard him but as he processed what Reid said, he felt his own eyes ache. He refused to let them fill, however, knowing Reid didn’t need pity; he needed perspective. “Shit, Spence… Is that what this is about? You being weak?”

Spencer’s lip quivered and he gave a small whining noise as he fought the sobs that wanted to break free. Reid gave a swift breath and bent forward with four severely stifled sneezes that made him wince. Hih’KXX. GNXT. NGTXCH’uh.

“Do you think I think you’re weak?” Derek asked.

Reid looked at him in a pained way. “Id’s gnod thad you thigk id… I ab weagk.”

“What makes you say that?” Morgan asked quietly, watching in sympathy as Reid’s face contorted again. HIH’NGXTSCH. NGTSCH’OO. Huh’KTSCHOO... Hih… HISHOO. Morgan didn’t mention it, though, frowning as Reid gave another soft whimper, pressing his lips together as he fought back more sneezes.

“You’re sick, Reid,” Morgan reminded him. “That doesn’t make you weak… And neither does getting taken hostage…”

“Bud… I kebt doidg the Dilaudid,” he squeaked out, trying to keep his breathing calm as he let himself confess the thoughts that had been plaguing him since the Tobias incident.

“But you stopped,” Morgan reminded him.

“Id’s gnod good enough…”

“Well then what the hell is, Spence?” Morgan asked, feeling himself get angry at how hard Reid was being on himself. “If we all lived by those standards, we’d all be weak. I was molested for years, Reid. I didn’t stop it. I kept quiet. I was scared. Does that make me weak?”

Reid looked at him, the tears halting momentarily as Morgan brought up a situation he probably would have never divulged years earlier had it not been for necessity. “Whad? Gnoh. Thad’s differedt,” he insisted, shaking his head.

“How? How is it different? Enlighten me. I know you’re a hell of a lot smarter than me, so tell me what the difference is!” Morgan yelled, realizing then he had gone too far as he looked at Spencer.

Reid floundered, struggling to get an explanation out before he caved in on himself, pressing his hands to his face as he sobbed openly for the first time. “I’b sorry,” he wailed, taking gasping breaths that led to harsh coughs. Once he was done, he apologized again… And again… And again.

“Stop it,” Morgan begged, repeating his plea each time Reid apologized until finally he couldn’t stand it. He wrapped his arms decisively around Spencer’s curled up body, holding him tightly as he stopped apologizing and continued to cry. “That’s good, Spencer. Let it out. I’m not going anywhere.”


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Aww, normally I'm emetophobic but it totally didn't bother me because of all the delicious angst and emotional discussion (and sneezing of course). :) Thanks!

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Aww this is amazingly brilliant and soooooo sweet! It's so in character with Reid believing he's weak and Morgan trying to help him and all the wonderful angst! This is just wonderful :)

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((this is the last part. i thought i had one more part in me but the ending of this part just felt right. i hope i did your gift justice!))

True to his word, Morgan didn’t budge even as his arms ached from the awkward way he was holding Reid. He wasn’t able to hug him the traditional way because of Reid's position and it wasn’t as if he could request Reid lower his legs… Morgan knew Reid’s closed-off pose was a defense mechanism, a wall that seemed to make the vulnerability he was experiencing more regulated. For that reason, Morgan couldn’t do anything more than what he was already doing as Reid sobbed it out.

Morgan remained silent as Reid cried although he felt his own heart ache at the guilt and pain that Reid carried around with him. He knew no words could get through to him right now, though, and so Morgan waited until Reid mopped at his face and hiccupped his way into calmer breathing. Eventually Reid even lowered his legs and Morgan pulled him into a real hug for a moment before pulling back, leaving one arm wrapped around his shoulders.

“I’m sorry, Spencer,” Morgan said softly after a moment of silence.

At his apology, Spencer gave a sputtering breath, fresh tears pouring down his cheeks. He looked down and shook his head. “Gnoh, I’b sorry. I hobe you dod’t thidk I thidk you’re weagk. You are so buch strodger than be… Everyode on the teab is…”

“Hey now!” Morgan chided as he stared at Reid, who averted his gaze nervously. “Okay, Spencer, I’m going to talk and you’re going to listen because someone needs to get through to you… And you’re not just going to listen. You’re going to believe me because I wouldn’t lie to you… Deal?”

Reid made eye contact momentarily, giving a nervous nod as he bunched the blanket in his lap methodically.

“You’re different, Spencer. Not in a bad way. In a surprising and endearing and… Inspiring way. It makes you such a valuable part of the team. We all get self-conscious, Reid. Sometimes I think that I could be replaced, but I want you to know that you could never be replaced. Your mind and your heart are perfect. Truly. I don’t think I’ve met another person who thinks so rationally and cares so deeply. It’s truly the best of both worlds… You listening to me?” he stopped as Reid looked unfocused.

“Yh’ehhh yes. Sohhrry. I just have to snihhh’KTSCH. KNTSCHH. Hih… Ih…

Morgan couldn’t help it. He laughed. Reid looked at him, his cheeks turning bright red as he brought his hand up to fully cover his nose and mouth. That just made Morgan laugh harder as he handed Reid a tissue.

“I’m sorry, kid. I almost forgot how sick you were. Bless you.”

Reid gave a small smile, still looking skittish as he brought a tissue up to his nose and jerked forward with another double. Hih’ITSCH. TSCH.

“Bless. You done?”

At Reid’s nod, Morgan tried to continue but he wasn’t sure how to dive back into the serious conversation. Reid looked so tired and sick with his eyes puffy and nose bright red. “If I give you the short version, do you trust that if there’s something I don’t cover it’s not because I think poorly of you?”

Reid gave a small smile and nodded, still looking uncomfortable. The guy had never taken compliments well.

“Right… As I was saying, you’re extraordinary, and your life hasn’t been fair—“

“Borgad… Gnoh… Id’s beed fide. What happed to you is so buch bore unfair. I’b gnod complaididg,” Reid insisted, looking scared by the idea of asserting that life had treated him poorly.

“Don’t play this game with me, Spencer,” Morgan said, half-joking. “Okay. I agree that life is not fair, but what happened to me is no better and no worse than what happened to you. It’s just unfair. You have deserved so much better than what life has thrown at you. That’s my point…”

“Id’s really fide,” Reid mumbled knuckling his nose.

“Pretty boy, you gotta stop doing that. Stop cheating yourself out of what you are entitled to. It’s not fine. And it’s also not fine that you don’t cut yourself any slack. Sometimes it’s life, Spencer. I know you like to think that people can control their lives and to an extent they can, but you can’t blame yourself for the things that life throws at you. Tobias Hankel wasn’t your fault. What happened with Prentiss wasn’t your fault. The addiction—“

“Was my fault,” Reid finished before his breath hitched and he pinched his nose shut, silently stifling three sneezes.

“For Christ’s sake, Spencer! No, no, no it was not! You didn’t ask to be injected with a highly addictive drug. And you stopped it. You changed your life course. You were strong. Can you just try to see yourself from my perspective?” Morgan challenged, waiting until Reid made eye contact, his eyes brimming with tears. “Spencer, I love you. We all do. It kills us to see you so self-deprecating.” As Spencer opened his mouth to apologize, Morgan tightened his grip around him. “If you apologize, I will withhold Hotch’s dinner, which I’m sure is just as immaculate as his suits,” he said, sensing it was time to transition to lighter material as Reid looked like he was about to wither away.

Reid gave a soft laugh that dissolved into wet, hacking coughs and Morgan gently nudged his shoulder.

“Was that a laugh, boy genius? I mean before the smoker’s cough incident…” Morgan paused before he quietly continued. “Reid, I’m gonna have to talk to you again about your self image sometime but only because I can’t sing your praises for long enough. That’s how highly I think of you… Truly.”

“Thadk you,” Reid meekly replied, his cheeks bright red.

“Anytime, kid,” Morgan said, relinquishing his grip on Reid before shifting his attention to his health. Morgan placed a hand on Reid’s forehead, chuckling as Reid jerked away. “What? You think I’m gonna slap you to even the score?” he asked before he concentrated on Reid’s temperature. “You’ve got a fever. I need to get you some medicine and some food.”

“I’b gnod really hudgry,” Reid whispered, shivering before he could contain it.

“Understandable, but I need you to eat a little bit and then you can go to sleep…”

“Uhb… Aboud the nighdbare…” he started self-consciously.

“It happens every time you sleep, doesn’t it?” Morgan finished for him, keeping his face even as Reid nodded. “That’s okay. I’ll wear a helmet,” he joked, standing up and returning with Reid’s medicine. He then fixed two plates of food, Reid’s a meager meal of a spoonful of mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and green bean casserole, figuring the soft foods would be easy on his throat. Two trips back to the kitchen and their table was set. It wasn’t the traditional Christmas meal, but it was cozy as Morgan lit a candle and Reid ate his meal like a good sport even though it was clear even the soft foods hurt his throat.

After they were finished, Morgan could see Reid’s eyes drooping, but he fought to stay awake, looking absolutely terrified to go to sleep. Morgan hesitated only momentarily before he extended his legs and patted his side. When Reid looked at him wearily, Morgan laughed. “I’m not gonna come onto you, kid. I promise you’re safe.”

“I jusdt dod’t wadt to hurd you,” he whispered finally.

“Reid… We deal with sociopaths every day. You’re the least of my worries,” he said dismissively, waiting as Reid slowly eased down so that his head was on Morgan’s chest. “Give me your hand,” Morgan urged as he saw Reid’s T-Rex pose. Clearly the kid was too scared to get comfortable. Morgan tugged his arm so that it was across his stomach. As Reid tensed again, squirming against him, Morgan laughed. “Go ahead and sneeze, Spencer,” he said flatly, grabbing the tissue box from the coffee table.

Spencer hesitantly took one and Morgan could feel his body tense up as he let out two subdued sneezes. Hih’IGXtt. IGXttch.

“That sounds like hell, Reid. You can sneeze normally, you know,” Morgan teased.

Reid’s breath hitched again and Morgan felt his whole body jerk as he covered another double, this time completely unstifled. Hih’ITSCHH’uh. KTNGTSCH’oo.

“Bless you. Now go to sleep,” he said, flipping through TV stations as he pretended not to worry about Reid. Soon he felt Reid relax entirely and Morgan allowed himself to study him for a minute before closing his own eyes and drifting off to sleep with “A Christmas Story” still on TV.


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Aww I loved the ending, just as you said, it was perfect how it was :) the whole fic was so right, I could just see it happening exactly like that!

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