The team arrived at the airport and boarded the waiting jet. Morgan head straight for the couch after stowing his bag and immediately pulled on his headphones leaning into the wall, trying to separate himself from everyone else on the plane. He felt a pressure on the seat next to him and opened one eye to see Reid had sat next to him. He turned even more into the wall and felt himself tense as he tried to avoid confrontation with the doctor.
Reid noticed the change in Morgan's body language but simply pulled out a book and started reading on the couch next to him. A half an hour must have passed and Morgan was still as tense as ever. Reid could tell he wasn't having any luck sleeping although everyone else on the plane had dozed off almost immediately after take-off. Only Hotch sat awake at the table going over some paperwork. Noting that they had some privacy Reid decided it was time for him to reach out to Morgan again. Without looking up from his book or acknowledging Morgan in anyway, Reid took one of Morgan's hands from his lap and held it in his own.
Morgan ripped his hand away from Reid's like he had been burned by his touch. He was about to rip off his headphones when he noticed that Reid was not even looking at him. There was no pity, or sad eyes, just an offering of support. Morgan still turned back to the wall, this time feeling guilty over rejecting his friend so abruptly when he was just trying to help. He felt a pressure on the outside of his thigh and looked down to see that Reid had left his hand open in the space between their legs. He felt better knowing that he hadn't hurt Reid's feelings too badly. He still ignored the offer and leaned back into the wall.
Reid didn't let Morgan's rejection rock him, he knew that was probably coming. He also knew that Morgan needed support even if he wasn't ready to accept it yet. He left his hand sitting between them and continued reading. Another twenty minutes must have gone by when Reid felt a brush on his hand. He glanced down to see that Morgan had laid his own hand out on his thigh so that his pinky was touching Reid's thumb. Deciding he was going to be the one to make the move Reid quickly flipped his hand over and grabbed Morgan's pinky in his own, locking their hands together. Morgan didn't pull away this time. Reid even felt him relax a little bit. He kept reading his book doing his best not to focus any of his attention on Morgan and make him uncomfortable. Ten more minutes went by when Morgan released Reid's pinky and took his whole hand. Reid couldn't help smiling a little and Morgan must have noticed because he bumped shoulders with Reid.
Morgan relaxed as he felt Reid's clasp on his hand. He was grateful for his friend. Reid wasn't pushing the subject but he knew Morgan need the support. Reid was there, and he didn't have to talk about what happened to him, he didn't have to explain what he was feeling. Morgan was never really sure how the genius had become so emotionally adept. But in all the time that he had known what had happened to Morgan he had never quoted statistics at him about it or treated Morgan like a profile. Morgan wasn't sure how long they had been sitting like that when Reid let go of his hand and pulled away. He sat up straight away and gave Reid an unintentionally panicked look. To his credit Reid didn't say anything just waved his book and dug another out of his satchel before sitting back down and taking Morgan's hand again. Morgan chuckled, a little embarrassed at how he had responded. Reid nudged his shoulder and squeezed his hand and Morgan relaxed again. He didn't know what it was about Reid but something about the kid comforted him. They still had at least another two hours on the plane and Morgan was starting to get a headache from the emotional stress. He took off his headphones and rubbed his temple with his free hand. Reid squeezed his hand a little and Morgan sighed.
"Want me to get you some water?" Reid offered. Morgan just shook his head. He wanted to sleep. He just wanted to escape the whole situation. He leaned his head back against the couch. Reid hesitated before offering, "Would you like to lay down?" Morgan didn't answer right away. Yes, he did if he knew he would sleep, but he doubted he would and he didn't want to lose Reid's support just yet.
"Nah," he responded unconvincingly. Reid picked up on his hesitation. He thought for a bit before pulling his sweater vest of over his head. He scooted down to the end of the couch, folded the vest nicely in his lap, and patted the couch next to him.
"Come on, lie down," He urged Morgan. Morgan just raised an eyebrow curiously.
"Reid, I'm a grown man," Morgan balked him. Reid just shrugged, "We're family." Morgan couldn't argue with that but he still wasn't fond of the idea.
"Nah, come on man, I'll sleep when we get home."
"Morgan, get some sleep," Hotch unexpectedly butted in from his place at the table. "He's right, we are family and right now you need support so take it when it's offered."
"Hotch, I am a grown ass man over here, I can handle myself," Morgan argued, suddenly spurned by the attention of their leader.
"I'm well aware of your capabilities in handling yourself and others. I'd trust you with my life, nothing has changed that." Agent Hotchner tried to reason with him.
"Well then you know I don't need to be treated like a baby!" Morgan was fuming.
"Morgan, no one is treating you like a child. We are merely offering support for your current situation. Accepting that support doesn't make you any less of a man." Hotch went back to his paperwork making it clear he had nothing else to say on the subject. Morgan was still defensive and anger flashed in his eyes. Reid felt like he'd lost all head way that he'd made with Morgan that day. He knew he would be rejected but he felt he had to try at least one more time, to let Morgan know that the offer still stands.
"Derek…" He softly appealed to his friend while reaching out to touch his arm. Morgan looked at him and emotions flashed wildly in his eyes. Reid gave his arm a little squeeze and picked up his book to read again. He hadn't read more than a couple pages when, with a great sound of protest, Morgan flopped his head down on Reid's lap. He looked up into Reid's eyes with a scowl on his face.
"Happy." He monotoned. Reid's eyes flashed with laughter. He kept his face neutral though as he propped his elbow on the arm of the sofa and went back to his book.
"How's your head?" Was the only response he gave. Morgan gave small groan and pinched his nose between his eyes.
"Been better." Reid nodded and with his free hand he pushed Morgan's hand out of the way and started rubbing his temples. Morgan just closed his eyes and didn't say anything. Reid had just finished another chapter when Morgan let out a small irritated sigh. He opened his eyes but didn't look at Reid.
"I, I usually sleep on my side, uh my left side, is, um, is that okay? I don't want to get in your, well, space…" Morgan stumbled out.
"Yeah, sure," Reid said with a nod. He tried not to let Morgan see his breath catch in his throat at the idea of Morgan's face being so close to his stomach. Not that you'd know it but Reid was very self-conscious about his body and he generally cherished his personal bubble. Morgan rolled over and Reid rested his left hand on Morgan's shoulder, drawing small circles on it with his thumb. He rubbed his hand up and down over Morgan's upper arm to try and reassure him of the situation and was shocked when Morgan's whole body stiffened and his hand shot out to grab Reid's wrist. Reid looked down at him with wide eyes as Morgan seemed to just realize what he had done. He quickly released Reid and mumbled an apology.
"Don't ever do that," Morgan spit out gruffly. Reid stammered an apology back and tried to force himself to go back to his book, but he couldn't take his eyes off Morgan, he was still shocked. Morgan squeezed his eyes shut and brought a hand up to cover his face. When he pulled it away Reid could see the pain on his features.
"He," Morgan cleared his throat, "He, uh, used to do that when, when he was finished," he whispered. Reid's heart dropped.
"I'm so sorry," He whispered back. Morgan just shrugged and wouldn't look at Reid.
"No, really Derek, I am so sorry," Reid said earnestly giving his friend's shoulder a squeeze. He couldn't help the pain evident on his features when Morgan looked up at him. He wasn't trying to pity Morgan, he truly felt terrible for what had happened to him and wished there was something he could have done to change it. He looked away trying not to make Morgan uncomfortable.
"Hey," Morgan poked him in the ribs to draw his attention back, "It's really not your fault, you didn't know." Reid just nodded clenching his jaw. Morgan didn't think he'd ever seen Reid angry before. But he could see it plain as day on his features, Reid was livid and he was in anguish over it.
"Can I touch your back?" Reid asked tentatively, not wanting to upset Morgan again.
"Sure, kid," Morgan said closing his eyes again. Reid draped his arm over Morgan's side and let his fingers dance between Morgan's shoulder blades as he turned back to his book again. To his delight only another chapter later Morgan's breathing deepened and had become regular. He was finally sleeping. He glanced up to see Hotch looking at them. He wasn't sure if Hotch had seen the exchange between the two earlier, but he was sure that he had. That was the thing about Hotch, he had a stern demeanor, but he really cared for all of the members of his team. He knew when to pry and when to let things balance themselves out. He held all of their secrets and kept them functioning as a team. He simply nodded his head towards Reid in a sort of 'good job' for getting Morgan to sleep, and went back to his work. Reid sighed and went back to his book.
Morgan awoke to soft voices awhile later. From what he could pick out Hotch and Reid were arguing over something.
"Just be careful," Hotch was telling Reid.
"I am, Hotch I know what I'm doing. He's in a fragile state, I won't upset him more." Reid was arguing back.
"Spencer," First names, oh this was not good. "You've been very… close lately, he deserves to know what's going on." Reid's whole body tensed at the statement.
"I have been nothing but appropriate and supportive, if you think my judgement is clouded in any way you're dead wrong. I have a partner, in case you're forgetting, and I think this conversation is over. You've over stepped Agent Hotchner." Morgan could feel the tension radiating off of Reid. Hotch didn't respond and simply turned back to his work. Reid picked up his book and angrily flipped pages, too fast for even him to read. His legs were shaking and Morgan worried the genius was going to blow at any moment. He shifted slightly and Reid's movement immediately stopped. His body became less tense, his hand found its way back to tracing patterns across Morgan's back in a comforting way, and he breathed a deep sigh. Though his body was still stiff, Morgan felt Reid move away from him and he glanced up to see that Reid had laid his head back on the sofa and shut his eyes. Morgan decided it wasn't worth causing trouble over and let Reid's dancing fingers lull him back to sleep as well.