5x06 – The Eyes Have It
"When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you're not here, I can't go to sleep. Praise God for those two insomnias! And the difference between them." - Rumi
That Friday morning, the BAU were all at their desks working on paperwork, finished with their latest case. Special Agent Derek Morgan made his way to the small kitchenette where all the main FBI offices were... Where his old desk was. It was his third cup of coffee that day and fifth trip to the main room of offices. And it was only 11:00 in the morning. But he didn't care. Derek Morgan couldn't deny that he loved his new office, but he had to admit that he was lonely. He missed interacting with the team, talking with Emily and picking on Reid. But as he looked around the busy area his gaze moved over to where it seemed to go all morning... Where it used to go every morning... But to his disappointment, Emily wasn't at her desk this time.
"Hey Morgan," said Reid, pulling Derek out of his thoughts.
"Hey kid," he replied.
"You must be exhausted."
"What?" Morgan asked.
"That's your third cup of coffee just this morning. Long night?"
"Ummm, no. Just drowning in boring paperwork," Derek replied, that was true but it certainly wasn't the main reason he had come to the kitchen again. "Hey, have you seen Emily?"
"Actually you just missed her," Reid replied, missing the now obvious reason for Derek's visit that someone like JJ would have deduced on Morgan's SECOND cup of coffee. "She stepped away from her desk a few minutes ago."
"Oh ok," Derek said, trying to hide his disappointment. "I was just going to have her look at a case I'm consulting on," he quickly added the lie. "Well I'll just catch her later then."
"Alright,"' Reid said. "See you later Morgan!"
"Bye Reid." Morgan called with a wave as be walked slowly back in the direction of his new office, his head down. He turned in the direction of his door when he was knocked off balance, almost spilling his coffee as he heard a startled gasp.
He looked up to see what had happened and subsequently found what he had been looking for all this time… Emily Prentiss was standing in front of him with her signature thousand-watt smile spread across her face at the sight of him. He returned the smile instantly – after all, it was one of his favorite things.
"Prentiss!" Morgan said excitedly.
"Hi!" she replied with equal enthusiasm. "I was just looking for you but you were out of your office," before he could respond, she looked down to see the full coffee cup in his hand. "More coffee? What is that the fourth time today?"
"Third thank you very much. What can I say? It's an addiction." Morgan replied with a wink, realizing deep down that the addiction he spoke of was not coffee but the woman standing in front of him. "But it's a habit I don't ever want to quit," he added. "So, what can I do for you today, Princess?"
"I was hoping you could help me with this case file. I'm buried in paperwork but I'm really stumped and I could use a fresh pair of eyes," Emily replied. Of course she could have asked Reid… she could even have figured it out herself, but she hated how now that Morgan had his own office, she couldn't just swivel around in her chair and get his attention without saying a word – it was a partner thing… they just knew when they needed each other. "Do you mind?"
"Not at all," Derek said with a smile, thrilled at the time he was going to get to spend with his partner. "After you," he gestured into his office with a flourish of his hand. Emily returned his smile as Derek's hand gently brushed across the small of her back.
They sat down: Derek in his chair and Emily in what would become her usual spot for cases to come – chair pulled up close to his desk, directly across from him. They were comfortable in Derek's new office – not because of their surroundings or the privacy it offered, but simply because they were together – and that was all the comfort they needed.
They discussed cases for almost an hour, until they knew they had to go back to their own work before any other agents noticed how long Prentiss had been gone. But the moment she left, they both felt the loneliness creep in again.
Hours passed into late afternoon and finally into the evening. Derek found himself wanting to walk to Prentiss' desk to consult about a case or just talk the way they always did, but he knew he had to get used to this new setup, no matter how much he disliked being away from his partner. And he wasn't the only one. Prentiss would catch herself spinning around in her chair, about to start talking to Derek, only to remember he wasn't there – she tried not to let her disappointment show but even Reid gave her a look of confusion once in a while. Everyone started to go home around nightfall, and soon… only a few agents were left in the building – two of which, were Agents Morgan and Prentiss, still buried in case files.
So Derek got his coffee again. But this time, it was Emily who brought it to him. She knocked on his door and his face went from one of gloom to absolute bliss the moment he looked up and saw her standing in front of him. "I brought you this," Emily said, handing him the coffee cup.
"What is this for?" Morgan asked with a grin; but then of course he didn't really care – as long as he got to see her again.
"Well I know I shouldn't be supporting your addiction," she said, smiling at the joke from earlier. "But it's actually a bribe. I have another case file for you to look over but it looks like you're buried in about as much paperwork as I am," she said regretfully. "I'll just have Reid look at it." Emily began to turn but Derek quickly stood up.
"No, no…" he began. "I've got time. I'm going to be here all night anyway." Derek said with a less than amused look.
"Me too…" Emily said with a frown. "This new office thing is really putting a cramp in my style. I can't just use you to do all my hard cases for me anymore," she added. "And it's not nearly as fun to make fun of Reid without you." she added.
"Tell me about it!" Derek said. "It's way too quiet in here. And I'm pretty sure I've accomplished less work than I would have at my old desk. It's not that I'm not grateful to Garcia but it's just…" he paused as he looked into her eyes, "different."
"I know, but you deserve it. You've done a great job leading this team. I'm really proud of you," Emily added sincerely.
"Thanks," he replied. "But I didn't realize being team leader meant being so lonely."
"It doesn't have to be. I've got an idea," Prentiss said, a gleam in her eye. "I'll buy you dinner in exchange for help with these files. And if you're nice, I'll even help you with yours," she said excitedly. "Only if you want to though," she added, second-guessing herself.
"I would like nothing better," he responded instantly. "Deal."
So Emily ordered their dinner, while Derek – always the gentleman – carried her heavy load of case files to his own office. He made plenty of room for her to work on his large desk – directly across from him. They sat facing one another, eating their dinner, working on case files, talking and laughing. And when their hands would brush lightly against one another, they tried to shrug off the feeling of warmth they instantly felt. This was how Derek and Emily were used to working – together, side-by-side. So they were able to get more accomplished in those few hours than they had all day.
But soon the stack of unopened case files completely disappeared and they knew their time had come to a close. Derek walked Emily to the elevator and they stepped into the parking deck together. "Thanks for your help today," he began.
"No, thank you!" she protested. "I would never have been able to finish all of those files without your help."
"I could say the same," Derek said. "We might just have to make this a tradition. It might be the only way we'll actually get any work done," he laughed. "What do you say? Lunch or dinner and case files in my office once a week? I'll buy next time!"
"Done," replied Emily with a grin. "As long as you don't forget to come visit us out there at the desks. I still need your help picking on Reid."
"Anytime Princess," Morgan winked as he watched to make sure she got into her car safely. Then he proceeded to walk to his own car and drive home, smiling all the way.
And they did make their weekly caseload files a partnership tradition – sure they were together in the field but they missed their talks and laughter in the office. So they made sure they spent time together there anyway. They told themselves they really needed help with cases but they both knew the truth – they were more than capable of doing their cases on their own, but this new arrangement ultimately took away the time they spent together – and for them, that was one of the best parts of their job: the comfort of spending time with their best friend.
So almost every week they didn't have a case, one of them bought dinner, they spread their files across Derek's desk, and worked for hours on their paperwork. Sometimes Derek would move to his couch, and in his comfort and exhaustion, fall asleep, case file still in hand. And every time, Emily would finish his case files for him, and gently move over to her sleeping partner, and rub her hand across his shoulder. "Morgan," she would whisper, then using his first name if that didn't work. And he finally he would stir, smiling up at the face he awoke to, thinking to himself how nice it would be to wake up to that face everyday, but catching himself before his thoughts went too far.
She would tell him that all the work was done and it was time to go home. Then each time he would protest, but each time she would just smile and hand him his coat, gesturing him to follow her out the door and he would run to walk by her side.
And so the tradition continued. But the first night Derek had too much paperwork to do after Doyle had come and ruined both of their lives, he couldn't bear to be in his office another minute… another second without her. So he would take it all home, and try not to think about just another of his favorite things he missed about her. But of course he did, and he would do his paperwork as they had always done and he would always fall asleep on his own couch in his house. But this time it was from his tears and not exhaustion. And even though she wouldn't be there to finish his paperwork and wake him softly, she would always be there in his dreams…