Missing Moments

Nightmare (7x02)

Nightmare

7x02

"Your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow.

And I'm waiting for sleep."

–Ani Difranco

Everything finally felt right for Emily Prentiss. Ian Doyle was dead. She was out of hiding. Declan was safe. And most importantly, the team – her family – was back together again. The initial feelings of shock, confusion and anger were long gone and replaced with feelings of hope, thankfulness and love.

She still didn't know what she wanted: if the BAU was really where she was really meant to be. But as she was laughing, talking and joking with her team at Rossi's house as they made a pasta dinner together, her doubts were pushed to the back of her mind. She felt happy for the first time in seven months – she finally felt content since the very first time she had interacted with Doyle. She didn't feel scared anymore. She felt home.

So they all cooked dinner together; each tried the other's dish and finally, they made their way to the living room where they wasted hours laughing, joking and playing Rock Band. But soon it was time for them all to go home for the weekend. The team had just jumped directly into their first case back together again and Emily still didn't have her own place or even her own car yet.

She had stayed with JJ a few nights but didn't want to intrude anymore so she set herself up in a hotel room. If she was honest, it was the last place she wanted to be seeing as how most of her time in the past seven months was spent if not in hospital rooms, in hotel rooms – completely alone.

"Do you need me to drive you to your hotel since you refuse to stay with me?" JJ asked Emily as they approached the door.

"JJ, I can't impose on you anymore. You've already done so much," Emily responded.

Derek Morgan, who had been standing as close as he could while watching Emily all night couldn't help but overhear their conversation. "I'll drive you," he chimed in.

"Are you sure?" Emily asked. "I don't want to be any trouble."

"Nonsense. You're worth all the trouble and more," he said with a wink.

So they said their goodbyes, promising to see each other at work on Monday as long as a case didn't come up between now and then, and Derek walked Emily to his car. And ever the gentleman, he moved in to the passenger door for her.

"Thank you," she said as he got into the driver's side. "I really appreciate you taking me to my hotel."

"You're welcome…" Derek began hesitantly, and Emily knew he was hiding something. "But I'm not taking you to the hotel. You're coming home with me."

"Morgan, that is ridiculous," Emily instantly protested. "I'll be fine, really. I already put JJ out needlessly and I am not going to do the same to you. I'll get an apartment again and get another car soon and I'll be all set."

"Don't argue with me Princess," Derek said seriously. "I know after seven months alone in hospitals and hotel rooms you do not want to spend another minute there. Admit it."

"Well…"

"Emily," he said, in a pointed tone.

"You're right… but you don't have to…"

"Yes, I am right and there will be no buts about it. Plus now neither one of us will be alone tonight…" he said, looking in her direction – both of them knowing that the other was thinking of the phone call they had shared only days ago in the middle of the night.

"And I'll help you find an apartment and a car this weekend if you like. You know you're going to need someone to do all that heavy lifting," he chuckled as he held up one of his muscled arms and flexed it. "What do you say?"

"I say I think you've won your case," she smiled. "I do need some strong muscles to help me with all that furniture," she laughed. "But I just might feel generous and buy you dinner afterwards."

"Deal," Derek responded happily.

They drove to the hotel first so Emily could get her things. She continually told Derek she didn't mind staying alone, but he wouldn't hear of it. And she was more than happy to oblige.

It was late when they finally got to his place. Derek carried all of Emily's things inside behind her. She looked around, remembering all the memories they had made here ever since their friendship began: movie nights, cooking breakfast together – or Derek cooking and Emily supervising - after their weekly early morning workout or running dates where sometimes they would never actually get to working out but just cook and end up watching a movie or TV marathon on the couch all day; or their late night heart-to-heart discussions, These were just a few of the things they had done together… before Doyle. "Oh, I've missed this place," she said.

"I've missed you," Morgan responded without missing a beat. Emily turned around, holding his gaze with a look that conveyed her deepest apology.

"I've missed you too… More than you know," she said.

They shared another deep look before Derek broke silence. "I'm sure you're tired," he began as he began to walk towards his bedroom with his bags. "You can sleep in here."

"Derek," Emily instantly protested. "You're doing enough already. I'm not taking your bed too."

"Don't argue with me," he smiled; and she knew she wouldn't win.

He placed her things in his room, making sure she had everything she needed before he moved to the door.

"Thank you," she called to him, reaching for his arm.

"Always," he instantly responded. "I'm just thankful I have you back," he said as his hand brushed her arm. "I'll see you in the morning; and we'll find you an apartment and get you a car and I might even make you breakfast," he added with a winked.

"I'll hold you to that," she smiled. "Goodnight Derek."

"Goodnight Emily," he replied as he closed the door behind him and made his way into the guest bedroom.

But no matter how hard he tried, Morgan couldn't fall asleep. He laid in the guest bedroom but after a couple of hours of endless tossing and turning, Derek made his way to the living room couch, hoping he could find something on television to help him fall asleep.

He turned on the TV, flipping through the channels but found nothing particularly amusing. Derek was just about to give up his search when he heard a strange sound that seemed to be coming from his bedroom. His FBI instinct instantly kicked in and he turned off the television. At first, he didn't hear the sound again and thought perhaps he was wrong but as soon as he was about to turn the TV back on, he heard the sound again, and this time it was even louder.

It was followed by soft moans coming directly from his bedroom. The moans turned into soft cries that soon became louder and more frantic; eventually turning into screams. Derek had jumped into action, running in the direction of his room and bursting through the door.

There in his bed, Emily was tossing and turning, screaming, "No! No! Please!" – obviously lost in the world of a nightmare she was having. Derek ran to the bed and and quickly, but nevertheless gently, pulled her up to him. "Emily," he began. "Emily, wake up. Shhh… It's me. I'm right here." He said, trying to stroke her hair with one hand while the other wrapped around her back to pull her closer into his chest.

She had suddenly awakened at his touch but the terror from her dream did not leave her so quickly. She fought hard against him out of fear and confusion. But he continued his attempts to soothe her so finally, Emily's senses registered that she was no longer with Doyle in her mind but safe in her partner's arms.

She stared at him with wide, wet, and tired eyes. "Derek?" she cried, still questioning his presence because of how she had seen Doyle take him away in her nightmare.

"Em, it's me... Shhh… You're okay. It was just a nightmare," he instantly responded, reaching up to move a stray strand of hair behind her ear after wiping her tears with a delicate finger; He attempted to comfort her but terror still filled her eyes. "You're safe now. He can't hurt you anymore."

At that, Emily simply fell against him, sobs wracking her small frame. He wrapped his arms around her, bringing her into him as tightly as he could. She buried her face into his neck as her arms snake their way around him, hands clutching at the fabric of his shirt and finding comfort by inhaling his familiar scent. And as she clung to him, he whispered to comfort her. "Shhh... Emily, it's okay. I'm right here." As he spoke, he ran one hand up and down her back to soothe her as the other rested on the back of her head, entwined in her hair – rocking her back and forth.

She was still crying but regained a bit more control of herself as she began to speak. "I can't stop seeing his face," she wept, voice muffled as she spoke into the crook of Derek's neck. "Ever since that night, he hasn't left me. It's always the same. He comes and takes Declan or he goes after the team… or just after you. But he hurts me every time. I try to go after you but he holds me back and I have to watch him kill you all…" she gasped for air, from her fear and constant tears, but she still continued. "And then he goes into kill me. But I always wake up just before he does."

Morgan pulled her even tighter into him, caressing her back as he turned both of their bodies to lean back against the pillows, further onto the bed. His eyes had begun to fill with tears at the pain of her story but also at the pain of his own memories of the nightmares he still had, just like Emily's. Doyle would take her and torture her just in front of him, filling his mind with her screams. But no matter how hard he fought, he could never get to her. Or he would have another nightmare; one he found far more painful than any torture Doyle could inflict on him or Emily…

He would dream of days at the office, time on the jet or trips in the SUV. There were no particular stand out moments for him with any of these – there were times when he could catch a glimpse of her smile, hear her voice and sometimes, if he was lucky, he could hear her laughing - they were just memories of time spent with her – of when she was alive… when she was with him. And for him, those were the worst type of dreams he could have because he knew deep down when he woke up, it could never be the same again.

He would wake up in cold sweats almost every night since that night in the warehouse – filled with sadness, confusion, and most of all anger. And then Derek Morgan, strong, tough, unaffected FBI agent Derek Morgan, would cry himself to sleep, masochistically longing to dream of her again – just so he could see her alive one last time.

However, when she had returned, his dreams of her with him had become a reality and so they had disappeared and had been replaced with even more nightmares of Doyle taking her out from his grasp… taking her away from him once more and this time, for good.

But Derek pulled himself out of the pain of the nightmares he had to focus on his quivering partner still clinging to his body like a lone swimmer to a buoy in a stormy sea. His heart broke into pieces at her pain but he was comforted over simply being able to hold her breathing body in his arms the way he had prayed for over and over ever since her supposed death. "He can't hurt you anymore, Em." Derek began, whispering in her ear before resting his head on top of her own.

"But he's always there…" she protested weakly.

"And I'll always be here," He said in a tone of determination.

She looked up into his eyes, smiling for the first time that night. "Thank you," she said softly, to which he returned her smile. Emily suddenly became aware of her position lying practically on top of Derek. "I'm sorry I woke you," Emily said, sitting up in the bed.

"You didn't. I couldn't sleep anyway," he responded.

"Well I shouldn't have kept you up. I'm sure I'll be all right," she said, trying to hint that he could leave if he wanted to. Despite the fact that was the last thing she wanted him to do.

"Emily. Stop apologizing. You know…being with you helps me too. And Emily, you know I'll always be here for you – no matter where or when. I'm not letting you go again. But if you want to be alone…" he began reluctantly. "I understand."

She looked at him with wide, pleading eyes – terrified of being alone the way she had been for the last months without her team, her family, there with her. Emily knew they shouldn't be doing this – she knew it was unprofessional – but when she was with Derek, she felt the comfort she had always longed for – and she was free now, so she wasn't about to give that up. So she looked at him, and merely shook her head. "No… I don't want you to go," she whispered, tired of facing the nightmares alone.

"Good. So come here," he whispered gently, reaching his arms out to her. And in a matter of seconds, Emily went to him, laying her body beside his own and maneuvering on her side to find a place to rest her head atop his shoulder as their arms wrapped around one another once more, hands intertwined as they rested on his chest. He pulled the blankets around their bodies, and the two partners fell into a peaceful sleep neither one had experienced in what felt like an eternity.

Emily had lost her entire family in one day. Derek had lost his best friend and partner, wondering each day she was gone why it had to be him instead of her. So as he lay there that night before he finally fell asleep, he came up with a plan: A way to ensure that the feelings that had been creeping into his heart for Emily since Doyle, and if he thought about it, since they had first met, would be protected and wouldn't distract him. He loved his job and he knew hunting down the bad guys was the best way to honor his father, but he knew above all else, protecting Emily was and would always be his first priority. And it was also the perfect way to spend even more time with her. He wouldn't talk about it with her now… they would soon – but he had to figure out how to tell her. So tonight, just being with each other again was enough.

Emily awoke the next morning as the warm sun streamed through the window and found a place to rest on her face. She rolled over, reaching her arm out a little farther, expecting to find Derek, her comforter, still resting at her side. But her hand was met with only sheets and pillows. Here eyes opened slowly as her face turned from one of contentment to one of disappointment and the dread of being alone. She sat up, and began to look around rather frantically - wondering at first if last night's events were merely a dream.

But she knew that no dream could have made her feel the way her partner had when he came to comfort her in the night. So her fears grew stronger - her fear of being alone and her self-conscious fear wondering if he regretted staying with her through the night because of both her lies as well as their jobs. Still, she had to know...

"Morgan?" she called softly, her fear of being alone betraying her as it came through in the tone of her voice. When she received no answer, she called his name once more – this time a bit louder and though she wouldn't admit it, a bit more frantically.

Soon, she saw Derek emerge through the bedroom door. "Oh, you're awake," he said in a startled tone but nevertheless with his beautiful smile. "I'm sorry I wasn't here when you woke up – I mean to be - You looked so peaceful that I couldn't bear to wake you. So I started working on that deal we worked out," he grinned, lifting up his hands.

Only then did Emily realize he was carrying a plate of her favorite breakfast food – blueberry pancakes – a recipe from Fran Morgan herself. She smiled widely as she jumped out of bed and rushed towards him to take the plate from his grasp. "Slow down," he laughed.

"Are you kidding me!? I haven't had these ever since…" her voice trailed off. The last time she had eaten Derek's pancakes was only days before she had left to hunt down Doyle – it was the last time they had spent together outside of work before she was gone.

"I know…" he finished for her with a sad tone. "It's been a long time."

"Yeah…" she nodded.

"Well I also called the realty company and you're old apartment is still available if you want it?"

"Sure!" Emily exclaimed. "Maybe that means I can finally get Sergio back."

"I think a certain tech guru might take issue with that," Derek laughed.

They finished their breakfast and then got ready for all of the tasks they had set out to accomplish that day. Emily signed the apartment contract and had movers bringing in her things from the storage unit JJ had secretly saved her things in while she and Derek went car shopping. Of course Derek wanted her to buy a sports car but Emily had much more conservative taste. So, to please them both, she bought a bright red BMW they both loved. Then they drove back to her new old apartment.

Derek helped her unpack boxes and put together a few pieces of furniture but there was still plenty to do that they would work on in days to come. They ordered in Chinese food and had to eat on the floor since Emily still didn't have a dining room table. But they didn't mind.

Soon it was late in the night, and Derek knew he couldn't stay there forever even if that's what they both secretly wanted. So he made his way to the door as slowly as he could. "I'll come by tomorrow to put those bookcases together. And we absolutely have to get you a table."

"Okay," she smiled. "Thank you for today. I couldn't have done any of this without you. I'm really finally beginning to feel at home again," Emily said. "And thank you for last night…"

"You know I'll always be here for you. I'm just a phone call away if you need anything. And I mean anything," Morgan said, hoping this time around, Emily would be able open up to him – at least the nightmares were a good start.

"Thank you," Emily responded, leaning in to give him a hug they both felt had ended too quickly.

"See you tomorrow," he called. "Then work on Monday."

"Oh I can't wait…" she responded sarcastically as she watched him go, sadness already beginning to sweep over her as she realized she was alone again. But she knew she had to find her independence again.

So that night she tried – they both did – even though the nightmares came again; but this time, there was no one to take away the pain. And that is when they realized just how much they really needed each other.


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