Neck Rub (7x21)
[7x21 – "Divining Rod"]
"Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still and know that I am here
Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still, be still, and know
When darkness comes upon you
And covers you with fear and shame
Be still and know that I'm with you
And I will say your name"
- Be Still, The Fray -
The whole team had gone out for drinks to celebrate Emily's new house after they had landed. But no one could stay long because everyone already had weekend plans – something they very rarely got to do with their job: Garcia and Kevin had tickets to see a show, JJ wanted to get home to Will and Henry before his bedtime, Hotch had a date with Beth, Rossi said he had a meeting with his book publisher (which was actually a secret rendezvous with Strauss), and Reid was going to watch a Dr. Who marathon with fellow nerd Agent Ashley Seaver. So Derek and Emily decided they could also make plans of their own… they just happened to make them together. The two friends decided relax after the rather difficult last case and watch a movie at Derek's place while ordering in dinner.
"My neck still hurts…"
"You mean from the car chase that was almost a car accident?" Emily asked with a subtle laugh as she followed Derek into his living room.
"But that wasn't a crash because of my expert driving skills…" Derek said as he pointed his finger in her direction with a wink.
"Something like that," Emily laughed as she sat down in her usual spot on the couch.
"But yeah… I really think I pulled something when the car spun around." Derek said as he reached his hand up to rub his neck.
"Come here." Emily ordered from the couch as she pointed to the floor in front of her.
"What?" Derek asked.
"Well if I remember correctly, a while ago, we made a deal that I was to train with you, get you your morning coffee and give you a neck rub everyday. Well as usual, we're training this weekend, I got you your coffee this morning, so now it looks like a neck massage is in order mister."
"Now that I am not going to argue with." Derek replied with an excited grin as he made his way to sit on the floor with his back against the couch in between Emily's legs, grimacing at the soreness in his neck. She placed her hands on his shoulders and began massaging out the tension and the pain. "I knew you always wanted an excuse to get your hands on me," Derek joked.
"Oh you wish…" Emily laughed as she continued massaging his shoulders, both of them ignoring the fact that their jokes were a bit too close to the truth than they cared to admit.
"You know this is a nice change." Derek commented.
"What is?" Emily responded, unsure of what he meant.
"Me being injured instead of you." Derek laughed.
"Yes, well let's not make a habit of it, all right? I'd rather keep us safe and in one piece if you don't mind. I think between the two of us, we've had enough injuries to last us a lifetime so I don't want to add anymore to that list."
"You and me both, Princess." Derek said and Emily continued to work her skills on releasing the tension from Derek's injuries. They sat that way for a long while, Emily focused on her task at hand and Derek enjoying the skilled and delicate hands massaging his shoulders.
"Thank you, by the way." Emily finally said as she worked.
"For helping me find the house. I really do think I'm going to love it – once my nerves finally settle that is. And I wouldn't have made the offer if not for you. I wouldn't have even found it without you. So… thank you."
"Hey…" Derek said softly, as he turned to face her. "I know it's scary but there is nothing to be nervous about. Ever since you've been back you've said you wanted your own place instead of your old apartment. This is your chance! It's part of your fresh start." Emily looked down, still unsure of her decision. Derek leaned in closer, looking into her eyes and she finally looked back at him. So he continued softly, "But Emily, if you're not ready, if you want to wait – you know you don't have to do anything you don't want to. But if this is something you really want then go for it! The first time I bought one of my properties I was scared to death. But it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Em, I helped you find this place. Don't think you're doing this alone. I'll be there every step of the way if you'll let me. We'll do the inspection together. I'll make sure everything is just right. I'll fix anything you need me to. It will be perfect, trust me."
Although Emily's doubts still floated about in her mind, she pushed them aside with a smile because more than anything else, she did trust Derek – with her life. "Thank you… really. And I would love your help – I mean I just bought a house! I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. So you got me into this buddy – you can't back out now!" Emily said as she laughed. "You're sticking it out with me until the end."
"Always," Derek winked.
Emily simply smiled at his response with use of the word that had become one of the foundations of their close relationship. The butterflies in her stomach about the house had finally subsided because she knew she had Derek Morgan to count on – always. But some butterflies still remained for a very different reason as she looked into Derek's eyes. But she pushed those away as well, trying not to let her mind wander to fantasies the FBI would not allow, and regained control of herself. Emily placed her hand on Derek's shoulder, "How is your neck feeling?"
"It still feels a little sore but honestly, it's ten times better now that you've worked your magic on it. Really, I'm good. So let's start that movie! You're going to love it!"
So they called in their dinner and started the movie Derek had raved about ever since Emily could remember but that she had never watched. And he was right: she did love it. But she loved spending time with him even more – and he felt exactly the same way.
The movie rolled its final credits very late into the night. But Emily and Derek had plans to go to the FBI gym early the next morning and train as usual. "It's getting late…" Emily began. "I should go get some rest for tomorrow."
"You know you can stay. It will be better than driving across the city on a Friday night. You have your go-bag with you anyway," Derek commented, hoping she would stay.
And of course that was all Emily needed to hear. Ever since she had come back, they had spent as much time as they could together and had become comfortable with each other's constant presence - sometimes even longing for it. They told themselves it was because their friendship had grown stronger since the Doyle incident and they were making up for the lost time, but they wouldn't admit that their relationship had grown to a whole new level.
"Okay," she began. "I'll take the guest room." Though they were used to sleeping with one another since she came back, it was only when the nightmares came and memories of the past returned. Emily chose to take the guest room not merely because of the FBI rules, but to guard herself from the deep feelings she was realizing she had for Derek.
Lately, when she was alone and would wake up from nightmares of Doyle or even simply when she awoke in the morning for work, she found herself missing the special nights when Derek was there to comfort her. She knew she had to protect herself before she let her feelings change their relationship – however she was slowly breaking down her guarded walls and getting closer to giving in to her emotions.
So Derek and Emily said goodnight and made their way to bed. Emily fell asleep faster than usual because just having Derek in the room next door; she felt safer and happier than when she was alone. And tonight, her nightmares weren't as terrible as they usually were and she surprisingly didn't wake up in terror. However, someone else was not so lucky.
It was close to three in the morning, the house was dead silent but Emily was still tossing and turning. She stirred as the sound of a door and the light from the hallway began to shine in her room. She opened her eyes and as she adjusted to her surroundings, she noticed a shirtless Derek Morgan standing near the doorway. "Derek?" she asked softly as she propped herself up in the bed. "What's wrong?"
"He was there," Derek began, looking a bit embarrassed. "I just had to see you. To make sure… We were back in that warehouse." He said as his voice cracked because he was trying to hold back tears as he shuffled towards her. "I just had to make sure I really got you back Em. They always feel so real."
"Hey… it's okay," Emily whispered as she reached out for his hand. "I'm right here… and I'm not going anywhere. I promise."
"Thank you… I'm sorry if I startled you, it's just that it felt so real…"
"No," Emily cut him off. "It's okay. Really. As much as you've helped me with my own, I owe it to you. You don't always have to be the tough one Derek." Emily whispered and looked up into his tearful eyes with sincerity. "Come here…" She said as she pulled back the covers and tugged on his hand that she was still holding.
Derek climbed into the bed beside her and they snuggled close.
"Emily?" Derek questioned, still fearful he was in his nightmare and she might evaporate any moment.
"Everthing's okay Derek. It's me. I'm here… always." Emily whispered with a smile. And Derek smiled back at her in return, finding comfort in the truth of her words – of their special word; and finally pushing his nightmare out of his mind.
She relished in the warmth of his body as she rested her hand on top of Derek's perfectly sculpted chest, her delicate touch reassuring him she really was alive and in his arms – just the way she was the day she returned. Beneath her hand, Emily noticed Derek's rapid heartbeat go back to a normal rhythm once he had her in his arms and his nightmare now merely seemed like a bad memory far in the past.
They both fell into a deep sleep, feeling safe, content and rather tempted to break FBI regulations as they found comfort in one another's arms, reminding them of their gratefulness in the miracle that was the second chance they had received.