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Fic: Coming Undone [4/4]

Title: Coming Undone - Chapter 4
Author: freakingdork
Pairing: Morgan/OMC; Morgan-centric
Rating: FRT
Tag to: 3x15-17
Word Count: 2041
Summary: “It’s not hard to find the truth. What is hard is not to run away from it once you have found it.” After confronting his abuser, Morgan struggles with his sexuality.

*****

He hates taking these cases that aren't cases. There's always so much red tape and plenty of angry detectives and the “what if's” because if they're wrong, who will trust them again? But he's not in charge, so Derek figures Rossi can deal with all the bullshit and possible fallout if it comes to that. It's not that he regularly distrusts JJ's ability to pick out cases, even with so little evidence, but he feels the cynical, questioning part of himself taking over.

Prentiss is paired with him for most of the case and he wishes he could have as much faith in all of this as she does. Even when she plays devil's advocate, Derek can tell she doesn't believe what she's saying, not for a moment.

He doesn't want to be here and he tells himself it's because he doesn't believe in what they're doing.

It's far easier to pretend it's not because he has other things on his mind than to actually admit he just doesn't have the energy for it.

***

The unsub used to pretend he was asleep as his brother James was being abused by their father.

Of course.

Of course.

His mind skims over the time Buford took him and Rodney out to the cabin together. That's all he lets it do because it's not fair to the unsub's potential victims if he concentrates on anything other than the case.

It's almost funny how often his job pushes his past into his face like this. Derek never really used to notice it, but now that it's stuck in his mind, it won't quite let go of him. He walks away from the group to get some air, but he's not sure how much it'll help.

***

He doesn't go with the team when they tell Detective Baleman that his brother's suicide was genuine.

He hates the juxtaposition between the fact that the suicides were fake, even if they were brought in for one that was real.

***

Prentiss sits across from him on the plane, a look of near hopelessness on her face. When he asks, she wonders aloud if they're actually changing anything. It's something he's sure they all avoid thinking about for the most part because if they did, yeah, they might end up with that pressing against their hearts on a pretty regular basis.

He knows deep down that they do change things and make them better; even if it was too late for James and the others who have slowly been coming forward as the trial date nears, it wasn't for the next generation.

Instead of going down that train of thought, he expounds on something he'd revealed in a moment of distraction, saying, “If I'm not kicking down doors, I'm smashing down walls. At the end of the day, they both make me feel like I'm changing something. For the better.”

Thankfully, it's good enough for her and he feels comfortable enough to put his headphones back on.

***

A couple of weeks later, he's standing in the middle of a property and smashing down walls in an attempt to feel better.

He'd been to the club again the night before and it hadn't gone as well as he would have liked. The fear that something would happen to the team, as illogical as it was, hung ominously in his mind and made him jittery. Then the man he'd been dancing with said something that brought him right back to his abuse and there was no coming back from that.

So he takes a sledgehammer to a wall instead.

Well, at least until his phone rings anyway.

***

It's a rare thing for Reid to be late, even if his car's been in the shop, and no one is gonna seriously believe the “movie” excuse.

“I hope she was worth it,” Rossi jokes.

“I hope it was a she,” slips out of his mouth before he can catch himself and he chuckles nervously at the slip up. Derek's really unsure exactly what he meant by it. Maybe it's because that's not really a road he wants to go down. Nevertheless, he feels like an absolute ass for saying it, but it's not like he can take it back, at least not so publicly anyway.

No one really seems to notice and that's just fine by him.

***

Reid's on edge, more so than Derek would have expected. Anyone who knows Reid's educational history could easily infer just how poorly high school students would react to a twelve year old who was far smarter than them. So, yes, it's a bullying case, a teen who profiles as school shooter, but Reid's reaction is bordering on extreme.

When Hotch calls to tell him that he's sending Reid back to the house to “help” profile Owen's room, Derek isn't surprised in the least. He picks up on the undertones, the implication that he's supposed to refocus Reid's energy into something more productive and Derek doesn't quite know what to do with that.

Despite the dark areas of his past, anything he could possibly say is not nearly enough.

***

That prediction proves to be correct. Sure, he can ramble about how small he was when he entered high school, how working out wasn't about vanity, but he knows it's not even slightly comparable to Reid's experiences.

The sound of Reid's voice as he explains that his mom didn't even notice he was gone, the way it wavers and cracks, is completely heartbreaking. The tears that threaten to fall don't, but it's a near thing. It's what he needs though; Reid needs the outlet, needs to let the story spill out and while Derek is happy to provide the catharsis for Reid, he redirects Reid's attention back to the case as soon as possible. Because while the story needs to see the light of day, Derek knows that letting it go on too long might make Reid break. That's the last thing he wants.

He shouldn't be surprised when Reid doesn't share everything he's figured out or that he stands in the way of their fire. It works out in the end, but it's yet another reminder that they all have the cases that bring their worst memories back to them.

It's certainly a reminder Derek doesn't revel in.

***

Another night at the club, another man, another failure.

Perhaps that's not entirely true, but it certainly feels like it each time he connects with someone, only to push other man away before anything goes too far. He wants to be close with them, but finds that want isn't always enough.

This time, Derek brings a man home after a long night of dancing, which is farther than he's gone before; he still hasn't attempted to leave a club with someone since the night Garcia was shot. It's a whirlwind of hands and lips and tongue once they cross the threshold, but it slows as they head back towards the bedroom. He's not sure why he loses his nerve, but it's suddenly too much.

Again.

Except this man, Nick, notices and stops. He says he doesn't mind, which is all kinds of baffling to Derek, but Nick certainly seems sincere when he leads them into the living room and starts a conversation about his landscaping business. It goes hand in hand with Derek's renovating work and he's even done some minor landscaping himself when the house really needed it, so it's an easy topic.

There's a part of him that doesn't understand why Nick is being so kind about it all when he's basically been cockblocked. He could have been mean, he could have left in a huff, but instead he sticks around and talks about the finer points of correctly putting down sod? It's a little confusing.

Nick gives him a few soft kisses and his business card as he leaves, saying Derek should call if he needs help on his houses or anything else.

And yet, Derek can't shake the feeling that he's failed.

***

Miami is always this hot.

Every day. All day.

He goes back to what he knows.

Flirting with detective Lopez should be harder now.

It's not.

***

The GPS doesn't seem like something that would hold so many revelations, but for a gay man who isn't out? Apparently, it holds enough.

"It's a gay bar Hotch."

He can practically hear Hotch's face change over the phone and Derek's just glad he's the one to deal with Will.

***

He doesn't deliver the profile and he hardly speaks when they find the victim from Texas.

Everything rings in his ears instead.

"Whatever he sees in his victims he wants for himself."

"He can't allow himself the vulnerability."

"Escape into the fantasty protects him from ever having to look at himself."


He lets it wash over him, but keeps it from fully sinking in.

***

The latest victim's hotel room only adds to the profile of a desperate man who wishes to possess a new identity.

And that leads him to the thought that it's worth profiling the last time there were two victims.

***

Prentiss asks Sarah why her father abused her brother, but not her.

He's glad he's not interviewing Steven's father; the look on Sarah's face tells Derek all that he needs to know.

"Because she's not the one who's gay," he states.

***

As Lopez runs into the hostel, he hates her, just a little bit. He knows how it'll look to Hotch and he's worried that things will go sideways, but he'd never let an LEO take the fall for it. And really, he didn't want to do this part. He'd rather it be Reid or Prentiss or anyone besides himself.

He knows he told Reid that you use your bad experiences to make yourself better at the job, but he knows what bullshit it is, at least in relation to this. The last thing he wants is to dig into this portion of his life to make an unsub listen to him.

Not that it matters; it has to be done.

So when Derek calls his name, trying to remind Steven that he's not Michael, it pains him. Steven is so broken and fear radiates off him in waves. He wants to be anyone but himself and given what Steven went through at home, Derek can't really blame him for trying. As Steven spews out the insults he got at home - stupid, disgusting, filthy - Derek thinks of what he'd most like to hear over a year ago, after he'd run away from the first bar.

It comes to him in a flash.

"Listen to me Steven. There's nothing wrong with you! Nothing man."

And while Steven might not fully understand or even agree, there's something that flickers in his eyes. As Derek puts his gun away, he knows he's betting heavily on his own ability to talk Steven down. Mentioning Sarah brings him back and Steven steps away from the edge, dropping the bag. Cuffing Steven is harder than it should be, even though he's gentle and careful not to spook him; he almost doesn't want to do it.

"You have to tell him that I didn't do anything with those other guys, I never did." Steven practically sobs the words out. Even as Derek tries to soothe him, the empathy burns him. He feels it burrow under his skin and knows just how long it'll stay with him.

***

"Well finally," Derek says, watching JJ and Will kiss.

Prentiss grins. "Mmm I thought she was never going to admit it."

"Yeah, what's it been? Like a year?" Reid asks.

"Yeah, something like that," he says.

Something like that indeed.

***

His second date with Nick is dinner at a pub and a free concert in the park.

***

"I'm queer," he says softly.

It's not much, but that doesn't matter; he's never said it out loud, not even to himself.

Prentiss nods. “What's it been? Like, a year?”

“You're such an asshole,” Derek says, playfully shoving her.

“Sorry, sorry. I couldn't help it,” she says. “And you're...okay?”

“Yeah. I'm okay.”

Comments

og

i'm really glad for the resolve of this fic. it was lovely, and morgan's final leg of his journey was painful but necessary.

i love the ending scene with prentiss, too
I'm really glad I finally finished this fic too and I'm glad to hear it worked for you. <3
me

November 2013

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