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through the din of this loud life

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It shouldn't have been a surprise, really. Not a single thing about this case had gone right so far, so there was no reason to expect this part would be any different. And it wasn't that Derek minded the weather -- he grew up in Chicago, so he'd seen bigger storms than this -- but getting stuck sitting on his hands in the middle of nowhere while the rest of the team worked the case wasn't exactly part of the plan.

Well, the rest of the team minus Spencer, because he was snowed in right along with Derek. And he wouldn't mind so much if their trip into the mountains hadn't been totally pointless, but the witness they'd come out here to track down didn't know anything. Unless she was a hell of an actress, she hadn't even seen her ex-husband in years, and from the looks of her house and the pictures of her kids, she'd moved on just fine.

So they were stuck in Nowheresville, Colorado, watching the snow come down fast and waiting around for someone from the police station to give them a lift to the only motel in town. And that was the part Hotch was really going to love; their rental was stuck in a ditch somewhere, waiting for the highway to reopen and someone to dig it out so they could tow it back to the rental place. Which meant the BAU was stuck footing the bill for however many days it sat frozen and dead on the highway, and whatever repairs it needed once they finally got it out of the ditch Derek had driven them into.

Not that it was his fault; he sure as hell hadn't been expecting a white-out, and when they said 'heavy snow' he'd never expected the storm to come on this fast. They were already on the highway when the local cops shut it down, and Derek knew they were just lucky that state trooper had found them before the car was too covered to see in the storm. He let out a heavy sigh and reached up to rub the back of his neck, staring out into the vast stretch of white outside the police station.

"Looks like it's getting worse," Spencer said, and Derek looked to his right to see Spencer standing next to him with a cup of coffee in each hand.

"Thanks," Derek said, taking the cup Spencer held out to him. "No telling how long we'll be stuck here. Hotch is gonna be pissed."

"Not much we can do about that." Spencer shrugged and lifted his coffee, taking a sip and then wrinkling his nose. "This is worse than the BAU coffee."

Derek smiled for the first time since he'd run their rental car off the road. "I didn't think that was possible."

Spencer smiled into his cup and took another sip of bad coffee. "I guess beggars can't be choosers."

And it was funny, because Derek figured Spencer would be more upset about getting stuck out here than he was. He'd never done that well in the cold, for one, and Derek had always chalked that up to growing up in the desert, but he had a feeling part of it was Spencer's size. There wasn't much on those bones of his to keep him warm, and Derek wasn't even sure if he owned a decent coat. He could be safely back in Denver right now, but he'd volunteered to keep Derek company on what was supposed to be a quick trip into the mountains. Derek could have handled it alone, but Hotch was a big believer of safety in numbers, and it hadn't taken much for Spencer to convince him that Derek shouldn't go by himself.

So now they were both stuck, and Hotch was probably kicking himself right now, because there wasn't even any cell reception in this weather, and that meant Spencer's brain was totally inaccessible. Derek took a sip of coffee to hide his grin at the idea of having Spencer all to himself; this wasn't that kind of trip, and even if it was Derek was probably the furthest thing from Spencer's mind. Last Derek heard Spencer was still being chased by that cute bartender, and if that giant brain of his was working right, he'd let her catch him by now.

Not that he thought about Spencer and his new girl. It was none of his business, for one thing, and the truth was he didn't really want to know. There was a time when he would have teased Spencer about it until he got mad enough to push back, would have kept pushing buttons until he found the one that made Spencer's eyes flash. He liked watching Spencer get all fired up, and he liked it even more when all that passion was directed at him.

But ever since Vegas...well, something changed on that case. He still wound Spencer up just for fun, but it was different now. These days whenever Spencer got mad at him Derek flashed right back to Vegas, to the look on Spencer's face when he saw his father for the first time in years. To the sound of his voice calling Derek's name in his sleep, and that one kept him up nights, staring at the ceiling and trying not to think about Spencer.

So getting snowed in with him wasn't exactly at the top of Derek's list, but at least their per diem meant they wouldn't have to share a room. As soon as he thought it a trooper appeared in the doorway, hat still on and snowflakes clinging to his jacket. "Sorry about the wait; it's hell out there. I can run you out to the motel now if you're ready."

Spencer nodded and slipped his bag over his shoulder, pulling his thin jacket a little tighter and Derek had to check the urge to roll his eyes. Because he knew how much Spencer made, and even if he spent all his money on rent and books, he could afford a decent coat. Derek pulled his own coat on and followed them out of the waiting room, down the hall and out of the station. They climbed into the SUV running at the bottom of the steps, Derek sliding into the passenger seat and Spencer climbing into the back.

"Any place to get a meal out here?" Derek asked as they headed out of town, the SUV pushing through tall drifts of snow.

"There's a coffee shop attached to the motel," the trooper answered. "As long as there's somebody around to keep it open. Anybody who wasn't at work when the storm blew up isn't likely to show up now."

Derek sighed and glanced out the window, watching fat white flakes falling faster than the windshield wipers could keep up with them. He could barely see a few feet in front of them, and he could only assume that the only reason the trooper managed to stay on the road was because he knew it so well. The prospect of at least one night -- maybe more -- trapped in the mountains with nothing to do was bad enough, but it was going to be even longer if they didn't have any food.

He could tell they hadn't gone that far, but it still took a long time before the trooper pulled off the road and into what Derek assumed used to be a parking lot. All it was now was one big snowdrift, and he could barely make out a building through the storm.

"This is it," the trooper said, throwing the truck into park. "It's not much, but it's the only motel in town, so it's not like you've got much choice."

"Thanks," Derek said, bracing himself before he pushed the door open and climbed out into the snow. Spencer was already out of the SUV and wading toward a dim light that Derek hoped was the office. "Appreciate the lift."

"Don't mention it," the trooper shouted, his voice barely audible over the storm. "We'll let you know when we fish your car out."

Derek waved his thanks and shut the door, then he turned to follow a quickly disappearing Spencer. When he caught up Spencer was pushing the office door open, stamping his feet to knock the snow off his pants. He shook his head, looking for a second just like Clooney when he came in from the rain, and Derek grinned and shut the door behind him.

"Hello?" Derek called, rubbing his hands together as he looked around for someone to check them in. And if they didn't have a room he didn't know what they were going to do, because their ride was already disappearing into the storm. A few seconds later an older woman appeared behind the desk, taking in the two of them and shaking her head.

"Let me guess, you got caught in the storm," she said. "Well, you're in luck, because I've got one room left."

"Just one?" Derek said, glancing at Spencer and then back at the woman. "Any chance you've got two?"

"Sorry. Lots of people got stuck in this one, it came on faster than normal. You're welcome to wait it out here, but you're going to have to share."

And sharing a room with Spencer was even further down on Derek's list than getting snowed in with him, but there wasn't much they could do. "That okay with you?" he asked Spencer anyway, turning to take in Spencer's damp hair and hunched shoulders.

"It's not like we have much choice," Spencer answered with another shrug, and Derek knew he was right, but he was being awful calm about all this. Like he couldn't think of anything he'd rather be doing right now than waiting out some storm in the middle of nowhere. Like they didn't have a serial killer running rampant in Denver, waiting for them to catch up with him.

Derek nodded once and turned back to the desk, swallowing a sigh as he filled out the reservation form and handed over his credit card. And the worst part was that all their stuff was still back in their hotel rooms in Denver; they didn't even have a deck of cards to pass the time, and it was going to be a long night.

It wasn't a motel so much as a row of cabins that climbed a low incline, and the key they had was for the very last one. From what Derek could make out, the cabins had been given Bavarian-style facades, so on a clear day this would probably look like a little row of gingerbread houses tucked into the mountain. With the way the snow was blowing, however, he could barely make out the shapes of the buildings, let alone admire the view.

It took awhile to find cabin ten, mostly because the snow was blowing so hard that Derek could barely see three feet in front of him. He could barely see Spencer at all, and more than once he'd reached back to grab hold of Spencer's arm just to make sure Derek didn't lose him. When he finally spotted their cabin he propelled them both through the snow, fingers shaking as he unlocked the door and ushered Spencer in ahead of him.

Derek kicked the door shut and turned the lock, shaking as much snow off him as he could before he pulled his coat off and looked up. As soon as he did his heart sank, and if this day could get any worse, he wasn't sure how.

"Huh," Spencer said, dropping his bag on the only chair in the room and unzipping his jacket. "Well, at least it'll be warm."

The idea of sharing body heat with Spencer was something he couldn't even think about, not if he wanted to get through the night without losing a friend. He opened his mouth, then changed his mind and closed it again. But there wasn't so much as a lumpy couch to stretch out on, and unless Derek wanted to sleep in the bathtub, he was going to spend the night sharing the only bed in the room with Spencer.


"There's a coffee maker," Spencer called from the bathroom, and Derek shook his head and let out a chuckle. Leave it to Spencer to get excited about bad coffee when they were stuck in the middle of nowhere with no food, no cell reception, and one double bed between them.

"Guess we won't starve, anyway," Derek said, crossing the small cabin to lean against the bathroom doorframe.

"Technically coffee isn't a food," Spencer answered, glancing up at him. "Negligible nutritional value. But humans can go up to six weeks without food, and we're both healthy, so we've got at least a month before there's irreversible damage to our kidneys."

Derek checked the urge to argue that Spencer didn't look all that healthy. He knew how sensitive Spencer was about his size, whether he wanted people to know or not. As far as he knew, he was the only one who got to hear about the worst parts of Spencer's childhood, about the bullying and the way it made him feel. So he wasn't going to tease Spencer about being too skinny, but that didn't mean he wasn't grateful that they were only snowed in for a day or two instead of weeks. At least he hoped so, because he wasn't sure he could spend six weeks alone with Spencer and keep his mouth shut the entire time.

Spencer didn't seem to mind being stranded, though; in fact, he seemed to be having a pretty good time. He'd already gone through all the drawers and the only closet, coming up with a Scrabble board with no tiles, an ancient-looking TV antenna that probably wouldn't have helped even if there wasn't a snowstorm blowing outside, and now a coffee maker. Which didn't leave them a lot of options, as far as entertainment was concerned, and yeah, it was going to be a long night.

Derek crossed the room again and sank onto the edge of the bed, reaching up to loosen his tie as he watched Spencer moving restlessly around the room, checking drawers he'd already looked through once.

"Man, what are you looking for?" Derek asked, and he didn't mean to sound exasperated, but the storm and the close quarters were already wearing on his nerves. But if Spencer noticed he didn't react; he didn't even look up, just shrugged his shoulders and pulled open another drawer.

"I thought maybe I'd missed the Scrabble tiles. I'm surprised there's not a Bible in here somewhere, at least that would give us something to read."

"You mean you don't have a book in that bag you're always dragging around?" Derek asked, raising an eyebrow when Spencer looked over at him.

"Finished it on the flight to Denver," Spencer answered. "The Collected Works of John Greenleaf Whittier. Surprisingly appropriate, considering the circumstances. My mother always said that poetry should be read aloud, but I didn't think the rest of you would appreciate it."

Spencer smiled at the thought, and Derek couldn't help grinning back at him. The truth was that he kind of liked the idea of Spencer reading poetry; he probably wouldn't understand it any better than he got anything else Spencer talked about, but he liked the sound of Spencer's voice. "Poetry, huh? Is that one of the moves you used on that girl of yours?"

"Who?" Spencer asked, his forehead wrinkling with a frown and Derek had the sudden urge to reach out and touch.

"That bartender you picked up, Pretty Boy. Don't tell me you never called her."

"Oh. Right." Spencer shrugged again and closed the drawer he'd been staring into. "We weren't really compatible."

"Compatible?" Derek echoed, and now he was frowning. "She was hot and she was into you. What's incompatible about that?"

Spencer didn't answer, but his face flushed a little and suddenly Derek was sorry he'd asked. It didn't happen often, but every once in awhile some girl would throw herself at Spencer. That actress out in L.A., for starters, and there were a couple girls around the BAU who seemed to have a geek fetish. Then there was the bartender, and Derek would have sworn that Spencer was into this one. Then again, he'd seemed like he was into the actress too, and as soon as they got back to Virginia Spencer made a point to lose her number. Derek had always chalked it up to the Spencer Effect, as Hotch called it, but the bartender was smart and gorgeous. She wouldn't have been scared off by Spencer's giant brain, which meant Spencer must have done something to mess things up between them.

He wanted to ask. He was dying to know, and if they were still back in Denver with the rest of the team, he would have teased Spencer about it until he got mad. But this was just the two of them, and they were stuck alone in the same room for God knew how long, which meant pissing off Spencer was a worse idea than usual. So he checked the urge to ask what it was about these girls that scared Spencer so much, pulling off his tie and dropping it on the nightstand before he stretched out on the bed and leaned back against the headboard.

"Yeah, well, looks like we're stuck here for awhile, if you still want to read some poetry."

"What, to you?" Spencer asked, frowning again and yeah, confused was a good look for him.

Derek shrugged against the headboard and folded his hands behind his head, settling in for a long night alone with Spencer.

"Nothing else to do, might as well let you broaden my literary horizons."


No one had ever actually read poetry to him before. In school, maybe, but Derek hadn't been paying much attention in English class. His mom read them books when they were kids, but that wasn't the same as listening to Spencer reciting poetry while the wind howled outside. He read it like every word was important, rolling each one around on his tongue like he was getting a feel for it. And Derek had heard him recite from memory a thousand times, but this was different. This was Spencer looking at the words, focused on the page and reading until he forgot to be embarrassed that Derek was watching.

And he was watching -- no way in hell he could tear his eyes away, even if he wanted to. One thing he knew for sure: if Spencer had read poetry to any of those girls of his, he wouldn't spend so much time alone. He'd have to fight them off with a stick, and maybe they'd have to fight their way through Derek too. He knew he was treading on dangerous ground, that all Spencer would have to do right now is look up and he'd know exactly what Derek was thinking.

But Spencer was absorbed in the page, fingers worrying the edge of the book and Derek found himself watching their movement, wondering if Spencer's hands were really as delicate as they looked, and what they'd feel like against his skin. He watched Spencer tuck a stray strand of hair behind his ear, a nervous habit he'd witnessed a thousand times and still couldn't get enough of. He messed Spencer's hair up every chance he got just to watch Spencer smooth it back into place, and he wondered sometimes if Spencer would let him do that part too.

But they were colleagues, and Spencer trusted him, and Derek had always told himself that trust was worth more than finding out what it would feel like to press Spencer up against a wall and kiss him until he couldn't breathe. He thought about that a lot lately, ever since that night in Vegas when Spencer woke them both up shouting Derek's name. And that was just another reason to keep his hands to himself, because Spencer trusted him enough to call out for him when he needed a rescue, and Derek wasn't going to betray that. He couldn't, not if he ever wanted to face himself in the mirror again.

Sometimes he wondered, though, and being trapped here with Spencer didn't really help. It took him a minute to realize that Spencer had stopped talking, and another minute to focus his thoughts enough to know Spencer was watching him. Just...looking, like he was working out some puzzle. Like he did on every single case they worked, and no matter how fast Derek tried to recover, he knew he couldn't get much past Spencer.

" think I'm going to take a shower," Spencer said, setting the book down gingerly on the table beside him. "Maybe it'll warm me up a little."

"Good idea," Derek said, biting back the urge to invite himself along. He didn't offer to warm Spencer up, either, and he congratulated himself on small victories as Spencer disappeared into the bathroom and closed the door. As soon as Spencer was gone Derek closed his eyes, running a palm over his features in a vain attempt to pull himself together. He was half-hard just from the sound of Spencer's voice, and there was no way he was going to make it through the night if he didn't figure out a way to stop wanting things that were never going to happen.

Derek sighed and pushed himself off the bed, crossing the room to pick up the book Spencer had been reciting from. He ran his fingers along the edge where Spencer's had been, imagining he could feel the warmth of Spencer's skin still lingering there. And he wasn't stupid; he knew half Spencer's attraction was the fact that he was so damn smart, so he shouldn't be surprised that listening to Spencer recite poetry was a turn-on.

It wasn't a surprise, because everything about Spencer was a turn-on. But this was the furthest Derek had ever let his imagination wander while Spencer was in the room, and he had no idea how he was going to get through an entire night with Spencer in the same bed.


It turned out that damp and freshly scrubbed Spencer was a whole new turn-on for Derek, because when Spencer finally emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of steam Derek's heart actually skipped a beat. He told himself it was because Spencer looked so much smaller with his shirt hanging untucked and his shoes off, that it was the way his cheeks glowed or the way he looked at Derek through his eyelashes, like he was afraid to make actual eye contact.

He looked shy all of a sudden, and Derek had seen him like that before, sure, but only when they got on the subject of girls. And it was way too early for sleep, but Derek knew if he didn't do something drastic he was going to…well, he was probably going to do something drastic, and then Spencer would never trust him again.

He thought about sleeping in his clothes; it wasn't cold, exactly, but it wasn't that warm in the room either. They had to spend at least another day in these clothes, though, and the thought of sleeping in his suit pants was depressing enough without having to wear them again the next day.

Still, it felt a little weird, peeling off his clothes and folding them before he set them on the dresser. When he turned back to the bed Spencer was already under the covers, his back to Derek and one bare shoulder just peeking out from under the heavy quilt. A quick flash of Spencer without the quilt, and Derek sucked in a sharp breath and clamped down hard on the image.

He pulled the quilt back just a little, enough to slide between the sheets without uncovering any more of Spencer than absolutely necessary. He managed to settle into a more or less comfortable position without touching anything that didn't belong to him, rolling onto his side to stare at the wall and hope for sleep.

"Night, Kid."

"Goodnight," Spencer answered, his voice muffled by the covers and Derek grinned in the darkness, picturing Spencer burrowed under the quilt like he really was a kid. And maybe that was what he did when he was young, when his mom read him all those books that he can recite from memory.

He wondered if Spencer had ever read aloud to anyone else before – really read, not just the recitation he did at the drop of a hat – or if that had been a one-time deal. He'd read to his mom, Derek knew that much. But if he'd never read to any of the girls who came and went before Derek could even learn their names…well, there weren't many other candidates.

So maybe Derek was the first, and for some reason he wasn't going to think about, that made him feel a lot better. He swallowed a laugh and let himself stretch out just a little more, stopping when one leg hit the part of the mattress that dipped down toward the hollow Spencer's body made. He stayed like that for awhile, listening to Spencer breathing and remembering the steady rise and fall of his voice until he finally fell asleep.


Derek had no idea how long he'd been asleep when the sound of Spencer's voice woke him again. He'd been dreaming about Spencer's voice, the sound of it whispered in his ear and the feel of it against his skin. In his dream Spencer's voice had been soft and steady, comforting and sexy and Derek wasn't surprised to wake up hard.

What did surprise him was the fact that Spencer was murmuring, head shaking back and forth against his pillow and it was obvious that whatever he was dreaming about, it wasn't good. Derek reached out, hand landing on a bare shoulder to shake Spencer awake.

"Reid. Reid," Derek said, shaking a little harder when Spencer just frowned in his sleep and tried to shake out of his grip. "Spencer, come on, man. Wake up."

And finally Spencer did, eyes wide and pressing up against Derek's hand in an attempt to sit up. Derek eased him back down as gently as he could, his free hand in Spencer's hair to push it back off his forehead. He waited until Spencer stopped breathing so hard, until he stopped fighting instinctively against Derek's grip.

"You're still having nightmares?"

Spencer shook his head and looked up at Derek. "Not…these aren't about my father. It doesn't happen that much anymore."

It shouldn't be happening at all, but Derek understood why it was. They all took cases personally, and for Spencer it was even harder to let the tough ones go. But Derek couldn't pretend that he never had nightmares; he'd woken up in a cold sweat a few times over the years, and no matter how many houses he tore apart and fixed up again, nothing would stop them completely.

Derek's hand was moving in Spencer's hair, and he knew he shouldn't be touching, but Spencer hadn't told him to stop. He was still looking up at Derek, eyes wide and trusting and this was officially the weirdest situation he'd ever found himself in. Because he was in bed with Spencer Reid, and he was touching, and somehow it felt like the most natural thing in the world.

"Anything you want to talk about?" he asked, voice soft and when did Spencer get so close, anyway?

"No," Spencer said, but Derek didn't hear the word so much as feel it.

And he was not going to kiss Spencer, because there was sharing a bed, and there was being there for a friend, but kissing was a whole different story. He'd already crossed more lines than he'd planned when he touched Spencer, and even though he knew he should put some distance between them, his fingers were still moving through Spencer's hair. So there was no way he was going to push this any further, no matter how much he wanted to.

Except before he even finished talking himself out of it, Spencer was kissing him.

He wasn't even sure how it happened. One second Spencer was looking up at him with wide eyes, like he was waiting for Derek to say exactly the right thing to make everything okay again. Then something shifted in his expression, and before Derek had a chance to figure out what it was, Spencer surged up to kiss him. It was more about need than grace, but Derek could work with that, so he slid his hand down to Spencer's neck and tilted his head to fit their mouths together.

Spencer moaned against his mouth, fingers clutching at Derek's shoulders and Derek still had no idea how they'd gotten here, but he wasn't going to stop to figure it out. He knew he should, knew they should talk about what exactly this was before they went too far to take it back. Only it was already too late, because Derek knew what Spencer felt like under him now, and there was no way he was ever going to forget it.

And maybe this was what Spencer meant when he said he and the bartender were incompatible. Maybe Derek would even remember to ask him later, but for now he was too busy kissing as much of Spencer's skin as he could reach. He worked his way along Spencer's jaw, nipping at his earlobe just to hear Spencer gasp. Derek chuckled against his neck, the sound vibrating through Spencer and making him arch up.

Derek's knee slipped between Spencer's legs, pressing down just enough to make Spencer gasp and arch up again. His hands were still clutching at Derek's back, hips moving in a steady rhythm and Derek didn't have to ask if he was sure this was what he wanted. And this was amazing; Spencer's hands on him the way he'd imagined a million times, Spencer making needy noises in the back of his throat and arching up to give Derek complete access to all that pale skin along his neck. But Derek wanted to see, so he pushed up onto his elbows to look down at Spencer.

Hands pressed against his shoulders to drag him back down, but Derek ignored the impatient noise that escaped Spencer and lifted one hand to trail his fingers along the line of Spencer's jaw.

"Do you know how long I've been waiting to do this?" he asked, and he wasn't really expecting an answer, but it didn't surprise him when Spencer opened his mouth. He braced himself for a long speech about how Spencer figured it out, how he gathered the clues and waited until he was positive he was reading the signals right.

"Then why are you still waiting?" Spencer said instead, and Derek had to laugh, because it was a good question. There was no reason to wait anymore, not when he knew he could kiss Spencer any time he wanted to. He could have Spencer all to himself, for however long they were stuck in this cabin and then after, when they were back in Virginia and back to their lives. At least he was hoping that was what Spencer wanted, but he wanted to know for sure.

"Just one question."

Spencer rolled his eyes and even that was kind of cute, but Derek wasn't going any further until he knew what Spencer wanted from him. He shifted his weight just enough to get Spencer's attention, his knee pressing a little more insistently between Spencer's thighs.


"Patience," Derek whispered, leaning in to press a placating kiss against the corner of Spencer's mouth. When he turned into it Derek pulled away, hand on Spencer's chest to splay his fingers across warm skin. "When we walk out of here, does this keep going, or do we pretend it never happened and go back to the way things were?"

Spencer looked up at him, one hand behind his head and it was dark in the room, but Derek could feel the heat in his skin and he could picture Spencer's blush. He wished he could see it too, but if he got his way there would be plenty of time for that later. If he got his way Spencer would be stretched out like this in Derek's bed on a regular basis, and it wouldn't take a snowstorm to make him admit what he wanted.

Seconds ticked by and Spencer still hadn't answered, but he was watching Derek and it was obvious he was trying to figure something out. And Derek could wait; he'd waited this long, and if Spencer needed to work out the last piece of this puzzle, Derek was going to let him.

"I read you poetry," he finally said, voice cracking on the words and Derek was pretty sure it was supposed to be an answer, but he had no idea what it meant. No one had ever read him poetry before, and if it was the sign of some kind of commitment it was news to him.

"Is that genius for 'I love you' or something?" Derek asked, and he was joking, but when Spencer shrugged under him and looked away, something surged inside Derek's chest.

Spencer's hands were moving on his skin, restless like he couldn't decide quite what to do with them. But he was touching, and that was pretty much all Derek cared about. The skill part they could work on later, because as far as Derek was concerned, they had all the time in the world.

He slid one hand under Spencer's chin, tilting his head until Spencer was looking at him again. "You make me crazy," he murmured, then he leaned forward and kissed Spencer again.

If there was one thing Derek knew how to do, it was take his time, to focus all his attention on one puzzle until he'd worked out every detail. And Spencer wasn't just any puzzle, but he definitely commanded all of Derek's attention.

He started with Spencer's mouth, taking the time to learn just how it fit against Derek's. And he'd seen Spencer focused before, but he'd never been the subject of all that focus, so he wasn't prepared for the way Spencer kissed him back.

The second their lips met Spencer surged up against him, sharp intake of breath as he wrapped an arm around Derek's shoulders to pull him close. It was hot and a little bit needy, and Derek wondered just how long Spencer had been thinking about doing this. If he could have kissed Spencer years ago, pushed him up against a hundred different walls and just…taken.

But in a way this was better, because Spencer had come to him. And okay, maybe the weather had a little something to do with it, but he was almost sure Spencer had kissed him first. Spencer who was rocking against him, wiry frame surprisingly strong and when Derek hooked a hand around Spencer's thigh and drew his leg up around his waist, Spencer moaned low in his throat.

That was a sound he wanted to hear a lot more of, Derek decided, smiling against Spencer's mouth and sliding his hand a little higher. When his fingers brushed against cotton he pulled away, shivering against the sudden cold as he pushed up onto his knees. And Spencer was still just watching him, a little nervous but determined too, and Derek couldn't resist leaning in for another kiss.

He hooked his thumbs in the waistband of Spencer's underwear, yanking them down to his thighs before he broke the kiss and straightened up again. He watched Spencer's face as he dragged his briefs down his legs, then tugged his own boxers down and off. Before he even thought about it his hands were on Spencer again, sliding up his thighs and over his hips. He felt the tremor under his fingers as he slid a hand across Spencer's stomach, and when he looked up he could see how hard Spencer was working not to look like he was scared to death.

"Relax," Derek whispered, leaning close to press a kiss to Spencer's lips. Next he kissed Spencer's cheek, then his chin and his collarbone and his shoulder. He moved slow, waiting until Spencer stopped shaking under his touch before he looked at him again. "We can go as slow as you want."

He was pretty sure this was Spencer's first time with another guy. He was less sure that it was Spencer's first time period, but he wouldn't have been surprised if it was. He didn't ask, though; instead he focused all his attention on exploring Spencer's skin, mouthing his way along the inside of Spencer's elbow and down his side. He ran his teeth along the thin skin stretched taut over Spencer's pelvic bone, then he kissed his way back up the center of Spencer's chest and started all over again.

When Spencer's hips started moving against him Derek found Spencer's mouth, kissing him hard this time as he pressed a knee between Spencer's thighs again. Soft hands came up to grip his hips, dragging him closer and this time when Derek heard a groan he realized it was his own. He pulled away long enough to lick his palm, then he reached between them and closed his hand around Spencer's cock.

And he'd imagined this more times than he'd ever admit, but he'd never even gotten close to reality. Spencer with his head back, lips wet and swollen and long eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks, words escaping him that Derek was pretty sure weren't English…there was no way he would have been able to dream up any of this. Spencer was beautiful; that much he'd always known, but he had no idea he could look like this.

An image of Spencer on his knees flashed in his mind, Spencer with his mouth wrapped around Derek's cock, and they were going to have to work on that one. But he was willing to wait, because it was Spencer, so it would be worth it. No matter what, Derek knew it would be worth it, because Spencer…well, he'd as good as admitted that he loved Derek, and there was no way he was getting away now.

Something shifted in his chest and Derek leaned in to press his mouth against Spencer's neck, breathing in the scents of clean skin and cheap shampoo as Spencer arched up one last time and came. Derek's hand kept moving through the last of his shudders, mouth moving on Spencer's skin and he knew he was talking, but he wasn't paying attention to the words coming out of his own mouth. He was pretty sure that whatever it was, Spencer already knew it anyway; that was the only way he would have taken a chance this big, and for the first time Derek found himself thanking God that Spencer was braver than him.

Derek rolled onto his side, eyes still on Spencer as he wrapped slick fingers around his own cock. And he knew it wouldn't take long, because he'd been hard since Spencer opened that damn poetry book, and maybe it was some genius seduction technique after all. Derek's laugh shifted into a gasp as a hand closed over his own, and he let Spencer push him onto his back on the mattress.

He could see that Spencer was still a little nervous, but he let him take charge, entwining their fingers to show Spencer exactly what he liked. It was hotter than he thought a simple hand job could be, and before long Derek was arching into their combined grip and coming. He collapsed against the mattress, eyes closing of their own accord and for awhile he just lay there, praying that he wouldn't wake up in a minute to find that this had all been a very embarrassing dream.

But when he opened his eyes Spencer was still watching him, propped up on one elbow and looking like he was waiting for something. Derek reached up to slide a hand into that hair he loved so much, tugging Spencer down for another slow kiss. And he'd had plenty of better sex before - not that he'd say that out loud – but this was Spencer, and that made all the difference.


He had to hand it to this place; the beds were comfortable. It was in the middle of nowhere and Derek hoped he never saw this town again, but he wasn't sorry about spending the night in this bed. He stretched and reached out to slide a hand along Spencer's back, but instead all he found was an empty spot where Spencer used to be. At least he was pretty sure Spencer had been there; Derek tugged the covers up and looked down – yep, still naked, so either he hadn't imagined it, or he'd scared Spencer right out into the storm.

Derek sat up and pushed the sheets off, swinging his legs over the side of the bed just in time to watch Spencer appear in the bathroom doorway. He was wrapped in the quilt from the bed, doing his best to balance two Styrofoam cups of coffee without dropping his covers. "Coffee's ready."

Derek laughed and stood up to meet him halfway, sliding a cup out of his hand and carefully gripping the front of the quilt to pull him forward. "Thanks, Pretty Boy," Derek said, pressing a quick kiss against Spencer's lips. "Don't suppose there's any toothpaste tucked in that bag of yours."

"There's some in the bathroom," Spencer answered. "We'll have to share the complimentary toothbrush, though."

"I think I can handle it," Derek said, kissing Spencer's cheek this time before he let go and headed for the bathroom. He leaned out the doorway while he brushed his teeth, nodding in the direction of the window. "Snow stop yet?"

"I think so," Spencer answered, padding over to the window to look out at the endless white outside. "Wow, it must have snowed three feet last night. I can't even see the road. I think we might be stuck here for awhile."

And Derek knew he should be upset about that; they were supposed to be working a case, after all, and the longer they were stuck up here the less help they were to the rest of the team. But Spencer was still standing at the window, dwarfed by the giant quilt and sipping terrible motel coffee, and Derek didn't really mind if they had to stay awhile.