Chapter 1: No Way
Morgan doesn't take the new addition too well...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Absolutely not!" Morgan had exclaimed, firmly resisting the urge to slam a hand on the desk.
Morgan's day had been just another normal Monday up until that very moment. He'd worked out, walked his dog and had his coffee like he did every day, nothing out of the ordinary. Until he'd been called to Gideon's office, walking inside with confusion written all over him, only to find Hotch and Gideon talking about some "certified genius, Hotch, trust me" and "even so, you can't be sure this will work, Jason".
And then he'd been promptly informed of Gideon's outrageous idea to hire a fucking Omega in the BAU, as if it were a normal thing to do.
"Morgan, control yourself." the older agent said. "Dr. Reid is too precious a finding to ignore, he'd be of great use to the team."
Wait a minute, doctor? Hadn't Hotch mentioned that this guy was really young? He'd even shown Morgan a picture, a very pretty boy who looked fresh out of the academy, who had no place in that team and certainly had no place putting himself in the kind of danger Morgan put himself in every day. This was an Omega and Morgan's inner Alpha was howling with the urge to shelter, to protect.
How was Gideon considering this?
"What do you mean 'doctor'? This is a boy, Gideon, a child."
"Because of his extraordinary abilities and, to be fair, he really is extraordinary, Dr. Reid completed his education in a rather unorthodox manner, being allowed to attend High School at a much younger age than usual, graduating it when he was twelve." Hotch explained with all the tiredness of a man who had been told this in exactly the same manner as Morgan. "In the following years he completed several studies and now holds three doctorates -Mathematics, Chemistry and Engineering- and two Bachelor's degrees -psychology and sociology- at the unbelievable age of twenty one." Hotch finished and collapsed in a chair, running a hand over his face. "He really is a genius, Morgan."
Twenty one. What on Earth was Gideon thinking, he couldn't hire a child, not to mention an Omega one, and Morgan found himself growling a little without realizing it at first. He caught himself and stopped when Hotch glared at him from across the room. Morgan took a deep breath to calm himself.
"I don't care if he's a genius, he's an Omega. He shouldn't be here." Morgan said sternly, glancing at the picture on the desk once more, noting the absence of a mate mark on the boy's neck. "An unmated Omega will affect the team too much, you know it will. Hotch, man, you're with Haley, how do you think she'll feel about you working with a young unmated Omega on a daily basis, huh?" he asked, nodding when the other Alpha's face paled. "Not to mention he's Omega, it's how they are. He's probably emotional and clingy and, God, Gideon, what about when he goes into heat? What are you going to do then? Fight off all the Alphas in the department to save him? You can't do that."
Encouraged by Hotch's subtle but noticeable agreement Morgan went on.
"He's bad news and trouble. He's unnecessary to the team and he's-" He cut himself off abruptly, his nostrils flaring as he caught a wiff of the sweetest scent he'd ever smelt, drawing in a deep breath to relish it. It smelt of coffee and new books and, fuck, vanilla and honey and Morgan wanted to bury his face in it and never let go. And he knew exactly what it was. "... right behind me, isn't he?"
He turned to see the very man -boy, his mind chimed unhelpfully- leaning against the doorframe, messenger bag weighing his skinny form down as he stared right at Morgan, his eyes a mixture of apprehension and defiance, clearly fighting the instinct to submit to an Alpha for the sake of being pissed at what Morgan had said.
It was pathetic, how he was visibly refusing to bear his neck in surrender, and Morgan clenched his fists not to back him up against a wall and show him his place.
"Morgan, this wasn't me asking permission." Gideon informed from behind him. "This was an announcement and an introduction. This is Dr. Spencer Reid, our newest."
Morgan could see red, lost in all the rage of seeing this... this Omega look him right in the eyes like he was challenging him to walk over there and prove how Alpha he was.
He couldn't be there anymore, he couldn't keep control and, whatever he may have said, he wouldn't actually hurt an Omega, especially not one that smelt this fucking good.
Morgan left quickly, failing to supress his smirk when Reid flinched as Morgan moved past him.
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Chapter 2: I Tried
Spencer tries to make it work...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Spencer was used to not being welcome.
It hadn't really mattered to him whether it was because he was Omega or smarter than anyone he met or younger in any school he found himself in or "that crazy woman's kid, man, you never know how wacko he may be" because there were always more reasons, a new way he wasn't normal just waiting around the corner every day.
So, Spencer had fought through all of it, he'd taken the discrimination, he'd taken the abuse, the bullying, he'd taken all of it. He'd fought tooth and nail and proved wrong all those assholes who said he'd never make it in an Alphas' world. He'd struggled day and night to simply survive sometimes and he'd finally -finally- made it into the FBI.
Only to find himself being talked about like a hormonal hurricane by an Alpha jerk like any other.
Yeah, he was used to not being welcome, but he wasn't used to being spoken of as though his alignment alone was enough to break down a team and a marriage just because some guy didn't want to have to work with an Omega and restrain himself.
Spencer wasn't a damn distraction and he wasn't bad news.
He hadn't heard all of it, but he'd heard enough. The other agent seemed outraged by the prospect of an Omega colleague and Spencer had smelt the aggression in the air more clearly than he would have liked, his stupid insticts telling him to submit to the angry Alpha, but he'd rather die than do that. He'd earned his place there, a douchebag wasn't going to ruin that.
Agent Hotchner, a much better Alpha all things considered, had assured Spencer that Agent Morgan would get over all that and that he'd come around eventually. Spencer had smiled tightly and nodded, not really believing the sighed "He'll accept this, it'll be fine." after he'd seen Agent Morgan storm off, shooting Alpha rage in every direction.
"Maybe you'll get to talk a bit on the jet, clear the air a little." Gideon had said. "That's where we'll do the briefing. Wheels up in twenty."
And now Spencer was on the jet, trying to figure out the best way to approach Agent Morgan without getting his head bashed in.
Agent Jareau -"It's just JJ, Reid." she'd insisted- suggested talking to Agent Morgan directly, guaranteeing that the Alpha wouldn't really hurt him no matter what he'd say. She seemed nice and, for a Beta, she smelt nice, but Spencer had a hard time believing her. Agent Morgan kept punching tables whenever he'd look at Spencer.
But he'd dealt with entitled jerks all his life so he held his head high and walked over to where Morgan was fumbling with the coffee machine, tension oozing off his movements. Spencer stood next to him and cleared his throat.
He hoped he'd imagined the growl he heard.
"Agent Morgan, I believe we may have started off on the wrong-"
He was interrupted by Morgan slamming his cup on the table. Spencer wasn't surprised to hear a crack, though he wasn't sure if it was the cup or the table.
"Listen here, kid, I don't care what you believe." Morgan said harshly. "You don't belong here."
Spencer grit his teeth and tried to ignore the sparks of anger that crept up his chest. He took a deep breath and decided to try again.
"Whether you think I belong here or not, this is my job now, and I would hate to be on bad terms with a co-worker." Seeing that Morgan was actually listening now and not interrupting, Spencer took what he could and kept talking. "We're part of the same team, we shouldn't fight over things like status."
Morgan's nostrils flared and he crowded Spencer, getting up in his personal space and backing him against some cupboards. Spencer did all he could not to lower his head or show his neck to the Alpha.
"This isn't a place for Omegas, you're too weak." The words were growled into his ear. "You'll just make it harder for real Agents, for-"
"For scumbag Alphas like you who can't see past their knot?"
He regretted the retort as soon as it left his lips. And then there were hands on him, grabbing him by the shoulders roughly and shoving him against the hard surface behind him.
Spencer didn't say anything, he didn't make a sound. Doing something that would attract the attention of the rest of the team was not a good idea, this had to be settled between them and them alone, Morgan would hate him even more if Spencer got Hotch or Gideon to make him stand down. There could be... complication, better to resolve this on their own, that way Spencer would have a chance to show that he could handle himself.
"What did you say to me, Omega?" Morgan rasped, his hold on Spencer tightening. He spat the word like venom.
"What?" Spencer asked tauntingly, his anger getting the better of him. "It's true. You don't want me here just because you're not strong enough to keep your nature in check." He made the amusement in his voice evident.
It was no small thing, challenging an Alpha, an Alpha's pride, their control. Spencer had literally just said Morgan wasn't strong enough and the Alpha wasn't going to let that go unnoticed. What Spencer had just said might actually get him seriously hurt, especially if he kept up the attitude, which he was planning on doing.
Morgan's eyes flashed red and his voice was gravelly when he spoke.
"I can keep my nature in check just fine."
"Oh really? Look at you, you're already hurting me."
Spencer said it almost clinically, even though the vice grip on his arms was really painful and he could tell bruises would form where the Alpha's fingers were digging into his skin, and his eyes were fixed on Morgan's, refusing to back down.
Morgan seemed to realize that he was indeed hurting Spencer just then and he fliched as though he'd been slapped across the face. His hold loosened, though he didn't let go, and his eyes darted to where Spencer's hands were clenching and unclenching as though of their own accord.
The Alpha let go completely and took two steps back in a hurry, looking Spencer up and down with wide eyes, colour back to dark brown.
Spencer wasn't going to stay there and be stared at or hear the half-hearted apology that fought its way up Morgan's throat, making it past his lips pathetically strained.
"I'm not the weak one, Alpha." Spencer said, using the title mockingly. "I tried." he added quietly, almost to himself, as he went back to where Hotch and JJ were looking the files of the case.
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Chapter 3: Complications
Morgan realizes something maybe a little too late...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Morgan was very much aware of Hotch's accusing eyes on him but, honestly, he had bigger problems.
Reid was talking about the case, using words far too complicated for Morgan's angry and unable-to-focus-on-anything-other-than-the-fact-that-there-was-a-fucking-Omega-on-the-team brain to comprehend, and his voice alone was enough to annoy Morgan more and more by the second, challenging him to keep control to the point where the cup in his hand was shaking violently because of how tightly he was gripping it.
And he was ashamed. He'd lost control for the first time in a long time and he'd actually put hands on an Omega, shoved him, hurt him. Morgan had always believed himself to be stronger than his nature and now he'd snapped like a twig and, to make it worse, he could actually understand that he had no real reason for it. Reid hadn't done anything, hadn't provoked him until Morgan had him literally pressed to a wall.
Having realized that his initial reaction to the addition of the Omega to the team was far-fetched, unprofessional, inappropriate and basically everything it shouldn't have been, Morgan couldn't really tell what had him so furious with the other agent. He'd been preparing his apology so he wouldn't look as much of an asshole as he already had but, for some reason, all thoughts of apologizing and all guilt drained from him the moment Reid approached him to make an actual effort to set things right. Morgan just instantly wanted to start a fight.
Which made no fucking sense! It wasn't in Alphas' nature to hurt Omegas, not unprompted. He really shouldn't be wanting to hurt Reid, it was starting to scare him, this wasn't normal.
"... Morgan?" Reid called out his name in a tone that indicated it wasn't the first time he'd spoken to him and Morgan just then realized Hotch and Gideon were no longer in the room with them and he was alone with Reid. He felt the cup in his hand, finding that his coffee had turned cold and he hadn't noticed. "Morgan, can you hear me?"
"Yeah, sorry, what is it?" Morgan asked, his mouth feeling dry.
The kid swallowed and kept his eyes on the floor, which was no surprise given that Morgan had practically assaulted him back on the jet, before glancing briefly towards the door, as though he was looking for a way to escape. Morgan would have liked to think that it was unwarranted.
"Hotch said we're supposed to go talk to the victims' parents." Reid said, voice so small Morgan didn't even get angry this time. Reid obviously didn't want to fight, he seemed tired.
Morgan's eyebrows shot up. "Just you and me?"
He didn't like that prospect. Him and Reid alone, with no one to break out any fights that might arise, expected to work together efficiently. That was probably not going to happen and it was probably going to be his fault. The kid didn't look too thrilled at being forced to be alone with Morgan either.
"Yeah, uhm, Hotch says we have to work past our problem." He cleared his throat and added; "Well, your problem."
Biting his tongue, Morgan pushed down the anger that he felt at the comment, reminding himself that it was totally deserved and that he was being an asshole.
"Yeah, he's right, we have to." he answered, as if he hadn't heard it, though they both knew better. "C'mon, I'll drive."
Reid seemed apprehensive as he waited for Morgan to lead the way, not appearing exactly eager to be in a confined space with Morgan or to trust the older Agent to safely get them to their destination, and he did absolutely nothing to hide it, as though he were telling Morgan "I distrust you with every fiber of my being and you deserve it so see me resent you.", which, all things considered, was a bit tough on him, an Omega acting that way towards him.
It was going to be a long ride...
"Could we maybe open up a window or something?"
That was the first thing Reid said ever since he'd gotten in that car, about half an hour before.
The silence between them had been heavy and every moment that passed made Morgan feel more uncomfortable than the last but he kept his mouth shut, knowing he'd most likely say something to make the Omega angry, he didn't want that. He couldn't exactly imagine how they were going to drive for another half hour like this.
He opened the damned window, feeling the cold air whip his face.
After a few moments, he noticed Reid was shivering next to him, limbs drawn close to his body. The kid was cold.
"Hey, are you cold?" Morgan asked, his tone more interrogatory than it was conversational or concerned. He didn't know why.
Reid just nodded so Morgan made to close the window again.
"No, no, leave it open." Reid said, extending an arm as if to stop Morgan's from shutting the window but quickly retreating when he thought better of it. He clutched his coat tighter to his body.
Morgan didn't get it, the kid was cold, why leave the window open? The Omega was fucking shaking like a leaf!
"Kid, you're cold, why not close the window?" he asked confused, shooting a few sidelong glances at Reid.
"I'd much rather be cold than in a car with an Alpha about to go into Rut with the windows closed." Reid deadpanned, turning to lock eyes with Morgan, his trembling not in the slightest changing the heaviness of his sentence.
What? What?! Morgan wasn't about to go into Rut, the kid didn't know what he was talking about! Morgan's Rut had passed three weeks ago, he'd fucking know if he were going into Rut, thank you very much! "I'm not about to go into Rut!" he replied indignantly, even though it seemed like a fairly fit explanation for everything that had been going on that day.
Reid looked at him like Morgan was a child that couldn't understand something really simple and obvious. "Yes... you are. You've been extremely aggressive all day -unnaturally so, from what I gather- and I can smell you more clearly than I'd like, that's why I asked you to open a window." The kid looked down, as though he were debating whether to say aloud what he wanted to say. He was worrying his bottom lip between his teeth and Morgan found it hard to tear his eyes off so he could look at the road. "Maybe you should... uhm... stop the car? Maybe... maybe I should get out?"
Then Morgan took in a deep breath and he smelt it. Fear. A new level of fear. The Omega was fucking teriffied and, knowing that he could probably smell all the pheromones Morgan must have been releasing, it shouldn't be surprising. But it was. It made Morgan feel terrible, for some reason, he felt like Reid really really really shouldn't be scared of-
...sudden inexplicable inability to contain one's emotions, be they positive or negative...
...difficulty with concentration...
...irresistable need to obtain the other person's trust, which may lead to not being able to accept that you are not liked by them, or that they fear you...
...may, though scarcely, be the cause of an abrupt cycle and throw you into Rut outside your normal schedule...
Morgan's blood ran cold as the memory of going over a form he'd read in his doctor's office years ago hit him hard.
Oh God... The kid was his mate.
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Chapter 4: Can we talk?
Morgan and Spencer have a little chat...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Spencer had never seen an Alpha in Rut. Not having been alone with Alphas often, he'd never had the chance. Now he wished it had kept on being that way.
Once Morgan was faced with the reality of the situation, he lost it. Whether he knew it or not, he'd been getting closer and closer to Rut for a whole day and the shock, the fear, whatever it was he felt in that moment, obviously triggered it completely, sped it up, and that was it. He'd slammed the breaks and turned his head to look at Spencer with bloody eyes.
"Get out. Now." he'd practically growled but the terror in his voice was sharp and Spencer had heard it clearly. "Now." he'd repeated when Spencer didn't react. "C'mon, go, please, I don't want to hurt you."
And then it hit Spencer that if he didn't hurl his ass out of that car, he wasn't going to be let out later, the Alpha really was going to hurt him, even if he didn't want to, and Spencer's chest felt cold with fear at the thought.
He had run away and not looked back. But he'd been thinking about it all day plus the following night. And when he saw Morgan the following morning, he'd instinctively tried to get away from him, a gesture so primally vulnerable he was angry at himself for it.
"Can we talk?" Morgan asked, voice low and eyes darting from left to right, like he thought someone in the police station was listening in on them. Spencer appreciatied that the Alpha didn't take a step forward when he himself took a step back. "I'm not... gonna do anything, I promise." he added, turning his gaze to the floor and waiting for an answer.
Spencer didn't know if he wanted to talk to the Alpha alone, especially since Morgan was fresh out of rut. No matter how insulting it may be to the Alpha's morals, which Spencer had yet to witness, he wasn't sure how safe it was for his physical integrity. Though the fact that he was Omega might calm Morgan down after a Rut spent on his own. Probably would.
Then again, calming down hysterical Alphas wasn't his job and never would be, whatever Morgan wanted to tell him really wasn't his problem. But he still found himself agreeing, for fear or compassion, he honestly didn't know.
"Sure." he replied slowly, nodding his head towards the briefing room, where there would be privacy but people would still hear Spencer if something happened and he needed help. He waited for Morgan to start walking first, not exactly eager to turn his back to the Alpha, even if that made him paranoid.
Once Spencer had clicked the door shut behind him, he arched his eyebrows as an indication for Morgan to start saying what he had to say. He didn't want to be there any longer than he had to be.
"So... uh..." Morgan seemed to be struggling with words. Spencer did nothing to help him. "I'm sorry about yesterday, I honestly had no idea that would happen." Spencer decided he believed him. "You shouldn't have had to see that, I'm sorry if I scared you." Apparently, Morgan was pretty good at apologies once he got started. "And I've been a real dick since I met you, it's no excuse but it's probably because of the aggression of that Rut, though it's okay now, I took some meds they gave me, I'm no danger to you."
Oh, I'm pretty sure you are, Agent Morgan. Spencer thought to himself. Your biology may not be ordering you to harm me but your mindset is.
What Reid couldn't understand was how Morgan had let him go once he was in Rut. Alphas can't really do that, it's not them behind the wheel when they're in Rut, it's just instinct and nature and he really should have fought for Spencer to stay there, this wasn't normal, however much Spencer may be thankful for it.
"Okay, listen... You basically deserve anything I throw at you because you've been an asshole and you even physically assaulted me." Spencer took a deep breath before continuing, noting how Morgan slightly nodded, just taking what he'd said. "But I can understand how a Rut you're not expecting might trigger that behaviour, especially if there's an Omega defying you, your attitude was, all things considered, pretty normal. However, what wasn't normal was you telling me to go. Letting me go. Alphas don't do that, you can't. What happened?" he asked, trying not to sound accusatory.
And, well, if he failed, Morgan deserved it.
"That's the other thing I wanted to talk about." Morgan mumbled. "It's a fact that unmedicated Alphas lose control completely during Rut and it's a given that, unfortunately, Omegas nearby who aren't related to them are in extreme danger. There is only one reason an Alpha won't hurt an Omega in that situation..." he trailed off, as though Spencer was supposed to know what came next. There was literally no reason for what Morgan had done. "C'mon, man, you really gonna make me say it?"
"You can't tell me you didn't know, man, you must know..." Morgan went on, as if to himself. "You're my mate, you can't have missed that."