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Ready or Not

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One night. One night had been all it took.



Emily stared down at the test, two pink lines clear as day on the little stick, and sighed. She ran her fingers through her dark tresses and reached for the phone. This was not a call she was looking forward to. She wiped her sweaty palms on the front of her jeans and dialed the number. He picked up after two rings.

 

“Morgan.”

 

“Hey, it’s me.” Emily said. “We uh, we need to talk.”

 

“Okay…?” Derek said, sounding more than a bit confused. “Okay princess, what’s up?”

 

Emily took a deep breath. “Do you remember that night when you and Garcia were in London with me?”

 

“How could I forget?” He chuckled. “Emily, I know we were both a few sheets to the wind, but I think any guy worth your time would remember waking up next to you, naked in bed. Why do you ask?”

 

“We uh-“ Emily hesitated. “We used protection, right?”

 

“Emily, what are you saying?” He said. “You’re making me a little nervous here. What’s going on?”

 

“I have to go to the doctor.” She mumbled. “To make sure, but I took a test and…”

 

Derek sighed heavily. Emily could almost see the way he was almost certainly running a hand across his face, could picture the defeated look on his face. She found herself fighting back tears when she realized what she was doing. How could she have been stupid enough to let this happen for the second time in her life? With arguably one of the best guys she knew, no doubt, but one who had made it clear years ago that he wasn’t anywhere close to being ready to settle down, and one who also happened to be thousands of miles away. It almost would’ve been funny if it hadn’t been her real life.

 

“Okay.” Derek said. “I uh...you’re sure?”

 

“Do I need to patch Reid in to give you the specifics on the accuracy of home pregnancy tests?” She said sarcastically. “I have an appointment next week to confirm but this test...it’s pretty hard to argue with.”

 

“And it’s for sure mine?” He asked.

 

“Gee, thanks.” She said. “Now I really feel like a slut. Yes, Morgan, it is definitely yours.”

 

“Hey, come on now.” He said. “You know I didn’t mean it like that, I just wanted to make sure.”

 

“God, this is embarrassing.” Emily said. “Okay. Morgan, you were the first guy that I had been with in a long time and I haven’t slept with anyone since. So barring an immaculate conception…”

 

“Yeah I can do the math, princess.” Derek said. “Do you uh, what do you wanna do about- ?”

 

“Honestly?” She said. “I hadn’t quite gotten that far, Derek. I literally peed on a stick five minutes ago.”

 

“TMI, princess.” He said, clearly struggling to remain serious. “You must have some idea what you want, or what you don’t want, considering that I’m even getting this phone call in the first place.”

 

“Yeah.” She sighed. “I guess you’re right.”

 

“Not that you don’t have the right to choose.” Derek said quickly. “If that’s what you want! I’m not gonna pressure you one way or another. I just figured if you’d made up your mind then…”

 

“Then what’s the point of telling you.” Emily said. “Fair point. I really don’t want to go through that again-“

 

“Now hold on.” Derek said. “ Again? When the hell did you have an abortion, Prentiss?”

 

Emily sighed. “I was fifteen years old.”

 

“Oh.” Derek’s tone changed. “I’m sorry.”

 

“Yeah.” She said. “Not exactly something that’s a whole lot of fun to talk about at parties.”

 

“Was it-?” He stammered. “Did you-?”

 

“It was consensual, Derek.” She said. “Or as consensual as a lonely teenage girl is able to be. I was a stupid kid, and I wasn’t ready to give up my entire future to raise a baby on my own, so-“

 

“Emily, you don’t have to explain yourself to me.” He said. “Okay, and even if you did, you were a baby having a baby. You won’t get any judgment from me.”

 

“Anyway.” Emily said. “It was a long time ago, I’m older now and I’ve done a lot of thinking the past few years...if I pass this up now, I may never get the chance to be a mother after this.”

 

“Emily, come on.” Derek said. “You’re not that old, and I can imagine there’s more than one guy out there who wouldn’t mind putting a ring on that pretty finger. If you wanna keep it, just say so, case closed.”

 

“Okay, fine.” Emily said. “I want this baby, and if you don’t want to be involved, I won’t hold it against you. That is your decision, I don’t want you to feel like you have to completely change your life around because I decided that I was ready to be a mom.”

 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop.” Derek said. “You don’t really think I’m gonna leave you hanging with a kid that I’m responsible for, do you?”

 

“It’s not about responsibility.” She said. “It’s my choice to keep and raise the baby.”

 

“Yeah.” He said. “A baby that I had a hand in bringing into existence.”

 

“I don’t think your hand was what did it, Derek.”

 

“You know what I mean.” He said. “I had fun when we were making this baby, I’m not about to step out on you just because it wasn’t part of the plan. That’s not me.”

 

“Okay.” Emily sighed. “Then we have a lot to discuss, like how we plan on co-parenting in two different countries, because I don’t think either of us is willing to give up their jobs and move.”

 

“I’ll talk to Hotch.” Derek said. “Maybe I can split my time between here and London til we can figure out a more permanent solution.”

 

“You don’t have to do that.” Emily said. 

 

“I want to do it, Emily.” He said. “This is as much my child as it is yours and you just started at Interpol. Besides, in a few months you won’t exactly be able to do much international travel…”

 

“I could still try.” Emily said. “It’s not fair to expect you to make all of the effort. We both did this.”

 

“Okay.” Derek said. “Alright, we don’t have to figure all this stuff out today. Do you want me to be there for the appointment next week? I can figure something out.”

 

“You don’t have to.” She said. “I can call you after. I’d rather you miss the appointments and be here for the birth if it came down to that.”

 

Derek sighed and Emily could tell he was frustrated.

 

“I want to be there.” He said. “I wish I could be there right now, that’s my kid in there, Emily.”

 

“I know.” She said. “We’ll work it out. It’s all gonna be okay, Morgan.”

 

“Shouldn’t I be telling you that?”

 

Emily chuckled. “Maybe.” She said. “But it’s kind of a big deal. For both of us, our lives are about to change in a major way in less than a year.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek said. “No kidding, princess.”

 

There was an uncomfortable silence that followed, and Emily found herself chewing on a fingernail. She quickly stopped and cleared her throat.

 

“Okay.” She said. “Well I won’t keep you on the phone any longer. I’ll call you after the appointment?”

 

“Sure.” He said. “You know, if you need to talk...about this or anything, you don’t need a reason.”

 

“I know.” She said. “Talk to you later?”

 

“Sure thing, princess.”



Emily hung up the phone and brushed away a few tears that had escaped down her cheeks. Though the call wasn’t a complete disaster, and though having children was something she’d wanted for a long time now, Emily still had misgivings. Parenting long distance sounded like a nightmare waiting to happen, and there was the fact that she and Derek weren’t actually together and never had been except for that one night. Now they were going to be parents. One night had turned into being linked to one another for the rest of their lives, and Emily didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing. 

 

“No turning back now.” She muttered as she got up off the bathroom floor. “Ready or not, here you come.”

 

Chapter Text

Derek thought he was gonna puke.

 

Twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours ago his life had been totally normal, twenty-four hours ago, his worries had been focused on work and buying groceries and his plans for the weekend. Then Emily had called him and in the blink of an eye, his world had been forever changed. One night had changed it, had changed them forever, and now it was all Derek could think about.

 

He was going to be a father.

 

Derek cleared his throat and knocked on the door to Hotch’s office. Hotch barely looked up from what he was doing until Derek shut the door behind him and stared awkwardly before him, hands in his pockets. Derek’s apparent discomfort was enough to get Hotch’s attention and his brow furrowed.

 

“Morgan.” Hotch said. “Is everything alright?”

 

“Hotch, we need to talk.” Derek said. 

 

“Alright.” Hotch said, setting down his papers. “What’s wrong? You’ve come to me so I would assume it’s professional but everything about your demeanor suggests that it’s personal.”

 

“Hotch, not now.” Derek said. “I know it’s habit, but I really can’t handle you profiling me right now, man.”

 

“Okay, what is it?” Hotch asked. “What’s going on?”

 

“Something happened.” Derek said. “Between me and Emily. She had already left the team, it’s nothing like that, but...she’s pregnant, Hotch.”

 

“I see.” Hotch said. “I’m assuming there’s no doubt?”

 

“It’s definitely mine.” Derek said. “And she wants to keep it and I support that, I just don’t know what I’m gonna do. She lives in London, Hotch!”

 

“I’m aware.” Hotch said. “How are you doing with all of this? I’m not sure if I should be offering congratulations or not.”

 

“To be honest, I don’t know either.” Derek sighed. “It was one night, Emily and I had never so much as kissed before that night. Now we’re having a kid.”

 

“It’s a lot to take in.” Hotch said. “Haley and I planned Jack, and I was still reeling when I got the news. Do you have feelings for Prentiss?”

 

“What?” Derek said. “Hotch, come on. Obviously I feel something for Prentiss if I went and had sex with her, I just don’t know what that is, or how she feels. I don’t know anything, man, how can I be a dad?”

 

“Morgan, no one knows how to parent a child.” Hotch said. “Not at first anyway. Sometimes with Jack I still feel like I’m flying blind, you learn to adapt.”

 

“I hope so.” Derek muttered. “Of all people, Emily Prentiss is gonna be the mother of my child.”

 

“Some people would consider that a good thing.”

 

“I’m not saying it’s not.” Derek said. “I don’t know, man. I guess I just always thought that when the time came for me to have kids, I’d at least be with the woman I had them with, not navigating long-distance parenthood with my former coworker who I got a little frisky with after a few too many beers.”

 

“I don’t know, Morgan.” Hotch said, an uncharacteristic smirk playing on his face. “You and Prentiss did always have a way with each other. We all noticed it.”

 

“I guess we did.” Derek said. “Still, a baby…”

 

“I’m assuming you’ll be needing some time off.” Hotch said. “When the baby arrives.”

 

Derek sighed. “Yeah.” He said. “Ideally, I’d like to be there when it’s born.”

 

“Understood.” Hotch said. “And if you need to take a couple days here and there before then to help Prentiss, there’ll be no questions asked.”

 

“Thanks, Hotch.” Derek said. “Just...can we keep this between us for right now? I haven’t even told my mom yet and I don’t know what Emily’s plans are…”

 

“Absolutely.” Hotch said. “This doesn’t leave my office.”

 

“Alright, thanks.” Derek said. “I guess I’ll go then.”

 

“Alright.” Hotch said as Derek turned to leave. “Oh, and Morgan? Congratulations.”

 

Derek smiled. “Thanks, Hotch.”

 

Derek wandered out of Hotch’s office and back to the bullpen in a daze, nearly bumping into Reid and Blake in his absent-mindedness. He muttered an apology to the pair and walked to the kitchenette to pour himself a much needed cup of coffee. He had a feeling that he was going to need a lot more of it in about seven more months. Reid and Blake exchanged a look.

 

“What was that all about?” Blake asked.

 

“I don’t know.” Reid frowned. “He’s been kind of off ever since he came back from London.”

 

“Well, I hope everything’s alright.” Blake said. “He looks stressed, whatever it is must be really bothering him.”

 

“He’ll be okay.” Reid said. “Morgan’s always okay.”

 

“I hope you’re right.” Blake said. “I guess if it’s not, we’ll all find out eventually.”

 

Reid shrugged. “Probably.”



The two of them glanced over at Derek Morgan again, watching as he seemed to fumble with the coffee pot, muttering curse words as he spilled coffee all over the counter, then knocked the cup over as he reached over to grab paper towels. Derek sighed and passed a hand over his face. He was a mess, and everyone could see it. He would have to tell everybody sooner or later, but right now he was holding on tight to that piece of information as long as he could. Derek Morgan was going to be a father, and he was scared shitless.

Chapter Text

The first person Emily told was JJ.

 

Emily had known almost instantly that she wanted JJ to know first, after Derek of course, and after they agreed that they were keeping the baby and were going to give the whole international parenthood thing a try. So when she called JJ up to tell her the news and who the father was and the other woman burst out laughing, Emily was more than a little surprised.

 

“I knew it!” JJ exclaimed. “I knew something happened between you guys.”

 

“JJ, what?” Emily said. “We didn’t tell anyone!”

 

“You didn’t have to!” JJ said. “Em, come on. The years of wistful glances? The fact that Derek mourned you more than anyone else and spent seven months trying to track down Doyle? There was always something there, we all saw it.”

 

“It was one night, JJ!” Emily said. “We’re not even a couple, we’re not anything! Except two idiots who got drunk and went at it til the sun came up without using a condom, apparently.”

 

“Well now you’re two idiots who are about to share a child.” JJ said, crunching on what Emily assumed were Cheetos. “How was it, by the way?”

 

“Come again?”

 

“You know…” JJ said mischievously. “You, Morgan, your baby making night of debauchery. How was it?”

 

“Wha- the sex?” Emily asked. “You’re asking me how the sex was? With Derek Morgan?”

 

“I’m curious.” JJ said. “I wanna know if the rumors are true or if he’s one of those guys who thrusts three times and is done. So…?”

 

“I hate you.” Emily groaned. “It was fantastic, okay?”

 

“Ooh, fantastic huh?” JJ said. “Do tell.”

 

“I don’t know.” Emily said. “I can’t explain it. Have you ever been with someone and it’s like you could almost swear you must have had sex with them before because they just know what to do to get you off?”

 

“No!” JJ said. “I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s good with Will, but it took us a few times to figure out what ‘does it’ for us. It was really that good with Morgan?”

 

“You have no idea.” Emily said. “God, looking back I’m not sure how I didn’t realize I was pregnant the next morning. It was that good.”

 

“Yeah.” JJ said. “But there’s totally nothing there.”

 

“There isn’t!” Emily said defensively. “It was one night, an amazing night, but that’s all. Just because he happened to get me pregnant doesn’t change that.”

 

“Uh-huh.” JJ said. “Sure.”

 

That Wednesday was Emily’s first appointment, and though she was plagued with nausea both from nerves and morning sickness, by the time she got out of the doctor’s office and back to her flat, she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. Emily snapped a photo of the ultrasound photo they had given her, with “BABY” labeled beneath the grayish blob that would grow into a fully formed child in just a few short months, and typed out a quick message to Derek with the picture attached.

 

E: Behold, your future child. Any name ideas? I’m thinking Woodstock for a boy, since it looks like a peanut. Maybe Snoopy, who knows?

 

A few minutes later, Emily’s phone pinged.

 

D: Funny, princess. Everything good?

 

E: Got time to talk? I hate doing this over text.

 

Almost instantly, Emily’s phone rang, Derek’s number lighting up her screen. She grinned and answered.

 

“Hey.” She said. “I was serious about Snoopy, by the way. Has a certain ring to it.”

 

“Woman,” Derek said. “I am not about to let you name our child after a cartoon dog!”

 

“Aw damn.” Emily said. “Clifford was my next choice.”

 

“Emily, come on now.” Derek said. “How’s the baby? Seriously, I’m sweating bullets over here.”

 

“Uh, good.” She said. “Baby’s good, heartbeat is good. Everything looks normal at this stage...oh! Baby’s due April 29th if that changes anything.”

 

“Yeah? Spring baby, I like that.” He said. “How are you doing though, princess? You good?”

 

“You really wanna hear about all of the weird things your baby is doing to my body?”

 

Derek’s heart gave a loud thump inside his chest when he heard Emily say the words ‘your baby’ to him. Suddenly, between that and the ultrasound photo, this whole thing seemed very real. He tried to remain calm, hoping Emily didn’t hear the nerves in his voice.

 

“Why wouldn’t I?” He said. “If it’s my baby that’s doing this to you, seems only fair that I listen.”

 

“I’m good.” Emily said, biting back a smile. “I’m really good, actually. I mean, my boobs are sore and the morning sickness is brutal but the doctor said it should ease up in the next month or so, once I hit the second trimester. But I feel good, baby’s healthy, so I’m good.”

 

“Good, good.” Derek said. “Hey listen, Hotch told me if I needed to take some time, it wouldn’t be a problem. I was thinking next week I could hop a plane and spend a couple days, if that’s alright.”

 

“Are you sure?” She asked. “I don’t want you going out of your way just for me.”

 

“Yes, I’m sure.” He said. “And it’s not going out of my way to come visit the mother of my child.”

 

Then it was Emily’s turn to feel her heart pounding and her cheeks heat, though she would blame it on the hormones if anyone dared ask. She bit her lip.

 

“Alright.” She said, humming a little. “If you really feel the need to come see how your kid’s cooking.”

 

Derek paused. “I wanted to see you too, Emily.”

 

“Right!” Emily said, sucking in a breath. “Right, of course you do. I didn’t mean to imply-“

 

“You sure you’re okay?” He asked. “You sound funny.”

 

“I’m fine!” She said quickly. “Hormones, you know.”

 

“Alright, if you say so.” He said. “So uh, I’ll call you with my flight info when I’ve got it?”

 

“Sounds good.” She said. Emily paused. “Derek?”

 

“Yeah, princess?”

 

“This doesn’t change anything between us.” She asked nervously. “Right?”

 

“Emily, of course it doesn’t.” Derek said. “You and me will always be good, kid or no kid.”

 

“Okay, good.” Emily said. “That’s a relief.”

 

Derek chuckled. “Okay, well I gotta go. Talk soon?”

 

“Absolutely.” Emily said. 

 

“Alright.” He said. “Catch you later.”

 

“Bye.”



Emily hugged herself tightly and closed her eyes, leaning back against her fancy, uncomfortable sofa. Suddenly she felt apprehensive. She had known, of course, that Derek Morgan would not be the type of guy to leave her to figure things out alone until the day her water broke, but she hadn’t been banking on seeing him so soon. Emily didn’t know why it made her so nervous, she had known the score long before she had found out that she had procreated with Derek, they were friends. Friends with amazing sexual chemistry, sure, but just friends. And despite Derek’s reassurances to the contrary, Emily feared that nothing about them would truly be the same in the face of their impending parenthood. She looked down at the ultrasound photo again and ran a thumb affectionately across the little bean of a thing that was her baby, their baby, and gave a sad little smile.

 

“You sure have complicated things.” She said. “You know that? You’re lucky I kinda like you.”

 

Emily stopped and considered her words for a moment. She knew that her baby couldn’t hear her, the poor thing hadn’t even developed ears yet. Still, she felt bad about it all the same. Emily rubbed a hand across her still-flat stomach.

 

“No.” She said. “I love you. Complicated or not. Your daddy and I both do, don’t you ever doubt that.”

 

Emily smiled and tried to imagine the baby growing inside of her, wiggling around though she couldn’t feel yet and probably wouldn’t for another three months. She tried to picture who that tiny nugget would become, who they would look like, what their personality would be like. She smiled again. Maybe this wasn’t the way Emily had envisioned becoming a mother, but maybe, just maybe, that was alright.

 

Chapter Text

If Derek’s nerves had been on edge before, they were nothing like they were as he dialed his mother’s phone number, taking a deep breath and stealing himself for the squeals of joy and an interrogation that would have made any suspect shake in their boots. Derek’s father may have been his inspiration for going into law enforcement, but the intensity he had, that was all Fran Morgan. Derek’s heart was in his throat as he heard his mother pick up on the other line, and he tried desperately to swallow his nerves as he dropped what Emily had affectionately called “the baby bomb” on his mother.

 

“Derek?” Fran said. “Is that you sweetheart?”

 

“Yeah, Ma.” Derek said. “It’s me. How are you?”

 

“I’m good.” She said, sounding suspicious. “Are you alright? You sound kind of funny.”

 

“I’m alright, Ma.” He said. “Listen, I have something to tell you, it’s nothing bad, it’s just things are a little complicated right now and you’re probably gonna have a lot of questions.”

 

“Oh?” She said. “Is it a work thing?”

 

“Not really.” Derek said. “Well, sort of, I guess. You remember Emily Prentiss?”

 

“That pretty young woman that came to the house with Dr. Reid that one time?” Fran said, and Derek could tell by the sound of her voice she was smiling. “How could I forget, Derek? She’s gorgeous. Did you ask her out?”

 

“No! No. I uh, I probably should have.” He said. “She uh, she moved to London, new job. Anyway, something did happen between us, it was only one time but…”

 

“Oh Derek.” His mother sighed. “Did you get her pregnant?”

 

“Mom, how did you know?” He asked incredulously.

 

“A mother knows.” Fran said. “You sounded way too nervous to just be calling to check up on me, and when you mentioned her by name…”

 

“Alright, alright, I get it.” Derek said. “Well anyway, we’re keeping the baby, so you can finally stop asking me to make you a grandma.”

 

“Now sweetheart.” She said. “You know I’m thrilled that I’m getting my first grandbaby, but how exactly are you two going to work out raising this child when you don’t even live in the same country?”

 

“We’ll figure that out.” He said. “Emily runs the London office at Interpol, I can’t ask her to give it up.”

 

“Of course not!” Fran said. “But where does that leave you? I know I didn’t raise my son to be a deadbeat.”

 

“Mama, you know I’m not like that.” Derek said, feeling slightly hurt. “I plan on stepping up and taking responsibility for my child. I just haven’t figured out what that looks like just yet.”

 

“Well, do you love her?”

 

Derek blinked. “Excuse me?”

 

“Do you love Emily?” Fran clarified. “I mean, you must like her well enough, but it’s always nice when there’s love there, too. Makes things easier.”

 

“Ma, come on.” Derek said. “I care about Emily, but what happened between us...I don’t know what it was, and I don’t really think that it’s fair to let our current situation dictate our relationship.”

 

“That doesn’t sound like a no.” Fran said. “So what’s really stopping you?”

 

Derek sighed. “I don’t know.” He admitted. “You gotta understand, Emily and I...there was always something about that woman, and I never acted on it until that night. Now I’m having a child with this woman and I’m not even sure how she feels about me.”

 

“Well.” Fran said. “It sounds like you have a lot more to figure out than just the distance.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek said. “You got that right.”

 

Thousands of miles away, Emily found herself in a similar situation with Ambassador Prentiss. After a gentle scolding for the whole business of faking her death and not even bothering to call her mother, Emily received a reserved congratulations when she announced, without much lead-up, that she was expecting. But things got a touch more uncomfortable when her mother began asking questions about the origins of her unexpected blessing.

 

“May I ask who the lucky man is?” Elizabeth Prentiss said. “I’m assuming you do know who the father is.”

 

“Yes, mother.” Emily said through clenched teeth. “I know who the father is. It’s Derek Morgan.”

 

“That gentleman from the BAU?” Elizabeth said with a note of surprise. “Well, you could certainly do a lot worse. And he knows the child is his?”

 

“Of course he does!” Emily exclaimed. “I would never keep him from his child!”

 

“There’s no need to shout, dear.” Elizabeth said. “I was merely curious. After all, you have been on your own for quite some time, I’m glad you finally found someone.”

 

“We’re not together.”

 

There was a pause on the other line. “Well, why ever not?” Her mother asked. “You clearly felt enough for him that you two were able to conceive a child.”

 

“I think you know that’s not how that works.” Emily sighed. “If you needed love to create a child, I would have never been born.”

 

“Your father was a good man.” Elizabeth said. “It was a marriage of convenience, yes, but I was fond of him and he adored you, Emily.”

 

“Derek is a good man.” Emily said. “A great man, and he is a hundred percent committed to this child. Shouldn’t that be enough?”

 

“I suppose.” Elizabeth mused. “I guess I had just hoped for better for you, dear.”

 

Emily blinked. “Oh.”

 

“I know I wasn’t the mother you needed.” Elizabeth said. “And I’ll always regret that, especially after what happened to you in Rome.”

 

“You knew? ” Emily said. “All this time and you never-?”

 

“What would I have said?” Elizabeth asked. “You clearly felt like you couldn’t come to me when it happened, and I was ashamed that I turned a blind eye to it, it has haunted me for twenty-five years.”

 

“Try being the one it happened to.” Emily said darkly.

 

“I failed you, Emily.” Elizabeth said. “I’m sorry. But darling, if you do have feelings for this man, let him know. You’re having his child, after all.”

 

“Yeah.” Emily said quietly. She cleared her throat. “Well anyway, that was all I called to tell you.”

 

“Well, you have my congratulations.” Elizabeth said. “I really do hope you find your happiness, Emily.”

 

Emily swallowed hard. “Thanks.” She said. “Gotta go.”

 

She hung up the phone, her head spinning. The conversation hadn’t been what Emily had been expecting. Her stomach churned, and she wasn’t sure if it was pregnancy related or just her mind reeling from the revelation that her mother had known all along about her teenage pregnancy and subsequent abortion. She certainly hadn’t expected an admission of fault or an apology from her mother, and Emily wondered why now, after so many years, her mother had felt the need. Emily sighed and looked at the calendar. Derek would be there in a few days and Emily found herself more nervous and excited than she had expected. It would be the first step in figuring out their new normal, and that terrified her.

 

A couple days later found Derek in his office at the BAU late in the evening. His flight was early in the morning, and he’d arrive back even earlier. He wasn’t looking forward to the jet lag, but a part of him couldn’t help but be excited to see Emily again and get a real feel for how she was actually doing. His mind kept going back to the conversation he’d had with his mother about Emily, the baby, and his feelings, and while he wasn’t sure that his mother had been exactly right about what he felt for Emily, he couldn’t deny that she wasn’t entirely wrong, either. A knock on his door caused Derek to look up and see Alex Blake smiling at him curiously. Blake had only been a part of the team for a short while, but she was friendly and Derek didn’t dislike her. He returned his smile.

 

“Heading out for the night?” He asked.

 

“Yeah.” Blake said. “Dave said something about a couple of us grabbing drinks after work, you wanna come join us?”

 

“Oh, I wish I could.” Derek said. “Nah, I got an early morning tomorrow, so I’m going straight to bed when I get done here. Early flight, you know how it is.”

 

“You taking a trip?” She asked. “That’s fun.”

 

“You could say that.” He said. “Uh the woman whose position you filled, Emily, I’m going to see her.”

 

“Oh.” She said. “Is this a secret trip?”

 

Derek looked past Blake’s shoulder to make sure that there was no one else within earshot. Blake caught his expression and inched the door closed.

 

“It’s not a secret that I’m going to see her.” Derek explained. “The reason why is.”

 

“I don’t follow.” Blake said. 

 

“Emily is pregnant.” He said. “We’ve only told a couple people so far. Hotch and JJ know, and our mothers, we’re just not ready to tell the whole world yet.”

 

“I see.” She nodded. “I take it there’s more to the story than that? I don’t mean to pry, I just noticed that you’ve been preoccupied lately, being an expectant father definitely explains that.”

 

Derek chuckled. “You’re good, Blake.” He said. “I don’t know, we’re not a couple and everything is up in the air right now. She’s only eight weeks and I know everyone is gonna have questions. I just wanna make sure I have answers first before we announce it.”

 

“Ah.” She said. “Well, your secret is safe with me.”

 

“Thanks.” He said. “I’ll see you Monday.”

 

“Have a safe flight.” Blake said. She turned to go then stopped. “I hope things turn out the way you want.”

 

“Me too.” Derek said quietly as she exited. “I just don’t know what that means yet.”

 

Chapter Text

“Sorry for the mess.”

 

Emily quickly shuffled a few things in boxes and stuffed them into the closet of her guest bedroom. Derek moved to help her, grabbing a box with each arm and ignoring the pointed look she gave him. Derek had been there maybe fifteen minutes, and Emily had already reminded him twice that she was pregnant, not weak. He stacked the boxes carefully in the closet, following her lead.

 

“You don’t have to do all this.” He said. “I could handle spending a couple nights on the couch.”

 

“Not on that thing, you couldn’t.” Emily said. “I bought it because it looked nice, but it might as well be a stone slab with some fabric sewn on.”

 

“Classic Prentiss.” Derek chuckled. “Maybe next time you’ll focus less on fashion and more on comfort.”

 

“I’ll have to get rid of it soon.” She said. “I don’t want the munchkin cracking their head open on it once they start walking. Probably gonna have to do something about the coffee table, too. Sharp corners.”

 

“That’s almost two years off.” He said. “Shouldn’t we worry about getting the kid here first?”

 

Emily shrugged. “I like to have a plan.”

 

“I’m guessing this’ll be the baby’s room once they get here.” Derek commented. “Unless your plan includes moving again, I guess.”

 

“I’d prefer not to.” Emily said. “You know, contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually like moving.”

 

“Could’ve fooled me.” Derek said. “Have you, uh, have you given any thought as to how we’re gonna figure out visitation and all that?”

 

“The hard part is work.” Emily said, shaking out clean linens and making the bed. “I mean you’ve seen how tough it is for Hotch and JJ, they make it work, but…”

 

“But they have a lot of help.” Derek said. “JJ has Will and I don’t think Hotch could do it if it weren’t for Jessica watching Jack while he’s at work.”

 

“Yeah, and we’re both single.” Emily said. She paused for a moment. “That’s another thing we need to discuss. If one of us meets someone, how are we gonna navigate that with a kid in tow?”

 

“You want my honest opinion?” He asked. 

 

“Sure.” She said with a shrug.

 

“I don’t know that I’d be comfortable with either of us bringing someone new into our kids life.” He said. “Not unless it was starting to get serious.”

 

“At least we can agree on that.” She said. “But then it begs the question, at what point is it serious?”

 

“I think if you start seeing yourself spending your life with that person it counts as serious.” He said. “I don’t know, I just wanna be careful who we let into our son or daughter’s life. We both know what’s out there.”

 

“Oh trust me, I know.” Emily said. “I’m nine weeks pregnant and I’m already having nightmares.”

 

Derek straightened up. “Nightmares?”

 

“Nothing specific.” Emily shrugged. “It’s just...we’ve both put a lot of people away. If either of us pissed someone off enough to want revenge and they found out we had a kid, it could be bad.”

 

“Emily,” Derek said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “I hope you know that I would never let that happen.”

 

“I know.” She sighed. “Neither would I. It’s funny, this baby isn’t even here yet but I’d lose my mind if anything ever happened to them.”

 

“That’s just you being a good mom.” He said. There was a long silence and Derek cleared his throat. “Uh, there’s also something else we need to talk about.”

 

Emily arched an eyebrow. “There are a lot of things we need to talk about.” She said. “Which one are you wanting to talk about?”

 

“Us.” He said. “Whatever this is between us.”

 

“Oh.” She said. “I didn’t think there was an us.”

 

“There’s gotta be something, right?” Derek said, averting his eyes. “We didn’t just get bored and decide to have sex one night.”

 

“We kind of did.” Emily said. “We got drunk and decided to have sex, it’s kind of the same thing.”

 

“Depending on who you ask.” He shrugged. “I don’t know, I don’t wanna make things weird between us.”

 

“Morgan, it’s already weird.” She said. “We’re going from friends and partners to sharing a child together in under a year. If you have something to say then say it.”

 

“Okay.” He said. “I guess I’m just wondering what was going through your head that night.”

 

“I don’t know.” Emily said, and it was her turn to look away. “I guess I was thinking about how much I was gonna miss you, everything we’d been through, what I’d put you through and...I don’t know...you kissed me and it felt nice, so I guess I just got curious.”

 

Derek nodded. “Okay.” He said, trying to hide the hurt in his voice. “Alright fair enough, princess.”

 

“What about you?” She asked. “I mean you kissed me first, so what were you thinking that night?”

 

“A lot of the same things you were.” He said. “And how beautiful you were looking in that moonlight.”

 

Emily laughed. “Trust me.” She said. “You weren’t looking too bad yourself, that night.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek chuckled. “And it was good, wasn’t it?”

 

“God, so good.” Emily exclaimed. “I can’t remember the last time it was that good.”

 

“Yeah, me either.” Derek said. “Better than I imagined.”

 

Emily looked up from the pillows she was rearranging. Her cheeks tinged pink as the implication of Derek’s words hit her with full force. She laughed a little.

 

“You imagined us?” She said. “Having sex together?”

 

Derek’s face went blank. “Uh…”

 

“Oh, I don’t care if you did.” She said quickly. “I was just curious. I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about it before that night. Or after, not that I do it all the time, it was just really, really good…”

 

“No, I get you.” He said with a laugh. “It doesn’t have to mean anything, we’re adults.”

 

“Right.” Emily said, kicking herself internally. “We’re allowed to enjoy sex and think about it.”

 

“Do you, uh…” Derek said, moving closer. “Do you think about it often?

 

“I guess.” She said. “Do you?”

 

“More than I should.” He said. “Are you sure there’s nothing between us beyond that night?”

 

“I don’t know.” She said. She cleared her throat and shook her head. “But it doesn’t matter. I’m pregnant, emotions are running high, us trying to get involved in something right now would be a disaster.”

 

“Would it?”

 

“I don't want us to confuse each other.” She said. “Or ourselves. Lots of people have kids without being in a relationship, I don’t want either of us getting hurt, or hurting our child because we mistook friendship and sex, even if it’s really good sex, for something else.”

 

“But you feel it too.” Derek stated. “It doesn’t have to mean anything if you don’t want it to.”

 

“So what are you saying?” Emily said. “We could just screw each other senseless, no strings attached?”

 

“You’re already pregnant.” Derek said. “We know we’re good together, and if something more came out of it fine, if not then we won’t make a big deal about it.”

 

“It’s tempting.” Emily said. “These hormones are doing more than make me throw up every fifteen minutes.”

 

“Well, I’m not doing anything you don’t wanna do.” He said, taking a step back. “But the offer is out there.”

 

“Noted and I’ll think about it.” She said. “I just don’t want us doing something we might regret later on.”

 

“Fair enough.” He said.



The decision was made sooner than either of them thought it would be, the following night as they sat side by side watching tv. Though she had no discernible bump yet, and it would be a while yet before either of them felt movement from their unborn child, Derek had already taken to placing a hand on her stomach as casually as if he had always been doing it. It was an innocent gesture, but the contact stirred something in Emily and she found herself inching closer, putting her head on his shoulder and before she could stop herself, the words were out of her mouth.

 

“Okay.” She said. “Let’s do it.”

 

Derek looked at her. “You sure?”

 

“We’re scratching an itch.” Emily said. “You help me, I help you. No strings, right?”

 

“Right.” Derek said. “No strings.”  

 

“Unless you’ve changed your mind.” Emily said quickly, almost nervously. “Which is totally fine, I just-“

 

“Emily, stop.” Derek said, placing a hand on her face. He ran his thumb across her lower lip, then he leaned over and kissed her softly. “Is this okay?”

 

“Yeah.” She murmured against his mouth. “More than okay. Do you wanna take this to the bedroom, or-?”

 

“If you want.” He said. “Are you ready?”

 

“If you keep touching me like that.” Emily said. “You know, it might be easier if you don’t take the guest room. It’s a waste of sheets.”

 

“Less work for us.” Derek said, scooping her up and carrying her down the hall, her legs wrapped around his waist. “If we’re sharing a bed.”

 

“Easier access, too.” Emily said, nipping at his neck. He was already sliding her sweats down her hips, and she was more than ready for him. “Less awkward then having to come find each other when we want sex.”

 

“I’m good with that.” He said. Derek slid the door closed with his foot and carried her to the bed.



They lost themselves in pleasure that night, hedonism bordering on greed as they moved together, their sweaty bodies seeming to become one. Both Derek and Emily knew that their arrangement was unorthodox and that they were playing with fire. But the pull that they both felt towards each other was too strong to ignore, the silent warning that this could all blow up in their faces in an instant seeming unimportant in comparison to their need. Whatever was between them was too good to set aside, and Derek and Emily rationalized it by telling themselves and each other that they could figure out what exactly was between them at a later date. After all, they were stuck in each other’s lives forever now, feelings could wait.




Chapter Text

The rest of the team found out more or less by complete accident.

 

Derek knew that they were all going to find out eventually, it was difficult to avoid questions about where he was sneaking off to every chance he got, and he knew that as soon as the team found out that he was visiting Emily so frequently, they would know that something was up, from there it wouldn’t be hard to figure out what. Still, he had to admit that he was unprepared for their secret to be out when he came back from London after a long weekend. He’d been able to make it to Emily’s twelve week appointment, and though Derek had seen the ultrasound photo from her initial dating scan, there was something different about watching that baby on the screen, waving its arms and legs like it was waving at them. He couldn’t hide the emotion he felt hearing that heartbeat for the first time, and Emily grinned when she looked up and saw his face, eyes glued to the screen.

 

“Are you crying?” She asked.

 

“What? No.” Derek said, clearing his throat. “I’m not crying, uh, I just...sometimes I forget there’s a whole little person in there.”

 

“Well, person in progress.” Emily said. “It’s weird, isn’t it? Seeing it and knowing that’s half you, half me.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek said thickly. “It’s something, isn’t it?”

 

“Derek Morgan.” She said. “You are crying! You big old softie!”

 

“Yeah, and what of it?” He grumbled. “It’s only my baby growing in there.”

 

“I cried too, you know.” She said. “The first time I heard that little heartbeat, god, it was terrible.”

 

“You cry anyway, princess.” He said. “Even before you were pregnant. Remember that movie with the kid and the dog? You cried all night.”

 

“Hey!” Emily said. “Not all of us are made of stone.”

 

“I’m just playing.” Derek chuckled. “Hey, it is pretty amazing though, seeing our baby like that.”

 

“It is.” Emily mused. “Isn’t it?”

 

She smiled up at him again, and Derek smiled back before leaning over to kiss her forehead. They had agreed as a part of their arrangement that they shouldn’t fall into the habit of doing couple-y things together, including anything that could be misconstrued as a public display of affection, yet neither one of them commented on the gesture or how they had looked at each other after. Instead they went back to Emily’s flat and fucked against the wall til they were both shaking and could think of nothing else. Other than the fact that Emily was pregnant and the fact that their friendship now had the added benefit of days long sex marathons, things between them were relatively normal. So normal in fact, that Derek wondered if they were too normal, given the circumstances. It was that thought that was running through his mind as he stepped out of the elevator and into the BAU, slipping his copy of the ultrasound photo in his wallet, that caused him to run smack into Penelope Garcia.

 

“Whoa there, hot stuff.” Garcia said. “Do I need to start wearing a bell around my neck?”

 

“Sorry, baby girl.” Derek sighed. “It was my fault. I got a little sidetracked, that’s all.”

 

“No worries.” The blonde technical analysts said with a shrug as she began to gather up the papers she had dropped, Derek moving to help her. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw it, reached for it, and was too slow as Garcia scooped up the ultrasound photo with a few loose papers, not quite noticing it at first.

 

“See? No harm no foul.” Garcia said, shuffling the papers. Finally it caught her eye. “Oh hey, this isn’t mine, what is this anywa-“

 

The question died on her lips as Penelope took in what the photo actually was and her mind ran through the implications of it being in Derek’s possession. Derek put up his hands defensively.

 

“Garcia,” He said in a low voice. “I can explain. Don’t freak out, alright?”

 

“I’m trying.” Garcia squeaked. “I’m really trying, but I just don’t understand why you have an ultrasound photo except for the obvious reason, but that doesn’t make sense, you haven’t mentioned being on a date in months and you tell me everything, so why wouldn’t you tell me this?”

 

“We were going to tell everyone soon.” Derek said. “I swear, we just didn’t know how, and we wanted to wait til we knew everything was okay, so-“

 

“Whoa, we?” Garcia said. “Who is we?”

 

Derek sighed. “Look at the name on the ultrasound.”

 

“It says- it says Prentiss.” She said. “Prentiss, Emily but she- she lives in London, when would you-“

 

Garcia looked up at Derek, who shrugged and stared helplessly at his friend. Garcia’s jaw dropped, her expression pure shock, though Derek thought he saw the hint of a smile at the corner of her eyes.

 

“You dirty rotten scoundrel!” She exclaimed. “You and Prentiss? When? How?”

 

“Garcia, it was one time! ” He said with exasperation, throwing his hands up. “One of the last nights we were in London. Prentiss and I had a little too much to drink, one thing led to another, next thing I know, she’s calling to tell me I’m gonna be a dad.”

 

“That was a while ago, Morgan.” She said. “That would mean that Emily’s like, what? Three, four months?”

 

“Three months.” Derek confirmed. “Technically she’s twelve weeks, whatever that means, I’m still trying to figure all this stuff out. Baby’s due the end of April.”

 

Derek flinched as Garcia hit him with her stack of papers, cursing loudly as she whacked him over and over again, apparently intent on causing him death by paper cuts. 

 

“I. Knew. It!” Garcia said, punctuating each word with another blow. “I knew something happened between you guys, but I kindly kept my mouth shut and now you’re telling me you knocked her up?! After years of pining away for that woman, you impregnated her on accident, Derek Morgan?!”

 

“I didn’t pine for her!” Derek said. “When was I pining?”

 

“Oh, don’t play dumb, mister!” She said. “I may not be a profiler like the rest of you guys, but I can still tell when my best friend is in love with my other best friend, Derek! It’s been obvious for a while!”

 

“Now hold on!” He said. “Who said anything about love? She’s my friend, and yes, we slept together. Once. It’s not like we planned for this to happen!”

 

“Oh please, Morgan!” She said. “The pregnancy and the sex may not have been premeditated, but you can not tell me that you feel nothing for her. I was there, remember? You were heartbroken when you thought Prentiss was dead, you were barely hanging on!”

 

“I thought I had lost my friend.” Derek said. “Of course I was heartbroken, Garcia! That doesn’t mean-“

 

“And when she came back.” Garcia said. “The way you looked at her, it was like the pieces of your world had been put back together. If that’s not love, what is?”

 

Derek cleared his throat, unable to refute the blonde woman’s words.

 

“Well, it doesn’t matter.” He said. “Love or not, I’m still gonna be a father to this child, and I could really use some extra support, Garcia. So could Emily.”

 

“Derek, of course I support you guys!” Garcia said. “I just want you to be happy, and I just so happen to think that you two and your little blessing would all be a lot happier together as a family.”

 

“Who would be happier as a family?” Reid’s voice sounded from behind them.

 

Derek sighed and turned to see Reid and Dave walking towards them, the younger man’s head tilted curiously. He cursed internally. This was not how he had pictured telling the team about his impending fatherhood.

 

“Alright.” Derek said. “I guess you guys were gonna find out anyway. Emily and I are expecting a baby, it’s complicated but all that matters is that we’re working together and our first priority is taking care of our child.”

 

“Uh, wow.” Reid said, blinking. “Congratulations Morgan, that’s uh, that’s good news.”

 

“I had a feeling something was gonna happen between you kids eventually.” Dave added. “Though I have to admit, the order it’s happening in is a surprise.”

 

“You know, it does explain the glow.” Reid said. “The last time Emily and I video chatted, remember how she was glowing and she couldn’t stop smiling?”

 

“Wouldn’t you be too?” Dave said. “If you were having a baby with the man you loved?”

 

“Guys, come on.” Derek said. “Emily and I are friends who just happen to be having a kid together, Love has nothing to do with it.”

 

Dave smirked. “If you say so.” He said. “In any case, I think this news calls for a celebratory drink or two at my place after work. What do you say?”

 

“Ooh, yes!” Garcia said. “We need to toast to this little miracle’s health and good fortune!”

 

“I don’t know, guys.” Derek said. “Emily’s supposed to call me when I get off, I don’t want her waiting up.”

 

“Ah yes.” Dave said. “But love has nothing to do with it. I’m sure it has nothing to do with you needing to talk to her and hear her voice, either.”

 

“She’s the mother of my child.” Derek said. “I want to know how she’s doing and I want to be considerate of the fact that there’s a five hour time difference and she’s exhausted from working and growing our baby.”

 

“Whatever you say.” Dave said.

 

That night, Derek ducked out on to the patio at Dave’s mansion, having shot Emily a text earlier to let her know what had happened that morning, and though he didn’t want to do anything to feed the team’s suspicions that there was more between him and Emily than friendship and a baby, Derek couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he answered the phone.

 

“So how pissed is Garcia?” Emily said. “I’m surprised I don’t have a bunch of screaming voicemails.”

 

“All things considered, I’d say she’s pretty happy.” Derek chuckled. “I did bribe her with the promise of being a godmother though.”

 

“We’re not even religious!” Emily said, though he could hear the amusement in her voice.

 

“I know.” He said. “But I figured it wouldn’t hurt. Everyone else sends their love, by the way. They’re all very happy for us and wish you were here.”

 

“Aw, I miss them.” She said. “I might have to plan a trip out there before this little one makes an appearance.”

 

“Yeah, well you just focus on taking care of yourself and that little nugget of ours.” Derek said. “How you doing? You getting enough sleep? Eating enough?”

 

“I sleep as much as I can.” Emily said. “Growing your kid is hard work. And you’re lucky this baby likes vegetables, I don’t think I’ve ever craved salad before.”

 

“Whatever works.” Derek said. “You need anything?”

 

“Morgan, I’m fine!” Emily laughed. “God, you’re gonna be one of those overly attentive dads, aren’t you?”

 

“Ah princess, you wound me!” He said. “I just wanna make sure the mother of my child is taken care of.”

 

“Trust me, I am.” She said. There was a beat of silence between them. “You’re going to be a really amazing dad, you know that?”

 

“Well, come on now.” He said. “With a mom like you? Makes being a good dad pretty easy.”

 

“I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not.”

 

“It is.” Derek said. “Prentiss, you’re gonna be the best mother our kid could ever ask for. You’re incredible.”

 

“Geez, Morgan.” Emily said. “You’re gonna make me cry, you can’t say stuff like that to a pregnant woman.”

 

“I’m sorry.” Derek said, a pang in his chest.

 

“I’m messing with you!” Emily said. “Well, mostly. I did cry at a commercial for cookware today.”

 

Derek shook his head. “Why does that not surprise me?” He asked. “The day I left, it was a commercial for cereal with a kid and their grandpa playing catch.”

 

“It was sweet!” She said. There was a pause. “It sure is quiet here without you.”

 

He smiled. “I miss you too, Prentiss.”

 

“Yeah, yeah.” She muttered. “I should probably get some rest. This kid is already wearing me out.”

 

“Yes, sleep.” He said. “And call me if you do need anything. I don’t care how small you think it is.”

 

“Will do.” She said. “Talk to you tomorrow?”

 

“Sure thing, princess.”



Derek hung up the phone with his heart pounding. He didn’t know why, there wasn’t anything remotely out of the ordinary about his conversation with Emily, they were the same way they had always been with each other. Yet there had been a familiarity between them that had felt more intimate, somehow. Derek knew the score, it had been Emily who had insisted on ground rules for their arrangement. Yet every time he talked to her or thought about her, Derek got a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach that he wasn’t sure he could trust. He tried to convince himself that he and Emily were just friends, that there was nothing between them other than that, but he couldn’t deny that every time he saw her, every time they were alone together and his lips found hers, he found himself wanting to stay and secretly hoping that one day, Emily would ask him to.

 

“Get it together, man.” He muttered to himself. “She’s having your kid! It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen for you guys.”

 

Yet if that were true, Derek wondered as he shook off the conversation and joined the rest of his team inside, drink to the health of his unborn child, why did the thought of their relationship not turning into something more feel like the end of the world? 

 

Derek didn’t have an answer.






Chapter Text

“Alright, you ready for this?”

 

Derek’s eyes widened as Emily stepped away from the laptop and into the center of her living room so that Derek could see it. She had told him her clothes were starting to feel tighter, and she had already broken down and bought a pair of maternity jeans, complaining that tying a rubber band around the button of her pants left her feeling exposed in a way that made her uncomfortable. At sixteen weeks, Derek had thought maybe she was exaggerating slightly about how much she was growing, but there on the screen, he could see as plain as day the small but noticeable curve of Emily’s stomach, a signal to the world that a child, their child, was on the way. Derek grinned in spite of himself.

 

“Damn, you weren’t kidding!” He said, chuckling. “Look at you, with that cute little baby belly.”

 

“Sure, you think it’s cute now. ” Emily said. She rolled her eyes but couldn’t hide her smile. “Just wait until I’m huge and I can’t tie my own shoes anymore.”

 

“Well lucky for me,” Derek teased. “You got some pretty cute feet too, princess.”

 

Emily wrinkled her nose at him. “Weirdo.”

 

“Hey, careful now.” He said, “Need I remind you that this weirdo is that baby’s father?”

 

“Oh trust me, I know.” She said. “You should see how weird I look naked.”

 

“Woman, you could never be anything less than a masterpiece naked.” Derek said. “I guess I’ll find out this weekend though, since things have finally calmed down enough for me to get away. Hey, and I told Hotch that come hell or high water, I was gonna be there for the twenty week ultrasound.”

 

“I could have just told you the results.” Emily said, placing a hand on her stomach as she sat back down in front of the computer. “You know, the whole point of the scan is to make sure that the baby is developing properly, finding out the sex is just a bonus.”

 

“I know.” He said. “I wanna see how our kid is cooking.”

 

“Kid, not turkey.” She said. “You hoping for a boy?”

 

“Actually, I’m kinda hoping it’s a girl.”

 

Emily blinked, unsure how to proceed. “Oh.”

 

“Now don’t get me wrong.” He said. “I’ll be happy with whatever we get, so long as the baby is healthy. I just think it’d be fun to have a mini-princess to spoil.”

 

“No! No, it’s sweet.” She chuckled. “I guess I just figured that you would want someone to teach how to throw a football, carry on the Morgan name.”

 

“Does our child not have arms?” He asked. “I can teach a girl how to throw a football just the same as I could teach a boy. I thought you were a feminist.”

 

“I am!” She said. “I just didn’t know you were.”

 

“I don’t know if I should be offended or not.” Derek said. “As for the name thing, I don’t think we actually discussed that part. You don’t want the baby to have your last name, princess?”

 

“Not really.” Emily said, making a face. “The last name Prentiss comes with a lot of expectations. And unwanted attention, believe it or not. Did I ever tell you about the time I was featured in a lesser known Portuguese tabloid?”

 

Derek raised an eyebrow. “No, you did not.”

 

“I believe the headline read,” Emily said. “ Diplomatic Relations: Ambassador's daughter caught in drunken orgy during spring break.

 

“No way!” Derek laughed. “Not Emily Prentiss!”

 

“It wasn’t an orgy!” She said defensively. “A group of friends and I got a little too drunk during spring break and decided to skinny dip. There was kissing involved, but it was totally harmless!”

 

“Oh man.” He said. “I bet your mom loved that!”

 

“It wouldn’t have even been that big of a deal!” She said. “If the French ambassador’s daughter hadn’t been involved. The French press got a hold of it and had a field day. It took my mother more than a few phone calls to bury that story, especially back then.”

 

“I can imagine.” He said. “That would have been what? The nineties? Girls kissing girls would’ve been a scandal back in those days.”

 

“Especially politicians’ daughters.” She agreed. “I’m just glad that they lose interest once you’re not young and hot anymore. Pregnant out of wedlock is still considered a scandal in some circles.”

 

“You’re still hot.” Derek said. “No matter what those tabloid reporters think.”

 

“Kiss ass.” Emily said. “So when’s your flight again?”

 

“I’m taking a red eye.” He said. “I’ll take off Thursday night, be there early morning Friday. What? You miss me or something, princess?”

 

“Believe it or not,” She said. “I actually do enjoy your company, Morgan.”

 

“Never said you didn’t.” He said. “Though your cheeks are awfully pink right now.”

 

“I hate you sometimes.” She said. “Let’s just say I’m missing certain parts of you more than others.”

 

“I see.” Derek said with an arch of his brow. “You need something to take the edge off?”

 

“It’s not the same.” Emily sighed. “As much fun as that sounds. Besides, this camera does nothing for my boobs. Remember last time?”

 

“Sexiest pixels I ever saw.” Derek said. “Nah, if you’re not comfortable, I won’t push it. I just know those hormones have been driving you a little crazy.”

 

“Yeah.” She hummed. “It’s a wonder that I don’t jump your bones every chance I get.”

 

“Hey.” He chuckled. “You won’t hear me complaining!”

 

As it turned out, Emily did jump his bones the first chance she got, and they spent the entirety of Friday morning and the better part of the afternoon in bed together, their sweaty bodies entwined. Emily laughed breathlessly when Derek pulled out of her following their latest encounter, feeling a little lightheaded. She sat up as Derek went to use the bathroom and froze when she felt it. It was barely there. Any other time, she probably wouldn’t have noticed, but it was definitely there. A little flutter on the right side of her abdomen. Emily held her breath and felt it again. She turned as Derek came back into the room and pulled his boxers back on, her eyes wide and her mouth open slightly. He froze.

 

“Emily?” Derek said. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

 

“I- nothing.” Emily stammered. “Nothing’s wrong, I just... I think I just felt it move.”

 

“The baby?” Derek asked. “Isn’t it a bit soon?”

 

Emily shrugged, still shocked. “I guess it can happen any time between sixteen and twenty-four weeks.” She said. “But they told me not to worry if I didn’t feel it early on since I’m a first time mom. I can’t believe I felt it so soon…”

 

She looked down at her bare stomach, running her hand along the spot where she had felt it. Derek watched her with rapt attention, gazing at her in a way that made the back of Emily’s neck warm when she noticed it. He sat down beside her, reaching out a hand then pulling it back, hesitating.

 

“Can I…?” He asked.

 

“Yeah.” Emily said. She cleared her throat. “You probably won’t be able to feel anything, though. I just barely caught it.”

 

“I know.” Derek said, placing a hand on her stomach where she’d just had hers. “I just want them to know that I’m here.”

 

Emily didn’t know what possessed her to do what she did next, but looking at Derek, his hand on her stomach, looking at it with what could only be called reverence, Emily felt her heart swell. She leaned over and kissed him full on the mouth, catching Derek off-guard as much as she caught herself off-guard. When she pulled away, Derek’s dark eyes were as surprised and uncertain as she felt inside.

 

“What was that for?” He asked.

 

“I- I don’t know.” She replied. “I don’t know, I just…”

 

“Hey.” Derek said, lifting her chin up with his finger. “It’s okay. You don’t have to explain.”

 

Emily nodded. “Thank you.”

 

Derek gave her shoulders a squeeze and Emily leaned into him, feeling his heart beating in his chest. Her cheeks felt hot. Emily didn’t know what had moved her to kiss Derek like that, without the context of sex. The way Derek had looked at her and stirred something inside of Emily, and she had felt things that she didn’t want to admit to. It wasn’t as if she was afraid to feel something for him, he was the father of her child and there would probably be a part of her that always loved him a little bit for that reason alone. But love beyond that...Emily didn’t trust herself with that kind of love. Not anymore. She sighed, and he kissed the top of her head, one hand still on her belly.

 

“You know I love you.” Derek said. “Right?”

 

“Yeah.” Emily said, fighting the tears in her eyes. “I know.”

 

Emily did know he loved her. She knew that he maybe loved her a little more than two friends or two people who shared a child loved each other. And if she was being honest, Emily loved him too. More than he knew, more than she would ever let him know. The fact terrified Emily, and she realized then and there, that she could never let him know just how much she loved him, in fear that it would ruin them both and damage their relationship with their child and each other.

 

She couldn’t let that happen, so he would never know.





Chapter Text

“You’re moping.”

 

Derek glared at the tall, skinny figure in front of him. He already wasn’t in the greatest of moods, having worked late every single day for the past week, and from the looks of their caseload, it was beginning to look like he wasn’t going to be able to make it back out to London until Emily’s twenty week appointment, which they were both understandably disappointed about. Still, the disappointment gave way to something a little more sour for Derek in particular and everyone at the BAU had noticed and subsequently steered clear of him the last few days. Still, as he looked up at Spencer Reid, Derek couldn’t help but find the younger man’s statement just a touch over dramatic.

 

“I’m not moping.” He grumbled. “I’m just sick of being here til ten o’clock at night. Minimum! I’d like to go home and be able to do more than just sleep before having to turn around and come back here.”

 

“No, it’s more than that.” Reid said. “You’ve been in a particularly bad mood lately, and I know it’s not just you being burnt out, though I don’t doubt that you are.”

 

“Okay then, kid.” Derek said. “I’ll bite. What do you think is the reason behind my mood?”

 

Reid shrugged. “You miss her.”

 

“What do you mean?” Derek said with a frown. “Miss who? Who do I miss?”

 

“You miss Emily.” Reid said.

 

Derek chuckled and shook his head. “Reid, come on now.” He said. “You know it’s not like that.”

 

“Not like that for who?” Reid said. “Morgan, you’re in constant contact with her, texting, phone calls, video chat. You fly out to London every chance you get, and you never stop talking about her.”

 

“To be fair,” Derek said. “She is having my child.”

 

“That’s true.” Reid said. “But it’s also true that you’re in love with her and have been for quite some time. And if I’m noticing it, it must be pretty darn obvious.”

 

“Funny.” Derek said. “I remember you saying something similar about six years ago.”

 

“Yeah, about the exact same woman too.” Reid said quickly. “You really believe that’s a coincidence? That the same woman you were flirting with and talking about books with is now carrying your unborn child?”

 

Derek blinked. “Uh, yeah?”

 

“You know,”  Reid said. “I bet if Emily asked you to drop everything and move to London to be with her, you would be on a plane tomorrow, case or no case. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you had listings in London saved on your phone and a realtor on speed dial just on the off chance she does.”

 

Derek sat there, stunned into silence by his inability to refute anything that Reid had just said. He kicked himself internally for being so easy to read, remembering how just yesterday he had had to physically stop himself from putting an offer in for a modest two-bedroom just outside of London proper, scaring himself with just how easily he could picture the three of them there, him, Emily, and the baby. Derek felt his face heat as he remembered the shame he had felt almost instantly afterwards, the full weight of reality hitting him afresh. Emily was having his baby, but they weren’t together. It hurt more than Derek thought it would, especially considering the connection that they shared, and the sex that they were still having that no one knew about.

 

“Yeah.” Derek said. “And like I told you all those years ago, girls like Emily Prentiss aren’t interested in guys like Derek Morgan. It was true then and it’s true now.”

 

“You guys had sex!” Reid exclaimed. “She’s having your baby! There had to be some level of interest for that to happen or she wouldn’t have kept it.”

 

“She wants to be a mom.” Derek said. “The fact of the matter is that I was just in the right place at the right time to be the one she conceived that child with.”

 

“You know, Morgan.” Reid said. “For someone who’s so street smart, you’re pretty oblivious to things that are right in front of your face.”

 

Derek stared blankly at Reid, who stared back, unblinking.

 

“She loves you too.” Reid said. “It’s obvious. Any time one of us talks to Emily and we mention you and the baby, she lights up, even if you can’t see it, I can hear it in her voice. She’s in love with you.”

 

“I don’t think so.” Derek chuckled, shaking his head.

 

“Fine.” Reid said. “Don’t believe me. But when you finally figure it out for yourself, I told you so.”

 

That made Derek full on laugh and shake his head as he went back to his paperwork. Reid was one to talk about people’s mood, the young doctor had been acting pretty strangely himself, and his unprompted advice in matters of the heart, an area that Reid had admitted many times wasn’t his area of expertise, was just another thing that added to Derek’s suspicions about his friend. Well, if Reid had finally found love then good for him, but that didn’t mean that he was right about Emily or their current situation.

 

How ironic then, when after Derek had finally finished up what he was doing and had gone home for the night, that his phone lit up and the screen informed him that it was Emily calling him. Fear flashed through Derek as he did the math in his head to figure out that it was almost three in the morning in London. He answered the call and forced calm into his voice.

 

“Hey princess.” He said. “Everything okay? It’s pretty late for you.”

 

“Yeah.” Emily said, her voice scratchy but alert. “I was asleep, but then I got up to pee and someone decided that three AM was the perfect time to party. I didn’t wake you, did I?”

 

“Nah, I just got home.” Derek said, breathing a sigh of relief. “These late nights are killin’ me, princess.”

 

“Aw, poor baby.” She teased. “It could be worse, you could have a tiny gremlin who decides to start kicking you the second you finally do get to sleep “

 

Derek winced. “I’m sorry.”

 

“I’m kidding!” Emily said with a laugh. “God, you really must be exhausted.”

 

“Just a little bit.” He said. “So what, baby wakes you up and you got bored so you decided to call me up and see what I was doing, is that right?”

 

“Well, yeah.” She said. “Should I not?”

 

“Emily, you’re having my baby.” He said. “You call me anytime you wanna call me, no questions asked.”

 

“Good.” She said. There was a beat. “I missed you.”

 

Derek’s heart gave a loud thud in his chest. “I missed you too.” He said. “I missed the sound of your voice.”

 

“Hm, I think someone else misses you too.” Emily said, a soft laugh in her voice. “She’s getting stronger.”

 

“Oh, so she’s a girl today?” Derek asked. “On Sunday you were convinced that this baby is a boy.”

 

“I’m allowed to change my mind.” She said. “Whoever they are, I’m signing them up for soccer as soon as they can walk. Strong kicks.”

 

“Isn’t it called football over there?” He teased.

 

“That’s not the point!” She said and Derek could almost see her rolling her eyes. “You’re still coming for the twenty week appointment though, right?”

 

“If I have to quit the BAU to do it.” He said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world, Emily, you know that.”

 

“Okay, just checking.” She said. “I know I said that it wasn’t a big deal if you weren’t there, but I kind of want you with me for this one.”

 

“I’ll be there.” He said. “Trust me.”

 

They talked for a little while longer until Derek could hear Emily snoring softly on the other end of the line. She had been doing that a lot lately, falling asleep while they were talking on the phone, and normally he teased her mercilessly for it. But tonight, a strange knot formed in the pit of his stomach instead. They had become even more comfortable with one another the past few months than they had ever been before, caught somewhere between friends and lovers, and Reid’s words came back to Derek as he dozed off to the sound of Emily’s even breaths, not quite able to bring himself to hang up. Their phone bills would be astronomical but he didn’t care. He loved that woman with all he was, though he had been loathe to admit it when Reid had confronted him earlier, and the thought that maybe, just maybe, Emily loved him back consumed his dreams that night and every night after until the next time he got on a plane to London. He just hoped that Reid was as smart in matters of the heart as he was in the head, because Derek thought he might break if it wasn’t true.



Chapter Text

There was always something surreal about waking up next to Derek Morgan. Emily didn’t think she would ever get used to it, no matter how many times it happened. In the early morning light, with their unborn child kicking from within, it was easy for her to pretend that they were something more than just friends and accidental parents. Emily kicked herself anytime she caught herself doing it, but more and more often, she found herself getting lost in the fantasy of the two of them together, raising their family. A hard lump formed in Emily’s throat as she watched Derek’s chest rise and fall. They could never be. She knew that. So why was she so bent on imagining what could never be?

 

“You know,” Derek said without opening his eyes to look at her. “It’s rude to stare.”

 

Emily cleared her throat, her cheeks heating with embarrassment and she looked away.

 

“I’m not staring.” She grumbled. “I was admiring the view.”

 

“Oh, you were now?” Derek grinned, finally opening his eyes. “And did you like what you see?”

 

“You do look good at sunrise.” She said. “Although I would have been content to see you at a more reasonable hour. I think this little girl might be a morning person.”

 

“Poor momma over here.” He said. “She’s gonna need a name soon. Any ideas?”

 

“It’s too early for baby name ideas.” She groaned, burying her face in her pillow. 

 

“Hey now.” Derek teased, his hand reaching out to touch her belly. “Maybe you wouldn’t be so tired if you hadn’t woken me up at two AM for a little lovin’.”

 

“I don’t remember hearing you complain.” Emily shot back. “In fact I distinctly remember you enjoying yourself more than once.”

 

“Yeah?” He said. “Well, I remember someone else enjoying themselves very much last night too.”

 

“Yeah yeah.” She said. “How about Persephone?”

 

“For our daughter?” He asked. “Do you want her to get teased in school, princess?”

 

“It’s a strong name!” She said defensively. 

 

“A little too strong.” He said. “How about Laura?”

 

Emily wrinkled her nose. “Too close to Lauren.”

 

“Right.” Derek said, wincing. “Sorry. Quinn?”

 

“Quinn Morgan doesn’t really flow.” She mused. “I like that it’s a little more neutral though. How about Elliott?”

 

“That’s a little close to Elle for my liking.” He said. “How about Kira?”

 

“Kira has a ring to it.” She said. “Kira Allegra.”

 

“Where did Allegra come from?” He asked.

 

“It was my grandma’s middle name.” She replied, shrugging. “I always thought it was pretty.”

 

“It is pretty.” Derek said, moving closer. “A pretty name for a pretty little girl.”

 

Emily smiled in spite of herself. “I think you might be just a little bit biased.”

 

“And what if I am?” He said. “My little girl is gonna be beautiful, just like her mother.”

 

“You’re her dad.” She said, hoping Derek didn’t notice the blush creeping across her cheeks. “You’re supposed to think she’s beautiful no matter what.”

 

Derek shrugged. “Doesn’t make it any less true.” 

 

There was a pause, and Emily felt her face flushing even hotter and, she was certain, an even brighter red the longer it went on. Derek’s dark eyed bored holes into her own, and Emily couldn’t quite put her finger on why the intensity of his expression set her heart alight, not daring to allow herself to hope that what she had been feeling the past few months could ever be returned. Emily looked away first, clearing her throat.

 

“I uh-“ She stammered. “I thought that maybe we could try to figure out some stuff for the baby’s room later. A crib and stuff, I know it’s still early, I just-“

 

“We can do that.” Derek said. “Something tells me that these next few months are gonna go by a lot quicker than we think. Might as well be prepared.”

 

“Right.” Emily said. “She’ll be here before we know it.”

 

“Is it weird that I can’t wait?” He asked. Emily blinked, surprised by Derek’s honesty. She smiled.

 

“I don’t think so.” She said. “I feel it too. I’m excited to find out who she’s gonna be.”

 

“Well,” Derek said. “If she’s anything like you, I’ll consider myself a lucky man.”

 

Emily felt her heart give a loud thump in her chest, and her face seemed to burn anew. If Derek only knew what saying things like that did to her...What was worse was that there was something in his eyes, in the way that he looked at her that almost made Emily believe that it was possible. She wanted desperately to say it, to shout it from the rooftops that she had found herself in love with him, but instead she just leaned in and kissed him, falling back on lust and resolved to waste a few more hours in bed with him. What she felt for Derek Morgan was complicated, what they did together was simple.

 

Simple. That’s what she needed right now. Not his love. Or at least that was what she told herself.

 

The problem was, Emily wasn’t sure that she could make herself believe that for much longer.

Chapter Text

Emily hadn’t been expecting Derek that weekend, especially with Reid on bereavement from the BAU for the foreseeable future, but when she went to answer the knock at her door, there he was. Her surprise gave way to concern as she took in his expression, he looked more distressed than she had seen him in a long time. Questions formed on her lips that all fell away as he opened his mouth to speak.

 

“I should have called.” He said. “Are you busy?”

 

“Not too busy for you.” Emily said, pulling him into a hug. “What are you doing here? Is everything okay?”

 

“Reid’s not doing well.” He said. “I don’t know, princess. I’m worried about him.”

 

“I know.” She said as he stepped inside. “I tried to call but it just went to voicemail.”

 

“He’s not talking to anyone.” Derek said. “I don’t know what to do and I just...I just don’t know…”

 

“It’s okay, I’m glad you’re here.” Emily said. She paused to think. “But why are you here?”

 

Derek shrugged. “I guess all of this just made me think.” He said. “It could happen to any one of us any time, and I just felt like I should be spending time with the people who are most important to me.”

 

As he said those words, he placed his hands on Emily’s stomach, which had grown considerably since he’d last seen her, and was rewarded with a kick from their daughter. Emily knew that he had felt Kira move a couple times before, but it still always set her heart alight. She didn’t know how she could love him any more than she already did, but somehow he always found a way. Against her better judgment, she reached for him. She kissed his lips, his nose, she kissed his neck and buried her face in it. She felt Derek’s breath hitch as he shifted uncomfortably.

 

“Emily, no offense.” He said. “But I’m not really in the mood right now.”

 

“That’s not what this is about.” She murmured against him, trailing kisses along his jaw.

 

“Then what-?”

 

“You came all the way to London,” She said. “Because you felt like you needed to be with us.”

 

“You’re my family.” He said. “Emily, you know that.”

 

“I do know that.” She said. “I also know that this isn’t how it’s supposed to be so...maybe, for one night, we can just pretend to be two people in love.”

 

Derek arched his eyebrows. “Pretend?”

 

“You know what I mean.” Emily sighed. “We were never a couple, so for tonight we can act like one.”

 

“Okay, I’m confused.” He said. “Why would you want us to pretend to be something that we’re not?”

 

“Because I think we both need it.” She said. “Derek, when was the last time either of us felt at peace?”

 

Derek stared at her for a long time, his eyes searching hers. “The truth?” He said. “The last time was when I was waking up next to you.”

 

“Exactly.” She said. “So would it really be so terrible if we decided to just give in for a night?”

 

Emily felt her heart pounding in her chest as she watched Derek consider her offer, weighing the options in his head. She wasn’t sure which outcome she was more afraid of, Derek refusing her or accepting the offer to let themselves be in love for the night. She wasn’t sure if she felt herself die a little or come alive inside when he nodded and took her hand.

 

“Okay.” He said. “For one night, I’m yours and you’re mine.”

 

“That’s right.” She said. “Now get over here so I can whisper sweet nothings to you.”

 

Derek laughed. “You are by far the strangest woman I’ve ever met, princess.”

 

“Yeah.” Emily grinned. “But I think you kinda like that about me.”

 

That night, there was a new kind of intimacy between them. The clothes remained on but in a sense they were more bare to each other than they had ever been in bed. They cooked dinner and Derek wrapped his arms around her belly, kissing her cheek and swayed side to side as she sang along to the radio. It was bliss. Emily felt happier than she had in a long time, too happy to worry about the other shoe inevitably dropping and the fact that she and Derek were in danger of blurring the lines too much and that just around the corner, devastation was lurking, waiting for the perfect moment to strike and tear them apart.

 

Chapter Text

Completely by accident, their ‘one night’ of acting like a couple had lasted much longer than just the one night. Derek and Emily fell into a routine of sorts, a pattern that felt so good, so right, that Emily ignored every warning sign that she and Derek were headed towards a path of destruction that would threaten their relationship and the future of their family.

 

It finally happened when she was thirty weeks pregnant. They had kept up the act for over a month, telling themselves and each other that an act was all it was, both unable or unwilling to admit to having deeper feelings. The sex had resumed and if they had been honest with themselves, they were a couple in everything but name. Still, nothing could have prepared Emily for those three words murmured into her skin after a particularly fervorous night together.

 

“I love you.”

 

Emily froze. It was like Derek had dumped a bucket of ice water over her head the moment he uttered those three words. In all of their playacting over the last five weeks, saying those words to each other was a line that Emily had refused to let herself cross. Now Derek had said them as naturally as if he had been taking a breath but with such intensity that it left no doubt in her mind that he truly meant them. It should have thrilled her. Instead, she found herself irrationally upset, pushing herself off of him and retrieving her robe from the floor where it had been discarded, she wrapped it around herself like a suit of armor, like she needed protection from his words. Her heart hammered in her chest and Kira kicked seemingly in protest to her mother’s physical reaction. The change in Emily’s demeanor wasn’t lost on Derek. His face fell.

 

“Emily…” He said. “I-“

 

“I need a minute.” She said, walking past him to the restroom and shutting the door.

 

She took her time cleaning up and getting herself dressed but Derek was there waiting for her when she emerged. Emily noticed that he had put his clothes back on too. She sat on her side of the bed, arms crossed protectively over her chest.

 

“Are we gonna talk about this?” Derek asked.

 

“What’s to talk about?” Emily replied. “You said you loved me seconds after we finished having sex, what more can either of us have to say about that?”

 

“Emily, it’s not like I planned to say it!” He said. “If I had, I would not have chosen that moment to do it.”

 

“But you meant it.” She said. “Whether you planned to say it or not, you meant what you said, Derek.”

 

“Is that really so terrible?” He said. “Last I checked, princess, you were having my baby.”

 

“Yeah.” She said. “Because we got drunk and decided to have sex without a condom, real romantic.”

 

“What do you want me to do?” He exclaimed. “You want me to take it back? Tell you it’s not true? I can’t, Emily. I love you, and I should have been upfront with you about that a long, long time ago.”

 

Emily stared at him, open-mouthed. The absolute certainty in Derek’s eyes made her heart crack in two. All she had dreamt of for months had been hearing those words, to know that the love that she felt for him was reciprocated. Now that it was reality, the thought of saying it back and revealing that she felt the same made panic rise in her chest. She blinked and looked away from Derek before she spoke.

 

“How long?”

 

“Honestly?” Derek said. “Longer than I realized. I didn’t know what it was until you called to tell me you were pregnant, but I think it was even before then.”

 

Emily sighed. “When we slept together the first time?”

 

“When you came back after Doyle.”

 

“Derek!” She exclaimed. “I- why? Why are you only telling me this now? After all this time?”

 

Derek shrugged and looked away. “I didn’t think it mattered.” He said. “You said yourself that you didn’t want to get involved just because we were having a kid together. But the way you’ve been acting lately…”

 

“Derek.” She said. “We agreed-“

 

“Yeah, on one night!” He said. “It’s been a month! Alright, and you never put a stop to it so I just went along with it, so forgive me for getting the wrong idea.”

 

Silence fell between them, tense and uncomfortable. Emily knew that she could solve it then and there, she could apologize, could kiss Derek and tell him that she loved him too, that she had perhaps always loved him and only realized it after they had conceived their daughter. She could make things better with the three words that had been on the tip of her tongue for the past three months, always threatening to spill out of her mouth at any given moment. But she couldn’t bring herself to do it, couldn’t force herself to push past every fear she had of being disappointed and getting her heart broken yet again. Instead she sighed, ran her fingers through her hair, and turned to look at Derek, the father of her child, the man whose heart she was about to shatter. She hated herself for it.

 

“We need to end this.” Emily said. “Right now. The sex, all of it. We never should have started in the first place. Our priority has to be our daughter and only her.”

 

“So that’s it, then.” Derek said, more defeated than angry. “Alright, princess. I read you loud and clear.”

 

He got up to leave and Emily opened her mouth to ask where he was going, then closed it when she realized that they still hadn’t moved the bed out of the spare room to set up Kira’s crib. Of course. He wouldn’t want to share a bed with her, sleep beside her after she had just broken his heart. Why would he? Derek got to the door and paused, turning back to her.

 

“I’ll be gone before you wake up in the morning.” He said. “I’ll make sure everything is back where you left it. It’ll be like I was never here.”

 

“Derek…”

 

“I’ll set up the crib and get stuff moved next time I’m out here.” Derek continued. “Call me if you need anything before then, I guess.”

 

With that, he was out the door, closing it behind him. Emily waited until she heard the door to the guest bedroom click shut before she broke down.

 

He loved you, you idiot. He loved you and you destroyed him. All you ever wanted was for him to love you back and you ruined it. You ruin everything.

 

Emily’s body shook as she sobbed, crying so hard that no sound came out. She felt like she was going to throw up. Kira kicked furiously within her, sensing her mother’s distress, but all Emily could do was clutch her belly and rock back and forth, tears streaming down her face.

 

She had almost had everything she wanted. Now she had lost it, and she only had herself to blame.

 

Chapter Text

True to his word, Derek had come back two weeks later and set up the crib. More than that, he had set up and arranged the entire room until it was so complete that all that was missing was a baby girl to inhabit it. As perfect as Kira’s room was, that was how strained Derek and Emily’s relationship had become. They barely spoke to one another the entire weekend, taking their meals in separate rooms. Derek slept on the new, cushy sofa that Emily had bought to replace the chic slab of rock she’d bought when she moved in and Emily slept in bed alone, Kira’s kicks becoming one more reminder that things hadn’t always been that way, that they hadn’t needed to be that way. Emily did her best to cry herself to sleep quietly at night and in return, Derek didn’t mention how red and swollen her eyes were in the morning. When he left to return home, they didn’t hug, didn’t touch or say much of anything at all, just nodded and agreed to call each other later to set up Derek’s next visit. Nothing was the same.

 

It hurt like hell.

 

Everyone at the BAU had noticed the change in Derek, though no one commented on it. He withdrew. Derek never compromised his professionalism on their cases, but no longer did he join the team for drinks or dinners at Rossi’s place. They could all guess at the reason for his change in demeanor but gave Derek his space until one night when Derek had stayed late to catch up on paperwork he had been neglecting, JJ of all people knocked on the door to his office. He looked up but didn’t meet the blonde’s eye as she closed the door behind her and took a seat.

 

“Hey.” She said.

 

“Hey.” Derek replied. “I take it you talked to Emily?”

 

“I did.” JJ said. “But I’m not here because of her.”

 

“I’d get it if you were.” Derek said. “I know how tight you two are. How much did she tell you?”

 

“She told me everything.” JJ said. “The fact that you guys were hooking up, that you told her you love her, that she pulled an Emily on you.”

 

Derek frowned. “Pulled an Emily on me?”

 

“Morgan, come on.” JJ rolled her eyes. “I love her to death, but the woman is a master of self-sabotage and running away when things get too hard.”

 

“Okay, fine.” He chuckled. Then he stopped and his eyes grew serious. “I’m not punishing her.”

 

“Didn’t say you were.” She said. “Believe it or not, I’m actually on your side with this one.”

 

Derek arched his eyebrows. “Really?”

 

“You wanna know what I really think?” The blonde said, leaning over. “I think Emily panicked and she’s being a dummy about it. You know she loves you too, right?”

 

“I don’t know, JJ.” He said with a sigh. “I thought she did but...you didn’t see the look on her face when I told her that I loved her...”

 

“Right.” She said. “But you didn’t hear how she sounded on the phone with me. Trust me.”

 

“Why are you telling me this?” He asked.

 

“Because you look like you’ve given up.” JJ said, shrugging. “And I don’t think you should. Not yet.”

 

Back in London, Emily was in a similar state of depression. When she wasn’t working or sleeping, she was crying. She would stare at her TV for hours without knowing what she’d just watched. She dodged everyone’s calls. Garcia had left her two voicemails, three texts and seven emails, even Hotch had called. She wondered darkly what Derek had told them, then immediately felt guilty because she knew that no matter how badly she had hurt him, he would never air their dirty laundry to the team. That wasn’t the kind of man he was. One Saturday afternoon, Emily sat on the sofa eating a peanut butter, banana, marshmallow, and raisin sandwich, her latest craving, and watching some mindless reality show when her phone rang. It was a number that she hadn’t seen pop up on her screen for some time so against her better judgment, she answered it, clearing her throat.

 

“Spence, hey.” Emily said. “I tried calling you a couple times but you never called me back.”

 

“I know, uh, I’m- I’m sorry.” Spencer said. “I wasn’t doing very well for a while.”

 

“I heard.” She said. “I’m so sorry, Spence. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”

 

“Yeah.” He said awkwardly. “How’s uh, how’s everything going with the uh, with the pregnancy?”

 

“Uh, great.” She said. “Everything’s great. Baby’s healthy, she’s measuring big, very active so uh-“

 

“That’s great, Emily.” He said. “That’s really great. Hey, uh, is everything okay with you and Morgan? He’s been acting strange lately.”

 

Emily sighed. “How much do you know?”

 

“I don’t really know anything, for once.” Reid said. “I just know that he went to see you a couple weeks ago and he seemed pretty excited about it, when he came back he wasn’t the same, even Blake noticed.”

 

“Reid…”

 

“Emily, I’m worried about him.” He said. “I know he’ll never admit it but I think he’s depressed.”

 

She paused for a long second before answering, her voice barely audible. “This is all my fault.”

 

“What’s all your fault?” Reid said, and Emily could almost hear the puzzled frown he was wearing.

 

Emily broke down, telling Reid everything from the beginning. How she and Morgan had come to an arrangement of having no strings attached sex, how she had found herself hopelessly in love with him and hopelessly terrified of that fact. How they had crossed a line, acting like a couple when they weren’t and finally how Morgan had told Emily that he loved her and how she had panicked and ended things entirely with him despite the fact that she felt the same way.

 

“Now I’m pretty sure that if we didn’t have Kira between us.” Emily said. “I don’t really think he would want anything to do with me anymore.”

 

“Well, Emily.” Reid said. “I think you know that that’s not true. Morgan loves you.”

 

“Yeah.” She said dryly. “That’s kind of the whole point of contention between us right now.”

 

“But you love him too.” He said. “You just said so!”

 

“It’s complicated, Reid.” She sighed. “Just because two people love each other doesn’t mean-“

 

“What are you so afraid of?” He said, cutting her off. “I know I don’t have a lot of experience in this area but I recently lost someone I loved and as much as it hurts, I still wouldn’t give it up or wish it never happened. And you still have a chance to be with the person you love. Why wouldn’t you want that?”

 

Emily paused, trying to control the tears that filled her eyes and threatened to spill over.

 

“What if I screw it up?” She asked quietly. “What if it doesn’t work and we have to spend the rest of our lives connected to each other with a child from a broken home? What if we end up hating each other?”

 

“What if you don’t?” He countered. “What if you and Morgan make it work and spend the rest of your lives together happy and in love?”

 

“It’s too much of a risk.” She said.

 

“Emily, life is a risk.” Reid said. “Having a child is a risk. If humans didn’t take risks, nothing would ever happen to us, we would be stagnant. Are you really content with the idea of spending the rest of your life wondering what would have happened if you had taken this one risk with Morgan? If you had taken a chance on him?”

 

There was a moment of silence between them as Emily considered what her friend had said to her. She couldn’t deny that he had a point, life was nothing without risk and though the prospect of being vulnerable and opening her heart Derek at the risk of being broken terrified her, the idea of never knowing what might have been scared her even more.

 

“I’ll think about it.” She said finally. “I’ll try to talk to him the next time he’s out here. If I can get the words out.”

 

“I’m glad, Emily.” Reid said. “I hope it all works out.”

 

“Yeah.” She said. “Me too.”

 

Emily hung up the phone, her uncertainty turning to steely resolve. She would talk to Derek and she would tell him how she really felt about him. There was still a week left until his next visit, she would spend that time working up the courage to tell him and thinking of the right words to say. After what she had put him through, Emily felt that a simple apology and declaration of love wouldn’t do, Derek deserved more than that. Little did she know that on the horizon, danger lurked, and it threatened to tear them apart permanently.



Chapter Text

Work got in the way. Work always got in the way.

 

Though Derek had heard the disappointment in Emily’s voice when he had to postpone his visit, he also knew that she understood the job better than anyone and when The Replicator caught up with the BAU in New York, killing Erin Strauss then sending them on a wild goose chase back that ended in a house wired with C4, Derek felt more fear than he had in a long time, and when the seat Blake had been trapped in turned out to have a pressure sensor that caused the door behind them to slide shut, locking them in as the clock ticked down to zero, Derek’s life flashed before his eyes. No, not his life, Kira’s. He imagined his daughter being born fatherless, knowing him only through photos and stories Emily told her. He’d never get to teach her how to ride a bike, or introduce her to all his favorite books. He wouldn’t watch her grow up, graduate high school and college, he wouldn’t get to walk her down the aisle or watch her have kids of her own. He would never even get to hold her. Derek thought of Emily having to give birth without him by her side, having to raise their daughter alone, and his heart broke in two. Even after everything, he still loved her.

 

Rossi freed them in the nick of time, barely escaping with his own life. John Curtis wasn’t so lucky. When the adrenaline wore off, shock set in and Derek felt his hands begin to shake as he booked the next flight to London and called Emily to let her know to expect him. He didn’t say anything more. Things were still strained between them, but after coming so close to losing his life, Derek needed her, needed to be near her and to feel their child kicking within her. Derek spent the whole flight trying to calm his nerves, to try and figure out how to tell Emily what had prompted such a last-minute visit and how he didn’t care if she didn’t love him back, if she never loved him back, because the only thing he wanted for the rest of his life was to be there for her and Kira. But when he got to Emily’s flat, the speech he’d had planned out died on his lips as he took in Emily’s expression. Her eyes were rimmed with red, trails of dried saltwater lined cheeks. Somehow, she knew what had happened and she was angry.

 

“You sounded weird on the phone.” Emily said. “So I called Garcia. Were you planning on telling me that you almost got blown up, Derek?!”

 

“I was going to explain when I got here.” He said. “I didn’t want you to be sitting here worried the whole time I was on the plane.”

 

“Well, I was!” She shouted. “God, what did you think? That I wouldn’t notice that something was wrong?”

 

“Emily, come on.” He said. “You stressing yourself out isn’t good for the baby.”

 

“Well, it’s a little too late for that.” She said. “You have no idea what you just put me through! You could have died, Derek! You almost did die! Our daughter almost didn’t have a father anymore!”

 

“I know that!” He said. “Why do you think I came all this way to see you? Emily, you know what the job is! Every day I go out there knowing there’s a chance I might not come back, but I didn’t want to leave her!”

 

“You did almost leave her.” Emily said, breaking down in tears. “You almost left me! Almost left us!”

 

Derek felt a piece of his heart break at Emily’s words. He reached for her, and though she swatted him away at first, he managed to pull her into his arms. Emily buried her face in his chest and sobbed like he actually had died. Like a woman whose heart had been broken.

 

Like a woman who had just lost the man she loved.

 

“Hey, it’s okay.” He said softly. “I’m right here, I didn’t leave you guys. It’s okay.”

 

“No, it’s not okay!” She croaked. “You could have died and I would’ve never gotten the chance to tell you that I love you back.”

 

Derek froze, pulled back to look at her. His heart felt like it had stopped. “You love me back?”

 

“Yeah.” Emily said. “I love you back. I always loved you back. I was just too scared and- and stupid and worried to admit it before. But I do. I do, Derek, I do.”

 

“I don’t get it.” He said. “What changed?”

 

“Spence talked some sense into me.” She said laughing through tears. “He very nicely told me that I was being an idiot and that if I never tried, I would regret it for the rest of my life and he was right! And I know I broke your heart and I don’t know if you can forgive me for that, but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t at least tell you that I’m in love with you.”

 

“There’s nothing to forgive.” Derek said, brushing her tears away with his thumb. “I know you, Emily Prentiss. I know you’ve been hurt before and I know how hard it is for you to trust anyone. But you can trust me.”

 

“I know.” She said. “And I do trust you. More than anyone I know and if you think you can still trust me, I’ll give you my heart if you’re willing to give me yours.”

 

“You have my heart, princess.” He replied. “You always did. You really wanna try this? For real this time?”

 

“Yeah.” She said. “I’m ready if you’re ready.”

 

“I’m ready.” He said. “I’ve been ready for a long time.”

 

Emily smiled through her tears and wrapped her arms around Derek’s neck, pulling him in for a kiss. Derek responded by pulling her as close as he could, his hands cradling the curve of her stomach. At thirty-five weeks pregnant, Emily was all baby and Derek didn’t think she had ever been more beautiful in his eyes. He kissed her again and again, let her take him by the hand and pull him to the bedroom. They bared body and soul to each other, letting go of everything that had ever held them back before. Neither of them had been crazy about the term making love before, but as they clung to one another, the thought crossed Derek’s mind that this was what people meant when they talked about making love. It was that connection of bodies, hearts, and souls, two people who were meant for each other coming together as one.

 

They laid together in the dark afterward, tangled together and tangled in the sheets. Emily laid with her head on Derek’s chest and Derek had one hand intertwined with hers, the other hand on her stomach, feeling their daughter kick. He kissed the top of her head and gazed down at Emily lovingly. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her.

 

“I’m putting in my resignation when I go back for the funeral.” He said, causing her to look up at him.

 

“Derek.” She said. “You don’t have to do that.”

 

“Yes I do.” He said. “Emily, when I thought my life was over, all I could think about was that I was never gonna meet our daughter. I grew up without a father and I don’t want that for her. I plan on living a long life with you and Kira and anybody else who comes along.”

 

“Is this your way of telling me you want more kids?” Emily teased, though even in the dark he could see that her cheeks were turning red.

 

“I’m just saying I’m not opposed to the idea.” Derek said, chuckling. “In a couple years when little miss thing is a little older. Might be good for her to have a little brother or sister close to her age.”

 

“Well, lets focus on getting her here first before talking about having more.” She said. She was quiet for a moment before she continued. “You’re really serious about leaving the BAU, aren’t you?”

 

“I’m serious about you.” He said, kissing her. “About our family and the life I wanna have with you.”

 

“Okay.” She said. “If that’s really what you want, I won’t try to talk you out of it.”

 

“It is what I want.” He said. “Come on, Em, you can’t tell me it won’t be easier on you if I’m here full-time.”

 

“True.” Emily said. “It’ll be nice to be able to parent on the same continent as you.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek said. “You know what else will be nice?”

 

“What?”

 

“Waking up next to you every day.”

 

Emily smiled and looked away, blinking her eyes rapidly. Her cheeks burned. She cleared her throat.

 

“I wonder if that’ll ever get old.” She said when she had regained control of her emotions.

 

Derek furrowed his brow. “If what will get old?”

 

“Hearing you say things like that.” She replied. Her expression softened. “I love you, Derek Morgan.”

 

“I love you too.” He said, smiling in the dark. “Emily Prentiss. And I don’t think that will ever get old.”

 

Emily smiled back and snuggled closer to him. They fell asleep like that, holding each other, their love wrapped around them like a blanket. Derek kissed Emily’s head as he listened to her slow, even breaths. It amazed him that in less than twenty-four hours he had almost lost everything that was important to him and then gained it all back and more. Leaving the BAU behind would be difficult, but for Emily and their child, it would be worth it. He fell asleep feeling certain of his decision. That part of his life might be coming to an end, but as far as he was concerned, his life, the life he really wanted was only just beginning.

 

Chapter Text

Derek handed in his resignation first thing in the morning when he got back, filling Hotch in on everything that had transpired in London with Emily and promising he would stay long enough to attend Strauss’ funeral and tie up any loose ends. Hotch was far more understanding than Derek had expected, nearly succeeding at masking his disappointment as he shook Derek’s hand.

 

“I’ll be sorry to see you go, Morgan.” He said. “You’re a good agent and an even better man. Prentiss is lucky to have you for a partner, you’ll make an excellent father and if I have to let you go, I’m glad this is why.”

 

“Thanks man.” Derek said, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “It means a lot to hear you say that.”

 

He had planned on waiting to tell the rest of the team that he was leaving until after the funeral, but they all seemed to know or at least sense that his time with them had come to an end. When they all gathered at Rossi’s later that night to have dinner and share their memories of Erin Strauss, Rossi made a toast and seemed to be looking right at Derek when he added “and to new beginnings” on to the end of it. Derek stepped away to answer his phone when he looked at his screen and saw that it was Emily. The call only lasted a few minutes, consisting mostly of ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’ and ‘I can’t wait to see you’. When Derek returned to the table, the entire team had eyes on him. He looked around, confused.

 

“What?” He asked. “Did I miss something?”

 

“You tell us,” said Rossi. “Is there something you’d like to share with the rest of the class?”

 

“You’re leaving us.” Garcia said. “Aren’t you?”

 

“Come on, guys.” Derek said. “Don’t be like that.”

 

“We’re not mad.” JJ said. “At least not as long as the reason why involved a very beautiful, very pregnant woman who lives all the way in London.”

 

“Alright, yes I’m leaving.” Derek said. “I’m leaving to move to London to spend more time with my baby…”

 

He paused just long enough to see the flashes of disappointment cross his team’s face.

 

Derek grinned “And my girlfriend.”

 

Excitement erupted around the table as the team took turns congratulating Derek. Garcia almost flipped the table in her haste to tackle Derek in a hug. Rossi patted him on the back affectionately and Alex Blake, who only knew Emily from stories the team had told and old photographs they showed her, clasped her hands in excitement.

 

“Oh, congratulations!” Blake said. “That is wonderful news.”

 

“Yeah well,” Derek said with a grin. “Apparently I have Reid to thank for that.”

 

“Me?” Reid asked. “What did I do?”

 

“Emily said you convinced her to talk to me.” He said, shrugging. “Although I think me almost getting blown up helped us both get some perspective.”

 

“I knew there was no way you guys could stay away from each other forever.” JJ said. “I’m happy for you.”

 

“I think I can safely say that we’re all happy for you.” Rossi said. “And for the little bambina arriving soon.”

 

“Yeah!” Garcia said. “I- you know, I always thought that I would be devastated if the day ever came where you left. But you’re leaving because you’re happy and in love with one of my best friends and you guys are having a baby soon and- oh god, here come the happy tears. I will be visiting and bringing gifts!”

 

Derek laughed. “I expect nothing less from you, babygirl.” He said. “Hey, and once Kira is born and we get her settled at home, you’re all welcome to visit.”

 

“We better be!” JJ said. “You’re not getting rid of us that easily, Morgan!”

 

“Good.” He said. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

 

By the time Emily was thirty-eight weeks pregnant, Derek was fully moved into the London flat and the pair fell into domesticity as easily as if they were falling asleep. They bickered about Derek leaving his dirty laundry on the floor and Emily checking her work emails when she was supposed to be on maternity leave. His second or third night there, Derek declared that he would be taking over kitchen duty after Emily fell asleep with a lasagna in the oven and nearly set the flat on fire while he was out on a grocery run. He was surprised when Emily burst into tears.

 

“Whoa, hey come on.” Derek said, pulling her to him and hugging her tight. “Baby what’s wrong? It’s nothing that a little oven cleaner and a few days of open windows won’t fix.”

 

“I can’t even manage a frozen lasagna!” She sobbed into his chest. “How am I supposed to take care of a tiny human when I can’t do that?”

 

“Emily, come on.” He said. “You were exhausted because you haven’t been sleeping as well at night. If anything, it was my fault for not going to get groceries before you put it in the oven.”

 

“I should be able to handle this.” She said. “I used to be able to stare down unsubs and now I can’t even stand in the shower for fifteen minutes without needing a nap afterwards. What’s wrong with me?!”

 

“You’re nine months pregnant.” He said. “You’ve got a little baby in there taking up space, taking up all your energy and up til now you’ve been doing this mostly on your own. You’ve been handling this and you can do it, we just gotta get through these last couple weeks.”

 

“I’m scared.” Emily said. “I never was before but now it’s almost real and I don’t know how to be brave.”

 

“You are brave.” Derek said, kissing her. “And when you can’t be brave, it’s my job to be brave for you.”

 

Emily smiled up at him. “Thank you.” She said, then laughed and wiped her eyes. “God, I’m a mess.”

 

“That’s okay.” He chuckled. “Tell you what, how about I order takeout from your favorite place then after we eat, I run you a bath and you can relax while I deal with that mess in the oven?”

 

“That sounds amazing.” She said. “I don’t think I’ve soaked in a tub since the last time I could see my feet!” 

 

“Well you haven’t had me around to help you get back out!” He said. “Now look, I know this whole living situation is still new but I want you to know I’m here for you, to support you and I always will be.”

 

“Careful.” She said. “You’re gonna make me cry again.”

 

“Only happy tears, I hope.” He replied. His expression grew serious. “All I want is to make you happy, Emily.”

 

“You do make me happy.” She said, kissing him. “I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time.”

 

Their days and nights seemed to blend together as the countdown to Kira’s arrival changed from weeks to days. Emily grew increasingly uncomfortable as her body prepared to give birth and Derek did anything he could to make it all just a little bit easier on her, whether it was running to the store for a late night craving or rubbing her aching, swollen feet. He doted on Emily so much that she began teasing him, joking that Derek had called her ‘princess’ so much that he must have started believing that she actually was one but every little gesture melted her heart and it was his turn to tease, gently chastising her for thanking him for just being a good boyfriend. They seemed to fall a little more in love each day, spending their time wrapped up in each other and counting down the days until their little family grew from two people to three.

 

Four days out from her due date found Emily curled up next to Derek in bed, the morning light filtering through the curtains in their bedroom. She laid her palm flat against Derek’s, lacing their fingers together and smiled a sleepy smile at him. Derek smiled back, using his free hand to trace the curves of her face before running a thumb across Emily’s lower lip and then finally leaning in to kiss her. Emily smiled against him, then laughed in spite of her tiredness when Derek broke away to nip at her neck playfully.

 

“You’re very awake for seven AM.” Emily said. “What? You didn’t get enough last night?”

 

“I could never get enough of you.” Derek murmured into her skin. “You’re so beautiful.”

 

“You’re pretty fantastic, yourself.” She said. “I’m sorry it hasn’t been happening as often as it used to.”

 

“Don’t be.” He said. “I get it, you’re tired and at this point, it’s difficult for you to get comfortable. If I have to go solo or go without, it’s no big deal.”

 

“Yeah.” She said. “Then we’re both gonna be shit outta luck for six weeks after she’s born.”

 

“We’ll manage.” He said, kissing her again. “You think you’d be up for it now or you not feeling it?”

 

“I think I could go for a little morning sex.” Emily grinned. “Let me go to the bathroom first though, or this attempt is gonna be pretty short-lived.”

 

“You do that.” Derek said. He chuckled and called after her, “Hey at least once she’s here, she won’t be using your bladder as her personal bouncy house anymore!”

 

He could hear Emily laughing from the bathroom and shook his head. As long as it had taken them to get to where they were, Derek couldn’t deny that it had been worth it. Living with Emily as a couple was pure bliss, he had never known the kind of happiness that had filled him since that fateful night when Emily had confessed her feelings for him. His life had changed in the best way and he fully believed that things were only going to get better. Derek was reflecting on the turn his life had taken when he heard a loud gasp and a curse from the bathroom. He frowned and rose from the bed to check on Emily seconds before she called to him.

 

“Uh, Derek?” She said, her voice sounded strained.

 

“Yeah, princess?” He said. “Everything okay?”

 

Emily walked out from the bathroom, a strange expression on her face. Her hands shook as she reached out to hold on to the door jamb. Her eyes were wide and though she looked terrified, there was a small smile on her face. A mixture of fear and excitement flooded her face and Derek found himself feeling it too as he looked at her.

 

“I think we’re gonna have to take a rain check.” She said. “My water just broke.”



Chapter Text

Winston Churchill once said, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” And sitting in a hospital room watching Emily struggle through labor, Derek found it oddly fitting that something said about war also applied so perfectly to childbirth.

 

It took twenty hours for Emily to bring their child into the world. It was loud, and it was bloody. Derek’s heart ached for her every time she cried out in pain when a contraction became too much to bear. Tears and sweat mingled on Emily’s face as she labored, shaking and swearing. The hours seemed long and cruel to her, her progression moving at a snail's pace until finally the doctor checked her and declared that she was ready to start pushing which Emily was disappointed to find was its own fresh hell. She found herself cursing every movie and tv show that gave the false impression that women could push a couple times and deliver a baby in a matter of minutes when the reality was that it was another long process that seemed endless. Emily had been at it for just over an hour, pushed past the point of exhaustion and she had begun to think there was no way she could continue when the doctor announced that she could see the baby’s head. Emily took a deep breath, renewed her vice grip on Derek’s hand as he whispered words of encouragement in her ear and beared down once more. It took five more pushes before Emily’s efforts were rewarded with a piercing cry and there she was, covered in blood and looking every bit the battleworn soldier that Emily felt like. Kira Allegra Morgan was loud, she was angry, and she was even more beautiful than Emily could have imagined.

 

“Emily, you did it!” Derek said, kissing her cheek. “You did it babe, there she is. There’s our girl.”

 

“She’s here.” Emily was already near tears. “She’s here and she’s okay! She- Derek, she’s beautiful.”

 

“I told you she would be.” He said. “Just like her mom.”

 

“We’re going to clean her off and get her vitals real quick and then she’s all yours.” Doctor Parr said to the new parents. “Dad, would you like to do the honors?”

 

It took Derek a moment for his brain to catch up with everything that had just happened and to realize what the doctor meant. He nodded numbly, at a loss for words before following behind. Later, he would remember it all with a bit more clarity but at the time Derek felt as though he were in a daze. Briefly he wondered to himself how the tradition of fathers literally severing the physical connection between their child’s existence in the womb and the beginning of their life outside of it, it felt a little odd but it didn’t seem to bother Kira, at least not anymore than the inconvenience of being unceremoniously thrust into a loud, bright, cold world already had. She weighed in at eight pounds, four ounces, and was nineteen and a half inches long. After she was thoroughly wiped off and pronounced healthy, Kira and Derek made their way back to Emily and the newborn was placed on her mother’s chest. Emily took in her baby daughter’s face, touched her soft skin and heard the little noises she made. She kissed her daughter’s head and the tears that had been threatening to burst forth finally escaped.

 

“Hi baby.” Emily said. “Hi my Kira. Do you know who I am? I’m your mom. Hey, I’m your mommy.”

 

“Look at that face.” Derek said. “You did a pretty good job on her, princess. She’s perfect.”

 

“Well, I had some help there.” Emily laughed. “I can’t believe it. She looks like her daddy.”

 

“Just a little bit.” He said. “Around the eyes and the mouth. That nose looks like a Prentiss nose.”

 

“It looks cuter on her.” She said. “She’s so much better than I ever imagined.”

 

“Yeah.” He chuckled. “Sure is crazy to think that all this happened because of one night.”

 

“I’m glad it did.” Emily said, looking up at him. Her expression held the purest love and elation. Derek’s eyes softened and he bent over to kiss her, then leaned even further to plant a kiss on Kira’s head.

 

“Me too, princess.” He said. “Me too.”

 

They spent the early morning hours bonding with their daughter. It took a few tries to get Kira to latch on to Emily’s breast and begin suckling but when she finally did, Emily laughed in surprise at how strange the sensation felt then immediately felt guilty when the foreign noise startled Kira, though thankfully she settled easily. Afterward, a helpful nurse snapped a few photos of the new family of three on Derek’s phone and helped him select the best one to send to his mother and sisters, Ambassador Prentiss, and of course the entire team. Emily was hesitant to put the baby down for quite some time but finally relented when Derek reached for the newborn, all swaddled and sleepy, and it finally hit her how exhausted she was. Derek could hardly keep his eyes off of Kira, though he glanced frequently at Emily as she drifted off to sleep. He pressed his lips to his daughter’s forehead.

 

“Look at my sweet little girl.” He said. “You know you’re pretty lucky, Kira. You have the best mommy in the world. Yeah, you do. She’s smart, funny, she has the most beautiful voice and I know she’s gonna sing you all kinds of songs and read you stories. And I’m gonna do my best to be the best daddy you could ever ask for. My dad didn’t get to be there for me when I was growing up but I promise you, Kira, your daddy will always be there to take care of you. Always.”

 

“Mmm, you’re cute.” Emily said sleepily. Derek looked over and saw her smiling with her eyes closed.

 

“I thought you were sleeping.” He said. “Was I loud?”

 

“No.” She said. “I’m floating in and out.”

 

“You should try to get some rest.” Derek said, putting their sleeping daughter in the hospital bassinet and kissing Emily on the cheek. “You’ve been through a lot. You gotta be exhausted.”

 

“Yeah.” She cracked. “Who knew that pushing a baby out of your body after almost a day of being in labor could take so much out of you?”

 

“I’m proud of you, Emily.” He said. “You just brought a whole person into the world, without medication might I add, so don’t act like it was nothing.”

 

“Oh trust me.” Emily said. “I’m sore enough right now that I have no problem admitting it was hard.”

 

“You did amazing.” Derek said. “In fact, I don’t think I have ever loved you more than I do right now.”

 

“Funny.” She said. “I could say the same about you.”

 

Derek frowned quizzically. “I didn’t do anything.”

 

“You helped make her.” She said, nodding at their sleeping daughter. “That alone is enough to make me love you for the rest of my life.”

 

“Is that so?” He said. “Well then I guess that must make me the luckiest guy on earth, princess.”

 

“Maybe.” Emily mused. “You think you can squeeze into this hospital bed and spend some quality time with the mother of your child?”

 

“I’m sure I could.” Derek said. “But I would rather the mother of my child get some sleep.”

 

Emily’s eyes went soft. “I sleep better next to you.”

 

Derek felt his heart melt and he knew that there was no use in trying to argue, he would give in to her. He would always give in to her. In fact, Derek was convinced that there was precious little in this world that he wouldn’t do for Emily or their child. He was convinced more than ever before that Emily Prentiss was the love of his life and that his purpose in life was to love her and raise their daughter with her.

 

“Alright scoot over, princess.” He said. “I never could say no to you, you know that?”

 

“I know.” She said. “How do you think I got pregnant?”

 

Derek chuckled and kissed her forehead. “Fair enough, princess.” He said. “Alright now, close those beautiful brown eyes of yours and sleep.”

 

Emily curled up into Derek as best she could, laying her head on his chest and listened to the steady rhythm of his heartbeat. Before she finally drifted off she murmured, “I think I could love you for the rest of my life, you know.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek said, voice catching in his throat. “I think I could love you for the rest of my life, too.”

 

It didn’t take long for Emily to fall asleep like that, in Derek’s arms. Her last thought before sleep overtook her was that she had never been so happy. It had taken her nine months to realize that what she had wanted all along was right there in front of her. She had made a lot of mistakes, and if someone had told her a year before that one day she would be curled up in a hospital bed with Derek Morgan after giving birth to their first child, she would have never believed it. Now she couldn’t imagine her life being any different. She loved it, and she loved him, she loved their daughter, and though nothing that had happened in the past year had gone according to plan, she was so pleasantly surprised at how it had all turned out. Finally, for maybe the first time in her life, Emily Prentiss was at peace.

 

Chapter Text

They brought Kira home two days later and the real work began.

 

Settling a new baby into life at home and adjusting to their new roles as parents was at turns both easier than Derek and Emily had thought and more difficult than they had ever imagined. Those first few weeks passed by in a sleep-deprived haze. Surprisingly enough, the first of their friends to make it out for a visit to see Kira was not Penelope or JJ, it was Spencer. Kira was two weeks old when the young doctor found himself in London. Reid was unable to stop the smile stretching across his face when he cradled the small girl in his arms, after reassuring her parents that he had thoroughly washed and sanitized his hands and taken his temperature upon landing and then again right before he came over.

 

“She’s wonderful.” Reid said. “Very alert for an infant her age. You know, at this stage most babies are just now beginning to be able to focus on faces but Kira is doing remarkably well. I may be biased but I think she’ll grow up to be quite intelligent.”

 

“Who knows?” Emily chuckled. “Maybe in a few years, you’ll finally have someone who can keep up with you.”

 

“With any luck, she’ll surpass me.” He said. “The student should become the master and with parents like you, I’m sure she will.”

 

“I sure hope so.” Derek said. “Though something tells me having a genius for a godfather won’t hurt.”

 

Reid looked up, surprised. “Godfather? Me?”

 

“Unless you don’t want to.” Emily said. “But uh, Derek and I talked about it. A lot, and we’d really love it if you were, you mean so much to both of us.”

 

“Yeah.” Derek added. “Not to mention that if it weren’t for you pushing us both in the right direction, it might’ve taken me and Emily years to get our heads out of our asses and finally get together.”

 

“I think you would’ve figured it out eventually.” Reid said. “Though if I did anything to help, I’m glad.”

 

Emily and Derek exchanged a glance.

 

“So is that a yes?” She asked.

 

“I would be honored.” Reid smiled. He turned his attention back to the infant in his arms. “You hear that, Kira? I’m your godfather. Yeah! I can’t wait to teach you all about advanced mathematics and physics.”

 

“Might wanna wait till she can talk first.” Derek said, laughing. “I don’t know how much will stick at this point.”

 

“We’ll get there.” Reid replied matter-of-factly.

 

“Yeah.” Emily said, looking at Derek and smiling warmly. “I think we will.”

 

At her follow-up appointment six weeks after giving birth, Emily was given a clean bill of health. Kira’s newborn checkup produced similar results. Emily got a birth control shot in her arm good for three months and she and Derek were cleared to resume sexual activity, though as the couple found out, returning to physical intimacy was easier said than done. Their first few attempts were interrupted by Kira waking up to eat or be changed, and there were more than a couple of times that ended with one or both of them passed out asleep before the clothes ever came off. But there was something else. Whenever Emily tried to initiate sex, Derek seemed hesitant, even his kisses seemed cautious, like he was holding back. It was frustrating to say the least. It hurt, and Emily briefly wondered if their coupling had been a fluke, an illusion broken by the realities of parenthood. She felt guilty as soon as the thought crept in her head, and she shook it off. Derek loved her. She knew he loved her. Still, there was obviously something stopping him from showing her just how much he loved her, and she was determined to get to the bottom of what exactly was going through his head. 

 

The opportunity finally presented itself one evening two weeks later after they had gotten Kira down for the night. She had begun sleeping for longer stretches at night, a welcome reprieve from the two hour schedule she had been keeping since her birth. She was still sleeping in a bassinet in their room, though Emily had bought a privacy screen to put up as needed. They both knew that a child Kira’s age wouldn’t understand or even realize that anything out of the ordinary was going on, but it made the both of them feel better all the same. She set it up, ignoring the curious look Derek gave her and then walked to him, putting her arms around him and closing the distance between their bodies. Emily kissed him and though he kissed her back, she could feel Derek’s body tense. She pulled away and sighed.

 

“Okay, spill.” She said. “What’s going on?”

 

Derek frowned. “What do you mean?”

 

“This!” She said. “Every time I try to get close to you or suggest that we could have some private time, you go all stiff like the idea horrifies you or something.”

 

“It doesn’t horrify me.” He said. “I’m not stiff.”

 

“Yes you are!” Emily said. “So what is it?”

 

“Emily, come on.” Derek said. “You’re gonna wake up the baby.”

 

“Is it my body?” She asked, ignoring him. “Is it because I don’t look the same way I did before I was pregnant?”

 

“What? No!” He exclaimed, then cast a worried glance towards the bassinet. “Emily, that’s not it at all! And to tell you the truth, it kinda hurts that you think I’m that shallow.”

 

“Then what?” She said. “What is it? What’s wrong? I wanna know why you don’t want me anymore!”

 

“Emily, I do want you!” He said, taking Emily in his arms as tears threatened to spill out her eyes. “I always want you! I never stopped wanting you!”

 

“Then why don’t you wanna touch me?” She asked, her voice muffled from her face being buried in his chest. Derek gave a deep sigh.

 

“It’s not that I don’t, princess.” He said. “I- oh hell, I really screwed this up. I shoulda talked to you.”

 

Derek slowly, gently guided Emily toward the edge of the bed before taking a seat beside her. He took her hand in his and gave it an affectionate squeeze before he spoke again, looking deep into her eyes.

 

“The truth is, I’m scared.” He said.

 

“Scared?” Emily echoed. “Scared of what?”

 

“Scared of hurting you.” He said. “Emily, I watched you give birth to our child and it was the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed. But I also saw how much pain you were in and I don’t wanna do anything to cause you any more pain.”

 

“Derek.” She said, sighing. “The doctor cleared us for sex. I’m fine . I’m frustrated, but completely healed.”

 

“I know, I know.” He said. “I guess I’m just worried that if we go too fast, something’s gonna go wrong.”

 

“Okay.” She said. “So what if we took it slow? worked up to it? You always did like foreplay.”

 

“I think I could handle that.” Derek grinned.

 

Emily returned his grin with one of her own. “Yeah?” She said. “You think you’d be willing to try it now?”

 

Derek’s grin widened. “Come here, princess.”

 

Emily settled herself on the bed, with Derek cradling her from behind. She rested her back against Derek’s chest as he left a trail of kisses along her jawline, down her neck, and along her shoulders, lowering the straps of the nightgown she wore until he exposed her bare breasts. He palmed one tentatively, his thumb brushing her nipple ever so slightly. The sharp intake of breath and the way Emily arched against him was somehow even more delicious to him than the way her nipple hardened beneath his touch but all of those factors together awakened a hunger within Derek that he hadn’t allowed himself to feel for eight weeks. He shifted a little as his arousal began to build. With his free hand, Derek stroked the skin of Emily’s upper arm with his fingertips, delighting in how it raised bumps on her flesh and flooded her cheeks with color.

 

“How ya doin’ over there, princess?” He asked, his voice a low rumble in his throat. “You’re awfully quiet.”

 

“Not for lack of enjoyment.” She said. “This is the most action I’ve gotten in two months. Trust me, if it hadn’t been my idea to start slow, I’d probably jump you.”

 

“Hey now.” Derek teased. “Don’t you start rushing me, over there. I’ve got plans for you.”

 

“Well then by all means.” Emily said, her soft laughter hitching as he continued to touch her. “Don’t let me stop you…”

 

Derek chuckled and planted more kisses along her neck, nipping the sensitive skin there just enough to leave a pink mark that would fade by morning. The sensation elicited a soft moan from Emily and Derek shifted his attention to her other breast with the hand that had been stroking her arm while his other traveled lower to skim her inner thigh. He teased her for quite some time, his fingers traveling the length of her thigh but always stopping short of the one place he knew she wanted him to touch. When Derek finally did dare to go the full distance, what he found made him pause and arch his eyebrows curiously.

 

“No panties?” He asked. “You really weren’t playing around tonight, princess.”

 

“Eight weeks, Morgan.” Emily said in such a manner that he knew she was rolling her eyes. “If I wasn’t gonna get any, I was at least planning on taking care of myself, with or without you watching.”

 

“Is it weird that I think that’s kinda hot?” Derek said with a chuckle. “Maybe I should stop and let you do this.”

 

Emily groaned as Derek’s thumb found her clit and began massaging it in slow circles. “I hate you.”

 

“Oh no, you love me.” He said in a low voice. “You told me as much eight weeks ago. How’d you say it?”

 

“You know exactly how I said it.” 

 

“I know.” He said. “But I wanna hear you say it.”

 

“I said.” She hissed. Her breath seemed to catch in her throat, reacting to the way he was touching her. “That I think I could love you for the rest of my life.”

 

“What was that?” Derek asked, increasing the pace with which he stroked Emily’s clit just a heartbeat faster. “I don’t think I heard you.”

 

“I think I could love you for the rest of my life.” 

 

“Mmm, I love hearing you say that.” Derek said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.”

 

“Oh, so that’s what gets you off?” Emily said, laughing breathlessly. “If I had known that, I would have never bothered with all the dirty talk.”

 

“No, I like the dirty talk.” He said and his breath was hot against her. “There’s just something different about it knowing that there’s love there, too.”

 

“There must be.” She said. Emily’s hand brushed against his erection and Derek found himself thickening against her. “You know, I could help you take care of that if you took your pants off.”

 

“Don’t worry about me, princess.” He said. “Right now, I want all the focus to be on you.”

 

Derek kissed her again and pulled Emily closer to him, hand traveling from her breast to her abdomen. He alternated his movements between fast and slow, not wanting to bring Emily to orgasm too quickly but also wary of leaving her unsatisfied for too long. She was dripping wet, his fingertips were coated with her arousal and Derek couldn’t help but smirk knowing there would be a considerable damp patch beneath her by the time they were through. They would probably have to change the sheets before they went to sleep but he didn’t care. All of his thoughts were centered on Emily and making the last eight weeks worthwhile.

 

“Do you wanna know what I’m gonna do after I make you come?” Derek growled.

 

Emily whimpered and nodded against him. She was already close, he could feel it in the way her muscles tightened and she ground her ass into him.

 

“I’m gonna give you a chance to calm down first.” He said, moving in time with the buck of her hips. “Then I’m gonna make myself at home between those pretty thighs of yours and taste how sweet you are.”

 

“Fuck.” She muttered under her breath.

 

“I think that’s what I missed the most.” He said. “I miss the way you taste and knowing I can get you off with just my mouth. You taste so fucking good that I never wanna stop, princes.”

 

“I think you’re the first man I’ve ever been with that actually enjoys giving oral.” She said, her sounding strained. “Probably why you’re also the only man I’ve ever been with who’s been any good at it.”

 

“Their loss is my gain.” He replied. “I’m gonna make sure I have you shaking and sweating and once I’m done, I’m gonna let you do anything you want to me.”

 

Derek didn’t know if it was his words or the way he was touching her or some combination of the two that sent Emily over the edge but moments later, a soft gasp escaped her mouth and she arched back into him, eyes closed and mouth open in a picture of pure ecstasy. A long period of silence and heavy breathing followed as Emily came down, then Derek disentangled himself and did exactly as he promised he would. It was heaven and he didn’t think he would ever get over the way Emily tasted, nor how she looked or the noises she made when she came. By the time Derek had brought her to orgasm a second time and Emily did away with his sleep pants and boxers to slide down his now aching erection, he had begun to wonder why he had felt that he had any reason to fear in the first place. When they were finished, they laid together for quite some time, trading soft kisses and whispers of love until Kira began to stir and whimper, wanting to be fed. Derek handed his daughter to Emily and spoke to her in low tones as Kira ate. He watched them, the woman he loved and the child they had created and wondered how he had gotten so lucky.

 

It happened when Kira was three months old. Emily had always known that hers and Derek’s relationship would most likely go in that direction, but never had she imagined that it would happen so soon or that she would be the one to take the next step. She had always been one to run first and ask questions later, but she couldn’t help it when she saw him like that. It was the early afternoon and Derek had just gotten Kira down for her afternoon nap. As he laid her down gently in her bassinet, Emily was overwhelmed by just how much she loved this man. He was so good at being a father, he had such a way with Kira that when she was fussy or colicky and Emily felt she was at her wits end, exhausted and frustrated, Derek would swoop in and take over, able to soothe their daughter in thirty minutes when she had been crying for hours. He would constantly offer to take over for Emily when she needed a shower or a nap. He had assumed most of the housework as it was, and he was always doing little things to remind Emily how much he loved her. He would go to the store for groceries and come back with her favorite dessert or buy her flowers just because they made him think of her. When Emily’s maternity leave ended and she spent the night before returning to Interpol sobbing in his arms over her anxiety about being away from Kira for the first time, Derek showed up at her office the next day with lunch from her favorite Indian restaurant and Kira in her carrier. Every day she spent with Derek Morgan felt brand new, yet at the same time, Emily felt like she had loved him forever. So when she saw him laying Kira down to sleep, she was overcome with emotion and the words came out before she had a chance to stop them.

 

“Marry me.”

 

Derek straightened up and looked at Emily with eyebrows raised, more amused than anything.

 

“Come again?” He asked.

 

“I- I don’t- I don’t mean-“ Emily faltered. “It doesn’t have to be now, or anytime soon, but I- I love you and I just- I want this to be forever. I want you to marry me.”

 

She had no idea what sort of ultra-bold bodysnatcher had taken over her, but Emily couldn’t bring herself to backtrack, to apologize or claim temporary insanity. Right or wrong, she meant what she said. Wordlessly, Derek held up a finger signaling for Emily to wait just a moment and moved to the nightstand on his side of the bed and opened the drawer. He took out a small black box and placed it in her hand, nodding at her to open. Inside was a ring, not overly flashy but so her that it made tears spring to her eyes. Derek chuckled.

 

“Leave it to you to surprise me and beat me to the punch on proposing.” He said. “I was gonna ask you next weekend when Sarah was visiting.”

 

“You were?” She asked.

 

“I had the whole thing planned.” He said. “Down to a speech about how we could wait as long as we needed to for you to be comfortable with making it official, but I just wanted it in writing that it would be you and me for the rest of our lives. I was gonna do dinner, wine, the whole nine yards, really make it special.”

 

“I’m sorry.” Emily said. “I had no idea.”

 

“Don’t be.” Derek said, moving in to kiss her tenderly on the forehead. “This feels more like us.”

 

“What?” Emily laughed weakly. “You trying to be sweet and romantic and me ruining it?”

 

“No,” He said. “Spontaneous, organic. Emily, I could spend my entire life telling you what you mean to me, how much I love you, but I don’t think it would mean half as much as just knowing that you feel it too and you’re just as ready as I am to do this.”

 

Now it was Emily’s turn to chuckle. “This does feel pretty right.” She said. “Just us doing what we normally do. Falling in love by accident and deciding that us being together forever the only thing that makes sense.”

 

“Exactly.” He said. “So are you gonna let me put this ring on your finger and seal the deal?”

 

“Yeah.” She said. “I mean yes. Yes. I’ll marry you. Now, later, whenever you want.”

 

“Good.” Derek said with a laugh. “Cause I don’t think the return policy for this thing lasts three months.”

 

Emily’s head snapped up. “What?”

 

“I bought it the day after Kira was born.” Derek explained. “Told myself I was crazy for doing it but I just couldn’t...I knew that no matter how long it took, I had to spend the rest of my life with you. You’re it for me, Emily. And I didn’t want to waste a single moment of the time we have together by being scared. Then when you told me that you though you could love me for the rest of your life...I don’t know, I just knew.” 

 

“I think I did too.” She said. Her voice was husky with unshed tears. “Not in so many words but...I think I knew too. I don’t know, I can’t explain it.”

 

“I don’t think it needs explained.” He said. “It just is.”

 

Derek took the ring out of the box and slid it on to the ring finger of Emily’s left hand. It was such a small moment, so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and yet so overwhelmingly important that it felt as if the world had shifted for both of them. Nothing had changed and yet everything had changed for them in an instant, it was one small moment that would set them on the path towards the rest of their lives. They kissed and kissed again. Then Emily started laughing.

 

“Did we really just get engaged right now?” She asked.

 

“I think we did.” He said, laughing too. “I guess we have a few phone calls to make, princess.”

 

“I guess so.” She said. She paused. “You make me really, really happy. You know that?”

 

“I know.” He said. “And you just made me the happiest man in the entire world.”

 

They spent what felt like an obscene amount of time calling their friends and family to break the news of their engagement the rest of that afternoon. From Garcia’s squeals of excitement to the ambassador’s reserved approval, neither Derek or Emily could quell the giddiness and excitement they felt. Everything seemed a bit more beautiful to them shrouded in the happiness they felt. Even mundane, everyday tasks felt special that evening and when they fell into bed that night, exhausted and ecstatic, an overwhelming calm seemed to come over them. Their journey had been unorthodox to say the least, but both of them felt that they had finally ended up exactly where they needed to be. They were happy, happier than either of them had been in a very long time, and though their story was far from over, both Derek and Emily had a feeling that things would only get better from there on out. They’d made it out of the woods, and it was only up from there.