Spencer wakes up on the morning of his wedding next to the man he’s about to marry. Derek’s still sleeping, tangled in the crisp white sheets of their bed beside him. They’d considered renting a hotel suite for the wedding party, getting ready in separate rooms, but Spencer couldn’t stand the thought of sleeping even one night apart, and they weren’t exactly a traditional couple anyway. He wanted to get ready for his wedding right next to the man he’s going to marry.
The window’s on the latch, and the frigid autumn air has cooled the room down overnight, but Derek’s still warm. He presses his body up against his partner’s, his cold nose warming slowly against his shoulder. A heavy sigh comes from the other man as he snuggles in as close as he can get, and Derek throws an arm around Spencer’s waist, pulling him in closer.
“Morning, baby,” he murmurs, voice muffled from sleep. His eyes are still closed and Spencer pulls a way a bit to marvel at his fiance’s beautiful face. It suddenly hits him that this man will become his husband today, and he can’t help it when he leans in to press a kiss to Derek’s lips. His eyes open as he kisses Spencer back, rubbing his hand up and down his side, dipping his fingers under the ratty old t-shirt he’s wearing and caressing his bare skin gently.
“We’re getting married today,” Spencer whispers, bringing a cold finger to Derek’s face and tracing the faint lines that have formed around his eyes and mouth over the years.
“I can’t wait,” Derek whispers back, a slow smile spreading across his face.
It’s the last moment they really get to themselves until 12 that night so, anticipating this, they lay in bed until the last possible minute. Eventually, Spencer pulls himself out of bed (and Derek, who leaves their cocoon with loud and vocal protest) and manages to pull on a pair of sweatpants just in time for the door to buzz. Knowing who it is, and knowing that listening to the excited squealing through the intercom will be a little much for his ears to handle this early in the morning, he lets Penelope up quickly before heading to the kitchen.
He puts the coffee machine on and pulls out the breakfast food JJ had dropped round the night before. The girls had all insisted on helping them through the day, Hotch, Rossi, and Alex opting to join them later, and honestly, he was just grateful he didn’t have to think too hard about anything. Planning a wedding had been far more stressful than he’d anticipated, and if having his best friends beside him every step of the way meant this day would go as seamlessly as possible, then he was taking it.
“Spencer,” Penelope squeals as she lets herself into the apartment and runs over to him in the kitchen, wrapping him up in a big hug, “you’re getting married to the sexiest man alive today!”
“Actually, I’m getting married to the sexiest man alive today,” Derek corrects her as he stumbles into the kitchen from the bathroom, not having bothered with a t-shirt or sweatpants.
“I beg to differ,” Spencer says quietly as he leans against the counter and looks him up and down appreciatively.
“Flirt.” Derek steps forward and gathers him in a hug which he eagerly returns, before Penelope interrupts their mushy moment.
“Yeah, yeah, you guys are the cutest, whatever,” she says insistently, “but you are getting married today! And the schedule says 10am: breakfast and showers. It is currently 10.03 and not a single croissant has been consumed yet!”
“Relax, baby girl,” Derek chuckles, pulling away from Spencer much to his chagrin. “The other ladies haven’t even arrived yet. We got time.”
The girls were all going to get ready together later in their spare bedroom, not wanting to do their hair and makeup at 8 or 9 in the morning when the ceremony doesn’t even begin until 2. As if on cue, though, the door buzzes again and Spencer goes to let Emily and JJ up.
“We bought prosecco!” Emily cheers the minute they burst through the door, and Penelope joins in running over to hug them both.
“Maybe save that for after breakfast, ladies,” Derek says amusedly, as he and Spencer watch their excited faces from their spot in the kitchen.
“I think he probably has a point, Emily,” JJ grins, ever the most sensible of the three. She takes the bottles and walks over to the kitchen, giving both of them a kiss on the cheek before popping the alcohol in the fridge for later.
“Right,” Penelope says, jumping back into her self-appointed wedding day leadership role, “let’s eat. And then the two of you need to shower.”
Wiggling his eyebrows as he caresses Spencer’s hip, Derek grins. “Gladly.”
“Ew! Separately, you perv,” she says, slapping his arm playfully, “you’re not married yet. That’s a sin.”
They all burst out laughing at that, setting out the food on the dining room table. Good spirits fill the room and excitement churns in Spencer’s belly while they get themselves set up for Phase One of Operation: Get Married, as Penelope had titled it. Not only is he going to get himself a husband today, he’s spending the entire day with his very best friends and they’re going to have the most amazing time. He just knows it.
They work their way through the early parts of the schedule for the day, the girls doing one another’s makeup and styling their hair as Derek and Spencer shave and sort themselves out, getting ready up to the point of donning their tuxedos. As many photos as possible are taken as they laugh their way through the morning while suppliers set up at the venue, and when it finally comes time to put on their suits, Derek and Spencer go into separate rooms.
Penelope follows Derek, having been asked to be his best woman, while Emily and JJ stay with Spencer, fulfilling their own role as his groomsman party. “You look amazing, Spence,” JJ says seriously, tears in her eyes as she grips Emily’s hand, both watching as he tweaks the cream freesia attached to his black blazer. They’d decided to both wear a flower that they felt represented the other person, and he’d decided that the freesia was a perfect choice, encapsulating the spirit of his soon-to-be-husband.
Emily’s too choked up to say anything, so she just nods at JJ’s words and hugs him gently, careful not to mess with anything on his suit. “I’ll go and see if Derek’s ready.”
She returns seconds later with Derek and Penelope in tow. His heart stops when he sees his fiancé, a pale pink apple blossom flower pinned to his deep blue blazer. He knows what it means immediately: heady love, sensuality, peace. It also means I prefer you above all. It takes everything in him not to burst out in a fit of tears right there and then, but he swallows them and just stares into the deepest, most soulful eyes he’s ever had the pleasure of meeting with his own.
Part of him had expected a flower symbolising his intellect or his mind, and while that would have been fine, he likes it when Derek tells him all the deeper things he loves about him, the things other people overlook. He should have known better, really. Derek knows him, and time and time again, he still manages to surprise him.
“I see you understand mine,” Derek says as he steps closer a brushes a thumb under his eye to catch a falling tear, “but I’m gonna need a bit of help.”
“Freesias symbolise trust, sweetness, and thoughtfulness,” he explains earnestly, as Derek catches another tear with the pad of his thumb.
He looks down as emotion overtakes him before looking back up at Spencer with every thought running across his mind expressed, unobstructed in his clear, beautiful eyes. “I love you so much,” he says, voice gritty and tough as he enunciates every word, his intense stare sending Spencer’s stomach swooping.
“I love you, too.”
“So… snacks and prosecco anybody?” JJ asks as the emotion of the moment subdues a little, and they turn round to find both Emily and Penelope sobbing messes, JJ rubbing both of their backs soothingly.
They both chuckle at the sight, and Spencer leans his head against Derek’s, kissing his cheek before inhaling deeply and willing the wild emotions in his heart to quiet just a little. “I think that’s in order,” he agrees, taking Derek’s hand as they head into the kitchen, Penelope and Emily heading to fix their make-up.
The door buzzes again, and soon Hotch, Rossi, and Alex are joining them, ready to take photos with the rest of them and grab a snack before heading to the venue.
“You both look amazing,” Alex says, opening her arms wide for a group hug that they both gladly step into, Spencer staying a little longer as Derek shakes hands with a grinning Hotch and Rossi. “How are you feeling?”
“I can’t wait,” Spencer answers quickly, and Alex squeals quietly, scrunching her face up in excitement as she gives him another hug.
“Neither can I. Oh, Spencer, I’m so happy for you. You deserve this so much, okay?” she says, rubbing her hand up his arm gently. He’d always seen her as a maternal figure, and she’d taken to that role in his life quickly. He’d insisted on changing the preliminary date for the wedding after he’d mentioned it to her and her face had fallen, telling him that she and James would be in South America. He was not getting married without Alex Blake there to watch him do it.
It had killed him when his mother’s doctors at Bennington had advised against flying her out to DC to attend the wedding. She’d been so unstable over the last year as her medication was changed and her condition progressed that everyone had come to the painful conclusion that she wouldn’t be able to come. He and Derek were headed straight to Nevada after the wedding, though, and were bringing the recording of the wedding that the videographer had promised he’d provide as soon as possible so she wouldn’t completely miss out.
Alex Blake, though, along with Hotch and Rossi, meant he didn’t feel parentless.
The photographer arrives not long after, and takes candid photos as they all talk and laugh together, having a few glasses of prosecco and a few light nibbles before they have to leave for the ceremony.
They’d decided to both walk down two adjacent aisles, meeting at the front of the hall where they would say their vows and officially become husband and husband. Nothing about their wedding was normal, so Spencer hadn’t felt weird when he’d asked Hotch to walk down the aisle with him. He’d taken on the role as Spencer’s father since the day he’d joined the BAU, and once they’d decided on both walking down the aisle, he knew immediately who he wanted to walk with him.
Derek had decided Penelope would accompany him down, while JJ, Emily, and Alex would wait at the ‘altar’, so to speak. Rossi had casually dropped hints that he was already officiated from doing one of his friend’s weddings a few years back, and after the third or fourth time, Derek had sighed and given in. They probably would have asked him eventually anyway.
He waits nervously behind the solid wooden doors that would open into the aisle, the only thing doing anything to calm his heart rate being the knowledge that on the other side of the wall to his right stands Derek, waiting with Penelope, ready to meet him and marry him.
“Spencer,” Hotch says, snapping him out of his thoughts and drawing his attention as he places a hand on his shoulder, “I want to say something to you. You are more my son than you are my agent. You are more my son than you are my friend. You are my son more than you are my coworker.
“I want you to know three things. The first is that Derek loves you. I have never seen anyone look at somebody the way he looks at you. The second is that I’m proud of you. I’m proud of the man that you’ve become, and the kind-hearted spirit you’ve never let leave you, no matter what the world has thrown at you. The third is that I love you. I want you to promise me something, okay? Promise me that you will always remember that no matter what happens, that will not change. I will always love you, Spencer. It is unconditional. Can you promise me that?”
“Yes.” It’s all that Spencer can manage, all he can offer even after such a stirring and heart-melting speech. It’s not the first time Hotch has called him his son, it’s not even the first time he’s told him he loves him, but it is the first time he’s ever looked so emotional saying either of those things. But then Spencer supposes that if he was about to watch someone he considers a son get married, he’d look the same. “I love you, too.”
Hotch’s soft, private smile coincides with the start of the song they’d chosen to walk down the aisle to: At Last by Etta James. The wooden doors are pulled open and they start the slow walk down the long aisle. Butterflies squirm in his stomach, but he feels calm, sure, excited. He deliberately doesn’t sneak a look sideways to see Derek, but he knows they’re walking at the same speed, because they’d practiced it so many times over the last few weeks.
The videographers have set up cameras all around the venue to capture different angles, and with the beauty of the space they’re in, he just knows it’s going to turn out wonderfully.
They arrive at the front, and turn to walk the short distance towards one another. Hotch lets go of his arm with a gentle squeeze, but Spencer only has eyes for Derek. He’s already seen him today, they got ready together for God’s sake, but nothing could possibly compare to what he’s seeing right now: Derek Morgan with tears in his eyes under the gentle, yellow lighting about to promise to be his husband for the rest of his life. He’s never once felt as lucky as he does in this exact moment.
Later, after Derek Morgan is officially declared Spencer Reid’s husband, after a thousand more photos have been taken, after they’ve eaten and the people they love most dearly have delivered their speeches, they head to the dance floor for their first dance. Evening guests have filled the hall even further, and Spencer’s heart is ready to burst.
Just when he thinks he can’t get any happier, though, just when they’re stood in the middle of the dance floor, ready to sway and spin their way through their favourite song, Derek grins widely and points behind him. For some reason, the whole team, his family, have gathered on the small stage beside the band, three microphones shared between them.
His brow furrows in confusion for just a moment before Hotch clears it up for him. “Dr and Mr Morgan-Reid, we give you: The Way You Look Tonight.”
Spencer’s face morphs into one of shocked, elated happiness and he spins round to see Derek was clearly in on it. “They’re going to sing it?” he asks as the first chords start to play.
“It’s going to be horrible,” Spencer laughs gleefully.
“Oh, it’ll be awful,” Derek agrees, laughing along.
“Someday, when I’m awfully low,” the team starts to sing, immediately proving them right, “when the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you and the way you look tonight…”
They laugh breathlessly as they spin their way around the dance floor, Derek leading Spencer and his clumsy feet through the same silly, over-the-top dance they’d made up on the fly all those years ago on their first date in a late night cafe, a cover band and most of the patrons grinning at them as they’d proven just how far gone they were for one another already, even back then.
“With each word your tenderness grows, tearing my fears apart, and that laugh that wrinkles your nose, touches my foolish heart,” the team keeps singing, loud and joyful. Spencer’s entire being is consumed with utter delight as his husband giggles along with him at their family’s ridiculousness. The love filling the hall is palpable, and the happiness making its way into everyone’s spirit is relentless.
“Yes you're lovely, never, ever change, keep that breathless charm, won't you please arrange it? 'Cause I love you…” The song starts to wrap up, but they milk every last moment of this beautiful moment, the team stretching out the last few ‘the way you look tonight’s, Spencer and Derek not stopping their joyful dancing until the very last chord dies away.
Their entire wedding party bursts into applause and cheers as they rush to join the newly married couple on the dance floor. The actual band takes over the duties of singing the next song, and Derek and Spencer move over to wrap them all up in grateful, loving hugs.
“I love you all so much,” he cries as he makes his way through each and every one of them, making sure each of them is squeezed tightly enough to show just how much he appreciates them. He isn’t often the initiator of contact, but something about the overflowing happiness inside of him means he doesn’t want to go a second without feeling properly connected to someone.
“I love you the most,” Spencer murmurs to Derek, as soon as they’ve moved away a little from the noise and are wrapped up in one another, the whole wedding of theirs fading to a blur as they look at each other. “That’s the most special thing you could have possibly done for me tonight. Thank you.”
“I’d do anything for you,” Derek says earnestly, “you know that. Even if that means having the world’s worst singers sing our first dance song.”
Spencer laughs unabashedly, throwing his head back. “Come on,” he says, taking his hand. “Let’s actually join in with the wedding we paid so much for.”
Derek pulls him back by the hand. “One more kiss.”
“How about a lifetime of saying ‘one more kiss’?” Spencer suggests against Derek’s lips.
“Yes please, Dr Reid.”
“That’s Dr Morgan-Reid to you,” Spencer grins, grabbing his hand and pulling him back into the throng of dancers.
“I love you so much,” Derek shouts delightedly as the dancers part to let them back into the middle before closing back around them, everyone ready to dance in joyful celebration long into the night, Derek and Spencer more than anyone.