Elvis was crooning in the background about a "Blue Christmas". A fire crackled in the hearth. Snow was wafting down outside the windows, and the house smelled like pine and mulled cider. The members of the FBI's best Behavioral Analysis team were sitting in a circle in the large, comfortable living room. Garcia and Kevin shared the loveseat. JJ and Emily sat on the floor next to each other. Dave was in one recliner, and Hotch in the other. Morgan had claimed the couch next to Reid, who was currently the focus of everyone's attention. After a moment, Reid held up one elegant finger.
"I think I'll drink," Reid said, and, as one, the team let out a howl.
"Oh, no, pretty boy, you opted for truth knowing damn well what the topic was." Morgan had already had to drink several times, because he assured everyone he wasn't the kissing-and-telling kind of guy. He draped an arm around Reid's shoulders. "Come on, now. Truth."
After a moment, Reid sighed. "Four," he said, and steadfastly refused to meet anyone's gaze.
Morgan saw JJ's eyebrows go up, but neither Prentiss nor Hotch looked surprised. He found himself wondering if either of them counted as one of the four.
"All right, Dr. Reid has four," Morgan said, and clinked his empty shot glass with Reid's full one. "Penelope?"
Garcia gave Kevin a sly look, then drained her shot glass without comment.
"Hey--how is that fair?" Reid demanded, looking outraged. "You made me answer!"
Morgan grinned and leaned in a little. "That's because we all wanted to know if you'd ever actually been with a girl," he murmured, and had the enjoyment of watching Reid's cheeks go scarlet. Laughing, Morgan let him go and poured another round of rum for everyone.
"A respectable three," Emily said, trading a look with JJ.
Hotch shook his head and did the shot. "You know, this isn't quite what I had in mind when I suggested a team Christmas party," he said. "I was thinking eggnog, a white elephant gift exchange..."
"Caroling..." Rossi put in, his tone snide.
"Mistletoe and holly," Garcia added.
"All right, all right," Hotch said, then glanced over at Garcia. "You know, I'm pretty sure that's mistletoe over my chair."
Kevin gawked at Hotch as Garcia began giggling. After a moment she leaned over, kissed two of her fingertips, and pressed them against Hotch's forehead.
"Rossi!" Morgan said, giving the older man a challenging look. "How many?"
"Twenty-three," Rossi replied, with that smug glint in his eyes that always drove Morgan crazy. Morgan noticed Hotch shaking his head, but it obviously was a confirmation, considering the disapproving yet long-suffering expression on Hotch's face.
Morgan suddenly didn't feel quite so proud of his fourteen, even if Reid had looked simultaneously impressed and jealous. He sighed and shook his head. "I never woulda thought it of you, Rossi," he said, and then burst into laughter as Hotch, Emily and Garcia all drank.
When JJ and Kevin realized what Morgan was laughing at, they joined in.
"What?" Reid asked. "What?" He turned to stare at Morgan, nudging him in the ribs. "Morgan, what?"
Morgan had sucked in a breath at that touch. Reid usually tensed up whenever Morgan touched him. It didn't take a genius profiler to know Spencer Reid was a non-contact person. And here he was touching Morgan voluntarily.
"Uh...it's another game," Morgan explained after a moment. "You say 'I never...' something, and then if anyone has, they drink."
Reid took that in and nodded. "So...I never played football in high school?" he suggested.
Morgan drank and grinned at him. "Exactly. And I never applied to Yale."
Everyone except Morgan and Rossi drank. They looked at each other and snickered. "Jock," Rossi said.
"Blue-collar," Morgan shot back, grinning.
"I never experimented with dope," Dave said, and promptly drank...and Garcia joined him.
"Wait, you just--you just made yourself drink!" Reid pointed out.
"Right, but I got blackmail material on Penelope now, if I ever need it," Rossi said, smirking.
"Oh, honey, you would need so much more than that," she retorted, and everyone laughed.
"It's a tactic you can use if you wanna find something out and you're not ashamed to admit it yourself," Morgan said in an undertone to Reid. There was something endearing about teaching Spencer Reid a drinking game. It was nice to teach Reid anything, for that matter.
Garcia cleared her throat. "I never kissed someone of the same sex," she said, her eyelids lowering in a manner that made her look positively devious as she watched Morgan.
Glaring at her, Morgan drank...and was surprised to see Reid, Rossi, JJ and Emily drink, too. Holy shit, he thought, and then turned to stare at Reid, who was slowly turning an interesting cranberry red. Wow, okay, so maybe those four hadn't necessarily been girls.
"I never cheated on a test," Hotch said quietly, and it jerked their attention back to the game. Several people drank, but of course Reid and Hotch didn't.
"I never went home with someone I didn't know," Prentiss said, her gaze on Morgan. He gave a mock wince and drank, along with Rossi and Reid.
Damn, but Morgan was learning a lot about the beautiful young genius tonight. He glanced over at Reid, who wouldn't meet his gaze. JJ said something and Morgan drank automatically, shifting just a little closer to Reid as if to protect him. Emily hadn't realized that one would get Reid, Morgan knew...but Reid wouldn't know that.
"I never hacked into a corporate server to change the default webpage language to Italian," Kevin said, and Garcia smacked him and drank, then leaned over to make the refill rounds again.
Spencer got up instead. "Morgan, where's your bathroom?" he asked.
"Down the hall to the right," Morgan said, and stood up. "Anyone need more chips or anything? All right, I'm gonna grab a couple more logs for the fire. Be right back."
He walked a few steps behind Spencer, noticing he was already moving unsteadily, until he reached the utility room and went through to the back porch for some logs. He paused just inside the house, waiting until he heard the water turn off and the bathroom door open, then stepped out into the hall, nearly bumping into Spencer.
"Hey, here, you okay?" he said, catching Spencer's arm in one hand and hoping he wouldn't realize Morgan had been planning this.
"I'm fine," Spencer said, leaning into Morgan's grip. Morgan's eyes widened, then he patted Spencer's shoulder lightly and let him go.
"It's just a game, you know," he said quietly. He turned and headed back slowly for the living room. "It doesn't really matter."
"You, um." Spencer cleared his throat and Morgan paused, curious. "Were you counting..."
"No," Morgan said briefly. "Voluntary experiences only." Carl Buford didn't count for anything any more.
Spencer nodded. "Me neither."
Morgan's brows drew together as he tried to figure that out. "Spencer--"
"At least, I hoped you weren't," Spencer said, and smiled at him. It wasn't the broad, innocent sort of grin Spencer sometimes gave him, but it was no less genuine for all that. Morgan couldn't do anything but smile back. Then the expression faded again and Spencer gave him an uncertain look.
"I normally wouldn't go home with someone I didn't know," Spencer murmured. "It's just that, you know, after Hankel..."
"Spencer, you don't have to tell me," Morgan murmured. "It doesn't make me think any less of you."
Spencer's smile returned and he touched Morgan's arm, then moved to rejoin the party.
Back in the living room, the game had apparently degenerated into Emily and Kevin trying to match each other shot for shot while Rossi and Garcia egged them on and Hotch and JJ looked fondly exasperated.
"Hey, I do not have room for you all in my guest bedroom," Morgan said, grinning.
"Don't worry," JJ said, moving to sit next to Hotch. "I'll make sure Emily gets home if Garcia will promise the same for Kevin." Garcia waved an arm in acknowledgement. As Morgan passed JJ and Hotch, he heard enough to know they were settling into an old argument about football.
Reid took a seat between Rossi and Garcia and started asking her questions about the alleged hacking incident while Rossi provided impromptu (and, Morgan suspected, made up) translations of what she'd made the website say.
Morgan added the logs to the fire and shook his head. "This is craziness," he murmured, grinning to himself. Absolute craziness. And he loved it. He hadn't really been planning a round of truth or dare at the Christmas party when he volunteered to host it. He'd just thought it was a good chance for the team to decompress over the holiday, and that it would be good for Hotch to be forced to forget that Haley had taken Jack to her parents' for two weeks.
Of course, if you take a team of people with high-stress jobs, give them an entire week off, and invite them to a house full of alcohol, there was no telling what could happen.
"Everyone looks so happy," murmured a soft voice, just as someone leaned against him.
Morgan just managed not to jump. Reid was leaning on him. Instead he draped an arm around Reid's shoulders again and smiled. "Yeah, they do," he replied. "Even Hotch. I haven't seen him smile like this in a long time."
"I haven't seen you smile like this in a while," Reid countered, looking at him seriously.
Morgan stared at him.
"Not since New York." Reid gave him a small smile, then started to move away.
"Oh, look, they're so cute!" Garcia squealed. Morgan lifted his head and gave her a look that should have shut her up. But alcohol and Garcia weren't always a safe combination. "Where's the mistletoe?" she demanded, and jumped up, scrabbling at the sprig hanging from the light fixture.
"Garcia, you don't need that," JJ said, and Morgan swore internally. This was the reward he got for letting the girls decorate his damn living room. "There's some already hanging over the fireplace."
Morgan glanced tentatively over at Spencer, and was surprised to find him watching Morgan closely.
"They'll never let it go," Morgan murmured.
"They never will either way," Spencer replied, his lips quirking in amusement. After a moment he leaned in and pressed his lips against Morgan's.
Morgan had spent a lot of time imagining what it would be like to kiss Spencer Reid. He'd imagined pressing that lanky body against a wall and licking his long, elegant throat. He'd imagined Spencer rolling on top of him and kissing him demandingly. He'd even been pathetic enough to imagine himself injured and admitting his feelings to Reid just in time for a final kiss.
He'd never once imagined kissing Spencer Reid in front of his entire team.
This was vulnerable and embarrassing and Morgan could feel every eye on them...and he couldn't make himself pass it off as a joke. He lifted one hand to cradle Spencer's cheek, his eyes fluttering shut...
And then Spencer was pulling away, his pupils huge and a tiny smirk on his face. "I never kissed a coworker," he whispered, and went to sit down on the couch again to the team's cheers and catcalls.
Derek cleared his throat and found himself a drink.
The party eventually wound down naturally, Rossi being the first to stand. He thanked Morgan for the party and asked Hotch if he wanted to share a cab. Hotch agreed, and when Morgan walked them to the door to say goodnight, Hotch paused to rest a hand on Morgan's shoulder.
"Be careful," he said quietly, but there was no censure in his expression, just warm concern.
"Okay, Mom," Morgan said, his tone teasing but his gaze grateful.
Rossi slapped him on the shoulder. "I think you'd better stop at fifteen," he murmured, and pulled his scarf tight around his neck as he stepped out the door. Morgan considered sticking his tongue out at Dave's back, but managed to resist the impulse.
The rest of the team left more or less as a group, and since JJ hadn't been drinking much, she and Morgan rearranged the cars in his driveway so she could get out and take everyone else home. She promised not to come back too early for Emily's car, and hugged Spencer on her way out.
"Sorry we don't have room for you, Spence," she teased, and Morgan glared at her without any real heat. There were laughing hugs passed all around--even from Kevin, who had turned out to be a quite entertaining drunk--and then, suddenly, Morgan and Spencer were alone.
Spencer's endearing awkwardness had been fading over the course of the evening, replaced by amusing clumsiness and careless, almost sloppy touches. As soon as the door shut behind the others, though, he seemed to regain some of his old uncertainty.
"I'm, um. I'm sorry about--" he began, but cut off when Morgan's finger touched his lips.
"I'm not," Morgan murmured, watching him hungrily. "Truth or dare?" he murmured, tracing a finger along Spencer's lower lip.
Spencer swallowed audibly. "Truth."
"How long?" Derek held Spencer's gaze, willing him to understand.
"Too long," Spencer replied. "Truth or dare?"
Derek nodded. "Truth."
"The moment I met you."
Spencer's eyes widened, and then he leaned in and kissed Derek--really kissed him, with lips and tongue, pressing their bodies together and clutching at him. Derek moaned and pressed against him, wrapping his arms around Spencer's lean body.
"Spencer..." he breathed.
Spencer sucked in a breath, pulled away enough to whisper, "I've never seen your bedroom."
After a moment Derek laughed. "Remind me to teach you how to play Fuck the Dealer next," he murmured, tugging Spencer down the hall.
Morgan woke up the next morning with the sun in his eyes, a pounding head, and Spencer Reid in his arms. He closed his eyes again, smiling, but he couldn't keep his eyes shut when there was so much to tempt him. Spencer's cheek was resting against Morgan's shoulder, his hair tickling Morgan's neck. Morgan lifted a hand to stroke the silky strands back from Spencer's face, and he felt Spencer shiver and wake.
"Morning, pretty boy," he murmured. He felt Spencer tense in his arms, then relax again. After a moment, sleepy brown eyes lifted to meet his own.
"Hi," Spencer whispered. He hadn't really moved, but Morgan almost imagined he could feel Spencer withdrawing. "Was this a mistake?"
"I think this was the best thing that's happened to me in years," Morgan said. He stroked a hand down Spencer's back, skating over the lean planes of his shoulders and the spine that was just slightly knobbly. "I told you that last night."
"You were drunk," Spencer said. "We both were." He sighed and snuggled back against Morgan. "Everyone knows."
"Yeah." Morgan turned his head to kiss Spencer's hair. "I don't have a problem with that. Anyway, Garcia and Prentiss already knew I wanted you." He took a breath. "Do you think this was a mistake?" he whispered.
"No. I...you remember Massanutten Mountain, Virginia? Where the sheriff's son tried to pin those murders on the Lords of Destruction?"
Morgan nodded. "That was three years ago."
"That was when I realized I wanted to be with you." Spencer lifted his head and kissed Morgan softly. "I hope you won't object when I say I don't want you to add any more numbers to your count."
"Mmm." Morgan smiled and kissed Spencer again. "And no more random strangers," he whispered. "I like where this is going."