Aaron Hotchner walked into the office after a meeting with his superiors. He was already on edge as he stepped into the bullpen. Morgan sitting on the corner of Reid's desk, the pair laughing together over a shared joke didn't improve his mood. He was going to have to deal with that situation and it didn't appeal at all.
He paused outside his door. "Morgan, when you aren't busy can I have a word."
"Yeah, Sure," Morgan quipped, but his brow creased when he saw the serious expression on Hotchner's face. "What's up with him?" He asked Reid as their boss disappeared into his office.
Reid gave him a perplexed look and shrugged. "I have no idea, but he looked tense. What did you do?"
"Me? Nothing!" Morgan protested.
"Uh huh. You better go see," Reid said skeptically.
In his office Aaron sat behind his desk, staring at a framed picture of himself, Jack... and Haley. Even though she'd been gone over a year, and their relationship had been ruined long before her death, he still felt the love for her he always had. That hadn't prevented him from forming a new--unwise--attachment. Derek Morgan was so different from his late ex-wife. Except perhaps for similar streaks of stubborn independence.
Not that it mattered how Aaron felt. He was Morgan's superior officer so any fraternization would be inappropriate. Beside which it was clear to him where Morgan's interest lay. His thoughts were interrupted by the man in question poking his head in the door.
"You need to see me?" Morgan asked.
"Yes. Come in. Shut the door." Aaron got up and came around the front of his desk. He leaned on it's edge, legs crossed and arms as well.
"Okay." Morgan came in and closed up the office as instructed. He took a seat when Hotchner waved him to a nearby chair.
"I want to talk to you. But it's as a friend, not your supervisor," Hotchner started, smiling gently as Morgan's eyebrows raised. "I think I understand what's happening, but I'm not exactly sure why it's not progressing. I have my theories though and I want you to know I'm here for you."
"Hotch..." Morgan started, alarm immediately filling him. Had he been that stupidly obvious? He knew Hotchner was an excellent profiler, but they weren't supposed to do it to each other.
"Just hear me out, Derek. If I'm wrong we'll have a good laugh." Hotchner went on when the other agent nodded nervously. "I can see what's happening and I know you are holding back. It could very well be because of the job, but I am worried it's deeper than that. I suffered differently than you did, but I understand how early experiences can become ingrained and inhibit us later in life."
Morgan slouched in the chair and groaned. Hotchner knew. How Morgan had no idea, but obviously he did. And now he was going to have to sit through an impromptu therapy session in the name of friendship that would just leave him let down. "Aaron... can we not go there? It's not like that."
"Look, with our schedules we don't get a lot of chances to establish relationships. I know your career with the BAU is important to you, but it's not everything. Trust me I know," Hotchner explained. "Our job is hard enough to stress any partnership to it's breaking point. Probably the only ones who really understand what we go through on a daily basis are our teammates. Some things are worth taking a shot at. I want you to know that if it's the job that's holding you back, don't let it. I've already set a precedent by ignoring Garcia and Kevin. As long as you are discreet on the job, I would turn the same blind eye to you and Spencer."
"Spencer?" Morgan blurted out. "You think I'm in love with Reid? Oh man, are you barking up the wrong tree..."
"There is nothing wrong with how you feel," Hotchner said firmly. It was killing him inside to intervene for his friends benefit while denying his own feelings, but he was sure he was doing the right thing.
Morgan got to his feet and began pacing. "You're wrong." He held up a hand to silence Hotchner's burgeoning argument. "First off, if I'm into a guy, I'm into him. The issues Buford left me aren't about my sexuality, they are about trust and consent. But I'm working on that. Every day. Secondly, I am not in love with Reid. If sometimes we seem intimate it's because he's my best friend. But just my friend. The only thing you got right is yeah, the job does gets in the way of the relationship I want."
Hotchner took a deep breath and let it out. "Well I did say if I was wrong we could have a laugh about it. I must be losing my touch."
"You're too close, man. That's the problem." Morgan stopped pacing in front of Hotchner, his dark soulful eyes pinning his superior's gaze. "You know when you're on a case and you have a theory. Maybe there are some clues that don't quite fit that theory, but you got that hunch and so you just doggedly follow it? We've all been there. So sure in our conviction-- sure we have the answer--we miss the truth."
"Yeah, alright. You're right. We've all been there. So you're telling me I let my hunch blind me to the actual facts?"
"Exactly," Morgan said with all seriousness before he stepped into Aaron Hotchner's personal space and kissed him.