Fandom: Criminal Minds
Rating: PG-13 (FRT)
Pairing: Morgan/Reid (pre-slash)
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their copyright holders. No profit is intended.
Summary: While Morgan and Reid discuss the new Sherlock Holmes movie and Holmes and Watson’s relationship, they make discoveries about themselves.
Author’s Note: Written for the_gubette, who had the winning bid in my help_haiti auction, and posted with permission. Thank you for bidding on me, and especially thank you for your donation to UNICEF. You said you wanted something Reid-centric, and you initially requested Morgan/Reid. This is pre-slash. Hope you like it!
Morgan looked over at Reid as they left the movie theater. “Hey,” Morgan said, “you want to go get some coffee?”
Reid gave him an incredulous look. “It’s me you’re asking. Of course I want to get some coffee.”
Morgan laughed as they headed over to the nearest coffee shop. He shook his head in exasperation as Reid ordered the biggest, most sugar-laden, syrupy thing on the menu. “You gonna be able to sleep tonight after drinking that, kid?”
“Sugar and caffeine are the staples of my diet. They don’t interfere with my sleeping patterns at all.” Reid then ordered a pastry too.
“Yeah, keep telling yourself that,” Morgan muttered. “You better be ready to go tomorrow morning or Hotch will have your ass.”
Reid just smirked at him. Morgan looked at him with bemusement and then ordered a small coffee, no pastry, thank you
They found a table in the corner. “So how did you like the film?” Morgan asked.
“Better than I expected,” Reid replied. “Of course, it’s definitely an alternative reality to the actual Sherlock Holmes stories, but it was enjoyable.”
“Enjoyable? Holmes was kick-ass.”
“He can be like that in the books, too, you know. He was a pugilist, after all, as well as an expert in stick fighting and martial arts.”
“I know, Reid. I’ve read the stories. I have to admit, though, that I’m surprised you agreed to come with me, seeing as this is a bit of an action movie.”
Reid took a big sip of his sugary caffeinated coffee concoction. “Of course I’d be interested. Holmes was the first profiler, after all.”
“Fictionally, of course.”
“Of course, Morgan. But everyone plays ‘The Game’ from time to time, acting as if Holmes and Watson truly lived in late-Victorian London.”
Morgan grinned at him. “It would be great if we really had Holmes’ abilities and could tell everything about a person just by looking at them.”
Reid got a slight smile. “You know, I actually saw Hotch once, when he was on the stand giving testimony, rip apart a defense attorney based on the color of his socks and his vibrating phone. It was a performance that Holmes would have been proud of.”
“Oh. Well, then, maybe Hotch is like Holmes.”
Reid chuckled. “Maybe. Then who’s his Watson?”
“Ha. I don’t think any of us really fits into the sidekick role.”
“Yes, but Watson was more than just a sidekick, Morgan. I quite liked Jude Law’s portrayal here, by the way. And Watson in the stories was an accomplished man in his own right. A physician, a veteran—”
“And, at least implied by this film, very close to Holmes.”
Reid rolled his eyes. “This film is hardly the first to make implications about Holmes and Watson’s relationship. Although most traditional ‘Sherlockians’ reject that they were lovers, speculation has abound for decades. Even in the stories, they were, after all, as you said, very close.”
Morgan laughed. “So, do you think Arthur Conan Doyle planned to write the great adventures of the gay detective and his lover?”
Reid gave him an exasperated look. “Of course not. Holmes and Watson were contemporaries of Oscar Wilde, who was sentenced to two years of hard labor under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. The Act criminalized all forms of sexual conduct between men.”
“Yeah. It’s pretty tragic what happened to Wilde. So Conan Doyle wouldn’t have written of the great male love affair?”
“No. Watson, well, Conan Doyle, would never stated that in his writings. Especially his later writings, as Wilde’s imprisonment led to the decline of his health and his eventual death a few years after his release. No one would want to be implicated under that law.”
Morgan shook his head. “Those laws were pretty fucked up back then, man. At least there have been some improvements in modern times.”
Reid looked pensive. “You know, in this country, that’s actually pretty recent. It wasn’t until the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 that sodomy laws between consenting adults of the same sex were actually struck down. That’s only seven years ago. That case specifically overturned the 1986 case of Bowers v. Hardwick which had found that the right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution did not extend to private, consensual sexual conduct, at least insofar as it involved homosexual sex.”
Morgan gave him a quizzical look. “You certainly know a lot about this, Reid.”
Reid noticeably shrunk into himself and looked away. “I know a lot about a lot of things, Morgan.”
“Supreme Court decisions?”
“Of course. I’m a government employee. The courts are a branch of the government. I’m interested in the government. For example, there was that recent case which overturned long-established rules regarding campaign finance and—”
“Reid, are you gay?”
Reid stopped talking and wouldn’t meet Morgan’s eyes.
“Does it matter?”
“I’m more interested in someone’s brain than their gender.”
“So you’re… bi?”
Reid shrugged. “Fluid.”
Morgan gave a bit of a snort. “Okay.”
Reid looked up cautiously. “Okay?”
Morgan looked at him closely. Reid was tense and nervous and looked like he did when he was going to be yelled at for something. Morgan gave a gentle smile. “Yeah… okay.”
They both took a sip of their coffees and sat quietly for a few moments.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Morgan asked eventually.
“It’s never been relevant to my work,” Reid responded defensively.
“Of course it’s not relevant. But why did you feel you had to hide it from us? We’re your friends, man.”
“It’s not as if I was hiding it, Morgan. I just didn’t discuss it.”
Morgan gave him a steady look.
Reid sighed. “I work with three attractive alpha males. We occasionally have to share hotel rooms when we’re away on our cases. I know that you’re all fairly open-minded, but the last thing I wanted to do was make anyone uncomfortable. Or to feel that any of you guys would prefer not to be in a room with me.”
“You thought we’d reject you.” It was a statement, not a question.
Reid shrugged. “I know how gay and bi men are viewed in law enforcement. I’m already different enough. I didn’t want to give anyone additional ammunition to use against me.”
Morgan reached out and grabbed Reid’s hand. Reid looked startled. “You know us, man. You know that none of us would care who you’re seeing or sleeping with, just as long as you’re happy.”
Reid swallowed and gave an awkward half smile. “Thanks,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
“You really thought we’d care?”
“I don’t know.” Reid met Morgan’s eyes. “I especially didn’t know how you would react given your… history.” Reid looked away quickly.
Morgan frowned and then squeezed Reid’s hand. “Spencer, you’re my friend. And I’m fully aware that there is a difference between consensual homosexual relations and what happened to me when I was a kid.” Morgan gave him a little smile. “You weren’t planning on taking advantage of me, were you?”
“God, no!” Then Reid saw Morgan’s smile. “As if I could. You’d kick my ass so fast…”
“C’mon, Reid. You’re the evil genius. You’d come up with some sort of contraption.”
“Oh, now we’re bringing bondage into this?”
Morgan laughed and released Reid’s hand. “Don’t worry about me, kid. We’re good.”
“So, you work with ‘three attractive alpha males’, huh?” Morgan teased. “Have you ever thought about any of us ‘in that way’?”
Reid gave him an exasperated look and snorted. “All the time, Morgan. Especially when we’re all exhausted and cranky and on a frustrating case. There’s nothing hotter than Rossi when he’s snapping at us. But I do think the jet should be the home of the next BAU orgy. Then we can all join the mile high club at once.”
Morgan laughed and grinned.
Reid, however, looked nervous again. “You won’t… tell… anyone, will you?”
Morgan’s smile faded. “Of course not, Reid. But, seriously, no one would care. However, it’s your place to tell, or not tell, anyone you want.”
Reid look relieved. Morgan could actually see the tension draining out of him. “Thanks,” he whispered and then drank some more coffee.
Morgan looked at him out of the corner of his eye. Really looked. Reid was tall and skinny and almost delicate; he looked vulnerable at times. But there was a strength there that Morgan knew existed even if it wasn’t readily apparent. Morgan had seen Reid worry about everyone else after he had been shot, from the guy who actually shot him to Hotch, whom, as the team would learn, had just been attacked by Foyet. Reid was strong enough not to care about himself when he was hurt but to take care of others instead. Reid’s genius and insight had given them needed clues on more occasions than Morgan could remember, and he always pushed himself to the limit to help the team.
And Reid was attractive. Really attractive. Pretty, almost. And he was bi. Morgan swallowed.
“Morgan?” Reid asked nervously. “Are you sure we’re okay?”
“Yeah.” Morgan found that he couldn’t say anything more.
“This is what I was afraid of,” Reid muttered.
Morgan blurted out, “What? That I’d find you attractive?”
“Don’t tease me, Morgan. I—” Then Reid looked at Morgan’s face. “You’re not serious?” he asked incredulously.
This time Morgan couldn’t meet his eyes. “I don’t know. I never really thought about it before. But now…” Morgan smiled slightly and forced himself to look up. “Sexuality is fluid, huh?”
Reid met his smile. “I’ve always found it so.”
“I guess I have a lot to think about.” Morgan frowned for a moment. “Do you even find me attractive, by the way? I mean, really?”
“Can Sherlock Holmes deduce a criminal’s identity by the dregs of wine in a glass?”
Morgan chuckled. “C’mon, Watson, let’s get out of here. I think I’ve got some soul-searching to do.”
“Oh, I’m totally Holmes here. After all, I can solve the case by never leaving the field office and by just looking at patterns. Besides, I’m the socially awkward one and Watson was the out-going one. He was also a rugby player in his youth, sort of like you playing football.”
They stood. “Okay, kid,” Morgan said with a smile. “Maybe I’ll be the Watson to your Holmes.”
Reid smiled back. “I’d like that,” he said shyly. “If that’s what you want.”
“Besides, Holmes couldn’t have accomplished anything without Watson,” Morgan remarked as he hurried from the coffee shop.
“They actually made an excellent team.”
“Yeah, kid, we do.” They smiled at each other for another moment. Then, side by side, they walked out into the night.