Word Count: 900
Themes: Angst, fluff
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, but I do take liberties with them for no financial gain.
Notes: In this fic Reid is agender, as such Reid's pronouns are they/them/their. Fill for gqff
Summary: Reid wanted to cry when they realised how long it had been since Morgan had called them 'pretty boy'.
Reid wanted to cry when they realised how long it had been since Morgan had called them 'pretty boy'.
Not that they missed the words, certainly not the 'boy', but the thing was, Morgan hadn't used a single nickname for them since the night they asked him not to call them 'pretty boy' anymore. Morgan had responded exactly as they'd expected; confused, at first, maybe a little offended because of course he'd never meant for it to hurt, and then quickly he'd gone to mentally recalling all the times he'd used it, considering that he had potentially hurt them. Reid knew him too well, could see it in his face that he hated himself for it. Morgan had seemed to take it in stride before Reid had a chance to reassure him, to sooth away the blame he'd put on himself; Morgan closed off, and things hadn't been quite the same since.
It wasn't like there were problems elsewhere in their relationship; Reid had taken the plunge and been upfront that they were agender as soon as things looked to be crossing the line from platonic to romantic, and Morgan had been more knowledgeable than they'd given him credit for. The switch to singular 'they' as their pronoun set was actually pretty smooth for Morgan's part, except for the lingering gendered nicknames he didn't even seem to register the inference of.
Garcia took to the change like a duck to water, and Blake had guessed from Morgan and Garcia's switch even before Reid broached the subject with the team, and switched too. JJ had more questions, little firsthand experience of non-binary gender, but a willingness to learn. They weren't sure where Hotch or Rossi stood on the issue, although both respected their request without quizzing them on it.
After literally months of no pet names, Reid was beginning to feel miserable every time Garcia was the recipient of one. They felt kind of ridiculous to feel so shorted, because it wasn't as if Morgan was less attentive or affectionate, but they found themself questioning whether they'd been too hasty to request not to endure gendered references; which only led to them feeling angry at themself for being needy enough to consider subjecting themself to something that made them fundamentally uncomfortable just to prove that Morgan still had that kind of affection for them.
It was date night before things bubbled up to the surface, after both of them were full of chinese food and cuddled up on the sofa. Morgan had Reid's feet in his lap, and was touching them gently, barely a massage, and much more a caress. They'd been thinking about it the whole time, and it felt ridiculous. They'd spent most of the meal trying to uphold conversation and think of a way to broach the subject, and no 'easy' way presented itself.
“So,” they started, aiming for nonchalance, “you can't think of a single pet name for me that isn't gendered, huh?”
“What?” Morgan's finger stilled on the arch of their foot, and he met Reid's gaze. When they simply held it steadily, Morgan averted his eyes, body language changing minutely in a way that was clear to Reid that the issue hadn't been forgotten. “You said you didn't want me to use them anymore, Spencer,” he said in a small voice.
“That's not what I said,” they said, annoyed, because they didn't think they'd been unclear that it was one specific element that they didn't like.
“I know, I mean, I just-” Morgan shrugged a little, finger tracing his lover's foot again nervously. “I didn't want to upset you, like I'd been upsetting you before.”
“You didn't upset me, Derek,” they said evenly. “Not when you were working on the default assumption that I identified as a man. Then you didn't modify the nicknames as well as the pronouns.”
“I know you are.”
“So, uh,” Morgan had managed to look at them again, and was fiddling with the hem of their slacks, “what kinda names are you comfortable with me using?”
“Anything that isn't 'boy',” they said, then as an afterthought, “or girl.”
“So, you were okay with 'baby'?”
They felt a little smile pull at their mouth, recalling some of the times Morgan had called them 'baby', sweet and warm against their neck. “I was very okay with 'baby'.”
“And the 'pretty' part?”
They considered for a moment. “That's okay.”
Morgan grinned, fingers dancing up inside the leg of their pants. “How about... 'cutie'?”
“Hmm, 'sweetheart'? 'Sweetie'? 'Sweet stuff'? 'Sugarbutt'?”
“Now you're teasing,” they murmured, as they scooted up and climbed into Morgan's lap.
“Am not,” he said, as he lifted a hand to cup Reid's face, eyes full of affection. “I'm sorry I didn't talk this out with you when it happened.”
“Me too.” They let out a relieved breath, and curled up against Morgan, resting their head in the crook of his neck. “I love you.”
“Love you too, baby.”