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Twelve hours - part 11

Title: Twelve hours

Pairing: Morgan/Garcia friendship?

Rating: PG-13 – just to be sure

Disclaimer: All BAU characters belong to CBS, the rest came out of my own freaky mind

Summary: Well, I think I’ll give this chapter the subtitle: The apology. For obvious reasons. And, yes, there was a reason why I put the question mark behind the word friendship. :)

warnings: none

Please read and review!

“What the…” Penelope’s eyes widened when Derek entered the room and she almost spilled her juice. She quickly placed the cup on the locker next to her bed.

Derek was carrying a huge bouquet, a box of quite expensive chocolates and a little teddy bear. “An apology.” he smiled.

“Apology?” she burst out. “For what?”

“First of all for being late.” he gave her an excusing smile. “I wanted to be back before you wake up. You… shouldn’t have been alone.”

“I’m fine.” she smiled back. “And well, I figure it’s getting better.”

Derek placed the flowers with the vase he’d gotten from one of the nurses on the desk and the teddy bear in front of them facing Penelope. Then he handed her the box of chocolates. “You know, that was the first thing I wanted to do when the case was over and we were back at Quantico. But considering the new circumstances I… thought it would be in order now.”

“You don’t need to apologize.” she reassured. “I mean, everything’s fine between us, right?”

“Yes, it is.” he nodded. “But… I don’t want what happened to you to be the reason for this. I want to reconcile with you because I apologized and you accepted it and not because you had to… go through all this.” he looked down, took a deep breath and looked back into her eyes. “You deserve an apology. I never meant to hurt you, baby girl. You are an important part of my life and I’m very glad about it. I didn’t mean it when I said my life was none of your business because it is. I just… wanted to tease you back and…”

“I know.” she interrupted him gently, a single tear running down her cheek. “I just overreacted. I didn’t mean to hurt you either. Yes, I wanted to hurt you because your words hurt me and I’m so sorry for this. Of course, we are friends and I’m very glad about that. You are important to me, too, and I never wanted to spoil that.”

“You didn’t spoil anything.” he carefully brushed her tear away and smiled at her. “So that means you accept the apology?”

She nodded and whispered: “As long as you accept mine.”

“No question about that, mama.” his smile grew wider. “So I guess we’re still best friends?!”

“Forever.” she replied and pulled him into a tight hug.

For a long time they just sat there, holding each other. Then finally Derek broke the silence and softly said: “I’m sorry I teased you about looking at bridal dresses. I had no right to do so.”

“Believe me, I’ll never look at them again.” she sighed. “I’ve definitely had enough of them.”

“That’s somehow a real shame.” Derek replied. “You’d be the most beautiful bride.”

“Maybe in the very distant future.” she shrugged. “How long are you going to stay here?” she suddenly changed the topic.

“Well, I’m not sure about the others but I’ll stay a couple of days, I guess.” he replied. “Hotch considered it a good idea if we take a few days off.”

“That’s great.” she smiled.

He smiled back at her and then asked playfully: “If we are fine again, does that also mean there’s a chance you share the sweets with me?”

She chuckled. “You are the only one on this planet I’d ever share them with.”

“Lucky me.” he grinned and placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

Penelope ripped the box open and held it out to him.

Derek smiled, took a piece of chocolate and fed her with it.

She eagerly took the chocolate from him sucking the traces of it from his finger and they both laughed. That was definitely the most perfect apology she’d ever gotten.

“So, what did the doctors say this morning?” Derek asked after they’d finished almost half the box. He made a mental note to buy more of these as soon as he’d have the chance to do so.

“They’ll release me this evening.” she answered without looking at him.

He beamed: “That’s wonderful news.”

“Yeah, I guess.” she shrugged.

Derek frowned. He knew Penelope didn’t like hospitals so she should be more than happy to be released that quickly. But she obviously wasn’t. “What’s wrong, angel?” he asked.

“Well” she continued looking at her hands. “you know I didn’t come here with intent so I… don’t have anything with me. I tried to book a flight back to Quantico but they wanted my badge which is… well, at Quantico. And the motels are all fully booked or much too expensive. So I… basically don’t know where to go.”

“Don’t worry about that, sweetness.” he cupped her chin with his hands and made her look at him again. “You can stay with me and my family.”

“No.” she objected quietly. “I can’t just invite myself.”

“You don’t.” he reassured. “I invited you, remember?”

“Isn’t that somehow the same?” she softly asked. “I mean, this is not really your house. It belongs to your mother and I’m rather sure she planned some nice family evenings for the few days you’ll stay. And I don’t want to invade your privacy.”

“You don’t invade anything, sugar.” he smiled. “You’re a part of my family, whether you like it or not!”

“Nonetheless you can’t decide that over your mom’s head.” she declared.

“You are always welcome to my house.” a warm voice suddenly said.

Penelope and Derek both jumped a little. “Mom” Derek smiled. “how long have you been standing there?”

“Not long.” she assured. “But long enough to find out what you were talking about, though.” She stepped closer and handed Penelope a little potted rose.

“Thank you.” she whispered and smiled at Fran.

“You can stay with us as long as you like.” Fran smiled back. “I assure you, we’ll all be glad to have you with us. Besides you know Des and Sarah and I know you get along really well.”

“That’s true, but…”

“Didn’t you learn anything yet, goddess?” Derek gently interrupted her. “You can’t win an argument with me. Do you really think it would be any different with my mother? I have to give in to her every single time.”

“Okay” Penelope whispered and smiled a little uncomfortably. “thank you, that’s really… very decent of you.”

“Decent?” Derek laughed. “Since when do you rant like that, mama?!”

She smirked: “I figured I should behave a little as long as your mother’s around.”

“You shouldn’t worry about that too much.” Fran grinned, an expression Derek had hardly ever seen on his mother’s face. “I heard the two of you talk on the phone.”

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

“Thanks for the meal.” Penelope smiled at Fran. “It was delicious. And thanks again for taking me in. I’d really be lost without you. I just hope I’m really not a burden…”

“Stop thanking me, Penelope!” Fran gently interrupted her. “I said you’re always welcome to this house and I meant it.”

She opened her mouth to thank Fran again, but considered it not the best idea and simply smiled at Derek’s mother. During the past years she’d learned to cope without all this family stuff. Her parents had died years ago and she wasn’t really near to her brothers. It was pleasing to have Derek and his family caring for her.

“Well then, let’s hurry.” Des smiled and stood up to clean the table. “The film will start in twenty minutes.”

“What is it this time?” Derek screwed his eyes. “Titanic part three?”

“There is no part three.” Des threw her napkin at him. “There isn’t even a part two. No, it’s ‘The holiday’.”

“Really?” Penelope beamed. “I love that movie. Let me give you a hand.” she got up but had to cling on to the table when she started to sway a little.

Derek immediately jumped up from his seat and wrapped his arms around her to stabilize her. “You okay, mama?” he softly asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” she reassured. “It’s just… I still feel a little dizzy due to the concussion. The doctors said it would last a few more days.”

“You’d better lie down for a while.” Derek suggested.

“I don’t need to, really.” she smiled. “I’m fine. It was just the moment I got up.”

“Derek’s right.” Fran smiled at her. “Go and take a seat on the couch. We’ll be there in a few minutes. We can handle the dish.”

Derek led her to the sofa and sat down next to her. He zapped through the programs until he finally found what he was looking for. The film was about to start.

Only a minute later Fran, Des and Sara came in with a huge bowl of popcorn they placed on the low coffee table. Derek’s sisters sat down on the smaller sofa and Fran made herself comfortable in the big armchair.

They all watched the movie almost in silence, just laughing here and there. Derek had put his arm around Penelope’s shoulder and she’d snuggled up to his chest. About halfway through the movie Derek leaned back so that they were lying arm in arm on the sofa. That was definitely more comfortable for both of them. He smelled the aroma of her freshly washed hair and the new clothes he’d bought for her. Luckily he’d guessed her size quite well and even more luckily she really seemed to like the skirt and top he’d picked. Derek kept stroking her cheek until he was no longer able to keep his eyes open.

“Wasn’t that nice?” Sara smiled.

“Shush!” Fran whispered and pointed on the other couch.

Derek lay on his back, his arms holding Penelope tight who was snuggled up to his chest even more than she’d been a few minutes ago. They were both sleeping deeply.

“You think we should wake them up?” Des whispered smiling brightly at the scene in front of them.

“No.” Fran answered in a low voice and spread a blanket over the two of them. “Let’s just leave them here.”

As quiet as possible Fran and her two daughters left the living room. They switched off the TV and all the lights.

Penelope smiled and snuggled a little closer to Derek. She’d still been awake but absolutely unwilling to get up loosing this warm soothing embrace she found herself in. She’d been afraid to fall asleep due to the unnecessary, absurd fear she might find herself in that bunker again when she woke up. But in his arms she felt absolutely safe. Penelope was glad Fran had decided not to wake them.

Derek put his arms a little tighter around Penelope and sighed with relief. He’d woken up shortly before the movie ended and had feared he’d have to let go of her. He didn’t want to. Well, he was rather sure he wouldn’t have been able to even if he actually had wanted to. He needed to make sure she was still with him, safe, alive. He needed the warmth of her body against his assuring him his worst nightmare hadn’t come true, telling him they’d made it in time and he hadn’t lost her. Derek was glad his mother had decided to leave them here. Smiling he drifted back to a deep and calm sleep.