Title: For better or worse – part 4
Disclaimer: nothing’s mine, it all belongs to CBS and so on
Summary: Sequel-sequel to Twelve hours and Nightmares and other after effects. A rough case is keeping Derek and Penelope apart from each other. How long will it take to finally catch the unsub?
warnings: Well, not really… :)
Please read and review!
Derek ran a hand over his face and turned away from the body that had been found about an hour ago. This girl was only six years old, had just started school. She had her whole life in front of her – and that sick bastard had just taken it away.
“Go back to the motel.” Hotch suggested. “Let Garcia put Laura’s name on the list and continue checking possible connections!”
Derek simply nodded. He passed Rossi on his way to the black SUV. “Maybe you should talk to her parents first.” Rossi stated and nodded his head in the direction at Derek’s left.
Derek turned and his stomach cramped when he saw the couple standing on the other side of the street. They were holding each other tight, the woman was crying, the man looked like he still couldn’t believe it. The sheriff had informed them and taken them to the crime scene to identify their daughter’s belongings. Six years, Derek thought. They’d only known their little daughter for six years.
Slowly Derek walked over to Laura’s parents and gave them an insecure smile. “Mr. and Mrs. Allen, my name is Derek Morgan, I’m with the FBI.” he introduced himself. “I want to express our condolences. We all feel very sorry about your loss. Thank you for coming here, we know that this couldn’t have been easy.”
“Do you have children?” Mrs. Allen asked in a low voice.
“No” Derek replied. “Not yet.” Most parents especially those of younger victims had asked him the same question. They probably thought that they would try harder to catch the unsub if they had children themselves.
“Do you want children?” her second question however surprised him a little.
Derek gave her a weak smile and answered: “My fiancée five months is pregnant.”
“That’s nice.” she whispered and gave him a sad smile.
“Mrs. Allen” Derek said in the most comforting voice he could manage. “Probably none of us really understands what you and your husband are going through. But I can assure you two things. This is hard for us as well, it’s always hard, but even harder when the victims are children. And that is why we won’t rest until we found out who did this.”
“Thank you.” Mr. Allen nodded at him. “It’s good to hear that you care.”
“We do.” Derek assured him once more. “And we’ll find this guy. Can you tell me when you last saw Laura?”
“Yesterday when we took her to school.” Mr. Allen replied. “I always drove her and Annie picked her up after school.”
“When she wasn’t there and her teacher told me she’d already left, I immediately called the police.” Mrs. Allen added. “Considering what had happened here recently they took it very serious.” She swallowed hard and whispered: “For a good reason obviously.”
Derek just nodded and then said: “I’m sure she wouldn’t have gone off with a stranger.”
“No, never.” Mrs. Allen answered in a low voice. Then she looked up at Derek almost in shock: “Do you think she knew… him?”
“That’s quite possible.” he carefully responded. “That is the connection we are looking for. Did Laura know any of the other victims?” The names had all been mentioned in the news so Derek was rather sure Mr. or Mrs. Allen would remember if one of the names had sounded familiar.
Mr. Allen shook his head. “She was just in the first grade. The other kids where much older.”
Derek nodded again. The youngest child so far had been Harry Jones, ten years old. Seven of the now eighteen victims had been in high school. The victims he chose got younger and that only emphasized the fact that they needed to stop him.
“We rather thought she was safe at school.” Mrs. Allen said and started to sob. “Was… was one of the other kids also… taken from the school?”
“No.” Derek replied. “They all were on their way to or from school. One of them was heading to her grandmother’s on her bike.”
“Laura is number eighteen?” Mr. Allen surprised Derek with that question. When the latter nodded the young man added: “Please, do us a favor and make sure there’ll be no number nineteen.”
“We’ll do everything in our power.” Derek assured and mumbled a goodbye leaving them alone again.
“How did it going?” Rossi asked when Derek tried to pass him a second time.
“What do you think?” Derek snorted.
Rossi smiled at him. “Go back to the motel and get some rest!”
“That was the original plan.” Derek grumbled.
“Ask Garcia to run a check on all teachers fro, the elementary school and the high school the victims attended. See if any names occur on both lists.” Rossi commanded. There was no need for him to ask Derek whether or not he was calling Garcia. She was probably the only person who could take his mind off of this awful case for a while.
Derek frowned a little. “Wouldn’t that be rather unlikely? I thought teachers from elementary schools weren’t allowed to teach at high schools.”
“That doesn’t mean that high school teachers can’t be substitute at elementary schools.” Rossi shrugged and walked over to Hotch and the rest of the team.
Derek made a mental note to ask Penelope about that information first because he was sure once they were talking about other things it would be tough to go back to the case. He couldn’t wait to get back to the motel, flip that laptop open and sneak a peek at her beautiful face. He had to hear her voice, see her smile. Once again he was grateful Hotch let him use their laptop to call his baby girl whenever the team didn’t need it for other purposes.
“You look like hell.” Penelope softly said and gave him the most honest smile she could manage.
“It’s getting worse.” he sighed. “Laura Allen was only six years old and… he’s getting more brutal. He really slaughtered her.”
“I’m so sorry.” she whispered. “Are you okay?”
“No.” he gave her a weak smile. “And I know you aren’t either. None of us will be until this case is over and we catch that sleaze.”
“I only wish I could be more helpful.” Penelope sighed.
“You’re helping us a lot, mama.” Derek smiled. “And you know that. By the way, Rossi wanted me to ask you for a cross-check of all teachers at the elementary school and at the high school the victims attended – including all substitutes.”
He heard her fingers flying across the keyboard and then heard her swearing. Derek let his head sink and sighed: “Nothing?”
“Well” he could see the annoyance on her face. “I don’t know.”
Derek raised both his eyebrows. That was a sentence he didn’t hear from her full red lips very often. “What do you mean you don’t know?”
“That stupid database the elementary school uses doesn’t have any feature to search for substitutes.” she shook her head and he could practically read the which planet have you been on during the past twenty years on her face. “That means I have to check the schedules of that school. Fortunately I have a program to do that automatically.”
“How long will that take your babies?” he wanted to know.
“Can’t tell.” she shrugged. “I had my program start with the most recent schedules going further back if it doesn’t find anything. It’s automatically checking it with the employee list of the high school and will tell me if it finds anything.”
Derek smiled a little. She was talking about her babies almost in the same way she would probably talk about her co-workers. And he was rather sure that she had names for each and every one of them. “How are the two of you doing?” he asked.
She smiled at that reference and replied: “Your mother’s still taking very good care of me. I like having her around – although I gotta admit she can’t replace you.”
He sighed and his look became sad again. “I wish I was there with you now, baby girl.”
“I know.” she smiled. “But that’s one of the bad aspects about your job.”
“Tell me about the good ones.” he growled.
“You’re making this world out there a little better with every unsub you catch.” she softly replied. “Almost every day you’re saving lives – if not those of the actual victims than those of the potential ones.”
“Seems this time we can’t save anyone.” he frowned.
Penelope looked at him with concern. “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Tell me something really good.” Derek sighed and ran a hand over his face.
She smirked a little. “Your mother took me to get the ultrasound yesterday. I’ll send you the picture.” she pressed a few keys on her own laptop and a second later the scan popped up in front of him. It was a black and white picture and Derek couldn’t see anything. But knowing that he was looking at a picture of his baby made him smile widely.
In Penelope’s opinion the expression on his face was rather a mad grin than a smile and she grinned back at him: “Our first baby photo.” Then she stood up from her chair and turned so that he looked at her left side. She lifted her shirt and said: “And look, you can already see something.”
He smiled and leaned forward to take a closer look. “Hm… Not much, I guess.”
Penelope rolled her eyes and removed her shirt so that he could see her growing belly. “Don’t you see it?”
Derek swallowed hard. She was wearing a dark red lace bra that looked marvelous against her pale skin. The soft skin she so willingly revealed to him and that he so desperately wanted to touch now. He wasn’t even listening to what she said, his mind focused on her almost bare torso and her bright red lips while she was speaking, smiling, absentmindedly licking over them with her tongue. The image of what those beautiful lips and that oh so skilled tongue had done to him in the past popped into his mind at that moment.
“Derek?” Penelope frowned. He hadn’t answered her question and… when she looked at him she immediately knew why. Oh, my God! The expression on his face was full of longing and pure lust. He couldn’t possibly want to do that… now… here… over the laptop…
“Derek!” she almost shouted at him, quickly grabbing her shirt trying to put it back on.
“Don’t!” Derek almost begged her. “Please, baby girl. I… I miss you so much. I miss the way you smell, the way you taste…” He smirked and added in the most lecherous voice he could manage: “And I have a very special taste in mind.”
She blushed deeply and whispered. “We can’t do this.”
“Of course, we can.” Derek smiled. “Just lock the door to your office.”
She did as she was told and returned to her seat, shifting in it a little uncomfortably. “Derek… what… am I supposed to do?”
“Nothing.” he smiled. “Just lean back and enjoy it!”
Penelope sighed and followed his orders. Soon her hands developed some kind of life of their own doing exactly what he was telling her he would do if he’d been with her…
“Good?” he smirked.
“Yes.” she panted and desperately tried to calm down her breathing. “That was… amazing.” He couldn’t help but chuckle when one of her babies beeped and Penelope almost jumped out of her chair with shock. She checked the screen and looked back at Derek. “I have a name.”
The knock at his door kept him from responding. He cleared his throat, put the laptop quickly on the table and reorganized his bed as well as his clothes as good as possible. “Come in!”
Hotch opened the door and gave Derek his normal serious look: “Did Garcia find anything?”
“A name.” Derek nodded. “She was just about to send it to me.” Derek swallowed hard when Hotch stepped in front of the laptop. Only seconds ago Penelope’s hair had been a total mess and her cheeks had almost matched the color of her lipstick. Also she probably hadn’t had enough time to reorganize her dress.
“James Davies.” Hotch read out loud.
Derek stepped behind him looking over his shoulder and was relieved to see the file of the possible unsub covering the screen.
Hotch wrote down the address and headed for the door. “Thanks, Garcia!” he said.
“Yeah, THANKS, baby girl.” Derek grinned knowing that she’d now be blushing even more deeply.