Title: Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking – part 3
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to CBS. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time.
Summary: That’s what in my humble opinion should have happened after ‘True Night’.
warnings: some angst and hurt/comfort
Please read and review!
“So?” JJ asked grinning at her best friend.
“So… what?” Penelope replied innocently.
Rolling her eyes JJ pressed her: “What happened between you and Derek?”
“Nothing.” she shrugged.
“Yeah, I’m sure about that.” She said shaking her head. “Come on, Pen, tell me!”
“JJ, there is nothing to tell, really.” Penelope assured once again. Her eyes remained fixed on one of her computer screens and she typed pretending to be busy.
JJ sighed a little disappointed. “You left the New Years party together” she reminded the other blonde. “And it was quite early if I may say so. So what happened afterwards?”
“He drove me home.” Penelope told her. “End of story.”
“What about yesterday?” she wanted to know.
Penelope chuckled and then answered: “Yesterday was Tuesday.”
“Oh, come on!” JJ called out and pouted. “Why won’t you tell me? I know that something happened. Derek is grinning from ear to ear and I could swear he whistled when he left the elevator. It’s almost scary to see him so happy. And you are even worse today.”
“Well, we had a pretty good day.” she grinned.
That was almost too much to take! JJ rolled her eyes once again and sank back into her chair. Why didn’t Penelope just tell her? She felt like she was going to explode every second out of pure curiosity! She KNEW that something had happened between them.
Penelope giggled at her best friend’s reaction. Of course, she wanted to tell JJ everything about the day she had spent with Derek – but she loved to keep her waiting and begging for any information too much to just give it to her.
“We had a date.” she gave JJ another piece of information knowing that it would immediately catch her attention and bring her back to the teenager-like excitement.
“AND?” JJ slowly asked leaning back forward.
She knew the young blonde agent wouldn’t disappoint her. “Lunch.” Penelope informed her.
JJ almost jumped out of her skin. She hated to be fed with tiny pieces of information about such an exciting thing. Okay, maybe she was behaving like a thirteen-year-old school girl. But she desperately wanted some details! “I thought you didn’t want to go out with him?” she finally asked hoping that would make her talk already.
“He cleaned my stairs” she replied finally turning to JJ. “Washed all the blood away.”
A huge grin spread across her face. “Really? Aw, that’s so cute.” JJ shrieked.
“I know.” Penelope agreed and looked down a little sheepishly.
JJ’s eyes narrowed as she studied the expression on the other woman’s face. “What are you hiding from me?”
“Well, we… um… kissed.” she replied in a low voice.
This time JJ squealed and put both her hands over her mouth to keep this sound as quiet as possible. “And? What happened AFTER the date?”
“We took a walk by the
She rolled her eyes again. “AND?” JJ impatiently pressed her.
“And he drove me home… again.” The smile that spread across her face made clear that there was a lot more to tell about that day.
JJ grinned: “AND???”
“And I asked him to watch some movies with me.” Finally she raised her head to look at JJ again. “It was perfect, we had popcorn and movies, dinner in between, more movies and… well, cuddling on my couch.”
“Aw, and? Did you ask him to stay?” JJ shifted excitedly in her chair.
Penelope frowned a little and looked down. “We haven’t gone that far yet.”
A hint of worry crossed JJ’s face. “Pen, what’s wrong?” She asked and grabbed her hand. “Did he… back off or something?”
“No, this is not about Derek.” Penelope answered and took a deep breath. “I… I’m just a little… apprehensive, that’s all.”
Gently squeezing Penelope’s hand JJ asked: “Why?”
“I don’t know… I… What if… well, we have sex and afterwards we realize that it doesn’t work. Or maybe he just wants one night and I… I couldn’t spend a night with him and afterwards pretend nothing ever happened.”
“I don’t think he just wants to score with you.” JJ smiled at her. “He really cares about you, he loves you. He would never hurt you like that.”
“I know.” Penelope sighed. “But… Well, I’m… not at all like the woman he usually… has.” She replied. “And besides it’s been… quite some time since I… had a boyfriend.”
“I’m sure he’ll understand if you’re not ready for that.” JJ tried to calm her down.
“Hopefully.” she answered in a low voice.
“Hey, you know that Derek would never force you to do anything you don’t want to do.” she once again tried to allay her fears.
“Yeah, I know.” Penelope nodded. “It’s just I… How long do you think he would wait for me before he… well, finds someone else?”
“Pen, I’m sure he…”
“Oh, JJ.” Derek said both surprised and abashed when he noticed his goddess wasn’t alone in her office. He should have knocked. “I… um… I’ll come back later. I didn’t want to… interrupt you.”
“You didn’t.” JJ assured him and stood up. “I needed to go back to my office anyway.” She patted Penelope’s shoulder and gave her a ‘we’ll talk later’ look before she left.
“Hey, sweetness.” Derek smiled at her and leaned against her desk.
“Hey, hot stuff.” Penelope grinned at him. “What can I do for you?”
“I just wanted to ask if you would like to have dinner with me tonight.” he said and gave her his most irresistible smile.
Giving him an apologizing look Penelope replied: “You know, I would love to but… I already have other plans for tonight.”
“Oh?” was all he managed to say as he raised both his eyebrows.
Penelope blushed a little and looked down: “Yeah, I… have some kind of a fixed date on Wednesdays.”
He frowned at her reaction and asked: “Do I have reason to be jealous?”
“No.” she giggled. “I would never date someone else. It’s more like some… duty.”
“The family counselling?” Derek guessed.
“No, honey, family counselling’s on the weekends.” she reminded him.
Now he was really puzzled. Why didn’t she simply tell him? But he decided to leave it alone and change the topic. “Then what about tomorrow?”
“That would be great.” Penelope raised her head to give him her beautiful, radiant smile. “Dinner after work?”
“You’re on.” he nodded and leaned down to give her a peck on the cheek.
“Great.” she smiled and watched him strut out of her office before she turned back to her computers. She kept humming for the rest of that day.
When Derek got back to his desk his cell phone vibrated. “Morgan?” he answered it a little confused. All his co-workers were there with him doing their paperwork. No one would need to call him.
“Hi, Derek.” the familiar voice greeted. “I hope I didn’t disturb you.”
“Happy New Year, Mom. And no, you aren’t disturbing anything.” Derek assured her. “We’re not on a case at the moment.”
“What’s wrong, honey?” she wanted to know.
“Wrong?” he asked a little puzzled. “Um… nothing. Everything’s great.”
“Then why did you want me to call you?” Fran asked somewhat perplexed herself. “I went to see Desiree for the New Year’s party so I wasn’t home for a couple of days. And when I came back, I heard your message on my answering machine. You sounded a little desperate.”
“Oh, well, yes, I… I was… sort of.” Derek stuttered looking around the bullpen to be sure no one was able to overhear his conversation. Then he added in a low voice. “It was… I… I needed some advice. But I guess I figured out the right thing to do on my own.”
“Derek, what are you talking about?” she sighed. “I need some more details to understand what you’re trying to tell me.”
“Okay, um… it’s about Penelope...” he started but immediately stopped when his mother giggled. “What? What’s so funny?”
“Sorry, honey.” He could hear the grin on his mother’s face. “It’s just that you never asked for my dating advice before.”
“Mom!” he growled and rolled his eyes.
“I’m sorry.” Fran cleared her throat to avoid another giggle. “Tell me what happened.”
“I asked her out and she blew me off.” Derek decided he should better start from the beginning.
“Dear, you already told me that when we talked last time.” Fran frowned a little. She remembered their last talk very well. Derek had called her from the hospital and told her everything about their fight and the date she didn’t want to accept and how she was shot. He’d been completely wasted.
“Yeah, I know, I… I asked her out again.” he specified. “And then I decided that I was probably going too fast so… I asked her to go to our New Year’s party with me and she agreed. We really had a great time together.”
Fran waited for a moment but when Derek didn’t go on she asked: “But?”
“Well, every time I paid her a compliment she just rolled her eyes.” he sighed a little. “What’s wrong with compliments?”
“Nothing, Derek.” Fran assured him. “Maybe Penelope just has a hard time taking a compliment. Plus she’s not used to so much attention from you.”
“I’ve paid her compliments before.” Derek objected. “I… I just thought she knew how I feel and think about her. I told her that I love her.”
Fran’s jaw dropped before a huge smile spread across her face. She had given up hope that Derek would ever find a woman he truly loved. When asked about possible relationships he’d always told her that he didn’t want something serious.
“Mom?” he asked a little impatiently. “Are you still with me?”
“Yeah sure, Derek. I was just… surprised, that’s all.” Fran replied. “What did she say?”
Smiling at the memory Derek said: “That she loved me too.”
“But she refused to go on a date with you.” Fran recalled his former information. “Maybe she thinks that you love her like a friend or a sister.”
“Well” Derek grinned from ear to ear. “We went on a real date yesterday. We spent almost the whole day together, watched movies, ate popcorn, had dinner together and we cuddled on her couch. We kissed and we fell asleep on her couch.”
“Sounds like you had a really good day.” she smiled.
“Perfect.” Derek’s grin grew wider as he remembered how right it had felt to fall asleep and awake in the morning with this beautiful goddess in his arms. He could get used to the scent of her hair being the first thing he smelled in the morning.
“Then everything is alright?” she asked a little suspiciously.
“I don’t know.” Derek sighed. “I mean, I was in heaven yesterday but… our relationship is still developing and… I don’t know. I don’t want to go too fast and scare her off. But I fear if I go too slow she might think that I’m backing off. So I never know what to do when I’m with her. If I’m allowed to kiss her as often as I want to or not. I don’t want her to feel rushed but on the other hand, I want to make it perfectly clear that I really want her. It’s so… complicated.”
“No one ever said it would be easy.” Fran shrugged with a grin.
“Thanks, Mom, that was really helpful.” Derek ran a hand over his head. “I really need some advice. What should I do?”
“Derek, this might be completely new to you and also a little shocking.” Fran said and grinned even more. “But I think you will have to woo Penelope.”
“I tried.” he replied sighing again. “But I… I don’t know. She’s very cautious.”
“For good reason, Derek.” Fran reminded him. “You haven’t exactly shown that you’re good at keeping up relationships.”
“I know, but it’s completely different with her.” Derek answered.
“How would she know?” she imparted what was obvious to her on him.
Derek boggled and stuttered: “I… um…” He had to admit that his mother had a point there. “So, what do I do?” he asked once again.
“Pay attention to her, let her know that you’re really interested in her – and I don’t only mean in having a relationship with her but in her as a person.” Fran advised. “Send her flowers, women love flowers. And… try to make her understand that you want people to know how you feel about her, that you won’t back off. If she’s uncertain she might think that you won’t stand by her.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Derek took a deep breath. “I… um… Can I call you when I need… some more advice?”
“Of course” she chuckled. “I’m your mother, Derek, you can call me anytime.”
“When is the next time you’re going to visit me?” he suddenly asked.
A little perplexed Fran replied: “Um… I don’t know. Why do you ask?”“I want you to meet Penelope.” he explained.