Title: Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking – part 10
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: we’re at the more fluffy part now :)
AN: I know, long time again since I last updated the story. And I can’t even promise chapter 11 will be up sooner – but at least I have a slight idea what it will look like so there’s a good chance it will.
Anyway, thanks again for all the reviews, I always try to answer all of them but if I missed any I’m sorry, I appreciated them nonetheless.
Hope you’ll enjoy this chapter!
It was true that time went by faster while you were having fun. The four days were over in the blink of an eye and now they were sitting in front of the fire for the last time. They were going to head back home around four p.m. the next day, which gave them enough time to pack new clothes together and get some sleep before they had to head for the airport at eight a.m. the next morning. They had both agreed that it was better to arrive at Derek’s mother’s house in the morning so that they would be able to help her prepare for the party in the evening.
Penelope couldn’t quite believe how good it had done their relationship to spend a full four days with each other. She knew that she had given Derek a very hard time and that she had been the one who had kept their relationship from becoming more than just a few clandestine kisses and cuddling from time to time.
The four days alone with him had shown Penelope two things: The first was that Derek was truly interested in her, attracted to her. The way he looked at her while they were alone was different from all the looks she’d ever gotten from him. It was… almost lecherous at times. Of course, he couldn’t look at her like that in front of other people. But sometime during their second day of camping she had caught him staring at her lips with a dreamy smile on his face and her heart had started to race.
She’d even told herself she’d imagined it. But during the next day she’d noticed more often that sometimes Derek simply watched her. He had watched her when she brushed her hair, when she played with Clooney or when she cooked. And sometimes he had simply stared at her, not only her lips but also into her eyes or at her entire body with that smile on his face – and Penelope had felt that he liked what he saw. This feeling had been completely new and when she had first realized it she had felt a knot in her stomach. But now it felt good.
At first she had avoided his gaze, blushed most of the time when she’d noticed that he watched her. Now when she caught him she grinned at him and leaned over to kiss him almost every time. That fact had encouraged Derek to watch her more often and more obvious and Penelope felt… wanted. It was a good feeling, maybe even the best she’d ever had.
For years she had told herself that Derek would never feel this way about her. Even after their first kiss and in the first few weeks of their developing relationship she’d been sure that he just felt guilty or maybe pitied her and that once these feelings were over their relationship would be as well.
However, despite all her worries and hesitancy and after she’d kept pushing him away for so long hoping that he’d realize rather sooner than later that he didn’t need to feel guilty and take care of her and she didn’t want to be pitied Derek had stayed nonetheless and made every effort to woo her. And Penelope had started to wonder if maybe Derek really loved her – in the neither friendly nor brotherly kind of way.
If she hadn’t already been after Derek had told her why he loved her she was definitely sure now that he did and that he wanted her – and she was sure that she loved and wanted him. Yes, she wanted him. She wanted him to be entirely hers. And moreover, she wanted to be entirely his.
The second thing that these four days had shown her was that it could really work. The time with Derek had been pure heaven, they had talked a lot, cuddled and kissed almost the whole time. Penelope had always felt a little awkward kissing Derek and he had probably noticed that because he’d made only few attempts to do so. Of course, she’d never backed off and it had felt really good but still… unusual, unreal even.
Now she couldn’t get enough of their kissing, handholding and cuddling. And it felt so incredibly good and definitely, absolutely right and real!
She had felt better, safer pretending that they were still nothing more but friends. Thinking about them being more than just that had pretty much scared her off. She simply couldn’t think of Derek Morgan as her lover… at least not until now. For the first time she didn’t feel uncomfortable when that thought crossed her mind. In contrast she found herself smiling at it.
“What’s on your pretty mind, beautiful?” Derek asked when he noticed the corners of her mouth going up remarkably.
Pet names and flirting has never been anything Derek was one bit hesitant with. He had called her sexy, gorgeous and beautiful so many times that she couldn’t count them anymore. Yet Penelope had never even considered he could actually mean what he said.
Turning her head she smiled at him: “The last few days with you. It was… so great to spend all this time alone with you and… I’m a little sad that our camping is over.”
“Me too.” Derek nodded and leaned over to give her a deep, passionate kiss. “We should definitely do this again.”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure we will.” Penelope whispered and kissed him again. When she pulled back she smiled at him.
Derek returned the smile and gently caressed her cheek. He couldn’t believe how things had developed in the past four days. They had become so much closer to each other. Not that they hadn’t been close before. Derek had always told Penelope things he never told anyone else and vice versa. But now they had really opened up to each other. In fact, for the first time since they’d started dating they behaved like lovers – and Derek felt like he was probably the luckiest man on earth.
Penelope looked into his dark brown eyes and noticed that there was this smile again – and she immediately felt the butterflies in her stomach. She was in love and for the first time in many years she allowed herself to be.
“What?” he asked when he saw an unfamiliar expression on her face.
“Nothing” she shrugged, “just... thank you.”
“For what?” he wanted to know the look on his face even more puzzled than a second ago.
“Well” she smiled a little sheepishly, “for the first time I can think of my brothers and be… proud. Proud of what I have achieved in my life, proud of my job and that I’m good at it. And a little jubilant – because I have you.”
Derek grinned like mad and stated: “If you ever want to show your brothers – or anyone else – that you are the goddess of brilliance and beauty who is most definitely worth my attention, I’m up for it.”
“No” she giggled, “but thank you. That’s really sweet. But it’s enough for me to know that my brothers were wrong. That I’m not inferior to anyone because I use my brain rather than my not so sportive body.”
“I think they were just jealous.” Derek said sincerely. “And I must know it ‘cause I’m a profiler. You were for sure the most intelligent member of your family and they simply couldn’t deal with it. That’s why they tried to make you feel cheap.”
“And they did pretty good, I guess.” Penelope mumbled and looked down.
Derek took her hand and squeezed it gently but he didn’t say anything.
“They kept laughing at me when I failed in sports.” she continued entwining her fingers with his. “When I was about ten one of my brothers… took a picture of me in a swimsuit to school and showed it around. Everyone laughed at me the next day and I didn’t even know why until my brother showed me the picture and told me his friends had just never seen a fat pig in a swimsuit before.”
Derek clenched his fist. If he ever met this guy he would beat the shit out of him for hurting his baby girl like that. He knew how cruel kids could be – he’d experienced that himself. But that was…
“I refused to go to school for a full week.” she interrupted his thoughts. “But when I had to go back fortunately everyone had forgotten about the stupid picture.”
“Everyone but you.” Derek softly said.
Penelope just shrugged. “They always made me believe that I was worthless because I was so non-athletic. But that… really hurt.” she had never told anyone about the incident. Nor had she ever admitted how much it had hurt her. She wasn’t even sure why she told Derek now.
“I bet you could beat them at everything else without much effort.” Derek smiled. “I’m sure you got an A in all the important subjects.”
“I did.” she nodded without the least sign of conceit. “And at least my parents were proud of me. But my brothers managed to make me believe that I wasn’t all that intelligent – or at least that it wasn’t important. You know, not as important as being a jock.”
“It is even more important.” he objected. “Because when they are old and weak and ugly they’ll have nothing left while you’ll still have your outstanding intellect.”
“So you think I’ll become old and weak and ugly, huh?” she teased.
“Ugly never.” Derek grinned. “But maybe old and weak – and I hope you’ll become all that with me.”
“Yeah, I’d like that.” Penelope whispered and leaned over to kiss him once more. Fortunately Clooney had learned to live with it and just barked from time to time when he thought they overdid it.
This time when they pulled back they were both grinning like idiots and Derek stated: “You know, I’d love to see you in a swimsuit.”
“No, you wouldn’t.” she almost gasped.
Derek leaned back a little to get a better view of her and smiled mischievously: “I would.”
She couldn’t help but smile. His words made her feel better, attractive actually. A feeling she’d almost forgotten about. “Maybe one day.” she murmured and blushed a little.
Smiling Derek put a strand of her golden hair behind her ear and whispered: “I can’t believe how lucky I am.”
“How lucky you are?” she exclaimed. “I’m the one who’s really lucky.”
“Can we agree that we both are?” he said unusually serious.
Penelope gave him a quizzical look.
Derek took a deep breath and held it for a second before slowly letting it back out. Then he explained: “I didn’t just keep silent about Buford because I wanted to protect him. I was… scared that if people found out they would think I was… dirty and that no one could love me anymore. I knew that when I let anyone in they’d eventually find out about it. I was frightened by the simple thought that people would know.
However, when you found out I was relieved. I’ve wanted to tell you so many times before the case in
“It never even crossed my mind.” Penelope replied squeezing his hand. “All I wanted was to beat that guy to unconsciousness but I never thought about you in any different way. You were still the same man, the man I loved like no one else in the world. But you’d been hurt and when I found out about that it… hurt me too.”
All he could do was squeeze her hand in return. He’d never been so touched before. It wasn’t the fact that she’d listened. It wasn’t even the fact that she cared because he already knew she did. It was more the fact that when she’d found out about his past the only thing she’d worried about was the fact that he’d been hurt.
Penelope leaned over and kissed him again, soft and very soulful. She felt special because she knew Derek had barely talked about Buford or his feelings due to the abuse with the psychologist Hotch had sent him to after he’d found out – let alone anyone else.
When she pulled back she leaned her head against his shoulder and his arm went around her to pull her a little closer. They sat there in a comfortable silence for quite a long time until they decided that it was too cold to stay outside – or at least more comfortable inside the tent.
They turned their backs to each other while they changed their clothes. That Penelope felt wanted by Derek didn’t mean she found it easy to undress in front of him. She was glad that Derek accepted that. In a way it made her feel guilty that he was so understanding. She sometimes felt she asked too much of him.
Derek resisted the wish to turn around and watch her. He didn’t want Penelope to think of him as a voyeur and he definitely didn’t want to invade her privacy like that and make her feel uncomfortable. One day she would realize that he really loved to look at her.
In less than five minutes they were both tucked in the sleeping bag snuggled up closely against each other. Unlike all the evenings before they were facing each other and grinning from ear to ear.
Derek slowly leaned over to capture Penelope’s soft lips with his and they soon found themselves lost in a breathtaking kiss. Derek’s hand rested on her arm not daring to move. But when the urge to touch her became irresistible he slowly started to stroke her arm and was relieved that she didn’t pull away.
Derek’s hand made her skin prickle with pleasure wherever he touched her and Penelope carefully reached out to touch him in return. Her fingers slowly traced the lines of muscles on his chest and her heart beat faster. She’d dreamed about touching him like this so often but she’d never thought that one day she would have every right to do so.
The world around them stopped existing and they were so preoccupied with kissing and petting each other that they didn’t hear Clooney whine next to them nor did they notice the sun rising outside.
Derek gingerly let his hand move a little further down to Penelope’s hip and then quickly back up her arm. He couldn’t believe that she allowed him to touch her like that. His whole body started to hum and he couldn’t help but break the kiss and start to nibble on her neck.
“Don’t!” Penelope gasped but the next second she felt stupid and somehow guilty.
Derek pulled back and gave her a concerned look: “I’m sorry, Penelope, I didn’t mean to…”
“No, I’m sorry.” she quickly interrupted him and he could practically hear the tears in her voice. “I shouldn’t have backed off like that. It’s just that…”
“It’s okay.” Derek assured and gently cupped her chin with his hand. “I’m sorry if I did anything you didn’t want.”
“It’s not that I didn’t… want that.” she whispered. “I… really enjoyed that and…”
“That scared you off.” he softly added.
Penelope blushed. She’d never felt so stupid before.
“Look at me!” Derek commanded. “Please, Penelope, look at me!”
She took a deep breath and slowly raised her head. She didn’t want to meet his eyes and see the disappointment maybe even an accusation in them.
But Derek just smiled and said: “Step by step, baby girl. You’re setting the pace.”
Nodding she gave him a watery smile and whispered: “Thank you!”
He reached out and stroked her cheek: “We will take one step after the other. As I said, there’s no need to hurry.”
“I love you.” she whispered and his heart leaped with joy. It was the first time that she’d said these words first and not in return to his confession.
“I love you too.” Derek smiled and pulled her closer.
But she pulled back and peeled herself out of the sleeping bag.
“What’s wrong?” Derek asked unable to keep the worry out of his voice. Did she regret what had just happened? Was she mad at him for rushing her? And if she was where was she going? She couldn’t sleep outside. He started to get up as well to follow her, talk to her, reassure her that he hadn’t wanted to do anything she wasn’t up to.
Penelope scratched Clooney’s ear and turned to smile at Derek: “It’s already dawn and we haven’t fed Clooney yet. I’m sure he’d never forgive us if we left him hungry any longer.”
Sighing with relief he sank back into the pillow and watched Penelope fill Clooney’s bowl and hurry back to him. When she snuggled back up against him a huge smile spread across his face. He was most definitely the luckiest man on earth.