Title: Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking - part 12
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: Again I’m very sorry for the delay of updating the story. It’s getting rather worse than better, I know. I was really ill for quite a while as well as busy writing for a few challenges.
Anyway, thanks to all of you for the wonderful reviews I received. I already know that there will be at least three more chapters but I’m not sure when I’ll manage to write them. But I’ll do my very best! :)
And now enjoy!
“My sisters came up with a master plan for mom’s surprise party tonight.” Derek rolled his eyes and put his cell phone away. “You know, she always wanted a huge party with the whole family, but she could never afford it. That’s why it’s our birthday present this year and now I’m supposed to take mom out for shopping to distract her a little, buy her a new dress.”
“I could do that.” Penelope offered. “I know how to distract people.”
“You don’t say.” he chuckled. “But I fear that’s my job. My sisters won’t let me help them in the kitchen. They say I’m neither an expert in cooking nor in decorating.”
“Why don’t you have it catered?” she wanted to know.
“Because we can’t afford that.” Derek sighed. “Do you have any idea what catering for about fifty people costs? It was already pretty expensive to pay for all the drinks. We already ordered all the food and Des and Sarah are going to pick it up before they come here. It’s going to be another two hundred dollars.”
Penelope thought about it for a second before she said: “I think I have an idea!”
“Sugar muffin, we already ordered the food.” Derek told her. “There’s no way they’re going to take it back.”
“Yeah, I know that.” Penelope nodded. “And they don’t need to. Never mind, let me take care of it.”
“Baby girl?” Derek raised an eyebrow at her.
Derek didn’t know what to make out of her words. But he didn’t have the time to ask further questions because his mother was already answering the door.
“Oh, I’m so glad you managed to come over!” Fran smiled and hugged first her son and then Penelope. “Come in, I want to hear everything about your camping trip!”
“Happy birthday, Fran.” Penelope said shyly. She still didn’t feel exactly comfortable calling Derek’s mother by her first name.
“Happy birthday, mom.” Derek smiled. “You’re in an exceptionally good mood today.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right about that.” she chuckled. “It’s my birthday and I’m glad to see my children and spend some time with them.”
“Speaking of that” he grinned. “I want to take you out for a shopping trip. We’re going to buy you a new dress together with shoes. That’s our birthday present.”
Fran’s face lit up considerably: “You never invited me for a shopping trip before.” Then she thought about it and frowned: “But… are you really sure you can afford that?”
“Don’t worry about that.” Penelope smiled while Derek put his arm around his mother’s shoulders already leading her out of the house. “Money is not an issue.”
“Why do I have the impression that you just want to have me out of the house?” Fran frowned at him and glanced over her shoulder at Penelope who just shrugged innocently.
“I have no idea.” Derek replied and winked at his favorite girl.
“Derek, what’s going on here?” Fran asked in the most motherly tone she could manage already halfway out of the door.
He just grinned: “Didn’t you want to hear everything about our camping trip?”
Fran tried to be as patient as possible even though she was dying to know what was going on in her house while Derek took her to one clothes shop after the other. He didn’t even seem to get tired of the shopping.
“I don’t know.” Derek frowned a few hours later and examined his mother’s new outfit. “I think I liked the blue dress better. Can you try it on again? Just to have the comparison, you know.”
“Derek, this is already the fifth dress I tried on.” she sighed. “Not to mention the three other shops you took me to. We’ve been shopping for hours now and you know that I have a lot to prepare for our party tonight.”
“Okay, I’ll let you make the decision.” Derek smiled. “Which dress did you like best?”
She sighed again. “The blue one – and I’m rather sure you know that.”
With an innocent shrug Derek got up from the chair and took the dress from his mother. “I’m going to pay. Get dressed, we still need shoes!”
Fran just rolled her eyes as she stepped back inside the cubicle. Her children were definitely up to something. If only she knew what it was! Why wasn’t she allowed to be at home with them? Were they cooking something special? Was it going to be a surprise party? Fran would surely die of curiosity if she didn’t find out anytime soon!
“Hey, baby girl.” Derek greeted in a low voice while he handed the salesgirl his credit card. “How’s it going?”
“I’d say very well.” she replied good-humoredly.
“She’s unbelievable!” Derek heard Sarah exclaim in the background and figured that Penelope had put him on speaker.
“You don’t need to tell me, sis.” he smiled to himself. “Are the three of you going to let me in on your plan?”
“We have a catering team tonight.” Des informed him happily. “A complete menu and even a bunch of waitresses. And we even have a band.”
“How much is that going to cost us?” Derek frowned.
“That’s the best thing about it!” Sarah giggled. “Nothing!”
Derek’s jaw dropped: “Say that again!”
“Nada, niente, rien.” Sarah repeated.
“Let me guess, goddess.” Derek said suspiciously immediately feeling a familiar anger rising in his chest. “A friend owed you a favor and he happens to have a catering service?”
“SHE, my gorgeous chauvinist, said if I ever needed a catering service I could call her.”
“What about the band?” he couldn’t help but smile at the nickname and her flirtatious tone.
“Professional secret, my chocolate Adonis.” she chuckled.
“And what did you do with all the food we’d already ordered?” he wanted to know.
“They’re using it.” Sarah answered. “You should see our living room, there’s a huge buffet and they even did all the decorating. Mom’s gonna love this!”
“Great.” Derek smiled happily. “We’ve just found a new dress for her. The next thing is shoes. I guess that should buy us some time.”
“You better get used to that ‘cause I’m definitely going to take you on my next shopping trip.” Penelope giggled.
“Only if you let me take you to another movie afterwards.” he chuckled.
“Talk to you later!” Penelope ended the call before he could tell his sisters about the last time they went to the movies. But Derek was pretty sure they’d make her talk anyway.
“Are you ready?” Derek heard his mother’s voice behind him sounding a little impatiently. “I don’t want to waste anymore time.”
“We have plenty of time, mom.” he chuckled, put his arm around her shoulder once more and led her towards the exit. “We still have to buy you a pair of shoes that goes with your new dress.”
“You’re lucky” she grinned, “I already have the perfect pair of shoes in mind. The shop is right opposite the street.”
“Good.” Derek grinned back at her. “Because it means that we have plenty of time to have coffee and some ice cream.”
Derek had to admit that it was a lot of fun being on a shopping trip with his mother. Having grown up with two elder sisters and a single mom Derek could only remember very few moments he’d spent alone with his mother.
“So you had a lot of fun.” Fran summed up what Derek had just told her about the four days of camping and smiled at him over the rim of her coffee cup.
“I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed anything so much.” he nodded. “We really grew closer together and I think it made Penelope feel comfortable with the thought of us being an item. I mean, yesterday JJ and Reid invited us to see a movie and… well, we missed everything after the first ten minutes or so.”
“As I told you, Penelope just needed a little time to get used to the new situation.” Fran replied. “You’ve been friends for a very long time and I’m sure she didn’t want to risk that.”
“Yeah, I had the same worries.” Derek admitted. “But eventually I came to the conclusion that what we could have is much better than what we already had, you know.”
“And I’m sure Penelope feels the same way.” she assured him. “You did good in wooing her and showing her that you really love her.”
“Somehow I have the impression that she never doubted that.” he mumbled.
Fran raised an eyebrow at her son. “What do you mean?”
“Well, we talked a lot over the past four days and… she admitted that her greatest doubt is that I don’t find her attractive.” he sighed and thought about it for a moment. “I tried to… prove it somehow and I think she knows that I love to watch her. But still…”
“She has a surprisingly high lack of confidence concerning her looks.” Fran affirmed. “She tries to cover it by calling herself beautiful and brilliant. But it seems deep inside she doesn’t believe that she is.”
“I know.” he sighed. “I first realized it when she told me about that guy she met, the one who shot her. I sometimes even think she was more confident than was good for her but the whole time it was only an act.”
Fran nodded: “I think she wants everyone around her to think of her as strong and independent and confident. She doesn’t want anyone to know how she really feels and I understand that. It’s not easy for her to let anyone in.”
“Her parents died when she was eighteen.” Derek told his mother. “And she broke contact with her brothers for a very good reason. In the years we’ve known each other she has only been on a few dates and after
“You can” Fran assured him, “and you already have as far as I can tell.”
“I don’t know.” Derek sighed. “I just wish she could see herself the way I see her. In a way we’re quite similar, I never wanted to let anyone in either. But everything is so much different with Penelope and I know I’ll never want to be with any other woman but her. I stopped dating other women a while ago but it took me very long time to figure out why. Then I realized they were simply not Penelope. She’s all I ever wanted.”
“I know.” she smiled. “It’s pretty obvious for me – and for your sisters as well. But you think that Penelope still doubts it?”
Derek just sighed. “I don’t know.”
“Maybe this isn’t about you.” Fran shrugged. “Maybe she’s sure about your feelings and maybe she knows that you find her attractive.”
This time he just raised both his eyebrows at her.
“Maybe she knows that you want her but she just can’t believe it.” she shrugged.
“Because she thinks she isn’t worth it.” Derek nodded as if to show he considered it possible. “Or maybe she’s… I don’t know… afraid of this relationship.”
“I don’t think so.” Fran frowned. “But I think in a way she might be maybe not afraid but a little apprehensive. ”
“About what?” Derek asked puzzled.
“Your relationship worked well before because you have a lot in common and you definitely have a special… let’s say chemistry.” Fran tried to explain. “That didn’t change much after your first kiss, did it? But once your relationship becomes physical that will change a lot. Moreover, from what she told me I would guess it’s been quite a while since she had her last boyfriend. I’d be at least a little nervous in her place.”
“Oh” he said in a low voice, “I… never thought about that.”
“I know.” Fran softly replied. Then she took a look at her watch and asked a little impatiently: “Can we finally go home? It’s already past four.”
Checking his own watch Derek nodded: “Sure, let’s go.”
Of course, it wasn’t easy to convince his mother to take the back door. But eventually she gave in to her son and let him lead her to the kitchen and then to her room. They were definitely up to something, otherwise they would have let her see the living room.
“Where’s Penelope?” Derek wanted to know when he only found his two sisters in the kitchen.
“Upstairs in your room.” Des replied. “She got a call.”
Nodding Derek hurried up the stairs just to find Penelope hanging up her phone.
“Oh, hey, you’re back.” she smiled.
“Yeah, just this second.” Derek smiled and stepped closer to steal a kiss from his girl. “Who was that?” he asked and pointed his head towards the cell phone in her hand.
“Kevin.” she replied.
“Lynch.” Derek snorted.
“Oh, come on, he’s a nice guy.” Penelope frowned at him.
“Yeah, maybe.” Derek was almost breathing fire. “But he calls you a lot, don’t you think?”
“He just had a problem gaining access to my…” her voice trailed off and her eyes widened. “Wait a minute. Are you jealous?”
He knew Penelope had never given him a reason to be but still… “I just don’t like that guy.”
“You’re jealous.” she stated. “Wow.” Penelope sank back down on the bed to think about it. Derek was jealous which meant he was afraid of losing her.
Derek could have kicked himself. He shouldn’t have reacted like that about the people Penelope liked. “Baby girl, I’m sorry.” he murmured. “I know I don’t really have a right to…”
“Why…” she interrupted him in a low voice, “why are you jealous of Kevin Lynch?”
“Well, you and him have a lot more in common.” he mumbled. “I mean, he’s almost as smart as you are and he understands when you’re talking about all that computer stuff.”
“And you think I want to talk about that all day?” she smiled. “And why do you think he’s smarter than you are? You graduated from law school and you’re one of the best profilers in the world.”
“I graduated thanks to a full-ride football scholarship.” Derek reminded her. “And I’m not better than any other profiler. Well, maybe a few.”
“Of course, you are.” Penelope objected. “You’re at least as smart as every other member of the team – well, okay, maybe except our genius but I’d guess there’re only about ten people in the world who’re as smart as Reid. And you’re the best profiler in your field, not to mention the hottest. Otherwise Hotch wouldn’t have chosen you for his team. You shouldn’t belittle yourself so… oh.” she stopped and smiled a little sheepishly.
Derek stepped over to her, pulled her to her feet and wrapped both arms around her waist. “We all have moments where we doubt ourselves and we all are insecure at times, baby girl.”
“Yeah, I got the message.” she smiled and leaned up to kiss him. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Derek grinned and kissed her again. When he pulled back he gave her a serious look and said: “But would you do me a favor, goddess?”
“Whatever you want, sweetness.” she replied and kissed him again before he could continue.
“Next time Lynch calls you, let me pick up your phone.” When Penelope gave him a quizzical look Derek shrugged: “I just want to remind him that you’re completely taken – and that this is not going to change anytime soon.”