Title: How to break somebody’s heart
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 10 hurt/comfort: #6 Lonely
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: Set after ‘Damaged’. Part 3 of the ‘Love hurts’ series. Sometimes there’s no way to say the truth without breaking someone’s heart.
warnings: well, spoilers for season 3
“Hello, my beauty.” Kevin smiled when he entered her office. He’d learned pretty early in their relationship that he shouldn’t creep up on her to surprise her.
“Hi.” Penelope turned in her chair and gave him a warm smile. “What can I do for you?”
“Do I need a reason to come up here and check on my girlfriend?” he smirked a little.
“No.” her smile widened and she blushed slightly – as she did every time he called her his girlfriend. Even after about five months she wasn’t entirely used to all this.
“You know, I… wanted to talk to you.” Kevin stuttered obviously nervous and pulled the second chair closer so that he could sit down next to her.
Penelope raised both her eyebrows at him: “Oh?”
“Yeah, well… you know, about… something important… very important.” he explained and started to fumble with his tie.
“Okay.” she slowly said and eyed him up. “Well then, go ahead!”
“Well, we’ve been dating for quite a while now.” he mumbled and cleared his throat.
Penelope couldn’t help but smirk at that: “If you want to call it that.”
His head shot up and he gave her a quizzical look, then a wry smile and nodded. “Yeah… um… you know, you’re really important to me.”
Those words touched her more than she’d thought possible and she reached out to squeeze his hand. “You’re important to me too.”
He smiled and took a deep breath. “I was hoping that you thought that way.” he cleared his throat once again. “I mean, I never met a woman like you before. You’re amazing, unique and I could spend the rest of my life sitting here and watching you multitask. You’re so beautiful when you do that.”
A single tear ran down her cheek. Only few people had ever called her beautiful – and even fewer people had actually meant it.
“So… well, I thought that… I don’t know how serious you are about us but… I’m very serious about this relationship. I can see spending the rest of my life with you and I… I really like that thought.”
Penelope drew in a deep breath. He wasn’t going to propose, right? Right? It’s only been five months and…
Taking another deep breath Kevin reached into his pocket, pulled out the small purple box and opened it. “So I wanted to ask you to marry me.”
“Kevin!” she gasped and stared at the ring in shock.
“Penelope, will you marry me?” he reformulated the sentence into a question.
“I… I…” she stuttered, her voice barely above a whisper. “Actually, I don’t know what to say.”
“What about yes?” Kevin asked carefully.
Penelope raised her eyes from the ring to look at him and they filled with tears when she saw the hope on his face. But she had to tell him the truth. “Kevin, I can’t…”
“It’s okay” he quickly assured, “I mean, I didn’t want you to feel rushed. I just thought that… well, since everything’s going so well between us I thought that we could take the next step. We don’t have to marry anytime soon, we can wait as long as you want, really. I just thought it would be nice to… well, kinda show that we’re at least thinking about it.”
She bit her lower lip, tears running down her cheeks, and slowly shook her head. And then she saw in his eyes the exact moment he understood what she’d wanted to say – and the next second she saw his heart breaking.
“Oh” Kevin said huskily and put the ring back into his pocket, “I understand.”
“I’m so sorry.” Penelope whispered and reached out to squeeze his shoulder in a desperate attempt to comfort him and make it a bit better.
But he pulled away. “Well, then I guess we… shouldn’t see each other any longer.” He quickly stood up and hurried towards the door.
“Kevin, wait!” Penelope jumped up from her seat and held him back. “I didn’t mean… It doesn’t have to be over.”
“Of course, it does.” he sighed and turned to look back at her. “You don’t want me, not entirely. You’re not as serious about our relationship as I am. You could let me into your bed, into your life but never into your heart.”
He waited for her to object even though he knew she wouldn’t. After all, it was the truth. “You can’t marry me if your heart belongs to someone else no matter how important I am to you. I understand that.”
“Kevin… I don’t…” she once again tried to hold him back.
Slowly he turned to her and gave her a sad smile. “It’s because of him. Don’t tell me it isn’t!”
This time Penelope didn’t answer. It wasn’t necessary, he knew the truth.
“I knew it.” he added. “You can’t stop loving him – not even for me. I just hope you made the right choice, that he was worth it and that he will appreciate it.”
That being said he was gone and suddenly Penelope felt incredibly lonely. She’d really liked Kevin, maybe even loved him. Their relationship had been good and real and mutual. But she’d given all that up. And all she could do was hope she made the right decision.
Penelope sank back down on her chair and stared at the empty one next to her for a while and it made her feel even more lonely. But she’d needed to tell him the truth, anything else would have been unfair. She took her glasses off, braced her elbows on the table, covered her face with both hands and started to cry. She was lonely again, maybe for the rest of her life.
When her cell phone rang about an hour later she was still slightly sobbing. She took a moment to calm down and collect herself, wiped away her tears and answered: “Garcia.”
A moment of silence. Then his voice, filled with concern: “Baby girl?”
“Morgan” she desperately tried to sound as normal as possible and keep the tears out of her voice, “what can I do for you?”
Another moment of silence before he carefully asked: “Are you crying?”
“I’m fine.” she quickly assured. “So, why did you call me? Do you need me to do any background checks or what?”
A little unwillingly he gave her two names and it only took her two seconds to find the addresses belonging to them. “Was that all?” she wanted to know.
“It was so far.” Derek affirmed.
“Talk to you later!” she was about to press the button to end the call.
“Wait, baby cakes!” he held her back. “Tell me what happened!”
“Derek, this is none of your business, okay.” she sighed and rubbed her burning eyes. “Just leave it alone.”
“I can’t and you know that.” he softly said. “Was it Lynch? Did he hurt you?”
“No, Derek, please, leave me alone!” she repeated. “I don’t want to talk about all that, not now and not to you.”
“Please, Penelope, sweetness, let me…” but all he heard in return was the click announcing that she’d hung up.
Derek quickly grabbed the keys to the SUV and hurried over to Rossi. “I need to go to Quantico.” he explained. “It’s really important, I’ll be back as soon as possible.”
“Agent Morgan!” Rossi held the man back who immediately wanted to rush out of the door. “We’re on a case. You can’t just leave and promise to be back as soon as possible.”
“But…” he wanted to object.
“I don’t have a problem with the two of you being an item or you trying to get there” the elder man added, “as long as it doesn’t affect your work.”
“It won’t, I promise.” Derek quickly assured. When Rossi raised an eyebrow in return Derek remembered what he was about to do and added: “Not after today, never again. It’s just… if I don’t go back now…”
“I know.” he smiled. “Yet you can’t. If you go now you’ll go next time too.”
“I won’t, I…”
“Promise?” Rossi raised another eyebrow. “I guess, you better hurry to solve this case.”
“Thanks.” Derek grumbled, threw the keys back on the table and stomped back into the chief’s office that was now serving them as a conference room.Rossi heard him snap at Reid, shook his head and turned back to the file he was reading. He could only hope everything turned out well. Morgan simply was way too crabby since he found out about Garcia and Kevin Lynch.