Title: Sometimes I wonder
Pairing: Morgan/Garcia indicated
Rating: T for language, just to be on the safe side
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to CBS. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time. No copyright infringement intended. The idea for the story and the story itself - including all possible pre- and sequels - belong to me.
Summary: Written for nanc19 (FFN), her prompt was ‘a drunk and hurt Derek and how she helps him get passed the horrors of the job’. That basically sums it up. :)warnings: none
AN: Hey, nanc! Sorry, it took me forever to write this one. But it was kind of hard to come up with a proper story because I had something similar in mind already but it didn’t fit. Anyway, I hope you’ll like it.
Special thanks to Gretchen for the incredibly fast beta-reading!
She frowned a little when she drove Esther into the parking lot. His lights were out but she knew he was home. At least she thought she knew. She would go and check on him anyway. He had beaten an unsub to unconsciousness today and Hotch had suspended him for three days. Something was definitely wrong.
When she knocked she didn’t get an answer. She knocked again and heard a blurred: “Leave me alone! I won’t buy anything.”
“Come on, hot stuff, open the door or I’ll kick it in!” she commanded.
When he opened the door he blinked at the light coming from the corridor. “What do you want?” he mumbled.
Penelope stepped into the apartment uninvited. It was dark but she could still see the six empty bottles of beer and the half empty bottle of whiskey. “You’ve been drinking for quite a while already.” she frowned.
“So what?” he sighed, sank back on his couch and grabbed the bottle of whiskey.
Quickly taking the bottle from him she stated: “I think you’ve had enough.”
Unfortunately, he wasn’t in the condition to fight with her for the bottle anymore. So he just grumbled and scowled.
Penelope went into his kitchen as if she was at home and made some coffee for both of them. When she returned she handed him a cup and sat down next to him. “What’s wrong with you, Derek?” she finally asked.
“I’m drunk.” he just grumbled. “What’s wrong with that? I like to drink from time to time.”
“Yeah, I know that.” Penelope frowned. “But normally you don’t lose it like that. So what happened?”
“What because I beat the shit out of that bastard?” he snorted. “He abused and killed more than twenty children – that we know of – the youngest of them was three. Three! Don’t you think he deserved it?”
“That’s not the point.” she objected. “Taking the law into your own hands doesn’t change anything. Besides it doesn’t serve justice.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s why Hotch suspended me, right?” he snarled.
“Why did you beat the sleaze up like that?” she softly asked. “It wasn’t the first time you had to deal with someone like him and it certainly won’t be the last time either.”
“I just felt like doing that.” he shrugged.
“Why?” she sighed. “Do you think it changed anything? For the victims? From personal experience I can assure you that it doesn’t.
He immediately clenched his fists at the mention of that name and slowly replied: “Sometimes I wonder if we ever change anything.”
Penelope was startled for a moment. Then she frowned: “Weren’t you the one always saying that kicking in doors and taking down the bad guys makes you feel like you changed something for the better?”
“What if it doesn’t?” he mumbled. “As you said it doesn’t change anything for the victims.”
“That was not what I meant, I…”
“There’ll always be another unsub.” he interrupted her. “We catch one of them there’re already three others waiting to go on where he left off. It’s never going to be over so we don’t change anything.”
“Of course, you do.” Penelope assured. “With every unsub you catch you’re making the world a little bit safer. You prevent numerous people from being one of his next victims. You saved so many lives already, mine included. And that changed a lot for me.”
Finally he turned his head to look at her.
First of all, if you hadn’t stayed I’d certainly be dead now. And secondly now I know that whenever I’m in trouble my friends, my family’s gonna be there and stand by me. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much to you or anyone else. But for me it means a lot, it means everything. And it changed everything.”
“But if there can always be another
“And then you’ll be there to protect me again.” she smiled. “That’s why you do this job. Of course, there can always be another one trying to do me harm. But that
“I know” he nodded, “I know that we can change something. Or at least I usually don’t stop to hope that we can. But this case was… I don’t know. Maybe I’m just more offended when it’s about children.”
“We all are more offended when it’s about children.” Penelope replied quietly and put a comforting arm around his shoulder. “And if that ever leaves me cold I’m gonna quit my job because then I know that the last bit of humanity is gone.”
“That will never happen to you.” he smiled as he leaned his head against hers enjoying the warmth her half-embrace delivered.
“And it won’t happen to you either.” she gently kissed his forehead, something she’d never done before but at the moment it felt like the only right thing to do. “As much as you wish it could be different, it’s a good thing that this case offends you so much because it means that you still care.”
“Maybe I care too much.” Derek sighed. “I just… can’t forget the moment we found Alisha. We were sure that we weren’t too late ‘cause he usually kept his victims for two days before he killed them. But he must have heard us coming. He’d cut her throat probably because suffocating her would have taken too long. Her little body was covered in more blood I thought would be possible for a three-year-old girl.”
“I’m sorry.” was all she could whisper.
“Will you stay?” he quietly asked. It wasn’t the first time they had spent a night together. They never had sex though but they sometimes spent a night together to keep an eye on each other. And Derek secretly enjoyed holding her and being held by her.
It was different from every other experience he’d had with a woman. Usually he had sex with a woman. It was nice or good or even fantastic – at times. But he never felt so much warmth radiating through his body as when Penelope was snuggled up close against him. It helped him forget pictures like the one of Alisha Baines’ body.It felt so good that he actually missed the feeling whenever they didn’t spend the night together. And that fact scared the hell out of him. He shouldn’t feel about her this way. Hell, he didn’t WANT to feel this way about any woman. Yet he couldn’t help but lead her to his bed, catch her in his arms and hold her as close as humanly possible to be able to enjoy the warmth of her embrace again tonight.