Title: Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking – part 18
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: again some fluff and some… thing else :)
As much as Penelope missed her work after a whole week off she was sad that they were leaving Fran Morgan’s house. Their co-workers had been her only family for a long time and as much as she loved all of them they barely ever found the time to spend time together outside of work. Mostly because almost everyone except her had a family outside the BAU.
And now she had found a second family, too. And even after a few days she felt much more loved and cared about by Des and Sarah than she’d ever felt by her brothers. So the goodbye was accompanied with many hugs.
“Are you feeling well, baby girl?” Derek asked when they arrived at her apartment. She was silent again and looked a little sad.
“Yeah, just a little exhausted and a little sad.” she smiled at him. “Besides my feet are killing me. I shouldn’t have worn high heels today.”
Smiling Derek wrapped his arm around her shoulder and said: “I promise we’ll see my family again sooner than you prefer. Now take a shower and let me take care of your feet afterwards!”
“Okay.” she smiled as she headed for the bathroom. She considered locking the door but then she decided against it just to find out if Derek would follow her. He didn’t.
She was relieved and a little disappointed at the same time. But when she came into her bedroom she’d completely forgotten about it. There he was, sitting on her bed a tube of foot lotion in his hands and smiling at her: “Get yourself comfortable, cup cake, and let me see if I can make your feet feel better!”
She didn’t need to be told twice so she quickly laid down on the bed, tucked herself in and grinned at him.
Derek pulled the blanket back so that he could reach her feet, pulled one of them into his lap and started to rub the lotion all over it.
Penelope sighed happily. Damn, he was some skilled foot kneader! Her feet immediately felt better, she felt better. Smiling she leaned back, closed her eyes and enjoyed the massage.
Even if she didn’t want to fall asleep she was so exhausted and his soft massage was such a blessing that only half an hour later she was fast asleep.
Carefully Derek tucked her feet in, got up and quickly showered himself. Then he crawled under the blanket behind her. He didn’t want to wake her up but he didn’t want to go to sleep without the feeling of her body against his either. So he carefully moved closer until he spooned her.
She didn’t make a sound just snuggled up a little closer against him in her sleep.
Gently Derek wrapped an arm around her, kissed her hair and leaned his head against hers. It wasn’t long and he had fallen asleep as well.
Penelope didn’t notice that he had stopped the massage. Nor did she notice that he had snuggled up against her back a little later. What she did notice was the scent of coffee the next morning. When she cast up her eyes she saw Derek standing in the doorway, an overloaded tray in his hands.
“Whoa, what’s that?” she smiled at him.
“Breakfast in bed.” he chuckled and placed the tray on the bedside table.
“You’re spoiling me.” Penelope grinned as she sat up in bed.
Derek chuckled again: “That’s what I live for.”
She disappeared in the bathroom for a few minutes to brush her teeth and returned just to crawl back under the blanket right after she was finished. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much time for their breakfast. But that absolutely didn’t keep them from enjoying it anyway.
While Derek was doing the dishes Penelope printed out the photos they’d taken to show them to their co-workers. Who would have thought he would make for such a good homemaker?! She smiled to herself thinking about that.
Grinning they walked into the bullpen where Emily and JJ immediately heaped questions about their week off on them. “Did you take any pictures?” JJ finally wanted to know.
Nodding and smiling a little mischievously Penelope handed them the photos she’d brought with her. Derek and herself at Fran’s birthday party dancing, singing and obviously enjoying themselves. Almost all of the pictures were commented with an ‘aw’ or a giggle mostly by JJ. Reid just smiled at them.
Hotch and Rossi joined them just as they were approaching the last pictures they’d taken on their second
“What’s the point of this mass meeting?” Hotch wanted to know, a hint of a smile on his face when JJ handed him the pictures they’d already looked at.
“Oh, you made a sight seeing trip through
“Yeah, Derek’s sisters invited me to do that because I’d never been to
“Wow, that’s some sight.” JJ smiled.
“That was at the
Penelope’s heart started to beat a little faster. But JJ handed the picture to Emily apparently without noticing the new piece of jewelry on Penelope’s finger. In fact, they all seemed to pay more attention to the sight from the
“It’s beautiful.” Hotch smiled at her. “Where do you keep it?” She certainly couldn’t just wear it for everyone else to see before they’d asked Strauss about it.
“Yeah, it belongs on your finger.” Rossi smirked. “Oh, and let me worry about Strauss. She’ll be fine with it, believe me.”
Emily and JJ were looking puzzled between their bosses, their friends and each other back and forth.
Reid just grinned. For once he wasn’t the one without the slightest idea what was going on.
Smiling sheepishly Penelope pulled at the long golden chain around her neck and revealed the golden ring she’d attached to it.
“Oh, my God!” JJ shrieked, jumped up and hugged her friend exuberantly. Then she poked Derek and winked: “I never thought you’d dare propose!”
“Me neither.” he chuckled.
“Wow, it’s really beautiful.” Emily nodded as she examined the ring. “And it really belongs on your finger.”
Blushing a little Penelope took the chain off and put the ring back on her finger. This way she could also see it the whole day long while she was working.
Reid, Hotch and Rossi congratulated both of them and even Hotch was smiling. “Finally.” he mumbled to Rossi who smirked at him.
Only half an hour later they were standing in front of the lion’s den. Penelope’s knees were trembling so badly that she was pretty sure she would break down as soon as they’d entered Strauss’ office.
“What can I do for you?” the elder woman barked more than asked.
“Ma’am” Derek said as he took Penelope’s hand in his, “as you know Agent Garcia and I have been dating for quite a while now.”
She closed the file she’d been reading and folded her hands above it as she answered emotionlessly: “And you probably know that I’m still not entirely content with it.”
Great, it was working really well.
“So, the reason why we’re here” Derek continued, “is that we want to ask for your permission to get married.”
Snorting Strauss leaned back in her chair.
Penelope’s heart sank and she felt tears springing to her eyes but fought them back. She’d known Strauss would never give them permission. So she just squeezed Derek’s hand.
Derek squeezed her hand in return to assure her that it was going to be alright.
Rossi now leaned forward. Placing his forearms on his legs he smirked just slightly: “May I remind you, Erin, that there are at least two reasons why you should give Agent Morgan and Agent Garcia permission to get married? One of them being that their relationship doesn’t affect their work and you said in this case you were fine with it.”
Derek and Penelope wondered what the second reason might be because suddenly Strauss’ face became just a little paler. She leaned forward again and cleared her throat. “You are not in the field, Agent Garcia?” she asked.
“N… No.” Garcia answered trying to sound as collected as possible. “Well, hardly ever. I mean, I was in the field with the team two times. But only to hack some computers. I never went with them when they arrested someone or anything.”
Strauss frowned even more. Then she finally took a deep breath and grumbled: “Well, then I’m fine with it. But if your relationship ever – and I mean ever – does affect your work in any way one of you will be transferred! Keep that out of the office!”
“Understood.” both Derek and Penelope nodded.
Strauss printed out the required form, signed it and handed it to Derek. “You’re dismissed.” She then snarled and turned back to her file.
In front of the door Penelope drew in a shaky breath. Then she turned towards Rossi and whispered: “Thank you.”
“I was just telling the truth.” he smirked and headed back for his office.
Penelope couldn’t remember when she’d ever felt so happy before as this morning when she booted her computers. The day seemed to fly by and soon it was time for lunch. Derek had told her already yesterday that they couldn’t have lunch together because there was something important he had to do. So she went to lunch with Reid, Emily and JJ.
She wasn’t even five minutes back at her computers when someone knocked on her door.
“Come in.” she called happily but when she turned in her chair she frowned a little. It was Kevin Lynch.
“Um… hi” he said a little sheepishly, “I just wanted to say… well… sorry, you know.”
The frown on her face became deeper as she turned around fully face him. “About what?”
“Well, you and… Agent Morgan.” he replied. “I… you broke up, right?”
“No.” she slowly answered giving him a suspicious look.
“Oh?” now Kevin seemed to be surprised as he explained gesticulating wildly. “I just thought that… you know… since he was dating that other woman.”
“What other woman?” she found herself asking before she even had enough time to think about it. She felt hurt and anger rising in her chest.
“Well, the one he had lunch with.” he shrugged. “You know, long brown hair, Latino type, too skinny for my liking. You know her?”
“No.” Penelope fought back the tears she felt springing to her eyes. He wouldn’t cheat on her, right? Right?
But she just turned back to her computers and put Kevin off: “Maybe it was the girl from the bank. He told me he needed to see her this week.”
“At lunch?” he raised an eyebrow at her.
“Why not?” Penelope shrugged nonchalantly. “I mean, I usually take my broker to lunch ‘cause then he gets me the best stocks.”
“I thought someone like you wouldn’t need a broker.” he mumbled.
Penelope didn’t answer. She just wanted him to leave.
When Kevin remained standing insecurely in the doorway she turned back at him and asked: “Did you come here for a particular reason? I mean, can I help you with anything?”
“No” he quickly replied and rushed out of the room, “I just… see you.”
Frowning again Penelope went back to work. She would talk to Derek once he came back.
Only a few minutes later her cell phone buzzed announcing that she’d gotten a text message. She frowned when she read who the sender was – Derek. Why should he send her a text message? Wouldn’t he come back here in a few minutes anyway?
Sorry, that I’m telling you all that this way, Penelope, but I think this thing with us doesn’t work so we’d better stop seeing each other. In fact, I’ve met someone else.
Penelope felt tears running down her cheeks. This couldn’t be true. Those words just didn’t sound like Derek. Ditching a girl so chillingly simply wasn’t like him.
And besides he’d asked her to marry him. But on the other hand she’d accidentally found the ring. Maybe it was meant to be given to someone else. He couldn’t have told her then just after she’d found it. But then again…
Just promise me that next time you hear or see something that offends you in any way you won’t turn around and try to run away but step in and confront me. She heard Derek’s voice echoing in her mind. And confront him she would.
Unfortunately that had to wait since the team was called on a case pretty soon afterwards. And for the next two days Penelope didn’t have much time to worry about the other woman Kevin had told her about or the message she’d received – nor to talk to Derek. But at least he kept flirting with her whenever they called one another. So maybe he really hadn’t sent the message. Penelope didn’t even have the time to wonder who else it could have been.
It was a really tough case with regard to what the unsub did to his victims. He’d tortured them for hours in every imaginable and unimaginable way. But at least Penelope and Reid could figure out what all the victims had in common pretty quickly. Reid had asked her to check whether they all had the same plumber, hairstylist, computer expert or whatever else she could think of and bingo: they all went to the same nail salon outside town at least once.
Penelope was just about to call Reid back with the information, relieved that she didn’t have to take another look at those pictures and that she’d found the missing part of the puzzle that would certainly help her team catch the bad guy and allow them to come back to Quantico soon, when her phone rang.
“Wow, you can read minds, genius.” she answered her phone happily. “I just wanted to call you back with the information.”
“This is Section Chief Strauss.” the woman on the other end explained sternly.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, I didn’t look at the caller ID before I answered the phone. Dr. Reid is waiting for some important information that will hopefully help them solve their case in
“So your team is going to solve their case soon?” she asked.
“Yes, Ma’am, I’m positive they will.” Penelope replied.
“Good.” she heard Strauss snort slightly. Obviously she wasn’t in a very good mood. “This means you’ll have time now. Come to my office! And I want to talk to Agent Morgan as soon as the team gets back to
Penelope was startled and remained silent for a second. Then she answered: “Yes, Ma’am, I’ll tell Agent Morgan to come here once they’ve arrived. And I’ll be there in a minute.” She sent Reid the information to his PDA and quickly hurried to Strauss’ office wondering what she might want to talk to her about.
She hadn’t even knocked when the woman called her in and immediately got to the point: “I fear under the given circumstances the permission I gave you is no longer valid.”
Penelope’s heart stopped beating for a moment. It was like her whole world had just fallen apart. “But… why?” was all she could stumble.
“As I said if your relationship should ever affect your work it would have consequences – and I call a coition in your office an affectation. I’ll think about who of you will be transferred and let you know once I’ve made my decision.”
“But… I… we never…” Penelope gasped and went pale.
“That was all.” Strauss interrupted her.
“Of course, Ma’am…” Penelope stumbled out of Strauss’ office and back to her own one.
She couldn’t believe this was happening. First the woman Kevin had seen Derek with and the fact that he’d lied to her about how he’d spent his lunch break. Then the message she’s gotten and now Strauss had drawn back the permission and wanted to transfer one of them. And she couldn’t even talk to Derek. All she could do was sit in her office and watch her life falling apart – and cry for the rest of the day.AN: I really don’t know where this story line with Lynch came from. But believe me, he’ll eventually get what he deserves. ;)