Title: A game of cards
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt10_hurt_comfort: # 9 Fear
Word count: 801
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: A little game of cards reveals some secrets.
“That is a stupid game.” Penelope giggled.
“No, it’s not.” Derek grinned at her. “Okay, I admit it sounds stupid. But it’s fun, trust me.”
“I don’t know.” she shrugged and sipped at her red wine. “How can a game where we draw cards be fun?”
Rolling his eyes theatrically he drew the first card: “Let’s just try it, okay?”
Penelope sighed. She shouldn’t have agreed on playing a game he’d used to play with his sisters. That had certainly been several years ago – which probably meant this was going to be a childish game. But maybe if she drank enough red wine this was going to be at least a little fun.
Derek read the card in his hands and smiled. “Sarah came up with it. What was your first pet’s name?”
“Emily.” she replied and giggled.
“You’re kidding me, right?” Derek laughed.
“No, seriously.” Penelope assured him. “It was a turtle and her name was Emily. When I was sixteen I gave it to my youngest niece.”
“Prentiss is gonna like this.” he chuckled.
“She already knows.” she informed him and drew a card. She frowned when she read it: “So, you and your sisters came up with this game… why?”
“We were bored I guess.” he shrugged. “Well, actually we were playing truth or dare and it always took us so long to come up with a question. So we decided to write questions down.”
“What about the dare?” she wanted to know.
Derek grinned at her: “We found out that the truth is the real fun part.”
Shaking her head she read the question on the card: “What was your first girlfriend’s name?”
“Diana.” He snorted a little at her surprised look. “Yes, I remember her name.”
Penelope just grinned at him. “But I bet you don’t remember her last name.”
“Wilson.” he grinned. “I even remember what she looked like. I’m not that superficial.”
“Okay, okay!” Penelope raised her hands defensively. “Draw the next card!”
He grinned: “This is a good one. Whom have you last dreamed of?”
“You.” she grinned and picked the next card. “What is your greatest fear?”
“To lose someone I love.” he replied honestly. Then he drew the next card and read it out to her: “What is your greatest secret.”
Penelope hesitated. For a moment she considered just breaking the game up and suggesting to watch TV. But she didn’t want Derek to think that she didn’t trust him.
He felt a little guilty when she didn’t answer. This was just too personal. But when she got up he was really pissed with himself. “Baby girl…” he tried to stop her.
“It’s better if I show you.” she said quietly and silently told him to follow her.
She led him to her bedroom where she opened the bedside table. And what he saw in there shocked him. It wasn’t surprise, nor was it astonishment. It was complete shock. Pill bottles. A hell of a lot of them. Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants. All of them pretty heavy stuff.
Derek took one of the bottles out, sank down on the bed and read the date they had been prescribed. Apparently, Penelope was taking them for at least three months now.
“I know I should have told anyone.” she explained and pointed at the pill bottle in his hand. “But I just didn’t really know how.”
“Why…” he started but stopped after the first word.
Penelope shrugged: “Kevin didn’t understand. He couldn’t understand that after
“But he doesn’t.” Derek concluded.
Penelope just sighed.
“Baby girl, why haven’t you told me?” he softly asked and reached out to put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“I had a boyfriend.” she said in a low voice. “I wasn’t supposed to… talk to anyone else about all this. He could at least make me forget… for a while. But he couldn’t take the nightmares away from me.”
“You split up?” Derek concluded from her usage of the past tense.
She nodded. “About a month ago. The nightmares became worse after that.”
He moved a little closer, put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into a tight embrace. “You should have told me, cup cake. I would have been there to hold you.”
For a moment she closed her eyes and dwelled in the warmth and the comfort his embrace was able to deliver. “You can’t hold me forever.” she finally whispered.
Smiling Derek wrapped both arms around her and gently pulled her onto his lap while he leaned back on the bed. “Of course, I can!”