Title: Footprints in the sand
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Movie quote for 10_quotes: #7 "Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe. I mean shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand and there you were." The Apartment
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: Penelope feels lonely but then she sees some footprints in the sand.
AN: I know, the title sounds a little weird and overly poetic. But it just was the only at least somehow fitting title I could come up with. :) And I’m sorry it took me so long to finally post another Morgan/Garcia story. I made a side-trip into another fandom (as some of you might have noticed) and while I’m very unlikely to write for this fandom again anytime soon it somehow helped me getting my Morgan/Garcia stories finished – with which I was completely stuck. So now it shouldn’t be too long until the next update.
Penelope sighed and switched off her TV. A day off was really great and for most people a whole week off was even better. Unless you didn’t have anyone to spend it with. Keeping herself busy for a day or two wasn’t a problem. But after almost five days Penelope just didn’t know what else to do anymore – and there were still another two and a half days left.
JJ had made a big secret of what she was planning to do with her week off – even though everyone knew that she was spending it in
Emily – certainly the only one except for Penelope who hadn’t been delighted about the prospect of a whole week without work – had ‘volunteered’ to join her mother on several formal receptions.
No one really knew what Rossi was doing on his week off. But it was rather certain that he spent most of it hunting with his dog.
Hotch was spending the week with his son which was much overdue. He’d been so excited about it that even now it made Penelope giggle just thinking of her boss’s behavior.
Reid was out on a StarTrek festival with some friends. Derek had teased him about it, as if he doubted that Reid had any friends. But Penelope knew the truth because she knew Derek. He’d switched into protective mode once again and had hoped to make Reid tell him something about said friends.
And Derek himself? Well, his mother surely expected him to pay her a visit and the rest of the week he would probably spend in several beds except for his own.
So there was no one Penelope could have called and asked to keep her company and save her from dying of mere boredom.
Sighing again Penelope got up to get something for dinner. But her fridge looked even sadder than the prospect of being bored to death. There was just nothing left to make a dinner of. Yet she wasn’t in the mood to go out for shopping either – at least not on a Friday night. Seeing everyone out with friends or lovers would only make her feel lonelier.
She knew that it was silly. But sometimes it felt like she was the only person feeling alone on the whole planet. And since the disaster with Kevin this feeling had just become stronger. Especially when she saw other couples on the streets.
Of course, she knew that she wasn’t exactly alone. But when she spent more than three days in a row all on her own in her empty apartment she was bored to tears – and that made her feel alone, maybe even lonely. She wasn’t sure where to draw the line.
Penelope had just decided to order something for dinner instead of going out when someone knocked on her door.
Frowning she opened it and then slowly felt a smile appear on her face when she saw the man leaning in the doorway and holding out a bag for her with several boxes in it, the emblem of her favorite Chinese restaurant clearly visible through the sheer material of the bag.
“Dinner?” was all he asked the most seductive smile on his face.
Penelope didn’t even try to stop the shiver that ran down her spine. Crossing her arms in front of her chest she leaned against the doorframe herself, so close that she could not only smell the delicious food he’d brought but also the mixture of after shave and something that was just him.
“You know, that no sane woman in the world could ever say no to such an offer, right?” she grinned playfully and eyed him up.
“I was hoping you might say that.” he chuckled. “And, are you a sane woman?”
“Well, last time I checked I still was.” she shrugged. “But I can feel my sanity fading with every minute I look at you.”
“Then maybe you should let me in before you completely lose it.” he suggested and leaned a bit closer.
She pretended to consider her options and then replied innocently: “I don’t know. Somehow I fear that it’s not wise to let such a hot guy into my apartment just like that. After all, I’m just a weak woman and I’m all alone.”
His smile was a mixture of amusement and adulation: “You are anything but weak, goddess. And if I really was a bad guy, would I bring your favorite food along?”
“Hm… I don’t know.” she giggled. “Could be a razzle-dazzle.”
“And your favorite wine?” he grinned and held out the bottle for her. “So will you let me in now or will we just keep standing here flirting in your door until the food is cold?”
“It depends on what you brought for dessert.” she said with an innocent tone in her voice and a very naughty look on her face.
With a low growl he followed her into her apartment, put the food on the coffee table and waited for her to bring two wine glasses and a corkscrew.
Their banter was as natural as their teasing throughout the dinner, from eating from the other one’s plate to feeding the other one. Derek enjoyed spending time with her because they were so much at ease with each other. Not that he’d ever had any problems around or with women.
But there was something special between him and Penelope, their behavior was playful and yet intimate – and somehow that made him feel at home with her. That had been the exact reason why he’d come back sooner from his trip to
Over the years, Penelope had become as much a member of his family as his mother and sisters were to him. And he knew that she felt the same about him. He also knew that he was the only family Penelope had – apart from the other members of their team. And Derek couldn’t stand the thought that she’d have to spend all of her holiday alone. As his mother used to say: If you have family, you shouldn’t have to be alone.
He had to admit that in the past he hadn’t been spending much time outside work with her. Sure, they’d gone to the movies every once in a while but Derek had always spent his whole holiday in
Of course, his mother had questioned him why he was leaving earlier this time and, of course, she’d assumed that it was about a woman. Derek smiled at this thought. His mother had no idea.
Penelope smiled to herself and at the smoking hot guy sitting opposite from her on the floor – the only proper way to eat Chinese food as they’d both agreed. Suddenly, the feeling of being alone on this planet had vanished. It certainly was stupid, maybe even a little pathetic, but the mere fact that he’d come here to spend a little time with her made her feel loved and belonging. She had family.
“Alright, baby girl.” Derek smiled as he got up to clear the mess they’d caused while eating and headed for the kitchen.
She stood up as well and opened her mouth to thank him for coming over and having dinner with her – and hoped that she could abandon the sadness from her voice that he was already leaving.
But she didn’t get to say anything in return when Derek called from the kitchen: “You can pick tonight.”
A little puzzled she asked: “Pick what?”
Derek came back from the kitchen to give her an amused look and replied: “The movie we’ll watch. I picked the last one so tonight it’s your turn.”
Her face immediately lit up. “Oh”, she grinned, “I have ‘P.S. I love you’.”
“Sweetness, exactly how many times have you seen this film already?” he chuckled.
“Actually not once.” she shrugged. “I planned on watching it with JJ sometime but we never managed to do that.”
“Well, in this case I’ll gladly be your company for the premiere.” Derek grinned as he took the popcorn from the microwave, hurried back to the living room and let himself drop down on the couch.
“And I definitely can’t think of better company.” she chuckled, sank down on the couch next to him so close that her knee and shoulder brushed against his and grabbed a handful of popcorn from the bowl in Derek’s lap.
When Derek glanced over at the beautiful goddess next to him and saw a tear run down her cheek, he placed the bowl on the coffee table, put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to him.
“I know, I’m too sentimental.” she sniffled and chuckled at the same time as she willingly leaned into the comforting embrace he offered and placed her head on his chest. “It’s just a movie.”
“A rather sad movie.” Derek smiled and kissed the top of her head.
“Thank you.” she whispered after a while.
“For what?” Derek wanted to know.
Penelope raised her head to look up at him and smiled: “For being here and watching this movie with me when you could have spent the time with your family or some really hot girl.”
Frowning at her he put a strand of golden hair behind her ear and shrugged: “Why should I want to opt for one possibility if I have both right here?!”
A huge smile spread across her face and she felt tears of joy springing to her eyes. Maybe it was just part of their usual banter – but he sounded serious and the look in his eyes made it clear that he was. Besides, these words were by far the most beautiful thing anyone had ever said to her.Penelope laid her head back on his chest and snuggled a little closer. Sighing happily when he wrapped his arms tighter around her she turned her attention back to the movie as a warm and cozy feeling flowed through her body, a feeling she’d been missing since her parents had died, not even feeling it with Kevin. A feeling of belonging and happiness, of family.