Title: Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking – part 22
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: Definitely fluff again! :)
AN: A big thanks to Gretchen for being such an awesome beta-reader! I kept her very busy recently but she never ever complains. :)
And a big thanks to all of you who reviewed – especially for waiting so patiently for the update. I hope it was worth the wait. Now I hope you’ll enjoy this chapter!
Derek had tried his best to convince her that she needed to go home and get some rest. But Penelope had insisted they go to the hospital first to check on Richard. So here he was, standing at the reception desk while Penelope was questioning the nurse about any news.
“If you aren’t family…” the nurse started once again.
“Look” Penelope interrupted her, “the only family he’s got is his wife who is pregnant and not allowed to get up until it’s safe for her baby to be born – so she can’t come here. I would at least like to tell her how her husband is so that she won’t completely freak when I tell her that he was shot.”
“I understand that.” the nurse sighed. “But still I can’t…”
Penelope leaned forward a little and lowered her voice so that only the nurse could hear her. That was it, Derek smiled to himself.
“Okay, we can play this game here forever” Penelope said, “or I can just hack your computer, get the information I want and mess with your system a little because you weren’t the least bit cooperative. I wonder how long it might take you to fix things if I delete some of your programs or maybe just some files depending on the mood I’m in. It’s up to you.”
“You can’t…” the nurse stumbled but the look on Penelope’s face told her that the blonde could and would do what she’d just said. “Okay.” the nurse finally gave in. “I’ll… I’ll call the doctor. Mr. Goodman’s in room 432. You take the elevator to the fourth floor, then turn right and it’s the last door on the left.”
“Thank you.” Penelope smiled at the woman and then linked arms with Derek following the nurse’s instructions.
When they came near the large glass door leading into Richard’s room Derek felt Penelope’s grip tighten – and his heart as well. Only a few months back she’d been the one lying in such a room with all the wires attached to her and all the medical equipment surrounding her. And it had been close today, very close, to her ending up in the next room.
Derek squeezed her hand and placed a comforting kiss on her temple. Then they stepped in.
“Hey.” Richard greeted a little huskily. “You’re alright?”
“Yes.” Penelope leaned down to kiss his cheek and wiped a tear from her eye. “Thanks to you.”
“Was worth it, I guess.” he chuckled causing her to blush a little. Richard examined Penelope closely and when he noticed her shiver he wanted to know: “So I figure you caught the guy, right?”
“Yeah, he gave up, kind of.” she replied. “I mean, he had to after you shot him.”
Richard frowned: “Is he dead?”
“No, he’s two floors up.” Derek told him. “He lost a lot of blood but he’ll make it. He’s under arrest, of course. Once he’s healed they’ll press charges.”
“Good to know.” Richard closed his eyes for a moment. Then suddenly his eyes flew open and he’d certainly jumped out of the bed – not really a good idea considering his condition – if Penelope hadn’t placed both her hands on his shoulders to keep him from doing so. “Oh, my God!” he exclaimed. “How’s Melissa?”
“We haven’t talked to her yet.” Penelope replied. “We wanted to check on you first so we can give her some information about your condition.”
Sighing Richard rolled his eyes: “She’s gonna kill me if she finds out that I was shot.”
“I’ll tell her that you saved my life.” Penelope smiled at him. “I hope that’ll calm her down.”
“But still I can’t stay here.” he stated and wanted to jump up again.
“Hey, easy, buddy.” Derek scolded him. “You won’t get outta here any sooner if you rip your stitches.”
“I know.” he moaned and let himself sink back against the pillow. “But you don’t understand that. Melissa isn’t allowed to get up. She needs someone to take care of her. She can call her parents, of course, but it’ll take them at least a day to be here and until then she’s on her own. I mean, a few hours, okay, but more than a day?! That’s impossible, if she stands up and walks around too much…”
“Richard” Penelope softly interrupted him, “stop worrying and concentrate on getting better! I’ll call your in-laws and explain the situation to them.”
“But…” he tried to protest.
But Penelope continued: “And I’ll stay with Melissa until they arrive, I promise.”
“You’d do that?” he asked obviously touched by the offer.
“That’s the least I can do.” Penelope smiled at him. “I owe you.”
“No, you don’t.” he objected. “Seriously, I’d do that again if I had to. And I didn’t just…”
“Relax, buddy.” Derek chuckled. “She would have offered that anyway even if you hadn’t saved her life.”
“Oh, well, thank you.” he smiled at them.
“Get some rest!” Penelope advised and bowed out. “You need to get better as soon as possible.”
When Penelope had left the room Derek turned around once more before he followed her and said with all seriousness: “Thank you, man! I owe you, I really do.” Then he nodded his head goodbye and left as well.
As Richard had predicted Melissa freaked when she heard that her husband had been shot – and who could blame her for that?
“Melissa, calm down!” Penelope begged. “He’s alive and he’ll be fine in no time at all.”
Melissa held her breath and stared at the other woman for a moment before she let it out in an insecure sigh and whispered: “Really?”
“Yes, I promise.” Penelope smiled at her.
“How… How did it happen?” she wanted to know as she settled back against the pillows on her bed.
“He tried to thwart an attempted kidnapping.” Derek told her. “And the kidnapper shot him. But your husband got a pretty good shot at the kidnapper as well.”
“Oh, my God! Whom did they want to kidnap?” Melissa gasped.
“Me.” Penelope admitted calmly and gave her a soft smile. For a moment the room was dead silent before Penelope added: “Richard saved my life.”
“Oh.” was all Melissa said before she burst into tears.
Penelope put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “He’s gonna be alright and back here with you very soon.” she assured her. “I’ll call your parents and ask them to come here and look after you. Until they arrive, I fear you have to deal with me.”
“Us.” Derek added and before Penelope could object he continued: “Just in case you need someone to lift you up off the bed or anything.”
This however caused Melissa to blush and she sniffled a ‘thank you’ before she sank back against the pillows once more and closed her eyes.
Silently they walked outside and left the door ajar so they could hear Melissa if she needed anything.
“You really don’t have to stay.” Penelope said once they were in the living room.
“Don’t even think about sending me away!” Derek softly scolded her as he pulled her into a tight embrace.
With a contented sigh she relaxed in his arms, leaned her head against his chest and closed her eyes.
“I came close to losing you today” Derek whispered into her hair, “too close. And I’m not going anywhere without you tonight.”
“You need to take care of Clooney.” she reminded him.
“I called Reid.” he replied and wrapped his arms tighter around her. “As I said I’m not gonna leave you alone.”
“Kevin won’t come after me again.” Penelope argued even though she had absolutely no intention of letting their embrace end anytime soon. “I’m safe.”
“I know.” Derek nodded and kissed the top of her head.
Penelope didn’t let go and for a long time they just held each other. Then she raised her head to look at him and asked: “Can we call your mom and your sisters?”
“Sure” Derek frowned at her, “but I don’t think we should tell them what happened today.”
“That was not why I wanted to call them.” she told him.
This just confused him more instead of clarifying anything. Penelope could tell that from the look on his face so she explained: “I came very close to losing you today as well, and losing all we have. And I realized that maybe we took too much time. I mean, we don’t even have a date for the wedding and…”
“What about the seventh of July?” he asked. “That’s a nice date and we still have plenty of time for the preparation.”
“No” she quickly objected, “you misunderstood me. I don’t just want to have a date for the wedding. I want to get married as soon as possible.”
“Next week.” she told him. “And I want to ask your mom and your sisters if they can make it in time and maybe help us a little.”
Grinning Derek fished out his cell phone and flipped it open.
Of course, his sisters freaked with joy – as well as Fran, but she concealed it a whole lot better – and of course they arrived the next day and took almost all the preparations into their own hands. Of course, Derek and Penelope were still involved.
Being completely wrapped up with work and the preparations for their wedding, they hardly got any time on their own anymore. But neither of them regretted the decision they’d made. Getting married as soon as possible meant friends and family interfering in their preparations for one week – and not for a month or so if they’d planned it in a longer term.
Sighing Derek let himself drop down on the couch and put his arm around his beautiful very-soon-to-be wife. He was grateful that for the first time in two and a half days his mom and sisters had gone shopping without taking Penelope with them – which meant he was allowed to spend some time on his own with his goddess.
“Are they driving you insane already?” she giggled.
“Yeah, and it only took them two days.” he grumbled rolling his eyes.
“Aw, don’t be so mean!” Penelope scolded him and playfully slapped his chest. “I like having them around.”
“I know.” Derek smiled at her, a smile that quickly turned from warm to somewhat naughty and he added: “But I’d love to have you all to myself again.”
That statement made Penelope giggle as she leaned closer to her chocolate god herself taking in the scent of him deeply.
He gently took her hand in his, raised it to his lips and started to nibble on a special spot on her wrist he’d found just some days ago causing her eyes to flutter shut. He knew that his sisters could come back any minute, but he simply wasn’t able to stop. After all, they’d had to do almost three days without considerably much time for themselves.
They both let out a soft sigh as their lips met for the first time in what seemed like ages.
“Hm… I missed you, Goddess.” he whispered against her lips and pulled her closer.
“I missed you, too, Sweetness.” she replied in a low voice and willingly climbed onto his lap.
Smiling he leaned down to nibble her neck once again and Penelope wrapped both her arms around his neck. And that was the exact moment the door to his apartment flew open and they heard a familiar giggle before Sarah scolded: “Hey, behave, you not-yet-married ones!”
“Very funny.” Derek grumbled and most definitely grudgingly let go of Penelope who quickly got off his lap.
“Get up and help me with dinner, baby brother!” Des told him as his two sisters disappeared in his kitchen.
Derek just grumbled.
“Come on” Penelope gave him a warm and hopefully comforting smile, “we wouldn’t be able to get married so soon without their help.”
“I know.” he sighed and grabbed her hand entwining his fingers with hers. “But I’d love to be able to spend some time with you – alone.” Smiling he placed a gentle kiss at the back of her hand. “That’s why I want to get you out of here tomorrow for a little trip.”
Her face lit up considerably: “Where will we go?”
The smile on Derek’s face became a little mysterious as he replied: “That’s the surprise.”
Penelope’s eyes widened and then she grinned at him. “Wh…” she started.
But Derek quickly cut her off: “I’m not going to tell you, baby girl. If I did it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore.”
Penelope didn’t get to argue with him about it because Des and Sarah called for them from the kitchen. Des tied an apron round the hips of a loudly protesting Derek and Sarah grabbed Penelope’s hand and pulled the younger woman with her to the bedroom.
“So” she said conspiratorially, “you have something old.”
“The bridal dress.” Penelope nodded. “It’s my mom’s. But I still…”
“Mom didn’t go shopping with us. Instead she changed the dress for you already.” Sarah interrupted her very well knowing what Penelope wanted to say. “She’ll come by later today for you to try it on.”
She didn’t know what to say but wiped a tear from her eye. That was the most beautiful thing that anyone had ever done for her, Penelope thought.
“And you have something new.” Sarah continued.
“My shoes.” Penelope agreed. She smiled at the remembrance of how they’d spent the whole day in town yesterday looking for exactly these shoes.
“And you have something borrowed.” Sarah told her and grinned as she held out some ear rings for Penelope.
“Really?” she squealed and took the silvery pieces of jewelry from Sarah smiling at the small diamonds in the shape of a heart.
“Sure.” Sarah grinned. Penelope had paid her compliments about the ear rings and told her how much she liked them. Besides Sarah knew that Penelope’s jewelry didn’t really go with a bridal dress.
“Thank you.” she smiled emotionally and pulled her soon-to-be sister-in-law into a tight embrace.
“You’re most welcome.” Sarah hugged her back and smiled to herself. Penelope would love her wedding gift.
“But you still need something blue.” Sarah reminded her when they pulled back. “And I have a very good idea what you can wear.”
The wide grin on Sarah’s face made Penelope feel slightly uncomfortable. She wasn’t sure she was going to like what the older woman was thinking of. And when Sarah pulled the blue item out of her pocket and held it out for her Penelope blushed.
“Come on” Sarah giggled, “it’s blue and it won’t be seen under your dress.”
“I don’t know…” Penelope mumbled insecurely.
“Besides, Derek’s gonna love this.” Sarah waggled her eyebrows causing Penelope to giggle as well as she took the garter from Sarah.
“Okay, so tomorrow we’re gonna talk to the catering service and order the flower arrangement.” Sarah said.
“Oh, well, I… I don’t think I’ll have time for that tomorrow.” Penelope mumbled. When Sarah gave her a puzzled look she explained: “You know, Derek wants to take me out somewhere. He didn’t say anything specific, just that it’s a surprise.”
“Oooh” Sarah grinned at her, “well, then Des and me will take care of that.”
“Really, I can’t ask you to do that.” Penelope argued.
“You’re not asking us.” Sarah shrugged. “We like to do that. So don’t worry, enjoy your day with my brother and let us worry about the rest. I bet he just wanted to finally be alone with you.” she giggled.And Penelope blushed once more.