Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 24_runes:# 22 Ingwaz (family love, caring, human warmth)
Word count: 2110
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: Part 9/? of the ‘Loser Lynch’ series.warnings: spoilers for season 3
AN: Hi everyone! I know, you’ve been waiting for an update pretty long again (which was a good thing for me because I had many people speculating about what happens next). Well, what can I say? Sometimes life just gets in the way of writing. :)
A special thanks to my beta-reader Gretchen. Sometimes I really think I’m keeping her too busy – but since she hasn’t complained so far, I’m just going on like that. :)
And thank all of you for the wonderful reviews I received! I hope I didn’t miss answering any of them. But if I did I apologize, they were nonetheless very much appreciated. Now I hope you’ll enjoy this chapter!
“What’s wrong with you?” Fran asked and rolled her eyes when Derek once again started to drum his fingers against the steering wheel. “I’ve never seen you this nervous before.”
“I don’t know.” he mumbled. “I have a bad feeling. I shouldn’t have left Penelope alone.”
“Why? Is something wrong?” Fran wanted to know, her voice now filled with concern as well.
“As I said, I don’t know.” Derek sighed. “It’s just a feeling. But… the way she talked to me this morning. She thanked me and hugged me. Then she said it wasn’t my fault and hugged me again. It almost felt like… a goodbye.”
Fran just frowned at that.
“I mean like a goodbye forever.” he specified.
Fran’s eyes widened. “Do you think she’s gonna hurt herself?”
“I don’t know.” Derek sighed in frustration. “If you had asked me that half a year ago I would have said no without even thinking about it. But now I’m not too sure anymore.”
“Let’s drive back.” she suggested uncomfortably shifting in her seat. “Just… just to be sure.”
Derek didn’t need to be told twice. He drove back to his mother’s house as fast as he could. If only this was his goddamn car with a goddamn siren!
He hadn’t even stopped the engine when he jumped out of the car and rushed into the house.
When Fran entered he was already on his way up the stairs from where they could both hear the water swoosh.
“She’s just taking a shower.” Fran explained.
“Baby girl?” Derek called out when they’d reached the door to the bathroom. “Penelope, answer me!”
But still there was nothing except for the constant noise of the running water.
“I’m gonna open that door if you don’t answer
“Derek, you can’t just…” Fran tried to stop him but he’d already turned the doorknob.
The door was locked.
“Come on, baby cakes, open the door or answer me at least!” he called out but again received no answer.
“I’m gonna kick in that door!” he warned. And when she didn’t react to that either he acted on his threat.
The door flew open and if it had been possible Derek would have gone as pale as his mother at the sight in front of him.
Penelope was lying under the shower, fully dressed, her clothes soaking from the running water. She was obviously unconscious, leaning against the wall – and from a large cut in her right forearm the blood seeped out in steady stream and disappeared in the drain.
“Oh, my God!” Fran gasped.
Derek hurried forward, turned off the water and caught Penelope’s lifeless body in his arms. “Call 911!” he yelled at his mother while he ripped his left sleeve into pieces and pressed one of them on Penelope’s wrist in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding.
The minutes went by like hours and Derek could practically feel the life being soaked out of Penelope’s body while he failed to stop the bleeding. Not knowing what else to do he kept swaying her back and forth and pleading with her to not leave him.
“Stay with me, baby girl!” he whispered into her ear. “You can’t leave me now, not like that! Do you hear me? You have to stay with me!”
When the medics finally arrived Derek refused to let go of her until they reminded him a little harshly that they weren’t able to do their job with him being in their way.
“Is she gonna make it?” Derek wanted to know when the medics had lifted her on the litter and were about to carry her out of the house.
“She lost a lot of blood.” the young woman answered. “She needs surgery and certainly a transfusion, more than one actually. We’ll see.”
“I’m gonna go with you.” he stated ready to jump into the ambulance.
“No offense, but I think you should get changed first.” the woman said pointing at his shirt.
Derek looked down to see his shirt soaked with blood, her blood. He stumbled backwards a little and then nodded.
Afraid that he might cause an accident Fran insisted on driving to the hospital – even though she didn’t really feel enough in control to drive herself.
When they arrived at the hospital she feared that her son might hurt one of the nurses or destroy something, he was so beside himself with anger. Especially when nobody seemed to be able to tell him any news about Penelope.
“Please, Derek, calm down!” Fran tried to avert the worst.
He just stared at her almost in disbelief.
“Please” Fran repeated, “you won’t help her if you end up in prison.”
Derek took a deep breath, ran a hand over his face and started pacing the waiting room. “I can’t lose her.” he mumbled more to himself. “Not now, not like that. Not like that.”
“I know.” Fran softly said.
“I shouldn’t have left her alone.” he scolded himself. “I should have stayed with her.”
“She made this decision, Derek.” Fran tried to calm him down. “And if she hadn’t tried it today then maybe tomorrow or another day. This is not your fault.”
He stared at her again. “She said the same.” he replied and ran his hand over his head again. “I should have known what she was up to. I should have known it, I’m a goddamn profiler. I should have…”
“Penelope Garcia?” a doctor announced.
“How is she? Can we see her?” Derek immediately asked.
“She lost a lot of blood.” the doctor informed them. “But thanks to your fast aid she will survive. She needs to stay in the ICU for a few days though.”
“But she will be alright?” Derek insisted.
“Physically, yes.” the doctor nodded.
“Can we see her?” Derek pressed him impatiently.
The doctor frowned: “Are you family?”
“No” Derek sighed, “she doesn’t have any family. I mean, technically we ARE her family or at least the closest to a family she has. Please, I… just let me see her!”
The doctor thought about it for a minute and then nodded briefly: “Follow me, please!”
“Go!” Fran smiled at her son. “Stay with her! I’ll come to look after you tomorrow.”
Nodding Derek followed the doctor into the ICU and the room Penelope was lying in. She seemed to be asleep or maybe she was unconscious.
“You can’t stay here overn…” the doctor tried but the look Derek gave him silenced him. Snorting a little and mumbling something not understandable he left.
Quietly Derek sat down next to her and took her hand in his. He couldn’t believe this had really happened, that she’d really done this. She simply wasn’t the kind of person who committed suicide. At least he’d never thought she was.
Derek kept watch over her refusing to leave her side and waiting for a sign that she was still with him. He got that sign when two days later she slowly opened her eyes. For a moment she seemed puzzled and glanced around as if to find out where she was. And then she turned her head to look at him.
He smiled at her and gently squeezed her hand.
But Penelope closed her eyes and turned her head away from him in response. He shouldn’t have found her in time!
Derek couldn’t remember when the last time something had hurt him so much as this simple movement. He knew that he had lost her. Her attempt to kill herself hadn’t just been a cry for help, she’d really wanted to die.
Not knowing what else to do he leaned his forehead against her arm while his thumb kept stroking the back of her hand. He desperately wanted to help her, but he knew she wouldn’t let him. She wouldn’t let him comfort her anymore.
But he wasn’t willing to give up that easily! He couldn’t let that happen! He couldn’t just give her up! There had to be a way to help her, to get her back and to revive her will to live. And Derek wouldn’t rest until he’d found that way.
So he refused to leave her side no matter how long she ignored him. The nurses came to change her bandages and give her some medicine to sleep. They transferred her from the ICU into a normal room and he stayed with her.
After three more days she finally seemed to have enough. She turned her head to give him an angry look. “Go, Derek!” she commanded. “Leave me alone!”
Okay, she was just looking at him and talking to him because she wanted him to leave her alone. But at least she was reacting to his presence at all. That was a start.
“Sorry, sweetness, you know
Mumbling something he couldn’t understand Penelope got up and walked to the door opening it for him. “Go! Now!” she commanded. “And stop calling me pet names!”
Sighing Derek stepped in front of her and gently shut the door again. He was stronger than her so she didn’t even try to keep him from doing so. “Sorry, but I won’t go.” he said earnestly.
“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” she whispered.
When Derek noticed her starting to shake he knew that she was close to the breakdown Hotch had expected much earlier. So he took a step forward and tried to catch her in his arms.
“No!” Penelope yelled at him and tried to push him away and break free from his embrace. “Leave me alone! I don’t need you to pity me! I don’t need your comfort! Go away!”
He didn’t say anything but didn’t lessen his hold on her either.
“I hate you!” she yelled and started to beat his chest as hard as she could. “Leave me alone!”
He ignored the punches and her words and just pulled her closer using as much force as possible without hurting her in any way.
Eventually she gave up on punching him and instead held onto him as if her life depended on it. She slid to the floor as she broke into a flood of tears. “I hate you.” she sobbed. “Why do you always have to be right?”
“I wish I’d been wrong.” Derek whispered and kissed the top of her head. Then he gently lifted her up and carried her back to the bed where he laid down with Penelope in his arms. He didn’t care if this was allowed or not, should they try and kick him out! He wouldn’t let go of her, never again.
She buried her face in his chest and cried for what seemed like an eternity to both of them.
And once again he felt helpless. He didn’t know what else to do than hold her and whisper comforting words to her that completely seemed to fail to have any effect. But at least she wasn’t fighting him anymore. And as much as he hated to see her cry at least it was an emotion and that was better than the empty shell she’d been for the past weeks.
So Derek just wrapped his arms tightly around her, pulled her as close to his body as humanly possible and waited for this breakdown to be over. He wouldn’t let go of her, he wouldn’t give her up no matter what. And he could at least try and make Penelope understand that.
When the nurse entered the room that evening to give Penelope her sleeping pills she frowned at the scene in front of her. Agent Morgan was lying on his back, Agent Garcia almost on top of him, his arms wrapped tightly around her and her head resting on his chest. They were both fast asleep.
For a moment the nurse considered calling a male nurse to wake them up and make Agent Morgan leave the bed – something she absolutely didn’t want to try on her own. But then she decided against it and just closed the door behind her.
It wouldn’t have been a successful attempt anyway. During the past days Agent Morgan had yelled at each and every person in this building – except for the woman he protected like a lion that protected its cub. They sure as hell wouldn’t have been able to make him leave the bed without the use of violence. And that certainly wouldn’t do anyone any good.Besides it was the first time since Agent Garcia had woken up after the surgery that she had fallen asleep without any pills. Maybe this was a start. After all, nothing could be as curative as love.