little_profiler (little_profiler) wrote,

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Title: Worried

Fandom: Criminal Minds

Pairing: Morgan/Garcia

Table: Time

Prompt for [info]10iloveyou: #2 Minutes

Rating: K

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 3/10 of the Chicago series.

warnings: none

AN: Can you believe it, I really finished my exam paper. And now I have to wait until June to get the results. I know, it sounds weird, but the German law wants it that way. Anyways, I’m over and done with it since last Wednesday. But did my life get any less hectic? Yeah, you know the answer.

I was asked to write a newspaper article and a little play. Besides I want to write a song for my mother. Well, not exactly, I take a song and write new lyrics. It’s for her birthday. Unfortunately, since I finished writing my exam paper I can’t seem to write anything at all. But it’ll come back, I’m sure it will.

Thank you for everyone who reviewed my ‘older’ stories recently or added any of them to their favorites and/or alert list. It means a lot to me, especially when I feel like everything else is going wrong. So thank you and please, hang in there with me. I haven’t forgotten about any of my stories, it just might take me forever to update.

And a big thanks to my beta-reader Gretchen who always understands what I want to say even if I mess it up completely.

Now I hope you enjoy this chapter and I also hope that you won’t have to wait that long for the next update. Oh, and if you meet my muse, ask her to come back to me, okay?

The phone rang almost two minutes and Penelope was starting to get even more worried. It was the fifth time that day that she called him – and the fifth time he didn’t pick up. She remembered their talk the other night, how distraught he’d sounded. Him not answering his phone right now just fueled her fears.

Sighing she waited for the beep. “Derek, it’s me again. Please, call if you get this message, okay. I’m worried about you. Love you.”

He’d called her at least five times every day and they hardly talked about work. And he’d sounded even more hopeless each time he called. He identified too much with the victims and Penelope knew that. But she had the feeling that there was something else, something he was keeping from her.

And she knew that he needed her and she needed to be with him and to make sure that he was gonna come out of this unscathed.

It took her not even one minute to find the next best flight to Chicago. He didn’t want to talk to her? Well, she wouldn’t give him another choice then. It wasn’t that she wanted to take control over his life or anything. But from his behavior especially during the past three or four days Penelope could tell that something was terribly wrong with him. He’d called her every night. Apparently, he couldn’t sleep anymore unless she talked him into sleep.

Now, all she needed to do was convince Hotch that she absolutely had no other choice than flying to Chicago herself to make sure that Derek was alright and that he could handle this case. Because at the moment everything looked like he couldn’t.

Penelope stood up and stormed out of her office and right to Hotch’s door. Taking a deep breath she knocked on his door and waited for him to call her in all the while hoping that if she told him that she’d already booked a flight to Chicago it would be easier to convince him to let her go.

“Come in.” she heard the stern voice from inside and took another deep breath before entering his office.

“Penelope.” she was surprised by the use of her first name but then reminded herself that Hotch was the master of profilers after all. He could most certainly read it all over her face that something was wrong and used the more personal salutation to make her feel more comfortable.

She gave him a small and a little nervous smile in return.

“Have a seat!” Hotch said pointing at the chair on the other side of his desk. He could tell from Penelope’s behavior that something was wrong and that she had a request she wasn’t sure he would approve. Given the latest events it certainly was about Derek.

“Thank you… Sir.” she replied visibly nervous as she claimed the seat and looked down to where her hands were fidgeting with the hem of her skirt. She just wasn’t sure how to tell him why she’d come here.

“What can I do for you?” he inquired when Penelope remained silent.

She looked up at him almost in shock and then swallowed before she replied quietly: “It’s about Derek.”

Hotch leaned forward a bit giving her an encouraging smile to make her go on. He’d figured that much already but wasn’t sure yet what exactly it was that she wanted from him.

“Well, you know that he’s… taking this case kinda hard.” she sighed and looked down again. “I know that maybe… this isn’t all that… serious but… well, to be honest I’m worried about him. Last time we talked it sounded like he was taking something about the case personal. I tried to get him to talk to me but he refused so I let it go.”

Hotch smiled slightly. It seemed that now that Penelope had finally found the courage to start talking she couldn’t stop anymore so she was talking her head off.

“You know, maybe it’s nothing and I’m just worrying too much. But I have a feeling that maybe he can’t handle this case.” she went on. She just needed to get this over with. “I mean, I know that this case is important and you can’t just call him back. He probably wouldn’t let you anyways. We both know that. But I… I don’t know. It’s just that I have to make sure…”

“Go!” Hotch softly interrupted her sure she wouldn’t be getting to the point anytime soon. He wasn’t entirely sure yet that she really wanted to ask him for some time off to fly to Chicago and check on Derek herself. But everything in her behavior and her speech pointed in that direction.

And who knew. Maybe it was better for both of them. After all there was something special between Derek and Penelope, some bonding Derek seemed to have with no one else, not even his family.

Hotch had also noticed that something was wrong about Derek a few weeks after he’d started working this case. He’d tried to address the matter, even tried to convince him to come back. But he hadn’t been successful on any of the attempts. Maybe he would open up to Penelope. He had done it before after all.

Penelope blinked at her boss. Had she understood him right? Did that word mean that she had his approval to fly to Chicago and check on Derek?

“As far as I know you still have some personal time coming to you.” Hotch added when Penelope didn’t say anything in return. “So you can take as much time as you’ll need to… get things straightened out.”

“Thank you, Sir.” Penelope sighed with relief and smiled at him. “I promise to keep you updated and, of course, I can still work on my laptop.”

“Of course.” he affirmed. “Now go. Your flight will take off soon, I suppose?”

She just nodded and bowed out. Sometimes it was frightening how well Hotch could obviously read her.

When she took a look at her watch she noticed that her talk to Hotch hadn’t even taken twenty minutes. And it certainly would have gone a lot faster if she hadn’t tried to beat about the bush. So she made a mental note to get straight to the point next time.

But nonetheless she only had another fifty minutes until her flight took off – leaving only twenty minutes for her to shut her babies down and get to the airport. Thank goodness she at least had her ready back in Esther’s trunk!

Fortunately, the traffic wasn’t all that bad around this time of day so that Penelope even had a few minutes to get herself a frappuccino before checking in. It took only ten minutes for her to get through the security check and another five minutes to find her seat and get comfortable in it. All the while she was absolutely sure about what she was doing.

Until fourteen minutes later they had to fasten their seatbelts and the plane started to roll over the runway. Suddenly doubts sneaked into her mind. What if Derek didn’t want to see her, didn’t want to talk to her? What if he was mad at her for coming to Chicago uninvited?

Penelope took a deep breath and closed her eyes. It was too late for her worries anyways. And in about one and a half hours she’d have the answers.
Tags: 10_i_love_you_challenge, morgan/garcia, story_chicago
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