Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 10iloveyou: #1 Always
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 4/10 of the
Penelope took a deep breath, then knocked on the door to the address she’d found with a little help from her babies. She was excited – to say the least. What would he say? Would he be glad she came? Or would he be mad at her?
The door opened, and someone frowned at her. “Yes?”
Okay, that was so not Morgan. It was a woman, certainly his mother – if it was even the right house. Crap!
“Miss? What can I do for you?” the voice asked a bit impatiently when Penelope didn’t answer.
“I… I’m sorry, Ma’am,” Penelope finally found her voice again. “I… am looking for Derek… um, Agent Morgan.”
“He’s… not available,” the woman sighed.
Okay, so at least she’d obviously found the right house. It was Penelope’s turn to frown when she heard a noise coming from inside the house, and a voice that sounded incredibly similar to Derek’s swearing.
“Can you tell me where I can find him?” she asked, trying to be patient.
“I’m sorry, but he doesn’t want to see anyone,” the woman replied and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
Penelope sighed. She hadn’t come here to be dismissed before she’d even seen him. And she definitely wasn’t going to give up that easily. “Look, I’m sorry if this is the wrong moment, but I flew all the way over here because I really need to talk to him. So would you mind…”
Fran Morgan’s face became stern, making her look like she was ready to kill someone. “Listen, young lady, my son is in very bad shape. I don’t care if he broke your heart and left you high and dry. The last thing he needs is some ex-girlfriend getting to him.”
Ex-girlfriend?! Penelope’s eyes widened. Did Fran Morgan actually think that Derek would date someone like her? “Mrs. Morgan… Ma’am…” she stuttered. “I’m sorry, really, I didn’t mean to… I’m not… Derek’s… I’m one of his co-workers and…”
“No!” Fran harshly interrupted her, making Penelope jump slightly. “If this is work-related again, I’m gonna take disciplinary action against you. I told you he’s in bad shape, so why can’t you leave him alone for a single day?!”
Penelope took a deep breath. If Derek’s mother was this upset, it had to be even worse than Penelope had feared. She anxiously shifted from one foot to the other. “Ma’am, I’m also Derek’s friend, and I assure you, this visit was never supposed to be work-related. I was just worried about him, because he hasn’t called and… How bad is he?”
Mrs. Morgan sighed again and let her head sink. “No, I’m sorry.” she replied, her voice much softer now. “You must be Penelope.”
Okay now, that was really strange. How did she know that? Slowly, Penelope nodded.
“How do I know? Well, Derek has told me a lot about you, and I know he’s been calling you almost every night.” Fran smiled at the stunned look on Penelope’s face. “Why don’t you come in now, please?” she suggested and stepped aside.
“So… it’s bad,” Penelope tried again as she accepted Fran’s invitation and stepped inside the house.
Fran nodded sadly. “He’s… I don’t know, I’ve never seen him like this before. Something must have happened, probably connected with the case he’s working on. But he doesn’t talk to me.”
“Ma’am, can I try and talk to him, please?” Penelope asked softly, hoping she could keep the impatience out of her voice. She was feeling more and more worried every second that went by. “I know you’re his mother, and if he doesn’t talk to you, he certainly won’t talk to me. But I can’t leave without at least having tried.”
“I’m really not sure I should let you…” She was interrupted by a loud sound coming from the second floor.
“He’s tearing up his room, huh?” Penelope asked, giving Derek’s mother a knowing look. “I really think you should let me see him. I… I don’t know, maybe he’ll talk to me.”
Another sound from upstairs, as if he’d just knocked over a wardrobe, made Fran jump. She closed her eyes for a moment, weighing her options, and then sighed. “Alright.”
Finally! Penelope sighed with relief. Carefully, she followed the older woman up the stairs, past a small bathroom, towards the second room on the right. When she looked inside, she saw complete chaos, knocked over cabinets, and chairs lying all over the floor.
“Wow,” Penelope commented as she took in the scene in front of her. “You know you’re gonna have to clean that up, right?”
Derek stopped at the sound of her voice, and slowly turned to stare at her. For a second, which seemed to Penelope to last an hour, he didn’t say a word, didn’t move, didn’t even seem to breathe.
Feeling a lump in her throat, Penelope swallowed hard and tried to give him a smile. He was mad at her. He hadn’t wanted her to come here, and he didn’t seem the least bit glad to see her. Well, she was here nonetheless, and she needed to try and make the best of the situation. “Hey, handsome,” she greeted happily. “Did you miss me?”
It happened so fast that Penelope’s breath hitched. In an instant, Derek had crossed the distance between them and pulled her into such a tight embrace that he was almost crushing her. He buried his face in her hair as he took one deep breath after the other and… was he actually shaking?!
“It’s okay, baby,” Penelope whispered into his ear. “It’s all gonna be okay.”
Derek couldn’t believe she’d done that, for him. She’d flown all the way to
Besides, he must have sounded pretty desperate the last time he’d called her; and then he had stopped calling her at all. She didn’t need to be a profiler to figure out that something was seriously wrong with him.
“Come on, let’s sit down,” Penelope said softly, leading him to the bed.
All the while walking and sitting down with her Derek kept holding his Baby Girl’s hands. He refused to let go of her, and when they were settled, he pulled her close to him again. He just needed to feel her, smell her. He couldn’t get close enough.
Derek wondered if she had any idea how good it felt to hold her; how intoxicating her smell was to him, and how good the hands gently stroking his back felt. All he wanted at that moment was to touch her, be touched by her. To just feel her.
He’d never felt anything like this before. This was so much more than the mere physical attraction he used to feel for the women in his life. His whole body was aching with a need Derek hadn’t known he was capable of feeling.
Maybe it would have been better had she not come here. Not that he’d never thought about her this way. But he’d always known this, between them, was out of the question. She’d never do this normally. However, she would do it for him now, and he was sure of that.
“Now tell me!” Penelope commanded softly. She placed her hands on both sides of his face and made him look in her eyes. “Tell me what you’ve been keeping from all of us!”
Sighing, Derek leaned his forehead against hers and hesitated for a few seconds. He noticed his mother closing the door to his room behind her. Only then did he reach into the bedside table drawer and pull out a note, neatly wrapped in an evidence bag.
“He left this with one of the bodies,” he said as he handed the note to Penelope.
She read the line and closed her eyes for a moment. Remember what it’s like?
“They started to ask questions when they found the message and I… I had to tell them.” Derek ran a hand over his face. “Now they want me to talk to Buford, because they think he might know something.”
Penelope opened her mouth to tell him that he didn’t have to do it. But she knew differently.
“I do remember,” Derek whispered. “I remember every time we’re dealing with a case like this. But this time it’s different. I… The feeling’s much stronger this time, and I just… no matter how hard I try, I can’t wash it off, you know? Nothing helps. And I… I feel like I’m losing it. I know I shouldn’t identify with the victims, but… I am a victim.”
“No, you’re not!” Penelope harshly objected. “You survived, Derek!”
“But I know what they felt when…” he bit his lip. He simply couldn’t say the words. “I will never forget what he did to me, and sometimes – almost always – I can still feel him.”
Penelope nodded and wrapped her arms back around him. “Let me try and take care of you.”
“I love you, Baby Girl,” he mumbled into her hair as he snuggled up to her as much as humanly possible, “and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’re here. But I fear even you can’t make it better this time.”
But she had to! She hadn’t come here just to watch him suffer, and not be able to do anything about it!
Closing her eyes to keep the tears that were forming in them from running down her cheeks, Penelope tried to think of a possibility to help Derek. I can’t wash it off. His words echoed in her head, and suddenly she had an idea. It was crazy, absolutely crazy. But maybe it was a way to help him – and she’d do anything for him. She’d sworn to herself that she’d always be there for Derek, as he was always there for her.“Come on!” she softly commanded. She pulled him to his feet, then to the bathroom. She took a deep breath and turned her back on him. “Get in the shower!”