Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_sweets: #13 Shut up!!!
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/? of the ‘No more sweets’ series. Derek starts to suspect that there’s something wrong with Penelope. But he can’t quite put his finger on it.
When Penelope stepped into her office, she frowned. Something was lying on her chair.
Carefully, she stepped closer. Maybe she should call security, since someone had obviously broken into her office. Only Derek knew where she kept her extra keys – and he’d been on a case for three days.
She sighed as she identified the thing on the chair as a box of her favorite chocolate. It must have been Derek. He probably sent someone up here to place the box on her chair for him. Why did he always have to do that? She’d just gotten rid of the other box he’d brought to her place the day when he came over to see her in the new dress.
God, and how this dress had fit her! With a contented smile, Penelope remembered all the flattering things Derek had said to her that day, then booted up her computers. She sighed again as reality hit her. If only he meant all those wonderful things he said to her. If only he meant that she was the most beautiful, sexiest woman in the world to him.
Yeah, fat chance of that – in the truest sense of the word. Maybe if she lost some more weight, if she managed to lose another five pounds. Would he even notice? Probably not; he didn’t look at her that way. He didn’t care one bit about her body.
Sighing, she put the box of chocolate into one of her desk drawers. She’d managed to resist eating one piece of the other box. She’d given it to Eddie, the guard at the entrance of the FBI building. She would give this one to Fred, his partner, so he could give it to his fiancée. If the box was lying around here all day, she couldn’t guarantee anything, so she had to put it out of sight.
It felt good to resist the urge to rip the box open and enjoy the sweet taste of the chocolate. It felt just as good to resist the urge to eat every day. At first, it had been hard. Penelope hadn’t known how to handle the hunger, so strong that it was almost painful. After awhile, her body apparently had forgotten about it. She didn’t feel hungry anymore.
The problem was, she hadn’t lost as much weight as she’d thought she would. Her body seemed to slowly reduce it’s functions. She felt dizzy, and even Hotch had noticed that she was looking pale.
The incoming call interrupted her thoughts, and Penelope put on the best smile she could manage before she pressed the key to answer the call.
Derek’s grinning face appeared on the screen. “Hey, girl.”
“Hey, yourself,” Penelope smiled at him. “How’s it going?”
Instead of answering, Derek leaned a bit closer to the screen and examined Penelope’s pale face and her dark eyes. “Are you alright?” he asked. “You look exhausted.”
“I’m fine,” she put him off, “now tell me about the unsub. Did you catch him?”
“Baby Girl, have you slept at all lately?” Derek insisted.
Penelope rolled her eyes before answering. “Derek, I’m fine.”
“You look like you’ve lost some weight lately,” he stated.
Penelope felt flattered for a moment. She’d never thought he would notice, considering she’d lost only a few pounds. Then she sighed when she heard Derek ask, “Have you had a lack of appetite? Maybe you should go see a doctor.”
“Derek, shut up! I’m fine, okay?!” she told him a little more harshly than she’d intended to.
“Whoa, I was just worried about you, sweetness,” he raised his hands defensively.
“I know,” Penelope sighed and kneaded the back of her nose, “I’m sorry. I’m fine, Derek, really, just a bit tired.”
“Okay.” He nodded to tell her that he would let it be – for the moment.
“So,” she took a deep breath and smiled at him again in an attempt to bring back the blithe mood that had been between them before, “will you tell me now how the case is going?”
“Well, pretty good since you found out how this sicko chose his victims,” Derek grinned at her. “Rossi and Hotch are questioning him at the moment. It’s only a matter of time until he confesses.”
“What if he doesn’t?” she wanted to know.
Derek just shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. We have so much evidence that every jury in this world would find him guilty. All thanks to the goddess of brilliance and beauty.”
“Oh, it wasn’t all that hard,” Penelope put him off. “I mean, after I had this idea that maybe they all had some skeletons in their closets… Who would have thought that he was killing people because they cheated on their spouses?”
“We’d never have guessed,” Derek affirmed, rewarding her deliberations with the appreciative look she loved receiving so much. “And that definitely earns you some tiramisu, Baby Girl.”
“I’d prefer a movie,” she shrugged. It had no calories, and if she was lucky, she might get some cuddling, too.
“Since you just helped us crack the case, it totally earns you both,” Derek smiled at her.
“So you’re heading back soon?” Penelope changed the topic. She’d convince Derek later that she only wanted a movie and some cuddling.
“Probably tomorrow,” Derek nodded, then grinned mischievously, “and my mom and sisters are still looking forward to meeting you.”
Penelope swallowed the lump that was forming in her throat, and tried to give Derek a smile. “When’s this memorable evening supposed to take place?”
“Nervous?” he winked at her.
“Nah, piece of cake,” Penelope put him off. She was nervous as hell! What would his family think if he introduced them to a woman like her?! Oh, well, it certainly wouldn’t take him long to explain that there was nothing going on between the two of them.
“Do you have something to wear for that occasion, or am I allowed to pick out something for you?” he asked and waggled his eyebrows at her.
“What, do you think my wardrobe is not presentable enough for your family?” she frowned at him.
“No, I just thought it could be fun to pick out something else for you,” he shrugged nonchalantly, then leaned a little closer. “But if you don’t need another dress, how about some lingerie?”
Penelope gasped, then almost shouted, “There is absolutely no way on Earth I’d ever let you pick out lingerie for me, mister!”
“Why not?” he pouted. “You said it yourself, I made a good choice with the dress.”
“Yeah…” she admitted. A dress was one thing…
When Derek noticed their conversation wasn’t flirty anymore, but really making Penelope uncomfortable, he decided to change the subject. “My mom and sisters are staying for another couple of days. Fortunately, they weren’t too mad at me about the case getting in the way.”
“Well, your mom was married to a cop after all,” Penelope reminded him, happy about the change of topic. “She most definitely knows to have a plan B for every night she plans on spending with you.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” he chuckled, “but they won’t let us get away a second time.”
Getting away was exactly what she wanted. Penelope sighed. She’d been glad about the case preventing her from meeting Derek’s family. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to meet them. She’d envied the rest of the team when they actually had the opportunity to do so.
Still, meeting them for dinner in a restaurant seamed very… official. And that was exactly the problem. What if Derek’s family didn’t like her? Penelope sighed again. If only she’d lost some more weight already. Her current appearance just wasn’t presentable, especially not to Derek’s family! He shouldn’t have to introduce such a fat girl to them.
“Hey, girl,” Derek interrupted her thoughts, “what’s on your mind?”
“Nothing,” she lied.
Derek frowned. No quipping comment, no teasing, no ‘I was reconsidering your offer to buy me another dress’? “Baby, are you sure you’re alright?”Of course, Derek was too caring to simply let it go; and as much as she enjoyed that feature most of the time, sometimes she wished he wasn’t. Penelope rolled her eyes once more. “Would you please just stop already?”