Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_sweets: #8 Flying colors
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 5/? of the ‘No more sweets’ series. The date Derek takes his baby girl to doesn’t go quite the way he wanted it to.
AN: Thank you once again to everyone! It’s amazing how many reviews I received and how many people put my stories on their favorite’s or alert lists. It’s really flattering!
I like writing, because I love to tell stories. But the wonderful reviews I receive and the encouraging words are what makes me keep writing, and they make my muse stay with me. :)
Also, a big thank you to my beta-reader Jenny. Without her, the stories would be less enjoyable. ;)
Now, here’s the next chapter. Enjoy!
“Come on, Baby Girl, you look great!” Derek told her for the hundredth or so time. In fact, she looked amazing, and he had no idea what her problem was.
“Don’t you think it’s too…” She sighed and let her hands drop to her side as she walked out of the bathroom.
“I think it’s perfect,” Derek told her honestly. “You are perfect. My family’s gonna love you.”
“I don’t know,” Penelope mumbled, examining herself in the mirror again. “Maybe I should wear the black dress.” Black makes you look more slender…
“You look perfect,” Derek repeated, and stepped behind her. “This color is my favorite, because it suits you best. You look absolutely great! Now let’s go!”
Penelope protested a little when Derek dragged her towards the door. Still, she knew she had to meet Derek’s family. She couldn’t delay it any longer. Not that she didn’t want to meet them. She just feared they wouldn’t be that glad to meet her.
She had hoped for another case to come in so she had more time. Maybe if she had lost another two or three pounds… Face it, Penelope, it wouldn’t have made a difference!
There were more reasons than just her weight why a man shouldn’t introduce someone like her to his family – least of all, a man like Derek. What was this good for, anyway? She should just tell Derek she didn’t feel well. No, she’d tried that already…
“Come on, beautiful, stop worrying. You’ll pass this with flying colors.” Derek grinned and softly pecked Penelope’s cheek. “Everything’s going to be fine. Now, relax!”
The drive to the restaurant was unusually quiet. Derek could feel Penelope’s tension. At first, he tried to calm her down, tell her his family would love her; but soon he came to understand it was pointless to try and reassure her, so he gave up. Derek could only hope Penelope would relax once she realized his family was nothing to worry about.
When they arrived at the restaurant and Penelope saw three women sitting at a table near the entrance, she froze suddenly in front of the large window. Derek’s sisters were beautiful, and Derek’s mother didn’t look like she’d spent enough time on this planet to raise three children.
All three women were slender, dark haired and neatly dressed – and they were so the opposite of herself. Of course, looking at Derek, she should have known that beforehand.
“Baby?” Derek asked with a mixture of confusion and worry.
“I’m not going in there,” she stated. She didn’t feel well anyway. She’d been dizzy for a couple of days, but today it was worse. It certainly was the agitation about meeting Derek’s family.
Derek frowned at his family. They were chatting and laughing, so it couldn’t be their mood that had scared Penelope.
“Come on, you can’t back out now. They’re looking forward to meeting you,” Derek tried to reason with her.
“But I can’t… I’m not dressed properly, I mean, they’re so… And I am… I should have worn the black dress.”
Derek couldn’t help but chuckle at her reaction. He grabbed Penelope’s shoulders and turned her around so she could see his family and their reflection in the window. “Baby, my family wants to meet YOU, and this IS you. You are colorful, that’s why I love you, and this is who my family should meet.”
Penelope took a deep breath. There was no way she was gonna delay this any longer. What would it matter anyway? No delay in the world would be able to change who she was or what she looked like.
“Besides, this restaurant has the best tiramisu in town, and I made sure they saved one just for you.” Derek smiled as he put his arm around your waist.
There was her next problem. How could she avoid eating anything today, especially if the temptation was tiramisu. The evening wasn’t gonna end well.
When Derek pushed open the door to the restaurant, the three women turned their heads towards them.
“Derek,” his mother beamed when they arrived at the table. She stood up to hug her son, and then held out her hand to Penelope, smiling brightly. “You must be Penelope. I’m glad to finally meet you.”
“Yeah, you’re all my baby brother talks about,” one of the younger women chuckled.
“Sarah!” Derek growled.
Penelope blushed slightly.
Grinning, Derek’s sister put her hand out to Penelope. “Hi, I’m Sarah, the one who’s getting married.”
“Yeah, as if the ring on your finger isn’t obvious enough,” the other woman rolled her eyes. “I’m Desiree, not getting married anytime soon. Nice to meet you.”
Penelope smiled. This was going a lot better than she’d expected. Derek’s family was really nice, and the fact that Derek had been telling them about her… Well, sure he had, since they were going to meet her. He’d told her about his family, too. There was nothing special about it.
“You know, I really envy your dress,” Desiree grinned at Penelope. “It’s so colorful and merry. I wish I had some of your taste.”
Penelope gave her a strange look.
When Desiree realized Penelope felt made fun of, she quickly added, “No, no, seriously! I mean, look at me. My wardrobe is… just boring. Whenever I go shopping, I just don’t have the guts to pick out something so colorful.”
“I think green would suit you, maybe a light blue,” Penelope replied as she examined the other woman. “Something with flowers or butterflies on it.”
“I wouldn’t be able to try them on anyway,” Desiree sighed.
“Maybe you should take Penelope with you when you go shopping next time,” Fran suggested, smiling at the two women.
“That’s a great idea,” Desiree agreed, and then bit her lip and looked at Penelope. “I mean, if you want to.”
“Sure,” Penelope smiled at her. This really was going a lot better than she’d ever expected.
“How long have you two known each other?” Fran wanted to know as they all sat back down at the table.
“Mom!” Derek scolded her. “You promised not to grill us today.”
“I’m just asking a simple question,” Fran answered innocently.
“We’ve been working together for almost five years now,” Penelope replied. “I… can’t tell for sure when we developed our friendship.”
Fran gave his son a knowing look, and then asked him, “Did you meet her family yet?”
Derek sighed and ran a hand over his face. Fran looked puzzled back at Penelope.
She smiled sadly. “My parents died when I was eighteen, and my brothers… well, we haven’t had any contact since then. We never got along well.”
“I’m sorry, hon.” Fran frowned and looked down.
“It’s okay,” Penelope assured her. “You couldn’t have known. Besides, I don’t really miss them. I mean, I miss my parents, but not my brothers. I kind of found a new family with the BAU.”
The waitress interrupted them, asking for their orders. Penelope sighed and then smiled at the waitress. “I think I’m just gonna take a coffee for now.”
“You don’t want to eat anything?” Derek frowned at her.
“Later,” she smiled. “Right now, I really need a coffee.” Maybe this would help with her dizziness. It usually did.
“Are you feeling well, dear?” Fran asked, her voice full of concern.
“Now I know where Derek got his protectiveness from,” Penelope teased. “No need to worry, I’m fine. I just didn’t sleep well.”
“Are you sure?” Derek pressed her. “You look incredibly pale.”
She had to admit that her dizziness had gotten worse in the past few minutes. Hopefully, the coffee would help her. “I’m fine,” she tried to assure them, but now it really was a lie. Her stomach suddenly turned.
“You’re sure? You really don’t look good.” Sarah added.
Now four faces frowned at Penelope in concern, and from the looks she was getting, she could tell that she probably looked even worse than she felt.
“I’m fine,” she mumbled and stood up. “I just need to go to the bathroom.” The second she stood, the dizziness got the better of her, and it almost seemed impossible to stay standing upright. Penelope reached for the back of her chair to steady herself, but missed. The last thing she felt were two strong arms breaking her fall. Then there was only darkness.
From the color of her face, Derek could tell Penelope was about to faint. He rushed forward, knocking his chair over with the movement, and caught her the moment she lost consciousness.
“Baby Girl!” He shook her in an attempt to wake her up, but she remained unresponsive.
Derek’s mother and his sisters had jumped up from their chairs as well, and were now kneeling next to the couple. Fran was on the phone, calling for an ambulance.“Baby Girl, come on!” he begged her, but he still got no response. His worry grew. Something was really wrong with her.