Title: Ice Cream – Part 2
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_forbidden: #13 Hidden
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 6/? of the ‘Love and prejudice’ series. Penelope’s point of view.warnings: none
The heat really was unbearable, and the fact that there was nothing on the computers leading anywhere near the UNSUB didn’t make things one bit better.
“Damn it!” she swore. She was ready to kick something by now, it was so frustrating. It was especially frustrating that this guy seemed to be better with computers than she was. “This sicko is freaking good with computers,” she mumbled, more to herself than her boss. “I can’t find a single hint to where these videos were taken. No background noises, no signs reflected in anything, no nothing.”
She felt sweat running down her neck, and inwardly cursed the heat and the sunshine that were coming in through the dirty windows. She felt Derek’s eyes resting on her, and her heart started to beat faster, her fingers shaking slightly. Why did he have to keep staring at her?! He certainly thought she didn’t notice, that he was hiding it well enough, but he wasn’t. She’d noticed, every time.
She felt a tingle she definitely shouldn’t feel while a man other than her boyfriend was looking at her, but she couldn’t help it. His gaze made her feel wanted, as if he looked at her with desire. Her head told her it couldn’t be, but the whole rest of her enjoyed this feeling too much to listen.
Then she heard Derek say something, but she couldn’t understand what it was. When she glanced over, she saw him talking to JJ. At least he wasn’t staring at her anymore.
“Does he keep the videos to himself, or does he post them anywhere?” Hotch wanted to know.
“He doesn’t post them,” she sighed. “If he did, I might be able to find his new hideout. I can’t even tell if he sent them. He doesn’t seem to have any email accounts. Well, maybe he deleted them, but then there should be traces left, and there are none.”
“Take it easy, Garcia.” Hotch’s voice was unusually soft.
“This is frustrating, sir,” she sighed, and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “I mean, he doesn’t leave any evidence, anywhere.”
“You found this place,” Hotch reminded her. “You’ll find him again.”
“I don’t know,” she sighed. “I can’t escape the feeling he wanted us to find this place.”
Hotch frowned at her. “Why do you think so?”
“Well, first of all, the content on his computer.” She pointed at a window on the screen. “I mean, I don’t know what you store on your computer, but I have a lot of personal stuff on it. Letters, games I downloaded, some programs, stuff like that, but there’s nothing here. Only these videos, and they weren’t even encrypted.”
“That helps a lot with the profile.” Hotch gave her one of his rare smiles. “Good work.”
Penelope sighed as she watched Hotch walk over in Derek’s direction. She knew compliments like this from his side were rare; he only made them when he knew someone needed some appreciation – and he never failed choosing the right moment.
Sighing again, Penelope turned her attention back to the computer. She felt Derek’s eyes resting on her again. It wasn’t that she really felt offended by it. Every girl would have loved to be looked at, especially by a man like Derek Morgan.
His sudden interest in her was strange, though. Back at the station, when she’d tried to track the UNSUB down through the IP address he’d used to contact the victims, he’d stared at her almost the whole time, and there was this look in his eyes.
Now, he had the same look in his eyes as he stared at her again, and it was sending pleasurable thrills down her spine. Her whole body was tingling, the blood whooshing in her ears. Her mind wandered back to the moment he had pressed her against the wall. His body had been so close to hers, and he’d almost kissed her. Almost…
Penelope drew in a shaky breath. She shouldn’t let another man make her feel the things she was feeling at the moment, and she knew it. Moreover, she definitely shouldn’t feel this way about a certain Derek Morgan. She was far from being in his league.
No matter how much she kept dreaming about him, no matter what she interpreted in whatever actions he made, it wasn’t gonna happen. Not now, not never.
“Okay, let’s head back to the motel. This is a dead end, anyway,” she heard Hotch call out.
Sighing, she shut the computers down. She’d stored the most important stuff on the external hard disk she’d brought with her. The CSU could worry about the whole rest of it.
“Have you seen the diner we passed on our way out here?” JJ asked as they left the building in the middle of nowhere their search had led them to. “It’s time for lunch, don’t you think?”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Penelope agreed. “I’m starving.”
It was fun not having to worry about the case for a couple of minutes. They needed to put some daylight between them and this case to be able to look at what they had with fresh eyes.
As much as Penelope wanted to sit next to Morgan, just to feel the heat radiating from his body and smell the intoxicating scent that was him, she took the seat between JJ and Emily. She shouldn’t feel this way, and she so shouldn’t act on what she felt.
She’d spent years trying not to drool over him every day of her life. She’d spent years telling herself that he didn’t love her the way she loved him. He wasn’t sexually interested in her – but it was hard not to be interested in him that way.
She’d finally moved on. She was happy with Kevin. Well, it wasn’t special, but it was good, it was permanent, and it was real. For some reason, this case, or maybe just the heat, had thrown her back to the x-rated daydreaming about the man who was never gonna be more than her best friend, and she needed to stop that.
So she tried to ignore him throughout lunch, which was hard. She noticed every single time he looked at her – and every single time, it made these freaking butterflies rise in her stomach. As if those looks meant anything. As if something was going to explode when she looked back at him.
“You know, I really need an ice cream right now,” Emily decided.
“We should be back at the station by now,” Hotch reminded her.
Rolling her eyes, Emily suggested, “We can eat them in the cars, and yes, we’ll be careful not to ruin the furniture, Dad!”
He tried his best not to grin, but there was a slight movement of his mouth when he agreed.
It turned out to be the best idea of the day. This was the best ice cream Penelope had ever had. She couldn’t stop the low moan that escaped her throat as she let the sweet taste fill her mouth. This was exactly what she needed right now.
Suddenly, she felt something cool hitting her thigh. She looked down to see the drop of ice cream that had landed on it, and she saw Derek glancing over at her. Rolling her eyes, she wiped the drop away, and wanted to assure him that it hadn’t ruined the seat, but then she noticed he was still staring at her thigh.
That was strange. The way he looked at her was… lingering, lecherous, teasing. Could it be true? His gaze made her want to pull up her skirt, just to see how he’d react, hoping for something he wouldn’t do in a million years. Stop it, Penelope! This is way inappropriate.
When she looked up, her heart nearly stopped beating. “Watch out!” was all she could scream when she saw the front of the truck that was about to hit them. She squeezed her eyes shut as Derek swerved around the other vehicle.
“You should pay attention to the road.” Penelope had to gather all her self-discipline not to yell at him. Were the damn seats really that important?! Men and their cars! “You nearly killed us.”
“Sorry, I was… distracted,” he replied, sounding somewhat guilty.
Had he really stared at her that way, and not because he was worried she’d ruin the seats? No, it couldn’t be.
At least he really seemed sorry for scaring her so much. “I think the heat has gone to your head,” she mumbled. She was serious, but he obviously understood it as their usual banter.
“I just have problems focusing with you and your ice cream so close to me,” he replied.
Penelope’s heart started to beat faster again. Oh, how she wanted him to mean it the way it sounded! What on earth was wrong with her, with them? Their banter had always been playful, nothing more. Now, whenever they were close to each other, it felt like they were about to ravish one another every moment. This wasn’t normal, this was crazy. God, this paragon of sexiness would be her doom.
“And the sounds you’re making over there aren’t helpful, either,” he added.
This made Penelope giggle, in a way only he could make her giggle. “Am I driving you insane?” she teased. Yeah, like hell you are.
“You have fun doing that, don’t you?” His voice was almost a growl.
“You betcha!” Penelope laughed triumphantly. She had to admit that it seemed to work a little too well lately. What the hell was wrong with him?! “You know, I really think you need to…”
Thankfully, the ringing of her cell phone kept her from finishing the sentence. She should really think before she opened her mouth!
Looking at the caller ID, she frowned slightly. It was Kevin again, and she knew where this conversation would be going, again. The last thing she needed right now was Kevin complaining about the fact she still wasn’t back – and Derek witnessing the whole thing.
“Yeah,” she answered the call, even though she didn’t want to. But hanging up on Kevin right now meant Derek would ask too many questions. She didn’t need that right now, either.
“Why aren’t you back already?” Kevin almost whined. “You told me you almost had the guy.”
“I know.” She so didn’t want to deal with this right now. “Can I… Can I call you back? It’s a little… inconvenient right now.”
“Why? Are you with him?” he almost shouted at her. “Are you sharing the room again?”
Kevin’s jealousy concerning Derek had grown since the case in