Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 24_runes: #3 Thurisaz (danger, defenselessness, evil)
Word count: 2440
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 17/18 of the ‘Loser Lynch’ series.
warnings: spoilers for season 3
AN: I’m not really sure where to start. First of all, THANK YOU! I received so many reviews and nice, encouraging messages lately, which were all very much appreciated.
Then, I’m sorry. First of all, because it took me forever to answer all of you, this time. Normally, I’m faster with that. Then because it took me even longer to update anything. My life is crazy again. Mostly in a good way, this time, but still crazy. There’s just so much that has to be done so I can finally take my exam (which will be in January). *sighs*
Anyway, here’s the next chapter of the ‘Loser Lynch’-series, finally. It’s most certainly the last but one chapter – unless my muse changes her mind again. LOL
Don’t kill me (because if you do, you’ll never find out what’s gonna happen next :) ), I didn’t want to end this chapter the way it does. It was all my muse, I swear. I’m completely innocent.
Now, I hope you enjoy this chapter!
When they finally arrived at Derek’s apartment, he was about to just throw the door open and storm inside to make sure Penelope was all right, but Hotch kept him from doing so, silently pointing at the tiny scratches on the lock, indicating that someone had cracked it.
Derek swore silently. They were too late.
Hotch and Emily positioned themselves at the right side of the door, while Rossi and Reid were on the left. Carefully, his gun drawn, Derek turned the key and pushed the door open.
When the door opened, Penelope’s eyes widened with terror. She knew it was Derek, and now her worst nightmare was coming true. Kevin was going to shoot him, and there was nothing Penelope could do to keep him from doing so.
She tried to scream, but Kevin’s hand over her mouth swallowed most sounds she was making. There was no way to warn Derek.
“Look who’s coming home.” Kevin grinned as he aimed his gun at Derek and shot.
Penelope held her breath. She wanted to squeeze her eyes shut. She couldn’t watch this again; she couldn’t watch Derek being shot – but she couldn’t move, not even a tiny bit.
With a quick jump to the right, Derek ducked the bullet, rolled over the floor, and took shelter behind the door post.
She let out the breath she hadn’t even known she’d been holding. Derek was safe, for now. Her nightmare didn’t necessarily have to come true. There was hope everything was going to be all right. Derek was a superhero, after all.
From where Derek was standing now, he could see Lynch, who had a death grip on Penelope, covering her mouth with his hand and using her body as a shield. He raised his own gun, but refused to shoot. It would have been too risky.
He heard Clooney barking and scratching behind a nearby door. Obviously, Kevin had locked him up in one of the rooms before attacking Penelope.
“Baby Girl, everything is going to be all right,” Derek promised in a soft voice.
I believe you. She wanted to believe him. She needed to believe his words, or she was going to lose her mind.
“Yeah, once I got rid of you,” Kevin hissed, and pulled the trigger once more, hitting the door post.
Penelope winced, and new tears filled her eyes. Every time she heard a gun being shot, the memories came back. Her being shot, the nightmare of Derek being shot. If only she had never met Kevin.
How did all that go so wrong? She’d been happy with him, he had been a good guy – at least, she’d always thought that way. But now…
“Lynch!” Hotch yelled from outside the door. “Drop your gun and give yourself up! You’re outnumbered.”
Thank goodness! Derek hadn’t come here alone. Nothing was like it had been in her nightmares. They knew about Kevin, and they were prepared. Everything was going to be all right. They could overpower him. They had handled situations like this before.
“Yeah, but I have a little ace up my sleeve, don’t I?” he shouted back. “Here’s the deal: You let me and Penelope go. Morgan’s coming with us – and then you’ll leave us alone.”
“You won’t leave this apartment alive if you don’t give up,” Hotch threatened.
Penelope took a deep breath. She needed to work with the team now, try to get out of the line of fire so they could take down Kevin. If only she could break free from him.
“Oh, I doubt you’ll put Penelope’s life at risk,” Kevin said triumphantly.
“I’d bet you don’t want to, either,” Derek said calmly.
Kevin didn’t say anything. That certainly was just some profiler trick.
“I know you love her,” Derek went on. “Come on, Kevin, you don’t wanna hurt Penelope, right? And I don’t want her to get hurt. I’m sure we can find… a way out.”
“You don’t know anything!” Kevin yelled, shooting in Derek’s direction again, but only hitting the locker. “She belongs with me!”
“Look,” Derek said, trying to stay as calm as possible, “as far as I can judge it, we both want the same, for Penelope to be all right. We both care about her, and we both don’t want her to get hurt. So why don’t we just talk about that?”
“So you can soft-soap her again as you did last night?!” Kevin yelled. “I wonder how easy it was for you to get her in bed.”
Derek bit his lip. He wanted to say something to put Kevin in his place, but he knew that would only make him more angry. So instead, he said, “I know it’s me you want and not Penelope. Why don’t you let her go?”
“You really don’t get it, do you?!” Kevin sighed theatrically. “You are in the way.” He pronounced every word as if talking to a child.
“I’m gonna leave, I promise,” Derek tried, “but you’ll have to let Penelope go.”
“You really think it’s that easy?” Kevin’s voice cracked as he shouted the words. “For some reason I will never understand, she’s completely crazy about you. That has always been a problem, you know. She just couldn’t love me when you were around her the whole day long. She’s always loved you.”
“That’s not true.” Derek made another attempt to reason with Kevin. “She loved you, you know that.”
“Yeah, and the whole thing you have just happened, right?” the other man snorted. “No chance, Morgan. You’re the only thing standing between Penelope and me. I finally realized that, and I’m not gonna fall for your explanations again. You’re a player, a womanizer – that’s why it was so easy for you to wrap her around your little finger.”
Derek thought about Kevin’s accusation for a moment. He seemed calmer now, and Derek had to choose his words carefully so as not to make him angry again. “You’re right,” he said, “I…” Derek hesitated for a moment. Penelope was very vulnerable, and he couldn’t be sure if she would take his words seriously.
On the other hand, it was the last chance to talk Kevin into giving up, so he had to lie about his intentions. Right now, Penelope’s physical safety was the most important thing. He could explain everything afterwards. She would understand that he had to say what he was about to say.
“It’s true, I can’t love Penelope as much as you do.” Derek bit his lip while he searched for the right words to continue. He had to agree with Kevin without hurting Penelope’s feelings. “I don’t have relationships, I’m… not good at that. I don’t know if I can make Penelope happy.”
Hotch nodded slightly, encouraging Derek to go on.
“At least, I surely can’t make her as happy as you did,” Derek added.
“That’s the problem, right?” Lynch shouted. “You don’t want me to be happy. You were jealous, so you needed to destroy everything. That’s why you have to die!”
“Yes, you’re right, I was jealous.” That wasn’t even a lie. “I wanted to be with Penelope. I begrudged you the happiness, but I know it was wrong. This is about Penelope, and not about me envying you.”
“I knew it,” Kevin snorted. “You only wanted to have her because she was mine. You never loved her!”
Derek didn’t say anything in return. He knew what Kevin wanted to hear, but he just couldn’t get these words out.
“Am I right?” Kevin shouted.
“Yes, you’re right,” Derek replied quietly. “I… I can never love her as much as you do.” But that doesn’t change how I feel about her.
This time, Lynch remained silent. He seemed to be thinking about Derek’s words.
“Tell him, Penelope. Tell him the truth!” Derek tried. She needed to work with them now. Maybe, if she told Lynch what he wanted to hear, he would give up – or at least open his cover so they could take him down.
It worked. Kevin loosened his grip on her and took his hand from her mouth.
Stay calm! she told herself. She’d heard dozens of profiles over the years. Sometimes, it was better to tell the UNSUB what they wanted to hear, so they didn’t snap.
“It’s true,” Penelope whispered. “I… still love you. I… It was a mistake to believe Derek. He doesn’t love me.” The words hurt so much, Penelope had to swallow not to burst into tears. “Not as much as you do,” she added.
“I know you do,” Kevin told her earnestly. “I know this wasn’t your fault, but his. Once he’s out of the way, everything is gonna be fine. We will be together forever.”
“Derek is not a problem anymore,” she tried to assure him. “You… You opened my eyes. I can see the truth now. I will… I will never be as happy with him as you can make me.”
Kevin frowned and lowered his gun.
Derek sighed with relief. He seemed to believe them and calm down. If they could make him believe they would let him leave with Penelope, maybe he would give up.
“I’m gonna go with you,” she added, as if she’d just read Derek’s thoughts. “We can both leave, but you have to put the gun away.”
When she saw anger flashing in his eyes, Penelope quickly added, “You know we’re both not allowed to carry, so they can’t let you leave with the gun.”
Derek felt proud of his Baby Girl. Apparently, she’d learned a lot about how to talk with an UNSUB. They could solve this situation without getting anyone hurt.
“Please, just… Let’s just leave,” Penelope begged him.
Kevin frowned at her. “You really love me?”
“Yes.” She nodded and looked right into his eyes. She’d never been much of a liar, but there was a time when she’d loved him. All she needed to do now was remember that time.
“We’re gonna let you go, I promise,” Derek assured him. “Penelope loves you, and I respect that. I’m gonna leave you alone. No one’s gonna try and stop you. All you have to do is drop your gun.”
“Yeah, so you can shoot me right away,” Kevin snarled.
“I won’t,” Derek assured him, and threw his gun into the apartment. It slid into Kevin’s direction and came to a halt about three feet away from him. “Look, I’m dropping my gun.”
Kevin just laughed at that. “What about your boss?”
“He’s gonna leave,” Derek promised.
Hotch dropped his gun as well, and quickly walked past the door so Lynch could see him. Then he took Reid’s gun, and Reid headed for the elevator. Hotch was the better shot, anyway.
“Now it’s just you, me, and Penelope,” Derek shouted. “Let her go!”
“First, you come in,” Kevin commanded. “Show me you don’t have a second gun hidden somewhere.”
“All right,” Derek said. He started to take a step forward, but Hotch held him back. They exchanged some glances, before Hotch reluctantly let go of him.
“No, Derek, don’t!” she shouted, before she felt the muzzle being pressed against her temple.
“Shut up!” Kevin hissed. “You don’t love him. You love ME!”
“Trust me, Baby Girl,” Derek said as he stepped into the doorframe, his hands raised above his head. “Everything’s gonna be fine.”
“No, nothing’s gonna be fine!” Kevin yelled furiously, his voice cracking again. “You lied. Everything was just a lie! You fucking…”
Then all hell broke loose. Kevin shot, and the bullet hit Derek right in his chest, throwing him backwards onto the floor. Penelope broke free from Kevin’s grip and began hurrying over to Derek. Everything was just like it had been in her dream.
Everything – apart from the fact that suddenly, she saw Hotch, Emily, and Rossi rushing into the room, aiming their guns at Kevin. The latter grabbed Penelope and pulled her with him behind the couch to take shelter.
She was struggling to get away, well aware that she would be in the line of fire if her teammates started to shoot. They didn’t seem to dare, though. The only one shooting was Kevin, and Derek’s apartment didn’t leave many possibilities to take shelter.
This was never going to stop. Kevin would never leave her alone. He had killed Derek, and he was going to kill her friends, and then her nightmare would start anew. No one would be able to save her, if her friends didn’t dare shoot Kevin – and if he managed to take her with him, she knew what kind of life was awaiting her. He would lock her up again, hit her, rape her, and in the end, maybe, finally kill her.
There was nothing she could do to end this nightmare. Derek was dead, and she was lost.
Penelope’s eyes fell upon Derek’s gun on the floor, and she knew that there was only one way out. She’d once said she didn’t believe in guns, but a gun had left two scars on her body, and now another gun had ruined her life. Kevin had already shot Derek, and Penelope couldn’t let him shoot one of her friends.
Kevin had her right wrist in a death grip, but Penelope could reach out enough to grab the gun with her index finger and pull it closer. Luckily, Derek had insisted on giving her some shooting lessons. She aimed the gun at Kevin and released the safety.
For a moment, it was dead silent in the apartment. Hotch, Rossi, and Emily still didn’t dare shoot. The couch was blocking their view, so they couldn’t be sure they would hit Kevin and not Penelope.
Kevin was staring at Penelope, then at the gun in her hands, only a foot from his chest. “What are you doing?”
“Stop!” she said, trying to sound calmer as she was. She was shaking so vigorously, she had to hold the gun with two hands to keep from dropping it.
“You won’t shoot me,” he said confidently.
“Drop your gun!” Penelope whispered, and a tear ran down her cheek.
“You could never shoot me,” he put her off. “That’s just not you.”
“You’re right,” she sniffled. “I don’t want to shoot you, but I will, if I have to.”
Snorting with amusement, he reached for the gun.
Penelope flinched. “Don’t make me do this!”
A grin appeared on Kevin’s face as he leaned over to her, his hand reaching for the gun. “Come one, you won’t…”She shot. Once, twice, three times… She pulled the trigger until there were no bullets left, and then a few times more.