Title: Worry – Part 1
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_forbidden: #7 Forever
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 11/? of the “Love and prejudice”-series.
AN: I just wanted to say thank you once again. First of all, of course, to my wonderful and incredibly fast beta-reader. Secondly, to everyone who reviewed/commented my recently updated stories. I know, I’m far behind with replying, and I’m sorry. All your comments are much loved and highly appreciated.
With the recent events on the show, this story absolutely has no spoilers. And I’m not gonna react to said events – at least not in this story. However, I’ll take this story into a new direction now, but that has seriously nothing to do with whatever happened on the show lately. I had this plot in mind a long time before all that. I hope you’ll still enjoy the story. :)
Have a nice weekend everyone!
Derek ripped the door to his room back open, stormed outside into the corridor, drew his gun, and kicked in the door to Penelope’s room.
She was standing next to the couch, where he had last seen her, staring in shock in the direction of her window. But she seemed unharmed.
Following her gaze, Derek saw a figure disappear. He rushed towards the window, ripping it open, but he only saw the figure disappear into the night. He aimed, but didn’t dare to shoot. It was too dark, and therefore, too dangerous.
“Hotch,” he called out. “In the backyard.”
“Got it,” Hotch yelled from downstairs.
Derek turned, to find Penelope frozen, still staring outside the window. Rushing over to her, he hesitated for a moment, and then caught her in his arms.
Penelope immediately returned his embrace, burying her face in his chest, and took a deep breath. “I was so scared,” she whispered.
“It’s okay, baby,” Derek whispered into her hair, kissing the top of her head. “He’s gone, and I’ll make sure he won’t come back.”
She nodded against his chest.
They stood there for quite a while, just holding each other. Derek wasn’t sure how long. He was just relieved that nothing had happened to his girl – and it felt good to hold her.
Hotch came running into the room. “He escaped,” he told Derek, a little out of breath.
Derek swore silently, before looking down at Penelope. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“It’s okay,” she assured him. “I’m safe in here, right?”
“Of course you are,” he assured her. “I’ll make sure of that.”
Penelope nodded, drawing in a shaky breath.
“We’ll move to another hotel,” Hotch stated. “I’ll arrange everything necessary. Until we can move, you’ll stay with Garcia.”
“Yes, sir,” Derek agreed. Of course, he wouldn’t have gone anywhere, even if Hotch hadn’t ordered him to stay.
“Come on, let’s pack up!” Derek unwillingly let go of Penelope. “The sooner we can get outta here, the better.”
Her hands were still shaking when she took out her suitcase and started packing her things. It didn’t take her very long. As Derek knew, she never really settled in a hotel room, so most of her stuff was still neatly packed in her suitcase.
Derek took the suitcase from her and led her into his own room to start packing, as well. His head was spinning; but for the first time in days, it wasn’t merely because of Penelope’s presence, but because of the potential threat.
He would keep his promise. He wouldn’t let anything happen to her. He would chase this guy down, even if it was the last thing he ever did.
A few minutes later, they were waiting again – this time, sitting on the couch in his room. Derek held Penelope’s hand. He’d wanted to pull her into his arms again, but he didn’t dare. He was torn between the worry about Penelope and the longing for her to be near him.
Of course, he could have taken advantage of the current situation and held her close to him. But he knew he couldn’t have enjoyed the embrace, thinking of what had led them here.
“Do you think he’ll come back?” Penelope suddenly asked into the silence.
“I don’t know,” Derek replied honestly. “But apparently Hotch thinks it’s possible. It’s better to leave.”
“We’ll keep our eyes glued to you,” Derek assured her. “You’ll see; we’ll catch this guy in no time at all.”
“I know,” she said. “I’m safe.”
Derek ran a hand over his face. He’d told her she was safe in the hotel, only seconds before this sleaze had tried to get to her. He had been wrong.
“We underestimated him,” Derek admitted. “That’s not gonna happen again. Next time, we’ll be prepared.”
“Can we?” Penelope whispered.
Derek took her hands in his and made her look at him. “Yes,” he assured her, gently squeezing her hands. “We’ll be prepared.”
She shifted uncomfortably, but nodded, nonetheless.
Gently, he stroked the back of her hands with his thumbs. He desperately wanted to hold her, feel her perfect body against his… inhale her intoxicatingly sweet scent…
He saw her lips moving while she was talking to him, her tongue flipping out between her teeth. Oh, those perfect, and oh so kissable lips…
“Derek?” He heard her voice call his name from somewhere pretty far away. Images of the many ways he could make her call out his name over and over again popped up in his mind.
“Derek?” He heard her voice again, but this time, it sounded louder – and a little offended.
“Uh… huh?” was all he was able to mumble, his mind slowly returning to reality.
“Did you actually listen to me?” Penelope asked, frowning at him.
Derek shook his head in order to get the images he’d just indulged himself in out of his head, and cleared his throat. “Sorry, I was… thinking…” It wasn’t exactly a lie. He just hoped she wouldn’t ask what about.
“You do that a lot lately,” she mumbled instead.
“Huh?” Derek asked, frowning at her. He still wasn’t entirely capable of thinking clearly.
“Are you okay?” Penelope asked, sounding really worried.
“Yeah,” he assured her, sighing. “It’s just…” Yeah, what is it? How was he supposed to tell her why he was acting so strange lately?
“It’s just what?” she pressed him.
“I…” he started, but honestly wasn’t sure how to continue this sentence. Just go with the truth, leaving out what she doesn’t need to know!
“It’s the heat,” he admitted, “and the fact that this unsub always seems to be one step ahead of us. I can’t really concentrate on anything. I’m worried, and exhausted, and frustrated.” And horny, and churning, and hopelessly in love with you.
“Yeah, me, too.” Penelope nodded to underline her words. “And scared,” she added.
“Nothing’s gonna happen to you,” he once again promised. “We’re all on alert now. He won’t get a second chance to get close to you.”
“I know,” she replied. “But the fact that Hotch wants us to move to another hotel right away is somewhat… scary. I mean, he wouldn’t do that if he didn’t think the guy would try to get to me again, right?”
“He’s just following protocol,” Derek told her to calm her down. “And he doesn’t want to take an unnecessary risk. He just wants to be sure.”
“Why do things like this always happen to me?” she whispered.
“I don’t know,” Derek answered, pulling her into his arms, just a bit closer than would have been necessary to offer comfort.
But she didn’t complain. In fact, she seemed to relax the longer he held her. If only he could hold her forever. He never wanted to let go of her again.
A knock on the door interrupted them. Unwillingly, Derek rose from the couch to answer it, one hand on his weapon.
“We’re ready to leave,” Hotch told him.
Nodding, Derek went back inside the room to grab his and Penelope’s suitcases.
“I can carry that on my own,” she told him. “I’m all grown up.”
“I know,” Derek answered with a grin, letting her walk outside before he did. “But I can’t help being a gentleman.”
“Why do I get the impression that you’re babying me?” she teased. “You didn’t carry my suitcase up here.”
“Woman, will you hush and enjoy the fact that I’m spoiling you here?” He rolled his eyes.
Giggling, Penelope asked coyly, “Does that mean you’re gonna carry my suitcase into my room in the other hotel?”
“Of course I will,” he assured her. “Right after I make sure the room is safe, and that there are no monsters under the bed.”
“Okay, now I feel like you’re babying me.” She sighed theatrically.
Derek just chuckled. At least she was a little more light-hearted again. He had obviously been able to cheer her up.
His heart beat faster at the thought that he was the only one who could do this – cheer her up, make her feel safe, even in a situation like this. She only felt this way with him, didn’t she?That was a good starting point…