little_profiler (little_profiler) wrote,

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Don't leave me this way - part 15

Title: Don’t leave me this way – part 15

Pairing: Morgan/Garcia

Rating: T

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: Sequel to ‘Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking’.
Warnings: none

After her session with the physiotherapist, exhausted didn’t even begin to describe how Penelope was feeling. She’d never been so tired in her life.

Derek brought her to bed, as usual, tucking her in and kissing her forehead. “Call me if you need anything,” he told her softly, before he left the room.

He found his mother in the kitchen, finishing the dishes. Leaning in the doorway, he crossed his arms in front of his chest and said, “I could have done that.”

His voice sounded exhausted, with a slight hint of despair – a sound Fran hadn’t heard very often in her son’s voice.

“Yes, honey, I know,” she replied softly.

“Thank you, Mom,” he told her honestly. “For everything.”

Turning towards her son, Fran gave him her warmest motherly smile. “You know that you can call me whenever you need anything – or whenever Penelope needs anything. I guess she’ll be fine with me taking care of her again.”

“You always manage to make everyone feel comfortable around you,” Derek replied, before showing his mother to the door.

“I’ll stay in town,” Fran told him. “Just in case you need anything.”

“Thank you.” He hugged her goodbye. “I really appreciate that.”

“It’s not like many people are missing me in Chicago,” she replied with a shrug. “Besides, someone has to take care of your house and Clooney – oh, well, the other way round.”

He smiled sadly.

Frowning at him, Fran asked, “Have you tried telling her?”

“I have,” he answered with a discouraged sigh. “She won’t believe me.”

Fran placed a comforting hand on her son’s shoulder. “Give her time. She’ll remember eventually.”

“How can you know?” Derek asked quietly.

“I can’t,” she admitted, giving her son a warm smile. “But I have a feeling that everything will be all right. Penelope loves you, and you love her. You managed to win her heart once. That tells me if you really want to, you can win it again.”

“I hope you’re right,” he said with a sigh.

Fran hugged him again, because he looked like he needed it. “I’m your mother. Of course I’m right.”

He couldn’t help smiling at that. Apart from Penelope, his mother was the only person in the world who could soothe him, even in a situation like this.

“Get some rest, Derek,” Fran commanded. “You look exhausted.”

Normally, he would have objected and told his mother that he was just fine. But nothing was normal anymore. So instead, he just nodded. He was exhausted, after all.

He hadn’t even lain down on his couch, when a bloodcurdling scream from the bedroom tore apart the silence of his apartment.

Derek jumped up from the couch, hurried to the bedroom, and ripped the door open. He found Penelope sitting upright on the bed, soaked with sweat and shaking.

Pulling her into his arms, Derek whispered soothingly, “It’s okay, Baby Girl. Everything’s going to be all right. It was just a bad dream.”

“I… I dreamed that… someone shot me…” she told him between sniffles. Looking up into his face and seeing the expression on it, Penelope realized that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, but a memory.

With shaking hands, she pushed the top of her nightgown aside, revealing the scar on her left shoulder. She stared at it in shock for a second. Then, touching it carefully and feeling the uneven skin under her fingertips, she looked back at Derek, the terror of the memory and the question of why this had happened to her written all over her face.

Gently placing his own hand over hers, Derek assured her, “You’re safe. He’s dead; he can’t hurt you anymore.”

She nodded, her hand grabbing his and hanging onto it.

“Try to go back to sleep,” he told her softly. She needed to rest. “I promise, you’re safe here. No one will hurt you.”

Nodding again, Penelope lay back on the bed, but she refused to let go of Derek’s hand. She couldn’t even close her eyes, because she feared the memory would come back in full force.

“It’s okay,” Derek assured her once more, his thumb gently stroking the back of her hand. “I promise you’re safe here. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“I know,” she whispered, still refusing to let go, or close her eyes.

He saw the fear in her eyes, the unspoken plea, and he couldn’t stand it any longer. Carefully, slowly, giving her time to object if she didn’t want this, he crawled under the blanket next to her; he smiled as he put her arm around her when she snuggled up close against him.

Maybe his mother was right. Maybe there was a second chance for him, a way to win back Penelope’s heart. After all, she still trusted him, still felt safe with him. He could make her realize that he was serious about them.

He had to, because he knew there was no way he wanted to go on without her by his side – her and their little family, their child.

It was almost frightening how familiar it felt to be so close to him. As if they had spent dozens of nights lying in each other’s arms. Penelope felt a desire arising in her stomach she didn’t even want to think about.

“Why?” she whispered finally. “Why did he shoot me?”

Gently stroking her hair, Derek asked, “Do you remember that you were counseling families of murder victims?”

She nodded against his chest.

“Well, apparently, you flagged some of their cases to help them,” he continued. “In some of the cases, the victims had been shot in front of their homes. A police officer, who wanted to be a hero, had shot them to be first at the crime scene.”

Derek felt her shiver, and wrapped his arms closer around her. “When you flagged these cases, he thought you knew something. He approached you in the coffee shop and asked you out. After the date, he shot you.

“You… were really badly hurt. The bullet caused a lot of damage when it glanced off your shoulder blade and exited through your abdomen. You… You almost died on the table. We had just gotten back from a case when we all got the call.”

“How do you know that he’s dead?” Penelope whispered, trying not to shake too vigorously. She was safe, after all.

Derek hesitated for a moment, before answering, “He snapped shortly after that and tried to take hostages in the bullpen. He wanted to know why the FBI had flagged his cases. Thanks to your computer skills, we saw him. We called JJ, because she was the only one not in the bullpen – and she shot him.”

“Why did he go to the FBI headquarters?” Penelope asked. “Why didn’t he… try to come after me again?”

This time, Derek didn’t answer.

Her head shot up, and she stared at him. “He did,” she whispered. “But you were there to protect me, right?”

“Do you remember?” Derek asked, trying not to sound too hopeful.

“No,” she responded with a sigh. “That was just good guessing.”

Smiling, Derek brushed her cheek. “I swore to protect you, every day of my life. I’m just glad I could protect you after I failed the first time.”

“That was not your fault,” she replied softly, and then lay her head back on his chest. “What happened after that? Can you tell me anything about it? I mean, was I allowed to go back to work just like that? Did I need physiotherapy or anything?”

“It took almost six months for you to be cleared to go back to work,” he replied. “Hotch and your doctors agreed that you needed time to heal properly. We were all glad when you came back.” Derek thought about telling her this had been how she had met Lynch, but then reconsidered it.

“When did I… meet the father of the baby?” she wanted to know.

Derek hesitated for a moment. Then he replied, “You didn’t exactly meet him. I mean, you knew him before you were shot. But you became closer after that; eventually, you realized that you were made for each other.”

“And… we just… I mean… It just happened that we spend a night together, or…” Penelope bit her lip. Derek certainly wasn’t the right one to ask, but she needed to know. Usually, if she knew someone for such a long time, there was no way they were ever going to be more than friends. Men didn’t see more in her – especially not men like Derek.

“No,” he assured her with a smile. “You were with him for almost a year before you took this step.”

Her head shot up once again to look at him. “Really?”

Frowning at her, Derek answered, “Yeah. What’s so surprising about that?”

“Well, I…” she stuttered, and blushed deeply. “It’s just that… a year is quite a long time. Isn’t it…” She cleared her throat. “Isn’t it unusual for you to wait so long?”

“Not if the man is truly in love with you,” Derek said with a smile.

“And…” Penelope looked down again. “And then we had to get married?”

“Because of the pregnancy?” Derek raised an eyebrow at her. Did she really think no man could truly love her, without any commitments tying him to her?! “No, you… He had already proposed long before you got pregnant.”

“Oh,” she mumbled. Could that really be true? Could someone love her enough to wait a whole year before she was ready to go to bed with him?!

No, Derek had to be mistaken. What could he possibly know about her relationship, other than what she had told him? But she wouldn’t discuss her sex life with him. That was a no-go, no matter how close they were.

“How can you be so sure about all that?” she finally asked, looking at him again.

Derek smiled at her and gently brushed a strand of blonde hair out of her face. “I happen to know the man in question pretty well.”

“Really?” Penelope asked with a frown. “So… You two are friends or something?”

“Yeah, sometimes we are,” he replied with a chuckle.

Penelope frowned at him. All this didn’t make the least bit of sense – and the more Derek told her about the father of her baby, the less sense it all made to her. So he had talked to Derek about their sex life?! Sure, that was what men did; at least, that was what she had heard. But talking to Derek about that… She would kill him once she remembered who he was.

However, she didn’t know any of Derek’s friends – at least, none she could remember. She wasn’t even sure he had friends outside the BAU. Well, no friends he talked about, anyway. So, where could she have met Derek’s friend, if Derek hadn’t introduced them?!

“But… it’s no one on the team, right?” Penelope asked him. “I mean… not that I think you don’t have friends outside the team, but…”

“It’s true; you met him at work,” Derek answered. He didn’t dare to tell her that it indeed was a member of the team, no matter how much he wanted to.

“And the guy who… kidnapped me… Where did I meet him?” she asked.

Derek was thankful for her changing the topic – even though Lynch was the last thing he wanted to talk about. “He was your replacement while you were recovering from the attack,” he told her. “That’s how you two met.”

“And he… Why did he want to hurt me?” she questioned, her voice barely above a whisper.

Taking a deep breath, Derek replied, “I don’t think he actually wanted to hurt you. He wanted to be with you, but since you were with someone else already, you blew him off. He just… He was obsessed with the idea that you belonged with him. So he tried everything he could think of to make it come true.”

“But… he’s not the father of the baby, right?” Penelope asked quietly. “I mean, you’re not making this all up about the hot Prince Charming because you don’t want to tell me that the father of my baby was nuts, are you?”

Placing his hand under her chin, Derek made her look up at him, searching her eyes with his. “I’m not making anything up,” he assured her. “And Lynch is so not the father of this baby. I can’t tell you everything, but everything I did tell you was the truth.”

“Okay,” she whispered. She needed to trust him, to believe him. As long as she didn’t remember anything, he was the only source of information she had.

Frowning at him, she asked with all seriousness, “But it’s not Hotch, right?”

Laughing heartily, Derek cupped her cheek with one hand, gently stroking it with his thumb. “No, it’s not Hotch,” he assured her.

She smirked at him. She loved when he was laughing that way, the joy about their banter even lighting up his eyes.

Derek smiled at her, his thumb continued stroking her cheek. Oh, how he wanted to kiss her right now. Maybe he should just throw caution out the window and do it.

Penelope took a deep breath. He was looking at her lips again, just as he had before, when they had been cuddling on the couch. The memory of his peck came back, and her lips started burning again. If only she dared to lean forward…

“And it’s not Reid, is it?” she asked instead, trying to lighten the tension she felt building up between them.

Derek frowned at her. “Do you really think you would hook it up with Reid?”

Tilting her head, she replied coquettishly, “I don’t think he could handle me.”

“No,” Derek endorsed, “he definitely couldn’t.”

“As a matter of fact, I hardly doubt there’s anyone who could handle me,” Penelope quipped. “Well, except for you, of course.”

“Trust me, Baby Girl, there are times even I can’t handle the force that is Penelope Garcia,” he teased. “But to me, those times are the most joyful.”

She sighed, and before she was even able to think about it, she said, “Too bad you aren’t the father of my baby.”

Derek’s heart skipped a few beats. Was she serious? Did she really want him to be the father? If she was, he could just tell her the truth, and maybe, just maybe, everything would finally return to normal.

Or maybe it was just part of their banter, and if he told her the truth, she wouldn’t believe him, or would just kick him out of the room. So instead of responding to her words, he just said softly, “Go back to sleep, Baby Girl. We’ll have to drive to the hospital early tomorrow.”

Sighing once more, Penelope lay her head back on his chest. Why hadn’t he reacted to her words, saying something witty and playful that kindly reminded her this was never going to happen, like he usually did? And… was his heart actually beating faster now?

She shook the thoughts off as best as she could. She didn’t want to ponder on the ifs and buts and maybes his strange behavior made her think about.

“Derek?” she asked quietly.

He just muttered a response, already half-asleep.

“Will you go with me to the ultrasound tomorrow?”

Of course, she couldn’t see the wide smile spreading across his face. But she felt his arms wrapping tighter around her. “There’s no way I’d miss out on that.”

Smiling, she closed her eyes. Even if it wasn’t his child she was carrying, things had changed dramatically in her life due to the illness – and Derek’s behavior told her that maybe there was a second chance for them.

Yeah, keep dreaming, Penelope! the little voice in her head spoke up again.

But this time, she didn’t want to listen. She knew she wasn’t fooling herself. Derek’s behavior was unambiguous. He had kissed her, after all.

You can’t call that a kiss! the voice said.

Oh, shut up!

Tags: mg_sequels, morgan/garcia, the_worries_series
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