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Don't leave me this way - part 17

Title: Don’t leave me this way – part 17
Fandom: Criminal Minds
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: Penelope is about to remember parts of the past three years – and discovers something shocking.
warnings: none

AN: Hey there! I’m kind of back, I guess. Once again I’m so sorry about the delay. I was just stuck with the chapter and then didn’t have the time to write anything.
I really thought after I kind of abandoned some of the volunteer work I did, things would get better and I would have more time. But as a matter of fact, things were so stressful and emotionally disturbing that my muse went on a holiday and no matter how often I tried to finish the chapter – or at least continue writing – I was stuck even more.
What happened is too difficult to explain in a few words. Let’s just say some people apparently think that yelling at me and insulting me is the proper way to thank me for the volunteer work I’ve done over the past ten years. And after I told them I didn’t want to be treated like that, they stopped talking to me and now they’re trying hard to show me they don’t need me. No comment… And to make things worse, this whole ordeal frequently makes me sick. :( I’ve been at the doctor’s more often these past months than within the whole last year.
Anyway, here finally is the next chapter. I hope you’ll like it. Okay, I know you won’t. *evil grin* But I couldn’t help it. After all I experienced lately, I needed some drama, baby. ;)

She woke up from another dream about a certain FBI agent. Slowly, it was becoming frustrating. The dreams were so real that she almost started believing she had actually experienced something similar – even though she knew it wasn’t possible.

Turning to her side, away from his sleeping figure next to her, she sighed. And Derek holding her at night so that the nightmares didn’t return wasn’t helping with her current condition.

The problem was, if he wasn’t anywhere near, she barely found any sleep at all. Memories of her shooting, of horrible cases, and mutilated bodies haunted her dreams. And she wasn’t able to make anything of them. She wasn’t able to associate them with cases they had worked and solved.

She was used to the nightmares. They came regularly after a particularly hard case. But whenever she woke up, she remembered that her heroes had caught the bad guys and put them behind bars.

But now, she needed Derek to tell her what case it had been she was dreaming about and what had happened to the UNSUBs. After she’d woken up screaming in the middle of the night five nights in a row, he had decided to share the bed with her.

It had helped, of course. She felt much safer when she was close to him, after all. But it had caused her naughty dreams about all the things she wished to do with him to return.

She was still waking up from dreams in the middle of the night – and with the need to take a very cold shower. But whenever he noticed, he would question her about the dreams, what they’d been about, and if there was anything he could do to help her.

Yeah, well, he could fulfill the dreams to start with – but there was no way this was going to happen, ever.

But the thought made her smile to herself, anyway.

Carefully, Penelope broke free from his embrace and got up from the bed. She couldn’t sleep anymore, anyway. Besides, she really needed to go to the toilet. It seemed like the baby was already big enough to affect her bladder.

Sighing, Penelope sat down on a chair in front of the living room window and watched the sleeping suburbs of DC. She wanted to have her old life back – whatever that meant. Her new life was just too confusing.

She was pregnant and couldn’t even remember who the father was. She lived in JJ’s house, because apparently, she’d moved out of her apartment. But she couldn’t remember having moved – and she couldn’t remember where or why or with whom she might have moved in.

She remembered a life spent hopelessly in love with a man who would never be more than her best friend. She remembered choir practices on Wednesdays to forget about tough cases and to meet people other than her friends at work.

She remembered counseling families of murder victims because she wanted to feel like she did something to help them cope – and since she couldn’t always help catch the murderer, that had been the alternative.

She wanted that life back. The life she knew. The life where she was the one trying to find answers, not the one having so many open questions no one was able or willing to answer.

“Can’t sleep, baby cakes?” she heard his all too familiar voice ask behind her.

She sighed again. “No, I was just… thinking.”

“Bout what?” Derek mumbled sleepily, sitting down next to her.

“Everything,” she replied with a shrug. “And nothing. My life, basically.”

“And? Did you come to any conclusions?”

Penelope shrugged again, and then sighed once more. “Maybe,” she finally said. “I was… thinking that maybe if I stopped sitting around here doing nothing but wonder about my new life and instead, go to places I used to go before…all this… maybe it might help me remember.”

Derek frowned, not quite sure what she was talking about. “You mean like the family counseling or the choir practice?”

Penelope raised her eyebrows in surprise. “I told you about that, too?”

“Well I… kind of… found out about it on my own,” he mumbled. “So, if you want to, we can go tonight.”

“We?” Penelope asked suspiciously.

“Yeah, when I went there to look for you, the director decided you needed more male voices,” Derek mumbled.

Penelope frowned at him. “So you’re telling me that we’ve both been singing in a choir… together.”

“Yeah,” he affirmed, smirking somewhat insecurely. “Why? Is that so surprising?”

“To be honest, yeah, it is,” she mumbled with a soft giggle. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, but I… I don’t think I ever pictured you as a singer.”

“Well, it looks like I’m full of surprises,” he replied with a smirk.

Yeah, and lately, she doubted that she really knew him anymore. Penelope sighed. If he was singing with her in the choir, it meant he had met Isabelle. She was exactly his type – beautiful, and most certainly at his feet the moment she’d first seen him.

“Is there something wrong?” Derek asked carefully. “If you don’t want me to go with you…”

“No, I… I don’t mind you joining us,” Penelope assured him. “And I’m sure Isabelle is already missing you a lot.”

Derek rolled his eyes. “Trust me, Baby Girl, if there’s any reason not to go to the practice tonight, it’s definitely her.”

“Wow, and I really thought she was your type,” she mumbled before she could stop the words from escaping her mouth.

Derek raised an eyebrow at her.

“I’m sorry,” Penelope sighed, feeling ashamed. “I didn’t mean to… I just thought that she might have… you know… tried something.”

“And you really thought I’d fall for her from the moment she hit on me?” Derek frowned. Apparently, she really thought he was that superficial. That meant they were back to the part where she didn’t believe he could be serious with her. Great. Just great!

“Well, I… I’m sorry, this is not my business,” she finally said, turning away from him again.

Derek ran a hand over his head. She had no idea how much this was her business.

“Come on, let’s go back to bed,” he suggested. “You need to rest.”

She agreed silently and followed him toward the bedroom. She’d long since given up on asking herself why he seemed so comfortable sharing a bed with her. If he wanted to pay her so much attention, she could go with it and enjoy it as long as it might last.

Nonetheless, she didn’t find much more sleep for the rest of the night. She’d allowed Derek to become her co-singer – not to mention that apparently he had not hooked up with Belle right away.

Her world was turned upside down. Derek didn’t behave like Derek anymore – except for the cute and sometimes annoying over-protectiveness he just couldn’t abandon. But apart from that… it almost felt like she was trapped in some alternate universe where Derek wasn’t a womanizer, but rather the down-home husband kind of guy.

Well, she was lacking almost three years of her life. People – including herself and Derek – could have changed during that time. JJ was married and had a son, after all.

Maybe going back to her old life would help her remember her new life. And even if it didn’t, it would still make her feel better – even if it meant having to watch Belle throwing herself at Derek the whole evening long.

Much to Penelope’s surprise, though, Belle was rather hesitant toward Derek. She didn’t even try to start a conversation. And she was holding back the nasty comments she used to mumble to Penelope because the director never asked Belle to sing a solo.

“Okay, spill it,” Penelope said through a mouthful of pasta when they were sitting in the cozy restaurant Derek had taken her to after the practice. “What did you do to Belle that she didn’t even try to flirt with you?”

Derek shrugged nonchalantly and grinned at her. “I told her that her efforts were pointless.”

Penelope grimaced, showing that she doubted this would work with Belle. “And she gave up. Just like that.”

“Well, I… made clear that I was taken,” he replied reluctantly. “I guess that was enough to make her back off.”

Drawing in a deep breath, she asked, trying to sound casually, “And are you? Taken, I mean.”

He could see her fighting down a flush that wanted to rise in her cheeks. “That’s… far more complicated than you might expect,” he told her quietly.

Penelope raised her head to look at him. “Why?” she asked. “I mean, you’re either taken or you’re not… It’s as simple as that, right?”

“Most of the time, it is,” he replied with a sigh. “But in this case… I’m afraid it’s not. I’d like to say that I’m still taken, but at the moment, I’m not sure what she thinks about it.”

For a moment, her face fell, before she managed to fake a huge smile. “Wow, you’ve really fallen for her.”

“Yeah,” he affirmed, automatically reaching over the table to take her hand in his. “But she doesn’t believe that I am.”

New butterflies arose in her stomach, but she refused to let her mind go this way and ask herself if he might be talking about her. Quickly pulling her hand from his touch, she mumbled, “Well, she sure is some lucky girl to have a man like you wooing her.”

Derek sighed in frustration, but decided not to reply.

Looking at him, Penelope couldn’t help but wonder if she had just hurt him. He looked hurt – or rather, desperate. But he couldn’t have been talking about her…

“You know,” Penelope started, mainly to change the topic. “I’ve been… dreaming about a house lately, and since the dream about my shooting was a memory, too, I was wondering… if the house actually exists.”

“What does it look like?” Derek asked.

“It’s… rather huge,” she replied, letting her eyes wander to a distant place in order to remember the house she’d only dreamed about. “It’s white, and… when you enter, there’s a large, beautiful kitchen to the right, made of wood. And… there’s a bedroom, painted purple, and a cozy little nursery right next to it.”

She looked up again to meet Derek’s smiling face. “It’s the house I moved in with… well, with the baby’s father, right?” she asked.

“Yeah, it is,” he affirmed.

“Can I… see it?” she carefully pressed him. “I mean, maybe… if I see the house, I’ll remember more of… what happened.”

“Sure, we… we can go there after dinner,” Derek told her excitedly. Maybe, just maybe, she would remember something.

The drive was relatively quiet. Penelope’s heart was beating like mad, and so was Derek’s. Would she finally remember the past three years? Or at least parts of them?

What if she remembered that Derek was the father of her baby and that they’d been about to get married before the CCHF nearly killed her? Would they be able to go back there just like that?

Derek sighed inwardly. Considering their luck lately, she certainly wouldn’t remember anything at all.

Both Penelope and Derek took a deep breath when he pulled into a driveway in front of the house. “Here we are,” he announced, switching off the engine.

For a moment, they both remained silent. None of them moved, both waiting for the other to be the first to get off the car.

“Any new memories popping up?” Derek finally asked to break the silence.

Penelope looked at him for a second, and then back at the house. “No,” she replied with a sigh. “I’m sorry. It’s just… Everything is blurred. I remember the house and what it looks like inside – at least partly – but I don’t remember moving here or ever having spent a single second here. It’s frustrating.”

“Yeah, I know,” Derek mumbled, and then finally got out of the car. “Shall we?” he asked.

Nodding, Penelope got out as well to follow him. If she remained sitting in the car, she’d certainly never find out anything more than the fact that she’d apparently moved here.

What if she remembered the baby’s father and the reason she’d given up all hope on ever getting together with a certain FBI agent? She wasn’t sure she really wanted that. She wasn’t sure she really could forget about her stupid crush on him – twice.

But eventually, she needed to remember. She couldn’t continue letting Derek spoil her for the whole rest of her pregnancy. That was the father’s job, after all.

Even if she found out that the father’s baby had left her and she was going to be a single mom, anything was better than not remembering anything at all.

Derek took the keys from his pocket without an explanation why he had them and unlocked the door. He had called his mother from the restaurant and told her they were heading for the house – and to take Clooney for a walk to give Penelope a chance to remember on her own.

Penelope didn’t seem to wonder why Derek had the keys to her house, though. She was too busy trying to find anything about the house that helped her remember.

The kitchen was exactly like the one she’d dreamed about: huge, with white walls and wooden furniture.

When she turned to the left and took a look into the living room, she stumbled backwards. She’d dreamed about this place about a dozen times, but hadn’t known it truly existed.

Staring at the fireplace in shock, the picture of her and Derek making love in front of the fire popped up in her head again.

“Baby Girl?” Derek carefully asked. “Are you all right?”

She drew her eyes away from the fireplace to look at Derek, tears forming in the corner of her eyes. “It’s true,” she whispered. “We… We had… sex.”

Slowly, Derek nodded, but wasn’t sure what to tell her.

“How could you?” she whispered, making him blink at her. “When I was pregnant with another man’s…” She could read it in his face. It was written all over his face that it wasn’t another man’s child.

“Oh, my God,” Penelope whispered, a tear running down her cheek. “You… I… You are… the baby’s father.”

Okay, she obviously wasn’t happy about the realization.

“Yes,” Derek affirmed. “I… I wanted to tell you, but I wasn’t sure how… I…”

“How could you do that to me?!” she interrupted him.

“Baby Girl…”

“Don’t Baby Girl me,” she yelled. “You’re not the kind of guy who keeps up relationships, and you know that. How could you?! Why couldn’t you at least use protection?”

“Penelope,” Derek started again. “Let me explain. It’s… It’s not what you think it is. We didn’t just…”

“Don’t,” she fended off. “I don’t want to hear it. I… I can’t believe you did this to me.”

That being said, she turned on her heels and ran outside.

“Penelope,” Derek called after her. “Penelope, wait, let me explain!” He quickly ran after her.

“Let her go,” he heard his mother’s voice next to him.

Derek turned to watch her walk Clooney around the corner of the house. “But--” he started.

“Give her some time,” Fran interrupted softly. “She’ll come back.”

Sighing, Derek watched Penelope run down the street. He wasn’t so sure his mother was right.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 25th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
Oh Penelope...*sigh* How could she think so bad about him? *sigh* Damn, you really are good at making me want to read more^^

I really love this story and I'm glad you are back

Nov. 25th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much! *hugs*

See, it's comments like yours that make me want to go and write more. :)

Thanks so much for feeding my muse all the time.
Nov. 25th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
You know it's my pleasure to feed your muse :) I absolutely love this story!! Or more all your D/G stories :)
Nov. 25th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, Penelope, that's so sad. Why can't you just listen. Derek's been nothing but amazing to you.

I hope you write more sooooon!
Dec. 11th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Indeed, he has been... Well, as usual, my life is crazy at the moment. But I might find the time to finish the story for Christmas - hopefully. ;)
Dec. 11th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know. That's not a "hurry up and finish," just a desire to see more when it's up. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )