Title: Hoping – Part 2
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30 forbidden fruits: #17 Fear
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 20/? of the ‘Love and prejudice’-series.
AN: First of all, I want to wish you all a very happy, joyful, successful, healthy New Year 2012! I hope you had a good New Year’s Eve and a Happy Holiday beforehand. I’d like to say that my New Year’s resolutions include trying to update more regularly. But I don’t make resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Besides, I certainly wouldn’t be able to keep them anyway. :)
I hope you’re all safe and well. Now enjoy this chapter!
“Here,” Fran said softly, smiling at Penelope as she handed her a cup of coffee. “I thought you might need some caffeine.”
“Thank you,” Penelope whispered, smiling at Fran. “You know, you really shouldn’t be comforting me. I mean…”
“I know how much Derek means to you,” Fran interrupted her, sitting down by her son’s side opposite Penelope. “And I know how much you’re suffering because you think this is your fault.”
Penelope looked down so that Fran wouldn’t see the new tears forming in her eyes.
“He would have gone in to save the girl anyway,” Fran insisted. “You know that, I know that, and he does, as well. It wasn’t your fault.”
“But still, if it hadn’t been for our fight, he wouldn’t have been out there alone,” Penelope whispered.
Fran sighed. There obviously was no way of talking Penelope out of her self-reproach. “You really love him, don’t you?” she remarked instead.
Penelope nodded. “We’ve been… best friends for as long as I can remember.”
Fran frowned at her. “And you never… felt anything… more than that?”
Penelope’s head shot up, and she looked at the other woman almost in shock. Looking back down, she then mumbled, “It doesn’t matter.”
Raising an eyebrow at her, Fran asked, “Why?”
“Well, I… We could never… It’s against the rules,” Penelope stuttered. “There are… frat rules forbidding agents who work together to be… more than just partners.”
“And you really care about these rules?” Fran asked, her voice clearly showing disbelief.
“I… He… He never…” Penelope sighed.
“He never made a move on you,” Fran concluded.
Penelope just smiled sadly, but didn’t say anything in return. There had been so many occasions when she had wanted him to make a move – knowing that she would never dare. But he had never tried anything. Not even on the many occasions where they’d been alone and close to each other.
And after she’d been shot, she had realized that if she kept longing for a man she couldn’t have, she would spent the rest of her life alone. She had realized that she didn’t want to die with no one else on her emergency list than her best friend.
She had been sure they would never be more than that. She had been sure Derek didn’t feel that way for her.
But obviously, she had been wrong.
“You’re in love with him,” Fran stated, interrupting her thoughts. “Or is there another reason his… accident caused you to break up with your boyfriend?”
“I guess he knew,” Penelope whispered.
“That you were in love with someone else?” Fran softly pressed her.
Penelope nodded, wiping away new tears that were streaming down her cheeks.
Fran sighed, but decided to let it go for now. Penelope obviously wasn’t in the condition to discuss anything – and if Fran were honest, she wasn’t, either.
They spent the rest of the wait in relative silence, only exchanging a few words from time to time. Both of them refused to go back to a hotel room at night. They stayed with Derek, for fear something might happen while they were absent.
Penelope wasn’t sure how long they stayed in the hospital. It was hard to keep track of time while she sat there waiting, all the time fearing he might not make it.
And then it happened. It was early in the morning – at least, Penelope assumed it was – and the doctors had just told them that his condition hadn’t changed.
Suddenly, it seemed like Derek had some sort of cramp. His body was shaking, and then his heart stopped beating.
Penelope wanted to scream, but her throat refused to produce any sound.
She was pushed out of the way by one of the nurses, and watched in disbelief as the doctors and nurses tried to save Derek’s life.
This couldn’t be true. This had to be a dream. He couldn’t just leave her like that.
She felt someone softly pull her out of the room.
“Come on,” Penelope heard Fran’s voice say, strong and composed. “We’ll stay out of the way.”
Unwillingly, Penelope let Fran lead her away from the scene. She should stay with Derek and watch over him, even though she knew she couldn’t do anything at the moment.
Penelope tried her best not to completely fall apart as they sat down in the cafeteria, waiting for any news on Derek. How could his mother be so calm in a situation like that?!
Reaching over the table, Fran took Penelope’s hand in hers. “He’ll be fine,” she said.
“How can you be so sure about that?” Penelope sniffled.
Fran gave her a warm smile. “I’m his mother,” she replied with a shrug. “I… just know. I have this feeling that everything will be all right.”
“And your feelings never betrayed you?” Penelope whispered.
“No,” Fran told her, her face losing some of its softness for a brief moment. “I knew when my husband died, and I always know how my children are.”
Penelope just nodded, hoping she could at least find some of Fran’s confidence.
The doctor walked up to them with only the hint of a smile on his face.
Both Penelope and Fran got up immediately.
“Agent Morgan’s heart stopped beating,” he told them, “but luckily, we could bring him back. We still can’t tell for sure if he will make it, but we decided to get him out of the induced coma.”
He didn’t say anything about it, but Penelope had a feeling that Derek flat-lining might have something to do with the artificial coma and that was why they’d decided to get him out of it.
“Can we see him?” Penelope asked automatically.
“Of course,” the doctor replied with a nod. “If he wakes up within the next twelve hours, he has a good chance of recovering soon.”
Penelope just nodded, not daring to ask what would happen if he didn’t wake up within that time.
When they returned to Derek’s hospital room and Penelope found him still lying motionlessly on the bed, she barely was able to hold back new tears.
“You know I should call the rest of the team and fill them in on the news,” Fran said. “I’m sure they’d want to be here.”
Penelope nodded absentmindedly, taking her seat next to Derek’s bed again.
Carefully, she took his hand in hers, and new tears streamed down her face. “Please don’t do this to me,” she whispered. “You can’t leave me alone like that. I love you too much to lose you.”
Leaning down, she buried her head in the crook of his neck, crying silently. What if he didn’t wake up soon? What if he never woke up again? She wasn’t sure she would be able to handle that.
Gently squeezing his hand, Penelope added, “Please, Derek, come back to me.”
But of course, he didn’t respond. She hadn’t really expected any reaction anyway.
He had always been there for her, always cheered her up with a witty comment or a naughty flirt. She had taken him for granted. Was that the punishment for it?
I understand. I won’t take him for granted, I promise. Please don’t take him away from me!
It had been a long time since she had prayed for something – really prayed. She went to church whenever she found the time, but it had been a long while since she’d really prayed for something she wanted.
She heard something – or rather, someone – croaking what reminded her of her nickname.
Her head shot up, and she stared at Derek, almost in shock.
He remained silent, motionless.
Had it really been him? Well, there was no one else in the room but the two of them.
Or maybe she had just imagined it. Maybe she had wanted him to wake up so badly, she’d imagined him calling her.
His brows furrowed ever so slightly, and his mouth opened. “Baby… Girl,” he croaked.
A small scream escaped Penelope’s mouth, before she reached for the alert with shaking hands.
Hoping - Part 2
Title: Hoping – Part 2