Title: Don’t leave me this way – part 19
Fandom: Criminal Minds
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: I know you've been waiting for this chapter, so enjoy. :)
Derek led her to the couch in the living room, making her sit down and then carefully taking the seat next to her. Since he absolutely wasn’t sure how to start the conversation, he waited for her to say something.
“I…just couldn’t believe that you…and I…” she started, obviously not really knowing what to say.
Derek took a deep breath, before replying, “It was always hard for you to believe I was serious. That was why I was afraid to tell you the truth.”
“I still don’t remember much,” she whispered, looking down at her hands and entwining her fingers. “Just this one night we spent together and that it was…simply perfect.”
He smiled sadly. “I don’t expect anything from you,” he told her. “I always wanted to give you time to remember – and if you can’t imagine staying here with me for the time being, I can understand.”
“Of course I can imagine it,” she whispered.
Frowning, Derek added, “But you can’t believe it.”
“I’m sorry,” she replied. “You did your best to take care of me and I…I’m really grateful for that, but…this is so…unbelievable. I mean…you have no idea how long I’ve been dreaming of this…”
Derek raised an eyebrow at her in surprise, but didn’t say anything.
“Since the day we met, I’ve…been dreaming that one day you would wake up and realize you were in love with me,” she reluctantly told him, sniffling slightly. “And I’m sorry I thought so little of you, but…when I realized you were the baby’s father, I just…”
“…thought it was an accident?” he finished the sentence for her.
She hesitated and then nodded, looking farther down.
Carefully, Derek reached out to put a finger under her chin and made her look at him again. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “For waiting so long before I finally made a move on you – and for not being able to make remembering easier for you.”
“You’ve been absolutely wonderful the past couple of months,” she assured him. “And I wanted you to be the father of this baby so badly…”
He frowned at her. “But still, you can’t be happy that I am.”
“I don’t know,” she sniffled. “I want to believe you. I want to believe everything you told me about the baby’s father is true…but…”
Derek ran a hand over his face. He hadn’t pictured her memory slowly coming back to be easy, but he hadn’t pictured it to be this hard, either.
“What happened?” she wanted to know. “I mean, what really happened…between us?”
Derek sighed and looked at her for a second, not sure where he was supposed to start. “I asked you out before…you were shot, but you blew me off, because you were pissed at me. And then afterwards, I asked you out again – and you reacted pretty much the same way. But somehow, I managed to convince you to go with me to the Bureau’s New Year’s party.”
Derek smiled at the memory and added, “It was hard for me to convince you this was a real date, though.”
“And you…wiped the blood off of the stairs in front of my apartment,” she whispered. “I remember that.”
“Yes,” he replied, excitedly. “That was the first time you kissed me.”
She smiled shyly, blushing a little.
“After that, we had a lot of dates, but somehow, you still didn’t believe we were an item. You never called us that, and you seemed to feel uncomfortable when other people called us a couple. That was why we waited quite a while before making it official. More than nine months, to be precise.
“Eventually, I took you to meet my family,” he recalled. “You were…well, not really amused at first, but you got along great. So my mom invited you to Chicago for her birthday.”
Getting an idea about what might help Penelope remember, he suddenly stood up to rummage through one of the nearby drawers. Finally having found what he had been looking for, Derek returned, handing Penelope a bunch of pictures.
She saw herself at the sights of Chicago, some pictures with two other women Penelope assumed were Derek’s sisters – but most of the pictures with Derek himself. He was close to her in every single one of the pictures, and they both seemed happy.
“I remember,” she whispered. “We were at this…gigantic aquarium.”
“The Shedd Aquarium,” he told her with a nod.
“Your sister,” Penelope added, looking at one of the pictures in her hands. “Des… She… She has two iguanas – and a crush on Reid.”
“Yeah,” he affirmed, snorting slightly.
Penelope couldn’t help but giggle softly. “I guess you aren’t too happy about the last point,” she teased.
“You do realize Des is only a few years younger than I am,” he grumbled. “Making her old enough…to…”
“To be his mother?” Penelope offered. “Come on, he’s not that young.”
“Well, maybe not his mother, but still…” Derek mumbled.
“What? You don’t consider Reid appropriate company for your sister?” she asked.
“Trust me, babycakes, it’s not my sister I’m worried about,” he told her in all honesty.
“I see,” she giggled. Looking back at the pictures, she became serious again. “I remember the party,” she said, holding up the picture of them at Fran’s birthday party. “We…threw your mother a surprise party.”
She put the picture away and shrieked when she saw the next one. “Oh, my God! Did we really…?” Her voice trailed off, and she handed him the picture of them singing.
“Yep,” Derek told her with a grin. “My sister picked ‘Sexy Love’ for us.”
“Oh, God, that must have been embarrassing,” she mumbled.
Derek frowned at her. “Actually, everyone seemed to enjoy our little show quite a lot – yourself included.”
“I’m sorry,” Penelope replied, “it’s just that…this was kind of one of my worst nightmares, you know.”
“Singing with me?” he asked, frowning once more.
“No,” she quickly assured him, “I was talking about singing in general. I mean, singing in public – at least if I know the people listening.”
“That was why you didn’t want any of us knowing about the choir,” he recalled with a nod. “You didn’t want us to hear you sing.”
“Yeah, that was why I was so shocked when you suddenly showed up there,” she told him.
Derek stared at her for a second, before smiling widely. “You remember that?”
She nodded. “The longer we…talk, the more I seem to remember,” she quietly said. “And the pictures helped a lot, too. Besides, I’ve been dreaming about parts of all this, our relationship, I mean – okay, basically about you, but…I was never sure whether it was real – and I didn’t dare ask.”
He nodded, and for a moment, it was silent in his living room. He wasn’t sure if he could dare reach out to take her hand in his. But eventually, the urge to touch her became too overwhelming to ignore any longer.
Much to his relief, she didn’t pull away. She just smiled at him a little shyly.
“I’ve had those dreams before,” she whispered, not daring to look at him. “That’s why I thought they couldn’t be memories. But they were so…vivid, so real…”
“Because they were memories,” he replied hoarsely.
Nodding, she looked at the pictures in her hands again. There was just no way she was going to discuss her wet dreams about Derek with him any further. So instead, she tried to remember the days the pictures had been taken. And then she saw it. Her eyes almost popped out of her head.
“Oh, my God,” she gasped, looking closer at the picture. Then she looked back at Derek. “The wedding where I collapsed…” she whispered, handing him the picture.
He nodded and finished the sentence for her, “…was supposed to be ours.”
“You…really wanted to marry me?” she asked nervously.
“Not wanted,” Derek softly corrected her, reaching into his pocket for the small velvet box, handing it to her.
Penelope looked at the box in her hands for a few seconds before opening it, her heart pounding like mad.
“I never want to be with anyone else again, ever. Penelope Garcia,” she suddenly heard his voice echoing in her head. “Will you marry me?”
“I still want to,” he added in a low voice.
Carefully placing a hand over her abdomen, Penelope tried to identify the strange feeling that spread through her stomach. It wasn’t the morning sickness.
And then suddenly, it hit her. It was the feeling she’d had when Derek had proposed. This feeling that all her dreams were coming true and she couldn’t be any happier. He really wanted to marry her. Everything he’d told her about the baby’s father was true.
She turned her attention from the ring back toward him. And Derek was that man, the man who loved her, wanted to marry her, and wanted to have their child.
“If you still want to, that is,” he croaked, rather than said.
She gave him a puzzled look. She’d been so concentrated on her memories that she had almost missed what he had said. Quickly, she handed the box back to him.
Derek’s heart sank as he took the box from her – until he looked up into her smiling face.
“Would you…ask me again?” she whispered. “It…feels strange to just put the ring back on.”
He smiled widely at her and kneeled down in front of her, holding out the ring. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long, Baby Girl,” he told her. “The last couple of months have been hell. First, I almost lost you to the CCHF, and then you couldn’t remember anything we’d had before you got infected…
“I really thought I was going to lose you this time, and it scared the hell out of me, because I love you and I can’t imagine a single day without you. Penelope Garcia, will you make me the happiest man on Earth and marry me?”
“Yes,” she sniffled. “Absolutely yes.”
Sighing with relief, Derek put the ring back on Penelope’s finger, where it belonged.
Smiling, she pulled him into a tight embrace.
He willingly wrapped his arms around his Baby Girl, burying his face in her hair – and he couldn’t resist. He was so used to nibbling that special spot on her neck, and he missed tasting her so much. He knew, he certainly shouldn’t, but she’d agreed to marry him, after all.
“Oh,” Penelope gasped, tilting her head so that he could reach the spot better, as her eyes fluttered shut.
But suddenly, her eyes widened and she pushed him away, staring at him.
He frowned at her, about to apologize for rushing things.
“You did that before,” she whispered. “Quite often… Even… Even at your mother’s house.”
“Yeah,” he affirmed, smiling at the memory. “I got carried away back then. Just like I did a few seconds ago. I just can’t resist touching you.”
She felt herself blush, but smiled nonetheless.
Hoping to make her remember more of the time they’d spent together, Derek slowly took her hand in his, raising it to his mouth and starting to nibble on that spot on her wrist.
Penelope closed her eyes once more. Okay, he definitely knew what she liked – and he knew which spots he needed to touch to drive her insane. He couldn’t have figured that out in only one night, could he?
Automatically, she climbed onto his lap, letting her hands slide under his shirt, while her lips captured his in a passionate kiss.
Derek pulled her closer to deepen the kiss. “I missed you, goddess,” he whispered against her lips, before leaving her mouth and moving farther down to her neck again.
Suddenly, Penelope pulled back, looking around the room.
“What?” Derek asked, puzzled.
“I don’t know,” she told him with a shrug, still looking around the room. “I just had a feeling that we might…not be alone.”
He smiled at her. “Yeah, last time we were sitting on a couch like that, my sisters walked in on us.”
“Really?” she burst out, blushing slightly.
“Relax. They got used to walking in on us,” he replied with a chuckle, causing Penelope to blush even more.
“Don’t worry, sweetness,” he said, cupping her cheek with his hand. “They never actually caught us. They only kept walking in on us when we were making out a little, so nothing too intimate – and it always made them giggle.”
“Oh,” she mumbled, smiling down at him. “So, I guess this means we’re safe now?” She leaned down again, letting her want take over control, her hands working up their way over his abs, making his skin tingle.
“Um…actually…my mother’s sleeping in the guest room,” he told her reluctantly, pointing his thumb towards the small guest room under the stairs right behind them. He wasn’t entirely sure where this would go if they interrupted to go to their bedroom. But he didn’t want his mother walking in on them, either.
Penelope pulled away, quickly removing her hands from under his shirt, looking at Derek in disbelief.
“Well, she was taking care of Clooney and of the house while we were staying at JJ’s place,” he told her.
She nodded, not sure what to say in such an awkward situation. She wanted to continue this, especially since she knew all her very vivid dreams about him had actually been memories. She wanted to feel that way again.
So she took heart, stood up, and pulled him with her.
He smiled at the realization that she knew where their bedroom was – and couldn’t seem to wait to get him there.
But suddenly, she stopped on her way, turning her attention to the room on her right. Slowly, she stepped inside, letting her hand run over the crib. “It was yours,” she whispered without turning her attention away from the piece of furniture. “Wasn’t it?”
“Yeah.” He nodded, wrapping his arms around Penelope. “And now it’s going to be our daughter’s.”
“How can you be so sure it’s a girl?” she whispered, leaning back against his chest.
Derek shrugged. “Just my gut, I guess.”
Smiling, she turned around in his arms. “I remember how you first showed me around the house,” she mumbled against his chest. “And I…remember all the things you made me feel that night.”
Swallowing the lump that was forming in her throat, Penelope looked up to lock eyes with him. “I… I want you to make me feel that way again,” she whispered, almost inaudible.
Derek didn’t need to be told twice. Grinning, he pulled her with him toward their bedroom.
Don't leave me this way - Part 19
Title: Don’t leave me this way – part 19