Title: Confessions - Part 1
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: Part 23/? of the "love and prejudice"-series. It's time for Pen and Derek to sort some things out.
AN: I know, it’s been a while, but at least, I kind of found my muse again. I started working on other stories that need an update, too, so there’s at least a chance that you’ll read something more, soon.
I wanted to say thank you. For hanging in there with me, for not pressing me and for being so kind and understanding of my current situation. You have no idea how much all the nice words you wrote meant to me.
I have some problems at work which is also keeping me from writing pretty often. I really don’t want to rant about it, but with everything that happened so far, this would probably fill a story. Maybe I’ll write about how I plan on getting rid of everyone annoying me. :)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter. More is coming, eventually.
Best wishes for the holidays,
He was drifting in and out of consciousness for the next couple of days. He wasn't sure how much of what he experienced when he thought he was awake actually happened.
Sometimes, he could hear his mother and Penelope talk, but he couldn't understand what they were saying. They seemed to get along well, though.
Somehow, this was encouraging him to fight harder and try to wake up. He needed to know if his mother liked Penelope. He needed to find out what the kiss Penelope had given him had meant.
He wasn't sure how long it took him, how many times he woke up for merely a few seconds or minutes. Sometimes, he only managed to say a few words or move his arm before falling back asleep.
It felt like something was still seriously wrong with him. Of course, after such a wound and the surgery, it was normal to feel exhausted, but...shouldn't it get better? Shouldn't this constant dizziness and sleepiness finally wear off?
Maybe it was due to the medication. He was probably still getting pain killers. How long had he been here anyway?
It could also be due to the fact that he'd been sleeping for so long - or well, unconscious. But that was probably all the same for his body.
He needed to focus to stay awake longer. Maybe then he would find some new strength and recover sooner so that he could tell Penelope everything that was on his mind right now.
Finally, he managed to stay awake a little longer. It took him a while to clear his thoughts enough to think straight.
He smelled Penelope very close to him, the sweet scent of vanilla and cherries. He smiled to himself. She had opted for his favorite fragrance.
Turning his head toward the familiar scent, he suddenly felt her hair tickling his cheek. Was she lying next to him?
He forced his eyes to open, looking around in the dim light of the room. His mother was sleeping in a nearby chair, and - indeed - his Baby Girl was sleeping next to him. Well, at least her head was lying next to him.
Carefully leaning a little closer, he inhaled her scent deeply. He still couldn't believe she was here. She had told him clearly that she wasn't interested, that she wouldn't leave Kevin. But the fact that she was still here - and Kevin hopefully was not - had to mean something.
He should probably just ask her. But this didn't quite seem like the right moment. His mother was in the room, and Penelope was peacefully asleep. He didn't want to wake her up.
So, for the next minutes - or maybe hours, it still was hard to keep track of time in here - he just lay there and watched his Baby Girl sleep, his thoughts still revolving around the millions of questions he wanted to ask Penelope. Why was she still here? What had her kiss meant? Was she still mad at him?
When the urge to touch her became unbearable, he carefully lifted his arm and stroked her hair ever so slightly.
She stirred a little but seemed to go back to sleep.
Smiling, he whispered, "I love you, Baby Girl."
Penelope stirred again, and this time, she opened her eyes and looked up at him.
"Hey," he whispered insecurely. Had she heard him?
"Hey," she replied equally voicelessly. "You scared me to death, you know that?"
"I'm sorry, Baby Girl," he told her. "This all went wrong."
"Yeah, tell me about it," she mumbled. "Should I call the doctors?"
He shook his head. He absolutely didn't want to be interrupted again - not before he had found out what this kiss had meant to her.
Reaching out, he gently cupped her cheek with his hand, and this time, she didn't withdraw from him. Instead, she leaned into his touch and closed her eyes for a moment.
"I'm sorry, Derek," she whispered, her eyes still closed.
"What happened wasn't your fault," he objected.
"Of course, it was," she sighed, finally opening her eyes to look at him. "None of this would have happened if I had just told you the truth."
"The truth?" he asked in a mixture of confusion and hope.
"I...It's true that I was happy with Kevin," she started, suddenly avoiding his eyes. "And I really liked him. That's why I didn't want to hurt him - and that was why...I blew you off."
"And...now?" he carefully asked.
"We...split up," she whispered. "Kind of...because of what happened to you and kind of because...well, apparently he always knew that no matter how hard I tried, I could never love him as much as I love you."
Smiling, Derek let his thumb brush her cheek. "So...where does that leave us?"
"I honestly don't know," she whispered, her words causing Derek's heart to sink.
She must have noticed because she quickly added, "I mean, I...I don't want to...I didn't mean...Damn it!"
In any other situation, Derek would probably have made fun of her now. But he was too apprehensive to really think of something teasing to say.
"Don't get me wrong," she finally managed to say. "I honestly, seriously, desperately want to be with you, but...what about the rules? What are the others gonna say? And most importantly, what if this doesn't work out? What if we find out that...we're just not meant to be?"
"Don't worry, sweetness," he softly replied. "We will make this work. And about the rules...well, let's worry about them when we're back at work. One day at a time."
She smirked but looked down. "Yeah, you're probably right about that."
"But...there's something else bothering you," he stated. He could tell from the look in her eyes.
"You know how much I hate it when you read me like that," she mumbled.
"What is it?" he softly asked.
She turned to look into his eyes again. "I've always wished for us to finally get together, but...not like this."
"Me, either," he whispered.
She nodded and then took a deep breath. "I still want to be with you, but I don't want to build our relationship on...everything that happened within the past few days. I mean...if you hadn't ended up here, none of this would have happened, would it?"
"If we're really meant to be - and I still believe that we are - we would have ended up together, one way or the other."
"You know, I really like that thought," she replied in a whisper.
This time, he didn't answer. He just kept stroking her cheek, looking into her eyes. He desperately wanted to kiss her, but he didn't dare. It seemed like Penelope still wasn't sure about her feelings for him - or maybe she just didn't dare act on them yet. Either way, trying to kiss her now could scare her off. He wouldn't let that happen again.
Suddenly, as if to prove Derek's worries wrong, Penelope leaned closer to him.
He smiled, letting his hand slide around her neck so that he could finally pull her close to him. He could smell her perfume and feel her breath against his lips - hot and so damn tempting. His heart started beating faster, and suddenly, a loud alert startled them.
Penelope jumped a little, her eyes wandering to the monitor Derek was attached to.
"Sorry," he mumbled, chuckling a little. "I guess you made my heart beat too fast."
"Are you okay?" she whispered, her voice filled with worry again.
"Yeah, I guess that was the good form of ventricular fibrillation," he joked.
"So not funny," Penelope mumbled, leaning closer again.
"Derek, you're awake," he heard a sleepy voice coming from his left.
"Hey, Mom," he greeted, sighing quietly. As much as he loved seeing his mother here, he'd much rather be alone with his Baby Girl right now.
"I'll call the doctors," she stated, leaving the room.
"I guess that means there's no chance for some alone time anytime soon," he mumbled, sighing once more.
"Easy there, stud muffin," Penelope teased. "I don't want you to rip your stitches."
He locked eyes with her and said in all seriousness, "But I can't wait to finally kiss you."
She leaned in to quickly peck his cheek, whispering, "We'll get to that soon enough."
Confessions - Part 1
Title: Confessions - Part 1