Title: Confessions – Part 2
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_forbidden fruits: #14 Dark
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 24/? of the “Love and prejudice”-series.
She hadn’t planned on falling asleep. She’d wanted to stay awake so she wouldn’t miss Derek waking up again. But after almost two days, it simply was impossible for Penelope to keep her eyes open any longer.
She laid her head down next to Derek’s shoulder so she would at least wake up if he stirred. It didn’t even take half a minute, and she was sound asleep.
As usual, she dreamed about Derek. Since he’d been shot, whenever she closed her eyes, her thoughts only revolved around him. Sometimes, she had nightmares. She had to watch him die in every possible way. Sometimes, she dreamed about the good memories they shared. And sometimes, she even dreamed about their possible future.
This time, she went back to the fateful evening when she had blown him off. If only he had heard her call after him. Maybe then none of this would have happened. Or maybe then it wouldn’t have worked out because she might have always had guilt about Kevin on her conscience.
Everything happens for a reason, she heard herself say in her dream. If only that was true and all this had to happen for them to be able to really be happy.
Still, she couldn’t stop feeling guilty. All of this was her fault. Of course, Derek would certainly argue that it was his fault or maybe just bad luck, but she knew the truth. If he hadn’t been so disappointed by her reaction, he’d never been so reckless.
Could they really build their relationship on all that? They probably wouldn’t even be an item if Derek hadn’t been shot. What kind of starting point was that?
On the other hand, it wasn’t like she’d needed almost losing him to realize how she really felt about him. She’d been in love with him for as long as she could remember, and she’d always been aware of it.
And Derek had made his move on her before this had happened. So maybe that was something to start with. They’d been in love with each other before. They’d been aware of their feelings before. Why shouldn’t they be able to keep up a relationship afterwards?!
Then again, there were so many things working against them – the frat rules leading the way. Strauss would never in a million years allow them to even start dating. Okay, she didn’t need to know. They could probably keep their relationship a secret since they already acted like a couple most of the time.
And what about their friends? What if they found out? What would they say?
You worry too much, Baby Girl, she heard Derek’s voice say inside her head. And then she saw him standing right in front of her, smiling. He reached out to stroke her hair and whispered, “I love you, Baby Girl.”
Suddenly, the typical scent of hospitals filled her nose again, and when she opened her eyes, she saw the plain white sheets of Derek’s bed.
She lifted her head and looked up at him, surprised to find him awake.
“Hey,” Derek croaked more than said.
“Hey,” she replied in a whisper. “You scared me to death, you know that?”
“I’m sorry, Baby Girl. This all went wrong.”
She hadn’t even noticed she’d said the words out loud until he replied. So she just mumbled something before asking if she should call the doctors.
Much to her surprise, Derek shook his head no. She sighed with relief. This granted her some time to tell him why she had really blown him off and what she really felt about him. Alas, she didn’t know where to start.
Once more, Derek reached out and, this time, cupped her cheek with his hand.
She couldn’t help but lean into the warmth of his palm and the softness of his touch. Sometimes, she still needed assurance that he hadn’t stayed on the table.
“I’m sorry, Derek,” she heard herself whisper.
Unsurprisingly, he immediately told her that none of this was her fault, but she knew better.
“Of course it was,” she told him. “None of this would have happened if I had just told you the truth.”
“The truth?” The hope was obvious in his voice.
“I…It’s true that I was happy with Kevin,” she said, looking down to avoid 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.”
“We…broke up,” she told him – and she could have sworn she heard him sigh with relief. “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.”
She felt his finger brush over her cheek and heard him say, “So, where does that leave us?”
“I honestly don’t know.” The words had escaped her mouth before she even had time to think about them, and she could see Derek’s heart break.
She hurried to explain to him what she’d really wanted to say with that, but she failed terribly. All she could do was stutter meaningless, incoherent fragments of what were supposed to be sentences. And then she heard herself swear. She really should learn to think before she talked.
Taking a deep breath to collect her thoughts, Penelope decided to give it a second try. “Don’t get me wrong. I honestly, seriously, desperately—” Don’t start babbling again, Penelope! “—want to be with you, but…what about the rules? What about the others? What are they gonna say? And most importantly, what if this doesn’t work out? What if we realize we’re… just not meant to be?”
“Don’t worry, sweetness, we will make this work,” he assured her. “And about the rules…well, let’s worry about them once we’re back at work. One day at a time.”
Somehow, she had expected him to say something like that. But still, it didn’t erase her fears.
“But…there’s something else bothering you,” she heard him say.
God, how she hated being profiled. It was like he read her like a book and there was nothing she could do about it. Penelope couldn’t help but wonder if with such skills, he’d always known what she really felt about him.
“What is it?” he pressed.
She sighed and finally found the courage to lock eyes with him again. “You know, I’ve always wished that we would finally get together, but not like this.”
“Me, either,” he replied.
She felt the corners of her mouth moving up just slightly as she nodded. “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.”
Once again, she’d known he would say something like that. “I really like the thought of that,” she whispered.
He didn’t say anything in return. He just kept stroking her cheek and looking into her eyes, and suddenly, the urge to finally kiss him for real became unbearable.
But this probably wasn’t the right time or the right place for their first kiss. His mother was sleeping right next to them, after all, and a doctor could walk in on them.
Screw it, she thought, carefully leaning forward.
She felt his hand sliding behind her head, gently pulling her closer, and her heart started beating like mad. She was about to kiss Derek Morgan – meaning she was about to find out if he really was as great a kisser as she’d imagined him to be.
He was so close that she became dizzy. God, even after weeks in this hospital bed, he still smelled so intoxicating that she was about to lose her mind. He was mere inches away.
Suddenly, she jumped at a loud beeping alert going off. Automatically, her eyes jumped to the monitor Derek was attached to. Something seemed to be wrong.
“Sorry,” he said with a chuckle. “I guess you made my heart beat too fast.”
She couldn’t stop the blood from rushing to her cheeks. But still it felt somehow great to know that she – or the prospect of kissing her – had such an effect on him. But maybe this wasn’t good, given his condition…
“Are you okay?” she asked worriedly.
“Yeah, I guess that was the good form of ventricular fibrillation,” he said with a grin.
“So not funny,” she grumbled. Nonetheless, his words encouraged her to give it another try, so she leaned closer again.
This time, it was the voice of his mother that interrupted them. “Derek, you’re awake.”
“Hey, Mom,” he said – and Penelope could have sworn she saw him roll his eyes.
“I’ll call the doctors,” was all Fran said before rushing out of the room.
Derek sighed. “I guess that means there’s no chance for some alone time anytime soon.”
Penelope giggled. “Easy, stud muffin. I don’t want you to rip your stitches.”
He locked eyes with her and said so serious that it made her heart race again, “But I can’t wait to finally kiss you.”
Quickly pecking his cheek, she whispered, “We’ll get there soon enough.”
Confessions - Part 2
Title: Confessions – Part 2