Title: Postpone – Part 1
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_forbidden fruits: #20 Afar
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 25/? of the “Love and prejudice”-series.
AN:I’m sorry you had to wait again. There were some things going on in my life and I didn’t have the time to post anything – or write anything for that matter. As to the job, now I have two offers (YAY), but they both come with a snag. So it’s pretty hard for me to decide which snag to accept so to speak.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter. It might be a while before I’ll be able to post again.
It was official: he was in hell. Sure, the physiotherapy went well and after two weeks, he was finally allowed to get up on his own.
But with all the nurses, doctors, and his mother constantly around, there was just no way he was getting some time alone with his Baby Girl.
He wasn’t even sure if he could think of them as an item already. Sure, they had confessed their feelings to each other and they’d both said they wanted to be together. But apart from the single chaste kiss he’d gotten the day he’d woken up, there hadn’t been much contact between them.
His mother had decided to stay at a nearby hotel, and Derek had convinced Penelope to do the same. He was getting better, out of the woods, so there was no reason for her not to find some good nights’ sleep.
Of course, he’d much rather had her around and been able to spend some time alone with her. But after almost three weeks she’d spent with him at the hospital, she’d looked so exhausted that he had to send her away. He didn’t want her to end up in the next room.
Thus, he was only seeing her occasionally. The appointments with doctors and physiotherapists were so time consuming that he barely had time to see his Baby Girl in between.
On the other hand, he wanted to get better and thus out of there as soon as possible. So he was willing to work not only twice as hard, but also twice as much to get better.
Every time he did find time to spend with Penelope, his mother was there, too. She was still worried about him, even though she pretended not to be. He couldn’t blame her for that, considering the way his father had died.
At least Penelope and his mother seemed to get along really well. He made a mental note to himself to ask Penelope about it whenever they were allowed to spend some time alone.
There was a soft knock on the door, and even though Derek knew exactly who it was, he couldn’t repress the hope rising in his chest that it would be someone else.
“How are we doing today?” the physiotherapist, Jenny, asked. She was a nice girl, twenty-something with light-brown hair and blue eyes.
“I don’t know how you are,” Derek replied, grumbling slightly. He hated it that nurses and doctors only seem to know the plural forms of the personal pronouns. “I’m ready to leave this hospital sooner rather than later.”
“Easy,” she scolded him as she pushed the wheelchair closer to the bed. “You know it won’t help you if you overdo it.”
“Yeah, I know,” he mumbled, unwillingly sitting down in the wheelchair. “But I also know that I’m going to go insane if my body doesn’t start acting like I want it to act soon.”
She chuckled as she pushed him out the door. “I know you’re used to more action in your life, but I’m afraid if you want to get back there, you’ll have to do what we tell you.”
It wasn’t so much the action he missed. The reason he wanted to get out of here as soon as possible wasn’t that he wanted to be back in the field. At least, that wasn’t the only reason.
It was almost ridiculous. Normally, all he’d wanted of a woman was spending some hours with her in bed. This time, all he wanted was to kiss Penelope, cuddle with her. Not that he didn’t want more. But for the time being, he’d be happy if he could at least be close to her.
“You know, your…girlfriend could help you during the sessions,” Jenny’s voice suddenly interrupted his thoughts.
He turned to raise an eyebrow at her.
Smiling, she pushed him into the gym. “I could tell you were thinking about her,” she explained. “You always get that dreamy smile on your face when you do.”
Derek opened his mouth to object but reconsidered it and just smirked.
“Sometimes it helps patients if someone who’s close to them attends the training,” she said. “It’s like…an incentive.”
Derek didn’t wait for her to tell him what to do. He immediately got out of his wheelchair and pulled himself toward the bars.
Jenny sighed. “On the other hand, you certainly don’t need any more motivation.”
“I honestly don’t know if I really want her to see me like this,” he mumbled as he started his exercises.
“Can I ask you something?” Jenny changed the topic.
“Sure,” Derek croaked. The exercises were demanding – or maybe he was.
“How exactly did this happen?” she burst out.
Derek stopped to raise an eyebrow at her.
“Well, you don’t seem like the careless kind of guy,” she explained. “I mean, I understand that your job is dangerous, but…”
Derek sighed and decided to take a break. “I was careless,” he admitted, “that one moment because my thoughts were…well, let’s just say I was absentminded. I didn’t pay enough attention. I was reckless.”
She frowned but obviously didn’t dare pressing him any further.
“I had a fight with Penelope beforehand,” he explained, starting his exercises again. “I…We…It’s complicated.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to invade your privacy like that,” she mumbled before smiling at him again. “You’re doing great, by the way. I wish all my patients were as fit and determined as you are.”
“I just want to get out of here so I can make up for…well, everything,” he told her.
“Nothing gives you wings like love does,” she said with a chuckle. “Okay, I think that’s enough for today.”
“I can do more exercises,” he objected.
“I know you can,” she said with a grin, pushing the wheelchair closer. “But it’s enough for today, and like I already told you, if you want to get out of here soon, you should do as I tell you.”
He grumbled something but obliged nonetheless.
Grinning, Jenny pushed him into the cafeteria. “Today, there’s someone waiting for you,” she told him, pointing her head toward the people at one of the tables.
Derek’s mood immediately brightened when he saw Penelope – and this time, she was accompanied by the rest of the team. “Hey, Baby Girl,” he greeted as Jenny pushed his wheelchair closer.
“Hey, Hot Stuff,” she said with a smile, getting up from her chair and leaning in to kiss his cheek. “Your mom’s gonna be here soon as well.”
“You two…get along well?” he asked carefully.
“Yes,” Penelope whispered. “She’s nice, and…well, to be honest, with the way she treats me, I already feel like her daughter-in-law.”
Derek smirked. “Yeah, that sounds like my mom.”
“She’s talking to your doctors right now to see how you’re really doing,” Penelope told him with a smile. “Apparently, she doesn’t entirely believe you when you tell her you’re fine and on the road to full recovery.”
“So, tell us,” Hotch told him in a stern voice. “How are you?”
“Well, I’m fine, given the circumstances,” Derek replied. “My physiotherapist is pretty satisfied with me. I can walk a few steps on my own already, but it will certainly take some time before I’ll be back in the field.”
“Don’t overdo it, Morgan,” Rossi said with a slight smirk. “You’ll get all the time you need to fully recover. You know that.”
“Once you’re ready to fly, we’ll get you back to Quantico. I’m sure you can finish the therapy there,” Hotch added.
“We’re heading back to Quantico,” JJ told him.
His heart sank. His Baby Girl was flying back to Quantico, and he certainly wouldn’t be able to see her for a while.
“Strauss won’t approve of us to stay here till this is over,” she explained.
Derek just nodded.
“However, we could convince her that one of us should stay behind to look after you,” Rossi added.
Derek couldn’t help but smirk. “By ‘we,’ you certainly mean yourself.”
“We draw matches to decide who’s gonna stay behind.” This time, it was Reid speaking.
“Really? Who was the lucky one?” Derek asked with a grin, not daring to hope that it was who he wanted it to be.
“Yours truly,” Penelope said. “I always lost that kind of game.”
“Well, lucky me,” he mumbled, grinning at her.
“We’re taking off in an hour,” Hotch said, getting up to leave. “Make sure he doesn’t overdo it. We want him back in one piece.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure he takes it easy,” Penelope assured him with a grin before hugging JJ and Reid goodbye.
Derek waited for their teammates to leave the cafeteria before turning to Penelope to ask, “So, was it really a lucky coincidence you drew the shortest match?”
Shifting a little uncomfortably, Penelope admitted, “Well, when Reid suggested this, I…kind of…prepared the matches, you know.”
Seeing her blush, Derek decided to change the topic. He reached over the table to take her hand in his. “You know, my physiotherapist suggested you could…help me during the lessons.”
“Are you sure you really want me to?” she asked in a soft voice.
“I…I know I want to be allowed to spend more time with you,” he told her. “Even though I’d much rather spend some time alone with you.”
“Derek Morgan,” she scolded, looking at him in mocked irritation. “Is that really all you can think about?”
He rolled his eyes. “Believe it or not, this is not the way I picture the start of a relationship.”
“No?” she asked innocently, grinning at him. “Then tell me, how do you picture it?”
“Going out,” he told her, gently squeezing her hand. “Having dinner together, dancing, and most importantly, kissing good night.”
“All that on a first date?” she whispered, leaning closer.
“Hm… It depends on the girl,” he said, smirking. “If she’s fun to hang around with and has such adorably irresistible lips, yeah, why not on the first date?”
“What about some cuddling?” she asked. “Is that something you save for later or also something you would do on a first date?”
“I’d cuddle with you even without a first date,” he whispered, ready to close the short distance between them.
Suddenly, Penelope pulled back, breaking the contact between them completely and not quite daring – yet. Pointing her head toward the door, she told Derek his mother had just arrived.
Derek rolled his eyes. “I hate hospitals.”
Penelope sighed. “Maybe we should…delay such attempts until we can finally be sure that we’re alone.”
“How about we elope to an uninhabited island?” he mumbled.
Postpone - Part 1
Title: Postpone – Part 1