Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_sweets: #21 Diet
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 “No more sweets”-series. Penelope still has some doubts. Can Derek eradicate them?
AN: I know it’s been a ridiculously long time again. And I haven’t even started writing the next piece… :( What can I say? I just didn’t find the time. I really did hope things would get better once I’m on my holiday – but then my car broke and I had to try and find a new one.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter – and I’ll keep trying to post more frequently. :)
Penelope sighed when she examined herself in the mirror once again. As excited as she’d been about the wedding yesterday, she was now doubtful whether this was really a good idea.
She thought about just foregoing the wedding, telling Derek she didn’t feel well. But she knew how excited he was about the whole ordeal.
He was going to take his dad’s place, handing Sarah over to her future husband. There was no way Penelope would keep him from that.
But she knew that if she suddenly refused to go with him, he would stay behind as well to find out what was wrong with her.
She sighed again. What was wrong was that with Derek paying so much attention to what and how much she ate, it had been impossible for her to stick to her diet. She hadn’t even lost one pound.
No, actually, what was really wrong was that the day before, Penelope had found out that Derek had dated one of Sarah’s friends a couple of years ago – and apparently the only reason they’d broken up had been the fact that one of them lived in Chicago while the other lived in DC, and neither of them had wanted a long-distance relationship.
Now, said former girlfriend of Derek’s was thinking about moving to DC because she’d been offered a job there.
Of course, Penelope didn’t want to doubt Derek’s feelings or the fact that he was serious about her. But the girl was beautiful, slim, dark-skinned. In other words, exactly Derek’s type and everything she, Penelope, was not.
She looked at her diet plan and for a short moment considered simply ripping it to pieces. She wouldn’t be able to keep up that diet anyway – and if Derek decided to revive his former relationship with Melissa, she wouldn’t have to.
Sighing, she put it away and decided to focus her attention back to her hair. She would accompany Derek to the wedding because she wanted to see him happy and because she knew how important this was to him.
She would worry about everything else later, when it was time – for example, when he met Melissa again. Apparently, they hadn’t talked to each other in years.
There was a soft knock on the door before Derek entered. “Baby Girl, we’re running late.”
“I know, I’m ready,” she told him, smiling at him through the mirror.
He frowned and took a step closer. “Is everything all right?”
“Of course, everything’s perfect,” she assured him. Maybe she’d said the words a bit too enthusiastically. Maybe her smile had been a bit too bright. Whatever it was, Derek obviously didn’t believe her.
“Don’t lie to me, girl,” he scolded. “What’s wrong?”
Penelope sighed. “Nothing, really,” she replied. “We should go, shouldn’t we?”
“Not before you tell me what’s wrong with you,” he insisted.
“It’s nothing,” she mumbled, avoiding his eyes. “It’s…stupid. It’s just that…I heard about you…and…Melissa.”
Derek raised an eyebrow at her. “What exactly did you hear about us?”
“Well, that you two…were seeing each other some time ago.”
Derek snorted. “That’s what she told you? Yeah, I can imagine.”
Placing both hands on her shoulders, he turned Penelope around and waited for her to look at him again. “Look, I didn’t date her. When we were in high school, she had a crush on me – or maybe she just had some bet going on that she could win me.
“Anyway, we went to the movies – once. When I took her home, she tried to kiss me, but I blew her off. End of story.”
Penelope looked at him expectantly, but didn’t say anything in return.
“Why?” Derek guessed. “Because she wasn’t my type.”
Now it was Penelope who raised an eyebrow at him.
“Okay, maybe she is my type, if you only look at her appearance,” he replied. “But that’s not all that matters.”
Penelope looked down, but didn’t say anything in return. She’d learned otherwise.
“Hey,” he whispered, raising her chin so that she looked at him again. “Why is this bothering you so much? Because you fear there really was more between Melissa and me? There wasn’t. And I most definitely have no intention of using tonight to revive what’s never been there.”
“Okay,” she whispered, nodding. But she didn’t even believe her own words.
“What is it?” Derek asked. “Do you still think I can’t love you?”
“No…I…” she stuttered. “I…don’t doubt you…it’s just…”
“You still don’t think that I can love you,” he guessed.
“I hate it when you profile me,” she mumbled.
“I don’t need to be a profiler to know that the problem is not that you doubt me, but that you doubt yourself. You don’t think you’re worth being loved.”
She sniffled and, in a quick movement, wiped away the tear that had escaped the corner of her eye.
“Do you think I’m just with you because I pity you?” he carefully asked.
“Why else would you be?” she whispered without looking at him.
“I thought I made it clear that I’m very much in love with you,” he said in a low voice, pulling her closer. “And that I’m very much attracted to you. Do you really think I could have pretended that?”
“No…I…” she gasped. God, why did he have to be so incredibly hot?! “I…don’t know…”
“Trust me,” he told her as he started to nibble her neck. “No man can fake that kind of attraction, no matter how good an actor he is. I’m with you because I want to be with you, because I love you…am addicted to you… Do you need any more reasons?”
Her eyes fluttered shut and her brain stopped working properly. No, he couldn’t just be pretending. That felt much too real.
“We’re…going to be late,” she panted rather than said.
“I don’t care,” he whispered against her skin. And apart from the fact that he had been pretty excited about the wedding, he really didn’t.
“But…Sarah’s gonna kill you,” she objected.
Chuckling, Derek nibbled her ear, drawing a low moan from her lips before pulling back. “You’re right,” he said, smiling at her. “Do you still believe I’m not serious?”
“No,” she assured him.
“Do you still believe you’re not worth this?” he pressed her.
Penelope sighed again. “Maybe,” she admitted. “But I’m starting to get over it, I guess.” At least, she wasn’t worried about Melissa anymore.
“Good.” Derek grinned at her. “Maybe I can make the rest of your worries disappear tonight.”
“That’s not fair,” she mumbled as a shiver ran down her spine.
Winking at her, Derek let his eyes wander along her body. He could feel her get uncomfortable, so he hurried to whisper, “You look incredible, goddess. But there’s something missing.”
He turned her back around so that she was looking at herself in the mirror before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a long black box. Opening it, he took the necklace and placed it around her neck. “Perfect.” he commented.
Penelope gasped when her eyes fell upon the newly attached jewelry. He was right, it perfectly fit her dress – and it looked really expensive. “Derek, I can’t—”
“Hush, girl!” he scolded as he wrapped his arms around her. “That’s part of the invitation.”
“Still, you shouldn’t…” She wanted to object, but all she managed was a soft “oh” when Derek suddenly started to nibble her neck again.
A paper on the counter caught his attention, and he reached out for it. “What’s that?”
Penelope blushed deeply as she realized what Derek had just found.
He studied the plan and frowned. Then he turned and eyed Penelope. “You put yourself on a diet?” he asked.
“I… I just… It’s not… I…” she stammered, avoiding his eyes.
“I thought we were over this,” he told her, softer this time.
“I just…wanted to look…beautiful tonight,” she replied reluctantly, her voice trailing off.
Smiling, he stepped forward and pulled her into his arms. “You always look beautiful, Penelope.” he assured her.
Derek tore her diet plan to pieces and smiled at her: “Forget about that, baby! You’re perfect just the way you are.”
“I don’t know,” she mumbled against his chest.
“But I do,” Derek assured her and leaned down to capture her lips with his.
Penelope sighed contentedly as she sank into his arms. This kiss left no doubt about his feelings for her. “Wow.” she gasped as he broke away from her lips.
Grinning, he pecked her lips once more and then pulled her with him toward the door. “Now, come on, cupcake. I’m pretty sure there’s a huge piece of wedding cake with our name on it.”
“I don’t—” she started, but the look on Derek’s face interrupted her. Sighing, she locked the door behind them and took the arm he offered her. “All right, I’m starving.”
“That’s what I want to hear.” He grinned. “Just promise me one thing: No diets ever again.”
She thought about how much she’d hated not being allowed to eat what she felt like eating and then about Derek saying that she was perfect just the way she was. “Okay, I promise.” She nodded. Maybe she wasn’t perfect to others, but she was perfect to him, and that was all that really mattered.