Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30_sweets: #29 Won’t you get tired of…
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to CBS. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time. This story, however, as well as all chapters belonging to this story and any pre- or sequels following are entirely mine.
Summary: Part 28/30 of “No more sweets”. Penelope and Derek are planning their wedding – but is Penelope really back to normal?
AN: A very HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR 2015 everyone!
Okay, it’s not 2014 anymore… But since the new year is only a few days old, I can at least say that I almost manage to keep my promise of two more updates before 2015. Of course, I could blame the delay on my beta-reader, but she was extremely fast again, so it really was me who didn’t manage to update sooner. But the next chapter is already on the way. My New Year’s resolutions included updating more regularly again. ;) They also included finally finishing and posting the stories I started about three years ago this year. We’ll see how well all of that works out.
Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy the chapter. There are only two to go.
“You know, I really thought I wouldn’t live to see that day,” Fran said, grinning at her son.
“Very funny, Mom,” Derek replied sarcastically.
Des giggled. “I can’t believe you’re really going to get married.”
“It means you’re the only one left, sis,” Sarah said, also laughing.
Des didn’t say anything in return. She jumped up and answered the door when they heard someone knock.
“Agent Rossi,” Fran greeted, her face lighting up considerably, making Derek huff.
“And a Pinot Noir for the lady,” Rossi announced, handing Fran a bottle of wine.
“How attentive. Thank you very much,” Fran told him, taking the bottle.
Derek grumbled something under his breath and followed his mother into the kitchen. “You do realize that no one was supposed to bring anything tonight, right?”
Fran smiled at him. “I’m cooking coq au vin,” she replied. “And it doesn’t work without wine so I think it’s nice of David to think of that.”
“David,” Derek repeated, snorting slightly.
“What’s wrong with you, Derek?” Fran asked, frowning at her son. “He’s your friend.”
“Yeah, my three-times-divorced friend who’s a little too interested in my mother for my liking.”
Fran couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Relax, Derek,” she said, still giggling. “I like David, but I have no intention of becoming his ex-wife number four. Now, would you please leave the kitchen, take care of your guests, and let me take care of dinner?”
Unwillingly, Derek left the kitchen and his mother alone – but he would keep an eye on Rossi in case he should go near the kitchen anytime soon.
“So, when is the big day?” JJ wanted to know when Derek sat back down in the living room. “I mean, you have decided on a date already, right?”
Everyone looked at Penelope.
Penelope looked first at Derek and then back at her friend. “Well…um…actually…” she stuttered.
Derek just grinned. “You know, so far we’ve only agreed on as soon as possible,” he said, causing Penelope to blush.
“Oh, maybe you can arrange the wedding within the next three days so that we won’t already been gone for our honeymoon,” Sarah suggested.
Derek chuckled. “Don’t worry, Sarah. We’ll make sure you won’t miss our wedding.”
“I’m just saying,” Sarah said, pouting, “if you’re gonna wait until after we’ve taken off, we’ll be gone for two weeks and…”
“Don’t you think they might need a little more time to plan a wedding than three days?” Fran called from the kitchen.
“You know, I really think I should help Fran,” Penelope mumbled for what felt like the hundredth or so time that evening.
“You stay here, Baby Girl,” Derek told her. “My mother insisted on taking care of dinner, and trust me, you don’t wanna argue with her.”
“Or be in her way,” Des added with a giggle.
Penelope sighed but admitted defeat. Of course, she didn’t want to argue with Derek’s mother, but it didn’t feel right to leave all the work to her.
“All right then,” Sarah said, leaning closer. “Let’s set a date.”
Penelope blushed once more, but Derek just shrugged, “Any suggestions?”
“Well, it certainly has to be a date you can easily keep in mind,” Sarah said, grinning at her brother.
“Make fun of me,” he said, giving his sister a death glare, “but I can assure you I’ll never forget the day I’m going to marry my Baby Girl.”
“Aw, that is so cheesy,” Emily said with a chuckle.
“Trust me, after a few years of marriage, you’ll have trouble remembering the important dates,” Rossi announced. “Especially once you’re tired of being married.”
“I’ll never get tired of being married, not to Penelope,” Derek stated matter-of-factly.
Grinning, Rossi replied, “Well, with a woman like Garcia, I can imagine you’ll never get tired of anything.”
The doorbell chimed before anyone could say anything in addition.
“Once again saved by the doorbell,” Derek mumbled, opening the door for Reid, Hotch, and Jack.
“Oh, there is my favorite profiler-to-be,” Penelope announced, hugging Jack. “How are you, big guy?”
“I’m good,” Jack said. “What is cockovan?”
Penelope giggled. “You mean coq au vin. It’s French, and it means chicken in wine. Come on. Let’s take a look in the kitchen and find out how the meal is cooked.”
Jack willingly went with Penelope, leaving Hotch smiling.
“You know she’s a great sitter, too,” Derek told him. “And they get along so well.”
“Yeah, I know,” Hotch said with a sigh. “It’s great to know that all of you are there for Jack whenever he needs anything. And it’s great he gets along so well with Henry.”
“Yeah, he’s like an older brother,” JJ added, watching her own son following Penelope and Jack into the kitchen. “I just hope they’re not a bother to Fran.”
“She raised three kids as a single mom,” Derek replied. “Don’t worry. She’ll be fine.”
“Speaking of that,” Des said with a grin. “Since you had such a sudden change of mind about marriage, Mom’s wondering if you changed your attitude about children, too. You know she can’t wait to be a grandmother.”
“Hey, maybe that’s why he changed his mind about marriage in the first place,” Sarah suggested, making Derek roll his eyes.
“Yeah, you might have a point,” Des agreed. “He’s certainly the kind of guy who would marry a woman if he got her pregnant.”
Derek snorted slightly. “You know what? JJ is right. I should go and check on Mom in the kitchen. Maybe she needs help with the kids after all.”
“Ditching,” Des and Sarah said simultaneously, making Derek throw a pillow at them before disappearing into the kitchen.
“And what is this?” Derek heard Henry ask when he entered the kitchen.
Smiling, Derek leaned in the doorway, watching the scene in front of him. Penelope was sitting on the kitchen bench, Henry on her lap and Jack right next to her. All of them were watching Fran, who was just putting something in the sauce.
“It’s cheese,” Penelope answered. “You know I don’t eat meat, so I’m not going to eat coq au vin, but I will eat fromage au vin.”
“Can I try the cheese, too?” Henry asked.
“Of course you can,” Penelope told him.
Derek’s smile grew wider. He’d never thought about having a family – not in the near future, anyway. But the scene in front of him made him picture Penelope as the mother of his children. Oddly enough, the thought made him smile. He’d never thought of himself as the family guy, but maybe he just hadn’t found the right woman until now.
“Are you just standing and staring, or did you come here for a particular reason?” Fran asked, her voice teasing. It hadn’t escaped her notice how Derek had watched the scene at the kitchen table.
Derek cleared his throat, leaving his place in the doorway. “Um, can I be of help?”
“Are they really grilling you so badly?” Fran asked, her voice teasing.
Penelope looked at her, raising an eyebrow.
Fran grinned. “Why else would he be here offering to help in the kitchen?”
“Oh, come on, Mom. I’m not that bad,” Derek complained. “But they are unbearable.”
“Yeah, I know,” Fran replied with a giggle. “I remember how often Sarah suddenly wanted to ‘give me a hand’ in the kitchen before they finally got married.”
“I know they want to learn the date, but…considering our working hours, tomorrow would probably be best,” Derek said with a sigh.
“Yeah, we could set a date, but no one will know for sure the team’s gonna be in town,” Penelope agreed. “And I want to have them here when we get married.”
“By the way, have you asked Hotch yet if he would walk you down the aisle?” Derek wanted to know.
Penelope blushed slightly. “No…I…just didn’t find the time yet.”
“You mean you didn’t dare,” Derek concluded. “I can ask him if you want.”
“No…I…I’ll ask him,” Penelope assured.
“Maybe I can help bring up the matter,” Fran offered. “Just leave it to me.”
Penelope wanted to object, but Derek silently told her not to.
“Dinner will be ready in about five minutes,” Fran said. “You could take the potatoes and the vegetables into the living room if you’d like.”
Derek started to reach for the potatoes, but Jack and Henry insisted on helping Fran.
Smiling at that, Penelope rose from the bench but had to grip the table the next second.
Derek rushed to her side, offering support. “Baby Girl, what’s wrong?” he asked, appalled.
“It’s nothing, just…I…need to…” she mumbled before sinking unconscious into his arms.
“I’ll call an ambulance,” Fran said, immediately reaching for the phone.