Title: Don't leave me this way – part 22
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: Well, basically fluff.
AN: I know, it's been too long again. Turned out my holidays weren't as relaxing as I hoped they would be. Maybe I'll have more time when I start working again. ;)
Anyway, it really took me a while to figure out how to even start this chapter. So I decided it was time to bring this story to an end. Hope you like what I came up with.
"Good morning, Mrs. Morgan," Derek whispered when he felt Penelope move next to him.
She looked up and frowned. "Derek, what the hell are you doing in my bed?"
Derek's eyes widened. He opened his mouth to reply, but wasn't quite sure what to say. Could it be possible that she'd forgotten all about them once again? Was amnesia really something that could return – especially after such a long time?
Or had he just dreamed that her memory had come back? He'd dreamed that before, but it had never felt so real…
Seeing the flabbergasted look on Derek's face, Penelope frowned even more. "What? Last time I saw you, you were sleeping on the couch."
"Oh…um…right," Derek stuttered. „I…I just wanted to check on you, you know."
"Uh-huh," Penelope said with a knowing nod. "You know, it's amazing how, even after almost six months, you still thought I'd lost my memory again."
"I'm sorry. It's just that, for a moment, I really thought I'd lost you again," he told her. "I'm glad I was wrong."
"Don't worry, you're not gonna get rid of me that easily," she assured him.
"Yeah, I heard that before," he whispered, gently stroking her hair. "Right before you almost died on me."
"I promise, I'll do my best never to let that happen again," she whispered.
"Don't promise what you can't keep," he mumbled.
"The doctors already told you that it is very unlikely that the amnesia is going to return or that there are any long-term effects at all," she reminded him, slightly rolling her eyes.
"I know," he replied with a sigh. "But unlikely doesn't mean impossible. Besides, do you know how many risks there are during the birth?"
"I know," she assured him. "But I also know that everything is going to be just fine. The baby's healthy, and so am I. Nothing will go wrong."
"How can you be so sure about that?" he asked, even though he didn't want to question her positive thinking.
"Just like I'm sure that we're going to have a girl, no matter what the doctors say," she answered with a grin. "I'm her mother. I just know all that."
"You know what I think is amazing?" he said, gently kissing her cheek.
Penelope shook her head.
"That even after almost six months, I still love you more each day," he told her, letting his hand rest on her rounded belly. "Both of you. I can't wait until we are a real family."
"Well, something tells me you won't have to wait too long anymore," she replied.
Derek's eyes almost popped out of his head. "Wait, you mean…it's time?"
"Relax," she told him, giggling slightly. "It's not like we need to rush to the hospital. I just have a feeling that our little one wants to see her daddy today."
He opened his mouth to ask how she could know that, but reconsidered. If she was right about the fact that she would go into labor today, and if she was right about the baby's sex, she was probably also right about the fact that everything was going to be fine.
"Just tell me when it's time to get you to the hospital," he told her, kissing her cheek. "What do you want for breakfast?"
"Honestly?" She sighed. "I'd kill for a coffee, but I guess that has to wait until tomorrow."
He wondered how she could be so calm when she knew that she was going to give birth to their first child in the not-too-distant future, while he felt like he was about to freak out any second.
He got up to prepare breakfast, turning in the door to ask her if he shouldn't just bring her to the hospital, but reconsidered and instead asked, "Anything special you want to eat?"
"Your mom's strawberry jam," she replied. "And a croissant if we still have some. I'll go and take a shower."
"Are you really sure that is a good idea?" Derek asked worriedly, but seeing the look on her face, he turned and left her alone to prepare breakfast.
It was probably one of the hardest days in Derek's life – except for the day when he'd thought he'd lost his Baby Girl forever. But this day, he found out that he was rather impatient. Waiting was driving him crazy.
Penelope kept telling him that it wasn't time yet. No matter how often she winced because of the contractions, which were getting more frequent, if Derek wasn't mistaken.
"Would you please relax?" Penelope told him once more, rolling her eyes. "I'll tell you when it's time. In the meantime, you can call JJ and tell her to inform the others that it might be necessary for them to come to the hospital today."
"Only if we'll go ourselves after that," Derek replied.
Penelope sighed, but decided to give in. She had to admit that she wasn't sure they really still had time until after dinner.
Derek called JJ as requested and then rushed to get Penelope's bag and led her to the car.
"Don't break any traffic laws," Penelope told him while she got in. "We have plenty of time to get to the hospital."
"Don't worry," he replied. "I won't risk getting the two of you in an accident."
"Reassuring," Penelope mumbled.
Derek turned toward her and sighed. Seeing her smile at him, he reached over and took her hand in his. "I love you," he told her. "That's why I'm worried about you. Are you sure there's no need to rush?"
"Quite frankly, I'm not sure about anything," she admitted. "But I have faith. I believe we didn't get this far just to die today."
"Okay," Derek mumbled, taking a deep breath. "Okay." He started the engine and drove to the hospital as fast as he could without breaking any laws.
Derek was glad to see JJ already waiting for them at the hospital. She'd gone through this before – and she certainly was much more help to Penelope than Derek could be.
"Hey," Penelope greeted, wincing in pain once more. "I'm glad you could make it."
"Luckily, we didn't have any urgent case," JJ replied. "The others are waiting in the cafeteria. I guess Reid is even more excited than you are."
"I really doubt that's possible," Derek mumbled.
JJ giggled softly. "Relax. It's a natural process, remember?"
"Yeah, but what's natural about it being so painful?" Penelope asked with a gasp.
"Maybe it's to keep the rise of the population at bay," JJ guessed, making Penelope and Derek chuckle. "Don't worry. They have some pretty great medication in there," JJ added while she led her two friends to the Labor and Delivery unit. "But seriously, how can you be so calm at the moment?" JJ whispered to her friend when she was sure Derek couldn't hear them. "I freaked out."
"To be quite honest, I'm not as calm as I seem to be," Penelope admitted. "But Derek is already freaking out enough for both of us. I don't want to scare him by freaking out as well."
"Does he have any idea how lucky he is to have you?" JJ asked. "Going through all the pain silently only so that he's less worried."
Penelope opened her mouth to reply something, but instead winced with pain.
Derek's head immediately shot around, and he hurried back to her side. "Are you okay?"
"I'm pretty sure he does know," Penelope whispered to JJ, winking at her friend.
The doctor and the nurse were even calmer than Penelope was – which was only driving Derek more insane. How could they all be so calm? Didn't they know what was at stake?
The doctor gave Penelope some pain meds, and she relaxed in Derek's arms. It really only took about an hour and a half, and nothing about the delivery went wrong. It was easy, if still painful for Penelope, and much faster than Derek had expected.
"You did it," he whispered, gently kissing Penelope's temple as he looked at the little bundle in her arms. "And you were right, about everything."
"Of course, I was," she replied with a grin. "I'm always right."
The door opened, and Hotch was the first to peek his head in.
"Hey, guys," Derek greeted happily. "Come on in!"
"That was fast," Reid commented, making the rest of the team chuckle.
"Yeah, seems like someone was in a hurry," Penelope told him, holding the bundle so that her friends could see the baby. "Meet Hannah Christina Morgan."
"Beautiful name," Rossi said with a smirk, "for a beautiful baby."
"Well, what did you expect?" Derek asked with a pride-filled grin.
"Stop talking already. I want to hold her!" Emily said, sitting down on the bed next to Penelope.
Holding the new life in her arms and looking at the tiny face, Emily sighed. If she ever got the chance again, she knew she would take it.
"Hey, hey, hey, don't keep her all to yourself," Reid scolded. "I want to hold her, too."
"I thought you weren't good with babies?" JJ whispered as he took the bundle from Emily.
"Yeah, that was before Henry," he answered, gently swaying Hannah. "He changed my attitude, you know."
"Well, Hannah seems to like your new attitude," Derek said with a grin.
"Or maybe she just likes Reid," Penelope suggested, making the young agent blush.
They watched Hannah being passed on among her friends so that everyone could hold her at least twice. Smiling, Penelope took Derek's hand in hers.
He returned her smile. They'd made it. They'd fought through Penelope's insecurities, through Lynch's attempts to tear them apart and, in the end, even through death. They had survived all that, and for the first time in months, Derek could believe that they were actually looking at a bright future.
"I love you," he whispered, leaning down to kiss his wife. "Thank you."
"For what?" Penelope wanted to know.
He smirked at her. "For always being right."