Title: Nervous – Part 2
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt for 30 forbidden fruits: #27 Touch
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 28/30 of the "Love and Prejudice" series. Penelope's POV.
Penelope's heart started to beat faster when the taxi arrived that was going to drive her to the hospital. She hadn't slept much the previous night. She'd been much too nervous to find any sleep. This was the day Derek was being released from the hospital.
It would also be the first day they were going to be alone. Really alone. Fran had flown back to Chicago and the team had flown back to Quantico, leaving her alone with Derek.
What was going to happen today? What did he expect from her? Did he expect anything from her?
It wasn't like their relationship had evolved much over the months Derek had had to spend in the hospital. They hadn't even really kissed yet. A few quick pecks when they were sure no one was watching. But that was about it.
The taxi driver tried to start a conversation with her, but Penelope wasn't in the mood for talking, so she remained pretty monosyllabic. Eventually, he gave up.
"Would you wait here?" Penelope asked when they arrived at the hospital. "I'm just going to pick someone up."
"Sure," the man said.
Penelope turned to enter the hospital, but stopped when she saw Derek saying goodbye to his physiotherapist. He obviously had convinced Jenny and his doctors that he didn't need the wheelchair anymore. Penelope smiled. That sounded like Derek.
He walked straight toward her, an irresistible smile on his face, and Penelope felt her knees turning to jelly.
What was a proper way to greet him? Was she allowed to kiss him? Could they really be sure no one was watching? Was she even ready to share a real kiss with him? Oh, yeah, she was. But she wasn't sure she wanted anyone other than Derek to share that moment with her.
So she decided to just greet him by softly pecking his cheek.
"Are you ready to go?" she whispered into his ear. God, what was she doing? She might as well be ravishing him right in front of the hospital.
She couldn't help but smile at that. That certainly would be something someone would tell Hotch and the others.
Derek just nodded and got into the taxi.
Wondering if he might actually be as nervous as she was, Penelope followed him. She automatically took his hand in hers, squeezing it gently. But they both remained silent throughout the drive back to the hotel.
Penelope wondered what the taxi driver was thinking about them. Greeting each other with a kiss, holding hands in the taxi… They were more or less acting like a couple. But they hardly shared a word with each other.
When they arrived at the hotel, Penelope paid the driver and watched him drive off before asking, "Have you had lunch yet?"
Derek said no, that he wasn't really hungry. But Penelope convinced him that he needed to eat properly. Besides, she wasn't sure she was ready to go with him into his room yet – and she wasn't sure what would happen if she didn't follow him into the room.
Once they'd been seated in the small restaurant on the first floor of the hotel, Penelope thought back to how she was feeling.Hell, why did this have to be so complicated? For years, she'd wished for nothing more than for Derek finally realizing that he was in love with her. And now that he had, she was afraid of acting on their feelings.
What was she afraid of, anyway? Okay, it was a huge step, and if it didn't work out, it might also ruin their friendship. No, maybe not. They were too close to each other to let that happen.
Was she afraid Derek might break her heart? No, he wouldn't do that. He was a good guy.
Then what was she afraid of?
Why did everything seem so complicated now? Why was the silence that settled between them suddenly making her feel uncomfortable?
She found herself asking if the doctors were really sure he was all right. Talk about a lame way to start a conversation…
Derek told her that she shouldn't worry too much, that his shoulder was still impaired and that he wasn't allowed back in the field yet. "But apart from that, I'm just fine," he finished.
"I'm glad to hear that," Penelope whispered, fighting back the tears that were threatening to fall. "This time, I really thought you wouldn't make it."
He reached over the table to take her hand in his, assuring her once again that she wasn't going to get rid of him that easily.
She'd heard him say that all too often. Quite frankly, she wasn't too sure about that.
When Derek squeezed her hand, she wondered if she'd actually said the words out loud.
Looking at him, Penelope thought for a moment that he looked like he wanted to kiss her. But maybe that was only wishful thinking.
Why wasn't he kissing her already if that really was what he wanted? Or did he mind kissing her in public?
Maybe he was just afraid someone might see them. This had to remain a secret.
If only he could promise her never to do something so stupid again.
Derek caught her attention when he squeezed her hand again. "I promise," he told her.
Had she actually said the words out loud? Damn, she should concentrate more on what she was saying. What if she burst out that she wished he would ask her up to his room already?
So she concentrated, but all she managed to say was, "Okay."
After that, they both remained silent again. Penelope was still waiting for Derek to make the first move. Maybe that was old-fashioned and outdated. She was a woman of the twenty-first century, after all. And she wasn't the kind of girl who needed the man to make the first move – not even when the man in question was Derek Morgan.
Still, what could she possibly say that didn't sound too obvious, but made him understand what she wanted?
"Hey, how about we go upstairs and watch a good movie? I'm sure they can get us some popcorn here," Derek said, saving her from the embarrassment of saying something completely inappropriate.
"Sounds great," she replied, giving him the most irresistible smile she could manage.
Without finishing his Coke or asking anyone for popcorn, Derek grabbed her hand and pretty much dragged her up to his room.
She could swear she saw his hands shake when he fumbled with the keys to open the door. Maybe he was as excited as she was, after all. That thought made Penelope feel more comfortable – and maybe, just maybe, even a little proud.
She stepped inside, sashayed over to the bed, and sat down, waiting for Derek to follow her.
"What movie do you want to watch?" he asked, his voice barely audible.
Smiling, she tilted her head a little and answered in her best flirtatious voice, "I don't care."
He leaned closer, stopping only a few inches before her mouth, making her heart skip a few beats. This was it. He was going to kiss her. This time, no one was going to interrupt them.
God, and how she wanted this kiss to finally happen. He was so close that she could feel his breath against her mouth, and she was sure she was going to faint any second.
She drew in a shaky breath. But when Derek still refused to move any closer, she decided this this was the moment to take matters into her own hands. Crossing the small distance between them, she pressed her lips against his.
Yeah, she was absolutely fainting. At least, her head started spinning around and she heard her blood rush in her ears as her pulse went sky-high. As a matter of fact, she felt close to a cardiac arrest. And if that was going to happen, she'd die a very happy woman.
Opening her mouth, she allowed him to deepen the kiss. He seemed hesitant, kissing her softly, obviously not daring to go any faster. Maybe he just wanted to give her time. Or he wanted to make the most of their first kiss.
When she felt his hand slide behind her back to pull her closer, Penelope climbed onto his lap, straddling him. She wanted to make sure he knew he didn't need to go slow or be hesitant. She wanted this.
Letting her hands slide under his shirt, she started to softly caress the muscles on his stomach, smiling when this drew a low growl from his throat. God, could someone really have such muscles? If only their clothes were finally out of the way and she were allowed to fully enjoy this.
She felt Derek starting to unbutton her blouse, much too slow for her liking. This really had to be sped up a little. They were done teasing.
Quickly pulling his shirt over his head, Penelope used the fact that their lips had lost contact anyway and pushed him back on the bed.
Seeing the surprised look on his face, she couldn't help but smile mischievously as she let her hands explore his chest and stomach, taking advantage of the fact that the annoying clothes were finally out of the way.
Suddenly, her fingertips moved over a fraction of skin that was uneven, and she stopped. She knew the feeling too well. She felt it every time she touched the scar Battle had left behind on her body.
She felt Derek's hand covering hers and heard him whisper that he was fine.
"I know," she replied. Of course, he was fine now. But this had been her fault. If she hadn't rejected him when all she really had wanted to do was throw herself into his arms, none of this would have happened. And maybe, if he hadn't been shot, they wouldn't be here now doing what she'd been dreaming of doing for so long.
As if he'd been reading her thoughts, Derek assured her that they'd have ended up doing exactly this sooner or later anyway – no matter what.
She smirked and wanted to tell him once more that she hated profilers, but instead, she asked how he could be so sure about that.
"Because I recently found out that I can't live without you," he told her, squeezing her hand. "And I sure as hell wouldn't have given up, no matter how often you'd blown me off. I would have seduced you one day."
She couldn't help but reply, "Someone's pretty sure of himself, huh?"
Luckily, he chuckled at her comment. "Yeah, but only because I know that we're meant to be and because I love you and I want you more than anything."
She leaned down, feeling that he wasn't at all understating, and whispered into his ear, "Yeah, some things are obvious."
"You are a naughty girl," he panted, rather than said.
She couldn't help but giggle. "You have no idea."
"Oh, but I intend to find out soon," he assured her.
Before she realized what was happening, Derek had whirled her around and was suddenly on top of her, his hand sliding under her skirt. "Just like I intend to find out what will make you scream."