Disclaimer: I don't own Criminal Minds I just like to play with them and then put them back all nice and neat
Nightmares! Webster's defines them as a frightening dream, or any frightening experience. For, Penelope Garcia that was the understatement of the year, nightmares were a regular occurrence in her life given her line of work. She couldn't out run them even if she tried. Sometimes they would let her sleep but only rarely. Tonight was no different. The nightmares came as soon as she closed her eyes.
She had hoped that exhaustion would keep the nightmares at bay. No suck luck! Not even an hour after settling down to sleep the horrendous dreams invaded her subconscious causing her to bolt upright in bed. Running a shaking hand though her hair, she tries to calm her breathing and return her heart beat to normal. Knowing that sleep would elude her again a sigh slips out as she climbs out of bed and pads lightly into the living room. She switches on the lamp beside the couch before flopping down and picking up the remote to flip though channels. Her thoughts stray to the nightmare. Knowing that this time he had been lucky, but what about next time. Would he be just as lucky, or will she lose him forever.
Her thoughts wander towards that evening. The last case had been hard on everyone, two in particular and when Emily suggested that everyone go out for drinks to de-stress no one complained. About an hour after they arrived Kevin showed up. It wasn't that Penelope didn't want him there. She just really wanted a quite night with the team so they could lick their wounds in peace. The night had taken a distinct turn after that.
The laughter seemed to fade a bit and the conversations drew to a close. Penelope turned to Kevin, ready to ask him something, when she noticed a frown on his face.
"Is there something wrong Kevin, you've been quite since you arrived?" she asked watching him closely.
Kevin turned to her and shrugged saying, "No everything's fine, just lost in my thoughts is all."
Penelope watched him for a while never seeing the look that passed between Emily and JJ. For the first time that night she wished Kevin had just gone home instead of finding her.
Turning back, Penelope scanned the dance floor, her eyes searching for, Derek. When she finally found him, a frown creased her face, for her Chocolate Adonis was standing at the bar nursing a beer.
Penelope leaned closer to Emily and asked, "Why's Derek up at the bar?"
Emily had turned to look at Derek's profile before answering, "Your guess is as good as mine, Pen. I do know this last case had been pretty hard on him."
Penelope sighed, she knew the moment they came home that there was something different about her Chocolate God, she could feel the tension radiate off him. Making her wish she had talked to him before they left. She glanced back at Kevin, who sat watching the dance floor intently. Again she wished he wasn't there making her feel terrible. Two hours later Penelope looked out at the dance floor again noticing that JJ had managed to drag Reid out on the floor trying to teach him a few moves. It made her smile to see the two of them having fun. Glancing, back at the table her eyes caught Hotch and Emily sitting close discussing different topic's, while making eyes at one another thinking no one was watching. David had left an hour ago calming he was tired. Lastly, Penelope's eyes sought out Derek who hadn't moved from his stance at the bar. Even after a few good looking women had tried they very hardest. Worry creased her face, she wanted to go to him, to talk and find out what was going on in his head.
Her breath caught in her throat when he turned and started for the table. She could see the pain and even the guilt in his eyes before it was closed off.
"I'm going to call it a night guy's. I'll see you at work on Monday," Derek said on approach.
As he turned to leave, his eyes came to rest on his baby girl and a pang of regret flashed though his eyes, which she had caught. Quickly, before anyone could stop her, Penelope excused herself, at this point she didn't care what Kevin thought or would say. Her best friend needed her. She caught up with him just outside the door.
"Handsome, wait up," Penelope yelled.
Derek stopped, he hadn't expected her to come after him, not with Kevin here, but he had hoped she would. Before he could say anything Penelope wrapped her arms around him pulling him close, trying to comfort him, and maybe chase away a few demons. He closed his eyes glad she had come after him, grateful that she cared so much about him. He loved the way she felt in his arms, how her body fit just perfectly to his. At that thought another pang of regret flashed though him.
Pulling back a little, Derek looked down at her, a tired smile gracing his features, "You should get back in there before Kevin thinks something's going on." However, he doesn't make a move to let her go.
Penelope just shakes her head and smiles, "Don't worry about him, handsome. I came to see if you were all right and if you needed me."
Her smile tugged at his heart, as her words sink in, making him wish that things were different. "I'm all right, baby girl. I just have a lot to think about."
She nods before giving him another tight hug, knowing that he truly wasn't all right, but that he was putting up a brave front for her.
"You're not alone, handsome. I'm here for you, never forget that," she mumbles into his chest.
Running his fingers though her hair, Derek pull's back a little so he can look into her eyes, "I know that baby girl. Now you go have some fun I'll call when I get home. I promise!"
Slowly, Penelope steps out of his embrace looking up at him, her feelings warring inside her. She loves this man, more than words can say. She just wasn't sure of his feelings. Sure they had said as much after she was shot, but she wasn't sure the way he meant it.
"You better, because I'll be waiting for you to call, hot stuff," she returns a smile playing on her lips.
She watches as he waves goodbye, her heart troubled. She had known for awhile that her feelings for Derek had changed. Penelope knew that she didn't love Derek as a friend or even a brother, no her feelings had gone strait to something more, she was in love with him. Unfortunately, she just didn't know how to tell him, thinking that it would ruin the friendship they had built up over the years. She also didn't know how to explain to Kevin that, while she didn't regret getting into a relationship with him, he just wasn't the man she loved. She didn't want to lead him on, or hurt him, after all Kevin had been so good to her and she still cared for him, but just as a friend.
Sighing Penelope made her way back inside, stopping close to the entrance, just watching the rest of the team. Her eyes came to a stop on Kevin, who was sitting at the table toying with his drink and not really paying much attention to anything, slowly she made her way over to him. Glancing over at Hotch and Emily, she smiles seeing that they were still wrapped in their own little world. Taking her seat next to Kevin, she takes a slow drink, her mind on so many other things.
She feels Kevin put his hand on her shoulder, "You ready to go, Penelope?"
She turn's to him and just nods, before rising again to leave.
She leans over the table gaining the attention of Hotch and Emily, "I'll see you both on Monday. Call when you get home, both of you, so I don't worry."
Emily nods, as Hotch answers, "Of course, Penelope. You have a good night and get some rest while you're off this weekend."
She nods and then turns to search out JJ and Reid, both of whom were still wrapped around each other dancing. Penelope smiles, glad that JJ was starting to have a little fun after the brake up with Will. She was also glad that Spencer was the one she leaned on. Catching their eyes, Penelope waved goodbye, not wanting to break the couple up. She moves towards the door, following Kevin outside.
They near her beloved Esther, when Kevin speaks, "Pen there's something I need to tell you."
Penelope turned from unlocking the door, surprise written on her face, "Oh is there something wrong?"
"No I just…" Kevin stopped not sure how to tell her, so he settles for the truth. "I think we'd be better off as friends than lovers, Pen."
To say that Penelope was shocked was an understatement. You could've told her that the world would be invaded by aliens and she wouldn't have flinched.
Once she found her voice, "Why would you say that? I thought everything was going fine. What changed?"
Running a hand over his face Kevin tried to explain, "Pen, I've known for awhile that my feelings have changed. I just was unsure of how to tell you. It's not that I don't love you; I do just not that way. You're an amazing person, caring, and kind, I could go on but I know you wouldn't want to hear the platitudes. I'm just sorry that it took me so long to tell you."
A sad smile curved her features as she looks at Kevin, thankful that he was the one to end it. "I'm sorry to Kevin, and your right things have been a little off lately. I hope you find the one for you Kevin and that you're happy."
"The same for you, Pen. You deserve a good man, even if he's too blind to see it," Kevin said genuinely meaning it before leaning in to kiss her cheek.
A little puzzled by his meaning, Penelope just smiles before saying, "So I'll see you at work on Monday?"
Kevin just nods, before waving goodbye and walking away. Penelope watched him go, then turned and got in her car, and drove home, her thoughts running a mile a minute in her head. When she arrives home, she drops her stuff on the coffee table behind the couch, making sure her cell phone could be heard. She proceeds to the bathroom; maybe a shower would help her sort out her thoughts. After standing under the spray for fifteen minutes with no success, she finishes up quickly and exits the shower. After dressing she goes back into the living room to check her phone. Only two missed calls, neither from Derek making her frown. Pushing that thought away she dials her voice mail, puts in her code and wait's.
'Hey Pen, just got home. You should be getting a call from Hotch in a few minutes. Have a good weekend, oh and may be you, JJ and I can get together sometime this weekend for just a girl's day. Call me when you get this. Bye," Emily's message said.
'I'm home, Pen. Have a good weekend and I'll see you on Monday," was Hotch's brief message.
Deleting both messages, Penelope makes her way to the kitchen for a bottle of water, before dialing Emily's number.
"Prentiss!" Emily answers on the third ring.
"Hey hon how's Sunday brunch sound to you?"
"Sounds prefect! You going to call JJ tonight?" asked Emily grinning into the phone.
Penelope snorted into the phone, "Yea and have the wrath of JJ on me. I don't think so hon. No I'll wait until morning. Oh and Em…"
"Yea," Emily said waiting.
"Tell Hotch good night for me," Penelope answered laughing.
Emily just groaned into the phone before saying, "So what gave it away?"
"My little secret and don't worry it's safe with me. I'll see you on Sunday Em, have a good night,"
"Thanks Pen. Goodnight," Emily responded before hanging up.
After hanging up with Emily, Penelope decided that she needed some sleep, though she still worried about Derek who hadn't called her as of yet, she knew he had to be home by now with it closing in on one in the morning.
After leaving the bar, Derek had driven around, knowing that he wouldn't get much rest at home. His thoughts are just too troubled with the events of the last case. Most of all he was thinking about his relationship with a certain blonde tech. Derek knew his feeling for Penelope had hanged ever since that fateful night she was shot. But he had waited to long to confess his true feelings. Sure he had told her, that he loved her and she had returned in kind, however he knew she had though he only meant as friends.
But now after everything that had happened with the last case, his thoughts about their relationship, or the lack there of plagued him. That was why he had stayed at the bar, especially after Kevin had showed up. He wanted her to be happy, even if that meant he'd have to step aside and let her be with another man.
Without realizing it Derek had pulled up in front of her apartment and just sat there. He knew she was home with Esther parked in the driveway, he just wasn't sure if she was alone and he didn't want to interrupt anything. So he watched as the living room lights turned off and then another came on this one farther back and he knew she was in her bedroom.
Running a tired hand over his face, Derek started his truck and drove off. He knew without his Goddess to chase away the dark thoughts, he wouldn't be getting much sleep that night. He regretted not saying something early. Reaching his apartment Derek was almost knocked over by his dog, Clooney. After giving his over grown puppy some attention, not to mention food and water, he moved towards his bedroom, maybe a hot shower would help sort out his thoughts.
Ten minutes later, he was sitting on his bed no closer to the peace of mind he so craved. He happened to glace at the clock beside his bed and let out a string of cruses, berating himself for letting it get so late. He knew Penelope would probably yell at him for not calling sooner, but he figured better late then never, even if it was 1:10am in the morning.
Her thoughts are rudely interrupted by the beep from her cell phone. Blindly she reached behind her and grabbed her cell. With shaking hands she pressed a few buttons, entered her code and pressed it to her ear.
"Hey baby girl just checking in with you. I'm sorry it wasn't sooner, you're probably busy. I shouldn't have bothered you. I'll…" there was a pause and then, "I guess I'll see you at work. Have a good weekend. Goodnight baby girl."
Silent tears fell from her eyes after she hung the phone up. She had heard the worry and pain in his voice and it broke her heart to know that she wasn't there to help him. Without really thinking about what she was doing Penelope pressed her speed dial and waited.
"Morgan!" he answered knowing who was on the other end.
Trying to keep the tears out of her voice she answered, "Hey handsome! What took you so long to call me?"
He could hear the tears in her voice and it made his heart constricted knowing that she was crying because if him. "I'm sorry Goddess I lost track of time. I had been driving around just thinking."
"Oh!" came the only response.
"Penelope is there something wrong? Did something happen after I left?"
'Hit the nail on the head why don't you,' Penelope thought, before saying, "just worried about you angel and…" she trailed off.
Frustrated, Derek ran a hand over his head knowing that she was keeping something from him, "And what baby girl? You know you can tell me anything."
"Just bad dreams, that's all. The last case kind of shook me a little," Penelope answered, but thought, "almost losing you nearly did me in."
"I know what you mean darlin'. I'm sorry you had to go through that," Derek offered, however he was glad she'd been there maybe not in person but on the phone.
"Apart of the job honey nothing you can do about it," Penelope replied wiping the tears away and leaning back in her couch.
"But still I know the imagines that cross your screen are anything but pleasant. Nightmares are unfortunate by produces of the job," even to his own ears it sounded lame even for him.
She remained quite a little to long making him think that she might have fallen asleep.
"Baby girl, why don't you go back to bed and try to get some sleep," Derek said, stretching out on his couch.
Softly she answers, "I don't think I can. The nightmare still plays in my head."
"What was the nightmare about?" Derek questioned though he felt he all ready knew the answer.
'Almost losing you,' she thinks fighting back tears before saying, "just the events of the last case that it took a different turn."
Derek found himself apologizing for the second time that night, "I'm sorry, angel I wish I could've been there, maybe chase away the dark thoughts."
He let the words slip out before he realized what he was saying.
"I know. I wish you were her to handsome. I missed you while you where gone," Penelope said grabbing the blanket from the back of the couch and snuggling down into it.
Her words brought a smile to his face, making him wish that things were different between them. He hears her yawn and knows she's starting to relax.
"Are you comfortable, baby girl?"
"Hmm hmm, a little," Penelope mumble's tiredly.
"Good now listen to my voice. It's time for you to get some sleep baby girl and tomorrow we'll go to lunch." Derek offers.
"Ok handsome. I'll see you tomorrow, goodnight," Penelope answer's pulling the blanket close around her.
"Goodnight baby girl," Derek replies, and while closing his phone he whispers into the quite room, "I love you baby girl," before falling asleep, dreams of Penelope running through his mind.
After pushing end, Penelope whispers, "I love you Derek, always," then falls asleep herself, no night mare chasing her this time.