One year later...
Derek knew he was pushing it by insisting on going on a case this close to the wedding. If he had his way, he and Penelope would have been married months ago, but she wanted to wait until she had their son. Now with everything in place for their wedding which was two weeks away, he felt confident in leaving his wife and three-month-old baby home to catch an unsub who had decided to kill five children in Dallas, Texas. Now, here he was regretting his decision even though the case had brought back memories of some of the darkest times in his childhood, he had to bring the sick bastard to justice; he had to.
“Where’s Morgan?” Hotch asked as he approached the others.
Dave looked down and JJ shook her head. Reid shot a glance across the street.
“I just talked to him, I ordered him to wait until we got here,” Hotch continued.
“He must have thought the unsub was going to get away,” Dave offered.
All of them stood in disbelief at a house that was now a smoldering pile of rubble. None of them wanted to believe that he was among the debris because if he was, there was no way he could have survived.
Home of Derek and Penelope –
Penelope appreciated her high-tech home office now more than ever. While holding her sleeping son in her arms she searched her computers for anything that would help her team find Derek. It was all she could do to keep it together; she wasn’t sure what she was looking for since the only place her husband could be was buried beneath a pile of rubble. Still, she searched and searched and rocked her son, their son while praying for a miracle.
She’d asked him not to go on this case, but he insisted that he’d be back in time for their wedding. He was certain that the unsub would be easy to bring down, but it had been two weeks and still they hadn’t found him until their latest lead had located the sick monster in a small rundown house that had been owned by a late uncle. Derek had gone alone while the rest of the team had chased other leads. Now, she wondered if she would see him again.
Dallas Crime Scene –
It had been fifteen minutes, well fifteen minutes and thirty-two seconds by Reid’s calculation and still the flames and smoke made it impossible for first responders to go near the house. Derek slowly pulled himself to his feet. His body ached where his back had hit the ground, but he considered himself lucky; Kermit Ferguson, his unsub hadn’t been so lucky. As he braced himself on the tree that had broken his decent down the steep embankment, Derek looked back at the house that was now just a pile of burning twigs. He had to find enough strength to make it toward the sirens and voices because by now he knew his team would be looking for him.
“Toby!” He whispered, looking around frantically, “come on little man, where are you?”
Derek had pushed the five-year-old boy out of the window and ordered him to run before the big bang sent the house up in flames and him flying into the yard. Slowly, Derek searched the area, knowing the little boy could not have gotten far.
“Toby, it’s me, Derek, the good guy. Where are you?”
Then he heard the sniffles and the sobs and then a little blonde head appeared amongst the dry grass and fallen trees. Derek made his way over to the boy who jumped into his arms without hesitation. Derek grimaced and pulled him close as he carried him toward the voices that now sounded familiar. The boy held on tight wrapping his little arms around his neck.
Hotch, Dave, JJ, and Reid ran toward him followed by several paramedics who pried the boy from his embrace.
“Derek are you okay?” JJ asked.
“I’m fine, I’m fine but somebody needs to call Garcia!”
“Let us take care of that, just go and let the paramedics check you out.”
Derek nodded, he wouldn’t protest, not this time not when things could have ended differently, so much differently.
Home of Derek and Penelope –
Penelope exhaled collapsing against her chair. She’d never been so afraid and so worried in her life. This had been too close, she needed him home with her and their son. Penelope clung to the sound of her friend’s voice informing her that Derek had been found alive and in one piece. In true Derek Morgan style, he’d run into a building without waiting for backup to save an innocent. He had no regard to the danger, the risk or that fact the by doing so, he’d once again break his promise to her.
“I’ll kill him myself!” She whispered as she wiped away her tears. “Oh, that man of mine is in so much trouble!”
The Rossi Mansion – 2 weeks later –
Even though it had been a year since Derek had proposed, today was one of those days that Penelope found it hard to believe that she and her best friend were together and that he was in love with her. Their son was proof of that love she knew but as she stood admiring her reflection in the mirror, it felt like she was living her very own fairytale.
“You look good Garcia!” she whispered to herself. “This is it; this is your wedding day.”
The door opened behind her, and her future mother-in-law came in.
“Oh, my goodness my son is going to lose it when he sees you!”
“You think so?”
“Oh, I know so, Baby!”
“I am so happy to be marrying the man of my dreams today, Fran. Thank you!”
“For what honey?”
“For making me feel so welcome in your family; for loving me like I’m one of your daughters.”
“But you are one of my daughters, Penelope! I love you and you are a blessing to this family! So, if I haven’t said it officially, welcome to the Morgan family!”
The two embraced while fighting back tears of joy. Then they spent the next few seconds admiring Penelope’s reflection in the full-length antique mirror.
“Have you told him yet?”
“No, I thought I’d wait until after the wedding.”
Fran noticed a change in Penelope’s demeanor suddenly.
“Penelope, what’s going on?”
“Nothing, I’m fine.”
Fran turned her to face her.
“No, you’re not. What’s on your mind?”
“I just had Hank three months ago and I’m pregnant again! What’s Derek going to think?”
“He’s going to be ridiculously happy and he’s going to be upset that you’re upset about being pregnant.”
“But nothing! It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, Penelope! You and Derek love each other, and you’ve waited and fought so hard to have a life together. So, what if you’re pregnant again. The babies get to grow up together, but you have to make me a promise.”
“Of course, anything.”
“When it gets tough and you need help, I want you to promise that you will let us, all of us help, okay?”
“You have a family now and we’re all in this together.”
The Rossi property had been transformed into an oasis of lush floral arrangements placed among the lush foliage that already existed in the large backyard. Fran had done an amazing job of planning the wedding of Penelope and Derek’s dreams. Friends and family had gathered from near and far to celebrate the couple who had seemed destined to never find their way to each other. But they had and now this was the day that would seal their future together.
Derek nervously waited for his bride at the end of the altar. Reid, and Hotch, stood alongside him while JJ, and Emily waited on the opposite side. Derek winked at his old friend who had flown in from London the night before as a surprise to his soon to be wife.
Penelope’s face showed her surprise to see Emily at the end of the aisle; she shot a wicked glance at her fiancé before the tears began to roll from both of their eyes. He wondered if he had truly fooled her because it was nearly impossible to do so.
Penelope winked at Emily and JJ; Derek’s gesture touched her heart and she’d sworn her two friends to secrecy because she had discovered his plans weeks ago. She loved him beyond words, and she knew he felt the same about her. He’d done all he could to create a family for her and with that he had succeeded.
“Penelope Antoinette Garcia, I knew that my life would never be the same the moment I saw you. Each day I am reminded that life is worth living, that I can have happiness. You look like joy and possibility, and you take care of me, our family, and my heart. Thank you for being what I’ve always needed and all I ever wanted.”
“Derek, you amaze me that after all these years you don’t understand just what you mean to me. No matter how many times you deny it, you are my hero and my knight in shining armor. I see the love you have for me in your eyes, in your actions and in your commitment to me and our family. I look forward to our life together as long as we both shall live.”
The two exchanged vows while their anxious three-month old infant squirmed and began to cry in the background. He was hungry again which made the parents giggle. Derek had noticed the glow on her skin; he’d notice it days ago, but he kept his peace allowing her to tell him in her own time, today was their wedding and all that mattered was what was happening right now.
“Derek you may kiss your bride.”
Derek placed his hands on each side of her face and gently leaned down to kiss her gently on the lips again and again.
“I love you Baby Girl.”
Penelope returned the kiss smiling deep into his eyes; there was something there, what she didn’t know.
“I love you too, Handsome. Will you be my Valentine?”
He smiled and winced; he’d almost forgotten about his injuries from their last case.
“Are you sure you want this broken and battered man?”
“Broken or battered, in sickness and in health, you Derek Joseph Morgan are more than enough for me.”
“Then yes, I will be your Valentine.”
The years passed and Derek and Penelope grew old together. Their family grew too; three boys and two girls to be exact. Each child was a beautiful mix of their parents with minds of their own presenting challenges, heartaches and joys that fed both Derek and Penelope’s commitment to each other. Valentine’s Day became a day of great meaning filled with memories that reminded them all just how blessed they were with promises fulfilled, and love renewed.
Whenever he had a private moment, which seemed few and far between, Derek loved watching his family from afar. He’d whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for all that he had been given. Then he would chuckle to himself; never did he expect to be in constant contact with God who he’d thought had forgotten him. He knew he was a blessed man a man so undeserving, yet nothing had been withheld. He’d learned to stop questioning, asking why; instead, he accepted the life, the love, and the many Valentine’s Days to celebrate love of life and family.
He felt her arms snake around his waist and lean against him.
“They are a sight, aren’t they?”
He nodded and chuckled, the Morgan children had given new meaning to Valentines as they sat stuffing themselves with candy and exchanging silly gifts with each other.
“Yes, they are, yes they are indeed.”
“I love you, Derek Morgan.”
“I love you too, Penelope Morgan.”
“Will you be my Valentine?”
“Are you sure you want this battered, broken man?”
“Always my love, always.”
“Well then, yes I will be your Valentine.”
“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” Judy Garland.
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!