As the smoke and confusion engulfed the air, Hotch, Dave, JJ, and Reid ran down the alley followed by several uniformed officers. While the officers attended to Della and Paolo the others ran to Derek who struggled to his feet, looking at the chaos around him. Miraculously he’d not been shot while Della and her brother laid dead just steps away. He couldn’t help but notice the looks of relief and disbelief on the faces of his teammates; he understood perfectly what they were feeling in that moment.
“I’m okay, I’m okay,” he assured them, “Penelope, we have to find her!”
“She’s fine, Hotch began, “we’ll meet her at the hospital.”
“Hospital, what happened?”
“She’s fine but you aren’t,” JJ interrupted.
“I’m fine, I just need to see her.”
“I’m sure you are, but we’ll let the doctors have the final say on that, okay?”
Potomac General Hospital –
Penelope had been given a clean bill of health, but the doctors had insisted that she remain in the exam area until her team or her family arrived. Little did they know that they were one and the same. Her team had become her family from the moment she’d join them years ago. She was anxious to see Derek; she’d failed in her pleas to go with the team once Corey had revealed the place where Della had taken him. Now she was alone and counting the minutes when she was reunited with him.
The car was still running when Derek opened the door and stepped out. Ignoring the pain that he’d been carrying around since the night before, he rushed toward the emergency room doors before Dave and Reid caught up with him.
“She’s fine, okay?” Dave reminded him, “You’re pretty banged up and we need to get you checked out. Besides, you don’t want her seeing you looking like you just went ten rounds with Mike Tyson, right?”
Derek managed a smile and allowed himself to be led inside to be examined. His injuries would heal, and he knew that, he’d been 10 rounds with Mike Tyson-like unsubs before; all he needed was to lay eyes on Penelope and that would be medicine enough for him.
“JJ!” Penelope smiled, slightly disappointed; a look that didn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s just me.”
“No, no, I’m glad to see you, blondie really,”
“He’s fine in case you wanted to know.”
The two women chuckled and hugged each other tightly, both had doubts that they would see each other again. Over the years the two had become sisters, more than biology, or genetics but sisters by choice.
“Are you sure he’s okay?” she asked pulling away.
“A little battered but he’s fine,” JJ chuckled, “I feel sorry for the nurses, though; he’s going to be raising hell until he sees you.”
“I can’t wait to see him, JJ. I was so afraid. When I saw him, he was on the floor unconscious, the witch had drugged him and...”
“Shhh...he’s fine trust me, he’s fine.”
The door opened interrupting the two women. The doctor along with a nurse carrying papers in her hand smiled as they entered.
“Hello, Ms. Garcia,” the younger of the two women began. She seemed too young to be a doctor, but her name tag said so. “How would you like to get out of here?”
“Yes, I would!”
Derek had been given something for pain; he had dozed off to sleep and Dave, Hotch and Reid had taken a moment to get a cup of coffee and something to eat. JJ and Penelope headed toward Derek’s room and once there JJ left to meet the others in the cafeteria.
Penelope quietly took her seat next to his bed. She realized that she had not exhaled in hours; now she could as she watched him sleeping peacefully. He’d been through hell, and it showed on his face. They’d both survived a nightmare, thankfully, Corey had not been as cruel as Paolo had been. There was so much she wanted to say to him, things that had been left unsaid out of pride and fear. Things were different now and she was determined that she wouldn’t allow his failed marriage or her dead relationship with Sam get in the way of her and Derek exploring their feelings for each other again.
Derek slowly opened his eyes; he was happy to see her sitting next to his bed. He saw her smile and evidence that she had been crying. He moved slightly making room for her on the bed. They both pretended not to hear the wince of pain. Gently she sat next to him never removing her gaze from him.
“How long?” He asked.
“Just a couple of hours,” she answered. “How do you feel?”
“Better now.” His eyes roamed her before asking the obvious. “How are you, did he hurt you?”
“I’m fine handsome.”
“Penelope, I see the bruise on your face.”
“He hit me...it was just once, when he took me from you.”
“I’m so sorry. This is my fault.”
“No, no... don’t do that, okay? This is Della’s fault and her brothers who helped her.”
“Baby Girl, if I hadn’t divorced Savannah, this would have never happened!”
Penelope’s heart dropped; she knew how he was when he got something stuck in his head. He was always quick to blame himself when things went wrong, and she wondered if they had a chance at truly being happy after this.
“I think you were right all along,” he continued.
“What are you talking about?”
“Getting involved with me, taking a chance that I could ever make you happy is a bad idea and you don’t deserve the trouble.”
“No, Penelope, no I can’t risk you getting hurt again.”
Penelope took his hands in hers and gripped them tightly until he looked her in the eyes.
“You’re worried about hurting me, are you? Then walk away from me, Derek! What Della and her brothers did was nothing in comparison to not having you in my life. I was a fool to not give you a chance, to not give us a chance and for that, I’m sorry.”
“I’m not finished!” He waited for her to continue. “I love you Derek Morgan and I’m not letting you get away so easily. What we just went through was horrible, but it woke me up! I learned that tomorrow is not promised, and I learned that love, true love is worth fighting for.”
Without waiting for him to respond, Penelope leaned down and kissed him on the lips, lightly at first then again with more passion and determination. He looked at her and saw deeply into her eyes and spirit, then without hesitation, he returned the kiss. There was nothing else to say, he had lost this argument; a first in many to come, of that he was certain.
“Will you be my valentine?” She asked sweetly.
Derek chuckled which caused him to wince again in pain.
“Yes, Baby Girl I’ll be your valentine, your broken valentine.”
Derek pulled her down close enough for their lips to meet. The two were so engrossed in each other that they didn’t hear the door open.
Penelope pulled away and along with Derek the two looked toward the door.
“I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
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!