Potomac General Hospital – Morning –
Fran, Sarah and Desiree sat quietly around Derek’s bed. A lot had happened since he’d been admitted two nights ago. They had come close to losing him in surgery and again by the man who’d shot him. Sam had thought he could out smart them all and take another chance at killing their son and brother. With each hour, the doctors became slightly more optimistic but there was still a long road ahead with no signs of Derek waking up.
Penelope had reluctantly agreed to take a break and allow Derek’s family some time alone with him. The local police needed to question her and, she needed a shower and some rest; but until Derek opened his eyes, Penelope knew that rest would not come. Sam was dead and she still found it hard to believe that he had tried twice to kill Derek. He was dead and she wasn’t sad and, she wouldn’t grieve for him. She hated what Sam had done and she hated herself for believing that he loved her.
“How did this happen, Ma?” Sarah asked.
“Sam shot him.”
“Who the hell is Sam?”
“He’s a man that Penelope dated.” Fran answered knowing that it wouldn’t be enough to satisfy her daughter.
“So, what did he have against Derek?” Sarah continued.
“She broke up with him to be with Derek.”
“So, this is her fault?” Desiree accused.
“Desiree, this is not Penelope’s fault! She didn’t put that gun in Sam’s hand, and she didn’t pull the trigger.” Fran insisted.
“All I know is that my big brother is laying in that bed unconscious now for almost two days! It’s not fair Ma; it’s not fair!”
Desiree jumped up and stormed out of the room. Sarah stood to follow her.
“She didn’t mean that. She knows Penelope is not to blame for this.” Sarah insisted.
“I know but we know how that girl feels about her brother.”
“I’m going to go see about her.”
Fran closed her eyes in fatigue and worry. Her mind went back to the day many years ago when she had gotten the call about Hank. She’d known that his job was dangerous, and that certain risks came with the territory but getting that call that her husband had been gunned down in front of her young son was impossible to comprehend. That one incident, that one day had changed Derek’s life forever. Now here was lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life. She wasn’t sure how much more any of them could handle.
Dave slowly pushed the door open. He could tell by her body language that she was upset. He was glad that he had come back after wrapping things up with the local police department. This was where he belonged, supporting Fran and the girls and praying that Derek would survive.
Fran felt his hands on her shoulders, and she felt her emotions take over. The tears rolled shacking her body causing her to collapse forward in despair. Dave quickly came around to kneel in front of his wife taking her hands gently in his.
“Bella listen to me.”
Fran slowly looked teary-eyed into Dave’s face.
“Derek is going to beat this. He has too much to live for to not do everything he can to fight!”
Fran shook her head as Dave wiped away the tears from her face.
“I can’t lose him, Dave...I can’t...”
“You won’t Bella, you won’t.”
Dave stood and pulled her to her feet and held her in his arms. He’d spoken words of assurance but indeed he had no power to make those words come true. Derek had been like a son to him long before he met and fell in love with Fran. He couldn’t lose him either not now and not ever.
Home of Penelope Garcia –
Sarah had found her younger sister in their rental car with the engine running. She had pleaded with her to come back inside but she refused insisting that she had business to take care of. Sarah knew she was in no condition to drive alone so she jumped into the passenger seat. No words were spoken between them until Desiree stopped the car in front of an old apartment building.
Without a word, Desiree headed toward the steps and climbed the two flights of stairs to a familiar apartment.
“Desi, what are you doing?”
“Mind your business, Sarah!”
“Don’t do this, please! You’ll regret it, I promise you.”
Ignoring her Desiree rang the doorbell.
Penelope had just stepped out of the shower, dried off and changed into a long flannel nightgown. She wasn’t expecting company nor was she in the mood for it. The doorbell rang again just before she slid the padlock from its resting place and opened the door. She was surprised to see the two women.
“I need to talk to you.” Desiree said dryly.
“Desiree, please think about this!” Sarah pleaded.
Penelope shot a puzzled look at Sarah before stepping aside to let them both inside.
“Can I offer you two something; coffee, tea?”
“No thank you.” They answered in unison.
“Penelope, tell me what happened between you and Sam. What made him break into my brother’s house and wait for him to get home and then when he did, he shot him three times! Why?” Desiree’s voice trembled with anger and grief.
“I-I’m so sorry, Desiree and Sarah. I didn’t know this would happen I still can’t believe Sam did this...”
“...but he did! My brother is fighting for his life because of that monster!”
Penelope felt her body deflate and she collapsed on the couch as tears streamed down her face.
“Desiree, this is not Penelope’s fault!” Sarah insisted.
“Yes, it is; I know it’s my fault. Desiree is just the only one honest enough to tell me the truth.”
Sarah quickly took the seat next to Penelope and placed a gentle arm around her shoulders.
“You didn’t answer my question, Penelope! I need to know about this Sam guy!”
Penelope pulled away from Sarah and found a way to pull the last remaining strength from her body; enough to answer the question not only for Desiree but for herself as well.
“I settled for Sam because he chose me; me! Just like Kevin before him chose me! I wanted to believe that I could love Sam because I had failed with Kevin. But I couldn’t love Sam, I couldn’t love Kevin because...”
“Because what?” Desiree interrupted.
“Because I love Derek. I’ve always loved Derek and both of them, Sam and Kevin figured it out. I’m sorry for what happened, and I accept the responsibility for Derek being shot!”
“Did you see it coming? Did Sam show any signs that he could do something like this?”
“No, in fact he’s been nothing but supportive and sweet...”
“Desiree, stop this right now!”
“No, I will not stop!”
“No, it’s okay Sarah. I get it she blames me; I blame me.”
“Penelope, did you know that Sam owned a gun?” Desiree continued.
“Did he tell you he was going to kill Derek?”
“No, he didn’t.”
Penelope jumped up and headed toward the kitchen before Desiree stepped in front of her stopping her from leaving.
“Penelope, listen to me; I’m not leaving until you hear what I have to say!” Desiree warned.
“Desiree, have you lost your...” Sarah began in shock.
“Sarah stay out of this!”
“I’ve watched my brother struggle with the things that have happened in his life. Our father’s death hit him harder than any of us including my mother. Carl Buford almost destroyed my brother in every way possible forcing him to question his manhood and his worth as a human being.”
Penelope didn’t want to hear this, but she continued to listen intently to the younger woman.
“My brother has jumped from woman to woman for years trying to prove something to himself and he was always distracted and bored and unhappy. Then you came along and his whole life changed for the better. My big brother loves you, Penelope! It’s all over him; you’ve changed him and gave him that missing thing that he’s been searching for ever since Carl abused him.”
“What are you saying, Desiree? I’ve already admitted that Derek being shot is my fault! What else do you want?” Penelope shouted.
“That’s just it; it’s not your fault, Penelope. I asked you if Sam ever showed you any signs that he would do something like this and you said, no. I asked you if you knew that Sam had a gun and you said, no.”
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
“Then how on earth can this be your fault?” Desiree asked.
“Do you love my brother?”
“With all of my heart.”
“Is there anything that you would not do to protect him?”
“I’d do anything for Derek; he’s my life.”
Sarah was beginning to understand what her sister was talking about; she was here not to blame Penelope but to embrace her and convince her that none of what happened to Derek was her fault. At that moment, her little sister seemed old; wise beyond her years even if she had a strange way of showing it.
“And he’d do anything for you. I need you to know that the only one that blames you is you.”
“That’s right Penelope.” Sarah chimed in. “We love you and none of us would ever blame you, including our brother.”
“Thank you, thank you so much!” Penelope began. “When it comes to Derek, I hope you’re right.”
...to be continued
*Disclaimer: The Derek Morgan Chronicles is fan fiction based on the CBS Crime drama, Criminal Minds. We do not own Criminal Minds or its characters.
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!