Criminal Minds Ch. 03byPelaam©
Chapter 3: Trust, Fear, Love
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt
Derek cursed silently. This was not good. He glanced at the metallic walkway with the exposed rail. He needed to get to the other side, but to make the run he also ran the risk of the Unsub getting a clear shot of him.
"Going for it in three, two, one..." he shouted into his phone. Hoping that the reception was clear enough for his team to have picked him up, he made his move. He shot in the direction of the Unsub and was relieved that other shots echoed in the huge factory.
It was not enough.
Whether by luck or by skill, one shot scraped across his arm, the other hit metal at head-level sending a sharp shard into his eye. It was more than enough to blind Derek and he hit the rail. With a cry he plummeted over the rail and down. As he landed on something unexpectedly soft, the breath whooshed from his body, a new pain seared through his leg and his world went black.
"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever." Keri Russell
"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love." Hubert Humphrey.
Derek opened one eye slowly, giving a soft groan.
"I'm here, love. What do you need?"
The whispered words were like sunshine after rain and he turned towards the speaker, trying to smile.
Spencer's anxious face swam into view.
"Just you, Pretty Baby," he replied. "Although a drink would be good?" he asked hopefully.
A small cup was moved so he could take the straw into his mouth. Derek sipped, knowing not to take too much too quickly. He let the younger man replace the cup and then his hands were enfolded in a tight grip.
"I saw you fall," Spencer whispered. "I thought I'd lost you."
Derek could feel the tremors in Spencer's hands and see the misty look in the expressive eyes.
"It takes a lot more than that to get rid of me, Spence," he said. "I'm here, I've got you."
"Your tibia is fractured and they had to remove a metallic splinter from your eye. They said there'd be no permanent damage, but you'll probably need dark glasses when they remove the dressing," Spencer provided. "You'll need to be off your feet for a few days. Rossi says you can still direct things from home. The team will keep you updated of everything. There's no need to worry about the job. We've got it covered."
Derek gave a murmur as his mind whirled. He had not long been temporarily promoted. Being in anyway incapacitated could not have come at a worse time.
"You can have a nurse at home if you really need one, but I can take care of you until you're mobile and I can help with work," Spencer said firmly. "I will be spending time with a trained nurse to learn exactly what I need to know to care for you properly." His protective instincts had kicked in hard from the moment he had seen his lover fall from the walkway. There was no way he was going to let the injured man overdo things at home. Promotion or no, Derek's health came first and Spencer had every intention of following medical advice to the letter. More importantly, Spencer intended to ensure his lover did the same and told Derek so in no uncertain terms.
Derek could not help but stare at the younger man. Spencer was talking to him as if he were a child. He did not think he had heard his lover sound quite so assertive...so dominant. Part of him, to his shock, was aroused. However, another part of him was apprehensive. He was not sure how comfortable he was with the helplessness of his condition, or how he felt about Spencer's forcefulness.
"We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone -- but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy." Walter Anderson.
"The course of true love never did run smooth." Shakespeare
Derek could not help but be both relieved to be home and unhappy about the arrangements. Their bed had a metal contraption attached to ensure his leg could receive traction, his eye was still bandaged and he needed to be working on the case that had resulted in his precarious position. Spencer, however, had other ideas. He gave a discontented growl as files were finally placed out of his reach.
"Spencer, I need those," he grumbled.
"You've only just been released to come home. You need to rest," he younger man replied. Spencer had known it would not be easy. He had been repeatedly encouraged to accept the services of a full-time nurse from a private company that his team had investigated inside out. But he wanted to care for his lover himself. He had spent several hours in the company of the trained nurse until certain he could provide Derek's care. He wanted to indulge his mate. An idea slithered sensually into his mind and he licked his suddenly dry lips.
"I can't just lie here," Derek muttered sulkily.
"How about this then?" the younger man asked. Slowly he began to peel off his shirt, flicking open the buttons and sliding the garment to the floor. He smiled shyly at Derek. Exhibitionism was not one of his kinks, but Derek loved to see him strip and he could now disrobe slowly without becoming crimson by the time he was naked. His hands hesitated at his waistband, fingers skimming his belt, but not undoing it. The display was having the desired effect on Derek and Spencer was aching to be held in his lover's arms.
"Yes," Derek husked. "Take them off."
The older man stared as long fingers worked the belt to undo it. Then they moved to the button and slowly pushed it through the hole. Tantalisingly they ran over the zipper before lowering it slowly. Derek gave a husky sound of want. His erection was hard against his abdomen and he could feel the pre-come, wet and slick on his skin. He slid a hand to circle the damp flesh and stroked slowly as his lover continued to tease him. The jeans were pushed down over slender hips to the floor before Spencer stepped free. Derek's eyes devoured the sight of the straining shaft held back only by the baby-blue briefs. An enticing dampness told him just how aroused his mate was.
"Those, too and then come here," Derek rasped. He spread his legs as Spencer obeyed him and then kneeling in the space he had created.
"Love you, Derek," Spencer whispered as a strong hand slid to the nape of his neck.
"Love you, Pretty Boy," Derek replied. He pulled Spencer down for a long kiss. His tongue surged into the sweetness of his mate's mouth, reacquainting itself with his lover's taste. His agile muscle stroked along Spencer's before sucking it into the furnace of his own mouth. He felt the fire of desire alight in his veins.
He ran his free hand down Spencer's lean frame, cupping a taut cheek before sliding around over a slim hip and between his lover's slender legs. He fondled the younger man's sac, relishing the moan that fell from Spencer's lips. He pumped his lover's erect flesh before taking both shafts into his hand; light and dark, slender and thick, similar and yet unique. He felt Spencer's hips move with his rhythm. It was not going to take long for either man.
Their mouths met, mated and parted over and over as Derek stroked twin-sets of hard flesh. He tried to keep his grip light in an attempt to delay the inevitable. He groaned as Spencer's head dipped lower to bathe one taut nub and then the other with kitten licks and gentle suckling. He gave a low growl at the bite of teeth tenderly nipping at his eager nipples.
Spencer's head lifted from his chest and Derek could see how close his lover was. Spencer's face was arousal-flushed and he panted wetly through parted, reddened lips. Sucking a finger of his free hand, Derek reached between his mate's cheeks and pressed at the hidden entrance. It was all he needed to tip his lover over the edge.
With a cry of his mate's name, Spencer's hips began to piston as his shaft erupted its crème over Derek's pumping hand and droplets rained onto his toned abdomen. The feel of the pulsating organ against his own triggered the older man's release. His seed mixed with Spencer's, the silvery strands contrasting with his dark skin. He milked them both through their shared climax pullingSpencer into another long, deep kiss.
"I love you, Pretty Baby," he whispered.
"I love you, too," Spencer sighed. "I'll get something to clean you with.
Within a couple of minutes, he had returned with a washcloth and towel. Engrossed in his task, Spencer did not see the tenseness of his lover's face as he cleaned the older man's body. With a bright smile, Spencer dropped a kiss to his lover's lips and bustled away to let Derek rest.
As he watched Spencer leave, Derek finally relaxed. The sensation of being touched so intimately when unable to move freely or see clearly had left him completely unsettled. He lay staring at the ceiling. The feeling had been similar to when...
Derek pushed the unwanted thoughts away. Spencer loved him. Spencer would never take advantage of him or abuse him. However, the feeling of unease persisted. They had decided that Spencer would sleep with Derek despite the difficulty and Derek prayed he would settle by the time his lover came to join him.
The irony did not escape him that their positions were reversed from the last time one had a leg injury. When it had been Spencer, the younger man had submitted to everything Derek had wanted. He just could not be sure he could do the same.
To Derek's relief, having Spencer curled up against him was as comforting as ever. His soft, rhythmic snores were the only sounds and Derek gave a sigh of relief. All was back to normal.
"The most destructive element in the human mind is fear. Fear creates aggressiveness." Dorothy Thompson.
Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love." Unknown.
Derek awoke to the sensation of being pinned, of hands wandering over his body. He jerked awake, thrashing and shouting. It took a few seconds for him to focus enough to realise that Spencer was calling his name from where he had been tossed to the floor. With an effort, Derek forced himself to calm.
"Sorry, nightmare," he muttered. "Come here, Pretty Baby." He could feel the tenseness in Spencer's body. The younger man often woke him by pleasuring him. Derek hoped he could offer a plausible explanation.
"It's ok, "Spencer soothed, caressing Derek's face and dropping a kiss to his lips. "You've been through a lot. I'll leave you to wake up properly. Do you need a hand with...?" Spencer's hands gestured towards the bottle the older man had to use rather than take too frequent rest room trips.
"No," Derek said firmly. "No," he repeated more softly. "I'm fine, really. There's just a lot of stuff going on in my head. I'm sorry, Pretty Boy." Derek could see from the tremulous smile on his lover's face that the blond was less than convinced. He pulled his lover close, nuzzling gently. He *loved* Spencer so *much*. He could not believe he was treating the younger man this way. "Be patient with me, baby, please?" he asked. "So much has happened so quickly..." He was quietened by soft lips pressing against his.
"I *love* you," Spencer told him firmly. "Just try to relax. I'll bring you some breakfast."
"The best proof of love is trust." Dr J Brothers.
"How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it." Marcus Aurelius
Derek purposely immersed himself in work, trying to divert his thoughts onto their case and away from his past. However, that brought problems of its own. Spencer was as equally determined to limit the amount of time Derek spent working as the older man was to immerse himself in work.
"You need to rest," Spencer said, his voice raised.
"I need to get through this stuff and keep up with what's happening. With you here the team are two men down."
"We agreed I could work from home, too," Spencer countered angrily. "I'm not sitting out there with my feet up. I took time off to care for you, but it seems like it's not wanted or appreciated."
"I don't need babysitting," Derek replied angrily. "I can use that damn thing," he said, waving his hand at the hated bottle, "and I can wash when I go to the bathroom. I do not need to be bathed in bed like some infant!"
Spencer glared at Derek, hiding his hurt behind a curtain of anger. Derek had been furious at the suggestion of a sponge bath. Spencer had thought his lover would enjoy the sensation. A part of him knew something was wrong. Something that was not Derek having to stay home or being hurt or even in charge of the team. However, his lack of experience with relationships made it impossible for him to really know what to do. He felt rejected and unwanted. They were arguing. They never fought. He could think of only one thing to do.
"Fine. Read your reports," he said turning and leaving.
Derek stared after him. He knew he should call the younger man back. He knew he had hurt Spencer and his lover had done nothing to merit the anger directed at him. However, the older man did not know how to put into words the fear and vulnerability he felt. He looked at the paper in his hands, the words just swimming before him. They had never argued. Never. He had to find a way to talk to Spencer before he ruined the best thing in his life.
"Lying is done with words and also with silence." Adrienne Rich
"To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved." G McDonald.
Derek still had not accomplished anything even after a couple of hours had gone by. The sounds of a strange voice had his head jerk upwards, staring at the bedroom door. It opened to reveal a large, smiling dark-skinned nurse, her hair in a neat bun.
"I'm Lola, your nurse. Good to meet you, Derek," she said, her voice vibrant and rich.
Derek simply stared as Spencer followed behind. There was an ocean of hurt in his lover's eyes, his face, even body language and the older man did not know what to do, what to say.
"Lola is the nurse you should have had," Spencer said softly, his head tilted so his hair fell across his face, hiding it. "As soon as I realised I was wrong to think I could care for you I rang her and found she was still free. I've made up the spare bed and she'll stay here for the next couple of days until you have your mobility back. It was a mistake for me to even consider I could care for you, despite Lola giving up her valuable time for me."
The words were like knives in Derek's heart and he wanted to stop them, to deny them, but his mouth was dry and his mind empty. He was losing Spencer. He knew it and still he could not speak.
"I'll be at the office. I will be of *some* use there. I'll call you."
A kiss was dropped to Derek's cheek and then he was gone. Derek did not know if he had not felt the caress because it was too brief or because he felt numb. He turned to look at Lola whose smile had fled. She looked as sad as he felt.
"Whatever you two quarrelled over, it's really hurting that boy," she said shaking her head. "Does a good job hiding it, but I have a lifetime's experience to call on. Can't hide much from me. Just a few words and anyone can tell he really loves you. He truly believes leaving you is for the best. He doesn't think that he's good enough for you. Find the words. I'll just go get myself organised and be back in a little while."
Derek's mind was still trying to grasp what had happened. Had he pushed Spencer away permanently? How did he put this right?
"Anger is just a cowardly extension of sadness. It's a lot easier to be angry at someone than it is to tell them you're hurt." T Gates
"Worry gives a small thing a big shadow." Swedish proverb.
Hotch was surprised to get the call from Rossi and even more surprised to see that his 'coffee date' was Spencer. His protective streak surged instantly at the slump of the blond's shoulders, the shadows that haunted Spencer's eyes and the lost look as the younger man looked towards him.
"Hey, what is it?" he asked, his voice laced with concern.
"Derek," Spenser husked, his head dropping. "I don't think he loves me anymore."
Hotch's head was already vehemently shaking the older man's denial.
"I don't know what's happened, Spencer," he said. "But if there is one thing I'm sure of, it's that Derek adores you."
"He doesn't seem to...to trust me to take care of him," Spencer said, his voice quavering. "Have I let him down some how? I don't understand. He wouldn't speak to me, tell me."
"Talk to me," Hotch urged. "Tell me everything."
"Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart." Unknown.
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." M Robinson.
Silently Lola tended Derek. She had opened the door for the female dynamo and boy had she laid into her charge. She had hovered in case the tirade had proved too much for a still-healing man. However, she had to admit, the younger woman had known when to pull her punches and when to let fly. She glanced at Derek as he lay there. She had no doubts that he loved the beautiful boy every bit as much as the younger man loved him. Something had happened and she was sure it was not just something between the lovers.
"Wanna talk about it? She sure gave you something to think about. Might help if you do some of it out loud," Lola offered. Sometimes it was easier to talk to a stranger.
"I was molested when I was younger."
The flatly intoned words had her pause briefly, but she forced herself to continue working without any obvious reaction.
"Younger or a child?" she asked.
"Teenager," Derek replied. "Gave me drink then...I just felt so helpless, so unable to do anything. I never reported him."
"I see," Lola said, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Spencer said I had to make sure you didn't overdo the work. Said you'd just taken charge of the team when this happened."
"Yeah, real good timing," Derek sighed.
"So you're already feeling a little overwhelmed, you're hurt, pretty incapacitated, helpless...?" she raised an enquiring eyebrow.
"Spencer didn't do anything except try to care for me," Derek groaned softly. "It's just...it was just..."
"You felt helpless, powerless, not in control. It's a big thing for a man trying to cope with all those feelings," Lola said.
"I didn't cope though, did I?" Derek's voice was tinged with a mix of anger and bitterness. "I hurt Spencer."
"You always hurt the one you love. Trite but true, honey. They're the ones who stand closest to you and when you lash out in pain or fear, they take it. They take it because they love you warts and all. But Spencer seemed so lost," Lola murmured quietly.
"I'm his first," Derek said, his voice raw with grief. "I promised to take care of him, to look after him. How can he ever trust me again?"
"His first," Lola echoed. "How did that beautiful young man...never mind, he was your gift, just as you were his. He's never stopped trusting you, or loving you, Derek. He just doesn't understand. It's not going to be easy to tell him. Not easy for a man like you to admit they're vulnerable, just like the rest of us, but that's why you have him. He's there for you to lean on in times like this. And when he needs you to be strong for him, you will be."
"I want him to come home," Derek husked, a tear snaking down his cheek. "I want to tell him how much I love him, how much I trust him."
"Then why don't you?" Lola asked, dabbing at the wet trail.
"The team had a lead. They're following it up. He's facing danger without me and without knowing just how much he means to me."
"He'll be back, then you can tell him and show him," Lola assured. "Now I'm going to put the night light on and you're going to rest. You need to be ready to welcome him with open arms when he comes home."