No More Bad Days
Please, do not take any sort of offense on the way I portray Bella’s anxiety. A lot of what I wrote is what I personally have experience and what I have witnessed my loved ones who have severe anxiety experience. If this in any way offends anyone with anxiety problems, I’m sorry. The last thing I want to do is make you think I’m insensitive when it comes to anxiety. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, and if I did, I’m sincerely sorry.
This is a Bella S./Derek Morgan pairing.
Tell me what you think, and I hope you enjoy!
Bella held tightly onto Kai’s leash as she walked through the office of the BAU. How the hell had she gotten herself into this mess? She sighed, right, she decided to hack their database out of boredom and they offered her a position on their workforce rather than put her in jail. Bella stopped on the way to her new office as a blonde haired woman stopped her.
“Excuse me, mam.” She said pausing. “But you can’t bring a dog in here. Can I ask what you’re doing here?”
Bella felt her voice get lost in her throat. She looked down as Kai bared his teeth causing the blonde to take a step back making Bella feel more comfortable. She went to speak when she saw a familiar face approaching her.
“JJ, get the team in the briefing room. I have something I want to share with them.” Aaron Hotchner said he watched as JJ left and turned to Bella. “Glad to see you made it.”
Bella shrugged, “I wasn’t going to and then I thought about the jail time and figured I’d be around more people if I end up in jail.”
“Here, let me show you to your new office. Our former tech left and had it all emptied out so I’ve had it redone with what you have asked for. Dog bed included.” Aaron said as he opened the door to the office.
Bella looked around as she let Kai go free of his leash and turned to Hotch. “The setup I have at home is a bit more impressive, but this will do. Thank you.”
“I left the file of the current case we’re working on, on your desk. Take a look at it and I’ll call later to request a few things from you.” Aaron said politely. “If you need anything go ahead and call me.”
Bella nodded she waved her hand dismissively at him. “I got it. I am curious about something. Agent Reid, you know the genius, is he coming in today?”
Aaron smirked, “Yes, he’s working the case today. Why?”
Bella smirked, “I knew him when I as a teenager.” Bella said with a fond smile. “Before the PTSD came, he’s family. I just wanted to know if I would get a chance to say hello.”
“I’ll tell him you said hello.” Aaron said.
Bella shrugged, “You don’t have to, I’m sure he’ll call later.”
“Good luck on your first day.” Aaron said, “And try not to hack into anything you’re not supposed to.”
Bella smirked, “You do something once and suddenly that’s all you are anymore.” Bella reached for her chair and took a seat setting her bag down. She let her fingers roam over the keys and took in a deep breath. “Look at that, you’re an FBI agent, something your dad never saw coming.”
Aaron entered the briefing room and took in its four occupants. “As you all know Penelope Garcia quit two weeks ago. Since then the FBI has been looking for her permanent replacement, and just a week ago they found who they were looking for. The new addition to our unit is, Isabella Swan.”
“What makes her qualified to take the position?” Derek questioned as he was still upset at Garcia’s departure from the team and her lack of contact with any of them.
“Last week in a matter of two hours Isabella managed to hack into the FBI’s database.” Aaron said, “Isabella has been on the FBI’s watch list for some time now and until recently they were able to get in contact with her. We were lucky to get to her moments before the CIA were meant to ask her to join them. Isabella is young, but she is one of the best, we are lucky to have her on our team.”
“Not to mention that Bella has an IQ almost as high as mine and has a PhDs in Mathematics, Engineering, Chemistry and Psychology.” Spencer added he smiled at their faces of surprise. “We went to school together.”
“High school?” JJ questioned curiously.
Spencer shook his head, “No, Bella was the only person who was my age when I was in University.”
“When can we meet her?” David questioned.
Aaron sighed, “You can’t, not face to face.”
“Bella has severe PTSD and being around unknown people increases her anxiety and can cause her to go into a severe anxiety attack. She has a service dog who helps control her anxiety, but she can’t be around people she doesn’t know.” Spencer explained.
“Moving onto the case.” Aaron said changing the subject as he opened the file in front of him.
“Hello?” Bella said answering the phone knowing already who was calling her.
“Hey, Bells.” Spencer said through the phone.
“Hey, evil genius!” Bella said happily. “What can I help you with?”
“I need you to look up all the surrounding plumbers in the area.” Spencer said, “And send their addresses and anything else you have on them to me”
Bella smirked, “Already did that, you should’ve checked your phone, Evil genius. I also took the liberty to downsize the list to only men and made sure they were in the area the time of the murders.”
“Thanks, Bells.” Spencer said shuffling though his bag to check his e-mail. “When were you going to tell me? I thought you were still in Michigan.”
“I was unpacking.” Bella said quietly. “I was going to tell you when I finished, but I still have a shit ton of boxes to go.”
“I’ll see you when I get back. Maybe I’ll help you.” Spencer responded.
“Yeah, sure.” Bella said as she hung up the phone she turned to Kai and shook her head “That boy acts like I don’t know him, he won’t do anything but criticize my organizing system.”
Spencer and the other agents entered the BAU office it was close to empty, but they could hear the soft hum of music that was coming from the back rooms. Instead of walking to his desk like normal Spencer followed the music and entered Bella’s office.
“I like what you’ve done to the place.” He announced as he saw her hanging up several posters. Around the office its entire walls were almost covered completely by them now. “Is that my Edgar Allan Poe, poster? When did you get that?”
Bella smirked, “I took it out of your bag the night you bought it. Help me get this last one up, your height is better than mine.”
“When did you bring all these in?” Spencer asked as he looked around.
“I left them in the car, as soon as most of the agents left I brought them in. They told me to decorate it how I please so I did.” Bella said as she sat down on the chair. “How you feeling, EG.”
“Okay, I suppose.” Spencer replied, “What do you have left to do in your home?”
“I finished my workplace, but that’s about it.” Bella said with a sigh. “I can’t seem to do anything else, I get this overwhelming feeling of being scared and I just don’t know if I can do anything else. How are your head aches?”
“I feel like they’re just getting worst.” Spencer replied honestly. “Doctors can’t find anything; they keep saying I’m fine.”
“Look, you are fine, EG.” Bella said standing using the abbreviations to his nickname. “You and me, we’re not ever going to get sick. We made a promise and if you don’t remember we always keep our promises to each other.”
Spencer turned and nodded, “Are you about to go home?”
Bella shrugged, “I can’t, Aaron asked me to stay until he comes to speak to me.”
“Want me to stay?” Spencer questioned.
“No, I can handle it.” Bella said with a waving of her hand. “But why don’t you meet me back at my home? I’ll cook and we can just hang out. Like we used to.”
Spencer nodded, “Text me your address, I’ll stop by and grab something to eat for the both of us.”
Bella nodded she smirked as she knew he was thinking to hard about something. “Wait, what ‘you’re your mind, EG?”
“Why are you so calm around, Hotch?” Spencer questioned quietly.
“Because you trust him.” Bella responded with a smile. “Why else would someone like me be calm around someone like him? You’re my family, EG, I trust your judgement enough to know that the way you talk about him, means he’s a good man. The way you talk about any of the members of this team means they’re good people.”
Spencer smiled, “I’ll see you later, Bells.”
“See you, Evil Genius.” Bela replied as she sat back down in her chair.
Bella smiled she turned around and began to use her computer playing the solitaire game it had on it. She turned her head as she heard the knock on the door. Quickly exiting out of the game she stood and went to open the door. “Sir Unit Chief.” She responded with a smirk.
“You did well for your first day.” Aaron said with a proud smile. “A lot better than I expected.”
“You expected me to have an anxiety attack didn’t you? Seeing all those images on my monitors and what not.” Bella said already seeing where he was going with it. “I have worked hard for years to make myself better and I understand that I will never be who I was, but I am better than I seem. I have more control over my emotions and can do certain things that I wasn’t able to do before. I’m also a genius, sir, granted not as much as Spencer, but I am a genius in my own right. I know my mind better than anyone else, and none of what I did today is a possible trigger for me. If it was, I wouldn’t have accepted the job in the first place.”
Aaron nodded his head, “Isabella, if you do have any sort of attack, please do not feel you are obligated to stay here. You can go home at any time you want.”
Bella smiled, “This is the first professional job, I’ve ever had, but that doesn’t mean this is the first time I’ve ever been out of my house for an extended period of time. I’m okay with this job. I’m not saying I’m going to be okay every day, there are going to be moments that I can’t handle being here and I will have to go home. Just so you know, I’m capable of doing my job from home. I’m not asking for special treatment.”
“I wasn’t offering you special treatment, I was offering you medical leave if you needed it.” Hotchner replied, “I didn’t come her to offend you, I came to congratulate you a great first day. You didn’t just impress me, but the whole team. You have more insight than I could’ve wished for.”
Bella smirked, “You didn’t offend me, it takes a bit more to do that. I’m glad I was of use, now if you don’t mind I want to get home.”
“I just have one final question.” Hotchner replied. “Why didn’t you have an anxiety attack when we met? Everything about your character leads to it, I was expecting it, but it never came.”
“I recognized you.” Bella said, “Spencer is more than just some longtime friend of mine, he’s family. I’ve learned throughout the years that anyone he trusts I can trust. Spencer doesn’t admire many people, but he admires you. He talks about you a lot, and when I heard your name I recognized you. I don’t trust you, I can’t, but I trust Spencer and he trusts you.”
Aaron nodded, “That’s why you really accepted the offer.”
Bella smiled, “I could’ve accepted the offer the CIA were putting on the table, but I went with the FBI because Spence is here and it’s been a long time since we lived in the same zip code. Have a nice night, Sir Unit Chief.”
Bella sat down on the chair in her office and smiled as she saw Reid looking around the room. “The shelving in this room is what sold me on the house.” Bella announced. “The former owner was a book collector and she had this entire room shelved for her books.”
“This one is mine.” Spencer said pulling a book out of a shelf. He looked as he saw Bella’s record collection. “This one is mine, too.”
Bella stood and pulled Spencer away from the shelves. “There’s no need for that.” She insisted as she knew he would find several other things that were technically his, but she kept as her own.
“Did your CD collection get larger?” Spencer questioned.
Bella nodded, “Yeah, I binge shopped on Amazon one night and ended up wasting over a thousand dollars on CDs.”
“And the stereo system?” Spencer questioned not having seen it before.
“I broke the other one.” Bella admitted shyly. “I had a really bad attack and I just couldn’t deal with anything. I completely destroyed it. I bought a new one the next day.”
“What triggered it?” Spencer questioned.
“I accidently came upon an article about Sinister and it said that the entire novel was a pathetic work. None of it was authentic enough and…” Bella said her hands trembling. “I just…”
“Hey.” Spencer said resting his hand on her shoulder. “You’re okay.”
Bella nodded, “I’m okay. I’m safe.”
Spencer saw her calm down. “How many of my books are here?”
Bella turned to him and frowned. “Hey, didn’t you say something about helping me unpack? I’ll make dinner and you unpack the rest of the kitchen.” Bella said as she led Spencer to the kitchen. “Your haircut looks better in person.”
Bella picked up the phone. “How may I help you?”
“Did you find anything?” Derek questioned hastily.
“The super top secret one,” Bella said typing. “Yes, I found some stuff I left it on your desk.”
“Good.” Derek responded.
“I can print out another copy and place it on Hotch’s desk.” Bella offered not knowing if he was seeking help on the case or not.
“NO!” Derek yelled. “Just do what you’re told! You don’t need to be getting any further into my business! You’re just the tech girl, not one of us.”
Bella’s eyes went wide at his voice, his yelling had triggered something and she could feel her heart exhilarating and her palms getting sweaty. She ripped the headset off and turned to her dog taking comfort in him. She kept trying to calm herself, but it wasn’t working. She closed her eyes and did all she could think of. She started to calm but she still felt uneasy and he hands were trembling still.
Standing immediately Bella grabbed the keys to her car and put the leash on her dog before hastily closing down her system. She quickly ran out of the BAU office, she couldn’t spend another minute in that office.
Bella ran down the stairs opting to skip the elevator she just needed to keep moving.
The ride home was a bit of a blur to Bella she walked in to her house and she instantly fell on the couch not being able to hold back the tears that raked through her body. The anger in his voice had just brought back memories she wasn’t ready to live through.
“I have to let you all be aware that for the next couple of days Isabella will be working from home, she’s having medical issues.” Hotch announced.
“What happened?” JJ questioned considered, she had talked to the woman several times and she already considered her a friend. “Is she okay?”
“She’s doing better.” Spencer announced entering the office. “She was just triggered yesterday and she’s not able to come into work. She’s exhausted mentally and physically, coming into work would just be too much stress on her.”
“What triggered her?” David questioned curiously. “What could it have been?”
Spencer took in a deep breath. “She doesn’t want to admit it, but from what other agents said she ran out of here at about 2pm so it had to have been something from work.”
“I’ll call her later.” JJ assured worried and needing to make sure for herself that Bella wasn’t too bad.
Derek sighed coming to realize he had probably been the one to cause this. He didn’t mean to, but he had just been stressed the last few months and didn’t want to accept the new addition to the unit. He shook his head and turned his attention to the team he needed to focus and somehow think of an apology.
Bella entered the office two hours before she was meant to all so she didn’t have to run into anyone. She sat down and rolled her head getting all the kinks out. She drummed her fingers against the keyboard before reaching into her backpack and pulling out her headphones. She placed them on and plugged them into her IPod. She scrolled through the artists until she found something worth listening to. She let the sound fill her ears as she turned her monitors.
Bella twisted her neck and sighed in annoyance as her mug of coffee was empty. She grabbed Kai’s leash and her mug and headed out of her office, she didn’t bother to remove her headphones, if anything they were going to help her be able to do this quickly. She filled her mug quickly and headed back to her office, she paused as she saw Derek waiting outside of it. She walked past him and entered her office.
“Is there something I can help you with, Agent?” She questioned as she sat down and removed her head phones.
“I wanted to apologize for yelling at you.” Derek responded he set the bag of muffins down in front of her. “Reid mentioned these were your favorite.”
Bella sighed, “Thanks, now if this is all than I have to get back to were. Us techs do actually have stuff to do.”
“Look, I know what I said was harsh, but…” Derek paused as he saw Bella stand immediately.
She walked over and closed the door to her office. “Look,” She said staring back at him. “I’m not as fragile as you think, Agent. I’m a genius and trust me when I say I don’t give a shit what you think about me. I don’t care if you think I’m just a tech girl that doesn’t know anything about profiling. Let me explain to you one thing, I’ve been through some horrible stuff, I have major trust issues and some days I can’t step a foot outside my house, but know that I’m a strong person for being able to admit it. You’re an asshole with trust issues who likes to take his anger out on other people, but you hate to show any sign of weakness so you hold it in. I get it, Agent, you’ve lost some people, you’ve done and seen things that haunt you, but know that everyone else has done the same. You may not know me, but I know you. If you ever yell at me again, if you ever trigger my attacks I’ll kick your ass. I don’t care if I go to jail for it, but that was 2 MONTHS ruined! 2 MONTHS of hard work ruined all because some asshole decided to yell at me. I hated having to go home because of you, it was humiliating.”
Derek watched stunned as Bella straightened out her shirt and took in a deep breath. “Do I get to say anything?”
Bella shrugged, “I don’t care if you do. I feel a whole lot better now. Thanks for the muffins, Agent.”
“Are we good?” Derek questioned curiously.
Bella opened the bag and reached in taking out a chocolate chip muffin and took a bite of it. “I suppose, but don’t take my threat lightly, Agent. Trigger me again and I can’t be held liable for my actions.”
Derek nodded a small smirk on his face. “You got it, Bella.” He paused at the door. “I really am sorry. It’s been a hard few months for me, and I couldn’t get around the idea of you replacing one of my closest friends.”
“Change sucks for everyone, Agent.” Bella said as she placed her headphones back on and continued on with her work.
Bella sighed as it was 2am and she was still at work. She yawned and headed to Derek’s office, their strange friendship growing as she helped him with his search of Ian Doyle. She walked into his office and threw the files on his desk before turning back around.
“Hey, hey little lady.” Derek said amused as Bella turned back around to face him with a murderous look. “What has gotten into you?”
“Nothing but stale coffee and salt crackers.” Bella responded as she rubbed her face. “It’s two am, Derek. I need food and sleep, neither of which I can get here, so I’m calling it a night and I’m leaving.”
“All you’ve had is stale coffee and crackers?” He questioned with worry as he stood. “That’s not healthy.”
“I’m not stupid, I know it isn’t healthy. Which one of us is a doctor?” Bella replied as she turned back towards the door. “That is why I’m going to go home and making something to eat and hopefully pass out and come in late to work.”
“Hey,” Derek said approaching her as he could see her wobbling from side to side. “How many hours of sleep did you get last night?”
“Three.” Bella replied, “Hence the large amount of coffee. Are we done with twenty questions now?”
“Come on, I’ll drive you home.” Derek said as he followed Bella back to her office.
Bella rolled her eyes, “No, I can drive.”
“You can’t even walk in a straight line.” Derek responded he smiled as Bella flipped him off.
She grabbed her bag and her coat and grabbed Kai’s leash. “Come on, Kai, let’s go home.”
Derek stood in front of Bella. “I’ll drive you home, just let me go get my things.”
Bella sighed, “You should’ve been more prepared if you were going to offer me a ride home.”
Bella cut the vegetables and looked to Derek who sat across form her. He was the only one outside of Spencer who had been in her home. “Stop eating the food.” She reprimanded him.
“It’s 3 in the morning, I need to eat something.” Derek responded as he grabbed another piece of carrot. “So was Reid your first friend?”
Bella looked at him at the strange question. “Yes, Spence was a lot of my firsts.”
Derek’s eyes widened. “You don’t mean you two…”
Bella laughed, “Yes, he was my first kiss and my first sexual partner.”
“How the hell did that happen?” Derek questioned curiously.
Bella smiled at the memory. “Spencer is a few months older than me, not much but still a few months. He had just turned 17 and I was still 16. I was taking this human Sexuality class and I became curious, so I proposed this arrangement to Spencer. I can get Spencer to do just about anything if I convince him it’s for the sake of knowledge.”
“You propositioned him?” Derek questioned in shock.
Bella smirked and shrugged. “I was a bit rebellious when I was younger and I could always count on Spencer to come along with me. I trusted him and I knew if there was anyone worth losing my virginity to, it was him.”
“You really love him don’t you?” Derek questioned.
Bella nodded, “He’s my best friend, my family. I grew up with my mom, who was a very scatter-brained art teacher and my dad was never around, he left when I was one. He loved his job and when they transferred him he didn’t think twice. My childhood was spent in libraries and then one day I went to my first university class and there was a boy my age. He had incredibly long hair and the dorkiest glasses you could imagine, but he was nice to me. Spencer knew what it was like to only have a mom and to have a dad who abandoned you. He’s been there for me when I felt I didn’t have anyone. I love Spencer, these past few years, he’s been the only constant thing in my life. He’s the only person who knew me before the incident and stuck around after it all happened. He was the only one to believe that I could get better.”
“Your mom? She’s still alive?” Derek questioned curiously changing the subject.
Bella shrugged, “I don’t know. We stopped talking when she gave up on me, I wasn’t worth the effort to her. My dad was around the same, but he’s dead now.”
“Did you have anything to do with Pretty Boy’s haircut?” Derek questioned with a smile changing the subject.
Bella smirked, “We have a standing promise. His hair can’t reach past his shoulders and I can’t cut my hair above my chin.”
“Why would you make that deal?” Derek asked.
Bella blushed, “It was Spencer’s way of making sure I wouldn’t self-destruct.” She turned her back to Derek and put the vegetables into the soup. “It’s a long story, but Spencer does certain things so I don’t do things I might regret later. Sometimes the anxiety can get so out of hand that I start to lose control on my actions.”
“Do you have a lot triggers?” He responded wanting to prevent himself from ever causing her to have an attack again.
“I used to.” Bella said softly. “Towards the beginning, the simplest of noises could trigger me. I couldn’t sleep in the dark or by myself. I clung to Spencer so much in the beginning, I needed him to breathe, because he was the only one who knew the fear. He understood what it felt like to be scared of your mind, to be scared of your own thoughts. I used to get an attack every time he left the room because the fear of being alone was too much. Now, it’s the more detailed things that get to me. I can’t be in the dark or the quiet, thunderstorms are the worst, aggressive yelling, and a few other things.”
“Are you ever going to share what happened?” Derek questioned.
Bella shook her head, “I can’t. Not verbally, I can’t let you know. Once someone knows they look at me differently, treat me like a child as if I need special treatment. I hate it. Maybe one day, but not today.”
“I can wait, I have the patience of a saint.” Derek responded smiling lightly as he heard her small laugh.
“Can you get me two bowls?” Bella questioned, “Top shelf.”
Bella looked to Morgan as for the fourth night in a week he had slept at her home. She could see that he truly was committed to finding this Ian Doyle guy. She stepped closer smiling as she saw how peaceful he looked, she was starting to realize that she really did like being around him and unlike other times she didn’t feel nervous around him. It was similar to how she felt being around Spencer. She reached out and poked him. “Stop sleeping on the couch, I have like four guest rooms with beds. Well one of them has a hammock, but you could sleep somewhere more comfortable.”
“I’d sleep more comfortably if you stopped waking me up at 5 in the morning.” Derek mumbled turning around on the couch so his back was to Bella.
“I can do as I please.” Bella responded as she headed into her work room. She looked through her records and grabbed one and put it on. She smiled as she heard Derek’s grumbling and his shuffling around.
“How the hell do you afford all of this?” Derek said as he entered the room with a mug of coffee in his hand about 20 minutes later.
“I’m resourceful.” Bella responded she looked up to see him going through her collection of music.
“You like rap?” Derek questioned surprised.
Bella smiled, “Do you have to sound so surprise? I am a fan, though I am picky of the artists.”
“You have 5 different signed Eminem albums.” Derek said in shock. “How’d you get them signed?”
“I can do amazing things, Derek.” Bella responded quietly. “He sent them to me.”
“He personally sent them to you?” Derek questioned.
“Yes, it’s a long story, but for a while we were sort of pen pals.” Bella responded with a shrug.
“Now, you have to explain that to me.” Derek said as he set the CDS down.
Bella sighed standing up she walked over to stand beside Derek. Her hands trembled as she reached for the black book. She pulled it out and handed it to Derek. “He was a fan of my work and I was a fan o his.” Bella’s hands trembled as she knew what this was really going to mean. “Here, I can’t tell you what happened, but you can read it. Just, don’t read it in front of me.”
Derek took the book from her hands and nodded. He watched her walk back to her chair and turn her back to him. He took the book into the living room and flipped through it. He landed on the dedications.
To my best friend.
I don’t have any idea what I did to deserve someone like you as a friend. I love you, EG. I promise that I’m getting better and that one day you won’t have to deal with me. Until then, I hope you have the patience for me. Thank you for helping me write this and being there when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore.
Derek flipped to the next page seeing in bold writing the title of the book. Sinister.
Derek took in a deep breath and began to read. He was truly surprised at how graphic the book truly was, even the first few pages seemed to be too much for him to handle. Had Bella really written this?
“DEREK!” Bella shouted, “I’m making lunch, what do you want?”
“Just a sandwich.” Derek called back as he was halfway through the book and he just didn’t know if he could finish it. He set the book down and headed into the kitchen, to see Bella scrambling around with several different foods set out on the counter. “I thought you were making sandwiches.”
“I am,” Bella said looking up with a smirk. “But that doesn’t mean I have to make it super simple.”
Derek went to respond as he heard a small hum of music. He turned to see Bella pick up the phone.
“Hey, EG.” Bella said placing the phone between her shoulder and her ear as she returned to pulling out ingredients.
“I need your help in something.” Spencer responded.
“Yes, I do think that you need more sweater vests in your wardrobe.” Bella responded with a smile.
“I took my vacation days.” Spencer announced. “I’m on my way to go see my mother.”
Bella froze, “Really?”
“I was going to ask you to come with me, but I didn’t think you’d be up for it.” Spencer replied. “I just need you to email me some documents, something to do while I’m here.”
“Why can’t you just gamble like every other normal person?” Bella responded she sighed. “Yeah, I got it. Bring me back something, I want one of those sequin shirts or a key chain. Tell your mother I miss her.”
“Got it.” Reid responded. “I’ll see you when I get back.”
“Bye, Spence.” Bella responded as she hung up the phone.
“Why do you refer to him as EG?” Derek questioned as he never really realized he didn’t know what it meant.
Bella smiled, “We took a chemistry class in University together and Spencer can be an evil mastermind if he really puts his mind to it. He said something one day during class that just caused me to start calling him Evil Genius, because really that’s what he is.”
Bella set the sandwich in front of Derek and poured him something to drink. “Here.”
“Thanks.” Derek said, he watched Bella grab her sandwich and leave. “You’re just going to leave me here alone?”
“I like pretending I don’t know what you’re doing in the living room. I want to keep it like that.” Bella shouted back.
Derek chuckled and headed back into the living room. He ate and read through the last chapters of the book. Once he was done he headed into Bella’s workplace. “This…”
“Is the real story.” Bella said quietly not removing her eyes from the game on her screen. “It’s labeled as fiction, but the book is my story. It’s my form of therapy, Spence told me to tell my story, to let the world know, so I did. It made the best seller list, and there’s a lot of controversy behind the graphicness of it, but I wasn’t going to hold back.”
“That’s how you make your money.” Derek stated, “How you’ve been able to afford the lifestyle you live.”
Bella nodded, “I published it under Marie Higgins, which is sort of my name. Marie is my middle name and Higgins is my mom’s maiden name. The money from the book gets sent to an account under the name Marie Higgins, but is joined with one of my accounts.”
“Bella.” Derek said hesitantly. “They caught this guy, right?”
Bella shook her head her hands trembling against the keyboard. “No. That’s the main lie in the book, what makes it fiction.” She responded her eyes closing as she fought to gain control over her emotions. “I escaped, but when they forced me to lead them back to his home, he was gone and the whole place was ashes. The search went dead; the Seattle PD wasn’t really worried about it.”
“Your dad was part of the Seattle PD.” Derek stated setting the book down.
Bella shook her head. “My dad told me to get over it. He said I should just ‘man up’ and move on as if it were just that simple. Did you know he didn’t look for me after I went missing? He spent maybe an hour looking into my disappearance and then just decided to believe that I had runaway rather than to believe I was kidnapped. Spencer was the one who kept looking for me. He was 18 and he spent 8 weeks looking for me, despite everything he never believed that I just ran away.”
“Your father is still alive?” Derek questioned as the way she spoke didn’t make it seem like he had been dead.
Bella felt tears in her eyes. “My father died the day he decided I wasn’t worth looking for. Charlie Swan is still alive and in Seattle.”
“Hey.” Derek said placing a hand on her shoulder.
Bella shook her head, “I’m fine, I just…” Bella took in a deep breath and stood. “I…”
Derek moved and pulled Bella into a hug. He held her, softly hearing her cries, he kissed her head feeling like he now understood her better than ever before.
“Derek.” Bella whispered pulling back softly. “Can you order some pizza?”
Derek chuckled, “Yeah, I’ll get them on the phone.”
“Hey, pretty boy,” Derek said as he took a seat beside Reid. “Have you seen, Bella? I haven’t seen her yet and I believe they’re going to call her soon.”
“Oh yeah,” Reid said looking up from his book. “Hotch said something about having to send her back home, he needed her to look more professional.”
Derek smirked, “She came in a t-shirt and Jeans?”
Spencer smiled, “Bella likes being comfortable, I would’ve been surprised had she come in more formal wear in the first place.”
“You think she’s going to show up on time?” Derek questioned looking around. “Reid, what are the chances Bella won’t have an anxiety attack in there.”
Spencer closed his book. “Bella has a better control on her emotions than she did before. While having the attention of several people solely on her will shake her up a bit, I think she’ll be fine. Not to mention that when Kai’s around she does a better job of controlling herself.”
Derek looked up as he heard heels clicking on the floor. He expected to see JJ but was completely taken back as he saw Bella approaching. Her hair, as always, was left loose, but she was wearing a tight black dress that reached just above her knees and long black coat on top. “I had no idea your closet consisted of more than t-shirts.”
Bella shrugged, “I have a few other essentials I don’t normally use.”
Spencer stood, “I got you something.” He announced as he reached into his bag and pulled out a small box and handed it to her. “It was going to be for your birthday, but I think it’d help now.”
Bella smirked and took the box from him. “If it’s better than the gift I got you for your birthday I’m going to have to step up my game.” Bella’s eye’s widened as she saw the bracelet. “This is…”
Spencer nodded, “It took me a bit to find it, but I got it. I know it helped you before, and I figured it’d help you now.”
Bella smiled she moved and hugged him tightly. “Thank you.” She pulled back and slid the bracelet on with almost no effort. “Thank you, Spencer.”
“Bella.” Hotch said approaching you. “Do not let them intimidate you.”
Bella nodded, “Yeah, I think I’ll be fine.” She pushing the door opened. She smirked. “Hopefully.”
Derek looked to Reid. “What is that you gave you?”
“Bella once found an oak tree bracelet underneath an oak tree and she held onto it for a long time. Oak Trees tend to be taken as symbols of strength, and Bella used to believe that the bracelet gave her strength. The chain broke and the bracelet disappeared. She tried looking for a new one, but could never find one. I bought this a few weeks ago and was saving it for her birthday.” Spencer said returning to his book.
Bella kept her hand on her dog’s head using it as an anchor to calm herself. 20 minutes in this room and these people didn’t lighten up.
“Mrs. Swan.” The senator said. “You’re free to go.”
Bella stood but paused. “May I say one final thing?”
“Make it quick, Ms. Swan.” He responded folding his hands in front of him.
“I know many of you view me as an irresponsible adult.” Bella said as she stood and faced them. “Since the age of 18, this was the only professional job I’ve held and that’s not something you all smile upon. But I have four PhD’s and am considered a genius. I’m also a survivor. I fought my way through a lot, and I trust very few people out of good reason. When I was 17, I was kidnapped and the police didn’t put in any effort in finding me. It was less than 24 hours of searching that they did to me, and it was all because my father, the chief of police, said it wasn’t necessary. The people who were meant to protect me gave up on me. I spent more than a month being tortured by a sadistic maniac. When I escaped the police wouldn’t listen to me, they wouldn’t take anything I said because they didn’t want to believe a 17-year-old girl was more capable of doing their work. I lost all hope in our justice system on the day, they let the man that took me get away.”
Bella straightened out her coat. “When I started working for this team, I didn’t trust the majority of them. Then I saw what they really did. They helped families stay together and they helped people when they needed it most. I don’t trust the justice system, I don’t think I ever will, but I trust this team. I trust all those people that you are judging as unfit. When I took this job, I was forced to take an oath. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God. This team lives by this oath. They do everything they can to save lives and in the end that’s what their Job is. You may not see their actions in the Doyle case as appropriate, but they saved a life of a young boy and stopped 3 different international criminals at the same time. No other team in the Bureau would be capable of what they managed to do, no other team would have been as efficient in their work as this team.”
Bella reached out and grabbed Kai’s leash. “That would be all. Please have a good day.”
Derek stood as Bella came out. “How are you feeling?”
“Like I’m about to puke.” Bella responded honestly. “Where is everyone?”
“Prentiss got stuck outside, they went to help.” Derek said he stepped forward and brushed his fingers down her cheek. “You look shaken up.”
Bella smiled, “I guess that’s what happens when people accuse me of not following protocol.”
“Technically we didn’t.” Derek responded he looked around before leaning down and kissing her for only a moment.
Bella amusingly stepped back. “There’s no fraternizing with other agents.”
“I thought we already fraternized,” Derek responded with a smirk.
“Doesn’t mean we’re going to do it again in front of the people we both work with. Not to mention this team is already in enough trouble, we shouldn’t add onto it until after we’re in the clear.” Bella responded, “I’ve got to go.”
“Where do you think you’re going?” Derek said stopping her.
“To my car.” Bella said, she gestured to Kai. “He needs something to drink.”
“Call if you need anything.” Derek said as she walked away.
“Yes, boss.” Bella said with a roll of her eyes.
“You should say that more often, I like it.” Derek said he smiled as he saw her turn and glare at him before she continued to walk away.
Derek stood beside Hotch as they waited for the news from Strauss on what was finally determined for their team status. He knew the Doyle case had done a lot of trouble to the team reputation. He looked out the window of the room to see Bella with her headphones on pouring herself a cup of coffee. Derek turned back to see Spencer and JJ talking animatedly with Prentiss, something just didn’t feel right.
“How long have you been with Bella?” David whispered to Derek discreetly making sure no one else says.
Derek’s head snapped to David. “Excuse me?”
“You periodically look out the window every few minutes to make sure she’s okay.” David responded following his previous line of sight. “When she’s in the same room as you, you keep an eye on her to make sure she’s okay. It started not that long ago, so I’m assuming whatever sort of relationship you have it started then.”
“This isn’t the time for it.” Derek responded as he saw Strauss approaching, his shoulders straightened as he prepared himself for any sort of news that was about to be delivered.
“Congratulations,” Strauss announced entering the office. “It seems that Ms. Swan was able to convince the board that you are not a rogue team. I don’t know what she said about you all, but it convinced the board that you are worth keeping around. They will be keeping a close eye on you for the meantime, but full suspension is lifted. You’re all very lucky to have someone as passionate as Ms. Swan on your side.”
Derek took a step back as he saw them all gathered together celebrating the news. He walked out of the room and headed to Bella’s office, he was curious to know what she was saying. He opened the door to see Bella resting in her chair her feet on her desk and she was leaning back playing a game of Tetris. He laughed lightly as he could tell her headphones were so loud that she hadn’t caught him and by her small murmuring along with the song he could tell that she was rapping an Eminem song. He took a step forward and her head snapped to him. “Hey, Slim Shady.” He greeted the corners of his mouth lifting in amusement.
Bella put her feet on the ground. “What’s the verdict?”
“What did you say to the Board?” Derek questioned in return.
“I gave them my secret cookie recipe.” Bella said with a suffering sigh. “It really hurt, but I knew a bribery was the only way.”
Derek rolled his eyes and took a seat on the edge of her desk. “Seriously, Bella baby, what the hell did you tell those guys? Strauss is your biggest fan right now.”
Bella grinned, “Derek, I’m keeping my mouth shut on this one.” Bella grabbed her IPod and turned it off. “Want to tell me what’s bothering you?”
“Nothing’s bothering me.” Derek responded he reached forward and grabbed her IPod using it as a distraction.
Bella laughed lightly catching onto what he was doing. “Derek, all your co-workers are celebrating the removal of the suspension and you’re here with me.”
“I thought I was allowed into your office. You know after we fraternized in mine we were going to do the same in yours.” Derek returned with smirk.
Bella smiled, “That’s for a later day. I have to clear off some room for that action to take place.” Bella responded. “I was referring to the fact that you’re still a little bit angry at Prentiss’s arrival. I get it, but it might do you some good to admit it.”
“What do you think about her? What’s your first impression of her?” Derek questioned he set Bella’s IPod and took the portable PlayStation from her.
“My impression is bias and I swear if you pass that level I’ll use Spencer’s evil genius quality to murder you and get away with it.” Bella responded, she reached over and grabbed her phone. She scrolled down and handed it to Derek taking back her PSP from him. “When she ‘died’ I had to hear my best friend break down. Do you know how horrible that was? Spencer really cared about her and he might not seem like it but he does get extremely emotional. I don’t like her, I’m sure she’s a wonderful person, but anyone who makes someone I love cry just doesn’t seem like a good person to me.”
“Who’s Brown? You call him like 10 times in the last week.” Derek said changing the subject as he saw the name came up often on her recent calls.
“Oh, that’s Jamie Brown. He helped me train Kai. He’s the first friend I made after the incident. I’m helping him with his book, he’s writing a how to book about service dog training.” Bella said she looked to Morgan and nudged him with her foot. “He’s married.”
Derek smirked, “I wasn’t jealous, just curious.” He looked around her office to see the several empty wrappers of chocolate. “Did you rob a candy store?”
Bella shrugged, “I was exhausted from court, I needed something to make me feel better. Chocolate was the best thing I could think of, and I was just really craving it.” Bella paused and looked to Derek with a smirk. “I swear if you make a joke and refer to yourself as chocolate I’m kicking you out of my office.”
Derek laughed loudly. “I wasn’t thinking that, but I certainly am now.” He looked her over. “You really do look good in a dress.”
Bella rolled her eyes, “I look absolutely good in everything and this isn’t the first time I’ve worn a dress.”
“It’s the first time you’ve worn one that tight.” Derek replied he leaned down just enough to kiss her. He rolled his eyes as Kai barked breaking them apart.
Derek stood fully as there was a loud knock on the door.
“Come in.” Bella said moving around in her chair to see who was entering. She grinned as she saw Spencer stick his head in.
“I knew you were busy, but later…” Spencer said trailing off knowing she would pick up his meaning.
Bella nodded she sat up straighter seeing the look on his face. “Yeah, I’ll make something with a lot of sugar.”
Spencer nodded, “I’ll see you later, Bels.”
Bella nodded with a small smile. “See you, EG.”
“What was that about?” Derek questioned as Spencer closed the door. “He didn’t even question why I was in here?”
“It’s best friend code.” Bella said with a smirk. “Face it, Derek, you don’t know Spencer as well as I do. At 10pm he’s going to show up at my door. We’re going to watch some boring movie and spend the two hours discussing life, mainly Spencer’s, all night. Spencer is going to sleep in my guest bedroom and in the morning he’ll regret allowing me to convince him to drink.”
Derek smirked, “I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to understand your friendship with Spencer.”
Bella stood, “It’s a special thing, stop trying to understand it, Derek.” Bella smiled as he pulled her to him so she was standing between his legs. She wrapped her arms around his neck and grinned. “Something on your mind?”
“I was going to say we should have dinner tonight, but you ruined my plans.” Derek said he smiled as he felt Bella fingers were gently scratching at the back of his neck.
“Well, you didn’t say anything, you have to act fast, Agent.” Bella teased she smiled as he held her tighter.
“I wasn’t aware that in order to see my girlfriend I had to make an appointment.” Derek responded he smiled as Bella kissed him.
“Come on, Derek, you know Spencer comes first.” Bella responded with a smirk, she leaned in and kissed him before stepping away. “You know; you should really try to spend the night doing some form of anger management. Or you can join us, but you will have to get drunk, it’s a requirement.”
Derek smiled, “I’m good, Bella baby, just call me if you need anything.”
Bella nodded, “Got it, boss.”
Derek smirked he stood and gently and kissed her. “You should take to calling me that more often.”
Bella rolled her eyes and grabbed her bag and Kai’s leash. “I’m leaving, Derek. You know what you should do tonight?”
“I don’t think I want to hear your opinion on what I should do.” Derek responded.
Bella smiled, “I think you should brush up on how to speak about your emotions.” Bella kissed him and backed out of the room. “Try watching sesame street, they have a lot of emotion based skits.
Bella smiled, as she set up the chess board. “You ready, Spencer?”
Spencer finished bringing in the chips. “Is drunk chess necessary?”
“Spencer, I saw this online, I want to try it. Now, if you’re scared about losing, then please, just admit it and we can finish this.” Bella finished raising a brow in challenge.
“The headaches…” Spencer began as he sat down.
Bella smiled sadly. “You want to go to another doctor? I’ll go with you this time and we can do whatever it takes. You’re not in this alone, EG. Even by in the tiniest of chances that they do find something, I will be right at your side. I won’t let this hurt you, Spencer.”
Spencer smiled, “If something is wrong, I don’t…”
“I won’t leave you alone. It’ll be you and me, like always.” Bella said she smiled. “Nothing is wrong with you. Your headaches are most likely do to something else. We’ll get through this just like we got through everything else..”
“Thanks, Bells.” Spencer said, “I don’t want to go through this alone.”
Bella smiled, “You don’t just have me, Spence, you have the rest of the team too. Now, take your move.”
Derek turned his head as he saw Bella and Reid walking out of the elevator. He quirked an eyebrow as they were both wearing sunglasses and carrying large coffee cops. He clapped his hands together startling the both of them. “What did you get into last night?”
“Each other’s pants.” Bella responded taking a sip of her coffee and walking off.
Spencer shook his head. “She’s grouchy. If I had to come to work so did she, she’s not too pleased. I’m going to go take a seat and try not to die.”
Derek chuckled as he watched Reid sulk off. He walked to Bella’s office and laughed lightly as the lights were turned on the computer was on the lowest dim. He even noticed Kai was sitting on his dog bed at her feet in silence. “Hey.”
Bella turned her head and sighed, “Please. Please if you need to speak to me just e-mail me.”
Derek laughed, “No, I think that’s what you get for implying that you and Spencer slept together.”
“We did.” Bella responded rubbing her temples. “We passed out on the stairs, my back is killing me. God, I hate everything.”
Derek took a seat on her desk, he put his hand on her forehead. “You have a fever.”
“Yeah, I also have a need for tape.” Bella said glaring at him wanting to use that tape to cover his mouth. “Derek, please, stop talking. Aspirin hasn’t kicked in and I need for this overwhelming throbbing pain to go away.”
“What did you end up doing last night?” Derek questioned running his hand through her hair.
“Chess, we replaced the pieces with shot glasses.” Bella replied. “It was fun at first, but then the tequila started to kick in and we got competitive. It turned into a drinking game of trivia, it got out of hand. At one point we looked up Trivia about cheese, because it’s the only subject were we knew around the same.”
Derek chuckled, “Where did you get tequila from?”
“Spencer brought it.” Bella said, with a groan. “Derek, I want to take a nap, please tell me there’s no case.”
“You’re good, Bella baby, we don’t have a case yet.” Derek said he leaned down and kissed her forehead. “Call if you need anything.”
“I’ll text; I’m not putting something that loud right in my ear.” Bella responded with a smile as she looked up to see him. “I’d kiss you, but it’s too much effort at this point.”
Derek chuckled, “I’ll be back when you’re not hungover.”
“Bring coffee with you.” Bella responded as she watched him leave. She smiled before pressing her head against the wood of the desk. She reached for her phone and played a very soft song before returning to her nap.
An hour passed before Derek entered the office again, he stepped in and placed a coffee on Bella’s desk. “Is this what you’ve been doing for the last hour?”
Bella didn’t move her head from the desk. “I just can’t… I’d call it a day, but I drove Spencer here so I have to wait. You’re my new favorite person, boss.” Bella said grabbing the coffee. “We get a case?”
“We did; I came to drop it off. Get to work, Bella baby, and if you hurry I can stop by and grab us dinner.” Derek responded.
Bella smiled, “Burgers? I need something greasy.”
“Help us solve this case and I’ll make sure to get you the best burgers in town.” Derek said laughing as Bella sat up and rolled her head taking out the kinks in her neck. “Is food all I need to motivate you to do things?”
Bella rolled her eyes, “I’m craving.” She responded with a shrug. She pet Kai’s head before taking the file from Derek and looking over it. She turned to Derek and smiled as he was watching her. “Something on your mind?”
“No.” Derek replied he kissed her soundly before excusing himself from the room. He walked back to his office wondering since when did he feel so strongly for anyone.
Derek looked curiously as Bella came out of the elevator with Reid, “Hey.” He said catching her attention. “Can I speak to you for a moment?”
Bella smiled, “Okay, boss, lead the way.”
Derek smirked as he felt Bella’s presence behind him. He opened the door and grinned as she kissed him as soon as the door was closed. “Is your car broken?” He questioned as he pulled back looking at her.
Bella shook her head. “No, it’s fine. Why would you ask?”
“You’ve been riding in with Reid for the last two days.” Derek responded.
“It’d be silly for us to ride in separately when I’m staying with him.” Bella responded moving to sit on his desk.
“Why are you staying with Reid? Did something happen at your house?” Derek questioned.
Bella shook her head, “Last minute house remodeling. I didn’t want to be around all those people, so Spencer offered to let me stay in his apartment. We’re having a week long slumber party. You know, we get in our pajamas and have pillow fights and then we practice kissing with each other.”
Derek moved over and sat down at his desk, “What are you getting remodeled?”
“The kitchen.” Bella said resting her feet in his lap. “I wanted a bit of a change so I did some online research and hired the best. They should be done in a couple of days.”
“You could’ve stayed with me.” Derek responded.
Bella smiled, “Yes, but I didn’t want to intrude. I haven’t been feeling the best these last few days and the very last thing I want is to have an anxiety attack in your home. But I’m sure if you really want you can join Spencer and I.”
“I’m good. I can stop by your place after this case to check out how it was going.” Derek responded as he watched Bella’s grin widen.
“I was just about to ask you.” Bella said she sighed as she realized she had to get going. “I have to get to my office.” She leaned down and kissed him before jumping off his desk. “Have a fun case today.”
Derek smirked standing as well. “These cases are never fun.”
“Not for you.” Bella responded with a grin. “I get to play Tetris in my spare time.”.
Derek watched Bella walk off, he entered the briefing room as soon as Bella was out of sight. He took a seat and opened the file that he didn’t have time to look over before.
“We’re looking at Martha Sanders.” Hotch said looking over the file. “She was kidnapped three days ago, and Seattle police found her body this morning. The killing follows the MO of a previous series of murders, several years prior. The signature is a perfect match to the previous murders but the unsub has now placed a single page on the girl’s chest. Police are trying to match the page to a book. It’s been years, there has to be a reason he started killing again.” Hotch announced.
Reid flipped through the file. “I know this.” Reid said as he read over the book page that was found on the girl.
“Spencer.” Aaron said cautiously.
“This can’t be.” Spencer said, “This is Bella’s book. This is her writing; this is her case.”
“What are you talking about?” JJ asked as she looked over the file.
“The minor,” Spencer said, “The one who’s name is blocked, that’s Bella. She’s the only known survivor, after her escape she had them permanently remove her name from the case.”
Derek stood, “Hotch, I don’t think Bella should work this case.”
“His name is James.” Bella said entering the room her face blank from any emotion. “He umm…” Bella gestured to the picture. “I’m sure Seattle P.D. didn’t pick this up, but he cut a bit of hair off the back of the head, just beside the ear. It’s his souvenir, he takes it from all the girls he kidnaps. It’s not enough to be notice, but enough for him to remember his victims.”
“You know his name?” David questioned.
Bella smiled as Kai stepped closer pressing his head against her thigh. “He had me for eight weeks chained to his bed, I know this man. He’s egotistical, he craves the attention he gets from news outlets, he used to make me watch hours of them, he would record the ones he liked just to watch them endlessly. I know what he does to these women for the three days he keeps them, I know what he looks for when he’s hunting for them. There’s no physical similarities, but he looks for something specific in each of them.”
“Do you know what that is.” Rossi questioned curiously.
Bella nodded, “Umm…” She cleared her throat. “Every girl he kidnaps has a ring. It’s small, and always on the middle finger on the left hand.”
“There are no rings found with the body.” Prentiss said looking over the picture.
Bella shook her head. “He takes them and places them on their graves afterwards. It gives him a reason to go to their graves. It was also the way his mother wore her engagement ring, it may not seem significant to you, but it is to him.”
Hotch closed the file. “Wheels up in 45 minutes. Be prepared for Seattle weather. Isabella, my office please.”
Bella followed Hotch out and silently walked to his office. She entered and put her hands behind her back. “Are you going to forbid me from going?”
“Isabella, do you believe you can do this without having some sort of spiral?” Aaron questioned in return.
Bella sighed, “I spent years living in fear, thinking that at any second he would just appear. I hate that feeling, I’ve been waiting years for this, I need to know he gets put away. If it makes you feel better, I can take my anxiety meds with me, they’ll help calm any nerves I may get. I know everyone is worried, but I know this man. I spent eight weeks tied to a bed, his bed. I know how he hunts; I know what he does to those women. I can help you catch him, I won’t leave the Seattle police department, but I can be of service.”
“First sign of you being ill and I’m ordering you back here.” Hotch warned.
Bella nodded, she paused for a moment. “There’s a man with Seattle P.D. he likes to call himself my father, but he’s not. For the sake of my sanity I require that you not recognize him as my father.” Bella walked out of the house with Kai at her side. She made her way to her office and entered closing the door behind her. She sunk down the wall and buried her head into Kai’s fur and closed her eyes doing everything in her power to keep from breaking down. Those pictures it all seemed too much for her, she just needed to focus hard enough for it to all go away. She turned her head as she felt someone sit down beside her.
“I just wanted to play Tetris,” Bella said with a smile towards Derek. “I wasn’t prepared to tackle this today.”
“You’re far stronger than you think, Bella baby.” Derek said putting his arm around her shoulder, he rested his cheek against the top of her head as she leaned against him. “You don’t have to go.”
Bella sighed, “I do have to.” Bella said turned her head slightly to be able see Derek’s face. “There’s this pizza place that makes the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. There’s also a dog friendly restaurant that makes meals for pets.
Derek chuckled, “Are you going to be okay?”
“No.” Bella replied honestly. “But there’s certain things I can’t continue to run from. I can’t hide from this anymore, Derek. I can’t pretend that he’s not out there, I know what he does. I’ve witnessed it first hand, and I can’t let him continue to do it. I don’t think I can survive knowing that I could’ve helped those girls.”
“You’re not doing it alone this time,” Derek reminded her.
Bella smiled at him moving to straddle his lap. “I know, Derek.” She said smiling as she brushed her hand down the side of his face to rest at the curve of his neck. She leaned down and slowly kissed him, taking in the warmth his embrace always had to offer. She pulled back and rested her head on his shoulder. “I’ll be okay.” She responded softly as she kissed his neck. She stood and smiled. “I suppose I should go find Spencer so he can take me to go pack some clothes.”
Derek stood quickly and put his arm around Bella’s waist stopping her from leaving. He sunk his hand in her hair and pressed her into the wall as his lips descended onto hers. He smiled into the kiss as he heard her soft sigh. “I’m right here for you, Bella baby.” He whispered pecking her lips before he stood back. “You can talk to me.”
Bella chuckled, “After that the last thing I want to do is talk, Boss.” Bella said smiling she reached for the door. “Thank you.” She responded as she exited the room.
Bella typed on her laptop as the team went over the previous victims. She was grateful that Kai was able to sit next to her with his head in her lap. She looked up as they discussed a certain victim. Victoria. She remembered the red-head clearly.
“The wounds were deeper,” Prentiss noticed. “He was more violent with her.”
“She wouldn’t fight back.” Bella responded looking over the picture of the girl before she was kidnapped. “Victoria from the first day believed that if she played into his twisted games, he would let her live. Only, he hated that. He wanted her to fight back, the more compliant she was, the more he hurt her.”
“The unsub sees them as the person he wants to hurt. They’re only playing a role to him, once they’re chosen they’re dead.” David said glancing at Bella.
“What was it that made him keep Bella alive for so long.” Aaron questioned his eyes glancing to Bella.
Bella didn’t seem to notice she got lost in the picture. Remembering the screams, she remembered how he would look so pleased after his work was done. He’d sit down and tease her over and over again, he always took a sick joy in watching her cry. Bella’s head snapped up as she heard someone calling her name. “Sorry, what did you say?”
“I was asking what he did when you were with him?” JJ questioned. “What was your role to him?”
“He liked to watch people suffer.” Bella responded quietly as she looked over the files. “I was his audience. He liked to relive the torture, and he’d make me relive it too just so he could watch me. He didn’t torture me physically, but he took a sick pride in doing it mentally.”
Bella set up her laptop to the servers in the Seattle police department. The team was briefing the men of the department on the case. She however was building herself a cave where she could be in peace. She looked up as the door opened and on walked an unwanted presence. She stiffened but continued with her work. She smiled as Kai stood and barred his teeth at the man.
“I never knew you were a dog person.” Charlie said breaking the ice.
“He’s a service dog, keeps my anxiety from getting out of hand.” Bella responded as her fingers typed away on the keyboard.
“You haven’t been home in a long time. It’s disappointing that the only reason you’ve come home is for work.” Charlie said placing his hands on his hips. “You can stay with us if you need to, there’s no reason for you to stay at the hotel.”
Bella looked up and met his eyes. “I would rather set myself on fire than to stay with you.” She looked up as Derek entered the room. “I’ve got that information you needed about all the abandoned warehouses in the area. I’ve also gone through and added all foreclosures. If he can’t find a warehouse, he’ll find a house secluded enough for him.”
“Anyway you can narrow down the list?” Derek said approaching he turned his back to the older man ad looked to Bella curiously. “We need to get to him before he abducts another girl.”
Bella sighed, “Spencer is working on narrowing down the comfort zone, but it’s changed. There’s no way I can narrow it down until I know his comfort zone. For now, this is the list.”
Derek nodded looking over the list. “This guy’s smart and he needs to relive his killings. His new sight would be close enough to the old one sos that he can visit, he needs it to relive his memories.”
Bella nodded, “I can see which ones are closest to the old location and put those at the top of the list.”
Derek heard the man leave and turned back to Bella. “Still feeling okay, Bella baby?”
Bella smiled, “Nerves are up just a bit, but I should be fine.”
“The rooms at the hotel have been checked in, if you need to, you can always leave.” Derek said needing to make sure she was going to be alright.
Bella grinned, “Did you know that for some strange reason your room and my room have a connecting door?”
Derek smirked, “I hadn’t noticed when making the reservations and sleeping arrangements.”
Derek shook his head in anger. “Hotch, you can’t ask her to do that!”
Aaron sighed, “He’s watching this investigation, you heard what she said he watches the news consistently. We need to get him to get sloppy, and seeing the girl who escaped get all the attention is going to cause that.”
“I don’t like it either, but this is the only way to prevent him from getting another girl. We need to get his mind on Bella. We can leak information that she’s staying at a hotel in the city and when he shows up for her, we’ll be in her place.” David said. “He needs to see her get all the attention, all the attention she took from him.”
“Come on!” Derek said in anger. “This is only a shot; we can be leading him straight to her if this doesn’t work. He’ll know where she lives, what she does, we can be ruining everything she’s work to build in a matter of minutes.”
“We need to give Bella the opportunity to make the decision for herself.” Prentiss announced. “We shouldn’t be taking this decision away from her.”
“She is a genius.” JJ said with a smile remembering all the times Bella had repeatedly announced that. “She can understand how to make a decision.”
“Not to mention she’s been listening to this argument for the last few minutes.” Bella said walking back to her computer. “If you tell me what to say, I’ll do this.”
“JJ,” Hotch said, “I need you to give Bella proper attire for a press conference. Reid, Prentiss, I need the both of you to write out the perfect speech for her. Derek, you’ll be onstage with Bella keep an eye out for anyone who might seem suspicious. David and I will be watching from the audience.”
Bella watched as they all left and scrambled around. “I can do this, right?
Derek shook his head. “You shouldn’t have to do this.”
Bella smiled, “Worst case scenario, I’ll just be staying with you for a few days.”
“Bella…” Derek said with a sigh. “You’ll be putting yourself out there, not only to him but to the whole world.”
“I know, but he’s going to kidnap again, that little ring will set him off and he’ll find a girl.” Bella said with a shake of her head. “I can’t let that happen. Just tell me that I can do this and that you won’t let me do it by myself.”
Derek nodded, “I won’t leave your side, Bella baby.”
Bella smiled, and reached for his hand. “Thank you.”
Derek stood as JJ entered the room again handing Bella a set of clothes. He stood off to the side and watched as JJ prepped Bella on how to talk as Bella changed in the bathroom. Reid and Prentiss had finished her speech and all that was left was for her to read it over.
Derek moved as they approached the flooding sea of reporters, he stood in front of Bella. “You’re going to be great, Bella baby.”
Bella smiled, “I’m glad you think so, someone has to believe that I can do this.”
“You’re going to do great. Just say what you need to say, smile and then we can walk off.” Derek assured her.
Bella nodded, “Got it.”
Derek walked with Bella on stage he stood beside her as she turned the microphone on. A wide sense of pride washed through him as he watched her speak. He watched her with fondness as she spoke with so much strength that it amazed him. Derek blinked as he saw her take a step back. He moved instantly and put his hand on her back as he led her down the stairs. “You did great, Bella baby.”
Bella smiled, “I feel like I might faint.”
“Come on, let’s get you away from all these people and I can get you a cup of coffee.” Derek said he looked to notice Spencer approaching handing Bella the leash for the dog.
“There’s a police officer waiting outside of the hotel room. The rest of us are going to the decoy hotel.” Spencer announced. “Think you can make it on your own?”
Bella shrugged, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Derek walked Bella back to the car in silence. “I’ll drop you off, but I don’t think Hotch will let me stay with you.”
Bella smiled, “I need you to go, Derek. Spencer may look okay to you, but I need you to keep an eye on him. Make sure he doesn’t kill him.”
Derek looked at her curiously. “You don’t want him to die?”
“I don’t want Spencer to kill him.” Bella responded as Derek helped her into the car, she smiled as Kai instantly jumped onto her lap. Bella smiled as Derek took a hold of her hand as they approached the hotel she only grinned as he walked her and Kai in.
“Derek.” Bella said entering the room. “I’m going to be okay, trust me.”
Derek smirked, “I trust you, Bella baby, I just don’t trust the rookies they put on your patrol.”
Bella shrugged, “I’m a genius.” She said with a grin. “If I think anything is going to happen I’ll put that brain to use. He won’t win this time, Derek. I know it and you should too.” Bella looked to the door connecting her room with his. “I can always sneak out and hide in your room, if I need to.”
Derek smirked, he stepped forward and kissed her forward. “Genius or not, my cell will be on me. Call if you need anything. If you hear anything, even a mouse, I want to know.”
Bella smiled she leaned up and pecked his lips. “I’m genius Derek, I can make something to catch a mouse. I’ll be okay, I promise.”
Derek nodded, “Bella…” He trailed off the words “I love you” on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t say them now. He saw her grin and something told him she already knew.
Bella nodded, “Go, I need you to do this for me.”
Derek nodded with a final kiss to her head he disappeared out the door. She took in a deep breath looking to her dog. “You ready, Kai?” His bark made her grin. “You’re going to have to be the strong one here, I don’t know if I can do this.”
Bella nodded her head she rolled her neck getting out all the knots. “I have to do this. For the other girls.”
Bella walked to the closet and looked through sighing with utter relief that the hotel manager had delivered on her requests. Baseball bat, rope and duct tape. “You’re getting such a huge tip.” She muttered as she grabbed the tape and the rope. Setting them on the table by the door. She hurried and went to the bed laying out the pillows perfectly to look like she was sleeping in the bed. She turned off the lights and closed the curtains to the room. She needed it all to be dark for this work.
Bella stood at the edge of the door to her room. She pressed her back to the door feeling the cool surface relieve some of her tension. Kai sat at her feet taking a protective stance at her feet. Bella closed her eyes.
I’ll always be after you.
His voice echoed in her head, his sadistic chuckle in her head as she remembered her time spent with him.
You may be a genius, sweet girl, but I’ll always be bigger and smarter than you. You can’t win against me.
Bella took in a deep breath repeating the words. He can’t win in her head as she waited knowing he would find her, she had to give him credit he was smart and that was why she knew he would find her here and not at the set up that was waiting for him.
Bella’s eyes shot open as she heard the heavy footsteps outside the door. The musty smell of gasoline taking her back to the man she hated with all her being. “Bed, Kai.” She ordered quietly watching him walk off and with ease jump on the bed laying down with his towards Bella and the door.
As the door opened the light from the hallway causing a large shadow to come into the room. Bella bit her lip hard enough to draw blood as she stopped herself from making any noise as the door slammed shut and the figure entering the room.
“I did always tell you sweet girl, you can’t hide from me.” James said approaching the bed, he reached into his pocket pulling out a knife. “I’ll just have to gut this fucking mutt first.”
With quiet steps Bella stepped forward, “Not today, James.” She said bashing the bat into his head. She watched him fall. “I told you, I’m a fucking genius.” She said swinging again this time at his crotch to make sure he stayed down.
“You’re fucking pathetic.” Bella shouted swinging again. “Little momma’s boy crying for attention.”
Bella swung again the bat hitting his legs with all the force she had hearing the sick crack made a smirk come onto her face. “Your whore of a mother who ran your daddy off because even he knew how pathetic his son was. That’s why you do it, isn’t it James?”
She swung the bat again. “That’s why you look for girls with that ring on their fingers, it’s how your mother used hers when she was married. It just reminds you that she was a whore and you’re nothing more than a piece of trash.”
“SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!” James growled trying to get to his feet.
Bella swung for his shoulder knocking him back to the ground. “I kept quiet long enough, James.” She hit him again. “This is for Marcy, Victoria, Ginger, Hailey, Sammy. Every fucking girl you tortured, raped and murdered. I’ll make sure that no one ever remembers you, they’ll remember them instead. They’ll remember the girls you murdered.” Bella prepared the bat aiming one more time for his head. “They’ll remember how the girl you held hostage for weeks was the one to put you behind bars. I hope you rot in jail you sick bastard.” She took the swing hitting his head seeing his eyes roll to the back of her head Bella was satisfied knowing he was out like a light. She walked over her shoulders slumping as she grabbed the tape and the rope.
Bella kneeled down and tapped together his feet tightly before tying them together. She taped his hands behind his back using almost the entire roll of duct tape to secure his arms. She used the rope to secure the tape. Bella reached over for her phone looking at the time. As she ordered the cleaning woman would be up in a few minutes with the orders to enter and place towels on the dresser.
Bella’s eyes batted as she knew her body and mind were going to give out any second. As she walked towards the bed to lie down before she went unconscious she felt her feet sway. Without warning her eyes rolled back and she fell the last thing she saw was her Kai jumping towards his loud barks reminding her she’d be safe as she succumbed to the black.
Aaron reached for his phone as it rang a group of agents and police officers were waiting in the hotel room and in the surrounding rooms. He answered the call and looked up to his team, “Yes, we’ll be right there. Thank you.”
“What’s up Hotch.” Derek questioned worried as he knew this had something to do with his Bella.
“We have James in custody he is in the nearby hospital being treated.” Aaron said, putting his phone away. “A hotel maid found him tied up in Bella’s room.”
“What about Bella?” Spencer questioned rapidly. “Where’s Bella? How is she?”
“She’s unconscious.” Aaron replied seriously. “And in the hospital as well.”
Derek didn’t waste a moment longer quickly exiting the hotel room and heading to one of the cars. He needed to see her. Derek looked over his shoulder as he saw Spencer behind him. Neither of the two said a words as they got into the SUV and instantly started the drive to the hospital. Derek reached over and turned on the police lights, he didn’t have time to waste in traffic.
Spencer drummed his hands along the dashboard his mind now making sense of everything. How hadn’t he seen that his two closest friends had more than a friendship with each other. He should have seen it earlier. Derek protected her, he cared so much about her health. How many times had Spencer seen Derek take Bella something to eat on their long days at work.
Spencer looked out the window as his mind raced. Bella spoke so fondly of Derek, always praising his skills as a leader. She had even mentioned him being in her home something none of the other team members had ever done. Spencer quickly entered the hospital, noticing that both he and Morgan flashed the nurse at the desk their badge.
“Isabella Swan.” Spencer said, “We need the room number.”
Morgan listened as the nurse nervously gave them the room number and pointing them to the correct elevator.
Both men were nervous as they exited the elevator looking around they could see Kai’s head as he sat at the foot of bed.
Derek went to check over Bella seeing her motionless form on the bed with a needle in her arm made him tense.
Spencer grabbed the chart looking it over. He turned his head as he saw a nurse walk into the room with a needle in her hand. “What are giving her?”
“The Doctor prescribed Klonopin for her anxiety.” The nurse said side stepping Derek to put the medicine in Bella.
Spencer glared. “If you inject her with that I’ll make sure you lose your license and any chance to ever work in a hospital again.”
The nurse stilled seeing Spencer’s badge. “It’s what Doctor Merck, prescribed. I’m just following orders, sir.”
Spencer glared, “Do me a favor, go and get your Doctor and bring him here immediately.”
“Spencer.” Derek said watching surprised as the girl scattered off in a hurry. “What are you doing?”
“She has an allergic reaction to that medication.” Spencer said holding up the chart. “If the Doctor bothered to read her chart he would see that. Injecting her with that would only make things worse.”
Derek watched as Spencer took charge, he didn’t argue simply turning back to Bella. Her face was paler than usual, there wasn’t that usual small red tint on her cheeks that he always saw. He took in a deep breath as he felt angry. He should’ve known something was wrong, he should’ve done a better job at protecting her.
Spencer sat on one side of Bella’s bed while Derek paced back and forth on the other side. “She knew.” He said breaking the tension in the air. The rest of the team was waiting for news in the waiting room, the hospital staff only allowing two in the room at a time.
Derek looked to Spencer and nodded. “She kept stating she was a genius; I should’ve seen it.”
Spencer smirked, “That used to be her mantra after it all happened.” He took her hand and held it tightly. “After it all happened, she was mad at herself, disappointed that she couldn’t prevent it. Bella used to think that because she was considered a genius she should’ve been able to escape sooner, to catch him. It took almost a year for her to accept that there wasn’t much she could in the situation she was put in, she did her best and in the end she survived. That’s when she started repeating to herself that she was a genius. I now see that she knew he would find her one day, after publishing her book, she must’ve known he would return one day.”
“You really believe Bella’s had this entire plan in motion since that day?” Derek questioned.
“Has she ever mentioned to you what she hacked into the FBI database for?” Spencer questioned curiously.
Derek shook his head. “I’ve never bothered to ask, I just assumed she was doing it to test her skills.”
Spencer smiled as he looked to Bella. “I thought the same, but I think she wanted to get caught. Bella’s very clever, she could have managed to hack in and not get caught, but she did. I think it was always her plan to join the FBI, she was able to use the FBI database to keep an eye on killings with the familiar signature. Instead of waiting for him to catch her, she’d go after him.”
Derek turned to Bella with a smirk. “That does sound like her. She knew James wouldn’t fall for the trap we set up, he would’ve known of her presence in the city long before the press conference.” He stepped towards Bella with a small smirk. “She ordered the maid to appear at a certain time for security. She had it all planned out from the beginning.”
Spencer sighed, “Why didn’t either of you say anything?”
“Spencer.” Derek said with a serious stare. “It is not the time for this.”
“I’ve been her best friend, her family, for years. Why wouldn’t she tell me?” Spencer questioned quietly. “Why wouldn’t she say anything to me? We’ve always been open about everything to each other.”
Derek sighed, “I can’t answer this for you, Reid, but you have to know Bella loves you more than you think. She would have said something as soon as she was ready. Your opinion means more to her than you would think. Why else would she ask you about the smallest of things?” Derek chuckled as memory flashed in his mind. “Didn’t you just a week ago have a two-hour conversation on whether or not she should buy a telescope?”
Spencer shook his head as he remembered that conversation. “She doesn’t like astrology; it would be a waste of her money. Her only valid argument was that she could use it to look at comets, but then that would be a rare occasion.”
“Spencer.” Derek said sternly. “She knows you and you know her. She would’ve told you and you know that. Bella does things at her pace.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Spencer questioned.
Derek smirked, “I like my privacy.”
Derek’s head rested on Bella’s arm, his eyes closed as he had been here 5 hours and still nothing. Spencer had taken Kai down to the cafeteria to get the poor dog something to eat and some water.
“Derek.” Bella’s raspy voice croaked out.
Derek lifted his head to see her eyes closed shut, but her hand clutching his tightly. “Come on, Bella baby.”
“Genius.” She whispered her eyes squinting open.
“You could’ve gotten hurt.” Derek said as he finally was able to see her brown eyes again. “I told you to call me, if you knew anything. You should’ve told me, Bella baby.”
Bella groaned as she sat up, her head was throbbing from when she hit the floor. “If I told you, you’d stay and this was just one of those things that I had to do.” Bella smiled relieved as Derek handed her a cooling pack for her head. “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything, but if I had said something you would’ve tried to stop me. Derek, you know better than anyone else that there are some things from your past that are meant to be faced alone. I needed to do this. I promise, next time I feel like I’m in any sort of life threatening situation or I something as simple as losing my phone, I’ll wait for you to come ad rescue me.”
Derek stood and kissed her head. “That’s all I’m asking for, Bella baby. How are you feeling?”
“Awesome.” Bella responded with a sigh as she leaned back against the pillow. “Relieved. Free. Happy. Overall pleased with my actions for the day.”
Derek shook his head taking the ice pack from Bella and placed it on the back of her head where she had a growing bump. “Where did you get a bat, tape and rope?”
Bella smirked, “I’m leaving the hotel manager a huge tip. He did all of that a lot sooner than I thought he would and he got me an aluminum bat instead of a wood one. Really made all the difference.”
Derek grabbed the water and pressed the cup to her lips. He watched as she took in all the water and sighed in relief. “Why have you never mentioned telling Spencer about us?”
Bella looked at him curiously. She turned her head so she looked at him. “Derek, I may not have the official title of being a profiler, but I can read you like a book.” She reached over and took his hand in hers. “You have some serious trust and commitment issues, and I understand that. If I had told Spencer about us, it would’ve made you nervous and terrified. Your patient with me, so I’m patient with you. I never brought up telling anyone about us because I knew I had no problem telling anyone, I just didn’t want you to feel suffocated. The last thing I want is to scare you away Derek, so if I have to keep a secret from Spencer, I will.”
Derek smiled, he leaned over her and kissed her. His hand cupping her cheek to keep her head still so he didn’t hurt her. Something about knowing how much she cared for him made him happy. He pulled back as he saw the heart monitor beep as Bella’s heart was racing.
Bella rolled her eyes at Derek’s smug look. “Where’s Spencer?” She asked changing the subject. “And my Kai?”
“Downstairs, with the rest of the team. Spencer was going to give Kai something to drink and eat.” Derek said. “You’ve been out for a bit, Bella baby.”
Bella sighed, “I knew I was going to faint, I had just hoped I would make it to the bed before it happened.”
Derek sighed, “You’re not allowed out of my eye-sight until we’re back home.”
Bella grinned, “I don’t really see anything wrong with that. You’re something good to look at, Agent.”
Derek laughed, he leaned forward and kissed her lightly. “I Love you, Bella. For the sake of both our sanities, no more putting yourself in danger. I don’t care how much of a genius you are.”
Bella smiled brightly hearing those three words really made her entire day better. “I love you, Derek, so I promise I won’t do anything too reckless after this.”
Bella hummed as she made her way to her office, Kai walking at a leisurely pace beside her. Living with Derek had been rough at first, she found that she wasn’t used to having someone with her all the time, but she did enjoy it. Most of all, she enjoyed how carefree he seemed to be sometimes. Not to mention she took a great joy in being able to watch him workout at home. Something about a shirtless sweaty Derek always made her day better.
Bella stopped as the door to her office was open and she could see the faint color of blonde hair sitting on her chair. Immediately she turned around and headed to Derek’s office. She knocked on the door before entering.
Derek looked up from his file looking at Bella curiously as she really didn’t come into his office often. “Hey.” He said leaning back and looking at her. “I’m assuming you didn’t come in here because you missed me. Something wrong, Bella baby?”
Bella smiled, “I miss you plenty, but then Kai gets in the way and I seem to forget about you.” She teased for a moment before her face went serious. “There’s someone in my office. Sitting in my chair. I remember about 8 months ago mentioning something about letting you rescue me, so…”
Derek stood and chuckled, “I’ll go see who it is, Bella baby.” He leaned down and kissed her lightly. “I wouldn’t want them to come across a certain dent in the wall.”
Bella smirked, “Because then we’d both be in big trouble. It’s one thing to be fraternizing with agents, but to have sex in offices and damage the walls is an entirely different thing. One of us would surely get fired.”
Derek smirked, “It was your idea.”
“It was your teasing that caused said idea.” Bella replied she smiled at him. “I’ll be waiting here.”
Derek nodded, “I shouldn’t be gone too long.”
Bella nodded she smiled at his silent question. “I’m feeling fine; I just don’t like someone in my comfort space.” Bella watched him leave and perched herself up on his desk waiting for him to return. She found that after James was caught, she felt more at ease most days. Some days she’d have a nightmare or some sort of bad memory reappear in her head and she was barely functional those days, but Derek was there and she was grateful he could be patient with her.
Bella’s head turned to the door as it opened. She smiled as Spencer entered. “Hey, Spence.”
Spencer smiled, “Derek mentioned you were here when I saw him. I need a favor.”
Bella raised a questioning eyebrow. “A favor?”
“I’m visiting my mom and I was hoping you’d bake her some of those treats she likes.” Spencer said with a shrug. “She complains about the food at the home a lot, I wanted to take her something she’d enjoy.”
Bella grinned, “That’s such an awesome idea, Spencer! I’ll make them tonight I remember all her favorites. I still have the secret recipe for her gingerbread cookies.”
Spencer smiled, “You sure you don’t want to come?”
Bella smiled, “I love you, EG, and I love your mom, but you should see her alone. I’ll visit her soon, but this one time you should just spend some quality time with her. Besides, I have plans this weekend that include a lot of Derek.”
Spencer groaned, “I don’t want to hear it.”
Bella laughed jumping off the desk grabbing Kai’s leash. “I was trying to say that we’re going to go see his moms and his sisters.” Bella took Spencer’s hand. “Come on, let’s go to your desk and we can figure out exactly I should make for your mom.”
Derek entered Bella’s office and his feet stalled as he recognized the woman that was sitting in her desk chair. “What are you doing here?”
Penelope stood her blonde hair hanging down her shoulders as her wide eyes looking at Derek. “I work here again. Different team, but same sort of job. I wanted my old office, but they refused. I just wanted to take a look around.” She took in a deep breath and smiled widely. “It’s good to see you again, Derek.”
Derek crossed his arms over his chest. “You need to leave.”
Penelope took in a breath. “I know what I did was low, but after Emily I just couldn’t handle this job. I had to take a break, I went completely off the grid. I spent the last year and a half on a farm with Kevin. I remembered why I stayed for so long. I like helping people and what we do here, it’s where I belong. I’m working to transfer back to this team, but I’m going to need Hotch’s signature before they can transfer this girl out.”
Derek stiffened. “Hotch isn’t going to sign anything.” Derek assured. “There’s not going to be a need for any sort of transfer.”
Penelope scoffed, “She’s not even using a good system! She’s incompetent, I can do this team a lot of justice.”
“HEY!” Derek said in anger. “She’s anything but incompetent. She’s helped this team through a lot, she was the one who found Doyle and who saved this team from the board. She didn’t run as soon as things just got a little bit too hard for her.”
“I know you must be angry, but Derek I had to do this.” Penelope insisted. “The transfer will go in and we can slowly get back together. The way it used to be. You don’t need her around.”
“I need her more than anyone else.” Derek assured, “She’s my fiancée, and currently is waiting for you to leave her office so she can get to work.”
“Oh.” Penelope squeaked. “I didn’t…”
“You wouldn’t have known, you left.” Derek said gesturing to the door. “I’m asking you to leave.”
Penelope nodded she stopped at the door. “I’m sorry, and I hope that one day maybe you’ll forgive me and I can meet your girl.”
Derek simply nodded watching her go before he exited the office. He went to go get Bella but paused as he saw her sitting at Spencer’s desk. He was leaning over her watching her write and she was mumbling something to him. He walked over and smiled as he heard the argument.
“Spencer, I love you, I do, but I am not under any circumstances giving you the secret recipe.” Bella said moving her pen.
“It’s my mother’s secret recipe.” Spencer argued.
“Yes, but you would try to change something so I’m not giving it to you. Besides, you got your mother’s dashing good looks, and I got the secret recipes.” Bella said standing. “It’ll be done, Spencer.”
Derek looked at the list she was holding curiously. “Spending work hours on grocery shopping?”
Bella smirked, “I have some serious baking to do tonight.”
Derek smirked, “I cleared out your office, you’re good to go.”
“Good, I have a few levels on Tetris to pass.” Bella responded she smiled as Derek walked her to her office. She leaned down and released Kai letting him sniff around a bit. “Old friend?”
“Not a friend anymore.” Derek responded kissing her cheek. “Call if you need anything, Bella baby.”
Bella smirked, “Anything?” She teased with a smile. “I might want to see if we can make another dent in the wall.
“We’ll see, but we both have some casework to catch up on before our vacation.” Derek responded kissing her softly.
“Hey.” Bella said stopping him from leaving her office. “You know, being angry is okay and you have all right to hold a grudge.” She stepped closer to him and put her arm around his neck. “It’s also perfectly okay if you want to build a friendship again with her, but just a friendship.” She teased at the end.
Derek smiled he kissed her holding her just a little bit tighter. “I’ll think about it.”
Bella nodded, “Good, now get the hell out of my office I can never get any work done with you around.”
Derek smirked, “Love you, Bella.”
Bella smiled widely. “I suppose I love you too, Derek.”