The Fall Chapter 20

“Dead? How?”

Hotch took a few steps toward the doctor.

“We’re not sure. We’ve notified the police and they’ll be here any moment now.”

Hotch and the others looked at Derek. None of them wanted to ask the question. It was possible after all he’d been through. He hadn’t been himself…hadn’t been himself for months.

Penelope watched the others and saw the questions and assumptions in their eyes. She pushed her own questions and assumptions from her mind as she struggled to make sense of this latest development. He wouldn’t, he couldn’t but he wasn’t Derek-not really…not yet.

“They’ll have questions.”

Dr. Flores had seen Derek leaving Hamilton’s room a few minutes earlier. She stared at him waiting for him to look up and meet her glare. When he did she saw something, what she didn’t know.

He wasn’t going to be taken again. He wasn’t going to be hurt, drugged or…touched…again. He wanted to go home, his real home. Slowly he took a step toward the man who had nearly destroyed him as his mind took him back to a place he wanted to forget.

Derek could feel the man’s hands snake around his neck, squeezing and cutting off his air supply. His struggle against the restraints around his wrists began to slow and he could feel himself fading. Just before his eyes closed the man released the grip around his neck. Then he laughed. It wasn’t funny, not funny at all.

“I like you, Darren; I can call you Darren, can’t I? My friend wants to spend some time with you. You’ll like him, his name is Carl…”

Derek took another step toward the bed. This time Derek smiled, a blank sickly smile and reached for the pillow under Hamilton’s head.

“What are you doing?”

Hamilton’s eyes widened in fear.

“I’m going home.”

“Doctor…” Sheldon began. “Can I see him?”

Derek was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of Sheldon’s voice.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea. The police have asked that we not let anyone into the room until they arrive.”

“I see. It’s just that…”

“I’m sorry I can’t help you.”

Penelope had been standing at Derek’s bedside but now all she wanted to do was run. As if he’d read her mind he grabbed her hand in desperation just as she’d taken her first step away from him. The others noticed but remained silent.

“Please, don’t leave.”

Penelope turned back to face him trying hard to be strong as she nodded, yes to his request.

“I’m right here, okay?”

“Thank you doctor we’ll be here when the police arrive.” Hotch promised.

“Great.”

Dr. Flores turned and walked past the group and left the room. Collectively, they all sighed and drew closer to the bed.

“Now what?” Derek asked.

“Now we see what the police come up with.” Hotch answered.

Morgan noticed the looks, and the quick glances away whenever he looked back at them.

“You all think I did this, don’t you?”

“No, we don’t. The Derek Morgan who we know, and love is not a murderer.” Rossi assured.

“But I’m not that Derek Morgan.”

“Maybe not right now, but…”

Spencer immediately regretted his words, but he wasn’t the only one in the room who was thinking the same thing.

“Maybe not ever.”

Derek wasn’t sure who the real Derek Morgan was anymore. He wanted his life back, but it seemed such a distant memory now. His mind had accepted the new life of Darren Matthews; a life with Savannah and Atlanta and all that that life had been. Still, something had kept him grounded in his old memories, something that had made him fight against everything they had done to him. Deep down he knew what it was, who it was but now he felt as if he was about to lose it all, Penelope, his family…everything.

“Morgan?”

“Yeah?”

“We love you. Do you believe that you’re loved?” Spencer asked.

“Y-Yes, I believe it.”

“Then hold on to that. We won’t stop until we find out who killed Hamilton and until we find a way to erase what he did to you, okay?”

“Thanks, Pretty Boy.”

A wide smile spread across Reid’s face and like a ripple effect, smiles of acknowledgement appeared on the faces of the others.

“Did you just call me, Pretty Boy?”

“Yes, yes I did!”

Penelope took Derek’s hand and gently held it against her chest.

“It’s a start, Handsome!”

There were no words, and he was too busy holding back the tears, so Derek simply nodded and relaxed against the pillows.

Sheldon headed toward the door to leave the room.

“I think I’m going to get back to work. I’ll let you all know if I find something.”

“Sheldon?”

Sheldon turned back to face his friend.

“Yeah, boss?”

“Thank you.”

With a smile and a nod, Sheldon quickly left the room. It was all he could do to hold it together. He owed Derek more than he could ever repay and there was nothing he wouldn’t do to show his appreciation for the man who’d saved his life with his friendship.

Flashback…

Sheldon had never been so angry. He’d always managed to keep his emotions in check but now even in the hallway he could hear the old man snickering and taunting him. The words of revelation and the sound of his reality being smashed to smithereens rang in his ears, destroying everything that he’d ever known.

How could a beast like Hamilton Porter be his father? It all made sense now why his mother never told him about his father except that he had chosen not to be a part of his life. The guilt in her eyes when she would dismiss his questions all made sense now.

Sheldon had run from the room and found refuge in a small bathroom down the hall. He could hardly catch his breath as he scrubbed his hands under the warm water. As he did, his prayer was not for forgiveness it was for privacy. He hoped that no one would come in and witness his erratic behavior as he scrubbed and scrubbed until his hands were raw.

In those moments of solitude all he could see was red- his face, his tears…his hands. He needed to be justified for his thoughts and his deeds, but he knew more than anyone else that he would not receive any of those things. All he could really hope for was time; time to help find a way to save Derek’s life.

Evelyn Porter had managed to find a quiet corner in the cafeteria. She wasn’t sure why she had remained at the hospital. When she had left New York, her mind was made up. The truth had the power to destroy even her life and she wasn’t ready to go down because of Hamilton.

The smell of stale coffee mixed with the distinct odors that seemed to permeate the air in every hospital seemed to bring her comfort somehow. Perhaps it was the memories of her days when her noble dreams of helping others had compelled her to go to nursing school. Her parents had thought it odd that someone of her social standing would bother but they supported her decision nonetheless.

Then she met Hamilton and things changed. He was handsome and charming and always seemed to be surrounded by a swarm of beautiful young girls. She had no allusions when he chose her and she was more than willing to use her assets to capture the attentions of the brilliant doctor.

Flashback…

Evelyn was happy that Marcos had been more than willing to share the location of his, “insurance policy” during their phone call shortly after his arrest. He’d made sure to protect himself against Savannah and Hamilton by recording and making copies of everything that Savannah and Hamilton had done not only to Morgan but to the others before him. Both of his cohorts had demanded the utmost loyalty. Marcos knew that if the time came, he’d be the first casualty in their efforts to protect themselves.

Evelyn rounded the corner to Hamilton’s room. He’d managed to fall asleep after her first visit and, so she slipped quietly into the room. Just as she got to his bedside his eyes opened and looked at her questioningly.

“You’re back. Change your mind about helping me?”

“I guess you can say that.”

He watched her pull something from her pocket. It was a syringe filled with a familiar tan-colored liquid.

“Evelyn, what are you doing?”

“I’m, ‘helping’ you, husband.”

“You won’t get away with this!”

“Huuussshhh now…it will be over soon…”

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