taricalmcacil: (Derek)
taricalmcacil ([personal profile] taricalmcacil) wrote2011-06-08 04:55 pm

Fic: Repeat to the Bullet

Title: Repeat to the Bullet
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Author: [livejournal.com profile] taricalmcacil
Genre: Angst
Rating: FRC
Words: 492
Characters: Derek Morgan
Pairings: None
Summary: It's hard to let things go if your life is in the hands of another.

The bullet stands on his dresser, a monument to his continuing heartbeat. A reminder, of his narrow escape from death at the hands of a madman. He knows that Hotch is right, that he should let it go, throw it away. But after learning of Foyet’s escape, he couldn’t bring himself to let the bullet fall to the trash. Instead, he threw it in a drawer in the kitchen, out of site, but not of mind.

A few days after the attack on their boss man, he finds it sitting there on the dresser, with no memory of moving it. But he knows he must have, he remembers opening the drawer to stare at it after arriving home from the hospital. So he leaves it there, a stark reminder that as Hotch, Hailey, and Jack are not safe, neither is he. He is living on borrowed time, courtesy of a cement sidewalk and the foibles of a sociopath. Each morning, the sun glinting off the brass jacket is proof that he’s survived one night, and reason to make it through another. The soft reflectance off the metal is a cause of both relief and fear, cancelling each other out to leave nothing but numbness. So he goes on with his days, hunts the bad guy, and hopes he doesn’t come home to encounter another.

It is only after they return from Nashville that he realizes the bullet is still there, gleaming on the dresser. He sits on his bed, staring at it for a long time. No longer does the glint of light off its jacket bring fear and relief. Instead it brings an odd combination of sorrow and pride, all for the woman who stood unflinching – crying, but unflinching – in the path of a similar bullet to give her son the moments he needed to survive, just as his father had for him when a robbery went south. It is no longer a symbol of just his survival, but also of Jack’s. And for the first time, he is glad he couldn’t let go of his anger over Foyet’s control and the reminder of his mercy.

The bullet is moved to a new home that day, in a velvet lined wooden box. It is nestled next to his father’s shield and another bullet, gifted to him nearly 20 years ago. Someday, he’ll give the .44 cartridge to Jack – when he’s old enough to understand. Sooner, if the kid ever tries to pull the same crap that resulted in his own juvenile record. But until that day, it will remain in this place of honor with these mementos of his father.

It is only as he shuts the lid and replaces the box in the drawer of his nightstand that he realizes he’s finally done as Hotch asked, and replaced his anger with acceptance. And for the first time since he woke on the sidewalk, EMT standing over him, he feels okay.

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