By: Paramour Party
It's been almost 5 years so the writing style might be different. I felt guilty about pumping out 17k+ words for another fic in such a short amount of time while this has been collecting dust. Also… how do you write scenes with more than 3 characters in them? This was a struggle.
It was purely coincidence. And, she knows how it might look, but honestly, Penelope had not planned to bump into Derek's little girlfriend at the coffee shop. It was a routine girls day with JJ and Prentiss, and if they bumped into Spencer at the bookstore down the road, that too was all purely coincidence. Why would they break routine because they now had a plus one in the form of Spencer? So they continued on to their favourite coffee shop and snagged the biggest table available by the door.
From the way her team looked at her, they didn't believe her when she said, "What a coincidence!" after Derek walked into the shop, next to him was a shorter woman with wild curly hair.
He'd given her a dry stare once the surprised greeting faded. "Why can't I believe it's a coincidence?" he asked. His girlfriend just grinned in amusement, leaning against his side. Penelope had to physically stop herself from cooing at how cute they looked together.
"Because you're a sourpuss," Prentiss said coming to Penelope's defence.
Derek rolled his eyes. "You couldn't wait one more day? We prepared everything for tomorrow. I even pinky promised I wouldn't cancel at the last minute this time."
Penelope gave him her best affronted look. "I swear this is a coincidence! JJ, Prentiss, and I always come to this cafe to end our girl time. Spence bumped into us and we invited him along! How would I know you and your secret girlfriend were gonna show up?"
Before Derek could complain any further, his girlfriend interrupted. "This your team, then?"
With that, everyone turned away from the tennis match waiting to happen between Penelope and Derek and focused on the grinning woman.
"Hermione," she introduced holding a hand out.
Penelope took none of that reaching for a friendly hug instead. "I'm so happy to finally meet the woman who can tease Derek as much as I can and get away with it!"
Hermione accepted the hug gracefully with a laugh. "You must be Penelope then."
"Yes, I am!" Penelope shot a dark look over Hermione's shoulder at Derek, before releasing her from the hug. "And since your boyfriend isn't polite enough to introduce you to us, I'll have the honour of taking that job from him. This is Spencer-"
"I was going to do them tomorrow!" Derek said but he was ignored in favour of his team's new favourite person. Prentiss, JJ, and Penelope had already engaged Hermione in conversation. Spencer at least had the decency to look somewhat apologetic at him, but he too was much more interested in learning more about Hermione.
Derek sighed, resigned by everything but his pout was short-lived. Instead, he smiled seeing Hermione get along with his team so seamlessly. He left them to their conversation so he could order the drinks they'd come to the coffee shop for in the first place. When he came back to the table he'd left them at, his team was laughing and Hermione looked up at his approach, a smirk on her face.
She took the coffee he held out to her appreciatively, an innocent blink that he didn't believe for a second was all that innocent. "Alright, what'd you tell them?" he asked.
Hermione tucked back into his side, his arm automatically settling around her shoulders. "They wanted to know how we met."
He rolled his eyes. "I'm never going to live that down am I?"
"Why should you?" asked JJ hiding her grin behind her coffee cup.
"I've also been recruited," Hermione added.
"Recruited?" Derek asked suspiciously noticing the smirk on Spencer's face. He eyed the rest of his team taking in all the subtle cues in their body language.
Penelope said, "We may have mentioned a prank war."
"She's on my team now," Spencer replied, "And we're gonna crush you."
Derek's face fell in betrayal. "Hermione," he nearly whined, "I'm making a rule where you can't get involved in BAU prank wars."
The team laughed. "You can't add rules after the fact. That's a rule!" Hermione countered.
"Yeah, Derek," Prentiss chimed in.
"Rules are rules," JJ sang.
Everyone noticed when Derek pretended to feel affronted by how his team easily ganged up on him with Hermione taking charge. But he hid a grin behind Hermione's curly hair when he pressed an affectionate kiss to the side of her head.
Penelope didn't miss the clear happiness that the couple seemed to glow. She shared a knowing look with the rest of the team. As far as first impressions went, this woman was a keeper. Anyone who could bring that light in Derek's eyes and lift the tension from their day job was worthy in their book.
Derek was carrying a case of beer to his backyard where Hermione was setting up the table with Penelope who showed up early because she loved a party. Clooney was by Hermione, following her around like an eager puppy, tail wagging. They were chatting over all the baked goods Penelope brought. "You can totally come over," his co-worker said.
"I'd really like that. I'm honestly a shite baker. And these," Hermione gave a satisfied groan as she picked up a scone, "these are so good. Better than my mum's even."
"You say the loveliest things," Penelope said reaching for a hug. She was already one glass into a nice red Sangria Hermione mixed together, they had three more pitchers ready in the fridge, and Penelope only got more affectionate when alcohol was in the picture.
"Hey, hey, hey, no stealing my girlfriend."
"It won't be stealing if she likes me better than you." Penelope stuck her tongue out before she pressed a kiss to Hermione's cheek leaving a red lipstick mark.
The doorbell rang distracting the trio for just a moment. "I'll get the door, you two can duke it out if you want. Just don't drop any of the desserts Penelope lovingly baked for us." Hermione pointed warningly, "I'll ruin you if they're not exactly as I left them."
"No, no," Derek held his hands up in surrender, "let me get the door, you can guard the dessert." He put the case of beer down by the cooler leaving the two women to their giggling.
When he answered the door, the rest of his team was there, each bringing a dish or a bottle with them. "Wow, Carpool here?" he asked as he let them in, hugging (or in Rossi and Hotch's case, a clap on the back) as they entered. He glanced behind them at the large SUV where William honked and waved before driving off.
"Yeah, my hubby offered to be Designated Driver and it became a BAU family outing," JJ said.
"Garcia messaged and said she was already here?" Rossi said.
Derek locked the door behind them and led them to the back. "Oh yeah, she's already dug into the sangria."
They all shared an amused chuckle knowing the affection will be flowing all day in the form of hugs and compliments. Prentiss cheered, "I love a good sangria."
Hermione and Penelope were helping themselves to muffins when the team reached them. Hermione greeted everyone a large smile on her face, friendly hugs from Prentiss, JJ, and Spencer, and a cheeky wink from Rossi. Derek, with a hand on Hermione's back, turned her toward Hotch, the only one who hadn't met her yet.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, sir," she said after the introduction.
Derek hovered when Hotch shook her hand. He knew his team liked her, and Hotch was likely to feel the same, but it was still nerve-wracking introducing a loved one to your family.
"It's nice to finally meet you too," Hotch replied, tone unable to hide his amusement, "There was a lot of gossip going around and it's great to finally put a face behind it all."
Rossi cut in, "I see Garcia marked you," he motioned to the lipstick on her cheek.
"You bet your bum I did! Everyone is getting marked before you go home today," Penelope called from where she was standing a little away by the snacks with the others. "I'm luring her to the dark side with my goodies."
"We also recruited her to our prank team against Derek," Spencer said.
When Hotch rose a brow in question at Hermione she shrugged with a grin. "I've said it before, I'll it again, Derek is cute when he pouts."
"I don't pout," he argued half-heartedly.
There was a collective laugh and any tension Derek had from his nerves fell away. He grinned down at Hermione and she smiled softly, and he knew she was aware of how worried he was. She rubbed a hand affectionately on his arm. "Why don't you start up the grill, I'll play host," she said before turning to the team asking what their drink of choice was.
As far as meeting the family went, Derek thought it was successful. Hermione was sitting with Spencer and Penelope on either side of her at the table, likely planning their next prank. JJ and Prentiss were sitting across from them probably offering suggestions. Clooney was by Hermione, head on her lap for some head pats.
He was grilling more patties and sausages with Hotch and Rossi by him. "She's nice," Hotch says quietly, a smile and knowing look on his face.
Rossi grinned behind his bottle of beer. "Spirited. She's good for you."
He couldn't hide it even if he wanted too, Derek just grinned back. "Yeah, she is. Keeps me on my toes that's for sure."
"Is it true you pretended to read a book next to her to get her attention?" Hotch asked, "I'd have never pegged you as the hesitant type."
Derek rolled his eyes when Rossi laughed. "Aaron, you've seen first hand how this woman has Derek tongue-tied near constantly. Wrapped around her finger."
Hotch hummed in agreement, "Doesn't mean I don't want a confirmation from my agent's own lips," he teased.
"Alright, alright," Derek relented, "keep at that and I'll burn your burgers."
Hotch and Rossi mirrored each other, hands up in surrender. "The others seem to really like her too," Rossi continued.
Derek glanced back at the table where the group was sharing a laugh. If he hadn't known differently, it would have looked like they were all friends for years and not 24 hours. "We see all sorts of horrible human beings out there on our job," Derek said flipping the food over, "but when I look to Hermione... there's a genuine brightness about her. A quiet strength that keeps fighting. And… I admire it. I'm inspired by it."
Hotch clasped Derek's shoulder in understanding. "Hold on to that, Derek. Because that's what helps us keep going."
Derek tried not to flush at the sudden emotional turn the conversation took, the team never really shied away from talking about their feelings, but the moment of vulnerability always felt raw. He was grateful when the doorbell rang cutting off the conversation. Hermione sat straighter looking around in confusion.
"Are you expecting anyone?" She asked standing up, "I thought this was your whole team?" Clooney also jumped to attention.
Derek shrugged. "I might have invited one more person," he said. "You should go answer it."
Hermione narrowed her eyes suspicious and confused but excused herself. His team looked to him in question. "I might have invited one of her friends. I knew she was in town this week," he said moments before a surprised yell could be heard from the front door. "It's why I chose this weekend for the barbeque, I didn't want her to feel too overwhelmed by all of us. Support from her own friends, you know?"
Hermione came rushing back hugging Derek close and pressing an eager kiss to his cheek. "I can't believe you invited Luna! But I should warn you, she brought friends so you'll likely get some stupid shovel talk," she laughed. Close behind her were three others, two males who waved somewhat awkwardly, and a woman who skipped to Hermione's side.
Luna, Derek knew when he'd once gone over to Hermione's apartment and the woman had answered the door. They'd talked in passing ever since, but the woman was pretty terrible at answering text messages so they usually spoke through Hermione. The other two, he recognized them from photos Hermione had at her apartment, her best friends from school, Harry and Ron.
Hermione flitted around the yard excitedly doing introductions. Derek noticed right away that Ron was easily the most nervous around them while Luna was the least nervous, making fast friends with Penelope over their colourful outfits; he also once saw her have a very serious one-sided conversation with his dog so he figured nothing ever really fazed the woman anyway. Harry was the calmest and easiest connect to, but there was a power to him, similar to Hermione and slightly more palpable that he knew the rest of the BAU took notice of him, though no one was wary or worried. Instead, something seemed to click into place.
Derek knew some of Hermione's past and how she served for her country when she was barely out of school and the team recognized instantly that this man was likely still part of the military. They saw right away that these people were comrades in arms. Hermione and her friends were as much of a team, a family, as his own BAU team. And when he watched Hermione nudge Ron, scolding him to slow down on the desserts, he knew that this joining of families was something he was looking forward to.
"Slow down!" Hermione warned Ron again exasperated.
Harry laughed clapping his hand on Hermione's back. "You've never succeeded in getting Ron to slow down when it came to food," he said, "I don't know why you thought it'd change now."
Luna took an offered muffin from JJ with a smile. "Well, Hermione managed to expand his emotional range from a teaspoon to at least a tablespoon now. I'm sure she'll manage one day."
"Hey!" Ron cut in affronted, "I'm at least a serving spoon, thank you very much."
Derek and the BAU team watched in amusement, clearly seeing a little of their own interactions mirrored back at them.
When night fell and the party moved to Derek's living room, he was in the kitchen putting away the leftovers when he got cornered for that shovel talk Hermione warned him about.
Ron had a slight flush on his cheeks and ears. "Listen, Hermione would actually kill us if we threatened you, and we know that Hermione is more than capable of taking care of herself," he started rubbing the back of his neck.
"We just want you to know that if you hurt her, we'll help her with whatever hurt she wants to dole out on you in return, okay?" Harry promised.
Derek smiled. It amused him to see that Hermione had them wrapped around her fingers too. "Noted." They shook hands sealing the deal.
Ron left first but Harry lingered. "I know you won't hurt her," he admitted. "I can see it, in the way you both look at each other. Hermione and I have been friends for a very long time. I was worried when she moved to America, so far from her friends and family. But that worry has eased after tonight. I haven't seen her this happy in some time and knowing that you have some part of that happiness, makes me happy too. So, thank you, for looking out for our Hermione when we can't." He patted Derek on the shoulder.
"I'll do my very best to make sure she's happy for as long as she'll have me," he replied softly.
Harry nodded with a smile. Derek could see the man believed his honesty.
When everyone left and Hermione staying the night, Derek sighed contentedly as he leaned back on his bed.
Hermione, fresh from the shower and changed into one of her sleep shirts she had in his drawers, crawled onto the bed and settled herself on his lap. "I think I saw Harry and Ron corner you in the kitchen earlier?" she asked playing with the bottom hem of his shirt.
"Don't worry. As far as shovel talks go, it was pretty mild," he reassured her, "It was mostly to say if I hurt you, they'd help you and not dole out revenge on your behalf." He didn't mention Harry's talk, feeling it was more personal.
Pleased, Hermione leaned down pressing a kiss to Derek's lips. Something he'd been waiting for all day, Hermione wanting to be respectful and keeping the PDA on the down-low.
"Did my team give you any version of a shovel talk?" He asked. It hadn't occurred to him until then, that they could have.
She shook her head. "Nope," she said with a grin.
Derek pulled her close pressing a kiss to her exposed shoulder. "Any chance you'll warn me about any pranks in advance?"
She laughed and he enjoyed the sound of it pressing smiling kisses to her neck.
"Not a chance."
He hummed against her skin in thought. "Anything I can persuade you with?"
She pulled away from him, a brow raised in challenge. "What are you offering in exchange for said information?"
"I'll think of something."
And then she was laughing again when he rolled them over, pinning her under him with a kiss.
This was a life he was looking forward to having for as long as he could.
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT AND LOVE THIS STORY HAS GOTTEN WHILE I WAS AWAY. Time flew by and I honestly lost the muse for this fic along the way. I know this was supposed to be a side story to a bigger project but I'm going to have to scrap that project until further notice, mostly because I don't have the drive to work on that one right now.
I hope this long-awaited update was okay and that it may have lived up to any expectation you may have had haha.
I'm currently focusing on a different crossover right now (shameless plug yet again) so if you're into Marvel and Harry Potter maybe you can give it a look! and if you read my other fic, Kismet, I updated that a few weeks ago!
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Anyway, I can't thank you enough for sticking around for this one and for your continued support! Stay safe out there!
Until next time!