Eternally wordy A/N: After a too long discussion w/ friends about Wednesday's episode, tossing around ideas about whether or not the characters know the truth (double meanings of "Stay with me" and "Let me go") & how the entire ordeal would impact the characters emotionally and the show, I decided to just write it out for myself. It sucks to lose the Emily Prentiss character. She is (was?), in my opinion, one of the greatest most kickass female characters. I feel kind of silly being sad at something that's "just a show". Penelope Garcia is totally my spirit animal and this is how I usually deal with rl angst, right down to the rum uh.. I mean, ordered in Italian. p.s. These two? So canon for me now. Playlist: Journey (Ask The Lonely, Who's Crying Now, Separate Ways) and Relient K (Sunny With a High of 75, I'm Taking You With Me, Therapy) -Betty T. G. xo

Letting it all sink in, It's good to feel a sting now and again...The past cannot subtract a thing from what I might do for you unless that's what I let it do… This is just therapy 'cause you won't take my calls….I gather all the questions of the things I just can't get straight and I answer them the way I guess you'd do. -Relient K

"A Bahama Mama for my…"

"Derek…", Penelope effectively cut him off with a glare over her shoulder while taking the frosty glass from him, "If you say 'Bahama Mama', I am packing my and Sergio's things and we are gone for good."

He managed a smile as he settled next to her on the couch, wrapping his arms around her middle. It felt good to feel something. For him, The pain and shock of what had happened only a few days before had begun to wear off. He wasn't as hurt or confused anymore. Penelope, however, was still trying to gain some of her sparkle back.

"Well, I was going to say 'gorgeous woman' but now that you've threatened me I think that I will take back the tasty drink that I made for you and enjoy it myself."

She clutched the glass to her chest, pouting, as she said, "You wouldn't dare take my rum from me."

Her tone was teasing but there was still so much pain underneath it.

She sipped slowly, never taking her eyes off of the wall in front of her. It was one of few spots in Derek's home that she had yet to give the Penelope Treatment. No colorful painting hung there, no lamp or sconce of any sort lit the area. No life. It was empty, just like the casket they had watched be lowered into the ground.

Penelope was a smart woman. She knew she was a smart woman and that she had the honor and pleasure of working with some of the greatest minds every day, including Emily Prentiss. She was also very empathetic when it came to the people she loved. If Emily were really gone, she would be able to feel it, to sense the loss of her presence in this world. All she felt was distance, hurt and confusion.

Derek closed his eyes and let his head rest on her shoulder. Memories of the night after the burial flooded his mind; Laying in his bed embracing her as she cried on his chest, his own tears falling into her soft hair and later, waking up to her shoulders trembling and shaking with silent sobs. He needed to remember that Penelope was there with him, to feel her. A moment of silence passed between them and when she finally spoke, her voice was low and hoarse.

"I am just trying to remember that she did this for us. She wasn't trying to hurt us intentionally but she knew it would hurt, nonetheless. I also know that she's hurting, too, and I just want to hold her and squeeze her and tell her how much she just absolutely rocks and how much I frickin' love her for being so damn brave and how stupid she is for not coming to us in the first place so we could have wiped out Ian Doyle and his road crew of baddies." She paused to take a deep, cleansing breath so as not to cry again. She was so tired of crying. "I'm trying to convince myself that she is Emily and that she's stubborn as hell and even if she had told us what was going on and that she was in big danger and consequently so were we, she would have still found a way to protect us. That's just who she is. But, we need her. We all need her."

Derek nodded his understanding, "I get why she did it. I do. I've pretty much come to terms with all of that. She did it because she loved us too much to come right out with it. She wanted to fight her own battles, take responsibility for her past and not see us suffer for the choices she made." So much for that, Derek thought to himself.

" She did it because she loves you. Try not to forget that."

Sergio meowed from where he and Clooney were resting together at Penelope's feet.

"What do we do now?" Penelope asked, turning to face Derek. He seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. Her eyes searched his for a while trying to find the hope she was looking for. She willed herself not to cry again. She was so sick of crying! This just wasn't fair.

He took the glass from her, placed it on the table in front of them, and clasped his hand around hers.

"Baby Girl, I don't know. I love you and it is killing me to know that you are hurting so much right now. I'm not sure how to make this right or how to make it hurt less but I will try my damnedest. Understand?" He placed his hands on either side of her face and kissed her.

She pursed her lips at him, knowingly. He knew what his kisses did to her. He was trying to distract her but the distraction only lasted as long as the kiss did.

She rested her head on his shoulder and exhaled deeply, "Well, I like the kisses. And the tasty drinks. And your arms feel good. More arms, please?" He held her just a little bit tighter to him. "I want to put on jammies and dance around this living room to loud 80's hair band tuneage until I can't stand up any longer."

Derek smiled. Penelope thought that the cure for everything was 80's music and silly dancing and he was more than happy to oblige her.

He pulled her closer, nipping her earlobe with his teeth and kissed his way down her neck, her shoulder. "I know something else we can do that'll increase your heart rate, make your thighs quiver and have you sweating in an hour…if that."

She moaned, enjoying the feeling of his closeness and his warmth, the intimacy of it all.

"I'll go get my iPod. Call Spencer. I think that he should take Serge for the night. As a matter of fact, call the whole family. I want to see Jack and Henry, too, if Will doesn't mind bringing him over for a little while. We're having a dance party tonight. We cannot just sit here and…and...bathe in this pain. We need to get up and…" she sighed, "We just need to get up."

Derek wrapped his arms around her once more before she could leave the room. She wore her heart on her sleeve and she gave so much of herself to the people around her. It was making him ache to think of how much pain she was in, even if she knew that for now this was all for the best. He thought about how she definitely didn't want to hear that right now.

"Okay. I'll call everyone and see what I can arrange. That sounds like exactly what we all need." He pressed his lips against hers. "You go get changed and I'll be there in a minute but, promise me something…"

She closed her eyes, drawing in a deep breath and slowly released it. "Anything."

"When everyone leaves and it's just you and I, you will let me love you. I need to love you tonight."

She closed her eyes and leaned back into his embrace, "And tomorrow morning, too? You'll wake me up in the special early morning way?"

"And tomorrow morning, too. The special early morning way is my favorite way to wake you up, Beautiful."

She turned to face him. He was being so perceptive and attentive. "And when do I get to love you? Will I get a turn to love you?"

He smiled again, "Baby, you can have as many turns as you like."

She left the room quickly, not wanting Derek to see the tears that were forming in the corners of her eyes, following the trails of the ones that had already fallen just hours ago. Derek watched her walk away, knowing that right now she needed her family more than anything. She would be delighted to hear Jack and Henry talk of their elementary school yard adventures. She would be amused at how well Mudgie, Sergio and Clooney got along, like pet cousins.

An idea quickly came to him as he got up from the couch and made his way into the kitchen where his phone rested on the island. He opened the takeout menu drawer in search of the red, white and green paper. He was going to heal her and protect her and he was going to put a smile on her face if he had to use all of the sweet confectioneries in the world to do it.

And if there ever comes a time when I should have to leave, I hope you know that I'm taking you with me. -Relient K