Penelope was sitting in her dark apartment thinking about all the events that had transpired that day. Lavender and vanilla candles as well as her iPod radio kept her company in her living room. The soothing voices of Adele, Norah Jones and Chandra Currelley were an attempt to lull Penelope's troubled mind to sleep, however even they couldn't let her greet the sleep that tempted her for hours on end. She had been up over twenty four hours. In that time her heart had raced, leapt and fallen. Her past, present and future consumed her heart as her team dealt with one of the toughest cases she had ever had to witness. Human trafficking was a concept she could not grasp. The idea of selling humans for any purpose to the highest bidder would haunt her nightmares from now on.
Though the case was gruesome and shaking, that wasn't what kept Penelope up this evening. The hours were tempting the morning as sleep could not come to her. It was moments like this that she was grateful that she and Kevin didn't live together. Though she did love him, him being around all the time would drive her crazy.
She thought of the idea that Kevin proposed to her tonight. He wanted to take her away from the craziness of the Bureau and start life on a farm. She knew of his family's past of living in rural areas and enjoying simpler pleasures. He was the outsider for his passion for technology and gaming. His quirky fashion sense and geekdom were some of the qualities that drew her to him in the first place.
However, she wasn't happy anymore. Things were comfortable and at ease. He was there when she needed him. When he entered a room, she didn't feel herself smile with anticipation, romance or desire. Instead, she felt routine and domestic. His complaints about Derek and the team had slowed as of recently. Maybe he realized he would never win that argument. The team would always come first.
Yet, his proposal possessed the element of her leaving her family, the BAU, which had been her home in her darkest hours. With Emily dead and JJ gone, as well as Haley's death just over a year ago, her BAU family had been through hell and back fighting against the darkest evils. Sometimes, she wondered what good they were doing when they saw so much evil.
Listening to Hotch this morning instilled a new fear in her of her family being torn apart by omniscient executive judgments. She never understood how the executives could tear them apart. Did they not recognize what good that they do? The lives that they save and help mend? Do they not know the scars that are marred upon her beloved team after every case without as much as a thank you from the executives? She hated bureaucracy almost as much as she hated her recent feelings of uncertainty.
Hotch had said that others would be calling for their work. She felt torn already stretching her abilities to help the team as well Team B. Though rumors circulated around the tech field that Cooper's team would be disbanding, Penelope still fought like hell to keep them safe from the haven of her computers and technological skills.
Penelope couldn't believe that she had met SSA Andy Swan personally today. She had gone to one of her most intriguing conferences in Atlanta, but that was enough to spark newfound heroine worship for the tech goddess. SSA Andy Swan reminded her of a modern, fierce red headed Xena. Her passion and dedication was seen throughout each case. Today had been a privilege watching her work and critically analyze her under cover agents as well as the UNSUBs. She had the ferocity her boss man possessed, but Emily and JJ's femininity. Andy Swan was a frightening heroine in Penelope's life and working with her presented a frightening new possibility of more in the Bureau.
It was with that thought that Penelope felt guilt swarm the darkest corners of her heart. Working with Andy Swan would present its own advantages and adventures. However, it would mean breaking her heart and walking away from her home in Quantico.
Penelope's gaze fell toward a photo shining in the candlelight. Smiling sadly, she lifted the photo and felt tears spring in her eyes. It was a moment in Alaska during one of Penelope's toughest cases. She had questioned everything. Her heart, her ability to see death and darkness. Her loss of innocence and the ability to laugh.
But one man changed that for her. Her Noir Hero. Derek Morgan had been a pinnacle in her life for seven years. Seven years of seeing the worst humanity could possess and Penelope continued to find hope and love in her chocolate hero.
The photograph was taken by JJ. Derek had found her looking out into the Alaskan wilderness looking for answers to her heart's broken questions as they were leaving the cold wild state after solving the case. He managed to heal her broken heart by pulling her into his strong arms and kissing the crown of her head. His naturally woodsy smell invaded her senses and returned to her a sense of belonging. He vowed to remind her of the passionate and wonderful things in their life. By doing that, he vowed to be her champion, her hero.
What he didn't realize is that he was that already.
The photo captured their embrace. The love that existed between them was undeniable. It was a bond that no one spoke of due to the fact that no words needed to be said. He was Derek, she was Penelope and together they found solace and peace in the darkness in their lives.
Penelope chuckled sadly and wiped away her tears as realization consumed her. She couldn't accept Kevin's offer to run away and build a farm. Though his offer had been genuine and incredibly sweet, it was an offer that should be presented to a woman in love, not her. If she was being honest with herself, she hadn't been in love with Kevin Lynch for years. Her heart had always belonged to Derek Morgan, regardless of her ignorance.
The knocking at her door shook her from her thoughts. It was 4:45 AM and she tightened the purple robe around her form. Slipping her fuzzy slippers back upon her feet, she shuffled across the apartment timidly. Glancing into the peep hole, her heart soared as she found her handsome prince waiting outside the door. Opening the door slowly, she took in his rugged appearance and smiled at him. "Handsome?"
Derek stood before her in the same outfit he had worn all day. He looked worn and bruised. He held his injured arm gently and looked at her with exhausted eyes. He flashed her a tired grin and her body warmed as his gaze took in her entire body. Fortunately, due to the thickness of her fluffy robe, she knew he wouldn't notice her nipples tightening from his critical gaze of her form.
Stepping aside, she let him in from the cold and he hurried inside the warmth. Penelope loved to watch him observe his environments. She watched as he took in the candles that were dimly lit around her apartment and the low music playing. Penelope moved behind him and helped him remove his leather jacket. His warmth made her salivate in desire after her most recent discovery.
Instead of indulging her fantasies, she placed the jacket on the arm chair and turned to meet his tired gaze. She was surprised when he took her hand in his, his fingers tightening around her softness. Penelope was fascinated by how their joined hands looked together. The contrasting beauties of man and woman. His strength and darkness meshed with her femininity and manicured delights. Though it was unorthodox, they would hold hands under the table during briefings of cases, finding comfort in the warmth and vibrations of each other's spirits. Tonight, Derek played with her hand as if it was a fine piece of art. His finger's attention to details upon her hand made her feel special and important.
Being brave, Penelope stepped forward and lifted her other hand to touch his haunted face. He leaned against her magic and took comfort from her touch. Their heads rested against one another, each finding purpose within one another.
They stood there for what felt like hours just holding onto one another. Each were lost in their own sea of pain and insecurity. However, knowing they had one another kept them from losing sight of their greatest goal: keeping their family safe.
Derek was first to open his eyes. He could look upon her face every moment of his life and not be bored or disappointed. Her ivory beauty continued to intoxicate him. Her doe brown eyes guided him home after every case and her voice was his ticket home. Penelope Garcia was more than his best friend and solace. She was his everything. He knew that Hotch's meeting had frightened her today. He feared that he would cross lines with her by being this close. However, she pulled him closer to her form and heart, presenting him before a cliff of love and adventure together.
"Promise me," he whispered against her lips.
"What?" she asked just as softly.
Derek turned his head closer to her, rubbing their noses together in a desire to be loving and comforting. "Don't be afraid of me and my intentions in the Bureau. Regardless of what happens in our work and the horrible things we see and fight against, please don't doubt me."
Surprised, Penelope opened her eyes and saw his genuine fear meeting her eyes. "Derek," she asked.
He pressed a quick kiss to her lips to silence her protests. "You and I, our relationship, whatever it is, keeps me grounded, baby. I could never live with myself if you doubt me."
Penelope lifted her head slightly and stole his lips in a deeper kiss. Her tongue teased his bottom lip for entrance and he allowed her in willingly. Her mouth worked magic upon his heart. Her desire was to remind him that this was what they fought for. Their friendship. Their bond. Their love. "Never doubt my love for you, Derek Morgan," she whispered against him as their kiss ended moments later.
Derek exhaled and nodded against her head, stealing her lips in another kiss. Her mouth was an oasis that saved his thirsting soul. Their lives had been surrounded by devastation in recent days. However, his Penelope kept him safe within her vibrant heart. He knew he should be questioning her relationship with Lynch as well as their relationship being hidden from the Bureau to keep from Strauss's detection. However, their love was healing pain that was much larger than those fears that could be addressed in the morning hours.
Penelope kept a tight hold to Derek's hand as she guided him through her living room. They blew out the candles in her apartment with every step toward her sleeping sanctuary. It was just after five o'clock and they had to be in the office at nine thirty. Penelope guided Derek to the soft bed they had slept upon hundreds of times before. Both knew that this time things were different, yet neither were ready to breech that topic. Instead, Penelope helped Derek undress. She took her time removing his clothes and kissing his individual bruises and scars. Her manicured nails traced his tattoos that were soon followed with her lips.
Once his body was only clad in his boxer briefs, Derek's hands moved to the tie of her robe and loosened their prison. The purple terry cloth fell to the ground in a heap and Penelope remained in pink and white polka dot tank top and matching under wear.
Derek moved the comforter and sheet down as Penelope slid beneath the softness. Derek followed her from behind and held her tightly against his chest. Their bodies became a comforting combination of limbs and heart beats as they stared out into the lightening darkness. Derek pressed comforting kisses upon Penelope's shoulders, face and head to lull her to sleep. Her fingernails ran along his forearms to tempt him to slumber.
"I love you," she whispered.
"And I love you," he replied, pressing a final kiss to her soft shoulder. With that, each gave into slumber, knowing that regardless of the sadness and dangers that haunted them in their waking hours, they had one another to come home to.
I could make you happy
Make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love