Chapter 2

Garcia couldn't believe it. Of all the days for Derek to walk in the office with a new girl friend it had to be today. It was one of those days that Garcia needed her "big hunk of chocolate" more than anything else. Garcia had just found out that Gideon was gone. Had left for good. Her relationship with the older man hadn't ever been what could be described as close but she had still gotten attached to the gentle soul that was Jason Gideon. His departure hit hard. Of course it was when her defenses were down that she was hit with attacks, intentional or not, from those closest to her.

Stephanie was alright but Garcia stubbornly stuck to her decision to hate her. She didn't belong. Her smile was one of someone who hadn't seen the things you saw when you worked in the BAU. She was too innocent. Garcia cringed then. She hated to think of herself or any of the others as tainted but that was what they were. They saw what the worst of humanity had to offer them everyday and it left scars.

"Penelope?" She was jerked out of her thoughts as Morgan entered her office. Her defenses went up as she watched him. He was regarding her with an unreadable expression on his face. "Garcia are you okay?" Garcia wanted to gag even as she forced out.

"Yeah Morgan, I'm okay. I just need to be alone if you don't mind." Surprise flittered across his expression for an instant then resignation took its place.

"Okay girl, just…just don't keep it bottled in okay? You can always talk to me." Garcia wasn't sure that was the case in this instance but nodded in order to ward off suspicion.

"Derek?" Stephanie's soft voice cut in. Garcia felt bile build up in her throat and she shot a seething glare in the other woman's direction. Derrick caught the look and he raised his eyebrow at the sight. "Derek?" Stephanie repeated and Derek turned to her armed with a flashy smile.

"What do you need baby g…" the endearment caught in his throat as he caught sight of its usual target fleeing the room with tears on her face. "What's up with her?" A voice demanded. "That computer tech has been bitchy with me ever since we got here." Derek turned to Stephanie with his eyes flashing. "You leave Garcia alone, we all just lost a member of our family, the father of the group and it's hard on everyone." Stephanie rolled her eyes. "It's not like he died, he chose to leave!" That was last straw. "You're right Stephanie!" He roared. "It is so much better that he chose to abandon the team! That's cool, he wasn't forced to leave he just left that's so much easier to deal with!" His heart ached. Gideon. A friend. A father. Someone he could always talk to. Things were never going to be the same. No one could ever replace Jason Gideon in their hearts. Then he had a realization. No one could ever replace Penelope Garcia in his heart.

"You have to leave." Stephanie's mouth fell open.

"Excuse me?" Derek's eyes hardened as they fell on her.

"You need to leave Stephanie, this was a huge mistake on my part and for that I am sorry. I never should have tried to replace her." Stephanie slapped him in the face and ran out of the office with tears of rage pouring down her face. Garcia jerked her head and to watch the fleeing woman and turned wondering eyes to Derek. He was in front of her before she could think.

"Morgan?" Derek flinched.

"Baby girl, please, don't call me that." Garcia pursed her lips.

"Derek, where is Stephanie going?" Dereck sighed and leaned his head against the wall.

"Woman, do you have any idea what you're doing to me?" She didn't reply so he continued. "You play coy but it drives my head crazy when I think about you." Garcia waved the words aside saying.

"Stephanie seems to be able to keep your head plenty occupied." Derek sighed.

"I'm sorry," These words got Garcia's attention. "I'm sorry that I keep trying to replace you."

"What are you talking about?" She snapped. "You can't replace what you've never had! You've never made a move on me!" Derek closed his eyes as the truth settled in.

"After all these years I can't believe you really don't know." Garcia was shocked into silence, her mouth hanging open. "Penelope Garcia, I am absolutely, with a doubt, one hundred percent in love with you."