TITLE: Taking the first step.

AUTHOR: Angel

E-MAIL: derek.morgan. Criminal Minds

PAIRING: Penelope Garcia/Derek Morgan

PROMPT: 11 - Love

RATING: M

WORD COUNT: 2350

SUMMARY: Penelope and Derek begin to give it a try with dinner.

WARNINGS: Slight episode spoilers.

NOTES: Some of the dialog in this story is actual dialog that was in the episode.

SPECIAL THANKS: Brigitte Chenard, Andrea/Spencer, JackBauer/Connie, Bev too for all of your help with the transcription and translation of French dialog.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them just borrow them from time to time.

--

Penelope didn't sleep well. She was tossing and turning in the bed. She kept having dreams, well nightmares really of one of the team being blown up by a bomb. A few times she woke up crying out one particular name and then ended up sobbing herself back to sleep. When 7:00 am rolled around a part of Penelope was relieved that she could get up, but another part of her was still exhausted and wanted to stay asleep.

With a tired sigh, Penelope threw off the covers, got out of bed and began preparing for her day.

She had just been to work for about thirty minutes when she was called in to a briefing with the rest of the BAU team. At first Penelope was excited, this was only the third time she had been included in a briefing and she was really enjoying being a part of the team, even if it was only a small part. Then she heard what this particular case was about and her nightmares came back full force.

She only heard half of what was being discussed if that and the next thing she knew the team was packing up to leave and she was sitting alone at the table. Penelope was in no hurry to move and make this nightmare real, so she continued to sit there in hopes that even this would be a dream.

Garcia didn't see Derek walk by the conference room and look in to see her still sitting there, nor did she see him come in the room and sit down beside her.

"Hey Garcia you alright?" Morgan asked softly with concern.

When she didn't respond he placed his hand upon hers and she jumped.

"Huh? What?" Penelope asked trying to hide her uneasiness due to the dreams.

"Are you alright?" Morgan asked looking into her eyes. "You didn't say anything at the meeting and it seemed like you were a million miles away, which isn't like you."

Garcia looked away, down at the table, at the clock on the wall, anywhere but into those deep chocolate brown eyes.

"Yeah, I'm fine sugar. I just was thinking…" she said trying to bluff her way out of an embarrassing situation.

"It must have been something pretty upsetting to get my Supreme Genius lost in thought." He said softly with a smile.

Just then Hotch poked his head in the room and said "Morgan, load up, we're going to the airfield."

Garcia stood up and began gathering her things. Inside she was freaking out though. She didn't want to appear weak and silly in front of anyone on the team, especially Derek. Heaven's knew she already screwed up big time since coming to work with the BAU. To this day she could not be around Gideon without feeling like a child disappointing their parents for the first time. Just thinking of that made her want to cry.

Turning quickly so that Morgan would not see the look on her face, Penelope said brightly, "You better get going sugar. Don't want to make Gideon wait."

Derek stood up and followed Penelope out the door and down the steps. He stopped at his desk and when she was almost to the door, Garcia turned around and looked deeply into Morgan's.

"Be careful in Seattle Derek," she said softly, using his first name for the first time ever, before turning and hurrying back into her office.

Morgan watched Garcia hurry out of the room. He had seen the tears spring to her eyes in the conference room and he knew that something had upset her, he just wished he had the time to figure it out. He enjoyed talking to Garcia and he wished that he could get to know her better.

"Maybe one day." He muttered to himself as he picked up his duffle bag and headed down to the garage

Garcia spent the rest of the next few days in high stress mode, but she tried not to show it. It wouldn't be good for the people that worked with her to know that at times she, the goddess of the technical world, suffered from severe depression and a very low self esteem. Oh she covered it up well but it was always there, lurking silently below the surface, ready to strike at any unsuspecting person.

With the team in Seattle, Garcia rearranged her schedule so that she would be in the office when the team was working. It was only a three hour difference so it didn't affect her to much and she didn't want anyone else messing with her team. So it was no surprise when she walked in to her office three hours late, booted up her babies and prepared for her long day with the team.

Two hours later the phone rang and she answered it with her usual 'Garcia flair'.

"Office of supreme genius puzzle solver, do you have a riddle for me?"

"Hey doll face ready to work some magic for me?" Morgan's voice comes over the phone.

"Challenge me you beautiful behavioral analyst." Garcia replied.

"Domestic Terrorist Activity in the Seattle Area" Derek said.

"Aw Morgan!" Penelope pouted, "I said Challenge me, that doesn't even raise my blood pressure! Pacific Northwest is like ripe with the disgruntled you have animal rights, zoning laws."

"Specifically Anti Technology" Derek asked.

"Ahh yes, My Looney opposites." Garcia said with a chuckle while she searched the database. "Here's something, month ago, Tacoma, Washington, disguised young guy went crazy on a bunch of computers in the science lab, screaming we will soon be the slaves and the machines will be the masters!"

Looking around at her babies she said softly, "Yikes! That would totally suck for me! I'm surrounded in here!"

Morgan listened to Garcia and smiled, "Come on, what are you worried about, you got me to protect you."

"HA! Now that gets my blood up!" Penelope said with a laugh.

Just hearing Derek say that, even if he was just playing around really did make her heart beat faster and her breath hitch in her throat. /Oh if only/ she thought to herself.

Morgan laughs

"I'm uploading the video to you now

After the video was uploaded she spoke to the whole team for a few minutes then signed off and spent a few moments reminiscing in the conversation she just had with Morgan before getting back to work.

She managed to get caught up on a few more things before she decided to call it quits for the day. It was 11:00 pm in Seattle and she knew that the team was down for the night so it was safe for her to go home.

--

Once again Penelope woke up screaming Derek's name as the nightmares returned full force. She kept seeing him being blown up and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Looking at the clock, Garcia saw it was 5:00 am on the west coast and the team, or at least Gideon was getting up.

"Oh sometimes I really hate the land of the living!" she murmured as she got out of bed. "Give me the comfort of the unaware technology any day!"

Heading into the office she tried to get the images from her dream out of her head but they were not budging. Not only were they not budging, but they were repeating themselves like a filmstrip caught in a loop. All she saw was Derek getting blown up and dying, over and over again, so it was no wonder that when she finally arrived at the office she was practically in tears.

Garcia hurried into her office, shut the door and broke down. She didn't know what was wrong with her but she was tired of it! She had never been this bad when the team was gone before and if it continued on this way whenever they left, she would have to think of some way to get over it.

Sighing heavily, she powered up her babies and prepared for the work at hand, always ready for when the phone rings and her team needs her help. A few hours later the phone rang.

"Office of Supreme Genius Penelope Garcia, you have a problem I have the answer Grasshopper."

"Good morning Garcia," Derek's soothing voice came over the line. "How ya doing girl?"

"Awww Morgan, you do care." She teased.

"Of course I do, you're my Goddess, I would be lost without you." He said with a smile.

"You're so sweet!" Penelope said. "I'm good now that you called, how are you?"

She heard him sigh and her heart went out to him, "that bad huh?"

"Oh Penelope, this guy is driving me crazy! Just when we think we got a line on him something happens and it changes. It's really frustrating me!" Morgan said.

"I'm sorry sugar! I would make it better if I could. But even the supreme goddess has limited powers." She said sympathetically.

"It's okay sweetness." Derek said and then went quiet for a few moments.

"How about when you get back I make a nice dinner for you and give you a night to relax." Garcia offered fearing he would say no.

Derek smiled, "that sounds heavenly Garcia. I will definitely take you up on it."

She had no time to respond because she heard Reid in the background talking to Morgan. They were talking about a book and author, so before Morgan came back on she had the publishing information pulled up and was ready to tell him the information.

"The author of the Empty Planet used David Hansberry as a pseudonym." Garcia said before he could ask the question.

"Come on Garcia, I know you got his name so give it up." He said in a semi begging voice.

"Her name you cute little chauvinist is Ursula Kent and she's a Literature Professor at…Oh my, in Seattle, St Denis University."

"Where the floppy disk bombs were set?" Derek asked stunned

"uh huh" she responded.

"Oh you are the light of my life sweet lady!"

"Je suis toujours ici pour toi mon cher" Garcia said

"Drives me crazy when you talk that Voulez coucher stuff to me, Stop it! Au revoir crazy girl!" Derek laughed.

Derek hung flipped his phone closed and reluctantly got back to work. He was looking forward to that dinner when he got back.

He spent the rest of the day running from building to building looking for bombs the unsub had planted in various buildings in the city. By the time that they had found out who he was and had taken him into custody Morgan was at his wits end. He was ready to go home.

Finally…Finally after four long days they were on the plane and headed back home.

The plan landed late and the members of the team decided to go home instead of going in to the office. They would start bright and early the next day.

--

Garcia was already at work and in her office when the team arrived the next morning. She was doing research on pending cases and trying not to get to sick from some of the images that popped up in the files.

A few hours later she had to take a break, so leaving her office Penelope went to get some fresh air. She was lost in thought and didn't see Derek standing in the hallway until she ran in to him.

"Hey, hey there, what's the big hurry?" he asked as he put his arms up to steady her.

Penelope looked up startled and realized that she was still lost in the thoughts of her research and not paying attention to where she was going. Pasting a smile on her face she tried to hide her thoughts.

"Hi Peaches! Sorry I didn't see you, I was just thinking." She said trying to sound cheerful.

"Uh oh, that sounds ominous. Any particular thoughts running through that pretty mind of yours?" Morgan asked.

Penelope looked down and said, "oh just the usual that go through my head when I research child abuse and murder cases. I was just going out to get some fresh air."

"Then let's go get you some fresh air," Derek said he guided Penelope out the door and into the employee courtyard.

The pair went out to the court yard and sat on one of the benches in the shade for a while, both of them just enjoying the fresh air and the warmth of the day. Penelope, trying to think of anything but the cases; and Derek, trying to think of a way to bring up the dinner offer, without making a big deal out of it.

Finally Derek gave in and just decided to take the bull by the horns and ask.

"So, when are you gonna honor me with making me that dinner you promised?" he asked

He succeeded in what she was unable to do. Garcia was no longer thinking about the cases, she could only think of her offer and the acceptance.

Penelope smiled and glanced at him shyly, "well sugar it depends on when you want it."

Smiling mischievously Morgan said, "well my calendar is open tonight."

"I think I can arrange that. Anything in particular you want?" she asked.

Morgan looked at her and smiled softly, giving her a look that she could interpret any way she chose before saying, "surprise me."

Penelope didn't get a chance to respond as Dr. Spencer Reid stuck his head out the door and called Morgan in for a meeting.

"I will see you tonight after work?" He asked her hopefully.

"7 pm. Call if you're gonna be late?" she said with a smile.

"Gonna give me your number?" he asked.

Getting up and heading back to her office Penelope looked back at Derek and said, "you're a big bad FBI agent, I'm sure you can find it."

Walking into her office she shut the door and gave a giddy laugh as she got back to work and planned the meal for the night.