Disclaimer: As you know I don't own Criminal Minds, it belongs to CBS.
Penelope Garcia pushed her chair back from her desk and stretched her arms out above her head. She looked at the clock. It was already past midnight which meant she should have gone home hours ago.
The last case had been a bad one. It always was when children were involved. So Hotch had sent everyone home a couple of hours early and since they didn't have any other cases he also told everyone, including herself and JJ, to take the weekend and Monday off so they could all see their families.
The others had been so happy. Morgan planned on visiting his mother and sisters, Hotch was going to spend time with his son, Emily's mother was in town, JJ was going to see her family, and Reid was even going to get to talk face to face with his mother since Garcia had set up a link over his laptop to the hospital in California. So everyone was excited, or at least almost everyone.
Garcia hadn't really had much of a family since her parents died. She and her brothers had grown apart and now she wasn't even sure where they lived. Of course she could find out, but they had never really been that close and they probably didn't want to see her anyways.
So she had pretended to be excited like her friends were, but after they had all left she went back to her office to work on reports. She was going to take the weekend off, but the longer she could stall the better. She really did enjoy the peace and quiet from time to time, but after weeks of being locked up in a small, windowless room with no one to keep her company she actually wanted some human contact.
Penelope looked at the clock; she had been staring at her computer screen for almost ten minutes. She sighed and began to turn off her babies. Earlier she had considered calling some friends, but they were most likely working not to mention almost all of them lived out of state, so instead she was going to go home and take a bath.
She made her way out of her office and through the bullpen, which was completely empty except for a janitor who was cleaning the floor. By the time she got home it was one in morning. She went to the bathroom to run some water for a bath, but changed her mind. So instead she changed into her smiley face pajamas, grabbed a book, and sat down on her couch. She wasn't sure when, but eventually she fell asleep with the book still open in her hand.
Penelope woke up suddenly. She looked around trying to find out what had woken her up and soon realized her phone was ringing. She tiredly sat up and reached for the phone.
"Hello?" she said rubbing her eyes
"Garcia?" asked a confused Reid over the phone "Did you just wake up?"
"Uh huh." Penelope answered leaning back against the sofa and closing her eyes
"Garcia, it's twelve thirty in the afternoon." Said a slightly surprised Reid
Garcia opened her eyes to look at the clock and sure enough it was twelve thirty.
"I must have been more tired then I thought." She said "Did you need something sweetie?" she asked wondering why Reid was calling her
"I just wanted to thank you for setting up that com link with my mother."
"No problem Hun." Penelope answered with a smile "How did it go?" she asked
There was a pause before she heard Reid answer. "It went… um well." He said
"Well, at first she thought the government was in the computer, and then she thought she was teaching a class." He explained a bit sadly
"Oh Reid, sweetie, I'm sorry." Penelope said wishing she could hug him to make the pain go away
"It's ok, besides before it was over she told me she loved me. So it was worth it." He said and she could almost see his smile "Thanks Garcia."
"Are you going to see your brothers this weekend?" Reid asked
"Um…no, I'm just going to stay home and relax." She said trying to sound happy
"By yourself?" came Reid's voice over the phone
"Yep, now sweetie if you don't mind I think I'll take a shower and get some coffee." She said.
"Oh, um, ok. I'll see you later then." He said
"You bet you will." She said with a laugh "Have a good weekend Reid." And with that she hung up. She really did enjoy talking to Reid, but if the conversation had kept going he'd have asked why she wasn't going to spend time with family and she didn't really feel like going into that at the moment.
So Garcia got up and put coffee on before heading for the shower. It looked like she was going to be spending her time off upgrading her laptop.
After Garcia hung up Reid just stood still, with his phone still in his hand, and stared into space. Garcia was like his older sister. She always looked after him, took care of him, listened when he needed to talk, and somehow knew when he needed a hug and she never asked for anything in return.
That's when he got an idea. He hit speed dial on his phone and waited.
"Hey, JJ, are you busy?" Reid asked
"Um, my sister's visiting. Why, what's up?" JJ asked
"How long is you sister staying?"
"She's leaving tomorrow morning." She answered getting confused
"Great." Reid said starting to think this might actually work
"Reid, what's going on?"
"I have this idea, but first I need to call the others. I'll call you back later." He said excitedly and hung up.
"Um, sure." JJ said looking at the phone before going back over to her sister and niece.
The next day Garcia was sitting on her sofa with her feet up and her laptop open in front of her. She had spent most of yesterday cleaning her apartment and today she planned on doing absolutely nothing.
Her phone rang so she closed her laptop and sat it on the coffee table before reaching over and answering.
"Hey Garcia." Said a familiar voice after she said hello
"Hey, JJ, what's up?"
"I was just wondering it you wanted to go shopping or something?"
"Isn't your sister in town?"
"She left for New York this morning." JJ said "So, what do you say?"
"Ya, sure, sound's great." Penelope answered happily
"Ok, how about we meet in the park?"
"The park? Why the park?" Penelope asked slightly confused
"Because, its half way between your place and mine, not to mention it's beautiful this time of year."
"Um, ok." Penelope said
"Great, we can meet there in a couple of hours." JJ suggested over the phone
"Sure thing sweetie." Garcia answered with a smile.
They hung up and Garcia happily made her way to her bedroom. She may not be able to spend her break with her family, but at least she would be able to socialize for a few hours.
An hour and a half later Penelope was parking her car. JJ had been right; the weather was perfect for a day at the park. She almost wished she could just lie down on the grass and enjoy the sun. She got out of her car and closed her eyes. Maybe she'd come back tomorrow with a good book. Just then she heard someone call her name.
"Garcia!" called a cheerful JJ.
Penelope turned around and saw JJ coming toward her.
"Hey JJ!" she greeted as she took off her sunglasses "You were right, the weather's perfect."
"So why don't we go for a walk?" JJ suggested with a smile as she stopped in front of Garcia.
"I think that would be great." Penelope said with a smile. So they started walking and just talked about random things as they went. It was almost five minutes later that Penelope realized how far from their cars they were.
"Um JJ, should we turn back now?" Garcia asked.
"Well, there's this one spot not far from here were you can see over the whole park. It's really beautiful, so I thought we could stop by for a minute."
"Um, ok." Penelope said. She had this distinct feeling that JJ was hiding something, but she decided to just go with it.
A couple of minutes later they came to a cluster of trees. Penelope looked over at JJ who smiled.
"It's just on the other side of the trees." She stated and stopped so Penelope could go through first.
When she got to the other side, Penelope was left speechless. They were in a large open, clearing on a cliff. The view was perfect, but what really surprised her was what was in the clearing. There were two picnic tables, a grill, and people, but not just any people. There was Morgan with his mother and two sisters, Reid, Emily, Hotch with Haley and their son, and even Morgan's dog Clooney was running around enjoying himself.
"Hey baby girl." Morgan said as he jogged his way over.
"Hot stuff, what's going on?" Penelope asked still completely surprised
"It was Reid's idea." JJ said coming up behind her
Morgan placed his hand on her back and began to lead her to the others
"But Derek, don't you want to spend time with your family?" She asked
"You are family Penelope." He said and leaned down to kiss her cheek
"Hey, Pen!" Emily greeted from one of the table as they approached
Hotch turned from the grill and smiled at her while Haley came up with Jack and gave her a hug.
"But seriously guys, you're supposed to be spending time with your families." She said as Reid came up to her.
"What do you think we're doing?" Reid said with a smile. "You're our family too."
"Thank you." She said and hugged Reid as tight as she could
"Hey, princess, come over here, I want you to meet my mom and sisters." Morgan said as he took her hand and pulled her over to the other table.
"Penelope, this is my mother, mom this is Penelope Garcia" He said as the older woman stood and offered her hand
"It's nice to meet you Mrs. Morgan" Penelope said as they shook hands
"You can call me Fran." She said with a smile "We've heard a lot about you."
"Ya, Derek talks about you all the time." Said one of the women standing by Fran. Penelope smirked slightly and glanced over at Derek who, if she didn't know better, was blushing. "Hi, I'm Sara." The woman said holding out her hand
"And I'm Desiree." Said the other woman "We're Derek's sisters." She said smiling
"It's nice to meet you." Penelope said smiling
"Baby girl, I'm going to go help Hotch with lunch." Derek said
"Ok, sweetie." Penelope said with a smile
"Penelope dear, why don't you come over here and sit with us." Fran said with a knowing look in her eyes
"I'd love to." Penelope said as they sat at the table
"I'm really glad we could finally meet you Penelope." Desiree said sitting across from her
"We've been wanting to for awhile now." Sara added sitting next to her sister
"Really? Why's that?" Penelope asked
"We never thought our baby brother would fall head over heals for someone before." Sara said with a smile "I don't know how you did it, but I do know it would take a really special woman to get to him like that."
Penelope looked down and blushed. "Well we're just friends, so…"
"Oh really?" Desiree said with a smirk and a raised eyebrow "You do realize he hasn't taken his eyes off you since you got here, right?
"My daughter's right, in fact he's watching you right now." Fran said smiling and nodded over to the grill. Penelope turned to look and sure enough Derek was staring at her with a far away look in his eyes and completely ignoring Hotch and Reid who were talking to him. She smiled at him and he smiled back with one of those smiles he saved just for her.
"He's probable just worried I'm going to embarrass him by telling you a story or something." Penelope said as she turned back, but the other three women looked at her with a knowing look that said they obviously didn't believe that. A few minutes later they heard Emily yelling at them.
"Hey guys, lunch is done." Emily said from the grill
"Finally." Sara said and the four of them walked over to the others
As they got their food Derek and Reid pulled the two tables together and got the drinks out of the cooler. Soon laughter and voices filled the clearing. Penelope looked up and had to smile. Reid was in between Sara and Desiree toward the end of the table and was blushing as he started explaining something and Emily was opposite of them and seemed to be enjoying Reid's nervousness. Hotch was directly in front of Penelope with Fran on one side and Haley on the other, while JJ was on Penelope's right and holding Jack, and Morgan was on her left.
Everything was perfect. Penelope loved her team and thought of them as her family, but until today she didn't know that they thought of her the same way. She looked over at Derek, who was feeding his overgrown puppy a hot dog, and smiled. She'd known for a long time that she was in love with Derek Morgan, but she also knew he didn't love her back or at least not in the same way. At least she could call him her best friend, which was better than nothing.
An hour later they were all still at the tables. Penelope was talking to Hotch, who was actually smiling and laughing. She put her hands in her lap and listened as Hotch began to tell her and Haley a story, as she did she felt a warm strong hand encircle hers. She glanced over and found that Derek was watching her again and at some point and scouted closer to her. Actually he'd been watching her through most of lunch, but she hadn't noticed, of course everyone else had. He squeezed her hand and she smiled before turning back to Hotch.
After a while of talking the boys, along with Desiree, started to play football. Fran and Haley played with Jack while Penelope, JJ, Emily, and Sara watched the game and laughed while Desiree tried to teach Reid how to play football.
A few hours later it was starting to get late, so they began to clean up. Hotch, Haley, and Jack were the first one to leave. Penelope hugged them and said by before going back to talk to Reid and JJ. Emily left next and soon Reid was saying goodbye, but before he could leave Penelope stopped him.
"Thanks Reid." She said and hugged him
"For what?" he asked slightly confused
"JJ told me this whole thing was you idea."
"So? You still don't have to thank me. You're family and we just wanted you to know that since we don't say it a lot." Reid said and smiled.
Penelope hugged him again and ruffled his hair. She had almost cried, but had been able to stop the tears before any could fall.
A few minutes later JJ gave them all hugs and left as well, which just left Penelope, Derek, his sisters, Fran, and of course, Clooney who was trying to climb a tree after a squirrel.
Derek looked over at her and smiled with a look in his eyes she could swear was…no, it couldn't be. They were just friends after all.
"Well, we better be going." Fran said suddenly with a knowing smile "We want to be on the road before night."
"On the road? Are you guys going back to Chicago?" Penelope asked as Fran and her daughters stood up from the table.
"Yep." Sara answered with a smile and a wink at her brother
"Call when you guys get home." Derek said as he and Penelope stood to say goodbye
"I thought I was supposed to be the overprotective one." Fran said with a laugh as she hugged her son. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you again Penelope." She said and hugged her as well "Call me if my son does anything stupid."
"That would be a lot of phone calls." Penelope said as she and the other three women laughed
"Hey." Derek said but then laughed too
"We'll see you later Pen." Desiree said and hugged her as well
"Call when you get some time off and we can go shopping." Sara added
Penelope waved as the three women left and when they were gone she turned back to Derek who she found was staring at her with a far away look again and a slight smile.
"You with me there hot stuff?" Penelope asked as he continued to stare at her
"Always baby girl." He answered softly
She raised her eyebrow and he gently took her hand and led her to the edge of the cliff. He sat down and looked up at her.
"Come on princess, I promise I won't bite, much." He said with a smirk and patted the space next to him.
She sat down and as soon as she did he put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. Penelope leaned against him and watched to scenery. They sat there in a comfortable silence for a couple of minutes and then Derek started to stroke her hair as the sun began to go down.
"Penelope?" He said with his cheek resting against her head
"Ya Derek?" she answered and looked up at him. When she did she was left speechless. His face was just a few inches from hers and his eyes were full of what she could only describe as love.
"I was thinking the other day and I realized that I can't do this anymore." He said softly looking into her eyes
"Do what?" She asked confused and worried at the same time
"I can't keep going and not tell you how much I love you." He said
"Derek…" but she was cut off when his lips met hers. It was light and gentle, but it sent shivers down her spine and when she brought her hand up to his neck she could feel his pulse racing. When he pulled back she could see the want in his eyes and she knew at that moment that Fran and his sisters had been right.
"I love you more than anything baby girl. No one's ever made me feel the way you do. I mean all you have to do is walk into a room and I can't take my eyes off you." He said and cupped her face. "So what do you say goddess, will you give me chance to prove it?" he asked
Penelope put her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a breathtaking kiss. When they pulled apart for air, they were both breathing hard.
"I'll take that as a yes." He said with a smile. He then pulled her closer so her back was against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her stomach and buried his face in her hair. A few minutes later Clooney came over and flopped down so his head was on her leg. They stayed like a while longer before getting up to go home. Morgan wrapped his arms around Penelope's waist as they walked to their cars. He opened her car door for her, but before she could get in he was kissing her again.
"I love you Penelope." He whispered in her ear
"I love you too Derek." She said and closed her eyes as he began to trail kisses from her cheek to her neck. Suddenly they pulled apart when Clooney barked at them for not giving him attention.
"It's dark out here sweetness, why don't you come home with me and we can pick up your car tomorrow." Derek said. They both knew she was perfectly capable of driving home in the dark, but he couldn't stand to be separated from her even for a minute. So Penelope locked her car and got into Morgan's. They held hands almost the whole way and Penelope knew that from that point on she'd always have a family.
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