"Can you believe she's a year old?" Penelope said in wonder as they put her down to sleep. Amelia Rose Isobel Garcia Morgan celebrated her first birthday that afternoon surrounded by everyone who loved her.
"I know, time's flown by so quickly. Every day I marvel at how much I love her, and how it just continues to grow and grow. A part of me almost wants to keep her this small forever, at the same time I am just excited to see what kind of person she's going to be." He confessed. Penelope placed a hand over his and gave it a squeeze.
"I know, me too. Change is a daily occurrence, sometimes I struggle to keep up."
"P, you're amazing with her. Motherhood becomes you."
"You're a pretty awesome Daddy yourself there Morgan."
"Did you ever think that this is where we would be?" he asked.
"Parents to a little girl, no not really." She admitted. Though she had allowed herself to fantasize about possibilities when they were friends, it just never fully developed into anything remotely realistic
"Sometimes I wonder how we got here, and then I remember. I have no regrets because we got something amazing out of it, but I wish I could have done it right you know, the way you deserve to have had it unfold." Penelope gave him a soft smile, they had come a long way in almost a year.
"For what it's worth, I know and I appreciate that."
"I just hate that a part of you will always hate me, that you will never trust me."
"Hey," she said taking his hand and leading them out of their daughter's room. She led him to the couch and sat beside him
"Derek, I don't hate you. I have never hated you. You need to hear that." She said cupping his face with her hand as she spoke right into his soul. Derek's eyes began to fill with tears.
"I was angry yes, hurt, completely, on guard, understandably so, but however strong the emotion I felt, it has never been hate. Ever, I promise you. As for the trust thing, you have to understand you were my best friend, with the exception of JJ, Emily and now Hotch, you're the only one who ever really saw through me. That's something I naturally did without even knowing, and being as guarded as I am, about my life, you have to know how scary that was, and to have it blow up in my face, well you're going to have to give me that." Penelope dropped her gaze momentarily before looking back at him
"I trust you with our daughter's life, I trust that you will always keep her safe, love her beyond measure and protect her from any harm that may come her way. I trust you with the decisions you make in relation to her."
"But you don't trust me," he challenged,
"I may not trust you the same way, but I do trust you Derek. I never thought I ever could again, but this past year, through everything we've endured, despite my efforts to the contrary, I started trusting you again. We wouldn't be having this discussion otherwise." He understood that she was putting herself out on the limb telling him what she was telling him. Derek laced his fingers through hers,
"P, I need you to know, I love you. I have always loved you. That morning together scared me, I have never loved anyone as much as I loved and love you. I was an idiot for what I did and I will always regret that, but my feelings haven't changed, if it was even possible, my love for you has only grown. I want to spend the rest of my life with you P. Raising our daughter, having more kids, if they're anything like Ari, let's have a dozen. I want to spend the rest of my life proving to you that I am worthy of your love. I know you're scared and I don't blame you, but hand on heart P, my heart belongs to you, and I don't see it changing it's mind in this lifetime and possibly the next." Penelope chuckled as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Derek took her face with both hands and wiped the tears on her cheeks with his thumb, caressing it gently. Penelope leaned her forehead against his,
"I couldn't survive that again Derek. I barely did the last time and I have Ari to consider now too."
"Please P, give me a chance. Give us a chance to be the family I know both of us want to be."
"Okay," she said so quietly he had almost missed it, as he looked into her eyes he could see the fear and vulnerability that lay behind them. Derek covered her lips with in a meaningful kiss as tears flowed from both their eyes. Derek gathered her in his arms as she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck burying her face against his chest.
"I love you P."
"I love you too."

Okay, this angst is officially over. Happy Ending… my gift to you.

I have assignments and exams coming up so I am trying to wrap everything up so that should I disappear from the fan fiction world, I haven't left you guys hanging. Now if only I can discipline myself from starting things! =)