I have been toying with this idea for awhile now, and though I don't exactly know where it's going to go, I thought I'd give it a whirl anyway. Enjoy! Working on the other chapters for Mistakes and Moments as we speak =)

"Penelope?" She froze as she recognised that voice. It had been years since she had last heard it, years since she had forced herself to forget it. Yet there it was, after so many years it still conjured up a certain feeling inside of her, and she hated that. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes briefly for a moment before turning around. There he stood, Derek Morgan after six years of not seeing him or hearing from him. There was a look of guilt, regret, sorrow and longing on his face, and it unnerved her that she could still read him so well, after everything. He stared at her as though he was afraid to look away thinking she would disappear before his eyes. After so long of not seeing her, all he wanted to do was gather her in his arms and never let go. Yet he knew he couldn't. He lost that right when he walked out on her all those years ago.

"What are you doing here?" she asked almost panicked.
"I'm back in Virginia."
"Why?" she inquired coldly. Derek hung his head.
"Listen Baby Girl," Penelope flinched at his words as though he had physically struck her.
"Don't call me that."
"I'm sorry. Can we maybe grab a coffee? Talk?" he pleaded.
"I don't think that's a good idea. Besides, what's left to say? I truly wish we could divide this city in half, you stay on your side and I stay on mine, but that seems a little unrealistic, so I'm just going to ask you to stay away from me. We have nothing to say to each other that your actions haven't spoken loud and clear these last six years. Goodbye Derek."

He watched her as she stormed off. He had not expected to run into her, though in all honesty he had wanted to see her the moment he arrived back in Virginia. She had looked so different, her long blonde hair had been cut short and layered, gone were the loud outfits as she stood before her in jeans and a t-shirt and sneakers, she had lost so much weight that he almost didn't recognise her. In saying that, she was as beautiful as he remembered. Up until she saw him, she looked happy, tanned and content.

Penelope was absolutely shaken after she walked away from him. She got into her car and drove mindlessly.

"Did you know?" she accused as he opened the door. Hotch had hoped he would get to her before she found out. He saw the look of betrayal on her face as his silence confirmed his answer. She turned her heel to head back into her car. Hotch made a grab for her arm,
"No Aaron, you knew and you didn't tell me. You're supposed to be my best friend for goodness sake. You were the one who saw me through that whole ordeal. How could you know something this huge and not tell me?" she asked her eyes blazing with anger. As angry as she was at him for not telling her, she knew that a portion of her anger was a little misguided.
"I only just found out. I was going to come over tonight and talk to you about it. How did you know?"
"I was picking up a few things from the market, and out of no where he calls out to me like no time has passed."
"I'm sorry Pen." He said gathering her into his arms. Penelope leaned her forehead against his chest.
"Why is this happening? Why now? I don't want him here Aaron."
"I know Pen, but maybe it's time you face this one head on. How else would you be able to fully move on from this?" Penelope sighed.
"Do you want to come in?" he asked as she shook her head.
"No thanks, I better go. Sorry I ambushed you, I just… I freaked."
"I know, it's okay. Call if and when you're ready to talk. I'm here Pen. Always."

That was true. When Derek Morgan had dropped from the face of the earth, their friends had rallied around her. By some random act of fate, Aaron had taken on the role of her pseudo best friend. He had taken over the part of protector in her life, and as time passed, their friendship strengthened. He was like an older brother to her and one she appreciated and looked up to.

Derek had left with only a letter of resignation on Hotch's desk and no explanation. When Hotch had found him in Chicago to ask him why, he did not offer an answer that justified his actions. He had cut of communication with all them that left each member of the team hurt and perhaps even angry. No one felt his absence as strong as Penelope. Though she had tried to keep it together for appearances sake, her friends had noticed the dark circles under her eyes, and how there were days when she would come to work, face blotchy and red from crying. They gave her the space she needed after assuring her that they were there for her. Emily and JJ had taken to being mad at Derek for not only abandoning them all, but for hurting their friend.

"Did you honestly expect her to react any other way?" Derek glanced up in surprise as Emily sat down on the park bench beside him. They were close enough to know which spots he hit when he was taking time out to think. Which is why she took it almost as badly as Penelope that he had left without a word.
"How did you know?" he asked.
"She came over to the house, she laid into Hotch thinking he knew and didn't tell her."
"Ahh, sorry." He apologised, she knew that it was a blanket apology for everything.
"You can't just come back and try to pick up where you left of. You bailed without so much as an explanation."
"I just couldn't come back, not after you all found out about Buford, I didn't want to see the pity."
"You're an idiot. How dare you underestimate us, your friends? You were a coward Derek Morgan, you projected your feelings to us because it was easier that having to face the fact that maybe, just maybe it didn't matter to us, and you know what, it didn't."
"I know. I just didn't know how to deal with it."
"So why are you here?"
"To say sorry, to come back if Hotch would let me. I heard there's an opening with Rossi going back into retirement." Emily nodded having guessed as much.
"Talk to Hotch, see what he says. Though be warned. You're not exactly his favourite person right now. When you left, he picked up the pieces you left behind." Derek nodded knowingly.
"How is she?"
"She's better. The first few months was really hard for her, that first year seemed to drag on, but once she made peace with it. Once she learned to live without you, she accepted it. She's stronger than I have ever seen her. She's Pen, and she's amazing."

When Emily walked through the front door Aaron didn't need to ask where she had been. After they had watched Penelope drive off, she had excused herself to run n errand.

"He wants to come back to the BAU. To all of us."
"Strauss will more than likely reinstate him, he's a good agent."
"Would you?"
"Only because he's a good agent, otherwise not a chance in hell."
"No Em, Pen aside he bailed on the team without explanation, though we may have understood it in hind sight, he owed us more than what he gave. He changed the dynamics of our team. He betrayed all of us. It's been six years, don't you think that's just too little too late. It's not like it's been a year or even two, it's been six years Em and not a word. He walked away willingly." Em curled up on the couch beside him and lay her head on his chest as he pulled her close. He had a good point, and it was one she shared, but there will always be a soft place in her heart for Derek, regardless how big of a jack ass he had been.

Derek had stood in front of Penelope's apartment building for about an hour, contemplating whether or not he was brave enough to knock on her door and attempt to explain and apologise. Finally conjuring up enough courage he knocked on the door. He heard hurried footsteps run towards the door.

"Gabriel James, you touch that door knob and you will seriously be attacked by the tickle monster." He heard a child giggle from the other side of the door as she called out to him. Hearing her familiar footsteps come to the door his heart stops, afraid of what would greet him when the door opened. Penelope picked up the child in her arms and tickled him on the stomach as he squirmed.
"What did Mommy tell you about opening the front door without an adult huh?" Derek couldn't believe his ears, she was a Mother. Before she could open the door or even peak through the peep hole he slipped out of there without detection. Unwilling to see just how much had changed. She had moved on without him, and though it was rightly so, it still hurt. Penelope opened the door after looking through the peep hole, confused she looked up and down the hallway and closed the door behind her.
"What do you say you help Mommy set the table little man?"

As he stood right outside her apartment she could hear their laughter from the kitchen window that was open. Mother and son had broken into a song about setting the table, and he could hear a child's giggling in pure delight. She was a great Mom, just as he always thought she would be.