Author's Note: Well, the muse of Criminal Minds refuses to talk to me again. I'll try to think of some oneshot material, but if anybody has any ideas for either JJ/Rossi, Emily/Rossi or Hotch/Emily, somebody shoot me a review or PM. I love to write, but the creative ideas are refusing to flow. Anyhow, I've now officially written over a hundred Criminal Minds stories. Yay! Luckily the first to episodes have provided some wonderful material to feed into oneshots. Hope the third continues the run. Please read and review. It's always nice to hear from readers! As ever, I don't own Criminal Minds.

Worth the Wait

Prompt: How I Met Your Mother - "The Slutty Pumpkin"

Chapter 8

Standing on the small platform step staring at the door the next morning, Penelope Garcia and Derek Morgan exchanged a look.

"Baby Girl, it's mission accomplished. That's Rossi's truck in the drive," Morgan groaned, gesturing toward the black Dodge in the driveway.

"We don't KNOW that. The only thing that means is that he got her home. We don't know if the ultimate deed was done!" Penelope argued. "We need in that house!" Penelope said forcefully, knocking again.

"Does it occur to you that they might be BUSY, Mama!" Morgan muttered, pulling her determined hand back. "And I really don't feel like facing the business end of Rossi's gun this morning. And after our excursion to the firing range last week, I'm pretty sure that man is a better shot than me!"

"Scared, my Chocolate God of Thunder?" Penelope asked, raising a manicured eyebrow.

"Wary. There's a difference," Morgan amended.

"Uh huh," Pen snorted. "We're STILL getting in that house and making sure my little Gumdrop is okay," she said, turning to face the door again.

"I am not breaking and entering, Mama. Not even for you, Sweetness," Derek said, shaking his bald head.

Rolling her eyes as she dug in her oversized handbag, Penelope exclaimed cheerfully, holding up a small metal object, "How many times do I have to tell you, my lovebug? If you have a key, there's no breaking involved!"

Groaning at the look of perseverance in the blonde's eyes, Morgan said determinedly, "Look, Doll Face, I don't think JJ intended for you to use that for nefarious purposes, now did she?"

"She said to use it for emergencies," Garcia asserted, sliding the key into the lock and grinning triumphantly as the knob turned. Stepping into the small entryway, she said over her shoulder, "And on the Garcia Scale of Crisis Intervention, I am classifying this as a Level 4 emergency."

"If it's not now, it will be when we have to explain to Hotch why I'm being treated for a gunshot wound," Morgan muttered, walking resolutely behind the peppy blonde, only to run smack dab into her as she stopped suddenly. "Momma, what the …."

"Shush your mouth and use your eyes, honeybunch," Garcia commanded, waving her hand around the disheveled kitchen. Shaking her blonde curls, she said, alarmed, "Do you think there was a break-in or something?"

Peering around her, Morgan grinned widely as he took in the various out-of-place items. Chuckling softly, he wrapped an arm around Penelope's shoulders as he said, "Babe, I don't think you need to worry about robbers. I'd say our happy couple just had a bit of fun before they headed off for a more accommodating location."


"No buts about it, Sweetness," Morgan grinned. "Now get moving, woman. We're going to leave just as quietly as we came in, you hear me?"

"Nuh uh," Garcia said, quickly regaining her equilibrium. Pulling away from him, she reached for the overturned chair on the floor and righted it, saying firmly, "The least I can do is straighten up for my little gumdrop."

"Garcia, baby, I think we should leave everything exactly where it is," Morgan sighed.

Narrowing her eyes on the masculine shirt resting on the floor, Garcia picked it up. "OH, my, my, appears our favorite living legend lost his shirt."

"And we're gonna lose our necks if we don't get the hell out of here, Baby Girl! Come on, sweet thing, if we interrupt whatever may be goin' on in this house, I don't think Rossi's gonna feel particularly forgiving. You done good, honey. I'd say by looking around this kitchen that nature definitely decided to veer on the course you set for it. Now, let's get out of here!"

Slapping absently at his hand on her arm, Garcia shook her head as she picked up the overturned wine bottle on the granite countertop and set it in the corner. Grinning, she said, eyebrows raised, "Looks like our little ray of sunshine didn't get enough happy juice in her system at the bar, doesn't it?"

"Looks to me like it's still unopened, which means Rossi probably kept her from imbibing more," Morgan replied. "And from what you tell me, the woman didn't need another ounce in her system unless she was trying to pickle her liver on purpose."

"Well, it might not have been on purpose," came a deep voice from the rounded entryway, "But her internal organs were well marinated."

Turning to look at the shirtless man framed in her best friend's doorway, Garcia tried to fight a grin. She lost, but she tried. "Lose your shirt, Agent Rossi?" she asked, dangling the dark blue shirt she held out by a fingertip.

"I don't know, Garcia. Did you forget that you don't live here," Dave growled, snatching his shirt from her outstretched hand. "You can't control your woman, Morgan?" Dave growled in the younger man's direction.

"All her idea, man," Morgan said, jerking Penelope in front of him.

"Where's your sense of chivalry," Penelope huffed, glaring at Morgan over her shoulder.

"Sorry! It was outweighed by my sense of self-preservation!" Morgan hissed back.

"Poo! I'd say Agent Rossi owes both of us a huge thank you!" Pen snorted. "Don't you, SuperAgent?" Pen asked Rossi with a wink.

"What I owe you both is a kick in the ass," Dave muttered, sliding his arms into his shirt as he reached for a cabinet door, closing it quickly as he reached for another one. "Where the hell does she keep it?"

"Keep what?" Morgan asked, growing more confused by the moment by the turn of events.

"I'm betting," Garcia sing-songed, opening the cabinet right next to her and pulling out a red container, waving it in the older man's direction, "this is what he's looking for."

Rossi reached for the Folgers, only to have Garcia yank it out of his reach as she said, shaking a finger, "Nuh, nuh , nuh. Not until you tell me what you've done with my ray of sunshine. "

"For the love of all that is holy, sweetness, give the man his coffee and let's get the hell out of here!" Morgan exclaimed, pressing his hand to his forehead.

"That would be an excellent idea," Dave growled, reaching for the coffee again.

"Testy, testy," Penelope chastised. "You'd think the living legend would be in a better mood after the events we set in motion for him last night, wouldn't you, Lovebug?"

"Shut up, Garcia," Morgan yelped. Meeting Rossi's dark eyes, Morgan shook his head quickly. "NO idea what she'd talkin' about, man!"

"Liar, liar, pants on fire!" Pen sang.

"You planned this with her, didn't you, Morgan?" Dave accused.

"Dude! You've met my know she doesn't need my help to get in trouble," Morgan evaded.

"You're damn lucky it worked out," Rossi muttered.

"Then it was completely my idea," Morgan said readily.

"My lovebug's apparent memory lapse aside," Penelope said, throwing a glare in Derek's direction, "I'm going to take great pleasure in knowing that I am the master strategist in the realm of romance."

"Whatever, " Rossi agreed, reaching for the coffee pot and heading toward the sink. "Just do me a favor, Garcia, take you and your partner in crime and get the hell out of here, okay?"

Smiling sweetly, Garcia patted Rossi on the cheek as she sashayed by him, saying, "You be sure to tell my little Jennifer that she's going to owe me a very long, very dee-tailed account of her activities."

"Garcia…." Rossi warned.

Grabbing Garcia's hand in an iron-clad grip, Morgan hissed, "Start walking, Momma. We're less than ten steps from freedom. And I personally want my life expectancy to be longer than Rossi's pot of coffee."

"Tell Buttercup that I'll call her later," Garcia giggled. "Toodles!"

"Good-bye," Dave groaned.

"Oh, and Agent Rossi?" Garcia said, turning at the door.

"What?" Dave barked.

"You're welcome," Garcia said sweetly, closing the door behind her with a flourish.

Shaking his head as he waited for the coffee to brew, Rossi grabbed a couple of mugs, then splashed cream into one of them as he reached for the sugar packets. A scant minute later, he kicked open the bedroom door, leading with two mugs of steaming liquid.

Cracking open one eye as she heard the hinges squeak, JJ asked as she stretched, "I thought you were gonna be right back. Did you get lost on the way to the kitchen?"

Easing down on the bed, Rossi handed her the lighter-colored coffee as he growled, "No, but I did have to run out some intruders once I got there. Seriously, babe, is there anywhere that is safe from Penelope Garcia?"

Choking back her laughter at the horrified look on his face, JJ shook her head. "Penelope lives by the code that nothing is sacred among friends. Evidently, you've been included in that circle now."

"I don't wanna be in her circle, Bella. Her circle scares me. Her circle is shaped like a noose," Dave whined.

"Is the great David Rossi scared of a tiny technical analyst?" JJ teased.

"That woman is a menace," Dave retorted, rolling in the bed beside her and hauling her into his arms.

"That woman is the reason you finally made your way into my bed," JJ corrected, pressing a kiss against his neck.

"I never said she didn't have her uses," Dave grumbled. "But as useful as she is, talking about Garcia isn't exactly what I had planned for this morning."

"And what exactly was on your morning agenda?" JJ asked, taking a deep sip of her coffee as she propped up against him.

Arching an eyebrow, Rossi wrapped his hand around JJ's mug, pulling it easily out of her hand as he set it on the nightstand with his own. JJ slapped at his hand as she groused, "Hey! I was drinking that!"

Grinning down at her beautiful face as he swiftly rolled them both to the center of the bed, Rossi said as he lowered his lips to hers, "Trust me, Bella, it'll be worth the wait."