Chapter 8

AN: Kind of an epilogue chapter. Thanks again for reviews, you wonderful people, you!

A few hours later, Derek and Penelope were laying in her bed, watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating Cheerios out of the box, kissing each other for no reason other than they felt like it. Derek was still in his jeans and t-shirt, Pen still in her pajamas. After all the emotion, all they both wanted was just to be by each other, absorbing each other's thoughts, savoring this special closeness.

It was a bit like old times, just hanging with Derek, watching "Scooby Doo" and laughing at the mysteries. Derek used to jokingly profile the characters: "Unsub is a white male, age 50-60, wearing a sheet. Likes to lurk in castles.." Except, now it was so much better. There was no doubt in her mind that this is where she belonged. Her heart knew it all along.

"You know," Derek questioned, breaking the sweet silence. "I wonder if Fred and Daphne ever got it on?"

Penelope snickered. After three hours of silence, pressed so close not even a fly could come between them, that comment was the last thing she expected. "That is the best thing you could come up with? We bared our souls, and the first thing you say to me is that?"

Derek pounced on her and started to tickle her mercilessly. "Tease me, will you, woman?"

"Uncle! Uncle, Derek!" she cried out, rather pathetically after a few minutes. She would have made a horrible spy; she would have given up state secrets to avoid prolonged tickling. They lounged back in companionable silence again, before she said, "I'm glad we were friends before all this, though."

"Yeah," he said, leaning in to give her a quick kiss. "But it all lead up to this, you know. I think everyone knew that we'd end up together. Like peanut butter and jelly," he wiggled his eyebrows at her. "Chocolate and vanilla."

"I always wanted you," she said, sheepishly. "One look across the room at you and I was hooked, bamboozled, snookered."

Me too," he said, laying on his back with his arms folded behind his head. "I have always had a fascination with your lips, your ass, and your breasts. A man could feast on those three for days, and still have some for leftovers."

Penelope blushed; it was still rather amazing that he wasn't just kidding all those years. Ah, mon cher; you've had sexy thoughts about me?"

"'Talk dirty to me, Hot Stuff,'" he mimicked in her voice, rolling over on his side to smile at her. "'I'll show you a good morning, Hot Stuff.' Christ, woman. You made me damn hot…." he nuzzled her neck, placing kisses on her collarbones, left then right.

"Should've taken me up on it," she said, smiling back at him. "I wouldn't have complained."

"I was a fool," he said, his smile dimming a bit. "But not as bad as Odysseus."

"That was a nice touch," she said, grinning bigger, tapping his nose with her finger. "Didn't know you were into mythology."

"I'm not," he said, adding one word. "Reid."

She laughed a bit at that, thinking of Derek enlisting Reid in his seduction plan. That brought up another thought. "Does the whole team know?"

"Mmm hmm, which brings up the bigger question." He reached an arm out, pulling her so that she lay on top of him. "Want to make an honest man of me?"

She sat up and looked down at his handsome face. He held both of her hands and grinned up at her, his heart and his love shining in his eyes.

"I don't know, Derek," she said truthfully. "It's all sort of sudden, and I need some time to absorb all this."

His eyes dimmed a little, but the love didn't fade. "Alright, Baby. I can accept that. I'll wait for you," he said, shooting her another grin. "I'll even wait twenty years like the other Penelope did."

Penelope leaned forward and gave Derek a deep, beautiful kiss. "No where near that long, my vision. Soon, I promise." She glanced at the little gold ring on her left hand from yesterday. She contemplated the ring before asking, "What would you have given me Monday, if I played hard-to-get? After all that other stuff, I can't think of anything else."

"I probably would have walked into your office, buck naked, and said, 'Put me out of my misery, woman!'"

Penelope started to laugh again. "I knew I should have waited!"

And so, about a year or so later, life was still chipper, still wonderful, the only difference being the little gold band moved to the right hand so that the diamond ring could take it's place. The guest list was extensive; the entire BAU, nearly the entire FBI, and a lot of other letters of the alphabet were there, along with family and friends.

And of course, Vivian and Lydia were there. Nick wasn't, but he took the whole thing as well as any jilted person could. After eating an extensive assortment of crow, Lyd and Viv had changed their tune about Derek. They were actually jealous of Penelope's love life for once. There was no doubt about it that Penelope's love life was hot; Derek actually smoldered around her most of the time.

"You ready?" A beaming Hotch offered Penelope his tuxedoed arm. Pen glanced at the end of the aisle, where one chocolate Adonis stood waiting for her. There was no shortage of high wattage smiles today.

"Honey, I was born ready for this," she said, and took the first step to happily ever after.