Penelope grabbed her bag from her bunker and headed back to Morgan's office to see if he wanted to go out for a drink. She stopped short at the door when she heard him on the phone,
"Hey, it's me. Yeah I'm back. Listen, um…does that offer for a drink still stand?"
Penelope recognised that tone of voice. That throaty flirty voice that he used when he was talking to a lady, sure he was flirty and jokey with the girls from their team, and herself included most especially, but this was a different tone. It had been awhile since she had heard it. Her mind flashed to the cross on his desk and all of a sudden she realised why it had looked familiar. She had seen it on William Barnes, on the photos that she had filed through as the rifled through his life. She connected the dots that Derek would have gotten them from Tamara, and for him to accept it, that meant that whatever it was, was about to get serious if it wasn't already.
The close friend in her was a little hurt that he hadn't been upfront. Though after their discussion she could understand why he wasn't very forthcoming with information. Penelope sighed somewhat sadly and left without knocking on his door.
The following day Penelope found herself avoiding Derek at all cost, which was working pretty well as he was trying to be more professional with her as the acting Unit Chief.
Derek's new position kept him busy, and though he made a point of doing Team drinks, he was almost always out the door after the second. Suspicions on possible girlfriends flew around, and Penelope remained tight lipped. It wasn't for her to comment on, nor judge despite the fact that deep down, she knew she had already made a judgement that would prove her biased. Derek had become more private than even Hotch, which for Penelope hurt that little bit more. He treated her merely as one of the team, instead of the friends that they were supposed to be.
"Where's Garcia?" Derek asked as they briefed on their new case.
"She's on annual leave. It should be on your calendar, she usually has the same couple of days off every year." Hotch answered not offering any more information that necessary. He had long since figured out the reason and he hoped that Derek had not forgotten, knowing that he was the only knew the significance on those couple of days. He had noticed that the rapport between their tech analyst and new acting chief was professional at best. Gone were the endearments that once defined them.
"Oh okay." He managed to utter, his brow furrowed in obvious worry. Derek flicked his calendar open and inwardly groaned. He knew what the couple of days were, he's always known, in all the changes he had forgotten, he didn't connect the dots, and he knew that she would know that he had forgotten. As he tried to keep up with the conversation and scenarios they were running through, he racked his brain for the last time he had spoken to Penelope outside case related issues and hung his head in shame to realise that it had been awhile.
Penelope swung her bag over her shoulder and took one last hopeful glance around the airport, he didn't come. She knew he wouldn't, and it was silly to think he would remember, especially since it had been months since they have had anything to do with each other. She bit back the tears and went to board the plane, alone.