AN: As usual, a new idea popped up after I watched "100." However, it took a few days of blubbering before I could really attack the keyboard! LOL.
"I am sorry, but to look that good in jeans should be illegal," JJ said under her breath to Em and Garcia, standing near the doorway of her office.
"Mmm hmm," was all Prentiss could respond.
Penelope smiled, a sly little half smile. It was shameful to ogle coworkers, but they really couldn't help it. He was truly a fine specimen of manhood. He was so handsome, he was almost pretty! Besides, as long as they talked low amongst each other, no one would ever know.
As if he could sense the staring, he looked up from his conversation with Reid to the doorway where they were standing and shot them a wink. Busted! All three ladies stiffened, blushed a little, and scurried back to their respective spots.
It had been nearly a month since Agent Monroe joined the team, interim for Hotch while he recovered from the tragedy that shook the entire BAU. There was no doubt that he was going to need a lot of time to recover. The whole team needed time to sit back and lick their wounds. Unfortunately, serial killers kept killing, horrors kept needing to be analyzed., files needed to be researched. Life just wouldn't slow down for them.
Alex was smart and stable. He was an agent for the DEA before he started working of the FBI. He was very kind, too. He always was the first person to say hello, the first person to bring donut or something nice in the morning for them all to share. It was as if he could feel the palpable grief that the team recently went through, and he wanted to help heal them. He never tried to replace Hotch, just listened and helped with whatever he could do. He knew his position was temporary until Hotch got back.
Penelope thought of when he first walked in the doorway to the bullpen. She nearly dropped the papers she was carrying. Morgan was introducing him to Emily. He was a tall, blonde, blue-eyed, dimpled chin, stunning hunk of burnin' love. She hoped the shocked look on her face was gone, because Derek brought him her way next.
"Garcia, this is Agent Alex Monroe. He's going to be helping here while Hotch is on sabbatical."
Before she could say a word, Reid popped up from his desk. "Sabbatical usually means a year or so leave. Is that how long Hotch says he's going to be gone?" The entire team felt their collective hearts plummet. They needed Hotch; he was family. There was no denying it; they were frightened. Not being a family for a year!
"It's day by day, Reid," Morgan said, and a collective sigh of relief was heard. "We don't know how long it's going to be. That's just what Strauss is calling it. He needs to take his time."
Everyone looked at Derek, glad that he was leading, glad that he was remaining so strong in this turmoil. Then Garcia remembered that she was being introduced to a new member of the team, and everyone looked like they were meeting the grim reaper! Looking at Agent Monroe, Garcia extended her hand, a warm smile on her face. "Pleased to meet you. I'm Penelope."
"Thank you for that," he said. His eyes were understanding. "It's okay. I know this is hard for everyone, but I do feel welcome. You're a tech analyst?" She nodded her affirmative, and he added, "Then we are going to be very good friends, because I don't know squat about computers."
She smiled up at him, "Number two on the speed dial, sweetheart."
She floored him. She could tell that she did. Then she realized, the endearment just slipped out. Maybe she should apologize? She didn't have much time to consider, because he just grinned back a double dimpled smile. "Thanks, angel face. I appreciate it."
After that, it was open season for flirting with Alex. He was funny, he was sweet. He was an equal opportunity flirter with JJ, Pen, and Em, but flirted the most with Penelope over the phone. After all, a teaser knows a fellow teaser! He loved to joke around with Reid too. They needed that lightness again, something to laugh about in this dark job. He was a welcome addition, that was for sure.
She was having a lot of fun again. It had been such a long time since she flirted, a long time since she laughed. She glanced down the hall at the office near the end of her hallway, the office of SSA Morgan. Her smile dimmed and her heart tightened, more than she wanted it to.
Yeah, lots of fun.
He was almost as good as the real thing.