The Journal

Morgan and Garcia

Part Three

"I don't know why I'm crying," Penelope said, weeks later, as she sat on the couch in Derek's office, late one evening after he had returned from a case. She dabbed at her eyes before giving Derek a pleading look.

Cupping her chin, he said "Sweetheart, it's okay. Just tell me what's wrong."

"Know how I was so madly in love with Kevin? Not so much anymore. It's over with him. Kaput." She quickly added "It was my choice! And I'm okay with it!" Letting out a shuddering breath, she whispered "I wanted to tell you before now but..." her eyes narrowed as she saw the look on his face "you knew! I hate profilers!"

Penelope jerked away from Derek. They shared a long look. Her shoulders slumped, as she relaxed again.

"Of course, you knew," she muttered. "Can I hide anything from you ever?"

Ignoring her question, he asked "Do you want to talk about it? Was it the assignment for Homeland?"

"That, yes, and everything. I just couldn't do it anymore. It started to feel like the biggest charade."

She kept staring at him with a look that seemed to beg him to understand what she wasn't saying but he couldn't be sure he was reading her right. His mind could be playing tricks on him- considering how much he lived and breathed to believe she would one day leave Lynch and tell Morgan that it was because she realized she couldn't deny what was between them any longer.

"I'm so proud of you for being brave enough to get out of something that wasn't working for you anymore."

"Ha, yeah, brave, that's me. Garci the brave." She stood up, walked to his desk, and grabbed a kleenex, to wipe her face.

Derek followed her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "So why tonight?"

She turned around and raised an eyebrow.

He asked "Why are you telling me all this tonight?"

"Oh...I just felt ready to share it finally. Guess I overestimated myself, since I'm a blubbering mess now. I'm not half as strong as I'd like to think, huh?"

"Hey, hey, hey, there is no way I will believe anyone or anything can threaten the strength I know you possess inside of yourself. Have faith, angel. Things can always get better." He pulled her into a hug.

For a moment, she relaxed against him before tensing slightly and asking "What's that?"

He turned to follow her gaze, seeing that his journal had fallen out of his go bag and was lying open. Quickly, he moved to snatch it up and close it. "That's...uh, notes."

"For the case?"

Just the look in her eye told him she knew better but she would allow him to get away with the fib if that is what he wanted. Like so many nights before he could once again play it safe and send her away, nothing significant would be changed...nothing risked.

Letting out a soft sigh, he gazed at the journal for a moment saying "Nah, not for work. This is as personal as it gets."

His thumb worked over the top of the notebook, absentmindedly rubbing it.

Penelope whispered "I shouldn't pry then."

He set the journal on his desk. A small smile came to his lips as he brought a hand up to caress her cheek, pushing her hair back behind her ear. "Baby girl, you couldn't pry. I want you to know everything about me. How I take my eggs-"

"Sunny side up so you can dip your toast in the yolk."

He chuckled. "Lookey here, someone has been paying attention."

"To you, always."

"Good, good. I don't want that to ever change. We are so much a part of each other." He glanced at the journal and then focused on her face again. "That's why I needed that journal so much. When I couldn't talk to you, in a way I still could tell you everything I was feeling, through that...I know that for a techie genius like you, pen and paper might seem pretty old school but it works for me. Sometimes I needed to talk to you so bad, but all I could do was write you and get it out that way."

More tears flooded her eyes and dripped down her face.

He murmured "Don't cry," as he wiped the tears away.

"Do you know how much I love you?"

"Believe me, it's mutual." His forehead rested against hers, as their breaths mingled. "I think it's about time I work up the nerve to start telling you all the things I told you in that journal."

Her hands rose and cupped his face. "Derek, am I imagining..."

"Hush, just go with it," he told her and she did, raising her lips to meet his in a gentle kiss. When they broke apart, they stared at each other with wonder in their eyes until he asked "Have I ever told you how damn glad I am that you're back home?"

"Did I ever tell you I have a secret blog all about how I heart Derek Morgan?"

He laughed, happily. "Strauss better never find that blog."

"Ohhhhhhh, no one will ever find it unless the oracle wants it to be found."

A wide smile curved his lips as he caressed her cheek again. "Ready to go home?"

"Already?" she asked, disappointed.

"Don't you think it's about time?"

"It has been a long day."

"More than just one long day. Years of them. Too many days going our separate ways at the end of the night. Time to do something about that."

She gave him a knowing look. "Are you trying to seduce me out of my thong?"

"Mmm, woman, keep talking like that and I will."

"Go ahead. Make my day."

"Silly, come on, let's go back to my place and just chill. We have four months apart to make up for." Grabbing his journal, he shoved it in his go bag, hoisted it on his shoulder and then wrapped an arm around Penelope, leading her toward the door of his office.

Hours later, with her head on his shoulder, she whispered "I've never been so happy in all my lives."

"You just wait. It only gets better from here on out."

"Is that a promise, my love?"

"With all my heart," he whispered, taking her lips in another kiss, a sense of contentment he had never known before washing over him as he knew they were finally on the same page for once.