Despite Penelope's hesitation the day out with Derek and Jack turned out to be a lot of fun. It had been such a long time since they had done anything together that she had forgotten how easy it was to be with him, and she knew that's what scared her the most. Though Hayley's death had taught them that they couldn't take a love like theirs for granted there were things that you forgave but couldn't quite forget so easily. Derek could see how she battled that inwardly, and he couldn't help but be overcome with guilt, knowing that it was his actions that led them to where they were.
After all the rides, games and Carnival food, it wasn't at all a surprise that Jack began to droop a few hours later. Penelope had noticed that Jack's steps had slowed and without a thought she picked him up in her arms. Jack gratefully hugged her neck tightly as his whole body wrapped around hers. Jack yawned and nuzzled against her.
"Oh sweetheart, we tired you out. Let's take you home okay?" Jack nodded tiredly as Penelope and Derek exchanged a smile. They had thoroughly enjoyed the day with Jack, and he was a great buffer for them.
"Aunt P, can we go see Emmy?" he asked sleepily.
"Of course sweetheart! I'm sure she'd love to see you. You know you're her favourite little man."
"I am?" he asked perking up a little before lifting his head briefly with furrowed eyebrows,
"Am I your favourite little man?" he asked.
"What kind of question is that Jack Hotchner, you know you're my favourite four year old ever, and when you turn five, you'll be my favourite five year old. You get?" she said with a grin, while Jack gave her a nod of understanding before resting his head on her shoulder once more, this time falling straight to sleep.
"Nice out there P."
"Yeah well, Henry is my Godchild." Derek smirked as he led them back to the car.
For the weeks that followed, Derek made his intentions clear to Penelope, that though he wanted to work on regaining their friendship, he had a goal, and that was to sweep her off her feet, and make her forget any doubt or hesitation about being with him. Derek made it his mission to woo her, and he did.
It wasn't with grand gestures, though he did throw those in every so often, but it was the mere fact that he cared about her and for her like no one ever has before. With the little things he did, slowly, her walls began to break. His phone calls throughout the day just to check in, less flirtatious more the need to hear her voice. The way he would leave a few minutes earlier so he could beat her to work to make sure there was a cup of steaming cup of coffee waiting for her when she walked into her office. Before each case he would make sure he would leave a hand written note for her.
After some time, they had started to hang out on their own, minus the chaperones that Penelope had enlisted to ensure that she would keep her grounded. Their first official date was a casual one. It was a day date of rollerblading at the park, followed by a picnic that he had packed. They stayed out till after it was dark just talking and watching the sunset. Penelope loved seeing him so care fee. She knew that he had shed his walls to show her that he could be trusted with her walls. It was like the two of them were rediscovering who they were, and who each other was, together.
Their friends had watched closely in appreciation, knowing without a doubt that they were meant to be together, and that when they finally got there, it would be forever.
Sorry guys, I am currently in the middle of a writer's drought so I am going to end it here for now. Who knows a sequel may be in its future once my muse returns. Till then, thank you so much for your patience and support!