AN: I don't own a thing...
Penelope sat at the table in the middle of the bar waiting for JJ and maybe a few other members of the team. They always sat in the same booth, a big cozy one they could all unwind in. Her coat was off, she was starting to unwind already. She was always first there in the morning, first gone at night. So when they went out, it was her job to secure the booth. She had a Tom Collins, was swirling the slightly fruity drink with the swizzle stick, when a voice came from behind her.
She turned to look at one of the most gorgeous men she ever saw in her life. Tall, black hair, cerulean blue eyes an angel would weep for, cleft chin, and a body that simply put statues to shame. It took her a second to realize he said her name, but then again, anyone that good looking must be used to people floundering over them.
Only one other man she personally knew would have that same problem.
"Do I know you?" she said, a little wary of the stranger.
"Penny, it's me; Carl Obermiller from Paper Consolidation," he said, a grin gracing his handsome face. She still didn't have a clue who that was; she would have remembered someone this gorgeous. "Oh, I know I look a lot different…"
It hit with a vengeance then. "Carl?" she squeaked. Carl was chunky, had glasses, bad skin, barely spoke a word, but very sweet. He was very adoring to her, she felt so sorry for him. He made the computer geeks look suave. The only thing he had going for him was his family was old money. She hadn't seen him in years. My, were the years kind to him!
"Yep, me," he laughed. He gestured to the spot next to her. "May I? I recognized you right away and just needed to talk to you. You haven't changed a bit."
She smirked. "Nope, same ol' Garcia."
He leaned closer to her. "That's a very good thing, Penelope. Nothing wrong with you, inside or out. You were always genuinely kind to me, when many others weren't. I never forgot that."
She thought about how Carl used to have perpetual sniffles and uncontrollable gas. It seemed amazing this god would have the same problems. Nothing about this man seemed familiar, except maybe his eyes. Honestly, she never really looked at Carl's eyes before. She felt kind of shallow.
Still, curiosity got the best of her. The transformation was so radical, it was mesmerizing. "So, where's the glasses?" she said, tackling the least of the changes first.
"Is that all?" He started laughing and smiled so genuinely at her, she had to smile back. "LASIK got rid of my glasses, a gluten free diet got rid of the perpetual bloat and bad skin, going to the gym nearly daily for stress helped a little."
She let out a low whistle. "I'll say!" He actually blushed a little. Pen was amazed. A man almost as good looking as Morgan blushed.
He cleared his throat. "And I have a kid sister who refused to let my inner geek shine anymore. Said I needed to go out and show the world what God gave me."
"Nice sister; I like her," she said, saluting him with her glass. She took a sip and glanced at the door. JJ was almost a half hour late. "Carl, I'm actually waiting for a friend, but if you'd like to stay, she wouldn't mind."
"I'd like that. I heard through the grapevine, you're single again," he said, not wasting any time.
Wow. The Paper Consolidation people moved pretty fast. She broke up with Kevin less than a week ago. Then she thought about it. Kevin must've whined to someone that still consolidated files for him. Great, now she was the talk of nerd town, and no one spread gossip quicker than nerds. "He has a very big mouth," she grumbled.
"Don't worry," Carl said, nearly reading her mind. "Everyone wondered what took you so long. The man eats bacon doughnuts, for Pete sakes!" That made her laugh and feel a lot better.
The music in the bar changed to some fun, funky beat. "Want to dance?" Garcia looked a little nervous. She didn't dance to this stuff. Carl continued, "You know, I actually took classes on how to dance to this hip hop stuff so I wouldn't look so awkward at the club!"
"Really?" Garcia questioned, "I have always wanted to know how to do this. My best friend, he really knows how to shake it, but I look pretty stupid-"
"You could never look stupid, Penny," he interrupted. "But pretty? You're so pretty, inside and out."
She smiled. Being around this nerd-turned-hottie was good for her soul. "C'mon, Carl. They're playing our song."
JJ was trying to round up a few more people to go with her and Garcia. Morgan jumped at the chance, which surprised JJ. He usually had a date with his new girl on Fridays. Emily had other plans, Reid was already gone, and Rossi was going to his seventy-six year old mother's house for her birthday.
"No one tells an Italian mother no," he explained, before leaving promptly at five.
"Hotch, you in?" Morgan hollered over to the leader.
"Single dad," he quipped, grabbing his bag. "Need to make plans weeks in advance, people!"
JJ laughed. "True, very true." She smiled over at Morgan. "Guess it's just you and me. Garcia will be surprised to see you."
Morgan was smiling, feeling better than he had in weeks. It had been way too long since he was with his baby girl. JJ would leave early, that would leave just him and P to flirt and have fun. No one flirted like his baby; it was damn hot. He was really looking forward to it. His latest relationship ended on a very sour note; he needed some solace from his goddess.
The drive was very short over to the bar. They walked into the bar, looking for Garcia. They spotted her then, on the dance floor, having a very good time bumping and grinding with some guy.
"Who the hell is he?" Morgan asked, as they plopped into the booth. He moved Pen's coat over a little. He didn't like not knowing who his baby girl was with. Made him nervous. His protective instincts kicked in.
"I don't know, but he's a cutie," JJ said, smiling. "Since she broke up with Kevin, she's fair game."
Morgan scowled over at JJ. "When did that happen? Why didn't she tell me?"
JJ shot him a look. "Around a week ago. Things were spotty for awhile before that. You've been kind of busy with your new girlfriend, Morgan. I'm sure Garcia didn't want to bother you."
Bother him? She was his best friend, damn it. She wasn't a bother ever. Is that what she really thought, she was a bother or a burden to him? Never. She was his God-given solace, his princess, the light in his day, his sweet-
At that moment, his sweet angel was bending over and the guy behind her was holding her ass far too close to his equipment for safe keeping. "Oh, that's it. That's completely out of line. Who does this guy think he is?" he spat. "I'm breaking this up."
"Morgan, don't!" JJ said over the music, halting his ascent. "What is your problem? That is how they dance to this sort of thing. You, of all people, should know that." She shook her head at him. "Stop being such an overprotective big brother, Morgan. Let her have fun. It's good for her. Look at how much fun she's having."
At that moment, Penelope stood back up, her cheeks pink from the exertion and her hair a little mussed. She looked like she just finished having quick and dirty sex. His response was rapid; he actually had to shift in the booth to get comfortable.
No, he definitely wasn't feeling like a brother watching her.
That damn guy wrapped an arm around Pen's waist, pulling her closer to him, molding his body to Penelope's. He needed to cool down, just like JJ said. Garcia was her own woman; she could do what she wanted. That didn't mean he had to sit there and watch it.
He stood and grumbled over to JJ, "I'm getting a beer."