A/N: And here's the end of it. I own nothing.

Home Again

Saturday was the worst day of Derek Morgan's life.

He woke up alone, he blindly ate breakfast. Clooney paced around the house, whining when he passed the guest room- her room.

He picked up the phone seven or eight times to call her, but he didn't. He was still hurt, still confused by the situation. His mother had explained the logic to him, but he was utterly at a loss to understand this particular aspect of the female psyche. They were happy… why did that have to change? She had tried to explain it to him.

"Derek, she thinks that since she was right there, it was easy access. You didn't have to make an effort to woo her, not really."

"Ma, I sent her flowers, I did all sorts of wooing…"

"Did you ever take her on a real date?"

"No…"

"A woman, even your Penelope, wants to be pursued."

"But-"

"Derek Morgan, listen to your mother. Penelope loves you, you know that. But to her, she's starting to feel like she just gave everything up without a struggle…I know, for you men, it doesn't make sense- you say what you mean and enjoy what you want when you get it. But, to Penelope, she isn't sure that you really want her, a small, irrational part of her is afraid that things happened just because she was there, available. As I understand, she was the one to bring the romance. She wants to know that you will go and get her, pursue her, and romance her."

"Ok, but-"

"She had to leave Derek. She had to leave so you could prove that you will go to her. Get it?"

"Yeah, mom, I get it."

"Ok, good. Now. Go get your baby girl, and bring her home to me soon! I want to meet the mother of my grandbabies!"


Across town, Penelope wasn't in much better shape. She wanted to call Derek, she wanted so much to run back to him, but she was desperately holding onto her conviction. He had to make the first effort, he had to try, for her. She hadn't slept last night; her bed was so big, so lonely, without the warmth of Derek's body wrapped around her. It wasn't just that she missed making love to him, though she did, but she missed the gentle touches, the way he smiled at her when he woke up, the way he couldn't pass by her without pressing a kiss to her temple. Sleep was more than elusive; it was staging a protest against her.

By 5AM, she gave up attempting to sleep and turned on her computer. She played games for a couple of hours, then, when the sun came up, she went to take a walk in the park near her apartment. There was a small pond in the center, and she sat on the bank, listening to the sounds of birds caroling in the morning. Her heart felt emptier than it had a month before; emptier than when she felt sure Derek could never want her. Now, the hole in her heart knew what it was to be full; the ache was sharper, deeper. She felt so foolish and lonely. She leaned against a tree, gathering her knees to her chest, and tried to calm the pain tightening her chest.

She sat like that for some time, wallowing in her conflicting emotions. The day had started, there were families with small children about, she knew she needed to pull herself together. She stood up, stretched, and headed back to her apartment. Standing at the door were no less than three flower delivery boys.

"Um, can I help you?"

"We've all got deliveries for a Penelope Garcia? Is this the right address?"

"Yes…but, surely, there's a mistake?"

"Ma'am, why don't you let us make our deliveries then you can check the cards?"

"Right, sorry." Penelope's hands were shaking as she unlocked the door. The boys left the flowers on her table and left. She touched the petals in awe. There was one card, nestled in the largest of the three arrangements.

Pen-

The Victorians had an entire language for flowers. Look them up.

I love you- D

She smiled. This project was just what she needed. She brought her laptop over to the table and started by first identifying the flowers. The three bouquets featured forget-me-nots, hibiscus, blue violets, light pink and burgundy roses, lime blossom, red carnations and coriander. Many of these flowers she'd never even seen in a bouquet before. She sat down and made a list of the flowers and their meanings.

True love, rare beauty, faithfulness, desire, passion, unconscious beauty, fornication, 'my heart aches for you', and lust.

She laughed. A completely Morgan message indeed.

Just then, her phone rang, the display flashing 'hot stuff'.

"Fornication, Derek? Really?" She heard his deep chuckle on the other end of the line.

"There were other sentiments there, but, what can I say? You're hot, woman! Can't I love and lust you at the same time?"

She smiled, "You better."

"Baby, I miss you, but I get it."

"Your mother is a wise woman."

"How'd you know I called Mom?"

She laughed. "Derek, there is one woman who knows you better than I do, and her name is Fran Morgan. If you can't talk to me about something, then you're obviously going to call her, right?"

"Yeah, ok, you caught me. So, anyway, I was wondering… do you have plans tonight?"

"Are you asking me on a date?" She smiled, her heart soaring.

"It seems that I am, goddess. And I think we need to go on a date every Saturday night from here to eternity."

She laughed. "Well, let's start one date at a time… what should I dress for?"

"Wear whatever makes you feel best, sweetheart. I'll pick you up at 6?"

"Yeah, sounds great sweet cheeks."


That afternoon, Penelope called JJ in a panic.

"Oh JJ, I just don't have any idea what I'm supposed to wear!"

"Well, what are you doing?"

"I have no idea! He just said I should wear what makes me feel best…"

Reid, sitting in JJ's living room, ran a hand over his face. "Look, Morgan obviously doesn't have firm plans, otherwise he would've provided more guidance. His cue will come from what you wear. So, decide what you want to do, and dress accordingly!"

Penelope laughed, overhearing the young doctor "So, um, thanks Spencer…"

"Yeah. Now can we go, JJ? I do have plans!"

Penelope paused, then whispered to JJ, "Really…?"

JJ blushed slightly, and looked shyly at Reid. "Well, it's a definite possibility…"

"So please can we go?" Reid was fidgeting like a three year old.

"Go, my cute ones! JJ you had better call me later!"

Reid grabbed the phone to hang up. "She'll be too busy!"

Laughing, Penelope went back to her closet. She decided to strike a balance between formal and casual, pulling out a pair of jeans which she knew emphasized the roundness of her bottom, and an electric blue satin top with a plunging neckline. Paired with orange accessories, she decided she DID feel good. She sat back and waited for Derek to show up.

He arrived at six on the dot. She bounced to the door and beamed at the tall, dark man standing there. He reached down and wrapped her in a bone-snapping hug, lifting her off her feet. "God I missed you woman." He held on like he never wanted to let her go again. She inhaled his cologne, her body going weak at the feel of his strong muscles holding her. "I missed you too… sleeping alone sucks." He stepped back. "Well, come on baby, let's go have our date…"

He took her hand and stopped at his SUV. Instead of opening the door so she could get in, he reached inside to pull out a picnic hamper. Smiling mischievously, he led her down the street to the same park she had found herself in that morning. He led her to a small clearing, where someone had hung jars filled with candles from the trees. A blanket was spread in the middle of the candlelit grove, with small pillows around. He looked at her face expectantly. The setting sun and candlelight mingled to add a radiance to her face; he felt he was truly looking at an angel, a goddess- some otherworldly creature of fable. She was beautiful, beyond anything he had ever seen before.

"Come my love, have a picnic with me?" He sat the hamper down next to the blanket and patted a cushion next to him. She smiled and settled on the offered cushion. "This is beautiful Derek…thank you." He kissed her softly. "You deserve to be wooed. So I'm bringing it."

She giggled. "So, what did you bring in this magic basket of yours?" He laid out their meal; a soft red wine, cheeses, crusty bread, preserved fruit, and dark chocolate. They took turns feeding each other, alternating bites and kisses. After dinner, they laid back, holding hands and just talking together.

"Pen, I know this may be too soon for you, but, please, come and live with me. Come home. I miss you." He leaned closer to her, his breath hot on her ear. "I need you in my bed, woman." She shivered at his words. "I need your soft body under mine. I need to hear you call my name…" He trailed kisses along her neck, a tingling line of fire setting her senses alight. Sobering, he faced her to stare deeply into her eyes. "I need to wake up next to you, I need to fall asleep holding you. I need to know you're there when I come home, I need…" He took a deep breath. "I need to marry you. I need you to be the mother of our children, next to me forever."

She sat up, unable to breathe, nearly hyperventilating. Derek got up on his knees and came around to face her. "Baby girl, I'm sorry… no, I'm not sorry!" She looked up at his face, a daunting mix of love and possessiveness. "I won't apologize for telling you how I feel. I need you, I have been to heaven and now I've been cast out and I want nothing more to go back. You are my heaven, my god-given solace, remember?" He leaned over and captured her mouth in a fierce kiss, nipping at her plump lips. "You are mine, Penelope, I'm never letting you get away." He held her tight, savagely, and she melted under his strength, passing over total ownership of herself to his hands. "Derek…hey, hot pants!" She pushed him gently, enough to steak his attention from his ravishment of her neck. "Just FYI hot stuff? You're never getting away from me, either." She smiled hugely. "Now, take me home?"

He moved around, blowing out the candles around them, as she put the dishes and blanket into the hamper. He grabbed her hand and they walked back up the path to her apartment.

"So, you really want to come back home?" He seemed insecure, which was out of character for typically cocky Derek. "Yes, silly boy, I do. It'll take a while… what's with all the boxes, Derek?" She turned and looked at him in shock. Hotch, Rossi, and Prentiss were there, loading her belongings into two SUVs. "You were that sure, huh?" She crossed her arms and stared at him. "Pen…" She stepped away from him.

"Don't 'Pen' me, Derek. You are in big trouble here!" She stormed up the stairs to her apartment, Derek following anxiously in her wake. She pushed past Hotch and Rossi, shouting out "Nobody had better have touched my system! You are incurring the wrath of the-"

Derek grabbed her arm, laughing. "You were worried I'd let someone take down your computer?" She looked at him sheepishly. "Silly girl, that's waiting for you." She smiled up at him. "Then get me a couple of boxes, hotness!"


Hours later, the team finished unloading her boxes at Derek's house and had left with promises to come help unpack the next day. Derek grabbed Penelope around the waist as she stood on the back porch.

"Welcome home, baby girl."

She smiled, turning her head to kiss him softly.

"It really is home now, isn't it?"

"Home for me is wherever you are."

They stared into the eternity of the night, finding, at last, peace, and home, in each other.