Chapter 1

AN: Start of something new. More my usual style. I was due for another long one! LOL....

Sitting in the restaurant with JJ, Penelope started to choke on the bite of Caesar salad she just ate. Her eyes were huge and watering, and she was starting to sputter. JJ quickly moved behind her and started to pat her back, but Penelope put a hand up to ward her off.

"Oh, snap," JJ said, trying to lose the slightly amused look she had on her face and failing miserably. "I'm sorry, I didn't-"

"What?" Penelope said with a froggy voice the moment she was able to speak.

JJ began again. "I'm sorry I-"

"No!" Penelope interrupted. "The first thing you said. Say it again."

"Well, I know the answer now, so I don't need to ask."

"JJ." Garcia was scowling at her, making her cringe in her seat rather uncomfortably.

She began quietly, almost sheepishly. "I asked if you broke up with Kevin because you were sleeping with Morgan."

"Jennifer Jareau," Penelope said, sounding like her mother. "I cannot believe you went there! I mean, please, Derek, of all people!"

"Well, it was an obvious thought!" JJ said defensively. "The way you two act together, it was a natural thing to assume."

Confusion graced Garcia's face. "What do you mean, how we act together?"

JJ stared earnestly at her. "All that touching, kissing, laughing, sharing food, little nicknames?"

She watched as Penelope started to blush. "We're best friends, that's what-"

"Will and I don't even touch as much as you and Morgan," she said flatly. "Besides, I'm your best girlfriend, and you never kiss me or have me bite off of your same fork."

Penelope swallowed nervously, continuing to blush. "Derek is more touchy-feely than you are."

She burst out laughing. "Only with you! Come on, Penelope. In nearly six years, Morgan has never hugged me, not even once, much less kissed me."

"On the top of my head; it's not like he plants one on my lips," she said, explaining. "And I kiss his cheek, 'cause I can't reach the top of his head."

JJ scoffed. "You're missing the point, Garcia. There is definitely something there between you. Much more than everyone else."

"A strong friendship," she said with a set look on her face.

JJ arched a brow at her. "Are you telling me you never once imagined what Morgan would be like in bed?"

Penelope seriously contemplated lying, but decided against it. JJ knew her too well, she'd guess anyway. She sighed and answered. "Well, yes, I have. I mean, well… look at him. He's beautiful. What woman worth her salt wouldn't?"

"I haven't."

"Oh, you haven't, huh?" This time P arched a brow. "You've never thought of those soft lips? Those wonderful long fingers, that awesome butt…. "

JJ watched Penelope's eyes darken. Just thinking about it was turning her friend on. Lord, it was obvious to anyone who bothered to look how much those two wanted each other.

JJ shook her head and answered her question. "No, I haven't."


"Oh, for goodness's sake. I'm not attracted to the man; you are." Penelope shook her head and JJ rolled her eyes. "You're hopeless. You really don't see it. There's something there between you two, more than what you are willing to admit."

"No, there isn't," Penelope said, her eyebrows knitting in thought. "Besides, I am not the kind of girl Derek Morgan dates anyway."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," JJ said, smiling over her coffee cup. "The way he stares at you, touches you and hovers by you; it's mutual attraction."

Penelope was very quiet as she ate the next bite of salad. She was obviously in contemplation and she looked rather sad.

"Garcia, I didn't mean to stir up something you don't want. I just thought now that you don't have Kevin, maybe there would be something more. Maybe think about trying that next step, if you haven't." JJ reached over and put her hand on Penelope's. "You both seem so good together; it's only a thought."

"I don't know what to think. I really don't." She looked up and met JJ's eyes and for a second looked sad, before she masked it with a silly grin. "Anyway, Derek's dating Monette right now anyway, bubble head of the month."

JJ smiled. "I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her."

"Be glad," P said, laughing. "Trust me. Lots of flash, little substance."

JJ laughed too, then they continued to have their lunch, all other thinking waylaid for the moment.

Sitting at one of the square tables on the plane, David Rossi was having a rather heated discussion with Spenser Reid. It wasn't about anything serious, but it was a given fact both men wanted to win.

"Give it up, Reid," Rossi said, laughing lightly. "Age and cunning beats youth and skill."

"I would be fine giving it up, if your facts weren't twisted about this subject." Reid's voice was beginning to squeak excitedly; he was really quite into the argument. "You're… you're completely off base and utterly wrong."

"I know what I have heard and what I have seen in my fifty-five years on this planet." Rossi narrowed his eyes at Reid. "That accounts for more than what you have in your textbooks."

"He's got a point," Prentiss said. She was really trying not to get involved, but it was tough. Seriously, both men had good arguments, but she was cautioning on the side of Reid.

She wasn't going to tell him that, though.

"Okay. What about Prentiss and myself?" Reid said, raising both eyebrows and gesturing with his hands excitedly. When he spoke, he did so with his hands. "I consider Emily a very good friend, and I can ascertain that she feels similarly."

Reid glanced over at her and Emily smiled and nodded.

Rossi snorted. "Okay, Reid. Are you telling me Prentiss and yourself would be friends if you didn't work together?"

Color entered Reid's cheeks. He shifted in his seat uncomfortably. "Well… I'm not certain. I mean Emily's not exactly the type of girl I…"

"Reid, just answer the negative before you get yourself in trouble," Prentiss said, glaring at him.

Reid hung his head, nearly having to admit defeat, when a light bulb moment happened. "I know! Morgan and Garcia! They're best friends. What about them?"

Prentiss and Rossi both burst out laughing.

Reid looked at them, evident confusion on his face. "What did I say that was funny?"

All of the uproar got Derek's attention from across the aisle. He was slouched across two of the leather seats, his headphones on. They didn't block all the sound, but they were close. Most of the time. Nothing was blocking that laughter happening.

"What the hell is so funny?" he asked, smirking over at the seated trio.

Rossi calmed down enough to talk to him. "We're having a debate on whether men and women can be friends. I told him no, because sex always gets in the way."

Derek's smirk grew more pronounced. "That's true in my case, a lot of the time. Women can't help themselves."

Prentiss rolled her eyes. "Please."

"Anyway, I brought up Garcia and yourself as a prime example of men and women being friends, and they started to laugh," Reid said with a scowl.

Derek looked confused. "Why?"

Prentiss laughed. "Come on. Everyone knows there's been sexual things between you and Garcia."

Derek scowled. "What? Hell, no."

"The way you talk?" Emily asked, looking surprised. "You two reek sexual energy."

"Hey, don't go there. That's all it is. Talk." Derek reiterated, frowning. "Besides, why would you people be discussing my love life? Or Penelope's, for that matter."

Derek scowled at them, then put his headphones back on.

Reid smiled, then stood. "I rest my case." He headed towards the front of the plane.