Note- I don't know how old Sarah's twins are, if they are both boys or their names so I have taken liberties with that. I'm not even completely sure that Sarah having twins is canon CM.

I thought it might be fun to have Pen and Derek taking care of kids in a story and I didn't want to do one with their own kids quite yet so I decided to use Derek's nephews instead. This is one of those cute, family and friendship type stories with some romance in the end.

The Family Man

Chapter One

May 2010

"You are a brave man, sug," Penelope said as she surveyed Derek's living room, which was filled with things that seven year old twin boys would enjoy.

He shrugged. "I've baby sat them before."

She chuckled. "For how long? A couple of hours at a one of those kiddie pizza places that has an arcade? This is three long days and nights. You're gonna barely be able to crawl into work on Monday."

"That's what I got you here for, woman, to share the load."

She smirked at him. "Oh no, forget about that, I'm a guest."

Smiling he walked over, reached out and tickled her. "Guest, my ass! You're here to work and I better like the job you do or you know what you'll be getting."

Laughing as she pretended to struggle to get away from him she asked "Does your sister know she's leaving her kids with a guy who...Derek, stop!" She squealed as she really did break away now, panting as she caught her breath, before finishing her sentence "Believes in corporal punishment?"

"My nephews don't gotta worry cause the only one who's in danger of getting spanked around here is you."

"So I need to be taught a lesson, huh? I've been a bad, bad, baby girl? Is that what you're telling me, you sexy chocolate candy bar?"

"So bad that I should bend you over my knee right here and now."

"You know they say spankings don't work. They just make trouble makers like me misbehave more."

"You know what I say, woman? Spare the rod," he teased "and spoil the baby girl."

Smiling he pulled her close. Her head titled up and they shared a moment of happiness just resting within each other's arms, hers wrapped around his strong upper back as his were slung low on her waist.

It felt right to hold each other but also like something was going on under the surface.

Lately this same exact feeling would hit her, shivering down her spine as it did, over and over. The last few months had been filled with this feeling but she always quickly brushed it off.

Not because it was impossible Derek might want to take their friendship further now but because it was a slippery slope once she started to hope. Hoping led to dreaming. Dreaming led to wishing. Wishing led to fantasizing. Fantasizing led to being unsatisfied during the long hours of the night when his hands were on her only in her mind. Being unsatisfied led to frustration, anger, bitterness and, ultimately, a world of pain.

She didn't need the stress. She had spent the last five months making her life just what she wanted. Then struggled for the last two weeks over if it really was that. Did she love her job as much as she loved the rest of her life? Was she staying at the BAU just for Derek? What happened in Alaska made her re-think everything about her job and how it fit into her otherwise awesome life.

In the end she decided she wasn't leaving the BAU. It was home. And this man holding her was a big reason why it felt like that.

Penelope was no longer itching to change her life, like during her twenties, and make something exciting happen for herself. Her five year plan from back then- getting with Mr. Right, dating, becoming engaged, moving in together, having the perfect wedding, buying a house, conceiving a child- had long ago been tossed out the window. She realized that life just couldn't be planned out that way.

She had to live her life as it happened and enjoy the ride.

Ever since New Year's Eve of last year she had been doing just that and it was working for her. She broke out of her two year long unhealthy, unsatisfying and boring relationship with Kevin and started dating other men. She dyed her hair red and found herself even cuter colored glasses and even chunkier jewelry. Hotch was giving her more responsibilities at work- letting her talk with the victims because he said she had a way with people. The first time it happened she was nervous as hell but every time since then she was confident.

Confidence radiated off her now. She knew she looked damn good these days. It was all in her attitude. Thinking about if Derek might have ideas of hooking up in his head- as hot as that was- would only sidetrack her, in the end. Only send her back into a downward spiral when she finally had hit rock bottom last December- alone in her apartment crying over Haley and needing Derek more than ever but being too stubborn to call as she thought about if he might be with that annoying, needy Tamara. A woman that Derek tried to hide the fact he had dated for a while last year but, of course, Penelope was the Oracle and she knew all.

Things last year had gotten rough between her and Derek but this year was better than ever. They were in a great place- emotionally close and both freed of the pain that clung to them over the last couple of years.

Penelope loved spending time with her best friend. Just as long as she didn't let her mind drift away into long given up fantasies of romance between them. Instead she let herself just enjoy how right it felt to be near him.

Some things didn't need to be over analyzed. They just needed to be cherished and that's what she did every moment she spent with Derek.


He was glad that she had agreed to spend this weekend at his house. It wasn't that he didn't think he could take care of his nephews alone. He just knew it would be a lot more fun to do it with her.

And, okay, he was a little nervous about the fact that the boys would be there for almost three whole days. He had never spent that much time taking care of a child before- let alone two, rambunctious, full of energy twin boys.

Derek knew it couldn't hurt to have some back up in Penelope. While he loved his nephews and was looking forward to their staying with him, he didn't like the idea of two against one. Penelope being there would even out the stakes. Plus she was great with Henry, Jack and all the other kids she interacted with due to her friends.

Right at that moment though Derek was not thinking of how Penelope was there to help babysit. She was in his arms, smiling happily at him with her eyes dancing with amusement, and all he could think was: God, she's beautiful.

"Okay, baby girl," he said as he reluctantly let go of her "time to get your luggage upstairs before the kids get-"

Honk! Honk! The beeping signaled his sister and her husband pulling into the driveway. It was a fun sound to say: We're here! Come take these kids off our hands.

Penelope chuckled "Too late, Hot Stuff."

He groaned and joked "Sounds like the little monsters arrived early to run us ragged. You ready, girl?"

"I don't know," she joked "I'm thinking I may just bag this whole thing."

He raised an eyebrow.

Penelope went on, running a hand over his chest, "You know, unless you can give me a good incentive to stay. Like promising me wicked, naughty nights in your bed being ravished to make up for days spent covered in crumbs pretending to like video games and football."

He made a sound like he was going to take a bite out of her as he went for her neck. "We can work something out, I'm sure. Now come on, woman, time to clock in."

Taking her hand he led her to the door, opened it and motioned for her to walk out before him. He followed her, still hand-in-hand, and smiled as he saw his nephews jumping out of the rented van and running toward him.

They screamed "UNCLE DEREK!" before crashing into him and hugging him. He looked at Penelope over their heads and saw that she had a tender look on her face.

In that moment he didn't ache for all things he had never had the guts to go for- a family of his own- but instead felt completely loved and surrounded by family. Having Penelope there made a good moment into a fantastic one that warmed his heart in a way it couldn't unless he was staring into her deep, soulful brown eyes.