She's The One

Chapter One

March 2010

She's the love of his life. Of that he has no doubts left. It took him not seconds, not hours, not days, not months but years to come to this conclusion.

Really after just one smile and flirty line thrown his way Derek Morgan- the talented profiler- should have been able to read himself well enough to know that he hadn't ever taken instantly so strongly to a woman the way he did Penelope Garcia and he never would find anyone who made him feel even half of what she did just by turning her soulful brown eyes on him.

But he wasn't able to decipher himself and his truths the easy way he did when it came to unsubs.

So it took time. More time than he likes to think about now. The answer revealed itself in fits and starts. In scorching hot daydreams and in middle of the night wet dreams, in moments when she cried on his shoulder, in kinky phone calls, in funny banter, longing looks, breathtaking fear over her health, in anger and in forgiveness, in jealousy, in pain and laughter, joy and understanding.

In all those little small moments he fell for his girl.

He could cite every single one- for not a moment has been forgotten by him- but it would take him hours. If she ever asks him he'll have to spend a whole afternoon explaining when he fell in love with her because it was not one specific instance. Its everything all added up together. It's the memories that they created while having her by his side for six years and it's the fear that she got way too close to marrying another man. It's the harsh truth that Derek got way too close to having zero chance left of Penelope ever becoming his woman.

Together it all forms their history- their love story- and he knows that when it is all said and done he can't deny the truth: she's the one.

For a long time he fought it. Sometimes he would admit it, to himself or to Reid, just to take it back later or claim he was pass feeling that way now. Then a moment would come along over and over again that would serve to call Derek out for the liar he was when he ever tried to play it off that his feelings for her had faded.

"Can you do me a favor?" she asked.

Usually she would use the cutest tone when she cajoled him into moving boxes of files, fixing computer chairs, fetching coffee or helping her rearrange her office. But that particular day there was so no adorable begging lilt in her voice.

Penelope looked and sounded exhausted.

"Sure thing. What do you need?" he asked, in a very concerned tone.

"There's a box of Kevin's things in my car. Do you think you could drop it by his place this weekend? Whenever you have time. We ended things and I really don't want to have to see him anytime soon."

"Yeah, no problem."

They spent another ten minutes talking about why things ended. Penelope had broken up with Lynch because she knew she didn't want to spend the rest of her life with him. Lynch wasn't happy about it and had spent two weeks begging her to re-consider. Last night she laid it out for him in no uncertain terms. She was finally and completely done, she had said, and she was moving on.

Soon after she dyed her hair red and was out every night having fun, sometimes with Derek by her side but more often with her girlfriends.

The moment that Derek heard Penelope say she was done for good with Lynch his heart had soared. By that point in his life he was, quite frankly, down on his knees and wondering if there was a reason to get up again. Not only was he feeling old, tired, and wore down but also sick of himself. Sick of life not playing fair with people. Sick of watching suffering all around him. Sick of not being able to stop it- not matter how close to home it struck.

By then, Derek was thick in his denial of having any romantic feelings about Penelope. He told himself that his feelings for her came and went while she had a boyfriend and it had all just been a stupid crush on his part anyway. That being friends was what they had always been meant to be and only jealousy had made him feel different for a short time there.

In the pivotal second when he heard she was single it all changed.

Before his mind could really even process what he was hearing his body was sending signals of relief, joy and happiness through him. He tried to keep it off his face because he wanted to be supportive to her but deep inside he was doing a dance like he had just scored a touchdown at the big Friday night football game.

And he knew he was gonna go for it. He was gonna go for her.

He had to find a way to show Penelope how much his feelings for her had grown and changed over all these years. To make her see that he wanted everything with her. Not just the office romance they had. A real love that could last for a lifetime with her.

Derek decided to give her exactly two months to get over Lynch. Two months to heal. Two months to let Lynch leave her heart forever. Two months to clear her mind.

And when those sixty days were over he was going to make a move. Even if she might not see him in the same way he saw her he had to do this. Because, like he had slowly figured out over six years, she is the one.

For the love of a man's life a man has to take a chance. Roll the dice. Risk it all. If he doesn't there is no chance he'll ever get to make love to her, take vows with her, share a home with her, make babies with her.

So he'll have to put his heart on the line. Have to romance her and pray his baby girl can fall in love with him right back. Pray that he's the one, too.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

He got lucky. The fates were on his side. When his sixty day self-imposed waiting period came to an end the team happened to be in the office doing paperwork.

The last two months had flown by. Derek felt freaking better than he had in years and years. He couldn't keep a smile off his face if he tried. Every time he spoke to Penelope his heart warmed and he silently counted down another day in his head: Just 59 days now, baby girl. 58, darlin. 57, sweetheart. 56, my love and so on and so on.

Now there were no more days left. Now it was time to put his plan in motion. Nothing had gone wrong yet to make him reconsider. She hadn't went back to Lynch. She hadn't hooked up with anyone new. She hadn't kept Derek at a distance. In fact they were tighter than ever.

The flirting was off the charts now. Maybe she could tell how hot he was for her. Maybe not.

He couldn't be sure because Penelope was so sexy and dirty mouthed that her normal behavior towards him was the same as a woman who was very deeply attracted and in love with a man. Of course Derek hadn't seen much of that side of her when she was with Lynch and it coming back out now could just be because she was single- and not because of any deepening feelings for Derek- but he didn't care what the reasoning behind it was.

All he cared was that it felt damn good to be flirting up a freaking storm with her again. But not as good as kissing her would feel. Not as good as making love would feel. Not as good as it would feel to see her eyes light up with happiness the moment after he said "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, baby girl."

Would he get any of that? Would she want him? Only one way to find out and it starts today.