A.N: based loosely on a short clip I saw from a website were Morgan yells at Garcia over the phone also from the song which I've put in a few lyrics that I thought fit. The title of said song is of course "Stained glass Masquerade" by Casting Crowns. Of course this takes place just after the season premiere which is coming up on Wednesday. Also Penelope isn't with Kevin for this ficlet she'd free and clear. I hope you like what's written and now on with the show.

Disclaimed: I own nothing and no one got hurt except a punching bag.

May, 2010 Quantico, VA

She knew the second he answered the phone their conversation wouldn't be pleasant that his anger and self loathing controlled his demeanor and mind at the very time. Never the less his biting words still stung and tore a small piece of her happiness. Regardless if he meant them or not she felt the need to prove herself to find the information he needed to turn his mood around. Though she knew without a doubt that it would take a miracle to do just that he'd have to forgive himself first another hard pressed issue that she'd have to over come.

But then she didn't know all the particulars. She didn't know that he'd been hurt and bleeding for God knows how long had to watch as the scum bag of the century got away with a victim a child no less. That he had to watch as Spicer's life drained from his body and was powerless to stop it. Yup Penelope Garcia had no idea what went on in California other than the fact that they had an unsub terrorizing one of the worlds largest cities and when she finds out Lord help the man who kept his mouth shut.

Los Angeles, Ca

Granted the case worked on everyone's nerve none more than Derek Morgan. He cursed himself mentally for the rudeness he showed Penelope, but the anger won out making his temper a short fuse. He'd seen the disapproving look Hotch sent his way but ignored it instead and stalked off to cool the rage that coursed through his body. It'd do no good to go off half cocked at a time like this when a child's life hung in the balance.

Yet he couldn't stop himself from slamming a fist into the nearest wall doing more damage to his all ready over taxed body than to the wall itself.

"You know when Penelope finds out about what happened she's going to be livid," a cool female voice said from behind him.

Derek ran a hand over his semi bald head giving the woman a sideways glare. "And she needs to know why?"

"Cause Morgan she loves you and won't let you beat yourself up about what happened. Though only God knows why she does because I sure don't have that answer."

"Punch line Prentiss," he growled lowly striating his spine.

"Simple you thick headed man, apologize to the only woman who can clear the demons in your soul and let her in tell her what happened. But then…" Emily trailed off with a wave of her small hand and started to walk away.

"Then what?" he demanded to her retreating figure.

She turned head cocked to the side as if thinking about her answer. "It'd mean bearing your soul Morgan all the ugly truth you keep hidden deep down. For you to uncover the masquerade you present the world with."

Derek stood there watching as she walked away knowing that she was right in so many ways. But life had taught him that laying his heart and soul out for someone would only caused him pain in the end. He couldn't and wouldn't do that not now or ever. Yet he also knew that Penelope would be different she didn't judge him, didn't push, just accepted him for who he was mask and all.

Quantico, VA two days later

Silently they trudged inside their steel and glass office building world weary and heavy hearted dropping go bags and brief cases at desks, losing ties and taking that second to just look around. Light filled the office space calling to them from the darkness they'd endured in California clearing the deep murkiness from their souls just a fraction.

The sound of heels on tile grabbed the attention of both Emily and Reid the former sitting on the edge of her desk while the latter sat in his chair cocked back just a bit a ball rolling between his large hands.

"It's good to have my lovely's back from another gruesome case. All's well I hope?" Garcia asked semi-brightly.

Even she, the Goddess of brightly colored clothing and sweet nicknames became sorrowful at times like these. But then she tried to think of better times of cute pandas and kittens, yet it never quiet banished the creeping darkness.

"All's well PG," Emily responded exhaustion dripping from her voice. "Could use a nice warm bed and sleep."

"Food first!" Reid interjected from his place.

"You're always hungry Spence," JJ called from the glass doors.

"I need food to keep me growing," Reid countered sitting up and glaring at JJ.

He hated the last night with a passion he'd never felt before maybe it had to do with the fact that he disliked the darkness with such conviction that fueled the abhorrence and the fact that the unsub had took advantage of other's disadvantage heighten the dislike to an extreme measure.

"Where in Bill Gate's name do you put it all junior g-man? I mean you eat your weight in food yet gain nothing," Penelope stated resting a well manicured hand on her rounded hip.

"Metabolism," Reid answered matter of fact.

"Bite me," Penelope returned sticking her tongue out at the young genius.

"I don't want to bite you Garcia we're friends I wouldn't want to hurt you," Reid said clueless to the fact that she was being sarcastic.

Penelope started to answer when Emily held up a hand, "Don't try Pen he doesn't get it."

"Get what?" he asked even more confused than before.

"Food?" JJ asked changing the subject quickly.

"That sounds heavenly where we eating?" Rossi asked stepping from his office.

"Some place other than Chinese please I've had enough take out for a while," Hotch stated simply closing his office door behind him.

"Italian then," JJ tossed in.

"Or Indian," Reid offered standing and grabbing his jacket.

"To late for spicy food Reid. What about Rob's diner not far from here?" Emily compromised with a shrug of her slim shoulders.

"Prefect," Penelope exclaimed, looking around at her merry band of superheroes. "Where's Morgan?"

No one answered at first not wanting to incur the wrath of the Oracle however the silent spoke for it's self.

"What happened?" she demanded with an impatience tap of her heeled foot.

"The unsub had captured Morgan for a brief period Garcia. We didn't want to alarm you at the time and having no cell service…" JJ began trailing off when Penelope held up a hand.

"And none of you thought to tell me before now?" she asked her temper controlled.

"The case took priority Penelope," Hotch hedged authoritatively.

"Not good enough Hotch you know that," Penelope exclaimed exhaling a breath weariness filling her body.

Rossi cleared his throat, "He's fine kitten I can assure you of that."

"Maybe in body Rossi, but what about mind," Penelope argued vehemently almost to the point of stomping her foot. "I ask again where is he?"

"We don't know," Emily answered quietly. "When we landed he took off in one of the SUV's without us. Didn't say where or why just left with his go bag."

Penelope nodded, "I'll take a rain check on that dinner my lovelies," she said turning on her heel and walking away.

"Just don't forget to eat Garcia," Hotch called after her.

"Don't worry," she called over her shoulder.

An hour later after stopping off at the grocery store to pick up a few much needed items for the night, Penelope pulled into the drive. The lights, except one, were off signaling a bad omen all ready. Carefully she pulled the cloth bags from her backseat slamming the door with her shapely hip and started for the door. Key in the lock, knob turning, light switch flicked on and door pushed open the rest of the way to Clooney waiting blonde tail waving in the wind.

"Hey boy," Penelope greeted getting a high pitched whine from the animal in return. "That bad hu?"

Clooney cocked his shaggy head to the side as if to say 'yea that bad mama.'

"Don't worry boy we'll fix it," she said using her free hand to give him a short scratch behind the ears.

Slipping her heels off before processing to the kitchen where she dropped the bags and started to sort through and put things away leaving only the needed dinner items out. She set to work preparing dinner knowing that it would do no good to interrupt him now as she could hear the sounds of fists connecting with leather.

Another thirty minutes passed before she'd finished with her chicken salad. Sighing deeply she gave a brief look in the direction of the basement door which hadn't opened since the moment she'd came home.

Home she still found it funny to call the house Derek had lived in by his self for over two years home, but that's what it'd become to her. Four months ago she never thought she'd loose her boyfriend of two years that he'd call their relationship dried up and weathered with nothing left for either of them. They parted on good terms and then Alaska happened and Derek was there to help pick herself back up again. Now it would be her turn.

Storing the chicken in the refrigerator, giving Clooney another long scratch before heading up the stairs to change clothes into something a bit more comfortable, another wave of remembrance hit her upon entering their room, the master bedroom. A perfect blend of the two, with purple sheets on a four post canopy bed, dark chocolate walls, solid mahogany dresser and night stands, wood floors with the touch of colorful rugs to accent.

The smile slipped just a bit from her lips knowing that her man was hurting that he didn't want to talk about it so he pushed her away kept her at arms length till his anger and self hatred was contained once again. However, she didn't want that she wanted him to let go this time to show her what was slowly killing his soul. He'd always told her that she was his God given solace and tonight she would start acting more like it. She'd brake down that masquerade he tried to keep in place but was no longer working on her.

After slipping into a pair of sweatpants and tank top she took one more quick look around the newness of their passionate relationship still working through her system. Still finding it hard to believe that a man like Derek Morgan would love someone like her, yet she remembered something he told her not so long ago.

"It's the other way around baby girl how could someone like you love a reject like me? A pure sweet light that banishes the darkness in my soul, how can you love me?"

She never understood why he'd asked her a silly question like that, on the other hand the answer was as plan as the nose on her face and by God it would end tonight.

Bare feet traced their well worn path back downstairs through the kitchen and down the steps towards the basement or mancave as Penelope had jokingly referred to it when Derek first brought her down. His part gym, part theater a place to go too escape from the world, but right now the world or more accurately Penelope needed to break in and save him.

Stopping one the last grey carpeted step she took in her surrounding Derek's muscular bare back facing her sending chills of desire rushing through her veins. Yet the posture he'd taken on cleared those feelings and new sorrowful ones replaced them.

"Love muffin you coming up for dinner?" she quietly asked seeing him tense.

"I'm not hungry Penelope," he answered curtly without turning around.

"Derek…" she began stepping of the last ledge and starting forward. "You need to eat something baby."

Shaking his head but kept quiet Morgan still didn't turn to look at her. Knowing that she didn't know the full story of what happened back in LA.

Small warm hands smoothed down his back raising chills over his skin, "Talk to me handsome," she coxed softly.

"I can't," he responded with slipping away from her touch but kept his back to her.

Penelope sighed heavily knowing it would take more then just a few words to break his iron will. "You asked me once why I love you."

That question got his attention and he turned to face her watching as shock stole over her face then replaced with tenderness and compassion as she took slow measured steps towards him.

Tentatively Penelope reached out her hand cupping the side of his face fingers brushing lightly over his whisker roughened cheek.

"Oh Derek what did he do to you?" she questioned sorrowfully honey eyes tracing every line and feature of his handsome bruised face.

"It'll heal Penelope."

"I know love, but will this heal?" she countered placing her other hand against the taut bare skin of his chest just above the heart muscle.

Words failed to form in his mouth and mind he didn't have a response for her.

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

"Don't shut me out talk to me," she pleaded pulling her hand away from his face and wrapping her arms around his waist placing her head where her hand had been against his chest.

"I can't Penelope," he reiterated anguish coloring his voice dropping the cadence an octave lower, huskier.

She looked up at him, "Of course you can," Penelope said sincerely.

Derek pulled away from her, her tenderness burning his skin, her belief muddying his mind. "It's not that simple."

"Yes it is hot stuff. What happened wasn't your fault."

"It was," he quietly rebuked still facing the wall determined to not fall apart with her in his presence.

A deep sigh left her lips as she wrapped her arms around her starving off the cold feeling swimming through her body. Again she say's, "You asked me once why I loved you."

"What doesn't that have to do with this?"

"Everything," she stated firmly. "I know you see what happened as weakness that you let the scumbag win even for a brief moment in time. But Derek he didn't win."

"He killed Spicer Penelope," Derek yelled angrily turning to face her. "He kidnapped his daughter I let that happen."

"How?" she asked voice still soft and measured. "Did you just lay down and let him walk away? Did you hand him the gun to shoot Spicer? Did you pull the trigger?"

"I may well have for all the help I gave him. The man is dead because of me."

"Bullshit," Penelope exclaimed vehemently stomping her bare foot against the cold cement of the gym area.

"No bullshit…"

She shook her head not giving an inch. "Yes bullshit Derek Gabriel Morgan in every sense of the word bullshit. You did your job."

"Not good enough we should've waited should've known he'd have laid a trap to capture Spicer."

"So now your psychic?" she asked placing her small hands on his ample hips anger starting to color her voice. "You should know something before it happens and for that matter what did happen cause you sure as hell didn't tell me you were even hurt. I had to learn the unsub held you hostage from Hotch after the case was closed."

"Part of the job," he mumbled turning away from accusing eyes.

"Part of the job," she mimicked trying to get a rise out of him. "So what you let your guard down let him best you. He'd better than you hu?"

"Penelope," he growled warningly.

"Don't Penelope me," she roared fed up. "I want answers and for you to stop acting like everything is your fault."

"Damn it woman it is my fault," he yelled lashing out as he turning to face her. "I was stupid enough to think we could handle it, even though I wanted to wait for back up. Spicer had all ready ran inside and I couldn't let him go alone. But I still let him down still let him take the bullet and lost his daughter to the piece of shit."

"Derek," she called softly seeing the pain and self loathing written on his face.

"No," he answered shaking his head. "I did that."

"And the blackout you did that to?" she asked seeing him shake his head negatively. "You told Spicer to run head long into that house?" again he answered no. "Then why is it your fault baby?"

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Anger depleted as sorrow encompassed him. "I failed to protect her to save him. I couldn't do anything but bleed on the carpet while Spicer's daughter was dragged out by that son of a bitch."

"You were hurt Derek," Penelope said stepping up in front of him again placing a hand against his cheek. "He got the drop on you trussed you up like Thanksgiving turkey. You couldn't help what happened. Everything happens for a reason love you know that."


"We don't know why we just live."

"Not just that," Derek said vulnerability seeping into his body. "Why do you love me when all I am is a fake? I'm not strong Penelope I'm not the super hero you think I am."

"You let me be the judge of that handsome," Penelope stated grasping his free right hand in her left and tugging him forward to sit on the weight bench.

Opening his legs to accommodate her body, Derek rested his hands of her waist looking up into her trusting honey eyes. "Explain."

She smiled, "I just don't see the chocolate God packaged outsides sexy. What I see is a heart so strong and full of love for not only his mother and sisters but the team as well, a caring soul that put me back together after so many dark times, a man who took charge when Hotch had to step down but retook your position when the time came. You look out for the underdog and protect them. You put yourself in harms way for people you don't even know. You are my super hero Derek and you always will be."

"You forgot one thing baby girl." She cocked an eyebrow. "That I have you as a wonderful side kick."

"Of course Mon Cheri," she grinned. "And you wouldn't want it any other way."

"Hell no woman," Derek agreed pulling her warm soft body into his hard one. "I love you."

She drew back, "I know."

"Tease," he admonished playfully.

Penelope sobered up quickly, "I love you to Derek never forget that. Regardless of what happens today, tomorrow or in the years to come I will never stop loving you," she said leaning down to brush a soft kiss to his lips. Pulling back smiling to say, "Besides I've trained you to well to break in another and I damn sure don't want to try."

The End…

End note: not much really but I hope you like it.