Author's Note: Hello, all our fanfic friends! Several announcements today, so, hang on tight!

This is the third in our new "Shakespeare Series" based off the 6x02 episode "JJ". This will be a series of post-eps related to that episode covering, hopefully each of the characters. We really hope you like it! Hold on to your hats and find out what happens between Morgan and Garcia after the events of the 6x02 episode.

Please, please, please don't forget to get your nominations in for the first EVER "Profiler's Choice Awards. Nomination ballots and rules are at the forum. Don't forget, I'm (ilovetvalot) still willing to write a oneshot of your pairing choosing to the next five people to complete a ballot. This is a wonderful opportunity to give your favorite stories and authors the recognition that they deserve on ff. net. Also, please remember, in the interest of just saying "no" to self-promotion, ilovetvalot and tonnie2001969 are NOT eligible for nomination.

Also, readers & authors, please come sound off on our newest discussion thread. Tell us how you'd feel about the idea of a fanfic based CM Christmas Gift Fic Exchange. We're eagerly soliciting opinions and ideas!

So, please, drop by and get a blank ballot and tell the fanfic community who YOUR favorites are! We'd love to have you!


A Walking Shadow

Wiping her dripping cheeks, Penelope Garcia silently bemoaned the fickle fates that had cursed the BAU once again.

Since when had crying become a way of life for her?

For months, her team had been plagued by one misfortune after another, never seeming to catch even the smallest of breaks. She'd hoped when George Foyet's reign of terror had ended, that, perhaps, in time, their tight knit group might return to some semblance of normality.

But nothing was ever that simple, was it? One small step forward…and a million giant steps backward.

Feeling a fresh rash of tears rising in her eyes, Garcia fought the sob inching its way up her chest and into her throat.

Now, those pesky powers that be had taken JJ from them, too.

And while her bestest gal pal on the planet might choose to be calmly rational about the whole ordeal, she was the epitome of philosophically challenged on the matter.

"We've lost enough in the last year, you morons!" she yelled at the unyielding ceiling, unsure if it was the dastardly deities or Strauss herself and her merry band of bureaucratic bastards that she shouted at. In this case, it equated to the same difference.

"Baby Girl?"

Jerking her head toward the door as his deep baritone voice flowed over her, Garcia blinked back tears. "You heard?" she asked, her lower lip trembling even more.

Stepping inside her normally happy lair, Derek Morgan closed the door behind him with a soft click. "Yeah," he said softly, crossing the room to where she sat huddled behind her keyboard. "I figured I needed to get here quick and see what kind of damage you were working on inflicting," he said, his eyes assessing the computer monitor in front of her. "Gotta make sure it's nothing I'll have to bail that pretty ass out of jail for," he teased gently, bending to place a warm kiss against her flushed temple.

Frowning at her keyboard, Garcia shook her head, unable to take even some pleasure in her hunky hunk's attention. "Not yet," she whispered. "Although, I did post some photos of Erin Strauss' last vacation on YouTube."

"That doesn't sound particularly devious," Morgan commented, mystified.

"She was topless," Garcia said with a shrug, lifting her head up to look at his dark handsome face. "Nude beach in Cannes."

"That's my girl," Derek grinned, cupping her neck with a warm hand and massaging her tense muscles. "Feel better after getting that done?"

"Not really, the dragon still breathes fire," Garcia muttered morosely.

"It's gonna be okay, Mama," Derek assured his gloomy best friend, wrapping his arms around her waist as he knelt beside her chair. "I have it on good authority that Hotch and Dave are working double time to beat Strauss at her own game."

"It's difficult to beat pure evil," Garcia grumbled, resting her bright head on Derek's muscular shoulder, letting herself rely on his strength for the moment.

"We do it every day, Sweetness," Morgan reminded her gently.

"Yeah, but that's the obvious evil. Killing someone is kinda in your face badass...Strauss...she's that deceptive kinda evil. You know, the kind that convinces you to reach your hand out to touch the innocent looking lamb only to find out it's actually a lion in disguise as it rips you hand off."

Laughing at her analogy, Derek pressed a kiss to Penelope's cheek. "I think we're all kinda clear on just how ruthless Strauss is, Sweetness. We've just got to find a way to beat her at her own game," he pointed out sagely. "And, it isn't just Strauss. Our girl impressed a lot of people up the food chain on this last case with her mad skills, Baby Doll. She's a wanted woman."

"She belongs to us!" Garcia cried, burying her head in Derek's neck, needing to hide from the world that seemed intent on imploding around her.

"And we'll get her back," Morgan soothed, tightening his arms around Garcia, splaying his hands over her hips. "Have I ever broken a promise to you yet, Baby Girl?"

"No," Penelope shook her head, her words muffled.

"I'm not gonna start now," Derek vowed solemnly as Pen pulled back to stare at him, her deep eyes searching his, her wide eyed gaze filled with sorrow.

"Fine," Garcia said, sniffling as she wrinkled her nose. "I'll wait. But, so help me Apple Computer, I vow to the Dell gods, that I will find a way to create a terroristic threat within the BAU in order to get JJ back here if that's what it takes. I mean it!"

Watching her sparkling eyes narrow on his face, Derek nodded solemnly. "And I swear that if that day must come, I'll happily be your human shield while you wreak all kinds of nasty havoc in every federal computer system ever created. Until then, though, why don't we let Rossi and Hotch try things their way, okay?"

"Fine," Garcia grumbled, scuffing her soles against the industrial floor. "I'll put the kibosh on my bloodlust for a little while. But, my goodwill will not be indefinite."

"Trust me, Sweetness, there's not a person that knows you that would doubt that," Derek smiled, lifting his hand to wipe her tears away from her cheeks. "Better?"

"Some," Garcia nodded.

"C'mon, Baby Girl," Derek smiled, pulling her out of her chair. "Emily and I have made the executive decision to get you and the genius drunk tonight. I can't think of two people that need it more right now."

"With the exception of my little Buttercup," Garcia sighed, JJ's sad face the only thing she saw every time she closed her eyes.

"JJ is going to be fine. And so are you," Morgan vowed, tugging her towards the door, refusing to allow her to wallow in their combined misery. "Now, let's go get our drink on."

Offering him a faint smile, Garcia docilely allowed him to lead her toward the elevator. Unfortunately, she already knew what her handsome hunk of chocolate had yet to figure out.

No amount of liquor could dull this pain….because heart aches never truly healed.

Finis


Author's Note 2 - Also guys, please don't forget that if you'd like to advertise the awards on your own profile pages or stories, there's a short blurb on my (ilovetvalot) and Tonnie's (tonnie2001969) profile page for you to copy and paste if you choose!

Again, thanks to everyone reading, reviewing, alerting and favoriting this story!