Author's Note: Hello, wonderful readers. I hope everyone in the good ole US of A remembered to adjust their clocks for daylight savings time. (I didn't). At any rate, we have just a few announcements for everyone today.
First, please remember to try and spare a few moments over the upcoming three weeks and VOTE for your favorite authors and stories in the "Profiler's Choice Awards" at "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum. You have through the end of November 30, 2010 to let your vote be heard and we want to hear from each one of you. If you don't know much about forums, links can be found through either my profile (ilovetvalot) or my awesome co-author (tonnie2001969). Remember, anyone that wants to help advertise the awards has our unending gratitude and there is also a short blurb you can use on our profile pages.
Second, we also have a new fortune cookie prompt for you at the forum compliments of our "Fortune Cookie Friday post (Sorry, we forgot to advertise it yesterday). And we also have great new interviews with several of our nominees. Today, we are "getting to know" the following: b-mystique, Nagen66, Monkeywand, and Hidge. More interviews are coming soon!
Many thanks to everyone still reading these stories. We really appreciate you. Now, on with the show!
19th in our Shakespeare series. Post-ep for "Middle Man".
This is our 400th story! YAY!
What Dreams May Come
TV Prompt: Mad Men – Shut the Door. Have a Seat.
Smiling as she heard a knock on her lair's door, Penelope Garcia glanced at the SpongeBob clock on the corner of her desk. Right on time, she thought approvingly as she called over her shoulder, "Come in, my little Hershey's Kiss!"
Shaking his bald head as he pushed open the portal into Penelope's little universe, Derek Morgan grinned as he stepped inside the brightly lit room. Much like the woman herself, this particular office oozed personality. From the funky lime green shag throw rugs strewn across the tiled floor to the colorful murals of her favorite troll dolls on the wall, this room screamed Penelope Garcia's name and walking in never failed to pull a smile to his lips, again, much like the woman herself. "You summoned, Baby Girl?" Derek grinned, arms held out wide.
"I did," Penelope said, her bright red curls bobbing against her shoulder as she twirled in her seat to face her dearest friend. "Shut the door," she smiled, arching a well-plucked brow. "Have a seat," she said, gesturing toward the padded chair in the corner. "Stay a while," she invited, her voice deceptively mild.
"O-kay," Derek drawled, pushing the door closed as she'd asked and striding across the room to the chair she'd indicated. "What's up, Mama?"
"Well," Penelope said, cocking her head as she twirled her fuzzy pen in her hand, "first off, I wanted to check on how things went in Indiana."
"Uh, we caught the unsub, Beautiful. It was a win," Derek replied, perplexed. Baby Girl wasn't in the habit of asking questions for which she already had the answers. And any deviation from her normal procedures meant that the future did not bode well for him.
"Not what I meant, Handsome," Penelope snorted, pointing her pen toward him, the rainbow fuzz floating through the air. "I meant between you and the Boss Man. Are things better?"
Ah, so this was her game, Derek silently sighed. She wanted to make sure her little family was still happily intact. He couldn't blame her. The entire team had been rocked to the core...and he'd been the one shaking the boat in several instances. Meeting her eyes, he assured her, "It's cool, Mama."
"Yeah," Penelope snorted, narrowing her eyes, "Like I'm gonna settle for that vague ass answer. Details, ma cheri, or I pull out my pliers and start the torture."
"Sounds kinky," Derek grinned, wriggling his eyebrows.
Quirking one eyebrow, Penelope stared at Derek with eyes that sparkled. "You should see what I can do with a pair of stilettos and a leather whip."
"Mmmm...promises, promises," Derek chided, shifting in his seat as his jeans became noticeably snugger. Deciding a change of topic was in order before things escalated beyond what was proper for the Federal Building, Derek smiled. "It's good, Sweetheart," he assured her honestly, leaning forward. "Hotch was...well, for lack of a better word, Hotch. For the first time since Haley died, I felt like I was working with the man I've admired for the last six years. Logical. Analytical. The guy that thinks first and then acts."
"So, in other words, you were reporting to the anti-you," Pen teased, tapping his knees with her pen.
"Exactly," Derek nodded. "One hothead on the team is enough...and that crown's always been mine, Mama. You know that."
"Trust me, my steamy chocolate latte, nobody will argue that point with you," Pen chuckled, tossing her hair over her shoulder as she reached for a sheet of paper on her desk. "But my own natural curiosity isn't the only reason I called this little tete-a- tete, my sweet," she said, presenting him a folded piece of paper with a flourish. "You and I have a little business to transact."
"What's this?" Morgan asked, his eyebrow furrowing as he tentatively took the paper from her hand.
"That, my love, is my bill," Penelope told him with a grim smile, tapping her foot against the edge of her rug.
"A bill?" Morgan echoed, unfolding the paper.
"Yep! A bill. Compliments of your dog," Penelope informed him as her face slowly hardened.
"Six hundred and forty-two dollars," Morgan yelped, reading the grand total at the bottom of the page. "What the hell did Clooney do?"
"He ate three pair of very expensive heels during your little jaunt to the cornfields...my favorite pairs, Morgan," Penelope said meaningfully, kicking her foot out in his direction for emphasis. "Your fierce hound has a secret foot fetish for ladies shoes."
"But six hundred bucks, Mama!" Morgan grimaced, rubbing his bald head as he stared down at the bill once again.
"I like style...and style costs, Peaches," Penelope shrugged carelessly. "You don't think I put just anything on these toesies, do you?" she asked, holding up one shapely calf and twirling her electric blue heel shod foot in the air. "You're incredibly lucky that your pooch isn't stuffed and mounted to the wall. I learned taxidermy in college, you know."
Exhaling, Morgan looked up at the resolved face of his best friend in the world. "I'm sorry, Baby Girl. Clooney usually sticks with my old slippers."
"Unfortunately, your canine carnivore has developed a hankering for fine leather pumps...one you'll need to cure him of before I agree to housesit again," Garcia growled.
Lips twitching, Derek pushed out of his chair and crossed to kneel at her side. "Maybe you and I could work out a little payment plan that might benefit us both," he suggested playfully, his fingers surrounding her shapely ankle.
"Mmmm...what're you thinking, Stud?" Pen asked gamely, tapping one orange tipped manicured finger against her desk, as Derek's hands twirled her chair to face him.
"Maybe you could take it out in trade," he murmured, his velvety voice a caress.
"Ah, but I'm not in any need of any of your puny profiling skills," Penelope drawled, leaning her head against the leather headrest of her rolling chair.
"Now, baby, you know my skills are varied," Morgan said huskily, his hands sliding up her legs slowly, his touch teasing her skin.
Shifting in her seat, Penelope rolled her eyes. "We've had this discussion, my little Love Slave," she chided, capturing his wandering hands and stilling them against her. "I just got out of a relationship."
"Yeah, by your choice, Penelope," Derek reminded her softly. "And if I remember correctly, I was the mitigating factor in that decision. And, yet, here we are...still just friends."
"Listen, LoveBug, I told you to give me to Thanksgiving to sort myself out," Penelope admonished, swallowing hard against the desire to throw herself into his arms. "I won't be bullied into something I'm not ready for...not even by you, Stud."
"Well, by my calendar, that gives you about three weeks," Derek grinned, tapping the desk calendar on her desk behind her. "And according to a little bird by the name of Reid, I'm expected to have my gorgeous ass at Rossi's cabin."
"Ah," Penelope nodded in satisfaction, happiness filling her voice, "So my email has been received, huh?"
"Oh, yeah," Morgan grinned. "Loud and clear."
"Good," Penelope nodded, satisfied with the way her holiday season was beginning to shape up. And if she had her way, she would be celebrating Turkey Day with her own special family unit, complete with every tradition known to mankind.
"So, any chance that I'm gonna get what I want in my Christmas stocking this year, Baby Girl?" Derek asked good naturedly as he rose fluidly to his feet.
"Santa's still checkin' that list, my hunky chocolate god. Stay tuned. And I accept cash or computer gadgetry," she said, pointing to her discarded bill on his vacated chair.
Snatching the sheet from his seat, Derek pressed a kiss to her soft head. "Only for you, Angel. And, I humbly request that you make a special phone call to your Santa connection...see if you could get that answer for me by Thanksgiving."
"Goodbye, Derek," Penelope said sternly, assuming a stone face.
"Later, Mama," Morgan winked before disappearing out of her office.
And as Penelope stared after the tall drink of water she'd fallen in love with, she realized that she had extra blessings to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
And she was definitely prepared to count her blessings twice this year!