Author's Note: Hi, guys! I've got a few announcements for today. First this is the final day to sign-up for the Valentine's Fic Gift Exchange on Chit Chat on Author's Corner forum. You have until 11:59 EST, January 31, 2011 to register. Details can be found at the forum or you can PM me for information or letting me know of your interest.
Also, our mini-awards end tonight for BEST fic written for one of the challenges on "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" today. You have until 11:59 EST, January 31, 2011 to cast your vote. Simply PM either ilovetvalot (me) or tonnie2001969 with the name of the fic AND the author that wrote it.
And finally, I want to thank our loyal readers that are sticking with us. I know my postings are sporadic these days and I apologize for it. I've received a couple of negative anonymous reviews over that very issue. Real life, especially mine, is complicated. Going from a loving two parent household to a single parent with a husband fighting in a dangerous war is difficult. I'm not asking for sympathy, just please be patient. I promise, I'm writing as fast as I can, but I want to bring you guys something of quality instead of garbage I wrote on the fly.
As ever, I don't own Criminal Minds.
The Winning Team
Fanfic Challenge 2010 - Round 4 Pick Your Own Pairing Assignment: Morgan/Garcia; Pairing X is forced to babysit a precocious child
If she could just figure out how to harness the energy of all the world's small children, she was certain she'd be a billionaire. It was the only thought pervading her frazzled mind as she watched little Henry LaMontagne's sturdy four year old legs make their five hundredth lap around her oval dining room table.
"What the heck did you feed that kid before I got here, Sweetness?" Derek Morgan mock whispered from the doorway to the kitchen, his hands pressed against the painted frame.
"I swear, Derek, all he had was a Happy Meal," Penelope said, looking at her best friend with wide eyes.
"And a choccie shake, Unca Dewek," Henry chirped as he ran by, his little boy voice as bouncy as his little body. "Wit' a hot fudge sundae for dessert!" he giggled, smacking his Uncle's leg on the second pass.
"Baby Girl!" Derek groaned, dropping his chin to his chest as he mentally calculated the sugar consumption of the toddler. "We talked about this!"
"You weren't there, My Chocolate Kiss!" Penelope declared as she shook her head defensively. "He looked at me with those big blue eyes and said he was "hungwy"," she mimicked, slamming her hands to her hips.
"Then you buy him a pack of apple slices, Mama...not crack in a bottle," Derek moaned, barely resisting the urge to run screaming toward the door as the child made another lap around the room. "We're never gonna get him to sleep at this rate."
"Sweeep?" Henry yelped, pausing abruptly and shaking his little head frantically as he looked up at his uncle. "No sweepy sweep! I pay now!"
Glancing at the clock, Derek swept the tow headed youngster up in his strong arms when he would have darted for freedom again. "It's after ten, Little Guy. How we gonna play baseball tomorrow if you don't get a good night's sleep?"
"Ball?" Henry brightened, patting Morgan's cheeks. "Pay ball now, Unca Dewek!"
"Oh, no," Morgan replied as he shook his head. "It's bed time, my buddy!"
"Nuh uh," Henry said emphatically, landing a kick against Derek's most sensitive area. "Auntie Penny said it was sumber party! Dat means we stay up alllll night! Right, Penny?" Henry asked as Morgan lowered him to the floor, his uncle going to his knees as he bent double.
"Derek?" Penelope cringed as the muscular man rocked back and forth in front of the dining room table as Henry resumed his running. "You okay?"
"Don't think I'll ever need to worry about a vasectomy," he croaked, his cheeks ruddy as he tried to catch his breath. "I think the Little Guy just performed his own version. And I'm not sure I'm sad about it," he muttered, eyeing the unruly toddler.
Stepping between her fallen buddy and her overactive godson, Penelope shook her head. "Okay, maybe I made a teeny mistake with the sugar intake."
"How could you have not learned your lesson after the Mountain Dew incident?" Derek growled, climbing laboriously to his feet with a hand from Garcia.
"He only tried to hang from the ceiling fan for a second, Derek! He thought it would be a neat ride," Penelope defended her quasi-son.
"Like he's trying to use the drapes as a trapeze now?" Derek asked curiously, pointing behind Garcia at the bay windows.
"Oh God!" Garcia gasped as she realized the little acrobat was well on his way to the high wire. "Henry! Baby, no, no, no!" she admonished, grabbing the little tyke and redirecting him toward the living room.
"I havin' fun, Aunt Penny," Henry grinned happily, clapping his hands. "Are you, Unca Dewek?"
"Loads," Derek winced, his hand moving to cover his crotch as the little boy ran toward him. "Remind me I need to invest in a cup when we babysit," he told Garcia over Henry's shoulder.
"Will do." Pen nodded sympathetically. Sighing deeply, she smiled at her godson. "How bout a movie, Henry?"
Brightening, Henry smiled, his missing top tooth providing a picture perfect smile. "A movie? Yay!"
"Whatcha feel like watching?" she asked, moving toward her DVD racks as she mentally scanned her collection for a child-friendly offering.
"How bout "The Exorcist" or "Damian"?" Derek grumbled.
Shooting Derek a censorious glare, she grinned at Henry, waving a dvd case in the air.
"Despicable Me!" Henry yelled, jumping up and down in place.
"Alrighty," Pen nodded, slipping the disc into the player. "Places, please," she said, gesturing toward the couch. "You, too, Unca Dewek," she mimicked.
Moving uncertainly toward the couch, Morgan sat gingerly beside Henry, pointing a finger at the youngster. "No sudden movements, Little Man."
And rolling her eyes at the antics of the young and old alike, Pen started the movie.
It took "Despicable Me", "Monsters, Inc." and a bowl of popcorn, but three and a half hours later, she and Derek had won the war.
Their small charge now slept peacefully between them on the couch, sprawled out on his back, his head resting on Morgan's thigh and his feet thrown over Penelope's lap.
"He's finally out," Pen whispered, smiling softly down at the little boy as she smoothed the hair back from his face.
"Don't touch it!" Morgan hissed, batting away your hand. "You wake him up and I'm bailing, no matter how much I love you."
Smiling, Penelope shook her head. "You had fun," she accused lightly.
Stifling a yawn, Morgan shrugged. "He definitely allows me the chance to get those paternal urges purged from my system. I don't know how Will and JJ do it."
"Team work," Penelope explained as she winked.
"If I had to wrestle this little man every night, I'd be requesting a transfer," Derek yawned, stretching his arms over his head.
"Liar," Penelope chided, giving her best friend a raised eyebrow.
"Fine, but I'd definitely be eating more Wheaties," he allowed as he grinned. "And luckily, I'm just an alternate."
"For now," Pen murmured, smiling faintly. "But who knows what the future could hold?"
And as Derek Morgan watched Penelope Garcia's glowing face, he couldn't help but think...maybe the parenthood thing...it wouldn't be so bad with just the right team mate.