Garcia/any male; I Knew I Loved You (Savage Garden);
Prompts: Candlelight dinner, large stuffed cute animal, lipstick stain
Summary: "The lipstick stain on Morgan's cheek after he and Garcia emerged from the elevator was the only sign Reid received that everything had gone exactly as planned." Because there are some things that the genius just doesn't understand
For the Valentine's Fic Exchange on Chit Chat on Author's Corner.
Many thanks to my wonderful beta, youdude!
Reid knocked cautiously on the closed door.
"Who dares to intrude upon the lair of the Goddess?" came the voice from within.
"It's Reid, Garcia," he responded, chuckling as always at her antics.
"Enter, mortal, but beware!" she declared imperiously. He obeyed, smirking slightly.
"What exactly is it that I'm supposed to be wary of?"
Penelope grinned in return. "Me, of course," she chirped brightly.
Reid rolled his eyes slightly. "Of course," he murmured, sarcasm lacing his tone.
Garcia frowned. "You're no fun. I can be very scary when I want to."
Reid shuddered at the thought of a weapon-ized Garcia. "All right, all right, I give. You're downright terrifying."
She grinned in satisfaction before asking, "Did you need something, Doc?"
He held up the stack of files in his arms in response. "Just a delivery." Plunking the paperwork on her desk, Reid turned to leave, only to be stopped by her voice.
"Reid? Can I talk to you about something?"
He turned back, grinning. "You haven't even read the files yet- how do you know you have a question?"
"It's not about work. It's… personal. And it isn't really a question."
Reid sobered at the solemnity in Garcia's voice. "Don't you usually talk to Morgan about that kind of thing?" he asked, frowning.
"Well, yeah, but it's kinda about him, so that wouldn't work so well..." She trailed off, before finally bursting out with, "I think I'm in love with him!"
"OH! I confess that I'm in love, and all you can say is OH!"
Reid stuttered, a bit daunted.
Garcia huffed. "Tell me what you really think, Doc."
Reid considered this seriously for a moment before stating, "I think Rossi won the bet." He paused for a moment before frowning and adding, "I think you should've waited a few days before having this epiphany: I was holding out for Valentine's Day."
Garcia frowned. "What bet?"
"Ummm," Reid mumbled, suddenly adopting a guilty face. "The bet that you weren't supposed to know about."
"Reid," she growled, menacing. "Tell me, or you don't even want to know what destruction these glorious fingers will wreak." She fluttered her fingers at him, bold green nail polish flashing.
Reid gulped. Weighing his options carefully, he mused that there was no good way out of this one. His options were either the wrath of Garcia, or the wrath of everyone else.
"Well… Rossi started it, really. He mentioned that you and Morgan were hopelessly in love and everyone knew it but the two of you… So of course we all agreed, and then he proposed a bet. Everyone picked a date, and…well, yeah," he finished lamely.
Her eyes glittered dangerously. "And who, precisely, is everyone?"
"The everyone involved in the bet, or the everyone who knows the two of you are hopelessly in love?" Reid asked, afraid to push her, but equally afraid to answer the wrong question.
"Bet involvement. I want names, doc."
"Well..." Reid stared at his battered Converse before quickly muttering, "It'dbeeasiertotellyouwhoisn't."
The fire in her eyes was downright terrifying. Reid actually squeaked, before realizing that he had to commence with damage control.
"Garcia. It seems to me that there is a simple solution to this dual dilemma of ours that would be mutually beneficial."
"I'm listening," Garcia murmured dangerously.
"Well, the way I see it, you have a short amount of time to plan the perfect date, and I have a death threat hanging over my head for participating in this bet, and only three days until I win said bet. If I were to… help you plan said perfect date for oh, say, Valentine's Day, that might just be enough to lift the death threat?" he suggested hopefully.
"And you'd win the bet," she said dryly, not fooled.
"Well, yes, there's that, too, I suppose."
Garcia pondered thoughtfully. "You do know my baby boy pretty well…" Reid nodded his head eagerly, trying to escape certain doom. "And Valentine's Day would be a good day to do it…"
His neck was starting to hurt and he looked a bit like a silly bobble-head doll, but Reid continued to finally looked up from her musings and a single chuckle escaped. "You look like a chicken gone wrong, Wonder Boy."
He stilled, giving her a crooked, sheepish grin."Sorry. Will you let me help?"
"You think you can pull of an amazing Valentine's Dinner in three days? With help from yours truly, of course!"
"Three days, Garcia? You and I can do anything in three days!"
"As long as we don't have a case," she pointed out.
"Well, yeah, there's that."
"We'll talk tonight."
"You know, I knew I loved him before I even met him," Garcia confessed suddenly.
Reid frowned. "Garcia, you do realize that's completely irrational, right?"
"Love's irrational, doc," she informed him.
Reid shook his head. "No, I mean that it's a logical impossibility. I mean, if you haven't met him, how do you know who it is that you love? You can't know, because you haven't met him yet! So even if you know you love someone, you can't know that you love him. That makes even less sense than love at first sight!"
Penelope sighed, turning to face him seriously. "Reid. Love doesn't have to make sense. More often than not, it doesn't."
He pouted slightly. "It should."
Laughing merrily, she agreed. "Wouldn't that be nice?" Still chuckling, she added jokingly, "Get back to work now, you slacker!"
"Bye Garcia," Reid said through his laughter before walking out the door.
Garcia was rushing around frantically, adjusting little things until everything was absolutely perfect. Every fork was at exactly the right angle, every napkin folded just giant stuffed bear that Morgan had given her that morning (as he did every year) was sitting on the side table in her small dining room, it's back exactly straight.
"Garcia," Reid stated firmly as she rushed past him for the fifth time, attempting to rearrange the flowers in the vase for the third time in as many minutes. "You need to calm down. It's Morgan. I'm sure he won't care about the arrangement of your flowers."As she reached to straighten the flower regardless, Reid took ahold of her arm."Penelope. It's beautiful. The place looks amazing, the CD player is prepared, the candles are lit, he'll be here any minute, and you look fantastic. Stop worrying."
"What if… What if something goes wrong?"
"Then it goes wrong. Fixing the flowers isn't going to make it go right."
She frowned. "That's reassuring."
Reid shrugged. "Reassuring isn't exactly my strong suit. Would you rather I tell you the statistics of romantic relationships that originate in friendships. Because the success rate is approximately…"
"Stop right there. I don't want to know. I do not need to know that right now."
Reid nodded, apologetic. "I have to go, though, Garcia."
She looked up at him, desperation in her eyes. "Do you have to?" Chaos clearly boiled just below the surface.
"He's going to be here in minutes, Garcia. Don't you think it'd be a little odd if I were here when he showed up at your place for Valentine's?"
Garcia blinked. "I suppose…" she murmured.
"You'll be fine, Garcia. Trust me."
Nodding slowly, she smiled very slightly. "Thanks for everything, Reid."
He ducked his head once, sharply, before leaving, hoping desperately that Morgan would arrive before Garcia devolved into a writhing mass of Goddess Pudding.
Ten Minutes Later…
Morgan used his key to enter Garcia's apartment as usual, but was surprised to find most of the lights off. Candles lit the entryway and a path to the neatly set dining room table.
"Garcia?" he asked, a bit perplexed. All Penelope had said was to meet her at her place that night.
"Derek," she murmured in a low voice, melting out of the shadows. The utter seriousness in her voice caught his attention – that was a rarity. "There's something you should know." She took a step toward him, before continuing. "I'm head over heels in love with you. Have been for years, I think. I just never let myself acknowledge it because I was too afraid of losing you. Because this friendship," she gestured between them, "is the best thing that's ever happened to me. And I couldn't risk losing it."
He took a careful step forward. "Baby girl. You could never lose me. You're my world." He took another step, closing the last step between them, and leaned down and kissed her softly. "I love you too."
She grinned widely. In a sudden moment of vulnerability, she asked, "You mean that?"
The rest of the evening went off without a hitch to the soundtrack of exactly what Reid had proclaimed impossible just three days prior.
Maybe it's intuition
But some things you just don't question
Like in your eyes
I see my future in an instant
and there it goes
I think I've found my best friend
I know that it might sound more than
a little crazy but I believe
I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life
Morgan grinned as Garcia belted out the words, but there was clearly feeling in them: she meant them.
"I don't know how I knew," she murmured after the song was over. "But I did. I always did. Even if I was too scared to acknowledge it."
And he understood. It didn't make any logical sense, but it was so Garcia that Morgan understood perfectly. Because there were some things that even the genius and his brain couldn't comprehend.
Yet there was still something Morgan didn't get.
"I don't understand. You have seen the darkest parts of me, but you love me anyway."
"I've seen the dark, but I've seen the light, too. And I love every bit of you." She nodded firmly.
"You know my quick temper."
"I know your fierce loyalty," she countered.
"You know my snap judgements."
"I know your infallible instincts."
"You know my distractible tendencies."
"I know how to keep you focused."
He paused for a moment, before murmuring, "You keep me focused."
"I'll give you something to focus on," she warned.
The lipstick stain on Morgan's cheek after he and Garcia emerged from the elevator was the only sign Reid received that everything had gone exactly as planned.