I've always found the whole process of falling in love to be just downright awesomely weird. I mean one day you're just minding your own business without a care in the world and the next boom! you're stupidly giddy or nauseous or scared out of your mind because someone has turned your world upside down. This little story is the day that became awesomely weird for Derek. I don't own Criminal Minds. If I did I'd be on safari in South Africa.


It was a Tuesday. Rainy, damp and somewhat cool but not unlike any other spring day in Quantico. To the untrained eye, nothing special or out of the ordinary is taking place.

The hidden bead of sweat slowly rolling down Derek's back revealed no secrets to the people at the table. Only Derek notices the acceleration of his heartbeat and the slight quickening of his breath. Maybe this is what they (whoever they are) mean when they talk about tunnel vision or maybe a better term is being in the zone. Yeah, he was in the zone. All athletes have experienced it at one time or another. When everything else but your focus, your target - disappears. Those moments when your hearing cancels out all unnecessary sound and your eyesight becomes so keen you can see the fear in your opponent's eyes way down the field or in this instance the almost indiscernible spray of freckles across the bridge of a woman's nose from across a conference room table. Hell even your sense of smell becomes so acute that you can distinguish scents of rose and jasmine and orchid in the perfume on her skin. Actually compartmentalize each scent before allowing them to flow back together.

"It's called Flowerbomb", she told him this morning in the break room. "Just a little something I picked up on impulse last night."

"You like?" With a cheeky grin she moves closer until only a thin line of air separates their bodies.

Although she is wearing her "Eff Me" heels as she likes to call them she still rises on her toes to give him better access to her alabaster neck and ultimately her scent. Gripping the sides of her waist, Derek draws her ever closer until nothing but their clothing separates them. Her nipples against his chest tell him that she is either cold or aroused. He chooses to believe that he is the cause. For a fleeting moment he wonders if she can feel the thickening ridge in his jeans. By the shiver that runs down her body he knows she can. He lowers his head until his face is pressed in the delicate crease between her neck and shoulder, his lips just grazing her skin. He breathes in deeply. She smells like a well-loved garden.

Now she sits at the farthest point from him on the diagonal. Her choice of seating is telling. Without fail and for as long as they've known each other she or he has always saved the seat next to the other. To be truthful the seat no longer needs to be "saved" for everyone from their fellow profilers, to the techies, to the admin staff they encounter in the cafeteria know that where one goes the other will follow. But today upon entering the conference room with head down and a blush to her skin she grabs the seat to the left of Dave Rossi and then rolls it until it is firmly wedged between Dave and Hotch. Surprised both men turn their heads towards her but she only gives them a nervous giggle before squeezing in and plopping down. With a slight tilt of his chair and a look behind her back, Dave shrugs at Hotch. Hotch in turn shakes his head and then turns to glare at Derek. No one has ever mistaken Hotch for a fool. He knows that Derek has something – most likely everything to do with this new seating arrangement. Derek misses his bosses menacing look that would make lesser men squirm for he only has eyes for his Penelope.

If anyone would have told him that on a rainy Tuesday morning he would fall in love with his best friend, he would have called them liars. For almost seven years they flirted, sometimes fought and even cried on each other's shoulders but despite what almost everyone thought they never loved each other. Well they loved each other as friends and as family from almost the beginning but not more. He just never thought of his Baby Girl in that way. Sure there was an initial 'what if' but that's where it ended. Until today. Now he wants her in a way that should scare him but doesn't. Now he should be making a mental list of the many reasons why he shouldn't pursue her but he won't. He doesn't care. His need for her is primal and he is determined to make up for lost time.

Please review and thank you for reading.