Author's Note: I don't own Criminal Minds or any of their characters.
She waited until she knew only the bosses were left in the unit. Licking her lips then out of sheer nervousness she bit the lower one as she knocked on the office door.
"Come in." She heard Hotch say.
She closes the door before she looks up and sees both of them going over a file on the coffee table.
"Kitten, what's wrong?" Rossi asks smoothly as he gets up and guides her to the sofa.
"There is something that you should know, well really Derek should know."
They are curious by they use of Morgan's first name. Some thing she rarely does.
She watches as Hotch and Rossi talk in silent mode, their body language tense.
"I'm sorry I know that I shouldn't have but I had too. I keep tabs on every unsub that has hurt or come in contact with any member of this unit. I get a ping anytime their names show up on any data base anywhere."
"We understand Kitten it's your way to warn us and keep us safe."
"It's about Carl Buford." She says softly as she closes her eyes letting the tears she was holding back freely trail down her face.
Hotch with a gently but firm nudge encourages her to continue. "Garcia."
"It seems that the prison he was in cleaned its own house. There were no witnesses and the shank that was used was clean not a print to be found. There was nothing on their CCTV either.
"When?" Hotch asks not even bothering to ask how she knew about the CCTV.
"An two hours ago. I thought that it would be better if one of you told him. I know he struggles with it everyday, but this is in its own way good news isn't it? I mean the bastard is gone and he can never hurt another child again. I know that the chances of his getting out were small but with the way the courts work today and how lawyers twist the laws to suit their needs. Will this help him find the final closure that he needs right?" She asks hopefully only to apologize seconds later after remembering that Hotch is a lawyer.
"You're right Kitten don't worry we agree with you about some of the lawyers out there. We'll take care of it, go home Penelope don't worry, and thank you."
She knows that she has done all that she can the rest is up to the bosses.
They waited until the door is closed and they heard her footfalls fade away.
"I wish I still had her optimism, I don't know how she does it with all she sees and hears from all the people she helps. Don't you agree?" Rossi tells Hotch as he opens the desk drawer and takes out a bottle of Scotch.
Hotch gets the glasses from the bottom drawer and places them on the table for Rossi before he answers his old friend. " I agree sometimes then reality smacks us in the face. Penelope sees the good in everybody even the most evil of people she will find something in their past that was good."
They both remain silent as they take their first sip of the smooth Scotch. Looking at his friend of over twenty years Hotch places his now empty glass on the table making sure his mask is firmly on before he continues.
"He won't find the closure that he needs. He never will that bastard hurt the child and the man is still feeling the pain. When a house is cleaned and all the evidence is washed away, the memories linger and the feelings of could've, should've never leave you, you are left with the feelings of complete failure. A clean house never brings closure."
"Aaron." Rossi says softly for he knows his friends history as well as he knows his own.
"It will help him knowing that Buford is dead. He might even be able to sleep the whole night through. I know I did. . ." Hotch said leaving the rest of his sentence unsaid.