She had no trouble at all getting through security with Mrs. Morgan, Derek had called ahead letting them know that he would need a visitors badge for her. Penelope brought her to Derek's office and let her with a cup of coffee. She made sure that she was comfortable with a tablet, Penelope's personal one not one of the bureau's, packed full of books to read. Telling her that it was a pleasure to have met her and that Derek should be back within the hour.
She sat quietly in her office for five minutes thinking about just how lucky they all were the people that she worked for, she wonders if the even realize just how lucky they really are before she started back in working looking for the needed information that the teams would need.
An awards diner with a typical rubber chicken fare. It was going to be an interesting time, the BAU was in line to get a few awards. The Bureau always went all out for these things the press corps would be there on account of the president would be attending as well.
She worked steadily through the afternoon answering requests and getting new requests as well. Time passed quickly and with her door closed the agents knew not to enter and disturb her. She clocked out at five and left without bumping into any of the agents in the unit. She had a lot to do to, in order to be ready for the nights plans.
The nights festivities went as planned for the most part the security was tight with the president there. After a while the tension in the room went down with all the armed men and women in the room every one felt safe and relativity happy enjoying the awards dinner. That is except for one large table with their guests.
"Did she say anything to you JJ?" Reid asks softly.
"All she said was 'I'll see you later.' that was this afternoon when she left her office for tea."
"I should suspend her for this stunt of hers." Hotch says with clenched teeth.
"It looks like things are dieing down here lets go to her place if she is there we can ask her then you can suspend her." Rossi suggest as he stands and rubs his hands together.
After seeing Esther parked it its place and a light coming from her apartment they wasted no time in getting up to her floor.
Hotch uses his key after hearing two women's voices in the apartment. Unlocking the door he enteres and is followed by his team plus Mrs. Morgan. Will and Beth left deciding that relieving the babysitter was a better use of their time. In realty they just didn't want to watch a friend get yelled at and possibly suspended.
What they see leaves them all speechless a woman they don't recognize standing on the coffee table dressed in a simple but elegant wedding gown. And Penelope on the floor adjusting the hem. On her shirt they can see at least ten needles and thread pinned in place waiting to be used.
"Penelope you have guests." the woman said with just a touch of fright in her voice.
She looks over and sees her team standing there and she knows that she is in trouble just from the way Hotch's lips are tightly pressed together.
"Megan my work friends. Guys this is Megan." she says as she stands up "You're done Megan and it's perfect."
"Are you sure? I mean do I have everything?"
"Yes, the veil is old it was your grandmother's lace head covering for church, the dress is new, the cross in mine that I'm lending you."
"And the blue, what about the blue?"
"Go get changed and I'll show you the blue?" Penelope tells her friend. She waits until she is alone with the team before she says anything. "She won't stay long if you can wait to yell at until after she leaves please."
It doesn't take her long to change out of the dress and comeback into the small front room. Penelope takes the dress and carefully puts in on the garment bag and lays it on the couch. "Look here is your blue." Megan looks and can see that Penelope has embroidered in a pale blue silk into the inside hem of the gown.
"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. Along with the date and their names Charles and Megan."
"It's beautiful, thank you."
"You're welcome I'm just glad that you can't tell it's there. I forgot there is one more thing I have to give you." She zips up the bag then takes something off a shelf on her bookcase. Handing it to her Penelope smiles.
"Here you put this in your shoe. It's a silver sixpence."
"How did you find? Never mind I'll never be able to thank you for everything that you did for me."
"You just did, now go home and enjoy tomorrow take lots of pictures. Charlie should be here soon. Go finish getting packed."
She didn't say anything as she put the coffee on nor when she brought the coffee and cookie filled tray out and placed it on the coffee table.
"Okay shoot." she says as she takes her cup of tea and sits in one of the single chairs.
"Don't tempt me. What possessed you not to show up tonight, of all nights? We needed to show a united front." JJ says.
"We really missed you Garcia." Reid says as he grabs his cup of coffee.
Knowing that it is nearly impossible to lie to these people, she sips some more tea.
"Kitten stop stalling, or I'll get Morgan to really spank you." Rossi threatens.
"It was strongly put to me that I would be an embarrassment to the Bureau to be see tonight of all nights especially with the president being there with all the press being there too, that for the good of all concerned it would be better if I didn't attend. So I stayed home, simple."
When she finally looks at each of their faces she can see the simmering anger that they are barely holding onto.
"Three things. I won't tell you who it was, I don't eat rubber chicken anyway it was not a sacrifice for me not to go. And finally Derek would never hit me not even in jest."
They lost the battle and the war even before it was started.
Fran Morgan watches silently the interplay of the team having a life time of experience to guise her. She knows when someone is feeding her a load of poop. She also knows when to let sleeping dogs lie."
"Please, Mrs. Morgan call me Penelope."
"About the dress and Megan?"
"Her mother was killed in a robbery, I met her at the support group that I go to. I was just helping her, I can sew she can't."
"You made that dress?"
"It wasn't hard she bought the material and pattern the rest was easy. Megan and her dad well they couldn't afford to buy a dress."
Nodding her head in understanding she smiles as she looks around the apartment she can see that it is full of trinkets and dust collectors as her mother used to call them as for pictures she can see that they are of the team and their children.
"Penelope I'm sorry to ask but I could really use the rest room that last cup of coffee is going straight through me."
"No problem at all, It's through the bedroom passed the beaded curtain on your left."
Fran smiles to her self as she enters the bathroom not one extra thing that is not needed. And it is spotlessly clean, she leaves the light on in the bathroom long enough to get a peek at the bedroom it is also clean and neat. The dresser has the normal clutter of every woman has what surprises her most is the single framed picture on the dresser of her son and Penelope hugging it is the look in his eyes as he looks into hers that makes Fran understand him better.
"We should be going it's been a long day. Thank you for the coffee Penelope."
Thanking them for stopping by she shows them out and soon is all alone. That was close she thinks to herself.
The five of the them stop in the courtyard each one of them at a loss. It is Fran who takes things in hand.
"She is lying about something. I would advice you not to rock the boat."
"I agree with you, Fran." Hotch admits.
She looks at the son then slaps him hard on his arm.
"Mom, what did you do that for?"
"I've heard you call her hardheaded. Well you are the hardheaded one here son. Tell her you love her, make her believe you, she already loves you it won't be difficult at all. Marry her and make love to her like she has never been loved before. I'll give you six months then I'll take out your grandfathers razor strap and really let you have it. Not like when you where a little kid and just the mention of it was enough to get you back into line."
"You saw the picture on her dresser didn't you?" JJ asks. "She always puts it in a drawer when she knows we are coming over." JJ explains. "Penelope is very good at hiding her true feelings. The consummate actor and she gets lots of practice with her theatre group."
"Yes I did. Now all of you go home to your families please and you Derek I think you have someone to talk to now is as good a time as any. Dave would you mind taking me for a nightcap."
"I would love to take you out for drink, Fran."
"Derek." She calls out and the end of the courtyard making him look at his mother. "I want grandchildren."
Derek stands there and watches as they all leave taking all means of transportation with them.
He soon finds himself standing in front of her door knocking softly.
"Did you forget something?" She asks as she opens the door.
"I left something behind you have it."
"What? I didn't see anything while I was picking up."
He walks past her and into her bedroom picking up the frame he goes back to her.
My heart." he says as he hands her the frame.
"How did you?"
"My mother. She has always been able to read me like a book." He answers as he takes the frame back and places it on the nearest flat surface. He sighs softly as he brings her into his arms.
"I love you baby girl very much." He says as he kisses her gently.
"I love you too silly boy." She says as she returns the kiss.
"Penelope. How would you like to make another wedding dress?"
"I'd like that very much."