Okay, here's one more chapter for those of you who requested it.
The seconds ticked by slowly as the court room waited impatiently for the jury to return.
Penelope sat with her head down, aware that a good majority of the people in the room were watching her.
The last few weeks had been the most stressful of her life. She felt horrible for what she had done to Kevin even if he had hit her first.
Her former boyfriend was now in a coma and no one knew if he would ever wake up.
Therefore given the circumstances Penelope hadn't been surprised when she had been arrested for attempted murder.
And although she really hadn't meant to hurt Kevin, she believed she deserved it.
Her circumstances went from bad to worse at her first court appearance.
Given Penelope's handiness with technology the DA had deemed her a flight risk. Arguing that she could whip up a fake passport with a few clicks of her keyboard and be out of the country without even breaking a sweat.
Running away was the last thing on her mind but to her horror the judge agreed and she had been spending the last few weeks in a jail cell. They had to keep her in contemporary confinement for her own safety since the other inmates knew that she worked for the FBI.
Today they were going to announce her sentence and Penelope didn't know what she was going to do if she was found guilty. She knew she would never survive prison life.
The DA had decided to charge Penelope with attempted murder, rather than unintentional manslaughter. They didn't have much of a case against her since Kevin wasn't there to tell his side of the story but they said they had reasonable doubt.
Penelope's lawyer had requested an acquittal based on the merit that it had been self-defense.
Penelope really wasn't sure which way it was going to go. The DA's case seemed shaky at best but that didn't mean she was safe.
During the trial the DA had called one of her neighbors to the stand who had confessed to hearing a fight between Penelope and Kevin.
Her lawyer had turned that around on them because as he argued that only strengthened his case against Kevin.
Then the DA had surprised everyone, including Penelope.
They had called Tracey Lucien to the stand. She was a low level technical analyst that had just been hired by the FBI a few months before.
She was young, barely an adult at 23.
She had told them that she and Kevin had been having an affair and that he had been planning to leave Penelope. She had accused Penelope of killing him out of jealously and fear of being alone.
However this had backfired on the DA since Penelope had been totally shocked and it had showed on her face. She would have never in a million years thought that Kevin was cheating on her.
She was upset about it but then again she didn't really believe the girl and by the jury's reaction it seemed like they didn't either.
Penelope wasn't against the possibility of Kevin cheating on her, she knew that sometimes people cheated even if they didn't seem likely too but Penelope could never believe that if Kevin was to cheat on her that he would pick someone so young.
Anyway the trial had taken a toll on her and though she was hesitant to find out her verdict, on some level she was happy that this nerve wracking ordeal would be over one way or another.
Penelope looked up when her lawyer touched her elbow. He gave her a sympathetic smile and motioned for her to look behind her.
She turned and saw Aaron, he looked worried but he quickly nodded at her "It's going to be okay." He said quietly, only loud enough for the team, who were all sitting beside him, and her to hear.
Penelope gave him a small smile.
Through it all Aaron had been there for her. He had barely left her side before she had been taken into custody and even then he went to the jail to visit her, she was sure he had pulled some strings for that.
He had been the one to get her the lawyer she had now. He had been a friend from when Aaron had been a prosecutor and Aaron had said that he was the very best.
He had been her rock.
She didn't know how she would have gotten through the case if it hadn't been for him.
Penelope's attention was snapped to the front of the court when a door opened and the jurors walked out to return to their seats.
When they were all sitting the judge gave them the go ahead.
One woman, in her mid-fifties with curly brown hair that had streaks of grey, stood up and looked over at Penelope. Her dark eyes looked right into Penelope's baby blues and her breath hitched for a moment, thinking the worst.
"We find the defendant not guilty…."
Penelope's brain seemed to stop working after that.
She didn't hear the rest of what was being said and only came out of her trance when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see Aaron's smiling face standing behind her. She stood and hugged him, when he pulled away she could have sworn he had tears in his eyes but was quickly pulled into a hug by Derek.
Penelope shook the hand of her lawyer and thanked him before she hugged the rest of her friends and walked out with them.
As soon as they got outside the press surrounded Penelope and the team was quick to guide her away and into a waiting vehicle.
Aaron got into the front seat across from her and both Emily and Derek jumped in the back.
"We should celebrate," Derek said when they got into the SUV, "anyone up for a beer?"
"I could definitely use a drink," Emily said as she looked down at her fingers, she had chewed on her nails all throughout the trail and now she barely had any nail left.
Penelope didn't really want to go out drinking; all she really wanted was to get some much needed sleep.
She felt Aaron watching her and turned to look at him.
He had a knowing look as he gently asked "What do you want to do Penelope?"
Penelope peered into the rearview mirror to see the grinning face of Derek, he seemed so excited and Penelope didn't want to let them down. "I guess one drink wouldn't hurt."
She looked back at Aaron thinking he would be disappointed in her but he just gave her a soft smile and put the car in drive.
Truthfully he knew the team needed reassuring that Penelope was fine and going to a bar for a drink would be good for them. They had all been devastated when Penelope had been taken into custody.
Aaron had no doubt that if Penelope had been found guilty the team would have fallen apart; she was a huge part of what made their team a team.
"Great," Derek said "I'll text the rest of the team and tell them where we are headed."
Later that night at Apollo's Bar and Grill, one of their favorite hangouts, Penelope was just about ready to call it an evening.
Derek, Emily, Rossi and JJ had each had a few rounds while Penelope and Aaron were still working on their first beer and Reid had a Seven up with lime.
They had been chatting for an hour and everyone had said how glad they were that she was back.
Penelope was happy to be with them again and appreciated the support but she was starting to get a headache due to her tiredness and the stress she had been under the last few days.
Aaron noticed and he cleared his throat "I think I'm going to head home, Penelope would you like a ride?"
Penelope smiled gratefully "If you wouldn't mind."
"Of course not," he said.
"Aw Baby, you're leaving already?" Derek pouted.
Penelope nodded "Sorry Hot Stuff but I'm pretty tired."
Derek stood and hugged her again "It's okay, go get some sleep, we'll see you tomorrow."
After saying goodbye to the rest of the team she walked outside with Aaron and got into the SUV.
They drove in comfortable silence as Penelope stared at the window. It was a short drive from the bar to her place and they found themselves there in no time.
Aaron pulled over in front of the complex and watched Penelope.
She was staring at the door of her apartment.
Penelope hadn't really thought about coming home. She had thought about jumping into her bed and sleeping till noon the next day, but she hadn't thought of actually walking through her door and into her front hall. Walking past the spot where this whole fiasco had started.
She felt a shiver run down her spine at the memory of Kevin lying lifeless on the floor.
A quiet sob tore from her and before she knew it she was crying in earnest. She hadn't cried since the day it had happened, she had tried her best not to think about everything that had happened even with the trial looming over her head.
"Penelope?" Aaron asked in concern.
"I'm sorry," Penelope hiccupped "I just…I can't go in there."
Penelope heard him undo his seatbelt and felt as he pushed up the armrest. He slid across to her and pulled her into his arms the best he could with the awkward position in the vehicle.
"Shh," he whispered as she sobbed "It's okay, I understand."
Penelope shook her head; he couldn't possibly know how she was feeling.
Aaron ran a hand down the back of her head soothingly "After I killed Foyet, I couldn't stand to walk past that place in my home. It was hard going there because of my grief for Haley in the first place but knowing that I had killed another human being with my bare hands in that spot, caused me to feel nauseous whenever I thought about it."
Penelope sniffed looking up into his eyes, she knew how hard it was for Aaron to admit that when he was such a private person and found herself feeling grateful for the closeness he was sharing with her.
Her feelings for him had changed since that fateful day.
She felt like he was protector, but she had also formed this close bond with him and it seemed like their roles in each other's lives had shifted.
He was no longer just her boss, and even more than a friend but she had no idea if he felt the same way.
Penelope wiped a tear from her eye "I'm being silly" she stated.
"No you're not," Aaron said running a hand down her cheek and brushing away her tears "it's normal to feel how you're feeling and you don't have to go back into your apartment right away."
Penelope shook her head; she didn't have anywhere else to stay.
"You'll stay with me until you're comfortable to return here…"
Penelope opened her mouth to protest, she didn't want to be a bother to him.
"Penelope I want you to stay," Aaron said "besides I'll feel better knowing that you're safe close by."
Penelope was too tired to argue so she nodded "Okay," she whispered.
Aaron grinned and leaned forward, he placed a soft kiss on her cheek. She was shocked and stared at him in surprise; she was even more shocked when he blushed.
"Sorry," he said quietly his arms falling away from her "you're uncomfortable now aren't you, I shouldn't have…"
"No," Penelope said pulling his retreating form back. She took his hand "I was just surprised. To be honest I've been thinking differently about you Aaron. Thoughts I know I shouldn't have but I just can't help. I wasn't sure though…I thought I might be reading into things too much."
Aaron shook his head "You weren't." Tentatively his hands came up and cupped her face, before he leaned down and kissed her softly on the lips.
Penelope responded, her arms looping around Aaron's neck and her lips slowly parting.
Aaron explored her mouth. His hand moved to her back and guided her closer to him.
Penelope moaned softly before pulling away.
Aaron smiled at her almost shyly "I've wanted to do that for a very long time."
"Even…even before all this?" Penelope asked.
"Yes," Aaron said firmly "I've had feelings for you for a while but I waited too long to do anything and then you were unavailable…"
Penelope sighed "That's too bad; maybe we could have avoided all of this."
"I wish we could have," Aaron said "I felt horrible that you had to go through all of this and I was scared I was going to lose you."
Penelope leaned forward and rested her head against Aaron's shoulder.
"Thank you," she whispered.
Aaron held her tightly "I'm just glad this is over."
They stayed like that for a long time but eventually Aaron pulled away "Let's head back to my place."
Penelope was reluctant to move away from him but she did so.
Aaron moved back to his side and started the SUV.
When they walked into Aaron's apartment he turned to her and held out his hand.
She took it and allowed him to pull her to him.
His eyes were drawn to her lips but he looked up into her eyes as he mumbled "I have a guest bedroom."
Penelope stepped closer to him and leaned up to kiss him.
"So my bedroom then?" he asked and she nodded.
He led the way.
Penelope found once she was there that she wasn't all that tired anymore.
She turned to Aaron and looked at him for his permission.
When he didn't say anything she moved forward and began to loosen his tie. She pushed his jacket off his shoulders. Her fingers moved quickly to the buttons of his white dress shirt and tasked herself with undoing them.
When his shirt hung open, she ran her hand down his smooth chest and leaned forward to kiss his skin.
His hands came up to the hem of her shirt and stared to lift it over her head.
Their movements were very slow and precise. It was obvious that neither of them wanted to rush things.
He dropped her shirt to the floor and stepped closer to her. He leaned down a kissed the top of her breast. He trailed kisses up her soft skin to her neck and nibbled on her ear.
Penelope moaned and leaned into his lips.
He smiled against her neck before he helped her finish removing his dress shirt. It fell to the floor beside hers.
Aaron's lips again moved over hers and he kissed her thoroughly, being a bit more aggressive than he had before. His hands found her hips and backed her up against the bed as he nipped at her bottom lip.
Penelope sat down on the bed and pulled Aaron onto the bed with her and finished divesting him of all his clothes.
That night they made love slowly and passionately.
When Penelope woke up in the morning for a first time in a long time she felt content.
She stretched out like a cat and felt the arms around her tighten.
She rolled over to face Aaron and saw his eyes flicker open.
"Morning," he whispered and leaned down to kiss her.
Penelope returned the kiss with enthusiasm and smiled at him when he pulled away "Thanks for last night."
Aaron smiled "I think I should be the one thanking you."
Penelope laughed and then blushed when her stomach growled. She realized that she hadn't really eaten anything the day before.
Aaron kissed her heated cheek before moving to get up "Breakfast?" he asked "I think we have some eggs and bacon."
"Mhmm, sounds delicious," Penelope said, she too standing up.
Aaron grinned; he passed her a pair of his old sweatpants and a long t-shit since she didn't have anything else to wear.
She pulled them on as Aaron grabbed a pair of sweatpants for himself.
When he turned back to her he almost groaned, he wasn't sure what it was but seeing Penelope in his clothes turned him on.
He walked over to her and stole a kiss.
Penelope grinned into it.
She almost wanted to pull him back into bed but her stomach grumbled again before she had the chance.
"Come on," he said heading to the kitchen.
They worked together to make breakfast. Aaron cooked the bacon while Penelope scrambled the eggs.
They were almost done when the phone rang.
Aaron ran to grab it as Penelope began to plate their food.
Aaron picked up the phone to hear Jessica's voice. She just wanted to confirm with him that he was going to pick Jack up that afternoon.
He confirmed saying that he would see her soon and was just hanging up the phone when he heard a loud crash.
He ran to the kitchen.
Penelope had dropped one of the plates and it had shattered across the floor.
Aaron looked her over; she was standing stock still staring at the small TV he had turned on so they could listen to the news.
There was a reporter standing outside of a familiar looking hospital and Aaron's stomach dropped. It was the same hospital that Lynch was at, and a moment later his fears were confirmed.
The reporter announced the death of Kevin Lynch earlier that morning; apparently he had died of a brain bleed.
Aaron watched Penelope crumble and quickly, avoiding the glass moved to her and wrapped his arms around her.
All of her guilt rising to the surface, she broke down and cried into his shoulder.
He just held her and let her cry. He knew there was nothing he could say to take the pain away, he just had to be there for her.
He knew it was going to be a long road to heal the hurt she felt but he wasn't going anywhere.