Running To You Chapter 3
She was gone. That fact hit him square in the gut as his defeated body hit the sofa. He was too late and she’d given up and left town believing that he didn’t love her. He couldn’t accept that, he’d hurt her and humiliated her with his silence.
Then it came to him as he hopped to his feet nearly running toward the door. Reid! He would know something. The entire team was like family but he, Penelope and Reid shared an even closer bond. JJ was her girl but he’d just left her house before seeing his mom and with the tongue-lashing she’d given him he knew she’d alert him if something were awry. So, jumping into his truck he headed toward his friend’s apartment.
Derek was relieved to see Spencer’s car in his parking slot and he pulled in next to him. Taking the steps instead of waiting for the elevator he arrived at his friend’s door out of breath. He knocked twice before Reid slowly and cautiously opened the door a crack and peering out into the hallway.
“Hey Pretty Boy…”
“I’m sorry…did we have plans?”
“No. Can I come in?”
“Well, I was just…”
The odd behavior did not go unnoticed but Morgan would deal with that later, clearly he was hiding something. Maybe Penelope was there; he could only hope. So pushing the door open he stepped inside brushing past Reid without waiting for an invitation.
“Gee, most people wait to be invited in…never mind…Hi Morgan, how’s it going?” He finished sarcastically.
“Have you seen Baby Girl?”
“Garcia? Uh no, why?”
“Gone? Like gone shopping, gone? Gone to the movies, gone? Gone to …”
“No, Reid! She’s gone, gone! Like her clothes, her computers, everything, are gone!”
Reid was never good at stalling…or lying he wished he’d rented the unit on the first floor…it had a back door.
“Have you tried calling her?”
He knew the answer to that question already. He watched as Morgan began pacing back and forth.
“Morgan it took six months, two weeks and three days before I was able to convince my landlord to replace my old carpet. Now you’re going to wear it out in like two-minutes-seven-sec-“
“Reid! Stop, okay! Penelope has left town and I don’t have any idea where she is! I’ve called her like a dozen times and it just goes to her voicemail! Have you heard from her?”
“Me? Why would I have heard from her? JJ, yeah…she’d probably tell JJ if she were planning a trip somewhere.”
“Nah, man…I just saw JJ. She would have told me if Pen was leaving…Damn it, where could she be?”
Reid hated sweating and right about now he was sweating profusely and his breathing had increased. Not good when you were trying to keep a secret from your best friend…your very muscular and emotional best friend who kicked down doors for fun and ate criminals for mid-day snacks. His beady forehead was sure to give him away…he prayed for a back door, a trap door…the power of invisibility; anything that would save him from the next few minutes.
Morgan paced back and forth and back and forth not paying much attention to the fact that his best friend was fidgeting like a little kid in desperate need of a potty break…and…he was…sweating…and nearly hyperventilating. Then it dawned on him.
“Wait, you know something don’t you?”
Reid’s eyes widened as he gulped down possibly his last breath.
“Me? What? No, I don’t know anything?”
“Yeah, you do. You’re sweating and you’re breathing hard.”
Morgan began to approach the smaller, weaker man. Reid began backing up bumping into his end table nearly losing his balance.
“Morgan…I assure you, I don’t know a thing!”
Morgan frowned and stared intently at his friend. He was hiding something, he was sure of it. The way he opened the door, the sweat across his brow and the nervous twitch…yeah Dr. Spencer Reid was good at a lot of things, withholding information wasn’t one of them. It went totally against his nature.
“Morgan, stop right there! I swear I don’t know where she went!”
Reid felt Morgan’s breath on his face as he invaded his personal space. Reid had no choice but to sit with a thump on the couch because there was nowhere else to go. Just as he thought Morgan would use him as a sorry excuse for a punching bag the distraught man stopped in his tracks. Then turning and flopping in a nearby chair he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
“I blew it!”
“She just needs some time.”
“No, Pretty Boy I blew it this time. This is serious. For her to pack up and leave, this is really serious!”
“Morgan she’s embarrassed, humiliated and pissed off!”
“Why did she do that, man? I mean really. Penelope Garcia said she was in love with me!”
“And, I thought I was hearing things at first. Then I thought she was making fun of me because she was drunk and I don’t know…”
“Why is it so hard for you to believe that Garcia could be in love with you?”
“Come on Reid, Garcia can do a whole lot better than Derek Morgan.”
“Really? Because as many women as you’ve been with it looks like you don’t even have to try to get women to fall at your feet.”
“Reid, it’s not like that!”
“It’s exactly like that!”
“I am such a jerk! She’ll never forgive me. I’ve lost my best friend, forever!”
“Is that all she is to you, your best friend?”
“What are you some sort of relationship counselor now?”
“I thought we promised not to profile each other.”
“Answer the question. Is she just your best friend?”
“Of course not.”
“What is she? What made you come over here ready to kick my ass just to find out where she is?”
Morgan stood and began his pacing again. Reid frowned and waited patiently.
“I-I can’t loose her, Reid. She’s my best friend and the only person that gets me, I mean really gets me. I wake up in the morning thinking about her and when I go to bed at night I’m thinking about her. She’s my light, my solace and I can’t get through the day without her.”
“Wow, if only you’d said even half of that last night maybe she’d be here right now.”
“I’m a coward. I chase down unsubs everyday but when it comes to telling Garcia that I love her, I go running to the hills.”
“What did you just say?”
“I’m a coward?”
“I…love…Garcia! I love her and I don’t care if she won’t give me a chance to tell her. I love her and if I have to search this entire universe I will find her!”
Reid smiled at his hopeless friend who had stopped his pacing and taken his seat again.
“You two are exhausting but I don’t think you’ll have to search the universe to find her.”
“You know where she is don’t you.”
Reid sat in silence his resolve to keep Garcia’s secret waning.
“Come on Pretty Boy, tell me where she is! I’ve got to talk to her and tell her how sorry I am. Please!”
“And that you love her?”
“And that I love her…with all my heart!”
Airport – 1 Hour later…
Even though he was grateful that Reid had decided to give up Garcia’s location he made a mental note never to trust the young genius with a secret. His friend had caved and he was glad he did. He’d admitted to giving Pen a ride to the airport and judging by the amount of luggage she had, he wasn’t sure if or when she would return. Morgan had quite the challenge before him and Reid wasn’t sure how successful he would be.
Derek had barely made it before the gates closed. The last seat on the non-stop flight to San Francisco placed him next to a grouchy old man with the window seat…he wanted the window seat. The man already reeked of alcohol and Morgan craved fresh air. It didn’t matter just as long as he was able to get to California and find Penelope. So without any further thought Morgan placed his headphones on, closed his eyes and prayed for an uneventful flight.
Home of Dr. Spencer Reid –
Garcia had sworn him to secrecy and he promised not to tell Morgan where she’d gone. As long as they’d known each other she had to know that he was the worst of them all at keeping secrets. Still, she’d threatened to erase him if he breathed a word of her location. Now as he poured himself a drink, he wondered if his lack of secret-keeping skills was a part of her end game. Whatever it was, he hoped that Morgan found her and put them all out of their misery. Twelve years of waiting for the clueless lovers to get together had caused more than one pre-mature gray hair on his head.
Reid’s doorbell rang. He wondered if Morgan had changed his mind. He hadn’t had this much activity around his apartment since moving in ten years ago. Looking through the peephole, he yanked the door.
“Garcia? What are you doing here?”