Will You Marry Me? Chapter 8
Home of Derek and Penelope Morgan – Evening
Penelope had just settled next to her husband on the couch. They’d decided to make tonight, Movie Night to get their minds off of the continued goings on with their family and friends. She could tell Derek wasn’t dealing with the situation very well despite his denial and insistence that he was just fine and didn’t care if any of them spoke to them again.
It was a lie, all a lie but she didn’t push him to admit his true feelings. She handed Derek the remote and just as he pushed, ‘play,’ her phone rang. Pulling away from him she grabbed her phone from her pocket. They both knew that ringtone all too well.
“We have a case…they want to me to go with them…”
She stopped as she watched him struggle to get up.
“Where are you going?”
“What, didn’t you say we have a case?”
“Yes, ‘we’ have a case as in, everybody-on-the-team-except-you, have a case!”
“Oh, so now you’re on their side?”
“Baby Boy, may I remind you that you are on medical leave for the next six weeks?”
“Are you serious? I can at least go into the office…”
“NO! You my handsome hunk of chocolate cannot go into the office until you are cleared by your doctor!”
“No but’s.” She stood and placed her body directly in front of him. “I almost lost you. When I think about what could have happened…”
He saw the tears welling in her eyes. He didn’t want to make her cry again.
“Okay, fine. I’m sorry. I’ll stay put.”
He kissed her sweetly on the lips as she smiled victoriously before heading toward the bedroom to change clothes.
2 Days later…Thursday Evening – Miami –
“It’s been two days and we still haven’t gotten a break.”
“But Dave everything is set for Saturday.”
“I know, Bella, I know. We really could use Derek on this case.”
“So call him…ask him to help…”
“I’d love to but he’s on medical leave it’s against regulations.”
“Since when did you give a rat’s ass about regulations, David Rossi?”
“Touche! You know me too well, Mrs. Rossi. I tell you what, if we don’t get a lead soon, I’ll give him a call.”
“Good because I need you all back here no later than tomorrow night, understood?”
“So, how’s Penelope?”
“Working non-stop so she can get back home to her husband…the only person that’s talking to her right now. Remind me never to get on your bad side, woman.”
“Maybe we’ve been a little too hard on those two, especially her…”
“From the one who thought up this whole plan in the first place?”
“I know, I know but I…”
“You miss your son and if you were honest with yourself you’re happy that those two finally pulled their heads out of their asses and admitted their feelings. Did they go about it the right way? Maybe not but they love each other and before you know it those grand babies you’re always talking about will be on the way.”
“I suppose. All I know is that you have less than twenty-four hours to wrap up that case and get back here.”
“We’re doing our best, Bella.”
“I know you are Sweetheart…I miss you.”
“I miss you too.”
Penelope was exhausted. She wanted to complain but she couldn’t because she knew the others had to be exhausted too. In the last two days rest and a good meal had eluded them. She missed Derek and it was hard being there without him. Her friends would only talk to her when they needed information otherwise she was invisible. At lease when she was in Quantico she had Derek but here she felt alone.
Penelope watched Dave from across the room he was on the phone. He was probably talking to Fran. Hotch, JJ and Reid were out following leads and she was re-running searches to find the killer who had taken the lives of four innocent women who’d had the misfortune of accepting an invitation to dinner from someone they’d met at the local farmer’s market. She wanted desperately to do her part in finding this evil person and to bring closure to the families of his victims.
Home of Derek and Penelope Morgan –
Derek hated being sidelined but he had to admit that he was still in no shape to accompany his team to Miami. He’d tried to go for a walk earlier and now he was paying for it. His arm ached, his ribs ached and to make matters worse there was no one he could call. His mother was still upset with him and quite frankly he was over it.
Just as he managed to pop two pain pills in his mouth and washed them down with a large gulp of water, his phone rang. He smiled as his wife’s face appeared on his screen. It was as if she knew he needed to talk and to hear her voice.
“Hey Baby Girl.”
“Hello Handsome, how are you?”
“Missing you. How’s the case going.”
“We can’t catch a break. All of our leads are dead ends, this unsub is a tricky SOB. I feel like I’m letting the team down.”
“Hey, hey don’t you even take the blame. This is a team effort and…”
“Well, I don’t feel much like a team member none of them are talking to me unless they want something. I hate this!”
“Yeah I know Sweetness. My mother still isn’t speaking to me either. I feel like a caged animal I can’t drive, I can’t work…”
“What are we going to do with our family Hot Stuff? Is what we did so bad?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t. I do know one thing though.”
“I don’t regret it. I love you and I’d do it again if I had the chance.”
Penelope rubbed her temples as fatigue was catching up with her. She wanted to be home with Derek not here chasing a murderer. Derek could hear her frustration as he waited for her to speak again.
“Yeah, I’m here…I just have the worst headache, that’s all. I love you too, Hot Stuff and I don’t regret becoming your wife.”
“Hang in there, Baby Girl, okay?”
“Yeah. We could really use you on this case Derek.”
“Send me the case file, let me look at it.”
“What if Hotch finds out?”
“He won’t…just send it.”
Airport – Friday Afternoon –
After they’d turned in for the evening Penelope received a call from Derek. He’d reviewed the case with fresh eyes and found something they’d all missed. His hunch led them straight to their unsub and now they were on their way home. Penelope had managed to dodge Hotch’s questions about how she’d managed to find the missing clue; somehow she had a feeling he didn’t buy her explanation.
“That was great work, Kitten. If I didn’t know better I would think you were a profiler.”
Rossi plopped in the seat next to Penelope. Her mind was going a mile a minute. He had barely spoken to her in the last two weeks and now he was sitting next to her smiling that David Rossi, ‘I-know-what-you-did’ smile.
“I…um…just luck I guess…”
“I don’t know, Penelope, I think we have a profiler in the making.”
“I could never do what you guys do.”
“Well, good job any way. Now we can go home and have a few days off.”
Then he was gone off to sit near the front of the plane across from Hotch. She couldn’t help noticing the smirk on his face as he began talking. Penelope couldn’t shake the uneasiness swirling around in her stomach. She felt she needed to warn her husband but it was too late the plane was ready to take off.
Home of Dave and Fran Rossi –
“Call your brother!”
“What, why me? It’s Sarah’s turn!”
“No way! I’m not calling him!”
“Desiree Elaine Morgan, call your brother!”
“Tell him I want him and his wife here tomorrow morning…eleven a.m. sharp for a family meeting!”
Desiree stormed out of the kitchen like a petulant child disappearing down the massive hallway of the Rossi mansion. She was tired of being the go-between and the messenger for her mother. Derek was a stubborn bear and she was tired of getting her head bitten off by her only brother. She thought her mother had blown his eloping way out of proportion and tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough.
Fran flitted around the house like a mad woman everything had to be perfect and in its assigned place at its assigned time. Sarah watched in amazement at how her mother had been able to pull together a platinum wedding in a matter of a week. Of course everyone in her path were forced into her plans of organizing and running errands as if this were the event of the year.
“Ma, don’t you think you’re going a little overboard here? I mean really, gold plated china for a backyard reception and does Dave know you’ve broken into his private wine reserve?”
“Nothing is too good for my son’s wedding…”
“He’s already had a wedding, Ma!”
“Hush! That wasn’t a wedding…that was, that was a…who gets married in Vegas anyway?”
Desiree had stepped back into the room just in time to chime in with her sister.
“Sarah is right you know. This is way over the top; flowers, caterers, a live jazz band…really, Ma?”
“Nothing is too good…”
“We know, Ma…nothing is too good for your son.”
Home of Derek and Penelope Morgan –
“Family meeting? Really?” Derek muttered to himself. “Did she forget that I’m a grown ass man? Really, Ma…Family meeting! Hmmpf!”
Derek dragged his aching body through the house for no reason in particular but it was what he did when he was pissed off. He’d made several tours of his house over the past two weeks moving from room to room puttering around for a few seconds in each and talking to himself as if he was actually talking to the offenders responsible for his foul mood.
“Ain’t talk to a brother in two weeks! Two damn weeks and now you want to have a family meeting! Well…I got your family meeting, alright!”
It was no telling how long this current rant would have lasted if it wasn’t for his cell phone ringing and the smiling face of his wife pulling him back to sanity.
“Hello, Mr. Grumpy! What’s got your Calvin Klein’s in a bunch?”
“I’m sorry, Baby Girl. It’s just a phone call I just got from Desi.”
“Oh, is everything okay?”
“No, no it’s not Garcia!”
“Oh, it’s Garcia now…okay.” She exhaled before going further. “Talk to me where’s your head at right now?”
It seems that my dear mother has scheduled a, family meeting, tomorrow and she is demanding our presence.
Derek pulled the phone away from his ear and examined it as if it had short circuited somehow.
“Oh? That’s all you have to say is, oh?”
“Don’t get mad at me Hot Stuff! Right now we are all we have. Do you know how horrible it was to be stuck in Miami without you? Nobody was talking to me unless they needed something for the case! I tell you Derek I’ve had it! AND to add insult to injury…they think you helped me with the case!”
“Well, they didn’t come right out and say it… but Rossi came and sat next to me on the way back and started fishing…you know how Dave is when he gets his head wrapped around something.”
“I’m sorry Baby Girl I didn’t mean to take my anger out on you. I love you.”
“I love you too. We just landed so I’ll be home soon. How about we order in and discuss this so-called, family meeting then, okay?”
“Yeah sounds like a plan. Hurry home.”
Home of David and Fran Rossi – Saturday Morning –
Dave wandered through the house dodging catering staff, florists and other helping hands looking for his wife. He found her on the back porch overseeing the set up of furniture and food stations that had temporarily overtaken the massive yard.
“It looks amazing, Bella.” He cooed.
Dave wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his chest. He was amazed at how she was able to transform the grounds into a lavish wedding venue in a matter of days.
“Thank you, my love. I’m just glad you all made it back in time.”
“It was touch and go there for a while. That is until Penelope magically came up with an unlikely clue that broke the case wide open.”
“Really? Hmm…sounds like she may have had some help.”
“My thoughts exactly. Of course she’d never admit it.”
“Oh of course not. The two of them are in enough trouble.”
Home of Derek and Penelope Morgan –
“Baby Boy, what are you doing? We’re supposed to be at your mother’s in thirty minutes!”
“I’m not going!”
Derek grabbed the remote and began searching for something to watch.
“But nothing, Baby Girl! That woman hasn’t spoken to me in…”
“I know…two weeks! Believe me, I know!”
She watched him flip maniacally from channel to channel never stopping on any one long enough to see what was playing. She knew exactly where he’d gotten his stubborn nature from; the very person who was insisting that he stop his day and come to her house, that’s who. Penelope couldn’t blame him but she was tired of the silence and the guilt that it invoked within her. All she wanted was for things to go back to the way they were. She wanted her friends and family back but looking over her husband’s shoulder all she could hope for right now was a trip to the electronics store for a new remote.
Meanwhile…Back at the Rossi’s…
It was eleven o’clock on the dot. Everyone had arrived. Everything was in its place. Fran had never seen her home look so amazing. The foyer was overflowing with beautiful floral arrangements that created a path through the house and out onto the backyard. It was hard not to boast but Fran had to admit that she’d done an amazing job. She’d even managed to fly in a few special surprises for Derek and Penelope as well. But now as she looked at her watch she realized that maybe she’d taken things a bit too far.
Derek was late…Derek was never late. NEVER!
11:30 a.m. –
“I’m going to kill him! I swear Dave, I’m going to kill him!”
“Easy Bella, maybe they got stuck in traffic. They’ll be here.”
“I told Des to tell him to be here at eleven, not eleven-fifteen, not eleven-thirty…eleven!”
“Relax, relax…he’s just pouting, that’s all. He’s trying to prove a point.”
“Point? What point?”
“That he’s a grown man, not the little boy that you insist on treating him like.”
“Well if he would act like a grown man then I wouldn’t have to treat him like a little boy!”
“Okay, okay come here.” Dave pulled his frantic wife into his arms. “Listen, how about I go and find him and drag him back here if I have to. Besides, he’s probably at home sitting in front of the television watching baseball or something.”
“Really? Would you really do that?”
“For you, anything.” Planting a kiss on her forehead.
Reid intercepted the two as they neared the front of the house. He’d tried calling Morgan and Penelope several times but his call kept going to voicemail.
“Where’s Morgan and Penelope?” It’s eleven-thirty-seven.”
“Don’t worry, Dave is going to go look for them.”
“Do you think something happened to them?”
“No but if he doesn’t…”
Just then the doorbell rang. Dave released a sigh of relief. He hoped beyond hope that it was the wayward couple. Dave quickly opened the door and their stood on his porch was the wide-eyed Penelope Garcia Morgan…alone.
Fran look around as if Derek may have been hiding behind the terrified woman on the porch. He was not and now she was really angry.
“Where’s Derek?” Fran asked.