"You were dancing with Strauss for a long time there, PG," JJ said as she took a seat next to Penelope, giving her a probing look. Penelope shrugged a little as she looked over at the woman, seeing that she was dancing with Hotch now, their heads bent closely together. A thrum of jealousy and longing coursed through her body as she turned her head away quickly to focus on JJ. "Seriously, is there something going on that I should know? I could still use my contacts to make certain that there's nothing untoward going on there."
"No!" she said sharply, watching her friend recoil a little. "Sorry, that came out a little harsh. All right, can I trust you?"
There was a short pause, and JJ took a deep breath before licking her lips and shrugging a little. "That depends. Have you truly forgiven me for keeping the truth about Emily from you for all that time?"
"Yes. You were doing what was necessary to keep her safe and alive. I wish that we could have known about it, like we did with Haley, but then, Foyet outsmarted us, and Doyle could very well have done the same. This, this isn't quite so serious as that situation, but it is my heart and soul on the line."
JJ smiled a little, shaking her head a little. "I love how dramatic you can be."
"It is my specialty. So. You and Will share a unique soulmate song." JJ nodded. "I know who my soulmate is, too. I should have figured it out a few years ago, when the song was louder in her presence, but I chalked it up to my off kilter emotions over Haley's death. And then, yesterday, I actually heard my song sung aloud. By her." She looked back over at Erin and released a deep sigh. "But she's with Rossi, and she looks to be so happy. I could never even begin to think about coming between that, not after everything she's been through."
JJ's eyes flickered away from her to look up at someone else, just as Penelope felt a warm hand close around her shoulder. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent her head back to look up into Rossi's face. A deep flush betrayed her embarrassment, and she struggled to blink back tears as she lowered her head and pursed her lips together. A sick, heavy, feeling invaded her stomach, and she wondered suddenly if all those drinks had been such a smart thing. "Jen, I think that Kitten and I need to have a long talk. If I don't see you and Will before you head out for the night, congratulations again."
"Thanks, Dave," JJ said as she rose to her feet and went back over to her husband. Panic caused Penelope to start fiddling with her dress, feeling like she was going to crawl out of her skin. Dave took JJ's now empty seat and reached out for her hand, picking it up and holding on lightly as he just looked at her, smiling, trying to put her at ease. Or so she thought, well, hoped, really.
"How much of that did you hear?" she asked in a tiny voice, feeling uncomfortable with their conversation already, and he hadn't said anything yet.
"I came into it when you told Jen about your song, and the fact that the woman who shares that song with you is currently involved with me. You should have told me while we were dancing together about this. I would have understood."
She let out a deep breath through her nose as she tightened her grip on his hand. "I like you both too much to just run in and drop a bomb like that. She's happy with you, like I told Jayje, and that might be all that matters, really. I don't love her, not yet. Finding your soulmate doesn't automatically mean that you're desperately in love with them. But I will admit that my heart is now a little more tender towards her."
"I did notice that your dance together certainly grew a little more intimate as it went on, like you were lost in your own little world."
"I think that we were dancing to the tempo of our song. And I think that Erin might know about the connection as well, since she reacted at one point. I'm not going to say anything, I want you to know that. She's your partner. I know, I'm repeating myself, I just don't want you to feel like…"
He held up his hand before reaching out and pressing one finger against her lips to quiet her words. "Yes, Erin and I slept together this weekend. It was a lot of fun, but you probably don't want those details." She shook her head, listening to him chuckle. "We've worked off steam together more than once, and while we work as friends with benefits, we both know that we're not meant to be with each other. Your song is lovely, by the way."
"You've heard it?" Penelope gave him a shy smile as she scooted her chair closer to his, wanting to know more. "When?"
"Before you ever joined the BAU. Erin would hum it under her breath when she was at work, and I always assumed that it was the song she shared with Alan. Until she told me that Alan had no song in his heart, but they had married to keep the peace with her parents. She wanted to wait until she met, well, you, even though she might not know for certain it is you, but things were different back then, and you were lucky to meet your soulmate before bowing to societal pressure."
"Oh," she whispered, squeezing his hand a little tighter. "I, I don't know where to go from here, honestly. Are you certain you wouldn't mind us exploring something?" He shook his head. "But how will we navigate the red tape at work? I mean, you are the reason why we have the frat rules that we do." Rossi blushed a little as he raised his eyebrows before chuckling a little. "She's just come back, I don't want to rock that boat, either. But look at her, she's beautiful and worth fighting for. Even if I have to transfer to a different department."
"Are you certain you aren't in love with her, Kitten?" he teased gently, and she stuck her tongue out at him before shaking her head. "Well, I'll keep your secret for now. You just need to promise me that you'll reach out to her. Hold out the hand of friendship and build up to revealing that you're meant to be together. And if you need any pointers on how to please her, I'm your man."
"Really, David!" she exclaimed, using Erin's inflections in a near perfect mimicry, and he chuckled as he shook his head. "What?"
"I'd heard that there are some soulmates who start to sound like each other. We've seen it with Jen and Will. I just never expected to hear Erin drop from your lips." She bit her lower lip as she shrugged a little. "So, if you want to keep things under wraps for the time being, you might want to police your language a little more."
"I'll keep that in mind. Um, I should probably order my Uber now. I think that I've learned enough tonight. Don't you?" He nodded and Penelope pulled out her phone and called up the app, quickly getting that squared away. "I'll just go wait for them in the foyer. You go distract Erin so that we can just leave things be for the time being."
They stood up at the same time, and Penelope was surprised to find that Rossi pulled her into a tight hug, rubbing her back softly. "Sometime you have to have a little courage, Kitten. You survived a maniac trying to hunt you down, I know that you can survive letting Erin know you're soulmates."
"Okay. But you have to set up a night at the opera for us. I know that she likes that, and I want to learn more about what she likes before things start to get a little more serious?" Rossi nodded before kissing her cheek softly and pushing her in the direction of the house. With one last look at Erin, she slipped inside and began to think about what her next step would be with Erin.