They had only been in London for two days when Emily pulled her aside before breakfast and gave her a serious look. "What are you running from, Garcia?" she asked as she sat them down at her table, looking into her eyes. It was difficult to keep her gaze, as Penelope felt like Emily could see into the depths of her soul. "I can tell that your heart isn't here, you know. You look like I did when I returned to the BAU from the dead, so I know that haunted expression. Why did you come if you didn't want to be here?"
She let out a deep sigh, wishing that she had a mug of coffee to wrap her hands around. "Coffee and then I'll talk?" she asked, pouting a little in that way she knew would get Emily to do as she asked. Her friend rolled her eyes before getting up and pouring them both large mugs of coffee. "Milk, too, please."
"You don't ask for much," Emily muttered as she added a liberal dash of milk to one mug before returning to the table. "All right, you have your coffee. What is making you so distracted, so haunted?"
"I don't even know if you'll believe me if I tell you. Have you heard your song?" A dark look slipped across Emily's face as she hands tightened around her mug. Even though Penelope knew the answer, she took expressions as all she would get and plowed right ahead. "I have heard mine since I was young. Like, five or six. It's always been a part of me. And it's a woman. I've known that since I was young, too, that my soulmate was a woman. And I found her."
"Who? Is it someone we know?"
Penelope nodded as she brought her mug to her lips, sipping at it as she tried to get her thoughts under control. "So, I'm going to tell you a little story, and I'm going to ask that you not say anything until I'm finished. No matter how much you might want to interject. Okay?" Emily nodded as she drew an X over her heart, making Penelope smile. "I should have known who my soulmate was during the inquest into Foyet's death, as that was when I heard my song start to get louder. But then I didn't hear it like that again for a long time. Not until the bank heist. When Erin Strauss and I were forced into small quarters and she was staring at the little screens, I started to hear my song. Pouring from her lips. Soulmate songs are only known by the people who share them.
"But I didn't tell her that I knew, I just listened, and tried to reconcile the fact that my soulmate was sleeping with a member of my team, and that she also happened to be someone that I haven't always gotten along with. And it would have been fine, I think, if you hadn't dropped the bomb of leaving us for Interpol and her asking me to dance with her all in the same night. When we were in each other's arms, the song took over and enveloped us. I could have sworn that she knew, too, but neither of us said anything. Rossi overheard me telling JJ about it, though, and he let me know that he wouldn't stand in the way of us getting together, since he knew he wasn't Erin's soulmate. I just don't know what to do, Emily. I don't know her well enough to even begin to think about a relationship, but the more I think about her, the more I want a relationship with her. I thought that three months away would do me good, help me put my head on straight, but so far? That is not the case."
She let out a long breath before bringing the mug to her lips once more and taking a long drink, her eyes never meeting Emily's. "I know who my soulmate is, too, and he will never look at me the same way again, since I left him in the BAU to come over here."
Penelope's eyes shot up to look at Emily's face, seeing the pain and regret there. "Sometimes, we just can't stay where we are. It hurts too much. The cracks in the foundation are too great. But if your soulmate just happens to be a handyman in his spare time, flipping houses all on his own, you might be able to find in him the person who can help repair the cracks in your heart. Just saying. Though you might have to be the one to reach out first. He's still hurting."
"You speak as if you know that I'm talking about Derek."
Penelope smiled softly as she reached across the table to squeeze Emily's hand softly. "You didn't need to, but you just confirmed it. And I won't tell anyone that I know. As long as you promise me that you'll work on things with him while we're here."
"I suppose that I could do that. As long as you do something for me."
"And what would that be?" she asked, narrowing her eyes at her friend.
"That you do something about your soulmate. You're separated for three months, but that doesn't mean that you can't get to know each other. That's what cellphones and email and Skype are for, after all. If you start a solid friendship foundation now, when you return home, it will be that much easier to slip from friends to lovers."
Penelope nodded a little, swirling the remainder of her coffee around in her mug. "I suppose that I could do that for you, yes. I suppose that we both have to be a little brave right now and step outside our comfort zones. What, what if she doesn't want to explore a relationship with me?"
"I don't think that anyone could ever reject you, PG. You're too sweet. But that's also why I think that you should reach out to her. Are you in the office today?"
She shook her head. "No, Clyde thought that it would be best if I had a little more time to acclimate, since my role won't be quite as vital as Derek's. I'll start Monday."
"Well, if you want an exploring partner, I don't have to go in, either."
Penelope gave Emily a small smile as she nodded. "I think that I'd like that, Em. And this way, we can both talk a little more about our soulmate issues." Emily just ticked an eyebrow up at her as they stood up. "I'm going to get changed for a day out. I must say that I love England so far. Everyone dresses for the day, and I don't look quite so out of place here. But I know that I can't stay. My future lies in Quantico." Emily gave her a small nod as she traipsed through the flat to the room she was using, slipping out of her pyjamas before flipping through the dresses in her closet and selecting a suitable one for a day out. It didn't take long to get dressed and apply her makeup, and then Penelope was rejoining Emily in the kitchen.
It looked like she had changed also, into a chic pair of grey trousers and a dark blue blouse, and Penelope grinned to see that they had unintentionally color coordinated. "People might think we're a couple," she teased as she picked up her purse and slung it over her shoulder.
"That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, honestly. And that would help you grow accustomed to being seen on the arm of a woman." Emily winked before heading over to the door. "Would you rather head to a park or the Tate Modern?"
"Ooh, the Tate sounds nice. Let's head there first, and see where our day takes us? And maybe at lunch, I'll send off a quick email to Erin, asking her to talk later." Emily chuckled as she nodded, linking arms with her as they made their way down to the lift, ready to head out for the day.