It had been a good first day working with Clyde's team at Interpol, and she was still brimming with excited energy, even when it got to be close to 10:30. Knowing that she might not be able to settle down to sleep until she talked to someone, she decided to throw caution to the wind and crept down to the kitchen where her phone was charging, hoping that no one would hear her if she carried on a conversation with Erin in that room. Before she called, Penelope started to heat up a kettle of water, knowing that there would be nothing more perfect than drinking a cup of tea while she spoke with Erin. Digging through the cupboard, she grabbed out a large mug and a sachet of Lady Grey tea before taking a seat at the table and grabbing her phone.
She was still uncertain if this was a good idea, but she still pressed her finger firmly on Erin's number before bringing the phone to her ear and waiting to see if Erin would answer or not. It took a few rings before she heard the connection be made, and Penelope sucked in a shallow breath as her brain suddenly went blank as to what to say. "I wasn't expecting you to call, Penelope. Your first day must have been hectic."
There was something so pleasing about hearing her voice, as if their song was imbuing her words with a melody that was familiar and warm. "I hadn't planned on calling, either. I just found myself thrumming with energy after the day I had. The FBI has pretty good technological systems, but what Interpol has? Blows my system out of the water. I hope you don't mind that I'm taking notes on things that I'd like to improve when I'm home. I know, we have a budget, but I think that I have a way to make things work. After all, I did a thing to get tablets for our team when I wanted them."
Erin chuckled deeply, and Penelope flushed a little at the sound, wishing that she could be there to see what she looked like with a full smile on her lips. "Well, if anyone can work miracles, I know that it's you. You've done it numerous times over the course of your time with the BAU. Like during the bank heist…"
"I hated that. I was on edge for too many hours, and not knowing if people I loved would live or die, and there didn't seem to be anyone that I could turn to. And then you were there, and reacting in the way that I did, it was surprisingly refreshing. How are you doing after that? Is Rossi treating you right?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, Penelope."
"Don't try to play that game. We know way too much about each other, because of the time that we spend together. Secrets don't stay secret very long amongst us. Except when they come to me. Secrets die with me, because I know that certain things need to be kept close to the vest. So, is he treating you all right?"
The kettle started to whistle, and she jumped to her feet, pouring the water into her mug before dropping the teabag into it and going back to her seat. Erin still hadn't answered by the time she sat back down, and she decided to wait her out, knowing that the answer would eventually come. "We are getting along quite well, yes. And before you ask, his reputation is much deserved. This is really just a fling, you know. I can't see it lasting long." There was another small break in their conversation, and Penelope thought that she could hear their song being hummed under her breath. "Is Derek handling things a little better now?"
"Sort of. He and Emily are almost to the point of talking, so that's progress. I hope that by the end of our stint here, I'll get them to admit that they share a soulmate song." Erin's breath caught in her throat, as if she was wondering about their own song, and Penelope rushed on ahead with her words. "They're both so stubborn, though, that it might not happen. Still, a girl can dream eternal. I'm still waiting to find my soulmate, though I love the song I hear in my dreams. It's elegant and refined, but I can hear me in the more playful passages. I hope that she likes the pieces of me in the song as much as I like the pieces of her."
"Is, is your soulmate a woman, then?" There was a breathless tone to Erin's voice, as if she was not quite certain she wanted to hear what Penelope would say next.
"Yeah, I heard her voice singing our song in my dreams one night. Mama told me that it was common to find that out before one meets their soulmate. It's supposed to help narrow things down, but…there are still a lot of women in the world today, you know."
"I do. My soulmate is a woman, too," Erin replied in a rush. "I know, it's not what most people would expect, given that I was married to, and I'm currently sleeping with, a man. But when you're born into certain families, things are expected of you, and marriage and children were one of them."
"I completely understand. There was a reason that I never told my parents that my soulmate was a woman. They wouldn't have understood." She let out a light sigh. "Wow, I'm sorry to have gotten so maudlin on you. Usually I'm a lot more upbeat than this."
"I think I'd rather have honesty than forced happiness. Being happy all the time is toxic to everyone. Another thing that I learned too late in my personal life." It was Erin's turn to sigh before she cleared her throat. "I thought I saw on your Instagram that you were on a ferry yesterday?"
"Yes! It was a great way to travel down the Thames. There are so many little places that I want to get out and explore, but I don't know if I'll have time for it all, especially with the Olympics starting up soon. Emily said that she might be able to get us some tickets to a few of the events. Can you imagine that? Me? Getting to go to the Olympics? This trip has been amazing already, and I have you to thank for that." She sipped at her tea before leaning back against the chair, staring up at the ceiling.
"You deserve some happiness after all that you've been through. So did the rest of the team, but I couldn't offer the same opportunity to them. Agent Prentiss was quite specific that it should be the two of you."
"And what are you doing to make yourself happy, Erin? Besides boinking Rossi every chance you get?"
Erin let out that sweet laugh again, and Penelope smiled a little wider as she got to her feet and began to pace around the kitchen, listening to Erin talk about the things that she was trying to do to make certain that she didn't fall back into old patterns and habits. In that moment, Penelope vowed that she wouldn't let anyone or anything trip Erin up in her recovery, fully recognizing the first stirrings of love that came with being Erin's soulmate.