Penelope looked up at the clock on her monitor for the hundredth time that hour. Still, it was only three after five, and she allowed her shoulders to slump as she tried to focus on finishing the day out strong. Finally, after another three minutes of doing nothing productive, she pushed away from the desk and pulled out her purse, slipping out her makeup bag and touching up her lipstick before sending a quick text to JJ, knowing that she needed to tell someone her good news. I have first date jitters, Jayje. Erin and I are going out for supper tonight, and I don't know why I'm so nervous. She knows, by the way, we had a heart to heart earlier this morning, and I feel so free. Stay safe out there, because we are going to need a girls' night when you get back. Love you!
After sending that text out, she once more tried to finish up the tasks that absolutely needed to be accomplished before she left for the day. Somehow, she managed to find a slightly spaced out place and zipped through three of the tasks before she heard a soft knocking on her door. Swallowing nervously, Penelope saved her work before shutting down her systems and pulling out her purse, slipping her phone inside as she got to her feet and walked over to the door. "Chief Strauss, hello."
"Hello, Ms Garcia. Are you ready to head out?" She nodded a little as she turned off the lights and stepped out of her office, locking the door behind her. "I hope that you don't mind that I took the time to change into something a little more comfortable. I thought that, since we were seeing each other in a less than professional setting this evening, it would be better this way."
That was the first time that Penelope dropped her eyes from Erin's face to see that she had indeed changed, into a looser skirt while her blouse had an extra button undone. It was enchanting to see her lower her guard a little, and Penelope relaxed her face into a smile as she nodded. "You look lovely." Erin blushed a little as they made their way to the elevators. She couldn't find any small talk to make in that moment, because everything she wanted to say wasn't appropriate in their place of work. "I just wish that I had something I could have changed into."
"You look beautiful, Penny. Do you mind if I call you that? I never thought to ask…"
"I never thought to ask if you like being called dumpling," she said as they stepped into the open elevator, and she pressed the button for the ground floor. Thankfully, there was no one there who could overhear her words, and she let out a long breath of relief as the doors closed on them. "Sorry, I keep forgetting that we're on precarious ground here at the moment. My mouth truly does run ahead of my brain, and I'm going to cause this to come crashing down on our heads."
"It won't be that bad, Penny. I, I may have already spoken to the Director, when I put together that you were singing my song. And when Alex came to me, telling me that she knew, I was glad for that foresight. Yes, we have to tread carefully into our future, but we have permission to walk there hand in hand. Chastely, whilst at work, of course."
"Oh. Well. That does change things a little," she breathed out as she turned to look at Erin, her smile trembling on her lips as she drifted closer to her soulmate. "I can erase elevator footage, because I need to do this." Cupping Erin's face, she leaned in and kissed her softly. "That's about as chaste as I can be."
From the smile in Erin's lips, she knew that she had done something right, and they both sighed in unison as they clasped hands. "How are you planning on telling your team about this turn of events?"
"Honestly? Hotch and Reid are the only ones who don't know that you're my soulmate. Reid, because I'm not close to him, not like I would like to be, and Hotch because I just don't know how to tell him. Rossi was the one who told me that you and he were just a friends with benefits type relationship, and Jajye and Emily have been really supportive. I think the bank incident helped cement in their minds that you have changed for the better. Derek just doesn't want to see me hurt. I don't think that you would hurt me, though, now that we've revealed our shared song."
"I can't promise that there won't be hurt feelings between us. You know that I can be a bitch at times, that my drive can get ahead of my heart. But I will say that I will try to always apologise when I snap at you. One thing I took away from my parents' marriage is that we should never go to sleep angry with each other. Alan and I lost that along the way in our marriage, though I do feel that the fact we weren't soulmates led to the discord between us as well." Erin broke off her words, reaching out for Penelope's hand and squeezing it tightly as the elevator doors opened up.
Knowing that they weren't yet in a place where they could be free enough to hold hands while walking, Penelope reluctantly let go and followed Erin out of the elevator and then out into the parking garage. It didn't surprise her that Erin drove a beautiful maroon Jaguar, and a part of her hoped that one day she'd get to ride in it. "I'll meet you there?"
"I was thinking that I could drive. It wouldn't be too much of a hardship to drop you off either back here or at your home after our date. That way, if you wanted to have a glass of wine with supper, you could and wouldn't have to worry about driving right away."
"You think of everything, Erin," Penelope murmured as she went to the passenger side of the car, waiting for Erin to unlock it. Once she was buckled in, Penelope relaxed back against the seat, breathing in the familiar scent of Erin's perfume. "This is a lovely car."
"It's the car I always wanted," Erin replied as she backed out of her spot and pulled out into traffic. The drive to the restaurant was filled with Erin's music, and it didn't surprise Penelope in the slightest that she loved classical music, given how much they had talked about favorite musicians and songs quite often on their chats. "And yes, this is Mahler. I pulled out my recordings of his symphonies when you agreed to go to the concert with me. Though there's never a bad time to listen to Mahler."
"He's quite bombastic, isn't he?" Erin gave her a little half nod, half shrug, and Penelope laughed lowly as she shifted in her seat a little so that she could watch Erin as she drove, knowing that there was something so magical about watching a partner like that, seeing the way their face looked as their attention was focused on the road. Erin was no different, and Penelope found herself falling further under her soulmate's spell as she drove to the restaurant, knowing that there was no other place that she would rather be in that moment, or for the rest of her life.