There hadn't been a free moment for either her or Erin in the next few days, but to her delight, the thing that her mother had always told her would happen once she found her soulmate was coming true. She was starting to hear their song more frequently, and louder. Knowing that she didn't have to hide her song any longer also allowed her to hum it at work, knowing that there wasn't anyone who might ask questions. Hearing their song grow louder, Penelope looked up from her monitors, smiling a little wider as she got up from her desk and went over to the door, opening it to peek outside. Erin was entering the bullpen, and Penelope's smile faltered a little when her soulmate paused by Alex's desk.
The other woman looked up, and Erin said something lowly to her. In the space of time that that took, Penelope could hear their song change a little, become somewhat sadder, and she knew that Alex had rejected Erin once more. Tearing up a bit, Penelope closed the door and waited for Erin to join her, wanting to comfort her. Moments later, Erin was slipping inside her office, and the moment the door closed once more, Penelope was pulling her into a tight hug, burying her face in the crook of her neck. "Why do you hurt yourself so by always offering her another olive branch?" she finally managed to whisper before guiding Erin over to her sofa and pulling her down upon it.
"Because I know that at some point, she'll be willing to listen to me and see that I've changed. I won't give up trying until I die. I've made amends with everyone, but for her, and while it might be somewhat self-indulgent, I still respect her and want her to respect me. If I am completely honest, I want her to see me the way that Agent Jareau sees me. Because I know that you've been softening her thoughts, and I appreciate that so much." Erin pulled away from Penelope to peck at her lips chastely before looking down into her lap. "This is my one insecure spot. I have so much confidence in everything else, but…"
"I get it. You crave affection because it's the one thing that you can't have in your position here, and you cherish your friends dearly. On our phone calls, that was the one thing that came shining through. The way you talked about your book club, or the women you talk to while at Tabitha's games, well, I just found my heart softening to that side of you, and I may have extolled those virtues to Jayje when we would talk. It was instinctive, to build you up and help her to see you like I see you. Of course, she won't quite understand the depth of what I feel, since she's not me, she's not yours. I'm yours. And I'm babbling, because there's just so much in here." She took hold of Erin's hand and pressed it against her chest, trying to get Erin understand what she couldn't put words to. "Alex would probably be able to explain it better, but I'm just me. I'm sorry."
"Never apologise for who you are, darling. Ever." Erin reached up to cup her cheek and run her thumb against her cheekbone. "Now, I should probably get back to my office before people start to talk. Do you mind if I use the other entrance?"
Penelope shook her head as they rose to their feet, following Erin to the side exit that she rarely used. "Thank you for coming to see me. Though I knew you were coming, because I could hear our song."
"I was singing it in my heart as I came in, knowing that I needed some courage to make my way over to Alex and then up to you. I know that we have permission, of a sort, to explore our bond, but I still feel like I'm stepping out of some set boundary. And as someone who has always tried to live within a rigid set of boundaries, well, this is a little scary."
"I understand. It's a little overwhelming to find out your boss is your soulmate, after all." Penelope smiled briefly before leaning in and kissing Erin once more. "So, we have the symphony tomorrow evening. I was thinking, since you won't have your children, would you spend the night with me? I know that we'll most likely be late, and I would worry about you getting home safely after dropping me off. I don't want to have sex, but I really want to sleep with you."
Erin nodded. "I think that we can move up to that level of intimacy this weekend, yes. As long as you don't say anything about my pyjamas."
"I promise. Oh, tomorrow night is going to be lovely. Now go, I've kept you too long as it is." Erin rolled her eyes a little before leaning in and kissing her once more. Penelope let out a little sigh as they parted, and she had to shut her door quickly so as not to stare after Erin longingly. It was one thing to moon, it was another to get caught at it. She had just taken a seat at her computers once more when someone knocked on the door, and she took a deep breath before calling out, "Come in!"
The door opened and she was a little surprised to see Alex entering. "I thought Erin was up here."
"She was, but it was only to confirm something with me before she got back to work. Can I help you with something?" she asked as she gestured towards her desk, wanting Alex to know that she was free to take a seat there while they spoke.
"It is really difficult to keep up this pretense of not thawing towards Erin, but I cannot afford to trust her again. Not when I've worked so hard to get my reputation back and make my way here again. Please, can you somehow explain to her that I can't accept the olive branches just yet? I don't want to keep hurting her, because it hurts me, too. I know you might find that selfish of me, but that's how it has to be, at least for now."
Though Alex looked like she was trying to keep a stolid mask on her face, Penelope could see the expression of sorrow in her eyes. "I don't want to be the monkey in the middle between you and my soulmate, Alex. But I do want the two of you to work things out, eventually. I'll try to get her to ease off a little, as long as you promise me that you'll not be openly hostile in an effort to protect your heart."
"That would be an adequate compromise, Penelope. Thank you." Alex sank down onto the desk and picked up one of the stress balls, squeezing it in an absent rhythm. "When did you know that she is your soulmate?"
"Only a few months before you came back to the BAU. Imagine that, we'd been working together for nine years before I even found out that my soulmate was so close at hand. I'm assuming your husband is your soulmate?" Alex nodded. "When did you know that he shared your song?"
"I heard him singing it while in a bar with Erin, actually."
Penelope grinned as she realized that she could very possibly get an amazing story about Erin out of Alex, and she clapped her hands together once as she looked into Alex's eyes. "Tell me all about it, please? We're not going anywhere today, and you're the type of person who has all her work done early, so if you're game to share, I am more than willing to listen!" The woman let out a little laugh as she nodded, and Penelope sighed with excitement as she waited for the story to begin.