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The Music of the Spheres

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Penelope was glad when she could finally escape work and get to Erin's home, hoping that she hadn't missed too much time with Erin and the kids. Parking in front of what would be the open space in the garage, she turned her vehicle off and made her way to the front door. Just as she was about to knock, the door was pulled open and Tabitha was grinning at her. "Penny! Mom said that you were on your way. Come in, we're just about to sit down to supper."

Tabitha reached out and took hold of her hand tugging her through the house and into the kitchen where the rest of the family was. "I don't think that she's going to run away, Tab. You don't need to grip her hand like a vise," Karen said, looking pointedly at their hands.

"I know! I just haven't let go yet." Tabitha stuck her tongue out at her sister before dropping Penelope's hand and drifting over to her mother and wrapping her arms around her stomach as she rested her cheek against Erin's shoulder. "Can we stay up late with you and Penny?"

"Absolutely not, Tabitha Marie. You know that it's a school night and while your father might let you get away with ruining your sleep routine, I will not. You can stay up until ten, as usual, and not a minute longer. If Penelope is not busy on Friday, and agrees to spend time at the house, then we can all stay up late and watch a movie or something. Would that be all right, darling?"

Erin didn't turn to look at Penelope, but she could tell that her soulmate was smiling by the set of her shoulders. "I suppose that I could clear out my entire weekend for you all, if you want to have me here that long. I know that I can get to be a bit much at times."

"I suppose that we could tolerate you for three days," Erin teased as she turned off the burner before turning and looking at Penelope, a playful expression on her face. "But we still have about ten minutes before everything will be ready to eat. Kids, why don't you set the table so that Penelope and I can decompress for a few moments? Please?"

"Of course, Mother. Bruce, Tabitha, get started. I'll come and get you in the living room when everything is ready, okay?"

Erin nodded a little as she stepped away from Tabitha to come up to Penelope, sliding her arm around her waist before guiding them to the living room. There was a small fire going in the fireplace, and Penelope couldn't help but grin as she led her soulmate over to there, tugging her down to the floor before leaning back against her chest, purring a little when Erin closed her arms around her waist and rested her chin on her shoulder. "Are you sure you don't mind rearranging your entire weekend to spend time with us?"

"First, I love you, so I love your children by extension. Second, given how I'm feeling right now about our little elephant in the BAU briefing room, I would relish spending this time with you. You make me feel safe."

"Why is that?"

"Because word gets around that you are a better shot than JJ, and since I don't believe in guns, well, I need someone proficient in using one to protect me. And you will protect me, right?"

Erin gently pulled her head backwards until she could press her lips against her forehead. "Of course I'll protect you, sweetheart. You're my soulmate, and I would do anything in this world to keep hearing our song until we're both in our old age." Erin kissed her once more before starting to gently rock them back and forth, humming their song beneath her breath. Soon, Penelope joined in, feeling herself become extremely relaxed in Erin's arms, almost lulled into a soft sleep. That lasted until Karen came into the room and announced that supper was served.

The mood around the table was chaotic and happy, and Penelope marveled a little at how well she fit in with the children, as if she had found a total of four soulmates when she and Erin had found their song. "Why are you looking so sappy?" Tabitha asked as Bruce served them all dessert.

"Because I just realized how much I've gained by being your mother's soulmate. There are four new little niches in my heart that belong only to you four, and I cannot wait to grow closer to you three as I become a more permanent part of your mother's life." She blinked back tears as she covered Erin's hand on her leg, giving her a sweet smile before looking at the children in turn. "Now, I think that if your mother will allow us to eat dessert in the living room, we should have time to watch a movie before you have to head up to bed. Unless there's homework that you have to finish?"

"I'm good, I finished it all during study hall," Tabitha quickly replied, giving her mother a hopeful look.

"I'll have to bow out, there's an important paper that I need to finish before class tomorrow. It's only the rough draft, but if I get it close enough to perfect now, I can avoid that much more work later on in the week. I'm going to head up now, and try to get it all banged out before I sleep tonight. See you in the morning, Penelope?"

"That is the plan. And if you need someone to give it a once over before you head to school, I'd be glad to do so."

"I might take you up on that," Karen said as she got to her feet and picked up her cake plate and fork. "Have a good evening!"

Erin nodded as she left the room, Bruce following at her heels, saying that he had an important math test to study for. She sighed a little as she helped Erin clean up the table before the remaining trio headed into the living room. "Is there anything in particular that you'd like to watch? I have a Netflix account we could use, it would just take me a moment to figure out how to make it work on your tv. Or we could just find something that's already on?"

"I have Netflix, too, darling. Tabby, did you have something in mind to watch?"

"Something funny? My song has been sad all week, and I know that it's not because of me, but it's still affecting my mood. I thought that if I saw something that lifted my spirits, I could send that through to them via my version of the song."

"Your mother is good at telegraphing her mood via our song, too," Penelope said as she curled up on the sofa with her cake, flaking off a small piece as she smiled up at Erin. "It was a little odd when I was younger, but it really helped when I lost my parents to have our song to rely on." Erin's smile wobbled a little as she handed the remote to Tabitha and then took a seat next to Penelope, letting her head come to rest on Penelope's chest as they turned their attention to the television and waited for Tabitha to choose something.