Penelope knew that she was crying too hard to even think about attempting to drive home, but she wanted nothing more than to be home in Erin's arms, knowing that she could be the only one to help heal this gaping wound in her heart. "Chief Strauss called, Penelope. She wants me to drive you home, since she thought that you wouldn't be in any state to drive."
She looked up at Agent Anderson, giving him a small nod as she tugged her purse out of the drawer and blindly followed after him, welcoming his hand between her shoulder blades as he guided her into the elevator and pressed the down button. "Why?"
"Because she trusts me, and I've always respected her. I know that your team has butted heads with her quite a lot over the years, but ever since her second stay in rehab, she's put in the effort to be a different woman. And now that you're together, you influence her more than you realise. She's more like you, you're more like her, and it's a perfect balance. So I would do anything to keep the two of you on even keel. Besides, I'm good at looking after people. I'm not just another pretty BAU face."
She giggled a little as she nodded, grateful to find an unexpected friend in the midst of her sorry. "I just don't understand how one bullet can do so much damage," she finally whispered, and Anderson shrugged a little before shaking his head. "I guess I'll know more tomorrow. I just need to be home with her."
"I completely understand, and I'll have you there as quickly as I can." He stepped closer to her and she welcomed the warmth that was radiating off him. It was too easy to allow herself to become catatonic as she lost herself in thought, trying to not think about how much Reid must be hurting in that moment. He had truly seemed to be in love with Maeve, and having her life ended by an unsub seemed like such a cruel fate. "All right, PG, we're here. Give your soulmate an extra hug from me tonight. Hold her close and tell her that you love her. I know that that's what I'll be doing as soon as I get home to Gina."
She nodded and leaned over to kiss Anderson's cheek softly. "You're a good egg, I hope you know that. Thank you for driving me home." He gave her a small wave as she exited the car, and then she was trudging up to the front door, letting herself in with the key. Glancing over her shoulder, she watched as he finally pulled away from the kerb and drove off into the night.
It didn't take long for her to lock the door once more, stepping out of her shoes and tossing her purse onto the table before making her way upstairs, knowing that Erin would most likely be in bed waiting for her, given how late it had gotten. As Penelope trudged up the stairs, she unbuttoned her blouse, pulling it out of the waistband of her skirt before undoing the front clasp on her bra. The rest would be easy enough to get out of, once she was in their room. Opening the door, she focused on the fact that there was a slight glow in the room from Erin's bedside lamp, and Penelope let out a choked laugh to see that her lover was fast asleep, her book closed around her thumb. The sight was so domestic and everything that Reid would never get to experience with Maeve that Penelope's little laugh turned into a full on sob, and she tried to hum their song as she shrugged out of her clothes and put them away before tugging on an oversized shirt and padded over to the bed.
Picking up Erin's book, she put a marker where she had left off and then went over to her side of the bed and climbed in. After pulling the sheets up around their waists, Penelope snuggled in close to Erin's side, letting her head come to rest on her chest as she tried to get to sleep. Every time she went to close her eyes, however, her mind tried to put together a picture of exactly what had happened to Maeve, and she let out a long breath. Eventually, she started to feel Erin's fingers drag through her hair, and Penelope lifted her head to look up into her soulmate's face. "I don't understand," she finally whimpered, and Erin nodded before contorting her neck enough to where she could kiss Penelope's forehead. "They were soulmates, and now she's dead, and they never had the opportunity to love each other like we do. How can life be so cruel?"
"It's not cruelty, my darling. It's just the way of the world. We could think life cruel for not putting us together until this point in our lives when we could have had fifteen previous years of happiness. But I've learned that we have to take what life gives us and be grateful for the time." Penelope nodded as she scooted up and rested against the headboard of the bed, staring down into her lap. Erin copied her movement before slipping an arm around her shoulders and gently pulling her closer. "I am going to be grateful for all the minutes that we have together."
"I need to remember that, Erin."
"You will, with time. You're just a little younger than I am, so there's some things that you haven't learned yet. But there are some things that I would rather you didn't learn, because you deserve to be happy, to not wear a millstone around your neck with the things you know about the world."
"I have my millstones, Erin. Being so connected to the internet leads to me seeing the dregs of society. I've been called vile names, had assumptions made about my weight and my sex life. Yet those words typed out by keyboard warriors are a drop in the bucket compared to what they tell me they'll do to me when they find me. But there's not the sense of immediacy like there was tonight. Or when Haley died. They're behind a screen and a keyboard, they can't hurt me physically in that moment. But I still wear their words around my neck?"
"I wish that you didn't have to experience that, darling, but I know that it's part of your job." Erin let out a little sigh. "What can I do to make you feel able to sleep tonight? I know that it will be difficult, because your heart is heavy and it's hard to sleep when your mind won't stop circling around all the bad that happened."
"Would you just sing our song to me? I don't think there's anything else in this world that would settle my heart at this moment. It's selfish, I know, since Reid will never be able to hear his song with Maeve ever again, but I need to hear ours."
"Hush, it's not selfish to want that, darling." Erin pressed her lips to Penelope's forehead and then shimmied down onto the mattress, stretching out before patting her chest lightly. Penelope nodded and shifted her body so that she could rest her head on Erin's chest. Once it was in place, Erin began to stroke her hair once more as she started to sing their song, the gentle sound of it filling her senses as she tried to will herself to sleep.