Penelope frowned as she received the call from Aaron way too early in the morning a few weeks later. "What is it, Hotch? You're supposed to be on vacation, not waking me up after a long night spent in Erin's arms."
"That is not something that I ever needed to know, Garcia, though I am glad that you're so happy with her. I take it that she's lying next to you at the moment?"
"The Replicator case has taken another turn, and this time, he's targeted Sean. The Director wants her to come with the team, since this has the potential to become a very serious situation."
Penelope looked down at Erin, seeing that she was still asleep, though her face was settling into a deep frown, as if she knew that Penelope was about to wake her up and give her bad news. "That's all well and good, Hotch, but I can't let her go with you alone. Not if this is truly the Replicator."
"There's no need for you to come along, Penelope. We'll need you in the office, gathering information on his movements."
"Which I can do just as well with my laptop. I've done it before, remember Alaska? No, I am not about to let my beloved out of my sight if this is truly a Replicator case, Aaron. If something were to happen, and I miss out on hearing our song one last time…"
"Wait, you hear the music of the spheres with Erin?"
She nodded before starting to stroke her lover's hair. "I'm surprised that it took you that long to figure it out, really. I mean, we're quite an unconventional couple."
"True. I just assumed that your long distance friendship turned into something deeper between the two of you. Now, since you've decided that it's a good idea for you to join us, you can break the news to Erin while I call the rest of the team. Try to be at the BAU in an hour. I know that it will be tight, since you live sort of far out. The team will wait for you, if you are late."
"All right, we'll see you soon." Penelope hung up with Hotch before leaning down and kissing Erin's forehead lightly. She twisted and turned a little before blinking her eyes open and looking at Penelope in confusion. "I'm sorry to wake you, darling. But there's been a break in the Replicator case, and we need to be at the BAU in the hour. I'm, I'm coming with you to New York."
"I thought that I was dreaming that," she said, her words muffled with sleep. Sitting up, Erin stretched before reaching out and caressing Penelope's face. "So, we need to get up and get ready. I hope that someone makes certain we have our own room, since I don't relish being apart from you."
"I'll text Jayje to let her know that we need our space," she replied as she leaned in to kiss Erin's cheek. "There's not time for a shower this morning, Hotch wants us to be in the air too soon for that to happen."
"I sort of figured that. Time is of the essence, with this case."
Penelope nodded as she slipped out of bed and went over to their closet. "I suppose that I should wear something comfortable for the flight. I know that we're going to want to put our heads together and come up with a working theory before we land, but there is a good chance that I'll just fall back asleep if I'm not careful." She listened to Erin laugh as she pulled out a soft dress and cardigan to wear, dressing quickly before hurriedly making up a go bag for a few days, not knowing how long they would be in New York. "I'll brew us coffee while you dress?"
"Aren't you going to pack makeup?"
"You have a bag in your office, right?" Erin nodded. "I'll just use yours while we're there. I have spare lipstick in my purse, and that's all I really need to worry about. I'll just look a bit more muted for a few days. Or I can always use that as an excuse to nip out to Sephora while we're there."
Her soulmate laughed as she shook her head. "You are incorrigible, but that's why I love you so much. I'll see you downstairs in about ten minutes, since I want to check in on the children before we leave."
"Sounds like a plan, Erin." They each began to hum their song, and Penelope tried not to let the fact that there was a new, mournful, tone in the music get to her too much. Though it did tell her that Erin was just as concerned as she was about heading to New York, as if they both knew something had the potential to go tits up at a moment's notice. Each time they had gone to the City, they had left blood on the pavement, and she didn't want this to be more of the same.
To her surprise, Karen was already up and making breakfast for herself, though a full pot of coffee was already brewed. "Why are you up?" Karen asked as she looked up from the stove, giving her a small frown.
"There's been a break in the case that your mother and I have been working on for the last eight months. We're headed to New York as soon as she finishes dressing. Do you mind if I fill our travel mugs with that coffee? We're on a bit of a time crunch."
Karen nodded as she gave Penelope a concerned look. "I don't like the sound of that, Penny. This case has been weighing so heavily on you and her. Please, swear to me that you'll both be careful out there."
She let out a long breath as she finished filling Erin's cup. "I know that we will be careful, yes, but I'm afraid of something going wrong. There is always that possibility, even when we take the utmost care." Reaching out, she rubbed the young woman's arm as she tried to blink back tears. "But that's why I'm tagging along. Usually, I'd be here, in my tech cave, spitting out information for the team. I have to go, I have to watch over your mother, because we have a wedding to plan for, and there is no way that I'm about to lose her before we've settled down together."
"I'm not about to lose you, either." Penelope turned to look at her Erin, seeing that she had managed to put her hair up, though there were a few loose curls framing her face. "I'm just as worried about the outcome of this case, because it appears that any one of us could be in danger." Erin's face swam a little, and Penelope knew that she wouldn't be long from tears. Erin drifted over to her side, wrapping her in a tight hug as she hummed their song in her ear. "We're going to make it through this and bring him down."
Erin nodded against her shoulder. "Most unsubs like this are men. I'm fairly certain that this one is no different, even though we know next to nothing about who he might be, just the profile that we've been building of him. And that is exactly what we're going to use to bring him down. I took a few moments to put the profile we've been working on with Alex onto a thumb drive, so that the team can look at it while we're in the air."
"That's why you're the smart one of us."
Erin shook her head as she pulled away from Penelope, looking into her eyes. "You're just as smart as I am, we just have different strong suits. Never forget that, and never forget that I love you."
"Never," she whispered before kissing Erin sweetly, allowing her partner to guide her over to their travel mugs before grabbing their purses and bags and heading out to the garage. As a tired yawn split her lips, she began to hope that they would find the Replicator before any further harm came to those that she loved.