"So, we get to have two bonus people heading to New York with us," Derek said as they got out of the SUVs at the airstrip. Penelope fixed a tired look on him, seeing him blanch a little as he took her go bag from her hands to load it in the jet while she and Erin went over to the stairs and climbed into the jet.
"Your mood has dropped a little, darling," Erin murmured as they made their way to a set of seats.
"I know, I think that I'm just too tired. Would you mind terribly if you presented the working profile to the team while I catch a few more winks?"
"I think that I can handle that, darling." Erin brushed Penelope's hair out of her face before leaning in to kiss her cheek softly. "You're so keyed up over protecting me, that it's clouding your judgement. We need to keep in mind the fact that now that we're all on the case, we're that much closer to finding him. And everything will be all right." Penelope nodded and smiled sweetly when Erin kissed her other cheek before pressing her into a seat and then joining the rest of the team at the tables. It didn't take long for Penelope to fall back asleep, their song running through her mind until she was completely unaware of what was happening around her.
She didn't wake up until her ears started to pop, and as she sat up, she saw that Erin and Alex were talking to each other quietly, while JJ was curled up in the corner of her bench, absently scrolling through her phone. "Why didn't anyone wake me?" she asked as she sat up and stretched.
"Because Erin said that you needed the sleep. Plus, it was rather adorable to watch you sleep." She arched an eyebrow at JJ, only to have her friend giggle at her. "It amazes me how we pick up parts of our soulmate, besides the song we share. You look so much like Erin when you try to pull that off."
"Yes, I have noticed that she can emulate me quite well." Erin was giving her the softest smile and Penelope felt her heart lurch a little in her chest at the expression. "We did narrow our suspect pool a little while you were sleeping, darling."
"Yes. We believe that we're looking for a former FBI agent, most likely once attached to the BAU, given all the information that he's gathered on us. We're being targeted for who we are, and while it is upsetting to feel like this, at least we're one step closer. Once we get to the precinct where our base of operations will be, I'll help you with the relevant searches. The rest of the team has already decided how to divide up the fieldwork."
"That suits me just fine." Penelope met Alex's eye, seeing that she was giving her a knowing look, but she just shrugged a little before getting to her feet and shaking out some of the restlessness that was filling her body before sitting back down and fastening her belt as the plane descended. The ride into the precinct where Hotch's brother was being held was long, even with how early they had arrived, and she tried not to become too frustrated with everything, giving Derek a tight smile when he helped her carry the bag containing her work laptop into the building.
"We're going to go check into our hotel so that we can drop the luggage off before checking out Sean's bar. Is there anything you need before we leave?"
"No, I should be good, Sugar. And I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier, this whole case just set me on edge, and I am super worried about my love. It might be ridiculous, but it feels like this guy is zeroing in on her or Alex. Which doesn't make sense, because who would want to hurt them in particular?"
"Well, when you're trawling through the list of former agents attached to the BAU, you can add that as a parameter to your search, just to see if that helps narrow things down."
She nodded as they were shown into a large meeting room, showing him were to set her bag. Once his hands were free, Penelope turned and hugged him tightly. "You need to stay safe out there, too, Boo. Because I love you, and Emily loves you, and if anything happened to you on my watch, she'd kill me. And then Erin would be sad, and I would have to haunt people from beyond the grave, and we all know that we don't want that."
Derek laughed as he shook his head. "You are incorrigible, Baby Girl."
"You are not the first one to call her that this morning," Erin said as she and Alex joined them in their room. "She just has this silly idea in her head that I'm going to get hurt, and I know that that's not the case. Even though we've never had the best of luck here in New York."
Penelope kissed Derek's cheek softly before moving over to Erin's side, welcoming her arm automatically coming to rest around her waist. "I will leave you to your searches, ladies. Happy hunting."
"Same to you, Derek," she replied as he turned on his heel and made his way out of the room. "Now to get set up. I just wish that we had had time to stop at a coffee shop before we came here."
"This is New York, Penelope. I'm certain that we could get something delivered. Write down what you want, both of you, and then I'll go speak with the desk sergeant about getting the order fulfilled." Alex gave her a soft look, as if she also was feeling that heavy unease that permeated the air around them.
"That would be wonderful, Lexie. Thank you," Erin replied as she pulled out a pad of paper and quickly wrote down something before giving the pad to Penelope. She smiled to see what Erin wanted, and added her own drink and a few treats for breakfast. "While you're seeing to that, we'll start trying to narrow things down on our end. Let me know how much we'll owe you."
"This will be on me, Erin." Her partner went to protest, only for Alex to hold up her hand and give them both a stern look. "If we're to make this friendship work once more, you have to let me do some things, too. You can't just give and give and give. I've accepted your amends, and we're moving forward, which I appreciate so much. But we also have to have some give and take. All right?"
"All right," Erin murmured before letting out a soft sigh. Alex shook her head slightly as she leaned in and hugged her quickly, then copying the gesture with Penelope before bustling from the room. "I'd forgotten how assertive she can be. Though it is nice to have the start of a new friendship with her. More than being my soulmate, you've managed to also be a miracle worker, in that it feels like you managed to thaw the ice between us that I was certain would never crack." Erin took a deep, shuddery, breath as she took the cord out of the bag and plugged it into the outlet. In that moment, Penelope knew that she was trying to keep from crying, and she wordlessly began to set up everything she would need for the long day ahead of them.