A GarVez Ficlet: Penelope the Pin-up Girl by Pari

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"I really appreciate you letting me use your ramps so I can work on my wife's car today. Kristy won't let me put it off any longer," Matt said and then sipped from the bottled beer he held as he followed Luke into his one-car garage.

"Hey, it's no problem at all, and if you need any help I'm available," Luke replied as he settled his beer bottle atop his workbench and pulled the two car ramps from a corner

"Thanks, but it's just a quick oil change ... WHOA! Is that Garcia!?!" Matt sputtered out in surprise, and Luke turned to regard him. Luke then focused on where Matt now stood on the other side of the garage, near the front of his truck, staring at a calendar that was tacked up on the wall.

"Uh ... yeah," Luke replied as he grasped his beer once again and nervously took a sip.

"Wow! Penelope is a pin-up girl," Matt went on and then let out a complimentary whistle.

"It's a charity calendar," Luke began to explain. "I overheard her telling JJ and Tara about it. She did it to help raise money for one of the charities she supports, for MS I think it was. So, I thought I'd buy some, you know, to show my support."

"Some?" Matt repeated as he tore his eyes away from the calendar and over to his friend with a knowing smile on his face.

"Yeah, I got my mom and my sister one too," Luke casually lied and took another sip of his beer in an attempt to relay that it wasn't a big deal, but Matt knew better.

"Uhn-huh," Matt said with a chuckle. "And you do know that we're still in the middle of 2023, right?"

"I just put it up now so I wouldn't forget," Luke defended but couldn't stop the smile that fell to his face as he rolled his eyes slightly at how absurd that sounded even to his ears.

"Dude, why don't you just ask her out?"

"I did remember?" Luke stated. "And I told you how awkward it was and how she pretty much friend-zoned me and told me she wasn't into me like that."

"No, you told me how you were very nervous and she was very nervous," Matt countered. "Look, I have been a profiler a lot longer than you my friend. So, trust me when I tell you that Penelope Garcia is definitely into you, but she's been hurt in the past. And she's got some hang-ups when it comes to certain types of guys asking her out. I mean once a guy asked her out, walked her to her door, and then shot her instead of giving her a goodnight kiss. I think she's entitled to be a little weary when it comes to dating, right?" Luke nodded to this as his jaws clenched in anger as he recalled learning that Garcia had been shot. "She likely saw how nervous you were and misinterpreted that as 'you' not being interested in her, and so she decided to beat you to the punch. A classic defense mechanism. And I noticed you two when we went back to her apartment after Bailey's memorial. You looked mighty cozy sitting at her table drinking wine and spouting poetry," Luke shot him a stunned look. "Yeah, I heard you and I also 'saw' the way you two were looking at each other. Luke, you both want it, you're both worthy of it, so don't give up so easily. Call her and ask her out again. Look, I gotta go," Matt then moved to where Luke stood, handed Luke his near-empty beer bottle, and then grabbed up the two ramps. "I'll bring these to work on Monday, thanks again."

"You're welcome," Luke called out to Matt's retreating form. He remained in his spot while he watched Matt load the ramps in the back of his truck, then get inside, and drive off. Luke then tossed the two beer bottles into a nearby trash bin, took a deep cleansing sigh, and pulled out his cell phone. He pressed the number he had assigned to speed dial for Garcia's number. He smiled slightly when the call connected after just a single ring. "Hey, Chica, what are you doing tonight?"

January 2024

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