“You should worship at my throne, Luke Alvez.” Claimed Garcia.
“Oh, but I do.-” Luke couldn’t help himself. He picked up the cell from the table and brought it as close to his mouth as he could. In a suggestive tone, he continued with the banter. Simmons raised his brow questioningly. Lewis shook her head. Both stared at him as he concluded. “I do. You know I do. ”
“ Whaaat??? ” He asked after Garcia hung up. His friends were still staring intently at him.
How long could he keep going without letting her know how he felt about her?
Not disguised in playful banter.
“Laying it on a bit thick?” Posed Tara. Always direct. Mostly tired of seeing her lil bro so afraid to even try. Well, perhaps fear wasn’t the right noun. He just thought he wasn’t good enough for her. That if he even tried, he would lose her friendship. Tara had done her best to reassure him before, her own brand of reassurance , but still. She had encouraged him to at least speak to Penelope. She had even gone as far as letting him know he was deserving to be loved. By anyone, even Garcia.
“That felt a bit…risqué. What happened to your ‘slow & steady’ plan?” Posed Matt. Of course he represented the other side of the coin. Not to say he didn’t think his bro didn’t deserve PG. He just knew them both. Knew that she especially needed time to adjust. It had taken her four years to even allow herself to be nice to him in public. Every so often at least. He knew she liked (he would even bet) loved him as much as he did her. But Pen didn’t seem to be there. Not ready to reveal her feelings. Not yet. He cared deeply for both of his friends, so his advice had always been one of caution. Oh, the debates he had with Kristy as a result. Well, more like his wife ganging up with Tara on him. Telling him he should be more encouraging to both. Pushing them a bit more.
“Still slow… Shit! Even snails are passing me by!” Luke admitted dejectedly.
“I say go for it. You’ve tried this way for four years. Maybe it’s time for a change of tactic.”
He scrutinized her facial expression. He finally sighed. “You just want me to make an ass of myself.”
“No, I mean it. You coming out of it looking like one, would be an unforeseen bonus!” She winked.
“ Matt? ”
“Of course you’d ask him. Listen to his advice.” She huffed.
“Let’s look at the evidence here. He managed to get a great Lady like Kristy. Hold on to her for over ten years. He even got her to agree to start a five a side football team…” He smiled. “Whereas you and I-”
Tara shook her shoulders dismissively. She knew Luke had a point - about them and relationships.
“I think you are making progress-” Said Simmons pensively.
“I dunno man…” Alvez wiped his face in frustration.
“Brother,” He said, placing a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder. “You must realize she has thawed in your regards, a lot since you guys met. Trust me-” He continued as he still saw doubt on Alvez’s face. “From the outside it doesn’t look that bad. We can all see how she allows herself to be more open around you now-”
“Especially when she forgets she’s supposed to be mean to you.” Chuckled Tara.
“Kristy told me she had gone to speak to her when we were flying back from Des Plaines. She didn’t want her to see me all beaten up and bruised without being prepared for it. She then offered her services. Letting her know that she could call her 24/7 to ask for anything. I had told Garcia I had invited you to come home with me to recoup for a couple of days. So she had even done a little shopping for us before arriving at the house. That’s why we had all your favorite snacks!” He smiled, remembering his wife’s comments. Why can’t Prentiss order them to be locked in a room until they either kill (!) each other or rip the other’s clothes off and end this frustrating back and forth? Quite on point. But not exactly what Luke needed to hear right then.
“Kristy said Penelope looked out of sorts, quite worried, when talking about you specifically-”
“So do you think she likes me?”
“What are we? 12 year olds in a playground? Grow ‘a pair’ man, and go to her! Throw her on the first comfortable surface and worship at her throne. For our sanity, just do it already !” Lewis said exasperated, her eyes rolling.
“Nooo-” Matt’s stern glance made Lewis smirk. “We can’t speak to that. Pen mellowed, but it is up to you to find out which way those feelings go… before any worshipping is done.”
Luke took a few minutes to consider his options.
Both his friends shared a look. Hoping he'd finally take the plunge.
"Mk, Matt, what's your suggestion?" He asked.
"Flowers for the apology-" "Get her a nice bouquet, that should get your foot in the door. The rest is then up to you. " Remarked Matt supportively.
"Mmm- She gets upset when they die…" - "but maybe a fern plant? Some of the varieties do thrive in the shade…" He clearly had been thinking about that subject for a while. "-yeah, I could get her a pot for her desk. Or a basket to hang somewhere in her office. She's forever going on about her cave almost being perfect…just missing the sunlight for her to be able to bring in any plant. Though she is the sunshine in any room really-" He had lost himself in his thoughts of her. Unaware he was still talking.
"Oh please, don't make me barf! You simp !" Mocked Tara as Simmons rallied them both back to the matter at hand. There was a case to solve. A killer to catch.
They had just arrived on their floor. Plans were being made for the usual post case drinks at O'Keefe's. JJ had her cell in her hand, a smile on her face.
"That was PG. She had to go home and wait for the mechanic for Esther. But she doesn't want to miss out on her Margaritas. So I guess I'm on chauffeur duties-"
"I've a better idea. I volunteer Alvez to be her driver for the evening." Matt smiled as he patted his friend's back.
"I second that!" Quipped Lewis, raising her right hand.
"Why?" Asked Jareau. Pondering whether a plan was afoot to finally get their friends together. Something she was fully on board with, of course.
"He was overly rude to her on the phone-" Explained Matt.
"No… I mean I- we - it was a miscommunication ." Luke tried to defend himself. Everyone around him was laughing. Knowing only too well their kind of misunderstandings.
Alvez had replayed their last conversation in his head since his talk with Matt and Tara. The words he spoke, the tone he had used. Fuck! Maybe it had been all too much. Even for them. Garcia hadn't called them back after that. All her info went via everyone else, but for him and those in the room with him at the time of their call.
He was taken out of his reverie by JJ's next comment. She had been texting Garcia the change of plan. Informing her of her new designated driver. "That was fast!" She said in a chuckle. Her phone was still pinging with Pen's multiple replies.
"What?" Posed Luke nervously.
"An unending stream of barf emojis…"
Alvez glanced at his de-facto siblings. Faltering at her response. If a text was setting her off, what would she do when he actually turned up at her door?
"You've got this brother." Said Matt encouragingly. Even Tara gave him a nod.
He had arrived at her apartment slightly earlier than planned. He had stopped on his way home to buy her the fern plant. He had decided to give it to her away from the office. She probably wouldn't accept it in front of everyone else out of principle. Since she still dubbed them frenemies. There was also the matter of the apology. Again, something probably best done one on one.
When she opened her front door, he was surprised to find her still in her robe.
He was also baffled by its length, the fact that it was terry cloth. It was purple and had a unicorn on it. But those were the only details that 'screamed' Garcia. He would've expected her to be more of a short, silky, flowy, kimono style kinda gal. A lil sexy number that would accentuate her perfectly curvaceous figure.
Fuck! What was he thinking!?!
He wasn't. Not with his brain anyhow.
He was there to apologize. Time to get his head on straight.
"Ummm- Didn't JJ text you the time? I know I'm a few minutes early, but-"
"She did. But then I received a call from the mechanic. He's running late so the plans were changed to dinner." She looked at him surprised. "She said she would let you, and everyone else, know…"
"No, she didn't." He took his phone out of his pocket to show her. "Shit! Never mind, there it is." He said, perplexed. How had he missed that text? "Do, ummm, do you want me to wait in my car whilst you get ready?"
"No, it’s ok, I guess. You can have a coffee in the kitchen if you want. I'll start getting ready now, shouldn’t take me too long." She said inviting him in.
He stood frozen in her doorway. Unsure of what he should do. She didn't seem overly upset by his presence, or the intrusion. Though, there seemed to be something else. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
"I think I can trust you won't go through my personal stuff? Break one of my favorite mugs?" She jested, sensing his hesitation.
“No, of course not. I-”
“Relax! I’m kidding, Newbie!” - “Anyhoo. Is that like a support pet but in flora form?” She posed curiously, pointing at the pot he held.
“No. I-” He inhaled deeply. “It's my way to apologize for our last conversation whilst on the case. You can put it in your office.” He lifted the plant towards her.
“Why a plant?”
“No, why start apologizing now? You’re always rude … “ She grinned.
“Mmmfff. Haha!” He remarked sarcastically. “Apparently, I was way over the line-ummm” He paused briefly.”- I know I crossed the line... Matt and Tara suggested cut flowers, but I know your views in that regard-”
Her eyes narrowed as she studied him. “If you know how I feel about flowers, then why a plant for my office of all places? It will never survive. No sunlight remember?” She had thought about buying a fern herself. So she was aware of their resilience. She was just intrigued by the fact he had chosen one. Wondering if it had been pure coincidence or whether there had been any conscious thought behind the choice.
“It’s a fern. Not only will it survive. It will thrive. Trust me.”
“How can you be so sure? Who gave you the idea in the first place?”
“I res… I mean - I remembered from my Army survival training. We were dropped deep into dark forests, and I saw a few ferns about-(!?!)” Really??? Alvez, you’re an idiot! He admonished himself at his weak explanation. Shit! He was unraveling. Fast. He had to try and move the conversation along. Away from why he had spent countless hours researching the perfect plant species, the specific type most suitable for her office. He still hadn’t apologized properly either. That was first on the list. If there was time, and the appropriate opening, he then could consider moving on to his feelings.
“Wait, I don't believe that -”
“Ok, maybe I did search engine some stuff-”
“Not that, you oaf! Army survival training indeed.” She grinned. “I mean, I don't believe for a minute that my Queen would have advised you to buy me flowers as a way of an apology.” She stated.
“That was all Matt- After the exchange we had…You can guess what Lewis suggested I’d do-” He trailed off in a low voice. Averting his gaze. Full on blushing. Redder than a ripe habanero chili. He cleared his throat.
“So, anyway, here-” He said, extending his arm. Holding the plant up to her.
“I don't want that!”
He was taken aback by her response. “The plant…the apology… neither? ”
“Well, I thought there were two options I could choose from. But you seem dead set in offering me only one. From your own admission: behind door no 1, our sweeter than sweet Tattooed Angel's suggestion-” She nodded at the plant. “Behind door no 2, the superbly,” She paused to take a long look up and down his whole body with a sigh. “-devilishly alluring suggestion by our not so wholesome Dr Lewis -” She smiled wickedly, her hand waving around his body. A want in her eyes she had never allowed him to see before.
He was left speechless. His body tensing up. His temperature rising. His mind dangerously close to shutting down. His lust ready to take over.
Was this an elaborate plan by Tara to get back at him? Have a laugh at his expense? No, she liked to tease him but she would never humiliate him. Play on his feelings for Penelope.
“If given the choice… I always bet on the Queen.”
“Garcia…Fuck! What are you saying?”
“I want you to worship at my throne.” She clarified.
“Did Lewis put you up to this?” He couldn’t bring himself to believe she wanted more with him, too.
She smiled softly at him. “I love how you are like the perfect fry. All crunchy, hard macho exterior, with the perfect soft, light, fluffy interior-”
He was so sweet. His insecurities when it came to her wants, so endearingly adorable.
She had indeed received a call from Lewis earlier that afternoon. An uncharacteristic one. The Doc had not made any of her usual teasing comments. She had simply asked her to give her brother a chance to explain himself. Asked her to truly listen, take notice of Luke's demeanor. Think back to their interactions through the years. Tara hadn't outright said it, but had hinted at that massive elephant (of undeclared feelings) that always seemed to be in any room - even when on phone calls - she found herself in with Alvez. The one they both tried their hardest to ignore. But if the increasingly suggestive nature of their banter was anything to go by… well they had almost reached a natural point of no return. That last exchange was a prime example. She had thrown her bit out as a quasi challenge. Sure he would just blush and give off one of his sweet smiles. She adored those. Even when all she could do was picture them in her mind instead of seeing them light up his handsome face. She had been left stunned by his reply. Hence her hanging up the phone. Hadn’t risked speaking to him for the rest of the case. She didn't want to be faced by reality. That he had just been caught up in the moment and said something he then deeply regretted. Though Tara's words gave her renewed hope. She knew him best after all.
Thus her own plan to create a time and space for them to be able to speak freely, without the rest of the family scrutinizing their every move.
“ Is this for real? ”
“Do you really think I would've incurred the FBI's wrath, jeopardized my deal with Hotch - by hacking your phone company to make sure you never received JJ’s text on time- for no good reason at all? ” She took the plant from him and placed it on the small table in her hallway. She then grasped his hand and guided him down the corridor, past the kitchen.
“Ummm- I thought I was supposed to have coffee-” Fuck! He definitely couldn’t think straight anymore. He was still in shock from her response. Her actions. He knew what was at the end of the hallway. He was like a balloon attached to a string. Being pulled along by someone else.
Not in charge of his own movements.
“Oh no, you’ve got some worshipping to do, Newbie! ” She said earnestly as she turned to face him. An expectant smile on her face. When he didn’t move, she placed her hands on his shoulders to pull herself up to kiss him. Though she kept it chaste, when her lips touched his, he shivered and let out the cutest moan.
She moved her hands down his arms, onto his abdomen, up to his pecs, on his neck, over his shoulders, down his back, lower still to his ass, back around onto his groin. Caressing and squeezing as she went along. Frack he was so ready. “Add perfect length and thickness to that list of fries’ attributes you encompass.” She added with another peck on his lips.
At long last, he was jolted out of his trance. This was real . It was happening. He certainly didn’t want to miss a thing. With a smile, he lowered his head to kiss her. As the kiss deepened he grabbed her derrière and pulled her flush against him.
She opened the door to her room. Without parting from Luke, she walked backwards, pulling him along, until her legs hit the bed frame.
She sat on the edge of the mattress as he knelt in front of her.
When he opened her robe he hissed in delight.
“Fuuuck!” He whispered, taking in the magnificent view of her naked body.
Garcia was about to lie down when he stopped her.
“Hold on-please- just …” He beseeched.
He took her breasts in his hands. He had to close his eyes to steady himself. He felt her hands on his face. Caressing him.
When he opened his eyes, he found her staring at him. A slight worry in her expression.
He quickly lifted himself to kiss her on the mouth. To reassure her that he wanted her, was desperate for her. He felt her relax in the kiss. Her hands moved to massage his head as he lowered it towards her breasts. He gently fondled both. His thumb teasing her nipples into peaks. His tongue took over. Licking them as she moaned. He moved her hands to her bosom so she could keep feeding him whilst he moved to her thighs. His hands gingerly caressing her. Starting from her knees, swirling light motions, pressing increasingly harder into her flesh as he moved along her thighs. Parting her legs incrementally, whilst massaging her. When he reached closer to her center, he moved himself forward. He looked up and gave her one of his blinding smiles. She reciprocated in kind as she lowered to kiss him.
He parted from her. Signalled she could finally lie on her back.
He picked up her right leg. Kissed and caressed it as he placed it on his shoulder.
He bent her left leg on the mattress, opening her up to him fully.
“You’re beautiful.” He proclaimed as she smiled shyly.
He kissed her lips, his tongue reached out to part them. Digging deeper into her core. He coiled his arm around her right leg to keep her in place as he moved his hand to her pussy. Gently rubbing circles on her clit.
The sheer pleasure made her rise in an involuntary crunch.
“Awwm- aaahhhmmm Frack!”Her hands landed on his head for support as he carried on his onslaught.
“Mmmhhh,”- “ right-” - “mmmhhh- there !?!” He posed smugly.
“Nooo- yeaaammmmmmm” She fell back on her back.
Her stimulated body, reflexively tried to shy away from him. His euphoria inducing tongue. Yet she couldn't get enough.
“Ready!?!” He quipped as he briefly detached from her.
She whimpered when she realized what he was about to do. She braced herself for the added stimulus. Barely managing a nod.
His fingers reached deep inside of her as she arched her back. His lips wrapped on her clit as she moaned. He could feel her walls tightening around his digits. He picked up the pace as he felt her nearing her completion.
“Luuukeee- Yeemmmsss- Luuuke!” She sang as she came.
He moved in to lap up her arousal dripping down his fingers. His thrusts slowed to a more sedated rhythm until she couldn't take it anymore.
She reached for his arm, pulling at his sleeve. Sated, she wanted him back next to her, kissing her.
He wrapped his arm around her waist, as he laid beside her. He pulled her flush to him, both on their sides. His hands roaming around her body as he kissed her ardently.
He pulled back to stare at her. A soft smile on his lips.
Her own initial beaming expression, turning into a quizzical look the more he stared at her. He had stilled completely. She could see there was something he wanted to say. She caressed his face trying to convey it was a safe space. She regarded him with an encouraging expression as she carried on with her soothing touch.
He began to place gentle pecks on her lips, whilst he tried to gather the courage to tell her what he felt.
“I ummm- I liked hearing you call my name-” He stated in a blush.
“I guess you want me to start calling you that all the time now!?!” She jested in faux annoyance.
“ NO .” He explained, as she looked at him baffled. “Just everytime we …” One last peck for luck! “...everytime we make love, fuck… or anything in between.” He claimed hopeful she'd agree.
Her face morphed into a serious expression. “You seriously think there’s going to be more of this?”
“Fuck yeah! I’m willing to be rude to you everyday of our lives. Apologize on a daily basis as your lair turns into a fern forest. All the while I’m going to worship at your throne.” He vowed sincerely.
“Someone's cocky… “ She smirked, overjoyed at his certainty.
She interrupted him with a kiss. “Don’t-” She kissed him again before she continued. “Please, don’t-” She laughed. “Don’t ruin the perfect moment-” She pleaded.
“What moment?” He joked.
Was she alluding to her telling him off in her trademark sass?
“The one where I tell you I'm in love with you-” Her breath caught in her throat, her heart stopped. Fudge! He froze for what felt like an eternity.
In reality, it took him all of a few microseconds to process her words and reply.
A blinding smile overtook his face. “I’m in love with you too.”
He kissed her, gingerly pushing her back into a supine position.
He bent his arm on the mattress, pulling himself up enough so that his face hovered over hers.
He parted from her, tenderly stroking her face with the back of his hand. “Text JJ…” He told her in a low voice, staring at her with hooded eyes. “...tell her we’re gonna be late-”
“I’ve already cancelled-” She confessed with a smile.
“Fuck!”- “I love you so much!” He beamed as he resumed kissing her.