A/N: I skipped the part where the scoobies help Buffy pack up and say goodbye... they will be back later but, for now I wanted Buffy to grow more comfortable with the BAU team.
Last on CHANGES TO ADAPT TO::
“What are you doing?”
“Making breakfast. Giles called while you were sleeping. Everyone is coming in a few hours, so I thought I’d make breakfast.” Her lips thinned but she nodded slowly. “Do you want any?”
She gave him a small smile. “Sure.”
FIVE DAYS LATER:
David was helping Buffy load the boxes from the trunk of his car to Buffy’s new room in his condo. He was covered in a fine layer of sweat, breathing slightly labored. How many pairs of shoes does one girl need? Buffy, on the other hand was walking up the stairs with yet another box, not even a drop of sweat.
He set the last box down and pulled out his ringing cell phone. He looked to Buffy with an apologetic look and answered. “Rossi.”
“Hey, this is Hotch. We were wondering if we could stop by your house tonight.” His boss and longtime friend asked in his usual monotone.
“Sure. You guys can meet the surprise I told you about before I left last week.” And Garcia can help Buffy unpack…
“Ok. We’ll be there in half an hour.” Dave hung up and turned to Buffy.
“The team is going to be here in half an hour.”
“Hopscotch? Them guys? Why does he go by the name of a game?” Rossi let out a chuckle.
“His name is Aaron Hotchner. We call him Hotch, Not Hopscotch.”
“Yeah… that makes more sense.” She looked around the room, formulating a strategy of where everything should go. “What are the others’ names?”
“Derek Morgan, Penelope Garcia, and Dr. Reid.” Buffy nodded, swallowing the nervousness of meeting her father’s friends and teammates. “Jack may also be coming as well. That’s Hotch’s son.”
“Do you think I should change first?” She looked down at her velour pink sweat suit.
David was caught off guard. “I, um, I think you look fine.” Buffy nodded slowly.
“Ok. I just don’t want them to get the wrong impression. These people are like your family.”
David saw tears in her eyes so, he moved to her to face her head on. “And now they’re yours too.” She gave him a watery smile.
“Do you think they’ll like me?”
“Of course.” He said simply. “I’m going to leave you to it. I’ll call you out once I prepared them.”
She nodded. “Okey doke. Are any of them really organized?” He nodded.
“Reid is. You can ask for his help when he gets here?” She nodded, biting her lip. “And I’m sure Garcia will want to help you as well.” David left her to begin to sift through the many boxes.
About twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang. Rossi took a deep breath and opened the door, preparing for the worst. “Hey, guys. I have someone I think you’d like to meet.” He let them some in and stand amongst Buffy’s many boxes.
“What’s going on Rossi? I thought you only went away for a family issue.” Hotch asked, surveying all of the boxes. “Are you moving?”
Rossi shook his head. “Someone’s moving in with me. Buffy, come here please!”
The team, minus Garcia, stood open mouthed at the teenage girl coming towards them. She came to stand next to Rossi, who put a hand on both of her shoulders and moved her in front of him. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet Buffy Summers. My daughter.”
Garcia reacted first. “Oh my goodness! Would you look at you! You are so cute! I’m Penelope Garcia.” She pulled her into a tight hug, catching Buffy by surprise.
“Can’t breathe!” Buffy managed. Penelope immediately let her go.
Finally over the shock, Morgan stepped up to her and took her hand. “It’s great to meet Rossi’s spawn. I’m Derrick Morgan.” He gave her a charming smile, Buffy raised an eyebrow and rolled her eyes.
Hotch came next. “I’m Aaron Hotchner but, you can call me Hotch. It’s nice to meet you.” He gave a small smile but Buffy couldn’t help but see the sadness that plagued him.
Buffy took in a breath when she saw the youngest member, when she looked into his brown eyes. He gave her a shy smile. “I’m Dr. Spencer Reid.”
“Nice to meet you all but, I better get back to unpacking.” She looked around at the boxes letting out a huge breath. She looked at Rossi perturbed. “Why didn’t you tell me that all my stuff wasn’t going to fit?”
“I didn’t realize that you had enough pairs of shoes to open your own Payless.” She narrowed her eyes at him but before she could retaliate Garcia let out a shocked gasp.
“You can never have too many shoes. Or purses.” She glared at him before taking Buffy’s elbow and leading her away to her new room. “I’ll help you.”
“Do any of you guys know how to organize really well?” Buffy asked Garcia. Who turned and shouted to Reid.
“Come, Boy Genius. You services are required.” Garcia then pulled Buffy with her to the bedroom, a reluctant Reid following.
Garcia immediately went to work, looking through all of the boxes and began sorting things. Reid stood next to Buffy, looking over the room.
“How should I organize things in here?” She asked.
“I’d put most of your clothes in the walk-in and use a wall for your shoes? The desk should be kept clean for when you do your school work.” She nodded.
“Thanks. Now, do you want to help me and Garcia attack the boxes?”
Meanwhile, Rossi, Hotch, and Morgan were discussing Buffy.
“She’s 17 and likes to take walks to blow off steam. She acts like she’s just another valley girl but in reality, she’s really smart. I’m thinking that only the people closest to her know that.” Rossi stated. “She’s a good girl but has had a heck of a time of it.”
“Is she acting like you’re her father?” Rossi shook his head, sadly.
“I understand, she’s going to have to get used to me but all she does is nod while I’m talking. The most interaction we had was a few minutes ago. She thought we called you ‘Hopscotch’.” He added as an added fact.
Hotch’s eyebrows went up and Morgan bellowed a laugh. “I like her. She also didn’t swoon when I smiled at her.” Morgan pointed out. “She seemed interested in Reid though.”
Rossi’s eyes widened. “Do you think Reid likes her?” Morgan shrugged.
“There’s not that much of an age difference anyway… like 5 years?”
“No. That’s not going to happen. I’ll kill him first.” Seethed Rossi. Both Morgan and Hotch chuckled but stopped when they heard a loud crash and a cry from Buffy’s room.
Rossi jumped into action and headed to see what had happened. He pulled open the door to see Buffy on the floor, crying. “What’s going on, here?”
Reid answered for her. “We were going through her boxes and cut her hand on a broken picture frame and started crying.” Morgan ran to get the first aid kit and Rossi moved to kneel beside the crying girl. On the floor, was a picture of Joyce and Buffy ice skating.
“It’s a picture of her mom.” Garcia nodded, knowingly and continued to rub circles in the young girl’s back. Buffy’s sobs were finally slowing when Morgan came back with the red box.
No one made a sound as Spencer worked; they were all too transfixed on the distraught girl. Buffy’s sobs had stopped entirely and she was just staring straight ahead.
“That was before.” Buffy stated simply. Everyone was confused.
“Before what?” Hotch asked softly.
“Before the pain began.” She spoke in a dry tone.
“What pain, Buffy?” Morgan asked.
“Losing Merrick, being institutionalized, Hank leaving me in the dust, losing Ford, losing Angel, losing Kendra, losing Jenny, almost losing Giles… losing Mom.” A new tear ran down her cheek. “I’m so sick and tired of losing everyone I care about and trying so hard. It’s always ‘Be strong, Buffy.’ ‘Get over it, Buffy.’ ‘We need you, Buffy.’ I can never have a moment of weakness. Nothing can ever faze me. Nope. Nothing.”
The team looked at her with sympathy. Garcia had tears running down her cheeks as well. This girl has so much pain…
Reid looked at her with shock. “Where were you institutionalized?”
“Bennington Sanitarium.” Buffy stated. Reid’s eyes widened in shock.
“Did you know any of the other patients?” Buffy nodded.
“Diane, she kind of took it upon herself to watch over me.” A small smile came to Reid’s lips.
“Diane Reid?” Buffy nodded. “That’s my mom. She’s a paranoid schizophrenic.”
“I remember you. Was your hair shorter then?” He nodded. “You offered to play chess with me.”
“Oh yeah. Your hair was longer…” he was unable to complete his sentence. ‘and you looked bedraggled…
“It’s ok to say it, Dr. Reid. I looked like crap.” Buffy chuckled.
“You can call me Spencer.” He murmured.
Buffy then stood and faced them. “Sorry for the interruption. You can go back to doing what you old guys do.”
Morgan and Hotch went back to the living room but, Rossi took Buffy out to the balcony.
“Buffy, what happened back there?” He asked, trying to keep his voice under control.
“I had a total freak out and I’m sorry. It’s going to happen sometimes, Dad.” Her eyes widened and she turned away from him.
“It’s ok that you call me your dad, Buffy. It’s not like your replacing Hank.” Her stature stiffened, she turned to him.
“What if I want to replace him?”
“Then I’m willing to take his place.” She gave him a small smile but changed the subject.
“I’m going to be getting rid of a few things. Is it ok that I send them to some sort of charity around here?” He nodded. “Ok. Some things don’t fit like they used to.”
They went their separate ways, Buffy to her room with Garcia and Reid, Rossi to the living room with Morgan and Hotch.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think!