Time to Meet Daddy
I Just Want to Know Where I Come From
Ch. 1 – Time to Meet Daddy
Summary: Response to challenge # 4843.
Note: This takes place in 2009, so several years after the end of BtVS, and after David Rossi re-joined the BAU for Criminal Minds.
Disclaimer: I definitely don’t own any of these characters. Criminal Minds is owned by Jeff Davis/The Mark Gordon Company and BtVS is owned by Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy.
Thank you to MaraLiz for your beta assistance and thank you to Rorylondra for putting up with all of the episodes of Criminal Minds that we’ve been watching. It is much appreciated!
“So, are we sure that we want to do this?” Dawn asked as she looked up at the large building looming in front of her.
Buffy smiled knowingly, “Yes, remember? We discussed this, weighed the pros and cons, and then we flipped a coin.”
“How do I know it wasn’t a two-headed coin?” Dawn protested. “It was Xander’s coin after all.” She turned around and started to walk away and Buffy easily caught her arm and turned her back toward the building, keeping one arm wrapped around her.
“First of all, it was tails,” Buffy told her as she began walking forward. “Second, stop worrying about your juvenile record; it was years ago. You’ve given up the life of crime and become quite the respectable, and most certainly unstuffy, Watcher. Besides, we watched as Willow poofed everything away, right down to the last detention. And, third, I actually took off all of my weapons so I could go through the metal detectors and I’m not doing that again, so it’s now or never.”
“How about never?” Dawn asked. “I’m okay with never.”
“Well, I’m not,” Buffy stated and tugged her into the building. “It’s not every day we find out our father isn’t our father and I want to meet the guy who contributed to our gene pool.”
“It’s not like he’ll ever know he contributed to my DNA,” Dawn grumbled. Buffy held firm, staring at her until her sister caved. “Fine!” Dawn exclaimed, handing her bag to the security guard for inspection and stomping through the metal detector, then waiting impatiently for her sister.
Buffy went through the security checkpoint and the sisters approached the receptionist’s desk with their visitor’s passes secured to their shirts. They had already had to give their reason for being there and they suspected that Agent Rossi was expecting them, although he only thought they were coming to deliver a letter from their mother that she had written shortly before her death. They had grown up in the same neighborhood and had a short fling just before her last semester of college, which happened to be when she met Hank Summers. The man Buffy had thought was her father had confessed three months ago that he always knew she wasn’t his daughter, but he had loved Joyce and was willing to be a father to her when Joyce couldn’t find Rossi. But, then Buffy became more trouble than Joyce was apparently worth in Hank’s eyes and the rest was history.
There wasn’t actually a letter, but it was a good enough reason to get them in the door. Or, the elevator, as it were. When the doors slid open, a tall dark-haired man and a slim blond-haired woman were waiting for them.
“Hi, are you David Rossi?” Buffy greeted them. She felt incredibly short next to them, but she almost always did and it never really stopped her from getting what she needed to done.
“No, I’m Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner,” the man replied, then indicated the woman next to him, “This is Special Agent Jareau. She’ll take you to Agent Rossi.”
“J.J.,” the woman greeted them, extending a hand to both of them in turn.
“Buffy Summers,” she introduced herself. “This is my sister, Dawn. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Agent Rossi should just be wrapping up a lecture, so you can wait here with us if you’d like. We’re between cases right now, so there’re a few minutes down time,” J.J. told them as she led them toward the other agents. Agent Hotchner disappeared into his office and J.J. introduced the rest of the agents in the room, “These are Supervisory Special Agents Derek Morgan and Emily Prentiss and Dr. Spencer Reid.”
The BAU team looked up as they heard their names. Buffy noticed that Spencer’s eyes flashed as he looked at Dawn and she tried to smother a smile. She realized that she apparently hadn’t been the only one to notice when she met Derek’s eyes and saw understanding reflecting back at her. With a slight shake of her head, Buffy shrugged. Dawn was twenty-two years old and Buffy had finally learned to let her live a little. As long as she kept the ‘panic’ crystal around her neck, she qualified.
Buffy watched as Dawn dropped into the chair next to Spencer’s and glanced at his desk where there was a large textbook open in the middle. Buffy couldn’t see the title, but she could tell that it sufficiently impressed Dawn when her sister asked, “Some light reading?”
“I’m working on my next PhD,” Spencer told her.
“Got a piece of scrap paper?” Dawn asked.
Spencer handed her a piece of paper and a pen and Dawn leaned down to scribble something on it, handing it back to Spencer. “Here,” she told him. “When I was studying in Europe, I ran across some interesting sources on language and thought processes. How good is your German? The English translation you can get here in America isn’t a great interpretation.”
“You speak German?” Spencer asked.
“I get by,” Dawn replied and Buffy snorted as she leaned against Derek’s desk.
“Please,” Buffy said with a roll of her eyes, “She speaks German in her sleep, literally, actually. Anyway, Dawn’s loves her languages; it’s her thing. The older and more obscure the better.”
“How many languages do you know?” Derek asked Dawn.
“Hard to say,” Dawn replied. “Sometimes dialects get so intricate that they are almost a language in their own right. Like this one from the fifth century…”
Dawn’s words faded away as something caught her eye. Buffy followed her gaze and saw another tall man walking toward them. He definitely looked like his book jacket picture, Buffy decided. He had thick dark hair, graying at the temples, and a matching goatee. How the hell am I so damn short?
Buffy wondered as he stopped in front of her.
J.J. did the honors once again, “Buffy, Dawn, this is Special Agent David Rossi.”
“Buffy, it’s nice to meet you,” he greeted her, shaking her hand and nodding to Dawn. “And you, Dawn.” He turned his attention back to Buffy, “You said you had a letter for me from Joyce about some secret from our childhood? I haven’t seen her in years. How is she?”
“Can we talk privately?” Buffy asked.
“Of course,” Rossi replied. “My office is this way.”
Buffy looked at Dawn and her sister waved her hand, “You go on. I’m going to keep Dr. Reid here company.”
“You don’t have to call me that,” Spencer was saying as Buffy left with her father.
She knew she should be upset with Dawn, but she understood her sister’s avoidance a little too well. Eventually, Dawn would have to deal with the fact that Rossi was their father, but she could stand to stick her head in the sand for a little while more.
Once they were safely inside the office, Rossi turned to her expectantly. He gestured to a hair in the office and sat down in the chair behind his desk. Buffy looked around the office; it actually looked quite a bit like her own office back in Cleveland. It was covered in paperwork and she had to move a box in order to sit in the chair that wasn’t right in front of the door. Although she had honed her senses over the years, she still never liked sitting with her back to a door.
“How is Joyce?” Rossi asked.
“Mom passed away years ago,” Buffy told him.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Rossi replied. “I always liked Joyce. We were the only kids on our block and we were good friends. You said she left a letter for me about some secret from our childhood?”
“Yeah, about that…” Buffy began, then squared her shoulders, “Here’s the thing. The letter I showed the people downstairs isn’t from my mom. I wrote it.”
Rossi looked perplexed, yet interested in what she was going to say next. He asked, “Why are you telling me this? You obviously have a reason for walking into the F.B.I. headquarters under false pretenses.”
“I turned 28-years-old in January,” Buffy blurted out.
She could see the dots connect in his mind and he sat back in his chair, “And you believe that I am your father?”
Buffy nodded and told him her story, “Up until three months ago, I had no reason to ever suspect that Hank Summers wasn’t my father. He was never very good at remembering things like birthdays and anniversaries or doing little things like showing up for my mother’s funeral, but if we called him, he would have his secretary send us a card for our birthdays. This year, when my sister called him to remind him about my birthday, he said he couldn’t keep pretending that I was his daughter anymore. He told me that my mom slept with her next door neighbor right before her senior year of college and that she was already pregnant when he met her two months later. Dad—I mean, Hank—said that he loved her enough to be a father to me, and he had promised my mom that he would never tell us the truth.”
“He broke that promise,” Rossi observed.
Buffy just rolled her eyes, “What’s one more? Anyway, I’m not nineteen and trying to look after a fourteen year old anymore. I have a job and friends who are my family and I don’t really need anything from you. Not looking for a kidney or a trust fund or even a parking ticket fix. I just thought you should know.”
She pulled the letter from her purse and handed it over to him. “I figured you’d want to do some kind of testing. That’s what you F.B.I.-types like to do, right? Get the facts? Well, it’s a fact that my DNA is all over this letter, so go for it.”
“You seem very disillusioned for someone so young,” Rossi noted. “Did something happen that I should know about?”
Buffy snorted, “Just life.”
When he didn’t laugh at her attempt at a joke, she shook her head, not sure if she was trying to convince him or herself as she spoke, “Don’t worry about it. I’m okay. Do your testing, and if you want to get to know us, my phone number is on the letter. Please understand that neither of us wants a father who doesn’t want both of us. If that’s not on your dance card, we’ll still be okay.”
After Buffy left his office, she collected Dawn, who was having an animated conversation with Spencer. Before they left, Dawn grabbed a marker off of his desk and wrote her number on his hand, making him blush as she told him, “In case you can’t read German, Dr.
As soon as the elevators doors closed, the BAU team looked at Rossi expectantly. He had placed the envelope into a plastic bag and handed it to a tech, instructing him, “I need a DNA work-up on this. The instructions are enclosed. Deliver the results to me personally.”
The tech left and he turned to face the music. He announced, “Apparently, I may have a daughter.”
“But you didn’t open the letter,” Prentiss noted.
“The letter was a pretense to get in to see me,” Rossi informed her. “She wrote it herself. She knew I would want a DNA test, so she gave it to me.”
“How do we know that she wrote it herself?” Morgan asked. “Maybe you do have a daughter out there and she was forced to write that letter. Could be a back door to get to you.”
“Do you really think that?” Spencer asked him and Rossi watched him glance at his hand, frowning at the implication.
“If so, they are definitely ballsy to walk right into F.B.I. headquarters,” J.J. commented. She shook her head, “I think they’re on the up and up.”
“Hmm,” Hotch said. “What else did you notice?”
“Buffy said that she only recently learned that Hank Summers wasn’t her father and he was the one who told them. She’s a lot more affected by the rejection of the only father she has ever known than she lets on,” Rossi replied.
“So, that’s a point in their favor, right? She thought he was her father and then he turned her away,” J.J. noted.
“Or, that could be a stressor,” Morgan told her. “Parts of what she said could be true and parts of it could be false. Hell, she may have convinced herself that all of it is true.”
“I’m with J.J.,” Spencer announced. “I don’t think they mean anyone harm. Dawn even helped me with a source for my thesis.”
“And, a pretty girl paying attention to Reid and being interested in the exact topic he is currently researching is just a coincidence?” Morgan asked the room.
“Hey!” Spencer protested with a look of disdain on his face.
Reid,” Morgan laughed. “I’m just playing with you.”
“But—and, I’m sorry Spencer—you do have a bit of a point, Derek,” Hotch noted, turning to Rossi. “It’s your call. You spent the most time with her. If you think we should do an investigation, we’ll do that. If you think the sisters are on the level, we’ll trust your judgment.”
David remembered when Buffy stepped into his office and immediately surveyed the area. She had moved a rather heavy box of information that she shouldn’t be able to lift as easily as she did and he took note of the fact that she bypassed the empty chair to sit in the one that was up against the wall, sitting sideways toward the door. It was farther away from the door, but she would be able to see if anyone was coming and no one would be able to get behind her. His gut feeling was that, even if Buffy and her sister were not dangerous themselves, they were definitely holding something back and he sensed that they were used to being in dangerous situations.
He nodded to Hotch, “We have a few hours until the DNA test comes back. Let’s see what we can dig up in that time.”
Four hours later, they were all puzzled over what they found…or in reality, what they hadn’t
found. As far as they could tell, Buffy and Dawn Summers had a completely normal and uninteresting existence. The exception to this was that, after their mother died, Buffy had become Dawn’s legal guardian, apparently with the blessing of Dawn’s father who didn’t even seem to have flown back to the states at all since his ex-wife’s death.
“The thing is,” Garcia complained, “that I can’t even find a parking ticket. That doesn’t seem right. No one is that squeaky clean, except maybe Spencer.”
Spencer made a face, but didn’t say anything.
Garcia continued, “It’s like they barely exist in the system, which doesn’t really make sense. Every trail I’ve picked up turned out to lead exactly back to the same place, Boresville, USA.”
Something Buffy had said ran through Rossi’s mind and he snapped his fingers, turning to the others, “Buffy said she didn’t even need any parking tickets fixed.”
“What?” Garcia asked.
“Buffy gave me this speech about not needing anything from me, and she mentioned not needing me to fix any parking tickets for her. She seemed very certain, almost like she knew we would look into her past and that we wouldn’t find anything,” Rossi told her.
“It’s not possible for someone to completely wipe their existence, unless they’re elite, and even that’s nearly impossible,” Garcia exploded, flailing her arms. “I don’t even know if I could do it. It takes mad skills plus equipment that is, well, more than even what I have in here.”
“Does Buffy or Dawn strike you as ‘elite’?” Prentiss asked Garcia.
“Well, I didn’t meet them, so I can’t really say,” she replied.
The tech returned with an envelope for Rossi and handed it to him without a word. Hotch was watching him closely.
“Do you want some privacy?” he asked.
Rossi thought about it for a moment. The people in this room were the closest thing to family that he really had at the moment and it seemed only fitting that they were with him when he found out if he had a daughter or not.
“That’s okay,” Rossi told them, “I’d like it if you were with me while I open this.”
He quickly opened up the envelope and looked down at the results. Not only was it a DNA test, but the lab techs had also included a full genetic work-up, or as much as four hours could provide. He glanced through the summary and his eyes fell on the results. There, staring back at him, was confirmation that he had a daughter, but something on the page didn’t seem right. He just couldn’t put his finger on what.
“Well?” Prentiss asked.
“She’s my daughter,” Rossi announced.
Spencer took the genetic profile from him and read it while the rest of the team mixed congratulations with concerns that he would be able to relate to his adult daughter. After a few moments Spencer cleared his throat and spoke, “Um, guys…there’s a problem.”
“What’s that?” Rossi asked. Part of him was terrified of the prospect of having a daughter, but another part of him wondered if he wouldn’t be better at being a father to an adult daughter who could apparently take care of herself and her sister than if she were a small child who needed his supervision. In just the few moments’ time since receiving the results, he was already contemplating how he could work in a relationship with his daughter and manage to keep her safe and isolated from his line of work. Now Reid’s words were threatening to kill his hopes before they had ever even been fully recognized.
“This says that your daughter is brown haired and blue eyed,” Spencer said.
“Buffy dyes her hair, Spencer,” Prentiss told him lightly. “Lots of people do that.”
“Yes, I know, but her roots were beginning to show and her hair was still light enough to be considered blond. Also, she wasn’t wearing contact and her eyes are hazel,” Spencer informed them.
Garcia pulled up Buffy’s Ohio drivers’ license and spoke, “Reid is right.” She clicked a few more keys and Dawn’s drivers’ license popped up next to Buffy’s on the screen. “But, here’s an interesting twist,” she told them, “Dawn’s eyes are blue.”
P.S. Yeah! As soon as I click the button on this chapter, I will have over 400,000 words! And, I have another chapter just back from my beta, but won't have time to review and post it today, so I'm on my way to my goal of 450,000 words by the end of December...