Title: Fixing a Fractured Family
Rating: T (like the shows to be safe)
Disclaimer: Sadly I own neither Criminal Minds nor Bull, they belong to their networks, creators, writers, actors and actresses who make the magic happen. Please don't sue I'm super duper poor.
Summary: After ordering the same drink at a coffee shop Penelope Garcia finds her eldest brother again, Doctor Jason Bull.
Notes: I have really been enjoying Bull, but I don't feel like I know them quite well enough to write a fic, but I think this works. Ignore the fact Bull has said his father is alive. I had to take a few liberties but I think it works. It's a little bit long but there was no real good spot to stop and start, so I hope it works. Let me know what you think! Eeps new fandom to try out.
"I have a medium double, extra foamy chai tea latte for Garcia!" called the barista, a moment later, a little perplexed called. "I have a medium, double, extra foamy chai tea latte for Bull!"
Penelope Garcia looked up to see who had the same drink as her. When she saw him her jaw dropped, and she nearly dropped the drink in her hand. She hadn't seen him in what felt like a lifetime and wondered how the universe had spun this. She would recognise him anywhere after all, they were family.
"Jay?" she asked, uncertainly.
"Penny?" he replied, clearly just as surprised to see her.
"I don't know if I should hug you or if I should punch you."
"I can't picture you punching anyone."
"If anyone deserves it it's you, Jay. It's been fifteen years. Do you live in the city?"
"I do, yes, you?"
She shook her head. "I'm here with work. I hardly ever travel with them and somehow I walk into the same coffee shop and we order the same drink."
"Penny, look I," he tried to explain but there were no words.
She was fighting tears as he instinctively hugged her. She wrapped her arms around him but she couldn't hold back the flood. She was sure she looked like a crazy woman crying in a coffee shop like that, but it's not like strangers would understand. It had been so long since she'd seen him. She always wondered what he had done with his life and if he thought about her too.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered. "How is everyone else?"
She sighed softly dabbing her eyes with a tissue he'd given her. "Charlie is married now with twin girls, Avery and Addy, Mark came out a couple years ago and is engaged, and Graham is, well Graham he was in South Africa last time I heard from him."
"How about you?" he asked.
"I'm a tech with the FBI."
"FBI?" he asked. "That doesn't sound like you."
"I have my pretty blonde locks back, pink lip gloss and flowers on my dress, Jay. I'm not the Dark Queen anymore. I haven't been in a very long time. You'd know if you'd bothered to look." Her phone began to ring. "This is important."
He took a card out of his wallet. "I'm pretty easy to find, when you have time."
She nodded. "Okay."
She didn't want to leave, worried he would disappear again, but she couldn't neglect the team. He might be family, but they were too and they needed her to be on top of her game. She took the card, wanting to hug him again and never let go, but instead she just nodded and found herself leaving the café and went back to the station to meet with the rest of the team.
Jason Bull stood there, stunned as he watched his sister leave the café. He didn't even know what she did at the FBI, and why the call she'd received had been so important. He didn't know his sister at all, he didn't know any of his family. He'd been running from the past for so long he'd forgotten how close they'd once been. He knew she'd call him, but when she did he wanted to be prepared.
Bull entered the TAC office and went right over to Cable. He still couldn't believe what had just happened. A part of him wanted to keep this secret like he did with so many others, but he was curious. His sister was a completely different person than she had been when he'd last seen her. She looked like the person he'd grown up with instead of the stranger dressed in black she had tried to become all those years ago. Although he knew she'd understand everyone dealt with grief differently.
"Cable I need information about Penelope Garcia, everything you can get on her for the last fifteen years," he told her.
Cable looked at him and tried not to laugh in his face. "Not happening Doctor Bull, you do know about her right?"
"If I knew about her I wouldn't be asking you to look into her, would I?"
"Here's all you need to know she was one of the best hackers in the world until she hacked the FBI."
"She hacked the FBI?" he asked, shocked.
His mind was racing, had she really hacked the FBI? Had she lied to him when she'd told him where she worked? He knew what a person who lied looked like, especially his sister, and she certainly looked like she was being truthful. He also knew that what Cable had told him was the truth. She seemed to admire his sister for having done what she did, and although he didn't always understand Cable he knew when someone was impressed by another person.
"She has mad skills and she was given a job," Cable explained. "If I search anything more than a public social media profile, which I doubt she actually has set as public, I'd probably get vaporized."
"Whatever term you want to use if I was to do any digging on her I highly doubt the outcome would be a job offer. Why do you need information on her anyway, not only does she live in Washington it's doubtful she'd ever be picked as juror given her background and I don't think her profile has a mirror."
He took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "She's my sister."
"Wait you have a- she's your… why do you need me to cyber check your family?" She was tapping on the computer.
"Cable," he sighed.
"She does have a public profile but that's all I'm looking at and even this feels hinky."
"Give me the details."
"Mostly she has pictures of two little boys, they're so cute."
"She has kids?" he asked, had he missed that, he replayed everything she'd said and only remembered her talking about nieces.
"I don't think so, no, see look at the caption here on an adventure with their fairy godmother. Cute! Fairy Godmother, I love that! She has a few other pictures on here too, this must be," she tapped on the screen a few more times. "Yes, her co-workers. David Rossi, he's an author and is well known for being one of the fathers of BAU."
"I've read his books," Bull told her.
"Right, next up we have Jennifer Jareau, the boys are hers, she's badass, Bull, I like her already. Next up is Emily Prentiss formerly of Interpol who is the unit chief, former unit Chief Hotchner is in Witness Protection. Doctor Tara Lewis also works with them among her other assignments. There are two new people on the team Luke Alvez and Stephen Walker, not much on them."
Bull wondered if he'd meet these people at some point, they clearly meant a lot to her since they were all over the profile Cable was pulling up. He also wondered if she might meet the people he worked with. He liked the idea of her meeting them, although he knew he'd have a lot questions to answer. He already knew that her team would know she had siblings unlike his own.
"Thank you," he told her sincerely.
Cable nodded, clearly this was big deal, she thought and continued click on pictures and seeing what she could learn about the people in only a few minutes. "She has a third little Godson who belongs to a former member of the team, Derek Morgan. And then there's this guy, who has no profile and is not getting picked up on facial recognition, which is strange."
"Doctor Spencer Reid," Bull commented.
"How did you know that?"
"I offered him a job once."
"The other members of the team have minor activity on their social media profiles, but with her skills she can hide whatever she feels needs to be hidden and I'm not risking digging any deeper."
"Do we have a case?" Benny asked walking by seeing a profile up on the screen.
"No, this personal," Bull said walking off.
"Did you know Bull has a sister?" Cable asked Benny.
Benny shook his head. "No, he didn't invite anyone to the wedding. I always thought they kept it so small because he had no family to invite."
"What up with Bull?" Marissa asked joining them.
"I'm not too sure, but it has to do with his sister."
"Bull has a sister?"
"It was news to me as well."
"Cable, why is there a picture of Penelope Garcia up on the screen?" asked Danny, when she walked by.
"I should close that. She's Bull's sister, how do you know her?"
"Former FBI, everyone knows Garcia. Bull's sister?"
Cable nodded. "It's news to us too."
Bull came out of his office. "Yes, she's my sister. I hope you'll meet her but it's been a long time since we've seen each other."
They knew not to ask too many questions. They hoped they would be able to meet her at some point, but also understood that he liked to keep some parts of his life to himself. They all got back to work, hoping that a case would come up to distract them from wanting to ask further questions.
Meanwhile Garcia had joined the team in the police station they were working from. They had needed her to do some research, but it was quickly over. She knew that everything was important to the case, but she wished she hadn't rushed out and had spent a few more minutes with her brother. She also wanted to search the company behind the card he'd given her but she didn't want to have to answer any questions.
She loved her work family but she always felt like they could read her mind. Although most of them were in giving the local officers an update she could feel both Rossi and Reid watching her. She missed her lair, and the door it had that she could shut them out with. Had she stayed there none of this would have happened, her brother would just be somewhere in the wind like he had been for so many years. She didn't want to talk about it but she knew it was only a matter of time before she would be forced.
"Garcia you seem distracted," Rossi commented.
"Oh, um, I ran into someone I haven't seen in a while today," she explained.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"We need to focus on the case."
"Kitten, we can pause for a moment to get to the bottom of this."
She sighed softly. "I ran into my brother when I got my latte. I haven't seen him in fifteen years and somehow we ordered the same drink one after another at this café this morning. Doctor Adorable you tell me that stats on that I swear I might kick you."
"Which brother?" stammered Reid, clearly stopping himself from saying something else.
"My oldest brother, Jay- Jason Bull," she replied, playing with her hands nervously.
"Your brother is Bull?"
"Yes, he and my other big brother have my mom's name, I got our step dad's and my two little brothers are his so they're also Garcias, our family tree sprouted funny."
"That's not what I meant. You are talking about Doctor Jason Bull, aren't you?"
"Wait how do you know him?"
"I nearly worked for him but I thought the FBI would be a bigger challenge."
"The world just keeps shrinking. This is giving me a headache I'm going to my room to try and nap or just make my head stop spinning."
Rossi and Reid stood there for a moment, the rest of the team joined a moment later clearly confused to see Garcia leaving the police station. They explained to the rest of them what she'd just told them, knowing she probably wouldn't want to have to explain it again.
"Someone should check on her," Prentiss reasoned.
Everyone quickly began to put their fingers on their noses leaving Reid perplexed not knowing he had just been chosen to be the one to talk to her. After they talked him into it he went back to the hotel and knocked on the door.
"Go away!" she called.
"Woman, you got a hard head, and you gotta talk about this," Reid said in a guff voice.
He heard her laugh, and was glad she opened the door. "That's sweet boy genius," she told him hugging him.
"Do you want to talk?" he asked her.
"I don't know what I want."
"He's your brother, I know if I had a sibling I'd want to try to work it out."
She nodded. "I sort of do, but I'm also mad at him."
"You're allowed to be mad, hurt and feel everything you're feeling, but you always tell us things happen for a reason and maybe this did too."
"That's totally what I needed to hear, thank you Reid," she told him hugging him.
"Do you still want to have a nap?"
"Do you need me?"
"No, right now we're focusing on canvassing; someone has to know this guy."
"I should at least try to rest so I don't give myself a migraine."
"Okay, we'll call you if we need you."
"My phone will, of course, be on Angelfish, go fight crime."
He nodded and left the room. She locked the door behind him and changed into a sleep shirt before crawling into the hotel bed. Her head was spinning and she hoped she could turn her thoughts off long enough clear her head and stop her from feeling worse.
When she woke up she was surprised by the time, and that she hadn't heard from the team. She took Bull's card from where she'd put it, glad that he had picked up. They agreed to meet for dinner, and he understood that she might need to leave with no notice if something broke with the case after all she was in town to work.
She didn't want to stall to see him, they both needed to clear the air, and find out why he'd stayed away for so long. She had taken a moment to look into what he did before they met at a nearby restaurant, deciding to stay away from the hotel restaurant until they were ready to meet her team. She still couldn't believe he was really there as she looked over the menu and they ordered their drinks.
"Penny, I never meant to let all these years slip away," he explained. "After Mom, I didn't know what to do so I jumped into work. By the time I looked up I didn't know how to be a big brother anymore."
"Mom would have wanted us to stay close," she sighed.
"Are you close to everyone else?"
She began to play with her fingers. "Jay."
"You don't need to tell me," he assured her, knowing the answer. "I wish we were the kind of family that could get together on her birthday and celebrate, but we can't force that."
"I understand, I do, when we're all together we can't help but be sad, I just- I want us to be a family."
"I know, right now I want to focus on knowing you again and we can go from there."
She nodded. "I've told Addy and Avery about their uncles."
"You know you're not the person who is tasked with keeping the family together, right?"
She sighed, softly. "I'm the reason it fell apart."
"No!" he snapped, startling her and drawing a few sideways glances from other diners nearby. "Don't ever say that, the person who started to break this family up was the person who got behind the wheel of a car drunk. You are not the reason they died."
"I was the reason they were in the car."
"That doesn't make what happened to them your fault. We all lost so much that day and we drifted apart because it's hard for us to get together when they're not there. Maybe none of us have grieved properly, I don't know, but I do know that trying to ignore my past for so long has been hard. I want to move forward and be open to my family. I don't blame you for what happened and I know that no one else does either."
She hugged him. "I'd like that, but you need to meet my other family."
"Your other family?" he asked.
"My work family, and eventually my bestie who quit to raise his adorable chocolate baby."
"I'd like to meet them," he told her. "I want you to meet everyone I work with as well."
"I'd like that it sounds like what do is sort of similar to what they do."
"I'm a tech not a profiler," she laughed.
"There are some similarities. I had my tech girl do some snooping on you."
"There's only a few breadcrumbs out there."
"I know, Cable warned me."
"Her name is Cable?"
"Yeah, but I do want to meet everyone that matters to you, Penny."
"If you want to meet my team we'll meet in the morning for breakfast at the hotel, you can join us if nothing hinky happens."
"That sounds good."
The two them enjoyed their meal together, catching up and talking as if no time had passed. As nervous as they had both been before, they couldn't be happier with the way the evening had progressed. Bull had even walked her to her nearby hotel before he headed home.
The next morning the team had met for breakfast and Bull had agreed to join them. He could tell as soon as he saw them that they were close. He wondered if his team would look the same to them if they were the ones on the outside looking in.
"You made it!" Garcia exclaimed when she saw him, popping up to hug him.
"Of course I did Penny," he assured her. "So this is your family."
"Yes, this is JJ my sweet little Godsons' amazing mama bear," she told him.
She shook his hand. "Is it Jason?" JJ asked, smiling.
"Bull, usually," he told her.
"All right, it's nice to meet you."
"You as well," he said shaking Prentiss' hand.
"Emily Prentiss, it's good to meet you, Bull. We've heard a lot about PG's brothers but you're the first one we've met."
"We all went our own ways after our parents," explained Bull.
"I'm sure that David Rossi needs no introduction," laughed Garcia as her brother extended his hand.
"No, he doesn't, I've read all of your books," Bull told him.
"Thank you, what is it that you do exactly?"
"So you use similar skills to us then?"
"I think so yes. Doctor Reid it's nice to see you again."
"Doctor Bull," Reid greeted extending his hand.
"You're still happy where you are?"
"Hey now! No trying to snipe our boy genius," Garcia warned her brother. "We've had enough lineup changes this year, which brings me to new guy Luke Alvez and new new guy Stephen Walker. Unfortunately our other doctor Tara Lewis is conducting an interview right so you'll need to meet my bestie some other time, hopefully soon."
"All right," Bull told her smiling. "It's good to meet everyone."
The group all chatted and got to know each other throughout the meal. Bull felt comfortable with them. Clearly they loved his sister and had already adopted him into their unique family through her. He was relieved that she had so much support around her. He couldn't believe how different she was since he'd last seen her. Of course, she'd been grieving then and now she had moved forward.
"Hey, Alvez," Bull called just loudly enough only to only draw his attention as everyone was leaving the restaurant.
"Yeah, what's up?" asked Alvez.
"Don't hurt my sister okay?"
"I don't understand."
"Don't play dumb, my job isn't that different from yours. I don't care why they don't know, but don't hurt her, she deserves something good."
Alvez nodded. "I know she does that's why we're going slow and not telling everyone yet."
Bull nodded and the two of them caught up with the rest of the team a moment later so not to draw more attention to them. He trusted his sister's reasons and didn't want to be the reason everyone found out. He wanted somehow to move forward in her sister's life and he knew this could put a stop to it all.
"Do mind if I steal Penny for an hour or two?" he asked when he caught up with everyone else.
"I can't see why not," Prentiss replied, a little surprised by how quickly she had fallen into her new role.
Bull and Garcia went to the TAC office. She was excited about meeting his team. It felt like a huge step for them to meet each other's teams. She felt a little like she was on display when she walked in. Everyone seemed to be expecting her. Working with profiler for so long made her weary of moments like these. She knew what her brother did but wasn't sure if his co-workers had the same skills.
"I know you're excited but you could at least pretend you were working," Bull joked. "Penelope Garcia this is my team, Marissa Morgan, Benny Colon, Chunk Palmer, Danny James and Cable McCrory."
"It's so nice to meet all of you," Garcia greeted, going to start shaking their hands.
"You're really the Dark Queen?" asked Cable.
"I was, I'm not anymore, see sparkle, pink and pretty blonde locks," laughed Garcia.
"But that story about hacking the FBI…"
"Is totally true, although I wouldn't recommend it, plus I think Jay takes good care of you here."
"Jay," Marissa muttered, shaking her head. "Bull I never pictured you as a Jay."
"Even I was young once," he reminded her.
"That's also hard to believe."
"I have pictures," Garcia assured her.
"Oh I want to see those."
"We all do," Cable said grinning.
"That can be arranged," Garcia assured them.
"It's good to see you again Penelope," Danny greeted giving her a hug. "I have to ask does Bull have any other siblings?"
"He really didn't tell you?" asked Garcia, surprised. "We have three other brothers, Charlie, Mark, and Graham."
"I know you've never been married," she added.
Bull laughed. "My brother Charlie and I had already started school when our father adopted us, our mom thought it would be confusing to change our names, so we kept our name and Penelope was the first Garcia followed by our other two brothers."
"You have four brothers?" asked Benny, shaking her hand, not believing that someone was able to hide four siblings for so long.
"I do, yeah, it's not so bad, especially when you don't have the big bad wolf scaring off boys for fifteen years," laughed Garcia. "It's so nice to meet all of you." She said shaking Chunk's hand next.
"It's nice to meet you as well," Chunk said smiling. "Your look is like nothing else I've ever seen."
"I'm just me," she told him.
"Chunk my sister's always had her own sense of style."
"It's a good thing someone does, do you know how long it took me to get this guy dressing like he does."
"I wondered what had happened to my big brother who used to live in sports shirts and worn out jeans."
"I cannot wait to see these pictures," Cable laughed.
The group all began to get to know each other. Within only a few minutes Garcia felt like she had known everyone for years. Her nerves faded away and she was able to enjoy meeting them. Her phone had buzzed a few times, but she didn't want answer it, although she knew she had to. As happy as she was to find out the case was solved, she wasn't ready to go yet. She had gotten so little time with her brother.
"I'm really sorry everyone I'm going to have to cut this short, they can't hold the plane for me," she explained.
"You have a plane?" asked Benny.
"We do, and I need to get back to our hotel to pack up and then we're going home. My poor kitty is probably missing me."
They all began to give her hugs before she left. Bull drove her to the hotel she was staying at. He sighed softly as he watched her go into the lobby. They hadn't had enough time to catch up with her. He was surprised to see a text message pop up on his phone, but smiled when he read it. Clearly these people loved his sister.
Garcia meanwhile had packed up her things and was ready to go home. She was still overwhelmed by the whole trip. JJ knocked on the door and she double checked she had everything from the room before she got into one of the FBI issued SUVs with everyone else and went to the air strip. It was obvious to everyone she was torn about getting on the plane.
"This is for you," Rossi told Garcia giving her an envelope.
She looked quizzically at him, but took it from, her jaw dropped when she saw what was inside. He'd gotten her a first class ticket home dated for Sunday evening. She knew that Morgan would keep checking in on Sergio if she stayed in New York for the weekend but she had certainly not expected this.
"I can't accept this," she told him, trying to give it back.
"It's already done stay the weekend with your brother," he told her.
She hugged him. "Thank you."
"You deserve it, Kitten," he told her.
She was about to text Bull, but when she turned around he was already there, Rossi had, of course, thought of everything. He went over and hugged her tightly, glad that Rossi had told him about his plan.
"I hope you don't mind having a visitor this weekend, Jay," Garcia told her brother.
"I don't mind at all, Penny," he assured her.
They both knew that there were still going to be hurdles going forward, but they were on the right track together. It was still hard to believe it all started with their mother's favourite drink, a chai latte with two shots of espresso.
Notes: So that was that,I hope you liked it. I hope it was believable. A dirty chai is one of my fave drinks, don't knock it 'til you try it though, lol... I like how this turned out.