I do not own Criminal Minds or any of its characters and I do not own Buffy The Vampire Slayer or any it's characters (that honor goes to Jeff Davis [I think?] and Joss Whedon, respectively)
This is written in Kevin's point of view (no awareness of the supernatural); I am also assuming that while Kevin is also a tech analyst at the F.B.I. he doesn't work for the B.A.U., meaning he might not be exposed to as much gory footage as she is. Also, Kevin might seem a little OOC but it is only because I wanted to give the brothers a legitimate reason to be distant; please not that this is not a Kevin-bashing fic, and whatever behavior of his seems off will be explained in later chapters.
It's kind of hard to get a handle on Kevin's personality because he hardly ever appears on screen for a significant amount of time (not that I mind that much because it leaves more time for the main characters A.K.A. Reid!) but this is my imagining of what his character is like.
By the way, the story is set in a post-season 7 AU for BTVS and in between Seasons 4 and 5 of Criminal Minds.
(Things in parentheses are Kevin's thoughts)
Prologue: Sometimes Until Today
Sometimes, Kevin Lynch remembered his home. Usually, it was in his nightmares while he slept in his own bed, or when he found himself in a nostalgic mood and staring at the few photographs of his family that he had but . . . sometimes, it happened when he was at work. It didn't happen much but now that he was dating Penelope Garcia it seemed to happen more and more often. He liked Penelope quite a lot (he was starting to think he might love her), but there were times when he came to visit her in her office and saw the pictures . . .
He would never tell her what to do (her independence and strength of will was one of the things he admired about her) but sometimes he wished she had a job with less traumatizing photos. He wanted to protect her, of course, but at the same time he also wanted to protect himself; the bloody pictures and accompanying sob stories of the "unsubs" reminded him too much of his own broken home and of the little brother he'd left there (of what Xander could have become). He understood her desire to help, in whatever way possible, whoever had survived such madness but, whether it was the insane criminal or his potential victims that most need her help to survive (or to be stopped) was sometimes unclear even to him.
Sometimes, what Garcia's team did really bugged him (usually when they used an unsub's background to predict his actions; it was really eerie how they were almost always right). Sometimes, when he overheard her team profile a suspect, he wanted to scream at them ("You're wrong! That's not always true; I'm not like that at all!"). He knew, intellectually, that a profile is merely a guide to narrow down a suspect pool; that the people found who fit the profile (the all too often horrible background) were not always guilty. Some of them were even well-adjusted, successful people who had left their pasts where they belonged: in the past. Some of them were not (some of them were guilty). Sometimes he wondered what Garcia and her team would make of his past and the choices he'd had to make.
What would Garcia make of a man with the courage and talent to leave his worthless home and put himself through college to earn a career, who had so far managed to dodge the pitfalls of stress-induced alcoholism that both his parents had long ago fallen into? What would she say to a man who accomplished so much and still managed to leave his innocent little brother (who'd begged him to stay, to take him with him, to do something to make them stop, to make him feel safe) behind? (Pride . . . quickly followed by Shame) Oh yeah; the thought of Garcia running a background search on him (finding out where he came from, what he'd done, who he had left behind) filled him with fear.
He was not particularly proud of what he'd done; at the time, he'd considered it his only available option to get out of the stupid small town where he lived (where people disappeared and were never seen again, where no one questioned the odd and sometimes disturbing events that occurred in town). So as soon as he could (the second he turned 18), he'd secured a job in L.A. (through one of his many so-called "loser" internet friends) and enrolled in college, determined to earn himself a better future (his parents hadn't even blinked at his announcement that he was changing his last name to Lynch, it'd been his plan for so long). He'd wanted to take Xander with him (a bit), but he knew he wasn't up to the kind of responsibility taking care of a grade school kid entailed (and yeah, he was worried having to raise his brother would hold him back). He felt bad about having to leave him behind but he knew the kid would survive; Kevin had after, all. He wasn't even sure he'd win a custody battle between him and his parents for Xander; and the only thing worse than leaving his little brother with his parents would have been getting him sent to foster care and separating him from both contact with his friends and his brother (surely all he would accomplish by reporting his drunken parents to social services).
He'd kept in touch at first, but there was always so much to do, at school, at work, in his life (he'd felt freedom for the first time when he'd stepped through his apartment door and known he'd never find his parents there); sometimes he forgot had a family (a little brother) at all. In the meantime, he'd graduated from the university, gone to work for the F.B.I, and met Garcia; he wouldn't change where his life had led him for the world but sometimes… He wondered how his life would have turned out if he'd taken Xander with him ("Would my life really have changed all that much?").
Sometimes he felt he should have done more to try to get Xander out of Sunnydale. Sometimes up until today that is. Until Garcia shrieked at him to come to her office, rambling something about satellite imagery going down (thirty minutes ago). Until they had managed to get it back (with as little explanation for why it went up as why it went down in the first place) and they discovered an entire town had disappeared off the map (not really disappeared; you could tell where it had been by the great big crater left in its place after all). Until he'd realized it was Sunnydale (it looked like the gaping hellhole he had always known it was), his used-to-be hometown; the place where his littlest brother (only brother) still lived. Had lived (Don't think that way. He's still alive. He has to be).
He watched the satellite feed until his eyes dried (weird because he doesn't think he's ever wanted to cry more in his life). At some point Garcia got Morgan to make him sit down; around the same time the news stations had picked the story up and now he's watching the crater that was Sunnydale on CNN. It's like a dream. His hometown is being described as having tragically crumbled in on itself (it had been the site of tragedy for years; didn't anyone notice?), prayers are being sent out to the families of the residents (does it still count as a family if he's the only one left?) and it's like a bad dream. It's like a bad dream because the cell phone that Hotch (and isn't that such a weird name? Lynch is way better) pressed into his palm sometime ago keeps getting voicemail ("He must be mad at me, that's why he's not picking up. I haven't called in a while, that's all. He's not dead; He's just mad,").
Sometimes he felt he should have done more to try to get Xander out of Sunnydale. But not today. Today he knows he should have done more. Because if he had than maybe he wouldn't be watching the Sunnydale Crater on T.V. today (that's a lie; stupid, god-forsaken place that it was he'd never wished harm to it because people getting hurt made Garcia cry and he would have watched it with her at least to make her feel better). Because today he's called Xander 15 times in the past 10 minutes and he still hasn't picked up; and because he's started to cry in front of Garcia and her whole team (when they had gotten there he had no idea) and now he can't stop.
Today Xander might be dead (little brothers shouldn't die before their elders, he thinks bitterly) and for four years he'd only talked to his little brother every 4 months (sometimes less; okay a lot less but it's not like Xander ever tried calling him!), all because of some stupid argument when Xander had graduated high school. Yeah, sometimes he thought he could have been a better older brother . . .
Today . . .
. . . he knows it.