"We're getting another new member?"
BAU and FBI agent Derek Morgan stared at his commanding officer, Aaron Hotchner, who had just dropped the news to him that they would be expecting one last person to add on to their profiling team. Derek laughed and shook his head, saying, "Don't you think this team's getting a little too big? It used to be just me, you, Gideon, and a few temps. What's with the permanent team you're making? Planning on putting us into a company football game?"
"We need to have a more diverse group, more brainpower. This girl has had more rigorous training than Elle- that wasn't my move to add her. JJ and Penelope don't really count as part of our team, and I think you can count Gideon and Reid as one, so we're already down to three, making this girl the fourth member," Hotchner said. Derek's eyes narrowed.
"What do you mean, this girl has more rigorous training? Why haven't I seen her around Quantico before?"
"She wasn't trained here, she was trained at home." Derek's eyebrows flew up in surprise, as Hotchner put his hands out to subdue him. "Before you get angry..."
"Too late for that," Derek muttered.
"... you need to realize that she had better training than you and I did." Derek looked at Hotchner with doubt-filled uncertainty as the door opened and Gideon and Reid walked in with a beautiful girl, her blonde hair just past her chest and pulled into a half-up, half-down do. Her blue eyes looked over at Derek and smiled with her mouth, as Hotchner smiled and stepped forward. "Agent Bentley, it's nice to meet you."
The name struck a chord with Derek, but he couldn't figure out where from. He stepped forward with Hotchner instead, who introduced him and said, "Agent Aubrey Bentley, this is Agent Derek Morgan, he's part of our team as well."
"Wow, you guys certainly have a big team. I already met Elle, JJ, and Penelope," the girl said smoothly, her voice pulling Derek in. She put out a hand toward him and he took it, meeting her eyes squarely as she smiled again. "Nice to meet you, Derek."
"Nice to meet you as well," Derek said. Gideon and Hotchner shared a look, and even Reid look a little bit surprised because Derek was actually playing nice with the new girl he had been ready to riot against not moments before.
JJ walked out of the office and said, "Meeting, now."
Hotchner looked over at Aubrey. "You want to sit this one out?"
Aubrey grinned at him, her eyes flitting over to Derek for a few seconds before she met eyes with her new boss. She said playfully, "I'm ready to start."
Derek couldn't help himself from smiling, either.
They walked up to the meeting room and took their respective seats around the table, joined by Elle and Penelope soon after. JJ began giving them the run down- someone was setting fires at a college campus in Phoenix, and they had no leads, per usual. They packed up their files and headed to the plane, piling on as Derek took a seat.
Aubrey, Hotchner, Gideon, and JJ each took one of the four seats near the table as they spread out the case files. Derek watched as Gideon easily joked around with Aubrey, making her smile and comfortable, and he found his eyebrows furrow in confusion.
"He's the reason she's here, you know," Reid said as he took a seat across from Derek. He looked over in surprise, and found Reid pulling a large book out of his bag, presumably to read on the flight. When Reid looked up, he seemed a little surprised to see Derek looking back at him.
"What do you mean?" Derek asked in confusion, his eyes flitting over to Aubrey and then back to Spencer.
"Gideon's the reason she got this job. He's like a second father to her," Spencer said as he put in his earbuds and all but dismissed Derek, who chuckled at Spencer's weird behavior. He looked over to where Aubrey was focusing on the case files, and she looked up and smiled at him, almost challengingly.
Derek was never one to turn down a challenge.
He stood up once they had hit the necessary altitude for movement, and they all crowded around the chairs at the table. He perched on Aubrey's arm rest as he eyed the same file she was holding, looking at the facts presented before them. To Derek's surprise, Aubrey was the one who started brainstorming, quickly stating, "Most arsonists set fires due to two stressors: loss of love, and loss of job. While most arsonists are males between the ages of 17 and 27, but the thing is, this isn't really an arsonist. It's a serial arsonist, and that makes things a little bit different. The fact that there's been multiple targets narrows the chance of it being a girl, as they mostly set fires for revenge."
Aubrey received impressed looks from around the plane. Gideon didn't look surprised; instead he said, "I don't think any of that really narrows down much. Not definitively."
Derek understood now why Reid had told him about Gideon and Aubrey's connection. He saw Aubrey bristle a little bit, as if to fight her father like a teenager, but then settled down when she realized he was now also her boss. She pressed her lips together as Gideon continued rattling off his own profile, making sure to use Aubrey's facts to help him.
When they landed, they all headed to the hotel with their bags first, then to the campus police department to figure out where they would all be assigned for the case. Aubrey felt like her first case was a whirlwind; she was assigned to head out to the crime scene with Hotchner and Reid, then went back for some more profiling. There were interviews of students, deciphering an anonymous call on the tip line, and some coercing Chem students to help them out. In the end, it turned out to be one of the Chem students helping them with severe OCD and even more severe religious beliefs, setting fires and killing those who she believed God wanted her to test. After saving her last potential victims, they shipped her off with a gunshot wound to the leg to the asylum she needed for treatment.
After the plane had already taken off for home, Gideon and Spencer began their routine chess game. Spencer, thinking because he had succeeded in thinking out of the box on the case, thought he could defeat Gideon; Aubrey, who watched every one of their moves carefully, knew this wouldn't be true. When Spencer lost, as Aubrey predicted, she was quick to console him.
"You're over thinking it, Spence," Aubrey said without taking the attention off of the tabloid in her hands. She turned the magazine to the side, critiquing the fashion disaster that was one of Jessica Alba's award show dresses. When she felt Spencer's eyes move toward her to look at her questioningly, she said, "You always over think it. Remember what Gideon told you?"
"If you think you can do it, go ahead and try," Spencer said, acting childish once again. Gideon leant back into his seat, obviously welcoming the challenge of Spencer's more creative counterpart. Hotchner smiled knowingly, understanding immediately that Aubrey would somehow figure out a way to stand above Spencer again. Derek snorted, but kept his eye on the game, curious to see what could happen. Elle stayed asleep in her chair.
"Fine," Aubrey said, squeezing past Hotchner as she took Spencer's seat across from Gideon, who met her eyes evenly. Aubrey's eyes sparkled as she playfully asked, "Ready?"
Gideon nodded as Aubrey set up the game again. The game seemed to go on forever to its spectators, especially Spencer, who feared he'd be proven wrong, and Derek, who thought chess was the most pointless game ever created. Aubrey began a countdown to checkmate, the number slowly decreasing until, miraculously, she won the game.
"How... ?" Gideon asked, looking up at her. Spencer looked as though he might cry; Derek, laughing both at his expression and in rejoice due to the fact that the game was over, patted his back consolingly. Hotchner smiled again, resting his feet up and closing his eyes again as Gideon gave Aubrey what she called his 'ghost of a genius' stare.
"I did learn from the best, did I not?" she asked, getting up from her chair as she squeezed past Derek to return to her seat. She placed her earbuds in her ears and picked up her tabloid again, pretending as if nothing had happened. Derek found himself continuously looking at her throughout the flight, trying to profile her, but to no avail. He had a feeling she put up a wall of superiority to hide something deeper underneath, something that even he had difficulty with reading.
When they returned to the office, Aubrey was quick to leave, saying she had dinner plans with some friends she wanted to make. JJ laughed and said to Derek, almost sardonically, "I hope she realizes we here at the BAU don't have much of an outside life."
"She'll learn soon enough," Derek said, taking a seat at his desk as he began doing his part of the paperwork so he wouldn't have to worry about it tomorrow. No matter how hard he tried to focus on his report, he found his mind going back to the mystery that was Aubrey Bentley. How did a girl like her know how to profile like that, almost like Reid, in that fact-filled method of hers? He knew very little about her, although her name seemed so familiar...
"Bentley!" Derek shouted suddenly. Elle looked over skeptically from her desk, and smirked at him.
"Daydreaming, Morgan?" She asked. Derek turned and glared at her.
"Now I remember why the name clicked in my mind. Go to a search real quick and look up Aubrey Bentley on the data base." Elle gave him another skeptical look, and Derek huffed. "We're not doing anything illegal. We're doing a simple background check. I just want her father's name."
"Okay, you freak," Elle said, searching the name. Derek recognized the name that had popped up in his head- William Bentley, a former FBI agent who had been killed in action several years prior.
"Wow," Elle said, whistling, "guess FBI runs in the family."
"What looks familiar to you about the name?" Derek asked, pointing to the father's name. "Think Gideon..."
Elle had to focus for a few moments, and Derek could see her mentally turning over every file she had every read regarding Gideon. Her mouth fell into an 'O' and her eyes went wide as she realized she knew the name, too. Just in case Derek thought of some different correlation, Elle turned to him and said,
"He was killed in the Boston bombing Gideon caused."