Lessons in Driving
A/N: Hullo, everyone! I was mulling over the idea of writing about how Reid would've learned to drive (and I haven't crossed that out as a possibility) and this came about instead. I've never been very good at action-ish stuff, but I hope you guys enjoy this.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything recognizable. Including, but not limited to: Criminal Minds, the characters, or a standard-issue government SUV.
Automobiles are not ferocious… it is man who is to be feared.
~Robbins B. Stoeckel
Morgan and Reid exited the police headquarters of Denver, Colorado and headed for one of the standard-issue SUVs. "Hey, Reid, do you want to drive?" Morgan asked, holding out the keys.
"Why? You never let me drive." Reid eyed the keys with suspicion.
"I want to go over the files on the way there."
"We've had this case for three days; you're still reading the file?"
"Rereading. We don't all have eidetic memories like some smartass geniuses I know. You wanna drive or not?" Morgan nodded with satisfaction when Reid snatched up the keys. "Just keep your mind on the road, kid."
Reid sighed. "Despite what everyone seems to think, I'm not a bad driver."
"Yeah, until you start thinking about the case and run into a tree."
"That didn't even count as a tree; it was a sapling! I did more damage to it than to the car. And anyway, I figured out who the UnSub was, didn't I?"
"Whatever you say, kid. Just do me a favor; if you feel like you're about to have a case-breaking epiphany, pull over."
Reid rolled his eyes, starting the SUV and pulling out of the lot. The two agents were on their way to interview Jeremy Willis, a man who fit the profile to a T. Because there was no technical reason to arrest him, Morgan and Reid were going to interview him and see if he was worth pursuing. The drive was uneventful and devoid of trees and soon they were pulling up in front of Willis' house, just outside a busy section of the city. However, just as Reid put the car in park, Willis came out of the house, a hat pulled low over his face and a duffel bag slung over his shoulder.
Reid unbuckled his seatbelt and Morgan was already out of the vehicle, approaching Willis. "Jeremy Willis?" He called across the lawn.
Willis froze, his eyes darting from Morgan to the SUV, then dropped the duffel bag, causing the unzipped flap to fall open, revealing the dismembered head of the most recent missing person, Fred Mason. Morgan and Reid both stared in shock and Willis wasted no time. By the time either agent could react, Willis was in his red truck, ready to speed away. "Hey!" Morgan shouted, running up to Willis' truck.
He was too late, though. The truck sped out of the driveway, made a sharp turn and sped down the street, nearly clipping Reid, who was getting out of the SUV.
Swearing, Morgan dashed back to the duffel bag, zipped it up and ran it over to the SUV, placing it as quickly and carefully as possible on the floor of the back seat. "Morgan, that's…" Reid began as Morgan went back around to the passenger side.
"We can't just leave it in the open. Now drive!" Morgan commanded.
"But…" Reid protested, even as he buckled his seatbelt.
Without further prompt, Reid threw the car into drive and sped off in pursuit of Willis. "We're heading back into the city." Reid said, taking a hard right after the red truck ahead of them.
Morgan braced himself to keep from being thrown into the window and pulled out his cell phone. "Hotch, Reid and I are in pursuit of Jeremy Willis. He's the UnSub… Yeah, we're sure... No, Reid's driving... Yeah, we're gonna need backup." Morgan gave Hotch their location and Willis' plate number and snapped the phone shut.
"I passed the same courses you did, Morgan; I can drive in a car chase." Reid said, following Willis into a higher traffic area.
"Now isn't the time to argue about that, kid…" Morgan stopped short and griped the panic handle above his head.
Reid wove in and out of cars as well as Morgan had ever done, sirens blaring, closing in on Willis. Morgan's eyebrows rose slightly in surprise. "Not bad. But we still need backup."
"I know that." Another right, around a minivan, still behind Willis. "I just need to know that you trust me."
"Of course I do, why…"
Morgan was cut short again when the SUV jerked left and Reid turned off the path Willis was taking. "Reid, what are you doing? The UnSub is that way!" Morgan pointed behind them.
"We'd never catch up to him the way were going. We can get him this way." Reid took another right.
"By driving away from Willis?"
"I've been studying a map of this city for three days, it's all in my head. I know exactly where his route will take him and exactly how to cut him off." Reid explained, turning left onto a narrow, short street lined by buildings.
"What? Reid…" Morgan never got to finish his sentence, however, as the SUV crossed into the middle of another street and came to an abrupt halt.
Sure enough, Willis' truck came to a screeching stop just inches from Reid's side of the SUV. Panicked, Willis jumped out and made a run for it. Morgan was much faster this time and quickly caught up to him, tackling him to the ground. A moment later, another SUV and police cruiser came speeding around the corner as Morgan hauled Willis off the pavement. "What happened?" Emily called, jumping out of the passenger seat of the second SUV, which had stopped shortly before Willis' truck.
"We got him." Reid said, having managed to get out of the SUV through Morgan's side.
Morgan clicked the cuffs around Willis' wrists and read him his rights, leading him to the police cruiser. Hotch and Rossi were out of the second SUV and were surveying the near-collision the Reid had caused. "What happened?" Hotch parroted Emily's question.
"I realized we weren't going to be able to catch up to him by following him, so I went around." Reid explained.
The younger agent looked so pleased with his improvisation, Hotch almost didn't have the heart to chastise his reckless behavior. Almost. "Reid, that was incredibly risky." He said seriously.
"No, I figured the odds while I was driving. Willis was very likely to be coming down this street and I knew how to get here faster. I've been studying maps for days, and…"
"Reid, that's not what I meant. Look how close you came to a collision." Hotch pointed to the SUV and the truck.
"Yes, but I was sure that…"
"Actually, all things considered, I think he did quite well." Rossi interrupted.
Hotch shot the older agent a glare and Rossi gave a small shrug as if to say 'What? He did." "He really did do a good job. I was surprised." Morgan said, coming back over with another officer, who had arrived shortly after the first. "The remains are in the back of the SUV."
"What remains?" Hotch asked, his eyebrows went up.
"Fred Mason. Willis was carrying… parts of him out of the house when we pulled up." Morgan explained as the officer went to remove the duffel bag from the back seat. "We couldn't leave it in the open so we took it with us."
Hotch shook his head and ran a head over his face. Finally, he looked up again. "Despite some unnecessary risks…" He looked pointedly at Reid, who had the good sense not to argue, "You two did well. Good job."
Morgan and Reid both grinned, Reid's a little more hesitant. "Once the officer removes the remains, you two can drive back to the station." Hotch told them, turning to go back to the SUV he had come in.
Rossi gave them one his mysterious half-smiles and followed the other agent. Emily ventured over, looking at the SUV and truck appreciatively. "So, you really drove in a car chase?" Emily asked Reid, pointing at him.
"Is that really so hard to believe?" Reid asked, glaring a little.
"No, no… nice, by the way." She pointed to near-collision. "Hotch didn't look happy about it, though."
Morgan chuckled. "He'll get over it. You want a ride back, Prentiss?" He asked teasingly.
"With Reid driving? Hell, no." Emily laughed a little, giving Reid a smile to let him know she was only kidding.
Reid resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at Emily as she headed back to the second SUV. "Okay, Reid, I've gotta know. Where did you learn to drive like that?" Morgan asked, turning his attention to the genius.
Pausing, Reid thought back to the year he had turned 15. He had known learning to drive would make life a lot easier, but enrolling in a driver's ed. course wasn't an option. He was certain he would be able to figure it out on his own, but he wouldn't have been able to drive around alone without someone noticing he was too young to be operating a car on his own. The only option had been to put his mother in the car and drive around with her until he had racked up enough hours to earn his driver's license… "Reid." Morgan's voice brought Reid out of the memory.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"I asked you how you learned to drive like that."
After another short pause, Reid spoke again. "Morgan, have you ever driven through the city of Las Vegas with a paranoid schizophrenic in the passenger's seat?"
Morgan blinked. "Uh… no."
"It's good practice." Reid said with wry smile.
Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there is something wrong with him.
A/N: Heh, that was kind of fun to write. Hope you guys enjoyed it too! A review would be most appreciated, if you'd like.