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19 March 2007 @ 06:56 pm
Criminal Minds Fic: Beginnings  
Written for morgan_garcia Quote Ficathon
Crossposted to bau_fic


Title: Beginnings
Series/Universe: Beginnings
Pairing/Characters: Derek, Penelope, Jason, JJ, Spencer, Aaron
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Extreme Aggressor
Summary: How Morgan met Garcia and how he came to trust her
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."
-George MacDonald


"Agent Morgan! You okay down there?"

Derek shined his flashlight around the slightly cramped sewer tunnels and wrinkled his nose.

"I'm fine," he called up to the uniformed cop waiting at the surface. "Go tell Detective Harper to hurry up and find us someone with a schematic of these tunnels. This old system could go on for miles. The unsub could be anywhere in here."

"Understood."

The cop walked away from the manhole Derek had lowered himself into, making him feel uncomfortably alone.

"Sewers... Why did it have to be sewers?" he groused. He tapped on his comm unit to make sure it was securely in his ear. "Anyone read me at the station?"

"Loud and clear," JJ replied, her voice sounding confident over the comm line.

"Your GPS tracker is working fine as well," he heard Spencer add.

"Good because I don't know where the hell I'm going."

"We've got people looking for schematics, don't worry," JJ assured him.

"Don't worry," Morgan muttered to himself. "I'm just stuck in a sewer with a serial killer."

He shined his flashlight to the left and right and could tell both sides of the tunnel he was in slanted down fairly quickly, making it hard to see where they led. He turned to the right and headed forward, listening carefully for any sound from the man he was hunting.

After walking a ways the tunnel dropped down another five feet, this time sharply enough a ladder was provided, and then forked into two separate tunnels.

"I am not liking this," Morgan grumbled. "JJ, how are we coming on that schematic? I can't exactly leave breadcrumbs in a place like this."

"We have someone from the city planning office digging up blueprints right now. They should be conferenced in in just a few minutes."

"Blueprints? No, man. That's too old school," Morgan complained. "Do me a favor. Call Quantico and see if anyone in the tech department can work us some magic and find us an electronic version."

"Will do."

JJ signed off and Morgan climbed down to the next level and chose the right hand tunnel.

"This bastard better be in here or I am going to be seriously pissed off..."

"Morgan, it's Reid. JJ's on the phone. Another witness came forward to say she saw someone go down a manhole who wasn't wearing a utility uniform. She puts him at about 5 foot 9 but big, over two hundred pounds."

"Big as in burly or big as in fat?"

"Burly. She said he reminded her of a weightlifter she saw on TV – huge shoulders and chest, but not as large in the lower torso. If so, he could be extremely strong, which would explain how he was able to move the bodies so easily."

"Was the sighting in my area?"

"It was actually the same manhole you went down so it seems like a good tip."

"How long ago did she see him come down here?"

"Yesterday morning, but if the unsub is using the tunnels to travel unseen then he likely is reusing his routes, so that and the sighting from ten minutes ago tells us we're looking in the right area."

"Hello?" An unfamiliar voice broke in on the comm. "This is Bill Walters at the City Planning office. Is anyone there?"

"Hey Bill, this is Special Agent Derek Morgan with the FBI. I'm down in the abandoned sewer system right now so please tell me you have a schematic of this place."

"I do. It's right in front of me, or rather they are. The system is pretty vast so it covers about twelve sheets even at a pretty small scale. Where did you enter the system?"

"Eleventh and Magnolia," Derek answered. The tunnels forked again in front of him and as he took a step towards the right a faint sound echoed in the left hand tunnel. Tightening his grasp on his weapon and flashlight he entered the left tunnel.

"Eleventh... Magnolia... Let me see..."

There were sounds of paper being moved around in the background as Bill audibly mumbled to himself.

"Bill, could you do me a favor and not talk unless you have something to tell me? I have to listen carefully down here and I can't do that with you making a bunch of background noise."

"Oh God, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to put you at risk like that. I really am..."

"Bill, the best way you can apologize right now is to shut up," Derek said testily. Another sound came from further down the tunnel and he picked up his pace.

"I think I found your manhole!" Bill said excitedly. "You're in grid 27."

"That's great, now tell me something I can use. I dropped down and went right then down about five feet then right again and I just made a left."

"Um, what do you mean by right? I mean like whose right?"

Derek let out an exasperated sigh. "I was facing away from the ocean as I climbed down into the tunnel so that means I was facing west when I turned right."

"West... Okay, give me a minute..."

Another noise, a more definite one, came from the right hand side of the next fork.

"I don't have a minute," he said, picking up his pace. "I just made another right. Just find me in this damn thing so you can get some backup to me. I think I might have found him!"

"Oh!" Bill exclaimed nervously. Another fluttering of paper followed.

"JJ!" Derek cried out in exasperation.

"I'm here! I have the Quantico tech room on the line! Go!"

A calm female voice came on the line. "Agent Morgan, I have your live GPS position overlaid on an electronic schematic of the sewer system. I know exactly where you are. Just tell me what you need."

Derek muttered a few words of relief under his breath. "Tell me what's coming up and if there are any chambers or just tunnels."

Without a pause the voice answered back, "The tunnel you are in forks into a three way in about fifty yards. If you take the center passage there is a fifteen by fifteen chamber twenty yards down the line."

"Good, now find the closest manhole to where I am now. JJ, I want backup there ASAP."

"Closest manhole to your current position is Tenth and Jackson. The closest manhole to the chamber is Tenth and Wharton though."

"I'll have backup waiting at both," JJ interjected.

Derek made his way to the next fork and listened closely at the center tunnel. There was a faint sound and then a muffled cough.

"I've got somebody down here," he said, keeping his voice low. "I need that backup."

"Units are en route," Spencer said. "JJ is calling Hotch and Gideon to let them know."

Derek eased into the center tunnel, gun at the ready. He slowly made his way down the tunnel with his flashlight extinguished, guided by a faint light coming from the chamber ahead of him.

"FBI!" he called out near the entrance to the chamber, staying back in the tunnel for cover in case the man was armed. Before he could get another word out he could hear the man bolt into a tunnel on the other side of the chamber. "He's running!" he yelled and gave chase.

Even with his flashlight on he couldn't see the man ahead of him, he had too much of a head start. He could hear though, so at every fork he listened and followed the sound of footsteps.

"Closest manhole now Ninth and McMillan." The voice was still calm and efficient. "Now Ninth and Hunt."

"JJ is rerouting your backup on the fly, Morgan," Spencer told him.

Derek rushed through the cramped tunnels trying to keep up with the unsub. He found himself in another chamber that branched off into two more tunnels. He stopped and listened, but couldn't hear a sound in either.

"Damn. I think I lost him."

"Take the right tunnel." The woman's voice sounded certain. "The left tunnel dead ends in about a hundred yards and if he knows this sewer system well he'd know not to take that route."

"Got it." Derek headed down the right tunnel which let out into yet another chamber. He shined his flashlight in and trained his gun on the shape in the corner. "FBI! Do not move!"

Before he could even enter the chamber something hit him with the force of a freight train, knocking him flat on his back and making him hit his head on the concrete floor of the tunnel.

He came to his senses and found he had been washed back into the previous chamber and that chamber was rapidly filling with water.

"Morgan!" Spencer's voice sounded faint yet frantic.

Derek realized his earpiece had fallen out and put it back in. "I'm okay. He must have opened a water main or something because it's filling up fast in here. Can you guys shut off the water from there?"

"Negative." The voice came back on the line, only this time there was a hint of concern in the calm demeanor. "That system is pre-computer, pre-electronics. Manual shut off only and the shut off valve is on the other side of the previous chamber, which I am guessing you can't get to anymore."

"No way. The water's coming out like a firehose. I can't fight my way back in."

"Then we need to get you out. Nearest manhole is Eighth and Champion."

"Talk me through it."

"Take the tunnel opposite the water flow."

Sodden, Derek clambered into the tunnel as directed.

"After twenty yards there will be a fork. Take the right tunnel."

"This isn't the way I came," Derek mused.

"No, but it's the way out. Trust me."

Derek trudged forward, the rising water level making it hard to walk.

"Next fork take the left side."

"How much further?" Derek asked. "The water level is getting pretty high in here."

"About a hundred and fifty yards. Take the left tunnel again. Three more turns to go."

Derek sloshed forward, the chilly water now up to his chest. He held his flashlight in his teeth to light the way as he used his hands to help propel him forward. He lost traction and slipped, which made the flashlight fall into the dark current below and go out.

"Damn it! I lost my flashlight!"

"I can guide you the rest of the way," the voice soothed. "Your current tunnel will end in about ten yards and there will be a drop off of about a foot. Eight yards, five yards, watch out for that drop."

Derek slid his foot out tentatively and felt the drop off.

"Got it." Once he stepped down into the next chamber the water was up to his neck. "I'm running out of air in here!"

"Thirty yards to go. Head right, but not too far right. There are three tunnels and you want the center one." Derek moved forward only to hear the voice come back in a rush. "You're too far right! Go back a few steps. The tunnel you want isn't that far over."

He reversed his steps and went through the next tunnel over. The water level was so high now he almost had to tilt his head at the tunnel ceiling to keep the water out of his mouth.

"In ten yards you will be in another chamber. You're almost there. There's only one tunnel leading out the other side and it leads you right to the chamber where the manhole cover is." She paused for a second. "Agent Morgan, that tunnel is lower than the ones you've been going through so it's likely under water by now."

Derek swore under his breath.

"So you brought me all the way here for nothing?"

"No, Agent Morgan. I brought you here because it's the fastest and safest way out. The tunnel is only twenty feet long. You can swim through it with one breath and climb out through the manhole on the other side."

"The tunnel is only twenty feet long? The others were like fifty yards long. If I run out of air midway I'm done for."

"It's only twenty feet long. You'll make it."

Derek paused for a few seconds. "I trust you," he said finally.

"Backup units are waiting for you on the other side. You're not alone. We're here with you." There was genuine emotion in the woman's voice, but her confidence didn't waver.

"Okay," Derek said soberly as he crossed the chamber. "Here goes..." He took a deep breath, ducked under the water and entered the tunnel.

Swimming was hard in the confined space and his progress seemed agonizingly slow.

Once he felt he had gone about twenty feet he risked opening his eyes under water.

A hazy light appeared before him two feet ahead as the tunnel ended and emptied into the chamber.

With a final kick he cleared the tunnel and burst up into the chamber, breaking the surface just below the open manhole cover.

"Agent Gideon! We've got him! We've got Agent Morgan!"

Strong hands lifted him out of the sewer and wrapped him in blankets.

Jason appeared and handed him a towel which he accepted gratefully, wiping his face with it.

"We caught him," Jason told him. "That tech from Quantico gave us a list of manhole intersections he was likely to surface from based on the direction you were chasing him. He was apprehended by one of the teams JJ sent out to those locations."

Derek looked soberly at Jason. "Gideon, that tech was invaluable. I don't think I'd be here if it wasn't for her. The whole time I was down there I didn't see a single manhole above me. I'd have drowned waiting on that damn city planner guy." He shook his head. "I think we should have a tech like that of our own. We can't risk waiting for Quantico to have someone free to help us. We should have someone dedicated to the BAU."

Jason smiled. "I'll see what I can do."

As Jason walked away Derek pulled his now useless comm unit out of his ear. "Hey Hotch," he called out as Aaron approached him. "Loan me your comm, will you?"

"Sure," Aaron said, pulling it out of his ear and handing it over.

"Hello?"

"Morgan!" JJ sounded relieved. "I'm glad you're okay."

"Me too. Is our tech still on the line?"

"No, I let her go when Gideon said you came out okay. Why?"

"Just wanted to thank her, that's all. Hell, I didn't even get her name. Do you know who she is?"

"Her name is Penelope Garcia."

"Well, I may just have to call her Annie Sullivan because she's a damn miracle worker."

JJ chuckled. "You know, it would be great if we had someone like that on the team instead of having to go to the tech pool every time."

Derek sat on a nearby curb and let out a sigh of relief.

"I'm right there with you."

/

Derek stepped out of the bathroom in his hotel room with one towel wrapped around his hips and another around his neck. It had taken the better part of an hour in the shower before he finally felt clean again.

He sat down on the bed and let his head hang for a moment, reflecting. FBI agents knew they risked their lives in the field, but drowning wasn't how they expected to die.

He picked up the loaner cell phone the local FBI office had procured for him to use until their plane left and flipped it open. With the time difference it would be really late in Virginia... Quantico was 24 hours, but even the technical support staff got to go home at the end of their shifts. He closed the phone and sat there a while, pensive.

As he held the phone in his hand it rang unexpectedly. The Caller ID said Quantico and Derek flipped open the phone to answer it.

"Morgan."

"Hello, Agent Morgan."

Derek smiled when he recognized the voice.

"Is this the illustrious Penelope Garcia?" he asked in his most charming tone.

"This is the most splendiforous mistress of all things digital Penelope Garcia."

Derek laughed and relaxed.

"I'll be sure to remember that! So how did you find me? My cell got destroyed in the water. This is a loaner."

"Don't underestimate the power of the mistress," she taunted playfully. "If it's recorded data I can find it. The local FBI office updated their cell phone directory to say a loaner was checked out to a visiting agent from Quantico. It wasn't hard to figure out which one of you would need a loaner."

"Smart thinking."

"My specialty," Penelope said with an audible smirk.

"Listen..." Morgan's tone became serious. "I wanted to say thanks for all you did today. I would have been in a world of hurt and we wouldn't have gotten him without your help."

"You would have gotten him," Penelope assured him. "But I was glad to help. Glad you're still here with us instead of washed out to sea."

Derek shuddered. "I tell you what, Mistress Garcia. I owe you a nice dinner for saving my bacon down there. Once I'm back in Virginia you name the place."

"Oh really?" Penelope said slyly. "And what would you do if I asked for dinner at the Eiffel Tower?"

"Virginia, Garcia! Virginia!" he said with a chortle.

"Not even D.C.?" Penelope fake pouted.

"Sure, anything within a fifty mile radius of Quantico. How's that?"

"You do realize I have access to satellite imagery and military grade mapping software that could tell me precisely which restaurants fall within the fifty mile limit."

"Can you tell me how many restaurants there are to choose from?" Derek teased.

"Heh. Not even a challenge." He could hear her fingers in a flurry of activity on the keyboard in the background. "There are 287. Do you want me to break it down by cuisine?"

Derek laughed again, finally letting the events of the day slip into their proper place in the past. "No, no. That's okay. I'm sure you'll pick a good one."

"Food, I know. Trust me."

Derek smiled.

"I do."

///
 
 
 
fireness on March 25th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
Hmmmm, I used to watch SVU for the Bensen/Stabler angle, but stopped because I grew bored, but then I saw the X-Files ep with Munch and thought to myself 'hey, that's that guy from SVU!' So I started watching again when I get the chance (on USA since I like the older eps better) and even started watching Homicide to see what the character was like back in the beginning (I nearly died watching him in Gone for Goode when he kept repeating "Detective John Munch, Detective John Munch.")