Thanks to everyone who's been reading and bindsy and narwhayley for reviewing. Last chapter for this story, and this one is from Sam's POV (and there's a tiny fix-it for The Fight because they spelled Prophet's name two different ways between his intro and his badge and that sort of thing annoys the hell out of me).
"Do you want me to mimic your passengers screaming in terror, or are you okay imagining it for yourself?" Prophet asked from the seat behind him before Sam could say anything. "I mean, I'm not much for screaming normally, but I could make an exception."
"What are you talking ab—bloody hell." Mick jerked the wheel, putting the car back on the right side of the road. Literally. "I hate you, mate."
There was no heat in his words, and Sam didn't bother to hide his grin at Prophet's snort. Mick had actually been driving very well on the challenge parts of the course, but on the intervals between obstacles he kept switching to the left side of the road as he relaxed. It shouldn't have come as a surprise, probably, given where he'd grown up and learned to drive, but Sam was very glad that he hadn't suggested that Mick rent a car when he'd first arrived.
"Besides, you just about sent me out the window the other day so I don't know why you're complaining about my driving," Mick continued after a minute.
"Here's a hint: you keep sending us into oncoming traffic. Or you would be if we weren't on a closed course, anyway. Besides, I told you three times to tighten your seatbelt. There comes a point where you just have to invoke Darwin."
Mick muttered something rude under his breath that Sam couldn't quite make out, but Prophet only chuckled in response.
Sam was a little surprised at how close Mick and Prophet had gotten in the short time they'd known each other. Not that he'd expected them to have trouble getting along, at least not once they'd had time to size each other up, but for all his outward cheerfulness Mick was not among the most trusting in the world, and everything he'd learned from Prophet had told him that Prophet was the sort who kept to himself. He wasn't unfriendly, just very private. Sam had actually been a little worried about Mick in that respect because while Mick might not give much of himself to strangers, he was social, and it wasn't hard to figure out that being on a team with two people that weren't—and Sam was honest enough to admit that the way he preferred to spend his down time made Prophet look like the life of the party—and not having other contacts in this country would be difficult for him. He wasn't sure that Mick had realized that until after he'd arrived, but it had been pretty obvious to Sam when Mick had started getting restless, and at the time he'd just hoped that Mick would connect with someone in one of his classes at the FBI. It seemed that Prophet was less of a loner than Sam had thought, though, or at least less of one when company was offered, and Mick seemed to have decided that Prophet was okay.
Sam suspected that a lot of it had to do with how well their senses of humor matched. Oh, he still had no idea why Mick had been insisting that he didn't sound like a gecko when he and Prophet had walked in this morning, but from Prophet's grin he had no doubt where the accusation had come from. Nor did he have any doubts about why Prophet's pens had spent the morning leaking on him, although he was a little bit curious about how Mick had done it. He didn't think Prophet knew either, given the way that he'd been examining the leaking pens before they'd left for lunch and the driving course, but aside from a few threats that he obviously had no intention of carrying out and a crumpled paper ball flung in the general direction of Mick's head when Mick had started snickering, he'd let it go. Which was about what Sam would have expected from Prophet.
He hadn't mentioned what had happened Friday to anyone, and he didn't plan to either given the reservations the director already had about Prophet, but it had surprised him more than he cared to admit. Oh, he understood why Prophet had reacted like that; his response to a sudden grab around the throat would be to remove the threat as well, and given what he knew of conditions in prison his training had probably been a lot less harsh that anything that Prophet had gone through, but that kind of sudden, violent outburst…. Something to remember, he supposed. For all that Prophet was very good at projecting a harmless image, he was no more an average citizen than Sam or Mick was.
Sam shook his head and then shook it again and waved off Mick's questioning look. "Just thinking that you probably could pass the course if you treat the whole thing like an obstacle, but I'm afraid if you keep relaxing, you're going to keep running into trouble."
From the sideways glance Mick gave him, he didn't think that Mick believed him—and rightfully so, unfortunately, a side effect of having someone around who knew him as well as Mick did—but Prophet's muttered comment about Mick failing retroactively if he wiped out the certifying agent in the parking lot distracted Mick before he could call Sam on it.
"I will hurt you," Mick said, tilting his head up to glare into the rearview mirror.
Prophet snorted again. "How, heart failure? Get back on the other side of the road."
Mick returned his gaze to the front, jerking the wheel and letting out another mumbled curse, and Sam smiled.
"Are you sure?" Sam shook his head. "All right, thanks, Garcia."
"What's up?" Prophet asked, looking up from the cold case folder he'd been flipping through as Sam hung up the phone.
"Somehow Mr. Addison talked his way onto a flight down to Cabo and by all accounts has made himself at home at one of the resorts down there. He hasn't been in contact with anyone up here since he left."
Prophet stared at him for a moment and then shook his head. "Figures."
"Some leads don't pan out, that's just how it is. But Garcia is going to email us what she's got, if you want to pass it on to the authorities in Kentucky."
Sam nodded and was reaching for the folder he'd been working on before Garcia's call when the door flew open with a bang.
"So there!" Mick declared, bursting in waving a piece of paper.
Prophet, seated on his desk, was the closest to the door, and he caught the paper in his free hand when Mick shoved it in his general direction. It only took a moment for him to scan it, and then he handed it back and slapped Mick on the shoulder lightly. "Well, I'll be taking the bus from now on."
"Congratulations," Sam said with a smile as Mick snatched the folder from Prophet and hit him over the head with it. Mick had finished with the rest of the FBI courses last week, but the driving had taken longer than he'd expected—longer than Sam had expected too because someone at the bureau with more red tape than he knew what to do with had insisted that Mick combine getting signed off with getting a US driver's license which had involved not only shifting Mick's driving habits to US-standard but also sorting out some hassle with paperwork as well—and it was good to know that everything was finally done.
"So can I borrow your bike?" Mick asked, coming to lean against the edge of Sam's desk.
"Not a chance, and don't even think about trying your hotwiring trick."
"Ah, well, it was worth a try," Mick said, heaving an exaggerated sigh of disappointment.
Sam shook his head. Mick had grown up fast, and most of the time it was easy to forget that he wasn't even thirty yet, but every once in a while you could get a peek at what he might have been like without the deaths of his parents and to a lesser extent his time in the military. "However, now that you're both done with everything…." He slid his chair back and dug around in the top drawer of his desk for the badges he'd picked up last week. The director hadn't been thrilled about handing them over—the fact that Mick wasn't fully certified yet had been the official reason for his reticence although Sam had no doubt that it was actually due to continuing concerns about Prophet—but Sam had talked him into it since he hadn't figured that either Mick or Prophet would have much interest in the whole FBI graduation ceremony. He smiled as he drew them out. They weren't exactly what he'd wanted, but they were enough to get his team into the field with him. "These would be for FBI agents Simms and Rawson."
"Yes!" Mick snatched both of them with a grin and wrapped an arm around Sam's shoulder quickly before pushing himself away from the desk and heading for Prophet, fanning them out in his hands as he went. "That's a horrible picture, man. But…." He twisted to frown at Sam. "Why does his say 'Pend'?"
"It was the best I could do," Sam said, looking past Mick to Prophet. "I'll keep working on it, but I'm afraid it's just going to take some time to convince the director." Time and a surviving child molester or two, Sam suspected, although he wasn't about to put a damper on things by bringing that up. And not that he particularly wanted to be put on a case like that, as much as it was almost certainly going to happen at some point given the nature of the BAU. "It won't stop you from doing your job."
Prophet shook his head, pushing himself up off the desk, and the smile he gave Sam was the quiet one that Sam had only seen once before. "It's a hell of a lot more than I ever expected. Thank you."
Sam dipped his head slightly, but Mick's frown didn't fade as Prophet took the second badge from him, and Sam made a mental note to make sure that Mick had no reason to speak to the director at any point in the near future. One of the reasons that he liked Mick as much as he did was because of Mick's loyalty, but the fact that Mick had decided that Prophet was a friend and now someone wasn't playing fair with him…well, it would be better give Mick some time to let that irritation burn off.
"You're commenting on my picture," Prophet said with a scoff, tilting Mick's badge back so he could see it. "Please. I mean, nice hair. Did you roll out of bed and in front of the camera?"
"Hey, at least I've still got all my hair," Mick shot back, distracted at least momentarily. "Not sure you've noticed, but yours is getting a little thin on top there."
Prophet rolled his eyes. "Yeah, you're hilarious. You wait a dozen years, and then we'll talk. Although they did manage to spell your name right, so I guess that's points for you."
"What do you mean?" Sam asked.
He shrugged. "Only one 'h' in my version of Jonathan. It's not a big deal."
"I'll get that fixed," Sam said. He'd been concerned enough about just getting the badge that he hadn't even noticed the mistake.
Prophet shook his head. "I wouldn't waste your time considering the number of times it took me to convince them to just file my paperwork. Besides, it'll be fine. It's not like I use that name much."
He had a point there, and after a moment Sam nodded. He'd request a new badge anyway and hope that they got it right, but even if they didn't, it wasn't likely that anyone would notice.
"All right then, if that's settled, how about we go get food to celebrate?" Mick said, looping an arm around Prophet's neck as he stuck his badge in his pocket. "He's paying. I'll drive."
"Hell, no, and also, hell, no. Especially considering that unless you stopped at a car lot on the way, you have to be talking about my car."
Mick grinned. "Bet I can get it started before you can stop me."
Prophet shook his head as Mick ducked back out the door and then looked down at the badge in his hand before tucking it into his wallet and returning his gaze to Sam. "Seriously, though. Thanks."
"It's yours, you deserve it. And the rest of it will get sorted out eventually." Sam stood. "But we should probably get going because he really can hotwire almost anything."