TITLE: Raising the Stakes
SUMMARY: Undercover Customs Agent Monica Fuentes gets another assignment.
NOTES: Set post “Chosen”, set during 2 Fast 2 Furious. I realize the time line doesn’t exactly work given the release dates of the final episode of Buffy and the movie. So, we’ll just allow for the 2F2F to be set a few months after “Chosen”. Twelfth Entry in the August Fic-A-Day Challenge at Twisted Shorts
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Angel the Series, they belong to Fox, the WB/UPN, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. The characters of 2 Fast 2 Furious belong to Universal Pictures, etc. The ideas and concepts in this story are mine entirely. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Monica Fuentes walked into the café as she did almost every morning. She took her morning jog and ended it here, with a non-fat latte, hold the foam. She usually sat and read the paper until a car came to pick her up, about twenty to twenty-five minutes after she arrived.
Today though we were going to throw her whole world off balance. The worst part being that she was never going to see it coming. I was just excited that I was allowed to come along on one of these little missions. It had more to do with the fact that Buffy was busy with the Immortal and Faith had volunteered to watch me, which meant I was shadowing her constantly. The two of us were patiently, on my part and impatiently on Faith’s, waiting inside next to her favorite table. A few glares from Faith had kept that table clear.
She had arrived on time and ordered her latte. As she headed toward our table Faith rose to her feet. Monica hesitated for a moment and looked us both over.
“Please,” Faith started and waved to our table, “take a seat, Monica.”
After a moment’s thought she sat in the seat across from Faith and I. “So, you clearly know who I am. Who are you?” she asked after Faith sat back down.
“I’m Faith, and this is Dawn,” she explained and Monica nodded. She relaxed in her chair, crossing her legs and blowing on her latte.
“I don’t have all day…so…what is this about?”
“Are you always this bitchy?” I asked and she only smiled.
“Dawn’s got all the details, so she’ll explain.”
“And that makes you…?”
“Proof, but you’ll see in a minute,” Faith added with a smirk.
I took a deep breath and swallowed down my nerves. “We need your help. Carter Verone isn’t just dealing in drugs, Monica. He’s also involved with human trafficking. Customs and the DEA don’t know about any of it, which is why you’ve never heard anything. Quite frankly, neither care if a ton of illegals go missing. But we do, and we need you to help us,” I explained and smiled in what I hoped to be a reassuring manner.
“This conversation is over. I don’t know who you’re working for, but I’m not going to flip on Carter. And if you’re one of Carter’s, tell the bastard he’s got it all wrong,” she angrily stated and rose from her seat.
“We know more about you then you think. We know about the dreams, the strength, we know, Monica. We know it started with you three months ago,” Faith calmly informed her, causing Monica to pause. “Please, sit back down. We’re willing to answer any questions you might have,” she added.
“I’m listening,” Monica quietly relented as she slid back into her chair at the table.
“Time for that proof,” I suggested and pulled out a foot-long metal bar. I handed it to her. She turned it over in her hands and looked back up at me with a raised eyebrow. “Look it over, there are no cracks, no weak points, no tricks. I can’t bend it into a circle but Faith can, and so can you,” I explained. She slid it back across the table and adamantly shook her head.
I picked it up and squeezed on both ends trying to get it to bend. All I managed was to hurt myself. I handed it to Faith and watched Monica’s face as it was bent end to end. Monica wasn’t so much shocked as impressed.
“Let me see,” she finally requested and Faith handed her the circle. Monica carefully looked it over before pulling it back as straight as possible. “So, I’ve got ten minutes before Carter’s driver arrives. Start talking.” She set the metal bar down on the table and waited. Her latte sat untouched off to her side.
Faith and I shared a relieved smile before I launched into my quickest rendition of Giles’ Slayer speech.