: Plan ZAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupDisclaimer
: The words are mine; the worlds are not.Rating
: "I'm sure," Mia confirmed, then bit her lip. "I'm still me, Brian. Just with a few extra modifications."
: "Fast & Furious" (2009); B:tVS post-"Chosen"Notes
: The fourth movie came out in 2009, but it's set explicitly five years after the first one, which came out in 2001; so I'm going with 2006 as the in-movie timeline. For the August Fic-a-Day Challenge, Day 2.
Dom waited until they'd found a stopping place for the night-- until his sister paid Rico and Tego off with what had to be the last of the old heist money she'd sworn she'd never touch and sent them on their way-- before he brought up the question that had been burning in his mind ever since the four of them had hijacked the bus to Lompoc.
"So, what's the plan?" he asked, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back against the hood of the Charger.
Brian faced him, mirroring his posture, leaning against Mia's NSX; she'd tucked herself in against his side the minute the boys were gone, looking a hell of a lot more cozy than the night before he and Brian had set up the meet with the man they'd thought was Braga. They must've done a lot of bonding during the months he'd been waiting for sentencing. Dom still wasn't all that sure he approved of them as a couple-- but Brian had more than proved himself, one way and another, and it was her choice, in the end.
"I thought Miami first," Brian replied with a shrug. "I spent several months in Florida after I let you go the first time, racing cars and hiding from the cops. Made a lot of friends in the local scene before the FBI tracked me down for a job; and since I got a cleared record and half my own garage out of that deal, there's still plenty of places to go to ground there."
"Plenty of places they'll know to look," Dom pointed out.
"Maybe," Brian said. "But maybe not; my friend Roman's been looking after my share since I came back to California, and his name's on all the deeds, not mine. They'll have to establish our presence there before they can do jack shit on his property, and in the meantime Rome and Tej can set us up with something a little more secure. I've already given them a heads-up we might be coming in hot."
Well. It sounded like Brian had had a little more fun than he'd been assuming, during the years Dom had spent playing Godfather and stealing gasoline south of the border. He might have known, though; for a man who'd worn a badge-- more than once-- for a living, his morals had always come across as pretty damn flexible. "Still damn risky," he said, not liking the odds of their making it all the way cross country in a pair of pretty recognizable cars without getting caught.
Mia cleared her throat then, staring at Dom with a solemn, determined tilt to her chin. "Or we could go with Plan C."
"Plan C?" Brian asked, brows drawing together in confusion.
Dom was too busy exploding at his sister-- who was too busy staring him down-- to explain the reference. "You mean Plan Z, for Zero Chance It's Ever Gonna Happen?" he asked her. "No. No fucking way
. I'll turn myself in
before I let you give yourself over to those people."
"It's not your decision to make, Dom," she replied, glaring at him. "It's been three years; they haven't pressured me, they haven't kidnapped me, they haven't done a damn thing other than call every few weeks to make sure I was still alive. And after Letty got back, I had her use her contacts--" here, she did pause guiltily to glance up at Brian, "--to check them out, and make sure their organization was legit."
Brian's eyes went wide at that, and his arm around her tightened. "Are we talking about who I think we're talking about?" he asked, incredulously.
, Mia," Dom repeated himself. If she'd had Letty check them out, then she'd been planning this for weeks; for months
, not just as a bolt-hole in case of emergency but as an actual, serious career change. And that was not acceptable. "Even if you believe all that shit they spouted, you heard what they said the average lifespan was for their front-liners, even now that there's more than one of 'em to share the load. And you're delusional if you think they'll let you get away with anything less for this kind of assistance. They want you
, not your escaped convict brother and your fugie boyfriend."
," Brian said wonderingly, switching his incredulous gaze to Dom as he answered his own question. "Mia was seriously being recruited by the IWC? Do either of you have any idea how many alarms went off at the FBI when I poked around in their file? They may be on the level, but their intake criteria is restrictive as hell and for a bunch of researchers, the death rate among their employees is pretty fucking high."
"They don't want her to be a researcher
," Dom replied, viciously. "They want her to join their suicide squads, don't they, Mia?"
Mia shook off Brian's arm and took a step away, arms crossed in front of her, so she could glare at both he and her brother in equal measure. "They're not suicide squads
, and it's not just about the death rate
, or begging for assistance," she said, confirming Dom's worry. "I've been thinking about taking them up on their offer for a while. It was one thing, when I was staying behind to watch the house and run the store and keep Letty company while I finished up my degree. But now-- what are we going to do, Dom, keep running for the next five years, hijacking our way around the world like you've been doing since L.A.? I'm never not going to be a Slayer; I think it's high time I learn what that means, and if it gets both of you out of trouble at the same time...." She shrugged. "I think this is the right thing for me to do."
," Dom growled.
"Wait, wait, Slayer
?" Brian asked, increasingly alarmed. "What
are you talking about?"
Mia sighed and uncrossed her arms, then dropped into a crouch in front of her car. "A few things changed during the years you and Dom were gone, Brian," she said, setting her hands in a firm grip on the frame behind the bumper. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you before, but-- it's not exactly easy to explain." Then she lifted
, straightening her long legs into a steady stance.
Dom had heard about this, over the phone from both Mia and Letty, but he hadn't seen
it, and the sight of his baby sister lifting thousands of pounds as though they were a couple of gallons of milk froze the words in his throat. He stared at her, awed, mouth sagging open--
--until movement in his peripheral vision had him instinctively grabbing at his waist for a gun that wasn't there, moving to point it at Brian, who had half-pulled his own piece on Mia. Drawn on Mia
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" he hissed, stalking over to grab the gun out of Brian's hand. The ex-cop might not be aiming it actually at
her, but he'd come damn close, and the muzzle was still pointed toward the dirt by her feet. What the hell was he thinking?
Brian let him get a grip around the barrel, but didn't let go, and when he turned his eyes on Dom they were wide with shock in a face even paler than usual. "But-- I've seen her in the sunlight," he said, apropos of nothing.
Dom tightened his other hand around one of Brian's wrists. "What the fuck does that have to do with anything?" he said, furiously. "Let go of the fucking gun!"
He was prepared to ignore Mia in favor of harming the son-of-a-bitch currently presuming to threaten her, friend or no, but the crunching thud of tires landing heavily on gravel was closely followed by strong, slim fingers gripping his forearm, and he turned, grudgingly, to look at her.
"What?" he demanded. "What can possibly justify him drawing on you?"
"Come on, Dom," she said, in persuasive tones. "It was a shock when you
heard about it the first time, and besides-- I think he's seen something. You said sunlight, Brian," she prompted, turning back to her boyfriend with cautious eyes. "You thought I was something else. Was it-- a vampire?"
"A v..." Brian swallowed, almost choking on the initial consonant, then blew out a breath and tried again. "A vampire. I guess-- I guess that's what it was. My friend Rome and I-- you know that juvie history they made up for my Spilner ID wasn't all that far off; we were in and out of trouble, mostly with cars, mostly after dark. And one day-- man, we must have gone to the wrong party. We saw some serious shit, and some of our friends died, but the next day Rome pretended like none of it had ever happened, like they'd just been cut down by a rival gang or something. In fucking Barstow
The talking seemed to have calmed him; he finished lowering his arms on his own, releasing his gun into Dom's iron grip, as he continued. He was staring at Mia as though there were nothing else in the universe; Dom had seen that look directed at him a time or two just before all hell broke loose, and knew it meant there was some serious rearranging going on in Brian's head.
"That's when I decided to clean up my act, try to do the right thing," Brian continued. "Because if there was shit like that out there, what the hell were we hurting each other for, you know? But no one took me seriously back home, or in L.A., no matter how much unbelievable shit I ran into. It seemed like I was dealing with paperwork more than I was helping people-- being a cop, really doing the job, is nothing like it is in the movies. I just wanted to do the right thing, but hell if I could ever keep straight what that was."
"I'm a Slayer, Brian," Mia said gently when he ran out of words. "I didn't ask for it, but I am. I'm as strong as they are now, and as fast as they are, and it's my job to kill them." She smiled ruefully. "At least, that's what they'll train me to do if I take the IWC up on their offer. They'll let you both come with me-- they've said a Slayer lasts much longer with the support of family and friends-- and they're based internationally, so we can be out of here and under new identities before the feds track us."
"You're sure about this," he said, still kind of shocky and pale.
"I'm sure," she confirmed, then bit her lip. "I'm still me, Brian. Just with a few extra modifications."
He reached out to take her hands, just standing there feeling the weight of them in his own, then pulled her to him and carefully wrapped his arms around her, an arm's length away from Dom. She tucked her head in under his chin, pressing her cheek against the hollow of his throat; if it hadn't been for the tense, tentative expressions on both their faces, Dom might've been in danger of drowning in all the saccharine vibes.
"Okay," Brian finally said. "Okay, I can deal. Where you go, I go; we'll figure things out from there."
Fuck, Dom thought to himself. Fuck, fuck, fuck
; with Brian on her side, she wasn't going to give in the way she might've before. And there wasn't time to dick around on the subject, not if they wanted any chance at staying free.
"We do this, we do it together
, all the way," he said, warningly. "Non-negotiable."
"Together," Mia agreed, still leaning against Brian. Then she sighed, pulled her phone from her pocket, and dialed an international number.
"Hello, Ms. Lehane? This is Mia Toretto...."