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Heaven Tastes Bitter

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Coffee". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: The tuna sandwiches might not be worth coming back for, but the coffee definitely was. First in the "Coffee" series.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Movies > Fast and the Furious, TheCorruptedSmileFR711,162084,1127 Aug 117 Aug 11Yes
Disclaimer: I probably don’t own anything you recognise, I probably do own everything you don’t recognise and I’m not making any money from this.

The film “The Fast and The Furious” is owned by Universal Pictures, many other companies that I’m not part of and many people who aren’t me. ‘Buffy: the Vampire Slayer’ is owned by Twentieth Century Fox, Joss Whedon and others. Once again, none of those people are me.

Crossover: The Fast and the Furious/Buffy: the Vampire Slayer.

Characters: Xander, Mia.

Rating: FR7.

Spoilers: Only that the Toretto’s haven’t started running from the law yet. It’s set somewhere during the first film, but I hint at nothing except Mia being a medical student.

Summary: The tuna sandwiches might not be worth coming back for, but the coffee definitely was.

Story: Heaven Tastes Bitter

Pulling up to a place called Toretto’s, Xander parked his car around the corner. Tilting his head back until it rested against the car seat, Xander closed his eyes for a second, weariness evident in the bags under his eyes and his slumped shoulders. Opening his eyes again he stared blankly at the car parked before him for a minute before visibly pulling himself together, getting out of his car, closing it and crossing the street after making sure he wouldn’t be hit by anything. It would be just his luck to safely make it back to America after years spent in Africa searching for Slayers, only to be hit by a car or something, because he was too tired to look around before crossing the street.


The coolness that permeated the inside of the market was in stark difference to the humid heat that threatened to suffocate a person the moment they stepped out on the streets while the sun was still high in the sky. Taking off his sunglasses, Xander slowly let his eyes adjust to the darker interior. As soon as they had, he stepped inside more fully. Immediately zeroing in on the coffee pot sitting on the counter, he made his way over there like a man on a mission—or a man in desperate need of coffee.

Xander was so distracted by the promise of heaven sitting not three feet away from him that he was startled when a young woman asked him what he wanted. Locking eyes with the young woman in question, Xander smiled. “Sorry, I was distracted.”

The young woman smiled back. “I noticed. Don’t worry about it. I take it you want a cup of coffee?”

“God, yes!” Xander nodded enthusiastically, making the woman laugh out loud.

“Enthusiastic response for someone who just wants coffee,” she told him, grabbing a cup and setting it on the counter in front of him.

“I’ve been in the least-populated areas of Africa these last few years and let me be the first to tell you that good coffee is hard to find there,” Xander replied, eyes trained on the black liquid being poured into the cup by a steady hand.

Not knowing what to answer to that vehement statement, the young woman simply handed over the cup after having asked, if he took cream or sugar—a fervent “No!” to both.


The cup of coffee that Xander held in his hands had been made to perfection and he planned to enjoy it, onlookers or no onlookers; even onlookers as pretty as the girl serving him. Moaning, he closed his eyes as the scent of freshly-brewed coffee wafted up from the hot liquid. Taking a sip, he took pleasure in the way the coffee warmed him up from the inside out; much better than alcohol or something as plebeian as soup could.

Xander was enjoying his coffee so much that it took him a while before he noticed that the young woman who had served had said something to him. “Sorry, I wasn’t listening—again. You were saying . . .?”

The young woman grinned, shrugging off the behaviour that she, at any other time, would consider rude and held out her hand. “Just introducing myself. My name’s Mia Toretto.”

“Xander Harris,” Xander replied, reluctantly taking one hand away from his coffee cup to shake hers. “I saw the sign outside; you own this place?”

“No, my brother does,” she told him. “I just work here when I don’t have class.”

“Let me guess: something where you can help people?” Xander asked in between sips.

Mia flashed him a bright smile. “Medical school, yes.”

“Good choice,” Xander replied, nodding approvingly. “The world needs more doctors and nurses.” He gave her a rueful grin. “If you take a look at my collection of scars, you can probably understand why I’d think so.”

Taking his statement as an invitation to look her fill—she had noticed all the scars, after all—Mia took her time, cataloguing every scar she could see. Some she recognised as burn and knife marks, but others she didn’t recognise.


A loud grumbling noise caught her attention and she laughed at the embarrassed look coming over Xander’s face. “I think your stomach’s trying to tell you something. Sandwich?”

“Yeah, sure. A tuna sandwich, please.”

Mia grimaced. “I feel it’s my duty to inform you that the tuna’s crap. Wouldn’t you like something else better?”

“I’ll take my chances on the tuna. If I die from it, I give you full permission to write on my headstone: I told you so,” Xander swore solemnly.

“I’ll keep you to that promise,” Mia told him, making him a tuna sandwich.

Intent on proving Mia wrong, Xander took a big first bite—and nearly spit the bite back out when an absolutely awful taste instantly exploded across his tongue. Swallowing with great difficulty, Xander set down the sandwich and gulped down the rest of his coffee in his haste to get rid of the tuna flavour.

“Okay, so the tuna’s completely awful. The coffee’s still good, though,” Xander told Mia, trying to make her feel better.

“Don’t worry about making me feel better. I told you myself that tuna was crap,” Mia reassured him. Seeing his empty cup, she asked, “More coffee?”

The delighted look on Xander’s face was all the answer she needed.


And hour had passed when Xander finally started making noises about leaving.

“Stop by any time,” Mia told him.

Looking back, Xander gave her his signature goofy grin. “I will when I’m around.”

And he really would. The tuna sandwiches might not be worth coming back for, but the coffee definitely was.

Xander took one final look at Mia.

And the company wasn’t half-bad either.

End of “Heaven Tastes Bitter”.

A/N: This is the result of another challenge concocted by me and lothlorien for one of our weird celebrations. The point of this challenge is to put five different Buffy characters in five different fandoms and write something short centred around the word “coffee”.

First prompt: Xander, The Fast and The Furious.

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The End

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