Author: MsBrooklyn PM
Incredibly AU: Crossover between BtVSAtS and Michael Mann's Collateral. Shortly after This Year's GirlWho Are You (BtVS) but just hours into Five by Five (AtS), Faith 'jacks herself a cab and picks up a very interesting passenger.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,834 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-03-05 - Published: 12-26-04 - id: 2190064
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Chapter 3 – Interludes and Interruptions
"Christ, what a mess."
Detective Ray Fanning arched an eyebrow at his boss, Richard Weidner. "You think?"
"Don't be a smartass, Fanning. Just talk to me. What was the story with this guy? This…Ramone?"
"Ramon Ayala," Fanning said, starting another circuit around the cab. "Confidential informant. I've been working him for the past four months. Low level player, but he's been feeding me some stuff on Felix."
"Reyes-Torrena? Forget it! The Feds are all over that. They don't want us anywhere near it."
"Since when does LAPD work for the Feds? Besides, Ramon flew out a window. My C.I. flew out a window, he's got Felix's handprints on his ass. That makes it ours." Shooting Weidner a long look, Fanning nodded toward the trunk. "The two dead guys in the trunk are definitely ours."
"Why beat them if you're going to shoot them?"
Fanning turned in the direction of the voice. "Lockley. What are you doing here?"
Kate Lockley peeled off her latex gloves. "Baking Girl Scout cookies."
Weidner rolled his eyes.
"The call came in for all available and, lucky me, I was available." Lockley leveled a stare at Fanning. "Which brings us back to my question. Your CI took two in the head and so did each of the bodies in the trunk, but only after somebody bashed their heads in. Doesn't make sense. The two shots is the work of a professional. So why the mess with the other two?"
"You're a detective," Fanning told her. "Start detecting."
Before Kate could respond in kind, a pair of uniformed cops came up to Fanning. The shorter of the two addressed Weidner.
"The old guy across the street, lives above the deli," the uniform said, in a soft, slightly high-pitched voice. "Says he saw a car parked out here and two people. One of 'em hailed a cab."
"Mystery solved," Kate said, dryly, gesturing to the destroyed cab. "We've got the cab."
"Can it, Lockley," Weidner told her, turning back to the uniforms. "Tell me about the two people. What did your witness see?"
"Kinda saw," the uniform admitted. "Guy's got glasses like Coke bottles."
"So did he see it?" Fanning asked, "or did his seeing eye dog see it?"
"So," Kate said, slowly, "maybe we've got a couple of dead cabbies."
"There's what, four thousand cabs in LA county," Weidner commented. "We've got no I.D.s on the bodies, so –"
"So we've got our work cut out for us," Kate shot back.
"Maybe. Maybe not." Fanning tapped his forefinger against his lip. "Remember fall of 2001? That Bay Area deal? Oakland. Cabbie drove around all night. Killed three people."
"Then he flipped out and put the gun to his head. So what?" Weidner asked.
"So, the Oakland PD detective, whatsisname, never bought it."
Fanning gave him a look. "The cabbie had no criminal record. No history of mental illness. Pops three people, kills himself? And the victims weren't random. Two were involved in some pharmaceuticals scam. Anyway, the detective always thought there was someone else in that cab."
"So you think, what, we're looking at some kinda Felix hit list?" Weidner asked.
"You said it, not me."
"You like jazz, Faith?"
"Huh?" Faith topped off the gas tank and replaced the nozzle. Vincent, she noticed, was smiling for a change.
"Jazz." Catching her lack of reaction, he continued, smile growing wider, "Guy told me about a place off Crenshaw. All the greats played there. Dexter Gordon, Thelonius Monk –"
"We're ahead of schedule. C'mon, I'll buy you a drink."
"Well, all right, Vinny! Let's go hear some jazz."
Jazz, Faith decided, sucked royally. Vinny was totally into it, though.
"Nice. Kind of a 60s, early Miles thing," he commented, turning to her. "What do you think? You like it?"
"There's no beat and you can't dance to it, not that I'd expect much from a bunch of old guys, but still…"
Vincent shot her a sour look. "It's got a beat, but it's off the melody. Outside what's expected. Improvising off impulse. It's like tonight."
"I hope tonight's more exciting than a bunch of old geezers reliving their glory days." Faith swallowed the last of her drink and looked back up at the stage. The old guy with the trumpet had cheeks that bulged out as he blew into the instrument. "God, that's gross!"
Ignoring her, Vincent took another sip of his drink. He caught the arm of the waitress as he started to pass. "Who's that on the trumpet?"
"That's Daniel, baby. He's the owner," the waitress said, flashing a bright smile and cleavage that Faith was sure was less than real.
"He's terrific." Vincent unleashed dazzling smile. "Would you be so kind as to invite him over after his next set? I gotta buy him a drink."
"Sure thing, darlin'."
Faith waited a beat and then smacked Vincent soundly on the arm. "Are you out of your tree?"
Narrowing his eyes, Vincent leveled his stare at her. "What?"
"You're inviting some demon over for a drink?!"
"Just sit back and listen to the music, will you?"
Rolling her eyes, Faith grabbed his glass and helped herself.
Bored now. Beyond bored. The demon was blathering on about somebody named Miles Davis and Vinny was totally enthralled by it. It was bad enough the demon had freak-cheeks, but he was long-winded, too. The entire club had emptied out and still, the guy was yammering on.
"…he carried my ass," Daniel finished.
"What'd he say," Vincent asked.
"He said one word. 'Cool.' It meant, good but not ready. Look me up when you are."
Vincent leaned forward. "Did you?"
"I got drafted and…into some other things. And when I got back to music, the season had passed." Daniel gave a small sorrowful smile.
"What a great story," Vincent said. "I've gotta tell the people in Culaican and Cartegena that story."
Faith felt the temperature drop. She looked at Daniel and his face was a mask of fear.
"Y-you know the folks in Culaican and Cartegena?"
"'Fraid so," Vincent acknowledged.
"Just when I thought you were a cool guy."
"I am a cool guy."
"No. You were a cool guy. Now you'll be a cold one." Daniel rose to his feet.
Vincent got off two shots. Nice. Clean. To the head. Anyone else, any other night, and that would have been that. But tonight… Tonight was a different story altogether.
"That's it? They sent you and that's the best they could do?" The trumpeter was not only still standing, he wasn't even bleeding.
Was there anything that was going to go according to plan tonight? Vincent raised his gun again. Before he could squeeze off another shot, Daniel smacked the gun out of his hand and hit him hard enough to send him flying across the room.
Baring a set of teeth that didn't look quite human, Daniel came for him. Vincent's fingers strained for his backup piece.
Suddenly, the looming figure collapsed. Faith grabbed Vincent's hand and yanked him to his feet. "Stay out of the way."
"Stay out of the damn way," she snarled at him, lunging for his target.
He'd seen his share of hand-to-hand, but the blows that were exchanged between the girl and the trumpet player were nothing like he'd ever seen. Both of them were moving faster than anything human could.
The thing that called itself Daniel was bellowing now, while Faith grabbed it in a choke-hold. There was a sickening sound as she twisted its neck. Daniel collapsed to the floor. Dead.
Faith wiped the blood from her mouth and smiled at Vincent. "Told you not to drink with demons."
Two to go.