A/N - Set after Fast Five. I'd been wanting to do a Letty/OC story for a long time... because MRod :) This story has a definite direction, will follow the basic storyline of FF6, though obviously with some hefty changes. It may also go into FF7
Rated M for language, violence, and adult themes.
Constructive criticism welcome :)
Edit Aug2015 - Because some parts of the story just needed more depth, Shannon's description needed help, and a wonderful Aussie gave me some much needed feedback, there's been revisions. Nothing plot changing. Just more. Better, hopefully... Definitely :)
Edits to chapter 1 - grammar, slang updates. A paragraph of extra goodies at the end.
There's a link on my profile to a great picture for a visual reference of Shannon, if you want.
A New Beginning
Letty was cruising down the dusty highway, wind in her hair, making great time on her way to the next town. The rumble of her car's engine was soothing, and the flavorful local music coming through the radio put a smile on her face. To be able to drive without pain once again was more than awesome. It had taken months to recover from the attempted assassination, hiding away in one abandoned place after another, filthy storerooms, cluttered garages, and tiny spaces full of dust and cobwebs.
That surgeon had been a stroke of dumb luck. He had set her broken arm, sewn her up, and let her repay the cost of his medicine, room, and board by first playing gimpy maid, then repairing and doing tune-ups on his and his neighbors' vehicles. They were family sedans, full of rust and second-hand parts, nothing exciting and more than basic work, but it was what she had needed to do, and she sure as hell wouldn't complain about it. That man, his compassionate family, and welcoming neighborhood hadn't just saved her life, they had saved her sanity.
When he had come home home one day after his shift at the local hospital, handed her a backpack, wad of cash, story about the local PD nosing about at work, and asked her to leave, she had thanked him and left. Letty had been on the run since, dodging cops and bounty hunters, both the legal kind and otherwise, scrounging for meals, and keeping her ear to the ground. She knew that Dom, Mia, and the others were alive, that they had gotten even with those drug pushing bastards and then dropped off the radar.
There were two things that still really bothered her, kept her mind reeling as she stared down the empty road.
One: why those two street punks had risked their lives to jump that Fenix guy, knocked him senseless before he could kill Letty, carried her somewhere quiet, and then disappeared. They hadn't asked her anything, shared anything about themselves, and had left her with nothing but questions. A little kid had stumbled across her some days later, half dead from dehydration and infection. He had run away and brought back his older brother, who had carried Letty to the doctor.
Two: why hadn't Dom come looking for her? He had settled the issue with the cartel, shut them down, and let himself get captured by the cops. When he had gotten out, he had gone back to stealing cars with Brian and Mia. There'd been some major heat which he had, of course, gotten out of and retired. Through the grapevine, Letty had learned he had even hooked up with a cop. Dom had forgotten about her, moved on, left her behind like a defective fuel injector. It hurt. Letty didn't have the words for how much it hurt, how much her heart stumbled and flopped, twisted and choked on the depth of her emotions, the betrayal, the loneliness, the ache that left her numb, cold, and sleepless.
She clenched her jaw and squeezed her eyes shut for a second. Angrily, she swiped at the tears on her cheeks and opened her eyes.
There was someone standing in the road.
"Fuck!" Letty slammed the brakes, swerving and drifting just in time to spin around the figure. Squealing tires, grinding sand, and flying dust filled the air until the car jerked to a stop off the road, whiplashing Letty and leaving her stunned. Foot yet jammed on the brake, hands clenched around the wheel, she breathed. The engine's rumble was the only thing besides her ragged breathing that she could focus on until the sudden loud rapping at her window. Still stunned, her trembling limbs managed to put the brake on and kill the engine.
Her door opened.
"Bugger! Are you okay, love?" There was a woman there, leaning in, touching her shoulder, her accented English pitched high and worried. It wasn't Mexican, definitely not American, but she was too busy with coming down off the adrenaline high to think hard about it.
"Yea, I think so." Voice shaky, Letty muttered, then rubbed her head and blinked until she could see clearly. The woman was a pretty gringa, wearing shorts, tank top, strappy sandals and sunglasses. Gold bangles and leather bracelets decorated her wrists, and her left bicep had an intricate dragon tattoo that disappeared into her clothes. There was a bar piercing in her left eyebrow above the seventies style brown sunglasses. Several more rings in her ears gleamed brightly. Her highlighted brown hair was styled in a funky bob, and a gold necklace flashed the afternoon sun into Letty's eyes. How much metal could fit on one body? "What the hell were you doing in the road?"
"Um." The woman chewed her lip. "I was trying to flag you down." She stepped back as Letty climbed out. "My car broke down this morning, and the tow I called for never showed. Your car was the first I've seen all day."
It was an older Ford Focus, its red paint dusty from the roads. The mystery of a car problem had Letty itching to look it over, but she was lacking tools and parts. Given how she wanted to make time to her next paying job, she decided it was better to not even tempt herself. "Probably overheated."
"Engine temp was fine when it died. No smoke or anything. It's still got a half tank of petrol. Fluid levels are all good, battery works, and I haven't found any bad fuses or loose wires either." She sighed and pouted at her car.
Letty was more than a little surprised at the feminine woman's list of efforts, and gave her another look over. Like most white girls, she was taller than Letty by a few inches. Her arms were smeared with engine grime, and there was nice muscle tone on her sweating body. The woman worked out, more than just the standard running that most white girls did. Her stance was wide, and she held herself with dignity.
"Who was the tow you called?"
"Paulo Blanco's." She spoke the name with a decent Mexican accent though still tinged with wherever she came from. Ireland? Nah. England? Australia? Who the hell could tell their accents apart?
Letty snorted. "That's your problem. That idiot couldn't find the threaded end of a spark plug, let alone a pretty woman in the middle of the desert."
The woman gave her a surprised smile.
"Phone still got a charge? I'll call someone who'll actually show up."
With a relieved, brilliant smile that showed all her teeth, a phone was quickly fished from her pocket and willingly handed over. "Here. Thank you so much."
Feeling a little humble at the sincere appreciation, Letty thumbed the familiar number into the keypad. She put it to her ear and listened to the ringing. When her guy answered, she pulled in the favor he owed her.
"Jorge will be here in about an hour. He'll tow you back and give you a good discount on any labor." Letty handed back the phone. "Uh, do you want any water? I've got a cooler." She pointed back at her car.
"It better still be for the price of that cooler."
"Better than what I have. Yes, please."
Letty chuckled and reached into the back, popping open the cooler, snagging two waters, and quickly closing the lid to conserve the ice. The bottles were nicely chilled, and the crazy high price of the cooler justified. She leaned against the door and took a swig as the other woman pressed her own bottle to her flushed skin.
"Oo. That feels good." She crooned and moved the bottle to different parts until she finally opened it and swallowed a healthy amount. Grinning cheekily, she met Letty's entertained gaze. "I'm Shannon."
"Um. Can I be really intrusive and sit in your car? Mine's scorching."
"I haven't been running the AC."
Shannon looked away and back up. "Well, I'd like to sit near you in the shade, but the ground is probably hotter than my car."
Letty considered the request and how it was given. With the way the stranger was ducking her chin and smiling shyly, she came to the mildly startling revelation that she was being hit on. It wasn't the first time a lesbian had been attracted to her, and her confident ego was sure it wouldn't be the last. The men in the last town had mostly been crude and macho idiots who were bedmates she would soon forget. Shannon was at least turning out to be both intelligent and tactful, and Letty was flattered by the subtle attention. "Sure."
Making a cheery little noise, Shannon scrambled over and hopped sideways into the driver seat. Her feet stuck out of the car, into its shadow, and the woman looked up at Letty through the rear window. She fished off her sunglasses, revealing thick lashes and irises that reminded Letty of ocean curlers. Their color somewhere between green and blue depending on the clouds.
Letty smiled back and decided to stay with the woman until the tow showed up. There were worse ways to spend an afternoon than with a pleasant admirer. "So, where you from?"
"The Land of Oz."
"Right. Where's your little dog, Dorothy?"
Her smile brightened as she giggled, lifting her round cheeks and turning her eyes into little crescents. "Australia, love." Her accent turned the 'aw' into 'oz.' "I'm an Aussie." Ozzie. Oz.
Oh. Letty blinked at she understood, but pressed her own lips tight, fighting back her own smile. She did not smile when someone teased her.
"Sorry." That smile was completely unabashed and not sorry, but it was also open and friendly and made Letty feel totally comfortable. "I don't get the chance to tease English speakers often, couldn't help myself."
She rolled her eyes and sipped water.
"What about you, Letty? You look like a local, but your accent is very American."
"There is a terrible joke I could make about a woman from the City of Angels saving me."
"Don't." Letty threatened.
Hands were held up in surrender. "Are you on holiday down here?"
Holiday? Vacation, she guessed. "Something like that." She turned her gaze to the desert, watched a vulture circle in the distance. "What do you do for fun?"
A few breaths went by, Shannon probably taken by surprise by the change in topic. "I take pictures. There was a bloody gorgeous sunrise this morning that I had to capture." Letty glanced over to see the woman's eyes lighting up, passion for the hobby obvious. Shannon started talking about the play of colors on sky and landscape, how there was a curious fox and a cactus that she couldn't get enough of.
bugger – expletive like 'fuck,' but not as rude
petrol – gasoline
The Land of Oz – native nickname for Australia.