Title: Pain's A Bitch
Series: A Bering & Wells AU Sampler
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 16 June 2014
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Pairing: Myka Bering/Helena Wells (pre-slash)
Word Count: ~2300 words
Summary: DEA Agent Myka Bering gets more than she bargained for when her latest bust takes a turn for the unexpected...
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD14
Note: Warehouse 13/Painkiller Jane AU fusion, with just a touch of Sanctuary besides. Bering And Wells Lite, admittedly, but this is just a quick snapshot of a possible AU, like the others in my AU Sampler.
Also, my thanks to Shatterstorm Productions for letting me crosspost this to Tumblr for Warehouse 13 AU Week!
"My name is Jane Vasco. I work for a secret government agency that hunts neuros - people who can do... dangerous things with their minds.
On my first assignment, something a little weird happened - okay, something really weird.
Until I get some answers, I'm getting on with my life: doing my job, stocking up on aspirin - because, I gotta tell ya, pain's a bitch…"
Jane Vasco, Painkiller Jane
The music was blaring at painfully loud levels before they ever even reached the club. Myka Bering was pretty sure that the club was violating multiple city ordinances, but noise violations didn't exactly fall within the DEA's purview.
Myka's partner Pete Lattimer looked over at her and grinned, bobbing his head a little to whatever it was the club DJ was currently playing. They'd been staking out the club almost every night for the last three weeks in hopes of getting a lead on whoever was supplying the new designer drug that had recently hit the area.
Tonight was the big night - the investigation had paid off in spades and they were ready to make the bust. Myka had hated every minute of it, though - the heavy makeup, the little black dresses, the heels that she only ever wore when there was no avoiding it - but didn't dare say so. Of course, she didn't have to.
"We had enough to bring these guys in after the first week, Mykes," Pete reminded her, reading her mind like always. He just grinned at her as she glared at him.
"No buy, no bust, Pete," she replied. At that precise moment, though, her unshakeable mantra for building a solid case was less about her work ethic and more about wanting to be done with the case for good - before it left her with a permanent limp.
Annoyance flickered across Myka's face as the bouncer paused to very obviously check her out - she would clearly have preferred being able to simply flash her badge and get them in minus the once-over - and Pete couldn't resist one last salvo before everything had to turn all business. "Gotta play by the rules, right?"
Once inside, it didn't take them long to spot their targets - a pair of nondescript thirty-something males with lightish hair and light eyes that blended seamlessly into the club crowd - and discreetly move close enough to both see and hear them.
It looked like they'd arrived just in time. The two dealers were being joined by a pair of dark-haired women who fairly screamed 'buyer' - or rather, buyer and bodyguard. Neither was dressed completely right for the club, though both were attractive enough - and well-dressed enough - that no one was going to hold it against them.
The potential buyer was a little older than her companion, and her expensive black leather somehow still seemed more like business wear than clubwear. That could also have just been her demeanor, though - she was definitely all business as she approached the dealers, barely seeming to notice the blaring music or the people dancing near her.
The bodyguard wasn't playing around, either - her messy hair and slightly rumpled suit were just a little too carefully done to be natural, and every step she took made it clear that she knew how to do her job. In fact, the only break in her demeanor was a fleeting yet appreciative smile as her dark eyes raked over Myka while checking the area for visible threats.
Myka smiled back before she could stop herself, an unexpected heat flooding her cheeks, but forced herself to focus again when she caught Pete's smirk. He continued smirking even as Myka rolled her eyes - fortunately, nothing about the exchange had damaged their cover as club regulars.
Both dealers stood as the two women finally got within speaking distance, and Pete and Myka snapped back into full agent mode. This bust could be much bigger than they'd anticipated, if the buyer had enough power to make the two men this cautious.
The lead dealer was the picture of respect as he addressed the buyer, though his grammar left a little to be desired. "I've got the samples. You bring the money?"
The woman signaled her bodyguard - the gesture easily disguised as a flirtatious toss of her dark curls - and the other woman stepped forward. A quick play of hands later - a mere handshake to a casual observer - and both drugs and money had been exchanged.
The buyer leaned over to murmur in her bodyguard's ear, English accent clear even in her brief, clipped command. "Be ready…"
That didn't bode well - neither did the sudden presence of a foreign national in their bust - and Pete and Myka immediately moved to wrap things up while everything was still going more or less according to plan. It took mere seconds after that for it to all go to hell.
The bodyguard - still holding the drugs - bolted as soon as she realized what was happening. That wouldn't have been surprising in the least, except that the buyer and the dealers all bolted in the opposite direction. Or rather, the dealers bolted and the buyer raced after them instead of her bodyguard for absolutely no discernable reason…
Myka went for the nearest target - and the fastest. The bodyguard wasn't quite fast enough, though - even in heels, Myka was right behind her, at least until the crowd got in the way. Ditching her heels, Myka hopped up onto the bar, pausing only to locate her quarry before racing down the long countertop after her.
The brief footrace was followed by a beautiful flying tackle that Pete would forever after lament missing, which ended with Myka pinning the bodyguard to the ground. Quickly snagging the woman's gun, Myka leveled it at her. "DEA. Don't move."
The bodyguard, seemingly unconcerned, just smirked at her. "Most women prefer that I do move, darling."
It figured that the woman was English as well - from London, unless Myka missed her guess - but Myka didn't really have time to dwell on it. As soon as another agent stepped in to secure the woman, Myka was back up on her feet and running for the private rooms at the back of the club, where the buyer and two dealers had been headed.
She assumed that Pete was right behind her, realizing that he wasn't only as she barreled into the room where the buyer and two dealers were apparently having some sort of confrontation instead of just running for it while the running was good. The buyer's accented voice was unmistakable, as was her tone. "You're not going anywhere!"
"DEA!" Myka shouted, moving forward into the room with her gun drawn, since it was too late to do anything else. "Hands in the air!"
"I said hands in the air!" Myka repeated when all three people simply stood there staring at her. "Hands up! Now!"
There was a sudden strange pressure in Myka's head as she stared back at them all, and she reflexively blinked to clear it. When she opened her eyes, the two dealers were gone - replaced by two exact duplicates of the buyer, who somehow looked more annoyed than anything else as she muttered to herself. "Bloody hell…"
"What the hell is this?" Myka demanded, setting her stance and aim so that she had a clear shot at all three copies of the buyer.
The copy of the buyer at the far right end - most likely the original of the buyer, for all the good that bit of deduction did Myka - raised her hands to show that she wasn't armed. "My name is Helen Magnus. I'm with British Intelligence, working on a joint task force with your government. We're on the same side."
Myka didn't bother responding, though her face clearly reflected her skepticism. The Magnus standing in the middle noted her expression and started trying to play on it - her voice was uncannily like the original, right down to the accent. "I'm sure we can work something out here…"
"Shut up," Myka ordered the duplicate Magnus. If the other two also chose to obey, so much the better.
The original Helen Magnus apparently didn't feel like cooperating. "The man beside me is producing a hallucination. You cannot trust what you are seeing."
The other duplicate - the one on the far left end, who had remained silent thus far - finally spoke up, also sounding exactly like the original. "What makes you think you can trust her, either?"
The original Magnus cut him off, full attention still focused on Myka. "The man next to me has a genetic mutation that allows him to-"
Myka cut her off. "Yeah, well, we've all got our problems."
Ignoring the interruption, the original Magnus continued on. "He's doing this confuse you, to gain time to make his escape."
The original Magnus' eyes shifted as she looked over to the person beside her, and a very real urgency filled her voice. "He has a weapon. He's going to kill you if he can't escape."
Both duplicates protested, but movement along the floor caught Myka's eye. The shadow of the middle duplicate was all wrong - it was moving when its owner clearly wasn't, and it was moving in a way that resembled nothing so much as someone pulling a gun from behind their back.
Myka didn't hesitate, firing several rounds into the duplicate's chest. Something shimmered as the body hit the floor, and the body's appearance faded back into the head dealer from earlier. She repeated the process when the second dealer shifted back into himself and raised his own weapon.
There was a long, tense moment while Myka made sure neither man was going to get back up, then Helen Magnus moved to pull something out of her coat. Not even about to take any chances, Myka leveled the gun at her. "Don't."
Magnus put both hands back in the air. "Easy, agent. I'm reaching for my credentials and my phone."
Pete and several other agents came barreling in, having finally caught up with Myka. They covered Magnus while Myka retrieved the offered credentials and phone from Magnus' coat - after a quick but thorough search to make sure any weapons were removed as well.
After Pete went to call everything in - at this point, there was nothing about the bust that didn't warrant an immediate phone call to their boss - Myka just stared at Magnus as if trying to solve an exceedingly difficult puzzle. "How did you know what that man was?"
Magnus simply smiled and countered with a question of her own. "How did you know I was telling the truth?"
Myka just shrugged. "His shadow was moving but he wasn't."
That earned another smile - this one strangely impressed and approving - from Magnus. "Clever girl…"
Myka ignored the comment. "Your turn. What the hell just happened here?"
It was apparently a question destined never to be answered. Within moments, the club had turned into an agency circus as the various teams necessary to deal with an agent-involved shooting descended on it and began their work.
It didn't take long at all for the preliminary declaration that Myka's shooting of the suspects was justified - no one had expected otherwise, and Myka wasn't especially worried about the rest of the investigation. She was, however, still very much wanting an explanation from Helen Magnus.
Multiple phone calls later, Myka had confirmed that Helen Magnus was in fact the head of a special joint task force - Agent Helena Wells, the woman Myka had tackled to the ground, was her second-in-command. She had also been advised point blank that she herself was not cleared to know anything else about that task force.
It galled her to hand Magnus back her badge with no real answers, but she didn't have much choice. "My superiors cleared you, but they won't tell me anything about this task force you say you're on."
"They probably don't know anything themselves," Magnus replied with a smirk. Tucking her badge back into her coat, she looked back up at Myka. "Why did you come after us, Agent Bering?"
"We were making a bust, and you were posing as buyers," Myka said with a shrug. "What else were we supposed to do?"
Agent Wells walked up just then, clearly wanting Magnus' attention. Magnus just smiled at Myka again, though this time there was something like regret behind it. "I know you have questions, Agent Bering, but I'm afraid you'll have to be content with a simple thank you."
Before Myka could respond, Magnus left to join Agent Wells. Neither of them knew about Myka's excellent hearing and didn't move far enough away to compensate for it. She heard Agent Wells loud and clear as the other women reported in. "The neuro has been chipped and contained."
Magnus just nodded, glancing over at Myka as if somehow finally realizing she could hear them. "Good work, Helena."
Pete, finally released from the latest round of questioning, came and stood by his partner. Myka didn't even look over at him, instead continuing to watch Magnus and Wells, who had since lowered their voices. "Pete, have you ever heard of something called a neuro?"
Pete blinked in complete and unfeigned incomprehension. "What's a neuro?"
Myka shook her head. "Never mind. Probably just something else we don't have clearance to know."
Despite her initial resolve to just let it go, all of the unanswered questions proved impossible to ignore - not even the predictable post-stress reactions to the shooting were enough to completely distract her. If anything, those reactions only sharpened her resolve to know exactly what she'd stumbled into.
She got to work early the next morning, having already worked out the best possible methods to dig for her answers. Four days later, she woke up in the morgue after being shoved out a 46th floor window.