I'm cheating by cutting up my sedoretu fic and posting bits of it every day. I am hoping that this will mean that I will actually finish it and not spend all day collecting cubes (Fez is super distracting!).
Also, please leave me prompts for other things I can work on!
Thing is, Dom hasn't ever been the marrying type.
That's been true since the first day his Ma sat him down and explained that a real man stays grounded, that he has responsibilities to his family, that a real man works with his husband to make sure their wives are taken care of, that a real man makes sure there's always food on the table and money in the bank.
That life just ain't Dom's.
It's not what most people think. Dom's never backed down from responsibility, and his family always come first in his mind. But he's seen how quickly it can all fall apart. He watched his father burn. He went inside. He saw the way the rest their marriage, Ma and his Evening mother, his Morning father dissolve slowly into misery, drifting apart until there was only three of them left, him and Mia and Ma.
Dom never wants to do that to anyone again, not the people he loves, and Dom is restless. Jesse once said that sharks couldn't stop swimming or else they'd die. Something about water and gills and oxygen that Dom never paid much attention to, but he likes the image of himself like that, can't ever slow down, can't ever stop.
Letty's not so different, he thinks. That's why they're in this together, always in motion, always planning the next job, the next race. Dom knows she spends time in Mia's bed, but that doesn't mean anything long term, that doesn't mean marriage for any of them. Mia says they talk about things, girl things, and she smiles that mysterious pre-med smile of hers, and Dom doesn't have anything to say to that.
For a while, it's easy.
Lazy Sundays between jobs, just him and Letty in the garage. Kicking their feet up on Dom's old couch in the corner, scent of motor oil in the air. The afternoon sun hanging low in the sky, gold and orange through the thick LA smog.
"Come on," Letty says. "Tell me who you'd want." She's wearing that grin of hers, all white teeth, a shark's grin if Dom ever saw one. It's a game they play sometimes, imagining that they'd been different people, easier people. The kind that can settle down, get married, pop out a few kids.
Dom's slept with boys before, of course, the Evening boys who follow the races and like to feel up his car afterwards, when the metal is still warm to the touch. Dom likes the way their eyes go round, the way their breath comes short when they run their fingers over the detailing, because Dom understands allure of it. Speed is the sweetest drug.
None of them are good enough for Mia, though. No point in letting any of them get close. No point in letting any of them stick around.
A lock of hair falls in front of her eyes. Dom pushes it back, tucks it behind an ear the way she likes. "Don't need anyone else."
Letty barks out a laugh. "You known Vince has been looking," she says.
"Vince's always been looking," Dom says. Fifth grade, Vince made Mia a Valentine's Day Card out of crayons and construction paper, and he'd asked Dom to give it to her with nervous, shaky fingers.
"Not just Mia's he's been looking at," Letty murmurs. Her smile gets wider, sharper, makes Dom's blood burn the way she always does. But it doesn't matter. Vince is not an option. Never was. Never will be. They're brothers, but not in this.
Dom pulls her close, kisses her to shut her up, feels the way she melts underneath his hands. Dom loves it when she's the baddest bitch around, the way she'd put you in the ground before she'd take your shit, but he loves her like this, too. Pliant and warm, sweetly giving.
She laughs as he flips them over, and then Dom's kissing her quiet again, smiling against her lips.
Dom doesn't think much of Spilner when he starts sniffing around the shop. He shows up every day, like clockwork. Tuna sandwich and puppy dog smile, grinning at Mia like he even deserves the time of day from her, much less the annoyed roll of her eyes and the twitch of a smile she can't hide.
Dom can see he's pretty, the way Mia likes them. He's looks more like a surfer, all blonde-haired, blue-eyed, than a racer, than a guy who craves the taste of the quarter mile. But Dom knows the way he looks at cars, Dom's cars. Dom knows what he wants, but he's just a punk wanting what he hasn't earned.
Dom's met more than his fair share of kids like that. The kind that swaggers in and puts on a shit-eating grin and gives no fucks about respect or hard work or anything else that would make him worth Dom's attention. Brian's no different. Nothing special. Nothing new.
But maybe Dom's wrong about that. He's been wrong before.
"You should give him a chance," Mia says, humming to herself as she fills the pot with water underneath their crappy faucet. The water pressure is awful, and it's always going to be until Dom can find the money to get a new pump. Mia nudges him aside with an elbow, shooting him an annoyed glare when he doesn't move fast enough. The kitchen is still Mia's domain. Their entire home is, really. Dom's no good at staying away from the garage, and it's up to Mia to make sure that the rent gets paid and the house doesn't collapse down around their ears.
"And I'm giving him one," he grumbles. "Almost more than he deserves." Spilner's been working off his debt in the garage, smirking and laughing with Leon and Jesse, staring at Mia's ass like he isn't being obvious. Vince is spitting mad about it, of course, but since when isn't Vince spitting mad? Mia shoves the pot into Dom's hands, and he puts it on the stove, turning the burner up to high.
"He's nice," Mia says, swatting Dom's arm. "I like him. A lot more than most of the guys you bring around." She grins at him, looking all of about ten years old again, sweet and sunny and smug about getting one over her brother. Dom's been watching over Mia for a while, but they've never argued about boys before. Girls, sometimes, but boys are usually a safer subject.
"He's young, and he's stupid," Dom says.
Mia laughs. "He'll grow out of it," she says. She glances out the window towards the backyard where the guys and Letty are goofing around in the hazy late-afternoon sunshine. Leon's got Spilner in a headlock as Jesse cheers them on and Letty rolls her eyes over a smirk. Vince scowls in the corner. They haven't broken anything yet, but it's probably just a matter of time.
"Probably won't," Dom says.
Still, it's hard not to like the kid, just a little. He's good to Jesse and Mia, and he works hard, eager to please. Dom can respect that. He always has before.
"Shit, Dom," Brian says when Dom tells him about Linder. His expression is wide and startled, like he doesn't know what to say. In the shadowed light of the garage, his eyes look gray, so pale they're almost white.
Dom shrugs. "Ancient history." He's over it now.
"Dom--" Brian says. He reaches out, a hand covered in oil and grease, before pulling back, flinching like he's been burned. He blushes. Not much, but it's there. Dom knows exactly what it means, because he's seen it before. Brian's not so different than some of the other boys Dom's fucked, a pretty speed junkie with more balls than sense.
Dom imagines shutting the garage door, so that they're left in the shuttered darkness of the garage, leaving only small patches of light through the upper windows. He imagines grabbing Brian up by his shirt, dragging him close, imagines kissing him in the old, dusty air, surrounded by the things his father left behind.
He takes a deep breath, and Brian steps back, and Dom can't take any of it anymore. It's bullshit. It's all bullshit. He turns away and walks out of the garage, back out into the afternoon sunshine. Mia's got the time. She can let herself be distracted. All Dom's got is the next quarter mile and the quarter mile after that.
"Mia's sweet on him," Letty says, the next time they have a free moment together. She's resting her head on Dom's chest, twisting absent patterns in the sheets.
"Yeah," Dom says, "seems like." He runs a hand through her hair. It's stiff with sweat, tangled and messy after a long day hard at work on her Nissan. He presses a kiss to the top of her head. He likes her best like this, rough and raw and relaxed, more like herself than she is any other place besides behind a wheel.
"You're sweet on him, too," Letty says.
Dom tenses, knowing that Letty can feel it. "It's not like that," he says.
Letty rolls her eyes. "Just invite him to Race Wars," she says. "Let him prove his chops." Her smile is lazy, unconcerned.
She sits up, rolling her shoulders, and Dom watches her. It's hard to believe there was a time when he didn't notice her trailing after him and the other boys, eager to prove herself. "You trying to say something here?" Dom asks.
"If," Letty says, raising her eyebrows, even though it's stupid, even though it's never going to happen, "if we could, would it be him?"
Dom closes his eyes and doesn't say anything. There's nothing he wants to say.
He invites Brian out to Race Wars next to the beach. They sit under the bright midday sun at Dom's favorite roadside shack. The fries are crap, but the burgers are good.
There's something about LA that crawls under Dom's skin, the sun and the surf and the bitter aftertaste of the humidity on his tongue. The heat of the pavement underneath the squeal of his car tires. The blur of the street lights as Dom hits the gas, shifting gears. The shout of the crowd as he crosses that final line.
He won't get to keep it, though. Nothing's built to last, not in Dom's game, but this is still home for him, for a while.
Brian smiles at him from across the table, all blonde hair and pearly white teeth, a California boy if Dom ever saw one. A few passing girls flutter their fingers at the pair of them as they walk by -- in packs of twos, Evening and Morning, probably imagining him and Brian as their future husbands.
Not going to happen anytime soon, but Brian raises his eyebrows at them, flirty, like they even have a chance. Dom clears his throat. "What's that all about?" he asks.
"Nothing, man," Brian says with a non-committal half-shrug. His slips pull into a small, sly smile. "Just, thanks for this. It's a big deal."
Dom stares at him, steady and level, and Brian puffs up under the attention, shoulders going back, head going up. A puppy eager for praise and physical affection. Dom feels old, all of a sudden. "Prove you can do this," Dom says, "and you've got nothing to thank me for."
But maybe it's not that easy. They do another job to help Jesse out, and it goes bad real fast. Vince gets hurt. Mia gets involved. They find out that Brian's a fucking cop.
"No more running," Brian yells in front of Dom's (Dom's) house, and it's bullshit, like everything else that comes out of his mouth. It's too much, too fast, everything spinning out of control like a bad turn. Brian's eyes are clear, angry, desperate. Like he gives a fuck about any of them, like maybe he gives a fuck about what happens to Dom.
But it's not true, and Dom's got bigger things to worry about than just another cop who thinks he knows shit about Dom's life and Dom's choices. Jesse. Jesse and Johnny Tran.
It's over fast, both of them, and all of a sudden they're things Dom won't have to worry about anymore. Brian turns over his Supra, his ten second car, handing over the keys like it's nothing.
They stand for a moment like that, the smell of the burning Charger lingering on behind them, but Dom didn't get to where he is by refusing to take chances. The keys feel lighter than they should be, an unfamiliar weight.
Brian doesn't say anything. Dom doesn't ask any questions. There are sirens in the distance, coming closer.
Dom puts LA in his rearview mirror. He doesn't look back.
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