Disclaimer: They aren't mine.
Authors Note: I know I haven't finished One Big Family the next chapter on that is almost done. (things are getting fun;) Anyway this idea hit over the head and I had to write it. Can't tell how long its going to be. Can't tell where its going.
but hope you like anyway....
"What did you say?" he asked her calmly. What he'd heard couldn't possibly be what she'd said. They were in their bedroom, together and sober for the first time in a four months. She'd been released from rehab just three days ago but had decided to stop by at her mom's for a few days first.
He'd been fine with that. Her mom deserved to see that she was better as much as he did.
He watched her, watched her take a deep breath as if she were headed for the gallows and felt a chill creep up his spine.
She couldn't have said what he thought she'd said....
"I said... " she started slowly, "I said I want a divorce." her voice was soft but firm and her eyes steady as she tore their world apart.
He stood slowly from the bed, "you can't be serious..." he said just as softly. The chill spreading throughout his body.
Looking into her steady blue eyes though, he knew, she was.
"Its for the best..."
"For the best?" he questioned before she could finish. "No, no...You're better, honey, things will be okay. You've gotten well, now, we can...."
"...can get a divorce." she cut him off saying.
"No. We can be happy." he said firmly, still quietly.
They were facing each other. Neither one yelling, neither one touching. Long ago they'd realized that yelling, led to cursing and that led no where. They'd realized touching led to sex and that too led no where.
"We need a divorce." she repeated.
He shook his breaking eye contact with her, then looked back up abruptly, "Did you take something?" he asked sharply.
"no." she answered calmly. And he knew it was true, if she had she would have become defensive at the question.
"I've just been thinking..." she continued, "we... we need to end this." she walked around him and sat on the bed. Leaving him standing there, staring at the window. Not out the window but at it.
"We need to end this." she repeated softly after a moment. Almost as if she were trying to convince herself. But her voice was no less firm, no less quiet. She knew what she had to do and she'd do it.
"Need to end what?" he asked after a moment and turning went and kneeled before, so their eyes were level. "Our life together... Its just going to begin now, baby. Now is when we can start again. Now that you're better...."
Gently, she took his face in her hands. His precious face, and placed a gentle kiss on his lips, silencing him.
He knew then, when he felt her warm lips touch his, that it was over, that she was serious. Looking into those blue eyes he found a gentleness in them, a brilliance that he hadn't seen in almost four years. The girl in front of him was the one he'd fallen in love with, the one who'd saved him, the one who'd disappeared.
"Listen to me Dominic." she said tenderly. Her eyes begging him to obey.
"Now that I'm better..." she said picking up where she'd cut him off. "we need to get a divorce."
He opened his mouth to argue but she slip her finger over it. "We need too."
Shaking his head, he pulled away from her and stood. He wasn't going to let her go. He couldn't, he knew if she left she'd never come back and he.... he couldn't lose her. Not after everything. She had a responsibility to him, and he'd fight for her to live up to it. There was too much at stake here.
"No. " he said firmly, "We don't...I love you." he added quietly. His eyes intense.
She looked up at him and smiled slightly, her eyes beginning to shimmer with unshed tears. "I know you do. And you know that I love you...."
"right so that's it. That's all that's important. You're better now, Kara. We can have a life, we can ..."
"Love is a strange thing, Dominic." she interrupted softly. Not looking at him but straight ahead, "Very strange. It was love that drew you to me, remember...."
"That was a long time ago."
"Do you remember." she asked again.
He sighed turning away from her, "yes." he whispered. "I remember."
She nodded, "You heart was broken." she stated.
He turned back to her, kneeled before again and waited for her to focus her eyes on him. "Yes it was. But I mended it and then gave it to you." He said gently.
She reached out and caressed his face, "yes you did give it to me. And I took it, didn't I? Eagerly too. I loved you so much. We were happy weren't we Dominic? Even a for a short time, we were happy, right?" she asked him, in need of reassurance that he too had been happy then.
"Yes, and now we can be happy again. We can raise our son, together. Be a family, Kara. We have that chance again."
"You gave me your heart..." she repeated as if he hadn't spoken, her eyes focused on some distant object no one but her could see.
After a moment though her eyes sharpened and she looked into Dom's dark gaze.
"But she kept your soul, Dominic." she whispered gently.
Her gaze was not accusing or angry but rather confident. Like she was 100% positive about what she was saying.
"You gave me your heart but she kept you soul." she repeated gently.
He pulled back quickly, "What!" his voice was startled but also defensive with a touch of anger. And it served to confirm her beliefs.
He opened his mouth to refute that but she stopped him.
"No listen to me. Because when I'm through I'm leaving." her eyes told him she was not joking,
Taking a deep breath she said softly, "I know you love me, I know you love me because I saved you, as you put it. I know you love me because I'm the mother of your son. I know you love me because I sing show tunes and put peanut butter on my Oreos. I know I have your heart. The thing is Dominic, its not enough."
"I said listen." she answered sharply. "Even from the beginning I noticed. I lied to myself, though, told myself she was part of your past and I was your future, that you were mine now. Convinced myself that I had your heart, Funny thing is, I was right, I did. I do. Even funnier though, is that I thought that was it. That you were all mine."
"Kara I don't know what your talking about. What is this? This whole thing is ridiculous." He said frustrated when she paused. Standing he paced back and forth a moment. "Your talking about things that happened years ago. I haven't seen or talked to her in almost FIVE years, Kara! I haven't seen any of them in five years!..." his voice was rising as he continued to pace, "This is ridiculous! You want to get a divorce over something that ended before you and I even met. I hardly remember what she looks like anymore...."
"You call out her name when we make love, Dominic. Always have." she said almost inaudible. And he stopped dead in his tracks. Turning wide eyes to her.
She met his gaze, "that's why it hurts so much." she whispered almost as if, if she spoke any louder she wouldn't be able to stop the tears.
"Because you do it when we make love. Not when we have sex. Only when we make love."
He couldn't move, couldn't say a word. What he would he say? what defense could he possibly come up with?
"I can't even be angry with you, Its sub-conscience, not like you can help it." she spoke softly as if to herself.
"I spoke to your sister about a week ago." she said. She wasn't looking at him anymore. More like past him.
Dom had the feeling of this whole thing being unreal. None of this could real. It was a dream, a hallucination, maybe he'd accidentally run across one of her secret stores of something and drunk it thinking it was aspirin or something... It couldn't be real...
"Funny after being married for four years, after all we've been through I'd never spoken to your sister until then."
She paused. He just stared at her. His entire mind and body numb, you call out her name, ringing through his head.
"I asked her who she was. She said my best friend, I said, and, she said, she grew up two houses down from us, I said and, she said she used to work at the garage, I said, and, She said she used to be Dom's girlfriend. I said what happened. She told me."
She paused again and found Dom's gaze with her own. "She told me." she repeated.
He looked at her and felt his heart tear. She was going to leave. As sure as he was standing here in sweat pants and a tee shirt, she was going to leave.
She stood from the bed. And that one action roused him from his stupor.
"Don't do this Kara." he pleaded.
She headed for the closet opened it and pulled out a bag.
"Is that a suit case..." Dom said taking steps forward, his mouth agape at how developed her plans were.
"Actually it's a duffle bag but...." she responded lightly, smirking at him. She let the sentence hang and he glared at her.
"Kara think about this...."
"I have." she said and handed him a folder.
In it was a plane ticket to Quebec, Canada. The plane left in five hours.
"I'm going to visit with my grandparents for a while. See what happens from there."
He looked up at her and couldn't stop the betrayed look that invaded his face, "While I spent the entire week planning our new lives together, you spent it planning our divorce." he said softly.
And her heart broke a little more. "Don't make this harder Dominic." she said almost irritated, why couldn't he see how much for the best this was?
"What about Taylor? How does he fit into your plans? huh? what about your son?! Our Son!"
She shook her head, her blond curls bouncing, "He's your son. I was just the incubator.... as you so rightly pointed out." her voice was stiff as she ended the comment. Her eyes averted.
His barb yelled in a moment of rage had drawn blood.
He had the courtesy to wince a little, "I shouldn't have said that." he replied honestly. "I didn't mean it. You're his mother. He needs you."
"No Dominic he doesn't. I'm not cut out to be a mother. It doesn't come to me. I love the boy, god how I love him...." she said turning away and heading for the dresser. Her voice wavered a little but she continued. "...but I just don't know how. And don't tell me I can learn..." she cut him off when he opened his mouth. "Because by the time I do, I'll have ruined his life. I love him enough to know that the best thing for him would be for me to leave." She opened a drawer and pulled out a long thin envelope. "...the best thing for him...." she continued turning and handing him the envelope. "....is for you to take him home."
Inside Dom found two tickets to Los Angeles, California. The plane left tomorrow at five PM.
"Where did you get the money for this?" he asked quietly. Not knowing what else to say.
"My mother." she replied softly. Watching his reaction, watching as he studied the names and dates, watching as he realized how serious she was. "Take him to your home Dominic." she told him as gently as she could, "...Surround him with your family. Teach him how to love and laugh, how to race and put an engine together. Give him the life you had..... The life he deserves." a single tear slipped from her eyes.
The first one she'd cried since realizing that her relationship with Dominic had come to an end. The first one since realizing that she'd never be able to take Taylor from him. Since realizing that she wouldn't see her son grow up.
She wiped it away quickly and reached for the bag she'd dropped.
"Kara don't do this." he said quietly again. His eyes tear filled, watching as she head for the door. She was only a few feet away but never had the phrase so close yet so far been more accurate. An abyss separated them, but he had to try. "We have a chance here. Don't throw it away. We can be happy."
She nodded, "Yeah we can be." she said softly, meeting his eyes. "We will be." she added firmly, "...just not together."
"There's a letter in there for Taylor, when he's ready." she continued. "If he ever asks, tell him that...." more tears, more quickly fell now. She couldn't stop them. The man in front of her was blurred by them, the room became a shimmering cave with them, "...tell him that.... the greatest proof I have of my love for him, for you Dominic, is that I let you both go. I let you go." she whispered.
Turning, she opened the door and said more firmly, fighting for control, "I'll send the divorce and custody papers. You'll just have to sign them." Turning for one last look. She studied him. The broad shoulders she'd cried on, the muscular arms that had held her close, the eyes that had captivated her. Those dark eyes begging her not leave, refusing to accept this.
She remembered, their laughter and tears.
His pain, her pain. Their son.
And she knew this was for the best.
Someday he'd thank her.
"Its for the best." she whispered. "Bye Dom."
And she slipped out the door. Wishing, Hoping, Praying that it really was for the best.
The door shut.
He could go after her, beg her to stay. Call her mother ask her to make her stay, follow her, call the police and claim she was unable to make decisions for herself.
He could stop her. He had ways.
You call out her name when we make love, the words flowed through him again. And he sat numbly on the bed. Holding the plane tickets.
How could this happen? he thought.
Trying to work up some reaction. To fight off the surge of apathy, of coldness that had invaded his body.
For years they teeter on the edge of separation, on the edge of ending things but manage to pull through. Then when things finally begin to calm down, when their lives once again offer the hope of a semblance of normality she wants a divorce.
He shook his head. A divorce. That meant life without Kara...
A sound akin to a moan escaped unnoticed from his lips.
Life without Kara....
Without her voice, her laughter, her shining blue eyes.
True, those things had been missing for awhile. True, that he'd had life without her for the past four months but then... at least then he'd had hope.
He'd met Kara Peters almost five years ago. He'd been driving from LA to New York. Or as Mia had put it... running from LA to New York.
He'd been running from LA's racing scene, from Jesse's death, from Mia's marriage, from Letty....
You call out her name when we make love....
He sighed running a hand over his bald head, leaning it into his hands. He could use a beer right now... but there weren't any in the house. No drugs of any kind in the house, only a few single packets of Tylenol.
He'd cheated on her as usual. Only difference was this time Letty had known the girl. Had liked the girl, considered her a friend.
They'd argued as usual. Only difference was this time Letty had cried.
He'd left as usual, slamming the door as usual. Only difference was this time when he'd come home she was fucking one of his new mechanics on their bed.
It startled him now, how clearly he could remember the hate in her eyes, the anger, the fury. She'd wanted to hurt him, to make him bleed, to destroy him.
Had chosen to dethrone him, so to speak.
And he'd reacted in kind. He'd said things he shouldn't have and she'd said things that had shattered his heart.
She'd said she hated him, that he was a murderer. She'd said Jesse's blood was on his hands, she'd echoed his thoughts.
That night they'd done what for other people to do would have been impossible, that night they broke each other.
In the morning she was gone. By the afternoon he was gone.
He drove like he wanted to die. And he did. Six months he meandered the states from California to New York. Taking back roads, staying in holes that claimed to be motel, eating at places that claimed to be diners.
It was at a gas station in New Jersey that he'd met her. Golden hair to her waist, big, blue eyes shimmering with life, a smile full of hope. She'd made him smirk. And that in itself was a feat.
He'd stopped in the town after getting gas. Made up some lame reason and rented a room. Found the girl. Talked to the girl.
She'd been full of life and that had soothed him. She'd had big dreams and that had amused him. She took him to the shore, so they could play. She made him cookies and sang in the rain. She liked to dance and draw cartoon characters. She was child and woman all wrapped in one. Delicate and fiery she'd captivated him, made him forget...
And without noticing it, a year went by and he was happy. A year without Mia or the Guys or Letty.... yet he was happy.
Mia called his cell sometimes but he didn't pick up most times, so the calls became fewer and father between,
She left him a voicemail that said she was pregnant.
Another that said she'd had twin girls :
--Jessica Antonia O'Connor known as Jessa.
--Dominique Leticia O'Connor know as Dolly.
It had irked him that she'd taken him and Letty and squished them together in one like that.
But he hadn't returned either call. He'd been happy. Kara had made him happy. She'd pulled him back from the edge with her laugh and her zeal for everything.
Then it had happened.
She'd gotten pregnant.
He saw now that it was the beginning of the end.
She hadn't wanted to keep the baby. Had only told him because she told him everything. Hadn't planned on being a mother..... ever.... let alone at twenty-one. She had to live, she'd said.
He'd offered to marry her. Had offered to give her, her dream of New York City. Had told her the baby deserved to live too.
She'd loved him.
She'd married him. Moved to NYC. Had kept the baby.
It was a mistake. The pregnancy was terrible. She was sick in the beginning --throwing up and dizzy spells.
Then she developed a condition. The doctor insisted on complete bed rest.
He'd tried to make things easier for her but it was hard. He'd bought a garage and had to make that work.
Not that it mattered, whether he was there or not. She was miserable. Would hardly eat, hardly to talk to him. She was furious with him for making her keep the baby.
Every ache, pain, discomfort she blamed on him. Gone was the fun, amazing, down-to-earth, gorgeous woman he'd met in her place was a whining, sniveling, foul-mouthed shrew.
But still he never yelled, never so much as sounded irritated towards her. Not to Kara. Not to his wife. To the mother of his child.
A healthy boy was born. Taylor Dominic Torreto. He'd let her pick out the first name. She'd said her fathers. It was the only interest she took in the baby for the first year and a half of its life.
The doctors said it was a severe case of Post-Partum Depression. Therapist and Psychologist were called in. Medications and techniques suggested. Still nothing. She was like in a different world and nothing could draw her out. She'd sit by the window for hours and hours, staring at nothing.
The weight dropped off her. She chopped off her hair. And nothing this side of torture could persuade her to take her son in her arms.
She didn't want him.
So Dom learned how to be a father on his own. He changed diapers and made bottles and bought formula and laced tiny sneakers. He was up at three AM, he paced the floor with the first fever, he interrogated the first day care center.
He called Mia. Told her he was married. He had a son.
Then hung up. He'd just needed to hear her voice.
Then all of a sudden things seemed better. The doctor had been forcing Kara to go out and all of a sudden she was taking in an interest in that.
All of a sudden she wanted to play with Tay.
Dom was so thrilled, so hopeful he would've given her the world. Anything to get her back.
When she asked for some money he gave it willingly. The garage was thriving, of course with his expertise. He didn't mind, gave her anything she wanted as long as she smiled.
It was until just after Taylor's second birthday a couple of months later that he'd noticed she wasn't filling out like the doctors said she would. She was jittery and nervous, her hands shook constantly. Every little noise made her jump.
It hadn't taken him long to figure it out. He' d called her on it.
She'd denied it.
Said he was wrong.
Time would show that she'd first been addicted to the meds the doctors gave her but those weren't so easy to get, so then on the streets she'd had found the joys of weed, then cocaine.
He'd demanded she go into Rehab. She said no. Who would watch Tay?
By now she was close to him. Loved him. She'd taught him how to count and the ABC's. The colors and days of the week. How to roll the weed perfectly and how to pack a bong.
Dom was beyond furious. Taylor was just about to turn three. She promised she'd attend the out patient programs at the hospital. She'd get better. She'd go to all the meetings.
Tay's third birthday went and passed and she continued her addictions. Her son knew but it was their little secret.
Then one day she slightly overdosed and fell into a slight coma. While Taylor was home.
He was alone and decided to slide down the banister now that no one was available to tell him no.
He fell and broke his arm.
He cried and tried to wake his mother but she didn't stir. Dom came home three hours later to an unconscious wife and a whimpering son. The boys arm was three sizes too large.
It was the wake up call. Kara willingly admitted herself to a rehabilitation clinic.
That had been four months ago. In two months Taylor would be four.
Take him to your home Dominic...Surround him with your family.
Her words filled his mind.
Taylor deserved family. He deserved to be squashed by one of Mia's hugs, to be thrown in the air by Vince, to be tickled by Leon. He deserved to play with cousins and run around in shorts all year long.
Taylor needed that.
Hell, he need that. He needed to be home.
"Daddy...." the voice cut into his thoughts. And he lifted his head, feeling a crimp in his neck. How long had he been like that? It felt a like a moment.
A glance around the now darkened room told him otherwise.
"yeah buddy I'm here. Come on in"
"Why's it dark?" he said quietly. Everything his son said was quiet.
Taylor was very serious. About everything.
Teach him how to laugh....
"I was just thinkin buddy, that's all go ahead and turn a lamp on."
Light invaded the room to reveal a miniature of Dominic.
"Mom here?" he asked. Standing in front of his father.
Kara hadn't even seen him before she left. He shook his head, how could she leave like this?
"Come here Tay." he said and pulled him onto the bed.
Taking a deep breath he said gently, "Mom isn't going to... she isn't going to be here anymore Tay."
"oh... where she be?" he asked.
"She'll be with her grandparents in Canada." he answered truthfully. Thankful that at least he knew this much.
"Tay...." he started glancing at the plane tickets.
Surround him with family.....
"You and me we're going to.... we're going to go visit your Aunt in LA, alright?" he said.
The little boy tilted his head to the side, "no mommy?" he asked.
"No, son, no mommy." Dom confirmed. He knew he hadn't actually told his son that his mother wouldn't be back yet but this was the best he could do.
He shrugged, "Kay. Whens?"
"Kay. She nice?" he asked. His dark eyes inquisitive.
Dom smiled, the ability of the child to take things so in stride still amazed him.
For the next hour he told his son all about his Aunt Mia and Uncle Brian and cousins --Jessa and Dolly. All about Uncle Vince and Uncle Leon. All about LA and Air planes. Taylor fell asleep to the sound of his fathers deep voice explaining what the races were like.
It was early but Dom didn't feel like getting up from the bed. Didn't feel like dealing with the reality of what up and leaving meant. Didn't want to the call the garage or even Mia. He'd surprise her, he thought.
All he wanted to do was lie here with his son and let the tears fall for the life that had been so close but was lost.
He'd go home tomorrow. New York had been good to him. LA was home, though. He run far enough, long enough. He'd take Taylor to meet his family. Then he'd go to Quebec. Kara was the mother of his son. His wife. And he'd be damned if he was going to let her go so easily.
Slowly, sleep enveloped him too. It came in visions of his sister in the kitchen, of the boys at the garage, of barbecues and water fights. It came in visions of home.
On the edge of consciousness, between dreams and reality another vision.
Dark hair, brilliant smile, sharp eyes, husky laughter....
You call out her name when we make love....