Authors Notes: Before you go on, I'd like to give out a warning. If you hate fluff, puke on fluff, and flame fluff…don't read this. I mean it.
This chapter is sort of a transitional point to the sequel. Yes, there will be a sequel, and this chapter more or less sets the tone on what the next one is going to be.
If you hate fluff, you can skip this and still move on to the sequel. I can assure you that this is the fluffiest I will ever get. It's just…I couldn't resist it! The idea lived inside my head until I found a way to make it work. (which I hope it did)
The idea for the sequel came up way back in chapter five and six, when I remembered how Letty looked at Dom when she was sitting at the back of that Civic as Dom told her that everything was gonna be okay and that he loved her. She looked so pissed that I just knew that they couldn't get back together that fast without a major overhaul.
Which is why some of the chapters don't make any sense to some people: Brian and Leon, Mia and even Letty's father…besides being a backgrounder for this fic, it was a set-up for the next fic.
Sorry, no Jim for the next one. It focuses mainly on how Dom and Letty learn to live their lives apart, and how much they change as they grow up.
So if you think that this one is perfect, then you can stop. Thanks for liking this fic and taking a chance at a crossover.
But if you feel like going for another ride, then go right ahead. Next one's about to begin.
"Is this the last one?"
I tripped over a box and landed right next to Dom's feet. I hear several chuckles as I get up, trying to decide whether or not to pretend that nothing happened…
"Damn" I mutter, ignoring Dom's hand and getting up "That's definitely not my style"
"No it's not, but we love you anyway." Mia smirked as she walked past me. "Even if we think you're nuts for doing this."
I roll my eyes. "Mia--"
"What? I'm not saying anything. Just pointing out the fact that you're giving up my home cooked meal for what you can scrape off from that teeny kitchen."
The rest of us just laugh.
I have to admit, one of the hardest parts of moving out was the idea of giving up Mia's cooking…which is why I decided to move just a few minutes from home…well, maybe around 20 minutes, which is far enough by the team's standards but close enough to Mia's kitchen for my stomachs convenience.
"Hey, I can cook" I chortle, earning more laughs
"Yeah right" she replied dourly "Well, don't let your pride get in the way of my dinner table. Feel free to crawl back for a meal when you're dying of hunger."
I give her a look.
You know, I don't think I've ever smacked Mia, even when we were kids. With the guys, I'm used to a little rough housing, but I don't think anyone's ever included Mia.
Somehow, she was always our little princess. The one we all fawned over and sheltered…up to the point of exclusion.
Well, that's gonna have to change.
"Ha-ha" I mutter dourly, giving her a hard poke in the ribs
She looks back up in surprise.
I mean, it's not like a bitch slap, it's nowhere near what I give to the guys but…I guess it's a start.
"Letty" she smiles, but her eyes start to get watery again…
"Mia--" I warn, but it's useless.
Seconds later I'm caught in a chokehold of arms and tears.
Damn, the girl can hug.
"I'll miss you, Letty" she whispers, tightening her grip
And damn, if that doesn't make me wanna cry too. I've never been away from the fort…at least not under normal conditions.
Apart from that time with Jim, I've never once been away from home…Never done anything completely on my own, made my own decisions.
I felt like a bird jumping out of the nest. The idea of flying is exciting…but right before take off, I'm sure that little bird just like me in that I'm fucking terrified.
"Hey, you'll still see me during dinner" I say, my voice wavering "I can't do all that shit you do, even if you did leave me your recipe book"
"Yeah, well make sure you use it" she sniffles "But just in case, I made you a weeks worth of dinners, it's frozen in the fridge"
We laugh through snot and watery eyes until the guys start making disgusting noises and Brian finally steps in.
"Okay, okay, break it up you two" he says "Jeez Mia, you're acting like she's moving out to Miami for chrissake"
"I give it 'til March" V snorts
Leon grunts. "Hey, give the girl a chance"
I wipe at my eyes and smile at Leon…
"Make it until, September or something"
Stupid fucking ass… "Thanks a lot Leon. If you'd like to know, I actually signed a 12 month lease"
"Holy shit, a year?!" Leon whistles "How long do you think it'll take til you break it?"
I punch his arm as Vince shakes his head "I give it six months, that way you can recover some of the deposit"
"Eight months" Leon says "I'm even willing to put some money on that"
"You're on!" V yells "Two hundred"
I cannot fucking believe this…
"What the—this gambling thing, did it come with your fucking tans from Mexico?"
Before either of them can reply, Brian actually pulls out a wad of bills and hands it to LEON.
"Buy me in" he says, then smiles at me "I say a year. I think our baby girl will make the whole nine yards."
I give him a grin. "Thanks, bro"
"Hey, I have faith in you" he says "Besides, I know how much money you'll lose if you break the fucking lease, so I know you'll rather starve to death than—oww!"
He rubs his shoulder and gives me this mocking glare.
Everyone is kinda laughing, and I'm just…
Fuck, I'll miss these guys. I know it's just half an hour, but still…they're family. I'll miss getting up and seeing them, and being able to go to work and then coming home with them. This feeling of support that I get just by being near them…
I hear a light crash as Dom deposits three boxes on the floor, all marked for my bedroom and my new closet…holy shit.
I have a fucking closet, in my fucking bedroom, in my own fuck-ass apartment.
"Those" Dom huffs, wiping his forehead "Were definitely the last ones."
Everything's done. I'm all moved in. I just have to unpack a few boxes, shove some clothes in my closet and some stuff in my cupboard and I'm all set.
I take a deep breath and look around. Everyone except for Dom has this weird, tight look on their faces, like they're lost and don't fucking know what to do.
"I guess that's it" I say "Thanks you guys."
"Well, yeah" Leon says, clearing his throat "I'll miss seeing you around the house--"
He doesn't really get to finish his sentence because V grabs me in a hug and Mia's right about ready to burst into tears. Again.
"Aww hell" Brian yells, throwing up his hands "Let's not start this again. Out, now! Now!"
V pulls away and ruffles my hair before waving and heading out, and Leon does the same thing. It's almost like just another night of heading out to the races…
"Bye Let" Mia says, giving me one last hug "Remember to come by every night for dinner."
I just laugh, watching as Brian tugs at her elbow and starts leading her out before it turns into another bawling fest.
"I'll see you around, sis" he smiles
"Yeah, see ya" I reply, waving
As soon as I hear the rumble of cars I give out a let out a deep breath. Alone at last.
Don't get me wrong, I'll definitely miss those guys. But this whole moving out thing…it ain't fun. The whole process of packing up all my stuff at the fort and getting used to the idea that I was going to be someplace else…that definitely left me drained.
I just want to kick back right now probably start on one of Mia's care packages.
I was about to do just that when I remembered one thing.
Dom's still here.
Standing. In the middle of my living room. With a fuck ass smirk on his face.
"What?" I ask, partly amused and pissed
He just grins. "I thought I'd wait until they were gone before I dropped this."
My eyes widen as he pulls out a box marked JUNK from behind the sofa.
"I knew you left it at home so that you could swing by and pick it up later when you thought no one was watching…but c'mon Let. Like that'll happen. It's a good thing I hid this, if V saw this he'd probably try and open it first and just beg for forgiveness later."
He shoves it along with the rest of the boxes.
"What's in there anyway?."
That makes me want to deflate with relief.
"Okay" he shrugs
After that we just kind of…stood there, looking at each other.
Fuck, fuck, fuck…
"I guess this is it" I blurt out
"I guess so" he answers quietly, not looking the least bit upset
I have to admit, he's handling this quite well. Fuck, he's been fucking amazing.
We've come a long way since that day last month. Hard to believe that so much has progressed in four lousy weeks, but then again. Who the hell are we to knock on time?
Three days. That's all it took. Three fucking days. One day, one night, and one afternoon, and everything that I knew was turned inside out, over and under.
Only to make way for something new…
"Thanks Dom" I say "For…for letting me do this."
He shakes his head. "No, let. I'm not letting you do anything…this was your decision. All yours."
I open my mouth to protest when I realize…he's right. This was my decision.
It fucking hurt to break up with him, and heavens knows that during the past four weeks, even though I knew I needed it, it fucking hurt to move out.
But I did it. And it was all me. Just me.
And Dom's smiling at me as he watches me letting it all sink in.
"Well, don't look too happy" I smirk "Unless you've been wanting to kick me out for a long time…"
"Never" he says, "You know how I feel about this."
The tension in the room has gone up a notch, but we don't let it affect us. For once, we take control of the situation, and not let the situation take control of us.
"Which is why I'm thanking you…this time, for your support."
The smile on his face wavers, and his mouth opens like he's about to say something…instead, he reaches out and cups my cheek.
And even though I know it's a bad idea…I lean in to his hand…and pretend that we're still a couple. Dom and Letty. King and Queen.
"I'll always be here for you" he says, before taking his hand back, reminding me that this time, he's just Dom…
And I'm Letty. Just Letty.
I smile back up at him. "I know"
He counted ten minutes before he moved out of his car and walked underneath what he knew was her bedroom window.
The apartment was perfect. Not too big, not too small. Not too flashy. Kind of industrial, but not clinical.
Pulling out the few pebbles that he'd stashed in his pocket, he paused for a second as he thought of what he was about to do.
It was a risk…but fuck. Everything in life was a risk. He'd taken risks before, bet higher stakes…so this one should be piece of cake…right?
The first pebble arced and hit the side of her window, not really making much noise and rebounding a few inches off from his head.
Not good. This time, he needed to try harder.
He launched another pebble and watched.
It was Brian who found the apartment for her. It was actually in his old building, though this one had the windows facing an unusually clean alleyway, where she had her own parking space for her car.
He thought it was weird at first, but over the past few months, he'd come to appreciate the friendship that had formed between Brian and Letty.
It was unexpected, but he had to admit, the development had brought out a side in her that he never knew existed.
Besides, he was protective of her, more than Leon and Vince were protective of her. And he was incredibly aware of him, much like how he was aware of Mia when he knew someone had taken interest in her.
Finally, on the fifth stone, the lights came up and Letty's face appeared.
He saw her face change from shock, disbelief, and finally a combination of annoyance and amusement.
The window opened and she leaned out.
He smiled, giving a little wave. "Hey."
"What are you still doing here?" she asked "I thought you already left?"
"I forgot something" he answered, nervously rocking on the balls of his feet
"You did?" she said, dubiously "Okay, then why don't you come up--"
"No" he said quickly "Umm…that's okay."
He took a deep breath, before going on. "It's just that…I wanted to tell you something awhile ago, but I…I couldn't do it with you in the same room, standing that close to me."
He saw her eyes widen, and for a moment he thought he saw...a flicker of hope.
Good, that was all he needed to go on.
"Let…I just want you to know…that I'm going to try."
Her eyes narrowed. "Try what?"
"This is a warning Let" he continued "I'm telling you that I'm going to try…for you, for myself…for us"
He watched as she absorbed what he'd just said.
There could have been more. He'd come up with dozens of versions of how to tell her, and even saw plenty of opportunities in the past month, but still…
This seemed like a perfect time. In neutral territory, with a significant amount of distance between the two of them, he felt that she trusted him more.
Trusted the fact that he was supporting her through this…even though in his heart, he knew he would never let her go.
Not without a fight.
They'd been together too long, and had through gone too much. It was a sucky way to come to a conclusion, but since they'd come back to California, he'd been thinking a lot about their relationship.
About how much the two of them had grown, and how much potential they had for change.
Letty was right. They had been together for so long, that he'd started to think of their relationship as…a habit, something that they needed to do but didn't think much about anymore.
He'd been thinking of a way to change things, and had decided on something when this thing with Jim happened.
And that's where it started.
He knew things weren't perfect, but he was willing to do something. Put things back in perspective so they could move on. Instead, Jim dropped by and in three days everything in his world was suddenly…different.
It was not good, but not bad…just different.
And even though it didn't start that way, he liked how things were now.
They were being given another chance. Them, her…him.
He watched as a myriad of emotions flickered on Letty's face, before settling down to her trademark scowl.
She looked pissed, but for some reason, that made him hella happy.
"Jesus, Dom, you were trying to break my windows for that?!"
He started laughing at her mock annoyance.
"No, but this was the best way to get you to look out the window and hear what I was gonna say" he said, then adding for effect
"What? I could be like that guy from any one of those videos of yours!"
He had it to hand to Letty, she didn't even blink.
"What videos?" she asked
"Oh c'mon Letty, Junk?" he laughed "That would be the first thing that a would fuck ass open."
"My junk?" she asked tartly "You know, you shouldn't be going through other people's shit. See, this is what we're talking about. That box was fucking tightly sealed Dom, and if you think you can--"
Ah, the anger. She was royally pissed now. But no matter, at least he was prepared for this.
"I didn't look in the box, Let" he interrupted
Ha. There was no denying it now.
"I said I didn't look in the box" he smirked, and went on "I've known about your stash since you first you moved in. You kept moving it around, but I always knew where you hid it."
He just sighed when he saw that she wasn't buying it.
"Let, I've known you since were diapers, and we lived together for six years…a stash of romantic comedies isn't the only thing I know about you."
He could see her mouth opening and closing as she struggled for what to say.
At last, she bit her lip and stared down at him, her annoyance somewhat gone and replaced by an open curiosity.
"If you knew about it, then why didn't you say anything?"
"Coz I knew you'd be embarrassed by it" he answered simply "I figured that if you wanted me to know…then you would have told me."
Truth be told, they were more than just videos.
When he found one under a lose board in their closet, he almost laughed and showed it to her…until he realized that it was exactly what she didn't want him to do.
She was just a kid, and she was trying so hard to impress him. He didn't think she'd appreciate the ribbing.
Over the years, he found more of them hidden around the house, and he never once mentioned it. He thought that if he did, she'd stop getting them and he didn't want that to happen, so he just let it go.
But this morning, as he saw the box hidden under a pile of clothes in the closet—no doubt to be "extracted" at a later date—he realized one thing…
Those videos…they were a part of her. And even though he meant well, he knew that he should have encouraged her to…bring it out. Letty had always been tough, but as time went on, he found that she had a softer side too.
And it was that part of her that took care of him. That asked him how he was at the end of the day, who brought him food after spending hours holed in the office, gave massages when he was tired, listened to him when he bitched about nothing and stuck with him despite all his shortcomings. And even with all that, she still acted like she had something to prove…
Because he ignored it. All of it. He'd taken it for granted because he didn't…want things to change. Didn't want to acknowledge the fact that Letty was growing up because deep down, he was just going to be this ex-con mechanic and he didn't think she deserved that.
So like the videos, he never mentioned it. Hid it back. He thought that if he stuck with the status quo, things would be fine, even if it meant ignoring all the changes around him.
But now…now would be different.
He took a deep breath as he went on. "I know you Letty. I know it doesn't seem like it with the way I act…but I do and I just…I wanted to let you know that I was gonna try and do my best to change, for myself and…well, for you."
There was a long moment of silence as the two of them processed what he just said.
Blood was pounding in his ears. He didn't know where it came from, or how he managed to say all that, but there it was. The truth was all out.
And he fucking wanted to faint.
Letty finally put him out of his misery by breaking the silence.
"Jeez Dom, you learn all that by sneaking around watching some of my videos" she smirked
He grinned. "I think I did better than those crap."
"How the hell would you know?" she smacked back "The most romantic thing you've ever wached is a Mel Gibson video!"
"Hey! Braveheart was a classic!" he defended "And for an action star, the guy is a pretty decent actor"
"Yeah, yeah" she said, waving him off
"What? That was damn good delivery" he said "Better than belting out a song on top of a white limo"
He laughed as he saw Letty's cheeks redden slightly.
"First off, I know you wouldn't stand on top the Mazda and ruin the fuckin' paint" she answered "And second of all, the only music you know is fucking techno and rap"
"Hey!" he yelled
"I don't think Ja Rule covers this kinda situation in any of his booty shakin' songs"
He was about to protest when he realized that she was right. He really didn't know any songs beside…rap and hip-hop.
So he just shrugged. "Hey, it's the thought that counts right?"
The two of them just laughed. But as he watched her get ready to go back in he suddenly remembered something…
Maybe she was right. The most romantic thing he ever watched was a Mel Gibson video…it could work…and he knew the fucking words too…
"Hot damn" he thought, the idea lighting up in his head
She was about to say goodbye when the words just flew out of his mouth.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are gray
This song tells me, how much I love you
Please don't take, my sunshine away
It was fucking short, and he didn't know the rest, but…hell holy shit, did he just fucking do that?!?!…and we're those tears?
He wasn't so sure, but Letty's eyes seemed unusually bright underneath the moonlight.
"So?" he asked sheepishly, shoving his hands in his pockets and trying very hard to forget that he just made an ass of himself
He could see that she was trying to keep a straight face.
"Dom?" she snorted
"Your voice sucks"
With that, she pulled up from where she was leaning on the window and went back in, leaving him smiling like an idiot in the middle of an alley way.
Okay, so he did kind of suck, he did better with rap tunes, but at least she went back smiling.
It made him feel like a moron, and he doubted that he'd ever do it again (or if Letty would even let him) but he just wanted her to know that he would do anything to make this thing work.
He'd sing a song, give her space, and even though it hurt like hell, he was willing to go through the process of growing up—with and without her.
He stayed in the alleyway long after she'd locked up the windows.
This was the first night that she'd be spending in her own apartment and a part of him just wanted to make sure she was safe before he left.
But he knew that he had to let go of her a bit in order for them to move on. He had to make that sacrifice…for him, for her…
"For us" he thought, as his hand brushed through a velvety object in his pocket
He smiled as he walked back on his way to his car.
He'd gotten it a month ago, on a whim. He really didn't know what he was thinking, except that he'd passed through the store and thought…it was time.
And he was waiting for the perfect time to tell her, hiding it from her and the team…until Brian found it hidden in his office drawer when he'd come looking for some files.
He'd carried it with him all the time after that.
Brian hadn't said anything, but had hinted at wanting to talk. And up until then, it was that talk that he'd been dreading. And then Jim showed up.
His understanding of her became deeper then.
Three days. All it took was three days. One day, one night, and one afternoon, and life as he knew it had suddenly changed.
But even though it fucking hurt, he was glad now that it happened. It was almost like a sign.
They had no secrets now. Whatever was in their past…it was done. Over with. They could move on.
But if so much could happen in three days, then a lot more could happen in a year, and he already had a feeling that they were going to be in for one heck of a ride.
But he could wait a year. Twelve months of waiting was nothing if that meant he could have all the days after.
He got into his car, started the engine, and watched as Letty turned off the lights.
She'd been watching over him too.
"Night, Let" he whispered "See you tomorrow"
(for real this time)
I don't own the song, so please don't sue. And for the kiddies who were too young to remember the movie references…it's "Forever Young" and "Pretty Woman". Now go watch them. They're pretty good.