All The Days After
Disclaimer: Save for a few new characters, none of them are mine, so please don't sue. Believe me, if I owned Dom, Leon, or just one of those Nissan's, I'd probably spend less time doing fanfic and more time with those babes.
Author's Notes: Here it is, the sequel to One Day, One Night, One Afternoon. There aren't much references to it yet, but if you haven't read it, you might want to go ahead and read t first, or else you might get lost in later chapters. That one is a crossover fic, but this one is not, though i've been told that even if it is a crossover, it's pretty decent. So please don't run away and read that first, otherwise you will get confused.
For those who've read
waited, thanks. Hope you like this one as much as the first
one. We don't have a Jim...but we will have another
twist. :) -- Kat
The last place he wanted to be in was a hospital.
It was a Saturday. He could have done so many things during a Saturday. He could have gotten up late. He could have been out to play. He could have been in out with his friends or in the new wading pool his father got him in the backyard.
He could have been to tons of places…instead he was here in the hospital.
And Dom knew all about hospitals.
They were white, bright, and noisy. Everybody was always in a hurry, nurses poked you with needles and the doctor always handed you candy after doing something extremely horrible…right after promising that it wouldn't hurt.
Dom hated hospitals especially that place called the emergency room. He always went there when he got into big trouble.
Like the time he had to have stitches in his arm after falling into the hood of the car his father was fixing. His dad wasn't very happy with that.
Or breaking a leg when he jumped off the roof of a pick-up truck while trying to play stunt-man…his dad wasn't very happy with that either.
But as soon as they passed the words "Emergency" (one of the first words he'd learned to read) he'd breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe they were going someplace better.
He didn't exactly know why they were here, only that Mia was sick, and his mom had to stay home with her while they went to the hospital in her place.
"Here we are" his father smiled, opening the door
He stepped in another brightly lit room and immediately perked up as he saw balloons in the room.
"Balloon!" he smiled, looking up his father
His dad laughed, along with the other people in the room. He looked around and noticed Maria, his mother's friend from down the street, on the bed. Right next to him was Mr. Rodriguez.
He'd always liked Maria; he thought she was nice and pretty. Always happy. Which was strange, since Mr. Rodriguez was so quiet.
He was nice, but he never really said much. Just smiled. In fact, he heard from the neighbors that he never really went out, or even talked much. Although Dom knew that he talked to his father.
But then, everyone talked to his father. His dad was the greatest mechanic ever. Everybody brought their cars to him.
Big cars, small cars, some nice new ones and a lot of old ones, it didn't matter, his dad fixed them all, everybody thanked him.
Everybody loved him.
"And I'm going to be just like him" he thought, as he wandered towards the balloon tied by the bed
His father had walked to the far side of the room with Mr. Rodriguez, talking, while Maria looked at him with her tired eyes.
"How are you Dominic?" she asked
"Am fine thank you" he answered shyly, playing with the railings of the bed
"That's good" she asked, reaching for his hand "How's Mia?"
"Noisy" he said grumpily, but couldn't help but grin when he saw her smile
He thought Maria had a nice smile it made her eyes light up. Her beautiful eyes, brown like his mother, always looked at him with tenderness.
He'd remember those eyes.
"She's sick Dominic, that's why she's noisy. Maybe later, when you come home, you'll help mama take care of her? Be a good big brother?"
He just nodded, his chest puffing out when she said the words "big brother". He was a big boy now, he was five. He was going to help take care of mama, and Mia. Work in the garage like his papa.
"Do you know why you're here?" she asked softly
He shook his head then looked up at the balloons in the room.
"Party?" he asked, pointing at the balloon.
The adults in the room just laughed, making him scrunch his forehead. What was happening?
"You could say that" Maria said "You're here to say hi to Letty"
He cocked his head to one side. "Letty? What is Letty?"
The grown-ups laughed again, making him want to scream in anger. But before he could do that, the door opened, and a nurse came in the door pushing something in.
At that point, Dominic didn't care about the balloons anymore, or the people laughing. Nurses meant trouble…and so did doctors.
His eyes watered as a tall, important looking man stepped in after the nurse.
He looked worriedly up at Maria, who noticed his anxiety and laughed. Again.
"Don't worry Dom, you're not in trouble" she smiled "The nurse is here to bring Leticia"
"Leticia?" he asked again, confused
By now, his father and Mr. Rodriguez had moved close to the plastic bin that the nurse had pushed on the other side of the bed, where all the adults now were.
"Letty" Maria answered him, then reached down to take something
Dom moved in to take a closer look, and nearly fell back down when he saw just what a Letty was.
"Baby!" he squealed, one part excited and most parts disappointed
A baby, another baby, in a pink blanket…probably another girl.
"Like Mia" he thought dejectedly
He knew hospitals were no good. He didn't want another baby. They were tiny, smelly, they cried all the time and did nothing but sleep all the time.
They were no fun. And since this one was a girl, it would probably turn out to be another pest like Mia.
His father noticed the look of disgust on his face and laughed.
"I think he's had enough of baby girls, Raul" he said "He's still a little jealous of Mia"
That made him glare at his dad.
He was not jealous of Mia. She just…got all the attention, since she was new. And mama liked her because she wore dresses and those frilly things, and she liked it.
But that was fine. He could have papa, he worked in a garage with the other boys. Girls didn't work in garages, and they didn't like cars. At least, no girl in his neighborhood liked cars. Didn't even have a single Matchbox.
Maybe if Letty liked cars, he'd want to be her friend. Maybe.
Maria just smiled at him. "Oh stop it, he's just at that age. Here Dominic, you want to hold her?"
He looked up in surprise. "Huh?"
"You want to hold Leticia?" she asked, winking at him
"Hold…her?" he asked, making sure he heard her correctly
They were asking him to hold a baby. A BABY. He'd never held a tiny baby before, they wouldn't even let him hold Mia.
But he was three then, he was five now. He was a big boy, he could hold her. He was stronger now. Besides, she looked tiny. He'd carried heavier things at the garage.
"Yes" he answered solemnly, stepping closer to her and standing on tiptoe to catch a glimpse of the baby
He couldn't see anything at first, but pretty soon, the nurse had lifted the little pink bundle up and was slowly moving her towards him.
His throat dried, but he tried not to show his nervousness as his arms came up to receive the baby.
"Here you go Dominic" the nurse said, kneeling on down and putting her in his arms, supporting his smaller hands with her own
"Say hi to Letty Dominic" his father told him
He looked down at the bundle in his arms.
She didn't look special, she just like any other baby. She was just…smaller and ugly looking. Very wrinkly, with her eyes scrunched and her fists held close to her face.
All the adults around him were making cooing noises as he continued to stare at the baby in his arms, sleeping peacefully, which was the only thing babies were good for.
He sighed. "Hello, Leticia…Letty"
He was just about to shove her back in the nurse's arms when Letty did the oddest thing.
Letty's little arm swung up and hit him—right on the jaw.
"Hey!" he cried out, nearly dropping her
Fortunately, the nurse had her. She almost took her back, except that Letty had moved up from his jaw and was now holding on to his nose.
"Those are some mighty strong hands" his father said "For something so small, they sure have a grip"
"Indeed" Mr. Rodriguez said, pride evident in his quiet voice
"Solid hands" his dad said "She'd make a pretty good mechanic"
"She is not going to be a mechanic!" Maria protested from where she was sitting on the bed "She's going to be an artist, maybe a sculptor. Or maybe a doctor, a surgeon"
The two men just snorted. But before anything was said, the doctor moved in crouched down next to Dom.
"Wow, she's good a grip on you" the doctor said, trying to remove Letty's hand. He pulled it back, only to have her come back, bop him on the nose, and latch on again.
"She does have a good grip. Very few babies this young have this strong motor skill." The doctor laughed "I think she likes you Dominic"
He looked up in surprise at the doctor. A baby? A girl? Likes him?
Oh well, at least his dad said she would make a good mechanic. That made her somewhat forgivable.
"Here" the doc said, taking hold of the baby and moving him to Dom's arms, moving them so that she'd be able to hold her properly
"Hang on to her tight" the doctor told him
To be honest, he felt a little scare, holding her. She was so tiny, and just a bit heavy in his arms. She was afraid he'd drop her.
But her little fingers squeezed on his small jaw, as if telling her that he was doing fine.
"Hello" he whispered
He watched, mesmerized, as her little eyes slowly opened, looking around, not really focusing, searching for something…
And her little eyes, which had been tracking around the room, slowly landed on him, focusing on him, on the voice, the sound he was making
At that moment, his black eyes met with dark brown. And he could swear, with absolute certainty, that she had stared at him, with those pretty tiny eyes, so much like Maria's, only better, brighter.
He felt the doctor arms slide out from underneath his, and the full weight of her settled in his arms, warming his little hands as he stared at her, and she at him.
"Careful Dominic" the doc told him "Don't let go of her"
And he knew, at that point, that he could look at them over and over and never grow tired of it.
"No I won't" he said, looking down at Letty, tightening his arms
I won't let go…I won't
The alarm went off at six o'clock am.
It went on for ten more minutes before Dom's big hand hit the snooze button.
He knew he'd hit it three more times before he'd finally shut the damn thing off. It was annoying, but he needed the extra time in bed.
Letty had always gotten him up. She was a light sleeper, and she was usually awake before the alarm went off.
But Letty wasn't here now. She hadn't been on his bed for the past few weeks, as it was evidenced by the smooth side of the bed on his right.
Twenty eight day. Twenty eight long days and he still couldn't bring himself to sleep in the middle of the bed. It felt wrong somehow.
The first alarm went off and he absently hit snooze.
He always had trouble sleeping alone. He'd had Letty next to him for so long, that it felt like the bed was too big and his whole right arm was missing whenever she wasn't there.
In Mexico, he'd deliberately given up the big room with the big bed to Vince and opted for the one with the single bed. It still didn't work, but it had helped, even if was just a little.
Those months when he didn't know where she was, how she was, or if she was even alive was one of the hardest in his life, almost comparable to Lompoc…almost.
His time in Lompoc…
His mind shut down at the thought of Lompoc. This was something he'd down as soon as he got out. To forget about prison, to just…move ahead, to forget the past and just…live in the present.
It was hard doing that…he wasn't even sure, until now, if he'd done that. But his decisions had stopped the nightmares somewhat…his choice to leave it all behind, along with the stress of going back to work, building a team…Letty.
God, she was such a fixture in his life that he couldn't even imagine it without her. He didn't notice it at first, but every memory he searched almost always had her in it.
In one way or another…
The second alarm went off, and he almost slammed in his fist on it.
He'd cheated on her so many times. He knew it was wrong, but still…she stayed every time. Like everything else, the more he did it, the bolder he became. But that didn't mean he wasn't afraid.
Each time he slept with a girl, there was always a part of him that wondered if this was the one. If this was the last time, if Letty was going to find him out again but this time leave him.
The fear grew every time, but that didn't stop him.
Because it wasn't Letty that was wrong…and it wasn't about the women…the women were just…an outlet for something else…
She was right…but then, she was almost always right. Letty was so smart, logical. In their relationship, he was that had most of the passion, the intensity, the heat.
That's how he was in life. Blind-sided, driven, propelled to achieving his own goals, sometimes to the exclusion of all else…a flaw that could've been fatal if not for Letty.
The third alarm rang and this time he shut it off.
Today was the first day that she'd moved out of the house.
He couldn't describe it, but this time felt different from when she was missing in Mexico, and the ones she'd recently spent in Jesse's bedroom.
The feeling was one in between, and he was going out of his mind trying to understand it.
To know that she had slept someplace else, in another house. That she was sitting in another kitchen, having breakfast, probably on her own. Take a shower in another bathroom, drive to work coming from a different direction…
He felt like she was so near…yet so far away.
But at least he knew where she was. That she was close, she was safe. And even though she wasn't physically here, or they weren't romantically involved, he knew could always count on her support.
That at least would never change.
Dom took a deep breath, focusing on the lines from his ceiling for a moment, as he thought about the days to come.
No Letty…at least less Letty.
He'd felt her absence in the past few days. He missed her.
But she needed the time away. Fuck he needed the time away. There really were a lot of things they needed to fix…apart, and hopefully, later, together.
So many things to do, to pray for, hope for.
Finally, Dom pushed himself up and swung his feet on the side of the bed, giving one last look at the wrinkle free side.
"One day" he thought, getting up
One more day without Letty, one day closer to his goal…And 364 days more.
Authors Notes: let's just pretend that Letty's a bit of a superbaby, aight? It's not uncommon, but let's just say she hecka beat the odds.