Summary: Basically the beginning of Dom and Letty. I know there's so many out there, but you can never have enough Dotty, right? ;-)
Author's Note: If you feel inclined to review please do so – good or bad. I like knowing what works, what doesn't, and any ways to improve my writing. Expect time jumps but not huge gaps. Those who have read my previous stories please note that they do not coincide with each other.
Dom dried off quickly from his shower and dressed into his blue jeans. It was only a matter of time before his father would be yelling for him to hurry up – he hated when they were late for school. He sat on his bed, slipped on his socks, and laced up his converses. When his laces were tied he rose to his feet in search for a clean shirt.
His room was an utter mess; toys sprawled throughout the hardwood floors –loitered with clean and dirty articles of clothing.
Dom began to ransack through the stock piles of clothing in search of his favorite t-shirt.
"Where are you," he whispered to himself.
"Dominic, let's go!" the senior Toretto yelled from downstairs, "You're going to be late and we still have to pick up Vince."
Calm down old man, it just means we'll have to driver faster, he thought. "Gimmie a second," Dom yelled back.
It was in moments like this where he missed his mother. She would have him up an hour before it was time to leave, have breakfast ready, and his clothes lay out on his bed after showers – she was the perfect housewife and the perfect mom, but unfortunately, all good things come to an end. It was middle semester of the second-grade when his mother was taken from his life. He and Mia were pulled out of school early by their grief stricken father. At the tender age of seven his mind couldn't quite grasp his father's words. He remembers hearing them – café, robbery, gun-shot, died – but his mind refused to apply them to a situation involving his mother. It took the better part of the year to accept and attempt to move forward but they did and here they are – a trio like modern day musketeers.
"Dominic, your second was up two minutes ago. Get your butt down here now," Anthony yelled once more.
Dom sighed in frustration. "Okay, I just gotta put on a shirt."
Just when he had given up all hope on finding his favorite shirt his eyes caught sight of it at the foot of his bed.
"Yes," he breathed out in relief. He swiftly picked up the light-grey muscle car shirt and pulled it over his head.
Within seconds he was out of his bedroom door and downstairs sliding into his father's 1970 Chevelle SS.
"You know, I'm catching on to you Dominic," his father muttered out as he revved his engine. "I think you like leaving the house late so we can drive fast."
Dom smiled mischievously, "I have no idea what you're talking about pop."
And just like that his father swooped by to pick up Vince and had them in front of their elementary school five minutes before school started.
Dom patted his father's shoulder, "Nice drivin' dad. You're gonna have to show me that sweet drift move you pulled back there."
"Yeah, Mr. T. You gotta give up the secrets," Vince added as he climbed out of the car.
Anthony only shook his head in amusement. "I teach you boys too much about cars. Have a good day a school, and Dom, look out for your sister."
Dominic shook his head. "You can never know too much about cars, stop talking crazy. And don't worry I'll look after Mia, see ya later."
Mia climbed from the backseat to the front, kissed her father's cheek, and said goodbye.
Dom and Vince walked Mia to her third-grade class and gave her the usual beginning of the school year pep-talk – that if anyone bothers her to tell he or Vince and they'll take care of it. At the young age of ten he was already possessed with the protective brother qualities. Mia complied but knew she would not have to tell her brother anything – she was friends with everybody, the peacemaker.
Dom and Vince left Mia and jogged to their fifth grade class to meet their friends. Before they could commiserate the new fifth grade teacher opened the classroom door and motioned for everyone to come inside. They each took a desk that was essentially in the center and all of their friends and fellow classmates filled the empty chairs around them.
They greeted everyone with a nod of their head, wave of their hand, or simple words of "hey, how's it going?" They were the popular kids amongst their peers and enjoyed every minute of it.
"Good morning everyone, my name is Mrs. Wilson and I'll be your fifth grade teacher for the year," she announced. "I'm going to take attendance. Those of you who are not familiar with this, I'm going to read off all off the class names and when you hear yours say 'here'. Good? Okay then, here we go."
"Vincent Martinez," Mrs. Wilson said loudly.
"It's Vince, lady," Vince corrected her – his voice laced with attitude. Everyone's heads immediately turned to him. They knew this was going to be good.
The teacher was slightly taken back by his response. "Excuse me?"
Vince rolled his eyes. He hated when adults made him repeat himself when they clearly heard him the first time. "Vincent is lame. Call me Vince, thanks lady."
"My name is not lady, its Mrs. Wilson and that's how you'll address me, Vincent."
Vince mocked her with a hilarious face and high pitched squeaky voice that made the whole class erupt in laughter. "Shut your pie hole already. I'm here, move on to the next name."
The teacher was stunned at this point – she couldn't quite grasp that he was being so disrespectful. "Silence everyone! Mr. Martinez gather your things and head to the principal's office right now."
"Great, rather be there than in this lame classroom," Vince said delighted. "See you later, Dom."
Dom simply nodded as he laughed with the rest of his classmates. It was just like Vince to get in trouble the first day of school.
The teacher continued with roll call and started giving a speech about respect. It was annoying Dom to oblivion. His ears were thanking his new teacher when she finally closed her mouth. Vince left her in a pretty bad mood because she started the day off with annoying grammar work. Thanks a lot V, Dom thought to himself.
With his sidekick missing Dom was forced to focus on his class work, so much so, that for the first time the tip of his pencil became dull. He rose from his desk and approached the pencil sharpener but was shoved to the side by a fellow classmate. When he saw who it was he became angry. From the first day he met Johnny Tran they never hit it off – and to think their feud in a tether ball match sparked it all.
"Hey, punk, you cut in front of me," Dom stated and shoved his rival into the wall.
"You're going to pay for that," Johnny Tran breathed out as he lunged at Dom.
Within in seconds the whole class was chanting "fight" and the teacher was rushing to break the young boys up. When she failed, she resorted to calling the principal himself. He arrived quickly, separated the wrestling boys and escorted them to the front office.
Dom entered to see Vince grinning from ear to ear. "Well, that didn't take long."
"Shut up V," Dom said as he lightly punched Vince in the arm. "This chump started it."
"Quiet you two," the principal ordered. "Johnny, I'll see you first."
"What happened bro?" Vince asked curiously – he always loved details to a fight.
"What else? He was acting like a chump so I wrestled him to the ground. Got a few body shots in there," Dom explained.
Before Vince could suggest retaliation the sound of the front office doors opening stopped him. In walked a middle aged woman with her tom-boy looking daughter. Her mom approached the front desk and informed the one of the faculty members her daughter was here for her first day of school. The tom-boy looking girl wore loose fitting jeans and a black t-shirt with a 70 Plymouth graphic on the front, accompanied with black converse. Her hair was pulled back into a slick pony tail, with her bangs cascading down the sides of her face. She looked bored and disinterested as she fiddled with the dog tags around her neck.
"Check out the beauty queen," Vince whispered facetiously to Dom.
Dom began to laugh but soon stopped when the girl turned and gave them the most deadliest glare they'd ever seen.
"Leticia, behave. Please do not get into trouble on your first day," her mother pleaded.
She reluctantly turned around and averted her attention to the front desk before her eyes turned them to ash.
A few minutes later a TA came and escorted the new student to her class. It only took fifteen minutes for her to return to the front office – escorted by the trouble police, as Vince called them.
Dom and Vince looked at her quizzically.
"Damn, you're back already?" Vince asked.
"Yup," was all she replied with as she handed her slip to the disapproving faculty member.
"What'd you do to get sent up here?" Dom asked next.
She sighed. "Some stupid kid thought it would be funny to pull my chair away as I was going to sit, so I hit him with it."
Vince started to laugh, "You hit some kid with your chair? That's what I'm talking about. I think I'm gonna like you."
"Yippie," she said sarcastically and turned her attention to her folder to pull out her favorite car magazine. She was reading up on a supped up Nissan 240SX.
"You like that car?" Vince asked incredulously.
She sighed and grudgingly tore her eyes from her magazine, "Yeah, and?"
Vince gave her a pompous look, "Someone doesn't know about cars."
"Pfft, I probably know more than you," she stated confidently.
This caused Dom and Vince to laugh hysterically. This girl was a piece of work. They assumed all girls possessed the same knowledge that Mia did with cars – absolutely nothing.
She rolled her eyes at their typical responses to a girl knowing anything about cars. "This baby right here has rear wheel drive, multilink rear suspension, and equipped with 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine. It has sharp and balanced handling – which has recently been compared to the porsche's. With the proper modifications it'll surpass its already amazing abilities. So yeah, I like this car."
Vince was left dumbfounded and mouth agape. Dom, however, was beyond impressed that a girl – younger than him – possessed such great knowledge about cars.
"Damn, you know your stuff – pretty impressive for an eight year old." Dom praised.
"Eight and a half," she corrected before continuing, "And you ride in a pretty sweet Chevelle SS."
Dom furrowed his brow, "How do you know my dad has a Chevelle?"
"I saw you guys speed down the street this morning. Me and my mom just moved into the white and blue house down the street." She answered.
"Really? I didn't even notice any moving trucks," he said more to himself.
She smiled, "When you're going that fast why bother to pay attention to anything else than the car and the road ahead."
"Exactly," Dom and Vince said in unison.
That was all it took. The three of them immediately engaged in detailed conversation about their dreams cars, imports versus muscle, and their favorite drivers. By the end of the conversation Dom and Vince were blown away by this new girl, so much so, that they did not want the conversation to end – talking about cars was like breathing in oxygen, it just needed to happen.
Before Dom could properly introduce him and Vince the sound of her mother's voice stopped him.
"Leticia, are you kidding me?" she asked disbelievingly.
The principal emerged from his office, handing Johnny a pass back to class. Dom shook his head, Johnny and his family always got away with everything.
"Mrs. Ortiz," the principal began, "please take your daughter home and have her return when she can show proper behavior for school. Consider yourself lucky for the parents not pressing charges."
"I'm so sorry. This will not happen again. I assure you," she said as she glared at her daughter. "Let's go."
"Let's hope so," he said, "Vince get in here."
Vince stood from his chair and walked toward his office, undaunted about the lecture or call home that was to occur.
"Bye Leticia," he said before closing the principal's door.
She rose from her chair, "Later, man."
"Bye, Leticia. I'm Dom, by the way."
"You can call me Letty. Nice meetin' ya. Maybe I'll see you around later," she responded a little more enthusiastic than she wanted to.
When Letty slid into her mother's car she tuned out the lecture about fighting – especially with boys – and replayed her conversations with Dom and Vince. Even though her facial expression didn't show it, she was excited to become their friends – especially Dom's. By the way he intricately spoke about cars and their engines; she knew his love and devotion for them was equivalent to her own. It was as though his immense obsession was pulling her to be friends with him.
Letty was itching to hang out with the boys already and wished she could psychically speed up time. Their potential friendship was giving her a reason to like Los Angeles. She didn't want to leave her home in Batacosa, Mexico, but the rift that formed between her mother and father sent her drifting to California. As soon as the wheels of her mother's car started to turn she instantly started to miss her father. Under the tough exterior she was daddy's little girl. He taught her all she knew about cars, their engines, and every tool imaginable. She inhaled deeply thinking about him and clenched his dog tags from his hay days in the army.
"Damn this car is always giving out more exhaust than it should," her mother breathed out in frustration.
"It's probably the timing belt. Dad didn't get a chance to change it," Letty mumbled out.
Her mother looked at her through the rearview mirror, "Leticia, I don't want to talk about anything involving your father."
Letty rolled her eyes and peered out the window. Whatever, she thought. She had a great relationship with her father, it wasn't her fault that things fell through between them – she didn't quite understand why she had to suffer, but she dealing.
"What do you say we stop at this café?" her mother asked, trying to cheer up her daughter's smug expression.
"Yeah, sure," she said.
The rest of Letty's morning was spent eating breakfast at Toretto's café and more lectures. By the late afternoon the scene shifted to purchasing linens for the new house – which bored her to unconsciousness. All her mind was on was Dom and Vince and their love for cars. So when three o' clock rolled around Letty convinced her mom to head back home, but as fate would have it their car overheated.
"Just great," Letty breathed out in frustration as she climbed out of the backseat. "Now what?" she asked her mom.
Letty's mom took a look at her surroundings and spotted a car garage. "Come on, let's go," she ordered and led the way to DT Automotive.
They were greeted by a typical greased up mechanic and Letty's mother explained their situation. A couple of other mechanics towed the overheated car to the side of the garage. While Letty's mother, Anna, began talking to one of the workers about the problems with her car, Letty let her eyes saunter over all the projects at hand. This was by far the greatest looking garage she'd ever seen – if people got to choose what their heaven would be like, this would be Letty's. As her eyes peered over all the metal-beauties in the garage her eyes found Dom.
He waved and began to approach her.
"How much?!? I'm sorry but that is too much," Anna practically screamed out.
Her voice made him stop and retract his steps in search of his father.
"Hey pop, you got a second?" He asked.
His father rolled out from underneath his Chevelle, "Yeah. What is it son?"
"Well, my friend's car looks like the timing belt snapped – on an interference engine, so you know there's a lot of damage. But you think we can knock the price down?" Dom asked eagerly.
His father simply smiled. He was a genuinely nice guy and would do anything to help out a friend or the friend's of his kids. "Let's go have a look."
Dom returned to the scene with his father winking at Letty, which caused her to smile sweetly. It slightly caught Dom off guard because he thought she had a pretty amazing smile.
"What seems to be the problem here Joseph?" the senior Toretto asked.
"Timing belt snapped but Anna here feels the price is too high," the young mechanic explained.
"I"ll take over from here, go out back and help Jamie with the shipment that just came in," he instructed and then faced Letty's mother. "Anna, is it? I'm Anthony, the owner of this shop and since this is your first time here at DT it's on the house."
Anna was flabbergasted by his generous offer. "Thank you, so much. We just moved here and we're trying to get settled, so this really means a lot."
Anthony nodded. "No problem. We should have your car read in a few hours. One of my mechanics will drive you home if you like."
Letty couldn't stop smiling at Dom and his father's gesture; she only stopped to mouth the words "Thank you." She was fully enthralled by the shop, so much that she pleaded with her mother to let her stay until their car was done – and by some miracle she allowed her to. Within minutes her, Dom, and Vince resumed their conversations about cars but this time pausing to share personal info about their lives. Talking to Letty was easy and uncomplicated. It was as though she had been there from the beginning. They even ventured together throughout the garage and watched other mechanics work, especially Dom's father – who took the time to explain everything in detail.
It was when Letty was admiring an unfinished, black charger that she met Mia.
"Hey," Mia said cheerfully as she trotted toward everyone, "you're the new girl in my glass, you threw your chair at Johnny Tran's little cousin."
Oh great thanks for bringing that up in front of Dom's dad, Letty thought. "Uh-yeah-that-uh-was me," she admitted reluctantly.
Mr. Toretto chuckled, "Ah, it's no wonder you're friends with Dominic and Vince."
Vince's cheeks lifted into a wide grin, "Letty, you're going to fit in great around here."
Letty's embarrassment seemed to vanish with Mr. T and Vince's comments. It made her feel great that she was instantly accepted. Everyone here seemed to posses uncommon characteristics – an understanding and best of all, no judgment. She didn't think it would be possible to consider Los Angeles home, but with people like this surrounding her it was becoming inevitable. And just like that she became a part of the Toretto team.