Author's Note: Here's a little something different. I've been working on this challenge from my beta for a while where I have to incorporate fanfiction elements that I normally don't use. This time around, I'm trying angst and a Mary Sue character-as much as I can allow myself anyway. And it has to be AU which is something I don't think I've done with these two. This was quite a challenge but I hope that when I'm done, this will be a story that I can add on to from time to time. Enjoy and on with the show!
It was turning into a typical day at the garage. Leon was underneath a car trying to finish all of his work so he could bounce early. Jesse was in the back on the computer designing some new details for one of their racing buddies. Vince was hanging out before hitting up one of his gigs with his band. Dom was actually going to show his face for this one and they were planning on grabbing a beer before showtime. He could have met Dom at the club but he was hoping that Mia would pass by on her way home from work. He had mostly given up on his infatuation with her but it didn't hurt to keep his face out there.
The two old friends were laughing at the new guy sitting in the corner with his feet propped up reading the latest car magazine. Vince hit Dom on the arm and pointed to the kid and laughed. Jorge was a young hothead they had run into at the races one night. He had been fascinated by the cars and really knew his stuff, especially when it came to structure and design. Of course, he and Jesse hit it off right away. He seemed like the kind of kid that needed somebody to keep him out of trouble. His home life sounded completely messed up, not that he talked about it much. All the guys had kind of adopted him so to speak. But the garage kept him busy and off the streets for the most part.
Usually Dom would give him a hard time for goofing off but it was that kind of day where he was going to let it slide. The day was too relaxed to get worked up and really there wasn't too much to do around the place. Business wasn't bad - it was pretty good in fact. But they had hauled ass during the week so they could take it easy for once. That's how Vince had finally convinced Dom to come out.
Things were a lot quieter since the last heist five years ago. So many things had gone wrong. Jesse and Vince had almost died; they found out that the guy who they had welcomed into their circle was a cop and they had all only narrowly escaped doing hard time. It was only by luck that they had pulled it all off and gotten out of there before Brian and Mia had shown up. With well-crafted alibis that they had put in place beforehand, there was no way the cops could pin the job on them. It was only Dom that got back in time to save Jesse from Tran and it had been too damn close. They had all sat around the hospital for a week waiting to see if Jesse would live or die. And of course, the little guy had made it through to race another day. Unfortunately, Tran hadn't been so lucky thanks to Dom.
But the whole thing had done a number on Dom. He had seen how close they came to losing it all. Another couple of inches and Letty's car would have flipped over. If Leon hadn't plucked an injured Vince off of the truck, there was no way he would have survived. All because he had been too greedy or stubborn or stupid to let it go. He had put them all at risk and it went about as fucked as it could get. That kind of thing was bound to change a person and Dom was in many ways, a shadow of the man he had been before. And life just kept going downhill from there.
In truth, things had changed the most for him the day she left.
They had all learned some hard lessons and were forced to grow up and face the consequences of their lifestyles. So these days, Dom was always around for the races but he pretty much limited his social life to that scene. He'd hang out with all his neighborhood racing buddies and party afterwards. Sometimes he'd hook up with one of the "ladies" hanging around. But Dom's life pretty much revolved around the store and the garage.
The phone rang and Dom interrupted his and Vince's easy banter to see who was calling and what they could possibly want on a Saturday afternoon. Vince looked back over at the kid who was now holding his magazine out and sideways, centerfold style. His eyes looked like they were about to pop out of his skull.
'Must be a pretty sweet car,' he thought to himself.
Vince grinned and walked over to have a little fun with the kid.
"What's got you so bug-eyed over here? You're reading these magazines all the time and I've never seen you get so excited. You gettin' all worked up over some car? I guess that's what happens when none of the girls want you." He laughed at Jorge's pissed off look, knowing that it was always funny to get the little guy mad.
"Man, didn't nobody ask you to come over here gettin' all in my business." He flipped Vince off and went back to gawking over his magazine. "If you must know, they got this special issue out. And man, they got this one bitch in here who is fine! I mean, I think I'm in love over here." He looked back down at the magazine and fanned himself with it to indicate the girl's hotness.
Vince stopped the kid in mid-fan and grabbed the magazine out of his hand. "Let me see that. Knowing you, it doesn't take too much to get your shit up. You seem like the type to get it bad for those chicks in your mom's underwear catalogues."
"Those bitches are hot too!" he protested trying to get his magazine back. "Give that back to me. You better not fuck it up because I'm going to put that one up on my wall so I can go to sleep and dream about my fantasy woman every night."
"More like jack off to her every night. Pathetic," he said really laughing at him now. "Calm the fuck down. I just want to see who the hell's got you acting crazy." He kept one arm out keeping the smaller guy at bay and looked down at the page in front of him.
Vince dropped his arm in shock and placed both hands on the magazine. "Holy shit!" he shouted. "Holy fucking shit!"
"See, I told you she was hot! Now give it back. If you like her so much get your own."
Vince ignored him and continued staring down at the picture and flipping the page over to see if there was anything else about her. "Leon, Jesse, get your asses over here NOW!"
Leon, who had sort of heard the exchange between the two men but had been mostly ignoring it, slid out from underneath the car he was working on. "What! I'm busy over here."
"Just get over here, hurry."
Jesse came wandering from around the corner to see what all the fuss was about. He saw the magazine in Vince's hand and his eyes lit up. "Hey is that the new issue? I haven't seen it yet, don't fuck it up."
"Jesse, you've got to see this. Get over here!" He looked over to see if Dom was still on the phone and he seemed deeply engaged in whatever conversation he was having at the moment.
When they wandered over, he showed them the magazine and watched both of their eyes bug out of their heads just like Vince's had.
"What the fuck!" they said at the same time.
"Keep it down," Vince said, glancing towards Dom again. Leon and Jesse began fighting over the magazine.
"I can't believe it," Jesse said flipping the pages to look at the article attached and see if there were any more pictures. "I can't fucking believe this."
Leon looked just as dazed. "Did anybody know about this?"
Vince was 30 seconds from freaking out over this. "Man, this is news to me."
Jorge was looking from one guy to another, pissed that they had taken over his magazine. He tried to get it back but now that they had gotten their hands on the issue, they weren't letting it go. And he didn't understand why they were all apeshit over that chick anyway. Sure she was hot but she wasn't even their type judging from the bleach blonde skanks they were always bringing around. Not that he wouldn't do any of those skanks himself but the point was that this was his fantasy girl and they were fucking the picture up. He had had enough.
"Hey assholes," he bellowed. The three guys immediately shut up and turned around to look at the kid trying to peek over their shoulders. With all 3 sets of eyes on him, Jorge lost a little bit of his backbone but instead tried to make a grab for the magazine.
Vince was again too fast for him and in dodging the boy's lunge, also grabbed him by the back of the shirt. "If you don't shut the fuck up right now, I'm going to stomp on you until you're nothing." He then let go and turned back to Leon and Jesse. "Get this out of here. Dom cannot see this or he'll freak out."
Jesse looked around for Dom and said, "you really think he'll freak out. I mean, it's been a while …"
"Dog, he'll freak out for sure," Leon added. "But damn maybe that's a good thing. He needs to get some shit out of his system after all this time."
"Uh uh brother. Now aint the time for this shit." He looked back over at Jorge. "Take this and get it out of here now. And you better not let Dom catch you with it or … well, you don't want to know what I'll do to you. You hear me kid?" He looked back over at Dom's office where it looked like he was wrapping up his phone conversation.
Jorge was pissed but more than that he was curious why the hell they cared whether Dom caught them looking at the magazine. They were always looking at magazines in their downtime at the shop. He didn't really know what Dom's type was since he didn't bring girls around but from what he'd heard, this girl would be right up his alley. These guys were trippin' but he wasn't about to get his ass kicked over it.
"Fine. More for me anyway." He grabbed the magazine back and smoothed out the page where it had curled up slightly. "Y'all aint making no kind of sense today but Dom aint gonna see shit. Not from me at least."
"Dom aint gonna see what?" a deep voice replied from around the corner. The four guys turned around not having heard Dom leave the office and cross the garage before turning back at hearing their conversation. "I'm trying to make the order for next week and all I hear is you punks yelling and carrying on about some shit. And now I hear that you're keeping things from me? What the fuck?"
Vince grabbed the magazine back from Jorge and passed it to Leon to get rid of. "It aint nothing Dom, just this kid goofing off on company time. We were just giving him a hard time about it."
"Stop!" Dom said pointing at Leon trying to make a getaway with the magazine. "Since when do I give a fuck about the kid reading a magazine in the shop? What's going on here?"
"Nothing, man," Leon replied. "Like Vince said, we were just giving the kid a hard time. Aint no thing."
Dom looked down at Leon's hand and motioned for him to turn over the magazine. "Give it here."
"Dom, it isn't even-"
"Did I ask you what it was? I asked you to give it up."
Jesse looked on hoping that shit wasn't about to go down. "Just give it to him. It's nothing anyway."
Leon looked over at Vince before flipping the magazine shut and giving it to Dom. When Dom looked down at it, he smirked and stared at the four guys in front of him. "Why are you knuckleheads trippin' over some car magazine? The kid reads this all the time." He then turned to Jorge. "But the guys have a point. I keep telling you you're not going to learn the shit you need to reading magazines. You need to get in there and just do it. That's what my dad taught me and what his dad taught him before that."
Vince and Leon dropped their shoulders in relief that Dom was letting things slide. You just didn't know what set him off from day to day and this could have definitely done some damage. Jesse just shook his head and turned to walk away.
Dom leaned over to give the magazine back to Jorge but the kid accidentally dropped it in his nervousness at being dressed down by his mentor. Naturally, the book opened to the folded page that he had been lustily admiring before Vince and the rest of the guys had lost their minds. He bent to pick it up and put it back in his bag before anything else could happen to his dream girl but Dom had snatched it back up before he could even blink.
"What the hell…"
Jorge watched Dom's eyes go wide at seeing his beautiful Latina beauty lying provocatively on a creeper in a dingy garage, much like the one they were in now. She was wearing a pair of low, painted on leather pants and a tight tank top that barely covered her breasts and was adorned with the letters "CG" across it. Long, flowing hair lay all around her beautiful face and she looked, well, dirty - filthy in fact, but in the sexiest way imaginable. Her skin glistened with sweat and grease and hotness that shined along her arms and across her well-toned, exposed stomach. Above her head, you could see her hands gripping two tools and you could just tell that she knew how to use them. Her eyes peered out with an intensity like she was either going to rock your world or eat you alive, or both. She looked like the goddess that every mechanic and low-life racer dreamed of worshipping every night.
"Not you too," Jorge said. "For the last time, this is my girl. You all need to get your own." He tried to reach out for the magazine but Dom easily pushed his skinny arm back down.
"You're wrong," Dom said quietly. He continued to stare transfixed at the picture spread in front of him. He turned the page to see if there was an article but then flipped back to looking at the woman who had turned everyone's world upside down that day. And there it was, right there in black and white. Letty Ortiz.
Dom blinked trying to keep the emotions of seeing his ex-co-worker, ex-best friend, ex-lover, from overwhelming him. "You're wrong," he said again. 'She's my girl. My Letty.'