Anicka stood in the doorway of Tomas' bedroom and watched Leon tuck him in for his nap. She smiled softly as Leon put away the stack of books they had read and readjusted Tomas' blankets before he put his arm around her and they walked back into their kitchen.
"Are they gone?" Leon asked, kissing the side of her head at the same time so that he was talking into her hair instead of looking at her.
"A few minutes ago," she told him, nodding. "Mia and Brian want us to come visit them next time. It might be fun – spend some time around civilization again?"
"Sure, baby, sounds great. It's been fun having people around."
"I'm going to miss her. She's the best friend I've had in a long time," Anicka said, turning to meet Leon's eyes.
"Me too." He agreed, knowing that they weren't talking about Mia anymore.
"When did you fall in love with her?" she asked softly. She flinched, afraid he would stop talking, when she heard him inhale sharply.
Leon was silent for a few seconds, wondering how much his wife had figured out, and then sighed before starting to speak. "The day I met her. She was sixteen." He laughed, remembering his shock when he finally met the girl Mia had been searching for since he moved in with the Torettos. She wasn't at all what he expected. She was stubborn and rude and admitted later that she hated him before she ever heard him speak. "She never saw me as anything but her friend, I don't think she ever even knew I liked her. Dom's all she has ever seen. But when she was seventeen Dom cheated on her. She was a miserable bitch for like eight months, getting in fights and sleeping with the guys that would piss him off the most, but we got close. When he went to prison, though, she changed. She was just sad, more like the way she was when you met her – she needed him to be whole, even if they hated each other."
"What about now?" Anicka whispered. "What about us?"
"She has Dom and I have you." He answered simply, taking her hand and playing with her wedding ring. "I'm here because I love you. That's not going to change."
"Good." Anicka let him pull her closer to him and rested her forehead against his chest. She sighed with relief with the knowledge that her life, and Tomas', wasn't going to change. Letty being gone was the best, and worst, thing to happen to their own little family.
Czech Republic, 2006
Anicka twisted her new wedding ring, a simple gold band, off of her finger and hid it in the bottom of her purse. When she was sure her purse was hidden under her costumes and makeup bags she sat back down in front of a large vanity and dusted glitter over her arms and chest.
"So? Does he know?" her friend Kalene asked, leaning over from her own makeup table to make sure that no one else could hear her.
"Does who know what?" Anicka whispered back without meeting Kalene's eyes.
"Leon," Kalene gestured to the barely visible curve of Anicka's stomach and raised her eyebrows knowingly. "You're pregnant, right? Does Leon know?"
"How the hell did you – " Anicka started, focusing on applying her fake eyelashes in the hope that her face wouldn't betray her thoughts. "I haven't told him yet, okay? So shut the hell up."
"Is it his?"
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean? He's my husband, of course it's his."
"Bullshit." Kalene said, grabbing Anicka's arm and forcing her friend to face her. "It's Kazimir's, isn't it? If he knows you're pregnant with his kid, he'll kill you."
"You think I don't fucking know that?" Anicka hissed, pulling her arm away. "It's fine, okay? Leon will be the kid's father, he has no idea about Kazimir. Leon thinks Kazimir's a scumbag but he never knew I was his girlfriend, especially not after Leon and I started dating. Besides, as soon as I married Leon last month Kazimir didn't want anything to do with me. He'll fire me when he finds out I'm pregnant and I won't have to deal with this shit anymore."
"Whatever you say, just be careful. Shit, I'm on," Kalene quickly tied on the apron from her French maid's outfit and grabbed a feather duster. Before she went through the dressing room door she turned back and held a finger up to her lips, silently promising Anicka that her secret was safe.
As soon as Kalene was out of her sight Anicka breathed a sigh of relief and pulled out her cellphone, quickly tapping out a text message to Leon.
I have a surprise for you when I get home tonight – I love you.
She smiled softly and slipped her phone back into her purse beside her wedding ring. Things are going to change, she promised herself as she changed into a nurse costume covered in sequins. Leon had saved her the first day he walked into the tiny strip club and he was going to save her baby without ever knowing it.
Sibenik (Croatia), a few weeks later
"Dom?" Letty called out, walking up the stairs of their largely unfurnished new house balancing two large boxes. She craned her neck to try and see above her cargo, smiling gratefully when Dom appeared in front of her and took the boxes out of her arms.
"More for the bedroom?" he asked, nodding for her to follow him. The bedroom was the only room that they had bought furniture for – shopping for furniture after spending weeks trying to find a house that they agreed on was exhausting so they had gotten only the necessities, agreeing that they would deal with the rest later. As long as they had somewhere to sleep and food to eat they could avoid actually decorating. Mia would take that job over when she and Brian arrived for a visit in a few weeks anyways.
"It's just more boots," she said, leaning against the doorframe and laughing when he rolled his eyes at the growing stack of her boxes on the floor of the walk-in closet. She frowned when he didn't make fun of her or threaten to throw her boot collection away. "What's up?" she asked, bracing herself for another fight. She was getting used to arguing with him about pretty much everything – they weren't walking on eggshells around each other anymore. Instead they seemed to be rehashing every issue they had ever had and she hoped they were going to run out of things to fight about soon.
"We can't keep fighting about the past, Letty," he said softly, moving to sit on their bed.
Letty raised her eyebrows, shaking her head at his apparent ability to read her mind.
"I get that you need to scream and yell and get everything off your chest – hell, I've been doing a good job of it the last while myself, so I guess I needed to too." He spoke quietly but quickly, trying to get everything out before she misinterpreted what he was saying and they ended up fighting again. "It's got to end sometime, though. You shouldn't be with me if you are upset or angry every time we talk. We're together but I feel like I'm hurting you just by being near you."
"So, what, you're leaving again? Are you fucking kidding me, Dom?" she interrupted, taking a step backwards as he jumped to his feet and grabbed her arms to keep her from walking away.
"Letty just listen to me. I'm not going anywhere; I'm not leaving unless you ask me to. And even then, I probably still won't," he smiled sheepishly before he continued. "I called Anicka and she sent me your doctor's contact information. He's flying out in the morning so we can go to counselling with someone who already knows everything. Don't be mad, okay? We need to fix stuff and we suck at doing it ourselves. I had to do something."
Letty opened her mouth to speak but stopped, standing on her toes to kiss him softly instead.
"Baby I'm sorry. Leaving you, taking away your right to decide what to do with your life? That was awful. But everything I've done since I've been back is worse and I know it." He told her, his voice gruff with emotion.
"Dom it's okay, we're going to be okay. I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe that."
He shook his head stubbornly. "No, we're not. I'm not. Every time I find out more details of what happened to you because I wasn't there I'm so angry at everyone who hurt you and at myself that I flip out and make everything worse. You don't deserve that." As he spoke he wrapped his arms around her and turned, guiding her backwards until her legs hit the edge of their bed. "Nothing that happened is your fault and I should have been telling you that every day since I found you."
Tears swam in her eyes when she looked up at him and smiled, the understanding that he wasn't going anywhere finally sinking in. The part of her that jumped every time she heard a door shut or threatened to break when she reached out in the middle of the night and he wasn't close enough for her to touch relaxed. She realized that for the first time since they were at home in Los Angeles she trusted that he would keep every promise that he made to her.
"Losing the baby - if there was a baby -" he added quickly, before she could protest, "wasn't anything you could control and wasn't something you wanted. I know that. If we get our baby one day it would be amazing. But whether or not it happens, I love you. I just want you."
"I thought if we had a baby you would love it differently than you love me," she whispered. "Even if you could leave me, I thought you wouldn't be able to leave our child. I knew we shouldn't have a baby just to fix things, but when I thought I was pregnant I was so sure that you wouldn't be able to leave us both."
"I left because I thought I was protecting you. I would have done it with or without a baby, Letty."
She nodded, saddened and relieved at the information.
"I did selfish things with good intentions. But I hurt you, and that's all that matters. I need you to believe that I don't want to hurt you anymore." he spoke softly, maintaining eye contact as he slid her t-shirt over her head and dropped light kisses along her collarbone. "I love you, baby. I'm going to be beside you until the day I die."
"No more waking up alone?" she asked, smiling despite the shakiness in her voice.
"Never." He confirmed, pressing his lips against hers.
She sighed into his kiss and allowed him to lift her up enough to lay her on the bed. When he hesitated she slid her hands under his shirt and ran her nails lightly along his abs before pulling it over his head and tossing it on the floor. "No more surprises, okay?" she said gently, looking up at him through heavy-lidded eyes. "I think I'm all out of secrets."
"Thank god." He said with a low laugh, dipping his head to kiss her before he lifted his head to study her face again. "Seriously, are you okay?"
"It's gotta go better than last time, right?" she answered, smirking despite herself when he grimaced at the memory. Before he could say anything she interrupted. "Stop talking, Dominic." She laughed while she unbuckled his belt and used it to pull him down on top of her.
"Yes, dear," he murmured into her neck.
South Pacific, 2010
"Dom? Dom you need to get up." Elena said quietly, grimacing at the sight of him on the bathroom floor clutching an empty 26 of tequila.
"Letty?" he croaked out, his eyes open but unfocused.
"Dom, please get up," Elena pleaded, kneeling beside him. She flinched when her knee hit a piece of broken glass and she shook her head, realizing it was probably his first bottle from the night before. She cursed herself for not checking the floor before going into the bathroom. He inevitably threw a bottle at something; she should have checked the floor for broken glass before walking in without shoes.
"Fenix is gone, Lett. It's okay, he can't hurt you." Dom kept talking, slurring his words and looking past Elena at the same invisible figure he begged for forgiveness every day.
"Can you stand?" Elena asked, ignoring his words and putting her hand behind his head before helping him sit upright. "Let me help you get in bed – Brian's going to be here in a few hours, you should get some sleep."
"Remember your 21st birthday?" he asked as he let Elena help him to his feet and lead him to the bed that she hadn't slept in for months. "When everyone else wanted to go clubbing because you were finally legal but you wanted to go to Disneyland? You made me go on those fucking teacups eight times in a row. Only time I've puked since I was fourteen."
Elena pulled a blanket over him and waited the few seconds it took for him to fall asleep again. "So much for that track record," she muttered as she walked back into the laundry room to re-wash the pile of clean clothes that he had thrown up on early that morning.
Croatia, six months later
"Positive." Letty whispered to herself. She was sitting on the floor of her and Dom's huge master bathroom, listening to him snore while she stared, dumbfounded, at the positive pregnancy test in her hands. She couldn't help but think back to the last time she had taken a pregnancy test and the overwhelming devastation she had felt when it was negative. She clutched the test and contemplated the difference a couple of years made, so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice that Dom's thundering snoring had stopped.
"Watcha got there?" Dom asked from the doorway, pulling her away from her thoughts and making her jump. When she didn't answer he crouched down beside her and gently took the plastic stick out of her hands.
Letty smiled nervously as she watched him inspect the piece of plastic in his hands for a few seconds before his eyes settled on the little window displaying a bright pink plus sign. "Plus sign," he murmured, tearing his eyes away from it to look at Letty. "Plus sign like… like positive? Like pregnant?"
"Like pregnant," she repeated, biting her lip as she studied his face.
"We're having a baby," he said in a monotone voice before his face lit up with a broad grin. He dropped to his knees and pulled her into his arms before repeating, excitedly, "We're having a baby. You and me. Seriously. We're having a baby."
Letty laughed despite the tears that were now pouring down her cheeks and kissed him. "Dom?" she said quietly, using her sleeve to wipe away her tears. "I can't do this without Leon."
"I know," he replied, squeezing her tighter. "And you won't have to. I promise."
This story has been way too much fun to write and I am so grateful for all of the amazing feedback I have gotten. Shawnied777 and Str8bkchick, you have both been beyond amazing with your reviews and input on the story. I hope everyone is happy with the end but especially both of you.
I might write an epilogue or a sequel but it really depends if my ideas for this story continuing turn into anything beyond some notes and partial chapters.
Thank you all so so so much for the amazing reviews, I really never thought my first fic would be so much fun to write.