Call Me Maybe
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not the song that's stuck in my head, not the characters… just the hopping plot bunny I'm feeding carrots to…
Rated: M for language and potential naughtiness…?
A/N: Thanks to all the reviewers! You make my day. Sorry, this chapter took a lot longer than I thought it would to get together. Enjoy the next installment.
Dinner was even louder than usual – and that was saying something for their family dynamic. Letty was a breath of fresh air in the midst of familiar, sibling-like banter between their group. And Dominic watched in amusement as they all just sucked her in.
"You're hiring her, right?" Leon demanded over a mouthful of barbeque chicken. "Please tell me you're hiring her."
Dom raised an eyebrow. "I haven't gotten her in the shop yet", he said mildly.
"What the fuck? Go now", Vince ordered. "There should be one attractive person in there I can look at." Mia glared pointedly and he rolled his eyes. "You don't count", he gestured dismissively. "I hit on you once and you kicked me in the balls."
"Uh, you pretending to trip so you could try to feel me up was perving on me, not hitting on me", Mia said derisively. "And you leave your dirty boxers on my bathroom floor. How realistic was it for you to think I'd find that attractive in the slightest?"
Dom groaned. "I don't need to hear this."
"Hey, he's your best friend", Mia smirked.
Letty watched the ping-pong match discreetly, and tried not to laugh. Leon was next to her listening to Jesse rattle off spec modifications on a Mazda and she shook her head. The kid was a fucking genius.
After dinner was over they helped Mia clean up, and Leon and Vince began a one on one game of basketball. Mia had a few books out to get some studying done and was sitting at the picnic table with Jesse who was still going gaga over some car modifications. Letty leaned against the end of the table watching the basketball game, amused at the amount of trash talk being slung back and forth. She heard the back door slam and wasn't surprised when Dominic took a spot standing next to her.
"Are they always like that?" she laughed.
Dom grinned, "Worse."
He nudged her with his elbow. "I didn't ask, but you are old enough to be drinking, aren't you?" he gestured to her beer.
She grinned. "Aw, I'm flattered. You think I could be jailbait." Then she nodded. "I'm twenty-three."
He chuckled, "Just checking. Mia's only twenty, but I gave up on trying to keep her from drinking after she turned eighteen. We'd corrupted her by then."
"No kidding", Mia muttered behind them.
"Come on", Dom said a minute later. "I'll take you to the garage."
"It's about damn time."
Four months later:
The phone at the Toretto house rang just before seven on a Thursday morning as they Mia was setting out breakfast, and she grabbed it.
"Toretto's, this is Mia", she answered.
"Hey, it's me."
"Letty, hi, you're late for breakfast", she frowned. "The guys will be down any second, and there won't even be scraps."
"It's okay", Letty said quietly. "Listen, Mia, I'm not gonna make it in today. I think I might be coming down with a bug. Can you let Dom know for me? I finished that car that was getting picked up today, so Mrs. Juarez just needs to sign the papers and write a check."
"Oh, Letty, do you need anything? I can bring you something-"
Letty chuckled, "I'll be okay. I should be in tomorrow."
Mia sighed reluctantly. "Alright, I'll tell Dom. Promise you'll call if you need anything", she said sternly.
"Will do, Mia, thanks," then she hung up.
Mia heard footsteps coming down the stairs and went back to the stove to begin dishing food onto plates.
"Who was on the phone?" Dom asked coming into the kitchen.
Mia's mouth tightened thoughtfully. "Letty called off work today. She said she was sick."
He nodded and started filling a plate. "We'll handle it. She turned in her paperwork for her car last night, and we've got an easy schedule today. What's that look for?"
"She seemed off", Mia said quietly. "I don't think she's sick. Something's wrong, Dom."
Dom sighed, leaning against the counter to eat. "Okay. I'll go check on her after work. Will that make you feel better?"
She nodded. "Yeah, it would."
He nudged her. "Quit worrying. You'll get frown lines. I'm sure she's fine. Let me know if she calls again for anything."
"I will." They both looked up and the sudden thumping coming from the upstairs hall. "Are those idiots wrestling up there?" she asked incredulously, heading for the stairs. "Hey!" she yelled. "Quit trying to break the damn house and come eat your breakfast!"
"Yes, Ma'am", Vince called back.
"Don't sass me, Vincent!"
"Oooh!" came teasingly from Leon and Jesse.
"Just come down here and eat before it gets cold", Mia rolled her eyes.
It sounded like an elephant stampede coming down the stairs as the three men trampled down to the lower level.
Vince paused to kiss the top of her head as he passed into the kitchen, "Sorry, Mia."
She swatted at him. "Kiss ass", she grumbled.
Dom watched their antics from his spot against the counter, only half-amused. "Get going, guys. We've got shit to do."
"Aye, aye, Captain", Leon teased, offering a mock salute.
"That's the wrong hand, numb-nuts", Mia laughed.
"Ouch", he complained, "Name calling hurts, Mi."
"Don't think I won't stop buying chips", she warned. "You guys might wake up one day and the fridge will be full of vegetables."
"Mia, you're gonna give me nightmares", Jesse made a distraught face.
She chuckled. "Eat your bacon."
The day went by pretty fast, and it seemed like only a few hours had passed when they started closing up. Mia waited for Dom as he locked the side door. "You're going to check on Letty, right?" she reminded.
"Yeah", he nodded. "I'll be home later. Save me some food."
He waited for her car to pull out and head towards home before getting into his own and driving in the other direction. It was a short drive, and he parked in the spot next to Letty's car only to frown when he got out. Both of the back tires were slashed. He walked quickly up the set of cement stairs to the second floor and knocked on Letty's apartment door.
He heard a rustling against the door almost immediately, and then her voice called, muffled through the door. "Mia said she would tell you I was sick. I'll be in tomorrow."
"I would have believed that if you didn't have two slashed tires", he said dryly.
"What?!" she yelped, "Goddammit!"
"Open the door, Let."
She groaned and slapped her hand against the wall. "Can you just call the tow truck?"
"Not until you let me in", he rapped on the door again. "Come on."
Letty grumbled under her breath and unfastened the locks angrily before swinging the doors open. "I'm fine, okay? Are you happy now?" she hissed.
"No, you are not fine", he snarled back at her. "What the hell happened to your face?"
Her eyes rolled irritatedly. Seriously, what would it take to get some privacy in her own place? "I'm fine", she repeatedly slowly.
Dominic sighed wearily. He had learned early on that the Latina was not to be reasoned with – ever. So, instead of trying to talk her to death until she gave in – that had never happened – he just pushed her aside gently and stepped through the doorway, closing it behind him.
He took in the state of her apartment carefully. Her aluminum bat which usually stood next to the door was lying in the hallway. The lampshade had been knocked onto the floor in the living room, and there were large chunks of what had been a vase on the kitchen counter.
"Did someone break in?"
She snorted. "Yeah, let's go with that", she muttered. Letty went to the fridge and pulled out to beer bottles, opening both and leaving one on the counter away from the shattered glass.
Dom waited until she downed half her bottle before speaking again. "What happened?" he demanded flatly.
Letty shrugged. "My ex paid me a visit. We exchanged words."
"Apparently", he scowled.
"It was my own damn fault for not looking before I opened the door. But in my defense, it was four a.m., so I was mostly asleep."
"You should have called me."
"Did you not just hear me say that it was four in the morning?" she said exasperatedly.
"I heard you", he said seriously. "You should have called."
"I don't need you to-" she stopped to glare at the wall. "I can take care of myself", she finished quietly.
He raised an eyebrow. "Do you see my face right now? I don't really give a damn about your cocky, arrogant attitude. L.A. can be dangerous. I don't care what time it is. If you need something call."
"This was an isolated incident."
"Yeah, how do you know that?" he asked, unamused at her nonchalance.
"Because after he slapped me I broke his nose and busted his knee cap", she gestured towards the bat in the hallway.
He grinned then. "You're all kinds of badass, aren't ya?"
"You bet", she smirked.
"You put ice on that?" he gestured to the bruised side of her face.
"Yes", she rolled her eyes. "I told you, I'm fine."
"I'll call Leon to bring the tow truck for your car. We'll get you some new tires tomorrow, but you can't leave it sit like that-"
"It'll bend the rims. I know", she grumbled. "I can't believe that dick slashed my tires!"
"Go pack a bag", he ordered. "You aren't staying here until we know for sure he's gone."
"Excuse me?" she blinked incredulously.
"Go pack a bag", he repeated. "You're staying with us."
"Oh, for the love of-"
"Let me put it this way. Either I'm going to camp out on you couch for the indefinite future, or you're going to stay in our guest room for a bit."
Letty frowned thoughtfully for a minute before groaning loudly and giving in. "Fine."
He laughed. "Don't sound so thrilled about it."
"Oh, I won't", she muttered. "Leon won't be here for at least twenty minutes, so I'm gonna get a shower real quick. Make yourself at home", she said grudgingly.
"I'll straighten up in here. Are you particularly attached to those broken vase pieces, or can I toss them?"
"Garbage", she nodded. Then she nodded warily. "Thanks."
"Yeah, yeah, go wash your hair, shave your legs - whatever other girly shit you do", he teased.
She stuck her tongue out childishly before flicking him off and disappearing down the hall.
He called Leon.
Letty had finished her shower and packed her bag by the time Leon showed up with the tow truck. Vince followed in his car with Jesse. Apparently Mia had made dinner quickly and then scooted off to a study group for the rest of the night, saying she probably wouldn't be back until after her classes the next morning.
Letty took her time drying her hair and then applied some foundation to cover some of the bruising. She grabbed her keys and cell phone just as she heard Vince's car and the tow truck drive off and her door opened.
Dom studied her face with a frown. "You didn't have to do that."
"Has anyone ever told you guys that you're a bunch of worry warts?" she rolled her eyes.
He laughed, "Only my sister."
"Yeah, well, your list is up to two."
"Let's go. Mia left us some enchiladas in the fridge."
They settled in the family room to watch an action movie, cranking the volume up louder than usual since Mia wasn't home trying to study, intermittently throwing handfuls of popcorn at each other from their large bowls. Leon was taking up the entire couch. Vince and Jesse had confiscated two of the beanbags and settled on the floor. Letty was sharing the loveseat with Dom – she wasn't quite sure how that had happened. Letty wondered absently if they had drawn straws – she had been pricklier than usual tonight. She hadn't exaggerated earlier. These guys could fuss like old ladies.
She shot Dominic a suspicious look when his arm stretched across the back of the couch, but he was busy staring at the television. She got up briefly to toss her third Corona in the garbage and came back with a bottle of water. It was nearing eleven, and she had been awake since before four; exhaustion was catching up with her. So when she came back to her seat, Letty grabbed the throw blanket off the back of the couch and curled herself against Dom's side to use his shoulder for a pillow.
She appreciated the silence he allowed her, and it took nearly five minutes for him to move his outstretched arm. His hand slid down her back gently and settled on her waist. Her eyes were already fluttering when she would swear she felt him kiss the top of her head.
"Go to sleep", he murmured.
A/N: I know! Cuddling finally, yay. Let me know how this went. It felt a little choppy, but I'm getting back on track. Drop me a comment. Thanks for the reviews so far. We're on the right train now, I think.