For everyone how thought I might still be alive
'Clarity' by Zedd (Acoustic Version)
Fight fear for the selfish pain, it was worth it every time,
Hold still right before we crash 'cause we both know how this ends,
A clock ticks 'til it breaks your glass and I drown in you again,
'Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn't need,
Chasing relentlessly, still fight and I don't know why,
If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love's insanity, why are you my clarity?
The sound of the car pulling up instantly had Letty up on her feet, out the door and pelting down the stair regardless of the fact she was only in cotton shorts and a tank top. Instead of the usually deep thrumming purr the engine was rumbling rough and ragged, complaining bitterly at the abuse it was suffering. That the breaks, when they were engaged, gave a harsh discordant squeal as if someone had literally stood on them only added speed to her flight. She was on the bottom stair when the front door was violently thrown open and Dom and Vince shoved their way inside.
There were stifled gasps and mumbles of disquiet from the trio already scattered around the living room as they took in the sight of the two raging behemoths. Privately Letty thought that they were right to be worried, the mishandling of the car had warned her that something was wrong and the overtly aggressive body language only severed to confirm it. Something, or more likely to her way of thinking, someone had managed to set the best friends at each others throats. And, as she slipped round them and into the living room proper, it looked like things were only going to get worse.
"I don't like it," Vince was yelling, the rather flushed cast to his skin indicating that, Letty's suspicions where right, the fight had already been going on a while. "Punk kid is pushing his nose where it don't belong and you know it."
"He told us what he was doing and why." The heated hiss of Dom's tone had Letty all but groaning aloud. When he was angry Dom generally became cold and glacial, almost arctic in his fury, it wasn't pleasant but it was something they had all learned to head with. A cold and hard Dom was one she was well able to handle, it was when his temper started to burn hot that things got really messy.
"Yeah and if you believe him you're a bigger idiot than I thought."
"You're the idiot, just cus Mia never wanted you. As if I'd let you near my sister." Letty inwardly winced at the venom in Dom's voice, not to mention the words themselves since saying you wouldn't trust a guy with your sister was a low blow. Though if she was honest with herself, all his daydreams aside, she knew Mia and Vince as a couple would not work they were just too different. But the fact that they were destined to never be didn't make it anymore palatable to have your best friend turn round and say he preferred to have a near perfect stranger groping his baby sister.
"This ain't about Mia, this is about you bringing some stranger into our lives. I don't trust him, he's up to something and you know it. You know it but you won't do anything about it and we're all going to end up paying for your mistakes again." It took all of Letty's considerable will power to stop herself from jumping in at that point and make a few cutting remarks of her own.
Vince might be on to something it was true, hell it might turn out to be the gods own truth, but that still did not give him the right to drag the rest of them into his fight. And it sure as hell did not give him the right to use them as ammunition against Dom. All of them, even Jesse who was rather submissive by nature, had shown time and again that they were quite capable of standing up to Dom when they thought he was in the wrong all on their own. Vince tossing them into his dog fight like they were a metaphorically tug toy was taking things too far. That his friend had over stepped his bounds was point of view with which Dom apparently agreed wholeheartedly.
"I don't have to justify myself to you!" The snarl was an ugly vicious thing, and for a moment Letty thought Dom was actually going hit the other male, just start a full on brawl right there in the front room. But angry though he was some control still clearly remained as he satisfied himself with just bulldozing him out of his path as he made for the stairs. "Not to any of you!"
The ringing silence Dom left in his wake was like a suffocating blanket, except trying to hid under it would do no good at all. Mia was shaking, skin pale under her tanned complexion as she huddled next to Jesse on the coach. Jesse who was staring with huge frightened eyes as if he expected the fight to start up again any second. Even Leon, when Letty turned to him, looked shell shocked and shrugged helpless indicating he had no idea what to do next.
Vince did though, Letty could see it in his face. The anger was still there the rage simmering away just under the surface and it would only be a matter of time before it exploded. Personally she didn't care if it blew his damn fool head off just as long as a) she didn't have to play witness to it and b) he did it somewhere where the others wouldn't have to watch either.
"Wow, Vince. Just wow." Letty didn't try to keep either the contempt from her tone or the sneer from her lips as she angrily shoved passed him. "You're flexibility never fails to amazing me."
"What the hell are you talking about?" He snarled, making as if to grab her shoulder and spin her round to face him but thought better of it before he could actually touch her. In her current frame of mind she might just bite his hand off.
"You're the only person I know," She retorted even as she followed the path Dom had just taken, taking the stairs two at a time in her haste. "Who can put their foot in their mouth and have their head up their ass at the same time!"
Letty could hear Vince's self justification as she reached the top of the stairs but she ignored it. He would rant for as long as the others could put up with it and then Mia would kick him out, just like she always did when any of the guys got too full of themselves. It amazed her sometimes, it really did, they might be growing older but the boys in her life sure didn't seem to be growing up at all. And while it might be true that Dom might be making a mistake as far as Spilner was concerned Vince trying to chew him a new one about it would do nothing but make things worse. Having known him since third grade, longer even than Letty had known him, Vince should have realized by now that the more Dom was backed into a corner the more he fought.
Pausing outside their bedroom door Letty sucked in a deep breath and ran her hands through her hair. The problem was personally she thought Vince might have a point, Dom had been awfully quick to trust a guy they knew next to nothing about. But on the other hand seeing the way Mia lit up around the blond pretty boy she knew why Dom was so eager to trust him, even though seeing the two of them together kicked off every big brother instinct he had. Mia's reaction was why Letty would back Dom without question even if she had doubts. But she was sure that same reaction in the younger Toretto was at least part of the reason Vince was so anti the blue eyed boy.
"Why don't -" Dom started, his voice a deep guttural snarl, as with a slight squeak of hinges the bedroom door swung open. He was not in the mood to deal with anyone, and defiantly not if they were going to expand on the argument that had gone on down stairs.
"It's all right," The soft reassurance of Letty's voice cut his enraged demand off before it could fully form. Her cool tone dropping like a damp towel over the rising heat of his anger, and snuffing it out just as effectively. "It's just me. Just me."
He looked up in time to see her push the door close before turning to face him, the movement causing her hair to slid over her shoulders and settle in dark waves to frame her face. For one long moment he held her gaze, his gaze pinning her in place as he tried to tell her in one look all the things he could never put into a words. A deep sigh slipped between his lips and once again Dom slumped and buried his head in his hands as, from looking deep into her eyes he suddenly found himself unable to face the eyes that could see right into the heart of him.
Her foot steps where a soft light scuff as she crossed the room, easily picking a path through the bits of their life that lay scattered and discarded on the floor. The bed dipped slightly under her weight as she climbed onto the bed, then tugged at him in a silent request for him to stop his moping and come and join her. It was impossible to resister her, and in truth he had no desire to, it was so much easier to simply let Letty take charge while he focused on nothing but her.
"Relax." She breathed the word into his ear and, as if it had been a command he hadn't even known he needed, Dom felt his body start to comply.
As Letty settled herself behind him, her arms and legs wrapped around him anchoring them together, he felt the scattered parts of himself slowly start to come back together. The air that had refused to filled his lungs only moments before was suddenly drawn in in deep cleansing breaths that carried Letty's scent deep inside of him. Cinnamon and vanilla with just a touch of engine oil. It was the scent of home and safety and of knowing that no matter what he was not alone.
Always there, always with him. The one point of certainty, of stillness, in a world that always seemed to be spinning just a little out of control. He'd built his life around her, Letty the one true good thing in his life, and he'd made her the center of his world. But even as he tried to build their life other forces, including his own reckless arrogance, sort to tear it down.
"I'm here." His eyes drifted shut as Letty rubbed her cheek against his, her hair onyx strands of silk caught between their skin.
At times it felt like the speed he delighted in when behind the wheel was somehow infecting the rest of his life. The future was some huge unknown thing that was rushing towards him like an out of control freight train, with all the unstoppable speed and power that implied. He couldn't stop it, couldn't maneuver round it, all he could do was hold on tight and hope like hell that after it had rolled over them some thing of his life might have survived the crash.
And he was so afraid that it wouldn't. They all looked to him for guidance and direction, he was their leader and they expected him to know what to do. Any problem, any dilemma and he was meant to be able to handle it. But more and more it felt to him as if he were just making one mistake after another. The fear that one day soon one of those mistakes would come with a price tag too high to pay was a cold hard knot that sat like a lead weight in his gut.
"I've got you." She tugged him back as she spoke, shifting them both until they were leaning against the head board and his head was resting on Letty's shoulder. There was something so settling for Dom in the knowledge that he would only have to turn his head slightly and his lips would find the pulse that fluttered in her throat.
"Shit Letty, what if he's right? What if I'm screwing everything up?" Only here in their room, in the sanctuary that her arms wrapped around him provided, could Dom manage to put the fear into words. To the outside world he would appear as unshakable as a mountain only Letty could be allowed to see how fragile the balance of his life truly was.
"Then we'll deal with it, just like we always do." Her words were filled with an easy confidence as if she really believed that, as long as they stayed strong, there was nothing that they couldn't overcome together. "You and me, together we'll fix it all."
The words were meant to comfort him he was sure. To reassure him that no matter what happened, what the future held, he wouldn't have to face it on his own. But rather than consoling him if anything Letty's softly breath promise simply made him feel worse. It was one thing to be stupid and reckless when he was the only one who would have to face the consequences, but he wasn't. He was dragging Letty down with him, wonderful amazing Letty who stood with him no matter what. In his heart he knew the right thing to do was let her go, cut away what ever bond it was that kept her with him, and set her free.
"Why Letty?" He hadn't meant to ask it, but it had just slipped out. Dom's self doubt was growing as, like dominoes, his life seemed to be tumbling piece by piece as each time he tired to get them out of trouble the problems just grew.
"Why, what?" There was honest confusion in her tone as if she really had no idea what he was asking her.
"Why are you still here? What have done to deserve you?" The question had nagged at him for so long, crouching in his mind like a toad hiding under a stone, but he had never dared ask. Part of him feared what her answer might be, but a greater part was terrified that Letty would have no answer and therefor suddenly realize that she had no reason to stay.
"You idiot." It came out somewhere between a laugh and a sob as she twisted her head and kissed the corner of his mouth. "You're mine Toretto. Mine and nothing is ever gonna change that. Nothing."
If he had been a real man he would have pulled away, turned his head from the warmth of her kiss as he ordered her out of their room and then out of his life. If he had been a better person, a stronger person, he'd have let her go a long time ago. But he wasn't. In truth he wasn't strong or brave, when he was alone he was a coward. Only when Letty was standing at his side, her strong fingers twined with his, did the world make any sense. Only with her.
So rather than pull away, he deepened the kiss and, for a while at least, let the clarity Letty gave wash away his doubts.