I started this one night, listening to Rammstein's most recent album and deeply into a bottle of wine. Then I woke up the next morning, had a cup of coffee and some Advil, and started to edit. And then re-edited a few days later. And more editing.
It's a bit of a stream-of-consciousness writing, to various tunes of Rammstein as indicated (in case you feel like having a soundtrack). More like linked-drabbles than any solid plot.
I do not own the characters named in this story.
Letty stares at the cross and feels a pain in a way she's never felt before.
It starts in her throat and works its way painfully down, freezing her voice box, to her stomach. Last night's conversation comes back to her, and then last night's dinner roils inside her.
The sheets beneath her, once warm, are cold, dank, and unwelcoming. Without him, she has no place here.
The cross is draped haphazardly off a stack of meaningless cash. That's when she knows she's alone. The money is meant to fulfill a basic need, but in Letty's Maslow-vian hierarchy of needs, it is merely a Band-aid over a true need: to belong to her family.
He's declared that she doesn't belong anymore. That's the conclusion Letty's fragmented mind comes to. Her role has been outsourced, replaced, by a stack of Benjamin Franklins, topped like icing by a cross that she thought she knew intimately.
The floor rug gains a few new colours as her stomach empties itself.
What to do, where to go? For once, Letty is without direction. Dom has removed his navigational point from her internal compass, and she is lost.
Letty without bearings is an ugly, self-destructive show. She flies in any direction, without a goal. She tears the room apart for clues of Dom's destination, but she doesn't find any. For a few days, Letty drives around town, questioning anyone who has seen the dense asshole who's dumb enough to leave her.
Once her mind lands an idea, it's impossible to shake. She is a tornado on the spot. Anything in her area is subject to vengeance. Her plan is undefined, a faint idea with a tentative ghost of a climax. The deranged goal of a fevered mind.
If she can't be with Dom now, she will make it so one day, she can be.
If anyone asks, she owes him for his family taking her in.
If she asks herself, it's because she needs something to hold onto. Perhaps she needs Dom to owe her, even if he doesn't know he does. Letty needs to have something she can collect on.
So one sunny day, Letty goes to see someone else Dom owes even more, for keeping him out of jail.
Obviously, being 'killed' wasn't on the menu.
(Frühling in Paris)
When Letty awakens in a hospital, the world has gone to shit even more. First, she's lost her belief base of Family, Dom, and Self. Now she's lost things she never knew she had. Her body has betrayed her too. Even after five weeks in therapy, Letty won't think about what her body lost.
There's this beady little guy, assuring her everyone will be okay if she accepts this job he's offering. Dom will be okay.
It's a quick assignment of a year; twelve months; three hundred and sixty five days of spying on some dude in Europe. He mentions, almost as an afterthought, that everyone believes she's dead. And while Letty wants to prove them so very wrong, a niggling little thought remembers, helped along by photos of Dom with some cop's slender ex-wife, that Dom wasn't the most attentive or brilliant of boyfriends.
When he had left his cross, was he giving her his blessing? Go with God?
Letty really doesn't know and while her first reaction is screaming she should go put some asphalt tracks on this woman's face, Letty is nothing if not smart and more than a bit broken. She has lost so many things and people recently that she just wants to feel put-back-together again.
She agrees to take the job. Something, anything, to do while she figures shit out.
However, Letty will be damned before she lets the Torretos forget her.
Whenever she sees a unique postcard in wherever she's staying, Letty makes sure to send one back to her old Los Angeles address. She doesn't really know if anyone's picking them up, but from how her handler complains, the postcards must be going somewhere.
He never exactly says that someone is reading them, but he mentions that her field pay could be spent in more useful ways, so Letty takes his annoyance as a sign that she's doing something right.
The postcard from Berlin is of a line in the ground – where the Berlin Wall lay; now a path on the ground, surrounded by the memorial crosses for those who tried to cross it. Letty finds it particularly fitting, because she feels she'd tried to cross a line, only to get shot down. Where the line lay, in her relationship with Dom, she doesn't know; she just knows the pain of being too close, and being lost afterward.
A week after she put the square of cardboard in the post, Brian's shocked face is mirroring hers across the German tapas bar, right before she turns and runs out the door.
She is just thankful he doesn't follow her.
After that, Letty fades into the Spanish countryside. She leaves a message with her handler about needing a vacation, and vanishes.
She may not pronounce her 'c's like the people in the area, but they are pretty welcoming to any pretty lady who speaks the language. The cheap wine is great. Letty starts to think she could retire here after the job is done. The countryside is restful, and she starts to think she could be happy living in the area, with time.
One postcard from Valencia is all she sends in two months; she remembers it especially because there were a lot of oranges in the background. She didn't know there were oranges in Spain. It leads straight to her.
When they catch up to her, one day, sun-tanning on the beach, Letty supposes she shouldn't be too surprised. Playtime is over.