Author's Notes: Okay guys so well… I decided I wanted to close this series up. I may eventually add to it, if I come up with inspiration for one shots. But lately I've been struggling just to write so I want to concentrate on my other series and on school work and bring this to a proper close. Thank you guys who have been reading with me. I know some of the chapters are silly, some are fluffy as hell, some are cute, others are emotional. I hope I gave you guys a glimpse into a sort of AU possible future universe for some of our favorite characters. A way to see something that we won't in the films.
Anyway, blah blah. This final chapter deals with family, and the continuation of family. I sort of wanted to end it on a note like this. It was either this or their daughter standing at their graves and then I thought that was way too depressing so I did this instead. So I hope you enjoy it. Thanks again for reading!
A New Arrival
It was the first time in many years he found himself in a hospital room without a sense of dread hovering over him. No accident, no broken bones, no shady medical care on the other side of the border after running from the law.
No, this was different. This was about life.
It didn't mean it wasn't nerve-wracking.
In fact, he didn't think he'd been this nervous since the day his daughter was born. She was all grown up now. Married, moved out. And having a baby of her own.
She was twenty-six years old. But she was still his little girl.
He could watch her become a grandmother and she would still be his little girl. Though, honestly, he didn't think he'd live to see that day.
His wife sighed as she sat down beside him, passing him a hot cup of black coffee. She smiled and the lines around her eyes deepened. Her black hair was threaded through with silver.
He reached for her hand and she linked their fingers together, offering his a squeeze.
"You ready for this, Papa?" she asked.
He chuckled, because she always asked that. "I don't think the baby is gonna wait if I say no."
She grinned. "Definitely not."
He was quiet a moment, taking a sip of bitter coffee. The waiting room around them was not empty, but anyone speaking did so in hushed voices.
"Remember the day she was born?" he asked, suddenly.
Letty raised a brow. "Couldn't forget that."
"Can't believe it's been so many years."
"Feeling old?" She smirked.
"You're the one with the grey hair," he teased.
"That's because you don't have any."
"You could always color it like Mia," he said with a grin.
"You think I'm that vain?"
He laughed. "I'm not answering that."
"Don't want to end up in the doghouse?" she asked.
Thankfully he was rescued from further questioning by the arrival of Brian and Mia. He stood to embrace his sister.
"Any news yet?" she asked.
"No, but it's only been about six hours and you know how that goes," Letty answered, also moving to hug Mia as well.
"I have some recollection, yes,' her sister-in-law laughed.
"Vince is at work, but I told Hye-Su I'd call when the baby got here."
"He's going to have a big family welcome," Brian added with a grin.
"Dom wants to have a big barbeque when he comes home, invite everyone," Letty smiled.
"Toretto tradition," Mia agreed.
They settled down to wait, Mia pulling out a crossword that they all worked on together. She took out the baby book she'd started for her niece, currently only with a couple of ultrasound photos.
After a couple more hours, Dom and Brian went to explore the offerings at the hospital cafeteria. They picked up some bagels and cookies, and some water bottles which they brought back up to the girls.
Talking shop passed the time but it seemed like an eternity of waiting, sitting in uncomfortable chairs while people came in and left. More than one pregnant, panting woman escorted through the doors as they slouched in the waiting room. Brian perused the pages of an outdated magazine on men's health and Mia played puzzle games on her smartphone.
Waiting took far more patience than Dom had, to be honest. There were times when he wanted to get up and pace the halls. And perhaps more than a couple moments when he thought about grabbing Brian and escaping to go race down some side streets.
Anything. Anything other than sitting in the hospital waiting room for hours longer.
Of course, both his wife and daughter would have kicked his ass if he'd actually done it. Maybe it said something about how much he'd grown in the years that this was enough to keep him sitting in his seat.
In the end he must have drifted off, because he woke some time later to Letty calling his name and shaking his shoulder insistently. Groggily he blinked his eyes open and looked at her, stifling a yawn.
"We can go in and see our grandchild now," she said with a laugh. "Of course you slept through it, Papa."
"Hey, it wasn't like I was the one getting my hand crushed and cursed out this time," he replied, standing up and wincing at the way his back cracked.
He was not getting old. He was not getting old.
"I heard that," Letty said. "Getting so old your body is complaining."
"That's not funny, Let."
"Yes it is," she quipped, grabbing his hand with her own. Hers was smaller, but her fingers were callused from all the work she did at the garage.
"Where are Mia and Brian?" he asked as she tugged him down a hallway. The numbers on the walls pointed towards 305 to 320.
"Calling Hye-Su and Vince. And everyone else. They'll come by afterwards."
"What about Ty's parents?"
"They're on their way." She nudged him. "So we have a bit alone before the crowd arrives."
Dom smiled but he couldn't explain the strange feeling in his chest. Like a tightness that fell in a hollow place. His daughter had already gotten married, had already moved out. He'd seen her only that morning, her belly round beneath a faded old shirt that Letty had once bought him in Mexico. But it was like reality sat on the other side of that hospital room door. One more step in her new life.
One more step away from him.
Or maybe Letty was right and he really was just scared of getting older.
There were lots of times in his life he'd never thought he'd make it this far. Like life really was just a quarter mile long and either you won or you crashed or maybe you just ran out of track. But somehow his track had kept going. The engine was still full and life was just cruising along. And maybe the road was different, and things went a little slower sometimes… a lot more often these days.
Somehow he didn't mind so much.
Letty pushed open the door to the small room with walls painted a soft blue. Sunlight was filtering in through the window. Ty was standing near the window, beside a little bassinette, looking happy if a little tired. Dom didn't want to tell him that there would be a lot of sleepless nights to come.
But he would remind him – gently – that he needed to help out with the late night crib runs or he'd probably be doing a lot of sleeping on the couch.
He moved across the room to hug them both excitedly, then stepped aside so they could go in and see their daughter.
She was sitting up in the hospital bed, a small bundle wrapped in white blankets held in her arms.
"Mami, Papi," she smiled at them and her eyes, so much like Letty's seemed to be lit up from the inside.
Her dark hair was bundled back in a hastily done ponytail, strands still stuck to her forehead and cheeks and along her neck. Never let the movies make you think giving birth was easy, after all. Which Letty would attest to quite firmly – with the addition of the fact that she was not going to do it more than once.
As Dom moved closer he could see the black hair peeking out from the edge of the blanket – tight curls close to the scalp, more like Ty's hair than his daughter's. Caramel colored skin the same shade Letty's would get after a summer spent on the beach. The baby seemed… impossibly small, pudgy arms curled close to his little body, round face with his dark eyes sort of groggily half-open. Blinking up at him as he looked down.
His daughter smiled, lifted the bundle in her arms. "Want to hold him?"
When Dom took the baby in his arms he remembered the first time he held her… just like this. Head cupped in the palm of his hand, tucked in the crook of his arm, held close like a fragile piece of glass. He was a little bigger than she'd been, but there was that same, easy feeling of love that curled in his chest. Letty leaned over to touch the baby's little hand and grin.
"I gotta say… he looks like Ty."
"Yeah," her daughter agreed. "We think so too." She chuckled. "But I'm willing to be that Toretto personality is gonna come out once he starts getting older."
"Please," Letty rolled her eyes. "Your dad and Uncle Brian already bought him toy cars."
"Brian's gonna try and push the imports," Dom told her. "Don't let him get to my grandson."
She laughed. "Papi, honestly? Are you forgetting who you're talking to?"
"Yeah she's like a small, female version of you, Dom," Letty said.
"I don't know," Dom shook his head. "She's got your attitude."
"The best of both worlds," their daughter put in from the bed, then held out her arms when the baby started to fuss.
"What name did you settle on, anyway?" Letty asked, taking a seat as Dom passed the boy over.
"We decided on Anthony," she said softly, meeting her father's eyes with a smile. "After grandpa."
Dom looked down at the baby who was now his father's namesake and smiled. Somehow it had all come full circle. Life had taken then on a twisted, hectic journey and ended up with them here. With a family. And when it came down to it…
Family was what really mattered.