Dom couldn't believe he had to call this meeting. With these people. He hadn't seen them in years! What was this going to be like? To lay eyes on people he used to spend every waking minute with.
This couldn't be helped. This was important. It wasn't news you dropped over the phone. Not to the people you…loved? Considered family.
Vince pulled up first and Dom couldn't help breaking into a wide grin when his expensive car pulled up. He guessed Vince had done well with his share of the cash. Wow had it really been five years since they had divided up their haul and drove off in separate directions? Wow.
"Hey brother!" Vince greeted and wrapped Dom in crushing hug. "How the hell have you been?"
"Haha!" Dom says, not able to peel the smile off his lips. "Life has been really good to me. I must say!"
"Million dollars gives you a great head start."
"Sure as hell does!" Dom laughs. "I can't believe you not only untangled yourself on that truck but you got the gun from the driver so we could pull off that big score."
"Yeah, I saved that fucking heist!"
"Not how I remember it," Leon interrupts their conversation.
He walks in on foot to the meeting spot Dom had picked in their old neighborhood. A place they hadn't seen since they had bailed with their take.
"How do you remember it?" Vince asks, folding his arms but never ending his smile.
"I remember Letty pulling up on the left to distract the driver while you got on that truck," Leon reminisces.
"Letty!" Vince scoffs. "Yeah, but I was already in place!"
They all laugh and hug and remember the day that could have been a disaster but instead yielding them the last bit of the money they were promised.
"All this love! Where's mine?" Letty says striding over to them looking like she had stepped out of someone catalog shoot.
Dom's jaw drops open at the sight of her. He had forgotten some things.
Before he can linger too long, Vince swoops in and picks her up off her feet and crushes her to his chest.
"Let! How are you? What have you been doing? Where are you living now?"
Vince puts her down and looks at her, his smile even larger than before she arrived.
"I'm great. I've been working and living in Hawaii and catching some waves." She answers his question.
"Surfer girl now?" Leon teases.
"Don't knock 'til you try it," Letty answers and hugs him in greeting.
She walks over to Dom and looks up at him.
"'Catching waves?'" Dom says simply. "Interesting."
Letty leans forward and wraps her arms around Dom and hugs him for a long moment. When she pulls back he leans down to kiss her and quickly she turns so he pecks her cheek.
He furrows his brows at her but doesn't say anything.
"Room for one more?" Jesse asks, pulling up and practically jumping out of the car.
They are all on him in a second. He was pretty much their baby brother for a huge chunk of their lives. They had never been so scared as they were when he went missing the night before the big heist.
They had barely gotten home when Jesse pulled up apologizing and afraid out of his mind. Tran came barreling down the street and Dom had gotten to Jesse just in time to save his life.
Brian had gone after Tran and put him down.
"You look good kid!" Letty says, mussing his hair and giving him a push.
After all the hellos and quick catch up they all take on more serious tones and a solemn expression overtakes Dom's features.
"Why'd you call us here Dom?" Leon asks, noting the change in his expression. "I mean it's great to see everyone but we know there is more to this."
Dom nods and tries to gather the words he'd been dreading saying for months. He had known he had to make these calls, but he kept hoping to have better news when he did. Now he had no choice and it was no easier.
He takes a deep breath to steady himself and looks up and finds her eyes burning into him. He's filled from head to toe with something he hadn't felt in about four years.
"Mia is sick," he says. Using her to steady his words. "She has stage three leukemia. We haven't given up…but… it's not looking good."
Just saying the words drained Dom of all his energy. He found himself slumped against his car door and fully exhausted.
For a moment no one said anything, or moved, or even took a breath.
Then Letty rushed forward and gave Dom a tight hug and buried her face in his chest. The action was so familiar to them both they forgot that it had been four years before they had split in Mexico.
Then they were surrounded and they were all hugging and saying how sorry they were. How they were dying to see Mia and help anyway they could.
"The plan was supposed to be dinner at her place tonight, but she's not up to it now."
"Tomorrow morning!" Vince says gruffly, he had to lay eyes on her for himself. He wasn't putting it off.
"I'll bring breakfast," Leon says.
They all walk back to their cars quietly after solemn goodbyes. Letty lingers looking at Dom with no words.
She grabs his hand squeezes it tightly and then turns and walks back to her car as she feels her composure giving way. The last thing Dom needed right now is to comfort her. He needed to be thinking about Mia.
The next morning, Dom opened the door to find his family on Mia's doorstep and moves aside to let them in.
He looked worn out and tired, like he hadn't slept last night.
"Where is she?" Vince asks looking around for her.
Leon puts the bags of food on the coffee table.
"She's right here," Mia says, appearing on the stairs smiling weakly.
"I told you I'd come get you!" Dom scolds, running over to take her hand.
"Mia." Vince says.
They all watch quietly as Dom helps her down the steps to the sofa.
"I'm fine," she says, eying them all. "I'm just nauseous and a little tired."
Letty looks her over and couldn't disagree more. She wasn't 'fine'! She was wearing a scarf around her head and she still had long hair down her back. But it was thinner and not shining at all.
She wasn't a skeleton but her face was sucked in and her arms were much too thin. Her color was off and under her eyes were quite purple.
Vince goes over to her and hugs her lightly. She squeezes him back.
"Mia, what do you need?" Letty asks. "What can we do?"
Mia grins at them. "Tell me everything you've all been up to over these past five years. A few phone calls and that one visit on Christmas two years ago is not enough!"
They all sit down together and spend hours catching up. Laughing and joking and filling in the blanks time have left behind.
Then suddenly the mood shifts as Mia starts to cough. Like lightning Dom is on his feet getting her a bowl to throw up in.
Jesse goes to the kitchen and grabs her wet towels to wipe her face.
"I'm sorry guys," Mia says, when she's through. "I'm really tired. I had a long night last night. I need to lie down."
"I'll help you," Vince is on his feet and helping her up the stairs before Dom can do anything.
Jesse and Leon start to clean up breakfast and the mess.
Dom sits and runs his hand over his face.
"When's the last time you slept a full night?" Letty asks Dom.
"Uh…it's not usually like this. The chemo is making her really sick at night." Dom tries to deflect the question.
"Not what I asked Toretto."
"It's been a few weeks," he answers.
Letty nods her head. "I'm going to go check out of my hotel and come back. I'm on the night shift from now until."
Dom stands up and grabs her by the arm, stopping her from leaving the house.
"I can't ask you to do that."
"Who asked you to do it? You just did." Letty disputes. "Mia is important to me. I've sucked at showing it these last years. Doesn't make it any less true. I need to be here for her."
Dom lets go of her arm reluctantly.
"What about your life back in Hawaii?" Dom wonders. "What about your husband?"
"It didn't work out," Letty answers nonchalantly. "We nalu it on the islands. It's no big deal. This is where life leads me now."
Letty turns to walk out the door and turns back. "The fiancée? Will she be okay with me moving in here, being the ex and all?"
Dom smiles, "No, she wasn't even okay with me moving in. We split a few months ago during Mia's first round of chemo. I had to push the wedding date twice and she wasn't willing to 'nalu it'. What's that mean?"
"Roughly, go with the flow," Letty answers and thinks about what kind of person walks during their loved one's time of need. She knew that kind of person well.
"I could use the help with the night shift," Dom admits finally.
"I'll go get my stuff," Letty says and turns back towards the door.
"That goes for me too." Vince returns from helping Mia into bed. "You should have called us sooner. I can't believe this."
Dom nods, knowing Vince's words aren't blaming him. They just are.
"Jess and I talked," Leon adds to the discussion. "We're staying in town."
"The more the merrier," Dom says, not realizing until that moment that he had actually needed his family with him for this.
Letty was in the bathroom with Mia in the middle of the night while she was throwing up again. Dom was getting some much needed sleep. Vince had given up his place by her side when she had said she wanted Letty to help her shower after.
Standing behind her Letty realized that there were more patches of Mia's hair missing than she had thought. Mia kept it covered most of the time.
"I think I'm good now."
Mia stands up and Letty puts the top of down and lets her sit. Then she flushes the toilet. She puts toothpaste on a toothbrush for Mia and hands it to her.
Mia brushes her teeth, she couldn't say how thankful she was to have Letty here most of all. She would have never admitted to Dom how much help she actually needed and put either of them in this awkward position.
She was contemplating a nurse and with this round of chemo and Dom had offered to help. He gave up his marriage and the little girl he'd loved like a daughter to keep her from being alone in this.
Letty reaches for the shower while Mia rinses her mouth out.
"Wait!" Mia says quickly.
"What! What's wrong?" Letty says, looking her over.
"I need help with something, before I get in." Mia responds to her.
She runs her fingers through her hair, bringing clumps out in her hand.
"I've been trying to keep my hair, but I'm ready to let it go. It's going whether I'm ready or not." Mia laughs quietly.
"You sure?" Letty asks, knowing that it has to be a difficult decision to make.
"No," Mia says honestly, "but I have no choice but to be. Can you do it?"
Letty eyes bug a little at the thought of shaving Mia's head. Then she nods, knowing she has to do it.
The next morning, Letty is lying in bed sleeping late after the long night with Mia. Vince had come and woken her from Mia's bed, taken her place and sent her to her own room.
She wakes up when she hears her door open. She rolls over to face her visitor.
"I didn't mean to wake you," he says, "I was just checking in."
"You're fine. Come in."
Letty sits up and runs her fingers through her hair, wondering how she looked on no sleep and bed ruffled.
Dom sits on the side of the bed.
"She seems happier without it," Dom starts. "Thanks for doing it for her."
"It was all her decision," Letty says. "I just found your clippers."
She looks up at Dom's head. He rubs it, feeling strange under her gaze.
"Twins, is what she said bouncing into the kitchen this morning," Dom tells Letty.
Letty bursts into laughter at the thought of bouncing Mia flaunting her new look.
"She's pretty amazing," Letty says to Dom. "I think…"
"What happened with your husband?" Dom blurts over her.
Letty's eyes snap to his and she sits quietly for a few seconds. Then she shakes her head.
"Okay, I'll go first."
"You already told me about all this Dom." Letty says diverting her eyes. She liked to leave that part of her life in the past.
"I told you the version I want to believe. That I want everyone believe. Not the truth."
Letty looks at him suddenly, too intrigued to look away or to stop him from talking.
"When Mia was first diagnosed it was three weeks before my wedding day," Dom starts. "They thought it best to start aggressive treatment immediately. The first appointment was scheduled four days before the wedding."
"So you understandably pushed it back." Letty continues his train of thought.
"And I was relieved…" Dom admits out loud for the first time. "The second date Mia was feeling better the cancer was still there and we knew she'd have to go another round at least. I went to Eliza and asked for another postponement and told her I was moving in with Mia."
"And she walked?"
Dom shakes his head. "No. She said let's get married and we'll all move in and care for Mia. We'll postpone the honeymoon and cutback on the wedding to focus on Mia."
"I said I couldn't focus on marriage right now. I told her I would move in with Mia and we could get married later. She said either I move in here with her as my wife or she was gone. She wasn't willing to let me go and wait around just for me to leave in the end."
Letty punches him in the arm. "You ass! Why did you propose to her if you didn't want to get married?!"
"I did!" Dom says quickly. "Tell me what happened with your husband!"
Letty shakes her head at him. "It's even worse after this with Mia and your situation."
Dom puts his hand under her chin, "Tell me."
"The short version. His brother and sister-in-law were killed in a car accident. He inherited his two nephews and his niece. He needed to move back to the mainland to take care of them and I was too selfish to give up the things I loved in Hawaii and the life I had built there to go."
Dom takes a moment to digest her words. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"But you're here now?" Dom couldn't process this.
"I told you it was bad." Letty answers. "It was fun. I loved him. But the thought of raising kids made me think of the rest of my life and unfortunately it was a little late when I realized that just wasn't what I wanted. It didn't feel right."
"What feels right Letty?" Dom asks, staring into her eyes so deeply she wants to look away, but she doesn't.
"This does. Being here." She answers. "For Mia."
She clears her throat and averts her eyes.
"Yeah, Mia needs you."
Dom stands up and looks down at Letty.
"Leon told me you and the guy split, that's when my ideas on marriage changed. On marrying Eliza."
Dom knew he was taking a risk admitting this to her, giving her so much knowledge about his feelings.
"You knew and pretended you didn't!" Letty replies to him.
Dom leans down and kisses her forehead.
Letty swallows hard at the feel of his lips on her skin.
He pulls back to leave and she grabs his arm stopping his exit.
"Vince, told me that you were getting married and that you two had a kid. I just couldn't see myself raising those kids, any kids…not without you."
Dom smiles at her words.
"I'm so sorry Mia is sick," Letty says to him. "I would never want this for her."
"But I'm so glad you called."
"I'm glad you came."
Dom and Mia sat inside her doctor's office waiting for the specialist to return with some test results. They both sat in their own silence.
Dom's nervous and thoughtful.
Mia's calm and at ease.
She had changed so much. Nothing worried her anymore. She always smiled, even when she was puking from the chemo or too tired to get out of bed.
Acceptance of the situation came long before the family had arrived home. However, this peace came with them. Having all the people she loved back in her life.
She had lots of friends, they brought her meals and sent her cards and flowers. Since many of them worked in this very hospital where she had been a resident they pushed labs to the front of the line and got her the best rooms and pillows when she was here.
None were the family she'd had returned to her in her time of need. They were her rock now.
"Don't worry Dom," Mia reassured him. "It's going to be fine!"
She put a hand on his arm and squeezed bringing him out of his thoughts.
"A big brother can't worry about his baby sister?" Dom answers, trying to keep his feelings light.
"Nope, not when she's perfectly fine and he has no need to worry."
Dom nods, but doesn't say anything. He knew perfectly fine for her went either way. That was what worried him.
"Vince wants to get married," she changes the subject quickly. "I mean one knee, diamond rings and all."
Dom's mouth hangs open and no words come out.
"Thought that would get you thinking about something else," Mia chuckles at his shock.
"What…what did you say?" Dom asks, realizing he honestly had no clue what she wanted.
Mia pulls the necklace from under her shirt and holds the ring between her thumb and forefinger for Dom to see.
"I said I'll put it on if the results are good, then it's a yes. If not, I'm not going to take him away from his life to just watch me die." Mia answers bluntly.
"You're not going to die!" Dom shouts. His chest was heaving and he was practically blowing fire.
Mia takes his hand in hers and looks him in the eye.
"You have to be realistic Dom. This may not have a happy ending. It could…"
Dom snatches his hand away and stands up from his chair. He looks down on her.
"I don't want to hear that. I don't want to even think it. You're going to beat this. You're going to get better!"
Mia takes his hands and tugs him back to his chair.
"And you're going to have to accept that sometimes things don't always go the way we want them to. I'm hopeful and I'll keep fighting, but I'm realistic."
Mia leans over and kisses Dom's cheek. In his mind he had the childish response of wiping it away and pouting. He didn't. He just lets her words sink in.
"I love you Mia," Dom states simply. He exhales deeply and looks over at the far wall with his eyes watering. "I think you should marry Vince either way. He's a good guy."
"Do you have any regrets in life Letty?" Dom asks quietly.
Letty was taken aback by the question. She had walked into the kitchen to put some things in the dishwasher.
"I think everyone has regrets in life Dom," she answers trying to find out the direction of this conversation.
"Tell me what your biggest regret is."
Letty shifts awkwardly for a moment and then turns away from him to put the dishes in the sink. She takes a moment washing her hands to think over her answer.
She could say her failed marriage. But no, she enjoyed the time she had been married.
She could say having that blowup with her mother the night she died. But she knew all and all her mother knew how sorry she was and how much she loved her.
Letty turns back to Dom to find him standing behind her. Not in her space but not as far as she had been thinking.
"Leaving you on that beach and Mexico and hopping the next flight to anywhere." Letty admits without ever deciding to say it.
Dom nods his head.
"Mine is not stopping you," Dom replies sadly. "If I had just said stay you would have."
"I wanted you to."
"I wanted to. But I thought you away from me meant a better life, a great life. One where you could be something amazing."
Letty steps closer to him so their bodies are lightly touching.
"We were something amazing," Letty counters. "It took over a year to wake up and not feel like my chest wasn't caving in from lack of air."
Dom leans down, eyes open, and slowly presses his lips to hers. Savoring her taste and touch. Finally closing them and getting lost in her kiss. When they finally separate he pulls back slowly and studies her face.
"It took until that kiss to feel like I was breathing again. I need you Letty. I want you to give up everything and forget everyone not just for Mia, but for me."
"It was for you!" Letty says, taking a step back. "I saw you that day when you told us the news. You needed something. You needed me. I still love you Dom. I'm not going back to Hawaii."
"I can be good for you now Letty!" Dom says, admitting his insecurities of the past. Having no fear of what being vulnerable meant.
"You've always been good for me. We were just both really stupid kids and we clearly made stupid choices."
Letty steps forward and grabs the front of his t-shirt, pulling him close and kissing him again.
Vince stood up and front of everyone and took a deep breath. He didn't know how he was going to through the next few moments. He had thought of what to say. He had written it all down. Nothing seemed like enough.
His eyes watered at the words.
"Those are words I thought I would never say in relation to Mia. But somehow it happened. Somehow she agreed to marry me. It must have been the pain medication."
Everyone chuckled. Not because it was funny. Just because they didn't know what else to do with such candor.
"Anyways, she did. While she was marrying me, she was fighting cancer. Inspiring us all. Studying for when she went back to her residency…if…if she went back to her residency."
Vince clears his throat.
"I loved Mia my whole life. At this crucial time in her life she chose to give part of herself to me. I'm so grateful. Moments that she could have given to anyone, her brother, or Letty, or doctors and lab techs, and friends, she gave them to me. I'm so grateful. She changed me. This last six months since finding out about this horrible disease and four months of marriage have changed me."
Vince looks down at Mia.
"Happy Birthday Baby! I speak for everyone in this room when I say one more year of your life means everything to us."
He leans down and kisses Mia lightly on her lips.
The room is filled with applause and then Mia is bombarded with hugs and kisses and well wishes as her party goes on.
Dom takes Letty's hand and leads her out onto the dance floor to a slow jam. He wraps her in his arms and moves with her to the music.
"Everything in life is good," Dom whispers closely to her ear.
"Mia is cancer free. She's married to Vince. You've moved in with me. Who would have thought so much could be changed? I thought it was over for us."
Letty smiles and lays her head on his shoulder. "It was never over for us."
"You look beautiful tonight," Dom complements, caressing her bare back with his fingertips. "I can't wait for later."
"Always thinking about bedtime," she teases.
"Can't help it. It's bedtime is the only time you're all mine!" Dom replies and leans down and nuzzles his face against her neck.
"It's weird being just us," Letty admits. "I still wake up to check on Mia"
"Yeah, Vince kicked us out 15 minutes after her last chemo session."
"He's taking good care of her."
Dom and Letty glance over to Vince starry eyed and bringing Mia a glass of champagne. With Mia blushing at something he says to her.
"Vince and Mia…married. So strange."
They laugh quietly at the thought and look back at each other.
"This is even better than Mexico," Dom says. Then he leans down to kiss her forehead.
"Makes it easier if we're not worried about evidence suddenly surfacing. And separating to stay safe. Or hiding millions of dollars until the dust settles."
"We've been here for hours, let's go home," Dom coaxes her with a passionate kiss.
"I haven't had my cake!" Letty protests with a coy grin.
Dom walks pointedly over to the dessert table. He picks up a knife and cuts two big chunks out of the otherwise untouched birthday cake. He places them on a plates and signals Letty to the door.
"Home. Now." He mouths.
Mia watches them with a smirk and shakes her head at her brother. She wasn't surprised at all by his actions. She just laughed and turned back to Vince as the couple made their way out the door.
A/N – I think I may be able to find more fanfic on my computer where this came from! Hope you enjoyed enough to review it.