Author's Note: Guys what am I doing? I have two other series already. But like… people wanted some London aftermath moments. And I really want to explore Letty getting back her memories. So this is a series of stand-alone sort of scenes I'm doing in which she remembers one thing/event/person what have you in each short. It takes place starting where the 6th film left off. So if you haven't seen it yet, there may be some spoilers. Also I plan to address important memories, things from the films, but if there's anything particular you'd like to see, please let me know in reviews. Thanks for reading!
A Beach Trip
Living the life of a woman she couldn't remember being was easier said than done. Of course she had plenty of support. Her family was more than understanding. They didn't push her. Even though she sometimes suspected they were nearly as frustrated by her lack of memory as she was. Especially Dom. She still had trouble imagining why he could love her so much. Why he'd even been willing to do something as insane as leap from a moving vehicle off a bridge on the off-chance he might save her and that they might both live through it. She'd given him nothing to deserve that. Of course, he told her she had. She just didn't remember.
The doctors had told her there was a chance she'd never get her memory back. She'd gotten used to not having a past. But with Shaw and his crew it had been easier. They hadn't known her before. Hadn't shared a life with her. They also hadn't given a shit about her. If the trade-off for being loved was being frustrated by her own lack of remembering now and then, she could deal.
She was already learning to love them again. They made it so easy. Made her feel like she was home.
Today she had been sitting out on the back porch alone with her thoughts when Mia found her.
"Hey," she said, hugging a wide leather-bound book against her chest. "I found these. Thought you might like to see them."
She passed over the book and Letty opened it to reveal pages of photographs. Mia sat down beside her and they shifted the album between them.
"These are pretty old," Letty commented, looking at the beginning of the book.
Here an unfamiliar man and woman stood in the same yard they were in now. The photos were faded with age. The man had his arm around the woman – who looked quite a bit like Mia. A little boy was playing in the background.
"Your parents?" she asked.
"Yeah. Right after they first moved into this house." Mia grinned. "I first showed you these pictures just to embarrass my brother."
"Of course you did," Letty replied, laughing as they flipped through photos of young Dom; hamming it up for the camera, working on cars with his father, playing in the sprinkler with a tiny Mia. The years seemed to unfold with the passage of happy memories.
Then one year their mother disappeared from the images. Mr. Toretto looked a little sadder.
"Your Mom died?" she asked.
"She got sick," Mia explained with a nod. "When I was only about eight years old. It was rough for a while."
Another boy started to show up in the pictures, always with Dom. There was something familiar about his blue eyes and shit-eating grin. She lingered over a photo of them sitting in the stands at a race track. Then she looked at Mia.
"Vince?" she asked.
Mia's eyes widened. "You remember him?"
"I don't know," she admitted. "Dom mentioned him… said that he-"
"Died in Rio," Mia confirmed, tears in her eyes. "He was always around. So you knew him as long as you knew us."
"Something about his face seems familiar."
"That's something. You guys were friends. You always called him out on his bullshit."
Mia flipped a few pages ahead to another picture. Here it was the four of them, sitting those same stands. Her in Dom's lap, Vince to his left with his arm around Mia. They were all dressed for the California summer and grinning for the camera.
"I look so damn young," Letty muttered, wishing she had the memory to go along with the image.
"It was the weekend of your sixteenth birthday," Mia offered. "We went to watch my Dad race and he took us all out to dinner. It was a great weekend."
"I bet," she agreed, flipping away from the picture. She looked at Mia. "What if I never remember?"
"You will," Mia insisted. "You said some things are seeming familiar already, right?"
"We're family," Mia continued. "We'll support you. You know that."
Mia stood. "I'm gonna get started on dinner. You can keep the album. Look through the rest of it."
"I will, thanks." Letty watched her friend go and then looked back at the book lying open in her lap.
There was a picture of her and Mia at the beach in their swimsuits, hair wet. Mia was grinning widely and Letty was rolling her eyes at someone off camera, her arms crossed over her chest. She slammed the book closed with a frown; her gaze drifting to the sky where she could see that the sun was setting, making the sky glow pink and orange.
The air smelled like smog and grass and car fumes, but she could remember, suddenly, sharply, the smell of the ocean and salt and the hot sand under her feet. She remembered they spent the day at the beach, just the four of them. They tossed the Frisbee around in the sand until they were sweating under the LA sun and ran for the water. She remembered how Dom pulled her close and kissed her right before a wave washed over their heads. Mia had laughed at them hysterically.
She remembered how her friend had grabbed her at the shore and insisted Dom take a picture. Vince had commented that the picture would be better if they'd kissed. She'd punched him in the shoulder right after Dom snapped the photo.
Her eyes flew open, wide suddenly. It was just a little thing, just one day in the hundreds… thousands of days of her life. But it was hers and she remembered. Tears sprung up in her eyes and she quickly dashed them away.
She was still sitting there in stunned silence when the door creaked open. She didn't move or look up until Dom sat down beside her, put his arm around her. She leaned into him, the motion instinctive. She felt safe with him. She reached up to lace her fingers with his, quiet for a long moment and he let her be.
Then she turned and looked at him. "I remember… something." She breathed it out slowly, tasting the words on her tongue. If she remembered one thing she could remember more, after all. It meant that her mind wasn't broken, her memories weren't lost forever. "Not something really important… but it's a start."
He smiled at her, pressing his lips against her temple.
"You'll remember more. And it's all important. Maybe it doesn't seem like you're remembering a life-changing moment. Maybe it's just a normal day. But it's still your memory. Your life. Every part of that is important."
"Even the things I'm gonna remember that will piss me off?" she asked.
"Even those. Though I am sure I'll be on the receiving end of your anger in some cases," Dom replied.
"I guess we'll find out," she said with a smile. "C'mon. I can smell Mia's cooking. I'm starving." She stood and he followed her back inside with a laugh.
"Some things never change."