Author's Note: I know it's been AGES since I've written guys. School and work and various other things, plus a general lack of writing inspiration. I am thinking that recent info of a D/L scene in Fast 7 have helped me finish up this chapter, and I'm hoping I'll get back to writing. Still, I'm not sure I'll be able to write things as quickly as I had before again, so I guess I'll be testing your patience. Thanks for sticking with me! Hope you enjoy this chapter. This one features some Brian and Letty friendship moments and I think it's a bit lighter.
"Why the hell did you decide to become a cop anyway?" Letty asked, sitting on the back stoop outside the house beside Brian.
It was a nice night, the air a little cool. Behind them the screen door closed to let in the breeze but not the bugs. She could smell whatever Mia was making for dinner, something tomato-ey with the sweet scent of basil just underneath.
Grandma Toretto's famous sauce and meatballs, no doubt.
The knowledge sat comfortably in her brain, warmly reminding her that she was a part of this family. Just like the easy way that Brian sat beside her, letting out a little laugh that told her she'd asked him that question before.
"Spent a lot of time on the other side of the law when I was younger. Till someone pulled me in who actually gave a shit, you know?" He sighed, sitting back to lean against his hand.
"A cop?" she asked, raising a brow.
"Yeah. Didn't want to see a kid messing up his life when I wasn't in too deep. Suggested I pull myself together, get through school, then enroll in the academy."
"And that's what you did?"
"Sorry that didn't work out for you," she murmured, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye.
He smiled. "Yeah well… it worked out. I was looking for my family. I found it."
She laughed. "Yeah, the whole nine yards; wife and kid. Gonna get a dog next?"
"Nah," he grinned. "I'm good with the troublesome in-laws and other adopted members of this crazy family."
"You know what I'm mad at you about?" Letty asked suddenly, sitting outside on Brian's crappy porch of his crappy apartment in downtown LA.
He looked at her, one brow raised, tired circles under his eyes, glint in the blue irises that told her he wasn't happy, not really. That he was just pretending.
"Not about… lying to us," she shrugged, glanced at the beer in her hand. "I mean, you were doing your job right?"
He nodded silently.
"But the fact that you lied to Mia… that you lead her on like that. You used her to do your job, and she really liked you. It was fucked up, Brian."
"I know," he said softly. "That's what I regret the most. Leaving things between us like that…"
"Why'd you leave it like that?" she asked. "Why didn't you try and talk to her? Apologize? Not once in… five years have you said a word to her? Are you gonna live with that regret?"
"What choice have I got, Letty?" He rubbed his hand over his face. "Maybe… if we bring Dom back. Maybe then I'd have a shot. But I ripped her family apart. How's she going to forgive that?"
She shrugged slightly. "Worse things can be forgiven…"
He glanced at her. "Speaking from experience?"
Letty didn't answer, just drank down the rest of her beer and stood up, stretching. "It's late. I should head home or Mia will wonder where the hell I am."
"You're still pissed at Dom for leaving, aren't you?" his voice followed her back into the apartment and she paused.
She didn't turn around. "Yeah. Still pissed as hell. But that doesn't mean I don't love the idiot. That I don't want him to come home."
"You're risking a lot for this, Letty."
Brian was beside her again, drawing the balcony's sliding door shut.
"I've never played anything safe, O'Connor," she replied, then offered him a smile. "See ya tomorrow."
"See you," he echoed as she slipped out the front door.
Letty took the steps down to the first floor two at a time, her mind racing. Those same doubts creeping up on her. Was it really worth it? Dom was the one who'd left her. Who'd snuck out on her. Why should she risk her life to clear his name?
She unlocked her car and slid into the driver's side, yanking the door shut behind her. And she just sat a moment, let the doubts flood her. She could say fuck it. She could leave, right now. Drive away somewhere and start a new life. She could let Dom go just like he'd wanted her to.
But she wouldn't. Was she weak because of that? Or strong? She didn't know.
Letty pressed her hands against her eyes, blinking off the memory as she sat silent. She let her hands drop to her thighs, studied the porch she sat on.
"What was it that brought you and Mia back together, anyway?" she asked.
"You did… I guess," Brian muttered, sitting back with his weight braced against his hands.
"Me?" she glanced at him.
"Well your death. Even though it ended up being fake."
"Dom told me that… you and him went after Braga and his guys together," she said with a nod. "I'm guessing that… partnership is why you ended up being around Mia again?"
"Yeah I guess so," he agreed. "Well the FBI had her under surveillance after you died."
"Because we knew Dom would come home…"
She stared at him, then punched him in the arm, hard. "Brian, what the fuck?" she hissed. "I was trying to get his name cleared but you were using me to put him in jail!?"
He winced at the force she'd put behind the punch, but took it without any other complaint. "It wasn't exactly my call, Let. But… yeah."
"Thank god you didn't stay a cop. You're a jackass when you're one of the 'good guys'."
He laughed, shook his head. "I wanted to work it out for him. But it was beyond my power."
"So you just busted him out of prison instead?" Letty smirked.
"Seemed like the thing to do."
"Wish I'd been there to see it," she said softly.
"If you'd been there it wouldn't have happened," Brian answered, smiling at her.
"I guess I had to go and die to get you and Mi back together huh?"
Letty pushed to her feet slowly, arching her back in a stretch.
"Yeah, I guess," he agreed. "So… thanks for that." He smiled and stood, put his arm around her shoulders companionably.
"Well I think I'm out of extra lives so that's the last time I'm doing that for you."
"I think we'll all be a lot happier if you avoid any future brushes with death, Letty."
"Me especially," she agreed, nudging him in the ribs as she stepped into the house, him behind her. "What I really want to know is how you managed to make it all up to Mia. Don't tell me she wasn't pissed as hell at you after five years of nothing from your stupid ass."
"She was pissed as hell," he agreed. "And well… busting Dom out of prison went a long way to making up for it. As for the rest… well I guess it was just my winning personality."
"Uh huh." Letty eyed him. "She made you beg, didn't she?"
"There's no proof of that," he grinned.
"She made you beg," Letty said with a smirk.
"Speaking from experience?" he asked.
She laughed at that, stepping into the kitchen where the smells of home and memories surrounded her. Mia stood at the stove, Jack happily in his high chair already eating plain spaghetti, Dom sitting at the table with a beer.
It hadn't been easy to get here, and she still wasn't completely sure how she had, still missing bits of memories. But she was stronger for having fought and even for having forgiven.
But she'd definitely made Dom beg.