A/N – An idea that had been bouncing around my head for ages and now I've finally written it!
Mia slid into the front seat of the Charger, running her hand delicately across the dashboard, smiling softly to herself as she took in a deep breath of the freshly fragranced air. Silently, her head rolled back onto the head rest and she subconsciously let her hands wander down the sides of the seat, her right hand coming to find the seat belt holder.
Throwing herself from the seat, Mia began to look around the interior of the car she still regarded to be a curse. It had been the cause of the death of her dad, the vehicle that was plummeted into the front of a truck as Dom raced the quarter of the mile against Brian. It had been the very car that Letty had been working on before she died. If that wasn't a curse, what was?
Mia tugged her hand underneath the handle of the glove box, knowing that Dom hadn't even touched the insides, too scared to be faced with whatever Letty had stored in there. As Mia pulled the handle, the door fell open; revealing the surprising clean insides of the presumed cluttered box. A strawberry chapstick rolled out of the box and Mia leant down to pick it up, smiling softly as she placed it on the dashboard.
A big clunky sketch pad occupied the majority of the small, cramped space, the corners turned up as it was squished into its case. Mia hooked her finger around the top binding and pulled the pad out, lightly brushing the grey dust from the cover. The plain black cover had worn away over the years and Mia knew that it had been around since Letty's teens.
Slowly, Mia pushed the chapstick back into the glove box, quickly shutting the door and blocking any other memories from escaping. One bit at a time. Mia brushed out the invisible creases from her navy blue shirt and denim jeans, the small heel on her boots making audible noises on the ground as she turned and quietly shut the door, sparing one last glance at the car that had ruined her life so many times before as she walked over to Dom.
"Dom," Mia called out to her brother, the sketch pad held tightly in her hands. "Dom, I need to speak to you."
Mia could hear the clang on a tool hitting the ground and the shuffle of Dom along the ground, most likely rolling out from underneath a car. Quiet voices filled the air and Mia hopped from foot to foot, her lips moving against each other as she nervously waited for her brother to come and speak to her.
"Mia," Dom's head poked around the corner before the rest of his body and he walked straight towards his sister. "What's up?"
"I found this," Mia took a deep breath and momentarily closed her eyes. "I found this, it's Letty's."
Dom reached out and ran his finger across the top of the pad as if he was scared something would jump out and scare him. Mia pushed the pad into Dom's hands and smiled at him, encouraging him to take it. Dom clasped his fingers around the sides of Letty's belonging, almost not taking it as he felt that even though she was dead, it would invade her privacy.
"She won't mind," Mia's voice cut through Dom's thoughts, causing his head to snap up.
"How do you know?" Dom questioned his sister, eyes boring into hers.
"Because it's you, she never minded you."
With that, Mia walked off, leaving Dom with the pad. Dom watched his sister join Brian and a grin snaked its way onto his face as he saw Brian place a quick kiss to Mia's forehead, something that him and Letty had done so many times before. It used to be a greeting or a quick goodbye as he shoved toast into his mouth, running late for the garage as Letty hung back to take Mia to school.
Dom turned away from the sight and tossed the pad in his hands, feeling its weight as he ran his fingers over the covering material. Quietly, he walked over to a secluded spot in the corner of the warehouse, away from the screeching of tyres along the floor as they continued to try and find a way to beat the security cameras at the police station.
Gradually, Dom turned over the front cover, a smile instantly gracing his face as he came into view with the first picture Letty had ever drawn. It was a rough sketch of the photo that used to hang in the Toretto living room, containing all four Toretto's before the heart breaking death of Sofia Toretto and Anthony Toretto. Dom had been eight and Mia was four, the cancer finally winning the yearlong battle.
Dom flicked to the next page, the first coloured drawing of the pad coming to life in front of him. It was a replica of another photo. This time it was the seventh birthday of Mia, the sun shining brightly in the background. A rainbow coloured piñata hung from the lowest branch of the tree and in the drawing, it was Mia blindfolded and holding a baseball bat in her hand.
Glancing over to the other side of the room, Dom observed his sister as she wrapped her hands around Brian's neck, pressing her lips to his quickly before resting her forehead onto Brian's, her lips curving into a smile as she freely laughed at something Brian had said. Dom ran his hand over his bald head and rubbed the nape of his neck, massaging the muscles.
Dom flipped over to the next page, the crisp white paper light in his hand as it fluttered to rest on the previous page. The drawing was simple, the nineteen-fifty's style black and white pencil lines defining the first drawing of Dom and Letty. It had been Christmas morning and Dom had no knowledge of any photo being taken; the picture most likely being entirely fictional.
With a loving touch, Dom ran his finger over the drawing, the black granite transferring from the paper to his finger. Dom wiped the mark onto his roughed up jeans and took one last look at his so far favourite of the drawings, the picture capturing the innocence of the pair before he went and ruined the whole situation, dragging her into his mess.
The next few pages were sketches of random drawings. Some were of the sky, others of the waves crashing against the sand; colours used to present the contrast in the two primary colours. The pages began to be more colourful, a wider range of materials used to add definition to the drawings: crayons, oil pastels, paint. Letty had even used tissue paper and charcoal to get the desired effect.
The next page was Dom's newest favourite illustration. It was the duplicate of a picture taken in the Dominican Republic, one where Letty had her lips pressed against Dom's and he had a fist full of hair in his grasp. It had been taken after their second gas heist, two before Dom had left Letty lying in bed on her own as he fled the country, something he still regretted to this day.
Dom drew in a deep breath at the last page of the pad. The drawing was incomplete but the photograph neatly tugged in the bindings was all he needed to get the full idea. Dom's hands started to shake, his motions jolting the pad in his palms as he shook his head in denial, the image that was burning into his mind too much to bear as he hooked his finger into the binding and pushed the photo out and held it in his grasp.
The black and white image of the ultrasound scorched itself into Dom's mind. The fuzzy grey background filled almost half the picture, the inside of Letty's stomach shown as simple grey matter. A black, off centre semi circle stretched across the other half of the photo, filling the lamp shade like image. A tear leaked from Dom's brown eyes and trailed down his cheek, leaving a snail like print.
A small, curled up baby filled the blackness, its head curled into its chest as it looked seemingly rested. Letty's name was imprinted on the top of the photo, along with her date of birth and hospital name. The tiny ten sized font was all Dom needed for confirmation that the baby was his, the dates matching to the last few nights of his stay in the Dominican.
Suddenly angered, Dom chucked the ultrasound photograph into the pad and snapped it shut; the sound echoing across the warehouse ceiling. He pulled himself up from his seat and charged over to Brian, the pad under his arm as anger clouded over his face, his eyes narrowing into small slits as he tilted his shoulders forward in an intimidating stance.
Dom yanked back Brian's shoulder and punched him square in the face, the pad falling from underneath his arm and landing on the ground with a loud thud. Dom pulled back his arm and punched Brian again, his nose cracking beneath the intense pressure of Dom's anger. Brian brought his hands up in front of his face, something he had learnt in LAPD in case of a violent suspect.
"Did you know?" Dom roared, going to punch Brian again.
"Han!" Mia shrieked as Dom landed a punch in Brian's eye, her boyfriend stumbling back before steadying himself on uncertain feet. Dom jabbed Brian with small, sharp punches and kicked the pad back underneath the Charger. The next punch knocked the wind out of Brian and he clutched his throat, laboured breaths escaping in chokes from his damaged throat.
As Dom prepared to fire his next hit, Han's arms came behind Dom and clasped his hands behind his back, hauling him backwards as he nodded at Brian to run. Mia took Brian and wrapped an arm around his back and leading him over to a seat, gently pushing him into it as she ran her hand delicately over his blossoming bruises and several cuts.
Han pushed Dom over to the corner where he had been looking through Letty's sketch pad only moments previous, the item which now resided underneath the Charger. Dom collapsed his head into his hands and Han nervously put his arm around his shoulder, pulling him into a man hug as the tears started to fall down Dom's face, dripping onto Han's shirt.
Mia came up in front of Han and Dom and held out the sketch book in her hand, biting her bottom lip with her top teeth as she came to sit down next to Dom and pull him off Han, Dom's head rolling into her lap as she soothingly rubbed his head, whispering sweet words into his ear as Han lifted himself up and nodded to Mia, satisfied that his buddy was in safe hands.
"Dom," Mia lightly whispered into her brother's ear. "Come on, talk to me."
"Did you know she was pregnant?"
The statement shocked Mia and tears instantly came to her own eyes, the liquid clouding her vision as a droplet fell onto Dom's head. Mia quickly wiped it away, continuing to run her hand over his bald scalp.
"Wh... What?" Mia struggled to get the words out as she stared down at Dom.
Dom lifted his head from Mia's lap and reached out for the sketch pad. Mia pushed the pad towards him and placed her hands in her lap, interlocking her fingers together. Once more, Dom scanned through the drawings of the Toretto family, Mia's birthday and the many other images of Dom and Letty, varying through their childhood up to their adulthood.
"OMG," Mia's hand came up to cover her mouth as Dom passed her the ultrasound photo, his eyes flicking down to the floor.
"I should have done something-"
"You didn't know."
"But I should have! I should have come back! I should never have left her!"
Dom abruptly stood up and kicked the warehouse wall, the sound echoing through the room and attracting many glances from across the room. Mia smiled at the worried faces and they turned away, knowing that Mia had the situation handled, as well as the fact that it wasn't a very good get on the wrong side of Dom on a good day, let alone the mood he was in now.
"God why am I so stupid?" Dom muttered to himself.
"You're not stupid, you're human and you didn't know Dom. There was nothing you could have done."
"If I hadn't have left, she would still be alive and we would have a baby, something to smile at every day."
"Dom, we can't change the situation now," Mia started to reason with her brother. "Nothing you can do will make it any better."
"But it would never be this bad if I hadn't left in the first place."
"If you hadn't left, things would be completely different. You would have gotten arrested, imprisoned and Letty would be alone-"
"But we would both be alive, all three of us even. Even if I was in prison it wouldn't be for long. I wouldn't have killed Fenix, all I would get is a few years for robbery and the gas heists were in the DR, nothing to do with the U.S."
A though crossed Mia's mind and brought her back to a time where her father had shown her the true way to know how people were always there. She had never really thought of it past that day but now, it was coming back to her like a flooding river. She reached out her hand to Dom and he grabbed it, pulling himself up and following Mia to the doors of the warehouse.
"You know, Dad used to tell this to me when I was little," Mia started. "He used to tell me everything was alright this way."
Dom didn't speak, figuring his sister needed to let this all out. After their father's death, she had been very reserved, the only person she really opened up to was Letty and now he needed to step into those shoes and really be there for his sister.
"When Mum died, I was only young, I didn't understand where she had gone. I thought she had just gone out for a bit and got lost on the way home," Mia chuckled at her comment and a sad smile crept onto her face.
"I'm sorry Mi, we should have known."
"It wasn't your fault or Dad's, it was just something that happened."
Mia stopped outside the warehouse and released Dom's hand, pointing up to the sky as circling her finger around two separate stars. They were floating on their own, together. Mia pointed them out to Dom and started to tell the story that Anthony Toretto had told his youngest child and only daughter when his wife and mother of two children died.
"You see Dom, stars aren't just sparkly things in the sky, they represent people," Mia adapted the rest of the story to fit Dom. "You see that star there? That's Letty. To you it's the brightest star of them all, your life, your world, your air. And the one next to it? That's your baby, the life created by the two of you. Now, they're not alone because they have each other and you're not alone either because you have them to guide you on your way."
"Mi-" Dom began to interrupt but Mia put her hand up to stop him.
"They are always with you because they will always shine bright in that sky. When you need them they will be there, not physically but they will be there in your heart. You need to let go of the if's and focus on the when's because soon our life will be taking a completely different turn."
"Quarter mile at a time."
"Quarter mile at a time. But there's no need to rush, take your time and travel that road taking in every surroundings, treasure every moment and always remember that they are there to hold your hand."
Mia stopped her speech and turned to hug her brother, wrapping her arms around his larger frame and squeezing gently, giving him the hug that her father gave to her many years ago when she was a confused six year old who was still wondering if her mummy was coming home from the shops any time soon. Her head fit perfectly beneath Dom's chin, her hair tickling his neck.
Dom rested his head on top of Mia's head, breathing deeply as he watched the stars in the sky, 'Letty' sparkling from the glint in the midnight moon. His baby was safe with her and for now, he was contempt with being there, alive with his family, even if it meant that Letty had to be somewhere else. He was gradually accepting that it had happened and there was nothing he could do it change it.
Mia pulled away from the hug, looking Dom in the eye and smiling, turning around and taking one last look at the stars in the sky before tugging on Dom's hand and leading him back into the noisy warehouse. Noise bounced off the walls as Tej and Rome laughed around the table, their hands diving into the crisp bag as Brian held a bag of melting ice to his eye.
Dom crinkled his forehead at the sight and Mia squeezed his hand, whispering 'it's fine' under her breath before planting a smile onto her face, pulling him towards the crowd as she sat onto Brian's lap, immediately fussing over his face as Brian wrapped an arm around the waist. For the moment, Dom was happy, knowing that his family had each other's backs and he had his stars to guide his way.
Lately, I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars
A/N – So emotionally draining to write! Leave a review! Pretty please! Favourite! Pretty please! Thanks to never-give-up-hope2 for looking over it!