Life in the Empire

Summary: A/U. Dom and Letty have a different life in the City of Angels.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to the 'FAF' franchise, or anything that may be vaguely similar to this story. Hold on, maybe if I yell into this large, empty cavern, some writers or actors might be in there… Nope! Sorry.

Rated: M for content and language

A/N: Well, I'm glad you guys like this so far! Thanks for the reviews, guys!

Chapter 17

Early Sunday evening, they were cuddled on the couch watching a comedy movie when Dom's phone started buzzing on the table. "What's up, Mia?"

"Are you guys busy?"

"Nah, we're just watching a movie. Why?"

"Okay. I'm coming over."

He chuckled, "Yeah, alright. Let yourself in."

"See you in fifteen minutes."

She hung up without bothering to say goodbye properly, and he put his phone back on the table.

"Mia's coming over?"

"Mhm."

"She's checking up on me", Letty mused.

"Might be", he shrugged. "You need checking up on?"

She chuckled. "No. But Mia says I get volatile around my parents. She might be checking on you."

"Making sure you didn't try to smother me in my sleep, huh?" Dominic teased mildly.

Letty offered him a cheeky grin before laying her head back on his shoulder. "A sneak attack isn't exactly my style."

He ran a hand through her hair. "No, it's really not."

0

Fifteen minutes later, Mia used her key to let herself into their apartment.

"Hey, guys." She re-locked the door and headed into the living room, flopping onto the couch next to her brother, snitching a handful of popcorn from the bowl on the couch.

"What's up, Mia?" Letty greeted curiously, forehead wrinkling curiously, leaning across Dom's legs to sniff her. "You smell like coconuts."

Mia laughed. "I'm exhausted. I was at the beach all day."

Dominic frowned, noticing she had come by herself. "Where's Jack?"

"At the house with Vince", she shrugged.

Letty narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "Really now", she drawled.

Mia frowned. "What?"

"Mia!"

With a patented Toretto look, Mia scoffed. "Oh, please. V spends more time at the house than his apartment. He's only over there to get laid. And Vince being there is the only reason I talked Dom out of installing that asinine security system."

Dominic smirked. "Hey, I was just trying to be a good brother. You didn't have to get testy about it."

"And anyone unwanted in my house is going to have to deal with me and a rifle, and a very obedient guard dog", Mia said pointedly. "Now which do you think would be scarier?"

"I may be biased since I taught you how to shoot", Dom mused.

"My point exactly, Dominic", she rolled her eyes. "Oh, Let, before I forget, Alexis and I took care of the bridesmaid dresses."

Letty sat up slightly. "Where was I?" she chuckled.

"Work?" Mia shrugged.

"Thanks for keeping me in the loop", Letty teased. "What do they look like?"

Mia tugged her phone from her pocket and flicked her thumb over the screen to get to the pictures before passing Letty her cell phone.

Letty thumbed through the pictures, amused at the comical posing Mia and Alexis were doing to show off their dresses. "You guys are cheese balls", she chuckled.

"Yeah, well, we'd had a bit of champagne", Mia admitted with a grin. "So, we did good, right?"

Letty handed her phone back. "Yes, they're perfect. And it's one less thing for me to worry about."

"You just wait", Mia smirked. "We're going to be looking for your wedding dress hardcore now."

Letty just banged her head against Dom's shoulder in frustration while they both laughed at her.

"Do you think your mom will want to come shopping with us?"

"We'll see", Letty muttered with a grimace. "I haven't talked to her lately. I'm not sure what she's going to be like when she gets here."

"Nervous?"

"Eh", Letty grumbled. "It could be worse, I guess."

"I think it will be fine", Mia said seriously. "And if not… we've handled worse… together. You're never on your own, Let."

She laughed under her breath. "Yeah, I know. Despite my best effort to the contrary, that's something that's finally sunk in."

00

Five years ago; following Letty's trip back from New York (follows flashback in Chapter 8):

"Can I come in?"

Letty had been back from New York for five days, and while the initial problem had been dealt with, getting into the issues that lay behind it wasn't something either of them wanted to jump right into.

Things were a little tense, and Letty had spent the past few nights in her old bed in Mia's room.
However, as of yesterday, Mia was staying for a few days, and even though Letty had missed the girl, at sixteen, Mia was even more persistent for information than she used to be. Letty needed a break from being interrogated.

But she suspected she was just trading one line of questioning for another.

Dominic looked up from a car magazine and saw Letty leaning apprehensively against his doorjamb. "I never said you couldn't sleep in here if you wanted to, Let", he said quietly.

"No- I know. Just-"

"Hey, come here." He patted the mattress pointedly.

She let out a sigh and crossed the room quickly before making herself comfortable against his side on the bed.

"Cat got your tongue?" he teased after a few minutes of silence, in which he'd eyed her bare legs shamelessly.

Her nose scrunched irritably.

"Must be a damn big cat", Dom mused. She was nervous. She was wearing a large dark blue t-shirt that barely covered her thighs, and had given him a brief glimpse of yellow panties when she'd gotten on the bed. Her hair was liked into a messy bun on top of her head, exposing her neck... a place he really wanted to attach his mouth to at the moment.

She stuck her tongue out at him pointedly.

He chuckled. "What's up, baby?"

"I missed you", she said seriously.

"While you were in New York?"

She made a noise of frustration. "Yeah- but that's not what I mean. This whole year, Dom... It's been hard."

"We talked about this", he said softly. "We knew it would suck. But you're too smart and beautiful to be tied down with me or at the garage if you don't want to be."

She swallowed and forced a smirk. "You want to tie me down?" Letty murmured teasingly.

"That's all you got from that?" he poked her side gently. "You behave."

"I don't know if I can do this another whole year", she said finally.

"Nine months", he corrected. "And you need to ignore that for the next six weeks and just enjoy the summer."

"I'd enjoy summer more if I was getting laid", she muttered under her breath.

"Really? 'Cause I kinda just want to hold you tonight. Thanks for making me the chick in this relationship", he said wryly.

She laughed softly. "Tonight I'm down with that. But we're gonna have to compromise on the rest of it. You know things are better when we're getting' laid on the regular."

"Can't argue with that", he admitted. "But you gotta let me in your head more, okay? Can we work on that?"

"I'm trying", she said softly.

"I know. I'm still not going anywhere."

"Yeah, I know."

"Can I say something without you taking a swing at me because you don't want to hear what I'm saying?" he asked after a minute.

"No promises", she said evenly. "You talk stupid sometimes."

He snorted. "And you're charming."

"I am", she nodded sagely.

"I'm serious."

She shrugged. "You can try and see what happens."

"I miss you."

"Didn't we just do this?"

"I'm not done. You and me... we've always been friends. And finding out that we have awesome sex together is a bonus. I don't want to fool around with you if we can't be friends, Letty."

"What the hell does that mean?"

"Don't get all tense on me. You know what I'm saying."

"I can't-" she sent him a heated glare. "Fuck!"

He smirked. "I know exactly what you 'can't', and baby girl, fucking ain't on that list."

"Dick", she growled.

"If that's your way of asking for it, it sucks", he laughed.

She smacked his face with a pillow and got up from the bed. "You're starting to tick me off", she warned.

"Hey, sometimes that's the only way to get you to talk to me", he shrugged. Dominic eyed her curiously, deciding this was an argument they both needed to be standing for, and got off the bed to step in front of her. "I need you more than the sex, okay? You're just going to have to deal with that."

"What happened to 'sex can just be sex'?" she cocked an eyebrow at him a bit teasingly.

"We've never had sex that was 'just sex'", Dominic said evenly. "We've been riding the fuck train for a while now because this shit is new for us. If I hadn't been distracted with your hotness, maybe this could have gotten handled already."

"Sorry. I'll try to tone that down", she rolled her eyes.

"Don't play. I can do casual sex, Letty. But I can't do it with you. And if that's what this is gonna be, it's gonna end."

"Who the hell said anything about casual sex?" she asked, sounding a bit shocked. "Two years is a fucking long time to be considered casual."

"That's not exactly what I'm getting at here. You've been keeping me at arms' length since we started having sex, and you know that. I get it; I really do. But if you want this to work-"

"I'm in love with you, okay?!" she interrupted exasperatedly, before lowering her voice to a hoarse whisper. "It scares the hell out of me."

He could count on one hand the number of times he'd heard 'I love yous' from her that weren't during sex or because he'd made her breakfast or coffee. He knew she meant it when she said it, but she'd been trying extra hard to have sex without the friendship they'd had for years, because she didn't know if she could be close to him physically and emotionally at the same time. And up until she'd gone to Pasadena for college, they'd gone through phases of being lovers or friends, but never at the same time. They hadn't had an easy time meshing the two parts of their relationship together.

He pulled her against his chest and kissed the top of her head. "I love you too... You've just got to let me."

00

A/N: Okay, I know this is shorter than you hoped, but hopefully it will get me back in the swing of things writing-wise. And I already have nearly one thousand words written for the next chapter already. (The next chapter will give a look at Dom and Letty's vacation away, before the Christmas chapter comes around.) The link for the bridesmaid dresses is on my profile page.