nightrider101 (nightrider101) wrote,
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FIC: Along the Way (1/7?)

Title: Along the Way
Author: NightRider
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Fast and Furious
Characters: Dom, Brian, Mia, Rico, and Tego
Spoilers: All four movies
Beta: The forever amazing souleswanderer and raynedanser
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Fast and Furious and no money was made from writing this story.
Summary: Dom has questions. He hopes Brian has answers.

A/N: I'm not exactly sure how this happened. *scratches head* The muse is a fickle beast.




Dom heard the cars long before he saw them. The roar of the engines, the squeal of the tires, the sounds of freedom. He wasn’t surprised to see Brian O’Connor amongst his rescuers. Later, as he sat on a porch near the border of Guatemala, he figured he should have been.

He had thanked Mia, hugged her and said she shouldn’t have come – it was too dangerous. She’d shoved him, jammed her finger in his face, and said family came first. Always. He didn’t argue any further. She was more bull headed than him when she wanted to be.

Tego and Rico. He had no idea how Mia had found them or why they came, but they had, and Dom was forever thankful. They always were crazy bastards. Dom heard the clink of beer bottles as they stumbled outside and wrestled over the remaining dusty chair.

The sun was setting, the warmth seeping into his skin as he looked out at the bland horizon. It was one of the most beautiful things he’d ever seen.

Dom took the offered bottle, bringing it to his lips and draining nearly half in two leisurely sips. “Why?”

“'Cause it’s hot as hell out here,” Tego replied, giving Rico one last shove before dropping onto the chair.

Dom shook his head. “That’s not what I meant.” He drained the rest of the Corona. “California. Prison. Me. Why?”

Rico shrugged, rubbing his hand over the back of his neck. “When we got the call…” He shrugged again, fumbling for an answer. “Seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Dom nodded because that was something he understood. Living in the moment, making split second decisions. Still, it didn’t add up. “So Mia called you and –“

“Who said anything about Mia?” Tego interjected.

“Yeah, it was your boy Brian that called us,” Rico finished.

The screen door opened and Mia walked out, passing another beer to Dom as she went. “So what you guys talking about?”

Tego shrugged. “California, prison, and Dom.”

“Respectively?” she asked.

“Are we supposed to know what that means?” Rico asked. Mia shoved him, grinning.

Dom held the bottle loosely between three fingers, his other hand tapping on his thigh.

“This doesn’t look good,” Rico commented.

“Yeah,” Tego agreed. “He’s thinking.”

“I don’t want to be around when he strains something. Wanna head to the bar?” Rico asked. Tego nodded and pushed himself up.

“Later.”

Dom and Mia watched them go in a screech of tires and a cloud of dust. Mia pulled the vacant chair closer to Dom and plopped down.

“What’s on your mind?”

“It was Brian’s idea.” It wasn’t a question.

“He put it together, but I was more than a willing participant if that’s what you’re getting at.” She was ready to defend Brian, her Toretto temper flaring in an instant.

“No, that’s not what I was getting at.”

“So what then?” she asked. “I don’t read minds.”

“Why’d he do it? He was working for the fucking FBI. His dream job. Isn’t that what all the cops want to do?”

Mia leaned back on the chair, one hand shielding her eyes from the setting sun. “Dreams change, Dom.”

“That’s not an answer.”

She shrugged. “I don’t have an answer. Why don’t you ask him?”

He nodded, pushed himself up, and went to find his answers. He found the person in question exactly where he’d left him four hours ago, underneath the hood of a beat up Eclipse.

“Hey.”

Brian jerked up, his head nearly slamming against the hood of the car. “Warn a guy, will ‘ya?” Brian snapped.

“How are those cop reflexes workin’ out for you?” Dom asked.

“Didn’t realize I was going to need them,” Brian replied, his voice hard.

Dom looked at him, really looked, and for the first time realized he had no idea what he was looking at. They’d driven straight across the border, stopping only once to dump the cars – all but the Charger, and kept driving until they arrived in the broken down place they were calling home. Dom had spent time with Mia, enjoying his sister’s company more than he could put into words, and caught up with Tego and Rico. They had enough stories to fill the void of a long evening. If nothing else, watching them argue was always entertaining. It was Brian that had faded into the background, smiling and responding when appropriate, keeping beers in everyone’s hand, but other than that, he was usually in their makeshift garage with his head stuck in an engine.

Dom passed him a beer, and Brian glanced at him, only slightly hesitant before taking the offered Corona. “So what were you doing?”

Brian nodded to the engine. “New headers.”

“No, not the car. I mean –“ He shrugged. “Before.”

“Before what?”

“Or after.”

Brian took a few gulps of the beer and wiped his mouth on his arm. “I gotta tell you, man. You’re not making any sense.”

For once, Dom agreed with him, but he wasn’t going to tell him that. “After you let me go, what’d you do?”

Brian sighed, leaning against the side of the car. He suddenly looked tired, and Dom tried to remember if he’d seen Brian sleep since they got here. “Does it matter?”

“I want to know.” He said it like he deserved an answer. Truthfully, O’Connor didn’t owe him shit and he knew it, but he had a feeling Brian didn’t.

“Not much,” Brian said, shrugging again. “Did some races, went to Miami, worked in a garage.”

“That it?”

“Jesus, Dom. What do you want me to say?” Brian snapped, pushing away from the car and dropping the empty bottle in the dirt. The anger, that was new. Brian was tired, nearly dead on his feet and running on sheer adrenaline alone. If Dom was ever going to get any answers, now would be the time.

“You could try the truth. For once.”

Brian’s eyes narrowed. “Fine. I went undercover and took down a South American drug lord.”

What was ironic was that Dom believed him. “Alone?”

“My best friend was with me. Unfortunately I nearly got him killed in the process, but everything worked out in the end.”

Dom realized the other thing that he’d never noticed in Brian before – guilt. Brian seemed visibly weighed down by it, like an invisible shroud was clinging to his shoulders and he couldn’t escape it.

“Sounds dangerous,” Dom commented.

Brian’s eyes widened, and he seemed at a loss. Then he shook his head and laughed. It was a deep belly laugh that contained no humor at all. It was like he was remembering another time, a time when he was afraid, when he even remembered what it was like to be afraid. Now this Brian that was wrapped in guilt, with anger simmering just below the surface was something else entirely, but Dom was a patient man, and he’d get the rest of his answers in time.

“Come on,” Dom said, gesturing for Brian to follow him.

“Go ahead,” Brian replied, turning back to the engine. “I want to finish this.”

“Maybe you didn’t understand me,” Dom said, grabbing Brian’s arm and yanking him away from the car. “It wasn’t a request.”

Brian made a feeble attempt at digging his heels in the compacted dirt of the garage, but Dom didn’t even slow down. He propelled him up the wooden stairs and opened the screen door, shoving Brian inside.

“Dom, what the hell, man?” Brian barked, crossing his arms over his chest. There was something about his stance that showed this was more for saving face than anything else.

“Go to bed,” Dom ordered as he started picking through the stack of old magazines on the floor.

“What?” Brian yelled. “What am I? Five?”

“I don’t give a shit what you are as long as you’re in that bed,” Dom replied, pointing to the hallway that led to the three small bedrooms.

Brian pinched the bridge of his nose as Dom plopped down on the couch with a magazine on drag racing. “Dom, you probably won’t believe this, but I don’t need a keeper.”

“You’re right. I don’t believe you.”

Dom swore he heard Brian growl. “You’re being an ass.”

“How long has it been, Brian? Nearly three days with no sleep?”

“Four, but that’s not the point. The point is –“

Dom cut across him. “Night, Brian.”

“Dom –"

Dom put one hand on the arm rest and was halfway off the couch before Brian tossed his hands in the air and stalked down the hall, the door slamming shut behind him. If that little display was any indication, Brian was more than tired, he was fucking exhausted. Well, O’Connor was in for a shock, because if there was anything Dom was good at, it was looking out for people.

Mia stuck her head out of the kitchen. “Mom would be proud of you.”

Dom smiled, setting the magazine aside. “I learned from the best.”

She rested her hip against the kitchen doorway. “So did you get your answers?”

“No, not all of them. Not even close.”

“We’ve got time,” she replied, a gentle smile curving her lips.

“Yeah, we’ve got time.”

Mia pulled a crumpled paperback off the bookshelf and settled next to Dom, tucking her legs underneath her. Dom listened to Mia flipping a page every few minutes and thought of Brian sleeping in the next room. Somewhere in that idle moment he realized he was happy, he was home.

And he’d get his answers in the end. All of them.

Chapter 2
Tags: along the way, fanfic, fast and furious
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