nightrider101 (nightrider101) wrote,

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FIC: Along the Way (10/13?)

Title: Along the Way
Author: NightRider
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Fast and Furious
Characters: Dom, Brian, Mia, Rico, Tego, Leon and minor original characters
Spoilers: All four movies
Beta: The forever amazing souleswanderer and fantastic 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.

Brian woke up to the realization that he’d poured his soul out to Dom all over the trunk of the Eclipse. The shock wasn’t so much what he’d said; it was that he didn’t regret it. He figured the biggest reason for that was that he was leaving tomorrow. He’d accepted the likelihood that he wouldn’t return so what did it matter? Dom deserved some honesty, and Brian wasn’t trying to be a mystery. He just figured his past wasn’t worth talking about.

Dom had stayed with him, listened to him, and proved to be an even better friend than Brian thought he deserved. If Brian had had any hesitation about leaving, it dissipated last night. He would not bring the danger of his past to Dom. He’d die before he let that happen.

He heard the sound of the coffee pot in the kitchen and rolled onto his side. Mia was holding a cup in her hands, watching him.

“Hey,” Brian mumbled, his voice thick with the remnants of sleep.

Mia’s eyes widened and she rounded the counter to the hallway. “Sorry, Brian. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Brian pushed himself up, his feet falling to the floor. “It’s okay.” When he realized she was going back to her room, he said, “You don’t have to leave.” She was acting like a stranger in her own house.

She looked nervous, her eyes jutting from her door to Brian. “Go back to sleep. I shouldn’t have –“

Brian shook his head and patted the empty space next to him. “Come sit down.” When she didn’t move, he added, “please?”

She nodded, padding across the floor and plopping down next to him. She stared at her half full cup of coffee.

What the hell was wrong with Mia? “What’s up?” he asked. She continued silently studying her coffee. He poked her side, and she pulled away from him, glaring. “That’s more like it,” Brian said, smiling.

“How can you act like nothing’s wrong?” she asked, leaning away in case he decided to continue his poking.

“Um…should something be wrong?” Did he miss something after he went outside last night?

“I treated you like shit last night,” Mia said, shifting her glare to her mug. “You should be mad as hell at me right now.”

“Don’t I get a say in the matter?”

Mia chuckled, shaking her head. “I don’t know what to do with you, Brian.”

“I’m not mad at you, Mia,” Brian said. “I never was. I’m certainly not going to be pissed off at you over something you knew nothing about that happened over fifteen years ago.”

Mia turned her head slowly, her gaze meeting Brian’s. “You’re something else. Do you know that? Anyone else would be angry and have every right to feel that way.”

Brian shrugged. “I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not anyone else.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I want you to know that. I had no idea what happened to your mother. If I had –"

“Mia, it’s okay,” Brian repeated. “We’re cool.”

Her gaze dropped to her mug again. “You sure?”

Brian seemed to consider this for a second before wrapping his arm around her tightly. He used his other hand to tickle her side.

“Brian! Brian!” she shrieked, coffee sloshing all over the floor.

“Are we cool?” Brian asked as his hand continued its relentless onslaught.

“We’re cool!” she yelled, trying to pull away from him. Her mug ended up on the floor, and he used the added leverage to push her down, freeing his other hand to continue his tickling.

“Are you sure?” he asked, grinning. She had ended up with her legs still on the floor, but he’d managed to pin her midsection between his thighs.

“Yes! For fuck’s sake, I’m sure!”

Somewhere in the middle of this Dom and Leon had stumbled out, both alarmed by the yelling. They’d taken one look at the situation and decided coffee was the next logical course of action.

“Dom, do something!” Mia cried, futilely pushing at Brian’s chest.

“Not touching that with a ten foot pole,” Dom commented while pouring himself a large cup of coffee.

“Leon,” Mia pleaded, tears of laughter pooling in her eyes. “Help me!”

“Did you hear something?” Leon asked.

“Nope, not a word,” Dom replied.

“Are you really, really sure?” Brian persisted.

“Brian! You bastard! I’m sure!” Mia yelled.

Brian nodded, satisfied. He grabbed her waving hands and slid off her, pulling her up as he went. “Glad we got that sorted out.”

Mia glared at him, punching his arm playfully. “Bastard.”


Mia’s screams had woken Dom from a deep sleep. He’d charged out his bedroom door ready to beat the head in of whomever or whatever was attacking his sister. The scene that had greeted him was Brian straddling his sister demanding to know if they were okay. It wasn’t hard to figure out what they had been discussing prior to this playful display. It hadn’t surprised him that Brian wasn’t mad. It wasn’t in his nature. It also hadn’t surprised Dom that Mia had figured Brian would be upset. Brian wasn’t the type of person the Torettos typically dealt with.

Brian picked up Mia’s empty cup and walked to the kitchen. He refilled her cup and grabbed a towel to clean up the wooden floor where the coffee had spilled.

“Thanks,” she said, taking the offered mug and watching Brian clean up the mess.

“We’re heading into town,” Dom said. “We need to get couple of parts.”

“What are we working on today?” Leon asked.

“The Charger. I want to finish it.”

Leon blinked several times. “Today?”

“Yep,” Dom replied, nodding once.

“Aren’t you kind of rushing things?” Leon asked.

Dom met Brian’s gaze across the room. “Nope.”

Leon nodded. “Okay, then.”


It was late in the afternoon when Dom closed the hood of the Charger. He didn’t slam it, his hands lowering the metal reverently until it latched closed. Leon started clapping, and Brian was grinning. They’d busted ass all day to get it finished. Having three people working diligently made it a lot easier.

“So, who’s up for a quick drive?” Dom said, tossing the keys in the air and catching them.

Leon stepped back. “You guys go ahead.”

“What?” Brian said, his eyes wide. “You don’t want to come?”

“Yeah, the way you were eying her while you were changing the manifold, I thought we were going to have to leave the two of you alone,” Dom commented.

“Next time,” Leon said, wiping his hands on his jeans. Dom and Brian had earned this, and more than deserved it.

“Leon, you’ve busted your ass on this car,” Brian said. “I’ll ride bitch. I don’t care.”

Not that it wasn’t nice to be wanted, but Brian and Dom could both be pretty damn thick when they wanted to be. Leon had been watching them throughout the afternoon. He wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, but he knew enough to know something was up.

“Go ahead,” Leon repeated. “I’m not feeling good anyway.”

Dom’s eyes narrowed. “You were feeling fine an hour ago.”

“Yeah, and now my head is killing me,” Leon said, rubbing his forehead for emphasis.

“Why don’t you come inside?” Mia said, appearing in the garage doorway. “I’ll get you some Tylenol.”

“See, someone has some damn sympathy,” Leon muttered, brushing past Dom and Brian. “Thanks, Mia.”

“Be safe,” Mia said over her shoulder as she followed Leon inside.

“So, how’s your head?” Mia asked after she closed the door. She raised her eyebrow, one hand on her hip. Yeah, she was calling him on his bullshit.

“I think it’s actually getting better,” Leon said, rolling his head as if testing to make sure.

“Bullshit,” Mia muttered, opening the fridge. “You want a beer?”

“A coke’s fine,” Leon said. He took the offered soda and Mia opened a Snapple.

“I know what you’re doing,” Mia said suddenly.

Leon looked at the red can he was holding. “I’m, uh, drinking a soda.”

Mia rolled her eyes. “No, you idiot, I know what you’re doing with Brian and Dom.”

If she was going to accuse him of being some kind of fucked up matchmaker, he was going to laugh in her face. It wasn’t like that, and that certainly wasn’t his intention.

“After all the shit they’ve been through – you all have been through – I thought it would do them some good. I don’t know, let them do something fun.” He ran his hand through his hair; just what exactly was he trying to justify here?

Mia nodded and patted him on the shoulder. “Thanks, Leon. You did good.” Leon almost dropped the soda can. As if this cluster fuck needed another layer of complexity.


Dom shifted gears, his eyes watching the road, his body feeling every pulse and vibration of the powerful machine underneath him. He saw Brian out of the corner of his eye. He had his arm resting outside the window, his eyes were bright, and his posture was completely relaxed. For a second, it looked like he didn’t have a care in the world.

“Nothing like American muscle,” Brian said, his voice pitched higher to be heard over the wind and the engine.

“You got that right.” He shifted gears as they pulled onto an empty stretch of highway. “Where do you want to go?”

Brian rolled his head against the back of the seat so he could see Dom. “Don’t care. Just keep driving.” Yeah, that Dom could do.

He kept driving, the scenery blurring into the background around them, and Brian watched it all intently, like he’d never seen it before or he was never going to see it again. Dom never paid a lot of attention to Brian’s intensity before, and now he couldn’t stop thinking about it. The man never let up. Sure, he was calm and collected, but the intensity was always there, the violent storm waging just out of reach.

After countless miles and endless stretches of nothing, Dom slowed down enough to where he wouldn’t have to yell. “You want to drive?”

“No,” Brian replied, shaking his head. “I’m good.”

Dom shrugged. He preferred to drive, anyway. “You know I wouldn’t let just anyone drive her.”

“When you weren’t around, you didn’t have much of a choice,” Brian replied.

“That’s why I was offering now.” Because he trusted Brian, he trusted him with the most important thing in his possession.

Brian gave him a half smile, a smile that changed his face, a smile that nearly made Dom grin in response. “Thanks, man. I mean that, but I’d rather watch you.”

Dom cleared his throat, his mouth suddenly dry. “I didn’t realize you were such a voyeur.”


In a way, Dom was right. Brian wanted to watch everything, commit each and every detail to memory. The way Dom handled the powerful car, the way he kept his hand light on the wheel, the way he shifted effortlessly. Brian didn’t want to forget a thing.

Dom urged the car faster; the engine rumbling its response as it surged forward, and Brian was pressed to the seat. He couldn’t help but grin, and Dom responded in kind, their faces bright as they raced toward the invisible finish line.

Finally, Dom slowed down, and Brian felt himself being released from the seat. There was something to be said for kinetic energy.

“I suppose we should head back,” Dom said, not sounding convinced.

“If you want to,” Brian said. Dom looked away, his expression clearly saying that no, he didn’t want to. Brian chalked it up to driving the Charger. Once Dom got behind the wheel, he didn’t want to leave.

“Hey, I know a place,” Dom said suddenly, and Brian nodded his agreement and leaned back to enjoy the ride. They ended up turning around and backtracking about ten miles. Dom turned off onto a side road that wasn’t paved. Eventually it dead ended at an outcropping that overlooked a quarry pond. Even though it was dark out, the moon was nearly full so Brian could see fairly well when he stepped out of the car. He didn’t ask how in the hell Dom had found this place.

“When you said ‘a place’, I figured it was going to be a bar,” Brian commented, leaning against the side of the car.

“What’s wrong, O’Connor? Afraid of a little nature?” Dom asked, picking up a rock and skipping it across the water.

“I was going to say this is better,” Brian replied. His gaze drifted from the sparse trees to the reflection of the moon on the water. “It’s amazing what you notice when you take the time to look for it.”

Dom followed his gaze to the water. “I didn’t realize you were so deep.”

Brian rolled his eyes, pulled his tee shirt over his head. “Fuck you, Toretto.”

Dom’s eyes widened. “What are you doing?”

Brian was holding his shirt in one hand and stared at Dom’s wide eyed expression. Did he really think…? A second later he was laughing in Dom’s face.

“Don’t worry, Dom. Your sanctity is still intact,” Brian said, kicking off his shoes and walking towards the lake.

Dom watched him go. “My sanctity?” he muttered, pulling off his shirt. “I’ll show you sanctity.” He dove in the water after Brian had disappeared under the surface.

Brian’s head popped up above the water and he looked around. He felt a hand close around his ankle and he was yanked underneath the surface. He hoped Dom didn’t hear his undignified squawk as he was being pulled under. He did manage to get his arm around Dom’s neck when they resurfaced, and he used his weight and the element of surprise to shove the larger man underneath the water.

They wrestled for several minutes, pulling each other under and tossing insults back and forth. Eventually they agreed to a tactful truce, even though Dom had done most of the dunking.

Just for a moment, Brian entertained the fantasy that it could stay like this, that they could laugh and joke and fuck around and everything would be okay. What he got for his dreaming was Dom yanking him back underneath the water.

Brian resurfaced, spluttering. “I thought we had a truce.”

Dom shrugged, the water sliding over his shoulders and looking unsympathetic. “You were thinking too much.”

“So you can hear me thinking now?” Brian asked, flicking water in Dom’s direction.

“Yep,” Dom replied.

Brian treaded water until his feet touched the sandy bottom. “I’ll try to think more quietly in the future.”

“Or you could just tell me what’s on your mind.” Yeah, there was always that. Brian wondered how Dom would take the news. Probably not well so that suggestion came and went. Dom wouldn’t understand and would probably come up with some half-cocked idea to go with him, and that was definitely out of the question.

“This is nice,” Brian said finally. And it was. Too nice. And if he stayed out here any longer, he was going to on the phone to Bilkins telling him the deal was off. Until Verone and his lackeys showed up on his doorstep and put a bullet in the head of someone Brian cared about.

Dom grabbed him around the neck, and for a second Brian was held against his chest. “Again with the thinking,” Dom mumbled, his voice sounding like gravel.

Brian swallowed, his breath seizing in his throat. Well, Dom accomplished his mission because Brian wasn’t thinking anymore, not about anything but Dom. “Point taken,” Brian murmured.

Dom’s arm tightened for a fraction of a second, and Brian thought he felt Dom’s pulse against his neck. “Good.” In the next breath Dom released him and was wading towards the shore, and Brain was left staring at his back wondering what the hell just happened. He dove underneath the water and swam until his lungs ached, resurfacing on the far side of the lake. He swam with long, measured strokes as he made his way to back to place where he could touch the ground. Finally, he left the water to join Dom who was lounging on the hood of the Charger.

“Figured we should dry out of a bit before heading back,” Dom said, one arm folded behind his head as he leaned against the windshield.

Brian slid onto the hood, the warmth of the engine seeping through his damp jeans. He followed Dom’s line of sight up to the stars that were barely visible in the moonlit sky. Yeah, he could get used to this. Brian’s life had been nothing but a wild ride since he’d met Dom. One crisis and catastrophe after another, one tragic loss after another, and now, here on the border in some town in Mexico whose name Brian couldn’t pronounce, for the first time in five years, things felt right.

Neither of them said anything, it wasn’t necessary. That was the beauty of their relationship, words weren’t always required. They could just occupy the same space, and it was enough. Might not always be perfect, but it worked for them.

Time slid by, and Dom eventually turned his head so he could see Brian. Brian met his gaze, and in his mind there was a click, a mental picture – he would remember this moment forever. And he knew Dom was worth it. Whatever he might be facing, Verone and all the resources that he had, Dom was worth it.

“We should head back,” Dom said. He almost sounded apologetic about it.


It was another five minutes before they slid off the hood and pulled on their shirts. Dom tossed him the keys, and Brian caught them out of habit. “What’s this for?”

Dom pulled open the passenger door. “You’re driving.” He closed the door before Brian could respond. Brian stared at the keys in his hand for a moment.

The Charger felt familiar, like an old friend he hadn’t visited in ages. He didn’t drive particularly fast. He wasn’t in a hurry, and Dom didn’t seem in a rush either.

Brian was surprised he knew the way back to the house without having to ask. It was after 9:00 when they pulled into the driveway. Leon and Mia were on the porch having a drink and laughing when they got out the car.

“You guys forget to roll up the windows at the car wash?” Leon asked. Brian and Dom’s blank looks caused Leon to point to their damp jeans. “You’re both wet.” For whatever reason, Mia started laughing.

“I think we missed the joke,” Brian commented.

Dom glanced at the empty bottles cluttering the porch. “I’m guessing there isn’t a joke.”

Mia wiped at her eyes, still smiling. “There’s food in the oven. It should still be warm.”

“Thanks, Mia,” Brian said as he and Dom walked into the house and retreated to their separate bedrooms to get changed. By the time Brian reemerged, Dom had already fixed two plates.

Brian followed him outside with two Coronas, and he traded Dom a beer for a plate of lasagna. Brian sat on the floor, his back against the wall.

“You can have my chair,” Leon offered.

“You’re fine,” Brian replied, diving into his food like he hadn’t eaten in a week. “It’s really good, Mia,” Brian said after swallowing a massive bite.

Dom was too enraptured by his plate to say anything. “You do realize no one’s going to take that away from you,” Leon said. Brian looked up and saw Dom shoveling food in his mouth. He smiled, thinking of Rome.

“What?” Mia asked. Since he was sitting close to her chair, she was able to nudge his knee with her foot.

“Nothing. Just reminded me of someone,” Brian said before taking a few swallows of his Corona.

The inevitable question was asked in unison by Mia and Leon. “Who?”

“A friend of mine. Rome.”

Leon’s eyes widened. “That crazy guy! I talked to him!”

Brian nodded. “Yeah, you did.”

“He do time?” Dom asked, setting his empty plate aside.

“Yep.” Dom nodded. There were people who had an insatiable appetite, and then were people who’d done time, who knew what it was like to eat tasteless food everyday.

“He was a good guy, though,” Brian said. He was eating slower, trying to enjoy each bite and savor the feeling of his stomach getting full. “Handy in a fight, too.”

“Like Vince,” Dom agreed.

“I’d prefer Rome, but, yeah, like Vince,” Brian replied.

Normally the past was a sensitive topic, but now, they were amongst friends, and it didn’t feel as raw anymore. Brain finished his plate, resisting the urge to lick the sauce off. That would definitely give Leon fodder for more bad jokes.

He pushed himself up and grabbed Dom’s plate.

“I can get those,” Mia said, standing up.

Brian looked at her, smiling. “The cook doesn’t clean, remember?”

She pressed the back of her hand to her forehead. “Where have you been all my life?” she said dramatically.

“Probably with Rome,” Leon commented. Brian kicked his foot as he walked into the house to drop the plates in the sink.

“We’ll get it later,” Dom called through the screen door.

“Yeah? And what are we going to do now?” Brian yelled back, rinsing the dishes off under the water.

“Get drunk!” Leon answered for him. “Bring beer!”

Get drunk. Yeah, Brian could do that. One for the road, right?

Mia joined him at the counter. “Best not to argue with him,” she said as she pulled a bottle of vodka down to mix it with cranberry juice.

Brian and Mia rejoined the other two men outside, passing drinks around and setting the bottle of vodka on the floor just in case. They talked about the past, about friends they’d known along the way, swapped stories about their parents – at least Dom, Mia, and Leon did. They talked about careers and dead end jobs they’d worked. They talked about fast cars and past loves.

And even though they never vocalized it, they drank to those they’d lost along the way, to the future, whatever it might hold, and Brian drank with them to say goodbye.

After much insistence, Leon let Brian take the couch. Brian was a nice guy, after all. A giver as Dom put it, his eyes teasing. The group stumbled to bed, their heads heavy from the alcohol, but their hearts light from the good company.

And in the morning, Brian was gone.

Chapter 11
Tags: along the way, fanfic, fast and furious

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