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After All This Time by angelskuuipo
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Author's Notes:
Warnings/Spoilers: Through the first two movies.
Prompt: Not as awkward as it should have been, meeting you again
Written for Emeraldswan, who gave me the prompt for my Fifth Writing Anniversary. I hope you like it, hon! Thanks be to Sionnach_ayame for the beta.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Dom had to do a double take when he saw him. He could say with certainty that he never expected to see Brian O’Conner again, especially not at a farmer’s market in Little Havana in Miami. He waited for the hot rush of anger and betrayal, but it never came. Instead, what he remembered was the look on Brian’s face as he tried to save Vince, the pleading in his eyes as he blew his cover calling in the Medi-Vac. He remembered leaving Brian in the middle of the road to deal with the fallout alone.

He started towards him, but paused when a caramel-skinned little girl ran up to him. Brian’s face lit up and he swung the toddler up onto his shoulders. Dom looked around and saw a petite woman making a beeline for the two of them. He swallowed as he watched the scene. It looked like Brian had found a new family. He was about to walk away when Brian turned towards him and their eyes met. Brian lifted the girl off his shoulders and handed her to the woman. He said something to her and her head whipped around. She looked Dom up and down and said something that made Brian laugh. He kissed the woman’s cheek and tickled the little girl then walked towards Dom.

They stared at each other for a long moment then Brian broke out into that crazy grin of his. “You look good, Dom.”

Dom looked Brian over carefully before answering. His hair was shorter, a little darker than it used to be. He was leaner too. There were a few more lines in his almost too pretty face. It made him look more like an adult than he had the last time they’d seen each other. Dom nodded once. “You too, Brian.”

Brian’s gaze slipped past Dom’s shoulder and he said, “Let’s walk.”

He suited actions to words and Dom fell into step beside him with a discreet look over his shoulder. There were a couple of uniforms patrolling. It wasn’t an issue, he wasn’t wanted, but he didn’t say anything. They didn’t talk, but the silence was comfortable. He remembered that, too. Brian could talk your ear off, but he could also be still. They’d spent hours working on the Supra without saying a word, but always had an idea of what the other was thinking.

They wandered the aisles of the market for a few minutes until Brian stopped at a cart and ordered two Coronas. He handed one to Dom and looked at him over the lip of the bottle. “So, what brings you back to the States?”

Dom looked at him intently. “Mia’s getting married.”

Brian smiled fondly. “That’s great. Is she here in Miami?”

Nothing. Not even a wince to show the news bothered him. Dom frowned as he took a drink of his beer. “No,” he answered, “She’s still in L.A. I stopped here to visit some family.”

Brian nodded, but didn’t say anything. Dom ground his teeth. Brian noticed and smiled gently. “It’s been five years, Dom. I’m glad she’s found someone.”

Dom’s lip curled a little, but he said evenly, “Looks like you have, too.”

Brian blinked, like he didn’t know what Dom was talking about, then his expression cleared. “Naw. Suki’s with Tej. I’m their daughter’s godfather. I’m not seeing anyone right now.”

Something inside Dom relaxed at that news.

“How are Letty and the rest of the team?”

Dom shrugged. “I haven’t seen Letty for a few years now. Not sure where she is. Leon’s good. He’s in San Diego. Vince is, well, Vince is Vince. He’s still in L.A.”

“And you? How are you doing, Dom?”

The question was loaded. He wasn’t sure how to answer. Instead of replying directly, he said, “You know, this isn’t as awkward as it should have been.” At Brian’s curious look, he explained, “Meeting you again. I always thought I’d beat the shit out of you if we ever crossed paths again, but I’m not angry.”

The lightness fell away from Brian’s face as if it had never been. He glared at Dom and his voice was almost unrecognizable when he spoke. “What have you got to be angry about? I gave up everything for you, you son of a bitch. I blew my cover to save Vince. I killed Tran. I gave you my car and you left me! You fucking left me to pick up the pieces and I couldn’t do it. I didn’t stick around to see if I could salvage my career or talk my way out of jail time. I ran, Dom. I ran to the other side of the fucking country. And they still managed to find me. If I hadn’t been able to help take down Carter Verone, I’d be in prison right now. If anyone’s going to beat the shit out of anyone it’s gonna be me wailing on you.”

Dom blinked and took half a step back. He’d never really thought about what Brian would have gone through after he took off. Once he’d found out Brian was a cop he’d automatically fallen into the ‘them’ category and had ceased to matter. Never mind the fact that Brian had put his life on the line to try and save what he could of Dom’s family, that he’d let him go. He really was a shit sometimes. He was also curious about who this Carter Verone was, but now wasn’t the time.

“I…I’m sorry, Brian.” There wasn’t much else he could say.

Brian blinked at him and relaxed a little. “I never thought I’d hear those words come out of your mouth.” He shrugged and started walking again. “Miami’s not bad. I like it here. Got some good friends, got my own business. I’m doin’ alright.”

“But you don’t have anyone,” Dom pointed out. He wasn’t sure why.

Brian shrugged again, but wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Just haven’t found the right person.”

Dom thought about everything that had happened when Brian entered their lives. He’d flirted with Mia, hell, he’d slept with Mia, but he’d always watched Dom. They’d connected in a way that was really kind of scary, because it hadn’t taken any time at all. They knew each other, even though they’d been lying to one another about who they really were. That was just the surface. It was what was underneath that had mattered. He recalled what Brian had said a few minutes ago. “I gave up everything for you.” You. The light dawned.

He maneuvered Brian into an alley where there weren’t many people. It’d been stupid to have this conversation in such a public place, but this part definitely didn’t need an audience.

Brian was looking at him kind of funny. Dom didn’t blame him. He wasn’t acting like his normal self. He cocked his head and studied Brian for a moment then nodded to himself.

“It was never Mia, was it?”

Brian blanched then schooled his features into a cool mask. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Dom snorted. “Don’t lie to me, Brian. There’ve been too many already.” When Brian remained stubbornly silent Dom moved a little closer. “See, I think you have met the right person, only he’s been too much of a self-centered asshole to realize what he had. He’s also got some amends to make, but if you give him a chance, I think he could make things right.”

Brian blinked at him. He’d been doing that a lot for the past hour. “You’re not making a whole lot of sense, Dom.”

He nodded then said plainly, “I think I’m the reason you’re not with anybody.”

This time Brian snorted, but he didn’t move away when Dom invaded his personal space. “Damn, Dom. Ego much?”

Dom lifted his hand and Brian tensed a little, but stayed still. Dom let one blunt finger trace the contours of Brian’s face, sliding down to feel the rapid pulse at his throat. “Am I wrong?”

Brian stayed rigid for a few more seconds then slumped against the brick behind him. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. “I wasn’t prepared for you. I thought I was. I’d read your file, thought I knew what to expect, but you weren’t anything like that. Mia was right when she called you gravity. I really didn’t want it to be you.”

And couldn’t that last sentence be taken oh so many ways?

He fell silent and Dom realized he wasn’t going to say anything more. He figured it was his turn. “I wasn’t exactly prepared for you either. You came on the scene all eager puppy, but you knew your shit. You made my sister smile. Hell, you got Jesse to concentrate for more than five minutes at a time. You were a piece I never knew we were missing. I’d wondered why there were never any warrants put out. I guess that was because of you. Thank you.”

Brian slowly tilted his head forward and met his eyes. “Without me, pretty much all they had was circumstantial. I doubt they could have lifted any prints off the cars after I got through with them and I figured the truck driver wouldn’t come forward, since he wasn’t supposed to be carrying a weapon, and he still had his cargo. It was the best I could do.”

“I never should have done that last job.”

“Nope.”

“You think we could start over?”

Brian looked at him for a long time before he smiled and held out his hand. “Brian O’Conner.”

Dom smiled back and shook his hand. “Dominic Toretto. Call me Dom.”

There were still issues between them, a lot of talking to be done, but Dom had a feeling it would all work out. After all this time, maybe he could finally be happy again.

-30-

Skin Design by Amy



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