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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Rob Cohen, etc.
Setting: During Fast & Furious.
Written for: nikitangel who wanted to know Letty's thoughts during the beginning of the movie.
for a second I wished the tide
would swallow every inch of this city

Story of the Year "Anthem of Our Dying Day"

The breeze off the ocean cools her cheeks and the rocks hold the heat of the sun. She can hear her heartbeat in the smack of water against stone. Letty sits, caught between land and sea, the scent of saltwater and gasoline thick in her throat and lungs, and she is at peace.

There are moments of fullness in this life, when she feels like she holds everything inside, the whole of her world caught within her flesh and blood and bones. There is silence outside and in and something almost like peace.

She tries to cling to these moments, because the rest of the time she is empty, a skeleton which walks and talks, a ghost built from the whispers of all the people she used to love.

Mia should be here in a flirty, flowy dress, her long legs bare and dark in the moonlight. She’d perch on the rocks, knees primly pressed together, and smile so innocent, but Letty would know the truth of her and the saucy sideways glances she cast.

Jesse’s laugh should be on the wind twining through her hair, pitched slightly too high, the way he got when he was flirting and making a bit of a fool of himself. Vince should be playing his guitar to impress hot women, using flawed classic rock to get laid. Leon should be lurking, kind of quiet but always right there when he was needed.

Jesse’s dead, Vince and Leon long gone. Mia’s left at home with all the shattered pieces.

There’s a gleam of light Letty just catches out of the corner of her eye, a shooting star.

There aren’t enough wishes in the world to give her what she wants.

Behind her, the music jacks up another notch. She still feels removed from it, safe in shadow and moonlight, safe at the edge of the world, where the water stretches out before her to the end of all things.

She can almost see the curl of tail; there be monsters out in the darkness, rushing toward the land.

It’s a celebration and she’s played her part. She forced herself to smile, to bump fists with the guys, to tap her hip against Cara. They cling to each other sometimes after a job, adrenaline thick in their veins, skin slick with sweat. Han and Dom are close and there’s something delicious about the way their heads tilt together when they talk.

Too bad she can’t let the past go.

Letty scoops up a handful of sand; it dribbles through her fingers, chafing her skin as it falls. It should be so easy to release her thoughts. Usually she can; she’ll tip back a beer and stand with her feet shoulder-width apart and smirk in the light of the bonfires. She’ll shove Dom up against one of the cars, their bodies tight together, and she’ll swallow the past in their kisses.

The wind shifts and she’s chilled. It carries voices to her.

When Dom comes to her, she’s already braced for what he’s going to say, stupid, protective man that he is. He’s still trying to make up for that last run. She’s forgiven him already. Her wounds are long healed, scars gone silver and nearly invisible. He’ll never make up for it, not when it cost them the whole of their lives, every single thing but each other.

Near dawn she’s in bed alone. The sheets are cool on her legs, the pillow too warm beneath her cheek. Her shirt is soft as it stretches across her breasts and covers her belly. Dom’s staring at her so hard she can almost feel it.

She’s not stupid. She’s known him longer than almost anyone, especially since he’s been away from Mia so long now. He thinks it’s not safe, so he’s gonna run. He thinks it’s what he has to do. He thinks it’s taking care of business, protecting his family.

One. Two. Three. In. One. Two. Three. Out. She counts so her breath is steady and is careful not to squeeze her eyes shut too tight. She has to look calm, like she’s really asleep, like he’s getting away with tricking her.

Letty doesn’t beg and she’s not gonna start now.

Dom won’t feel right until he can go home and so she’ll find a way.

He’s not as quiet as he thinks when he leaves. After the door shuts behind him, she opens her eyes and stares at the money on the nightstand. It’s enough to get her back to California. It’s enough to get her started on a new life.

She doesn’t want a life without him.

She knows she could hunt him down, but it’s always going to be like this, running just when places start to feel like they might someday be home.

Mia’s in California. Letty misses her still.

She reaches out and presses the cross against her palm, twines the chain around her fingers. It is cool and slick; it’s already lost the feel of Dom, the heat of him. She squeezes her eyes shut to stop the tears. She’s not gonna cry. She’s got things to do, problems to solve.

She’s going to put the pieces of their family back together again.


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