Title: Dark Days in Light City
Disclaimer: Not Universal/no profit
Brian squinted into the dazzling bar of sunlight gushing out from between the curtains. He’d managed to ignore the light for a while; something else had pushed him into wakefulness. His cell was buzzing insistently in his pants. He curled up wincing, and rooted through a mixed pile of twisted clothing full of focus: kill the evil noise that was keeping him from sleeping. Dom stirred fitfully while Brian finally managed to extract the phone. Glancing at the caller ID, he clicked to forward to voicemail.
“Who’z m’phone?” Dom rumbled around a yawn. When he twisted, the bed shook.
Brian grunted. He flopped back onto the rumpled bed and rubbed his eyes. He ached all over. Maybe if he just pretended to fall back asleep, Dom would forget it and then he could really fall back asleep.
Dom nudged him. “Who?”
Brian sighed. “My friend. ‘s name’s Roman Pearce. You met him sorta.”
Dom was silent for a while. Brian leaned a little harder on his left side and rubbed his shoulder against Dom’s, like he was just trying to get comfortable.
“The guy who was with you at the garage?” Dom sounded like he was just confirming this; it was mostly statement, with just a hint of question. Dom rolled inward and made no bones about sliding his heavy thigh over Brian’s.
“Yeah,” Brian rubbed his face carefully, skirting the hurt spots.
Dom’s eyes were open, he didn’t say anything but something in his face felt like a prompt.
“He n’ me….go back a ways,” Brian started slowly. “Friends since the Dark Ages.”
“Back in Arizona?” Dom’s curiosity seemed to be waking up slowly, that was actually a question.
“Barstow,” Brian grunted.
“Huh,” Dom rolled fully back onto his back and turned his head to face Brian. Silence stretched.
“What?” Brian snapped finally. Dom’s look was so intense, it almost tickled.
“I’m just trying to picture it,” Dom grinned suddenly. “It’s hard for me to imagine.”
Brian rolled over and spread his palm over Dom’s chest. “Picture this.”
Brian’s phone rang again while he was puttering slowly down the hall to the kitchen. Dom stood in front of the sink and watched. Again, Brian let it click over to voicemail and settled himself at the table.
Dom’s sudden sobriety didn’t really lend itself to appetite, but Brian might be hungry. Dom felt brittle and kind of shaky; he covered it by moving very deliberately. He shook a couple of cereal boxes but they rattled all light and mostly empty. Slim pickings.
When Brian looked up too-casually from his phone’s tiny green screen, Dom tried to pull his face out of its wry lines and make it look sympathetic. He didn’t do a very good job, because Brian ducked his head and started peeling the label off an empty beer bottle.
Dom opened his mouth to say something and then covered it with a stifled yawn. The lightest dusting of stubble roughed Brian’s face. Yesterday had been warm and clear, but this morning was misty and damp; marine layer sliding in off the ocean and turning the sky white and the air cool. Being so suddenly sober made him feel fragile and brittle, like the breeze could knock him down and shatter him.
Dom put a kettle on with the vague idea of making some coffee. Behind him, Brian cleared his throat and fidgeted.
Dom stared at the shelf in front of him. He blinked. The broad spread of Brian’s fingers clung, tanned and dark against white sheets. The long, curving slope of Brian’s arched back and his even voice was raised to keen. Dom breathed in deep through his nose and out through his mouth. It was nine o’clock in the morning and it was almost all he could do to keep his hands on the counter and not reach for a beer.
Dom kept his observation sidelong as he assembled instant coffee for both of them. Brian rolled back into his usual sprawl and his face tightened marginally. He pulled himself back upright.
Dom leaned the heels of his hands hard on the counter, rocked his weight back on his heels and ducked his head. Hopefully, it would look like he was just stretching. Of course, Brian couldn’t sit still or get comfortable. Dom sunk his teeth down hard into his lower lip, trying not to feel the thrumming thrill that surged up through his stomach.
God, he’d been so deep inside Brian last night, but this morning Brian was sure enough deeper in him. He couldn’t free himself from searing sense memory. It was like his ears were ringing with it.
He couldn’t say anything. At this moment, it felt like he literally couldn’t speak. His mouth had been sewn shut. His throat had been filled with glue.
The kettle started to hum. Brian crumpled some thin plastic something behind him. This was just all very….delicate. Intricate. And terrifying.
“What are you eating?” Dom asked finally. He peered over Brian’s shoulder at the crumbs on the table.
“Uh….” Brian looked down at his hands. “Bread. This is white bread. Hey, don’t look at me like that; it’s all you had that wasn’t green or rock-hard.”
“Whatever,” Dom growled turning back to the cupboards. “I’ll make you some eggs.”
“Don’t just on my account.” Brian seemed to perk up at the mention of eggs though, and Dom could tell he was just being polite. They hadn’t eaten that much last night.
Dom swallowed down a splash of deep and unreasoning fear, then reached for a bowl and creaked the refrigerator open. “No trouble.”
Some low, savage voice in his head muttered behind the fridge’s door, you’re gonna need your strength .
Brian decided that he didn’t really like this feeling. It was an itchy feeling, an on-edge feeling and it sucked. It was the almost-there feeling and it made him twitch and fidget more than the slight ache over his collarbone where Dom had punched him or the small twinges at the base of his spine where Dom had…done other things.
Dom was doing the watching without watching thing, that was super annoying in and of itself. He kept trying to catch Dom in a glance, but Dom could be a sneaky motherfucker if he hadn’t decided to play all full-frontal. Brian had a moment of swift and hopeless nostalgia for the first words that Dom had ever directed exclusively to him: I’m in your face. Today, after they’d finally managed to extract themselves from the bed, Dom suddenly wasn’t able to meet his gaze for ten consecutive seconds.
Dom had moved half-idly into the space that obviously occupied most of his time. His garage on the property was obviously about function, not form. The structure looked sturdy enough, if distinctly unlovely, sun-bleached siding that was cracked in the spots where it got hottest.
All the loveliness was inside.
A vehicular rainbow sparkled behind the sliding door. Some of them half-veiled by tarps, some of them dripped chrome. Candy-striped and dazzling decals. Brian blinked.
“These all yours?”
Dom looked back at him blankly for a second, fingering the wrench he’d just picked up. “Nah, most of them are works in progress for some of the guys around here.”
“Works in progress?” Brian bent down to admire the spoiler something that had started life as a Hyundai.
“Income streams aren’t regular,” Dom explained shortly. “They bring cash when they can or other stuff. I got the space to garage ‘em here, so they get to roll ‘em out when they’re done to the dubs.”
“Surprise the competition?” Brian grinned.
“Nice work,” Brian leaned over the open hood of a Subaru Impreza. He couldn’t help smiling down at the guts of the engine. When he glanced up, Dom was watching.
Dom bent down and grabbed a couple of water bottles from the tiny fridge. He tossed one at Brian, who caught it unthinking.
“What happened to you?” Dom asked quietly. “You just vanished.”
Brian paused in mid-sip and looked up at Dom and blinked. He swallowed and leaned hard on his fist. “From L.A.? After?”
Dom nodded and glanced over sidelong. “Had pretty much everyone looking for you.”
Brian straightened out of his lean and made a face. “Huh. All twelve million of them?”
“Smartass.” Dom turned around, leaning on the low tool shelf, arms folded. “Enough of them, anyway. If you’d been in L.A., I’d’ve found you.”
“Huh,” Brian said again. He made his voice even and uninflected, and made his eyes opaque. “You had people looking for me.”
Dom shifted a little like he was trying to get a feel for the temperature of the air. “Yeah.”
“How come?” Brian asked very softly.
Dom blinked rapidly. “Because.”
Brian gazed at him for a long moment and then had mercy and looked away. “I was in Miami mostly.”
“Why not Miami?” Brian shrugged and muttered. “The highway ends in Jacksonville and I wasn’t tired of driving.”
Dom leaned back on the counter. “So basically, you’re saying, the music stopped and that’s the chair you got to first?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Brian shrugged again.
“Shit,” Dom said admiringly.
“Yeah, well…” Brian grinned and jiggled his leg. “If I think about it, y’know that whole Deco/fifties thing that L.A.’s got going?”
“You mean…” Dom scratched the back of his neck. “Like the architecture?”
“And the signs and just that whole….retro thing?” Brian explained.
“Miami’s like that too.” Brian went on. “Felt similar somehow. Sunny and warm. Palm trees and bikinis.”
Dom stayed silent and Brian continued hesitantly. “Just on the outside, though. It’s still different. Wetter. Stickier.”
Dom rubbed around his blackened eye. “So did you get into any…sticky situations then?”
Brian snorted. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.” He hardened his eyes a little. “Worked myself into the scene there. It’s pretty cool.”
“So that’s not why you’re back here all of a sudden.” Dom folded his arms again and looked down at Brian’s bare feet.
“Nah,” Brian took another sip.
Dom just waited.
Brian’s eyes flickered around, bouncing off of Dom’s gaze. Finally, he shifted his weight, sighed and said, “I was….punishing myself maybe.”
Dom started to sneer and then it turned into a wince. “Yeah? Why?”
“Dunno,” Brian shrugged. “After….”
Dom folded his arms and looked forbidding. But Brian could sense the uncertainty hidden in his shoulders and the corners of his mouth. Dom was longing to be convinced of something.
“I got out,” Brian stared at nothing so he could keep talking. He had hunched up his shoulders protectively over the car. “In Miami, the cops pulled me in, but I had some shit to offer them…”
Dom stiffened almost imperceptibly.
“Not names. Not people.” Brian teeth clicked in annoyance and he cut his eyes over at Dom. “Skills they needed. So I got clear. Even got Roman paroled.”
“Your friend,” Dom said slowly. “From back in the day. He’d been inside.”
“Yeah,” Brian said softly. He shifted his weight to his other hand.
“What kind of skills did they need?” Dom blinked and cocked his head.
“Racing,” Brian grinned off Dom’s look. “When I left you, I was but the learner…”
“The circle is now complete?” Dom finished the geek moment for him. Dom tucked a corner of his lip under his teeth. “So, what’s that all mean?”
Brian turned a shrug into an abbreviated stretch. “Means I’m okay. No longer wanted for the stuff I did…after.”
“You killed Tran,” Dom said. It looked like he’d surprised himself by speaking.
Brian’s shoulders slumped, his whole body felt like it had begun to deflate. “Yeah. I remember. Are you sorry?”
Dom scowled a little and rubbed the cut over his brow bone. “Are you?”
Brian felt the blankness descend. How many months gone…he still didn’t know how he felt. If he felt anything at all.
This time it was Dom who had mercy. “Is that why you’re, how’d you say…punishing yourself?”
“Maybe,” Brian sighed.
Dom grunted. “Man, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a while.”
“Yeah, well…thanks.” Brian looked over at him. “I kinda thought it was stupid, but it’s nice to get independent confirmation.”
Dom shrugged. “So stop doing it. It’s a big world, you could probably get good without coming back to SoCal.”
Brian’s eyes sharpened up a little, “Man, you…Jesus.”
“What?” Dom gave the word a little heft.
“Well, either you don’t get me at all, which I don’t think is the case,” Brian dropped the wire brush he was messing with and stood up straight. “Or you’re angling for some kind of bullshit confession, which is kind of a dick maneuver, if you ask me.”
“When did you start thinking that I was above a dick maneuver?” Dom asked reasonably. His eyes glittered.
Brian folded his arms, pissed. It seemed like the wheels were just about to come off. The silence stretched. Dom looked ready to wait for the apocalypse so Brian mumbled something.
“What was that?” Dom asked.
“Stupid, you know,” Brian enunciated softly. He looked at Dom dourly, eyes narrowed. “Thinking you can ever go back to something.”
“Yeah,” Dom swallowed. He took another long slug of water. “It’s no good wanting it all ways. We only get one way.”
“I just wanted to be around,” Brian said even softer. “For whatever. I still do.”
Dom shifted his weight and somehow the atmosphere lightened. Maybe the sun was burning through the morning mist. Or he’d found just the right thing to say.
“Yeah,” Dom’s face seemed to relax a little. He said casually. “Good.”
“Hey,” Brian moved closer cautiously. Dom seemed to shrink back slightly, he tilted his chin down. Brian stopped, confused.
Dom jerked his head, “Let’s go for a ride.”
Dom pulled onto the highway just by tightening his wrist and tilting his head a fraction to the right. Traffic was a bit heavier than it had been yesterday, but it occurred to Brian that he’d come in just on the cusp of siesta.
Brian watched the coast spool away in the sideview mirror. The sun was growing so strong that he felt like he was getting pushed back into the warm breadth of his bucket seat. He’d loitered in front of an old Monte Carlo, hoping for a bench seat, hoping for something with a backseat maybe, but Dom had made a beeline for the Honda.
Dom had done some rather intense things to this car. Brian traced his eyes around gently, not wanting to gawk at anything, but he could feel the power flowing around and under him. The Honda looked showroom-new, but there were a row of gauges that were obviously aftermarket and it looked like Dom had replaced the passenger side airbag with a fuel/nitrous management computer that he accessed through the dash.
Dom subtly put the car through its paces and if he hadn’t appeared so abstracted, Brian would have thought he was showing off a little. Dom managed to drive absently with the gauge hovering around 120. Brian nibbled on the side of his lip while Dom scissored in between a big rig and a beat up old Ford.
Brian watched the veins rise and relax in Dom’s forearm. The Honda seemed to float at its higher speeds and Dom hadn’t stinted with the soundproofing, because the thin snarl of the engine was muffled to a hum. Dom sliced his eyes over at Brian as the tachometer moved into permanent redline. Brian could read the hint of a dare there. He wiped his own face clean, but he couldn’t stop his elation bursting through. With anyone else, this would have felt like ultimate peril, seriously stupid, the pointless risking of life and limb.
With Dom, it just felt like home.
These weren’t mountains, not really. Just high enough to be a hell of a view. The sun was burning through, the haze was lifting. The dense scrub crowding into the dirt track smelled sharp and vinegary.
Dom seemed to be driving hard, concentrating now on the dirt road. Halfway up into the canyon, Brian couldn’t help himself and had stretched his arm over the back of Dom’s seat, reaching up to stroke the back of Dom’s neck. Dom had taken a quick gasp of breath and slid his eyes sideways, so sharp they could cut glass.
Brian pulled his fingers back. Then he leaned back and just let Dom take him wherever.
Dom pulled up on a narrow strip which looked like a place to pass more than an overlook, but when Brian got out and stretched his legs, he noticed how close they were to the top of the ridge. When Dom shut the engine off, the silence was almost perfect with only the light glide of wind rustling the branches.
From here, he could see the length of the coast in both directions. Brian cupped his hands over his eyes and looked his fill. He glanced at Dom, who was watching him.
Brian was suddenly so happy that it felt like it was choking him, happiness was pushing all the breath out of his lungs, all the blood into his heart…he was so full, it almost hurt.
Dom was looking back at him, but then it was like Dom suddenly remembered himself. Brian sighed inwardly when Dom cast his eyes down.
“’S beautiful, man.” Brian muttered. “Nice here.”
Dom shrugged and his throat worked a little. Brian wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t been watching like a hawk.
“Why so shy, Toretto?” Brian circled his left thumb over his knuckles. They were still sore from yesterday. On a sudden impulse, he reached out and tweaked at where he expected Dom’s nipple hid under his taut t-shirt. Dom recoiled like he’d been stung.
“You…” Dom looked out over the panorama. “Fucking A.”
Brian touched his tongue to the edge of his front teeth. He took a deep breath, because he thought he was going to need it. He said very quietly, “What?”
“I don’t…” Dom’s voice got caught on the way out of his throat, he paused for a second to unhitch it. “I don’t wanna do this with you.”
Brian shifted his weight marginally and looked back out over the horizon. He could feel the blood rising in his face, so he took another deep breath trying to draw the cool in. He repeated, “What?”
Dom’s eyes screwed up agonizingly tight. “I don’t. Want to do. This.”
“So don’t then,” Brian folded his arms and leaned his weight back. He kept breathing tightly measured breaths in and out through his nose.
Dom’s face crumpled deeply and suddenly, as if Brian had just knee-capped him with a two by four instead of saying three words. He leaned so hard on the car that the tires dipped a little. Brian blinked. The pain in Dom’s face radiated heat like a burn. Brian could feel it from steps away.
“You can’t even….” Dom looked like he was trying not to grind his teeth. “I’ve lost everything, and yeah, it’s my own fault, but you…you’re just…”
“I’m just what?” Brian flexed his fingers outward, they kept wanting to curl into fists.
Dom cut his eyes back up, he was half-doubled over like he was expecting to be sick. He mumbled something. It sounded vaguely like ‘too much.’
“How’s this so goddamned hard all of a sudden?” Brian bit the words off carefully. “Didn’t stop you…before.”
“Yeah well, you weren’t supposed to...” Dom sounded like the desperation might strangle him. “…you were…you were supposed to say no.”
“No,” Brian said evenly. Suddenly, he could take a deep breath again.
Dom blinked at him and then dug his fingers into the lines on his forehead. Dom took a deep breath and looked around at the serene hills, as if they would somehow come to his defense in the argument.
“You want me to say no, so I said it.” Brian said. “So…”
“Yeah, well,” Dom seemed to be regaining something of his equilibrium. “It’s too late.”
“Too late to be freaking out like this, that’s for damn sure.”
Dom was shaking his head, his eyes hooded in distrust.
“Hey,” Brian reached out and caught Dom’s arm. “C’mon. We’re done with no.”
Dom was still stiff but he didn’t jerk his arm away. Brian steeled himself and moved closer. Dom’s face was hard and unyielding, the dark crescents of his eyelashes fluttered incongruously when he blinked.
Brian took another chance and pressed his mouth into the hollow at the corner of Dom’s eye. Dom was awkward, unmoving and bulky. Brian cupped both hands over Dom’s triceps and squeezed at the resistance that Dom was holding in his shoulders.
It wasn’t quite a hug. Deniability was maintained.
Brian rubbed his forehead against Dom’s, brushing his hair over the unyielding skull.
“Why’s this so easy for you?” Dom mumbled into the side of his neck. His chin sunk down deeper, it almost looked like shame.
Brian pressed the wry twist of his lips into Dom’s cheekbone. “Sure, easy, you know…all you have to do is give up your entire life and…”
“Sorry, sorry,” Dom yielded. Brian could feel Dom’s surrender all over; the hardness of him didn’t go away, it just…molded itself into Brian’s space.
Screw deniability. Brian tipped his fingers lightly over Dom’s jaw, teasing up to the right angle. Dom’s mouth was so large, his lips were so full, Brian felt like he was losing himself. Drowning.
Dom kissed with gentle violence. He flexed his shoulders in the circle of Brian’s arms, pushing greedily into Brian’s strength. Brian dug two fingers into the hollow where Dom’s neck met his skull and stroked there lightly. Dom moaned into his mouth and Brian’s knees tingled with weakness.
He could feel Dom clutching his wrists, much, much tighter than he was cupping Dom’s face. Not to make him stop. To make sure he didn’t stop.
“This is too good for me,” Dom said, so low, Brian could barely hear him at six inches away. “This is more than I deserve.”
“Relax,” Brian breathed into his neck. “’We practically never get what we deserve.”
Seven and a half hours later, Brian answered his phone while they were making dinner. Well, Dom was making dinner. Brian was watching him. Dom concentrated on the burgers discreetly, while Brian spoke a burst of rapid-fire words.
“Hey….yeah…no. Relax.” Longer pause. “Seriously. No….no. Yeah, well...Yeah….Whatever.”
Dom couldn’t hear the words on the other side, but the volume was rising steadily. Brian rolled his eyes when Dom managed to make eye contact. Brian turned away and said the word ‘yes’ six times. Then “Later,” and he snapped the phone shut with a flourish.
Dom asked mildly, “Business or personal?”
Brian rolled his eyes again and shook his head. “That smells good.”
Dom grunted acknowledgement. Brian looked at him sidelong and said, “I’m supposed to ask you something. Don’t get mad.”
“Does that ever work?” Dom asked the air. “Seriously?”
Brian paused for a moment and shrugged. He leaned on the counter and watched Dom intently.
“I had another reason for coming down here,” Brian confessed. Dom looked over at him; suddenly Brian was dead serious.
“Did you…?” Brian blinked and then said, “Forget it.”
“What?” Dom felt the back of his neck tingling. Shortness of breath. Brian’s regard was like the first symptoms of a heart attack. “What do you wanna know?”
“Nothing,” Brian edged a little closer. “Forget about it.”
“Now I’m curious,” Dom growled while Brian grinned.
“Hey, can we turn this off? Just put it in the oven or something?” Brian gestured at the stove and nudged at his plate.
“Thought you were hungry?” Dom took a deep breath of Brian’s sun-warmed hair.
“I am hungry,” Brian took the plate from Dom’s hands and put it on the counter behind him. “Just not for food.”
“So this is nice, but you’ve gotta go?” Dom said sarcastically. Three days had evaporated like magic.
“Nice?” Brian raised his eyebrows. “Nice?”
Dom didn’t pull back fast enough so Brian managed to snag his waistband and twist his hand in it firmly. Dom let himself be tugged into the circle of long arms. Brian cupped his hand around Dom’s ear sliding firmly into Dom’s guard. Dom held it manfully for a minute before his resistance melted with Brian’s mouth on his neck. Brian was whispering.
“Sure, if by nice you mean mind-blowingly awesome, then yeah, kinda nice.” Brian pursed his lips. “I don’t wanna go, you know I don’t.”
“So don’t,” Dom grunted. Two could play this game. He stroked down Brian’s shoulder blade and the curve of his spine and tightened his arms possessively. Brian relaxed into him.
“I’ll be back,” Brian caught his teeth on the edge of Dom’s ear. “Nothing could keep me away. But I gotta make this thing work with Rome. I gotta try.”
Dom had tilted his head down and his eyebrows flared out in a V. “Why?”
“I owe him,” Brian rubbed his chin over Dom’s shoulder. Dom shivered when he felt the brush of Brian’s eyelashes under his ear. “Or it feels like I do. I’ll be down next weekend.”
“Business is gonna go nowhere, you aren’t open on the weekends,” Dom said darkly. A tiny part of him knew that if he insisted, Brian would stay. Another tiny part of him wanted to grab Brian, shove him in the bedroom, lock the door and swallow the key.
Brian pulled back and grinned. “How about you let me worry about my business? Rome can pick up my slack just fine. Plus, I don’t have expensive tastes, like some people.”
Dom’s chest swelled with a sudden urge to laugh, even though it wasn’t that funny. He was starving and Brian was just doling out tastes. He ran his hand down Brian’s arm and circled his wrist, glaring down at Brian’s stupid little rope bracelet.
“Next weekend,” he said, trying to make it sound more statement than question. Brian grinned and tilted Dom’s head for another kiss, whispering ‘you know it’.
Brian drove like a citizen all the way up to the border. He found himself singing along to the radio a lot. Luckily, the road was mostly empty until he hit the outskirts of TJ. He grinned at the Customs officer who waved him through and she grinned back in spite of herself.
Passing the towers of San Diego, then the long hill up from Interstate 8 to the 5, he tried to settle into the rhythm that would keep him from ever having to tap his brakes, no matter how dense the traffic got. The corridor traffic up to L.A. was Sunday-evening heavy, but it never managed to harsh Brian’s aloha. He had three days of memories to comb over and appreciate.
Hands. Dom had great hands. Stretched out thumb to pinkie almost a foot wide. Long fingers. Clever hands. Brian revisited all the moments when Dom’s surprisingly gentle touch would subtly transform from something tender into hungry, grasping, heedless desire.
Hands that never…well rarely… hesitated. And even when Dom hesitated, it was hot.
Brian blinked. He was 15 miles from Irvine. He tried to concentrate harder on the road. But memory kept tugging at him, if he tried he could keep the deep rumble of Dom’s voice alive in his head, even through the radio noise. Their conversations, he could recall verbatim.
He remembered Dom looking over at him, their second breakfast. “I’da thought if you could square it with the law, you would have gone back to it.”
“Being a cop?” Brian raised his eyebrows.
“’Course, I guess they have reasons to doubt your commitment,” Dom said ironically.
Brian chuckled a little. “Yeah.” Dom seemed to look a question at him, still giving him room to be silent.
"It's a tough job." Brian started slowly. "Mostly I started because it seemed...exciting. Exciting and you get to be the good guy. But really, it’s not exciting…mostly it’s dull. And depressing as fuck.”
Brian stared off into space, running a finger around the white porcelain of his mug. “...and just who the good guy is gets harder and harder to figure out."
Dom shrugged. “I wasn’t exactly Robin Hood.”
His dry tone made Brian chuckle in spite of himself. Brian ducked his head, almost needing to explain even to himself.
“I didn’t have much trouble with the job...before. Y’know, when you’re young and…well, everything looks black and white.”
Dom was listening intently. His lower lip was wet, like he’d accidentally bitten it.
“It was because I wanted to do right by you.” Brian looked straight at Dom as he said this.
“Yeah?” Dom said quietly. He stirred his coffee, the clink of steel on porcelain filled the silence. “How come?”
“You know why,” Brian snorted a little and shook his head. “That you know.”
He felt the insole of Dom’s foot brush warmth against the outside of his own foot and ankle. Dom was smiling with his eyes.
“I’ve done a lot of stupid shit this year,” Brian said earnestly.
Dom muttered something that sounded like join the club.
“But what I did…after. That…never made me sorry.”
Dom sighed and spoke into his cup. “Guess it’s good that one of us wasn’t.”
Brian asked, semi-casually, “What’ve you been regretting then?”
“Haven’t you been paying attention?” Dom blinked at him, “Everything” Then Dom had raised an eyebrow and muttered something.
“What was that?” Brian kept himself from grinning but it was hard.
“I said,” Dom set his cup down and looked over very deliberately. “Until now.”
Dom hadn’t flinched when he’d kissed him then. Dom had pushed back fiercely, coming apart under Brian’s quick jerks and touches until they’d spilled the cereal and gotten jizz on the floor. Brian’s knees still ached. He could still feel a tug in his groin if he just brushed a thumb over his lower lip. He didn’t do it often, but he did it consistently.
By the time he pulled up in the lot at the garage, it was full dark. The lights were blazing, Rome was obviously at home. Brian pushed himself up from the seat, feeling the pleasant ache thrum through his body. He stood back to push the door closed and that was when the lights exploded in front of him like starbursts and then everything went ultra-black.