Tej is the first to notice it, a kid’s toy car, tucked into Dom’s back pocket as they work in the garage on a roller Letty brought in. It’s old, scuffed up like it had seen a dozen little kid car crashes over the years and he thinks it’s probably one of Jack’s that Dom picked up off the floor in the house and forgot about. And wasn’t that something, Brian and Mia and Dom and Letty all crammed up in that little white house together, with two kids to boot, living out of each other’s pockets all the time. Tej wouldn’t have been able to handle it, he knew. Hell, he loved Rome like his own mother birthed him and Tej still had to get away from him sometimes, go and be somewhere the other man wasn’t. But not those four. Tej figured it probably had something to do with all the close calls and fake deaths over the years, all the prison breaks and last minute getaways. The kind of shit that bound people together in ways some folks just couldn’t understand. So when Mia wanders in to ask Dom a question and Tej sees the other man press the toy into her hand with a smirk, he just rolls his shoulders and basks in the private glow of being near people who are family in all the ways of the word.
Luke sees it next, flipping little car wheelies on the table in front of Letty as she waits for dinner to be brought out. It’s a Challenger model, dark purple, and Luke doesn’t think much of it once the barbecue hits the table and Lydia starts asking him if she can skip school to go see the team practice for Race Wars, which hell no. If it strikes him as odd that he sees the same toy in Mia’s shirt pocket later, well, whatever. He has bigger issues, mainly Torretto trying to turn his daughter into a gearhead before she’s even in high school and what the hell he’s going to cook for the next Sunday dinner. These people eat like they haven’t seen food for a month.
Rome knows the car, has seen it floating around the house and changing hands between Letty, Dom, and Mia with knowing glances and flirty smirks and he abso-fucking-lutely does not want to know what it represents after he walks into the house one day to find Brian blissed out on the couch in just his boxer briefs with that little toy car tucked into the waistband. Nuh-uh. Toy car can remain a damned mystery for all eternity, thank you very much, and now he knocks when he comes over. Loudly. Those four are all crazy as hell, they deserve each other.
Brian got the little metal matchbox car in the academy, when he was stuck driving a four-door cop sedan with busted shocks and a reverse gear that didn’t catch if you shifted it cold. It sat on his desk at the precinct for years, a promise that one day he’d drive real cars again. It was one of precious few things he took undercover to Harry’s, and one of even less things he took on the run with him. It went with him through the FBI academy and rattled in his desk at the Bureau every time he went looking for a pen. He gave it to Mia when they got back together, told her the story, the promise it signified. Mia, with all of her insight and wicked fast smarts, saw right through to the sense of belonging it really stood for. He was confused and oddly touched when he found it in Letty’s effects after her ‘death’. He gave it to Dom along with the rest of her things and after that he didn’t think about it much. If pressed, he would have said it’d been lost somewhere along the way, maybe in Brazil, maybe Dubai, he didn’t know. After everything that had happened, everything he’d fought for and won and lost, he just stopped thinking about belonging. Told himself that he had a place here, with Mia and Dom and the team and if he sometimes found himself feeling adrift, like a toy car in a desk somewhere while the people he loved moved closer and away around him, well, that was fine.
So when one day, after Jack was dropped off at school and Mia had gone to get the frankly ridiculous amount of food the team ate every Sunday from the store, Brian doesn’t really expect to see the little Challenger in Dom’s hand as he drinks his coffee at the table. Those dark brown eyes meet his and it’s one of those moments that Brian secretly lives for, when Dom’s eyes hold his own and it’s like he can read every thought crossing Brian’s brain. Like in that moment, Dom knows him like he knows the Charger in the barn. Every inch inspected and restored, Dom could fix the Beast blindfolded and half dead and Brian, as funny as it sounds, has always harbored a deep desire to be that damn car. To be put up safe at night like something treasured and to be taken out to run when Dom wants to shake the dust off, and to be known on sight as belonging to the Toretto name as clearly as if it was inlaid in chrome across his chest.
Because in all the ways that he is Mia’s, forever and always, he’s Dom’s too, and even Letty’s, bound to these people by miles of trust and blood and engine grease.
Dom stands and walks right up in Brian’s space, barely an inch separating them and Brian feels a big warm hand ghost over his side as sure, strong fingers slip a toy car into his front pocket and stay tucked there, heat searing through the denim to leave its mark on Brian’s hip.
He’s off balance, unsure in a way he hasn’t been in a while and he can’t imagine what look is on his face as he stares at the other man. Dom’s mouth quirks up at the corner and he tugs Brian closer by his pocket, the back of his hand brushing Brian’s bare stomach and sending sparks flaring through his body.
“Apparently, I haven’t made some things clear.” Dom’s voice is as low as always, rolling over Brian like a finely tuned engine, all purr and power. “It might say O’Connor on your driver’s license, but you’re a Toretto now.” Dom leans in and presses his lips to Brian’s ear, barely breathing his next words. “That means you belong to us.”
Brian gulps, and sways, and gives a fleeting thought to how quickly that first undercover stint would have been over if Dom had done this back then, when he was a kid in a cop’s body, green around the edges and eager to please. Shit, he’d have dropped to his knees and begged to never go back to the LAPD. As it is, he’s got enough self-control to turn his head just enough to catch Dom’s eye and reply.
“What driver’s license?”
Dom’s smile is blinding and then there’s lips and wet and skin and heat and shit, Dom tastes like a fucking Corona even at eight in the morning.
Somewhere along the way they wind up on the couch, Dom on top of Brian, around Brian, caging him in with arms that can lift engines and babies with equal ease and Brian’s got his legs wrapped around Dom’s waist, pulling and straining to get more-more pressure, more friction, more, more, more because this might not last, might be his only shot, might be ten seconds going the wrong way on a dark street in a stolen car and Brian wants it all, damn it.
Dom shushes him, gentles him, pulls him close and presses him down into the cushions that have seen half of their life go by and it’s only then that Brian realizes he’s talking, babbling really, just “please” and “Dom” and “Want” over and over again between shuddering breaths that sound like sobs. Dom works one hand between them and gets Brian’s jeans open and shoved down and then his own cargo pants are gone and there’s nothing but sweat between them, god, and Dom’s taking his weight on his elbows so he can grip the sides of Brian’s face in his hands.
“Ssh, Buster, it’s all right. S’all right, we’ve got you, we’re good. We’re good.” He keeps talking, and moving, and Brian is racing towards a finish line he never thought he’d cross. And then, oh, oh, Dom is groaning and swearing and now Brian’s holding him, one hand cupping the back of Dom’s head as it rests on his shoulder and they both try to breathe.
Dom leaves him sprawled on the couch in his boxers, worn out body and soul, with that toy car tucked into his shorts just below the fine trail of hair leading to his groin. He hears the door open once and then a curse and a slam and whoops, sorry Rome, but Brian’s too blissed out to move. A few minutes later the door opens again and he hears a throaty chuckle before he feels the car being picked up. He smiles and opens his eyes, fully prepared to tell Mia that he really, really does not deserve her when he meets Letty’s knowing eyes. Fuck.
Mia’s not home, they both know that and Dom’s singing badly in the shower upstairs, some butchered pop song he’ll deny knowing later, and Brian is in his underwear on the damn couch, smelling like sex and with cum drying on his stomach. Letty’s not stupid.
“Hmm.” Letty drops her keys on the coffee table and cocks her head, gaze traveling up and down Brian’s body like a touch. “You know, I was actually expecting to remember something like this when my memories came back?”
Brian’s caught again, frozen and off balance and what? Letty smiles then, her devil smile, and swings a leg over him to straddle his waist, her cutoffs jeans barely keeping her ass from making contact with his very interested lower body.
“I even asked Mia about it once. If you and Dom had ever been involved. Or you and me. Or me and her.” She tosses her dark hair over one shoulder and unties ends of the work shirt she’s wearing and it’s only then that Brian realizes it’s one of his. The sides of the shirt part and Letty lets her fingers trail across her breasts down to her waistband.
“Even without my memory, I could feel how mixed up in each other we all were, how tangled we had become.” Brian is still lost, not sure where his footing is, but if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that these people, his family, will always catch him.
Letty rocks her hips once, twice, and Brian groans, his hands grabbing her hips instinctively as he pushes up to meet hers. She holds the car up between two fingers like it’s a bet in a race.
They use the car as a kind of token. Sometimes it doesn’t leave Mia’s nightstand for weeks, weeks that Brian and Mia are as crazy about each other as they ever were, as if two kids weren’t proof enough, and that’s good, that’s great. But sometimes Mia will come down to breakfast and slip the car into Dom’s hand or send it rolling across the table to bounce off Letty’s plate and then Brian will stumble downstairs and inevitably catch sight of it and an achingly vulnerable look will flash across his beautiful face.
And then Dom will find an excuse to drape his hands over Brian’s shoulders or Letty will make a show of dropping the little car into the valley between her breasts and Brian will chuckle and duck his head and then they all spend a few hours stoking the tension and staring too long and somehow making eating cereal erotic, fuck, until Mia finally giggles and makes herself scarce and Dom and Letty pounce and drag Brian to the nearest flat surface.
Dom goes to pick up a car once in Utah of all places and Brian doesn’t know what the toy on Letty’s dashboard means until both of the girls corner him in the garage and give him a complex about the Skyline’s backseat. He’s never, ever going to be able to sit back here and not see Letty and Mia kissing each other over him as he breathes and tries not to cum in his jeans like a teenager. Never.
Mia’s in the shower when Dom gets back. Letty kisses him hello and when they pull apart, the toy car is peeking out of Dom’s mouth and, fuck fuck fuck, Brian is not going to make it through whatever this thing is alive.
They don’t talk about it, the matchbox thing. The way that sometimes Brian and Dom go for a drive and don’t come back for hours and when they do, there’s dirt on their clothes and bliss on their faces and they have to crash on whichever bed the girls haven’t claimed for themselves. They definitely do not talk about the times when Mia will corner Brian in the garage somewhere and just wreck him until he’s so far gone he can’t even move. They don’t talk about how Mia and Dom go to church on Sundays with Jack and Ava while Brian and Letty stay home and worship each other.
No words are said when their laundry starts getting all mixed up together because, with the exception of Dom who’s just too big to fit in anyone’s clothes but his own, they stopped really paying attention to whose shirts are whose, they just pick them up off the floor and throw them in the machine. They don’t mention it when the rest of the team quietly stops going up stairs when they come over in the mornings, so that they don’t have to explain why someone’s in the wrong bed.
And if Luke offers to watch Jack and Ava on the anniversary of Letty’s ‘death’, well, they just shrug and nod and don’t talk about it even as they spend the whole day at the garage, finding excuses to touch each other. They don’t talk about this strange tangle they’re in between the four of them, they just pass a toy car around and around, until one day, when Letty comes downstairs with a hand on her stomach and fear on her face and they all three freeze because they’re not stupid, not any of them, and birth control isn't perfect and shit.
It’s Mia who’s the calmest, making Letty tea and checking the big calendar on the wall that has everyone’s schedule on it before calling her doctor and making an appointment. Dom is hovering over Letty, touching her hair, her hands, reaching for her stomach only to pull back at the last moment. Letty rolls her eyes and grabs his hand and shoves it against her still flat stomach and mutters something in Spanish that sounds like ‘you big girl’, but she’s smiling too, softly like she does when she’s truly pleased. Brian is frozen, watching the scene unfold before him and he can’t help seeing the little toy car where it sits by Dom’s mug.
“Buster?” Letty’s voice is nervous, and Dom’s frowning at him, and Mia is reaching out a hand but Brian is faster, jumping up and talking a mile a minute to cover his slip, rambling about getting Ava’s crib back out and Dom driving the mini-van now and if he startles when Dom grabs the back of his neck it’s only because he didn’t realize the other man was so close.
“Bri. What’s wrong?” Dom’s eyes catch his and hold, and Brian can’t do anything but stare into those dark depths and hope that Dom will just know, like he always knows, like Brian’s the Charger when it’s acting up and Dom can tell what needs tuning just by listening to it.
And Dom does know, Dom always knows, and Brian goes willingly into the other man’s arms even though they don’t really do this in front of Mia, because they don’t talk about it, that Brian is married to Mia and sleeping with her brother and her brother’s wife, who’s pregnant with somebody’s kid and the only one it for sure isn’t is Mia’s, shit shit shit.
“I thought we settled this, O’Connor.” Dom growls low in his ear. “You’re ours. Ride or die.”
Brian shudders and struggles against the arms around him because this isn’t sex anymore, this is a kid, this is Letty’s kid and Dom’s kid, but what if it’s Brian’s and-
“Brian.” Mia is there all of a sudden, arms going around his shoulders and pressing her body against his back. “It’s okay, baby, shh. It’s fine.” And he leans back into her, into her soft strength-so different and yet so alike her brother’s-and god, Brian loves her, loves them, loves the whole crazy ride and he doesn’t want it to end, never, wants to chase the fumes until it all goes dark and they die in each other’s arms.
Letty’s there all of a sudden, sliding in between Dom and Brian without ever displacing the strong sure hands on Brian’s waist. “Buster.” She grabs his hand and places it on her stomach like she did Dom’s and Brian just stares at her, uncomprehending, not even daring to hope. But Letty knows the Charger at least as well as Dom, and she knows him, and she knows what he needs to hear as she smiles at him. “You idiota. You really think Jack and Ava aren’t halfway ours anyway?”
Dom and Mia chuckle, twin vibrations moving through him and Brian swallows, flexes his hand on Letty’s stomach, and allows himself to see it, see them, after the quarter-mile runs out and the gas tank is empty, sees Dom chasing kids out of the garage and Mia and Letty arguing over whether or not one bathroom is enough for seven people, and finally, finally he sees himself, laughing at Dom when he feigns annoyance over Tej and Rome’s antics, nodding along with which ever woman is talking to him about why Race Wars absolutely needs another day tacked onto it and all of them, growing old and growing together.
He flexes his hand again and catches Dom’s knowing eyes, feels Mia’s arms tighten around him as Letty rests her head on the solid body behind her. “Ours.”