Dom walks outside to the back porch to watch the waves, coffee in hand. It’s quiet, this time of the morning.
Usually, he wouldn’t be awake this time of the morning, or, if he was, he’d be in bed with Brian. But Jack’s been collicky, and he’d been the one to stay up with him last night. He’s down now, for a while, at least. Dom has the baby monitor on him, turned down low.
It’s taken some adjusting. For one thing, none of them really know what the fuck to do with a baby, and it’s not like they can call their parents and beg for help. Dom wishes he could call their mom and dad, call them and ask how the hell they did it all.
But wishing will get them nowhere and they have a real live baby with real needs, so they figure it the fuck out. They spend sleepless nights in shifts, and take turns rocking him when he cries, and change diapers, and get thrown up on, and get soaked at bathtime. They freak out over every little thing and rush to the internet and then freak out some more.
Somehow, Jack grows.
Dom loves his family. Always has, always will. But Jack’s something special, holding a place in Dom’s heart that will never be occupied again, unless Jack gets some siblings, because Dom didn’t know his heart could be so damn big, that he could feel so much . He wants to give the boy the world and hide him from everything, all at the same time. Wants to take him racing for the thrill and take the slow way, just so he doesn’t miss a moment
And Brian’s right there, every moment. They all are, but Brian’s a particularly special surprise. Except nothing about him is a surprise anymore, like he’s always been there, and Dom can’t really describe the feeling, of knowing Brian, and everything he’ll do and say and is , like he knows himself.
They don’t say it often, neither of them particularly good at it, but Dom knows in his heart that this is what love is.
So it really doesn’t surprise him when Brian comes and sits next to him on the porch swing in the predawn air, looking over the waves, his own cup of coffee in hand. Brian’s quiet on his feet, and whether it’s police training or growing up like he did or just Brian, Dom doesn’t know, but even if he can’t surprise Dom anymore, he sure can sneak up on him.
“Jack finally go down?” He asks after a moment.
“For now, anyways.”
Brian hums. “You could’ve come back to bed,” he says, but he takes a sip right after saying it. Neither of them are getting back to bed this morning, at least not to sleep.
“Nah. He’ll be back up soon.”
“Someone else can take over. You’ve had a long night.”
“I don’t mind,” Dom says.
Brian leans into him a little more. “Know you don’t. None of us do.”
They lapse into silence, but it’s comfortable. The waves crash in the background, steady and constant, just like Brian’s breathing in his ear. Dom feels his eyes start to droop, even despite the coffee.
A whine over the baby monitor spoils that. Dom’s alert in an instant, half up before Brian puts an arm across his chest. “Wait,” he instructs.
Sure enough, Jack actually settles back to sleep, which is definitely a good sign. He’s been so sickly, but if he’s sleeping and self-soothing, the house might manage to stand another day. Dom slumps back into the porch swing.
Brian makes a weird humming noise, and it takes a long moment for Dom to realize it’s the same noise he’s started to make to soothe Jack. The awful thing is, it’s working, so he rolls his eyes and shoves at Brian’s shoulder.
Brian, the asshole, just turns to grin at him. “What?”
Dom just shakes his head, sets the basically empty mug aside, next to the baby monitor. The sun’s starting to come up now, slowly.
Brian leans his head on Dom’s shoulder. Dom absently slings an arm around Brian, rubbing a thumb up and down Brian’s arm.
Dom never thought he’d end up here. He thought a lot of things about his life. Thought he’d be a racer, take over his Dad’s shop, be with Letty forever. Thought he’d be the King of the LA streets, the guy who got away with it. Thought he’d be on the run forever, thought he’d eventually get used to being alone. Thought he’d be able to forget about Brian. Thought he’d go to prison for life.
Whatever else he thought, this was never on the list, but honestly, he’s more than okay with it. He has his sister and his nephew, Letty—his best friend, his sister, not his wife—and Elena, who’s fast growing on him, a sister in her own right. And Brian. Brian.
He squeezes the arm he has around Brian a little tighter.
No one should get the kind of loyalty Brian has to give. Brian, who gave up his life time and time again for Dom, who came back for him, who tried to trade himself for Mia, who stayed for Dom. Brian who doesn’t know how to build a home or have a family but is learning, slowly but surely, because of them.
There were lots of twists and turns his life could have taken, lots of wrong turns and regrets—Kenny Linder, Jesse, the truck jackings, Vince—but, if this is where the road led to, he can’t really bring himself to regret it all too much.
Brian sits up properly, smiles at him, that blinding flash of white. “Maybe get started for the day,” he says. “Sure someone else can take Jack, if you wanna get to work.”
Dom’s just as liable to do damage as fix any, right this moment, considering how much sleep he’s had. “In a minute,” he says. “Not like there’s a customer waiting. Relax.” They don’t do that, don’t work for customers. They’re self-employed, work when they want, on what they want, and sell them when they’re done. There are always buyers. It gives them control over the process, and means they don’t have to put up with bullshit. And if people don’t like it that way, well, not like they need their money.
Brian does as asked, relaxing back into Dom’s side as the sun continues to come up.
Dom turns the baby monitor up, just to hear Jack snuffle on the other end. A few minutes later, a light flickers on behind them and Dom can hear footsteps in the house. Probably Elena, a habitual early riser, although it could also be Mia, who’ll need to feed Jack soon.
Either way, it relaxes him. Everyone’s okay. Everyone’s here . In their own little place, well-protected and content, shuffling along in the early morning hours.
Dom lets his arm tighten around Brian once more.
He knows his family. They’re not going to be content with this forever. It’s not in their nature to be content, to settle. They’re going to get sucked into something, some score, some high, some job, that will be big enough to convince them to get back in the game.
It’s better to accept the inevitable now, before it happens, Dom thinks. Process it and move on, so it doesn’t drive him nuts when it comes.
But it’s not here yet. Right now, it’s still quiet. His family is still in the house, the baby’s sleeping, and Brian is still in his arms, and Dom is determined to enjoy it while it lasts.