Dom is smashed on Corona and good tequila when he ends up in the tattoo parlor with Hector, who happened to swing by Santa Rosalia while he was south of the border to catch up with an old friend. Hector, Dom notes as he settles in the rickety chair, is significantly less drunk than he is, but then again, Hector gives a lot less of a shit that Brian is way the fuck up in Mexicali scouting parts. And Mexicali is closer to the US border than Dom ever wants to be again.
It’s almost eleven hours between Santa Rosalia and Mexicali and Dom fucking worries, so sue him. If something were to happen, it would take the hand of God to get Dom there fast enough to do something about it. He has a feeling extradition would go a little faster for an ex-cop turned con. Dom worries.
Of course, he worries a little less after two twelve packs shared with Hector and a bottle of tequila done in competing shots. It was about two-thirds of way through the bottle of Casa Noble that he got the itch underneath his skin to do something and he knew he was too drunk to put his hands in the guts of a car and not want to smash his head against the wall in the morning.
Cars are it for Dom. They are the thing that runs in his veins thicker and purer than blood, but as much as Dom believes in the purity of an engine roaring to life, he also believes in back up plans. He got his first tattoo when he was sixteen, in the basement of a friend; it fucking hurt and sort of made him hard at the same time. When his mother saw it the next day, she crossed herself and made him promise he would think long and hard before he got any that the world would see on a regular basis.
“Are you sure about this, man?” Hector asks, sitting sprawled on a stool next to the chair with his hands curled around the seat between his thighs. “It’s a fucking thing, bro. You can’t erase this in the morning.”
The artist is a tiny little spit of a girl named Ofelia with dark hair pulled away from her face in a messy twist. Dom sees her roll her eyes as she sets up her gear, pouring ink into little plastic cups and checking her needles and guns. She’s wearing a white tank top full sleeves spilling down her arms, across her chest, and up her neck. She looks like a piece of art that grew legs and started walking around and if Dom’s dick weren’t eternally honed toward Brian, he would probably be angling for her number.
“I’m sure,” Dom tells Hector, folding his arms behind his head. “I swear.”
Hector shakes his head, but he’s also smiling in that vague way he always gets when confronted with DomandBrian as one word. Dom gets that a lot of the people he left behind in the states don’t get it; that Hector makes a point of driving all the fucking way down Baja to see him says a lot.
“Last chance,” Ofelia says, eyebrow raised. “Tell me now if you don’t want it.”
Dom sets his jaw. “Do it.”
The vibration of the gun sets his skin prickling for a split second before the needle touches his skin and first buzz of adrenaline spikes through him at the pain. Dom can feel it in his bones and his teeth; it’s a sharp hum that intensifies when she presses down. Getting inked always goes to his head a little, because endorphins are like that. His dick, too, though Dom’s pretty sure he’s drunk enough that he shouldn’t be able to manage much.
And the thing is, he doesn’t get anything going until he looks down and sees the ornate B taking shape. Then his dick perks up and takes notice. It’s right smack over his heart in black, smeared with excess ink.
“Fuck, man,” Hector laughs. “You’re fucking gone, aren’t you?”
Dom doesn’t answer that for the same reason he doesn’t say stupid four letter words to Brian; they’re game changers and he’s just gotten happy with the way things are. Their garage just far enough out of town to make sure they only get found by the people who want to find them. It’s never just oil changes, but always something interesting. Him and Brian, working during the day with the sun on their shoulders, eating dinner on the porch, and fucking in the bedroom until Dom doesn’t know the delineation between them.
“So what’s so special about this Bri?” Ofelia asks, pronouncing it Bree, like the beginning of Brianna.
Hector laughs again, rubbing his hand against his shaved scalp. “Bri,” he echoes, shaking his head.
Ofelia looks up from her work, unimpressed. She wipes away more excess ink with a paper towel and smears a little jelly over the finished B. The skin around the edges is a raw pink color that Dom has always liked in weird way. There’s something about fresh tattoos that gets him, when they still look a little bit like scars and a little less like marks. Not quite permanent yet.
“Inside joke?” she snorts.
Dom glances at her. “No, he’s an asshole. It’s just someone I care about.”
“Someone he loves.”
It’s only the fact that Ofelia’s needle is in his fucking skin that keeps Dom from elbowing Hector so hard he falls off his stupid stool and breaks his nose on the hard tile floor. She’s working the R in a pattern that connects with the B, drawing the intricate lines with careful, controlled skill.
Dom wishes, in a moment of irrationality he chalks up to drunkenness, that he could introduce her to Brian, because he wants them to see each other. He wants Brian to see the woman who Dom trusted to put his name on Dom’s skin and he wants Ofelia to see the only person that has ever been important enough for Dom to want his name a permanent part of him. Dom likes tangible results; he wants to be able to look down and see Brian’s claim staked on his flesh.
“It’s like that,” Ofelia says knowingly, pausing to load her needle back up. “It’s kind of dangerous though. Some people think these kind of tats are cursed. You get one, you doom yourself.”
Dom shakes his head. “With all the shit we been through, it’s gonna take more than a tattoo to fuck us up.”
Hector raises an imaginary bottle. “A-fucking-men, brother.”
Ofelia snorts and Dom, sort of, wants to spill out the whole stupid sordid story of California and being on the run and Brian’s thing in Florida that Dom still sort of only half-believes because how stupid would the cops have to be to trust him again after what happened? It all runs together like some kind of technicolor trip made up by someone with an excess of fucking imagination and it’s true, is the weirdest thing of all.
And probably that’s why Dom already feels like Brian is imprinted into his skin and getting the fucking tattoo is just confirmed what he’s always felt.
“So,” Ofelia says, moving onto the I. “Are you gonna bring this person in and have them get a matching one? A little D-O-M over their heart.”
The buzzing of the gun and the endorphins and the disconnected jackrabbiting of his thoughts are starting to get to Dom. It’s like everything is brighter and sharper and still unfocused at the same time. He’s aware of Hector lounging on the stool and Ofelia hunched over his arm, but he’s more aware that Brian is five hundred fucking miles away and that’s five hundred more miles away than Dom wants him.
He looks down at Ofelia’s needle and watches, a little awed, as the I blossoms into an actual letter twined up with the B and R. Ofelia has a delicate touch, which is exactly what Dom hadn’t really realized he needed from her. It’s Brian’s name, his brand, on Dom’s skin; Dom’s skin sings out for a fast car that will chew up the five hundred miles between them.
“Okay.” Ofelia sits back in her chair and sets the gun down. Her gloves come off and she’s grinning. “I think we’re done. I hope they’re really that special.”
Hector squints at the tattoo and laughs again. “Go with God, my friend.”
Dom pushes himself out the chair and only stumbles a tiny little bit when he finds his feet. There’s a mirror hanging on the far wall, which seems sort of unfair since it means he has to cross the entire fucking room to get to it. But he finds that he’s a lot less drunk than when he came in and, positively, he’s back to seeing one of everything instead of two. Still, he braces his hand on the wall as he looks in the mirror, at the Bri tattoo raw over his heart.
“Fuck,” Dom exhales.
Behind him, Ofelia looks up from cleaning. “Don’t tell me you already changed your mind.”
Dom shakes his head. His throat feels thick and fucked up. “No, it’s perfect.”
He pays up to Ofelia, with a generous tip and a promise that he’ll send any friends looking for quality ink her way. Dom’s pretty sure she doesn’t believe him, but she grins anyway as she pockets the money and makes him and Hector promise they won’t drive for another hour or so because she doesn’t want to hear about them being smeared across the highway. She knows how stupid drunks can be.
To their credit, Dom and Hector mostly listen to that last one, though it’s probably a good thing that there’s aren’t many people on the roads leading out of town toward Dom and Brian’s garage.
The stumble up the steps of the house together and crash through the front door, making a racket that would have gotten the cops called back in the States. Dom shoves Hector toward the couch, yelling over his shoulder about blankets in the closet if he wants them. From the heavy whump Hector makes when he flops down, Dom doesn’t imagine him managing to get up any time soon.
Dom actually gets back into the bedroom and, more impressively, toes off his boots before he falls on the bed. It’s unmade and smells like Brian. Dom rolls on his back and shimmies out of his jeans, kicking them away to land with a soft thump somewhere on the floor.
He never managed to get his shirt on after they left Ofelia’s shop and he lost the taped on bandage somewhere on the road, so he can feel the tepid air from the old oscillating fan against the scraped raw skin of the new ink. Technically he isn’t supposed to touch it too much; Dom got that lesson knocked into his head by the first person who set a needle to his skin and left behind a Virgin Mary on his back shoulder. But he can’t help himself tracing over the raised skin with the tip of his finger.
That’s how he falls asleep, with his hand over his heart.
He wakes up with a gasp caught in his throat and the white sparks of pleasure flaring behind his eyelids. He smells Brian first, then realizes what the weight ranged along his body has to be. He can hear the old mattress creaking softly and the fan clacking on top of the dresser and the relief that washes through him is enough to leave Dom a little dizzy.
“Miss me?” Brian rumbles in the darkness and something happens to Dom’s dick that makes his brain leak out his ears a little.
“Fucking--” Dom swallows and slowly peels his eyes open. “You were supposed to be gone another day.”
Brian’s naked on top of him, weight braced on one elbow next to Dom’s ribs. He looks exhausted around the edges, but he’s sparking with that energy that means he’s got something crawling beneath his skin and he’s not planning on crashing any time soon. His smile is predatory around the edges, sharp and hungry and Dom goes from drowsily interested to raring to go in less time than it takes for Brian’s hand to stroke up his dick.
“It was a bust,” Brian says, bending down to press his nose to the center of Dom’s chest. “I wanted to surprise you. You surprised?”
Dom’s more accurately dying, but surprised is in the same general ballpark. “Fucking very, Christ.”
“When did Hector get here?”
“Earlier, he’s heading out tomorrow morning.” Dom grits his teeth. “And he’s fucking unconscious so don’t play with me about needing to be quiet for him. Brian, Jesus, just fucking do something.”
Brian grins that wide, shit-eating bullshit smile that means he’s enjoying the proceedings. He drags his hand up long and slow and Dom’s brain short circuits so hard it takes him a good twenty seconds to realize Brian’s flat out stopped, and not in the teasing way that means he’s fucking around.
“Brian,” Dom groans. “What the fuck?”
Deliberately, Brian pulls his knees up and settles his weight back. His eyes are narrowed and Dom doesn’t get what the hold up is until Brian’s fingers light on his chest, over his heart. “The fuck is this?” Brian asks, voice a low growled noise that reverberates in the dark of their room.
There are a lot of answers to that, the worst of which is a fucking drunken mistake and the most honest of which is a promise that this really means something, but Dom’s too turned on (and maybe a little freaked out) to come up with anything more than, “a tattoo.” Which is honest, but also really fucking meaningless.
“Oh, I thought it was marker,” Brian says. He presses down a little then, with just enough force to cut through Dom’s frustrated pleasure with a bolt of sore pain.
“Fuck,” Dom snaps. “It’s your name. I just needed it-- wanted it there.”
It’s the same fucking question Hector asked that Dom didn’t answer, the difference being he doesn’t owe Hector shit when it comes to Brian. Dom knows he can’t bullshit his way out of this one, either with words or with the stony silence that usually works. It’s Brian, for chrissakes. Brian who has always seen him so true that it makes Dom want to rip his skin off sometimes and become someone else. It’s not comfortable feeling like you only half-own yourself when you fought so hard for that freedom in the first fucking place.
Dom swallows and closes his eyes. “Fuck that,” Brian says, voice low and sharp. He curls his hand around Dom’s chin and jerks. “Look at me, Dominic.” Dom’s given name slides out of Brian’s mouth like a curse and beautifully filthy promise.
“Look where we are, Bri,” Dom says, meeting Brian’s cool eyes. “We’re in Baja together. After everything that happened, after the bullshit and betrayal and lies. I’m here with you, not Mia or Vince or Letty or anyone else. You. And this is our place, Bri. It’s our garage and our house and our room and our bed and that has to mean something to you, too. I’ve never wanted to share it with someone else until you.” Dom swallows. “I just. I get that we can’t always in the same place, but I wanted you with me.”
Brian stares at him. “Jesus Christ,” he says deliberately, after a pause that makes Dom’s guts twist into knots. “You. Dom.”
“What?” Dom says, defiant and scared around the edges. He hates that Brian can do that to him. He’s learned to live with it anyway.
“You’re it for me, you know that, right?” Brian asks. He pushes back so their hips slant up together in ways that make Dom’s stomach untwist and bottom out in one dizzying moment. “It’s you, Dom. It’s been you since I saw you. Christ.”
Brian lowers himself back down so they’re pressed together all along their fronts. Dom feels Brian’s skin against his, against the fresh tattoo. He feels Brian’s stomach and he mostly feels their dicks pressed together; Dom wants so bad he thinks he’ll die from it.
“Bri, you’ve gotta--”
“Tell me what you are,” Brian growls, wrapping his hand around their dicks and stroking upward with control Dom doesn’t fucking understand how he maintains. “Tell me, I want to hear it. I see it, I want to hear it.”
Dom can hear blood roaring in his ears and at some point his arms came up around Brian’s shoulders to press them as close together as they can get. It’s too much and still hovering right around that point where the heat in his belly overflows outward and crashes through the rest of him. His tongue feels thick and heavy and uncoordinated and how is he supposed to talk when Brian takes up all the room in his senses and doesn’t leave any room for thought.
“Tell me,” Brian orders.
“Yours, I’m fucking yours,” Dom babbles. “Brian, Brian, Brian, fucking yours.”
The rough pull of Brian’s hand is like finding God in the calluses of another man and it doesn’t take more than one or two strokes for Dom to be coming like a freight train with a gasped roar ripped from the center of his chest that feels like it should bring the foundations of the house down around his ears.
Brian doesn’t stop, even though Dom’s oversensitive dick doesn’t know what to do the excess of sensation. He keeps going while Dom makes helpless noises, clawing into the muscles of Brian’s back. “Say it again,” Brian says, squeezing his hand tight around their dicks so Dom thinks he might actually die.
“Yours,” Dom gasps, eyes squeezed shut. “Yours, Bri, fucking forever,” and he feels the contraction of Brian’s body as he comes just as hard.
Dom feels everything distantly; the sticky warmth of come on his stomach and dick, Brian rolling off him onto his half of the mattress, the fan’s air ghosting over his jumping, sparking skin. He wants to open his eyes, but he actually can’t for a long span of minutes while he wills his body to get it the fuck together and come back down to earth.
The mattress creaks and groans as Brian flops around doing whatever the hell he’s doing. Dom manages to crack one eye when he feels tissues pressed against his belly and watches with interest as Brian cleans up the come and tosses the mess into the trashcan beside the bed. His dick knows its down for the count, but it still gives a respectable twitch at the attention.
Brian eases back down next to him when they’re clean and tosses the rumpled sheet over their hips and legs. He curls up along Dom’s side, propping his head up with a bent arm. His leg eases over Dom’s and Dom likes that enough to force his eyes to open and focus on Brian staring at him in the faint orange light from the sign of the garage.
“You okay?” Brian asks, smiling softly.
Dom snorts. “I think my brain just drained out my dick. I’m great.”
Brian drops his head down and casually reaches to touch Dom’s tattoo. He has a little bit of road dirt caked into the creases of his hand, some grease in the beds of his nails, and what’s probably a speck of come on his knuckles. Dom loves it. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t really think about until tonight.” Dom shrugs. “Hector and I split a couple coronas and some Casa Noble.”
“Oh,” Brian snorts. “I get it.”
“No, hey.” Dom catches Brian’s wrist in his fingers and holds his hand still. He can feel Brian go tense next to him. “I’m not drunk now and I wouldn’t take it back. I don’t. I’ve never said shit like that in bed before. Ever. I wouldn’t have.”
Brian’s face relaxes into a genuine smile. “Tomorrow,” he says, “I want you to do something for me.”
“I want you to put your name on my car,” Brian says and Dom thinks, shit, this is love.