He used to have a voice in his head that snapped at him every time he was staring. His gaze would get a little fuzzy and there would be a warm, tight feeling in his chest, and then the voice would cut in sharply, telling him that he had to stop. As much as he loved that feeling in his chest, Brian would always listen and pull his eyes away.
Because the voice was right. He shouldn’t be staring. He shouldn’t be standing there, drinking in Dom’s perfect arms or barrel chest. He shouldn’t be silently mapping the lines that crinkled in the corners of his eyes every time he laughed. And he damn well shouldn’t be staring at the man’s hands as they were wrapped around a Corona bottle, wondering what it would feel like to interlace their fingers.
The voice was right, dammit.
Except that the voice had slowly faded away over the years. As bullets and blood gave way to a bigger family and regular Sunday dinners, the voice seemed to lose its sharpness. Instead of cutting into Brian’s thoughts like a razor, it had settled on quiet reminders that he still shouldn’t be staring. And as their house truly became a home, with Hobbs visiting as family instead of a cop looking to hire them, the voice seemed to shrug its metaphorical shoulders and let the whole thing go.
Brian should have been more worried when he realized that the voice was gone. The voice kept him in control. It had kept him in check for more than ten years, and without it, there was every chance that he was going to do something stupid.
Which he did. It was just another perfect day; the food had been eaten and the table had been cleared. Brian could hear Mia and Roman in the kitchen as they washed the dishes, and Letty and Tej in the garage as they argued over different kinds of tools. Rosa and Elena were sitting on the front steps, talking in low voices, and Hobbs was perched on the back bumper of his truck, staring up at the cloudless sky as he enjoyed his beer.
Brian and Dom still sat at the table set up in the driveway, nursing their drinks. Brian was staring, but instead of hearing a voice that told him he needed to stop, he only heard the sound of his family being happy all around him. His gaze traveled down from Dom’s face to his chest, and then down his arm to wear it lightly rested on Nico. The boy was stretched out across two chairs, his head nestled against his uncle’s thigh as he slept off the meal. That warm, tight feeling had spread from Brian’s chest all the way down to his fingertips, and he realized that his entire body was buzzing.
It took him a minute to realize that the voice was coming from Dom instead of inside his head. He looked up to find his friend giving him a strange look.
He meant to say yes. He meant to laugh it off and change the subject. Maybe if the voice had been doing its job, he would have done those things instead of the monumentally stupid thing he did next.
“Marry me,” he said quietly.
Dom’s eyes slowly widened as he took in exactly what Brian had said. For his part, Brian had frozen, every muscle in his body completely rigid. His heart hammered in his chest as though it were trying to break out and run away, terrified of the door that had just been opened. His hand tightened around the bottle he was holding as he struggled to breathe.
“Brian…” Dom said softly.
And then suddenly the world started moving again and the moment passed. Mia and Roman came out of the house, talking loudly as they brought dessert down to the table. Letty and Tej left the garage, still giving each other crap about some tool or other. Rosa and Elena sat down at the table even as Nico stirred and pushed himself back up into a sitting position so that he wouldn’t miss the pie. Hobbs was the last to join them, walking slowly back up the driveway.
It didn’t slow down for the rest of the day. Dessert led to more stories and beers. Sunset led to throwing the football with Nico and teaching him how to tackle. By the time night had fallen and everyone started to head back home, Brian found himself alone in the kitchen, his earlier anxiety attack rearing its ugly head.
He had asked Dom to marry him.
He had asked Dom to marry him when they weren’t even dating.
God, he wasn’t even sure that Dom would do anything with a guy, never mind marry one.
Eventually Dom found him up in his room, shoving clothes into a gym bag. He leaned against the doorway for a moment and just watched, arms crossed over his chest.
Brian didn’t look up. He just shook his head and kept packing, knowing that he was doing both of them a favor.
When Brian still didn’t have an answer, Dom let out a long sigh.
“O’Connor, what the hell are you doing?”
Brian just shook his head again. “I’m sorry, Dom. I really am. I’ll just…I’ll go, okay? I’ll go.”
He didn’t even realize that Dom had moved until the other man was right there, grabbing the mostly-full bag and heading for the door again.
“Here, let me help,” Dom said, not even looking back.
Brian’s stomach clenched at the words. He knew that he had to leave after what he’d said, but he hadn’t expected Dom to agree so readily. He hadn’t expected him to throw Brian out of the house.
Except that Dom wasn’t heading for the stairs.
Instead, he strode down the hall and turned into his own bedroom. Brian followed, mouth still hanging open so that he could say something just as soon as his brain caught up with what was going on. He stopped as soon as he got into the room, though, staring as Dom started pulling his clothes out of the bag and setting them on the bed.
Brian stopped again, this time forcing himself to take a deep breath. Taking a few steps forward, he swallowed hard. “What?”
“My answer.” Dom paused in what he was doing and looked up at him. “It’s yes.”
Brian didn’t remember crossing the rest of the space between them, but suddenly he was standing right next to Dom, his right hand resting on his forearm. His eyes tried to take every inch of Dom in, and that warm, tight feeling was back in his chest.
“You’re saying yes?” he asked, his voice barely more than a whisper.
Dom’s smile was slow and wide. “Thought maybe we could move you in here.”
Brian felt his own smile stretch across his entire face as he rubbed Dom’s arm. Then his hand slid over his chest and up to his neck, his grip tightening as he leaned closer.
“Yes,” he murmured.
Leaning in, he watched Dom’s face right up until the moment their lips touched. Dom’s reaction was soft, and Brian found himself wondering if they were in the same boat, and this was Dom’s first time ever kissing a guy, too. It didn’t really matter, though. He just inhaled and shifted his body slightly, letting his lips settle more fully over Dom’s.
If there was any hesitancy at all, it fell away quickly. Though their kisses stayed chaste for the moment, their arms wrapped around one another until their bodies were completely pressed together at every point. Brian could feel the heat of Dom through his clothing, and he suddenly itched with the need to feel more - to feel everything.
Dom was pulling back, though, even as his hold on Brian tightened. Brian chased his lips for another kiss and then let himself breathe, resting his forehead against his friend’s.
“So where’s my ring?” Dom asked suddenly, a mischievous smile teasing at his lips.
Brian laughed. “We’ll go get you a ring tomorrow, dude.”
“You proposed without a ring?”
“I still can’t believe I proposed.”
Dom watched him thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again, slight worry tugging at the corners of his eyes. “We good?”
Brian grinned and then hauled Dom’s mouth back to his own, immediately deepening the kiss and turning it filthy. They both moaned at the new sensation of their tongues sliding against each other, and Dom tucked Brian up right against his body so that he fit perfectly at every curve.
Brian came up for air, breathing heavily. “Ride or die, Toretto,” he murmured, their lips brushing as he spoke. “You game?”
Dom smiled as he leaned back in. “Fuck yeah.”