Title: Through the Prism of
Fandom: The Fast and The Furious Rating: PG-13 (I think)
Summary: Brian’s realizes that he’s addicted.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything related with the TFATF. I don't own the characters or the story.
Author's notes & Warnings: This is my first TFATF fic, and I've taken
literary license with some of the events in 2F2F. It’s not betaed, so I
apologize in advance for any errors or reptitiveness. I haven’t read it over
like I should because I needed to get out of my head so that I can work on my
thesis. I have to tell it was very distracting so I’m hoping that by writing
the thing and get it out of my system, I can concentrate.
Addiction. It’s not something you can really understand unless you’ve experienced it. It’s a disease they say – something beyond your control. Once an addict, always an addict. An addict will do anything – lie, cheat, steal – for a fix. Due to dependency, an addict will need more and more to get the same effect. Sure, I’d heard this stuff in the Academy, but I’d never really understood it . . .until I met Dom. The funny thing about dependency is that it sneaks up on you. You start off with a little bit and then you find you need more and more. That’s how it was with Dom.
The first time I saw him, I felt this flutter in my stomach. After that day, I’d go to that damn place every day, hoping that it would be the day that I’d find my way in, and if my heart happened to speed up every time I saw Dom, well. . .it was only the adrenaline kicking in. Right?
Then, I was in. I was spending all my free time with Dom and the guys. At first, it was to fix up that damned car, but soon, it became more about them – all of them. Jesse’s chatter. The murmur of Leon, Vince and Letty’s voice followed by the rumble of Dom’s. Family, something I hadn’t had in a long time, and I sat back and soaked it up like a cat lying in the sun.
Even that changed, and it became about Dom’s laughter, his smile, his smell, and just being around him, working closely with him, talking with him. I just couldn’t get enough of him (not that I was conscious of it), and by that time, I knew I was in too deep . So I did my job. I stuck it out and sucked it up. I wanted to be honest. I wanted to tell him, but I knew that I’d lose him. That I’d be lucky if he didn’t kill me.
I continued living my lie, even roping Mia into it. At the time, I thought that I loved her. It was only later, when I was holding her that I’d realized that when I was touching her, my mind translated it to touching him. That her tan skin and brown eyes had actually become his. That’s when my love for Dom hit me. It made me sick to realize that I’d sunk so low. That I'd subsituted his sister for him. . .all because I wanted to be close to him. I tried my best to tone things down with her, but I knew that if I hurt her, I’d lose Dom. So like the addict that I’d become, I did anything to get more time with him. . .to get close to him. . .to protect him.
I knew that he’d never feel about me the way I felt about him. After all, he had Letty, so I settled for being his friend and hating myself for my lie. Everything was fine until Hell Day, as I’ve come to think of it, occurred. I didn’t have a choice, so as I called for that damned helicopter, I knew everything that I'd been dreading - fearing - had finally happened. Any affection that he’d felt for me died under the fire of betrayal, hurt and anger, and as I watched that light go off, I felt a piece of me die at the knowledge that it was over. . .that I’d lost him. The pain was so acute that I thought I was having a heart attack. But I knew that he’d go for Jesse and Mia, and that I had to stop him before he made things worse for himself. It was for that reason that I went after Tran, not just for Jesse but for Dom too.
When I pulled up beside him, I held my breath as I looked at him, hoping that he’d accept my apology and see my loyalty, and when his eyes showed his challenge for that final race, I knew this was it. The last ride with him, and I knew I couldn’t turn it down. In those few seconds, it was just the two of us, and even under the exhaustion, adrenaline and the fear, I felt contentment. There was never any hesitation on my part to jump those tracks even when the train was coming. Subconsciously, I knew that if Dom got hit, we’d both die, and I was fine with that because it’d mean that we’d be going together.
The next thing I knew we were clear, and looking into his eyes, I could see happiness and triumph – not only because he’d won but also because he’d been victorious over his fear of the Beast. For those few seconds, I felt like we were complete, but then that damned truck came out of nowhere and ruined the moment. Watching it hit Dom and seeing that car flip, almost made me pass out. Yup. Me. Pass out like some girl. Heart pounding in my ears, I couldn’t help my panicked and frantic tone. It was one thing for me to know that he was alive somewhere, living his life and finding happiness; it was another to watch him die. Pulling up the Beast, I looked at him and, despite the blood and the dirt, he was beautful. Then, I heard him say, “That’s not what I had in mind,” and all was right again. Until I had to watch him race away, taking all that was left of me with him.
There was never any doubt that I’d protect him. I knew that from the moment I’d realized my addiction. The thing that got me, though, was how harsh they treated me. I’d figured that without evidence, I’d get kicked off the force or at least, get suspended. Should’ve known better I guess.
I took off. Mile after mile, I’d replay every moment that I’d spent with him and the team. Night after night, I'd dream about Dom dying in the crash, of him killing me, and of that last race never taking place. The only way to assure myself that it had happened was to race, which was fine with me because it was the only way I could earn cash. In those few seconds, I would feel contentment because it was like that final race over and over again. Like a junkie, I started doing them more and more, just to experience that contentment. . .that sense of completeness. I almost panicked when I had to abandon the car; my nerves and body physically shaking at the thought that I’d never get to feel that again.
It was only when I got my hands on that car in Texas that I felt right again because I knew that I’d be able to be close to Dom again. I’d earned enough cash to get garage time, but then I entered a new kind of hell. I found I didn’t need music to keep me company. No, I started to hear Dom in my head. . .to hear Mia and the guys again.
Then, one day, I heard his beloved voice say, “You’re a hard man to find.” I’d taken to talking to him in my head, not wanting anyone to know exactly how crazy I was. It was only when I felt his warm hand on my shoulder that I knew he was real. After it became apparent that he wasn’t going to pound the shit out of me, I relaxed and took him in. He was thinner and looked exhausted but damn, he was somethin'. “We need to talk,” he said, and I nodded. For the next few days, it was heaven. We talked while working on the car, getting to known each other again as friends, and I was home again.
The day of Jesse’s birthday came, and we bought some hard liquor and got stinking drunk. I kissed him that night. His brown eyes glittered with surprise and inebriation, and I expected him to slam his big fist into my jaw. The next thing I knew he was leaning in and kissing me. Things got even better from there. Clothes disappeared. His fingers on my skin. It was heaven.
This started a new pattern. We never talked about it, and that was fine with me. The feel of his skin. The touch of his lips on my mine. The feel of him pounding into me. I started to crave them all. I couldn’t help it. I was an addict. I needed more and more. Sometime I’d think that the gentleness in his touch was the only way he could show that he loved me too, and in the dark, I’d pretend that I could read love instead of lust in those eyes.
Then I fucked everything up. One night, the feelings were just too intense, and I told him. I said it out loud. I gave my heart to him, and in the next moment, cold and distant brown eyes stared down at me for a moment before he got up, gathered his stuff and walked out. It was then I knew that I’d lost him again, and this time, the pain was almost more than I could bear. For the first time since all this shit happened, I let myself cry.
I left Texas the next morning, feeling bereft without Dom. I tried to bury my feelings. . .to get over him. I did such a great job that soon, I found myself not caring about much of anything anymore. The only time I let myself feel was when I was racing. The adrenaline pumping in my veins, drowning out his voice. The rush of a win. The focus required, preventing all other thoughts. I'd simply substituted one addiction for another, but I didn't realize it. I thought of it as my form therapy, so I started to do it more and more. Soon, I began to take bigger risks. That’s what happened in Miami and led Bilkins to me.
When they asked me who I wanted as my partner for the op, the first person I thought of was Dom. I mentally chastised myself and said Rome, but I made arrangements to get Dom’s record taken care of and to get that damned Charger out of impound. I justified my actions as telling myself that I was paying my debt. . .making things right and that this would sever our ties forever. It made me feel nauseous, but I felt I had to do it.
It was months after the Verone operation, and I’d finally acknowledged that I’d never got over Dom. That I was still addicted. I can just picture myself standing at some AA or NA meeting and say, “My name is Brian O’Connor, and I’m addicted to bald, tanned Italian men with a serious adrenaline addiction and a love for cars.” God, that sounds like a personal ad. All that’s missing are my stats.
Racing and the garage brought back poignant memories, hitting me over the head again and again. Eventually, the pain dulled, but it never went away. Rome had asked about me about it once, and it took me awhile to tell him, worrying that I’d lose him too. Never happened though. All that worry over nothing. He tried to help and be a good friend, but there was only so much he could do.
Jesse’s birthday rolled around again, and this time the memories came at me so hard that I gasped. Me and Dom in bed. Me and Dom racing. Me and Dom hanging out. Me and Dom drinking Coronas and watching TV. Me and Dom shooting the breeze and talking cars. Just me and Dom. It was too much. I was miserable all day, and all I really wanted to do was get drunk and try to forget. I thought I’d succeeded. That is until, I woke up from my booze-induced coma and heard his voice whisper, “Brian.”
Goddamnit! I groaned, closing my eyes tightly in an attempt to control the rush of feeling that sound brought. Episodes where Dom would suddenly infuse my senses had become a frequent occurrence. They’d started as dreams and had soon proceeded to come when I was awake. So I knew as soon as I opened them, I’d realize that it was only the wind coming through the windows or the whisper from the air conditioner. . .that it was something other than Dom being here with me. He’d be gone, and the disappointment would be crushing. It was like being haunted, and the damned man wasn’t even dead.
“Brian.” My eyes opened, and I saw a shadow in the darkness. Visions of Dom had also occurred as well, but not as often. No, his voice became my conscience, but sometimes I’d see him in a chair drinking a Corona, or he’d be at the table laughing or smiling at me. Sometimes he’d just be standing in front of me talking to me or he’d tell me that he loves me before disappearing. When the latter had started, I realized that I must be masochist because only the mind of person who enjoys pain would trick you into thinking your greatest wish had come true and then making you lose it over and over again. I shook my head again, trying to dislodge this apparition in front me. God, delusions and hallucinations. Maybe I’ve finally gone nuts. It was something I’d often wondered, but then I realized that if I got to spend forever with Dom, I’d be all right with that.
“Leave me alone,” I mumbled and closed my eyes, not in the mood to deal with this. The day was bad enough without having to deal with this too.
Soon, warm lips hit my cheek. Startled, I scrambled away and landed with my face on the floor. His warm chuckle filled my ears, and shock filled my body. Turning over, I squinted into the darkness and saw that the person was still there.
“Dom?” I whispered.
“You’re a hard man to find, Bri.”
Still hazy from sleep and hung over, I couldn’t muster up the energy to rage at him for putting me through this. “How. . .?” I spluttered.
“Mia,” he answered simply.
“Oh.” That made sense. I wrote Mia about the arrangements I’d made, included an official letter from Bilkins’ office, and had had the Beast delivered to their place.
I took a deep breath and stood up, edging my way around Dom to the kitchen. “Why are you here?” I asked, as I grabbed a glass of water and turned to look into his twinkling brown eyes.
My heart sped up. My mouth went dry. A golf ball lodged in my throat. I gulped down the water, trying to gain control of myself and asked the question that could change everything, “Why?” If it was just out of gratitude, I’d shoot the man myself. Doesn’t matter how much I love him.
He stepped towards me and when he was about an inch away from me, he whispered “Cuz I love you too.” Then, he kissed me. Later, I wrapped my arms around Dom’s waist as he cooked us dinner and took a deep breath of his unique scent. Yup, I’m an addict, and you know what? I’m okay with that.