Being bi-gendered wasn't usually a problem. It was a norm of the society, like having brown hair or blue eyes, so it wasn't like anyone was discriminatory against them or anything. It never really bothered Brian on any given day. But on days like today?
Brian was fucked.
It had literally been the one time during his entire undercover operation thus far that he had gotten laid, and now he was well and truly fucked. This was the icing on the whole damn cake.
He put his face in his hands and took a few deep breaths, rubbing his eyes and hoping he wouldn't cry in front of the hospital staff.
"About two or so months along. You should start gaining weight soon."
He zoned out, stuck on the one word that wouldn't sink in. The nurse continued to ramble aimlessly as she checked his chart and his IV line.
"I'm sure the father will be excited."
The father. Shit. Dom didn't know. They weren't even together. The baby was a byproduct of a drunken tumble in the sheets (which had never been spoken of since) when Letty and Dom were in an 'off again' phase. Unfortunately for Brian, their phase since then had been 100% 'on again.'
Brian was still undercover too.
He couldn't tell Dom.
"Done fainting, Buster?" Vince drawled from beside a tool box, clad in grease-stained cargo pants and a mesh wife beater.
Brian ignored the jab as he went into the office to collect the part he needed for the Supra. Dom was in the office doing paperwork and Brian strove not to meet his eyes. He quickly snatched up the cardboard box but was halted by Dom's rumble of, "Brian. Stay for a minute."
He sighed and stepped back into the doorway of the office, not wanting to get any closer.
"Mia said you fainted."
"Yeah." The silence grew as it became apparent that Brian wouldn't offer up any explanation freely.
Dom turned away from the desk to face Brian full-on. "Are you alright? Gonna die on me, Spilner? You still owe me a ten second car."
"Not dying. I'm fine." Brian made to flee but Dom halted him with a hand on his wrist as he went to close the office door behind him.
"What happened? Don't give me a bullshit excuse, and stop trying to run out of here."
"I fainted. That's it. I need to work on the Supra's transmission. Are we good?"
Dom eyed him critically before giving a curt nod. "We're good."
Most of the team was seated around the picnic table for Sunday barbecue. Brian had been able to divert attention from the fact that he wasn't drinking by holding a Corona and occasionally putting it to his lips. He was careful to dump some beer in the bushes sporadically as well as retreat inside for a glass of water so that he wouldn't faint in the summer heat. The last thing he needed was to faint again.
Brian had decided to ignore his condition until that was no longer possible. This meant not telling anyone about the pregnancy - not Bilkins, not Tanner, not Mia and especially not Dom. His denial thus far had gone unchecked and was unproblematic. He hadn't fainted again, nor had he started gaining weight. His plan was perfect.
Until Leon placed the plate of barbecued chicken right in front of him. Brian felt his stomach broil as he disentangled himself from the picnic table and bolted for the house where he could throw up in private. He found the first bathroom occupied and just made a run for the upstairs without hesitation. He crashed through the door, threw himself in front of the porcelain bowl and emptied his stomach promptly. He couldn't hear the thundering strides that followed him up the stairs over the sounds of his retching and flinched when he felt one of Dom's large hands on his neck.
"Shit, Bri. You alright?"
"'M fine," he mumbled between bouts of heaving. He felt the tremor in his spine as he emptied his stomach and Dom just soothed his callused hands down his back in slow motions. "Don't have t' stay."
"I'm fine where I am," Dom assured the blonde.
Brian flushed the toilet and sagged against the cold bathtub beside it. Dom sidled closer and placed the inside of his wrist against Brian's forehead to check his temperature, but found no fever, just clammy skin. Dom stood from the floor to get a glass of water and some mouth wash.
"Bri? Here." The younger man opened his eyes at the offered hydration and mouthwash to make him feel like something hadn't just died in his mouth.
This time he heard the footsteps coming up the stairs and hoped Dom would just leave and close the door behind him. Mia poked her head in but Dom shooed her out, telling her to get the others to start eating without them.
So much for his plan.
Jesse had offered, with Dom's permission, to share his spacious basement bedroom with Brian so that he wouldn't have to drive back to his closet of a room in the back of Harry's store. A few times, Brian had crashed on the couch in the living room or the small, overstuffed love seat in Jesse's room and had sleepily stumbled out to his car when he awoke, realizing he wasn't in his proper temporary home.
One memorable night, Brian had awoken at 3 AM on the Toretto's couch and just wanted to eat some strawberries, then flop into his bed at Harry's to get more sleep. Mia, who was getting water from the kitchen, had caught him blearily throwing on his shoes and tried to stop him. He had gotten as far as the driver's seat of his car before an overly large arm wrapped around his middle and carried him inside like a rag doll. Dom had held him aloft while Mia removed his shoes, then placed him on the couch more carefully than strictly necessary with Mia wrapping a blanket around him. Dom watched Brian blink, utterly confused and still not cognitive, but still silently craving strawberries.
Dom had confiscated his keys and kissed Mia on the head before lumbering back up the stairs to his room. Mia pressed a kiss to his forehead like he had seen her do to Jesse before and turned out the lights. Brian figured that he would just leave early in the morning for strawberries and a change of clothes. Surely Dom had dropped his keys on the stairs or something, right?
He returned to consciousness hours later to the sight of Letty sitting across from him in the arm chair with a mug of coffee in her hands, glaring at him as if his head might explode if she willed it hard enough. She had been awoken when Mia had enlisted her brother's help the night before and she was clearly pissed. At Brian.
To make the entire experience worse, Brian was feeling nauseated and Dom, who did not leave his keys on the stairs, wouldn't return his car keys until he sat down for breakfast and ate a sufficient portion of food.
To say that Brian was trying to avoid staying over at all costs was an understatement. Jesse looked saddened when Brian thanked him but politely declined the invitation to move in.
Brian found himself being brought into the fold more with each day and could understand how people on undercover assignments went native. He felt like the Team (minus Vince and Letty) was becoming his family. Mia and Dom were like the parents of their ragtag group, making sure everyone was taken care of and meting out discipline as needed.
Brian ached to be a part of this family.
For his child - Dom's child - to know the love of a family like this.
Dom started watching Brian more closely when the blonde continued to feign ignorance and assure everyone that he was alright. The sickness got worse, striking him at mealtimes and when introduced to the smell of barbecued meats. Brian began to decline invitations to Sunday barbecues citing fatigue and other chores to be done, to which only Vince and Letty were indifferent.
On the flip side, Tanner was definitely suspicious of his weight loss and pallid complexion as of late due to the morning sickness. Brian knew that the moment his superiors found out about his pregnancy that he was going to off the case so fast his head would spin. Not to mention the reprimand for his conduct. Brian thought he was fine until he fainted again in a meeting with Tanner. One minute he had been listening to Tanner ranting about finding nothing at the Tran's garage or house and the next he had a bright light shining in his eyes. A flashlight, his mind supplied. He moved his arms to feel the smooth, cool tile of the floor beneath his bare arms.
"You fainted at the table, Brian. We're going to give you -"
"No drugs." He waived off the paramedics that had been called in. "'M fine. Jus need t' sleep more."
"O'Connor. Focus," Tanner coached in his ear.
"No drugs. Hurt 'm. Water?"
Tanner was at his elbow with a bottle of water that he uncapped before handing it to Brian. Brian took a clumsy swig from the bottle but pushed it back at Tanner and scrambled to move when he saw one of the paramedics with a needle. "No drugs!" His mouth felt dry as he said it.
"Officer O'Connor, calm down," the paramedic tried to placate him by putting the needle aside. "I need to put an IV on you. You're severely dehydrated and the sooner we get a drip on you, the sooner you might feel better."
Brian nodded and offered his arm, taking back the water bottle from Tanner with his other hand while Tanner eyed him critically. He stared into Brian's blue eyes before they moved down to his neck, thinning arms, chest swimming in a T-shirt and then down. Tanner locked onto the barely there bump and looked up at Brian's eyes. "Anything you want to tell me, Brian?"
When Brian wouldn't meet his gaze and remained silent, Tanner stood and kicked at a chair in frustration. "I'm requiring you to undergo a full physical before you can continue working. If you won't tell me, I'll find out myself."
Dom called Brian's phone again and again. He was beyond frustrated with receiving Brian's voicemail until he tried the number again to find it disconnected. He threw his phone at the wall in anger. Truthfully, it wasn't the phone's fault that Brian just disappeared the night before without a trace and hadn't been in contact.
Mia found him, phone in hand, slumped at the end of his bed and staring blankly at the opposite wall. She crawled across his bed to sidle up beside him and hug her older brother. "You worried about him?"
"Terrified," his voice rumbled evenly.
Mia looked at her brother. "I didn't realize you cared about him so much."
They sat in silence for a few minutes before Dom blurted out, "We slept together." Dom looked at his sister to see her gaping. "Don't look at me like that. Letty and I were on a break and we were drunk. He's bi-gen, so it's not like he was missing what I like about sex."
"Yes," Dom huffed in a 'weren't you listening?' voice. "I'm worried because he's been so sick lately."
Mia watched her brother with a critical eye. "You really care about him, don't you?"
Dom wrapped an arm around his baby sister. "If he had given any indication that he wanted to talk about that night, I probably wouldn't have gotten back with Letty. He's something else, Mia."
"So go find him. He lives at Harry's, doesn't he?" Mia kissed her brother's cheek before shoving him toward the door. "You'll just keep pacing like a caged animal until you do it. Go see him."
Dom nodded, grabbing his keys and heading down the stairs without a second thought.
Harry offered him a shrug and said that he had left everything in the back room with only a note saying he wouldn't be back. Dom walked through the small closet of a room and sat on the bed. His hands spread across the hastily made bed and he ran a hand under the closest pillow. He was going to pull the pillow to him to smell Brian's shampoo one last time when his fingertips touched something smooth. He grabbed the thin, papery object and pulled it out.
Dom's stomach dropped when he realized what he was looking at.
"Did you know?" Mia turned around from where she was standing at the counter of their kitchen washing the dishes from breakfast. Her brother was seething and she was confused.
"Did you know, Mia?" he raised his voice at her.
"Know what?" she shot back with equal viciousness.
Dom sat down at the kitchen table and tossed a black and white photo on the tabletop. "This is my fault." He rested his elbows on the table and buried his face in his hands, palms scrubbing across the stubble on his cheeks and chin. "This," he emphasized with a finger jabbing at the photo, "is on me."
Mia came to peer at the photo and saw a sonogram. At first she thought it might have been Letty's, but the patient name at the top of the picture was Brian O'Connor.
"His last name is O'Connor?"
"He's fucking pregnant, Mia. I don't give a shit what his last name really is. That has to be my kid. That's why he was sick all the time and started eating strawberries by the boxes. I knew he was bi and wasn't careful. This is my fault."
"So he talked to you?"
"He was already gone. Harry said he came into the store that morning and found a note on the door. He left everything behind except his car."
Mia grinned. "Dom, the car is in your name. You put the plates on the Supra. You can call it in."
If Brian had thought he was fucked before, that was nothing compared to now. In order to keep his secret, he had put in his notice at the LAPD when Tanner had ordered him to get a physical and drug test. He had submitted to the drug test knowing that at least partial compliance was better than nothing. It would be on the record, should he ever come back, that he wasn't using.
He stayed in LA, at least for the time being, and slowly started to pack up his real apartment. He couldn't afford to stay there the rest of the year without his job at the Department, which he left to avoid career suicide when it would inevitably come out that he was pregnant with his mark's kid.
He was still driving the Supra after all of this. Brian couldn't drop it off at the garage without it either being stripped for parts overnight or without the Team seeing him. He wasn't allowed to go near them or else he could ruin things for the next person they tried to plant in there.
Besides, Brian was starting to show now. His baggy shirts still hid the evidence for the most part but there was a subtle curve to his abdomen that was apparent when he viewed his naked torso. He stood before a mirror and caressed where his child grew. After so long, he would finally have a family to love again.
And God, did he love this kid.
Brian came out of his six-month sonogram with two copies in his hand. He would put one on the fridge of his partially-boxed apartment but he hesitated looking at the other one.
Dom deserved to know.
The picture was clearly a baby now with hands and feet, not that he could find the three-month picture to compare. He made up his mind then to lay it all out in the open. Let Dom know everything and leave it up to him what he did next. He sat down for hours, writing draft after draft of letters. At the end of it, he wrote down the number of a new phone he had just purchased because the police would be watching his landline call history and his UC phone was confiscated. He folded the paper into the only envelope he could find and skipped on the return address. Before closing the envelope, he fished a sonogram photo out of his pocket and wrote 'six months' on the back.
Brian's hands shook as he dropped the letter into the post box, wishing he didn't have to wait. His hands dropped to his now-obvious bump and rubbed a hand over it reflexively.
To say that Letty had been a nightmare upon finding the sonogram photo was an understatement.
"We were off for five minutes and you knocked up the buster?" Her voice was cold as she seethed.
Dom was tired of defending his choices. He was tired of the jealousy and her insecurity. "Yeah, I did. And I don't regret it," he bit out. That made Letty pause. Dom knew she was hurt by it all. She was taking out her feelings on him because she felt inadequate.
Jesse came to his door then and handed him an envelope. "Looks like a card or something, Dom. Just came in the mail."
Dom threw a look at Letty, hoping she won't drag this out in front of everyone, especially while Jesse still stood in the doorway with blatant curiosity. Dom ripped the side of the envelope open and the contents slid out.
Another sonogram. Dom flipped it over to see 'six months' hastily scrawled across the back. He flipped it back over and examined the photo, not realizing that he was smiling until he looked up to Letty's tear-filled gaze.
"We're done, Dom. I can't handle this. I'm out," she shouldered past Jesse and thundered down the stairs. The door rattled in its frame after she slammed it closed behind herself with a note of finality.
"What's wrong with her?"
Dom eyed Jesse before waving him over. He felt like an honest-to-God proud father as he showed Jesse the photo. "I have a kid. It'll be born in three months."
"Shit, Dom. That's why she left?"
"Letty doesn't like that I slept with someone while we were on a break," he huffed out.
"Who's the chick? Anyone I know?"
Jesse's eyes grew as big as saucers. "No shit? He's bi-gen?"
Dom nodded and turned to the letter in his hands, opening it with a frown. He glanced up at Jesse before settling in to read the letter to see the kid following the curve of the baby's spine with his forefinger in awe.
"Jess, why don't you go show Mia," he dismissed him kindly so that he could read the letter in private. Jesse nodded distractedly and accidentally walked into the doorframe on his way out. Dom shook his head fondly and closed his door, sitting calmly on his bed and opening the letter to see Brian's long-stroked letters inked into the page in his hand.
Brian fumbled for the phone as it rang, thinking it must be a drunk dial because it was after midnight already. His large stomach was making it harder with each passing day to fight gravity and lift himself out of bed.
"Hello?" He cleared his throat when he noticed how rough his voice was and tried again, "Hello?"
The rumble on the other end of the phone could've been imagined. "Hello?" Brian knew he wanted to hear Dom's voice but maybe he had imagine the quiet reply.
"Yeah," the other man let out a breath. "I got your letter. And the picture. I knew, Bri. When you left all your stuff at Racer's Edge, Harry let me go in there and look. I found the three-month photo."
There was silence for a moment as Brian struggled to wake up enough to remember that people on the phone need verbal responses.
"Are you still there?"
"Yeah, sorry. Not entirely awake."
Another silence fell over the line as Brian thought of something. "Do you hate me?"
"For being pregnant?"
"For any of this," Brian clarified.
"No." Dom paused and Brian listened to him breathe. "I've been worried though. How are you? Is the kid okay?"
"He's fine and so am I."
"It's a boy, Dom."
"Really?" The older man sounded choked up.
Brian smiled at that, "Yeah. He has your big feet too."
"Does he kick?"
"Not really, but his foot has been jabbing my bladder."
"When is he due?"
Brian had to think for a minute about the date. "Shit. Just realized he's due a week after Mia's birthday."
"Yeah. He'll be here in no time," Brian yawned.
"Why did you leave, Bri? You never told me," Dom almost whispered that last part.
"I can't technically tell you. I know that's shitty but just leave it for now, please?"
"Where are you?"
"Not far. My place."
"Not at Harry's."
"No, I live in McArthur Park."
"The fuck are you doing there? You know the offer to live here still stands, right?"
"I can't. Call it a conflict of interest."
Dom snorted, "For you?"
"Yes. And you."
"If you want me or your son alive, you wouldn't ask either of us to live with your girlfriend."
"Letty's gone. She's at Vince's."
Brian yawned again, "Why?"
"Because I told her I have a kid on the way with you. She's insecure, so she left. I'm just done with all of it."
"Sorry. I feel like that's my fault."
"It's no ones fault. We're two people that can't figure shit out enough to make it work."
Brian didn't know how to follow that so he just curled into his side with the phone against his ear but his arm was tired. "Hang on, I'm putting you on speaker phone," Brian said before playing with the phone until he heard Dom's steady breathing again, placing the phone on the pillow beside his head. "Okay. We're good."
"Do you think he can hear me?"
"Baby boy? Yes. Doctor said to talk to him so that my voice soothes him when he's out. Whatever they hear most often is usually the most comforting later."
"Yeah. I'll put the phone by him." Brian positioned the phone by his stomach and curled on his side with a second pillow tucked between his knees. "Go ahead."
"Hey kid. It's your dad. Well, your other dad. Fuck, what do I say, Bri?"
Brian grinned, "Don't swear in front of the kid, Dom."
"Shit. Sorry. Sorry again."
"Just talk to him. Tell him about - about the garage."
Dom chuckled, "Alright."
They talked on the phone every night for a week, Brian and Dom just talking aimlessly before Dom would be put on speakerphone to talk to their child. On day nine, Brian felt a sharp kick to his stomach.
Dom stopped mid sentence and was on high alert. "Are you alright?"
"Dom. He kicked. Keep talking."
"I wish I could feel it. I wish I could see you both. Know that you're alright. See it for myself." There was shifting but no more kicks.
"Me n' Jesse. Mia is at a friend's place studying for an exam."
"I can come over if you want," Brian offered as he rubbed his belly where their child kicked him.
"Are you okay to drive?"
"Yeah. He's awake so there's no chance of sleep now until he settles. Good job, Dad."
"Dad," Dom echoed. "Can't believe we're going to be dads in under 3 months. It's crazy, Bri."
"I know. I'm putting on a sweater then I'll be there in 20."
Dom waited on the porch and grinned from ear to ear when he saw Brian step out of the Supra. Jesse walked past the open door and bounded outside and down the stairs to wrap Brian in a hug before anyone could really register his appearance. "Hey Jess. How you doing, man?"
"Great, man. Haven't seen you in months. The peanut looks human now." Brian hugged Jesse back remembering why he liked him so much.
"Come on," Dom called, waving the pair inside. Jesse let go and stepped back, letting Brian precede him into the house.
When they got inside, Jesse decided to split, saying he would be back later. When the door closed behind Jesse, the pair just stared at each other, wondering what to do. Dom made the first move and pulled the shorter man against his chest in a hug. "Missed you."
Brian took a hand in his when they parted their embrace. He winced, squeezing Dom's fingers, before lifting his shirt layers to press the warm, work-calloused palm against his taut skin. Dom waited in question. Then he felt it; a small movement against his hand. The pair looked at each other, grinning from ear to ear.
"Come on," Brian tugged Dom's hand and led them up the stairs. "My back is killing me. Need to lay down." Dom nodded and was glad to see his baby daddy making himself at home in his space. Brian kicked off his shoes and shucked his coat, crawling across the bed to lay on his side. He faced Dom, patting the spot beside him with a smile. "Talk to your kid."
Dom was hesitant until Brian lifted his shirt, exposing the distended midriff that bore the next generation of Toretto genetics. It was beautiful.
"Hey, kid. It's your dad. I finally get to talk to you in person," he stopped as he caressed the baby bump. "You still have another two months or so to percolate."
Brian guffawed at the statement and Dom grinned, "He's not a pot of coffee."
"I can't believe we made you." Dom carried on without pause. "You are the best thing I've ever made, and I've built some pretty sweet cars, kid."
Brian figured that the baby liked Dom's voice or just reacted to Brian's heart beating faster when he watched Dom talk to the baby. Either way, the kid started to kick more and they would get goofy grins when he would knock a foot against his bearer's belly under Dom's waiting palm.
Brian didn't make any appearances at Team gatherings, knowing that Vince and Letty were uncomfortable around him. When they got uncomfortable, they got defensive. When they got defensive, they were easily pissed off which pissed everyone else off. He stayed away from the garage and market as well, usually visiting only on nights when it could be just him and Dom so that the older man could bond with their boy.
They lay on Dom's freshly made bed, duvet and sheets smelling of the fabric softener that Mia bought. Brian was on his side as it was the only position he was marginally comfortable in now that he was almost eight months pregnant. Dom was spooned behind him, rubbing soothing circles over his skin as they talked. The man was a baby whisperer, Brian was sure, because their kid had finally stopped wiggling and jabbing his organs.
"You're coming to Race Wars, right?"
Dom's soothing rumble made him smile, "If you want me to. I don't want to make any waves with the Team though. If it's going to piss them off then maybe I shouldn't."
"When are you going to stop planning your life around those two?"
"When I'm not pregnant and my stress is no longer a threat to our son's life." Brian had shut up the older man with that for the time being. They lay in silence, Dom continuing his circular motions.
"I want you there," Dom said lowly. "I might not say it often, but I really do want the two of you around. Permanently."
Brian let that sink in and had formulated a reply until Dom pressed a kiss to his neck. That first kiss became a second one trailing up the lean column of flesh to the sensitive spot just below Brian's ear where he nipped lightly, making Brian shiver. "Sometimes I wonder where we would be if you had given me any sign that you wanted this after that first time. I wanted you but I thought you didn't want anything past that first time, so I didn't push it."
"Really? I felt like you were stonewalling me. I figured you didn't want anything because you knew you'd be back together with Letty soon."
Dom let out a short chuckle before lifting himself up and rolling Brian over carefully. He straddled Brian's hips and ran both hands across where their child slept. He pushed up the shirt to run both hands over bare, pale skin. When he was satisfied, he smiled before meeting Brian's eyes. His bulky muscles bunched and released as he crawled carefully atop Brian and kissed the younger man.
Jesse did a monumentally stupid thing like racing for pinks against Johnny Tran, then drove off out of the desert. Race Wars was becoming more trouble than Brian could handle. He had shut himself away in the trailer for most of it, not feeling well because of the intense heat. He heard the squabble between Dom and Tran through the screen door.
"You better go get my car," Johnny warned as he stalked off with his entourage.
Dom shook his head, shaking off Mia's hand on his arm and opened the door to Vince's trailer, striding in like he owned it. Brian watched Mia retreat, frustrated, and resumed his seat on the couch because he couldn't fit at the table. Dom came back to the trailer around five and started grabbing his keys and changing into different clothes.
"Where are you going?"
"For a ride."
"Where?" Brian questioned again.
"It doesn't matter, Bri," he deflected. "Look, I'm not going out to a club or anything like that."
Then it clicked. Dom was leaving with the Team to do a truck jacking.
"I'll be back in the morning."
He had to stop him. "No you won't. And even if you do come back alive, I won't be here. I thought you changed. I gave up everything for this kid, for you, and you're just going to go and be stupidly reckless?" He shouted at Dom more with each word.
"You know nothing!" Dom roared back.
Brian shook his head, eyes shining with tears after Dom yelled at him. His emotions were everywhere but he pushed through the hormonal haze. "I know everything. I know about the jackings and I know that the truckers are arming themselves. You or someone you love is going to get killed, Dom," he finished as calmly as he could with a shaky voice. "I won't hang around to see it. Neither will my son."
"You're gonna stop me from seeing my son?"
"No, Dom. If you live, the guards at Lompoc won't let you see your son."
Dom tensed, looking like he wanted to knock Brian's face in for suggesting he would go back. "I'll die before I go back."
"Then there's nothing left for me here."
Brian shouldered past Dominic to gather up his bag and leave. "Where the fuck do you think you're going?"
"Like hell you are. You didn't drive. You're not going anywhere."
"I'll walk if I have to," he spat back viciously.
Dom grabbed his face in his hands and crushed their lips together. It was like getting shocked by electricity. He could feel the sensation roll deep into his bone marrow. He clutched his hands around Dom's hips to steady himself. They kissed until Brian had to pull away, lightheaded and leaning into Dom to remain upright.
Brian pushed his nose against Dom's neck. "Don't be sorry. Just don't go. Please don't."
"How do you know about the jackings?"
"I-" Brian stopped, deciding whether to go for broke or if he had to keep it a secret still. "I was a cop, Dom. I quit when I found out I was pregnant. Conflict of interest. That's how I know they're looking for any reason to send you back."
Dom tensed before removing his arms from around Brian. "Let go of me."
"Fucking let go!" he shoved Brian back by the shoulders, making the other man fly backwards. He watched in horror as Brian tripped over his duffle bag and landed on the floor, narrowly missing clipping his head on the bedside table. The grunt of pain and pinched facial expressions Brian made sent Dom into a panic. "Fuck! Brian! I'm so- shit - Are you?"
"Don't touch me!"
"Don't touch me! Just calm the fuck down for a second," Brian winced as moved his neck, fingers and feet. He wasn't paralyzed but his back was killing him like something was wrong.
"Brian," Dom started, "what are the chances that you pissed your pants just now?"
"None, what are you-?" Brian felt the crotch of his pants to find them wet. "Shit! Dom, help me up. You're driving me to a hospital. That was my water."
"It's a month early," Dom commented as he ignored Brian's hand in favor of lifting him up bodily, an arm under his shoulders and knees each.
"Should've considered that before you shoved a pregnant person."
Brian could see the moment the Dom's mind caught up to the situation and thought 'my fault.'
"Dom," Brian was getting choked up at the thought of something going wrong and Dom blaming himself for the rest of his life. He leaned in and kissed him. "I love you. No matter what. It'll be alright, just get me to the hospital."
Leon was outside of the trailers and was instantly worried by the expressions on Dom and Brian's faces. "What's wrong?"
"Just get the car door," Dom snapped. Leon rushed to the RX-7 and opened the passenger side door. "Tell everyone I'm taking Brian to the hospital. It's the baby." He closed the door behind Brian and climbed swiftly into the other side with a practiced grace born of muscle memory.
The pair sped off without another word.
Everyone piled into the waiting room and settled in a sort of orbit around Dominic, who was denied access to the delivery room due to the emergency c-section that had to be performed on Brian. The explanations were a jumble of words like 'distressed' and 'premature' that Dom had a hard time focusing on. All he could think of was Brian's face when Dom told him a solid 'I love you too' before they put him on a bed and wheeled him into the OR.
Vince sidled up next to Dom. His knee bounced with nervous energy and was really starting to visibly irritate the squat-looking woman with a magazine seated across from them. "Dom." Vince leaned in so that no one, barring Letty and Leon sitting behind them, would hear. "Clock is ticking if we want to-"
"I'm out." The statement cut off Vince's poorly timed question.
If nothing else, Vince was as stubborn as a mule. "We agreed that it would be one last job."
"You were all for this before."
Dom threw out a hand and clamped it down on Vince's bouncing knee to still it. "That was before I found out the Feds are onto us and the truckers are arming themselves to their necks. That was before I fought with Brian. I said yes before I shoved the man I am in love with, the one that is carrying my son, and caused him to go into early labor. I'm not going to apologize to anyone, least of all you, for having a shift in my priorities. I am going to be here when my kid is born. End of discussion."
Dom tensed when a hand landed on his shoulder and turned. The hand was an act of solidarity from Leon and Dom accepted his friend's nod of understanding and support. Following Leon's lead, Letty soothed a hand over Dom's other shoulder - their first real contact since they had separated two months previous.
When he released Vince's knee from his death grip, the bulky man looked up at the squat woman to see her look of gratefulness over the edge of her magazine before she flipped the page.
That's what Dom needed to do; turn over a new page. He sat back in his chair for the wait.
"Family of Brian O'Connor?"
Everyone struggled to sit up with sluggish limbs from staying seated for too long. Dom didn't hesitate to stride up to the nurse and ask if he was alright.
"You're the father?"
"Yes, are they alright?"
The nurse waited until Mia and the others were huddled close and spoke, "He's resting now. Your son is perfectly healthy and the delivery went smoothly. The doctor had to perform a Caesarean section due to the stress on the baby but both came out healthy and are sleeping. Your son is in an incubator to help him breathe because he had low oxygen levels but we anticipate he'll be out of it soon."
"Can I see Brian?"
The nurse nodded, "Visiting hours are over but I can let you stay provided you don't wake him."
Dom nodded and was hugged by Mia before following the nurse through the double doors.
In Brian's room, he was partitioned off from the other patient. Dom took the seat by the window with only a bedside lamp to light up Brian's sleeping features. There he sat, one hand clasped in Brian's until dawn peaked over the horizon and the sun rose above the buildings surrounding the hospital. Dom had nodded off for an hour during the night but the uncomfortable angle he sat at kept him awake for the most part. He felt Brian stirring against his hand and came more awake when he saw Brian's blue eyes open.
Though his blonde curls were a sweaty mess and he was still clearly in some pain from the c-section stitches, the younger man still grinned at him sleepily. "Morning."
"Morning," Dom rumbled back, infinitely happier to see Brian awake, alive and well.
"Did you see him? He's beautiful."
"Not yet, but I know he must be, seeing as he's your kid."
Brian smiled again. "He has a very handsome Daddy too. We'll be beating the other kids away with sticks."
Dom couldn't help his smile as he stood from his perch and sat on the side of Brian's bed. In that moment, he struggled to find the words that he needed to say as he surveyed Brian. A lean neck led up to a strong, stubbled jaw that Dom couldn't help but cup with the calloused palm of his hand as his eyes continued assessing. Thin, pink lips, a narrow nose bridging the space between high cheek bones that were dusted with thick eyelashes. A stroke of Dom's thumb opened those soulful blue eyes. Those damn eyes. The eyes that he hoped his son had. He never wanted to spend another day without those eyes watching his own muddy brown ones.
"You're a test nobody could pass. A story no one could write. An impossible probability. I- You drive me up the wall, Bri. But I'm happy there. I'm better for it. You make me better. And our kid. I haven't seen him yet, but I know that once he's in my arms, I'll never let him go."
"Brian." Dom leaned down and pressed his own chapped lips to Brian's pink ones and it felt right. Like everything was alright for those few seconds. They pulled away, each waiting for the other to break the silence. "I love you. Both of you. The last year - everything I've been through you've been standing there by my side. I always want you there."
The blonde grinned at him.
"Well, I do still owe you a ten second car."
So let the light guide your way
Hold every memory as you go
And every road you take
Will always lead you home.
-Charlie Puth, "See You Again"