Title: Complex

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Brian muses on being complex.

~*~

Brian O'Connor had never thought of himself as a complex person.

When he was five, he decided that the world wasn't fair and that it was his job to fix that.

When he was ten, and his dad left, he decided that he would try and makes sure that his mother would be proud of him.

By the time he was fifteen, he had done all that; he had made the decision to become a cop, and his mother couldn't have been prouder.

When he turned twenty, he got his first assignment. It was nothing big; just go and bust some asshole selling drugs to kids.

That wasn't hard. Six years of easy cases later, he met Dominic Toretto and his team.

And suddenly, Brian was a complex person. The world was no longer black and white; he now saw the shades of gray that hadn't been there before.

This made him wonder about his "easy cases." How many of those people he had put away had been doing what Dom and his gang was doing? How many had a team to support and take care of?

How many had felt the betrayal that he had seen in Dom's eyes when they discovered that the man they had offered their trust and friendship to was actually a cop sent to bust them?

He hated to think about it. He hadn't cared before. Why should he? These people were selling drugs, lying, cheating, and stealing. And that was against the law. They deserved whatever they got.

At least, that's what he had thought.

Now he wasn't so sure.

Dominic's file had been simple: he was an adrenaline junkie who had a hot temper and very little self control. He worked in a garage and a grocery store, and he had a younger sister who thought the sun rose and set on him.

An easy case. Straightforward: get in, get the thief, and get back out.

But it wasn't like that at all. He had met Mia, who did worship her brother, but didn't let him do whatever the hell he wanted-at least, not if she thought it was stupid.

He met Jesse and Leon, part of Dom's team, and he had liked them instantly. Especially Jesse. Who couldn't like Jesse; he was smart, loyal, and reminded you of a little kid who just wanted to have fun. Brian felt like he had a little brother.

And then there was Dominic himself. He was the real shock. Sure, he was an adrenaline junkie, but his temper wasn't as hot as the file said it was, and Dom was all about self-control. Or at least, he trued to be.

Brian had learned to see not only the shades of gray but the souls of the people he was after. Suddenly, they were people instead of files.

Brian hadn't seen Dominic Toretto the criminal; he had seen Dominic Toretto the person.

And he had fallen in love.

That's when Brian's world turned upside down and he became complex. He couldn't decide what to do: risk everything he had worked his entire life for and warn Dom, or arrest him and lose him.

He had given Dom a chance. First, he had deliberately steered Bilkins in the wrong direction, the direction Brian's heart insisted that Brian steer them in so that Dom would remain safe.

It hadn't worked. So, Brian had given Dom something else.

A test, you could call it. Asked him, not directly, but asked him how he was making all of his extra money.

Dom had handed him directions to Race Wars.

What had that meant? To Brian, it meant that Dom wasn't stupid; some part of him believed Vince, and some part of him wanted to trust Brian so badly that he was willing to expose himself to him.

Brian had intended to tell Dominic that night. About Tanner, the case, the FBI, everything.

But Dominic moved before he could. And Brian had been forced to blow his cover. And not in the way he had planned.

Jesse was dead, and Vince was hurt, and Dom blamed it all on Brian. At least, he would until all of this was over. Then, he'd blame himself, which was just as bad.

When he had gotten to the house, he had done the only thing he could think of, the thing that six years of being a cop had trained him to do: he pulled a gun on Dom and ordered him to drop his weapon.

Dom hadn't listened. He'd gone after Vince and Johnny, and both had been killed.

And after Dom had crashed, Brian had given him the keys to the Supra and told him to go. Brian could handle anything that would happen.

It was the hardest thing he had ever done. Letting Dom go. Not because it would ruin his career, but because in the end, he had lost Dom anyway. Despite all of his stalling, he had lost Dom.

It had crushed him in a way he had never experienced before. He had run, both from the cops and what he thought was his past.

But the sight of Jesse's blood and Dom's betrayed eyes haunted him wherever he went.

The only way to banish it was to find Dom and prove to himself that Dom was ok, and that he wasn't locked up in some jail somewhere.

He needed to see if Dom would ever forgive him, and maybe once he did see, Brian could go back to being simple.

Because, to Brian, being complex was just too hard.

~*~