Title: The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
Status: Work in Progress
Pairings: Brian/Mia, Dom/Letty
Additional Categories: Alternate Universe
Genre: Action, Adventure, Angst, Drama, Brian!Whump, Violence
Season/Episodes: Picks up about 13 years after „The Fast and the Furious" – circa 2014
Rating: Teen, may change to Mature
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language
Summary: AU after the end of The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Brian has been at war in Middle East and now he really wants to come home. However, the military life has taken its toll on him and he soon sees that things aren't now quite the same as they were 13 years ago before he was shipped off. Can the old Brian be recovered?
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday, Chapter 1 (Part 2)
*September 11, 2001 6.05 AM*
After Brian and Rome had returned to Barstow, they soon found a way to put their stolen evidence money to good use. They had opened up a garage together in Las Vegas with the stolen evidence money. Rome would have first wanted to hit the Strip and double or triple the cash, but Brian had talked him out of it, saying that it wouldn't be very easy to beat the system that kept all the money in the casinos. But the garage itself hadn't been a failure and even in a city where gambling was the main source of income, they had hit a jackpot by fixing cars.
And so past several weeks, until one Tuesday morning in September found Brian sleeping peacefully on the couch, not knowing that on the East Coast things were already going to shit. Last night, he and Rome had worked hard on a Corvette, which had been quite tiring for Brian that he hadn't even made it to the bedroom. While Rome had still hit the bars in search of women, whom he'd date for a week at most before finding a new one.
But Brian was still sleeping on the couch when suddenly his cellphone rang.
„'yello?" He asked groggily, his brain refusing to wake up completely. He had only had around four to five hours of sleep after fixing up the Vette.
„Brian, bro, I got some bad news for ya. Turn on the TV."
„What?" Brian's brain wasn't still functioning perfectly.
Groaning, Brian rose from his place on the couch and finally managed to grab the remote and turned on the TV.
„What's going on?"
„Something that's gonna change all of our lives."
„Anything you want, they're all covering the same thing."
Brian turned to CNN and the network came on with a live report from New York. What Brian saw on the screen had him straightening up and staring in shock and awe at New York skyline, with a huge cloud of smoke coming from the World Trade Center towers, and the words on the bottom of the screen: PLANE CRASHES INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWER, which then quickly changed to SECOND PLANE CRASHES INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER.
Brian continued to watch the news report, also hearing the reporter calling the situation inexplicable as planes shouldn't be even flying there. And a few minutes later, he then saw the headlines change again: FBI INVESTIGATING REPORT OF PLANE HIJACKING. And he was shocked at the sight of people crying being shown on the streets of New York as they walked towards the WTC.
But little did Brian know that this would not be the end of it. Sometime later, the headlines changed again: CNN LEARNS PLANE HIT PENTAGON. Just then, the scene had shifted to the Capital, showing the five-story DoD HQ now in a cloud of smoke, and then the Twin Towers in NY had started to collapse.
By 8 AM, Brian was watching in shock and awe as the towers were falling to the ground with pieces falling from it and people running away from the collapsing towers in a huge cloud of smoke and burning debris, and almost half an hour later both towers had collapsed. And the next hour the scene shifted to Pennsylvania, where about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh a plane had crashed on the field. TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST TARGETS IN NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON, said now the headlines.
Somewhere near Chicago
September 26, 2001
It had been two weeks since that fateful day in New York and Washington D.C. and during that time America had changed a lot. On the streets, the cops were constantly on watch, wondering if that person was carrying a bomb. The U.S. was now preparing for a war in the Middle East. Soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen now began to say goodbye to their family and friends, knowing that soon their services will be needed.
Through everything, Brian could hear the call of duty inside him. At the moment, he was on a bus travelling from Chicago-O'Hare International Airport to Naval Station Great Lakes. Brian hadn't wanted to join the standard Army, and he wasn't so keen on joining the Air Force either, considering that as an enlisted airman, he wouldn't get to fly any F-15s. Of course, he could also go to Colorado Springs to do that. Not to mention that there he could also get a Bachelor of Science degree for free, as Uncle Sam would pay for it. But then again, he couldn't really see himself spending four years as a cadet now that he was willing to go to Middle East and fight. So in the end he had narrowed it down to two choices: Marine Corps or Navy SEALs. Not the standard Navy, he couldn't really see himself being stuck on a ship and not doing any serious ass-kicking. MC would've been the safer choice on that note, but Brian had been impressed by the tales of the SEALs, since their forming in 1962 under orders from JFK.
Rome had attempted to talk Brian out of joining the SEALs, saying that Brian had done his duty while in LAPD and he didn't owe them shit. They had discussed it for some time, until Rome finally caved and let Brian proceed with joining the Navy.
The bus now pulled into the Great Lakes Training Center. The driver killed the engine and opened the door, allowing three petty officers to get on the bus.
"Off the bus now! Get your damn bag and move! I don't have all day to mommy you!" the biggest of them shouted, him having a yellow three-chevron-and-rocker insignia on his shoulder sleeve and an anchor on his collar. He was the Chief Petty Officer. His two proctors both had a two-chevron insignia, thus they were Petty Officers 2nd Class.
After everybody had got off the bus with their bags, the drill sergeants continued to herd them into the barracks.
"Now everybody, put your music players, cell phones and everything away. Dispose of your food items. I sure as hell won't be having sloppy men in my Navy." The class all scrambled to obey.
"You will address me as "Chief O'Halloran" and my assistants here as "Petty Officer Connell" and "Petty Officer Jameson". All three of us work for a living, so don't ever call us "sir". The "sirs" are all from Annapolis or Newport, but all of us graduated from here, Great Lakes. Did you understand?"
"YES, CHIEF O'HALLORAN!" Everybody shouted at once.
Brian knew for sure that the gas chamber training would be something he'd never forget.
He found himself in a line walking towards the gas chamber with his gas mask in his hand. After making sure that the recruits knew how to use their gas masks, the Chief ordered them to face him, as he picked up a tear gas canister. "This, ladies, is CS gas. It will make you panic, it will make you want to throw up. Now we need to know you can handle it."
"Now each one of you recite your last name and the last four digits of your social security, then remove your masks." O'Halloran ordered as he pulled the canister and the gas began to fill the room.
Once it was Brian's turn, he simply recited "O'Conner 2948" before taking a deep breath and removing his mask. Moments later, the gas hit his eyes as he took his first gas inhale.
After making sure that everyone had inhaled enough gas, the chief ordered them to sing "Anchors Aweigh". With the recruits coughing and their eyes burning, they somehow managed to sing the Naval Academy's fighting song with spitting and coughing pauses, until they were finally released.
On the fifth week, Brian was suddenly approached by O'Halloran.
"O'Conner, come with me. Commander Roberts wants to see you."
"Aye aye, chief!" Brian responded and followed O'Halloran to the Commander's office. The Commander was already sitting by the desk, flanked by a Lieutenant and a Master Chief.
"Are you Recruit O'Conner?" Roberts asked.
"You asked about becoming a SEAL?"
"Hmm, yes. I really would like to be part of them, sir."
"You know, there is no easy way to becoming one. Are you familiar with the requirements?"
"Well, but are you physically fit for this?"
"I think I am. At school I always got A's at PE, sir."
"Then I think you might not have problems with it. But you know the rules, you must still pass the screening test, just so that we can be sure you're cut for it."
"I understand, sir."
"When are you ready?"
"Whenever you are, sir."
One week later, Brian found himself preparing for the screening test. O'Halloran and Roberts were already waiting in the swimming pool as Brian entered.
"Alright, O'Conner, here comes the first test. You must swim 500 yards in twelve and a half minutes, with a competitive time of nine minutes using breaststroke. Are you ready?"
O'Halloran shouted "GO!" as Brian jumped in the water and started swimming. At school, he didn't really have much of brains, which was why he failed at Algebra and other similar subjects, but Brian definitely had brawns. So he kept on swimming the 20 lengths in the 25-yard pool. With his school record for 50 yards being around 34'' in high school, Brian managed to swim the 500 yards in 6 minutes 45 seconds. Then he was told to rest for ten minutes and prepare for the next task. He had to do fifty push-ups in two minutes, competitive being 90. Brian's result was 97. Time for a two-minute rest and then two minutes of sit-ups, with 50 minimum and 90 optimum. Brian's result? 104. Another two minute rest and time for pull-ups from a dead hang. No time limit, but letting go of the bar or touching the ground means disqualifying, with minimum of 10 and optimum of 18. Brian managed to do 21, then he was told to rest for ten minutes and prepare for final test - running 1.5 miles in shorts and running shoes. Time limit - 10 minutes 30 seconds, optimum 9 minutes 30. Brian managed in 8'51'', again beating the optimum score.
The Chief and Commander were both impressed with his skills and told him that he was doing quite well and might be ready for SEALs.
However, back in 2001, the SEAL was not yet introduced in the US Navy as an official rate, so Brian could not start preparing for SEALs right after graduating the boot camp, first he'd have to serve some time in his chosen rate - Gunner's Mate.
An early November morning found Brian standing outside the Navy boot camp in his Dress Blues with the other sailors as their family and friends had came to see their graduation.
"This ceremony marks the culmination of long and arduous training. The results of which are these sailors preparing to take their places on the ships in the largest navy in the world, the United States Navy." The Navy Captain stated to the cheers and clapping of the crowd, the rows of sailors standing calmly before them all. "These young men, all volunteers, joined the Navy in a time of war. They choose to serve their nation, knowing they may be deployed to Persian Gulf by their commander in chief. For 226 years, the American sailor has left the comfort of his family and endured the most demanding conditions of freezing water and burning sun, of dust and mud, of desert and jungle, of tidal waves and calm seas to fight our nation's wars. Thank you for taking the time to share this great day with us. We will now welcome you into our ranks, and at this point I have nothing else to say, but anchors aweigh, my boys!"
After the ceremony ended, Brian found his fellow sailors being greeted by their loved ones, parents hugging their sons, wives hugging their husbands. A couple of children ran around, waving little flags, brothers getting hugged by their siblings. Most were crying, knowing they would be sent to Persian Gulf area.
"Hey, bro." Brian turned around to see Rome standing there. "So you're all legit now?"
"I sure am."
"Damn, homie, you still sure you want to do this? Look, you don't have to. We got a garage in Vegas, a Skyline somewhere waiting for you to win it while I beat the other suckers in the Challenger."
"I'm cool, I have to do this. But I can get a week off before I'll be called back."
"They're already shipping you off?"
"No, it's more training for starters." Brian didn't tell Rome that he was going to try and join the SEALs after he graduated from the Gunner's Mate "A" School.
*May 2003, Kodiak, Alaska*
Gunner's Mate Third Class Brian O'Conner was waiting in the chilly Alaskan town of Kodiak for their plane to arrive and take them to Anchorage, where then they could get back to mainland U.S.
Despite being bored and freezing, Brian felt proud and accomplished. He had done it. He had become a SEAL.
After he had graduated from the Gunner's Mate "A" school after four months, things had been quite good for him. He had been tested with M14 and M16 rifles, M9 and M1911 pistols, M249, M60 and M2 machine guns and finally M79 grenade launchers, and several other weapons, where he displayed high weapon proficiency. And it was there that he earned his two Marksmanship Medals, one in rifle and the other in pistol class along with the two blue ribbons, one with two and the other one with three vertical stripes, again for pistol and rifle, respectively.
With his Gunner's Mate training complete, Brian applied for SEALs. And he went straight to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL six-month course in Coronado, California. Many enlisteds had failed this hard course, but Brian was lucky enough to pass, and as with all enlisteds passing the course, he was given the automatic promotion to Petty Officer Third Grade. Next phase would be a piece of cake compared to BUD/S: 3 weeks of Parachute Jump School, after that would be the final stage, the SEAL Qualification Course for six months.
And now, six months later, after completing the cold weather training in Alaska, Brian was then given his Trident and welcomed into the ranks of the SEALs. Then it was time for assignment, and Brian ended up in SEAL Team 10, based in Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
A/N: So here's the premise for the NavySEAL!Brian. For this one, I decided to write what he did after the failed LA operation and how he ended up in the SEALs. It may not look that bad now, but first, it's just the premise, and secondly, I don't know if I'll feel comfortable writing Brian!Whumps due to the passing of Paul Walker. But Happy 2014 to all you readers!
Music choice: I chose "Anchors Aweigh" for this chapter when I was doing the research on US Navy Basic Training. I found out that during the gas chamber training, the RDCs (drill sergeants in Navy) will make you sing Anchors Aweigh to make sure you have gas tolerance. The song itself is the fighting song of the U.S. Navy and was created for the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1906, lyrics came by Midshipman Alfred Hart Miles and music by Lieutenant George Zimmerman.
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday, Chapter 2
- Where on Earth am I:Marseille, France
- I'm listenin':John Newman - Love Me Again (Kove Remix)