AN: The strangest ideas pop up in the strangest places, I tell you. This one hit while I was in the midst of a long drive home, just my mom and me. Mommy was sleeping, I was driving, and I was thinking about some stuff, and this just popped into my head. I had to do it ^_^;; I don't know what driving ages are in Japan or anything, so let's pretend our heros are maybe fifteen-ish.
Bear in mind when reading this that we have three Magic Knights with very distinctive personalities and attitudes, and undoubtedly, different ways of doing things. So we're going to see a few extremes, just because I can. I hope you enjoy my little tale. I don't own Magic Knight Rayearth. Hell, I don't even own the car I drive. *cries*
Learning to drive. Many of us have been there. And most parents dread the day they have to take their kids out for that first time behind the wheel. They fear for safety—their own safety, the safety of their newly liberated child, and the safety of their car. They also often fear for the safety of their car keys, which shortly thereafter will become a much coveted item for loan.
But it is tradition. Eager teenagers with the attention spans of three year olds get that little piece of plastic that signifies one of the major steps into adulthood, and then expect to jump right behind the wheel of a large piece of metal capable of causing massive death and destruction.
But some young people handle the first drive differently than others…
"Look at it!" Shidou Hikaru held up the tiny card for the view and subsequent approval of her three older brothers. "Isn't it awesome? I got my driver's permit! I actually got it!"
For it was a learner's permit. A small piece of plastic, the size of a credit card, marked with Hikaru's name, address, birthday, height, weight, and hair and eye color, in addition to a picture that failed to do the little energetic redhead any justice at all.
Her brothers were appropriately impressed. After all, Hikaru's excitement was always contagious, no matter what said excitement was about. She could get excited about washing dishes or mowing the lawn, and everyone around her would have to share her enthusiasm. And probably volunteer to do the chores for her, just because she was so darn cute.
Umi had said, on several occasions, that sometimes she envied Hikaru's power in that respect.
"Let's take a better look," Kakeru took the small piece of plastic and held it up to eye level to study it more carefully. Masaru looked over his shoulder to read as well; both boys were trying to hide the fact that they had tears welling in their eyes. Their little sister was growing up so fast, and operating large moving vehicles at potentially dangerous speeds!
"Ano, Hikaru," Masaru said slowly, "your picture. It's…well, it's…um…"
"Yeah, I know it sucks," she laughed. "The only person I know who might get a good picture on something like that is Umi-chan."
Kakeru looked at her blankly. "Which one's Umi again?" He had never been good when it came to remember the names of some of Hikaru's friends.
Hikaru sighed. "The one with the hair."
Immediately, he remembered. "Oh yeah!"
Satoru interrupted this interesting little exchange. "Masaru, Kakeru, didn't you two promise me that you would go to the grocery store?" Before they could grumble, he handed Masaru a piece of paper. "There's the list. Your sister's license will still be here when you get back."
Obediently, if a bit grudgingly, Kakeru and Masaru left to go run the prescribed errand. Hikaru and Satoru were now alone in the room.
"Satoru-oniisama…" Hikaru began slowly. Her brother raised an eyebrow; he was fairly sure he knew what she was going to say next, and it turned out that he was right. "Would you take me out driving? Onegai? Pretty please?"
He paused. Was he actually prepared to risk life and limb to make his sister happy?
Well, that question was answered when she seemed to sense his hesitation, and did the one thing she knew none of her brothers could ever resist. Shidou Hikaru turned on the Bambi eyes, and sniffled.
Was he prepared to risk his life for his sister's happiness?
Hell, yeah. Of course he was.
"Okay. Just for a little while," he answered. She cheered out loud as he went off in search of his car keys. And a prayer book, just as a little extra precaution. After all, one could never be too careful.
The dark gray cement loomed ahead of them for quite some distance. Satoru put the car in park and killed the ignition. Correction: turned off the ignition. 'Killed' just wasn't a good word to use at that moment, considering the circumstances.
Relenting to Hikaru's request (mostly because she flashed him the big, teary, puppy dog eyes), he had taken her to a parking lot near their house. This parking lot surrounded a large baseball stadium, so it was quite sizeable, with only a few lampposts placed at regular intervals to act as obstacles. Furthermore, it wasn't baseball season, so the lot was empty. All in all, it was borderline ideal.
If only Hikaru wasn't insisting on driving, though…
"This is the place," Satoru announced, unbuckling his seat belt. But the single hardest thing he had ever done in his life was when he had to leave that key in that ignition. Nevertheless, he forced himself to climb out of the car with utter calmness, and he even smiled when Hikaru flew out of the passenger seat and leapfrogged over the hood of the vehicle to get to the driver's seat.
She climbed in and adjusted the seat; he was a lot taller than she was. Then she buckled in and adjusted the mirror. Everything else seemed to be in order, so she turned to her brother and beamed.
"Okay, Satoru-oniisama, I'm…" her voice trailed off, "…ready…" She paused for a moment, giving her brother an extremely odd look. "Ano, why are you wearing that?"
He buckled his seatbelt and looked right back at her. "Oh, this? Safety." His words were a tiny bit muffled, though, because they were coming from behind the faceguard of a football helmet.
Hikaru blinked, then smiled. "Okay! Let's go!"
"Okay," he nodded. "Turn on the car." He braced himself.
"Go ahead," he prodded. Still nothing. He glanced over at his sister.
Ten seconds ago, she had been jumping off walls for this chance. Now, she was sitting up ramrod straight in the driver's seat, gripping the steering wheel in both hands so hard that her knuckles were turning snow-white; her face was pale, and her eyes were wide and staring straight ahead. Sometimes, he could swear the kid was bipolar or something. She had probably broken a world record, going from nuts to zero in about half a second.
"Hikaru?" he asked gently. "Turn the car on."
"O-okay," she actually stammered. Then she continued to just sit there.
"Daijoubu?" Satoru prodded.
"I can't let go," Hikaru whimpered. "My hands are stuck."
Death grip, the brother refrained from heaving a sigh, and as gently as possible, he pried her fingers from the steering wheel. She sat back for a second, massaging her knuckles.
"Okay now?" he asked.
"Okay, let's do it," she nodded, grinning. One hand returned to its grip on the wheel, and her smile vanished, to be replaced by the exact same expression of utter terror.
"Turn the key," he instructed.
"Turn the key! Right!" she half-yelped; one shaky hand reached towards the ignition.
Suddenly, Satoru felt even more nervous.
With a flick of her wrist, the key turned, and the engine roared to life. Hikaru let out a little whimper of something that sounded like panic.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Satoru queried skeptically. "Maybe we should wait until another day, if you're not feeling well—"
"I'm fine!" she insisted a little too loudly. "Let's go!"
"Okay, Hikaru," Satoru coached, feeling his insides twist unpleasantly with nerves, "you know the pedals. The accelerator is on the right, and the brake is on the left. Right?" She nodded; her hands were clenched on the steering wheel again. "Okay, you're going to press down the brake pedal. Then you're going to push the little button on the side of the gear shift—yes, the stick thing—and move it to the D. D for Drive, okay?" He unconsciously reached out and put one hand on the dashboard.
She obeyed blindly, without question. He heard the engine shift from Park into Drive.
"Okay, let up on the brake a little," he instructed.
She did. The car rolled forward all of three inches before she let out a little shriek and slammed on the brakes. Satoru's seatbelt was the only thing that kept him from making a sudden exit through the windshield. Hikaru nearly banged her head on the steering wheel.
He looked at her in confusion and alarm. "What's wrong? What happened?"
She stared right back at him, face torn with something akin to fear. "It was moving!"
Satoru blinked. "Yes, it was moving. You put it into Drive, and you took your foot off the brake. That makes the car go forward. That's what it's supposed to do."
"…oh," was all Hikaru said. Then she eased up on the brake, and the car began to roll forward again. Though her face went even a couple shades paler, Hikaru didn't make another sudden stop.
"Okay, now you're going to make a turn," Satoru instructed. A simple action. All she had to do was turn the wheel a little bit, and the car would move in a curved path, resulting in the vehicle facing in a different direction then the one it had originally been facing. Easy. Right?
Well, the way Hikaru reacted, one would have thought he had asked her to bring him a vial of water from the Fountain of Youth. The brakes slammed again, but this time, Satoru was also gripping the handle the car-makers had put over the passenger side door. For a long time, he had wondered why they would put a handle there.
Now he knew. It was for adults taking first time drivers out in the car.
"Relax," he half-ordered, still clinging to that handle for dear life with one hand, and bracing himself against the dashboard with the other. "Just turn the wheel a little bit."
"Turn the wheel. Right," Hikaru nodded, and obeyed.
Satoru had started perspiring quite some time ago. Now he was sweating rivers, quite literally. He was not one who was easily unnerved. At the moment, he was flat-out terrified. And for the first time in his life, he was actually beginning to question whether or not he would make it out of this situation alive.
But he had promised to teach his sister how to drive, and he wasn't going to break that promise.
For the next half hour, he coached her gently through the various intricacies of manuevering the car around the wide, empty parking lot. By the time those thirty minutes had passed, he was making a mental note to call a chiropracter to see if something could be done about the whiplash he had endured.
"You're doing better, you're doing better," he encouraged. Hikaru was starting to look the tiniest bit more confident. She wasn't even slamming on the brakes anymore, and she was actually starting to seem comfortable going faster than five miles an hour.
"This is getting easier!" she said, not taking her eyes from the pavement ahead of her.
"Okay," Satoru smiled, feeling a little more relaxed. Maybe this would all be okay after all. She was getting the hang of it. "Now let's try driving a little in reverse."
SCREEEEECH went the brakes.
"You're kidding!" Umi cried over the phone. "He actually took you driving?"
"Nope, not kidding!" Hikaru bubbled. She was sitting on a counter in her kitchen, talking on the phone with her friend and fellow Magic Knight about the experiences of that afternoon.
"And you're both still alive? You both survived?" the blue-haired beauty teased.
"Umi-chan!" Hikaru mock-whined, balancing the phone carefully between her cheek and her shoulder. "Satoru-oniisama was being really funny."
"What do you mean?" Umi asked.
"He was sitting really weird in the car. He kept one hand on the dashboard the whole time, and he was holding onto the 'Oh Jesus' handle," the petite redhead answered, recounting her brother's behavior while they had been out driving.
Umi paused. "The 'Oh Jesus' handle? What's that?"
"It's that weird handle they put over the passenger door. You know what I'm talking about, right?" Hikaru explained. "That thing. Satoru-oniisama calls it that."
"Oh, that thing. Yeah, I know what you're talking about," Umi said absently. "But why do you call it the 'Oh Jesus' handle?" For the life of her, she couldn't imagine why Satoru, of all people, would say something like that; it didn't seem like anything he would say.
But she nearly choked at Hikaru's matter-of-fact explanation. "Satoru-oniisama calls it that because he says that when I'm driving and he's holding onto that handle, he's busy talking to Jesus."
AN: The 'Oh Jesus' handle thing is something my sister said once. She was driving (right after she turned sixteen), and I was the passenger and holding on for dear life, and she made that comment. I almost choked on my own tongue. Partially because of that comment, and partially because she was about to hit a mailbox *sweatdrops* So a few aspects of Hikaru's first drive were based on my sister, but not all.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this. Kind of a strange idea, but there's nothing wrong with that, is there? Of course not! Remember that each of our three beloved Magic Knights will handle the first drive in a slightly different way. Heeheehee…this is fun! Oh yeah, this is my 80th fic on ff.net!!! *does happy dance*
Next up, Fuu!