A/N: Okay so it truely is a Mary-Sue story, but you were warned from the title. Throw in an original character into the mix of Starlight Express and you get something along the lines of this... One day I'll finish the second and third chapters. The second, however, is based off an rp, and well, we lost a lot of stuff, and it's not fun to rewrite 34 pages of rp, fill in the gaps and make it your own when you roleplayed with people that do multi-paragraph posts (like yourself).I'll work on it as soon as I finish my novel I'm writing on fiction press. If you wanna check it out my fictionpress name is kaichan06 and the story title is Speaking Stars: The Final Battle... Well anyway R/R, constructive critisism is encouraged!

It's Race Time!

"Proving you should listen to your dream…." The voice ran clearly across the cold morning air. Nicole slowly brought herself into a sitting position, eyes blurred and head spinning.

"What the…?"

"Call me Rusty if you dare! 'Cause when you see me on the finishing line and when I take the place that's rightfully mine!"

"Call me Rusty if you dare?" She murmured, blinking several times, trying to clear the fuzzy haze encasing her eyes. "Well, ok." Finally the blurred images slid into focus, revealing five figures on…skates. "Wha?"

"Listen to this big shot talking he seems to imply all the trains will just move over and let him by." It was a chorus of female voices. Now Nicole was really confused.

"Rusty you cannot believe all that stuff." Her head snapped up at the woman dressed in cotton candy pink, her bright hair being inescapable.

"Her hair is…pink." She stated, confused. What freak would dye their hair pink?

"You mustn't go racing. You're not tough enough! You'll either be a hundred miles away at the back or worse, they'll find you scattered in a million rusty pieces round the track."

"So…we're calling him Rusty if we dare? Hm, Rusty? Riiight." She decided this was as good a time as any to stand up and get a better look at her new world. When she tried, however, her feet flew from underneath her, landing the girl flat on her back.

She groaned loudly. Now she was angry and confused. "My back." For the first time that day she looked down at her legs. She turned so pale she could have been confused for snow on an early winter morning. Nicole found she was wearing skates, and like the others, she had knee and elbow pads on. In addition, her pads had the numbers '723' printed on them in bold, black lettering. "Oh... my... God..."

"Call me Rusty…"

"Hello Rusty. Good boy Rusty. Hello Rusty! Good boy Rusty!" A gold and crème clad woman patted the singer on the head. "Call me Rusty, I don't care!"

Finally the group seemed to notice the girl sprawled on the ground and skated over to her in a single file line.

"Um, is she okay?" the lead skater asked, concerned. Though he was the only male there, he did not seem out of place at all. In fact everyone was rather comfortable with the setup.

Perhaps it was because he was not that kind that demanded respect. Though, Nicole had to admit, he was rather endearing.

"Do we gotta call the repair truck again? You remember the last time we had to for him." she indicated the rusted steamer in front of her who promptly blushed.

"Oh come on, she wanted to stick a screw driver into me! You'd run too" He replied quickly.

Ashley, a girl dressed in faded brown, was the one who had made the remark. A small necklace had the word 'SMOKING' printed on it. She struck Nicole as someone who had been around the track a few times, with her heavy lidded eyes, and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.

A familiar, childish voice rang across the entire station. "THIS IS CONTROL, THIS IS CONTROL!"

Automatically she began to scold her brother, "Tim, what is going on, what do you think you're doing! When Mom and Dad get home, you're going to be in big trouble mister!"

"EVERYONE QUIT YOUR YACKING AND GET MOVING! YOU TOO, RUBY!" everyone began to follow his orders, as his disembodied voice seemed low on patience.

"Well, come on, Ruby, you heard the boss man." Ashley said, looking directly at Nicole. Ruby? But my name is Nicole. "Look, we even saved you a spot," she inhaled sharply on her cigarette, "right behind Pearl."

"What, you mean the freak with the pink hair!" Pearl gasped dramatically, incredibly offended.

"Excuse me? I am the newest, shiniest, and prettiest coach here, which is more than I can say for you." Ashley snickered. She lived for these kinds of little verbal spars. She had a look in her eye that suggested her urge to chant, 'Fight! Fight! Fight!'

Rusty nodded enthusiastically, obviously agreeing with every word that came from the pink coach's mouth. "And she's racing with me!" he added, with no less enthusiasm.

"Rusty..."

"You can't…"

"Be serious,"

"You'll…"

"Go in…"

"For the race?" Three of the four girls finished each other's sentences.

"A lotta locomotion, that's what we need, if we are ever gonna get up speed. A lotta locomotion and the right approach for there are lots of different kinds of coach."

"Like me I'm Ashley, I'm the smoking car. I've tried to kick the habit but my inside's used to tar, I know if I don't give up I might choke or have a stroke. That scares me, and when I'm scared, boy I need a smoke." Ashley pulled out a pack of cigarettes and offered them to Ruby, who politely declined. Ashley whispered, "All right, your loss."

"Buffy at your service," the girl dressed in crème began with a bow. "Ever open wide. My microwave is cooking to warm you from inside. A lotta locomotion will do the trick. Come and bite my burgers, I'm hot and cheap and quick."

"My name is Dinah," a coach slightly smaller than the others, sang. Her outfit consisted of a checkered pattern of bright blues and white printed leggings. Her demeanor struck Ruby as shy and demure, not at all likely to fall subject to outbursts like herself"I'm the dining car. I'll cook for you and listen while you lean upon my bar. I'll serve you with your dinner while the train goes loop-de-loop. Gee I'm sorry gentlemen, I hope you wanted soup."
"My name's Pearl, I'm a brand new girl, my springs still bounce, my fans still whirl." She turned to the other three coaches"Ain't gonna smoke, ain't gonna drink."

"What are you gonna do" they asked.

"What do you think" Pearl responded with a smile and a wink that sickened Ruby. Suddenly she understood. Everything made sense now. They were trains. It was as though she had known all along only know she had just remembered it all. She started to sing her verse, though it had only just popped into her head.

"My name is Ruby; I'm a coach of a different kind. Keep your comments to yourself, but I'll say what's on my mind. A suburban coach is what I am,"

"So, tell me what is that?" The others chorused.

"I'd tell you, but sayin' it'd be letting out the cat!" But before the others could bombard her with questions another engine skated up, and all the coaches' attention went towards him. "Greaseball, Greaseball, it's Greaseball the diesel!" Ruby had understood their reaction to the handsome engine. He was wearing yellow and black leather clothing and was very muscular, making Rusty seem rather petit. The diesel obviously had a sense of style and seemed glad to flaunt it. His muscles rippled and flexed at each movement, painfully obvious under the tight leather. Ruby felt the slight itch to touch them and see if they were as powerful as they looked.

"Choose me Greaseball, race with me!" The girls continued, pushing over each other to get nearest to the engine.

"Back off girls, he's mine!" Dinah, the smallest coach, somehow found her way to the front of the throng, and seemed rather aggressive towards the others, which, I might add, shocked Ruby into blinking once or twice. Her opinion of the blue and white dining car had changed almost as instantly as it was formed. She seemed to have claimed Greaseball before the other coaches even had a chance to look.

The diesel broke into a very catchy song and began to dance with a pink coach, which didn't seem to make Dinah very happy.

She wasn't the only one who seemed upset with the pairing.

Ruby's gaze drifted back to her side and Rusty, the steam engine, looking on towards the group. The steamer looked as though his heart had been ripped out of his chest and someone had jumped on it several times, cut it into tiny bits and then threw it in the dirt. She did not move, however, nor did she speak to him for there was nothing to say. She could only look on, helpless. She had seen this kind of thing happen multiple times at her high school. Boys and girls often found their sweethearts stolen by someone bigger, better, and prettier.

However, for some reason this time the situation seemed different. It was as though all the scales were tipped against the steamer. None of the coaches took him all that seriously. At least, that's what Ruby had gathered from their actions.

She could not take her eyes off of him. What was bothering him? Who was doing this to him? She followed his eyes over to where Greaseball and the other coaches were, and there she was. All his problems fit into one word: Pearl.

She seemed rather content dancing with Greaseball, however, Rusty didn't seem too happy, but it didn't look like he was going to do anything about it.

What was the connection between the two? What had gone one? For obviously there was something between them, right? The questions burned in her mind as she looked back and forth between Pearl and Rusty. Ruby was beginning to dislike this pink coach. Just who did she think she was, toying with other's feelings?

After Greaseball had finished his song, and made sure to dance with all the coaches, he skated over to Rusty, the girls closely behind. "Is little Rusty being a good and behaving himself?" He asked Ruby as though he was talking to a trainlet.

Tim, or Control as they called him here, ordered Rusty to take the freight for their runs. It seemed obvious that Rusty was defiantly not going to be in the race the coaches had talked about, for at this rate, he would still be working.

The freight began singing "Freight is Great," the coaches mocked them, and it was quite pathetic, yet Ruby joined in with them, after all, it was freight. The train left, Rusty leading the Rockies, Dustin, Flattop, and, of course, CB.

Suddenly an outrageously colorful engine appeared. The girl turned coach found it odd that she had not seen him before...but then, by now utterly strange things were not so utterly strange. Behind him came out four components, chanting, "Electra, Electra…"

"So…I'm guessing his name's Electra." She stated sarcastically to the nearest coach, completely ignoring Greaseball.

Somehow she found herself near the electric locomotive chanting 'Electra' with the others. She tried fighting it, but somehow the magnetism kept her practically inseparable from him. He also seemed very keen on the pink coach known as Pearl. What's so special about her, the red car wondered.

Once the 'Electric Wonder' finished his little song, Greaseball cut in, "You, you're overloaded."

"I'm Electric taking over!"

"You'll have to beat diesel."

"Take on diesel," Dinah pitched in.

"E-lec-tri-city is ta-king charge," his components chanted.

"I will enter, I will win!" Electra declared.

"You'll never win, you'll never win," the national engines literally appeared out of nowhere.

"It will be me!" The argument continued.

"Listen to me, listen to me," the forgotten voice rose above the others, it was Rusty.

"Vat was that hiss?"

"I'm gonna enter." Rusty continued.

"Who ez a-this?"

"It's old and it's dusty, it can't be, it's Rusty," the British car called.

"He's gonna race?"

"He's going to lose face,"

"I'm gonna enter," Rusty repeated.

The national engines laughed. What is so funny about him entering? She thought. He's an engine just like them, so why do they mock him? She turned to her new friend, Ashley, "Well, I guess he's shorter, but wouldn't that make him more aerodynamic?"

Ashley looked at Ruby as though she had just told her the sky had turned the color of Pearl's hair. The smoker opened her mouth to speak, but changed her mind and instead took a long puff on her cigarette. She shook her head in dismay. Suburban coaches these days. "Let me put it this way. Do they have steam engines where you come from?"

"Well, no."

"Ah, well, they are antiques. The oldest model of train there is, so you see, him going into the race is pretty hopeless. Now that Electric one…he's got more than a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if he took home the gold. Though, can't say I'd race with him…electrics give me headaches."

"Oh. Well, ok." Ruby couldn't help noticing that there were in fact some other differences between the engines. Rusty may have been a steam engine, but there was something else. All the others proclaimed their greatness to the world, demanded others to notice them. They took every moment possible to flaunt and brag. Rusty on the other hand, seemed more innocent then the rest, even child-like. He made for an easy target. Ruby felt sorry for him.

Despite the constant jeering, he retained an optimistic quality. He hadn't given up on entering the race and with Pearl as a partner.

"Where I go, the rest better follow. Look out everybody move aside! May go now or may go tomorrow. Hold on, I'll take you for a ride!" Rusty hitched up with Pearl, pulling her up and around the other coaches gleefully.

Ruby felt a surge of anger course through her. He was obviously in love with Pearl passed the point of no return. That in itself wasn't so bad, as the fact that it had to be Pearl. Then she paused. Why on earth should she get upset over who the steamer decided to love? This wasn't even her world. Quickly she shook her head of the unwanted thoughts.

Ruby made a point of ignoring the coaches' chorus of 'Crazy, can you believe him he's crazy', but she could not ignore Pearl's insufferable comments. Was this any way to treat a lover?

"Hold on tight, I'll turn up the pressure. Must be right, no way it can be wrong! You and me go steamin' together."

Ruby cringed, "Till someone better comes along! Oh yeah yeah!" How could she and he still…but, wait! That's not right! Rusty didn't even seem to notice. Grrr.

In the end everyone seemed to have established that Rusty was and is indeed crazy. Rusty led the other coaches out, seeming to have forgotten about the new arrival. One of Electra's components skated over to Pearl, telling her that Electra had chosen her to have the 'honor' of racing with him. "Please come, I'll be fired if you won't," Purse added. She could do nothing but roll her eyes, this was pathetic, but what would she say? She'd say no, wouldn't she? I mean, she is racing with Rusty, right?

Rusty returned back to Pearl who was now accompanied by Purse. "What's all this?" he asked, referring to Purse. "You have a partner." Pearl turned away from the steamer, starting her explanation, "Well, I…" she started. "Yes you do! We're all set." Rusty skated to face the pink coach. The conversation continued, however it seemed to turn the worst for the steamer.

Rusty seemed to have skated away in the time that Ruby decided to not pay attention. The observation car began singing a very tragic song asking who she should go with. There was nothing to do but roll her eyes at her. It was so obvious who she should choose, however, the suburban coach decided it wasn't a good idea to tell Pearl who to choose, after all, she's just a backup singer.

When Electra came out to claim his prize, Ruby looked on, angry at the pink coach and sad for the heart of the steam engine that would surely break at this.

She was about to skate away, when Rusty came out into the clearing slowly. His dark brown eyes glistened with unshed tears and his head hung low. He had seen and heard just as much as Ruby had. For some reason he looked even more upset and down then Ruby could have ever imagined.

She looked up as he started to sing softly"Why'd you have to break up my"

"RUSTY, GET LOST" snapped the little boy's voice. Ruby could have killed him with her bare hands. She would have dearly loved to snatch up Tim's head and then slowly twist it off with relish. Curse him! Curse him! She screamed to herself, waving a fist towards the air.

Rusty, following Control's order, skated away. Ruby, without giving it much consideration followed, but from afar so as not to be seen. She followed until the sound of harmonics became louder. She was headed straight for them! Maybe I should just go to the station rather than hear that from the freight… she thought.

While traveling as far away from the freight yard as possible, the red coach heard many voiced arguing and changed her course, following their sound. The scene came into full view, all the national trains, coaches and the other engines, arguing about... "Hey you, yes you, race you!" She sighed again, this was just too much. She could no longer hold back, she turned to the closest engine, Electra and stated, as though speaking to a child, "You're a train. Get over yourself. Get over the race. My brother races with trains." She paused, "He's eight." The glares the red coach received in return were not ones that you would call welcoming. Rather than stick around and make the situation worse, Ruby took off to explore parts of the station that were still foreign to her.

She paused in the dusty area of the freight yard where she thought she had her someone speak, but no one was there… She looked around the corner.

"Starlight Express." Rusty whispered. Ruby felt rather like an intruder, like she shouldn't have been witnessing this. He looked unnaturally down, dented and bruised. His dark eyes were downcast and sad, water droplets gleaming in the dim lighting. His rosewood hair hung sweaty and limp over them. "Starlight Express" He cried out in desperation.

His actions had to be justified. In less than two hours he had been teased, betrayed, sabotaged, beaten up and had his heart broken...twice.

When suddenly a star in the distance brightened beyond that of the others. Its diamond-white brilliance filled the night sky, enveloping it entirely in its all-encompassing light. Closer and closer it came. Was it? Could it possibly be?

"Only you" It was! Ruby found herself hypnotized by the gleaming engine. Its color was the purest of blacks, yet was made from the very essence of starlight. The red coach felt...glad. There was something about his presence that invoked joy in her"Have the power within you. Just believe in yourself, the sea will part before you."

Rusty looked for the entire world like a small trainlet, lost and confused. He wasn't sure if it was safe to dare to believe. "Stop the rain and turn the tide. If only you use the power within you, needn't beg the world to turn around and help you if you draw on what you have within you, somewhere deep inside."

"Starlight Express! You must confess, are you real? Yes or no" He pleaded. "Starlight Express, answer me yes. I don't want you to go."

"Rusty you're blind." It was the first thing he had said that Ruby really and truly agreed with. He was blind, blinded by love and naiveté. However it wasn't that she would have asked for him to lose that innocence. It was part of what made him so endearing. "Look in your mind. I'm there, nothing's new. The Starlight Express is no more or less then you, Rusty. I am you." Here the Starlight Express took up Rusty's black gloved hands in his own.

The young engine gasped softly as a soft light glowed where the Starlight had touched him. "I'm you and only you..."

Suddenly everything was amazingly clear! The world seemed to be made of brighter stuff than it was before. Every sound was so vivid and clear, each beam of light nearly tangible, Rusty felt he might burst. "I am the Starlight" he sang out, realizing it for the first time.

"...Have the power within you. Just believe in yourself the sea will part before you..."

"I can achieve anything" It felt wonderful to simply declare it to the station no matter who was or wasn't listening. It was the truth and he knew it.

"...Stop the rain and turn the tide."

"All the things I didn't believe..." Rusty wondered aloud, his eyes shining with revelation. How could he have not seen?

"If only you..."

"I am the Starlight" he repeated with still more confidence than before.

"...use the power within you."

"I can see it through" Rusty swore he could have flown the stars and back without so much as a scratch to show for it.

"Needn't beg the world to turn around and help you." The voices of the Starlight and Rusty melded together, producing a remarkable blend. They were one. "If you draw on what is deep inside" He let his voice soar!

Ruby, who had been observing the scene intently, blinked as he cried out his last note. She had always considered Rusty's voice pleasant to hear, but this was different. It was beautiful. She felt no shame as a tiny droplet of water slide down her cheek.

Slowly the light disappeared into nothingness, leaving only a dusty steam engine alone in a freight yard breathing hard. "I won't let you down." He promised in a hoarse whisper. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes glowed as he stood there, staring off into the heavenly bodies above.

He knew what he had to do.

Rusty pulled up to the track with Dustin in tow. Greaseball and Electra were both waiting at the starting line. Rusty gave a hesitant look to his right. Pearl was with Greaseball for the final race, and she looked as though she was enjoying every bit of it. Electra was coupled to the red caboose. As control began the countdown, Rusty chanted "I am the Starlight," until his heart was content. Ruby found him so endearing she could hear his muffled voice over all the surrounding sounds.

Ten. Rusty focused on every part of the track that he could see, planning out every turn of his wheels. Nine. Pearl giggled and Rusty lost his focus. Eight. Electra zapped his wires as though to put more speed and energy in them. Seven. He was ready. Six. He was going to win. Five. Dustin began fiddling with something. Four. Rusty nudged Dustin who abruptly stopped and paid attention. Three. Rusty knelt down into the starting position. Two. Greaseball and Electra did the same. One. Dustin's grip on Rusty's couplers tightened. Trains gone! In a flash the three left the starting place with a cloud of upset dust.

Electra and Greaseball took the lead and Rusty was left in their tracks. Pulling Dustin was no easy task, even for one who pulled him along with the rest of the freight train for ten years. The other two locomotives had the advantage of smaller cars, but soon the track would turn downhill, and that's where Rusty had the advantage. Ruby turned her attention to CB as he began to pull Pearl away from Greaseball and she started screaming for Rusty to help her. Electra finally pulled her away and threw her back down the track. Ruby could hear him saying, "See ya Pearl," as she flew backwards screaming Rusty again. Electra, Greaseball, and CB all got into a fight, and Pearl was left in the dust. An explosion occurred and the two engines and the caboose were melted together. Rusty grabbed Pearl with a touching, "I've got you Pearl," as they raced to the finish line.

He won. He knew he'd do it. But Pearl had disappeared. She was no where to be found. "I must find Pearl, I must find Pearl!" Rusty declared and went off to find her at his top speeds. Ruby was sick. After all that she had done to him, he still was true to her. Immediately Rusty and Pearl had disappeared from the crowd. Ruby backed out from the shadows and made her way through the freight yard. Spotting Pearl, she stopped, forgetting her quest of going to the Coaches' shed.

Rusty skated into the freight yard, panting when he finally spotted Pearl kneeling on the ground. Ruby carefully hid herself in the shadows; she was good at becoming invisible that way. Carefully he approached her, "Pearl, I had to find you." He said, still slightly out of breathe. Then he saw her tear stained face and red, puffy eyes, "Why you looking blue?" With a deep breath he continued, "I'm sorry you never found your dream train."

"Rusty, I have found him" The steam engine's heart sank somewhere below his wheels. Who was it this time? He wasn't sure he wanted to watch her kiss yet another while he stood ever in the background. "But you were looking too." His head shot up. "For the Starlight Express. Did you have much success?" Rusty was sure he could hear just a hint of sarcasm coloring her voice, but chose to disregard it.

"Yes, I found him ok. Now I'm brave enough to say…" This was it. It was now or never. His big moment. "Only you have the power to move me."

"You are the Starlight." Pearl sang with a smile. He was so cute. His innocent confession only served to make Pearl seem even less worthy of it. If he wanted to be the Starlight, then she'd call him that.

"You won the race?"

"I did."

"And together we'll make the whole world move in sympathy." They sang in unison. "You and me we'd be sublime." Of course, had Rusty lost the race, the song may have come out very different. Ruby suspected more along the lines of "Good bye, good luck and get out."
"Only he." Ruby was going to throw up. She just knew it. How could she say it? How could he say it? How could she herself NOT say it?

"Only she."

"Has the power to move me. Take me, hold me, mold me, change me, and improve me. Only you have the power to move me." Here the suburban coach left. She refused to witness any more of this. Perhaps it would be appropriate to wash her eyes and ears out to get rid of the awful images and sounds. She did not see the two share their first kiss, nor did she see the victory lap, nor did she participate the train yard's celebration of steam in the end. It all seemed sick and twisted. Ah well, might as well get used to it. I wonder if this is Control's—I mean, Tim's doing.

Pearl and Rusty skated through the yard together, holding hands. Ruby had had just about enough. She left for the Coaches' Shed, and for her warm bed. The suburban coach had finally made it into the shed without any further encounters. And what's more, she made it to the bed that was marked for her and plopped down falling, almost instantly, asleep.