AN: Hello! Here comes an update that have been co-written with Linda, DreamSenshi, she haven been very kind to help me countinue this. So we hope you will like it.

Chapter 9

Ryousuke watched in awe as Takumi drifted through the snow-covered turns of Akina with such ease and grace. He makes it look so easy. Watching him's incredible.

Next to Ryousuke, Keisuke couldn't help but admire Takumi's driving. Even though Keisuke would never admit it, he was afraid of driving at full speed on a snow covered mountain, but Takumi drove as if the snow wasn't even there. To drift at that speed on a snow covered mountain? That boy must be extremely brave...or incredible stupid. Keisuke thought as he watched Takumi enter Akina's first hairpin. Watching his brother out of the corner of his eye, Keisuke could tell that Ryousuke was as impressed as he was.

"His incredible isn't he? To be able to control the car at that speed under these conditions...It's amazing." Keisuke voiced his opinions aloud. Ryousuke absently nodded his head in response.

By the time Keisuke exited the second hairpin, Takumi was already out of sight. He slowed down, wanting to talk to Ryousuke before they reached Akina's base. "Bro..." Keisuke hesitantly began, "Do you really think it's wise to let Fujiwara drive with his injured wrist and back?" It wasn't like him to second guess his older brother's decision but Fujiwara's condition had been bothering him since they started practice. It was dangerous enough that they were driving in the snow, but Fujiwara was injured. "He could barely stand on his own two feet the last time we saw him."

Ryousuke sighed and raked his fingers through his hair as he leant back in his seat. "I don't want him driving either. But, when I started to talk to him about not racing...he looked like i had physically struck him, so I...I couldn't bring myself to stop him."

"But, bro..."

"I made a deal with him instead. I let him know that I didn't want him driving, but I would give him a chance to prove that he was capable of taking part in the challenge. I told him that I would let him take part in the practice races and after watching him, I would make my decision and what I decide would be final."

There was a long pause and Keisuke thought about his brother's decision. "Hmm...I guess you're right" Keisuke said nodding his head, "If you had taken me out of the challenge without giving me a try, I would have been thoroughly pissed" Keisuke grinned at his brother who merely smirked in reply.

"We'll call it a night after we modify the cars." Ryousuke announced as be exited the yellow FD with Keisuke following behind him.

Standing at the back of the group, Takumi's surprised eyes shot up from its contemplation of the ground to meet Ryousuke's calm orbs. Does that mean his letting me race? Takumi couldn't believe it as he listened to Ryousuke explain what modifications would be done. He really is letting me race! If it was in his nature Takumi could have jumped for joy, but as it was, he merely gave Ryousuke a small, tentative smile before looking back down at his hands.


Takumi's intense contemplation of his feet was interrupted by the rich tones of Ryousuke's calm, soothing voice. He looked up to see Ryousuke standing directly in front of him. How long has he been standing there? Takumi pondered and blushed as Ryousuke continued to scrutinise him.

"Ryousuke..." Takumi began, staring at his clasped hands, " letting" Takumi managed to stutter.

Ryousuke couldn't help but smile at the sight before him. He watched as Takumi continued to mumble incoherent sentences and flush a charming shade of pink. It was quite endearing, actually. When Takumi peeked at him from under his bangs, Ryousuke couldn't help but reach out a hand to brush those very bangs from his face. He then had the pleasure of watching Takumi entire face and neck turn a bright red.

Indescribable warmth spread through Takumi's body at Ryousuke's gentle caress. What is this feeling? I've never felt this way before... Takumi's eyes remained glued to Ryousuke's hand as it travelled from his hair to the side of his face to caress his cheek and then back down to Ryousuke's side.

"Fujiwara..." Ryousuke paused and waited for Takumi to respond. When he didn't receive a response, Ryousuke tried again. "Fujiwara..." Ryousuke raised an eyebrow as Takumi did not respond. He watched in amusement as Takumi continued to stare at the hand he had used to brush away his hair. "Fujiwara" Ryousuke chuckled as Takumi stood transfixed.

Takumi was snapped out of his reverie by Ryousuke's deep chuckle. His eyes snapped up and Takumi couldn't help but blush, "Ah..."

Hmmm...he looks like his going to pop a blood vessel Ryousuke mused. Now that he had Takumi's attention, and knowing how brief his attention span was, Ryousuke chose to seize the moment. "Fujiwara..." Ryousuke paused to make sure he still had Takumi's attention, when he was sure he did, he continued, "We need to talk."

Takumi opened his mouth to protest but foreseeing Takumi's resistance, Ryousuke spoke first, "No arguments, Takumi."

Flushing a deeper shade of red from the use of his first name, Takumi gulped and mumbled his consent. He waited for Ryousuke to continue, but when he was met with silence, Takumi looked at Ryousuke, confusion evident in his eyes.

"Not now." Ryousuke said, shaking his head slightly, "You will come back to my place and you and I, along with Keisuke, will talk about what happened the other night."

Takumi sat twiddling his thumps nervously on the Takahashi's sofa, while, to his left, lounging comfortable in an oversized couch, Keisuke sat smoking a cigarette. Ryousuke came into the room holding a tray with three cups of coffee. Takumi accepted a cup, mumbling a small thank you and clutched the cup between his hands as if it was a life preserve. Slowly, Ryousuke eased himself into the couch to Takumi's right, took a sip of his coffee before leaning back in the couch. Taking another drag of his cigarette, Keisuke looked between his brother and Takumi and back again, waiting for someone to speak. The tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Keisuke opened his mouth to say something, but stopped when he saw Ryousuke's slight shake of his head. He sighed, sitting back in his chair and waited. Damn...I hate waiting.

Just as he thought he was going to explode with impatience, Takumi broke the silence. "Um...y-you wanted to sp-speak to me?" Takumi winced at his weak voice. He hadn't wanted to appear intimidated, but being in the presence of both Takahashi brothers, alone and in their residence; it was hard not to be.

"Fujiwara..." Ryousuke began but winced at his distant tone.

"Takumi," he tried again, "you know why we wanted to talk to you."

"Who hit you?" Keisuke, never one to beat around the bush, asked when Ryousuke paused. He didn't like waiting, and if Ryousuke intended to let Takumi be the first to bring up the topic, they would be here forever. Ryousuke rolled his eyes at Keisuke's bluntness. He was never one for tact, mused Ryousuke.

Sitting on the sofa, Takumi's hold on his cup tightened until his knuckles turned white. He didn't want to lie to them again; they had been so kind to him. But...he didn't want them to know how pathetic he really was. "I...I..." Takumi stuttered.

"No lies, Takumi." Ryousuke's calm and stern voice interrupted anything Takumi was about to say. Takumi blushed but remained silent, not knowing what to say. Ryousuke noticing that Takumi wasn't about to divulge anything began the slow process of teeth pulling.

"Takumi...we're here to help you. We want to help you." Ryousuke paused and watched as Takumi slowly raised his eyes to meet his own. "We both like you, Takumi, and we don't want anything bad to happen to you..."

"A bit late for that..." Keisuke mumbled. Seeing his brother glare, Keisuke scratched the back of his neck and laughed nervously, "Oops...Did I say that out loud?"

He mumbled an apology as Ryousuke shook his head while pinching the bridge of his nose. Watching the scene before him, Takumi couldn't help but smile and tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle a chuckle at Keisuke's discomfort. It would be nice to have a brother...Takumi mused to himself. His wondering thoughts were bought to a standstill as Ryousuke continued his interrupted speech.

"Like I was saying, we want to help you. Let us help you." Ryousuke waited for Takumi to say something but when he was met with silence, he sighed before continuing.

"Takumi..." He paused, for once in his life Ryousuke wasn't sure about what to do. Takumi wasn't one to provide information willingly, especially personal information. Ryousuke knew that. But he also didn't want to force the information out of Takumi. I want him to willingly let us help him. Ryousuke sighed, knowing that that would never happen. There's no use in beating around the bush. I'll just have to take a page out of Keisuke's book. Nodding his head absently, Ryousuke leant forward and asked the question that had been bothering him for the last two days.

"Takumi, did your father do that to you?"