Rivalry Stage 1

Prologue

By Amaniblue

Beta-read by Riven Liether

© by Amaniblue, 2001

Author's Note (AN): This fan fiction started way back in 2001. It has been edited and posted so many times that I feel bad for not finishing the darn thing. Now that I have refine it to the point of no return, the ending is near and a new saga will begin with Rivalry Stage 2. Thank you for all of those who still check my long hibernated website for updates and waiting patiently for a continuation. It has been a long suffering journey. The changes are slight initially but will gather momentum. So for those who are reading it for the first time or the tenth (due to all the revision), I hope you'll be happy with the results.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, since this is the beginning I'll have to bore you with the disclaimers and writer's privilege crap. The story and characters of Initial D and Kizuna does not belong to me but to its respective owners. I am merely fantasizing about them in writing. All events and additional characters are fictional. Furthermore assumptions are made towards places, character's occupation, etc. And no I have not studied the manga, so I don't know much about the details there. This is base almost entirely on the anime series. Also this is not really a crossover with Kizuna since I am only using the famous surname and reference to the yakuza clan. Certain Japanese idiosyncrasies will be used such as the use of -san, -chan, and -kuns with names, orientation of name, and everyday items like food. Keep in mind I am writing them as if their speaking Japanese but translated in English. So certain phrases might sound awkward.

Rating: Due to the graphic yaoi (meaning boy/boy smut romance) content, violence and the use of foul language (that I so enjoy writing as my interpretation of male machismo), please be advise that this fan fiction is rated marginally between R to NC-17. So please me advised. Read at your own risk and discretion.

Summary: This is an alternate-universe (AU) continuation fan fiction starting with the anime timeline at the end of Initial D 3rd stage the movie. It all started with that blushing scene. So I'll answer my own what-if question regarding the Initial D boys dealing with boy's love scenario mixed in with a bit of adventure/comedy/angst. So here is my take. Enjoy!

///Redsuns' body shop – Friday night///

Fujiwara Takumi adorn in a borrowed gray mechanic jumpsuit splotched with motor oil and axel grease, gently lean over the engine of his beloved Trueno AE86 to apply his recent lessons in engine tuning. With a final twist of his wrist, Takumi lock the lug nut in place, then clip the metallic sensor clips to the engine. Reaching for a rag that was hanging loosely from his back pocket, he began to wipe his grease covered hands.

Now for the hard part, Takumi thought as he absently wipe his hands clean. A slight crease form on the bridge of his nose as he contemplated what to do. The equipment where the sensors were attached look daunting to him with all its buttons and switches. He never was comfortable using complicated gadgets, especially a sophisticated computer test system like this. That lingering fear that he might break it somehow overtook him for a brief moment before he slowly raised a finger and began punching in the sequence to run the test. Occasionally he would sneak a peek at the notes he took in his journal. When no error messages appear on the monitor, Takumi breathed a sigh of relief. He then took a couple of steps towards the driver side and wave at the occupant sitting there.

Takahashi Keisuke was bored. Way bored. So bored he couldn't believe that he'd actually just read an article on fuel cells technology in the latest issue of Euro Motor Magazine that he's currently holding. Just when he was thinking that Takumi was taking his sweet time tuning the old bucket of bolts, he made a cursory glance up, saw the signal and jumped to attention. More than ready to help his brother's new protégé, Keisuke quickly toss the magazine to the passenger seat, started the engine then stepped on the accelerator.

Stretching his neck out the open driver side door, Keisuke yelled over the engine's roar, "Sounds good, but how does it look?"

Takumi didn't quite know how to respond to that question. Only twice, earlier, had he been shown how to use the stationary dynamometer. Unsure, he glanced quickly at the computer monitor across from him and shrugged.

The blond driver smirked at Takumi's typical response. Keisuke had learned early on that, although that blank look was plastered almost permanently on the young driver's face, the boy wasn't as clueless as he seemed. However, even a famous racing prodigy needed a helping hand every now and then. So he promptly signaled Fumihiro with a shrill whistle.

Preoccupied by his efforts with the engine of Kenta's S14, Fumihiro went on working. He was currently hunkered over the orange car, tinkering with this and that, making sure everything was still in working condition. Oftentimes he found himself wondering why on earth Takahashi Keisuke had chosen the dark-complexioned driver to take under his wing. He understood Ryousuke's interest in Fujiwara—the younger man was an incredible driver; Fumihiro wouldn't have believed half the things he had been told about him if he hadn't already seen evidence of his skill already. And above all, he admired Fujiwara's ethics. The boy study hard and work hard. In contrast, Keisuke's own protégé he considered brash, inexperienced, unruly, and lazy. And the most unsettling about him was his devotion to Keisuke.

Fumihiro glance up through the gap under the hood at the young driver inside the car. He sometimes wondered if the boy's obsession with Keisuke was more than just a case of hero worship. Of course, it was none of his business. But still, he wondered.

So absorb was he in his own thoughts and labor, he jump when he receive a tap on his left shoulder from a fellow teammate beside him.

"What!?" he shouted, a bit startled.

His tired eyes follow the pointing finger of his fellow teammate that was aimed in Keisuke's direction. The younger Takahashi was waving at him to come over, his whistles barely perceivable. Fumihiro speculated briefly on why the blond driver even bothered whistling over the roar of the engines when he's clearly seen wearing ear plugs. Letting out a tired sigh, he pulled the ear plugs out of his ears then directed his colleague to take over. He then signaled Kenta to wait on standby. The dark boy nodded noncommittally.

Fumihiro had barely come close within a hearing distance when Keisuke threw a rushed command ("Take over for me.") at him and bounded to Takumi's side. Having been with the Redsuns since the beginning, Fumihiro was used to the abrupt behaviors of both the Takahashi brothers. He didn't bother to ponder just why it was that he had to take over for Keisuke, instead of someone else doing so. He settled himself into the bucket seat of the Trueno and positioned his foot over the accelerator. When Keisuke indicated to, he shifted out of neutral and into first gear, revved the engine up to about 9500 RPMs—just before he would be forced to shift to second—and held it steady.

Keisuke quickly studied the graph of data projected in overlapping contrast with the predicted graph. Biting his lip in consternation, he looked back and forth between the two, scrutinizing them at each point for any discrepancies in horsepower, torque, and overall engine power. A wide grin broke out on his face as the final result registered in his brain.

"You did it! Not bad for your first tune up! You're off by twenty percent, but the curves looks almost identical!" he whooped.

Upon hearing the excited exclamation from their second in command, the Project D crew—the Redsuns' original crew—gathered around the monitor as well.

"Nice!"

"Good work, Fujiwara!"

Keisuke threw an arm around Takumi, patting him appreciatively on the shoulder in his increase enthusiasm as the crew continued to shout their appraisals.

"Not bad for a beginner," they teased good-naturedly.

Nakamura Kenta, curiosity brimming to the full, managed to pull himself away from his car to join the gathering around the hachi-roku. He meandered his way around his fellow teammates to stand beside his idol. A frown quickly marred his brow.

Stupid Fujiwara, he thought. He always gets attention from Keisuke-san. I wish Keisuke-san would praise me like that. His dark brown eyes glazed over with longing as he pictured himself under Keisuke's arm and being the recipient of all the praises around him. His dreamy sigh at the thought went unheard by the crowd.

Meanwhile Kenta wasn't the only onlooker, sitting on the side bench at the other side of the room with his laptop propped on the adjacent table, Ryousuke merely watched. His alert eyes ignored the computer screen before him, drawn instead to the gleeful expression on his younger brother's face across the room. His gaze traveled the length of the arm that was embracing the abashed hachi-roku driver, lingered on the spot where his brother's arm comfortably locked around the shoulder of the young driver; then it swept upwards to witness an abash, smiling Takumi in the spotlight. A mild frown appeared, his deep blue eyes burning with resentment.

"Hey, bro, come take a look at the data! It's right near the mark, just as you predicted!" Keisuke called to him over the surrounding crowd, completely unaware of Ryousuke's current temperament. Upon hearing that, everyone turned towards their leader to hear what he had to say.

With all attention on him, Ryousuke quickly ducked his head back to stare at his open laptop monitor.

Fujiwara Takumi's amused grey eyes fell upon his mentor. The young man was still unaccustomed to so much attention, despite being the victor in so many races. More often than not, the acclaim he received was overwhelming, even unwarranted in his opinion. Yet the young driver often found himself requiring only one person's opinion –besides his father's of course, in disregarding all others, and that one criticism he would believe completely. Eagerly, he waited for Ryousuke's appraisal, his heart beat rapidly under his breastbone, his breath slowing almost to cessation; that he'd done well was all he needed to hear. But he was stricken to hear the words that did come out of Ryousuke's mouth.

"I can hear perfectly well, Keisuke," the elder Takahashi rebuked his brother, irritation tingeing his reply. "There's no need to witness something so simple."

Brushing his dark hair off of his forehead, he resumed packing his laptop and papers, indicating his impending departure. He didn't raise his eyes as he spoke, missing the wounded look that crossed Takumi's face in response to his callous words.

The Project D crew offered Takumi an understanding smile before disbanding the gathering. Kenta grinned smugly at Takumi, baffling him, before he went back to working on his own engine.

Keisuke, on the other hand, squeezed Takumi's shoulder supportively. Takumi looked up at the apologetic smile he offered.

"Don't mind him. Ryousuke just doesn't like to be interrupted when he's working on a simulation," Takumi heard him say. However, he wasn't quite so ready to accept that as an excuse for his sensei's irritation.

But he pushed aside his feelings of frustration as the spiky-haired Takahashi released him and declared deliberately loud enough for his brother to over hear "besides he's just jealous that I'm a better teacher!"

The only indication whether the intended overheard or not was a slight pause from the older sibling's actions. Satisfied with his verbal jab, Keisuke encouraged his friend. "So Fujiwara, let's see what else you can do."

Takumi nodded and proceed to hunker down over the engine once again. However this time, Takumi found it difficult to force his lingering irritation to fully dissipate.

Staring blanking at the engine, his mind started to wander, and he found himself mulling over once again that fateful night he had decided to join Project D.

///Flashback, at the foothills of Mt. Akagi, A month and a half ago///

With the adrenaline of the last race behind him, the familiar feeling of unease plagued Takumi's normally oblivious calm, causing his body to react unusually. It was not unlike the sudden flush of heat he had felt that fateful afternoon when Takahashi Ryousuke requested to speak with him privately regarding Project D, while he was still working at the ESSO gas station. His curious eyes had locked with Ryousuke's intense ones as the Redsuns' leader handed the slip of paper to Takumi. Their fingers had brushed briefly, causing the younger man to redden unexpectedly.

At the sound of a car door slamming shut, Takumi blinked away the odd memory. He stood a foot from the driver-side door of the hachi-roku and looked fixedly at the intimidating figure before him. With their cars parked along the side of the road, they were less than ten feet apart. Takumi watched as the dark-hair man lean easily against the driver side door of the Mazda RX-7. His probing gaze was fixed on the hachi-roku driver.

No, this is not like last time at all, Takumi groaned inwardly. With only just the two of them on this quiet night, the feeling was twice as worst.

"Well?" Ryousuke inquired without the preliminary greetings.

Their exchanges in person had been few in number; but after having been knowingly observed for more then half a year, Fujiwara Takumi felt sure that the elder Takahashi brother was fairly certain of his answer. However, ever the polite traditionalist, Ryousuke would of course want a verbal confirmation.

Clearing his throat, Takumi willed the butterflies in his stomach away and took several determined steps forward.

"I...I've decided to...join with you," he stammered tentatively.

Ryousuke's raised brow and the sudden amused sparkle in his ocean blue eyes puzzled Takumi. Understanding suddenly dawned on him. A loud gasp escaped Takumi's lips as he attempted to rectify his faux pas.

"Ah...ah, that is, I meant...to join your Project D," he corrected himself, visibly flushed.

A pregnant silence ensued. Confusion ran rampant through his system as he waited for his companion to speak. Takumi wasn't nearly as naive as everyone took him to be; he knew innuendo when he heard it, although he would never intentionally banter that way. Besides, his best friend, Itsuki, used it enough for the both of them.

He bit his lip, willing the solid pounding in his chest to stop. The situation was becoming most embarrassing considering who he just made a pass at. His heartbeat quicken as his eyes rounded slightly upon witnessing the unanticipated seductive curve of Ryousuke's firm lips.

Humor tinged the usually stoic baritone of the other's voice when the reply finally came: "I welcome you to join with me anytime."

A glint of humor shone within the depths of Ryousuke's ocean blue eyes, and Takumi found himself entranced, mesmerized by the intensity of those eyes, by the way they seemed to peer into his very soul. Suddenly aware of the dryness in his mouth—due to his unaware shallow breathing as well as his body's rising temperature—Takumi absently licked his parched lips. That penetrating gaze dropped to his mouth to follow the pink tongue's trail. The light mood evaporated, those beautiful blue eyes darkened in response to the seriousness of the situation. If possible, Takumi felt the frantic pace of his heart's beating increase even more. His cheeks burned.

The sound of an approaching car lifted the spell. Ryousuke immediately broke eye contact.

Takumi felt his throat constrict as he watched the other man glance around self-consciously.

"We meet every Friday around seven at Fumihiro's body shop," he heard the other announce rather hastily.

"It's listed. If you have trouble getting there, you have my number." That said, Ryousuke abruptly got into his white RX-7 and sped off, leaving a very perplexed Takumi to watch helplessly after him.

///Present///

Shaking himself, Takumi broke out of his reverie. He uttered a long, drawn-out sigh as he pushed his light brown hair off of his sweaty forehead and lean against the hood of the car. Damn him, he thought crossly. I wish I could know what he was thinking...

///TBC – Act 1: Two's Company, Three's a Crowd, and Four...is Kenta!?///