Disclaimer: I am none of the parties that own the various intellectual property associated with Speed Racer and referenced in this fic.
This is written for the livejournal group speed-fic, which is new and yet already large.
It's the second of two fics born from the huge sixties influence in the movie. They've got the dress styles, some of the slang... Why not the free love? Although this fic, which was meant to be Trixie seeing if Rex was good enough to sleep with her boyfriend (threesome, obviously) crack, ended up a semi-serious fic about Minx worried about whether or not Rex would stay loyal to her after seeing the sort of relationship Speed has with Trixie, who gets him. As such, it's mostly a het fic, but from a culture where they're honest about the fact that everyone's a little bit bi.
It was only the background checks that had told X that yes, this was that girl that Speed had brought home on the day of the bomb. He hadn't recognized her and she was very unlikely to recognize him. Perfect as a go-between and spotter, since Minx knew and he was very, very afraid of some slip even though this was Minx he was talking about. Still, Trixie was good. And, as it turned out, a very good racer.
She obviously wasn't Speed's quality: Speed had been immersed in cars from the beginning and Trixie had come to it comparatively late. She was like the little sister he hadn't had, and got his stamp of approval as future sister-in-law even though they'd hopefully never know about that. Anyone who punched someone for badmouthing Speed and then proceeded to terrorize the schoolyard into leaving him almost entirely alone despite both his strangeness and his brother's honor being prime teasing material. Insult Rex or racing, and there was no way Speed could just let it pass.
Really, although she was Speed's younger sister on the track (echoes of conversations he'd looked forward to having with Speed), she'd also filled the gap left by the missing big brother as well as she could. She wasn't just a substitute Rex, of course not.
They just sort of clicked, in that same way Mom and Pops did. His parents knew each other so well the way they'd assume the other would handle something leaving them free to focus on something else was almost eerie, after spending so much time in a world where it was all about the sex and money. Caring, trusting, was asking to die. Except within a team, of course.
He really could see them, thirty years on, with three kids of their own who never came home to an empty house because if Speed wasn't working in the shop (repair shops still brought back memories of home) then it would be because they were at a race, and they'd have someone to pick them up, Sparky maybe, and either go see it (if Speed didn't just pull them out) or have ice cream with while they watched the broadcast.
"You know," Minx had said last night, "You didn't have a family. You had a pit crew. That explains it."
In today's races people who had problems were out of the race, except in cross-country. There wasn't that need to train people to work that fast and flawlessly together. Minx was precise about tasks requiring precision, of course, but the fact that he took out the trash at the same time on the same days and so on ad absurdum, in her opinion, was pretty eerie. "They're like, not even like clockwork, in clockwork the gears push each other, at least. They just know."
"Well, if you spend that much time around someone you get to know how they work." And that, he was very afraid, was the problem.
"You spent time around your parents?"
"Well, they worked at home."
"My mothers flake on my birthday sometimes. Honestly." She shrugged. "I know I'm deep undercover, but they could at least send something to HQ."
He and Minx didn't synchronize. Not at all. They had the same mission, and they loved each other but, she'd said that, "He's going to be very good." Only very good? Come on. How could she not understand that after working around racers all these years?
She had already had a long time to understand the advantages of being able to rely on the chores being done and the coffee being made while she swept for bugs. It meant they had extra time to talk, which was the point of all the scheduling. "You know, my brother and his wife would kill for a guy like you. Waffles, even. You make waffles."
Of course he had. She'd had a rough night.
The kind of consideration for someone else he'd seen as the norm was utterly alien to her experience. She liked it, but she found it extraordinary that he was this way and kept asking him if he was for real.
He hadn't really noticed the difference between his family and everyone else in that regard. Leaving home had been like going from a jaccuzi to a snowbank. He didn't really understand the difference until this race, when he went from a normal pool back into that jaccuzi, and it was like coming home.
Like muscles he didn't have were relaxing. He had backup. Backup that knew what he would need and made sure he had it, and vice versa, and of course he'd do all he could for Speed and Speed would do all he could for people he'd met five minutes ago. He was still that nice kid, at least leaving had worked in that regard.
Speed had never done team driving in a competition. He'd thought that maybe he could pass it off as that plus their skill levels. Then Trixie.
Yes, Speed had done team driving. With his girlfriend, and while her skill level wasn't as high (pit crew, not a racer-Racer), they knew how the other drove. It was when X realized that they'd been driving for ten minutes and he already knew how she would react from the combination of what he was forced to conclude was the family style and the various details of how Speed reacted to certain movements of her car and vice versa.
They were nowhere near as synced with each other as they were with Speed, and hopefully she'd think that was her occasional slips to journeyman-level driving that kept him from reading her as well as he did Speed and her lower skill level that kept her from reading him that well.
Then the fight. The fight. The baby of the family and his pet monkey, even! Sure, Pops had taught them all the basics (except Sparky, it seemed: that was going to be fixed, and quick), but it was like they were choreographed.
It was a bit like learning how to listen to a car. They had their signals, and Sparky and Trixie had learned them while he was away.
"Here." Oh, thank goodness. Coffee. "I should have made you some right away, shouldn't I."
That wasn't a question. "I should have asked."
"I've been working with you for how long? Of course you need coffee. You've got that little wrinkle right there." She tapped it for emphasis.
He smiled at that, both in humor and relief. "It's like… imagine if you grew up speaking one of the South American dialects most of the time even though you know basic English, and then you're dragged out of your country into England and no one spoke your language. Then, your family comes to visit. And you speak the same language but they don't know it's you and you can't let them know you speak the local dialect." The analogy had just gotten thinner and thinner.
"Even when she was spotting she gave you exactly what you needed to know after just a word or two from you. When it comes to Speed she's a mind reader. Taejo she had a few miscalls and he generally had to ask for information in complete sentences."
"And she's gotten better at guessing what I want from when I call in even though I've been making a conscious effort not to use the usual cues for specific information. She didn't drive with us for that long, but…" He shook his head, lacking words, and drank.
"She's not a carpath like you and Speed," Minx had a running joke that he could read the minds of cars since there was no way he could tell stuff like that from shudders and temperature variations that she could barely detect even if he pointed them out, "But I was looking over her shoulder," aka spying on her, "and she was looking it up before you asked for it. None of her miscalls on what you wanted were things that she'd been looking up." He nodded, he would have expected that from someone Mom must have trained. "Sometimes… it really seems that all of you are from another planet. I mean, your parents have been together for how long and they've just gotten close? Do you know what the divorce rate is for heterosexual monogamy? You're like something out of that whole conformist nuclear family bs back in the dark ages, only you work."
"Oh come on, stop talking about them like they're repressed pod people." That was unfair. "They've had a few temporary partners, as well as all those fwibs you did background checks on. It's just that…"
"The two of them fit together like peas in a pod and your mother and Speed's father didn't."
He was nodding: of course, that was how healthy relationships worked. If the dynamic ceased to satisfy than they'd get a divorce or whatever. Then he recognized the look on her face. "Minx…"
"It was like she was reading your mind, Rex, and I can't even tell right away that you're in urgent need of coffee."
"You think I'm…"
"It would give you a cover story for visits or even living there without anyone suspecting you're Rex."
"Minx, I'm not going to dump someone who's been by my side for years because we don't speak exactly the same language! Nothing's changed since we got together." He put down the coffee and was going to get up to hold her when she sat in his lap and he just had to laugh. "I don't know what you're going to do. I can't read your mind, yeah, but that just means I get a lot of pleasant surprises and you know how exciting I think mysteries are."
"Your third best fetish, after cars and leather." Still, she was smiling now. "All that and a hero for justice too. Sometimes I think you came out of a time capsule."
"Does that mean I get the girl?"
"Maaaaybe." She shifted a bit on his lap. Evil minx. "Man I love your car fetish."
"Normally I'd agree, but I just spent almost the entire day driving. Thank god for that stop to switch Taejo over, even though I wanted to replace him with Trixie the instant we took off. If it weren't for that file… He's a child and he does not give a damn about anything but himself and gaining his father's approval, Minx. Any luck finding it?"
"No. They've got good security at the family home. If he betrays us, his sister won't let that dishonor stand."
"Very. I doubt he'd let her at the file if he intended to double cross us, but if nothing else we'll come out of this with a very strongly motivated informant."
"None of them. None of the fixers have ever had a child succeed them that didn't ruin everything they'd built. They got there by being bastards who kept everyone too downtrodden to fight back, and they either end up with children as spineless as their vice presidents or they rebel by joining the C.I.B. or becoming some other variety of do-gooder." The girl wasn't another Inspector Detector by any means: her father wasn't the sort to drive a ten–year-old to realize their father, or mother, had caused hundreds of deaths and would cause more unless they were turned in.
"And you wanted to be just like your father when you grew up."
"Prettymuch. Except with all racing trophies instead of split down the middle with wrestling. I think Spritle's the one who will be bringing those home." What a kid.
And that was when it hit him. Rex's home. Rex's dreams."Minx…"
"What the…" There was a huge list of reasons why not!
"Speed, X, is already a target."
"What have they…"
"Nothing the guards on their house couldn't handle. We couldn't set up a proper guard there because hotel security objected to the possible interference with their survialence net, but you bought and donated the house next door with your first few paychecks in case this happened." Calm down. "It's a stealth secure transmission station. It has bomb scanners, and guards, and they're not going to let anything go on right next door."
Thank god he'd thought of that.
"Especially since they found out that every time they do something helpful for your mother she insists on giving them pie or something as thank-yous."
"Peach ala mode?"
"Is this making you homesick?"
"More like hungry." Even though she was in his lap the table let him lean against her. "I had to sit there all day driving like a bat out of hell with the hard-on from hell. Taejo's a mood killer…"
"But the others aren't." She was relieved that she could finish at least this sentence. "Want to take me for a ride, handsome?"