Speed Racer was a little moody. It was 9 a.m. on a Saturday, way too early to be conscious. He was slumped in the driver's seat of the Mach 5 (Pops would flip when he discovered that he borrowed it for this), clad in sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt, hair unkempt, eyes screwed shut, vainly trying to steal a few extra minutes of sleep. This was not how he pictured his first time at Inspiration Point. In his fantasies he wasn't alone.
The sixteen-year-old sighed and ran a hand through his hair, trying to make it look like he at least brushed it before he left his house. Glancing at his watch he groaned. Had he known his best friend would be late he would've slept in. No sooner had the thought of leaving entered his mind, did she appear. Lazily climbing out of the driver's seat he fixed a frown on his face.
"Only by four minutes," the brunette replied, tying her bicycle to a tree.
"Trix," Speed whined, "you know how much I value my sleep. You're severely cutting into my beauty rest." Trixie arched a perfectly manicured eyebrow.
"I'm sorry Speed. But I value my downtime and helping you pass, hm, almost all of your classes is severely cutting into it. Maybe we should just call everything that's slightly irksome quits now?" Speed glared.
"Fine I get it," he growled, throwing her the car keys, "but you didn't have to use SAT words on me. Irksome, really?"
The petite girl smirked as she hopped into the driver's seat, shutting the door with more force then necessary. She knew Speed wasn't a morning person, but it was just too much fun to play with him. Meeting had been his idea to begin with. He felt bad that she was spending all of her time helping him pass his classes and not getting anything in return. Her birthday was in a couple of days and her father was too busy to help her pass her driver's test by teaching her how to parallel park. When she complained to Speed he jumped at the chance to pay her back, especially if he got to show off a bit.
Trixie looked out the rearview mirror quietly watching Speed set up cones to imitate a parking space. Even half asleep, hair obviously uncombed, in ratty old sweats he looked gorgeous. Trixie tore her eyes away from the image of her best friend stretching, his t-shirt raising just enough to give her a glimpse of his toned stomach. The previous year had been very good to Speed. He had been a late bloomer, but the wait had been well worth it.
He now stood a good several inches taller than her, even with her tallest heels on. The baby fat he had seemed to have melted away revealing a nicely muscled body; not to much, but enough to make a girl feel protected. His voice, which she mercilessly teased him about when it cracked, now had a rich, warm quality to it that made her insides quiver. Unfortunately, she wasn't the only one in school to notice these changes. Girls were practically throwing themselves at him, not that Speed seemed to notice; if it didn't have an engine he wasn't interested.
"Alright Trix, start her up." Trixie jumped, she had been so lost in her thoughts she hadn't heard him enter the car. Turning the keys in the ignition the car purred to life.
"Just try to park first. We'll see where you are then go from there," Speed stated.
Trixie nodded and pulled in front of the cone farthest away from her so that the car was ahead of the two cones. Exhaling slowly she cautiously turned the wheel to the right inching her way into the spot. This was easy; they'd be done in fifteen minutes. Gaining confidence, she glanced quickly at Speed who was staring out of the passenger's side window intently. Looking back at her mirrors she wasn't prepared to see the orange cone so close. She tried to slam on the brake, but wasn't fast enough. The car stopped on top of the orange cone. Putting the car in drive, Trixie drove forward back to her starting point.
She looked at Speed, shocked to see he was shaking with silent laughter and wiping tears from his eyes. He had been hiding it well until he let out a couple of snorts.
"What, may I ask, is so funny Mr. Racer?"
"I'm sorry Trix," Speed chuckled, "your face was just too priceless. I wish you could've seen it. You're just too easy to read. 'Oh I'm nervous,' 'Oh this is really easy,' 'Oh no, CONE!' It was just perfect."
"Well I'm glad you find my shortcomings amusing," Trixie huffed.
"Come on Trix, you'd be rolling if it were me."
"But driving mishaps don't happen to you because you're the great Speed Racer."
Looking up from his laughing fit Speed stared at her, suddenly uncomfortable. No one had ever mentioned, even fleetingly, his rising status as a racecar driver, at least not to his face. To hear Trixie mention it so sarcastically, with the underlining vehemence actually hurt; more then he thought it would.
"You don't really believe that, do you?"
"I don't know what I believe. It's like you're married to the track. I know racing is in your blood, but I can't help but feel like your mistress. The only time I see you is when you need help writing a paper or doing math problems; I miss when we used to just hangout and watch TV or make music videos in your garage. For once I want to spend time with you without an agenda."
Speed stared out the car window, gazing at the pink flowers Trixie always admired, choosing his words carefully.
"I didn't know you felt that way. I'm sorry, but I can't make any promises about changing anything Trix, you know that." He saw her head dip to her chest; he hated making her sad.
"So I can't promise anything, but I will make an effort to be 'Speed your best friend' and not 'Speed the mooch who constantly needs your help'." Trixie laughed. Speed ignored the sudden tightening in his chest as he watched her brush the hair from her face.
"Pinky swear," Trixie questioned holding out her hand.
Wrapping his larger pinky finger around her slender one, he grinned.
"Pinky swear." He placed a soft kiss on their entwined fingers for good measure.
"So," Speed coughed, "where were we?"
Two hours later the two teenagers were lounging on the hood of the Mach 5, teacher and student tired from the days driving activities. Just relaxing and talking about nothing felt good. Speed hadn't realized how much he'd missed it.
"I was thinking something low key for my birthday, just dinner and a movie, maybe some cake thrown in for the sake of tradition."
"That's not gonna happen. Mom and Pops heard your parents are gonna be out of town, so they wanted me to invite you over for a special birthday dinner."
"And when were you going to tell me this?"
"I was just waiting for the right time to break it to you," Speed grinned rakishly. " 'Sides you might not want to get snippy with me girly because then you might never get your incredible present from yours truly."
"Oh you've peeked my interest. What is it?"
Sliding off of the hood, Speed reached through the rolled down window on the passenger's side and unlatched the glove compartment. He pulled out a neatly wrapped box and handed it to Trixie, who was now standing behind him curiously.
"I didn't mean you had to give it to me now.."
"I was planning on it anyway."
Trixie took a minute to admire the neon pink wrapping paper the slim rectangular box was covered in. Her favorite color; sometimes Speed could be so thoughtful. The glitter on the paper reflected the sunlight and the pink and white striped bow was a nice touch. She would keep that for many years.
She placed the wrapping paper and bow on the hood of the Mach 5 and slowly opened the box, from a jewelry store on Main Street if she wasn't mistaken. What she saw left her speechless. The simple gold chain alone would've been more than enough, but the charm was what caught her off guard.
It was a beautiful heart-shaped locket with her name inscribed in script on the front. Opening the locket revealed a small photo of her and Speed on the first day he had brought her back to his house to play. Trixie struggled to hold back her tears.
"Do you like it? I mean you can change the picture, or whatever, I wasn't sure what else to put in there.." Speed's rambling was cut off by Trixie's tight hug. He held her close taking in her scent, cherry blossoms and something uniquely her. She released him, demurely wiping her eyes.
"This is the most beautiful gift I've ever received Speedy," Trixie whispered. "I don't even know what to say."
"Well sixteen's a big one Trix, even I know that. You deserve something nice for puttin' up with me anyway. I thought if I gave it to you now, no one would get all jealous," Speed smirked. Trixie handed him the necklace silently asking him to put it on her. As he fastened the chain Speed continued.
"The guy at the store was trying to talk me into all these good luck charms, said they were popular to give to girlfriend's who were concerned about their driver's test. I told him you didn't need luck. There's no way you won't pass, I just know it." Both ignored the use of the word girlfriend.
Trixie turned around giving Speed a chance to admire his gift. He had to admit he got it right for once; it looked gorgeous on her, but most things he had noticed recently did.
"Anyway," Speed continued, "I was about to leave 'cause the guy was a real yahoo, when I saw the charm in a display. The way it sparkled made me think of you; your laugh, your eyes.." He trailed off, blushing furiously. An awkward silence descended on them.
"I love it Speedy. Thank you." Taking a chance, Trixie planted a swift kiss on Speed's lips, but pulled back so quickly he wasn't sure it even happened.
"Don't mention it. Happy Birthday Trixie."