Disclaimer: I do not own Speed Racer. However, I DO own the game for PS2 and DS. I also own the movie and have watched it over 23 times!

A/N: This is set in Movieverse. However, I LOVE Nitro as he is portrayed in the game so, although this is set BEFORE the game's continuity, it will have some game references as well. I also felt that there had to be an explanation as to WHY TRIXIE HAS A CAR in the game, so I made one up. Hope you like it! Please, for the sake of my self-esteem and dwindling sanity—REVIEW!


The T-180 known as the Mach 6 tore down the Thunderhead Raceway, shooting sparks everywhere as it streaked around the track's infamous Dogbowls. For once, the driver of the fabulous car was not smoking the competition in a nail-biting race. Young Speed Racer; WRL champion, one-time winner of the Grand Prix and future top driver was reminiscing over the past five days.

Five days ago he had taken the racing world by storm. Five days ago the slime known as H.P. Arnold Royalton had been incarcerated. Five days ago he had 'reminded' the girl of his dreams that he loved her—with thousands of flash bulbs going off. And for five days he, Speed Racer, had a feeling that something was going to go terribly wrong now that he was, as Trixie put it, 'Mister superfamous racecar driver.' The young driver saw patterns after the Grand Prix that reminded him of patterns he had noticed when Rex had become famous after winning and setting the course record at Thunderhead. Speed remembered Rex getting a large amount of phone calls and mail from shady characters like Royalton. When Speed, five years old, (or was he 8? He didn't remember) asked his older brother why the phone calls made him so angry, Rex explained the situation as best he could so his younger brother would understand. Speed still remembered their discussion as if it had happened yesterday.

FLASHBACK. Cut to the Racer living room where the two brothers are watching TV.

Rex was proud of his little brother for being so observant and noticing his older sibling's sudden mood swings. Speed was already learning the ins and outs of racing so the older Racer felt that the bad parts of the sport should be revealed to his little brother at an early age as well. Rex was stumped as to how they should be addressed until he glanced at the TV. A wide grin spread across his face and he looked into Speed's cobalt eyes and began his explanation.

"You know who's been calling me, Speedy? The Bad Guys."

Speed looked wide-eyed at his older brother, a bit confused, "Bad Guys, Rex?"

"That's right. You see, everywhere you go, you'll find that there are good guys and bad guys. Racing is no different. The Good Guys are people like us who race by the rules and play fair. The Bad Guys are people who do whatever it takes to win and they'll pull dirty tricks and try to sucker anyone they can into cheating with them. They race without honor and you must promise me that you'll never stoop to their level, Speed. Promise that when you become a pro, you'll always play by the rules no matter what. Can you make me that Promise, Speedy?"

Speed raised his hand and promptly swore to race honorably, no matter what.

END FLASHBACK

Speed had kept his promise to Rex for as long as he could remember. However, the young driver had gotten approached several times via phone call by a man named Firetoll Black, a fixer well-known for his ability to, as Rex put it, 'sucker anyone into cheating.' Speed Racer was no sucker so when Black called, Speed hung up. The man was persistent and kept calling. The last call from Firetoll was laced with a threat towards the Racer family and Speed saw red. To threaten him was one thing, but to threaten his family?! Speed understood now why the 'bad guys' on the phone drove Rex into silent but furious rages.

The young driver's attention was drawn from his thoughts as he spotted another T-180 in his rearview mirror. He grinned as he recognized Nitro Venderhoss, a driver who was a little hotheaded and bore some resemblance to a past California Governator-especially in his accent. Nitro was one of the few drivers Speed respected, and was in turn respected by Venderhoss, although the older driver was a bit narcissistic at times. Speed's radio crackled to life as the other driver made contact.

"Hey kid! Nice to see you here. Nice moves at the Grand Prix. Nitro is impressed!"

"Thanks Mr. Venderhoss! You did pretty well yourself. Hey, the starting line is coming up, you wanna race a bit?"

"Nitro accepts the challenge. You're on!"

GOSPEEDGOSPEEDGOSPEEDGO

When Speed got home he found himself with an armful of Spritle and a legfull of Chim-Chim. Laughing, Speed romped with his younger sibling and his furry companion until their playful fun landed Speed headfirst into the side of the Mach 5, which was parked in its usual spot in the living room. Hearing a thunk, Mom Racer came in to see what sort of destruction her youngest son was wrecking.

"Boys, please! Spritle if you break my couch again—Speed! Honey, you're home early! I guess the adrenaline rush hasn't worn off yet, so I'll let it slide just this once. Just try not to break anything-including your neck-while you and Spritle let loose, OK?"

Speed got up and gave his mother a hug, grinning sheepishly as he rubbed his head.

"Hi Mom. Is Trixie home yet?"

"No, honey, but she should be back any minute. Anything special happen at the track today?"

"I raced Venderhoss twice. I won the first time so he wanted a rematch. I won that time too. Nitro wanted another rematch but I promised Sparky I'd pick up some power converters on my way home, so we decided to meet Thursday. Did I get any phone calls?"

Mom Racer was about to answer when Spritle piped up.

"The phone was ringing off the hook as usual, Speed. I took all your calls and turned 'em down flat! All those guys wanted was to sucker you into signing with them but I saw right through their schemes and took the appropriate action!"

Speed laughed and ruffled his brother's hair, "Maybe I should hire you as my manager, Spritle!"

The youngest Racer beamed at the compliment. He loved his older brother and heaven help anyone who tried to use Speed like Royalton had tried to! Spritle hadn't trusted the man from the start and he had been right. Speed was thinking about that instance as well, and decided to talk to Pops about having Spritle as his manager for real. The kid had good instincts and spotted things that went unnoticed by others—these were qualities that qualified Spritle for the role. Plus as a Racer, the boy had picked up the ins and outs of putting together a car almost from the time he was two years old and had picked up on the family business like Speed had picked up on driving; it came almost on instinct.

While Speed was contemplating, a new face entered the house and ambushed the young driver, locking him in an embrace and purring in his ear.

"You know, Speed I was thinking. You love me, don't you?"

Speed snorted and looked hurt as he cooed back, "You know I do Trix. What do you have up your sleeve this time?"

"I was just thinking: Sometimes a girl needs to be behind the wheel."

Speed grinned, a twinkle in his eyes, "You wanna go for a drive? I know a place where we could 'hang out' for a while."

Trixie shook her head, "Uh, uh that's not what I meant."

"Ooohh, I see. You wanna drive me somewhere."

Again, she shook her head, "Closer."

Speed saw what his girl wanted and pulled away from her embrace, "Oh, no you don't! Trixie, you're good, really good, but—"

"But what, Speed?! I'm a GIRL?!!"

Speed held up his hand, trying to sooth Trixie's temper.

"No! It's not that at all! It's just that…you're my girl. Back at Casa Cristo, when Snake had you with two wheels off a cliff, I feared for you. Then I lost control. Oh, I could have knocked him off of you and left it at that, but I wanted him to feel what you felt—see what you went through. Only after I gave Snake a taste of his own medicine did I calm down, because I knew he couldn't hurt you any more. Trix, my problem with you driving a T-180 in the circuit races is that I can't bring myself to even imagine what would happen to you if the same thing happened—and I wasn't there to help you."

Trixie sighed, "That's what the KwickSave device is for, Speed. I'll be fine."

"You know as well as I do that the device doesn't always work."

Seeing the sad look in Speed's deep blue eyes, Trixie knew what incident he was referring to and all defensiveness left her.

"Speed, I know nothing's gonna happen to me."

"How can I be sure of that, Trix? How can I be sure that I won't lose you . . . like I lost Rex?"

Trixie once again embraced the young driver she had loved since they were eight.

"I know nothing is going to happen to me because I know that wherever I am, if I fall, you'll always be there to catch me, whether you know it or not. I won't let you go, Speed Racer and I know you would never let me fall. So, I say again, sometimes a girl needs to be behind the wheel."

Speed smiled in resignation, "Well, I guess we better get to work on the designs."

His girl nodded and the two headed for the garage.