Alan felt the bike buck and tremble beneath him as he fought to control it as he shot down the dirt track toward the next obstacle.
If his father and brothers knew what he was doing they would probably kill him.
But damn if it wasn't fun.
Pulling sharply into the turn, Alan slammed his left foot into the ground and used it as leverage to pivot the bike. Gripping the handlebars tightly in his hands Alan swung the bike in a wide circle around his leg practically laying the yellow striped bike sideways as he used the momentum from the previous stretch of track to handle the 275lb piece of machinery like it was nothing more the a feather. As he completed the turn he straightened the Apollo, pulled his leg back up onto the pedal, twisted the throttle on the right handlebar, and accelerated down the track. Dirt and mud flew out behind him and splattered his pants as his tires tried to find traction.
Smiling behind his helmet as he sped past the boy currently in second place. He was now only a few feet away from taking first. But he had less than half a track to do so.
Standing up on the pedals as the two front riders hit the next obstacle Alan let his body absorb the shock as he navigated his way over the fifty foot row of bumps; the raised mounds of dirt spaced about a foot apart turning his bike into a bucking bull. This was the most difficult part of the track even for experienced riders, the delicate balance and ever so slight changes that were needed to keep the bike from wiping out took intense focus and concentration. However, the rider also had to keep his mind on the race. He had to keep up the speed in order to pull ahead of the competition and ultimately win, if he slowed down for even a fraction of a second it could cost him the whole race.
Alan's eyes chanced a glance at the blue clad boy in front of him. He had watched this particular racer dozens of times on TV. He knew all about Ryan Macavoy, from his favorite color to the parts he used to customize his bike –he smiled to himself as he thought about how the paparazzi was actually useful sometimes- but he also knew something about the slightly older rider that most didn't. He knew Macavoy's weekness.
Coming to the end of the bumps Alan prepared for his final leap of faith. Literally.
He was now about two feet behind Macavoy, his front tire aligning perfectly with his competitor's back, now all he had to do was wait.
Any second…ah there it was
Macavoy's right hand twitched toward the brake, fingers ever so gently tapping the metal as he prepared to take the final hill before the final straightway to the finish line.
Dropping into the final dip between the hills Alan angled his bike so that the front end pointed up. As soon as the back tire hit the dirt Alan twisted the throttle. The effect was instant. A rush of gas flooded his pipes, shot through the engine and turned into power that tore through the rear tire. The tire, having been shoved into the dirt due to the odd angle of the bike, gripped the dirt violently as it tore over the hill.
Alan flattened himself against the bike and pulled the rear up so that his momentum took him forward instead of up. Like a bullet he shot past Macavoy. Letting up on the throttle just long enough to land the bike without stalling Alan took a second to stabilize himself before he gunned it.
He wished he could see Macavoy's face as he broke the older teens winning streak.
Carefully pulling of the track so as not to be in anyone's way Alan decelerated slowly until he came to a complete stop. Taking one foot off the pedal and using it to drop the kickstand Alan allowed the small piece of metal to take the weight of his bike as he climbed off.
He left his helmet on.
Not that he needed to take it off; the crowd was cheering loud enough to penetrate the fiberglass of the safety device.
He couldn't stop the wild grin from consuming his face.
Turning to watch as the other racers pulled off the track Alan couldn't help but seek out Macavoy with his eyes. He had taken his own helmet off. Alan had to admit he understood why the girls went crazy over him. The nineteen year old had thick blackish brown lock that fell gently in his face making his forest green eyes stand out like two shining emeralds. He had a slim build and strong arms, not that that affected Alan in anyway, but that didn't stop him from appreciating the other male's qualities. Right now he was talking to the press that had immediately surrounded him the moment the bike stopped and the helmet came off, although he kept shooting glances in Alan's direction as though he were eager to get the interview over with so that he could talk to the new winner himself.
That or he was signaling the other boy that he should leave now before the vultures swooped down on him too.
Alan cursed silently as he turned his head toward the incoming devils themselves.
Quickly kicking up the kickstand Alan all but ran his bike into the hanger.
He may be able to hide his face from the public, but he didn't want to risk anyone recognizing his voice no matter how muffled by the helmet it was.
He knew he was being more cautious then he had to be but he would rather be safe than sorry.
Call it a family trait.
Jeff Tracy watched as Michael Gardner retreated into the underground hanger as the press tried to follow his retreating form. Just before they could reach him however the other bikers, like a pack of wolves, moved between press and their target, although they played it off as just heading to the hanger themselves. Tracy however knew different, he could see the protective glints in their eyes, much like that of his own boys when someone threatened their youngest brother.
Yes, it seemed like no matter where Alan went there were always those who wanted to protect him.
Jeff waited until his youngest disappeared from view before he powered down his computer.
He sighed deeply.
The moment he had seen the boy he had known who it was, known that it was his own precious angel out there risking his life on the track. And he knew he wasn't the only one either.
Gordon had been watching television in the living room at the time, that itself wasn't unusual and on any other day Jeff wouldn't have stopped to see what his had captured his second youngest son's attention, but something about the way Gordon was sitting there with his chin in his hands tensely tapping his foot that caught his attention almost at once.
"Gordon?" the younger Tracy ignored him as he continued to stare at the screen.
He tried calling his son's name again, and again he received to answer. Suddenly Gordon tensed and sat forward as though at any second he would shoot off the couch and attack the glowing object in front of him. Jeff's frown deepened as his eyes went toward the offending electronic device. It looked like one of the motocross races that Alan loved to watch. The Tracy patriarch shot a glance between the TV and his son, a look of confusion crossing his face, Gordon normally made fun of his younger brother for watching this kind of thing. So why was he watching it now? And why was he so tense?
Turning his eyes back to the screen Jeff watched silently.
The camera was focused on one rider in particular. He was on a yellow dirt bike -Jeff wasn't very knowledgeable with these particular kinds of things- while the rider himself wore all black with yellow stripes down his arms and across his chest. He and the other dozen or so racers were coming up to a rather large jump when suddenly, about halfway up the ramp, a red bike that had been trailing to close behind clipped the yellow bikes rear tire causing the rider to lose control of the vehicle and he crashed rather violently.
A sharp intake of breath made Jeff turn. The second youngest Tracy had his hands over his mouth and a look of pure terror in his eyes.
That's when it hit Jeff.
He had only seen that look in his sons eyes only once before.
His eyes shot back to the television. Medics and other personnel were rushing to the young rider's side and for one horrible minute all Jeff could do was stare as the rider was surrounded and temporarily hidden from the camera. He could literally feel Gordon's tension as the seconds ticked by. Both he and Gordon let out a sigh of relief as the rider suddenly got up with the help of some of the medics. The crowd cheered as the young rider was led limping off the track.
Gordon had never spoken of the race again and his dad never pushed him, but from that moment Jeff had watched every race he could watching over the person he now knew was his baby.
Jeff smiled to himself. Of course his baby had to pick his great-grandfather's name.
The smile slipped from Jeff's face. Why wasn't he angrier about this? By all accounts he should be screaming his head off; at Alan for joining something so dangerous at such a young age and for Gordon for not telling him about it. But. Whenever he tried to be mad his mind just went back to the conversation he had had with his youngest when he had finally managed to get him on the phone about a week and two more races later.
Even with the crash and the few injuries he had suffered Alan had gotten back on his bike and raced the very next day, and the day after.
He had won the last one.
Skidded over the finish line on his already damaged leg.
Jeff was practically crushing the phone with each ring that went by. He was determined this time. He would get ahold of the youngster and pound some sense into that thick skull of him.
Jeff faltered when he Alan's excited voice finally came through.
He sounded happy.
"Well ya dad, who'd you think it was?"
He sounded really happy. Like the 'I can barely contain myself' kind of happy.
The mouth piece was suddenly covered as someone in the background; probably Fermat started talking to him. Alan giggled.
Jeff blinked stupidly at his phone. Alan wasn't just happy, I took a lot to make him giggle like a little school girl, he was elated.
And was so for an entire week after that.
Jeff knew because Fermat had finally called his father to ask him if there was such a thing as a disease that caused you to slowly changed gender.
The Tracy patriarch knew after that that he could never take away something that made his son so happy, especially something that didn't involve IR or his brothers.
There was a knock at the door. Looking up as a toughly harassed looking Gordon came in the room Jeff felt himself smile again.
No, he wouldn't take this away from Alan or confront him. He would let the boy come to him.
But that didn't stop him from making sure his second son knew how much trouble he was going to be in when their baby finally did spill the beans.