Waaa! I'm sorry... I don't think I can update every 2 weeks after all. It proved to be too much, especially due to school. The smaller review counts per chapter was not to blame, so don't worry. :D AH! Special thanks for those who reviewed, subscribed, faved, and C2d me!

WARNING: No TakakoXRyosuke Moment for a few chapters. Depends, maybe even longer... Technically, to some, the succeeding chaps would be like going back before Ryosuke and Takako dated. We're liter

And please don't hesitate to comment in that nice little box at the bottom.

DISCLAIMER: I WISH I own Initial D


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CHAPTER XV: Binded

SHIBUKAWA GENERAL HOSPITAL

Takako slid the door close carefully, considering Itsuki was not alone in the room. She saw immediately that the others had returned and were waiting for her, although an additional person seemed to have joined them.

"Sorry I'm late." Shou muttered.

"I was late, too…" she responded and then turned to Itsuki's parents.

"It was just a misunderstanding… you're son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time…"

"I see…" Mr. Takeuchi uttered in comprehension. "Thank you." He said to Takako before following his wife into the room. As soon as they were out of earshot, Mogi asked.

"So… what did he say?"

"A guy from the Night kids thought he was me, and issued an unconventional challenge."

"Ehh… Takako looks so composed…" Mogi commented in amusement with her eyes playfully squinted.

"What challenge? And why wouldn't she look composed?" Shou asked in obliviousness.

"Must be a revenge match, you did dust their leader." Keisuke added. Shou winced. This sounded dangerous… although he was obviously just assuming things… right?

Please tell him he's right. Someone.

"W-What are you talking about?" he asked as composed as he could and to his surprise Takako's eyes widened.

Takako had forgotten that Shou had no idea about her racing. She recalled Ryosuke's reaction to it and blushed.

"Why is she blushing?" Keisuke asked curiously. This girl couldn't seem to stop surprising and interesting him…

Mogi sneered. "Stop ogling. It's embarrassing."

"Is that jealousy I hear?" he grinned playfully making her flush.

"Shut up."

Normally Shou would gape at the two at how quickly their relationship evolved, but this was not a normal situation. Takako was blushing out-of-nowhere and he was sure she remembered an event that had him in it.

So while the other two was busy… flirting, he grabbed Takako's hands and gently pulled her to a place where they could speak in private.

"You just remembered something about him didn't you?" he asked somewhat coolly and she turned red at his straight-forwardness. But then she recalled what happened just hours prior.

"Takako? What happened?" Shou asked in worry as soon as she saw the change in expression. She immediately shook her head though, regaining her normal expression.

"It's… nothing." She replied with a slightly shaky voice Shou had been hearing too often lately. He gathered all his courage and held her hand.

"You can tell me anything Takako. I swear I won't do anything like I did earlier…"

"… Ano… I've been driving since I'm 13 years old…?" she just said getting him to wince. It was a surprising fact – no unbelievable fact but it's not what he wanted to hear.

"You're changing the topic…"

"B-But you just said-"

"What happened between you and Ryosuke?" he asked bluntly immediately wanting to take it back. He really wasn't helping her with his selfishness. And that distraught expression on her face made him feel like strangling himself as soon as he reached his house.

"No! You don't need to answer that."

"I…It's fine, Shou. I.. don't mind telling you, after all…" she muttered catching him off-guard. He watched her gulp before speaking in semi-coherence.

"We… broke up."

"…"

She smiled at him weakly, tearing his chest apart.

"Although now I wonder if ever we were actually in a relationship…"

After the hospital visit, the Takeuchis offered to take the two girls to their homes so Keisuke was left with his cousin. They didn't speak at first, but then Keisuke suddenly asked something behind the wheel.

"So… how is it with you and Takako…?"

"We're… doing better. You and Mogi seem to have developed quite quickly."

"…Yeah. We have a lot in common."

"Like?"

"…Stuff…"

"…"

"In any case, have you ever been to one of Takako's races before?"

"She race?"

'Whoops' his mental voice uttered. "You didn't know?"

"How would I-"

"Ryosuke-aniki would love to see thi-"

"No. Don't let him come." He stated firmly making Keisuke arch his brows.

"Why?"

"He's busy. Better not bother him."

"But he-"

"Your choice. Just don't tell me I didn't warn you." He added slyly, effectively winning Keisuke's straight-forward mind.

"…fine."

TAKAHASHI RESIDENCE

It was a Saturday and his mother had invited a few of her friends in the media for lunch. They were there mostly for interviews; even Maya was there with them. She answered the questions like a lady would, and everyone admired her beauty.

Ryosuke stared at her and sighed. How he wished Takako was th-

Click!

"Perfect!" a photographer said out loud earning him a glare from Ryosuke. His mother, seeing the whole thing, wanted to make sure the picture gets published.

"Mou, Ryosuke. It's just a picture."

"But, Mother…" he said in his constant baritone voice. His mother just smiled her usual eerie smile and looked at a random camera.

"Smile~!"

But Ryosuke didn't. Not that he ever did.

Not without her.


Later that night his mother also arranged their dinner. It was on a five-class restaurant a couple of kilometres away from his house. She made it in a private room so that he and Maya could get to know each other without 'external interference'.

He obliged, of course, there was no reason to refuse. But his mind always kept wondering around aimlessly yet again. It was not like him, to be unable to control his mind- but then again, he didn't care.

"Ryosuke-sama? Is there anything wrong?" Maya asked worriedly at her fiancée, who suddenly looked blankly at the window. He did not hear her, but she didn't call on him again. Instead she just watched her beautiful husband-to-be with fondness.

Maya was indeed a very pretty girl. Everyone around her told her that, only Ryosuke and his cousin did not. She blushed at the memory of all those glimpse of her she caught him stealing. That means he thought so, too, right? Of course he did.

Maya smiled at the fact that he's right in front of her now, not like before – when she admired him from afar. Maya loved to see him race, she found it so amazing. Maya even tried driving for him, but being behind the wheel intimidated her. In the end, Maya didn't learn.

Soon the food had arrived and the people that came in caught his attention. They ate in relative silence afterwards.

"Ano… Ryosuke-sama?"

"Hai?"

"Maya wants to ask how you are."

"I'm fine." He answered stoically, but Maya did not mind of course. It was the Ryosuke she knew and loved, obviously she would like to see him show other sides of him but when she thought about it… she couldn't really imagine him showing different expressions.

"I hear Medicine school is hard. Ryosuke-sama is amazing."

"Thank you, but it's not that difficult."

"Not for Ryosuke-sama."

"Aa.." he answered blankly.

"Ano…" she uttered blushing getting Ryosuke to stare at her in puzzlement. "How…uhm… Father said Ryosuke-sama and Maya will get married after Maya graduates university next year… ano… is that alright with you? With you being in medical school and all…"

She asked expecting him to look comprehending and not shocked… No, he wasn't shocked – he was in utter despair.

Maya winced at the sight. A part of her was glad that she saw a new expression on Ryosuke's face, but the fact that she placed it there… by telling him that

"Ryo-"

"If you'll excuse me, I'll have to use to restroom." He lied, and Maya was too anxious to wait for him to calm. She knew it wouldn't take long since he was Ryosuke, but she still couldn't. She grabbed his hand before he got too far.

"Please tell me what I said wrong."

"You didn't." he stated automatically. He then slowly tried to free himself. "Now, if you'll excuse me-"

THUMP

The next thing he knew they were both sitting on the floor. And before he could move away, she already placed her lips on to his in urgency.

He grabbed her shoulders and was about to push her away when he recalled- Why would he? He had no reason to. He'd have to explain to her why he refused. Besides, he was going to be married to this girl soon anyway.

So he didn't do anything. He didn't kiss her back until she deepened her kisses. He recalled painful memories of him doing this to Takako and his heart clenched, making him unconsciously respond to her. It was not the same as when he's with Takako- but he had never expected it to be, anyway. He had always known Takako was the only one who could make him feel that way, and now he could no longer have her.

What did he have left? A substitute…?

Maya tightened her embrace and felt utter ecstasy when he kissed her back. It felt amazing, and she could't believe that Ryosuke was this great a kisser… she felt so elated– his lips were not hungry, they were full of… passion and affection.

That moment she was sure.

Takahashi Ryosuke was in love with Maya, too.

MOUNT AKINA

Iketani and the others first arrived in the mountain top, still incredibly surprised at the number of people. It wasn't even an official match– she didn't accept it formally yet. But that jerk probably spread a rumour.

They approached the bastard to warn him off.

"Hey. Don't you dare play dirty with her."

"What are you talking about?"

"Itsuki was a good boy."

"Who's that?" The annoying raven-haired asked arrogantly, but in genuine obliviousness.

"The driver of the Eight-five." Iketani answered getting him to sneer.

"Oh him." He grinned sadistically. "Not my fault he sucked at driving." He stated confidently, and the others glared at him immediately.

"Why you-"

"I apologize for my teammate's rudeness." Nakazato cut him off. They calmed down a bit because they knew he wasn't a bad guy. Sure, he looked like a vampire, but what the heck. He's a pretty good racer, too… way better than them anyway.

"Will she come?" he asked calmly to the speedstars. Iketani was the one who answered.

"Hai."

Shingo who was listening intently, suddenly made a commentary that annoyed the hell out of them.

"I can't believe I'm battling a girl but then I don't really have much of a choice since she defeated our sissy of a 'top' racer."

"Shingo." Nakazato glowered irritably. And Shingo just smirked.

"In any case, I'm sure this race will be…challenging for her." He said rudely.

"What do you mean?" Iketani asked sternly, not liking that look on his face.

"We're going to have a Gummed tape-death match."

"What?"

Nakazato dropped his stern look and started to get even more anxious. "Shingo-"

"Aw...don't be such a kill-joy." Shingo said mockingly, before tilting his head slightly upward and started shouting haughtily "Everyone wants something different, yes? WHO WANTS TO SEE A GUMMEDTAPE-DEATH MATCH?"

And one needn't be surprised.

Everyone cheered for him.


Takako said goodbye to her father, taking the car with her. He told her occasional tips about racing– although most of them were out-of-nowhere so she didn't really remember. In any case, he seemed more worried than usual. It had something to do with the 'gummedtape-death match' thing, she knew. Itsuki told her that the guy specifically said they going to have a match like that, but she had no idea what it was.

"Remember this, Takako. What you had learned so far- don't expect that you can use it in this match."

"…"

He smirked and patted her head. "Just be careful."

Bunta was worried- no, extremely worried, but he hid it well. He wanted to look confident, at least. He would rather not have him go over-protective of her again like before she started driving. While Takako wanted to make sure that he wouldn't feel as if he was going to lose her too, like her mother.

So, she just sent him her most confident smile.

She arrived outside and went straight to her car. She flinched at the realization that Shou was there, waiting for her. He was resting his back on the cold cement wall with his hands tucked inside his pocket. He winced when he saw her come out.

"Shou? What are you doing here?"

"I want to come with you." He stated walking to her front. She tilted her head in worry.

"…are you sure?"

"Of course. I want to see you race, Takako. I want to be there with you, this time. "he announced before softly grabbing her hand.

Takako smiled at how gentle he became, but knowing him… he was probably having a hard time holding himself back from doing all those things again. She truly appreciated the effort.

She smiled at him. "I'd be happy to."

But when she opened her eyes she saw that he was fully crimson and he turned away at the realization. She felt his hand become warmer than it usually was, too. She frowned. She seemed to have done something to him again.

"I'm sorry I-"

"Don't apologize, Takako. It's not your fault I feel like this."

She flushed. "S-Shou, I…"

"It's fine. I swear I won't force myself to you anymore. I'll wait patiently for you to forget about him and fall for me. I can wait a hundred years if I have to."

She stared at him in awe. He had changed hasn't he?

Maybe it was time to stop repelling the idea of falling for him… He had waited for so long already. But she shook her head of the thoughts, right now she had no time for things like these… so instead, she just smiled at him in gratitude- grateful that he will remain by her side, no matter what. As a friend.

"Thank you…"

.
.

END OF CHAPTER XV

Coming Soon:
CHAPTER XVI: Consecutive matches


REPLIES TO ANGELS:

symbalin- It was my pleasure! lol And yeah, I wish he had a plan. But it's really just an masked inferiority complex acting up, somehow. And thank you for the review!

lalala- Thank you for the review~! And here it is~ I hope it was good enough, but do tell me if it wasn't. ;)

ImprezaHime- Yep~! And he was a er.. little mean, huh? And Thank you for the review, too, btw~! XDD

dhh- (ch10) haha, no worries. Everything the reader thinks I would love to read. :D I don't get what you mean by 'thinking her action is justified', though. And *cough* I'm not fond of Mogi, I just don't dislike her. (ch11) Yeiy! I'm glad you thought so. :D (ch12) But she is grateful... I think it's a matter of perspective. Mogi's willing to change, too, so I don't think you should hate her so much, ne? Thank you for the reviews, btw, and I'm sad that you're quitting this story but thanks anyway for reading that far.


I would appreciate it if you don't leave this page without commenting below. XD