I own nothing except for any OC's that may appear (unless I specify). Anyway, story idea that developed from another idea I had. I just had to include Chick, so yeah. Here's this thing. First chapter was originally supposed to be different, but I figured I might as well start it out like THIIIS. I hope you enjoy! Leave a review~ They're all appreciated!
If there was anything that brought him pleasure in the world, it was the asphalt beneath his tires. He pulled onto the pavement, paying the world around him no mind. His bravado didn't matter now; all that mattered was getting away from that, that... He had no words for McQueen. The car that seemingly ripped the rug out from under his tires, leaving him blinded and behind.
His grill twitched upwards slightly in a snarl as he sped around the track, taking his frustrations out on the asphalt, frustrations that spilled over after a good four years. After The King's last race, after he had won the Piston Cup, he was sure he would have hit his desired high point in life. But the high hadn't even lasted a minute; McQueen had trumped him again, and all Chick ended up with was a meaningless Piston Cup.
He thought that he would be able to gain all that lost ground back, and beat McQueen in the next season. Fruitlessly, he scouted out the way Lightning trained, stayed in that hillbilly town which was now thriving - but what did he get out of it? Nothing. When the racing season ended with a loss on his part, he fled again, thinking ahead to the next season.
They talked behind his back. They always had, and he knew it. He felt the cold attitude other cars held towards them, which most masked because he was the only racer that would entertain the likes of them. They thought that he couldn't hear them, hear their words and feel the glances they cast at him. His crew chief, his pit crew, former fans, his sponsor.
Chick gritted his teeth, the pavement a blur beneath him as he took the curves almost recklessly. He hadn't spent all his life training to be a failure, a disgrace, just as he was expected to be. He had always thought a little better of himself, but now, he just wasn't sure what to think. He had lost sight of a lot of things over the years, and now that he was older, he couldn't help but listen to their nasty, snide remarks.
And they took their toll, even if he didn't show it.
He was good for just one thing, it seemed: playing the villain. He played the part well, too. He was "over-bearing, loud, brash" and all sorts of things like that, which he couldn't deny. He just hated having other cars pointing it out for him. He didn't need to know that he was over-bearing, rude, and obnoxious. Words he usually deflected with an outburst, words that he was having a hard time ignoring now. They tore him up, drove him crazy.
Chick's hood was a mess, running in every direction as he stuck to the track, the only constant thing he'd had in years. Things changed so often, but all at the same time they stayed just that very same way. But he would never admit, not ever, that he was burning out. He was disgusted that the thought had even entered his mind.
"Chick," a gruff voice called. The veteran racer shot a glance in the car's direction, ready to blow whoever it was off. They can kiss my shiny metal - but his train of thought was broken off as he screeched to a halt, seeing that it was his sponsor, some car he had never bothered to learn the model of. He drove off of the track and down towards pit row, where his sponsor was parked, eyes set low and colored coal black.
"Yeah? What is it?" He tried to keep it short but even-sounding, although he heard his voice snap like a whip. Chick reigned himself in, something that was also becoming harder and harder to do.
His sponsor, or Gordon Malone, angled himself towards the track, gesturing with his tire for Chick to turn around and look, too. Chick's dark brown eyes scanned the track, they narrowed, but he didn't see what point Malone was trying to get across to him. After a moment or two, Malone cast his eyes down on Chick. "You see that track, don't you?"
"What is that track to you?"
Chick was floored for a second. "What?"
"What is that track to you?" Malone simply repeated the question, tilting slightly towards Chick, as if trying to prove that the green stock car was insignificant in his company.
How do I answer that? What kind of question is that? "I don't know, really. I mean. Come on, Malone. What do you want me to say?" Chick had the answer to the question, but it was tied too deeply to him, too full of that wretched thing called emotion. He could deal with being pushed around, treated like he was lower than the dirt he drove on, but he wouldn't let his feelings show. Nobody, nobody would exploit him like that.
"I want the truth from you, Chick. What exactly is that track to you? What does it mean?" His eyes sparked, as if he knew exactly why Chick had danced around the question.
Chick ground his teeth, glancing out at the track. It was his everything, his life. The only thing he had left, really. Everything else had disintegrated right in front of him. Malone waited patiently for an answer, knowing that, sooner or later, he would get one. He had too much power over his racer anyway. He already knew the answer; he just wanted to squeeze out that emotion, to give him something more to use against the race car.
"Thinking hard about this one, are you?" Malone prompted.
"Hm," Chick grunted, eyes still on the track. I shouldn't have to answer a stupid question like this. This is a waste of my time. He already knows the answer, anyway. That realization irked him, yet he was powerless. "The track is important. You know, it's where I do all my training, get out the McQueen-hatred." He turned his eyes to meet Malone's, which were fiery. The answer just wasn't what he was looking for. He's going to play me like a record. It took all of his will-power not to start swinging.
Malone dropped his eyes, masking a slight smirk. He took on a grave tone of voice, but there were thick layers of condescension laced throughout his voice. "Listen, Chick. If you want the continued support of Hostile Takeover Bank, I need to be sure of where your priorities are. I need you to tell me why we should continue to sponsor you, why the track is so important. You don't have any substance."
Chick inhaled slowly, wishing that looks could kill. His sponsor was going to hit all the soft areas to get what he wanted, wasn't he? Even if that meant threatening his racing career, toying with him this way - Malone would do it, just to get the reaction. And Chick would have to cough it up if he wanted to keep a grip on the only solid thing for him right now.
"The track... Is everything. I practically live on it, if you'd really like to know..."
"And? Why is that?" He sounded so attentive, so curious, but it was all just for show.
"It's all I've got. Everything I've ever worked for. The track is where it's all happened." Oil, sweat, and tears. "It's my fixation." How he tried to keep the feeling out of his voice. If he could keep it void of emotion, he could protect himself.
Malone's grill twisted upward into a smile. "I see. Very well, then. You should prepare yourself for the oncoming racing season, which I see you've been doing. I recommend that you scout out the competition." And by competition, he meant McQueen. Which meant another go-around in Radiator Springs. Just the thought made Chick's day.