‘Otaku Kyosou’ by Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
Beta: Void Kitsune
DISCLAIMER: This story and the characters belong to me. Fanfiction is allowed if you wish, but remember to give me credit.
Warnings: Language, illegal activites (ie street racing).
Characters: Yuzuki Saito, Vincent Amati, Michael Továs, Shaofang Zhang
Theme Songs: Night of Fire [I Love You! Project], Wings of Fire [Mayo and Sayuki], Night Fever [D.R. and Mega NRG Man], Ignore [Kosaka Riyu], Break In2 the Nite [move], LOVE SAVER [T.M. Revoltuion], Vanilla [Gackt], RETURNER [Gackt]
Pairings: Read and see.
This is an original work of fanfiction and will not be posted elsewhere. If you see it on another website, please notify us so we can take legal action.
“You’re still here? I thought you’d gone home by now, but I guess you can’t stay away from your passion.”
“Yeah. Sorry, Vincent. I’ll go in a few minutes.”
“No, it’s fine,” the man replied, tossing her the keys to the car. “Take her out for a spin, why don’t you? I’ll let you drive my baby; I trust you.”
“Of course, chiisai,” he replied, grinning as he used the pet name. “Go ahead. I’ll wait up for you.”
“Whatever,” she muttered, glaring at the tall European. She was short; that’s where the nickname chiisai, or small, came from. That didn’t mean that she liked it. “One day I’ll make you call me Yuzuki instead.”
“What was that?”
“Nothing, bastard. I’m too small for you to hear me, remember?”
“Coming from a chibi like you, you sure can dish it out,” the European man laughed, waving her off. “Have fun riding.”
Yuzuki Saito was a twenty-year-old Japanese woman with a passion for racing. Her black hair was put up in two pigtails on the opposite sides of her head, near the top, much like a character in a manga she had once read – Misa Amane from Death Note. Despite her past obsession with manga, many of her friends in school had called her ‘otaku kyosou’, or the ‘race addict’. They also had called her chiisai, or small, because she only measured up to about 5 feet and 3 inches. While that was taller than her mother had been, she was still short by today’s standards. That being said, she was still beautiful. Her deep black eyes always seemed to calmly scan the situation, although her fiery temper always tried to prove otherwise.
In secret, she had always wanted to be one of the street racers that Japan seemed to be so good at creating, though it was almost forbidden for a woman to enter that underground league. So she had settled for the next best thing; working around cars. She had been nineteen when Vincent had found her. He was the co-owner of a rather famous – not to mention prestigious – underground racing company, Zodiark. He had agreed to sponsor her ‘foolish dream’ and her car was on the way from Europe.
Hopefully, her career wouldn’t be over too quickly – she wanted to enjoy it while it lasted.
The Japanese streets were usually bustling with activity, but now, at midnight, they weren’t crowded at all. Driving the car up to pass the 160 kph mark, narrowing her eyes and focusing as she rounded a corner and braked to create the infamous power-slide. She felt as if she was on air, drifting across the cool pavement in Vincent’s sports car – a Ferrari at that – and with the windows open, it did indeed feel like flying.
I wish it could always be like this…
The car hit the 160 kph mark after it straightened out on the back-road track. The driver gunned the engine, flying past that remaining opposition when the nitrous kicked in. The driver recklessly drifted to block another driver, chancing the fate of his car to the opposer’s desire to keep his own car undamaged and relatively intact. True to the mould, the racer backed off a bit to preserve his ride, and the jet-black car with greenish-tinted windows passed the designated finish point without any other moves at defiance.
Most drivers exited their cars after the race, either to congratulate each other or claim their own prize money, though the winner, oddly enough, did not.
“Too high-and-mighty for the rest of us?” one of the drivers asked, fuming.
“He’s always like that,” another driver commented. “Never shows his face or anything. Most of us just let him be – you never know who’s hiding behind the window of that car. He drives well enough that someone might try to jump him for prize money, so I can’t blame him.”
“Who man, did you know this guy was sponsored by Zodiark?”
“Dude, that’s why nobody tries to wreck him. Zodiark controls the pro races around here.”
Inside the dark car, the driver was vaguely aware of the drivers circling the car. Snapping the open phone shut, the racer rolled the dark-tinted window enoguh to extend a hand while keeping his face from view. When he recieved the manila envelope with the 10 one-hundred dollar bills – prize money – he simply rolled the window back up and drove off.
“Chiisai, you’re getting good,” the European man called the the driver, waving the manila envelope as proof. She was under her car, working.
“Don’t call me that, Vincent,” she sighed, tossing a grease- and oil-stained rag at him from the underside of the sports car. It was on track to hit his suit until he caught it and simply dropped it to the side.
“All right, Yuzuki, what I’m saying is that you’re getting good… too good. You’re attracting a lot of attention as the driver that never shows his face. If anyone find out that you’re actually a girl, then your career is all but over.”
“I know,” she replied with a faint yawn. “What was it that you really wanted?” She lid out from under the pitch-black car with the dark windows. “It’s pretty much a part of my life by now. What did you really want?” She narrowed her eyes after the question, watching her friend carefully. He could be generous, but at the same time, he was a wily fox.
“What I’m saying is that Zodiark is interested in continuing to sponsor you. If you can complete and place – not win, just place – a race for us in Moldova, then you can have a new car. Any car you want.”
“Any car I want… What’s the catch?”
“You have to place number one, two, or three in this race. In the event that you don’t, then the entry fee will be paid by your current ride.”
“I understand… give me a few days to think about it.”
“You have eight months to decide whether or not the name Yuzuki Saito will be on the roster or not. The race is in ten months. Zodiark will fly you there on the corporate jet.”
“Thanks, Vincent. Like I said, let me think about it.”
“As a show of faith in you, I’ve also been told to offer you a regular payment of five thousand US dollars a month.” He chuckled when she realized that her jaw must’ve been on the floor. “Is there anything else I can do for you before I leave?”
“Send Tetnosuke in, if you could. I need to tune some of the car – that last race knocked my wheels out of alignment,” she sighed, swearing softly under her breath.
“Not a problem.” He began to walk out, and then paused. “And Yuzuki… good night.”
“So that last race earned 1 thousand for me,” she murmured after she had gotten her ride re-aligned, counting her winnings mentally as she drove towards one of the few shops that was open at this hour of the night. “And Vincent gave me a check for 5K, so that gets me to about ten thousand dollars to burn. Looks like I can finally pay off those visuals I wanted.”
“Good to see you, Yuzuki-san,” the manager called to the woman climbing out of the Mazda. “What can I do for you?” A slender young man by the name of Kentamura, he was Yuzuki’s favourite and thus was always the one to serve her here – the racing-obsessed girl was a well-paying customer. A very well-paying customer.
“Did my brother’s order come in?” In order to preserve her identity as the ‘demon of the streets’, as some called her, she always had told them that her brother was ordering the parts through her, and simply didn’t have the extra time to pick them up.
“Yes. The new rims and the green underglow are here. I assume that you wish to place another order on behalf of your brother Akira?”
“Probably. Unless you have a new system of shocks that I can get installed right now.
“We have them – performance shock systems, the whole nine yards.”
“Install them and call us when you’re done. How much will it be?”
“It’s going to run around nine thousand for what we’ve currently got.”
“Good. It’s within Akira’s limit. Go have a party,” she replied, absently writing out a check on the order of nine thousand US dollars. It was the international currency of racers because of its constant value.
Only moments later, she was outside the shop, indulging on a few rare moments of silence when she remembered that she didn’t have a ride home. Dialing one of her friend’s numbers into her cell, she stretched out on the dividing cinderblock wall and watched the rising sun.
“Hey, Shaofang, this is Yuzuki.” She waited for the enigmatic girl on the other end of the line to respond and then continued, “can you come pick me up? I’m at the shop with no ride for the rest of the day.”
“Yeah, yeah. It won’t be a problem. But you’ll owe me – will you drive a race for me? It’s just a minor-league, so it shouldn’t be a problem for you, but I totally hate drift events.”
“I can’t believe I’m agreeing to this… when is it?”
“Tomorrow at nine at night. It starts at the pier, but since it’s an official race, you’re gonna have to enter under my name and just claim you’re me.”
“Fine. I’m driving your car though.”
“Sweet! I’ll be there in a few, so chill until then.” Shaofang hung up, leaving Yuzuki shaking her head. In China, it was easier for females to enter the racing world, though not by much. She had moved here to Japan and been rejected time after time until she had swallowed her pride and taken on minor-league races, where she was not only welcome, but she was more or less worshipped as the first female to enter the league.
“Now you’ll owe me,” she sighed into the cool air. Sure, she was good at drifting events, but why she actually bothered to participate in them was beyond her. Mentally shrugging, she waited in silence for her friend.
“Yuzu!” The hyperactive Chinese girl bounced out of an electric blue Skyline, immediately latching onto the pigtailed racer. “I can’t believe that you actually agreed to drive for me! That’s, like, awesome!”
“Whatever, ditz,” Yuzuki replied with a grin, playfully shoving the girl off and then proceeding to sling an arm around her shoulder.
“Be amazed that I was actually around,” Shaofang replied, citing her obvious addiction to the energy that was Japan’s nightlife. It fit her in a way that nothing but racing seemed to; it gave her an outlet for her nearly boundless energy, hence what most of people ended up calling her – Baundo, or ‘bounce’.
“I was surprised,” Yuzuki protested. “Shouldn’t you be out clubbing by now?”
“Probably,” the girl giggled. “But Mio-san already gets mad at me for staying out too late,” she pointed out, twirling a strand of dark hair around her forefinger. She and her fiancee were probably good for each other… Mio was kind, frugal, and generally down-to-earth and realistic where Shaofang was loud, liberal, and rather carefree when it came to everything… money included. It always amuzed Yuzuki to hear the two argue, mostly because they never really could get angry at one another. Gazing off into the distance, she sighed, half-wondering when she herself would find Mr. Right. It probably wouldn’t happen anytime soon, though – she was far too dedicated to her racing.
Shaofang, sensing her friend’s general air of thoughtfulness, leaned heavily on her, knocking her off-balance. Laughing when Yuzuki jumped away to steady herself, she recieved a harmless frown from Yuzuki.
“Honestly, Yuzu, you space out at the wierdest times,” Shaofang declared. Taking a step forward, she twirled and then hopped back into her Skyline, motioning for her friend to do the same. Yuzuki readily complied and was in the passenger’s side seat in under five seconds, not bothering to buckle her seatbelt and settling in while Shaofang gunned the engine. Bright techno music blared through the speakers at nearly-deafening volume, and when the Chinese girl blasted through a red light, Yuzuki took the opportunity and twisted the knob for the volume down, popping the CD out and withholding it from the suddenly-protesting driver. “Easy! I don’t race without my music,” she whined.
“You aren’t racing,” Yuzuki pointed out with a smile.
“Touche,” she replied with a pout. Glancing up when the man in the car behind her flashed his brights at her, she slowed down to match his speed and nodded, licking her lips in anticipation. “I’m racing now!” Shaofang exclaimed happily when when the man altogether stopped and waited on her to gun her own ignition. Popping the CD in for her friend, Yuzuki took the man’s ride in, waiting patiently for the signal – the man flicked his cigarette out of the window.
The cigarette hit the ground, and they took off, the fading embers only a reminder of the culture that had been born of the night here.
Shaofang sped through traffic, occasionally letting the car coast around the beginning of corners, hitting the accelerator at the peak of the turn. She paused at a red light, looking at a nearby bar, eagerly fingering her newly-won money. With a grin, she braked sharply, pulling into the heavily crowded parking lot, intent on getting completely wasted.
“You are such an idiot, Baundo,” Yuzuki sighed. “You just won that, remember?”
“But I have someone with me to drive me home,” she justified, looking at Yuzuki with an innocent expression on her face. “Besides, I’ll buy a drink for you, too.”
“Wasn’t the point,” the Japanese girl sighed, shaking her head before smacking Shaofang across the back of the head. “But whatever, right?”
“Yipee!” She headed into the smoky interior, Yuzuki only a second behind her.
As expected, once Shaofang had hit the club’s dance floor, Yuzuki had been left to pay for her own drinks and make her own company. That had left her here, sitting on one of the stools in front of the wraparound bar. Leaning back on her elbows, she sat facing the dance floor from her perch.
“I can honestly say I never expected to see you here,” she murmured, turning her head to face Vincent. The European man stood nearby, seemingly unaware of Yuzuki’s presence. When he made no move that indicated he had heard her over the thrumming beat – not that she had expected him to, anyway – she hauled herself to her feet and more or less tackled him. Being so short, she made no impact on him whatsoever, but she did get his attention.
“Chiisai?” He seemed a bit surprised to see her there. “What might you be doing here?” He was, as usual, donning his usual suit-and-tie outfit, and while that didn’t exactly stick out here, it was still cause for Yuzuki to smile.
“I could ask the same of you,” she shot back, pulling absently on his tie. “What the hell would a guy like you be doing in a place like this?” she quipped, tilting her head to the side to watch him.
“That only works if you’re male,” he replied. As he spoke, the song switched to Shaofang’s favourite – ‘Vanilla’ by Gackt. This signalled one of two things: either it was time to pull the Chinese girl out of the crowd, or she was prepared to find Shaofang being sketchy with someone. It was times like this that she always wished she had Mio along for the figurative ride. She settled for the first option; time to go drag Shaofang out of the crowd.
“Great. Hang on a second, would you?” Yuzuki fought through the either completely drunk or utterly shameless crowd of writing bodies and got a hold on Shaofang’s sleeve. “Time to go, ditz!” she shouted, pulling her through the throng of bodies.
Come to think of it, she must’ve made for an odd sight, dragging a taller Chinese female through the crowd like a jealous girlfriend might; Vincent broke out into laughter.
“Very funny,” she sighed, tired from ‘parting the waters’ to grab her friend, so to speak. “I’m going home, feel free to join me there for drinks. Not here,” she emphasised, pulling Shaofang out the door. Rooting around her friend’s purse, she found what she was looking for – car keys.
“Why’d you do tha’?” Shaofang slurred.
“Because your alcohol intake was slightly unhealthy?” she offered, sarcasm bitten back, mostly for her own benefit. “Time to go home.”
“Awww… whatever… Tired,” Shaofang sighed incoherently. She fell against Yuzuki as the shorter racer reached around and unlocked the door, opening it on her way back to a vertical standing position.
“Nice.” Shoving her friend into the now-open door of the Skyline, Yuzuki shut the door and briskly walked around to the right side, checking to make sure that Shaofang hadn’t passed out in the passenger’s seat before taking off towards the other racer’s home.