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Shelby Manning ([personal profile] shelbycobra) wrote in [community profile] muserevival2017-06-12 03:41 am

148.1.2 - lyrics

"We don't talk enough
We should open up
Before it's all too much
Will we ever learn?
We've been here before
It's just what we know."

The first thing Shelby does is win the Texas race. The fourth thing she does, after the podium finish and the press conference, is almost throw up in the hauler. Pack racing is the only thing that scares her. It's exciting as hell driving wheel to wheel with the best in the business but she's seen how it can go violently wrong. She saw it again tonight; one moment her best friend was racing her for the lead and the next he was flung halfway across the infield grass. She's glad for the win but wishes it wouldn't come with feeling like her heart is going to explode.

Just as she's getting her faculties under herself, Shane is knocking at the door. And he has an expression on his face that she's never seen from him before. He looks genuinely recalcitrant as he steps in and closes the door behind him. His hands awkwardly in the pockets of his slacks. It all rings of a lack of confidence that Shane Worthington should not ever suffer from, and it makes her forget that her nerves are still jumping as she turns to look at him with the world's most confused look on her face.

And he's equally confused looking back at her because they did just win their third race and another thirty grand which are generally reasons not to look like you've just been scared half to death.

"You okay?" he asks her.

She shakes her head slightly. "Just an adrenaline dump," she says. "Catching my breath. What's going on?"

"Can I talk to you for a second?"

"Of course." Shelby pulls up a chair, fingers yanking at the straps of her fire suit now that she can get out of the thing. He hardly ever asks to talk to her (usually it's the other way round) so she knows whatever's on his mind has to be serious.

Shane bites his lip for a moment, chewing his words before he spits them out. "About last week," he says. "I feel like such an asshole. If I'd told you about Le Mans earlier, would you have gone?"

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a week away. As they're having this conversation two of her fellow drivers are leaving Texas to get on flights to Paris so they can be in Le Mans for the world's greatest endurance race. She had an offer on the table to join them. Shane knew and waited until the absolute last minute to tell her, not wanting to distract her from the racing at hand, and with just moments to make the choice she had turned it down. Turned down what could be a class winning drive to stay here, in Texas, with him.

"I don't know," she says. "Probably not. Shane, I didn't say no because of the time. I said no because I didn't want to risk being exhausted for this race and jeopardizing my title shot. And you know what? I was probably right. I'm exhausted now after what happened out there; can you imagine how I would have run on just two days' rest? Or if I'd been caught up in one of those wrecks and Scott would have won. There was just too much on the table."

She's talking to herself now, talking it out again the same way she had before. Unable to reach Connor or anyone else to get a sounding board for the decision she'd wound up having to make it on her own and just hoping she made the right call. But aside from her wounded ego she's almost certain she did.

"My life is here," she tells him. "My life, my legacy, is in IndyCar. I'm not going to ruin my shot at a third title, my team's shot at a championship, to chase a personal goal of being at Le Mans. First and foremost I want to be known for what I do in IndyCar. And that means staying here to give us the best possible opportunity."

"Does it hurt?" he asks her.

"Of course it hurts. I'll always wonder how I would've done there," she admits. She's a racer, and a woman of considerable pride, and she always hates not to race. "But if I'm the one holding that trophy in September, I'm sure it'll hurt a lot less."

She stands then and meets his eyes. She knows how much he cares about her and that he did what he did in her best interest. He didn't want her to have something else pulling at her as she had four races in two weeks, all of which were hard for her. He wanted her focused and she had done what she needed to do. Even if it meant giving up someting she wanted.

"It'll be okay," she tells him. "And I'm not mad at you, and you shouldn't be mad at yourself, either."

He nods slightly and looks toward the door. Now that she's not getting on a plane they have a whole week on their hands before they even have to worry about Road America. A week to sleep and recover after getting beaten down for two weeks, and it's exactly what they need. "What are you going to do with the off week?" he asks, wondering how she'll pass the time while her friends are where she could have been.

"I'm going to catch up on my sleep," she says, "and then I'm going to watch the race."

Shelby Manning
Need For Speed OC
919 words

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