Titolo: It's a small promise, but he always keeps his promises
Fandom: Yowamushi Pedal
Personaggi: implied Manami/Onoda
Genere: introspettivo
Avvertimento: in inglese, missing moment, spoilers per l'episodio 18 di New Generation
Parole: 732
Note: HO ROTTO IL GHIACCIO DOPO TIPO UN MESE E MEZZO DA CHE NON SCRIVEVO PIU' NIENTE ;AAAAA; GRAZIE SANSAKA PER AVERMI PERMESSO DI SCRIVERE QUALCOSA DI NUOVO <33333333 madò ma davvero, ho speso un botto di tempo a preoccuparmi perché non riuscivo più a scrivere... daje che ce la facciamo a riprendere ;_; ci voglio credere.



"Do you think we could, uh, make it through?" Sakamichi asked, unsure, looking at the ascending road covered with crunchy, yet incredibly inconvenient, white winter cloak. His breath was heavy from the climbing, but he still held his grip, firm around the bike's knobs.
"I don't know," Manami replied with a light frown on his face, as he stared towards the point where the snow and heavy fronds of the pines met the dull sky. "I think this is the end of our race today, Sakamichi-kun," he added after a few more seconds, with an easy smile on his face.
Sakamichi gave out a small sigh of disappointment, and his shoulders dropped in a quiet resignation.
"Well, I guess it can't be helped... can it?" He asked, with a thinly sad smile, before a light shiver ran up his spine and he looked back to the road they came from. "Well then, let's go back."
"Wait," Manami stopped him, grabbing his arm, and Sakamichi let out a little inquisitive sound looking at his rival again.
"Mh? What is it, Manami-kun?"
Manami's gaze felt cold, directed towards him, almost icy and vaguely threatening.
"Manami-kun?" Sakamichi repeated, leaning a bit closer. "Are you okay?"
Manami blinked a couple of times, staring at Sakamichi Onoda, and finally shook his head.

Despite Toudou's encouragement to get over it and work for a better race this year, he still somehow could not get past the grip he'd been obsessing ever since he passed the finish line, the year later, right after Sakamichi. Ever since he'd been made powerless to look at anything but Sakamichi's back and then his frame wobbling exhausted while the crowd yelled with joy at him. While the victory and glory went to Sohoku, and it got torn away from Hakone's rightful hands.
And it was his fault. Yes, he'd been told the race had been a collective effort, everybody was equally responsible, and yet he'd taken his team's hope in his hands, he'd climbed Mount Fuji with a fury and thrills electrifying his whole body, he'd been the one racing to the last breath to reach the very top. Right after Onoda-kun.

Sometimes the missing beat that had decided that for him still haunted him. It had happened at the very last moment, it had been a decision so sudden and surprising it almost seemed like his brain had detached from his body for an instant, making him curb the hunger for victory, the want for danger, making him put a halt to everything that had fueled him up to that moment - long enough for Sakamichi to pass the goal, in that decisive moment.
He wondered why that had happened, while looking into Sakamichi's eyes. Why had he pulled the brakes, during the most important race he would ever run, right at the end? Why had he let Sakamichi win?

"Manami-kun, are you okay? Are you cold? Can't you move? You've frozen! Oh no, Manami-kun, what can I do?!" Sakamichi started again, sounding more and more panicked with each word. Somehow, Sakamichi's somewhat comical burst of anxiety seemed to make Manami's thoughts crumble into fine dust, and he simply gave the other boy a head shake and a smile.
"I'm okay, Sakamichi-kun," he replied, with a quiet tone to his voice. "Let's go back to Toudou-san."
"Yes!" Sakamichi replied, with a smile of relief, as if he'd actually believed someone could just freeze like that... "Let's not race though. It's probably not safe."
"Yeah," Manami agreed, hopping off his bike and beginning the walk back, down the slope. After all, it would not be good fortune to tumble down a slope because of the snow, before racing Sakamichi-kun again.
They would race each other again at the Inter-High, he reminded himself.
As they walked the way back, Manami's haunting thoughts of last year's loss seemed to be chased away easily, because of Sakamichi's fast and enthusiastic chatter about... some tv show he'd been obsessing with lately. Manami didn't have much to contribute, but somehow Sakamichi seemed more than happy to have someone listen and not call him a weirdo over it. It looked like he was enjoying himself anyway.
Manami smiled to himself, listening to the chatter and the wheels spinning with gradually increasing ease as they left the snow behind, and finally got back to the place they'd started racing from.
 
 
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