Takumi had only begun to feel pride in being a racer. Then again, he hadn't really known he was one until he accepted his spot in Project D and hadn't gotten laughed back to the tofu shop.
Itsuki had tons of racer's pride, Takumi knew, but as he'd had it since before getting into the driver's seat of a car for the first time, it was perhaps unfounded. Many of the racers that Takumi had gotten to know between hairpin turns, straightaways and finish lines didn't have a lot of pride in themselves, but had plenty in their cars.
Everyone in Project D had pride, except Takumi. He just... drove. It wasn't about being the best or driving the best. It was just about beating the course, and himself, and doing it in the 86, or "The Little Toyota That Could", as we was starting to hear it called.
Checking the time, Takumi gave Ryousuke a call. At Ryousuke's formal greeting, Takumi said, "Why do you have so much pride?"
Ryousuke didn't say anything for a moment, but responded soon enough. "So that others can have faith in me."
"Is there any way I can have pride like that?" Takumi tapped his fingers unconsciously against his leg.
There was a laugh. "I don't know. Look at your record? Look at how many people come back and challenge you? Think of how much faith I already have in you? It's not that important."
"Racer's pride isn't important?" This was an idea that had never been expressed to Takumi before.
"No," Ryousuke said, and Takumi could picture the tiny smirk of his lips as he spoke. "Pride helps you know who the racers are and who the guys on the sidelines are, but that's about it. You don't bother to waste the energy on it. There are more important things... like planning out the race in your head, and keeping your focus and determination."
"So, I don't need to have pride to be a better driver?"
"Have you heard the saying 'Pride goes before a fall'?"
"If you lack pride, maybe you'll never fall. You haven't so far."
"I lost that one race."
"Only the prideful racers think so. The rest of us know that the race you 'lost' was finished later on. You won it when it was important."
"Thanks." Takumi fiddled with the hem of his t-shirt. "Did you want to go see a movie tonight, maybe?"
Ryousuke laughed, and the tone of his voice dropped deeper. "Would you rather come see our new entertainment center? I have it on good authority that I'll be home alone, and I wouldn't want the popcorn we keep here to go stale."
"What time do you want me there?" Takumi grabbed his jacket and keys.
"Now, but in half an hour is also acceptable."
"I'll see you soon, then. Bye." Takumi hung up and slid his jacket on. There was one thing he had pride about... Ryousuke.