Disclaimer: I don't own Speed Racer

As Inspector Detector opened the door, he and Racer X found himself in front of an utterly disheveled young woman in her twenties, the said young woman could barely stand and looked like she was about to faint, which in all honesty she did. Reacting on reflex Racer X immediately caught her before her face hit the ground, he immediately carried her in to the house as the whole family stood in shock and recognition as they saw the young woman's face. Mom and Pops immediately moved away from the couch they sitting on to allow Racer X to gently lay the young woman down.

They all gathered around the couch to take a better look at her, and what they saw wasn't a pretty sight. Her skin was extremely pale, she had dark circles around her eyes that she normally wouldn't be caught dead having, her hair was dull, her body was covered with cuts and bruises, worst of all her clothes were torn, messy and had numerous amounts of blood stains they were sure didn't belong to her.

All around the woman the members of the Racer family were wearing a variety of expressions. Mom, Pops and Speed were all wearing a mixture of concerned, and sad expressions. While Sprittle and Sparky were wearing worried and curious expressions as they have only ever heard about her through stories and only ever seen her through the old pictures taken when his late brother was still alive. It was Racer X's epression which could only be seen through his eyes and body language that caught Inspector Detector's eyes.

He saw his partner's fist clench and his jaw tighten, but, that wasn't what really caught his eye, it was the emotion he saw in the other man's eyes or rather what he knew he would see if he wasn't wearing a mask. Anger at whoever did that to the woman, the pain of not being able to hold her, not being able to touch or comfort her that he cannot show any familiarity to the woman lest he be found out. He saw the sadness as the man gazed upon the battered and bruised woman and finally he saw the love as he assumed memories of a past shared with the woman came into his mind.

His friend shook his head slightly as he found himself thinking, asking himself, when and where have I seen her before? How does she know the man his partner was? Then, his eyes widened as he remembered, she stood beside her boyfriend through everything, the races, the trials, she was known internationally as a model and actress and he a racer who tried to change racing but got in too deep and was known as a cheat. She was there asleep in his bed when he had knocked on the hotel door of his companion with a deal, two weeks before Casa Cristo 5000, where he faked his own death.

Flashback

Inspector Detector knocked on the door of the hotel suite that belonged to Rex Racer. As he stood there waiting he contemplated his decision to hire the young man, suddenly the door opened to reveal a half-dressed tired young man.

"Who are you?" the young man who he knew was Rex Racer asked cautiously.

"I'm Inspector Detector" he replied as Rex opened the door wider to let him in, he took a glance at the opened bedroom door from his spot in the living room, there he saw a young woman asleep on the bed and he speculated that it was most probably Jessica Lionheart, the headstrong, independent, model and actress who was so stubborn that she didn't heed the advice of people about breaking up with Rex Racer, the dirtiest cheating scoundrel in the racing world, no, she said that she didn't care if it was career suicide, she said she loved the man and she was staying with him and that she knew him, there were reasons for him doing what he does, that we haven't stopped to consider the fact that, he might be playing dirty to expose the dirty side of racing.

He heard the door click silently. "Please take a seat Inspector." Rex whispered, not wanting to wake the woman, as he crossed the room and closed the bedroom door. "So what was it you wanted to talk about?" Rex asked curiously...

End of Flashback

Shortly after Rex faked his death rumours arose about Jessica and how depressed she got, which was after all understandable. Two months after that, as Rex had finally recovered from his surgery, they heard news of Jessica quitting the world of glamour and fame. It was then that he asked a question that he knew still ran in the other man's mind. "Do you think it was right not telling her?" to which he responded "I love her, thats why I didn't tell her. Her career suffered because she was with me, she suffered because she was with me. If she knew, then she could be a traget and we could never have an open relationship with each other. I love her too much to do that too her, specially when I know there's a possibility they might find out my identity and kill her. No, I'd rather she live her life happily and move on. Find someone else and start the family she always wanted."

Now, though, seeing her in this condition, he wonders if his partner still thinks of it like that. Suddenly the woman started to stir and within moments her eyes opened and she groaned instantly sitting up while clutching her head.

Speed reacted immediately and gave her a glass of water which she took without hesitation as she drank it. "Why are you here Jess? Why now after eight years? Eight years no contact, you just up and disappeared one day, we thought something bad happened to you." Speed said sadly. At this words, behind his mask, Racer X's eyes widened as he thought of all the possibilities of what could have happened to her.

"What the hell are you talking about? I left you guys a note, I even told you all about it, remember, my aunt was pregnant, she needed help with her kids and I figured I needed some time away from here to, you know... get over your brother. Besides, I don't even know why I'm here, in fact I don't even remember going here." She said as she frowned in concentration, the others were puzzled as well. She was awake when she got here, then she passed out.

"What was the last thing you remember?" Pops asked her gently, it might have been post traumatic stress from whatever put her into this state.

"Hmm... Let's see... Oh! I know! I was having a fight with the members of my family. Distant relatives I'd rather not be associated with. Anyway I was fighting with Dear Aunt Bella and Cissy and My oh so sweet Uncles Luc, Basti and Rudy."She said the names sarcaastically as if to imply that she hated them.

"So... your relatives did this to you?" Mom asked as she referred to how the woman in front of her looked. As Jess looked down and nodded.

"I look horrible. I really need to get cleaned up and yeah they did. Don't ask, their the ones from the other side of the tree almost completely non-existent to us. I mean I always knew they were crazy. I mean Bella killed her daughter after she was born just because and I quote "You insolent thing! How dare you make me weak and for what? You aren't even a suitable heir! You aren't even a boy. A pathetic worthless creature like you should be killed. You who craves attention which does not rightfully belong to you." You know what the worst part was? She got away with it because she made it look like and accident." this time malice and venom were noticeable in her voice though no one could blame her, they were disgusted at what they heard, the murder of a new born was unjust.

"Anyway" she said as she stood up, looked down at herself to examine the damage and wrinkled her nose in disgust "I'm just gonna change and make myself presentable. Maybe a shower if you don't mmind?" she said hopefully looking at Racer family who shook their head. "Of course not, Jess, your still family to us." Pops said, in all honesty Pops had hoped that Rex and Jessica would get married in the future, but, that went to hell when Rex died. He still curses those damned corporations that threatened his family and made his eldest son leave, just to protect them. Where did that get him? Death, thats where, to this day, there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't regret what he said that night or the fact that he never made any attempts to reconcile with him.

Jessica shakily walked to the front door and opened it to reveal a set of bags, a trunk and her car parked in her driveway. "Huh, looks like, I planned to stay here for a vacation." she said with a blank look and tone that said she was suspicious of whatever happened. She brought inher bags in one go since they were a set of luggages as Racer X went to offer his help by carrying the trunk. Which, to the others seemed like what a gentleman would do, but, Speed had a suspicious look in his eyes as he looked at them.

"This is extremely light, almost like a feather." Racer X said as he raised the trunk, Jessica turned to look at him and said "Yeah well I wouldn't have used it for school if it wasn't." she held up a small bag, some fresh clothes and some heels and went into the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later she stepped out refreshed and properly clothed.

The occupants of the room could hardly believe the transformation, her hair was shiny and tied in a half pony, she wore little to no makeup and they couldn't find any of the cuts and bruises.

"Wow! How did that happen?" Sprittle asked as Sparky whistled and Chim-Chim nodded in approval.

"I've had my fair share of abusive boyfriends before and after your brother. It is amazing what a shower, sleeved clothing and some makeup could do to hide those things from the naked eye." she said with a shrug although as Speed noted Racer X's fist clenched at the words abusive boyfriends and as the words sunk in to his mind he thought abusive boyfriends? What abusive boyfriends?

She then went to the trunk and kneeled in front of it, took out some keys from her pocket and placed it inside the key holes all the while saying "So whose the dude in the mask that helped me and whose the guy that looks like a detective?" Everyone raised their eyebrows at his as they have never heard her speak anything less than what one would expect from a woman raised into high society as the perfect wife, that meant that in polite company that she wasn't comfortable with she rarely spoke like that. Then again, they all thought together she did say that she considered us as family.

As she turned the keys one by one they heard eight clicks and the trunk opened immediately. As she leaned into the trunk and started tossing things out like books and glass vials, none of which broke when they hit the floor, with the amounts of things she was throwing out it was hard to believe that those things actually fit into it let alone remain light enough for the trunk to remain almost weightless.

As she stood up they noticed she held a large basket filled with chocolates and sweets they had never seen, there were also bottles of who knows what, she laid it down on the coffee table in the middle of the room as she turned around gathered all of the things she threw on the floor and placed them neatly into the trunk as she snapped the lid shut and turned the keys until they heard a click and she returned them back in her pocket. She sat in between Speed and Sparky who was checking her out, in front of them was Mom, Pops, Sprittle and Chim-Chim, to each of the sides were Racer X on the left and Inspector Detector on the right.

"Okay anyone care to tell me what this is all about and who these two are over a snack." Jessica said good naturedly as she got one of the packets and the others got the same type, they read the label which said Chocolate Frogs. "Woah Chocolate Frogs? Are they real frogs?" Sprittle asked as Jessica shook her head and laughed, her laugh Inspector Detector noted sounded like bells.

"Those aren't real frogs, though, mind you they do jump, they only have one leap though." she said as she unwrapped the chocolate, they saw that it was shaped like a frog, and, as she said, it jumped, but she caught it and held it tightly as it went limp. She took a bite on the head and showed them that it was made of pure chocolate. The others took a bite and found that they liked it. Yes, even Racer X under his mask.

After that she handed them each a bottle that said Butter Beer "Butter Beer, I don't think Sprittle should drink this." This time Jessica just sighed and said "Mom, you should just go with me here. I wouldn't give you guys anything that would be dangerous or something that a parent would disapprove of. These are all things that my students eat whenever we have a free weekend, I give this to my students all the time." The Racer family all looked at her and said "YOUR A TEACHER?" she just nodded and raised her bottle and drank.

The others followed her example and as soon as they drank it, it was smooth going down, they felt a warm and comforting feeling in their stomachs and it tasted like less-sickly butterscotch. All in all it tasted good and made them feel good. "So, anyone care to fill me in on what I missed." She said looking at them curiously.

"The head of Royalton Industries saw me win the race at Thunderhead..." Speed trailed off as he saw the proud and wistful look in Jess' face as she looked at him "and he wanted me to join his company, dad said he'd support me whichever I choose," he paused there as he saw her raise an eyebrow and purse her lips "I didn't sign with him and he threatened me by saying he'd basically make life hell for us. Which he's doing now, he made me lose the raise and made it look like I cheated." Speed finished as he looked at her to see her face empty of any emotions. A look which none of them had ever seen on her.

"That still doesn't explain Who and Why they are here." She said in a completely toneless voice, which actually scared them all.

"They are Inspector Detector and Racer X, they want me to race with Taejo Tokogan for a file that could bring Royalton down." Speed said as Jessica gave a curt nod as if to say continue.

"Its a rally race, the Casa Cristo 5000 to be exact." Speed finished as they all noticed the air around her had gone eerie and stale as the room had suddenly become stuffy and dark and her aura suddenly turned deadly, both Speed and Sparky inched away from her, her face and eyes held no emotions and as she spoke in a clear, calm and blank voice "Okay. What is up with Casa Cristo? I know we all want Speed to stay, well apart from them, but he is technically of age and it is legal for him to make such decisions. So, I think we should ask Speed what he wants to do, because I will stand by him no matter what decides."

At these words everyone looked to Speed who looked deep in thought, after a moment of silence he said "I want to race in Casa Cristo. I know the risk, but I just want to bring Royalton down."

Pops closed his eyes as Mom said "Okay Speed, if this is what you want." Sparky and Sprittle looked at each other as if in shock that their parents would allow this, then, they turned to Jessica who was just sitting there quietly.

"That settles it. Speed, were going with you to Casa Cristo and help you out with whatever you need..." she started with a cheerful tone "If anything happens to Speed, you will have to answer to me. And I can garuantee you it would not be pretty." She finished in a voice that was laced with a tone that implied severe death. The immediate change of tone scared them further and made them take her seriously.

Inspector Detector gulped and nodded as she stood up, clapped her hand and said "Well now that we're done with this topic. Lets go back to eating." Everyone suddenly fell from their seats and thought 'What the Hell?'

Inspector Detector and Racer X stood up as Inspector Detector said "Well, now that this matter is through, we'll go now."