Ill Meet You On Route 62
(A Disney/Pixar Cars fanfic)
The Road Ahead
The hours and the miles rolled on. Mack drove in silence along Route Sixty-six, heading west. Radiator Springs was far behind them now, little more than a memory in its distance. Vee lay alone in the trailer, mind abuzz. Of all the events that had transpired that day, what she and Mack were doing now was by far the craziest. Every time she looked up, an entire congregation of Lightning McQueens in varying forms glared down at her, rendering their guilty verdict.
Several times that night Vee begged her friend to pull over, but each time he refused. Mack was determined to put as much distance as possible behind them first. It was past midnight by the time he finally relented. Pulling off onto a dirt road, he followed it for a short stretch until the entire trailer was hidden among the hills and out of sight from the highway. Exhausted, he unhitched himself and drove around to the rear of the trailer just as Vee rolled down the ramp. A Lightning bobble-head tumbled out after her.
Well! she sighed, looking around. This is it, isnt it? Im a fugitive now. Im wanted for a crime I didnt commit and a crime I DID commit. Im free now, but at a price Ill have to pay later, no doubt. Hows that for poetic justice?
Mack smirked at her. Yeah, well
dont forget I was the one who helped you escape. That means were both fugitives.
Vee looked up at him in surprise, as though the truth had only just dawned on her. Then suddenly she lunged forward and punched Mack hard with a tire. He hardly even flinched, but was now looking rather stunned.
Thats for being so damn stupid! she huffed. What the hell were you thinking, Mack? Dont you realize how much trouble youre in now for helping me? Huh? What - were - you - thinking?!
I was thinking about YOU! he argued. There was no way I was going to just leave you there for Joey and Slade to get to! Youre my best friend, Vee! If anything happened to you, Id
with a heavy sigh, Mack shook his hood and turned away to fiddle with the snow chains dangling from the side of the trailer. Id never forgive myself, he finished quietly, without looking at her.
Vee opened her mouth to speak, but could think of nothing to say. She drove closer to him and touched his tire with hers. Mack, I - as much as I appreciate everything youve done for me, I just cant let you get mixed up in this mess. Its my life, I messed it up, and now Ive got to deal with it. I dont want to mess up your life too.
Mack looked down at her as if shed struck him again. You could never mess up my life! he replied. If anything, youve made it all the more worth living. And if you think you can scare me off, then youve got another think coming!
But Mack -
But nothing! Im with you for the long haul. BFFs, remember? The smile he gave her just then staved off any last arguments she may have had. After a moment she was smiling back, eyes shining with starlight and tears.
With a small sob, Vee threw her tires around Mack in a tight embrace. With one enormous yet gentle tire he hugged her back, patting her roof soothingly. They stayed that way for the next minute or two, not speaking. The silence between them said far more than words ever could. When Vee finally let go of him, she was calm and composed, her tears dried. She turned away a little to look back at the trailer. The ramp was still down and the inside lit up. At the bottom of the ramp lay the Lightning bobble-head that had fallen out of the trailer.
I cant believe you stole Lightning McQueens trailer, she murmured, picking it up. She drove up the ramp and set it on the trailer floor, then stood there, taking in the luxurious interior as though she hadnt just spent the past few hours riding in it.
I prefer to think of it as commandeering, Mack replied. Vee smirked at him in her mirror.
Whyd you do it? she asked, backing down the ramp and turning to face him again. We dont need it. In fact, we could get by a lot faster and easier without it. I could, anyway.
Mack nodded. True, but I thought youd be safer in there. No one would see you, either.
Yeah, but did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, hauling around a humongous trailer with McQueens picture on it might be just a little bit conspicuous? Vee asked, turning to face the side of the trailer. Her headlights illuminated the enormous image of Lightning and the Rusteze logo imprinted on it. Mack stared at it in horror.
I hadnt thought of that, he admitted with a blush. I was only thinking about keeping you safe from Slade.
Vee shut her lights off. Well, Id be surprised if Sheriff hasnt issued an APB on us by now.
Well just have to keep moving, then, said Mack, shutting his lights off too. The silence fell as heavily as the sudden darkness between them. It was a long time before he spoke again. Well, its late, and Im beat. I guess we should both try and get some sleep. Well figure out what were gonna do in the morning, okay?
Vee nodded without looking at him. Kay. She backed up the ramp and settled down on her undercarriage on the soft carpet. Mack looked in at her, his face unreadable.
Good night, then, he said quietly, trying to smile for her.
Night, Mack. And thank you, she replied. Mack caught a glimpse of her smile just before the ramp came up, closing the trailer door. He stared at it for a long moment before parking himself in front of it and closing his eyes.
Vee was jolted awake the next morning by the trailer floor vibrating beneath her. She blinked rapidly and looked around. It was bright outside the tinted windows and the glowing green numbers on the digital clock told her it was nearly ten-thirty a.m.. Vee yawned and stretched, watching the desert rolling past outside. It was cloudy out, and it looked like it had rained a little. Countless rocks, weeds and Joshua trees littered the flat plains. Dark, ominous mountains loomed ahead.
Vee cleared her throat and hit the intercom switch. Mack?
Several static-filled seconds passed before he answered her. Well good morning, Sleeping Beauty! Mack said cheerfully.
Morning, Vee replied, yawning again. How long have you been driving?
Since sunrise. I picked up Sheriffs report on my CB earlier. He seems to think were on I-Forty. Good thing I didnt go that route, huh?
Needless to say the Highway Patrols out there looking for us. Doesnt sound like theyre even going to check Route Sixty-six, but we cant be too careful.
How far have we gone so far?
Uhhh, bout two hundred and sixty miles.
Vee gasped. Thats it? Jeez, Mack, Ive seen Lizzie move faster than you!
Macks chuckle was thick with static. Yeah, well, I suppose we couldve gone twice as far if I hadnt taken so many back roads to avoid being seen. That, and drinking too much coffee. I cant tell you how many times Ive had to pull over this morning just to take a leak! Vee laughed. Speaking of which
The trailer began to vibrate again, this time more violently, as Mack pulled off the road and drove over a rocky stretch of ground. He stopped about a hundred yards from the highway. Vee felt the trailer jolt as he unhitched himself. She saw him through the window, and though he couldnt see her, he appeared to look directly at her as he told her hed be right back. He disappeared through some bushes, and didnt come back for nearly five minutes. Vee waited until he was hitched up again and back on the road before speaking to him.
Feel better? she asked, a grin in her voice.
For now, Mack replied.
Vee made a sound like a mock gasp. Are you serious? As long as it took you to go back there, I thought a whole week had passed! Exactly how many gallons of coffee did you drink, anyway?
Mack snorted. Hey, cut me some slack, will ya? When youre as big as I am, you do everything on a grand scale! And I mean everything!
Vee chuckled. If you say so. So, where to now?
There was a moment of static-riddled silence before Mack answered her. Wherever the road leads us, I guess.
You mean you dont even have a plan?
Sure I have a plan! Mack said defensively. Im just gonna keep driving till I run out of gas!
Vee snorted. You call that a plan?
Not really. Do you?
Vee couldnt help remembering their conversation the other day, and what she had told Mack: All I could think to do was keep on going till I ran out of gas and then start a new life wherever I ended up.
She sighed. Its as good a plan as any Ive had.
The sound of eighteen wheels humming over asphalt was mesmerizing. Tired of worrying, tire of thinking, Vee let the droning noise lull her into a state of relaxation. She stared out the window at the rapidly moving, yet virtually unchanging, scenery. Endless desert punctuated by the occasional cactus or rock. Sky just as endless, just as empty. With another sigh Vee turned away from the window, unwilling to see anymore of the depressing landscape. Her eyes drifted and came to settle on the Lightning bobble-head toy that had fallen out of the trailer the night before. She smirked at it. Lightning grinned back and nodded vigorously like an over-eager yes man. Vee put a tire out to stop its insane bouncing, then hit the intercom switch.
If I ever become a famous racecar, remind me never to let them make me into a bobble-head toy.
Mack laughed. Ten-four!
Chapter Twenty-Five: [link]