Ill Meet You On Route 62
(A Disney/Pixar Cars fanfic)
Last Stop in L.A.
Vee looked up at the apartment building uncertainly. It was a dirty, rundown, sorry-looking structure that by some miracle was still standing on its own. Its aged and incredibly cheap paintjob was almost a perfect match to the miserable gray rain clouds overhead. She took another look at the hastily scrawled address on the back of the liquor store receipt and compared it to the one on the building.
1601 Hertz Ave. #18... Though the number on the building read only 160, Vee noted that the grime on the wall clearly outlined the space where the number 1 used to be. She approached the ramp that led to the second floor and paused. It didnt look as though it could support a forklift, let alone an (in her opinion) overweight Chrysler. Very slowly, she drove onto the ramp. Sure enough, the ancient wood groaned beneath her. She sped up.
Though it did not complain nearly as loudly, the second-story balcony did appear to be much sturdier. Vee looked around. To her right was a rickety-looking banister which she decided to keep a safe distance from. On her left was a row of doors, half a dozen in all and starting with number fourteen. Vee rolled slowly down to eighteen and parked in front of it. She stared at the tarnished brass numbers for a moment, then took a deep, steadying breath and knocked on the apartment door.
Moments later it opened, and a timid-looking white Corvette with wide blue eyes peeked out. There was a gasp, then the door was flung open all the way.
Veronica? Oh my Dodge!
Vee offered a small smile. Hey, Yvette. Hows it going?
The Corvette drove out onto the landing. What happened to you? Where have you been all this time? Oh my Dodge, I was so worried about you! Wow! Look at you! Youre all purple and - and - oh my Dodge! Come in!
Vee smiled meekly. Thanks, she murmured, and drove inside. The interior of the apartment was dark. Blankets and bed sheets had been tacked up over the windows. The place had the dank smell of mold and warm root beer. There was a stack of cardboard boxes overflowing with miscellaneous items in one corner, and a nightstand with a lamp on it in another corner. Between these two, a large, soiled-looking mattress lay sprawled across the threadbare brown carpet.
Yvette shut the door and bolted it. Make yourself at home, she said, nodding toward the mattress. Vee parked herself on the edge of the bed. Um, can I get you something? Coffee? Oil? asked the young woman as she drove around to the other side of it. Vee shook her hood.
Yvette parked next to her on the mattress. How did you find me? she asked.
Got your address from your mom, Vee explained. I remembered she lived across the street from that liquor store down on Palmwood and Price so I went and paid her a visit.
Yvette nodded. So what happened that night? she demanded suddenly. I thought you got caught in the fire. I know Slade got burned a bit, but unfortunately he made it out okay. Everyone did. But you just disappeared! What happened? Where did you go?
Vee sighed. Its a loooonnng story.
Oh, thats okay. Ive got a while before my next john shows up, so go ahead.
Vee smirked at her. Youre still doing that?
Yvette blushed. Um, well - yeah. Moneys tight, you know, and Moms been awful sick lately. She averted her eyes to an oil stain on the carpet and shrugged. And its - its all I really know how to do.
Vee opened her mouth to say something, but let it go. As sorry as she felt for Yvette, she knew there was little she could do for the girl. Hoping to take her mind off her troubles, she proceeded to tell her everything that had happened since her escape from the escort agency. When she was finished, Yvette looked even more distraught than before.
Chrysler, she whispered, staring at Vee in shock.
Suddenly feeling uncomfortable under the younger womans gaze, Vee cast about for a change of subject. So what about you and the other girls? she queried. What did you do after the fire?
Yvette dropped her eyes to her hood and shrugged. Oh, I dont know. We all pretty much just went our separate ways. I havent heard from anyone since that night. Except for Darla. Shes two doors down.
Vee raised a brow. She is, huh? Yvette nodded. Jeez. Just cant seem to get rid of her, can we? She was pleased to hear the young woman allow herself a small chuckle at that comment.
So, what are you going to do? Yvette asked.
Vees own smile quickly faded at her words. She tried to think of a decent reply, but it seemed like every time she was asked that particular question, she became less and less certain of the answer. After a while she sighed heavily and stared down her hood.
I dont know, she mumbled, feeling the sting of a tear in her eye and blinking it back. Ive just left everything that ever mattered to me behind, and I have nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to. What can I do? She turned to Yvette with an almost pleading look.
Yvette bit her lip, unsure of what to say.
Ive got no home, no job, no money. Nothing. If only
she trailed off. There were so many ways she wanted to finish that sentence, but instead she let it hang there, as hollow and hopeless as she felt inside. Vees gaze drifted across the room to a tiny TV set on which a reporter was silently interviewing a dark red semi who was heading a local truckers strike. His slight resemblance to Mack immediately reminded her of her best friend. She could still hear his words in her head, begging her to come back, telling her how much he loved her
Yvette jumped at the sudden sound of the Chryslers sobs. Veronica?
Vee sniffled and swallowed her tears. Mokay, she whispered. I just - I just miss him so much.
Yvette moved closer to her and rubbed her side with a reassuring tire. Then go back to him," she said simply.
I cant! Vee sobbed. Dont you see? Ill only endanger him if I go back now! Slade and Joey will kill anyone who gets in their way. You know they will! Ive put Mack through too much already. I dont want to ruin his life anymore than I already have. Vee stared miserably down her hood and tried to fight back another shuddering sob.
Yvette shifted uneasily on the mattress. But if he really loves you -
I cant. I just cant.
No. I love him too much to see him hurt.
Yvette drove off the mattress and parked directly in front of her. Veronica
Vee looked away, eyes brimming with frustrated tears. "Please. Please stop.
Stop what? Vee growled, without looking at her.
Stop hurting yourself.
Yes you are, Yvette argued. Youre hurting yourself, and youre hurting him too! If he really loves you -
SHUT UP! Vee shrieked, springing to her tires. Just shut up, okay! Im just trying to do whats best here! Cant you understand that?
Yvette backed away from her. Not really, no.
Vee growled and turned away. She dropped back down onto the mattress and glared at the lamp on the nightstand. Yvette started to speak, but decided against it. She left the Chrysler fuming on the bed and went into the kitchen. Minutes later she returned with two chipped cups of black coffee and two day-old cinnamon rolls. Vee had calmed considerably by now and took her friends offering with a blush and a murmur of thanks. The next few minutes were spent in silence as the two women watched the news.
I know what Im going to do now, Vee announced suddenly.
Yvette looked over at her. What?
Im gonna head back east again on Route 62. There should be just enough gas in my tank to get me to Twentynine Palms.
Whats in Twentynine Palms?
Vee shrugged and took another bite of her cinnamon roll. Very little, she mumbled with her mouth full. She took a gulp of coffee to wash it down. But at least I know the area. My aunt Vera lived there before she moved up to Oregon and I used to stay with her sometimes.
Yeah, but - why there?
Vee shrugged again and her eyes wandered back to the weather report on TV. Ive got the where down. Dont really need a reason why. Yvette continued to stare at her as though she were crazy. Seriously. All I need is a fresh start in a brand-new town, far away from
from everything, Vee explained. She did not sound nearly as convincing as shed hoped she would.
Well, if youre going to go all the way out there then you should at least - Yvette was interrupted by a knock on the door. Excuse me, she murmured, and went to answer it. A light blue pickup truck stood out on the landing. He looked her over with a lustful eye.
You Yvette? he asked, sounding hopeful.
Um, yeah. I am. Yvette blushed and backed up. Could you excuse me for a second?
Yvette shut the door and turned to face Vee. My johns here, she announced, blushing again. She gave Vee an apologetic look.
Oh, right. Vee rose from the mattress and started toward the door. Yvette moved aside to let her out. Just as Vee placed her tire on the doorknob, though, Yvette pushed her own tire against the door to keep her from opening it.
Vee looked at her curiously.
Yvette blushed yet again as she fumbled for words. Listen. I know youre strapped for cash right now, and Ive got another appointment tomorrow night, so - um - if you want
she nodded at the door.
Vee stared at her in surprise. Her thoughts immediately returned to Mack. Well, thats awful nice of you, but - I really shouldnt.
Oh, its okay! Yvette assured her. Im doing all right here. Really. You need the money more than I do. So go ahead.
Vee was silent for a long time. Yes, she did need the money. Very badly. There was absolutely no telling what would happen once her tank hit empty again. She tried to push all thoughts of Mack from her mind, convincing herself that their relationship had ended the moment shed left him that letter back in the trailer. What am I going to do? I promised myself I'd never go back to that life! But I cant go on like this. I need money! And its only a quick gig away. Its almost too easy, but why does it have to seem so damn hard? Chrysler
Vee sighed heavily and let go of the doorknob. All right. She backed away and Yvette opened the door.
Come on in, she said. The truck drove into the apartment and glanced around. He noticed Vee immediately.
Whos this? he asked, giving her the same appraisng look hed given the Corvette a minute before.
Oh, this is my friend Veronica. Yvette parked beside her. Veronica, this is, um
The truck smirked. Nice to meet you, Veronica.
Vee smiled back and dipped her hood in a quick nod. During her time as an escort, she had always preferred sticking to the pleasantries and not the physical aspects of her work, but this time, she wanted nothing more than to just hurry up and get down to business. The sooner it's over, the better, she told herself.
Veronicas only in town for today, Yvette was saying, but shes available this evening if you dont mind having her instead.
Dave grinned and rolled closer to Vee. Wouldnt mind at all, he purred. Vee forced her face to mirror his lustful expression.
Great! Yvette turned quickly and drove to the door. She seemed very eager to leave the apartment. Ill just go over to Darlas for awhile then. See ya!
Before Vee could answer her, she was gone. She stared at the door after it had closed behind her, shocked. Well, not that shocked. Yvette had always been the shy type, and it had been clear from the day she had started working for Slade that she would rather do anything else than submit herself to the perverted whims of strange men.
So, what brings you to L.A.? asked the pickup, drawing Vees attention away from the door.
Oh, just passing through, she replied casually. She glanced past him to the mattress. I uh, I suppose youd like to get started now?
Daves grin turned devious. You read my mind. Vee started toward the bed, but he moved in front of her. Can I kiss you? he asked, his lips already just inches from hers.
Vee fidgeted. Well, normally I urmph! - her words were cut off suddenly by his lips pressing hard against hers. Startled, she tried to back up, but she barely moved an inch when her rear bumper hit the wall behind her. She stared wide-eyed at the truck for a moment, then gave in and surrendered to him. She moaned quietly, shutting her eyes. Dave seemed to think she was enjoying it, because his kiss suddenly became more passionate. Vee felt his tongue slide into her mouth and nearly gagged at the stale taste of beer and cigarettes on it. When he finally pulled back, he was slightly breathless and his eyes were clouded with lust. Vee swallowed hard. The taste was still there.
Feeling numb, she drove around him and climbed onto the bed, waiting for him to follow. He climbed on next her and started caressing her side with a tire. Mm, youve got some nice curves, he murmured. Chrysler, right?
Mm-hm. Vee shivered under his touch.
His tire started moving further back, slowly but surely, until it was tracing the curve of her rear wheel well. Vee tensed when said tire suddenly slid along the underside of her back bumper.
Mind lifting it up a little?
Your bumper. Couldja lift it up a bit?
His tire slid even lower. Vee sucked in a sharp breath as it explored forbidden territory.
Ooooh, nice, he purred, stroking her undercarriage. Vee tensed again, but kept her backend up to allow him access. She gritted her teeth and tried to imagine Mack in the trucks place, but the very thought of her best friend only made it all the more unbearable. Come on, damn it! Lets just get this over with
As though he had read her mind, Dave suddenly pulled his tire out from under her. Vee breathed a small sigh of relief and lowered her bumper.
No, no. Keep it up, he told her. Reluctantly, she complied. It wasnt until she felt his weight on top of her that the severity of the situation began to sink in. Oh Chrysler, what am I doing? Vee gasped and pulled herself out from under the truck.
What the hell! Dave barked, glaring at her.
Vee blushed, giving him a flustered look. I'm sorry," she told him. Her voice cracked and tears pricked her eyes. "But I just can't do this right now."
Dave sneered and climbed off the bed. Fine! Then get that other girl back in here!
Vee was all too glad to get out of the apartment and away from the irate truck. She looked down the landing and noticed that number twenty-twos door was open. A monster ballad was playing somewhere inside. She drove up to the door and gave it a tentative knock.
Yeah? came a womans voice.
Is Yvette in there?
Yes I am, Yvette replied, appearing in the doorway. She looked surprised to see Vee standing there. Something wrong?
Vee blinked back a tear and shook her hood. I gotta go.
Yvette drove out onto the landing and looked over at her own apartment. What happened?
Nothing. I just - I gotta get going. Vee turned away.
Yvette stared at her, confused. Veronica -
A second later a red Mercedes came out behind her. She smirked when she saw Vee. Still kicking, huh? I thought for sure Slade would have thrashed your ass by now.
Vee said nothing. She didnt even look back at her.
Come on, Darla, leave her alone! Yvette pleaded. "She's been through enough lately."
See you later, Vee mumbled, driving away. She paused in front of Yvettes door and nodded at it. Hes in there waiting for you. Then without another word she drove down the ramp and was gone.
Yvette stared after her for a moment, then went into her apartment. A minute later Dave came out looking thoroughly disgruntled. He spotted Darla and drove up to her.
Hey, he said.
Hey, she replied. Looking for a good time?
Darla gave him an impish grin and waved a tire at her open door. He started to go inside, then stopped and turned to her. Wait. Youre not gonna back out on me too, are you? he demanded.
Darla laughed and pushed him inside the apartment.
Chapter Thirty-Three: [link]