Ill Meet You On Route 62
(A Disney/Pixar Cars fanfic)
The police cruiser studied the young woman standing before him. She was a mess - covered with scrapes, dents, and tread marks, she was leaking oil and one of her headlights was broken. On top of all this, she was breathless and shaking, and her eyes were brimmed with tears, though she was doing a commendable job holding them back.
You know we cant press charges unless you tell us who did this to you, he told her.
I dont care about that! she shouted. This isnt about me! Its about my friend! Ive told you that already but youre not listening!
Her outburst drew the attention of everyone inside the building. The LAPD substation was packed with the usual crowd, several vehicles sniveling over some petty misdemeanor.
All right, Miss. Please, calm down, the officer soothed. Youre not going to get anywhere by yelling.
Yvette snorted. Well Im not getting anywhere just talking calmly to you either, am I?
The officer sighed. All right. Just start from the beginning, and this time slow it down a bit.
Yvette took a steadying breath and nodded. Okay. She was about to relay her story again when the door opened and a group of four vehicles came in.
Excuse me, said the leader of the group, an older model with a blue paintjob, we need to file a missing person report.
Be with you in a minute, sir, said the cruiser. He turned back to the Corvette and nodded. Go on.
Yvette took another deep breath and started again. Okay, my friend Veronica came to visit yesterday, and after she left my neighbor came and asked me where she was staying. I told her I didnt know. Actually, I did know, but I didnt want to tell her because I dont trust her. And I was right not to. Her eyes hardened and her voice grew cold.
And is she the one who assaulted you? asked the cop.
No, but she ratted us out. She called our old boss. We - all three of us - used to work together - and he showed up this morning and demanded to know where Veronica was. When I didnt tell him, he
Yvettes voice cracked and a few tears spilled down her hood.
He did this to you.
Yes. He did. Even when I did tell him, he didnt stop. Told him all I know, and he still
her sob was so loud it caught the attention of the entire group that had just come in.
The officer patted her tire with his. Its all right, Miss. Just take your time.
Yvette sniffled and composed herself once more. Okay. Im okay. She took a long swallow of water from the paper cup the cruiser had given her. I came over here as soon as I could get a spare on. I had to borrow one from the landlady after he slashed one of my tires. But hes after Veronica, and hes going to kill her!
The old blue car that had come with the group raised a curious brow as he listened to Yvettes story. She didnt notice.
All right, said the officer. Before we can do anything, Im going to need both your friends name and your assailants name, along with physical descriptions, plate numbers, and anything else you can give me.
Yvette nodded. My friends name is Veronica Vroom and shes a gr - I mean a lavender Chrysler Concorde -
Excuse me, the blue car interrupted again, this time speaking to Yvette. Did you just say Veronica Vroom?
Yvette stared at him uncertainly. Yes, I did. Why?
Because we happen to be looking for a young woman of that same name and description. Tell me, where can we find her?
Yvette frowned. Forget it, Im not telling you anything! The last time I told someone I paid dearly for it! Look at me! This isnt normal wear and tear!
But you dont underst -
No! Leave me alone! Unless youre a cop, Im not talking to you!
Well, what a coincidence! said Sheriff as he pulled up beside Doc. Because I just happen to be a cop.
Yvette stared at him in surprise, taking in his uniform paintjob and beacon.
The cruiser gave Sheriff a scathing look. Sir, I am trying to help this young woman file a police report. Shes already asked your friend here to leave her alone, and if I have to -
Sheriff huffed a frustrated breath and turned sideways, displaying his badge. The cruiser shut his mouth. Doc turned to Yvette again.
Were looking for Miss Vroom, he said simply. Were friends of hers from Radiator Springs, Arizona. We know all about the trouble shes in and were here to help. Please, Miss, wont you help us find her before Slade Ford does?
Yvettes eyes widened and she backed away. H-how do you know about him? she asked timidly. You cant know, unless
unless youre working for him! She jabbed an accusing tire at Doc, who looked only mildly amused.
Or unless we really are who we say we are, he replied with a smile.
Yvette glared at him and shook her hood fiercely. I dont believe you.
Docs smile faded. What will it take to make you believe?
Yvette scrunched her face up as though she were in pain. Who else is looking for her? Just you two? she demanded of the two men.
Doc glanced at Sheriff. The two of us, and the two of them, he replied, jerking his hood back to indicate the red racecar and rusty tow truck standing behind him. Oh, and him too.
The big guy outside.
Yvette looked past the four men to see a large red semi truck parked just outside the too-small doorway. It took her a moment to notice the name MACK engraved in the chrome above his grille, but when she did, her eyes widened in disbelief. She looked at Doc again, too stunned to speak. Doc smiled.
It was shortly after noon when Vee pulled off the highway and parked under the canopy of a tiny diner in the middle of the desert. Normally she wouldnt have given a second thought to the light rain that was falling, but this time all she wanted was a break from the dismal weather, however short. She supposed that her time spent on the run should have accustomed her to outdoor life. In fact, she wished it had. But it hadnt. The endless gray road, the endless gray desert, and the endless gray sky were all starting to take their toll on her.
A carhop approached her as she sat idling. Well hey there! chirped the middle-aged woman, startling Vee. Can I getcha something, honey? Her smile was too wide for her face.
Vee gave a much smaller smile in return and shook her hood. No, thanks. Im just - taking a little break. Hope thats okay.
Sure! said the carhop. You take as long as you need to. Just let me know if you need anything, okay?
Vee nodded and the carhop drove back inside the diner. She was relieved to be alone again. The roar of cars on the highway behind her and the drumming of rain on the aluminum canopy quickly began to lull her into an almost sleeplike state. Vee stared at the faded menu before her without reading it or even looking at the bleached and bland-looking pictures of food on it.
Chrysler, what am I going to do? I should be in Twentynine Palms already! Or back at Yvettes. Why didnt I just stay with her like she asked me to? Sure its L.A., but at least I wouldnt have been all alone. If only
VEE! came a mans voice, startling her from her thoughts. Before she could even turn around, she found herself being jostled and shouted at from all sides. It wasnt until she was pulled aside by a large tire and into a crushing embrace that she realized what was happening.
Mack! she gasped, staring up at the big rig in shock. What are you - how did you - oh my Dodge! she cried and threw herself at him. Mack and Vee were both sobbing and laughing and babbling like babies as they hugged and kissed each other repeatedly.
Tears were pouring down Vees hood and she was breathless by the time she pulled away. She turned to look at the other vehicles surrounding her: Doc, Sheriff, Mater, Lightning and -
Yvette? Vees eyes widened in shock at the sight of the young woman standing before her. At first, it was her mere presence in the group that had surprised her. Then, it was her ghastly appearance. Oh Dodge, Yvette, what happened to - her next words were cut off by the Corvettes sudden hug. Vee hugged her back, surprised yet again to hear her sobbing.
Slade, she whispered, and Vee understood completely. She tried to give her friend a reassuring pat, but Yvette suddenly pulled herself out of her grip and backed away. Its all my fault! Its all my fault! she wailed. I didnt mean to tell him where you were going, but him and Joey
she sucked in a sharp breath and shuddered. They just - they just - w-wouldnt s-s-stop
Vee stared in horror as Yvette wept openly in front of her. She drove up to the young woman and laid a gentle tire on her cheek. Sshhh. Its okay.
No! Yvette shrieked, pulling away from her again. Dont you see? He knows where to find you now! Hes coming! You have to get out of here!
Vees look of surprise turned into a scowl. Let him come, then, she growled, turning to address everyone present. Im sick of running from that bastard, and I am NOT going to sit idly by while he hurts other people just to get to me! Im going to face him myself this time!
Vee, no! Mack argued. You cant! Hell kill you! You said so yourself! He pulled her close again. I cant let you do it, he whimpered. I dont want to lose you again.
Vee wriggled out of his grip. I cant keep running from him either, Mack. I have to stand up to him. If I dont hell just go right through the next person standing in his way to get to me. I mean, look at what he did to Yvette! she exclaimed, gesturing at the other woman with a tire. Mack stared at the little Corvette for a long moment, as though just now seeing her for the first time.
If he wants to kill me, then Im going to meet him halfway, Vee growled, turning toward the highway. Mack plunged after her.
Wait! Where are you going now? he demanded. Youre not actually going to go looking for him, are you?
Vee paused by the roadside. Why not? Better than waiting for him to find me. At least this way I have some control over the situation.
Oh no, youre not going anywhere without me! Mack argued. He laid a heavy tire on her backside to as if to hold her back.
Or me, said Doc, pulling up beside them.
Or me! Mater declared zealously.
the rest of us, Sheriff added, with considerably less enthusiasm.
Vee looked around at the group of vehicles, speechless. After a long time she opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. It was Yvettes scream that shattered the silence.
The entire group turned as one toward the terrified Corvette, who was staring in horror at a pair of vehicles approaching the diner. When Vee saw who they were, her engine died. Nobody uttered a sound or made a single move even as the black pickup and the gray SUV parked in front of the group and looked at Vee.
Hello, whore, Joey growled with a far-too-pleasant smile. Vee said nothing.
Mack charged forward and stopped just an inch short from hitting him. His oil-curdling growl was answer enough for that insult. Joey winced slightly but did not back down.
Slade looked Mack over as though he were sizing him up. Then he turned to Vee with a smirk. Is this what youre screwing now? A trucker? he snorted. Well, thats low even for you. But, what do I care? Youre dead to me now. Youre nothing! Nothing but a dirty little slut. He drove closer to her until his face was just inches from hers. I made you what you are. I made you worth something. And now, youre nothing. Worthless. You couldnt even pay a man to have you.
This time, Mack lost his temper and rammed him in the side. Slade rolled once and was back on his tires in an instant.
You stay away from her, Mack growled, Or next time Ill kill you.
Slade gave him a split-second fearful look that was immediately replaced with a glare to match the big rigs. He gave Vee a sideways glance, then looked the other way at Yvette, who was standing a short distance away from the others. Then, to everyones surprise, he smiled.
Go ahead, keep her, he said to Mack. Hoes like her are a dime a dozen. I dont need that little pyro burning down my new place, not when Ive got nice, well-behaved hoes like that one right there. He turned to Yvette as he said this and the young woman cringed. Slade and Joey both smirked as they advanced on her. She backed up against the wall of the diner, trembling. And if I cant have the truckers whore, Ill just have to take you back with me instead.
Vee growled and drove forward. You leave her alone!
Slade looked back at Vee in his mirror. And what are you going to do if I dont? Burn me again? He laughed. Hey Joey, got any matches on you? Joey snickered. The two men closed in on Yvette.
Vee accelerated and slammed into Slades tailgate. Slade yelped and swung around. Joey turned too. Vee backed away, drawing them after her. Yvette, run! she yelled. GO!
Yvette watched in horror as her attackers went after Vee, but once Vee started yelling Joey turned back to keep her from fleeing. Yvette saw him coming back toward her and took off, sideswiping him on her way to the highway. Joey spun around and took off after her.
NO! Vee screamed, dashing after both of them with Slade on her tail. Mack and the others echoed Vees screams as they followed.
Yvette sped down the highway with Joey close behind. She could hear Vee calling out to her some distance back. She swerved into the opposite lane and headed back the way she had come. Caught by surprise, Joey fell behind. Vee caught a glimpse of Yvette passing her in the opposite direction. She started to turn to go after her when Joey came barreling past after Yvette. He was closely followed by half a dozen more cars that kept Vee from going after him.
Slade caught up just then and rammed her in the bumper. Vee swerved and nearly fell into the opposite lane just as an oncoming big rig blared his horn at her. Seemingly encouraged by this, Slade rammed her again. This time Vee made sure to swerve into the slow lane, but Slade squeezed in beside her and pushed her back toward the other side of the highway. Vee pushed back as hard as she could. Several cars going in both directions honked at them as they weaved back and forth across the road. Both Vee and Slade narrowly missed getting hit several times.
Out of nowhere, Joey sprang up behind Vee and slammed into her. Vee was jolted forward by the force and left open to another attack from Slade. He threw himself against her, trying once again to push her into the path of oncoming traffic. Several vehicles were forced off the road to avoid hitting them.
Several car-lengths back, Mack and the others watched helplessly as Vee was tossed back and forth all over the road. Yvette, who had fallen back in with the group after losing Joey, tried to catch up with them, but was unable to get past the heavy traffic. Not even Lightning could weave his way through the congestion. There were many big rigs on the road, all toting trailers behind them. This made them even more difficult to pass, if not impossible.
Mack saw the danger coming long before the others did and blared his horn to warn Vee. His own horn was drowned out by those of two other semis approaching in the opposite direction. Vee didnt need any warning. In fact, she ignored them all as the two trucks came barreling toward her and plunged forward to meet them. Slade and Joey followed closely. She saw her chance - a narrow opening between the two big rigs - if she could just squeeze through it
Suddenly, Slade rammed into her again, pushing her into the path of one of the two trucks. Vee turned sharply and skidded sideways. The semi blared his horn again and tried to brake and swerve around her at the same time. He jackknifed and cut directly across the path of the other semi in the lane next to him. Vee ducked under the trailer as it swung toward her.
Mack watched in horror as Vee disappeared under the trailer just as the first truck was struck by the second truck. The force of the impact, combined with the pull of the jackknifed trailer, threw the first big rig to the asphalt. The trailers of both semis were wrenched from their hitches and thrown to the ground as well. Slade and Joey also watched Vee disappear beneath the first trailer just seconds before it came down on top of them, crushing them both.
Everything - all traffic, all sound, all thought, all reason - came to a screeching halt in that earth-shattering instant. NOOO! Mack screamed into the silence. He pushed his way through the standstill that surrounded the two big rigs with Doc, Mater, Lightning, Sheriff and Yvette close behind. One of the trailers lay in the middle of the highway. Oil, coolant and other fluids formed a dark pool beneath the first trailer. The other trailer lay in a ditch a short distance away.
Mack stared numbly down at the wreckage even as Doc pushed his way forward to examine the crushed vehicles. Another big rig came forward out of the crowd and lifted the trailer up. There was no doubt about it. Slade and Joey were both dead. As horrific as it was, Mack couldnt help but stare at their mangled bodies.
Veronica! Yvette cried, pulling up beside him. Wheres Veronica? The name was like a slap in Macks face. Engine racing, he looked around frantically, scanning the highway for any sign of his friend. In the ditch on side of the road, just beyond the trailer that had fallen into it, he caught a glimpse of lavender.
Chapter Thirty-Four: [link]