Ill Meet You On Route 62
(A Disney/Pixar Cars fanfic)
Macks tires carried him over to the ditch as though they had a mind of their own. He felt like he was driving through a dark, narrow tunnel, the strip of lavender he knew to be Vee guiding him forward. She lay there, at the bottom of the ditch, in a bed of tumbleweeds, trash and mud. All he could see of her from where he stood was her back end, sticking out from beneath the trailer. She didnt move. Without thinking he grabbed hold of the trailer and pulled it up out of the ditch. Now that he could see the rest of her, he sucked in a sharp breath and a sob escaped his throat.
A wide, deep scrape ran from bumper to bumper along her right side, and both her roof and hood had such large dents in them that they appeared to be caved in.
Vee! he cried. She did not respond. Mack tried to reach down into the ditch to pull her out, but she was too far down. The dirt ledge crumbled beneath him and he nearly toppled into the ditch himself. A moment later Doc and the others flanked him. Yvette looked down, let out a strangled cry, and turned away.
Mater! Doc shouted, looking around for the tow truck. Mater was already lowering his cable down into the ditch. Lightning dove in after and slipped the hook under Vees back bumper. He then drove around to her front and started pushing. Mack stared numbly at the scene that was playing out before him. Both Doc and Sheriff had to order him aside as Vee was lifted out and set down in front of them.
Mater didnt even have a chance to unhook himself before Mack burst forward and snatched the Chrysler up in his tires. Tears spilled from his hood and splashed on hers. Oh Vee
He heard Doc saying something, but the words went right over his cab. Something pulled at his tire and he was dimly aware of Sheriff trying to pry him away from the woman he loved. Mack let go of her finally and set her down with utmost care, then allowed the squad car to lead him away.
A silent circle formed around Doc Hudson as he worked over the injured Chrysler. Hours seemed to pass when in reality only a few minutes ticked by. Now and then there was a quiet moan or the faint shimmy of an engine trying to turn over. Mack never took his eyes off her. Please, Vee. Please be okay. Please
With a heavy sigh, Doc shut her hood. The loud bang made everyone jump. Mack rolled forward an inch or two, watching Vees face for some sign of consciousness. After a moment, her eyelids began to flutter. Mack held his breath. Her mouth twisted in a painful-looking sneer. She groaned and creaked as she rose up on wobbly tires.
Macks engine flooded with relief and he flung himself at her, snatching her up in an enormous hug as a fresh wave of tears rained down on her.
Easy there, Mack! Doc said with a chuckle. I dont want to have to fix her again so soon.
Mack ignored him. It wasnt until he heard Vees muffled protest that he dared release her. Dont you ever scare me like that again! he scolded her, his headlight to headlight smile betraying his harsh tone. Vee said nothing. Her smirk spoke volumes.
The small crowd closed in around her, each car cheering and hugging her in turn. Mater smacked her bumper with his hook and laughed. Vee laughed too and slugged him back.
That was the most incredible racing Ive ever seen! Lightning exclaimed.
Sheriff snorted, then turned to face Vee with a frown. Racing, my ass! he growled. That was THE most horrendous display of reckless driving it has ever been my displeasure to witness! Why, I ought to slap a boot on you right now!
Vee did not argue. She just stared back at him, blank-faced.
However, he continued, seeing as were not in Carburetor County, Im afraid that this incident falls outside of my jurisdiction. Everyone was surprised by his sudden smile.
* * *
Vee stared numbly at the remains of the two men who had made the last four years of her life so miserable. She was achy and exhausted from her ordeal. It was late afternoon now, and the autumn wind brought with it an icy drizzle that stung her scrapes and made her shiver. Mack noticed and put a tire around her. She leaned into him with a grateful sigh. If he hadnt been there to support her, she didnt think she would have had the strength to endure the endless interrogation from the Highway Patrol.
Besides the two fatalities, there had been very few injuries resulting from the wreck. Vee and the two big rigs had suffered the worst of it, yet thankfully all three were fit enough to drive home unassisted. It seemed to take forever for the trailers to be removed and the bodies to be cleaned up and hauled away. When the road was finally cleared, Mack, Vee and the others stood aside and waited for the backed-up traffic to thin out.
The sun was setting somewhere beyond the clouds by the time the group was back on the highway and heading home. Vee drove alongside Mack at the front of their little caravan. Neither one spoke, simply content to be together again. After a while Mack turned his radio on to check the local weather and traffic reports.
Hey Vee, he said suddenly. Turn your radio on!
Just do it.
Vee complied. All she got was static.
99.9 FM, Mack clarified.
It took her a moment to tune in to the station. Though she had no idea what she was supposed to be listening for, she was mildly surprised when she heard Chuck Berry singing Route 66. She gave Mack a questioning look. In the last of the light she could see his mischievous grin.
Well it goes through Saint Louis
Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty
Yeah, thats great, she mumbled, but in case you havent noticed, this is Route Sixty-TWO, not Sixty-six.
Macks smile grew. Exactly!
Vee arched a brow at him, but said nothing. She turned the volume up and listened to the rest of the song.
Wont you get hip to this kindly tip
Take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Get your kicks on Route 66
And Ill meet you on Route 62...
Vee looked at Mack again, eyes wide.
Mack chuckled. I guess we finally figured out what that last part means, huh?
Vee shook her hood. I thought it was just a coincidence. What do you think it means?
Mack shrugged. Eh, I dunno. What do you think it means?
Something really corny, Im sure.
I thought it meant something special.
This time Vee shrugged. I suppose.
Well, after all weve been through, and after coming all this way just to meet you here, Id say thats something pretty special, wouldnt you?
Vee chuckled. Okay, now that was just plain corny! And special, she purred, driving closer to him.
* * *
Looking back in her rearview mirror, Vee spotted Yvette driving by herself several car-lengths behind. She fell back until she was level with the young woman. Even in the dark she could still clearly see the tread marks on her face and the distant look in her sky blue eyes. She appeared to be lost in thought.
Hey, said Vee, giving her an encouraging smile.
Hey, the Corvette replied, smiling back.
They drove in silence, side by side. The pavement hummed beneath their tires and the rain ran in rivulets up their windshields. Vee turned her wipers on, then looked over at Yvette to see that she had done the same. Yvette glanced back at her and both women laughed.
Been one hell of a day, hasnt it? Vee said, turning them off again.
Ill say! Thank Dodge its over now.
Oh, its not over, Vee replied solemnly. Not by a long shot. Yvette stared at her curiously. Vee smiled again. Its just the start of something better.
Chapter Thirty-Five: [link]