Author: trustisalie and mooosicaldreamz
Pairing/Characters: Rachel/Quinn, Santana/Brittany, a whole slew of Transformers
Disclaimer: We really don't own anything... and I doubt we'd be able to foot the lawsuit.
Spoilers: None really, it's AU.
A/N: Sorry it's taken so long to get this to you guys, but I hit a huge writer's block in the fact that my muse wouldn't cooperate and work. But Cassie kicked my ass into gear and with my new MacBook, what better way to break it in then a nice writing session?
Word Count: 4,796
Summary: A simple car-buying expedition changes four girls' lives forever.
Chapter 2 – Fight or Flee
Quinn spins toward the unconscious form of her best friend, eyebrow quirking as she realizes this is the first time that the Latina has ever fainted. Her eyes flick back to the huge robotic men (she thinks they’re all men, anyway) before her and then back to the prone body on the ground.
Though before any of the still-awake girls can move, a small blast of water hits the former Head Cheerio, bringing the girl back into the land of the conscious. A glare is immediately set upon Santana’s face as she stumbles to her feet with the help of Brittany’s hand that quickly wrapped around her waist.
“What the hell?” the Latina growls out, clearly unhappy at being drenched from the chest up (she briefly entertains the compliment that whatever just woke her has really good aim).
“You fainted, S. So the big yellow and red one with all the lights on it sprayed you.” The grin that accompanies Brittany’s explanation is so adorable that Santana just nods and leans into her girlfriend, trying to rid herself of the vertigo that was battering her body.
The dating Cheerios subconsciously shuffle closer to their leader and the girl they used to torment as the biggest of the robots leans forward, bright blue lights shining like two stars in the sky. Stopping within a bare foot of Quinn’s face, it speaks in a gruff voice. “Are you Quinn Fabray?”
“Quinn, they know your name!” Brittany whispers from Quinn’s left, shrinking her taller frame behind the Head Cheerio and pulling a still uneasy Santana along with her. Quinn’s hazel eyes stay locked with the robot’s blue pair, even though her right hand snakes out and wraps itself around Rachel’s wrist, cementing the fact that this is all very, very real.
“Yeah, I’m Quinn,” she slowly replies, unsure where this is headed.
The blue and red robot straightens a little, eyes never leaving Quinn’s own. “My name is Optimus Prime. We are Autonomous Robotic Organisms from a planet named Cybertron, though you may call us ‘Autobots.’”
“Okay…” the blonde teen replies before asking the question that’s been on her mind since she first saw the huge robotic men (she’s about 99% sure they’re all men now). “Who are they, then?”
The hulking machine points to the small silver robot and beckons it forward before speaking. “This is my first lieutenant. Designation: Jazz.”
The smallest Autobot spins around and strikes a pose with his arms crossed over his chest. “What’s crackin’ ladies?”
Optimus moves on to the second biggest robot, the huge silver and black one. “Our weapons specialist: Ironhide.”
“You wanna rumble, little girl?” Ironhide growls out, locking eyes with Santana, who has a dangerous gleam in her eye and a smirk on her face.
“Ironhide,” the Autobot leader says, warning clear in his voice.
“I was just curious,” the scolded robot mumbles, hanging his head while Santana’s smirk blows into a full out grin.
“Our medical officer: Ratchet,” Optimus continues, pointing to the third yellow and red Autobot.
“Hmm,” Ratchet hums, looking closer at the four girls. “The blonde’s pheromone levels suggest she wants to mate with the brunette.”
Two pairs of human eyes, brown and hazel, shift to their left and stare at the still-entangled dating pair. Brittany just shrugs as Santana sends a glare to Rachel and Quinn, easily conveying that they should mind their own business.
“Quinn, Brittany.” The two blondes look back at the blue and red robot. “You already know your guardians: Jolt and Bumblebee.”
“Hi Jolt!” Brittany says, waving one hand up at her bright blue guardian.
Quinn, though, is silent; she’s staring up at the machine that she’s sure has bipolar disorder and has been ruining her semi-normal life for the past twenty-four hours. She finally quirks an eyebrow and opens her mouth to speak but is quickly cut off.
“Bumblebee is your name, then?” Rachel asks of the yellow and black ‘bot.
Bumblebee nods his head and fakes a few boxing moves, all while replying with a sound byte from Lady Antebellum’s Stars Tonight, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”
Everyone is silent as the girls take in all the last few minutes before Quinn finally gets the chance to speak. "Okay, so... so you're telling me that my car... my car is an alien robot. From another planet? And he’s not the only one?"
The big semi-patriotic one just nods as they all stand around in Rachel’s yard, looming over the house like the giants they are.
“Fuck my life,” Quinn quips before she feels her hand hit her hip. She looks over to Rachel and sees the girl narrow her eyes, a clear sign to take this seriously.
“So, why are you here, anyway?” Quinn and Rachel try to hide their shock as Santana questions this in a small, timid voice they’ve never heard her use before.
Optimus gracefully bends to stare the foursome in the eye as he begins to explain. “We are here looking for the All Spark. It is imperative that we find it before Megatron does.”
“Mega-what?” Brittany and Quinn ask simultaneously.
The girls step back as the hulking leader robot stands to his full height and begins a holographic projection on the pavement beneath their feet.
“Our planet was once a powerful empire, just and peaceful, until Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, betrayed us. He had his Decepticons destroy all who defied him and his ways. Our war consumed the planet and the All Spark was lost to the stars in the end. Megatron, in his thirst for power, followed it to Earth, where he crash-landed before he could retrieve the Cube.”
The girls stand still as the huge robot shuts down his hologram and returned to looking at them. “Somehow, Megatron’s navigation system came online seventy years ago as he was resting at the bottom of the ocean and imprinted the Cube’s coordinates on a man named Oliver Hood who was swimming in the water at that time - ”
“Wait, Oliver Hood? The same man who supposedly wrote You Are My Sunshine?” Rachel interrupts, clearly baffled by where the coordinates ended up.
“That very man,” Optimus replies and continues on. “We believe that Mr. Hood transferred the coordinates into the notes of that song, subconsciously hiding them in his original copy of the sheet music.”
The girls are silent as the seriousness of the situation dawns on them. None of them were sure what to ask of the machine before them when a thought crossed Santana’s mind.
“Q, didn’t you say that your grandparents bought the original copy of that song way before they moved up here?”
“Yeah, they gave it to me when I was learning to play the piano.” Realization dawns on the hazel-eyed girl and she looks up at the flame-painted leader. “You already knew this,” she states and when he didn’t deny, she moves on. “How?”
Quinn rolls her eyes at the seemingly smart-assed tone Optimus uses and turns her head when she feels a tug on her right hand.
“Please tell me you still have that sheet music?” Rachel asks with her brown eyes alight with worry.
"Yeah, I think so. It should still be in my room," Quinn answers after a minute of thinking.
"What the hell are we waiting for then? Let's go get this music from Q's place before the world implodes and there's no one left for me to intimidate," coaches Santana, much to everyone's surprise. She looked at them all for a minute. "What? I can't like the world just because I like to be a bitch?"
Before anyone else can speak, Ironhide speaks up. "Time's running out, Optimus. We must move now."
"Right," the blue and red robot nods. "We must get the sheet music and find where the coordinates lead. Autobots, roll out!"
And with those final words, the six Autobots meld and collapse back into their vehicle forms in a show of metal and light. Quinn and Rachel quickly climb into Bumblebee while Santana and Brittany follow suit with Jolt. The two guardians take off toward Quinn's house, leading the convoy to the empty Fabray home.
A few minutes later, Quinn practically jumps from the Camaro before he has the chance to stop and she bolts to the front door, Rachel right at her heels. "You two go get it, B and I are just gonna sit here," Santana remarks unnecessarily from her open window.
The running pair pay no mind to the Latina and finally make their way into the house; Quinn dashes up the stairs as a bright spotlight suddenly illuminates her entire home.
"What the hell is that?!" she throws out her window when she reaches her room.
"We really need that sheet music," Optimus says as Ironhide and Ratchet shine their headlights into the dark home.
"Well, cut the damn lights. Someone's gonna call the cops if you don't. And I'd like to think that's the last thing you want."
Quinn shuts the window and turns to Rachel. "Look on my bookshelf, I might have stuck the paper there somewhere." The girls shuffle through Quinn's room, upending any and all books, notebooks, and binders.
Rachel freezes after about five minutes, a single object held delicately within her grasp. "Quinn..." the brunette trails off while spinning slowly to the other girl.
The girl in question looks over at the pint-sized girl and feels her face flush when she sees what the other girl is holding.
“Why are these…” Rachel trails off trying to find another word for the garment in her hand, and for the first time, falls short. “… these on your shelf?”
“None of your business, Berry,” Quinn snaps, snatching her skimpy underwear from tanned hands. “Get back to searching. And just for the sheet music. I don’t need you snooping around in my room for things, Streisand.”
Another five minute passes before Rachel’s voice sounds once again, calling out Quinn’s name once again. Quinn makes her way across the room and peers over Rachel’s shoulder as her small hands unfold the piece of paper they’re holding. "That's it!"
Brown eyes boring into hazel, Rachel spins and fixes on the blonde with a firm gaze. "Why has this not been framed, or even at the very least, laminated, Quinn?! This is a piece of musical history, albeit not from Broadway, but it surely helped form some of those - “ Rachel’s mouth slams shut when Quinn glares at her fiercely and takes the sheet from her.
"Because Rachel, I didn't really care. Now let's go. Optimus wants this now." The duo runs back down the stairs, not even caring about the disarray that is now Quinn's room. They immediately head to the lavish backyard when they see nothing in front of the house. "We found it," Quinn announces and hands the sheet over to Optimus, who in turn studies the paper for barely half a minute before nodding.
"Good," he states. The huge robot is silent after that, looking at the paper in a strange way that makes Quinn think that it's not what they really need in the end. But the blonde is soon startled out of that thought as Optimus begins speaking again. "Time to roll out again, Autobots. After scanning the underlying images, it appears that we must head to the outskirts of Las Vegas to find the All Spark. The girls will come with us, they may be of use once we find the it."
Quinn tries to find it in her to argue, but truth be told, there are huge giant scary robots staring down at her and she isn’t about to tell them no, big scary robot alien men, I defy you!
That would just be dumb. And judging by the looks on Brittany, Rachel, and even Santana’s faces, it looks like a road trip is in their near future.
There's an almost awkward silence as the robots stare down at the four girls, probably smelling their pheromones or something creepy again, though not for long as Rachel realizes the entirety of the situation
"Well, what's keeping us here then? We need to optimize the time we have for this impromptu, but extremely important trip to Nevada."
"And how do you suggest we do that, Berry? Hop on a plane with six giant robot cars and say 'hey, we need to get to Vegas in the fastest way possible, but we need to take our six cars along too?'" Santana quips, narrowing her eyes.
"Of course not, Santana. We would never be able to leave the airport without security being hailed." Rachel continues on, ignoring Santana's eye roll, "No, we drive, obviously. If we take off right now, we should be able to make it by tomorrow evening with one stop later tonight to sleep and recharge."
Quinn looks at the small brunette, mentally trying to figure out how Rachel practically planned their entire trip in half a minute. The Head Cheerio gives up when she hears Bumblebee rev his engine behind her (how she missed him shifting into his car mode less than six feet away, she'll never know).
"I'm with Rachel," she says. "Let's just get this done with, I'd like to get back to normal as soon as possible."
"Quinn and Rachel are correct, we shall leave right now. Autobots, roll out!"
The girls climb into Bumblebee and Jolt as the other four 'bots shift around them, forming a convoy in front and behind as they take off.
Before long, Quinn's dying of boredom as she mimics driving Bumblebee. All she's seen for the past two hours is pastures and wheat fields. The blonde briefly entertains the idea of supporting Santana's idea of being world dictator and imploding the middle of the United States, just to get rid of the endless span of green and gold.
Thankfully, that train of thought is interrupted by Rachel sighing and shifting for the fifth time in as many minutes. The blonde immediately turns her head and cocks a perfectly arched eyebrow.
"Can you stop that? How hard is it to get comfortable, Berry?"
"Sorry, Quinn. I just cannot seem to find a position I like, or rather, that my body likes," Rachel replies, but she settles into a slight slouch anyway.
All's silent again after that before Rachel looks over to her companion and opens her mouth before shutting it again. She takes in the blonde's tense stature, seeing the firm set in her jaw and locked arms. It almost looks as if she's become a living statue, breathing just enough to barely expand her chest but not enough to cause major movements.
Rachel begins to open her mouth, but once again, snaps it shut as the radio dial spins abruptly and crackles until settling on a station, picking up right in the middle of Sia's Breathe Me. "Be my friend / Hold me, wrap me up / Unfold me / I am small / I am needy / Warm me up / And breathe me."
Immediately, Quinn reacts, surging forward and smacking the shit out of the car's dashboard. "Bumblebee!" she yells, kicking at the underside of the steering column. "You infuriate me, you know that?" Quinn directs to the radio, knowing he can hear her perfectly but needing something physical to talk to.
The crackling comes back as Bumblebee picks another song byte, this time a line from Paramore's Decoy, "Close your eyes and make believe this is where you want to be."
The car falls silent for a long while as the girls try and take in what the robot is trying to say with the lyric. Quinn breaks the silence, shaking her head and speaking softly, "I just want things to go back to normal."
Rachel wants to say something, but the only thing that comes out is a loud yawn, surprising both girls. Quinn looks over, her expression curious, and has to quell the instant need to smile at how cute Rachel's being as the brunette yawns again.
"Maybe you should sleep, it's been a long day," Quinn offers quietly, not really expecting an answer since she can see how hard Rachel's trying to keep her eyes open.
It's not a minute later that Bumblebee reclines the now-sleeping brunette's seat into a more comfortable angle for sleeping. Quinn ends up shuffling down in her own seat a little more and feels her seat move along with her.
"Thanks Bee," she says, letting her gaze drift to the right. "Sorry for hitting you so much."
Quinn doesn't know why she's apologizing to her car, not really. It (he? She's still not all that sure) hasn't been exactly nice to her, though it did save Rachel earlier in the day and that had to mean something. But still, it's a nice gesture if he's supposed to be protecting she and Rachel because no one wants to protect someone who's a colossal bitch to them.
Her only reply is a soft melody by a religious band she knows well, Remedy Drive, "If you're too far out that you can't see the shoreline / I'll be the light house shining in the night time / I will guide you home."
Quinn curls into herself as she lets the familiar song wash over her, silently wishing for someone to guide her somewhere in this crazy mess she stumbled into. The song ends and Bee shuffles his radio to what Quinn guesses is a local new-pop station as We'll Be A Dream starts playing.
The blonde doesn't even realize she's singing along softly until the song hits the end of the second verse and hazel eyes find themselves on a small body. Her eyes widen for a moment but return to normal as Quinn doesn't feel as wigged out as she should.
"Okay, I'm just tired and all that grass and wheat has warped my mind," she mutters, pushing away the little nagging voice inside her head.
"Liar, liar, pants on fire," a Scottish man sings at her and she hits the steering wheel in response.
Once again, silence falls in the car, the only sounds coming from the girls' breathing and even that is quieter than normal, it seems. Quinn's content to just sit there, listening to the car hum as Bee follows Jolt and Optimus down the dark two-lane highway.
She vaguely realizes that a new song has started, but for some reason, the cheerleader can't take her eyes off of a lone strand of brown hair that somehow fell across its owner's head. There's a strong urge bubbling in Quinn to reach over the small distance and push it back behind the sleeping girl's ear where it belongs, but she forces that to the back of her mind.
Unfortunately, by doing so, she clearly hears one line from the song playing softly throughout the car, "Fell in love with you in my passenger seat."
And even more unfortunate still, it's the only line that plays on a constant loop in her head from then on.
"Why does Santana not like me?"
Santana, who is sitting in the back seat of Jolt and trying to fall asleep, rolls her eyes at the poor car's obvious confusion with life. It was weird enough that she had to roll her eyes at a car, but this one appeared to be as stupid as they come. And it wasn't even the adorable kind of confused that her girlfriend specialized in.
Brittany, who is in the front passenger seat with her legs stretched out across to the driver's seat frowns and looks towards the LED screen where Jolt's words are showing up, then looks to Santana.
"Why do you not like Jolt, S?"
"I do like Jolt, I just...want to sleep. And you and Jolt keep talking, B," Santana says, trying to be apologetic and maintain the backbone she had once had, before she had caved and officially asked Britt to be her girlfriend, not just a hook-up. Q rubbed it in at every moment that she was totally whipped, and she really wanted to prove the girl wrong.
Of course, Q was totally getting bossed around by Manhands in that stupid yellow special car that had its voicebox broken or whatever and could only communicate with its radio. So obviously, neither of them were winning much with this stupid 'save the world and help the robots' business.
"We're sorry, Santana," the car speaks, its voice soothing and yet totally creeping Santana out at the same time. Brittany smiles softly and clambers into the backseat with Santana, gesturing for Santana to lay down and put her head on Brittany's lap.
She's right on the edge of unconsciousness when Jolt and Brittany strike up a conversation about the color of the sky.
"Why is the sky blue, Brittany?" the damn car asks, and Brittany interrupts her fingers brushing through Santana's hair to think the question through, before she Santana can feel her eyes drift down to Santana.
"Santana, why is the sky blue?"
Quinn is unsure whether she should be amused or amazed that her car, her beautiful, shiny, evil car was performing a spirited duet on All I Ask of You with Rachel Berry, who looks delighted at the motions Bumblebee is making.
It brings up weird feelings in her chest, watching Rachel sing so happily, even amidst the crazy situation they were in. Rachel threw herself so completely into singing, and it was hard to ignore the passion that just poured out of her. No matter what song it was, Quinn could hardly ever breathe when she heard the short girl sing.
She started trudging away, across the camp they had broken off in a little abandoned town Jazz had managed to find - he was currently "on patrol," whatever that meant for an alien robot that transformed into a shiny little shoebox of a car. Brittany and Jolt were engaging in a talk about the coolest farm animals, and Santana had settled into a non-transformed Ironhide after they bonded over their mutual love of violence.
Quinn finds herself looking over a steep drop, into a dark abyss where she presumes a hard ground is hiding. Sitting down with her feet stretched out just over the edge, she takes a glance back at Rachel, who is being hoisted into the air by an obviously joyous Bumblebee (her car, her beautiful, shiny ex-godsend of a damn car) during a sweeping burst of song that he's providing. She's smiling and squealing as he sets her back down and resumes singing the lyrics through the old recording, and Rachel's smile is infectious, because Quinn finds it spreading across her own.
She's distracted by Ratchet thumping down next to her, reaching over to poke her in the neck (although it's more like he's hitting all the space from her jaw to her collarbone).
"The smell of your pheromones is overwhelming when you look at the midget-sized human," he says clinically, before he adds his own opinion to the matter. "From what I have learned of the human race, all signs point to the myth named 'love.'"
Quinn stares up at the yellow and red, obviously insane robot, trying to wrap her head around whatever nonsense he had just said.
Before she can even begin to scream at him for implying what she thinks he is, for trying to rummage around in her brain, for reading her body's signals or whatever the fuck he's doing that she wants him to stop doing, Optimus Prime is standing at her side, looking kind and Dumbledore-ish, despite his imposing and large figure.
"Quinn, it would not do you well to deny the way you feel," Optimus says, and Quinn feels everything in her rising up, telling her to tell him to shut the hell up, but instead she's shutting up like a clam, her fingers clenching together and she looks out into the dark night, trying to ignore her life.
"Your heart rate increases in rapidity whenever you're with her. We've been watching you," Ratchet adds, and Quinn's mouth opens to try and inform Ratchet of how super creepy that is, but Optimus is speaking again.
"Your destiny, Quinn Fabray, lies out in this desert, and it aligns with ours. But it is yours and yours alone. We chose the people that loved you most, above all others, who believed in you, who made you strong, who you love, to bring along on this journey. Rachel Berry is your love," Optimus says, looking down at Quinn with unblinking eyes.
Quinn stares up at him, unsure as to what she should say.
She knows, somewhere in her head, that she should be protesting, telling the crazy robot man that her life was fucked up, sure, but she wasn't in love with Rachel fucking Berry, because hell, that would be just the capper on her hellish existence.
But her heart heard the sound of Rachel singing and it sung right back.
It always had - it just always had, for as long as Quinn could remember. She didn't want to remember, but it did. And when two big robot alien men were telling it to her straight, what she could do?
"Your life has been hard, Quinn, and it will not be easier over the coming days. You will need to be strong, in the face of danger, in the face of possible death. If you survive, your human life will continue on, and unhappiness will slink in at every moment. We have seen the depths and span of human emotion, and we have seen no one who is as strong or happy as you as when Rachel Berry smiles at you. Human life is short, compared to ours. And you deserve the happiness that you have not allowed yourself to enjoy."
Quinn glances behind her, to Rachel, who looks up at just the right time and catches Quinn's eyes, smiling happily as Bumblebee shuffles through the static of the radio before settling on Islands in the Stream.
"I kind of hate that I've been trying to ignore this for...forever, and then my life fucks itself up and I befriend robots and now they're telling me all about what I deserve and how much I love Rachel Berry," Quinn whispers, knowing the two robots on either side of her can hear her.
"You have never been able to ignore her fully," Ratchet says. "Your body betrays you."
"Okay, thanks, Doc," Quinn mutters, glaring over at the robot unhappily. "Can we not talk about how my body reacts or whatever? It doesn't matter, okay? This pep talk is useless. Be happy you got me to admit it and please, just leave me alone."
"Nothing is useless, Quinn," Optimus says gently. "No moment you live will ever be useless."
"Right, okay. I'm a worthwhile speck of dust in the universe, I know. I wasn't talking about that. I get it. I...like, love, whatever, Rachel Berry. That's the end of the story."
"It isn't," Ratchet says, turning his head to look to the stars. "The small annoying one displays the same symptoms as you, for you."
Quinn stares openmouthed up at him for a few moments before her brain clicks into motion.
"What?" she yells, jumping up and looking between the two large robots accusingly. "You couldn't have just, led off with that first?"
"We are sorry, Quinn, for bringing all this information on you so quickly into our journey together. But...we felt that it needed to be said. If these are your last days, you should live them with the girl you love, and you should love her without fear," Optimus says, before he nods to Ratchet. "Relieve Jazz of patrol, Ratchet."
Ratchet pats Quinn on the head (she winces and tries to stave off her eyes watering from the pounding) before jumping up and transforming with a series of loud clanks and hydraulic sounding movements, then drives off out of the abandoned area.
Optimus gives Quinn one last look, before gesturing at into the dark night.
"This world's fate rests with you, Quinn Fabray. It owes you a supreme happiness. And that happiness lies waiting for you. Take it," he says, before stepping away and moving over to pull Bumblebee away from Rachel.
Quinn watches as Rachel sits down on a small bench that Ironhide had bent into shape from the remains of a steel sheet of some sort and smiles up at the sky happily.
And then she turns to face the dark night, to the stars twinkling down at her, and wonders what the fuck her life has become.