Word Count: 2,511
Timeline: Futurefic. And I do mean future.
Notes: Seriously, this is crackfic. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this. Seriously.
The silver and black racer9800 had turned right at GeuseMark12 about fifteen minutes ago and despite the air of confidence that Logan tried to maintain, he was wondering if maybe he had missed his own right turn. Or left. "Oh hell," he muttered under his breath. Glancing quickly over at the passenger seat, he smiled at the petite blonde settled there. "I'm not lost," he said firmly.
There was no response.
"Veronica," he enunciated her name carefully and repeated with as much firm conviction as he was capable of, "I am not lost."
With a frustrated sigh, he looked away from her and back out the front cruise window. The Gates Galaxy lay before him in all of its spectacular glory. Twinkling stars near and far as the eye could see ... but not one damn exit buoy or GLP anywhere for miles. Drumming his fingers lightly against the crashboard, Logan glanced down at the direction screen, idly wondering why he was still being told to turn left on Mock32 after driving MainGates for 2000 miles. They'd been on the main galaxway for over an hour now and had passed the 2g mark twenty minutes ago.
He looked ahead again. Yep, nothing but stars, baby, nothing but stars. No turn lane buoy with Mock32 or any other number ahead and he'd passed the last stationary Galaxy Lane Patrol fifteen minutes ago. Tapping the direction window once more, he hoped for a miracle.
- Travel MainGates – 200,001.4 miles
Turn left at the Mock32 Lane Buoy - 2085.9 miles
"I told you to get that looked at last week," his wife commented with just a touch too much innocence in her tone to even deny the toldyouso note in her voice.
Logan swiveled his front seat the full ¾ inches it was capable of in her direction. "I did have it looked at, Veronica. Roger said it was working fine," his voice dropped, "mostly. And anyway," he continued in a much louder tone, "I had no problem with it until you drove it last weekend to outer Planetville."
"Do not call it that. You know how sensitive Wallace is about that. Everyone thought it would be a fine center of commerce in the Gates Galaxy. Who knew a gas field would be caused by the construction around the satellite?" Veronica glared at him before beckoning to the cruise window. "Watch where you're going."
"Get Lost Punk isn't for another five minutes." He motioned his hand in front of him. "In case you hadn't noticed, there's just space out there."
"Oh, I noticed," she returned brattily. "And babe, you're already lost –"
"—Haha, very funny. That's cute. Excuse me, Galaxy Lane Patrol –"
"-- That's why there's just space." Veronica continued without missing a beat. And then with a sweet smile, "you missed the Mock32 Buoy over twenty minutes ago."
Jerking around to look at her again, Logan's eyes were incredulous. "You're kidding me, right? You knew?! You knew that I missed the buoy and didn't say a word. Typical, this is just typical …" He turned back to stare out in space, silently fuming.
"If I had said something, you would have told me that you weren't lost and would have kept on driving anyway." His wife insisted with exasperation. And then softly, "In the wrong direction."
"I heard that," he snapped. "Besides, you don't know that I would have done that. Had you said something, I might have realized that you were right," he ignored her snort of disbelief, "and turned around so that we weren't THIRTY MINUTES OUT OF OUR WAY!"
She met his frustrated gaze calmly. "Mm hmm, that's exactly what you would have done, honey, you just keep telling yourself that and we'll just ignore our last two spacetrips to new, exciting locations that took a wrong turn or two … or three … or a dozen."
"One of these days you're just going to have to face up to the fact that you have no sense of direction," she continued calmly. "Not that you ever will," she added quietly.
"I heard that." Not quiet enough.
Wzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Suddenly roared behind them. The stars disappeared for a flash of a moment as another racer9800 -– this one gold and black -– zoomed around and in front of them. Logan slammed his foot on the brake pad and the IEfield momentarily thrust he and Veronica both sharply against their seats. A low hum filled the vacuum around them as the solar energy from their spacevan interacted with space. Logan was still for a moment, collecting his breath as the IEfield evaporated around him. And then he pounded on the crashboard horn, hearing the satisfying sonar boom overshadow the hum. "Galaxfreak!" He yelled, hitting the horn once more for good measure. "I was in the prescribed spacezone." He measured out carefully to his wife.
"Yes, you were, dear," Veronica responded, her voice slightly shaky. "I hate those new racerthings." She shivered dramatically. "For a moment, all I saw was the orange glow of his back engine fuel. I thought we were going to die. How fast was that thing going?"
"I don't know, but I'd sure like to know." He shifted his foot back onto the SEaccelerator and pressed the ignition key, slowly easing back into GalaxwayFly mode.
"I'm so glad that you reconsidered and didn't buy that racer; you've read the latest safety reports?" Veronica continued, still staring straight ahead at the once again white starred black space before them, the racer9800 completely out of sight now.
"Yeah, good thing I didn't buy it," Logan responded and if she caught the wistful note in his voice, she chose to ignore it. Shaking his head slightly, Logan turned to glance at his wife, biting the bullet. "Okay, what should I do? Keep on going until I reach the next Get Lost Punk or turn around now and catch the one we passed fifteen minutes ago?"
Her eyes widened and she rejoined in mock surprise, "You're asking me?" When he didn't play along, she merely grinned and then answered seriously. "Galaxy Lane Patrol."
"No, not whatever. One of these days, you're gonna screw up and say that that while talking to them and then you'll be in a world of trouble. Remember what happened last time you called Nightsun OuterPlanetville? Wallace didn't speak to you for days."
"That? Was a blessing. And besides your BFF and a GLPatrol officer are entirely different species –"
"—Logan," she warned.
"I don't mean literally. Look, everyone calls ‘em Get Lost Punk, if I was to slip – which I won't – they're not gonna ticket me."
"Famous last words –"
"—Veronica," it was his turn to warn.
"I'm just saying. Okay, directions. Turn around, and for heaven's sake just turn the direction window off," she fussed as he tapped it to enter new calculations. "It's broken, Logan, and no, I did not break it when I went to outer – when I went to Nightsun. You broke it when you spilled coffee on the crashboard last week."
He opened his mouth to refute her claim, but with a quick glance down at the window where in the right upper corner a brown stain still lurked, he shut it and turned around.
"How many miles are you supposed to be going?" Veronica asked in the quiet.
Logan glanced over at her, "The spazezone is 5000mph here. Why?"
Pointing at the speedometer, she raised an eyebrow. "How fast are you going, Logan? It sure feels like more than 5000 …"
Carefully easing his foot off of the SEaccelerator, Logan shrugged slightly. "I'm going a little over."
"12,000," he admitted sheepishly, but before she could comment, he went on. "Look, there's no one around, GLP is about ten minutes away and we've got to make up some time. Come on, most people go 5000 over anyway …" he reasoned. Reasonably, he thought.
"You're going 7000 over," she reminded him.
"5000, 7000, what's the diff—"he stopped mid-sentence, his mouth dropping open. "No, no, no," he cried as a Galaxy Lane Patrol a.k.a. Get Lost Punk spacecruiser appeared in his rearview window, its warning klaxon surrounding them. "What the hell?"
Dropping her face in her hands, Veronica shook her head and murmured not to him, but the otherwise empty spacevan, "just don't call them …" she didn't finish speaking as the automatic GLP audio kicked on in their SUV.
"Stop your space utility vehicle for Galaxy Lane Patrol Correction."
Easing up on the SEaccelerator, Logan scrupulously avoided looking at his wife, just knowing exactly what her expression would be. It would be the ‘I told you so' look wrapped up in the long-suffering gaze of a martyr. It was an expression he had no desire to see at this exact moment in time.
"Sir, do you realize how fast you were going?" came the disembodied voice over the GLP channel.
"No, patrolman, I'm sorry. I was," he gulped, in that second not knowing which was worse, admitting his status in front of his wife or to the Get Lost Punk. The second passed and he felt the humiliation, "lost. I was concentrating on where I was going."
"… Or not," Veronica murmured under her breath.
With a warning glance her way, Logan plastered a smile on his face despite the fact that the GLP couldn't see him. "And I lost track of my spacezone. I do apologize, officer, it won't happen again."
"Lost, heh? Well, this is still a fairly new galaxway, why didn't you just access-call one of the nearby GLP stations. There are five within frequency?" Logan's fake smile faded slightly into a more natural one as he noted the concern and, yes, he could hear it, the masculine understanding of his dilemma.
"Well, I had hoped that with just a few more thousand miles, I'd find the exit to my destination and the nearest Get Lost Punk wouldn't be –" he broke off as Veronica badly stifled a giggle beside him. "What?" He asked and then immediately spoke to the GLP. "I'm sorry; I was speaking to my wife. As I was saying –"
"—Yes, what were you saying?" came the GLP reply and Logan's smile completely faded because the tone was different. The concern was gone. Definitely gone. As was the masculine understanding. That was very definitely gone.
"Sir?" He questioned tentatively and looked at Veronica, his hands rose in the eternal why. What did I do? His wife just silently laughed, but there was real compassion in her eyes.
"You said that the nearest what?!" The Get Lost Punk patrolman voice was like a whip and Logan shut his eyes in mortification as the words ‘get,' ‘lost' and ‘punk' passed through his mind. I will forever listen to my wife in whatever she says from this moment on if you'll just get me out of this mess, he silently promised God.
"Galaxy Lane Patrol?" he managed to squeak out.
"WHAT?!" came the reply, fiercer and whippier.
"Sir, the Galaxy Lane Patrol Station. Officer, I know I didn't say that, but I fervently beg of you to forget that I said what I actually said." And he shot the most evil glare he could muster at the woman he had just sworn to obey in all things as her entire frame shook with the mirth of her silent laughter.
"7,000 miles over the prescribed spacezone," The GLP's voice was now a clipped formality and Logan sighed knowing that fate had decided to kick him in the rear as his earlier words came back to haunt him. "Please indicate that you've received your Eticket in the appropriate box," the very unconcerned GLP officer continued as the traffic surveillance window displayed the ticket information on Logan's crashboard. He indicated. Veronica laughed. Still.
"Thank you, Mr. Echolls." And Logan was sure that his smile was as cool as his voice. "Now," and the frost melted into a sneer, "get lost, punk."
Logan was still for a moment before risking a glance at his silent and (mercifully for her) no longer laughing spouse. "Not a word."
"Look," Veronica offered tentatively as they came in sight – at last – of the buoy marked Mock32. It was the first words she had spoken since he'd gotten his ticket. "Logan?"
"Yes, I see it. Wonderful. I'm sure this we'll be the best meal ever." He sighed as he turned right at the marked buoy. "We've certainly suffered enough to get here," he muttered.
"Come on, honey. You'll laugh about this someday." Ignoring his grimace, she continued. "And the food is supposed to be amazing here. I really love that you wanted to surprise me with this tonight. It will be worth it from all of the raves I've heard."
Logan looked over at her, his face softening to a wistful smile. "I just wanted to do something special for you, babe." Reaching over she took his hand, their fingers, entwining, "I know. And hey, it's the thought that counts, right?"
"Ri –" he began and then his voice died as he glanced out the cruise window. "I don't believe this."
"What?" She looked up. "The thought that counts," she muttered dryly. "Right." Logan slowed the SUV down and the vehicle hovered before a most unwelcome sight. Before them an enormous sign flashed bright and blue: Welcome to The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy.
Below it flashing bright and red: Closed.
Dropping her hand, Logan leaned forward and banged his head against the crashboard, not caring if he ignited anything. "Logan," Veronica sighed. "Let's just go home."
"Okay, the good news is that we now know exactly where The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy is," he broke off with a quick smile, "I do love those books." At a look from his wife, he cleared his throat and continued, "And we can come back next Friday. It will still be worth it then." Logan smiled over at Veronica as he pulled to a stop at the Mock32 Buoy. She nodded. Touching the pads for left and right traffic surveillance, he checked both and then pulled out onto MainGates, turning right. He laughed and sent a smile Veronica's way, "Hey look at it this way. We'll have something to tell the kids someday. When we have kids," he added. Sighing, Veronica bit her bottom lip and looked over her shoulder out the rearview window. "Hey, we can grab some fast food once we get to Earth. I am sorry."
"Right," she nodded again and then glanced over her shoulder once more.
Blowing out a puff of frustrated air, Logan tapped the crashboard dully. "What's wrong? Now, you don't think I can manage fast food?"
Veronica took a deep breath, smiled and then … "Earth was left at 32."