i can’t help myself i’m sorry
“Hey, pal, you’re in the wrong parking spot,” says the Jeep. It’s an older build, light blue paint with some definite wear and tear. Its engine pings as it cools. Two teenage boys jumped out of it about five minutes ago and raced into the high rise.
“I’m sorry,” says Toyota RAV4 2013 Crossover SUV. His friends called him Rav. Well, they would have, if he’d had any back at the lot. But he was new/used and the floor models didn’t speak to him much, even though his previous owner had returned him within 30 days. For a Prius. ”I think you’re mistaken. I’ve been parked in this space all night.”
The Jeep makes a grinding noise. “Look, I’m trying to help you out here. That spot belongs to a very snarly Camaro, and if he gets back and finds you here, you’re gonna need some cosmetic work.”
“Oh, dear,” says Rav, his engine sinking. “Did you… Did you know the Camaro?”
The Jeep goes eerily quiet. “What do you mean?”
“I saw him when Owner Hale was negotiating my price. The Camaro didn’t… I’m afraid he didn’t get much for the trade-in. Something about damage from a bear?”
“What.” Steam hisses from under the Jeep’s hood.
“I’m sorry,” Rav says. “Was he your friend? Listen, if you need a chassis to lean on, I’ve got a solid construction and—”
“Don’t talk to me,” the Jeep growls dangerously.
Rav goes quiet, and autolocks his doors to show his silence.
When the Jeep’s owner gets in a few minutes later and opens the driver’s door, the Jeep swings the door out a little further and dings Rav’s side.
What an asshole.
“What are we doing, what are we doing, oh my God, the manufacturers didn’t intend this! THIS VOIDS MY WARRANTY!”
“Shut up and put on some speed!” the Jeep honks. “They’re gaining on us!”
“Yes, I can see that, thank you,” Rav replies, tires beating a heavy tattoo against the asphalt. “I do have the latest Blind Spot Monitor!”
“Hope you have shock absorbers, too!” the Jeep honks gleefully, pulling ahead just as something slams into Rav’s left rear side, causing Owner Hale to swerve slightly and dig his claws into the steering wheel.
“What was THAT?” Rav says, engine revving in terror.
“God, you really are fresh off the lot,” the Jeep says. Its engine is purring. The freak of manufacturing must actually enjoy this.
“For the love of Toyota, my first owner used me to drive her kids to soccer practice! My tires aren’t even off-road!”
The Jeep gives a bellowing laugh that sounds like a backfire. “Welcome to the mean streets of Beacon Hills, fancy rims! Take the next left turn as hard as you can and pray your stabilizers work!”
Rav has been to the mechanic six times. There are stains in his upholstery that will never come out.
He and the Jeep have towed each other out of danger. He’s given the Jeep a battery jump twice. The Jeep took an impact made for him and never mentioned the new bumper.
The Jeep is still an asshole, but against all reason, Rav has grown fond of it. A little too fond of it: Lately, he’s been wishing Owner Hale would park them closer.
“Can I ask you a personal question?” he says.
“Shoot,” the Jeep replies lazily. They haven’t been chased by anything in nearly a week, and they’re resting while their owners are parked inside.
“Do… Do you prefer gear sticks or, erm, tailpipes?” Rav asks, flicking his windshield wipers, a nervous tic he hasn’t managed to shake since the factory.
There’s a hum from the Jeep’s engine, like it’s considering. “Both.”
“Ah.” That doesn’t really tell him much. “So, would you say you’re fun and flirty…?” Rav hedges. “Or sporty and masculine? Your, uh. Your make. I mean.”
“Dude, I’m a dude,” the Jeep honks angrily. “How could you not know?”
“I didn’t want to assume,” says Rav quickly. “You’re a lovely neutral powdery blue. You don’t see that color much as an option anymore.”
“Custom paint job,” the Jeep replies, tires puffing up in pride.
“It looks good on you,” Rav says. “And your make doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other. I’m a Crossover, after all.”
The Jeep gives an amused beep. “You know what, Ravvie, you’re not so bad.”
“Yes?” Rav asks.
“I mean, you’re still kinda prissy,” the Jeep continues.
“Wanting a wash and wax once a week is not prissy,” Rav bristles. “Just because dust and Bondo aren’t holding me together—”
“See, that right there. That’s why you’re okay. I don’t mind being in the spot next to you.”
“Really?” Rav asks.
“Don’t let it go to your pretty little grille,” the Jeep says, rolling his headlights. “You’ve still got a lot to learn.”
Rav settles more comfortably in his space, feeling warmth flood his drive train. “Want me to turn on Pandora and roll down the windows?”
“I could go for some mood music,” the Jeep says carefully. “I’ve got some, uh. I’ve got some real nice motor oil in the back that I’ve been saving.”
Very slowly, they both pop open their doors until the metal edges are touching.
Derek and Stiles come down about half an hour later.
“What the hell happened to our cars?” Stiles asks.
Derek shrugs and, when Stiles isn’t looking, pats his car on the hood.