I might as well post this here... "Full Service". A Kiss-Play fanfic starring Skids. An Autobus Prime joint. ***************************************************************** In a certain part of Kansas, at a certain time of year, a landscape of alien beauty appears: vast fields of blooming, yellow sunflowers. It was on a day like this that one soldier in an incomprehensible war found himself traveling through it, on a road as straight as a rifle shot, and was moved to sentimental thoughts. He thought of his Charlene -- small, graceful, and pretty. He thought of her playful voice and adventurous ways, and of her soft, caressing hands, and... "SKIDS!" The soldier named Skids quickly returned to the road with a small squeal, leaving a black patch of tire tread on the opposing lane. An angry trucker blasted his horn in anger before his log-laden Kenworld swept by the errant car, still swaying from the sudden swerve. His CB crackled as he picked it up to complain to his convoy-mate behind him. "DAMN IT! Did you see that, Pig Pen? -- No? DAMN woman was sleeping at the wheel! I saw her with my own bloodshot baby blues. -- One of them little Japanese cars that looks like a toaster." In the little toaster-like car, the woman, now suddenly and thoroughly awake, fumbled with shaky hands for her cigarettes. "Can't you keep your mind on the road, Skids?" she asked the car of which she was the lone occupant. "Sorry!" came a voice from the radio, cutting into an old Brick Springhorn song. "I don't know what came over me." "I do. You were thinking about HER again, about Charlene." "Well -- I was. Yes, Vicky, I was." Vicky took both hands off the wheel and let Skids steer again while she lit her cancer stick. Stupid Commies didn't put cigarette lighters in cars any more. After a while she laid her hand on the windowsill and let the smoke trail out the window. She couldn't really blame Skids for his daydreams, though she'd never admit as much to the Autobot. Vicky had dreams of her own. She had a dream that one day her temper would rise up, overcome her good sense, and allow her to kick the ever-lovin' silicone out of that little surfer-tramp, Melissa Fairborne. There was scarcely a cell in Victoria Boulger's body that didn't bear some grudge against that little hussy, ever since the day her jealous eyes caught Bill Boulger in mid-ogle. She had made him one sorry husband for a few days. Though that was all smoothed over now, Vicky still hated Melissa. Bill was only the first reason of many. The little bitch! She looked young for her age, Melissa did. In fact, one of her (many) boyfriends had been arrested, jailed, and run into some unpleasantness with his cellmate before it transpired that his seeming statutory victim was actually of consenting age, and consenting inclinations. All too many consenting inclinations, the little bitch. That was an embarrassing day for the justice system, anyway. Of course, the worst part of it all was that Ms Fairborne was Vicky's superior officer... A sudden WHUMP startled the woman from her angry musings. She dropped her cigarette, and it got sucked out the window, tumbling down the road like a tiny meteor. "Jinchokon", spoke the radio, between verses of "Dancing in the Night" "Groundhog," corrected Vicky. "What?" asked Skids, puzzled. "Not Jinchokon, whatever that means." "Exactly!" said Skids. Now Vicky was puzzled. "I heard about it yesterday from Wheeljack, who said he heard it from Prime. It's supposedly how this kiss-and-play business works. He thinks it's a crock of slag. Those were his exact words, actually, 'a crock of slag'." "Kiss-Play is a crock of slag? I couldn't agree more. " "No, Jinchokon is. I do not think it necessary to posit a new form of energy to explain every phenomenon, no matter how unusual..." Skids was getting pedantic again, Vicky noted. Hours later, on an equally straight road, but without the sunflowers, Brick Springhorn was still not back. Vicky had one cigarette left and she intended to keep it in reserve. She knew just what she had to do. "This is all very well, Skids," she said, interrupting yet another theory as pleasantly as she could manage. "but it worked last time, so maybe we shouldn't worry so much about the how and why of it." "Well, that may be so. Ah...and speaking of last time..." "Don't." "Of course." Instantly silenced, Skids allowed Brick Springhorn to resume his New York City ballads. Of Skids' several obsessions, this was by far the easiest for Vicky to tolerate. She settled comfortably into the seat, but got very little rest before she was distracted by a small, blue sign which flashed quickly by. "Gas," she said, repeating the sign's silent proclamation. "We'd better stop and fill up, Skids. There aren't many stations around here." *** The station was small and strangely isolated, with a bright, bold sign advertising "Super Gasoline Z-1". "This off-brand crud makes my fuel convertors ache," grumbled Skids. "We're not supposed to break cover, Vicky, so you'll have to start the pump. Oh, and could you --" "I am not washing your windows." "--No! Of course not." Skids' silly flame decals suddenly seemed redder than usual. "I was going to ask you to go in and pay. The Autobots only have an account at Blackrock stations. I'll see that Swerve cuts you a check." "Very well." The pump began its all-too-rapid ticking, and Vicky gazed around at the wide grazing lands around them. They were in the loneliest parts of Kansas now, those vast spaces which were almost reminiscent of the Old West. She turned to view the accumulating wallet devastation, and the prominent 'NO SMOKING' sign reminded her of a certain urge. Jamming Skids' gas cap under the pump handle, she walked towards the tiny building that held the filling station's store and repair garage. A bell jangled as she walked in. "Whoaaaaaa, customer. Awwwriiight!" said a voice. It seemed to come from an assembly of tie-dyed fabric and facial hair behind the counter. It wore a rather unkempt uniform cap and name tag, and one had to assume it was human, from the rather bloodshot eyes that gleamed in its probable face behind a set of blue sunglasses. They gazed at the newcomer in what may have been rapt attention or complete unawareness. "Uh...hi," said Vicky, walking to the counter. The clerk's stare was disconcerting. Vicky was in her late 20s, and built like a brick house -- triple brick, American bond, with steel beams and tie rods throughout. Her daddy had had five daughters and a herd of Holsteins to manage, and it had all gone very well. Vicky herself could fill up two 5-gallon buckets of water and hold them out at arm's length -- but she was no hulking mass of muscle. She was well-proportioned and quite good-looking in a locomotive way, and sometimes the attention this brought was almost welcome, but it was always irritating. She shrugged off the annoyance. There was business to be done. "I'd like two packs of Lucky Shot non-filters, please." Outside, Skids was listening to a few birds chirping, when he became aware of a strange sensation. He felt oddly violated, and as he considered the source of his feeling he realized it was coming from his fuel tank. Try as he might, he could find no reasonable explanation for it, but he had an odd suspicion. He listened carefully and heard no traffic. The clerk was a problem, but the brass would have to deal with it. With a whir of gears and clanking of joints, Skids' Japanese-built body shifted rapidly to robot mode. Seizing the gas filler, he yanked it out, and watched grimly as a small siphon tube and some micro-manipulators withdrew into the nozzle. The Autobot reached up, doffed a peculiar hat, and unfolded it into a small pistol. "Vicky!" he called to his partner, who was already running across the parking lot. "WHAT the hell do you think you're doing?" she began, but could get no more out before Skids swept her up in his left arm, quickly retreating to the road, keeping his pistol pointed toward the gas station. No answer was offered, nor needed, as the station apparently began to collapse. Through the picture window, Vicky saw the holographic clerk blur and vanish, and soon there was no gas station, but a tower flanked by armored pillboxes, bristling with guns. A gray pickup truck with oversized mud tires that had been parked in the back drove around and transformed into a visor-eyed robot with a Decepticon symbol and enough garish yellow and purple to make Tracks blind. The Decepticon was about half Skids' height, and had a particularly unpleasing smile. Skids knew this small scoundrel, though Vicky didn't. "Greasepit," he said, by way of explanation. Skids didn't like Micromasters terribly well. He only knew a few like Fixit who didn't have very unpleasant personalities and no respect for authority. This he attributed to what the humans termed a 'Napoleon Complex'. "Well, well. I'll be cross-threaded if I ain't caught you in the very act, Skids. I thought you'd given up the squishies." Greasepit leered at Vicky. "Save the pleasantries for your prison buddies, Greasepit. You're under arrest." "Arrest? Ha. Pardon me while I start up the base." Greasepit made a dash for his armored control pod, while a round from Skids' handgun skipped over the pavement behind him. He made it, and the transformed gas station began to vibrate ominously. Perched on Skids' left arm, Vicky silently swore. Skids was a lousy shot even on the target range. "Now lessee," announced Greasepit, "Do you wanna be fried by my ionic cannons, smashed by sound waves, burnt up by incendiary missiles, or should I just scramble yer circuits?" Skids' human partner began to get nervous, and wondered if she should try to find some cover, and if such cover could be obtained anywhere in the Kansas plains. She looked at the Autobot, and noticed to her shock that he was smiling a little. Then he began to chuckle softly, and to laugh. "Ionic cannons, Greasepit?" he gasped, his optic actuators leaking a little hydraulic fluid. "Sonic blasters? Don't you tell everybody that an engine is no better than the fuel that runs it? Well, what are you going to tell Ratbat when you burn up a month's worth of stolen energy with one cannon shot?" Greasepit looked uncomfortable, then angry. "Missiles are cheap to fire." "Incendiary missiles, at this close range, with perhaps 10000 gallons of highly flammable stolen hydrocarbons near at hand? I'll see you in the Pit!" Greasepit only scowled, and Skids laughed all the harder. Suddenly Skids' arm darted to his face. There was a bright flash and a loud, cracking report. The Autobot's head was saved, but his pistol fell uselessly from his mangled and burned right hand. "Yer reflexes are good for a desk jockey," growled Greasepit, smoke and heat-waves rising from a standard-issue laser pistol in the Micromaster's hand. "They won't save you from the next one. I think I'll sell yer carcass to the Junkions. Don't know what I'll do with the fleshling, though. Maybe she can run the store. " Skids made no answer. He groaned in anguish, hydraulic oil and coolant dripping from his mutilated arm. The theoretician had never had a good tolerance for pain. Vicky, however, had not been idle, and had suddenly come up with a plan. "WAIT!" she yelled, as Greasepit aimed his gun squarely at Skids' chest. "What the Pit --?" "Please! Let me kiss my boyfriend --" Ugh. But she had to keep going "-- before you kill him. Just one kiss!" Now it was the Micromaster's turn to laugh, and he laughed hard. "Your what?" He couldn't say it. It was too much. "So you're into this whole twisted techno-organic thing that Skids has going on! Oh, you kiss him all right. You kiss him good. Heck, maybe you can even kiss me when he's not around for ya!" He reached down and fumbled through the miscellany of trash on his base's control panel. "I got a camera around here somewhere. The Constructicons have got to see this." Balancing on Skids' arm, Vicky stood on tiptoe and reached out, placing her hands on her partners neck-plating. Skids looked up with dull, pain-filled optics, but managed a smile. Then they kissed. First there was a flash from Greasepit's disposable camera. Then there was a flash from a twin electron blaster that had suddenly erupted from the left arm of an Autobot's auto-maker-fabricated body. Greasepit hit the ground like a sack of malfunctioning toasters, smoke eddying from his overloaded circuits, every safety trip tripped and every fuse blown, a good week's work for Decepticon maintenance. *** The sun was setting as a little toaster-like car with an industrial-grade woman at the wheel rolled across the Colorado line. In its back seat were cases of cigarettes, motor oil, and light refreshments. Skids' gas tank was brimming with super-premium unleaded. Brick Springhorn was on the radio. The Autobot was handling the driving, while Vicky had her dinner: a plastic-wrapped ham salad sandwich and a somewhat warm diet cola. "You know, Skids, Greasepit keeps a pretty good store, even if he is a "small-minded swindler", as Prowl said." "He may, but I can't say as much for his gasoline," replied the Autobot. "I'm going to need a few cans of injector cleaner after this blend of slop and water." "How's your arm?" "The pain-control programs helped, and thank you for patching it up so well. I'm sure Wheeljack will be able to repair it perfectly when we return." Finishing her sandwich, Vicky retrieved a strip of beef jerky from the back seat, bit off a chunk, and chewed thoughtfully for a while. "Well, we won," she said. "But that kiss -- Bill's got no need to be jealous, that's for sure." "Nor does Charlene," said Skids. They didn't speak to each other until Colorado Springs. THE END.