Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. All recognizable characters are the property of HasTak. All unrecognizable ones are the intellectual property of yours truly; their theft is punishable by severe voodoo-induced pain in any and all sensitive organs of the body, followed by eternal damnation.
Because, you know, stealing is wrong.
Title: Earth Studies 101
Summary: Transformers AU. Sparkbearer sidestory. Professor Evelyn Hughes of Mason City College is accustomed to teaching linguistics, but when one is friends with a crew of giant alien robots, one must be prepared to teach lessons of a very different sort. Drabbles and oneshots.
Warnings: mild cursing
Author Notes: And here we have a glimpse into Evelyn's not-so-distant future. Consider this a tide-me-over to all the Jux fans waiting for me to get off my aft… or a shameless bribe to prevent death-threats or any of that nasty business. However you want to take it. X3
Earth Studies 101
Society: Transportation: Traffic Laws
Need I remind you, 007, that you have a license to kill, not to break the traffic laws.
- Q, Goldeneye
The stylist actually let out a little squeal of dismay as she ran her hands through Evelyn's too-long hair.
"Oh, honey, what happened to you?" she murmured, the pity in her voice more suited to someone inquiring after a battered woman's latest black eye rather than a severe case of split ends.
Evelyn relaxed back into the chair, trying not to fidget beneath the tent-like cloth wrapped in a stranglehold around her neck. "I've been out of the country. Amazing what a year without conditioner can do, isn't it?"
"Oh, honey." The stylist's expression could only be described as appalled. "You poor thing. Just hang tight, okay? I'll have you fixed up just quick as you please. How much did you say you wanted taken off?"
Evelyn felt her muscles beginning to unwind as she settled down to enjoy the unique pleasure of having one's hair pampered. The stylist was good at her job, quick but gentle, keeping up light banter about inconsequential things as she combed the thick mass of hair into some semblance of order and wetted it down to settle flyaway strands. The quiet snip-snip of the scissors made a rhythmic counterpoint to the latest hair-salon gossip and the whirring of hairdryers and the buzzing of a razor from the furthest station.
The relaxing atmosphere was shattered as the too-familiar strains of the Star Wars theme blared jauntily from the depths of Evelyn's purse just as the stylist was combing a layer of hair in front of Evelyn's eyes in preparation for shaping new bangs.
Evelyn froze, stomach sinking, and she breathed a quiet, "Oh… bolts." Louder, she added, "Um, I need to take that. I'm really sorry. Um…" Her arms shifted awkwardly beneath the drop-cloth, trying to work their way to an edge. Her purse was plunked into her lap by the frowning stylist just as her hands found freedom. With another murmured apology, she dug out her cell and flipped it open, stopping the racket. Pushing her hair away from her eyes and tucking it back behind her shoulders, she raised it to her ear.
"This had better be important," she muttered.
A male voice, one that gave an impression of youth and a blithely cheerful demeanor, came over the line, far clearer than the Verizon communication system could account for. "Evelyn, what's the difference between the white and yellow lines?"
She blinked. "What?"
"On the roads. There's yellow and there's white, and some are long and some are short. What're they for?"
"… the traffic lines?" she inquired weakly. Oh, hello, Sinking Feeling. Haven't seen you around in a while.
"Is that what they're called?"
"They mark lanes. You stay in your lane –on the right side— and other traffic stays in the other lane. White lines separate lanes going in the same direction. Yellow separates different directions. Sideswipe, why are you asking me about traffic lines?"
"Well, it's not like I hit anybody," groused the other speaker. "I dunno why he's even following me."
"Why who's following you?"
"One of the guys with the weird cars and the flashy lights. He's been on my tail for the last couple minutes."
"Y-you—You're being chased by the cops?"
Activity in the salon ground to a halt.
"Just one!" retorted Sideswipe, sounding defensive.
"What the hell did you do?!"
"I didn't do anything! All I did was pass this speed-challenged rustbucket, and this guy popped up out of nowhere!"
"You passed someone?" She controlled her volume with an effort. "Let me guess: doubled, solid, yellow lines."
"Hey, yeah! How'd you know?"
"Because it's fraggin' illegal, and no wonder the police want to chase you. My god, Sideswipe, those lines are there to make sure you don't kill someone! Didn't any of you look up driving rules before leaping into rush-hour traffic, or did you think you could play it by ear?"
"Play it by whatsit?"
"Google it," she hissed.
"Aw, c'mon, Evy, I wouldn't have hurt anyone! I'd sense any other cars miles before they got close enough to even see me!"
"That doesn't matter! Get your aft back to the others, lose the cops, and don't move an inch until I get there, and don't you think I won't be talking with Prowl about downloading driving etiquette reports to shove down your intake ports before you get yourselves impounded!"
"… I guess this is a bad time to tell you that Bluestreak wants to know what all the little yellow pieces of paper are that people keep sticking on his windshield…"
"Yes," she replied, eyes narrowed to slits. "A very bad time. And Sideswipe?"
"If I see this on the six-o'clock news, I'm going to tell Ratchet just how Jazz wound up in the river last week. Compute?"
A nervous chuckle. "Eh-heh. Gotcha. Quick and subtle it is. Sideswipe out!"
Heart running at double-time, lips pinched in a fierce frown, Evelyn snapped her phone closed and held it in her clenched fist, not quite able to rid herself of the desire to throw it at the nearest wall.
"Driving instructor, huh?" inquired the stylist meekly.
"Babysitter," she replied.
End Traffic Laws