One-shots featuring Tracks & Raoul - my favorite Mech & Human friendship/pairing.
"Hey uh, Tracks." Raoul paused from packing up his tape deck and cardboard box to turn to the blue sports car that had pulled up from the alley. Pop-Lock and Rocksteady had already left for home with the day's take so he supposed he was free for whatever the Autobot wanted. Though he really hoped Tracks just wanted information. He was too tired to go chasing down idiot robots trying to destroy the city. "Something the matter?"
"No, actually. It's been rather quiet and peaceful lately." Tracks rolled up a little closer to the boy as he flung the radio over his shoulder, cardboard folded under his arm. The Autobot opened his door when he approached. "Care for a ride?" Tracks smiled inwardly when the boy responded by tossing his things in the back and hopped in.
"Not that I don't appreciate the ride, but what's the occasion?" Raoul crossed his arms over the steering wheel and stared out at the city. Come to think of it, had Tracks ever been to his apartment before? "And do you know where you're going?"
"Occasion? Just wanted to say hello and hang out for a bit if that's alright. So as far as where we're going, wherever you want really. I'm up for just about anything."
"You sure that's okay? Won't the other Autobots mind or something?"
"I finished with my patrols so I'm more than free to spend my time as I please."
"I see." Raoul nodded and yawned into his hand. A free ride was better than walking ten city blocks, that was for sure. "Well, I guess you could give me a lift to my place."
"Alright. If that's what you want."
Raoul scowled at the steering wheel. The disappointment was so obvious Raoul didn't need to have heard it in Track's voice. It's like the entire car had sunk an inch into the pavement. "Okay, seriously man. What's up with you?"
Tracks pulled into an alley silently and turned off his engine. "Is it wrong that I might just want to hang out with a friend for a little bit without being attacked by Decepticons?"
"Not really, ya' just have never come around before." Raoul slunk back in the seat and rubbed at his leather jacket. "Guy can wonder what's up right? I mean, it's not like I'm your only friend."
"Yes, that's true. But you are my only friend who appreciates this city." Tracks paused to try and think of the correct wording. Raoul wasn't his only friend, but he was the only human friend he truly enjoyed spending time with. Tracks wondered if there was a way to get that feeling across without sounding weird or clingy. The last thing he wanted was for Raoul to think that Tracks thought of him as some sort of pet. "Or enjoys getting a ride."
"Blaster doesn't like all the free rides? Now that I can't believe." Raoul chuckled and rubbed the steering wheel with a small pat.
"No, he does, but there's only so much of his free music that I can tolerate."
"I'd say I agree but I make my livin' off that music, you know." Raoul rubbed a hand down his face. He was exhausted after a full day of dancing and romancing the crowd, but somehow Tracks always put him in a good mood. "But I guess I could take a break for a little joyride. After all, what idiot turns down a ride in a fancy little number like you?"
"I'll take that as a compliment." Tracks' engine roared to life again as he pulled free from the alley. "Any place in mind?"
"Not really man." Raoul looked in the back and put his arm up on the seat, hand resting on the passenger seat. "But can we drop my stuff off at home first? If we end up letting loose or something I'd rather not lose another blaster if I can help it. We barely paid off this new one and I don't think that your Blaster would appreciate filling in for another week."
"Of course, that's no problem." Tracks pulled from the alley and hummed along with the traffic. "Direct away."
The ride to Raoul's apartment went by well enough. Raoul got caught up on what the Autobots had been up to since they last saw each other, and Tracks was filled in on the exciting life of break dancing in the street. Needless to say, one set of stories should have been more interesting than the other, but Tracks seemed to comment and stay interested with every boring comment. Raoul couldn't help but enjoy the attention, though he couldn't escape the feeling that maybe it was Tracks reveling in the attention.
"This is it." Raoul pointed out the window towards a peeling building covered in graffiti. He felt Tracks slow down and pat the wheel. "Don't worry too much, I'll try to get in and out before you get jacked."
"I'm sure I can take care of myself for that long." Tracks revved his motor a bit as Raoul got out. He scanned the building and tried not to judge. But it really was a tacky mess. Keeping the slight disgust out of his voice should not have been so difficult. "So, this is where you live?"
"It isn't the greatest, but uh." Raoul paused and scratched his nose in an attempt to hide the embarrassment. "It's home."
"Well, we can't always choose where our home is."
"Guess not." Raoul nodded and headed inside the building searching his pockets for his room key. Tracks sat outside on the street quiet enough, but Raoul was frowning. The sports car said he just wanted to hang out, but what would make him hunt down Raoul? Was he really that lonely in a base full of sentient robots that he needed the company of some kid he's met maybe three to four times? Or did he actually just enjoy Raoul's company and missed it? Raoul sighed as he opened the door to his tiny one room pad and dropped the tape deck to the floor. He shoved it under his bed with a grunt and ran a hand through his hair. "Crazy robot's going to be the death of me."
It could have only been a minute, Tracks sighed to himself, but yet there they were circling him like hawks. Five punk kids all with dyed hair, tattoos and tools out at the ready to strip the car of all his parts. Tracks found himself disliking his alt mode for the first time since he'd reached this planet. Was the form he'd chosen really that attractive? Honestly, how else could you explain so many times getting singled out by car thieves. Tracks was one gorgeous piece of machinery, but there were limits.
Thankfully, he didn't have to resort to the frightening scary car routine as Raoul came to his rescue. Tracks almost smiled as the kid stomped towards the hoodlums. Any kid who could stare down a Decepticon with nothing more than a leather jacket and a lead pipe could take on a bunch of car thieves without blinking.
"What do you losers think you're doing to my car?" Raoul shouted as he skipped the last few steps on the porch on his building. Five minutes. He was gone for five minutes and them vultures were already surrounding Tracks. His neighborhood wasn't that lousy. This was ridiculous. "Step off."
"Or you'll do what?" The leader turned and snarled. "And don't even try and pretend this is your car. Nobody who lives in there can afford a car this nice. You're just upset we're jacking something you stole yourself. Should have known better than to leave these things unattended."
Raoul scowled when the guy pat Tracks' roof roughly. He probably left grimy, greasy fingerprints all over the nice blue finish. "Last chance. Back off and get away from my car."
"Again, what exactly are you going to-" The leader choked on his words as the driver side door swung open and slammed him into the pavement.
"Raoul! Get in." Tracks shouted and revved his engine."
"Don't have to tell me twice." Raoul smiled and raced towards the open door. He was barely in before the car sprung forwards like a spring released and gave a whoop as the confused thieves scratched their heads from the pavement. "Though I totally could have taken them."
"I know, yours truly could have done it easily as well." Tracks made a sharp turn and headed towards a more populated area of the city where he could blend into traffic better and stop drawing so much attention. "But I was hoping for a conflict free night if you don't mind."
"Nah, running away isn't always the cowardly thing." Raoul chuckled and relaxed into Tracks' oh so buttery leather seats. "In fact, sometimes running can be kinda fun." Raoul put his hands on the wheel and gave it a pat. "How about you and me go somewhere and really run that engine of yours dry?"
"I think that would be a rather exhilarating experience. Have any place in mind where we can, cut loose so to speak?"
"Yeah, I got a few places in mind and we got all night, right?"
"Full tank of gas and no assignments to tomorrow. So Roger that, Raoul."
"Roger that? You're a total dweeb, you know that Tracks?"
"And you're a border line punk but that doesn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying your company."
"Well, like-wise my man." Raoul grinned as the traffic started to thin and the speedometer needle started moving oh so slowly to the right. "Or should I say my main machine?"
"Now who's being the dweeb?"
"Ah shut it ya' overgrown coup." Raoul looked up to see them start dodging traffic as they raced to the city limits. "Let's just get out there and let loose already before I start to change my mind and decide going to bed is more appealing than racing in a gorgeous machine such as yourself."
"Again with the flattery, Raoul? I'm starting to blush."
"Ah shut it and drive."
"As you wish."