AN: What's this? An update? Nooo, that's impossible!
I shortened the title too, just because.
Thanks to The Phiend for reminding me about this... a couple months ago. This chapter is waaaay overdue.

Noisy Conversation with Rachel

Today was not a good day for Rachel.

The car windows had been spray-painted a disgustingly bright pink so thoroughly she couldn't even see inside. The windshield had an extra layer of splattered egg matter over the hardened paint and there was what appeared to be (but Rachel hoped not) a dead rat duct-taped to the roof. And, to top it all off, it looked like someone had dragged their claws all along the doors, creating an ugly pattern of scratches on the shiny white exterior. People passing along shot curious glances but were quickly discouraged by Rachel's warning glares.

"Damn." Rachel simply said, her face blank as she examined her vandalized car. Without hesitation she wrenched the driver-side door open. Her worst fears were confirmed. The floor had at least five inches of water sloshing about and the dashboard was wet as well as the leather seat. She had left the window open just a crack last night, but that had apparently been enough to stick a hose through it.

There was no way she could drive her car now in its sorry, vandalized condition. Sighing ever so slightly, Rachel dug her phone out of her pocket and dialed Kory's number.

"Hey Rachel!" Kory said cheerfully. Rachel could hear the rumble of her car in the background.

"Hey. My car was trashed, so I don't have a ride to the beach. You think you and Dick could pick me up?"

There was brief muffled conversation in the background for a second before Kory answered. "I-I'm sorry! We're already halfway there, so-"

"That's fine. I'll call Victor."

"I'm sorry, Rachel." Kory said regretfully.

"It's okay." Rachel reassured. She hung up and dialed a different number, glaring at more people who were slowing down as they passed by her ruined car.

***

"Dude! Your phone's ringing!" Garfield yelled.

"Pick it up for me, man! I'm in the shower!" Victor shouted back.

"Fine! Hello?" Garfield picked up Victor's phone in mid-ring.

"Hi Garfield. Where's Victor?"

"Great to hear you too, Rae."

"Don't call me that. Where's Victor?"

"He's currently in the shower. May I take a message, ma'am?" Garfield grinned. He heard her groan quietly. She knew how long Victor's showers took.

"Alright, listen to me very carefully." Rachel ordered. "My car was trashed and I promised Kory and Dick I'd go to the beach with them today. Give me a ride."

"What's the magic wooord?" Garfield sang.

There was brief static as Rachel sighed into the phone. "Please?"

"Now, that wasn't so hard was it?" Garfield said teasingly.

"Seriously. Give me a ride."

"Okay! Okay! I'll swing by your place in a couple minutes." Garfield put the phone down.

"Who was that?" Victor called from the bathroom.

"Rae. I'm heading out to the beach, okay?"

"What? I can't hear you!"

"I'm taking that as a yes!"

***

Garfield pinched himself. He pinched himself again. When that didn't work, he poked himself in the eye. He hadn't anticipated the stretch of highway to be so flat and boring and devoid of any life, just dried up bushes dotting the sides of the road. It was so boring, Garfield was in danger of nodding asleep.

"Pancakes!" Garfield shouted, hoping the sound of his voice would keep him awake. "Cookies! Fried Chinese noodles!"

"And what exactly are you shouting about?" Rachel asked, reading a novel she had brought along.

"Trying to stay awake." Garfield mumbled, drooping over the wheel. Rachel smacked him with her hardcover book.

"There? Is that better?" Rachel asked sarcastically.

"No. That just hurt." Garfield frowned, rubbing the bump on his head.

Rachel didn't answer, resulting in an extended period of silence between them. After a while, Garfield began to drift off again.

"Hey! Watch the road!" Rachel reached over to grab the wheel and jerk the car back onto the road.

"Oh, crap!" Garfield fumbled with the steering wheel, only causing the vehicle to swerve back and forth a few more times, giving the both of them whiplash. Once the car was back under control, Rachel primly put her towel back in her beach bag (which had spilled out onto the sticky floormat) and glared at Garfield.

"Why don't I drive, so you can catch up on your sleeping?"

"Really? You'd do that for me? Thanks!" Garfield didn't seem to notice the annoyance in her voice and slammed on the brakes. He eagerly leapt out the door, slid over the car hood, and waited for Rachel to get out of the passenger side.

Once Rachel had her hands firmly gripped around the (rather sweaty) steering wheel and Garfield had settled in the worn seat, they began on their way again.

***

"Are we there yet?" Garfield yawned.

"No."

"Are there any restaurants around?"

"No."

"Did you bring any snacks?"

"No."

"Are there any rest stops?"

"No."

"But I gotta go!"

"No- wait, what?!"

"I gotta go." Garfield repeated, squirming in his seat.

"Oh, crap." Rachel hissed through her teeth. "We're half an hour away. Just hold it until then."

"I don't think I can." Garfield groaned.

"Stop exaggerating." Rachel fought the urge to smack her companion.

"I'm not!" Garfield whined.

"Fine! Fine! Make it quick." Rachel stopped the car and Garfield quickly hopped out. He found a low, scraggly bush that reached up to his knees. Garfield glanced at the car.

"Don't watch me!"

"I'm not!" a vein in Rachel's neck pulsed.

"Yes, you are!"

Rachel sighed loudly and covered her face. "Happy?"

"You're peeking through your fingers."

"Why would I even- you know what, I can just drive off without you. Do you want me to do that?"

"...No."

"Well, there you go. Just do your business so we can get back on the damn road."

"Sheesh, fine."

***

"Awesome! Victor left some CDs in the glove compartment!" Garfield crowed, plastic cases spilling on his lap. He jammed a disc into the player. Seconds later, heavy metal began to blast through the speakers.

"TURN IT DOWN, GARFIELD!" Rachel shouted over the guitars and drums.

"BUT I LIKE THIS SONG!" Garfield yelled back, bobbing his head to the rhythm. Rachel jammed the Eject button and the disc popped out. Garfield shoved it back in defiantly. Rachel pushed the button. Garfield put it back in and stuck his tongue out.

"I'm not in the mood, Garfield." Rachel scowled.

"Oh, come on! You gotta lighten up, Rae." Garfield turned down the music so they wouldn't have to yell.

"Well, when you 'lightened up', you ended up nearly dropping out of high school. It took an hour-long talk session with Victor and Kory to convince you to take your studies seriously." Rachel pointed out.

"Wha? Oh psh. You're still going to play that card? Tsk tsk, Rae." Garfield smiled and shook his head sadly.

"It's a prime example of how much of a moron you can be."

"A moron with style."

"You're really going to try to flirt while we're in the middle of nowhere?"

"Is there something wrong with that?"

Rachel groaned. "You need to talk to Victor more often."

***

"Are we there yet?"

"Don't even try."

"Are we there yet?"

"Seriously."

"Are we there yet?"

"Are you even listening to me?"

"Are we there yet?"

"Oh my god..."

"Are we there yet?"

"Shut. Up."

"Are we there yet?"

Rachel slammed on the brakes and jabbed a finger at Garfield's chest. "Don't make me hurt you."

"... So I'm assuming we're not- wait, Rachel, what are you- AH! OW! OW! STOP THA- OWWW!!"

***

"You know, you can be scary when you're mad. Like a freakin' demon!" Garfield said minutes later, rubbing several bruises and bumps on his head. "And stop buying so many hardcover books. They hurt."

***

"Rachel! You made it!" Kory beamed, running up to their car in her bikini. Dick was right behind her in his own swimwear.

"And it only took one hour of being stuck with this idiot." Rachel elbowed Garfield, glowering.

"Victor couldn't make it?" Dick asked.

"He was taking a shower." Garfield whispered loudly.

"Ah." Dick nodded with understanding.

"We still have a few hours of daylight left." Kory smiled, shading her eyes against the sun. "Garfield, why don't you join us?"

"No." Rachel said at the same time Garfield hooted, "Hell yeah!"

"He doesn't have his swimwear, anyways." Rachel pointed out.

"I'll just buy one at the snack shack." Garfield shrugged.

"Uh... I don't think you can-"

"Or I'll skinny-dip."

"..."

"Garfield, that's just..."

"Ew..."

***

"Man, I am so pissed. You took my car for the entire day!" Victor said angrily, glaring down at Garfield.

"You didn't ask, dude." Garfield shrugged. He was busy digging sand out of his ear.

"What the hell were you doing, anyways?" Victor demanded.

"I was at the beach with Rae, Dick, and Kory."

"Aw man, and you didn't even invite me! That's low, man." Victor shook his head with disgust.

"You were taking a shower!" Garfield protested. Victor didn't reply. Even he couldn't argue against it.

"Well... whatever." Victor and Garfield collapsed on the couch. "While you were out having an oh-so fabulous day in the sun, I was helping Bruce investigate with that Red X guy."

Garfield looked up in alarm. "You mean Rouge didn't catch him?"

"X set a decoy. They arrested the wrong man." Victor began flipping through TV channels, though more of a subconscious act. "I helped Bruce search through some data servers' histories of IP addresses and whatnot. Though... I don't think it's much help. But we did catch some people downloading illegal music."

"Well, that's helpful to society." Garfield snorted. "You know, Dick and Bruce've been worrying about that Red X dude for a few weeks now. Why can't we all just relax and chill together, like the old days?"

"Who says we can't?"

"Eh." he grunted and reached for a bag of potato chips. "I need a girlfriend."

"You do, man. You do." Victor laughed.

**

AN: I've got to work on writing better endings.
Next chapter is the last! Hosnap!
Reviews will be greatly appreciated.