Title: And This Is Why I Don't Bring You Along

Characters: Rawhide & Perfect Tommy

Summary: Created for Word of the Week Challenge. Week 2 Challenge Word, "Car Wreck". Rawhide and Perfect Tommy apply for insurance for the jet car.

Rating: PG

Warnings: None

Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to any characters in the Buckaroo Banzai universe. Any OC's created are mine.

"So, is Ms. Paxton a brunette or blond?" asked Perfect Tommy as he quickly surfed the satellite radio stations. He couldn't stand country, which was of course Rawhide's preference. But out of respect, he was looking for some sort of middle ground. Unfortunately for the both of them, he hadn't found it yet.

Rawhide drew in a deep breath. He loved Tommy like a brother. However, like with all families, those closest to you were also the ones who could try your patience the most.

"She's a brunette," he replied tersely. Looking both ways before making his turn at the stop sign, he added, "Don't make me remind you again of how important of an insurance agent she is."

Perfect Tommy stopped playing with the satellite radio and feigned a look of hurt. "I completely understand the situation." He paused and then continued with mock seriousness. "She's the one assigned to the Institute's policies and gives the final recommendation of approval before the board. Rawhide, I promise I'll be on my best gentlemanly behavior." Satisfied with his response he turned his attention back to the satellite radio. "Besides, if I didn't believe that this was an important appointment I wouldn't have worn one of my best Armani's."

Rawhide rolled his eyes and let out a sigh. He really didn't see a need for Tommy to be there. He had worked with Ms. Paxton on numerous projects and this one wasn't any different.

Not that different? This is the vehicle that Buckaroo's going to go thru a mountain with.

Okay, he admitted to himself. Maybe it was more than a little different than the Institute's typical project. But still, it was Buckaroo's preference to having Perfect Tommy tag along than his own.

Tommy helped with the mechanical design of the jet car. You may need to have his technical assistance but more importantly, it'll be a good learning experience for him.

He shook his head.

Perfect Tommy smirked and then asked, "What are you shaking your head about now?"

Exasperated, Rawhide answered, "Nothing."

Perfect Tommy's expectations of Ms. Paxton were exceeded. She was smartly dressed in a dark gray suit and a white French cuff shirt, all complemented by a soft blue silk scarf tied loosely around her neck. Her long brown hair was tied loosely in a low pony tail and her full lips shimmered slightly from her pale pink lip gloss. She easily could have modeled for Vogue or Elle.

While reaching for his business card, Perfect Tommy could not help but flash a charming smile and complement her on her attire.

As they sat down, Rawhide glared his silent reminder of "You promised that you would behave yourself." To which Tommy responded with just a raised eyebrow as he casually leaned back in the mission style visitor's chair.

Ms. Paxton put her glasses down on the large drawing lying in front of her. "Do you really expect me to believe that this is street legal," she incredulously said, making it more of a statement than a question. "The exhaust gases from those jet engines will be flaming for at least fifteen feet behind the vehicle."

Rawhide shifted slightly in his chair. Those big, beautiful brown eyes of her were deceiving; they never missed a trick. He replied matter-of-factly, "The jet engines are for the experiment. No fuel will be loaded until the jet car arrives at the test site."

"So why not just put it on a rollback and save the added expense of… do I dare say loosely, automobile insurance?... Of course, comparing the cost of that to the other needed property damage and personal injury insurance then it's probably a drop in the bucket."

Rawhide smiled. He had always admired her beauty as well as her intellect. "To save on transportation costs is the bottom line. And, the combustion engine runs on a special multi-purpose biofuel derivative that needs to be tested. It would be more difficult to achieve the required number of test hours if we moved the jet car on a rollback from test site to test site."

Ms. Paxton nodded, picked up her glasses again and began to examine some of the other documents that Rawhide had attached to the drawing. After a few minutes she asked off-handedly, "And so what is your involvement in all of this Tommy?"

A smug smile started to cross Perfect Tommy's lips. He knew sooner rather than later he would become involved in the conversation. It amused him even more as he saw out of the corner of his eye Rawhide slowly move his hands to his lap and interlace his fingers. He casually raised his leg and rested his ankle on his opposite knee. "I designed the suspension system and other structural components. "

"Uh-huh, I see," mumbled Ms. Paxton as she continued reading the top report.

Unphased, Perfect Tommy continued. "It's all in my report. It has all of the typical safety features found in commercially available vehicles. Of course, I needed to add in a few extra options."

"Of course, the extra options that Tommy's referring to are the next generation active recoil absorbers, passive restraint systems, and the like." As he said it, Rawhide's fingers interlaced tighter.

Tommy snickered. "Yeah, you can't forget the big, poofy pillows that pop out in case you're in a car wreck."

Ms. Paxton looked out from over top of her glasses, first at Rawhide and then at Perfect Tommy. "Big… poofy…pillows? She let out a small smile and then asked, "Are those some high level technical terms?"

Catching Rawhide's furled brow out of the corner of his eye encouraged Tommy even more. He loved making the old cowboy itch. "Of course," he charmingly replied. "And being an engineer, I'm well versed in the study of rigid bodies in motion. All of those safety calculations can be a bit overwhelming so it would be my pleasure to show you my work in… more detail."

Ms. Paxton blushed and raised the report to cover her face as much she could without trying to be too obvious about it. Rawhide's head snapped around and the glare he gave Perfect Tommy said it all. You… are… dead. Perfect Tommy gave a slight shrug and mouthed, "What?"

No sooner were they outside the insurance agency that Rawhide dropped his briefcase down upon the sidewalk and began to light up a cigarette. After a long draw he said, "You're impossible."

Perfect Tommy turned around. He was genuinely surprised at Rawhide's comment. "I told you that I would behave myself and I feel that I did."

Just then Rawhide's cell phone rang. He reached inside his suit jacket and pulled it out. "Huh, imagine that," he mumbled. Looking up and seeing Perfect Tommy's puzzled face he said, "It's a text from Ms. Paxton. She says no worries."

After putting away his cell phone, Rawhide picked up his briefcase and started to walk down the street to where they had parked earlier in the day. As they were walking, Perfect Tommy's cell phone went off. As he read the text message, he nudged Rawhide and broadly grinned. Relishing Rawhide's puzzled expression this time, he said, "Ms. Paxton wants a tutor."