Title: Juxtaposition: Everything you Know is Wrong
Canon: G1, "Juxtaposition" AU
Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers. HasTak does. I didn't write "Juxtaposition". Vaeru did.
Author's notes: This is a fanfic for Vaeru's "Juxtaposition", which is a Transformers fanfic itself and arguably one of the best out there. It's here on ff. net. Read it. Seriously.
Everything You Know is Wrong
Black is white, up is down and short is long
And everything you thought was just so important doesn't really matter
- Weird Al, Everything You Know is Wrong
The hot coffee didn't splash near enough to hit her, but Evelyn still jumped instinctively to one side. The coffee in her own mug swirled ominously as a result.
"Are you okay, Miguel?"
"Yeah, yeah, m'fine," the young man muttered, embarrassed, as he tried to right the mug and wipe up the mess with a handful of napkins. "Sorry, prof. You just startled me."
"I'm sorry." By way of apology she started helping to mop up the coffee dripping down the edge of the metal table. It was already puddling on the uneven concrete floor of the base.
"You've been very jumpy," she remarked to Miguel. "Are you feeling alright?"
Miguel blew his dark hair out of his eyes. A former student and one of her longest acquaintances from the university, he was probably the most laid back person she knew (that is, before meeting a certain black and white, hip-hop-loving Autobot).
The answer came out as a tired sigh. "Oh, y'know ..." he tossed the sopping brown napkin wad into the trash. "Just havin' trouble sleepin', I guess. All the big metal footsteps keep wakin' me up. It's no big deal, really."
Evelyn felt concern bubble up. "Yes, it is," she said, taking Miguel's coffee mug and refilling it for him. "If you're having trouble settling in, I want to know. I picked you for this because I thought it would be the chance of a lifetime and you'd love it. If you're having problems ..."
"Hey, don't get me wrong," Miguel waved his newly filled cup in emphasis. "I do love this! I mean, giant alien robots that turn into cars? This is like, Twilight Zone come to life! I couldn't be happier to be here. It just ..."
They both clutched their coffee cups and hunched over instinctively as the red-blur-sometimes-known-as-Sideswipe dashed around a corner and sprinted over them (somehow managing not to step on anything -or anyone- that might have been underfoot), calling out a cheerful, "Hi, Evelyn! Hi, other squishy guy!" before disappearing in the direction of the hanger doors.
"... takes some getting used to," Miguel finished shakily.
Evelyn indulged him with a smile. "Tell me about it. It took me weeks to stop getting dizzy every time I looked at them."
Miguel blew his hair again. "This really is about the craziest thing in the universe, you know?" he waved his arms, indicating something huge. "They're in a whole different world up there. How do you even talk to something that sees you like ... like a living doll?"
Evelyn's eyes crinkled over her cup. "Oh, you'll manage. Want some advice?"
He goggled. "'Be firm'? To the giant robot — "
"— the giant mech that could step on me, or squish me, or ... or ..."
"Miguel," Evelyn interrupted. "I know it goes against every instinct, but they're not going to hurt you. Trust me."
"It's more than instinct, prof. The whole world's on its head on this one."
"Be firm," she said again. "They'll only see you as something small and helpless if you don't remind them you've got a brain and a will of your own. Not," she added, pausing from taking a sip of coffee, "that I'd advise getting into a shouting match with any of them, but they're on our turf here and they know that. If you put your foot down, they'll respect it."
"It's the 'putting the foot down' I really don't want to encourage."
She snorted a laugh. "You'll get the hang of it."
"I'm not so sure."
At that moment, an imposing wall of red and white came around the same corner the red blur had just vacated. Though it was moving at a much slower pace and its appearance had been punctuated by a series of very audible footsteps, Evelyn still had to steady Miguel's arm to keep from repeating the coffee disaster of five minutes prior.
The red and white mech looked down at the two humans with a clearly questioning glance. "He went that way," Evelyn pointed at the direction in which Sideswipe had just exeunted. "He's probably road-side by now." The mech made a noise that sounded like a snort. Evelyn elbowed Miguel in the side.
"Uh, hi ..."
"Ratchet," Evelyn supplied.
"Hey, Ratchet." Miguel actually managed a step forward and a little wave.
The Autobot medic didn't respond, at least not directly. Instead he fixed the two humans with a penetrating glare, the blue light in his optics narrowing and beginning to flicker.
"Wha ... what's he doing?" Miguel whispered nervously to Evelyn.
"Oh, he's scanning us."
"You know, temperature, blood pressure, internal systems and organ function ... right down to what we had for breakfast, and probably the molecular composition of the coffee too," she smiled up at the medic. "Isn't that right?"
Ratchet's optics dilated back. "Do you," he said, "have any idea what that substance is composed of?"
Evelyn took a long, slow sip of coffee, taking the time to savour the taste of sugar and flavoured creamer. "Yep," she said finally, continuing to smile.
They stared at each other for a few potent seconds, before the medic let out another snort, turned on his heel and stalked back the way he came. Evelyn gave a little laugh and took another, more modest drink.
"He was pretty disappointed to find most of our 'organic fuel' isn't as healthy as he assumed it should be," she said fondly. "He'd have us all living off of Wheeljack's nutritional mattress foam if I gave him an inch."
Miguel looked like was trying to decide what healthy mattress foam might taste like. "That was ... being firm?"
"Not so hard, was it?" she winked.
"Sure. I'll just forget everything I thought I knew about giant alien robots."
"That would be a good start."
End "Everything You Know is Wrong"
I noticed I've also adopted the way Vaeru formats her stories and chapters. I like it. It's nice.