Well, I decided to release it early!

Welcome to ON THE ROAD AGAIN! This is the sequel to my first fanfiction, Life's Highway. The wait between these chapters might be awhile, considering that I'm also working on AT THE WEAKEST, KISSINT, PROM WEEK, 1001 MILES, and LIFE'S HIGHWAY: THE DELETED SCENES. I hope that you'll all follow along with this story, and hopefully it shall be just as epic as LIFE'S HIGHWAY. Thanks to all of you. :-)

MERE.

DISCLAIMER:: ALL RECOGNIZABLE CHARACTERS BELONG TO PIXAR.

On The Road Again.

Chapter 1- The night before and the last day of school.


Sally McQueen looked out the bathroom window as she was getting ready for bed.

Lightning would be home any minute. It was May twenty-ninth. Tomorrow was the last day of school for her fifteen year old, Eric, and her thirteen year old, Olivia.

Lightning was away for race season. His next to last one before he retired. These long years of racing and some old injuries had caught up to him.

His rival and brother-in-law, Chick Hicks, had retired last year. Lightning felt that his time for racing was about up.

He wanted to start training Eric to race. Sally sighed. She was kind of scared of Eric racing. Her baby boy in a car going 180? Not exactly the kind of stress a mother needed.

But Lightning was persistent. He wanted someone to carry on the McQueen racing legacy. His son was that someone.

They hadn't told Eric yet, but his training started in three weeks. He'd already started practice driving a normal car. Well, if you'd call a Ferrari or a Porsche a normal car. He was getting pretty good at driving. He still had problems parking, but who didn't? Lightning was excited to start training his son.

Sally still had her doubts though.

The sound of gravel crunching under tire rubber brought her out of her thoughts. She looked down to see the glare of headlights. Lightning was home.

Sally, smiling, listened for the familiar squeak of the back door. The sound of footsteps. The thump of a suitcase being set down. The creak of the wooden steps. Eric's bedroom door opening. "Still up?

"You're home!"

"Shhh. Your mom might be asleep. When are You headed to bed?"

"Just about to go to sleep."

"Don't stay up too late."

"I just have to finish this paper for tomorrow."

"Okay. Get some rest.

"I will. Love you, Dad."

"Love you too. Night."

"Night."

Lightning's footsteps in the hallway. A soft knock. Olivia's door opening. His footsteps on her pink carpet. The creaking of her bed springs as he sat beside her. She must be asleep. The sound of him kissing her head. Her door shutting. Their bedroom door opening. His steps growing louder. His hands on her waist. His warm breath on the back of her neck. "Hello, Beautiful."

Sally turned around in his hold and wrapped her arms around her neck. "I'm so glad you're home." She whispered.

He caressed her cheek. "I'm glad to be home, baby."

Sally looked up into his bright blue eyes. They always held a certain shine when he arrived home after a month or two away. He looked down into her sparkling green eyes. The bold emerald color that was one of the reasons he'd fallen in love with her. He ran his fingers through her jet black hair, then pressed his lips to hers. He smiled at her after pulling away. They sat on the edge of the bed, his hands still resting on her waist. They sat in silence, just enjoying being together. They didn't have to say anything. They both knew that the other was just happy. After a minute, Sally broke the silence. "So, tomorrow is Eric and Olivia's last day of school." She said softly. "I can't believe that Eric is finishing ninth."

Lightning nodded. "I know what you mean. Where did all that time go?" Sally nodded in agreement. That time had flown. Flashbacks of Eric and Olivia as children flew into both their minds. Playing, fighting, laughing, annoying each other, being partners in crime as they sat under the dining room table with a box of Lightning's chocolate that they'd found. And now Eric was a fifteen year old about to start a racing career.

"Something on your mind, Sally angel?" Lightning asked, stroking her fingers.

She smiled at him. "Thinking about Eric racing. Kinda nervous."

"He'll be fine." Lightning assured her. "He's my son after all." They were silent for another minute. Lightning looked at Sally lovingly. She was gorgeous, and with the moonlight flooding through their window, she practically glowed. "What are you looking at?" Sally asked, noticing his lingering gaze.

"You." He replied, tracing his fingers up and down her waist. Sally moved so she was almost sitting in his lap, and she pressed her lips to his. He gently rubbed her back as they sat there on that warm night in May.


"Sally? Babe, we got to go get the kids up." Lightning said the next morning at six-thirty.

Sally was still asleep. Lightning sighed and decided to let her sleep a few more minutes.

He walked down the hallway, the pictures on the wall catching his eye. There was his and Sally's wedding day. He remembered it like it was yesterday. A picture of him and Sally two months before Eric was born. That one had been taken out by the river in Phoenix. Lightning wore jeans and a white shirt, and Sally wore a denim skirt with a white lacy blouse. One of his hands was draped over her shoulder and holding her hand, and his other hand was around her waist and resting on her stomach with Sally's other hand on top of his. A picture of them with baby Eric taken at a Sears photo store when Eric was three months old. One of his favorite pictures, him in his racing suit, Sally in her crew chief suit, and baby Eric between them in his little blanket sleeper that looked like the suit. Pictures of baby Olivia. Eric holding her, Sally and Lightning holding her. Her first birthday.

She was the splitting image of him. She had his dark red hair and bright blue eyes. He reached Olivia's bedroom door and knocked before entering. She was still asleep. He walked over to her bed and sat down. "Olivia?" He said, rubbing her shoulder. "Come on. Wake up."

Her eyes opened slowly and she looked up at him. An excited smile grew on her face and she sat up, hugging him around the neck. "When did you get home?!" She asked happily.

He ruffled her hair. "Late last night."

"How long do you get to stay?"

"A week." He replied.

Her eyes lost their twinkle, and her smile faded. "No longer than that?" She asked sadly.

He shook his head. "Sorry, Liv. Got to get back to the track."

She nodded and stood up, stretching.

Lightning stood and hugged her once more. "Come on downstairs, okay?" He said, leaving.

"Okay. Be down in a few." She replied. Lightning left the room and Olivia sank back down on the bed. He was always at the track. Or at an interview. Or at a press conference. She just wanted to spend time with him. He'd always been there when Eric was little. He took time off to teach Eric how to ride a bike. When her training wheels came off, Alice had helped her. When Eric had a math problem, somehow Eric managed to get Lightning's attention before he was busy. When Olivia needed help in science, she went to his office to find him on the phone with his agent. So she would quietly leave. She knew that he loved her and didn't play favorites, but it just seemed like there wasn't time for her anymore.

Lightning walked to Eric's room and knocked then went in. Eric was awake and dressed already, and he sat on his bed finishing a history paper.

"Hey, dad." Eric said, standing and putting the paper in his backpack.

Lightning moved to hug his son, but Eric stepped back.

"Too old for a hug?" Lightning asked.

Eric shrugged. "Maybe."

Lightning shook his head. "Not yet." So Eric stepped into his father's embrace.

"Ready for the last day of ninth grade?" Lightning asked as he and Eric walked into the hallway together.

Eric nodded. "Yes." He said fervently.

Lightning left and they headed downstairs.


"Do you have your backpacks and lunches?" Sally called as Eric and Olivia walked out the door.

"Yes, mother." They both said, annoyed. This was the third time she'd asked to make sure. They bid their parents goodbye and then got on the bus. The day was warm, and the sky was blue. Eric and Olivia were both in high spirits because this was the last day of school. They both took a seat on the bench two rows back. They had their choice of seat most mornings because they were the first ones on. Their bus driver was an older lady, Mrs Jeanette Thompson, who had a sweet disposition, but if you misbehaved on her bus, Watch Out.

Eric and Olivia both sat on their usual bench and they gazed out the window. They were quiet up until Eric reached over and poked Olivia.

"Ow!" She exclaimed, jerking back. "What was that for?"

He shrugged and pulled out his iPod. Olivia leaned back and sighed. Older brothers.

The bus slowed to a stop and their cousins, Clara, Cody, and Chase climbed on, hauling their backpacks.

"Sup?" Eric greeted moving over to sit beside Chase. Chase was almost a year older than Eric. He was tall, had brown hair and green eyes like his father, and had an overall nice personality. He was already training for NASCAR, and would be finishing in the junior leagues this year. Next year was the real deal, the piston cup circuit. IF he got good enough scores this year and was accepted.

Cody, black haired, green eyed, 14 year old, twin to Clara, tripped and fell face first in the aisle. Nobody asked if he was okay, nobody helped him up. This happened every morning. Cody was a klutz, and proud of it. A day didn't pass where he didn't fall, trip, slip, slam into something, or drop a dish. Maria and Chick hoped that it was just a phase that would pass. REALLY hoped.

His twin sister Clara, black hair and green eyes also, walked past him with a scoff. She denied the fact that they were twins, and pursued the idea that her true twin was switched with Cody at birth. Clara could be mean at times, and she had a short temper like her mother.

Next on the bus was Selena Hudson, Doc and Alice's 14 your old daughter. She was quiet and withdrawn, but not with people that she knew well. Her black hair swished as she stepped on and sat in the back. More kids climbed on, and within half an hour, they'd arrived at the school.


Sally shut the front door after seeing the kids off and turned to Lightning.

He gestured out the window. "They finally took down that 'For Sale' sign outside the Weather's old house." He said.

Sally looked out to see that this was true. "Wonder who's moving in?" She said.

Lightning shrugged. "Not sure yet. We'll probably find out soon." They would find out sooner than they expected though.

Lightning took Sally's hand, and they sat beside each other on the sofa. "So... How have things been while I've been gone?"

Sally shrugged. "Well, I missed you. Your younger sister is feeling crappy because she's 38 weeks now, and she really wants to have that baby. Brandon is considering moving here with his pregnant wife, and Chick and Maria are still... Having 'marital' issues."

Lightning nodded, a bit of a sad look in his eyes. For the last five months or so, Chick and Maria had been in fights and disagreements. "How bad?" Lightning asked.

Sally sighed. "Maria told me that they're considering divorce."

Lightning nodded and slipped his arm around Sally's waist. His eyes were fixed on her as she laid her head on his shoulder. He kissed her hair. "How have Eric and Olivia been?"

Sally sighed and put her head in her hands. "Eric has been... Well, he's doing good in school, but he's been fighting with Olivia a lot. And Olivia has been very... Moody."

"Sally, do you think that..." Lightning started, "That's because of me not being here?"

"Well... If you were here a little more, I think they'd be happier." Sally replied. "And maybe they wouldn't be doing this, but there's nothing to do for it."

"Sal, do you think I should consider retiring?" Lightning asked. "I mean, My racing injuries are starting to catch up to me... Eric will start racing soon. Maybe it's time for me to... Step down, you know?"

Sally took his hand. "We'll think about it."


Eric and Olivia ran through the door, both excited. School was over!

Eric ran to put his backpack away, but Olivia ran to find Lightning. She quietly opened the door to his office and stepped inside. He was sitting at his desk and he had the phone up to his ear. Olivia was about to step back out, but he smiled at her and motioned for her to wait. After another minute he set the phone down and came over and hugged her. "Hey, Hershey. How was school?" He asked with a smile.

Olivia looked up at him. "Aren't I a little old for that name?"

...

Lightning had called Olivia 'Hershey' since she was two years old. They had been sitting and playing in the living room one day, when a package arrived. It was from the Hershey company, and it was a thank you bundle. Inside were twenty bars of original Hershey chocolate. Olivia had wanted to play in the box, and then she saw the candy. Lightning let her have a taste, and it had gotten melty and all over her. He said, "Come on, Hershey. Let's go get you cleaned up." and the name had stuck.

...

"So, you're too old for 'Hershey', and Eric's too old for hugs?" Lightning asked her.

She just hugged him again.

"Well, I'm going to keep calling you that anyway." Lightning continued. He walked over to the desk chair and sat her in his lap. "So how was school?"

Olivia smiled. "I'm glad it's over."

Lightning ruffled her hair. "I remember those days." He said. "Science was always my least favorite. Like you."

She laid her head on his shoulder. Then a paper on the desk caught her eye. "Dad, what's that?" She asked, sitting up and pointing to it.

Lightning smiled and put a finger to his lips. "Shhh. That's a surprise for Eric. It's his application form for NASCAR junior leagues."

"Do you think I'll be able to race one day too?" Olivia asked excitedly.

Lightning thought for a minute. He knew that sooner or later she was going to ask that. "Olivia...you know, it'd be really hard for you, just because of the fact that it's mostly an all boys sport. They'd give you a hard time, and that's just one reason." He said gently.

"So what? I could do it." She said with confidence.

Lightning looked at her. "I'll think about it."

Olivia faked a smile. 'We'll think about it' usually meant 'no, but we don't want to upset you'. Olivia stood up. "I'm going to go find mom." She said, then kissed his cheek and left the room, shutting the door with a click.

Lightning sighed, watching her leave. Doc would say that Olivia was exactly like him. Hot-headed, impatient, persistent. Willing to do whatever took to get something she wanted. But... Lightning was scared for Olivia. He didn't want her to race. If she got killed in a wreck, he would blame himself. And it wasn't that he wasn't concerned for Eric, but he seemed to have a little more confidence in his son. It was just one of those protective daddy issues. Lightning sighed again. He'd talk to Sally later about it.


Sally smiled as Eric ran down the stairs and hugged her. "I'm done!" He said happily.

She kissed his forehead then moved back to the stove where she was making dinner. "So how'd it go?" She asked.

He sat in a wooden chair next to the fridge. "It went...okay. I got good grades."

"Good." Sally said, pouring some oregano into the stew.

"Hey, mom, they took down that sign at that old house." Eric said, looking out the window.

Sally nodded. "I know. Your father and I were talking about that earlier. Do you remember who used to live there?"

Eric shook his head. "Not a clue."

Sally looked at him, slightly startled. "You used to be best friends with their little girl."

Eric slowly shook his head. "I don't think I've ever been good friends with girls."

"Her name was Rose." Sally continued.

"Oh, did she have blonde hair and brown eyes?" He asked.

Sally gave him a confused look. "No.."

"Mom, I got nothing. Not ringing any bells."

Sally turned off the oven, then looked at her son. "Go get your dad and sister. It's dinner time." Sally watched him as he walked off. How could he just not remember? Oh well, there was no help for it. Sally lifted the big pot of soup and carried it to the dining room.


There's chapter 1! So excited!

Please review.