"Psst. Hey, Shachi." Penguin whispered to his friend, tugging on the man's ear. "Heeeyyy, wake up." He tried again, poking him in the cheek. Finally, after feeling a sharp pinch on his arm, Shachi woke with a start, but Penguin clapped a hand over his mouth, bringing a finger to his lips for silence.
"Wh-what? What's goin' on?" He yawned sleepily, reaching on the ground beside him for his glasses, putting them on despite it being dark in the room.
"I have an idea." His friend grinned, pulling on his shoes. Shachi frowned, looking around the room to see their captain fast asleep on the bed. This, in itself, was a rare occurrence.
"What are you talking about? And where are you going? Lexi-chan might wake up."
"Nah, she took some of those sleeping pills, and Captain took some too, so they won't be awake for a few hours." Finishing putting on his shoes, he stood, waiting for Shachi to get dressed and do the same. With a sigh, he did, still wondering what it was that Penguin looked so excited for.
Penguin approached the door, turning the knob slowly so it wouldn't be loud. He peeked into the hallway, looking both ways as if Lexi could be anywhere.
"Hey, you still haven't told me what you're up to." Shachi demanded, stopping and crossing his arms, refusing to budge until he knew what was going on. Penguin turned, that excited grin still in place.
"We're going to drive around in Lexi-chan's truck."
"Ok, even though Lexi-chan is totally gonna kill us if she finds out, I've been really curious about how they work."
They'd somehow made it outside of the house without alerting anyone. Well, except for Bepo, but they'd convinced him not to say anything. He was tired anyways. Shachi and Penguin descended the porch, only able to see by the moon's pale rays. The truck was parked on the gravel driveway, sideways to the house.
They'd managed to swipe the keys from the little bowl in the foyer, where Lexi always stashed them after coming home. There were several on the ring, but after seeing her drive a few times, they knew which one belonged to the truck.
Approaching the vehicle, they both stopped in front of the driver's side door, looking between each other expectantly.
"I get to drive first." Penguin said, holding out his hand for the keys but Shachi held on tighter.
"No way, I'm the one who remembered to grab the keys, so I should go first!"
"Baka, I'm the one who came up with the idea! If it wasn't for me we wouldn't be out here doing this."
They argued in heated whispers, both knowing that talking too loud or yelling could wake up the occupants of the house. They were both familiar with how light of a sleeper their Captain could be, even while under the effects of sleeping medication on his worst nights. Bickering for a few minutes about who was going to drive, Shachi finally held out his hand in a fist, prompting Penguin to do the same.
"Rock paper scissors?" He guessed, and Shachi nodded, licking his lips in concentration. He really wanted to see what driving one of these things was like, and he wasn't about to lose to Penguin for that honor.
"Ready? Rock, paper, scissors!" They held out their picks, and Shachi fist pumped the air, his rock being Penguin's scissors.
"Dammit…" His friend muttered, slumping over. "I wanted to drive."
"We can switch later on, but I get to drive first!" Shachi announced, pulling open the door and climbing inside, waiting for Penguin to get in on the passenger side. Pulling the doors shut, they sat in the seats, staring down at the suddenly very complicated-looking dashboard, not quite sure how to start.
"Umm, doesn't she put the key in there?" Penguin suggested, pointing to a small slit in the middle of a metal circle. Trying it out, Shachi pulled the correct key from the ring and slid it into the notch. It went all the way in, but nothing happened.
"Hmm. Maybe you gotta press another button?" They tried several things on the front dash, but nothing made the engine start.
"Ah, wait. Doesn't Lexi-chan turn the key? Her wrist is always tilted when she starts it."
"Ah, good idea." Shachi complimented, trying his method. He turned the key away from his body, and the engine began to rev up. But he let go too early, and it stopped. Trying it again, he held it in the up position for a little longer, grinning as the engine seemed to fully come to life, purring beneath them. He let go of the key, and the noise continued.
"Nice! We figured that part out, now we just gotta find out how to move it."
Shachi tried moving the shifter just behind the steering wheel, but it wouldn't move down at all. He inspected the front, eyes slowly wandering to the floor, where he saw two pedals. Frowning, he pressed experimentally on the right one, hearing the engine rev.
"Hmm, so that's the gas, and maybe this is the brake?" He questioned aloud, stepping on the left one but nothing happened.
"But, why aren't we moving?" Penguin asked, scratching his head curiously. They eyed the shifter, recalling that Lexi used it after turning on the vehicle.
"Well, try lots of stuff to see if it does anything." Penguin suggested, shrugging casually. He sat back in the seat, content to let Shachi figure out how everything worked so he would know how when it came to be his turn.
Shachi tried pressing all the buttons again, but nothing seemed to allow the shifter to move. Then, whilst he was holding down the brake, the shifter pulled down, into the 'R' position, whatever that meant.
"What do you think R means?" Shachi turned to Penguin, taking his foot off the brake. They both perked up in excitement when they realized they were moving backwards, slowly, down the driveway.
"Hey! It's working!" His friend exclaimed, peering out the side window to watch what was behind them. Further down was Lexi's mailbox, and they were heading right towards it. "Uh, Shachi?"
"What?" He asked, staring at the dashboard as if it would tell him what to do next.
"You should stop now." Shachi frowned.
Crash! Behind them, something loud, and presumably made of metal hit the back of the truck, and Shachi looked behind him, seeing the now overturned mailbox laying on the ground, a hole where it had once stood.
"Oh…" He muttered, sheepishly rubbing his head. "Uh…we'll fix it later." He promised, turning back to the pedals. Holding the brake, he shifted it again, this time into the N position. He tried the gas but they didn't go anywhere, the engine revving loudly beneath them.
"Keep it down! We don't want Lexi-chan to wake up!" Penguin shushed, glaring at Shachi. He held up his hands, as if to say 'what do you expect me to do?'
"This is a lot harder than it looks." He griped, shifting it down once more to D, and he pressed on the gas again. Hard.
Instantly, the truck shot forward, heading directly towards the fence opposite.
"STOP HIT THE BRAKE!" Penguin screamed, watching as they sped nearer and nearer the tall fence. Coming to his senses, Shachi slapped on the brake pedal, and they slid to a halt just a few feet from the wood barrier. They shared a look, breathing heavily.
"That was awesome." Shachi grinned high-fiving his friend. "Now, let's take this around the road!"
Lexi cracked an eye, peering into the darkness of her room. She frowned, groaning into her pillow, her hair a mess around her face.
Propping herself up on one elbow to survey the room, she wondered what had woken her. The brunette vaguely recalled taking those sleeping pills to rest, since she had a big test the next day. She had a tendency to be unable to fall asleep the night before, pre-test nerves getting the better of her. Now, she stared at the clocked, glaring at the red numbers that proclaimed it to be 1:45 in the morning.
She tensed up, eyes widening as she heard a loud screech in front outside. Pausing to try to identify the sound, she realized it sounded like a car. Swinging her legs over the bed, she stood and rushed to the door opening it and stepping out into the hallway.
There was no one in the living room, and all the lights were still off. So, no one had come in the house, which was her first thought. She breathed a little sigh of relief, hearing whoever was driving in front of her house take off down the road. It was probably some teens drag racing again.
She began to turn away back towards her room, but paused when the guest bedroom door slowly eased open, a grumpy and tired-looking Law peering at her.
"What could that noise possibly be so early?" He growled, obviously very much angry that he'd been woken up. Lexi felt the same, and sighed.
"Probably some kids racing. You could hear their tires squealing. Did it wake anyone else up?" She asked, peering into the room behind him.
Bepo was still laying on the floor, peering up at them with…guilt? She tilted her head, walking towards their room as a sinking feeling began to pool in the pit of her stomach. Gently pushing past Law, she surveyed the room, noticing how empty the air mattress was, where the two engineers should have been.
"Where are Shachi and Penguin?" She asked in a low voice, turning to Bepo. He looked away, unable to meet her gaze.
"I'm sorry…" He muttered, wringing his paws. "They said they wouldn't break anything and that they'd be quiet." Beside her, Law sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose as he seemed to pick up on the situation.
"It was only a matter of time before something like this happened." He shook his head ruefully.
"God damn them." Lexi muttered, turning back to her room to put on some clothes. Even from inside, she could hear the squealing of tires further down the street, and she began to plot what she'd do to the two pirates once they returned.
"RIGHT. GO RIGHT! TREE!" Penguin yelled, pointing ahead of them as the edge of the forest came closer and closer to their truck. Yanking the wheel, Shachi sent them both flying to the left, and he smacked his head into the window.
"LEFT!" Penguin hollered, holding onto the little handle above his seat with ferocity. Shachi yelled, the wheel cutting hard to the left as they narrowly missed a parked car on the curb of the street, careening them into the open field. They jolted over the curb, speeding through the soft hills of the grass, seemingly in a harmless area at last.
"That was terrifying." Shachi gulped, slowly loosening his fingers from the wheel. They continued through the field, the truck bumping up and down as the land wavered. They weren't wearing seatbelt, because it wouldn't be as fun, according to Penguin.
"My turn! You've been driving for a while." Penguin complained, crossing his arms. Glaring at his friend, Shachi sighed and stomped on the brakes, sending them forward into the dashboard.
They landed against the hard plastic with a thump, and Penguin only barely brought his hands up in time to prevent him from smacking straight into the glass windshield. The truck skidded to a half, spinning as the dirt underneath the tires couldn't gain enough traction.
"Alright, let's switch." Shachi agreed, opening his door and dropping to the ground. He hadn't shifted out of drive, however, and they were on a big of a decline, so as Penguin exited the vehicle, and they were both standing outside, the truck began to roll forward down the small hill, picking up speed.
"SHIT!" Shachi yelled, running with his friend after the runaway vehicle.
"Where should we go now?" Penguin asked, getting a feel for the steering wheel, sitting in the driver's seat. They'd successfully relinquished control of the truck after it was almost sent front first into a stray tree in the middle of the field. After being sent into the dashboard, they had decided to put on their seatbelt as a safety measure as well. Shachi shrugged at his friend's question, leaning back into his seat.
"Who cares. Just drive." He pointed straight ahead, and far in the distance they could see Lexi's house, the side fence a stark contrast the the rest of the lighter-colored grass covering the hill.
Penguin stomped on the gas, sending them deeper into their seat, and the truck sped away, over the bumpy hills and running over branches, the snaps creating a loud ruckus as they went.
"Yeah! This is awesome!" Penguin cried out, Shachi joining in. They rolled down the windows, sticking their hands out the window to feel the rush of air go by outside.
In their merriment, they didn't see how close the house had gotten to them, until it was too late. Looking up as the side fence to the backyard came closer and closer, Penguin gasped, bracing his arms against the steering wheel, trying to turn right, away from the house, at the last second.
"Don't hit the house!" Shachi yelled, holding tightly to his seatbelt, as if his life depended on it.
Both of them screaming bloody murder, they pummeled through the back fence in an arc, swinging right towards the back of the backyard fence, narrowly avoiding the shed that was in the leftmost corner. Still screaming, they careened into the back one as well, Penguin finally having the common sense to start applying the brakes. With a loud crash, they broke through the wood in a stream of planks and wood chips, pieces splintering into the distance as they abruptly came to a stop, the wreckage of their adventure strewn across the back yard. Their quick stop had caused them to spin, the tires making tire streaks all across the yard, leading directly to them, and Penguin shakily reached up and took out the key to he truck, the engine going quiet as it stopped.
They faced the back of the house, and to their horror, watched as the door opened, the porch light turned on, and an extremely pissed off Lexi walked onto the wood deck, her arms crossed over her chest. She was still wearing her pajamas, a robe thrown over to ward away the cold.
Their hearts sunk in their chests, seeing their Captain approach from behind Lexi, looking equally pissed, leaning against the wood railing of the deck.
The two engineers sat in the truck, debating what would happen if they simply refused to go back in the house. Then, sharing a terrified look, they both scrambled out of their seats and out of the vehicle. Slamming the doors shut behind them, they sighed, slumping their shoulders as they resigned themselves to their fate.
Lexi watched through a particularly peeved glare at the two sulking engineers, they walked slowly, as if prolonging the wait to getting yelled at would make it any easier. It only increased her annoyance.
Finally, after a ridiculously long time, they made it to the deck, heads down and feet digging into the dirt. She said nothing, and neither did Law, simply staring at the two ashamed pirates until they spoke first. It took them awhile to realize that this is what they were doing.
"Uh…h-hi, Lexi-chan, Captain." Shachi started fearfully. "Nice n-night we're h-having…isn't it?"
"Y-yeah, really nice…" Penguin added, rubbing the back of his neck under the scrutiny of Lexi and Law.
Lexi sighed, looking away to survey the damage to the two fences. Her eyes narrowed, wondering how much it would cost to have the fencing company come in and repair them. Her anger only growing, she pointed to the ruined barriers.
"Care to explain those? And why my mailbox is now bent and toppled over? Oh, or how my truck is now in the middle of a field behind my backyard fence? Which is now in pieces!?" She spit, unable to contain her anger.
"We're s-" They began, but she held up a hand.
"I don't even want to hear your apologies, because saying sorry isn't going to fix my fence, now is it? I'm gonna have to call the city and have them come down to fix it, and guess how much money that's gonna cost, hm?" She raised her eyebrows, expecting an answer from either of them. Several seconds of silence later, and Penguin gulped.
"Umm…a lot?" He ventured to guess, and she nodded.
They tried turning to their captain, who had until then remained silent, looking more tired than before admittedly. "Captain, we were-" Shachi tried to explain, but he narrowed his eyes.
"Go inside. You are not to leave the room until I say." He demanded, pointing towards the back door to the house. Immediately, they dropped their heads and shuffled towards the door.
"Yes, Captain." They grumbled beneath their breath, knowing that they were in the wrong here, and that no amount of pleading or explaining would fix what had happened. They trudged inside, closing the door behind them, leaving Law and Lexi outside alone.
"Oh my god…" She muttered, massaging the rapidly growing headache with her fingers. Law covered a yawn, feeling much the same.
"They'll start fixing the damage in the morning. I'll be sure of it." He promised, a dark glint in his eye. Even being a pirate, Law had what he considered to be a fair sense of honor and justice, and seeing as his engineers were his responsibility, technically, this was mostly his fault.
Lexi inspected the fence, and the deep tire marks in the grass once more, turning away before she could curse the two pirates any more than she already have.
"I should have kept driving." She muttered to herself, ignoring the strange look Law sent her way. "I should have just kept driving away, then none of this would have happened."