Bounty soon found herself at the mansion the Horsemen lived in. She sighed happily. “So, this is where my sisters, past and present, live,” she mused. She rang the doorbell.
“Coming!” came a voice.
“She really IS here!” said Bounty. Life then opened the door and gasped.
“BOUNTY!” she cheered. She then picked up the plump Horseman and spun around. The other Horsemen heard the shouts, then joined Life in welcoming Bounty back.
“It’s good to be back among you,” sighed Bounty once she was released.
“We’ve all missed you here,” boomed War happily, “but most especially Famine!”
“It’s true!” mumbled Famine as she dug into her new pasta bowl. “I mean, I like all the food I’m getting, but yours is the best. So, girls, you can cut it all out, Bounty’s back.”
“…Cut what out?” asked Pestilence.
“…Ordering all these pasta bowls for me. I can’t eat another bite! …Well, maybe just one more.”
“Put the fork down,” said War. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I don’t order takeout. I prefer homemade meals.”
“Don’t look at me,” remarked Pestilence. “I don’t need that many carbs.”
“I’m not wasting the money,” replied Death.
“Well, it wasn’t me,” said Life.
“What’s all this?” asked Lacey as she came in.
“Lacey, are you ordering pasta bowls for Famine?” quizzed Bounty.
“You mean…no one’s…?” Famine then looked at the stack of bowls behind her. “Well, somebody ordered all this!”
“…Oh dear,” mumbled Bounty.
While Bounty was settling back in the Horsemen’s mansion, Richard asked to meet with Thundercracker alone. He waited for a bit until Thundercracker flew in and landed. His holo-form jumped out of the cockpit. “You wanted to see me?” he asked.
“I…I want to…” Richard sighed. He had rehearsed this, so why was it so difficult to say now? He drew in a breath and tried again. “I’m sorry, Thundercracker.” Thundercracker arched an eye-ridge in confusion.
“For being unfair to you and the other Decepticons from your world. I grew up thinking all Decepticons were bad, and it was a rare universe where the Decepticons could find common ground with the Autobots, but the way you worked with Bumble…Goldbug proved me wrong. I’m sorry for what I said before the mission started. That was wrong of me and unbecoming of a commanding officer.” Thundercracker smiled.
“If it’s any consolation, I didn’t think too highly of you either. I always thought your wife was the better fighter and questioned why she married you. …Turns out you just have different fighting styles, just like the engines of Sodor have different solutions to problems.”
“…You have to admit, though, sometimes those solutions don’t work out and cause confusion and delay.”
“Maybe so, but they all have the same goal in mind, to keep Sodor as a safe haven for engines of the past, be they steam or diesel.”
“Then let’s follow their example and unite against a common foe, shall we?” Richard stuck his hand out for a handshake.
“…I know my faction’s name kind of says it all, but this is one promise this Decepticon can keep.” Thundercracker then shook Richard’s hand.
After a while, Richard was more at ease around other Decepticons…aside from Megatron, he STILL wasn’t sure he could forgive or forget him using Megumi as a bargaining chip. Speaking of his wife, he and Megumi stirred from their sleep. “…Morning, my love,” he whispered in Megumi’s ear. Megumi chuckled at the slight tickle she got from Richard’s breath.
“It’s morning, yes,” she replied, “but I say we take this day to stay in-” Richard then wrapped his arms around Megumi, surprising her and kissing the nape of her neck. “Richard!” she giggled.
“A whole day in bed?” he asked between kisses. “You tempt me, my Queen!” Just then, the doorbell rang. “…Then again!” growled Richard.
“I got it!” called Kaede.
“Well, better get ourselves decent,” mumbled Megumi. After showering and dressing, they found the girls and Lisa speaking with Batman and his family.
“Mr. Wayne, what can we do for you?” asked Richard.
“I noticed a…custom van continually parking in your driveway,” explained Batman. “I’ve never known any of you to drive a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan that’s as blue as your armor. Judging from the juddering, I’d say the driver doesn’t know it has a suspension problem.”
“Ah, well, good news on that front,” said Richard. “The van’s a friendly one. You see, you have no idea how custom it is.”
“…Richard, that’s not YOUR van, is it?”
“It is,” sighed Megumi.
“Wanna see?” asked Richard as he beamed.
“…All right, color me intrigued,” replied Batman as he, Wonder Woman, and Robin got up. Richard led them to the garage. There were two vehicles in there. One was a 2001 Subaru Legacy, the other looked like a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan, but something seemed…off to Batman and Robin upon closer inspection.
“…What…is that?” asked Robin.
“That, my dear Robin,” replied Richard, “is a van I have justifiably called…the Spectacular! The electric drive system of a Tesla with the other machinery of a Chrysler Pacifica, all united under the elegant skin of the Dodge Grand Caravan, thus creating a vision of pure…what’s the word?”
“Garbage,” said Batman and his family as they held Wonder Woman’s lasso. Richard goggled at the three in horror.
“…Okay, they have chariots instead of cars on Themyscira, so I can understand Wonder Woman saying that, but Batman and Robin, you two of all people! You’re calling the Spectacular ‘garbage’?!”
“You might be averse to chariots,” said Wonder Woman, “but at least we use brushes to apply paint instead of throwing buckets of paint on them, then just using a rag to clean up the edges.”
“Hey, Mom, Dad, look,” called Robin as she pointed out the headlights, “these are the ones that swivel when you go around a turn.”
“All right, which would you rather ride in?” challenged Richard. “The Spectacular or Megumi’s Subaru?”
“The Subaru,” replied the Bat Family.
“Because it’s better in every way,” said Batman.
“All right, I know exactly how to prove you cynics wrong! I invite you to go for a drive in the Spectacular.”
“Be careful,” warned Megumi as Batman helped his wife into the shotgun seat.
“Comfy?” asked Richard.
“Not…really,” remarked Wonder Woman. “Is this as far back as my seat can go?”
“Yes.” Batman and Robin sat behind Wonder Woman and Richard. Richard then pressed the start button and the car switched on and vibrated a bit. It then backed out of the driveway.
“Oh Hera, it moves!” yelped Robin. The Spectacular then moved onto the street and through the local area of Beyond City. After a few miles and gripes from his passengers, Richard called Megumi. A hologram of her appeared on the dash.
“How’s the drive?” she asked.
“We’d only gone a few miles,” boasted Richard, “before the Bat Family changed their mind and agreed that the Spectacular is the best car they had ever been in!”
“No, we didn’t!” protested Batman. “Stop lying to your wife!”
“I thought you guys changed your mind,” remarked Richard.
“I did,” said Wonder Woman. “It’s WORSE than I thought! My spine’s gonna complain in a few hours!”
“If you’re lucky,” grunted Batman.
“It’s a little cold here,” muttered Robin. “Can we turn the heater on?”
“That’s not connected,” said Richard.
“What’s the dial near the steering wheel?” asked Wonder Woman.
“Why don’t you use the one it already has?” quizzed Batman.
“That doesn’t work.”
“Does it have a temperature gauge?” asked Robin.
“Not as such.”
“Does it have a fuel gauge?”
“There’s a lot of wires that aren’t connected to things then,” muttered Batman.
“This doesn’t really have an interior, does it?” asked Robin.
“Persephone, you say that with a bit of sarcasm, but…” Wonder Woman then pointed inside the glove box. It didn’t have an inside to speak of, so one could see the internal mechanics of the van.
“I can see the road!” complained Robin.
“So can I,” said Richard.
“No, there’s a hole in the floor!” Suffice to say, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Robin were NOT impressed by Richard’s Spectacular.