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Title: Unbroken
Rating: G
Characters: Blurr
Summary: Some records are nearly impossible to break.

Written for the prompt auto-racing on my AU Bingo card. I failed to complete my card by the deadline, but I didn't want what I did manage to write to go to waste. The trick with this challenge was thinking in terms of "any response must be very obviously AU", so I tried to ask myself a question with each one. It worked for some, not so much for others.

The arena thrummed with the cheers and screams of the crowd, and the rhythmic pounding of excited mechs' feet made the arena shake with the force of their joy. The noise and vibration jolted the walls and the ground, making anything not secured quiver and bounce as if alive from loose bolts and screws to empty energon vessels. Lights blazed over the arena from every angle to ensure no details on the raceway were lost in shadow. It was a tournament race, and the outcome would determine who competed in the final race, so every single nuance needed to be visible by everyone whether they were die-hard fans, sports commentators, racing enthusiasts, or simply watching out of curiosity. The audience screamed with renewed vigor every time a new obstacle shot up from the track to get in the competitors' way, and the spectators' cheers only grew more enthusiastic as each obstacle was surpassed seamlessly. There was no doubt who would win - the blue and white racer had a full lap's advantage on his slower rivals - but knowing the ultimate outcome did not make the audience any less thrilled. Everyone but Blurr vied for second and third place - as always.

Blurr dropped into his sleek alt mode one last time as he leapt through the hole just off-center in the last obstructing wall, and he pushed his engine to the red. It didn't roar like most mechs' engines - his was the best quality, the highest performance his winnings could buy. It sang as he pushed it to its limit and hummed when he crossed the finish line and began the cooldown sequence. He could not stop immediately - he had to slow his speed gradually or risk hurtling into one of the arena walls or, worse, overheat his engine. Every circuit in his body geared toward speed and performance vibrated in time with the cheers of his fans as he drove his victory lap on the edge of the raceway, well out of the way of the other racers as they finished fighting one another for the position of Less Than Best.

When he slowed enough, Blurr folded into his primary form and ran the rest of his victory lap so he could raise both hands to the sky and wave to his fans. He beamed with each whistle and cry of his name, and flickered one optic in a wink to those he heard rev their own engines. As he continued to slow, Blurr spun on his wheels a few times, drawing as much attention from the audience as possible before he finally headed to the center of the raceway for the announcement of the winners. He immediately took his position at the top of the podium without waiting for the two remaining racers, and he folded his hands behind his back and thrust out his chest proudly.

However, when Blurr's gaze lifted to the large vidscreen which displayed the results of the race, he deflated a little. Frustration corroded his satisfaction of a race well-run. His name was still in second place for this particular track's record. How was that possible? Every time he had run this particular track, he had been faster - he timed himself. He practiced it constantly. There was no way he could still be in second place for the record! Yet, there his name was, right below the previous champion's.

Blurr tried not to be bitter. The champion preceding him was a legend. He still held the records for all the tracks in all the cities even now, long after he had retired from racing, long before Blurr's rise to fame. Every racer knew of him, and every racer aspired to be him. Blurr had been practicing and training for each one of the tracks all his career to finally dethrone the champion, and he still had not managed even now, even on the easiest track of the semi-finals. He tried not to be bitter, but his smile still faded. He forced it when the reporters began to file onto the raceway - after all, no one liked a frowning winner - but he was definitely no longer smiling inside. Blurr knew he would not beat the track record in the finals - it required far more trick driving. It had been designed when driving skill was more important and more impressive than sheer speed, and the track's fame and prestige meant its design would never be changed, only updated and patched as repairs were needed. While Blurr had never lost, it was still not his fastest track, and that meant he was going to have to wait another full solar cycle to try breaking the records again. Even his best was not good enough.

Casually, Blurr looked to the vidscreen again - more pointedly to the chamber below it where those who commanded the highest respect settled to watch the race without having to rub plating with the rest of the spectators. Even from such a distance, Blurr knew he was there - flashes of blue visible from the window told him as much even before his optics finished zooming and adjusted to a clear image. Blurr was not surprised - retired though he might have been, he always oversaw the tournament races. Blurr often wondered why - did the champion miss the thrill of the race? Did he miss the glory? Or, perhaps, was he simply there to ensure his records were not broken? If so, why? So he could gloat to those who followed in his treads that he was better than them?

Blurr shook himself from such dark thoughts. He had met the champion - several times, in fact, as Blurr had won the last five tournaments - and Blurr knew he most certainly was not gloating. He was a very down-to-Cybertron mech who encouraged each and every racer, even those who never made it out of the first brackets. It was why everyone still respected him as much as they did even though he had been retired for so long. There were record makers who let it go to their heads - Blurr sourly chided himself for his dour mood over still having failed - and there were record makers who simply shrugged it off as a race well run. Every mech who aspired to be a racer worshipped him, and not once did he treat them any lesser than himself.

Though Blurr had met his - and every other racer's - idol many times, his spark still fluttered in its chamber when he saw the champion look directly at him from the high chamber. His tires spun when the champion raised a hand and gave him an encouraging salute, and all bitter thoughts left him. No - he would not be bitter for not truly being the best today. Such negativity would disappoint his idol, and that was the last thing Blurr wanted.

His smile returned, and he raised a hand to return the salute.

After all, the harder he tried, the more fulfilling it would be to finally, finally break Wheeljack's record.

A/N: For this prompt, I went with the idea "Canonically, Wheeljack is the best driver the Autobots have. What if he was a racer before the war instead of, or before he became, a scientist?" Thus, this happened.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-19 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladydragon76.livejournal.com
Heeeeeeee! JACK!!! Awesome! I love this and the imagery! <333

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-20 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladydragon76.livejournal.com
Dude, I LOVE it! hehehe, and yeah that really does make sense. I mean he's FAST too, isn't he the fastest Earth mode Autobot? I'm halfdead on allergy meds, or I would look it up, but I think that's right. And if anyone's got the mods to be faster than Blurr, it'd be Jack. :D

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