Title: Wrong Side of the Tracks
Pairing: PC/Mac, and oh lord, I actually did it. IT'S ALL fatema'S FAULT!
Disclaimer: I don't know who owns these guys. Some advertising company, god help me.
Summary: Mac meets Miss Wrong. PC is there to fix things up.
"Wrong Side of the Tracks
It was a Monday morning and Mac was not acting like himself.
Huddled in a less-than-fresh sweatjacket, shivering and looking positively green -- a dull, sickly shade of green, nothing bright or cheerful, as might be expected from a Green Mac, PC found himself growing concerned. He knew Mac had been up most of the night (he had a habit of singing a short tune right before falling asleep, as well as waking up, something PC thought odd, but Mac swore was perfectly normal) but hey, Mac was young and healthy, not prone to any of the issues PC kept catching and crashing from.
Or was he?
"So, how ya doin'?" PC asked genially, trying not to look too concerned. "Late night last night, huh?"
"Yeah," Mac replied, his voice raspy. Distracted, he reached up to rub at his shoulder, which he kept shrugging and stretching as if it hurt him. "Lotta email sending last night. It was fricken endless."
"Really? That's odd. Were you updating a site or commenting through the email system?"
Mac blinked blearily at him. "No. I was just ... sending emails. To everyone in my address book."
PC got a chill, one that wasn't coming from his fan. "Wait a second." Slowly, he sat down next to Mac and put a hand on his obviously sore shoulder, rubbing it gently which made Mac lean back against him, his eyes closed with bliss. "Was there a particular reason you had to send emails to everyone in your address book?"
Mac sighed wearily. "Yeah. Melissa told me to."
PC's hand tightened involuntarily around Mac's shoulder. "Melissa? Who's Melissa?"
"Some girl I met last night online. She was kinda strange, but I couldn't get rid of her so I just let her talk in the background. In fact," Mac rubbed his eyes. "I think she's still around. Weird, huh?"
"Um, okay," said PC swallowing past a serious cluster. Don't panic. There's no need to panic. Seriously, do not panic ... "Do you remember anything else this ... Melissa ... told you? Or keeps telling you?"
Mac sighed heavily from exhaustion. He looked ready to crash. "I dunno. Something about twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game's over. I'm outta here, blah, blah, blah and send out the mails. More mails. I don't even know what I was sending, I just knew I had to. It was so stupid."
PC's mouth dropped in horror. This ... this was unbelievable and yet ...
"All right, Mac, I want you to stay calm. This isn't a huge problem and we're going to get it fixed, but you have to stay calm. Are you with me?"
Mac peered at him owlishly. "What? What's the matter?"
"I'm afraid you have a virus."
There was a long moment of silence. Mac stared at PC before bursting into loud, melodic laughter. "I don't get viruses, dude," he said, wheezing with mirth. "That's impossible."
PC held up a hand to quiet him. "You can get Melissa. In fact, you've gotten Melissa and she's taking you on the email train to hell and back." He shook his head, lips pursed with anger. "That bitch. She's been a troublemaker for years and if I get my anti-virus on her ..."
"I don't get viruses," Mac insisted, the laughter gone, his voice rising in annoyance ... and more than a little fear. "WE don't get viruses. Ever. That's a problem for you guys. Not for us."
"I know this is hard to accept ..."
"I DON'T GET VIRUSES."
"Okay ... okay ... you don't get viruses. Melissa's more like a Trojan anyway."
"I don't get Trojans!"
"Actually, she's more of a worm," PC corrected himself. "A macro, mass-mailing worm, but that doesn't matter." He tugged a tired Mac close, into a comforting hug. "Why don't you try and get some rest? I'm gonna call my pal Norton and he'll clean this mess right up."
Horrified, Mac shook his head frantically. "No. I ... I don't need anyone named Norton. I ... there's no such thing ... it's impossible! "
"Shhhhhh," PC shushed him gently. He got up and pulled a light blanket up from the sofa before draping it carefully around Mac's drooping shoulders. "Rest and I'll be back. Norty is a great guy and he'll fix you up ... " PC paused. "Eventually. Maybe with the help of some other guys. I hope."
The look of horror never left Mac's face. "I don't get viruses!" he cried, but PC was already out the door and running for help.
"Hi there, Mac," the huge man boomed, right in Mac's face, waking him up from a fitful sleep, where he stopped and started and kept sending emails, endless streams of emails, nearly driving him to the point of instability. "I'm Norton Internet Security 3.0 for Macintosh." He turned to PC and whispered. "He is running in OSX, I assume."
PC blinked. "Um..."
"Of course I am," Mac grumbled. He looked at Norton with a critical eye. The guy seemed all right, except that he was possibly the largest piece of software, ever. He looked like he ate memory for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as midnight snack and Mac didn't like the way he was looking at him, as if he were a rare bit of quarry, the most elusive of creatures -- a Mac with a virus.
"Can't wait to tell the guys back at Symantec about this one," Norton said. "I don't think they'll believe me. I mean, sure, everyone laughed when they made an anti-virus for Mac, but I told them -- I said, "Guys, it's only a matter of time when these young, sexy whippersnappers in their little turquoise shells get some of that back-door spyware lovin', if you know what I mean." And now, look at ya, Mac, you're all Melissa'd up. Shoulda watched yourself in there. Where did you meet her anyway? In alt.sex.stories?"
Horrified, Mac gaped at PC who quickly reached out and took his hand. "I don't want this guy near me," Mac whispered furtively in PC's ear.
"He's okay. He just takes a little getting used to," PC whispered back as Norton continued to go on and on and on in the background never stopping, not even for a second. Irritated, PC coughed loudly, to get Norton's attention. "Yes, that's all very interesting, but as you see, my friend here is rather new to this and he's a little nervous. So maybe you could easy on him, you know, take things slowly."
Norton roared with laughter. "Nobody is slower than I am, pal. You should know that by now."
"That's the truth," PC sighed as Mac clutched at his hand. "It's okay," he soothed. "Once he starts, it's almost like ..."
"Like?" Mac gulped.
"Like ... like ... your insides are being rearranged and a couple of little things ripped out and sometimes it's something you need, but not really." PC winced as Mac turned a dreadful shade of gray. "Okay, it's not all that much fun, but you get used to it. I barely scream anymore. Besides, it's a whole lot better than dying of email sending overload." He sighed, putting both hands around Mac's cold one. "We gotta get that bitch outta there, Mac. And this is the only way to do it."
Mac buried his face in his arms. "I shouldn't have gone into alt.sex.stories, should I?" he moaned pitifully, his voice muffled. "I was only looking for something to read about a guy and this PC that he wants to make love to."
PC blushed deeply. "Pardon me?"
Mac's head snapped up. "Um, nothing," he stuttered. He turned to Norton, his voice shaking. "Okay, let's get this over with."
A rubber glove snapped over Norton's giant hand. He lifted up a can of compressed air with a smirk. "First, I think we should check your hardware, don't you?"
PC closed his eyes, holding tightly onto Mac's hand as the howling began.
"It was horrible," Mac moaned again. "So, so horrible."
PC nodded and dipped the washcloth into the basin of cool water, before gently laying it on Mac's forehead. It had been a hell of an afternoon -- and evening -- with Norton failing twice to get rid of Mailissa as PC liked to call her.
Finally, they called down to the back alleys of Open Source and got some of the heavy duty hitters which PC had to revise for Mac, a long, irksome process, but eventually ... eventually ... the Email Demoness of Kwejeebo was banished from Mac's drive, for good.
"But here's your happy ending," PC tried to sound cheerful, even as Mac grimaced at the word "ending". "You're all better now. Why, you look like you could multitask Photoshop, iTunes and a few movies, all at once."
Not exactly the truth, as in reality Mac looked awful, beaten almost, as though his faith in all things, well, Mac, had been severely shaken. "I just want to sleep," he whimpered. "Maybe you could pick up the slack for a few weeks? I can mail you ... no, wait, I don't want to mail anything. How about we network and then ..."
PC shook his head. "You gotta get up on that horse again, my friend. Back in the saddle. Or else you're going to end up like poor DOS, remember him?"
"No, I don't," Mac said, shaking his head. "Look, I just need a break. Is that so wrong?"
"It's not wrong, but it's not the smart thing to do," PC said, gently tugging Mac up into a sitting position. "Come on, how about you show me how fast you can edit those photo albums I just sent over. Boy, I'm betting that you're gonna kick my ass in seconds flat."
"Nope," PC said firmly. "We may not always understand each other, but at this moment I can say I know exactly how you're feeling. You're scared to go anywhere, do anything, and you sure as hell don't want to hit "send" for the rest of your life."
Mac paused. That was exactly how he was feeling and a wave of affection toward PC washed over him. He'd never felt closer to him, not even the first time they started networking together. "Yeah, I'm feeling kinda gun-shy. I ... I never felt this way before. It's really unpleasant."
"That's why we have to deal with it and move on," PC said kindly. He pushed his glasses higher up on the bridge of his nose. "Now, I've got some media clips to rearrange, maybe put to a little music ... and you're going to help me. What do you think of Utada Hikaru?"
Mac blinked at him. "You've heard of Utada? The Japanese pop princess?"
"Sure," PC replied cheerfully. "What do I look like? Some old fuddy-duddy?"
Mac bit his lip, hard. "No," he said finally, taking PC's hand and smiling at him. "You just look like the best friend a Mac could ever have."
And for those who are curious ... Melissa exists. Dun, dun, DUN!
Yeah, I did it. AND I LOVED DOING IT!!!! EEEEEE!!!