The Reluctant Mechanic

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The Reluctant Mechanic

A "Reluctant..." Series Fanfic By Melanie E.

A big thanks goes out to Melanie Brown for writing Chrissy's stories that inspired this, and for giving me permission to share it with everyone here.

This story is fanfic, and nothing but fanfic. Any similarity to canon events is purely coincidental, and should not be taken to mean that the author of this tale is somehow telepathic or anything.

You will forget I ever mentioned telepathy in 5... 4... 3... 2....


I gave a power yell as I gripped the wrench in both hands and hauled on it with all my might.


"Language, Princess."

I let go of the wrench and stumbled backward, sweat pouring down my back.

"It's this da- darn bolt. I've been trying to get it off for the last ten minutes but it won't budge."

"Lemme see it," he said, putting down the piston he was working on and coming over to where I had the mostly-disassembled engine in front of me. Picking up the wrench in one hand, he placed it on the bolt and gave it a sharp tug to the left. The bolt screeched as it gave way.

I stared slack-jawed at the engine, unable to believe what I had just seen. "What the hell!?" I said, glaring at my dad.

"You must have loosened it," he said with a shrug, then returned to his work bench and his pistons again.

"Musta loosened it, nyah," I said in a snotty voice as I adjusted my bra strap and returned to work on the engine, the rest of the bolts coming off with relative ease and allowing me to pull the transmission casing off at last.

"I heard that, kitten."

I stuck my tongue out at him.

"Stop being childish."

Rolling my eyes in a last act of defiance, I gave up and studied the job at hand, wondering how the hell I was supposed to fix this thing.

It was all Diane's fault I was out here to begin with. After I had told her about my lack of plans for the summer, she had asked what I would have been doing if I were still a boy. The car, of course, was the answer. Dad and I had planned it for the last two summers, saving a little here and there to invest in an old clunker to tear down after graduation and rebuild into a lean mean asphalt-eating machine to impress the ladies with my freshman year at college. Becoming a cheerleader, and a girl, had thrown a kink in that plan, or so I had thought.

"Give it a shot," she had told me, with that gleam in her eyes that told me she wasn't going to take no for an answer. "Maybe it can help mend the rocky relationship you two have had lately."

"But Diaaane!" I whined, mostly just for the sake of it.

"No buts," she said. Then the bitch held my nail polish hostage until I agreed.

Looking up from the mess in front of me, I caught Dad smiling as he watched me in the small mirror situated above his work bench, and I reluctantly had to admit that she'd had a point.

Of course, the muscle car we had been eyeing before my transformation was out of the question now that I was a girl, as for some reason Dad had gotten the notion in his head that girls should drive safer, less rumbly beasts than guys. I had fought him, but it was a losing battle before I even began. The ancient lemon-yellow Beetle we had finally settled on wasn't quite what I had hoped for, but at least we were refitting it for four wheel drive to help tackle the snow, and as much as I had protested I really did think it would be cute when we finished it.

Though at the moment it was far from cute with its guts lying in an unholy mess before me. I had no idea what half the parts did, and I was pretty sure the half I did know about were too worn out to do anything with.

"Dad, are you sure this is worth it?" I asked, not for the first time, as

I picked up a wiring harness from the pile that looked like it was held together by chewing gum and hope.

"It's a leaning experience, sweetheart. Besides, even cheerleaders should know how to take care of their own car."

"You didn't do this with Diane."

"I might have, if I thought Diane could have done it without blowing the garage up."

I winced, remembering the infamous blowtorch incident of '99. Seeing my expression, Dad simply nodded and returned to his duties, prying a corroded ring out with an old screwdriver.

Abandoning the engine for the moment, I turned my attention to the stereo and speakers, laying in their own gory pile on a table against the opposite wall of the shop. The engine might be frustrating me, but I still had enough geek in me that delving into the electronics side of the repairs was my element.

"Nah ah, not until we have the engine working."

"But daaad, the stereo's one of the two most important parts of the car!" The other being working heat and A/C, of course.

"Engine. Now."

"Aaaaawww," I whined as I sulked my way back over to the pile of greasy black steel that awaited me.

With the bolt gone and the casing out of the way, though, it was surprisingly easy for me to find my way through the carnage and clean things up.

"How's that, Dad?"

He smiled as he looked over my handiwork. "Very good, sweetheart," he said, kissing my forehead. "You make your father proud."

I beamed as I finished cleaning up my tools and shoved everything out of the way, to resume the next day.

"Oh, dear," Mom said as soon as Dad and I walked up the stairs from the garage into the kitchen. "Not again. Sweetie, that's the third pair of jeans you've ruined this month!"

I looked down and fought back another round of cursing as I noticed the huge gash across my right knee where some unknown part had ambushed me. From the looks of it I was lucky it was just my jeans, but these had been my last pair of work jeans, and the theater didn't pay enough for me to keep buying new clothes all the time.

"I didn't mean to!"

"*sigh* I know, honey. You just need to be more careful is all," she said as she crouched down and examined the rip. "We should be able to patch this up without too much trouble. I'll finally have an excuse to show you some of the sewing you've been missing out on."

"I can't tonight, though," I told her as I made my way for the sink in the corner, where we kept the orange scrubbing-soap for cleaning off grease. "I've got a date with Joey."

Mom smirked as she returned to the paperwork she had been doing at the table. "You two are getting really close."

I giggled, a dreamy look on my face as I thought about Joey. "Yeah."

My dad gave me an icy stare as he joined me at the sink. "You two are using protection, right?"


"Hey! I wasn't born yesterday, and you may not think we noticed you walking funny after the prom--"


"-But I'm a practical man." Just the slightest twitch marred his stony expression. "Just promise me you're being safe."

I could feel my face burning as I mumbled that yes, we were being safe. Not that it mattered, since I couldn't get pregnant even if I wanted to, but that was a whole different depressing subject.

"Good," he said, after a moment's silence. "Make sure you're home by nine."


"We're going down to Arnold's to pick up the new transmission tomorrow. He owes me a favor, so we're getting it cheap, but we have to be there bright and early in the morning. No buts."


"That's my girl," he said with a smile, giving me a quick hug before wrinkling his nose and stepping back. "Now go take a shower unless you think Joey is fond of Eau de Axle Grease."

"Ugh!" I groaned in disgust as I pushed past him and headed up the stairs for my bedroom.

I couldn't stay upset for long, though. I grinned as I imagined what Joey's expression would be like the first time I drove up to State to visit him, in the car my dad had helped me build.


Welp, that's it readers! I hope you enjoyed it, and again, anyone who enjoyed this and hasn't yet should read Melanie Brown's series of stories, "The Reluctant Girlfriend," "The Reluctant Cheerleader," "The Reluctant Sister," and "The Reluctant Prom Date."

Read and comment, people! Maybe if we're vocal enough about liking her stories she'll give us more!

Melanie Brown's Reluctant Girl Series

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The Reluctant Mechanic

Thanks for another look at a favorite of mine.

May Your Light Forever Shine

A fun little romp!

What a fun little romp with some old friends! LOL! After proving myself mechanically inept I can most definitely sympathize. Mostly I can think my way though problems, but I've got no 'feel' at all for such things.
Nice one!

Extravagance's picture

I like!


Catfolk Pride.PNG

very well done

maybe she will take up her pen an finish the next story, she had mentioned she was writing.
that was a great series.

It's a cute story but

If I had planned on getting a decent car and my dad decided for me that I should get a bug? I'd rather have cut off my nose to spite my face and tell him that I'd walk. Girls today are not ALL cutesy and safe. I know too many young women driving big fast cars, and sporty cars, like the MUSTANG.

Dad's just getting off on being able to call the shots.

Rasufelle's picture

What's wrong with Bugs?

I happen to like Beetles! Reliable, surprisingly roomy, and always capable of making a statement.

Also, you kinda have to read between the lines of the story and think about the way Chrissy would word things when determining right or wrong on this. The "We" she mentioned when talking about saving up was really all her dad -- the car's a graduation present more than anything else, with him footing the bill for everything, so in a way his having the main say in what is/isn't appropriate makes sense. After all, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth, and in this case she's getting around 87 of them, so there's nothing to complain about.

Melanie E.

muscle car

if their converting it to fwd, i've seen some very muscled up bugs.

Maybe the bug needs

Maybe the bug needs re-spraying white, with a red and blue stripe, and number 53 on the doors etc

Andrea Lena DiMaggio's picture

Something wrong with Bugs?

...not from where I sit!

Dio vi benedica tutti
Con grande amore e di affetto
Andrea Lena
Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later,
and then you still have to decide what to do. ― C.S. Lewis
Love, Andrea Lena


he did win his Oscar while crossdressing.


My First car was a 1967 Datsun 411 1186cc 4spd 4dr. My wife's first car was a Chevy Malibu, because her older brother drove off the side a canyon and got a plate in his head. She wanted a Red '67 Mustang w/ 289 auto but that was tooo dangerous. Her little brother DID get a mustang for a first car, boy did that tick her off!



Jemima Tychonaut's picture

I loved the 'Reluctant'

I loved the 'Reluctant' series and have been quietly hoping we might get a 'Reluctant College Girl' series one day. Chrissie is probably my all time favourite TG character, so it was great to see her return in a fanfic short. Nice to see the facial ticks in dad aren't completely gone either! ;-)

The VW Beetle is kind of the quintesential girly small car, so good choice, but I personally prefer mine in white with racing stripes.

Thank you for a trip down memory lane. Excellent work!


"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life."

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Don't tell my brothers!

"The VW Beetle is kind of the quintesential girly small car, so good choice, . . ."

My next older brother had a '70 Beetle,as well as a '68 Fastback (they were fuel-injected) and a mid-'60s Vanagan.

My nest to oldest brother has two Beetles, an early sixty-something ragtop and a early seventies convertible. They looked stock from the outside, but not when you looked under the rear bonnet.

Don't tell them they're driving "girly cars", unless you want to race them for pink slips and are prepared to give up your car.

* * *

"Girls are like pianos, when they're not upright they're grand!" Benny Hill

Karen J.

Karen J.

* * *

Ever accidentally throw something away and then later realize you actually needed it?

I did that with my life.

Andrea Lena DiMaggio's picture

Nice to know...

...simultaneous confirmation. My first denial of credit was for a 1972 Yellow SuperBeetle. To know that it had the potential to be a bitchass auto and yet still retain that 'girly' label tells me that I was right about me all along. Well at least about the girly part. My credit still sucks.

Dio vi benedica tutti
Con grande amore e di affetto
Andrea Lena
Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later,
and then you still have to decide what to do. ― C.S. Lewis
Love, Andrea Lena


horrible cars to drive, pedals half way up the steering column. Dunno why they're seen as girly - now the Renault 5 was, and the Citroen 2CV and Dyane. (I had the Renault :))



Jemima Tychonaut's picture

Sorry I guess

Sorry, but I have no idea what 'pink slips' are and most of the car stuff was completely over my head. I didn't intend to cause any offence by my comment. Anyone can drive or own any car. Unfortunately I can't go back and edit my comment. Or delete it. Or whatever.


"Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life."

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Rasufelle's picture

You comment was fine

So don't worry about deleting it!

I know a lot of guys who drive Beetles, but I also know that most of them still have to put up with the whole argument about it being a 'girly' car, and accept that as part of driving one. Some people see it that way, some don't. The same thing coulda been said if I'd had her cruising around in a Miata, or for some people, a Mini Cooper. None of them have anything about them that specifically states they are feminine in any way, but they still get considered that way.

"Pink Slips" are vehicle deeds, so "racing for pinks" means the loser has to give their car to the winner. It's a quick way for fools and their money to part quite quickly.

Melanie E.

Melanie Brown's picture

There's at least one more 'Reluctant' story

Over the last couple of years, I'll start writing on the next 'Reluctant' story, get a couple of pages into it, decide I don't like it, put it away for a while, then discard it and start over.

Coming out of a lengthy and expensive divorce kinda sapped my creative energy. So I'm trying to get back in the groove.

I had planned a "Reluctant Co-Ed", but so much ground was covered in "Sister" and "Prom" that I dont think I could cover any more new ground with college. Chrissy is a young woman now and not really reluctant any more. The story I keep trying to write would be the final chapter of the "Reluctant" series. I'm going to try a few other stories before I revisit Chrissy.


Really liked this.

But it makes me wish for more of the original series as it's always been a classic. But this, this was great and fun and fit right in. I also like the point of yeah she might have become who she really was inside but that doesn't kill off the person they were inside.

Bailey Summers

Not sure how many HP but some Porsche 4 cylinders fit in beetles

Due to Porsche having designed the original Beetle way back. Dropping in a Porsche 4 cylinder was quite popular performance upgrade and in dune buggy kits if I recall correctly. Would the 4WD be an early Audi Quattro system?

Classic Beetles have excellent front seat head room, a really crappy small back seat hardy big enough for grade-schoolers, are shi* in high wind conditions, have a marginal heating/defrost system but are retro kewl. And that weird front trunk holds a fair amount. Plus they float fairly well. The engines are prone to fires if not rebuilt or maintained well or were in some model years.

Have fun.

John in Wauwatosa

cyclist's picture


With a conversion plate you can fix an Alfa Romeo or a Porsche engine quite easily onto a beetle drive system. Trust me on that one...

A 4WD conversion? That sounds like a huge project.

PS: I have never, ever owned a car.

The Reluctant Mechanic

No body has thought about Disney's HERBIE. In his last movie, Herbie" Fully Loaded, Lindsey Lohan and he won the NASCAR Championship Title.

May Your Light Forever Shine
May Your Light Forever Shine

I Believe...

...we've had at least two different references to it in the comments so far.


I don't think I have heard of -

Converting a Beetle to four wheel drive, I don't think its possible unless you change the whole motor and floor panel which is way out of Dad's home garage capability.

It would not look like a beetle or 'girlie" car again.

Anyway why would you need to, the VW beetle is a fantastic car in the snow.

I lived for a number of years in the highest town in Australia, and I can guarantee the last car (not counting FWD's with snow chains etc.)on the road after heavy snows was a VW beetle. With the rear air cooled engine weight on the rear end drive and the right tyres, and the advantage of a flat pan under the full length of the body (no obstructions) they were brilliant and virtually unstoppable in lousy weather.

They weren't to good for parking with your girlfriend and getting amorous, I recall a friend who got his foot stuck in the glove box and took him half the night to extract it and he lost any chances he may have had with that girl ever again.

On another note Australia's Snowy Mountains where all the snow is in winter is the same size as Switzerland.

Thanks for the story Rasfulle, good one.


Age is an issue of mind over matter.
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!
(Mark Twain)


Thanks and kudos. - Terry

Thanks and kudos.

- Terry

A worthy successor

Honestly, I keep coming back to this, just for the twists. A little bit more rounded, although I would have held out for the better car? Although the old Beetles with a lot of restoration can be fun.

Thanks for sharing this one.

Rasufelle's picture


It's always nice to see a comment on an older story, and I'm glad you liked this one. I knew Melanie Brown had more planned, but you know how it is sometimes when you've gotta wait on something :P

Melanie E.

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