America hated the Turnpike and England and France could tell. Their flight to the G8 meeting had been redirected to Cleveland, Ohio and they had called America to come pick them up. The Ohio Turnpike was the flattest piece of land the two Europeans had ever seen and on top of that, they were smack in the middle of construction. America was swearing colorfully. "What the fuck are they doing? They've been working in the exact same goddamn area for the past three fucking years."
The two other countries remained silent as America swore at something called "ODOT." Finally after an hour, they got out of construction. The next hour consisted of America swearing at other drivers, especially the truck drivers. England and France both knew that telling him the truck drivers couldn't hear him when he said he wasn't playing their games was useless. It would only result in him redirecting his anger at them. At the end of that hour, they reached the toll. America smiled sweetly at the girl running the booth as he handed over $5.75 and the ticket he received when he first gotten on the Turnpike. A couple miles later, they reached another toll. England and France expected him to just get another ticket for the next Turnpike, but instead he pulled out his wallet. He handed the man running the booth $6.20.
"Fucking PennDOT. I don't have to pay to get in Ohio but I have to pay to get in Pennsylvania. Thank you for the thirty-two fucking million dollar construction project, Pennsylvania." America growled as he pulled away. He glanced at the other two nations and smiled weakly. "I'm sorry dudes. I just hate the Turnpike."
"We've noticed." France said weakly.
They drove for another thirty miles before coming to another toll booth. America grabbed a ticket and pulled over. "Seriously! $20.90 to get off at exit 201. I don't even pay twenty dollars to get off in Indiana after 239 miles on the Ohio Turnpike. Actually, Ohio's max toll is $17.50 and Pennsylvania's is $45.17."
He mumbled something about PennDOT. The other two countries didn't catch it but they could guess from his statements about "ODOT," he was calling them assholes or something like that. France cleared his throat. "Amérique, what is 'PennDOT?'"
"Hm? The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. And ODOT is the Ohio Department of Transportation." he replied. "Sorry, I forgot y'all don't know what that is. Anyway, we're gonna stop at the first rest stop. Use the bathroom because there's not another one for eighty miles after it."
"And how many kilometers is that?" England asked.
America gave him a look that said "You really expect me to do that conversion while I'm driving?" Needless to say, England shut up. America sighed. "I don't know how many kilometers that is and I'm not going to do the conversion. Just trust me when I say it's a long distance."
America pulled off at the rest stop and rolled down his window. He ushered them on, insisting that he was fine. The two Europeans used the rest room and went into the Starbucks. England got a tea, France got a coffee, and they got America a coffee. It was the least they could do considering he was driving them to D.C. and not making them pay for gas or tolls.
They came back out to find him smoking a cigarette. He smiled sheepishly when he noticed them and put it out. "Sorry. It's a bad habit I picked up when I'm stress." England didn't say anything as he handed the American his coffee. "Thanks guys. You didn't have to."
"Nonsense." England scoffed. "How can we expect you to drive eight to ten hours on this ridiculous thing without some form of energy. Though, I suggest kicking the smoking habit."
"I'll try." America replied as England and France got in the car.
They drove for another hour without any problem. At ten p.m., they hit more construction. America swore again as the bright work lights suddenly appeared. There was the beeping of the construction equipment and the construction workers were standing on the edge of the single lane, wearing dark clothes and talking to each other. The American glared at them and muttered something about how they must have a death wish. He then returned to cursing out PennDOT.
He sighed. "At least the police aren't lurking around, that would be awful. I'm really sorry guys."
"Why not turn on the radio?" England suggested.
"Um... We're kind of in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Radio stations don't stay in for very long. And all we're going to get is Froggy, which is country. Not that I don't mind country, but I don't want to listen to it for the next three hours on seven different stations. On top of that, we'll lose it completely when we go through the tunnels."
"Tunnels?" France asked.
"Yeah, Pennsylvania has... eleven, I think. I can't remember exactly. But only five are still operational. Allegheny, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, Blue, and Lehigh. We're going through the first four. Lehigh's over near Philly and we're not going that way. We're getting off at the Blue Mountain exit, heading through a little town in the Susquehanna Valley and getting on I-81."
"Why the bloody hell are we going through some small town in the middle of one of your bloody states?" England asked.
"Cause it's the only way I can think of to get to I-81 which will take us to D.C. Unless you want to go through the mountains, because I know how to get to D.C. through them." America offered. Neither England nor France said anything. "That's what I thought."
They rode in silence for a little while. The two Europeans could've sworn America sped up as they passed exit 110. After passing that exit he rolled down his window and pulled out a nearly full pack of cigarettes. He pulled one out and lit it. France opened his mouth to say something but decided against it. America wasn't in the greatest mood and he could do whatever he wanted to his body. It wasn't like it would kill him anyway because he wasn't human.
"I thought you were going to try to quit that." England commented dryly.
America glanced at him. "I will, tomorrow. It's not like I smoke everyday."
"It's still not healthy, nation or not." the Brit pointed out, causing America to roll his eyes.
"Like you've never smoked before, Arthur." he replied sarcastically.
"Let's not fight." France suggested. "Amérique is driving. Though I don't agree with 'im smoking either, Angleterre, it's really none of our business."
England opened his mouth to protest, but shut it. He knew France was right. It was no use fighting. Both him and America were too stubborn and neither one would win. It would only result in either not talking to each other for a while or a car crash. The Brit didn't want either option and neither did America. Though when America wasn't looking, England decided he was going to swipe the cigarette lighter.
They came upon the first tunnel, the Allegheny. America started muttering curses at PennDOT over the condition of the tunnel. The tiles were missing in several place and several of the light were out. It was overall in poor condition. The two Europeans didn't blame the younger country for being angry at the state it was in. They actually found it sad that humans would let its condition deteriorate like that.
The rest of the trip on the Turnpike was uneventful. The other three tunnels they passed through were in the same condition as the Allegheny. America pulled off at exit 201 around midnight and pulled out his wallet. He smiled at the person running the booth and handed over $21 to pay the toll. He put the dime he received in change in the cup holder as he pulled away.
As they passed through the valley, England and France found it harder and harder to stay awake. On top of the late hour, jet-lag was starting to settle in. France was the first to fall asleep and England wasn't too far behind. America understood. He stopped at a McDonald's to get a coffee and turned on the radio to keep himself awake. Luckily, he was used to driving late at night.
The two European nations awoke at eight the next morning in the hotel parking lot. America was fast asleep with the driver's seat leaned back. England and France exchanged a look as if they were debating if they should wake him or not. They decided against it. The meeting didn't start until ten and he had been driving all night. England swiped the cigarette lighter and the pack of cigarettes before he and France got out of the car to go check into the hotel. Before they left, England took off his jacket and threw it over the sleeping American, figuring he'd ask for it back before the meeting.
"We should tell Germany 'e's out 'ere sleeping." France suggested. "Or are you going to come out and wake 'im."
England took the keys so nobody came and took them from the car. "You bloody well know I'll come out and wake him."
Okay, so I was on the Turnpike for 16 hours total this weekend and I had to bitch about the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I really love the State of Pennsylvania, but the Turnpike is ridiculous. It's two times the cost of the Ohio Turnpike, there was construction every ten miles at midnight, and there's eighty miles between the first and second rest stops. Yeah, the eighty miles between rest stops isn't fun. Neither is nearly hitting construction workers because they're wearing dark clothes and standing in the middle of the road talking when it's midnight. Also you have to pay to enter the State of Pennsylvania but you don't have to pay to enter the State of Ohio. It's because of Pennsylvania's $32 million dollar construction project. And yes, Ohio has been working on the exact same area for like two or three years now, right around exit 161.
This isn't the greatest because I was in the car while I wrote this. I was actually looking at the ticket on the Ohio Turnpike, so I was checking most of the prices. Anyway, I'm done rambling. Bonus points if anyone can guess what's at exit 110 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that America wants to avoid. Hint: Exit 110 is the Somerset exit.