Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. Just the plot and OCs.
I'll make a note here to any new comers. If you haven't read part one and part two this probably isn't going to make any sense too you. Just putting that out there, you might want to back track before you get completely lost. To those of you who've been with me a while now. I thank you for sticking around.
Anyway, the tale of Bumblebee continues and the drama will just build from here.
"Oh slag . . . ." Bumblebee murmured, glancing up the mess that had just become the supply closet. He tilted his little head to the side. How did he manage to get it on the ceiling?
Well . . . there went that plan.
With a sound that loud and the scared squeak that had left him when it happened despite how much he tried not too he was about to get found in three, two, one.
"BUMBLEBEE!" The door to the supply closet swung open to a rather annoyed and somewhat worried looking Sunstreaker who's scowl fell off in shock as his jaw dropped open at the sight before him.
The little youngling grinned innocently from the floor. "Hi, Sunny."
For a nano-klick the warrior just looked around until he pinned his optics back on Bee.
"How did you manage to get paint on the ceiling?!" The golden warrior snapped.
"Uh . . . ." The twelve vorn old youngling really didn't know the answer to that. One klick he was painting his present and then he found himself laying in a puddle of purple paint staring at the green spots on the closet roof above him. He still wasn't all that sure how he fell off his perch on the shelves and ended up down here. It just happened.
Despite the fact that he had aged a few vorns since his family came to live on the new battleship the Eternity in human terms little Bee hadn't really aged much more than a day. He was still about the equivalent of a six year old human toddler. The first vorns of a sparkling's life they age rather quickly until they reach the nine vorn old mark when they are technically classified as younglings. From then on out their growth and development slow down greatly, not that Bee did a lot of growing in the first place, but now he had reached the point where he was gonna be stuck in pretty much the same mind set for a good few dozen vorns until he was old enough to get his second frame. Even if the little mech was smarter than most his age his size was not on his side and it was starting to become very obvious even to little Bee that he was always going to be kinda small.
That was not a concept that pleased him very much.
He didn't like being so tiny, he wanted to help, he wanted to do, but every time he tried to do for himself something always seemed to go wrong.
Just like how he managed to end up on his back in a puddle of purple paint.
The little youngling let out a tired sigh.
All he wanted to do was be useful and prove that he could do stuff for himself. That he wasn't as helpless as his family thought.
Even if he still couldn't figure out a way to reach the energon tanks in the mess hall by himself. Ironhide was still mad about when he came in to find the little mech hanging by his toes off the edge of a chair he had somehow managed to scoot over there only to get tangled up in the cable he had been trying to use to pull the nozzle down.
His beloved guardian had been fuming for several breams after that incident. Yelling about how he could have hung himself and that if he ever did something as stupid as that again he'd have Ratchet weld him to their berthroom wall. Optimus hadn't been all that happy with him either and it was an easy guess to say Bee had been stuck in his berth grounded for the rest of the orn.
Grounded . . . Bee hated grounded.
"Half Pint," Sunstreaker let out a sigh as he bent down plucking the little mech from the paint giving the room a good glance before he picked up the half splattered canvas and walked out shutting the door behind him. The mess could wait . . . or better yet it could be some other bots' problem.
"Sorry, Sunny." Bee said as he tried to sit ridged in his caretaker's hand so not to get the paint on him. "Just tryin' do like you."
"Well why didn't you just come ask me to paint with you?" Sunstreaker questioned as he made his way down the soft black colored halls the well lit corridors making the glittering paint shimmer as if it was the vastness of space with all its magical stars.
"You and Sides busy."
"We're never too busy for you, Half Pint." Sunstreaker promised him. "Even on shift you know that. You need us you come find us. Especially when Ironhide is gone. Who's supposed to be watching you anyway?"
Bumblebee chuckled. "Bluestreak's doorwings stuck in shooting range elevator 'gain. Sneak off when Ratchet tryin' help."
Sunstreaker actually had to laugh at that. "Youngling, you gotta stop doing that."
"But me ninja!" He chirped.
"Did Jazz tell you that?" Sunny snorted.
"Says make good one!"
"Remind me to scrap him later, alright?"
"I swear he was right there when you were getting me out and—oh there he is." Bluestreak and Ratchet rounded the end of the corridor only to stop short at the sight of the now very purple and green Bumblebee held in Sunstreaker's outstretched hand.
"Squirt," Ratchet's dark blue optics narrowed as Bee shrank back in Sunny's palm while the medic stomped up to them to glare down at his splattered form. "What did you do now?"
"Paintin'." He grinned innocently.
"Found him in a supply closet." Sunstreaker shrugged. "You know, Wrench if you turn your back on him for two nano-klicks he's gone. You should know that by now."
"Don't lecture me." Ratchet warned him waving a wrench he had pulled from subspace. "I'll make sure you can't wax for a Decacycle!"
The golden warrior actually flinched at that before he lowered his gaze. "Sorry, Ratch."
Grumbling under his breath Ratchet waved him off. "I have to fix this idiots wing hinges again."
Bluestreak grinned weakly.
"Will you please get him cleaned up and then over to Optimus? He needs energon."
"Can do." Sunstreaker nodded before heading on his way. He and Bumblebee could hear the sounds of Ratchet whacking poor Bluestreak over the head all the way down the halls toward the medical bay though even with his pitiful cries for mercy the youngling and the warrior still laughed at his expense.
Sunstreaker would actually admit he remotely enjoyed the young snipers company—when he wasn't talking a mile a klick—but that scattered processor he had wasn't the best at keeping up with the stunts Bumblebee could pull. Maybe that was why the youngling liked him so much, Sunny had no idea, but either way it always seemed that Bee snuck off quite easily when Blue was supposed to be watching him and Sunstreaker figured that maybe it was time Ratchet smacked a little sense into him.
Just a little.
"Where we goin'?" Bee questioned.
"Well I can't give you to boss bot looking like this." Sunstreaker answered. "So I guess once again its bath time for you, Half Pint."
Bee didn't really look all that pleased with the notion, but he figured he was in enough trouble with Optimus for sneaking off again so he just crossed his arms and accepted his bath.
The sight of the slightly annoyed youngling made Sunstreaker chuckle before he turned his attention inward.
"Sides?" He called over their bond.
As always the reply was quick. "What's up, Sunny? Where'd you go? You know monitor duty is kinda boring when you're not here to pick at."
"I'm sure." Sunstreaker rolled his optics. "Tell Prowl you're done with him for this orn and meet me in the washroom."
"Ah do I gotta buff you again?"
Sunstreaker growled internally over their link. "Half Pint is currently purple and green so get your slaggin' aft up out of that chair and help me fragging wash him!"
"Oh . . . ." Sunny could feel the amusement and humor bubbling over from his brother into his spark and rolled his optics once again at the feeling. "Anything for Half Pint. Be there in a nano-klick."
Sunstreaker slammed the link shut already knowing how this was going to go.
Bumblebee's laughter could be heard echoing down the black halls of the Eternity along with Sunstreaker's grumbles and Sideswipe's chuckle.
It was a safe bet to say that the youngling's bath wasn't really going as planned.
"Half Pint!" Sunstreaker warned as the little yellow mech held the cup of cleaning fluid mixed with bubbles up before him grinning wickedly at Sunny. Sides was cowering behind the towel rack just off to the side already dripping and covered in bubbles from where Bee decided that it would be fun to wash the twins as well as himself.
Even if Sunstreaker was looking at him like he might scrap him if he so much as dared toss the liquid at him.
"If you so much as—"
"AAAAHHHHH YOU LITTLE GLITCH!"
Okay so maybe that wasn't such a good idea.
Sunstreaker swung for him, but Bee had come to pride himself in being pretty fast. He scampered out of the little wash tub and was hurrying across the floor as Sunstreaker splashed faceplate first into the tub of mildly warm cleaning fluid.
"Oh pit." Sideswipe mumbled just as Bee whet scurrying out the door and Sunstreaker bellowed.
"GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE RUNT!"
"Run, Half Pint! Run!" Sides called after him doubly over with laughter as he tried to catch his brother before he went raging out there and did something stupid.
Bumblebee didn't stop to look back. He knew Sunstreaker would never hurt him, but that didn't mean he wouldn't get his little skidplate spanked pretty good so he bolted from the washrooms as fast as his clumsy little feet would carry him running to the one mech he knew would scold him for what he did, but in the end would save him from his spanking.
Laughing his little spark out the still soaking wet and bubble covered youngling rushed down the long black halls with the sounds of Sunstreaker raging and Sideswipe trying to stop him just behind. That is until the little mech ran faceplate first into the bottom step of the flight of stairs that led up to the second floor and Optimus's office.
With a rather painful bang Bee bounced off the metal step and crashed back onto his skidplate a pained whimper escaping him. For a moment his whole world spun in a black fog before pain stung to life in his noseplate and he tasted energon. His energon.
That was when the tears started.
A small sob rocked through him as he sat up his little hand cradling his faceplate before he pulled his hand back and saw energon staining his hand. He let out another whimper. He wanted Hide, but Hide wasn't here. So he settled the other mech he loved with everything inside him.
"OPTIMUS!" He screamed out over his closest bonds his tears running down his cheeks as a sob rocked through not only his frame, but his spark setting everybot that was closely bonded to him into a panic. Well except Ironhide which was who he really wanted, but Ironhide was on Hot Rod's ship helping train some new recruits for a few orns. This was the one time his guardian wasn't around to stop his tears. That just made them flow faster.
"Bumblebee!?" Optimus' frantic voice mixed with Jazz's, and Ratchet's, and even the twins who came barreling around the corner of the hall a pained gasp leaving both of them before Bee found himself scooped up off the floor cradled to Sideswipe's red chest as the warrior tried to pry the little mech's hand off of his faceplate that was now leaking energon quite badly.
"Where is he!?"Optimus demanded over the private comm link that the most regular caretakers of his youngling kept open at all times for any matter that concerned Bee.
A few answer of 'haven't got a clue' could be heard before Ratchet snarled.
"He was with the twins!"
Sides and Sunny flinched but were still more worried about the energon rolling down Bee's faceplate.
"We got him okay. He ran off and then busted it on the steps. Ratchet get down here he's hurt." Sunstreaker grumbled all his anger forgotten at the sight of the blue rolling down. Bee wouldn't take his hand away and Sides was afraid to hurt him so all either of them could do was stand there in the middle of the hall while Bumblebee sobbed clinging to Sideswipe's chestplates.
"Want Hide!" He cried.
"It's okay, Bee. Hide's not here, but I got ya alright." Sides tried to sooth him. Damn that stupid weapons specialist for leaving! Bee needed him and he wasn't here!
"On my way." The twins expected the words from Ratchet but they came from Prime, the leader having sensed the distress in his youngling and was already half way there when Bee's spark wailed for him again. He answered the cry with warmth and love trying to calm the little mech but he knew he wasn't going to calm down until he truly got there. If he was so upset he didn't want the twins then something really was hurting him, and the leader guessed it was more than just running into the step.
Lightly dabbing the cloth against the little mech's noseplate Optimus sighed at the tears staining his cheeks.
"Bumblebee," He started. "Promise me no more running into steps okay?"
"'Kay." The little mech sniffled.
"You're too young for a broken noseplate."
"Yes. I imagine it did." Leaning back in his chair in his office the powerful red and blue commander of the Autobots readjusted the little mech in his arms as he wiped the last of the stained energon away. To say that Ratchet had been upset about the little mech's busted nose was an understatement. It had been a long time since Optimus saw the medic hit one of the twins that hard. Though he really didn't need too, the commander was pretty sure they were willing to take a beating from Ironhide for the sight of the energon rolling down Bumblebee's faceplate.
It had upset them as much as it had the youngling.
Especially when Ratchet had to fix it by snapping it back into place. Even Optimus had cringed at that. It looked like it hurt, it sounded like it hurt, and it did hurt each of them in the spark. The Prime thought Sides was gonna purge his tanks at the sight and the sound of the youngling's renewed bawling after that happened.
"Steps stupid." Bumblebee murmured as he cuddled into Optimus' chest.
The Prime chuckled. "You'll grow into them, Bee. I promise."
Sadly though, Bee wasn't so sure.
"Optimus." He lifted his baby blue optics to the commander's bright ones. He was gifted a hum in return. "Hungry."
"Alright," Reaching forward Optimus picked up the cube of blue liquid sitting on his desk and brought it to Bumblebee. The tears and pain were forgotten when the little mech snatched up the drink and went to sipping quite happily wiggling his little toes as his short antennas flicked back and forth.
Satisfied that the youngling would be alright for a breem or more the commander went back to his paperwork.
That is until one of the monitors to his left beeped to life. Glancing over he lifted the hand that wasn't cradling Bee and flicked it on. In a flurry of light Ironhide's faceplate appeared on the screen. Optimus grinned and Bee all but squealed.
"HIDE!" He dropped his half finished dinner all over Optimus' reports and flung himself toward the screen that was about twice the size of him that held the image of his laughing guardian. His little yellow hands were soon pressed against the glass along with his entire faceplate as he squished him up against the monitor grinning like a fool at his Ironhide.
"Bee," Ironhide chuckled lightly clearly pleased to see him. "How you been my youngling?"
Bee paused. Well actually he hadn't been very good, his noseplate hurt, but he wasn't all that thrilled about telling Ironhide about how he'd broken it.
He wasn't going to be happy about that.
"Bumblebee has had quite an orn." Optimus picked up the sparking data pad from his desk with a sigh before he tossed it into the trash and turned his attention to what he could see of Hide's faceplate on the screen that didn't have a youngling squished up against it.
"Oh he has?" Those dark blue optics grew a little worried. "What did he do?"
"Nothin'!" Bee insisted quickly though he was shot a glare via the picture and with a huff he fell to his little skidplate, crossed his arms, and waited for the scolding that was going to come.
"He tried to run through the stairs." Optimus answered.
From across the video chat the weapons specialist's palm hit his forehead. "Bumblebee,"
"Steps stupid." Was all Bee mumbled.
"Are you hurt?" Hide asked looking at the little youngling sitting before his commander. When the he looked away Ironhide had his answer. "Oh, Bee."
"He broke his noseplate."
"He what!?" Hide panicked.
"It's alright, Hide." Optimus assured him. "Ratchet fixed him up."
"How hard did he hit the step!?"
"Primus, youngling." Ironhide groaned. "I'm gone for six orns and you break yourself! How did that even happen?"
"He was running from Sunstreaker."
The black mech's optics narrowed dangerously. "I'll scrap him!"
"No!" Bee yelped.
"Believe me, Hide." Optimus said. "Ratchet made his opinion very known and besides I think they were more willing to scrap themselves worse than you could when Ratchet snapped it back."
"I'm still gonna scrap him." Hide grumbled.
It was at that Bee decided to take the conversation a different route before Ironhide figured out just how he was going to scrap the golden warrior.
"Hide," He mumbled from the desk drawing his guardian's optics back to him. "When coming back?"
At the sadness swimming in those bright baby blue orbs the powerful mechs around him broke. A heavy sigh leaving both of them before Ironhide answered.
"Tomorrow," Hide told him. "I'm almost done here. I'll be back before time for you to recharge tomorrow I promise."
Bee looked away. He was still mad that Hide even left. It wasn't fair. Why couldn't he come with him? Why did he have to stay here? He loved his family, he loved being with them, but he felt cold and empty when he was alone now. A place in his spark still sore. The place Risk use to be in.
A place Hide made better.
Optimus helped too, but if the youngling was being honest with himself he needed them all. He needed to be able to feel them all. Because only all of them kept the nightmares away.
"Come on, Bee." Hide tried. "Look at me."
Obeying the little mech glanced up, but the hurt was still in his optics.
"What's wrong, Bee?" Ironhide wanted nothing more than to be able to snatch his charge up and cradle him safely to his spark. He'd come to know that look on his faceplate very well over the last few vorns. It was that look he held before he was about to cry. When he was missing Risk.
Turning his optics to his friend Optimus knew what the mech wanted and he scooped up Bumblebee pulling him to his spark reaching out to feel the bubbly warmth that lived inside his tiny frame that now was growing cold and distant. Prime knew the feeling.
He had come to know it too well and he hated it with everything that was in him.
"Want you home." Bee mumbled to Hide as he snuggled into Optimus' chest reaching back for the power that burned in the spark under his audios. He welcomed the warmth and the love as it pushed into his sadness beating it out and away from him until he was lost in a fuzzy cloud of peace that had his young processor slowing down tiredly.
"I'll be back soon, Bumblebee." Ironhide promised him his voice full of assurance.
"'Kay." The little one whispered as his optics fluttered closed and recharge pulled him into sweet nothing courtesy of the spark wrapped tightly around him keeping out the sadness with all that it had.
"Next training session you send some other fraggin' bot!" Ironhide snarled as soon as he saw that Bee was recharging.
"You're the best there is, Hide." Optimus admitted sadly. "I have no other choice."
The truth of the words stung to the big black mech and he hated that he was angry about his job and his life. He was a solider after all. That hadn't and wasn't going to change. Not anytime soon, probably not ever. He was sparked for battle. Unlike most on the Autobot lines. He had not come from Iacon or any noble city . . . he had come from much darker.
After a moment of silence the mech got to what was really bothering him. "Heard anything more?"
"No." Optimus sighed.
"Even Jazz can't decode it?"
"Damn . . . he's the best hacker in the damn universe."
"There isn't much there for him to work with."
"No, just a message sent out addressed to you from unknown origin and all that. A message with just your designation and a call for help. It's not suspicious or anything like that."
Optimus had to smile. "You never were one for blind faith, Hide."
"Blind faith?" The black mech snorted. "I smell a turbo-rat is what I say! You're worrying too much about it. It's most likely a trap."
"Ironhide, I'm not about to go gallivanting into a dead zone chasing a signal that is gone now that we couldn't name or place. I'm just curious as to what it might have been."
"Well be curios after Bee is old enough to hold up a damn cannon."
The commander's optics narrowed. "I will not risk his safety anymore than you will. We are maintaining our post. Besides my brother has been abnormally quiet lately. That is either very good or very bad."
"Ran away with his tailpipe between his legs." Ironhide snarled. "Knows what I'll do to him if I see his damn faceplate anytime soon."
"You and me both my friend." Both sets of blue optics turned down to smile at the little bundle of yellow snuggled safely to the Prime's chest.
"Is he excited?" Ironhide asked.
"About New Vorns Eve?" Optimus chuckled. "Of course he is. Hasn't stop talking about it since you left. He has made me swear multiple times that you will be back before the countdown."
"I'll be there." Ironhide smirked. "Wouldn't miss New Vorns with him for the world. Hammerdown can deal with the rookies on his own even if he's a big softy."
"Hey! I resent that!" The familiar voice of Hammerdown echoed in the background. "I am not a softy! These neutrals are just slaggin' glitchy! Can't blast 'em to scrap the first orns they're on the ship!"
"As said by Ratchet," Ironhide snickered. "Pain is a great teacher. Smacked over the head a couple of times and you tend to remember not to do stupid things."
"Yeah, but Hot Rod would scrap me for breaking the new recruits!" Suddenly the deep blue faceplate of the warrior appeared over Ironhide's shoulder. "Oh, hey Prime!"
"Hello, Hammer." Optimus chuckled.
"How is the pip squeak?"
The Prime glanced down. "Fine."
"Well good maybe old Hide here will stop taking out his frustrations on me and my recruits!"
"I am not old you glitch!" Hide growled out low and dangerous before he smacked the younger warrior off screen and out of his way. "Now get out of here! Go do something of some sort of importance!"
"You sound like slaggin' Ratchet!"
"Alright, jeez I'm going! I'm going!"
With a heavy sigh the massive ebony mech turned back to the screen. "Sometimes I think I liked it better when he still hated me."
Optimus out right laughed at that. "Sure you do, Hide. Sure you do."
Ironhide laughed as well with a sort of sigh. "Yeah . . . I guess I don't. Well, I better get to finishing all this up. I'll see you tomorrow, Optimus."
"Goodnight, Ironhide." The screen flickered off and left the Prime in silence.
Baby blue optics flickered back to life.
For a moment Bumblebee took in his surroundings. He was snuggled safely on the warm blue and red chest of one of the most powerful mechs in the history of ever as far as he was concerned. Content with that realization he snuggled back down and closed his optics again more than happy to fall back into recharge safely in Optimus' berthroom. That lasted only about four nano-klicks though.
Suddenly he bolted up right with a happy little squeal his tiny yellow hands clapping together loudly. "NEW VORNS EVE!"
Optimus' bright blue optics opened slightly startled by the youngling's outburst so early in the morning only to smile broadly at the sight of the little yellow mech bouncing up and down on his chest giggling for all he was worth.
"It's New Vorns Eve!" Bee cried out happily only to squeal loudly again when he saw that Optimus was awake. Scrambling up he flung himself forward wrapping his arms as far around the Prime's neck as he could and proceeded to hold on giggling while Optimus sat up his hand cradling him carefully as the commander laughed.
"Yes, small one, it is."
Bee went back to his giggling as he maneuvered his way off the giant berth and slid down to the floor before he hurried over to the closed door looking back over his shoulder to the massive mech who had sat up to watch him.
"And where are you going?"
"Help Jacky decorate! Said I could!" Bee bounced happily on his feet. Optimus tilted his head for a moment before touching the side of his left audio as Bee bounced before his door trying to figure out how to get to the keypad lock.
"Prime to Wheeljack."
The open comm link that ran through the ship was silent with static for a moment before the apprehensive voice of the inventor rose up.
"Whatever it was I didn't blow it up."
"That's a lie he probably did!" Jazz's amused voice joined the channel.
"Thirty credits says it was him!" Bluestreak laughed.
"Blue, how could you!?" Wheeljack cried out.
"Sorry, Jack." But the young gunner didn't really sound all that sorry.
"So what did you break this time, Jack?" Ratchet sighed out tiredly.
"I haven't done nothing! I'm stringing lights!"
"In his defense he kinda has been in the rec room for the whole morning. Saw him earlier." Sideswipe's voice joined the mix.
"Sides!" Jazz called out. "I was wondering why you hadn't spoken up yet. So was it you?"
"Did you feel anything blow up?" Sunstreaker growled out darkly.
"Uh . . . come to think of it no."
"Then how would either of the glitches have blown anything up!?"
"The psychopath makes a good point." Prowl put in, his tone tired and stressed. No doubt he hadn't gotten a wink of recharge last night. Optimus could hear it in his voice.
"Don't try and define me!" Sunstreaker snarled back sounding like he was more than ready to peal the armor off the next thing that crossed his path.
"Eh somebot is a little pissy this morning." Gears laughed over the link. "What's crawled under your armor and died, Sunstreaker?"
"Rust in Pit!"
There was the sound of metal crashing on metal from somewhere in the ship making Bee perk his antennas in interest while Optimus just sighed.
"Uh . . . not again." Bluestreak mumbled.
"I SWEAR TO PRIMUS IF YOU BREAK YOURSELVES OR ANOTHER MECH AGAIN I WILL WELD YOU TO THE DAMN WALL!" Ratchet bellowed over the links and the Prime pictured him hauling aft out of medical. No doubt with a buzz saw likely in his hand. It was before first shift. The buzz saw was always the early morning weapon of choice for the CMO.
"I'll get him." Sideswipe breathed out tiredly on account of his brother.
"OPTIMUS!" Ratchet growled.
"Permission to bolt their afts to the damn ship wings if they so much as scratch something again?"
Optimus blinked for a moment at the words before he snorted.
"As usual my affection right back to you, Ratchet."
"You realize I have to go—"
"I'm gonna SCRAP THEM! YOU HEAR ME!? YOU'RE BOTH SCRAP!"
"Oh breakfast and a show!" Hound's voice sparkled over the link.
"Damn! Pit that had to hurt!" Drift sounded as if he just watched someone's tailpipe get ripped out.
"Why do the holidays always end up like this?" Bluestreak sighed over the comm.
"Because our family is dysfunctional, Blue." Jazz laughed good naturedly.
"Yeah, that's how I'd word it." Trailbreaker snorted.
"Hey, we put the fun in dysfunctional mechs! Roll with it!" Jazz offered.
"YOU'RE BOTH SLAGGIN' SCRAP! I'M GONNA WELD YOU TO THE DAMN WALL! YOU'LL NEVER SO MUCH AS LIFT A FINGER AGAIN!"
A very femme like screech.
"Ah! Some mech save us! He's lost his damn mind!" Sideswipe's voice pleaded over the airways.
"Ha-ha Sides you squeal like a femme!" Tracks laughed.
"And now Tracks is down." Inferno sighed.
"Well don't just stand there you glitch pull that psycho red idiot off of him!" Red Alert yelled.
"Oh yeah, Red. Sure." Inferno snorted. "I'll jump right in between a crazed medic, the terror twins, and the fool that stood too close and laughed. Let me just go finish recording my will first."
"Some mech do something!" Red Alert said.
"I think this is a great way to start New Vorns Eve." Blurr chuckled.
"I'm soooooo transferring." Bluestreak sounded down cast.
A sudden low growl rose up over the link and ever mech flinched including Optimus. He knew that growl. It was a growl worse than Ratchet when he was about to go all Medic of Doom on some pour spark. Because that was Prowl.
A very annoyed Prowl.
Things were about to get ten times worse.
"Kidding! Prowl, I was joking! I'm not transferring!" Blue's timid please for mercy were only met by another crash sounding from somewhere on the lower levels making Optimus roll his optics. When was that young sniper going to learn that his mentor did not take joking well? Especially this time of vorn.
"Oww . . . ." Jazz sounded like he was cringing. "Damn, Prowl went right for the door wings. That's a low blow."
"Remind me never to piss off Prowl." Blaster sounded in awe. "He's worse than Ratchet and the twins."
"Mech! Even we don't touch doorwings! Well at least on friends. Okay well sometimes we do . . . I'm just gonna mute it now." Sides commented.
"I'm going to have to fix that too." Ratchet sighed.
"Fix me first, doc!" Track's pleaded.
"Well good to know Sunstreaker wasn't done." Hound chuckled.
"YOU GLITCHING TWO BIT PROCESSOR! POUR EXCUSE FOR A FLAKE AND RUST COVERED GOLDEN TURBO-MOUSE! STOP BREAKING MY MECHS!"
"And their off again." Hound put in.
"Did he really just insult the paint?" Perceptor mumbled in horror.
"Oh yeah, he did." Wheeljack answered.
"How is he still functioning?"
"Well it is the twins and Ratchet. They never really break each other."
"Maybe I spoke too soon."
As entertaining as it all sounded the Prime knew he was going to have to put a stop to all this before some mech was offlined. So he stood from his berth scooping up Bumblebee who had innocently been trying to get the door open while all this went on in the comm links he couldn't hear. Rolling his optics the powerful commander knew by the sounds of the clangs that Bee was now listening too with interest poking at him and asking what was wrong that the fighting was most likely outside the mess hall. He strolled down the halls as the comments continued.
"Jeez Prowl is mad!" Cliffjumper commented.
"Pour Blue. He'll never joke again." Fireflight spoke then.
"Jazz, help the mech!" Drift said.
"Oh yeah, sure. I'm getting in the middle of that mentor and apprentice scuffle. Sorry mech I like my paint the way it is. Besides, Prowl won't hurt him."
"Maybe you and Wheeljack should just stop talking." Kup sighed.
"Noted." Both mechs answered.
Optimus descended a flight of stairs with a curious youngling in his grip rounding the end of a black hall coming to find a wall of curious backs surrounding the sounds of metal crashing against metal, snarls and curses, and please of jokes and mercy.
Bumblebee's antennas folded back in anger at what his big bright optics found.
They were fighting again.
Oh pit no. Not this orn! This was New Vorns Eve! There would be no fighting on his favorite holiday!
They little yellow mech yelled for all he was worth and even the air in the ship froze stiff. The wall of watching mechs stepped aside looking back with apprehension to the anger on that little faceplate. He was stiff as a pole in Optimus' arms his glaring baby blue optics burning into the forms of Ratchet who head Sideswipe in a choke hold with Sunstreaker yanking at both the medic and his brother while his foot was frozen mid air from where he had been kicking a knock cold Gears. Tracks had already managed to scramble away, not foolish enough to think he could take on Sides and Sunny though he wasn't far off. Then the glare of the little mech almost made smoke rise off Prowl's black and white paint from where he had Bluestreak pinned to the ground on his chest a hand on both doorwings while he had been pulling them sideways yelling at the pour pleading gunner about how if he ever tried to transfer off this ship he'd hunt him down and end him.
Now though the fighting mechs looking up in shame at the glaring optics burning into them.
"Bee," Sides mumbled through the choke hold.
"LET 'EM GO!" The youngling screamed for all he was worth his little hands waving up and down in rage as he kept repeating it. Ratchet and Prowl released their prisoners in a spark-beat, the twins recoiled, and Blue hopped to his feet edging away from his mentor. Then Bee turned his glare up to Optimus who took up a glare of his own at his troops.
"What a wonderful way to start the youngling's twelfth New Vorns Eve." He deadpanned.
Every mech in the room flinched.
"Every mech that isn't either damaged or a direct cause of this get out of my sight." To his credit the commander never raised his voice. He was frustrated and a little annoyed, but not really angry. Not that his soldiers needed to know that though.
Like turbo-mice when a light flips on they scattered every direction possible leaving just the mechs that had been in the middle. Bee kept on glaring while Optimus lifted an optic ridge.
"Gears started it." Sunstreaker growled with his arms crossed. Tracks went to open his mouth but the golden mech shot him a glare. "I will scrap you!"
The blue warrior decided it was best to be quiet.
Optimus' optics narrowed.
"Maybe you should mute it, bro." Sides whispered. Sunstreaker glared, but said no more.
"Ratchet, get to the med bay and fix this mess." Optimus told him.
"Yes, Prime." Ratchet knelt, swung Gears over his shoulder, grabbed Tracks by the arm hauling him to his feet with a little yelp from the warrior, motioned Bluestreak to follow him which the sniper did, and stalked back down the hall toward medical.
"Twins," Optimus leveled them in a glare. Sideswipe looked away while Sunstreaker just snarled. "I am well aware you do not care for this holiday, but you will not cause unrest on my ship. We've been over this."
"Sorry, Prime." Sides looked down then glanced up with a hiss to smack his brother who mumbled an agreement before nailing the red twin in the back of the head in return.
"Guard stations. West hanger. Double shifts."
Both warriors groaned.
In two bright streaks they were gone leaving Optimus standing there with a still very annoyed youngling in his arms as he stared at his SIC who had suddenly found the floor quite interesting.
"This isn't like you." Optimus told him.
Prowl's doorwings fell from their normal ridged 'v' into a depressed slack hanging behind him twitching slightly.
"You should know better than to think Blue would ever transfer."
Prowl had no response. What he had done was irrational and afraid. There was no reason to justify his actions . . . well there was, but neither mech was going to bring it up right now.
"Your office is currently calling your name."
With a nod Prowl spun around and quietly disappeared down the hall his wings never lifting as he walked. Optimus' spark hurt at the sight. With a small shake of his head he turned to look at the corner behind him heaving out a sigh.
"You can come out now, Jazz."
A silver head with a flashing blue visor peaked out in apprehension. "He-he. Hi, Boss Bot."
"I think it's about time you did some damage control, my friend."
Jazz nodded slowly. "On it."
"When you are done Bumblebee with be with Wheeljack decorating the rec room."
With one last look the two mechs parted ways. One heading toward a haunting past and the other the beginnings of a bright future.
"Are you in any danger of glitching? Because if you are I'm going back to hang out with the youngling." Jazz swaggered into Prowl's office finding his best friend just where he figured he'd be. At his desk with a pile of data reports stacked to the fraggin' ceiling to hide behind. Jazz sighed at the depressing sight.
Some New Vorns Eve this was starting out to be. Lil' Bee was not going to a very happy little mech when the countdown rolled around tonight, and by default that meant when Ironhide stepped off the ground bridge and found out he was not going to be a happy very big mech. Jazz's aft was already hurting from where he knew the WS was going to nail him.
"I will not glitch." Prowl's monotone unnerved the saboteur.
Making his way the last few feet into the room he swished all the data pads off into the floor earning a glare as he hoped up, spun around, and ended up cross-legged with a sparkling grin on his faceplate as he propped his chin on his palms and his elbows on his knees while he smiled at his best friend.
"Ya gotta loosen up a bit, Prowler."
"Would you kindly get off my desk?"
"Can't do it." Jazz shook his head back and forth.
"Why in Primus not?"
"Because you'll go back to work."
Rolling his optics the SIC picked up a report file from the floor, leaned back in his chair, and went back to reading it.
Jazz pouted looking very much like his dear little adopted brother in that moment. Not that the silly silver mech minded that at all.
Scooting forward to the other edge of the desk making quite a racket as he did so the silver mech ended up right in front of the white and black one before he lifted an optic ridge. "Don't make me hop in your lap, Prowler. You know I will."
Prowl looked over the top of the data pad.
Jazz wiggled his optic ridges at him with a saucy grin.
With a sigh Prowl put the report down. "Why must you call me that?"
"Call you what?"
"You know what."
"No I don't."
"Yes you do."
"Can't really recall what it is ya getting' at. Enlighten me."
Prowl pinched between his optics his doorwings tensing and twitching while he did. "Prowler, Jazz. Why must you call me Prowler? My designation is Prowl. Every other bot can use it why the pit can't you?"
"Damn, I got you to curse." Jazz whistled. "You really are off this morning aren't you?"
"Jazz," The SIC warned.
"Alright, alright." The silver mech relented. "You know why I do it."
" . . . I wish you would stop."
"Can't do it."
"Smokescreen is gone, Jazz."
"And yet you still hide from that fact."
Prowl went tense before his doorwings stood ridge behind him and his optics narrowed. "I do not hide from it."
"You might have talked to Hammer, you might be okay with the fact that Smokey is gone, but yes Prowl you do hide from it. I'm not the only one that knows it too. You hide from the fact that it still hurts that he is gone. That you couldn't get him to listen to save his own protoform. You blame yourself and you're angry with him. Though you still hide from all that. You bury it just like you do every other fraggin' thing. Behind reports and work and the fact that you wanna be too busy to even remember his name."
Prowl looked away.
"That's why I call you what he use to call you, Prowl. One because I love ya mech you're my best friend, but more so because he loved you. He loved you every time he called you that, and you can't hide from the name. You can't hide from his memory."
"He didn't come back."
The words made Jazz recoil slightly before his visor dimmed.
"He never came home." Prowl's hand on the data pad shook a little. "They always came home. No matter what stupid stunt they pulled the three of them always came home. That time though his recklessness caught up with him. He made me a promise and he broke it. Just like I did."
"You didn't break your word, Prowl."
"But I did." The black and white mech lifted his tormented gaze. "I did. So, so, many times."
A soft knock on the office door cut off what Jazz was about to say because with a swish the tentative grey faceplate of Bluestreak met the two mechs. His light blue optics were downcast and worried, though when he saw Jazz was there they widened slightly and he took a step back.
"Oh . . . I'll come back later." Turning the normally talkative young mech just muttered under his breath before Prowl called out and stopped him.
"No, Blue. Come back."
Glancing over his shoulder Blue looked more like the young refugee that Prowl had helped pull out of Praxus all those vorns ago then he had in a very long time. The sight made the emotionless mask of the tactician shatter.
He'd done that.
He made the happy-go-lucky gabber jaw look like he'd run over a sparkling turbofox. Primus he hated himself right now.
"I'm not gonna transfer, Prowl. I would never transfer. I was just joking. You really don't think I would do that do you? I mean I owe you everything. I could never leave. This is my family. My home. I wouldn't leave, Bee. I wouldn't leave you. I couldn't. I just couldn't. I know I shouldn't joke about that. Not to you. I just didn't think it would upset you. I'm sor—"
"Enough, Bluestreak." Prowl cut him off. "I'm the one who is sorry. It wasn't you I was angry with and it was wrong to take it out on you."
Blue paused looking slightly confused before Jazz shot him a sad look. Then the sniper understood.
This was about Smokescreen.
Prowl strolled into his and his brother's apartment over the sky rise of Iacon to find the young mech cross-legged on a chair in the living room with a rather large data pad before him as he scribbled away at something. Locking the door behind him Prowl crossed the distance to his younger sibling and looked over his shoulder.
"Hi-ya, Prowler." Smokey glanced up with his trademark grin. "Look at me. I'm doing homework and you didn't even tell me too!"
Prowl offered the youngling of around the age equivalent of a human thirteen year old a small smile before he went to the tanks and grabbed a cube of energon for them both as he came to sit across from the vibrant white, red, and blue youngling who was absentmindedly playing with his red chevron as he worked his entry level class assignment. The young mech was shooting for a chance to get into Basic Training for the Elite Guard—something Prowl wasn't all that happy about—but he'd have to pass quite a few vorns of classes first to get there.
This was the one time in his life that Prowl secretly hoped his brother would get bored and give up. He didn't want Smokescreen to become a soldier.
The war was over. He didn't have to be.
Letting out a tired sigh the normally strict and rule set mech reached out and took his brother's homework from him. Smokescreen looked up in surprise before his bright blue optics narrowed.
"What's wrong, Prowler?"
"Smokescreen, I have to talk to you."
The tri-tone mech lifted an optic ridge. "'bout what?"
Well there was no point in beating around the bush about things so the white and black mech just came out and said it.
"I'm being transferred."
The youngling's optics went wide, his jaw went a little slack, and he just sat there dumbly before his older brother staring at him.
Prowl's spark sank. "It's only for a few Decacycles, Smokey."
"You promised." Those bright blue optics narrowed back into slits.
The younger mech sprang to his feet. "You promised! You promised we were going to be here for a while this time! You said we were going to stay! I like this apartment! Hammer and Rider are just a few floors down! I don't have to get up and drive two breams to school every morning. I don't have to make an appointment to see my best friends! I actually get to see you every orn! We're happy here! Damn it, Prowl! New Vorns Eve is in three orns! We're on holiday! I actually can go have some fun! Why do you want to move again!?"
"I don't want to move, Smokescreen. It is not a choice. It is orders. Sentinel is sending me to Tyger Pax for a Decacycle or two and then I am coming back."
"What do you mean just you?"
"I mean you are not coming this time. It's not a long enough time to move you as well. That is not logical. You will stay here with Ironhide and Chromia. They have kindly agreed to keeping an optic on you for a little—"
"No!" Smokescreen cut him off with a snarl making Prowl look up. "You're not leaving me here! I go where you go!"
"I will be back before long."
"Damn it! Prowl you promised! It's almost New Vorns. You said you won't work through this one!"
Prowl's spark was on the floor. "I know and I am sorry. I tried to get it postponed, but Smokescreen . . . I'm an Elite Guard it is my duty."
"Duty!?" The young mech growled. "Duty! Your duty is to your family! To me! We're all each other has left, Prowler! And you promised you were gonna stop working your damn life away! Hide and Optimus are Guard! Jazz and Ratchet are! They don't work near as much as you do!"
"They are not me."
"I don't give a damn! Optimus is in line for the fraggin' thrown! And even he gets to chill every once and a while!" The young mech latched onto his chevron and pulled in frustration as he marched to the door.
"Where are you going?!"
"To Riders! I don't want to talk to you right now you're too fragging irritating! You live by so much damn logic that you can't even see reason! Go to Tyger Pax for New Vorns for all I care! I'll be fine without you!"
The door slammed behind him leaving Prowl sitting there alone knowing and hating that he truly was working his little brother's life away.
Prowl looked up in surprise from behind his desk to find the frame of his younger brother leaning in his office doorway.
"I'm transferring classes." Smokescreen repeated as he twirled a metal rod between his fingers.
Prowl blinked. "To where?"
"Crystal City. For a few Decacycles to do some battle tactics training. It's a privilege that I got picked among my classmates."
"New Vorns Even is in a few orns." Prowl pointed out dumbly.
"Yep, it is." Smokescreen nodded.
"You . . . we were all getting together at Ratchet's for the countdown. I took off."
The youngling of almost equivalent to a human eighteen year old shrugged. "Wouldn't be the first time we haven't spent it together."
Prowl's spark ached. "Smokey . . . ."
"Rider and Hammer are going too. So you don't have to worry about me. I'll be fine. I'll be back soon. Of course you'll be back to work. Like now. Just like you always are. No matter though. It'll be fine. If I pass this assessment I'm almost guaranteed a spot in Basic Training. This is a wonderful opportunity, Prowler. I'm making the logical choice. It's just a holiday. There will be more."
Prowl was silent.
"So I'm going back to the new apartment to pack my stuff. Then I'm heading downtown to Rider and Hammer's. I won't be home for dinner. Not logical to drive all the way back when I have to get on the transport at dawn tomorrow. So love ya, Prowler. I'll see you around."
With that the tri-tone mech waved his farewell and walked down the hall the closing door hiding him from his brother's saddened optics.
He'd had that coming. Prowl knew he did. He just didn't think it would hurt this much.
"Prowler!" Smokescreen swung down from the railing up stairs and landed on the couch next to his brother with a gleeful grin. The movement swished the two-tone mech's energon drink almost making him spill it all over Elita's couch.
"Smokescreen, aren't you a little old to be jumping on the furniture?"
"Uh—" At that moment Rider and Hammer decided to fall over the other couch across the room in a wrestling match making little Whiteout bounce with glee in Chromia's arms and Ironhide growl then march over to pull them apart. "No I don't think we are."
"I'm sure." Prowl rolled his optics though he found it quite entertaining when the two bulky younglings decided to team up on Hide and pin him to the floor calling Smokey to join in which he did pulling Jazz along with him and soon the middle of Optimus' living room was a squirming mass of wiggling metal as the younglings and Jazz tired to keep a snarling Ironhide on the ground while Chromia cheered them on as her son giggled.
"Get 'em, Rider!"
"Yes ma'am!" The red mech called.
"Mia!" Hide growled. "You traitor!" Whiteout giggled. "Same to you ya little glitch!"
At that point Elita and Arcee were falling over each other laughing while Optimus and Ratchet tired to contain their own amusement as Jazz sprang off the wall and body slammed all three young mechs and Hide as well.
"JAZZ!" They all yelped then turned on the sliver mech who was much too fast for all but Smokescreen who snatched him by the heels on the second lap around the room and they both went crashing into the adjacent dining room.
"Oh there went the good chairs." Elita snickered.
Prowl sighed rubbing between his optics. "I'll pay for that."
"No, Prowl." 'Lita smiled. "I think I'll make Jazz do it."
"They were gifts from Carrier and all." Arcee agreed.
"She would have approved." Chromia laughed cradling her sparkling. "What better way to spend the last few breams before the countdown then with family trying to scrap each other?"
"I can think of a few." Ratchet snorted. "I'm the one that's gonna have to fix these nuts."
"I'll help, Ratch." Arcee giggled.
Ironhide pushed himself up off the floor glaring at the two younglings rolling around laughing beside him. "What did you two buzz your energon with?"
"Who knows?" Rider snickered with glee as he shoved himself up hauling Hammer after him to help Smokey beat Jazz over the head with a rolled up rug.
Prowl leaned forward on the couch watching with a smile as his younger brother and other two he considered brothers smacked his best friend over and over again with a fluffy rug while he tried to escape their grasp laughing his aft off the whole time. The couples and Prowl observed the chaos for a while before Elita glanced to the TV across the room.
"Mechs the countdown is about the start."
The four sprang apart faster than lightening and were suddenly all grinning sitting on the floor before the screen.
"Jazz, you do remember you are grown mech right?" Prowl asked him.
"Not on New Vorns Eve I ain't!" He answered before the three younglings took up chanting.
"10, 9, 8, 7—"
They all joined in.
"—6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! HAPPY NEW VORN!" The trio sprang from their spots and proceed to dance around the room while Jazz sprang up as well falling on the couch beside Ratchet, snatched his energon, chugged it, then went to partying with the younglings. The femmes were dying of laugher, along with Ironhide and Optimus, as Ratchet cursed the silver mech to the pit and back. Prowl took the moment to memorize the whole picture as he quietly sipped his energon before slipping out onto the back patio without being noticed.
Or so he thought.
He stayed out there for a long while watching Iacon celebrate below him before his doorwing twitched and he sensed more then heard his younger brother slide up beside him. Smokey grinned through the cold night air coming up to lean metal on metal with his older brother their doorwings slightly touching each others' as they stared out in silence.
"Happy New Vorn, Smokey." Prowl spoke up after a moment.
"Right back at ya, Prowler." The youngling nudged him. "Got a resolution?"
Prowl snorted. "I do not make such things. No bot every keeps them. So they are illogical."
"Ah, Prowler. That's why they're fun! You make one and then you get to enjoy not keeping it."
"That makes a lot of sense." He laughed sarcastically.
"Okay fine. I'll make one for you!" Staring off into the distance again seeming to think it over really hard he suddenly spun back with a smile. "I got one! Your New Vorns resolution will be to work less!"
Prowl actually let out a long happy laugh making Smokescreen grin like a fool.
"See now you can break it and it will be fun."
The two-tone mech just snickered off into silence before he nudged his doorwing against his brothers. "Alright, Smokey. For you that will be my resolution, and I will attempt to keep it."
Smokescreen snorted playfully. "Sure you will."
They fell into quiet again before Smokescreen leaned over the rail a little ways looking down at the city with a grin. "I love New Vorns, Prowler. It's the best holiday. So much promise and brand new chances! Don't you like it?"
"It's a fine holiday." Prowl shrugged.
Smokey rolled his optics. "Careful, your enthusiasm might be contagious."
Prowl snorted while his brother laughed again.
"I enjoy it so much more when we are together." Prowl admitted honestly.
Smokey turned to him quickly with a beaming smile. "Me too, bro. Me too."
Praxus was lost.
Prowl's spark ache.
His youngling home was gone and there was nothing he could do to bring it back. . . just like everything else.
"Prowler?" The two-tone mech looked over his shoulder to find Jazz standing at his side. "Alright, mech?"
He didn't answer.
Instead he continued to watch Ratchet finish patching up the stasis locked young mech laying on a berth in the medical bay along with the few other dozen survivors. Arms crossed and optics narrow Prowl refused to move an inch until the medic had finished and came to stalk across the bay with a wrench raised.
"I told you to get out!"
"Will he survive?" Prowl responded.
Ratchet let out an annoyed yet understanding growl. He knew why the mech wouldn't leave the young mech. He'd pulled him out of a burning building, he felt reasonable, but it was more than that. Both Ratchet and Jazz could see it. The pain and recognition floating in those calculating optics. He was thinking of Smokescreen when he looked at that young mech just old enough to be considered grown—the equivalent of twenty-two human years of age—and he was thinking of how he couldn't keep his youngling brother alive, but both mechs knew that this time Prowl was pit bent. That young mech reminded him of all he lost and he was going to protect him.
More than that though.
The young mech fell into stasis in the middle of a dying city and he was going to wake up on the side of a fraction of a war. He was going to need a teacher—a mentor—or he'd never make it out of the medical bay before something snuffed him out.
Prowl wasn't going to lose another might-as-well-be youngling.
"He'll be fine." Ratchet huffed crossing his arms. "Which is more than I can say for most of them all. He's no soldier though."
"He'll learn." Jazz sighed. "It's learn or die. Megatron has proved what he thought of neutrals."
"I will teach him." Both the medic and the saboteur looked to the tactician.
"You sure, Prowler?"
"Don't call me that." Prowl shot Jazz a glare. "And yes."
"So be it then." Ratchet waved him off before he stalked back across the bay and went back to fixing more broken then he knew he'd ever be able to save.
Breems latter Prowl was sitting in the quiet corner of the medical bay holding vigil over the stasis locked young mech as he typed some reports only to be brought out of his past musing to find a bright pair of blue optics staring up at him.
He sat up straighter blinking back at the slightly scared orbs.
"You're an Autobot?" The young mech whispered.
"That means I'm with them doesn't it? Because I doubt a 'Con would bother to even fix me. I mean I don't know maybe. Though they did just kill everything around me. I don't really think—"
Prowl cut him off. "What is your designation?"
The young grey mech seemed surprised before he smiled. "Bluestreak."
"I am Prowl. SIC and tactician of the Autobots."
"Nice to meet you." Bluestreak lifted a slightly shaky hand and offered it up to the older mech who stared at him for a moment before he took the hand and shook. "I got a feelin' we're going to be great friends. You seem like a nice mech. I tend to annoy mechs 'cuz I never shut my vocal processor off, but I do try. I just talk a lot. Always have."
For another few breems Prowl sat at the berth side listening to the young mech talk hiding his secret smile for how much he reminded him of the little brother he'd lost not too long ago. He only put in where need be and by the end of the night the SIC had made a decision he thought he'd never do again.
He was going to teach this mech. He was going to look out for him. This vibrant young spark wasn't going to burn out like Smokey. This one he was going to find a way to make sure survived this war. If for no other reasons than because this Bluestreak deserved a chance, and Prowl deserved a second chance. A chance to make up for his mistake . . . a chance to get Smokey to forgive him for failing . . . wherever his little brother's spark was now.
After all it was New Vorns Eve.
The orn of second chances.
"I get it, Prowl." Bluestreak's sad smile pulled the white and black mech from his past making him glance up again at the vibrant young sniper he'd taught to survive. "No apology needed. I just wanted you to know I'm not going anywhere."
"I know, Blue." He sighed. "And I'm sorry it's just . . . ."
"New Vorns makes you think of Smokescreen. I know, Prowl." Blue offered. "That's not a bad thing you know?"
The young sniper had heard the whole story a very long time ago. When he'd been sitting in the mech's office one orn playing with his rifle when he asked why Prowl had taken him under his wing and looked after him. He'd got the truth that orn. About Smokescreen, Outrider, Hammerdown, and all of it. It was a story that made the young sniper's spark ache for his mentor and by the end of it Bluestreak promised that he was never going anywhere. That this was his home and he was sticking around. No matter what.
"It is when I take my anger out on you, Blue."
Bluestreak waved him off with a laugh. "Oh its fine. Just teach me to leave the joking to the twins. Besides what's a holiday without a few fist fights, right? We're on a battleship for crying out loud. Mechs punch each other. It's how we say 'I love you buddy, don't ever leave'. Nothing wrong with that."
By the end of his rambling Jazz was laughing while Prowl sat back quietly smiling at the young mech thanking Primus for the mech that pointed him back on the right path all those vorns ago. The only reason he had it in his spark to take Bee in like every other mech had done. Both Bluestreak and Bumblebee were two of the best gifts he'd ever been given.
"I hate this fraggin' orn." Sunstreaker snarled into the mid-orn air his dark blue optics narrow.
"You and me both, bro." Sideswipe hissed as he checked his internal clock. "Only a few more klicks though and then we can get the slag out of this fraggin' hanger."
"Sideswipe!" Both twins turned from their post to find Drift walking across the hanger toward them.
"What?" Sides turned with a roll of his optics.
"Optimus says you two are done, but I need your help mech."
"With that?" Sides asked with a grumble as he and his brother climbed down from their post. Sunstreaker didn't stop at his brother's side though. He glared at the white and red warrior who had walked up before he shoved his way past and headed toward the peace and quiet of his berthroom where he didn't have to remember what fraggin' orn it was.
Drift watched the golden warrior leave before he turned back to the nicer twin who was sighing as he watched him leave.
"Did I do something?" Drifted asked.
Sideswipe shot him a glare. "We hate this orn. Sorry, Drift we just do. It's not you it's us."
The two-tone mech knew better than to ask why. "None of my business. Though I do admit Gears had it coming."
"He always has it coming."
"True." Drift chuckled. "Anyway, wanna help me and Blaster set up the sound system for the party tonight?"
Sideswipe's optics grew a little lighter at the way the mech wiggled his optic ridges. The warrior mech was up to something. He might not like New Vorns or New Vorns Eve, but he was always one to burying his pain in anything that would distract him. Any prank or game that would make him forget the haunting sights and sounds in his processor. Besides, Sunstreaker was going to be a walking ball of tension that would snap at every mech until the next two orns were over. He'd have to be the one that kept every mech off their scent and make sure Bumblebee didn't start asking questions he didn't need to be asking.
Might as well help Drift do whatever he was planning. It would distract him and keep optics off his brother. It might prove fun.
Sunstreaker was propped up on his couch with his optics closed and his faceplate set in a scowl.
He was dead set on getting a bit of rest before his stupid little brother decided to prank some bot or before Prowl decided he needed another shift to go along with the already bustling atmosphere of the battleship at the moment just because the golden warrior wanted no part of it.
New Vorns Eve and New Vorns Orn.
Bah. He hated them both.
A sudden giggle made the warrior's scowl twitch, but he refused to open his optics. The little twerp was supposed to be with Jazz since Wheeljack nearly blew up the lights they had been stringing a breem ago and as much as he loved him the mech just wasn't in the mood for his bubbly spark at the moment.
The pitter-patter of little feet seemed to say that Primus had other notions though.
"Sunny!" The arm resting over his faceplate shifted slightly as he huffed, but the warrior didn't move.
How did he get in his and Sides' room anyway?
Didn't he locked the door?
"Sunny, wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!"
"Go away, Half Pint."
Bee blinked in surprise at being told to leave one of his favorite mechs in the whole wide world alone. What was Sunny's problem?
"Sunny," Bee tired a little bit more quiet this time as he wiggled his way onto the couch and climbed up over the golden warrior's frame. Sunstreaker grumbled in protest, but did nothing to stop him as he climbed until he was sitting dead center of his chest right over the powerful spark that hammered inside.
When the mech didn't answer Bee leaned forward until he was hovering over his covered faceplate. Looking him over he studied the ruggedly handsome, stern faceplate of the golden warrior before he noticed the deep scowl and the tension built up in the corners of his closed optics that made him flinch away slightly. Bee didn't like the look one little bit.
It was New Vorns Eve. Why in the name of happy holidays was Sunstreaker mad now?
It had been half an orn.
He should be over that little scuffle in the hall.
Bee was over it.
So that meant every other bot was supposed to be too.
Scrambling forward a little bit the tiny mech leaned over the golden audio receptor at the side of the mech's head and whispered.
"Sunny, what wrong?"
Sunstreaker snorted at the quiet voice in his audio, but instead of the instinctual yell that rose up in his vocal processor he just lifted his other hand and patted the youngling between his flickering antennas without opening his optics.
"I'm tired, Half Pint. Go play with Jazz."
"Jazz losing." Was the only answer the twin got. His scowl deepened in confusion as he tried to figure out what in Pit the little mech was talking about before it clicked and he lifted his arm uncovering his now stern optics.
"You're playing hide and seek again aren't you?" Sunstreaker lifted an optic ridge.
Bee giggled guilty under his breath before leaning into the hand that was still resting on top of his head giving the warrior his best innocent stare.
It didn't work.
"Bumblebee." He warned sitting up with his tired hydraulics hissing in protest. "Did you sneak off again?"
"Jazz said could play." Bee huffed crossing his arms over his chest glaring down at the scars on the mech's chest where he sat.
"Did he actually say that or did you just assume he said that and snuck off again?"
His antennas folded down in guilt.
"Oh, Half Pint." Sunstreaker rolled his optics before touching the side of his head opening up a private comm. "Jazz?"
"Sunstreaker!" The silver saboteur sounded like he was running around in circles chasing his own tailpipe making the warrior roll his optics again. "Hey, Sunny. Good of you to call. By any chance have you seen Lil' Bee?"
"Isn't he supposed to be with you for the next three joors?" Sunny baited as he watched the youngling trace the scars over his spark.
"Uh yeah . . . about that . . . I seem to have maybe misplaced him."
"You misplaced the youngling?" He let his tone darken in pay back for his nap being interrupted by the misplaced item.
"He's a sneaky little son-of-a-glitch!"
"Gonna best you in the field one orn."
"If it keeps him alive so be it." Jazz mumbled. "I won't complain. Just have you seen him or not?"
"Yeah, I've seen him."
"Oh thank Primus. Where is he?"
"With me. Where are you? I'll bring him."
"South hanger. That's the last place he hid when he vanished last time. I thought I'd start there."
"Never look in the same place twice." Sunstreaker actually had to snort at that notion. "He never hides in the same place twice."
"Yeah, but sooner or later he has got to run out of hiding places!"
"Are we even talking about the same youngling here?"
"Stay down there and look busy I'll bring him. If you get caught losing him again Prowl's gonna toss you in the brig after his mood this morning."
"Yeeeeaaaaaaah." Jazz drawled. "Nice of you to care though."
"Don't think this will become a regular thing. If Sides wasn't off doing who knows what I'd make him do it."
"Ha-ha. Hasn't Sides pulled enough pranks lately. Two orns ago he filled the energon tanks in the mess hall with high grade."
"I thought it was hilarious."
"A drunken Wheeljack is not hilarious. The glitch scorched my paint with that damn ray gun!"
"That was what was hilarious." Jazz's laughter could be heard over the comm making Sunstreaker narrow his gaze at nothing while he flung himself off the couch cradling a surprised youngling to his chest as he headed away from his peace and quiet.
"Sure. Real funny. You know Prime's office is closer than the hanger. I could just drop Bee off with Optimus. I'm sure he'd love to have his last klick reports interrupted by a youngling that gave the best saboteur in the galaxy the slip. Again. Than I could get back to my nap."
The other end of the link was silent with static for a few moments as Sunny walked only to have Jazz's hurried reply buzz to life.
"No! No! It was awful! Completely awful! You know I even fell bad for laughing about it now. How about the next time we make port I'll buy you a new can of wax to make up for it?"
"Two and some fresh finish."
Jazz paused. "Just the finish."
Sunny rounded a corner. "Oh look Prime's office."
"Okay! Okay! Two of each! Damn you to pit!"
"See you there ya glitchy ninja. Pleasure doing business with you."
"I hope you rust."
"I hope your sound system magically vanishes in the night."
"You wouldn't dare."
"I am the twin of Sideswipe."
"Slag . . . I'll make it three of each if you just bring him down here and then go back to your sulking."
Laughing quietly to himself he shut off the comm before glancing down at Bee who was staring up at him with big bright happy optics.
"Hi, Sunny." He grinned.
Sunstreaker snorted as he looked back to the path before him. "Hello, Half Pint."
"Sorry. Didn't mean make mad."
"I'm not mad at you, Half Pint."
"Than what matter?"
The golden twin caught sight of Hound and Cliffjumper laughing away down the hall as he walked by talking about what gifts they were giving and how excited they were for New Vorns Orn. Sunstreaker cringed but kept walking.
"Nothing is the matter."
Bee narrowed his optics.
As if he believed that. Why was Sunny lying to him? Was he really that mad that he'd snuck off from again?
"Sorry snuck away." Bee whispered.
"Well you really do need to stop doing that. It upsets Ironhide and Optimus."
"'Kay." Bee nodded.
They walked on in silence after that as Sunstreaker walked the back halls to keep optics off Bee as he headed toward Jazz until he felt Bee's spark pull curiously at him with a whimper type prodding. However, for the first time since he'd meet the brilliant little youngling Sunstreaker didn't answer. He simply closed off his spark with a mile high wall of brick and barbwire. This was one time the Half Pint couldn't get in. There was nothing he could do to help, and he was far too young to ever understand even if Sunstreaker did know how to talk about it.
When he was shoved away from the strong spark of the powerful warrior Bee let out an unhappy whine of misunderstanding, but Sunny didn't seem to care and with a pout setting in on his lips Bumblebee crossed his short arms over his thin chest and proceeded to pout for the rest of the way to Jazz.
"You are a troublesome little thing you know that, Lil' Bee?" Jazz was held up in his room watching Bumblebee roll around his floor with his new giant squishy ball.
"Not trouble." Bee snapped as he rolled into the leg of Jazz's desk only to break down into laughter.
"Ya are too." Jazz chuckled as he stuck out his leg to roll the ball again sending Bee giggling across the floor.
"Are too." Jazz pushed himself up only to sit down in the floor and let the youngling roll over on his ball before he hopped away and scampered up into the silver mech's lab and began to rumble a purr as Jazz pet him between the antennas. Snuggling against his Jazzy's mid section Bee allowed himself to be held and pet before a pout returned and he let out a quiet whimper as he snuggled deeper.
Jazz leaned away from his favorite little buddy lifting an optic ridge in question before he reached out with his spark trying to discover what was wrong. He was met by a ball of worry curled tight around the bubbly happiness that should be in the youngling's spark and the silver mech quickly scooped him up moving to sit on his berth so he talk with him better.
"What's wrong, Lil' Bee? You know I didn't mean you were troublesome. I was just messing with you."
"Jazzy . . . ." Bee whispered. "What wrong with Sunny?"
Jazz blinked for a moment trying to figure out what the youngling was getting at before it occurred to him. Letting out a quiet hiss he hopped the yellow mech couldn't hear as he felt like running down to the twins room and beating either of them in the head with a stick.
Letting their hatred bleed into the youngling's happiness.
This was New Vorns Eve. He was supposed to be happy. Getting ready for the party that the mechs were throwing tonight to bring in the new vorn with presents, energon, laughter, and one night a vorn when the war could be forgotten for a little while and the gift of surviving to see another vorn could be shared among the ranks. This was also the first New Vorns Orn that Bee was actually old enough to kind of understand what it was. He knew what it meant—sort of—but really all that concerned the little mech was that his family would all get together, there was no fighting, there was presents, and everybot was happy.
Most of the time.
Though as Bee sat there and thought about it he realized something about the last New Vorns Eves and Orns that he could remember.
Sunny and Sides had never seemed all that happy to be a part of them.
It had never accrued to him before, but now it hit him like a hand to his cheek.
Why didn't they like it?
Wasn't it supposed to be happy? They were all alive. All together. Every other bot liked it. They liked to share it with him and shower him with gifts and attention. He thought it was a wonderful time of vorn. So why didn't his beloved twins like it?
"Sunstreaker and Sideswipe just get kind of bitter this time of vorn, Bee." Jazz tried to explain desperately grasping for some kind of excuse. It wasn't his place to tell him the real reason. Which he knew. That was the only thing that kept him from stalking up to them and decking them between the optics.
They had good reason to hate the holiday. New Vorns had been one of the worse possible times to be in the Rings, and it was something the pair lived through again and again. That was the only reason for all these vorns they had been allowed to be as snippy as they could get. Now however, it was affecting Bumblebee, and that couldn't be tolerated.
Hide and Optimus were not going to be happy. Really not after this morning. Bee had been furious this morning and that meant both the commander and the WS weren't all that please either. Even if Hide wasn't back yet. Jazz knew he was going to hit something when he found out how Bumblebee's twelfth New Vorns Eve started. Especially if the twins' depression rubbed off. The massive ebony mech would deck them. Not to mention Ratchet was probably going to throw something rather large at them.
Wait a klick!
Jumping to his feet Jazz kept Bee hugged tight to his chest as he set out for the medical bay. If there was one mech that could make Bee understand or maybe make the twins see what they were doing it was that cranky medic.
"Why they not like it?" Bee questioned as Jazz hurried. "And where we going?"
"We're going to see, Ratchet." Jazz answered part of the question.
"You'll see when we get there, Lil' Bee." Jazz bounced him in his arms with a force smile and what he hopped was reassurance in his optics.
Bee wasn't convinced, but he decided that he'd wait and find out what Jazzy was up too. If he found out how to make his beloved twins feel better than he would wait.
Not four kicks later the doors to the medical bay swished open making Ratchet glance up from his project. His optics widened slightly at the sight of Jazz hurrying with a rather put out Bumblebee held to his chest.
What had happened now?
"Hey, Ratch." Jazz greeted as he walked in coming to stop on the other side of the medic's desk. He sat Bee down with a plop and the youngling smiled up at Ratchet with a slightly forced grin.
Ratchet's optics narrowed. "What did you do now, Jazz?"
"Yeah as if." Quickly scanning Bee he received a small giggle at the tingling sensation. Once he was one hundred and fifty percent sure nothing was wrong with him he looked to Jazz for an explanation. "I'm busy. What do you want?"
"I need your help."
"What wrong with Sunny and Sides?"
Ratchet cringed, but quickly covered it up with a cough to clear his vocal processor.
So he noticed. Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. The little youngling was clever and with all the cheer and merriment that was floating around he was going to notice the two black rain clouds floating around the sunshine eventually.
The medic had just hopped it would be a few more vorns before that happened. At least maybe when he was old enough to understand.
Casting a look to Jazz he opened a comm link.
"What the pit!?" He hissed.
"He's smart it's not my fault, and I didn't know how to explain it so I brought him down here."
"And once again I'm left to clean up after those two fools."
"Well they trust you." Jazz shrugged.
"It's time they moved on." He snarled mentally.
Jazz had no response to that so he simply lowered his optics letting Bee play with his fingers.
Sighing Ratchet turned his focus to Bumblebee. "Jazz why don't you go help Hound and Trailbreaker set up the rec room for tonight? I'll watch Bee for a while."
"Can do medic." Jazz saluted before giving Bee a loving pat than spun away and practically skipped out of the medical bay without looking back.
For a moment Ratchet and Bumblebee stared at each other in silence before Bee lifted his hands and wiggled his fingers. With another sigh the red and yellow medic sat down his tools and plucked the youngling from the table bringing him to rest in the nook of his arm as he went about cleaning up some scattered data pads and tools.
"They mad at me?" Bee asked as his little fingers played with a scrape in Ratchet's paint.
"No Squirt they aren't mad at you." Ratchet assured him.
"Than what wrong?"
"They don't like New Vorns." He bluntly stated.
Just as he figured the youngling flinched. "But why?"
"That is something only they can tell you, Bumblebee."
Bee chewed on his lip for a moment before he mumbled. "Not gonna tell are they?"
"Most likely not. You're still too young."
"Am not." Bee pouted with crossed arms.
Ratchet chuckled at that. "I'm sorry to burst your bubble Squirt but you are."
"Not sparkling!" He snapped.
"But you are a youngling." Ratchet told him. "And that means for some things you are simply still too young to fully understand."
"'Bout the scars ain't it?"
Ratchet froze in shock.
Like his whole frame seized up kind of shock.
For a nano-klick his processor sparked and he thought he just might glitch, but before it happened he snapped onto his own thoughts forcing himself to take a breath and get a grip on his own emotions. Those two lunatics would never let him live it down if they found out he glitched.
Slowly getting a grip he turned his focus to the youngling.
"They not like New Vorns. Cuz of scars?"
Ratchet just stared. How could he possibly know that?
"Seen 'em before." Bee seemed to see that Ratchet was totally lost. So he tried to explain.
"What do you mean you've seen them before!?"
Bee flinched ever so slightly. "Uh . . . think so."
Ratchet blinked in absolute confusion.
Bee looked down playing with his fingers and whispered out. "Bad place. Remember some things."
Ratchet's spark stilled in his chest. It couldn't be. It just couldn't! Oh Pit . . . please no.
Anybody else just love stressed out Prowl? I don't know what it is about that mech but I just love messing with him. He's almost as much fun as the twins. Almost.
Not really his style to throw a hissy fit, but he has his reasons. Poor Bluestreak though, he really will never joke again.
So, what did you guys think of the longest chapter as of yet? Was it a satisfying start to part three? I'll admit it took me a little while to get it flowing the way I wanted it too, maybe that is why it is so freaking long, but I am happy with how it turned out and I doubt you guys are complaining. There is a lot of stuff thrown in there that is important that you guys catch. I'm curious to see who picks up on it. Hee-hee this might prove to be my favorite part of all this. What I've got planed for this section . . . well it's gonna be a wild ride. I've waited since the very beginning to get too some of the stuff that's going to happen now! I can't wait until we get there!
As for now though. What could little Bee possibly mean by he's seen the twins' scars before?
What is going to happen now that he's let that little bit of info out?
And what were Hide and Optimus talking about messages that can't be decoded? Wonder what that could mean?
Most all will be reveled in the next chapter because coming up we've got Ironhide back from Hot Rod's, the twins spilling their sparks, and the over all adorableness that is youngling Bumblebee.
Hee-hee All Roads Lead Home is going to be so much fun!
Please read and review! You guys know you keep me going and I'm dying to hear what you think of where we're headed!
Next chapter will be up next Saturday if all goes according to plan.
Chat with ya later!