Disclaimer: We do not own Transformers Prime or its canon characters. We do however own our OCs. Blondie-moyashi owns the lovely Skye Shelsher and Dream'sRealm owns Darkstorm, Skybreak, Drift, Shiv, Jolt, Blackout, Air Raid, Caliber, Speedway, and Jetfire.

Theme Song: New Horizons by Flyleaf

Darkstorm watched as Blackout approached her and Knock Out. They certainly were busy after the battle, but at least all the repairs were finished. Still, they could not help but dwell upon what had happened.

Megatron, actually abandoning the Decepticon cause. It seemed hard to believe.

And then he disappeared, the Autobots knew not where. What brought about this violent and strangely genuine change?

Darkstorm could only think of one person. God, she smiled.

"Yes, Blackout? Is there something you need?" Darkstorm greeted warmly. "Repairs, perhaps?"

Blackout vented and shook his helm. "No… It's not that it's…" He vented once more. Alright, "God". I'll try things Your way. He clenched and unclenched his fists, steeling himself, before turning to Knock Out. "I actually came here to talk to you."

"Oh? Whatever for?" Knock Out asked, a tad bit taken aback.

"Look, I'm not the best at this but I just wanted to say that despite everything I went through on the Nemesis, I… I wanted to say that I hope there's no hard feelings. I've… All of the others really… have forgiven you," Blackout continued.

The doctor arched an optic ridge. "May I ask what inspired this . . . change of spark?"

Blackout shrugged with a slight vent. "I've… heard that God teaches to forgive."

Knock Out looked to Darkstorm, a slightly suspicious smile pulling at his features. "Well, I'm certainly glad to have Him on my side."

Darkstorm smiled back at him. "He's always been on your side. You simply weren't always aware of it."

Blackout cleared his throat, he already beginning to fidget. Frag. He hated to admit this but they were right. God was right. He suddenly felt so much more free. Like a huge darkness had been released from his spark. Not that he would ever admit it out loud though. "Well, I uh… better get back to the others. I'll see you two later, huh?" He moved to leave only to pause at the door. "And, 'Storm?"

"Yes, Blackout?" Darkstorm asked, a bit curiously.

"I also wanted to say… I'm sorry for doubting you."

Mixed emotions flickered across Darkstorm's facial plating as she processed his words and, before she could get a word in edgewise, he had already left.

What could he have-?

A thought suddenly came to her. Blackout always was the most bitter of her friends. And that cycle when he came to ask to join in the battle, he most likely saw her and Knock Out and felt betrayed. True, a stellar cycle earlier, if Darkstorm had seen herself, she would have thought the same thing. The thought of Knock Out changing, let alone saving her very life, never once crossed her processor.

Though she understand why the Vehicons had reason to feel as if she had betrayed them. She had never been strapped to Knock Out's medical table. Due to her fear of him, she usually either ignored her wounds or attended to them herself. But they knew all too well the horrors that awaited them. And feared and loathed the red mech for it.

Having Knock Out on the Autobots' side must have been quite the shock.

But… God has done far more miraculous things, a wide smile pulled on her lip components. Why should Knock Out be any different?

"There's that smile again," Knock Out remarked.

Darkstorm looked at Knock Out, slightly startled at being thrown out of her thoughts, before chuckling. "Oh, don't mind me. I'm just simply contemplating the universe, the inner workings of morality, and the like."

"Ah yes." Knock Out bore a smile. "Because simply putting your mind to the task at hand isn't stimulating enough. I forgot, you have to pick apart the very fabric of being, lest you go crazy and start dismantling things."

"I doubt that very much," Darkstorm rolled her optics playfully. "But I thank you for the concern, Doctor."

"Oh, don't mistake a mere observation for concern. Just remembering that you, unlike I, somehow juggle abstract deep thoughts whilst repairing knee joints where I simply admire the beauty of the pretty slag."

"Hmm. What can I say? I'm a natural poet." Darkstorm smirked before she gazed into space jokingly, holding out a longing servo. "I adore contemplating the meaning of the universe, the exact reason why we are here. Why everything is here. And what other things lie in the deep darkness of our subconscious and of other dimensions…"

"And that's where my optics glaze over. You leave those inner workings in your helm so the rest of ours don't melt down from sheer irrelevance. Or confusion. Or any other state in which one realizes just how insignificant we feel against the great backdrop of reality."

Darkstorm laughed. "I suppose the rest of you simply cannot handle how 'deep' I truly am."

"I believe that is why many mechs fear bonding with a femme, they're terrified of the sudden deep and existence-pondering thoughts that would flood their processors."

"Oh, please," Darkstorm smirked. "As if that would stop you from bonding with a femme."

Knock Out's smile faltered. "I think I blew any chance for that long ago. At this point I'm content to spend my days tinkering in the med bay alone. Less . . . spark ache that way."

Darkstorm's playful demeanor dropped, a subtle frown pulling on her lip components. She… She should not have encroached upon that subject. "Forgive me," she said softly, afraid to say anything more.

The doctor's smile returned, albeit not as strong as before, then he bowed his helm slightly and shook it. "No need. I just . . . haven't thought of such things for quite some time."

"Well… You are quite the find, Knock Out. I-I am sure you will find her again," Darkstorm said encouragingly, she too remembering something that she had not dwelt upon for quite sometime. A slow cycle in the Nemesis' med bay. A rare show of emotion from her mentor. And a faded hologram.

Darkstorm nervously walked into Knock Out's quarters, reluctant to admit that she required his assistance on an especially difficult joint weld. "Knock Out-?" She paused, seeing him with his helm lowered, holding a projection of a blood red femme in his servos. She was beautiful. She looked like she was born to a model, really. And the mysterious femme had her arms wrapped around Knock Out, her lips on one of his buccal plates. And… Knock Out surprisingly, looked happy. "W-Who is that?"

The medic looked up at Darkstorm, optics looking worn-not a usual look for him. "I-I'm sorry, I must have missed you coming in." He looked back at the projection and traced the face of the femme with a digit. "The best thing in my life. And my greatest regret."

Darkstorm's optics widened as she steadied the mech. This wasn't like him at all. "What happened?" she asked softly.

And, just like that, Knock Out returned to normal, his facial plating holding an expressionless look. He turned off the projection and shoved it in a drawer like it was unwanted. "Shouldn't you be with a patient?"

"W-Well, that's why I came in here. I need your help." Unfortunately.

"Let's not keep them waiting then," Knock Out waited impatiently for Darkstorm to accompany him into the med bay. "Hurry up! I haven't got all cycle."

Darkstorm winced but quickly obeyed, silently praying that she wouldn't lose another.

Luckily, she didn't. The procedure went smoother than Darkstorm thought and Knock Out didn't bother to stick around to cause her nervousness to grow.

She looked up from a medical datapad as she saw Breakdown enter. Perhaps… Perhaps he would know? She didn't wish to pry, especially into his personal life and especially if it hurt the medic so much, but she just… had to know.

"Breakdown?" she asked softly.

Breakdown turned to her with a smile. "Hey there, kid. What's up?"

"I…" Darkstorm paused. "I saw a holo-portrait of a femme and Knock Out and I was wondering… if you knew anything about it?"

"It's… not something either of us like talking about," Breakdown's gaze darkened, thinking about how much that event had wounded his best friend. "So, nothing to worry your pretty little helm over. It's… in the past now."

Darkstorm vented but nodded. "Forgive me."

Breakdown brightened again. "Hey, don't act like that. You're still young and were only curious. I'm sure KO knows that, too." He grinned. "Now, where's your brother? We were supposed to spar in a few."

"Probably out near the main deck," Darkstorm smiled slightly.

"Thanks, and hey, don't study too hard," Breakdown said with a friendly air before exiting the room.

Darkstorm's happy facade dropped once he left the room. She vented once more as she sat there, alone in the darkened room. Was this femme the reason he was so cruel? She knew that she was hiding but she was too afraid to press him for answers. Whenever they did converse, it was either them debating his deplorable concepts of morality or him scolding her for yet another mistake. It never ended well.

His smile dropped again. "I fear I thoroughly ruined that future long ago . . ." He offered a small nod. "But thank you. At least you see more than a broken soul. Even if that's all that remains."

Darkstorm's vented sadly. "Knock Out, if only you could see how far more than a broken soul you are." Her lip components twisted upwards slightly. "Nevertheless, even the most broken soul can be healed, with God's help. You should not lose faith. For I've known Him to be surprising."

Knock Out smiled slightly. "Ah Darkstorm, never one to consign a rusted, broken old joint to the scrapheap, were you? But you should be careful getting too friendly with an old 'Con like me, your scout may get jealous."

Darkstorm crossed her arms and raised an optic ridge. "My scout can tell that we are merely friends, nothing more, through our bond. Besides…" She smiled. "He also knows that I've always been the hopeless sort, never consigning to throw 'rusted' and 'broken' things into the scrapheap and all that."

"And it seems to have been of greater benefit than I would've thought." He nodded to the door Blackout had used. "It made some unexpected friends."

"I'd like to think that every one that I meet is a treasured friend, that we are all companions as we walk down the journey of this life." Darkstorm paused before laughing. "But there I am being philosophical again."

Knock Out's smile turned into a smirk. "It adds to your charm, my dear."

Darkstorm beamed at her mentor before gesturing to where the others were. "Care to join the party? Miko said she had some 'special' songs planned."

Knock Out shrugged. "Eh, go ahead. I have . . . things to finish."

Of course, Darkstorm thought. She never truly understand why he so enjoyed the solitude but… she respected his wishes. "I shall see you in the morning in the med bay then," she smiled softly before leaving to go towards the festivities.

Several cycles had passed and still, Flareup and Predaking could not find their sons. Flareup did not understand herself the sudden change that had occurred in her spark… But seeing her younglings collared like animals and harmed sadistically, it made her want to protect them. They deserved a far better fate, whether naturally born or not and whether she wanted them or not.

Flareup internally smiled as she continued her path near the Sea of Rust, where she had last seen them. Predaking soared above her. His mighty wing beats occasionally sent a light breeze that wafted across her alternate mode. She had come to find that he wasn't that bad either.

Sure, he had a temper. Pit, so did she. And to say they clashed or had mere disagreements would be the epitome of an understatement, but he understood her far better than the others did. They were kindred spirits, having endured the same level of suffering.

And, as much as she hated to admit it, his annoying superiority complex and regal bearing were actually endearing.

She snorted. Pit, I'm turning into my sister.

"Any sign of them?" she commed the Predacon.

"None. I shall try another beacon."

Flareup veered to the right and transformed as Predaking gracefully landed. Once he did so, he raised his helm to the sky, letting loose a barrage of red-hot flame that penetrated at least several hundred miles.

He extinguished his flame. Now, they must wait.

Flareup vented slightly as she sat down by the side of the road. "That little parlor trick certainly never gets old."

"My flame is hardly a parlor trick," Predaking scoffed once he exited his beast form. He sat down next to her as a small smile played on his lip components. Cycles of searching with the fiery femme had made him all too accustomed to her brusque demeanor. "However, I do suppose that is a compliment coming from you."

A smile too danced across Flareup's features. "Yeah? Well, whatever helps you recharge, Fido."

Predaking's shoulder plating shook slightly as he chuckled. In response to this, Flareup's smile widened slightly.

The two sat there in companionable silence for a joor or so until Predaking spoke. "Do you suppose we shall ever find them?" he asked softly, an all too familiar sadness present in his golden optics.

"We will," Flareup smirked before nudging him. "And hey, quit that. You're supposed to be the optimist between us. I'm far too difficult for it." Though inwardly, she too was concerned over whether they would truly find them.

She internally vented before reaching out to the Voice she had heard before. God, please… let us find them. You've helped Darkstorm and Optimus and me before… Please, I beg of you, help us.

"You have spirit. That is far different from being difficult. But, I offer you my thanks for the encouragement."

"Hey, if 'Storm and Moon can be so peppy, I can at least try. Besides," Flareup vented. "Perhaps this God will help us."

Flareup froze slightly in shock as she felt a large clawed servo envelope hers. Predaking half expected her to rail at him or yank her servo away but, instead, she smiled. She actually smiled. And tenderly grasped it in return. "Curse you. You'll turn me into a bleeding spark… and I just can't have that." Predaking merely laughed at this. "But I wouldn't get too cozy. I told you, just because we have children doesn't mean I'm about to fall in love with you."

Predaking smirked and regally bowed his helm. "As you wish, my lady."

Flareup rolled her optics but still managed a chuckle. "Where'd you learn to talk like that anyway? Like you're some member of the noble caste."

"It is a common misconception that we Predacons are uncivilized. We may not have been a part of yours but in our isolated societies we too had language, art, and manners. And, I am Predaking, royalty among my people." Predaking's prideful boasting faltered however as the sadness returned. "Or I would be… But, alas, I have no people to rule. Both the great cataclysm and the Decepticons have decimated them all."

Frag. He really will turn me into a slagging bleeding spark. She could barely understand why she felt this way, how she shared his sadness. It angered her and invited her all at the same time. "Well, when we find Darksteel and Skylynx, you can rule over them all you want," Flareup tried to encourage. "I'll need someone to keep them in line."

Predaking smiled slightly at the red femme's attempts. "Indeed, but… they will also need their carrier."

Flareup shook her helm. "I didn't carry them. Besides, I was never cut out for the mothering sort of thing." She smirked wryly. "Younglings usually run when they see me."

"I cannot imagine why. You have a loving spark, you simply keep it hidden."

"Oh?" Predaking watched as Flareup erected her walls yet again, pulling her servo away from his. "And you just know me so well, don't you?"

Predaking knew it would be wise to tread lightly. "I know you well because we are the same, you and I. But forgive me for treading where I ought not."

A few moments of silence passed before Flareup vented. "Sorry. I shouldn't have snapped like that. I… I guess you're right. Ever since Shockwave took me, I haven't been the same. But… thanks, I guess. For seeing me as something other than a hopeless, insensitive glitch."

"That is rather strong wording. You are not any of those things. However, you are brave and strong and beautiful. You should not think so lowly of yourself."

Flareup looked up into his gold optics, emotion filling her own, before she returned to normal. "Don't know where you got all the patience to deal with me, Fido, but thanks," Flareup chuckled.

The two paused however as they saw two forms approach them from the sky. Immediately, Flareup and Predaking righted themselves and stared as the two young Predacons approached.

They were naturally wary of strangers but seeing another one of their kind… They could not resist to investigate. They soon landed and transformed, studying the two of them, Predaking in particular, with guarded curiosity.

Darksteel eventually broke the silence. "Who are you?"

Skylynx stepped in front of his brother protectively. "You're not with those fraggers Shockwave and Starscream, are you?"

"As if we would ever degrade ourselves to associate with the likes of them," Predaking growled before fighting to calm himself. "No, we are not. However, it should please you to know that they are offline. They shall haunt us no more."

Blatant relief could be seen in the younglings' facial plating. "Y-You mean, we're free? They can't find us anymore?" Darksteel asked as he gestured to their collars.

Seeing their joy and the very apparent physical marks of their suffering at Decepticon servos, Predaking and Flareup's optics filled with coolant.

"Yes, you're free," Flareup smiled softly and nodded.

Darksteel began to laugh uncontrollably, his happiness not being able to be contained. And even his dour brother began to smile.

"But, before we can continue celebrating, there is something we must tell you both," Predaking interrupted.

And they were told everything. Predaking and Flareup's capture. Why they too were held captive. And their true identity.

Skylynx studied the both of them in disbelief. "No, it can't be. We were always told that we were clones, created by Shockwave for the Decepticon cause."

"Do you honestly believe that life itself can be created in a mere laboratory?" Predaking questioned. "No. You know as well as I that my words are true. You both… are our sons."

They studied Predaking and Flareup in silence before Darksteel finally broke. "Mother… Father…" he laughed, though this time his laughter was mixed with steady streams of coolant.

Flareup at first tensed as Darksteel wrapped his arms around her small frame. She soon softened however and slowly returned the embrace. And, she surprisingly felt her spark warm. After all, how could a carrier not love their child? "Yes, Darksteel. Even though I may not have wanted you at first… I love you and your brother. And I swear, I'll never let anyone hurt you both again," Flareup whispered, surprising even herself.

It was then that Skylynx did not bother to resist. He was so tired of pretending to be strong for his brother's sake, to hide any emotion in that hell that they were born into. Now they were free. And they had a true family.

He slowly walked into Predaking's open arms, inwardly cursing himself as he too began to cry. The sound of his sire's strong spark soothed him and he felt as vulnerable as he did the cycle when he finally left that synthetic incubation chamber. But he also felt something else. Love.

Is this what it felt like?

"Father…" he whispered, the very sound of the word sounding like heaven on his glossa.

"Yes. You are safe now, my son," Predaking replied softly.

Flareup looked up to the sky as they stood there, huddled together with all walls they had formed having been broken down. She never felt happier. This may not have been the fairy tale she longed for but, she was happy nonetheless.

"Thank you, God," she whispered.

Skye and Smokescreen walked arm in arm towards the massive structure, staring wide-eyed at the scale of the compound. To think, hundreds of years ago, people actually used to live in places like this. It was almost beyond imagination, living within those stone walls, waking to the sun coming over the green hills, taking a horse into the nearby forest for sport . . . the whole idea was captivating, not to mention romantic.

Taking in the sheer beauty of the countryside, it was easy to see why so many couples chose Warwick Castle as a romantic retreat.

The two entered the walls of the complex and Skye froze, a wide smile dominating her features. This was just . . . incredible . . . she never thought she'd ever lay eyes on the ye olde castle and stunning scenery, let alone with someone like Smokescreen. Moments and realizations like this made her think just how incredibly lucky and blessed she was.

"Where to first, my lady?"

Skye turned to Smokescreen, red-faced and slightly confused.

He held up the brochure with an innocent expression. "Romantic era factoids. These things actually have some interesting information. Like did you know the place was in such bad shape when a Queen Elizabeth visited in the 16th century, they had to make a separate place for her to stay in the compound?"

Skye smiled. "Well, they say you learn something new every day." She gently grabbed one side of the brochure, studying the map. "Hmm, why don't we tour the castle first, eat, then tour the gardens?"

"As long as I keep my present company, you can stick me in the dungeon." He found another fun fact on the brochure that caught his interest, and quickly read it before his eyes widened and he leaned back slightly. "On the other hand, maybe a more . . . civilized location is preferable. I get enough of. . . this . . . from Skybreak."

The girl giggled. "If you insist." She looked at the castle wall before spotting the entrance and pulling Smokescreen toward it. She made her way toward it with good speed, and he nearly tripped over his own feet a few times.

"Don't take this the wrong way, but has anyone ever told you you're fast for having a prosthetic?"

She smiled and looked at him as she continued onward. "I can honestly say you're the first. Many don't even acknowledge it, but then again, you're something of a master of foot-in-mouth. I say that with love, of course."

He scratched the back of his head with his free hand and averted his gaze. "Yeah, I guess I could use a lesson in tact, couldn't I?"

Skye laughed lightly. "You said it, not me."

"That's the reason why I'm still not sure how you can put up with me."

She tightened her grip on his arm and smiled up at him. "Because under that awkward rookie I see a heart of gold. And call me selfish, but I don't intend to let it go anytime soon."

"I wouldn't want you to," Smokescreen smiled. "Have I ever told you that I don't deserve you?"

"Not that I can remember. Because if you had, I would've pointed out that you're right, considering all the grief I give you and Darkstorm. Not to mention worry."

"Give yourself some credit, Skye. You did the things you did because you cared about us." He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "So cheer up, huh? We're on vacation."

She tilted her head down slightly as red overtook it, a small smile pulling at her lips. "Sounds good."

After they went through yet another exhibit, Smokescreen sought to speak what had been plaguing his processor. "Skye… have you ever thought about, I don't know, staying… with us?"

She looked up at him, a somewhat surprised expression on her face, before looking to the floor. "It's all I've been thinking about. On one hand, there are still Cybertronian relics and other secrets still on Earth. Agent Fowler asked that I join Unit E and help hunt down such secrets. And, if an isolated oxygenated area were to be built for us, it feels like it would validate every time the 'Cons referred to us humans as your pets. But at the same time it wouldn't feel right being away from you, from the team." She laughed nervously and looked at him again. "So I guess the answer is I'm still conflicted. I mean . . . I want to be with you, I just . . . I don't know what to do."

Smokescreen turned to her, a silent longing in his eyes. "You can stay… Skye, I've never felt more alone than when you're not with me. Those cycles on Cybertron with you… Well, it was terrible."

She averted her eyes for a moment, processing his words. When her gaze returned to him she bore a genuine smile. "Then I guess my decision is made. I'll stay with you for as long as you can handle my stupid antics."

Smokescreen too smiled. "Which will be forever, in my optics." He wrapped his arms around her in a warm embrace before bending forward, his lips meeting hers.

She giggled as she pulled away a moment later before putting her hands on either side of his face. "Have I ever told you I don't deserve you?"

"Not that I can remember," he grinned, "Because if you had, I would've pointed out that you were right."

She smiled before planting another quick kiss on his lips. "One thing though, when we do get that 'human zone' set up on Cybertron, I get my own room with a locking door. When you come to visit I don't want the others snooping."

Smokescreen smirked mischievously. "As you wish, my lady."

She laughed. "Oh, I could get used to this." Her gaze shifted to a nearby door, and she nodded to it. "Um, the tour group's leaving without us."

"Eh, let them leave." He kissed her again. "We have all the time in the world."

She smirked. "Well, maybe you do. I'm getting hungry, but I want to finish this tour first."

Smokescreen laughed. "Alright. Alright." He held onto one of her hands as they walked back to the tour group.

When they reached the gardens a while later, Smokescreen stopped short. When Skye looked at him questioningly, Smokescreen smiled nervously. "Skye…. this last battle that we had. Well, I guess you could say it opened my optics to what's important. I… I love you, Skye. Like I've never loved anyone else. And, I'd… like to ask you something."

She felt an odd shiver shoot up her back and neck, goosebumps following close behind. She felt her breath choked off by his sheer sincerity and anticipation for what his question was. Surely with an intro like that, it couldn't be anything bad . . . right?

Her answer came when he knelt softly to the ground on one knee, pulling out a ring box. "Skye… will you marry me?"

She stared at the box with wide eyes, her hands over her mouth in shock. Every girl dreamt of the day she was asked this question and Skye was no exception, but she never actually thought it would happen. Like it was just something else that slipped through her fingers. B . . . but here he was, on one knee and all.

She didn't move or speak, and it was only her brain forcing her to breathe because she couldn't do that on her own either. She just stared down at him, eyes still wide and hands still in front of her face.

His palm started to sweat. Ah scrap, was it too soon? Did she want this, or . . . did he just assume she did?

After what felt like hours in both of their shocked states, tears started welling up in her eyes. And when her shaky hands started to pull away from her face, they revealed a smile-a shocked smile at that, but still a smile. She clumsily nodded.

"Y-yes, I . . . I will."

Smokescreen grinned in relief. "R-Really?"

Her laugh and stronger nod forced more tears to fall. Thankfully, ever-elusive happy ones. "Yes." She dropped to her knees, admittedly involuntarily, and hugged him tight. "Of course I will marry you."

Smokescreen happily returned the embrace, his heart soaring. He never imagined this could ever happen to him. But Skye… He knew from the moment he met her that she was something else. He didn't care if she was an organic and he was Cybertronian. She loved him, despite the fact that he was a total screw up and still an immature youngling. And he loved her, with all his spark.

"Oh." Skye lightly laughed as she said it, pulling back. She wiped at her tears with her right hand and held the left out for the ring, palm down like she'd seen in all those cheesy romance movies.

Smokescreen smiled happily and gently slipped it on her finger. After he did so, caressed the right side of her face fondly. "I love you, Skye," he muttered before leaning over and kissing her.

Her tears fell anew as a lump grew in her throat. This was happening . . . this was really happening. After a moment she broke it off, but rested her head against his shoulder, suddenly tired from the sudden rush of emotions. "I love you too."

Clapping and cheering surrounded them, and Skye looked up to see several-scratch that, a lot-of tourists and employees laughing, smiling, cheering and applauding, with a few shouts of "congratulations" here and there.

"Er… thanks?" Smokescreen rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.

Skye giggled. "Oh, this isn't as bad as when we first saw each other after the base . . . incident." She chose her wording carefully, considering their audience. She couldn't just say 'since our base was destroyed by hostile aliens.' "At least Miko isn't here with her camera phone, or the others for that matter."

"True," Smokescreen chuckled before muttering. "Miko and Skybreak still haven't let me live that one down."

"And I doubt they ever will. Only where Miko won't find as much enjoyment in our . . . wedding as last time," the word still felt so foreign to her. "Skybreak will only be more riled up by it."

Smokescreen chuckled a bit nervously. "Riiiight. But hey, we still have Darkstorm on our side, right?"

Skye smiled. "Oh yes, I highly doubt that will ever change."

"So let's enjoy ourselves," Smokescreen smiled and wrapped her in another embrace. "We have each other. That's all that matters."

Knock Out looked up from his datapad as Darkstorm walked in. "Ah, Darkstorm. How did your 'party' go?"

"Well. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I was just made aware that my charge has decided to stay with us. And Smokescreen finally proposed!" Darkstorm practically glowed with happiness. "Isn't that wonderful?"

Knock Out's face dropped. "She . . . isn't still upset about our last encounter . . . is she?"

Darkstorm frowned slightly as she approached the medic. "Why would she be? As I said before, she is forgiving… What's past is in the past."

He looked back to his desk, digits interlaced. "Not always. Sometimes it . . . leaves a permanent mark on you."

"Still dwelling on your past mistakes is never a good thing," Darkstorm vented softly before pausing. "Is your melancholy state because of the conversation we had last cycle? Is it because of… her?"

Knock Out huffed, a sad smile crossing his facial plating. "More like because of me . . . and what I did to drive her away."

Darkstorm placed a comforting servo on his shoulder plating with a matching expression. "Care to tell me what happened?"

He vented and offlined his optics. "We . . . we met at the academy."

Knock Out could remember the cycle he met Emusa like it was only yesterday. They were so young then, just entered into the Academy. She ran with what others would call "the popular crowd" while Knock Out hardly socialized with anyone, instead spending time studying for various medical exams. He had aspirations to become a medic one day and worked tirelessly to achieve his goals.

He had noticed her glancing at him when they were in the same vicinity, but she never made a move to do anything more. And he was so focused on his studies he didn't feel he had reason to talk to her. Soon enough they'd both graduate and never see each other again.

Though he had to admit, she was stunning, and had an air about her that suggested she wasn't supposed to be the prim and proper femme everyone knew her to be. Beneath that veil, Knock Out could see a spirit that begged to be set free.

Not that it changed his stance on socializing. For one, they were from opposite ends of the social spectrum, probably the biggest factor that kept him from, just once, closing the distance to say hello.

Until one cycle, when they bumped into each other by chance. He was busy looking through a large stack of datapads, finding the ones he would have to deal with tonight and which ones could wait. He didn't see the femme coming until it was too late.

Her cooling fans activated. "Aw, mech. I'm so sorry. Usually I'm a lot more graceful than this, believe me. Are you alright, Knock Out?"

He glanced at where she'd made contact, lightly brushing the area off more out of habit than to be rude. He then turned his attention to the femme. "No harm done. You're . . . Emura, yes?"

Emusa's placed a servo on her hip and smiled slightly. "Emusa."

"Ah, pardon me." He held up a datapad. "But if you had to memorize all these blasted terms you might get a little confused too."

"I can imagine, but all I see you do is study… Don't you ever… do something fun?" Emusa asked.

"Fun, what's that word 'fun'? Oh, I know. It's what you have when you aren't up to your optics in medical journals, reports, clinicals, and slagging vocabulary-pardon my language. I guess I'm a bit fatigued."

Emusa rolled her optics. "Then take a break, for Primus' sake. It's simple, really."

He considered the femme. "Hmm . . . I'm not sure I could condone 'taking a break' just for the scrap of it. But if I had other plans for the cycle, I'm sure I could manage."

"And here I thought you were fun," Emusa smirked.

"Well, medical students can't be too fun. We do, after all, work in conditions most would consider unsavory. And those in close company are often exposed to energon-curdling stories."

"Pfft, after voors being with my sire, I'd say I can take that," Emusa muttered. Her gaze darkened slightly before it was quickly replaced with the same sultry humor and mischief. "But I don't believe that. Just because you work in scrappy conditions, pardon my language, doesn't mean you can't get out once in a while."

Knock Out tilted his helm slightly at the quick change in mood but let it fly. "Tell that to every Bot who gave me one of these datapads." He picked the top one up of the pile before dropping it back on. "But I would be more than happy to share my woes with you over energon sometime. Unless you're free now?"

Emusa grinned. "Are you asking me out on a date, Knock Out?"

He blinked a couple times before shrugging. "Were you not just telling me to take a break sometime? I was merely taking you up on the offer. And here I thought mechs were supposed to be the dull ones while femmes saw the deeper meaning behind a lugnut in a field." He smirked. "No offense, of course."

"None taken, and I accept. Now sounds wonderful," Emusa smirked. "So, where to, o dull mech?"

"Oh, so that's how it's going to be?" He motioned to his pile of datapads. "I'll just drop these off in my quarters real quick. But I suppose I should let it be femme's pick, you may find a certain shade of paint on a wall particularly inspiring where a mere dull mech would see but a slab of metal."

Emusa laughed slightly. "Your quarters should be fine. I know how you dislike crowds. I'll just grab two cubes and meet you there."

"Sounds like a plan, though I may have my roommate vacated of the premises. I'd hate to have that sharp processor go rusty from too many mechs around. Besides, Breakdown isn't too familiar with the ways of the more feminine side of our race."

"Or is it just because you want to be alone with me?" Emusa smirked and winked before heading towards the Academy's cafeteria. "See you then, slick."

Knock Out shook his helm with a smile as he resumed his course for his quarters. What a femme . . .

Breakdown looked up and smiled as he saw his roommate enter. "Hey, Knock. What took ya so long?"

The medic-in-training dumped the stack of datapads into a drawer in his desk before pushing Breakdown towards the door. "You're on your way out."

"Out? What's going?" Breakdown huffed slightly. "This's my room too, you know."

"For a few joors, it's just mine. Why don't you go . . . beat up a techie or something?"

"But, why would you-?" Breakdown began before grinning. "Oooh. It's a femme, isn't it?"

Knock Out paused, staring wide-eyed at his friend for a second before resuming kicking him out of the room. "It is none of your business what it is because you're on your way out."

Breakdown knew his best friend well enough to know that the answer was yes. "It is a femme! Come on, at least tell me who it is."

"And indulge your invasion of my privacy? I think not."

"But now, I'm curious!" Breakdown pouted. "At least tell me what her designation starts with."

Knock Out vented and rolled his optics, considering indulging the mech just to keep him quiet when a knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. Scrap, she was quick.

"Hello? It's rude to keep a femme waiting," Emusa said playfully.

Breakdown's optics widened. Emusa? Who hung around all the rich and bots of noble birth? How in the pits of Kaon did that happen? He lowly whistled. "Emusa… I can see why you want to be alone, Knock," Breakdown smirked.

Knock Out glared at the mech and pointed to the door. "Out with you."

Breakdown chuckled and raised his servos in surrender. "Fine, fine. Just don't make too much noise, eh? Some bots are trying to recharge," he remarked before exiting the room. "Have fun, you two!"

"Thanks, big guy," Emusa grinned and waved. "See you around." She entered the room, placing the two energon cubes on the table.

"Yeah, thanks, big guy," the young medic grumbled before turning his attention to his company. "Sorry about that. He . . . lacks tact." His cooling fans activated slightly at what Breakdown had implied and he raised his servos defensively. "But rest assured, I'm a mech of honor. There's no way I would ever try anything-"

Emusa laughed. "Easy there, slick. I know you wouldn't." She smirked. "Besides, this isn't my first turbofox gathering. I'm more than capable of handling myself."

"I admit, I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or fear for my own safety just the slightest bit."

"Aw, you wound me. I like you too much to hurt you," she replied before handing him an energon cube. "Now relax, doctor's orders."

He accepted it with a smile. "I'm not sure how much weight that phrase carries when intended as orders for a doctor rather than given by one." He raised the cube as if for a toast. "But I second the motion, either way."

Emusa followed suite. "Same here." She took a drink. "Scrappy as usual but I suppose the Academy is far too busy to give us the good stuff."

"Are you kidding?" Knock Out examined his own cube. "Iacon's scrappiest is better than Kaon's finest. Give me this 'swill' any cycle."

"You said that like you knew from experience." Emusa sat down on one of the berths in the room.

He joined her, digits fiddling in his lap. "I should, I grew up in Kaon."

Emusa paused, studying the mech. "Oh? And what was that like, if I'm not being too bold?"

He half-smiled. "Not at all. It . . . it wasn't easy, that's for sure. But my family bad it better than a lot. My sire had a clinic for those who couldn't access a proper one. At times it was hard to make ends meet but we scraped by and the bots he helped paid in any way they could. Sometimes it was in the traditional currency, sometimes it was a bit of spare energon. But my sire always said it wasn't the payment that made it worth it, but the experience."

Emusa's front once more was dropped as she smiled slightly. "I… I can imagine. Your sire sounds like a good, honorable mech."

Knock Out's expression turned dark. "Sounded. Five voors ago he was gunned down by a mech who came into the clinic seeking refuge from the law."

Even Emusa's smile dropped at this point. She placed a comforting servo on Knock Out's shoulder plating. "I'm so sorry…." Emusa vented. "I must sound like a spoiled Iacon brat to you after all you've been through."

He offlined his optics and smiled slightly. "No need to apologize, I came to terms with it voors ago. Besides, we all have our struggles. Some of us are raised in poverty." He glanced at her. "Some of us are stuck-up femmes with sire issues."

"You can see right through me, huh?" Emusa smirked before venting. "And issues is an understatement… My carrier offlined giving birth to me and my sire… well, he just doesn't care. About me. At all. I can hardly talk to the mech without expectations of who I am supposed to be thrust into my facial plating. And I'm angry because… I can't. I just can't be what he wants me to be. And with my luck, he'll have me forced into an arranged marriage just to put more chips to his designation. Currency. Only thing he seems to care about. I feel like I'm… just a pawn. Just another pretty face…" Emusa's optics fell and her normally snarky voice became weak.

Knock Out's optics wandered to the floor as well as he tried to formulate what to say. It was one thing for him, he'd forced himself to deal with his problems. Emusa . . . she was clearly still hurting from hers. "Well, if it helps . . . I think you're far more than just a pretty face. You have an attitude on you that could peel a general's paint from sheer proximity."

Emusa lifted her gaze, staring into the mech's optics in almost disbelief. "Thank you," she smiled. "Quite the compliment, coming from you. You know, I've never actually spilled my woes like that before. You're really easy to talk to, Knock Out."

He offered a gentle smile. "You're not too bad yourself. I mean, half of Kaon knows my woes but I never saw myself sharing them with a rich Iacon femme, especially not in the first time talking."

"What can I say?" Emusa grinned, her usual personality returning. "It's part of my natural charm."

He raised an optic ridge as his smile turned slightly mischievous. "Well, no one can accuse you of being too modest, that's for sure."

"Like you're any different? With a paint job like that, it'd be hard to be modest," Emusa replied, gesturing to said finish. "No one can accuse you of not caring about how you look, that's for sure."

The mech laughed. "I might just have to keep you around. It's nice having someone to verbally spar with. And one who understands the finer points of vanity."

"Same here," Emusa chuckled. "You would not believe how dull my so-called friends can be."

"I've seen those upper-class types, I believe it. Though, it's hard to beat the stack of assignments I receive each cycle in the 'dull' department."

"Well, whenever you need a break, I'll be here. Truth be told… I needed to relax, too."

He placed a servo over his spark and bowed slightly. "I am glad to be of service. And likewise, if those 'friends' ever bore you to the edge of tears, you'll know where to find me for another round. Energon or banter, your choice."

"I'd take both, if it's not too much trouble. And…" Her facial expression softened slightly. "It's nice to know Knock Out, that you care."

He looked down at her, his face even softer than before. "It's no trouble in the slightest. On either count."

Emusa brightened before covering a yawn with her servo. "Well, it's starting to get late. And I'm sure you have more datapads to study." She smirked and, before the mech could react, she kissed his buccal plating. "Goodnight, slick."

His optics blinked several times as his cooling fans slowly activated. "G-goodnight." His processor was shocked enough that he couldn't come up with a suitable comeback for the first time that night.

Emusa grinned mischievously at the mech before exiting the room. A joor or so later, Breakdown returned. He stood at the threshold of the room, arms crossed over his chassis. "So, how'd it go?" he grinned.

Knock Out tossed aside the datapad he'd read the same sentence of at least ten times since he picked it up. "I still don't think it's any of your business, but if you must know, it went quite well."

"Just well? You look like you've just drunk ten cubes of high-grade, Knock."

He interlaced his digits and rested them on the back of his helm. "Quite well." A smile danced across his features.

"Whatever you say," Breakdown chuckled before moving to lie down on his berth. "Just make sure to warn me next time, eh?"

Knock Out peered at his friend from the corner of his optic. "Warn you about what?"

"Kicking me out of my room, of course."

"Oh." Knock Out leaned back in his seat, staring at the ceiling. "Hopefully it'll become a normal thing. You may as well find a new residence now, my bulky friend."

"And miss embarrassing you? Not a chance. 'Sides, I kinda like her." Breakdown chuckled. "Just wake me up when the bonding ceremony starts, will you?"

"She's not really your type, she'd turn your processor into a pretzel with one sentence." He smiled. "Bonding, right. Not anytime soon unless I want to find my spark on display in her sire's art vault."

Breakdown raised an optic ridge. "I'm sure he can't be that bad, Knock."

His expression turned slightly more serious as he glanced at Breakdown. "From the way she tells it, the mech sounds like a real piece of work. And when it comes to angry sires, better safe than . . . sparkless." His attention turned back to a spot on the ceiling. "Not that I'm giving up. She's a once in a lifetime find, that one."

"Like I said, wake me up when the bonding ceremony starts," Breakdown chuckled before turning over onto his side, offlining his optics as he began to recharge.

Knock Out ignored his friend's comment as he thought about her. He wasn't lying to his friend-this would likely be a rocky time figuring out issues with Emusa's sire and any other things she had trouble with. But she was most certainly a rare gem among stones, and he'd sooner consign himself to the scrapyard than give her up.

Knock Out put his servos behind his helm as he leaned back in his seat. "She was quite the femme. I've never met anything like her . . . truly a gem in a dark place."

"She certainly sounds like a rare find," Darkstorm smiled softly. "You two seemed perfect for each other."

"I thought we were . . . until I proved to be the weak link."

Time passed and Knock Out graduated from the Academy with honors in the medical field. Emusa, in the meantime, dropped out. She was tired of her sire's influence and she wanted him to know it. Of course, he immediately stormed down and there was a huge fiasco… but with Knock Out there, she felt like she had more bearings.

They sent him on his way and Emusa worked at the only places she could seem to find work during those troubling times. She saved up every chip for the day they could start a family.

Everything seemed perfect… Until the war came.

At first, Emusa and Knock Out pledged to remain neutral. But that was until Megatronus himself offered Knock Out a position as the Decepticons' chief medical officer, promising him that those who offlined his sire would pay. Never again would justice be denied to those who truly needed it. Knock Out found it hard to refuse.

To say Emusa was angry was an understatement. She was positively livid. "Knock Out, how could you even think about joining in this pit-spawned war? You promised me… You promised me that we would stay neutral."

The medic gently placed his servos on her arms. "Emusa, neutral doesn't always mean safe. As medical chief, I would most likely be deployed in an area away from the battlefield and I'm sure I could have you at my side. We'd be together and safe, isn't that what matters?"

Emusa desperately wanted to lean into his touch, to say yes, but she knew in her spark that she couldn't. "You'd only be feeding the flame. What were you thinking?! How do you know we can trust this lowlife gladiator from Kaon? And what's worse, you didn't even bother to discuss this with me first. I would've liked to know beforehand that my dear doctor was caught up in all this slag."

Knock Out lowered his servos and stepped back, a dark glare dominating his facial plating. "Need I remind you that I too am a lowlife from Kaon? Lord Megatron is trying to serve justice to those who have been wronged by the system, those like you and I. And with this position I can help those who will be wronged during this war."

Emusa's gaze softened slightly. "That's not what I meant and you know it… But I can't stand by and let you go like this." Her gaze too darkened as she frustratedly shook her helm. "And 'Lord' Megatron? Who does he think he is? Knock Out, please. This just doesn't… feel right."

"Maybe it wouldn't to a spoiled femme from the same city as the leader of the Autobots. I guess can't expect you to understand the struggles of us Kaon 'lowlifes' but I know it doesn't feel right to sit back and allow the injustice to continue."

Emusa's delicate facial plating furrowed angrily. "How dare you! At least Optimus Prime's speeches are filled with peace. May I remind you that Megatronus not only arrogantly demanded that the old system be completely destroyed but that he wanted to rule Cybertron as the rightful Prime? You have poor choice in role models, slick."

"The mighty Optimus Prime never saw the injustice that happened in the streets of Kaon. He never had to step over the peddes of the homeless sparklings or watch the authorities beat down bots in the street or watch his sire fall at the servos of mere criminals and watch the authorities do nothing! If you ask me, we need a leader who's seen such horrible sights to keep them from happening in the future. We need Lord Megatron to lead!"

"Shut up! Why are you so thick-helmed that you can't see what he's doing? Now he's having you call him 'Lord' like he's Primus himself. I'm telling you, you're making a mistake!"

"And I'm telling you it's a mistake to sit back and watch the system continue to crush the weak and not choose a side out of fear of committing to one cause!"

"Oh, here we go," Emusa saucily rolled her optics before resuming her heated glare. "The commitment talk. You have no right to talk to me about commitment. I've stood by you through everything and yet you have the bearings to make me the bad guy here?"

"I most certainly do have the right to talk to you about it. Where you may have stood by me, at least I saw my commitment to the Academy through, as well as my decision to stay by your side. You? You took the first road out you found and planned on leaning on me and my achievements to get by."

Emusa recoiled as if slapped across her facial plating. "Well, forgive me," she hissed, more hurt in her optics than anger now. "We can't all be as intelligent as you and achieve so much. For your information, I left the Academy because I wanted to leave my old life behind, a life that didn't constantly remind me of HIM!"

"Well, it didn't work, did it? Because with every decision 'we' made, he had to be factored in-if not for his influence, for the number he did on your already-fragile mental health. I'm surprised you haven't already tried to blame this whole war on him!"

Emusa turned her helm away from him, trying to hide coolant that was tracing lines across her facial plating. She supported herself on a nearby table. "Fragile mental health? Forgive me… for burdening you with my various problems. Why don't you find a nice Decepticon femme who's perfectly normal? Maybe then you'll be happy," she said coldly.

"And I hope you can find some nice neutral mech who'll learn to be your little lap turbofox who doesn't mind snapping at your beck and call."

Emusa could take no more. She snarled and slapped Knock Out across his facial plating, just as he had done to her verbally. "Is that all I am to you?!" she yelled angrily, more tears dripping out of her optics. "Is that how you truly see me?"

"No." He crossed his arms. "I see you as a needy, spoiled, rich upper-class femme with sire issues. Little more than a pretty face."

Emusa gasped lightly, placing a servo over her lip components. She stared at Knock Out in disbelief. He…. He truly was just like the others. She vented shakily. "Since I care for you so much, I'll give you one last chance. It's me, or your precious Lord Megatron. Take your pick."

He stared at her, his face all but expressionless. "I pick the one who hasn't spent the cycle insulting me and trying to invalidate what I've poured my life into."

Two more streams of coolant poured down her facial plating before she threw her servos up in the air. "Fine. But you'll see one day that I'm right… And you'll regret this." She bit her bottom lip component to prevent it from trembling further before exiting the room.

"And she was right. Primus, was she right." Knock Out planted his elbows on the desk, his helm in his servos. "I knew I was wrong almost as soon as she left. But I also knew after the things I said, it wasn't fair to ask her to come back, to appease my greed and my broken promise. And regret like that . . . it changes you."

"Knock Out… we all make mistakes and every couple fights. Even 'Bee and I. I… I am sure she misses you just as much as you do her."

The medic vented. "Maybe, maybe not. All I know is that I hurt her and betrayed her in a way no one should be. She has every reason not to miss me."

"That may be true but time changes many things. A love like yours is not so easily forgotten…" Darkstorm too vented. "I am certain that she does indeed miss you. If she is anything like the femme you described, then she has forgiven you. That's what true love does."

Knock Out leaned back in his seat again, optics fixed on the desk. "Maybe . . . but even now I wonder . . . what caused me to say those things? And how do I prevent myself from doing it again, or to someone else? And . . . at the front of my mind . . . what would've been had I honored my promise, not joined Megatron?" He shook his helm.

"My friend, if you continue to play those thoughts in your mind, you will never heal." Darkstorm smiled slightly. "At least, that is what I have found. No one in the universe is perfect. We must simply learn from our mistakes and move on… And I have faith that you are a changed mech. I highly doubt you will ever do it again."

"That may be . . . but what I have done in the past plagues me, and it will plague me until the cycle I offline. Something like that, to hurt another so deeply, can't just be shrugged off."

"I realize that…. even I have made mistakes that still haunt me. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself. But your spark will fester until you do…." Darkstorm vented once more. "I never thought I'd say this, but I worry for you."

He smiled slightly. "You needn't. I'm a big mech. I've been dealing with this since the start of the war. I'm just fine."

"You shall be in my prayers nonetheless." Darkstorm half smiled. "And I shall be here if you need my assistance in any way."

The elder medic nodded. "I appreciate it."

"Now, why don't we veer away from all this sorrow? Or else I'll be forced to explain to you the inner workings of the universe," Darkstorm joked, attempting to cheer her mentor.

It seemed to work, as he laughed from the depths of his throat, a rumble dominating it. "That sounds fine." He paused, turning to Darkstorm. "When the rookie returns, do tell him I need to do a quick check-up after recent events. And, don't tell me he's too scared to step pedde here again."

"After his last 'check-up', I'd understand why he would be," Darkstorm laughed. "Who knew he was so frightened of needles?"

"For the record, that last 'check-up' was under orders, not of my own doing."

Darkstorm rolled her optics with a slight giggle. "Of course." Her expression softened into a smile. "I… simply cannot believe she is finally engaged. Smokescreen's not exactly the mech I was hoping for her to have but he does have a golden spark and he takes care of her so… I am happy for them both."

Knock Out quirked an optic ridge. "Well, I can't say I'd find that position preferable, but if they're happy, it's their choice."

"It's not about the number of voors, but the quality of them," Darkstorm replied with a grin. "Besides, I think the base will be a bit brighter with her here. You would take to her, Knock Out. She's one of the most incredible humans I've ever had the pleasure to meet."

"She certainly did seem quite . . . spirited when we last met. She should have an attitude large enough to handle life among titans."

"Each of the humans do, in their own right," Darkstorm smiled softly. She seemed to think for a few moments before shaking her helm. "Now," she extended a servo and grabbed some of the datapads on Knock Out's desk. "Allow me to take these off your servos. You shouldn't have to deal with all the accounting."

He nodded. "Much obliged."

"Someone has to make sure you don't work yourself to the point of offlining," Darkstorm chuckled.

Knock Out followed suit. "If I didn't under Megatron's command, I doubt it's going to happen when I'm allowed to go at my own pace."

"Still, you work far too hard sometimes. A trait that I'm afraid I gained when under your charge."

"Well, I do apologize for dooming you to such a . . . oh what was it Breakdown once said, workaholic state? But I'll be alright." He offered an insistent smile to strengthen his point.

"Oh, please," Darkstorm chuckled, turning to the stack of the datapads and activating one. She took a seat next to her mentor. "Think of it as giving me a strong work ethic, something I desperately needed."

Darkstorm paused, sensing a familiar presence behind her. She turned around and shared a secret look with the mech before gesturing to him. "Skye, I am sure you know Knock Out… He is an Autobot now and… I believe he has something important to tell you."

Skye looked from her guardian to him, her face showing some surprise and an "oh, this should be good" expression. Knock Out fiddled with his digits as he approached the two, finally having the courage to do what needed done since the humans' return.

"I've, eh, never been very good at this sort of thing . . ." He looked briefly at Darkstorm then back to the human. "I suppose I should apologize for . . . that." He gestured to her face, though no further specifics were required.

Skye snuck an amused look to Darkstorm. "Oh, this is rich. Is it on a dare or did you ground him from his precious buffer?"

Knock Out leaned toward the girl, glaring. "What, you think I need incentive to show decency?"

Skye tried to glare back, but a smirk crept in as she too leaned forward. "Couldn't hurt." She straightened again after another brief glance at her guardian. "But, for what it's worth, you're forgiven. Something so little as a fleshwound isn't worth holding a grudge over, especially not when I'm witnessing a rare moment in history." She shrugged. "Besides, this way people can ask what happened and I can tell them I took on a 'Con and won."

Knock Out resumed his glare. "Oh you won, did you?"

"Absolutely. Last I checked, the score is now Skye: 2, Knock Out: 1."

The medic curled his digits into a fist. "Ohh, we'll see how long that remains, fleshie. But next time, I'll give you the opportunity to put your rubber where your mouth is."

"Knock Out," Darkstorm began warningly.

He put his servos up. "Nothing strenuous. Simply a friendly race among . . . colleagues." He smirked at the human. "What do you say? Are you game, or just one for idle threats?"

"Ooohh I'll take you down." Skye cracked her knuckles. "You can ask the others, I can hold my own in a race. Though I can't promise you'll walk away without some wounded pride."

"Well, we'll just have to see about that, won't we?"

"Guess we will."

After a few seconds of silence Knock Out vented, looking between Darkstorm and her charge. "Now that that's settled, I have some things to attend to elsewhere." He bowed his helm slightly at the Seeker. "If you'll excuse me." He snuck one more glare, albeit a vaguely playful one, at Skye before turning and entering the corridor.

Skye turned to her guardian. "Well . . . that went better than I ever thought it would."

"He certainly has changed…" Darkstorm chuckled softly. "God must have had a hand in it. To see him go from what I feared as a youngling to a friend who risked his very life to protect me and Bumblebee… It certainly is surprising."

"You got that right. Though," she crossed her arms. "I want to know exactly how you let yourself get in that situation."

"I heard a commotion in the hallway adjacent to mine and 'Bee's quarters and so I investigated. I did not know that Starscream himself would be there," Darkstorm replied, jokingly defensive.

"Uh-huh. And he protected you how?"

Darkstorm's expression faltered. "Starscream trained a missile and threatened to kill me, trying to force Knock Out to aide him in taking the Nemesis so they could escape Cybertron before Megatron caught up to us. He… began to mock me and Knock Out defended me." Her normal countenance returned. "And, when Starscream had the foolishness to come back for more, I did the same."

Skye's expression softened. "That sounds final. I'm . . . sorry, Dar'sain."

"He refused to heed Knock Out's warning… But, now at least, we can be sure that he can never hurt anyone ever again," Darkstorm half smiled.

Skye too offered a small smile. "That's certainly good to hear."

Darkstorm spark warmed as she prayed to her Lord and Savior that things would continue to remain this tranquil, without any more battle.

She hoped that the War would remain over.

D/N: Ah, teh feels, and I hope we supplied you with enough what with this being the last chapter of this current saga and all. More KO feels (Which I totally adored being apart of by the way xD Yups. I'll never break my addiction as long as I'm friends with blondie~) and some reconciliation all around. And surprise, surprise you've seen how deep my affection towards the mad doctor has gone. I've been forced to make an OC for him: Emusa. I know her name is technically canon but she was a rabbit in canon and I figured the name fit, so I'm like what the hay? Let's do it. And so she was born, with a glossa made of acid, something I never originally intended but then again, I intended Darkstorm to end up with Dreadwing so… surprise xD Hope you liked her~

A big thank you to all of you guys who have faithfully supported us thus far and I hope we can hear from you in the future with our new story! I will be extremely busy this month and the next with SATs, senior project, and all that jazz but I shall try to keep the updates regular. (That and lots of reviews helps to motivate me too ;) ) So we hope to hear from y'all.

May God bless you and your day!

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" Isaiah 41:10

Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed (Psalm 41:1-3).

* God will deliver you from trouble—in the Hebrew it means "to escape"

* God will preserve you—in the Hebrew it means "to guard or watch over"

* God will keep you alive—in the Hebrew it means "to live prosperously"

* God will bless you—in the Hebrew it means "to lead rightly" or "to be made happy"

* God will not deliver you to your enemies—in the Hebrew it means "to be placed in the hands of"

* God will strengthen you in sickness—in the Hebrew it means "to comfort or support"

* God will sustain you—in other words, God will take what is against you and turn it into a blessing~ Mike Evans

To Savvy Orion: Well, we are so glad that you liked the last chapter and don't worry. There'll be plenty more to come. After this saga, we plan on writing at least two more so hang onto your seats, kiddos. It ain't over yet. And thank you again for the awesomely long review, Savvy! You never fail to make our days xD

To Super Shadic: ^/^ Aw~ Really? Thank you! We are so glad you liked the last chapter and the Storm/Bee moment. And of course there will be a sequel to this story! I can't just have KO never meet up with my recently created OC and believe me, we have so many more bunnehs written that we can't wait for y'all to see. As for a non-Transformers related story, I did post a one-shot about Pitch Black from Rise of the Guardians and I am halfway tempted to make it into a full length fic. Trouble is, I have to find out a way to make it Biblical so I'm still thinking and praying on it. That and I also wanted to write something with Nuada from Hellboy, Loki from the Avengers, maybe a Nightmare Before Christmas fic. We'll see what the future brings.

Until next time, Dream'sRealm

B/N: I hope you guys enjoy all these feels, for we've certainly supplied a whole roller-coaster's worth. And would you expect anything less from us? I mean . . . the end of Predacons Rising. In a way that makes it more exciting though, we have a completely open road ahead of us. And with the ideas we already have in mind *heheheehhhh* don't think we're cuttin' down on the feels at all. If anything they'll be more intense *maniacal laughter*

Savvy Orion: Ahahaaaa challenge accepted! ;D I also think I ought to re-word that bit I said about extreme measures last week. If it's done for the sake of character development, then it is acceptable. However, it seems a lot of authors (at least a lot that I've run across) either use it distastefully or use it for the wrong reasons. Case and point: Moonracer and Flareup as seen in our stories (though I can take no credit whatsoever). If you read Dream'sRealm's one-shot "Imaginary," then you know Moon had a rough childhood, and she's a lovable character you enjoy hearing from. Not because we like saying "ohh poor Moonracer" or pitying her, but for her personality and the fun she brings to the group. Personally I also love hearing from Flareup because I have a certain love of charas with bitter attitudes (one thing I cannot explain, since I generally prefer sweeter characters like Allen Walker and Bumblebee). But again, I'm not invested in her because of what she underwent before entering the story, but for watching her struggle with coming to terms with it. It seems some people seek pity for their characters through these hard situations rather than using it as a tool for character development, and that's when it gets old fast. So yes, I agree with what you're sayin' there, just wanted to make sure I didn't sound like a total critic last time ^^" I'm just really picky with what I'm willing to do with my own charas and forget to speak in general terms

See you awesome peoples next week~