Author's Notes: Another author and I recently debated on the nature of the friendship of Rattrap and Silverbolt, how it appeared to us to be as strong as Rattrap's friendship with Dinobot, yet was so horribly underrated. So based on this argument, I birthed this fic in retaliation to those who ignore it: What does Rattrap really think about Silverbolt?

Warnings: Traformer cursing.

Spoilers: Vague for series, though does touch a few particular points, especially the Agenda episodes.

Obligatory Disclaimer: I own no part of Beast Wars or any of its characters.

Forever the Dreamer

"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.
They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in
the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let
these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect
them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them
to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who
sincerely hope that their dreams will come true."

-Woodrow Wilson

I suppose it's not really my place to say it, but somebody has to. 'Cause nobody else is anymore these days. Not since that impossibility of impossibilities occurred, not since everyone's ideas of fate have been chewed up and then spit out again and handed back to us.

Not my place, but somebody has to get Bird Dog's head out of the clouds.

No, really. It's to the point where I can't even seem to see him he's floated off so far above us to some place beyond. Always happens with those of us who have dreams come true at one point or another. In 'Bolt's case, that little cloud nine is that crazy lover's daze of his with that she-spider. And since that cloud's startin' to go outside of the planet's sphere and into the stars, it's about time I started knocking sense into him.

Literally. Sure, ol' legs was fuming when I interrupted that little "lover's meeting" of theirs in the hall, but it was worth it if it meant bringing her beau back down to Earth for a little while for a talk.

Of course, he didn't listen to anything I had to say after she left on patrol. I've been around long enough to know that once a 'bot like Silverbolt has his mind and spark set on something or someone so strongly, it's practically impossible to sway them. Still, he doesn't need to get as worked up as he does over what I say. It's not like I was asking him to announce a court martial on Blackarachnia or anything--I was just tellin' him to keep an eye on her. Because she's up to something, like she's always up to something, and I don't want him ending up on the receiving end when it all went to the Pit.

Course he didn't listen to me. He's Bowser Boy. But that doesn't mean I wasn't going to try. After all, he's my best friend. I care about him.

I should probably say now that 'Bolt is the most difficult person to be friends with. All dreamers all. Mostly because you're always worried about what fantasy they'll create next and whether or not its going to break down around them, shattering both itself and the person who dreamed it up in the first place.

Trust me, I know. I know too well, in fact.

Contrary to what the others think, I haven't always been this way. Cynicism isn't something we're created with. My stunning good looks and charming personality, sure, but nobody's born a broken dreamer.

I used to have dreams. Who doesn't? Used to walk around in 'em too, just like 'Bolt. Sometimes it was even about some dame I'd met who caught my eye more than usual. Others it was about getting a shot at one of those grandiose mission that every young recruit dreams of. You know, a delegation mission to some unknown planet, or a mission on which you discovered something that brings you instant fame and fortune.

Well, I did my share of dreaming. And then I did my share of falling.

I'm not saying I was never one of those 'bots on top, but I was no sewer rat either--if you'll pardon the pun--and that's exactly where I ended up at one point. At the bottom of society, scouring the underworld for some ladder of any sort that may help me at least rise to some level of dignity again.

Those were dark times, I'll tell ya, a place in history that I don't look fondly towards, and one that taught me that dreams can and will die, no matter who you are.

The High Council's decision to reinstate exploration missions and military recruits was my light in the end, but while it came, it hadn't come soon enough. I'd learned by then what it meant to be a dreamer, and I know now what it meant to fall from that silver perch.

They're dangerous things, dreamers. Mostly for their effect on other people. Because sometimes, when one dream comes true for another, then those of us who had thought we knew better start believing that there's a chance, that perhaps Fate may look on us kindly too, that maybe, just maybe...if we gave it another shot...

But like I said, I don't dream anymore. I simply assume the worst and hope that some meager form of the best comes our way. It's the only way to live. That way you don't have to fall when the worst eventually does come.

And that's what I'm trying to tell 'Bolt. It's easier this way, there's no struggle. You just accept what comes and then deal with it. There's no wreckage or shattered pieces of your dreamer's reality from which you must pull yourself.

Blackarachnia's defection doesn't make things easier, ya know. Not at all. Because impossibilities like Blackarachnia don't always happen; they're a once in a billion happening. But they still effect us all the same, make even the most cynical of us think that impossibilities are something that can happen anytime, any place, for any person.

For instance, I don't think Optimus ever saw himself commanding a rogue Predacon who, despite what we all believed at first and everything we've ever known to be true, is here all the same, and not just because her life is in danger from Megatron, but because she truly, honestly loves Silverbolt, no matter how much she tries to deny it.

Or how about Legs herself? Did she ever dream before now? Or, if she did, when were they ever with anything more than ambitions of power and Predacon glory? But now, 'Bolt's been rubbing off on her too, and she's been getting all these delusions and dreams about love, so I have to make sure to give her a kick in the tailfeathers now and then too.

When it comes down to it, Silverbolt's just a lucky guy. Real lucky. Because he's dreamed at a time where all of his dreams have been given a chance. He's believed in the impossible, and the impossible has occurred. He's fought for the unreachable, and Fate has rewarded him for it.

I think...I think that if Bird Dog had known her before she and that psycho Tarantulas were split apart by whatever he did to her, if he had been here before the coming of the Vok when she helped us that one time, if he had seen everything she had done, her every sin...I don't know if he would've fallen for her or not. Dreamers are strange creatures in that sometimes they see what they want to, and others times see what others can't. With 'Bolt, I can't figure out which one's which.

I could tell him of her evils myself, I guess, but I'm not. It's not my place to shatter his image of her, that dream he's created with her. It's her past; if she wants to tell him everything she truly is, that's her choice.

Sometimes I worry that I'll have to, though. Together they from a rather formidable team. How am I, a cynic, a fallen star, a disappointed dreamer, to stand up against them? How am I tell Romeo and Juliet to look at life through the eyes of Hamlet, to see that while love may be eternal, an eternity is like sand passing through fingers?

Perhaps my greatest fear in all of this, though, maybe isn't just for them...maybe it's for me. I'm afraid that they'll get to me one of these days and reinstate that belief that dreams do come true. That someday I'll meet that perfect woman whose eyes return the lingering gaze, or win that seat among respected elders. That someday I may get off this planet someday and back to the home I miss, and see those I cared about again. That someday, all those dreams I once had will return back to me and carry to some higher place.

Chopperface was a resurrected dreamer, after all. I saw that, and I tried to stop it, as much as I could. I didn't want him to fall again. He looked like someone who had gone through an Inferno as deep as mine and come out just barely alive. But somehow he still came back. Maybe it was being around us, maybe it was it was being around me, knowing that some of us respected him, that we could bring him glory...maybe that is what made him a dreamer again. Once more could he entertain those illusions of honor and glory and that place in the stars specially reserved for those who fought the battle once, failed, then rose to fight again and won.

That's why I didn't return the spiteful remarks he threw at me while he lie dying on the valley floor. I saw what he wanted, and I knew it had come true. That wish, that perfect ideal, that impossible dream...He went out a hero, and more than just any hero, one that had gotten the last word in an argument with the stubborn Maximal Rattrap.

But then Dinobot was another one of those dangerous dreamers. Because he, like Blackarachnia, was an impossibility that none of us expected. It made me wish, it made me think...what would it be like to dream again?

And that's why I'm only talking to 'Bolt. It's why I'm not going to tell him outright that I think his girl's a lying, backstabbing witch who'll be the death of him. It's not my place to shatter a dream, but perhaps just to give them an edge on reality, you know? So that when the fall comes it won't be so painful.

Because no matter how much I may argue on about what I've lost, no matter how much I deny the existence of impossibility, no matter how much I tell myself I won't fall for that trip again...I'm just like everybody else. Forever the dreamer, eternally the the young hopeful looking to the stars...searching for a dream, always reaching, always wishing...for that one moment...

The impossible dream.

Final Notes From the Author:

This story was inspired by a quote from a friend's story that said "Every cynic's just a disappointed dreamer," as well the end of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. If you haven't read the latter, do so, if so...then you understand this story.

Forever the dreamer is simply a look at what is and what may very well be Rattrap deep down inside. I hope you liked it. Thank you for reading.

-Chaotic Serenity