Just Beneath the Surface
by SMYGO4EVA

If they knew anything, it was that they had indeed come a long way since the war ended.

Optimus Prime had a presence, a presence that demanded attention, sacrifice, and wonderment. The Autobots was willing to cede all those things if it got them closer to ending the centuries-long war. He held a weary gaze, loss and conflict etched onto him; never letting go, but he never let them keep him chained to the ground, to the past, from moving forward. That was easier said than done, he knew that very well. It was never easy for him, or for any one of the soldiers he commanded, and the weight he carried resonated through him, and it always would.

Arcee had held onto so much, and in turn lost so much, as if a contract that kept her clinging to the past was binding, never letting go. She held the servos of partners who had lost their sparks on battle, their touch lingering. In turn she kept her distance from the others who fought alongside her. It was only a matter of time before she learned how to move beneath the surface. She had to move, move just beneath what was behind her and what future awaited her.

Their footsteps were heavy, the sound echoing through the hollow corridors, ready, waiting for lingering Decepticons or any other opposing force to be the beast that struck them down, instead of a creature slithering through by concealed corners.

But nothing came, as what was left was only a heavy silence.

Soon, what awaited them both was an acceptance, an inevitability, that they no longer had to fight, that it wasn't a dream, that it wasn't a short-lived victory.

They had indeed come a long way since the war had ended; it was just beneath the surface, stripping away the dark and letting the light show through.

Optimus and Arcee exchanged a look, weary but smiling; they knew that the time for new beginnings was now.