"…I'm what?" Cheetor asked, as Jazz loomed over the little cat.
"You heard me. Grounded. Metroplex wanted a more severe punishment, but I told him I would deal with you." Jazz started for the controls to Cheetor's door.
"It was one window!" Cheetor pleaded. "No… c'mon, Dad… have a spark!"
"This is what you get for playing baseball with the Predacons. You stay here until I come to get you. Nobody comes in, and you don't leave. Got me?" Jazz shook his head.
"Yeah." Cheetor stared at the floor.
"Good. And while you're at it, clean this place up. It looks like Slag's been rolling around in here. …Again." Jazz motioned to the room.
Cheetor looked up at Jazz, trying to plead with him, but no words came. Jazz shut the door, and the sound of the magnetic locks clicking into place made Cheetor flinch.
"How'm I supposed to learn right from wrong if I keep getting busted for one-hit wonders?" Cheetor sulked, booting a Starscream plush toy across the room.
"Oh, cry me a river." Rattrap rolled his eyes, climbing in through the window with Dinobot and Rhinox. "Let's go, Spots. Club meeting."
"I can't. I got grounded for Waspinator's pop fly." Cheetor plopped down on his bunk.
"Who cares?" Rattrap shrugged. "C'mon."
"But Jazz…" Cheetor started.
"Jazz hasn't put bars on your windows yet, so he's got to expect an escape here and there." Dinobot jerked his thumb at the open window.
"But…" Cheetor was cut off by Rhinox hefting him over a shoulder.
"Let's go, gentlemen." Rhinox climbed up on the windowsill.
"Rhinox! We're on the third floor!" Cheetor squealed, as the big Maximal jumped out the window.
"…And your point is?" Rhinox asked, as the little catbot stopped screaming and opened his eyes.
"Dude!! You 'jacked Sky Lynx!" Cheetor's eyes went wide as he looked around the inside of the huge Autobot. "…You do realize we're gonna die for this, right?"
"It's worth the trip." Jagris came up next to the cheetah.
"So, does Lynx know where our hideout is?" Cheetor whispered to the jaguar.
"No, I do not. According to Sentra and Crysalis, I'm not allowed to know, or I'll wake up every morning for the next ten stellar cycles with lime Jell-O in my audio receptors." Sky Lynx answered.
"Makes sense." Cheetor nodded.
"So, you're the one who smashed the baseball through our dad's office window, eh?" Maverick came up to the little catbot.
"Uh… yeah…" Cheetor tried not to cringe.
"Don't worry, kid." Maverick shook her head. "Ramp and I were in there getting yelled at for being 'insubordinate little brats' when that thing sailed across the room and rolled neatly to a stop right in front of Magnus. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen."
"Thanks for getting us off the hook." Rampage II nodded once to Cheetor. "You're all right."
"Attention all passengers, please take your seats, buckle up, and return all chairs and tray tables to their full and upright positions." Sky Lynx interrupted. "We will be landing soon, and the captain would not like to be responsible for single-handedly squishing the entire Maximal faction."
The little bots scrambled for their seats as Sky Lynx started descending.
"…And if I find anything that even remotely resembles lime Jell-O anywhere near my head tomorrow, I will have Prime put you all in the brig until you're thirty." Sky Lynx warned.
Groans, whines, and random comments floated through the Maximal ranks.
"Thirty? Isn't that kinda harsh?" Cheetor asked.
"No. By then, maybe you'll have matured just enough to be allowed back into normal society." Sky Lynx shot back.
"Lynx, Maximal boys don't mature. They just get older and crankier." Panthera cracked.
"This is true." Sky Lynx pondered.
"Okay, when we get off, Panthera gets an atomic wedgie." Rattrap cracked his knuckles.
"You just try it, Cheese Brain. I'll have you wrapped around a tree so fast you'll be picking bark out of your joints for weeks." Panthera growled. "You and Dinobot both."
"What did I do?" Dinobot asked indignantly.
"You're just there." Panthera chuckled.
"Violent little furball." Dinobot muttered.
"Don't make me turn me around and go straight back to Metroplex." Sky Lynx piped up.
The Maximals fell absolutely silent.
"Okay, that's just creepy." Sky Lynx commented as the group disembarked.
"Thanks, Lynx!" Sentra waved as Sky Lynx started to take off again. "Go back exactly the same way we showed you."
"I will." Sky Lynx rolled his eyes as he took off in dinobird mode.
The Maximals headed up a nearby tree, to a metal and wood kit-bashed clubhouse.
"Okay, the Maximal club meeting will officially come to order." Sentra took the podium at the front, right between the curtains made out of Bumblebee bed sheets. "Cheetor, you had the minutes from the last meeting. Care to share them?"
"Sure." Cheetor nodded, coming up next to Sentra. "Last week, we were 'initiating' the Predacons. Waspinator still has to eat that dirt pie."
"Was that with or without worms?" Airazor asked.
"With." Cheetor checked the datapad he was holding. "…Unless he wants to be our cabana boy."
"When did we get a cabana?" Rampage asked.
"Gopher, cabana boy… same thing." Depthcharge shrugged.
"…Cheetor, you have two minutes." A chipper female voice emanated from the cheetah's wrist.
"Oh, crud. Can we put this meeting on hiatus?" Cheetor looked up at Sentra.
"Why?" The snow leopard cocked her head.
"Jazz is headed for my room." Cheetor held up the little tracking device strapped to his wrist.
"Evasive manoeuvres!" Primal yelled, as the group started leaving the clubhouse en masse.
Cheetor slid down a pole and transformed as he hit the ground, running full speed for the Autobot base, which happened to be on the other side of a ridge, a few minutes away from the clubhouse.
"So glad Sky Lynx doesn't know about the short cut." Jagris huffed, coming up beside Cheetor.
"No kidding. He'd make us walk." Cheetor chuckled.
"Less talk, more running!" Rattrap commented, speeding past the pair in robot mode.
"Shut up, Rattrap!" Cheetor and Jagris hollered, starting to pour on the speed.
When the two cats reached Metroplex, Rhinox cupped his hands and gave Cheetor a boost up the Maximal ladder that the others had created.
The little cat scrambled up the ranks, trying not to step on any heads.
"'Scuse me, pardon me, comin' through, hot stuff… hey, Jag." Cheetor flashed a grin at the jaguar.
"Just climb, willya?" Jagris motioned with her head up towards Cheetor's room.
"Thirty seconds!" The voice piped up from Cheetor's watch.
"Shaddap!" Cheetor snapped, scrambling faster.
Just as Cheetor reached the top of the ladder and flipped into his room, Jazz opened the door.
"Now, Cheetor, did you think about what you did?" Jazz asked.
Cheetor nodded, trying not to show any signs of the sprint he had just completed.
"…Why is your window open?" Jazz started to cross the room.
"I… wanted some fresh air." Cheetor tried to cover for himself.
"Oh." Jazz was about to turn back to the cat when he spied Dinobot's fingers, wiggling on the windowsill. "Cheetor…"
"Yeah?" The little catbot looked up at Jazz, and his face drained of colour as the Autobot pulled the entire Maximal ranks into Cheetor's room.
"Didn't I tell you 'no visitors'?" Jazz pointed to the heap.
"Yeah." Cheetor toed some Lego out of the way.
"Well, since you're all here…"Jazz motioned to Ironhide, who was standing just outside Cheetor's room with an iron grate and a welding torch. "You can help Cheetor clean his room."
"Aw, Dad…" Cheetor started.
"None of that, Little Mister." Jazz shook his head as Ironhide put up the bars over Cheetor's window.
"We'll have a talk later." Ironhide looked down at Rattrap, who turned his head away a little, pouting.
"Cheetor, when I come back…" Jazz looked from Cheetor to the rest of the Maximals. "With everyone's parents… I want to see this place sparkle."
Cheetor nodded again, looking at the floor as Jazz left.
"Spakule!" Jagris squealed in a high-pitched, bad Japanese accent, tackling Cheetor.
"Get 'im!" Switchblade hollered, as everyone picked up the nearest pillow/stuffed animal/whatever they could find, and started pitching them at Cheetor.
"Hey! C'mon! You guys are supposed to be helping!" Cheetor tried to defend himself from the 'onslaught'.
"We are, Cheetor!" Brute Force picked up the massive Fort Max plush, hefting it over his head. "We are."