Author's Note: And here it is: the last chapter of my story. Thank you to all of my readers and reviewers for following this fic. I hope you liked it.

Disclaimers: You already know this.

Burning Skies

Chapter 13: Saying Goodbye

More than two weeks after Jennifer Murdoch's violent death, Ultra Rodimus finally emerged from his quarters. Magnus was with him, never straying very far away. He was worried about his mate's mental state.

"Well, what did the humans do?" Magnus asked Kup.

The grey bot sighed. "Justifiable homicide and temporary insanity. There won't be any charges against him. But it took a lot of consideration before they reached their verdict. There are a lot of humans who think he should be tried as a murderer, even though they know what that woman did to him. They don't care. All they care about is that he killed a human and he's getting away with it."

Magnus shook his head. "There will always be people like that in the universe."


Spike walked into Medbay and immediately spotted Ultra Rodimus. The young Prime was in his human form, watching as one of the doctors passed a sensor over Falcon. The skrill had never quite recovered from the loss of one of his tentacles, so a bio-mechanical limb had been attached to the stump of the severed tentacle. The replacement was working well, but the doctors still ran tests to make certain of that. No one wanted it to hurt Falcon.

The skrill chirped, or at least made a sound resembling a chirp, as the doctor put the sensor away. Ultra Rodimus grinned at whatever Falcon was saying.

"Falcon is fine," the doctor reported. "The artificial limb is working perfectly."

"Falcon says to tell you that he would've said that if you'd ever bothered to ask," Ultra Rodimus relayed with a grin. "But you never think of asking him, do you?"

"I'm still not quite used to the idea of him being able to speak in your mind," the doctor retorted. "I've never seen a creature like him before, so I often forget that he can speak."

"You'll clue in eventually," the young Prime predicted.

"We'll see." The doctor turned away.

Spike walked over to Ultra Rodimus, looking at the scars on Ultra Rodimus's chest. They were from the terrible wounds that had been inflicted on him, and they would never fade. They were on his robot body as well. First Aid was at a loss about how to explain it. Not even Perceptor could venture a theory about why the scars couldn't be removed from Ultra Rodimus's real form.

"Hey," Spike greeted.

Ultra Rodimus flinched at the sound of his voice, and the muscles in his arms and back visibly tensed. "Oh. Hi."

The human stepped closer, placing his hand on the Autobot's shoulder. "It still bothers you, doesn't it."

"Ask me, I'd say not so much. Ask Magnus, he'll tell you that I often wake up screaming, stricken by terrible nightmares. But it's getting better."

"You miss him a lot, don't you."

Pain filled Ultra Rodimus's emerald eyes. "Every day. He was my friend."

"I don't know if I should be telling you this, but Dad always considered you another son," Spike told him.

Ultra Rodimus stared at him. "Are you serious?!"

"Perfectly. He told me so, a few months ago."

The Autobot leader was speechless.

"Carly and I have a request we'd like to make," Spike said, changing the subject.

"What is it?"

"We'd like you to be one of the pallbearers at the funeral."

Ultra Rodimus looked confused. Spike explained what it meant. The young Prime considered.

"I'll think about it," he finally said.

Spike patted his shoulder and left.

((I think you should,)) Magnus whispered into his mind.

((So do I,)) Falcon agreed.

(I don't even know what to do.)

((From what I understand, there will be a practice before the actual funeral,)) Magnus pointed out.

Ultra Rodimus thought for a long moment. (Then I'll do it.)

The funeral took place on a warm summer day a few days later. Dozens, even hundreds of humans and most of the Autobots attended. Most of the humans had to stand outside and listen via the speakers placed outside the church. The Autobots watched through the windows. Ultra Rodimus, dressed in black with his long hair loose, sat with the Witwickys.

After the service, a long line of vehicles, both normal and Autobots, followed the hearse to the graveyard. They stood through the short service at the graveyard. Then most of the mourners left.

One remained.

Ultra Rodimus shaded his eyes from the sun, staring at the coffin that held the body of his dearest friend. It didn't seem real to him. But he knew it was, knew only too well. He knew that he would never see Sparkplug again, never chat with him about nothing in particular, or just sit in the sun next to him. He was gone, and those days were over.

((He will always live in your memory,)) Falcon reminded him softly.

(I know. But that doesn't make the pain go away.)

((It will never go away,)) Falcon told him. ((I know. Many of my companions were destroyed by the Taelons or in battle. I lost many of my kindred. I know what you are going through. The pain will always be there. You'll just learn to cope with it.))

(I know, Falcon. I know.)

Magnus sent a thought to him. Ultra Rodimus returned it absently. He stood there in silence for a long moment, then whispered an ancient prayer in the Autobot language. The syllables hung in the air for a long moment. Then Ultra Rodimus turned and walked over to where Magnus waited in his vehicle mode.

Goodbye, Sparkplug. Fare thee well, my friend.


And that is it for this fic. It was fun to write, even if I did manage to royally creep out some of my reviewers. Only one didn't seem affected by the gory descriptions, but we all knew ckret2 wasn't the most sane of people. And now, the reviewer responses:

Ckret2: Yes, she deserved what she got. No, that part about the killing rage is not in the Earth: Final Conflict crossover. I haven't written that fic yet. Just hold your horses!

Gromia: Of course it was messy. She was hit with more force than a train running full-tilt into a mountain. Don't expect that kind of death to be clean. And will you please just tell me what the question was? I'm denser than you seem to think I am.

Rose: They would've found a way to try him if it hadn't been ruled justifiable homicide. He's off the hook, but there will be a lot of people who aren't too happy about it. And when he's in that state, he tends to work with his bare hands. He never even considers using a gun.

And now, farewell! Until the next fic!