She sat at the control panel, digits tweaking buttons, and fingertips sliding with an articulate finesse all her own. Cybertron had barely woken up to the communal recharge it was granted, and already enemy fire had been shot from one side to another. Brave soldiers, gender unimportant, had been sent out to deal with them, second-in-commands teaming up with different squadrons to fight alongside their mates. Casualties hadn't been reported in, but with the light skirmish that usually happened when one side tried to steal Energon from another, it was unprobable that such had happened.
Iacon had been reclaimed from Decepticon properties not too long ago - just a fortnight to be exact. Her soldiers and underlings had been overjoyed to move from their underground hall, back into the wide station. Sentries and sentinels had been built, mostly from a grant by her mentor, Alpha Trion, who was overjoyed.
Come to think of it, he had been surprised too. Stepping out from the Decepticon stronghold, and making his way back to an Iacon she took such pride in reclaiming, she could've sworn he would be convinced to bring back his soldiers, and stay. She knew no fear, but fought fear best when, secretly, he was with her.
I hate being a war hero's hero, and lover. What I wouldn't give to make it stop, but what I wouldn't give to make it noticeable, too..
The lights flickered, one of the communication screens blowing with static as the image of a soldier appeared, optics scanning feverently. The background surrounding her was still hazed with smoke from both-sided fire. "Moonracer to Elita One. We have succesfully stopped the Decepticon. Coordinates of another Energon mine will be sent to you momentarily." Turquoise optics, dull in limelight, met with the accomplished sapphire ones, a nod coming forth. It didn't matter to her if the squadron had taken capture of another Decepticon hole. Certain news had been broken to Elita One earlier in the morning, and she didn't give two Primuses and Sigmas about anything else.
"Affirmative. I'm putting you in charge of setting another team to take it in," the female Autobot general replied, pressing another button to halt the communication link between the two. She swiveled around in her chair, scanners pointed at the floor. I just don't get it, she thought, why would he do this? After two phases of the moons, Cybertron, I should've known that he wouldn't of stayed forever.
She quickly regained composure. The audible chime of the doors to Iacon's Control Room hadn't even been heard, leaving her embarassed to be in a slump, though Elita could've gone back down in yet another when she met with his gaze.
"Optimus," she coldy acknoledged, slender arms crossed, giving the red-and-blue Autobot general a once-over scan. "What brings you here? I thought you were out, warning Shockwave for takeoff via the spacebridge."
If the programming had allowed it, the mouthplate covering the lower portion of his face would've been off to accompany the tinge of pain running through his circuitry, chartreuse optics blazed with sadness. Optimus Prime had spent nearly every day of his life with the carnation-coloured general, and to hear her melodic voice forced into something so hideous struck him at the core. "I wanted to see you, Elita. Is that so wrong?"
"Perhaps," she huffed, turning away from him so that it seemed she was busy at the control panel once more. When she didn't hear the doors to the control center open, she continued, quite loftily, with, "How else do you expect me to react? You have come back after so many years of me thinking you were sent to Oblivion, and now, you've decided to go off again, back to Earth."
A heavy sigh, and the female general felt heavy hands upon her shoulders. For the past millenia, she'd longed for that touch, longed for them to set their duties aside, and be Orion and Ariel again. She wouldn't let her bravada down, though. "That's why I want you to come with me, Elita. Forget Cybertron. Leave Chromia and Moonracer in charge of Iacon, as I have left Ironhide and Wheeljack in charge of the Ark. With your tactical ploys, you could stake valuable cause on Earth;
"And to me, as well."
Elita quickly turned in her chair, catching her bond mate off guard. This was it: the proposal to end all proposals involving love and war; she knew he'd come to it someday. Her circuitry ran rampant, processes rushing in fast pace. "I.. I.."
"Humans would call it an engagement, Elita, though they often give a sort of symbol to magnify this," Optimus continued. His chest compartment opened so that his hand could reach in, and withdraw a tiny block. "An energon cube, I think, would be the equivalent of a ring."
"Op.. Optimus," the female general sputtered, searching for words. Her hands cupped around the indigo-coloured block. She had captured, seen them before in all her previous years, but none caught her optics in the fascination that her mate had actually given her one. "It's.. beautiful.."
"But wouldn't you feel guilty that you couldn't see Ironhide?" Moonracer suddenly asked of her companion, cleanly catching her offguard.
The aforementioned two sat hunched outside the control room, eavesdropping in, and waving off passerbys and those who felt it important to report to Elita, seeing as how Iacon's controls had been mysteriously shut off. Each set of optics were brightened, lit with a different shade of hope and envy. The turquoise van, being the lamenting mate missing to Optimus' third-in-command, Ironhide, had suggested to both superiors the next time the valiant Autobot general came to Cybertron that Elita returned with him. Chromia had been in creation close to the days that Elita herself was manufactured, and knew how to efficiently run a base.
"Who wouldn't? You'd feel guilty about not seeing Powerglide daily, I'm sure," Chromia whispered back, sending Moonracer into a heated faceplate. The flat of her hand outstretched then to silence the other commander, scanners at search for the vocals of the two generals. When she didn't catch anything, she continued, lips pressed, "Elita One's given everything for us to make sure we're safe from the Decepticon, despite what she's said about not knowing fear. I think it's our turn to make sure she can, at least, see Optimus with knowing Cybertron's safe."
The sea-green commander still continued to seethe quietly. To her, it wasn't fair that love and war had torn Cybertron from its Golden Age, and into its own acts of Oblivion. Moonracer strongly believed, too, that if she, Chromia, and Firestar, another one of the general's officers, couldn't happily be with their mates, then why should Elita?
Of course, she didn't say a word of this to Chromia; a part of her process was still a bit charred over being put off by the general's damper mood. Primus above knew it'd be better to say nothing at all. "I suppose you're right," Moonracer finally answered, pressing her lips as well, but not in hope that a metal knight would sweep a lovely Cybertronian princess off her process.
Optimus leaned forward, his optics just milimeters away from her own. Elita was afraid to move. Their days as Orion and Ariel had changed everything, and the few trips in between continued to span the universe for them. The thin wafers of her lips tightened slightly, before leaning in closer, and closer, and closer..
"Optimus, I.. can't."
The two generals remained motionless, optics staring boldly into one another. If they were paying attention, solitary groaning from the two soldiers could be heard just outside the doors. "Why not?" Optimus finally asked, quietly, pulling away from his bond mate.
"Why can't you stay here on Cybertron?" Elita responded, fighting the urge not to bristle. See?! I knew it! It was just a fascade!, her mind retorted, grip on the Energon cube tightening.
Optimus remained calm, the years of a general draining into all he had. "You know why. Earth needs me, and you."
"As does Cybertron. And me," short answered, the essence of a bright, upbeat warehouse worker slowly drowning in the pool that claimed their lives as generals in the Cybertronian War.
They sat in somewhat comfortable silence, until Elita placed the block back in Optimus' outstretched hand. "I can't accept this," the female general whispered, "Not to mention, I already know you're with me, forever," she added, watching the light within his optics dim, then regain its ethereal gleam she'd come to love.
"It might be a long time before I can return to Cybertron again, Elita," Optimus warned, setting the cube down on a portion of the control panel. "Jazz informed me not too long ago that our Energon supplies are up again, so we needn't bother the Decepticons for awhile. We might not need to make another trip back here."
"That's a chance I'm going to have to take," Elita replied, forcing herself to smile. She slowly lifted herself out of the chair, and into Optimus' waiting arms. The touch that felt like eternity was a grim reminder of another yet to come.
A/N: Rewritten, mostly because I disliked the first version of this piece. Hopefully, it will be spared from the same thing that all ficlets go through: being rewritten for the umpteenth time. If so, sequel to come later.
Transformers G1 (names, ect): Takara/Hasbro