Sorry about the delay, but life got in the way for a while.
The next morning, Ratchet walked into the common room to a standing ovation. Every Autobot at the Ark had squeezed into the room, all clapping and cheering at the return of the white and red medic.
"What the…?" Ratchet trailed off, looking around in stunned amazement.
"Somebody heard you'd gotten back on y' feet, an' we figured we might as well have a party to celebrate." Jazz grinned as he pressed a mug of energon into the medic's hands. "Y' had us all more than a bit worried aboutcha Ratch."
"Well then," Ratchet answered with an equally broad grin, "let's get this party started!"
Late that night, as the party wound down and overcharged Autobots began to drag themselves to their rooms, a real sense of relief infused the Ark- a sharp contrast to the anxiety that had existed there before. Several Autobots, not quite as far gone as the others, sat outside the Ark talking.
"Sure is good t' have th' old Doc fighting fit again." A rather tipsy Jazz announced as he spun on one foot and flopped back amongst the plumes of grass, his feet pointing uphill and his head downhill.
"It is." Hound nodded in agreement. "Kinda scares me to think how close we came to losing him."
"And how close we came to coming apart ourselves." Bumblebee added.
"It can only be expected." Prowl spoke up after a moment's silence. He was one of the few sober Autobots. "Ratchet is an integral part of this unit."
"So how do we keep him from bein' target practice again?" Sideswipe asked.
"Yeah." Bluestreak added. "'Cause I don't think he'd appreciate a body guard, and we can't keep him inside the Ark all the time, but he is the only fully trained medic we've got and we have to be careful with him, but I sure ain't gonna tell him where he can or can't go. He makes up his own mind about that."
"Simple." Sideswipe replied. "We all keep an optic on him during battle an' we don't leave him alone. If he doesn't like it, tough. As Blue said, he's the only medic we've got."
"You bring up a good point." Prowl said. "Although Wheeljack is qualified for repairs and Hoist for basic repairs, we need another surgeon."
"Ain't like we can just call up Acme an' order one." Jazz slurred. The overdose of energon was definitely starting to get to him.
"Then we do as we have done for years, make do with what we have." Prowl stated evenly. "Perceptor has an extensive background in Cybertronian physiology. He could be easily trained as a third medic to supplement Ratchet's and Wheeljack's expertise."
"Sounds good to me." Hound answered. "But I think you'll have to wait until tomorrow evening before you suggest it to the Doc. He was quite the life of the party back there."
"Quite." Prowl replied, getting up and taking a quick glance around. "We had best be getting inside, it's getting late." He announced.
Jazz stuck one arm in the air. "A lil' help?" he asked plaintively. "Th' ground don't wanna let me go." Prowl rolled his optics and hauled Jazz to his feet. The rest of the group, either under their own power or with some help, also got up and started meandering towards the warm glow spilling out from the main entrance of the Ark.
I just wanted to say thanks to PuraJazzBot, Straya,Draange,Uftaki, Tirya King, Tiamat1972, Seiberwing, ChibiProwland XXXscalebladeXXX for reading this thing and giving me the incentive to keep going. Thanks guys : D