Title: Grin and Bear It

Authors: Tirya King and MariaShadow

Summary: G1 Collaboration with MariaShadow. The medic with an exterior of steel and spines is accused of having a fluff interior. Watch as insults and laser scalpels fly.

Disclaimer: We do not own Transformers. Tis Hasbro's.

Tirya's A/N: Thank you so much to MariaShadow for letting me do this with her, hopefully we can do it again sometime!

MariaShadow's A/N: Tirya and I put our heads together and this little fic was the result. Warning: Drinking and/or eating while reading this fic may cause damage to your computer system. Straya had no influence in this fic except to spur us on. Enjoy!

Grin and Bear It

"…And if you ever, EVER pull that stunt again, I will personally peel those wings off your back with a crowbar." Ratchet leaned in close to his victim. "You got that Powerglide?"

"Y,yes Ratchet." The newly repaired Minibot stammered.

"Good." The CMO grunted and gestured at the door. "You're on medical leave for the next 12 hours and light duties for the 36 after that. Now get out."

Powerglide fled.

Ratchet shook his head and started wiping down the repair berth. A series of skirmishes had so far left half a dozen Autobots in need of repair and the exterior defenses in a shambles. As of this moment, only Prowl and Inferno were still being worked on, but Ratchet knew that there were bound to be more casualties soon. Primus didn't love him enough to give him anything short of daily chaos.

"You have such a way with words, Ratch," Inferno chuckled lightly from his berth. "Ever think of making a career out of it?"

"I have enough of a headache with the one I have now," the medic replied gruffly.

"Oh you don't mean that," Wheeljack turned to his friend. "If you're worried, why not just say so?"

Shaking the cleaning rag in the engineer's direction, Ratchet scowled angrily. "The only thing I'm worried about is my sanity by the end of this. Everyone is dedicated to driving me off the deep end, I know it."

"Oh come on, boss," First Aid quipped from the other end of the room where he'd been washing some tools. "You were off the deep end long before any of us joined the cause."

"You. Hush and wash. I don't pay you to mutiny."

"You don't pay me at all," the Protectobot grumbled, but nonetheless obeyed. "Though I have to say, you didn't really have to threaten Powerglide like that. The beating he got from Dirge and Thrust was bad enough."

"It keeps them honest, and me sane." Ratchet answered, scrubbing at a particularly tough oil-stain.

"You know Ratchet," Prowl suddenly spoke up from his berth, "Out of all the threats of grievous bodily harm that you have made, there has never been any reported case of you actually following through."

"Key word brain-bot –'reported'." The CMO growled. "Just 'cause you haven't heard it doesn't mean it didn't happen."

"Y'know, I haven't heard anything either." Inferno added.

"Me neither. Could it be that our CMO is all bark and no bite?" Wheeljack chimed in, canting a cheeky glance at the medic. Ratchet glared at the Lancia. He'd get him for that.

The CMO harrumphed, throwing his rag into the 'dirty' basket with a great deal more force than what was necessary. "There's a slaggin' good reason why I put the fear of Primus into people, and if you two," he paused to level a finger at Prowl and Inferno, "don't shut it, you're gonna find out why."

"I'm sorry, Ratchet," the black and white responded, not at all intimidated. "But until I see it for myself, I'm inclined to agree with Wheeljack."

Puffing himself up to his full height, Ratchet made a very imposing figure before the small group of mechs. "You really want to test that? Just ask Sideswipe how good my throwing arm is."

"Yes, but again, you have caused no real damage by leaving a dent in his chassis," Prowl insisted. "In fact, I imagine you've done him some good by it."

Ratchet glared at the mech, mentally daring the 2IC to say something that would warrant a demonstration of his very good aim. "Oh yeah?" he challenged. "Then why was he in here for jet-judo again?"

Prowl offered a half-shrug, which was about all he could manage with a spike of shrapnel in his left rotator cuff. "I said you may have done him some good, I did not say that he would retain his learning from the experience."

"He's got a point there, boss." First Aid spoke up again.

"Shut up." Ratchet snapped. He was losing this argument frighteningly fast.

Unperturbed by his comrade's rising ire, Wheeljack continued on the tactician's line of thought, tapping his chin with the air of someone about to make a brilliantly perceptive announcment. "I've seen most of the tantrums you've thrown over the years," he began "and I've never once seen you lay a finger on a patient with the intent of causing serious pain. Could it be that the great grizzly bear temper of Ratchet is actually a teddy bear?"

For a moment of pure, still silence, no one made a move. Not even the 'teddy bear' in question so much as cycled air through his intakes.

"What… did you just say?" he asked in a very slow, very quiet voice.

Wheeljack did not answer immediately, but eventually he had to flash a smug indigo smile. "You heard me." The Lancia's arms crossed in front of him. "I called you a teddy bear. The only time you lash out at someone is when you're concerned for their well-being. And that's only so they don't get hurt in the long run. Not only that, but you don't even do any harm when you do lash out…" he counted off each reason on a finger. "Shall I go on?"

The look on the CMO's face spoke of murder… the slow and painful kind. "Can you?"

First Aid wandered over to the group from across the room, eager to join forces against his senior. "I can if he can't."

The floor was surrendered to the intern, and though his glee was hidden by his surgical mask, it was not at all concealed in his voice. "To be more specific," He began, deliberately emulating Hawkeye from MASH, "there was the time last month during that battle when you K.O'd Sideswipe and claimed it was to keep him from, quote unquote 'runnin' his slaggin' vocaliser off whining about his fraggin' pretty-mech brother', but we both know that wasn't the case, as you were out of sedatives and the procedure you were about to perform was quite painful."

"So I didn't want to hear him bawl." Ratchet shrugged, trying to salvage the shards of his image.

First Aid held up a cautionary finger. "Ah, but the mercy-meting does not stop there. Two weeks ago, mid afternoon of a Thursday if I recall, Air Raid came in with snapped landing gear because he got dared to land on a mesa. You whacked him upside the head for being such a 'slaggin' imbecile', but I couldn't help notice that you struck him just over the area where pain signals are registered in the neural cortex, effectively numbing him before you began repairs."

With that, First Aid leaned back against a berth, looking smug.

"The evidence appears to be conclusive." Prowl surmised from his half sitting position.

"Gotta agree there." Inferno chimed in.

Ratchet glowered at the group, daring them to say anymore on the subject. The damage had been done, however, and it seemed nothing could repair it. No words left with which to save face. No weapons near enough to throw. Not even a conveniently near enough office to retreat to. Each of his accusers wore varying versions of the same satisfied smirk, all fully convinced beyond all shadow of a doubt.

Not that Ratchet didn't try his hardest to save face anyway.

"You all listen to me and you listen good," he growled, not quite unlike a bear himself. "I don't feel sorry for slaggers that get hurt by being stupid, I have no patience for wailers and whiners, and I do not bear any resemblance whatsoever to one of those… those…"

"Teddy bears?" Wheeljack so helpfully supplied.

An optic ridge twitched. "Yes. Those." The Look of Impending Doom ™ returned as he stared long and hard at each one of them. "If I hear any more about this, and Primus help you if anyone else hears about this, I will make you wish you had never been brought online. Now do you understand me?" His optics were icy and hard, the stuff nightmares were made of, and his delicate surgeon's hands were clenched in fists of unholy rage.

First Aid fought off a snicker. He was so getting a month of inventory for all this.

Wheeljack didn't bother fighting it off; his headfins betrayed his wide grin.

Prowl and Inferno each wore their own varying forms of smug satisfaction on their faces, the latter going so far as to smirk.

Seeing no other way out of this embarrassing, and entirely finished, conversation, Ratchet grabbed his laser scalpel and shook it at each one of them. "I have paperwork to do," he snorted gruffly. "And when I'm done you," he pointed to First Aid, "will have finished cleaning the med bay and be starting on inventory. "You," to Wheeljack, "will be out of my med bay altogether. And you two…" he narrowed his optics that much more as he looked at the 2IC and S&R 'bot. "You two will be laying down and in recharge."

"Ratchet, you haven't removed the…"

"Save it, Prowl, that shrapnel's not going anywhere." With all the dignity of a retreating Decepticon, the CMO made a hasty beeline for his office and the sanctuary within.

The four accusers waited for a few cycles.

As expected, not 5 cycles later, Ratchet returned and adjusted the pain receivers just above Prowl's left cuff. "Just so I don't have to hear any fragging whining," he defended himself before any of them could say a word. Of course, he forgot that this was Prowl, and the day Prowl whined about anything would be the day the Pit opened a skating rink.

"Well what the slag are you all looking at?" he barked.