*Comes in dodging thrown objects*
I know, I know. I have been very bad in not updating, but things have been going on. Not too bad of things, mostly finishing my final degree and finding a job; which took over three months. Also for the first few months of college I was been hit with one cold after another. Found out the first one was German Measles. Of course after that another cold attacked. Though colds suck, I found it good inspiration for this chapter. Even though the inspiration seemed to dry up when they left.
I have had this chapter nearly completed since July but I'm actually glad it got pushed to the back 'til now. I was able to make it better and longer. Also I have finally decided where in the G1 timeline this story is taking place. Right now it is in-between Seasons 1 & 2. That means Skyfire and Devasator are around, but none of the mechs who appear in Season 2, like Tracks or Smokescreen. I'm also still mixing the cartoon with the comics, since I like certain things about each continuity.
Explaination: I like how the cartoon has Skyfire from Cybertron rather than created on Earth like Jetfire in the comics. And I prefer how the Dinobots came to Earth in the comics better than them being built by Wheeljack and Ratchet. The cartoons didn't do the Dinobots justice. I'm also going with the cartoon origin of the rivalry between Omega Supreme and the Constructicons. Not that they were built on Earth by Megatron or that they built Megatron. I'm trying to eliminate the inconsistencies. That's a battle in and of itself.
Ok, I think I've rambled enough, I'll just let you enjoy the fic'.
Chapter 10: Sick Days
Raising a hot cube of energon to his lips Ratchet took a long, needed swallow. 'Oh, today has started off 'beautifully'.' The sarcasm and irritation of his thoughts just oozed from the expression on his face. Days that started with early Decepticon attacks only to be later paired with the already set pranks by Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were always his 'favorite'.
Making another quick check on his recovering patients, Ratchet took another long sip from his cube. One of these days Ratchet knew he was gonna finally snap and Primus help the Decepticons when he did. Well, there was one good side to an early Decepticon attack. Not all the Autobots enjoyed getting up before the crack of dawn, which only encouraged them to pound the Decepticons even harder. That would usually keep them busy for at least a couple days making repairs; of course that was true on both sides.
Also Ratchet doubted the Constructicons would be working at full capacity, not after Mirage replaced Mixmaster's newest chemical compound with something the humans referr to as 'Silly Putty'. The CMO didn't know how, but he just knew that Sideswipe was some how involved in it; though how he enlisted Mirage's help was still unknown. But anyone who knew Sideswipe knew he had his own 'methods' to get what he wanted or needed. At least this time one of his pranks had a beneficial effect for the Autobots. It would take the Constructicons a good week and a half to removed the putty from their fellow mech, which meant Devastor would be out of the picture for awhile. Yet that small bit of good news didn't help lift Ratchet's mood.
He subspaced the half full cube so he could run another scan of Cliffjumper's leg, tapping a few things on the scanner as he went. Ratchet internally swore that nobody better dare step into the medbay unless they were gonna go offline. As if to countermand his silent threat to the universe, his audios caught the small swish of the medbay doors opening a crack. Now he knew for sure, the entire universe was out to get him.
"Umm Ratchet?" The medic looked up from his scanner still frowning deeply. Bluestreak stood there, peering into the medbay through the partially cracked doors with a sheepish yet worried expression on his face. Right now the young gunner looked ready to bolt, obviously having picked up on Ratchet's worse than usual sour mood from some of the mechs Ratchet had already drove out of his repair bay.
"What do you want?! Aren't you suppose to be babysitting Holi today?" the medic questioned in his heavier than usual gruff tone looking back down at his scanner. Unlike the when dealing with the twins, Ratchet didn't immediately resort to throwing a wrench or in this case the scanner in his hand; Bluestreak was too afraid of him to bother him unless it was important. Normally.
"Aah, t-that's the thing." Bluestreak stuttered as the door slid the rest of the way open letting him come in; in his hands he held Holi carefully. "I-I think something's wrong with her." he said looking down at the small child in his hands.
Bluestreak now had Ratchet's full attention. Subspacing the scanner he turned and walked over to the gunner, carefully looking at the small girl in the mech's hands. Holi didn't look very happy; her eyes were watery, her nose was a dry sore shade of pink, and she looked utterly miserable as she hugged her teddy bear tight. Ratchet looked at Holi critically, there was obviously something wrong with her but exactly what he couldn't tell. He hadn't seen a human in this condition before. As he came closer to get a better inspection of her, Holi almost reflexively sneezed in the medic's face. At the sudden sneeze Ratchet quickly moved his face away from her, wiping the wet stuff that flew at him off of his face with the back of his hand.
"She was like this when I went to her room." Blue' explained as Holi moaned to herself, curling up more into his hands. Though Ratchet hated to admit it, he was absolutely clueless with what to do. He had never treated a human before so this was out of his field. Yet, being the stubborn mech he was Ratchet wasn't gonna let her be taken away by human doctors. For all he knew, she could get something else. But at least for Ratchet he knew where he could get some help on Holi particular ailment.
"We call it, 'the common cold'. Everyone gets it every now and then." Sparkplug explained once he seen Holi. "Of course I'm not a doctor, but Spike has gotten them many times when he was young. Still gets them every once and awhile. Heck, even I get my share."
"And what does this 'common cold' do? And what kind of symptoms would I be treating?" Ratchet asked, wanting to know what he would be dealing with. He glanced over to Holi, who still sat miserably in Bluestreak's hand every now and then letting out a sneeze or cough.
"Lets see. Runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, aches and pains. Sometimes it also comes with a fever, and rash. Though those symptoms usually aren't part of a normal cold. But that's about it."
"How does a nose run?" Bluestreak asked but didn't get a reply as Ratchet spoke again.
"And how does one cure this disease?" Right now all the CMO wanted was a quick and easy answer. After a long morning Ratchet wanted to hear that all he had to give her was a pill or something and that it would be over. Of course he wasn't gonna get the reply he wanted.
"Cough syrup, some cough drops, basic cold medicines, and lots and lots of tissues. Of course some people say that chicken soup also helps. But what seems to help the best is lots of liquids and rest. Though medicine will definitely keep the cold from dragging on longer. Unfortunately children have a tendency of going out of there way to avoid having to take it. I know I've had several times when I've practically needed to tie Spike down to get him to take it." He paused for a moment. "Don't expect it to cleat up over night though." Great, this wasn't what he wanted to hear. But being a medic Ratchet couldn't let Holi go untreated. Ratchet sighed to himself.
"Leave her with me Bluestreak. 'Til she gets better I'm in charge of her." Almost in reaction to the CMO's statement, Holi sneezed again. "How long do these 'common colds' last?" he asked looking back down at Sparkplug with dismay.
"What?! Old Hatchet?" Gears blurted out nearly dropping his cube, hardly believing his audio receptors.
"Yeah, she was in there when I came back online. Bluestreak easily filled in the rest." Cliffjumper said grinning at the surprised look on his fellow Minibot's face.
"Oh, this is just great!" Brawn laughed nearly falling out of his chair. "I bet Ratchet was ready to have a spark attack when Sparkplug told him how long he'd have to watch her."
"He can barely stand having anyone in his repair bay for more than a couple hours, let alone days. But a week or more?" Trailbreaker added his two cents in with a chuckle. Ratchet's temper and lack of 'bedside manner' was legendary to both Autobots and Decepticons.
"I could see Ratchet handling it, but not after Prowl came in." Cliffjumper continued still grinning.
"Why what did Prowl have to say?" Mirage asked walking over to join the growing group. Everyone in the lounge was interested in Ratchet's 'plight'.
"Prowl had to insist that Ratchet 'refraining from any and all activities that could be considered a bad influence on Holi's young mind'. At least that was how Prowl put it." he answered.
"No swearing or throwing things? Ratch'll never survive." Huffer piped up.
"How long do you think he can last 'til he cracks?" Sideswipe asked as he sipped on a cube. Obviously while Cliffjumper had been informing them of what he had seen and heard, the 'wheels' in Sideswipe's mind had been turning. Of course that usually meant trouble for the medic; being one of Sideswipe's favorite targets.
"Ol' Hatchet? A couple of days, probably less, and he'll be throwing more than just wrenches by that time." Ironhide answered grabbing another cube.
"I doubt he'll even last a day, let alone a night." Sunstreaker countered confidently.
"I don't know. Ratchet may be seriously lacking in his bedside manner but he can keep his anger and language under control; when he wants to." The group turned as Wheeljack spoke up walking over, having heard the conversation as he walked in.
"Are you kidding me Wheeljack?!" Cliffjumper started. "You obviously haven't spent enough time in his medbay."
"You sure about that?" Wheeljack asked, even though they couldn't see it the engineer was smiling confidently behind his faceplate. Out of all the 'bots in the Ark he knew Ratchet almost better than anyone. Catching the way the conversation was going, Sideswipe decided it was the time to strike.
"So gentlemechs?" Sideswipe asked gaining everyone's attention. "Shall we start the betting?" he asked with a sly smirk on his face. Oh, he had this in the bag.
'. . . children 6 years to under 12 years . . . Ah, here it is . . . Children 2 years to under 6 years: ½ teaspoon every 4 hours. . .' Ratchet read to himself the label on a bottle of cough syrup finally finding the correct dosage he needed to give his small patient. Thankfully Bumblebee had taken Sparkplug to a nearby town to get everything Ratchet would need for Holi.
Looking up from the dosage cup, he could see Holi sitting on one of the med tables. It had already been a few hours, but already she had wads of used tissues around her. Ratchet sighed to himself as Holi blow her nose again which one could compare to a blow horn, no wonder her nose was so sore especially when she was blowing that hard.
Putting down the cup, he carefully poured the amount prescribed. The liquid was red and thick and smelt strange, but this was what Sparkplug supplied so it would have to work.
"Ok. Time for your first dose." Ratchet said holding the tiny cup carefully between his thumb and pointer finger. As he came over Holi looked up from another tissue she was using. The small girl edged away as the strange liquid was held out to her. She came slightly closer to see what it was, but as soon as the smell made its way up her half clogged nose she backed away again. Obviously Holi had had this type of medicine before and she knew that she did not like it.
Ratchet frowned at her reaction. Again he brought the medicine cup closer to her, but Holi shut her mouth tightly shaking her head back and forth feverishly saying no to the offered medicine. "You have to take it, it will make you feel better." he said doing his best to keep the irritated growl out of his voice. But regardless of what he said Holi wasn't gonna let that stuff enter her mouth without a fight.
After several more futile attempts, Ratchet was getting tired of her refusal to just drink it. Having enough he started to reach out with his other hand. If she wouldn't take it voluntarily, he'd have to 'help' her take it. Not expecting the other hand, Holi let her guard down opening her mouth to let out a small squeak at the hand coming at that's when Ratchet got his chance. With that distraction he slipped the cup to her lips and poured the small amount of liquid in. With little choice Holi swallowed, making sounds of displeasure as her face scrunched in disgust at the taste.
Finally. Ratchet didn't care if she liked it or not, she needed to take it. Backing off he sat in his chair to read the rest of the instructions on the stuff Sparkplug had bought. Maybe this wouldn't be as hard as he thought, just got three more dosage more to go for the day.
:2:00 am: Ratchet groaned as he read the time on his chronometer. Wearily he lifted his head, looking at Holi who was wide awake coughing like crazy. Since her cold obviously wasn't gonna leave for at least a week he had gotten permission to move Holi's bed to his quarters so he keep her under 24 hour surveillance. At least then he could give her, nightly doses on time; though he was now doubting the choice he had made.
Groaning Ratchet got up, pouring another dose of medicine. At least at nighttime Holi wasn't as alert so getting her to take the medicine wasn't as hard. With that done Ratchet was ready to try to get some more recharge but Holi's voice caught him before he could lay back down.
"Ratchet, I need more tissues." Holi said, holding up the box she had gotten this morning. The medic just couldn't see how one little girl could go through an entire box in less than a day. Getting another box, Ratchet made a mental note to inform Holi that she had to use ALL of the tissue before throwing it away, not just a corner of it. But Ratchet was just too tired to lecture her right now; it could wait 'til morning.
Unlike most days, his morning didn't started with chaos caused by the twins. No, this time it was Holi. Instead of falling for the same distraction as she did all day yesterday, she decided to try a new tactic; she ran. Thankfully Holi couldn't open the medbay doors so she was trapped in that one room, yet catching her wasn't easy. It had taken the near enraged CMO a good fifteen minutes to finally corner her and forcibly give her the morning dose of her medicine.
"Yucky!" Holi said shaking her head after having been forced to drink the horrible liquid. She hated that she had to take such nasty stuff, there was no way that stuff could actually be good for her. At least now the big, bad medic would leave her alone; 'til the next dose.
"I seems everything is pretty lively in here."
"Daddy!" Thankfully for Ratchet's fraying nerves and his temperament, Optimus came in, obviously to see Holi. While father and daughter were together Ratchet went to the lounge to grab enough energon to last him the day. The way his luck was going he doubted he'd be able to get away from the medbay again.
Spying the medic heading back to the medbay Sideswipe chuckled evilly. The red twin knew exactly how to pull Ratchet's 'strings', it shouldn't be too hard to get him to snap. But he wouldn't make him snap yet. Oh, no. That would be no fun. He had his bet set on four days, and Sunstreaker had for two days. As long as the 'Hatchet' snapped on one of those days, Sideswipe knew he would benefit. Now he just had to play his cards right.
Returning to the repair bay the CMO found that Optimus had already left leaving Holi who was now occupying herself with cartoons. Grumbling something he resigned himself just to enjoy the, most likely, short lived silence and peace. Ratchet had no idea how short that peace would be until the doors to the repair bay suddenly opened revealing an all too happy looking Sideswipe.
"What are you doing here." Ratchet said the growl in his voice just barely slipping out in pent-up irritation. Though he couldn't throw things the dirty glare he was giving could have stripped a Decepticon's paint off. Of course the glare had no effect on the naturally cocky Sideswipe who was more than use to the death glares the CMO would give.
"What? Can't I just visit my favorite medic?" he replied his hands spread out innocently though the smile on his face betrayed his devious intent. If Ratchet's glare could have been anymore menacing it would have rivaled Megatron's.
"Big brother!" Sideswipe turned away from the CMO's glares to walk over to Holi.
"Hey kiddo, how are you doing? Having fun with ol' Hatchet?" he asked Holi before looking back at the medic with an almost fiendish smirk. Ratchet's hand visibly twitched as it tried to find something to throw at the pit spawn before him. But his hand stopped when he remembered Prowl's lecture. Primus did he hate the second in command right now.
"Little better, but I still have to take that yucky stuff." she said sticking out her tongue at mentioning the horrible medicine. "Plus I can't leave 'til I get better." Holi pouted.
"Don't worry, soon you'll get better. Then you won't have to stay around the grumpy ogre." His tone was comforting to Holi but it infuriated Ratchet all the more.
"Now would you care to explain why you really came here Sideswipe." he hissed the sentence through his dental plates once more demanding an explanation; as 'gently' as possible. At first Sideswipe gave him a blank face, which Ratchet knew was a façade, before giving him an 'innocent' smile.
"Oh yes! Wheeljack wanted me to get some tools for one of his experiments. Don't worry, I'll help myself." With a deviously jovial smile he immediately went to find the tool he needed. 'Wheeljack my aft!' Ratchet mentally growled knowing that if the engineer really wanted anything he would come get it himself or send someone else; anyone but Sideswipe.
"Ok. I got what I need." the red twin skipped back over to Holi. "I'll come visit you later ok." Holi nodded happily.
"Can we play after I get better?"
"Of course. We'll have tons of fun, maybe we'll even drag around Sunny again." he said before turning back to the medic. "Well I better get going. Wheeljack really needs me to get this stuff to him." he said walking back over to the medic.
"After this, I will kill you." Ratchet whispered through his gritted dental plates, a false smile forcibly plastered on his face. Still keeping the infallible smile on his own face Sideswipe sashayed out of the repair bay with a farewell wave. Reaching his brother, Sideswipe fell into laughing hysteria.
"Hatchet's never gonna last a week!" he managed to say through his laugher. Even Sunstreaker couldn't help cracking a grin.
"Got everything?" his yellow twin asked.
"Yep. And there wasn't a thing Ratchet could do about." Sideswipe really could be a devil sometimes.
He was right! The universe was out to get him, and it was determined to drive him out of his processor. Ratchet doubted even Prowl could retain his sanity; not with all the 'accidents' happening today.
It started again with Sideswipe playing 'innocent', then Sunstreaker mounting complaint after complaint on the medic. Gears and Huffer was the next to assault his limited patience. Even on a 'good' day he could only withstand so much of Gears complaining and Huffer's negativity. One at a time was manageable but both at the same time was enough to nearly drive him into his stash of high grade; nearly.
Not to mention that his patient wasn't making it easy for him either. For being only five, Holi was a crafty child. Instead of just running, she was now hiding while Ratchet was distracted with his 'patients'. Thankfully her cough still gave her away. But she had found one hiding spot that even the CMO had a hard time reaching. The small space in-between councils proved a very effective hiding spot that Ratchet couldn't reach without help. But he found ways around it; thankfully.
Then there was the aftermath of several 'accidents'. Although they were deemed accidents or just freak occurrences, each one just reeked of Sideswipe and his twin. Yep, the universe was out to get him and it was working through the red hellion.
It had only been a few days and Ratchet didn't know how much more 'child friendly' behavior he could handle. He knew he couldn't throw tools, something he was dieing to do with a few certain mechs who were taking advantage of his 'good natured' attitude. He also had to keep his swearing down to a inaudible mumble; the last thing he needed was adding more to the colorful vocabulary the twins had started to teach Holi. Doing so would instantly get Prowl on his aft lecturing him. He'd probably end up taking his pent up anger out on the second in command if that happened.
Though it was normally against a medic's nature to harm his patients, Ratchet was on verge of snapping. One last prank, only last raid of his materials 'ordered' by Wheeljack or Prowl and that would be it! So help the mech who should come in after he finally snapped.
"Well we've pushed him this far. If he snaps today you'll win. So what are you planning for Ratchet today?" asked Sunstreaker as he sat at one of the table in the lounge with his twin.
"I figure let in temper percolate for a couple hours. Then I'll unleash the final prank. We can't have this end too soon, can we?" Sideswipe said swirling in energon in his cube before sipping at it. Oh, he had this planned out perfectly. As long everything went on schedule the bet and everything that had been gathered for the pool would be his and Sunny's. It was perfect.
"So what's the pool up to?" Sideswipe looked up to see Jazz standing over him with a smile on his face.
"Pool? What pool? Is someone swimming?" Sideswipe asked innocently, but it was obvious Jazz wasn't so easily convinced. The black and white mech pulled up a chair to join the twins.
"Not a swimming pool; a betting pool. The one for how long Ratchet will stay nicey, nice and keeps from throw tools, swearing, or just out right snaping on anyone." he answered his visor flashing knowingly.
"Oh, that one. Well Sunny put in three containers of his special wax, then we got some stuff thrown in by Wheeljack, Ironhide, Cliffjumper, Mirage, Brawn, Skyfire and I topped it off with a double batch of my special high grade." Sideswipe smiled, all the innocence was replaced by mischievous.
"So who's in the lead?" he asked.
"Well if he snaps today, I win. But if Ratchet survives today, then Wheeljack has the five day bet. And Skyfire has Saturday."
"You think you can predict what our Hatchet is gonna do?"
"Hey. I figure I know more than most mechs about our irritable medic. We've spent more time in his repair bay than anyone." Sideswipe said with a cocky grin but was met by one of Jazz's all knowing grins.
"Not everyone. I can name one mech that's been in there more than you two." Jazz was obviously referring to Wheeljack. Sideswipe's cocky smile was wiped away at the obvious mention of the inventor. It was true; if he didn't make Ratceht snap today then Wheeljack would have a good chance of winning. But Sideswipe wasn't gonna start doubting his plan now. It was absolutely flawless!
"Looks like you were wrong Sideswipe." Jazz said coming up behind Sideswipe and his brother who were playing video games. The red twin had been pouting all morning.
"I was sure Ratch' would have given in by now." Hound said when Sideswipe just grumbled a response. "He's tougher than we thought. So who has today again."
"Wheeljack. Skyfire is trying for Saturday." Sideswipe finally said, but still not taking his attention off the screen. The red twin thought he had the bet made, but he lost. He still couldn't see how his ultimate prank didn't cause the medic to go slagging batty at him. Maybe he didn't have enough snakes.
Yes, the one organic creature Ratchet hated more than anything. Snakes. The medic had freaked the first time Hound had come back from off-roading and the medic had found a rattlesnake in his gill still alive and hissing. He had never seen anyone dance on a med table the way Ratchet had. Of course he didn't choose rattlers this time, rat snakes worked just fine. Even Holi had enjoyed playing with one.
The medic had freaked but had maintained enough composure to keep from flying at him in a red rage. Slag, and he thought it was perfect. Now it was between Wheeljack and Skyfire unless Ratchet lasted 'til Sunday. If he did than, all bets would be off. Still he wasn't gonna stop tormenting Ratchet, even though it would mean even more trouble later. But hey he already had one foot in the smelter, he minds well jump in with both feet. He wasn't the type just to stop even though he lost. In fact he might just be able to get one last good rise out of Ratchet before the medic went back to his old ways.
The incident with the snakes yesterday had nearly thrown Ratchet off his steadily slipping sanity. How badly he wanted to strangle the red menace. But it would just be a couple more days 'til Holi could be released. She had nearly finished the medicine and her coughing was almost gone. Just a couple more days and he'd be fine. Or so he thought.
An explosion suddenly rocked the Ark sending both Holi and Ratchet sprawling. Getting up Ratchet had a fierce glare on his face. That was it! He could handle battle damage and complaining as he worked, he could handle Sideswipe's inane pranks, sure, he could even handle all them taking advantage of his 'good mood', but Wheeljack's 'accidents' always pushed him over the edge; especially when piled on top of everything else. It didn't take long for Trailbreaker to bring Wheeljack in, along with an arm that was no longer attached to the inventor. Once he helped Wheeljack to the repair table, the large black mech beat a hasty retreat. The look on Ratchet's face told him that he had had enough of being nice and was ready to snapped at the next person who spoke to him or barged into the medbay. Unfortunately for Sideswipe, he just so happened to be that next mech.
"Hey Ratchet! You and Holi still having fun? Sounds like Wheeljack's at it again." he laughed not seeing the pissed look on Ratchet's face.
"Shut the frag up you red pit spawn! I've had more than enough of your slag this past week!" Ratchet stormed furiously causing Sideswipe's smile to drop, taking a cautious step back from the hell-bent medic. "If you or anyone outside of Prime comes in here for anything other than life threatening damage I'll rewire you all into waffle makers!" the enraged CMO yelled throwing whatever he could find nearby at the quickly retreating red twin.
To Ratchet's surprise Holi was laughing. Instead of looking bored and tired like she had recently, she seemed more energized even happy. "You think that's funny?" he asked looking at the giggling child. Holi nodded even though a cough cut her giggling short.
"Uh, Ratchet . . ." Wheeljack started to speak up, only to be clobbered by a welder.
"You stay quiet! Otherwise I might put your head on backwards!" Ratchet growled earning another fit of giggles from Holi. Walking over to Wheeljack he began to get to work; but not before say to the inventor, "You win the pool."
To be continued.
Yah! Ten chapters done! Ratchet was absolutely hell to work with. I literal had to have Dinobots storm his medbay to get in. But at least its finally done. Unfortunately this leaves me with a problem. This was the last chapter my plot bunnies have given me. So I'm not sure where to go next with this fic'. Should I start up school? Have a couple more Autobots play babysitter? Bring the Second Season Autobots in? Let the Decepticons cause a little trouble? Or should their appearance cause some playful calamity? I'm not sure.
I do have one idea though. I don't want to spill it all but it involves Holi trying to get a pet. Though I like the idea I almost want to save it 'til Red Alert comes in.
What should I do!!!! I'll figure it out later.
I thank everyone who reviewed last time. Now I need more reviews! They are my lifeblood, without them my muses work too slow! Please help the muses work faster so you don't have to wait months for another update.
READ AND REVIEW TO SAVE THE MUSES!