Title: Chance Encounters
Disclaimer: Transformers belong to Hasbro and Takara, and are licensed to IDW and Dreamworks. My original characters are my own and any similarity between them and any existing characters from canon or fandom is purely coincidental. I claim no ownership by writing this work.
Summary: Spike learns about how Ratchet and Wheeljack first met.
Spike sat on the edge of Ratchet's desk watching him fix Wheeljack.
"Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help?" Spike asked.
"I'm sure," Ratchet replied, as he worked on Wheeljack's burned chest.
Suddenly, Wheeljack began to chuckle. The movement caused Ratchet's hand to slip and he nearly fused two wires.
"Will you stop moving!" the medic snapped.
"Sorry," Wheeljack replied. "I was just remembering the first time you did this."
"Well remember more quietly. Unless you want me to damage your fuel pump."
"Is this how you two met?" Spike asked. "In an O.R.?
"E.R. actually," Wheeljack replied, ignoring the angry look that Ratchet shot him. "One of my early inventions backfired a little and I ended up in the hospital where Ratchet was interning."
"Backfired a little!" Ratchet cried, incredulously. "You blew up half the Engineering Centre in Iacon and sent hundreds to the hospital! It was a miracle that no one died!"
"Pffft!" Wheeljack snorted. "You said yourself that most of the damage was cosmetic. I got the brunt of it and even that was minimal. Lots of smoke, lots of noise, but nothing major."
"You and I have a very different definition of nothing major," Ratchet replied.
"Hundreds of people injured seems pretty serious to me," Spike said.
"Aw, Ratchet exaggerates it," Wheeljack replied, waving the whole thing off. Ratchet rolled his optics, but remained silent.
"What were you trying to make?" Spike asked.
"It was a power converter! It would have been great!" Wheeljack said, becoming excited. "It would have converted material waste into energy and then into energon!"
"Calm down!" Ratchet ordered, pushing Wheeljack back onto the table. "If you don't stop moving I'll disable your motor functions!"
"Yeah, but I was just telling –," Wheeljack protested.
"I know what you were telling Spike. I also know that if you don't stay still you may be permanently damaged. Now be quiet!" Ratchet growled.
Wheeljack sighed and lay back down on the table, obviously sulking. Ratchet remained silent, working on the engineer for quite some time while Spike watched. Finally Ratchet closed Wheeljack's chest and began working on his damaged arms.
"Are you really interested in how we first met?" Ratchet asked, not turning around.
"Sure!" Spike said.
"Okay," Ratchet remained silent for a time then began to speak softly.
"I was a brand new intern at the hospital in Iacon. I'd just graduated from the Academy and this was an incredibly prestigious position. It meant long hours, but –"
"But he got bragging rights," Wheeljack interrupted.
Ratchet shot him a dirty look before continuing.
"Anyway, I had just completed two back to back shifts. I was just on my way out when I was called back to work. There had been an explosion at the Engineering Centre and many of the casualties were coming to us. I'll admit I was more than a little angry." Ratchet shot an angry look at Wheeljack.
Wheeljack smiled and said, "I'd have been angry too if I'd had a date with Arclight."
"Be quiet or I'll disconnect your vocalizer!" Ratchet ordered, pointing a finger in Wheeljack's face.
"Who's Arclight?" Spike asked.
"Oh, she was something special!" Wheeljack said. "An EMT femme. Flyer. Incredible body-"
Ratchet reached over and pressed something to Wheeljack's neck. Suddenly the engineer's voice fell silent, but his 'head lights' continued to flash.
"Arclight was someone I knew long ago. She died in the war," Ratchet said, sadly.
"Oh," Spike said. " I'm sorry."
"Don't be," Ratchet dismissed. "It was vorns ago." Ratchet's body language said that he was anything but fine. Still, he continued his story. "We had started getting the wounded in. Mostly the damage was cosmetic but there were a few serious cases. For half a shift I worked non-stop on patients. And just when it looked like I might be able to get to recharge, he came in." Ratchet glared at Wheeljack, who looked sheepish.
Ratchet completed the work on Wheeljack's arms and allowed him to sit up. Spike hid a smile when he noticed that Ratchet had failed to turn Wheeljack's voice back on.
"Anyway, 'Jack had been at the epicentre of the blast and the last to be found. We worked on him for hours before we stabilized him enough to get him to the OR."
Suddenly Wheeljack began frantically gesturing, his 'head lights' flashing. Ratchet glared at him with narrowed optics. Wheeljack covered his optics, then touched his mask, and then mimicked collapsing while pointing at Ratchet. Spike watches the strange game of charades and then it dawned on him.
"Ratchet passed out!" he laughed.
Wheeljack pointed to Spike with one hand and the tip of his nose with the other. Spike laughed at the human gesture and Ratchet hid his face in his hands.
"Yes. Fine," Ratchet said, glaring at the two. "I passed out in the E.R. I'd gone almost three earth days without a proper recharge. I was tired."
"And?" Spike prompted.
"And I ended up recovering in the only bed available, that just happened to be next to him." Ratchet pointed a thumb at Wheeljack.
"And then what?" Spike asked.
"And then nothing," Ratchet said. "Somehow after that we became friends. Now that's it. 'Jack, you're fine. Spike it's late. Both of you, out!"
Wheeljack stared at Ratchet pointedly. When he received no reaction he pointed at his throat.
"I don't know," Ratchet smiled. "I think I like you better this way."
Wheeljack just stared at Ratchet, hands on his hip struts.
"Fine," Ratchet laughed. He reached over and turned Wheeljack's voice back on.
"C'mon Spike," Wheeljack said, helping the human off the desk. "I'll take you home. Maybe I'll tell you a bedtime story about Ratchet and Arclight."
Wheeljack ducked as a tray flew past his head.