Subi: n-n Amusedish... Don't ask.

I'm Not Alone

You know, it gets a little frustrating to know that someone is in the room with you, and you can't see them. The consistent feeling that you're being watched can drive you crazy, and yet every time you turn around, you're alone. When you're looking in the mirror, messing with your synthetic hair, and feeling someone brush their hand lightly down your back, and looking in the mirror, you see no one is there.

Which was exactly what he was doing right now.

"Damn it, would you go away?" I growled, glaring at my reflection in the mirror. The unseen bot didn't leave.

But at least he stopped rubbing the back of my frame. Better than nothing, I guess, I decided, not quite as distracting. With a soft sigh, I pulled my golden 'hair' back into a tight bun and wrapped the wire hair-band around it. Pausing after pulling my hands away from the bun- and still looking in the mirror-, I inquired to no one in particular: "Better up or down?"

My invisible guest tugged at the hair-band.

"Down?" I determined, with a faint frown. My brother had always loved my hair down. He'd always claimed that it made me look prettier, though in truth, I knew he just loved to play with the faint curls near the ends...

Primus, his ghost wasn't back to haunt me, was it?

I shook my head at that thought; My brother would have no reason to hang around after death. He knew that Star Convoy would give his life to protect me, and that I wouldn't purposely do anything that would get me killed. Cheryl was already gone, and with the Allspark. Magnus was strong enough to take care of himself, and he always had friends close by. My brother didn't have any reason to stay with the living. Unless maybe...

Perhaps he couldn't leave?

My hands fell to grasp the edge of the counter in front of me, and I stared into the reflection of my swirling blue optics. Might that be it? Was that why he was still around? I'd heard stories from some of the troops in the city: sometimes a bonded mech could die and feel obligated to hang around until his bondmate joined him. Waiting for informants to show up at dark bars, I'd overheard some femmes trading similar rumors, only the involved were reversed: femmes could die, and then remain afterwards waiting for their mechs to pass away as well...

I frowned, thinking about that for a moment. If he was waiting for someone, would he not spend most of his time near them, and not near his other family? Who might he be waiting for? He'd never mentioned to me about being bonded to someone...

I jumped as the long distance comm rang, then after one last, hasty glance at my reflection, hurried over to answer it.

"Shiori here, can I help you?"

"Hey sis."

"Magnus, how are you doing?"

"Not too bad. You?"

"Just thinking about some... recent... events." There was a pause on the other end of the communicator.

"Shior'... I... have you read any of Optimus's journals?"

"Have... Have I read them? No, Magnus, I haven't," I answered, moving to sit down on the chair next to the comm. unit.

"...Would you like to?"

"Why?" I inquired, resting my chin on my hand as I leaned on the table slightly.

"Because, they... they might explain some things that we can't figure out about how- or why- he died."

"Oh? Have you read any of them?"

"I just finished reading one or two entries from eight years ago." I picked up on a strange note in his voice, and felt my optics narrow slightly as I sat up. "And?" I prompted.

"I think he knew how he was going to die." was the quiet response. I froze, slightly stunned. I knew Optimus had always been rather perceptive, but not to that extent.

"How... did he think he was going to die?"

"In battle."

"But he didn't die in battle..."

"As far as we could tell from the outside, he didn't." Once again, I frowned, this time at the implication Magnus was trying to voice.

"You think he died from... a mental battle?"

"Maybe. From the looks of some of these entries, though... I think it wasn't just a mental battle, but an emotional one as well. I only glanced through some of his later entries, but... they just get so... so out of context with each other... It's like he can't follow any specific emotion all the way, but the most prominent ones are pain and sadness."

"So you're saying that he died because... he missed something and it was somehow hurting him?" I tried to summerize for a better understanding of what he was trying to explain.

"Something like that."

"Any idea what could have caused that?"

"None. That's why I called you in the middle of the night." There was an edge of sarcasm in Magnus's voice, and I instantly caught onto it.

"What else did you call me for?"

"Damn you're good."

"It's my job as your oldest sister. Now what else is bothering you?" I demanded, glaring at the comm unit, knowing that he couldn't see the glare anyway.

"Him." I blinked, temporarily confused.

"Excuse me?"

"He's bothering me," Magnus growled over the comm unit. I grimanced, "Get over it. He's bugging me too."

"How so?"

"How else?" I shot back.

"Ah... Well, I better go and get some rest. The council over here wants to see me tomorrow morning."

"Talk to you later, Magnus."

"Bye." There was a click from the communicator, and the line went dead. I sighed to no one in particular, "Things just get better and better, don't they?"

My invisible company just tugged at my hair-band again.