Disclaimer: All Transformers belong to Hasbro and Takara. I am making no profit out of this fanfic.

A Carol for a Lonely Bot

He was in 'quite' a sullen mood. The very deep type of sullen…

Jazz had long ago introduced the Autobots to the notion of Christmas, quite a renowned human holiday. There was the string of lights that lined the command hall, filling the room with a dazzling rhythm of colored lights.

There was the Season's Greeting sent out between them, Jazz having already sent a postcard for each Autobot in the Ark. Of course he got one too. One with a happy snowman and a fir tree.

That was not the reason for his state of spark.

These puppy-pile Christmas customs that cheerily infiltrated into the lives of those in the Ark were no distraction, mind you; they are welcomed with open arms and joy! It eased the tension and raised the morale of the army in even the bleakest of times.

And recently: It wasn't older than one year, last Christmas since it started. Jazz, Blaster, then Bluestreak, Bumblebee and then some of the others and eventually most of the Autobots started singing …carols to eachother. Some would huddle in small groups and go in front of a bots' quarters, or in the mess hall, sometimes in the command center and chorus.

That was not the reason.

The Twins and Bluestreak for example: they went to said saboteur, Prowl, Red Alert (which wad reported them to Prime for 'bribing' him for who knows what he was raving about), Hound and Mirage, Smokescreen, Trailbreaker, even the minibots. And speaking of minibots, Bumblebee talked the subgroup, almost begged some of them like Gears and Huffer into singing just one carol for one special bot. Skyfire, of course, was touched.

Hound had dragged a reluctant Mirage into singing a carol for the Dinobots once, and thankfully the huge bear hugs they earned were not tight as he anticipated. He knew exactly how many dents they got in the little visit.

He wasn't the chief medic of the Autobots for nothing.

That was not the reason for his mood.

Ratchet sat in front of his desktop that night and contemplated the solar cycle that had passed. Yes, it was Christmas and many had a day off.

Many bots filled their time that day hanging out with buddies in the rec. room or playing in the snow somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. He briefly wondered if the mini avalanche rumor was true…

He didn't ask to get the day off and get his request rejected.

That wasn't the reason.

It was the fact that last year he got a decent number of 'greetings' by his med bay.

That wasn't the cause.

He wouldn't openly admit, but you couldn't say he didn't like the carols he got. On the contrary, he soaked them up like a sponge and will remember them for as long as he functions. Wheeljack's in particular was most heart-warming.

This year, however, he got none. Not even a lyric.

That was merely a faction of the cause.

It wasn't the carols themselves that he reveled in; it was the kind-hearted means behind them that meant so much. Each little Christmas song would let Ratchet know that they had thought of him. To add him to their lists of little visits.

That they hadn't forgotten him. He always liked to know if any patient that he operated on would thank him some day, or at least remember his faceplate.

This year, not even the engineer himself came to the medic. Like he earlier said to himself, most of them had the day off, and paid the little visits to eachother, but they couldn't be bothered to give one to Ratchet as well. Even when they knew he will not snap at them this time. Even so, it felt like they were avoiding him somehow.

This was the cause to Ratchet's bad mood. This eerie silence took its' toll on the medic.

Not even Sideswipe, that vanadium-headed trickster came in for repair on a scratch on his paint today! Right now he really wished he would just barge in and whine his vocal circuits off about it! Right now!

Maybe then he would have had a chance of getting at least one simple hello. Or better yet answers to- 'no. Think straight. They can't be purposely avoiding you.' Ratchet mentally chided himself: Have the others simply just forgotten about him today?

There was a knock on the door of his quarters. He jumped from his paperwork and crossed the room to answer the call, only to find a certain red bot in front of the entrance. He wished he could just eat his own words right now.

Sideswipe stood silent before him, shifting his weight from one foot to another, an anxious expression on his faceplates. He can almost hear the servos in his neck joint squeal as if wanting to ask the cranky medic but fearing the consequences of his moody state.

Ratchet should have known. There wouldn't be one day that would pass without one of the twins coming to beg for his help for the most mundane of injuries from the most stupid of accidents. Yes, he doesn't cares if he feels odd; if any of his thoughts came true, he takes them back right now! The Autobot medic braced himself for his "I-got-this-screwdriver-stuck-in-my-tanks-from-tinkering-with-I-don't-know-which-tool-box-from-Grapple's-workshop.-Can-you-please-get-it-out-for-me?-Please?" class excuse.

Sideswipe opened his mouth plate, but none of the sort came. He instead started to sing.

"Silver bells are ringing…
Carolers are singing…"

His CPU was momentarily stunned upon hearing the red Lamborghini, but didn't have time to process it out because Sunstreaker, the yellow Lambo stepped next to his brother from behind the door-frame and they both sang.

"Snowflakes drifting
Through the air…"

Wheeljack, Prowl, and Jazz came into view and quickly joined in the chorus.

"Everybody's shopping…
Got no time for stopping…"

Bluestreak appeared, then Ironhide, Bumblebee and Tracks joined in.

The chorus kept growing: Hound, Hoist, Inferno, Smokescreen, the minibots…

Soon the whole Autobot army was at his doorstep singing this chorus to him. Even the mighty Optimus Prime was here! They all piled in the hallway, even if they know the metallic floor might give way under them. And Skyfire too, though he knew he was scraping the ceiling…

"It looks like Christmas is here.

So tell me
How do I wrap my friendship up for Christmas
I wanna give it to you
Pretty bows and ribbons
Don't fit the gift I'm giving
Your warm spark will have to do."

From Mirage's deep and soft, to Track's drawly, from Red Alert's wobbly to Gears's reluctant, from Grimlock's growled to Traibreaker's loud, they all went the same.

"At first, I thought of
A perfect crystal to bring
Wore myself out shopping
For a million other things
Finally decided
On something you can't buy
But how will I disguise it
So you will be surprised."

Ratchet stood silent. Only one sentence escaped his vocaliser.

"I thought you've all forgotten me…"

"How could we forget you, Ratch? Especially me?" Sideswipe snickered over the voices in the chorus. It went on, all Autobots, the big and the small, reminding him how much they cared for the medic.

"…Pretty bows and ribbons
Don't fit the gift I'm giving
Your warm spark will have to do..."

An outdoor rock concert vibration class of noise from different cheers then filled the base, even from those who were famous for being most un-cheerful-like, all jolly for Ratchet.

They all took turns to hug the chief medic or give him a friendly pat him on the back and congratulate him: Cosmos hugged him on one leg, Powerglide leaped on him full on…

Ratchet felt his fuel pump so full of bliss he thought it might burst.

Even Ironhide gave him a tight squeeze, though it was not as crushing as Brawns' handshake who has forgotten about his strength in all the glee. Oh, Ratchet shouldn't have ever doubted any of them.

Suddenly Wheeljack piped in, laying an arm over his shoulders. "You didn't think we'd forget to give a little Merry Christmas to our favorite medic, now would we?" His head panels washed in a warm yellow light.

"We rehearsed this surprise chorus just for you, Ratchet mah' man!" Jazz smiling like a synthesized motor oil chimp.

Ratchet gave them a warm smile. "I appreciate all of this. T-t-Thank you all!" He almost wordlessly choked, vacuumed a big pocket of oxygen to recollect himself, then added "But if you all really wanted to have a 'check-up', you should have just stayed in line at the med bay in the morning." with a grin.

The Autobots laughed at his little remark and each said their Christmas cheers, byes, 'good nights', and 'see you in the mornings' while they slowly made their way to their own quarters.

Wheeljack stayed and his hug lingered on his dearest friend's shoulders. "We'll never forget you, Ratch. Cross my spark." His masked cheek rubbing on the others' before he finally let go and waved a good night. "Merry Christmas!"

"YEAH! And a Happy New Years! Whap-ZAM! Haha!" Warpath beeped before tailing it as well.

Ratchet felt uncharacteristically warm and fuzzy on the inside, (and a bit sore from all the hugs and handshakes) while he went in his own bunk and fall into a deep and content recharge.

The End