A/N: inspired by a community on teletraan1 in which there was a 'secret santa' project going on at the Ark. I finally got the names together. Last minute, yes, I know. But one of the picks was 'from Beachcomber to Mirage', and the plotbunny wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. I don't know why.

Anyway, it's my first fic writing a Mirage-centric fanfic. Review and flames are welcomed, so long as flames are constructive criticism. I know I have a capitalization/paragraphing problem, but anything you could point out would still be a help. )

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Mirage carefully undid the simple wrapping of his present. A small box, barely the size of his thumb, and opened the lid, carefull not to spill it's contents. "What's this?" he lifted the Spherical diamond shape, longer on one end than the other, and round in shape. A conch shell, like the ones he'd seen in pictures from Hawaii. He carefully dumped the minicule object into the palm of his hand, taking in it's tiny bumps on the circumference of the shorter point, and pinkish-cream colors.

Upon closer look, he found the oblect was not a singular solid, but many layers of material wrapped around each other, coming to an end, where the outer edge was tinde blue on the inside, it's edge patterned in spikes of bright cream-white. The longer end, which resembled a unicorn's horn, something he'd heard about from human mythology, tapered with winding layers, so close only the miniscule bumps of the edges remained at the tapered tip.

"It's..." he looked up. "What is it?" he queried, turning the shell over in the light, revealing a slight iridescence of blue and white on it's polished surface.

"It's a shell." the dunebuggy replied, walking over. "Isn't it beautiful? one of the largest shells in the world." Beachcomber smiled admiringly at the fragile-looking object. The winding, tapered end resembled some of the more decorative structures in Iacon, the beautiful towers of Dhiannon, and how their spiral shape resembled this... terran thing.

Mirage dumped it back into it's box. "Yes... ermm...thank you." he nodded, and turned away.

Later that night, the spy reached his quarters, and placed the box on a nearby table, glancing at it with distain. Beachcomber had told him how the shells were formed, by a living organism, and when it died, it would leave it's shell behind. He frowned at the irony. A transformer's spark might leave behind it's shell, like those he knew so well in the towers, and those he had been acquainted with in the towers of Dhiannon .

He picked up the box to toss into the storage closet, but something caught his eye. A shimmer of pearlescent pink and cream, a hint of blue. He stared down at the box, not at all glad he had been so spontaneously reminded of that violent time back on cybertron. He looked at it closer, realising how fragile the shell was, and how fragile those around him were, and if not more so the humans. Cliffjumper's words ran through his processor, when he had accused the spy of being a traitor to his teammates, his friends. Then he remembered Beachcomber's words. "Even when they're gone, there's allways something to remind us of how beautiful their life was. Something that reminds us of all the good things they've done." He carefuly tilted the box sideways, rolling the diamond-shaped shell into his hand.

Hade he been human, it probably would have been the sixe of something called a 50-cent-peice, whatever that was. He looked at it, rememberng his friends, and those who had been close enoguh to be his true, supportive friends, not just those he went turbo-fox hunting with every dekacycle-end. He realised just how fragile their human allies were, and that with every battle, which could be the turning point of this war if co-ordinated right, they could lose one of the Autobots.
True, he was not friends with them all, and some he would like to stay away from more than others, but...

but, there were some, he hated to say he would regret to lose. He turned the object over once more, promising himself he would do everything he could to help end this war, no matter how much anyone doubted him.

The blue and silver F1 racer carefully placed the shell on the top of his book case to one side, right at eye-level view, shorter cone-end down, the spiral rising towards the ceiling, as though placed in tribute to the scenic towers, and as a reminder of his promise to never forsake the cause; or his friends. And the frailty of the life that inhabited this planet, with such a short lifespan, even so, worth saving...

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dekacycle-end: only an approximation, a dekacycle is equivalent to a week.
(I think it's actually a month, but it's used here as a week. Therefore, a Dekacycle-end is a weekend)