Author's Note: As with the original 28 fics, most of these could comfortably fit within the Chronicles timeline. Those that could not will be labeled as "non-canon". There will be those requisit "naughty" or "smut" fics ... because I need my entertainment, yo. If you're offended by inter-Transformer relations and/or would rather see your character, or favorite canon character, getting in the groove ... well, my work's not for you. -grins- -- The "three things" that I've weaved into the tales were based off of a suggested by fellow ficcer LadyStarcream. Those you see here were all suggested by my friends, who should be certified bonkers. ;)
1. Falling Down
Gryphon, tankard and key. A glass beaker, a batch of a raven's DNA, and a notoriously uncooperative paper clip.
Suggested by: Eclipse and Sai
Click, went the key in the assistant's hand. In an age where the simple lock-and-key was dominated by touch-pads, retina-scans and finger-print analyzers, it was rather refreshing (if troublesome) to see that someone still had a sense of humor.
"Dontcha think it's cool that Dr. Fujiyama's finally letting us back into his lab?" Bluestreak chattered to her right. "I mean, he was real nice to Optimus an' all after the Nightbird incident, but communications between him an' us were always limited – an' concise."
"'Concise'?" Skyfire teased, nudging the silver gunner in the door wing with one large elbow. The smaller, younger 'bot looked up, mildly affronted.
"Yeah," he groused, gathering himself together before turning back to Solarflare. They ducked the overhang and found themselves in the large theatre that was the good doctor's laboratory.
Politely, the grey femme swiveled her wrist, indicating that the gunner continue – not that she was really listening. It wasn't to be rude, for in the beginning, she'd tried to take in all that Bluestreak spouted, but it proved too much. So she affected a listening posture and nodded in the appropriate places. Long association with the gunner let her catch the slight change in cadence when he was being serious.
A tall, raven-haired woman with huge canted eyes wearing a deep green business suit met them at the top of the stairs; she bowed gracefully, the sunlight glittering off of the jade sticks in her bun. "Greetings. I am Motoko, Dr. Fujiyama's daughter. My father is busy at the moment, so he asked that you bid wait in the foyer. It shouldn't take too long." With an elegant hand, she indicated a long bench cast in concrete and set under a beautiful traditional tapestry.
"Not at all, Ms. Motoko," Skyfire replied for the group. The doctor's daughter bowed again and walked down the railed staircase to the main lab below, leaving the three Autobots alone with a very preoccupied receptionist.
When they were seated, Flare looked about. She'd heard the tale of the Nightbird several times in the past; it was a story of how the Autobots had soured one human relationship, not something that occurred often. While Bluestreak droned on about his encounter with the female-shaped robot, Skyfire pulled out a reader; Solarflare busied herself with admiring the rich Japanese décor: vases, rugs, lovely bamboo arrangements. The tapestry behind her brushed against her struts and she swiveled with a low grinding sound in order to look at it better: Rich and bold, a gryphon stretched out across the sky, one foreclaw outstretched to snag the tail of a three-toed dragon. Above them rose a gold-embroidered Phoenix, brilliant in the pure blue sky.
Flare's knowledge of Japanese mythology was limited, but she was certain there was no gryphon involved in the Land of the Rising Sun. She opened her mouth to ask the receptionist when there was a slight ping – and something thin and metallic landed on her tongue. Seized with surprise, she swallowed, only to have the object lodge in her "windpipe" – the area of her metallic throat that housed her voicebox.
Optics wide, Flare coughed; aluminum rattled in her throat. Old, near-forgotten human instincts brought her hands to her throat and she doubled over, trying to force the thing out by gravity.
"Get it out!" she cried over their commlink. "Get it out!"
Brought to full alert by their comrade's sudden, jerky motions, both Skyfire and Bluestreak leapt to their feet. The receptionist's panicked shouts in English and Japanese didn't help them as they tried to assess the situation. Blathering, the poor woman ran around her desk, her wild actions upsetting a slim glass beaker crowned with long-stemmed lilies. The crash was barely registered, as was the woman, who forgot everything else in order to clean up the gritty, discolored water that flowed down her desk.
"Flare!" Skyfire bellowed in her right audio as the femme went down on her knees, trying to stuff her fist into her oral orifice and failing miserably. "What's wrong?"
Though she was in no danger of actually choking, the sensation was extremely unpleasant, and it would, eventually, interfere with spoken communication. The idea that something foreign was rattling around her insides was utterly discomforting; the femme gave up trying to swallow her fingers and tried hacking instead. "Something – lodged," she managed to convey, all her attention focused upon ridding the object from her tract.
"Hold on, Flare," Bluestreak gallantly proclaimed, and hit her with full-force atop her neck guard.
Pain shot through every circuit board she possessed. Still, the fragging piece of whatever wouldn't budge. Gaping, she started to tell the silver mech to lay off her neck when the second blow came. It leveled her and she slid against the slick tile to the ground, flat.
Dimly, she heard Skyfire telling Bluestreak to, kindly, back off. The huge Valkyrie slipped his hands under her arms and propped her up. "Open wide, Flare."
Dropping her hands from about her neck, Solarflare watched the scientist retract his right hand; in its place, a thin pair of Autobot-sized tweezers appeared. "Just … get it out," she managed, opening her mouth.
Memories of the dentist chair were cruelly squashed and she fought a false-gag reflex as Skyfire slid the tweezers past her dental plates, over the back of her tongue and down her slim, hollow throat. "Tilt back now, girl, that's it," the Valkyrie soothed, using his free hand to manually tip her chin back. "Hmmm …"
I don't like how that sounds, Flare thought, rolling her optics to better glimpse the spacefarer's facial features. "This is going to interfere with my digestion …"
"Hardly," Skyfire returned smoothly, pulling his hand back and making a few quick switches to the myriad components he carted around in his wrist. With a penlight now topping the tweezers, Skyfire bid her open wide once more; this time, she was fairly prepared, but that didn't help the memories. To occupy her mind while her friend fished around in her gullet, Solarflare tried to focus her optics on the receptionist. The poor, harried woman had finished mopping up the water from the beaker and was now reorganizing the bouquet in a German tankard, of all things.
This gives a whole new spin on the term "fisting", Flare thought idly, feeling every scrape and pinch of the tweezers. She had to bite back a giggle, almost chomping on Skyfire's fingers in an effort to stem the laughter. The Valkyrie gave her a rather odd, concerned look, but shrugged and closed his optics, going by feel alone.
With a loud "AH-HA!" Flare felt him seize on the troublesome object and pull it free. Air flowed freely to her ventilators, and a system that had begun to overheat in stress was immediately cooled. With a long hacking cough, Flare cleared her vocalizer and looked up at Skyfire. The tall white mech was adamantly studying the cause of all her pain.
"I believe this belongs to you, ma'am," he said, reaching out with a long arm to present the wide-eyed receptionist with a … paperclip.
"Honored Autobots," came the liquid voice of Motoko, "my father is ready for you to help him transport the enhanced raven DNA … Oh, my!" she exclaimed as she crested the stairs and looked upon the scene: a grey, winged femme on the floor; a tall white mech with pinchers for a hand; a bewildered silver mech; and an embarrassed receptionist hovering over a tankard full of lilies. "What happened?"
Skyfire paused. "Well, ma'am … we had a rather uncooperative paperclip …"