Title: Dance with the Devil
Author: Morgan O'Conner
Summary: Sam risked his life to save the world, and he held the Allspark as it was destroyed. He never considered the consequences such an action would have on him later. This will, inevitably, be a Sam/Bumblebee fic. If that bothers you, please don't read it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing directly related to Transformers, not do I own the rights to any of the song lyrics used in this story. I'm just borrowing them for a bit. :)
Author's Note: I've been working on the idea for this story since I first saw the Transformers movie. When I had trouble thinking of a way to write it that would make sense, I switched my focus to Only Human, which is sort of the opposite story of this. Today, I sat down at the computer listening to one of my favorite CD's, and it all just sort of came at me in a flood. I hope I've captured the emotions I was going for, and that this proves to be a solid beginning for the awesome story I have in mind. :) I'd also like to send a quick shout-out to my parents (who will never, ever read this) for instilling in me an amazing love of all kinds of music, without which, I would have been lost when it came to Bumblebee's radio fetish. grin Enjoy!
Dance with the Devil
By Morgan O'Conner
Sam's only thought when he had pushed the Allspark into Megatron's chest was to destroy the damn thing and not have to sacrifice any of his friends doing it. He had thought of nothing else, and probably wouldn't have changed his actions even if he had. He just wanted it gone. He never felt the shard slice into his hand, didn't acknowledge the flair of pain that burned from his fingers to his shoulder and into his chest. He just grit his teeth and pushed it deeper. When it burned his fingers, he never cried out, and when Megatron finally fell, all he could do was breathe a sigh of relief.
For three days after that, he slept like a log. When he woke up to eat, shower, or use the bathroom, it was bleary-eyed and disconnected. He didn't speak to anyone, not even Mikaela when she came over. Bumblebee sat in the driveway, keeping vigil over his human when night fell, worrying incessantly during the daytime. Everyone figured that he had saved the world, and it was finally catching up with him.
The fourth day, Sam finally woke up and noticed that the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. He spent the day at the overlook with his Autobot friends and Mikaela. If he occasionally felt a twinge in his arm, he figured it was just a pulled muscle from the battle, something else to add to the long list of surface injuries he had sustained. If Mikaela noticed that his eyes flickered blue in the sunlight, she said nothing and probably just assumed it was a trick of the sun.
In fact, it wasn't until the second month, when Summer vacation had really kicked off, that Sam noticed anything might be wrong. His arm had been bothering him more lately, it was stiff and a little painful to move. He was rubbing his shoulder to try and loosen it a bit, but something felt…off.
Mikaela was sitting at the end of his bed, flipping through a magazine, looking at him with the same worried expression she usually wore lately. "It's bothering you again, isn't it?" she asked with a tired sigh. "Sam, you need to get it checked out, you could have really damaged it during the fight."
"It's fine. I'm fine. Jesus, lay off of it for, like, two minutes." Sam didn't mean to snap at her, he really didn't. The thought of pissing Mikaela off scared him, and not just because he knew she could kick his ass if she wanted to.
She snapped the magazine closed and glared at him. "You know what Sam? I've really had enough of this. You're being ridiculous. If you won't go see a doctor, at least let Ratchet do a scan the next time you see him. He'll at least be able to tell you if something's wrong, all right?"
Sam weighed his options. He didn't want anyone to get all fussy over him. Seeing a doctor would surely lead to his parents doing just that. And besides, everyone had sore muscles occasionally, it didn't mean something was really wrong with his arm (He steadfastedly ignored the fact that it wasn't just his arm anymore, and muscle pain didn't usually last two months). If he asked Ratchet just to do a scan, he thought the Autobots might get a little fussy too. They were really a little too overprotective. But if he didn't do something, Mikaela would just stay pissed at him. Overzealous parents or overprotective Autobots or overly-bitchy girlfriend… "All right, fine, I'll ask Ratchet about it when they get together next week, okay?"
When Mikaela opted out of attending the meeting of Autobots, Sam thought very briefly about "forgetting" his promise to talk to Ratchet. But to be honest, his arm was really bothering him, and he figured it really couldn't cause too much harm to talk to the medic. Plus, he knew if he lied to Mikaela, she'd somehow know, and then he'd be screwed.
The lookout point really was nice during a sunset, and there were some beautiful sunsets in California. When Bumblebee and Sam pulled up, they saw that Optimus was already there, standing and gazing out at the horizon. Ironhide was as well, although Sarah had asked Will to stay home. Sam wished he could see the captain, but he couldn't really begrudge him time with his wife and daughter. Ratchet pulled up a few seconds after Bumblebee had let Sam out and transformed.
As Bumblebee went over to talk with Optimus, Sam shuffled his feat awkwardly and asked Ratchet if he could talk to him for a second.
When they were a little ways away from the others, Sam sighed. "So…Mikaela asked me to talk to you, since I won't go see a doctor. There's something…wrong…with my arm. Not just my arm, either, but that's where it started, and where it's the worst."
Ratchet held out his hand for Sam to clamber onto so he could life him up and get a better look. "When did this start, Sam?"
Sam looked away. "End of the battle," he mumbled.
Ratchet glanced at him solemnly. "Did anything of particular relevance happen at the end of the battle?"
Sam started. "Optimus didn't tell you?"
"He said only that Megatron's energy had destroyed the Allspark, and in turn, the Allspark had destroyed him. He did not explain the details."
Sam was grateful to the leader of the Autobots for having the insight to know that Sam didn't want the whole hero of the world thing. "All right, look. Do Autobot medics have that whole confidentiality thing that doctors here do?"
"Whatever you tell me, I will keep between us if that is your wish, Sam," Ratchet promised. "I would prefer to know what it is I am looking for before I do a scan."
Sam sighed and nodded. "All right. Megatron didn't just fall on the Allspark. Optimus had told me to push it into his chest. I couldn't let him sacrifice himself like that, and I knew Megatron had the same power he did. Megatron was leaning over me, and…I don't remember really thinking. I just shoved the cube up, and it connected with his spark. I held it up until I couldn't anymore. I think…it burned me. It's hard to remember everything, but I know there was pain involved. At the time, all I cared about was that it killed the evil bastard, and the threat was over. But that's about the same time my arm started bothering me. Not as bad as it is now, though."
Ratchet was staring at him with something like Autobot-horror. "You maintained contact with the Allspark during its destruction?"
"Well, yeah, otherwise it would have fallen before it could be fully destroyed. Wasn't my favorite option, believe me."
"…Ratchet? What is it? What's wrong?"
Ratchet didn't answer. He lifted Sam up until he was at eye-level, and began a blue-tinged scan of Sam's arm. His expression never changed, but Sam thought he could detect an undercurrent of tension in him that was not common in the Autobots.
"Oh dear…" the medic said again, and Sam thought if it would do any good, he might punch him. "This…is not good."
"Ratchet!" he finally yelled, and then realized that the other Autobots might start wondering what was going on if he didn't keep somewhat quiet.
Ratchet stopped the scan and stared for a moment before releasing a sigh. "This will be difficult to explain, Sam, and I cannot promise you will understand all of it. I can almost guarantee you will not like it."
Sam clenched his hand into a fist to stop it from shaking. This couldn't possibly be good. "Tell me," he finally said.
"The Allspark…connected with you, for lack of a better term. In an attempt at self-preservation, it tried to bond with you completely. Do not worry, it failed," Ratchet said hastily, seeing Sam's expression. "However, the attempt has had some…strange side effects on a molecular system that was not ready for such an intrusion. To start with, the bones in your arm are becoming denser, and metallic in nature. Not unlike the metal that makes up what we are. This has caused a change in the rest of your arm as well. There is no blood flowing through, only energy. Again, not unlike our own."
"Wait, wait…energy from where?" Sam asked, wide-eyed, trying to absorb this crazy information.
"I'm getting to that, be patient," Ratchet said. "It is not only your arm, but your shoulder and part of your chest as well. The metallic substance has almost completely taken over your bone structure in those areas. To compensate, the rest of your body has had to change as well. If I am correct, your skin is also changing as well, becoming thicker to offer a greater protection, though the appearance remains the same. I also believe this is spreading slowly, through your entire body."
"And…and the energy source?"
"You chest and arm, and soon the rest of you as well, I believe, is being powered by a Spark that has bonded almost entirely to your human heart. They are too closely linked to be separated without causing irreversible harm to you."
"Oh, Jesus," Sam said, staring blankly off into the distance. "So I'm…what…becoming an Autobot?"
"No, not quite," Ratchet said thoughtfully. "More of a hybrid. I do not believe your outward appearance will change all that drastically, if at all. But your entire internal structure is forming to become half Cybertronian and half human. I've never seen anything like it."
Sam swore and sat down heavily in Ratchet's hand. "This is just way too fucking much. Way too much. Go damn it, what did I do in a past life to deserve this?"
Ratchet wisely chose not to say anything for a few minutes, only stood quietly and let Sam rant. The small human was obviously not equipped to handle such life-altering information without at least some degree of terror. After a few moments, when Sam seemed coherent enough for intelligent speech again, Ratchet spoke cautiously. "I do not know exactly what will happen, but I will help you in any way that I can. I don't believe you should keep the others in the dark for long, though. Bumblebee is your guardian, and above that, he is your friend. He stayed with you for that friendship, not out of a sense of obligation."
"I know," Sam said quietly. "Ratchet, what do you think the long-term consequences of this will be? After it's…finished changing everything inside me."
The medic considered. "It is difficult to say with any sense of surety. However, I believe your life span will be significantly increased. Autobots have an incredibly long life span, as I'm sure you know. While you will still be partially human, the Spark will keep your human organs that are still necessary to you functioning for much longer than what is normal for your species."
"But 'much longer', you mean…?"
"I would say at least half the life span of an Autobot."
"Jesus," Sam said again, dropping his head into his hands.
"I can stop, if you'd like, and give you time to absorb all of this," Ratchet offered.
"No…keep going. I'll have to know eventually."
"You will become much stronger than humans, as a rule, are capable of becoming. With a metallic bone structure, it will be much more difficult to hurt you internally. From what I have seen, I believe your human sight will mingle with a Cybertronian optic structure. I believe you will be able to switch back and forth between the two."
"Guess that doesn't sound all bad…" Sam sighed. "No transforming, huh?"
Ratchet shifted uncomfortable, in a very human-like gesture. Strange how much the Autobots picked up in such a short time.
"All right, what else aren't you telling me?"
"Nothing. To be honest, I do not know what to tell you about that. Your bone structure would support the process, though with human skin, I cannot imagine how it would work. I wish I could tell you everything that will happen, but as I've said, I have never seen anything like this. I simply do not know."
"God, I don't believe this. Just when life couldn't get any more complicated…"
"I am sorry, Sam. With everything you have done for all of us, you do not deserve the fate you have been given. You deserve to be happy."
"Yeah, well, when was life ever fair?" Sam sighed again, and motioned for Ratchet to let him down. "Thanks, Ratchet. I appreciate you telling me the truth. I'm going to go grab Bumblebee and ask him to take me home, I can't…I can't stay here right now. I'm sorry to break up your gathering so quickly."
"I understand. I will make excuses for you to Optimus and Ironhide, and leave you to tell Bumblebee whatever you choose."
"I appreciate that. I'll tell them…eventually. Just…need to wrap my own head around it first, y'know?"
"I do. Go, you should get your rest. This will take quite a bit out of you for the next few months, possibly longer. I will help in any way I can."
Sam nodded and walked away on slightly unsteady feet. Ratchet watched with a fair amount of concern for the young human who had already been through so much so recently.
Sam reached the other Autobots and reached a hand out to Bumblebee to get his attention. "Bee?"
The big yellow Autobot knelt down to Sam. "Sam? What's wrong? Are you all right?"
Bumblebee's concern really did mean a lot to him, but it wasn't something he had any intention of discussing yet, especially in front of Optimus Prime. "I just…need to go home. Please." His was terrified to hear his voice catch, and when he felt tears welling up in his eyes, he turned away quickly.
Bumblebee stood and spoke quickly to the others, then transformed and opened the door for Sam, who clambered in without a single look at the two curious Autobots left standing at the overlook.
After a few minutes of fast, tense driving, Bee switched the radio on. 'Well I'd hoped that since we're here anyway, That we could end up saying, Things we've always needed to say…'
"Not right now, Bee, I can hardly think straight. Just…give me some time, okay?"
'It's the perfect time of day, To throw all your cares away…'
"Yeah, right. If only it was that easy." Sam clenched his hand into a fist, staring out the window, watching the scenery fly by, wondering what it would be like, frightened of what he knew was happening to him, angry for letting it happen in the first place… His emotions were completely jumbled and chaotic, and he felt like he was drowning in them. "Songs won't make this better, Bumblebee. Just…not now. Please."
Bumblebee's radio stayed quiet, but Sam could tell he was still worried.
"Bee…I don't want to go home tonight…is there anywhere else we can go that's safe? Quiet?"
"Go on and dry those tears, Now come with me, I will take you someplace safe."
"Thanks, Bee," Sam said softly, closing his eyes and pressing his face against the cool glass of the window.
It was nearly an hour later when they pulled into a large clearing, just a little ways away from the main road they'd been driving on. Trees surrounded them except for a little gap leading to the road, and it was so small that Sam doubted anyone would be able to see them unless they were really searching. He didn't ask where they were, just gratefully ran a hand over the steering wheel in thanks before climbing into the back and curling up on the seat, the way he hadn't done since he was a small child, frightened on nightmares.
"Y'know, Bumblebee, I wouldn't be opposed to some music, just to help me fall asleep…"
It was childish, and he knew it. His mother had always used to sing him to sleep when he was little, and it had always comforted him then. He hadn't felt the need for it in a very long time, but music was the only thing he could think of to calm his shattered nerves, just enough to sleep a little bit.
The radio flipped on and landed on a quiet song. "Good night my angel time to close you eyes, And save these questions for another day, I think I know what you've been asking me, I think you know what I've been trying to say; I promised I would never leave you, And you should always know, Where ever you may go, No matter where you are, I never will be far away…"
Song credits: Nickelback - Someday
Barenaked Ladies - Pinch Me
To/Die/For - Farewell
Billy Joel - Lullaby (Good Night My Angel)
Chapter completed on July 13, 2007