Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. At all. Come on, if I did, I wouldn't be sitting here writing fanfiction.

A/N: This story represents a first for me – it's both my first Transformer's fic, and the first fic where I've ever had an OC. Luckily for all of you, I hate Mary-Sue, so don't expect to ever see that from me. Yes, there may be pairings, but we'll see where the story takes us, yeah? Hope you enjoy. And one final note – this is from the 2007 movieverse. I may draw on my memory of the cartoon for some small details, but it'll definitely be movie centered, and if I'm off on any of the important details, let me know. Enjoy!

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."

George Bernard Shaw

People deal with near-traumatic events in very different ways.

Some cry - a lot. Some become almost catatonic for weeks, as if their bodies are in denial that anything out of the ordinary happened. Others see counselors, trying to dredge up forgotten memories of their childhood, hoping for some sort of explanation, some hidden reason. Some become angry, defensive, even hurtful, in order to distract themselves from thinking about what just happened.

Sam Witwicky, however, was not one of these people.

He slept.

And slept, and slept, and slept. He occasionally rose to eat, to talk to Bumblebee, or to see Mikaela. But other than that, sleep was his gentle refuge; a place where, not only could his sore, bruised body mend itself while he was safely unconscious, but his mind could process what just happened to him without him actually having to think about it. When he was awake, it was like his thoughts were a broken record.

I almost died. My car isn't a car. Robots. Aliens. Big war, bad robots. I almost died.

These thoughts started his mornings and ended his nights whether he wanted them to or not. So, as he lay in his bed nearly a week after the epic battle between Man and Machine and Machine, the cobwebs of sleep unfortunately clearing from the recesses of his brain and bright morning light pouring over him, he couldn't help it when his mind turned back to these thoughts once more.

I almost died. Robots. Fought a robot. I almost…

He shook his head, almost angrily. This isn't gonna do me any good. Sam stretched and blinked in the morning light, sighing softly. It's not like there wasn't good that came of the whole thing. He got a beautiful girl, and a new best friend – who, granted, was an extra-terrestrial robot too, but that was okay. I'm just obsessing. It's not good to obsess. I might turn into Mom. He shuddered and turned over, lifting the covers over his head in a feeble attempt to block out the morning. Maybe just a few more…

"Knock, knock."

At the sound of a familiar female voice, Sam shot straight up in bed, gathering the sheets around himself in a panic. Still slightly groggy, it took him a moment for the voice to register.

There, leaning against the doorframe of his room, was his older sister.

"Annie?" Sam's scratchy morning voice was filled with shock. "What… how… where?"

"Sorry, little brother, did I scare you?" Annie's voice was filled with sarcasm, and her green eyes were narrowed, which didn't help abate Sam's confusion in the slightest. "Didn't mean to at all. I mean, I've been scared over the past week, y'know, after seeing that there were some sort of… attacks happening everywhere. And that was okay, you see, because I figured that you guys wouldn't be involved anyways."

Sam rubbed his eyes. "Annie… slow down, I gotta -"

Annie didn't show any signs of stopping. "And then I hear that there are some strange meteors that crashed and caused damage near where my family lives. Of course, that would all have been okay, if I could have gotten ahold of any members of my family at any given time. But no, of course I can't, no one's answering the phone."

"Annie, let me explain!" Sam felt a tad guilty now, but there hadn't been anything he could do about the phone thing – the number of paparazzi that had called their house in the hopes of information had risen to astronomical levels, and Sam's father had to disconnect all possible lines of communication with the outside world. In fact, it was only recently that his family had actually even been able to step out of the house. Sam wasn't even really sure how the press had been able to connect him to what happened – the Government had been very adamant that things were kept very quiet and confidential, giving strict orders to anyone involved that they were not able to divulge any information regarding the attacks to any outside party; in fact, they had even set up a special phone line in the Witwicky household, so that they could check up on them. This "special phone" hadn't been put to use yet, and frankly, Sam was thankful. He had had enough of the US Government to suit him for a very long time.

Sam was shaken by his reverie by his very loud and very angry sister, whose voice had taken on a slight tremor.

"And then," Annie said shakily, "Just as I'm starting to feel a little bit more worried, I see your name in the damn paper! Granted, it was a tabloid, but it linked you to some secret government ploy and aliens and… good lord, Sam, why didn't anyone call me?!"

Sam couldn't think of anything to say. His sister was still standing at the door, fists clenched, face red and tears in her eyes, and all he could do was feel really, really bad. "I'm sorry, I…" He shrugged helplessly. "I would have thought Mom and Dad…"

"They didn't," Annie murmured. Very suddenly, so suddenly that Sam gave out a yelp of fear, she ran across the room, jumped on Sam's bed, and squeezed him in such a tight hug that his few unbroken ribs groaned painfully.

"Oh god, ahh – Annie, I love you, but let go, please!"

His sniffling sister reluctantly let him go, tucking her brown hair behind her ears as she backed away to sit cross-legged on the bed. Sam raised an arm to his chest with a groan.

"Sam, I was so worried, and…" Annie paused. Her mouth opened in a silent "o" as she took in his scratched face and arms, and the large bandage across his chest. "Oh god, honey, what…" She looked at him in horror and confusion. "Did you… were you actually… was it aliens?"

Sam forced out a loud laugh. Whoops, a bit too loud. She won't notice. "Are you serious? No, no, no, come on. No. I was just… in an accident."

Annie's concern almost immediately morphed into one of suspicion. "What kind of accident?"

Sam paused at this. "Uh… car. A car accident." His mind reeled frantically for a good explanation. "I got into a car accident when… when the meteors hit. It sort've caused an… an earthquake, and I, uh, ran off the road. Into a telephone pole. It… hurt…" Sam's voice trailed off.

Annie stared at him for a long time, during which Sam became increasingly uncomfortable. She reminds me way too much of Mom. Finally, she let out a slow sigh, and asked, "How did the newspaper get your name?"

Sam laughed uncomfortably, running a hand through his short brown hair. "Well, y'know those meteors? One crashed really close to my car, so I guess they just connected me to it… I'm not sure, about that government thing, though. Tabloids, they'll connect anything, won't they?" Lame, lame, lame.

"I guess." Sam's sister didn't look convinced, but fortunately for Sam, seemed to accept what he said for now. "Are Mom and Dad out?"

The boy leaned back in bed. "Yeah, they mentioned something about going to the nursery… Mom's flowers were trashed in those… earthquake things."

"Oh." Annie became silent once more. She sat there picking at her sleeve, apparently deep in thought. Her eyes still brimmed with tears that she wiped away absent-mindedly.

Sam broke the silence with a question of his own. "Aren't you supposed to be in school?"

At this, his sister flushed and averted her eyes. "Oh… well, it's a long story, and… well, I'll just wait for Mom and Dad. Anyways, I gotta go unpack."

"Unpack? Are you staying for a while?"

Annie grinned. "You could say that." She stood to leave. As she headed for the door, she tossed him a familiarly devilish smile over her shoulder. Well, there's the sister I know and love.

"If you get dressed and comb that mop on your head, I'll make us some breakfast. And then maybe you can think up an explanation as to why there's a bitchin' yellow Camaro in our driveway." Annie gave him one last "I know you're full of crap" smirk before she slipped from the room.

Sam heaved a sigh and delicately tried to move his aching body out of his bed. As happy as he was that Annie was home, he knew that there were things that she couldn't know, that she wasn't allowed to know…not yet. He was really gonna have to turn up the bullshit meter.

Sam reached for a comb and started to pull it through the snarled mess on his head. I'm starting to really hate secrets.

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