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

TFTFTF

"Let me get this straight."

"Dad…"

"No, let me finish. You go job hunting today, only to return to the house with the same amount of resumes you left with, and no job?"

"Bumblebee and I got sidetracked. And besides, getting a job… it's not that easy, Dad!"

Ronald Witwicky leaned over his dinner plate and stared at his daughter incredulously. "Nothing in this life is easy, Anne Margaret Witwicky. You have to really try, really work hard for what you want! There is no…"

"Victory without sacrifice, yeah, I know." Annie slumped in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest, knowing she looked like a petulant child and not really caring much.

Judy Witwicky waved her hands in the air, clearly trying to diffuse the situation. "Now, Ron, she's been through a traumatic incident."

Ron's eyes narrowed. "Traumatic?"

Annie rolled her eyes. "I wasn't traumatized, Mom!" She jabbed her elbow in the direction of Sam, who was snickering over his mashed potatoes. She was pleased to feel her elbow connect with his ribs.

"Mom, she hit me!"

Judy shook her head. "Really, are we not all adults at this table?"

Sam rubbed his side. "Adults don't maliciously attack other adults."

"Yes they do, it's called war." Annie smirked at Sam, who promptly stomped on her foot.

Judy threw her hands up in the air. "That's it, I give up on the both of you. Maybe your father and I should just move to the Bahamas for a while, wait until you two finish each other off with your constant bickering, then come back and have an empty house all to ourselves."

Sam feigned hurt. "Nice, Mom, real nice. And we can hear you laughing out there, Bee."

There was a pause, and then an apologetic "Sorry," from the robot eavesdropping outside the window.

Annie and Sam burst into loud laughter, while Judy giggled over her third glass of wine and Ron craned his head around to look outside. "Is he parked right outside the window?"

"Yes, I was lonely," Bumblebee called out.

Annie and Sam laughed even harder, and Judy remarked, "The poor dear!"

Ron shook his head, chuckling slightly. "Maybe while he's out there he can fix my fountain."

"Dad, let it go!" Sam chided, as Annie wiped away tears of laughter.

"I have, I have." Ron sipped his wine, and directed his attention back to his daughter. "Now, are you going to keep job searching?"

Annie groaned. "Yes, Dad, I am. I need money as much as you seem to need to continue pushing me, so…"

"Good, then I want to hear your job search progress each day. You will report to me, young lady."

Annie mockingly saluted her father, and then stood up to take her dish to the kitchen. Running her dish under the sink, she called out, "Sam, when are we picking up Mikaela?"

"Seven."

"Where are you all going together?" Judy looked at her son inquisitively.

"Annie wants to meet the rest of the gang, and Mikaela was a little mad she missed out on introducing Bumblebee." Sam stretched his arms above his head and grunted. "Good meal, Mom."

Annie sauntered back into the kitchen and kissed her father on the top of the head. "Thanks for looking out for me, Dad. I appreciate someone keeping me accountable while I get my butt in gear."

Ron patted her shoulder. "I just want you to succeed."

"I know it," Annie smiled. She pecked her mother on the cheek and turned to Sam. "Ready?"

"Just let me fix my hair!" Sam got up from the table and ran out of the room quicker than Annie was used to seeing.

Annie turned to her mother, a smirk turning up the corners of her mouth. "Fix his hair?"

TFTFTF

"When you were young, and your heart was an open book, you used to say live and let live…"

Guns N'Roses wafted quietly out of the car speakers as the three inhabitants of said chattered noisily, their conversation occasionally punctuated by the deep, seemingly disembodied voice of their "driver". The sun had just set in the horizon, and the sky was still full of reds and golds and purples. The air outside was crisp and fresh, and to Annie, it couldn't have been a more perfect night.

"Okay," she said, leaning forward from the back seat and interrupting her brother's repetition of all the funny parts of last week's Family Guy episode. "Remind me of all of their names again."

Bumblebee spoke. "Optimus Prime. He is the leader of the Autobots."

"Yeah, he's blue and red and he's also the biggest, and he transforms into an eighteen-wheeler," Mikaela piped up.

"Then there's Ratchet, he's kind of their doctor," said Sam. "He's yellow, but a brighter yellow than Bee, and he becomes an ambulance."

"Fitting!" laughed Annie. "And then there's… Ironhide?"

"Yes, and he's black colored, and he becomes a truck. He's… well, he's sort of… tough. Crotchety." Mikaela added.

Bumblebee laughed. "I will be sure to tell him that."

"No, don't!" Mikaela looked panicked as Sam and Annie laughed. "I didn't say I didn't like him!"

Annie opened her mouth to comment, when she was startled by the sound of a police siren. "Uh oh, what…?"

Sam and Mikaela's heads both spun around quickly, almost too quickly, Annie thought.

"Bee?" Mikaela's voice sounded extremely worried.

"It is just a police officer." Bee spoke soothingly. "I was traveling over the speed limit." He pulled over to the shoulder of the road.

"Of course it's just a police officer…" Annie cut short her remark as the officer walked up to the driver's side and rapped on the door. Sam, who was sitting in the drivers seat, rolled down his window.

"Ah, yes officer?"

"Driver's license and registration."

Sam fumbled for his wallet as Annie reached into the glove compartment for the registration. The officer took them and headed back to his car momentarily. Annie glanced at Mikaela, who was biting her lip.

Annie could hear gravel crunching under the officer's feet as he walked back towards them. He peered in the car at the three occupants. "Were you aware that you were traveling at sixty-five miles per hour in a designated fifty zone?"

"Uh, I apologize, officer, you're right, I was. S-sorry." Sam gripped the wheel tight, and Annie knew that he was imagining what punishments Dad would have in store for his first speeding ticket. Granted, it is sort've Bee's first ticket. I wonder if Dad will go for that.

The officer nodded. "I will have to write you up, but considering it's your first offence, the fine will be minimal." He scribbled on a pad and tore off the sheet, handing it to Sam. "Consider this your…"

The officer's lecture was cut short by the sudden wail of yet another police siren. Annie was perplexed. Did… did he call for back-up?

"Oh, god!"

Mikaela's sudden, panicked cry confused Annie even more. "What's the matter?"

Annie was thrown back in her seat as Bee inexplicably sped off the shoulder and back onto the road. "What the hell, Bee! The officer…"

A deafening blast drowned out her words and shook the interior of the car. Annie and Mikaela screamed and Sam bellowed angrily. "I thought he was dead!"

"So did I." Bee's normally gentle tones were now edged with a trace of both anger and fear.

Annie gripped her seat, her brain spinning. She turned in her seat and stared out the back window, just in time to see a huge police car gaining on them quickly. "I don't understand…"

"Bumblebee calling all Autobots, I need backup, and I need it now!"

Annie's eyes widened as another voice came crackling through Bee's speakers. "Bumblebee, it's Optimus, what is the situation?"

"It's Barricade, he's here, he found me somehow – I have the Witwicky kids and Mikaela in my cab, I need all of you to converge on my position immediately!"

"Understood." The communication ceased with a crackling noise.

"What the hell IS that?" Annie yelled fearfully. Bee's tense voice answered shortly, "Decepticon. Annie, climb into the front seat. I may have to dump the three of you."

Annie numbly did as she was told. She had no sooner sat in between her brother and his girlfriend, when Bumblebee made a sharp turn off the road and onto a dusty stretch of farm land. The three were slammed against the passenger side door, which flew open, unceremoniously sending them rolling out onto the hard ground.

Annie rolled to a stop, smacking her head on the ground. She barely had time to assess what damaged she may have incurred before her brother was yanking her up by her armpits.

"Come on, Annie, come ON!" Her brother bellowed, fear quite clear in his shaking voice. Mikaela grabbed her hand and the three ran, stumbling over rocks.

Annie stopped suddenly. "Wait, Bee!"

Turning, she caught Bee transforming back into his normal state and standing in a fighting position, blocking the three humans from harm.

A deep, metallic voice shook the ground, and as it yelled, it was joined by the noises of grinding gears and clanking metal. "We meet again, Autobot scum!"

"Barricade. I wish I could say it was a pleasure." Bee's angry voice echoed through the air as his large hands tightened into fists.

Annie broke free of her brother's vice grip on her arm and leaned over to look around Bee's leg. There, huge and gleaming silver, white and black in the light of the new moon, stood a robot – one that ten times more terrifying in appearance than Bumblebee. His features looked like they were made of jagged strips of iron.

The robot called Barricade caught sight of the frightened girl and gave a mirthless laugh. "Another little fleshy? The company you keep, Autobot, leaves much to be desired."

Barricade looked right at Annie, who felt her heart stall. "I will enjoy crushing you, girl." He stepped forward menacingly, shaking the ground, and Annie yelled and fell backwards.

It looked like this was all Bumblebee needed. The yellow bot bent low and ran at Barricade, tackling him hard and sending him sprawling. The ground quaked as the two robots fell, Barricade roaring furiously as he went, and the three humans were sent falling to the ground as well. Annie pushed herself up and scrambled backwards on all fours. "Oh god, god, oh shit!" she screamed, he brother spouting off similar curses behind her.

She couldn't seem to take her eyes of the two huge robots fighting; if Bee hadn't been yellow, she wouldn't have been able to tell the two apart as their bodies tangled in fierce combat. She was so terrified that she couldn't think properly, or even let it register that Sam was calling her name loudly.

A horrible noise rent through the air, and a hot blast sent the three kids spinning away from each other, throwing them across the cool night.

Annie landed hard, her face scraping up against the gravel. She could hear Sam still calling her name, and Mikaela screaming, but it seemed to be coming at her from the end of a very long tunnel. She shook her head, tasting blood in her mouth.

Annie sat up, preparing to run, when a great metal hand suddenly descended in front of her, blocking her escape. Yelling, she turned to see herself nearly nose to nose with the fearsome Barricade.

"Look at you, you pathetic meat sack. So easily injured. I wished to toss you around, make you suffer before I killed you, but it seems as though you'd die before I had any fun." The cruel, deep voice was filled with, remarkably, mirth, and even in her panic, Annie was disgusted.

Barricade laughed, and Annie backed up hopelessly, nearly touching his hand. "Bee! HELP!"

"He can't hear you now, squishy, perhaps -"

Perhaps what, Annie didn't get the chance to find out, as the side of Barricade's face seemed to spontaneously and loudly burst into flame. He bellowed and reared back, clutching his face. Annie took this opportunity to run like a bat out of hell.

She yelled her brother's name over and over, nearly in tears, still not understanding or processing her surroundings, when she suddenly tripped over something large. She landed on the ground and spun around to see that she had tripped over Bumblebee's outstretched metal arm.

"Oh, god, Bee…" Annie moaned, crawling over towards his head and placing a hand on his face. His usually glowing eyes flickered, and he let out a small groan. It seemed as though he was semi-conscious.

A hand grabbed Annie's shoulder and she spun around to find her brother and Mikaela. "Sam, I think he's hurt!" Annie said tearfully, as she became painfully aware that she had done something bad to her wrist.

Annie's own fear and panic was mirrored in her brother's face. "It'll be okay, it's okay, he's here now!"

Annie looked back towards the place she had just run from, to see not one robot, but two. Barricade was lying on the ground, as still as Bumblebee, and the other robot was walking towards the three humans. He was huge, larger than Annie could even have dreamed, and his armor gleamed blue and red under the moon. Even before he reached them, even before he opened his mouth, Annie knew who he was.

"You're Optimus Prime."

A/N: I decided to move down here for a change. I think for the better. I am going to get good at these updates. I have to make up for a whole month of nothing, right? I know you all were waiting for some action – and so was I. I am very glad to deliver. Hope you enjoyed! PS, Barricade is awesome, he's my favorite Decepticon. Uh… that is all.