Thanks to Stesuna the Dragon, ArmoredSoul, Caellach Tiger Eye,and trigirl48 for reviewing, this chapter is dedicated to you guys. It's also nice to see that someone else shares my view that Optimus was a bit less empathetic then he usually was in the movie compared to during the other series. .


Title: Flare
Summery: The events of Mission City has lasting effect on Sam. A new girl, boy, her car, Decepticons, and the way his life might have changed more then he thought. Sam on (not) being a hero and human.


Chapter Ten: Comrade

"Okay." He said forcibly calm, standing inside a deserted alleyway out of view from the main street that the robot seemed content to follow him to, "what do you want?"

It opened its electronic mouth, paused, seemed thoughtful and spoke illegible static. Sam stared at it blankly as it waited expectedly for a reply.

"I didn't understand that." He said quickly after the silence when the robot seemed to become upset.

A look of understanding seemed to come to the robot and Sam heard an audible clicking inside the alien's framework before it tried again.

"Sa-mu-e-lu Re-ri-ki." It said, slowly and heavily accented.

"Witwicky." He clarified.

Another click; "Wi'wic'y." This time it sounded Australian.

"Wit-Wicky." He repeated.

Another click. "Wit-wic-y." There was a definite British accent to this one.

"Wit-wic-ky." He punctuated slowly.

"Witwicky." It finally managed tone moderately high and rushed.

"Yeah, that's right." He praised.

The robotic organism, Sam swore, even as insensible it sounded, beamed. It jumped slightly onto its toes and its fingers fluttered in delight. He stared at the smallest alien robot he had ever met, who watched him in equal fascination.

"Who are you?" Sam finally asked.

It hadn't tried to kill him or offer to keep him as a pet yet, so it probably wasn't a Decepticon.

"I have no designation." It told him.

"You don't have a name?"

It shook its head. "Not yet. Will you not name me, creator?"

"Cre-a-what?" He spluttered.

It titled its head, and the mannerisms and tone of voice strongly reminded Sam of a young child. "Assign me a designation, creator."

"Creator, me?" He pointed at himself, then looked around to make sure it was not referring to someone else. "Me?"

It nodded solemnly to his incredulous shock.

"Creator? No way, I'm not a creator." He told it. "I'm, I'm just a teenage boy, Earthen, Terran. Whatever. Human."

It tilted its head, blinking, face scrunching. "Really?"

Sam opened his mouth-

-I dropped the cube once, and god almighty, the vending machine and computer came to life, but I didn't have time to think about it-

-and froze.

Vending machine and computer came to life.

He stared, slacked jawed at the robotic being in front of him. He gaped.

"Creator?" it asked, "Lord Samuel Witwicky?"

He gasped, a deep, reverberating breath in. "Oh my God, Oh my God."

This couldn't be happening. It couldn't.

The tiny robot tentatively shuffled closer, "Lord Creator?"

It obviously was, but it shouldn't. Was his normal life forever gone now? Even more so then before? He thought he could still settle in, Autobots and undercover agents aside, he had been at the least been offered the illusion of normality after Mission City. But if this continued, it would never come back.

"Just a vending machine." He muttered, "just need to find the vending machine. No problem. That's it. Computer and vending machine. Two of them. Then it's over." The Allspark was gone after all.

Its glowing eyes shuttered closed and opened once more in a blink. "You wish to see sister?"

"Sis-wha?" Sam asked, interrupted from his inner dialogue.

The robotic life form let out a short, loud, burst of static that had Sam wincing. Sounds of clogs turning and metal scraping from outside the alleyway and suddenly, the thin pathway out of the dead end was blocked by a taller, skinny shadow. Gleaming silver in the morning light, the new autonomous robotic being walked towards him.

"Creator." It said, voice softer and higher ranged, like a girl's.

Oh gods, like a girl's. He hadn't even known there could be girl robots. Didn't Prime say they were created from the AllSpark? Why would they have girl robots?

She, from all apparent deductions, came to the bottom of his ribs, almost a full head taller than the smaller one. Her upper body did seem to narrow slightly at a waist part, and flare out to give immature hips. The smaller one had as square of an upper half as he remembered any of the other larger robots, and he supposed it was a boy.

She, it made no sense, but she curtsied, respectfully. Sam was gaping like an idiot but he couldn't help it.

"Creator." It said demurely then straightened, peering up at him, face bright with expectation.

"Eh-um, we need to talk about that." He told them nervously, laughing with an unstable chuckle, "Me? Creator? That's…that's not really…uh…"He took a deep breath. "Can you not call me that?"

The two robots traded uncertain looks before the female squared her shoulders. "How would you like us to address you, Creator?"

Sam smiled, pinched. "What ever you want?"

The smaller one danced up beside the female, clasping its hands, and stared at Sam with wide eyes. "Daddy?" It –almost- pleaded.

Sam felt like he was sucker punched. Sam felt like he was in the football game again, being tackled and at the bottom of the dog pile. No, he felt like he was falling off Prime's shoulder and landing forcefully into Bumblebee's rigid, unforgiving hands with fate and gravity against him.

All the air left Sam's lungs. "No." He expelled gasping.

Silence.

"Father?" The female offered hesitantly.

Sam closed his eyes in pain. "I. I'm not" your Creator. He wanted to say, except he sort of was.

It was because of him they came into being. But he was definitely not their Father, they came from the AllSpark, they were autonomous robotic life forms while he was human. He didn't think he was their father, how did you become father to a life that was made outside of biological conception and genetic origin, anyways?

Yes, a father helped in creating you and he also passed half on his genes. And Sam didn't remember passing on anything.

Except they seemed to have inherited his insecurity problems.

None of the Autobots or Decepticons he met seemed like they ever had insecurity problems.

Fuck.

"We can't talk here." He told them to their increasing happy faces, of what he had no clue. "Do you, can you…I mean, do you have a mobile form you can transform into?"

They eagerly nodded. "We can scan the vehicles capable of movement on the street. We have done so before."

"The cars?" He questioned.

They nodded.

"Okay then." He led them out to the street, carefully looking both ways so there were no spectators.

He was about to tell them to scan the parked Sedan in front of him before he paused. He was still unsure of the two newcomers, and transforming into a car required him to sit inside of it. And he wasn't sure he could trust them to that extent. Instead he motioned them to the locked bicycle.

"Can you change into this?"

The female looked insulted. "That is a primitive object; it barely requires any data processing and assimilation." She said in the same tone as a teenage girl would say 'duh'.

"I'll take that as a yes." He said, pretending to ignore her sarcasm, and using the same attitude as one of his teachers would on a student speaking out of turn. "Wait, if you changed forms before, why were you still a computer tower and vending machine?"

"We returned to our first forms so that you might recognize us." She said, almost bashful.

"And you did!" The smaller one squealed. "You did! Our creator would obviously recognize us."

Sam felt a headache coming on. He wanted to argue with them but he had noticed them, at least the smaller one, earlier. "We'll talk later."

The female quickly shifted to a duplicate of the bicycle. Except she was new and shining, no scratches, and where the speed gears were supposed to be, a motor was attached to the back wheel with an exhaust pipe.

He stared, "Okay that's not going to work."

He waited for her to change back and she seemed embarrassed. The smaller robot walked up to her and they linked their four finger metallic hands in a too cute motion for Sam's comfort. The side of his head throbbed in an almost blinding pain before he could control it. He gasped deeply for air, locking his muscles and joints so he would not fall; when his sight cleared his body was strung tight as the massive headache retreated.

"Okay." He breathed down to robotic concerned faces. "Um," he patted himself down for alternatives, making mental sides notes he should either start making sure about eating and keeping his food down more or to bring pain killers with him when he left the house. He felt the step counter clipped onto his belt and pulled it off, "can you turn into this?" He showed them the small black electronic. "Then I can carry you."

The two faces brightened, luminous eyes flaring, and the device was scanned from left to right. Two small figures were held in mid air as they shifted shapes and shrank, shrank, and shrank. Finally two duplicates of the step counter lay on the pavement before him. He stared, a million questions and arguments about his own judgment running through his head, but simply clipped the step counter back into the original spot and reach down to pick up the two other innocuous seeming devices.

They didn't look alien at all. Or dangerous. But they never did at first.

He stared, one in each hand, and tried to gather the nerve to clip them onto the belt as well.

It was hard.

After some time one of the black electronics vibrated, like the robot could have been fidgeting. He barely stopped himself from jerking and letting it fall to the ground.

He wondered if he could bring himself to trust them enough to casually attach them to his hip and keep walking.

H never got his answer as Bumblebee screeched around the corner, clearly over the speed limit, and Sam shoved the devices into his pocket hurriedly.

. : - : .

Bumblebee had joined Prowl at the lookout earlier. The Head Strategist and Optimus Prime's Second in Command stood unmoving as Bumblebee transformed from car mode to their bipedal form. It almost hurt, because more likely then not the younger Cybertron had just come from checking on his human friend.

"Samuel is fine?" Prowl asked because he followed protocol and protocol demanded that he be polite and respect his brothers.

"He is out jogging." Bumblebee replied.

They stood in silence after that. Bumblebee knew the other warrior was strong, Prowl was Optimus' Second in Command because he earned it and proven himself. But there were limits for everyone. Bumblebee worried on the emotional stability of his comrade. Prowl had confirmed the news of Jazz's death in the recent week, and as much as their personalities had been contrasting, straitlaced Prowl and the jaunty Jazz had been close friends. On top of the bereavement of their brother in arm, Prowl's human comrade had disappeared and with no leads in sight.

Bumblebee couldn't imagine how that felt. He already worried about Sam whenever the boy was out of his sensory ranges for too long: when he was at school, on a date with Mikaela in a mall or some other human establishment Bumblebee couldn't follow, or out jogging around the neighborhood by himself at odd hours. Humans were such fragile creatures and they exuded and attracted chaos in turns. Simply look at how much trouble and danger Sam had gotten in less then a fortnight after Bumblebee had found him.

Bumblebee couldn't imagine what it would be like to be in Prowl's situation, that if his own human comrade, if Sam, had disappeared from him for days on end, with no contact at all, and no definite indications to where he might be found.

The only similar experience he had were the hours when Sector Seven had captured him on the bridge, spraying him with sub-zero freeze liquid, and Sam had been taken by Agent Simmons to a place Bumblebee hadn't been able to protect him from. But Sam came back to him, when Bumblebee had been dazed and enraged by the pain of his coolant expanding and forcing his armor outwards, of the electromagnetic impulses being slowed to incompetence, of his Spark being frozen, not dimming, but frozen so that he was unable do anything but watch as they experimented on him.

He hadn't wanted to end like that. He had always thought he would go down fighting, in a blaze or eruption or falling as one of courageous many over a gladiator like battlefield. Not rigid and helpless over a piece of soft metal that he could have punched through with his bare hands.

Sam had come back to him, to release him when Bumblebee had all been doomed – because Bumblebee knew Optimus and being Prime had heavy responsibilities. Optimus would have left him because he knew he would have had to make Bumblebee's sacrifice worth it, because Bumblebee had sacrificed himself, and he knew that Optimus would have grieved him deep and hard, but as a leader he needed to ensure the war was won as opposed to saving a soldier.

Hope wasn't something he thought about, neither was giving up, but the acceptance of a warrior's eventual end was a fate all the Autobots had accepted long ago. Then Sam had burst in to the room, stopped them, came back for him, saved him, and 'come with me we're going to take you to take AllSpark.'

Bumblebee pushed the memories away. It was not the time for his individualistic reminiscing.

The situation was different between them. Siri had disappeared with three Decepticons in tow, and Prowl had asked they stop their search for Siri. Prowl had suggested they not to search for her since the beginning.

"Humans are frustrating." Prowl said.

-"I'm good big guy." "He's hurt. You won. Can't we just call it a day?" "I'm okay. I'm fine."-

Bumblebee agreed.

"She was not logical." Prowl declared.

So the Tactician had been thinking of Siri instead of Jazz, who was the other possibility for the morose silence.

"She was almost infuriating; hypocritical at times."

-One lifetime: Kenneth's. And then afterwards you can blow each other up for all I care. / He's not the one leaving us.-

Bumblebee listened, because there must be a reason why Prowl picked him to speak with. Probably because they were the only two who had teenage civilians who inspired, but confused them. Lennox followed a military life, and his mannerisms were much the same as theirs when it came to decision making.

Prowl looked out at the morning horizon, remembering of the earlier days. "Illogical. Discarding rules and protocols. A combination of stupidity and courage until you couldn't really tell which."

-"If you help the Decepticons, I might have to kill you Siri."

She lifted a stubborn chin; her face a mix challenge, anger, fear, trepidation, and startlingly, a soft longing. "Why don't you try?"-

"Foolish and fearful, and confrontational."

- I'm not running. I'm of legal age. I'm living under my own power. / Thank you for all you've done / you can't protect me forever. / Doesn't every being have the right to live?-

Bumblebee remained silent; he knew the Strategist had more to say. Prowl, surprisingly, sighed. That was not a Cybertron trait. It seemed Siri had laid her influence on him.

"The medic oath," Prowl commented, pulling Bumblebee out of his thoughts.

"The one she told Ratchet?" He questioned.

Prowl was still, almost peaceful in the quiet. "It had been a short period of time. But she gave me one too: to serve and protect."

Bumblebee blinked, that sounded…very nice actually. And very right, for many of the Autobots. "That's a worthy pledge."

"Different from the one she told Ratchet," Prowl stated, "to save Sparks, not Autobots."

"I wonder how Wheeljack would take it." Bumblebee said.

Prowl did not reply. His optics was dim, looking inside himself. Bumblebee allowed him time to his thoughts. The forlorn mood was not one he was used to from Prowl, but every bot was entitled to their own ways of grief.

Suddenly a notion stuck Bumblebee, almost wheeling back physically. Instead his deduction circuits worked overtime, electromagnetic pulses scrambling as Bumblebee re-listened to the conversation in his mind. And the wistful subtleties underlying the words.

"Prowl, are you…" Bumblebee was lost, "…attached to your human?"

Prowl stared back at him; "Are you not?"

Bumblebee thought about Sam. Sam and Mikaela. Lennox and Ironhide. Then on Bumblebee and Sam. Prowl and Siri.

Bumblebee had no response.

"She was terrified of me in the beginning." Prowl said in the speechlessness that followed, "Fearful beyond measure. But she still watched me approach, and responded."

Bumblebee understood that sentiment.

"Sometimes abnormally scared. I wondered…"

But Bumblebee didn't find out what it was Prowl wondered because at that moment they both jerked to the Northwest direction where a transmission wave was broadcasting on Autobot frequency.

The two robotic organisms shared looks of disbelief. They both turned and jumped, shifting into their mobile vehicle forms. Prowl sent out a locator request and instantaneous all Autobot on the planet side sent back coordinates.

Everyone was moving except their leader Optimus Prime, who was on an open grass plane off the side of an empty stripe of highway, where everyone was now heading. Bumblebee raced through the streets of morning Tranquility, blazing past all the familiar streets to where Sam visited.


Optimus Prime, we have received your message. This is the Ark. We are currently outside the atmosphere of the planet and circling in orbit. Please respond. I repeat. Optimus Prime, we have received your message. This is the Ark. We are currently outside the atmosphere of the planet and circling in orbit. Please respond.