Author: Darkfireblade aka Hellsfirescythe
Fandom: Transformers 2007 movie
Rating: PG-13 for violence and language
Characters/Pairings: Jazz, Ensemble
Summary: Re-awakening Jazz with the remaining piece of the Allspark had been the easy part. Dealing with its consequences and the aftermath of Mission City would open a whole new can of worms.
Notes/Warnings: post-movie, contains spoilers.
Chapter One: Break-Down
Space didn't have anything on the void that he hung in.
It was empty here, cold...and silent. Even in the far reaches of space he had the forever bright pinpricks of stars in his vision or the comforting warmth of a thrumming engine. Even on the most silent of days, at least there was the constant buzz of static in his comm just waiting to be broken.
For a moment, he could almost hear -no feel- the pulsing bass from a faraway radio. But that disappeared just as quickly as it came with no time for him to even fully register the phenomenon.
What seemed like and what could have been an eternity stretched on. He couldn't move a nano-meter. Not a finger. Frozen still.
Finally, something broke through: laughter, a cold, cruel laughter. A laugh that sent shivers rushing helter-skelter over his relays. Silence was almost preferable.
Then its source appeared: Megatron in all his spark-wrenching glory. The terrible laugh magnified and rebounding, filled the once empty void, reverberating off its victim's surface. The oily, bitter taste of fear roiled through his senses. The whole world shook as Megatron's thundering steps brought the terror closer and closer. Suspended, he watched as the tyrant closed the distance between them in one flying leap, claw-like hands ready to strike and all he knew was bathed in a hellish red glow and one great roar.
"Show me your strength, Autobot Jazz!"
Autobot Headquarters, outskirts of Tranquility, Nevada
The whine of charging weapons and whoosh of rushed hydraulics, both lacking visuals, reminded the lieutenant to power up his optic sensors. What fritzed into his vision was the familiar, resigned scowl of Ratchet's face inches away from the glowing edge of Jazz's arm cannons. Air cycled rapidly through the partially-rebuilt Solstice's chassis and a few tension-filled moments stretched out between the two before the charging whine faded away.
Large hands pushed firmly and gently until Jazz found himself staring up at the sheet metal ceiling of the OR. Six hundred and thirty-four rivets were in that one ceiling. Ratchet had grunted in feigned interest when Jazz informed him of that fact a day ago. It wasn't that the medic was ignoring him; Ratchet had more important things to worry about: like how to connect this wire with that wire without fragging up the connection of all the other wires and the circuit boards beneath. Oh yeah, how about avoiding all of Jazz's sensory clusters at the same time?
One answer to that was temporary off-lining, but...
Jazz didn't answer, settling instead to finding a more comfortable position on the cold metal slab that was the operating berth. He hated shut-downs. Recharge was one thing, but off-lining altogether, that was something Jazz would rather avoid. That's reason number one why Ratchet grimaces whenever Jazz shows up in his medical ward for major repairs. It takes a lot to coerce the lieutenant into voluntary shut-down.
"Will you tell me what's bothering you? Or do I have to pry it out with myself?"
Despite the gruff words, Ratchet's voice was surprisingly gentle and understanding. One doesn't watch over the same patients for millions of years without learning something. Ratchet knew most of Jazz's well-hidden quirks, just as the medic knew most of all the others'.
"Megatron's big ugly mug." answered Jazz, reverting to the street talk he picked up during his few waking moments on Earth's surface. It was comforting, in a way, to speak of something so personal in such an impersonal way.
Ratchet nodded before flipping down a face mask to continue soldering away at Jazz's frame. The smaller mech twitched whenever the soldering iron got a bit too close to a sensory cluster for his liking. But he didn't say a word and Ratchet worked in silence. A quiet agreement that perhaps Jazz should remain online for the rest of the procedure.
"You can activate your radio, you know? I just fixed the last of it." grunted Ratchet, not looking up from his work.
"You an' I, Ratch? We on the same wavelength." chuckled Jazz, attempting to lighten the heavy mood that had settled over the both of them as he skimmed through Earth's numerous stations.
The medic's head tweaked to a side, copying the human motion of eye rolling. "Oh goody."
Both of them fell silent again, listening quietly to the melancholy strains of blues that drifted lazily from Jazz's stereos, peppered by the crackle and flash of a soldering iron.
On the other side of the one-way looking glass that separated the operating room from the rest of the med bay, two individuals observed in relative silence. One in compete fascination and the other in mute appreciation. The still was broken by a exclamation of surprise from one Sam Witwicky.
"He's alive?!" the human teen whipped around to stare at his large counterpart. "Jazz is alive? Bee speak to me here!" Sam's finger jabbed insistently against the window pane, his gaping causing the boy to have a great resemblance to a particular sort of Earth aquatic vertebrates. Fish, supplied the spy's memory banks.
"Yeah," Bumblebee replied back.
"Yeah? Don't 'yeah' me, Bee." sputtered Sam, looking more and more flustered. "Last time I saw him, he looked like a burnt out toaster oven torn in half. Now you're telling me he's somehow, magically, come back to life?"
The Camaro nodded as if accepting such a fact were a natural thing. When Sam did nothing but return to looking like fish, Bumblebee squatted down so he and his companion were eye-to-eye.
"You gotta explain this to me, man." Sam gestured to his head rapidly with shaking fingers. "You see this? I don't have any fancy internet connection on me. So if you all went and found some obscure sort of zombie voodoo to bring him back, I wouldn't kn-"
"The Allspark, it was the Allspark." corrected Bumblebee with a hint of chiding in his voice. Comparing the power of the Allspark to the obscure methods of voodoo was like comparing Sam's human religion to cheap party tricks. But Sam was only human, so the spy let the comparison slide.
"I thought the Allspark was destroyed!" Sam's voice cracked in the middle of his sentence, it went ignored by both parties. "I destroyed it. I shoved it up Megatron's hulking chest!"
Bumblebee shook his head and reached to fiddle with a couple of controls on his helm. Blue optics took on a piecing glow before beams like laser shot out. Sam's eyes widened when he recognized the jagged piece of the Allspark being projected into the air.
"So...I take it that the thing still works." said Sam, more to himself than to his companion. Bumblebee nodded anyways. "So much for destroying the cube. Guess it's a good thing for you guys though, 'specially Jazz."
"Especially Jazz," echoed Bumblebee.
"This was your big surprise?" asked Sam. Once again he was answered by a nod. A long exhalation was expelled from Sam that Bumblebee categorized as a sigh. "Pretty big surprise alright." murmured Sam, turning back to stare at Jazz's reclined form. A disbelieving chuckle escaped from the teen's lips and he glanced back at Bumblebee, a smile dancing lightly across his blunt features. "I'm happy for all you guys, Bee."
A appreciative noise trilled out of Bumblebee's vocoder and his large hand enveloped Sam's shoulders. "Curfew, Sam."
The teen snorted and followed his car's lead. "Yeah, I'm sure mom will totally accept that excuse that I was touring you guys' new base." Sam paused for a moment in his steps to lean against the cool metallic wall of the med-bay. Bumblebee glanced down, his concern shown so clearly in those alien blue eyes. "S'okay, just a little tired. Between you Autobots, my parents, and Mikaela, there's just no rest for me, isn't there?"
Bumblebee's answer came in the form of scooping Sam up in his hands. The teen laughed and settled down comfortably in the grip of his guardian as they left the med-bay and its occupants behind.
"Mmm lookin' fine, if I do say so myself."
"You do say and you have been for the past half hour. Keep it up and I might be reminded of a certain front-line warrior back on Cybertron."
Jazz glanced back in mock offense from admiring his reflection in the med-bay window. The target of his look smirking knowingly while clearing the last of the paint equipment away. Fluidly, Jazz wound his way around a couple of berths and located himself quite contentedly on a counter facing the green mech that he'd spent all of his waking moments with since...well, his waking up back in this world again.
The Solstice feigned a look of hurt as he swung around to get a closer look at the larger mech. "You've got a heart of stone, Ratch."
"I wasn't aware that I even possessed one," Ratchet replied dryly. "Now hurry up and get out of here. I've got a hard enough time dealing with all of these fumes with you hovering around. Go inflict your new looks on someone else."
"Advice made note and taken advantage of, big guy." said Jazz as he hopped off the counter and breezed out of the room.
Ratchet looked up from his sterilizing, mouth set in a rigid profile. "I swear he gives me more trouble than Ironhide on a bad day." What could be called a smile by Autobot standards crawls onto his face and he finished wiping the area down with a practiced ease just as his sensors picked up the vibrations of a large familiar form making its way down the outside halls.
Lumbering black from fixed precisely in his mind, Ratchet turned from his work place and was out of the med-bay in seconds. It was a place he'd rather not have to return to for a long while if things when his way. Then again, things rarely did.
Out cruising the streets, music blaring from his sound-system, Jazz didn't have a care in the world. He'd have to thank the human creator of tinted windows if he ever found the individual. As far as any humans could tell, all there was rocking down the streets of Tranquility, was a sleek new Pontiac Solstice. What a car like that was doing with racing numbers and stripes was beyond them. Their thoughts didn't matter much to Jazz, all that mattered at the moment was head-turning attention he was receiving as he maneuvered his way around town.
Being in disguise didn't necessarily mean blending in.
A timid knock on his driver's side door brought Jazz out of his thoughts. The window rolled down revealing a gaggle of teenage girls. Out of the driver's seat a slick-dressed, dark-hued young man smiled charmingly back. "What can I do for you ladies?"
There was a titter of whispers and Jazz wondered briefly if all human females were so flighty. An image of Mikaela surfaced in his HUV and he dismissed the thought. Not all human females then, just these.
[No, all humans. Disgusting...
Where did that come from?
"Could you give us the date?" asked one girl, obviously the ringleader of the group. Her artificially coy inquiry gave Jazz no time to ponder the stray thought further.
The young man behind the wheel made a show of checking his watch as Jazz looked into his chronometer. Minutes later, the girls left, their adolescent voices buzzing through the air with the last calls of "Nice car, mister!" wafting back at him, their agenda accomplished.
That left Jazz idling at the side of the street, still observing his time-piece.
One month. It's been one month since his demise at the hands of Megatron. Three days since he on-lined to the sight of his half-built chassis, Bumblebee's relieved welcomes, Ironhide's satisfied grunt, and the accomplished expression written all across Ratchet's face. Prime had stood in the background, being his usual calm self before coming forward and clapping Jazz firmly on the shoulder.
"Welcome back, Jazz."
A cacophony of honks alerted Jazz that he had prolonged his stay at the intersection.
"Move it will you? Bastard!" screamed one male voice from the back of the line.
With a loud cough of his exhaust pipe, Jazz gunned his engines and peeled down the street. One question ran through his processors and it scared him more than any Decepticon ever could. Just why had he felt the urge to transform and stomp over all those pathetic creatures?
[Because they deserve it.
Jazz's speedometer jumped from thirty to sixty. Pedestrians and motorists alike tried hard not to stare at the Solstice revving down the streets, disappearing into smaller roads of Tranquility.
Hearing disembodied voices usually was not a troublesome thing, especially when one was a large transforming robot with communications built right into his cranial unit, or heck, had a whole radio sound-system built into his chassis. But this didn't have the feel of either of the two.
Parked in a little-used alleyway, Jazz effectively shut down all unneeded applications and hardware. As of that moment at the intersection, no stray thoughts had run through his mind. Jazz was very willing to contribute those thoughts to the endless hours he had to spend shut up in the underground Autobot med-bay. Stress right? He just needed to get out a little more often and chill. Perhaps outside a happening dance club, if little Tranquility had any of those.
"What's a hot car like this doing all the way out here?"
Jazz watched with slightly raised interest as two adolescent males lightly picked their way down the alley in his direction, one in a letter jacket, the other in some sport jersey.
"I dunno, got no driver though, an' most of this place is abandoned." grumbled jersey kicking an old rusty can until it bumped up against Jazz's front tire.
"Huh, been looking for a new car. Ever since Witwicky picked up that Camaro...how'd a piece of trash like him get that set of wheels anyways?"
Audios tuned up slightly at the mention of Sam's name.
"Beats me. How'd he steal your girl? Come on, let's get outta here."
The sound of sneakers shuffling quickly on cement and leather shoved up against brick redirected Jazz from his wandering thoughts about Sam and Mikaela back to the situation. Jersey was currently pinned, in what Jazz assumed a painful position, against the alley wall.
"I don't want to hear one more word about Mikaela from you. Got it?" hissed letter jacket. Jazz assumed that jersey nodded as he was quickly released from the pin.
Letter jacket's shoes crunched ominously on the gravel and Jazz sat in curious annoyance as the teen approached him. Rough hands glided appreciatively over his white hood, the sort of attention that Jazz would usually relish, but this time he had to resist the urge to back out of the alley with engines growling. Instead, there was a light click as both doors locked from the inside.
The boy moved over to Jazz's driver's side and crouched so that he was eye-level with the lock. "Can't be that hard to pop open..." he muttered. Jazz stiffened as something attempted to fit into the lock. With a loud chirp of his security systems, the driver's side door flew open, knocking letter jacket into the nearby wall.
"W-what?!" Both teens scrambled back, their bodies radiating fear and exhibiting (in guilty satisfaction to Jazz) heightened heart rates.
His satisfaction was short lived as letter jacket reached down, scooping up an old brick. "Demon-infested car!" he grunted while hurling the object straight towards Jazz's windshield.
The projectile had no time to make contact with its intended target. Instead, it was crushed into a powder by a four-digit hands. Letter jacket and jersey stood frozen as the once still Pontiac Solstice twisted and unfolded, finishing the rest of its transformation.
One step was all it took to breach the distance between him and his offenders. Jersey was the first to break out of the daze, he turned tail and ran out of the alleyway leaving letter jacket to fend for himself.
"Whaddaya tryin to pull, punk?"
The abandoned teen wasn't able to voice a thing as hands the size of tabletops came down and fixed him roughly against a brick wall. Finally, when he was able to voice something, all that came out was a garbled mess of panic.
What could be called a smirk twisted Jazz's features and his visor came down, analyzing all the twitches and blubbers from this boy. Relishing the fleshling's...fear.
Horror washed over the warrior and he jerked back, letting letter jacket take a short tumble to the ground.
[Why stop here?!
CPU and processors reeling, Jazz stumbled back and immediately reverted back to car mode, gunning as fast as he could back to Autobot Headquarters to the privacy and safety of his own quarters.
Constructive Criticism is welcome and appreciated. Beta anyone?