Pairing: Ratchet/Ironhide (Movie)

Notes: Spoilers below. This is part of a fanfic100 challenge.


For all his professional demeanor, Ratchet can't stand to lose patients. You can't realize what it puts him through. No one can. He'll never tell.

The only reason I've been privy to this bit of knowledge was because I found out by accident. A literal accident, actually. We used to work with this mech who was quite fond of anything that exploded and well, it's a long story. So, was I surprised to walk into the temp base and find a blade at my neck? Absolutely not.

Ratchet stood there, stock still, his arm around my neck and his weapon unwavering. I just stopped and waited. It was like this sometimes and this time was probably going to be worse. I could disarm him, turn the situation around in a nano-click but it'd only serve to make things harder. A lot harder. And harder is not something Ratchet needed right now. No, he's running on anger and he doesn't even realize it.

The entire warehouse was silent. It was quiet enough that I could hear the hydraulics in Ratchet's hands as they tensed, I could hear the faint whine that accompanied a weapon charge. Still, he didn't move but I could tell, he was ready to snap.

"Ratchet." I tried, quietly as I could. The weapon twitched at his hand, his arm tightened around my neck but he made no further moves. He's got himself worked up real good this time.

"C'mon, Ratchet. It's just me." I try again. Again, a marginal flex in cables and lines but this time, he pulls away. I take a glance over my shoulder in time to see a flash of color backing off into the darkest corner available in the room. Another glance, this time to the opposite end of the building. There, lying on a makeshift table, was Jazz. The Lt. was whole once more, minus several pieces of armor. But it didn't matter. He was already gone before we could get to him.

The kid had done well, though. Damn well. Prime made a good choice in selecting this one. I'll be honest, I had my doubts. Young, impulsive and innately curious but at the same time, one of the most loyal mechs I've met. Not just to the cause but to his friends. All the time, it had been Jazz who'd repeatedly petitioned for us to go after Bumblebee when he got captured. It had been Jazz who'd taken Megatron further from the Cube. And it had been Jazz who sacrificed himself to ensure the mission didn't fail.

I turn my back on the scene and let it go. I've been around a while and seen this more than I'd care to count. It's unfortunate that good mechs had to die, many of them just finding their potential. But it happens. All we can do is keeping pushing forward and try to stop it from happening again.

Ratchet, however, couldn't -wouldn't- let it go. He refused to and it destroyed him every single time he lost just one patient, regardless of how many survived. You could see it now. He wasn't making any moves to hide the fact that it hurt. He sat, huddled as small as he could, in the darkest corner in the furthest spot away from the table that he could get to without leaving the building. He looked miserable. I moved over quietly and sat down next to him. We sat for several minutes, neither moving, neither speaking, until he eventually spoke up.

"I thought that if I fixed the damage that maybe…" he started, vocalizer barely powering on. He did this every time, every single time. He fixed what was broken, knowing full well that it wouldn't help but wanting to try. A tenacity I admired but at the same time, wanted to pity. Jazz wouldn't be the exception to the rule that good mechs die, just another number, another name to add to the very long list of those who had passed before.

Humans call it death. The passing of one from existence to something else. The closest thing we call it is "extinguished". Our sparks, our souls, fade until we no longer exist. Our bodies are all that will remain behind. Ratchet has never been good at handling it. Never. I don't suspect that he ever will be.

It's times like this that I wish this pit-forsaken war was over and done with. Every time a mech dies, so does a small part of the medic. And there's nothing I can do about it.