Bumblebee blinked and turned to look at Ratchet, shifting his weight, but not shifting onto his left leg. He shrugged, nodded, and went back to staring up through the skylight. It wasn't the first injury he had had that lingered; he doubted it would be the last.
"Sit down. Let me see," Ratchet ordered.
Bumblebee had learned long ago that arguing with Ratchet was futile. In the middle of battle he could simply be ignored, as he was usually back with the triage teams, but when face to face with him there was little point in disagreeing. He always got his way.
"Shouldn't you be worrying about Jazz?" Bumblebee boosted himself up onto the examination table, his feet dangling over the edge.
"I'm through with Jazz for the day," Ratchet pulled up a chair and sat down, pulling Bumblebee's left foot up to rest on his thigh. "Possibly the week, maybe the next decade. He's sulking like a human infant."
Bumblebee didn't point out that Ratchet had never seen a human infant sulk, nor did he point out that teenagers were better at it. "I don't care if he sulks into the next millennium as long as he's not dead."
"That makes you more patient than me," Ratchet began at Bumblebee's ankle, working free the armor plating that protected his leg.
It had been three months since the final battle with Megatron. Life had settled in some ways, and remained unstable in others. It had been a near miss with Jazz, but Ratchet had managed to save him. The damage had been extensive though, and as of yet, he couldn't transform. For Jazz, it was frustrating to be on a new world with everything to see and everything to do, and to be unable to do anything, because he couldn't blend in. It was equally frustrating for Ratchet, who hated being unable to fix things.
"I'll add it to the list of things I'm better at than you," Bumblebee quipped.
"You can put it right below running stupidly into battle while injured," Ratchet set Bumblebee's shin guard on the table beside him.
"I was going to put it above that one," Bumblebee's free leg swung a bit until Ratchet reached out and stopped it. "Being patient is better then being stupid, usually."
In reality it was a short list, and mostly involved driving fast and getting into relatively small places. They broke fairly even on patience. Ratchet was infinitely patient with his work, but not so patient with the people he was working on. Bumblebee, on the other hand, could spend weeks in crowded barracks and never once get upset, but mechanics baffled him, and he thought it better left to bots who had a talent for it.
"You're such a brat," Ratchet sighed, but there was laughter in his voice.
"I'm told it's one of my better qualities," Bumblebee couldn't quite stop the hiss of pain when Ratchet pulled his knee guard off.
"Sorry Bee," Ratchet rubbed the joint in apology, the warmth from his hands soothing against the cold metal.
"It's fine," Bumblebee shrugged dismissively.
Bumblebee's right leg had been relatively easy to repair. It had been severed below the joint and reattaching it had been a straightforward procedure, or at least that was what Ratchet had said. Bumblebee trusted him to know these sorts of things. His left leg had been severed at the knee joint, which made things more complicated.
"The scar tissue needs to be filed down again. It's catching at the joint," Ratchet ran a careful finger over the heavy seam where the main support of his lower leg had been reattached.
"Can't you do it some other time?" Bumblebee grumbled. "A month from now you're just going to have to do it again."
Being mechanical beings meant they could be repaired like any machine, but being organisms as well meant that their bodies had the ability to heal. No organism lasted very long with out that ability. Ratchet had welded his legs back on, and his body had taken over from there, fusing the metal back together and creating a heavy scar around the seam. His body would continue to add extra metal to the seam until it was convinced the weakened point was sufficiently solid, and who knew when that would be.
It wasn't that filing hurt, Ratchet would manually turn off the sensors in his lower leg before he did it, and it felt better after it was done, but the sound always made Bumblebee feel a little ill.
"I could," Ratchet reached for the file on his worktable. "But it's just going to keep rubbing if I don't."
"Fine," Bumblebee leaned back on his hands, his gaze straying back to the skylights.
Captain Lennox had found them a place to stay, a large agricultural warehouse of some kind, long abandoned and far from most human settlements. Bumblebee had a place to live with Sam's family, but the rest of the Autobots had needed a place to call their own, and Optimus had wanted a central location to run operations from, even if there were no operations going on at the moment. They modified the space to suit them, and for now it worked well.
Bumblebee's fingers curled slightly against the table when the file began to buzz, but aside from the vibrations traveling all the way up to his hip, he couldn't feel anything.
The sound, though, was grating, and if he had been a little less paranoid and war weary, he might have actually turned his audio receptors off.
Instead, he occupied himself with the clouds that were beginning to gather outside. They were turning dark, and a quick check of the local weather confirmed that heavy rains were expected in the late afternoon. Perhaps they would spend the night here.
He had brought Sam and Mikaela with him partially because this seemed like a healthier alternative to their Friday night make out sessions, and partially because he had hoped they would be able to cheer Jazz up, or at the very least distract him. Ironhide had contacted him last night, complaining about Jazz being … sullen was the best English translation for it, but it missed some of the cruder connotations of the word Ironhide had actually used.
Said Autobot was not anywhere near by. Ironhide had retreated back to the Lennox family, preferring the irregular sleeping patterns of their infant to Jazz's restlessness. When it came down to it though, Ironhide was of the same opinion as Bumblebee. As long as Jazz was around to sulk, their problems were minimal.
"Finished," Ratchet set the file down. "And not that bad, right?"
"You know how humans feel about nails on a chalkboard?"
It took Ratchet less then a second to cross-reference the statement. He swatter Bumblebee's swinging leg.
"You're lucky you're not a medic," He said as he used a cloth to rub lubricant into the joint.
"So is everyone else," Bumblebee agreed.
"Very true," Ratchet began refitting the armor plates to Bumblebee's leg.
"Hey," Bumblebee kicked Ratchet lightly in the side with his free leg. "We're lucky you are a medic."
"All done," Ratchet ignored the compliment, but the affection in his voice was unmistakable.
"Thanks," Bumblebee slid down from the table.
"Mm-hmm," Ratchet turned back to his piles of notes and schematics. "You better go save Jazz from Sam and Mikaela."
"You've got it backwards," Bumblebee informed him. "Sam and Mikaela are saving us from Jazz."
Ratchet considered that a moment, then laughed. "You might be right."
"Of course I am," Bumblebee said.
"Get out of here anyway," Ratchet gave him a light push towards the door. "You're underfoot."
"Right. Don't work too hard," Bumblebee headed for the door. "It makes you grumpy."
"All medics are grumpy," Ratchet informed him as he was closing the door. "It's a requirement of the trade."
He heard Bumblebee laugh on the other side of the door, but he didn't comment. It was nice to hear Bumblebee laugh again.