Title: Comfort Calling Late

Chapter: Chapter Six: Run Riot

Author: SBX

Characters: Perceptor, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Brian, Dom, Sam, Epps, Simmons, Bilkins, mention of others

Pairings: Prowl/Jazz, hints of Dom/Brian, Blaster/Perceptor

Rating: PG-13 (Will rise again later)

Warnings: none

Disclaimer: No character used in this story belongs to me except for Zero, who was only mentioned in passing, Moriah Anders, and Emily Mortadella. Fic title comes from the lyrics of "Every You Every Me" by Placebo.

Summary: The road to healing is long and winding, but is it traveled too late?

A/N: I blame the time it took to finish this chapter on school. My workload is so bad this semester that it's just about crushing my creativity. I finally just had to set my personal projects aside and focus on school or would have lost my mind. You know you've got serious writer's block when you get halfway through a sentence and can't think of how to finish it. That same sentence, once apart of this chapter but got pushed back to the next one, is still sitting on my computer, unfinished. But it will be finished, along with the rest of the chapter very soon. Like, end of next week at the latest.

Cybertronian specific phrases and their meanings are:

Astrosecond: 0.498 seconds

Breem: 8.3 minutes

Cycle: 1 minute

Deca-Cycle: Equals to approx. a year

Mega-cycle: 1 hour

Orn: 13 days (as I haven't found anything that lists this as an official time unit, credit for this goes to Karategal.

Any questions? Please feel free to ask. Now on with the show!


You know the time has come
Run, run riot, come on, run with me
Run, run riot
Run, run riot
I'll take you from your misery
Come on, stick with me

- "Run Riot," Def Leppard

ooooooooooooo

Brian was starting to realize that what was originally a temporary alliance with the crew of the Steelhaven was turning into something more permanent. Two days after the meeting at the 'lookout' and the Autobots showed no signs of sending them on their merry way. Dom was wary of this fact, finding it suspicious that a group of aliens who were supposed to be some big secret were trusting two wanted fugitives.

Brian didn't think it had anything to do with trust, though they did seem to have the Twins'. In all likelihood it had more to do with honor. The Autobots were honor bound to help the two humans after they had helped some of their own.

Sam had more or less confirmed this during a conversation about the Autobots' intentions. "You help them, they'll help you. That's how they operate," Sam said while typing away at a laptop. Then he paused and turned his full attention to the two men. "Of course, if you were scum bags then you'd have been in jail by now. You're lucky Bumblebee gave you guys the okay."

It became obvious that while the youngest of Prime's officers, he held a lot of sway over his comrades. He was an uncanny judge of character, able to simply look at a person and know their heart and mind. The fact that they passed mustard so easily humbled Brian more than he would ever admit.

Gradually he and Dom relaxed and decided to just go with it. The Autobots' hideout was a good place to regroup and figure out where to go next.

It didn't seem likely that the feds would find them there, or at least that was the general consensus amongst the Prime and his crew. Of course, they had all overlooked one thing.

Their government liaison, one Reginald Simmons, wasn't as willing to let Brian and Dom's fugitive status slide.

ooooooooooooo

Dom knew that the very second Agent Simmons laid eyes on them that they were in trouble.

Sam didn't even look up from the paper work he and Sgt. Epps were working on when the government agent stomped over to the small group of humans lounging on and around Perceptor in his robot mode.

The scientist seemed to be enjoying himself as he ran passive scans on the organics scattered around. All except for Witwicky, who seemed to make the large Autobot nervous. The kid made all of the new arrivals nervous, though they themselves couldn't pinpoint why and Prime nor his officers weren't volunteering any information. Dom had to wonder if it was a matter trust or if the Autobot leader was waiting for their MIA tactician was found to spill the beans.

Either way, he did know that as young as the kid was he had to have seen some serious shit. His eyes looked ancient.

A shout tore Dom from his musing as the man who had 'Fed' written all over him stormed right up to Witwicky as he leaned back against Perceptor's outstretched leg. "Witwicky, what the hell is going on here!"

Sam ignored the government agent, continuing his conversation with Epps. "So, the latest report from Will says that he and Ironhide have finally got a hint of Prowl's signal and are in the process of zeroing in on it," he said, not taking his eyes off of the printout in his hands.

Epps own acknowledgement of Simmons was an amused look, as he nodded along to what the kid was saying. This did not improve the agent's mood any.

"Witwicky, I demand to know who these two men are. They aren't cleared to be on this base.

Sam looked up and gave the agent a bland look. "Neither are the new arrivals, but I don't see you complaining about them."

Perceptor spoke up before Simmons could tell the boy exactly where he could stick his 'new arrivals.' "Toretto and O'Connor assisted us in our journey here. As thanks Optimus has granted them a chance to rest here until they could decide what their next destination would be," he announced primly, his cultured tones rubbing Simmons the wrong way instantly.

It was at that point that some of the other Autobots wandered over. Sideswipe came bounding up to them and nearly dropped himself right in the scientist's lap. Sunstreaker and Bumblebee followed at a more subdued pace as the red Lamborghini started talking excitedly.

"Percy, this planet is awesome! They've got official racing and underground racing and these sports that look like solar boarding, only it's on water or this solid slippery stuff called 'snow' and not solar winds and they have lying contests, can you believe it, they actually lie for sport here and…"

Through all of this Perceptor just stared at him with wide optics, occasionally looking to the humans for confirmation of certain claims. Simmons, realizing that he had lost everyone's attention and was not likely to win it back, stomped off to find Prime. He was generally more cooperative about giving answers.

Dom and Brian watched him leave and exchanged concerned looks. Sam leaned forward and murmured for their ears only, "You two might wanna' start seriously looking into where you're going. Reggie Simmons is a stubborn guy, he's not going to quit until he finds out just who you are."

Neither of them really had anything to say to that.

ooooooooooooo

Off all the odd things he'd seen since the attack on Qatar, nothing quite beat seeing a Lambo make himself comfortable in an CSU truck's lap while talking a mile a minute.

Epps watched all of this and wondered about the fact that the Autobots didn't seem to believe in personal space as he and Sam moved to avoid accidentally getting squashed by careless limbs. The newbies didn't seem to have grasped the fact that humans break easily yet.

Growing up as a tech and sci-fi geek, something the Air Force Sergeant wasn't the least bit ashamed to admit, he'd always assumed that an advanced robot species would be distant and refrain from physical contact. The fact that he'd given this any thought before he'd even met the Autobots didn't strike him as off either.

Cybertronians, or at least the Autobots, seemed to view physical contact as an integral part of social interaction. It was odd in a race that didn't require contact in most things, but perhaps it had more to do with mental and emotional needs than physical.

The scientists and medic were especially touchy-feely, poking and prodding at individuals to learn more about them or to reassure themselves that their friends and comrades were in one piece. Ratchet and his apprentice were constantly checking those around them for even the slightest problems, though Ratchet at least tried to be discreet about it.

It should have been unnerving to have Perceptor taking scans and even sometimes samples from the organics around him, but the scientist was always careful not to cause any physical discomfort. Honestly, Epps couldn't blame him for being curious. He was fascinated by Cybertronian technology and Perceptor was a good mech to ask questions and get real answers.

Mikaela had once joked about the humans that were 'in-the-know' having their own robot partners. Epps thought about that and about the conversations he had already had with Perceptor about Earth and Cybertron tech. He thought about these things as Sunstreaker bodily dragged his over-enthusiastic brother off the poor scientist.

And as he made himself comfortable against his new friend's leg again, the human decided that he'd found his own partner.

Epps wondered if he could get away with calling the scientist 'Percy.'

ooooooooooooo

Sam was more than a little annoyed when Simmons showed up again two days later, this time with federal agents who wanted to arrest Dominic and Brian.

Jazz had picked up their approach fairly early, giving the Autobots time to hide themselves and their guests from the outsiders. Simmons had seemed almost disappointed that the Autobots hadn't been caught with their metaphorical pants down.

The large gentleman who was apparently spearheading the fugitives' capture was even more of an ass than their usual government thorn. Sam hadn't thought anybody could beat Reggie for asshole-ness.

This Bilkins character was bad tempered, self-serving, and self-righteous. It made Sam feel all the more justified in lying to him.

"So, you don't know where O'Connor and Toretto are now," the federal agent asked, annoyed and disgusted with the military base's incompetence. Sam was undaunted.

"They were gone before anybody woke up this morning. We didn't know why until you guys showed up," he replied, not looking up from his laptop. Simmons always seemed to catch him while doing paperwork. The man had to be doing it on purpose.

"And you guys had no idea they were wanted fugitives until just now," Bilkins asked, suspicious. Sam gave him and annoyed look of his own. "Look, we've been through this already. They helped some new guys that got lost, find the base. We assumed they were backpackers and they seemed like nice enough guys so we offered them a place to stay for a while."

The look on Bilkins's face said he didn't believe a word Sam was saying, but he had no proof that the kid was lying so he let it go for now. "Mind if we look around a bit just to be sure," the fed asked, fingering the warrant in his pocket just in case the kid said 'no.' Christ, who put a kid in his early 20s in charge of a military base?

To his disappointment Sam just shrugged and told them to knock themselves out. "Also, I'd like Sgt. Epps to accompany you," Sam called out just before Simmons and Bilkins left the room.

They paused and gave the Army advisor questioning looks. "This base contains a lot of sensitive, unstable weaponry. Therefore there are areas that require a high military clearance. Clearance that the flimsy piece of paper in your pocket can't give you, Agent Bilkins."

Bilkins's eyes widened at that. He hadn't pulled the warrant out once. Witwicky finally looked up and met the visitor's eyes coolly. "We wouldn't want you to wander into dangerous areas you have no business being in, now do we?"

The fed found himself backing away from this boy that had to be almost half his age. There was something remarkably cold and dangerous about the look in the kid's eyes. And did his voice just change?

A hand came down on Bilkins's shoulder, startling him. Simmons was giving him a wry, knowing look and the fed felt as though there was some sort of joke here and it was on him. "Come on, let's go round up our guide and get this over with. Though I don't think you'll find anything useful."

Bilkins had to agree with that. Nothing could quite cover up a secret like the military.

ooooooooooooo

Simmons watched the federal agents pull away from the base in a strangely good mood. Bilkins hadn't appreciated having his time wasted. Not that he cared, but Reggie had enough enemies in his own government as it was, he didn't need more.

A shadow appeared on the ground beside his own. He turned to look over his shoulder and found Witwicky glaring at him with mild annoyance and not for the first time Simmons wondered if the boy was capable of real anger anymore.

"I'd like to say that I can't believe that you brought a bunch of outsiders to the base with out warning us first, but it's totally believable for you to do something like that," Sam commented, his tone resigned.

Simmons grinned as he replied, "Somebody has to keep you guys on your toes." Sam gave him a bland look and would have said something searingly sarcastic if his phone hadn't beeped. The kid pulled it out to read the text message on the tiny screen. A quick reply later and Witwicky was giving him a very not-nice smile.

"That was Prime confirming that the Feds are out of sensor range and it's okay for them to come out. He'd also like to have a few…words with you." Translation: Prime was pissed as hell and was going to verbally rip Simmons a new one.

The government agent nodded solemnly. He made himself comfortable leaning against the SUV he had arrived in. If Optimus wanted to talk, he could come to him.

Listening the to the footsteps of the approaching Autobots brought up a thought to Reggie's mind and he just had to ask. "So, did those two guys really beat feet?"

The sound of two high performance engines racing drowned out whatever response Witwicky had. Two Lamborghini's suddenly sped around a building, past the two humans, and through the gate.

Sam smirked at Simmons's stunned expression. "They have now."

ooooooooooooo

Brian watched the military base fade into the distance, already missing the mismatched team of humans and robots. They were an amazingly accepting bunch of individuals and he already felt like part the team after only five days.

Sighing, he turned to face forwards, to the open road and the red Lambo in front of him and Sunstreaker. He still couldn't believe that the Autobots were willing to help him and Dom run from the law.

Even more unbelievable still was that Sunstreaker and Sideswipe had insisted on coming with them, putting themselves in hot water with the US government as well. All attempts at dissuading them were ignored, sometimes immaturely. ("LaLaLa, I'm not listening!" "Sides, don't be an idiot.")

Brian stared at the dashboard, the place his gaze always fell to while talking to one of the twins while inside them. "So," he said hesitantly, "Where to now?"

Sunstreaker was silent for a long while. Brian thought he might not answer at all until Sideswipe's voice suddenly came blaring through the speakers. "I hear Ireland's nice this time of year."