Sparks

Official Disclaimer: The Transformers ain't mine.

Author's Note: Those of you who like the thought of Optimus and Alex in love, read no further. And if you don't like implied Jazz/Prowl, there's an exchange near the end you'll want to skip. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist? They're cute together. Heh. But yeah. Here it is, the end of the story...So sad to see it go. Huge thank yous and cyber cookies to each and every one of my reviewers and readers - it's incredibly gratifying to receive this type of response to my first fan fiction in a new fandom. Guess I managed to do something right!

- Epilogue: Elita-1 -

Elita smiled as she and her companion came to a stop just inside the hologram masking Cybertron Valley from outside eyes. It was just as Ratchet had described it before giving her the co-ordinates - a little piece of Cybertron, hidden away here on Earth. Though she hadn't seen it before, Ratchet had told her they'd made some modifications since it had first been created by the Allspark - the residences housing recharge beds, something Ratchet had called a 'bar' on the edge of the lake, as well as a few sports areas had all been built to make stays in the valley more comfortable. Even with the buildings, bots wandered around the valley itself, talking to each other or simply enjoying the scenery, if they weren't engaged in a game of some sort in one of the sports areas. It was mostly Autobots, but here and there, Elita could see small groups of red optic'ed bots.

"Elita, Chromia! You made good time!" Prowl greeted the leader of the femme bots with a smile, having been waiting for them since Ratchet had sent out a message about their arrival.

"Well, Ratchet had mentioned that Optimus was here..." Elita said with a small grin, then glanced behind her. "And he mentioned Ironhide, so I would have had a mutiny on my hands if I hadn't rushed a bit." Chromia grinned widely at the comment. Prowl smiled with amusement.

"Well, Ironhide's over in the bar." he said, jerking his thumb in its direction. "But as for Optimus...well, there's someone you have to meet before I can take you to him." Elita gave him an incredulous look even as Chromia took off for the bar, and Prowl shrugged sheepishly. "She threatened to have Skywarp, Thundercracker, and Barricade drag me forcibly out of a the valley and rip me apart if I didn't take you to her first. The twins volunteered to mop up what was left." Elita frowned, wondering who would have command over both Decepticons and Autobots, then motioned for Prowl to lead the way. He lead her to one of the residences and stepped inside, revealing a small sitting room, off of which went a long hallway, doors on either side. In the sitting room itself, a human woman was just finishing up talking to Barricade about somebody called Silent Bob. Upon spotting her, the human went silent, and Barricade silently stood and exited the residence, slipping past Elita and Prowl. Elita didn't know quite what to make of his muttered 'good luck' as he passed her.

"Elita, meet Alexandra Morgan. Alex, Elita-1. Don't damage her." Prowl introduced, then fled without further explanation, leaving the two women, one human and one robotic, alone together. Elita frowned again.

"Hello." she said politely.

"Hi." Alexandra replied, staring thoughtfully at her. The stare unnerved Elita to the point where she almost felt like fidgeting. "So...you're the one he left behind." Elita tilted her head to one side, taking a moment to realize what the human meant.

"Yes, I am." she said.

"Well, sit down. Let's have a chat." Alexandra said pleasantly. Elita, confused, did as suggested.

"Who exactly are you?" she couldn't help but ask.

"I'm Alexandra Morgan, once host to the Allspark...and as the others fondly refer to me as, Optimus' other half." Alexandra said dryly. "Hence why you don't get to see him until you've gone through me."

"His other...I don't think I understand." Elita said with a frown. Her spark had faltered for a moment when the woman had said she was Optimus' other half, but like all Cybertronians, Elita knew that you only ever had one spark-mate, and she was Optimus' even as he was hers. She had no fear of being replaced.

"Optimus and I have spent the last twenty years wandering around the world together. We're, to put it mildly, rather close, and if you and I don't get along, there are going to be problems." Alexandra said patiently. "Because I'd rather he not be in the position of choosing between me and his spark-mate, since spark-mates are supposed to be together."

"And you're so sure he'd chose you over me?" Elita asked with annoyance.

"Hey, I'm mortal." Alexandra said with a grin and a shrug. "You'll still be around long after I'm dead." Elita blinked at the human's reasoning, and conceded that perhaps she was right. And considering that the woman before her still seemed to be fairly young according to what she'd been told about the human life-cycle, not getting along with her might mean spending another vorn without seeing Optimus, even though they'd be on the same planet finally.

"Point." Elita conceded, and Alexandra grinned wider.

"Good, you have some sense." she said. "Now - tell me about yourself. Optimus' tales have been coloured, understandably, by personal bias." Elita mentally sighed, resigning herself to essentially having to undergo an interview before even being allowed to see her spark-mate again. It was hours later when Alexandra declared that it was time for them to go to the bar, and Elita warily lifted the woman up and set her on her shoulder, as instructed, before heading in the direction Chromia had disappeared earlier.

They entered the building to be hit with a blast of noise. It seemed all the bots in the valley had returned to the bar now, and were having a rather loud party. The center of it seemed to be Chromia, who was currently engaged in a high-grade drinking contest with Barricade. Elita noticed with a blink that the table they were sitting at looked almost like the bottom of a Cybertronian-style memorial.

"Now that's a good use for that table!" Alexandra crowed from Elita's shoulder, and the femme looked at the human in confusion. "They thought I died. They built a memorial. I told them I'd prefer a bar, so they changed it. Well, the twins and Jazz changed it when no one else was around and they were a little tipsy from Wheeljack's first batch of high-grade, and it fell down, and then everyone decided it was a good idea so they rebuilt it properly." Elita couldn't help but laugh at that, and the noise drew the attention of several mechs near the door. One of those mechs was a very over energized Skywarp, who proceeded to try and hit on Elita until Prowl - looking, very surprisingly, a bit over energized himself - brought his fist down in the Seeker's head, and he crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

"Sorry." Prowl apologized for the Decepticon with a shrug. "Thundercracker usually keeps him in hand, but apparently the slagger is off doing something in China. We're going to go investigate what tomorrow." Elita couldn't help but stare at the tactician, so blithely mentioning knowing the location of an enemy doing something unknown and yet not planning on doing anything about it immediately.

"It's a rule that's developed - anything anyone lets slip around here, the other side can't act on until the next day, unless they find out about it another way before then." Alexandra explained pleasantly as Prowl rejoined the crowd watching Chromia and Barricade down drinks. "It started because usually both sides would be too plastered to do anything, anyways, until the next day, and has evolved since then to have its own complex subset of rules for punishments for letting things slip and what to do when one does go and act on the information and..." Alexandra shook her head. "It's complicated, but Prowl and Soundwave have it all sorted out, and that's all that matters."

"This is...incredible." Elita said in stunned surprise as she watched the spectacle. Barricade was losing the contest now, which was resulting in many jeers, and Elita had a spark-stopping moment as he waved his cannon at the Autobots around him, but that just resulted in more laughter as the swinging of his arm sent Barricade off-balance and he went tumbling to the floor. The Decepticon himself started giggling as he realized he was on the floor, and then giggled more as he proceeded to declare that he loved everybody and wanted a fluffy white bunny for a pet of his very own, like Soundwave had 'Rafael', 'Buzzer', and 'Lazybeak'. Two Decepticons Elita didn't know then hauled Barricade up, allowed Chromia to write 'I LOST TO CHROMIA' in bright pink paint on Barricade's face with a paint brush, materials supplied by Sunstreaker, then hauled him out the door, nodding to Elita as they passed.

"You'd think he'd learn." Alexandra said with amusement. "He's got the lowest tolerance of any Cybertronian, period. Anyways. Let's sit, shall we?" Elita nodded, then carefully picked her way around Skywarp and found a seat at a table, setting Alexandra down on its top. Elita took a moment to look around at the layout of the bar, noting that it had been built to handle mechs of just about any size. Tables and chairs of all heights were littered around, though there were only two heights of high-grade dispensers on the far wall, the one that backed onto the lake. The most surprising thing was that the walls - and ceiling - were covered in a large, very detailed and very beautiful, mural of Cybertron. In the very center of the ceiling, unexpectedly, was a single sun with a purple lightning bolt through it.

"Scary, ain't it? Who knew the most psychopathic Autobot had artistic talent, let alone Thundercracker." Alexandra commented from the table, obviously noticing where Elita's gaze had been, and the femme bot looked down in surprise.

"Sunstreaker and Thundercracker did that?" she asked in surprise.

"Locked themselves in for a week to do it and came out giggling and high from the paint fumes." Prowl commented from Elita's shoulder, and she turned to look incredulously up at him. "May I join you?" he asked, motioning to a chair at the table with a hand holding a full container of high-grade.

"Of course." Elita said with a nod, and Prowl took a seat, only to be joined by Chromia and Ironhide, who didn't even bother to ask permission before sitting. Elita noticed for the first time that there was a young woman on Ironhide's shoulder, and she slid down to join Alexandra on the table once Ironhide was seated.

"Hey Anna. What was the final score?" Alexandra asked the other human conversationally.

"Eight. Even less than last time. I think his tolerance is actually going down." the young woman, presumably Anna, replied with a giggle.

"To be fair, he'd had a few before he challenged Chromia." Ironhide grunted, though his amusement was clear.

"He's still got no tolerance." Anna said with a laugh, and Ironhide nodded, then turned his attention to Elita.

"So how do you like our lovely establishment?" he asked, waving a hand vaguely to indicate the building.

"It's...interesting." Elita said, even as she heard another uproar off to the side and turned to see Bluestreak and Sideswipe engaged in a wrestling match. The others, surprisingly, seemed to be trying to pull them apart, and Elita realized why, remembering the 'non-aggression protocols' Ratchet had told her about as both mechs suddenly slumped into recharge, and the others started whining about having to haul the two out of the bar now. Sunstreaker spear-headed the movement to leave them where they were, but Prowl shouted him down and told him to get his brother and Bluestreak to a recharge bed - and Skywarp, too, while he was at it. The yellow bot grumbled, but did as ordered, roping Hound into helping.

"It's normally not this lively." Prowl said as he sat back down. "But everyone seems to have decided that the arrival of the first femmes warranted a celebration."

"Completely justified, if y'ask me." Ironhide said with a nod, grinning sappishly at Chromia, who grinned right back.

"Well, considering most of you haven't seen a femme in, what, ten million years? I think it's justified." Elita said with amusement. It was an adjustment, getting used to the lazy attitude both Autobots and Decepticons seemed to have towards the war here on Earth, but she found herself liking it much more than the harsh this-is-how-it-is-so-shape-up-or-die attitude that was among the Cybertronians in the rest of the universe.

"Exactly." Prowl said with a nod, then suddenly shook his head and blinked. "I think it's time for me to go recharge." With that declaration, he stood and headed out without saying goodbye, leaving a half-empty container of high-grade behind. The others watched him go with amusement.

"Bet you a get-out-of-jail-free card for the next trip to a school for show-and-tell that he 'accidentally' ends up in Jazz's recharge bed again." Anna said to Alexandra with amusement.

"No deal for a foregone conclusion." Alexandra replied with a snicker. Elita blinked down at the two humans, then looked at Ironhide curiously.

"It's a long story." he said with a grin. "Now, how about we get you something to drink?" Chromia went and got some high-grade energon, and Elita, though she tried to keep herself from getting over energized, ended up completely out of it by the end of the night - something she blamed entirely on the grinning Chromia, who had evidently been filled in on the situation with Alexandra and Optimus, and was determined to show her commander's worst side to the human woman.

So Elita found herself waking the next morning in a recharge bed she hadn't remembered getting into with aching circuits. She considered just going back into recharge until the last of the side effects of the high-grade wore off, but a familiar voice outside caught her attention, and she pulled herself out of the recharge bed and headed for the door to both her room and the building. Stepping outside, it didn't take her long to find the familiar figure of her spark-mate, standing near the lake, chatting with someone on his shoulder - presumably Alexandra. He didn't seem to have noticed her, so Elita simply watched him for a moment, enjoying the fact that he was so near again. Then, recalling that whether or not she would be able to continue to see him was left entirely up to the human he was talking to, Elita shook her head and steeled herself against whatever may come as she headed over. Alexandra spotted her as she approached, and when Elita was near enough, the human got Optimus to look around at her. The surprise was clear on his face, and Elita realized that no one had told him she was there.

"I should toss you into the lake." Optimus said conversationally to Alexandra as he obviously realized the same thing.

"Toss Ratchet first, he was the one who told me before you." Alexandra retorted with a grin. "Now lemme down, I got enough of an eyeful last night when Chromia jumped 'Hide in the bar." Optimus chuckled and let the human down from his shoulder, and she ran off with a wave to Elita. Once she'd disappeared inside one of the residences, the two bots returned their attention to each other.

"Elita." Optimus said softly, stepping closer and bringing up a hand to cup the side of her face. Elita smiled at him, knowing that she'd never be separated from her spark-mate again.

- C'EST FINIS! That means the end! Romantic robot scenes are hard to write! So go home, it's over! -