Generation Breakers: Imposition
Relevant Song: Jewel "The New Wild West"
Jazz stared up at the night sky, laying upon his back with one hand behind his head. The solitude he felt was something so sweet. Sweet, but scary. There was some kind of insecurity that he felt whenever he was alone from any kind of company, whether Autobot or human. The other Autobots could and would leave an internal communications link so that he could at least feel their presence, if not outright talk with them. Bumblebee especially had the gift of Cybertronian humming and crooning, something that he had missed being able to do in all those eons since being rendered mute.
Oh . . . yes, it truly was unmistakable, Raevyn's walk. She moved so differently than how he and the others did, even than how the other humans walked. Turning his head, he watched her as she walked up to him, kissed his brow, and then climbed onto his chest. She curled up on her side, her ear perfectly parallel with his Spark. Curling his free hand over and around her, Jazz just couldn't find it in him to share the sound of his Spark with her. Fear had caught up with him again. He couldn't even calm his mind enough to find a song to help dispel the rest of his worry. The mental anguish was beginning to become too much, even for him. "What happened to me?"
"When I came back."
Her voice was barely above a whisper. "I don't know."
They stayed silent for a long moment, Raevyn trying to help Jazz calm himself down, to help him put himself at ease. Finally, Raevyn just began humming, then singing, an old, soothing song that she had learned. She didn't know if it would help him or not, only that it would do something to calm her own mind and emotions. She certainly didn't expect a bass rumble to drift up and harmonize with her. Sometimes it fell back, uncertain . . . sometimes it was stronger than her own voice, almost drowning her out. Repeating the chorus one last time, Raevyn sighed and whispered, "Darlin', haven't you asked about it?"
Calmed so that he was able to play songs in the back of his mind again, Jazz shook his head. "How could I? Ratchet's damn prickly about Spark issues, and Prime . . ."
"You can talk to to him about anything, and you know it." Rubbing her cheek against his warm metal chest, Raevyn sighed. "But I want to be there to hear what really happened."
"Babe, they couldn't pry you away from me if I wanted you there to stand aside me. I would never let 'em exclude you from knowing that kind of information." He tried to smile for her, but it faltered, causing the Autobot to sigh again. "I . . . I don't know if I really wanna know about it, Hawkeye."
"Do you want to keep feeling this way?" she asked quickly, raising her head to look at him, pushing up his visor to see his optics clearly.
His voice was soft, truthful. "No."
"Then I'll be there to lend you strength. C'mon . . . let's go."
All Jazz could think of was that it was almost funny to hear a human offer to lend strength to a being that was over twice her height, and many times more than her mass.
He was resting, still recharging from the massive output of energy he had put out in his recent endeavors. It had been well worth it . . . now that Jazz was back.
Activating his optics, the Autobot leader looked down with a smile, welcoming Jazz and Raevyn silently. He had been sitting, arms propped up on his knees, with his head tilted back and optics off, his face aimed at the star-strewn sky. Silently, Jazz walked up to one of the first individuals who had ever been able to truly befriend him and earn his complete trust. He sat beside the large Autobot, causing Raevyn to move herself from her perch upon his shoulder to the cradle of his arms. She sat within them, leaning her back against his chest comfortably, watching Prime with a look of intense curiosity. It took Jazz some time to get the words out.
"How . . . was I brought back, Optimus?"
Sighing, Prime looked up at the sky again. His voice was gentle, reassuring. "I was worried that you might never wish to know, Jazz. And I'm relieved that you are getting over your fear." Taking his time in answering, thinking over his words carefully, he looked back a the duo slowly, as if time were of no matter. Which was indeed true for the Autobots. When he spoke it was with gravity. "Jazz, I do know that you remember what Megatron did to you."
"Y-yeah. And I remember dying." Jazz's gaze was never off of his leader's face, even though it had faltered, flickered, and gone out in an attempt to block the memory.
"Your Spark did indeed leave for the Matrix. And with the help and advice from the Primes before me, I was able to petition for your return." The head lowered slightly. "I am honored that you wished to come back."
"Did I say as much?"
"Yes . . . and you knew that you would not be able to remember the time you spent within the Matrix until you were ready to return to it. I asked you what you wished to do. I did not ask you if you wanted to stay or return, as it would have shown a bias upon my behalf. That would not have been fair to you, as it could have pressured you to either stay or return." Pausing, Optimus shook his head. "I wished for you to decide for yourself what the next step of your existence was to be."
Jazz sighed, accepting this. "And I wanted to come back."
"You felt that you had something else to do . . ."
"I would have said that you needed help keeping the others from killing each other and getting too serious. I have a job to do in absence of the twins. You know of the promise they made me make."
"To prank and to cause trouble, all the while keeping a watch over us with the same level of ferocity that they portray," Optimus chuckled, watching as Raevyn shifted slightly, causing Jazz to move without thinking about it, his arms shifting to create a more comfortable seat for her.
After a long moment where nothing was said, Jazz asked, "D'you think that we'll see the others soon?"
"If I were to rely upon my own instincts and feelings, then yes, Jazz. I do believe so." A smirk was in the leader's voice as he turned to look down at his first lieutenant. "You just wish to get into trouble with the twins."
"Well, can you expect me to be so responsible as to turn down the chance to cause trouble with . . . slag, I can't even begin to wonder what he would be calling himself when he gets his rusty aft here." Jazz began perking up again, and in the brief glance that Raevyn and Optimus shared, each saw the other's spirits rise with the small Autobot's gradual recovery and acceptance of the answer he had been given. "Man! Trouble! I almost forget what it's like to get a lecture from you about responsibility."
"Got dumped." Jazz sighed. Sam had begun really picking up on the mechanical traits that everyone had seen lying dormant within him, and was spending more time with Bumblebee and Ratchet, learning more about their basic anatomy. He was still so many levels behind Raevyn that it was like teaching her all over again, so Ratchet was grateful for the practice of teaching. Jazz "stretched" his neck, a motion that he had picked up from the humans and found to be beneficial, relaxing the hydraulics and muscle-like cords that held his head above his shoulders. "Apparently, Mikayla didn't like th' fact that he didn't even tell 'er that he was travelin' out here. Among other things."
Raevyn pulled her arms out from under the armor-plating over Jazz's back, peering into the area he had opened up for her to do some general maintenance upon. "So she dumped him for something so trivial."
"Well . . . it ain't the first time that he's gone and done something without telling her."
"He's what, eighteen?"
"Yeah, fresh into th' first stage of adulthood as you humans mark it."
Raevyn shrugged, not quite seeing the problem "So he's an impulsive young man. All my guy friends around here have that kind of problem. They want something, run to go get it, and then find out they totally forgot to let someone know."
Sighing, Jazz shook his head, looking over his shoulder at his human. "I want to go out there and make sure he's doing all right."
"Just keep yourself parked for a moment longer until I get everything reattached, okay? Then I'll go pack a bag and talk to Dad." She ducked her head and shoulders back under the armor he had lifted, hands working with swift, sure movements.
"Not your mother?" The Autobot's voice echoed around her head, causing her to smile as he let down the dampening field around his Spark.
Looking up at the chamber, seeing it barely an arm's length away, she tapped what consisted of a piece of his skeletal structure with a screwdriver, knowing that it wouldn't harm or hurt him. "Don't tease, Jazz, you know that she hates it when you and I take off."
"At least we're gonna make better time than if you had taken off on your own and had to stop driving to sleep."
Pausing, she looked heavenward for patience. "You want me to pull a Ratchet on you?"
"No, thanks. I'd like to keep both of my antennas."
"I'd take your hand."
"Need that, too. It's vital t' my manly existence."
". . . you're sick."
"Twisted, yeah. But'cha know what I mean."
"Yeah. You need it to make a fist and beat the crap outta Bumblebee."
"That's right. Ooh! Ooooooh. I don' know what ya just did, but wow. Woooow. Mmmm, felt good."
"This is what you can learn from Ratchet and yet don't want to. Hush. I've got to depressurize the other hydraulic tank in your shoulder a bit, and that requires you to keep still."
"Hey, babe, can I bring ya on a joyride once this is done?"
"Sure, schoolboy. And we'll go all the way to California."
"Awesoooo . . . ooooohh . . . do that again, please? Wow."
"I can't believe that I was such an idiot . . . God!" Sam stormed into the large warehouse-style former aircraft hangar that the Autobots had claimed on their "estate" as their building of operations. He continued to rant, Bumblebee transforming beside him and lifting his chin in greeting to those around them. He was angered, and that only strengthened his disinclination to talk, allowing Sam to do the complaining for both of them. "I mean, seriously! She's just like Miles said, the evil jock concubine! Dammit!" Kicking a bucket across the concrete floor, he growled some other nasty things about his now-ex-girlfriend.
Raevyn watched with a calm, nonjudgmental eye. Jazz was right to want to come here, even if because of how Bumblebee looked about ready to do something drastic. For the gentle bot, violence was only a necessity during wartime. However, what did shock the woman mechanic was that two more humans walked in. One was a birdlike woman, and the moment she heard the words coming out of Sam's mouth, she looked like she had been slapped. The other, seemingly her husband, only cocked an eyebrow at his son as he shut the human-sized door.
"I can't believe that she did that to me!"
"Sam, are you and Mikayla mated for all of life?" Optimus crouched, looking at his young human friend with a curious gaze. He had to end this ranting soon, otherwise he feared that it would drive Bumblebee to actually take the actions he was thinking about.
"Then she is allowed to leave, is she not?"
"Optimus, I'm not angry that she chose to leave me! I'm angry about--" He caught sight of his parents, growled inarticulately, and muttered, "I'll tell you later."
The birdlike woman, obviously his mother, recovered from her shock long to plant her fists upon her hips, glaring death at him. "Samuel James, if you think that you're going to get away with that kind of language, you are sorely wrong, mister!"
Raevyn walked out through the Autobots, seemingly able to materialize from their metal flesh as if she were one of them. The father stared at her in only a slightly shocked manner, seeming to have gotten used to the mannerisms of those who reside around aliens. Unlike her hubby, the wife was thrust further into shock. The young woman's smile was welcome and ready. "I guess that I'm to understand that you are Mister and Missus Witwicky."
"Sam, did you cheat on Mikayla?" the mother asked, horrified.
"God, Mom! No!"
But Raevyn, laughing, shook her head, reaching out to slap the young man's shoulder in a manner that was friendly, nothing more. No overtures of any hidden wants or lusts. "Trust me! If Spike had even tried to cheat on his ex-girlfriend with me, I would have done something to him that would have made Ratchet wince in horror."
"You are a bloody-minded young woman. It is no wonder that you can't deal with your human medical wards." Ratchet reached down to scoop her up, tossing her into the air and catching her carefully. His smile was in his voice, if not upon his face. "I feel that you are ready for some tests upon the subject matter of lubricant pumps and the first levels of understanding the neural processor we possess."
"So, wait a second here," the father said, pointing up at her. "Who are you?"
"Raevyn Hawkeye Starwalker. And yes, that's my real name. I'm Jazz's partner, and Ratchet's student. For the moment." She spun out of Ratchet's loose hold upon her, using his arms and his momentum to catch her to get onto his back, settling herself so that she peered over his shoulder with a grin. The action caused him to grumble in his native tongue.
Ironhide barked a laugh, pointing to her with a flicked hand as he leaned over Bumblebee's shoulders in a a friendly manner. "You learned that from Jazz!"
Laughing, Raevyn looked up at him with a bright grin. "You bet I did. Us small critters have to learn how to fight effectively, don't you think?"
"All right, calm down now, everyone," Ron Witwicky said, walking a few steps forward. He looked up to Raevyn. "So you're here to learn from Ratchet?"
"So that means that you're the young lady from Massachusetts."
"Then why didn't you come here in the first place to teach Sam?"
Ratchet reached over his shoulder at her thoughtful silence, plucking her off of him and setting her down so very gently. Yet the moment he set her down, Bumblebee picked her up, resting her against his cheek to say almost so quietly it was lost in the sounds of metal moving, "He needs a companion . . . human, opposite gender, and someone safe. I only ask you because I know you are able to be a friend to him before you could even begin to think of being something else with him."
"You know my stance upon love right now, Bumbles."
"I do. And I hope that you will just let him talk to you, if nothing else."
Smiling, she nodded against his metal cheek. "I'll be his friend, but I can't promise anything else."
"That is all I ask. Friendship means more to some than a lifelong vow." He set her down after one more quick nuzzle, which elicited a growl from Jazz.
"Keep y'r hands offa my girl."
Raevyn seemed to be the one to clamber all over the large metal beings on this particular day as she launched herself up to be caught and sat upon one of Jazz's shoulders. Lowering her head, she whispered into his audio, "He just asked me for a favor concerning Spike."
"I know. I heard him. I'm just giving him a hard time. Besides, the other humans didn't hear him, and only saw the actions." Winking, Jazz set her down again, pushing her forward gently so that she was within reaching distance of Ron. "Now answer his question."
She held her hand out, and he gripped it, formally sealing the introductions between the two. Her face was radiant with a smile. "Yes, I'm here to learn from Ratchet. When Spi . . . uh . . . When Sam went out to Massachusetts a while back, it was to retrieve Bumblebee, who had come to me to get his engine cleaned and for me to learn a bit about his physiology while he's in robot mode. As you should know, there was plenty of supervision, as all of the Autobots were able to look in and see what I was learning, and what I was also teaching."
"Her small hands are exactly what I need to do some regular maintenance jobs that usually would take quite a bit of effort upon my behalf." Ratchet gave the impression of cracking his knuckles, to which a grin accompanied the action. "Meaning . . . for some things that are now nothing more than asking an Autobot to remove a section of armor plating and stretch in a certain direction, they had been once a procedure that took up most of my day, starting with partially deactivating the bot and then opening them up, half-pulling their chest apart."
Ironhide, Bumblebee and Jazz all groaned at the memories of said procedures. Optimus merely looked at a screen that showed the results from long-range scanners. Sighing, he shut his optics off, picturing each visage of his other sub-commanders, the ones he had given charge of protecting and guiding and fighting with the other Autobots. They were stern, all of them, but at the same time, they were all compassionate. Each of them . . . so very unique in their own ways, in their own styles. He missed all of them. He missed Prowl and Trailbreaker . . . they had a way of helping him keep everyone in line, without actually suppressing or "rubbing them the wrong way," as the humans put it.
Blinking, he looked down at Raevyn. She had walked over to him to get his attention. His voice was contrite. "I apologize . . . I was lost in my thoughts."
She smiled and rested her hand upon his leg, nodding. He had confided in her that there were more Autobots coming, but that even he didn't know when. It had been so long since they had dared to contact one another for fear that the Decepticons would track them down and decimate their already-meager numbers. Raevyn's voice was soft, meant for the Autobots to hear and for the humans not to. "I'm going home with Spike's parents. If you need me, Jazz will be coming with us. I'll be 'working' on Bumblebee for a short while. He needs to rant to someone, and Jazz volunteered."
"Thank the Matrix," Prime breathed, relief again spreading through him. It was good to have Jazz around to help keep tempers in check, and fortunate that when Jazz's temper was rising, all that needed to keep him in line were a few words from Optimus, usually accompanied by the order to go out on a recon mission to bleed off some of his anger. "How long will you be staying with them?"
"Considering that I now have a 'company card' from Secretary Keller's office, as long as you need me. Government's just started putting me on their payroll as the secondary ambassador to your unique embassy. That and I'm getting a bonus for learning how to keep you guys alive. They figure that what I'm learning is also important enough to pay me more and keep the area around my house under strict surveillance." She shrugged, then motioned towards the parents again. "As for the parents, I'll win them over, no problem. But I'll be taking care of Bumblebee first. He's my priority."
"Not even Sam?"
"I take my duty seriously, Optimus. Keeping your comrades in good working condition, both physically and mentally, is my job." The golden eyes were serious and tender at the same time. It was in them that he read that she wanted to keep him among the list of those who could come to her to just talk. To just be. To not have to hold up to any expectations, or to come to her when one needed her to break down, able to save face around those who they fought beside.
"I understand. Contact me through Jazz when everything is settled."
Nodding, she turned around just in time to see Bumblebee transform with angry movements. Sam got into the driver's seat, and they took off through the still-open doors. Jazz cussed. "They're not goin' home. I know that body language that Bee's usin'."
"Then what're you doing standing there for?!" Raevyn hissed, walking up to him quickly. "Let's follow 'em!"
"Can you convince him to get home by eleven?" Judy asked, raising her voice of the sounds of metal shifting in a hurry. "Because he will be grounded. This was one of the nights that he said he would be staying at our place."
"I can't promise anything, Mrs. Witwicky," replied the young woman as she opened Jazz's door and hopped in, "but I can tell you this: He's always safe around the Autobots. You don't have to worry about him when he's around Bumbles." Shutting his door, she gripped the wheel, his seatbelt moving of its own accord to wrap around her. Once Ironhide pushed the door completely open again, Raevyn gripped the wheel and floored the gas pedal, peeling out. They shot out of the refurbished hangar, effortlessly driving through the night, disappearing into the darkness surprisingly quickly for a silvery-colored car.
Prime smiled out after them before looking to a positively glowing Ratchet. The medic made a "hmph!" noise before settling himself against a thick concrete pillar in a corner. Shifting his gaze to the worried parents, he reassured them. "He will be home tonight, I promise you. Raevyn and Jazz are as good and as intuitive a team as Sam and Bumblebee are. But please be lenient upon the curfew time."
Ron, sighing and shaking his head, replied, "I don't know about her. I don't know where she came from, or where she's going . . . I don't even know what she does!"
"Rest assured, Mr. Witwicky, that I do," Ratchet replied quietly, watching Ironhide turn from the open door, close it with a casual push with his foot, then back himself into a corner, sitting and curling his arms around his torso, his legs halfway pulled up, his head drooping slightly as he fell into a recharge cycle. Glad that the old warrior was able to let his guard down even that fraction of a bit, Ratchet sighed. "Allow me to tell you about my student, and a very good friend of mine. Come, sit, and rest."