The brilliant spring sun shone down over the small house that sat
perched on top of the hill. Birds flitted in and out of the clothes
lines that had recently been hung and soft breeze rustled through the
sheets that hung limply from the exposed lines.
Sarah Lennox brushed a tendril of blond hair from her face and glanced over to see her two year old daughter, Annabelle, chase after a butterfly that had ventured too close. She smiled warmly at the sight, her arm absently wrapping around her abdomen as the newest member of the Lennox family began to kick irritably against her ribs. Already six months pregnant with their second child and trying to keep a curious toddler busy was enough to rattle anyone's nerves. However, sometimes it was nice to have an extra pair of eyes watching when she could not.
Off in the distance, a large, metallic figure leaned back against a sturdy oak tree, watching the tiny human carefully. Shortly after the battle with Megatron, when the autobots had gone their separate ways to keep watch over the humans, Ironhide had chosen to stay with Will Lennox. The weapons specialist had been impressed with Lennox's knowledge of human warfare and likewise, the human had been impressed with the autobot's knowledge of…well, non-human warfare. The match seemed almost necessary and thus, Lennox had acquired an autobot all his own in the form of a sleek, black GMC pickup.
Currently, however, Will was away on business, trusting Ironhide to watch over his family in his absence. The large robot had agreed, even though he really had no idea what to expect and contended to simply sit and watch for the time being.
At first, both Will and Sarah had been hesitant to let Annabelle
wander too close to the massive robot, knowing full well that without
even meaning to he could crush her. Their daughter, however, wouldn't
hear of it. Every time she got the chance, she would toddle over to
the big robot and walk circles around him as if trying to memorize
every detail. Ironhide was somewhat impressed by the tiny human's
mix of curiosity and bravery and acted with gentleness of a surgeon
when being close to the little girl. She was never once afraid of
him, often giggling and laughing brightly when he would play with
her. The sight was both odd and sweet at the same time.
Annabelle, having just learned to walk and talk around the exact same time, pranced around the large yard with the awkward steps of toddler, pointing out the various objects and things she could pronounce.
By "bot", she probably meant him, but having yet to make that connection, she simply called him what she could remember.
The little girl skipped and jogged through the tall grass, clutching a purple rabbit she'd gotten for Easter tightly. The rabbit's neck was in a permanent state of broken and often flopped to the side uselessly when she set it down. Also, to add to its pitiful appearance, one ear was missing along with half of an eye that had been lost somewhere in the depths of the house. However, the little girl treated the toy as if it were made of gold and hauled it with her everywhere.
Occasionally, Annabelle would trip and fall causing both her mother and Ironhide to stiffen in the anticipation of sudden tears. However, seeing as how most children are indestructible(1), the little girl would simply pick herself up off the ground, dust off her little sun dress and keep right on with whatever it was she was doing.
Ironhide watched the tiny figure run toward him at a full blown tilt, the purple bunny tucked under one tiny arm. Once she'd reached him, she flashed him a brilliant smile of about six teeth and plopped the bunny on the ground next to him.
The bunny had definitely seen better days and was now covered in leaves and dirt from the adventure it had endured earlier. As she set it down, the head flopped back and rolled to a stop at the back of its neck. The toddler grinned again, waiting.
Ironhide knew this game. It was a lot like the one Will played with the family's golden retriever. Carefully, he picked up the dusty bunny and tossed it a few feet away.
Annabelle squealed with delight and laughed with every ounce of strength she could muster, chasing after the bunny. A few seconds later, she returned triumphantly and dropped the bunny back at his feet. Usually, this game would last for about 5 minutes before she got tired and wandered off to do something else. Today however, the game continued on for much longer than it normally did to the point where Ironhide was getting bored of throwing the rabbit.
"GO PLAY." He urged quietly, forcing his voice to be soft and not as booming as it normally was.
Annabelle regarded him with large, blue-green eyes, her strawberry-blond hair falling over her eyes in light, wispy curls. She grinned broadly and pushed the bunny into his foot.
Sarah, having just finished hanging the last sheet on the line, turned and watched for a minute. "Anna, leave him alone, sweetie. He may not want to play anymore."
The toddler seemed to consider this for a minute and proceeded to ignore it. She pressed the purple bunny against his foot, rubbing the synthetic fur against alien metal.
Ironhide, in return, shot Sarah a helpless look. Sarah smiled knowingly and walked over to offer some assistance. Coming up next to her daughter, Sarah crouched slowly and carefully, wrapping her arm over her stomach.
"Hey, Anna, can I take Mr. Peeps inside for a bath? He's really, really dirty and we don't want him to get dirt all over the floor do we?"
Annabelle thought for a minute and shook her head, sending curling into her eyes. "No." she said finally. "Mr. Peeps needs a bath."
Sarah smiled and kissed her little girl on the forehead, brushing hair from her eyes. "Do you want to help me? Mr. Peeps might be scared if you're not there with him."
Once again, the little girl shook her head but this time it was not in agreement. "No…wanna stay here." She insisted, pointing at the ground where she was standing.
Sarah looked up at Ironhide, seeing what he thought of the situation. The larger robot simply shrugged and nodded that it was alright if she stayed. Nodding in return, Sarah stood slowly, stretching her back on the way up. "Okay Anna, well Mama's going to go inside to give Mr. Peeps a bath. You sure you don't want to come?"
Annabelle nodded so hard she almost fell over and planted her little feet to make her point known.
Sarah started to say something else but the sound of the phone ringing caught her attention. She hesitated between going to answer it and staying outside with her daughter and the autobot. It wasn't that she didn't trust him but it would just be so easy for an accident to happen…
"SARAH," the robot said, interrupting her thoughts. "I'LL WATCH HER. DO NOT WORRY."
Pausing for a minute more, Sarah finally nodded and walked off towards the house to answer the phone. "Mama will be right back, Anna, okay?" She called back.
Annabelle barely noticed as she began to circle Ironhide. Her tiny hands brushed and patted his metal legs, feeling, discovering, and learning what he was. Large lenses focused on her, watching carefully as she made her rounds.
She reached one giant hand that had been sitting on the ground and stared at it for a long time. After a few seconds, she held up one of her hands and looked down at his much larger one, almost as if she was comparing sizes.
Ironhide lifted his hand very slowly and flexed his fingers so that his hand was flat and identical to hers in the air. The toddler's eyes widened and she put up her other hand in a desperate attempt to make her two bigger than his one but to no avail. Ironhide chuckled deeply, watching as the little girl stared between her hands and his. Watching a young human learn was always an entertaining pastime.
After a few more seconds of contemplation, Annabelle extended her arms all the way out as if wanting to be picked up.
This time, it was Ironhide's eyes that widened. He looked back and forth between the house and the toddler below. Annabelle made a soft noise that sounded like a whimper, causing him to look down.
Resigning his hand to its fate, the giant robot sighed softly and gently sat his hand down on the ground for her to climb into. Annabelle grinned with all the exuberance a two year old can possess and hurried over to his waiting palm. However, as she ran, a rather large clump of dirt decided to make itself known, causing her to trip and fall to the ground.
Ironhide's eyes widened again as the little girl fell. "ANNABELLE, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?"(2)
Slowly, she stood up and looked down. A rough scrape covered her knee and had begun to ooze blood lazily. Before he could react, large crocodile tears formed in the toddler's eyes and she began to sob.
Tiny hands covered her face and harsh hiccups caused her little shoulders to hitch as she cried.
Ironhide looked on helplessly, wanting to call out to Sarah but fearing to in response to her reaction. Very, very gently, he scooped the sobbing little girl into his hand and held her close.
The soft, soothing shush noises he was trying to make came out as more of hiss than anything else causing the toddler to cry harder. Panicked and not sure of what else to do, the massive robot began to rock the tiny human girl. He'd seen it dozens of times when Sarah or Will held Annabelle when she was asleep. The motion seemed soothing enough and was worth a try.
His efforts paid off and eventually, Annabelle's tears began to subside, leaving long, clear tracks down her little face.
"DON'T CRY, ANNABELLE." He pleaded softly in the most comforting voice he could muster. "EVERTHING IS ALRIGHT."
The little girl nodded carefully after a few minutes and snuggled deeper into his massive palm. The scrape had already stopped bleeding and now just left a bright red mark on her knee. Curling in on herself slightly, Annabelle hugged onto one of Ironhide's fingers.
Muttering reassurances and comforting words, Ironhide continued to gently rock the little girl until she'd fallen asleep, curled in his palm. He smiled faintly, watching her sleep and looked up when he saw Sarah remerge from the house.
He quietly explained what had happened and gently handed his sleeping charge to her mother. Sarah smiled in appreciation and thanked him, rubbing his leg comfortingly as she supported the sleeping Annabelle with one arm.
As he watched the young woman take her daughter in the house, Ironhide sat back against the tree once more, deciding that maybe babysitting wasn't so bad after all.
Something I've noticed is that a little kid, especially little boys, can crack their skull open and continue playing as if nothing happened! Children are indestructible!
If you see a little kid fall, never ask them if they're alright. Once you do, it immediately makes them notice any injuries and causes the Niagra Falls of tears.
Hope you enjoyed it!! Kinda different from my normal stories but I thought it might be fun to write!