Title: Forms of Life
Author's notes: I couldn't help but notice that we didn't see what happened to Barricade at the end of the movie. Hmmm, better take care of that.
Summary: Sam really hates walking home.
WARNING: Okay, I am not big on warnings, but I am kindly labeling this one for a reference to attempted rape. It's pretty vague but I don't want to upset anyone.
It was a truth that Sam Witwicky had always known, long before a piece of crap Camaro and alien robots had made an abrupt appearance in his life.
Walking home sucked.
He pulled his collar up a little higher and trudged on along the sidewalk. It was a good thing that he didn't live far from the school because this really was several levels of suck. Not that it was Bumblebee's fault; Optimus himself had apologized for pulling him away but they needed his help with their new base. Their reasons for needing him were definitely of the too long, didn't read category but Sam got the basics. Bumblebee had to help and therefore, Sam had to walk.
Not that he'd strictly had to go to the pep rally but Mikaela had wanted to go and, he suspected, salivate over the jocks in their tight little football uniforms. It was a sad, sad thing but saving the world hadn't given him any muscles that hadn't already been there to begin with.
So that had left him with no car and he could've asked his dad to pick him up but that would have led to lies about where the car was, and it was easier to skip that. Taking his bike had been out for the same reason and they'd missed the last bus of the day. That put him squarely back here, walking home after he'd already walked Mikaela to her place.
He marched on a little faster. Okay, he didn't have a ton of experience with girls but they'd spent the evening watching football players and her goodnight kiss had been...distant. She didn't want to hurt him, he'd already decided dismally. They'd gone through something extraordinary together but that didn't mean that either of them had like, bonded for life or anything. At least not as boyfriend and girlfriend, they were going to be friends, he was going to make certain of that, and-
Flashing lights and the sharp chirrup of a siren interrupted his thoughts and Sam groaned mentally. This was something that had changed anyway; the police in their nice little town had decided that Sam was their main criminal and were dedicated to keeping a firm handle on him. He'd long since figured out that it was better in the long run to just go with it so he didn't end up with tickets earned with a smart mouth. If he'd learned that lesson sooner, he'd have enough money to take a cab.
Turning towards the car, he slowly pulled his hands out of his pockets and raised them placating. "Hey, it's cool, officer, I..."
The hand that grabbed his arm was incredibly strong, yanking him forward towards the car and he had just enough time to see a symbol near the door, a robotic-style face that was so not Autobot...
Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.
Struggling as hard as he could, Sam kicked out at whatever was hauling him in and managed to press the tiny button on the side of his watch. Optimus had given it to him not long after everything had gone down, a way to call them if he ever needed help. He really hoped that he wouldn't be dead before they got here.
"LadiesMan217 aka Samuel Witwicky!" A metallic voice thundered at him. "You will be punished."
"Shit," Sam gasped, scrabbling at the ground and then the doorframe, fighting as hard as he could to just not get pulled inside. His pants slipped down to his hips and tore down his legs as he kicked and fought and he managed one terrified glance over his shoulder and fuck, fuck, he so could not fight a twenty-foot robot on his own...the hell?
It was a human that was pulling him into the car, tearing his pants down to his ankles and swarming over him, forcing him back against the seats, hard hands and a deceptively strong body holding him down. Sam jerked his knee up and managed to catch the cop right between the legs. His expression never changed but Sam felt as much as saw him flicker. Not human then, not even close and he was so, so screwed.
"You will be punished Samuel Witwicky," that voice said again, the cop's mouth moving but the sound came from further away. "I have investigated the methods appropriate for your species and I can assure you-" this time the words came from the cop, false breath hot against Sam's face, "It will be unpleasant." The cop pressed his hips forward, forcing one leg between Sam's and he realized with a touch of real terror that killing him wasn't what was on the Decepticon's mind.
There was no time for a renewed struggling when the night suddenly exploded into light and screeching metal. The car jolted violently, the cop-hologram or whatever hell it was vanishing and with nothing holding him, Sam tumbled out of the open car door and out onto the pavement. The stinging pain in his scraped hands and knees was a distant point in the back of his mind as Sam crawled frantically away, his pants around his ankles hindering him. He caught a flash of yellow out of the corner of his eye, the familiar smell of gasoline and burning rubber that heralded the arrival of his friends. It was all he could do to hobble as far out of the way as he could so they wouldn't have to worry about hurting him. It was all over far too quickly, almost faster than he could think, and there was a familiar sound of transformation and tires tearing away.
The night was abruptly silent and Sam leaned up weakly on his elbow. Everyone was gone except one shadowy figure, gleaming yellow in the streetlights. It made it easy for Sam to close his eyes and just concentrate on breathing.
The ground shook gently, whirring gears and hydraulics as Bumblebee knelt next to him. "Sam? Are you hurt? I tried to plan the trajectory to allow for your escape undamaged but-"
"I'm fine, Bee, really." Sam realized dimly that his teeth were chattering but it seemed a lot more important at the moment to see the windows up and down the street filling with lights. "You know, I bet this isn't what the feds were thinking of when they told us to be discreet."
Immediately Bee shifted to his car form, the door opening up for Sam to crawl awkwardly inside, flopping into the seat. Warm air blasted from the vent, soothing as an embrace. The engine roared to life and they took off down the street, a rolling advertisement for nonchalant, nothing going on here mannerisms.
"You are aware that it looks like no one is driving, right?" he mumbled. His pants were still around his ankles and Sam tried to decide idly if it was worth pulling them back up. They were torn pretty badly but if his parents were still up he'd have to think of a reason for coming home pantless and if he had to do that, this would officially be the worst day ever.
"You are certain you are unhurt? Your clothing is in disarray." Was it him, or did Bee's voice mod sound oddly...tight.
"I'm fine, really. Does seem like that whenever I'm around that guy someone is always after my pants, though," he said.
Bumblebee made a disagreeable rumbling sound.
"Still no driver," Sam pointed out.
A flicker of light from...somewhere, he wasn't sure, and then the seat was abruptly occupied. A teenager about his age, with dirty blond hair flopping into his eyes was concentrating on the road. He didn't glance Sam's way when he reached out and lightly touched it, his fingers fading through the boy's arm.
"Oh," Sam said, not quite surprised. "It's not solid."
"No, I didn't think it would need to be." Oddly hesitant. "Would you prefer it to be?"
"I didn't know you could do that. Make it solid, I mean."
"It's not that complicated, merely a..." Bee trailed off, probably remembering other occasions of trying to explain to Sam about weird Autobot mojo. "Perhaps it is a little complicated," he conceded.
"He was solid," Sam murmured. "He said he had to punish me, for what I did."
Bee remained silent for a long moment, the only sound was his engine revving to a high whine. When he spoke, his voice modulator was oddly gentle. "Sam, you and your parents are not going to be safe. We are going to have to move you all elsewhere."
"I know," he said, distantly. He was so tired, the scrapes on his hands stinging.
"I am sorry. It seems you have made your planet safe for everyone but yourself."
"It was worth it," he said immediately. Way worth it. Saving the planet, gaining a group of robots as movie night buddies. Way, way worth it.
"We will have to inform your parents of the circumstances."
Suddenly, the annihilation of the human race didn't seem quite as bad. "Aw, man," he groaned, flopping over the arm rest. He came to an abrupt stop against the solid form in the driver's seat and jerked away with a decidedly unmanly squawk of surprise.
"I'm sorry, Sam, I thought you wanted-"
"No, no, it's cool, I just thought I'd like, see something happen or...I don't know. Something."
"If it was a visual change, it would hardly be discreet."
"Can't argue that," Sam yawned. He reached down and managed to wriggle into his a bit too well-worn jeans. "Give me a nudge when we get home, would you?"
"Of course, Sam."
The seat shifted, moving automatically into a position that would be most comfortable for sleeping. Sam ignored it and moved instead to lean his head against the shoulder of the figure in the driver's seat. He could feel warmth seeping through its...his t-shirt, the flesh beneath it firm but with realistic give. With his head on the driver and his hand wrapped loosely around the gear shift, Sam drifted off to sleep.
Whatever gods hadn't been with him at the beginning of the night had rejoined them by the time Bumblebee had awoken him at his house. His parents hadn't given him more than a cursory goodnight since he was at least five minutes before curfew and he'd gone upstairs for an uneventful shower before falling into bed.
Where he'd been lying for about three hours now, unable to sleep. He'd heard his parents come upstairs a long time ago, could hear his father's snoring creeping in under the door. But wherever the Sandman was, he hadn't chosen to make a stop at Sam Witwicky's bedroom. He glanced at his clock and watched as 3:18am slipped to 3:19. 3:20.
"Hell with it," he muttered, slipped out of bed. He pulled on a pair of clean jeans and a t-shirt before padding silently downstairs in his bare feet and out the front door. Bee was parked in a shadowy section of the driveway, having refused previous offers of the garage in order to provide the best protection he could.
"Sam? What's wrong? Are your injuries worsening?" No hint that he'd been resting at all. Sam wondered if they ever did.
"No, I'm fine, I...I just...can you make your hologram again?"
"Sam, I have researched the reactions of people who have gone through trauma like you have and I am concerned about-
"I am not traumatized," he said impatiently. "I just can't talk to a giant robot in my backyard so much, so can you please?"
"If you like." The teenager that he'd seen driving his car earlier that night reappeared in a shimmer of light not unlike the Star Trek that Bumblebee was so fond of quoting. He was leaning against the car door, hands in his pockets, and his eyes were on Sam.
"I like, thanks. I tell you, I am about a hundred times more traumatized imagining talking to my parents tomorrow than by anything that Decepticon bastard did." He sighed, the hologram's green eyes watching him with a reasonable facsimile of concern. "You have no idea what I mean, do you?"
"Not specifically, having neither progeny nor a progenitor. However, I can easily understand how one might fear disappointing a superior."
Sam gave him a lopsided smile, "I guess you-hey!" He took a double take. "He spoke."
"Of course he did, is he not me?" The hologram, no, Bumblebee said, dryly. "You did say you didn't want to speak to a giant robot."
Guilt flooded him. "I didn't mean-"
"I know what you meant," he soothed. Of course he would. Bumblebee always knew exactly what he meant.
"I just-" he sighed again. "They've worked really hard for everything here and now I'm going to tell them they have to leave."
"I'm sure they will understand, Sam, and I can't see them having any arguments about keeping you safe."
"I know, I know." Sam ran one hand through his hair roughly. A hand on his arm nearly made him stifle a scream but it was only Bumblebee's hologram, his touch gentle.
"None of this is your fault, Sam, you must remember that," Bumblebee said quietly and Sam marveled distantly that he could feel breath, just like he had earlier. It was absolutely the weirdest, coolest thing ever, how they could mimic humanity so clearly but really, that was just a thing with them, wasn't it? Mimicking, disguising. Stood to reason that after a few thousand years they'd be pretty damn good at it. He blinked a little and realized guiltily that Bee was still talking.
"...grandfather's fault if it is anyone's, although laying the blame with him is not quite appropriate either...Sam? Are you all right?"
He was leaning in way past the point of Bee's comfort zone, if he'd been human. It still made Sam flush a little and step back. "Maybe we should get inside before my parents see me talking to a strange guy at three am. Might as well not make them worry sooner than they need to."
Both doors swung open obligingly and Sam slipped into the backseat, saw the holo-Bee hesitate a moment in surprise before he joined him.
"I still think that it won't be as bad as you're fearing," Bee told him, leaning against the window in a little getting-comfy gesture that was so human that Sam felt strange doing the same. "There are several options available. Your government already expressed concern about your family remaining as you are in a civilian population.
"Great, so they'll hide us on some military base like we're prisoners," Sam snorted. "That'll make them happy."
"Perhaps, but I believe that they were more inclined to change your identities and let you begin your lives afresh. It will be similar, at least, to your lives now." A faint smile curved one corner of his mouth. "I'm sure the government would assist your parents in creating a new garden."
Sam couldn't help laughing. "Yeah, that'll be a great selling point. A government-mandated garden, mom, how can you go wrong!"
"Another option would be for your family to join us," Bumblebee continued, quietly. "It would be a different sort of life for you all, but I promise that we would all protect you to the best of our abilities. I would not see you hurt, Sam."
The promise in those words was as hard as stone, as steel, and it made Sam blush again, stupidly. "I know you wouldn't."
"That option would perhaps be best for allowing Mikaela to accompany you," Bee added and Sam was shaking his head before he'd even finished.
"No, no, absolutely not, she is not coming. They knew my name, not Mikaela's. She deserves a chance to live a normal life."
Bumblebee looked thoughtful, digesting this piece of information. "I understand, but she may feel differently."
"She isn't getting a choice," Sam said firmly. There was no way in hell he was going to uproot her life just because she felt too guilty to break up with him. "Besides, I won't exactly be lonely; you'll be there with me." It made him smile a little, just to think of it.
"Anywhere." Not a millisecond of hesitation. Holo-Bee smiled, his head tilting slightly in a way that made his hair slip down over his eyes. Without thinking, Sam reached out and pushed it back, fingers sifting through incredible softness that wasn't, quite, like any hair he'd ever touched. It made him want to touch it again, slipping one hand into it to curve around his head.
"Can you feel this?" Sam asked curiously. Quietly.
Wide green eyes were on his. "I...could. A hologram that is within close proximity can be connected with receptors. It would be similar to human touch sensory."
He felt the change that he hadn't seen before when Bumblebee had made it solid, a low humming vibration just beneath the skin that wasn't nearly as strange to him as it would have been...had it only been a few months? It felt like the Autobots had already been here forever, that life before Bumblebee hadn't even existed and the hologram beneath his hands had closed his eyes, lips parted and damp and Sam realized he'd been practically massaging Bumblebee's scalp, fingers sliding through oh, so soft hair and...
Sam didn't think, really, that he'd meant to do this. Didn't actually mean to be practically straddling the anthropomorphic personification of his best friend, seriously didn't think he'd meant to be feeling him up. Kissing him, though, pressing his mouth against Bee's open one, well. That he'd meant to do. Seriously.
Just pushed his tongue into that soft, wet, oh god, soft mouth and remembered that one time at summer camp and Charlie Smyth's awkward, sticky kiss, tasting of marshmallows and chocolate and heat. Bee tasted like...he wasn't sure. It was like if purple was a flavor, an electric current that wasn't quite connecting, like holding a penny on your tongue.
He thought maybe he was clutching Bee's head a little too hard, holding him still and please, don't pull away, not yet, not ...and then the seat was abruptly beneath his back, skin-warmed leather and Bee over him, one knee between his legs like earlier and
nothing, it was nothing like earlier
Pushed him back against the seat, his mouth clumsy against Sam's and his hands...shaking?
"Bee," Sam tried, pushing feebly at his shoulders and had he thought Bee was clumsy? If he had been, he was learning damned quickly and this was nothing like summer camp, cool hands skimming beneath his shirt, unerringly finding a nipple and pinching it was just the perfect amount of force to make Sam arch up with a gasp. His hands decided suddenly that this was the best idea ever and they grabbed at Bee's shoulders, pulling him down.
He was so making out with his car in the backseat of his...car, and it made him laugh breathlessly, the sound captured in Bee's mouth as it pressed back over his. He was making out with his car and they were so going to come in their pants in about a minute and half, or not even because there was a hand sliding into his pants, wrapping itself around him and he'd done this much with Mikaela but even she didn't know how to twist her hand so, oh, god, perfectly, and rub a thumb over the very tip, pressing hard for just a second and when he came he swore he saw sparks behind his eyes.
"Oh...I...oh!" Bumblebee was still rubbing against his thigh, the hard line of an erection that wasn't his own was strange but it didn't stop Sam from reaching down and squeezing it through the layer of denim and whatever underclothes Bee had thought appropriate. Changing tactics to push his hand into Bee's jeans he found out that it was no underwear at all, just a damp fog of heat and skin that felt real, real, real in his palm. Another guy's cock, even if it wasn't quite actual, it wasn't a lie either and Sam wrapped his hand around it and stroked in the best Sam's Happy Time way he knew how.
It seemed that robot facsimiles liked masturbation, too. Bumblebee shuddered, moaning loudly and Sam felt more than heard the metallic hum underlying his voice, Bee's eyes glowing sharply blue and then he relaxed abruptly, limp weight on top of Sam forcing the breath out of him.
"Can't breathe here," he wheezed, pushing a little against him. Nothing. "Bee?" It took all of his strength to wriggle out from under him, sliding down to sit on the floor while he inspected the limp form on the seat, "Bee, are you all right? Bumblebee?"
"75% of receptors online," he said in a low monotone. It echoed metallically, all traces of humanity absent. "Connecting...connecting...connection made. Systems online in three...two...one..." He sucked in a sharp breath and relaxed, blinking. "Sam?" he murmured, his voice normal.
"What the hell was that? Are you all right?"
"I'm sorry if I frightened you, that was...powerful," he coughed a little, clearing his throat. "It sent my systems offline for a moment and they needed to reboot." Bee raised a still trembling hand to his head and pushed his hair back. Sweaty hair, Sam noticed, blinking. Christ, that was dedication to an illusion. "I've never felt anything like that," Bee admitted.
"You've never done anything like that?" Sam winced. Holy god, he'd just deflowered a thousand-year old virgin.
"Not precisely. I am a robotic life form, Sam," he said wryly. "My kind reproduces with energy, not touch. If I wished, I could be intimate with another of my kind from light-years away through wifi."
"Of course. I am transmitting this incident to Optimus as we speak for analysis."
"WHAT?" He stared at Bumblebee with pure embarrassed horror.
"I'm kidding, Sam." Bright amusement in his eyes.
"That's not funny," he muttered. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yes. I believe I overcompensated for the amount of sensory information in the human form. Next time, I will-" He cut off abruptly, color rising in his cheeks. Okay, so autonomous robot organisms could, in fact, be embarrassed.
"Next time you'll do better?" Sam prompted. Bee's smile was so brilliant that Sam almost felt guilty. This was probably the worst idea ever, but dammit, if he couldn't have the girl, he should be able to have the car, right?
"Yes, I will do better," There was a promise in those words, spoken low and...okay, if Bee was cruising the internet to learn seduction techniques then he wasn't sure he was going to be able to have a choice about the car.
What the hell. Sam leaned forward enough to wrap his arms around Bumblebee's waist and pressed his face against his belly. Warmth seeped through, soothing him almost as much as the gentle hand on the back of his head, stroking his hair.
"My parents would be safer with a whole new identity, wouldn't they," Sam said, not really a question. The words were muffled into Bumblebee's t-shirt. "I know you guys would do everything to protect them, but the Decepticons will be coming for you and they would be in the crossfire. Wouldn't they."
"Yes." A fingertip traced his ear, making him shiver. He really did need to see what webpages Bumblebee had been cruising.
"So that's what they are going to do," Sam took a deep breath. "And I'm coming with the Autobots."
He felt Bumblebee stiffen, felt him try to pull away but he couldn't do it without hurting Sam and eventually he subsided, still rigid in Sam's arms. "I am not going to take you away from your parents. As I said, I do not have progeny but that does not mean I'll steal another's."
"I've been eighteen for a month and that makes me an adult in human terms and you know it, you aren't stealing me from anyone." Sam glared up at him but didn't let go. "If you'll go anywhere that I will, then don't I get the same option?"
"It is hardly the same!"
"No, it's not," Sam said agreeably. "But it's my choice. If you don't like it, does that mean you'll stop protecting me?" Sam held his breath, well aware that Bumblebee didn't actually owe him anything, that the hologram he was holding was just that and could melt away at anytime.
"Of course not." Slowly, Bee relaxed again, his hands returning to Sam's hair to gently stroke. "I shouldn't have allowed this," he sighed.
"Do you think I was unaware of your attraction, Sam?"
Well, considering that Sam had been pretty unaware..."I guess not."
"It doesn't matter now." Breath rustled his hair, lips pressing against the top of his head. "I will protect you, Sam Witwicky. Always."
"I know," Sam yawned. Sleep that had seemed so elusive before was creeping up on him. "Let's take care of tomorrow, you know, tomorrow, okay?"
The radio clicking on was the only response, soothing music low and soft, and Sam drifted away with his head on Bumblebee's lap, never noticing when the hologram dimmed slightly, receptors returning to their original duty of scanning the surrounding area for anything that might endanger the sleeping young man.
It didn't dim completely, the one hand resting on Sam's head perfectly still and the hologram's eyes were closed, absorbing every piece of sensory information available and storing it away in the infinite space available in an autonomous robotic organism, from the temperature of his skin to the slow, steady beat of his heart, mimicked perfectly within his own artificial chest.