Title: Close My Eyes
Fandom: TF: Bayverse
Series: Human Series
Note: Sorry for the short chapter, working on getting back into it!
If Sam had any sense rolling around in his head just now, he would have told Bumblebee, calmly and rationally like he should be, should be, that if they happened to cruise past a state trooper right now, it would not end well. If they didn't get pulled over for the lack of driver, which was honestly probably not that visible at the speed they were going, then that very same speed was worth about a dozen tickets, if not another arrest on Sam's record.
He should say all that, if he had any sense, or any calm, any rationality. Right now, sitting in Bee's backseat driving fuck-all fast out of the little town of Perfection with blood still dripping down his neck, Sam was pretty sure he had none of the above. He did have enough brain power to think, darkly, that the town had really failed to live up to its name.
Bumblebee's holo was in the backseat with him and that pretty much cemented that he was fully uninterested in the pretense of driving. His hands were firm on Sam's neck, gentle fingertips inspecting the bloody wound.
"I'm fine, Bee," Sam protested, stupidly, not even sure it was true. The pain was dull, more of an ache than real hurt.
Bumblebee didn't answer. Something cold and wet swabbed at his neck, leaving a stinging chill in its wake. Sam hissed in protest, flinching away what little amount Bumblebee's grip would allow.
"It's only antiseptic," Bumblebee said evenly, dabbing at it again, mopping away the trickles of blood that still seeped from the ragged cut as he examined it critically. "Ratchet made me start carrying a first aid kit for humans the very day I came to stay with you."
"Remind me to thank him when we see him again," Sam mumbled, unthinkingly. It was only after he said it that it. Sam closed his eyes, flinching again from Bumblebee's more thorough than tender care. "Do you think they're okay?"
Bee didn't answer, only examined the wound again. "It's not too deep, Sam. It's not bleeding anymore. I think a Band-Aid will take care of it."
"There's no point in speculation just yet," Bee interrupted softly. Sam could hear paper rustling, the distinctive sound of a Band-Aid wrapper being opened. It was pressed carefully into place and somehow Bumblebee managed it without touching the cut itself. Not even the tiniest amount of pain past the faint throb that already existed. Of course there wasn't.
Some of his shock at nearly being murdered to death by a Decepticon in a fucking restaurant bathroom was starting to let up enough to allow some actual thought to filter in and when it did, Sam groaned aloud, burying his face into his hands.
"Fuck, my parents are probably freaking out," Sam moaned. "And Mikaela! I left her again, Jesus, Bee…we…we have to go back. I wasn't thinking clearly, I was too freaked out. We can't leave them there."
Bumblebee didn't answer, packing away the small but unsurprisingly well-stocked little first aid kit and leaned between the seats to tuck it back into the glove box. His speed never changed; according to the gauge, they were going a highly illegal hundred and something in a fifty-five zone away from civilization.
"I'm serious, Bee, we need to turn around," Sam tried to be firm, ignored the tremor in his voice.
Silence, then a quiet, "No. We are not turning around and you are not going to argue with me about it."
"What?" Sam looked at him, disbelieving and Bee kept his eyes forward, refused to meet Sam's eyes. "Fuck that, if you think you can just tell me—"
"I believe you misunderstand," Bee said, coolly, and finally, he flicked a glance at Sam. His eyes were burning an unearthly green, a very forcible reminder that Bumblebee was so not from around here. "I am not telling you what you can or cannot do. I am stating simple fact. We are not turning around."
"Oh, yeah?" If Bee thought the glowing eyes and the sudden need to assert his dominance were going to help him out, he had another fucking thing coming, "And you think I won't argue about that because you said so?"
"An argument requires two or more participants, Sam." His holo vanished. Fucking-
Sam ground his teeth together, eyes hot, prickling with frustration. "We left them there alone, Bee."
"We left them in a decent motel. The rooms are paid through for the week and your father is in possession of a credit card under an assumed name that he can use for any expenses." Bee's voice always sounded slightly tinny through his internal speakers, in a way that his Holo or even his 'bot form never did.
The back of his neck itched and Sam reached up to scratch it without thinking, yelping aloud as his fingers skated over the Band-Aid. Shit, that hurt. Finally, he said, low, "You gave them a credit card?" Like he'd been planning for this. Like Bee had been ready to abandon them the first chance he'd gotten.
"Yes, in case of an emergency. It's just a simple plastic, easily replicated."
"You said yourself, Sam. If the Decepticons were interested in them, whoever it was that discovered us could have easily…" Bee hesitated, the low thrum of his engine the only sound. "…hurt them. For that matter, he could have hurt you a great deal more than he did."
"Then why didn't he? Or take me with him or…or do anything!"
"He did do something, Sam," very quietly, almost gently. "We just don't know what."
There didn't seem like much he could say to that and Sam sank down into the seat, resting his aching head in his hands.
After a long time of cumulative silence, Sam refusing to speak and Bumblebee either respecting that or just not wanting to talk himself, Sam had finally succumbed to sleep. The days of unrest, of everything, came crashing down and he'd drifted off in the backseat, curled up and trying to ignore the way the seat itself seemed to conform to his body, offering whatever comfort was possible.
It was hours later and the sun was ghosting past the horizon when Sam woke up again. He ignored the glory of the sunset, unsurprisingly gorgeous as it inched past the desert horizon, and focused on the Holo once again sitting in the front seat. It was only when he sat up that Sam realized they'd stopped moving and he frowned as he peered out the window. They were parked next to a telephone pole, he guessed, and with a startled blink, he caught a glimpse of blond hair shimmying upward, not so much a monkey on a stick as freaking Spider-man.
"What are we doing?" Sam whispered. It felt too quiet
:: I need a hardline. ::
Oh, right. Sam closed his eyes, tried to concentrate on sending like Bee had taught him. :: You're going to tell them where we are? ::
:: Not us.::
:: Okay..:: Sam tasted sweat beading on his upper lip. He'd never been very good at this, never tried it much outside of sex. :: Then what are you doing? ::
"Contacting the others to let them know where Mikaela and your parents are." Bee's holo speaking in the silence made Sam jump and the sound he made could probably count as a shriek, if a person was uncharitable.
Sam took a deep breath, trying to calm his jumpy heart, "But...what if the Decepticons-"
"Trust me. Please." There was a note of desperation in his voice mod and when Bee turned to look at him, that glow was still in his eyes. Jesus, it was a little freaky, Bee's holo had never really seemed like anything other than a human, most times, and that visceral reminder that he was anything but—
"I trust you," Sam said, softly. Because he did. Really, he did. "You aren't telling them where we are." It wasn't a question.
"I can't let you near them yet." Bumblebee said, quietly. He shifted, blurring, and suddenly he was sitting next to Sam, leaning in towards him in a way that made Sam's somewhat neglected receptors stir in reaction, reminding him he hadn't gotten a charge since this morning. Bee's mouth was soft, inviting, and Sam leaned in, ready to taste it – only to blink in surprise when Bee leaned away, pressing a gentle hand against Sam's chest.
"What?" Sam asked, bewildered but not into that gray area of pain he ended up in when his receptors were too low.
"Sam, think for a moment," Bee said, low, "You were alone with a Decepticon and he did something to you. I can't let you near the others, or me, until I run a deep scan of your receptors codes."
The sudden chill in Sam's gut had nothing to do with the cooling nighttime temperature, a thick chunk of dread settling into his stomach. "You think he gave me a virus or something."
"It's possible." Bee said, grimly. "I need to scan you, soon."
While there were similarities, consumption of true Cybertronian high-grade was not precisely the same as a human drinking alcohol. For one, there was none of the unpleasantness of a hangover associated with it. To a mech, fuel was fuel and a higher grade only enhanced the processors pleasantly, so long as it was properly purified.
Purification was the key and that was one process that Ratchet was far from perfecting. When it was loaded with contaminations, well, that's where the processor aches came from and the impurities in Ratchet's batch of homebrew were so thick a human could see it with a naked eye.
"Not exactly Kaon special, is it," Ratchet murmured aloud. He raised the canister to the ceiling in a silent toast, swallowing down one last draught before he sealed it back up, tucking it back into its hiding place. Of course, now that Ironhide knew he had it, he'd have to find a better spot; that mech drank like he had a hole in his fuel line.
Not that Ratchet wanted to think about that pain in the aft right now; not long after he'd gotten Ratchet worked up and then left him to drink alone, he'd gotten an uncharacteristically contrite comm message from his old friend letting him know that Optimus was otherwise occupied and therefore would not be able to help him out with his 'issue'. He'd offered to let Optimus know exactly why Ratchet needed to see him so badly, a suggestion that Ratchet had rejected with a truly brilliant spat of profanity. He needed to see Optimus, yes, needed to scrape armor with him; it might be nice to explain to him why, for once.
Optimus could be amazingly tolerant of Ratchet's quirks but he doubted that even Optimus was going to let Ratchet drop him to the floor again without a little chat.
That knowledge did nothing to improve Ratchet's mood. He stomped back upstairs, receptors itching within him, clamoring for attention, for energy that the damned things could very well take from him but stubbornly refused to do so.
For all his foul temper, he gentled his steps before he made his way back into the human side of the infirmary. Most of the little humans were asleep, their fragile bodies still beneath the monitors and the stasis blankets that were regulating the nanites repairs. Most but not all and Ratchet was not surprised to see Epps was awake. He turned to look at Ratchet as he entered and the rough bruises on his face were stark to Ratchet's sensors.
Bemused, Ratchet shook his head. An Ironhide in miniature, this one, all stubbornness and strength.
Jolt was across the infirmary, his hands moving the silent efficiency and gave Ratchet a curious glance as he stepped inside. Ratchet waved it off, running his hands through a sterile field to cleanse them. Humans were so terribly vulnerable, to germs and infection, and Ratchet was taking no chances.
"How's it going, doc?" Epps said softly, flicking a glance at the other two soldiers who shared his berth. Those two were asleep like good little patients, Ratchet noted with sour amusement.
"I'll be better once I watch you walk out of here," Ratchet retorted. With a quiet groan, he settled down next to Epp's berth to check on his progress. Lifting up the stasis blanket, he scanned Epp's damaged leg. The clear gel coating it allowed the nanites to move easily and also protected against infection. Nanites were for soft tissue damage and weren't designed to heal bone. He had the equipment for it but while Sam's fractured arm had posed little difficulty, Epps's leg was a particularly ugly injury, compounded by the fact he'd lain there for Primus knew how long before Ironhide had found him.
"How's it look?"
"Like a broken leg," Ratchet said dryly. "I'm afraid I can't do anything about the break until the surrounded tissue is in better condition. Are you in any pain?"
"Can't feel a thing," Epps said easily and Ratchet grunted, double-checking the monitor. Ironhide would happily lie about his medical complications if he thought it would get him back into the field faster and Ratchet had no doubt that his miniature would do the same. For once, he found surprising honesty. There were no stress levels indicated and Epps's heart rate indicated that he was relaxed and calm.
Which meant he was doing better than Ratchet was.
Epps's was silent for a long time as Ratchet worked, his lashes trembling against his cheek and for a moment, Ratchet thought he'd fallen asleep, until the human said, quietly. "You guys found the twins, right?"
Ratchet considered his answer before decided Epps had earned his honesty. "Yes."
"In a manner of speaking; currently, they are in stasis. It would be the equivalent of unconsciousness for you."
"So, like, a coma?"
"No, I can wake them up at any time. But they would be in pain. There's no point in waking them until I've repaired them."
"So why aren't you?"
"Because I only have two hands," Ratchet said with sour amusement. "And it isn't going to hurt him to wait a bit. You and the others, on the other hand-" Ratchet let that statement slide away, unspoken. "They are going to require a considerable amount of my attention and I want you humans settled before I give it."
"The yellow guy, SunnyD. He's pretty fucked up, huh."
Ratchet didn't look up from his work. "In more ways than one."
"He saved my life."
"I'm sure it was an accident," Sourly.
"Hey," Epps said sharply, raising his voice enough that the others next to him stirred restlessly. "Maybe you didn't hear me. He saved my life. He bled for me or leaked energon or whatever the fuck it is you guys do, he did it for me and that makes him my brother as far as I'm concerned so you can just watch what you fucking say."
"I'm sorry," Ratchet said with a rare note of quiet sincerity. Ratchet understood warrior mentality far too well.
"S'all right, no apology needed." Epps studied Ratchet with tired eyes, "I ain't gonna lie, Doc, you're looking rough.
Ratchet barked out a laugh. "You are lying there with your internals visibly in need of care and you're concerned about MY appearance?"
"It's not your appearance I'm worried about. You okay, Doc?"
"Thank you for your concern, but I'm just fine." Arousal squirming through him, but otherwise, it was true.
"You know, you save my life, too." Epps's voice was taking on a slurred quality, indicating that Ratchet's choice to increase his medication was having the desired effect,
"I save a lot of lives. Don't let it go to your head."
"Yeah?" Dark eyes slitted open, glaring at him. "Maybe you need to check your hearing, Doc. I said, you saved my life and I don't forget. Brothers, remember?"
"You may wish to keep that from Sunstreaker," Ratchet told him dryly. "He has strange notions about brothers."
Sam had no idea where they were anymore. Whatever internal GPS he'd had was long since gone, there was nothing but rock and roads, headlights cutting through the blackness.
They hadn't gone too far, stopped wherever it was Bee had deemed safe enough and the two of them settled into the backseat, Sam's head pillowed in Bee's lap. Bee ran slim fingers over his temples, blunt nails skimming through the short hair.
"Sam," Bee said hesitantly, "I'm not a medic. My experience in code runs alongside with hacking."
"Okay." Sam agreed, mindlessly. He was exhausted in a way that had nothing to do with a lack of sleep, trembling minutely as Bee cupped his head in gentle hands.
Bee let out a harsh, unnecessary breath, "What I am trying to avoid saying is that I can't sedate you the same way Ratchet can. This is probably going to be uncomfortable."
"Bee," Sam said, distantly admiring calmness in his voice. "Just do it."
"Okay," Bumblebee said, softly. "Close your eyes."
"If…if you find something, do you think you can fix it?"
"Close your eyes, Sam," So very softly, gentle as soothing a small child.
"Wait," Sam shifted, trying to sit up, failing against Bee's suddenly firm grip. "If you connect to me, won't you get—"
"Sam. Close your eyes," A hand was laid over his eyes and Sam grabbed it desperately, squeezing.
And then…like a thousand tiny electrified needles were traveling over him. Sam couldn't hold still, thrashing gracelessly in Bee's hands, low, thick sounds escaping him. He barely noticed Bee straddling him, holding him down, it seemed to go on forever, the high whine in his head reminiscent of a dentist drill, fuck, oh, god, he couldn't take it anymore, he couldn't.
Abruptly it was gone and Sam could breathe, feel the chill dampness of his own sweat, his shirt clinging clammily.
"Sam?" Bee said and Sam opened his eyes to look at him. Concerned, yes, eyes still bright but there was no fear in that gaze. No mourning.
Sam tipped his head up and closed his mouth over Bee's, no talking, not yet. Tasted the sweet warmth of his lips and Bee only kissed him back in the dimmed silence of his own backseat.