TITLE: Encounter
DISCLAIMER: None of the characters belong to me, sadly. They are owned by people with a lot more money
Author's Voice of Warning (aka Author's Note):
English is not my first language; it's German. This is the best I can do. Any mistakes you find in here, collect them and you might win a prize The spell-checker said everything's okay, but you know how trustworthy those thingies are...

Their first encounter had been violent. Sam still bore the bruises and he remembered the aches in his back and legs. He also remembered the fiery red optics, the terrifying face looming over him, the dark, rough voice demanding to know if he was ladiesman217.

Back then it had been a bad dream, bordering to a nightmare, turning into horror when the full scale of his involvement had come out.

Now it was a shiver racing down his spine every time he saw the black and white Saleen Mustang. Sometimes he was parked at a corner, sometimes he drove by his school, sometimes he was nothing but a shadow in the corner of his eye.

But he was there.

He didn't mention it to Bumblebee, though he was convinced his guardian was aware of the situation. Bumblebee couldn't openly engage Barricade in battle and so far the surviving Decepticon had done nothing to threaten Sam.

He was simply there.

A shadow.

Sam gazed down the street, backpack in his hand, facing the dark prow as it nosed into the street and toward him. There was no revving of the engine, no dark rumbles, only the resonating purr of a strong, fast engine, tamed for now.

Barricade stopped, engine idling, and the two looked at one another. Sam was convinced that the Decepticon was looking at him, scanning him, but for what?

Of course, he had killed Megatron, the Decepticon leader. Killing Sam in turn might get Barricade bonus points.

Why not get it over with?

Part of Sam was freaked out, scared of getting killed, another wondered if this was really Barricade's intent.

Finally the Mustang rolled toward him – and past.

No hologram sat inside. Everything was empty.

And the police cruiser disappeared around the corner.

Bumblebee called it psychological torment. Sam wasn't so sure he felt actually tormented. Not any more.

Shouldering his backpack he walked down the street, heading for where Bumblebee was meeting him. He knew the police car was never far away, and in a terribly freaky kind of way it gave him a sense of… security.