The plunnies wouldn't leave me alone, so this is now a series of loosely related ficlets (put up in no particular order) about Ironhide and the Lennox family. Annabelle's age will be the closest thing this story is likely to get in terms of a specific order of events.
New (Annabelle age 16)
"Oh, come on!"
Ironhide shook his head, stubbornly folding his arms. "I like this form."
Annabelle planted her hands on her hips, frowning up at him with an expression somewhere between a pout and a glare.
Ironhide felt himself beginning to grow irritated. Fond as he was of Annabelle- more so, perhaps, than he was willing to admit- she still managed to baffle him on a frequent basis. He'd only just started to become truly comfortable in his current form, and now she wanted him to change it?
"It's only been fifteen years."
"That's a long time for an earth car!"
"But I am not an earth car. This alt form is still perfectly functional, and will be for some time."
"Yes, but they don't know that!" Annabelle protested with a broad sweep of her arm to indicate the world at large.
Ironhide's head went up and back like an obstinate horse. Annabelle threw up her hands, tugged sharply at the end of her braid, and took off across the old warehouse the Autobots used when they needed to meet with each other in town, also a convenient location for Mikaela's 'personal projects'.The mechanicwas currently hard at work on one of said projects, elbow deep in the front end of a vehicle he didn't recognize.
"Mikaela!" Annabelle wailed. "Help me convince Ironhide he needs a new alt form."
The woman lifted her head, giving it a brief shake to move the hair that had fallen across her eyes. She raised an eyebrow, a bit of body language that Ironhide had come to understand indicated surprise or disbelief.
"Why would I have any say in the matter?"
"You're the mechanic. There's got to be something you can say."
Ironhide let a vocal snort indicate his feelings towards that statement.
Mikaela frowned, pulling her hands back and wiping them on the grease-stained scrap of cloth tucked into her back pocket.
"Well, the Topkick could get a little squirrelly on highways—"
"But I've never noticed Ironhide having that problem."
"I fixed that flaw when I scanned the form."
"I wondered." Mikaela sounded approving. Annabelle did not want anything approving to be said of Ironhide's currently embarrassingly out-of-style altmode.
"Bumblebee got a new alt form. And so did Ratchet!"
"Bumblebee likes being unpredictable. Ratchet's form has to be kept up with earth's own medical vehicles if he does not want to draw undue attention."
"And a fifteen year old Topkick doesn't draw attention?"
This particular clicking of inner parts meant he was growing truly irritated. "Different kind of attention," he stated gruffly, in the same 'you should know this already' tone her father used on occasion.
Mikaela smiled, patting Annabelle on the shoulder consolingly. "In another ten years it'll go from being old to retro, and ten years after that it'll be a classic."
"But until then it's just ugly!" Annabelle seemed to realize what she'd said a moment too late. Her mouth snapped shut. "Sorry, Hide," she muttered.
"Hmph." Ugly was far from the worst thing he'd been called. He'd let her worry about it a little longer, though. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his current form, and he'd been getting tired of hearing her go on about it.
Mikaela was still smiling. "If you ever do want a new one, though, I'd be happy to help you find something." Annabelle's face lit up. Ironhide's cannons nearly whirled to life out of sheer frustration.