It was late afternoon when Ironhide, Jazz and Mikaela waited for the others to show for their habitual "get together" on the overlook. The big black weapons specialist stood on the edge, unmoving, just watching over the town below. Mikaela sat perched atop of Jazz's hood, watching a flock of birds fly in formation. To be honest, she was bored. Ironhide was hardly vocal company and Jazz seemed quite content to sit and play his radio at a low volume. The female sighed and stretched causing several loud resounding pops to emit from her back. Ironhide spun at the noise, cannons instantly at the ready. Mikaela gave a startled yelp and Jazz a surprised rev of his engine.

"What? What happened?" she asked, looking about frantically for whatever could have spooked the big mech.

"I heard a noise." he stated, swinging his cannons in all directions, trying to pinpoint the location of the sounds.

Jazz sat quiet a moment longer. "'Hide, I didn't hear anything…"

A non-committal grumble left the weapons specialist.

"There was a popping sound…like gunfire." he said, voice low, senses tuned to finding his target.

Mikaela quirked an eyebrow at him, her mind working on this -sound-.

"Wait…you mean a sound like this?" she said, twisting her body around and causing another round of popping to come from her back.

Ironhide's cannons honed in immediately, barrels glowing already.

"Whoa! Easy, big guy! Put yer pea shooters away and chill for a second…" Jazz spoke, backing away with the human balanced on his hood.

Obligingly, Ironhide's cannons folded back into themselves but the mech himself looked unconvinced.

"What…was that? Are you malfunctioning?" he asked the female.

"Uh, no. That was pretty good, actually."

"-That- cannot possibly be normal nor 'good'." he stated, giving a slight shudder, "One's frame should not be making popping sounds. Do you require any medical assistance?"

Again, she quirked a brow at him. "No. I'm perfectly functional, Ironhide."

"Then explain to me -why- your frame is cracking?"

"I popped it. See?" she said, pushing one hand into the other, causing the knuckle joints to crack in response.

Ironhide jumped back as if shot, looking rather frantic and not a small bit disturbed.

"It's normal, 'Hide. Really." she said, trying to reassure him to some extent.

"Normal? To the Pit with that being 'normal'." he grumbled. "Fine. But stop doing that. It gives me the surges just hearing it, much less seeing it." Another slight shiver ran through him as he spoke. Mikaela put her hands up in mock defense.

"Okay, okay. I won't do it again. Relax." she said, settling back down on Jazz's hood.

Ironhide took her at her word and returned to his vigil at the edge of the overhang. Every now and then a small tremor shook him for a mere moment and he'd glance back at the pair behind him. Mikaela gave him her most innocent look and he turned away again.

Several minutes later, there was another set of resounding pops. The entire hillside shook as the large mech jumped back, "MIKAELA!" he roared.

The boisterous laughter of the mech and female human echoed through the air closely followed by very loud threats of termination from a cringing mech.