Scent of the Future

AUTHORS NOTE: I needed to write down what I thought would happen if Elita One – Prime's old girlfriend and sparkmate – arrived on Earth. I hope this meets with approval! And if anyone has suggestions for Elita's alternate form (her car mode) I'd appreciate it. I can't think of what to make her.

And yes, I know Jazz died, but I wanted him back. Its not good continuity, sorry. He's such a fun and adorable mech, I couldn't not include him.

Chapter One

The protoform comet's trail was blazing red in the midnight sky, the comet itself was spinning on its axis and shedding chunks of debris. It was heading precisely for the open paddock behind the Autobot base.

Optimus Prime watched it, the palm of one hand planted on his hip. He blinked to clear his optics at the bright explosion the comet made upon landing.

"Another successful hit!" Jazz said joyfully, "Way to go, er, whoever you are."

The small group of Autobots consisted of the entire base; Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Jazz, Ratchet, Prowl, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe and Bumblebee. The humans, Sam, Mikaela and Captain Will (he was more than captain now, having been heavily promoted after the Mission City battle, but the 'Captain' moniker had stuck) were present as well. So far, the approach and landing had been routine. They all knew it was an Autobot; that had been confirmed; they just didn't know WHO. The protoform had refused to put forward that information. Ironhide was guessing it was a femme. But then, he wished every new protoform was a femme... Using his new Earth vocabulary, Ratchet labelled him the base's resident randy bastard. Ironhide didn't deny it, smirking.

With a shuddering creaking frame, the comet cracked and slid its components in transformation into a small, slim, bipedal form. The new robot coughed and its optics flickered, glowing blue. It unfolded from a crouch to stand upright, shifting uneasily on slender, curvy legs.

Sam and Mikaela waited for the Autobots to start forwards and begin the greetings like they had for the previous landings.

No one moved.

"Uh, guys..? Hello?" Sam craned his head backwards, looking around. All of his robot friends seemed stricken by something. Was this one – dangerous? Sam's eyes widened, "It's a Decepticon, 'Kaela! Get back!" Sam took the initiative and grabbed the arm of his girlfriend, tugging her away. Will glanced around and reached for the pistol he kept tucked in his shoulder holster – not that it would really do any good.

Bumblebee quietly placed his leg in the path of the anxious humans escape. "That's no 'Con, Sam. Watch," he murmured. It had been a long, long, time since he'd seen this particular Autobot.

Optimus was walking forwards in hesitant steps to the smoking hole where the new robot stood, backlit by the flaming, smoking, remains of it's landing. It was looking at them, waiting. Limp hands hung open at its sides. No sign of hostility.

"Elita?", the Leader's hesitantly whispered word sounded very broken.

The protoform cocked its head and stared at the huge blue and red mech. One hand lifted, reaching. A quiet whistle came from it.

"Oh, you're kidding me," Ironhide said with awe. Everyone knew he joked about waiting for the femme's to arrive. Like the others, Hide knew it was a million-to-one chance any of them had survived and would come.

"Is that – her? You're sure?" Jazz whispered urgently, prodding Ironhide in his side.

"Positive," the older warrior spoke softly. His body relaxed from its expectant state of returning cannon fire. There would be no fighting tonight.

Optimus had reached the protoform with slow steps. His mouth was open, optic arches wide in wonder.

The protoform took the last steps separating it from the stunned mech. It's head went back, looking up into Prime's face, who equally stared down back at it. Slender unarmored arms reached out and hugged onto his waist with one last final step forwards. The protoform's head leant down, resting its forehead on the lowest portion of his abdomen. It was very short compared to the tall mech.

"Primus... Elita..." Optimus voice began to break. His own arms encircled her form and held her tightly, his upper body bending down to reach.

A series of hushed chirps and warbles were emitted by the femme protoform. Her hands left his waist and reached up to press palm down on top of where Prime's spark chamber was. The mech shuddered, picking up one of her hands and cradling it with his own. They didn't have optics for anyone else watching.

Ratchet blew air out of his intakes and turned to the others. "I think we better go back inside, agreed? Come on, move it you lot," while his words were stern, his faceplates held a wistful smile. He herded the reluctant bots and humans away from the happy reunion.

Sunstreaker tried to dodge Ratchet's pushing hands and got a smack in the side of the head for his trouble. He went to let loose a protesting swear word and Prowl grabbed his arm forcefully. "Inside, NOW."

Sideswipe agreed with Prowl, silently helping to drag his hissing brother inside.

"Sides! Don't! If there's one there might be others! Lemme go! We didn't check!" Sunstreaker complained, trying to shrug them off.

"If there are others, they wouldn't want you throwing yourself on top of them and getting groovy with it, Sunny! Quit it!" Jazz added his glare to the one currently coming from a determined Prowl, blocking the doorway so the Lamborghini couldn't duck back outside. Sideswipe was too stunned at the femme's arrival to say much. His optics were wide enough to use as satellite dishes.

"Oh Primus, SLAG, did you see that? Elita! Of all the femme's to wish for," Ironhide shook his head, grinning, "'Bout time the old fraghead got some good luck."

"IRONHIDE! Language. Cut it!" Prowl remonstrated. Despite the reprimand he'd just issued, his faceplates twitched with happiness. Like all the others, his spark was glowing with a happiness to almost match that of Prime's own. Almost. No bot could be more happy than Optimus Prime right now.

"A femme? Is that like, a woman?" Mikaela was talking to Sam who was goggle-eyed.

Will Lennox had put his gun away and was observing the reactions of the Autobots. They were all quite stunned and vocal. "I guess it is. The big guy doesn't look like he'll ever let her go, either."

"Yes, she is a female of our species, we never thought we'd ever see one again," Bumblebee's scratchy voice agreed, smiling. 'Love Is In The Air' played softly from his speakers. No one told him to turn it off.

Ratchet ignored the lot of them, quietly opening the door, shutting it, and placing himself just under the edge of the shadowing roof. Optimus still hadn't let go of Elita One. She was clutched closely to his physique, talking very quietly to him, using indistinct murmurs of Cybertronian. The flames from the landing site had died down, leaving the lovers in darkness except for radiant blue optics intent on each other.

Finally, the two broke apart. Optimus took Elita's hand and turned to take her to the waiting medic. Her steps were not big enough to match his, she had to quicken her pace to keep up. He shortened the length of his stride out of consideration and slowed down, having forgotten what it was like to walk with her. It had been so long...

Ratchet began a few unobtrusive scans as they approached. She seemed basically fine, if very under-energized. He was of the opinion if she scanned for an Earth vehicle disguise right now, the effort would send her into stasis lock.

The pair halted in front of him. "Ratchet, I believe it is a long time since Elita received adequate medical attention, would you mind giving her a full check up?" Optimus asked. He was radiating happiness, tinged with concern at the exhausted physical state of his beloved.

"It would be my great pleasure, and what happened to the introductions?" he asked and turned on a slight smile for the femme.

Elita was watching him awkwardly. She had met the Autobot's CMO a handful of times, but had never been treated by him herself. She knew all about his reputation. While he was a brilliant doctor, he was hot tempered, with no patience or jolly bed-side manner. A very crabby mech.

Optimus looked abashed, "I apologise. Ratchet, this is Elita-"

"Elita One. I know. Just wanted to hear you say it formally." Ratchet pointed a finger to the side of the large building housing the Autobot base. "It would be better if we used one of the side entrances instead of subjecting Elita to the rabble inside, don't you think?" Abruptly, he stretched out a hand in welcome to the new femme. Elita took it slowly. "It's great to have you with us at last," he said.

A hesitant 'Thank you' came from the tired femme. She took her hand back, putting it back into Prime's larger comforting one.

Ratchet indicated for them to use another entrance and meet him at the medbay, deciding he should tell the others inside what was happening.

Optimus carefully guided his sparkmate around, looking down at her with great concern as she practically plodded along, head drooping with tiredness. "I think I should carry you," he suggested.

"No, don't you dare," her quiet reply was tinged with ferocity. "I covered all those light years by myself, I can make it the last few steps." Elita was dead against being carted around by any mech unless she was without legs or unconscious. She was not the femme type to need male help with anything. Although, her spark was wishing to jump into his arms and sob into his neckplating. Perhaps later, in the privacy of his quarters. She would allow herself that much.

"If you insist," Prime replied gently, holding her hand with a tight grip, caressing the outside of her hand with his thumb and staying close. She was still the same Elita! Able to do anything a mech could do; do it BETTER; and argue the point afterwards with any dissenters.

Ratchet was waiting in the medbay, an exam table all set up and waiting. His scanners and equipment were all humming along on stand-by. Prime helped her get up onto the table, lifting her easily and putting aside her protest with an apology of 'Just this once' (he would do that much, at least!).

He waited while the medic checked her over. Leaning back against the medbay wall with his optics locked on any part of Elita visible around the bulk of Ratchet blocking his view. He kept expecting to wake up from this crazy recharge dream. This wasn't real. It couldn't be. It wasn't Elita after all, it was... Chromia. Yes, that's it. If any femme would land, it would be her. The tough nut. Ironhide's mate. The trigger-happy headcase would be ecstatic. They wouldn't see either of those crazy Autobots out of his quarters for several cycles, at least. He'd have to override the door lock and boot the fraggers out to get work done.

His unfocused gaze was caught by Elita's. The brightness of her optics softening, her mouth perking upwards. It really was HER. Not Chromia, not Firestar, not Moonracer. Elita really was here, looking at him.

His legs wanted to give way and let him slide his massive frame all the way down the wall so he landed on his armored butt.


What had he done to suddenly be given this gift? And what would he do if it was equally quickly taken away? Most things he wanted or needed - for his army, his friends, or himself - didn't come easily. He couldn't think of the last thing he'd desperately wanted for his own personal desires that had materialised.

"Prime? You there?" Ratchet was standing in front of him, supporting a sagging Elita with one arm. "She can go now. I gave her a high-grade energon infusion and everything else isn't urgent, so it can wait till later. Right now she needs recharge, and LOTS of it. You hear?"

He pushed away from the wall, straightening himself to his full height, "Yes, of course. Elita?" he held his arms out for her and she went into them, leaning against him with relief. He looked up, thankful optics gazing at his CMO, "Ratchet? Thank you."

The medic paused from straightening his tools, looking over his shoulder, his face inscrutable, "No problem. Look after her, Prime. Don't you let her go."

"Never," he murmured, guiding his femme out of the medbay and towards his quarters for some long-awaited rest.

Ratchet turned back around after hearing their slow steps disappear down the hallway. He pressed a hand to his face, not quite stopping the happy chuckle that escaped his mouth. Optimus had been denied anything of his own for so many millennia. The CMO was brimming with carefully hidden relief and happiness that finally, his friend and Commander had been rewarded with something that would bring him the most pleasure of all.

His sparkmate.

NEXT – Anyone up for the craziness of little Optimus and Elita sparklings ruling the base?