This is my first fanfic (but not my first writing venture). On Sept. 17, 2007, I was full of uncertainties about submitting it and worried about how this story would be received. On Sept. 25, 2008, I am astounded at the attention this has gotten. I am absolutely grateful for all the wonderful reviews I've received. On Nov. 9, 2009, I am simply blown away: one thousand five reviews, WHOAH! I'm speechless... I can never thank you all enough! To any new readers: I hope you enjoy this story too! Of course, if you decide it is not for you, I'm sure you'll find something else on fanfiction that fits your tastes. It is a wonderful site. Thanks again!

(posted Sept. 17, 2007)

Disclaimer: All Transformers characters, settings, etc. are the property of Hasbro and any other respective owners. Any original characters and the plot are the intellectual property of Litahatchee/ Letohatchee. No part of the story, ideas, or OC's are to be used without the express permission of Litahatchee/ Letohatchee. Litahatchee/ Letohatchee is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

I thank P.A.W.07 for her awesome "Promise Not to Tell" fic and Hearts of Eternity for her "What Time We Have Left." Those fics inspired me to go ahead and put this out there. I recommend these fics. They are absolutely awesome.

Thank you ALL so much for the inspiration!

Bold print is Cybertronian messaging.


Night Fire

Chapter 1

New Arrival

by Litahatchee

It had been several years since the battle at Mission City. Ironhide had settled in with the Lennox family and rather enjoyed his time with them, though he probably wouldn't admit that. What he did not enjoy, however, were the few occasions when the humans asked Will to bring Ironhide into his work.

Ironhide drove Will to the army base every day, but he did not like going down into the underground facility, preferring, instead, to remain in the parking lot in his alt mode. However, as soon as the humans processed what they learned from the last questions they had asked Ironhide, they would ask Will to bring him in for more. Will was the liaison for the humans and Optimus chose Ironhide to be the liaison for the Autobots. Will always thought that was strange, since Ironhide was the most unapproachable of the four, but he suspected that that was what the Autobot leader wanted.

Ironhide drove along, lost in his thoughts, dreading having to deal with these military humans again. They had another line of questioning for him that day, but he just couldn't keep focused on it. There was a protoform coming to Earth, but it did not give any designation other than that it was an Autobot. Optimus had instructed Ironhide not to tell the humans, even though he knew the order was unnecessary, as Ironhide would not have revealed that information anyway.

Bumblebee was sent out to intercept the newcomer, but something was nagging at Ironhide and he really felt like he ought to be the one to go. What if it was a Decepticon using an Autobot signal? The little bot wouldn't be able to handle it alone. He tried to use that argument with Optimus, but he couldn't keep the argument going. Ironhide knew, in his spark, that it just wasn't the case. The newcomer was definitely an Autobot, so Bumblebee was in no danger. He didn't know how and why he knew it with such certainty, but he knew. He couldn't come up with a better excuse of why he should be the one to go, so Bumblebee was assigned to go and Ironhide was to continue his duties as liaison.

A distant tug at his spark had him nearly jumping out of his truck form. Is that what he thought it was? He tentatively reached back and the excitement was unmistakable. Now, more than ever, he understood why he needed to be the one to greet the new arrival. He didn't believe it, couldn't allow himself to believe it. He had to see with his own optics.

Without hesitation, Ironhide sent a message to Bumblebee, via the link in their bond, "Bumblebee, I'm taking this mission. Go back to base and tell Optimus that I'll be along shortly with the new arrival." Bumblebee began to protest and Ironhide interrupted him, sending in that tone that didn't allow any room for questioning, "DO IT!!"

The protoform was getting closer. Ironhide could actually feel it in his spark. Something he hadn't felt in a long, long time… He veered off track to chase after it.

"Ironhide?!" Lennox yelped at the Topkick's sudden change in course. "What are you doing? We're supposed to…" another yelp as Ironhide sped up and hit a bump in the road, causing Will to bounce in his seat.

"You're going to have to tell them to postpone it," Ironhide said in response.

Ironhide wasn't going to ignore the sensation. He couldn't ignore it. It meant his everything. He sped up until he was going faster than Lennox had ever experienced him going.

"Ironhide, what is it?" Will asked worriedly. He got no response.

Seeing that the meeting was involuntarily going to be postponed, he got out his cell phone to let his commanders know what was going on. As he did so, Ironhide ran over a huge pothole that had Lennox bouncing high in the air and hitting his head on the ceiling of the truck, despite the snugness of his seat belt. His phone flew from his hands and bounced right out of the window.

"Great," Will muttered to himself, before continuing, "Ironhide, slow down!"

Will tried to sound commanding, but Ironhide did not slow down. He rarely listened to Will, anyway. If anything, Lennox thought he might be speeding up.


A meteor flashed overhead, so close that Will thought it might hit them. Ironhide drove faster and faster until the entire truck was shuddering from the stress of it.

"Is that a proto..?" Will started before it hit with a loud crash, flashing so brightly that he had to cover his eyes.

Soon, Ironhide was upon it, and Will barely managed to get out of the truck before it started to transform. Will looked around to make sure no one was around. Ironhide didn't seem worried that he had just transformed in broad daylight.

Ironhide approached the protoform cautiously, his chest feeling as if it was on fire.

Will watched in amazement as Ironhide's chest seemed to be glowing. There were clicks and whirring noises as the meteor transformed into a mech a little smaller than Ironhide, but just as fierce looking, and maybe a little scarier.

'Great, a Decepticon,' Will thought, 'and I don't have any way to call for backup.'

Ironhide just stopped and stared, nothing being said between the two mechs. Then, Will watched in horror as the new arrival produced a cannon from its shoulder, and opened fire on Ironhide.

Ironhide leapt to the left of the first volley and then expertly flipped forward over the second. The other mech was closing the distance between the two as it fired, but to Will's surprise, Ironhide wasn't returning the fire. He didn't even get out his cannons. Then the mech was upon him, looking quite furious to Will, but Ironhide stood his ground. He ducked and dodged as hand to hand combat ensued. He blocked a punch here, dodged a kick there, but he never returned the attack. Suddenly, the other mech produced a smaller weapon on its arm and shot Ironhide in his left leg.

Ironhide staggered back, the shock on his face evident, even to Will. He opened his mouth to say something, but was promptly shot again, in the same leg, at the same spot. He went down with a snarl and the other mech jumped on his chest, pinning his right arm down.

It was obvious to Will that Ironhide was loosing this fight, but Will didn't know what to do. All he could do was stand there as the other mech reached with its left arm behind Ironhide's neck. Something snaked out of its hand and made a connection there. Ironhide growled, or at least Will thought it was a growl. As this was happening, the mech's right hand was pushing at something on Ironhide's chest. Ironhide was using his free left hand to slap it away furiously, grabbing it, and pushing it away several times before it finally touched something and his chest sprung open.

A brilliant blue light illuminated the other mech and an arc of lightning flew between the two, so brightly that Will had to turn away from it AND cover his eyes.

Ironhide reached his free hand to the back of the neck of the mech with the advantage and made his own connection there. It also growled, but it sounded rather more like a growl of enjoyment than one out of anger.

They both broke their interface connection when, suddenly, Ironhide yelled, "We are not alone!"

The other mech turned to look at Will and he involuntarily took a few steps back. It jumped off of Ironhide, who scooted away from it quickly. As he did so, Will saw the boiling, burning, ball of ice blue fire that was his spark. Will knew the spark was their life's essence, but he had never seen one before. It was… breathtaking. He realized, as he watched the reactions between these two, that he wanted to know more about it.

Ironhide saw Will staring at his spark, so he quickly closed his chassis, pulling himself painfully to his feet. He wouldn't be able to walk right until Ratchet welded this new wound shut. He glared at the other mech.

"What are you doing?!" he all but bellowed.

"I just wanted to find out what's going on!" she(?) yelled back.

When the other mech spoke, understanding began to dawn on Will. The voice was decidedly more feminine and he became curious about whether or not Cybertronians had females and what that whole spark business might mean. The scientists would be interested as well. He had the feeling Ironhide wouldn't be willing to speak on it, but he would ask anyway. He knew not to push Ironhide, though. He really liked the black mech and would never do anything to compromise their friendship; not intentionally, anyway.

Ironhide noted that she was speaking English, so she obviously absorbed the information he transmitted to her through their interface connection.

"All you had to do was ask," he said while rubbing his neck. "You didn't have to go tapping me."

"Oh, 'tap' is such a harsh accusation," she snapped at him.

"And what were you doing with my spark casing?!" he growled angrily. "That's a little more than interfacing, don't you think?"

She smiled wildly and playfully took a step towards him. As she did so, another arc of lightning passed between them and they both gasped and clutched their chests in unison.

Ironhide's left cannon finally rolled out of his arm and he pointed it at her, saying, "Stay away from me."

The two stared at each other for long moments and Will noticed Ironhide's features beginning to soften. Suddenly, as if he forgot something, his features hardened again and then, "And why were you shooting at me?!" He inspected the wound in his leg, "You SHOT me!"

Now it was her turn to raise her cannons and she yelled, "Don't you ever leave me again!"

Ironhide lowered his cannon and closed the distance between them, grasping the hand on her armed cannon arm, saying, softly, "I wouldn't think it."

Little arcs of lightning dancing between them as their sparks called to each other, wanting to be joined. She grasped his other hand and started to move closer.

"Don't come any closer," Ironhide warned softly. "I don't think I can control it."

Another wicked grin spread across her features as she responded, "I thought not."

She reached out to lightly slide a finger across his chest plate, it easily falling open again.

"Gah! Slag it, Chromia!" Ironhide stepped back from her, nearly tripping over his injured leg.

It was all he could do not to pull her to him. He was shaking from the effort, his spark clearly needing to join in order to finally feel whole again. She laughed, the sound of it singing though his systems. It had been so long… nearly 10,000 vorns. He almost still couldn't believe she was standing right there. All this time, he didn't even know if she was even still alive.

Ironhide became aware of Lennox's gaping mouth and quickly closed his armor again. Oh, she was going to pay for this later, he thought.

Completely fascinated by what he was witnessing before him, Will closed and then opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. The female mech, Chromia, Ironhide called her, looked at him as if seeing him for the first time.

"This?" she asked, "is a human?"

"Yes," Ironhide stated irritably. "This is Major William Lennox. Didn't you get any of the other stuff I sent you?" He was speaking of the information he uploaded into her CPU during their brief interface. "...besides the language? The battle? They helped us."

"Yes, yes," she waved a hand dismissively. "It's just that I thought they were bigger."

She knelt down for a closer look and Will felt a tiny bit conspicuous, practically blushing from her gaze.

"Hello Major William Lennox," she said to him. "I'm Chromia. I'm Ironhide's sparkmate."

Will had no idea what that meant, but he could take a guess.

"Don't crowd him," Ironhide grumbled.

"Such a bundle of good cheer, isn't he?" she stated to Will, who stifled a laugh as she stood up. "I like the language," she continued absently. "I like the way it sounds in my processors." She looked at Ironhide. "And I really like this armor," she said silkily as she moved to touch him again.

Wide arcs of energy sparked between them, again, and both of their chests were glowing now, even though they weren't that close. Ironhide put a little more distance between them.

"Wow," she exclaimed in fascination. "It's inevitable."

As fascinated by the reaction of their sparks as he was too, he really wanted to get Lennox's gaping jaws out of there so that they can find someplace private and get this over with. Not that he felt like it was a chore. Oh, yes, he wanted it, but he sure didn't like to have an audience, especially an organic one, which was what they were going to have if he didn't put some distance between he and his femme. He was on the verge of losing control.

Their sparks were going to unite, whenever, however, whether they could control them or not.