-1AN: Sorry if some things come out weird. The editing thing my beta does is acting weird. Er actually its probably my computer than than anything he's done. I tried to catch everything but I'm sure I probably missed a thing here or there. Shouldn't take away from the story anyway.

FYI: I have discovered a new transformers love. I have fought against it, slammed it and turned my nose at it…but no more. sigh I absolutely love Transformers Animated.

I saw the first episode when it came one way back when and hated the look of the humans so much I didn't watch anymore. Well about two weeks ago I bought the Blitzwing toy. Hehe I love it, just something about the styling of these toys are amazing. I also got Prowl and Black Arachinia. I'm serious these toys look great! Much better than some of the crapper and cheap looking stuff out there.

Well buying the toys got me interested in the cartoon again. I bought the first season.

I actually like the style of the show now. I like the characters, Wreck-gar was hilarious, Jazz is awesome, Prowl took a bit getting used to but he's cool to (I will though bitch at the absolute butchering of Mixmaster and Scrapper. Those two are not constructicons)

I'm just really surprised at myself. I even like the little girl Sari. She's cute and funny.

I can only see this show getting better as seasons come and go, and urge anyone that's not seen it to give it a chance. Hell at the very least watch episode 20 'Garbage in Garbage out' its got Wreck-gar…and even features a 'Spike and pregnant Carly'.

How can you go wrong with that.


"Bring it choo glitches! I'll rip out your ports n' shove them up y' tailpipes!"

Ironhide became aware something was wrong outside when he heard the familiar clangs and screeches of a scuffle.

He groaned deep in his chest, gears grinding in frustration. Primus, why him? Really,

why did his spark choose such an aggrevating path in life?

He glanced at the hopeful interviewees, three pairs of bright blue optics looking back at him, slightly frightened from the fight outside. They were young, barely past their first upgrades, and all sent here by creators hoping with all their sparks that Ironhide would accept their sparklings. He was the best of the best, and most bots spent a lot of credits just to get him to look at what they had.

"Wait here. I'll be right back."

Ironhide turned sharply, trusting the younglings would keep out of trouble long enough for him to break up the fight. He doubted they would do anything wrong; they were all. too young for a lot of the more aggressive programming to have started.

The scene that met his optics once he stepped outside didn't surprise him.


Ironhide crossed his arms, letting his anger settle nice and hot in his spark as he watched his students Winger and Crossbow pick on some stray.

The two were large, bulky, strong - but not too smart. But they were good enough, he supposed. They would probably be sent off world to work at the mines. It was a good enough life, hard labor, but rewarding, and if they did well it could even be lucrative.

He had rather hoped they would turn out to be warriors, not just the usual run-of-the-mill grunts. He had hoped that their size and strength hinted at something a bit more, once they started to mature.

Not even close.

Ironhide shuttered his optics. The High Lord Protector usually snatched the true warriors up pretty quickly, sending them to train with the Caregivers he chose.

It annoyed Ironhide a bit, he'd been training warriors for thousands of vorns. And in his time he'd trained some of the best fighters out there, including the present Prime and Protector.

So why was the Protector suddenly so picky about whom the future warriors, especially the Seekers, went to train with?

Tuning out that unsettling thought, Ironhide focused on the brawl in front of him. His students were fighting with a very small, silver sparkling. They were easily three times the younger bot's size, but that didn't seem to stop them from trying to beat the slag out of him.

"Too slow, ya ingrates! Yer creator 's a slag suckin' sarion!"

Ironhide narrowed his optics; it was apparent that although his students were bigger, stronger, and better trained, the little one was literally running circles around them. Winger and Crossbow just couldn't seem to catch or even land a hit on the small bot, the dents and rips in their own armor telling Ironhide the same wasn't true for the silver stray.

"You little glitch, I had enough of this! See you in the Pit!"

Weapons whirled to life, although Winger never got the chance to use them. Ironhide had seen enough and stormed, up behind his student smacked the blue youngster hard enough to dent his helm.

"ENOUGH! You two, back to your assignments!"

Both literally seemed to shrink under his harsh optics.

"You got time to brawl? Then you got time to clean the practice fields. Get to it!"

The two knew better than to even think about opening their mouths. With a speed they should have been showing in the fight, they bolted toward the training fields.

Ironhide clicked to himself in disappointment. What was it with this latest generation, all talk but no struts to back it up.? Not even a rebellious look from either of them…

After a moment, he turned toward the stray. He didn't recognize the youngling, and wondered who his Caretaker was.

"I apologize…"

Ironhide started only to be cut off as the silver youngling rounded on him.

"Choo wan' some of this TO?! I'll kick ya aft from here ta the second moon! I don' care how big ya t'ink ya are!"

Ironhide blinked, surprised at the mouth on this one. Processors struggled to place the accent; it sounded vaguely like Aronian region, but slurred. He wondered if the bot had a slight speech impediment, or perhaps it was just slang;, some of the poorer regions tended to do that.

"Relax. I was going to apologize for my students."

The stray pouted in anger, his blue optics flickering wildly.

"Cho a Caretak'r?"


The stray looked away, crossing his arms. Ironhide had the distinct impression he was embarrassed, or perhaps just uncomfortable.

"Ya well they deserved t' aft woopin. Just 'cause I'm small don' mean no'ing."

Ironhide chuckled. N, no doubt Winger had mouthed off on the little mech's size.

"Who's your Caretaker?"

It wasn't often someone could stand against his students, especially given two to one odds.

"What's it to ya?"

"Just wanted to speak with him. You're a bit sloppy."

He wondered if the Caretaker was young himself. It would explain why such an obvious talent lacked the finesse of a well-trained sparkling. It was a pity, really. This mini bot had a lot of potential.

"I ain't sloppy. It ain't my fault!"

the sparkling fairly screamed at him, suddenly more upset than when he'd been fighting. Ironhide lifted his hands, trying to calm him down. What was that about?

"Calm down, brat -. "

When the stray continued to scream at him, the insults becoming more and more coarse, Ironhide decided he had had enough.

So he did what he always did with his own students. Pounded some sense into the idiot's processors by pounding on his head.

The sparkling fell to the ground, clutching his dented helm and making soft clicks of pain.

"There…now tell me who your Caretaker is. I think I need to have a word with them. This is unacceptable behavior, young one!"

The sparkling clicked a few more times before turning burning bright blue eyes up at Ironhide.

"I ain't got one, ok! There, choo happy?!"

A sick feeling settled into Ironhide's tanks. Every sparkling had a Caretaker. It was how one learned to function in society. A Caretaker protected and taught sparklings until they were mature enough to function on their own.

This stray could speak, he moved well and could fight, so he was definitely old enough for placement. So why didn't he have a Caretaker?

"Why not?"

The stray looked up at Ironhide but said nothing. Ironhide hummed to himself, not liking his sudden silence.

"I got t' go.,"

the stray muttered, but, Ironhide wouldn't hear any of it. Quicker than the silver sparkling expected, the old warrior reached out and grabbed onto the ring of his neck armor.

The sparkling cried out, wiggling and fighting for all he was worth, but Ironhide had too good of a hold.

"Stop fighting, you little slagger!"

Hefting him up to eye level, Ironhide frowned to himself. Something was off with this sparkling. Something he knew he should be seeing right away but wasn't…

A more in depth scan made his spark sink as comprehension hit Ironhide like a plasma bolt to the head.

"How old are you?"

Ironhide had been thinking the silver bot was in his second upgrade. That's what his size would suggest. But…he was talking too well, moving too well…he was older than that. A lot older, Ironhide just hadn't seen it before, he'd just assumed, because of the bot's size.


Ironhide whispered.

"You're in your 4th upgrade, aren't you?"

The sparkling stopped struggling, and speaking just as softly said.


No wonder he didn't have a Caretaker.

Ironhide dropped the bot and stepped back, studying the not -so -young sparkling. He was so very tiny, if he was in his fifth upgrade then when full grown he would only reach a

Mini bots middle. That was no't normal, that was a defect…why was he even allowed to get this old?. His creators should have gotten the hint and deactivated him when they couldn't find a Caretaker willing to teach him.!

"Take me to your creator NOW!"

Fear spiked through the sparkling. Ironhide could see it in his optics. It made him all the more angry. These creators were being selfish. If they had deactivated this sparkling when they should have, then he wouldn't have known fear. Now, however, he was old enough to understand what had to happen to defective bots. It was just how things were, it was law, it was best for everyone. Cybertron simply could not support defective bots.


Ironhide growled and reached for the sparkling again. This time, however, he proved faster and darted away from a hand nearly as big as he was.

"Slagger. You think this is a game? What are you going to do, huh? No Caretaker will take you in. You have no future. Your creators should have seen that! They need to be reprimanded!"

"And me deactivated right?!"

The silver stray jumped and showing surprising agility clambered up the side of a wall well out of Ironhide's reach.

Ironhide let his cannons spin. If need be he'd shoot the little slagger down. He didn't want to cause the youngling pain, but what needed to be done had to be done.

"Have you ever thought as to the future you might have?"

"Bettr'n no future."

The silver bot glared down at Ironhide.

"Choo r' a hypocrite. Yer all hypocrites, ever' last one of choo! Slaggers!"

Ironhide felt a flare of anger race through his circuits. However he forced himself to remain calm. He was a Caretaker, THE Caretaker actually. He was the best on Cybertron. He would not be goaded by a defective spark clinging to what little it had.

"Choo y'self said I was good! I beat your wards! Kicked their afts! Why do I gotta die?! No'ting wrong with me!"

Ironhide couldn't deny what he had said before. It gave him pause…he'd thought there was a lot of potential in that bot. But…no, he was a defect. He was simply too small. He would probably die by his final upgrade anyway.

"Choo all think y're Primus! Sayin' who lives, who dies! I gotta right ta live like any o' you! I won' die! And I won' let my creator suffer fer lettin' me live! I'll slag choo myself 'fore it comes ta that!"

With that the youngling launched himself at Ironhide. Ironhide cursed, turning to avoid the sharp claws, memory of his students' wounds telling him that they were effective.

The defect was fast, Ironhide would give him that. But he was sloppy. He didn't know anything about fighting that wasn't picked up off the streets. And if that youngling thought that sloppy attacks and dirty fighting was going to beat Ironhide, he had something to learn.

With a savage roar, Ironhide lashed out with an arm. He wouldn't use his cannons;, doing so might be fatal. Ironhide didn't listen to the voice that said why not, we're going to have him deactivated anyway? - why not let him die fighting?

He didn't hold back as he let his arm, easily twice the length of the youngling, struck home with a loud clang. The defect was hit hard, hard enough to fling him across the street and into the neighboring building.

After a long moment, the sparkling groaned and tried to get up, but ultimately failed as he collapsed back to the ground.

He was, however, still online, which surprised Ironhide a bit. He'd offlined students far larger and tougher with a blow like that before.

"What's your name?"

He asked suddenly, sick of thinking of this one as just youngling or stray.

The youngling shivered, blue liquid seeping out from a busted line somewhere in his torso.


Ironhide's cannons whirled as he slowly approached. As a Caretaker of his rank, it was well within Ironhide's rights…no, his duty, to deactivate defective sparklings. It was expected of him. Where would Cybertron be, if it was forced to carry the weight of those unable to carry their own?

Jazz looked up at Ironhide, obviously terrified, but he didn't look away. He met Ironhide's stare with a hard one of his own.

He was scared of dying, but he wasn't scared of Ironhide.

Jazz recoiled as the old warrior fired his weapons. Debris fell down on his head, but the stray didn't cry out. He didn't scream or click hoping to appeal to Ironhide's Caretaker programming.

Ironhide lowered his cannon, as Jazz shivered on the ground, the wall above him still smoked from the heat of his weapon.

This stray…this Jazz was something else.

And just like that, something clicked in his CPU. Suddenly, instead of seeing how small the sparkling was , he saw everything else. Things he'd noticed before he realized how old Jazz was. This might work…if the sparkling proved to be as good as first impressions led him to hope.

Ironhide groaned, wondering what kind of smelting pit he was getting himself into.

The Lord High Protector was going to blow a gasket when he learned about this - although Prime would more than likely be proud of his teacher. Optimus had always preached that every bot had the right to live.

"Take me to your creators."

Jazz snorted, although he seemed surprised as the Pit that he wasn't a smoking pile of slag yet.

"Little slagger. Just tell me where they are."

"What, so choo can 'urt 'em!?"

Ironhide rubbed the bridge of his nose, a habit. he'd inadvertently picked up from Optimus while training him.

"No, so I can make this official."

Jazz uncurled from the protective ball he was in.


Ironhide sent a burst of data at the youngling. Jazz stiffened, eyes going white in ultimate shock. It was a program... one that a Caregiver gave to a youngling they had accepted. It affected a sparklings' and Caretakers' programming, influencing the younster to obey and learn, and the Caretaker to shelter and protect. It created a link between the two that, in rare cases, could last the life of the both parties.


Ironhide chuckled at the little sparkling's shock.

"Why so surprised? Didn't you say you deserved a chance? Well… I'm giving you one. My name is Ironhide."


Jazz's optics got wider if that was even possible. His optics seemed ready to drop out of his face.

"Ironhide…choo are the Prime and Protector's trainer!?"

Ironhide nodded. While a lot of mechs didn't know what he looked like, almost everyone knew his name.

"This will not be easy. Besides the obvious, you're also technically too old. But I happen to like challenges."

Ironhide sent a heated glare at the small bot.

"But I expect you to work hard. Slack off even a little, and I'll fulfill my duty and recycle your scrawny aft!"

Jazz stood up and Ironhide felt him accept the Caregiver program. For better or worse, Jazz was now his student. It was a good thing Winger and Crossbow were leaving in a few joors; he had a feeling that Jazz would be more than enough for him to handle. He wouldn't accept anymore sparklings until after Jazz graduated.

He really hoped this bot lived up the potential that Ironhide could sense in him. He could get in a lot of trouble for this; he didn't think he would be punished, but it was always a possibility.

"I live t'is way.…"


Ironhide lowered his head, unable to look at the broken and dead body of his best student.

It wasn't right. Mechs weren't supposed to die so young. Jazz had so much more ahead of him in life. It wasn't right that Ironhide should outlive his student.

"You slaggin glitch. I told you I wouldn't accept any slack. So what makes you think dying is ok?"

His hands clenched tightly, cannons whirling as he tried to smother the absolute spark -numbing pain threatening to rise up and choke him.

This wasn't the first student he'd lost, but it was by far the worst. The two before Jazz, Crossbow and Winger, had been offlined long ago. That had been bad, but nothing like this.

What made Jazz's death beyond unbearable was the fact that he was the last causality of the war. He'd died moments before Megatron, and thus died moments before the war was over for good.

Now Ironhide wasn't stupid. The remaining Decepticons wouldn't just lay down and declare peace, but the war itself was over. Without the Allspark and without Megatron, there was no war.

"You were barely an adult when the war started. Probably didn't remember anything of peace."

Ironhide clenched his fists again.

"An' now you'll never see it.…"

Reaching out, the old warrior gently traced the edge of Jazz's visor. A gift from his creators, when he had graduated from under Ironhide's care.

"I just hope…"

Ironhide paused. What was it the humans said?

"That you can rest in peace?"

Yes, that was it. Humans wished for their dead to rest in peace. Sounded good to him, peace was good. He hoped with all his spark that whatever lay beyond death, Jazz was finally happy.


Ratchet's quiet voice broke in as he walked into the medbay, scans brushing over the warrior.


he snarled, not happy at the interruption. The medic stiffened, not expecting such a hostile greeting, but he didn't leave.

"Sideswipe and Sunstreaker are cleared for duty."

Ironhide grunted, not really giving a flying rat's ass. He grinned to himself, humans had the best sayings.

"They're being debriefed by Prime. I believe he plans to leave you with babysitting duty."

"They aren't sparklings! I ain't their keeper anymore!"

A loud clang was Ratchet's answer.


Ironhide rubbed his abused helm, giving Ratchet and his wrench an evil glare.

"No, you are no longer their Caretaker, but they still need you. Jazz…"

"They INSULTED Jazz!"

"Don't make me hit you again."

Ironhide eyed the wrench warily as he took a step back from the glowering medic.

"You, Ironhide, should know better than anyone that they didn't mean it. Jazz was all they had the closest thing to a creator they ever had! They're hurting just as much as you!"

Ironhide paused, glanced at the grey dead body lying on a metal table…but

Sunstreaker's words kept echoing through his CPU.



"You heard me. I don't want a slaggin thing to do with those Twins."

With a snarl, Ironhide turned away from the medic.
"There are reasons twins are deactivated at creation. Shouldn't ever have let Jazz talk me into protecting them."

Ratchet straightened, his engine revving unsteadily, ocked to his core at the slag Ironhide was sprouting.

What he said wasn't untrue. Twins were considered the ultimate defect. The instant a spark started to split, it was destroyed. Twins, if allowed to grow past the split almost always died as sparklings. And if they survived to adulthood, they almost always had severe physiological problems.

The old ways of thinking was that killing them was better for everyone, including the twins themselves.

Ratchet hadn't been there from the beginning, so he didn't know everything about these rare twins. Jazz had somehow stolen them from their creator before they be euthanized. He had then somehow convinced Ironhide to use his status and power to protect them, and then to take them on as his students.

He'd first met them before the war, when Sunstreaker had been attacked and had been brought to the hospital he directed...


Ratchet was in a mood. Oh Primus, was he in a mood.

Several of the older nurses and residents moved away from him after a single glance at his face as he swept by.

Today was supposed to be his day off. He had planned on finally getting some recharge, maybe getting totally smashed on some high grade.

However, someone had decided to call him and tell him they had a problem. Apparently some Caretaker was terrorizing his staff, threatening to shoot down the whole hospital.

Primus. Ratchet hated Caretakers. Overprotective glitches, with the firepower to do some serious damage before logic overcame their strong protection programming. Why they needed such spowerfully overclocked systems in this time of peace was beyond Ratchet's logic.

Down right stupid, causing more injuries than they saved.…

Ratchet focused on his surroundings, optics glowing brightly as he heard what had to be the Caretaker. Downright slaggin loud was what he was, this was no place for such behavior, this was an ICU for frag's sake!.

Turning the corner, Ratchet took in the scene.

A very large black mech loomed in the corridor -, no wonder they'd called him in. He was an imposing looking fellow with a massive cannons on each arm. And he was screaming at one of Ratchet's nurses, a. small light blue femme named Mist who looked scared enough to deactivate from fear alone.

Behind the large caretaker was a small silver bot. Ratchet paused as he reset his scanners, confused at the readings.

This bot was small, about half the size of a mini bot, yet he was completely grown.


What was even stranger was the red colored sparkling resting in the silver bots' arms.

It was young, barely more than a new spark.

Ratchet flinched at the loud pitiful wailing coming from the young one, it plucked unpleasantly at his programming and. Ratchet could only imagine what the sound was doing to the Caretaker's systems. Nothing the silver bot was doing seemed to help it.

Surely the silver one wasn't the young ones creator? He seemed barely into his final upgrade himself!

"What in the PIT is going on here!?"

Ratchet growled with all the deadly force of an approaching storm.

Everyone, even the sparkling literally stopped in their tracks and turned to look at him.


The nurse looked relieved.

"This Caretaker is causing trouble. He's already punched one of the doctors. He's a menace!"

Ratchet crossed his arms and frowned at the femme. The smile on her face was way too smug for Ratchet's comfort; something more than an over protective Caretaker was going on here.

He turned toward the Caretaker, who looked absolutely furious. Big and black and vaguely familiar, Ratchet tried to place a name with this face.

"Chief medical officer Ratchet. This is my hospital! Who the fraggin Pit are you to threaten my nurses?"

"Class A-2 Caretaker, Ironhide."


Ratchet noticed the small mech didn't have a title. Which meant he was either still under training himself, or he had just been released and hadn't found a job yet. Which brought up the question again - who was the sparkling's creator? Actually, the newspark was too young to have a Caretaker, so why was Ironhide even here? The sparkling's creators should have been the ones to bring him in if the young one was injured.


That was a mild surprise. Ironhide was a well known and respected Caretaker. Known for being very hard, but very successful with his students.

Far too many questions, and no one was giving up any answers. It was pissing him off.

"Mind telling me why you're terrorizing my staff?"

Ironhide's optics blazed white.

"You're Staff!"

he sneered the word like it was some disgusting, second rate clogged filter found at the bottom of a swelter pit,

"has refused to fix Jazz's sparkling. And they refuse to give him back so we can find someone who will!"

Ratchet frowned, sending a sharp glare at his nurse. The femme's optics noticeably dimmed, telling Ratchet that what Ironhide said was true. Ratchet glanced back at the silver bot and the sparkling, running several scans. Neither one of them were damaged.

Jazz's sparkling? No way he's barely out of training himself.

He studied the scene again, this time noticing the door behind Mist was locked.

And if I'm guessing right, there must be another sparkling in the room she locked up. Why by the 13 are they refusing to fix an injured new spark, and why the Pit are they not allowing them to see it?

The entire situation reeked like bad energon.

First things first, it seemed. He needed to see the injury.

"Open the door, Mist."

"But Sir.. - "

"Do not make me repeat myself."

The femme shivered before nodding reluctantly and unlocking the door behind her. Not allowing her or the Caretaker past him, Ratchet slipped into the examination room.

There, lying on the repair table and firmly strapped down was a tiny yellow sparkling.

Ratchet felt his fluids boil at the sighte of the tiny new spark strapped down and still online. It clicked softly in pain, turning pale blue optics in Ratchet's direction. It wasn't wailing like the other was, though Ratchet would have preferred that it had. This lack luster reaction, especially after being locked all alone in a room for Primus knew how long meant it was weak. There was a wound on its left side, just under the arm, gaping and ugly as it sparked and, dripped energon from a broken line.

Snarling in absolute fury , Ratchet whirled on the femme that had dared follow him. She yelped, ducking down in a well- practiced maneuver as Ratchet threw something at her. Everyone in the hospital had become painfully familiar with his aim and temper.

"What is the slagging MEANING of this! This sparkling should never have been left alone! WHY isn't anyone repairing him!?"


Still cowering from him, she turned a disgusted look toward the giant mech who had gone wide eyed at Ratchet's violence. Medics were usually extreme peacebots, not able to harm a spark in any way. In all of Ironhide's vorns, he'd never seen such fury in a medic.

"That thing only has half a spark!"

Ratchet paused, his favorite throwing wrench ready to fly. It didn't matter that his target was a femme, - stupidity knew no model or chassis, and thus his wrench didn't discriminate.


"That thing is a twin. THEY are twins!"

She pointed at the red sparkling in the silver bot's arms. Jazz glared at the nurse, cuddling the red sparkling tighter against him. She smiled as Ratchet didn't utter a sound at first, smug in her confidence that Ratchet would see things her way.

Ratchet's armor began to literally vibrate in sheer, unvoiced FURY! The sound drew everyone's attention back to Ratchet. The femme took a step back.

"YOU…and everyone in this building is in serious - and I mean SERIOUS slag!"

he hissed, the smug smile on the femme's face falling away. She…everyone had been banking on Ratchet backing them up! He was, after all, the only mech with the authority to confiscate a sparkling or to deactivate one.

"I don't slaggin CARE if this sparkling was Unicon himself! He should have been repaired without a thought! There are no if's, and's, or buts! We are REPAIR bots, PERIOD! After a bot is fixed, then we can sit back and think! - and not a slaggin tick before!. Now get the Pit out of my sight!"

When the femme didn't move, Ratchet growled out a final word. It terrified her more than the big black bot ever could. No one crossed Ratchet. He was the best and had connections one would think a medical worker simply couldn't have. If he wanted them all fired or even arrested, all he had to do was send the message and every employee here, from attendings to the janitor would be gone and the hospital restaffed before the next recharge cycle. There were even rumors of worse things he could have done to them. Favors he had accumulated with unsavory bots by saving their lives.


The femme fled.

"You two!"

Ratchet snarled, startling both black and silver bot badly.

"Get in here and close the door."

They did so quietly, shock written across their features.

Ratchet ignored it as he put the sparkling into stasis. The small yellow one clicked at him softly before going offline. He studied the injury carefully; someone had obviously tried to repair it - not bad, although he could tell it wasn't by someone specialized in repairs. Probably Ironhide, all Caretakers knew how to repair minor injuries. The combination of fragile bodies and clumsiness equaled a lot of minor injuries.

"Ratchet…thank you,."

the silver bot said softly…Jazz, if he remembered right.

"Shut it. I don't want your thanks. What happened?"

he snarled, but the bite had gone out of his voice. Jazz seemed to sense this as he spoke without hesitating.

"I…I turned my back just for a second. Someone attacked Sunstreaker."


Ratchet glanced down at the yellow sparkling. He could see metal chips in the paint that would, probably sparkle in the light. It was a nice color, although a bit bright for Ratchet's taste. He preferred calmer colors like his own red and white.

"Fitting. A bit young to be named, though, isn't he?"

Most creators didn't name their sparklings until they were ready for a Caretaker.

"Wasn't sure how long they would live. I thought if they should die, they outta be able to introduce themselves to Primus."

"I'll have to do more scans, but just from looking at that red one, they're healthy."

Ratchet could hear the relieved vent from Jazz's systems.

"What about you?"

He glanced at Ironhide, remembering now. Ratchet had met this mech once before; he'd.been the trainer of the current Prime. He was a first class Caretaker one of the best on Cybertron. It made Ratchet wonder what he would be doing with a defective spark like this. He thought Ironhide would have sided with the femme, if not outright deactivated these twins himself. He had the authority to do so, and no one would have questioned him.

"I came to back up my student."

Ratchet actually stopped working on the sparkling to turn towards them, surprised.

"You haven't even graduated yet?"

Jazz shook his head no.

"I will be soon."

"What the hell are you doing with these two, then? You can't be their creator?"

"No, I didn't create them."

He cradled the red one in his arms gently. The sparkling, despite being so young, looked ridiculously large in the diminutive bot's arms.

He looked up, meeting Ratchet's gaze, and the medic was startled at the emotion he saw in those blue optics.

"I stole them."

Ratchet really couldn't think of what to say. Kidnapping wasn't unheard of, but it was extremely rare. Usually it happened in the upper circles, among bots of influence and power. Or perhaps in the slave trading business.

Neither was true in this case. , Jazz obviously wasn't high class and he was too protective of the sparklings to want to sell them into slavery.

"I'm telling you this…'cause you're helpin' him."

Jazz gazed longingly at the yellow sparkling.

"Ain't no un got the right to say who lives and who dies. It ain't right!"

Ratchet raised on optic ridge as a distinctive accent started to make itself known. Judging from Ironhide's disapproving glare, he'd bet his favorite throwing wrench the big black bot had been working to get rid of it from the moment he'd taken the youngling on. Jazz was simply too upset to care about it right now.

"They are perfect. Nothin' wrong wit' 'em."

Ratchet sighed as he finished the repairs on the little one. It wasn't as bad as he feared. The sparkling had probably just exhausted itself in fighting the restraints; it hadn't been. due to its wounds.

Ratchet sighed to himself. He wasn't stupid; he could guess where this line of thought came from. Jazz was a very small bot, small enough that some would have wanted him deactivated, claiming he was defective. Truth was, other than a Cassetticon or drone, the medic himself had never seen a final- upgrade bot Jazz's size. It was almost ridiculous how small he was.

What a pain in the aft.

"I'll report them as orphans."

Jazz started to protest but Ratchet cut him off.

"Ironhide, if you graduate this student I can have them legally bound to them. He's young , but no one will say anything. I'll personally guarantee that."

Ratchet turned a harsh look at Jazz.

"Are you sure you want this ,youngling? Being a creator, even an adoptive one ain't no energon goodie. It's hard work. Especially once they outgrow you…"

He looked Jazz up and down, a smirk almost reaching his lips.

"Which I also guarantee will happen sooner rather than later."

Jazz said without hesitation.

"Alright then., Sunstreaker…what's his twin's name?"


"Well, you slaggers, I have a feeling you're all going to give me headaches for vorns to come. Come with me. I'll need your ident codes."


Ratchet shook his head in a human gesture of disbelief as the memories faded.

"Jazz would be spark broken."

Ratchet didn't look at Ironhide, so he didn't know how the warrior reacted to that.

"Those two…the fact they survived meant everything to Jazz. Those few vorns before the war, he campaigned so hard to save 'defective' sparks.…"

Ratchet sighed. He had somehow gotten roped into Jazz's campaign as a professional opinion. Jazz had been something else, he was just so likeable and manipulative that he could talk you into anything. Even bots discriminative towards him for his size ended up warming up to him. No one could ignore his charm when he decided to lay it on.

Despite that, there had been very few sparks they had managed to save. The Council and those in power were just too set in their ways. Cybertron did not want to change, and at the time, everyone believed things would be as they were forever.

But that campaign had been how Jazz met and impressed Optimus so much. He had become a diplomat under Prime, a position unheard of for one so young. Jazz had gone from nothing to everything -, rags to riches, as the humans would say.

"Don't displace your anger over Jazz's death onto those two."

Ironhide suddenly rounded on Ratchet so quickly that the medic jumped. Optics blazing wide and bright bored into his.

"You shut your vocalizer! I never asked for your opinion!"

"You're only angry because I'm right, you slagger."

Ratchet crossed his arms, refusing to let the larger mech intimidate him.


And with that, Ironhide stalked out of the room.

Ratchet sighed . Ironhide was a stubborn old fool. He just hoped neither of the Twins caught wind of this. They had enough pain and guilt to deal with on their own, without Ironhide's misplaced anger piling on top of it.

He would have to speak with Prime. Perhaps Prowl would be better in disciplining the Twins for the meantime, or maybe even Springer. He and the Twins got along well enough, the triple changer had some deep- rooted 'beliefs', but he'd never treated the twins any different because of them.

"Pain in the aft, the lot of you."