Ok, I have permission, so I'm RUNNING WITH THIS! OMG! I love it. So, yeah, the first part of this story and the lovely little plot bunny belong to: Saesama! They come from her/his/ that thing over there's story glances into a spark, which I think is great! AWWWWW. Disclaimer. I don't own transformers or a bull mastiff... I use to have a little yappy thing... She died. So sad. I KNOW! Maybe I should get a bull mastiff and name it Ironhide! YES! No. I live in a little two bedroom apartment. No giant dogs named Ironhide. Le-sigh. Ok, so, I've been wanting to write a Fanfic in honor of Mouse Dragon's Baby Mine series for a while now but I couldn't seem to get my muse kick started in that direction until now... A combonation of two three Plot Bunnies, Saesama's Glances Into A Spark, My Plot Bunny from WTF Dozo ikanai-yo, koi shiteru AND Mouse Dragon's fic Baby Mine.WARNING: CHARACTER DEATH. (No Ironhide isn't going to accidentally kill Annabelle. Jeeze.) THANKS SAESAMA. Love you Mouse Dragon!

-Part of the story written by Saesama-

Will Lennox eyed his tiny daughter carefully. She had that set, thoughtful look on her face that he'd come to know and fear. It wasn't fair, really, that a full-grown, battle-hardened soldier should be so easily swayed by a child, so he consoled himself that he was setting to right some imbalance of his in a past life and steeled himself for what the girl was going to say.

"Daddy, can we get a dog? Kinda like Unc' Sam?"

Will bit back a groan and resisted the urge to thump his head off Ironhide's steering wheel. Of course. Mojo had been with Sam at the Autobot base, an aging bundle of still-active nerves and high-pitched yips. Annabelle had loved him on sight, and the afternoon had been spent with the girl pampering the tiny dog, all belly rubs and cuddles and the treats that she'd snuck from Sam's office. Mojo had consented with good will to the treatment, despite Will's unvoiced worry that Anna would get nipped for carrying him around like a baby.

And now, she was hooked on getting a canine. Hoo boy.

Will relaxed back against the padded leather seat, casually pretending to drive, as Ironhide had a mild aversion to being 'steered around by some organic like a mindless hunk of metal'. He tried to think of a way to stall, failed, and looked at Annabelle again. "A dog, sugar?" He asked. "A little lap-rat like Mojo?"

Annabelle screwed up her face in thought, nose wrinkling. "Mojo's nice but he's tiny." She said finally. "I want a big dog. One I can ride on and wrestle with."

And get bitten by and eaten up like Little Red Riding Hood, Will's mind finished grimly. He'd been born and bred in the city, and while living out in the middle of nowhere was nice enough, he was still wary around anything bigger than a guinea pig, doubly so if Annabelle was involved. Which made the girl's utter adoration of anything with four legs and fur a real trial on his fatherly nerves.

Obviously, it was time to play 'distract the baby'.

"What'dya need a dog for?" He asked, grinning down at the earnest face turned towards his. "We're riding in our own giant pet mutt right now." In response, Ironhide's engine revved, shaking the entire vehicle, and Will grinned wider when Annabelle giggled. "See? He even growls like one."

The rock from the radio abruptly cut off. "That's not funny." Ironhide warned. Will wasn't fooled for a bit. The radio was silent for a moment before Ironhide continued. "What is it with you humans and your claiming ownership on stupid animals?"

"So, you're a stupid animal now?" Will drawled, and the entire cab gave a shake that made Annabelle shriek with laughter. "Okay, okay, I'm sorry." Will chuckled, holding up his hands disarmingly, ignoring the fact that he should be pretending to drive. "Please don't smash us, Mr. Giant Robot."

"Humans," Ironhide growled, making the word a half-felt curse. "Don't know why I put up with you."

"Cause you love us." Annabelle replied cheerfully, earning only an annoyed grumble back from the truck. Will relaxed, hands back on the wheel. For a moment, it seemed that turning Annabelle's attention to Ironhide had worked. Then she looked back at him and he swore mentally. "Please, Daddy?" She begged, clasping her hands and fluttering her eyelashes ridiculously. "Can we get a dog?"

Will knew, knew, that Ironhide was laughing at his discomfort and apparent inability to deny his girl. More of that balancing act, karma at work or something equally annoying. "...I'll talk to your mom about it." He said finally. Annabelle clapped her hands in delight, and Will sighed.

o o o

Will kept his promise. Sarah had been doubtful, but willing to consider the idea. "I'm not bringing home Beethoven, though," she had warned, and Will had quite eagerly agreed.

Later on, when Ironhide sent his phone a smug text message asking which of them really wore the collar in the house, Will deleted it with a sour jab of his thumb.

o o o

Sarah frowned to herself when she checked in on Annabelle the next morning. The girl's bed was empty, the blanket gone. She had a habit of disappearing from bed in the night, finding somewhere else in the house to sleep - the couch, the linen closet, under the kitchen table, and more than once, Ironhide's cab. She was always safe enough, but Sarah still found it disconcerting. Sighing through her nose, she started checking the usual places for her wayward girl.

Annabelle was in the living room. And she wasn't alone.

The dog was huge - a great mastiff, dark red-brown and built like a tank. Sarah's voice caught, jagged in her throat, at the sight of the creature sprawled across her living room rug, Annabelle curled against the dark cliff of it's belly and sleeping soundly. Sarah backed away, trying to find the wits to get Will and his rifle, not daring to leave her baby alone with the beast.

"Sarah?" Will, behind her, coming down the stairs. "Baby, Anna's disappeared again, you-Jesus!" The exclamation fell from his mouth at the sight of the dog on the floor, his eyes going wide at the scene. Slowly, he drew back into himself, tensing, and to Sarah, it looked like her husband was two seconds from vaulting the couch and taking the thing on bare-handed to protect their daughter. Will was already formulating a way to get them all outside without harm coming to Sarah or Annabelle, and maybe have Ironhide step on the thing when it chased them.

One of the dog's eyes opened to look at them - bright, electric, unnaturally glowing blue.

Will blinked and tried to swallow past the lump of alarm that blocked his throat. "...Ironhide?" He managed slowly, hearing Sarah's breath hitch slightly at the word. He'd seen the alien robots use what Ratchet called 'holomatter forms' before - usually a false driver with a bad moustache. It had never once occurred to him that they could take other forms as well.

As if in answer to his query, his phone rang from his pocket, the jaunty tune that meant a message from someone not so human. Will fished it out and flipped it open, Sarah leaning over his arm to read.

-until you decide to get her a true oversized rodent this should suffice-

Will and Sarah looked at each other for a moment, bewildered, before the phone sang again, alerting them to another message.

-and don't give me that slag about her being heartbroken when the hologram disappears. she knows its me-

Will let out a long, slow breath, the tension in his chest finally easing. "Fine," he said. "But you better watch how realistic you decide to make the thing, especially on my rug." The false mastiff let out a distinctly Ironhide-ish huff at them, the huge head settling more firmly on his front paws. Will rolled his eyes and followed Sarah into the kitchen for coffee. Oblivious to them all, Annablle slept on.

-Begin my part of the story...-

In the six weeks since Ironhide had the brilliant idea to be a dog, he and Annabelle had gotten so close they practically were the same person. That suited him just fine. He would never admit it of course, but the little girl brought a smile to his spark every time she said his name. His loud complaining about her demanding he allow her to ride his hologram like a pony was simply to keep his reputation. He to struggle to keep from plastering a stupid grin on his face every time she giggled and told him "giddy'up Hide!"

Seeing how well he was doing with Annabelle, it was no surprise when Sarah and Will decided to leave him alone with her. It was just to a movie and out to dinner. 3 hours tops Will assured him.

"Hide are you sure you can handle this?" Sarah asked, the worry in her voice evident. Ironhide scowled and pointedly curled his massive holoform protectively around around Annabelle, who was busy watching the Little Mermaid 2.

"Sarah, I kin handle this. I promise. Go."

"Bah'bye mommy!" Annabelle smiled and waved, leaning back against Ironhide and getting comfy.

"If anything happens, anything at all..." Will grabbed Sarah's arm, pulling her towards the door and shooting his friend an apologetic look.

"I kin hack yer cell phone. Sarah, I got more fire power then the US Army, ya really think anything's gonna happen?" The mastiff rolled his big blue eyes, a lopsided grin crossing his canine face.. "Have fun you two."

Four minutes later, Sarah's Toyota Camry took off down the road, leaving a massive alien "dog", a little girl and a singing crab all to themselves. If only Ironhide had known what was to come. He wouldn't have been so eager for them to leave.

-Four Hours Later-

Ironhide needed Sarah and Will to get home. Badly. He swore to himself as Annabelle popped in another video, that if he had to watch one more animated animal singing about being happy like a stupid frag-tard he was going to hunt down this Walt Disney fellow and blow him into little tiny bits of dead.

Sure enough, there on the screen was yet another stupid animated animal. This time it was a mother deer, surrounded by furry happy looking little forest creatures all talking in stupid happy voices about how happy they were about the stupid baby deer curled up beside her. Any minute now, they would start singing a stupid song about being stupid, he just knew it. He let out a growl of frustration and checked the time, AGAIN. Slagging humans were late.

Just then, Ironhide's sensors picked up an approaching vehicle. With a relieved sigh, he relaxed. Until he realized the two humans in the car were both male and neither of them was William. As he got a better look at it, a sinking feeling filled his spark. The car coming up the road was a police car.

"Annabelle baby, I need you ta get up."

Annabelle blinked sleepily, her big brown eyes looking up at him curiously. "How come?"

"Some one is coming and I need to change form."

"Ok!" Annabelle got up, sucking her thumb and watching curiously as suddenly the Mastiff was replaced by a muscular middle aged man with graying salt and pepper black hair and eerie blue eyes, wearing a dark green plaid button down shirt, stone washed Levi jeans and worn black cowboy boots. He quirked the side of his mouth into a half grin.

"Well? Whadda ya think?"

Annabelle grinned "You look old!"

Ironhide chuckled and scooped her up, plopping her onto the couch and dropping a blanket on her head. "I am old. Now, you stay here and watch..."

"Bambi!" The little girl supplied eagerly.

"Bambi. I'm gonna go talk to the men who are comin, ok?" He scanned again, they had made it halfway up the driveway and were approaching fast. Quickly he assessed the threat level. Two ruger .35 hand guns, two cans of pepper spray and a high powered assault rifle in the vehicle. Slag it all. He sent a com to Optimus.

"Optimus, I have a problem. Two human law enforcement officers are approaching the residence. Both are packin heat. Requesting orders?" He silently pleaded with Primus that the Autobot leader would be merciful and give him instructions.

"Odd. I do not see a reason for them to attempt to harm a child. Do not engage in battle unless fired upon. I'm on my way, ETA 23 minutes. "

"Understood." With a heavy sigh, Ironhide looked down at the little girl, who was now fast asleep on the couch, before his hologram turned to peer out the window. The police had now pulled up beside him and shut off the engine. A moment later, they stepped out, making their way to the front door. Ironhide braced himself. Instead of weapons fire, there was a simple knock. Relief filled him as he realized they weren't here to attack.

Cautiously he approached, scanning carefully to make sure there was no other threats in the area and slid back the deadbolt, pulling the door open swiftly and blocking the doorway with his hologram in the same motion. There was no way they would be getting into the house.

"Can I help you?" He said gruffly. The expression on the cops faces filled his spark with dread. He knew that look. That was the something really bad has happened and I don't know how to tell you look. He'd seen it countless times, usually on the face of Ratchet when he was talking about a serious injury.

"Evening sir, is this the residence of William and Sarah Lennox?"

"Yeah." Ironhide didn't like where this was going. Not one bit.

"We're wondering if perhaps there is a member of the family at home?"

Ironhide thought fast, trying to figure out how to not tell them about Annabelle without making them suspicious. In an instant he had an idea. "That would be me. I'm William's brother...Uh... Bob. Wanna tell me what this is about?"

"I'm afraid we have some bad news..." Ironhide didn't need to hear more. He knew. Deep down in his breaking spark he knew exactly why they had come. In an instant he pushed through the door, shutting it silently behind him to shield the sleeping Annabelle from the words he knew would come next and wondered what the slag to do now.

"There was an accident on the I-5. I'm afraid there were no survivors. I'm very sorry. We were told they have a daughter, is she at home?"

"Yeah. Annabelle. She's asleep. Thanks." With that he opened the door, swiftly stepping back into the house and shutting the door abruptly, not caring what else the humans had to say as his deep blue optics rested on the little girl who would wake up to find her entire world turned upside down. Hanging his head, he contacted the one person he knew who would know what to do.

"Optimus, I need you..."

The tone in Ironhide's voice was all Optimus needed. For the first time since Mission City, he broke the speed limit.

"What's wrong Hide?"

"Sarah and Will are dead."

Saying it made it real, his hologram shuddered slightly as he did battle with his emotions.

"I'm coming Hide, hold on."