Chapter One


A revised version of how Optimus Prime and a miss Elita One met… I'm all for Elita because of her "girl-power" antics. Please enjoy, please review (in that order) and for the sake of a newbie please no flames. I know you're all pretty nice around here.

The recruit office looked ominous.

Well, not surprising. How many had she seen arrive on its threshold and heave energon remnants all over the feet of the officer as he opened the door to not do just that? She'd escorted her own best friend here only weeks ago; it had taken several tries to get the large, shaky mech to just open the slagging door and say "Hi, I wanna kill some Decepticons. Where do I sign up?"

That line had the officers rolling in their seats.

Yeah, Elita thought it up.

She shook her head and proceeded down the busy road, the small steelplex building fading behind her. Frag. This was her, what, fifth loop? Every time she turned that corner she thought This time for sure, only to feel her energon tanks clench uncomfortably and force her onwards. She kicked the same discarded bottle she'd kicked four times previously, and the slagging thing finally shattered. Geez, she was losing her touch. Her kicks had been famous at the old strategy academy she'd previously attended; most mechs there seemed to think that a femme sitting in the room was an excuse for "accidental" trips and "accidental" uncomfortable touches.

Their poor afts would never be the same.

What am I doing? She wondered miserably, her optics following the slow procession of a transport vehicle along the Cybertronian highway. Why had she ever been under the impression that a femme her age had a chance? That a femme in general had a chance? She'd never been in combat, never pointed the nose of a gun and held the trigger, she'd never taken a life. As her instructors at the strategy had said on the first day…Primus, that first day…

"I'm looking at you all right now," the ancient mech had declared loudly, gazing at them with a kind of furious pride, "because you are the best of the best. Femme and mech alike have struggled through the junior classes, but only the elite have made it into this course. Because you may have what it takes. You may have the brains, the intelligence, the tact. But you know what? Looking at you all right now, I doubt even half of you have the Spark."

His statement had been met by silence—both confused and slightly terrified.

"Looking at you all right now," he'd continued, his optics locked strangely on Elita as he did so, "do you think you've got the Spark…the guts…to look at a member of the same species, aim that gun, and pull the trigger? Because I will tell you the truth all teachers before you have outright denied—we are no different from the Decepticons when it boils down to Sparks. We are all Transformers, all the children of Primus…we just have different ways of thinking. That's it. We think differently. Yet we fight. Do you know why? I do. It's because we fear the way the other side thinks. We are afraid of the Decepticons…so we meet them fearlessly."

It was funny. As confused mutters spread throughout the class, Elita's optics had widened slightly; she understood. It was suddenly made crystal clear, all of the smog was swept away with a few simple words. We fear the way the other side thinks. It was so true. Elita did not fear the Decepticons; they were Transformers. She feared them no more than the ancient, crippled mech before her. She feared the way they thought, what they considered to be right and wrong…and the intelligence they possessed to enforce that thinking.

The truth was such a beautiful, terrifying thing.

Snapped from her nostalgia, Elita turned and looked back at the recruit building, not a hundred yards away. Her feet set off without her orders, without her knowledge, but she didn't care. She didn't care how she got there, as long as her name was on that military list. As long as her superiors would look down at her name and think "Another one. Just like the three hundred before." She didn't want to stand out; not yet. She had to be a part of this; she had to be an Autobot, she had to stand beside someone who thought as she did. She didn't care if it was a mech or femme or some freakish combination of both; she needed a friend.

Primus, more than anything she needed a friend.

But where to find such a person…

Optimus Prime groaned as he stretched his sore joints. It wasn't the first time he'd done either; the recruit lists went on and on…

And on.

And on.

"So many frisky little ones eager to get themselves blown up," Prowl said disapprovingly, shifting a large stack of resumes off of his leader's desk and onto his own. "Give me those, or you'll blow a gasket."

"Prowl, I can…"

"No you can't. Just do what you've got there, and I'll do this, and maybe we'll get a few minutes of recharge in before the night's done," Prowl said, waving a hand dismissively. Optimus smiled slightly and bent back over the endless paperwork; at least this resume in particular seemed promising. Wasn't every day you got a kid who knew a thing or two about medical techniques.

Ratchet would be thrilled.

"Why are they so eager, Prime?" Prowl muttered, and although he used his commander's name he seemed to be talking to himself. "Why are they so eager to scar their innocent optics?"

"…I don't know," Prime murmured, leaning back in his chair and tilting his head to stare at the dull steel ceiling. His optics seemed to be up there a lot lately. "They probably don't know what they're going to see. This war's young; they don't know what it's like out there. We were the same way, were we not?"

Prowl scowled and looked up at his commander. "Well, yeah, but we had to practically drag ourselves to the recruit office. We were terrified, remember? Even Ironhide was, like, hyperventilating."

"Who's to say these little ones aren't?" Optimus chuckled, indicating the stack of paperwork Prowl once again hid behind. "They're just caught up in their own fantasies, old friend. Convinced they'll walk in and play the hero, convinced that all of Cybertron will revere them as Primus-sent salvation, that they'll become instant femme magnets…"

"See? Look at the bad examples you set," Prowl said critically, but a grin immediately stretched over his face. Optimus laughed widely; Prowl had a way of poking his humble ego bubble in a most pleasing way.

The laughter died slightly as he looked down at the desk; much to his disappointment the "To Do" pile was considerably larger than the "Done" pile. With a sigh he pulled his chair back in and bent over once more—and the name that met his optics made him jerk slightly.


"Huh what?" Prowl grunted, his optic ridges pulling together as he entered a heightened state of concentration.

"…I just wasn't expecting…uh…huh. It's a femme."

Papers flew all over as Prowl threw his arms into the air; Optimus jumped so badly he almost fell out of his seat, and his temporary unprofessional predicament sent Prowl into a fit of giggles for a good ten minutes.

"Another one, huh?" Prowl snorted, and Optimus's faceplates reddened slightly as his energon heated with embarrassment. He silently told his chemical reactors to cut it out. "I don't know, we've gotten a couple of femmes signing up…I guess they think is a free dating source or something…"

Optimus blinked his optics and frowned quizzically. "Maybe they honestly want to help the cause."

Prowl snorted. "Have you seen today's femmes? I saw one out on the road the other day; she was all in a slagging fit because someone put the tiniest scratch on her paintjob. I thought fists were gonna fly, it was a real mess. I actually had to pull out the badge and tell them to knock it off before they really went at it. Seriously, femmes are scary when it comes to looks."

Optimus laughed. How like a femme.

"This ain't no walk in th' pahk, ya hear?" the giant black mech growled, his dark blue optics fixed upon the rather large crowd of recruits before him. "Y'all musta done somethin' spectacular to make it this fa', but do ya know where ya ahre? This is Autabaht headquarters, kids. This is where th' best o' th' best make their rounds, this is where it's ahll at. Ya think yah're jus' gonna put yer feet up and enjoy th' view? Yer wrong. Yah're gonna cry, yah're gonna sweat yer energon; an' if ya make it past that ya getta go to th' front an' cry some more. Only frahm there on ou', it's th' real deal. Yah'll be crying over th' body of a dead comrahde, an' yah'll havta get used ta it."

"Scary, huh?" someone muttered, and Elita jumped; she hadn't been expecting a feminine voice here of all places.


"I mean, that guy's, like, terrifying," the femme snorted, crossing her arms over her blue-green frame. "I heard he's called Ironhide. He's the third in command around here or something."

"The second being…?"

"Uh, some mech named Prowl. Um, please know the name of the first in command?"

Elita sighed, and her faceplates reddened. Optimus Prime. How could she ever forget that name? That name had been the source of it all…her whole reason for joining the military, for attending the strategy seminars, for walking past that recruit office for the past year…

The day she'd gone with her best friend to the steelplex building—the mech with the slagging awesome tough guy line—he'd been there. His deep baritone had vibrated around the walls of the small building as she'd entered. He'd been leaning casually against the wall, his arms folded over his broad chest, his soft laugh a deep rumble in his throat; and he'd looked up and smiled and her Spark had very nearly extinguished then and there.

Primus, had anything ever looked so noble?

"Victim two seventy three," he'd said warmly, smiling at the shaky mech. "Welcome, young one. Ready for hell or what?"

He'd been so casual. So gentle. And yet…as he walked her best friend through the conscription process, Elita had only hovered in the background, her Spark clenching uncomfortably. Her faceplates had felt hot, and her form had begun to shake almost uncontrollably as he laughed again, his voice warm and content. And the whole time she could only watch, watch and wonder who he was, if he was part of the Autobot resistance, if he was a high ranking officer, if he had a mate…

Stupid question, that last one. But she wondered all the same.

Because she could picture herself so easily in those arms; all too easily she could imagine the caress of his fingers against her cheek, all too easily she could imagine the sweet, metallic taste of his lips…

And he'd looked up.

"You're awfully quiet over there," he'd said gently, smiling tentatively, inviting her to speak. "Is Chasm here a friend of yours? Or…?"

Talk, she'd begged herself silently. Say something. Tell him your name. He won't care, but it'll go to his memory banks. It'll be there.

My name could be in his memory.

So somehow she'd managed it. She'd managed to squeeze out her name, why she was there, that yes, Chasm was her friend—why so much emphasis on that last word?—and she'd asked him about himself a little. Casually as a femme with a racing Spark and burning face could.

And he'd told her. He almost looked like he had to think a bit on his name—but it had come back easily enough and he'd told her. He was the Autobot commander. It was his day off. His second in command was the spawn of Primus and had agreed to take over his shift. He hadn't been out in weeks. Did he mention his second in command was the spawn of Primus?

His name. His rank. His second in command was the spawn of Primus.

This was all Elita knew about Optimus Prime. The handsome, charismatic Autobot leader who'd spoken so kindly to her, who'd smiled with so much warmth. And at the time, she'd felt it; a desperate, overwhelming need to be near him. For a while, just the thought of being on the same planet was wonderful, the fact that they were usually in the same city a gift from Primus. But as time went on, she found herself thinking of him more often, and her longing grew stronger, her need for him overpowering. She didn't know what to call the feeling…

But it wasn't love.

No, there was no way. The few precious minutes hadn't been enough, the few wonderful words weren't enough for her to fall for him. She couldn't fall for a mech she didn't know. She couldn't call for anyone right now. Period. She was a military femme now, a raw recruit, and fighting for the cause was the goal. She couldn't get distracted. So she focused on the black mech before her, tried to listen to his words—but a slight movement on the battle bridge above them caught her attention.

And that familiar "love" feeling caught her again.

But only briefly, for it was replaced by confusion.

Optimus Prime was leaning over the balcony, his dark blue optics surveying the small crowd below carefully, his face calculating, but…what was wrong with him? His face was hidden by a steel mask, his stance was tight, his optics cold and unfeeling, gazing upon the recruits not as fellow Transformers but as soldiers, tools of destruction, the drones that would stake their lives to fight this war. Fear took Elita as she watched his optics narrow slightly, his expression growing harder as Ironhide dove into his "how to protect yer aft" speech—to which the femme beside her was listening with some enhanced interest. Yes, Elita felt fear, but then the warmth came back as his face softened very slightly, almost invisibly; and although his remaining intensity worried her she found she did not want to look away. He was too beautiful, too noble in the Cybertronian sun's dying light.

No, she didn't want to look away.

Never again.

And it didn't look as though this would be a problem, for at that moment, as his optics wandered the virtual sea of recruits, they paused on her. His blue irises widened in recognition; against her will her head turned away, her face red, despite the infuriated protests of her Spark. She tried to focus on Ironhide's "how to not shoot yerself in th' face," but her mind continually wandered to the massive mech above. She wanted to slap herself; this was no time to act like a youngling with a crush! But it was there, all the same, that warm "love" feeling…the truth was once again beautiful:

He had remembered.

The mass of recruits swarmed from the steel doors of the auditorium a half hour later, the confused babble a maelstrom over the officer's orderly yells. Many gave up after a few chaotic moments, leaving two hundred large humanoid robots to find the slaggin' dormitories on their own. For a time, Elita followed the trend, knowing no better than the energetic femme at her side where their quarters were located. However, when another half hour of aimless wandering didn't get them anywhere, she took the initiative, pausing at bulletins and empty computer monitors in the hopes of finding a map of some kind.

"I'm Chromia, by the way," the femme at her side chirped brightly, bouncing in step behind Elita as she craned to see the top of a holo-screen. "I'm from Iacon, third division. Who are you, where're you from?"

"Elita," she replied vaguely. "I'm from Iacon, second division…you see a map anywhere?"

"Huh? Nope. So, Elita, huh? Lucky, getting a cool name. I mean, what the pit is a Chromia? Isn't that some weird kind of element?"

"That's chromium."

"Right, well, same difference. What's Elita supposed to mean?"

Elita frowned slightly. "I'm not sure. I don't think it means anything in particular…just the name they gave me. Seriously, help me find a map."


She jumped badly, her Spark clenched as the gentle hand came to rest upon her shoulder, and she felt her faceplates redden; oh, how she'd long to hear that deep voice again… she turned and found herself gazing up into his bold optics.

"I thought I recognized you," he laughed, his optics devoid of the coldness she's seen earlier. "Tell me, Elita, what in Primus's good name is a femme like you doing in a place like this?"

"I was…inspired," she said vaguely, reflecting on her true reason for joining up—just to be near him… "I guess it was impulse more than anything…"

He chuckled. "Huh. You may find impulse isn't enough to get you through this place, recruit."

"I can hold up," she said firmly, smirking widely.

"Really," he retaliated, folding his arms over his broad chest. "Are you a good shot?"

"You bet the pit I am," she growled.

Although she could not see, his lips twitched in a smile. Interesting, this femme. Those were bold words in the face of her commander. Then again, this femme had been interesting from the very beginning. "Well. You'll have to join me in the shooting range sometime, won't you?"

"Be ready to lose," she retorted confidently, and he released a deep laugh.

"I'll humble my ego. Well, I have duties to return to, but…I don't suppose you're looking for the recruit quarters?"

"As a matter of fact," Elita said meekly, blushing slightly. Hard thing to admit to, being lost.

He chuckled and motioned for them to follow (Chromia had been watching the interaction open mouthed) and set off down the slightly less crowded hallway, veering away from the mass in the complete opposite direction. Elita and her newfound friend followed (Chromia's jaw still hanging wide open), jogging to match his brisk, strong pace. Taking note of this, he slowed his gait enough that they could walk comfortably at his side.

And as they did so he could not help watching her. He was admittedly unaccustomed to seeing femmes around his base—seeing them anywhere in general, really, though he was unwittingly followed by a fair few whenever he went out in public. But it did not take a mech well versed with the ladies to see the obvious; this Elita person was beautiful. Her armor hugged all the right curves, her face was perfectly molded from the softest steel, her voice trilled in a pleasing way when she laughed. She didn't look like a creature made for the battle field, but that was what was most intriguing; it struck Optimus as incredible that this delicate looking form held such a determined, strong Spark. After some speculation he realized hers and his positions were exactly opposite. His wide, impressive body hid his insecure feelings toward this war, his enemies, his comrades…


Himself most of all.

"Here you are," he said, opening a door that led into a wide gray hallway, lined with many other—considerably smaller—doors. "Not much to look at, but they're comfortable enough on the inside. We're working up the funds to have some kind of computer installed in each, but this Primus-forsaken war racks up prices you wouldn't believe…" he shook his head darkly and turned to them. "So. Have you got a number."

"Uh," Elita replied blankly. "Was I supposed to?"

He smiled and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You're in the military now, recruit. We get organized around here or we get killed. Even down to room numbers. I'll bunk you in eleven-sixty-one over here, and your friend can take the one just aside it. But be prepared to move, okay? My second in command is a real monster when it comes to little things like this."

"The spawn of Primus?" Elita blurted. She'd replayed that through her head for the months since she'd first met him; it was one of the three facts she had about him.

His optics blinked, then the memory came back and he laughed. "Well, such a judgment is debatable under circumstances. But Prowl's a good guy, really he is. Anyway, I'll leave you two to it; Ironhide will be about ready to blow a circuit by now, what with all these young ones running around, and Ratchet will be needing my help to calm him down. It was nice seeing you again."

His sudden extension of his hand startled her slightly, but she slipped hers in. Instead of the brisk shake she'd been expecting, his strong fingers closed gently over hers in an almost affection squeeze; his optics met with hers briefly before he slipped away and down the hall. She felt a sudden, unexplainable urge to tear after him, wrap her arms around him and sleep forever in his warm embrace—not that she knew what his embrace was like, she reminded herself sternly. This was no time to let romance bloom, she had duties to keep. However, Chromia seemed to think the opposite.

"That was juicy," she said mildly.

Victory—chapter one is complete! I do hope you enjoyed it, I had so much fun writing it; I'm such a huge optimusXelita fan. Review if you'd like, please neglect to leave flames; I'll get burned.

I'll update as soon as I can, but please be patient.