Author's note: This was too funny an idea to pass up. I was dared to do it!

.o

Sand and Vacuum Cleaners

.o

As long as he lived, Optimus Prime swore he would never do battle on a beach again. Ever!

He was fine with getting wet. His systems could handle a little salt water. What he wasn't fine with was having Starscream slam him into the sand after getting wet. Sand clung to everything. He could feel it grinding across neural wires, rattling between his joints and some even fell into his air intakes, choking him.

Starscream took advantage of Optimus' predicament and escaped. His reason for attacking didn't matter to Optimus at the moment.

Optimus transformed. He wished he hadn't. The drive back into the city was complete, blinding, white-hot agony. He rolled up the abandoned warehouse where Mikaela's dad used to work on stolen cars. The Autobots found it ideal because of its size, the tools still left over and nobody would think twice if they saw a slew of vehicles parked next to it.

Jazz, Ironhide, Bumblebee and Sam hadn't returned yet. They took off after Starscream. Optimus trusted their judgment in dealing with the swift Seeker. He paused a moment outside the warehouse to watch Mikaela show Ratchet her mechanical know-how by assembling an old car engine. It was easy to see why Sam liked her so much--she had proven herself brave, knowledgeable and strong.

"I could have used a nurse like you back on Cybertron," Ratchet commented, bending over to examine her work.

Mikaela laughed, "I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty."

Driving for so long allowed the wet sand to dry. The next transformation sequence Optimus experienced would remain in his memory forever. It was like having his limbs ground off. Every sensor in his body screamed. He transformed one bit at a time, slowly. One arm, then a leg, step by step like a Sparkling just learning the ability. Sand spilled onto the asphalt underneath him. A huge pile of it had caked solid over his air intake, which made internal air regulation impossible. Water could be drained out. Sand couldn't.

It was too much. As soon Optimus regained his bot form, he dropped and off-lined.

.o

Mikaela paid little mind to the truck rolling up outside. Sometimes Optimus liked to cool off before he checked in. She returned her attention to the dirty engine she just reassembled. Grease left her fingers black. Having Ratchet looming over her shoulder didn't bother her as much as when they first met. He was like the uncle she never had.

"I don't think I could take one of you guys apart," she said as she wiped her hands on a stained rag.

The yellow mech's mouth twitched in amusement. "But your assistance may prove valuable in an emergency. There's nothing worse than help who can't tell a fuel line from an exhaust pump."

Mikaela nodded, agreeing. She heard the tell-tale clank of a transformation in action and glanced outside. It was always fascinating to watch these guys change form.

Something appeared wrong with Optimus. The Autobot leader transformed slowly, stretching one limb out at a time. His body made unnatural grinding noises. He stood up. Then he clutched his throat, doubled over in obvious pain and collapsed again with a thud that shook the warehouse.

Ratchet leapt up. "Optimus!"

Mikaela swore she saw Optimus' optics roll back--or at least do the robot equivalent to it. "What's wrong with him? Is he okay?"

"I dunno." The medic raced outside and rolled Optimus onto his back. His eyes glowed red as he scanned him over. Then, narrowing his eyes, he picked Optimus' arm up by the wrist and shook it. There was no mistaking the rattle of sand under the red and blue plates.

"Just great! Sand! It's the worst!" Ratchet dropped the arm none-too-gently. He blinked at Mikaela's horrified expression and softened a little. "He's offline…unconscious. He can't feel anything. And he's lucky he can't because I'm going to be peeling his plates off and scraping them clean."

"That sounds invasive." Mikaela said, squinting.

"And tedious. I'd try shaking him out, but…" Ratchet slipped one arm behind Optimus' shoulders and the other went behind his knees. He lifted his commander bridal style and ducked back into the warehouse, setting him down in the middle of the floor. Loose sand grains sprinkled the ground around his body. "…it might jam his intakes even more. That can be fatal."

It was strange to see Optimus beaten down by tiny rock grains. His blue optics flickered like the light on a hard drive in sleep mode. He looked so vulnerable. Someone like him didn't belong in a prone position. It just felt wrong.

Mikaela shook her head and turned away, rubbing a hand over her hair. Her eyes spotted a dark, dusty shape half covered by blue tarp. Was that what she thought it was? She hurried over and ripped the tarp off. Yes!

"Ratchet! Wait!"

Ratchet froze, one hand half-transformed into a multi tool. "What?"

Mikaela picked up the ribbed hose. "I think I have a less invasive way to clean him up. I can use this vacuum."

"Let me see that."

She picked up the entire unit and carried it over next to Optimus. The hose was no bigger than a soda straw to them. "This is a Vac 'n Blow, it's made for cars. Actually it's made for cleaning out car interiors…but I guess you could call everything under Optimus' armor his 'interior'."

"Indeed. We have suction tools on Cybertron." He frowned, "Unfortunately, the one I usually carry was destroyed when I landed. That unit will make an adequate substitute. Now, we need to get started."

Mikaela hurriedly plugged the vacuum cleaner into a socket in the floor. She fought down the ripple of discomfort crawling down her back. This was no time to be shy.

Just pretend he's a truck, she told herself, turning the vacuum on. …he is a truck. A truck that can turn into a walking, talking, feeling robot.

"Where should I start?" Mikaela shouted over the vacuum's roar.

Ratchet plucked the entire vacuum away from her. He stuck the hose into Optimus' mouth and swept it back and forth. Sand particles rattled through the dusty hose. Mikaela winced.

Optimus started to "breathe" again. It sounded like a fan sputtering to life somewhere inside his torso.

"Intakes are clear now." Ratchet said. Then, roughly, he sat Optimus up and shook him back and forth, causing incredible amounts of sand to fall off his back. The violent treatment didn't wake the unconscious mech.

Mikaela averted her gaze. "Ratchet! You'll hurt him…"

Ratchet squinted at her. "I told you, he is unconscious. This won't hurt him, but I sure will if he gets mixed up in sand again." He offered the vacuum back to her. "I still hear some rattling around. Here, I'll position him and you perform suction. I hope you aren't squeamish."

"No."

"Good."

The first thing Ratchet did was pull Optimus' left leg to the side. He plucked Mikaela off the floor and set her down on Optimus' stomach. "Pelvic joints first. Leave it to Optimus to get sand in his aft."

Mikaela swallowed her discomfort. To get to that joint, she had to stand on Optimus' crotch. She rolled her eyes at herself. They weren't human, so they didn't have anything embarrassing there. And they obviously weren't shy about people crawling on that area.

Ratchet's snickering didn't help matters. "I find it interesting that humans are so shy about their bodies, yet allow themselves to be recorded performing sexual acts on each other."

"What? Autobots don't have porn?" Mikaela asked while picking her way across Optimus' codpiece. She attached the crevice cleaner to the vacuum hose and began working it over the sand-encrusted joint.

Ratchet shrugged, "We consider it unnecessary. From what I gather, pornography is something humans use to vent their sexual energy in secret. We…aren't as shy about our bodies or desires."

"Thanks for the info," muttered Mikaela.

"You find the knowledge offensive?"

"Well…more like too much info."

Ratchet rolled his optics and shrugged.

Talking about sex with a mechanical being…Mikaela wondered if her day could get any weirder. Knowing Ratchet could "smell" the chemical changes in her body didn't help matters either. A week ago, she greeted him and he oh-so-casually turned to Sam and said, "Her estradiol levels are increasing. Mate now and you'll conceive for sure."

That was so awkward.

Ratchet knelt and pulled Optimus across his knee, which exposed everything on his underside. Sand was caked all over the delicate joints that let him move, bend and twist. No wonder he doubled over in such pain. Mikaela forgot her earlier discomfort and knelt to work the vacuum around his engine piping.

"Welcome back," said Ratchet.

Optimus moved his hand up to clutch his forehead. "How long--"

"Twenty minutes. Be still. Mikaela is still cleaning you up. Credit her for the idea. It was suction or spend the night picking you apart."

Optimus' head lifted to gaze down at Mikaela. She could only assume he smiled at her, the way his eyes squinted and his mouth plates tilted upwards. "I am in your debt then, Mikaela"

Mikaela brushed a strand of dark hair out of her face. "No big deal."

She pushed the vacuum hose between two pipes and his whole body twitched.

"Oh! Did I hurt you?"

Ratchet laughed. He put a hand up next to his mouth as if telling a secret and said, "Optimus has ticklish piping."

"Ratchet!" Optimus half-growled.

The word wasn't directed at Mikaela, but it still made her jump. She was a little firmer with the hose on the other side. It still made Optimus flinch. He even snickered a little. That in itself wasn't bad--he had a very gentle, pleasant laugh.

"Sorry…I'm trying to do this fast."

"It's--all right," he said. Then he scooted himself off Ratchet's leg and laid down with both hands clasped behind his head. Doing so caused the two window plates on his chest to separate, exposing the machinery underneath. He even had sand stuck up underneath those panels.

"Ratchet, could you empty the tank? I'm losing suction."

Ratchet dumped a considerable pile of sand on the floor. He tapped the cylinder, closed it and turned it back on. Mikaela thanked him and exchanged the crevice cleaner for the duster brush. There was no way to reach under those panels with the cylinder strapped to her back. She took it off and set it down across a glowing depression in the middle of Optimus' chest. Losing that heavy weight gave her the flexibility she needed to reach under the panels.

Optimus made a strange noise and started clicking at Ratchet in their native tongue. Ratchet's mouth plates pulled up in a mechanical grimace. He said something that made Optimus clamp his mouth shut.

Must be arguing about something, Mikaela thought. She got on her knees and used the brush extension to scoop sand into the vacuum hose. Beneath her, Optimus shifted. It made her wince. I'm hurting him.

"I better go out and keep watch for the others. Optimus, will you be all right?" He still had that weird, wicked look in his eyes, as if he knew the punch line to a joke.

"Yes," Optimus said, sounding strained. His intakes were going a mile a minute.

Mikaela heard Ratchet's footsteps retreat to the large rolling door. Sighing, she crawled past the vacuum unit to reach under the other chest plate. It had to be more painful--Optimus kept grunting and tensing up. The word "sorry" became the reflexive response. She didn't see Optimus bracing one hand against the wall behind his head. He started to tremble.

"I should stop, I'm hurting you."

"No!" he replied, "Please don't stop now. Stopping--and starting--would be worse."

There was something desperate in his voice. Before she could ask further, he put his head down again.

Mikaela felt the hairs on her arms prickle. Well, of course she'd get static scuffing around with a vacuum hose in her hand. She pushed the vacuum tank back and Optimus' entire body went rigid underneath her. It happened so quickly that she fell onto her knees. Static zapped her fingers and made some of her hair stand up. A quick wave of heat made her jump back to her feet.

Oh, God! What if I broke something in his chest?

"Optimus?" she peeked at his face…only to find he'd covered it with one hand. He started to relax again, his intakes letting out a long rush of hot air. She tried again, "Optimus?"

.o

He came back online spread across Ratchet's knee. That in itself wasn't so bad…but what kept fluttering around his abdomen? He rubbed his forehead to remove an imagined smudge and glanced up at Ratchet.

"Welcome back," said the CMO.

"How long--"

"Twenty minutes. Be still. Mikaela is still cleaning you up. Credit her for the idea. It was suction or spend the night picking you apart."

Once again Mikaela's quick thinking proved a valuable asset to his group. He lifted his head and smiled gratefully. "I am in your debt then, Mikaela."

"No big deal."

Then she stuck the vacuum between his fuel lines and he felt a jolt shoot across his belly. He barely bit back a wave of explosive laughter. That tickled!

His sudden movement startled the human. She pulled the hose back and looked up at him, mouth slightly open, "Oh! Did I hurt you?"

Of course, Ratchet loved to give his secret away. He told her exactly what she just did. Optimus wanted to punch him.

"Ratchet!"

He felt Mikaela jump. But, to her credit, she kept on working--and trying not to make it unpleasant. He still ended up laughing a little when the tickling sensations grew unbearable.

"Sorry, I'm trying to do this fast."

"It's--" he twitched as she pulled the hose back, "all right."

But Ratchet's leg digging into his back didn't feel all right. Optimus scooted away. Sand still clung to the delicate parts around his chest. He winced and laid back with his hands folded behind his head, which pulled the panels apart. Mikaela noticed that her work wasn't done yet. She rolled her eyes and smiled. Primus, she was like a human female version of Ratchet!

Mikaela asked Ratchet to empty the vacuum tank for her. He did so, turning it back on afterward.

Optimus watched the girl try to get under his chest plates with the vacuum tank still lashed to her shoulder like a backpack. No luck, she didn't have enough clearance.

She took it off and put it down on his Spark chamber.

Suddenly, every circuit in Optimus Prime's body awoke. All he felt was that vibrating thing resting on his most intimate area. He whipped his head around to peer up at Ratchet and spoke in Cybertronian, "She…my…what do I do?"

And Ratchet grimaced, "Humans seem uncomfortable when sex is brought up in casual conversation."

Optimus bit back a moan and felt his face growing hot with arousal. If he said something to Mikaela, he'd embarrass her, and the vacuum cylinder was lying in such a way that his large fingers couldn't quite grasp it. "What do I do, Ratchet?"

The medic smirked, "Try and stay quiet."

"RATCHET!"

"Have fun, Optimus. I'm going to give you some privacy." Ratchet was enjoying this way too much. His optics were full of wicked amusement. He switched back to English. "I better go out and keep watch for the others. Optimus, will you be all right?"

"Yes," Optimus almost moaned the word. He sucked air through his intakes in attempt to keep himself quiet. Mikaela was suctioning a rather sensitive nerve bundle that added to his silent torture. A pleasant tingling in his chest signaled the overload charge starting to build. He went from wishing she'd stop to praying that she wouldn't.

"Sorry," she'd say each time he arched towards the vibrations.

Optimus braced a hand on the wall above his head. Pushing on it helped him resist his urges to moan and thrust his chest towards the source of his pleasure. As his response turned slowly inward, he felt himself quiver in anticipation.

Frowning, Mikaela stood up. "I should stop, I'm hurting you."

Oh, Primus, no…if she stopped now Optimus knew he'd end up finishing himself off right in front of her. Normally he wouldn't mind, but humans were a sexually backwards culture. Living among them meant respecting their customs. And, after hearing the fiasco at Sam's house, that meant all masturbation and sexual activity had to be kept hidden from human eyes.

"No!" he cried, his voice higher pitched than usual. He lifted his head, looked at her and forced calm back into his tone, "Please don't stop now. Stopping--" he swallowed a moan, "--and starting--would be worse."

The girl tilted her head and raised an eyebrow. Before she could ask more questions, he put his head down again and turned his vocal processors off. At least he could moan silently. He buried his face in his palm to wait for the inevitable.

Mikaela moved the vacuum tank back so it vibrated even harder on his Spark chamber. Then she jiggled it once more and the unit settled right smack on an exposed sensory circuit.

Optimus felt the overload flood his body in crackling waves. He stiffened and cried out silently into his hand, his other fist pressing dents into the wall. Static clouded his optics and hissed through his audio sensors. Oh, it was the most blissful thirty seconds he'd had since landing on Earth.

The sound of his own name roused him from his sex daze. He brought his vocals back online, shakily lifted his head and gazed at the girl.

She shut off the vacuum unit. "I said, 'are you okay?' Did I hurt you?"

Obviously she had no idea she just gave him a great orgasm. Deciding to keep it that way, he answered, "You…poked something sensitive is all." that wasn't a lie, technically. "I'm all right, Mikaela. Thank you. I feel much better."

He offered her his hand and helped her to the ground. She dragged the vacuum with her, unplugging it with a quick tug on the power cord.

"No problem." Mikaela smiled, looking relieved that she didn't harm him. "I hope I got all that sand. I'd hate to have you start limping around because I missed a spot."

Optimus immediately gave each joint a test flex. Then he scanned his surface areas for any foreign material. He smiled as the rest of his team rolled in. "I'll be fine."

.o

Hours later, Optimus woke from recharge to the sound of Ratchet's voice.

"Ironhide, you must try this new toy…"