Thirteen Days

Warning: None for this, actually...

Disclaimer: I don't own the Transformers. I'm just borrowing them for a bit to mess with their heads.

Author's Note: I am not entirely happy with this epilogue, but I couldn't think of anything better, and it feels kinda stupid leaving a story hanging, just waiting for an epilogue, of all things. :P Anyways, enjoy. It continues with the WAFF and humour from the flashbacks of last chapter.

- Epilogue : Ariel -

"Are you ready, Ariel?" the voice came softly through the car speakers, but the human in the driver's seat still jumped in surprise. She'd been staring at the driveway, the car parked on the side of the road, for the past fifteen minutes.

"I...I suppose so." she said, her voice wavering. The car's engine started quietly, and it pulled out onto the road before turning into the driveway. Just as the house came into view, Ariel squeezed her eyes shut, her hands tightening on the steering wheel. "Can I change my mind?" she asked.

"You'll have to face them sooner or later." Prowl replied through the speakers.

"I'd rather not. Can't I just stay with the Autobots?" Ariel asked, slowly opening her eyes as Prowl came to a stop.

"You actually want to live in the same state as the twins?" Prowl asked with dry humour, and Ariel giggled slightly.

"So is that why you agreed to be my guardian? To get away from them?" she asked.

"Of course not. I was simply concerned that Seven Hands will not believe the intelligence the government will feed them about you no longer having Jazz inside you, and attempt to kidnap you again." Prowl replied easily, and Ariel giggled again, only to stop abruptly as the door to the house opened slowly.

There was a perceptible pause, and then the door was flung open, and Sebastian came to stand on the porch, staring at the car, and Ariel in the driver's seat, with wide eyes. Ariel managed to pry one hand away from the steering wheel to wave weakly. Her brother, looking stunned, waved back, and then suddenly darted back inside. Gabriel emerged in his place a few moments later, looking surprised, but not as shocked, and made for the car, instead of just standing on the porch. Ariel's attention was drawn away from her approaching brother when the door clicked open beside her, and her seatbelt undid itself and withdrew.

"You'll be fine. They are your family, after all." Prowl said softly.

"Yeah." Ariel said, taking a deep breath, and then stepped out of the car, only to be enveloped in a hug by Gabriel. Over his shoulder, she could see Sebastian coming out with her parents, and before she knew it, she was at the center of her family, welcoming her home.

--

Optimus stood at the recently installed tactical display, staring thoughtfully at the path plotted through the 3D rendering of space. He started slightly when Ironhide stepped up beside him, and then reached down and hit the 'off' button for the display, clearing the parameters before doing so.

"Huh. Blind luck, then?" Ironhide asked.

"Apparently she just happened to be the only sentient creature between Jazz's body and Vector Sigma. Jazz took advantage." Optimus said with wry amusement.

"Stubborn glitch." Ironhide said with a shake of his head. "Only mech I can think of that would make a side-trip on his way to the entrance to the Matrix just to say good-bye."

"Ratchet." Optimus commented.

"Nah, he'd come back and haunt you afterwards. Either that or possess you." Ironhide said with a snort. Optimus considered.

"Chromia." he offered instead.

"I believe I specified 'mech'." Ironhide replied dryly.

"Ah. Right. You did. My mistake." Optimus said with equal dryness.

- END -