Disclaimer: Not mine, wish they were, but I can dream. As per usual, the good things in life are not mine to have, but belong to someone else... in this case they belong to Hasbro, Takara and IDW and anyone else I've forgotten…
Authors Note: Okay okay, so it didn't turn out exactly how I planned it. I had great designs for this, but it just didn't write that way. mutters
Feedback makes friends. Flames dealt with by the masters of paranoia and fire, Red Alert and Inferno.
"You know what today is right?"
"Huh?" Ratchet looked up from his datapad wearily. It was far too early in the morning to start playing guessing games. Add to that the fact that he hadn't had time yet for his morning energon and still had a stack of datapads to go through even though he stayed up far later than he should have the previous night to try and get them done. And now he had Wheeljack standing in the doorway to his repair bay asking nonsensical questions.
"It's Valentines Day." Wheeljack answered his own question as he placed a mug of energon on the desk in front of Ratchet.
"And?" Ratchet asked after downing half the mug in one go. He leant back in his chair and regarded Wheeljack as he perched as delicately as he could on the edge of Ratchet's desk.
"Well, it's kinda like our Sparksheart day." Ratchet sipped his energon slowly as he listened to Wheeljack explain the similarities. And of course highlight the differences. Wheeljack was nothing if not thorough about his research, even if it didn't always show itself in his inventions. It had been a long time, Ratchet thought as he listened, that he and Wheeljack had sat this close and just simply talked. It had seemed to be Decepticon attack after Decepticon attack that they had had to deal with. And repair after repair that Ratchet had had to perform, with some help from Wheeljack. By the time both of them made it back to their quarters, if indeed Ratchet made it back at all, they were too drained to do anything but fall straight into recharge.
"And you know what's even better?" Ratchet jolted himself out of his musings.
"As best I can figure it, this Valentines Day falls within a day or so of our bonding." Slag! All this time on Earth and Ratchet hadn't even considered that it would be the anniversary of their bonding ceremony soon. Squarely placing the blame on Megatron, assorted Decepticons and Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, he forced a smile onto his face plate.
"Well we're going to have to something special then." The expression on Wheeljack's face was priceless. The look of sheer delight that only he could pick up on was something special.
"We can't do what we'd normally do at home…" Wheeljack mused more to himself than anything. "But we could do something. I could ask Sparkplug what the humans normally do on Valentines Day and we could do that?"
"Whatever you want Wheeljack."
"Thanks Ratch. I'll see you tonight?" The question seemed more like an order and Ratchet suddenly felt guilty that he'd stayed up most of the night working on the datapads. He hadn't even realised he'd fallen into recharge in his office until he'd onlined his optics and checked his chronometer. He made a vow to himself there and then that he would do whatever it took to make sure he got to spend the entire evening uninterrupted with Wheeljack. Even if that meant welding Sideswipe and Sunstreaker to their recharge berths.
"Of course. I wouldn't let anything stop me." He said, smiling at the thought of putting the terrible twins out of action temporarily.
The day passed slowly for Ratchet. He had finished off the datapads quickly, wanting to be able to spend the evening with Wheeljack. Moments came when he found that he had stopped working and was staring off into the distance, memories running through his processor. Like the first time he had seen Wheeljack across the crowded hall. The engineer was animated in nervous conversation with the new Prime. Worse were the sadder memories; like the first time he had had to repair Wheeljack after one of his inventions had blown up in his face. Literally. He offlined his optics momentarily, shutting away the memory in his databanks before returning to the requisition forms he was trying to fill in. He looked up just as Wheeljack entered the Repair Bay, beaming from headfin to headfin.
"Someone looks happy." Muttered Ratchet, tossing the datapad back down on his desk.
"Been talking to Sparkplug, finding out more about this Valentines Day."
"And?" Ratchet stretched in his chair, working out the kinks in his circuitry that had formed from sitting down too long.
"Apparently the best thing to do is just spend the evening with your loved one, doing what you like doing best." Ratchet snorted, making Wheeljack laugh, head fins flashing warmly. "That's always an option Ratch."
"A much better option than listening to you ramble about whatever your new invention does… aside from blow up." Ratchet replied good-naturedly, standing up and drawing Wheeljack into a hug.
"Mmmm…" Wheeljack didn't actually agree, but he didn't disagree either and Ratchet decided that was good enough as the engineer rested his head on his windscreen. "Haven't done this for a while." Wheeljack murmured.
"Too many slagging Decepticon attacks for us to get a chance." Ratchet replied, taking the time to revel in the closeness of his bonded mate. Something, it was true, they hadn't done for a long time. Things had just gotten away from them, and after four million years deactivation, it was strange readjusting to everything again, and on a completely different planet too.
All too soon, the familiar sound of Teletran 1's alarm siren rang out through the corridors.
"All Autobots to the command post pronto!" Jazz's voice came over both the external Ark comm. and their internal comms. at the same time. Ratchet almost winced as the chirpy tones resonated through his audios.
"Remind me next time I have him in my repair bay to turn his volume down." He groused as he reluctantly released Wheeljack and they made their way to the command room.
Prowl and Optimus Prime were standing in front of the large computer screen that made up part of Teletran 1. Jazz stood off to one side, conferring quietly with Trailbreaker. Ratchet noticed that they were among the last to arrive, having hesitantly trudged up the corridor. He was weary of battles with the Decepticons. Even if he wasn't part of the strike force (which he often wasn't and was very glad not to be) he had to deal with the consequences. Patching up the wounded that were his friends so they could go and fight another day was not top on his list of fun past-times.
"The Decepticons are raiding a hydroelectric plant." Prowl stated as he turned to face the assembled Autobots. They waited as Jazz reeled off a list of names, Ratchet groaning internally as his name was called. There was so much he still needed to do. Inventory, finish off those reports on the last batch of wounded and not counting preparing the repair bay for the influx of wounded after this battle. Wisely though, he didn't say a word, just transformed and rolled out with the rest of the group as the order was given.
Ratchet found himself backed up in the hills surrounding the plant. He was on the back lines, dealing with the wounded as they staggered back to his position. All he could hear were the sounds of the fighting ahead of him; the whine of rifles and the thud of Megatron's cannon. He winced every time a shot sounded too close for comfort. The one blessing was that so far he had only been visited by few Autobots and the repairs were minimal.
Wheeljack dived behind a boulder nearby.
"Battle looks nearly over." He commented, taking a quick look at Ratchet. The medic was also crouched behind a boulder, laser scalpel in one hand, rifle held in the other.
"Good. Then we get the fun of getting the wounded back to the Ark." He grouched, glancing back at Wheeljack.
"True." Wheeljack conceded. "Least it hasn't been too bad so far." Just as he said that, the world seemed to explode behind Ratchet's back and he was hurtled forward in the direction of where Wheeljack was hiding. He collided with the boulder and groaned, hearing an echoing groan from Wheeljack as the two of the spiralled across the ground.
Suddenly, the soft earth gave way and they found themselves falling.
"What the slag!" Ratchet onlined his optics, quickly trying to assess his situation. Every circuit screamed pain at him and he couldn't move. In the darkness, he could see Wheeljack's headfins flashing as the engineer vainly attempted to vocalise something. "Hang on Wheeljack, I'm coming." Slowly, Ratchet dragged himself by his hands over to where Wheeljack lay, his own pain forgotten in the terror that something fatal might have happened to his bonded. Twisting himself round, he managed to get himself into a position where he could examine Wheeljack properly. Thankfully, the engineer's injuries weren't serious. A few scrapes and dents and a nasty nick in his fuel line which Ratchet quickly sealed. His vocaliser appeared to be damaged, but there was little Ratchet could do in this dark place to fix it. That would have to wait until they got back to the Ark. If they got back to the Ark.
"No major damage, you'll be glad to know. Less than when you blow yourself up." He reassured Wheeljack, relieved when his partner's headfins flashed weakly. He tried his internal comm. system and found it to be inoperative.
"Just radioed Prime, we should be out of here in no time." He lied smoothly, trying to position himself into a somewhat more comfortable position. Which wasn't easy. His own preliminary self-diagnostic showed him that he'd taken some major damage to his back, resulting in disconnected servos and circuitry. That would explain his current lack of movement. Finally, he managed to work himself up against a wall, where he could lean without damaging himself even more. There was nothing he could do about the slow drip of hydraulic fluid down his legs. He couldn't reach to seal the leak himself, and he was slagged if he was letting Wheeljack know he was injured. His duty as a medic came first above everything. Wheeljack was his patient, not the other way around. He helped Wheeljack to sit up, wrapping an arm around the smaller mech to keep him upright. Ratchet looked at their surroundings. They weren't much. It appeared that they had fallen into an abandoned mine.
"Have to say, this isn't quite how I imagined spending this Valentines Day Wheeljack. But I guess I'd spend it anywhere as long as I was with you." He commented idly. Normally, in their relationship, it was Wheeljack who did most of the talking while Ratchet listened. But now it was up to him to fill the silence.
And he didn't know where to start.
"I'm sorry I spend so much time in the repair bay." He muttered. Wheeljack twisted to stare up at him, the blue of his optics vivid even in the dark. "There just always seems to be so much to do. And yes, I know that I should recharge more often." He smiled as Wheeljack's fins flashed in amusement. "But I need to do my job. There's only me to do it."
"Didn't always used to be like that though. I remember back on Cybertron… Primus, I'm sounding like Mirage now. Anyway. I couldn't wait to get home. I used to rush through the reports and literally fly out the door. Couldn't wait to get home to you." He could have sworn he heard Wheeljack sigh happily in the darkness. "Long time ago now. You know with that enforced stasis, we've been together for well over four million years? Yeah, I bet you know that. You always kept a better hold on time than I did."
"I remember coming back the evening of our first anniversary. Right after we'd bonded. Do you remember? I'd worked late that night. A big battle. Lots of wounded. I was exhausted before I even started the journey home. I got back and you were there waiting. That was the first time we ever tested our spark bond." He sighed as he felt Wheeljack lean closer to him. "We're gonna have to do that again real soon."
Ratchet spent the next two hours filling the silence with his memories of Wheeljack. From the moment they had first met, right up until Wheeljack had managed to convince him to join the Autobots and they'd left on that fated search mission.
"Never been so glad to wake up and find you still there Wheeljack. Don't quite know what I'd do without you…" He paused, raising his head and glancing around. The steady drip of hydraulic fluid had lessened and Wheeljack's weight in his arms seemed heavier. A quick check reassured him that the engineer was still functioning, but had slipped into recharge. Ratchet tried his comm. again with the same result. No answer, just static buzzing through his audios. His internal diagnostic was screaming at him that he needed repair immediately. But there was nothing he could do about it. Wheeljack was his priority now. Always had been if he let himself admit the truth. He vowed to himself that he would make the time for Wheeljack if they ever got out of this Primus-forsaken mine functioning. He wouldn't stay late in his repair bay. He would make things like they were. Happy. Like when they'd first bonded. Like the first time they'd celebrated Sparksheart day together. Although, they couldn't quite celebrate it like they used to be able to on Cybertron, Ratchet was sure that between the two of them, they could come up with some way around it. What he wouldn't give to feel Wheeljack's spark field intertwining with his own at the moment. The energy and power in the infusion was better than any high-grade energon Ratchet had ever tasted.
"I'm going to change Wheeljack. I'm not going to let it carry on like this. Promise. When we get out of this, things are going to be different. Just don't leave me." He checked Wheeljack's systems again, the rising panic in his fuel pump that one of them wasn't going to make it out of here stayed for now. He offlined his optics and concentrated on the bond between them. It was like a beacon in the dark, guiding him towards Wheeljack. The bond complete, bright light flooded Ratchet's optic sensors, the sensations overloading his circuits, beating down what little resistance they had.
"Stay with me Ratch!" He could hear Wheeljack's voice through a haze of lingering pleasure and pain. Running an internal diagnostic, he realised that he'd been temporarily patched up. All his systems were functioning, barely, but they were functioning.
"Always Wheeljack." He murmured, onlining his optics. "Happy Valentines Day."