Title: Beauty and the Machine
Summary: She found him injured. She found him full of hatred. But she couldn't leave him, never, only his wild nature attracting her attention. Starscream hated humans. So she stayed. And she helped him. And he couldn't help but stay with her, too. (2007)
Author's Note: I know this idea must be worn out by now. I couldn't help it, though! It's SUCH a cute idea…yes? Of course!
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers or the 2007 movie.
Chapter 1: The Finding
Ever tried to imagine your days a normal?
It wasn't so hard for her, not at all. She was as normal as they could get, so-called run-of-the-mill girl that no one would ever suspect of being different. Normal child. Normal little girl. Normal life. Normal grades, normal high school, with normal friends that she would, normally, graduate from. She graduated neither early nor late, going to college as her parents had asked for her, moving on to a normal job in a normal city. Falling in love, breaking her heart, as a person does normally once in her lifetime. Thus, she was expected to mourn from it. And mourn she did.
"He called me boring," the young woman moaned, chin cupped in her hand. Taking another swig of her coffee, she'd never felt so tired before. Even with three cups of the non-decaf latte beforehand, she just couldn't bring herself out of the rut she had fallen in. Stupid going for just looks. But it was hard when it came to the abs. And the green eyes. And the chestnut hair. And the perfect smile. And the great personality. Dammit, why did he have to be so damn good? Why couldn't she be better? It was all just suspected, though, for him to show her all the beautiful things in life, make her realize how much she loved him and then BAM! Reality check.
Next thing she knew, he was waving good-bye from her doorstep with his new girlfriend in the car. Her car. In the suit she bought him. And the girl was wearing the necklace he promised her.
"Well, I hate to admit it Iris," her coworker, Janice, said, "But besides your name, you're pretty much as it comes. I think he was just expecting more."
Iris Von Schroeder groaned, throwing her head against the white, stained table in the break room. Glossy, ebony hair cascaded around her as she attempted to curl up in a ball, feeling nauseous. That kind of commentary wasn't something she needed right now…but not like it was surprising. Janice was always a critic. "Don't pick on her, you," her other, more friendly, colleague scoffed. Maria. "She just had her first heartbreak. Those are always the worst to get over, I know."
"I bet you do," Janice grunted in return, stirring her coffee while rolling her eyes. "Iris, the only thing you gotta do is find another guy, if you're up to it. You've been whining about Peter for a month now and I'm getting sick of it."
"Yeah, I know…" the black-haired girl moaned, still unmoving. "But I don't think I could handle another guy right now. Just not yet…maybe…he'll come ba—"
"Iris," Janice snapped, catching her attention. "Look at yourself. You're brooding over a man who left you for a thirty-seven year-old nanny. Does that tell you anything? He was a prick, just get over it."
"Yeah, but if only she knew," Iris retorted, sighing as she did so.
"Get over it," Janice grunted, in a rather finalized tone.
"Give her a break, Janice!" Maria exclaimed, patting her friend's back. "Listen, Iris, you have some really wonderful aspects to your personality. You're organized, you're relaxed, and you're very sweet. Not to mention you're very, very pretty. You'll find another man that's just for you! And he'll make you happy and you'll make him happy."
"And they'll marry and there will be world peace. Yeah right," Janice groused, scrunching the paper cup and tossing it into the trash. "Face the facts, my friend. You've got more chances with an extremely hot asshole than finding a guy that will actually understand you. I'd say do what all broken-hearted chicks do—party hard. Really hard. Then you can lose your virginity and get it over with."
"Just because I don't believe in pre-marital sex," Iris muttered, hunching over.
"Well, maybe that's what you're mind is so wrapped up on," Janice said, then smirked. "That's it. You've got to find the wildest guy you can possibly imagine. That might get you out of your little box. Just go nuts for awhile."
"No…that's not what she needs. She's been working too much," Maria intervened, sipping on her tea.
"That's what I just said," Janice threw back, her eyes narrowing.
Maria proceeded to ignore her, and did just that. "She needs a vacation. Away from the city. Go to like…Colorado or something to get some fresh air, take in the scenery, and get your mind off of work and men and all that terrible stuff. Then you can come back refreshed and get back in the swing of things."
"And party," Janice stated, a grin sweeping across her features. "But, Maria's right. You just need a break for awhile and then come back and you can move on."
"…" Iris glanced at her two best friends, feeling her resolve shifting. Finally nodding, she quietly stood and said, "I suppose you're right. Only a part of me had hoped that he would see the light and return to me, but the other knows he'll never come back."
"You just need some time off," Maria said, a smile smoothing over her lips. "Get over him. He was a no-good anyways, even if he was a looker. I mean, look at my boyfriend. He's as ugly as humans go, but he's about the sweetest guy I know."
"If he's what you call ugly, then my perception is way off," Janice muttered, "Those abs don't come from space, I suppose."
Maria scowled at the brunette. "You're not helping."
"Just get ask for a break. I bet our boss would hand it over to you easy…since it'll be the first time you've taken one," Janice said, shrugging her shoulders. "Just take a load off for awhile."
Iris sighed. Maybe they were right…after all, she was a work-a-holic, and didn't bother to deny it. She didn't party, she didn't break the rules…maybe going for a vacation would be something that could get her mind off of Peter, too. Go into the mountains. Secluded, isolated. Someplace where no one would bother her thoughts…where she could finally have the chance to be alone. Gather what little of her heart she had left and start all over again. Without Peter.
"All right," Iris said, smiling somewhat. "I'll go."
Iris stared at the truck.
"You're expecting me to drive that?" she asked, turning to the agent.
He stared at her for a moment, as if she was crazy, saying, "You would prefer something bigger?"
"Bigger?" the girl cried, swinging her arm for emphasis to the huge Ford. "That thing is big enough! I don't even know how I'm supposed to drive that sort of thing!"
"It's necessary for the terrain. There isn't any pavement after you exit Eagle Ranch Road," the agent replied, shaking his head. "You asked for a cabin in the woods that was private. That's what we gave you. The Ford is what we also gave you so you could get to the cabin."
Iris groaned. She knew this was a bad idea from the start. Being a conformist was not such a good idea when one had friends like Janice and Maria, who thought they could run another person's life. And they could probably run mine…Iris mused as she slumped with defeat. Things seemed simple enough from New York. Even her boss was more than grateful than to arrange her vacation, but Iris assured her that she would do the thing herself. Therefore, she took her friends' advice and rented a cabin in Colorado, a small camp that was tucked in the deep reaches of the Rocky Mountains. Having seen only the Appalachian Mountains in the west, these peaks looked massive and frightening and…ominous. Of course, in all the post cards and online picture's she'd seen, they looked sweet, serene…it was just her luck, anyways.
"How far away is the cabin?" Iris asked, knowing that it was too late to turn back. Her friends and her boss would be pissed, not to mention it would be a complete waste of money. Even her parents pitched in to help her have a 'relaxing' vacation. She knew she'd be nervous the entire time…why did she even bother…?
"It's about seven or eight miles up that way," the male said, pointing with his pen directly in the valley that was wedged between two, enormous peaks. "You do have phones up there, so there won't be a problem as to contact us if you have any problems. There's also wireless internet and cable TV, Jacuzzi, full kitchen and three bedrooms, just like you ordered. Two bathrooms, and everything else is on this paper. Take this road—" he said, once again pointing with his pen, "—up about three miles before turning on the first right. That road should lead right up to the cabin. All in all, it's about seven miles away."
"…Thank you…" Iris mumbled, taking the paper with doubt. What had she gotten herself into? Idiotic nonsense, that's what. This was a stupid idea to begin with.
Sighing, she nodded and turned away from the man, wandering up the Ford with apprehension. Ugh. She'd driven small cars all her life, and now she had to take this massive thing up a DIRT road? It seemed ludicrous in a sense, but she had no choice. A little sacrifice, a little gain. Opening the door, Iris stepped up on the truck floor and heaved herself up into the seat. Shutting the door and shifting it into drive, the young woman set off in the direction the agent specified. Hopefully, luckily, this vacation would be better than her skeptical mind let her accept.
Starscream made his exit from Earth's atmosphere.
Idiots, fools, all of them! They believed to be stronger than Optimus, stronger than the humans and they failed miserably. But he was no so foolish. In the end, Starscream would always prevail, even if his incompetent leader chose death. Snarling, he surged forward into the vast emptiness of space, his boosters scoring behind him. Fine. He would just find more of his fellow Decepticons to destroy the rest of the Autobots, along with the idiot fleshlings so that could once again create their planet. To dominate and to lead the new race with strict confidence. Megatron was dead. Cybertron was dead. Earth's machine could still be useful—and Starscream planned to make them so.
Growling at the release of the atmosphere, Starscream managed to break through the final layer of gasses. But it wouldn't be long before he returned to take what was rightfully his.
All at once, however, Starscream was knocked off course from a flying object, one that must've been circling in Earth's orbit. Snarling, he attempted to regain his ground from spinning out of control. Yet, to his thorough consternation, he realized that whatever the hell was flying around must've hit one of his jet boosters, for he couldn't get it back online. Not to mention the damage he had sustained from the battle over the Allspark, it didn't help that Earth's gravity was once against latching onto him. Its grip tightened as it brought Starscream hurtling back down towards the planet, all the while rotating out of control.
Starscream then made the foolish attempt of transforming while tumbling through the atmosphere, only bringing a further rush of pain and nausea. Heat blasted every part of him, make him cry out in agony. In response, all his system functions shut down and he passed out, becoming limp as he fell prey to the Earth's gravitational pull. It was only when he was once again deep within the atmosphere did the Decepticon wake up again, feeling the cool spray of clouds and wind. Gasping, he attempted to once again regain control, only being able to turn on one of his engines. Clouds split as the environment was revealed again.
To his surprise, it was not like the flat landscape that he was in before, rather, it was choppy and the crust rose into several peaks, sticking out of the Earth like spikes. Growling, he attempted to avoid the hazardous obstacles as he crash landed. Where in the hells was he? Suddenly, the soil rose to meet him and he pulled backwards, using all his strength to not collide. Instead, he shot forward, his face smashing into the grass and the dirt with enormous force. Trees snapped like toothpicks, rocks and debris erupting from the impact like a geyser. At last, he slowed to a halt just beside the base of one of the peaks, groaning.
I hate this planet about as much as the things that live here, he thought bitterly to himself. His body finally shut off on him, his leg crushed by a boulder that had fell on top of him and his booster fried. Stupid humans.
Iris sighed as she attempted to find a useful radio station.
She didn't like country or gospel, and it appeared those were the only two channels they offered. Groaning, she lifted herself from the marble counter she was leaning against with defeat before wandering over to the thick, over-stuffed couches. Throwing herself on their soft material, she snatched the remote and stabbed her finger on the 'On' button. The plasma flared to life, sounds and flashing images assaulting Iris's senses. Moaning again, she shut it off. Either she was having a serious case of ADD, or she was bored out of her mind. Was this how Peter felt about her? Always too bored?
"AUGH!" she then cried, shooting upright, "Don't think about him, don't think about him, don't think about him!"
It had only been a few hours and she still couldn't find something to do. Some vacation.
Her thoughts were interrupted, however, by a huge explosion that shook her entire house, sending her jumping off of the couch. Crying out, she glanced about until the house finally stopped rocking, silence flooding over once again. Pausing, Iris gained her ground again before practically flying towards the window, looking every which way she could. That was ,until, she caught sight of it—smoke! Oh my god, was it plane? Was it a jet? Freaking out, she rushed to the door while swinging her trench coat over her body. Spending no time to hesitate, she dashed right into the thick wood and towards the crash site.
But she didn't hear the plane's engine. Did it fail? Were people dying? Oh my god, she needed to call the police! Panting, she stuffed her hand in her coat pocket to find her cell phone. Dialing 911, she lifted the piece to her ear before it stated, 'You do not have service in this area'.
Eh? Glancing down, the girl realized that she had no service bars. AUGH! Talk about terrible luck! She needed to call the police, but she also needed to see if anyone was hurt. That was first on her priorities. Pumping her legs harder, Iris ate at the ground beneath her until she smelled the awful stench of burning metal, oil and other things. She was close. Very close. This was surely a good thing to spice up her vacation—what stories she would be able to tell her friends and family when she got home. Yet, as she finally parted the bushes and reared to a stop, she felt herself drop her phone and drop to her knees.
"Oh my…" she gasped, a hand covering her mouth in awe, "Oh my goodness…"
What she saw was something she did not expect. As a matter of fact, it something very, very different than what she expected.
Was it a fighter jet? She asked this, but then noticing the 'legs' coming out of it, she could not see the logic. It had arms as well, and…was that a head? Curiosity provoked her forward, making her climb over the thick hill of rubble before she entered in the trench it was sprawled out upon. What in the world…? Leaping down, Iris landed on top of the peculiar object, noticing that the material was made of metal and other things. However, it looked like a makeshift robot out of used airplane parts. Indeed, it had arms and legs, but the shape itself was extremely triangular. It also had two jet-plane turbo engines, one looking like it got pretty ripped up.
Not to mention one of the legs—it looked more like scrap metal than anything—but there was close resemblance of what had been there before. Now taking in all the features, the girl realized how human the thing really looked. Besides being forty feet or so. Sighing, Iris scratched the back of her head before making her way to the top of the body, where the head was practically stuffed into the upturned soil. Taking a moment to wipe away the debris, she found herself looking at a rather humanistic face as well. It had everything—closed eyes, lips, a half nose, even a chin.
Iris paused a moment, leaning in a bit further. How…odd. She suddenly found herself attracted to the face, finding it handsome in some weird, alien way.
That was, of course, until those optics shot open. The girl jumped back in fright and shock, not even considering if the thing was alive. It moved, almost at lightning speed: it rolled over, making her fly off, and catching her with a free hand. Shaking her harshly, a deep masculine voice snarled, "Where the hell am I?!"
"I-in the Rocky Mountains! In Colorado! On the planet Earth, I don't know!" Iris cried, lifting her legs up to protect herself, as her arms were locked in his grip. Fear jolted her insides, adrenaline pumping through her veins as her heart threatened to burst from her chest from beating so hard. "Please don't hurt me! I beg of you!"
The alien stared at her for a moment before throwing her to the side, casting her in a pile of rubble. Coughing, she lifted herself from the ground and pivoted on her heel, going in a full-out run. Obviously, the alien thing didn't fancy such a maneuver on her part and snarled at her leaving, crawling after her with vicious speed. It had just let her go, why the hell was it chasing after her now?! Knocking down trees and ripping up bushes in its wake, it chased after her until she made it back to the cabin. There, it flicked it wrist in front of her and she tripped, making her gasp with surprise. Once again, she dragged herself to her feet and lunged for the door, only to be caught by her shirt and thrown back into the open space.
The wind knocked out her in one 'whoosh', leaving her immobile for a minute.
"Nice try, fleshling," the thing snarled, reaching for her again.
"Please, don't hurt me!" Iris begged, somehow finding her voice admit the chaos. Breathing hard, she shoved herself up again before he managed to snatch her, only traveling about three feet before he whipped at her heels again. This time she fell on a boulder and couldn't lift herself back up. Groaning, she rolled over and watched the massive bulk of the machine come over her, and she knew it was over. The creature lifted his arm, a gun-like formation revealing itself, before she noticed a dark liquid pooling out his arm. As a matter of fact, it was coming out of several places.
"Y-you're hurt…" she said softly, rubbing her throat involuntary, trembling before him.
"…" Starscream said nothing for a moment, only bringing the gun closer to her body.
"Let me help you, I can help," she continued, rising a hand up to him. "Please, just don't kill me."
The creature stared at her for a moment, narrowing his eyes before he said, "Bring all supplies that you have, maggot."
With that, his hand once again retained its human-like appearance, and with a single flick from his finger, Iris was on her feet. It didn't take a second invitation for her to barrel into the house and slam the door shut. Panting, her heart pumped with, what seemed, an endless, racing beat. She had never been so threatened in her life, and that thing outside definitely was not from this planet. Forget even being Earth normal, that thing wasn't galaxy normal. Swallowing, Iris then moved into the house, realizing that she still was being waited upon. Despite him being so rough and frightening, she still said that she could help him and she would. Iris never broke her promises. Especially when it concerned her life.
No matter how scary…or threatening…or evil-looking…they really were. Of course, passing by the living room, she noticed the phone. Stopping dead, she wondered if she dared to…
"Hurry up, human!" the alien barked, making her flinch.
She didn't have to be told twice. Dashing into the kitchen, she found every single role of paper towels and aid-kit things she could manage. With this, she put them on the front porch before going to the garage and looking for any and every kind of tool. She was able to gather several utensils, dragging everything else she could find before the alien. He had already dug into what she had brought out for him before, and barely noticed her as she brought the tools. "I…I don't know anything about mechanics…" she whispered, quaking before the massive beast.
"…I don't need your help," he snapped back, flicking another finger at her. This time, she skidded back before he could push her over, but fell down nevertheless from her trembling legs giving in on her. "You're pathetic."
"I'm…sorry…" Iris said, her voice raspy. Tears burned in her throat and her stomach began to knot up, fear shaking her entire body. Being so sheltered all her life, she would've never expected or really wanted to see something so out of the ordinary. Of course, it wasn't like she really had a choice now. Unable to hold them in any longer, tears spilled down her cheeks as she collapsed onto the soft grass behind her, her breathing still labored. This was certainly enough excitement to be had for an entire lifetime.
"Give me that tool," the alien suddenly snarled, making her jerk up.
She leaped to her feet without complaint, trying to shield her fear of him. With shaking hands, she reached over to the pile of tools and picked up the one specified, slowly reaching out. He snatched it away with force, making her fumble back again in fright. "What…what are you…?" Iris managed to asked, finally building up the courage to do so.
The alien stopped what he was doing to glare back at her, then continued with his work as he said, "Your worst nightmare, little maggot."
With that, he threw the tool back at her and then pointed to another. She had been able to barely dodge the piece of metal before quickly going and getting the other tool, realizing that to not piss him off anymore, she would just not have to ask questions. However—one stood out in her mind that was necessary to ask. Her life depended on it. "Are you going to kill me…?"
Once again, the creature stopped what he was doing to glower down upon her, smirking as he did so. "Well, it would certainly make me feel better," he stated, his tone a bit lighter.
He lifted his arm once more, the gun reshaping his hand into the fearful weapon he had threatened with her before. Helpless, Iris couldn't bring herself to stand on her feet anymore. Collapsing, she cried with terrified sobs, wishing that she had never taken this stupid vacation in the first place. What a fool she had been. It was obvious, too, that this creature cared none of those weaker than himself. Why should he? Quivering, she twitched as she heard the 'whirring' of his cannon coming closer to her. Would this really be the end…? She slammed her eyes shut, curling her body into the smallest ball she could muster.
Then, she couldn't tell if she fainted or died.
A/N: Read and review, please.