Author's Note: This is the last chapter, I'm afraid! It's an epilogue, actually, Chapter 19 was actually the last one. But please enjoy this last one nevertheless. The first story I've ever completed that's been successful and that's not been a one-shot! AMAZING! Cough.
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers.
Chapter 20: The Epilogue
"Hello, Megatron," the auburn Seeker said smoothly as he strode up to the silver Decepticon.
The massive Transformer glanced back at him, almost absently, giving a once-over glance before he turned back to face the lush valley before saying, "Hello, Starscream."
Silence dropped between the two as the Autobot stepped up upon the lip of the hill, feeling the refreshing blow of wind run over his healed, broad body. The Earth-bound scene was nothing short of spectacular, the sea of rich green spreading to the far reaches of the horizon where mountains stood in the distance, the atmosphere and distance giving the hazy illusion that they were purple. Trees dotted the environment here and there, growing thicker beyond where the lip of the peaks rose to kiss the sky. Clouds floated leisurely above in the sapphire sky, pure and fluffy. Starscream smiled to himself at the peace of the moment, briefly shutting his optics to let himself just be. Even it just once, he had at least had one chance to know and feel the Earth herself. And it was beautiful.
"You never cease to surprise me, Starscream," Megatron mused while crossing his arms.
Starscream opened his orbs and turned to his once-leader, giving him an amused look. "Would you have taken me in any other way?"
The silver Decepticon paused a moment, his stance mocking in a way that he pretended to think. "Well, let's see," he began, putting a finger on a metal cheek, "Submissive, loyal and intelligent against proud, foolish and ridiculous…let me think…"
"Oh, give me a break for once, Megatron," Starscream groused, rolling his optics with exasperation. "If it wasn't me, who would keep you on your toes?"
Megatron, at the comment, turned slowly to give him a dangerous look, making the Seeker laugh in an honest manner, his evil chortle lost in a rich, deep laugh. Another silent pause slid between them, Megatron silently boiling no doubt, compared to Starscream who was humming softly and watching the grass flow and weave like jade waves. Wild flowers added touches of color to emerald endlessness, giving the faint distinction of the white caps to the surf.
"Do you know why I picked you to be my second?" Megatron then suddenly asked, not looking at him or turning to him. Ruby optics looked out in the distance, seeming to be interested in something far away.
Starscream glanced at him, contemplating the question while saying, "Besides being her brother?"
"Nope, not really," the Seeker murmured as he turned back to face the scene again.
"I thought I was giving myself a second chance when I took you up," Megatron replied easily, almost in a casual manner, "But then I lost myself in regret and became obsessed with the Allspark, which I know you still have, and all I knew was trying to get control. I was angry at Optimus, and only wanted to have the freedom to do as I chose."
"Then it was indirectly her," Starscream concluded while shooting a glance at him, "I understand now. And you thought I had all the secrets, too, didn't you?"
"You were the smartest among your sparklings," Megatron said slowly.
"Ah, I see you place that in past tense to offend me," Starscream said lightly, wagging his finger in front of the silver Decepticon's face, "But unfortunately for you, I went on to be a scientist of exploration before you could interfere. That has its own wits as well, besides my other achievements."
"Don't flatter yourself," Megatron muttered while rolling his optics.
"You never did," Starscream stated with a frown. Despite the situation, however, he realized that he was telling the silver tyrant everything he always wished to tell them, but was too afraid to do so because of the beatings he would no doubt take afterwards. From this, he went on: "What else did you expect me to do? Fall at your feet? I was just as devastated as you were when she died. I felt as if it was my fault and that's why I abandoned engineering to environmental science. I couldn't do it anymore with her memory in my Spark. Maybe if I actually got some support once in awhile, I'd be more inclined to fulfill your wishes."
Megatron cast a solid glance at him, not necessarily angry as it was thoughtful before he remarked with the raise of his eyebrow, "I suppose that's why you find yourself so inclined to fulfill Optimus's."
"Ah, catching on, are we?" Starscream asked mockingly, a smug grin crossing his face once more. "But I don't think that's why you asked me to meet you here in the first place."
The silver Decepticon held still for a moment, simply staring at him with a steady, reading gaze. In the meantime, Starscream did not move or comment at his actions, waiting patiently for the response to come. It wasn't a surprise that the call came, in the least, only three months human time had passed and they were both healed from the pillar of light the Seeker had used against the tyrant. There was a strange sense of truce between the Autobots and Decepticons from that point, not necessarily permanent, but one of which that gave a chance for both sides to relax and recuperate. Considering the intensity of the scene between Starscream and Megatron, everyone needed to, per say by the humans, 'chill out' for awhile.
"You're going back to get Elita One and other Autobots, aren't you? With Optimus?" Megatron asked offhandedly, seeming to become very interested with a scab of rusting metal on his forearm. He flicked it off easily, a fresh patch of silver appearing from where it came off.
"Yes," Starscream replied while resting two hands behind his head. "With Iris and the twins and Ironhide as well."
"I want you to take Skywarp," Megatron threw in, a bit unexpected, but all the same understandable.
Starscream paused a moment, thinking, before he said, "Okay…anybody else? Because I'm not taking Thundercracker with his attitude right now."
"No," the other replied, glancing off into the distance once more, a gesture that made Starscream consider that the silver one was distracting himself from looking at him directly in the optics. "He's seems the only one that has a sense of reality at this point."
"I find that a bit…eh…interesting," the Seeker said with a visible smirk.
"Nevertheless," Megatron continued, "He will go with you to retrieve any of my soldiers that may have been left."
Starscream stopped for a moment, something akin to a glare settling upon the silver tyrant. "Have you always been this feisty, Megatron?"
"I might've relaxed a little over the vrons," the silver Decepticon murmured while taking a look at his claws.
"Well, Optimus isn't going to be happy about this," Starscream muttered while letting his hands drop to his sides, "He doesn't like war whatsoever and he's finally got the chance to have peace and you're going to screw it up again."
"What else are we going to do as Decepticons, Starscream?" Megatron grunted, throwing a glower at him with an accompanying scowl. "We're made to battle. That's how I made my soldiers."
"Yes, but you were once a construction worker yourself…they might not want it, either," Starscream murmured, crossing his arms.
"Oh no, I've asked," Megatron replied, looking like he had just pulled out his trump card for the conversation, "And they all agree that they have nothing outside of being a Decepticon. Therefore, so long as one or the other exists, there can only be war."
Starscream drew himself up as he tried to make his defense and Megatron watched him in silence, and then the Seeker sighed; he knew the old tyrant was right. So long as one or the other remained, there could only be disagreement among the masses. Peace would only find its way when all had joined as a single, united force. And Starscream also realized that through Optimus—justified and good-natured aside—he knew it in his Spark that the war had changed them enough so that it was all they understood. Starscream paused a moment, staring at him before he murmured, "I hope you don't use the time Optimus and I depart to rip this planet apart, do you? Because then I'd really have to kill you."
Megatron blinked slowly, obviously not amused he as muttered in response, "I'm a Transformer of my word. The humans will have no sight of us until the day of your return."
"And then…?" Starscream asked, reaching out a clawed hand.
"And then we're enemies again."
Then Starscream turned, his footing slow for how much he had grown to hate Megatron and love the Autobots. But then he found himself wondering, it wasn't really hate, was it?
Starscream halted a moment, shifting his gaze back to the old Transformer once more. He simply stood there on his own accord, staring out in the distance, into his long-lost memories of Dimitri and better times. For a brief and instant moment, Starscream almost felt pity towards him, for all the things he lost and all the terrible realizations he had to face. Dimitri could never be his. His Spark went with her as they lowered her stock-still body into the ground, and it would never return so long as she laid buried there, offline and lifeless. There would be no peace for the silver one, no matter how hard he tried to get over her, there would be nothing but the stale awareness that the only thing he had left to hold onto was his dignity.
The moment ceased, then, and Starscream shook his head, finding himself almost embarrassed at finding sympathy for him. Nothing was excusable when lives were on the line. Not even lost loves. "You know," the auburn F-22 mentioned for the record, "She would never have wanted this for me or for you."
"Good-bye, Starscream," Megatron murmured without a glance back.
"You did WHAT?!"
The cry wasn't expected. As a matter of fact, from what Starscream had to put up with and what now stood before him, it was more than just justified—it was necessary.
"I'm sorry! I couldn't help it! They said yes, and before I could stop her, she went on to change them! There was absolutely nothing I could do, love, I was just a bystander in this situation!" Iris cried, using frantic arm gestures to help aid her statements. "Look, it isn't that bad. They can stay here all the while under Ratchet's watch and we'll still go on."
Starscream caught a glance between his wife, Optimus who was just as baffled, and then the recent creation that had nearly given him a short circuit upon his return to the Autobot base. They stood there, staring innocently at him as if they were as justified for their choices as he was for being completely shocked about the situation itself. Iris stood quietly beside him and held their two bright and beautiful children, Brokebacker and Michael, who both seemed to be just as happy about the result as ever. Starscream heaved a great sigh. Two more femmes. He couldn't' believe it. The Allspark had made two more femmes! Why would she do that?! Just make their lives harder than it already was?!
"We'll stay here," the smaller of the pair, her name proclaimed Maria Velasquez by Iris, said gently with a broad smile. From as far as Starscream could see, she took on an amazing resemblance to Optimus's teddy bear, Peanuts. While her more prominent colors were pink and brown, she clearly held the nature that she could do no harm to fly or person alike. Like Iris, she was destined to be a healer by the ribbons that flowed about her tiny figure, long and full of potential. She didn't seem to be able to transform into anything, but Starscream could be mistaken. "You can trust us, can't you? We'll be good little girls while you're gone."
"We still need to figure out our new bodies anyways," the other murmured, Janice. This one seemed exactly the opposite of Maria. She held herself high and confident, her figure curvy and pure perfection in the eyes of a Decepticon looking for a mate. She carried a blade on her right forearm that curved ten feet from its origin when completely extended, and her main colors that she sustained were a navy blue and emerald. She appeared to be a ground-type transformation, unlike the Seeker's wife, as tires held themselves at her hips and her shoulders. She held balance with a jade tail that swung in between her strong legs. If anything, she appeared like she was ready for a fight. "The time you're gone will give us a chance to let us get adjusted to our new life."
Starscream gave them both a funny look. "Transformers aren't like humans, ladies, they're learn things like this in a matter of days. You'll be adjusted probably before you can even say 'adjusted'. Trust me, that's not what I'm worried about."
"What is it, then?" Janice asked with a hint of annoyance in his tone.
"Autobots aren't the only ones who find interest in mates, you know. The Decepticons, if they see you, will become very interested in taking you with them, whether you like it or not," the auburn ex-Decepticon grunted, crossing his arms as he did so. "A year might not be that much in the perception of a Transformer, but just as much can happen, if not more, in that time for us. I just don't want to come back and see an all-out war going on because somebody couldn't ignore certain urges. If anything, I think it's best that they come with us."
Both women groaned loudly, seeming unsatisfied by the request. Very unsatisfied. Iris huffed somewhat at their antics before turning to him, a pleading expression on her features. "We've shown Optimus, my dear, and he thinks it's best that Ratchet watches over them. He's a good guardian, he wouldn't let them out of his sight if they wanted to."
Starscream took his wife into consideration while turning back to see the doctor himself rising out of the door to the base, obviously by their beckon. He smiled upon seeing Starscream back at home, clearly pleased that he hadn't gotten hurt from the confrontation with Megatron as he dropped the hatch back and strode up to them. Placing a hand on the beige one's shoulder, he murmured, "We're having a little feminine trouble. If you're worried for their safety, Starscream, have no fear. One year with them will be enough for us to set a basis of what female life will be with us after so long. It'll give all of us gruff males a chance to open up after being warriors for so long."
There was a doubting pause, Starscream smoothing a hand over his face as he considered. Well, of course Ratchet was right and he did have a point with the idea that they needed the chance to get adjusted to women in their daily lives before a whole flood of estrogen came to attack them. It was an opportunity that would, even, perhaps allow those Autobots that didn't have mates to understand their habits and their interests. Maybe…he was right. The beige F-22 Seeker sighed, turning back to the hopeful expressions of the two femmes, Maria holding her hands in a prayer form while Janice looked ready to begin a verbal fight to hold her ground. Starscream rolled his optics.
"Well, if Ratchet thinks he can handle you two," he mumbled, turning away from them, "Then go ahead and stay."
"YES!" they both cried at the same time.
"BUT—!" Starscream interrupted, stabbing a dangerous finger of authority in their direction, "If for any reason I have to come back down here from a single distress call from anybody—including Decepticons or whatnot—I won't be as pleasant about the situation. This is a privilege, ladies, that you get to be here. Ratchet's being very considerate in taking care of you, otherwise I would stay down here to do the job. Trust me, I'm not joking when it comes to this and saying that I will drag your butts off this rock if you so choose to make one foul mistake. Got it?"
They nodded quickly, their excitement bursting through large grins on their faces, obviously excited about the choice they got. Starscream hoped he wouldn't be regretting later.
A noise behind him caught his attention, a certain sapphire-and-crimson Transformer leaping from the confines of the underground base with a single, fluid jump. If Starscream didn't know better, Optimus might've well been more excited about going back to Cybertron to find Elita One than a three-year-old on Christmas day. A smile that had been unable to frown for the past thirty-six megacycles still held its position on his features, his fists planted on his hips as he said, excitement laced in his tone, "Ready to go, Starscream? Ironhide is already packed up and ready to head out!"
"We're ready, Optimus," the Seeker murmured, reaching out for one the twins and taking his girl into his arms. "We need to pick up Skywarp before we head out."
"Skywarp? For Megatron?" the other asked, his eyebrow lifting in question.
"He wants to find Decepticon refugees on Cybertron," he muttered, rolling his optics.
Prime huffed in annoyance, crossing his arms defiantly as he contemplated the request. "Well, that old droid. He just doesn't give up, does he?"
"Well, I would do it more on the account of Skywarp than anything," Starscream said gently, glancing at his daughter, "He had a wife and kid back on Cybertron."
Irritation melted into sympathy on the Autobot leader's part, his fingers tapping on his arm as he considered for a moment. "Mmm, poor guy," Optimus murmured, closing his optics thoughtfully, "…For the sake of Skywarp, then. We'll pick him up on the way."
"You don't really think they'll trust you enough to bring you along, do you?" Thundercracker sneered while planting himself on a boulder just on the outside perimeter of the opening in the wood.
Skywarp shot back a glare to his old cohort, but refused to say anything. He had decided only days after the pillar of light and the sapphire Seeker's release that words honestly held no truth compared to actions. Even his leader considered this to be a great sense of reality and good mental judgment on Skywarp's part that he promoted him to be his second. It was a serious shock to the purple Decepticon, but he took the job without hesitation and knew all he could thus far would play his part in this game of chess—after all, it wasn't even his battle. But he would do his part, for the sake of his dignity. That's all he had left for being a Decepticon.
The violet F-22 turned his gaze skyward and simply waited and watched for Optimus's fairy ship to the Ark to arrive, already aware of the situation he was in. He was to retrieve Decepticon survivors of the war and return them to here, but even this supposed main focus from Megatron's orders couldn't block out the excitement he had for seeing Rusti again. Oh, his beloved, sweet, energetic…ah. He missed her so much. He missed her everyday optimism, her teasing, her adorable laugh that would always spring a smile to his face. His missed her sultry body, he missed her kindness to everyone around her. And he missed their son. He was only a baby when Skywarp was sent away, but he would never forget how he had received everything good of both parents, and deserved every bit of happiness in the universe.
"Are you going to answer me?" Thundercracker groused, crossing his arms with a huff.
"No," Skywarp replied, a smug grin sweeping across his features. "I'm going to stand here, ignoring you, and reminisce of the moment Megatron asked me to be his second."
There was a soft growl behind the purple Decepticon that made his smirk be pulled further, haughty satisfaction sinking in his thick armor. For his time spent there, another mere two megacycles, Skywarp discovered a strange shape coming towards him from the sky. It didn't take a few more minutes before he recognized it to be Starscream and the rest, allowing the violet F-22 jet another moment of contentment. A deep grin was chiseled into his features as he turned slowly back to face Thundercracker, who gave him a disgusted snarled while pouncing off the rock. Snorting one last time, he then whirled around and stomped off, obviously too conceited to say good-bye. Nevertheless, he was at least here to see him off (no doubt orders by Megatron) and Skywarp was thankful for that in the least.
The purple Decepticon found himself at ease as he turned back to face the Autobot's oncoming ship, leaping into the atmosphere with the aid of his boosters. The massive ship, by human's standards, appeared before him and hovered for a moment, allowing Skywarp to come up to it on his own. A door cracked in the dense armor of the ship, swinging wide as a certain beige Seeker appeared in its place. Skywarp smirked as he swooped down and then shot up, transforming midair while catching the door and whirling about, allowing it to shut behind him as Starscream stood back. Skywarp sealed the door, testing it before he turned to face the beige one with a strange sense of…equality.
"I do hope you packed your own necessities, because I already have to handle three other people, usually four since Ironhide forgets his washcloth all the time," Starscream grunted while turning away, going through the main hall.
"Don't worry, we Decepticons know how to make things last, remember?" Skywarp asked teasingly as he walked down the corridor with his brother beside him.
Starscream rolled his optics with exasperation. "You don't have to remind me. But I must admit, Thundercracker is almost as bad as Ironhide. He at least tracks his energon consumption."
"Ironhide always was a hothead, despite being a personal bodyguard for Optimus," Skywarp said with a grin, crossing his arms in a conceited manner.
"Speak of the pits. I hope this year will go by faster than Bumblebee's energon cakes at a weight watchers convention."
It seemed like no time at all.
One moment, we were there.
The next, we were all across the galaxy, exploring, seeing things we'd never thought we'd see.
In colors that we thought never existed.
I remember arriving on Cybertron like it wasn't possible. Hand in hand with my lover, we watched as this war-beaten planet came into our views as the destination of our hopes and dreams—despite the fact that the Transformer population was dropped into the thousands. The rest of the environment was otherwise dust from the battle of the Allspark, filled with torn and ravished bodies, while in this last oasis of life, it seemed to us that there would be such little anticipation that our people would still follow us. What chance did we have that they believed our truths? Our ship seemed like a gem amongst all the remaining ones as it set down upon the air field and Transformer, male and femmes alike, surrounded us with wonder and trust like I had never seen before.
There was a point where I was afraid of stepping outside with Optimus, despite the fact I was an Autobot.
Nevertheless, as I entwined my fingers with my wife, looking into her cerulean optics with some guilt played within them, I realized that there wasn't much I could say about it without knowing I was wrong.
"They have nothing to blame you for," she told me. "You're the hope of our futures, Starscream, you're what they want to see."
Of course I believed her. So I went on ahead, before Optimus, before anyone else and unsealed the door, swinging it open. Golden rays of light shot through the dark hall of the ship, briefly blinding us as I stepped outside of the metal, stuffy transportation systems and onto the hard, welcoming ground of Cybertron. Lights dropped from their respective Transformer hosts, some faces familiar, some faces not. A ripple of whispers scored through the crowd as they murmured my name to the next, followed up by the name 'Decepticon' in their midst. I paused momentarily before stepping onto the podium of concrete before the thousands of expectant Sparks, silencing their assumptions.
My sapphire optics, searching. Where were they? I didn't hesitate to raise my voice as I called, "Is there an Elita One and a Rusti in the crowd?"
I was returned with dumbfounded looks by my brothers and sisters, those glancing between themselves as if to answer their own questions about what the weird, neurotic Decepticon named Starscream, second to Megatron, who just asked for two chick Transformers. For all their inquiries, neither of the women seemed to care as they stepped forward, breaking apart from the rest with eager gazes. They knew it wasn't glory anymore that I was searching for.
I smiled, raising my arms in a welcoming gesture. "Your husbands have returned!"
Optimus and Skywarp then strode up beside me, acting as the proud and powerful beings that they were. The femmes weren't the only ones completely shocked. Decepticon and Autobot standing by one another, not fighting or bickering for one cause or the other? It was a complete miracle, beside being impossible in itself! Excited chatter and sound arose from the masses, the two women dashing without reservation to their beloveds. I remember what they sounded like, their cries of happiness and their utter devotion. They had been waiting for this moment for a long time.
"Rusti!" Skywarp called, diving down towards her and clashing with her in an embrace at the foot of the podium.
Elita, in all her stubbornness, didn't even bother to glance at me, her once hated enemy, as she leaped and caught the edge of the rise, falling into Optimus's arms with desperate sobs. "You're okay! I'm so happy! You're all right…!" she cried, clutching his shoulders as if she'd never let go, "You kept your promise…!"
I found my smile deepened, seeing and understanding what I had missed the most: the moments. Did it matter so much about the destination? Or was it the journey…? I didn't ask, but I knew the answer. I knew what it meant to me. Something touching my hand caught my attention, noticing my beauty, my world enfolding her hand in mine. I glanced back at her with a grin, smug and conceited. She laughed while bumping my hip, catching the same drift as me. There was only happiness suddenly, no Allspark, no hurt, no deafening sounds of bombs and battle, only truth and pure bliss and laughter. This is what I wanted all along, wasn't it?
Small voices behind me took my attention, two tiny figures running up to me and I took my children into my arms, holding them up to the sky. Iris stood beside me, holding our daughter as I held my son, showing the opportunity to our people. Laughter of children. Hopes and dreams. A chance to make their old, wrecked lives new once more. Now that I noticed it, looking back to all my brethren, there were many more children than there was before. Skywarp's son, grown and strong, stood beside him as if he had first met him, but known him all along. Sparklings filtered from the crowds to stand before us all, healthy and beautiful, each and every one of them.
"We have found new planets!" Optimus cried over the spontaneous and thrilled crowds, "Come with us to them! Let us make a new life for the Transformer race!"
"Let us set things right again!"
"And to think," I murmured, glancing at Iris, "All because of a single, little, organic human life form…"
She grinned. "Imagine, my dear, what two will bring us."
A/N: Good ending? I hope so. I thought this story mostly surrounded Starscream anyways, so that's why I put him in first person at the end. This was such a fun story to do with all of you guys, and I'm greatly appreciative that you read and reviewed it. I'd like to thank ArmoredSoul, black dragon, GrimlockX4, bloodshifter, xXsomeoneelseXx, TheMinttu, and Lady GryphonInia. These people were with me from start to finish and gave me confidence and helped me getting through tough spots in my story. You guys are amazing! I love each and every one of you! Along with all my other reviewers and readers, I'm very thankful for you guys reading my story! I'll never forget any of you guys!
I dedicate this story to Hot Shot's girl because she's the one that gave me inspiration in the first place. She's an awesome girl and I thank her a million times over for giving me this gift. I officially have Starscream as my favorite Transformer in tie with Optimus and Bumblebee because of her. THANK YOU HOT SHOT'S GIRL!!!
By the way, you guys, I have a question to ask:
Should I make a sequel?
If I did, it wouldn't be the same thing at all. It, as a matter of fact, would be very different from this story.
Tell me so! Read and review, please!