Dislaimer: I don't own them, more's the pity.
AN: A missing scene for Interviewer Bias. You will want to go read that, otherwise this thing here might make absolutely no sense.
Usual caveats: I'm German. Please bother to correct me if I'm making mistakes.
Small edit as of 12/11/07 thanks to graywords-girl
Do you see me?
Bee slouched along after Elita, following her to the Ark and up the ramp, determined to make this as hard for her as possible. She'd probably yammer at him again how sorry she was, and maybe she actually was, yeah, but what was she expecting of him, anyway. It wasn't like he could remember her as more than a face on a screen, talking to Optimus in hushed tones. He'd believed himself to be an orphan for so long, he was content to leave it at that, preferring a pair of loving yet absent creators over the exact opposite.
He stopped when she stopped, and blinked. This was Optimus's quarters. Oh, nice, now he knew what she – they were playing at. He straightened, because while the idea was good, it wouldn't work. He'd see to that.
After a long, silent wait the door slid open and Optimus let them in. He looked tired. Served him right.
"Have a seat", Optimus said.
Bee crossed his arms and didn't budge.
"Bumblebee…", Elita implored. "Son. I know you're angry, and you have every right to be."
So far, this was the usual script. He shifted and looked at her, trying for that eyebrow thing Dr. Scully did.
"I know you'd have gladly given up part of your safety to know your creators. And sometimes… when you answered my calls, and you were so… so distant, like I was just another officer…", she trailed off. Her breath hitched in her vents and she shook her head.
Optimus stepped up to place a soothing hand on her back. She leaned into the touch minutely and Bee looked away. The 'it was for your own good'-lecture was obviously shot to the pits for today, and instead she tried another way of embarrassing herself.
"She'd yell at me to just tell you already and I'd talk her out of it", Optimus said, voice full of grim humor. "I didn't want to do it without her backing me up. And the longer I waited, the more I feared your reaction."
Tilting his head, Bee waited them out.
"It wasn't right, what we did, Bee", Elita offered. "We'd hoped to spare us some pain by not getting attached", she made a helpless gesture. "It was a selfish decision, and in the end, it didn't even keep you out of danger…"
Bee nodded, remembering Tyger Pax.
"I'm sorry", she finished. "I was being a coward."
"We were being cowards", Optimus corrected.
They looked at him, both hopeful and apprehensive, and he looked back and didn't know what to say. Finally, finally they'd admitted to one mistake, and, yes, maybe it had saved his life once or twice, so he was torn between being grateful and being angry, and he hated it. "I…", it was hard to overcome this silence that he had instigated a week ago. "I understand your reasoning. I just don't understand why you've bothered to tell me at all." He was just a fragging stratagem, they didn't have any reason to care what he thought.
He watched their frowns. They didn't get it. They just didn't get it. It made him want to scream at them, but they didn't deserve it. They didn't deserve him being anything but indifferent, yet that was impossible to achieve. All through the last week, he'd tried to quash that little treacherous part of himself that wanted to be held and be approved of, but it was still there and it hurt.
He shook his head and turned to leave.
"Bee. Wait", Elita pleaded, grabbed him by the arm and drew him into a hug, nearly crushing some plating in the process. For a moment, he pretended that everything was as it should be, and he listened to the pulse of her spark and to the air that rushed through her vents and allowed himself to feel safe. "Bee", she said eventually. "You don't have to forgive us right now. I just want you to know that you're my son, and I love you."
What? "Really?", he asked and scolded himself for sounding so needy.
"I've loved you ever since I first felt your spark. You're my son."
He nodded, his cheek scratching across her chest armor. There was a tremble in his vents that told him he'd start sobbing if he wasn't careful.
"Shush", she told him, but didn't heed her own advice.
So he let himself be clung to until she calmed down and let him go. Slowly he took a step backwards to look at his creators, Elita with a smile around her mouth and sadness in her eyes, and Optimus vaguely hopeful.
… They cared. Bee chanced a little smile in return.
Optimus dry-washed his face. "We were being idiots, weren't we. Come here."
It was a tone Bee hadn't heard from him in vorns, coaxing, promising treats, and like so long ago, he couldn't not follow. He found himself scooped up and supported on a hip, something Optimus hadn't done since he'd gotten his battle armor.
Letting his engine purr soothingly, Optimus nuzzled Bee's head, and Bee let himself relax.
He suddenly remembered that Ratchet had offered to built a bigger body for him, now that they had a steady supply again, and that he'd promised to think about it. Well. Maybe in another vorn or so. He wasn't quite ready to be too heavy for this.
Understand the things I say
Don't turn away from me
'Cause I spent half my life out there
You wouldn't disagree
D'you see me? D'you see?
Do you like me? Do you like me, standing there?
- The Cranberries, 'Ode to my family'