On the sandwich: This came about one day when I was little when we had no hot dog buns and no relish. They're not half bad.

This is the last one, guys! And it's extra long, too. Thank you so much for all the great reviews!


V

The massive black GMC truck gently cruised to a stop in front of the cavernous Quonset hut. It sunk onto its shocks, letting out a sigh-like hiss, the dust and sand settling down around its tires. A moment later, it unfolded, reared back, and transformed into the massive, cannon-toting form of the Autobot weapons specialist Ironhide. He made no move to enter the dark, cool interior.

"Don't think stalling is going to get you out of a maintenance check. Get in here." Ironhide let a huff of air from his vents, but complied with the request. Even after only a few months, the interior of the med bay had a chaotic feel to it, spare parts along both walls, tools scattered across the ground, abandoned projects piled to one side and current projects piled to the other. Ironhide knew the disorganization must be grinding Ratchets gears, but apparently it was the way most human medics worked, so that's what you get for takin' one of 'em on as an apprentice.

"Mikaela will be performing your check today, so to start you'll need to be in vehicle mode. I'll be working inventory." The CMO swept off to the far end of the compound to his newly built cabinetry and storage area.

The girl gave him a little wave, wiggling her fingers. While he had nothing against her personally, Ironhide would have preferred the familiar Ratchet over any young recruit. Ratchet'll never let me here the end of it if I get my wires crossed…Ironhide stared at her for a moment before crouching down on all four wheels and transforming back into a Topkick.

"Could you pop your hood?" The latch clicked, Mikaela propped up the cover and got to work.

"Where are Bumblebee and Sam Witwicky?" He asked after some time of silence.

"Hm? Bee n Sam? They went out for a drive, you know, boy time. Or, well, I was planning on going, but then Ratchet asked me to do this." Mikaela grunted, jerking a loose nut tight. "I tried to say no, thought I didn't have enough experience even after helping patch up Bee and Jazz, but he just kept going on about how I'd never learn to work for real on my own if I didn't, etc. etc. Actually, he really roped me into it…" She stopped working now, placing one hand on the top of his grill while the other picked at her shirt. She gave a nervous little laugh before continuing,

"He said the onlyreal reason I didn't want to work on you was because I was afraid of your cannons, and we got in a big spat just before you arrived, but I couldn't say no at that point…" A shrug, followed by more silence.

"Everything looks good up here, but let me check below before you stand up." Ironhide shut his hood and revved his engine while she walked off for a few moments. Feels good…No wonder the younglin's always in such a good mood after a tune-up.

Mikaela came back with a wooden trolley and slid under Ironhide's aft. He tried not to twitch at the various touches, tweaks, and tugs as she moved forward along his undercarriage. Finally, she levered herself out from under him, gliding out to rest in front of him.

"Ok, done with all that. Ratchet should probably be here to watch while I check your cannons and circuitry, but you can stretch out if you like." As he rolled his arms in their shoulder sockets and Mikaela kicked the trolley off to one side and turned to call Ratchet over, he noticed something out of place. I've seen that before…His eyes widened as he recalled the cleanup after Mission City, the screams, the blood.

"Mikeala, don't move!" 'Ratchet, get down here, quick!' he commed the Autobot medic. Ironhide tried to recall what the human medics standard procedure had been whenever he'd unearthed a survivor from the rubble of Mission City, and settled for laying Mikaela down on her stomach as gently as he could…then holding her there as she tried to get up.

"What? Are all you robots little kids or what, can't keep your fucking giant hands to yourselves! Let me go! What is with you?" And on.

Ratchet, by now jaded against these seemingly daily injuries to their human allies, didn't even turn around. 'Is she in pain?' he asked Ironhide over internal communications.

"Are you in pain?"

She had ceased struggling at this point and settled for sending icy glares his way. "No."

'No.'

'Then in my expert opinion she's probably fine. Get her to explain it to you, I'm busy.' At this Ironhide reluctantly removed his fingers from her shoulders and thighs, allowing her to pick herself up from off the floor.

"You're leaking," he grumbled, pointing at her aft. She twisted around as much as her central support column would allow, pulling her jeans away from her legs to have a look.

"Wow, I can't believe I didn't notice that. And I liked these jeans too…" She whipped her head around to look at Ratchet, her mouth forming an 'O', "No wonder I got so pissy at him this morning…" Ironhide realized she seemed to have no intention of explaining this to him on her own, and so tried to bring her back on topic.

"The humans in Mission City who had such leaks needed to be taken to repair facilities. If you're not damaged, why are you leaking plasma?" She gaped up at him, her mouth opening and closing a few times, her faceplate flushing bright red. And this is normal behavior? Maybe I should have Ratchet scan her…

"I cannot believe I'm about to give a giant, sentient, 'autonomous robotic organism' the talk." Mikeala shook her head back and forth. Ironhide waited as patiently as he could manage. "Well, you might as well sit down for this," she said, sighing in resignation and plopping herself onto the concrete floor. Ironhide hissed internally at the girl's crossed legs as he himself kneeled down in front of her.

"Basically, well, I'm on my period, and that means…"

000

"Sarah did that when Annabelle Lennox was created?"

"Yup." Mikaela watched in amusement as a shudder passed through Ironhide's frame.That femme's got bolts of titanium. Mikaela brought Ironhide out of his musings when she slapped her hands against the floor, then stood up.

"Well, if the class has no more questions, I'm going to change clothes." She looked at him expectantly.

"Will your emotional processors glitch for the rest of the week? Is there no possibility of neutralizing the hormones fritzing your system? One Ratchet is bad enough," Ironhide grumbled.

"No, I can't do anything about it. Ah ah ah!" She held up a hand as he prepared another comment. "No uterus, no opinion!" With that, she left Ironhide in the middle of the hanger, alone.


Bonus scene:

"Hey Ironhide, Ratchet!" Sam cheerfully greeted as he climbed out of Bumblebee. The little yellow mech transformed, and they made their way to where the other two Autobots had been discussing some aspect of Ironhide's insides.

"Where's Mikaela? Did she finish checking you out?" He looked at Ironhide, then Ratchet. "'Cause she said that after that she'd be up for some takeout. I mean, if there was something else you needed her for, Ratchet, that's cool, we can get takeout any day, I guess, but it's getting late and I figured she'd be hungry, maybe, yes/no?" All through his babble Sam scanned the room, his eyes landing on the door to the human facilities.

"I wouldn't bother her yet, boy. The cyclical hormone changes in her body are causing her emotional instability, and the loss of a well-liked pair of jeans has put her in a mood from the Pit." Ironhide casually warned Sam.

Sam gaped up at him, and Ironhide noticed that his faceplate reddened and warmed in the same manner as Mikaela's had earlier in the day.

"Hey guys!" Mikaela chose just that moment to enter the main hanger, but nearly stopped in her tracks at the expression on Sam's face. She gave Ironhide a wary glance, before suffering some kind of malfunction, rolling her optics up and back while shaking her head and sighing. She grabbed Sam's arm on her way by the bigger bots, dragging him towards Bumblebee.

"You said something about takeout? I tell you, I am craving some good massaman curry…"


Massaman curry: a mild curry from Thailand.

For those who don't believe it's possible to not notice you're bleeding out your nethers, let's say she was concentrating very hard on her work. It could happen.

Also, I have to say that I shamelessly homaged (coughstolecough) the line "No uterus, no opinion" from chapter 5 of Vaeru's fantastic fic On the Care and Feeding of Humans. It's a great line from a great fic. Go read that and her main story, Transformers: Juxtaposition.

When Ironhide says "That femme's got bolts of titanium." He's talking about Sarah. I meant this in a sense of "That girl's got balls of steel", and originally it said "That femme's got bolts of Primus knows what" when I couldn't think of a good name for a real or fictional metal that would be tough from a Transformer's point of view. LOTR Lover 247 suggested that Ironhide viewed titanium as such a metal. If you know of any other such elements in cannon or fannon, I would love to know.