A/N – Slingshot's specs indicate that he's got a range of a whole whopping 600miles. That means any time the Decepticons attack somewhere not in the Pacific Northwest, the guy's got to catch a ride, just like any other Autobot. He's also a Harrier, which is the only sub-sonic jet among the Aerialbots' alt modes. He may have been a speed shuttle on Cybertron like he claims, but he's a slow jet! It stands to reason that sooner or later, he's going to get left behind when the Aerialbots are in a hurry. And his characterization just screams defensive angry teenager.

x-xxx-x

"Would you stop following me?!" Slingshot snarled. "I don't need anyone trailing behind me like a lost puppy, least of all you!"

Fireflight backed up a step at the vicious snap. Slingshot glared at him a moment longer, then turned and stalked out. Fire flight stared after him, frowning in thought.

A low whistle brought him back to reality. "Man, I don't know how you put up with that slag. Or why." Sideswipe was lounging against a wall.

Fireflight just looked at him for a long beat. "Because it's not me he's angry with," he told Sideswipe, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Sideswipe snorted. "Oh? So who's he so fragged off at then?"

A soft, sad smile crossed Fireflight's face. "Himself," he said simply.

x-x-x

Slingshot paced the rock ledge, growling to himself. Silverbolt and the others can go hop in a smelter for all I care. Where to they get off, leaving me behind and then acting like there's nothing wrong with it?! Slag Silverbolt and his orders. He can dress it up however he wants, but he still left me behind.

For your own good. The traitorous though managed to wiggle into his self-righteous anger. Because you're slower and smaller and weaker than everyone else.

Slingshot tried to shove the thought aside, tried to hold onto his fury, but it was no use.

Even Fireflight, as totally unsuited for warfare as he is, is more use in a fight! At least he can get there. Slingshot slumped against the cliff face. Face it, Slingshot, even if Silverbolt had wanted to bring you along, there's no way you could have kept up. Some help you'd be, showing up after the battle ends. And Silverbolt… he might be terrified of getting anywhere above tree-top level, but he doesn't need someone to pack him into battle if the Decepticons happen to attack somewhere other than our backyard!

But damn it, I'm trying. And what do I get? Coddled and left somewhere safe, so I don't get hurt. His fists clenched. I don't need protected, slaggit! I'm a good fighter! I can hold my own against any of them! Slingshot thought defiantly, glaring blindly at the landscape in front of him.

Who am I kidding? I'll never match the seekers, no matter how hard I practice. It doesn't matter how hot your maneuvering is if you can't catch them in the first place.

The sun was setting. Silverbolt was probably having a panic attack trying to find him, and Fireflight…

Slingshot felt a stab of guilt. He shouldn't have snapped at Fireflight; Slingshot's shortcomings were none of Fireflight's fault.

What a pair we make. Flight should have been sparked a camera, and I-

I shouldn't have been sparked at all.