My excuse for this; creative outlet. This is just a cracky kind of thing I came up with; it's not meant to be taken seriously. I'm not even taking it too seriously… Just laugh and enjoy the fic- oh yeah, and a review goes a long way! No flames please, but reviews are nice!
Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers, of course. Never have, never will. That's just how cruel life can be. Also, I don't own Love Inc.'s song You're a Superstar, or Counting Crow's Accidentally in Love.
The Name Game
"Reach for the sky,
And hold your head up high
For tonight, and every night
You're a Superstar…"
"Mikaela, for God's sake, please let me change the radio station," Sam groaned, already reaching for the dilapidated radio sitting to his right on the workbench. It was an antiquated looking thing, dusty and a little dinged, with a chronic case of static spewing from its speakers.
Without even bothering to look up from the engine she was tinkering on, Mikaela nodded absently, too immersed in her work on the engine before her to care if the music sucked or not. "Go ahead, just find something good," she replied.
With a sigh of relief, Love Inc. was changed to the nearest good rock station that had the least amount of static choking the tunes. As Sam settled back on to his perch on the metal topped workbench, he realized that he could still hear the tune of the song playing from somewhere else other than the radio. His gaze dropped to the canvas folding chair to his left, Miles' head bobbing absently along with the tune he was humming offhandedly. Somehow sensing that he had become the object of his best friend's incredulous stare, Miles tipped his head back to stare at Sam upside down, mouthing the words "you're a superstar," to him around a grin that stretched his face widely.
"You have got to be kidding me," Sam said, reaching down to give Miles a light punch in the shoulder.
"Superstar… Superstar… Superstar… Superstar…" Miles sang, taking obvious delight in bothering Sam with his less-than-stellar karaoke talents. Simon Cowell would have died of a massive brain aneurism if he had been in the garage with them.
Sam looked to his long-time girlfriend pleadingly. "Are you almost done?" he whined. "He's started to sing."
A tired sigh floated up from somewhere around the pistons. "You're going to have to deal with it for now, Sam," she replied, her dark eyes peering over her work towards the two males lounging in the in the shop.
"Come on, 'Kaela. I can call Bee and he can come pick us up early," he continued to whine. "I don't want to listen to this American Idol wannabe."
"You heard Chase, I have to have this thing cleaned and ready to be installed for tomorrow before I even try to step foot outside this garage, otherwise she'll go Decepticon on my ass."
Sam gave a bare laugh, nodding in understanding. "Yeah, I wouldn't want you to be on the wrong side of her plasma cannon or anything." He glanced around the joint owned shop, Hot Autobodies, maintained by both Mikaela and her aunt Chase. It was a relatively nice place, with its roomy floor and vaulted ceiling; you would scarcely know from looking around the place that it was frequented by giant alien robots who could transform into cars, using the place in the same manner that humans use salons.
Miles, to his credit, hardly jumped at the casual mentioning of Decepticon, a huge improvement from his usual cowering in fear.
For a while, the two boys watched mindlessly as Mikaela went about her job of inspecting the engine, prepping it for its installation the next day. Sam had to turn his head away every once in a while as his girlfriend would bend low over the piece of machinery, conjuring an image that was too much like that first day he'd seen her bent over Bee's engine. Any more and he would have to send Miles out of the shop for a little while.
Finally, after humming his last Superstar, Miles looked back at his friend. "Have you ever thought about it?" he asked.
Too entranced by the sensuous vision of Mikaela's fine body moving, Sam did not catch a word asked to him. "Huh?"
"Their names, dude, have you ever thought about them?" Miles pressed, offering Sam an amused look.
Again, Sam drew to a blank. "Whose names?"
As if to try and clarify what he was talking about, Miles waved a dismissive hand above his head. "Their names, dude- like "Optimus Prime," "Bumblebee," "Ironhide." You ever think about them?"
Accustomed to Miles pure randomness of subjects, Sam shrugged in reply. "Nah, not really, not anymore. I've known them for what, seven years-?"
"Eight and half," Mikaela corrected absently.
"Yeah, eight and half years- nothing about them makes me wonder anymore," Sam said. "It's gotten so bad that their names are starting to sound normal to me and human names just sound downright weird."
Miles laughed. "That's what you get for living with them, dude."
"I like their names," Mikaela piped in. She straightened up from her work, scrubbing her greased hands down her overalls. "They give you a good sense of who they are and who you're dealing with, like Ratchet, Jazz, Prowl, Perceptor- it tells a lot about them. I mean, their real names don't exactly translate well into English, but the Earth names they choose for themselves are really unique and fit them really well."
"Okay, so they choose "names" from the English language that are supposed to describe them, but how are any of them supposed to come up with a name when they only just arrive? I've seen one or two arrive before, y'know. First, everyone's using techno-talk, and then the new Auto-buddy comes up out of his hole and is suddenly like, "Hi, my name is fill-in-the-blank." How can they do that when they've been on earth for like, what- five seconds?"
"It helps when you have internet connection wired directly to your brain and can download every online dictionary known to man," Sam said.
"Yeah, but what are you supposed to make of a name like… like-," Miles racked his brain for a few seconds, "Starscream?"
"That some bots don't comb the dictionary as closely as others?" Sam offered.
Mikaela sidled over to them, deciding that she'd done as much as she possibly could on the old engine- Chase would just have to kill her in the morning. She was tossed her water bottle by Sam and downed it easily in three gulps. Wiping the sides of her mouth with the un-greasiest part of her hand, she said, "Or, it could be that he was trying to make his name sound frightening."
"He failed," Sam snorted.
"I'd have to agree with you there, man," Miles nodded. "I may have a severe aversion to their whole "destroy the human race and steal the planet's energy" agenda, but seriously, "Starscream" just isn't a name that strikes fear into your heart. "Megatron" on the hand… Well, I've never met the gut, seeing as he's dead and all, but listen to it, Megatron; Megatron; MEGATRON! No matter what way you say it, it still sounds badass. Starscream just sounds… whiney."
"Have you ever heard him speak, Miles? In English or in Cybertronian?" Mikaela asked, leaning against the side of her workbench next to Sam's legs.
"Not particularly," he replied. "I think I'm more of a run-for-my-life kind of guy whenever he shows up rather than a sit-down-and-listen kind of guy. I don't like the thought of being a smear on the bottom of anybody's foot any day."
"Ditto," Sam chimed.
"Same here," Mikaela laughed. "But that aside, if you ever do get to hear Stascream talk without a giant cannon being pointed down your throat, it's like nails on a chalk board. Not so much in English, but in Cybertronian…" she broke off to shudder. "It makes your ears want to bleed."
"That bad?" Miles asked sympathetically.
"Worse," Sam sighed. He had had the most unfortunate luck of any of the humans that worked with the Autobots, being caught on the battlefield between the behemoth Decepticon leader and whomever he was engaging with at the time more times than he could count. "Makes your skin want to crawl off the bone, or all your internal organs want to come out your mouth."
"Whoa," Miles sighed in awe. "So, his voice is like the ultimate brown note or something, but in reverse since its coming out your mouth…"
Sam and Mikaela snorted collectively. Gently nudging his girlfriend out of the way, Sam leaned down to pat his friend on the shoulder. "No, man, if anyone were to have the ultimate brown note, it would definitely be Soundwave."
Miles laughed. "Of course! Nobody could call themselves an evil genius with sound waves without knowing the ultimate brown note!" His grin took on an impish light, eyes sparkling devilishly. "The question is, why hasn't he used it on us yet? A weapon like that would be killer to us organics!"
Sam shrugged, his own grin stretching wide across his face. "I guess he's that shitty of a 'Con," he replied while Mikaela rolled her eyes.
"What brought this on all of a sudden, anyways?" she asked, glancing at the clock. Bumblebee was going to be there to pick them up any minute now to take them to the main Autobot base. "Why ask about their names now? You've known them nearly as long as we have."
"No reason, really," Miles shrugged. "I was just thinking about their names is all, like Starscream."
"What's there to think about?" Sam laughed. "Star. Scream. Stars that scream; screaming stars; the scream of a star; he's such a bad ass Decepticon that he makes the stars want to scream when he gets into their galaxies."
"Or he's so ugly he makes them want to scream," Mikaela pointed out.
"That too," he conceded.
Miles shifted in his canvas chair. "But who ever said he meant "Starscream" to be like "Star Scream"?" he asked. "What if he didn't mean "Star Scream"?"
"Then what could he have meant?" Sam asked.
"I don't know… What if it was supposed to be like "Stars Cream" instead?" Miles offered. "Maybe he's like an intergalactic porn star or something?"
"Dear God, Miles, what the hell are you on?" Sam snorted as he tried to keep at bay the horrid images of Starscream buffed and ready for his… close up.
Miles held his hands up in defence. "We don't know much about Cybertron! They could have porn there- what kind of planet wouldn't have porn?!"
"A robot planet that doesn't have sex like we do?" Mikaela countered.
"Ha! But they do have an equivalent! I heard all about from Ratchet when I asked why it sounded like Jazz and Prowl were dying in their room!" He looked particularly triumphant. "And if they have crazy-wild-robot-sex then they must have crazy-wild-robot-porn, and if they have crazy-wild-robot-porn then Starscream really could be a porn star."
"You decuctive skills scare me, Miles," Sam sighed.
The blond was on a roll now, utelizing every neuron in his brain to further the game he's began. "He could be in movies like… Galactic Conqueror, or Decepti-Come and Get it On, or… or… The Soundwaves of Screaming Stars."
"Let me guess, that one's gay robot porn?"
Miles shrugged. "You never know."
"I can't believe I'm listening to this," Mikaela whined.
"It's no worse than that Superstar song," Sam shrugged, scooting forward along the metal counter he sat on so that he could wrap his arms tight around her waist. He buried his face in her shoulder as if trying to erase the mental pictures that were forever going to haunt him now. "I swear, now I have that 'you're a Superstar' crap repeating over and over again in my head, and every time I think 'superstar' I get this mental image of Starscream getting ready to-."
"Finish that sentence Samuel James Witwicky and I will kill you."
He laughed nervously and backed off. "I'm never going to be able to respect him again," he sighed. "Not that I did in the first place, but now it's just even less."
"I know what you mean, dude," Miles nodded solemnly.
To break up the disturbed silence that had settled on the three adults, a bright yellow Camaro came gliding up the lonely, dark road. They saw the headlights and heard the familiar purr of the engine long before they could see the sheen of his paint, but still they recognized him easily. It was dark enough for him to be driving without his hologram in place, so as Bumblebee turned into the lot in front of Hot Autobodies his driver's seat was conspicuously empty. None of the three humans were surprised by the empty driver's seat; they knew Bumblebee was a better driver than most human ones.
They waved to the scout as he beeped to them and easily came to a stop just outside the garage doors. With a quick sound byte from the Counting Crows-
"Come on, Come on
Move a little closer!
Come on, Come on
I want to hear you whisper!"
-the humans hastened themselves to close up the shop, eager to climb inside Bumblebee's comfortable interior and make their way to the Autobot's base. With a last flick of the lights and a double check to see that all the locks were in place, they were ready to head out.
Sliding in and getting comfortable, Sam in the driver's seat, Mikaela in the passenger's, and Miles shoved in the back, the radio clicked on for them, Bumblebee scrolling through the stations until he found something.
"Like any other night
You got your name in lights!
You're a Superstar…!"
A collective shudder ran throughout the three humans sitting with the Autobot. Sam choked back his urge to puke profusely on best alien friend, laying a steadying hand on the cool leather of the steering wheel as it turned slowly underneath his hands on its on accord. The horror of the images that plagued him were downright disturbing.
"Bumblebee, maybe that's not the best song to be playing right now…"