Mk, so I'm looking at 1 more, maybe 2. But the going is slow and I am sorry. A familiar face will return, so stay tuned. But feel free to brbio or get a drink...

§ We'll forge a little life dear (oh dear) and double down our debts,
and I guess it stands to reason
that the passing seasons will slowly dull regrets §

"Give him some space, back off!" Optimus barked. The Autobots did as told, backing away but watching the stricken Decepticon. Starscream stirred and his optics fluttered open. He groaned at the catastrophic pain in his side. A shaky arm reached up and he pulled the sword out, in a shower of sparks, weakly throwing it. Oil gushed from the ragged hole in his side where the sword had been. Ratchet bustled his way through the crowd in time to watch Starscream try to shove himself but fail miserably, success coming only in forcing more valuable fluids from his gaping wound.

"Stay down Starscream, you'll kill yourself," Ratchet almost begged.

"I killed you. I killed you. Why must you insist on…" Starscream's words ended with a pained cry as he completely collapsed. Ratchet's hands fumbled with the hole, trying to dry it up to keep Starscream stable enough to be transported away. "Where is she?" he growled through the pain.

"I don't know. Shut up and let me deal with your injury," Ratchet snapped.

"I want to see-"

"You can't if you're dead. Now shut up and stop making it worse!" Ratchet nearly yelled. The Autobots were dispersing now, tending to fallen friends. Bumblebee stayed with Starscream. "Bee, help me get him onto the carrier," Ratchet commanded as he linked his arms under Starscream's. Bumblebee took his legs and they lifted him, earning a cry.

"It hurts, stop moving me!" Starscream wheezed and sucked in a deep breath as they set him down and the pain began to slowly subside. Ratchet looked down at him, studied his optics. "My vision… fading…"

"You've lost too much fluid and you're going into shock. Try to stay with us Starscrem," Ratchet said as he and Bumblebee carried the seeker off the field. He started to shake. Ratchet cursed and they picked up their pace.

"Top priority, make way! Move!" Bumblebee yelled as they rushed into the base. Millie heard but ignored the commotion, tending to the 'bots in front of her, setting up IV feeds and spark monitors and giving her favourites like Jazz and Prowl affectionate caresses to their faces in comfort.

"Millie? I'm sure you know-" Optimus tried as he stood watching her tend to his friends. She cut him off.

"I do. Ratchet and Wheeljack can fix him. I will be there when I can, but I need to take care of others first. There are only so many hands here," she answered maturely. Optimus nodded in agreement.

"Your efforts are appreciated. Thank you Millie," he said seriously as he left. Millie sighed and rubbed her face. She pushed her hair back and carried on with her work. The battle had been so long that there had been enough damage done to take several days of her time unassisted.

As she toiled over several Autobots at a time, Ratchet and Wheeljack worked to repair Starscream.

"It caused pretty severe damage, honestly," Ratchet said, sounding discouraged.

"He was talking and awake, that should count for something," Wheeljack countered. Ratchet shook his head.

"All I know is, if Millie is fixing up Skywarp, who's missing his torso, we can fix this. In theory. I don't know. It's pretty bad," he said. His hands were covered with a decent amount of oil as it was. He and Wheeljack removed the marred armour covering Starscream's torso to better see the path the blade had created. It was one clear hole starting from his side and ending just a millimeter from his spark. "If it had been any deeper at all, Starscream would be dead." Wheeljack peered over and gasped.

"One lucky 'bot, that's for sure," he agreed. Between the two of them, Ratchet and Wheeljack had Starscream repaired in just slightly longer than five hours. They snapped the chest armour back on and went to find Millie, to inform her that Starscream was going to be alright.

They found her sleeping, taking a few hours break from working. Ratchet nudged her gently. She looked at him groggily, almost annoyed.

"Starscream is in recovery room 701. He needs to be cleaned up after his lengthy repairs. Wheeljack and I are needed elsewhere. Can you help us out?" She perked up, slowly shoved herself to her feet, and went to the recovery room Starscream was resting in. He was coming to as she slipped in. He turned to her, hearing her enter, and struggled to focus, but he was groggy from the sedatives.

"It's just me. You look like you can't see very well, but it's just Millie," she said comfortingly. She put her hands on his arm and his expression softened.

"I wanted you," he told her. She nodded.

"That would in fact be why I'm here," she tested. He smirked weakly.

"I meant, I wanted you before... I wanted you as they brought me back here. Where were you?" He didn't seem angry or jealous. Just curious. Millie relaxed.

"I was helping 'bots already here. Surely you knew I'd be here when you woke up," Millie said raising an eyebrow. Starscream looked away from her.

"I suppose you didn't want to see me anyway." She snorted.

"Why would you think that? You put everything on the line first just to be with me, then to save Optimus. Pretty amazing," she told him. "Even the other Autobots are hailing you as a hero. Looks like you gambled and won a home." He looked back at her.

"I can stay." It was an uneasily spoken statement. Millie smiled and kissed Starscream's cheek.

"Come. There are some 'bots who'd like to see you, and one who would like to thank you," she said, stepping back so the large mecha could stand without her being under foot. Starscream sat up, dizzying himself slightly, then, with a strong wobble, stood. He took several moments to steady himself.

"Are you gonna be ok?" Millie asked. She received no word. Instead, he reached down and lifted her. Holding Millie to his chest, Starscream nervously stepped out of the recovery room and started down the corridor to meet his waiting public. The first to greet him is Bumblebee.

"Glad to see you up and alive, Starscream," he said almost affectionately. He was still wary of the Deceptibot but respected what he had done to preserve the future f the Autobots, and he respected Millie's feelings towards the seeker. Starscream bowed his head slightly. Being praised was new and he was still trying to learn just how he was supposed to react to it. "What you did was very brave, and your actions have made you a hero. We're in your debt, you know."

"Thank you," he said, avoiding eye contact. He felt Millie's hand on his chest as he held her. This strengthened him some. "The future for all would have been bleak had I not done that. I myself would have been killed, and that really was-"

"Oh stop it already. Don't justify your actions, Starscream," Bumblebee said. He shook his head. "At least you haven't changed." He was smiling, and Starscream decided to spare him any abuse for interrupting him.

"Where is Optimis?" Millie asked from her 'throne' in Starscream's hands.

"Probably in the monitor room talking to our connections still on Cybertron," Bumblebee answered with a nod. "But regardless of what he's doing, he'd be happy to see you both," he added. Starscream carried on towards the room Optimus spent a good bit of his time. He passed the big lounge room where the Autobots who weren't injured, or who were recently repaired, were relaxing. Jazz saw him, and called out to him. Starscream cringed. They were delaying something important to him. He stood in the doorway.

"We just want to give you our appreciation," Jazz beamed happily at him. He started to applaud. "You saved us all, Starscream!" The others followed Jazz's example, even the old, grizzled grump in the far corner. Yes, even Ironhide had been moved by Starscream's act, and he and the ex Decepticon made eye contact. Starscream nodded at him.

"Thank you, I'm great, I know this. But excuse me, I need to find Prime," Starscream said, and as he sauntered away with his ego reinflating, Ironhide, though impressed, sighed and rolled his eyes.

"At least he earned his arrogance this time," Jazz said to him, putting a hand on his shoulder. Ironhide nodded.

"That he did. That he did."