Right...this is going to be a long one. I know I shouldn't be doing this, I should, by all rights, be studying for the Stats exam I have on Friday and doing the paper, too. But instead I decided to post this...I'm sorry if accidentally reading this ruined your week! I sometimes have much grander ideas in my head than I manage to get down on paper and I want to apologize if this falls flat. It will get decidedly not rated for children in the next chapter, however, so if you were to stay with me that long I would be eternally grateful. This will also mean that the rating will skyrocket to a lovely "M" next chapter, so sorry if that puts a crick in anyone's plans.
I liked the mechs' color schemes in G1 more than the movie, so while I'm including Sam, I'm gonna make everyone be G1-ish. But there's a reason for it! Really!
This is also going to turn out to have a bunch of random pairings in it, namely Bluestreak/Wheeljack, Ratchet/Twins, Sam/Bee, Jazz/Prowl, and anything else that my sick little mind can think up. Most of these pairings I blame on the wonderful authors here and it's thanks to them that this even came about.
So, if anything, blame them.
Edit: Since I am an overall idiot, I seemed to have managed to spell one of the character'snameswrong. It's pathetic, really. Out of all the things to spell wrong, it was Ironhide. Iron and hide. I...suck a lot. Many huge goops of thanks toCheysuli-Nightand SkyHighFan who were kind enough to point it out. Look! I fixed it!
Edit 2: My love goes out to Kesera who was kind enough to send me an e-mail with all her suggestions. It was one the most helpful things I have ever gotten andthank youfor it. The credit for the now gone grammar mistakes goes most humbly to you.
Edit 3 (Because these thingsneverend): Thanks to .groove who helped me with the CORRECT spelling of Bee's alt-mode.
He could never really get over how much Sector 7 loved their secrecy. Never mind they had helped to save the world that, through the stupidity of the Sector, had almost been anything but. Never mind they showed time and time again that they could be trusted. Never mind it had been a whole yearafter the Autobots had landed before they apparently thought it was in their best interests to tell what else they had found all those years ago.
And hid under the Great Wall of China, of all places.
"Sam? Are you even paying attention?" a sharp voice asked. Blinking, Sam reoriented his mind from his musings to stare into irate blue optics.
"Ummm…yes?" he answered hesitantly, lifting himself onto his elbows. The medic before him huffed before reaching out with one red hand and pushing him back into his lying position on the only human sized bunk in the whole of the med bay.
Sam sighed and allowed the deceptively gentle push to do its job, settling himself onto the bed and trying his hardest to ignore the harsh hum of scanners being turned back on as Ratchet continued his examination of his body, making sure once again that it hadn't been negatively affected by his prolonged exposure to the energy of the Allspark back in Mission City.
Not like it had been a year or anything since the attack on Mission City and his connection with the Allspark, but really, who's counting?
As the hum of machines got louder as Ratchet got particularly up close and personal with his right inner ear, Sam cast around for something to distract himself. Desperate, he turned his mind back to the events that had unfolded once Sector 7 had told Optimus what they had been keeping from them in China. Sam didn't know the precise details (the technical jargon just tended to go over his head. Mikaela, however, seemed to understand some of it) but it sounded like they had found a gigantic ship covered in the same symbols as the cube. Drawing out a picture of the two most prominent symbols from the file Simmons had handed him, Sam put his guardian's limited teaching of Cybertronian to use. He recognized the first symbol as the rough human equivalent to the sound Are. The second was something like Ch.
"Are-Ch? Ark?" Sam had whispered silently, before turning to his towering guardian for confirmation.
Only Bumblebee seemed pretty preoccupied with just staring at the pictures presented before him in something that Sam had learned to recognize as shock. Optimus, taking one look at them himself, spent enough time for a hasty, "Autobots, Roll Out!" Before the lot of them were kicking up dust on the way to, presumably, China. Stuck holding the proverbial bag, Sam could only turn to Simmons dejectedly and shrug his shoulders. Simmons spent all of five seconds staring incredulously at him (Sure, he'd spent a year in their company, but come on! It would take more than that to understand the eccentrics of a giant sentient robot race) before giving the orders for helicopters to be prepped. Sam inserted himself rather firmly into one of said helicopters, Simmons only rolling his eyes before allowing him to accompany them in their mad dash half way across the world.
Sam had the good grace to hide his smirk. Out of all the people he had met after and during the events at Mission City, Simmons had surprisingly turned out to be the biggest pushover. Not that Maggie really put up a fight. Nor Will, really, as long as you made the puppy dog eyes big enough. And Mikaela had found some way to get Glen to bend to her will, but she wasn't sharing the coveted secret with Sam. Apparently, he lacked the "finesse" that she did in the matter.
Sam just thought he lacked the boobs.
After which he had promptly got socked over the head for his accidentally-out-loud comment. Sam had found out, rather grudgingly, that Mikaela had developed some form of superhuman resistance to all wounded animals and therefore his wounded animal look did nothing to garner her pity. Probably came with being a criminal.
The resulting smack from that one was enough to make him see stars. Sure, he may have desynthesized her to her hate for being reminded of her past by his repeated stupid jokes, but god help him if she ever showed it. He bore the beatings well, however, in a good brotherly way. They bickered like siblings, really.
Probably why the broke up.
"Sam. You need to look at the light. Stop daydreaming and try to focus! If you'd just concentrate then this could be over all that much faster." The snappy retort dragged him again from his musings and Sam winced into the light that the red and white mech was shinning directly into his eyes. Chagrined, Sam obliged and stared into the blinding light until the sadist that was the CMO finished. Ratchet did allow him the dignity of blinking away the dark green spots fused onto his retinas before continuing with the examination, however. But hey, small victories and all that. After the small time allotted to him for gathering his vision back, Ratchet then moved onto his arms and chest, prodding as gently as he could.
He knew it was for his own good (Ratchet told him often enough, really, how could he forget), but after twelve months of once a month checkups, Sam was ready to pull his hair out. So what if the Allspark created a bucket load of electrical current when it blew up in Megatron's chest? If it hadn't of hurt him then, it wasn't like it was going to suddenly show up now one whole year later.
Apparently not sharing his rather nonchalant view of the situation, Ratchet had insisted on the monthly examinations and had declined to inform his patient when they would cease, instead just saying they would stop "when he felt that Sam was perfectly safe." Sam could hardly stop himself from snorting at the memory. Cheeky Medic—like that would ever happen. Sam was sure that it was in Ratchet's programming somewhere to always assume that his fellows were always injured and that they were never as healthy as they appeared to be and certainly not as much as they said they were.
This stigma of unhealthiness seemed to carry over to Ratchet's human patients as well. As Ratchet continued the gentle manipulations of his arms, the autobot's scanners taking detailed recordings of all his inner body movements, Sam sighed and let his mind wander again over to when he had landed with Simmons at the Great Wall to find Ironhide and Ratchet waist deep in a trench that had been dug around the site where the large "ark" ship had been deposited. Reporters were everywhere; Simmons almost had a heart attack as he watched his diligently kept secret be photographed, filmed, myspaced, facebooked, and all other manners of communication-ed before his very eyes to thousands of other people across the world.
There went the whole "keep the aliens a secret" approach.
Once the autobots had uncovered most of the ship, Sam had felt it safe enough to approach Bee, the last of the vulture-like-microphone-toting suits having given up getting a word out of the autobots and simply leaving in a huff, making their cameraman stay to get the visual shots. Edging himself towards his guardian in the hope that the remaining cameramen couldn't see him, Sam had crept up and asked what the hell was up with the ship.
Chirping excitedly, Bee had explained, "The Ark is the ship containing the rest of the autobots. After Tyger Pax," Sam's confused look was completely lost on the yellow bot and he just continued to babble out the clarification, optics still trained onto the ship, "Our unit was dispatched while the rest of our team was to follow suit in the Ark. We lost contact with them but we had made plains to meet up at a rendezvous point. When they missed it, we could only assume the worst. But the mission had been imperative and we had to go on. It's just luck that they had crashed here, on this planet of all planets. We only hope that they'll all be okay."
"But they crashed, how can they possibly have survived?" Sam had asked wonderingly. He had gleaned a little bit of Cybertronian physiology out of his guardian's small teachings and while he knew that they were able to sustain larger amounts of damage than a human, a crash-landing was still a crash-landing. And this ship didn't look nearly to be as precisely made as the pods that the previous Autobots had arrived in—those had been custom made to support the autobot while landing on the planet's surface. Sam continued to watch in astonishment as Optimus stepped up to one side of the unearthed ship, pressing his palm to it lightly. A blue line lit up a rectangle against the surface before a slight hissing of hydraulics had the ship opening up onto a bridge into its inner workings.
"Wedo have readings of Cybertronian life forms—which means that they're still alive. We can only assume that they went into a forced stasis lock once they hit the planet." Bee had exclaimed, his optics lightening up as he followed Optimus into the ship.
"Ow!" Sam said sharply as Ratchet twisted his leg a little too hard.
The medic snorted, "Oh, so you arestill in the land of the conscious. I hadn't realized my bedside manner was so bad that my patients have taken to paying absolutely no attention to me throughout the entirety of their examinations."
Cutting back his first retort of just what his bedside manner really was like, Sam bit his lip before replying, "Sorry, Ratchet. I'm just a little antsy. I hate doctor visits and to have one every month is just kind of…disconcerting."
"I am no human doctor, Sam." Ratchet sniffed with an annoyed huff of his intakes.
Sam rolled his eyes, "You know what I meant, Ratchet."
The red and white mech glanced over, humor glinting in his optics, "Yes, but let me get a little huffy if I want. I hardly get to do it otherwise."
Unable to cut off his laugh from the idea of Ratchet not being huffy about anything and everything, Sam chortled into his hand as Ratchet continued his ministrations of his legs and feet.
Once the twins had rocketed out of their stasis lock and latched onto a clearly distressed Ratchet, Sam knew without a doubt that Ratchet's days of non-huffiness were at an end. They managed to get into more trouble then the rest of the awakened occupants combined.
They had removed their base from China and landed their ship outside Mission City in the desert surrounding it, far enough away that any city-dweller would have to be well drunk and aimlessly wandering to ever hope to come upon it.
It had taken a week for Sam to be introduced to all of the autobots. And then another week to reacquaint himself with them all over again after they had picked their alt-modes and had gone and changed their appearance so completely. He had almost had a heart attack after meeting Prowl again in his police cruiser mode; it had felt like Barricade all over again.
Prowl, being the level headed and genuinely caring tactician that Sam had immediately taken him for, had instantly offered to change his alt-mode into something else if it truly made him that uncomfortable. Sam had declined, it fit that Prowl would be a member of the police force. It seemed right. And Sam, if he had learned anything throughout this whole ideal, had learned to trust what seemed right. So Prowl had kept his alt-mode.
Jazz, reawakened after Ratchet had re-commandeered his med bay from his assistant and then temporary CMO in his absence First Aid and all about created a miracle in restoring the saboteur (he claimed that it was the infinitely better technology made available to him over the "pathetic" earthian ones), had found the whole situation incredibly hilarious and would take to running away from Prowl every chance he got, screaming about evil Decepticon police cars.
Even Sam had to admit that it was rather funny. Well, funny until Red Alert had come out with not so idle threats that if Jazz gave him a false alarm one more time he would do something that Sam was only fairly sure was physically impossible with a chicken and Jazz's tailpipe. It did, however, stop Jazz from torturing Prowl for a while.
"It looks like you're doing just fine, Sam." Ratchet said. Sam shook his head and refocused his mind, he had been away in la la land again. Hopping off the examining table, Sam reached for his pile of clothing before slipping into them. The one good thing about Ratchet's exams versus a regular physician's (besides the fact that he got to visit the Ark and its inhabitants) was that the medic always kept his med bay at a comfortable temperature. It helped that whenever Sam had to strip down to his boxers for his monthly examination that the metal table he was forced into reclining on wasn't freezing.
Ratchet, noticing the human's quickness in dressing, let loose a sardonic smile and continued to put away the human sized tools he had used to examine Sam along with the rest of his tool-set, paying the much smaller items extra attention and care.
"That's great! Thanks, Ratchet. Am I free to go, now?" Sam asked hopefully. Ratchet turned to face him, pausing in putting away his tools and raising an optic ridge at the boy's eagerness.
"Bee said that we'd get to hang out after I'm done." Sam said, noticing Ratchet's look. It was strange, he reflected, that this more humanoid form of Ratchet in red and white was so much easier to read then his previous yellow one. After the reporters at China had gotten pictures of all the autobots, Ratchet and Ironhide had immediately changed their alt-modes so as to not be re-recognized. Ratchet, sticking with his medic car theme, had gone for an ambulance while Ironhide had gone for a red van. Now every time Ironhide came to pick him up Will couldn't help but snicker and Sam still didn't have the heart to tell the weapon's specialist the difference in assigned masculinity between an off-road truck and a family van. Optimus chose to stay with his own truck form so that he could remain as the mediator between the humans and the autobots, feeling that the humans would trust him more if he stopped playing with his image.
He was probably right. He always was, after all.
Bee had been reluctant to change. He liked his Camaro alt-mode and, really, so had Sam and Mikaela. Though now just really close friends, that didn't stop Sam and Mikaela from hanging out together. And when they went out on the town they liked being seen in the new Camaro and Sam also secretly thought that Bee enjoyed all the attention. The worry was unfounded, however, and Optimus had humorously informed Bee that since Sam's assorted neighbors didn't yet know how much contact they had with the boy, he would need to stay the same for appearances.
A wet slop hit him in the face and Sam backpedaled with a cry, "What the slag?" The curse rolled off his tongue with ease. He'd certainly heard the autobots use it enough, he would have been ashamed if he hadn't caught onto it by now.
"Watch your language! I don't let the twins get away with it in my presence and I most certainly won't let you!" Ratchet, the thrower of the rag that had smacked him in the face in the first place said, wagging a finger at him.
Sam just glowered. Another thing he had learned about the medic was that he had excellent aim—scarily good, actually. He could only be glad that Ratchet thought he was too fragile to throw his wrench at or he'd be a Sam-pâté by now.
"Thanks for the wake up, Ratchet." Sam grumbled, wiping his face off with his hands. The rag had been grease stained and some black had been lightly smeared onto his cheek.
"No problem, kid. You've been daydreaming a lot today, everything okay?" Ratchet asked and Sam was amused to note that he had unintentionally let a note of worry shine through.
"Just reminiscing. Something to take my mind off the whole examination, really." Sam replied simply with a small smile.
Ratchet snorted, "Insolent child. Get out before I decide you need another one!"
Sam laughed and he was about to exit when he turned for one last look at the medic. He stopped short, laughter dying on his lips as he took in the suddenly melancholy bot before him. Ratchet had been reorganizing his tools during their talk and he had paused over one sadly, staring at it was dim optics. Sam had been around the autobots long enough to know that the sign meant they were more than a little not happy.
Now Sam (As Mikaela was often prone to pointing out) wasn't the most sensitive of guys, he could admit that now, but even he could figure out that Ratchet didn't seem to be feeling all that great and just might need to talk about it.
"Hey man, what's up?" Sam asked quietly, stepping back into the med bay and walking closer to the stationary mech.
Ratchet turned from his worktable to stare down at the human before him, carefully setting down the instrument. It looked like a giant writing instrument to Sam; it was a long metal rod with a sort of blunt point at one end, almost like the knob at the tops of calligraphy pens. Forcibly shaking his head as if to rid it of his thoughts (a human habit that Sam haply claimed himself as the cause of) Ratchet replied softly, "It's nothing."
Sam quirked his own eyebrow and leaned onto one hip, "Give me some credit here, Doc. You've been poking and prodding me for the last hour to make sure I'd be okay. The least I can do is listen to make sure you are, too."
"The…tool just brought up some memories." The medic said quietly and Sam was struck dumb at how un-Ratchet the mumbled sentence sounded.
"Anything you want to talk about? Sometimes it helps—at least, for humans anyway. But you never know, y'know?" Sam rambled, gazing up at Ratchet in hope at being any kind of help.
Ratchet smiled tightly and Sam was again struck at how much easier it was to read his emotions in this form then his previous, "That instrument…it was used to chisel the new spark casings for sparkling's protoforms."
"Sparklings?" Sam had been around the Ark a lot but that was one word he hadn't ever heard. If it was what he thought it was, however, then it didn't much surprise him.
"Sam—I…I don't want to seem callous. I know that what you did with the Allspark was a necessary act. Please do not doubt for a moment that I blame you for anything. Nor would I have you think you could have done anything differently." Ratchet said softly, turning his head and making eye to optic contact.
Sam felt a brief flare of guilt as Ratchet all but confirmed what "sparkling" meant. He let himself momentarily wallow in his self pity about his uncanny ability to completely destroy an entire race before he ruthlessly crushed it down. Optimus and he had a long conversation about it after the fight and he had gotten all his boohooselfangst over and done with a long time ago, thank you very much.
"I still want to apologize." Sam said, breaking the visual contact. Then a thought occurred to him. He had never thought to ask because he'd just assumed the answer was negative. Wrenching his head up in something akin to hope he voiced his question meanwhile mentally hitting himself over the head, after a year with alien robot friends one would think he would know better to assume by now, "Is there any other way to create a sparkling?"
Ratchet glanced over him contemplatively, his look of barely controlled sadness in check once again as he busied his hands with his tools, "Other ways? Well…no, not really. What we do—It's…slightly similar to what humans do. Slightly. We're not nearly as messy."
Sam, eager to hear more, encouraged the medic with a nod. Maybe he wasn't such a destroyer of races as he thought! A small flame of hope flickered briefly and he refused to let it be gutted by the fact that if there really was any other way then Optimus or Bee would have told him by now rather then let him live in his pathetic pity for so long.
Ratchet, catching the look, continued hesitantly, "We engage in a sort of, ah, 'intercourse,' as well." At Sam's second and more eager-hopeful nod, Ratchet let out a resigned batch of air from his intakes before slowly lowering himself to eye level with the human, speaking his next words slowly, "But for it to result in a sparkling we would need the Allspark's compliance and, well, needless to say that it won't be acquiescing to anything anymore."
"There's no female bots or something?" Sam, once again desperate to keep his hope from completely going out, snagged the idea out of a conversation he had overheard between Hound and Mirage.
"Female bots?" Ratchet's optics dimmed and Sam took it to mean he was Google searching something, "Yes, I suppose we do. Though gender is more of a human concept than an autobot one. Any of us could get 'pregnant,'—I could, Bumblebee could, even Optimus."
Decidedly not thinking about any mental images that those thoughts brought up, Sam determinedly asked again, "Then how's a female bot different than a male one? If they're not meant for reproduction."
"Femmes are different then mechs in function. Mechs, in general, are more aggressive, the femmes are more agile, quick, lithe. Caregivers as well. The divide is not so much a gender one as a functional one." Ratchet explained while keeping his optics on the human. He knew that Sam still felt for them about his defensive destruction of the Allspark, and he was afraid that this conversation was getting to close to the idea of their race being doomed. It was true that they lived quite longer than humans, but the idea of no longer having any little ones was a horribly overpowering one.
But still one he'd rather Sam not have to bear on his shoulders.
Sam blushed a bit, "Isn't that a bit, I dunno, sexist?"
Ratchet rolled his optics, "Cybotronians are different then humans, Sam. From the minute your spark enters your body, your CPU has been programmed towards certain applications and your body has been given certain traits that enable you to excel in certain areas. There is no reason for 'sexism,' in autobots—we're preprogrammed for our duties. You humans…you're all born as unorganized, unknown variables. Your functions aren't discernible by gender. Men and women are not like femmes and mechs in so literal a sense that sexism can be so simply applied."
Sam blinked as his mind tried to wrap around the concept. Ratchet smiled a bit as he noticed the self anger leave Sam, at least he had stopped thinking about sparklings and the Allspark. Slag him to the pits for even bringing it up! He was a medical officer, he should be able to control his emotions better than that. Especially if it meant the metal health of one of his patients. Ratchet's smile immediately turned into a frown aimed at himself.
"I…think I get it." Sam said at last.
"For the sake of convenience, I'll pretend that I believe you." Ratchet said dryly, standing up and pushing the last of his tools into their place and shaking himself out of his musings. What was done was done, there was no changing it now.
Sam smiled up at him before the frown stole across his features again, his shoulders slouching. Ratchet sighed as that bend in his shoulders returned again, he had thought they had gotten past it! "I really am sorry—"
"Don't worry about it Sam, you did what you had to do and you saved us all." When Sam still refused to look like he believed him, Ratchet did his best to smile at the boy. He was such a slaghead! He should have never brought up such an obviously painful subject, no matter how much the boy had pestered him about it, "It'll be fine, Sam. I'll be fine."
Sam nodded in reluctant acceptance and patted one of Ratchet's legs with a small, somewhat-attempt at certainty and for just a moment as he made contact he wished Ratchet could actually see sparklings again. Flinching as static electricity tickled his fingers where it met Ratchet's frame, Sam thanked the medic one last time before heading out the doors.
Lost in his thoughts, Sam hardly paid attention to where he was heading, bumping lightly into an amused Prowl and Wheeljack before finally making his way to the exit of the Ark where his guardian beeped a greeting at him. Smiling slightly, despite his downward train of thoughts, Sam bopped the hood in an answering hello.
And drew it back sharply at the sharp loop of static that flowed into his hand at the contact, making it tingle.
A concerned honk from the car before him had Sam laughing it off and, shaking his hand to get rid of the numbness, he climbed into Bee's interior and almost immediately after the human was inside, Bee slammed the door and tore out of the Ark, heading down the road towards Tranquility.
Sam laughed, "Excited, I see! Where we headed?"
"Take my hand, off to Never Never Land."
Sam stared at the dashboard in incredulity, "So…I'll take that as somewhere fun?"
"Come and get the fun, cause you know I'll give you some. Just you and me, crazy." Bee's engine roared with the radio.
"I know you're excited when you start playing Spice Girls," Sam said wryly, rolling his eyes, "I just need to pick a few things up at home and then we can go do whatever you want."
"Yeah, we'll look at the stars when we're together. Well it's always better when we're together." Bee's radio played. Sam shook his head with a smile, it had been far too long since they had spent any time together—he missed the long talks they would have. Spying a cop that was defiantly not Prowl coming up behind them, Sam fought down the panic he still managed to feel every time he saw the black and white of a police car and grasped the seatbelt, tugging it over himself and buckling it before lightly placing his hands on the wheel in the pretense of driving. At the small shock when his hands met the leather, Sam frowned. It wasn't as strong as before, but really, what was with the static electricity today? Did he forget to put the dryer sheet in last time he did his laundry?
Shaking off the thought, Sam pushed it to the back of his mind. It was just some excess static, nothing to worry about. Ratchet had just given him a complete physical and there was no way he would have missed anything. He was perfectly fine.
When his chest gave a slight stab of pain, however, Sam had a harder time convincing himself.
Thank you so, so, so much for getting through that. You have no idea what it means to me. This first chapter was the hardest for me to write because I had some of the overload and small interaction passages written, but I didn't have a beginning. This one, while shaky, is the best I could come up with and I'm so sorry that many of the autobots aren't in this. The next chapter is just Ratchet and the twins, so no worries about it there! I also didn't really know what Ironhide's alt-mode was in the G1 series, so I said it was a van. Please correct me if this is not right so I can change it! And please review, it lets me know if it's worth putting up the next chapter or not. Thank you again for getting through it and rest assured that the robot smex is coming up!