In the Shadow of Forever

Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. I should think that rather obvious. All characters are depicted as legal age.

Warnings: Slight spoilers for the '07 movie, Implied Bee/Sam (if you squint)

AN: A twist on the normal Sam and Bee spiel.

Forever is a long time, one year bleeding into the next until vorns pass without him noticing. It is something beyond a normal human's understanding, but he's not human. And in truth, Sam isn't either.

Eternity doesn't really register with Bumblebee or with Cybertronians in general. Time is a vague concept to them, something that is used to keep track of events but little else. They certainly don't see it as humans do, as a finite commodity that will one day run out.

And perhaps that was what frightened him the most. The realization that Sam would one day die, go somewhere that he couldn't follow.

Sam. His dear, sweet Sam. His and his alone.

Certainly, he doesn't own Sam, not in the way that he's a possession. But there is still a claim, a connection. A bond that runs deeper than anything else he has ever known, even with the other Autobots. A link forged through circumstance that has blossomed and grown exponentially.

And yet, always at the back of his processor was the knowledge that the connection would one day break. That he would be left alone. Never to be reunited.

There just wasn't enough time. A human's short lifespan was not long enough. A few decades, perhaps even a century. That was simply unacceptable.

So unacceptable that he was willing to do anything to change it.

Things are different now. Sam is different now. And that is more than fine. It's wonderful. All it took was a little cunning, a hint of misdirection, some tweaking of the Allspark fragment in the dead of night, and Sam's unknowing cooperation.

No one will ever have to know the truth. Let them think that it was a result of Megatron's destruction.

It was painful, yes… and harrowing. Sam's tears were agony, his cries a unique form of torture. But how can he be sad; how can he hurt when the person who matters the most to him will always be there? When he doesn't have to watch his beloved companion age and die like the rest of his kind?

But he can see how it wears on Sam at times. The pain of slowly losing everyone he grew up with, his human friends, his family, Mikaela. For the most part, he accepts and is happy. However, sometimes, there is a gleam in his eyes, a sadness that is too deep for even Ratchet's scans and instruments to reach. And nothing any of them do can ever erases it entirely.

Not Optimus' kind words. Not Ironhide's gruff comfort. Not Jazz's jokes or the twin's pranks or Prowl's silent understanding.

Not even Bumblebee's presence.

He should feel guilty. It's the right of all sentient life to choose for themselves, even if that choice is death. The others would be appalled if they ever learned what he'd done, but he can't bring himself to regret it. No matter what, he doesn't regret. Regret would be admitting that he did something wrong. That it was wrong to save Sam from his own mortality.

Sam promised to stay with him, and Bee simply did what was needed to see that promise kept. They have all the time they'll ever need. They have forever.

But sometimes, Bumblebee wonders if even that will be long enough.

Ever Hopeful,