Iniquity's Enigma

Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. I should think that rather obvious with my college-induced poverty and all. All characters are depicted as legal age.

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

AN: Companion piece to In the Shadow of Forever. And yes, I had to mention Prowl again since he is my favorite. I just can't resist a man in uniform.

Possibility. Probability. Chance.

It should not have happened. Such a thing flouts every natural law and expression of the universe, everything that vorns of learning have taught him. Defies all logic, thwarting it so horribly that he has been forced to offline Prowl numerous times.

But this is the Allspark, creator and lifebringer. The wisest and most learned of them cannot begin to fathom all its mysteries. And even Wheeljack is flummoxed by what happened to Sam Witwicky.

How could a human possibly have a spark? How could a human become what he has?

Yet, that isn't what bothers him the most about this entire situation. There is an undercurrent, a trickle of foreboding along his sensory network. He is looking at a puzzle that seems complete but is obviously missing several key pieces.

He wonders sometimes. No, wonder isn't the correct word. Wonder implies a lack of certainty, a mere suspicion.

Ratchet knows. He knows with every nut and bolt within him that it simply does not add up. Sam was fine after his encounter with Megatron, relatively speaking. He was bruised and rather battered but alive. With burns to show for his efforts but few lingering traces or effects from his exposure. A hint of vestigial radiation but nothing beyond that. Not one of Ratchet's scans showed any other residuals or anything strange at all, for that matter.

And while it is possible that he overlooked something, the chance is very small. Ratchet was extremely careful, meticulous, searching for exactly this sort of thing.

There was nothing. Nothing then. Not at that time. Something changed. Something happened, and Ratchet is deathly afraid that he knows what.

Bumblebee. Love. Desperation. Dangerous words and even more dangerous in combination.

Ratchet understands how the younger mech feels about his charge, can practically see the connection resounding between them. And he recognizes the abject terror, a fear born from Sam's mortality.

But Sam isn't mortal anymore, not in the way he was. He does not age. He is no longer in danger of dying.

The puzzle pieces slowly slide into place. It can't all simply be a happy coincidence.

And Sam? What about Sam?

Sam deserves the truth. He has suffered so much because of this, because of them. So much has happened, and he is not a child any longer. But he is still so young, barely more than a sparkling.

However, such knowledge would hurt him terribly, perhaps even break him. It would certainly damage his relationship with Bumblebee, maybe beyond repair.

And it is still all speculation, supposition. Ratchet has no tangible proof, only suspicions and doubts. Only mismatched facts and odd happenings. He knows how it all fits together, comprehends the truth that is revealed, but it is still his word against others. He wonders if they would even believe him.

It is so farfetched, so ridiculous, so completely and utterly insane. So entirely possible. Probable even. Likely.

And perhaps that is what frightens Ratchet most of all.

Ever Hopeful,