All right! Last chapter. And the shortest. I don't mean to make them short, it's just how it happens. Anyway, as you know, I have a few more on the way. So sit tight and I'll be back shortly. I may or may not do an epilogue to this, we'll just have to wait and see.
See ya soon, kids!
Ten: Back To Normal
"Prime, do you read me?" Prowl's voice came through on Optimus Prime's communicator.
"I read, Prowl. What's wrong?"
"Nothing. He just wants to know where you are." Bumblebee could be heard in the background, asking impatiently where Prime and Bulkhead were.
"Get OFF, Bumblebee….Prime, please tell me you're on your way home."
"Yes, Prowl, we're nearly home. Hi, 'Bee."
"Hey, Prime," Bumblebee called sadly into Prowl's communicator.
"Hey, kid," said Prime softly, "How do you feel?" He did not receive an answer right away. Bumblebee took his time, then said slowly,
"I don't know yet. I don't feel okay, but I don't feel like killing myself."
"…Oh. Well, that's kind of okay, don't you think?:
"I guess. Is…is Ratchet okay?"
"He's all right. I'm sure he'll want to talk to you when we get home, okay?"
"Hmm." Prime sighed, then said,
"All right, give us ten minutes and we'll be back. Play a game with Prowl, or just talk, okay? Anything you need to get off your chassis, you can tell him. Remember, you can trust us."
"I know I can," Bumblebee answered.
"We'll see you when you all get back," said Prowl, "see you soon."
"See you soon, guys," said Prime, and both Autobots terminated the connection. Prime, Bulkhead and Ratchet raced home even quicker, desperate to see and talk with their little soldier. Ten minutes, give or take a few, they arrived. They came in as calmly as they could, not wanting to frighten or disturb Bumblebee. Despite their very recent conversation, it was clearly evident that he did not entirely trust anyone, especially if Ratchet was one of them.
"Hey guys," Prime called, "we're back. Bumblebee, come on out, I think we should all sit down and talk for a while, okay?" Bumblebee came out of his own room with Prowl and walked slowly over to the small group. He eyed them suspiciously, then said,
"How do I know you're not a bunch of crazy robots made by anyone evil? How do I know you won't hurt me?"
"We'll let Sari come over tomorrow and you can spend the whole day together."
"Good enough for me. I haven't been allowed to see her since all this crazy slag started." He smiled, then caught sight of Ratchet, the real Ratchet, looking at him with very sad, very apologetic optics. They stared at each other until Ratchet said,
"Hey, kid. Let's go talk, for a bit, okay? We can talk alone, or with everyone here. Your choice."
"I want everyone here."
"I understand," Ratchet nodded with a small smile, "I understand."