Disclaimer: Not matter how many falling star that I wish on, they're still not mine.

Author's Note: Companion ficlet to the story 'Falling', inspired by a brief discussion about the mentioned incident of Prowl pulling his rifle on Ratchet...

- The Hatchet's Apprentice -

As Ratchet stared down the barrel of the rifle, there was only one thought running through his processor: the twins were officially banned from his med bay unless they were unconscious or leaving.

Or, better yet, he would turn off their vocalizers before they left this time, and then this could never happen again, even by accident.

"Prowl...it's just me, Ratchet. You're in the med bay in Autobot Headquarters. You're fine, nobody's going to hurt you." Ratchet said softly, pushing thoughts of vengeance against the twins to the back of his processor. His optics moved from the barrel of the rifle to the familiar face of the mech holding it, though the face showed no sign of recognition right now. It was suspicious and hostile, something perhaps normal for some other mechs on the base, but entirely out of character for this one. Prowl was supposed to be cool and logical - and when he booted up correctly, without sudden alarming noises causing his battle computer to kick in ahead of all other systems, he was calm.

And then there was today.

Ratchet swore silently to himself, trying to compute how long the booting up of the rest of Prowl's systems had been delayed, but came up with too large a time period for his own liking. Evidently, others were having similar worries about the time it was taking for Prowl to come back to himself, though with less information to go on, they were coming up with some rather incorrect courses of action to deal with it. If Ratchet hadn't been wary of moving even the slightest, he would've glared, or motioned, or something, to the twins, telling them to back off. He could see them shifting out of the corner of his optic, and undoubtedly so did Prowl.

Fortunately, however, he didn't have to, because there was a sudden flash of movement from behind Prowl, followed by a pair of clangs, and the twins slumped in their berths, unconscious. Prowl tensed, rifle swinging around to aim at the two mechs, and Ratchet took the opportunity to dart forward, using special medical frequencies to temporarily render Prowl unconscious. He caught the other mech as he collapsed, grabbing the rifle and handing it off to someone nearby as Prowl's systems were already beginning to reboot. There was an almost tangible silence in the med bay as the tactician's optics came back online, focusing on Ratchet almost immediately, then quickly gaining a confused, slightly disturbed look.

"Ratchet?" Prowl asked.

"You're you?" Ratchet asked pleasantly.

"Was I not?" Prowl asked in confusion.

"Hurt anywhere?" Ratchet asked instead of answering.

"No..." Prowl replied, then looked around. "Why are we on the floor?"

"Good question. Get up on the berth." Ratchet said, pulling Prowl with him as he stood and motioning the tactician towards the berth he'd been unconscious on less than a breem before. With that settled, Ratchet turned to see who had so adeptly ended the minor crisis, and to his surprise, found his normally calm, pacifist apprentice, First Aid. The young medic was giving the unconscious twins a look that could kill if such a thing were possible as he stalked over to pick up a wrench laying on the floor, grumbling under his breath in a way that was uncomfortably familiar to Ratchet.

"Aid?" Ratchet asked as young mech picked up the tool, and First Aid whirled to face him, looking like he'd just been caught drinking High Grade while on duty. The wrench hung loosely from his hand like incriminating evidence. "Did you knock both of them out with one wrench?" First Aid looked down at the wrench, then nervously up at Ratchet.

"Eh-heh...um...maybe?" he said. Ratchet considered for a moment.

"Good job." he finally concluded, then turned to answer the many questions Prowl was now pestering him with.

- C'est finis -