Author's Note: I didn't expect to continue this, but as I've noted before, sometimes you get inspiration off of the reviews that you receive. It's really cool. So it's with many thanks to those reviews that I've ended up continuing this story. There has been also a great amount of inspiration found when I rediscovered a music artist of my preteen years, one who had been a pioneer into electronic music. Mike Oldfield, who composed the genre-breaking albums TubularBellsI, II, and III. I used his song "Moonlight Shadow" for this fic. If you find any of the dance remixes for it, that's the "version" I was thinking of, but you can also get the same understanding of the song from the original, full-length version. I also had the song "Silence" by Mike Oldfield playing while writing this. Look for it. It's as addicting as "Fantatica". I don't claim ownership of the music used/referenced, or Transformers. Sorry that it's rather short.
The last that ever she saw him, carried away by a moonlight shadow,
He passed on worried and warning, carried away by a moonlight shadow,
Lost in a riddle that Saturday night, far away on the other side,
He was caught in the middle of a desperate fight, and she couldn't find how to push through.
He ran from the desert-surrounded base, unable to see where he was running, ignoring the worried and yet tender call of his charge behind him. He ran to forget, to grieve, to just be alone. There was never anywhere that he could get away from his past, the past that continually haunted him, keening sharply in his Spark that he failed, that he was unable to protect his comrades, his best friend . . .
Collapsing upon the sands of Arizona, Bumblebee gripped the shifting, minute rocks in one fist, feeling them wrestle into the crannies of his mechanics, knowing that he would have to flush his hands of the particles before too long. But he didn't care right now. He didn't want to. His newly-restored voice keened the sharp pain of his Spark, throwing his head back to cry his pain out to the stars.
Three weeks of hearing conversation stop when he walked into a room. Three weeks of watching Optimus and Ratchet giving him looks without them knowing he saw their pity and sadness. Three weeks of Sam asking if he was doing okay. Three weeks of Mikaela tenderly just sitting in his passenger seat when he couldn't stand being alone but needing space from the other males. She would come riding with him, then when he couldn't stand to keep moving, she would pour out from her now-military allowance to give him another wash, another wax, somehow knowing that it would help him calm down. She would clean his interior with the manner of a dear friend giving another good friend a gentle, calming shoulder-rub, giving and spending time to help bring peace. On some days there would be complete silence. On other days, rare days, Bumblebee couldn't stop talking, his hologram pacing restlessly when they were stopped, showing that his mind was never still, just his actual body.
Three weeks since Mission City.
Three weeks since Jazz died.
Three weeks of agony.
Something was making its way closer, and Bumblebee reluctantly activated a scan, and then was relieved to see that Mikaela was coming on an ATV, hair braided back, goggles protecting her eyes from the sand flying up from the front wheels and a scarf around her mouth and nose so that she could breathe. She had followed his blundering, hurried footsteps through the sand, and once he saw her with his actual optics come around a dune, she skidded to a halt, turning the vehicle off. Pulling the protection away from her face, the young woman left the items upon the seat of the ATV, walking up to embrace the large, mechanical head, not saying a word.
How had she managed to stay upbeat, filled with hope when even Sam got downcast and saddened? How could she manage to take care of him while studying under the now-hermit-like Ratchet, who was
increasingly more irritable? How could she just keep comforting him when she, herself, didn't take the time to mourn?
He couldn't speak. He wasn't able to speak. Megatron had taken that ability from him, rendering him mute and a temporary cripple while Ratchet designed and built him another arm, this one with a better weapon while he joked that it would give cause for Bumblebee to protect that arm more. He was in pain, at times unable to keep still, his shoulder hurt so much. It was one night as he writhed, limbs twitching in pain that Jazz came. Bumblebee was still smaller than the Lieutenant, still very much a Youngling, and it was evident as Jazz came and embraced the younger mech, stilling the limbs that caused the pain to increase. Bumblebee couldn't make a noise, but he buried his face against his friend's shoulder.
Three nights before had brought Jazz onto Prime's elite command group. Two nights before that had been another dance-off, only this time, Bumblebee had also been on the judging team, looking for what Jazz would have missed. The night before that, Jazz and Bumblebee had thrown their voices at each other, with Arcee sitting and listening to both, leaning her head upon one hand and falling into recharge as the fast songs turned into slow melodies of the ancients.
Jazz had mourned the loss of Bumblebee's voice and happiness with a soft, murmured song that expressed the pure pain that the Youngling himself couldn't articulate.
He found himself singing that same song, his voice rough with disuse and his optics shuttered tightly against the starlight and moonlight. Holding Mikaela up against his face, Bumblebee stood and shifted her to one shoulder, lifting his head to mourn the loss of his best friend.
The trees that whisper in the evening, carried away by a moonlight shadow,
Sing the song of sorrow and grieving, carried away by a moonlight shadow,
All she saw was a silhouette of a gun, far away on the other side,
He was shot six times by a man on the run, and she couldn't find how to push through.
I stay, I pray, I see you in heaven far away,
I stay, I pray, I see you in heaven one day.
She listened, leaning her head against the sunbright head. His voice was pained, resonating within her, causing her to hear just how much he missed Jazz. He had expressed that he worried that she hadn't been mourning their loss, but in truth, she couldn't mourn. Mikaela didn't know Jazz that well, but that wasn't the reason why she wasn't mourning.
The reason walked around behind them, smiling at her in open thanks for keeping Bumblebee in one place long enough for his slow strides to catch up with the young mech. Kissing what passed as her boyfriend's Guardian's cheek, the young woman began to climb down, allowing herself to smile and walk back over to her ATV, resting upon it while watching as Bumblebee looked down at her in confusion. He sighed, nodding, understanding that she had homework and a schedule that she had to keep, and Ratchet hated it when she was late to lessons. But why did most of those lessons start at night, when humans were generally diurnal?
He raised his head up for another keen, letting his grieved Spark speak.
Someone harmonized with him.
It was a Cybertronian harmony, not one that humans could sing.
Spinning, bristling for a fight that his personal time alone had been breached, Bumblebee dropped all guards and his defense upon seeing the mech before him, who was still walking slowly towards him, one arm wrapped protectively over his abdomen.
The visor lifted, revealing the skybright optics, soft and shining with compassion. Unable to stop himself, Bumblebee moved forward to hold the shorter mech's head within his hands, staring deep into those optics in confusion. He felt the mech tremble, and shifted to help him sit, unable to speak, not wanting to break the silence, the awe.
Unable to move much, barely even functioning all the way, the elder mech pressed his hand against his head, but it was removed by Bumblebee so that he was feeling the cool metal of his brother's hand against the side of his head while supporting him. Turning to look at Mikaela, the young mech saw that she was turning around the dune, going back to the base. He whispered a heartfelt thank you to her, hearing the ATV engine roar in acknowledgement of his words, then slowly became more and more distant while she returned home.
And then Jazz's voice growled to life, reaching for the heavens in a glorious tune, one that needed no words, just pure tone, bass, treble, timbre, and vibrato, all in a trained, professional package that was back from the dead, resting within his best friend's arms, leaning against the warm torso of a mech so safe to be around that it was almost shocking that little ones didn't come up to sit on his hood if he was parked in a public area.
Bumblebee was comforted at hearing that voice, and he cycled air through his vents in a sigh at hearing it again. A voice he thought was going to be forever lost, but was miraculously here. There was a tender note, comforting, reassuring, in that singing, one that was filled with joy to be alive. But it was also a tired voice, almost as if coming back to life had been an arduous journey.
So the former Youngling reached down and took the hand of the deeper voice with his own lighter one, drawing it back up, supporting and cradling it within bright notes, cheery and chipper. The rough talent that he possessed was fantastic; it was more than enough to make any Cybertronian vocal tutor weep with envy that there had been another of Jazz's talent born yet now it was wartime, with the only training given to the Sparklings and Younglings that of the battle talents.
Their voices reached up to the heavens, thanking Primus or whoever really was up there for reuniting them for the second time on this wonderful little dustball called Earth.
Four a.m. in the morning, carried away by a moonlight shadow,
I watched your vision forming, carried away by a moonlight shadow,
Star was glowin' in a silvery night, far away on the other side,
Will you come to talk to me this night, but she couldn't find how to push through.
I stay, I pray, I see you in heaven far away,
I stay, I pray, I see you in heaven one day.