Oh my gosh, it's been forever and ever since I last updated! I've been crazy busy with everything here in the real world, and haven't been able to write anything in the longest time. I know a lot of people have been sending me PMs about this story, and other stories as well, and I knew I had to update. So here it is, the latest chapter to "Protection". I'm sorry it's a short one, but when I began to write it months ago, I got stuck and couldn't really proceed with it until now. get ready, this is the beginning of the short love-drama part of the series. I might not be able to update again for a long time, not until the holidays possibly. I'm back in school, job hunting again, taking extracurricular classes and so forth. So yes, busy as usual. I hope everyone is well, and please continue to read and review! Those reviews really keep me going! One quick note, lots of people send me PMs (Private Messages), but I can't reply to them, since I'm so busy. I ask everyone to simply write reviews, even if it's more of a question about the fic than a review. Much appreciated,


The Argument

"Yo, Optimus," I called the young Prime up, "What's up? What you doin' right now?" There was no response for a minute, a sigh, then,

"Hi Jazz. I'm showing Bumblebee and Bulkhead some new moves to protect themselves. Prowl is with Sari, he's been training her for a while in Circuit-Su, or at least a human equivalent of it. If you're not busy, would you mind coming to the base and helping me out? We have a huge room that we usually use for training purposes, you can't miss it. You'll hear us stomping around in there."

"Sounds like a party," I smiled, glad to have something to do, "I'm already here, I slept over."

"Good. Bulkhead could use the extra help. See you in a few kliks." We hung up, and I sat there trying to organize my sleepy thoughts when I heard the floor shake and quake, followed by Bulkhead calling,

"Sorry, my bad!" Chuckling, I get up and walk out the door, follow the vibrations from the fall and find myself with the others. Prowl has Sari standing on her hands, timing how long she can go, Optimus has Bumblebee sparring with him, Ratchet is making adjustments on himself and Bulkhead is getting up off the floor. No one notices that I've entered the room, so I decide to teach them a thing or two about paying attention.

Stealthily, I sneak back into the shadows and silently flip myself up to the rafters to watch the activities. Still no one has noticed anything out of the ordinary, although Prowl has looked to the large entrance hopefully once or twice. I suppress an evil snicker and wait patiently for the right time to strike. Prowl moves to the side, where I find I have better access to him, and Sari falls over, gasping and groaning.

"Ow…my head hurts. Can I take a break?"

"You may have some water, but then we're going to practice kicking. We've been though this, Sari." Prowl instructs strictly, dark servos on his hips. I watch him teaching this little organic and wonder if he's ever wanted a sparkling of his own. I smile ever so slightly at the very idea of us with a sparkling. The idea of Prowl cradling a little babbling sparkling is adorable and so very squee-worthy. But I keep quiet and wait for—there! The perfect chance to give these 'bots a scare. Everyone is looking in one direction and not giving the room any scans. It would appear they're so caught up in training that they don't even notice my energy signature upon entering the room.

Bulkhead has blocked Sari, leaving Prowl wide open for my attack. Here is where I strike. Crouching low, I spring from the rafters and knock into Prowl, throwing my arms around his chest and pinning his arms to his sides. He yells out in surprise and gets the attention of his teammates. Optimus pulls out his axe within seconds, ready to fight, while Bulkhead turns around and fires his wrecking ball inches from my head. Bumblebee snatches Sari from the floor and protects her against his chest while at the same time aiming a free stinger in my direction.

"Let him g—Jazz!?" Optimus lowers his axe in surprise, then laughs, amused. "Well, you certainly do make quite the entrance. I didn't even notice you come in."

"I know," I reply, "I thought I would teach you mechs a thing or two about payin' attention. You guys react fast! I'm impressed."

"Yeah," added Bumblebee, "That's 'cuz we're the best!" Sari laughs and nods in agreement. Bulkhead retracts his weapon, then says,

"I think you can let go of Prowl now, Jazz." Oh, right! I still have my love crushed against me. I sneak in a little kiss, then let him go. He doesn't look too pleased with himself, being caught off-guard like that. I dare say he's a little humiliated, even. He steps away from me and says,

"Uh, all right, Sari. Let's, um, get back to training. Get a drink and be back here in five minutes. Bulkhead, I want you to practice walking slowly without making sound. I don't want to hear you by the end of the day."

Prowl refuses to look at me.

Bulkhead begins to inch around the room, careful to take the smallest of steps. The room is nearly silent, the walls cease vibrating. Nothing falls, and we do not need to constantly steady ourselves. Prowl keeps his optics on the giant, not even looking at me when I take his hand in mine.

"Aw, come on, Prowl!" I groan, "I didn't mean any harm! It was fun!"

"I'm busy, Jazz." He sounds furious. Oh, no, I'm not taking this from him, not after what we've just been through. I step in front of him and growl,

"Don't start this, Prowl. I'm not trying to make you look bad. All of you were preoccupied."

"That doesn't mean you can just go around and embarrass me in front of my team like that!" he snaps back, "We knew you were on your way, Jazz! It is not as though you caught us entirely off-guard!"

"But I did, Prowl! And I did it so that you would pay more attention to your surroundings! The Elite Guard does it; you need to do it too!"

"Stop talking like you're better than us!"

"I AM better than you!"

I couldn't stop the words before they left my mouth. The entire room ceased of activity. Optimus Prime's jaw dropped, while Sari and Bumblebee, who had clearly been gossiping, shut their mouths to stare incredulously at us. Bulkhead stopped as well, and Ratchet's tools fell from his hands, clattering to the floor. It was the loudest sound I'd ever heard, those tools falling in what I know was shock.

Prowl's optics narrowed. It was though time itself has stopped, as though I had said the magic words to freeze the universe. But time speeds back up when Prowl's servo connects with my facial plating.

"How d-dare you," he sputters, choking on his anger, "how DARE you? Get out of here. NOW."

"No—Prowl, wait," I try to explain myself as I rub my sore cheek, "Please, I didn't mean it like--"

"Yes, you did," Prowl whispers back harshly, "You're an Elite Guard. You're smarter, faster, stronger and better than us in every sense of the word. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Just get out."

"NO," I answer defiantly, grabbing his arm before he slaps me again, "I'm not leavin'. Are you really going to do this after what just happened? Is this how you're going to act? I wasn't aware I was in love with a sparkling."

"Jazz, that's enough," Ratchet cuts in, "Both of you, just quit it now, before you make a real mess. Prowl, he only said it in the heat of the moment. Jazz, you need to think before you speak. Make up and get on with yer lives."

"Yeah," adds Optimus, stepping in between us before we can have a chance to fight each other, "Honestly, Prowl? He was just trying to help us. And after what you two have just been through, one would think you'd want to spend none of your time being angry. Jazz, I don't like what you just said, but I know you only said it in the heat of the moment. Alright, guys? Can we make up and get one with life?"

Prowl rips his arm out of my hands and glares angrily up at Optimus.

"I need time, Prime. Do not simply force me to forgive anyone, ever."

"Prowl, come on, man," I plead, "Don't do this. I didn't—it came out wrong. I got a little annoyed, that's all. It happens. Please?"

"TIME," Prowl snapped, and with that he stormed off towards his room. I moved to chase after him, but Ratchet stopped me and shook his head. The understanding look on his face was all I needed to stop myself.

"Guys, I'm real sorry about that. I didn't mean it the way I said it. It just kinda, y'know, slipped out."

"It's okay, kid," Ratchet replied, "It happens. Prime's done it once or twice himself. No one's perfect. Give Prowl a few days to think, he'll start to miss you soon enough."

"Geez, Ratch, you make it sound easy," I answered back, "But I'm really s—"

"Forget it," Optimus interrupted, "It's done. Don't think too much about it, Jazz. Prowl just needs some time, like he said. He can be really, um…well, he's moody. You'll see, he'll be looking for you soon enough. In the meantime, would you like to help us train? I see a couple of younglings that need to be given something to do." He glanced over at Bumblebee and Sari, who looked like they were secretly listening the conversation.

"Yeah, sure," I replied, I can do that." They groaned and slumped their shoulders, ready to complain about every little thing I was going to teach them.

But not once during the training session did I forget that Prowl was royally pissed at me. I was going to have figure out what to do to fix this mess I had made for myself. What was I going to do?

A/N: Hoped you enjoyed this chapter, and hopefully there will be more to come before the end of next year! I want to update and write more, I really do, but it doesn't pay my rent, so it sometimes has to be put back up on the shelf until I'm ready to update again. I hope to update "The Adorable Adventures of Prowl and Sari" and my other fics soon, too, so keep a look out for those! Keep reading and happy holidays,