…Most of us rational thinkers weren't banking on a cartoon to offer us a viable glimpse into the future of technological development. - The Flying Car
Malena never even twitched when I pushed her off. When me and Will hauled her lightly snoring body from the ground to Ratchet's interior, she didn't groan, open her eyes, cuss, nothing. I would have been much more worried if Judy hadn't reassured me my sister was just plain tired, hadn't slept since she got captured except the times she was drugged or 'bopped on the head'. So with most of the humans jammed into poor Ratchet (with the exception of Sam, Will and I), and Prime feeling well enough to travel, the two headed back to base, only after multiple assurances that we'd be fine.
We decided to leave Blackout's scrapped corpse where it was (only after 'Hide and Will put a few more bullets in him, just to be sure he was really dead) for pick up and disposal later. Til then, we threw a bunch of scrap metal and busted equipment around him as a meagre camouflage until we could be bothered to come back. I normally would have cringed at this treatment of the dead, but just seeing Will's face as he booted Blackout in the head, well, any moral dilemmas were out the window. The Decepticon, after all, remorselessly destroyed Will's base in Qatar and killed dozens of his fellow soldiers, tried to slice up Sam in Mission City, AND kidnapped his wife and child. And that was just what he did to us on Earth, never mind what he might have done back on Cybertron. As much as I hated to think it, Blackout deserved a lot worse than a mild corpse mistreatment.
Jazz was another matter altogether. Thankfully he was still 'out' and would remain so until Ratchet saw fit to bring him out of stasis. Otherwise he'd never have let us load him into the only remaining functional dump truck, at least not without a whole lot of protest. So, as Bee and Ironhide hefted his weight into the back of the truck, I worked my magic and the beast started up with a satisfying grumble. I wouldn't be driving, unfortunately. Ratchet had threatened Will earlier with 'permanent erectile dysfunction' if I drove with a concussion. Will of course took it in stride, gave the medic a sarcastic salute, and asked me to start it up for him.
"Can you teach me how to do that?" Sam asked, huddled in the passenger seat watching. He looked so fascinated, his brown eyes all sparkly and lips stretched into a grin. Add in his messy hair, torn jeans and dirt streaked all over him, and I just couldn't resist. Dropping the wires and grabbing his collar I yanked him closer and kissed the hell out of him. He actually squealed, it was so cute.
I only let him go when he went totally limp. Smiling, I crawled over his sprawled form, looked him dead in the eye, and purred, "Did I ever tell you you look especially hot when you're grimy?"
His eyes went perfectly round as he gaped up at me, and for once he couldn't say a thing. I giggled and got off him, slipping out of the truck with the feeling of a job well done, leaving Sam laying there with his feet hanging out the driver's door, wondering what the hell just happened. As I strutted towards the charred yellow Camaro waiting nearby I heard Will laughing, "Come on outta there kid," and Sam replying with a nonsensical groan. Ironhide, of course, stood by looking somehow both amused and disgusted and Bee just shook on his tires.
"You're evil, Mikaela." He said, opening his passenger door.
"Oh, I know." I patted his car-butt on the way by, making him honk in surprise and Sam yell a protest about feeling up Bee again. I slipped inside, grinning the whole time as Bee closed the door and belted me in just a little tighter than usual. I couldn't resist. "Whoa Bee, didn't think you were into bondage."
THAT made his engine stall. "MIKAELA!"
I just thoroughly scandalized an alien. I'm so proud. It worked though; he loosened the belts enough for me to wriggle around in my seat to get comfortable. That just made him purr. I loved Autobots, they were so sensitive!
Sam got in a moment later, partially composed, and caught me laughing my ass off and Bee playing Barry White again.
"Do I even want to know?"
Before we left the site, Ironhide felt it prudent to…uhhh… dispose of any Decepticon equipment, just in case Soundwave came back. So the miniature caravan stopped at minimum safe distance and the four of us (five, if Jazz was awake) watched as Ironhide transformed and gleefully set loose enough rockets to level Disneyland at the building, reducing it to smoking rubble in record time.
Naturally it took a mere three seconds for Prime and Ratchet to comm in and give him seven kinds of shit, which Bee happily played on speaker for everyone to hear. Hide stood there grinning the grin of a sated guy, just saying "Yes sir… Of course, sir… No sir…" with not a drop of honest remorse. Will, half falling out of the cab of the dump truck, laughed up at his big trigger happy guardian, while Bee skimmed through his radio til he found some punk, "I don't want assimilation/ I just want to BLOW SHIT UP!"
The trip back to the base was a long one, and I fell asleep not long after we'd left the construction site, leaning against Sam and watching the sky through Bumblebee's windshield. It didn't take long for Sam to join me, his head slumped against mine and his arm wrapped around my shoulders. Bee didn't help a bit, blasting nice warm air into his cab and for once playing relaxing music… and I was out like a light in minutes.
I woke up who knows how many hours later, feeling like Optimus ran me over a few dozen times, with a headache the size of New Mexico for added flavour. Again the goddamn lights were too bright and I groaned a complaint, throwing an arm over my eyes.
"Ahh, you're finally awake."
I mumbled around my arm, "Should I even bother trying to get up?"
I could do nothing but submit to another series of scans, pokes, and questions before Bee spoke up and told Ratchet to more or less shove off. He and Sam, Judy, Ron, and (hee hee) Mojo were curled up together on a bunk big enough to fit Optimus Prime on, all in varied states of consciousness. It was a really cute picture, Sam all laid out in Bee's hand and Judy and Ron leaning against each other near Bee's legs, and Mojo curled up and snoring on Judy's lap. I wished I had a camera.
Ratchet turned his attention from me to poor Bee and I watched as he none too gently made some minor repairs on one of his door wings. Lucky Bee was so disciplined; one twitch would have sent half the Witwicky family flying and flattened the other.
"Geez, Ratch, take it easy!"
Before the medic could do a thing about it I flew off the table and ran smack into Jazz's waiting hands. "Mik… ahhh, the Pit with you then… blasted over-excitable humans…"
"That wasn't very nice!"
"My apologies, Mrs. Witwicky."
Jazz lifted me up beside him and I immediately wrapped my arms around his neck again.
"Awww, I missed ya too, Mouse!"
I gave his chin a half-hearted smack and hugged him harder.
"Oh please, that didn't hurt." I mumbled, nestled comfortably into the cables in Jazz's neck, grinning.
"Not my chin, my neck! I'm all sensitive right now, be gentle!" He whined, though he kept his hand at my back to keep me where I was.
"He's right, I just fixed his neck, don't mess it up." Ratchet advised in the middle of scanning Judy again.
I looked up at my guardian and his big blue eyes looked back down at me, and I swear, I actually wibbled. I didn't think one could actually wibble, made up word and all, but I did. "Oh my god Jazz I'm sorry!" Oh no! I totally could have fucked him up again and I didn't even know! I suck!
"S'alright, just don't, ya know, pull anything, 'kay?" he said with a silly grin.
It took me another minute to notice, but I couldn't hear or see my sister anywhere. "Where's Lena?"
Jazz giggled and pointed behind him (with a nice shiny new hand, I noticed). Avoiding any potentially sensitive cables on his neck I stood and peeped over, and there was Malena, cocooned in a blanket, fast asleep on a couch just a little below and behind Jazz. I should have known she'd never let me or him out of her sight… or, well, out of yelling proximity (when she wakes up)…
Before I could even ask, Jazz answered, "She's fine, just takin' a nap." He rolled onto his back slowly, carefully so as not to squish me accidently. "There's some food over there…" He gestured towards the Witwicky table, "if yer hungry." Then he laughed again, "You shoulda seen it. Mojo was yappin' and it woke her up, and she threatened to fry him up and eat 'im if she didn't get fed soon. Ironhide got this big ol' grin and showed her Sam's stash of Doritos…"
I watched Judy instinctually hug Mojo a little tighter. I could only imagine Ironhide's face, all happy he found a fellow 'rodent-roaster'. "She always did hate little dogs."
The whirring of cannons and a grunt was all I needed to hear to know Ironhide was here somewhere, and in complete agreement. I found him and the Lennox Family crashed out on the floor about 20 feet away from Jazz's feet, the humans in a tight little ball around each other and Ironhide acting as their California King-sized bed. One would think sleeping atop a giant metal dude with a lot of spikey bits and cables would be cold and uncomfortable but I knew from experience (catnaps on Jazz or Bee) that the Autobots were surprisingly warm, and though they were hard as, well, steel (or some weird-ass alien metal…whatever), it wasn't as bad as it seemed. They were curvy enough to make for comfortable napping.
Ironhide, fully awake and tinkering with the cannon on his arm, kept his good eye on the Lennox's with what I interpreted as a heavily suppressed fondness. It was no secret he adored that family, especially the baby… why else would he have ever allowed Sarah to put one of those horribly tacky 'Baby On Board' signs on his rear window? But being the 'tough guy soldier' he was, he didn't like it when we pointed out that particular weakness. Sam had had enough cannons shoved in his face to last him a lifetime after teasing 'Hide about it one too many times over the past few weeks.
Yet another sweet as hell picture I would have loved to have a camera around for was finding Optimus Prime, also seated on the floor, with his legs stretched out in front of him, his arms crossed around his massive chest, and his head sort of hanging down, optics unlit, dead asleep… or recharging, whatever. I smiled a little at the sight, never having seen him look quite so vulnerable and unintimidating before. Like a father after a long day at the office, passed out on his favourite Lazyboy chair while he had the spare five minutes before all hell broke loose and the kids woke up.
I smirked at the imagery.
"Wha's so funny?"
I turned my smirk up to my inquiring guardian and patted his cheek. "Nothin'."
The med bay was silent except for the humming of the Autobots internal systems and the occasional snore from Ron and the quiet mumblings from my sister. It made me sleepy, so I sat and leaned up against Jazz's chest and just watched him as his optics flickered and went out, falling back into recharge. I would have joined him almost immediately if Ratchet hadn't snuck up on me.
The big yellow-green medic had Malena in one hand, still wrapped up in her blanket fast asleep, and had this weird little grin on his face.
"She keeps saying something about anal probes and it's quite disturbing. Can you make her stop?"
I snorted. Of course she's dreaming about anal probes… aliens… oh man, she's so getting a teasing when she wakes up.
Ratchet placed her gently down next to me and I wrapped an arm around her shoulders and let her lean against both me and Jazz. She didn't wake up.
"It surprises me that she sleeps through all this."
I scoffed. "This woman could sleep through earthquakes and Armageddon, let alone gettin' relocated by giant alien mechs."
"And yet it only took a Chihuahua to wake her up last time…" he replied as he walked away. I leaned around Malena's still-mumbling body and watched Ratchet settle down on the floor next to Optimus, sighing and looking around his med-bay as if looking for something else to do. Busy-body.
I had to hold in giggles when he suddenly looked at Prime, smirked mischievously, and elbowed him none too gently in the 'gut'. Optimus started, eyes lit up bright, and looked around. Then, spying Ratchet's fake-innocent face narrowed his eyes and elbowed him back.
They stared at each other for a moment longer, then rumbled quiet laughter.
I settled back before they saw me spying on them, but kept smiling. To think, just a few days ago I was walking down the highway alone at night, considering breaking myself away from Sam and the Autobots, pissed off about being 'claimed', angry that they kept making me feel inferior, primitive… and look at this shit? My guardian and my sister fast asleep on/around me, and all the new little groupings spread out all over the place, 13 people in one giant family. They had claim. Not in the way I thought, but a claim. I was theirs, as much now as they were mine. Not as a pet, not as the annoying child or barely-tolerated 'in-law', but all-out adopted FAMILY. I was their human now, and unlike before, when it sounded like 'our pet', it felt like… well, 'our sister'. And I could live with that.
Suddenly another thought hit me… If Prime was the 'father'… and Ratchet was the only other one around without his own little 'family'…
Oh yeah, he's definitely the mom.
Barricade stepped out of the cave for the first time in days, leaning heavily against the rocky walls to greet the sunshine and crisp fresh air, feeling better than he had in months. He stepped in a cold puddle of melting snow and water and it didn't even bother him. He was in a rare good mood.
He didn't know if it was the days of recharge after weeks of deprivation, or the freshly healed wounds not bothering him anymore, or whatever the hell Soundwave kept injecting him with in random intervals, but he felt…good! Even being on an alien planet surrounded by millions of species of organic life-forms didn't bother him right now. And he didn't want it to bother him either. He was content to watch the snow melt and fall off the trees in clumps, and listen to the strange birds sing, and enjoy the colours of the sunrise.
He even didn't mind that he sounded just a little too happy to be where he was, instead of being in his usual half-depressed, half-panicked mood where nothing quite fit right.
Soundwave was back in the cave recharging, and Barricade had not a clue where Frenzy disappeared to, but he was sure he didn't go too far. Frenzy had been told how dangerous this area could be for a mech his size, and with the uncertainty of the effects the uranium deposits could have on Cybertronians, he was told not to take any stupid chances in his explorations. That, and there were humans about. Not many, but a few. And Soundwave mentioned 'Ursus maritimus' being a known resident of the area… though Barricade doubted they would still be here this late into spring.
Barricade had the sudden unbidden image of Frenzy running from a Polar Bear and snorted.
They wouldn't be here long, according to orders from Soundwave. They were to relocate to, ironically enough, a place to the southeast of here called Deception Lake. Barricade wondered why the Pit the humans would name a lake… well, THAT. They as a species were a strange bunch when it came to naming things. But he had to give it to Soundwave for the idea of moving there for a while until they had their plans finalized. And the lack of Polar Bears was encouraging.
As for the plans, well, they'd spoken a little, but as Barricade was more or less only a foot-soldier, cannon-fodder in the minds of the higher ranking officers, he wasn't privy to Soundwave's deeper plans, only the bits where he had a part to play. Still, it didn't bother him much, he was used to taking orders and getting thrown to the front lines, and by worse leaders than Megatron and Soundwave, so… this was okay.
Barricade began to wonder what exactly Soundwave did to him while he slept. He'd never been this complacent. Then he shrugged. Worry later. Soundwave said to relax and recover for now, until they had something solid to move on. And that wouldn't be for a while, not with the damage yet to be repaired, and comrades still to arrive.
Before Barricade could go too deep into those thoughts, something cold and hard and…wet… 'UGH!'…smacked him upside the head, leaving cold trails of water to trickle down and make him shiver.
The weird little hacker did a back flip off a nearby pine tree branch and landed with a thump into a pile of melting snow, disappearing completely from sight. That didn't stop him from letting himself be heard, unfortunately.
"Eeeeeee! C-c-c-cold! Primus!"
"That's what you get for leaping blindly off a tree."
"Still g-g-g-got you."
Barricade, still in a good mood, leaned down, wary of his injuries, and scooped up a pile of snow in his one functioning arm, leering evilly at the now slowly retreating and begging mech. Soundwave would have his head for this…but…
"Nnnnnnnnnoooo! Don't! I'm ssssssorry! P-p-please!"
Frenzy flew a good twenty feet and landed in yet another pile of snow and slush, sputtering curses in rapid loud Cybertronian, vowing vengeance. Barricade laughed.
Yes. It was a good day.
Alrighty, that's the end of Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration. :D Thanks for reading, for the reviews, for the general squeefulness of it. Much love to my LJ girls.
About the sequel, well, I'm nowhere near done it AND I've had writers block on it since February… so I don't know. And, well, the focus shifts to Malena and Frenzy's POV, and I know how much FF people hate OCs. Heh.
I'll think about it. The updates would be slower. A lot slower.