A/N: Bit of a project I've been working on at the TFA community on livejournal and I have to say, it's been pretty fun. Enjoy

Summary: Nobody wondered why Ratchet had called her that. At least no one did until later.

Disclaimers: Transformers is the property of Hasbro and concept licensed through Takara Co. All original characters however are created by ciscogirl/ciscogoldengirl and protected by copyright laws. This work was created only for enjoyment, not with the goals of credit or monetary gain in any fashion.

Family Unit 1: Ratchet


When he had originally called her a protoform, he hadn't truly meant it as an insult (perhaps just a little bit…) but as the truth. Truth worked better then taunting someone anyway, especially concerning Decepticons. The slaggers seemed to be allergic to the truth. They couldn't stand it when someone began ripping into their aft plates with the stuff.

Looking back up at the alien night sky he sighed, annoyed at himself for having been so slow on the uptake. A droid with a fritzing motherboard would have gotten it quicker then he had. It didn't make him feel any better to know that the others didn't seem to get it either, he was the Medical Officer, sworn to keep an optic out for the crew at all times.

So if that were true, why in the name of Primus had he failed in seeing a tiny human protoform do as any protoform would do?

I'm getting too old for this. Ratchet grumbled inwardly but he couldn't help but feel a tiny bit of warmth in his spark at the thought of Sari. The tiny thing at first had gotten on his last nerve relay without so much as trying. And at the same time she had found chinks in everyone else's armor, getting into their spark chambers with only a sweet word here or a seemingly innocent smile there. Innocent. And the Decepticons are at our base begging for us to forgive them for trying to kill us several times. He snorted at the idea.

"Enjoying the night Ratchet?" Prime's voice cut through his thoughts, scattering them momentarily. On impulse he gave a grunt as though that would be the end of it, no questions asked. He wasn't trying to push Optimus away anymore but old habits were hard to kick, especially when those habits had been with him for so long.

"Is everything alright? I don't mean to pry but its just that…Sari's acting a bit differently."

Ratchet smirked. "You mean the little glitch is becoming sensible."

Prime walked completely out of the doorway and joined Ratchet properly on the rooftop. It never ceased to amaze Ratchet at the work that had been put into Optimus Prime. Whoever the mech's Creator had been, they had labored over every single nuance of Prime's body. Glancing at Prime he saw the leader's optics focused up to the heavens, a sense of curiosity lighting them, as well as longing. "She's acting like you Ratchet. I think it's scaring Bumblebee and Bulkhead."

'She's acting like you.' Just perfect. Outwardly Ratchet smirked, catching Prime's optic.

"And what's wrong with trying to model the sanest one of this outdated bunch of 'bots?"

"I believe Prowl would take offense to that." Prime mused.

Waving at the comment, the Medic began to turn away, hoping that he could make it back to his quarters without any problems." He'll get over it. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going…"

"Ratchet."

Slag. He had to use that tone. Some days aren't even worth getting out of recharge.

Turning back to Prime he couldn't help but frown at the look he was being given. It was the one filled with hope and the steady kind of trust that only a certain type of leader could exude. The kind that made even the most stubborn of mechs think that maybe things wouldn't go to the Pit. "If you've got something on your processor, say it already." He growled.

Unfortunately Optimus had become used to his grumbling and calmly ignored it. "Do you know something about Sari's change? It seemed abrupt, even for her."

Ratchet snorted. "Do I look like an expert in human behavior? I know everyone expects me to be Primus' personal Miracle Maker but I'm not All-Knowing." Take it and leave it alone. Go and make sure Bumblebee isn't driving Prowl into a system crash, or keep Bulkhead from breaking anything else for the day.

For a moment it looked like he would indeed leave it alone but in the next instant his optics hardened. "But you do know something. What is it? Ever since we got back from the ship Sari's been asking when we're going back so she can help repair it. The same girl who didn't want anything to do with us leaving just this morning. The same girl who used the key in a game now won't use it for anything except the most important things."

"She's a protoform Optimus." He was old and cranky so he felt justified at the slightly shocked look that came in the leader's optics, destroying the presence he had been going for. It was hard not to laugh at the mech's look of absolute confusion so instead he simply gave him a smirk. When Optimus finally did get his bearings again he seemed almost hesitant to ask.

"But Ratchet…she's a human."

"And she's a child, very young and just as clingy as any protoform on Cybertron. Have you ever seen her interacting with any other human aside from her Creator?" he asked. Optimus shook his head, curious. "Protoforms need attention. And love. And attention. And constant supervision to make sure they don't blow themselves up. It's the same with humans and most young for that matter. Sari just happens to be in a unique situation."

"I see; our arrival disrupted her normal growth then. All the more reason to leave as soon as possible so she can…" Optimus stopped at Ratchet's irritated look. "Ratchet? Did I say something wrong?"

Ratchet allowed himself to sigh loudly, still irritated by the fact that he was the only one to have seemed to have understood Sari's change. "It isn't like that Optimus. She didn't have the required attention to start with. She's done what any protoform would have done in her place. She's attached herself. To us. As in she's emulating us for proper behavior." At least she choose the right one out of this bunch. He thought, recalling though that the girl also seemed to hold a special bond for Optimus as well.

"What?" Optimus' look of complete shock was something Ratchet knew he'd never get tired of seeing, if only for the fact that it made the young mech's optics widen and his facial features slacken impossibly. And while he hoped for the leader's sake they he'd learn to control such bursts of emotion in the future, they did make for something mildly entertaining. Offering up a grin that didn't hold a single bit of pride (well maybe a little) he chuckled.

"She's made us into her family unit."