Title: Operation: First Date
Characters: Sam, Bumblebee, too many others to list
Pairings: Bee/Sam, mention of others
Disclaimer: No character used in this story belongs to me.
Summary: Planning for Operation: Codename 'Pretty Screamer', commence.
A/N: This is a gift for yuuzaiden, the winner of a small contest I held over at prowlxjazz. The prompt was BeexSam/first date. I took some extreme liberties with the prompt. :D
There was a long-standing tradition in the Autobot Special Operations team. There was a type of mission that was carried out once every vorn. It wasn't a mission of vital strategic importance, but a cheap thrill for those who participate. That doesn't make it any less dangerous than any other Special Ops mission.
The mission planning was always kicked off with the commanding officer of the Ops team, namely Jazz, calling all of his teammates together in a little used room in whatever base they were stationed at and saying the traditional words with a grim expression, "Planning for Operation: Codename 'Pretty Screamer', commence." Things usually went downhill from there. Or uphill. Depended on who you asked
The other high-ranking officers were well aware of all of this, but left Jazz and his team alone. While none of them openly approved of the senseless risk of lives and resources over a glorified prank, but they couldn't doubt the boost in moral it gave the troops when still images and holo-vids eventually leaked out. If it was a particularly successful mission Megatron was usually amused enough to grant the Autobots a short reprieve from Decepticon attacks, something none of the command chain could complain about.
Operation 'Pretty Screamer' hadn't taken place in a very long time, however. With the loss of the Allspark to the depths of outer space and the splitting up of part of the team when Jazz and Bumblebee were chosen to go after it with Prime, Ironhide, and Ratchet, there was nobody to initiate the tradition. And with the death of Jazz in the Battle of Mission City (nobody is certain of when it earned the extra capital letter, it just appeared one day), everybody was certain it was a lost tradition.
That made a big surprise when Bumblebee called the few Operatives who had made it to Earth together in an old, unused Air Force hanger. Sam watched from a corner out of the way of careless Autobot feet as Bumblebee surveyed his somewhat limited forces. Mirage, Hound, Trailbreaker, Smokescreen, Kup, and Red Alert. Sam had to wonder about that last choice. Red Alert seemed to be a little too unstable to be an Operative. Then again, they all seemed a bit unstable in one way or another.
Bumblebee made a sound akin to clearing one's throat and he had the undivided attention of all the mechs present. Bumblebee put on the most dignified, solemn air possible as he spoke. "I'm not going to 'beat around the bush' as the locals say. I called you all here in order to pay respects to our lost commanding officer and friend, Jazz. In honor of his bravery and spirit I'm going to say these words for the first, and last time. Planning for Operation: Codename 'Pretty Screamer', commence."
The grins and predatory gleams that entered the optics of all the Operatives present at those words reminded Sam of why all the other Autobots were wary of these mechs. They were the epitome of dangerous, and the human wondered if it was too late to back out of his agreement to help them with this.
Sam was learning more and more about Special Ops the longer Operation 'Pretty Screamer' took to plan. The simple fact that it took several months on average just to plan one mission was a revelation.
Before they even finalized an objective they started scouting Decepticon territory. Mirage and Hound used their unique abilities to get close enough to the Con's Earth base to observe security measures, patrol shifts, and who was there at any one time. This observation continued right up to the 'go' date to avoid any last minute complications, such as a security measure being changed without the Autobots knowing.
All of these scouting missions were recorded and those recordings were given to Read Alert and Trailbreaker to catalogue. Patrol and camera rotations were timed to the microsecond. The position of motion sensors and automatic defenses were placed to the centimeter on a map that grew more detailed with every passing day. It hurt Sam's head to think of all the calculations involved.
The maps were then passed on to Bumblebee, Smokescreen, and Kup who plotted out the path through the base that was most likely to succeed. This was the most difficult part of the planning stage. Occasionally they would send a part of the plan that they were uncertain of to Prowl to review and he would offer his advice, but otherwise it was just the Operatives doing everything themselves.
It was only after they had the entry and exits as perfect as they could get them that the team started plotting what would actually be done. Sam almost bowed out of his part completely when he learned that Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and Blaster had contributed materials for that part of the mission. He really didn't want to know how their resident double dealer got a hold of that much glitter, rhinestones, and feathers.
Throughout all of this the command turned a blind optic, understanding that this was the Ops team's way of saying goodbye and honoring the memory of their late team leader. It was a known fact that Bumblebee was the one who was going to carry out the actual mission and Prime and his officers trusted the scout to come back alive and with minimal damage.
They wouldn't have quite as understanding, however, if they knew that Sam was going too. Being included in a mission that was obviously so important to everyone involved was both an honor and completely terrifying. An integral part of the mission hinged on Sam being able to follow the path laid out just for him quickly and get back to the where ever he was meeting back up with Bumblebee without getting caught.
And he could do that. He hoped.
Sam ran as fast and as quietly through the ventilation duct as he could without making too much noise. He was running behind, forced to take an alternate route due so unscheduled maintenance on the Con's ventilation system. He checked the holo-map being projected from the special gizmo that had been rigged for him to make sure he was still heading the right way. It gave him a map of the base, his projected route, the mission timer, and a way to communicate with Bumblebee and home base when he needed it.
Right now it was a pain in the aft as he came to realize that this part of the system wasn't on the map. Sam was hopelessly lost, and he was running out of time.
A sound behind him made his heart skip a beat and he turned to see the graceful and deadly form of Ravage regarding him curiously. Sam swallowed, trying to force the terror down as he activated the communicator. "Bee?"
Silence for a moment, then, "What is it, Sam? Is there a problem?"
"Um, I'm kinda lost and I've been made by Ravage. Please advise." Oh this was going to go over well. He'd never live this down. Another thing he learned about the Special Ops was that they didn't consider it a successful mission unless you completely avoided detection. If you were spotted, or 'made' as they put it, it doesn't matter whether or not you achieved the objective and got out alive, you still failed the mission. And right now he had failed his mission.
Sam was startled out of his self-recrimination by a laugh on the other end of the com. unit. "Sam, it's fine. You haven't been made. Just tell her the mission codename and she'll leave you alone."
The human looked at the com. unit, then at the Decepticon who was starting to look at him like he was lunch and decided he really had nothing to lose at this point. "Er, hi, I've been told to tell you that I'm participating in Operation: 'Pretty Screamer.' Please don't eat me?"
Ravage perked up upon hearing that and she suddenly looked less hostile and more amused. She sauntered up to and past the baffled human and flicked her tail at him. "In that case, please follow me," she purred.
Sam followed in spite of all common sense. Bumblebee said that she wouldn't try anything and he trusted his partner's word.
After taking a few twists and turns a beep from his James Bond gizmo told him he was back on the map and he stared in disbelief and gratitude. Ravage gave a satisfied rumble and wondered off in another direction. Before she left though she glanced over her shoulder and said, "We'll be expecting the usual payment for our silence, tell your teammates that."
Sam nodded mutely and she left, leaving the human with a lot of questions that he would have to address with his partner later.
In the mean time he had to get moving, as now he was really behind. He took off in a full run, having to trust the metal underneath him to be thick and sturdy enough to not make too much noise.
Sam was in such a hurry he almost ran past his objective. He skidded to a halt and compared what he was looking at to the surveillance photo in his gizmo and wondered how Mirage could have even got in here to get the picture. The frazzled human was starting to suspect that Ravage might have helped them in other ways as well.
Satisfied that he was indeed where he was supposed to be, Sam pulled out some tools and other gizmos and got to work. While he wasn't entirely sure how any of it worked, he wired the gizmos directly into the security system just as he had been taught to.
It took five minutes to do the wiring and double-check his work, then he cleaned up and eliminated any trace of being there and was on the move again. He had to make it to the rendezvous point before Bumblebee did or else they'd get caught for sure.
By some miracle he had managed to get back on schedule and arrived just as a yellow Camaro skidded around a corner of a mostly unused hallway. Bumblebee braked and threw open his door, staying still just long enough for Sam to slide in and then they were gone.
Sam let out a relieved sigh once they were far enough away to ensure they weren't being followed. Sam gave dashboard of his partner an expectant look and waited for the words they he knew home base was waiting just as eagerly for.
After a few anxious minutes Bumblebee finally said it. "Mission successful."
Sam stood amongst his excited teammates as the objective of Operation: 'Pretty Screamer' took effect before them on a screen. It was an incredibly intricate system of chain reactions with an amazingly simple but stunning result.
Starscream entered his quarters and as soon as the door was closed the fire suppression system activated, only instead of spraying foam, it sprayed glue over every available surface in the room, including Starscream. As the seeker shrieked indignantly, a microphone captured the sound and triggered a portable pair of speakers that proceeded to play, of all things, "Pretty Woman."
It did not stop there. Another microphone caught the music playing and triggered three hidden cannons. Instead of some sort of shell or mortar round, the cannons expelled glitter, rhinestones, and feathers. Poor Starscream never had a chance as the projectiles covered him from top to bottom. The glue would dry completely with a few minutes, making removal of the glitzy debris impossible to do quickly.
Is the dust settled Sam started laughing. It was the trigger everybody else needed. Hound, Trailbreaker, Smokescreen, and Kup joined him in laughing while Red Alert and Mirage merely looked satisfied. Bumblebee watched them all and felt proud to be able to work with such wonderful individuals. He felt especially proud of how well Sam handled his first mission with them. It probably wouldn't be his last.
It didn't take long for copies to start making the rounds. It wasn't surprising. What did surprise him was when he heard Bumblebee talking with Blaster about sending copies to Soundwave. It reminded Sam of what Ravage had said and when he called his partner on it Bumblebee chuckled.
"Soundwave and his symbiotes have never liked Starscream. Due to this dislike they have time and again turned a blind optic on our Operatives when Operation: 'Pretty Screamer' is taking place. In exchange for this lax in security they get copies of the footage."
Sam gave him a confused look. "But we get our copies from their security cameras. Shouldn't they be able to get their own?"
Blaster looked up from his terminal at that and shot the human a grin. "No go, little buddy. That override circuit they had you wire into the security system not only allows us viewing privileges, it erases the footage from their system at the same time that it's saving it to ours. Once it's done the little gizmo self-destructs so the Cons can't get it and pull something like that on us."
Sam took note of the pride in the communications officer's voice and gave him an amused look. "Your invention?"
Blaster just grinned wider and went back to his work. The human was left shaking his head. The Autobots certainly were an interesting bunch.
Mikaela dropped in the seat across from Sam and grinned expectantly at him. He stared back at her confused. He knew that smile; it was the smile she gave Maggie after her first date with Glen just before she gave the computer analyst the third degree. Sam knew he hadn't been on a date since he and Mikaela broke up so there was no reason for her giving him that look.
Mikaela looked side to side as though making sure nobody was nearby to hear her then leaned forward conspiratorially and whispered, "Well, how was it?"
Sam gave her a blank look. "How was what?" The look she gave him was familiar too. It was the look she gave people when she thought they being deliberately obtuse.
"Your date with Bumblebee, that's what," Mikaela exclaimed, not even trying to be quiet now. Several of the humans eating around them looked up and stared at them. Sam saw Epps choke on his coffee out of the corner of his eye, and he could have sworn he heard Lennox mutter, "I knew it."
Sam wanted to bang his head against the table, but forced himself to be calm and not freak out. "Mikaela," he started but stopped in frustration when his voice cracked. Hell with it. He glared at his friend and snapped, "It wasn't a date. It was an Ops mission. Nothing more, nothing less."
Instead of looking offended or chastised, Mikaela just gave him a sympathetic look. "Nobody told you, huh?" It her friends blank look she figured she was right and sighed in exasperation.
"Okay, obviously your teammates neglected to mention this, but from what I understand from Arcee Special Ops agents don't court outside of their team. It's a trust thing, right?"
Sam nodded warily. He had noticed that none of the Operatives in the Autobots were bonded to or courting anybody who wasn't an Operative. They had to trust each other with their lives, trusting a fellow Operative with ones spark was the next logical step. The only exception was Red Alert and Inferno, and that was only because Inferno declined the invitation to join the Ops unit due to already being part of the Rescue unit. What did any of this have to do with him and Bumblebee?
Mikaela smiled victoriously. "Okay, so if someone in Ops wanted to court somebody not in Ops they'd have to make them an Ops agent, right?" Sam winced at the continuous use of the word 'agent.' They were Operatives, not secret agents. He nodded nonetheless. He wanted to see where his friend was going with this.
"So, in order to be included in Special Ops a mech or femme has to complete one successful mission with the unit. An Autobot would accompany an agent on a mission to test how they would do in Ops and how well they would work together. From what I understand this is how Mirage and Hound ended up together." Mikaela finished up her lengthy explanation and gave her ex another expectant look. At this point everybody in the commissary was listening in rapt attention.
Sam looked around self self-consciously, while puzzling over this new information. It all correlated with what he already knew about Special Operations. The unit was a close knit one, rarely letting in new Autobots. And Sam realized that they had been treating as part of the unit since Operation: 'Pretty Screamer,' and Bumblebee had been more affectionate since then too.
The new human Operative couldn't help but laugh as a new thought chased the knowledge that he was now apparently dating his Autobot partner. "Well, if that was Bumblebee's idea of a first date, I'm not sure I want to know what the honeymoon will be like."