Well, I know I took my sweet time with this, but I actually puzzled over the ending for a week. Hopefully it answers some of your questions.

My apologies for being reluctant to write accents or dialect. I hate reading mangled words and trying to figure out what they mean.


Two months later

„He's going to wake up in the next few breems," Ratchet said without preamble after rousing Optimus in the middle of the night. "I thought you might like to be there."

"Of course." He heaved himself upright and trudged after the medic, to the hangar that housed the improvised medbay. There, Optimus leaned against the wall, while Ratchet settled on a stool beside Jazz's still form.

Almost an Earth hour passed in silence before a low hum indicated long-unused systems returning to life.

So. This was it. Optimus wandered over, despite an increasingly bad feeling, just in time to see optics glow blue once again. He smiled down at whoever it was that inhabited this body now.

The mech groaned and then shook his head as if to clear it. "Gah," he said intelligently in that familiar voice.

"Hello," Optimus said.

"Hi," the mech said and blinked at him. "And who are you?"

Oh. Optimus should have expected this, really he should have. He hunched a little, feeling suddenly tired. On the mech's other side, Ratchet made a small noise.

The mech had heard that, of course he had, and he broke out into a brilliant grin. "Gotcha, Prime."

"Jazz." He had the sudden urge to strangle that small miscreant.

"The one and only. – Guess your little ploy worked, huh?"

Optimus nodded and shot Ratchet a glance.

"The readings do look like him. No one else could make use of his systems like that."

"They'd lack the style," Jazz said.

"Indeed," Ratchet offered dryly. "And despite the fact that it will put a cramp in your style, you will go back to sleep now. Medic's orders."

"Aww. Ratch. C'mon. I've done nothing but sleeping the past five orns."

Ratchet cocked his head. "Being in stasis does not qualify as sleeping."

"Yeah, yeah. Okay. But I want some details first. You remember I told you about consequences, Prime?"

Optimus nodded. "The remaining piece of All Spark burned to ash."

"And a pretty green flame it was, too," Ratchet added. "It might have killed us all if it hadn't been on the verge of expiring anyway."

"You mean, if you'd've done it with the whole Cube, it would have gone 'poof', too?"

"That was what Sentinel Prime warned me about," Optimus said.

"Sheesh." Jazz was quiet for a bit. "Probably should congratulate you on pulling something devious like that. Wouldn't have thought you had it in you."

"I don't know." Optimus said. "I'm expecting the backlash any minute."

"Heh. Don't look at me like that, boss. I don't remember anything after our little conversation over there. No mystical advice to be had here."

Optimus sighed despite himself.

"There, there." Jazz reached out a hand and patted Optimus's forearm. "If it's any consolation, Alpha Trion was supposed to've had some sense of humor."

It was like Jazz to cite this legend-god-prophet figure to any Cybertronian religion. "I'll take your word for it."

"Tssk. Pit of a time to remember your religious education. Just don't let it eat you up, right. They were never known for vindictiveness. Besides, you could say we already paid up. A hundred times over."

Optimus nodded. He'd thought that, too, before this whole incident.

"Indeed," Ratchet interrupted their musings. "Wallowing in self pity isn't going to help anyone. And since we now do have a future to look forward to, I'd advise you to do just that. After a decent night's sleep."

Optimus let himself be ushered out then and stopped outside on the runway to have a look at the stars.

A future, yes. Somewhere, out there, other Autobots were closing in on this little blue planet. Prowl had radioed in yesterday and had promised to find the Ark before making planetfall. Besides, he had mentioned having a femme on board and a surprise.

Things were looking up, and now all Optimus had to do was to convince himself to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop, as the citizens of his new home put it. Agonizing over it wouldn't help his people, even if he ended up being punished for his arrogance sometime in the future.