This chapter has mild spoilers, no detail spoilers though
To Brave kid: I'm sorry about not sending you the prompt you gave me yet, been busy, I've only got a few more days of school left, so I'll be able to get it to you soon
I did this in like an hour in a class when the teacher didn't have anything for us to do
Ariel Pax: a Spider Story
Optimus sighed in near-defeat: Elita-1 had been his first crush, and they had known each other since they were sparklings, ever since he was called Orion Pax, and she simply Ariel. It hadn't been long before their horrible little adventure that she had decided to take her adult name, not long before she was due for her final up-grade. He and Sentinel had both upgraded a while before her, despite her being older than Sentinel by a few hundred solar-cycles. That was why she updated her name, tired of the perceptions entailed with her body being younger than her spark.
She had even admitted on the trip to that planet to Optimus, when Sentinel had gone to the engine room and they were alone, that the only reason she had decided to date their good friend was out of necessity, to sort of prove to the other academy bots and educators that she was a matured femme.
Optimus had double-checked to be sure Sentinel was out of audio and visual range, and rested his arm on his dear friend's shoulder, whispering to her, "I know you want to upgrade Ariel…"
"Elita-1." She insisted.
He sighed, "I know you want to up-grade Elita; but Primus will let you up-grade when it's the right time- besides…" He again checked for Sentinel, "Your spark is the important part of you; as long as you have that, someone will always see the real you… a femme I-"
The moment had been spoiled by the sound of Sentinel's approach; Optimus letting go of her, knowing better, and turning back to the consol he was supposed to watch. Before Sentinel opened the door, Elita looked back at him, "Optimus, what were you about to-" The door opened and both fell silent, both knowing the answer to her un-finished question.
For what seemed like an eon after the accident, he assumed the horrible agony in his spark was because she had indeed been destroyed, and that his feelings about her had been those of a One after all. But at the discovery of her continued existence, as one of the horrible monsters and a Decepticon to boot, he realized that the pain in his spark was likely hers calling out to his in some way, probably in those first few cycles a cry for help; a cry he ignored. This gave him an idea- he tried to assume that only a One could feel that kind of spark pain from another; meaning she was his as he was hers, so if he could convince her to let their sparks touch…
But he thought better; with her organic half it was impossible to know if that really would help her or just hurt her more. Besides, if he was wrong, and they weren't each other's One, their sparks wouldn't combine but attack each other, possibly killing one or both of them, scaring the very sparks if one or both managed to survive. He couldn't risk that- he couldn't risk losing her; but what else?
He prayed to Primus that she was still the Elita who would never interface without thinking the 'bot was her One, and even a data or energy interface might be too much for her spark, her organic half made a lot of formerly trouble-free options a bad idea.
Optimus didn't know why he had returned to Dinobot island after his last encounter with her; he was sure she was gone and Grimlock was still more than likely furious with him. But he wanted to see her; thank her for being Elita-1 again, and thank her for not pretending to be Blackarachnia as she claimed she was now; thank her for saving Bumblebee and Prowl from her own poison.
He wandered around the island for nearly an hour before there was any sign of her, her web nevertheless were unmistakable. The shimmering purple silk that could easily leave him helpless, hold him down or simply slow him down loomed everywhere, looking every bit as delicate and beautiful as the day he and Elita first saw it hanging from rocks on that dusty planet.
"Elita?" He whispered loudly, looking around for any kind of movement to indicate her position. A shadow moved low to the ground, and he approached it, "Elita? Is that you?"
More webbing appeared from behind him, knocking him to the ground and slamming him into the soil face-first, making him see she had moved a rock with some webbing to distract him. She encased him in more webbing before she approached him, "I told you Autobot, I'm Blackarachnia now, so don't go pretending I'm your goodie-too-shoes femme friend!"
He turned his head to look at her, "Drop the act Elita; If you really had gone so bad, so evil- you'd have destroyed me before I ever knew it was you, or when you knocked me out on the roof, and you certainly wouldn't have left the antidote for Bumblebee and Prowl." He looked into her double pair of optics, "Not to mention you would've killed me the moment I called you Elita. Your spark is the same, so please don't use this act with me."
For a moment she was silent, then sat down near his side, a gentle yet sharp finger slicing through the webbing she herslf had trapped him in, "Why should I help the bot who left me to die?" he squirmed, turning on his side to face her, her blank optics and pursed lips glaring down at him, "Do not attempt to escape."
"I don't want to escape- I want to take you with me- to be an Autobot again!" He fought gravity to sit up, "All I want is Elita back- the femme that I've known since nearly creation!"
She turned her head, thinking, "I'm not that femme anymore."
"Yes your are!" He nearly shouted, leaning towards her, finally breaking the webs holding him, he grabbed her spiked shoulders and held tight, "I won't lose you again Elita! I can't lose you again!" He pulled her close to him, "I'm sorry about what happened on that planet, but you know being a Decepticon isn't the answer! They can't help you!" She looked up, their mouths were so close he could feel the warmth in her semi-organic breath, and was nearly sure he could see her real face under that armor. He looked into her optics, "Please Elita; come back with me."
To his absolute shock, she raised her head enough to kiss him, a tender action that made his spark pulse wildly, begging to bond to her spark, despite the fear of the inevitable damage to both of their sparks if something went wrong. She lifted her head and looked into his optics, "I don't think I can be Elita-1 again. But my spark hurts when I'm away from you, I just…" She kissed him again, wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her face in his shoulder armor, "Please Optimus… please…"
For all that her words lacked in comprehension and power, they held enough emotion to tell him what she was asking, and although for anyone else in the universe he'd have protested, his spark wouldn't let him, just as hers made her ask for the beautiful connection to be made between them begin with.
He felt oddly comfortable when he on-lined hours later, even though Elita was nowhere to be found. His spark relished being so close to hers, even if it hadn't touched hers, and the knowledge there was something between them and her spark was still so chaste, positive that that meant she would one day return to the Autobots; even if a cure wasn't found. His systems sizzled when he pulled himself to his feet, begging for more re-charge, he looked around himself hopeful of seeing her: her webs had almost disappeared, save for a few dangling from the tree above him.
Optimus pulled a small handful down, wrapping it into a tight ball and placing it in his sub-space; he would keep it as a little reminder in his quarters should their next encounter not be so pleasant, as a reminder Elita is still inside her spark.
His com link had been off for the entire night, the sun just then beginning to peek out; so he cautiously on-lined it, pleasantly surprised he didn't have any messages from frantic teammates or any of the like- though slightly disappointed that Elita's com had not tried his. He decided to go back to base before anyone realized he had been gone the entire night.
Blackarachnia watched him leave from her hiding place, hearing him say something about how he would be glad to see her next time, even if he was her prey and not her mate. She hissed low when he was gone, "I still don't trust you Optimus Prime, and I doubt anything will change that." Her words seemed uncannily hollow however, little or no truth in them.
If only she knew just how much her organic half had changed her systems, then perhaps she wouldn't have been so calm.
Gotta go to class, please review, bye