All That it Seems

by Lindsay Smith


"Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable."

-Jane Austen


Gears walked through the halls of the Ark in a fit after being tossed out of the Medbay by a very irritated Ratchet. Grumbling to himself about his aching joints and neglectful medics, the minibot decided to go grab some Energon and head to his quarters for a quick recharge. The skirmish with the Decepticons earlier that day had left him in a rut deeper then the one he had prior to the battle. His joints squeaked, his transistors grated against the walls of his armor, and he just knew something had popped loose in his left leg compartment and was now rattling around inside. It threatened to drive him insane. He had gone to the Medbay in hopes that their resident medic would offer his services to the ailing minibot, but upon seeing a seemingly undamaged, and therefore (in his mind) healthy, Mech Ratchet had all but threw the kitchen sink at him. Though he wouldn't have been all that surprised to have one chucked at his head considering all that junk Wheeljack keeps around to fuel his incisive tinkering.

With most of the able-bodied Mechs out in the city helping with repairs and the injured in the Medbay, the Rec room was almost guaranteed to be free of any annoyances. He wouldn't have to dodge the larger Mechs or weave around chairs to get to the Energon dispensers either and no line! Happy day, no line.

His uncharacteristically happy thought diminished in a flame of annoyance when he thought about the Energon that awaited him.

As he neared the large set of double doors, Gears began to mumble his grievances over the poor quality Energon to which the Earth-bound Autobots were subjected. He wished the next shipment from Cybertron would hurry up and get here so he could enjoy some real Iacon brewed High-grade. Personally he favored the Kaon brand, but well…it wasn't a good display of patriotism to favor the Enemy's drink. Not that they didn't have any High-grade on Earth, but it was under scrutiny whether it could be passed off as such. The Twins made a batch of their own brew every two orns or so, but it was barely consumable and it had a tendency to explode; a phenomenon that Wheeljack found very intriguing.

Gee, I wonder why…Gears griped to himself as the doors swished away, emitting the blue and red minibot into the Rec room. The doors closed behind him.

His audios immediately peaked as he entered, a faint noise, strange but almost familiar altering him to another presence in the room. He paused below the lintel and scanned the seemingly empty space with his optics. He noted his left optical visual input was pixilating in the far right corner. He mentally sighed, just another grievance to add to his ever expanding list. And then he saw it…er, her.

On the left side of the room, sitting at the base of the wall, was Carly. Her knees were pulled close to her chest and her arms wrapped around them with her head buried between them, blond hair falling about her shoulders in a fluffy mess. At the sound of the Rec room door opening, Carly's head snapped up in surprise and Gear immediately noticed the red in her optics—er, eyes. For a moment, his processor seized with confusion. Humans didn't have red op—eyes. And then it clicked. Her eyes weren't red, they were still their normal blue color, but it only looked that way because…

She was crying.

Seeing Gears, Carly quickly—borderline hastily—wiped at her eyes with a small piece of tissue paper and rose to her feet, patting down her shirt and jeans as if to dust off her tears. She looked up into the Minibot's face with a bright smile that seemed very faux with her still damp and red eyes staring up at him.

"Hi Gears," She greeted cheerfully, sniffling and swallowing thickly. "What's up?"

He pointed vaguely towards the Energon dispensers and started making his way over to them. "Just getting some Energon." He past Carly in silence and likewise, the human female said nothing in return, even looking away and down at the floor as he past. Filling a cube of the glowing pink/purple fuel, Gears turned to glance at Carly. She was leaning against the wall with one foot propped against it, hands behind her back, and staring at the floor. He could hear her sniffle and see her bring the tissue paper to her face, dabbing at her nose and eyes. As he circled back to leave, Carly glanced up at him, but her eyes quickly were drawn back to the floor. He past her and then paused. Energon cube in hand, he sighed and turned around.

"Alright," He said, not trying to mask his irritation. He didn't feel like dealing with humans right now, but darn his core Autobot programming and its compassion circuits to the pits. "What's wrong with you?"

Carly turned her head up to address the minibot, faux smile firmly in place. "What?" She asked in an innocent voice. "Nothing. Nothing's wrong. I'm fine."

He raised an optic ridge at her. "You're crying."

"No I'm not," She replied defensively, almost offended.

He didn't buy it. But he wasn't going to fish for it and he certainly wasn't going to waste his time arguing. If she didn't want to talk, fine, his recharge birth was beckoning and his fuel tank was empty.

Shrugging, he turned to leave. "Suit yourself then."

He got to the door and was about to hit the control panel when Carly suddenly cried out, "Wait! Gears?"

He turned around, giving her an expectant look. She stood away from the wall now, arms pressed against her body.

"Yeah?" He asked.

She fished for words, mouth opening and closing uselessly as her thoughts lined up like rows of drunken soldiers.

"I…it's just…."

"Did you and Spike have a fight or something?" He offered. He remember the fight they had once in the middle of the Rec room, bantering back and forth with personal gibes and insults, all in the presence of nearly the entire Ark residents. They spent the next week pretending the other wasn't there, but as week two came, they began to show signs of distress. While neither human admitted defeat to the other, it was obvious to the Autobots that the two missed each other and wanted to make up, but neither would make the first move. It was Sunstreaker who finally snapped and forced the two to make up and stop annoying him. It was one of the few times Gears agreed with the yellow warrior and one of the even fewer times he felt gratitude towards him. On an ironic note, a month later Spike purposed to Carly and were married seven months later. They had been married almost a year now, showing no sign of marital problems. But humans were confusing and so fickle, you might think you understood them one breem then question your own sanity the next. Nothing was certain where humans were involved.

But Carly shot down his explanation for her distress. "No, we didn't have a fight or anything…I'm…well…it's just…"

Gears sent her a quizzical look in response and she sighed in obvious aggravation on her inability to verbally communicate. She reached into her jean picket and pulled out a small white stick and presented it to him. He stared at it, completely confused.

She sighed and looked down. "It's positive."

Gears cocked his head. "What is it?"

Carly looked back up at him with surprise, having not anticipated he would not know what it was or its implications. He merely stared at her, annoyance level rising. Looking down at the little white stick, Carly grasped for words. Her search was hindered when new tears choked her.

"It's a test…for um…pregnancy…" Her eyes watered and dripped, mouth pulling down into a distraught frown. "I…I'm p…pregnant."

She stared up at his blue optics, her own blue eyes dripping with tears.

For a long moment her just stared, rolling the phrase around in his processor. Fissuring for an answer, he finally said, "Congratulations?"

Carly's reaction was not as he assumed it would be, rather it seemed to only worsen the situation. She sobbed and brought out the tissue paper and again, wiped at her leaking face.

"Congratulations? For what? Screwing my life—our lives up?" She cried. "How am I gonna tell Spike?"

"Easy," He replied frankly, "You go up to him, get his attention and tell him you're pregnant."

She scowled. "Are you making fun of me?"

"No."

Her scowl morphed into a more apologetic frown and she waved her words away. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm just… just a little high strung right now."

He scoffed. "A little?"

She missed, or chose to ignore, his sarcasm. "Yeah. I mean…Oh God, how did this happen?"

"Probably in the usual way," He gripped. How did she think it happened? Hound had explained the human mating enigma to the rest of the Autobot more times and in more detail they could ever want to know for themselves and to think for even a moment she was unaware of how her own species reproduced made his logic circuits spin.

"No, I mean, how could this have happened? We were so careful!" She cried, a new wave of despair overtaking her. In her fit of fears, she began to ramble, unabated by Gear's presence. "I think I forgot to take my pill…I don't know. I've been wracking my brain for hours trying to remember. Oh god it's all my fault. I know it is. It was probably when we went to the Beach that one time and we didn't use protection. I didn't think it would matter if I was on the pill and now I can't remember if I took it. God I was so drunk, I can't remember! I'm never drinking again. God damn it."

Gear was beginning to feel uncomfortable and looked towards the door, longingly.

"I'm not ready to be a mom! I can't take care of a baby! I don't want to be pregnant. It hurts! I took anatomy and biology, I saw the tapes. There no way in hell I'm gonna give birth. I know what happens," She raked her fingers through her hair. "Shit…"

Oh what had he gotten himself into…?

"Oh Gears! What should I do?" She pleaded, sending her pathetic look up at him. He grimaced. Great. She wanted the advice of an Extraterrestrial being with a body composition drastically different from her own on the subject of organic reproduction. What did she expect him to say? These humans were always fishing for sympathy for whatever hole they had dug themselves into. Gears debated his response and he threw out contemplation and went straight with logic. Good old logic.

"Tell Spike."

Carly stared into his face, not saying anything. It was uncomfortable for Gears to be the center of her focus and he resisted the urge to shuffle.

"But…" Her voice was soft, "How?"

"Just do it. There's nothing else you can do…unless you feel like you can hide it for a year, or however long it takes for the little monster to grow."

She smiled faintly at the idea, "No I don't think I could hide something this big from him." A look of mortification came over her face. "Oh god, I'm gonna get fat too."

Oh for the love of—

Gears sighed in aggravation and, not allowing her to go off on another tangent, slammed his Energon cube on the nearest table. Carly sent the Minibot a confused and worried look. "Gears?"

The Mech walked over and quickly scooped the woman up. "Hey!"

He left his Energon Cube there and turned to leave. Carly slapped the Minibot's arm. "Hey! Put me down!"

"Quiet," He said, hitting the control panel and striding through the door and into the hall way. He ignored her offended and angry protests as he strode quickly down the hall, wincing as his aching joints acted up. When he turned the corner and started down a familiar corridor, Carly's objections turned into outright pleads.

"Oh no, Gears, no. Please put me down," She implored. "You can't do this. I can't do this. Gears, please stop!"

He ignored her.

Striding up to the Medbay doors, he waited for them to part before entering.

The room was filled to capacity with the wounded from the day's battle. Most were of a none-threatening nature and the bulk of those present were the walking wounded, waiting patiently for the medical staff to come and treat them. Every table was occupied and several Mechs were forced to stand and wait their turn.

Wheeljack seemed to be on patch up duty, welding flex-steel over gashes and open wounds while First Aid took care of triage, examining the present Mechs and sorting them between Wheeljack and the CMO, Ratchet. The smaller forms of Spike and Sparkplug assisted First Aid and even did a few quick repairs themselves. Both men looked tired and were covered in sweat and oil. Spike had a nice looking smear of it across his face.

Ratchet was occupied with Cliffjumper's leg, panels open revealing the intricate mechanisms and circuits of the Cybertronian limb, and looked up to see Gears enter. His ever-present scowl deepened and he glared at the Minibot, ignoring the fact that the Minibot was carrying Carly in the crook of his arm for some reason.

"Gears, for the last time! You're fine! I'm not going to waste my time looking for—"

"I'm not here for that!" Gears barked at the medic. Turning towards one of the tables, he called out to the young man currently attending to Trailbreaker's arm. "Spike!"

The brown haired young man peeked up from his ministrations to glance over at the Minibot. He looked to Gears, to Carly, and then back to Gears again, brow furrowed in confusion. "Yeah?"

Gears walked towards the table and plopped Carly down on her feet. Walking around the stunned woman, he reached out and grabbed Spike. "Hey!"

Pulling him down from the table top, Gears sat him on his feet across from his wife and stared at the two of them. "Spike, Carly has something…" He trailed off, glaring at the surrounding Autobots. It was too noisy in here to be heard. "Hey!" He shouted. "Mute it for a breem ya glitches!"

When the din slowed to a curious murmur, and then to silence, Gears turned back to address the two humans, "Spike, Carly has something to say to you." He looked at Carly. "Tell him."

Carly looked around at all the staring faces, her face pale, and started to shake. "I…I can't."

"Tell him." Gears told her flatly.

Around them, Autobots sent curious inquires relating to the strange turn of events, mainly what could have Carly so spooked. Sparkplug watched from across the room on a table where he'd been working on Jazz.

"Tell me what?" Spike looked at his wife with real concern. "What's wrong, babe?" He reached out and touched her shoulder, rubbing his calloused hands against her skin. "Carly?"

She looked to her husband, pure terror in her eyes, and she looked to Gear's own scowling faceplate, imploringly.

"But I—"

"Oh for the love of Primus, girl! Just tell him!"

Carly winced at the volume of the Minibot's voice and tuned back to Spike. Her bottom lip quivered and she felt like she was going to be sick, which in the light of things was a real possibility. She rallied herself and stared into her husband's eyes, searching for compassion in their brown recesses. She was painfully aware that she had every present eye and optic trained on her. Not only did she have to tell Spike, but all the Autobots as well…Christ.

"Spike? I'm…I'm pregnant." She blurted.

The world halted on its axis, brakes screeching, and the room fell into a deathly silence as her words sunk in. For a long moment, Spike simply gawked at her; eyes wide and mouth open. Carly looked like she might start crying again when he suddenly beamed at her. "Really? That's fantastic!"

Carly choked on the breath she was holding, disbelief in her eyes. "Really?"

Spike laughed, holding his wife closer. "Yeah really!"

Carly laughed past the lump in her throat, reaching up to scrub at her moist cheeks.

And suddenly the couple was berated with a barrage of congratulations and well wishes from the half scraped assembly of Mechs. Spike pulled his wife close and kissed her, causing a raucous bout of hoots from some of the younger Mechs. Gears could visibly see the wariness and fear drain from Carly as she fell into the kiss. He looked away. Human courtship rituals were strange and, quite frankly, disgusting.

Spike pulled from his wife and whirled around to grin at his father, "Hey Dad, you're gonna be a Grandpa!"

Sparkplug laughed and smiled, thanking Jazz when the saboteur offered his best wishes. Gears turned to leave, mind trailing back to that Energon cube he'd left in the Rec room, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Ratchet smiling down at him. He stared suspiciously at the medic.

"What?"

"You still want me to check those transistors for you?" Ratchet offered.

Gears glanced behind him at the noisy celebration unfolding in response to Carly's announcement. He grimaced. "Nah," He said, surprising Ratchet. "I'll come back later. When it's not so slagging noisy."

And with that, the Minibot turned and strode for the exit, pondering if he should bother making the trip down to the rec room to retrieve his cube or to just go straight to his quarters and into a much needed and well deserved recharge.

Turning a corner, he decided to go get his cube, the sound of the Medbay cheers fading behind him as he walked.

"There's no way I'm gonna get a decent recharge with all that ruckus going on."