DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters in this story, etc, etc... Sigh...
SUMMARY: For Fanfic100. Sam realised he was the new AllSpark after he died for the first time. But by then, everything was already ruined, so what did it matter anyway? Some SamxBee.
OUTSIDE, Looking In
At night, even the most innocent of things can appear sinister and dangerous.
During the day, Saint James Street bustled with city-goers and noise; the banners, lights and brilliant sunshine hiding all evidence of the slow decay underneath. After dusk (when all attempts to add glamour were no longer needed), the steel structures blossomed with orange flowers of rust, and a chill, whistling wind twirled discarded rubbish round the empty sidewalks. Streetlights cast twisted shadows on the walls and, on this particular night, made the rain look like silver arrows shattering on the pavement.
Dressed in a baggy duffle coat that reached to his knees, with a large hood pulled up over the baseball cap he was already wearing, the young man would have blended in well with the local nightlife, had the storm not driven them all indoors. His trainers splashed through the gathering puddles as he walked unhurriedly towards his destination- a row of cash machines on the front of a nearby building.
Even at half three in the morning, the bank sign glowed a bright yellow, lighting up the overhang under which the machines were situated. The milky glow was meant to make it seem a little less threatening, but instead it made people feel as if they were under a spotlight which illuminated their actions for everyone nearby. Late at night, on a dangerous street, it did little to inspire large cash withdrawals.
The only solution to this is to make sure the money being withdrawn isn't yours.
Sliding his rucksack from his shoulder, the young man reached inside, looking no different from anyone else searching through his bag for his cash card. The bank's camera was positioned well enough to see that. When the figure shuffled a little closer to the machine and blocked its view, he could simply have been typing in his pin number.
Opening his hand near to the card slot, the silver box sat on his palm looked innocent enough, until a drip from his hood splashed against its surface, causing it to shake. Two triangular flaps lifted up, revealing two glowing red optics. They opened and shut twice more, like the blinking of two eyes, before the whole box began to move. As if it was a puzzle box or a sophisticated jigsaw, the square box split into many moveable pieces- two arms emerged, one from each opposite face of the square, and then it lifted itself off the palm to stand on four legs. The shift continued until the box had fully morphed, revealing itself to be a square-shaped crab, only with a noticeable upper body and head. Shaking itself once more, the tiny robot- for that was what it was- directed a series of clicks and high pitched whistles at the person holding him.
"There's no time to complain now," the man said, "I need you to work your magic now."
The creature tipped its head and warbled.
With a hiss of annoyance, the little robot scurried off his palm and across the cash machine keyboard. As it approached the card slot, it shifted again, its bottom half turning flat so it could fit into the slot. The machine hummed and the console lit up with glowing numbers, before money began to feed out into the collection tray. Finally, the robot drew out the slot and, snatching up the cash, ran back to the young man chittering happily.
"Good work, Decoder."
The red eyes glowed with happiness at the praise. "S-Sam! S-Sam!" it stammered, allowing Sam to drop it back in the rucksack.
"Not so loud!" Sam told it. "Besides, it's not Sam anymore Decoder.
"Samuel Whitwicky died a long time ago. "
The apartment where he lived was in disrepair and crumbling around all the edges. At night, there was hardly anyone there, as they all disappeared off to do things that Sam had no interest in finding out about. Though he was now a thief and a fraudster himself, there were certain things he would never do.
However, living in this apartment block granted him certain advantages. The old landlady didn't much care what went on as long as she was paid rent on time and nobody brought the police running to her door. This meant Sam was free to come and go as he pleased, with no one questioning his movements. It also meant that no one asked where his money came from every month, when it was obvious he wasn't pulling a nine to five shift somewhere.
The grill over the front door screeched in protest as he slid it back. Entering the apartment block, he dodged around a stack of rubbish bags which had yet to be moved outside, and climbed the stairs up to the first floor.
His apartment was the one on the end, and he ignored the laughter emerging from the room next door as he unlocked his door and stepped inside.
Immediately, a long legged blur darted forward to turn on the light switch.
"Hello Clank," Sam greeted tiredly, shrugging off his backpack and placing it on the floor.
The tall, silvery robot stretched out to his full height, which came to just below Sam's waist. His blue optics followed the teenager round the room as he shed his wet clothes, even as a clawed hand locked the door.
The zip on the rucksack worked furiously for a second and, seeing it open, Clank quickly rezipped it, earning him an angry squawk. The robot then danced away on spindly legs towards the kitchen, and the sound of a kettle being started travelled through to Sam, who flopped down onto the sofa, now dressed in a dry tee shirt and jeans.
Picking up the remote, he started up the old television set he had smuggled in without anyone noticing (which cut down on any attempts others might make to break into his apartment), and flicked onto the news channel. At once, images of giant robots filled the screen, and of more buildings that were up in flames.
"Yesterday saw yet another Decepticon attack over Mission City," a female announcer reported over the images. "There were no injuries thanks to the quick retaliation of both the local army garrison and their Autobot allies. It seems to be yet another attempt to reinforce their demands of a constant fuel supply-"
Sam watched as an injured Autobot from the fight was approached by a small figure in a long, white coat. He leaned forward to better scrutinise the person in the background, as the camera cut off most of the action. Still, there was just enough there for him to recognise who it was.
"Mikaela," he muttered.
There you are, he thought, living my life.
The bag near the doorway shuddered, and the zip undid itself once more. Cursing, the small, red eyed mechanoid scrambled out, pulling the wad of cash in one tiny hand. "S-Stupid, blue-eyed scrap pile!"
As the scene on the television went on, a yellow car pulled up quickly beside the new Autobot mechanic, and she climbed into it, having checked the other Autobot over.
"Mikaela and Bumblebee, what a team," Sam said, a little bitterly, even as a tug on his sleeve alerted him to the presence of Clank, one hand holding a steaming mug of tea. The sofa dipped slightly as Decoder jumped onto the arm rest, scuttling round to nestle against Sam's side, dumping the wad of cash on his knee. "Thanks guys," he said. "What would I do without you, huh?"
He turned his attention back to the TV, only half listening as the news went on to show a map of the widening area of destruction the Decepticons were causing. It wasn't at all like it had been two years ago. No, now everyone knew about Autobots and Decepticons, though how could they not when the war was waging across their country, their world?
Nowadays, I'm just the dead guy. Nobody thinks about any of the things I did to help out.
Sam knew he shouldn't think like that. He had chosen for himself to be 'dead', after all. And, technically, he had died, even if it had only been for a little while, when a hit from a Decepticon had sent him flying into that building right before it had exploded. Had he wanted to, he could have walked out, unharmed, and resumed the life he had been living up until that point.
But he hadn't.
I was such a child back then, Sam thought. Being dead didn't help at all, it just made me an outsider in what should have been my life.
Next to him, Decoder and Clank began spitting insults at each other. That was one of the problems with keeping an Autobot and a Decepticon together in the same flat. Not to mention, it didn't help matters that they were brothers. Well, Sam didn't know much about Cybertronian families, but seeing as how he had made both of them, he figured they were brothers.
Made, Sam thought, looking at them both fondly. At least something good came out of everything.
Sam had realised he was the new AllSpark after he died for the first time. But by then everything was already ruined, so what did it matter anyway?
It had been two years, and Sam had thought this city was too small and unimportant to ever be hit by Decepticons, or visited by Autobots. Unfortunately, he had been wrong.
As he had watched from his grubby window, an aerial battle had taken place overhead between the two factions, until at last the flying types had left, leaving only smoking buildings behind. Whirling to face Clank and Decoder, Sam said firmly, "Stay here! I'll be back as soon as I can!"
He didn't know why he had to go see what had happened, but there was a nagging feeling that drew him from the apartment block at a dead run. He figured it was just a curiosity to find out why his new home had been targeted, to see if he ought to move locations, but when he arrived at the site of the battle he finally understood why.
The Decepticons had left, but the Autobots were still there.
Sam froze mid-step, staring at the two mechanoids in front of him. Aside from them and smoking rubble, the area had quickly been deserted by civilians. Both of the Autobots were similar in appearance, except one of them was red and the other was yellow. Oh, and the red one had been divided in half at his waist. The teenager was actually pleased (and he hated himself for that) that he didn't recognise either of them, and he realised they must have been some of the ones that had landed whilst he had been out of the loop (or, basically, 'dead').
Sam didn't need his abilities to know the mech was dying. From the torn wires, pink liquid steadily pooled outwards, slipping down the cracks in the concrete created by his impact on the ground, and then more tendrils of it reached outwards across the flat, until one brushed the tip of his shoe.
"Aww Sides, don't do it!" the yellow one said, lifting one of the hands he had balanced on to rest it on the others dented chest plate. The rounded fingers dripped energon, having been rested in a pool of the stuff where it surrounded the body. "The medic will be here soon! Hold on a little longer!"
Mikaela, Sam thought. I should get out of here as quick as I can.
"I-It's going to be fine!" he heard the Autobot say as he turned to leave. "Brother! Just a little longer!"
Sam stopped. How can I just walk away? Is this what I am now? A murderer?
Surely, it was murder if you could help someone, but didn't just because you were scared? And hadn't he always scoffed at Mikaela on TV, doing what he considered his job? If he turned and walked away now, what sort of hypocrite would he become? Besides, there was still time to do this and leave before the amazing duo arrived, surely. They'd never find him. Never.
As he approached the Autobots he examined the downed mech with a critical eye. The body had been ripped apart at the waist, with the bottom half completely lifeless. It's worse than what happened to Bee, Sam thought.
When he got too close however, the yellow bot snapped his gaze to him. "What do you want fleshy? Come to gloat?" The voice was strained, but there was real menace in it, despite the fact that the optics staring at him were blue.
"Hardly," Sam said, a nervous flutter making itself known in his belly. He hadn't been this close to something so big and dangerous in two years, and he was surprised to find that he was no longer used to their presence, especially not when they were feeling hostile.
Still, ignoring the glare, he reached up to lay his hands on the cold surface. Then next moment, the ground shook as a giant hand impacted on the ground behind him.
"Don't you fragging touch him! He died for things like you! And why? He didn't mean anything to-"
"Shut up!" Sam bellowed. Then quieter, seeing the surprised expression on the other, he said, "I'm trying to concentrate."
Closing his eyes, he pulled at the power he had now. It welled up through him, made his whole body burn with it. He directed it out through his hands, towards the other mech, let it sink through the armour and into the insides, spiralling through every nook and cranny towards the spark. First, he stabilised that, preventing it from drifting away before he had had a chance to fix the damage. Then, he reached out towards the waist and legs. There was a gap between them, so he breached it, crackling through the empty air to reach for them. Some parts were just gone, so he had to think about creating them. But he had the power to do that. He had the power to do anything.
Heal, he commanded the strange power, and heal it did.
Things fizzled and popped as they stitched back together, and he felt the damaged systems stabilise and then return to the Autobot equivalent of normal.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Sam opened his eyes. A pair of shocked optics were staring at him. "What are you waiting for?" Sam croaked at him, his mouth dry. "He needs an energon transfusion before his systems go into shock. So hurry up and do it!"
"Energon, right," the yellow mech parroted, before a panel slid open on his arm and he began rummaging for the right cables.
Sam staggered back, lifting his hands from the Autobot below him. They made a noise like cellotape being ripped from a roll, and he clutched them to his chest, feeling how raw the skin was.
Just as the yellow mech was about to plug a cable into his brother, blue optics suddenly blinked online on the other bot.
Sides turned his head to stare at the other. "No more…"
"Hey, take it easy, you just came back from the scrap heap!"
"No more… jet-judo…"
It was so unexpected, it shocked both Sam and the yellow mech into silence for a long moment.
Jet… judo? Sam wondered.
And then the other Autobot burst out laughing, all his malice suddenly gone.
Hearing the delighted laughter, Sam felt a smile stretch across his face- a real one for the first time in ages. He had done it. He was useful, he was needed.
"Sides! Sides! You're alright!" The yellow bot was practically singing the words.
Then, the next thing Sam heard, was the distant screech of tyres. Though it could perhaps of been any car in the world, he knew for sure it was Bumblebee. His mouth went dry suddenly and it felt as if his legs had turned to jelly.
He had to leave. Now.
He stepped back and nearly fell over. His body was weak, having used so much energy for the repairs. But either way he had to try. He scrambled with a strange fervour over the broken ground, heading for the shadows of a nearby building. He had just made it when the yellow Camero skidded to a stop near to the two Autobots, and he leaned heavily on the building as he watched. Mikaela scrambled out, looking frazzled, and Sam wondered how many attacks had taken place elsewhere at the same time as this one. She had grown up a lot in the last two years, looking more adult than ever. But, this close, Sam could also see that she looked thin and drawn in a way that wasn't visible on TV. He wondered if the war was really that bad now.
Once she had got out, the Camero switched back into his robotic form. For the first time in two years, Sam was finally looking at Bumblebee again. Two years wasn't a long time for an autonomous organism that matured over millenniums not decades, so he didn't look any different. Somehow, that was even worse than looking at Mikaela.
At least with her, he was aware that his love for her had been a long time ago. They were both different people now. But with Bumblebee, he was looking directly at the same Autobot he had fallen in love with all that time ago.
The four were talking amongst themselves. Sam could make out every odd word, but he didn't have the time to stay and puzzle out their conversation. Sooner or later it would turn to him- well, the odd boy who had even weirder powers at any rate- and they would want to find him. He couldn't stick around.
Acknowledging the threat made it easier to move.
Sure, there was a part of him that really wanted to stay, wanted to be found. But he couldn't. How could he explain why he had lied to them for all this time? Been so selfish as to deny them access to the AllSpark's powers? Actually, Mikaela might know why, but what good was that? It was the argument between the two of them that had lead him down this path anyway.
He was an outsider now.
And that was the way it would stay.
Hmm, yeah, this is part of my Fanfic100 challenge on livejournal. It isn't complete without the second part however, called "Inside, Wanting Out" where the back story is properly explained and we see the Autobots trying to hunt down their elusive human friend. I know this is a pretty cliche idea, but I wanted to use some of my 100 fanfic challenges on this storyline. I hope you enjoyed this, and the future parts of it.