A New Road
Will cringed as he looked at his wife. Her face had a tint of red in it and her arms were crossed across her chest. Her mouth was set in a thin line, and he had the feeling that he was about to get it big time.
"Now Sarah, you have to…"
"Don't you dare 'now Sarah' me, William Lennox. You come home with the kid that I saw on the news this morning and insist that he's not dangerous."
"But Sarah, he isn't. I swear."
"How do you know that Will? Huh? How do you know?"
"Well that's gonna be kind of hard to explain."
"Well, you had better explain soon because our daughter is cry…" Sarah stopped dead in the middle of her sentence. Annabelle had stopped crying, and she had been too busy fighting with her husband to notice. A million scenarios ran through her head, getting worse as they went, as she ran back toward the living room. Will followed her at a slower pace, not wanting to get in her way, she was already pissed off enough as it was.
"See Sarah, that's how I know." Sam was sitting on the living room floor, legs crossed with Annabelle on his lap. Annabelle herself had taken an interest in the fingers on Sam's left hand and currently had his thumb in her mouth, gumming on it without a care in the world. Sarah smiled and sighed before she turned to look at her husband.
"You win, Will, he can stay, but he's getting his hair cut." Will chuckled as he put one arm around his wife's waist.
"Sure thing, dear."
Will had come to the conclusion that Sam was one of those people who you would never understand no matter how hard you tried, and he'd stopped trying the day after Sam had moved in with him and Sarah. Sam was strange, to say the least. He couldn't tie his shoes but he could do math problems that still gave him trouble, all he needed was the example in the book. In three days, he'd also learned more about Sam's life - or what he could remember of it - and some of it he found he didn't want to know.
He'd also discovered that Sarah had turned traitor and she and Sam were conspiring against him. Mainly because if Sam wasn't with him or Ironhide - who his wife had officially met the day before and it hadn't been very pretty - he was with his wife, who tended to have Annabelle with her. So, as Will sat pouting at his kitchen table while his wife made dinner, Sarah gave him a look like he was a five year old.
"Oh stop that Will, you're acting like a child. All Sam's doing is changing Anna's diaper."
"But Sarah you're supposed to be forcing me to do all this stuff." Sarah sighed as she shook her head and went back to her cooking.
Sam's heart was beating fast, his hands were beginning to sweat and if he cared to admit it to himself, he was getting scared. His eyes flew back and forth and he was focused on the item in front of him. So focused that he didn't hear Will come into the room. Will made himself known a few seconds later when he tapped Sam's shoulder, and said boy shouted and jumped, dropping his book on the floor and loosing his page.
"Geez Sam, what the hell were you reading?" Will asked as he picked up Sam's fallen book and turned it onto the cover page. Stephen King's The Shining. Will snorted and shook his head. The day before he'd been reading Annabelle's books to her, stumbling through most of the words while doing so, and now he was reading Stephen King.
"I see you found Sarah's bookshelf."
"You couldn't have started Lords of the Ring or something less horror inducing?" Sam looked at him and scratched the back of his head.
"I read that one last night. You guys need to get the last two." Will groaned and handed the book back to Sam.
"You know you're supposed to sleep at night, Sam."
"I know but I keep having nightmares about Mission City." Will nodded as he sat on the couch next to Sam. He'd been having nightmares too.
"You know that's over, right. I mean nothing bad can happen now." Sam pulled his knees up to his chin and wrapped his arms around them, shaking his head.
"It's not over, Will. I can still see them. More are coming, and not all of them are like Optimus and the others." Will nodded his head in understanding.
"Well, look at it this way kid. It took twelve years for Hide and the others to get here, right?"
"Well, with any luck, these guys will arrive later and we'll have time to be prepared." Sam nodded and looked down at his hands, still dark red from burns, and sighed. With any luck they had time. 'We'll have Hide tell Optimus and the others later, okay?"
"Oh for the love of god, Sam, stop fidgeting or he'll cut you." Sam launched his best glare at Will, which wasn't very good considering his bangs hung wet in his face and made his glare look more like a pout. Will, seeing this, proceeded to turn his head and laugh into his hand.
"You know that if I really wanted to torture you, I'd have taken you to the barber in town and not bought you here to the base."
"You wouldn't take me into town anyways, Will. You haven't gone into town since you got home. You have Sarah go while you and me stay home with Anna."
"Ya well, you're the one that freaks out when you're in a crowded place." Sam sighed, crossed his arms, and stuck out his tongue, the only real movements he was able to make without really moving his head. Will chuckled as he watched the barber behind Sam cut off another couple of inches of hair.
"You know you're awful immature for a kid who can do trig like it's nothing but can't tie his shoes." Sam blushed as he cast his eyes downward. He couldn't help it. Will was right though - anything he could read about in a book he learned really fast, but when it came to things that he had to be shown it took him longer to learn.
"There, all done, kid."
"Well, I have to admit Sam, you look good with short hair, and who'd have thought it, you have curls." If looks could kill, Will would have been dead on the spot.
Sam shivered as he sat on the bathroom floor, the only light coming from a small nightlight. Sweat running down his forehead, Sam sighed and waited. The world around him was foggy and unclear. He wasn't even sure how he'd managed to make it to the bathroom without falling. His whole body felt like it was pounding. His ribs were sore and both his hand and foot stung. Sam gulped back the rising urge to puke again and leaned back against the wall next to the toilet, wiping at his eyes as he did this.
The world around him shifted again, and a loud and painful ringing sounded in his ears. Pressing his hands to his ears, Sam bit his lip, trying not to scream as the ringing got louder. It felt like someone had taken a saw to his head and was cutting as slow as possible. Sam's body lurched forward and before he could tell his body no, he was sick again. Hands trembling and white from his grip on the toilet, Sam groaned. He was, at the moment, completely totally and utterly miserable.
"Sam?" Sam's head jerked to the side and a fierce pain ripped through his body. Blinking, Sam turned his head in the general direction of where the soft voice was coming from.
"Are you okay, Sam?" Sam shook his head. No, he wasn't okay. His body hurt and he was sick and the fog in front of his eyes wasn't going away or letting him get a clear view of what was going on around him. Sarah sighed as she sat down next to Sam. The poor boy was white as a sheet and sweating. In a motion her mother had used when she was younger, Sarah pulled Sam close and ran a hand down his back.
"It'll be okay Sam."
John Keller smiled as he handed a manila envelope to Will. "Everything you need is here, all you have to do is fill it out." Will nodded as he pulled out the first sheet of paper and began signing. "If you don't mind me askin what's going to happen to Sam?"
Will looked up for a moment before returning to the paper work. "He going to stay with me and Sarah until the Autobots get their base finished, then he's going to move in with them. At least that's the plan at the moment." Keller nodded as he looked out the window.
"So, have you guys decided on a new name yet?" Will nodded as his pen moved down to the next line.
"Shia. We're naming him after my wife's brother. His full name will be Shia Michel Samuel Lennox. Kind of a mouthful, but we wanted to keep his name in there somewhere."
"You're right Captain, that is a mouthful."
"Wow, this place is a real mess." Sam nodded as he looked around the top level of what was to be the Autobot's base. He didn't even want to see the lower levels if they were as bad as the top one. It seemed like they had one military vehicle from the past hundred years stored in the top hanger.
"Look at it this way, we can always reuse the metal and the parts."
"Sam has a point, Will."
"Shut it Hide, you're supposed to be on my side." Optimus chuckled as he watched Will and Ironhide fight. It helped lift some of the unease they felt around each other.
"Keller has informed me that the lower levels are indeed in much better shape than this one. He says that all they really need is cleaned and fixed up here and there." Will snorted and looked over at Sam for a second before eyeing the mess in front of him.
"Ya well, I still say this place is a mess."
"Sam what the hell are you doing?" Will asked as he looked up into the apple tree. Sam sat about ten feet up and was throwing apples at the ground. Bumblebee sat not fifteen feet away, watching his charge commit said acts.
"I'm getting apples, Will." Sam said this as if it was the most odious thing in the world.
"I can see that, Sam. What I want to know is why you're throwing them at the ground."
"He's trying to get them into the basket." Will turned and looked at Bumblebee, who had turned his head to look at Will.
"Over there." Bumblebee pointed to a spot not that far away from Will, where there was indeed a basket sitting in the grass half way full of apples. Will shook his head and walked back over to where Ironhide was parked. Getting in the truck, he turned and looked at the boy and mech. "Just be back at the house before dinner, you two."
"Can do, Will."
Optimus looked up at the night sky. The sky was cloudless and the stars and moon were very bright. Humans made pictures with the stars or so he had heard, but for the life of him, he couldn't find them no matter how hard he looked.
"You're looking too hard." Optimus looked down and smiled.
"Does will and Sarah know you're out here Sam?"
"No, they're asleep." Sam said this as he looked up at Optimus and smiled.
"As you should be, Sam. Ratchet says it's not good for you to be awake like this. He tells me that if you continue to stay awake like this, he's going to have you take sleeping pills every night." Sam snorted and shifted his gaze to the stars.
"If he insists, he may be in for a fight."
"You'd willingly pick a fight with Ratchet?"
"Yup, just for the sake of being stubborn and annoying him."
"You're braver than I am then." Sam laughed.
"Not really. I just plan on getting him back on his toes." Optimus nodded and said nothing, and for a few minutes, the two of them stood in silence. Optimus was once again trying to find the pictures in the stars.
"You're still trying too hard."
"Yup. Here I'll show you." With a nod, Optimus lowered his hand to the ground and allowed Sam to climb onto it. The air around Sam moved as Optimus lifted him up and deposited him onto his shoulder.
"Okay, that star there is the north star. You see it?" Optimus's optics fallowed Sam's finger.
"Now you connect that one with the one next to it." Sam drew a line with his finger to the next star. "Then you connect that one with those there." His finger moved again and Optimus's optics fallowed. "When you connect them all, you get the big dipper."
"I can see it now."
Tires squealed as Bumblebee turned a sharp corner. Sam laughed from his place in the driver's seat. Wind rushed in trough the window causing him to squint. Sam had come to the conclusion that his guardian loved to speed. Not that he didn't love going fast too, but there were times he wished Bumblebee would roll the window up and leave it up, especially when they were riding down roads so dusty he could see the air in the car.
"Bee, for the love of god, roll up the window. If it's down much longer, Will and Epps are going to have to dig me out."
"You dirty dirty boy."
"I'm dirty? Have you seen yourself, Bee. You aren't yellow anymore, you're brownish red." Tires came to abrupt halt as Bumblebee hit the breaks. Sam, sensing trouble, unbuckled his seatbelt and proceeded to get put of the car. The sound of sliding metal and whirling gears filled the air a few seconds later as Bumblebee transformed. Twisting and turning this way and that, Bumblebee got a good look at himself. Sam hadn't been lying, he was indeed a nice shade of brownish red.
"Now who's a dirty boy, Bee? You need a bath."
Sam was running as fast as his legs would carry him, his mind going over what he'd just seen again and again. His footsteps were matched by the softly pounding paws of his puppy Mojo, a Saint Bernard that had been a gift from Figg before he went to visit his mother in Florida. Figg hadn't even bothered to ask anyone if Sam could have a dog. He'd just shown up at the base one day, walked into the newly finished rec room, complete with a sectioned off kitchen for the humans, given Sam the dog and then proceeded to tell him that everything he'd need was in what was to be his room. Then he had left, claiming he wanted to live.
So, needless to say, Mojo had stayed and not even Ironhide could gather up the courage to make Sam get rid of the dog. Figg had at least gotten him a dog that wouldn't be easily stepped on when he was full grown. Taking a sharp right turn, Sam slid a bit on the clean floor, Mojo sliding as well. Running toward one of the large meeting rooms, Sam slowed as he got closer and banged on the wall to get Optimus's attention. Not that it was hard, considering he had permission to speak to the Autobot leader whenever he needed to so long as it was important.
"What is it, Sam?"
Sam grinned as he looked up at Optimus. "Landfall."