Disclaimer: I do NOT own Transformers or any characters thereof. I only own the plot that furiously attacked my brain about a year ago until I finally decided to write this story. This 27 page story has been divided into two chapters for easier reading.

Jazz: HEY! I'm actually alive in this fanfiction?

Ratchet: Well, yes, thanks to the Allspark fragment and some ingenuity, we managed to bring your spark back.

Author: Yeah, I know everyone else seems to have used that idea but I figured it out myself after watching the first movie a million times.

Jazz: *crickets chirping*… so this means that I'm alive?

Ratchet: *lifts a wrench threateningly*

Jazz: Alrigh', on with the story! *Jazz runs away*

Ratchet: Oh, and as a side note, this author writes completely SLASH FREE stories. The only way you can find slash here is if you already have a glitched or slagged up processor. Get any other ideas about the FRIENDLY or FAMILY based relationships in this story and I'm gonna—

Author: *throws a wrench at Ratchet's head and temporarily offlines him before he can vent a string of profanities.*

Optimus: *stares at Author in disapproving manner* Was, that really necessary?

Author: *looks down at unconscious Ratchet who is still clutching a wrench in one hand then back at Prime* YES!

I apologize to all die hard transformers fans if I incorrectly used the term 'Vorn'. I meant it to mean 'years' but I get a lot of terms confused so I apologize in advance. Also, I am not trying to put down any slash lovers out there, I'm just not one to write or enjoy it. Okay then, if anyone has any questions or comments in general please feel free to click that review button and leave me some feedback!!


Nearly a year after the battle for the Allspark the autobots joined their human friends in the lounge of the recently hidden and re-acquired ship dubbed the "Ark". They agreed to join their new allies in the celebration of a human holiday called "Halloween".

Jazz ever the enthusiast of learning their culture, caught on faster than his comrades and now enthusiastically volunteered to tell the first scary story after everyone finished watching one of the last horror movie marathons that included all of the "Saw" movies, all of the "Resident Evil" films, and a wide variety of other classics, such as "Night of the Living Dead".

Sam, Mikaela, Glen, and Maggie sipped their hot chocolate while the autobots drank cubes of energon. Jazz, living up to his personal motto of, "Do it in style, or not at all", performed a handspring that flipped him 'on-stage' in front of the big screen tv. Everyone clapped and Jazz grinned when he heard someone shout, "SHOW OFF!" After everyone quieted down, he began.

"Good evenin' guys and gals! Prepare yo'selves for a tale of such horrifyin' magnitude, you migh' be in danger of a CPU overload…"

Ratchet snorted upon hearing this and grabbed himself another energon.

"…due to the rated content, this may be too terrifyin' for sparklings or humans under the age of 20…"

"Hey!" Mikaela and Sam shouted in indignation.

"Heh, jus' kiddin…"

"Get on with it!" Sunstreaker yelled from the back row with obvious impatience.

"On a dark, cold night…much like this one…a virus was mysteriously released through the air vents. There was one witness but before he could alert anyone…a clawed hand reached around the corner, pulling the unsuspecting victim into the shadows…NEVER to be seen again!!" Jazz's voice lowered for emphasis.

"BOO…this story sucks," Sideswipe shouted from the back, his troublesome twin snickering beside him.

Jazz's frown turned into a smirk as a light bulb clicked on over his head. He pointed him out, putting Sideswipe on the spot.

"Well, why don'tcha come up here then an' tell a better one!!"

Jazz then took his seat next to Ratchet, the stern but protective chief medical officer of the autobot faction. The whispering died down as everyone looked behind them expectantly at a grumbling Sideswipe whose current attention was on his brother, both whispering furiously amongst themselves. The content of their bickering was not lost on the others.

"Sunny! We are supposed to be in this together!"

"Pft…you are the one who was a slagtard, interrupting Jazz's story. You're in this one alone Sides," Sunstreaker gleefully responded.

Sideswipe groaned as he got up, a scowl written on his faceplates. He narrowed his optics and wacked his giggling twin on the head.


Sunny stopped giggling and pouted in a sour fashion, both twins glaring daggers at each other, acting as mere sparklings.

A grumbling Sideswipe finally dragged himself onstage, still put out and mentally kicking himself for being so stupid. He sighed in defeat and raised his lowered head to face the audience's expectant gazes.

"There is an old cybertronian legend that a CPU altering virus once escaped a lab in the science sector, mysteriously changing mechs into a bipolar opposite of their former selves...rumor had it that there was no cure and the victim in question could infect one other—usually a loved one or the medic…"

Sideswipe paused and looked pointedly at Ratchet. Everyone followed his line of sight and eyes widened, some struggling to contain their laughter at the medic's expression that clearly said, "You have got to be kidding me…continue and you're slagged."

The red twin grinned, clearly pleased with himself for pushing the CMO's buttons.

"…the medic that was valiantly trying to save the doomed mech's life…"

The four humans were glued to their seats, completely riveted to the alien tale. It wasn't scary to them but highly entertaining. The mech's on the other hand had a different reaction Sam noticed as he looked around the room. Ironhide looked bored, Sunstreaker slipped into recharge after recognizing the story he'd heard a million times already, Optimus's eyes kept flickering as he surfed the web for email updates from Secretary Keller. Ratchet was grumpy on the account that he hated stories that involved a possible health hazard to anyone (especially cybertronian viruses that were very real in the mech world) and he fiddled with his saw—a murderous glare in his optics as Sideswipe continued. Ratchet's saw fiddling had not escaped Jazz's notice. He silently slipped to the other side of Optimus, using the leader as a barrier between himself and the ornery CMO.

Bumblebee fidgeted and subconsciously leaned closer to the towering figure of Optimus Prime. He hated this story. It reminded him of the human equivalent to zombies. When Sideswipe got to the very gruesome part of the story, a very detailed description of how a mech melted from the inside out, he released a whimper that he could no longer contain. His frightened chirp and fidgeting snapped the empathetic leader from his internet surfing. He gazed down on the youngest member of the team with concern and patted him on the head startling Bumblebee who squeaked and jumped, startled out of his processor and flung himself on Ratchet who sat directly in front of him. Ratchet nearly activated his saw when the small, yellow bot tackled him in his panicked flight to get away. When Bumblebee realized what he had done, his optics widened and he released his death grip on the surprised chief medical officer, backing away with hands raised in an "I'm sorry!" fashion. He forced his frightened expression away and was about to go sit back down when Ratchet took a hold of his arm, forcing him to sit beside him. Even though he could be as tough as nails, the CMO was probably the biggest softie of the group…especially when it came to Bumblebee.

Ratchet draped an arm around Bumblebee pulling him closer beside him, knowing the young one's fears. He sub-spaced his saw and smiled reassuringly at the scout before scowling back at the story teller, angry at the mech's inconsiderate nature. Sideswipe scared Bumblebee out of his processor for Primus's sake and Sideswipe knew the young one refused to leave the room because he wanted to prove himself a fearless soldier.

"I'm sick of this garbage. Would you like to accompany me back to the med-bay? I have some new supplies that need organizing," Ratchet near whispered in Bumblebee's right audio.

Bee nodded his head enthusiastically and peered up with bright, innocent baby blue optics that could melt the Arctic—or reduce his elder's sparks into a quivering pool of energon.

The two slipped quietly out of the room, the empty seat of a certain 1st Lieutenant escaping everyone's notice. About ten minutes later, the story ended and everyone said good-night to the four tired humans who were escorted home by their respective guardians. Bumblebee drove Sam home but the Camaro returned to base, the need to be close to his comrades overriding his want to impress them.

He was scared but would never openly admit it. The twins had retired to their shared quarters for the night, leaving the hall dark with the exception of small beams of light coming from the cracks from Optimus's office. Bumblebee was on high alert, expecting someone or something to jump out from around the various corners that branched off of the current hallway he traveled through.

His battle mask slipped into place and he resisted the urge to power up his canon… until he heard slow, pounding footsteps lumbering down the hall to his right. His gun sub-spaced from his arm and he flattened himself against the wall, fear pulsating through his spark. The footsteps stopped a few feet from the corner he was currently hiding behind. Something grunted and growled, Bumblebee stiffened in response, the overwhelming desire to run away nearly over-riding his logic circuits. Gathering courage he jumped around the corner with a battle cry nearly discharging his weapon before a large black figure tackled him to the ground, disabling his main weapon. Bumblebee struggled and lashed out but he was pinned mercilessly down. He did the last and only thing he could do…an audio shattering cybertronian screech pierced the night, echoing down the empty corridors. A large hand clamped over his mouth, muffling his screams.

"Shhh… kid, it's me!"

Bumblebee heard the loud but calm voice of…


"Yeah, it's me…sorry I scared you. I thought you were an intruder," Ironhide softly growled, embarrassed at the situation. Even though the trigger happy mech had appeared bored during Sideswipe's story, in all reality, he was just as scared as Bumblebee…he just didn't show it.

The corridor lights hummed back on, illuminating an amused looking Optimus as he stared down at the two mechs who were struggling to get back on their feet, still in a tangle of arms and legs from the collision. As soon as they regained their footing, a red and yellow blur bowled them back over, screeching battle cries. Optimus shook his head at the sorry sight of four grown mechs rolling across the floor in a mini brawl. Before Prime could say a word to end all of the confusion, a voice that could melt steel thundered down the hallway.


Even Optimus Prime cringed even though he had played no part in the scuffle.

As if an electrical shock zapped them they leapt to attention. A very irate medic stormed down the hallway, his expression screaming volumes of his frustration (mainly with Sunstreaker and Sideswipe).

"There are those of us that are actually trying to recharge! WHY are you four causing so much racket at twelve a.m.?!"

Optimus finally got a word in as Ratchet paused, mid rant.

"And dare I even ask…who started it?"

The four wide eyed mechs pointed fingers, blaming everyone else but themselves.

Jazz snickered softly from his vantage point in the transformer sized air shafts on the ceiling. It was a rather comical sight to see his handiwork playing out before his optics.

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, naturally pointed fingers at each other (since it was a long ingrained habit) Bumblebee pointed one finger at the twins and one at Ironhide while Ironhide was a mirror-image of Bumblebee.

Optimus shook his head in a disappointed manner, although he too found the sight to be highly entertaining. Ratchet looked about ready to blow a fuse…or five. His voice lowered into that deadly tone that the twins knew all too well and cringed, waiting for Ratchet to throw something.

"Everyone return to quarters…"

When they remained frozen, he finally exploded launching a wrench at whoever was unlucky enough to still be standing there.

Bumblebee and Ironhide, were already down the hall the nano-second the wrench left Ratchet's hand. Leaving the twins, who continued to stare almost dumbly back at the CMO. Sunstreaker ducked refusing to ruin his paint job. The wrench hit Sideswipe clean in the head, causing his optics to flicker briefly, leaving a nice dent.

Jazz clamped a hand over his mouth as he struggled not to laugh out loud.

I think ol' Hatchet as given them CPU damage from all the crap he's thrown at their heads over the millennia…that had to be the slowest reaction time I've seen in vorns.

Sideswipe shook his head as if coming out of a daze and launched his fury at getting hit on his twin.

"Why you FRAGGER! Son of a glitch…you did that on purpose!!"

"Duh! It was YOUR turn to get hit by Hatchet's wrench!! You agreed."

"I did no such thing, liar!"

Both twins rolled around on the floor, kicking and punching each other in rage. Ratchet prepared to launch a much heavier, hammer but a firm hand from Optimus stopped him mid-throw. Jazz figured this to be the perfect opportunity to…

The grate he was peering down from suddenly gave way after he shifted his weight to back out of the vents, causing him to fall to the floor in a heap behind Optimus. He groaned and sat up to see four sets of surprised and bewildered looking optics staring back at him. Ratchet hauled Jazz to his feet, silently questioning him with a look. Optimus raised an optic ridge silently. Sideswipe currently holding Sunstreaker in a headlock, grinned mischievously at the Lt. after giving the broken vent cover a quick once-over.

Jazz looked back at them as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

"What's crackin'?"

"Care to explain what you were doing in the air shaft?" Optimus voiced the question, finally shifting full gear into leader mode.


Jazz looked absolutely confused and rubbed his head, shaking it looking absolutely dazed.

"Where…where am I?"

The twins disengaged from their fight and advanced closer.

"What's wrong with you?"

Jazz stared at them in horror, his optics flickering abnormally. He screamed and tackled them to the ground and combat rolled to his feet, firing a shot from his pistol down the hallway.

"It's Megatron! Run, I'll hold him off!"

Optimus was rooted to the spot. He turned to give Ratchet a concerned look but the medic was already approaching Jazz cautiously from behind.

"Jazz…you are clearly experiencing a malfunction. Megatron is not here."

Optimus walked calmly over and lowered Jazz's shaking hand that still had a death grip on the blaster pistol.

"Stand down soldier, that's an order."

Jazz dropped the gun and fell to his knees as a high pitched frequency assaulted his audios and made his head swim.

Soundwave is here too?

The autobots looked helplessly at Jazz as he clearly hallucinated something that wasn't there. He screamed and clutched his head as the frequency rose in pitch. No one else could hear it.

Jazz's screams brought Ironhide and Bumblebee running back down the hallway.

"What's wrong?"

Ironhide's cannons powered up and he looked frantically around for some unseen enemy.

Ratchet then did something rather…unpredictable. One swift smack and a resounding clang as his fist made contact with the back of Jazz's head sent the glitching mech down to the ground in apparent stasis. Bumblebee blinked rapidly and pointed down at Jazz's unmoving form in apparent horror.


Ratchet scowled up at their youngest team member.

"I did no such thing! After he on-lines again, he should be back to normal. I've had to do that once or twice in the past."

"Why?" Sunstreaker couldn't help but ask.

"He has occasionally suffered from bouts of what the humans would call, 'post-traumatic stress disorder'. Especially since the Allspark shard revived his spark after Mission City. I don't blame him for experiencing this now after what Megatron did to him," Ratchet explained with a softer voice full of regret. He partly blamed himself for Jazz's demise. If only he had gotten there sooner…no…he couldn't keep thinking like that. They all did what they had to do, besides, Jazz was with them again. He swore never to make the same mistake twice.

Jazz finally twitched a hand and groaned coming back online. The second he lifted his head from the floor he screeched like a cyber-banshee and fired rapid shots in Ironhide and Bumblebee's direction, his eyes flickering from blue to purple.

Ratchet swore and tackled Jazz back down, quickly sedating him this time. Ironhide had instinctively shielded Bumblebee from Jazz's frantic firing with his own body and turned with a menacing growl. If it wasn't for the fact that Jazz was currently offline, he would be screaming a very long string of obscenities in his face.

Bumblebee peered from around Ironhide's massive bulk and a mournful croon escaped his vocal processor as he watched Ratchet easily pick up their malfunctioning comrade and carry him off to the med-bay.

"Come on…let's get some decent recharge," Optimus herded everyone away with a shooing motion.

A few grumbles followed by a grudging retreat back to personal quarters quickly followed the order.

Bumblebee however was reluctant to leave. He looked up at Optimus with concerned optics.

Optimus hid his own worry well for the sake of the youngling.

"Ratchet has everything under control. He just commed me and says that Jazz has a small virus, coupled with 'post-traumatic stress'."

Bumblebee seemed to sag with relief although he still looked hopeful.

"Sir, permission to join you and Ratchet"

"You don't need to recharge?"

"NO! ...sir." He hastily replied, the horror story still fresh in his processor. Jazz was a good friend of his and it would ease his spark to see for himself that he was going to be okay.

The leader stood in silence a few minutes, weighing the pros and cons of the decision. He finally agreed.

"Permission granted."

Bumblebee smiled and followed him to the med-bay where Ratchet was currently monitoring Jazz and running diagnostics on him. He addressed them without looking up from his work.

"He is stable"

Ratchet looked drained. The medic hadn't gotten much recharge within the last couple of weeks since the battle, having put most of his energy and effort into reviving Jazz and helping build their new base of operations. Optimus knew it was time to use his authority as commanding officer.

"Ratchet, you need to recharge. Bumblebee and I will take the first shift watching Jazz."


"That's an order," he cut off any protests before they could begin.

Ratchet grumped, crossing his arms and narrowing his optics at his leader, clearly displeased.

"And if I refuse?"

Optimus smirked briefly, his own optics flashing with mirth.

"You already know the answer to that question, my friend."

Bumblebee rapidly blinked, his optics shifting back and forth between his two elders. The two stubborn old mechs refused to budge, until Optimus cleared his vocal processor finally breaking the awkward silence and very heated staring contest.

Ratchet's frown deepened, glaring daggers of death that had no effect on anyone except Bumblebee who fidgeted nervously, taking a step behind Optimus.

Ratchet held up one index finger to emphasize his point.

"I'll follow orders Optimus…but that doesn't mean I have to like it!"

The ornery CMO stormed from his med-bay, leaving a chuckling Optimus behind. Prime turned to his youngest soldier and lightly patted his back in reassurance.

"Just imagine what his mood would have been like had he actually refused my order."

Bumblebee grimly nodded his head. He knew all too well. Besides not getting enough recharge, which would make his foul mood absolutely sour would have to be the following demotion of rank and probation from his duties.

The duo took seats next to Jazz's prone form and began their nightly vigil.