Sequel to "Hushabye", inspired by the song, "The End of Heartache" by Killswitch Engage (which has got to be one of the most awesomest metal songs EVAR). Someone asked for me to write about how Scorponok reacts to Blackout's death. Those who ask, shall receive.

This is one of the few stories I've ever written entirely on the computer. I usually at least start it on a piece of paper and then type the rest on the computer, but this time I didn't feel like doing that.

I imagine that Scorponok "speaks" with the voice of a young child, mainly that cute little innocent-sounding voice that my sister uses when she voices him. Hence why he has odd speech patterns.

KsE fans, keep an optical sensor out... I referenced a couple Killswitch Engage songs in my writing for this one.

Neither Transformers nor the lyrics to "The End of Heartache" belong to me.

Seek me, call me
I'll be waiting

Seek me, call me
I'll be waiting

Find Master… Find Master… Find Master… That was the only thing running through Scorponok's mind as he tunneled under the rubble and debris left over from the battle. He didn't care that he might get caught. He just wanted to find Blackout. He quickly emerged from the mountain of concrete slabs he was climbing under and tried running overtop of the rubble. A few shots were fired in his direction from one of the humans from the Earth military that had seen him. He was probably hit, but the bullets he was using weren't strong enough to pierce his armor. He wouldn't have cared either way. He'd find his way if he were bleeding, dying, missing half his body, or whatever. If they cut off his legs, then dammit, he'd crawl along the ground on his belly like a worm. He just wanted Blackout. Finally, his persistence paid off and he found Blackout lying on his side, alive, but just barely breathing, as the humans would say.

Blackout felt something wet on his face. His mind was in a haze, leaving him at first to believe that he was still on Cybertron. He jerked away with the thought that a scavenger had found him. Cybertronian scavengers were known to thrive on the battlefield and would often swarm and eat wounded soldiers alive. He'd seen it happen first hand to some of his comrades. It was a horrible thing to witness, having one of your friends being helplessly ripped apart and devoured by a fleet of starving animals. He opened his optics… He wasn't on Cybertron… A scavenger had found him, but it was licking him, not eating him… It was Scorponok.

Master? Master okay?

It took Blackout a moment to register what he'd just heard. Scorponok was speaking out through their bond. "Scor-Scorponok… Do I look okay to you?" Scorponok looked over him. Blackout appeared to be drooling a mixture of energon and lubricants while he spoke. His vents were wheezing and dripping of condensation. Energon and mech fluids oozed out of a massive wound in his chest, which appeared to be the one that was now killing him. He quickly backed up against the wreckage behind him to avoid the flood of fluids that Blackout was now vomiting all over the ground.

Master, I go find Barricade. Barricade help, Scorponok said, preparing to leave.

"No. Barricade can't help me, Scorponok," Blackout protested. "He can barely help himself. He was too upset to fight, let alone to help me."

Barricade upset? Why?

"Frenzy's gone, Scorponok."

Frenzy…gone? Frenzy always liked to play with Scorponok. He always got him in trouble and wasn't the greatest friend in the world, but he was a friend none-the-less. Scorponok just couldn't believe he was gone…

"Everyone's gone, Scorponok, even Lord Megatron. And yet that bastard, Starscream, made it out alive. Heh. Figures."

You never should have leaved me. You should have took me to battle with you.

"Why? So you can end up just like me? You want to die too?" Blackout asked.

No life without you.

"You wouldn't have even had a life without me. You would have died that day on the street, with your mother." Blackout's optics started to dim with those words.

Master, no! Don't die! Scorponok begged, splashing through the vomit to reach Blackout's face and nuzzling him. Stay with me!

"I'm sorry." His optics flickered a moment and shut off. His head shifted downwards slightly when he was no longer supporting it.

Scorponok immediately felt a part of his spark ache, like it had been torn out. That part was Blackout. Silently, almost like he was hypnotized, he pushed his way under Blackout's arm and curled up into a protective ball to cry. He poked his head out slightly when he heard something approaching and heard the cocking of several guns, all aimed at him, as well as the charging of cannons. It was the soldiers from the desert, as well as the Autobots… They'd found him… He tried to hide under Blackout's bulk and hissed at them angrily. Why couldn't they just leave him alone? Couldn't they see he was mourning? He just wanted a chance to give a bid farewell without them interjecting!

Someone grabbed his tail. He felt himself get dragged out from under Blackout's arm and dangled upside down in the air. No! No! No! I want to stay with Master! he protested. His protests went unheard, as no one could understand the series of clicks, squeals, and shrieks that were his native tongue. A warm cannon pressed against his belly, causing him to freeze up. He stared into the optics of the one they called "Ironhide".

"My buddy, Lennox, here says you killed some of his comrades," Ironhide growled.

Master say to! I not want to hurt anyone! he tried to say. I just want to make Master happy!

He, along with everyone else, shifted his gaze to the Autobot leader, who was steadily approaching. He was carrying the remains of one of his companions. Scorponok remembered witnessing Blackout's leader ripping him in half from where he was hiding during the battle. Optimus looked at him, and for a moment their optics locked. He broke the gaze momentarily to glance at Blackout.

"Where was he when you found him? What was he doing?" Optimus asked.

"He was hiding under Blackout's corpse. Blackout was talking to him before he died," Ratchet replied.

Optimus looked away from Scorponok and back at Blackout. "Put him down, Ironhide."

Ironhide wanted to protest, but knew better than to disobey an order from Prime. He slowly lowered Scorponok to the ground. Scorponok immediately bolted back for Blackout's body as soon as he felt the solid grip release his tail, crawling underneath his arm and wrapping his tail tightly around it, as if that would stop them from pulling him back out if they really wanted to.

"Just as I suspected," Optimus sighed. "Leave him alone. He's harmless now." He turned around and walked away. The Autobots followed him, Ironhide seemingly not happy about letting him live. The soldiers didn't seem too happy about leaving the one who tried to kill them and succeeded in killing their comrades alive either, but they felt that it was better to trust the instincts of someone who likely knew more about him than they did.

Scorponok watched them walk away. It was hard to watch when his vision got blurry from tears.

This distance, this dissolution
I cling to memories while falling
Sleep brings release, and the hope of a new day
Waking the misery of being without you

Optimus had wanted to take Scorponok with him to stay with the Autobots, just so he didn't have to be alone. The others could sense his disappointment when he found that Blackout's pet had run away sometime while they weren't looking.

"We'll keep an eye out for him, Optimus. We'll let you know if we find him," Lennox promised.

"He's probably already left the city by now," Optimus shook his head.


Scorponok knew they'd be looking for him. He knew they'd want him to stay with them. He didn't want any part of that. They'd killed Blackout. Blackout was dead because of them and their damn squishy things. He never wanted any part of this stupid war. He only went along with it because Blackout seemed to be an avid supporter of it. He never understood it. Why would anybody want to kill someone over the desire for control? It was a power trip, is what it was. Scavengers never killed each other for something as stupid as that. Why couldn't the other Cybertronians learn from their lesser forms of life? He sighed and continued walking.

He'd finally made it… He made it back to this human thing called "the desert". It wasn't the same one that he'd been crawling around in before. The ground was harder… It was dirt, not sand… What a disappointment. He remembered Blackout's promise to him when he was curled up in his arms back in Qatar, receiving repairs from the injuries the humans had dealt onto him. "Scorponok, as soon as we win the war, I'll bring you back here to this desert, and you can tunnel under the sand all you want." Blackout had always complained about how much he hated the desert. He hated the heat. He hated how dry the air was. He hated how cold it got at night. He hated how he couldn't move because the surface wasn't firm enough. Yet he'd be willing to come back to that place, just because he knew Scorponok loved the feeling of being able to freely move around under the surface.

He would give up the chance to return to that desert if only it would bring Blackout back.

He longed for the nights where he could just curl up next to Blackout and recharge. He longed for all the times Blackout let him eat out of his dish or drink out of his glass. Hell, he even longed for the times Blackout scolded him for doing something wrong. Just anything to see his best friend again.

He slowly moved across the firm surface, wishing it wasn't so hard and dry so he could tunnel under it. The darkening sky, colder temperatures, and sounds of animals moving about suggested that night was coming along. He was so tired… He needed a place to sleep. Maybe sleep would help.

He located a burrow. Although it was too small for him to fit, he could dig it up and make it bigger. After evicting the family of rattlesnakes that had made it their home, he continued to rip it open, adapting it to support something of his size. He climbed down inside and curled up. I wish Master here to make sleep come easier… came his last thought.

Surrender, I give in
Another moment is another eternity

Scorponok knew his days were numbered. He just couldn't see himself living without Blackout. He was left with nothing but a gaping hole in his spark. If the depression didn't kill him first, the starvation most definitely would. Blackout had always been sure that he was well fed, even going so far as to give him everything he had during the times they had to ration their food. He'd always had Blackout feed him. Now he wasn't there to do that.

The other Decepticons didn't approve of Blackout babying him, feeling that a pet's well being should come only after its master's. What did they know? Few of them seemed to actually love their pets, if they even had one. "Pet" seemed to be commonly synonymous with "slave" in the Decepticon ranks. Blackout was unique in showing that he cared about his companion, even going so far as to adapt him into a symbiote so that it would be easier to care for him. All the more reason to miss him. He wasn't just a pet, he was a physical part of Blackout. They were one…

Scorponok was falling deeper into the arms of sorrow, giving in to them. He wouldn't be able to make it for much longer if this kept up. If no one came to save him from himself, he would most definitely die.

(Seek me) For comfort, (Call me) For solace
(I'll be waiting) For the end of my broken heart
(Seek me) Completion, (Call me) I'll be waiting
(I'll be waiting) For the end of my broken heart

The darkness fell quickly, obscuring the corpse of a turkey vulture, impaled on a broken tree limb. It wasn't the only ill-fated desert creature. Littered around the area, Barricade found the scattered remains of rabbits, lizards, coyotes, rattlesnakes, and any other poor animal that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He locked his gaze with the culprit. Scorponok stood silhouetted against the light of the moon, his vents working double overtime as he panted in a blind rage. He recognized this behavior as the second stage of someone who'd lost someone they'd been bonded to. The first was sorrow. Now it was onto the second, extreme aggression. Even the calmest of mechs had the potential to become homicidal when going through this phase. Fortunately, it was a phase that was oftentimes either short-lived or skipped altogether. Unfortunately, Scorponok didn't seem to be one of the ones lucky enough to never have to go through it.

He got down onto his knees in a submissive manner to make himself seem less intimidating and called to Scorponok. The scavenger let out a bloodcurdling shriek in response. "It's okay, Scorponok. Remember me? I'm Barricade, one of Blackout's friends…" Scorponok hissed. "I guess it was fortunate that I wasn't physically bonded to Frenzy," he replied. "Who knows what could have happened if I went psycho like you?" Scorponok let out a menacing dog-like growl. "Come now, Scorponok…would Blackout want you to be acting like this?" He could hear a low rumble coming from the mechanical arachnid's vocal processor. He stood up and backed away, knowing that to be a warning that he'd attack him if he didn't leave right now. He'd been attacked several times by Scorponok before, back before Blackout taught him that it was okay to trust him to a degree. It wasn't something that he'd like to relive. "Alright, Scorponok, I'm going. I just thought that maybe you'd want some comfort from a fellow Decepticon." Scorponok watched him walk away. "It gets lonely out here alone, you know? With no one there to keep you company, or hear you when you're screaming? It's almost like a curse."

Scorponok curled up and rested his head on his tail, watching Barricade go. Almost like a curse, he repeated. My curse.

You know me, you know me all too well
My only desire- to bridge our division

In sorrow I speak your name
And my voice mirrors, mirrors my torment

It was frightening how much sense Barricade had spoken… Barricade, that indestructible, headstrong mech that had a reputation among both Autobots and Decepticons for being a little…well…"loose", to avoid calling him a whore…had actually said something that made sense. It was almost as if he was inside Scorponok's head.

Well, guess maybe he was… Frenzy was gone too. He may not have had a bond with him like Scorponok did with Blackout, but that didn't mean he loved him any less. They'd grown pretty close from working together so often. Barricade provided Frenzy with the protection he needed due to his rather small size, and Frenzy supplied him with valuable information he needed to be an effective soldier in return. It was a perfect example of symbiosis, just like the relationship he had with Blackout. In the long run, he and Barricade weren't much different. They were both going through the same kind of loss. He wished Barricade luck on coping with his loss as he watched him transform at a distance and drive away.

I wish Blackout were here… he thought to himself.

(Seek me) For comfort, (Call me) For solace
(I'll be waiting) For the end of my broken heart
(Seek me) Completion, (Call me) I'll be waiting
(I'll be waiting) For the end of my broken heart

Scorponok crawled deep inside the tunnel he'd made earlier from the rattlesnake burrow, hiding from the Autobot who'd come looking for him. He hadn't been feeling well in the past few days. The heat was only now starting to get to him, as his cooling system (which had at one point been top of the notch as part of a scavenger's natural adaptability) started to fail. His energy levels were crashing, and he'd found there were moments where he had conscious black outs where he couldn't remember what had happened or what he'd done, likely from his internals frying from a combination of the previous mentioned conditions. Sometimes he passed out, even. He wasn't in any condition to retaliate, should the Autobot desire to fight him.

He tried to resist when a hand reached into the tunnel and firmly grabbed ahold of his tail, pulling him out into the hot sun, but he was too exhausted to put up a valid struggle. It was the young, yellow one. He'd sometimes caught him speaking to Barricade in private. Of course he never told Blackout of these secret meetings, as they weren't telling each other anything that could really be threatening to either's cause, let alone anything that really even related to war… It just seemed like old friends catching up. He didn't seem like a bad person. Barricade would probably be more threatening than he was, and Scorponok trusted Barricade, so why not him? Maybe he'd even let him go…

"You know, if you really want to remain hidden, you might want to try to mask your signature so that I can't pinpoint where you are," the yellow one said with a slight hint of humor. Scorponok hung limply in his grasp. He carefully cradled him in his arms and sat down slowly. "You don't look too good, Scorponok."

You have a voice, Scorponok squeaked. Bumblebee couldn't understand him of course, but Scorponok felt like saying it anyway. It was just something he noticed. The last time he'd found him talking to Barricade, he'd been unable to speak at all due to damage to his vocal processor.

"You haven't eaten since the day Blackout…" Bumblebee paused and looked away. "Sorry. I probably shouldn't bring that up while you're in this condition."

It okay. It not like it never on my mind anyway.

"Have you considered coming back with us?" he asked. Scorponok tried to growl at the idea, but only hacked on dust. He shook his head instead. "Are you sure? We have plenty of food for you… You'll never be alone."

Not wanted there. Scorponok shook his head no.

"I wish you would reconsider. We're looking for Barricade, too. We might extend our invitation to him if we find him, although to be honest, he'll probably say no too." He gently lowered Scorponok to the ground. "I'm supposed to drag you in whether you like it or not if I find you, but it looks like it won't do any good. You'll just refuse any help we give you, won't you?" Scorponok nodded. He was adamant in his decision that he wanted no part in the Autobots, which included receiving help from them. "The other Autobots don't think you're sentient enough to understand what's going on around you, let alone make choices for yourself. I personally think you're very intelligent, Scorponok."

Of course… Master say I smart… Scorponok agreed. Blackout had always argued with others that scavengers were a lot more intelligent and sentient than Cybertronians gave them credit for. The Autobot seemed to share the same view.

"Which is why I'm letting you make this choice yourself. I'm not going to force you to come with me if you don't want to."

Thank you, Scorponok chirped as he crawled back to the tunnel, dragging his tail behind him. He poked his head up out of the hole and watched the Autobot report back to his base that he hadn't found him and then transform and drive off. He crawled back inside and remembered to mask his signature this time. The next Autobot to come through here might not be so understanding.

Am I breathing? My strength fails me
Your picture, a bitter memory

Scorponok felt hot. He felt like he was engulfed in flames, even. Crawling into a small water hole to cool off, he noticed the water around him bubble up almost instantly, evaporating from the heat of his body. He was a lot hotter than he thought he was. His cooling unit had completely fritzed and was actually making him hotter rather than cooling him down. His vents didn't seem to be working either, having been a part of his cooling system… He was suffering the Cybertronian equivalents of heat stroke and asphyxiation.

He was starving… Several of his body functions had already shut down from the lack of energy. He'd recently taken to drinking the fluids of what animals he could catch as a fuel substitute, hoping that at least it would stop the pangs from having an empty fuel tank. It stopped them, but only temporarily, as he always threw it up again later when his body rejected the substance.

He was sick. He'd somehow caught a virus. Either that, or he'd had it all along from the poor conditions on the battlefield, and it had simply laid dormant until recently when his body was too weak to keep up a decent firewall. One good thing that came from all of this, he couldn't even remember why he was so upset. He couldn't remember anything, actually, including his own name. His memory had been attacked by the virus inside of him, and files had either been scrambled or deleted altogether. The only reminder that something was seriously wrong was the hole he felt in his spark. Something was supposed to be there, but what was it?

His optics suddenly shut off. Great. Now he was blind, too. He curled up in the area where the water had once been. New water drizzling in from whatever spring that fed the hole sizzled up and evaporated as soon as it hit his surface. It was a good thing he'd made himself comfortable when he could. His basic motor functions had just shut down, leaving him paralyzed.

He was too far along, now. There was nothing anyone could do for him anymore.

For comfort, for solace

(Seek me) For comfort, (Call me) For solace
(I'll be waiting) For the end of my broken heart

Scorponok felt better all of a sudden. Just as sudden as it all started, it had all stopped again. The pain was gone. The virus was gone. His memory was back. The hole was repaired. There was a warm lap underneath him. Wait…there was a warm lap underneath him? He opened his optics slowly. He was in the desert… Not that nasty dirt wasteland, but the one with sand miles around. He gradually lifted his head up to see who the lap belonged to.

"I promised you I'd take you back to the desert, didn't I?"

His spark flip-flopped over itself and he sprung up, knocking Blackout over backwards and showering him with affectionate kisses. Blackout laughed and flipped him over, tickling his tummy like he always did.

"I missed you, Scorponok," Blackout said, hugging him.

I missed you too, Master, Scorponok replied, his tail wagging happily.