Promise Not to Laugh: 'Bee struggles with 'HIS' secret but he can't help but worry that Wheeljack saw more than he's letting on. Of course, Wheeljack has problems of his own. One-shot, crack-fic off of the 'Promise Not to Tell' story line. '07 verse.

Note: Thanks to my beta, Litahatchee, for beta-ing and for inspiring this one-shot plot bunny. Also, this is placed around chapter 7 of Promise Not to Tell and is NOT a real part of the story.

Disclaimer: You know the drill.

Rating: Teen, adult themes

Promise Not to Laugh

Hound's metallic lips slowly dragged itself down into a very Ratchet-like frown. Wheeljack and him were watching the movement on the consul screen as it read his spark impulses. With a sigh, the Tracker wilted slightly. The signals were still odd even though it had been a week since the incident of jumping Bumblebee. In fact, they seemed a little more active and if it weren't for the fact that the engineer was sitting there on the table seemingly in fine health, he'd have had a search party out for Ratchet.

Hound looked away from the screen, his optics meeting the orange mechs.

"Yah sure you aren't in any pain, Wheeljack?" said the temporary medic. "These signals your spark is giving off are rather abnormal."

The engineer stared at the screen for a moment and looked back at Hound, "I'd hate to sound like Perceptor, but it is fascinating. I should be in stasis lock or at least in a large amount of pain, but in fact, I feel somewhat calm."

Hound looked at his companion for a moment, unsure as of what to say. Instead, he just turned his attention back to the consul in front of him and saved it without a second thought. He then turned his attention back to his patient.

"Wel'h, I will admit I would like to run more tests, but I'm not sure where to start," said Hound in a nervous manner. "But, since I don't know where to start, we'll wait for ol'h Ratchet."

Wheeljack stared at the screen for a moment. He had a feeling that he had seen this type of reaction before, but he wasn't sure where. Well, he couldn't be bothered with that now. It was the strangest thing. His energy levels were low and demanding he refuel. Now, that wasn't an odd occurrence to Wheeljack being that he'd get caught up in his work from time to time, but he could have sworn that he had had a cube that morning, hadn't he?

The mech shook off the strange feeling and jumped off the berth, deciding to obey his systems.

XXX

'Bee twitched on her feet as Wheeljack walked into what existed of the Rec. Room. It had been a week or two since the incident in Mikaela's garage, but the mech was still acting funny and going into the medical bay with claims that his spark wasn't beating correctly. Yet, no one could diagnose or fix the poor technician. Ratchet had long since disappeared and refused to return until he was good and ready since no one seemed to trust him with their repairs. So that left Hound. True, he was no medic, but he knew the most of everyone on the base; well, besides Wheeljack who was still a patient so he wasn't allowed to play doctor on himself.

The young femme couldn't help but wonder if she had something to do with 'Jack's strange condition. Did femmes have viruses that mechs could contract if they weren't told that one was a femme? Bumblebee hadn't heard on any such virus, but wouldn't be surprised. Her body always had a way of surprising her with horrible truths.

The femme's door-wings wilted and her head dragged, so much so that she could drown in her drink if she so did please. But it seemed that her depression had captured the eye of Wheeljack. A soft whine escaping the mech as he sat at Bumblebee's table, making the poor femme start. She stared at the engineer for a moment before her optics shimmered in shame.

"What'd Hound have to say?" said Bumblebee sadly.

Wheeljack's mask slid to the side, downing the cube quickly before the mask slid back into place. It was normal behavior for Wheeljack to be modest about showing the lower part of his face. No one was quite sure as to why, but he had been doing it for so long no one thought to question it.

"Not much," said Wheeljack as he placed down his empty cube. "Except my insides still ache, I swear my spark beating is twice as fast, and my tank never seems to be full. Besides that, I'm fine. It doesn't matter though; my CPU has been distracted on other issues. Right now I'm trying to understand how Blaster and Soundwave's sparks split to create their cassettes. I think the answer to our species continuity lies with that … being that there have been no femmes found."

"Yah," squeaked Bumblebee as she tried to bury herself in her cube, her spark giving this weird pulsing feeling at both the subject and towards … Wheeljack. She hadn't been near him since the incident, but now she knew why; her spark was starting to get all flustered as if trying to call out to something or make a connection. The femme bolted out of her seat at the realization, making Wheeljack jump in reaction as well. Had Wheeljack … had he … Sam said he didn't … but … but this connection … it was … oh Primus, had she and Wheeljack accidently bonded? Was he suffering right now because his spark was telling him to 'finish' the bond with a little interfacing? The femme cringed away from the mech before her slightly. Ironhide told her it had been like that for Chromia and him. The moment they met, they knew they were meant for each other.

"You alright, 'Bee," asked Wheeljack as he slowly rose to see if the youngling was malfunctioning in anyway. Yet, as he rose, the femme in disguise pulled away as if burned so he sat back down in worry.

"I-I'm fine. J-just forgot to pick up Sam at school. T-talk later, 'Jack," whimpered the youngling before she made a run for the door, leaving Wheeljack sitting there with an ache in his chest.

Slowly, the mech sighed and reached for his cube. Wheeljack's fingers twitched once he grasped the empty cube, and he glared at the energon dispenser in front of him. Primus, this was regular grade energon, wasn't it? His systems should be full? Primus, what was wrong with him?

XXX

Ratchet sat on a perch which overlooked a neighboring city; said city hung near a river like a drowning rat. Yet, to Ratchet, who was far from the swishing waters, the city looked more like a collection of fireflies, and the image was very pleasant, overall. It was big enough to offer a great selection of 'people watching', yet small enough that he didn't have to filter smog out of his systems.

With a sigh of his engines, the medic put one leg over the edge and allowed it to hang as he placed most of his weight on one arm. He knew that there would be hell to pay once he returned to the base, but he needed this … He needed this time to be lost. It hadn't occurred to the mech, until just now, that he had been so worried about everyone else and how they were dealing with the loss of the Allspark, that he never really stopped to think about how he felt.

"Primus, what's wrong with me?" whined the medic to himself aloud. He knew that he should not be moping about as he was. He should be supporting his fellow soldiers like a good mech, not whining about the end of the species. The only thing he could do for that issue was pray that a femme had survived. Well, at least things couldn't get worse than this.

"Ratchet!"

Of course, he could be wrong. The mech slowly drew his gaze upward, catching sight of an enforcer and an army jeep heading his way. Well, Hound wasn't called Hound for nothing.

The sound of shifting metal soon filled the medic's retreat, making him grow even more depressed. Was it so wrong for him to want some alone time, especially when the men he counted on had just insult his very purpose of existing.

"What do you want," the medic found himself grumbling as Prowl and Hound walked over to him.

Prowl's wings merely shifted downward in a visual announcement of defeat. He knew that it had been his actions and denial of medical treatment, far more than Bumblebee's, which had offset the medic's current actions.

"You, of course. We are a unit and you are our unit's medic," said Prowl his pride catching for a moment before Hound gave him a bored look. "And … I'm sorry I overrode your authority."

Ratchet continued to sit there, his expression giving away nothing. He did feel a little better, if only because Prowl had to swallow his pride. Plus, it also meant that he could buckle the tactician to a berth for the next week if he wanted. Yet, Hound seemed twitchy.

"What happened, Hound? Someone, who will remain unnamed, blow his legs off again?" said Ratchet in a dry drawl as he rose to his feet, small rocks falling off his form.

The two mechs snorted, knowing full well the medic was talking about his second worst patient: Ironhide. Everyone was positive that's where Bumblebee had learned his medic phobia from, the original himself: Ironhide.

"Please, we wouldn't have had to have come up here if it was Ironhide," said Hound, a smile crawling on his face. "We know you would have come back of your own power if only to tie him to a table."

A laugh echoed over the expanse, a small smile even daring to drag itself on Prowl's face as the medic agreed.

"So," said the CMO, his humor dropping slight. "What is wrong?"

Hound sighed, clicking open an import in his wrist and offered it to the medic, giving a quick explanation, "It's Wheeljack. His spark was acting erratic and now his body can't use energon efficiently. Plus, he's been complaining about chest pain. I took this scan of his chest, but I don't know what else to do."

Ratchet's expression grew confusion and he pulled an import cord from his wrist, clicking into the other mech. For a moment he was silent and then his face grew in horror as he realized what he was exactly looking at. He knew what was wrong with Wheeljack. The medic was transformed and leaving the other two in the dust before Hound even realized Ratchet had unplugged himself.

"He completely forgot about us … didn't he?" said Hound as he closed his wrist.

Prowl stood there a moment, his wings shivering with the wind, "That would be a positive."

XXX

Ratchet seemed twitchy, almost nervous as Wheeljack entered the medical bay a few minutes later. In fact, the medic seemed downright … odd. For a moment, the technician considered pulling a Bumblebee and running for it, but he just easily presumed that Ratchet was acting odd because Optimus probably dragged him back to the base, kicking and screaming. 'Jack wouldn't have been surprised if he had. Ratchet could be so childish.

"Hello Ratchet," said Wheeljack, yet before he could get more than that out of his vocalizer, he found each of his shoulder's in a tight grip in each of Ratchet's hands, the mech pulling him in close as if to protect him for something.

For a moment the medic started at the scientist with horror and almost disbelief. Wheeljack couldn't help but wilt, his happy feeling gone. Ratchet rarely ever was so forward or touchy with his patients. Whatever 'Jack had, he knew it was bad, probably deactivation bad.

"Why didn't you tell me, Wheeljack? We've been companions since our days in the academy. I didn't even suspect. Why didn't you tell us? Why 'Jack? We wouldn't have thought anything different of you. Might have stopped you from blowing yourself up so much, but we would have accepted you. You didn't need to hide," said Ratchet with a pained expression on his face.

Wheeljack just stood there a moment, his fins softly glowing. Okay, he was confused as the pit. What the pit was going on and why hadn't he been told about it?

"Ummmmm … did you call me in to repair you and not you repair me, because I don't know what you're talking about?" said Wheeljack, unable to think of anything else to say.

Ratchet looked hurt for a moment, but he put on a sad smile, replying softly, "Wheeljack, the game is over. I've seen the picture so I know of your spark … I've seen your sparkling. I know you came to Earth so you could birth it without fear. There's no reason you have to lie. We'll protect you."

XXX

Bumblebee sat in the Rec. Room, her caretaker and Optimus sitting on the opposite side of the table, talking up good old times. She'd admit it. She was still brewing on the 'accidental bond' theory. She wanted to ask someone about it, but the only two people that would know a lot were Ratchet and Ironhide. Ratchet might catch on so she had been sitting here for the past few joors waiting for Optimus to leave. She seemed out of luck on the issue until Optimus finally rose, saying he was going to go get another cube.

Ironhide made sure the commander was out of ear shot before he leaned forward, whispering to the youngling across the way, "So kid, what do you want to ask?"

Bumblebee sat up straight in surprise, her optics growing bright in wonder.

"Tuh, please, of course I knew you had a question. Why else would you put up with all this old mech talk for the past two joors," said the old mech, a smile growing on his face at the thought of helping out his charge. "So, what's botherin' yah?"

The smaller mech wilted a little in her seat, unsure as too what to say. Yet, the thought of Wheeljack kept coming to mind. H-he had asked embarrassing questions before and it had ended badly. One example being if Blaster was a femme and who all the cassettes daddies were … the Arc laughed for a week. Ugh, well at least the whole population of the Arc wasn't here.

Slowly, the femme leaned forward, her voice soft, "W-will you tell me about bonds, Ironhide?"

The older mech drew back in surprise, sitting there for a moment until a smile grew on his face. It was the interfacing conversation all over again, but a little cleaner.

"Do I want to know what that smile's about?" questioned Optimus as he retook his seat, offering a new cube to Bumblebee and Ironhide as well. The little femme was too mortified to even acknowledge her cup. Ironhide was going to make her a laugh stock … again! Primus, he might have thought it was adorable but 'Bee sure the pit didn't.

"Bumblebee just asked about bonds," said Ironhide, a smile on his face. That is, until the femme kicked him in the shin from under the table. The older mech yelping and throwing a glare at his charge.

"Now don't get testy, Bumblebee," said Optimus calmly, a tint of humor in his voice. "It's nothing to get embarrassed about. All mechs ask this question sooner or later. Though, I'd rather have Ratchet tell you, given his knowledge on the subject, but he's busy with Wheeljack. Nearly ran me over in his hurry to get to the med bay a few minutes ago. But we can tell you the basics, can't we, Ironhide."

The older mech glared at the leader, knowing full well that the taller mech had just pushed the entire conversation onto him.

"Fine, you lazy aft," grumbled the Weapons Specialists as he leaned forward. "I'll tell you the basics. Now, to start off, all mechs have bonds with their creators, especially femme-carried mechs. In those cases they are creators-creation bonds. Another type of bond is a brother bond, like what I and Optimus have. It's a type of bond offered between mechs as a show of brotherly love and devotion. Another type is twin bonds, very rare, but they are actually one spark split into two. The last, but not the least, is a bond mate. It can be a mech-mech pairing, femme-femme, or a femme-mech. They are bonds meant for lovers. You got that."

Bumblebee nodded, already aware of that information, yet he still had his real question to bring up.

"So can-can a mate bond form through a simple uplink like with bond b-brothers or do you have … interface?" said the mech, staring down at his glass. For a moment there was silence and the little mech slowly brought up his head, expecting to see expressions of horror. Instead, the two older mechs sat there, shivering as they struggled to keep their laughter in. Yet, all at once the two of them broke into a fit of laughter, falling onto each other for support. The femme wilted a little more into her seat if that were possible.

"Thanks for the support," mumbled the youngling as she opened the import to feed herself, downing her cube. "And you guys call yourself adults. Bunch of drunken idiots if you ask me."

"S-so let me g-get this straight," laughed Ironhide, struggling to not fall out of his seat," you think your-r a bond mate with Wheeljack?"

The laughter then continued for a few more minutes and would have continued if it weren't for a very angry looking Ratchet and one troubled looking Wheeljack entering the rec. room. The poor technician was practically clutching to the medic's arm as if he had just had a panic attack. For a moment, the older mechs were silent, serious looks coming over their faces.

"What's wrong, Ratchet?" said Optimus seriously as he rose to his feet, readying himself for the bad news.

The medic's shoulders wilted and he pinched his nose, a disgruntle whine coming from his engine.

"Well … I blame myself personally, but to make this simple cause my mind can't take much more of this crap," said Ratchet as he dramatically pointed at Bumblebee. "Bumblebee is a femme and she got him," pointing to a broken up looking Wheeljack, "pregnant."

XXX

About a month later …

Track's slid into the room, Smokescreen quick to follow. The two hurriedly sat down across from the pouting Twins and a 'bloated' looking Wheeljack. They hadn't even been on base twenty minutes when the word femme came out of Ratchet's mouth. He had warned them that they were to respect Bumblebee and her wishes, but she did believe in helping the species. Even if it 'grossed' her out a little bit.

The two couldn't move fast enough to find someone not so up-tight to confirm the medic's tale.

"Is it true," murmured Tracks, the grin on his face almost drowning out the rest of his features. "Is Bumblebee a femme?"

"Yes," whimpered Sideswipe miserably as he glared at his glass of energon.

Tracks brushed off the whiny attitude, knocking it up as to nothing more than one of those 'emo' days that Sideswipe occasionally had before talking, "So … is the rest of it true?"

"What 'rest of it'," said Sunstreaker, rottenly. He had had three cubes and his tanks were still quickly becoming empty. Primus, this was getting ridiculous. He didn't even want to start to think of what he was going to have to go through in a few short months. Ugh … the fluids and Ratchet's prodding fingers.

Tracks pulled in closer to the moping mechs and whispered so no one but their table could hear, "That Bumblebee is willing to interface with any mech … for the good of the species."

The two twins looked at the two horny mechs with expressions of horror and confusion. Then, without even the slightest bit of consideration, Sideswipe simply said, "Yah, but she'll ask you if you're sure about it first. Sparklings are not something to be taken lightly."

Before the words could even settle, the two mechs were racing each other to see who would find and have Bumblebee first. For a moment, the three impregnated mechs sat there, smiles slowly forming on their faces … we'll, except Wheeljack. His fins were giving off that troubled glow.

"You think we should have warned them that she isn't the one to be carrying? Her spark knows it's rare, so it's not taking any chances, placing the sparkling in their chassis instead?" said Wheeljack in a slightly bitter tone.

The two twins snort, the earlier melancholy rising from their chests.

"You kidd'en? No one warned any of us, it's only fair. Besides, it gets real boring with just you and not-so-sunny here for company at the knock-up table, "said Sideswipe as he took another sip of his energon. "I can't wait to see their faces when Ratchet gives them the 'birthing is messy and painful' speech."

XXX

Paw07: Yes … I went there. Anyway, a while back I had a poll up for the next TF oneshot you wanted me to post first. Enjoy my scallions. Also, I blame my beta for this… she and I were joking one day and she made a comment about Wheeljack getting knocked up. It was so funny I just had to share.