Disclaimer: Transformers is definitely not mine.

Rating: T

Summary: Elita POV. It's Optimus' sparkday and Elita wants to do something special for him. But she's prevented by lab explosions, official meetings and her sparkmate avoiding her. It's not long before she's seeking out Ratchet and Ironhide and finding out the truth of Optimus' reluctance.

A/N: Another story for optimus prime 007 who threw a chocolate plot bunny at me. I'm glad she did though; Elita was a blast to write! Hope you enjoy, please review. :)


Hindered Celebrations

I let myself come online slowly. Too comfortable to really want to move, more content to stay where I was for a while longer. Until I started to feel bereft of warmth from my handsome mech beside me. I rolled over onto my side facing Optimus' side of the berth, my hand sneaking out across the small space between us to find him. When it came across a cold empty side of the berth, I brought my optics online to confirm what my hand had already told me.

The fragger was gone!

I sat upright instantly, looking around our room as if my optics would fall on to his flame painted armor somewhere. I checked my internal chronometer and raised my optic ridges when I found it was a little over the usual time I would wake in the mornings. Normally with my sparkmate right there beside me, too. Only, not today. Today of all days when I wanted to be the one to wake first and watch him recharge peacefully, feeling the presence of him in my spark like he does most mornings with me. After all, it was his day. But I couldn't do that. Because somehow, the lugnut had slipped away.

But . . . Why?

I climbed off our berth, tossing aside the thermal blanket he'd so carefully arranged around me and went in search of him in our quarters. Checking the wash-racks, the main living room. I called out to him, over our bond and with my voice. But I got no response. Even over our bond, it was just silent. I stopped in the middle of the main room; my hands planted on my hips and frowned. Now why would he disappear so early on his sparkday? We hadn't spoken about the day because I wanted to surprise him with my plans. But I was soon regretting that decision.

What if he left thinking I had forgotten about it? What if he was upset with me and that's why he's keeping to himself and won't reach back? And what if I'm looking too much into it? I asked myself, rolling my optics at the silly notions, already knowing Optimus wasn't upset with me. He wouldn't have done something as affectionate as arrange the thermal blanket around me before he left. Or slipped away quietly to try and give me some more time in recharge. But it still begged the question; why did he leave early?

"Time to find out," I said to our too empty quarters and left.

When I stepped out into the hall, it was the usual hustle and bustle of a typical earth Friday. Mechs and femme's going about their duties, some with a bounce in their step even at such an early time in the morning. Others with their feet dragging along the floor, reluctant to function properly. I stood at our closed quarter's door, contemplating where to go look for Optimus first. The command center or the recreation room? I chose the latter and set off in that direction, a cube of energon calling me first.

I nodded and smiled at any mech or femme that went out of their way to say hello to me. Finally escaping into the rec room to find numerous bots sitting around the tables with their own cubes of energon; kick-starting their shift or ending it. I looked around trying to find the large mech that stands out in a crowd, not just because of his tall stature. But because he has an aura about him that pulls anyone's attention, even without realizing he does. The charismatic, gentle mech-wrecker everyone wants to be around and everyone wants to have their lives touched by.

It's the main reason I fell in love with him. And the same reason I wanted to make his sparkday a good one. He deserves it, after-all.

I twisted my mouth into a small frown again when I didn't feel that pull on my spark and senses telling me he was in the room. Not dis-heartened, I walked over to the energon dispenser and retrieved myself a cube. I stood out of the way while I drank it, watching the mechs and femmes congregating together around the room. Some only getting their energon and leaving straight away. I caught a glimpse of the twins running past the open door in a hurry at one point. I smiled and shook my head absently wondering why they were in such a hurry.

Since I arrived to earth it hadn't taken me too long to find out the twins got a certain buzz from the days the humans called 'the weekend'. They always seemed to be full of more energy and mischievous nature. So far it's been humorous to watch, but I still wonder how long it's going to be before they step over that line. Especially when it comes to Prowl and Ratchet. Their two favorite victims they like to fritz the most. Optimus always indulges himself in listening to the CMO and tactician stand before his desk, reeling off a list of things the twins have done in such a short amount of time already.

It's hard to stand at my sparkmates side and not laugh myself. It feels too good to see so many Autobots relaxed and happy. I can understand why Optimus indulges himself.

I placed my empty cube down and made my way across the room, time for standing around in contemplation over. I wanted to get back to finding Optimus and wish him a happy sparkday. I contemplated where to go and decided to visit our office after I visited the command center. Someone around there would surely know where the lugnut had run off to.

"Morning, Elita." Hound smiled in greeting, passing me as I walked through the door.

I gave him a warm smile and pat on the shoulder as we passed, leaving me to walk back out into the throng of Autobots. It didn't take me long to reach the command center where I stabbed in my authorization code before pushing on the heavy door. I tried not to let myself feel too dejected when I again, didn't come across Optimus. I stopped by the door, hands back to my hips with my fingers tapping against my armor as my optics locked onto the one mech you could always find in the command center. Usually in the times when no-one else should be unless on a night shift. If you couldn't find him there, you could in his office.

Prowl was looking down at a datapad in his hand as I walked up to him and only looked up when I stood at his side and tapped his arm. "Prowl?"

He gave me a warm smile and let his arm drop to his side with the datapad. "Good morning, Elita. What can I do for you?" He inquired formally, but his soft tone took the edge off his words. "I don't normally see you in the command center this early in the day." He continued, turning to give me his full attention.

"Yes well, I wouldn't normally be but I was looking for Optimus. I don't suppose you've seen him this morning have you?" I asked, optic covers blinking harmlessly. "He was gone before I woke from recharge, which is unlike him. I thought maybe you might have called him here for something." I looked around the command again in hope, before turning back to Prowl.

Prowl's expression gave nothing away, not that it surprised me. "I didn't call him. The morning has been running smoothly so far, I don't see why he would have started his shift so early. Have you tried his office, I have mentioned to him about his datapads he is behind on. Maybe he left early to start on those?" Prowl thought aloud, nothing hinting in his voice. He pulled back up his datapad, tapping at it as he spoke to me. "Unless he got side-tracked like he's been known to do."

I nodded, pondering. "Well, seeing as it's his special day, maybe he did want to free up some time."

"Yes, his meeting with the U.S. Government is important. But I'm not sure Optimus would call it special," Prowl remarked with a small upturning of his lips, pulling something up on his datapad. "Ahh yes, here it is. It's scheduled to be held after noon. But we will have to leave at least an hour before, so if you're looking for him, I wouldn't delay too long." He smiled, lifted his oblivious optics up to my confused expression. "Elita, are you okay?"

"Yes - yes, I'm fine. I just forgot about the meeting, that's all. It must have slipped my processor. I'm sure he mentioned it to me . . ." I trailed off, trying to bring up the memory but coming up blank much to my annoyance. "How long has the meeting been scheduled down for?"

Prowl looked down at the pad again and shrugged. "A couple of weeks. It was more of a last minute appointment. Optimus wanted to get it out of the way as soon as possible and asked me to arrange it for him. Elita are you sure you're okay?" He asked worriedly, laying a hand on my arm comfortingly.

"Of course. Thank you, Prowl." I smiled, shaking off the strange feeling settling in my spark. "I better go and find him before its too late. If you happen to see him before I do, can you let him know I'm looking for him?" Prowl nodded in confirmation and watched me walk away. "What are you up to, lugnut?" I murmured to myself as I exited the command center, our office next on my priority list.

I had specifically cleared my schedule so I could spend the day with Optimus. Not to go running all over the base looking for him!

I took a brisk short walk to our office, hitting in my code again and all but tumbling through the door. I growled when he wasn't behind his desk that was filled with datapads, some piled on the floor. "So much for Prowl's theory," I muttered, walking over to my own desk and picking up the few datapads that had been left for me. I quickly flicked through them before putting them aside. They were only mission reports I could file later.

I had my own mission I was trying to crack.

My datapads discarded and my frustration building, I walked over to the door and left. It was the sounds of large, heavy footsteps and the pull on my spark that had my optics zeroing in on the tall flame-painted mech running down the hall. And away from me. Before I knew what I was doing, I was calling out to him knowing I wouldn't catch up to him if I tried running. It was a miracle he was dodging and weaving the crowd with his size as it was.

"Optimus! Wait, I want to - " I called, seeing him turn at my shout.

"Sorry, 'Lita, I can't stop! I - Frag!" I cringed when Optimus carried on running while looking behind him, only ending with him tripping over his own feet and a small bot getting in his way. He caught himself quickly and I raised a hand to my head, shaking it at his clumsiness. But I was soon smiling when he shot me an embarrassed glance. "I have to go; there's been an explosion in Wheeljack's lab. I'll catch up with you soon!"

"But - "

He was already gone. Sending his love to me through our bond for the first time all day, before cutting himself off again. I cleared my throat and looked around me, slightly chagrined with myself for shouting to my sparkmate down the hall in front of our nosy and gossip loving Autobots. But no-one seemed to be paying me any attention, just going about their duties so it seemed. I tried not to let my shoulders sag in defeat.

How many more times was something going to crop up and get in my way of wishing Optimus a happy sparkday? Or even spending a small amount of time with him? I thought dejected. Primus only knew how long his meeting with the U.S. Government was going to take. I was starting to think we might never get away for a while like I had hoped and planned when I had been thinking over what to do for his sparkday. A day no-one seemed to be mentioning or doing anything about, I realized standing there in the hall.

Instantly my frustration with not being able to get to Optimus was gone and my determination to find out some answers was in its place. And the first mech to come to my mind who I knew wouldn't give me any bull-slag or keep quiet whatever Optimus might have asked them to, was Ratchet. When I found myself standing in front of the double med-bay doors, I didn't hesitate, but confidently pushed on the door and strolled in.

My optics widened and I yelped before quickly ducking my head, lest I got impacted by the wrench sailing through the air rapidly and in my direction. "What the - ?" I barely finished my sentence when I heard hysterical laughter and what sounded like a very pissed off Ratchet growling. The next thing I knew, I was nearly knocked over by two brightly coloured mechs running towards me, large grins stretched across their mischievous faces. "Whoa!" I yelped, spinning around from their near collision with me.

"Sorry, Elita!" Side's grinned waving behind him.

"Hey, watch the paintjob!" Sunny half-growled when another tool, more accurately aimed was flung at Sunny, clipping him on the shoulder. I watched as he comically tried to see if the tool had made a mark while he stayed hot on his twin brothers' heel through the door. I counted the seconds before I heard another yelp and growl coming from where they'd run off. "Ow! Watch where you're going, aft!"

"You're the one who ran into me, you glitch!"

I felt a sudden rush brush past me and watched as Ratchet ran to the door, another tool in hand. "Stay out of my med-bay, you fragging pit-spawn!" Ratchet bellowed angrily, tossing the weapon after them. I kept the laughter at bay and just stood there innocently when he turned back to me, still grumbling about them as he took a deep breath and calmed himself down. "Half-bit glitches."

I snorted and quickly clapped a hand over my mouth to hold back the humor bubbling to the surface. "Sorry," I quickly said when I caught his narrowed optics, bowing my head and turning to allow him to pass. I shook myself out of my entertainment and followed him into his med-bay. "So . . ." I commented, standing there awkwardly as he arranged his tools out on a berth. I frowned at one he picked up. Taking a subtle step back from the berth I was standing on the other side of.

But apparently it wasn't subtle enough.

"So," I started again. "Do I want to know what that was all about?" I asked shamelessly.

He raised his head and pinned me with an emotionless look. "No." He said tonelessly.

I nodded and let my optics wander around the room, not really taking any of the familiar surroundings in. The air was growing thicker with the silence neither of us made a move to break. I nodded again and looked back to his tools. Throwing aside the instant curiosity raised at what some of them were. A few I had never seen before. And some I was sure I didn't want to know could do. But it was Ratchet that broke the silence first impatiently. Laying a drill down and looking at me pointedly.

"Something bothering you, Elita?" He asked, pinning his deep blue optics on me in a way that made me feel trapped and like I would confess everything. I tried not to shift on my feet, internally questioning myself on why I was suddenly reluctant to know my answers I was determined to get minutes before. The encounter with the twins obviously knocking me off balance. "You're not normally so hesitant when you need to talk." He continued, speaking my altered thoughts.

I sighed and relaxed when I saw his non-judgemental expression. It was rare I go to Ratchet for advice on Optimus. If I have a problem with my sparkmate, I'll talk to him about it. But that wasn't an option this time. Considering I couldn't get a hold of him for more than seconds.

Unfortunately, hearing my sigh, Ratchet took it that it was for a different reason.

"Okay, what's the lugnut done now?" He pressed, crossing his arms over his chest.

I rolled my optics that he would assume such a thing. "Optimus hasn't done anything as far as I know. It's nothing like that," I said, narrowing my eyes at him when he gave me a look of disbelief. "I would have thought you of all mechs know I can sort Optimus out if he's done something wrong." He nodded, smiling and conceding the point. "I just - well," I took a frustrated breath and brushed aside my unease. "Has no-one else remembered it's Optimus' sparkday?" I got out in a rush. "No-one has said anything or even approached me about celebrating it!"

Ratchet was silent for a few seconds before he suddenly burst out into raucous laughter. Surprised, I pulled myself up straighter and waited for him to calm down. When it didn't look like he was going to be doing that anytime soon, I picked up one of his more deadly tools and raised it threateningly. He raised his hands in a surrender when he saw, attempting to calm down quicker when I took a step towards him.

"Are you quite finished? Or do you want me to give you something else to laugh about?" I growled, my hand tightening around my make-shift weapon.

"Okay, okay!" He chortled, softer than before. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. If it's any consolation, I wasn't laughing at you. It's just what you said! I mean, is that it? Is that what has you standing in my med-bay looking so uncomfortable and lost?" He asked, genuinely baffled.

"What do you mean 'is that it?' What else would it be?" I slammed the tool back down on the berth making Ratchet jump and eye me slight warier from then on. "Optimus' sparkday is important. And it should be to you too! You are one of his best friends, after-all." I glared, satisfied when a slightly chagrined and guilty flush appeared over him. I crossed my arms over my chest, leaning on one hip giving him a withering stare.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. You're right, it is important. And of course we haven't forgotten about it - "

"Then why aren't you doing anything to prove that?" I interrupted him, quickly pressing my lips together to stop me from uncharacteristically interrupting him again.

When he saw I wasn't going to, Ratchet carried on. "I haven't broached the subject with you because Optimus doesn't want to do anything for his sparkday. When I asked him what he had planned, he said he wasn't celebrating it." Ratchet shrugged nonchalantly, informing me of something I had no idea about. When he caught my expression he was quick to question it. "I take it he hasn't mentioned any of this to you?"

"He neglected to mention it." I replied stonily.

Ratchet cringed slightly, trying to ease the blow. "Well, with the war going on for so long, celebrating sparkday's has become quite uncommon. I can't say I was surprised when Optimus said what he did." He eased off, noticing I wasn't softening to his words. "What did you have planned for him?" He gently asked, taking a shot at what he thought my problem with Optimus' lack of celebrating mood, to be that. When in fact, that was only part of it.

"I didn't have anything big or specific in mind," I answered, shrugging. "I just thought we could take a shuttle craft out for the day, or a few hours at least. Give him some well-deserved time off for a change." I sighed, rolling my optics when I remembered his big meeting. "That wouldn't have worked anyway; he has a meeting with the U.S. Government for the better half of the day."

And I refused to admit I was close to whining.

I pasted a care-free, easy smile on my face when a sudden idea hit me. "Hey, do you know where Ironhide is?" I asked smirking internally at Ratchets confused look with my sudden up mood and change of subject. Ironhide would agree with me about doing something for Optimus. I was holding out on it in fact. "Seeing as I have the day off and can't get to Optimus, I might as well do the rounds and see some other old friends."

"Err, he's probably in the firing range," Ratchet answered.

"Okay, thanks. See you later!" I was just to the med-bay doors when I stopped and said one last thing. "If you see Optimus, you won't let on about what we talked about will you?" I checked, just to be sure.

He nodded and smiled. "Patient Confidentiality," He grinned.

I laughed and waved, making my way from Ratchet the Hatchet's domain. I stopped off to see if Optimus was in our office before going over to another section of the base and Ironhide's realm. Just because Optimus didn't want to acknowledge his sparkday, didn't mean I couldn't wish him a happy one. And get a kiss I had been sorely lacking all morning. I checked my chronometer before entering the range, surprised to note how much time had passed so quickly. Why did it seem obstacles were constantly getting in my way just to see him once?! I growled.

I walked onto the range, staying in the safe-zone while I watched Ironhide blow the slag out of the holo-cons with enthusiasm and experience. He always hit his target and rarely missed one. Unless it was a day he and Chromia had had a fight, on which you were best off just staying out of his way until it was sorted out. 'Mia could be just as bad. But seeing him grin and throw insults out, all barely heard over his cannons, it was obvious I caught him on a good day.

Eventually the simulation was over and I exited the safe-zone and walked down to him. He turned and greeted me surprised, his cannons smoking and whirring from their work-out as he lowered his arms to his sides. I kept back from him, knowing how hot they could be.

"Hey, 'Lita! Rare I see you down here. What's up?" He asked, lifted an arm to brush at it lovingly. Unbothered by the heat of them.

"Morning, Ironhide, sorry to interuppt you from your fun. You looked like you were enjoying yourself," I gestured to the numerous scorch marks all over the scene. He chuckled, deeply proud of himself as always. "Actually, I'm here for a reason," I continued when he turned back to me expectantly. "It's about Optimus' sparkday. I was wondering . . . Do you have anything planned for him?"

Ironhide being the one more likely to spring something loud, drunken and trouble-worthy on Optimus the most.

But he shook his head and leant up against one of the posts. "Nah, can't say I have. Optimus said he doesn't want to do anything, so I didn't bother arranging anything. Why, has he changed his mind? He seemed quite set on it when I cornered him a couple of weeks ago." He flicked some flint off his cannon, saying the one thing I didn't want to hear.

"Yes, Ratchet said the same thing. He hasn't changed his mind as far as I know. I haven't exactly spoken to him about it myself," I sighed irritably. "I guess I just took it for granted he would want to do something, so I didn't think about saying anything. Now I'm wishing I had." I bowed my head, giving in to a few seconds of scolding myself before I raised my head and caught Ironhide's expression.

"Can't say I blame, Optimus," He said, shrugging lightly like it was no big deal. "With the war, losing the Allspark and getting settled on earth, it doesn't really seem a big deal."

"But that's the point, 'Hide!" I exclaimed hurriedly. "That's exactly why Optimus should celebrate it. And any other Autobot. The wars over at last and yes, we lost the Allspark. But think of all the things we've gained too! A new home, more Autobots coming each month. The 'Cons are in disarray. It's about time we did start celebrating things like sparkdays. Milestones that mean something instead of brushing them aside. And Optimus is the best mech to kick start that tradition again! I would have thought you would have been the first mech to jump on-board for something like that?"

He looked a bit shocked by my impassioned speech. And truthfully, I was too. I blinked at him trying not to show just how much it meant to me.

"Wow, I wasn't expecting that," He slowly said, shaking his head and rousing himself from his daze. "But I hear, you, 'Lita. Maybe you should say that to your mech? I could give it a try, but somehow I don't think I'd have such an impact short of shooting it into him. I just don't have the figure to pull it off with him anymore." He smirked, grinning even more when I laughed. Mainly at him and his need to lighten a moment that could potentially turn serious.

"You're an aft!" I chuckled, shaking my head and turning away to head across the field. "But thanks for listening," I said as I turned and walked backwards. "I appreciate it. Now I'm going to go hunt him down. I don't suppose you have any ideas where he could be, do you? He was going to check out an explosion in Wheeljack's lab earlier. I've got this nagging suspicion my handsome lugnut is avoiding me."

"You're pretty hard to ignore, 'Lita," He called out, his optics instantly widening when he realized what he said and straightened from his post. "I didn't mean - I'm not saying - That's not to say - " He chuckled nervously and raised a hand to scratch at the back of his head."Err, try 'Jack's lab. He's probably still there." He eventually finished.

I nodded, laughing my aft off on the inside at his fumbled explanation. "Thanks, 'Hide. Go back to your holo-cons before you bust your processor." I grinned, watching him sag in relief I wasn't going to shoot him for what he accidentally said. Its well-known Ironhide isn't the most articulate mech around. "I'll catch up with you later, have fun!" I gave a quick wave and turned around and left the firing range.

"That's Prowl, Ratchet and Ironhide," I grumbled to myself as I headed in the direction of the labs. "So much for third time's the charm."

When I approached the hall leading down to Wheeljack's lab, it was obvious to see how big the explosion was. When it came to situations like Wheeljack trying to blow himself up, I usually left it to Optimus and Prowl to check it out. I just heard or read about it later on. I've never been known to go down and witness the disaster for myself. So as I entered the smoky, danger zone, I remembered why. It was as though a literal bomb had gone off in it and I wondered how Wheeljack had survived it.

The mech in question was rifling through what I assumed was useful and organized junk on one of his main work-benches. He didn't look any worse for wear, if not a little covered in soot. He was muttering away to himself as a clean-up crew worked on where the explosion had really happened. I didn't bother to try and think up what could have been the cause. It was anyone's guess what crazy but brilliant inventions Wheeljack was designing and concocting in his own space on the base.

"Hello, Wheeljack," I said, making him jump and whirl around in exclamation of my name, obviously not detecting my presence. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle to you. Are you okay? This looks like it was a really bad explosion this time," I commented, tentatively shifting a piece of metal with my foot. "Do you need any help?"

"Yes, yes, I'm perfectly fine! Great even!" He exclaimed again, clapping his hands together and looking around the mess. "It looks worse than it is. Nothing the clean-up crew and I can't handle. I'll be right back to inventing again before you know it," He beamed, obviously not hindered in his enthusiasm by the small set-back of his lab being blown to pieces. "Thank you for the offer. Although, I'm still wondering why it didn't work. It did in my simulations." He questioned himself, a finger scratching at his chin as he mulled it over.

"Yeah, how about that . . ." I trailed off and looked around, wondering how he hadn't managed to kill or seriously hurt himself if his computer simulations had a habit of being incorrect. But I didn't dwell on it. Wheeljack truly is an excellent scientist. Anything else and I knew I would give myself a head-ache from trying to work out how his luck works. "I don't suppose you know where Optimus went after seeing you, do you?" I asked, already partly knowing he wouldn't be here as I'd entered.

"Oh, yes! Optimus said you would most-probably be by looking for him. I believe he mentioned getting together what he needs for his meeting this afternoon," He broke off for a second before coming back with something that had me checking my own chronometer and dashing from the room. "He should be leaving within the next fifteen minutes, you might just catch him!" He called after me as I ran from his lab.

"Thanks 'Jack!" I called back hurriedly.

I ran as fast as I could, absently noting there would only ever be one mech that has me running all over the base in search of him the way I had been all morning. And even then it was only because it's his sparkday, I reiterated. When my sparkday was to come around, I decided as I was running down the hall to our office, he could chase after me all morning as payback.

I rounded the corner into the office, noting the open door and empty room, sheer frustration clawing at my spark for constantly being a step behind him. I took a quick breath and dashed off for the shuttle bay, patching a connection through the com-link to the command center as I ran.

'Has Optimus' shuttle left for his meeting with the U.S. Government, yet?'

'No, ma'am,' Hound answered quickly.

'Thank you,' I replied and severed the connection.

I by-passed a lot of Autobots on the way to the hangar, nearly tripping and running into bots as I ran. I sent back hasty apologies, but otherwise carried on running. "Only for Optimus," I repeated to myself. I ran into the large open space with the shuttle crafts idly sitting amongst the quiet. I frantically looked around and caught sight of Bumblebee walking onto the craft, my sparkmate close on his heels.

"Optimus!" I shouted to him, as well as calling to him over our bond he had kept quiet most of the morning. I ran down to him as he stepped away from the craft, ignoring Prowl's warning they would be leaving in a few minutes. I ran into his open arms, allowing his large comforting physical and spiritual presence to envelope me. It felt as though I hadn't seen him in too long, and only then did I realize I was aching just to see him properly all morning. That it was this feeling that had pushed me on to look for him.

"Elita," Optimus murmured into my audio receptor. I pulled away and leaned up to claim his lips for a kiss that was long past overdue. I leaned into his affections and passion and happiness he felt while holding me in his arms. I felt his guilt about avoiding me, confirming my suspicions that he was for whatever reason. But I pushed that aside for later. I just wished to fill up on the positive emotions bombarding me over our bond. I wouldn't be seeing him for the rest of the afternoon and I wanted as much of him as possible.

When we pulled away, we were both breathing heavily through our intakes.

"I've been looking for you all morning!" I rushed out, looking up into his deep fathomless eyes. "I just wanted to wish you - "

"I know," He interrupted me, leaning his forehead to mine. Giving me a guilty smile. "I'm sorry, 'Lita. I should have come see you before now," He broke off when Prowl called for him again, telling him it was time to go. He sighed and looked back down at me, leaning into to give me a lovingly lingering kiss I was blinking dazed from when he pulled away. I returned his smile eventually. "I'll talk to you when I get back, I shouldn't be late. I love you."

"Love you, too." I instantly replied, releasing him from my arms and allowing him to walk down to the shuttle craft, where the rear hatch closed shut behind him after he walked on. He sat down by a window and waved to me as the shuttle lifted up and hovered there for a few seconds. I grinned when I felt his love and lust flow openly to me through our bond. Going a long way to making me feel better about chasing after him all morning. I waved one last time as the shuttle pulled out and flew away.

The one consolation I gave myself other than receiving Optimus' love, was that his afternoon would be worse than my morning of kiss-chase around the base. I certainly didn't envy him of his meeting. Instead, I went back to the rec room and indulged myself in a well deserved cube of energon, my mission half-completed.

xXx

I sat in the rec room for a while, catching up and talking with some friends after I saw Optimus off. Anything to help pass the time a little faster. But inevitable I ended up back at our office, my desk filled with more datapads than were there before. I looked from mine to Optimus' and back again. When I saw his pile had grown too, it put into perspective my own work and I got down to actually finishing it. I was supposed to have the day off, work free and just indulged myself with nothing but my mech. With my plans spoiled and the rest of my day uncertain anyway, I did it without complaint.

I had been working for a few hours, checking the time more often than I should have done, restraining myself from going to the command center or calling through just to see if Optimus was on his way back yet. I was anxious to see him again after our moment in the hangar. But as my datapads slowly dwindled and work became slower, so did I. With the quiet office and no subtle tugging on my spark throughout the day from Optimus keeping me alert, I started to get tired. My optics flickered as I tried to shake off the tiredness, finding it come out of no-where. I ran a scan of my systems but they were all fine.

But it didn't stop me from falling into recharge, slumped across my desk.

I'd told myself I would just give it a few minutes. That I would just rest for a short while and bring myself online. Hoping that Optimus would be back by then. That I would feel him in my spark again and maybe get to spend what was left of his sparkday actually celebrating it. If I could talk him around to it. But in the end, the pull into recharge was stronger than I thought. And I slept longer than I intended. No-one came to see me and nothing woke me.

Until I felt the gentle nudges at my spark and the soft voice at my audio receptor. This time, there was no slow relaxing of coming online where I could let my senses come alight as they wished. I'd gone into recharge too deeply. And thus I woke too alert. Optimus didn't have time to move or see it coming as I snapped upright, my head impacting with Optimus' nose hard and fast, sending the mech-wrecker crashing to the floor on his aft with yelp.

"Oh Primus!" I exclaimed, ignoring the pain in my own head as I quickly jumped out of my chair and fell to Optimus' side where he was sitting on the floor. His hands clutching at his nose, his optics blinking rapidly past the smarting pain. "Optimus, are you OK? I'm sorry, you startled me! Move your hands, let me see." I tugged at his hands and he slowly let them go. I frowned when I looked, seeing no sign of energon or even damage! "You aft! There's nothing wrong with you."

"Got you down here though," He said with a laugh, tugging him to me as he fell on his back draping me on top of him. "I've missed you."

I didn't have time to respond because his hand crept around the back of my neck and drew me down into a kiss I instantly gave into. Any other day and I would have made it hard for him, for tricking me the way he did. But I couldn't push aside how good it was to see him after such a long day. Or the deep emotions of love and passion he was sending to me over our bond. I sighed and relaxed against him, my hands roving over his chest with his own wandered over me.

I would have been more than content to lay with Optimus and give in to the pull and urges to both our sparks. But I hadn't forgotten what day it was, or the fact he had been avoiding me for the morning because of the former fact. No matter how much his kisses and caresses were doing a good job of wiping my processor clean of any straight thought. It took a supreme effort to slowly ease our kisses enough for me to pull away from him slightly.

Before I spoke I let my breathing calm and my spark slow down to normal levels when I'm around and so close to Optimus. "I missed you too, lugnut. And as comfortable as I am laying over you like this, I'm not sure I like the cleanliness of our office floor. And we need to talk. Nice try on distracting me though. It almost worked." I smirked, lightening my words, pleased when I got a chuckle and a smile in return.

"You're right," He said, letting me go so I could climb off him. Not before he grabbed me and pulled me down into a quick kiss again though. Knocking the breath from my intakes again. When I got free I glowered at him, not that he took any notice. "I couldn't resist, you're just too tempting," He grinned, letting me go properly. I climbed to my feet and indulged myself again by watching him gracefully climb to his, towering before me. He moved across to his own desk, pulling out his chair to sit down, pulling me down onto his lap comfortably.

"I guess we should talk," He confirmed, wrapping a long arm around my waist holding me to him. He cleared his throat before he spoke, encouraged by my reassurances over our bond. "I'm sorry I was avoiding you this morning, Elita. I should have just spoken to you about this as soon as I knew it would enter your mind. I knew you only wanted to wish me a happy sparkday and I do appreciate that. But I couldn't find the courage to tell you I didn't want to celebrate it."

He looked up at me, gouging my reaction.

"It was frustrating constantly being one step behind you. And then to find out from Ratchet and Ironhide you didn't want to celebrate today. But what I don't understand, is why," I frowned, my hand lazily tracing the flames on his chest. "What's so bad about today that you don't want to do anything?"

"Nothing!" He exclaimed raising a hand to brush over my cheek. "There's nothing bad about it. It's just the circumstances. It's been so long since the idea of acknowledging a sparkday has happened, that it felt wrong suddenly deciding to start now. Especially when so many others have had the opportunity but not taken it. I'm their Prime, it wouldn't be right for me to indulge myself by doing that."

"And maybe it's that exact reason that you should,"

He went to protest but I cut him off. "Optimus the war is over and the time for putting personal sacrifices such as a sparkdays has come and gone. It's because of that we should start the tradition again. How is anyone going to move on from the past, if we don't let go of the things that are stopping us from doing that. Why should we give up something as simple and happy as a sparkday anymore?"

He seemed to deliberate over what I was saying and I knew it was going through. So I carried on before he could change his mind.

"I think it's time we start picking up the old happy traditions. The one's that have been around long before the war. We put them on hold long enough. And," I paused, leaning in to rest my forehead to his. "I think you're the best mech to start them off. Optimus if anyone deserves one day for themselves, it's you. You've sacrificed more than anyone for our cause. It's about time you got something in return. Everyone else will just follow. And don't you dare say there are others who have suffered more, because I disagree." I cut in before he could, knowing just what he would say.

We fell quiet for several minutes. I didn't influence him anymore; it was something he needed to come to a decision himself. And after a while, he opened his optics and stared back at me. A look so full of love and adoration, it was over-whelming.

"I didn't realize my sparkday meant so much to you, 'Lita," He commented, his thumb brushing over my lower lip as his optics watched me.

"Yes well, we both would have realized how the other felt if we had talked about it. Instead of putting it off like we had obviously been doing," I eased, taking his guilt on to myself too. The whole day could have gone differently if I hadn't have taken it for granted he would want to celebrate it. And if Optimus had put aside his concern of upsetting me by telling me how he really felt about it. We both could have made it easier on ourselves. "So, truce?"

"Truce," He smiled, leaning in to kiss me and seal the deal. When he pulled back to lean in his chair he was smiling. "So, what did you have planned originally?"

I shrugged. "Just you, me and the commandeering of a shuttle craft for the day. Or a few hours. Or there was the other option of locking ourselves in our quarters all day," I smirked, feeling his reaction to that idea instantly. His agreement to that quite clear through our bond. "But then I found out you had your meeting, so both were void," I commented softly, no hint of anger or annoyance in my voice. But I soothed him when I felt his guilt again.

"Yes, I'm sorry about that, sweetspark."

"Don't be, I know how important that is. But," I smiled, moving from his lap. "Don't think you're getting out of this sparkday that easily. You still have hours until it's over. Let's go make the most of it," I said, tugging him to his feet. His optics were bright and his pull on my spark almost knee-jerking when he came to stand before me. I laughed, swatting him on the chest lightly. "Mind out of the pit, lugnut. That can wait a couple more hours; I was talking about going for a drink in the rec room."

There was the smallest hint of disappointment over our bond that I rolled my eyes at. But he soon took my hand and led me out of the room.

"Let's go then. The quicker we have a drink you're forcing me into having, the quicker we can get back to our quarters and fulfil at least part of your plans for the day," He grinned, briskly walking from our office to the rec room, with me just able to keep up. He pulled me to a stop just before we were going to enter and I looked at him questioningly. "You're right, we should let go of the past. Piece by piece anyway. And I promise, next year I'll let you plan whatever you want for my sparkday. No avoiding you."

"Thank you." I reached up to softly stroke his cheek before leaning in to give him a kiss. "Happy sparkday, Optimus."

Taking my hand, Optimus led me down to the rec room and opened the door. The cheers and shouts that assailed us as we stood there taking in all the mechs and femmes, each with a drink in their hand raising their glasses to Prime, was deafening. But so full of enthusiasm, each smile genuine and each cry of 'Congratulations' sincere. Confused and slightly put-out I wasn't let in on the surprise I looked around for the mech I knew had organized it, very last minute.

Ironhide.

He grinned when I walked over to him with a silent question. "What?" He asked happily. "Come on, 'Lita, you didn't think I'd let Prime get away with doing nothing for his sparkday do you?" He laughed, taking a swig of his drink that ended up spilling down his chest. Until he caught sight of my expression. "What? Ugh, 'Lita, you look - I don't - "

But I shut him up by lunging at him, wrapping my arms around him in a hug that startled him so much, he nearly dropped his drink. Before Ratchet managed to catch it anyway. When I pulled away he looked deeply surprised and a little confused.

"Thank you for doing this for him, 'Hide. You're a good friend to him." I said, kissing him on the cheek.

"Aww, shucks, 'Lita," He grinned, right back to typical Ironhide again. "Next year, you're organizing it though. It was a fraggin' nightmare getting all this done in time. I need a drink after all that," He mock grumbled, ignoring the drink Ratchet had taken and using it as an excuse to shout across the room. "Hey, Optimus! You gonna get me a drink or what?!" He bellowed, winking at me once before walking over to my sparkmate. I stayed where I was, watching them with a content smile I would be keeping for a while yet.

"Looks like his day wasn't completely ruined." I murmured satisfied, before I was dragged into the celebrations around me.