Why did I write this, you ask? To be honest, I don't know. I simply sat down and starting typing, I didn't think about anything; I literally started playing I'll Be by Edwin McCain and didn't stop playing it until I was done. I think this is just a fun, mindless thing I needed to write to feel the pleasure of writing. I don't know if it makes sense, or if everything is completely illegible, but if you'll all be patient with me, I'll edit it as time passes; I think I just need to post this now. I sincerely hope that everyone who decides to indulge in reading this enjoys themselves.
Cosmic hugs to you all. Read and review as you please~
When did it Change?
I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm older,
I'll be the greatest fan of your life.
–I'll Be chorus by Edwin McCain
When did it happen?
When did it all change?
Was it the moment she climbed in that damn yellow Camaro and got a drive home by a dork whose name she didn't even know? Or was it the moment she'd followed him on a whim to that parking lot and saw for the first time that monsters, robotic alien monsters, did exist?
Yeah, that's when some things changed. A lot of things changed in those moments, actually. But not the thing she was wondering about.
She knew that something like a truce, or a friendship, or something, had started the moment she and Sam witnessed Bumblebee stand up, taking a defensive stance before them in order to protect them from Barricade. Two people don't witness a giant droid death match and walk away unaffected. Memories like those left marks, left bonds; experiences like that made people come together, forced together, by the power of such an extraordinary event. That strange, simmering afterthought of connection was only fostered further by the entrance of the other Autobots, and most certainly they would laugh forever over the memory of some of the most celebrated Autobot officers in the galaxy floundering around in the Witwicky's backyard trying to hide. They would always have the awe and the laughter together.
But was that when things changed? No, not then- the time wasn't right. Her sense of humour might have changed, but not her heart.
Did it change the moment she kissed him in the middle of battle? God, the feeling of his lips, dry and trembling from coursing adrenaline in his veins, was seared into her mind forever. Never, in all her life, had she ever felt such an intense need to touch someone, kiss them, if only to tell herself that both of them were still alive. There had never been a time in her life when she had ever felt anything so strongly, fuelled by the thrill of the war unfolding around them. There was definite change in that moment, but only a small shift; their short time being friends, only a few short days from the moment Barricade had attacked to that day in Mission City, was over. The kiss heralded the new direction they'd take, even though they were still quite literally strangers with each other.
Things changed everywhere after that. Their best friend was a 16 foot yellow robot who could transform into a Camaro. Medical advice, albeit sometimes embarrassing medical advice, often came from a well-meaning but gruff neon-green S&R Hummer. All vermin infestations were now deferred to grumbling, cannon-wielding black Topkick truck, who more or less took the deferrals in good humour, even if he complained. Who they followed and listened to changed; whereas their lives had been spent listening to their parents and teachers and human superiors, they found that none of them quite measured up anymore to Optimus Prime's stature. Human life had changed, because it wasn't just a human life any of them were living anymore, it was an intergalactic life, an alien life; they found themselves changed into warriors willing to follow the 30-foot flame-painted robot to the ends of the Earth.
Even if it had been a little over a year since Sam and Mikaela's eyes had been opened to the universe around them, it still felt like only moment ago that they had been just a couple of average teenagers living their lives the way they probably would have died: obliviously. If things had never changed, if the Autobots had never come, they would have grown up, become adults, and lived in a haze that would never have allowed them to see beyond the boundaries of their world, both figuratively and literally. There were no words to describe how grateful they were to have their worlds change, their eyes opened. Mission City had proved enough to force them into adulthood without that messy and awkward transition most young adults were forced to go through. Staring into the face of your certain death as it loomed several stories above you was enough to force anyone to grow up.
But that still wasn't the change she was thinking about. When did it change? When did he change?
Of all the things to have happened in the past year, how could she have missed the most obvious thing of all?
It didn't have a defining moment. No shaft of light to shine down and say 'this is the moment'. It would have been helpful to have that shaft of light.
She looked back and could remember the little things that changed. Funny how she could remember the little things, and yet be blind to the one big thing. She remembered watching Sam change little by little; he went from confused teenager to adult in a single day, and then found a focus as he decided he wanted to help his alien best friend with his war. He learned to fight. He became a soldier, or as close to a soldier a kid still in school could be over the course of a year. He focused on work, actually finished things instead of starting them and getting bored of it halfway through. Sure, he still had his goofy moments, but she was starting to suspect that that was all part of the Witwicky charm; he stammered when he was nervous, talked too much when he was scared, and whenever he found his life in danger he couldn't seem to stop saying a wisecrack or two. Of course, if he didn't do that stuff, he wouldn't be Sam anymore; even if some of his quirks annoyed her terribly, she'd still miss them if they were gone.
There were other things that he did that she didn't mind at all, even if they were unfamiliar with her life experience. Unlike every other guy she had ever dated, he took the initiative to hold her hand, in public, and it wasn't because he was showing her off to his buddies. He took her hand just to hold it, or because he was probably going to get lost on the street and wanted to make sure he at least had someone who knew where they were going. He made her laugh with stupid jokes, and then made her laugh even more when he managed to do something incredibly stupid without meaning to. When he said 'I love you' it wasn't forced, or false, or done with a roll of his eyes; it was so different to hear the words being said by someone who meant them. The sex was good, that went without saying. And when they slept together, they slept comfortably- as comfortably as a pair of teenagers could when parents like Ron and Judy were looming down the hall, probably high-fiving each other. In the mornings, whoever woke up first was responsible for waking up the other; generally it was with a kiss, but there was once or twice when they'd used an ice cube and laughed for hours over it, or yanked the sheets off the bed only to watch the innocent sleeper flail about mattress in naked, freezing terror. Who said you couldn't have a little fun with the person you're dating?
He made her feel happy. For once in her life, she felt comfortable in her own skin, confident enough to walk out of the house in her grease-ridden overalls with no makeup at all, and still feel like she was pretty. He loved her in a way that was natural and sweet and sincere; she liked to think of it of as suburban middle-class love, not spoiled by the upper-class or jaded by the lower-class. It was a new kind of love for her, but she liked it. Loved it, even.
How could it be that after a year of dating him, she was only starting to see, realize, what change had come about them? As they circled slowly in the dry dirt outside the Autobot's base, arms looped comfortably around the other, her head resting on his shoulder, she was struck by how much things had changed from the moment she had stepped into Bumblebee and let him drive her home.
Around them, music weaved through the night air like a magic spell. Blaster seemed to be having a riot messing with the sound system, downloading music at the speed of light to play for his human friends. Pinpricks of coloured light shone from between buildings where strings of lights had been hung for the occasion. Flashing lights that imitated strobe lights and moving patterns of spots like the shattered reflections of discoballs were supplied by a few good-humoured Autobots who had decided to stick around. Not far from them, Bumblebee had decided to give slow dancing a try, and had employed a reluctant Arcee to be his partner; she was nearly half the scout's height, so her feet dangled as they 'danced'.
If someone had told Mikaela that she would be spending her prom night on an alien base, dancing in the middle of a desert with a boy- man who took her breath away at every turn, she would have laughed in their faces. But now? Now she wouldn't have it any other way. She'd taken her shoes off long ago, deciding that dancing in the dust was easier barefoot; the hem of her dress was dusty and dirt-sodden, her hair mussed from the cool desert breeze. When Sam stepped on her foot, his feet as bare as hers, she cringed, but laughed at him when he tried to apologize. When he stumbled from his limping gait, she caught him, supported his weight, and helped him to stand again, saying nothing about it as they went back to dancing.
The song Blaster had selected drifted to its end. Reluctant to let go of the moment, Mikaela leaned away to wave in Blaster's direction, catching his attention.
"You think you can play another slow song?" she asked.
The little red bot nodded happily. "'Nother slow song comin' up." Faster than any human could decide, I'll Be by Edwin McCain smoothly became Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.
Smiling at the choice, Mikaela turned back to continue dancing, and was caught by the peculiar look on Sam's face. She tipped her head, looking back. In the dimness of the night, she could still make out the glaring bruise that took up half his face, a stitched-up gnash dissecting it; the dress-shirt he was wearing was rolled up to the elbows so the brace on his left wrist wasn't bothered. He walked with a limp because his ankle was twisted and his upper thigh was still sore from having shrapnel removed from it. All because he'd jumped in the way of the attack coming her way; it was the reason they were on base instead of at their actual prom.
She touched his cheek, the side of his face that wasn't bruised. Underneath the damages, he was still handsome. Handsome to her. His face had changed as much as himself, the eyes deepened, chin hardened. No matter how much guilt she felt every time she saw his near-closed eye flash in the light, he was still so handsome it hurt.
"What are you looking at?" she wondered, his expression drawing on her curiosity.
"You," he murmured, meaning the word with every fibre in his being. The sound of his voice, deep and sincere, shivered down her spine.
Because the question was begging to be asked, she enquired, "Why?"
He laughed a single, quiet laugh, giving a small half-smile that wouldn't strain his face too much. "Because."
"Okay." When he looked away, a little flustered, she still stared, smiling. She didn't know when everything changed; there definitely was no defining moment- it just happened. It happened so slowly neither of them had seen it coming. But now that it was here, they wouldn't change it for the world. Somehow, they'd fallen in love. Not stupid, reckless, teenaged love- it was real, and deep, and so incredibly sincere. It was a change from everything they knew. Loving someone with all her heart was a change from anything and everything she knew in her life.
He glanced down at her once, twice, and it made her wonder if he saw any change in her. Had she changed any? For the better? For the worse? Had she changed as much as he had?
As if reading her mind, another small smile crossed his face. "When did you become so perfect?"
Her arms tightened around him, drawing them together in a hug that allowed her to go on tiptoe, lips to his ear. "Around the same time you did."