Disclaimer: Since this is the last one of this fanfic, I'll just say it. I don't own Transformers or any people, bots, places, or things associated with it. It all belongs to Hasbro and Takara. Please don't sue me.
Note: Holy Primus, I made it! Well, here it is, the final chapter of Snow! Keep an eye out after this for the sequel, Control! Merry Christmas!
WARNINGS: This chapter contains Yule Tide flavored fluff between Jazz and Prowl. You have been warned.
READ & REVIEW ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
Jessangel249 - o-O My goodness, I hope you didn't get in trouble! XD I'm flattered, but please don't get in trouble for me! X3
Hiezen Uchiha - No, no, that made perfect sense! *snickers remembering Prowl's theory of how he was able to be in more place than once* "Ho… ho… ho." Anyone who saw the Christmas episode will get that. xD
XStarSaber, flamingmarsh, TransformersLuver, PrancingTiger86, Hiding In My Writing, Evil E. Evil, and tubular_turtle - Thank you so much for all of your reading and reviewing for this fanfic! Please, everyone, review this chapter if you can, and if you want to continue reading this storyline look out for Control, coming soon!
"Sentinel Prime, sir!"
"Pleasing to be waking up!"
"Very well, sir. But can we be having your present, then?"
"Snrkt… wha-?" Sentinel Prime's processor forced itself back online. "Present…?"
"Yessir!" the twins were smiling at the other side of the desk he'd fallen asleep at. "Merry Christmas, sir!" The power was restored and lighting the room. "Bumblebee is wanting to be opening presents! We have been waiting for you!"
Sentinel grumbled and stood, stretching his joints. Internal clock indicated 6 in the morning, Earthen EST. "Alright, I'm coming… but this better be good or it's scrap duty for both of you."
The two Junior Officers glided down the hall to Prowl's room. Sentinel followed begrudgingly, not really wanting to be up. The others had already gathered, a stack of gifts waiting for them under the colorfully lit tree.
"There they are!" Bumblebee jumped to his pedes as they entered. "I thought we'd have to open them without you guys!"
"I don't think so," Ratchet grumbled. "If I gotta be online at this Primus-forsaken hour, then so do they…" He clutched a barrel of oil, sitting on the floor, looking about as grumpy as the blue and grey prime felt.
"So why couldn't this wait a couple of megacycles?" Sentinel asked bitterly.
Prowl scoffed. "Do you honestly think these three would have allowed it?"
"Guys! You're doing this on purpose!" the yellow bug complained. "Stop delaying! It's time to open some presents!"
"No bot's stopping you. Just open one already if it's so exciting!" Sentinel huffed. He took a seat between Jazz and Optimus.
"Yeah, go ahead," the latter smiled. "We're all here. Why don't you do the honors and pass them out?"
"Sure!" Bumblebee grinned. "Oh, first!" He swiped a bot-sized Santa hat from seemingly nowhere and pulled it on. "Just call me Santa Bee!"
"Alright, alright!" Jazz laughed. "You've gotten us all ready and excited, don't leave us hangin'! Let's get this present gig started!"
"Right, right!" Bumblebee nodded. "Let's see… the first one's for… Ratchet!" He picked up a gift and ran over to him. It was fairly large and red and white striped like a candy cane.
"Great. Let's see the damage…" the medibot grumbled. He tore open the paper and opened the box inside. He then raised an optic ridge. "Well, this is new," he muttered, pulling out a note.
"What is it?" Optimus asked.
"I think it's a letter from Claus. Says, 'Sometimes even old bots need new tools. Or rather, new tools require experienced bots'." He looked in the box and grinned. "New tools for old bots indeed." He pulled out a laser scalpel. It was shiny and new.
"Nice," Jazz grinned.
"Wait, if he's a human, where'd he get Cybertronian technology?" Sentinel asked skeptically.
"Don't ruin the fun!" Bumblebee stuck his glossa out at the temporary Magnus. "He's Santa! He can do that!"
"And I ain't complainin'," Ratchet added. "He got me the whole deal. Scalpel, cables, everythin'. I gotta admit, he's good."
"Okay, okay! Just get the next present already!" Sentinel huffed. "I wanna be out of this room before tomorrow!"
"You're such a Scrooge!" the yellow mech complained.
"A what?!" Sentinel barked, not sure exactly how offended he should be.
"It's a character from a story called A Christmas Carol who hated Christmas and seemed to enjoy ruining it for everyone," Prowl explained. "Humans use the name to describe others who behave the same way."
"He was most memorable for his line, 'Bah, humbug', which people use to express a lack of Christmas spirit," Optimus added.
Sentinel looked at them both like they had grown extra heads. "That cinches it. You're all obsessed with organics! As soon as I can get the ship running, I'm parking it far away from you!"
"SP, chill. Seriously, man," Jazz mediated. "This is important to them, can we at least let them enjoy it?"
"Sure, whatever," Sentinel muttered, leaning back and shutting his mouth again.
"Thank you, Jazz," Bumblebee huffed. "Now. The next one is for… Optimus!" He brought the gift to his leader and stepped back. Jazz was right, this was important to all of them. So he resolved to try and be as patient and selfless as possible. And it was killing him.
Optimus opened the colorful blue and red paper and discovered his had a note as well. "Sometimes," he read aloud, "the best thing you can do is keep the promises you already made."
"What is that meaning?" Jetstorm asked. His twin shrugged.
"Well, what's in it?" Bumblebee urged.
Optimus pulled out a datapad and booted it up. After a moment he smiled nostalgically. "It's Once Upon a Hill of Scrap. It's Rodimus's favorite story. I promised I'd read it centuries ago, but… I just never got around to it."
"Hey, I read that back in the day," Jazz said. "It's really good. Like a classic. I think you'll like it."
"Why don't you open yours next, Bumblebee?" Prowl suggested.
Those were the best words Bumblebee heard all Christmas. He practically pounced on his gift, tearing through it like a beast. He was so eager, he almost ripped the note inside in half. He stopped at the last second, though, reading it aloud. "'Sometimes it's easy to forget to have fun. Be their reminder.' Oooh, awesome!" He dropped the note and pulled out a human-sized microphone, two Cybertronian sized ones, and a game disk. "It's Karaoke Plus! He even managed to get big enough microphones for us!"
"Car-eye-" Jetfire started.
"Oh-key?" Jetstorm finished.
"It's a human activity. They choose a song and it plays without lyrics so they can sing it instead," Prowl once again explained.
"Great, more singing…" Sentinel grumbled.
"I think it sounds like a blast!" Jazz grinned. "I say we try it later tonight!"
"Seconded!" Bumblebee agreed enthusiastically, raising his servos high.
"Then it's settled," Optimus chuckled. "Tonight we'll close off Christmas with a sing-off."
"Yes!" the yellow bug cheered. He then remembered what they were doing. "Oh, right! For the awesome suggestion, Jazz gets to go next!" Bumblebee picked up a black and white wrapped gift.
"Crazy. I admit, I've been dyin' to know what's in this," the ninjabot admitted. He removed the wrapping and pulled out his note. "Everyone needs a little music, whether they know it or not. Consider it a gift that you are aware."
"These notes sound like the cryptic ninja-speak Prowl spouts," Bumblebee said.
"Nothin' wrong with that," Jazz replied.
"Good answer," Prowl chuckled, nudging his companion with his shoulder-plate.
"What are you getting?" the twins chorused.
"Just what I always wanted and needed," Jazz grinned. "A brand new pair of speakers, with plenty of sound." He tilted the box for them to see. "Perfectly compatible with my sound system."
"I'll install it for you. Break in a few of my new tools," Ratchet offered.
"After karaoke! I don't want his new speakers blowing out the ones on the TV if you do it wrong," Bumblebee insisted.
"Alright now, let's not start arguing here," Optimus requested, holding up his servos for peace as he tried to keep war from breaking out in Prowl's room. "Let's just keep going and sort all of that out later."
"Right!" Bumblebee nodded. He headed back to the pile. Only three presents remained. "This one's for the twins." He handed it over.
The two mechs tore through the paper with nearly the same vigor as Bumblebee had. "Family comes in many forms," they read their note in unison, "and you can sometimes find it in surprising places. Always remember that you're rarely as alone as you feel."
"Wow, that was… deep," Jazz commented.
The twins reached into the package and pulled out a holo-projector. It was bigger than Ratchet's of Arcee. Jetfire clicked it on and immediately a hologram flickered above it. It was of not just Jetfire and Jetstorm, but Sentinel and Jazz, and Wheeljack, Perceptor, and Red Alert, and even Ultra Magnus. The Autobot Elite Guard sigil stood emblazoned behind them all. Jetfire and Jetstorm stared at it wordlessly. Even over their bond they found themselves speechless. They always felt like they were alone, just as they had been in the refinery. But… they somehow had simply forgotten that there were so many bots that cared about them now. Red Alert, who was maternal and kind to them. Ever patient Perceptor and cheerful Wheeljack, who rebuilt and gave them new purpose. Jazz, who understood them better than any other bot. And yes, even Sentinel cared for the, even if he hated to admit it.
Jetfire spoke first. "Wow. You are not exactly being the photogenic, brother. Your face is looking like it lost to cyberhounds."
"Yours still does," his brother retorted.
"Not the time or place for a wrestlin' match, cats," Jazz warned with good humor.
"Wait, where-?" Sentinel began.
"He's Santa Claus!" Bumblebee cut him off. "He can do that! Will you stop questioning him if I give you your present next?"
"Fine." Sentinel took the gift and started opening it.
'Odd,' Jazz thought. 'I was sure it was smaller than that last night…'
As soon as the box was cracked open, something small and black dropped to the floor, rolling to a stop at Prowl's pedes. He picked it up. "Coal…?"
Sentinel tipped the box. Coal spilled across the floor. A note followed it. No one seemed to know how to react, least of all the receiver.
Well, almost no one. Within seconds Bumblebee was snickering. He finally let out a guffaw and began laughing loudly, doubled over in mirth. After a moment Optimus joined in. Prowl chuckled, and even Jazz couldn't hold back a laugh. The twins tried to hide their snickering. "It's not that funny!" Sentinel snapped at them.
Bumblebee picked up a note and held it up. "Maybe not, but this is!"
In big letters across the paper was written, "JUST KIDDING."
Sentinel looked back in the box. Wrapped to protect it from the coal was what looked like another datapad. It was slightly bigger than one, though, and was covered in buttons. It even had a personalized stylus. "A data organizer. Top of the line," Sentinel whistled. "Alright, he's got taste, I'll give him that. Could do without his sense of humor, though."
The room calmed and Bumblebee took a deep breath, turning back to the tree. "Okay, okay. There's one last… hey, where'd it go?" The last gift, the black and gold wrapped one marked for the ninjabot of the same colors, had vanished.
"Sorry, Bee," Jazz said, holding up the gift. "Didn't mean to pull yer job out from under ya, but… I wanna give this one. It's kinda… no. It's very important to me."
"Fine," Bumblebee huffed, sitting between the Jetstorm and Optimus. "Bondmates…" He rolled his optics.
Jazz turned to Prowl and looked a bit unsure of what to say at first. The black and gold ninjabot simply waited patiently. "There's probably not a note in here, cause it's not from St. Nick. I mean, it is, he did bring it here, but… it was my request."
Bumblebee shot to attention. "What?! You met -- MMPH!?"
The twins covered his mouth, silencing him. "Shh!"
Jazz ignored him. "I guess if I had to put a note in here… nah, I wouldn't. I mean, everything I wanna say is best said to you like… well… like this." He took a deep breath. "I've never met a bot like you. We're, like… in perfect sync. You're the harmony to my rhythm. I know it's weird for me to feel like this when we've only known each other for so little time, but… I feel like it was fate or something that brought us together like this. It sounds totally corny, but…"
"Just give him the present already!" Sentinel finally cut in. Optimus elbowed him.
"Right, here…" Jazz sheepishly passed the gift over.
Prowl opened it carefully. He didn't want to rush the surprise and ruin the mood. When he removed the paper and took the top off of the box, his visor widened. "Jazz…" he breathed out. Air caught in his vents. Inside the box was a beautifully crafted violin, one that was large enough for him. "It's… I don't know what to say…"
"Then… don't," Jazz smiled. "Play it."
Prowl took the violin out, testing it with the bow. The sound was clear and already tuned. He knew how to play the way all Cybertronians learned such new skills. He watched many humans, analyzed the technique. But he knew that wasn't all there was to the beautiful stringed instrument in his servos. The music had to come from the soul, the heart, or in his case the spark. So he shuttered his optics and allowed his spark to guide the bow across the strings and servos along the neck. The others listened to the melody it made.
Bumblebee heard joy. 'Longarm may have been a lying piece of scrap, but I have real friends now.'
Optimus heard peace. 'Someday Cybertron will by free from war. Then we won't have to worry about losing our friends anymore.'
Jetstorm and Jetfire heard a bond. 'It's not just anymore, is it brother?' 'I am thinking it has not been for a long time…'
Sentinel heard home. 'Cybertron needs me now. As soon as I'm done with this blasted mission I can leave this filthy planet behind forever. Good riddance.'
Ratchet heard memories. 'I promise, Arcee, I'm gonna fight for yer processor. It's not fair what happened to you, but I'm not gonna run from it anymore. I'm gonna make it right.'
And Jazz? Jazz heard love. 'Now that I've got you, ninjabot, I'm not lettin' you go. I fought this hard to get you. I'll fight to keep you if I hafta.'
"Whew!" Sari shook the snow off herself as Bulkhead transformed into robot mode in the main room of the warehouse. "At least it's a light sprinkle now. I think I need some chapstick, though." She retracted the wings of her new jetpack her father made for her for Christmas. "Flying through cold wind is not good for the lips."
"Hey, I wonder where the guys are," Bulkhead said, scratching his helm and looking around the room. "I figured they'd be in here." The room was colorful and decorated, but empty of any bots.
"Wait a sec! Listen…"
Sari concentrated on listening like he said. She heard music drifting from the rooms. No, not music. She heard family. 'I always thought I just had a dad. Turned out, I have a lot more than that. I have brothers. Giant fighting alien robot brothers. Best. Family. EVER.'
Bulkhead heard art. 'Just because I'm good at destroying stuff doesn't mean it's all I like. I like makin' stuff, too. There's nothin' wrong with that.'
Prowl finished, lowering the bow and onlining his optics. The others were staring at him. "What?" he asked, shifting uncomfortably. He forced his faceplate to stay the same color.
"Prowl, that was awesome!" Bumblebee enthused. "I mean, I usually think stuff like that is kinda lame, but the way you play is totally, you know, not!"
"Eh, it was okay…" Sentinel muttered. He was adamant in his determination to not let anything Christmas or musical move him. It was a losing battle, but he wouldn't admit it.
From the door there was a clapping sound. Sari stood there, applauding enthusiastically. "A giant violin? Awesome! Almost beats my gifts! …okay, it totally doesn't, but it's still pretty cool!"
"Sari! Bulkhead!" Optimus stood up. He was going to greet them, but Bumblebee (as usual) beat him to it.
"You made it! Awesome!" Bumblebee scooped the human girl up into his servos enthusiastically. "What'd you get? Guess what I got! Come on! Okay, I'll tell you, I got Karaoke Plus! With mech-sized microphones! It comes with all the songs and unlockable ones and…"
"Okay, okay!" Sari laughed. "Slow down!"
"Nice to see you guys make it," Optimus grinned, clapping Bulkhead on the shoulder plate.
"We're lucky to have," the large green mech replied. "The snow's calmed down, but it's taking a while for the plow-bots to clear the streets."
"Not that anyone's really going out too much today, since it's Christmas and everything," Sari put in.
"Yeah, so we had to get here through the snow and stuff. Luckily, a little snow won't stop me now that I can see out there," Bulkhead pounded his chestplate.
"Yeah, and I flew here!" Sari grinned.
"Flew? What do you mean flew?" Ratchet asked.
"Like this!" Sari pushed a button and the wings of her jetpack sprang out. She jumped out of Bumblebee's servos and flew circles around him.
"Whoa!" the yellow bug laughed. "Awesome!"
"I know, right?" the techno-organic teenager winked.
"I was not knowing humans could flying," Jetfire commented.
"They can't. It's likely an invention of her father's," Prowl pointed out. "Jetfire and Jetstorm, this is Sari Sumdac. And technically, she's not human. Not fully, anyway."
"Hiya!" Sari zipped over to them, holding out a hand. The twins looked unsure, having never actually met an organic before. The last time they had been on Earth they'd only been for a short period of time. And Sentinel had told them a lot of not-so-good things about the organics, especially humans. She noticed their look and rolled her eyes. "Look, obviously you came here with the big-mouth over there, so I'm just assuming what you know you've heard from him. Trust me, whatever he told you, it's not true. Humans can't spit acid, or breathe fire, or whatever."
The twins looked at each other, then at Jazz. "It's true. Humans are pretty much harmless. And Sari's a nice kid, you'll like her," he assured them.
Jetstorm was the first to brave contact. He reached a single digit out and touched Sari's hand. She smiled and closed her fingers around it, shaking it. Jetstorm grinned at his brother and nodded in reassurance. Jetfire reached out as well and mimicked his brother. "Is being very nice to meet you, Sari Sumdac."
"Great. Freezing weather, strange alien holidays, strange man in the warehouse, now the tiny organic is here. This is the worst mission ever," Sentinel groaned.
"Hey, if you don't want your data-organizer, I could always use-" Optimus started.
"No! No, that's okay, I need it."
"Thought so. So stop whining."
"I don't whine!"
"You just were!"
"No arguing!" Ratchet snapped.
"He started it!" they yelled in unison.
"Shut it, both of you!"
"Ugh, déjà vu…" Prowl groaned, slapping his faceplate.
"Wha…?" Sari and Bulkhead started.
"Long story!" the others chorused.
"Jingle bell, jingle bell
Jingle bell rock…!"
Sari and Bumblebee doubled in Karaoke Plus, delighted to find that it came with a Christmas themed play list. Jazz and the twins gathered around, dancing and singing along. Sentinel and Optimus sat at the table on the other side of the main room, Optimus reading his story-pad and the temporary Magnus fiddling with his organizer. Ratchet used the new tool set to see if he could fix the generator, even though the power had been restored the previous night. Bulkhead set up the art set he'd gotten as a gift and painted his interpretation of the scene.
Prowl smiled as he watched the scene. What he'd give to have a holovid of this moment. Everyone playing and having fun and for a moment all getting along. The unity and (relative) peace calmed his agitated circuits. His breakdown from before was all but forgotten. He shook his head, though, remembering it, and walked down the hall. This seemed to be how it had all started. The others having fun while he enjoyed the solitude, reflecting on his own spark. It was Christmas and everyone got what they wanted. He opened the door to his room and chuckled at the paper-strewn mess. He strode over to the violin on the shelf next to his modes, running his servos along the strings. He hadn't just gotten what he wanted, but so much more than he'd hoped for.
Prowl's head snapped up. What was that? He suddenly had the feeling… something was coming. Why, on this day of joy, was he suddenly feeling dread? Anxiousness? He stared at the samurai mods. After another twinge he made his decision. He removed the reindeer antlers from the helmet and began equipping the mods.
He didn't even pause. "Something is happening, Jazz. Can you feel it?"
Jazz gave the gold and black mech a puzzled look. He didn't sense anything wrong. And why should he on such a fun and fantastic holiday? "You're sure? You don't just feel, I dunno, oil build-up?" Prowl gave him a look over his shoulder. "Hey, it's happened."
"Something is coming. I don't know what, but-"
CLINK CLINK CLINK
Prowl and Jazz looked at each other, then dashed to the door. The sound of something tiny and metal had come from the hall. But now that they looked, there was nothing there.
"It was nothin', I'm sure," Jazz said, though he sounded more like he was trying to reassure himself. "Come on back to the party. The twins are gonna try singin'. It'll be fun."
Prowl hesitated a moment, then looked back at Jazz. Looking at him, he wanted to believe it. Finally, he gave in. "Alright. Back to the party."
The two cyberninjas returned to the main room to find the TV had been turned off of the game and now showed the Society of Ultimate Villainy making their way in their own unique fashions through or over the deep snow on the ground, bags of loot over their shoulders. Flying police drones were on their tail but not having much luck, with the actual police muddled down by the still heavily unplowed roads.
"What's goin' down?" Jazz asked, leaning in next to the twins.
"We don't know," Bumblebee huffed. "One minute we're singing to our sparks' content, and the next the channel changes without warning! Someone musta stepped on the remote or something."
"I think he meant with SUV," Prowl pointed out.
"Looks like they just robbed a few stores and are using the snow for their escape," Bulkhead answered. "It's working really well for them, since the police can't get through it."
"Well, then we're going to have to show them that snow doesn't stop the Autobots," Optimus replied "The Christmas festivities will have to be put on hold."
"A little Yule-Tide butt whooping?" Sari grinned excitedly. "What better way to spend Christmas?"
"Let's show them that no one messes with our favorite holiday!" Bumblebee agreed.
"Want us to be coming along?" Jetfire asked.
"Nah, let us handle it," Ratchet grunted, walking over. "You've never dealt with humans before, they have to be handled with a certain amount of finesse."
Sentinel snorted. "You guys? Finesse? This I gotta see."
"Then keep watchin' the screen, junior!" Ratchet snapped. "We'll show you a few things about 'finesse'!"
"You were right. Something did happen," Jazz said lightly to the other ninjabot. The latter looked thoughtful, though. "What is it?"
"Nothing, it's just that this… nevermind, it's nothing. Stay here with those three, we'll be right back."
"A'ight, but be careful."
"Well, looks like we'll be getting a fight for Christmas," Optimus commented.
"Just what I always wanted," Sari quipped.
"Then let's transform and roll out!"
End Notes: Alright everyone, that was the end of Snow! Once again, keep an eye out for the fanfic this was all building up to, Control! And of course, Merry Christmas!