Continuing with my Annabelle and Ironhide stories, here is another one to enjoy. Thinking back, I should have put these all into one story with multiple chapters, but "Black Crayons" was originally supposed to be a standalone story. Then you guys asked for more, and then even more. So now I have multiple stories scattered around with the two of them. Each one can be taken alone or as part of the series. This one occurs after "Parent-Teacher Conference." When I wrote "Baby-sitters Nightmare," it did not go well for the baby-sitter. This time, I chose someone who will not be scared off by Ironhide. I also introduced a few familiar faces.

Baby-sitting, Take Two

"Ironhide, we know you are fully capable of guarding Annabelle," an exasperated Captain Lennox tried to reason, "but she needs more than that. She needs someone to watch her in the house, makes sure she gets to bed on time, and even to fix her dinner. And no, you can't use your cannons. Annabelle already told me about that plan of yours."

The towering robot gave a quiet chuckle, and then turned serious again. "I still believe that I would make a better 'baby-sitter' than any half-grown human you can find. I guess I will have to keep an optic on whoever you selected, just to be safe."

Mrs. Lennox came out to join her husband, "Planning another 'haunting' scare, Ironhide? Poor Jennifer still won't return our calls. We are not having a repeat of that. We hired someone less like to freak over your antics."

"Who did you call?" he asked, but was interrupted by the sound of an approaching vehicle. He recognized and realized who the Lennoxes had hired.

Annabelle was in the front yard while her parents spoke to Ironhide in the back. She was getting another baby-sitter tonight, and they didn't want to have any problems. The preschooler giggled as she remembered last time.

Suddenly, a car pulled into the driveway. Hardly anyone even came near here, so it had to be her baby-sitter. The car was as yellow as the sun with black lines on it. She thought it was pretty. She also remembered Ironhide, while still out of sight, wasn't a truck.

Annabelle dashed so she was standing between the newly parked car and the new arrivals' access to the backyard. Opening the vehicle's doors, a pair stepped out. She could tell they were older than Jennifer, but younger than her parents. The boy had brown hair and the girl's hair was almost black. They smiled at the young child baring her way.

"Hi Annabelle," the older girl greeted, "You probably don't remember me. Last time we saw you, you were just a baby. My name's Mikaela and this is Sam." She pointed at the guy with her.

"You can't go back there yet," the panicked youngster cried as she tried to block their progress. "Mommy and Daddy are busy. Please wait."

"It's alright, Annabelle," Sam soothed, "We just need to tell them we're here. They probably want to get going."

"No!" the preschooler was desperate to keep her friend safe. She tackled the boy around the back of his knees. Her timing couldn't have been better because he was taking a step. Balanced on only one foot, her determined hit caused him to crash to the ground, face first. She then clambered across his fallen form until she was resting on his neck. "You are staying here."

Mikaela tried to pull the angry child off her boyfriend. Annabelle dug her fingers into the boy's hair. Trying to dislodge her resulted in shouts of pain from Sam. The struggle was brought to a halt by a commanding voice.

"Annabelle, what do you think you are doing?" asked her mother.

The child explained, "They were trying to go in the backyard. They can't."

"Annabelle," this voice was even more surprising to her. Ironhide had come around the building and was in plain sight. She was upset at this because he was supposed to be hidden from people. But his next words reassured the girl. "They already know about me. We met a few years ago."

Sam, with Annabelle still on him, requested, "Okay, we know about Ironhide already. Now could you get off me?"

"Sorry," Captain Lennox laughed as he helped the slightly squashed young man up, "We were so concerned with Ironhide's reaction that we forgot about Annabelle's."

"It's okay," he answered, "I've done some extreme things trying to protect Bumblebee before. Which reminds me, should you warn Annabelle about him?"

"Don't worry," the older man assured, "She'll handle that just fine."

Annabelle turned towards her favorite robot, "Ironhide, is it really okay?"

"Yes, you can trust them. But thank you for trying to protect me. Now, there is someone else to meet." He indicated the parked car. "Annabelle, this is Bumblebee."

With the introduction, the yellow and black vehicle shifted and changed. In the end, the transformed car loomed overhead. The size and changed form didn't bother her, after all her time with Ironhide. It was still interesting to see another giant robot.

"Does he live with Sam and Mikaela like you do with me?" asked Annabelle as she stared at the newcomer.

"He lives with Sam," Mikaela answered. "Sam and I aren't married or anything. Bumblebee is really nice, but can't talk the best. So be nice."

Annabelle grinned cheerfully, too excited by everything to speak.

"How's the coloring coming?" a curious Sam inquired of the busy preschooler.

Annabelle held up her paper. On it, she already had drawn her two human baby-sitters, herself, and Ironhide. Now she was working on Bumblebee. So far, he looked like her drawings of Ironhide, but with yellow and less polished in appearance.

"That's so pretty," Mikaela complimented. They were out on the porch, that way the Autobots didn't feel left out. The preschooler had convinced the older two humans to participate in the drawing. Mikaela was working on a sunset view with her crayons. Sam's own picture was his attempt to portray Mikaela's face.

Bumblebee was staring at Annabelle's displayed drawing with a curious amount of intensity. Annabelle recognized the expression as being similar to the first time Ironhide saw one of her pictures. The prolonged silence was also familiar. Mikaela and Sam looked concerned by the lack of reaction from the robot and how she would react to it, but she was more confident this time around that just because it takes a while to respond doesn't necessarily mean they don't like it.

Eventually Ironhide gave the smaller Cybertronian a nudge. Bumblebee then quickly reacted to her picture. Out of his radio came a line from a song she once heard.

"I like it like that!"

Annabelle nodded in acknowledgement to the praise. She then told the young couple, "I have to get something from inside."

Left alone with just the robots, Sam asked Mikaela, "Do you think it will stay this calm?"

His girlfriend laughed slightly, "Trust me, you need to stay on your toes with this one. She apparently already picked a fight at school once. By the way, Bumblebee, whenever a young child shows you something they made, you tell them it's great. It's nice if they try to draw you and they are proud of it."

"And Ironhide," teased Sam, "Never pictured you as a nanny. But here you are with such a sweet, innocent, littleā€¦"

He was interrupted as his back became soaked. Annabelle had exited the house silently and armed with a water gun. Now she was firing on her next target: Mikaela. The two baby-sitters shouted in surprise at the assault. Annabelle was laughing as they struggled upright.

"Oh you are so dead," Sam threatened. She squealed as he started chasing her. Mikaela watched the two reenact a scene from "Tom and Jerry." Annabelle, in her role as Jerry, was winning with her water gun. When she ran out of ammo, she once again shrieked.

Sam almost had her when suddenly she jumped. Annabelle quickly rose out of her pursuer's reach, courtesy of Ironhide's hand. The young man glared up at the preschooler.

"That's so unfair," he informed her, "You have a giant robot on your side."

"You have Bumblebee," she pointed out.

Sam then addressed her metal protector, "Someone who is willing to attack, even when outnumbered and out sized, armed and dangerous. Now it makes sense why you get along so well. She's a miniature you, Ironhide."

When the Lennoxes returned that evening, they found the two baby-sitters in much better shape than Jennifer had been. Not only were they not freaking out about a "possessed truck," they even seemed relaxed, if slightly damp. Bumblebee was near Ironhide, watching the returning couple.

Captain Lennox addressed the young pair, "So who won?"

"Well, Annabelle was, but I think we came up ahead when Sam started tickling her," Mikaela answered. "Bumblebee was not nearly as helpful to our cause as Ironhide was to hers."

Sam smiled, "Yeah, after all she couldn't be that much trouble. She's not that old yet." This statement about her harmlessness was ruined by a pair of water balloons dropped out of her bedroom window on the young pair below. Even if she was supposed to be asleep, she couldn't resist.

"Definitely," muttered Sam as he dripped, ignoring the laughter from robots and parents alike, "a miniature Ironhide."

Yes, Annabelle is following her friend's example. Imagine what she could do with cannons. The song Bumblebee used is a really fast-paced, almost Salsa-like song. Unfortunately, I can't remember most of the song, the name, or artist who sings it. I just remember they repeat that line a lot. If you know it, I can add it later to give credit where it is due.

Update: The song, according to one of my readers, is "I Like it Like That" by Tito Nieves. Thanks.