SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!! Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, if you have not watched Endgame, part 2, DON'T READ THIS!!!!!!!!
"I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return."
Jazz crossed his arms unyieldingly and defiantly met the glares of incredulity directed his way.
"No? What do you mean no?" Bumblebee demanded, throwing his arms up in exasperation and gesturing wildly at the dull, gray form on the berth. "This is Prowl we're talking about! We can't just leave him to…to die!"
"Bit late for that, Bee," he said sadly, glancing at Prowl's serene face. Strange, how he seemed so much more tranquil in death…
"But we can fix it!" Sari cried. "It only took a tiny sliver of the All-Spark to keep Starscream alive!"
"Yeah, and we've got the whole All-Spark now," Bulkhead added hopefully.
"I have to agree with the others," Optimus said. "Prowl's one of us. A friend. If there's anything we can do to help him—"
"No," Jazz insisted mulishly.
"He's our friend," Bumblebee yelled. "What makes you think you get to decide?"
"'Cuz you cats can't quite dig the ninja life," Jazz "It's different from ya'll's. He wouldn't want this."
"Why not?" Sari wailed. "Why wouldn't Prowl want to come back to life? It would be so easy to fix everything!"
"The All-Spark's our future, baby—"
"And you can never sacrifice a piece of the future to bring back the past."
Jazz gaped at Ratchet. "Where did you hear that?"
Ratchet harrumphed. "I ran into enough of you ninjabots back in the Great War to pick up on a few things. Prowl's gone now. He's in the past." He hesitated a moment before plowing forward. "I'm surprised he lasted this long anyway."
"What're you talking about?" Bulkhead asked plaintively, aghast.
Ratchet snorted again. "I was a field tech during the war. It was my job to spot the dying." His customary gruffness slipped to sorrow as he continued. "Prowl's been dying for a long time."
"What?" Sari demanded.
Jazz crossed over to Prowl's side and gazed down at his lifeless body. "Not all wounds are the kind ya can see, sugar." He reached out, fingers ghosting just above that serene expression on his face. "He was the last of us, ya know. Master Yoketron's final student. They say he watched him die an' couldn't do a thing. That ain't somethin' ya forget." He glanced up at the others. "It ain't somethin' ya get over too easily."
"But we can do a thing!" Bumblebee shouted. "We can bring him back to life! We can help him!"
"Yeah, do you think he wanted to die?"
"No," Jazz said, remembering the sad little smile Prowl shot him just before embracing the All-Spark to himself. "No, he wanted to live, but he chose to die for somethin' bigger." He looked at the ceiling and smiled. "First time I saw him I thought he was about to bust open with all the happiness he'd found an' didn't know what to do with. Ya'll gave him that happiness. He wouldn'ta given hisself up for anythin' less important."
They stood in silence for a long time, then Sari burst into tears and fled, Bumblebee and Bulkhead chasing after her. Optimus Prime glanced between Jazz and Prowl for a moment before he nodded once and left.
"He was a good bot," Ratchet said gruffly, following him.
Alone but for his thoughts and a corpse, Jazz looked down again. The barest hint of a smile played about Prowl's lips. Jazz never thought he'd seen anyone look so peaceful, so content.
Shaking his head, he saluted smartly and murmured, "Rest in peace, Prowl." Tentatively, he laid a hand on the faded Autobot insignia on his chest plate.
"Wish I coulda gotten to know ya better."
And with that, he left.
A/N: Two stories in one day!? I'm on a roll. I'm also utterly depressed by today's episode. Prowl was my favorite. :(
Title stolen from the Frey. Just in case you didn't know.