No its NOT flipping editted or beta'd because I don't have time right now. You're really lucky I got this out. I will go back later. If you really want to read it read it and ignore the errors. Its not J.K. Rowling or gonna be published for godsakes its enough for you to read and understand it if a freaking comma or "HEAR" when I should have said "HERE" So enjoy and reviews are welcome but any "OMG DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH" will be promptly ignored. I KNOW THE FLIPPIN THING IS FULL OF ERRORS...

Chapter Five

Alexis it was nice having someone else drive her around even though it was a mechanical alien warrior. It was also nice to drive in the same truck her father used it was nostalgic. He had loved the Chevy Topkicks he sold from his dealership and made it his own choice of vehicle. Though entirely it was not economical to drive such a behemoth around especially with gas but the Southernby's didn't have many worries when it came to money, but her father was a finance and stock hound nonetheless watching their money like a hawk.

The drive wasn't very far away but Ironhide took his time in order to converse with his friend before she was bombarded by his comrades.

"How're ya holding up?" He asked

"Just fine actually." She replied with a smile

It was hard to tell where to look when one was talking to an Autobot in vehicle mode but she looked at the stereo where the voice seemed to be emanating from at least.

"Really? Don't be lyin ta me now Alexis." He groused out

"I'm not lying to you Ironhide."

"Good cause if ya were…"

"You'd what?" She asked with a chuckle poking his steering wheel with a rough jab the horn honking

"OW! Don't do that!" He yelped

She laughed only a few moments before she was cut off as her seat suddenly dropped back with quickness only a living vehicle could possess. She yelped as she slammed backwards into the seat but not a moment after her back touched the padded seat it suddenly shot back up with a vicious vault. The entire action made her stomach lurch and through her vision into a dangerous bouncing motion. Her stomach lurched but she swallowed a few times letting herself adjust to being upright again.

"Keep it up femme I got more for ya." He chuckled

Alexis glared at the stereo "Not funny I'll upchuck all over your interior if you do that again didn't anyone ever tell you about human's stomachs and sudden jerky movements NOT TOO MENTION whiplash."

"Lennox had a youngling don't tell me about vomit." He snapped back

"Well since you're well acquainted with it then next time I won't hold back."

"Just try it and see if I don't dump ya out of my cab femme."

Despite the arguing it was really only nitpicking and Ironhide's spark elated at the friendly jibes. He hadn't spent much time with the older woman but the short amount he had spent in her presence he liked the aspect of having another human friend other then Lennox, Epps, and the Witwicky's.

Alexis elbowed the seat for good measure and he chuckled "Don't get yer way and ya throw a hissy fit."

"I do not." She said

"Uh-huh. Anyways back ta what we were discussin ya enjoy it here? Honestly?" He questioned sincerely

She sighed "I do enjoy it here Ironhide it's just taking some getting used too."

"Other then the obvious?"

"Other then the obvious all my friends and everything are back in California I didn't exactly get to say goodbye properly before I was whisked out here. Then I met you and things just sort of have been a whirlwind since its just now starting to slow down a bit."

"Well….Ima sorry they uprooted ya like that. I had no control over it. I just wanted ya to be safe and with ya in the military it was easier." He admitted feeling a bit guilty. He sometimes wondered if he had stayed out of this woman's life what would have happened to her?

"How come you never came back to see me?" she asked softly and abruptly

"You mean after that night?"

"Yes after that night."

"There were more battles to fight and Optimus was not at all happy I exposed muhself the way I did to ya. I endangered ya and yer family and ya were just a child."

"You did watch over me though?"

"As best as I could. I couldn't directly interfere but I took a drive once in awhile and yer father's truck is the exact same thing as my altmode so I could sneak in the drive way here and there." He said and she thought she heard a grin in his voice

Alexis felt her heart lurch at the admittance. He had watched over her just like he promised he would. She felt humbled he actually cared that much.

"Thank you Ironhide for watching over me like that."

"Awe…don't get sappy." He chuckled

Alexis smiled patting the dash softly "Hard not too I'm a femme remember? That's what femme's do they get sappy. A femme is a female in your culture right?" She asked suddenly unsure she'd heard that term in her training and Ironhide had referred to her as a Femme. However she didn't know if she committed a blunder in using the terminology herself, a human.

"Course…why else would I call ya that?" He laughed and she felt relieved

She shrugged smiling and looked up to see the hanger in view it was massive compared to the ones back on the main part of the base and she looked at it in awe a few moments. Ironhide stopped and opened his door seatbelt retracting.

"Go on an get out here Ima gonna transform now that we're here." He instructed

She climbed out stepping back a fair ways like before to let him transform. It was no less breath taking then the last time and towered over her.

"A'right Red let us in." He said

The massive hanger doors twice the size of the normal doors she was used to on aviation wear houses opened and Ironhide stepped forwards and she followed. Inside it was pretty vacant save for a monitor where a large red and white armored Autobot sat staring at several screens typing here and there.

"Thanks Red this here's…Alexis." He said

"Nice to make your acquaintance Officer Southernby I am Red Alert the security officer of the Autobots." He said optics flickering to her a mere moment before going back to the screens

His body she noticed was more lithe and he was probably taller then Ironhide. She wondered what his vehicle mode was. She also noticed he had two attenae like protrusions sort of what Optimus had but more stubby in size and on the top of his helm.

"Likewise…Red Alert Officer Riley spoke about you."

"Officer Riley is a good soldier I commend her abilities give her my greetings." He said stopping only briefly to contemplate her words and began typing again

"Red's not the talkative type." Ironhide whispered

"I figured." Alexis said with a smile watching him a moment longer before Ironhide waved her forwards.

They stepped into a long hall and his heavy footfalls drowned out hers echoing off the metal. There were larger and heavier footfalls coming towards them and she froze seeing Optimus Prime coming their direction he actually shook the ground when he walked. Alexis stepped closer to Ironhide not afraid to lay her hand on his warm metal leg as the Autobot leader approached. Optimus stopped and she heard that familiar whining and clicking sound before he gave her a speculating look and knelt down to her. Even kneeling he towered fifteen feet over her head.

"Hello Officer Southernby it is good to see you again. I am glad you decided to accept NEST's and our offer to join our team."

"I-it's an honor really." She stuttered eyes wide

He smiled "No need to be afraid though. I'm sure it will take some time for you to become accustom to us you are welcome here." He offered

She gulped Optimus Prime she knew was one of the more rational and diplomatic of the Autobots though he usually kept to himself and was busy with work. He seemed to like humans though Epps and Lennox in particular.

Optimus looked at the female long ago deciding if Ironhide thought this young woman of some value and worthy of his attention Optimus didn't seem any reason to judge her unfit. Ironhide was a hard mech to win the affections of in any form and Optimus commended her in that ability.

Still to Alexis his size made him quite intimidating. Optimus Prime was thirty feet tall a good twenty-five foot two inches then her five foot ten.

"Thank you very much." She said in a quiet but steady voice

Optimus stood nodding smiling slightly before glancing at Ironhide and continuing on his way.

"Optimus is the last one of us ya need to be frightened of." Ironhide said surprised at her show of fear not understanding in the least how she could feel any sort of fear towards Optimus

"Ironhide….he's HUGE." She whispered still hearing the leader's massive footsteps echoing down the hallway yet another reminder of his massiveness.

"He's harmless I tell ya! Akin to what you humans call a teddy bear." He chuckled

"Right." Alexis said with sarcasm

"Come on there is still more ta see." He said

She followed him as he walked and he stopped after a few feet suddenly letting out a irritated sigh. "Alexis just let me carry ya." He pleaded

"Why?" She asked wearily he had picked her up that once and she'd rather stay on the ground if at all possible. The feeling of being already so incredibly small was bad enough to get used to. The simple fact that Ironhide could pick her up be no more then a fleshy doll disturbed her a bit no matter what.

"Because it's hard to keep track of ya underfoot ya know. It will also be faster." He pointed out

Alexis sighed crossing her arms and glaring at the mech. His blue optics focused on her and he gave her a pointed stare in return and they had a stare down. However a machine didn't have to blink so it was childish to keep up this game and Ironhide had eons of practice at it.

"All right but EASY you about gave me a heart attack last time. Also don't think you can just do it whenever you feel like it either." She said pointing at him as if she were lecturing a child. She didn't want him carrying her around like a pet she was a soldier damn it and she wanted some respect no matter how small she was.

Ironhide smirked his liplates quirking. The humans were severely independent and Alexis was no exception. She was headstrong and stubborn. He knew she would feel put off by such a suggestion.

"A'right come ere." He said kneeling and extending his massive hand to the human woman

Alexis took a deep breath before grabbing his thumb and pulling herself up to sit in his palm. "Ima gonna put ya on muh shoulder." He said standing with her sitting in his palm he would rather keep his hands free just an old soldier's habit.

Alexis looked back at the intricate machinery and the rotating parts in his shoulder joint that could crush her as he lifted her up. She didn't see anywhere to sit!

"Where!" she asked

"That plate right there but yer aft there and don't wiggle around." He instructed to a solid plate above his shoulder joint. The plate ran along his shoulder and dipped down to his chest plate and grill of the Topkick.

"Oh god." She huffed climbing onto the shoulder plate and found herself a good seat grasping the sides. He stood and she closed her eyes at the rushing motion before opening them.

Her eyes widened as she realized the height and she clung to the plate in desperation. "Easy there I ain't gonna drop ya." He said slightly offended at her lack of trust

"Sorry, force of habit, I kind of dislike being up high on things that are moving around." She said softly

"Relax yerself a bit ya sit all stiff like that and yer bound to fall." He lectured

Alexis willed her body to relax a bit and Ironhide started forwards. He walked down the hall telling her that most of the doorways she saw were rooms where they recharged. Recharging he explained was their form of sleeping. Like humans their systems need to shut down and rest from time to time. Instead of a human's type of sleep it was more of a standby like a computer not all of their systems at one time shut down. They recalibrated their systems and were also hooked up to lines to filter out the lubricants and fuels of their bodies through a system almost like dialysis for a human.

The information by his standards was simple but it was making her head spin and she actually wanted to learn more. What were their mechanical body's like laid open? Where did the car engine go when they transformed? Where was this spark that he had housed? They obviously were able to feel somewhat because of that first day on the beach as she touched his hand. What was the extent of their sense of touch? The questions went on and on but she dare not ask too many and offend him.

"Yer curious bout a lot of stuff." He pointed out glancing at her

She was surprised he was able to tell "H-how do you know?"

"Yer all jerky an anxious like and yer eyes are bouncin back and forth." He chuckled

"Right could never go into espionage then." She said with a laugh

"It's a'right Alexis I ain't offended if ya wanna ask some questions. I ain't the smartest when it comes to some stuff though and some stuff is classified even for someone like you." He pointed out

"I just don't want to overstep my boundaries Ironhide. You're an alien soldier with a mechanical body I'm an engineer its like, well…., like taking a candy dish and just laying it out on a table for a kid."

He remembered Annabelle Lennox's attraction to the sweet treats growing up and he thought about the metaphor before chuckling. "I see."

"I just don't want you to think…as ridiculous as this sounds to you probably that I'm taking advantage of you."

His chuckle turned to an outright booming laugh that shook his body and he had to stop his stride.

"Humans are curious by nature that is what keeps yer race alive the ambition to learn things." He said

She frowned slightly "I know I'm just a speck of life compared to your eons of existence but really don't humor me I'm serious."

"Awe Alexis don't pout like that." He said reaching up

His metal knuckle gently brushed her chin the warm metal smooth against her skin. She sighed realizing she was pouting and being rather obstinate.

"I apologize. It's just still so…amazing." She said

"I think the same things mahself sometimes about yer race so young, so tiny, yet so tough and yer vitality to learn and advance is impressive."

She smiled softly "So you are impressed with us just a little."

"Now don't go gettin an attitude missy from one little compliment." He groused but with a mocking look

Alexis laughed reaching out and patting his cheek "Oh I won't."

The hours drifted by and it commenced smoothly. He took her to his private quarters a place set aside for him only. There he did maintenance on weapons and also designed and built new ones for his fellow soldiers. The materials were inferior on earth but not without their usefulness. They tended to wear down faster and needed replacing more often but they were abundant and pliable. Their systems didn't take long to calibrate and adjust to the strange alloys either. He knew that they weren't allowed to show the humans their weapons or design anything for them but he cheated just a bit for Alexis.

"You really created this?" She asked looking at the massive cannon

"Sure did." He said proudly

"Ironhide this is amazing it's a perfect replica XM312 .50 cal machine gun just on a bigger scale. I thought the alliance pact said…"

"It never said nothin about duplicating human technology to Autobot technology I just ain't allowed to build ya'll weapons from our tech showin you something you already know isn't breakin the rules. Sides this can only be attached to an Autobot no human could EVER use this." He argued

"How would you attach it?" She asked

"With its size a mech like me could mount it hear." He said tapping his forearm for emphasis where his own cannons rested deactivated and in their subchambers

"And someone like Bumblebee or Sideswipe?" she asked

"Sideswipe's frame is too delicate he's built fer whippin and zig zaggin round this would just weigh him down and his frame oughta crack from the vibrations of the fire. Bee though could hand it as a shoulder mount for a short amount of time. I actually designed it for Optimus." He said

"Awesome." She said her hands instantly going into the wires and fiddling around

"Hey now….be careful….don't..WHAT ARE YOU DOING!" He cried

Alexis laughed "I'm just looking."

"You look with yer optics not your servos get outta there." He snapped

"Easy big guy." She said completely ignoring him

"Alexis…it took me months ta build that don't ya go messin with anythin!" he growled

"I don't work with weapons systems just engines don't worry." She said kneeling down and laying on her back and sliding under it like it was merely just a car.

"What are ya doin then?" He asked not amused

"Looking! I'm using that curiosity you seem to be so fond of." She teased

"Slag it femme." He cursed leaning on the table knowing it was no use.

His optics focused on her carefully and he knew by watching her hands she wasn't really doing any harm. Ironhide was just naturally defensive about his weapons he usually built them from scratch. His comrades joked and said that they were like his sparklings. In a way they almost were.

"Hey Ironhide back to the femme thing you have females right?" she asked crawling out from under the cannon

"Yep but their almost extinct thanks to Megatron." He groused

"The triplets Arcee, Elita, and Chromia are all females?" She asked

"Right? Where ya goin with this Alexis?"

"Well then can you reproduce? Somehow slowly start repopulating your civilization?" she asked curious

If Ironhide could have blushed he would have. He wasn't ashamed of interfacing or anything akin to it but having to explain it to an alien species was.

"Th-that's more a question ya should be askin Ratchet not me." He stuttered

Alexis smiled "Sorry. Did I make you uncomfortable?"

"A little."

"Did you ever have a femme?" She asked

Ironhide took a quick intake into his filtering systems and flexed his servos. "I-I still do."

"Really!" Alexis asked curious

"It-its Chromia but cause of the fightin we don't get much time for…what you humans call romance and stuff. We're soldiers first and foremost."

Alexis' face fell "Oh. I'm sorry but I can understand that's part of the reason why I don't have a husband right now."

"Oh? Ya had yerself a male did ya?" Ironhide asked

The came to the end of his worktable and sat down dangling her legs over the side. "Yes. I loved him very much too but we both wanted different things in our lives."

"Soldiers have it tough when it comes to things like that." He echoed her melancholy tone

"His name was Jason he was a pilot. He always made me laugh and were engaged to be married but he wanted me to quit my career just like that. Give it up and be a mother and have children I didn't want that."

"It wasn't right for him ta ask ya something like that when ya have worked so hard to get where ya are." Ironhide pointed

"My point exactly. So we fought and I gave him back his ring, threw it as his head actually, and he was deployed three years ago and that was the last time I saw him. I miss him sometimes."

"Whats done is done femme you remember that." Ironhide said softly

"I know. Still doesn't make the ache any less though. Do you feel that when it comes to Chromia?"

"All the time, if the cons knew we were…sweet on one another they'd use it against us. Its better for right now to just remain comrades we've waited 9 million years was a few more?" He asked grinning sarcastically

"You're lucky to live so long you can wait humans don't have that luxury."

"Time isn't everythin its cracked up ta be Alexis ya see a lot of things….and lose a lot of things like I told ya." Ironhide said

Somehow during the conversation he'd walked closer to the table hand resting beside her. Alexis fought the silly notion but something inside her drew her to do. She reached out touching his hand before looking at it biting her lip. He sensed her anxiousness and focused his Azure optics on her. Alexis gave a sigh before just draping her body on his hand wrapping her arms awkwardly anywhere they could fit and hugging him.

Ironhide chuckled softly turning his hand over and scooping her gently into his palms. She hugged his thumb this time instead pressing her face to the cool metal.

"I feel like a kid again clinging to you like this."

"It's a'right. Annabelle Lennox used ta do the same thing." He said nostalgia coming over him

"Captain Lennox's daughter?" she asked curiously

"Yep. Little terror that one was growing up here, there, and everywhere it was hard to keep and eye on her. Looks like her femme creator on the outside but acts like Lennox. I can't tell ya how many times she got in ta trouble." He chuckled

"I wish I had had you more like that." Alexis said feeling a bit jealous

"Well ya got me now Alexis."

She smiled at him "Corny ass." She giggled letting go of his thumb.

Ironhide chuckled "These cannons say otherwise missy."

Alexis smiled sitting in his palm and they talked the rest of the afternoon together.