I know, it was a little sadistic to go and publish a whole entire other story between the last chapter and this one, but I wanted to take time with this. (Hey, if you're a Top Gun fan.... go check it out!)
Anyways. This is the last chapter, and I'm really sad it's ending.. I'll miss you guys...
1. Blu: Hi :D Evil little toaster… I made a bagel today without burning it, (well, almost). And I was so proud. Prequel would be sweet :D And lemme get all sentimental for a moment here, you're an amazing reviewer and I'm so glad you've read this story :)
2. Bumblebee63: Hi!
3. Mezzer 5.2: Again, I value the advice so much :)
4. Aniay: Happy is always good :) You've been such an awesome reviewer!
5. Bumblebee2009: Took your suggestion about what to add into this chapter, and hope it's good :) Wow, thireteen more chapters since you said… good thing you said that, in that case :) And you've been just such an awesome, awesome reviewer, and I'm really grateful for all the advice.
6. Girl on the Computer: Glad ya liked it :)
7. Ryu433: Someday, I'll have to go and insert that phrase. It's cool. And I didn't mean to take so long, really :)
8. IrresoluteSongbird: Awww thanks :)
9. Robins princes starfire: I'm so glad you've liked this :) thanks for being such a great reviewer!
10. Sipi3: Hope you like the ending :)
11. Lokkish: Happy is always fun :)
12. TarotCard87: I'll write more, I promise. Thanks for being so awesome :D
13. Obsudiandreams: awww I'm so glad you've liked it so much. There's some sides/sunny in this chapter :D He's a human body. Did I forget to add that? Dang… and yes! Chapter 8 has some design flaws… and so does another chapter.. I'll have to fix that :D Yep, I'm working on the modeling job thing. And yes.. just seventeen :D Eighteen in February thought! Glad I seem mature here :D and you've been just the greatest, and I really loved all your reviews :)
14. Broken Mushroom: Awww thanks :) You've been so great, I really appreciate all your reviews!
I can't believe it's the last chapter…. No, I'm not getting all teary and sentimental, why do you ask?
And so I don't have to interrupt at the end of the chapter I just to say THANK YOU to all my amazing reviewers and readers and subscribers and favorite-ers! You've all been just unbelievably supporting and helpful, and your reviews meant the world to me. You've done wonders and I'm forever grateful.
Sideswipe always knew when Sunstreaker was hating him, wishing it was someone different he was with, when he wished he couldn't see himself in Sideswipe so damnably clearly. It was when Sunstreaker pushed him against a wall with little warning, when no words were exchanged. It was when he felt so used, just like this, that he knew Sunstreaker was hating him the most.
No doubt, Sideswipe thought, he'd just committed some accidental sin that Sunstreaker hated himself for exhibiting.
Sideswipe let Sunstreaker at his exposed neck, Sunstreaker's hands trailing over him, pressing him into the wall. Thoughts drifted, reviewed his recent actions, hearing irritated growls when his attention split. Sunstreaker's touch was leaving a trail of fire down him, kisses and bites that made him gasp and squirm for more. What did I do?, thoughts still attempted coherence, something, something- he's using me for some reason- One of Sunstreaker's hands hooked under his knee, then the other, as he leaned back against the wall, arching up, moaning at Sunstreaker's ever-hot touch- used, used used- legs wrapping around Sunstreaker's waist, hands pulling him closer, pressed against the wall- he hates himself- faster, more insistent, drawing unbidden groans from his lips- he hates me- hands grasping at Sunstreaker's shoulders, fingers clutching for a hold- hates himself- rough movements against him, hard, angry kisses- hates me- held onto Sunstreaker tighter, head hitting the wall, gasping for breath- hates hates hates because of what I did- a strangled sort of moan, feeling over-sensitized and disgustingly easy, but he couldn't help it, and wasn't that what he hated the most- because it's what he does- writhe and arch and everything stung of fury and spite, as he was suddenly lowered, none-too-gently, grip loosening on Sunstreaker's shoulders, to stand, turned and pushed against the wall, -he hates that he does it- hands moving to his hips, holding him in place, lust and pain mingling, flirting, interloping, becoming one- because it hurts to hate yourself- and it hurt, it hurt like hell, but had it ever felt sweeter than it did at that moment?- and he knows that, because he does it- penetration like pain, like pleasure, like nothing else, writhing and gasping because it was too slow, pushing him to the edge of sanity, the edge of control- does it every day- and finally, thrusts quickened and deepened, and he knew, one shift of angle, and he'd be gone- and I know that hurts- and he was groaning when Sunstreaker's angle changed and then he was crying out in a desperate sort of plea, nearly screaming, so soon and so unfairly, and he hoped Sunstreaker was damn pleased with that because he sure as hell wasn't, he felt used, but- it hurts a lot to hate yourself- but didn't he always do the same right back?
They would cycle and cycle and cycle around, and now, panting and gasping for breath, finally meeting those dark eyes, "I don't care what you think," Sideswipe managed, "but I swear I love it when you're selfish. Even if you don't." Because that was what it had been about. Because it was easier for Sunstreaker to use his lover instead of hurt himself. Sunstreaker leaned forward, kissed him with an apologetic gentleness.
"I'm sorry." The softest of whispers, as Sideswipe leaned back against the wall, drained and overwhelmed and unreadable.
"Don't be." Maybe Sunstreaker would be like that forever, always tense at the sign of potential clash, "I want more later. You'll pay."
A soft laugh, and everything was balanced again between them.
"Sadistic whore. Anything for you." Another swift, sweet kiss of apology, and he was gone.
One little act of perceived selfishness- Sideswipe couldn't help with the inventory- and when Sunstreaker heard that without believing the preceding explanation- Sideswipe hadn't had recharge in far too many hours, and had long ago used up the last of his energy, had, in fact, been heading to bed right that minute- it had seemed like selfishness.
And Sideswipe knew just how much Sunstreaker hated the prominence of that trait in himself. Maybe that was why they were Sparkmates- they were perfect matches, as far as shameful traits went. Sideswipe let Sunstreaker use him, hate him for being selfish. It was for the same reason Sunstreaker let Sideswipe take out anger on him, anger with being short-tempered and emotionless, for the reason that hating someone else was easier. Someone else could forgive; Sideswipe couldn't let Sunstreaker hate himself, he'd never forgive himself.
A short time later, he was curled up under blankets, wrapped around Sunstreaker and absolutely unwilling to move at all. "You really haven't recharged in a long time, have you?" Sunstreaker murmured, as Sideswipe shifted closer, one knee between Sunstreaker's legs, one arm around his waist, and he mumbled some sort of confirmation. He made a sort of purring murmur as Sunstreaker's hand circled over his bare back, rubbing gently, "I'm sorry."
"Not your fault I can't sleep."
"I mean... Primus, I'm sorry I didn't believe you. You're not... you're not selfish..." Sunstreaker mumbled. Sideswipe nuzzled against him, pressing a kiss to his shoulder.
Sometimes, he swore there was nothing else in the world so absolute as how much he loved Sunstreaker. It was the one steadying force in his life, just like how Sunstreaker had always felt like the only constant he had was his love for Sideswipe.
"You don't have to love yourself. I'll do it for you."
It was unreal. It was almost like returning to that long-gone time, and even though everything was better now, Sam knew none of the Bots would deny the desire to return to that simpler time.
It was back before Sam had died, before Bee had lost himself, before Sunstreaker realized his lover hated him, before Sideswipe was forced to show instability, before Prowl's spark broke over an era.
But there was one saving grace- the present time wasn't as agonizing as the century between the missed past and present had been.
In fact, the present had the same ring to it as the past had, a faint, reminiscent echo.
"YOU SLAGGING-" Ironhide didn't appreciate being scared to death. He'd opened the door to the rec room, and Jacob, sitting right inside the door, had given him the same roaring "Boo!" as the last six people to enter the room. (Sideswipe was still sulking about screaming).
Jacob just grinned up at Ironhide and drew back his legs to let the Bot walk through the doorway. "I swear to Primus I'm going to kill you" Ironhide grumbled, stalking by. "Prowl here?"
"Just went to inventory." Sam tilted his head back, looking over the back of the couch. "Couple minutes ago."
"Prime needs to stop giving him that job..." Ironhide rolled his eyes, staring back out, "he takes hours..."
Prowl was, as predicted, taking inventory in the medbay.
"Don't you have anything better to do?" Prowl hadn't so much as turned around when he'd heard Ironhide's cheerful greeting. "Besides staring at me?" Primus, but Ironhide loved that smirk.
"I happen to enjoy this." Ironhide crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back against the wall, "You look great like that."
Prowl just rolled his eyes, shoving his shirtsleeves up to his elbows again. "You need a life."
"I'm watchin' it."
"Primus, you're pathetic" but he couldn't hide the smile. Before Ironhide could say anything else, though, they heard voices from outside the window of the room.
"Hardly recognize his voice." Ironhide murmured, leaning to look out the window. Bee was just outside, talking to Ratchet; Bee had just been admitted from the medbay, and had sent Sam to go be social while he talked to Ratchet. "It's been so long."
"Primus, but it's great to hear you talk again" Ratchet swept his sparkling up into a hug, "he's in the rec room, last I heard."
"You know," Ironhide said thoughtfully, leaning against the wall, attention back on Prowl, where it so belonged, "Prime was talking about something earlier."
Prowl cocked his head to the side, curiosity on his face.
"He'd been talking to Ratchet about how he'd raised Bee like Bee was his own sparkling, and, well, Prime said it seemed to have helped Bee a lot. You know, having a-there's an Earth word for it... parent. Like a parent."
"Yeah?" Prowl ticked off an item on his checklist then set the clipboard down, wandering over to stand before Ironhide, "that's nice. Bee seems to have turned out well-adjusted and all. In spite of everything."
"Yeah. That's what Prime said. That if Ratchet hadn't been there, he might've had a harder time. And that it was just nice, that Bee had someone for support and all. So Prime said that, well, the whole sparkling-has-a-parent thing is great."
"That's nice." Prowl arched an eyebrow. "Does he want to have another Bot sparked or something? Easy enough." He was right; all it took was a shard of a pre-established spark, metal, and some fusion that medics learned as the first part of their training, all technical. Bots were, after all, mechanical beings, with control over many things, life itself included.
"Well, yeah. He thought it'd be a nice idea. So, he talked to Ratchet and all and Ratchet liked that idea, of course, because, you know, he raised Bee and it was really beneficial for Bee..."
"You're going in circles." Prowl informed him. "Is there something else?" Ironhide blushed crimson. He was as good at planning and being logical as Prowl was at being spontaneous. (Prowl failed at being spontaneous, all the planning-ahead killed the spur-of-the-moment atmosphere, but Ironhide didn't mind at all, just found it unbelievably sweet and so very Prowl).
"Well... I understand if you don't want to, but..." Darker crimson, and Prowl watched with anticipation, "maybe that sparkling could be..." Hadn't all this speechlessness cost him time before already? The reminder that speaking out earlier would have let him be with Prowl sooner was always a good motivator, "could be ours?"
The idea had been perfect in his own mind. The soon-to-be sparkling needed to be raised, adopted and loved; Prime was too busy, Ratchet had his hands full with Bee, so the question had turned to couples, but that hadn't yielded promising ideas either. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker would be borderline catastrophic as the pilot for sparkling raising- maybe later, Ratchet had said, when they were calmer, more stable, and, he'd added, barely disguised as a cough, saner- and Sam and Bee seemed too young at the moment.
Ironhide would love to share that experience with Prowl, to share something so wonderful and so utterly life-changing, but he'd known that there was the significant chance that Prowl wouldn't want so much to deal with. His Bot was overwhelmed so easily-
And then Prowl had flung his arms around Ironhide's neck, crying, words tumbling, "I'd love that, Hide, I would, I really would, can we? Oh, can we, I want to raise a sparkling with you, I'd love that!"
"I would too, Prowler." Ironhide murmured, hugging his lover tight, "I really would." He released Prowl for a moment, brushing away tears he hadn't noticed. "Primus, you're supposed to be the sensitive one..." Prowl just laughed, rising up to kiss him. "I still hope the sparkling's as cute as you."
"Mmm, you'd better hope so" Prowl nuzzled against him, "hope he's not as stubborn as you though."
"I think it'd be great."
"You would." Prowl grinned, kissing him. "You really want to do this?" Bright, shining eyes, and Ironhide couldn't imagine what he would have done, if Prowl hadn't come back to them.
He would have never known completion.
"More than anything, Prowler."
Bee crawled up into Sam's lap, settling against his chest. "He's just like Will, isn't he?" he murmured, as Sam circled him in his arms.
"Exactly the same."
As they spoke, Jacob was scaring the living daylights out of Sunstreaker, and receiving a rather brutal punch for it.
Bee cuddled against him in silence for a few moments, head on Sam's shoulder. "You miss everyone, don't you?" he asked softly, looking up at Sam. Sam half shrugged.
Miss them? It felt like someone had torn away his heart- and they had, because it was literally gone- because his parents, Tanner, Will, Mikaela, every human he'd ever known, was gone.
He'd have said he was the last human left, but he wasn't. Not anymore.
"I guess so."
"Regret it?" That soft, deep murmur, leaden with the hauntings of despair, but how could Bee not know? Every word he said reinforced Sam's feelings on it.
"No." No, not when he knew he would have died anyways, not when he would have lost people no matter what life he lived.
Not when he was here right now, hearing Bee's voice and staying with him. He missed them, yes. But he didn't regret living on for Bee.
He'd wondered, for a moment, if it would be unbearable. Staying in the hospital overnight, he'd discovered something. Bee talked in his sleep. He hadn't used to, but as Sam had lain awake, he'd discovered this new tendency. Maybe, over the past century, this was when his inner self became frustrated with the empty silence, forced words into the silence, even if he would never remember speaking them. Sam had had one arm tossed up behind his head, the other holding Bee to his chest. Bee had been practically on top of him, so deeply asleep Sam doubted a tornado could have woken him, like he hadn't slept in a century and that was partly true.
"missed you, missed you, missed you..." Bee had mumbled in a content little hum, snuggling in closer, blankets sliding off his shoulders. Sam had reached to pull the covers back up and in doing so, jostled Bee enough that he woke up, yawning and instinctively holding tighter to Sam.
"Why're you awake still?"
"Just... how different everything is."
And Bee had looked at him for a moment in silence, "It gets easier." He'd murmured, threading his fingers between Sam's, "and even though sometimes it's not... you would have missed it if you hadn't lived longer."
And now, Sam wasn't regretting anything. It may have been easier to accept his natural lifespan, but he would have missed... everything. He would have missed everything Bee was now. He wasn't exactly the same as he'd been when Sam had died, but he was still, completely and absolutely, Sam's Bumblebee.
Sam would have missed all of that.
"I don't regret any of it." He murmured in Bee's ear, receiving a sweet smile in return. "But know what I think I would regret?"
"If Hide comes back and thinks we're Jacob's accomplices or something." And Bee snickered at that, jumping up and pulling him out of the room by the hand.
"I've got something I'd rather be doing anyways." The devilish smile told Sam exactly what Bee was thinking.
Outside, streetlamps had been switched on, casting a bright light unlike what Sam had used to know. He would have expected most everyone to be heading for bed- to recharge, he kept having to remind himself, not sleep, but recharge- but even so, they heard voices from inside the medbay. Sam recognized Prime's voice, tugged at Bee to stop for a moment.
"But Saaaaam" he whimpered, amber eyes full of begging, lower lip sticking out in a hopeless pout.
"Just a moment" Sam squeezed his hand, and pulled him towards the open door.
"-risky?" Prime was saying.
"Less so than the alternative, I'd say." Ratchet's voice, then. Sam's mind tried to hook their words up to explanations, found nothing. Beside him, Bee was trying to peek around the doorway.
"Yes. A very valid point. The alternative has... unpredictable results. Did they agree to do it?"
And for one terrible moment, Sam's spark about stopped, too used to horrible news. Bee's grip on his hand tightened, horrified eyes telling Sam everything. I couldn't go through something else terrible, tell me that's not what they're talking about .
"Well?" Optimus's voice.
"They'll do it. I just spoke with them, and they're more than willing."
"Great!" Optimus's voice again, with a sort of joy that surprised Sam, but still couldn't chase away all the foreboding, "that little sparkling's lucky to have such great Bots as parents."
Sam swore his spark skipped a pulse
Both his and Bee's exclamation was far too loud to keep their presence concealed. Laughter could be heard from the next room.
"Eavesdropping, I see." But Optimus just laughed as the two caught eavesdroppers slunk around the doorway. "Yes. Prowl and Hide are going to raise the new sparkling."
"When?" Bee's eager voice made Sam smile, relief all-too obvious.
It was like they'd forgotten what good news felt like, and all that deprivation made this, already something phenomenal, even sweeter.
"Very soon." Ratchet said, "Although they'll have to decide on a name, first, and Primus knows that could take ages."
The good news had lifted already soaring spirits, as Bee continued dragging Sam back towards their apartment. As soon as they'd closed the door behind them, Bee's lips were on his, tongue probing for entrance. Sam pulled him in closer, welcoming his every touch.
"This can't be good for you. Just out of the hospital" he managed to say, even as he led Bee back towards the bed, Bee laying kisses to his neck, purring with delight.
"I wouldn't care even if it wasn't. Do you have any idea what it's like, to not have you for a century?" He let Sam guide him backwards, sinking down on the bed, "I thought I would die." The bright amber eyes met Sam's, more honesty in the statement than Sam had ever been led to believe.
"I thought you would too" He murmured, climbing up to kneel over Bee, sliding a hand up Bee's shirt, "Primus, but I've missed you." And it felt just like before, but so much more. As he pulled Bee's shirt off, felt Bee's fingers working at the buttons on his own, it was hard to ignore the gap between the last and this time. Hard to forget that he'd died and come back and Bee was a century older, but still so, so young, in the Bot perspective that Sam still struggled to decipher and adopt.
But Bee still made the same delighted sound when Sam kissed his neck, the same desperate moan when he took agonizingly long to work Bee's jeans down, the same hot skin beneath Sam's hands, same taste to his lips. And nothing had changed at all.
"Still so fragging good at this, I see" Bee whimpered, as Sam took his sweet time, "nnnngh-" And he still looked just as hot, writing at Sam's touch, gasping and moaning. Sam rocked his hips up and into that tight heat, reveling in Bee's impassioned cry at every motion.
Just as nothing had changed, everything was renewed in feeling, every sensation stronger and brighter, like every faraway star was suddenly so much closer, and when Sam's scream twined with Bee's, it was like there had never been time between them.
Bee still curled up to recharge in the same way, fitted against Sam, warm weight constant, steadying. Sam slipped an arm around him, that body arching closer at his touch, always responding to it.
"I love you." The murmur slipped through the silence like a silken ribbon, the voice that had been silent for as long as Bee's had been. Bee made a little humming sound, pressing a kiss to his neck.
"I love you too." There was a brief silence. "Hey, Sam." Bee's voice in the darkness, soft, "I want to do that someday."
"Uh-huh." Bee murmured, "Maybe in a few years or so. What do you think?" Sam wondered for a moment if, at that very moment, Prowl and Ironhide were lying together, whispering about sparkling names, found it absolutely effortless to imagine himself and Bee just like that.
"I think I'd love that."
He leaned over, closing the gap between them, and kissed Bee gently, all the silence saying everything he couldn't possibly put into words. I love you never would have been enough, beacuse it was so much more than that. So, so much more. And when Bee looked up at him, Sam knew. It may have taken more than a century, may have taken the breaking of hearts and crying of tears and devastation of entire worlds and seemingly endless periods of absolute silence, but he knew.
The meaning in their silence was finally clearer than any words they'd ever said. It wasn't just "I love you". It was everything they'd ever done and all the time they had together because of it.
The void between their universes had vanished, bringing two distant galaxies together with the caress of bliss to bind them forever, for the eternity that spanned between their shared moment now and until they reached every distant star.
The time that dazzled ahead meant more than anything else ever could.
It meant everything.