Sam/Optimus fic. Will eventually have sexual material. Such material will be posted on my LiveJournal, as is appropriate. For the link to this location, please visit my profile.

Disclaimer: Transformers belongs to whoever it belongs to, which is not me.

Drifting Without Destination

Part 1:

"Sam," a voice carried across the hanger, surprising the human enough that he almost fell off the hummer he was sitting on. Optimus Prime had somehow managed to sneak up on him. How a forty-foot robot could be so stealthy Sam could never guess. Or maybe he was just that distracted.

"Hey Optimus," he greeted half-heartedly.

"You seem… occupied," the leader of the Autobots continued cautiously, still standing to one side.

Sam let out a mirthless chuckle. "Yeah. That's one way of saying it."

"Did something happen?" Optimus asked, concern lowering his smooth, inhuman voice to a pleasant rumble.

Sam couldn't help but smile. There was Optimus. Always looking out for those under his 'command'. He was a great leader. If only they could find a liaison with national security that was worthy of him. Galloway had been fired shortly after the whole Egypt fiasco, and all the latest paper-pushers assigned by the president hadn't been much better. "Yeah. Nothing to concern the Autobots, though," he said, kicking his feet gently through the air. If he moved them too far they would hit the fender of the hummer.

Optimus shifted on his feet, and Sam found himself listening with fascination at the sound of all the gears moving and metal groaning that came with the movement. He'd never really had the time to notice before. Running for his life, or worrying about his education, or girl problems. He'd never paid much attention to the little things, like the way Bumblebee's seats sometimes had a smudge or patch of dirt on them that couldn't have gotten there through normal means. Or the way the tones of their inhuman voices echoed depending on the room they were in.

"Perhaps it is not, but can I not inquire as a friend?"

Sam couldn't suppress his slight smile. "Thanks big guy, but you can't exactly help with girl trouble."

"It is Mikaela, then? From my understanding, your relationship has progressed well over the past few weeks."

Sam shook his head. "It was going great for a while, but… she stuck with me through it all you know? The first time, with the cube. And then Egypt and crazy five foot tongues." He snorted, remembering their argument in the midst of escaping from the demonbot bitch from hell. "And you know what broke us up? A car. Or rather, the guy driving the car." He kicked the hummer with his heel. "It figures. A car gets me the girl, and a car loses me the girl."

Optimus was silent for a moment before speaking slowly, thoughtfully. "Surely there was more to it than a car?"

Sam let out a sigh. "Probably. Women are so hard to understand. I kept our web chat dates after missing that first one, visited her whenever I could, tried to get her to come live in one of the cheap apartments on campus, but it just wasn't enough I guess."

Optimus was silent again. Sam wondered how much thought the aliens put into their every interaction with humans. 'What was an appropriate reponse?' 'How much subtext in this sentence?' 'Would saying this outright inadvertently insult someone?' Human culture was so complicated, after all. Sometimes even Sam didn't understand it.

"Would you like to go for a ride?"

But wasn't that just the most random thing Sam thought the Autobot could have come up with. "Excuse me?" he finally choked out, completely blind-sided.

"Is it not common in your culture to indulge in driving with no set destination in order to calm one's thoughts?"

Sam blinked. That was true. Heck, what did he have to lose? It would be nice to get off base for a bit. He'd been planning to spend this month of summer vacation with Mikaela, but she'd been too… Well, she hadn't thought to tell him before he made all his summer plans that she was planning to dump him. So now he was free to do whatever. He'd found himself gravitating towards NEST like a bee to honey.

"Sure. Why not?" he muttered to himself, hopping off the hummer and walking towards Optimus. He watched in fascination as the towering body of metal folded and transformed until a perfectly normal-looking semi sat in front of him, engine purring. A smile quirked his lips. It was still a marvel for him that he was friends with an alien. And not just any alien. The Optimus Prime. A guy Sam, if he were an Autobot, would gladly follow into battle. Not that Sam was much of a soldier - he was better at the running part.

With a slightly less heavy heart, he slipped into the cab of the semi and relaxed into the warm, comfortable seat. The truck pulled out and away, heading into the night with no apparent destination, never going a single mile above the speed limit. This amused Sam, as it was an unspoken rule of the road to speed by ten miles, but he didn't bother to initiate Optimus at this point in time. It wasn't like they were in a hurry to get anywhere.

Soon, he found his eyes beginning to slip shut in the comfortable heat of the cab and the silence of running motor, softly whistling wind, and the sound of tires moving across asphalt. He loved the way the seat at his bat seemed to conform to his body just like Bee's did. If Autobots hired themselves out as the most comfortable ride, they'd make quite a bit of money. 'No need to drive yourself. Sleep the whole distance in the most comfortable self-adjusting vehicle you've ever sat in!' Ha! That'd be a laugh.

He didn't wake up until some time later, and was surprised to find that the vehicle had stopped while he was unconscious. Shifting in the seat, he squinted at the clock on the dashboard and saw that it was nearly midnight. He should probably head back and go to bed soon…

He shifted back into the seat with a content sigh. Here with Optimus – even though the Autobot hadn't spoken a word – was more comfortable than… well, most things in his life now. He had to find a job for the summer, he had to go visit his parents in a week or so, as they were returning from a vacation in Las Vegas, he had to… well, actually no, he didn't have to do that. Mikaela was out of the picture now. Letting out a soft sigh, he was understandably surprised when the rumbling voice of Optimus came through the speakers.

"Are you feeling any better, Sam?"

The human smiled and shifted back into the seat again. "Yeah, thanks. A drive was just what I needed."

"I am glad. I…" Here the Autobot leader paused, and Sam blinked in surprise. It wasn't often that Optimus didn't know exactly what he wanted to say. "I wanted to thank you as well, Sam."

The human blinked, still a little slow from sleep. "Thank me? For what?"

"For returning for me. I know you didn't want to get involved in the war again, but I'm… glad that you did. But not that you were put in danger again."

Sam smiled. "I'm glad that I brought you back too, Optimus. To be honest… it wouldn't have been the same without you. I'm sure the others would have left. Galloway was such an asshole, and I only barely met the guy before he got 'let go'." Sam chuckled vindictively at that. He'd heard stories about 'that asshole national security guy' from Will and some of the other soldiers Sam got to know in the cafeteria. Some of them he'd met before, in the middle of battle, and others were new, but they were all friendly enough and shared a common hate of all things Galloway.

Optimus chuckled. "Yes. I'm afraid even my patience was tried by that man."

"I'm not surprised. He could infuriate a neutered cockroach."

The Autobot was silent.

"Uh, just an expression I made up on the spot. I'm tired, okay? Brain capacity's not really up to snuff."

Optimus chuckled again. "I see."

Sam resisted the urge to stick out his tongue and settled back again into the seats. "You mind if I go to sleep, big guy?"

"No, Sam."

Letting out a contented murmur, he unbuckled his seatbelt and climbed into the bed in the back of the cabin. It was small and slightly cramped, but with the awesome robotic seat-conforming feature, he fell asleep in no time. It also didn't hurt that he had one of the most powerful, responsible, and protective aliens on the planet watching over him.

He fell asleep and was joined by dreams of forest, burning trees, and Optimus's body collapsing to the ground, eyes losing their light as his protector told him to run.