This fic here was written for the amazing Transformersfreak01, who reviews my "Guardians of Life" story quite often ^_^. She requested a fic about Optimus's thoughts when Bumblebee was taken by Sector Seven, with them having somewhat of a father/son relationship and the oneshot being a sad/family one. So, here it is! I loved writing this. The flashbacks popped into my head instantly when she requested this.

Review please! They make me happy!

I own nothing. Of course. *whimpers sadly*

"Let them leave."

Those were the three hardest words Optimus ever had to force himself to say. He turned away as Sector Seven took Bumblebee away, having him frozen and transported like some giant iceman. He couldn't watch them take the mech he'd known since Bumblebee was a Sparkling. The last Sparkling. His Sparkling.

The Autobots slowly crossed the canyon, the latest battlefield, strewn with the bodies of dead mechs from both factions.

"Well…we won," Jazz said halfheartedly, checking mechs for signs of life.

"Then why does it feel like we lost?" Optimus replied, looking over the landscape with a face full of sadness.

"This is war, Optimus. Death is inevitable here," Prowl said consolingly, placing a hand on the much larger mech's arm.

Optimus silently moved away as he and the rest of his team checked for life signs. Hours passed and not one mech, Autobot nor Decepticon, was found to be alive.

Optimus sighed. "There seems to be no one left after this battle. Gather our fallen comrades and let us be gone from this wretched graveyard."

His team obeyed, gently placing the bodies of their dead across a flatbed to be brought back to base. Just as the last mech was placed, movement in the corner of Optimus's optics caused him to whirl around, charging his cannon. The others did the same.

The cliff side shifted once more, causing a shower of dirt and rocks to fall to the ground.

"Who's there?" Optimus asked, the fear in his voice covered by authority. "Show yourself!"

The rocks shifted slightly once more, and Optimus thought he heard a faint squeaking.

"Optimus! What are you doing? There could be a Decepticon waiting to ambush you!" Prowl yelled as his commander slowly walked towards the movement.

Ignoring his Second in Command's pleas, Optimus reached the cliff side. Sure enough, he heard a faint squeaking coming from the other side of a few fallen boulders. Curiosity got the best of him and he reached down and threw the boulders away, revealing a small cave.

"What is it, Optimus?" Jazz asked, slowly inching forward.

Optimus knelt down and peered into the cave. "It's…it's a…a Sparkling!" he proclaimed, dumbfounded. "Poor thing must've been trapped during the battle."

"What? A Sparkling? No one's seen a live one in ages!" Ratchet yelled, hurrying forward.

"Why don't you tell him that," Optimus chuckled, pointing to the tiny mech crouching behind a boulder. The presence of a Sparkling filled the commander with a new sense of hope.

"Primus," Ratchet whispered, seeing the Sparkling for himself. "How the frag did he get all the way out here?"

"Hey little guy!" Jazz said happily, finally reaching the cave. "Did you fight those Decepticons too?"

Two beeps were his response.

Jazz laughed. "I like him."

Soon the rest of the team gathered around the cave's entrance. The little Sparkling started backing up, feeling overwhelmed by the presence of so many adult mechs towering over him.

"Hey…its okay, little Sparkling," Optimus whispered, slowly extending his hand. "We won't hurt you."

The Sparkling looked up at Optimus, his optics wide with both fear and curiosity. Finally the little mech crawled forward into Optimus's outstretched hand, where he fit easily.

"There we go!" Optimus said cheerfully. "What's this? You already have an alt form?" he asked, noticing the Sparkling's yellow color and small, wing-like appendages on his back. The Sparkling squeaked and transformed into a tiny Cybertronian car and back again.

The group of mechs chuckled at this. The Sparkling had an effect on all of them.

"Cute little thing, isn't he?" Ratchet said, his face breaking into a smile.

"We need to give him a name," Jazz said, thinking. "He reminds me of this organic life found on some planet," he added, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "They were called 'bumblebees,' I believe."

The Sparkling buzzed happily at the name. "Alright, Bumblebee it is!" Optimus said, smiling at him.

"Who will care for him now?" Prowl asked. "Ratchet?"

The medic shook his head. "No, I think Bumblebee's already chosen his guardian," he said, gesturing over to Optimus. Bumblebee happily crawled up the commander's arm and neck, beeping and squeaking in contentment. Optimus laughed and placed him back on his hand, only to have Bumblebee crawl up to his chest and hug him. Smiling, he placed a protective hand over the little Sparkling.

"He's chosen well."

"Optimus, what's our next move?" Jazz asked, bringing his commander out of his memories.

Optimus looked down and noticed a glint of light shining back up at him. It was the glasses!

"Now our top priority is finding the AllSpark before the Decepticons do," Optimus said, picking up their clue to the Cube's location and carefully stowing it away.

"And Bumblebee?" Ratchet asked, joining the group with Ironhide.

"There is nothing we can do to safely get him back."

All four of the Autobots stood in silence. They knew the chances of getting Bumblebee back were slim.

Optimus was silent for a few moments, his back facing the rest of his team. He couldn't show them how upset he was over losing Bumblebee to those humans. Optimus sighed, full of regret. He lost his son. Again.

Explosions filled the air.

"Bumblebee!" Optimus yelled, searching through the rubble. "Bumblebee, where are you?"

The Decepticons sneak attacked the Autobot base. No one saw it coming. It was a very risky and a very bold move. And it worked. No building was left standing and debris littered the area and rained down on everyone.

"Bumblebee!" Optimus yelled again, frantically searching for the little yellow mech. The last he saw of Bumblebee was when he was blasted through the air from the attack on their building.

"Optimus! You need to get out of here! They're after you!" Prowl shouted to his commander.

"Not until I find him! Not until I know Bumblebee is safe!" Optimus yelled back. The Decepticons were getting closer.

"You need to put your feelings aside and do what's best for everyone, not just you!"

Prowl was right. He was the Autobot leader. He couldn't allow himself to be captured. But Bumblebee…

"You need to get into that bunker, Optimus. You're too valuable to both sides of this war!"

Optimus looked sideways at his Second in Command, face stricken with fear, but still determined. "I need to find Bumblebee first."


"NO! I refuse to abandon him!"

"Then I'm sorry, Optimus…but as your Second in Command, you leave me no choice. Ratchet!"

Suddenly Optimus's world went blank. The next thing he knew, he was in the underground bunker lying on a medical berth. Faint explosions could still be heard from the surface every so often.

Optimus held the side of his head, trying to steady himself as he was dizzy from the sedative Ratchet was forced to give him.

"Why did I need to be sedated?" he thought groggily. "Oh, that's right…I refused to leave. But why didn't I go with them…" Suddenly Optimus bolted upright, yelling, "BUMBLEBEE!"

"Optimus! Calm down!" Ratchet shouted, hurrying over. "The effects of the sedative are still wearing off!"

"Where's Bumblebee?"

No one answered.

"Where is he?" Optimus asked again with more urgency.

It was Jazz who finally answered. "We…we don't know. We searched for him, Optimus. We really did. But we couldn't find him anywhere. We think…he was either captured by the Decepticons…or was killed in the battle. Way before we brought you down here," he added, trying to ease the pain of the news.

Optimus almost passed out because he felt so sick. "I'm going to find him," he said immediately.

"Optimus, you need to stay down here. There's still Decepticons-"

"I don't CARE!" he roared, optics flashing. "I'm going to find my son! He's still just a Sparkling! He has no way to defend himself and I can't just leave him out there!" he looked desperately around at the mechs in the room. "The base is huge. You could've missed somewhere when you were looking!"

"Optimus…we looked everywhere. There wasn't a trace of him to be found," Ratchet said slowly.

"I don't care! You missed somewhere, and I'm going to go find him! And Primus help the mech who tries to stop me!" he finished, brandishing his cannon while storming out the door. The others had no choice but to follow their leader to the surface.

"Bumblebee!" Optimus shouted. The air was thick with dust from the battle, making it hard to see. "Bumblebee, where are you?" He strained his optics for any sign of movement. Finally something caught his eye. He immediately ran towards the figure and skidded to a halt when he could finally make out what it was.

It was a lone Decepticon, probably ordered to hang back to look for injured Autobots to take as hostages. And Bumblebee was in his claws, squeaking and crying out in fear.

At that moment, something inside Optimus snapped. Before the Decepticon knew what was happening, Optimus forcefully tackled him to the ground, causing him to release Bumblebee out of shock. Jazz leapt forward and caught him while Optimus slammed the Decepticon into a pile of rubble, his cannon in the frightened mech's face.

"M-mercy…please…I beg you…" the Decepticon pleaded, absolutely defenseless.

"Not today," Optimus replied coldly, firing. He then closed his optics, calming himself down and letting his rage ebb away before turning towards the others. The first thing he saw was a little yellow blur running towards him. Optimus knelt down and embraced Bumblebee tightly, holding the whimpering Sparkling to his chest and slowly stroking his head. Tears flowed openly from his optics as he breathed a sigh of relief. He had his son back.

"I promise I'll never let anyone take you away from me again."

But now, so many years later, he let Bumblebee down. He let Sector Seven take him away, when he promised it would never happen again. The guilt was slowly eating away at the Autobot leader like acid.

"There was nothing you could have done, Optimus," Ironhide said, walking up to his friend.

"But if I only would have-"

"Optimus, beating yourself up over this won't bring him back to us," Ratchet consoled him. "Bumblebee is a full-grown mech now. He can take care of himself."

"You raised him well, Optimus," Ironhide added. "He couldn't be more prepared for a situation like this."

"We'll get him back, Optimus. I just know we will," Jazz said. "We'll come up with something. And if anyone can beat the odds, Bumblebee can."

"I guess…" But Optimus didn't look convinced. His team could tell he was preoccupied with the guilt of breaking his promise and just letting him be taken without a fight. "What if Bumblebee dies because I let him be taken?"

"He won't die, Optimus…"

"But what if he's tortured and put through painful experiments? How could he forgive me for that?" he paused, sighing. "I'm not cut out for being a leader. I just let them take him away…I lost my own son twice! How can I possibly lead a team well?"

"Optimus, look at me," Ratchet said, stepping closer to his leader. "Bumblebee knows why you let him be taken. He won't be mad at you--"

"But what if he is?"

"He won't," Ratchet assured him. "And he definitely wouldn't want you to dwell on it like you are. He would want you to keep leading your team. Because you can and have lead us well."

"We believe in you, Optimus. We wouldn't have chosen you as our leader if we didn't," Jazz added.

"They're right," Ironhide said, nodding. "We need to keep going through on our mission."

Optimus slowly nodded in agreement, sighing. After a few moments of building up his confidence and pushing his feelings to the back of his processor, he said, "Its dangerous to stay here any longer. We must move to a safer location, where we can plan our next move. Autobots, roll out!"

"I'll get you back somehow, Bumblebee. I promise, and this time I won't break it."

Okay! I hope you liked it!

And if you did, you should review! :P