Taking Liberties.

Epilogue.

They gathered several hours later in the main hall building, the only place large enough to hold six thirty-foot Seekers, four Autobots who ranged in size between sixteen and twenty-eight feet high, one sparkling, and one human.

Sam was carried in by Skywarp, who waited for everyone else to enter and sit down before handing the human into the silver hands of Bumblebee, who nuzzled Sam in concern, brushing his microphone against the boy's arms and hands before asking "What were you thinking of? Why couldn't you tell me what you were doing?"

"Like you would have let me go out and get caught by the Decepticons, much less helped me," Sam said in amusement. Bumblebee let out a mournful sigh and Sam moved to touch Bumblebee's face and reassure him.

"Hey, hey, 'Bee, it's fine, it was what the Essence wanted me to do, not that it was particularly clear about why or what to do all at once." He snorted slightly.

"Sam, I think we may all find things a little clearer if you start from the beginning," intoned Optimus, who had the sparkling Megatron sprawled on his lap, his big hand absently patting and stroking the back of the purring youngling. He was, it seemed, taking his new big-brother role seriously.

Sam chuckled, and settled himself down in Bumblebee's hands as the Autobot laced his fingers together to provide a comfortable seat for the human boy, and settled down to tell everyone how it had all started.

"It began with these very vivid dreams…" he began to explain.

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It took well over two hours, including drink breaks for the human, for all involved parties who were able to speak to explain what had happened. The Coneheads explained that Megatron had come looking for them, and they had only come across Sam by chance while they were resting onboard the ship. Megatron had planned to leave them there and look for others, and the arrival of Sam and the Command Trine had interrupted that. The six Seekers all detailed what had happened from their points of view also, explaining how Megatron had ended up as he now was.

Once they had finished explaining, Ratchet excused himself to check on the hatchlings, picking up Megatron on his way out as he was due another feed, and left. Optimus stood, and turned to face Sam, who was still sat comfortably in Bumblebee's hands.

"So, it seems the AllSpark is not lost after all. It has merely changed, moved, into a form we are less familiar with. This is good news, Sam."

Sam shifted uncomfortably.

"Wait, I know that the AllSpark is how you guys reproduce and is important to you, but don't forget that I've got my life to live as well. I'm not putting my life on hold because the Essence has taken up residence inside me." Sam looked up at Optimus nervously, perhaps realising how ludicrous that sounded, a six-foot organic being telling a twenty-eight foot robot that he'd do as he wanted no matter what said robot wanted to do about it. Skywarp, possibly sensing Sam's unease, stepped up beside Bumblebee and gave Optimus an intent stare.

Optimus' metal lips curved up slightly at the corners as his blue optics watched the human boy.

"Sam, don't worry, I will not expect you to give your life up to act as a the AllSpark for us, although Bumblebee and Skywarp may need to defend you against those who may attempt to make you do so," Optimus explained. "Hopefully the abundance of available hatchlings will reduce that risk, perhaps when a suitable planet is found for colonisation, Autobots and Decepticons may be working together rather than against each other."

"I'll do my best to defend you, Sam, that is if you still want me as a guardian now that you have Skywarp," Bumblebee said to Sam, and Sam felt a small, brief tremor run through the hands supporting him. He realised the young Autobot was feeling surplus, perhaps worrying about being displaced, and he twisted to face the scout, his hands stroking and patting in an attempt to reassure Bumblebee.

"Bumblebee, I'll never not want you, you're one of my very best friends," Sam explained. "After all, I can't see college letting me have my own plane, and I imagine Skywarp will want to do his own things too. Anyway, you blend in better as a car." Realising that Skywarp's AllSpark Guardian status might be at the root of Bumblebee's sudden uncharacteristic insecurity. Well, there was an easy answer to that.

Sam rested his hand on Bumblebee's arm and closed his eyes, and Bumblebee warbled slightly as his yellow was augmented by blue and gold, most of which would not be visible while he was in alt mode, after all, he did still need to be disguised. He raised Sam to his face, gently rubbing his burnished cheek against his human friend as Sam stroked and patted the Autobot.

Sam pulled back, feeling the usual slight tiredness that seemed to result whenever the Essence worked through him.

"Bee? I think I could do with some more time to think things through more, but right now I think I need food." Sam told Bumblebee. "I could murder a pizza. Perhaps we could call her, pick her up somewhere and pick up a pizza on the way?"

As Bumblebee walked out with Sam, followed by Skywarp, Optimus smiled again.

He had a feeling that the next few months would prove to be interesting.