Author Note: Mikaela is a pain to write. The chore of brining to life a character that had practically no development throughout the original work was not something I anticipated when I set out to write this. So hopefully no one minds too much that I added a few character quirks along the way. Otherwise she's just a set of slow moving breasts that occasionally worked on vehicles (not that there's anything wrong with that but it is harder to utilize without visuals).

Disclaimer: Just Borrowing

Related Music: Venetian Princess/Jodie Rivera - Somewhere Else

Grease Monkeys

Chapter 1 - Found Each Other's Exhaust Pipes

"I knew it. Yah tell a boy you love him and the next thing you know, he's-" A loud bang erupted from underneath the search and rescue Hummer H2, followed by a progression of colorful vocabulary.

"What did I advise you in regards to becoming distracted while performing routine maintenance?" Ratchet's annoyed voice emitted from the radio as Mikaela rolled out from beneath him. "Go to your world wide web with that glitch. I will not have you take it out on my parts a moment longer." He revved slightly in irritation as the mechanic stood up to kick the roller board toward the nearest work bench before leaning against his frame. The warmth of the vehicle helped to ease some of the soreness in her muscles but did nothing for her heart.

"Yeah, cause that'd actually help someone in my unique predicament." Rubbing her throbbing head, Mikaela tried not to let the grouchy hummer put her in an even worse mood. This was the third time today she inadvertently hurt herself. At this rate she'd probably lose a limb before nightfall. "Look, I'm sorry. Maybe you should get someone else to finish checking you out."

His tetchy voice vibrated through the frame, "Do not think that I have yet to consider the option. But even in this emotional state I trust you more than anyone else to go near my wiring." A shy smile turned up her mouth as his roundabout compliment helped to lightened Mikaela's disposition. Meanwhile his air conditioner let out a sigh before continuing. "Perhaps a break is in order. Go defragment your own hard drive before coming back to fumble with mine." Stepping away from Ratchet she nodded to him before sauntering out of his way. Guess I should at least try to clear my head, she translated.

Shielding her eyes from the setting sun she couldn't help but think back to the awkward look on Sam's face when he tried to explain the 'dilemma' of his heart. She had been through so much with him, never before feeling that alive. The old rush she used to get from carjacking didn't even compare. Ever since she agreed to follow his goofy mug into that shitty old Camaro her life has been one crazy wreck after another. It put to shame any prior relationship and damn was it exhilarating. So much so that she willingly suffered through the pain and terror brought on by giant alien robots twice to stay by his side. She would have never guessed that the very car which brought them together could so easily replace her. The ironic notion still boggled the girl's mind.

"I mean, I know a guy can get attached to his car. Hell, I can't really blame them. But to actually try dating the damn thing? Sure I can understand finding cars attractive. Hell, my specialty revolves around keeping them that way. It's just-" Shoulders slumped, Mikaela hadn't notice the Peterbilt truck parked just outside the building until it revved lightly to get her attention. Startled to be caught once again in a soliloquy she felt her face flush in embarrassment.

"Internal monologue still malfunctioning, I hear." The deep baritone remarked before rolling up to join her pace across the pavement. She eyed the truck suspiciously but couldn't discern any mockery in his observation. Not that she expected any from Optimus, but being on edge tends to make one a tad bit paranoid.

"Apparently." Casting her gaze downwards she watched the enormous tires keep steady pace with her stride. "I just don't know what to do with myself, you know? And it's not like I have anyone to really talk about the whole mess with." Brushing a strand of hair behind her ear a movement in his windshield caught her eye.

The truck had cocked a wiper at her but otherwise remained silent for a few moments. After only receiving her blank look in return Optimus lowered it before adding some clarification. "Mikaela, I had hoped you were aware that I am here for you and would be honored to listen. Especially since you can't seem to stay quiet for very long these days."

Reaching out an oil stained hand she lightly rubbed his hood before resting it there. "Aww, bigbot. I know that. It's just… I don't want you to feel like I'm making you pick sides or anything." Pausing she furrowed her brows before adding, "I mean, I don't want to bad talk the guy who resurrected you and all. That just seems, well... somewhere beyond downright rude."

The truck paused in his pursuit, causing her hand to slide down the hood before settling above a headlight. Feeling her hand run over the freshly waxed surface Mikaela also stooped as she turned to face him. "So you're turning down a friendly audio receptor while Ratchet unwillingly becomes partial to your troubles?" The tone of amusement stood out almost as much as his fiery decal.

"Oh, that." A shy smile played about her features as she considered this. "Well, that's just me talking while I work. He's lucky actually; my whistling would probably short his circuits." Drawing her hand back she considered her nails carefully before continuing. "Besides, I can't help but blabber on while my hands are busy working their magic."

There was a sputter from somewhere under his hood that she learned to interpret as a chuckle of sorts. "Just know that I am here if you need me. You have become an essential part of this team, after all. I'd hate to lose your aptitude when we may be in dire need of it sometime all too soon." Optimus's wheels began turning again as the truck made his way past Mikaela. Probably lost in thought about the ever looming presence of an escaped Megatron. She was about to comment on the decepticon leader but Optimus brought her mind in a different direction with his closing statement. "At least try not to scramble his programming too badly. He still hasn't forgiven himself for inadvertently bringing about those twins."

As he rolled off to the larger hanger she cringed slightly at the thought. Those two lug nuts were the result of Ratchet's tireless efforts to bring Jazz back to life. The medic has had a significantly shorter fuse ever since their sparks came online. Not that she could blame him. Even together the two bots were barely half the mech Jazz had been. Which is especially awful considering the both of them put together are what's left of Jazz. With that in mind Mikaela realized just how obnoxious she has been to Ratchet, blabbing on about her relationship issues to a guy that turned a dear friend's remains into Mudflap and Skids.

Continuing to reprimand herself, Mikaela pivoted on her feet to head right back the way she'd come. "The nerve of me. Complaining about that pipe plugger's insensitivity while at the same time treating Ratchet like my livejournal." She was snapped back from her self loathing upon entering the med-bay. Everything was as she left it aside from the hummer. He must have transformed shortly after kicking me out. His back was turned to her while shuffling through a stack of papers with a low hum emitting from his vocal processor. When she passed the threshold Ratchet looked up, both optic guards raised in surprise at her entrance while his metallic mouth curved downwards in a grimace. The expression did not suit his features, which reminded her of a monkey with the way his face plating fit together. Usually the thought made her giggle around him, but thankfully today she was a bit too somber to ruin her apology before even giving it.

"Now either that was the shortest recharge ever or you once again neglected my instructions." His hold on the packet of paper tightened, creasing it under fingers of literal steel.

Sheepishly the girl approached with a hopefully charming smile. The practiced expression had gotten her out of worse trouble before. "I just wanted to apologize for how I've been treating you lately. You didn't have to get me this job on your base. I'm barely qualified and my only real experience is as a backyard grease monkey. So it must have taken some convincing on your part, what with my questionable background." Looking up to his optics she grudgingly noticed no change in his facial plating. Determined to make her case she continued a bit too quickly, almost tripping over the words. "So, yeah. I'll try to stay quiet so I'm not distracting you or myself and this way I can keep it all in my head-" She paused upon seeing his mouth begin to form an even deeper frown, suddenly shifting to a different idea. "I mean out of my head, so my drama is not in any way impeding me. Or you. Since you already bust your ass enough around here without me adding a footprint." Something akin to amusement seemed to light up his face slightly, encouraging her to go on at a more reasonable pace. "So you just let me know when I start slipping up. This way I can catch myself instead of becoming a total pain. Alright?" An awkward smile brought up the corners of her mouth as the alien robot watched her with eerie stillness.

"My skidplate would much rather you deal with this setback rather than letting it grate your gears a moment longer." Shifting his weight, Ratchet placed the crumpled stack of paper on a work bench before bringing himself into a sitting position. It was surprisingly graceful the way his parts folded into and around each other to accommodate the action. "Now, in one sentence - and run-ons do not count - tell me specifically what your dilemma is."

Letting out a nervous breath, Mikaela considered how best to sum up her humiliation. Figuring that the most straight forward, if not slightly venomous, response she could give would do she began, "You see... my boyfriend dumped me to go fuck the spark plugs out of his car." Come to think of it, there really wasn't too much more than that to say. Unless she went into a rant about that whole 'I love you' mess. But there was no way she could keep that under the one-sentence limit. I knew saying it first was a surefire relationship killer. Now flowing down that thought pattern she couldn't help but become swept up in it.

Ratchet's optics shined with a sympathetic glow as he began addressing her drama, "There now. Considering th-"

"I mean, seriously! His car? The same car he used to pick me up with is now dropping him off like it's hot!" Once again she found herself unable to bottle up her thoughts a moment longer as they flowed a bit too freely from her mouth. Somehow her lips managed to keep up with the steady stream of consciousness. "And it's not just Sam because Bee and I were friends too. We fought together in Mission city and traveled across the world to save it. Is there no decency in robo-culture concerning the sacred bond of boyfriend and girlfriend?" Arms crossing, Mikaela's face flushed as her anger continued boiling over and out from the seeming dainty girl. "And what could they even do together? Our bodies are hardly compatible! I should know, I've been working with you guys for some time now and in no way have I seen anything that could jerk Sam off better then my dry hand alone. Besides-"

Taking advantage of the human's need for breath, Ratchet interjected before she could continue the assault on his audio receptors a moment longer. "Enough! Is your concept of one simple sentence so fragged up?" Shifting his frame, the mech leaned in close to her, voice low and daunting. "Now, what say we try this once more time? And to avoid another outburst, we shall start at the part after your one sentence summarization. Alright?"

Feeling even smaller than usual in the autobot's presence, Mikaela nodded quickly with lips held tightly closed by her teeth. Just in case, she thought to herself.

"Excellent." Ratchet leaned back slightly, considering her with his azure gaze. She couldn't help but think of how the expression reminded her somewhat of Dr. Zeaus from Planet of the Apes. "I do not pretend to know or understand the relationship you had on an emotional level. It is more than apparent that feelings were exchanged, considering your actions in response to it having ended. But even still, when in both your presence I only ever detected a pheromone level of attraction from the boy. Curious, considering your apparent relationship. Thus it is in my professional opinion that I speculate you were attracted to the fact that Samuel desired you, opposed to you physically desiring the boy himself."

She failed to keep quiet as her jaw dropped open from her now free to speak mouth, quite taken aback. "What makes you think- so you mean…" Trailing off she somehow managed to take the time to really consider his words before continuing the broken dialogue. She must have loved Sam. Why else would she have stayed with him for so long? They were together even after things calmed down following Mission City. Though come to think of it, they only had time to talk on the phone. He was busy preparing for college while she worked to help her father get his life back. But that didn't last very long as the next wave of robotic trouble hit the planet harder than any of them were prepared for. Running a hand through her hair she considered the mech watching her expectantly. "Alright. So even if that is the case, how does it help me? I still feel like a wreck about everything. I lost my best friend and my boyfriend when they found each other's exhaust pipes."

"I still do not believe you have allowed my words to fully register. Consider it further on your way to recharge. I know it is still early, but from the look of you I would say some serious replenishment of energy is in order." He paused, focusing up and away from her almost thoughtfully before adding, "You may even rest here if it adequately suits your needs."

Relaxing, she smiled at the surprisingly friendly offer. This hanger was specifically built separate from the rest of the autobots so Ratchet could have seclusion he needed to work. That he actually offered for her to sleep here a while was a pleasant surprise she took no time in accepting. "Thanks for understanding… even though I'm not quite sure I do. At least not yet." Reaching her arms overhead in a yawn she made her way to the stretcher that Ratchet sometimes used when engaged in the search and rescue activities his paint job proclaimed him capable of. Compared to her bunk, the barely cushioned pad didn't feel too bad as she dropped down onto it before curling up.

Ratchet seemed more at ease as he stood. She watched him cross his servos before turning to consider the crumpled packet of data he had been looking over before. "Keep in mind; I will retract the offer if you have a habit of running your vocals while in stasis."

She couldn't help but grin at his obnoxious foresight. Deciding the safest answer was to just stay quiet; Mikaela closed her eyes and allowed her mind to drift in a more pleasant direction as sleep claimed her.