Disclaimer - I don't own them.
Air Raid tromped back towards where the rest of the Autobots were gathered after the battle, muttering to himself in disgust. The damage to his wing wasn't severe, but it was enough to keep him out of the air unless he wanted to make it worse and risk long-term grounding. And Skydive really had no business looping and rolling like that. Show off.
A tangle of cable on the ground caught his foot, and Air Raid flailed his arms for a moment as he caught his balance. Wouldn't that be just wonderful, Air Raid thought, with a snort of air through his vents, if he fell and damaged his wing more anyway. Continuing more slowly now, Air Raid resolutely ignored the sight of his brothers soaring freely overhead and kept his optics on the debris-strewn ground. Walking was boring. And slow. He was starting to get a crick in his neck components, looking down like this, and the jostling was making his wing hurt, and he was so going to…Air Raid stumbled again, self-pitying thoughts interrupted. A small sound of startlement escaped his vocalizer as he looked at the very familiar object he had nearly stepped on. What was that doing here? After staring a moment longer, trying not to process the implications, he gingerly picked it up, tucked it under one arm, and began a slow jog towards the sounds of engines and vocalizers he could hear up ahead somewhere. Ironically, the debris seemed easier to navigate at this faster pace.
"Yo! Ironhide! Where are they taking the wounded?" Air Raid panted as he came within sight of Ironhide and his team.
"Right behind the old senate building." Ironhide waved in the general direction. "You ok, kid?" he added in concern.
"Yeah, I'll live. See ya round the universe, Ironhide," Air Raid called cheekily as he jogged by. Ironhide stared, and Air Raid winced as he realized he'd waved back at him with the object in his hand. Oops. That probably wasn't exactly…tactful, though he doubted Ironhide could identify the exact nature of what he was holding from that far away.
When Air Raid rounded the corner of the battered senate building, he came upon a scene of organized chaos that was the aftermath of battle. Hot Spot and Groove were efficiently sorting through a crowd of mechs with what seemed to be mostly minor damages, Ratchet and First Aid beyond them tending the more seriously injured. Air Raid heaved a sigh of relief to see them both functioning and intact. Er, mostly intact, anyway. Air Raid spotted Wheeljack and headed in his direction, where the engineer was sitting with his back propped against a wall and holding a temporary patch over one sparking knee joint.
Wheeljack's optics widened as he approached. "Raid! Where'd you find that?"
"About three blocks down," Air Raid replied, grinning. "Nearly stepped on it."
Wheeljack shook his head in amazement and then turned to shout around the corner of the wall. "Streetwise! Street, Air Raid found it!"
There was a faint answer, and a few kliks later Streetwise appeared, meeting Air Raid's optics with a wry, slightly frazzled look. "Do you know," he said, as he clambered over a few fallen beams to join them, "how long I've been looking for that?"
Air Raid laughed. "Happy to be of service. Does he even know it's missing?"
"No!" Streetwise said, an entire world of fond-worried exasperation in his voice. "That's the problem. Hasn't slowed him down even a nanoklik."
Air Raid shook his head in sympathy as he nodded to Wheeljack, and then followed Streetwise as he wove a trail through to the center of the chaos. "That's taking dedicated to a whole new level. I always knew you guys were crazy."
"You're calling us crazy!" Streetwise protested, grinning over at him. "I saw that death-dive mid-air tackle stunt you did."
Hot Spot looked up as they passed by and gave Air Raid a quick, thankful smile and salute, before returning to the injured mechs he was helping.
Air Raid grinned back over at Streetwise, answering his earlier comment. "That wasn't crazy; that was me playing it safe and sensible. And just what were you doing far enough out to see that anyway?" he said, half-scoldingly. The Protectobots were supposed to stay out of the main areas of fighting. Streetwise only gave him an unrepentant and saucy flare of his optics. "Not that I'm going to tell on you, but it'd be nice if you'd let me know. I could keep an optic out."
"Aw, Raid. You're so sweet."
"Hah! I'll show you sweet." Air Raid attempted to trip Streetwise with one leg, and he danced away, laughing. They both sobered up quickly though, as they moved past Ratchet and the more seriously injured. Ratchet didn't even spare them a glance, muttering softly to himself as he sent pulses of energy through an offline Trailbreaker's fuel pump. Air Raid gulped. That didn't look good, but Ratchet would pull him through. He always did.
"Hey, Aid, we found it," Streetwise called, as they came up on his brother. He was bent over another offline mech, one Air Raid didn't recognize, welder busy sealing up leaks along one side with Blades assisting him by holding the edges together while he worked. The damage looked pretty serious, but First Aid seemed like he knew what he was doing.
First Aid looked up to give Streetwise a little smile and paused briefly in his repair of the injured mech to give Air Raid a quick scan. He leaned fractionally towards Blades, and Blades pulled something out of one of First Aid's storage compartments.
"Here," Blades said, tossing a small packet over to Air Raid, who caught it with his free hand. "Put that gel on your wing. It'll stop any leaking and help with the pain."
"Oh. Uh, thanks." Air Raid looked helplessly over at Streetwise and back over to Blades and First Aid. "So…do you want this, then?" He waved the object he had in his other hand. Blades' optics widened as he saw what Air Raid was holding.
"Aid, Air Raid found your arm."
"My arm?" First Aid asked, already back to his welding.
"Yeah, you know. Your arm." Blades intoned, glaring significantly at the empty place on First Aid's right side. It looked neatly sealed, Air Raid noted. Ratchet must have cleaned it up. "The missing one. The reason you only have one welder right now."
First Aid's forehead plates were crinkled in a puzzled frown, but he spared another quick glance up. He didn't seem to be in pain, although it was kind of hard to tell with him sometimes. "Oh yeah," he said, with a little laugh. "I forgot about that. Thanks very much for finding it, Air Raid. Just…put it down there somewhere." He pointed his chin vaguely towards the ground and murmured something about energon pressure, Blades moving automatically to assist him as he pulled out a medical pressure gauge and attached it to his patient.
"Riiight," Air Raid replied, turning to mouth silently towards Streetwise, "he forgot about that?" He'd only been joking, earlier, about First Aid not noticing. He should have known better. Streetwise lifted his arms a bit aimlessly in response, his expression one of rueful "what can you do?"
"Here," Streetwise said, somewhat briskly, holding out a hand for First Aid's detached arm. Air Raid handed it over gladly. Streetwise settled to the ground behind his brothers and their patient, cradling the arm gently. Air Raid wondered suddenly if seeing his own brother actually missing an entire appendage was bothering Streetwise more than he was saying, but the kid seemed pretty unfazed. "At least I can clean it up a little. And I'll help you with your wing."
Air Raid briefly considered saying something comforting, along the lines of First Aid was going to be fine and all, but where was the fun in that?
"Yeah, that'd be great," Air Raid said, sitting down next to Streetwise. "I could really use an extra hand, if you happen to have one."
"That's a good idea, Air Raid," First Aid said from behind them, voice carrying soft but clear. "The welder should still have enough residual power, at least long enough to seal up some of the damage. Just give a three nanoklik charge to the secondary brachial neural line and the welder should activate, Street."
"Tell me he's kidding. Streetwise? He's kidding, isn't he. Very funny." Air Raid laughed once, then noted Streetwise eyeing First Aid's arm with a considering expression. "Sweet Primus. He's not kidding."
Streetwise lifted the arm a little, and then at Air Raid's look of utter horror, put it back down. "Wimp," he whispered, smirking. Air Raid slumped in relief.
"Um, Aid?" Streetwise said, more loudly this time. "I thought I saw a few sparks, coming from his wing."
"Mmm. Okay then, better not seal it just yet. Just the gel, and then Ratchet can take a look later."
"You're a good mech, Streets," Air Raid sighed. Streetwise leaned over and bumped their shoulders together, smiling, and then put First Aid's arm down carefully, giving it a little pat.
"Gel pack," he said, using Air Raid's shoulder to lever himself up. "Quick, before his arm activates itself and starts trying to fix you. I wouldn't put it past him."
A/N This ficlet inspired by a few comment threads with Anhai regarding our most favorite medic-who-could-lose-an-arm-and-not-notice ^^ Also, I apologize for the title, I really do.
Bonus Points: Can you spot the place where Air Raid does something physically quite difficult?