Author's Note: I couldn't help it! Really I couldn't. I just love OptimusXSam XD I have been converted! CONVERTED XD Hopefully I'll be able to convert you as well. XD
Dedicated: To the wonderful AngelicCrossplay, who has given up her time to beta this fic for me. *bows before her*. And also dedicated to those who like a little romance in their lives. XD
Disclaimer: I sadly don't own Transformers, if I did, I would be the happiest fleshling on the face of this mudball. XD I'm just a uni student who's watched too much Transformers and fangirled over my Beta's stories XD. I however do own Jazz's brother Taciturn, got to love my baby, he's as stubborn as they come! XD
Pairings: Major pairings are OptimusXSam, JazzXProwl and BluestreakXTaciturn, other pairings include, IronhideXWill, MilesXJolt (I've been converted on this too!), RatchetXWheeljack, SunstreakerXSideswipe. XD However, I am still open on who to pair off Bumblebee with XD feel freeeeee to make suggestions! I'm open to adding other characters along the way XD as well!
Summary: In the months following the aftermath of ROTF, new faces and old have begun to reappear... Friendships have grown, a little bit of peace offering a chance for many to find... something they have been searching for. However, not everything will turn out as expected... The Allspark never did seem to leave Sam... and this little fact might just change the world of the Autobots forever.
Rating: This might change XD depending on XD if I feel like giving into fangirl mania... *cough*
Willing Sacrifice- Chapter One (One Step In The Right Direction)
Witwicky Household, Tranquillity, California.
Heat shimmered off the asphalt in waves, the burning summer sun hovering overhead casting a vicious glare across the entire township, forcing everyone to stay in the shade and avoid the sun at all costs. Two cars sat happily on the front lawn of the double story house, their doors flapping open slightly in an attempt to cool their interiors as they patiently waited, in the hope that they might just be rewarded…
There was the softest crackle as a radio moved across the channels, finally picking up a few words of a song that summed up exactly what they craved… "Hey, get your car washed today…" It was followed by a low rumbling electronic whine, the Camaro's bright headlights flashing slightly at the two boys that stood in the doorway, almost blinding them.
"I heard you the first time, Bee." Samuel Witwicky laughed as he stepped out onto the lawn in board shorts. His healed body showed the fine crisscross pattern of scars radiating across his shoulders and sides, barely visible in the shadow of the house.
The wiry frame of Miles hovered just behind Samuel, giving the two cars a once over before giving his friend a nudge forward. "You might like standing in doorways all day, but I am not about to waste an opportunity like this." The boy's grin was wide as he approached the vivid blue hood of Jolt. Both hands coming to rest against the vibrating metal, feeling the powerful engine rev gently beneath his touch, making Miles's smile grow just that touch wider. "Especially… when they came to see us."
Jolt positively purred under the attention he was receiving, rolling slightly forwards to nudge Miles softly in the belly, clearly showing his appreciation for such a comment. The Autobot rocked slightly on his shocks, the bright sapphire Volt definitely wanting the promised carwash… anything to cool his systems and allow him a chance to be… just that little bit closer to Miles.
Sensors washed over the boy, studying him and committing every single piece of information to memory, wanting to forget nothing of this private moment between them. Before a sudden cold spray of water battered against hot metal, making Miles yelp sharply, rushing to hide behind the bonnet of the car to avoid another drenching by Sam.
Bee chortled softly in amusement, bouncing happily on his suspension when the first blast of cold water struck his windshield, sliding down over his hot outer skin and providing him with the first wave of relief from the boiling heat.
Abruptly a soapy sponge smacked Sam straight in the jaw, a fine mist of bubbles erupting about his head and popping against his skin. Soon enough a second joined the first, pelting the dark haired boy on the shoulder, making him turn and spray Miles again with a good hit of the hose.
Neither of the two humans realised that their escalating waterfight was being watched by distant sensors, parked just down the road, a large Petebilt truck painted in vivid red and blue flames sat silently, observing the boys with content optics. Though both Bumblebee and Jolt were aware of his presence, Optimus Prime wished just to watch for a time, being allowed to view the boys during a rare moment of childish play. The Prime's Spark was eased by the sight, and his worry abated for a cycle, his memory circuits replaying several audio recordings of Sam's voice as they had talked late into the previous night…
"You know I kinda miss seeing you around, it's been a while…"
"I would be quite willing to come see you, Samuel."
"I know you're busy… seriously… I know you are… Don't put yourself out on my account…"
"I'm certain I can arrange to meet with you tomorrow afternoon."
"You mean… We could actually go for…"
"Only if you have the time, Optimus."
"Trust me, Sam, I will make the time for you."
A warm shiver ran through his Spark at the thought of it all. It was rare he could escape his duties, and Ratchet had been threatening to kick the Prime out of his office if he didn't do something about his workaholic nature… But when the opportunity to spend time with Samuel had arrived, Optimus startled Ratchet with a request for that 'time off,' gaining himself a day away from his work and medical excuses made to any visiting dignitary or person who was going to meet with the Prime. For once, he had the chance to escape… to do the one thing that soothed his tired Spark…
Dripping and laughing hard as he stumbled across the grass, Sam suddenly came to an abrupt halt as he stepped onto the sidewalk, hazel eyes blinking in the blinding glare of the sun at the familiar shape parked just a little down the road.
He hadn't been expecting Optimus to be able to make it… He knew just how busy the Autobot Leader was, with the endless waves of paperwork (or at least the Cybertronian equivalent) which usually ended up in high stacks on the large desk in the Prime's office, the large amount of dignitaries and other military issues…
But here he was, the awe-inspiring Prime, watching over him.
Though his feet burned slightly when he stepped down onto the hot asphalt, he was almost completely unaware of it as he was slowly moving the few yards to stand before the tall front of the truck, a hand reaching up to touch the Autobot Symbol for a moment. The engine thrumming in response to the soft touch, a wave of warm scanner beams waved over the human, reassuring the Autobot that all was well with the rather wet human.
"As I said I would." The Prime would have smiled at the surprise and delight that flashed across Sam's features; this was definitely what he had wanted.
"You did." Sam chuckled before suddenly both he and Optimus found themselves at the wrong end of a hose of cold water, the force of it knocking him back against the warm metal grill. "HEY!" The drowned-rat of a human growled out as he spied the two innocent looking Autobot cars and a very guilty Miles, who dipped again behind the protection of Jolt.
His head twisted however for a moment, eyes lifting to regard the shiny truck, before he was wrapping an arm around the top of the hood and stepping up onto the edge of the grill. "How about you and me against those three? I'm sure you know a thing or two… about war."
A low rumbling chuckle escaped the Autobot Leader as he slowly rolled forwards, towards his comrades and their human ally. "I'm certain I know just the thing…"
Aspin Look Out, Somewhere In California.
The soft rumble of a powerful engine thrummed beneath his body as his head leaned back against the warm glass, feeling the slow vibrations running up through his spine, easing away the stress and troubles that had plagued him over the last few days. Dark hazel-brown eyes blinked tiredly, surprised at just how relaxed he was becoming as he stretched out over the brightly painted hood of the truck. His fingers brushed over the soft smooth metal, tracing out the line of the blue flames running across the crimson background, feeling the power that lay just beneath his touch. For a brief moment, Samuel Witwicky marvelled at just how wonderful this being really was, a smile touching his lips at the thought of the great Optimus Prime, who would always make time for him.
"Optimus?" His head twisted slightly to look down through the glass into the cab, watching the flicker of lights coming to life across the dashboard at the sound of his voice. The Autobot clearly listening to him even though it had almost seemed the large truck had decided to sleep as the warm sunlight warmed his body.
"Yes, Sam?" The deep voice issued loud and clear over the soft hum of the engine, filling the air about him even as he was perched on the top of the engine housing, enjoying the view and sunshine just like the robot beneath him.
"Are you happy?" The question caught them both off guard, for a moment the two pausing and falling back into an uneasy silence. Slowly Samuel rolled onto his belly, his body sprawling out across the warm metal, his cheek pressing against the warmth, letting out a quiet sigh, eyes drifting half closed again. "I'm… sorry… I…"
"Do not worry, you just caught me a little by surprise, Samuel." The Autobot rolled slightly forwards, clearing the shade of one tree that had fallen across them as the sun dipped slowly towards the horizon, the warmth of the day seeping away. "But to answer your question, considering your presence and that of my fellow Autobots, I am quite content indeed." Though a horrible weight still rested on his Spark regarding both fallen and gravely injured friends, there was still much to be thankful for, especially now when more Autobots were joining their ranks almost daily. "It has been quite some time since I last knew such joy."
Samuel felt the first hint of a smile touch his lips, before his head nuzzled slightly against the warm metal beneath him, unable to keep himself from delighting in the heat that radiated from the Autobot, seeping into every fibre of his being and soothing away all the troubles that had ever plagued him.
Optimus Prime shivered slightly, rocking ever so softly on his shocks as he felt the brief touch of warm breath fluttering over his hood, the warm body rolling to press down against him. His Spark tingled for a long moment, something surging through every system from the briefest of touches from Samuel. Keeping a tight grip on his control, he was stilling himself, wishing to voice his appreciation of human touch… but felt a deep worry that if he did… the warm touch might vanish…
"Are you happy, Samuel?"
The young man was pushing himself up on his elbows to gaze into his own reflection of the glass before him, hands pressed flat against the engine compartment beneath him, feeling the slow rumble there. Before dropping back down onto his belly, his head resting against one crossed arm, his fingers lightly tapping against the heated metal. "I am. I mean… right now I am."
The answer made Prime purr gently, his powerful engine humming happily, but the way he had answered left a deep jolt of worry deep within the Autobot. "Has something made you unhappy Samuel?"
His lips pressed together sharply, glancing to the left and right and letting out a quiet noise of something that almost sounded like frustration. Sam's head drooped against the warm glass, glad that they wouldn't be overheard. "I just… can't stand it anymore." Hands clenched white-knuckled against the warm metal, trying to work out exactly how to put everything into words. "They all… expect me… to simply get back to 'normal.'" A fist thumped against the Autobot's metal skin, resounding with a tinny clang, before he winced and rubbed at the spot in silent apology.
"I mean, yeah… I understand that they can get back to their lives… they're still… normal." A hand touched against his temple, poking it slightly, before he was slumping back down onto the soothing surface, feeling the deep rumble of that engine that was attempting in its own way to ease his frustration. "Dyin' does something to a man…" Looking pointedly into the empty Cab, certain that Optimus would understand what he meant… That they shared something unique… "As would this much crap… floating around my brain."
The knowledge that had come with that one touch of the AllSpark hadn't left him… Even though the doctors and psychologists at NEST had assured him in time everything would fade… Or that was at least the reassurance that had been given. But the information that swam around in Sam's thoughts was doing quite the opposite, with each passing day it was getting just a touch clearer, just a hint that in time he would understand far more than any human could…
"The doctors and even Ratchet said it should have been gone by now." His lips pressed into a tight line, a hint of anger appearing in his face as he finally found someone to vent to, someone that wouldn't feed him lies and empty reassurances. "But with each day it gets that little bit clearer. I understand, Optimus, I really do. I know I've been told to give it time… but I can't help but worry…"
Suddenly there was a face gazing at him from within the Cab of the Truck, a strikingly handsome man whose long black hair drifted down over his shoulders in heavy raven waves, the most unnatural blue eyes staring at him steadily. Before the hologram abruptly stood, passing straight through the windscreen like it didn't even exist and was kneeling before Sam, large calloused hands reaching out towards the younger man.
"I've been dreaming… of Cybertron." Sam twisted his head, leaning into the warm touch of those oh-too-real hands, hazel eyes closing tightly and leaned forwards towards the support offered to him. Mikaela had never understood… had never wanted to hear him talk about all those places he dreamed of… the odd feeling that had been slowly developing over the long months he had been away from his Autobots friends. "Or at least… what I think is… Cybertron…"
Lifting the boy's jaw softly, forcing blue and deep brown eyes to meet for a long moment, the hat that adorned Prime's head dropped onto the bonnet beside them, as he leaned his forehead against Samuel's, offering him a gentle strength even in the momentary silence.
"Yeah… I know… seriously weird." Before he laughed softly, trying to dismiss the unease that he felt speaking about such things. "I don't know how to explain it…"
"There is no need to speak of it now if you feel unable to." Pausing, the man was offering the human a warm reassuring smile. "You know you can talk to me about anything, Samuel." That deep authoritative voice suddenly issued from the man's lips, something that almost made the boy jump out of his skin, so use to hearing it through speakers or from high above his head… but from a devastatingly handsome man barely ten years his senior. "Anything, at any time. I will do all that I can to help you."
Brown eyes stared into those intense blue eyes, leaning back slightly away to be able to see the face before him, suddenly finding himself unable to find his voice, swallowing hard he was attempting to dislodge his heart that had suddenly found itself square in his throat. There was something going on between them… something that he could not name…
"Thankyou, Optimus…" He managed to get out, feeling those hands drop from his jaw down onto his shoulders, squeezing softly before releasing him completely, his heart aching with the loss of contact. "That means a lot to me." Thankful that he had been silenced, that he would have a chance to speak of it later… when he had the courage to…
"You are most welcome, Samuel." Those blue eyes crinkled slightly in sympathy, before wrapping a hand tightly about the boy's, helping him down off the warm bonnet and up into the comfort of the cab to escape the growing chill that was filling the air outside. "It is late already and it is most likely your parents have wondered where you have gotten to."
"I guess you're right, but… soon I'll tell you. When I understand what there is to tell you in the first place…"
"I'll be waiting."
Bright lights suddenly cut across the landscape before them, the truck rumbling into full life as night was beginning to settle over the Californian vista, pulling out from where he had taken up a post on a prominent hill, Optimus was heading back to the gravel road. Sitting in the driver's seat, the hologram was still focused on the boy beside him, an arm resting on the headrest just behind Sam, blue eyes glancing towards him.
And like the few short drives they had had together, they lapsed into a companionable silence, the gentle thrum and rocking of the massive Petebilt truck as it rumbled across the landscape, soon feeling the smooth asphalt underneath his wheels as they turned onto the quiet road.
"I trust you and your judgement, Sam."
Secondary Repair Bay Gamma, Autobot Underground Base
Gears and motors whirred softly in the gloom of the repair bay, the bare naked chassis glinting a dull silvery-grey in the long shadows cast throughout the immaculate space. The Bot stretched out a well-made hand to slowly brush over the jagged edges sliced into the lower portion of Jazz's chest. Wires and cables snaked out of every part of the fallen soldier, looking like a spider caught up in its own web, cocooned up so it couldn't even squirm. The faint hum of the life-support systems filled his audio receptors with a pulsing hiss, with each beat of Jazz's fuelpump more fluids were being drawn up into his shell. A sound of despair escaped the bot, his vents hissing violently as he tried to strangle all the sounds that would have escaped him.
"How long has he been like this?" His vocal components seized violently, static clipping at his words which were so softly spoken that even the Medic standing on the other side of the repair cradle strained to hear. The look of devastation burning across the visored features was something so strikingly similar to what he had seen in Prowl's features only a few weeks before that it made Ratchet jerk back slightly.
"Just a little over two years now."
Silence returned to the sterile bay, the Autobot ducked over Jazz, fingertips trailing over the helmet visor, pushing it upwards gently, staring down into features that looked quite similar to his own. For a moment, he was reaching across the fuzzy connection that had silently re-established itself to his brother's core processor. Pressing up against those familiar firewalls, he slipped through the edge of the barrier, for one moment touching the one memory that was open to him... The last few moments of Jazz's battle with Megatron, the words snarled between the two sounding crystal clear in his audios.
"That all you got, Megatron?"
"Come here, little cretin."
The recoil of a cannon firing… "You want a piece of me?" He was swung like a rag doll through the air… "You want a piece?"
An iron grip catching flailing limbs, tearing them viciously apart.
"No! I want two!"
Megatron's words became a cruel reality for Jazz... The sharp slashing pain and the feeling of falling... Senses spinning so fast that even Jazz hadn't been able to keep up... Then the endless black that rushed up to meet him.
The cry of distress had cut across the vast distances between Earth and Ceduna... Where just a cycle before Jazz's chatter had filled that small space in the back of Taciturn's processor it, all turned into a vicious nightmare. A Spark-wrenching agony blossomed brightly in every single component he had, before the connection fizzled like a fried wire… Unravelled wildly, slipping from his grip.
All that was left was the flash of crimson optics burnt into his memory chips, the last image of Megatron staring down at him... The memories remaining on his end of the link, emblazoned where the connection had been.
Metal digits had curled into the still frame, sliding between wires and support struts, finally pressing in against the cracked shell of the Saboteur's Spark casing, feeling the slow rippling pulse of the Spark just beneath overactive sensors. Rubbing slowly against the metal, it parted for a brief instant, the brilliant glow flared wildly between the thickly entwined life-support cables and metal plating.
A large hand dropped against his shoulder, squeezing and drawing him away from Jazz, his fingers sliding free from the silver toned chassis, dropping back down against his sides limply. Ratchet attempted to somehow offer a touch of support to the mech, remaining mute, as he couldn't seem to find just the right words to convey his regret at not being able to offer any good news at all to Taciturn.
"I could become a donor." The younger Bot's head lifted, gazing up at Ratchet and studying the medic before him, clearly wishing he knew just what to say. He knew that it was more than just a simple procedure, that it wasn't just the usual donation of a few spare parts that could quickly repair themselves. It was the removal of vital components; a stripping of half of his sensor relays, of compensators and processors, a harvesting of things to replace those damaged beyond repair.
"Impossible. The components he needs are not just spare bolts and screws, Taciturn." Ratchet hesitated a moment, there was a limit to what could be done within reason and Prime would certainly not approve of such a course of action.
"Components I'm willing to give." The mech straightened, leaning back slightly against the repair cradle behind him, half shuttered optics twisted to glance down at the wounded, offline soldier.
A hiss of escaping air rattled through his vents, clearly knowing that this was not going to be an easy argument to win… Though the offer of reviving Jazz was something that touched his Spark deeply… After so much failure, a chance to succeed in reviving his old comrade was an opportunity he fervently didn't want to miss. "Some of these you cannot give, Taciturn. He needs new main processors, wiring, every kind…I'm sure he could use a new transforming cog, and structural components. And that's just the beginning." Ratchet stern countenance was frightening enough, but didn't even seem to faze Taciturn. "Let's not forget Optimus would not approve of this in the slightest. We'll have both our chassis pinned to the wall before you can say 'that's just Prime'."
"I can regenerate them. Given the right supplies before hand… I know my systems could handle it. I would welcome any punishment if it meant Jazz was back. I will take full responsibility if that is your concern." Stubborn as a mule and just as determined, he was not going to let a wrench, metaphorical or not, jam the one chance his brother had.
"If you're not scared of the neural damage, then I suppose I could do this." That wrench was indeed in hand, coming from absolutely nowhere to grace the digits of the medic with its presence.
"I am not afraid of such things, Ratchet. I might be a pacifist, but that doesn't mean I'm a coward." Though he knew that was clearly not what the other mech had meant, he knew the talk, knew all of the words whispered behind his back.
"You have some ball bearings, I'll give you that." Ratchet commented, surprised for a moment by the audacity of a Bot who was 'known' for being quite the one to hide away when the battle came to them. Or at least… that was the impression that had always been given by those who had mentioned the young Bot. "I will not be held responsible, do you understand?" The aforementioned wrench was suddenly waving dangerously in front of Taciturn's face.
"Completely. I haven't been logged into the system yet by the humans." And he had already ensured that he wouldn't be registered, a small bug in the system would be enough to remove any evidence that he had even been brought in. Though some of the humans might wonder where one of the newer Autobots had 'vanished' off to, they would most likely think he was one of the several new Mechs who had just arrived within the last few days. "So Prime won't know I have even arrived. I wouldn't be missed to begin with, I'll drop right off the radar like I usually do."
"Good. Just make sure he doesn't find out. Or if he does, it's up to you to save your own aft from his disappointment and whatever he decides to dish out. Warning given."
"Warning taken." He replied shortly, optics burning with that stubbornness of his, already shuffling towards the second repair cradle that filled the space, his hands resting against the edge of it, his back to Ratchet. "Spiral Program shutdown commencing," The strange monotone issued from the Bot's vocals after a cycle, and Taciturn pressed a hand against his chest. Shivering as half of his main custom built processors hummed softly before falling silent, the bright colours of his world began to fade back into dull shadows and pallid lines as his powerful transceivers powered down, leaving his highly developed data detection sensors blind. And now he was harmless, prepared to take the plunge and know he wouldn't be a danger to those around him. "Deactivation complete." A surge of sudden power from his backup systems swamped his remaining processors, sending another shudder up into him, before he was glancing back towards Ratchet over his shoulder, catching sight of the green-yellow mech out of the corner of one optic. "So, where yah want me?"
"How about…" A surprisingly wicked smirk touched his mouthplate as he stepped forwards, out of sight behind the smaller mech and lobbed the wrench with deadly accuracy, catching Taciturn square in the back of the head, and dropping him straight into offline status. "With you offline, and your aft parked on the table." With a quiet thump, the small body slumped forwards across the repair cradle, body stretched across it so that he wouldn't have to listen to more stubborn words coming from the 'naked' Transformer.
Rousing slightly from where he had been sitting behind a large bank of monitoring equipment, Wheeljack had been silently listening in on the entire conversation between the two Bots, his head cocked to the side slightly watching the medic lift the fallen body of the younger Autobot up onto the repair cradle. Surprisingly nimble hands were slowly connecting a myriad of wires up to the offlined body, flicking on the scanners that were running a comprehensive scan of the Mech.
"Prime will find out about this." Wheeljack slowly stepped up behind Ratchet, feet vibrating the floor beneath the pair of them, a hand resting against one of the medic's arms, stalling it for a moment. The usually reckless and excitable scientist was solemn as he watched the process happening before him. "No matter what assurance he has given you that he will take the full blame, you will be brought into question for practicing such a thing on a living Bot."
"I know." Shifting just that bit closer, he was leaning over Taciturn regarding the hacker with a degree of worry, though he had no like of the stubborn rebellious bot who had a way of getting on everyone's nerves. "But it's the only chance Jazz has."
Another hand was dropping onto Ratchet's other arm, drawing him backwards from the repair table for a moment, pulling him against the taller scientist, his blue optics dropping to regard the slightly scorched and dented arms that were resting on either side of him. "Are you certain?"
Suddenly Ratchet was caught in a surprisingly powerful embrace, arms wrapped about his chassis, drawing him backwards against the white and green form of Wheeljack. The soft brush of air tickled across his audio receptors for the briefest of moments, before he was being manoeuvred aside so that the Mech could lean in and start work on the small chassis beside the medic. "Then what are we waiting for?"
For one long cycle, the lime-gold Autobot stood, his mouthplates twitching slightly in an effort to get something out… anything to be able to work out what on earth had just happened. It was either the hug or the actions of his friend that silenced him…
'Jack was smiling, or at least the shutters of his optics crinkled in that familiar way, the excitement and curiosity returning with a vengeance as he was glancing over the first preliminary scans that showed some of the rather interesting internal workings of the Mech. "You won't be alone in this, Ratchet. I got your back." A blackened hand lifted slightly, new joints wiggling from where several fingers had to be reattached after another experiment had decided to… explode in a rather lovely green fireball. "Like you got mine."
"Just brilliant." Ratchet let out a hissing groan of air, his vents shuddering with the sheer force of it as a hand pressed over his optics and his head drooped badly. "I'm surrounded by glitch-brained, slagging…" Even the insult was lost in a deep rumbling mutter, before he was stepping in beside the engineer, working together on this new but dangerous procedure.
Parameter Fence,Autobot Underground Base
The sleek white toned police car slipped through the darkness, slowly rounding the outer perimeter following his patrol route, though his systems craved relief… craved rest… His spark was restless, burning and tumbling with such emotions that it almost completely overwhelming his processors. For someone so controlled, it was almost beyond all comprehension. His scans flickered slightly, picking up several more Autobot signals coming from somewhere high above them… The faint pin dots of light sliding through the darkness of space past the slowly circling moon and down towards the planet.
Prowl haunted the base like a robotic spectre, driving Ratchet out of his processor with his constant presence in the Repair Bay, forcing Prime to even intervene at times to evict him for just a few hours of recharge before he took to haunting the roads and perimeter of the ground level of the massive base that had been constructed underground.
Dead sensors suddenly surged within his internal structure, a sharp flare of something jolted hotly through his chassis, sending his entire frame into a sudden shutdown. His wheels locked up beneath him, sending him tail spinning across the tarmac, smoke poured out from underneath him as his entire frame crashed into some of the feeble human fencing, scratching his paint and wrenching one of the support posts half out of the concrete.
Another hot surge filtered upwards from deep within his systems, his Spark thrashing within its casing, a strong searing hot bolt of something cascaded through every processor he owned. The feeling of something returning for the briefest of moments, something alive and welcoming… Something, which soothed every part of his Spark with its presence, something so familiar…
"Jazz." The rasped name escaped the Mech's vocal components strained and disbelieving, as feeling abruptly returned in a spasmodic burst of static and corrupted file warnings, Prowl's wheels spun wildly against the tarmac. Sirens suddenly blaring at full volume as the police Car sped across the open spaces, not caring for the humans or mechs that got in his way, not caring about anything other than the momentary flicker of his Sparkmate reaching out across their bond for him.
Racing through the tunnels, his engine revved dangerously, constricted by the confines of the lift as it slowly dropped them down deeper and deeper under the earth, passing several of the upper levels before they reached the Medical level in the most secure part of the base. The car screamed through quiet tunnels, sirens deafening anyone and everyone, but it cleared his path.
Spark trembling fiercely in his chest, his tires squealed as he skidded on the smooth flooring, back end sliding out slightly as he hit the next corner, entire body twisting and tumbling slightly as he hurriedly transformed. His white and black frame nearly taking the next corner off in a rain of metal and rock as he passed, golden-amber optics flaring sharply, all his processors tumbling over themselves, even his logic circuits had vacated the premises when he had felt for a moment the warmth of Jazz's Spark reaching out for him.
He would not fail Jazz again. He would not.
Optimus Prime's Office, Autobot Underground Base
The soft chirp of the comm line filled the large room, echoing slightly off the distant walls, increasing slightly in volume as it attempted to get the attention of the recharging Cybertronian. It was slow to rouse Prime from where he had dozed off sprawled slightly across the smooth metallic surface of his desk; blue optics flickered online quickly as he was straightening, his chair scrapping against the floor as he pulled it in.
Power fluttered upwards through his systems, alleviating a little of the tiredness that curled amongst every circuit he owned, and with a slight smile, he realised that the moment his conversation had ended with Samuel Witwicky, he had ended up drifting blissfully off into much needed recharge. At the thought of the boy, warmth flickered unbidden within his pulsing Spark, the deepening friendship that had been developing being one of the sources of happiness in the Prime's existence here on earth.
The wailing of the comm however drew him out of his momentary reverie; a hand reached out flick the switch and heard the hissing crackle of the line as it came on. His other hand rubbed across his optics and faceplate, easing the slight tightness that plagued his joints, letting a low hissing breath, his body relaxed once more.
"This is Prime." Deep voice slightly rough with disuse, he glanced down at the offending piece of technology that had disturbed his rather delightful recharge…
"Sir." Chromia. Prime was most certain it was her voice. "A transmission has been picked up from just beyond the orbit of Jupiter, using the old Trion Subspace bandwidth."
That caught Prime's attention faster than a blast to the head, his optics widening slightly as he struggled to find words, for a moment rendered speechless and quite unable to know what to say to that. Most of those who knew of the significance of that bandwidth were long dead… Autobots like Ironhide and Ratchet would recognise it… but here it was coming in from a source not so distant…
"Sir… Uh… Sir? Should I put it through?"
"Yes, please do, Chromia." Prime rasped out, trying for a second to clear the piece of scrap that seemed to have lodged itself in his throat. Was it possible one more old friend could have survived Cybertron's death? "Put it through."
A shrieking howl of static almost deafened his audio receptors. Both hands were about to reach up to cover his sensitive parts… before the softest of voices spoke through the haze of cracking static. Leaning forwards, he was straining to make out the sound, his systems attempting to clear up the signal he was receiving, when a familiar voice greeted him.
"Optim…s …Pri…e…" The mech greeted, the Cybertronian's accent something that hadn't been heard in millennia…
"Aye, Prime." A quiet smile passed between the two, something that was usually quite at odds with Bluestreak's… rambunctious nature. "Been a long time, since we were last on Paixen Major."
"The last report we had of you was that the Decepticons had…"
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." The static was finally beginning to clear as the Autobot slowly slipped past the powerful gravity of Jupiter's moon Io. The interference of the volcanic emissions finally fading, the signal became stronger as the gravity of Jupiter flung the small ship just that touch faster towards Earth.
"Thanks to some timely rescuing… But I'll get to that later when I arrive." The usually chatty Autobot was strangely silent, almost unsettlingly so. "I just want to know if you got a Sparklin' by the name of Taciturn somewhere on that mud ball of yours."
Calling up the database, there was no sign of the younger bot having been picked up, even though he was scheduled for landing earlier in that evening. It was not uncommon for the Hacker to keep himself off the system and away from his fellow Autobots, but he would have at least reported to Prime or at least left some shred of evidence that he had indeed 'been there'.
"His arrival was set for this evening, however there is no information on his current location or if he will be arriving at all."
"Thanks, Prime. I guess I should have expected that…" There was a soft crackle of static, the pair falling silent for a long cycle, floundering for words, something that was surprising for both the well spoken Autobot Leader and the chatty sharpshooter… "He always seems to be just one step ahead of me."
"Bluestreak?" Optimus questioned, trying to interpret the almost cryptic remarks that issued from the comm unit off to one side of him. This was quite unlike his old friend, startlingly so, but still it was certain this was the same bot…
"Let's just say, I would be dead if it wasn't for the kid." Pausing for a moment, the words surprising Prime more than he could have imagined, though not the coward most of the Autobots claimed him to be, Taciturn wasn't one for leaping into danger… "He pulled my aft out of a bad situation, Prime, I would be a pile of floating space trash without him." But there was something in the way Bluestreak spoke about the young Autobot that gave Optimus pause.
"We will attempt to contact Taciturn again," Prime reassured his friend, leaning his head forwards against one hand, feeling a deep jolt of relief surge through his systems that one more friend was finally coming home. "It is good to have you back, Bluestreak. You have been missed."
"Its good to be back, Prime, I should be entering orbit s…" The signal flickered again his voice sounding grainy as he was brushing by another lunar mass in the gravity well of Jupiter. Before the signal cut out all together… dying away into a background of static.
Soon the signal cut out completely as Bluestreak's ship vanished back into the clouds of dust and strong gravity wells of the gas giant and its moons. And Prime was left in the dark of his office, leaning back in his chair, his hands stippled before him, before he was calling Chromia and hoping to be able to get a signal through to Taciturn, knowing that wherever the Autobot was… he would be able to hear the message.
But his Spark felt just a touch lighter, knowing that another friend was finally coming home once more. And the happiness that he had spoken about to Sam… deepened just a shade more.
Secondary Repair Bay Gamma, Autobot Underground Base
The steady drip of fluids was the only sound in the repair bay for a long cycle, before a low almost inaudible groan escaped Taciturn as he was being awoken by the scream of his internal security systems. A dull throbbing tingle remained at the back of his head where Ratchet had happily decided to knock him for a spin in that cold dark void of standby mode.
Internal repair and system checks were blossoming crimson across his internal diagnostic systems, before the cold metal probe pressed against the main processor for his internal repairs, deactivating it with a sickeningly loud click.
It was the familiar hands of Wheeljack that moved about within his chest, the engineer switching off several other unprotected systems carefully. However, that probe was slowly drifting a little too close to some heavily guarded systems, activating the small forcefield that protected his backup transceiver, decryption module and data tracks, the soft hum filling his ears as he was about to warn Wheeljack… When…
'Jack yelped abruptly, his fingers bumping against the forcefield and suddenly was yanking his newly repaired hand out of the large gap in the Cybertronian's shell, shaking the offended digits to try to eliminate the pulsing pain that ran through his hand.
"I guess… you found my… internal security." Green optics blinked slightly as they finally powered up enough to watch the white and red Engineer lean a little further over him, offering an almost bemused smile. His systems wheezed softly as he tried to draw more air into his cooling systems, but couldn't muster the energy to do so.
The older Bot jerked back slightly in surprise as their optics met for a long cycle, before being unable to help that avid curiosity that overcame him as he went back in for a second look at the small forcefield generator. He ended up bumping a finger against the field again.
"You are a much more complex construction than even your schematics suggest…" Optics whirled wide, scanning over every internal system, another probe joining the first as Wheeljack ran several more tingling scans over the young Mech. "Quite fascinating… indeed. Who may I ask was in charge of your upgrade? I would love to know what else…"
"Do you…" If robots could have blushed he would have, his head twisting away and attempting to avoid the steady gaze that pinned him there… "Mind…"
Somewhere deep within the bowels of his systems, he felt the icy prick of the probe as it was sliding between lays of wiring and touching against the outside of his Transformation Cog housing. The feeling of that icy prickle of something foreign touching such delicate systems made him almost protest… Before the distant sound of a siren suddenly cut into the strange silence of the repair bay.
A siren that didn't sound like any of the Autobot sirens Taciturn was familiar with. Much to Wheeljack's horror, there was a shriek of tires sliding across metal and stone… the whirling swirl of gears as the door suddenly sprung open when a security code was inputted and overrode the locking mechanism.
There standing in the door way was Prowl, his burning gold optics scanning the room… And paused upon Taciturn, who was resting on the repair cradle just behind the bulk of Wheeljack. The body of Jazz having been moved to another part of the repair bay, Ratchet preparing the broken and damaged parts to receive the first component from Taciturn… both of which were hidden behind a rather large bank of machinery where Wheeljack had been working earlier.
With a sinking feeling, Taciturn stared at his brother's Sparkmate with wide almost terrified optics, unable to do anything considering the fact that he was strapped to the table with half of his insides resting across the metal work surface around him. "Prowl…" Though he had never met the other bot in person… Jazz had spoken almost continuously about the Tactician, and so recognising the Mech was easy… Knowing what to say or do was going to be harder.
"It is very important that you remove yourself from this repair bay immediately, Prowl." Wheeljack stated sharply, stepping forwards, his bulk almost completely hiding the smaller bot behind him, the probe still in hand. "Your presence and interference would very much endanger the life of the patient."
But… a verbal warning was never going to be enough to remove Prowl… especially when… he had seen the face of his love, his Spark burning sharply within his chest, feeling the bond that they shared shimmering with renewed life. Though faint, it still made his entire chassis lurch forwards, the door swishing shut behind the police bot.
"Get out of the way, Wheeljack." That burning gaze levelled squarely with the engineer, a powerful cannon slowly morphed out from within his arm, lifting upwards to follow the direction of his gaze. All the logic that had dominated his circuits was replaced by a cold harsh desire… one that stemmed from the burning, all consuming love that swirled around within his Spark.
"Prowl, stop!" Taciturn was twisting, feeling the restrains keep him flat down on his back, knowing that it he pushed himself upwards he would tear out vital systems… "Prowl… please…" His voice was close enough to his brother's… close enough that it might reach the processor-cracked bot.
"Jazz." Those amber optics flickered at the sound of the voice calling to him, taking another step forwards, his arm still levelled at the Engineer, not able to see the extent of the disassembly process that had been rout on Taciturn. "Jazz…" The mech was striding forwards, thrusting Wheeljack abruptly out of the way as he leaned over the Bot, his gaze flickering over the opened chest panels… the components and pieces that littered the bench. He let out a low dangerous growl, head wiping around, that cannon levelling again right against Wheeljack's chest, clearly not pleased with the fact that… "What did you do to him? What did you do?"
An arm suddenly wrenched sharply against the strap, one he had willingly taken, and pushed against it hard, somehow managing to slide his hand free and reach out to grip Prowl's free hand that rested against the side of the table. Pulling it sharply to him, he was attempting desperately to think of what to do… anything to calm the Bot down…
His hand pulled Prowl close, stretching out again to yank the cannon down and away from Wheeljack, gripping as tight as he could, he was pulling the weapon against the side of the table, forcing the larger bot to turn towards him, their optics meeting for a moment.
"Enough, Prowl." The voice was low, taking on an almost commanding tone with the other Bot, hoping to give them enough time to at least get the angry tactician to calm down again. "Enough. Yah know… Ah'll be just fine." His vocal processor strained to add in the deep accent to his words, his lips twisting upwards in a reassuring smile, trying to work out just what to say. "Just ah little under dah weather." His hand curled around Prowl's, gripping it tightly and lifting it upwards against his cheek for a moment, knowing that the other Mech needed this… needed… the comfort of his lover. A lover who was still out like a light and hidden behind banks of machinery.
Prowl could feel his spark burning as it pressing against its casing with a rattling hiss, his Spark attempting to get to grip on what was happening. His cannon folded away as he was reaching out for the warm curving surface of the Spark Chamber before him, bared to the light from amidst the chaos of the half dismantled chassis. "How did you bring him online? You said it was impossible, no buts or ifs… You said there was nothing that could be done."
"Aaah…" One stunned mullet of Wheeljack stood there, suddenly finding himself at the wrong end of a barrage of questions that didn't quite have good answers to them. If he spoke the truth… that cannon would fry him quicker than he could do it himself.
"Care to explain? Not that I'm unhappy about the result, far from it. But..." Prowl was gazing down into the familiar face of his love, his amber optics softening slightly, unable to help the overwhelming surges of relief that fluttered through every circuit and wire as he tried to touch the Spark Housing, before Wheeljack stopped him, a hand pulling the Tactician slightly backward. Knowing one good touch there and their temporary measures would definitely not be enough against Prowl.
"Ah think yah should leave 'Jack be, Prowler." An almost playful smile touching his lips, Taciturn attempting as best he could to remember all his brother would have done if placed in this situation … Trying to give Prowl some sense of having his Lover returned to him… anything to give the Bot hope would be all that Taciturn could hope to achieve. "Questions are fah later."
"I suppose. ...I am glad to have you back, Jazz, you have… no idea… no idea." His head sunk downwards to press against the warm shoulder, a hand lightly brushing over what he thought were the beloved features of his lover. "You foolish… damn… Jazz. What were you thinking? Primus… What… got into you…"
"Ah was wantin' to give them a chance to retreat, Prowler." Trying to remember back to those brief flashes… the distant voice of his brother as it whispered in the back of his processors through the subspace link. "Megatron…" He hesitated for a long moment, before shaking his head, green optics half shuttered as he tried to get some words out… anything out… "Yah know meh… no challenge tah big…"
"I'm not letting you out of my sight." The silvery-white and black Mech growled out, a hand clasping Taciturn's jaw, lifting his head slightly, just enough to… "You hear me, Jazz, I'm not letting go this time. No matter the reason… We stay together."
When suddenly something was jabbed into the back of Prowl's neck, a clear fluid being pumped through the bot's systems as Prowl whispered soft words that even Taciturn couldn't hear. Ratchet stood to the side, a small injector in one hand, Wheeljack quickly coming in to grip the heavy tactician under the arms, pulling Prowl away from Taciturn before the younger bot ended up on the receiving end of a rather… passionate kiss that certainly didn't belong to him… And one he certainly didn't want.
"Ah love yah, Prowler." Taciturn whispered close to the bot's ear giving him one last smile, before Prowl was off into a deep recharge, head lulling back against Ratchet's shoulder as it took both the medic and engineer several cycles just to lift the weighty grey toned frame into a nearby chair out of the way.
His mouth twisted into a pained grimace, a horrible wave of guilt flashed through him at having to deceive the grieving mech. Internal systems rebelled, and he was attempting to keep the horrible rush of fluids rising from his tanks down, almost gagging for a moment… He was not as heartless as people thought… especially when it came to family… And Prowl was just that.
The same injector was prepped quickly before it suddenly hissed against his own neck, Taciturn wincing as he felt the darkness drift mockingly across his vision and blanketed out his processors. "You… look after Prowl… you hear me?" His voice was thready as his systems were shutting down, his optics dimming quickly. "I ain't… gonna…"
And soon enough that claustrophobic darkness descended upon him, swallowing him up whole, leaving him to wonder… what on earth they were going to do now… now that the grief-stricken Prowl had discovered him or at least was now convinced of something that hadn't yet occurred…
Things would probably get worse from there…
Autobot Gunship Praxus, Asteroid Belt, Sol Planetary System
"Can you hear me?"
"Can you remember your name?"
"Do you remember anything?"
"Yes…" A long silent pause… "…Death…"
A flash of pain… of memories forged and carved into his processors never to dull… never to fade… His home, his entire City-State destroyed by the Decepticons, his people wiped out, leaving him alone. A single survivor to tell of the horrors that awaited any who defied the might of Megatron. A single survivor who had no right to live when sparklings and femmes had been massacred in the streets as they attempted to flee the bombs.
And then a cool hand pressed against his forehead, and reached into his mind, rewriting code and rewiring neural connectors. The foreign mind invading even his most private of memories… but it didn't feel like an invasion, it felt like a soothing balm, cocooning his fragmented personality... It flowed through him, slowly rebuilding his mind from the inside out, repairing the damage done by the mind probe of the Decepticons that had captured him after the battle of Luxicon Minor.
It felt like mega-cycles, maybe even for deca-cycles they sat… Bluestreak's optics staring blankly into the face of his rescuer.
"I'm here… I won't leave you to this pain… Come back with me… All will be well…"
In some distant part of his core consciousness, he could hear someone talking to him, low and quiet, a voice that touched his Spark and eased its suffering. Quietly understanding the horrors that had been seen that day so very long ago… Mourning the loss with him… Mourning the pain and anger he had suffered… remaining with him… Drawing him slowly back towards the surface, taking as long as he needed… Each step a small victory.
And he was slowly coming back to himself, out of the fog of pain and confusion, he returned to his body, firewalls laying dormant within him, that other core consciousness almost close enough to reach if he just stretched out his thoughts… And suddenly he was aware of the brilliant green optics that watched him, concern and worry reflected in that young face.
"Do you remember your name now?" That soft voice questioned again, marked with exhaustion and Spark-breaking sorrow.
"Well then, hello Bluestreak." A smile greeted him, warm and friendly.
"Taciturn. My name is Taciturn."
Bluestreak jolted out of recharge, his fuelpump throbbing almost painfully in his chest at the memory, his entire chassis heaving in an effort to draw cool air in and ease the burning heat that settled within his internal systems. Those bright green optics haunted his very Spark with their luminous warmth and quiet understanding.
It had been those few quiet days when the younger Bot had been attempting to repair him as best he could… but it had been enough to keep Bluestreak alive and get him to a repair workshop. Information had been swapped for his ensured recovery… but before he could accompany Taciturn, the Autobot had vanished… Leaving Bluestreak behind in safe hands, but frustratingly alone.
It had taken vorns to track the bot, following just behind the hacker, just trying to reach him… Though the trip had been filled with far more adventures and sidetracks than Bluestreak could count, he had gone on, for within the depths of his Spark, he craved the happiness he had experienced around Taciturn. The only happiness he had felt since the destruction of Praxus. He had done his best to continue with his Autobot duties… but still… he couldn't resist that distant call of the one that had given him back his life.
Shifting from the small recharge berth at the back of the tiny ship, he seated himself at the controls, jacking into the systems and examining the navigational reports that scrolled across his vision. The scanners registered the presence of his target, the very faint signal he would recognise with his optics shuttered and his main processor tied in a pretty bow.
"You are here… my Friend. At last I have finally caught up to you."
And from nowhere, a rush of relief fluttered through his emotion chips, like a swarm of hyperactive butterflies they clustered in his tanks and teased his cooling systems, a slight nervousness touched the usually unflappable mech. But the fact that Prime had clearly not been aware of the Hacker's presence sent a worrying jolt through his circuits…
Golden optics were half shuttered as he leaned back into the chair, hands resting against the instrument panel as he glanced at the vista before him, the small two man gunship Praxus skipping just above the dusty disc of rock and debris as it spun lazily about the still distant yellow star. He had already run the engines close to maximum output just to make the system just behind the fast moving Taciturn.
When suddenly his systems jolted again, a spark cascading through his internal radios as they unexpectedly crackled to life, static filling his audio receptors for a brief nano-cycle, before flaring again… Someone reaching out to him across the gap between stars… Reaching out and touching him…
'It's so dark…' The words filled his core consciousness like a heavy wet blanket, spilling over from somewhere distant… touching him intimately… Touching him through his heavy firewalls that had been purpose built for him by Taciturn… so long ago. Could it be…?
His Spark shuddered abruptly, as a hand had reached into his very chest and squeezed it tightly between clenched fingers; golden optics glowed brightly for a moment listening to the sound of faint hisses of air… The pulse of another Spark…
'I'm here…' Bluestreak answered, trying to stretch out his sensors, trying to follow the signal as it wormed its way from the surface of a distant mud ball deep into space to reach him transmitting along one of the inter-Autobot frequencies. 'I'm here, my friend.'
'Blue?' Startled, the text shimmered for a moment, almost dying away, but hesitated in its retreat… 'Blue… it's so dark…'
'Hold on to me, hold on to this signal.' Tapping into the ship's communications circuits, he was attempting to increase the power to his internal radio, trying to forge a more permanent link to the young Bot who had reached across to him… For some unknown reason, reaching across the odd bond that they shared to find someone… 'I'll find you. I promise.'
'No… you can't… don't find me…'
Straining to keep a grip on the rapidly unravelling link between them, Bluestreak was not about to let go, not when he finally knew that there was a need for him… That the journey… had been worth it… He would travel the length of the universe if it meant finally being with Taciturn again… To be able to protect the one good thing that existed in the universe for him.
'Don't come. Stay away.' But even though the words were saying one thing, the link surged again in his mechanical grasp, becoming just that little bit stronger, seeking the safety Taciturn knew existed for him in that one place. But there was reason for Taciturn not to want Bluestreak to find him strapped to the repair cradle deep within the Autobot Base. If he were discovered, the donation process would be brought to a screeching halt… Jazz would be again stuck in semi-repaired limbo…
But in the dark silence that surrounded him… The colourless void that came from the shutdown of most of his major systems, he was floundering. Unable to find solid ground, without the guiding voice of his brother in the back of his processor, Taciturn was drowning in his own kind of limbo. 'Blue…? I…'
'You need me?' The unexplainable feeling that had always existed within Bluestreak suddenly silenced, the almost unnatural drive to follow after the errant Taciturn abated when the knowledge that there was indeed some need for him… some purpose. The programmed instinct rejoicing…
It was an odd moment, an epiphany of sorts.
'Then I'll find you.'
'I will find you, Taciturn. Whatever you've gotten yourself into; I'll back you up. Just wait for me.'
'Please don't come…' There was only a weak protest for him now, feeling the soothing comfort of another's programs and thoughts drifting a little across the fragile link. But it was enough to centre the Hacker, enough to ground him once more. 'Please… This must happen…'
'I will find you. You won't be alone.' If he had had eyebrows they would have been furrowed sharply, almost painfully so at those words. 'You have my word. I might have failed you once, but I'm not about to make the same mistake again.'
'You never failed me.' Even in the brief encounters they had hadover the vorns, Bluestreak had always turned up right when Taciturn had needed him… before the Hacker had slipped away, knowing that if Blue remained with him… one day he would be hurt… and it would be all Taciturn's fault. 'You never did… not in all the vorns…'
Both of the two Transformers had weaved around each other in a strange dance since they had met that day in a Decepticon Brig. The half forged Sparkbond simmered between them, unnoticed and hidden from both of them. Its pull drawing Bluestreak ever onwards… determined to find his other half… Leaving Taciturn craving… for what he was missing… Sometimes people are just a little too oblivious.
'I did let you down. But right now… all that matters is you.'
'You can't convince me otherwise.'
'And you know you love me for it.' Bluestreak joked softly, hearing the faint sound of laughter echoing through the link.
'You flatter yourself too much.'
'Just wait… there's more.'
The darkness had lifted from around that distant Spark, but still…Bluestreak couldn't shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong.
Author's Note: XD okaaaay ^_______^ there's the first chapter, if I'm lucky (which I hope I am) I might just be able to get a second up within the week if I'm lucky! Expect this to be a good long story! I just need to keep my momentum up. I thrive on Reviews XD suggestions anything^^! pleaseeeeeeee if you like XD review! Aoz