Disclaimer: Hasbro owns Transformers, and will continue to do so until I become so rich as to take over the company's stock.
Fan Disclaimer: The idea for this fic came to me from reading ladyjulianna's fic Resuming Life. As such, the characters Bolt, Flare, and Justice belong to her, as well as Annabelle's Autobot name.
Annabelle Sparks Lennox.
Her fingers ran over the yellow and white polka dotted paper letters, a smooth texture that was more pleasing to touch than the plastic cover of the scrapbook in her lap. She fingered the corners, running her hand in between the covers to stroke the pages.
Her entire life was in this book. Her mother had started it shortly after they had moved into the Autobot base, and she had continued to update it herself once she had started college. Unlike most of her house mates, she did not have a processor capable of instant video recall. Granted, the Allspark's blessing did mean her memory was better than most humans, but it would never be as efficient as a Cybertronian's.
Slowly, with trembling fingers, she pulled back the cover and it settled into the creases caused from so many openings before resting on her other knee.
Annabelle Sparks Lennox, she read for a second time, and her birthday followed by her parents' names. Underneath was a picture of her mother holding her and her father with his arm around Sarah's waist. It was taken by her uncle Ron the day her dad came home from overseas and saw her for the first time. Sarah loved to joke that Will was more excited about seeing Annabelle than her and that she got jealous when he kissed his daughter first, and more times in a row, than his wife.
The first two pages were baby pictures. One of her in her mom's arms for the first time, another of her sleeping in her crib. There was another that used to cause a spectacular embarrassed blush to creep into her cheeks when she was younger, a shot of her naked through no means she remembered and covered in applesauce. Now it just brought a fond smile to her lips.
At the top of the right page was a little pocket folded shut. Annebelle knew that inside she would find a lock of hair from her first hair cut; thin, soft, and blonde. She did not open the pocket to look, not wanting to risk losing a strand.
She turned the next page. Pictures taken with her entire family graced the layout, all taken shortly after her Dad returned from duty in Qatar. In the honored position of the left page's center was a picture of her, her father, and mother standing in front of a GM Topkick. Lightly, her fingers traced the faces of her parents. They had both left her years ago, though the car in the picture was still in the family.
Flipping the page again, the two-page spread was full of shots with her and the truck. In a car seat in the back, curled up and asleep in the diver's seat, and one of her sitting on her dad's lap 'driving' that always made her smile. There was also a picture of her being tossed up in the air by a giant 20 foot tall robot with blazing blue eyes and ebony armor, another of her asleep in the robot's arms, and a third of her one year old self giving the mech a kiss on his faceplate.
Ironhide had been a part of her life for as long as she could remember. He was her favorite uncle, as well as her first and only nanny. He was had also been her first car, as well as that of her daughter Mary and son Stephen. Her grandson Nick would also soon have the same pleasure, though Ironhide no longer went disguised as the same truck.
The giant Autobot had bonded with her father during the battle at Mission City, enough where he volunteered to stay with the Lennoxes to guard them and the surrounding area. It had not lasted very long, for within just a few months the entire family had moved into the Autobot base, along with Sam and Mikaela. Humans and Cybertronians alike formed one big pod. She was not even a year old when she received her Autobot name Sparks and blessed by the four-bonded Allspark.
Flipping the page again she saw a picture of the naming ceremony, all the sparklings, Cybertronian and human alike, nestled into their adopted creators' hands. Annabelle was peaking over Ironhide's fingers, Justice was curled up to Prowl, little Bolt was held in Ratchet's hands, and Flare was wiggling in her parents' –the twins- hands. It did always amuse her whenever Flare addressed Sideswipe as 'mommy'.
A second picture showed her glowing a bright blue as Mikaela as the Allspark blessed her, Sam standing just behind her as Bumblebee and Jazz kneeled behind the couple. Absently she rubbed her chest. The blessing had left a light scar over her heart, reading her Autobot name Sparks. Even as she grew up, it had never faded.
It was one of the few gifts being blessed by the Allspark had given her. Her name was a live, physical thing and felt more…right then the name her parents had given her. Everyone at the base called her Sparks, though her parents had still called her Annie and her husband Derrick had always used Bell. But another gift, one of a longer life than most humans, meant that there was no one left to call her anything but Sparks, so she had begun to think of herself as Annabelle again after they had died as a way of remembering.
But even now, approaching her one hundred and seventh birthday, she did not come close to the life expectancy of Cybertronians. She thought of them as Tolkien's elves; immortal to sickness and age, only becoming deactivated through battle. It only made sense that such long living being would have long childhoods. That did not make it hurt any less.
Annabelle flipped the next page absently, turning to see a photograph of her, Justice, and Flare. Flare was like her in so many ways; fiery, full of energy, and always getting into trouble. It had ticked Ironhide and her parents off all the time with the sparkling would transform into her alt form of a Mountian Dew machine and give Annabelle a can. Five year olds had a lot of energy to begin with, they did not need caffeine to help keep them awake.
Justice was a quieter mech, much more patient and a deep thinker. She never got involved directly with Flare and Annabelle's antics; she just played decoy a lot and had suggested more than half the schemes the other two had carried out.
They had pranked poor Bolt so many times (well, he was the only mech sparkling). It was always doubly pleasing, because it sent Ratchet into a huff. He would always scold them and make threats, but nothing ever came from them. They usually ended up with the medic mumbling something about it was only to be expected from a sparkling adopted by the twins.
The fun only lasted so long though, she noticed it around the time she turned ten. Justice and Flare would only get a light scolding, while she was privy to a more gruesome face.
"You're old enough to know better! You can't go around and do things without thinking about it! If you had put that can of pop anywhere else it could have done more damage then just get Hot Rod's seats sticky!" or "You're old enough to think about others now Anna! Would you like it if someone locked you in a cabinet? Apologize to Bolt!"
And so on, but she did not stop. So she got punished. She remembered feeling so angry at the other sparklings, because tthey never got punished. They were too young to know any better. She was only a few months older! She did not talk to them for awhile, and instead sulked in her room, which she shared with Carly, Sam and Mikaela's daughter who was a year younger. They were the only two human sparkling in the pod and so had been put together.
She found Carly's games childish rather soon, but she was still angry (and not that she was older could say jealous of the Cybertronian sparklings' lack of punishment) so she did not return to the nursery to play with them. Instead she listened to the kids in her class at the elementary school she attended with the other sparklings of the base's human population.
She found out that they did lots of things she did not. The femmes played dress up or house. The mech played with toy cars (which she had found silly since she was around the real things all the time) or video games. But what really struck her was that they never did something alone; they were all friends and talked to each. None of them talked to her.
True, she had never made an effort; she spoke English with her parents and broken Cybertronian to the Autobots. She always felt more comfortable with the clicks, whirls, and whistles of the robotic language and thus rarely spoke at school. So every one left her alone, as did the teacher because her grades were good and she was still always happy even if alone.
Annabelle never played physical games with the Autobot sparklings. It had been the one thing that had earned them punishment because they had hurt her. She had been able to get away with bruises, coming up with excuses, but when one game ended up with her left arm broken all such games had come to a sudden halt. Watching some classmates play tag, she found that it looked like fun, something she wanted to join in. Her parents and Ironhide never said she could not play such games, just not with Bolt, Flare, and Justice.
The entire group had just froze and stared at her when she asked to join in. They had all been in the same school for years now, and to have Annabelle Lennox just speak up out of the blue and ask to play tag? But kids are very open and trusting, they took it all in stride.
Annabelle enjoyed having human friends, and found herself playing with them outside of school too. Her parents had been glad, as much as they loved their Autobot pod, their child should also have a some what normal human life.
A couple month later, Annabelle had been doing homework in her room when small clicks alerted her to guests. Looking up she watched her fellow sparkling enter the room, Justice in the lead.
"You don't like us no more?" she asked in sparkling noises. The others behind her shifted, gears softly clanking.
She wanted to answer no, she was angry and never wanted to see them again, but something caught her tongue. At eleven years old she had a good grip on her native language of English, understood Cybertronian but could not speak it do to the lack of equipment, and had started learning Spanish and doing quite well. Should not Justice, the smartest one out of all them be able to speak correct Cybertronian, and not muddle it up with bad grammer? They were not babies anymore!
Annabelle glared, only to relax her face a look more closely at the three in front of her. Did they get shorter? She stood up and walked over to Justice. Strange, she remembered being shorter than Justice's elbow. And she might be up to Flare's waist now too.
And then it hit her, if Cybertronians lived a long, long, long, time, they might be sparklings for a long, long, long time. Annabelle really was older than them.
"No, I still like you," she said, using English to solidify the fact that she was older, knew more. "I've just, been busy doing big girl things."
Bolt cocked his head while Flare danced around Justice to circle Annabelle. "Play now?"
Playing with Bolt, Justice, and Flare had kept her young, always active and full mischief and imagination. But it also made her feel old. As she grew, and the sparkling did not, she found herself playing babysitter. And it was hard, very hard to not scold them because after all they were the same age and yet they were still just infants. She was growing up, leaving them behind, and it hurt that they could not follow her because they had known each other since before her earliest memories. She had to leave them behind.
She went off to school, a somewhat local college a day's drive away. And then she got married, had kids of her own. But every time she visited, all three were excited to see her , clicking and chirping in happiness. But as time passed she found that their games were only amusing the sparklings and her smile was not because she was enjoying herself but because she could feel the others' joy. It also became harder for her to keep up them, and eventually her time with them was spent with her in a chair watching them play or telling them stories.
Because they really were just children, and still just children, and might always be children and she was just a weak human who watched herself change while they just stayed the same. And now she was alone, her children out in the world, her best friends mere infants, and her husband in the grave. True, Uncle Ironhide was still there and she loved him dearly but it just was not the same.
Sighing she closed her scrapbook and placed on the shelf next to the ones that belonged to her own kids. She did not recall the events at the beginning of her book; human sparklings did not remember things that early. Were Cybertronians the same way? Would Blot, Justice, and Flare, who had been a larger part of her life in every stage, not even remember her? She was too scared to ask any of the Autobots, too frightened that the answer would be yes, she would not be remembered.
She would give her scrapbook to Prowl, just in case. She did not remember the first few pages of her own book, and Justice might not remember the first few humans who grew up with and round her. But looking at those first pages still brought her happiness because they were a part of her life, something that imprinted on her mind and helped shaped her. Annabelle could only hope Justice would one day think the same way about her entire human life.
A/N: Thanks very much to by beta (and roommate!) Cheetaliv. Even though she hasn't seen the movies (which will change, let me tell you) she kindly still looked over this for me.
Originally I was planning on spliting this fic into two parts, one from Annabelle's POV and another from Prowl's, but after this just took off on me I don't think it needs it anymore. But if you guys would still like to see something like that let me know.