"Hey. Nice car."
Sam jerked, nearly falling off Bee's hood.
"Oops! Sorry, thought you heard me!"
He looked at the woman as she helped him get his balance seated on the hood. She was a little shorter than he was, a little taller than Kayla, older than him and younger than Will. Her hair was brown, kinda curly and below her shoulders, pale skinned and her eyes were hazel. Overall she was pretty in a 'plain jane' kind of way.
"It's ok, just zoning out."
"Understandable. He seems like a good guy to trust."
Smiling she patted the hood on one of the black stripes.
"Yup. Cameros are always good to trust, speedy and safe, not to mention classy. Besides anyone can tell you love that car like family. He's in excellent condition. Lemme guess, wash and wax weekly?"
Sam laughed a bit and nodded, comfortable with the seemingly car savvy woman.
"He treats me well and keeps me safe, why shouldn't I return the favor and make sure he looks his best?"
"Good attitude! I'm Willow."
She shifted her bags to one arm and offered her hand.
"Sam, nice to meet you."
"You know, you look kind of familiar."
"Yeah, now where was it?"
She looked off to the side, apparently lost in thought, trying to remember.
"Ah ha! Now I remember, you were in Mission City when that movie thing went kerplooey, right?"
Sam's eyes went huge and he started backing up.
"Whoa! Easy, I was one of the people helping the big guy. Ya know, the primary color lover?"
Sam's expression went from panicky to befuddled. The woman laughed.
"You happen to know a Will Lennox?"
"Huh? Yeah, I do. Why?"
She walked over to her car and he nearly fell over at the sight of it. It was a brand new silver Pontiac Solstice. The memory of Jazz in Megatron's hands almost made him fall.
Thankfully the woman didn't see him stumble.
"Here, can you give that to him for me?"
He looked down at the plain white envelope in his hand, Will's name on the front.
"Thanks, Sam. We've got to get going."
"Well yeah, you didn't think you were the only person to love their car like family, did ya?"
He gave a small sheepish grin and waved as she drove out of sight.
"She was…. Odd."
"No kidding, Bee."
Will and Epps both stopped as Sam yelled, dashing towards them across the pavement of the base's lot.
"Got something for you."
"What is it?"
Ironhide had managed to walk over without any of them noticing. By now the weapons specialist's sneakiness wasn't such a surprise.
He opened the envelope and two pictures fluttered out when he pulled out the card inside.
"Hey, she looks familiar."
Epps held up the first photo, one of a woman in military BDUs, hair in a tight Army braid, giving a sharp salute in front of a silver Pontiac Solstice.
"Yeah she does."
Will's eyes went to the card and read it quickly, eyes widening as he read. He read it twice over before handing it over for Epps and Sam to read. They both looked rather shocked by the time they were done.
"I think the others need to see this, Optimus, Ratchet and Kayla at least."
One particular board in the hall of the new Autobot base was devoted to letters from friends and family that others wanted to share. That night a card and two pictures joined the mass.
Bumblebee and Sam had rushed in earlier, barely beating Will, Epps and Ironhide. The pandemonium had been rather fantastic, but the end result was good. Will and Epps seemed to be happier, even Ironhide was a little less tense. Ratchet kept looking off into space as he arranged his tools, looking awed and a bit humbled.
Optimus smiled slightly, eyeing the two youngsters watching the sunset outside before returning to the card and photos.
I know you'll let the other guys see this; you always were a stickler for that sort of thing. You've got a good group of people behind you, so no worries. Take care of each other and watch your backs. And let the guys know it wasn't their fault, ok? We all knew what we were getting into when we signed up. I have no regrets.
Remember, take no names and give only hellfire! We're watching you!
Willow 'The Wicked' Raynes
PS. My riding buddy says "Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly."
The two pictures were side by side, one of a smart Army woman and a sporty silver car. The other had a woman who looked to have snapped off a shot while taking a tumble, hair flying and laughing, caught by the hand of an equally laughing silver mech, Jazz.
He couldn't help but smile at the caption scribbled on the second picture.
We're doing fine.