Author's Notes: Yet another bunny that emerged from reading The Cybertronian on LJ. (Really, I must stop reading the bunny section on that newsletter!) Thanks to Toast Guru for this particularly excellent idea.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.
Will Lennox groaned and rolled over, his hand slapping the snooze button on the alarm clock. When the offending noise didn't quit, Lennox practically punched his beside clock in a futile attempt for silence. Lifting his head off the pillow, Will cracked his eyes open and realized that it wasn't the clock, but his cell phone making all the ruckus. He sat up and flipped on the light, glancing simultaneously at the glowing red numbers. 0143 blinked back at him as a taunt.
Practically growling, Lennox snagged his cell phone from the nightstand and took a quick peek at the caller ID. Momentarily puzzled, Will flipped the phone open and barked as polite of a greeting he could summon at a quarter to two in the morning.
"Optimus, there had better be an emergency the size of Wheeljack reinventing fireworks for you to be calling me right now, because if there isn't, I'm hanging up and going back to bed. And if you're drunk dialing me, so help your pained processor tomorrow morning because I'll--"
"Major Lennox, please calm down and take a breath. I wouldn't want you to injure yourself," the deep baritone voice on the other "end" of the phone line interrupted. "And to answer your questions, no Wheeljack is not blowing anything up, and I am completely sober."
Sighing, Will let his shoulders sag. When he felt the bed shift behind him, Lennox looked back and mouthed 'Optimus' to Sarah and stood up to walk to the next room. Sarah always got up in the morning with Annabelle, so Will felt it was only right to try and let her get some sleep. Plopping down on the couch and pulling an afghan over his legs, Lennox rubbed a hand over his face. "All right. I'm calm. Now, tell my why exactly you're calling me at two in the morning."
There was a brief pause on Prime's end of the connection. "I find myself in a rather…peculiar situation, and I require your assistance."
Furrowing his brows together, Will asked, "What kind of assistance?"
Optimus inwardly swore. Of course Lennox would require specifics. "We received intel late this evening that Barricade was still on Earth. He was spotted east of NEST's base, and I decided to check it out. I--"
Now it was Will's turn to stop the monologue. "Optimus! It's 0200. What's the point?"
"Right. Of course. My apologies, Major." Optimus mumbled something that Lennox couldn't quite make out.
"What was that, Prime? 'You're on a road'? I don't get it."
"No. Slag it all," Prime cursed. "This is very embarrassing."
Will's eyebrows shot up to his hairline. Not once in NEST's two years of operations had the Major ever heard Prime swear in anything other than the heat of battle. "Optimus? Is everything okay?"
Metal clanking as he shifted, Optimus cycled his vents. "No, Will. It isn't. I said, 'I got towed', not 'I'm on a road'."
Silence rang on the phone line. Then, suddenly Prime's audios were filled with the rich, hearty laughter of Will Lennox. After a few agonizing seconds for Prime and his undoubtedly bruised ego, Will finally calmed himself enough to speak. "You…got…towed? Wow. I have to be honest Prime, I'm expecting to get these kinds of calls when Annie turns sixteen, but you're like, what? A billion years old? You better have one kick ass excuse."
Prime chose to ignore the barb Lennox directed at him and instead went for a clinical explanation. "As I was saying, we received intel on Barricade's whereabouts, and I went to check it out. The information was good, but he ambushed me. It wasn't a particularly hard fight, but it was a long drive up here, and I was low on energon. He got in a lucky shot and nicked my main fuel line."
"Okay, so how did you get impounded?"
"I broke off pursuit when I realized it would be futile to try and catch him. Barricade has clearly been here for quite some time, as he knows the area very well. He lead me up into the mountains before I abandoned the chase," Optimus said.
"Mountains?" Lennox was incredulous. "Where are you exactly, Prime?"
"I'm east of NEST, just outside of Cedar City, Utah." Though he was stuck between the proverbial and somewhat literal rock and hard place, Optimus had to admit that the mountain view was quite spectacular. And snow was, well, interesting, for lack of a better term.
"Okay." Lennox switched to his Bluetooth and fired up his laptop to check out the location on Google Maps. "Keep going, Optimus."
"I stopped near a residential neighborhood to let my self repair systems fix the damage and to rest for a few hours before heading back. I dropped into recharge, and when I woke up, I discovered I was in what my scans tell me is an impound lot," Optimus finished, the cringe in his normally placid voice giving away his embarrassment.
"And now you're stuck," Will said.
Leaning back on the couch and putting his feet up on the coffee table, Lennox was smug. "Well, I suppose it's a good thing that on paper, I own you."
Finally losing a bit of his legendary patience, Optimus' tone grew short. "Major, I expected you to gloat, but please no more than necessary."
Will shook his head with a smile on his face. "All right. I'm sorry. But you know I'm going to have tell someone about this, since you can't just drive yourself off the impound lot. And Ironhide's going to have to know, since he won't let me take my real car anywhere anymore."
Optimus groaned. He'd forgotten about that. "All right. Tell Ironhide, but please at least try to be discreet. I would appreciate it greatly if your sparkmate would come along to 'drive' Ironhide home," Prime requested.
Will smirked, unable to stop himself from yanking Prime's extra long legs a bit. "What? Are you afraid I'll bring Epps?"
"No, it's just that your sparkmate keeps Ironhide 'in line', as you say," Prime answered. And then, he added as a bit of an afterthought, "Okay. Yes, I would prefer it if Sgt. Epps didn't hear about this incident for as long as possible."
"I make no guarantees Optimus, but I'll try. Let me go wake up Sarah and Annabelle, find your paperwork, and we'll be on our way. You'd have to wait until morning anyway, so we should be there about the time the lot opens," Will said as he stood from the couch and walked back into his bedroom.
"That will be fine, Major. That extra time will be appreciated actually, since it will give my self repair systems time to finish their work," Prime concurred.
"All right. Sounds good, and we'll see you in a few hours. I'll have my cell if you need anything," Will answered.
"I appreciate this, Will. Tell your sparkmate I will make this up to her."
Lennox laughed. "You'd better. She's glaring at me right now. Oh, and Prime?"
Lennox bit his lip to keep his voice as steady as possible. "Could you learn how to read street signs, please? I don't want to be bailing you out of car jail in Russia if this ever happens again."
Prime cycled his vents and gnashed his dental plates together. Before cutting the phone connection, he answered with a very short and curt, "Understood."
Optimus settled back on his axles and made himself as comfortable as possible while he waited patiently for the Lennox family, and by extension, the end of his dignity. He checked the progress of his self repair systems, made certain his comm lines would wake him, and sank slowly back towards healing recharge. His last conscious thought before he gave into the bliss of mechanical sleep was that it was going to be one very long and very awkward trip home.