TITLE: Primality
SERIES: Imperfection Deviation
AUTHOR: Macx
RATING: PG-13
DISCLAIMER: None of the characters belong to me, sadly. They are owned by people with a lot more money :)
FEEDBACK: Loved

Primality [mathematics]: The property of being a prime; the quality or state of being a prime.

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This fic borrows from the second movie and the accompanying novel. You'll know when you read it.

Beware! This is still my AU and the second movie as such never happened! I just found some of the plot points intriguing enough to figure out a way to use them here. Prior fics have mentioned movie stuff, too.

Regular readers know what I'm talking about ;)

And yeah, Optimus in battle mode kicks a$$ :P I adore the fight scenes in ROTF.

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Booted feet crunched on grainy sand, kicking up tiny plumes of dust.

There was nothing but empty desert. Here and there a Joshua tree made up for a bit of plant life, dried bushes waving lazily in the wind. The horizon was a wavering line of white heat.

The tall, slender man in the jeans and shirt outfit with his heavy hiking shoes looked like an anomaly in the hostile environment of the Yuma desert in the middle of apparently nowhere.

He wasn't.

He was where had intended to be.

Former Army Major Will Lennox had set up a schedule for his Yuma training exercises. With or without the help of the Constructicons, mostly Scavenger and Hook, who had taken a liking to Will's ability to really and truly test his force shields. Scavenger had given Lennox the readings from prior trainings and taught him how to use one of his own scanners to keep track of his output. So far it had only told Will that he regularly spiked just before blowing himself into a rock face or mountain side, and that reabsorbing energy was still a bad idea.

The week he had scheduled now was one where he was on his own. The Constructicons were all on the Ark as they got ready to finalize her transformation into a battle station. It meant he had the whole base and all of the Laguna Test Site for himself.

Cool.

Unlike the mechs he didn't need that big a site and he had cleared it with the base commander that he wouldn't use most of it. The military could still run their own tests and Will had a comfortable safety zone to himself.

It was all the more surprising to find he had a visitor.

The red and blue Peterbilt rolled to a stop and Optimus Prime transformed into his bi-pedal mode.

"Prime," Lennox greeted him with a nod, tension racing through him at the sight of the Autobot leader. "Anything wrong?"

"No, nothing is wrong, Will."

"I just thought…" He made a general gesture. "You, here."

Optimus smiled a little. "Do you want to be alone?"

"No. No, not really. I was just.. surprised. What gives me the honor?"

"Like you seek a place away from the base and prying eyes to work on your abilities, I sometimes seek a quiet place to just… be."

Will met the calm, blue optics and smiled after a few seconds. "Yeah. Gotcha. Can't guarantee for the 'quiet' though. I tend to blow up stuff or blow myself somewhere. It's loud, not really pretty, and I keep rearranging the landscape."

Optimus chuckled, an amused rumble coming from deep within. "So I heard, but I also heard you have improved greatly."

"Depends on who you ask. The Constructicons, who kicked my butt and wiped the floor with me, or Ironhide, who also kicks my butt, not to mention the floor-wiping part."

"Their experience is a lot greater than yours, Will. Don't stand in the shadows of those who aren't you." Prime knelt down. "You have great power and you are unique. You combine human fighting style with what Ironhide taught you and what the Constructicons gave you as training. You will develop your own style, your own strength and speed."

"The moment I get a handle on the energy inside me, yeah, maybe." Will shrugged. "Until then I'm a menace."

"You haven't met some of those who were under my command," was the wry reply. "They were millennia older than you and still a menace, despite rigorous training."

"So what you're telling me is that I need time and more time to train."

"Yes."

Another shrug. "It's what I'm doing. I know how long it took me to become an Army Ranger. This isn't really all that different when it comes to learning, just the… new options are sometimes scary. With the Army you have protocols and books and stuff. You have those who went through the same training and now hammer it into your skull. This… this is only me, Prime."

Optimus nodded. "I understand."

"It's hard enough that I melt rock. I don't want to hurt any of you while training," Will added with a sigh. "That's why I'm here."

"You haven't harmed the Constructicons."

"Yeah. I know. Because they're bigger and meaner and faster." He grinned. "They're a challenge."

Optimus tilted his head a little. "Are you looking for one today?"

Will blinked. "W-what?" He had to have misunderstood!

"If you wish, I'll be your partner for a sequence or two."

Lennox blinked again, blind-sided by the offer. Prime wanted to spar with him? He had once exchanged a few blows with the Autobot leader and it had been over in seconds. Prime was old, he was powerful, he was incredible… he was Optimus Prime!

"Really?" he managed.

"Yes, Will, really. I think I need the exercise, as you would say, and I'm interested to see how much you have improved."

"Uh, okay. Sure. What's another butt-kicking among friends?"

Prime chuckled softly. "I promise not to kick too hard."

"It's appreciated, but one request: no holding back. Short of lethal force, that is. Same rule I gave Scrapper and the others. I hate coddling and I hate kiddy gloves."

A nod. "I accept. And I ask the same of you, William Lennox."

Lennox laughed softly. "Hell, with my control problems sometimes, you might get what you asked for."

Optimus looked amused. "Let's see."

Prime rose and Will felt something inside his stomach knot with the anticipation of their sparring session.

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Maybe, just maybe, it had been a bad idea.

-- A huge battle scythe came at him and Will jumped back, hitting the ground in a defensive crouch, then quickly back-flipped as the weapon came his way in a blur of red-hot fire and cold metal.

Optimus nodded his approval of the fast-paced maneuver, but Lennox didn't feel very much reassured. He had just about evaded the sharp blades, though he doubted the Autobot leader would slice him apart.

Ironhide was very difficult to take on. He was armored to the hilt and his cannons freaking hurt!

-- Will raised one hand and blasted at his opponents, satisfied when the energy ball knocked Optimus slightly to the left. It was the second he needed to widen the distance.

Lennox had developed a tolerance for those low-level shots and learned to duck and move faster. Speed was his asset. Speed was what he needed. Using his body's ability to shape a gun or another weapon was secondary to just getting away and to safety.

-- Something exploded to his right, but he only went with the flow, rolling around, legs kicking out and unerringly finding Prime's chest.

But he also needed to learn close combat. The Constructicons had shown him that he was easily overpowered by several mechs, so Will had concentrated on finding weak spots when up close and using these.

-- He kicked hard, adding an energy bolt that wasn't strong enough to harm, but blinding enough to dazzle optics.

Jazz had been a big help. He was smaller than most and his size gave him both a disadvantage and an advantage. He was faster than the others and he had the processing power and maneuverability to use that.

-- Grabbing Prime's weapons arm, he tried to push the blade aside, but was caught in a strong body grip instead.

Shit!

"Never come that close to a larger opponent," Optimus rumbled. "It's a mistake that might cost you dearly."

"You don't say," Will breathed.

Yeah, it had been wrong. Prime was so much taller and so much stronger! He had to take him out without physical harm and that was proving difficult.

-- Lennox placed both hands as much as he could onto the Autobot leader's body and sent another charge through him. It got the hybrid an annoyed hiss, but he was released out of the hold.

Optimus wasn't holding back, as promised, and by tomorrow the bruises would be spectacular. Of course he taught Will something with each move, corrected his stance, allowed him to get very close, just to catch him again. Epps had called it his masochistic streak. Lennox simply called it need. Soundwave was bigger, Starscream was bigger, whoever else might show up would most likely be bigger. Size mattered in some battle situations, as Jazz had so painfully been shown over a decade ago, so Lennox trained.

And he took on more than he could chew, let alone swallow.

-- Ducking, blocking, returning blows and fire, Will was amazed at how much Optimus could take and not even falter. Sure, they weren't on lethal terms, but he had sent mechs like Mixmaster and Long Haul on their metal butts and Prime was still standing!

"You have improved your balance, Will," the Autobot lauded just before sending him on his ass.

"Not enough, though," Lennox replied, feeling black and blue already.

"Warriors are not born," Optimus told him.

"Live and learn. Yeah, we humans got that, too."

"And you're very resourceful and resilient as a race."

The battle blades looked dangerous, but so far Will had evaded them and Prime wasn't trying to lop his head off, which he was thankful for. But the scrapes had given him an idea how easily Optimus could have cut him – or worse.

-- Following instinct, as he had done so often before, Lennox triggered something he had never used before: a blade shot out of his forearm above his hand and he blocked the next move.

Blades clanged together.

Optimus gave him a nod of approval and Will drew back, a little startled.

Hot damn!

"Fast learner," Prime rumbled. "Ratchet spoke of your potential, but it is the first time I see it for myself. You have discovered a new ability, I take?"

Will nodded, stunned. "Never happened before."

"Apparently you never had an incentive.".

His guard down for a second because of the confusing alterations to his body, Will was struck by a powerful kick and went flying, but he was right back on his feet, only to have one of the battle blades scrape the metal of his protoform shape. With a curse he lost his balance and slammed back onto the ground.

His second attempt to get up was thwarted by Prime pinning him down, using a technique not unlike Scrapper had – knee slamming into his abdomen – and one foot stomped down on the bladed arm, making the weapon ineffective.

Will had learned from the last time and Mixmaster had actually taught him a few dirty tricks to keep himself from being incapacitated so quickly.

So he used his knowledge, triggered the reduction of the blade back into his forearm, and the flare of surprise in the blue optics told Will that the Autobot leader hadn't counted on that particular move.

Lennox felt energy summon in his palms, ready to stun his opponent, when Prime jumped back and evaded the blast.

Damn!

Will rolled aside as a blade came at him, landing in the dust where he had just been. He wasn't fast enough to get out of reach of the second blade and instinct kicked in.

What happened next occurred within the span of two seconds.

'As seen on TV' flashed through his head as he brought up both hands and clapped his palms together right in front of his face – and the blade was trapped between them.

Runes flared on his protoform fingers.

Energy hissed along his palms.

"What the…" he managed, shocked by his own body's reaction. The runes had never been so pronounced in this form. They had only ever shown on his hands when he was human.

Blue eyes widened, meeting startled blue optics.

Will stared at the symbol on Optimus' face. For a second it glowed a deep, golden-bronze color, then it twisted into what could only be described as cosmic code before flowing back into its original form.

Stunned, concentration for a second lost, the energy between his palms wavered, sizzled, then the tiny bubbles blew apart. They encompassed the blade, raced along it, touched Prime's hands, his arm, flowed toward his chest… his spark.

Lennox gave a cry of denial and tried to summon them back, but they simply seeped into Prime chest. He let go of the blade, jumped forward, trying to grab droplets of energy bubbles…

… and his hands connected with metal.

With Prime.

He seemed to sink up to his wrist into the massive chest.

… and the world was simply white...

tbc...

Hope I met the high expectations put into the fic from the teaser comments :) And because someone was actually looking forward to the fight scene :P

Evil Me is now going to nurse her headache and wait out the first screams...