Ironhide & Beachcomber – Rising with the Desert
Beachcomber was a simple mech.
He was not much to look at, colored a drab blue and grey, with a face that was not especially handsome or beautiful. He wasn't really a very exciting mech either, a quiet soul who was more interested in meditation or collecting shells on the beach than in sparring or playing games with other Autobots.
The other Minibots were mostly an energetic group that he couldn't hope to keep up with. From the rough, aggressive Gears and Brawn to the excitable Cliffjumper and even the courageous Bumblebee, the group was a collection of personalities entirely too wild for him. They generally left him alone, and he paid them the same courtesy.
And so, whenever the small geologist wasn't working or even being called out to help fight, he was by himself, out in the desert or along the coastline. As long as he was alone with nature, he was happy.
Ironhide, on the other hand, was a much more exciting mech.
A warrior by his very nature, he had been fighting almost all his life, even before the war. He had so many stories to tell, and was always more than willing to tell them to young Autobots eager to listen.
He was rough, and old-fashioned. He didn't like the new kinds of armor and weapons because he found them to be "nothin' more than a big ol' laight show, all glitter an' no punch." Presumably, that meant he thought they were flashy but not useful.
He was also Optimus Prime's faithful bodyguard, and performed this duty with pride. Although the Autobot leader was a skilled and powerful fighter himself, Ironhide was able to watch his back, keep him safe while he was working, and prevent unsavory characters – be they malicious Decepticons or simply the mischievous Lamborghini brothers -- from accessing his office or quarters.
To Beachcomber, all of this made Ironhide very unapproachable.
For some time now, the quietest of Minibots had had an interest in the powerful old soldier. The two were both naturally early risers who rose before the sun, and would often have breakfast together and exchange a few words before starting the day. Patient Beachcomber enjoyed listening to Ironhide's long, rambling stories, and in turn, would occasionally share his own quiet observations about Earth's nature and the world around them. When he did speak up, Ironhide, unlike some of the younger, more impatient mechs, would listen with interest and even make conversation with him.
Beachcomber loved their talks and it made him feel good when Ironhide listened to his simple observations, even if they were just comments about how the clouds moved or how desert sands scattered in a warm breeze. Just having someone to talk to, and knowing that he was listening, was good enough for Beachcomber. The words that they exchanged weren't nearly as important as their time spent together.
He loved the way Ironhide laughed. He loved the sound of his voice and the way he moved, the sheer energy he exuded even in spite of his advanced age. He loved the way that a body built for something so evil as war could be so gentle and caring, his touch kind but firm, with a spark inside as big and warm as the rest of him. But most of all, Beachcomber loved to hear that laugh. It was deep and rough, but endearing and jubilant. Like everything about him, it struck a perfect balance of gentleness and toughness.
Ironhide was just like the desert.
The desert was a place of opposing extremes. It grew blazing hot under the beating sun and bitter cold in its absence. The parched sand was smooth and beautiful, but lined with sharp cacti of every shape and size, and the animals that lived in it ranged from the deadly snakes, horned toads, and scorpions to things beautiful and even cute, like the woodpecker, the frilled lizard, or the desert hare.
In battle, Ironhide was a deadly and mighty force, like the desert could be to an unprepared traveler. But in peace, he was as serene and wonderful as the desert's natural beauty. And in the arms of each, Beachcomber always felt warm, safe, content, and at ease. He felt happy in the knowledge that though both were ever-shifting, neither would ever change.
Tentatively, Beachcomber leaned against the dark red mech's powerful arm, still sipping a breakfast of energon. Ironhide barely seemed to notice as he kept talking, looking out over the exotic sunrise in all its deep hues as it slowly highlighted the sands and all the life they contained.
Behind his visor, the drab blue and grey mech switched off his optics, listening only to the sounds of Ironhide. No matter what happened, or what the day would bring; even if he would never be able to call the veteran his own; sitting here, like this, right now, Beachcomber was truly and completely content.
Beachcomber was happy like this, and nothing could take that away.