Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this fic belong to Hasbro and/or Dreamworks. Plot though? That's mine. And a smoke detector that goes off every time the oven is used. I don't know whether its the alarm or the oven that needs fixing.
Don't Think You're So Great
He was startled out of his light recharge by a message alert popping up on his HUD. Noticing it was from Sam, Bumblebee chuckled to himself. The teen was in school at the moment and the administration was not favorable towards the use of cellular phones during operating hours. He had probably retreated to the bathroom to message him.
I have to stay after for a make-up test.
Sam had returned to his place of learning earlier in the week and had been burdened with the effort of catching up to his classmates. It involved semi-late nights, little free time, and a lot of help from the Autobot. Bee did not mind, he just extended his guardianship to include Sam's future and education in addition to the teen's physical well being.
Okay. I'll be waiting.
Bumblebee did not get an answer to his text, but then again he did not expect one. He knew Sam would get it and that was what mattered.
Bee checked the time; there was less than an hour before the final bell so there was no point in falling back into a recharge to defragment files. He could do that come evening.
When the bell did finally ring the school doors burst open and a tide of humans flowed out. He always tried to make himself unnoticeable, but that was a little hard to do. Bright yellow, two black racing stripes, and apparently an expense car model, not to mention his amour was more polished and thus reflective than Earth made cars, being inconspicuous was not a talent of his. Did not mean he abandoned all effort in trying.
He could have used his old form, the 'piece of crap Camaro' as Mikaela had called it. It would certainly be easier to blend in and not draw attention in not just a school parking lot but also anywhere truthfully. But Sam and Mikaela had both shown preference for the upgraded model. Not to mention himself. There were times when he liked being ogled.
The teenagers walked in and out of the cars in the lot on their way to their own vehicles, many going out of their way to get a closer look at him. Sam had warned him that he would most likely get a lot of stares in the beginning, but once the students got used to his presence things would taper off. Things like touching.
It was not as if Bee hated it when humans touched him; Sam's stokes of his steering wheel and seats were always pleasant and soothing and the pats on his hood and roof were a reassuring comfort at times. Mikaela was nice too. The female was always gentle, even when she had hooked him up to the bed of that tow truck in Mission City.
No, it was the sheer number of touches in so short a time that sent his processors buzzing. Tactile interaction was something Cybertonian's did not need; humans used it as a way of communication, of displaying the degree of a relationship. His own kind was mentally intimate. Internal communications were sent between bots constantly; the ease, speed, and quality of the message indicating the closeness of the two. Touch was not needed, not even to explore and test reality, as the many hands on his sides seemed to be doing. Having numerous scanners took care of that.
He was actually contemplating setting of his car alarm just to make them frag off when Mikaela showed up. By now it was common knowledge that the sweet new ride belonged to Sam Witwicky and that Mikaela Banes was also in the teen's possession. It really was the other way around; Mikaela was obviously the dominant one in the relationship.
Her approach caused many of the strange hands to disappear. Patting the mid section of his hood as she walked past, she whispered under her breath.
She patted his roof as she went by the driver's side window and he did his best to elevate himself on his shocks to return the greeting and not give it away that he was doing such a thing. Mikaela smiled down at him and then continued her way on towards her own ride. The motorcycle was not very impressive, but she had been told that if she could get it working not only could she keep it but she would have a job at the local garage. She had it up and running in two days.
The flood of people from the door started to diminish and the parking lot began to empty. Sam had not told him how long he thought the test would take, but Bee assumed it would be under an hour. Usually Sam finished within thirty minutes.
Eventually all but fifteen or so cars were still parked. Bee assumed they all belonged to members of the football team since most of them had a football decal on a window. He vaguely wondered what a fall sport would do during a meeting in the spring but shrugged it aside. It really was not that important.
Silently, Bee listened to the radio. One of the stations was giving away tickets to see a band and Sam had been trying to win them as a gift for Mikaela. He had been doing his best to help, checking the station broadcast and telling Sam the opportunity to call had arrived. The Autobot had called in once, but he had not been the correct caller.
The school doors opened again, revealing the day's stragglers. They sauntered over to their respective cars and left. There were still three of them left, one of them he recognized as belonging to Mikaela's ex-boyfriends Trent.
As if on cue, Trent DeMarco himself and two of his fellow football buddies walked into the parking lot. They stopped near the doors, and Bumblebee did not like the way the jostled shoulders and nodded their heads; the way they pointed at him and then looked around as if checking to see if the coast was clears.
Trent was 'royally pissed' as Mikaela put it about her breaking up with him. Sam had been getting some grief about it; getting roughly shoved in hallways, having his books punched out of his hands or swiped off a desk, tripping was pretty common, and after something Sam refused to divulge he never went to the bathroom without Miles. Mikaela called Trent and Co bullies and encouraged Sam to stand up to the jocks. After all, he had destroyed Megatron! Sam just said compared to Megatron, the jerks were not worth his effort and after a while things would just blow over.
Bee had kept quite on the subject; his experience with the situation was too new to make suggestions but he did agree with Mikaela that Sam should not take the treatment passively. Sam had just patted him on the dash board and told him not to worry.
The Autobot watched as Trent and the two others did not approach him, but all headed towards the tight end's truck. A tension he had not even noticed in his suspension lessened in relief. But only temporarily as out of the trunk bed came a baseball bat. Bee whined too high for the humans to hear. This was going to hurt, but he had to take the beating to prevent drawing attention to himself. Prime had only given him permission to transform if Sam's well-being was threatened.
The three teens approached, Trent taking practice swings with the baseball bat while the one of the others unsheathed a knife and the third was looking through his keys. They stopped a few feet away, the one with the keys turning to Trent.
"You know, it's almost a shame doing this to such a nice car."
Yes, Bee thought. I'm too pretty to trashed. Just walk away.
"Almost," Trent agreed and then he swung the bat down on the driver's side mirror. It broke off on the second swing and Bumblebee quickly turned down his pain receptors. The damage was superficial, but it still hurt more that he had expected it to.
Emboldened by their leader's actions the other two football players also sprung into action. The knife was plunged all the way to its hilt in his front left tire, retracted, and then plunged in again on the other side of the hubcap. Bee knew that one slash in the tires would eventually leak all the air, were five in one tire really necessary? He could have healed one slash quickly enough to still allow himself movement, but it would take longer to repair his tires if they all got the same treatment. If Ratchet did not put on new tires, it would be a few days before he could move.
Trent was working on his windshield now. Cybertronian glass was much stronger than it's Earth counter point so Bee was slowly weakening it down. Hopefully the initial strength would deter him, but he kept on swinging the bat, encouraged by the sight of each blow doing more damage as the glass weakened.
"This is for stealing my girlfriend!" Trent brought up the bat in his highest swing possible and brought it down quickly. The windshield shattered, glass littering the hood and dashboard.
Trent walked around his buddies, the first attacking his rear left tire and the second carving something into his paint. The carver was talking as he used the key, "Wit-picky…sucks…dick." Finished, he went on to just mess up Bee's paint job just because he could.
"This is for being a dickwad." Trent brought the bat down on his other mirror, cracking the glass on the first swing and leaving the part hanging by wires against his side.
There were many shouts of 'this is for', many of which Bumblebee did not agree with but he could not do anything to stop this awful treatment. He was already damaged, why did the jocks continue their attack? Bee refortified his windows, tires, and top layer of armor to discourage them from dealing anymore damage but they still did their best to vandalize his alt form, not even grumbling about the extra time the tasks were taking.
All four tires were slashed, his sides keyed, his lights bashed in, and his passenger side window newly broken when a voice resounded through the parking lot.
"What the fuck are you doing to my car Trent?!" Sam strode down the school's steps, eye radiating fury just like they had when Sector Seven was freezing Bee and the human pushed an agent down to dose him with the liquid nitrogen the agent was carrying on his back.
Trent directed a head moment towards his partners in crime and all three made their way towards Sam. Bee's spark frequency jumped as he realized that all four teens were closer to Trent's truck then to him.
"What does it look like I'm going Witaker?" Trent swung the bat up so it rested on his shoulder.
"It's Witwicky," Sam spat, "And it looks like you were trashing my car for no reason. You're going to jail for that." He narrowed his eyes.
Trent looked to either side of him and smiled at his accomplices. "I doubt it. Mack here, his Dad's on the force." The one holding the knife gave a wave, sunlight glinting off the weapon. Bee could not tell what the increase in Sam's heartbeat meant; his broken headlights were interfering with his scans.
"And we had a perfectly good reason to scrap that piece of junk," Trent jabbed a thumb over his shoulder at Bumblebee and Sam's face turned into a furious glare. "You stole my girlfriend."
Before anyone could blink Trent swung the baseball bat with all the strength of those huge biceps and it hit Sam in the side of the head. The brunette went down immediately, landing on his side and not moving. The Earth stood still for a few seconds and then Bee blared his car alarm, hoping that it would scare Trent and his goons away.
It seemed to have the opposite effect instead.
"Quick, help me get him in the truck."
Mack and Trent lifted up Sam while the third athlete opened the door. They stuffed Sam in the back seat, Mack getting in too while Trent took the driver's seat and the third boy hopped in the passenger side.
Bumblebee wanted, needed, to protect Sam, and he was pretty sure that Primus would count this as an acceptable time to transform, but he could not. His tires were a key component for his joints; without them his arms and feet would be useless. Instead he cranked the volume up on his alarm and the football players still did not pay him any real attention. He was hoping that someone still inside the school would come and check on the noise. The faculty lot will still pretty full, and it looked like there was maybe one other student too.
It did not work. Trent started up his truck, the engine kicking into gear with a loud roar, and drove out of the parking lot burning rubber. Bee tracked them as far as he could, about a mile and a half, but he could not get a heading on where they were headed except for east.
By this time, a teacher had come out of the building to check on his alarm, but she was too late to do anything and he shut it off. She looked appalled at the damage done to him and then scuttled back into the building. Bee had no idea what she would do; call a tow truck or the police perhaps. Maybe look for the Camaro's owner, not knowing he was currently who knew where with less than friendly company.
So Bumblebee sent a message to Ratchet requesting first aid and a message to Prime requesting a search. The medic sent back he was only coming if the injury was not due to stupidness and Prime sent an inquiry as who was missing and asking for a detailed report. The scout did as asked and left if up to his leader to explain to Ratchet what had caused a need for a medic so soon after having his legs fixed.
It took them just shy of an hour to reach the school. Bee spent the entire time on edge, coming up with scenarios of what could be happening to Sam and the probability of them happening. He knew something was wrong, or else Sam would have called someone to check up on the Cybertronian or shown up himself. Life on Earth usually went by so fast, but that hour just seemed to drag on and on.
Ironhide and Ratchet pulled up next to him, Will Lennox jumping out of the Topkick. Ratchet started spewing in Cybertronian.
"He had a conference with my boss about the treaty that they're trying to write up." Lennox answered, walking a circle around the Camaro. "Man, they got you good. Will he be okay Ratchet?"
Ratchet snorted, continuing his scans of Bumblebee. "He will be. The damage is not serious, something akin to a deep muscle bruise if you like. It means it will hurt to move for a while, but eventually his systems would repair the damage. Given a few days."
Bee's engine whined. "We don't have days! Trent and his friends knocked Sam out with a baseball bat and then took off!" They all jumped at the urgency in the Camaro's voice. "They've never really hurt him before, but I'm sure they'll do it this time!"
"Hey, calm down." Lennox raised his hands up. "Bullies are natural cowards, I'm sure Sam's okay."
"Then why hasn't he called me?"
The army captain shrugged. "His cell phone could be out of batteries, or maybe this Trent guy took it."
Bumblebee was not reassured.
"Relax," Ironhide grumbled, "I'm sure the kid is fine."
"First things first, we have to get you fixed," Ratchet threw in. "And we can't do that here, too many possible witnesses. Ironhide will have to tow you to the outlook."
Ironhide gave a shudder that made him look affronted at the thought of being turned into a tow truck and Bee winced, seeming to crunch up on himself, at the though of have to ride all the way out there on two of his rims because there was no way his entire alt form could fit into the truck bed.
"Right then," after giving a look around Ratchet switched to his bi-pedal form and picked up Bumbleebee in his hands. Before he could even emit a click of protest Bee found himself laid lengthwise across Ironhide's trunk so that both wheel sets were hanging out over the road and his underbelly was two feet above the truck bed. Neither of the two them moved, shock still in surprise. Apparently Ratchet had not told Ironhide what he was planning either.
There was a soft click and Bee turned his attention to Lennox who had his cell phone raised.
"Tell me you did not just take a picture," Ironhide growled.
"I did not just take a picture."
"Hey Ratchet, can I ride with you?"
The medic returned to the search and rescue vehicle he had taken as an alt form and opened his door for the captain to climb in. Bee wished he could get away from Ironhide at the moment as well, but instead magnetized his undercarriage so as to not to fall off. It was a good move on his part, the weapons specialist took off like a plasma shot leaving the other two behind in the school parking lot. Bee desperately wished he could partially transform and maybe sit in the truck bed, but he was not given the option. And if Ironhide was just a regular Topkick, he could have actually grabbed onto the sides of the trunk but Bee had a feeling the old gunner would not appreciate that at all.
He would be lying to say the speed was not making him nervous. He hurt all over and a tumble off of Ironhide would not make him feel better.
"You don't have to go quite so fast you know."
"The sooner we get there the sooner Ratchet can get you off."
"The sooner Ratchet gets there you mean. If we just arrive before him, we'll have to just sit there until he comes."
"And knowing Lennox, he's probably convinced Ratchet to go the speed limit. Slag. I'll just have to have him go faster."
"And how are you going to do that?" Bee asked, noticing their speed slack off.
Ironhide pulled over onto the side of the road, flashing his hazard lights. The humans passing them sent many questioning glances their way, but eventually Ratchet and Lennox drove past.
Instantly, Ironhide was on the Hummer's rear bumper, nudging it gently, and then more strongly with a roaring engine as the medic did not respond. After a good half a mile of this going on, Lennox stuck his head out of Ratchet's window.
"Christ Ironhide! Cut it out! Or Ratchet'll slam on the breaks."
Ironhide just gently rammed the bumper again and Lennox's head retracted, spewing curses. There was no way Ratchet would go through with that threat; the chance of accidentally harming Bumblebee was too great. Another couple of 'gentle suggestions' as Ironhide called them later the medic finally speed up to just over the acceptable limit. The black Topkick increased the space between the two vehicles with a satisfied engine purr.
It did not take very long after that to reach the lookout point. Lennox took his time getting out of Ratchet, but once he did the medic did not waste time in reverting back into his natural form. Gingerly, he lifted Bee off of Ironhide and sent him down on the ground. Ironhide transformed as quickly as he could, crossing his arms and taking a wide stance.
"Don't give me that look!" Ratchet shook a finger at the black mech. "It was the quickest way to get him here without increase his injury."
Ironhide seemed to huff and then relaxed his stance, agreeing to the medic's reasoning. "Doesn't mean I have to like it."
"No, just that you have to deal. Right, lets get these tires replaced first."
The repairs took longer than he wanted, not that his anxious fidgeting was helping anyone. Ratchet had barked at him numerous times to just sit still, but Bee just could not help it. He was too worried about Sam. As it was, Ratchet left his windows and the scratches for another day and just replaced his tires and repaired his side view mirrors. The scanners were a patch job only, still acting finicky but working well enough to help find Sam. The Camaro promised he would sit for a full repair once the human was found.
Which brought up the question of where the teen was. It was just over two hours since Trent had taken Sam and a quick call by Lennox had determined that he had not shown up at his house nor had his parents heard from him. Mrs. Witwicky had started asking if her son was in trouble and Lennox had hung up before answering. It had most likely caused the matron to worry more, but saved him time in the short term. Talking with Mrs. Witwicky would take time away from finding Sam.
"Any ideas where they might have taken Sam?" Lennox asked Bumblebee.
The scout shook his head. "I only know they traveled east."
Lennox frowned. "What's out that way?"
"Homes, some businesses. If you keep going you'd hit the junkyard."
"Well go there first, bullies usually don't like being watched so there is a good chance that's where they took him."
Bee nodded and then transformed, Ratchet and Ironhide following suit. Ironhide opened his driver's side door and Lennox hopped in. Bee took off towards the junkyard, where Sam had followed him that night first night when he had messaged Prime and the rest of the Autobots.
Most of the workmen had left for the night by the time they drove up to the entrance gates. Last time he was here the locks were so rusty they easily gave way when Bee drove through. Now, there was a shiny new chain holding the gate together. That did not mean much to Ratchet's lasers though.
Ironhide dropped Lennox off at the large warehouses. They were too short for the Autobots to enter and the tires tracks around them could belong to Trent's vehicle. The rest of them transformed but conducted their search crouched to reduce the possibility of being seen.
Bee took his time, moving slowly and double scanning the area before moving on to the next one. He did not know whether he was happy or not at each empty scan; it meant he did not find Sam on the ground and bleeding, but it also could mean the teen was lying on the floor somewhere else and bleeding. Nothing so far had given any evidence on Sam's condition, positive or negative, and Bee was getting ready to show the person who conned the phrase 'no news is good news' his plasma cannons.
His HUD displayed a pop-up with a chime, a call! He checked the ID, but it was only Mikaela.
"Bee? Is Sam with you?"
"Then do you know where he is cuz his mom is trying to find him."
He paused, not to sure how much to diverge. "We don't know where he is either."
Mikaela was silent. "What happened? Is he okay?"
"Last I saw him, Trent had knocked him out with a baseball bat and stuffed him in his truck." He heard the female suck in air through her teeth.
"You're looking for him right? Pick me up. I can help."
"Mikaela, that really isn't necessary. Captian Lennox is helping –"
"You listen here Bumblebee. Sam is my boyfriend and I'm going to help you find him. Plus I know Trent, I can take you to places he might have taken Sam."
He did not want to go and pick her up, she lived across town and the extra ten minutes could make all the difference. But she did have inside information so to speak so he relented the point to her. "I'll be on my way once I'm done here."
"Good." The line clicked off.
Bee finished checking his section and made his way to where the others were already waiting for him.
"Did you find anything?" Ratchet asked.
He let loose a low electronic whine as a negative response. "Mikaela called me. She says she knows a couple of places Trent might have taken Sam so I'm planning on going to retrieve her."
"Sounds good," Lennox said from near Ironhide's right foot. "Me and the old gun here," the captain knocked on the mech's shin plate, "figured that we would pay Trent a visit. He should be home by now. Wanna come with Ratchet?"
"I'll decline. I'll scan the surrounding area and then meet up with Bumblebee once he has acquired Mikaela." The medic transformed, the others quickly falling suit and then rolling out.
Will had taken off his working uniform jacket due to the heat, riding around in Ironhide and searching the junkyard in his camo pants and a white undershirt. He redoned the jacket before they pulled up into the DeMarco's driveway though, thinking he might need the official look of his uniform to help him.
Ironhide pulled up right to the door in the center of looped driveway and popped open the door for the army man. Will hopped out and walked around the Topkick, patting the front end of the hood as he went by. "Eyes and ears Ironhide." The engine gave a quite rumble in agreement.
After ringing the doorbell, Will took a step back to examine the house. It was large, and guessing from the long driveway lined with forest, the fountain behind him, and the good condition of everything from the roof to the doorknob, expensive. Hide (not that Will would ever call the Autobot that to his face) had looked up the DeMarco family, but the only information he had been able to get was that the misses was unemployed and the mister was self-employed. There had been no company listed which made Will suspicious, but that was another person's problem.
"Yes? Can I help you?" Will directed his gaze from the molding above the door to the woman who opened the door. She had a completion somewhere between Latino and first-month-of-summer-tan and was just shy of smoking hot. Kenneth DeMarco had done good, but needless to say Sarah was still better.
He cleared his throat, well aware of her eyes on his uniform. "Is your son Trent home?"
The sound of an engine caused the both to look towards the driveway, where a truck drove past Ironhide and entered the garage before the door had fully opened. Out of the driver's side hopped a well-muscled blonde teenager, drinking something from the local car hop.
The kid approached the front door, looking warily towards Will. "Hey Mom. Who's this?"
"Um, I'm not too sure. He showed up just before you did."
"Trent? I'm Captain William Lennox of the USA Army." Will offered his hand to shake, but Trent just stared at it and took another sip of his drink.
"Well then," Will crossed his arms over his chest. "I'ld like to ask you a few questions. Do you know a Sam Witwicky?"
"Yeah," the teen took another sip, being obstinate and gifting Will with an icy glare.
"Do you know where he is?"
"He in trouble or something?"
"No, he's missing and I have witnesses say you were the last known person with him."
Trent gripped the drink in his hand harder, Will could hear the ice hitting the Styrofoam and teen's eyes widened slightly in a display of fear.
"Are you saying my son is the reason this kid has disappeared?" Mrs. DeMarco stood between the two males, hands on her hips and glaring almost as hard as his boot camp drill sergeant.
Will flickered his gaze to the woman briefly before returning it to Trent's face. "I never said such a thing. I was merely hoping your son Trent could help us find Sam."
Trent's mom looked over her shoulder at the teen, but Trent did not pay her any attention. "What's the Army want with a kid like that dufus anyway?"
"He's…a liaison of sorts. And happens to be a favorite of my team." Will pinned a heated glare at the teen, satisfied to see him squirm a little.
"For all I know, Witwhisker is fine. Sorry, can't help you. I only share a couple of classes with the kid. Why don't you ask his girlfriend?" Trent started softly ushering his mom back into the house.
"It's Witwicky. And thanks, I'll do that. Thank you for your time." Will turned and made his way down the steps, only half hearing Mrs. DeMarco question Trent about who 'this Sam kid is'. He slid into Ironhide's cab and the Cybertronian took off. The human thumped his head into the seat a couple of times before speaking.
"Please tell me you found out something, cuz I found zilch."
"I did," Ironhide rumbled through the radio.
Will sat up, "Really, what?"
"There was sand and mud on his tires."
"So he was near water…can you patch us through to Mikaela and Bumblebee?"
There was a minute of static and then Mikaela's voice drifted over Ironhide's speaker system.
"Mikaela. Listen; there was mud and sand on Trent's tires. Considering it hasn't rained here for awhile, is there water around here?"
"The lake," he heard her breath, the roar of Bumblebee's engines as he kicked it up a gear were audible through the radio.
"We'll let Ratchet know and meet you there." The radio clicked off and Will watched the speedometer needle on his own ride move to the right.
"I take it you're already let Ratchet know and have directions."
"That is correct."
Will just shook his head in amazement.
The lake was roughly ten miles out of town, though Hide had told him a more accurate measurement of 12.53 miles that resulted in the human calling the mech anal. Ironhide had not been very happy about that and subjected Will to the sounds of some rapper the entire time there.
Everyone arrived within minutes of each other. It was dark enough and far away enough from the city to prevent any human eyes from seeing the Cybertronians, so they transformed. Will shivered. The wind had picked up and unlike Mikaela he had not brought an extra layer.
Bumblebee looked around anxiously. "I don't see him."
"We will have to search around the perimeter," Ratchet suggested. "The lake is not that large, if we split up and go opposite ways we should be over on the other side in thirty Earth minutes."
The Camaro did not waste anytime in picking Mikaela up and depositing her on his shoulder before taking off to the left. Ratchet followed at a more luxurious pace, using some of his medial scanners to aid in the search.
There was a whirl of gears and Will turned around to see Ironhide lower his hand for him to climb on. He did so, settling in as the Autobot brought him near the mech's chest. There really was no good shoulder spot for Will to sit so he had to make due with being carried. Normally his pride would not allow such a thing, but considering Ironhide was much taller than him, Will allowed it.
He felt pretty useless actually right about now; Ironhide could cover more ground more quickly and he could see in the dark. Being carried did not help his ego either. Having to carry Will meant Ironhide was short a hand if he happened to need one. Thankfully the Autobot seemed quite capable of brushing aside tree branches with one hand.
Eventually the silence nagged at Will, wind whistling aside, he was used to either having to check in or have others check in to him while on a mission. It made sure everyone was updated on what everyone else knew and was a security measure that Will would always grudgingly admit was reassuring.
"Find anything?" he asked, scanning the ground fruitlessly.
"Nothing that could be Sam." Silence reigned once again before Ironhide spoke up. "What do you think this Trent has done to Sam?"
Will rubbed at forehead. "He's a bully, and bullies have a habit of hurting people, emotionally and physically for kicks. For fun," he added, knowing the bot was not fluent in human idioms. "Sometimes, a lot, humans use violence as a mean of expressing anger and from what I understand Trent and Mikaela used to date so Trent's upset at Sam because of it. But most of the time violence isn't a necessary thing, at least not for us. I'm sure you think differently."
"That's not true. I maybe be 'trigger happy' as one of your subordinates said, but I do understand that violence is not the only answer. It just happens to be the only thing that Decepticons listen too."
"I can see that. Most bullies are satisfied with small things; tripping in the hallway, flicking rubber bands, stealing lunch money. When things do get violent, usually it's nothing more serious than a black eye or some bruises. But this Trent guy, well you saw him! His biceps are bigger than mine! Knowing that, he could do a lot of damage. And from what I knew of the few hours I spent with Sam earlier this month, he's no fighter. Sam's got courage, sure, but I doubt he's ever thrown a punch in his life. I'm worried this Trent kid beat him up pretty good and he's lying around here somewhere, unconscious and bleeding."
Ironhide growled menacingly, the vibrations in his chest transferring to Will's body. "This fighting between your young is common?"
"Are you telling me you've never had your young on Cybertron get in squabbles?"
"It's the same thing really, just that some kids are more aggressive. And physically towards the end of high school they're very close to adult strength."
Ironhide once again rumbled in displeasure and seemed about to reply when Bumblebee called out to them. They were nearly at the other side of the lake already?
"Did you find anything?"
"No, sorry guys." Will replied. The Camaro's doorwings dropped and Mikaela patted his neck in a reassuring matter.
"You can let me down now you know," Will suggested to the large robot holding him. Ironhide gave him a funny look, but then granted the request and sent him down gently on his feet.
From about twenty feet in the air the lake water had always looked far below him, but now that he was on solid ground he released that not all of that distance was because of being carried by Ironhide. This side of the lake was hilly and the few hills touching the water formed low cliffs, maybe five feet tall and large enough where the Autobots could not effortlessly step over them. Will looked around at the scenery; it really was nice here, even though Tranquility was Nevada. His own housing for his family near Nellis Air Force base was now where near as scenic. Will bet a lot of parties happened around here.
He looked down towards the water, seeing mental images of Sam being pushed off the cliff and into the water below. It did not look like to far of a drop, but Will had no idea how shallow the water was. It could be seven feet or two to the sandy bottom.
There was a dark thing bobbing around in the water, most likely a water bottle judging by its size. It was probably nothing, but it never hurt to check. Will turned towards the Autobots and Mikaela who were talking about where else Sam might be. "Can I have a light here?"
The all stopped talking and then approached as a group, Mikaela jogging to keep up with the Cybertronians' strides. "Did you find something?" she and Bumblebee asked at the same time.
Ironhide, being the tallest of the group, turned on his headlights and leaned over the side of the cliff to light up the water below. There, floating in the water was a white and gray tennis shoe.
"Huh, I bet who ever lost that was pretty upset. Who would want to walk back to the car without a shoe?" Mikaela asked.
Will snorted. "They probably hopped the entire way, or just went barefoot."
"Sam wears New Balance," the yellow Autobot commented.
They all turned their attention to Bumblebee, who was still looking at the shoe with a mixture of horror and hope. Ratchet quickly pushed the smaller mech out of the way started running scans. Usually the scans the Cybertronians did had no visual, but the ones the medic must have done were more detailed because Ratchet's optics took on a green/black tinge. "There's blood in the water."
Bumblebee jumped off the cliff and into the water, Ironhide right behind him. Ratchet was a little slower, sitting down on the edge of the hill before dropping down into the water. Judging by how high was water was on Ironhide's leg, Will judged it was about three feet deep.
The wind kept brushing Mikaela's hair into her face, so she laid on her stomach to look down at the water. Will joined her. "See anything?" she asked.
"The blood came from a cave here," Ratchet said, bending down and looking at the bottom of the cliff face. "It travels a decent ways back and the possibility that Sam is in there and injured is high."
A frantic engine whine came from Bee, "I can't fit in there."
"If someone gives me a flashlight, I'll check it out," Will volunteered.
Bumblebee gave a chirrup and Ironhide gave him a calculating look. Mikaela squeezed his hand.
"You should have plenty of room to move around in the cave," Ratchet said, standing up to his full height. "And I do happen to have a lighting source."
Panels on his wrist slid back and the medic flipped his hand over so what was in the compartment fell onto the ground next to Will. It was a glowing green orb, bright enough to see by and yet still did not hurt his eyes with the sudden light.
"Ooo, pretty," Mikaela cooed.
"They fabric you are wearing Captain is thin enough that if you put the light in your pocket, its light would still be enough for you to see by."
"Right," Will grabbed and orb and stood up, slipping it into his pocket.
Ratchet offered his hand to climb on to and Will took it, clinging to the medic's thumb at he was lowered into the lake. The water was colder than he expected, but he bit back a hiss. He had been trained to work in unpleasant conditions, and this really was not that bad. At least he did not have to stay in the lake for over an hour.
The water came up to his waist, the light orb in his pocket only slightly dimmer than before despite the fact is was in his pocket and underwater. In its light, Will could make out a cave in the rock face in front of him. It was small, the Autobots were right about that. It was just a few inches taller than him and while wide enough to allow him to walk in comfortably two people walking abreast would end up with scrapped up shoulders and no elbow room in between them.
"Be careful," Mikaela called down.
He looked up at her, her face just a bunch of green highlights and shadows. "Will do."
She nodded and he turned his attention to the cave opening.
"If you need anything, or find something, just yell," Ironhide commanded. "We'll be able to hear you."
"Right," he said, making his way into the cave.
It was warmer in the cave, the wind outside could not get at him but the water was still as cold. The walls of rock were ragged and the ground was littered with stones. The orb enabled him to see decently, but the shadows from the water on the cave walls looked strange out of the corner of his eyes and underwater the light was bent so that while Will could see what rock to avoid it was hard to tell just exactly how big they were. As much as he hated the stubbed toes, they were better then falling face first into the water and damaging his hands.
The further he walked into the cave, the more the floor slopped up. Soon he was crouching, back hunched as he made his way deeper into the hill. Still no sign of Sam, but the floor had smoothed out so he did not have to worry about any more stubbed toes.
There was also graffiti on the walls, carved and done in Sharpies. 'Rodger was here.' 'I.J + K.R = Love.' Variants of the like were seen every so often but surprisingly there were also a lot of wishes. 'I want to write a book.' 'I want to be beautiful.' 'I want her to notice me.' 'I don't want to be a dead beat like my dad.' 'I want to travel into space.' He was so into reading them that he did not notice right away that the ceiling was once again taller than him.
While the cave so far could really be called a tunnel, this was an actual cavern. Will had the space to stand comfortably and elevation was higher so the water only came up to knees. There was more writing on the walls and a two-foot space of dry, sandy rock at the walls' feet. It was littered with chip wrappers and empty beer cans.
As he walked forward, he saw a dark spot in the water about the size of small backyard pool. Slowly, he approached it gingerly placing his foot down on the dark spot. Only to not have his foot hit anything. It was a swimming hole, quite literally. No wonder so many kids came down here. Circling around the natural pool Will noticed that the ground sloped upwards yet again, resulting in a dry area of about two hundred square feet. There was more litter on the dry patch, a couple of towels, and what looked like to be a camping stove.
What caught his attention most was the young body mostly in the water, hand stretched out on the land and face half submerged.
Will ran over to the teen, flipped him over, and pulled the teen up on to the dry patch so the water only reached his waist. The green light made the blood and wounds on his face hopefully more gruesome than they would be in natural light. He could not tell if Sam was breathing; he placed his check next to the teen's mouth and felt a slight puff of air, then another. It was too slow, below the average respiratory rate for an adult human. As if on cue, Will failed to feel a third breath.
"Sam? Sam! Shit."
He tilted the brunette's head back, popped open his jaw, and sent a breath of air into Sam mouth. Will watched the teen's chest rise, counted to three, and repeated the procedure. Like all officers he had some training as a field medic, but he had never had to use his skills. There had always been a fully trained medic in his squad. God, he hoped he was doing this right.
A minute later, Sam convulsed. Will turned him on his side and the teen continued to cough up water for a good two minutes before flopping back onto his spine.
"Sam? Sam, can you hear me?"
Sam half way opened his eyes but then closed them with out any sign of recognition, once again unconscious.
Right, at least he was alive. Now all Will had to do was get him out of the cave and to Ratchet. He carefully pulled Sam up into his arms; the water had washed away most of the blood so he could not tell where the teen was injured. He was still breathing at least, though shallowly.
"You stop breathing again Sam, by God it better be after we're out of this cave."
Of course, Sam did not respond. Will looked down at the young man in his arms. Sam was pale, deathly so, wet hair and clothes sticking to his skin. He was trembling with cold, lips slightly blue. Will made a quick diagnosis of hypothermia. He clutched Sam to his chest tighter, hoping to share some of his body warmth.
Getting out of the cave took less time then entering. For one, he was not looking for Sam as the weight in his arms was a very good clue as to where the teen was. Second, he was not paying attention to all his stubbed toes because he was too busy thinking about getting Sam to a hospital as soon as possible. Will was sure if he had been even a few minutes later in finding Sam the boy would have died. As it was, he was still not out of the woods.
There was a light filling up the cave, getting brighter the closer Will got to the entrance. He gathered that one of the Autobots was lighting as much of the cave they possible could in an effort to help find his way and to make them feel as if they were at least doing something.
"Will?" Ironhide's voiced echoed towards him.
"I've got him!" Will shouted back, pulling Sam even closer to his body. "But we need to get him to a hospital right away!"
There was the sound of moving metal and splashing water. When Will emerged back into the open he was blinded by Ironhide's light. He yelped in surprise as he felt the weapons specialist lift him up, his eye still adjusting and unable to see the mech move his hand.
"Careful," he hissed, glancing at the male in his arms.
Ironhide just grunted as he let him down on top of the grassy hill. Ratchet was in his alt form, door wide open and Mikaela was inside looking through the drawers inside the medic. Bumblebee the Camaro was rumbling his engines worriedly next to the medic. Will wasted no time in hopping into the back of the search and rescue vehicle and gently laid Sam down on the stretcher. The doors behind him slammed shut and Ratchet took off towards the nearest hospital.
"Here," Mikaela held a couple of blankets in her arms and offered them to Will.
He shook his head. "We gotta get him out of these wet clothes first. Ratchet, you got any gowns here?"
"They're in the drawer next to the blankets."
Mikaela was already looking for one in Sam's size before Will could ask her. He set to work removing Sam from his clothes. They ended up in a wet pile next to the gurney. Now with out a shirt on Will could see the already blossoming bruises on Sam's body, and a lump on his side that could only be a broken rib. Will ripped his own partically wet shirt off and used it to clean off the blood on Sam's face and neck that had been out of the water. There was something reflective in the teen's neck; closer inspection revealed it to be glass. He did not remove it, knowing that doing so would result in bleeding and a hospital would be better equipped with keeping Sam stable.
"I'm gonna kill those boys once I get my hands on them." He growled.
"So Sam's going to be okay, right?" Mikaela asked, back turned to Sam so as not to see the other teen naked. She handed the hospital gown to Will from behind her back.
"As long as we get to a hospital in time, I'm sure he'll be fine." Ratchet comforted her.
"Yeah, we just have to make sure he doesn't stop breathing again." Will finished tying the gown around Sam's neck and started forming a cocoon around him made of blankets.
"Again?!" Mikaela shrieked. "You can't kill Trent, that boyo is mine."
"Actually, I believe Bumblebee has already laid a claim to dealing out punishment." Ratchet interrupted.
"Fine, Bee gets first dibs. I'll get him later."
Light and siren blaring Ratchet skidded into the hospital's emergency room over hanging. They stopped perpendicular to the door and Ratchet threw open his back doors. The nurses at the desk and milling around in the waiting room looked up in alarm, just staring at the car that pulled up. Will gave them a heartbeat, after all most ambulances did not pull up like this and Ratchet was not wearing the same design as the hospital's vehicles. When they still did not move he yelled at them.
"We could use some help here!"
Instantly, two of them came over to help unload Sam. Will absently notice one of the nurses eye his bare chest. Once they entered the doors of the emergency room two more people helped in transporting Sam to a room somewhere, taking Will and Mikaela's positions on the stretcher.
"What can you tell us?" One of the newcomers asked Will. He looked to be a doctor with his stethoscope around his neck.
"He was beat up by some bullies. I found him in a cave, mostly submerged in water. I had to resuscitate him before getting him out. And it looks like he has a broken rib too. There's also a piece of glass still in the side of his neck." Will ignored Mikaela's glance towards him.
The doctor nodded. "You a field medic?"
Oh yeah, he was wearing his uniform. "No, but I have had basic field training."
"Any idea how long he was in the water?"
Will turned towards the young woman next to him, but Mikaela just shook her head. "He'd been missing for over three hours, but we found him about ten minutes ago."
"Right, now excuse us." The doctors and nurses pushed Sam into a room and the door closed behind them, preventing Will and Mikaela from entering.
They stood around the door awkwardly for a while before a muffled shout carried through the thick door.
"He's flat lining!"
Mikaela grabbed his hand, squeezing it tightly enough were Will could feel the bones in his palm rub against each other.
"He'll be fine right? Tell me he'll be okay."
"He'll be okay."
"Now you're just saying that to calm me."
"No, I honestly think he'll make it. I don't know Sam very well, but I can tell he's a strong kid. He's done more stuff than most people have and he's only eighteen."
Mikaela used her other hand to wipe at the tears running down her check, smearing her mascara. "That's true," she sobbed, "And he's got crazy luck. Most people who go against Megatron don't live."
"That's the spirit," Will said.
They spent a good five minutes staring at the door, but it remained fully shut. No other words filtered through it, and the army captain took that as a good sign.
"See? What'ld I tell you? If Sam was…gone I'm sure they would have come through those doors and told us."
"You're probably right." She let got of his hand and Will brought it up to his face and flexed it. She looked at it sheepishly and shyly stepped away from him after flickering a blushing glace at his naked chest. "Sorry if I hurt your hand."
"No worries. There's a bathroom down the hall. Why don't you go clean up? Afterwards will find the cafeteria and get some coffee."
Mikaela gave a small smile of thanks. "Okay."
Will's phone rang and she made a motion to stay but he waved her away. "It's only Ironhide."
She nodded and made her way down the hall. Will flipped open his phone and did not even get a chance to say hello before the mech spoke.
"How is Samuel?"
"Don't know yet, I think his heart stopped beating at one point but they were able to get it to start up again." He paused, and Ironhide did not fill the silence. "I'll call you guys when I know something. I should call his parents."
"Yes that would be wise," Ratchet said. Will held the phone away from his ear and looked at in confusion but the just shrugged it off. He should get used this if he was going to be on a team with the Autobots.
"We're outside," Bumblebee threw in. "In the parking lot across the street."
"Right. Like I said, I'll let you know."
"Thanks," he heard Bumblebee say before he clicked the phone shut. Mikaela was out of the bathroom now, eyes still red but no longer ringed by black. She cocked her eyebrow in question.
"Just wanting to know how Sam is." Will took note of the room number and then made his way to the nurses' station to ask for direction to the cafeteria. They offered him a spare scrub top and said something about being too distracting and had him slip it on before they instructed him on where to find coffee.
"Listen Mikaela. We need to call Sam's parents. Do you know his home number?"
"I'll do it," she whispered, pulling out her own phone.
Will let her do it, gently guiding her to take this or that turn on their way to coffee.
"Mr. Witwicky? It's Mikaela…um yes actually, he's at Maplewood hospital…pretty bad…some guys at school got to him we think…um, actually I don't, I'm sure you can ask once you get here though…okay, see you soon." She hung up and looked at her phone for a minute before turning to look at Will.
"Is it okay if I make another call? I should probably let my aunt know where I am."
"That's fine, I should probably call Sarah too."
They stood outside the cafeteria and made their respective calls before grabbing cups of coffee. Will grabbed a pre-made sandwich and cookie too; he had not eaten since lunch.
When they return to the room there was a moment of stillness as they just both stared past the open door into an empty room. He jogged over to the nurses' station.
"Where's the guy who was in that room?" he pointed behind him.
"Oh, he's stable now so they moved him to room 76A. Just go through the lobby, take the first left, and then the first right. His room will be right there."
"Thanks," Will smiled in relief.
Mikaela rushed to Sam's side as soon as they crossed the threshold to the teen's room. She sat herself in the chair next to his bed and stroked the hair out of his face. "Don't you ever scare me like that again, you hear Sam?"
Sam did not answer, but Will was glad to see the young man was breathing on his own. He may be covered in bandages and on an IV, but he would be fine.
"Excuse me," Will turned to see a doctor in the doorway. He walked over to him.
"Are you the one who brought him in?"
The doctor gave Will a look as if he was not sure what to make of things, but then looked down at the file in his hands.
"Sam got a good beating. We found glass in his neck, arm, and side. Quite a few stitches were needed. He has a broken rib and it just missed his lung. He also has a mild concussion. I don't know if there'll be any effects from it, but there is the possibility that he won't remember what happened."
Will looked in the room at the still body. "That might be a blessing."
"My baby!" A red headed woman rushed past Will and a slightly balding man approached Will and the doctor.
"Did you take care of my son?" he asked. Mr. Witwicky then looked at Will. "Who are you?"
Oh yeah, Sam's parents had not been cleared. "Hi. I'm Captain Lennox. I found your son."
Mr. Witwicky gave him a once over, from head to toe. "Thanks."
"So what happened to my son?"
Will left the doctor to explain things to Sam's dad and stuck his head in the room. "Mikaela? I'm gonna head home. If the truck behaves it'll take about two hours."
Mikaela look up from her spot standing behind Mrs. Witwicky. "Okay. Thanks for helping us find him Captian Lennox."
"No problem. I'm sure that, um, our mutual friend can get a hold of me if you ask. Let me know how he's doing, okay?"
The Autobots were parked in the furthest corner of the parking lot, under a street lamp that was suspiciously dark.
"Doctor, Doctor, gimme me the news!"
It figured Bumblebee would be the first to ask. Will stopped in from of all three of them, hooking his thumbs into his belt loops. "He'll be fine. Lots of stitches, a broken rib, and a concussion. Doctor didn't know if Sam would remember if he woke up."
To his surprise, all three cars growled their engines protectively, not just the Camaro.
"Hey! Relax. Sam will be fine in a matter of days I'm sure. He parents are here too by the way."
"I should punished Trent," Bumblebee said.
"Oh no you shouldn't!" Will rounded on him. "You guys are supposed to stay hidden, remember?! And it's not like he'll get away with this. What happened in the parking lot was caught on tape. Not only will he most likely be expelled from school, but what he and his goonies did was a federal offence. They'll go to jail, trust me."
"Lennox is right Bumblebee," Ratchet said, "This is a human issue. Let their government take care of it."
The Camaro did not like it, but accepted it.
"Good, now I told Sarah I should be home around 10. You mind giving me a lift Ironhide?"
"Of course not," the Topkick said as he opened the door for Will.
"Don't worry about Sam, he's a tough kid." The captain called out of the window to Bumblebee before Ironhide and Ratchet rolled out of the parking lot. "And keep in touch."
Will settled himself into Ironhide's seat. Now that he was no longer worried about Sam, his own body began to shiver. He was still wearing his wet pants and his shirt and jacket were lying on the floor inside Ratchet. Ironhide heated the seat he was in.
Will could get used to having an alien disguised as a car living in his barn.
A/N: So I did a lot of writing on Beast, but about four days before the end of November I just couldn't do it. I had no motivation what so ever to continue working on it. So I started working on this, conjured up during that same class that bores me that gave birth to Missing. I mean, I thought Avant-garde film would be interesting, not put me to sleep! But this fic what is what kept me going and past the 50K mark last month, so I guess I can indirectly thank that class. Primus, this is a long one-shot.
1) I know I have Will call Ironhide 'Hide' in his head, and then think there was no what he would call the mech that to his face. To clear that up, the two haven't known eachother that long, and Will feels uncomfortable calling Ironhide by a nickname this soon.
2) Song is Rober Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You"
While I have this marked as uncomplete, this is the end of the story. Officially. My sister is damanding an omake though and I'm slowly giving in so there will be a short, humourous extra as a second chapter once I write it.
Questions, comments? Just want to chat or get a really good pancake recipe? Hit that button below and let me know. ^_^