By Steph

The sun shone through the mist of grey, it was early morning, just before dawn. Annabelle appeared from out the front door of her small cottage, she and Jacob had been living here for about 5 years now. Often Annabelle would get up this early just to think, there was no one else around, the air was still, a scene of tranquillity, and this was her favourite time of day. This particular morning was no different, for the past few nights Annabelle had being very restless, tossing and turning in her bed, something was on her mind, and that something was the giant weapon specialist. It had been months since she had last heard from Ironhide, and truth to be told she was worried for the giant autobots, it was very unlike him to act aloof, and he rarely did not check up on Annabelle and her husband at least weekly. This was just…. out of character for him.

Sighing, Annabelle put a hand absently on her stomach, she turned and headed into the kitchen, deciding to do something useful with herself, the young women began making her husband and herself a good heartily breakfast.

Tyres blurred around as they hit the dusty country road, kicking up small puffy like clouds of grit and sand, as the black Topkick sped down the narrow lane, Ironhide was nervous, a rare thing for old war veteran but he was genuinely worried, for the first time perhaps in his whole existence.

For the past few months Ironhide had being wallowing in self pity, the death of William Lennox had been a huge blow for the old black mech, he had been through the great war and over the years had lost many comrades including Jazz, but this one had hit him pretty hard. Whenever he thought of his two lost charges, the pain shook him right through to the core of his spark and circuitry, but he knew he had a promise to keep, but Ironhide doubted within himself, if he was strong enough to face it every single day, whenever he saw Annabelle he saw, her mothers beauty and kindness, and her farther bravery and loyalty, Annabelle was spitting image of what her parents had left behind, but no matter what, he could not break the promise he had made to William Lennox, and so Ironhide headed towards the lonely cottage, Annabelle and Jacob called home.

Annabelle Jacob were sat at the table together eating breakfast, Jacob looked up towards his wife,

"Honey, I hate to see you like this, your just… so distant lately, we hardly ever talk anymore"

Jacob's voice broke off at the end, it was since, Ironhide had "deserted" them both Annabelle's spirit seemed to have gone away with him.

Annabelle looked up, her eyes, hard and cold, no life flickered, within their depths

"I'm fine, there's nothing wrong with me"

her voice said it with an almost robotic tone to it, like it had repeated over a thousand times.

Jacob, turned away, this was the usual response he got, every single day, Annabelle rarely smiled or laughed and he would often find her just staring into a space as if deep in thought, and sometimes he would see a tear in her eye, like she was remembering something she would rather forget.

"Well, I have to go, or I'm going to be late, get some rest"

He lent over the table and kissed his wife's cheek, Annabelle didn't even move or look up, sighing, Jacob turned and with heavy footsteps, headed out of the front door, he looked back, closing his eyes, he turned and closed the door all the way, with a small click.

Annabelle was alone.. Just as she always was,

Something disturbed the quiet morning air, it was an engine rattling in the distance just in front of her cottage , with a rev, the sound faded away. Annabelle's heart quickened and her breathing came out in heavy breaths, this had to be her imagination, there was no way…, it could not possibly be… no, of course not, she told herself, she was just being silly, despite how much the young women wanted to deny it, there was something very familiar to the sound of that engine, deep inside her heart, Annabelle knew exactly who it was, the name escaped her lips before she could stop it, coming out in half a chocked sob,


The young women's blue eyes filled slowly with tears and Annabelle lost what little control she had, the wrecked sobs escaped her, heaving her chest in and out as the tears continued to pour down her beautiful face.

Outside, Ironhide heard Annabelle's sobs, a horrible twinge of pain and regret shuck at his sparks causing him to rock back on his shocks. He knew he was to blame, it was his fault that his young charge was in so much pain, Ironhide knew, now was the time to set it right..

The metal panels shifted, and a pair of huge arms and legs sprung up from the truck, Ironhide transformed into his robot mode, and made his way around the back of the property. Air gusted out from the Top kick's vents, as he readied himself.

"Annabelle?" he called, his voice soft,

Annabelle, looked up from her place on the kitchen table to see Ironhide bending down, looking into the inside of the kitchen, her eyes were puffy from crying, grabbing a coat from the nearby clothes rack, Annabelle headed out into the back garden.

Ironhide stood up, assuming an attentive stance, he looked down at the young women, looking into her eyes he could see the recent pain and turmoil she had endured, his optics dimmed slightly.

Annabelle opened her mouth to speak but found no sound came out, a part of her was happy, joyous that Ironhide was here, another part of her was uneasy, but most of her was angry. How dare he, how dare he just leave her hanging for months on end, no word and then have the nerve to show up on her doorstep! It wad downright wrong in her eyes, and the anger and frustration she felt consumed her,

"What the hell are you doing here!" her voice was sharp and angry,

Ironhide withered slightly at her tone,

"I have come… to apologise, I have not been… myself for the past few months" his gruff voice was sincere

"Yourself!, you have left me hanging for months, not a word from you, even Bumblebee couldn't tell me where you were". "I didn't know if you were hurt, or dead!" "And now, you just show up on my doorstep expecting me to forgive you!" she spat at him

Ironhide cringed as the truth of her words hit him like a Decepticon missile

"I know what I did was wrong, but I want to make it up to you, Annabelle" "After your father's death, I believed there was no reason for me to stay around to complicate your life, I can see, however, I was wrong,"

"Damn right you were!" Annabelle stiffly folded her arms refusing to look up at the black mech's face."Why are you here?"

Ironhide shifted slightly, his cannons rotating on his shoulder, he hesitated, his logic processor telling him to leave, and not deal with the mess he had created, but his spark was telling him otherwise, it was time to uphold his promise, and set straight the mistakes he had made, even autobots's weren't perfect beings, like humans, they too made mistakes.

"Well!" Annabelle was becoming inpatient with the giant weapon specialist

Ironhide bent down leaning his huge face to hers, his blue optics shimmering within their own light, as they bore down to look into the bright blue eyes in front of him. Ironhide placed a finger on the young women's head, touching her blond hair, the other giant hand he placed over his spark casing.

He spoke in soft, loud voice full of commitment and promise

"Annabelle Lennox if you wish it, I would be deeply honoured to resume my role as your family's Guardian"

Annabelle let out a small gasp…

To be continued….