"Will ya look at the legs on that femme!" Ironhide whispered, jabbing him lightly in the torso plating.

Brawn rolled his optics before shifting around and stealing a peak more subtle than his teammate's gawking. "Yeah, I see her. What about her?"

"'What about her?'" The red Autobot began waving his arms, forming a circular shape with his motions. "Have ya looked at her?"

"Eh, she's got a big head," he said dismissively.

Ironhide snorted. "Oh, now yer just bein' too picky."

"And she's only got one hand," he added before taking another drink of his oil. It was the crude stuff, gritty and scratching his pipes all the way down. Just like he liked it – this oil would put chrome on your chest-plating.


"Trust me, kid, you don't want to get involved with a femme with one hand."

"And why not?"

"Workaholic," he said. "Anyone who replaces a hand with a tool has no life outside their function. Plus…." He took another drink, as if admitting the next part activated unpleasant memories for him. "The making out gets weird."

"And how would you know?"

"What, you think just because I'm stumpy, doesn't mean I don't get action?" Brawn asked. "Kid, I'm still a member of the Elite Guard. Femmes love Elite Guardsmechs. Besides…" He hunkered down a bit.

Ironhide came in closer, eager to here what he had to say. "Besides, what?"

Brawn stared straight ahead, preferring not to make optic contact. "Femmes like short guys."

"They what?"

"I'm serious," he said. "Don't ask me why, but femmes have a thing for little guys. There have been days where I couldn't peel them off me with a sonic screwdriver."

"Well that's jus'… weird!"

"Femmes are weird, Ironhide," Brawn clarified. "But life would be miserable without 'em."

Ironhide heeded his advice and returned to his oil, and the two 'bots drank in comfortable silence. Back in the day, Rodimus had been his main drinking buddy, until his promotion to Prime and a life of command and paperwork. Perhaps this was better, though. It was hard to get noticed with a wingmech like Rodimus always showing him up. Hot Shot was in an abstinence program after overcoming his addiction to jaAm, so he didn't have anyone to hang out with until Ironhide joined. So Brawn had taken it upon himself to grant the rookie the benefit of his experience. Funny, he never expected to mentor anybody, but Ironhide was an all right bot.

"Hey, look who just walked in here," Ironhide said after a few moments, once again interrupting his drink. Well, he was all right most of the time.

Sighing, Brawn stole another glance behind them, but whirled around in his stool as soon as he realized who Ironhide was pointing out: their C.O., Rodimus Prime. Much to his surprise, Rodimus had taken a seat with the one-handed femme and the two seemed to be deep in conversation.

"Whaddaya suppose they're talkin' about?" Ironhide whispered.

"Slag if I know, kid," Brawn answered. "I never pegged Rodimus for the type."

Normally the two would have shrugged the anomaly off and returned to their drinks until Ironhide found something else to point out, but Rodimus caught them watching out of the corner of his optic and waved them over. Brawn grunted as he leapt off his stool… nothing escaped that guy.

"Guys, I would like you to meet Red Alert," he said to them after salutes were exchanged. "She's going to be joining our team."

'What?" Ironhide seemed flustered for a moment and it was all Brawn could do to keep from bursting out in laughter.

"I've been trying to get her to join us for over a deca-cycle now," Rodimus explained. "Luckily she just finished her commission with the Ministry of Science. Big, hush-hush secret project."

"I'm looking forward to getting back on the field," she commented. "I've been working alongside so many eccentrics in the MoS I think I've forgotten how to deal with real people."

"Well then you should join another team," Brawn joked, slapping the still vocalizer-tied Ironhide on the back. "But welcome aboard. This should be interesting."