Disclaimer: do not own Transformers.

Summary: Movieverse, oneshot. Crack, melodramatic angst, a bit of fluff towards the end. Four ways that our intrepid human characters did not become Autobots, and the one way they did.

Rating: K+


Belong

Four ways that our intrepid humans did not become Autobots...

It was an indeterminate amount of time since Mission City, and Sam could feel himself...changing.

Well, to be more precise, it wasn't that he so much felt himself changing, as he suddenly woke up one day in an Autobot shell.

"Oh, hell no," Sam said, looking down at his new body. "There is no way that I'm going through with this plot twist. Bumblebee!"

Bumblebee came rushing into the room. "What is it, Sam?" The scout's look of panicked concern melted into bafflement as he took in Sam's new form, his optics going very wide.

"Could you take me to Ratchet?" Sam asked.

There was a pause. Bumblebee was carefully looking at his newly-transformed charge from head to toe.

"Bumblebee!" Sam snapped.

"What? Huh? Sure!" Bumblebee said finally.

"Thanks." There was yet another pause, and Bumblebee was still staring. Sam sighed, his new face meeting his new palm with a clang of metal and metal. "Bumblebee?" Sam asked.

"Yes, Sam?" Bumblebee virtually purred.

"My face," Sam said, taking hold of Bumblebee's face and angling him upwards. "Is up here."

"It's amazing," Ratchet said, later in the med-bay. "Exposure to the Allspark radiation has turned you into an Autobot!"

"Well," Sam said. "Can you get me back to my old squishy self?"

"I don't know," Ratchet said. "Give it a few obligatory days of angst. Then we may or may not get to reverting you to your old body. Probably not, though. Plot twists are usually against that sort of thing for some odd reason..."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing," Ratchet said. "For now, kiddo, you're a bit stuck."

"Damn it, this just sucks."

X x X

It had been a terrible mistake that had cost their friend so much. Bumblebee had tried to get Mikaela out of harm's way, but a lucky shot by Megatron himself had sent the Autobot crashing, and his precious, fragile cargo...broken.

"Oh, whatever shall we do?" he wailed. "I failed her! The angst! The woe! The loneliness!"

"I know what we should do!" Wheeljack said, and the light that shone from his optics were as serious as anyone had ever seen them.

He told them his ingenious plan of ingeniousness.

"No!" came Bumblebee's shocked voice.

"You're insane!" Ratchet accused. Wheeljack shrugged it off. Everyone thought he was insane. Heck, even he thought he was insane.

"Well, why not?" Wheeljack retorted. "It makes about as much sense as anything else we've done."

There was a pause.

"That is true," Optimus conceded. "Alright. For the sake of our friend, you may proceed with your highly questionable experiment!"

Mikaela came to slowly. After looking down at her new 'body' and screaming hysterically, she looked at her visitors exasperatedly; Optimus, who was smiling serenely, Bumblebee, who looked relieved, Ratchet, who still looked as sour as ever, and Wheeljack, who looked downright pleased as punch.

"Congratulations!" Wheeljack purred. "It's a femme! Now we can bring out the good high-grade in celebration!"

"So, you guys..." Mikaela said. "Instead of, you know, calling the hospital, you decided to rip my soul out and stick it in a robotic shell?"

"Yup."

"And you thought that I'd be okay with this?"

"Well," Wheeljack said. "After the obligatory angst, yes."

"And...and, I have to ask, that was your plan?"

"Yup," four eager Autobots chirped at her.

Even though Mikaela wasn't a human anymore, she still got a headache. Pressing her fingers against her temples, she said, "You guys suck."

X x X

"Yes," Starscream hissed, walking around his new creation. "The plan went perfectly. Welcome to life, new Decepticon!"

The new seeker's eyes flickered online, and he looked around, sensory systems taking in the surroundings slowly.

"Do you see the magnificence of this plan?" Starscream asked to the two seekers in the background. "With their precious humans on our side, the Autobots will not be able to fight back!" He proceeded to laugh, high pitched and screechy.

Lennox looked down at his new body, at the highly advanced alien weaponry that was, quite literally, at his fingertips.

His first clear thought of his new life was: This sucks.

The thought came suddenly as the haze of being reborn quickly faded, replaced by Lennox being completely peeved that he'd been killed in the first place.

He shook his head sharply, and then looked back at Starscream, who was now sneering all pointy teeth-like. He looked at the two other Decepticons who had brought him in, who were cackling evilly. He looked at the exit, and then at the sky beyond it. He thought about his current predicament, thought about it long and hard. Then he said, "You guys really don't see the fatal flaw in this plan of yours, do you?"

"Flaw?" Starscream screeched. "What flaw? This plan is perf—"

Lennox blasted him in the face, and did the same to the two other seekers. He then trashed the enemy base before making a dramatic escape back to the Autobot base.

X x X

Among the Autobot ranks, it was considered that it would be better for your health if you stayed away from Sunstreaker. So it went without saying that you followed this little bit of advice especially if he was in a worse mood than usual.

Unfortunately, Maggie and Glen were right on the path of spilled high-grade as a sourer-than-usual Sunstreaker hurled his energon cube across the room.

Ratchet immediately picked the two of them up and put them under the faucet, dousing them in water, clothes and all.

"Ratchet!" Maggie spluttered. "Calm down!"

"Calm down? Calm down?" Ratchet asked, setting the two of them beside the sink. He frantically wiped them dry with a dish cloth. "You've just been covered in high-grade! We don't know the effects that energon has on humans yet! For all we know, it could—"

"Give us mutated kickass powers like in those movies?" Glen asked hopefully.

Ratchet resisted the urge to put Glen under the faucet again just for that remark.

Maggie snatched the dish cloth away, the frown on her face more annoyed than anything else. "Well, do we look harmed in any way?" Maggie asked.

"No," Ratchet said, performing a scan.

"Are we on the ground, writhing in pain?"

"Not yet," Ratchet all but growled.

"And, I hate to say this, but have we mutated powers like in those movies?"

"No. So what are you—"

"We're fine," Maggie insisted, slinging the dish cloth around her shoulders. "Right, Glen?" she asked, turning towards him. Glen hadn't answered her, instead looking with fascination at Ratchet's workspace. "Glen!" she repeated.

"What? Yeah, I'm fine. I was just actually more mystified by Ratchet's gigantic kitchen sink here…"

But a few days later, it was apparent that Ratchet's concerns were well justified.

"Damn it!" Maggie yelled, looking at Glen and then at herself. A few days after getting dunked in magical, radioactive energon did things to a person....strange things.

"So humans getting dunked in energon turns them into Autobots?" Bumblebee asked, turning to look at Ratchet in amazement.

Ratchet nodded grimly. "That seems to be the case."

"Well," Maggie said, her optics narrowing. "This just suck--"

"This is awesome!" Glen said, practically bouncing around in his new form. Maggie hit him upside the head.

"What are you talking about? Your body has just been changed to another species! You're not supposed to have a good time!"

"But..." Glen wibbled. "But I wanna!"

Meanwhile, Ratchet was busy quietly throttling Sunstreaker in the background.

X x X

And the one way they did...

Cybertronian bodies told many stories. Milestones of their lives were marked in symbols, scattered all over their armour. Optimus had many: a symbol for when he was sparked, a symbol for his creators, a symbol for Megatron's betrayal, a symbol for the loss of the Allspark...many stories. Innumerable stories that was his to share with as little as a passing glance.

The human body held many stories, too. But humans were trickier. One had to know how to read the symbols: the energon burns, some from trying to save a friend, others from trying to kill an enemy; the scars, some from shrapnel, some from blades, some from being at the wrong place at the wrong time (and others still from being at the right place at the right time); the bruises, some from falls and jumps, a grip too tight, a day that just went on for too long, or just because fate decided that they needed a reminder of human strength, human frailty.

And then there was blood. Blood told stories of maybe, of could be, of if.

Optimus...Optimus knew many stories.

Things had finally calmed down. It had been a hard past few days, and many of their numbers (both metal and flesh alike) had worked until they'd passed out.

Which was why Optimus was currently carrying a slumbering Lennox in his cupped left hand, heading towards an empty recreation room where he could set the exhausted man down without fear that he'd be stepped on. The left side of Lennox's face was still heavily bandaged, though he was no longer in danger of losing that eye. Still, Optimus was being very careful about handling Lennox on that side.

Optimus peaked into one of the rooms, and his optics widened slightly at the sight.

Sam and Mikaela were lying down on one of the tables. Sam's exposed shoulder was sporting a fresh but healing scar, a gift from one of Soundwave's drones while he and Bumblebee were out on patrol. Mikaela's arms were wrapped up to her elbows, probably due to new energon splatters from helping Ratchet in the med-bay. Maggie and Glen were slumped down at their seats at one of the human-sized tables, their laptops still open and running with new messages coming from Blaster and company blinking on screen. Fresh bandages peaked out from underneath their clothes.

Yes, Optimus knew many stories, and would come to know many more.

Optimus walked in softly, moving as quietly as a mech so large was able. He placed Lennox on one of the cots, covered a shivering Sam and Mikaela with a blanket, and (carefully!) removed Maggie's headset and Glen's eyeglasses. Each of them stirred—working alongside giant alien robots at war with other giant alien robots tended to make one a lighter sleeper than normal—but no one awoke fully.

Optimus relaxed at that, and turned to leave. He dimmed the lights, and was halfway out into the hall, and then, like an afterthought, he looked back at the room, looked at each of the occupants, and rumbled quietly, "Goodnight, Autobots."

They were still in deep sleep, and therefore it was impossible for them to have heard him. So he decided that he probably just imagined the small smiles on their faces as he turned and left the room.