Title: The World is Just Awesome
Author: odd_stick
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters are owned by Hasbro.
Rating: G
Pairing: Red Alert x Hound (or Hound x Red Alert...it's pretty interchangeable here) (G1)
Summary: Request fic for flamingmarsh on LJ; prompt was "Red Alert/Hound; grateful"

Hound was glad that Red Alert had decided to come on patrol with him today. The Security Director didn't get out of the base often enough and even this venture was to see if there were any holes in the perimeter that the average 'bot may have missed. The green Jeep wandered along the path, picking his way through the overgrowth so as not to cause any unnecessary damage to the plant life and any smaller creatures that may scamper underfoot.

Red Alert was close behind him, the Lamborghini's optics tracking everything that moved with his typical paranoia. "Hound, we must be heading back soon. I've still got to check the status of the Ark's defenses and run checks on all the security cameras."

The green mech smiled over his shoulder, but continued on. "Don't worry, we're almost done." Twilight was approaching fast and Hound didn't want to miss one of his favorite events of the day when he was assigned this particular route for surveillance.

The two mechs continued on their trek until the greenery gave way to an open clearing with a small stream running through it. The sun's last rays disappeared over the distant horizon, casting the forest in shadow. "Look Red Alert," Hound said as he pointed to the first blinking light of the evening. The small light was soon echoed by another before being joined by countless others. The scout wasted no time in approaching the tiny blinking lights, wading into their mists with a grin spread across his face.

Red Alert hung back, unsure of the situation and suspicious of the strange lights. "What are they? Is it some kind of natural phenomenon?"

Hound plopped down, crossing his legs in the lotus position as he optics took in the dancing lights. "I guess you could call it that. Have you never seen fireflies before?"

The Security Director felt his spark drop. "Fireflies?" Without waiting for a response, Red Alert rushed forward and grabbed Hound's hand. The Jeep let out a startled yelp as the red and white Autobot dragged him away from the swarm.

"Wha-what are you going Red? Stop!" Hound struggled up from the ground, taking no notice of the clumps of dirt and grass stuck in his frame from the impromptu rescue.

"You were in danger! You said they were fireflies; why would you go in their midst without protection if you knew that?" Red Alert demanded, still holding Hound's hand securely in his grasp.

It took a few moments for the meaning behind Red Alert's concern to sink in. The green mech grinned and laughed. He didn't notice as his reaction caused the Security Director to release his hand and seemingly sink into himself. The concerned expression on his face shifted to hurt before glossing over with blank professionalism. "Hound, this is no laughing matter. You could have been seriously hurt!"

The green Jeep finally ceased his chassis deep laugh before turning his attention back to his companion. "Oh, Red, I'm not laughing at you! You just caught me off guard and your reaction was just so…sweet!"

The Lamborghini blushed, still bristling from the perceived teasing. "But I thought you were in danger. I couldn't not help."

Hound reached out and took the Security Director's hand. "The Photuris lucicrescens is an insect that is indigenous to this area and it's perfectly harmless," he said as he studied the black hand in his hold, the pleased smile from earlier returning. "Though I'm grateful that you tried to help me. I forget that some of the Autobots aren't as interested in this planet's life forms as I am…"

"No, no. It is I who misunderstood. The English language can be very misleading," Red Alert was desperate to recover from his slip up and make amends for the slight. "Maybe if you could teach me more about these fireflies, I will be able to refrain from overreacting next time."

Hound's optics met the matching blues of his fellow Autobot. "Really?" The small nod was all the encouragement he needed to share his love of this small planet called Earth. Dragging the red and white mech towards the continuously shifting cloud of blinking lights, Hound started his lesson, "First of all, the Firefly doesn't produce real fire. The name comes from…"

Both mech's were found the next morning huddled close and watching the sunrise as dew settled on their armor, Hound still teaching his friend of the many wonders of their new home.