Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers and I'm not okay with that. I also don't get paid to write this stuff. How rude is that?
Author's Note: Holy crap guys, it's over! 11 chapters, 91 reviews, 99 favs and 82 alerts. Damn! I've got to say when I started this fic (originally a one-shot) years ago I didn't think it'd be this popular. I'm glad it became the story it did ad thanks for being a part of the journey with me. However, all good things must come to an end, so here we are.
The Final Frontier
Later on down the road, Bumblebee would read a play by a human named William Shakespeare. Bumblebee would read over it and feel a slight twinge in his spark. He would remember a certain enemy, wondering 'what if's?' and 'maybe's' but all the while knowing the truth. It had to end.
Love has no place in a time of war.
Bumblebee flew over the city of Harmony trying to raise the Autobots over the com. He sent out his name and rank first, over and over again, praying somebody picked up his transmission before the Decepticons came after him.
When the radar beeped showing three bogies on his tail, Bumblebee spat out, "Well, slag it to the Pit!"
If Bumblebee had to bet on the trio, then it was the Elite Seeker Trine. Starscream was most likely the one at point, ready to fire. Bumblebee knew he couldn't maneuver his little puddle jumper in order to escape the wrath of Starscream.
A beeping noise on the console told him Starscream wanted to talk. Bumblebee flicked on the receiver.
Starscream's scratchy voice shouted at him, "Land now, Bumblebrat, or I will shoot you out of the sky!"
Bumblebee shuddered. "No, I won't!" Bee kept sending his transmission. "If anybody can hear me, please! SOS! Mayday!"
"I blocked your transmissions, fool. No one can hear you!" Starscream's little light shot up close to the jumper's left side. "Last chance! Land!"
Bumblebee let out a choked scream. "Why can't you let me go?!"
The silence over the speakers startled Bumblebee. For a moment, he wondered if Starscream's about to destroy him, blast him out of the sky and be rid of him forever.
Instead, Starscream told him, "When I found you in those ruins so long ago, I gave you up. I've been tortured by the mistake I made ever since."
Bumblebee felt his spark twist. Looking back, it explained so much, how Starscream never killed him, the odd training day, all of it. Bumblebee asked, "Is that why you concocted this entire Barricade ruse?"
"Yes." Starscream confessed. "Bumblebee, the Autobots don't deserve you. I see that now. They will never bring you to your full potential. I can. The Decepticons can. Join us and lets us create a new Cybertron, a world fit for you to inherit."
Bumblebee looked out the view port. The Autobot base was too far away. "And if I refuse?"
Starscream hissed. "Then you leave me no choice but to destroy you."
Bumblebee sagged, shoulders bowed over in defeat. "Alright." Bumblebee flicked a switch, putting the jumper on autopilot to land. "I'm coming down."
Starscream said in a voice so gentle it hurt, "You've made the right choice. I will see to it. The legacy I give you will be worth the sacrifice."
Bumblebee cut off the transmission. With a deep intake, Bumblebee whirled around to run towards the right side exit door. He figured he'd only one shot. If he could jump out and transform, he might be able to outrun the flyers.
Bumblebee slammed his fist over the button. With any luck, his comm. link would get picked up by a patrol. Bumblebee sent a small prayer to Primus as he leaped out the open door.
At the Command Center, Jazz was fitted up for combat, as were Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. Optimus Prime had mobilized his troops, readying them for a certain Megatron informed Optimus that he did indeed have "the bitlet" and made it clear under no certain terms that he wouldn't give Bumblebee back. When the negotiations deteriorated, Optimus cut the connection and stormed out to find his SIC. Decepticon attack. He discovered that Prowl and Jazz already plotted a rescue for Bumblebee.
Prowl was just about to give them the orders to roll when Blaster shouted out, "I got a ping from Bumblebee!" He turned to look at the startled crew, "He's in Harmony and he's in trouble. Starscream's tailin' him!"
Jazz didn't need to hear another word and neither did the twins. They all took off like a shot to the exit doors. Prowl walked over to Blaster. "Put his transmission on speaker."
Blaster flipped a switch. "Bee, I've got Prowl. He just sent out Jazz, Sunny, and Sides. They're in route. Hold on."
"I'm trying!" Bee sounded very panicked. "But it's me versus three pissed off seekers."
"Three?" Prowl's face got tight. "The Elite Trine is after you?"
Prowl commed Jazz. "It's Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp. Be advised. The situation seems high risk."
"Understood." Jazz sent his stubborn love over the connection.
Prowl smiled. "I never said you had to retreat, Jazz. Bring Bee home."
Bumblebee raced through the streets, dodging building left and right. Bee heard the sound of angry thruster burn and a big bash of metal hitting the ground violently. Starscream had landed at his front, his features radiating rage. Bee transformed to bi-pedal mode, fists at the ready.
Skywarp's voice spoke up from behind Bumblebee. "Boss, not for nothing, but didn't Lord Megatron say Harmony was still neutral ground? We're not allowed to take him here, right?"
Starscream glared at Skywarp over Bumblebee's helm. "Shut up! I am Second in Command, which makes me your superior, which means you do as I say!"
Bumblebee slid into his fighting stance. "Shove it up your exhaust! I'm not going anywhere with you!"
"Insubordination is punishable by-!"
Laser fire in front of him stopped Starscream short. The seeker whirled to find an irate Jazz, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe running up to them. Jazz shouted out, "Stand down, Starscream! You know the orders."
Sideswipe ran up to Bee. "Are you alright?" He glared venomously at Starscream.
Bee sighed with relief. "Yeah, I'm fine now."
Jazz yelled, "Bumblebee return to base! That's an order." He turned to Sideswipe. "Take him home. I'll cover you."
"Affirmative." Sideswipe grabbed a hold of Bee. "Let's go."
Bumblebee nodded and moved back behind Sunstreaker and Jazz's line of defense. Starscream reached out to Bee, but a laser gun stopped him mid-step. Starscream forced himself away from the retreating yellow form. He glared at Jazz with burning optics. "I never figured you'd be the one to go soft."
Jazz frowned at him. "I protect and defend my family. You are a danger to my family."
Starscream informed Jazz, "I never intended to harm him."
"Well, we intend to harm you." Sunstreaker said keeping his gun pointed at Thundercracker and Skywarp off to the side, "So shut up."
Starscream grinned at Jazz. "What's the matter? Afraid your little one would prefer the company of Decepticons over Autobots?"
Skywarp piped up. "Yeah! How funny, right? It's almost like he knew he should be with a Decepticon. Otherwise, wouldn't he be spending his downtime with an Autobot mech?"
Sunstreaker powered up her gun. "Careful what you say next, Con."
Starscream brought up his null rays. "I'm not all that interested in fighting with you. I've got an army to oversee. Now that we've got the Nemesis prepared, we're almost ready to end you Autobots once and for all."
Jazz froze. "And I've got to see to the Autobots. I'll be on my way. You be on your way."
Slowly, all too slowly, they backed away from each other. When Jazz deemed it safe, he gave a curt nod at Sunstreaker. They both transformed and sped back to Autobot HQ. They quickly transformed to bi-pedal mode upon seeing Optimus at the entrance talking to Ironhide.
Jazz told them, "Starscream said they've got it ready."
According to both Ironhide and Optimus' shocked expressions, they knew what it was. Optimus turned to Ironhide. "Ready the Ark."
Bumblebee sat in his quarters. All scouts were ordered to stay in HQ until further instructed. Apparently, certain bots were being chosen for a special mission. Bumblebee looked down at the racing tag in his servo. It hurt. It hurt so much, and Bumblebee wasn't entirely certain why.
It wasn't logical. He had only known the mech for a day. How could he possibly care about him in such a short amount of time? Bumblebee sub-spaced the tag. At least the feelings were mutual.
Bumblebee left his room for the refueling station. He never had fueled up the entire cycle, and the warning signs flashed at him that he was low. He headed into the main rec room, not surprised to see a lot of mechs milling about.
He got his energon and sat down at a mostly empty table. Cliffjumper and Hound were sitting across from him. Suddenly, Hound said, "I'm sorry, Bee."
Bumblebee looked up at him. "Sorry for what?"
Hound shifted slightly in his seat. "I'm sorry we're back to war."
Cliffjumper huffed. "It ain't fair to you the most, kid. Just when it looked like we were all getting ready for some peace around here, where you could just be a normal youngling, the damned thing got started all over again."
Bumblebee shrugged as he sipped on his energon. "It's the only thing I've ever known."
Hound inhaled sharply. "And that's why it's not right."
Cliffjumper slammed his servo on the table. "Now you listen here. One of these days, we will be rid of them Cons. When we are, you'll get a good life."
Bumblebee glared at Cliffjumper. "The Decepticons will never be gone."
Cliffjumper pointed at him. "Your little crush on the racer is just cloudin' your judgment right now. You'll see. When your starry eyed romance is over, the only thing he cares about is gettin' rid of you."
"You're wrong." Bumblebee stood up, taking his energon with him. "And that's why we're still at war."
He stomped back towards his room. He managed to get almost there before Jazz caught up to him, "Hey, Bee!"
Bumblebee turned to salute him. "Yes, sir?"
"I've got some big news for ya!"
Optimus Prime stood on the Ark, preparing the final steps towards liftoff. He turned to Prowl. "How did they get the jump on us?"
Prowl sighed. "I don't know, Prime. I was keeping close tabs on all their movements."
The investigation had led to a series of discoveries. The major discovery was a huge underground cavern full of energon crystals below Harmony. The Decepitons were harvesting it for a big project, one that Jazz discovered in Decepticon HQ as "The Nemesis Project."
Mirage discovered the ship. Beneath Harmony, Starscream was overseeing the huge construction of the space ship, designed to leave Cybertron in search of energon. It also served to house hundreds of troops, ready to conquer at Megatron's whim.
In response, Optimus ordered the construction of the Ark. They built it just outside the city's outskirts, away from the borderline.
Prowl had overseen much of the construction. "We are ready, Optimus. It will only take a little more time for prep, and then we're ready to go."
Optimus nodded. "I'll check that everyone's on board."
Bumblebee's spark soared. Space! He was going to outer space! He was going to another planet! How cool was that? He rushed with the others in the special unit, running towards the ship. They'd just finished getting the last of the energon packed up for the trip.
Just as he got on the ramp, Optimus came out to meet them. "Welcome aboard! Please, man your stations. Be ready to leave at any astrosecond."
"Yes, sir!" The mechs shouted in unison. Bee ran past his commander.
Optimus grabbed him by the shoulder before he could go any further. "Bumblebee, don't lose focus. It's still a mission."
Bumblebee nodded. "Yes, sir. I know." But his excitement did fade with the reminder. He needed to stay on target.
A femme's voice called out, "Optimus! Bumblebee!"
Bee and Optimus turned to see Elita racing towards them. Bee felt his spark freeze. He had forgotten to say goodbye to Elita! How could he forget to do that?
"Elita!" Bumblebee turned to embrace her in a big hug.
"Bee! Oh!" She wrapped her arms around him tightly. With a snap of her helm she shouted, "How could you? Optimus, I deserve to go on this mission!"
Optimus shook his helm. "I'm sorry, Elita, but I don't want to risk it."
"Are you saying I couldn't handle myself?" Elita gently untangled herself from Bee. "How dare you! I am a commander in my own right! I will not let you keep me here to play house femme."
"It's not like that, Elita." Optimus tried to explain. "I don't want to take all of the commanders with me off Cybertron. I want people I trust here to keep fighting the Decepticons."
Bumblebee watched Elita and Optimus argue. His spark felt all twisted up. He hated it when they fought for real. It made him feel small again. Bumblebee shifted from side to side as their argument grew more and more heated, with even Optimus raising his voice slightly.
"I won't risk endangering the entirety of this mission over your pride, Elita! I simply won't." Optimus pointed to the exit doors. "I need you here on Cybertron. I need a strong leader to keep our forces here together and strong. I think you're more than up for the challenge."
Elita's glare could've reduced a weaker man to dust. As it was, Optimus stood firm, waiting for her to leave. Just as Elita turned to storm off, the entire bunker erupted into chaos and flames. Elita fell from the high rise, landing in a heap on the hanger floor.
Bumblebee cried out, "Elita! No!" Optimus forced him onto the Ark. He ordered the scout, "Get to your station! I'll get Elita!"
Optimus ran back out into the inferno. Flashbacks at the docks raced through his processor. No, no, it wouldn't end like that again! Optimus stumbled down three flights of steps, nearing the end. "Elita! I'm coming!"
Optimus saw Elita struggle to sit up. However, all too soon the flames encircled her, trapping her from any rescue. Optimus remembered the small form of Ariel, shot straight in the spark. "Elita!" Optimus sent a wave of panic over his bond. "Run!"
Optimus heard the cracking, moaning sound above his helm. Elita looked up, letting out a horrible scream before the roof collapsed on top of her. Optimus let out a hoarse cry as he felt the spark connection inside flicker out of existence. Staggering from the loss, Optimus nearly collapsed right there.
When Ironhide lifted him up, practically dragging back onto the ship, Optimus felt instant regret. "I'm so sorry." Optimus sobbed as they tumbled onto the ship. "Elita."
As the Ark shot away from Cybertron and into the depths of space, Bumblebee mourned the loss of Elita-1. Optimus had told him, optics near blank from his own shock and horror at her deactivation. Bumblebee felt his spark break for his commander. At least Bumblebee knew that Barricade lived. He'd shot the mech to make it look good. Barricade wouldn't get blamed for Bumblebee's escape.
"Optimus, you tried. There was nothing you could do." Bumblebee told him. "It's war. War takes away the things we love most." Bumblebee pressed a hand over his subspace.
Just then, the ship rocked and alarms blared. Optimus jumped into action as a voice blared, "Decepticon attack! Decepticon attack! Battle stations!"
Bumblebee ran out from the command deck, pistol ready to shoot. Optimus followed not far behind. All too soon, they found the Decepticons. Megatron stood at the head of the charge, blasting away all the mechs unlucky enough to get in his path. Optimus surged towards him, "You took her from me!"
Megatron gave him a mocking smirk. "Wouldn't be the first time."
They crashed together like two forces of nature. Bumblebee took a moment to stare at the sight. He'd never seen Optimus so brutal in battle before. According to the shock on Starscream's face, neither had he. Bumblebee shot at Starscream, missing him entirely since the seeker dodged the hit completely.
Bee let out a small curse as Starscream hit his legs, making Bee's lower half go numb. Starscream stalked closer to him, laser pistol in hand. "I really hate to do this, Bee, but you made your choice." Starscream took aim-.
Only to get blindsided sucker punched by Barricade. As the seeker passed out on the ground, Barricade smirked over Bee. "Miss me?"
"Not even a little." Bee said with a grin.
The alarms blare took on a sudden high pitched frequency. A voice shouted over the comms, "Wormhole! Everybody hang onto something!"
Bumblebee felt something dragging him towards a broken window. Barricade grabbed Bee before he could get sucked out, holding onto a rail. Bee wrapped his arms around him as they got closer and closer to the blackness.
Bee turned to look for Optimus. To his shock, he found Optimus holding onto Megatron, who had flung his mace into a wall. Megatron seemed to be keeping Optimus in a death grip, refusing to let a space anomaly take away his prize.
All too soon, the silence descended. Pure darkness squeezed into every tiny crevice of the ship. It may have lasted only few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity. Bee found he didn't mind. For a moment, there was true peace.
Then, the ship popped out onto the other side. Chaos again. A voice now Bee recognized as Blaster's shouted, "Frag! We're on a crash course with the planet! Everybody just brace yourselves!"
Bee felt arms wrap around him from behind. Bee turned to look. Starscream, battered and dented all to scrap, gave him a tight smile. The seeker flung an arm over them both in a vain attempt to shield them from the coming crash.
Blaster shouted, "We're coming out of the atmosphere!
Collision in 3…2…-!"
Quite a few millennia later, on a quiet and starry night, Spike asked Bee, "So what did you think about Romeo and Juliet?"
Bee smiled down at his human charge. "No offense, Spike, but I think those two were idiots."
Spike laughed. "Idiots? Bee come on, they were just young and in love. They didn't know any better."
Bumblebee shook his head. "Nah, I don't think so. It's stupid to die. You can't change anything if you're dead. You're not young forever. You upgrade, you move forward. Someday you're in charge and you can make the world better. If you live, you got hope."
Spike nodded as he crossed his arms. "I never thought about it like that. I guess it's hard to stay hopeful, though, when their families have been fighting for so long. Seems like it would never end."
"I know." Bumblebee said with a sad smile. "But if you don't stay alive, you'll never know."
Bumblebee looked up at the stars. He put his hand over his sub-space, where a special doll and a beat up racing tag sat side by side.
"You'll never know unless you see it to the end."