Posted with the kind permission of Black_Oracle, whose story "Tales of the Last Prime: Chapter 2" inspired this response. Blk_O had written what I thought to be one of the saddest chapters concerning Optimus and Elita. My reaction to it was swift and totally unexpected as I quickly wrote up the following as a possible reaction from one of Elita's sisters Chromia. I really hate to see Prime suffer and I like Elita so…Here is how I would have liked to see the story progress in my little universe…

Chromia's Response

At first it was just a buzzing sound but as it came closer, the engine of a small vehicle sounded louder and angrier. In a burst of speed the swiftly moving cycle transformed and exploded through the fortunately opened door.

"SON OF A GLITCH!" The furious voice caught those in the briefing by surprise. The femme looked around the room taking in the shocked expressions with whirling optics. Had they been lasers, the mechs would have all sported scorch marks and fried wiring.

Out…all of you OUT!

The voice cut through air like laser fire through foil, and sent the collected mechs stumbling over each other to reach the door and out of Primes office. The sight of Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet and Jolt in a near tangled mass would have had both humans and Autobot personnel of NEST literally rolling of the floor in hysterics. However, after hearing the thundering sound of a very irate Chromia, no one wanted to make themselves stand out in case she had decided to follow the hapless mechs.

Optimus Prime began to rise from his chair, face plates filled not with anger but consternation and the outburst.

"YOU! SIT DOWN…NOW!" Chromia pointed a slender finger servo at him and he resumed his seated position.

She pounded her fist down on the button to close the door, scanned the door frame and making adjustments to her rifle, and carefully welded it shut. Satisfied that they would have a few extra minutes to talk before reinforcements tried to pry the doors apart, she drew air through her intakes as if sighing and sub-spaced the rifle. Finding a comfortable chair she too sat down, with a pleased expression on her face. It did not last long though.

"HOW DARE YOU! WHO IN ALL CREATION DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? HIGH AND MIGHTY OPTIMUS PRIME…she shuttered her optics and stopped, still visibly shaking with anger. She stood and drawing air once more continued on in a quieter tone, slowly pacing back and forth.

"High and Mighty Optimus Prime, last of a dynasty; just can't bring himself to mingle with us common folk huh?" He must place himself above all his minions, basking in their adulation and awe. Oh, he's just too good to come down from his lofty place on high because then we will all see that he is just…like…the rest…of us; imperfect, fearful, hopeful, kind, nasty, curious, brave, happy, angry…lonely."

"Chromia, it's not like…"

"Quiet you…I know what it's about. I feel it through my sister bond with Elita. So does Arcee."
She stopped directly in front of him, her arms out as if in supplication. "If you cannot understand what your own troops know and feel in their sparks than you are not the leader I thought you were."

"I cannot allow…I don't want to hurt anymore. I don't want to be responsible for hurting on of my own."

"You weakling, living in misery everyday instead of allowing in one moment of joy to soften what grief may come. You've set yourself up like Megatron; making self-denial an almost god-like aspect. I'll never know what she saw in you, but then I have my own comfort."

"And it is a comfort that may be gone tomorrow in the heat of battle in a war that we must win despite the cost." He stood, hands resting on the surface of his desk, leaning forward with each word.

"And I may lose Ironhide to one of Wheeljack's experiments gone awry, or to a prank that went too far or even old age. But I do know that in the time we have been together I have someone who loves and accepts me. Who wants all that I am and cherishes me for giving myself to him? And I feel the same about him. One of us may be lost any day now and the pain will be excruciating. But that pain would not ever dull my memories and they will give me more reason to fight the evil that threatens the survival of all that is good and lovely. I will not ever regret bonding with him. It gives me life; it gives me a reason to go on existing."

"Chromia, I have lost so many to this war. Even the family I might have known was taken from me before I had known of their existence. These losses weigh heavily on me. I cannot allow"

"Oh Boo-hoo…you can't this and you can't that. Who off-lined and made you Primus? It isn't allowing it is sharing. There were times after a battle that wanted to run away and hide, bury my processor under whatever debris field I could find. I still feel that way at times but know I have Ironhide and I bury myself in his spark and processor and he in mine. And the hurt and pain become halved and no longer governs my spark."

"I wish I could make you see that I must be alone in this. I must keep myself from distractions. I must always be alert, always on guard. I cannot fail those I command."

"Well, you just did. Not just Elita, you failed those who look to you for a better tomorrow, for some semblance of normalcy. We look to you for hope. How can we now; when you seem to have none for yourself? The more you hide behind that wall of solitude, the more you lose sight of the meaning of life. If love is a distraction, than you are closer to your brother than you realize." He turned his to face her directly, his expression on of denial.

"I leave you with the words of a human song… 'No man is an island, no man stands alone.' Google it Prime. I will report to the brig for however long you deem necessary." And she turned slowly towards the door and began the process of reversing the weld.

"No need. I am in your debt." He said as he lowered himself slowly into his chair head in hands.

"I will not be the one to collect it." She spoke over her shoulder as she strode out of Primes office.

Hours later, when the base was at it quietest, Elita made her way to the small beach that was behind the weapons storage building. With no moon, the sky was awash with stars that twinkled and sparkled to a tune only they heard. This sight alone gave her a peace in her spark that would sustain her through the many trials to come.

Heavy footsteps caused her to look back towards the way she had come and she saw the shadowed figure of her Commander rounding the building and making straight for the beach. When he saw her he stopped. He began to speak, but she was faster.

"Prime, I'm sorry; I did not know that you would be here. I'll be going…"

"No…no please stay."

He came towards her and she folded herself back down on to the sand. Optimus followed her example and found the sand to be softer that he had ever felt before.

It was silent for half a cycle, then he spoke.

"I was wrong. Will you forgive me?"

Elita leaned head and shoulder against his frame and smiled, her small hand inching upwards to his. He grasped it and returned her smile. In the depths of his processor he would always remember the words of the song that Chromia had him look up; putting his own spin on it.

No bot is an island, no bot stands alone…
(Joan Baez)
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