Chapter 10

Prowl froze in horror, spark stopping dead in its casing. There he was, lying in the snow as still as death, the bot they'd all thought had been killed...Bumblebee.

"No...Bee...please no..." Prowl stumbled forward, optics darkening. The little bot was so still, and the snow was falling so heavily by now, it was difficult to see him properly. It was all too easy to imagine the form before him was cold and grey...offline.

Falling to his knees next to the smaller bot, he stared at the other's faceplate, almost willing it to move, to prove that he was still online. Thinking back, he remembered the pink energon that had stained the snow. He'd been too preoccupied with just finding Bumblebee to think about it before, but now he had time to think it through, he realized he must have lost a lot of energon already. It seemed so much more likely that the frozen yellow mech was offline than still fighting. He was so close to their base now, it was spark breaking to think he'd made it this far, no thanks to anyone else, and he'd fallen just short of his goal.

"Oh Bee...I'm so sorry...I'm sorry..." Prowl said softly, allowing an oily tear to slip under his visor, spark wrenching. He gently put one servo on the beetles side, keening at the coldness of the others frame.

Bumblebee really was dead...

8888

Bumblebee had been drifting in and out of consciousness, becoming less and less able to tell darkness from reality. His meta seemed to be playing a cruel trick on him, as though knowing this was its last chance.

He could hear someone talking, but he couldn't make out the words, as though they were miles away, but he did recognise the voice. It was Prowl's. Oh he longed for Prowl to really be there, but no...Prowl was probably back at base right now. He'd been gone for long, they'd probably all forgotten about him anyway.

He was about to slip once again into darkness, when something moved beside him, confusing his weakened processor. Was someone really there? Then there it was, a small, gentle touch to his side. There was no way his meta could have imagined that, someone really was there.

Struggling a little, Bumblebee forced his optics online, trying to focus on whoever was with him. He couldn't see much, the snow not helping his vision one bit, but he could make out a large black blur.

It wasn't an illusion, it wasn't a dream, or a dying fantasy...Prowl was really here. He smiled a little. He could hear Prowl talking again, but none of it made sense. That didn't matter to him, he was here, he'd got to see him one more time, that was all that mattered.

8888

"Bumblebee!" Prowl cried when he saw those pale baby blue optics online. Bumblebee wasn't dead...he almost couldn't believe it, "Oh Bumblebee, you scared the frag out of me." Gently, with the utmost care, he cradled the smaller bot in his arms as he'd longed to do for so long, keeping his optics on the others, willing them to stay online, "I'm so sorry, this should never have happened...I should never have treated you like that, never...you didn't deserve it. I'll never forgive myself..."Bumblebee didn't answer, it didn't appear that he could. A tiny smile made its way onto his faceplate, making hope flare in Prowl's spark.

But Bumblebee wouldn't be able to stay online long out here. He needed medical care, and quickly.

"Hang in there, Bee, just for a bit," he said reassuringly, keeping a tight hold on his precious cargo as he stood, "I'm going to get you to Ratchet." The beetle gave no indication that he'd understood him, or even heard him, but he was online, and that's all Prowl wanted to focus on. Everything else could be fixed.

Without a seconds hesitation, Prowl sprinted for the base with all he was worth, opening a comm. link with Ratchet as he did so.

"Ratchet, answer me, I need your help immediately!"

What's wrong kid? Ratchet's grumbling voice responded, sounding worn, and grieving.

"Ratchet, I have Bumblebee, he's not offline, I found him in the forest," Prowl rushed, "But he's badly injured, I'm-"

Oh for the love of Primus, already? the medic didn't sound as happy, or even relieved as Prowl had thought he would, Prowl, it's called an hallucination. You're not dealing with this properly.

"What?! No Ratchet, this is real! Bumblebee is really online, but he won't be for much longer if you don't treat him!" Prowl snapped over the line. This was no time for doubt.

...Fine, I'll look when you get back. Ratchet sighed over the comm. before he cut the link. Prowl almost growled. He was going to prove that old bucket of bolts wrong, and fast. Bumblebee needed help, not his misplaced grief.

Once he reached the base, Prowl looked down to check on Bee again, spark skipping a beat in panic to see his optics had shut off again.

"N-No! Bee don't give up now!" Prowl said, optics wide with horror behind his visor, pace not slowing as he rushed through the main room, past a very dazed, if not a little confused Optimus, "We're almost there, just hang on! Please hang on."

Ratchet was already waiting outside his medbay by the time Prowl got there. The old medic's optics widened to a comical degree at the sight that greeted him. Unless he too was going insane, this was no hallucination, Bumblebee really was online!

"Prowl, give him to me!" Ratchet ordered, carrying the beetle into the medbay when Prowl surrendered the him to the medic, "Find Optimus and Bulkhead, now." Slamming the door shut behind him, he locked the door so he wouldn't be disturbed.

"But..." Prowl sighed, knowing it was pointless to argue. Frowning, he ran off to find his two teammates. All he could do now, was wait, and hope.

8888

Bumblebee wasn't sure what was happening anymore. He'd long since lost consciousness completely.

It's so quiet here...is this the Well...am I...offline?

He tried to look around, to see he's surroundings more clearly, but everything felt heavy, as though someone was holding him down, stopping him from moving.

He was sinking...yes, he was definetly sinking...maybe he was falling...it was impossible to tell...

Down...

Down...

Down...

The further he fell, the lighter he felt, the more free he felt. He preferred it down here, he could move a little more. It was warmer, nicer. He just wished he could see more. Was Prowl here? Was anyone?

I don't want to be alone...

"Bu...bee," he could hear voices...yes, there were definetly voices here. This place was very confusing. He tried to think, but it just made his processor ache. "Co...don't...in." He wished these voices would make more sense. Their jumbling words were irritating.

Shutting off his optics once more, he let himself fall even further into the comfortable silence beneath him.

Please Bumblebee...

Bumblebee's optics shot open again. That voice...it was so familiar...who was that?

Please Bumblebee...don't give in...

Prowl...? Was that Prowl? What was he doing here?

I love you...

8888

Prowl hadn't left Bumblebee's side since Ratchet had repaired him three days ago. The energon deprivation, then sudden energon loss had strained his systems to the brink. He was weak, and lucky to be online. He'd yet to wake up, despite the constant flow of new energon into his systems, and despite Ratchet's comforting 'He just needs to rest' Prowl couldn't help but worry that he could still lose the beetle.

Sighing, he kept a hold on the scout's servo, gently rubbing his digits with his thumb, watching his faceplate for any change. Occassionally both Optimus and Bulkhead came and visited throughout the day, but neither stayed for very long. The fear that the beetle was dead still hung very heavily in the base, and he was sure the only thing that would change that would be him waking up.

"Hmmm...Prowl...?" Prowl couldn't believe his audios, was that...? The small servo in his own gently squeezed his back, the yellow mech shifting a little on the berth.

"Bee?" he asked hopefully, leaning forward. Bumblebee finally onlined his optics, baby blue optics back to their healthy colour.

"Prowl...?" Prowl grinned, sighing in relief, tears of relief already building behind his visor.

"Oh thank Primus..." he said softly, scooting closer to the beetle, "Thank Primus your Okay, how do you feel?"

"Hnngh...functioning," he groaned a little, blinking his optics trying to get them to focus better. Prowl smiled.

"I think that's all anyone's asking for Bee," he said squeezing his servo.

"Hmmm..." once his optics focused, Bee looked up at his companion. For a few moments, they just stared at each other, before Bumblebee realized why he was in this state in the first place, "Wait...the flower..."

Prowl didn't think the beetle could surprise him anymore than he had over the last few days, but he was proven wrong when he pulled out the flower Prowl had found all those months ago. Bumblebee really had found one.

"How...?"

"Good luck...and a little help..." Bee smiled weakly, holding out the flower to the ninja bot, "I'm sorry Prowl...for being such a glitch...I hope you can forgive me..." Prowl hesitated for a moment. He couldn't believe the beetle was asking him for forgiveness when he was the one on the medical berth.

"No Bumblebee, I hope you can forgive me," Prowl said, optics darkening, "I don't deserve your forgiveness for all of this. If it wasn't for me, you would never have been in danger...I'm so sorry Bumblebee." Bumblebee shock his helm, still smiling.

"I forgave you long ago, Prowl..." he said softly, "This was about more than a flower...I wanted to prove that I could do this...prove that I'm just as strong as the rest of you."

"You more than proved it," Prowl replied, optics softening, taking the flower from the beetle when he held it out to him, "No one could survive what you did. You're not as strong as us Bee, you're stronger, and no one's going to forget it anytime soon." Bumblebee's optics lit up at his words, making Prowl's spark purr in delight, "But there's just one more thing."

"What's that?" Bee asked, confused.

"Come here," Prowl said softly, leaning over the beetle. Bumblebee blushed crimson at what happened next. Gently, Prowl's lips covered his in a loving kiss. As soon as their lips meet, sparks flew in his systems, his spark spinning in its chamber. Prowl...liked him like that...?

Prowl smiled into the kiss as the other returned it, gently wrapping his arms around his injured companion. He didn't care if anyone came in and saw them like this. He didn't care what anyone else would think, he just wanted to hold the smaller bot close, and keep him in his arms, forever.