Title: Target Practice
Fandom: Transformers G1
Characters: Bumblebee and Cliffjumper
Rating: PG (for mech swearing, I guess...)
This has been floating in my head for a while, so I wrote it all today...because I knew otherwise I wouldn't finish it! I'm trying to get back into the writing mood so I can finish my story Too Far Gone.
The sound of the gunshot ricocheted off the steel walls of the Autobots' almost deserted firing range. Only he very last stall was occupied, leaving a lonely silence lingering in the room. The silence was broken, briefly, by the sound of reloading ammunition.
The bullet whizzed past the target and planted itself into the thick wall behind it. Cliffjumper cursed aloud, and cocked his rife again.
This time, the bullets landed on the thin steel sheet, but still far from the bulls-eye.
"Slag!" Cliffjumper spat, preparing for another shot. "Pit-slaggin' gun! Primus frag it!"
This was the reason the shooting range was empty. As soon as Cliffjumper entered, any bot with common sense got the hell out of dodge, as the humans would say. The red minibot was notorious for getting angry when he participated in shooting practice, and no bot wanted to get in the way of the small mech with the giant guns.
So Cliffjumper was left in solitude, not that he minded. His comrades usually pissed him off, and he certainly didn't want them around when he was trying to concentrate.
"Slag it!" growled the red mech, loading more bullets into his gun.
At the sound of his name, Cliffjumper jumped and quickly spun around, clutching his rifle. After realizing whom it was, he rolled his optics.
"What do you want, Bumblebee? Can't you see I'm busy?"
The small yellow mech simply stood there, watching his red counterpart with a vague curiosity.
"You're here all alone?"
Cliffjumper snorted, "Uh, yeah. Are you an idiot? I'm always here alone." He returned to his gun and took aim.
"Don't you get lonely?" the Special Ops. agent asked, cocking his helm to the side slightly.
The red mech groaned, turning to face his fellow minibot, "Can't you go away? I'm trying to concentrate here!" He glared, but Bumblebee didn't seem phased.
"What if I came to practice?" asked the other mech, taking his pistol out of sub-space. "And now I can keep you company."
Cliffjumper made a noise that sounded halfway between as scoff and a laugh, "Practice all you want, Bumblebee, you'll always be a lousy shot."
"What do you mean?" asked Bumblebee, sounding slightly offended.
"You can't shoot to save your life. I should know, because I've saved your sorry aft countless times. I guess you don't need that kind of talent to be in Special Ops, but face it: when it comes to battle, you're pretty useless."
Cliffjumper figured he must have struck a sensor, because Bumblebee spun around abruptly and stalked off without so much as a goodbye. Cliffjumper didn't wait to see him leave and he too turned, looking back at his target.
"Good riddance," the warrior muttered, and took aim again.
Cliffjumper jumped, startled by the sound. It hadn't come from his gun.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Cliffjumper peered out from behind his stall and into the neighboring one, where Bumblebee stood, pistol in hand, firing at the target.
"What the slag are you doing?" asked the red minibot.
Bumblebee didn't answer. Cliffjumper tried to get a good look at the other's faceplate to try and read his emotion, but Bumblebee kept his back to the other mech.
"Your audios working? I asked what you're doing?" Cliffjumper growled in annoyance. He wasn't in the mood for this, and although he usually didn't mind Bumblebee, the yellow mech was starting to bug him (pun slightly intended).
"Practicing," Bumblebee's voice was a whisper, and Cliffjumper almost didn't hear it over the gunshots.
"Why bother? I told you, you're a lousy shot." Cliffjumper crossed his arms and watched the other mech. Bumblebee stayed still, still aiming his pistol at the wall. The yellow minibot remained silent.
Cliffjumper sighed, "Whatever. Just don't bother me, ok?" and with that, he headed back to his stall.
The red minibot scowled as he prepared to take another shot. Bumblebee was firing his gun rapidly, and he wasn't used to noise when he was in the firing range. After a few more misses, Cliffjumper subspaced his gun and leaned against the wall, arms crossed. Bumblebee would run out of ammo soon enough, he figured.
He was right. It wasn't long before the sharp banging of gunfire was replaced my tiny frantic clicks as Bumblebee tried to fire the empty gun. Cliffjumper waited for the heavy footsteps of his comrade to storm out of the room, leaving the red mech to practice in peace.
Instead, he heard a sharp metallic clatter followed by an uneasy silence. Cliffjumper looked into the adjourning stall again.
Bumblebee was on his knees, helm bowed, shaking slightly. His pistol lay abandoned in the corner (he must have thrown it, Cliffjumper mused, recalling the odd clanking sounds). Suddenly, Cliffjumper felt a strange sense of guilt.
"Hey…Bee?" the minibot said softly, taking a few steps towards the other. The smaller mech didn't respond, and Cliffjumper almost simply turned around and went back to shooting.
"You all right?" he asked, taking another few steps.
"Fine," came a mumbled response.
"You don't sound fine," replied the red mech. In all honesty, he really didn't care how Bumblebee was feeling. He just wanted the bot to get out.
"I said I'm fine…" Bumblebee replied, his helm still turned towards the ground. His voice wavered, betraying his words.
Is he crying? Cliffjumper asked himself, He's crying like a fraggin' youngling…As the minibot warrior prepared his speech on how no good soldier would ever be caught crying, Bumblebee spoke up again.
"It's just…you were right, Cliffjumper."
He was…right? Cliffjumper wasn't used to hearing that.
"What are you talking about?"
"I can't even hit the slagging target…" the voice was so quiet it was unclear if Bumblebee was speaking to himself or to Cliffjumper, but the red Autobot looked up at the metal target anyway. It was in perfect condition, not a scratch, dent, or whole in it. The wall behind, however, was heavily abused by gunfire. The uneasy silence returned, engulfing them both.
"I'm sorry…" murmured the spy, to nobody in particular.
Cliffjumper sauntered over and picked up the pistol, reloading his own ammo into the cartridge. He handed the gun to Bumblebee without a word, causing the other to look up, surprised.
"Here," the red mech said in an uncharacteristically soft tone, "Try again."
"I can't," the yellow mech moaned, "You saw, I can't even hit the sheet…"
"Yeah, I saw. Now, try again." Cliffjumper replied, firmer this time.
Reluctantly, Bumblebee staggered to his peds. He cycled air slowly and aimed the pistol.
The bullet lodged itself into the wall, and Bumblebee made a small, hopeless noise.
"You're not aiming right," Cliffjumper noted, grabbing his comrade's wrist and readjusting it, "Now try."
The wall received another bullet.
"Ok, that's a little better. Now try not to stand with your legs so far apart." He kicked one of Bumblebee's peds, scooting it in more, "And don't half-shutter your optics. You have to see you you're shooting at, idiot."
This time the bullet whizzed through the top left corner of the target sheet. Bumblebee let out a little gasp and turned to Cliffjumper, grinning!
"I hit it that time!" he chirped.
"Yeah, yeah, now try and aim for the circle." Cliffjumper rolled his optics, but couldn't hide his small smile. "Now, if you tilt you servo more like this…"
By the time Cliffjumper received a message from Prowl reminding him of the patrol shift he would be late for if he didn't get his little aft outside in the next click (paraphrased slightly), Bumblebee had managed to hit the second inner-most ring of the bulls-eye. Cliffjumper gave his fellow minibot an apologetic half-smile.
"I have to go, or Prowl will have my tailpipe."
"That's ok," Bumblebee replied, smiling enough for the two of them, "Thanks for helping me Cliffjumper, it means a lot to me…" he looked back at the floor sheepishly.
"Well, us Minibots have to stick together, right?" asked Cliffjumper as he collected his guns and put them into subspace.
"Right!" the yellow bot agreed.
"Well, I'll catch you later then," Cliffjumper called as he made his way towards the door.
"Hey, wait!" Bumblebee said suddenly, causing the other mech to turn around.
"Well, I…" the yellow spy paused, as he tried to figure out how to word his question, "Would…would it be alright with you if I maybe…came back when you were practicing again? If you don't mind, that is…"
Cliffjumper tried not to outright grin. "Yeah, I guess," he replied in the most nonchalant voice he could muster. "You can do whatever you want, nobody's stopping you."
Bumblebee beamed. "Ok! Um…I'll see you later, then?"
"Ok! Bye, Cliffjumper!"
Bumblebee watched him go, and waited until the metallic doors swooshed closed before grabbing his pistol again. He spun it in his hand for a moment, turned lazily towards the target and with a smirk he fired.
Just some friendshippy fiction for ya'll to read. Hope you enjoyed! I almost made it romantic (I'm a die-hard Bumblebee/Cliffjumper fan) but I'm really bad at writing romance, so I left it just as a friendship thing. Please tell me what you liked about it! I really love to hear from the people who've read my stuff~