Hot Shot's Girl: Ah! Sorry I didn't update in forever! I had a major block, and I was working on my own book, you know, the one I warned ya about ;D Well, anyways. Sorry this chp is short, but the next one should be longer and more interesting. So yeah . . . thank ZabuzasGirl for getting on my butt 'til I updated :) This one's for them! :D

"So how is everything, Skyfire?" Optimus came up to the scientist who only ignored the Prime, seemingly on purpose.

"Skyfire?" Optimus questioned, he looked around and noticed Hot Shot wasn't sitting on a counter nearby. "Where's Hot Shot?"

Skyfire let out a sigh and managed to look at his commander with his deep blue optics, his gaze heavy; that much Optimus could tell.

"He's off with Ratchet at the moment for a check-up," Skyfire answered, his gaze still refusing to meet Optimus'.

"Oh, I could have taken him you know," Optimus replied.

"I know," Skyfire sighed once more. "Optimus, it's finished."

"What is?" Optimus asked, his motherboard processing pretty much nothing at that comment from the scientist.

"The data transfer," Skyfire said, knowing those three words would kill his leader.

He watched the Prime freeze, his joints and rotators going on lockdown as he heard the news. His optics were brighter than normal, signaling he had let this date creep up on him unbeknownst.

"It is?" Optimus asked, the tone in his voice was almost desperate for the scientist to deny everything he's just said.

"I'm sorry Optimus, but it is," Skyfire nodded. "Which is why he's now with Ratchet. He's making sure his mainframe is in perfect health after the last of the data transfer."

"Then . . . I suppose I should head over to his office," Optimus said, slowly turning around to head towards the medical center. "He'll be fine, won't he?"

"He will," Skyfire replied with a nod. "The data will still take time to decipher, but Hot Shot was a good sport about it. Give him my thanks will ya?"

"I will," Optimus mumbled back the reply, obviously his mind was somewhere else, and everyone could tell.

"Man, Hot Rod, you should totally have another rechargeover," Jazz spoke up from in-between his chomps on his energon lunch.

"You really enjoyed it that much?" Hot Rod asked, a chuckle coming through his shoulders that shook from the remaining thoughts of what all had went on during that time.

"Pit yeah!" Jazz grinned. "Especially the truth or dare game."

"I'd have to agree with Jazz," Silverbolt spoke up from where he sat, which was right across the four, sitting next to his brothers. "It was really fun."

"Yeah, but you didn't even do a single dare, you wuss!" Blaster teased, sticking his glossa out at the Aerial.

"S-So," Silverbolt stuttered after fidgeting in his seat. "I was afraid of what you'd make me do."

"Alright, since you're so scared about it, how about next time we just make you take out the trash?" Hot Rod joked, getting everyone else to throw their heads back and laugh as well.

"That's not that funny," Silverbolt pouted.

"Lighten up, bro," Skydive said, patting his brother on the shoulder before looking back at Hot Rod. "But seriously, you should ask Prime if you can."

"Yeah!" Slingshot spoke up. "It was really cool being in the Prime mansion. Talk about an old place! I'm surprised he let us do all those things."

"I guess," Hot Rod shrugged. "You know, most of that place isn't even used."

"I know," Tracks spoke up. "My adoptive family have a large place, but not as large as the Prime mansion. I assume it's because they don't have as many sparklings, but then again . . . neither does Prime. Do you think that he was a part of a large family or something?"

"I don't know," Hot Rod said, not really wanting to get into anything personal about his caretaker's life.

"No, he wasn't," Silverbolt said.

"He wasn't?" Jazz asked.

"No, he was actually an only sparkling, and so was his father-creator. The Prime line's all but faded out of existence. I mean, sure, the Prime mansion used to be full of Primes, but that was eons ago—before they decided to fight each other for power, until there's now only Optimus," Silverbolt informed.

"You serious?" Blaster asked. "So he's it, huh?"

"Yeah," Silverbolt nodded, looking actually quite sad about this. "I can't imagine what it's like to be the last of your family."

"You guys must sympathize, huh?" Air Raid asked, looking at the four orphans." Being the last of your families, that is."

"Yeah, I guess so," Jazz said with a roll of his shoulder plates. "I never really thought it that important—especially from where we came from. I mean, it's not like our families were anything like the Primes."

"Yeah, man," Blaster spoke up. "There's a family you'd hate to see disappear."

"Well," Fireflight let out a sigh. "It's going to whenever Optimus offlines."

"Why, is he ill?" Tracks asked.

"No, nothing like that," Fireflight said, waving his hands. "It's just that he's the last-last. There's no more Primes after him."

"You serious?" Jazz asked, dimming the light in his visor slightly as he leaned closer. "You mean to tell me he just can't pick any pretty little femme he wishes and spark a sparkling with her?"

"Really, Jazz, Really?" Tracks rose his brow at his friend and just shook his head.

"What? I'm just saying," was all Jazz had to say for his comeback. "He's a Prime. Who doesn't want to be with a Prime?"

"It's the reason because he already had a sparkmate and sparkling before," Fireflight informed.

"Really?" Blaster asked.

"Yeah," Silverbolt spoke up with a nod. "In fact, Optimus' sparkling would have been our age—if he were still online."

"What happened?" Hot Rod suddenly spoke up, poking his head into the conversation, now thoroughly interested into knowing what happened to Prime's own family.

"They were killed," Silverbolt leaned in to whisper; apparently this subject was still fragile around these parts.

"The Decepticons?" Jazz asked.

"Yeah," Silverbolt nodded, along with his brothers. "It happened when Prime's sparkmate and sparkling were out shopping, you know, something normal. Somehow the Decepticons had gotten spies insideAutobotCityand had found her and the sparkling."

"And how long ago was this?" Tracks asked.

"About 8 millennia ago," Silverbolt nodded. "Yeah, Optimus' sparkling was about Hot Shot's age when he offlined."

"Hey, maybe that's why he likes you and Hot Shot so much, huh?" Blaster spoke up, elbowing Hot Rod in the ribs, pulling him away from his thoughts. "Because you two are the ages of what his sparkling would be today, and how old he was when he offlined."

"You think?" Tracks asked, looking over at Blaster.

"I'll bet my main programmer it is," Blaster nodded as he looked at Hot Rod who only shook his head with a sigh.

"Think what you will," the red and orange bot said as he got back to his lunch.

"Don't be like that Rods," Jazz spoke up, patting his good friend. "Optimus is pretty much an orphan, just like us. He's all by himself, so why don't you like him?"

"I just don't," Hot Rod said with an uncaring shrug.

"Not even now, after all he's done for you and Shoty?" Jazz asked.

Hot Rod's only answer was another uncaring shrug, thus making everyone else roll their optics with a sigh. They all knew he was getting to like him; he was just denying it. The hard part would be to get him to outright admit it, admit that he liked Prime more than he was letting on.

"Ratchet?" Optimus asked as he came into the medic's office to find the doctor had already finished with the check-up on the young sparkling. "Oh, are you done already?"

"Yep, it is," Ratchet nodded with a sigh as he placed all his medical instruments away and looked at his leader. "How are you feeling?"

"It's not my check-up old friend," Optimus chuckled, but the look in Ratchet's optics made Optimus realize what he really meant and, just as he realized, his shoulders slumped and he glanced down. "I'm not really sure," Optimus said as he turned his optics over towards the young sunshine colored sparkling who continually kicked his legs and chewed on his energon goodie that he got for being a good boy. "What do I do now?"

"I suppose hand them over to the orphanage program," Ratchet said with a shrug as he took up his kit and readied to leave, looking at his commander before exiting the door. "You knew this day would come, and you'd eventually have to do this."

"Yes, but . . . I just didn't know it'd come so soon," Optimus said honestly.

"It's been a couple centuries, Prime," Ratchet said. "You've had plenty of time to think of this, plus this was the estimated time given."

"I know, I know, but . . ."

"But, you don't want to give them up, do you?" Ratchet asked.

Optimus was silent and in his silence he answered the doctor's question. Ratchet nodded before setting down his kit for a moment before sighing and rubbing his brow.

"You want to keep the both of them?" the medic asked.

"I do," Optimus answered with a nod.

"Even his older brother, the young ruffian?" Ratchet asked, knowing all too much about the older one and his troubles with the Prime.

Optimus let out a chuckle at the name his medic had called Hot Shot's older brother, but he guessed it was appropriate, especially with his attitude towards everyone he met. Well, Ironhide's called him a lot worse; let's just leave it at that.

"Yes, even Hot Rod," Optimus nodded, even noticing the turn in Hot Shot's head as he mentioned his beloved brother's name.

"Rody? What about him?" Hot Shot asked, energon goodie smeared all over his chubby little face.

Optimus let out a chuckle as he came up to the mech and picked him up, managing to wipe most of the mess off the little one's face as he said—

"Oh, I was just wondering if you'd like to pay him a visit at the academy today."

"Yeah!" the little one cheered as he threw his arms up.

Optimus turned to see Ratchet shaking his head and looking at him.

"The Elders won't like this, I'm just saying," Ratchet said, placing his fists on his hips as he watched Optimus take the young sparkling and begin to leave.

"I know, but . . . I'll find someway to convince them," Optimus said with a nod. "Thanks again Ratchet, for checking on Hot Shot's health."

"Yeah, well I may need to check on yours after your visit to the Elders. I'm sure they'll absorb the life right out of you for suggesting on keeping the boys," Ratchet called after him.

"Sure thing, Ratchet," Optimus called back before leaving the medic for good.

"Hhh, crazy mech," Ratchet said, shaking his head before taking up his kit again. "Then again, who isn't around here? Slag . . . I got to get back home to fix the boys their dinner. Last time they wrecked the house because it wasn't done in time before they got back."

"Come on guys, teamwork!" Powerglide called out, cheering on his class as they went through their designated courses of the day. "Hot Rod!"

The bot in question turned and looked at his teacher before smiling as he gave him a thumbs-up.

"Good job! Helping your partner out of their hardest part is what I'm looking for!" Powerglide called out as he watched Hot Rod help Silverbolt through a ground course, the tunneling part, something the Aerial bot had a great problem with.

"You got it, Silverbolt?" Hot Rod asked as he continued to push the mech before him forward so they could get out of the tunnel.

"I think," Silverbolt said. "Sorry if I'm so slow. I don't like the tunnels."

"I can see why," Hot Rod nodded. "Just keep going. These tunnels on the course are pretty sturdy so you don't have to worry about them collapsing on you."

"Don't remind me," Silverbolt gulped as he shakingly made his way forward before he finally reached the end and shot out into the open air. "Ahhh, now that's better. Nothing like clear skies above to help me relax."

"Yeah, especially when you're so low to the ground," Hot Rod chuckled, watching his partner about levitate off the ground before flying around.

"Hey, I'll go higher, but only when it's necessary," Silverbolt countered.

"Suuuure," Hot Rod chuckled before they both ran up to their teacher, awaiting their score. "So, how'd we do Teach'?"

"Well, you officially came in fourth," Powerglide said, pointing back towards the other three teams who made it before them, one of which happened to be Jazz and his partner, Cosmo.

"What place did you get?" Hot Rod asked, coming up to the two.

"Number one, baby," Jazz grinned, wrapping his arm around his partner's neck. "Cosmo is the mech for the job if you suddenly have an Aerial with busted boosters."

"Well, our timing wasn't that bad, was it Hot Rod?" Silverbolt asked. "We did get fourth place after all."

It was then he noticed his partner silently groaning at the loss for first place. He knew he was competitive, especially with his old friends, Jazz, Blaster, and Tracks, so it was a little hard for him to be just as to satisfy him.

"It's alright, Silverbolt," Jazz came up to the mech and patted his shoulder plate. "You know Hot Rod, and you know how much he loves my first place throne."

"It's not yours, Jazz!" Hot Rod growled, shaking his fist at the silver mech.

Jazz only laughed as the bot chased him around while they waited for the other teams to get ready, but while they did they didn't notice a large red and blue bot come in and speak with the teacher. They did, however, notice the loud shout of the young sparkling he brought with him.


All heads of the bots there turned to see a young sparkling, a little too young to be in the present academy.

"Shoty?" Hot Rod blinked before he watched his little brother jump right up into his arms.

"I missed you!" the little mech exclaimed as he nuzzled his face into the breast plating of his big brother.

"I did too," Hot Rod smiled before he turned and noticed Optimus Prime standing there watching them while he stood next to Powerglide, no doubt talking about his progress. "How'd your day go?"

"I went for my check-up with Watchet, and Ski-Sky-Sku—" Hot Rod chuckled at the struggle his brother was having for actually trying to say Skyfire's name right. It was just too cute.

"Skyfire," Hot Rod corrected with a nod, making his little brother nod as well.

"Yeah," Hot Shot nodded. "Well, it was my last appointment with them."

"Really?" Hot Rod asked, looking at Optimus for a moment before looking back at his brother. "Well, I'm sure you're glad about that."

"Maybe," Hot Shot said with a shrug, his baby blue optics casting down.

"What's wrong?" Hot Rod asked.

"I liked them, does this mean I won't see them again?" the little mech asked, looking up at his big brother with a question he'd really like answered.

"I don't think so," Hot Rod answered honestly. "You'll have to ask Optimus later."

"Why not now?" Hot Shot asked.

"Because," Hot Rod said as he placed his little brother down. "He's talking to my teacher right now."

And so Hot Rod took his brother's hand and led him back towards Optimus who was in the middle of a talk with Powerglide.

"No, really, he's actually come a long way since he started," Powerglide said with a nod. "He's really getting along with Silverbolt and most of the Aerials—well the ones that don't think they're higher than the Terrestrials."

"So, does he still get in fights?" Optimus asked.

"Well, yeah, but not that many anymore," Powerglide said. "He's really turning into a good boy, Prime. Should I think this is all your parenting?"

"Heh, well I can't say that," Optimus let out a chuckle. "Especially since he's still set on avoiding me, even at home."

"Eh, that's a shame. You're a good parent. Look at how you treat Hot Shot," Powerglide countered.

"Optimus!" Hot Shot decided interrupt their conversation and run right into the big mech's arms.

"Did you say hello to your brother?" Optimus asked as he picked the sparkling up and held him close.

"Yeah," Hot Shot nodded as he turned to look at his brother who stood near.

"Any reason why you're visiting today?" Hot Rod asked, crossing his arms and looking up at the Prime with what could be none other than a look of rudeness.

"Hot Rod, will you respect the mech a little?" Powerglide asked. "Stop looking so stuck up—it just doesn't suit you."

"Whatever," Hot Rod sighed.

"No reason," Optimus answered.

"Sure," Hot Rod muttered. "You sure it wasn't to say 'good-riddance'?"

"What are you going on about now?" Powerglide asked with a groan. "Look, you're doing good in class. Don't make be bring your down a grade just for sassing Prime," the Aerial warned. "Now get back to your partner. Because you're like that to the commander and chief, I want you to run through that course again, this time, cutting the time you made in half!"

"But—!" Hot Rod started, his arms shooting to his sides.

"'But' nothing'," Powerglide said. "Get going."

"Hhh, yes sir," Hot Rod groaned before walking back over to his partner to deliver the news.

The two adults watched Silverbolt nod and go with Hot Rod to run the coarse again, both mechs knowing the Aerial probably wasn't pleased with Hot Rod's attitude getting him in trouble as well, but he was so well-mannered that he'd never say anything like that out loud . . . probably for as long as he'd live.

"Sorry about that, Prime," Powerglide apologized.

"Don't be," Optimus sighed. "It's my fault for being too soft on him."

"He's just unappreciative and rude to you and I won't have it," Powerglide said, shaking his head. "The kid doesn't know a thing about you and he decides to snap at you, especially you, like this. It's unacceptable. Just wait 'til he's older and has to go out and fight along side you like the rest of us have. He'll come to appreciate you then."

"It'd be nice if it was before then," Optimus whispered out his wish before sighing. "I think he's actually getting used to me, but today he didn't seem too pleased to see me."

"What was this 'good-riddance' thing?" Powerglide asked.

"The data's all out of Hot Shot's mainframe," Optimus informed. "Now I'm supposed to give the boys to the orphanage program. I think Hot Rod's aware of this."

"You gonna?" Powerglide asked, his optics traveling to Hot Shot who clung tightly to Optimus and vice versa. "Doesn't look to me like you're ready to let go—of either one."

"It's because I'm not," Optimus said.

"Heh, gonna fight the Elders are we?" Powerglide asked with a chuckle.

"It's the only thing I can do," Optimus said, letting out a sigh. "First, I'm going to have to find Hot Shot a sitter while I go and see them today, and then there's Hot Rod . . ."

"I can watch him and the boys for a while, if you want," Powerglide offered.

"You would?" Optimus asked.

"Yeah, sure, I'll find them something to do," Powerglide said with a nod as he folded his arms and looked back at his students. "That way you won't have to worry about the little jerk, huh?"

"That'll be much appreciative," Optimus said. "And for Hot Shot . . . well, I'm sure Arcee won't mind watching him."

"Yeah, she's great with sparklings," Powerglide said. "Just have her take him to the playing grounds. He'll be fine until you get back from the pits."

"Yeah," Optimus nodded. "That'll probably be what I'll do."

"Well, I'm for ya, just so you know," Powerglide said, raising his fist towards his commander.

"Thank-you," Optimus said with a smile.

"Just remember . . . you're Prime, and they're not," Powerglide said. "If you want to keep the kids, you can. Don't let what they say bring you down."

"I'm no dictator though," Optimus replied.

"Neither are they, ya hear? So you go give them a piece of your mainframe," Powerglide cheered.

"I really wish I had your spirit, Powerglide," Optimus said, his optics dimming slightly in thought.

"You don't need it if you're going up against the Elders," Powerglide said.

"I'll remember that," Optimus said with a nod as he optics journeyed back towards Hot Rod and Silverbolt who had just finished the course, this time faster, as was told.