Author's note. Big thanks to annpar2009 for helping me to write this chapter. Sorry for the long wait in getting it up, here's a good sized chapter.
Enjoy and please review.
The cold night came at last as everyone in the Nemesis were recharging in their quarters including young Spike. He spent his in Thundercracker's quarters recharging in his home made cot peacefully.
A few hours later however, Spike starts to wiggle his arms and his legs kick off the warm blanket off his body as suddenly his optics opened and he started screaming loudly. His whole body felt like it was over heating and his tank felt off.
Thundercracker woke up from his peaceful recharge as if someone had shocked him and sat straight up looking down at the screaming sparkling, quickly he bent down and picked Spike up.
"SShhhh it's okay, Ssshhhh I'm here now," tried Thundercracker to calm down Spike who kept screaming and tears started to show up, but of all he could feel was that Spike was far warmer then he should be. "Ssshhh, I will take care of it."
Worry clawed at his systems, Spike wasn't being troublesome or naughty, he was clearly unwell. The question was, how ill was the little sparkling?
"Ahh!" Spike yelled, he'd never felt so bad in his life and with his whole body aching, he just wanted to keep screaming until it stopped.
And of course, a moment later, there was another sound, a screech of rage.
"What is that Pit awful noise!?"
"Primus," Thundercracker groaned as he heard another voice shout in confusion. "You've woken Starscream and Warp."
Hearing the sound of steps coming to his quarters as the door opened and a very angry Starscream walked in and behind him followed Skywarp who seemed more tired than anything.
"Can't you shut him up already?" Demeaned Starscream pointing at the sparking who was in Thundercracker's arms, slowly swinging him to calm him down.
"Yeah, what is the idea of him screaming anyways?" asked Skywarp, not very sure why the sparking would want anything at this late hour.
"Can you both just calm down, I got this" asked Thundercracker who got up and walked past Starscream who in turn cut in "Got this? That brat disturbed my recharge!"
"Starscream not now, I think he's got a virus I need to take him to Hook" tried Thundercracker to speak with the crying and screaming going on at the same time and again trying to calm spike down "SShhhh Ricochet it's okay."
"I could take you to him if you want," Offered Skywarp, he knew how it was to get a virus, not the most pleasant thing, so he felt sad for the sparkling and wanted to help the little he could.
"Yes, thank you Skywarp" said the blue seeker in relief, now at least he wouldn't have to make a seen with a screaming sparkling, but by now most of the Decepticons around this area have been woken up by the screams.
"Alright, give him here," Skywarp sighed, the sparkling was still bawling but it would only take him a moment to reach the Med Bay and then he could hand him over.
Thundercracker duly passed Spike over and with a CRACK Skywarp was gone.
"Much better," Starscream huffed mulishly. "He's a little troublemaker."
"He can't help being ill," Thundercracker said in exasperation, his nerves were already frazzled, he did not need to listen to his trine leader's complaints.
"Where are you going?" said leader demanded loudly as the blue Seeker headed for the door.
"Where do you think?" Thundercracker snapped in annoyance, opening the door...to find a scowling Megatron with arms folded there. And right behind him was Soundwave, his Minicons close by and what looked like several other Mechs.
"Care to explain all that noise Thundercracker" demanded Megatron as the others behind him seem to look at the blue seeker waiting for a good answer.
"Lord Megatron, I apologise…." begin Thundercaker, but as worry and panic began to come over his processor and the words got stuck in his mouth.
"I warned you, if that sparkling started to act up, you will have to punish him!" said his leader, he was not about to have that sparkling to wake him up every night like this.
"No you misunderstand, Ricochet is just ill and I believe he's got a virus," Tried Thundercacer to explain to protect the sparkilng. "He only screamed because he is feeling unwell my lord, Skywarp have just taken him to Hook"
Soundwave and every other mecha behind him seemed to understand what happened now, but they still looked very much bugged about the fact that Spike woke them up.
"This best be the last of it!" said Megatron, but Soundwave spoke right after him, knowing very well himself how his minicons went through the same process when they were sparklings. "Negative, this will occur again."
Megatron spun around to glare at him in disbelief. "What?"
"Will happen again," Soundwave said softly. "Treatment will not cure him instantly, this will likely go on for a few nights."
A collective groan arose among the assembled Mechs, a sparkling's cry was not only loud but very piercing, it easily got everyone's attention in the surrounding area. Thundercracker felt his wings sag, he didn't want his precious little charge to be ill but he was not looking forward to dealing with more screaming and crying.
"I do not believe this," growled Megatron, rubbing his face. "Well, what can be done?"
"Nothing except continued treatment and time," was all Soundwave could offer.
"Urgh, we should just send him back to the Autobots, let them deal with him," Starscream said in disgust.
"No, we won't" snapped Megatron at his SIC. "If we return the sparkling now, the Autobots would think we are incapable of taking care of one simple sparkling!"
Starscream and the other mechs just looked down, it would be embarrassing, the Great Decepticons conquerors of world can't take care of a sparkling.
"B-but, I refuse to go through this every night because that brat has a virus and can't deal with it," said Starscream not feeling happy with what going on and will be for days to come.
"It's just for a few days, once he is cured everyone can sleep well again," tried Thundercracker to point out, he hoped that his fellow Decepticons could be patient about this since it was their only choice at the moment.
"Few Days?! At that rate we don't have the energy to attack the Autobots" argued Starscream once again.
"Maybe you won't," piped up one of Soundwave's Minicons with a scoff.
"Yeah, you've gotten soft Screamer if you can't handle a few sleepless nights," added the other one with contempt. "We used to deal with bombing and Autobot raids for weeks on end!"
"Why you little...!" Starscream exclaimed, about to lunge at them but Megatron held up an arm, blocking his path. Behind him, Soundwave had his fists raised, ready to defend his Minicons, visor glowing warningly.
"Enough," Megatron rumbled out, giving his Seeker a glare. "The little brats are right, we are Decepticons and we can cope with a few nights."
Everyone looked unhappy but no one could argue against that or look weak. But it was slagging annoying, they had been enjoying all the peaceful nights here on Earth. Starscream glared but said nothing so Megatron removed his arm with a thoughtful look.
"But perhaps a visit to Cybertron would be prudent," he mused. "I will give the matter some thought. In the meantime, get back to bed!"
when everyone going back to their quarters Thundercracker wasted no time and walk strait to the med-bay, crying could still be heard as he entering the room and saw Skywarp trying to calm down Ricochet by making funny faces awhile Hook was looking at his scanners.
"How bad is it?" asked the blue seeker and walked over to them.
"TC finally, I can't calm him down, I tried everything," said Skywarp and watched how Thundercracer took up the sparkling in his arms and started to slowly massage his back, it somehow help as the crying died down a bit.
"Didn't think of that to work, but since you are here am going back to bed" with a crack Skywarp was gone.
"Well Hook?" asked the worried seeker.
"I'm working at it, but he has gotten a virus and from the looks of it, his systems are trying their best to fight it," said Hook and prepared a medicine "The thing with sparklings is that they are vulnerable for these things but the medicine will help, I hope."
"Hope?" repeated Thundercracker, he need Ricochet cured, not suffering the way he is now in with is hard to watch as it break is spark.
"I haven't worked with sparkling since back on Cybertron," answered Hook and gave Spike a syringe of the medicine "It should help, if it doesn't then come back to me."
"Is there anything else I can do?" Thundercracker anxiously, he hadn't thought that Hook might not be experienced treating sparklings.
"Well, keep him fuelled as best you can, he might not want to take much," Hook said after a moment's consideration. "But keep in mind he might throw up."
As Thundercracker looked at him in horror, he added. "Yeah, I remember now...ill sparklings are both noisy and messy. So you better be prepared to deal with that."
"O-Okay," the blue Seeker said, a little daunted. He felt Spike miserably cuddle into him and he raised him higher for better comfort. He knew he wasn't going to get much help from the others, he was on his own when it came to his little one.
"Take him back to bed," Hook told him. "I'm going back to mine, my brothers are waiting."
"Oh, they were woken up to?" Thundercracker asked.
"They certainly were," the medic snorted. "Can't miss all that hollering."
Feeling a bit guilty about that, but took Hooks advice and walked back to his quarters and luckily on his way Spike didn't cry a bit, it seemed that he calmed down with is quite the relief.
Entering his quarters Thundercarcker put Spike down in his home made cot and watched over him until he feel asleep before going to recharge himself with took a hour or so. When the morning shined up there where a few chirps that were heard awhile the seeker was still recharging tiredly.
"Come on, wake up," Chirped Spike, at first he didn't mind Thundercracker sleeping, but as the time passed he started to feel a bit hungry. "Wake up, you need to feed me."
Even with all that chirping, his guardian was still sleeping, but Spike wouldn't give up just yet and so took deep breath and made a load "CHIRP!"
"Huu, what?" mumbled Thundercracker coming out from his recharge and looked down at Spike who head his arms up "Chirp Chirp!"
"What time is it" asked Thunadercracker got up and took spike in his arms, but when turn around to face the clock 12:45 "Oh no"
Curse it all, he was late for his duties. And worse, he still had to take care of Ricochet before he went anywhere. Sighing heavily, he cuddled the little sparkling against his chest as he contacted his trine mate. No point in disturbing Starscream, he wasn't likely to be in a better mood than he was a few hours earlier.
"Oh hey, you awake at last?" came the surprisingly cheerful reply. Of course, Skywarp was always good at recovering from sleepless nights, he had plenty of practise when they were younger and liked to go out drinking.
"Yes," he groaned in response, rubbing at his face. Primus, he felt so tired. "How bad is it?"
"Not that bad, I think everyone's grateful the kid isn't screaming anymore, they didn't want to risk setting him off again," Skywarp replied. "You'd better get a move on though, Screamer's not in a good mood at all."
"I know, I know, I just have to sort Ricochet out then work out who can watch him," Thundercracker told him. "Put him off if he starts asking, I'll try not to be long."
"Alright, see you," Skywarp said before leaving the comm call.
"Hey, I'm still hungry," Spike said, poking at Thundercracker although of course, it just came out as a series of chirps. "Feed me!"
"Okay, okay little one," his poor caretaker said tiredly. "I'll warm up your bottle."
As he did so, he carefully checked Spike over, he seemed a lot better than the night before. Maybe that medicine had worked better than they'd thought? Grabbing a cloth, he started to carefully clean his little charge, he'd somehow acquired a layer of grime and that would never do. Ricochet might not be a Seeker but his foster Sire was and in Seeker society, it was very important to appear clear. Sure, one could expect to get dirty during flights or battle, that was alright but in polite society, you looked your best.
"Much better," he said with pleasure as the sparkling looked up at him. "And your Energon is ready, my dear one."
"Finally," Spike said in relief, he was absolutely starving. Being sick had worked up quite the appetite in him. Now for some nice tasty Energon.
"Blasted little brat," Starscream growled moodily, sourly sprawled in his chair.
"What are you complaining about, Starscream?" Megatron said in annoyance, looking over from his own chair.
"Thundercracker's late thanks to that insufferable sparkling," his Second in Command complained. "And who will watch it while he's working?"
"Starscream," his leader growled, patience rather thin today. "I tire of your endless complaints regarding that sparkling..."
Stascream's wings flattened in submission but he stubbornly carried on. "You know I'm right...that brat needs a babysitter while Thundercracker is working. But who can that be? We are all busy."
"He has a pen, does he not?" Megatron said idly, looking back at his computer screen.
"Yes and that worked so well last time," Starscream muttered mulishly, thinking over his humiliation. "Couldn't we snatch an Autobot to take care of him?"
"Once again you fail to understand, if we capture an Autobot it will just prove that we can't look after him!" growled Megatron and pushed Starscream who fell back. "I refuse to show weakness to those fools."
"AHH" screamed Satsrcream in pain and slowly got up again, watching his Leader closely.
"But I do agree Starscream, the child need to be watch over," said Megatron thoughtfully.
"Who will watch him?" asked the seeker behind Megatron who smirked and faced his SIC "Why, you will Starscream."
"ME? NO I REFUSE!" Yelled Stasrcream as his wings flared up, showing how much he disagreed.
"You will watch over the Sparkling if you know what's good for you," warned Megatron as his fusion cannon charged with a bright red light.
"Fine," growled Starscream looked furious at his Leader, but he'd rather look after the brat then getting shot at. So walking out from the Throne room he headed straight to Thundercracer quarters. Upon opening the door, he found the room was empty.
"Great, why must I be the one looking after the brat?" complained Stasrcream speaking to himself before walking next to the Rec-room where he found Thundercracker feeding Ricochet.
"No, I don't want more," chirped Spike who had drank half of his energon and now Thundercracker tried the feed him the rest.
"Come on, just a little more" Tried his guardian, but Spike couldn't help it, he wasn't hungry anymore.
"Don't want it!" Spike protested again, now that he'd had some fuel, he wasn't hungry anymore and honestly, felt that if he tried to swallow more, he'd be sick.
"He's not himself," sighed Thundercracker, normally Ricochet would demolish the entire bottle.
"What's the matter now?" Starscream demanded huffily, hands on hips.
"Ricochet won't finish his bottle," his trine mate unhappily. "It's not a good sign."
"Serves him right for keeping us all up," the elite Seeker said with a contemptuous sniff.
"He can't help being ill Starscream," Thundercracker said disapprovingly. "You can't get angry at a sparkling."
Judging by the expression on Starscream's face, he could and would. Resisting the urge to sigh again, Thundercracker. "Why are you here Starscream?"
His trine leader's mouth twisted, he looked even more annoyed than before.
"I am to...watch over that brat so you may attend to your duties," he finally bit out.
Surprised to hear that Thundercracker just stared at Starscream still processing what he heard and his Trine Leader noticed that.
"Don't you dare ask that" threatened Starscream, wings again rise up of a show that he is not in the mood to talk about it.
"I won't" said Thundercracker, it was obvious that Megatron must have ordered his Trine Leader to watch over Ricochet "His energon is up here and if you sit down here, you can see him clearly at the play pen."
Starscream saw the pink energon up in the shelf and looked over at the chair Thundercracker pointed to as he now took up Spike and walked over to put him in to the play pen.
"See you soon Ricochet, be good now for Starscream" smiled Thundercracker and kissed his cheek, Spike giggled before rubbing off at his cheek feeling embarrassed a bit.
"Are you done?" asked Starscream somewhat impatient and grumpy, he just wanted his to get over with the soon the better.
"Yes I am, if you have any questions about him just com-link me," and so the blue seeker walked to his duties and left Ricochet in Starscreams hands.
"Now brat if you try anything, you will be one sorry Sparkling," warned Starscream and gave Spike a very serious look.
"You're still angry about that?" asked Spike whose words came as chirps, he just looked at the seeker for a moment then ignored him and went for his toys, not having the energy to do any mischief at the moment.
Starscream gave him a glare but with a huff, turned away. He still thought capturing an Autobot and forcing them to watch the little miscreant would be much better than wasting his skills on such a meaningless task. However, he unfortunately knew that Megatron would never sanction such a venture and in this case, there was no point in in going behind his leader's back. This time anyway.
Just what was Thundercracker's attraction to the little monster? A seeker sparkling would be one thing, pit, even another type of flier sparkling but this ground pounder? It was utterly incomprehensible that his trine mate could be so attached to him. He kept cooing, ahing and just generally doting on the shrieking, drooling little pitspawn.
Speaking of which...
"You better not be up to anything," he muttered as he turned back to squint at the sparkling who was currently waving his random collection of toys in the air, giggling away. Starscream sniffed, why did sparklings have to be so unintelligent?
Starscream watched from far observing the sparkling and was he building a road?
"Chirp chirp," Spike giggled as he where drawing a few road here and there before placing them at the floor, once that was done he took some of the other toys and did his best to make houses around his play pin.
Placing the last cube in the edge of the paper road, it didn't look much it looked finished with made Spike smile as he chirped. "There, it looks perfect."
Now Starscream watched how Spike used his toy cars and played around his small city at the ground, as Starscream expected the brat to destroy what he build up since Sparklings are not that careful or bright about their play.
But however Spike kept his cars perfect in line as he played, "Here comes the police taking down the thief" chirped Spike and made the blue car chase the black one, "Justice will be served!"
Starscream stared in surprise as the sparkling giggled and made one car chase another. The blue car eventually bashed the black one, causing the latter to go flying. Spike clapped in delight before making the 'police' car draw up alongside the other one to take it into custody. Leaving the black car on top of a block he deemed to be the police station, Spike made the blue one cruise along his road for a bit before going for another toy.
The Seeker frowned slightly as the brat now had a plane and was making it take off before flying over his little display. He hated to admit it but it did appear the brat wasn't just throwing his things around, he actually seemed to be 'playing' properly. And as he leaned forward for a closer look, Spike caught his optic, smiled and waved the plane at Starscream.
"He can't mean...," Starscream muttered to himself as Spike beamed at him again and made the plane fly once more.
"Just wants attention," the Seeker huffed. "Well, I'm not Thundercracker..."
"Scree!" Spike pronounced loudly, making the few others in the room glance around. "Scree!"
"Quiet" ordered the seeker but spike garbed some paper and stood up and walked to the end of his play pin as close it allowed him to the Starscream.
"Skee! Skee!" spike tried again waving both his hand with held each a paper at them.
"Just what does he want now?" mumbled Starscream as he watched spike trying to reach over to him, but the play pen standing in his way not allowing it, now some of the other mechs where giggling at what they were seeing.
"Out! both of you!" snapped Starscream as he walked over to the troops, he will not stand for this.
The mechs took their cubes and left still laughing, now Starscream turned around but a paper plane hit his cockpit and the plane feel to the ground, looking over to the sparkling he saw the brat holding one more plane at his hands.
"Skee!" Spike giggled again and hold out his other hand with a clean paper at Starscream, waving it for him.
Starscream stared in complete bewilderment at the sparkling before taking a step few steps forward. The Sparkling beamed at him before throwing the new paper plane which soared upwards before swooping abruptly to the ground. Starscream now stared at this, it was incredibly crude but there was no denying what it was meant to be.
"How could you do that?" he asked in disbelief but of course, only received a giggle in response.
Naturally there was no reply but maybe that sparkling wasn't as stupid as he'd thought. After all, the sneaky little pitspawn had somehow messed with Megatron's canon without anyone being the wiser. Shame the scraplet wasn't wreaking havoc in the Autobot base, it would have been pleasant to watch if Soundwave's little brats had recorded it.
"Hmph," he mumbled to himself, Thundercracker would probably be delighted if he could see this now.
Spike still holding to his last paper sit down as he started to make his last plane, but this time Starscream watched him carefully looking how the sparking did build those planes.
Fist Spike put down the paper at the ground then fold the paper in half and opened it again, then fold the top corners to the middle crease and moved the paper to it's side where he folded over the wings on each side.
"Finished," chirped Spike holding up his plane in pride, sure it didn't look perfect but at least it could fly.
Starscream stared at Spike, at every step he could tell the sparkling knew what he was doing and clearly his sire must have taught the brat to make those, but how could the brat remember building them all on his own?
"Skee" Spike tried again holding the plane for Starscream to take it.
To his own slight surprise, Starscream took it and examined the small, crudely made plane. Obviously, to his expert optic, it was poorly constructed and would not do a good job at flying. However, he had to acknowledge that the sparkling was not trying to create an amazing feat of aerodynamics, he just wanted something he could throw and would glide somewhat. And since these paper planes were achieving a bit of glide instead of falling straight to the ground, he was succeeding.
Starscream lifted the plane and flicked his wrist forwards, propelling the plane into the room where it flew rather spectacularly since he was a lot taller than the sparkling. Said sparkling clapped his hands with delight at the seeker's actions, looking so delighted.
"Woo, look at it go," Spike said cheerily.
As fast the plane glided thru the fair it came it's time when it landed on the floor, laying there with the other two paper planes.
Spike however now went back to his car toys as he thought "Am too young to clean that up."
Starscream went back to his seat again he mumbled "I'm not cleaning that up."
His job was to watch over the brat not clean up his toys or paper planes, but as time passed young Spike did lay down playing with his toy until a nap gotten to his system with left the room quiet of his giggles and laughter.
"Finally, some quiet," Starscream said in relief, but he couldn't leave the brat yet, looking at the time Thundercrackers shift wasn't over yet.
He huffed, this was far beneath his dignity, next time, he was going to make sure that Thundercracker assigned someone else to watch over the brat. Assuming Megatron did not insist on him doing it every single day, the old rust bucket. At least the brat didn't have any paints this time, so he did not have to deal with any messes.
Author's note. What happens next with Starscream and Spike? And what is happening with the Autobots? Find out next time, until then.