Title/Prompt: Little to None

Writer: Left_eye_better

Rating: PG

Characters: Optimus, First Aid, and Ratchet

Summary: The Protectobots arrive in pieces, and thanks to First Aid's stubbornness they live. Prime and Ratchet realize exactly how stubborn Aid is and Prime wishes he could give more to his troops.

Prompt: Optimus Prime/First Aid – raising of/caring for hatchlings

Warning: Unbeta'd

Word Count: 1454

Disclaimer: Transformers © Hasbro/Dreamworks.

Optimus sat on the storage unit turned chair in the hanger that qualified as a medbay on the island of Diego Garcia. His battlemask was retracted allowing him to rub one handed over his facial plates. Ratchet had explained the situation to the best of his knowledge and went back to sorting what First Aid had managed to drag back of his gestalt-brethen. Prime's hand had slid down resting somewhat cupping the lower half of his face. They'd have to wait till the young mech booted up to hear what end the other four had met.

The red and white mech lay before him. The youngling's helm was tipped back and his mask also withdrawn, one arm lay across the mech's midsection and the other beside the form allowing for a connection to a medical scanner. It seemed as though after the minimum repairs that were done that Ratchet had attempted to make his patient comfortable. The rest of the work needed the scans to complete it was too detailed, too dangerous to start meddling without them and for anything else… external plating and non-essentials could wait.

A beep sounded prompting Optimus to lift his helm and his optics to brighten. A steady beeping drew him forward to stand next to the junior medic turned patient. First Aid's fingers twitched one at a time as if testing their function and a static-laced groan was vocalized. The younger mech's optical band lit and the hand closest to his chest moved over the armor above his spark chamber.

"Should I get Ratchet?" The leader moved forward and gently set his hand on the mech's shoulder. First Aid didn't seem to hear him and the band's focus seemed to be somewhere in the rafters. The hand tightened on plating over the spark chamber.

Ratchet hearing his name from the other side of the hanger spoke up. "I'll come over there once he's fully online. He's out of the rough when it comes to survival if he has booted up. He Never did take planetfall well." Sparks caused from the grating of Cybertronian alloys bounced to the ground near the emergency green mech's pedes as he disengaged a battered arm from an equally battered torso of the remains of what they assumed to be the Protectobots that had been recovered from the crash site.

"B-…b-br-brothers…" First Aid's vocalizer grated out, bringing the Prime's optics back down. "Broth-thers," A flare raced across the optical band, and the detailed four-crawled hand scrapped against the metal of his chest plates. "With-th me. Kept th-them. Brought th-em."

"First Aid," Optimus bent slightly and placed a hand on the side of the Protectobot's helm. The mech didn't acknowledge the touch, or turn his visual focus to the initiator of it. "You did well. I am glad you received my call. If you must rest with your brothers you may. The Well is a peaceful place."

"Don't you talk him into passing you Slagger! I'll dismantle you myself!" Ratchet shouted from the quickly becoming junkyard, dropping the arm and cleaning his hands of the debris before heading to join the red and blue mech.

Finally awareness seemed to come to the red and white mech. "Prime." The brightest point of the band moved to the side to look at the much larger leader. The claws loosened their hold on the plating. "I brought th-them. Told th-them they couldn't leave me." In a jerky motion, that probably made known of some deep wiring issue, he moved his arm away from his chest not stopping it from sliding to the table beside him with a metallic snarl from the plating gnashing.

Optimus moved his hand from the side of the other's helm and he straightened marginally to allow the damaged mech room to complete whatever motion he appeared to be attempting. Plating hissed and moved shuddering in a glitched half-transformation to reveal the youngling's chest internals. Brightness spilled forth causing the Prime to readjust his optics to tolerate it. It wasn't long before Ratchet appeared beside him. They both stood transfixed by what was before them.

"Told th-them they couldn't leave me. C-can't leave me." Five sparks were tangled together in a knot that Ratchet was unsure could ever be straightened inside of the cramped and warped metal of First Aid's spark chamber. "I ache, but I-I won't let them go." The electric tendrils of the sparks arched and reached over the edge of their container. It was a beautiful yet writhing mass that were the souls of the youngling's team, all of them intact and testament to First Aid's stubbornness and medical ability.

"Aid shut your spark chamber. We need to sort this out and it will not occur while to bare yourself and your brothers to us." Ratchet spoke softly and his hands began to assist the younger mech fold the plating back in place.

First Aid's hand came up from the table trembling as it searched for something to hold. The Prime's hand met Aid's and clasped it. The junior medic looked to the two older mechs. "W-will they know me when th-they are recreated?"

Optimus nodded sagely and his thumb rubbed over one of white claws. "They will. Not as you know them, but they will still know you. They will need protection, and they will need you but they will not have forgotten of your need of them."

The youngling's frame seemed to relax as Optimus spoke. Ratchet shifted between them trying to gain access to the scanner once more as well and maneuver First Aid back to a more prone position. "I trust you, Optimus, sir." The junior medic's grip loosened on the Prime's hand as he complied with Ratchet's promptings.

"Go into recharge Aid. I need to see what sustaining your brothers is doing to your systems. You will probably need to be placed on partial life support to give the necessary fuel and support to negate the added stress." The CMO attempted to take charge and the red and white mech nodded. Soon his optical band faded as the well-behaved mech powered down.

"What is the likelihood you'll be able to rebuild them and leave First Aid's memory and abilities intact?" Optimus spoke as he set both his and youngling's hands down on the unconscious mech's chest.

"With the given supplies and our ability to fabricate necessary alloys and materials?" The green mech picked up the scanner and taking a cable from the side of it plugged it into his wrist. He didn't expect answer to his question nor did Optimus fully believe his CMO to be done speaking. "Little to None."

Silence fell harshly between them. The Prime's helm tilted forward. It was becoming more common to hear what little he could provide his people. Noise from outside trickled in through the poorly insulated walls. The revving of Sideswipe's engine, and the squealing of tires most likely the twins from the loud crash and cursing to follow. "Tell me what you can do."

"I will rebuild them. I will attempt to use their original build designs. They were some of the last that we siphoned from Vector Sigma before the All Sparks launch. I will have to substitute alloys for what our Human allies will be able to supply us. Data transfers of memories rarely succeed and in order to make them combine correctly First Aid will have to be rebuilt as well." Ratchet's optics paid close attention to his HUD and the small data screen on his wrist as he spoke. It was more out of habit than the medic choosing not to look at his leader. "Earth will be the only home they've ever known."

"It is our home now, our refuge, and it will be their sole focus to protect the inhabitants of this world as it was to protect those of Cybertron." Prime stood his full height and cycled air in a sigh-like manner. "We raised them once to have our virtues. This world is much more at peace. There are different challenges than before, but we will raise them. All of us." As Optimus paused to gather more of his words, another louder screech of rubber on asphalt and the sudden impact of a vehicle to the metal wall of the hanger than was the medbay interrupted him.

"All of us except the Twins, Sideswipe, Jolt and whoever else I deem unfit. Ironhide is potentially on that list as well." Ratchet moved to the dent section of wall and placing his pede against it bent it back into a closer to straight form.

Optimus chuckled, and let go of First Aid's hand to stand beside Ratchet. "I'll have that wall panel replaced."