Title: I know nothing...

'Verse: Post '07movie and/or pre '09movie? o.0

Characters: Ironhide, Will, Annabelle, Sarah, Ratchet

Summary: As crazy Samuel L. Jackson character rants in The Boondocks: The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. There are known-knowns and there are known-unknowns, but there are also unknown-unknowns. Things that we don't know that we don't know...

Rating/Warnings: PG-13? Mention sparkshare

AN: There's a lot of rambling here. I... honestly have no idea. This is a 3 page drabble... about nothing.

Inspiration: quick IM RP w/ Kitteh, and Closer by Kings of Leon.

"You're brooding."

"Rrrgh?" The baritone growl bore only a vague resemblance to a cognitive reply.

"Ironhide," the Captain chuckled up at the weapons specialist currently leaning back against his elm tree. "Annabelle's been tryin' to get your attention for the last five minutes."

Blue optics flicked down to the tiny figure dwarfed by a gargantuan black lap. She was sitting on his thigh about to resort to tears in order to garner her Guardian's attention.

"Annabelle," the old soldier rumbled.

Lifting her arms, all wriggling fingers and grabby hands for up, she chirped "Nigh' nigh' 'Hidey!"

He snorted softly and reached down, deftly scooping up the toddler to bring her close to his faceplates. His cheekridge and the panel covering his olfactory sensors were immediately glomped in Annabelle's hug. Ironhide crossed his optics and grunted at the new handshaped smudge on ebony armor when she let go, then lowered the yawning toddler back to her father. Annabelle squirmed from the grey hand and flopped bonelessly into daddy's arms.

William snickered softly, but when a deep blue optic flashed a warning at him he tried to hide it by clearing his throat. "Gonna get the little lady to bed. See ya, man." Cradling his daughter against his shoulder, the Captain made his way back into the house.

About an hour later, after struggling into pjs, a story, a glass of water, another story, another glass of water, a trip to the bathroom, one last story… and, and, and… the young girl finally drifting off to sleep, Sarah and Will were sitting together on the couch watching The Daily Show. Sarah nuzzled against her husband's neck and murmured that she was heading to bed.

Lennox nodded, "I'll be up in a minute. Just wanna catch the first few minutes of Colbert." He kissed his wife and gave her hip a little slap as she circled the couch to head upstairs.

"Uh, babe?" she murmured at the foot of the stairs.


"Is something up with Ironhide?" Sarah asked, concerned. If there was one thing that the frontliner had while he was around the Lennox home, it was a routine - moving to the front drive in his TopKick form just after Annabelle said her goodnights, then circling and checking the property about an hour before dawn. "He's still in the back yard."

"Mmm." Will switched off the TV and stood up. "Maybe it's nothing and he's heading to the driveway in a bit…" but the Ranger doubted it.

Sarah cocked an eyebrow at her spouse, waiting.

"Alright, alright. I'm going," he groused.

Sarah smiled and cupped his jaw to lay a kiss to his temple.

The soldier sighed overly dramatically and grabbed a jacket to tromp back outside. The Cybertronian, still sitting in roughly the same position as earlier, was peering up to the stars. Will watched the mech for a few minutes, but either Ironhide didn't notice or was ignoring him. "Buddy?" Lennox finally ventured.

'Hide turned piercing blue optics on the human, and the Ranger couldn't help but shiver slightly at those points of light shining from a sea of darkness and black.

"Somethin' off?"

"Nothing," the old mech rumbled. "Nothing specific." He lifted his head back to the skies.

"'Hide. Hey, that ain't an answer. I've seen that look." The Ranger waved off the incredulous expression from the alien. "Not from you, man. But from every new recruit about to be shipped out."

"I am far from a new recruit, sparkling," Ironhide growled, crossing his arms and finally turning his full attention to his human charge.

Lennox caught the houselights reflecting on cannons as they moved and smirked. "Finally," he snorted. "So what's not specifically wrong? You're off the schedule, and that makes the ladies anxious."

The weapons specialist grumbled. "Something. Something is coming."

Will tensed. "What Ironhide?"

"I don't know. It's… the others. Bumblebee's fussing like a crèche-guard over Sam. And Ratchet's on the fragging rampage. Hounding everyone about old wounds, processors, damned maintenance and recharge. Be a damned pain in the aft- but… he knows things."

"Well, yeah. He's a walking encyclopedia worse than any of you," Lennox snickered, the medic had made an interesting first impression on Sarah, to say the least.

Ironhide snorted, fondness in the sound. "Facts, yeah. And things he shouldn't know."

The Ranger stared. "Huh?"

"Things happening beyond scanners."

"…he's what? Psychic?"

Chewing on his inner cheekplating, 'Hide's optics flickered. "No. No crystal ball." The glimmers of light caught black armor as he rubbed a hand over his chest. "He, knows a few breems faster. Ever since he was a sparkling."

"So if, he's on edge…"

"Mmmhmm. And Prime's checking on everyone. But he gets whispers from the Matrix. So-"

"Matrix? Like, the movie?"

For a moment there was only the ambient starlight as the TopKick blinked. "No. It's- The Matrix is… Frag." The old mech shifted, fighting for words that were never cooperative with him anyway. "If… your president, on election, was given the sum knowledge and wisdom of your species. A link to the past and the core of your species' spark. And that item was both part of your leader, and a being unto itself."

William gaped. "Optimus has something like that?"

Crested helm nodded. "It guides him, argues with him, gives him strength and links him to all of us. Before gaining the Matrix he was literally a different mech."

"Now you think he's getting inside info from it? He knows something?" Lennox asked, wondering quite what his Guardian meant.

The black hulk made a hiss from somewhere deep in his chassis. "Reassurance. I never know if he realizes, but he does it before every big battle. He did it right before launching the Allspark. Like making sure we'd be alright if…" The Cybertronian cut himself off with a grunt.

"So even though you're not the political thinker, something could be in the wind."

The TopKick snorted and nodded. "Supposedly not a thinker at all," he snapped. "But I know when they're off. I don't know what it is, but I don't like it."

The Ranger glanced back to his home. "Don't need to ask you to keep a line out. But, don't let on to Sarah. She doesn't need more worries about deployments, 'kay?"

"Yes, Lennox," Ironhide rumbled, moving to stand, trying to shake both stiff joints and his own thoughts. "The temperature is dropping. You should go inside."

"Yeah… yeah. G'night, buddy." Will turned and jogged back to the house. He heard the familiar sound of the weapons specialist folding down to his truck form and driving around to the front of the house. Lennox gave a casual salute at the door then went up to reassure Sarah and get some sleep.

The next evening, Ironhide needed to return to the base to refuel and get a decent night in recharge in his root mode. Traffic was hell and he rolled up to the doors in the wee hours of the morning. At least the base was quiet as he transformed and trudged to his and Ratchet's shared quarters.

He keyed the code and the door swished silently aside. Ratchet, almost terrifyingly, was laying on the berth deep in recharge. The weapons specialist grabbed a cube of high grade and downed it rapidly, then settled on the berth with a huff of exhaustion.

The Hummer shifted slightly, coming out online just enough to smirk and let his mate settle against him. Ironhide snugged his frame up against the medic, feeling the other mech settle into his warmth. Ratchet purred gladly and gave him a light smack on the aft.

Ironhide nipped the CMO's jaw with a wry mock-glare and pet his hip. "Smartaft."

"You know you like it," Ratch replied, nudging and nipping back with a shameless grope.

The old warrior growled and nodded against the smooth chartreuse helm, his engine rumbling quietly. "Yeah, you're good like that." Then he pressed a kiss to his cheekridge.

Ratchet allowed the kiss, then turned to capture lip components with his own, pressing a playful flick through their bond and a mischievous, snarky prod about it mostly being for the sex.

The black mech nearly winced, sliding closer through their link. Roiling thoughts didn't give him anything clear except the need to be near his medic. He sighed through his vents and simply parted plating, baring his spark for his bonded.

Startled, Ratchet stared a moment. Then, sensing Ironhide's unease he folded plating aside as well.

The last thought 'Hide had before the comforting bliss of falling into and being wrapped within the Hummer's spark was that, at least right at this moment, it wasn't about the sharing. It was simply about confirming Ratchet.