I really like TFPrime, and this lil' ficlet just came to me after watching "Con Job". Enjoy (or not. Whatever)

…...

"Then let's get this part started!" Bulkhead screamed emphatically. Ratchet, predictably, sighed, while the children and Bumblebee got riled up (also predictable).

Now, if only he could edge his way towards the exit. Surprisingly quiet for an eighteen-wheeler, he walked calmly towards the exit. He was almost there. Just a little closer-

"Where are you off to so early?" Optimus shifted his hulking frame around to see his top lieutenant staring rather accusingly at him.

"I'm off on patrol Arcee." He let the sentence hang in the air. Things had been somewhat...awkward since the Arctic incident. He was certain there was nothing romantic there but... it had been out of character for both of them, and there had been an unspoken agreement that it wouldn't be talked about. For his sake, he hoped she upheld that right out.

She arched her eyebrows. "The party's just starting. Why leave so early?"

"I am not very suited for..."

"Fun?" She asked, smiling wryly.

"Socializing." He finished. The sentence was left hanging in the air. Again.

He was rather surprised then when her lithe, blue form walked brusquely over to him and reached for his face in a friendly gesture. He drew back, and though shocked, retained his calm expression.

Shrinking back with a hurt look on her face, she asked the question. "What're you afraid of?"

He furrowed his face. "I am unsure of what you are asking Arcee."

"Don't give me that!" Glancing to the party, she hushed her voice a little bit. "Why're you always so distant?"

"It is not customary for Primes to socialize with their troops." Optimus replied stoically.

"Gee Optimus, how long did it take ya to pull that one out of your aft?"

Venting, the Prime knew he was cornered. "I fear that if I am to get attached, to any of you," He turned his head in the direrction of the party. Bulkhead and Wheeljack were busy tearing chunks of metal out of the wall to turn into a "Lob" ball, much to Ratchet's dismay."It will hurt so much more if... when one of you-"

"Dies?" She was getting good at finishing his sentences for him. "That's an awfully-"

"Practical fear?" He allowed himself to smirk a little. He was the one finishing sentences now. His face became more serious as he continued. "I've seen many battles Arcee. Many friends lost. It is better this way." He turned to leave.

She reached forward, holding his hand like she did in the Arctic. "Would it hurt to cut loose a little? You're my friend Optimus..."
He looked down at her sadly. Pulling his hand away, he reiterated. "It is better this way." Transforming, he sped off through the exit, completely unnoticed by the "party", wiith the exception of Arcee. She stood there, watching him go with a sad look on her face.

It is better this way, he reassured himself. Besides, what could possibly go wrong during his absence?

…...

THIS IS NOT OPTIMUSxARCEE. I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT OPTIMUSxARCEE. However, I would not be displeased if someone wrote a fic about that pairing in the future.

Yeah, I toyed around with the idea that this stoic, heroic Prime is really a facade put on by a guy who is really afraid of the situation he's in. It something I've thought about a lot, because I have no life.

Read and Review, purdy please.