Promise of the Setting Sun

Bulkhead drove around the school, trying to look for Miko on the campus. Usually, she'd be bounding out the doors the moment he drove closer to the school, but this time it seemed different. From the moment he realized Miko wasn't at the doors, he knew something was wrong. Miko was usually chipper, hyperactive and trouble seeking, which drove Bulkhead insane at times.

From Ratchet's readings on the base computer, here was a tremor reading around East Asia that was high on the charts. They could have bridged over there and save the people, but that would just give away their existence, which the Autobots couldn't risk.

Did Miko find out about the news? How would she react? Did she even go to school today?

Her emotional state was on Bulkhead's mind for almost all of the day.

Once he was driving around the school field, he saw Miko's figure there, and sounded his car horn. Limply, Miko got up, jogged over to him and got into the car.

She wasn't smiling.

Her eyes looked red and she seemed tired.

"Hey, how you doing?" smiled Bulkhead, sounding sympathetic.

If he was human, he'd be hugging her if she collapsed from emotional overload. He wanted to make her feel better, to see her smiling again and to be that crazy girl who got him into trouble... With what happened, that side of Miko was going to be dormant for a long time.

"I'm alright," tiredly said Miko. "I just... heard the news of the earthquake in Japan in the newspapers, then on the news... Bulkhead, I..."

Soft sobs sounded from the woman, tears rolling down her cheek.

"Hush, now, it's gonna be alright...!" breathed the Autobot.

Soon, they were on the highway out of Jasper, and were surrounded by cactus and windblown sand. Thank goodness it was after school, so that Miko wouldn't miss any of her classes. He wondered if Jack or Raf knew how Miko was feeling, but at least he was there around her to comfort her.

"I just... don't know what's going to happen," began Miko, sniffing as she used a tissue to clean herself. "Japan will never be the same again... I haven't heard from my mother, or father, nor any of my family members. I don't know if they're okay, including the cats... They could be dead."

"Now, Miko, don't think like that!" said Bulkhead. "Ratchet said the earthquake mostly hit the cities near the ocean, and Tokyo isn't that far out, so I think they're alright. Communication's probably down."

"Thanks..." whispered Miko, blowing her noes.

There was quiet. The only things that sounded was the soft sniffles of Miko, the warm wind, and Bulkhead's spark humming.

The loss of Miko's home... wasn't the only home that was lost. When Bulkhead and the other Autobots fled Cybertron, the future seemed so uncertain. Where would they go? How would they survive? Would they live to see another day not hunted by the Decepticons? So many friends and families died or separated when Cybertron was infected with war... Bulkhead didn't know if things were ever going to be the same again.

"Before I came to Nevada..." began Miko. "I had this huge fight with my mother. I said... I said I hated how much she treated me like a kid, and how she didn't take me seriously, how she controls me so much. I called her a mean name, and said she was... boring. I accidental ran into the vase she got from her grandmother, and I broke it... I thought I was never going to go to the States. Now... I just regret it so much!"

To get some fresh air, Miko got out of Bulkhead and the Autobot transformed back into his normal self. He placed a careful hand on Miko's shoulder.

"You were angry..." began Bulkhead. "When Cliffjumper died, I wanted revenge. I wanted to knock out all the Decepticons here, they'd regret coming to Earth, but Optimus told me... Revenge and living in the past would only hurt yourself more, and we had to move on with our lives, even if we lost Cybertron and were billions of light years from home. We had to stick together, fight. And ever since we met you humans, we've been friends and have been protecting you ever since."

Miko sniffled. "I shouldn't have come to Nevada... I should've stayed in Japan and I should tell mom I'm..."

Bulkhead drew closer to Miko, careful not to crush her. He looked closely into her eyes.

"If you didn't chose to come here... I'd doubt I would have met you." There was more silence. "You helped me move on, Miko. And I am so glad to have met you."

A small smile was on her face, and she placed a hand on Bulkhead's massive finger.

She muttered something in Japanese.

"ありがとう...私は、隔壁をあなたを愛して." (1)

Once he finished translating what she said, he blushed a little at first, then smiled and said, "anytime..."

The two of them looked out into the horizon, and saw the orange-violet dim of the sunset. How beautiful Nevada sunsets were... Out of the mundane air of Jasper, it's landscapes and skies were something to behold.

After a long period of silence, Miko said, "I guess... the vase was going to break anyways?"

A chuckle escaped from Bulkhead, and a grin drew on his face. Yep, Miko was back to being Miko. She was going to be alright.

"I promise I'll protect you, Miko... I'll always be there for you."



This story is for the victims of the Japan earthquake.

May they find love and light, and rise from the ashes.

Help us journey through... Our darkest pit of night.

(1) "ありがとう...私は、隔壁をあなたを愛して" - Thank you... I love you, Bulkhead.

'Caduceus' story readers: the site has an error from me updating the story, so I'm so sorry that I can't get the chapter up sooner. ;; The latest chapter is on my deviantart account. Chapter three is in the works! ^.^ Thanks so much for your patience and your wonderful numerous support. c': You know how to make a girl cry. :'D

This was supposed to be uploaded EARLIER and closer to when the Earthquake happened, but an error on here has prevented me from posting it sooner. ;; So sorryyy ;A;