This takes place the first Mother's Day after the first movie (approx 10-11 months after Mission City). Has brief tie in to Chat. Written wholly by Kateydidnt in honor of Eowyn77.
It was a biological fact, that humans (and many other species inhabiting Earth) reproduced sexually through allogamy. That is, every single human (barring a few notable deviations attributed to figures featured prominently in certain religions) had two progenitors-one male, one female. The exact situation of the fertilization of the ova to produce a fetus varied, but the fact remained that each one has only and exactly two direct genetic contributors. Whether or not that offspring knew, acknowledged, or associated with both parents was immaterial to these facts.
This universal truth of human reproduction, however, did not apply to Cybertronian life. Cybertronians were incapable of reproducing without an outside source. For millennia, this was one of the primary uses and purposes of the All Spark. Scientists (both Cybertronian and Human) have theorized on the origin of Cybertronian life. Many considered it a given that such life could not naturally evolve without the built-in capability to reproduce.
However, I, was no scientist. I did not care about the origin of life on Cybertron or the fact that we differed greatly from humans in how we reproduced.
What I did care about is that the second Sunday of May was approaching and that was the day set aside in honor of motherhood by a plurality of Earth's nations. Custom dictated that not only should gifts or appreciation be offered to an individual's biological mother, but also to any other important female figures in one's life.
On Cybertron we had no equivalent holiday. Even discounting the rarity of mothers in general, we somehow never introduced the idea of a celebration of our progenitors.
Which brought me to my true quandary: what should I get Sarah Lennox for Mother's Day?
It was only moments ago that I overheard two soldiers on the base talking about the holiday. I had quickly looked it up and realized it would be culturally appropriate to give something to Iron Will's mate.
Pausing momentarily where I was, I tried to decide on the best course of action. Traditional gifts included flowers (often roses), chocolate, or baked goods. None of these options were very feasible in the short amount of time left until Sunday, given the difficulties of obtaining them directly. I also wasn't sure what Spitfire herself would prefer.
Finally, I decided to just go to the expert on what she would like, Lennox himself.
I quickly got a fix on his phone signal and found him walking away from the firing range shaking his head and muttering about incompetence, but he seemed to brighten when he saw me rolling towards him.
"Ironhide! I was just about to come look for you. We've got a meeting with the General at 1430 about the request you put in for an autobot training ground."
I perked up at that. Diego Garcia was not solely occupied by the NEST forces so there were many places that we autobots could not venture into without a human counterpart-or a good holoform. We had to be careful about where we practiced with our weapons and tactics. But with the approval of Optimus, I had submitted a request for a more formal training ground for 'bots with proper equipment. Will had looked relieved at the suggestion-though that was probably because the antics of Skids and Mudflap had left permanent damage to more than one autobot hangar.
I popped my door open for him so we could talk on the way. He climbed in and I started towards the General's office.
"I would like to ask you a question."
"Sure, go ahead."
"I understand 'Mother's day' is this weekend. I would like to give Spitfire something in appreciation for all she has done, but am not sure what she would like."
I could feel him shift on the seat in the moment of silence that followed and then a long slow, "Welllll," came out, "Sarah and Mother's Day is a bit tricky. See, she views it as trite, bordering on insincere, and definitely over-commercialized. She feels that gratitude to a person should be shown more consistently than once a year."
"So she does not celebrate Mother's day?" I asked in confusion. I could see nothing wrong with a special day dedicated to Mothers, and found myself slightly disappointed at the thought that Spitfire might not appreciate the notion.
"No, we celebrate it, I am just very careful to take the time to show her how much I love and appreciate her at other times as well. In my family growing up, we would always prepare my mother breakfast in bed on Mother's Day and her birthday. Sarah was incensed at the idea that as a show of 'appreciation' my mother was served breakfast twice a year, until I explained to her my mother hates cooking in the first place so we only had hot breakfast on special occasions and the rest of the time we were pretty much on our own. Sarah enjoys a sincere gift, but dislikes the idea of empty words and gifts."
I mused on that for a few moments. "So she would not like chocolate?" I asked, knowing full well Sarah's weakness for that particular sweet.
Will laughed and slapped a hand on the dashboard. "You leave chocolates to me. If you want to give Sarah something, honestly, just make it sincere and she will appreciate it."
"But, I have not given her anything before, will she not see this as an empty gesture?"
"You've got to start somewhere. Besides, you've been keeping me in one piece, that's more than enough for her."
We then pulled up to the building where we were scheduled to meet with the General and I filed the information away until a few hours later.
I drove Will home that evening still contemplating what I should give to his mate. Will had claimed chocolates apparently and I'd heard Epps complaining that all the flowers left at the PX were wilted in the Indian heat. I was NOT going to attempt to bake a mother's day cake as many websites suggested, so I was left once again at square one.
Some websites promoted the idea of a "gift from the heart" such as a letter or poem. No way in the Pit was I going to write a poem, and I shrunk back from the idea of a letter-that was way too femme for me. Except Spitfire was a femme so it probably would appeal.
I idly started drafting what such a letter might say.
...I don't have a mother, hardly anyone on Cybertron has a mother. I came about from two brother-creators for the purpose of establishing a bond between planetary defense forces and the temple guard...
That wouldn't go over well, not the least of which was details on our bonds was one of the things she was not cleared to know.
...Optimus had a mother and father, one of the few mechs I have close contact with who did, and he didn't really seem that different from anyone who had sister or brother creators...
That was even worse.
...I don't wish I had had a mother, not that there is anything wrong with being a mother, but I don't need a mother...
I shoved air through my vents in an approximation of a human sigh. I was getting nowhere. Sarah had helped me, all of us, immensely in becoming more adjusted to human interaction and nuance, pointing out (at first) our bigger errors in social situations and physical errors in our holoforms followed later on by teaching us by giving context to what we learned from the internet.
We had misunderstood at first Will's metaphorical meaning when he had said she was a part of him; but in seeing the two of them work in tandem as partners and as parents we had come to understand that even though humans do not bond in the same way that we do it did not diminish the power of what they had.
I focused my sensors briefly on the room that I knew belonged to Annabelle. The child was sleeping contentedly. Human sparklings were physically half of each parent, and for the first few years were solely dependent on them for care and nourishment. I'd seen and understood this facet of many thousands of organic species on many thousands of worlds, but it held more significance when Sarah would hold Annabelle while in my cab.
I had not had a mother, and Chromia and I had never had the opportunity to create a Sparkling. What did I know of mothers that would mean anything to Sarah Lennox?
Sunday morning dawned with a few ideas still bumping around my processors, and a half formed plan, but nothing cemented yet. Will had woken up and taken care of Annabelle's morning routine (something I noted that he did as often as he could, not just this one instance) to let Sarah sleep a little longer. Will however, still had to be on base today and would not be able to remain the whole day with his wife.
I, though, was not needed by him for most of the day and I decided that I would return to their home and speak with Sarah after delivering Will to the base.
Upon my return to the house, I initiated my holoform and exited the cab. Sarah opened the door, holding Annabelle on one hip, as she regarded me with an expression of surprise, followed by one of worry. "Is there a problem on the base?"
I shook my head, "No! No problem on the base, I just wanted to talk to you for a bit."
Sarah's eyes widened briefly and then she gave a smile. "Well then, come on in." She held the door open for me and then followed me once I had crossed the threshold.
"Hope you don't mind the mess, I was folding these." She said as we entered the living room, indicating a stack of freshly laundered towels and sheets on a couch cushion. She deposited her child on the floor (who quickly crawled to her toys) and sat down on the couch.
"What can I do for you?" she asked, picking up one towel and quickly folding it.
"I...," I wasn't quite sure how to start. Luckily for me, Annabelle let out a squeal at that moment as she threw a stuffed canine across the room. Sarah rolled her eyes and kicked the toy back over. Then she looked at me again.
"I didn't have a mother, and I'm not one either." I said in a nervous rush.
Sarah blinked looking totally bewildered, "What?"
Slag! My processors must be glitched, that wasn't at all how that sentence was supposed to come out.
I shifted slightly in my holoform and spoke again, "That...didn't come out right."
Sarah still looked confused.
I started again, "I never had a mother. I had two brother-creators. Having a mother, is actually rather rare among us. My mate and I never had a chance to have a Sparkling either."
Her expression softened. "I'm sorry."
"I know little about mothers or motherhood," I said, also in a softer tone, "but I wanted to express my appreciation for everything you've done for me. You've taken me into your home and entrusted me not only with your mate, but also with yourself and your child. Our home is long since lost and we have wandered for a long time, but in the short time we have been here, you have been an important part in making this feel more like a home than we have had in a very long time."
Sarah's mouth was hanging slightly open, looking unsure how to respond to this.
"In your culture, today is traditionally a day to honor mothers and other important females in our lives. I did not know how to do this in any other way than to thank you for everything you have done."
Sarah was silent for a few moments, her eyes looking a little watery. "Thank you, Ironhide. That means a lot to me."
"I want you to know Sarah, that I have promised to protect, not only Will on and off the battlefield, but also his family. It is an honor, not simply a duty, to aid friends."
Sarah smiled, a wide deep smile, "It certainly is. There is a saying that is appropriate here, though I hate how overused it is, friends are the family you choose. I'm so grateful for the day you chose Will and he chose to share you with us."
I smiled. "I can't imagine how we'd get along without your guidance. We'd make a complete mess of things trying to integrate and assimilate more than just the military culture."
"Oh, you'd manage eventually, I'm sure." she gave a self-deprecating laugh.
"Possibly," I said, "but the repair bills would probably be a lot higher." I laughed a little and then gestured to the pile she had somehow managed to work most of the way through even while we were talking. "Can I assist you with that?"
She shook her head and started to speak and then seemed to change her mind and shrugged, "Sure. You can also help me put them in the linen closet."
We worked in silence for a few minutes as we folded and stacked the towels and sheets. Then she directed me to pick them up, carry them to the linen closet and put them on the appropriate shelves.
Annabelle started fussing as we made our way back to the living room and Sarah said, "Lunch time for this little lady."
"I won't bother you any longer," I said, suddenly aware that I was taking up her time.
She smiled again and shook her head, "That wasn't a thinly veiled way of saying get lost. You're welcome to stay."
I stood there unsure of what to do as she picked up Annabelle. As she moved into the kitchen to prepare food she looked over her shoulder spoke. "Arcee has told me a little about Chromia. But this is the first time I've heard you mention her."
That decided it. I followed her into the kitchen. "I...don't speak of her often. It is not our way to speak of those who are not here. It was not always that way, but we learned it after we lost so much in the war."
"I'm sorry. I don't mean to bring up a painful topic."
I dismissed her concerns, "I was the one to mention her first. Your curiosity is only natural."
Sarah took that to mean the topic was open for discussion. "Why did the two of you never have a Sparkling? You would have made a wonderful father."
I grimaced briefly, "I'm older than Optimus, Spitfire, but it wasn't until after the war had already started that Chromia and I bonded."
"Were you alone all that time?" Sarah asked looking worried at the prospect.
I gave a little laugh. "Being 'single' on Cybertron means something different than it does for humans. I wasn't alone-I had my brothers. And I had plenty of interaction with femmes."
Sarah accepted that, though I am not completely sure she understood the dynamics of any relationship between unattached 'bots. She fed Annabelle and asked a few more questions about Chromia, though she was obviously making an effort to stay on lighter details to spare me.
To my surprise we passed nearly an hour before Annabelle's afternoon nap began and I excused myself.
"I should get back to base, I have a few meetings to attend and Iron Will will probably want a ride home at some point." I smiled, imagining Will trying to figure out where I disappeared to. "But thank you for this, and I wish you a very happy Mother's day."
"We should do this more often," Sarah smiled, "And thank you."
I returned to the base, pleased with how things had turned out, despite the rather embarrassing beginning.
I'd never had a mother, nor did I wish for any other creators than the brothers I'd had, but I was fortunate to be included in a family with an incredible example of Motherhood. The All Spark was gone, and even if Chromia and I were reunited, we still would be unable to have a Sparkling. But I couldn't help but imagine Chromia interacting with Annabelle the same way I saw Arcee do sometimes. The image was both beautiful and painful.
Will Lennox was a very lucky man, to have found such a compatible mate, and to be able to bring forth a life between the two of them. I hoped, I so hoped, that one day I would be able to introduce my mate to him and he would welcome her into his family as he had welcomed me. I knew for sure though, that Sarah definitely would.