Aw, everybody is expecting the twins to pull something off! (I feel almost bad for not having them do something...) But that's not really a part of this story. They do prank Ironhide in my other story, You Have Found A Home, in chapter 19, but that's all I have for twin pranks.


Chapter 4

Submerged

Ironhide stood just outside the mechs' side of the bathhouse and looked back at the slight trail of candy particles.

"Yuck." His tactile sensors were indicating various foreign objects sifting through his workings. Some dry candy wafers had to turned into powder, leaving behind only their crinkly plastic wrappers that said "Smarties" on them. The taffies and caramels and Toosie Rolls were getting very gooey in his workings. It was gross. And the chocolate stuff… it was melting from his body heat. He squirmed. Oh, and the peanut M&M's were crunchy AND gooey. It was enough to make his tanks churn with sickness, just feeling those weird textures in his workings. Right now he wasn't sure which was worse: the candy, or the water?

He really wasn't fond of water.

::Ironhide:: the message came over the intercom from Optimus.

::Yes, Prime?:: Ironhide replied.

::Are you in the bathhouse?::

There was a pause at Ironhide's end on the comm. before his next word. ::Yes::

::Are you by any chance actually wet?:: The Autobot leader knew him well.

::Yes, actually:: He was. His feet were wet from a little puddle. ::Ironhide out::

Ironhide's optics focused dismally on the scrub clothes and brushes, starting to calculate how long it would take to get all the sticky, sugary human food out, and on just how he was going to get it out of his inner workings. He could, perhaps, transform back into a truck… no… maybe… no.

The door opened and a blue femme came in.

"You're in the wrong side." Ironhide told her.

"Calm down, my spark-mate, no one saw me, anyway. And I wanna play in the wash with you." She was flirting with him, and he smiled.

Chromia triggered the water flow. Hot water blasted down and made the room humid.

Ironhide growled. She tossed a brush to him and took one of her own. "Come on; it's fun to wash." She said, going over to him and shouldering him under the water. She began to clean his side.

"Who told you?" he asked, starting to scrub himself. Reeses Pieces* melted away, and Ironhide twisted the brush to dislodge the foil and paper wrappers.

"Elita told me. Said you were in a bit of a sticky situation and might need my help."

Ironhide smiled despite his difficulties. "I suppose Prime put her up to it." He muttered, tugging out another plastic bag.

"Mmmaybe. Maybe not. She just sort of alerted me that-"

"Hey! My armor stays on, femme!" Ironhide ordered as his spark-mate started to unlatch the catches on his shoulder armoring.

"Honestly, 'Hide, the brushes only reach so far. We're not going to get all that stuff out if your armor stays on."

He pushed her hand away gently. "Just get most of it out," he answered, "I will attend to the rest; it'll be fine."

"You're sure?"

He nodded. He sat down on a bench to ease the load off his balancing systems and send more energy to other systems. His femme sat down beside him and moved over, closer. He liked having her closer.

"Hey, I thought you said armor stays on, mech." Chromia battled down a smile and gave him a stern look.

"Mine." Ironhide replied.

She giggled and swatted his hand away with a scrub-brush. "Work before play."

"Hm…" he struggled to disentangle a plastic package that was sticking in his arm joint, and he grimaced when it came free. "People certainly consume disgusting things."

"Worms crafted from gelatin and sugar? Uh… why… ?"

"I don't know. Although," he pulled her closer to whisper, "Our Energon probably seems just as strange to them."

"Ironhide," she whispered back, "You will receive a strong shock if you try to disengage my leg armor, and in this water, that wouldn't feel too good."

"I knew I didn't like this H2O element…" He slipped his fingers back.

"It's not the water's fault." She said, scooting away a little. "Blame it on the Decepticons; we femmes have extra protection, just in case any Decepti-creeps get their claws on us and want to try anything."

"Another reason to annihilate them…" Ironhide mused.

"Anyway, you're armor needs to come off so-"

"No."

"Iron-hi-ide… honestly! All these little foreign objects aren't safe!" she got up to argue with him.

"Going about without armor is even less safe." He retorted, rising as well.

"'Hide! You're not going to be 'going about'! We're staying in this wash until you're all clean!" She protested. He was being silly about it.

"I'll rust if I stay in that long!"

"You won't either stay in that long." She planted both fists just belong her waist. Ironhide's focus shifted.

"Yeah… let's go now and take a drive." He suggested.

Chromia huffed in frustration. She really would have loved nothing more than to go on a drive with her spark-mate out somewhere… just the two of them. Or stay here and lose some of her armor. But duty called. Ironhide needed to be thoroughly cleaned. Optimus feared that the candies and their wrappers could cause serious trouble for his friend if they were left. Maybe she wasn't being clear enough to her mech.

She shifted her feet, preparing to speak to him again. She paused as she noticed that she was standing in a foot and a half of water. The drain must have gotten clogged, she realized. It didn't matter, though; Ironhide's well-being was what mattered.

"Listen." She said with new resolve.

"I'm all yours,"

"Listen, the candies and their wrappers could possibly cause you a whole lot of trouble if we don't get them out. Is that clear?"

He nodded. "Yes."

"So," she said, pointing sternly at him.

"Chromia, Chromia, you haven't been listening. I'm not taking off my armor."

That was it. His armor was coming off one way or another. "YARRRRGGGAHHH!" She yelled.

He was a second too slow for her attack. Down, -SPLASH- he went, with a femme on top of him, into several feet of standing water.

"NO! GET OFF!" he yelled, thrashing as the water washed over him. "AHHH! I'M IN STANDING WATER, CHROMIA-! ARRRRE-SHREEEEE!"