Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers, nor am I making any profit from this.

Credits: A big thank you to dglsprincess105 for allowing me to borrow her idea. This story was inspired by her story, All in the Family. And yes, I know these are two very different stories, but I asked her a long time ago if I could borrow Sam as a caretaker to the Autobots-Decepticons-turned-sparklings, and that idea morphed into this one. dglsprincess105 is my inspiration, and the credit goes to her.

The second after he shoved the Cube into Megatron's spark, he was hit with a crippling wave of light and pain, but he held on. He didn't know if it had been hours or seconds that had passed—all he knew was pain and determination, refusal to let go.

Then, through the blinding agony, images started forming in front of his eyes. He knew instantly who each bot was, even though he'd never seen some of them.

Megatron as a sparkling, being forced into combat training while Optimus bent over datapads, studying history, both reluctant. Starscream, facing the Council, only to be turned away. A young Soundwave, clutching at his helm in an effort to get rid of the voices. Shockwave, flinching away from the scientists. Bumblebee, sparked into a war. Bluestreak, trapped and terrified in the ruins of his home. Prowl being thrown across the room by his creator, Barricade rushing to his side and trying to stop the flow of Energon. Ironhide, struggling to get through the Academy with failing grades as he tried to support his sick parents. The anguish in Ratchet's optics the first time he lost a patient to the war.

The images came faster and faster, seamlessly flowing into each other. He saw the lives of dozens of bots; saw what drove them into starting or joining the war.

He saw the future, the Fallen standing on the top of the Great Pyramid, the Matrix of Leadership in hand. Optimus dying, his own death at the hands of Megatron before the Dynasty of Primes brought him back to save Optimus. His face and that of the Fallen broadcasted around the world, making him a wanted fugitive. He saw himself proposing to Mikaela after everything was finished, and her saying yes. He saw her walking down the aisle on their wedding day, more beautiful than ever.

A voice suddenly sounded in his head, not words, but more of the meaning of the words. Would you change this? Would you change the past, at the cost of the future?

Sam hovered for a moment, the physical anguish pounding through his body nothing compared to the mental agony. For one split instant, he stood on the brink. But he'd already made his choice the instant he saw the past.

Lips trembling with the weight of the word, he said, "Yes."

The next instant, everything around him disappeared. For what seemed like an eternity, he hovered on the edge of something, an utter nothingness that made fear spike through his body. He got the feeling that if he tried screaming, it wouldn't make a sound.

Then the voice returned. Welcome, and he was falling, and falling, and there was nothing to catch him and, to the Ranks of the Primes, for some strange reason, he was no longer afraid, Altor, Protector of Cybertron, even though the last thing he knew was crashing through an invisible barrier and hitting something hard and metal.