The Lost Scout

Chapter 7: New Beginnings & New Goodbyes

None of them knew for sure what had happened. All they knew was that Bumblebee had gone into his room, clutching several datapads in his hand then when he had emerged he had been…different. He had grabbed Peaches and attempted to waltz her across the bridge of the ship only to get threatened with her sais. Jasmina had proven to be a much more willing partner than her femme counterpart and the two had danced for hours. Optimus and Brawn had started with loose-hanging jaws until Bumblebee had said, while going past them, "You do know that your faceplate is going to get stuck like that, dontcha?"

The two had snapped their jaws shut but continued to watch him with bewildered gazes, causing 'Bee to laugh heartily as he twirled Jasmina around and around before dipping her so low that her helm almost touched the floor. The kiss he attempted to give her didn't exactly go according to plan but the hit 'Bee received from the wrench tucked into one of her subspace pockets wasn't entirely unexpected to the ones watching.

He had turned and given them a grin and in that instant Optimus Prime saw Bumblebee. Not 'Bee, not kid, not one of a dozen derogatory names but Bumblebee. He saw the Bumblebee that his grandfather and crew mates had mourned for, the Bumblebee that drug a chuckle from Ratchet's rusty vocal processor and caused a wistful smile to appear on his faceplate. He saw Bumblebee as he was truly meant to be seen and Optimus felt strangely humbled by the experience but also rather sad. Sad because he knew that Bumblebee was not for them to keep; sad because Bumblebee would never truly be there with them but on a faraway planet that had been destroyed stellar cycles ago along with bots that had all off-lined.

The others saw it too, that much he knew. He watched Jasmina blink her optics rapidly even as Peaches turned her head away from them and Brawn probably looked like his father had on his deathbed. They all had the same expression on their faceplates that Optimus had on his; heartbreak.

Several more stellar cycles passed by, they now had a new crew member; Metallica. She was a rather feisty femme who didn't lack at all in courage, or size and the crew had rapidly accepted her. Bumblebee watched from the sidelines as she was welcomed into the makeshift little family with open arms and he felt a small pang in his spark even as he disappeared further back into the shadows. He didn't blame them; he was merely an obligation to them. A promise that they had made to Ratchet on his deathbed and had had to keep. They had fulfilled their part of the bargain and he had done his best to fulfill his but he wasn't right for them. There was a certain tension; the sort of tension that fills the room when you're expected to entertain the friend of a friend and you have absolutely nothing in common.

Optimus had been looking over some datapads when the familiar sound of the door chime sounded.

"Enter," he called.

Bumblebee came in hesitantly, his blue optics looking anywhere but at Optimus.

"What's wrong?" Optimus asked, immediately concerned. He had noticed that the minibot had been more quiet and withdrawn of late than usual and he had resolved to take action only to get distracted.

"Nothing's wrong," 'Bee said with a soft smile. "In fact everything's perfect now."

Optimus cocked his head to one side and waited for 'Bee to clarify.

"I noticed a long time that this ship was missing something, something vital."

"What was that?"

"A Bumblebee or in your case a Metallica."

"I…don't understand," in truth Optimus thought that he did understand but he didn't really want to hear where this conversation was going.

Bumblebee plopped down in one of the chairs in front of Optimus's desk and began to explain. "You see, all the great heroes had great crews. The first Optimus Prime had Jazz, Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, Bumblebee and your grandfather had Prowl, Ratchet, Bulkhead, and Bumblebee. When I first got here you were missing something and so I decided to fill that hole so to speak. I tried to be the best Bumblebee that there could be but you didn't need a Bumblebee. You needed a Metallica and now you got her so you don't need me anymore."

"We still need you," Optimus said desperately.

Bumblebee just shook his head, "No you don't. I don't belong here, Optimus. I belong in a world that was destroyed two million stellar cycles ago. I belong in a time when there was a Megatron, Starscream, Sari, the All Spark…I belong in a time where they needed a Bumblebee. Your crew is complete now and I need to find my way home."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Optimus asked quietly.

Bumblebee seemed to consider then brightened up saying, "As a matter of fact there is one thing…"

As Optimus, Jasmina, Peaches, Brawn and Metallica watched Omega Supreme slowly lift off from the planet's surface he thought back on 'Bee's parting words….

"So like what's going to happen to us?" Jasmina asked.

"Nothing," 'Bee replied.

"You're not going to try to go back in time and change the timeline are you?" Optimus asked worriedly then mentally slapped himself when he saw the yellow mech's optics light up.

"Hey I never even thought about that," 'Bee said excitedly then his smile dimmed when he saw the worried and apprehensive looks thrown his way.

"Hey," he said gently, "No matter what happens; no matter even if I go back and change the course of the Great War sparks and friends will always find each other no matter what. So don't worry, you guys will always be together."

"Maybe you'll find your family too," Metallica spoke up for the first time.

'Bee's smile turned wistful. "I hope so," he said quietly. "I really hope so."

They continued watching until the ship had completely disappeared from view before turning and walking back to their new ship that had been christened The Bumblebee; a fitting name in Optimus's opinion. It was both a tribute to Bumblebee and to themselves.

Just as he was about to enter the ship he paused and turned and glanced up at the sky. "I hope you find your family too, Bumblebee," he whispered then disappeared into the ship to join his family.

A/N: Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and review my story. I hope you enjoyed it and I would like to apologize if it's not as good as everyone thought or as long as some people wanted it to be.

A/N/N/: For those of you who wanted a background story that went more into details about how and why 'Bee was in stasis in the first place…I have now started on a prequel. After I finish it I will write a sequel to this story that will contain Jazz and might even guest star a few of the OC's introduced in this story, if you want me to include them of course.

A/N/N/N: I must have at least FIVE reviews of this final chapter before I will start posting the prequel.

Please continue to read my stories and let me know what you think.

Once again: thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story. I really appreciate it.