Author's Notes: I am so sorry for taking such a ridiculously long time to update! Flame away! As always, all OCs belong to Zoey The Wolf.
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. All original characters are property of Zoey the Wolf.
Bumblebee stared at the closed door.
He could have moved, could have reacted to the rest of the room's occupants who were slowly but surely going deadly still.
His spark clenched painfully for a reason he couldn't quite understand. Perhaps it was a remnant of the mental link they had shared while captured.
Barricade hit him in the shoulder, temporarily jarring him from his rumination.
"You're going to get him. And I'm coming with you."
The Autobot met Barricade's four optics. "Why?"
"Because only I get to kill you. And if you go out there by yourself, you'll die. And if you stay here, you'll die." Barricade smirked.
Bumblebee looked at Wheeljack, but the Autobot only stared back.
"You must admit," Shockwave said from his post. "Soundwave was acting strangely."
Bumblebee twitched, irritation growing.
"Am I supposed to be the one who reads Soundwave's mind?"
Barricade and Shockwave answered in unison.
Shockwave growled, a motion that put in Bumblebee's mind a human clearing its throat before speaking.
"Sharing a spark would normally create a spark bond, but as it's with a telepath and not each other's sparks, I believe you have as much insight into Soundwave's mind as Ravage or Laserbeak would."
"Really?" Barricade had asked the question.
"Yes. Why else would you have agreed with me?"
Somehow (Bumblebee remembered getting into a short argument with Shockwave, but it was hard to argue with someone as logical and cold as him) Bumblebee found himself limping along the corridors of Unicron, following both the trail of Energon and the faint images he now saw constantly.
"This way." He looked down the corridor, seeing nothing but darkness. But he was very certain Soundwave had come down this way.
Barricade hit the wall, sending a sharp wail through the ship. He began rapidly speaking in a Decepticon dialect Bumblebee couldn't understand, but as abruptly as he began, Barricade stopped.
"What are you looking at?"
"You just – with your hand…" Bumblebee was having trouble expressing his thoughts without using radio frequencies. "Just went crazy!"
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did."
Bumblebee continued down the corridor, keeping one optic on Barricade. The corridor split off into two smaller hallways, each with a light at the end. Bumblebee looked at each, already noticing the Energon had tapered off.
"Left," he, just as Barricade suggested the opposite direction.
A figure stumbled from the right corridor, making the decision for them. Bumblebee allowed himself a small bit of hope to rear its head before crashing down. It wasn't Soundwave. It was a Seeker, much smaller than Starscream, and missing its wings. Energon was dripping from them; obviously, they had been ripped off recently.
The Seeker looked at Bumblebee and Barricade with confusion.
Well, didn't really look. A blue visor covered her optics, but Bumblebee imagined that if it were to be removed, they would be the same color as Barricade's.
"What's your name?" Barricade growled.
The Seeker flinched at his abrupt tone, then looked around for a moment, puzzled.
"Is that a question?"
Bumblebee elbowed Barricade in an unsubtle way, shutting the Decepticon up temporarily.
"Target, have you seen one of us recently?"
Her black armor trembled, and she tentatively touched Bumblebee's shoulder armor, apparently reassured by its solidity.
"Yes…but he was going the wrong way."
Target looked back uncertainly. "They told me to get him. Before."
"You didn't." Barricade stated.
"So where is he?" the Decepticon snapped. Bumblebee sighed.
Target backed away from Barricade, still keeping a hand on Bumblebee. Bumblebee glared at Barricade, who just shrugged.
"Can you show us?"
The black Seeker shook her head.
"She can't see." Bumblebee hissed, irritated at the Mustang's insensitivity. "Could I help you take that off?"
Target shook her helm furiously. "Someone tried, I can't remember who but he doesn't want it off."
"Target," Bumblebee touched her shoulder, making her wince. "If we don't get to him, all of us will be stuck here. Forever. I don't know exactly what happened to you, but the one we're trying to find, he can help you." The Autobot winced as Barricade scoffed; that had been an outright lie, but surely if Soundwave could be brought back to reasoning, he would see sense in helping this Seeker who was still alive.
Target's visor looked into his optics. Debating internally for a moment, she finally nodded.
Barricade growled, raising his weapon. He shot over Bumblebee and Target's heads, hitting one of Unicron's guard squarely in the chest.
"We need to move."
Bumblebee broke into a run, shutting off his pain receptors while dragging along Target. Barricade followed, shooting the sentry, but his shots went wild. Another, smaller, guard came from the ceiling and landed on Barricade's shoulders. The Decepticon snarled, smashing his back into the wall, and sending the guard back into the gray substance.
"Are we almost there?" Bumblebee was aware he was slowing down.
The light at the end was much closer now, and it wasn't yellow or white. It was a dark red that made Bumblebee instinctively feel terrified. He did not want to go in there. Barricade, however, had no such qualms, and pushed both of them past the doorway.
He looked around their surroundings in awe. They appeared to be in the center of Unicron, if the bright red spark in the center of the room was anything to go by.
He scanned for Soundwave, and found him, staring off into space, halfway into the wall. The wall itself seemed to be enveloping the Decepticon's body; already, he was nearly halfway gone.
Target quailed under his grip, trying to get away from the voice, or the place. Bumblebee wasn't sure, but he kept his grip on her arm tight.
The voice continued speaking.
I see you have finally found my spark, and returned my slave to me. Leave now, and you shall have passage to your doomed home planet.
"I came for Soundwave." Bumblebee said aloud, making Barricade stare at him. Could he not hear the voice? It was so loud.
He is not to be disturbed. I have need for a new overseer, and he fits the profile perfectly. Leave. He will never know.
"I'm sure he will. Soundwave has his ways." Bumblebee inched toward the Decepticon, pulling Target along with him, despite her verbal protests.
Not any longer. Leave him be, and allow him to be at rest.
"He's not dead." Bumblebee clutched his vocaliser as a jarring pain ran through it. He let go of Target, but the Seeker didn't move. She had completely frozen in terror."Not – yet."
Child. Would you like to see just how content he is?
"No!" Bumblebee had had quite enough of being in the Decepticon's mind. Unicron however, did not care, and the Autobot was roughly shoved out of reality.
He was back on Earth. The familiarity of it comforted him, though he could tell from the slightly unfocused background he wasn't really on Earth. He felt Soundwave's mind next to his, completely dormant. It was paying no attention to this.
Soundwave had been talking to his human, the one who had been killed by Sam. Bumblebee couldn't understand their conversation, apparently, the conversation itself wasn't what had kept this memory in Soundwave's databanks.
The human (Dylan if he remembered correctly) said something unintelligible and Soundwave picked him up, replying as he did.
Soundwave's mind stirred. Bumblebee was unsure of how the Decepticon would take his mind being company to another.
You have to wake up.
Abruptly, the Decepticon awoke, shoving Bumblebee out of his mind.
The Autobot staggered back violently, crashing into Barricade.
"I see you're forcing him to relive conversations with someone who's dead."
"Who are you talking to?" Barricade growled.
"Unicron." Bumblebee turned to the Decepticon. "Get out of here, and go back to the others. I'll be fine."
The Decepticon shook his head. "I told you-"
"You'll be the one to kill me. I know." He looked back at Soundwave and Target. The Decepticon was more than halfway absorbed into the wall, and Target had collapsed.
Barricade transformed and sped off, leaving Bumblebee nearly alone.
It is the best way to keep him submissive. That is the way I operate. Submit, Autobot.
The pain returned to his vocaliser, but in a much greater degree, forcing Bumblebee to his knees. This hurt a thousand times more than when Megatron had ripped it out. It was as if acid was running into it.
Through the pain, he tried to pull it out. Honestly tried, but it seemed to be welded into place with a material stronger than his own strength. Bumblebee wheezed, he had fallen to his side some time (when?) and looked at his world at a lopsided angle.
He shut his optics.
Bumblebee shook his head.
I will find a way. Would you like to find out how Soundwave was broken?
He shook his head again; Soundwave was much tougher than him, whatever it had been would surely kill him.
Bumblebee felt himself being thrown back into memories, but they were not Soundwave's. He couldn't tell exactly whose they were, but their subjects were extremely clear.
He tried to avert his optics from the scene, but found himself unable to not watch.
Chicago was still in ruins, he saw himself fighting the Decepticons and Sentinel, and in perhaps the most important part of the scene, a battle was being waged over Cybertron.
Bumblebee only saw Sam shove Dylan into the control pillar. His spark felt like it had been ripped out, but he hadn't cared about the human traitor anymore than Soundwave had cared for Sam but…
The Autobot jerked away from the memory, realizing he had nearly done just what Unicron had wanted.
The chamber was silent. Unicron had apparently decided he had better things to do than mess with his mind.
Bumblebee managed to stand and limp over to Soundwave. The Mercedes' silver armor was barely distinguishable from the walls; only a portion of his shoulders and left arm remained. Undaunted, Bumblebee summoned up the courage that had deserted him just a little while ago.
This was something he could solve. He grasped Soundwave's armor, tugging at the plating with a vengeance. It gave way easily, and Bumblebee thanked Primus Unicron seemed too distracted to fully consume the Decepticon.
"You're going-" Bumblebee paused, gasping as the wound in his side was torn open again. Soundwave was nearly free. "To get out of there. I didn't come all this way, get stuck in your head to let you just rust in a delusion."
With a final jerk, they both tumbled to the floor. Bumblebee's processor shut down for a cycle, trying to restart his self-repair. It promptly failed, and he was forced back into reality.
Soundwave was on top of him, still in stasis, or stuck in his delusion. With a whimper of pain, Bumblebee shoved Soundwave off of him, clutching at his side as the pressure was relieved, allowing Energon to spill freely.
Energon coated most of his body. It was all his own.
Target was pulling herself up, blindly searching for Bumblebee. She called his name, once.
Bumblebee tried to speak, spitting out Energon as he did so. He hit the floor with his hand, hoping the Seeker would hear it.
Soundwave was completely still against Bumblebee.
Target crawled over to them, putting her hands on Bumblebee's armor for concentration. Bumblebee hauled Soundwave up to lean against his uninjured side.
You think you've won? Unicron's voice rang out in their minds. Target trembled.
I'd like to think so! Bumblebee wasn't sure if the communication was two-way, but it certainly felt good.
A door opened, leading to what looked like a docking bay. For a ship.
A ship that, could conceivably get them out of here and to Cybertron.
Bumblebee shook Soundwave. The Decepticon stirred once, and Bumblebee's spark sank. Was it too late?
Target was shaking against his body.
"What is that?"
Bumblebee couldn't see or hear anything unusual. But he trusted Target. Unicron had fallen silent; he seemed to have trouble multitasking.
He wished he could speak at that moment more than he wished for the vocalizer that was not his to be taken away.
Wordlessly, he managed to push Target into a standing position. Her nonverbal communications were offline, probably to prevent escape. Bumblebee wasn't sure if leaving Unicron would kill her or not. But he wasn't about to just leave her here.
He hauled Soundwave up, wrapping the Decepticon's arm around his shoulder. What a merry bunch they were, he thought cynically. Keeping a grip on Target's arm, he dragged both of them into the ship. It was cramped. There was no way he could fit the rest of the Decepticons in here, even if they weren't under Unicron's control once again.
His vision was beginning to be obscured by static. Quickly, he punched in the coordinates to send them to Cybertron.
Unicron had let them leave. But why?
Bumblebee decided he would pose that question to Soundwave, if he ever woke up. Their mental connection was still active, and he could see Dylan's death being played over and over in his mind, adding another layer of things he had to look through.
He slumped out of the pilot's chair, landing on the floor in an ungraceful heap. His self-repair had decided it was time to begin.