Movie: Transformers Dark of the Moon

Character(s): Sam and Optimus Prime (not a pairing fic)

Warning(s): Major spoilers for DOTM

Faith

Sam felt the ground vibrate beneath his feet, the sound of metal crushing the remnants of buildings and cars coming closer to his bandaged body with each shake of the earth. He felt the presence of the leader of the Autobots behind him; he straightened his back and lifted his head slightly, admiring the sun as it set on the city of ruin.

Not a word was said for several minutes, human and Cybertronian simply taking in the calm scene that lay before them. It was quiet, even though not that far off Lennox and Epps along with the rest of NEST and the Autobots was celebrating the victory and mourning the losses they had suffered.

It was a miracle that the small amount of humans that had come to Ground Zero had survived. They'd lost more than half of the men, but in all honesty they had all thought that none of them was going to come out of the Windy City alive. They had thought that this would be their final stand; still, they would have rather died fighting for freedom than stand by and watch as some kid charged headfirst at the enemy without a prayer. In many ways, the kid had inspired them. He had survived two of the most deadly battles in the Decepticon-Autobot/human battle and he had been about to take the war to the enemy despite having no backup, no friends, and no Autobots. Maybe he had a death wish or maybe he was just insanely brave; no one could tell.

Sam let out a breath and finally glanced up at the giant alien robot standing beside him. Optimus focused his optics down on the battered and bruised young man, noting with concern the bandages that wrapped around the shirtless young man's chest and shoulders. Ratchet had told him that the human had several bruised and cracked rips (courtesy of Dylan), not to mention some pretty nasty cuts and scrapes that could easily get infected if not taken care of properly.

Sam's eyes traveled across Optimus's scratched and broken metal armor, noticing that his arm had yet to be reattached. He guessed that Optimus was letting Ratchet attend to the other Autobots before being serviced himself. He couldn't help but smile; even though Optimus had suffered the worst of the damage he was still more concerned with his comrades. Luckily, Bumblebee had escaped any permanent or particular grueling damage and just needed a little rest.

"So…" Sam said after a long silence, "…you think that's it? The end?"

Optimus had killed both Megatron and Sentinel, and Sam himself had killed Starscream…there couldn't possibly be any Decepticon foolish enough to challenge the human race and the Autobots now…could there?

Optimus did not speak immediately, instead thinking deeply. Yes, he had killed the leader and the traitor (his spark filled with sadness at the thought of his former commander), but there were a number of Decepticons that might try and take up the torch that Megatron had dropped and pick up where he had left off. Besides, death did not mean the end as Optimus had come to learn. Megatron had been dead, then revived. He himself had died and been revived. Even Sam, a human, had died and come back from the great beyond.

Nothing was certain in the universe, and that was the only thing that Optimus was certain of.

"…I do not know Sam," Optimus confessed at long last, "there are many Decepticons out there in the universe still, as there are undoubtedly many more Autobots. If they will try and fight us, I am not certain."

Sam let out a grunt. "Well, they won't be led here by Megatron or Starscream at least." He couldn't help but grin. Hanging like a human yo-yo from the grappler hook stuck in Starscream's optic hadn't been pleasant but hearing the sound of his head exploding had been. Sam had never killed a Decepticon before (well, since Megatron that is but he came back...did that still count?); it had given him a sense of empowerment and quenched his thirst for revenge. He hoped that he would be allowed to join NEST now; if there were any more Decepticons out there he would love to engage them in combat.

He was not just a messenger boy, as he had been called, he was a fighter. He had been, in fact, the only human on the surface of the planet that had been willing to fight against their potential mechanical-overlords without the aid of the Autobots. He wasn't necessarily brave or smart or courageous, but he had known that he would hate himself forever if he didn't make one last stand.

Optimus, if he had been human, would have been smiling with a spark in his eyes. "I heard from Lennox that you fought and defeated Starscream. I must admit…I am impressed."

"Aw, it was nothing," Sam grinned wider, "all I did was shove a bomb in his head."

"It was something," Optimus insisted, "just as was your stand against the Decepticons."

"You heard about that?" Sam asked, raising an eyebrow.

Optimus nodded. "Epps. He told me that you were about to charge into the heart of the enemy and face them, alone."

"Well, I had to! Carly was still in there; I had to get her out! And…I wasn't about to let them get away with…with…" Sam choked on his words, remembering the searing agony that had passed through him when he had thought that Starscream had destroyed the Autobots, his friends, and the human race's last hopes. With that came the sting of betrayal, remembering how he had been forced to try and coax the plan to defeat Sentinel out of Optimus. "I…I don't deserve any of your praise." Sam said, looking away from the imposing Autobot leader as guilt washed over him like a flood, replacing the pride he had felt mere seconds ago.

Optimus looked down at the young human and felt compassion sweep though him. "If you're talking about the Decepticon that was disguising itself as wristwatch, it's alright."

Sam looked up at him, eyes wide. "You knew?"

Optimus nodded. "Ratchet noticed immediately that your body was under stress and that there was foreign chemical in your body; he could smell it in your sweat."

Sam bit his lip, embarrassed. He tended to sweat profusely when under stress but it seemed that this time the embarrassing bodily function had done him some good. He frowned as his mind processed what Optimus had said. "Wait, wait, wait. Foreign chemical? Holy shit! Am I like, poisoned or something?"

Optimus let out a low sound that could have passed for a chuckle. "More than likely not, but it wouldn't hurt for Ratchet to run a full diagnostic on you."

"I think I'll do that!" Sam said, distressed.

The two sank back into silence for several minutes, reflecting on all that had happened.

"…you know, even after I saw your spaceship blow up, I somehow knew that you guys were alive," Sam said after a minute. Optimus turned curious eyes on the young human and Sam looked away, feeling a strong emotion that he couldn't quite identify rise up within him. It was an odd mixture of guilt, relief, grief, hope, and anger. "I mean, I know what I had seen and I had heard what you had said, but some part of me just refused to give up." He turned and looked at the Autobot leader at last, his eyes shining with tears. "After everything we'd all gone through, everything we'd faced…I just couldn't believe that you'd be go out so easily; with a whimper and not a bang."

Optimus blinked (or the Cybertronian equivalent of it) and tilted his head, listening as his closet human friend vented his stress.

"You…are my friends…." Sam said slowly, swallowing the lump in his throat, "…and when the thought crossed my mind that I'd never see you or Bee again…I just couldn't take it."

Optimus nodded, recalling how his super hearing and sight had seen Sam hanging on to the rail, crouched over as if in great pain as salty tears fell from his tightly closed eyes. He had wanted so bad to reassure the boy that they were not truly leaving, that they would never ever run away from a fight but of course with others listening in he couldn't risk it. He could only hope that the boy wouldn't lose faith in them, despite his words, and pray that he didn't do anything reckless. Of course, Sam being Sam, a human that thought more with his heart than his head, he'd gotten himself in some mess and Optimus could only thank the stars above that he had arrived in time to save him.

"…you said…that even if we lost faith in you guys that we shouldn't lose faith in ourselves," Sam said, voice thick with tears still, "…I lost faith in myself, I think, but I never lost faith in you, ever."

He'd doubted his role in the entire war since he had been called a "messenger." Maybe he really was just a boy that had had a "special car."

Optimus nodded. "No, you never did lose faith in us, but I think you are wrong in thinking that you lost faith in yourself…"

Sam blinked. "Huh?"

"You are stronger than you give yourself credit for," Optimus said, his metallic voice warm and full of pride, "Someone that did not have faith in themselves could not have accomplished as much as you have in your short life. Fate chose you and it chose you for a reason. Don't ever forget that."

Sam couldn't help the smile that spread over his face. His life had certainly gotten crazy ever since he'd "bought" Bumblebee six years ago but he realized that he wouldn't want to live any other way. Sure the world could end tomorrow or he could live forever, but he didn't care. All that mattered was that he was with the sentient life forms that he cared most about, human and machine. Faith in them and the human race was what had kept him going so far, and it was faith that was going to keep him going.

"Thanks Optimus," Sam said, still smiling, "for not losing faith in the human race…and me."

Optimus gazed at his human friend fondly. "And thank you for believing in us."

Just as before, silence reigned supreme for a little time. This time, however, it was Optimus that broke the silence.

"So…was I really human for a change?"

Sam couldn't help but laugh.

A/N: Saw TF 3 for the second time today! First time I went was the 9 pm showing on Tuesday and today I went to see it in IMAX at 11:45. I must say…IMAX rocked my socks off.