Disclaimer: Sorry, I don't own Hasbro or Tonka, but the plot line and a few others are mine.
Summary: The Autobots desperately need a vacation
::Talk:: = processor warnings, in single autobots head
::talk:: = inner comm link
Rock, Paper, Scissors
xxx Rock: Solid, inorganic substance on earth, represents hardiness, survivability, hard situations, and...
By the late evening of "D-day", after the battle had ended and the adrenaline had died, Will Lennox was pretty sure no one was without some form of ache.
To get everyone to NEST headquarters to recover for at least one night , three black government suburbans were enlisted to get everyone out, two of them with vehicle racks to get the triple flat tired Dino out and the half collapsed Leadfoot. And Simmons had the right idea to get a somewhat reluctant driver to let the government borrow his semi and flat bed for transporting.
Once he, Ratchet, and the remaining two of the Wreckers had gotten the battle command deck trailer out from under Shockwave's destruction, Prime had been barely able to remain standing, the green and white CMO supporting the ragged Autobot Leader with Optimus' still attached arm over his own faintly dented shoulders.
Will was among the few more able bodied men with enough strength to handle the chains brought in with the flatbed to strap Prime down for the ride, the mech barely moving unless asked, and even then it took a couple shouts from a voice more familiar to draw his attention.
The only usable road out of the city that could handle the loaded semis, they had to call in a second one to pull the battle command trailer, was a small two lane highway, a shock for the formerly bustling Windy City.
One line was led by government sedan, the only one without a trailer, then Sideswipe, Will and a few other soldiers in Topspin, then Roadbuster, the semi pulling the command deck and finally Ratchet who sifted between the two lines to keep an eye on everyone, just as worn out but not settling in for the drive to a suitable warehouse for the fast approaching night. In the other lane was the first sedan with the trailer hauling Dino, then Sam and Carly in Bumblebee, then the other sedan and trailer with Leadfoot, followed by the flatbed hauling semi with the strapped on Prime taking the last of the line.
After a bit of shifting, Will's ride ended up next to Prime, and the mech was either sound asleep which the colonel really hoped that was the case, or distracted by talking to Ratchet who was nearly with his front bumper under the rear of the flatbed.
Will wanted to shove Ratchet off the road, with all but one of Topspin's windows blown out besides the windshield, Will could hear and feel Prime's cooling systems shunting out hot air through messed up vents powered by overworked fans.
Prime really needed to cool down and get some rest before Ratchet even started to try to reattach his arm.
Epps beeped him over the radio, riding in Sideswipe with Hardcore Eddie and Wheelie, the little "Tonka" truck and Brains having reappeared tired and a bit "shocked" just as they were loading up to leave.
"...Will, pick up your cell and call me, can't get any damn decent radio in this mess..."
"I hear ya, over'n'out."
Will wasn't surprised that Epps had an unique idea that required a bit of team effort, and the fact that Topspin was open to everything competitive and Sideswipe had taken a liking to Epps.
All it needed was for Sideswipe to wait for the two lane to expand to three lane for he and Topspin to get out in front of everyone and get far enough ahead before swerving and slamming on the brakes, effectively blocking the road with enough room to let everyone slow down.
Director Mearing was fuming as Epps tore pieces of paper up to drop in Eddie's hat after Will dropped names into them, nine in total.
"What is the meaning of this! Get those two Autobots back in line!"
To answer her, the two blockade cars let everyone else out and stood up, joints creaking and shoulders rolling as a total of thirty minutes on the road had already caused problems.
Will looked around as pretty much every other Autobot minus Optimus and Ratchet stood to watch the soldier hold the hat to Epps, Eddie, Sam, Carly, Simmons through the sedan window, three other NEST men and himself before finally explaining what was going on.
"There's not going to be any fighting when we get to HQ on who Ratchet or whoever is treating first, those of you who have a slip of paper, it has the name of one of the 'Bots, don't need to say who, doesn't matter, whoever is left at the end of...uh Epps?"
"Rock, Paper, Scissors."
Will turned with everyone one else to the man, Epps shrugged, noncommitall, "What he said," Will continued, "Gets first treatment, and if it's Ratchet the Wreckers do the job on him and so on, and Ratchet don't you argue with me 'cause Epps and I will shoot you!"
The hummer growled deep in its engine, but bit it off with a wheezing choke.
Epps smirked, "And for tonight, only life threatening and any injuries that keep the 'Bot from sleeping, I'm not listening to all the work the whole night."
Sam had to smile, he had Ratchet on his slip, Carly had Bee, and he was pretty sure Will or Epps had Optimus. "I'm in."
Ten minutes later it was somehow down to Sam and Will, Sam didn't have a clue why, he sucked at Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Will smirked, already guessing who Sam had drawn, and was pretty sure the kid knew his too.
"Can I just forfeit?"
A growl came from a few other people, Epps shaking his head and lightly whacking Will upside his when the man started to nod.
Sam sighed, but held his fist and palm out.
Sam: Paper. Will: Scissors.
Sam: Rock. Will: Scissors.
Sam: Scissors. Will: Rock.
The soldier smiled showing Sam his slip of paper.
Sam laughed, "Damn, I should've won, just to make Ratchet mad."
xxx Scissors: Metal and plastic device used to cut a variety of earth objects, can loosely mean to divide, cut loses, and can inflict mild to severe...
Director Mearing was not in the finest mood, mainly because she was exhausted, not because she was irritated at the Autobots, which was usually the case in her moods. She would though be getting irritated very quickly if it weren't for the fact that she was on of the last to get out of the vehicles when they finally reached NEST operations, soldiers already done removing the restraining straps to allow Prime to sit up.
The Witwicky boy had said that the Autbots could be compared to humans, and she had ignored it, replying automatically that they were machines.
But then she watched the leader of the Autobots stiffly sit up, parts creaking and groaning like a wrecked car being towed out of a ditch, his remaining arm doing much of the work as he swung his legs over the edge to sit easier. Leaning forward until his nearly mangled elbow was resting on an equally damaged knee, Optimus rested his helm in the palm of his hand, not caring if he was not the dignified Autobot leader who was invincible at the moment, for now left alone in his own thoughts.
Charlotte knew that stance, having watched her military raised family include several members that had assumed that position when they came home injured and alive when their close comrades were dead. The massive Autobot was probably as badly damaged as he'd ever been, and his entire right side was being steadily coated in slowly oozing blue fluid now that he'd changed position.
The mech took a moment to raise his head, several parts seizing up with loud clanking before he was able to straighten. "Yes Director Mearing?"
She paused, not sure why she had called for his attention, despite being in a warehouse full of soldiers and Autobots, they two were relatively alone.
"I was wrong about you and your people, and extend my apologies."
"There is no need, you were looking out for your race's and your nation's safety, I doubt any of my people would have done differently in your place."
"Would you have done the same?"
That made the mech falter, he visibly sagged a bit more, joints protesting and fans kicking up a notch until the banged up head rested back in the scraped palm to relieve some of the pain.
"I would not know unless I come to be faced with such a situation, but I believe I might have considering where you were coming from in relation to NEST operations."
Charlotte took a step back, not from the heat of the rushing air pouring from a gash in the armor that should have been indestructible, but the heat of the words.
"And what does that mean?"
Optimus answered immediately, sitting up straight even though with her fractional experience of cybertronians she could see it was an agonizing strain as he braced his arm on the flatbed, "The soldiers and staff of NEST operations are enlisted through complicated and extensive training and debriefing before told of our existence, if they meet strict specifications, they are enrolled in heavier training still for up to eighteen Earth months before being assigned to the NEST team if lucky.
"Few government officials are assigned here so quickly without need for extreme measures, though in your situation it was, they are at least given a day to understand the flow of NEST before inserting their changes and presence, though I was occupied and would have preferred to refrain from speaking with you or with members of my own team, you deliberately demanded attention, throwing away respect with full disregard for privacy and personal space. Let alone your insistent need for protocols which you so rudely and off handedly disregarded."
Mearing was silent as Optimus stood stiffly, making several humans and 'Bots alike turn as his damaged form groaned and creaked dangerously.
"In return for tolerance of your actions, I'm expected to accept the fact that your government had no knowledge of the Ark and it's cargo and involvement with the Decepticons, less than two days later I'm expected to stand and watch my close comrades, that I have fought beside for our very lives let alone our faction's goals, die at the hands of the Autobot who taught me and made me into the one I am today as he joined with my hated enemy who was once my brother."
Charlotte stood shocked, if she hadn't been, she would have noticed that the entire warehouse was silent.
"You ask me if I would have done the same, send my race's comrades in arms off planet to meet the demands of the enemy to avoid conflict and risk the freedom your country stands for."
Optimus paused, shifting on his feet.
"Coming from your stand point, completely oblivious to the operating of NEST, the inner running that is not written in reports because the files are on a 'Need to Know' basis is completely ignored and never questioned when a newcomer is introduced, along with your disregard to not only our sentience, but also our relations to this world's inhabitants, then yes Director Mearing, I would have sent the comrades in arms off planet because they were not my species."
The Autobot let his words settle for a moment, "But I am not in your position, I watched my soldiers sacrifice themselves for your world, that has become our home as well, I grieve for the loss of my comrades, Autobot and human alike. You ask what would be my decision in such a situation, and I would have not done such a thing. Yes, you were severely outnumbered and our odds of winning were worse than nothing, pure luck and ingenuity allowed us to win today, but we at least gave them a fight. Not just for freedom, but the aid of our friends."
The rumors Director Mearing had been told of the Autobot Leader's impressive speaking skills hadn't done nearly the amount of justice it truly deserved. Optimus had a fantastic talent of giving eloquent speeches when asked, but only delivered well-deserved lectures when provoked. His words weighed heavily on anyone who had listened, as close to expressing aggressive emotions as he could without yelling or starting up exhausted engines that didn't need anymore stress. And any soldier who had been even remotely near the Autobot knew when Optimus growled, you didn't miss it.
Mearing merely nodded, looking away and backing up a step, silently signaling she understood and was breaking up the conversation.
Luckily, the conversation ended when it did, a sharp groaning crack splitting something in one of Optimus' legs, sending the Autobot to sitting on the flatbed trailer with an unsteady jerk, actually emitting soft hisses of pain, the stoic mask vanishing as the damage became too much and the Autobot had to draw in huge gusts of air through damaged intakes with heavy shuddering to avoid cracking in front of his remaining troops and comrades.
Mearing had moved over to one of the soldiers rebooting a computer to start initiating the security protocols as the Autobot CMO had left his corner of the main room of NEST to check on his leader, the green and white paint dull in the half light of the room and from the grime covering the medic.
It was going to be a long night.
The main room of NEST was trashed, the more mobile Autobots only clearing out the large hunks of debris from Ratchet's temporary med bay that they had revived Sentinel Prime in, the original torn apart and too dangerous for humans to go in the only accessible door to give Ratchet an assessment. Enough space was cleared for the flat bed to move to be parked against a solid wall, giving Prime a better spot to sit while Ratchet worked on patching his ripped open arm socket for the night, the wounded mech leaning heavily against the wall.
The room was relatively calm, the humans moving equipment to allow Autobots nearly full run of the room, the mechs aiding in moving things to allow the humans to setup cots and sleeping bags. No one seemed to want to talk much, intent on getting much needed sleep.
Sam closed his eyes, trying not to growl as he faced Sideswipe without really looking. "Sides! Can we please stop the cussing for one night, huh?"
"Cool it squishy! It wasn't me."
In fact when Sam turned, none of the other Autobots who would normally swear wore anything but the look of shock, Bee even looked concerned as he turned to Ratchet and-
A low growl that vibrated the floor started coming from Prime's massive engines, the deep rumbling not sounding at all anywhere near happy. A loud groan slid from Prime as he leaned forward, still attached arm bracing him up and hand gripping the trailer tight.
The medic wasn't phased, only reacting by jerking Optimus' shoulder back up enough to continue working, ignoring the deep complaints from the Autobot.
A loud hiss and the starting of fans preceded a sharp snap from Ratchet in cybertronian, making Optimus sit up a fraction more.
"...son of a glitch...fraggin'...scrap...headed...drone..."
Sam could only gape with the rest of the humans and Bumblebee, Prime never swore.
"Aye, Ratchet? How bad is it?" Roadbuster called out, not all phased at his usually collected leader swearing nearly as bad as the Wreckers did.
"Enough Prime! You've got enough shrapnel stuck in your energon lines that I'm surprised your filters haven't jammed and thrown your aft into stasis." The medic snapped, removing a hand to cuff Prime's scratched and dented helm lightly before returning to cleaning out the shredded lines to seal them.
Ratchet sighed, moving one hand to let it transform into a soldering iron while the other removed irreparable pieces of energon lines to get to clean, not torn sections to pinch off and seal shut properly.
"Sideswipe, get over here, brace Prime's other side, need to get him on his feet to check the other energon leak."
The melee warrior smirked, skating over slowly, giving the still swearing Prime a wide berth before easing up to his side, hand resting on the mech's shoulder in support as Optimus tensed, frame groaning from strain and overheating as Ratchet and Sideswipe practically forced Prime to his feet.
Prime wasn't able to fully bite back a half-roar as he ended up nearly completely being supported by Ratchet and Sideswipe, the leak from his left hip joint and making his leg give out fully with a shuddering groan.
Ratchet rolled his optics, nodding to Leadfoot as the mechanic deftly grabbed the split line, taking the two ends and shoving one into the other, wrapping in sealant and duck tape, wholly temporary but enough to last the night and allow Prime's leg to unstiffen.
A soft growl slid from Prime as Ratchet eased him onto the trailer, the medics sensors taking constant notes as Optimus swung his legs back up, letting one knee remain bent as he laid back.
"Mhm, get some rest Prime, I'm no where near through with you, come tomorrow morning you're getting on that examination chair if I have to lock you in stasis for a month. No ifs, ands, or buts, you're going first."
Prime nodded, optics already dimming and systems settling down, cuing Sideswipe to leave as Prime's optic shutters began to fall into place, Ratchet sighed as he sat next to the slowly shutting down Optimus, a cable hooked between the medic's fore arm and Optimus' helm, transferring read outs of errors and warnings that plagued Optimus past the point of sleep.
Everyone turned as Topspin finally spoke after being on Earth for close to two years and not once had a human heard his voice, "What? Just 'cause a 'bot can speak, doesn't mean he has ta!"
Ratchet glared, chucking an available wrench at the nearly chattering demo car.
"Will you can it? One of you glitches change out Mirage's front wheels, he can't transform with them shredded like that. Then you lot have exactly seven point eight-five minutes to get your afts into recharge or else I'll knock your helms in!"
xxx Paper: made from trees, used for variety of tasks, easily folded, cut, used, manipulated, shredded, torn, crumpled, and..
The main room of nest was dark, faintly lit by emergency lights, not a single being was awake.
Optimus was out cold on the trailer, vents finally flowing cool, relaxed air through his systems. Sam slept on a cot against the nose of the black Volvo semi, vouching to keep near the last Prime in case there were problems in the night. An order from Optimus for even the paranoid Ratchet to get some sleep.
Will Lennox was the only other human in the room, directly across from Optimus with Sideswipe sitting against the wall nearby, deep in recharge that mirrored everyone else.
Well, everyone was asleep until a warning pinged Ratchet awake, disturbing him enough to get up stiffly from his parked hummer form near Sam and move to sit on the edge of Optimus' trailer, hand resting on the mech's faintly vibrating chest plates as Prime dreamed.
Warning: non-programmed command initiated :: Error: system infliction :: Warning: recharge protocols disabled :: System Start-up Initiated :: Online status in..three...two...
Ratchet sighed softly as Prime woke up, chest expanding as he forced more air into his vents, shifting a little as optics came online, looking around.
Sam was right, they were picking up human habits.
::Easy Prime, it's alright.::
::You were in flux, system warning woke me and then woke you after a few seconds, anything wrong?::
::The flux or my systems?::
Ratchet watched Optimus for a moment, ignoring the soft sound of a door opening and closing further down in the huge room, a sensor locking on the human walking towards them bare foot and trying to move quietly.
::Let's start with the flux.::
Prime looked away, then softly admitted a few details, enough to get Ratchet to leave him alone, basically his memory core replying fragments of memories from Cybertron and the recent battle, jumbling them to become unrecognizable.
::And your systems?::
Optimus winced, shifting a bit as Ratchet moved his hand lower on his chest, ::The Matrix...it's...been moved...in the wrong...place...hurts...::
Ratchet rested his hand back on the dented chest plates, emitting soft heat waves to soothe the aches enough to get Optimus to relax.
The medic turned when the bare foot human was closer, spotting the shorts and tank top clad Carly as she hugged a too big button up shirt around her shoulders, making her way to Sam.
Ratchet had to chuckle as Sam woke with a snort, twisting around a little disoriented before seeing the young woman and moving over, the human femme tucking neatly against his side. The CMO was pretty sure the two would have gone back to sleep within in moments if not for a different door slamming shut after emitting Epps, waking Bumblebee and Will in the process, the other Autobots barely stirring after a quick reassurance comm from Ratchet.
Ratchet turned on dimmed headlights, giving the humans enough light to avoid walking into anything, Will squinted up from where he'd had his head buried in a warm sleeping bag, "Epps, what the fuck are you doing? It's what...aw shit, 4:34 in the morning."
"Yeah I know."
"Then go away."
"Not gonna happen."
Will rubbed an eye before seeing the sleeping bag and pillow in his comrades arms set up his sleeping materiels on the floor near him.
"What are you doing?"
"Did you know I spent the last two years at a NASA base with thin enough walls that I could listen to the three Wreckers over there snore every night?"
"What does that have to do with you being here now?"
Epps paused, glancing to Will, the man noting the look of a battle scarred soldier.
"Once you've been around these guys for so long, you can't sleep without some kinda noise."
Within minutes of Ratchet dimming his lights again, the humans were back to sleeping, the medic noting the previously slightly high stress levels in Epps vanishing after a few moments.
The Wreckers didn't snore, but while in recharge vents were constantly going to regulate temperature and some parts hissed and whined as they cooled and settled, not loud at all but noticeable.
Down right amazing how the two races were so similar.
Turning back to Optimus, the mech winced again, his remaining hand pressing his lower chassis then moving when Ratchet's took its place, sensors not needed when the pure energized thrum met the mech's fingers.
::It's moved quite a bit.::
Optimus nodded, ::Too much, right against my...alternator...shocking the system...::
Ratchet nodded then lightly tapped Optimus' chest plates, signaling the mech to open them.
The medic hadn't expected him to willingly do so, even Prime had his limits when it came to Ratchet's examination, chest opening as a last resort when absolutely neccessary.
Sadly, since coming to Earth, Prime's record had been screwed up royally.
Adjusting his optic level, Ratchet shifted to look for the faint glowing blue Matrix of Leadership, and found nothing. The battle had knocked it from where it somehow stuck right under Prime's spark to lower down and off to the left, meaning unless it came right to the other cybertronian, the matrix was out of easy reach.
Optimus had managed to stifle several groans as Ratchet tried to reach the matrix silently, only managing to bang his knuckles on Optimus' main tanks, earning a rather deep groan, under the armor the autobots could be relatively sensitive.
Another hand rested on Optimus' shoulder when Ratchet leaned back, biting back his frustration to not wake anyone.
Prime looked up awkwardly to see Bumblebee, the bright yellow dull in the dim light and from the sheer exhaustion pouring off the usually perky scout.
"What is it Bumblebee?"
"If you've got a problem, I don't care what it is
If you need a hand, I can assure you this
I can help, I've got two strong arms, I can help
It would sure do me good to do you good,
Let me help"
Optimus had to give the scout a grin, nodding as he motioned for Ratchet to move back a bit.
The medic didn't argue, not sure how to really help Prime without moving parts by force and causing undo pain and noise.
Bumblebee stared for a few seconds, half distracted by Prime's warm, glowing spark before focusing once more, one hand braced on the black semi while the other hovered over the lower half of Optimus' chest.
Prime grunted loudly as something scraped against a few parts, jarring his sore tanks before it vanished, replaced with the feeling as though something was missing from his body but not lost...
And the glowing matrix resting calmly in Bumblebee's hand before Ratchet snatched it back, making both mechs grimace like they'd been punched in the chest.
"Ratchet, careful." Prime groaned out.
Bee could only hiss.
"Take it easy Prime, when you died before Egypt your matrix refused to go to Hide like everyone had planned, it almost ended up with Bee when he refused it to protect Sam. It's naturally drawn to him and you almost just unknowingly handed it over to him. Almost losing your title as 'Prime', Bee has to be careful if in such a situation where he comes in contact with the matrix, I don't know if I could reverse him absorbing it when you're still functioning Optimus."
The leader nodded, hand pressing over his spark before he held a hand out for the matrix, Ratchet handing it over willingly, not enjoying the constant buzzing that rattled his processor.
Optimus slipped it back under his spark, the familiar hum integrating into his worn systems with ease and welcomed warmth.
"Optimus how do you tolerate that buzzing?"
The leader looked to see Ratchet rubbing his helm, the building processor-ache already hurting badly.
Ratchet glanced to Bumblebee, the scout just as oblivious as Prime.
Prime snorted softly, closing his chest plates with a gentle smile, "The matrix doesn't fully enjoy being in the hands of someone not willing to be a Prime Ratchet, I have never felt it buzzing."
"...Me neither..." Came Bumblebee's quote, shifting on sore legs as Prime settled back into a comfortable position.
"Suit yourself Prime, I'm going back into recharge, and you had better to Bumblebee."
The medic moved quickly, even if he was tired, this time settling for merely resting on the concrete floor instead of folding back into being a hummer.
Prime looked to see his youngest team member shifting nervously, fans on to cool his exhausted frame.
"Bumblebee? What is it?"
The scout's radio stuttered, then Bumblebee seemed to try to collect himself before soft lyrics made it to Optimus Prime's audio receptors, sounding very out of place on the confident scout if Optimus hadn't helped raise the young autobot.
"I don't wanna fall asleep
Cause I don't know if I'll get up
And I don't wanna cause a scene
But I'm dyin' without your love
I'm beggin' to hear your voice
Tell me you love me too
Cause I'd rather just be alone
If I know that I can't have you..."
The radio faded off with a bit of strain, Bee too tired to do much else.
And Optimus had to forcefully restrain himself from lunging to his feet, his spark reaching for the scout with the warmth Bee craved.
"Come here Bumblebee."
The scout did so eagerly, lying down and curling against Optimus, vents shutting down as the mech calmed quickly, one arm as far around Optimus' waist as it could go, his head over the leader's sometimes too big spark.
Optimus let out a warm hum, fingers idly running down the steadily relaxing door wings, easing them down to lie comfortably against Bee's back. The scout let out an exhausted chirp, accidentally reverting back to signals he'd used as a sparkling to say he was content.
Bee as nearly asleep, but the much older spark so close to his could still feel something was holding him from needed recharge as Optimus lightly stroked his back.
"Sleep well youngling."
The endearment did the trick and withing seconds Bumblebee was down for the count, Optimus following soon after.
Okay...first transformers fic, my other readers on my other stories are going to kill me but I had to write this in hope of a Transformers 4...and because of the death of my favorite character.
I hope others enjoy this!