Where There's A Will, There's A Streak

MERRY CHRISTMAS! The site was down all day, but I had to deliver my present to ya'll. :D

THANK YOU to all who reviewed and sent their condolences. I hope and pray for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday. I will see you all in the new year!

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"Sideswipe, you have mail," Red Alert called over shipwide comm.. He had been unable to locate the sneaky Lamborghini and it was making him nervous. Ratchet gave him a patch to help, but he could feel his processor burning with paranoia.

It was several long minutes before Sideswipe answered, using the ships comms and not his personal freq. where he could be tracked. "From who?"

"Some sort of law office," Red Alert said, looking at the manilla envelope with the official looking court stamp on it.

"If that is another traffic ticket," Prowl threatened over the line.

"No, I've been behaving," Sideswipe called.

"That would be a first," Ratchet chided.

"Are we being sued?" Jazz asked, knowing Sideswipe had a tendency to destroy property. He had gotten a little crazy during the last Con skirmish and tried to shove a Volvo up Astrotrain's aft. Surely the owner was distressed over losing their vehicle and wanted compensation?

"I have not received any human inquires pertaining to damage,' Prowl said, wondering if there was something he missed.

"Hey, maybe its your paternity tests," Sunstreaker put in, earning a hearty round of snickers.

"I wouldn't claim him,' Ironhide snorted.

"Not that kind of test," Sunstreaker groaned, rolling his eyes though no one could see him as he was currently relaxing Sideswipe-free in his quarters.

"Primus, I didn't need that mental picture," Jazz moaned, facepalming

"Sideswipe, I suggest you find out what's going on so we may prepare accordingly,' Prowl state, heading toward Red Alert's security room to meet the red Lambo. If there was something amiss, Prowl could figure out a way around it. Or at least, keep the rest of the Autobots from suffering from something that Sideswipe did. He was notorious for getting everyone else in trouble along with himself. The fewer injuries the better.

A muffled boom was heard and much to Red Alert's surprise, one of his cameras didn't blank with static for a section while the system recalibrated from whatever Wheeljack blew up.

"Sorry guys," Wheeljack said. "It wasn't a big explosion. Just a car stereo."

"Oh man," Jazz and Blaster chimed in together. They could feel its passing in their subwoofers.

Sideswipe strolled out of a storage locker in the Theta hall. Red Alert narrowed his optics. He wondered why he couldn't detect the sneaky mech. Sideswipe had placed a blinder on the scanner to fake him out with an empty, ordinary looking hall. Wheeljack's accident with the stereo uncovered the subterfuge.

A few minutes later Sideswipe sauntered up to the security door, his brow quirking when he found Prowl waiting just outside the door.

"You being sent the principals office, too?" Sideswipe asked.

"I beg your pardon?" Prowl asked, looking confused.

"Never mind," Sideswipe sighed and knocked. A buzz sounded granting access. As soon as he was over the threshold he called, "Honey, I'm home!"

"The currier delivered this envelope this morning," Red Alert said, pretending to be wary of Sideswipe though he had already commed the video feed to Prowl who was going to deal with the matter later. "What were you up to?"

"Nothing, honey," Sideswipe said, accepting the envelope and finding it already torn open. "You read my mail?"

"Standard procedure," Red Alert said.

Sideswipe looked to Prowl. "It was a letter from a lawyer. What could have possibly meant Decepticon incursion from that?"

Prowl nodded in understanding. "Red Alert, please refrain from opening mail until granted permission by the recipient to whom it was intended."

"I had to make sure it wasn't tampered with," Red Alert sad defensively.

"It is from a human lawyer. What kind of threat could they pose?" Prowl asked.

Sideswipe extracted the thin sheet of paper and scanned the black and white surface. "It says here that I am required to attend a reading of a will." Sideswipe frowned, looking up to Prowl. "Will what?"

"I do believe it is a human custom," Prowl said, accepting the letter an scanning its content. Sure enough. Sideswipe was requested to attend the reading of a will. "When humans terminate, they bequeath items of sentimental or monetary value to friends or family. It says if time is amendable, please contact their office and confirm or reschedule."

Sideswipe looked blankly at the piece of paper. "Does this mean I'm in trouble?"

"No, it means that you have been bequeathed something from a human who has passed," Prowl said, noting the date and time was in three days at two in the afternoon. Which would mean that the human would have to come here and use the conference room. The main hub couldn't be used because too many of the bots used Tele-tran's feeds to watch their soaps. If Prowl stopped the broadcasts for something as simple as reading a piece of paper, then there could be a mutiny on the Ark.

"Thursday at two, the lawyer will be here," Prowl said, handing Sideswipe back the missive.

The red Lambo glance to the tiny white sheet again, feeling unease in his tank. When he looked back to Prowl, his optics were beseeching. "Will you stay with me while the lawyer is here?"

"If you so wish," Prowl nodded. He secretly enjoyed being legal minded. It had certainly come in handy with local law enforcement, especially concerning two guilty Lamborghinis.

"Thanks," Sideswipe said and he sounded genuinely relieved.. "I don't know what this will thing is, or why a lawyer has to be deliver something, but I don't want to be caught unaware."

"Insight." Prowl gave a single dip of his helm. He couldn't help but wonder what Sideswipe could have gotten into that would require someone bequeathing him something, officially leaving it to him in a will. Prowl had to really stamp on his curiosity, lest it get the better of him.

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Three days later a top of the line Mercedes rolled up to the entrance to the Ark. Red Alert gently alerted the base.

"There's a human at our doorstep driving a Mercedes," Red Alert barked over ships and personal comms frequs. "He may be in league with the Decepticons!"

"It's the lawyer you spazz,' Sideswipe said, abandoning the firing range where he had been practicing his targeting skills against Ironhide. Hoping to scare a human, Ironhide tagged along, a giant cannon cradled in his arms and a deeply etched, serious expression on his face. Which meant he was tickled like a child during the holidays.

As promised, Prowl exited the Ark just as Sideswipe and Ironhide came around the mountain from the firing range. The lawyer was an older gentleman, obviously intimidated by the sheer size of the giant alien robots who walked toward him and shook the ground with their steps.

"Wh.. which one of you is Mr. Sideswipe" The man asked, his voice quavering a little as he looked between the three titans.

'That would be me," Sideswipe said, rocking to one hip and giving his most alluring smile.

Sunstreaker chose that moment to make his entrance. He glided up beside of Sideswipe, looking down his olfactory cense to the human. "Are you the lawyer?"

"Yes,' the man said, trying and failing to regain his stoicism. "Mr. Zibold."

"Please explain to me how my brother was able to get mentioned in a human's will," Sunstreaker said, glaring at Sideswipe who maintained a cheeky pose. Sunstreaker wouldn't doubt his twin had pimped himself out. Sideswipe was cheap that way.

'Brother?" Mr. Zibold gasped, looking between the two. He noticed both had similar builds and their body language was indicative of siblings.

"Twins actually," Sideswipe said, nodding toward Sunstreaker.

"Twins?" The lawyer repeated faintly. His brow knitted together as he thought about the familiar roles. These metal giants may be from another planet, but they have family structures. Maybe they weren't so different after all?

Sideswipe smirked, sending a tickle of amusement over the bond he shared with his brother. Sunstreaker smirked, knowing the line of thought Sideswipe was entertaining.

Humans were such funny creatures. They were intimated by the Cybertronians, and rightfully so, giving their size different and the squishability of the human body. But once people realized there were families, brothers, twins, however rare in Cybertronian history, they relaxed around the alien beings. Both twins thought it hilarious that humans could easily wrap their minds around the concept of families and brotherhoods, but to contemplate the actual act that created those family units? Unthinkable! Family was an easy concept. Possible avenues of conception? Not so much.

"This is pertaining to the estate of Mr. Peterson." Zibold said, lifting his briefcase to indicate the documents.

"Would you like to find a more comfortable place to read the will?" Prowl asked, gesturing inside the Ark.

"You mean, I'm allowed to go in?" Zibold asked, staring wide eyed a the gaping yaw that was the entrained to the crashed spaceship.

"It has already been cleared by Optimus Prime and our security chief," Prowl said, kindly, noting the human's heart rate had skyrocketed. "Please, we have a conference room that may accommodate both our frames."

The man nodded and followed Prowl into the opening that lead into their base. The first thing the lawyer noticed was the hideous shade of burnt pumpkin that adorned the walls. Surely an alien race had better color schemes? Was their ship decorator color blind?

"Me, Slag, going to get you, Sludge," came the shouting over the heavy footfalls of Dinobot feet. Sludge came barreling around the corner, his running steps sounding like a concentrated earthquake.

"No," Sludge called over his long back just as the triceratops appeared from the hall.

The lawyer watched in wide eyed fascination as the triceratops chased after the brontosaurus. It wasn't every day one witnessed metal fossils running down the hall.

"Slag, Sludge, what did I say about playing indoors?" Prowl barked, making both Dinobots skid to a halt. Sludge lowered his long neck, properly chastised.

"No running in the house," Sludge repeated.

"Yes, that is correct. Now, kindly take your game outside and try not to set the surrounding woodlands on fire."

Sludge dipped his head and meekly walked down the hall and out of the Ark, where he took off for the trees, Slag hot on his tail.

"Please excuse the Dinobots," Prowl said kindly. "They forget their size and strength."

The lawyer offered a silent nod and continued to follow the black and white Autobot toward a door that was so big, two semis could have parked lengthwise in its breadth. Much to his surprise, the conference room was quite spacious, but dividers had been put in place, making the room look smaller, less intimidating. One top of the conference table was a dais that allowed human counterparts to ascend stairs and be at a better level to converse with the Cybertronians. Mr. Zibold climbed the many stairs, huffing and puffing by the time he reached his seat. He sat down with strained noise and placed his briefcase on the table. Sideswipe was directed to sit in front of him, Prowl on his right, Sunstreaker his left. The lawyer took several times to regain his breath, which he covered up by searching through the many documents in the leather case. When he was ready, he looked up to the expectant Lamborghini and started.

"Mr. Peterson was a very wealthy man who made sure his friends and family would be well taken care of," Zibold stated.

"What am I being charged with?" Sideswipe immediately asked. Apparently he wasn't familiar with the human custom. Prowl should have known the Lamborghini wouldn't read the datapacket he compiled.

"Charged?" Zibold asked, confused. "You aren't being charged with anything. You are receiving a piece of Mr. Peterson's estate."

"I get a state?" Sideswipe asked already knowing the first thing he was going to do as owner of a state was lift speed limits and install race tracks and gas stations at every block.

"Estate," the lawyer corrected. He noted the golden twin was looking skyward in exasperation and the black and white officer had a blank look like he had fallen asleep. He was vaguely curious if the alien beings suffered from narcolepsy.

"Mr. Peterson had a vast wealth and he made certain bequeaths, and you were listed as a beneficiary."

Sideswipe leaned over to where Prowl sat, impassive as ever. "Beneficiary?"

Prowl gave a barely perceivable nod toward the lawyer, redirecting Sideswipe's attention as Zibold began to read from the huge sheaf of papers.

"The part of the first part, hereby known as the bequeathed, as related to the party in the second part," the lawyer droned on.

"What's he saying?" Sunstreaker whispered.

"I don't know,' Sideswipe said, gracing his twin with a devilish smirk. "I'm already planning the party!"

Prowl kicked Sideswipe under the table. There was a loud grinding crash as their metal legs collided but it had the desired effect. Sideswipe focused.

"Perhaps if you merely cut to the chase?" Prowl suggested, remembering Sideswipe's short attention span. Honestly, the mech was worst then the Dinobots at times. At least they had the excuse of youth on their sides.

"Certainly,' Zibold said. The other beneficiaries had already collected. Sideswipe was the last one and he had purposefully kept him last so he could have the opportunity to witness the aliens up close. On tv they looked smaller and less intimidating. His opinion changed when he was face to face with them. Well, face to ankle, when they were standing.

"Due to your selfless work at the children's hospital, Mr. Peterson leaves you one million dollars.'

"What?" Prowl asked, looking shocked. It wasn't natural to see the Praxian with his mouth hanging open.

"Say again?" Sunstreaker said, staring at the tiny human.

"One million dollars,' the lawyer repeated.

"No, not that,' Sunstreaker said. The money was meaningless to him. Both had substantial human credits thanks to Sunstreaker's art and Sideswipe's wise investments. "The part about my brother at a children's hospital."

"As I understand it, Mr. Sideswipe volunteers at a children's hospital every week."

Sunstreaker turned in slow motion, looking at his brother with something akin to disbelief. Sideswipe's embarrassment was answer enough.

"Since when?" Sunstreaker asked.

"Just over a year," Sideswipe answered.

"Is that why you ask for Mondays off?" Prowl asked looking at the Lambo with in a new light.

"Yeah, gives Sunny times to enjoy an extended weekend and have some peace and quiet," Sideswipe gave a half shrug. "And it's a lot of fun hanging out with those mini humans."

"Apparently your visits had quite the impact on Mr. Peterson as well," the lawyer stated. "There has been an account set up in your name and you may do what you like with the funds."

"Don't need it," Sideswipe said wit a wave of his hand. "Give it to the hospital."

"Beg your pardon?" the lawyer asked. He had yet to meet someone who would turn down a million dollars.

"I have plenty of human money," Sideswipe said explained. "Give my part of the state to the kids. I'm sure they could use it. I believe several of them were struggling to pay for their medical services. The money can go to help the families pay for diagnostics and realignments."

Zibold blinked, trying to comprehend what the metal giant was trying to say.

"Charitable donation," Prowl said with a shake of his helm. "I never believed this act of kindness would be from you."

"I'm a really loveable bot," Sideswipe said, batting his optics at Prowl. He waggled his brow and added, "If you ever want to find out how loveable, I'm sure we could come to an arrangement."

As Sideswipe hoped, the lawyer sputtered, staring wide eyed and slack jawed at the metal beings. Apparently his organic mind was able to piece two and two together and create a form of physical intercourse. Sideswipe captured the look and archived it. He loved humans and their expressions.

"Please excuse, Sideswipe," Prowl said courteously to the lawyer.

"You heard my squeak?" Sideswipe asked, shifting forward and glancing over his shoulder. "Sorry about that. Thought my parts were well oiled."

"Primus, why me?" Sunstreaker grumbled, looking skyward in exasperation.

"Sideswipe believes he is funny and enjoys employing practical jokes,' Prowl said as if never interrupted. "He doesn't seem to realize his humor is lacking."

"Nothing lacks with me," Sideswipe said, then frowned, trying to decipher what he just said. Sometimes his mouth operated faster than his processor.

The human shook his head. "If you wish to donate the money I can have the proper paper work filed by Monday."

"Sure," Sideswipe shrugged. "Put everything Mr. Peterson gave me in the hospital account. Help the bitlets and their families."

The lawyer nodded faintly. He could feel a headache coming on. One that was usually associated with his exasperating brothers who tried his patience and tested his resolve.

"I will have the paperwork ready by Monday that way you may also write off the donation on your tax return," he said, then paused, looking to the metal beings. It just occurred to him that they may not pay taxes.

"I'll need all the forms,' Sunstreaker said, gaining the human's attention. "I do our taxes and oversee the accounts."

The lawyer gave a nod of understanding, feeling a dull pounding behind his eyes. Oh yeah, definitely a family kind of migraine forming.

"Very well," he said, placing the will back into his briefcase. He glanced over to the stairs and felt his heart sink with the prospect of traipsing down the endless flight.

"Would you care for some assistance?" Prowl asked, rising from his seat and offering his hand.

The lawyer eyed the offered hand hesitantly then nodded. Prowl picked him up and set him on the floor. The lawyer held his breath the entire time he as in Prowl's grip, fearing he would be crushed. Much to his surprise, the metal digits were supportive but not restricting.

"Would you like a tour of the base?" Prowl offered, knowing the humans tended to request such a thing whenever they visited.

Just as predicted, the lawyer nodded, elated to see more of the giant aliens. Prowl motioned for the man to follow him and together they exited the conference room, leaving the twins alone in silence.

Sunstreaker eyed his twin, feeling that flipping giddiness that always pervaded when Sideswipe was pleased.

"What do you really do on Mondays?" he asked.

Sideswipe gave a partial shrug. "I go to the children's hospital and play with them."

"Play?" Sunstreaker asked skeptically.

"The ones who are able, can be picked up and carried around, but some of them are placed inside and I drive around the grounds with them pretending to drive."

"Why?" Sunstreaker couldn't fathom amore horrible situation. The fingerprints alone would be astronomical! And if some were hooked to fluids, well, accidents were not in Sunstreaker's agenda.

"Some of them are really sick, Sunny," Sideswipe said, ignoring the dark thrum of anger from the use of the dreaded nickname. "Some of them won't live long enough to see their final upgrades. Last year, a little boy had a wish that he would meet an Autobot and since Prowl was in a foul mood, I volunteered before he could punish me." Sideswipe shrugged. "It was great. The little boy got to ride in a fast, expensive, beautiful car. He got to 'drive'…. I took him on a quick flight around the grounds and his parental units nearly blew their gaskets. Apparently young humans who are sick shouldn't be off the ground. I don't know why they were so upset. I was very careful with him. And he loved it. He kept telling me to go higher and faster." Sideswipe sighed at the memory. "Human after my own spark."

"Do you still see him?" Sunstreaker asked.

Sideswipe shook his head, looking away from his brother. The pain coming over their link made Sunstreaker draw up in concern.

"He terminated eight months later," Sideswipe said. "That was the day I asked you to cover for me on patrol. I wasn't pulling a prank. I was attending his burial services."

"Why didn't you say anything?" Sunstreaker asked. He could feel the hurt coming from his twin and it bothered him that his brother was aching on such a personal level. Especially over something that had been unknown.

"You don't like the humans very well," Sideswipe shrugged. "And I figured you would refuse to go."

"You're right, I don't want to," Sunstreaker said. The idea of sickness in his interior was making his own tanks churn.

"It's fine. You don't have to," Sideswipe said, getting up from the table to take his leave. "It's become something special between me and the little bitlets anyway."

"What do you get out of it?" Sunstreaker asked, rising to follow his twin.

Sideswipe shook his head in submission. "It eases my spark. When I play with the human bitlets, the war and loss that we have suffered, doesn't seem so heavy."

"Hope," Sunstreaker muttered, having found a name for the sensation that filtered over the link.

"And joy,' Sideswipe amended. "And I think that's something we all need, to some degree or another."

Sunstreaker nodded mutely.

"Now, let's go remove our plating and go run around in our protoforms and scare the slag out of that lawyer!" Sideswipe crowed, leading his twin out the door and to their quarters, where they could strip and terrorize the unsuspecting man.

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A nekid Lambo for Christmas... what could be better to end a year?

Peace and joy to each of you in the coming year.

PJ