'When I die and go somewhere far, I'll write your name on every star... That way when you look up you'll see, that you meant the world to me.'
Sam had never thought much about his death. Naturally, it occurred to him that it would be when he was old and wrinkly, lying in a hospital bed surrounded by his family. Maybe a recurring heart problem would finish him off, or perhaps something that usually killed off old people... like age. Either way, it would be when his life was complete and well lived and he had nothing more he wanted to do.
That was, if he ever thought about it at all. Death was one of those things that seemed far to grown up. Seventeen was too young. His life had barely begun... he still had years left of damn school! Well, college at least. Death was one of those tragic things that you watched on the television, you read about in the newspaper or listened to on the radio. The only person Sam had known who had died was his Grandma and she had been ninety-odd. That and the fact he had been little when she passed away made the absence of her easier to bear.
But then he never in a million years would have even considered the possibility of his life ending by a giant malevolent alien.
Aliens! Here... on Earth! Despite the numerous conspiracy theories, the Autobots – and by definition the Decepticons - had been the first extra-terrestrial life to ever come to Earth. Sure Sector Seven had been keeping Megatron frozen like a Popsicle in a basement for years but still.
And out of the seven billion people to be thrust into the middle of it? Samuel Witwicky.
As he looked around him, Sam couldn't help the frown of sadness etch onto his features. A seemingly countless shops had been destroyed or crushed by Optimus' and Megatron's epic battle and Sam had to pull himself up over the remains of cars in order to get down the street. He sidestepped the remains of Range Rover, the roof hammered in and an unmistakeable smudge of a rusty red was smeared against the shattered windscreen.
Sam's stomach rebelled instantly at the realization of the outcome of the individuals in the car and he heaved but managed to keep the rising vomit a bay. A hand clamped over his mouth and the other held his stomach as he doubled over and turned away.
Despite Lennox, Epps and their team's best efforts a few civilians had been killed in the struggle but to Sam it seemed as though a thousand had lost their lives. A circular perimeter had been put in place by Ironhide and Lennox's team seconds after Megatron's death to keep overly curious humans away. In spite of the warning by both Mikaela and Ratchet to keep within their sight, Sam had wondered off. A part of the reason being he had to get his thoughts in order, the other because he couldn't stand the way everyone was fussing over him.
In Sam's head he had not killed Megatron; he had just stopped him Murdered him. Because technically, that was what he had done. He had murdered someone. Granted that someone hadn't been very nice but Sam wasn't judge and jury. But a small flare of hope remained for he could have killed Optimus. And although he had barely known the Autobot leader for three days, he had known from the moment Optimus told him how to destroy the Cube, Sam could not end his life.
Sam had no doubt that Optimus Prime had meant what he said about him being in the Autobot's debt. However he was unsure what that meant. And as he found a deserted cafe, Sam pushed it from his mind.
He pulled a table up and sat on a frail looking chair, plunking his head down on his arms, burying himself into them.
He hurt. Not as much as the others were but still enough to make him want to cry.
Being manhandled into a government car had been no picnic but they hadn't been particularly rough, although falling from a bridge and slamming into Optimus' huge foot was not exactly without its bruises. Being tackled by Sector Seven men as he tried to defend Bumblebee had been awkward but at the time, Sam had been more focused on the fact he had failed his guardian to notice the gashes on his arms or ripped clothing.
Starscream's first attack in Mission City had been jolting and had stunned him but was not exactly painful however when he fled with the All Spark and Starscream had almost blown him to pieces that had hurt. When he was blasted of the building by the Decepticon leader, Sam had sustained slight burns to the face and clothes. Being caught by Optimus had been painless but the slamming into the ground forty stories below as the enraged Megatron ploughed into them had left him with what felt like a dislocated spine.
No matter how evil he was, Megatron was still alive and Sam had killed him. Who was he to kill anyone? Who was he to decide who lived and died? He was just a kid. The fate of the world had been thrust on Sam's shoulders in a moment and he had just enough sense and stubbornness to choose the right action to take.
Sam remembered unabashedly how he would have killed Prime had Optimus not shouted the final "NOW!" and teenage disregard for orders kicked in.
He remembered not only thinking how much Prime had done for him, but also that he was not a soldier (no matter what Lennox had yelled) and could do what he thought right!
So immersed with his musings, Sam didn't notice that he was slowly dozing off or Bumblebee approaching until a soft mechanical whine made him raise his head from his hands and blink away the creeping sleep. Young blue optics met young brown eyes; different like rain and stone but oh-so similar in other ways.
The Autobot looked terrible. An alarming disarray of scratches and deep grazes riddled his once flawless paintwork; a gooey blue liquid was drying and cracking on his arms. To make matters worse, and Sam feel even more like dirt, Bumblebee's legs were missing just below the joint. The breaks were not clean, but very messy; one looking like a grotesque stump, the other a mangled mess of cables and bone-like splints sticking out at odd angles. But, Bumblebee did not seem to notice his wounds at all. In fact, his optics left Sam's face almost immediately and inspected the humans various injuries.
This did not go unnoticed by Sam who gingerly stood and made his way cautiously outside, careful to avoid the shattered glass that littered the floor. He walked up his guardian, not completely unafraid (after all, they had known each other what? Three days at best? Not including the two days the Autobot was his car) but more confidently than he felt.
"What you doing here? Shouldn't you be with Ratchet?"
Bumblebee clicked and whirled his vocal processor and leant in closer so that he and Sam's faces were only inches apart. Only then did Sam realize that Bumblebee was still attached to the tow truck Mikaela used to get him away. Somehow, Bumblebee had manoeuvred himself and the truck to where Sam was. And had done so without drawing attention or complained. It made Sam feel both shocked and unworthy.
"Are... you... okay... S...aaa..mm?"
Hearing his real voice, not a quirky snippet from a radio or song lifted Sam's spirits and he allowed himself a small grin. He didn't want to let on how much he hurt, at least, not until everything was settled and everyone else was alright first.
"I'm fine; it'll take more than a fall off a building to keep me down!" Despite his light hearted reply, Sam could tell his guardian wasn't fooled. That and the numerous scans he had no doubt the Autobot was performing right this second would counter his argument.
Deciding to change subject, Sam added, "How's Epps? And Lennox was it? They doing ok?"
Bumblebee was not swayed and reached up and lightly brushed Sam's shoulder with a finger. "Ra...ch..t...and...Op...timus...are...looking...for...yoo..u..."
Sam nodded almost sadly but the defiant look didn't leave his eyes. "I'm ok though, really! It's you they should be looking for, and all those soldiers who got hurt." He patted his guardian's hand. "A lot has happened; I needed time to think is all Bee."
Bumblebee cocked his head to the side at the new nickname but didn't reply. He knew how tired and hurt his charge was but apart from actually dragging him back to Prime, he didn't know what to do with Sam. Leaving him alone was not an option, but then, Bumblebee didn't really want to go back either. Already there had been talks with 'higher ranking humans' about what would happen next and Bumblebee's spark clenched at the thought of not being able to stay with Sam; after all, it wasn't really up to either of them.
His attention was diverted as Sam's shoulders slumped, almost in defeat, and an exhausted sigh escaped his lips.
"Bee, do you think you'll stay being my guardian?"
How did humans seem to know what their companions were thinking with such accuracy?
The yellow Autobot expelled air through his vents, almost mirroring a human sigh, and shrugged but the comforting, hopeful yet rebellious look in his optics told Sam that Bumblebee would stay no matter what was decided.
Pleased with the answer he had received, Sam gave Bumblebee the first true smile he had given in what felt like days. To Sam, Bumblebee was so much more than a car or a guardian already. He was a friend, a good friend who would look out for him. Bumblebee felt the connection too. In Earth terms, Bumblebee was only a few years older than Sam so although there was a definite older-wiser-hardened-by-a-millennia-of-war edge to him, it was also slightly brotherly.
"I...thought...I...lo...st... you...S...aa...m." The tone almost broke the human's heart.
Sam's answer was instant. "I told you, it takes more than a fall to keep me down." Suddenly, the humans face fell. "I can't believe you don't hate me. Why don't you all hate me?"
Whatever Bumblebee had been expecting, that was not it. Before he could question it, Sam had pulled away and was pacing nervously, obviously about to explain his outburst.
"I destroyed the All Spark, the single most important thing to you all. The ONLY reason you guys came here! And...zap...gone! Your life giver thingy!"
Bumblebee had had enough already, despite the fact his charge clearly had a lot more to say on the matter. Pulling up his recent memory banks, Bumblebee selected what he wanted.
"Sam, I owe you my life. We are forever in your debt."
Said human jumped in alarm as Optimus Prime's voice echoed out of Bumblebee.
The pain of saying so much so soon was almost overwhelming but it needed to be said, and the relief and gratitude in Sam's eyes made it worthwhile.
What Sam did next, he had no doubt he would never repeat. Not because it was wrong, but because he would no longer feel like he needed to.
Sam walked to Bee then reached up and hugged his guardian.
It was weird; his hands barely met as they found their way behind Bumblebee's neck and he had many metal lumps and hard angles which made in different to hugging a human. As soon as he did so, Sam wondered about what he was doing... should he be doing this? What if Bee didn't really like him? What if...
After a second of shock Bumblebee responded.
Before Sam could blink, the Autobot wrapped his arms around him. Sam found himself cradled by the giant robot, held with infinite gentleness as Bee curled his body around the vulnerable, fragile human as if to make himself a living shield, closing his optics. And Sam felt him bury his head into his neck and back as if to hold him there forever. Resting his head against his guardian's neck, Sam felt an un-embarrassing wave of friendship flow between them and he knew his life would be altered forever. He was daunted, but not afraid of that. Sam pulled away with a grin.
"Let's go Bee, we both need serious painkillers I'll bet!"
Sam laughed as Bumblebee chirped in agreement.
Reviews would be most appreciated!
I got a review saying this: Nope, Prime was in the human's debt (or at least that's what he said), not the other way round. :)
In the film Optimus says: Sam, I owe you my life. We are forever in your debt.
Personally I take that as Optimus owes Sam a life debt whilst the other Autobot's also owe him a debt because he didn't kill their leader. But if that's not how you thought it was meant then let me know I I'll see if I can change it :)