a/n: hey guys! long time no talk! my apologies, i had run into a solid brick wall of writers block -.-
alice: yeah ever since she had written that newer chapter for 'bee sting', it just stopped her
me: sorry ^^;; anyways, onto the new chapter! oh, and sorry if it's a wee bit short ^^;;
Chapter 15: Better
"C'mon, Harley, you gotta eat!" Sides held out a banana in front of her. Harley chewed on her bottom lip, the banana looking actually disgusting to her right now. They had been on the road for the past 4 days and she had drank about 3 bottles of water but that's all. No food and no other drinks. She just didn't feel the need to eat. Half the time Harley was asleep, she was haunted by the visions of Optimus' death. It never seemed to leave her.
Sighing, Harley grabbed the banana and peeled it, taking a bite and her face twisted into a disgusted look, "I'm sorry, Sides."
"It's cool," He sighed as well, running a hand through his blonde hair. They were reaching Diego Garcia in half the time it took Harley and Optimus (then again, Sides and them decided they wanted to drive nonstop whereas Optimus stopped frequently along the trip. That and they decided they wanted to speed the whole way). Harley sucked in a breath, just thinking of his name made her chest clench tightly. She felt out-of-body, like she was flying high above the clouds but her body stayed grounded. Her mind was constantly swimming and her body felt like it was lead.
"Sides, I'm..." Harley started, tears welling up in her eyes again. She wiped at her eyes furiously. She refused to cry. Some old Decepticon habits don't seem to disappear. Taking in a shaky breath, Harley whispered, "I'm so sorry."
"Don't be," Sides said, just as quiet, "I know it's killing you inside. I know it's eating at you. I know it hurts. Don't be sorry for anything you can't help. I know it'll hurt the most when we make it back to Diego Garcia. Just... lay back and try to get some sleep?"
"Right," Harley laughed bitterly but turned onto her right side, away from Sides, and pressed her cheek into the seat's leather. She'd been slightly insomniatic since Optimus died, so she was a bit surprised when she felt her body shutting down for sleep.
'Or maybe my body is getting ready to die. Why not? I feel as though I already am...' Harley thought to herself bitterly, smirking softly as she drifted to a finally dreamless sleep.
"Harley, wake up. We're here," Harley felt something jar her shoulder and her eyes flew open. Stretching, she raised her seat and saw that Sides had driven into the military base. Chewing on her lower lip, she saw him drive towards the middle of the base, rolling to a stop and allowing her to climb out. Upon seeing Lia, Harley walked straight up to her and hugged her hard.
"I'm so sorry, Dino," Lia whispered into her hair as she felt Harley grip her harder and her shoulder became wet as Harley collapsed into sobs. Lia looked up and saw Hannah walk up, her eyes showing concern and sympathy. Lia forgot for a moment that Hannah was her enemy and allowed her to hug Harley just as tight as she was. The three sank to the ground, Harley in the middle of the huddle. Her shoulders shook violently and both Lia and Hannah flinched each time her breath was interrupted with a choking cry or another sob. Lia ran her hands through Harley's short hair while Hannah rubbed her back soothingly. Greg walked up behind them, tears in his eyes when he saw how bad Harley was. Her skin was paler than the usual glow she had and she had dark bags under her eyes.
"She didn't eat at all and barely drank anything," Sides walked up to them, a scowl scrawled on his face, "I... I just felt so helpless. It hurt me to see her in so much pain."
"I know. It's hard to see your close friend in so much pain," Greg said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"It must be hurting you more."
"It is," Greg said as they both looked over at Lennox, who called everyone to attention. Sides' holoform disappeared as Greg looked over at Harley who had lift her head. Her eyes were red and puffy, her usually vibrant violet eyes now fading into a duller gray-ish color. He saw two military helicopters flying in with Optimus' body attatched to two cords. Then they both just... dropped him. Just dropped him on the ground. He looked away, some dust and debris flying into his face. They had dropped him quite close to him and the girls
"Show some god damned respect for him, you lowlifes," He heard Harley growl, her hands turning to fists. He sighed and saw the Autobots walking up around them.
"Why don't we just leave this planet, Ironhide?" He heard Ratchet ask the charcoal bot. Harley looked up at them, her tears still flowing but her sobs had stopped and she began to sniffle.
"It's not what Optimus would want," Ironhide said with a sigh. Suddenly, they were surrounded by several military vehicles, their guns loaded and pointed towards the Autobots.
"What the hell?" Greg hiss, turning sharply and seeing Lennox stalk up and banging on one of the vehicles.
"You dare point your weapons at us?" Ironhide growled, loading his own blaster cannons.
"Lower your weapons!" Lennox shouted several times. Greg couldn't move. He felt like his body was like lead. Harley stood up, shakily and with the support of Lia and Hannah, but she got to her feet nevertheless.
"Please," She croaked. Her voice was drowned out when Lennox began to yell at Galloway, the director of the NEST base.
"Get that piece of junk out of here," Harley heard him growl and she couldn't help her own. She stalked up to Galloway and grabbed him by the front of the tuxedo jacket he wore.
"Optimus is not a piece of junk," She hissed at him, "He was the most wonderful thing that could've ever happened to this planet. He helped saved this planet and you have the audacity to sit there and call him a piece of junk. He is not. Now that he's dead, show some respect."
She shoved him back on 'respect' and stalked over to her uncle, who looked shocked but amused.
"Get her off this base," Harley heard Galloway say to Lennox, "I want her off this base!"
"No problem," Harley said over her shoulder, narrowing her eyes at him before following the Autobots, who had all transformed back into their car forms and began rolling towards one of the airplanes. She walked up to Sides, who had slowed down enough for her to walk with him, "Is it cool for me to tag along?"
"By all means," She heard Sides say and she nodded, keeping pace with them, "You need a ride?"
"I'd prefer walking, thank you," She said briskly, still fuming about Galloway's comment. They continued to walk, following the Autobots until they had to be put on gurney-like vehicles and chained down. She looked over at her uncle and raised an eyebrow, "Is this all necessary?"
"Unfortunately, yes. Look, Harley, I'm really sorry."
"For his death," Harley stopped at this and looked at her uncle with a slight smile.
"It's not your fault. If anything, I feel the guiltiest. He was protecting me and I could've done something, anything..." She trailed off, feeling the tears beginning to bubble up in the back of her throat again. Her uncle slung his arm over her shoulder and pulled her close to his side. She sniffled and put her head on his shoulder, feeling her heart clench once again as she saw the body of Optimus being rolled towards one of the airplanes.
"Don't guilt yourself. Optimus was protecting you not because he had to but because he wanted to. He needed to make sure you were safe and he put that as a top priority above everything, including his own safety."
"And now he's dead," She said bitterly. She heard her uncle sigh and rub her upper arm.
"Yeah. Don't worry, everything will get better," He said as they stepped onto the plane. Harley nodded solemly.
"I sure hope so."
She had somehow dozed off in the middle of the flight, her head on her uncle's shoulder and Lia and Hannah both at her legs. She knew that they were concerned for her but she didn't feel like reassuring them at the moment. The jarring of the plane awoke Harley from a dead sleep and she saw that the rest of the plane was asleep. A few soldiers were up and bustling but the rest were dead to the world.
She managed to untangle herself from the three people and decided to wander. Harley's mind wandered to insignificant things while her feet took her to the body of Optimus. She stopped by his helm and placed a hand on it, a few tears squeezing from her eyes.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I couldn't do anything," She whispered to him.
"You couldn't have done anything about it, Harley," Harley whirled around and saw the Doctor leaning against the platform behind Optimus.
"I know... You're a robot, too, huh?" She said, crossing her arms.
"Yes. I'm sorry for lying to you," The Doc ran a hand through his wavy hair. Harley gave him a bittersweet smile, shrugging one shoulder.
"It's okay. You kinda had to. I don't really care, though," The two were silent after that. Harley had hauled herself to sit on the platform that Optimus had laid on. She leaned against his arm, more tears bubbling up in the back of her throat. Swallowing them, she saw the Doc walking over to her. He looked up at her once he reached her, a hand on her knee, "Sides said something... He said me and Optimus were Spark Mates. How is that possible?"
"I'm not sure," The Doc sighed, running his hand through his wavy hair again, "But the way he talked about you, how he felt the connection with you and the over-protectiveness that only a Spark Mate could possess, I had a hunch."
"But I'm human."
"That's the kicker. How could a human and an Autobot be Spark Mates?" Ratchet said, more to himself than to Harley, "When Optimus described how he felt when he was around you, the pulling in his chest to be near you, to always know you were safe, it was something I had never heard before. I know for sure that you two are somehow Spark Mates, but I think that there may be something more to it."
"I'm sorry, Harley. I'm just rambling, aren't I?"
"No, I'm just pondering whether or not you're going to cut the circulation off in my leg," Harley chuckled when she saw the Doc practically leap from her. Rotating her ankle, Harley hissed when she felt the near painful rush of blood that returned to her calf.
"S'okay. You just have a grip on you. Guess you all have it."
"Nothin'," Harley said quietly, ducking her head to shroud her embarassed blush. She wasn't too keen on her and Optimus' personal lives on blast so she shut her mouth quickly. The Doc just gave her an odd look but shook his head.
"Well, I guess we all should get some rest, huh?"
"Yeah..." Harley chewed on her lower lip. Ratchet gave her a sympathetic smile before returning to the gurney he was on before. It held a Yellow Medical Hummer with med decals littering the surface. She watched him for a moment, "'S that yours?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah," The Doc turned with a small smile, "Fits me, huh? Well, night."
He smiled again before disappearing. Harley turned her head so she could stare at her shoes. She didn't know how long she was staring at them but it was apparently for a while seeing as the airplane was beginning to wake and she had a crick in her neck. Harley lifted her head, rotating it left and right until she heard a satisfying crack. The crack brought back a memory from when she and Optimus were driving to New York.
'Stop that!' She silently reprimanded herself, glaring at her thighs in deep thought, 'I can't keep moping around! Yes, Optimus is dead but that doesn't mean I have to be!"
"Harley?" Her head whipped up to see her uncle walking up, "You okay?"
"Yeah," She said with a small, but genuine, smile. Her uncle looked somewhat relieved.
"Good. Feeling better?"
"Good. Mind getting off him?" Her uncle laughed and Harley all but rolled her eyes with a crooked smile.
"Shut up, Kuya," She said as she hopped off the gurney, punching her uncle in the shoulder.
"Ow, you got some muscles there!" Her uncle joked but rubbed his shoulder. Harley chuckled softly, feeling slightly better than she had in the past few days. There was still a huge gaping hole where her heart was but it didn't feel like there was a vice around her lungs or that she would collapse in tears any more to her relief. She walked with her uncle and realized that they were landing.
"Why are we landing?"
"We got a call," Was all her uncle said as one of the crew ran up to him.
"General Pewitt? You're needed in the main conference room immediately," She said, her eyes widening when she saw Harley, "I-I'm sorry, d-did I interrupt something?"
"Don't worry, Alaine," Her uncle smiled, placing a hand on the small girl's shoulder. She was pretty, kind of short, though. Shorter than Harley, she had lightly tanned skin and wide blue eyes. Her hair was a deep chocolatey brown and was pulled up in a tight bun, "She won't hurt you."
"It's not me I'm worried about," Alaine said, eyes flickering over to Greg and Harley could see them soften immensly. Raising an eyebrow, Harley's face quirked into a smile.
"A-anyways," Her uncle stuttered slightly when Harley coughed, seeing the two stare at each other for a little too long, "Tell them I'll be there in a minute."
"Okay," Alaine smiled warmly before turning and walking off. Harley walked up so that she was beside her uncle and nudged him in the ribs.
"What?" He almost snapped.
"You like her."
"Who? Alaine? Pfft, right," Her uncle said. Harley rolled her eyes and pinched his arm, "Ow! What the hell was that for?"
"For lying to me. Now git!" She smirked when she hit him in the butt with her foot and he gave her a glare. She watched him as he walked off and shook her head. Sometimes her uncle was just too oblivious.
"Harley?" Harley turned to see Lia standing there, sleep in her eyes as she rubbed one, "You okay, Dino?"
"Yeah, Pix," Harley smiled warmly, "I'm... better than I was for the past few days."
"Good. Now come with me and Hannah so we can actually sleep on a damn bed!" Lia yawned largely and Harley laughed, nodding. She linked arms with Lia and they slowly made their way to the second level to the airplane they were on. It was a large airplane, the first level was more like an airplane with seats for the military men for long traveling and a few rooms for higher ups. The second level was more like a garage and weapons rooms, all walls filled with all types of firearms, grenades, knives, and the sorts. Lia dragged Harley up the stairs and they walked towards the rooms.
"Do you know why Hannah hated us so much?" Harley asked quietly and Lia stopped, looking up at her with much more awareness.
"No. I just thought she never really liked us," Lia gave a one shoulder shrug.
"I stole you," Harley said bluntly.
"Huh?" Lia laughed, her laugh sounding a bit like a wind chime, "Harley, have you gone mad?"
"Perhaps but now I'm perfectly sane. You don't even remember that you and Hannah were the best of friends. When I came along, we just kinda stuck together and you dropped Hannah like she was the plague. From then on, she always tried to out do me. I dunno why, but I feel kinda guilty..."
"Don't be," The girls' heads whirled to see Hannah standing in the doorway of one of the rooms, leaning against the frame, "I guess I was just jealous... I'm over it now, though. Can we call a truce?"
Lia looked at Hannah skeptically and then looked at Harley, who in turn gave her a reassuring smile. Lia finally smiled and looked at Hannah, who looked like she was relieved. Both Harley and Lia walked up to her, pinkies up.
"Truce," They both said with a smile. Hannah smiled widely and linked their pinkies with her.
"This symbolizes that we will never hurt each other, intentional or not. It says that we'll help each other for whatever reason, even if it is getting something so stupid like ice-cream at 4 in the morning. It says that we'll be sisters if not by blood but by heart. Hannah, welcome to our sisterhood," Harley smiled. Hannah returned it and hugged the two tightly.
"I'm sorry for all the nasty things I've done to you," She whispered to them. They hugged her and pulled away, smiling.
"It's okay. We're just as sorry," Lia said sincerely. The three all smiled until Harley yawned rather largely. Both Lia and Hannah chuckled, both grabbing a wrist and dragging her into the room. In the middle was a large King-sized bed with a bedside table on each side, both had lamps and digital clocks. A trunk sat at the foot of the bed and a flat screen on the right wall. There was a door to the bathroom on the left side of the bed and windows that showed the clouds next to the door. Harley climbed up on the bed, burying her head into the pile of down feather pillows. The bed was already turned down to show the pristine white sheets and she smiled when she felt the bed depress on both sides, feeling that Lia and Hannah lied down next to her. She felt Lia snuggling up to her, knowing in the back of her mind that Lia snuggled with anyone. It seemed like Hannah does the same thing since she repeated the action on Harley's opposite side. It didn't bother Harley much since Lia did it so much when they were little. Smiling softly, Harley finally drifted off to sleep.
Harley woke up several hours later, looking out the window and seeing the sun was still in the sky. Furrowing her brows, she looked at the bedside clock: 7:50.
"But I thought we went to bed at 9?' Harley thought to herself. Jarring Lia, who was currently sprawled across the bottom of the bed and on her and Hannah's feet, she saw Lia's eyes flying open.
"Yeah, Dino?" She yawned, rubbing an eye.
"Didn't we go to bed at 9?"
"Then why does the clock say it's 7:50?"
"What?" Lia sat up and looked at the clock. Her eyes widened before looking at Harley, "Don't tell me..."
"I think we did," Harley groaned, letting her forehead hit her palms.
"We did what?" She heard Hannah groan as the blonde sat up.
"We slept the day away, literally," Harley sighed, lifting her head.
"What?" Hannah said, quite shocked. After they all had made the truce, she seemed much more at ease around them. Like she didn't have to put on the fake blonde bimbo act and could be the girl Lia knew since they were little.
"We went to bed at 9 in the morning and unless the clocks went backwards, it's now 7:52."
"Wow," Was all Hannah could say. They were quiet until someone knocked on their door.
"It's open," Lia said, crawling up to sit on Harley's right side. Alaine poked her head in.
"Hey, Alaine," Harley smiled. Alaine returned it with a small one before walking in completely.
"You girls were really tired. You slept an entire day!" Alaine chuckled softly, leaning against the wall behind her, "But your uncle told me to leave you girls alone. I just came in here to let you girls know that we'll be stopping for a pit stop."
"Okay, thanks Alaine," Harley smiled again and Alaine nodded, walking out the door. The three girls stretched and rolled out of bed. The walked out and as soon as they walked out of the room and into the hallway, they linked their arms together. Giggling and talking about nothing, the three girls walked down the corridor before Lia realized something.
"Where is everyone?"
Both girls turned and looked at the smallest girl (who was on Harley's left) and then looked at each other.
"I'unno," Harley shrugged, beginning to walk towards the kitchen. The airplane was eerily quiet and the three began to get antsy.
"Hey ladies," The three whirled around to see one of the co-captains, Mason, say with a smile. He was around 35 with pitch black hair that was left a little longer than buzzed. His brown eyes were coupled with light, butterscotch-coloured skin.
"Hey Mason," The three said at the same time.
"We're just about to land, 'Kay?"
"Okay," Lia smiled, sitting on the marble counter of the island in the middle of the kitchen.
"Where's everyone?" Hannah asked, sipping a bottle of water she had retrieved from the sterling silver refridgerator.
"Oh, they got a call. There's a kid, Witwicky I think," Mason walked up to the island, clad in his usual navy blue dress pants and blue blazer with black shoes, and leaned against it, "Anyways, he called and said that he might have a way to revive Optimus."
Harley immediately froze, her fingers curling on the marble surface and a spark of hope coursed through her veins.
"I swear, if you're joking, so help me-" She started, turning her eyes towards the co-captain. He had a wide smile on his face and shook his head.
"I'm not. The kid found something, something that was powerful enough to revive him, and they deployed Optimus," Both Lia and Hannah had smiles stretching wide over their faces. Harley just looked at him, a bit shellshocked with the new information. Before she realized it, she had tackled Mason to the ground, crushing him in a hug, "Woah!"
"Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She said, squeezing him tightly before climbing off. She held out a hand to help him up, "Heh, sorry, I'm just a bit-"
"You missed him."
"You could say that."
"Well, we're landing in a minute or so so please sit down and put on your seatbelts, 'kay?" Mason said, picking up his captain hat that flew off when Harley tackled him, dusted it, and put it back on. The girls all nodded, unable to wipe the smiles off their faces. They quickly walked to the coach of the airplane, sat down in one of the plush chairs each, and strapped in. They chatted animatedly while the plane was making it's descent. Harley couldn't help the hum of happiness that coursed through her body.
"Soo... whatcha gonna do when Optimus comes back?" Lia smirked, waggling her eyebrows. Harley rolled her eyes, smacking her friend's elbow with a light blush.
"Like I'm gonna tell you."
"I bet you're gonna drag him to his room... or wherever they sleep, and do things that only God knows about," Hannah gave her a naughty look and Harley burst into a full-out, red-as-a-tomato, turn-your-ears-red blush. Hannah narrowed her eyes playfully, "I know that knowing look."
"What?" Lia asked, looking over Harley. She looked back up at Hannah when she gasped.
"Tell me, Harley, how was it?" Harley's eyes widened to the size of saucers and her face turned redder (if possible) as she hit Hannah lightly.
"Shut up! !"
"How was wha- oooooh," Lia got an evil look in her eye when she realized what Hannah was talking about.
"No!" Harley wailed and she felt the airplane jerk to a stop. Yanking on her seatbelt, she finally unclasped it and tried running away from the girls. They laughed as they chased her down the stairs and towards the door. Harley looked behind her and laughed as well, feeling as happy as she was before the fight between Optimus and Megatron. Once she was out the door, she came to an abrupt stop.
"Oof!" Hannah ran straight into Harley, Lia trailing behind. Both looked at her oddly.
"Harley?" Lia started.
"What's wrong?" Hannah finished, waving a hand in front of her face. Harley pointed towards the based and swallowed thickly.
"My time's up."
a/n: dun dun dun! xD
alice: you do that waaay too much :P
me: eh xD maybe
What do you think Harley saw?
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