Summary: "Give me the All Spark and you may live to be my pet." In the end, Sam's courage fails.

A/N: oh the plot bunnies. In my head the full summary is "Give me the All Spark and you may live to be my pet." In the end, Sam's courage fails. What would have happened if Michael Bay had realized what an idiot Shia Labeouf is and the movie had ended accordingly. I'm supposed to be working on something else, but the Transformers soundtrack is on my iPod and my iPod is on shuffle and shuffle really likes soundtracks for some reason I've yet to discern.

Rated for mature themes.

"Is it fear or courage that compels you, fleshling?" Fear. Definitely fear. Tears were trailing down his dirty cheeks as he cried out in terror. Megatron loomed over him. "Give me the All Spark and you may live to be my pet."

The statue he clung to began to tilt, began to sway. Began to fall. He looked down; Optimus was so far away. So was the ground. He screamed for help and none came. So many dead. So many gone. For what? This stupid square?

The building shook as Megatron got closer and the statue gave up the fight against gravity. The scream that tore its way out of his throat hurt more than any of his other wounds. He was falling. No one would save him. He was going to die.

"Sam!" A cry from below and hard metal met with his back, stopping his fall short, knocking the air out of his lungs. Sam looked up at his savior and saw a Decepticon. Megatron's metal eyelids lowered slightly, he spoke in a soft, gravely tone.

"Give me the cube, boy. Bring this to an end."

Gasping, Sam clutched at his chest, felt his heart pounding. The cushions were soft beneath him and the blankets warm but still he shook, a coldness permeating every inch of him. A gravely laugh echoed the room and Sam looked up.

"Tears, Fleshling?" Sam sat up, rubbing at his face. Starscream gave the Decepticon version of a sneer. "Lord Megatron expects you, hurry."

In the months since taking his place as the Decepticon's "mascot" Sam had stopped wearing clothes. The Decepticon's felt that clothes would give him hope or a sense of pride. Maybe they just thought seeing him naked was funny. He'd learned to stop caring, to stop being self conscious. With no sense of shame, Sam stood from the pile of pillows and blankets that served as his bed. His room, his cage, had four high concrete walls that he could never hope to climb, but no ceiling so that the robots could look in on him as they pleased.

There was no bowl of vegetables waiting in the corner of his room, a first. Say what you want about Megatron, he was good at remembering to keep his pet fed. Sam's stomach growled and he thought of steak, hamburgers. His keepers had to feed him, lest Megatron heard that his pet was starving, but they couldn't be bothered to cook anything.

A large, heavy chain dropped from above and Sam obediently picked it up, attaching the end to the loop hanging from the rough metal ring around his neck. He could still remember that first day, after the Decepticon's victory, after his failure, when the collar had been put on. Still hot, but not hot enough to permanently maim, it had been closed around his throat by Megatron himself, out in the open for any and all survivors to see.

Starscream lowered his hand into the enclosure and Sam slowly climbed onto the waiting palm. The Decepticon Base was large enough that the robots could walk upright, unimpeded and Sam still marveled at the place's size. To Sam's shock, Starscream didn't head toward the control room where Megatron usually called for him, but toward the exit. The sun was harsh and bright as the exited the enclosure. Sam had not been outside in a long time. He remembered that day, remembered how, looking out at the destruction, the bloated rotting corpses of military and civilian alike. He'd been ill.

He was lucky that Megatron had found his weakness funny, or the Decepticon could have crushed him then and there.

"Too much for you, Fleshling?" Megatron had laughed and handed Sam to another robot. "Make a place for him. Make him comfortable, he'll be with me for sometime."

Megatron was waiting at the edge of the Decepticon compound, looking out regally at what Sam supposed would be considered his conquered land. There were no bodies that Sam could see, what humans were there were chained and working, cleaning rubble for their overlords. The largest of the Decepticons turned and after a moment Sam was passed off. He was loath to admit it, but of all the Decepticons, he preferred being carried by Megatron. The leader's hand was the largest, the most comfortable, and Megatron was surprisingly gentle with him. More so than the others, in any case.

"Ah, Fleshling, did you sleep well?" Once most of the rebell fighting had died down, Megatron, in fits of boredom, would watch Sam sleep. He knew very well that Sam never slept well. The giant robot lifted his other hand and petted Sam's head with the tip of a finger. Megatron had enough control that Sam no longer worried that he would accidentally be crushed or decapitated. "I have a gift for you, Fleshling."

Megatron and the others didn't call Sam by his name. Sam hadn't had any contact with the other survivors but he suspected that it was the same with them. Perhaps Fleshling was a special designation for him as Megatron's pet, but he doubted the others were allowed the pride and ownership of a name.

"A gift?" Sam was apprehensive. Megatron gave him food and safe place to sleep, gifts enough as far as Sam was concerned. The robot nodded and started walking. As gentle as he was with Sam, that was how careless he was with others. Other humans, wearing rags and covered in dirt and sweat from their daily work had to dive out of his way as the robot made his way across the compound to, what Sam assumed was a warehouse. He made himself not hear the cries of those not fast enough to avoid Megatron's feet.

Megatron closed his other hand over Sam and in a panic Sam cried out, thinking that the robot had grown tired of him, was going to crush him now. Megatron laughed and turned his hands. There was not much room in the Decepticon's grip and Sam struck his shoulder against one of the hard metal plates that made up Megatron's fingers. The hands parted and Sam fell onto a hard surface, gasping.

The warehouse would have been home to many airplanes had the Decepticons not taken it over. Megatron was bent, but Sam could imagine that some of the others could have stood upright. Megatron touched his back with a cold finger.

"Stand," it was not a suggestion and Sam stood obediently. "Look, see what I have found for you," Sam half heartedly hoped it was a dog or a book (what he would have done for a book…) or even a stuffed animal. But gentle though Megatron was to him physically, the robot was still cruel. Still a sadist.

Even knowing that. Even being prepared to see his family in chains and rags, or Mikaela's broken body, offered so that Sam could give her a proper burial, even prepared for the worst, Sam was not ready for the sight that greeted him when Megatron slowly turned him around.

"Bumblebee?" his throat tried to close, tried to stop the name that came tumbling out of his mouth. He might not have recognized the Autobot, scratched up and mud covered as he was, if it had not been for the eyes. The machines called them optics, but that was a cold, mechanical word that didn't suit the pain filled orbs Sam was looking into.

He was tied as tightly as when Sector 7 had captured him the first time and making the same distressed noises that Sam had heard the robot's broken voice box make at that base.

Tears filled his eyes and Sam didn't try to hinder them. He started forward, stumbling. Bumblebee made a keening noise at him and struggled against his binds. Sam was pulled back abruptly, falling to the ground, skinning his leg on the hard floor. He looked back.

Megatron was holding his leash, watching him with amusement. Sam trembled, sobs breaking out of his throat.

"Tears? I thought you would be happy," he knew from Megatron's tone that something bad was about to happen. "If my present doesn't suit you, perhaps…" the Decepticon made a gesture and Starscream approached. Sam didn't need to see the other Decepticon start toward his friend to know what would happen.

"No, no please!" He stumbled, running back to Megatron, grabbing at a metal foot. He had learned that the race of machines could feel this contact, he knew that Megatron could feel his hands scrambling across the metal. "Not him! I'll do anything, just not him!" what he could do, he didn't know. What use was he but as a decoration? But he'd say anything to make Starscream step away. Megatron looked down at him for a long moment, before bending down and picking him up.

" 'anything'? Fleshling?" Sam nodded, gasping through his sobs. "And what can you offer?" Sam didn't have an answer. Megatron knew he didn't have an answer. Bumblebee made a sudden high pitched noise and Sam forced himself not to look. "Wait, Starscream," the screeching abruptly ceased. "I ask very little of you, Fleshling," Sam nodded, sniffling. Megatron watched him for a long moment before turning to look at his fellow Decepticon. "Take the Autobot to the base. Lock him up, I don't want him escaping."

Sam could hear Bumblebee being dragged away, but Megatron's finger against the side of his face forced his attention back to the matter at hand.

"Anything you want," Sam gasped, his tears slowing.

"Think carefully, pet, do not promise what you won't give."

Sam could not claim to be a lot of things. His spirit had been broken long before the war had ended and Megatron had placed his collar on his neck, his courage had failed him more than once. But there could be no doubt that he was selfish and he would work for something he wanted. He had wanted to live and he had done what he'd needed to make that happen. Now he wanted his friend and he would do what he needed to make that happen as well.

"I would do anything," he was certain, and his steady voice helped convey that. "I would do anything if you let me keep him," Megatron laughed and Sam flinched away from the loud noise.

"If I let you keep him? You presume much, Fleshling," but Sam was shaking his head.

"You said he was my present," it was the most Sam had said in all the time he'd been captive, his voice was sore from the sudden use but he forged ahead, ignoring the pain. "You were giving him to me. I'll do whatever you want if you let me have him… alive," he added, knowing how Megatron's mind worked.

"Oh, very clever Fleshling," Megatron chuckled. "Very well. You will do this one task for me, and I'll let the Autobot live to serve. A pet for my pet," the robot laughed again.

Sam doesn't look Bumblebee in the eye when he is allowed in the room that holds the Autobot for the first time. Bumblebee is tired and scarred from the many battles and he makes no sounds. There is no more radio for the 'Bot to use for communication. Sam says nothing, only sits on the ground just within touching distance of Bumblebee's hand. He didn't need an engineering degree to know that Bumblebee's badly mangled legs needed treatment. He wondered why Ratchet hadn't done something about it when the Autobots had retreated after that first battle. He wondered if Ratchet had survived long enough to do repairs on the others.

Sam was used to being touched without his permission and neither jumped nor flinched when Bumblebee touched his shoulder. Sam shifted and let the Autobot push him down until his head was rested on what was left of the robot's right leg. The finger touched his back and the stroking and petting was somehow different from what Megatron does though the motions are all the same.

Not your fault, the 'Bot was trying to tell him. It's not your fault.

"You don't know what I did, Bee," Sam muttered softly. He's too tired for tears or regret. The petting never falters.

It wasn't your fault, says the pattern Bumblebee is drawing on Sam's back. Sam rests his hand near his face on the Autobot's leg and sighs.

"I gave up, I was scared. And now everyone's gone," he won't use the word dead. Not anymore. Not for so many.

Nobody blamed you, says the circle traced between Sam's shoulder blades. We asked too much added the line down his spine.

"And what about what I did after?" Sam traces a mark on Bumblebee's leg, a deep gouge that wasn't there before the war. "What about what I did so that Megatron wouldn't h-" Bumblebee makes a faint noise and the patterns change.

I don't blame you, says this new touch, this brush against his neck. What's done is done.

Sam doesn't ask if this is a lie. Secretly he's glad the Autobot can't speak. He's learned to live with the guilt but he doesn't think he could bear the weight of forgiveness.

Crap? Yes. Do I care? No. I just do what the plot bunnies tell me to and they let me sleep at night.

R&R encourages the bunnies to play nice with good grammar.