What is this I don't even-!
Sort of a random thing, but I sort of thought it was a cute oneshot idea. *shrug* Please do not kill me. ^0.0^
Miko giggled to herself lightly as she tried to cover the moving bulge beneath her shirt as she walked into the main hangar of the Autobot HQ. Bulkhead chuckled behind her as they casually walked behind and past Ratchet, smirking widely to themselves as they tried to creep past.
The medic lifted his head from what he was doing and glanced behind him slightly, raising a brow. When he heard the snickering, he narrowed the other brow suspiciously and turned to face them, crossing his arms over his chasis. "Alright…what are you two up to?"
Bulkhead straightened up with a perky grin. "Nothin', Ratch. Miko just told me a joke on the way in here is all. We're still cracking up over it."
The older 'bot scowled at them shrewdly, placing his fists on his hips. "My model may be somewhat obsolete, Bulkhead, but my hearing is as accurate as ever. She didn't say scrap to you when you walked in."
"I meant when we were driving through the entrance…" the Wrecker uttered sheepishly. Ratchet scoffed, rolling his optics.
"Aww, c'mon, doc bot-" Miko began, but was cut off.
"Stop calling me that." Ratchet snapped.
Miko ignored him. "Why would we lie to you?"
Ratchet recoiled a bit in surprise, only now noticing the small (very poorly hidden) lump under the young girl's shirt. He narrowed his optics and frowned somewhat sourly at her. "What…was that?" his voice was unnervingly calm and dripping with suspicion.
Miko rocked on her feet, pursing her lips innocently as she glanced to the side. "Nothing."
Hiding a small cringe, Bulkhead tried to play along. "Err…what was what, Ratchet? I didn't hear anyth-"
"Ow! What was that for!" the green Autobot whined as he rubbed the spot on his head that Ratchet had just previously whacked with a wrench.
"Zip it." the medic ground out, then pointed his wrench at Miko. "Show me what you're hiding under there, missy. This instant."
The girl smirked up at her guardian. "Pedo-'bot much?"
Bulkhead snorted loudly as he bit back another grin, but yelped when Ratchet struck him again. "Ow! Ok, ok! Yeesh! Uhh, Miko? I think we're busted anyway. Might as well do what the doc says." He rubbed the back of his helmet again.
With a dramatic sigh, Miko moaned out, "Ohh, alright…" and put her hand under her shirt briefly. With a smile, she pulled out a small, somewhat scrawny looking kitten with dark grey fur, white paws, and blue eyes. It mewled three times and looked at all three of them, pawing lightly at Miko's wrist before resting the fuzzy limb there.
Ratchet rose a brow high, bristling a bit. "Wh-what in-! Where did you get that?"
"Found it." Miko said simply with a grin, nuzzling the little cat's face, to which it responded by nipping cutely at her nose.
"I-it was on the side of the road." Bulkhead shrugged. "We saw it while driving up here. Well…Miko saw it, actually. What were we supposed to do? Leave it there?"
"I'm sure a very nice vulture family would have found it eventually." the old medical officer mused with an empty laugh, then glared at them sternly. "Why in the world would you think to bring it here? Get rid of it! It might have…fleas or parasites or something for all we know."
Miko looked up at Ratchet sadly. "W-what? But…Ratchet, look at him." she held him up for the older mech to see. "He's so little. He probably doesn't even have an owner or anything."
The medic kneeled down on one giant knee and rested an arm on top of the other leg. His look didn't change, but he rose a brow as he studied the pathetic little ball of fur. He could hear its faint purring quite clearly in his processor as it stared up at him curiously. Perking its ears forward and tilting its head, it let out another mew, this one smaller and higher than the others. "Humph…" the medic frowned. It's like it's trying to manipulate me with that sad, scraggly little mug, he thought. If it weren't so puny and frail looking it might actually be cute. He snorted. "It…does look malnourished" he mumbled. His choice of words was almost regretted instantly when he saw Miko set the kitten down and cling onto one of his ankles, nearly making him jump away in surprise.
"Ohhh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Ratchet-!"
"I-I-! Wait! N-now, hold on! I didn't say you could keep it here!" the medic tried to clarify, obviously flustered. What was all the more infuriating for him was that he couldn't shake the child off of him in fears of accidentally harming her. He shot Bulkhead a look. "Get her off of me, Bulkhead…!"
Stuttering, the Wrecker quickly scooped up the kitten with one large finger, then pulled the happy human away from the older mech with his free servo.
Pinching the bridge of his helmet rested between his eyes, his stature relaxed a bit as he held up a servo. "Now…I did not say you could keep it here. You should take it to an animal shelter or something."
"Why can't we take care of it?"
"Ha! Like you would have one ounce of knowledge on the needs and care an undernourished animal requires."
"Well, isn't that where a medic comes in?"
"I have more crucial matters to see to, Miko. And I am not a veterinarian."
"So you can treat robots and humans and build…super volcanoes that nearly blow up entire schools, but not help a poor cat?"
"Miko, this discussion is over."
"Oh, who put you in charge?" Miko pouted, crossing her arms and looking at the medic sourly.
"When Optimus is not around, I am in charge. Now take that little furball and-!"
The medic rose his brows, then sighed deeply with a flat look, crossing his arms as he looked bitterly to the side, though his expression was a bit calmer and more submissive now. "Yes, Optimus…?
"Ha!" Miko jumped up in triumph briefly, causing Bulkhead to quickly pull her closer to him out of caution when he saw the death glare Ratchet snapped in her direction immediately after.
"What is going on in here?" the Prime asked somewhat tiredly as he walked over to the small group, having just entered from being in the training area.
Before Ratchet even had the chance to reply, Miko had already carefully taken the kitten from Bulkhead and was at Optimus' feet, holding it up to him. "Me and Bulkhead found this kitten on the side of the road and Ratchet won't help it." she furrowed her brows and offered Optimus the sweetest look she could muster. "The nearest shelter's all the way across town and the poor little thing's not getting any better."
Optimus kneeled and tilted his head at the small creature. He held out a servo palm up to Miko, as if asking the girl to let him see it. She placed it on his warm servo and he brought it closer to his face. The kitten flicked its tail as it looked at him the way it did Ratchet. Standing on his large hand, it stumbled over with a short mewl and rubbed against the Prime's smooth, metal face, purring at the warmth coming off of it. The larger mech chuckled quietly and the corner of his mouth curled up into a half smile. Bringing up his other servo, he lightly slid the tip of his index finger over its head a couple times, then scratched under its chin, causing it to purr more loudly and shut its eyes.
Ratchet scowled and put his servos on his hips again. "Hairy little suck up…" he muttered quietly, becoming silent again when his leader looked over at him once more, though the Prime's smile was still there.
"I do not think it would hurt for you to extend your medical practices a bit, old friend. This is a good opportunity for you to expand your experience. If it would make it easier for you, I could complete the rest of your unfinished duties for the day." Optimus offered warmly.
With a deep sigh and a flat look, Ratchet slumped slightly as he stiffly held out a servo to Optimus, not looking at any of them as he felt the tiny feline tumble and pounce onto his servo. He couldn't help but glance at it as he pulled it closer, then stomped off wordlessly to Sick Bay. His mouth twitched a bit as he felt the kitten paw playfully at his chasis, nibbling and nipping lightly at the edge of his armor, but he refused tiny smirk's offer to make itself known, even if no one saw. Instead he huffed and gently nudged the kitten's face away from his plating. Instantly, it clung to the end of his digit with all four paws, claws extended, and biting at him again lightly. The girl and the two mechs stifled chuckles when they heard the medic quietly bark out, "Would you stop that?" as he disappeared down a corridor.
Miko grinned and looked at Optimus happily. "Thanks, big guy."
Optimus chuckled and offered the girl a wink, placing his servos behind his back as he turned and walked off.
Five days soon passed after that and nothing at all seemed to hint that the kitten had overstayed its welcome to the others in the base. With the exception of one, of course. Despite the slight increase in praise from Miko as the young feline's health improved, Ratchet found himself feeling even more pestered than he had before. Along with the improvement in physical condition came liveliness and spirit from the tiny creature, and with that came more noise. Noise he could do without. He often came across the children, and even Bumblebee, laughing and giggling and playing with the hyper bundle of fur whenever he walked into the main hangar. His hopes of ridding the base of the little cat were dwindling with every passing day. He could not help but gawk when he witnessed his own leader walk by him with the sleeping vermin cradled in one servo, stroking it fondly with the other as he smiled calmly, offering a nod to his medic as he passed. The fact that Optimus was becoming attached to it as well was not the most annoying factor, however…
Mreow! Mreow! Mrehhh! Mreow!
Ratchet growled through an exasperated sigh as he felt the loudmouthed critter leaping, running and pouncing around and against his feet and ankles rapidly. Slamming his frame welder down and snapping his head down to look at it, teeth grit in fury. "What? What do you want, you annoying thing!" He waved a servo in a shooing notion. "Get! Get! Go find something to play with or something, i'm busy."
The kitten disregarded the words (not that he could really understand them) and bounced up briefly, front paws spread as it stumbled on its back legs a bit, crying and mewing up at him loudly before falling partially onto its tail and standing on all fours again.
"Go on, get! Go away!"
With a brief Mrow! the kitten leaped up and scrambled more then half way up Ratchet's leg, claws digging into nooks and crannies in his armor and propelling the furry kitten upward. Meow!
Ratchet rose a brow high at him, somewhat surprised by its strength and determination. He also cringed a bit at the uncomfortable feel of the hook-like nails scraping against his metal skin. Narrowing his optics at the kitten he grabbed it, though not roughly, by the scruff with his thumb and index digit and held it up to his face. "No means no! Now stop that!"
The kitten pawed and smacked rapidly at his face friskily with its claws retracted, making him recoil quickly and raise a brow at it, staring blankly. After a minute he blinked and snorted, setting the cat down on his table and looking around. "Where the frag are those children when you need them?"
The sound of a clatter got his attention and he whirled around, looking at the kitten on the now empty table, then down at his feet, where his (just recently fixed) frame welder laid in two pieces. Raising his brows, he looked at the kitten again and glared. "I needed that!"
With a growl, the medic picked it up by the scruff again. "That's it…" he turned and carried the squirming creature over to the area where the children usually played with it. He dropped it onto the couch and turned to leave, looking at it over his shoulder. "Now stay there and…" he stopped and turned back a bit when he saw the small feline pawing at a small, empty bottle and nibbling on the nipple of it with a needy mewl. It looked at Ratchet again and cried out like it had been earlier.
Raising a brow, he turned fully and walked over again, picking the bottle up and examining it before looking at the kitten again, raising a brow. "You're hungry…" he finally concluded, receiving a few quiet purrs in response. It would explain the rambunctious behavior a bit. Sighing deeply, he turned in the direction the Sick Bay lay and muttered softly to the kitten as he started to walk. "Hold on."
Surprisingly enough, the kitten did so, paws on the arm of the couch as it watched and waited for Ratchet to come back, tail flicking quickly. After a few minutes, the medic returned, bottle warm in his grip and filled with a white, creamy looking formula. He wasn't too happy upon knowing he would have to feed it himself, but at least he was the only one there at the moment. "Alright…" he sighed, scooping up the little creature and cradling it close to his chasis. "Let's get this over with. Hopefully you'll be quiet after this." He pressed the tip of the bottle to the kitten's muzzle.
Placing both front paws around it and pushing against it with its feet, the kitten hungrily began to lick and suckle the warm, nutritious liquid dribbling from the top, ears twitching and flicking cutely as it started to purr again.
"Slowly, slowly." Ratchet pulled back on the bottle a bit briefly before letting the kitten drink again. "It'll go up your nose if you consume it that fast." he said, then blinked, smirking a small bit. "Though there's no sense in even telling you this, you can't understand me anyway." he shook his head, letting out an empty chuckle in his throat. He tilted his head thoughtfully as he watched it. "You're one lucky little pest, you know that? Humph. If it had been up to me we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now. Though I suppose it can't even be considered such, regarding the fact you can't talk back."
The kitten paused for a minute to lick its mouth before starting to drink again, looking at Ratchet with its eyes.
Shuffling a small smile, he tilted his head upright again. "You are somewhat endearing, I will give you that. In an…annoying and irritating kind of way." he pulled the half empty bottle away when the kitten stopped drinking finally, setting it on the couch. He didn't put the tiny feline down yet, however. For a moment he watched as it licked and groomed its face and paws, then hesitantly reached over a digit and rubbed its fuzzy belly for a few seconds. To his surprise it didn't start to paw at and nibble the tip of his finger again. Instead, it opened its mouth with a long yawn, revealing its white, sharp little teeth briefly, then stretched out all four limbs before curling up on his palm and closing its eyes, purring softly as it went still.
Blinking, Ratchet finally managed a small, almost fond smile and started to stroke its side as it slept peacefully on his warm hand. While one part of him was strongly arguing against such affection, another, slightly stronger part was just saying, Oh, frag it. He let out a brief chuckle, mumbling through a smirk. "What's the harm?"
"Say 'cheese', doc bot!"
Ratchet jumped and shuttered his optics briefly from a small flash off to his upper left. "What in the Allspark…!" he looked over and froze, raising both brows at the sight of the younger human femme standing on one of the platforms above him, grinning in satisfaction as she pushed a few buttons on her phone, looking at the screen.
"Awww, you two look so cute together!" Miko squealed as she turned the phone around, showing the offensive snapshot of the medic smiling and petting the little kitten as it slept.
One optic twitching briefly, the older mech's features slowly turned dark as he gently set the small cat onto the couch, growling out through grit dental plates. "Miko….Give. Me. That. Phone." He clenched his servos into fists.
Tapping her chin with a mischievous smirk, she rapped her foot lightly on the floor. "Uhhh, I don't think so, Ratchet."
"I'm serious, Miko!" the medic snapped, pointing at her as he took a threatening stomp closer. "Give it to me."
With another smirk, the girl leaned over the metal railing a bit. "I think this discussion is over, Ratch." And with a giggle she bounded across the platform and down the stairs, running towards one of the dark corridors across the hangar.
Bristling in fury, the medic tried to snatch for her, but missed, then proceeded to charge after her. "Miko! When I get my servos on you, I guarantee that smirk will never cross your face again! Miko!"
"Wait 'til the others get a look at this!" she laughed as she continued to run.