This is just an update chapter to let you know that I'm still writing this, I've just been gone for a bit. I'm back now so I will get working on the next chapter.

One Step Closer

Optimus could not believe how much time had past since he had returned to Cybertron. Already the Steelhaven was about halfway on it's trip to Earth with Springer sending a decent report every now and then. He himself had been living a unique life up in the grand estate over looking Iacon. Already half of Cybertron were now aware that he and the Magnus were a happy couple. The pair of them had been on pretend dates and made their faces public together just to make certain that their "relationship" was indeed bona fide to the rest of Cybertron. The young Prime had been taking his required chemicals he needed for himself and the sparkling. He had been attending his treatments with Perceptor and pretending to act like a loyal mate-to-be for Ultra Magnus.

So far the whole plan seemed to be working quite well.

The young Prime had now been advised by Perceptor to cease taking the formula that would slow down the growth of his sparkling. Within an orbital cycle it would carry on growing normally and it would be then that Ultra Magnus would annouce the "good news" to the public.

To be honest...Optimus was feeling a tad bit nervous about the whole thing.

He and Ultra Magnus had been going on quite a few "romantic" dates around a certain time so that it would appear that Optimus would have started Carrying. In fact the media 'bots were already assuming that Optimus could be with a sparkling. They made up stories and predicated outcomes and even had the gull to try and force Optimus to spill the bolts about if he was Carrying or not. Ultra Magnus would just laugh at them and say that although he would love to have a sparkling he and Optimus had been playing safe. Apparently it was all part of the plan. When Optimus Prime's Carrying would be announced Ultra Magnus would state that the whole thing had been a pleasant surprise and that he would look forward to being a Sire.

Optimus could only hope that Cybertron would believe them.

That wasn't the only thing on his mind.

Lately he had been thinking about Rodimus Prime...well, Rodimus Minor now.

The young, fair mech who had gone through an ordeal just as terrible as his own. He had suffered as he had suffered. Experienced pain as he had experienced. However, unlike himself, everyone was aware what had transpired between him and his attackers. He had to live knowing that others around him knew what had happened to him and the idea of it...made Optimus grieve for him.

He remembered the fear and the hate flooding his quivering optics. He remembered how he fled from Springer that day by the Steelhaven. He remembered him from that horrible nightmare.

It was almost if Optimus had been staring at himself, seeing himself in the younger mech and it was bringing out the darkness that he was so desperately trying to bury within his spark...and he wanted to rid it. He couldn't bare seeing someone else suffer as he had. He had come far in his treatments with Perceptor and now he was certain he could help with the young Minor. He had discussed it with Ultra Magnus, who was shocked about the whole thing and now understood by what his fellow Council members had meant, but advised the young Prime to keep his distance.

"I know but...I can't shake this feeling that I should help him," sighed Optimus, sipping away at his energon tea.

Ultra Magnus rested his face upon his heads as he and Optimus enjoyed a quiet morning within a near empty tea house.

"Optimus, it is good that you wish to help someone but for your safety and his, you must avoid him. He is getting the help he needs just as you are so do not concern yourself. I will see to it that he will get all the help he needs so please don't worry about him anymore."

The young Prime sighed and looked away.

"Please Optimus, this is may sound cruel but we must leave him alone and allow him to carry on with his treatment. He is getting help and, even though it good of you to consider it, you must leave him be. Promise me this Optimus."

Optimus nodded.

"I..I understand."

He wasn't happy about it.

He wanted to help Rodimus.

But how?

Meanwhile Ultra Magnus was in shock after learning what had happened to Rodimus. After all this time someone else other than Optimus had suffered at the cruel hand of the Decepticon menace and he had failed to notice. He demanded an explanation from his fellow Council members who all said the same thing, it wasn't something they could just blurt out like that and they had hoped he would stumble upon the information himself or hear it from another. Typical, they didn't want to be the bearer of bad news, or in this case embaressing news. He refused to take that excuse and decreed that anything like that had to be brought to his attention in a full report, no matter how sensitive it was.

The whole thing had angered him and he got in touch with Perceptor, wanting to know it Rodimus Minor was indeed getting the help that he needed.

"Yes he is and I am actually overseeing his treatment without his knowledge. He is coming along well but needs some time...much more time. His ordeal was much more traumatizing than Optimus's, to some extent and before you suggest it, no I'm not implying that Optimus Prime would not comphrend. The pair of them have gone through similar yet different experiences."

That was true.

After reading the report, and almost purging his tanks after reading it, he understood what Perceptor had meant.

Optimus had suffered at Megatron's hand and was now with a sparkling.

Rodimus had been paralyzed and taken advantage of by multiple Decepticons.

Both were traumatic and both were in need of support but regrettably Ultra Magnus could only focus on one. He could only focus on his beloved Optimus and he admitted that sounded greedy. He could only hope that Rodimus would recover with the help he was currently getting and he would ensure that he would get all the treatment he needed.

It was all he could tell Optimus and he knew that the young Prime wasn't pleased with it.

He could only hope Optimus wouldn't do anything...reckless.

Sitting in a private park within the Elite Guard compound whilst reading a media pad Optimus could not help but smile as Blurr jumped up and down in front of him. One moment he would be dancing on his left side and in a split click he would be jumping up and down on his right. He had come here to get away from the crowds and the hassle so he had Blurr take him to the quiet park that was practically half empty half the time. Unfortunalty Blurr wasn't helping with his need for peace and quiet. Apparently the blue mech had got his wish and he had been celebrating for quite some time.

"Thisisthegreatestdayofmylife I'msohappycanyoubelieveitOptim us?"

Optimus laughed as he barely understood what the blue mech had said.

He had only just heard about it.

One sol and completely out of the blue Longarm suddenly took Blurr up on his offer and said if he spent one sol with him he had to leave him alone for the rest of his life. In another words if he went out with him just once he had to go away and never bother him again. Blurr was over the second moon of Cybertron yet he did admit to Cliffjumper he was sad that Longarm only wanted one date just to keep him away. Cliffjumper also mentioned that this was weird, even for Longarm Prime. However after their "first" date Longarm decided to spend some more time with the young blue mech and now they were, sort of, dating. It had shocked everyone but Blurr could care less. Longarm Prime was now interested in him and he intendted to keep it that way.

Optimus was happy for him and could not help but feel like he had somehow helped in a way. No. This was Blurr's moment and he should allow him to feel like he had finally got what he wished for.

"He's taking me to a function! You know? The one where the Autobot Veteran Society host and there's a special dance afterwards? I can't wait! I think he's even taking dancing lessons! Do you think he'll dance with me Optimus? Speaking of which aren't you going with Ultra Magnus? You two are quite big in the media now! You two are practically bond mates now! Do you think Longarm would mate with me one day? That would great!"

"Oh...I think he mentioned that to me," replied Optimus, flushing a little.

"I knew it! You know you should get some polishing done at that fancy boutique. I'm thinking of going to it tomorrow. Want to come? I believe you get discount if you bring a friend! That would be fun won't it?"

Optimus flushed even more and looked at Blurr.

"You think of me as a...f-friend?" he stuttered.

Blurr gave Optimus a strange look.

"Of course. Aren't we?"

Optimus felt...he almost felt overwhelmed.

It had been a long time since he had considered anyone to be a friend. He just assumed Blurr's only interest was to keep an optic on him and only talked to him because he couldn't keep it all in. That's what he assumed at first; Blurr only talked to him because no one else wanted to hear him. Optimus thought he was nothing to the young blue mech but someone he could empty his words onto. For Blurr to call him a friend made him feel...happy. Ever since his friends back on Earth turned their backs on him after the terrible misunderstanding Optimus thought he could never get anyone to call him a friend ever again. Sure Blurr may seem like the type who would be happy to be anyone's friend but to have him say that made the young Prime feel much better.

"Are you alright Optimus? Did I do something to upset you?"

Optimus quickly shook his head and smiled.

"N-no. Sorry I was just thinking about something. That boutique sure sounds like a good idea."

"Really? Sweet, I'll set up an appointment. It's run by this guy called Tracks, he's well known and what not."

Optimus smiled as Blurr began contacting the boutique. This actually might be fun. Getting polished and buffed for a special occasion with a friend. It might even make Ultra Magnus happy for he was starting to think the young mech was becoming an anti-social type. To hear that he would be spending time with a friend would ease his worries. That and seeing Optimus all done up might...frag, he was feeling weird again.

It was then his optics caught a flash of red.

Looking over whilst Blurr talked the audios off the receptionist of the boutique, Optimus spotted none other than Rodimus walking through a quiet part of the park. The red Minor had not yet noticed Optimus but to be safe he kept himself hidden from the fragile mech's view Last thing he wanted was a fight to break out in the calming park which was filled with familes and young 'bots playing. Peering over Optimus tried to get a better look at him. He was looking down and wasn't even paying attention to the looks some 'bots he passed gave him.

A tug of pain in his spark made Optimus frown. Everyone he passed either ignored him or gave him one of those looks that made you feel uncomfortable.

He was all alone.

No one was there to comfort him. No one was there to be his friend in need. No one was there to take him out to a boutique for fun. This poor young victim, who had gone through something he himself had gone through, was suffering in silence.

What was he doing here though?

Blurr had somehow finished with setting up the appointment at the boutique and soon noticed Rodimus too, the red mech now exiting the park.

"Oh, he's here? Then again this park would make an excellent shortcut."

Optimus looked over to Blurr.

"Shortcut? You know where he's going?"

Blurr nodded.

"Poor guy. Everyone gives him grieve wherever he goes but he hates sitting in his room all day. His medics told him to try and go out into the world but he's going about it the wrong way. So he heads to the only place where no one gives a slag."

Optimus suddenly grew concerned.


"Some bar where no one gives a slag who you are as long as you buy drinks. I'm serious, you go in there and no one knows who you are. Even top celebrities go in there but no one pays attention. Could be some sort of programing or something, I don't know. I myself would never go in there because of the weridos that go in there but I'm not saying Rodimus is a weirdo! I'm just saying he should really go somewhere else like a museum or a spa, right Optimus? Optimus?"

Blurr looked up and to his horror Optimus was gone.

"SLAG!" he yelled, jumping up and darting around like mad.

"The one thing I'm supposed not to let happen and I let it happen!" he wailed.

As Blurr tried to figure out where Optimus had gone and even running off in the wrong direction, Optimus was sneaking through the crystal trees whilst carefully following Rodimus.

Rodimus had not noticed him as he exited the park and crossed the road to this strange looking bar. The young Prime waited until Rodimus had entered the bar before he himself exited the park and crossed the same street. He could not, he could just not stand by and watch the younger mech destroy himself like this. He knew how he felt, he knew the fear, the horror, the misery and the depression he was going through. If he could somehow...help him, help him get through this horrible ordeal...it would make him feel better. He was getting better with his recovery and by making certain Rodimus would recover as well would be a big tick in his book.

He knew he promised Ultra Magnus to leave Rodimus alone in his recovery but...he just couldn't. Ultra Magnus couldn't understand what it was like. To see someone else who had gone through the same horror he had gone through...it was horrible. The feeling of being completely alone...it was unbearable. No...he was going to do this, even if Ultra Magnus and Perceptor told him not to. He was going to help Rodimus in ever way he could.

Entering the bar he noticed the weird atmosphere that flooded his senses and was making him feel faint. He kept a strong mind as he walked on, determined to find Rodimus and help him. The bouncer gave him a rough look as he walked on in and the smell made the young Prime want to purge his tanks.

Inside was just as strange.

He was on some large dimly lit room where tables shielded with strange dark veils were scattered here and there. He could see that some mechs and femmes were sitting at these tables but the veils were obstructing his view, he could only make out their silhouettes. There was music playing but it was slow and depressing and made the young Prime feel miserable. Who would want to hang around here? He desperately looked around for Rodimus but if he was sitting at one of these tables he was going to have to peep under every veil over every table.

However luck was on his side.

As he walked further in he spotted the main bar where some shady looking bartender was mixing drinks and sitting at the bar was Rodimus, in the middle of drinking some funky looking cocktail. No one else sat at the bar which meant they could talk without others overhearing. Optimus paused for a moment and looked at the younger mech. Judging by his body language he was in a foul mood. After what had happened last time he would have walked away but he couldn't.

This was it.

He had to help Rodimus somehow.

Springer was taking care of his Autobots back on Earth. The least he could do was help someone who was clearly dear to the green triple changer.

Walking over he tried to think of things to say, things that wouldn't set the fragile mech off. He had never really done this sort of thing before and honestly he was feeling a little scared. Hopefully here Rodimus wouldn't do anything rash. All he had to do was smile and speak of things that wouldn't upset the younger mech. He also had to remember not to stare at him. He had to avoid optics contact for long periods.

Sitting down on the stool next to Rodimus, he coughed gently.


The red mech looked up with a surprised look.

"Yes? Can I help you?"

Optimus sighed with relief and relaxed a little. Rodimus didn't appear to look stressed nor did he want to lash out at him. In fact he didn't even recognize him from the other sol, which was a good thing. They could start afresh without any worries.

Before he could even talk Rodimus suddenly sat up, now confused.

"Wait...aren't you Optimus Prime?"

The young Prime smiled and nodded.

"Yes I am."

"You were the one Springer was sent to replace."

Optimus frowned and looked away for a brief moment before looking back. It didn't surprise him that Rodimus would be concerned about the triple changer but he still felt guilty over the fact that the reason Springer had gone in the first place was because of what had happened to him back on Earth.

"Y-yes," he replied, looking down.

The red mech blinked and nervously clutched his cocktail.

"W-was he...happy? About going I mean?"

Optimus wasn't exactly certain what mood the triple changer was in when he got the news about his new task but he did know that after seeing Rodimus in the hanger he was concerned. He didn't know how to put it into words so he tried to make it sound nice for him.

"He...he wasn't upset about going...but he did seem concerned about something. He wouldn't say."

Rodimus made an "oh" sound as he sipped his drink, looking away from the Prime with disappointment written all over his face. Optimus bit his lip as the tension suddenly began to build up. He had to say something, do something.

"S-so...you were close with him?"

The red mech nodded but then suddenly shook his head.

"N-no! I mean yes...no...I...aw slag forget it."

He slammed his empty glass down on the bar and waved to the bartender for another drink. Optimus winced. Was he making this worse?

"Do you want anything?"

Optimus looked up. The bartender was standing by waiting to take their orders.

"Beg your pardon?"

"I asked if you want anything? I'm buying."

The young Prime wasn't that much of a drinker and by the look of the display this bar didn't supply anything weak drinks. Drinks like these wouldn't affect him or the Sparkling but he didn't like them that much all the same. Still he couldn't turn down the red mech's offer, this could be his only opportunity to get to know Rodimus better and maybe even help him.

"Just a small weak one please."

The bartender nodded and left to make the drinks, changing the music to something even more depressing. Optimus sat there as the younger mech fiddled around with his empty glass, not even looking at the older mech or even talking to him. Optimus was terribly confused with his behavior Last time they met he almost attacked him just because he was staring at him. He wasn't acting like someone who was in the middle of recovering from a terrible event. He just acted like someone who didn't wish to be bothered. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.

Rodimus then turned to Optimus again, an curious look on his face.

"Why were you looking for me?"

Optimus flinched. Frag. He hadn't thought of that! What should he say? If he told him why he was really here the younger mech would get upset and possibly attack him and cause a scene. He couldn't mention Springer either, just in case he made that situation worse than it already was. He would have to make something up and make it sound reasonable. Optimus made certain that he wasn't staring at Rodimus and instead focused on the bar table whilst he talk.

"I...I remember hearing about you in the Academy, after I left. I wanted to meet the mech who broke some of the current records."

The younger mech titled his head.

"They weren't that hard," he muttered.

"Is that the only reason you wanted to see me?"

Optimus nodded, his spark pulsing hard in his chassis.

"I hope I wasn't disturbing you...I-..."

"Why did you get kicked out?"

Optimus looked over at him, shocked that someone would ask him such a thing. He wasn't proud of that part in his life and he truly hated it when others asked him about it. Rodimus was looking back but after a few moments he suddenly shuddered and looked away, clutching his empty glass in his trembling hands. The young Prime cursed himself, forgetting that Rodimus didn't like it when others stared at him and he focused back on the bar table. Thankfully Rodimus was remaining calm and did nothing that suggested he would attack.

"Sorry, I just heard so many stories and I thought it would be fair to hear both sides of the story," he sighed, venting a little fast.

"Oh it's fine. I just assumed everyone would believe Sentinel rather than me."

"Sentinel? Ha! Everything that comes out of that hole in his face is nothing but garbage."

Optimus snorted at that remark.

"I'll admit that he does tend to exaggerate things."

"Exaggerate? More like he makes half of it up and throws in things that are illogical as well as stupid. Only those who want to kiss his aft actually believe him and everything he spews out of that damn voice box of his. He once told a story about how he battled a giant slime monster in a training exercise on some organic world. You know, that training exercise where you're tested on how you handle yourself on organic worlds? The one you do in the fifth orbital cycle?"

"Oh yes, I remember that."

"And did you fight a giant slime monster?"

"It was a baby space slug actually. It mistook him for it's mother."

"I knew it!"

The two mechs laughed as the pair of them pictured Sentinel having his legged humped by a baby space slug. Their drinks were placed before him as Rodimus asked Optimus another question.

"OK, I have to know if this is true. Did he really pass the level five obstacle course the first time round?"

"It took him three attempts before he made it through."

"The test you take in the third deca-cycle? The one everyone fails the first time around except him?"

"He had the answers written on his arm."

"I would have found that more hilarious if you said it was his chin."

"No, that was where he wrote the answers for his final exam."

The two mechs chuckled, forgetting that they were in a dark and gloomy bar. In fact they now seemed out of place in this dreay bar where the depressed and miserable go to drown their sorrows. Optimus had even forgotten why he was here in the first place. He was enjoying having a conversation with Rodimus who in turn was enjoying chatting with him. It felt like ages since he spoke like this with someone else. Rodimus was such an interesting mech to talk to, never a dull moment. He was completely different from the mech who nearly hurt him.

Their conversation went from Sentinel Prime to academy training to least favorite instructors all the way to favorite data-pads authors. Optimus preferred mystery and heroic novels whilst Rodimus was more into the adventure and danger. They exchanged data-pads titles they had read and both promised each other that they will look into them. They then started talking about music, Rodimus liking loud and fast whilst Optimus preferred calm and soothing. Rodimus tried to convince Optimus to at least give some of his music a try and then tried to convince the bartender to at least play some more cheerful tunes.

Time had passed and the collection of glasses before them had grown. They were already feeling a bit tipsy but that did not stop them from chatting and sharing stories with each other. Other patrons of the bar had come and gone but the two mechs had failed to notice. They were so lost in their talking that the outside world had become lost to them.

Optimus felt like he was living someone else's live. He didn't realize how interesting Rodimus was and he was quite mature in a reckless unique way. Heck even Bumblebee and Bulkhead would be impressed. Prowl and Ratchet would be more worried then impressed. The red mech was so strange yet fun at the same time. Compared to him Optimus actually felt old. The younger mech was so uplifting and loud. It was almost as if he hadn't gone through a traumatic ordeal.

"You really should go there at least once. The leisure parks there are so wild looking. They even have an open air art gallery there complete with a energon bar that sells those weird orange drinks."

"I'm not really a fan of the Paragon district. It's filled with too many young 'bots."

"Aw c'mon, I'm sure an "older" 'bot such as yourself can still have fun!"

"Hey, I'm not that old."

Rodimus laughed as he down another drink and then tried to find a free spot for his empty glass. He then looked at Optimus with a strange expression on his face. Almost as if he was about to ask something personal.

"Say Optimus, can I ask you something?"

Optimus shrugged as he sipped his own drink.

"Well...do you love Ultra Magnus?"

Optimus suddenly choked on his drink, spluttering out what was in his mouth and coughing a little. Rodimus chuckled a little and patted the older mech on the back.

"Sorry...I just heard rumors, that you're one of those-...oh never mind. I'm sorry, just forget it. Stupid tabloids."

The red mech took another gulp of his drink whilst Optimus sat there with a frown.

No one had ever asked him that.

No one had ever directly asked him if he had feelings for Ultra Magnus. Some had tried to hint the question to him, to which he failed to pick up, but still he had never been asked that question before. The worst part...he didn't know how to respond to it. He didn't know what answer to give. He wasn't even sure how to guess the answer. So why was his Spark pulsing so fast? Why was his face heating up? Why was he feeling strange just by hearing this question? He had asked himself, sure but to hear someone else ask him made him feel...strange.

Ultra Magnus had been so good to him and he knew that he loved him...and Optimus found that deep down, he did care for the Magnus. Yet their love was something that could not be. There was no way that the Magnus could love him properly, not after what happened to him.

It was then that he wondered; was it the same for Rodimus?

Did he no longer wish to be with Springer because of what happened? Did he beileve that their love could no longer work because of the trauma he had suffered, that he would burden Springer with his pain. Was he afraid that Springer would eventually reject him because of this, so he rejected him before he could? Did the pair of them, both himself and Rodimus...share the same worries and troubles?

Optimus thought he could tell Rodimus, tell him that he understood what he was going through, that he too had gone through a terrible ordeal... but he couldn't... he was scared... even if Ultra Magnus had not forbidden him to tell anyone, he still couldn't tell him. Optimus was still scared of others learning his terrible secret.

As Rodimus placed an empty glass down and tried to order another one, he suddenly flinched when a large mech came up behind him, the sudden and large movement catching him off guard. He tried to calm down as the bartender brought him a new drink, but the large mech had noticed him.

"Hey there, you're kinda cute," he slurred, leaning down until he was optic level with Rodimus. "Wanna grab a drink together? I know this nice place."

As the large mech attempted to hit on Rodimus, Optimus suddenly noticed that the red mech was shaking, the happy aura around him suddenly vanishing, gripping his glass with such force it was beginning to crack. He was scared, unable to move or even utter a single word. For a moment Optimus thought Rodimus would attack the large mech, like how he did back at the medical center. He had to intervene, before something terrible happened.

Before Optimus could even defend Rodimus, another mech showed up, and pulled at the large mech hitting on Rodimus. "Don't pick that one stupid, that's the one who-... well, you know... he's not clean." The large mech gasped, jumping away from Rodimus, as if he was carrying a disease. The two mechs then left, not wanting to associate any further with him.

Alone at the bar once more, Optimus looked over at Rodimus, the red mech still shaking. A great wave of pity washed over him, his wish to help the younger mech only grew, and his realization that, unlike with him, everyone was aware that Rodimus had been violated in such a disgusting way. Unlike him, who was now famous for being Ultra Magnus' future bondmate, Rodimus was well known for being ravaged by Decepticons. He reached out to touch him, but before he could even touch him, Rodimus looked over at him with frightened optics.

Before Optimus could even say anything, Rodimus looked away and back down at the bar table. "Please...don't look at me," he asked in a timid and trembling tone.

Optimus retracted his hand immediately and looked away, not wanting to cause anymore stress to the already traumatize mech.

So far this plan to help Rodimus was not going as he intended.

"What do you mean, you lost him?" demanded Ultra Magnus, glaring at Blurr with tired optics.

Blurr looked down at his pedes, feeling incredibly bad for losing the one he was supposed to watch. He had run off in every direction as fast as he could, but no matter which way he ran, he could not locate the young Prime. "I searched for him, but regrettably I have no clue where he could have gone," explained the blue mech, terribly concerned for Optimus' whereabouts.

Ultra Magnus sighed, rubbing his frustrated brow as he tried to think.

This wasn't the news he had been expecting after leaving a meeting, it was not something he wanted to hear when they were so close to the day, when he would announce that Optimus was carrying 'his sparkling' to the public. To hear that his beloved Optimus had gone 'missing' was both troublesome and worrying, especially given the circumstances. He already alerted Perceptor, who had launched his spy-bots to locate the missing Prime. The sol was nearly over, and Optimus was still missing. All he could do now was to try and get as much information out of Blurr as he could.

"Did something, anything, happen before you lost him?" demanded Ultra Magnus, trying his best not to get angry at Blurr.

Blurr shook his head so fast, that Ultra Magnus thought it was going to fall off. "I'm sorry but- OH! We were talking about this bar!"

"A bar?"

"Yes, a bar... w-why were we talking about a bar? Um... why oh why were we talking about a bar?" Blurr tried to think, pacing the office he occupied with the elder mech, who's concern for Optimus' disappearance was growing by the nano-click.

Blurr suddenly clapped his hands. "Oh now I remember, we saw Rodimus heading towards some bar, and Optimus asked about it."

Ultra Magnus flinched at the mention of Rodimus' name. "And he disappeared right after that?" he asked, now really concerned. Blurr nodded, hoping it was enough to help locate Optimus, but the elder mech was frowning in such a way, it was scaring Blurr.

He promised... he promised he would not get involved with Rodimus. He made him promise, explaining to the young Prime why he couldn't get close to the red mech, both he and Perceptor explained why, and Optimus understood and promised. It wasn't out of spite nor disgust, but he was terrified that Optimus might say something, something that would both ruin their plans and upset, the already fragile, Rodimus. He should have known this was going to happen, he should have done something to prevent them meeting, he should have been more prepared. Why? Why did Optimus run off to see him? Was it to aid him, like he had said, or was it... was it because of what Perceptor had told him?

"Don't be ridculous!" snapped Ultra Magnus, refusing to believe in what the stoic mech was saying. "Optimus would never stoop to such a level."

Perceptor merely explained, knowing that the elder mech wasn't going to like it. "I understand you are upset, but I fear that Optimus may only chase after him, for his own personal comfort."

Ultra Magnus refused to believe him, looking away and gripping his hammer like mad.

Perceptor continued, "Optimus has suffered at the hands of Megatron, and is now carrying his sparkling, yet no one, apart from you and me, is aware of this. Optimus is also living this life of luxery, with you protecting him. Rodimus was attacked by multiple Decepticons, he is not carrying, but what had happened to him was made public, despite our efforts to cover it up. The only one he cared for was sent away, thus he feels alone and vulnerable In some sense, Rodimus is in a far worse situation compared to Optimus, at least that is how he will see it."

The facts weren't helping, and Ultra Magnus refused to believe them. "He would never 'use' anyone for his own personal gain," he declared.

"To be around someone, someone who has gone through something both similar and painful as his experience, will make his life seem far better. It will make him feel at ease, knowing that someone is suffering-"


Perceptor actually flinched when Ultra Magnus screamed at him, the elder mech unable to believe that this is something Optimus would do.

"Optimus would never... he would never do anything like that... not ever."

"So you say... but I believe he will."

Since hearing such terrible things from the stoic mech, Ultra Magnus had made certain that Optimus would stay away from Rodimus. Not because he didn't trust the young Prime, nor believe what Perceptor had stated, but because the pair of them needed to recover on their own. Yes, that was why he asked Optimus to avoid the red mech, not because he was afraid. Rodimus was getting all the help he needed, and Optimus didn't need to help him, and he would never use him just to 'feel better'.

Still that fear, the fear that Optimus would stoop so low, was starting to creep in, after learning from Blurr where Optimus may have gone.

He was about to have some Elite Guard mechs he trusted go investigate and return with Optimus, when his comm went off.

"Ultra Magnus, Optimus Prime has returned, I've sent them up to your estate."

The elder mech sighed with relief, and poor Blurr actually fainted, happy that Optimus wasn't in any danger. Ultra Magnus was just happy that he didn't have to order half the Elite Guard out onto Cybertron. At last, he no longer had to worry where Optimus was, now that he had returned safely-... wait? Did he say 'them' just now?

The Magnus excused himself, not before quickly comming someone to come get Blurr, and made his way back to his estate. It was a brisk walk, for his concern was starting to grow again. Either it was a slip of the glossa or... Optimus had come home with someone. Mechs and femmes leapt out of his way, doors were opened for him, and no one said a thing as he rushed back to him estate In the life, he began tapping the staff of his hammer, wishing that the damn thing had the ability to go faster.

Once he reached the top level, he quickly rushed through the front doors, and almost dropped his hammer in shock.

Perceptor was there, thank Primus, and so was Optimus, and so was Rodimus, the pair of them drunk. Ultra Magnus couldn't believe it, even though it was happening right there in front of him. Rodimus was laying on a nearby couch, half in recharge and half awake. Optimus was leaning against a wall, a drunken smile plastered on his pale blue face. He was moaning in between fits of giggles, whilst Rodimus was just slurring out words that made no sense. Perceptor stood nearby with a disapproving look. What the frag happened? Optimus never got drunk, and he wasn't a fan of strong drinks either, so what in Primus' name was this all about?

Optimus noticed Ultra Magnus, and smiled at him with a silly expression, stumbling over to him and grabbing him in clumsy embrace. "Heeey, Ultra Magnus, I missed yoooou," he giggled, his mind not in a stable state. Ultra Magnus held him, in fear he would fall. "Weeee had soooo much fuuuun today, but the meanies were aways meeeeean to us. Stupid meeeeanies! Stuuuupid! Aren't they Roddy?"

Rodimus waved in a pitiful manner, almost falling off the couch, whilst Perceptor sighed. He looked at Ultra Magnus with a concerned look.

"He told him."

Ultra Magnus felt his spark stop in mid-pulse. He could only assume from the short explanation that the one who 'told' someone something, was Optimus. As to what he told, he didn't know, and he hoped it wasn't about their secret.

"Told him? What do you mean? Told him what?" he demanded, holding Optimus tight.

Before Perceptor could even explain, Rodimus sat up and waved again, a huge drunken grin on his pale pink face.

"Congraaaaats on-hic-the sparkling! Shaaame you ain't-hic-the sire noooow."