CHAPTER 49

"So you're going to have a sibling?" Tyler asked, Drew turned, and nodded with a smile "Oh man, that's awesome. I mean I get your initial fear. But dude, this is huge for Ironhide and Chromia." He nudged Drew who only nodded again "Aren't you thankful you get a little brother or sister to boss around?" He teased.

"It's going to be a huge robot baby, good luck with that." Drew laughed.

Drew still wasn't sure what he thought of being a big brother. But at least he now knew for sure that he was going nowhere. His parents had reassured him at least twenty times they wouldn't, and it had only been a day. But he still worried slightly it would be different when the sparkling actually came. "I don't get why you were even scared, bro. Ironhide and Chromia love you a whole lot." He looked over at him for a moment "Why were you so scared?" He questioned.

"Well, when people dump you for their own kids. And when you get abused..." Drew seemed to drift off in his thoughts for a moment "I guess I'm just always kinda scared that I'm not what they really want." He admitted, his voice quiet "Then again, they still tuck me in at night. So it is a little weird for me to do that, I guess." He added.

Tyler smiled understandingly, looking over at his own Father. He'd always thought that, that he could never be what Optimus or Elita had wanted. Yet he still took care of him, still looked out for him. And now, he was happily raising him as his youngest son. Unlike Drew, Tyler had siblings, Hot Rod on the Eastern Base, and Bumblebee, who of course lived on their base. "I know how that feels. But you don't give yourself enough credit." He told him, with a sigh "I didn't at first either. So I know how that is, it isn't easy." He admitted.

"You weren't in Foster Care."

"You're right, I wasn't. But I know one thing about your situation Drew. Ironhide and Chromia chose YOU." Drew stared at Tyler in surprise, he hadn't seen that comment coming "They aren't going to choose the sparkling they get. They don't know what he or she will be like." He looked him in the eyes "But they chose to make you their son, Drew. Even after finding the scars and all of that." He added.

Drew smiled and nodded, staring over to see if the dinner was ready or not. Kyle was with Bulkhead, who was messing around with him. Sunstreaker was playing with Alex, an odd sight before, but now commonplace. And Jazz and Jason were doing the same. But dinner definitely didn't appear ready. "What are you two doing out on your own." Drew was stunned as Ironhide scooped him onto his shoulder carefully, Optimus doing the same to Tyler "This is a family holiday kiddos, join the party." Ironhide poked him gently at this comment.

"We were just talking Dad." Drew replied rubbing his shoulder "How are you big guy?" He questioned.

"Great, except my baby boy wasn't around, and that bothered me." Ironhide winked at his son slightly as Tyler giggled and Drew's face flushed "Heh, sorry kiddo, but I get to embarrass ye once in a while, it's in the parental handbook." He noted.

Drew smiled as he scooted towards the crook of Ironhide's neck. He felt honored getting to be this close, as far as he knew, he was the only human Ironhide allowed to ride on him. And indeed it was true, Ironhide's shoulders were reserved for Drew, and eventually, his own sparkling. He didn't like others riding and scratching his paint job at times, being a little like Sunstreaker in that sense. But Drew was his son, and he proudly let him ride on him anytime he wanted. "Mmmm I can't even have that food and it smells good." Ironhide grinned as he looked over at the dinner finally being set down "Hungry, pal?" He questioned.

Drew nodded with a grin, and Ironhide smiled. Glad that Drew was no longer afraid, as he was really going out of his way to show the boy he wasn't going anywhere. Namely setting up Drew's spot between him and Chromia so that he could spend Thanksgiving dinner. It was usually only the two of them with assorted Autobot families all around, but this year, it would be the three of them. Setting him down between them Ironhide grinned. "What do ye want buddy boy, one of everything?" He questioned.

"Yes please! Extra gravy on the turkey too!" Drew grinned.

Ironhide smiled, doing as was asked, having to remind himself what 'gravy' was. He set the plate in front of Drew, who grinned widely. The boy had never seen such a big or more delicious looking meal in his life. He looked up, looking all around, his friends all looked equally happy. Bulkhead was rubbing the back of a smiling Kyle, who leaned against his Father. Drew could only imagine how it felt to be in a family at last. Sunstreaker actually was beaming for once being with Sideswipe and Alex, trying to coax Alex into the stuffing, an abnormal sight for sure. Optimus, Bumblebee, and Tyler looked happy, talking and chatting. Jazz was telling Jason a story from his older war days as he ate, listening and clinging onto every word. Finally, Oliver and Cliffjumper were sitting nearest to them, happy as could be just to enjoy each other's company.

Drew looked between Ironhide and Chromia for a moment, his parents. Thinking of what Tyler had said to him, and realizing he was right. Ironhide and Chromia had chosen him, they'd chose to adopt him, to love him, to be his parents. They wouldn't choose whatever child they had conceived. But they would have always been the ones who saw not a possible 'spy' but a boy who just wanted a roof over his head, a bed to sleep in, somewhere to call his own, and most of all, to be loved. That, he realized, was what he was thankful for more then anything else in the world. "Hey guys?" Ironhide and Chromia turned "I think I finally know what I'm most thankful for." He added.

They looked at one another and then smiled down at Drew. "Oh yeah, and what's that?" Chromia asked.

"That you two chose me." Drew smiled, looking at them "I owe you guys my life. I don't even know where I'd be if you hadn't." A smile crossed both of their lips "Thank you." He added.

"Yer welcome." Ironhide turned to Chromia, then looked at Drew "It was the best thing we've ever done." He noted, conveying what Chromia also said through their spark bond.

Drew smiled, believing what he said, and happy to know that he finally had that kind of love and nurturing in his life. He felt the scars on his body briefly, but for the first time, managed to pull away from them. He no longer would let fear rule his life, he realized. This was home, this was family, and the past was irrelevant. Slowly he began to dig into the mound of food with eager enthusiasm, and for the first time, broke out of his shell and began to join several conversations.

...

It was later that night when Chromia walked into the den of their home to find Ironhide's hologram on the couch. He turned and put a finger to his lips before pointing down. Chromia walked over quietly, and smiled. Drew, full, and exhausted was laying on the couch, head in Ironhide's lap, out like a light. Ironhide was smiling, tracing his fingers along his hair, and gently bending down to kiss the top of his head. Chromia smiled, and let her hologram appear, gently picking Drew up from Ironhide's lap. Ironhide followed he as she carefully brought the boy to bed, gently tucking him in. She laid a kiss on his head, and sat for a moment, allowing Ironhide to wait.

"We really did choose well, didn't we?" She asked Ironhide quietly, turning her head to look at him "I can't even BEGIN to imagine life without Drew." She noted.

"Neither can I. Boy's quite the special little one." Ironhide replied in an equally quiet tone "Te think, anyone could have stepped up to the plate that day. But slag if I ain't happy that they didn't." He added, Chromia stood from the bed and walked over carefully "Now we're going to have two. Two Chromia." He said, his tone full of elation "I only ever expected or wanted one. But after how we've been doing with him. I'd settle for a dozen." He teased.

"Easy 'Hide, two's a good start." Chromia giggled as they both disappeared.

Their real forms settled onto their recharge berth calmly. Ironhide's arm wrapped around her waist, and he smiled happily. "I think I'm thankful fer the same thing Drew is." Chromia looked at Ironhide with a smile "That we chose 'im." He then rubbed her spark chamber "And for the little one who will soon become family member #4." He added "Would it be cheesy te say my life is complete with these two and you?" He questioned.

"Very." Chromia said with a giggle "But I like cheesy."

"Happy Thanksgiving, sweetspark." Ironhide simply replied.

That night as they both offlined was the happiest, and most fulfilled recharge they'd had in a long time.

...

A/N: A little late, but better late then never! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!