Healing

A Transformers Prime Fanfic

Based after the events of Episode 23

Engine purring, a yellow muscle car pulled smoothly into the cavernous interior of the abandoned missile silo. A door clicked open to disgorge a moving pile of, something. Petri dishes rattled in a plastic bag, beakers of various sizes clinked in a cardboard box, and at least two microscopes peaked out of a backpack. The car waited patiently while the moving pile of scientific paRafernalia waddled over to a table and collapsed around a brown haired boy. Rafael Esquivel was smiling and humming to himself as he hurried back to the car for another armful.

"Rafael! You're back." A gruff voice called eagerly from across the base. "Just in time too! Mrs. Darby and I were just about to start calibrating the new bio-analytical array." The smile slipped momentarily from the boys face. He glanced around quickly for a place to hide, but the red and white Autobot was already rounding the corner. Ratchet grinned down at the human and held out one massive hand.

"But I have to get the rest of my stuff out of Bee first," Raf protested. Ratchet waved away the idea.

"Bah! Bumblebee can unload himself. It has been some time since your last exam. Now come on, we can't keep June waiting." The medic gently scooped up the boy and turned toward the medical bay. A series of loud whistles and beeps from the yellow car stopped him. Ratchet frowned.

"You have what on your back seat?" he asked.

"Sensitive scientific instruments," Raf said, squirming a little in the bots grip, "for the science project Jack and I are doing together. I really need to unload them myself." The medibot seemed to waver for a moment, but then the sound of a motorcycle filled the chamber.

"Ah, if Jack is working with you then he can unload the gear." Ratchet turned to the two who had just entered as Jack dismounted and Arcee transformed.

"Jack! Clear your equipment out of Bumblebee. Your mother and I are about to give Rafael his checkup." Raf shot the yellow car a last pleading look but Bee could only whistle in sympathy as Ratchet carried him off.

The bot took him to a newly reorganized section of the base. In one corner stood the kind of exam table found in any hospital room. Stacked around it was a bank of what were clearly diagnostic machines. They were however, pierced and warped to accommodate the alien technology Ratchet had upgraded them with. A slim, middle aged woman stood by a control display in scrubs lightly holding her stethoscope. She smiled up at the boy and patted the exam table.

"Hello Raf. Ready for your checkup?" she asked gently. Raf smiled sheepishly at her. He knew he shouldn't resist these exams so much. After all, they only insisted because they cared about him. He had nearly died after Megatron had blasted Bee with the dark energon tainted plasma cannon, and who knows what aftereffects that would leave on a human? But, he shivered as Ratchet placed him gently on the table, he had nearly died here. The memory of waking up wracked with unbelievable pain was still strong in his memory. Miko's hugs, Jack's hand on his shoulder, Mrs. Darby's gentle caresses, and Bee's joyous face had soon drowned out the fear with love, but here on the table, it all came rushing back.

"What?" Raf asked realizing Mrs. Darby had just spoken to him.

"I said, please take off your shirt," she replied with a smile. Raf complied, and shivered again. Ratchet noticed the shiver and gave a worried grunt.

"I'm sorry about the temperature Rafael. We have to keep the main base cool for the machinery to function properly, and I have trouble warming sections."

"That's okay Ratchet," Raf tried to smile up at the bot, "I'm not too cold." True enough, it was the memories that made him shiver. Just then Bumblebee came around the corner in robot mode. Raf immediately felt better. The bot whistled encouragingly at him and the boy smiled back.

"Now just like last time I'm going to give you a regular exam, just like you've had a dozen times before at the doctor's office. Then Ratchet will run some scans on you. Then you're free to go while we compare notes." June Darby explained.

"Or you can stay and participate in the discussion." Ratchet interrupted. "After all these are you vital signs we are discussing." Raf shook his head mutely. He wanted this over with as soon as possible. Jack's mom gently aimed the light from her scope into his eyes, ears, and throat. She pressed her stethoscope to his chest and back.

"Now breathe in. Good. Hold it. Very nice. Now breathe out. Good, and again." The nurse murmured gently as she continued the exam. The reflex hammer came out in its turn. Raf squinted through the eye chart reading. Finally Mrs. Darby finished and nodded to her Autobot collogue.

Raf eyed the array of tubes and wires sticking out from the bank of computers wearily. He had seen more than one of Ratchet's inventions go crazy. But the medibot only stepped forward and gently affixed one tube over the boy's heart and one to his right temple. Though they were the thinnest Ratchet had, they still looked bulky on the small human boy. Both tubes glowed faintly blue. The monitors came immediately to life. Raf's heartbeat traced mountains and valleys marching boldly across the screen. A dozen other readouts chirped and chimed.

Bee eagerly tired to make sense of his friend's data, but soon gave up and looked at Ratchet imploringly. Ratchet saw the younger bot's distress and let out a gruff laugh.

"It all says he's fine Bumblebee. The same as he was yesterday, and the day before that." The yellow Autobot whistled happily and held out his hands to the boy on the table. Raf looked eagerly between Ratchet and Mrs. Darby. The two exchanged a look and the woman nodded.

"Very well, you may go," sighed the medibot tolerantly. He gently reached down, picked up the boy, and removed the sensory tubes. Bumblee held out his hands to receive the human, but Ratchet wasn't quite ready to surrender his charge yet. He held out the boy's shirt and sweater, which Raf eagerly put on. It was cold in the medibay. Then the medic just held the boy for a moment staring at him and gently resting one massive hand on his back. Raf smiled up at the red and white Autobot. Now that the dreaded exam was over he felt content to just bask in the care and affection of his friends. Ratchet might have a gruff exterior, but he truly cared for all of his charges, Autobot and human alike.

An impatient whistle interrupted the moment. Raf laughed and scrambled over into Bumblebee's hands. As Bee carried him over to where Jack was organizing the equipment he thought ruefully that between all the bots he probably hadn't walked more than a dozen steps in the base since the accident. Behind him Mrs. Darby and Ratchet were deep in conversation over his data. He didn't really mind. He knew that the nurse was using the exams to give the medibot some hands on human healing experience. Theory was all well and good but books couldn't teach someone everything, and Ratchet was determined to learn as much about humans now as he did about Cybertronians. 'Just as well,' thought Raf. His current obsession at least kept the over eager Autobot from trying to "help" with the latest science project.

Jack held up a jar of green goo as Bee reluctantly set the smaller boy down next to the pile.

"Are you ready to do some science?" Jack asked with a flourish.

"You bet!" Raf replied with a grin.