Title: Never Abandon You, Partner
Pairings/Characters: Wheeljack, Hot Shot, Optimus Prime, Red Alert, Megatron, Demolisher, Cyclonus, Megatron, Starscream, Thrust, Jolt, Wind Sheer, and mentions of Ironhide, Jetfire, Hound, and Bluestreak.
Warnings: Mention of character death, fluff.
Summary: Every mech had gotten a minicon in the beginning of these struggles of war. Wheeljack meets his minicon on one side and is reunited on another.
Disclaimers: Do not own Transformers.
Notes: I am dedicating this to MegamiMao. My fellow Unicron Triolgy Lover! ^^ She wished for a oneshot and so I did my best to get her one! I hope this is something like what you were looking for.
Wheeljack looked up from his Neutral Assault Rifle and grinned when he spotted his teammate jogging toward him from across the Autobot Base's training courtyard. Wheeljack often spent a majority of his time in the courtyard, working on his hand to hand combat as well as marksmanship with a variety of weapons; though he soon discovered that he would not be much help in the Sniper ranks.
Assault Rifles would just have to suffice; they worked as well as any other gun anyway.
A few vorns ago Wheeljack had been recruited by an Autobot scout designated Hound and his friend Bluestreak had been quick to follow him. Together they had journeyed through the ranks of the proud warriors with their close friendship supporting them through the battles and rigorous, but necessary, training under the Weapon Specialist Ironhide. Wheeljack was not sure there was a trainer that drove his trainees so harshly but it leveled out in the absolute care that Ironhide had for each and every one of his students.
His comradeship with Bluestreak had been crushed after a brutal battle where both Hound and Bluestreak had been deactivated by an unknown seeker. After being patched up by some field medic, Wheeljack had been put under the guidance and supervision of his new teammate, Hot Shot.
All rookies who lost comrades in battle were kept close to more experienced warriors so that the new recruits did not attempt any rash actions in their anger or sorrow.
Though Wheeljack had not been inclined to raid a Decepticon camp solo, he did not deny to the resident psychologist, some Praxian designated Smokescreen, that he felt a strange helplessness that was fueled by both loss and fury.
The loss of his dear friend Bluestreak gave him horrible memory fluxes. The fact that Bluestreak had slipped away when he had not been more than twenty feet away only served to widen the helplessness he felt in his spark. He had vowed since then to never abandon a comrade or friend in battle or out of it. There would never be another Bluestreak, not while he was on the battlefield.
Perhaps it had been his surprising level-headedness or perhaps it had been his teammate's sheer energy to fight the Decepticons but Wheeljack had been reinstated on the battle roster a full five and half orns before his fellow rookies that had been put under supervision from the same battle.
Wheeljack stood up from where he had a cleaning kit laid out around him on the ground so he could perform the proper maintenance on his weapon before battle called them to the frontlines once more. Against one of the high walls had also given him a good view of the newer rookies and the training of other Autobots.
"Hey, Hot Shot." Wheeljack greeted calmly, storing his weapon into subspace.
Hot Shot came to a panting halt a good two feet away from him and hunched over to rest his hands on his knees. Watching his teammate groan a bit and swear something under his breath, Wheeljack wondered if he should recommend Hot Shot to repeat some basic training under Ironhide again. His endurance couldn't be that low. Not to mention there had been no new assignments or missions in the past three deca-cycles.
Hot Shot suddenly perked up, straightening completely, and a beaming grin that swallowed his entire expression on his face.
Wheeljack did not even get a chance to open his mouth before Hot Shot continued excitedly,
"We got assigned minicon partners!"
Well… that was certainly something new.
Fifteen Breems Later
The room where he met his new minicon partner held little grandeur and even less comfort. What it lacked in appearance was made up by something special.
When Wheeljack entered the room, following Hot Shot who had impatiently barged into the room without preamble, he had been not so surprised to see it was just a regular Briefing Room.
He had been surprised to see perhaps the most well renowned Autobot on Cybertron within the room. Optimus Prime was sitting at the far end of the circular table and looking down at a pair of minicons who stood upon the table's surface, murmuring quietly to them. Sitting a seat over from Optimus to the right had been a mostly navy blue and gray and red Autobot wielding a stylus and rapidly writing something upon a datapad.
The minicons on the table were certainly a sight as well. Wheeljack had never expected them to be so… tiny. He had seen minicons before of course. They were industrial/construction workers and they had happily been content to being ignored by the Transformers while running around, darting in and out of sight and both building and decorating the numerous skyscrapers that were all over Cybertron. Wheeljack had been aware of their presence just as surely as they had been aware of theirs but neither race had made large bounds to mingling with the other.
Still, the war had brought a forceful end to that blissful disinterest. Now the minicons had been unable to remain unnoticed and so they were slowly beginning to mesh into the Autobot forces.
"Ah, Hot Shot, Wheeljack."
Optimus' steady vocals brought him from his musings and he looked up from the pair of minicons to see the rarity of gold colored optics locked on him with all the understanding and care that was rumored to be in the Prime's spark. There were times he had wondered if Optimus was truly as kind-sparked and humble as Ironhide or Jetfire, Optimus' Second in Command, had often said -or even complained-. He believed them now.
Wheeljack saluted just as the other Autobot looked up as well, sharp crimson visor searing over himself and Hot Shot; as though they were being scrutinized for some sort of crime. Then he noticed the broad red stripes running across the mech's shoulder guard and the distinguishable white border that framed an equally red cross in the center of the line.
That settled that; he was a medic, automatically checking for injury. He spared a small smile for the medic before addressing his commander respectively, "Sir!"
Optimus stood up from his seat and inclined his head, an amused glimmer appearing in his optics. His tone tinged with that same amusement, "Please. Call me Optimus. This is not a formal meeting."
The medic's lips tightened for a moment as though he was about to comment on the admittance and leniency on Optimus' part before he heard a low vent of air escape the medic and he went back to work on… whatever it was he was working on.
"Uh, yeah. Okay… Optimus."
"Yes, s-Optimus." Wheeljack said awkwardly.
He was rewarded with a brighter shade of gold and a small chuckle from his Commander before he gestured down to the two minicons that were now looking right at him and Hot Shot.
"Hot Shot, Wheeljack, you were called here because Ironhide and a very reliable source have confided in me that you are both capable of handling a partnership with a minicon companion."
'Handling a partnership?' Wheeljack echoed mentally. Apparently not all Transformers were very happy about working with the minicons; or unable to treat them like the free-willed beings they were. He had no doubts they were intelligent little things but he wasn't sure they could be counted as suitable partners for Transformers. The differences were too great for one thing.
"Jolt and Wind Sheer approached me, Jetfire, and Red Alert last cycle. They requested a place in our forces to help liberate their fellow minicons in Decepticon hands." Optimus looked at them with a smile, "After giving them your designations, they have chosen the both of you as their partners."
"They choose us?" Hot Shot blurted out and looked at the minicons with unrestrained curiosity and eagerness. "Awesome!"
Wheeljack snickered at his teammates assertiveness's before letting himself take a good look at the minicons himself. Or at least he tried too. Jolt and Wind Sheer had moved since he last saw them. Both, in fact, had transformed and shot across the empty space between them. Wheeljack stumbled back when he saw one of them flying straight toward his face.
The minicon transformed with split astro-seconds to spare and landed with a metal clunk onto his shoulder guard.
Stupefied, he stared at the tan and umber brown minicon with maroon highlights on his wings. The minicon sung out a series of musical beeps and whistles. Shaking his head at the strange sounds, he looked over, mystified, and saw that Hot Shot had been similarly greeted by his own vibrant orange minicon helicopter. The same type of sounds were pouring from the hovering minicon so Wheeljack guessed it was their language or something like that because obviously the minicons understood what the sounds meant.
Deep laughter from Optimus made Wheeljack snap to attention again, his arm saluting once more and upsetting his new minicon from his position. Jerk reaction made him apologize as he caught the now tumbling minicon and set him securely back on the table.
"I see that the minicons have taken over their own introductions for me." Optimus said and Hot Shot laughed along with him. Wheeljack unfortunately was not able to find merriment in that statement.
The minicons had been introducing themselves? He had not heard a single syllable in that musical language. As he heard Hot Shot questioning both his minicon and Optimus, Wheeljack sat down heavily on one of the chairs and stared at his minicon intensely.
The minicon met his optics fearlessly with his own lemon-colored ones and Wheeljack saw curiosity in them, as well as a fair bit of confusion. Another burst of musical sounds came from the minicon and Wheeljack furrowed his optic ridges. Why couldn't he hear anything?
"Wheeljack?" Optimus said breaking him from his concentration that was truthfully going absolutely no where.
Looking up at Optimus he glanced around the room and found himself alone in the Briefing Room with the Prime. Standing up abruptly, he apologized, "I'm sorry, si-um, Optimus." Laying a hand down on the table, he let the minicon climb up his arm where he settled back on his shoulder again. "I'll be leaving now."
As he turned to leave, he heard Optimus question, "Is there something wrong, Wheeljack? You do not have to be teamed with Wind Sheer if you do not wish to be. I will not force you to work with him, nor do I think will he."
Venting softly, Wheeljack turned around with his optics on the table, "I couldn't hear him. I didn't even know his designation until you just told me."
Wind Sheer whistled lowly near his audial horn and perhaps Wheeljack was imagining it but he thought it sounded like something of an apology itself, as laden with sadness as it was.
"Don't worry Wheeljack." Optimus said with that understanding that Wheeljack had not seen leave his golden optics once. "Wind Sheer chose you out of the other mechs available for a minicon partnership."
Wind Sheer waved his arms up and down, beeping rapidly. Wheeljack looked from him to Optimus and the Prime translated, "He intends to help you however he can, Wheeljack. At least try, my friend. If you truly do not wish to be partnered with Wind Sheer you can contact Jetfire or I at any time."
Watching the Prime exit the room with a silent sigh, he looked back down at the minicons who was watching him curiously as he perched on the table's edge. More musical beeps and Wind Sheer jumped into the air transforming, landing on his shoulder once again in root mode.
"Well," Wheeljack began. He intended to try. Hot Shot, Optimus, they heard the minicons and he would sometime soon, too. "It's been quite a cycle. Want to hit the washracks?"
Wind Sheer beeped eagerly, throwing his arms in the air to commune his excitement and Wheeljack grinned. Words weren't always the only way to communicate.
A Joor Later
Wheeljack exited the washracks that were in his and Hot Shot's quarters with two towels in hand. A glistening, waxed minicon was sprawled on his stomach over his shoulder guard, buzzing quietly and twitching his wings. Wheeljack had quickly learned a few things about his minicon in the washracks.
One, Wind Sheer hated cold solvent. Luckily Wheeljack did as well and saw no reason to put his new partner through a freezing wash.
Two, Wind Sheer liked a good wax job. Then again, who didn't after a cycle of training?
Third, Wind Sheer absolutely, totally, loved being on his shoulder in any position or time. Five times he had attempted to dislodge the minicon but Wind Sheer protested with a quick transformation and small flight back up to his shoulder. Only when he offered a waxing did Wind Sheer happily jump onto the steel counters sporadically lined along one of the walls and let Wheeljack pamper him. Of course after Wheeljack and finished Wind Sheer reclaimed his place on Wheeljack's shoulder.
Drying himself off, Wheeljack was about to hand the second towel to Wind Sheer when a mischievous thought entered his processor. He grabbed Wind Sheer carefully, earning himself a surprised beep, and set him on his berth. Wind Sheer's optics widened for a moment. He patted the berth curiously and then buzzed in what sounded like approval. Then he crossed his arms with a pout-like gleam in his optics as he looked up at him. The familiar sounds of a transformation sequence were smothered by the second towel being draped over Wind Sheer.
Wheeljack put his hands on his hips and smiled as the transformation sequence halted abruptly. There was a small period of silence and then he heard Wind Sheer beeping, buzzing, and singing out his language from beneath the cloth as the bump underneath began to move around. Wheeljack's smile grew as an umber brown hand appeared, grabbing the edge and pulling it backwards. Wind Sheer's head popped up and looked down at the towel edge in his hand. He promptly pulled it back over his head and began to roll around in the towel with merry beeps.
Laughing deeply, Wheeljack proceeded to the full length mirror that Hot Shot had insisted be set up in their quarters and made sure he had not missed any major sections of his armor during the waxing.
Picking at a section on his legs, he frowned a bit and felt along the edges of the armor on his knee joints carefully. Feeling a slight indention on the very top of the protective armor, Wheeljack set an alarm for early in the next cycle to visit the med-bay and get the armor piece looked at.
"Beee-eel-eep. Beep beep o-eep."
Wheeljack sighed as he straightened and looked at himself in the mirror. A weary smile made its way on his face. With his white armor, most dents and scrapes stood out like black spots on suns. The wash and wax job had done some serious good on his appearance. Wheeljack snorted lightly when he thought, 'Might even make Hot Shot jealous.'
"Wheelja-ep! Whee-ee-ack! Hel-eeep!"
Wheeljack turned at the call of his mutated name and looked around for Hot Shot. With a base full of rowdy soldiers, pranks were a given occurrence almost every cycle and a slight vocalizer malfunction was one of the minor consequences for being a victim of them. His vibrant teammate was nowhere in sight however. A wriggling cocoon of white towel on his berth was however. Wheeljack stared at it in confusion.
"Wind Sheer?" He questioned hesitantly. Had he heard his partner talking at last?
"Whee-eeep! Help! I can-p get bee-ut!"
Elation drove him to his knees beside his berth and he picked around the towel for an edge he could start with to unravel the mess Wind Sheer, had gotten himself into. "Hold on, Wind Sheer. I'll get you out." He murmured as he finally located an edge of the towel. "Hope you have good equilibrium chips. Brace yourself, Wind Sheer." A positive beep reached his audios and Wheeljack pulled on the edge. Momentum did the rest.
The towel unraveled itself with Wind Sheer's added weight and the minicon tumbled out of the white confines with a grunt. Wheeljack reached out to him in concern. It was squashed as the minicon merely sat up and waved his arms up and down cheering happily. Wheeljack sat back a bit and rolled his optics.
Of course he was alright. Flyers it seemed, minicon or Transformer, had advanced equilibrium chips.
"Thank you Wheeljack!"
Crimson met lemon and Wheeljack smiled a genuine smile, "No problem, partner. Anytime."
Seven Vorns Later
"Hot Shot, please don't go!" Wheeljack cried out in a mixture of fear and pain. His sensor net from the waist down was processor-numbingly painful, like fire racing up and down every wire in his legs. The structure support for one of the buildings in Iacon's warehouse district had fallen apart right on top of him and Hot Shot. Reaction alone had saved Hot Shot from having his helm crushed in. The result was his legs being crushed in place of his teammate and friend's processor. It would have been a small price to pay; if not for the fire raging around them from spilled oil canisters within the battle-torn warehouses.
If there was something to say about Hot Shot, it would be that he followed the code that Wheeljack had formed around his life.
Never abandon a comrade.
Or at least he had thought so.
Hot Shot pushed, he pushed, but despite their great and panicked efforts the structure support was far too heavy for their strength alone or combined.
Then Hot Shot had stood up and backed away, claiming that he was leaving; that Wheeljack had to wait. Alone.
Wheeljack reached out to his friend, desperate, "Don't leave me here alone. I need you to stay with me."
Hot Shot had turned around and Wheeljack could see in his friend's optics a torn decision. Then Hot Shot was knelt beside him and for a moment Wheeljack had hope.
"Take it easy, Wheeljack. I'm just gonna go get help. Don't worry about a thing!"
Unbidden, Wheeljack began to tremble and it had nothing to do with his over-heating systems. Wheeljack had thought, with how many times he had rescued a comrade or stayed with them when they deactivated because medics were too far away to aide them, that he would have the same fate. That if he should deactivate, he would do so with his teammate or comrade next to him.
"I'll be back, I swear it!" Hot Shot shouted over the fire's loud crackling, already running down a jagged path where the fire had not yet connected.
Wheeljack stared after his friend and shakily breathed out, "I'll be waiting."
In this moment, more than any other moment before, he wished that his minicon partner, Wind Sheer, was with him. Of course, Wind Sheer was not even in the solar system anymore. All of the minicons, Wind Sheer included, had fled the planet on a spaceship that would send them into the depths of space. They had left to end the war with their absence and seek a more peaceful existence.
Wheeljack did not blame Wind Sheer for leaving. If he had discovered that he and his race were the reasons for a war, he would have fled to save his partner.
If Wind Sheer had been here though, he would never have left him. Wheeljack had made a point to inform his partner the exact code of honor he had wrapped his fighting in and the minicon had embraced it happily, aiding him in his efforts to never lose track of his fellow fighters.
He missed his partner; but at least he knew Wind Sheer was safe.
With that small comfort in his spark, Wheeljack stared out into the flames and waited for Hot Shot to return.
"Hey, Wheeljack! Megatron's ordered a meeting!"
Demolisher's heavy vocals reached his audios from where he lounged at the surveillance panel. Wheeljack turned dark optics on the tank and Demolisher twitched slightly, backing out. A slow smile lit his face and he stood with a chuckle, "Relax you glitch. I'm not going to blast you for telling me that Megatron requires our presence."
Pushing away from the panel in front of him, he started walking toward the door Demolisher stood in as he spluttered out apologies for his scared response. Wheeljack stifled another laugh. He had taken a shine to the bumbling tank. He reminded him so much of Bluestreak, even the sometimes non-stop flow of words that Demolisher spewed when he attempted to appease his leader.
He had gotten a good comrade in Demolisher as well, he reflected absently as he walked side by side with Demolisher toward the throne room. After showing his loyalty toward his comrades in battle, Demolisher had begun to keep an optic on him in battle as well. More than once, Demolisher had blasted Blurr or Sideswipe away from him and Wheeljack made sure to return the favor. It was as close to friendship as Decepticons could manage.
His optics darkened, 'Better than an Autobot's friendship for slagging sure.'
Kneeling before Megatron a few breems later, he listened closely to Megatron's speech. Though it was mostly his boasting about beating the Autobots, Wheeljack could hear something else in his tone. It was not quite happiness but not exactly tension either. Anticipation?
It had become something of a goal for Wheeljack to learn what made his leader tick. As an Autobot he had heard hundreds of stories on the ruthless, warlord Megatron. Stories that made his plating crawl; back when he had been a rookie in the Autobot ranks. Not all of them had been false but neither had the true ones been completely true. They were skewed by Autobot views and Wheeljack had learned firsthand that Megatron did stoop for the low shots but with a code of honor for his opponent; that was something no one had bothered to mention.
Yet if this was a ruthless and plasma-thirsty being that would scrap any living spark in its way then why had Megatron rescued him from the flames and left him at a Decepticon base to recover and fight another day?
The speech had a lull, allowing him to peer around the room and take a look at his comrades. Starscream was off to the side once more with that sour scowl on his faceplates as he stared out at the empty lunarscape. Demolisher was listening just as intently as he had been while Cyclonus' gleaming optics flickered between Thrust, Starscream, and Megatron with a silly grin on his face. Thrust had that look on his face, a one that always spoke of a plan he shared with no one.
"Finally, our new soldier, one who had loyally served our cause after discovering the error of his former path will receive a reward for his services." Megatron said in that deep, rumbling voice he always spoke in. "Wheeljack, stand and receive your reward."
Shocked and surprise written on his face, he slowly got to his feet and stood at attention at once, "Sir. I thank you graciously."
A faintly amused look appeared on his leader's face, "You do not know what I intend to give you yet."
Wheeljack nodded, lowering his arm as he spoke with calm confidence, "You do not give rewards often, Lord Megatron, so I am gracious that one will be given to me."
Something shone in Megatron's optics for a brief moment, something Wheeljack could not catch, but soon enough that haughty emotion appeared again. Megatron slipped something out of his subspace and held it out for him to take. A flat disk of blue and green lay innocently in the palm of his hand, gleaming softly in the dim lighting of the throne room; a minicon panel.
Wheeljack had two emotions that striked through his spark in rapid succession. A type of happy excitement and then complete melancholy.
Though he was overjoyed at the prospect of Megatron giving him a minicon, the thousands of vorns without his little partner had not dampened the sorrow of his missing presence. Any objections to having a minicon as a partner had been deleted mere cycles afterwards. Optimus Prime had even approached him personally after a deca-cycle and asked if Wheeljack had changed his mind about a minicon partner. Wheeljack hadn't protested so much since his mechling years.
He would accept this minicon with the graciousness that he had spoken with before but Wind Sheer would always be his first partner.
Bowing, he whispered, "Thank you Lord Megatron." and reached out for the minicon panel. Holding it between his thumb and forefinger, he pressed the center 'M' and heard it click softly before a whirring of noise cued the activation of the minicon. The shining pearlescent light reached upward and a small frame began to form in the light. Wheeljack stared in surprise at the slowly solidifying frame and when the minicon finally landed with a clang on his palm, he questioned hesitantly, "Wind Sheer? Is that you?"
Bright lemon optics looked up at him with a cheery shine that Wheeljack remembered so well as being a smile.
"Hello Wheeljack! Are we going to be partner's again?" The bubbly minicon asked curiously, happily bouncing on his palm.
"You've got it, partner."
Wind Sheer transformed and flew right up and then transformed again, plopping onto his shoulder guard, "Nice colors Wheeljack! Very Decepticon!" Wind Sheer giggled.
Wheeljack smirked at his minicon partner and suddenly laughed, "Very Decepticon indeed." He said looking over at his smirking leader. "So what's our mission, Lord Megatron. My partner and I are ready to serve."