Author's Note: I have no real excuse for the lack of writing over the summer besides laziness... Now, I've got a ton classes.

Anyway, this is wildly AU, with smatterings of G1, Aligned (really stupid name, Hasbro) aka Prime, and I don't even know.

Since the bunny came with no damn plot *kicks it* the song 'Waiting for the End to Come' by Linkin Park is largely responsible for it. That's mostly why this is so depressing.

Disclaimer: If I owned Transformers, I'd come up with a better name than 'Aligned Continuity'.

This is not the end or the beginning. This just is.

Optimus Prime is not really a Prime. He is Prime. He is the Matrix.

He has told no-one this. They would not except the truth of what he is.

When you are created by one thing, not nessicarily a being, with only one intent for your future, there is no overlap.

On Cybertron they were known as pre-programs. Being with a spark, but only because they needed them to complete the tasks they were created to accomplish, the tasks too complicated for drones to complete.

He is not this. Not... Exactly.

He does not what he is sometimes. At other times...

He is a monster.

He has killed. There is energon on these servos, energon soaked so deep that they threaten to turn the blue paint pink. And blood. He may never have directly taken a human life, but that does not mean that he is not at fault for the humans who had lost their lives during countless battles on that one lonely blue world.

Sometimes he envies the others. They had a life before this endless conflict, a life they can look forward too, to hope to live again, to fight for. He... He was created for this war, to fight... To kill.

The Matrix knew. It knew all these feelings, and it did nothing to help it's creation during these moments, when its Prime sat in his dark quarters and stared at his servos and looked deeply into that one segment of the Matrix that was what served as his spark.

It had known of this war, long before the nameless miner-turned-gladiator had realized that he could change the way his people's lives were played out. Long before the its Chosen had set restrictions on the lower castes. Long before it even gave the fabled prophecy that had predicted this war.

And it knew that no mech created by the Allspark could carry the burden that he or she would need to, to fight in that war. To lead a dying race to its fruition. So it created its own.

And Optimus Prime knows this, too. Knows why he was created by this thing in his chest, not chosen for this role, but made for it.

But he sees the others, the others who can have a life out of war, and wishes. Wishes that just maybe, he could have a life like that as well. A wish that the Matrix that is his soul, his life-force, silently disagrees with, but never directly tells him otherwise.

Ironhide was constantly telling him that moping was unbecoming. That he should stop it, and realize that there had to be something out there for him. There was not. Ironhide did not know that truth.

Prowl told him that it was illogical to work so much, to push himself to such extremes, both on the battlefield and in the office. He had no choice. That was all he knew. Prowl also did not know.

Jazz tried to get him to socialize more, dragging him to parties where he did not know how to respond to the loud music, or how to dance, or why everyone got so overcharged. The Matrix absorbed any excess energy. He could not experience it. And, judging by the way mechs acted while intoxicated and with a hangover, he didn't want to. Jazz did not know.

While all these mechs, these friends (he guesses, he does not really know, though the Matrix shows him memories from it's Chosen, of their friends) try to get him to do these things he did not know, he was not made for, and only made him more confused, Ratchet would just huff and glare. Ratchet knew.

He was there when the Matrix seemed to 'choose' a mech. A dockworker, injured in one of the first battles of the war, too far gone to save. Alpha Trion had walked into his small practice that had been overrun with injuries, walked over to the dying mech, and place the Matrix into his chest just as his spark flickered out.

Orion Pax died just as Optimus Prime was born. And Ratchet saw it all.

While the Council was squabbling over the fact that one of the 'lowers' had gotten the Matrix, of all things, Ratchet was helping a confused new mech trying to find out how to function in a world that he was not built for. A mech that took to both battle and leadership scarily with an acceptance that no normal mech could. A mech who was barely orns old, and only had the memories of others to go by when interacting with others.

Ratchet knew. But he never told. He just came into Optimus's office and watched him work, tirelessly fighting through the paperwork, always staring at the casualty reports more than the others. Because, though he knows that this war was inevitable and that each mech who's spark is extinguished goes into the Well, they could have had a life more than this. The ones created during this conflict hurt him the most.

And the war continues. And continues.

And Optimus tries (he really does) to get close to his mechs. To live, because he wants to. Wants just a taste of what he could never had.

He goes to the shooting range with Ironhide. He debates with Prowl. He jokes with Jazz. And he sits with Ratchet, as the medic rants and blusters and releases all the horrible things he sees.

It ends on Earth. That one little planet, so promising and beautiful and full of life. He watches how it changes his mechs. Only Ratchet watches how it changes him.

It is there that he starts to understand. And accept.

He will not outlive the war. But he would make sure that his mechs would. That little blue-green planet gave them all a new sense of purpose, of light, of life. And they all deserved to see it through.

It is there were he kills Megatron. After all the previous chances of ending it, of all the times that the Matrix had stopped him, singing of the right time, a time of new hope and warmth and light, it had finally let him deal the final blow.

He can feel the Matrix start to draw its energy from him then, but he asks, begs, to see it through. All of it. It agrees, albeit reluctantly.

He sees the Treaty through and signs it with all of his mechs.

He sees the beginning of the reconstruction of Cybertron. Sees the humans and Cybertronians, working together.

He sees the anxious, worriedly hovering Ratchet. He sees the relief that he hasn't gone yet, and the hope that maybe, just maybe, he will continue to live.

He even sees the Matrix's next Chosen.

He spends every moment he can with his mechs. His friends. When he starts to feel the power of the Matrix waning, he even says his goodbyes, though they do not know until too late.

It is at the celebration of the Treaty that he feels the last of the energy of the Matrix leave him. He clings to it for a long moment, watching all the mechs gathered in celebration raise their fist happily, triumphantly, and cry, "'Till all are one!"

He watches, almost distantly now, as his body tips and stumbles, finally collapsing in a heap. He feels more than hears the disbelief in the air as many mechs rush over to him, Ratchet at the front of the crowd, a stricken look on his face.

As the medic grabs his helm and starts swearing fiercely at him, telling him not to go, not to leave, to fight (Primus dammit!), he dredges up the last scraps of energy and forces out the words,

"Thank you."

And then he is gone, back into the swirling energies of whence he came.

Review. (that's totally not subliminal messaging, no)