Precious Gifts 1

A Transformers Prime FanFiction

On a hill overlooking a small Midwestern town, a young man dressed in faded camos knelt by a bright blue motorcycle. He was focused intently on repacking his bulging backpack. Despite the intensity of his stare his blue eyes sparkled with a hint of joyful mischief. A helmet rested on a nearby rock instead of the more conventional perch on his head allowing the dry desert wind to blow his black hair into his eyes. A pair of saddle bags rested on the machine, also filled to enticing plumpness. Jack Darby shoved his errant hair out of his face one more time and tried again to close the backpack.

"You know I could just carry those as well as the rest." A faintly amused female voice came from the bike and the front end bobbed in the direction of the offending articles.

"No, no," said Jack briskly, "I, have to carry it all the way." With a final grunt, a shove, and a slight tearing sound the backpack zipped shut. The young man glanced nervously over the fabric but couldn't find the source of the noise and decided to ignore it. He pulled a battered paper out of his pocket and glanced over it with a satisfied nod.

"Okay, provisions acquired on time, now to get back to base camp and finish the preparations." He donned the helmet and slung a leg over the bike. Arcee gunned her engine and set off toward the town.

"So, are you going to tell me what this is all about now?" the blue Autobot asked. The military flavor Jack's clothing and behavior had lent to the weekend confused her a bit. Despite being quite disciplined he didn't usually give off a militant vibe. But as the rare time off had sped by she had decided to just roll with it.

"Not till everything is ready."Jack replied firmly.

"Till what, exactly is ready? We've been to five different businesses in three different towns. You've made more purchases this weekend than in the entire time I've been your guardian but won't let me see a thing, even though I have to carry it. You've been so distracted, half the time you don't even remember to hold onto me, let alone mimic driving like we practiced. What is with you?" Arcee tried to sound annoyed, bur didn't quite thing she managed it. Jack was as quick as usual when it came to reading her. His grin spread even wider and he shook his head.

"Nope, we have an agreement."

She had been a little skeptical when Jack had suggested asking Optimus Prime for a few days off regular duty for a special project he needed help with, and surprised when the Prime had granted it without hesitation. The warrior thought back to her leader's reaction as she cruised along the Nevada highway with her partner. Jack had tagged along behind her, a little nervous over the prospect of asking a favor of the huge Autobot leader. Arcee was a little nervous herself. The relative peace they had experienced on Earth over the past few years had not been enough to dim the habits of eons of warfare. An Autobot soldier just didn't ask for time off.

Prime hunched over a counsel assisting Ratchet with something or the other that was malfunctioning, again.

"Optimus," she had started, "I was wondering if I could be excused from energon scouting for the, uh…"

"Weekend," Jack interrupted quickly, "to help me with something." She'd given him a quick glare, Quiet partner, let me handle this. Prime was looking at them now; Arcee could read surprise on his face, and something else she couldn't quite identify.

"Things have been quiet for quite a while now. It sounds like a good idea, Arcee, Jack." Prime glanced down at the exultant whoop the human had let out. "Is there anything you will be needing for your project?" Ratchet let out a grunt without looking up. Just to remind them that all base resources were scarce and any requisitions had to go through him.

"You'll have to ask my partner about that." Arcee replied, smiling now. "He won't tell me anything other than that it'll take the next three days." Optimus arched his eyebrows and turned his attention to the human.

"Jack?" The young man took a deep breath and plunged into his explanation.

"Well, there's this tradition, not really for all humans, but it's important to me, and I need Arcee's help to do something for someone, something good, and part of the tradition is not to tell anyone else what I'm doing."

"Breathe Jack," Arcee murmured. Prime had nodded and said, "I see. The two of you enjoy yourselves." Just as Arcee and Jack had turned to go Optimus had rested a massive had on the smaller bots shoulder. He hadn't said anything but there had been something in his optics, something that was both joyful and unbearably sad.

Neither the Cycle bot nor her human friend had heard the exchange between the Last of the Primes and his oldest friend. Ratchet had sensed the deep emotions running through the Autobots leader.

"She's a good soldier, Prime. She does deserve a break, and spark knows she'd never ask one just for herself."

"Yes Ratchet. Being on this planet, with these new friends, it is changing us I think. I hope for the better."

"How so?" the old medic scanned his superior a little sourly, sure the humans were useful sometimes but there was no need to go too far.

"We Auotbots were never meant to be alone, to be isolated, as we have been for so long."Optimus's voice was tired as he said this. "There is something deep within us that calls out for contact with another, that calls out to provide for and protect something other than ourselves. We go mad without it."

"And Jack fulfils that need for Arcee." Ratchet nodded in understanding. "Yes I think I see what you mean."

"After so many megacycles just drifting through space, having to be content just to survive, to live through the next Decpticon attack, now to have a purpose, a home, to defend…" Prime drifted off.

"And family." Murmured Ratchet softly, recalling a conversation with the smallest human.

"Yes," Prime said, "and family. It is good." A rare smile warmed his face as he turned back to the offending consul.