OK! I have, uh, way too many Transformers stories that I've not finished and more on the way. But they WILL get finished. Get me? Loves me the Transformers.

So, for this story, I was somewhat inspired by another story called "Twisted" by the genius who is SimpleRhapsody. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it... and I'm hard to please in Transformers fic, for some reason. (Plan on leaving a review as soon as I finish all the current chapters.) I hope that if s/he ever reads this - not that s/he will because I am a lowly fleshling - that they are flattered that I drew inspiration. I was hitting a wall with my "United We Stand" story, and this is really really helping to write this one. There are several differences... mainly, "Twisted" goes with the revenge-turning-into-love theme and mine sort of... well... you'll figure it out. D

The real plot begins... next chapter! But this gives you quite a bit of background that helps the story make a little more sense once it actually begins.

They were alone, he hadn't brought anyone else. There was just her, and him, driving slowly through the city. Surely he wouldn't leave her alone HERE? He wasn't that kind of person... h-he wasn't...

Alone. She couldn't stand the thought of that word. Alone meant without the others, her friends - no, her family. They were her family, and they had been for almost three years. Life without them was unthinkable. Without him.

Oh God. She never wanted to be without him. Cut out everyone else, but not him. Leaving everyone else wounded her heart. Leaving him broke it in two. No, no... more than two.

Way more than two.

She sat in the driver's seat, not touching the steering wheel, and they were going slowly. She looked blankly out the window, running her fingers gently over the lock. "There's no trunk for me to hide in and sneak back with you," she mumbled. She'd meant for it to be funny, but when you're not amused it doesn't exactly have that effect on anyone else either.

She heard him sigh. "You know, Blair, I get the distinct feeling that you believe this is easy for me. And it isn't. How long have we known you? Nobody wants you to leave."

"Then why are you making me leave, Optimus?" She dropped her hand and felt the tears coming again. She thought she'd gotten rid of them all when he first told her, but apparently there were still some left. "Don't you want me to stay? If you decided to let me stay, everyone would let me stay. They'd be relieved... happy, even!"

"You think I want to let you go? To just... just leave you here without anyone to protect you? To let you get possibly manipulated by human enemies or even Decepticons?"

"They won't, you know," she muttered. "They wouldn't dare, they know who I am. They may not know my name but they know who I am."

"They know your face. They know that you are with us, and they have found our base. That is enough information for them to kill you." He stopped, right near a sidewalk that led to a small store. "This is where I will leave you. You'll need something to eat... don't waste that money Lennox gave you. Then start looking for somewhere to work so you can buy your own residence and take care of yourself."

The doors snapped open, lock popped, but Blair didn't move. "I don't want to go. I don't want to leave you."

"Nor I, you. But this is for your own safety. If you don't leave you'll be killed."

"I don't care. I would be fine as long as I was killed protecting you and the others."

"Blair." His voice was harsh now, but with an unmistakable edge of grief and sorrow. "This is not your war. It's ours. Too many humans have already died. I will not let you be another."

"Optimus..." She let her head fall against the steering wheel, taking in a deep, shuddery breath. "I... I'm going to miss you so much. Please don't make me do this. I don't want to do this."

"It is difficult for me as well. If I could take you back and not constantly worry about the Decepticons getting you, I would do it in a sparkbeat. You know that. But sometimes... we must do the things we don't want to because someone who cares about us knows that it is the best thing. I... our happiness means nothing, Blair - nothing if you are not safe. How can I continue to care for you... if you are not here anymore?"

Her fingers gripped the handle, and she swallowed thickly. She couldn't imagine life without him... she loved him, even if she'd never admit it in his presence. And he was fond of her too, she could tell. He got so gentle around her, more than he was normally, and his touch was soft, as if he thought there was any way he could hurt her. But he couldn't. She knew... he never would, never could, there was no way he could ever hurt her. She trusted him.

"Are you... Are you going to come back for me, Optimus?"

He was quiet. Then, "I don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know? You have no idea if you'll ever see me again?" A hard sphere in her throat made it almost impossible to breathe. The possibility of never seeing him again was just... just unthinkable. He was sentencing her to a life worse than death. Did he even know what he was doing to her heart right now?

"I will only come for you when I know the Decepticons have left this planet. When there is no more danger of your injury at their hands." She could just imagine his bright, luminescent, electric blue eyes looking so sad, so... forlorn. That silver face of his bowing in shame at what he was doing. Wishing it didn't have to be this way but knowing he had chosen the least of all evils. "When we can be together without fear."

"There's no fear in our relationship, Optimus." She got up and stroked the seat with a light, easy finger. "I'm not afraid of you. You're not afraid of me. The only one I'm afraid of is old Drill Sergeant, but I know he has his illogical reasons... overprotectiveness, for example. Besides, everyone's afraid of him on some level or another."

"Not fear of each other. That should never happen." He sighed again, and it sounded so much heavier this time. Like he was just tired of the way her world - their world, now - worked. "Fear... you and I. Living in constant fear of the Decepticons."

"But we're still kicking," she reminded him gently. "We're still living."

"No. No... we are not living." She imagined him shaking his head, giving her that all-knowing Cybertronian look like only he and the others could. "There is more to living than having a pulse, than having wounds that are less than life-threatening. We are not living. We are simply alive."

She echoed his sigh. He had a certain point... as he always did, damn him. There was a difference between what they were doing and living. Living... living was smiling, having fun with friends and with your - snicker - "sparkmate". Living was jumping around, dancing, running, and not caring how tired you were after all that. They were going day to day, just trying not to get killed, not knowing when the enemy was going to try another assault and possibly losing each other.

He was right. What they were doing was not living.

But, he of all people... he should know. If they never saw each other again, they still wouldn't be living.

"You must get out now. If they don't know where you are, you will be safe." He wasn't himself, not the way she was used to seeing him. But warmth and affection and concern and a million other emotions she couldn't identify were pouring around her right now. He wasn't any happier about this than she was. "I will take your safety over..." She heard him swallow. Hard. "But we cannot think about that, can we? We must stay positive."

"Yeah." She blew out a breath and rubbed the seat again. "And you... you don't go getting yourself killed, okay?"

"I will do my best."

"'Cause if you die, I'll find a way to bring you back and kill you again for dying on me."

"Of course. I would expect nothing less from you."

She sucked in a breath, and pressed her lips against the horn button, in the middle of the steering wheel, where his insignia lie. She kissed that wonderfully, impeccably good part of him, and slowly pulled away. It didn't feel right to leave their relationship at this, caught between a rock and a hard place - between being friends and being sparkmates or soulmates or whatever. Where did they stand with each other, anyway? Were they just friends? Were they lovers?

For some reason the line between friendship and love for them had grown foggy, smudged, blurry and not clear at all. They were somewhere in the middle of each ultimatum, with neither having any idea of which end to go toward.

She shouldn't leave when they hadn't even figured it out yet...

"Good-bye, Optimus," she whispered, opening the door. "Even if you never come back for me, I... I'll never forget you. I promise."

"I will never let your memory slip from my processors either."

She stepped down, out of the truck, and watched as he closed the door. He didn't drive off right away. He never did... he prolonged these things. It was so painfully clear that he didn't want to leave her there, that he wanted to tell her to get back inside, that this was all a joke, and drive her back to base where they could explore each other's heart and spark. But he couldn't do that, as long as he wanted her to stay alive.

"Be safe, my Blair... just remember that you are half my spark. Let that be your motivation to live. Good..." His voice paused slightly. He didn't want to say it. Oh God, he really didn't want to say it. "... Good-bye."

He drove slowly down the road, and she knew his rearview mirrors were drinking in these last gazes of her. She was staring too, at him, at his back end and even more, at the mirrors on the sides. Where normally the driver, who was now Optimus's holoform that she had barely ever caught glimpses of, would look to see the cars directly behind him.

She caught a flash of the holoform's face in the side mirror, and then a flash of her face. Then she started to just cry, as soon as he'd rounded the corner.

More flashes - her memories of things they'd said to each other.

"Blair... I will never let anyone lay a finger on you."

"Optimus... do... you trust me, don't you? It crushes me every time I think you might not..."

"I'm always gonna be here, you know? I'll always be here to do something stupid and make you laugh."

"I will never leave you." That touch. That soft, worrisome touch. "If you are certain of nothing else, be certain of that."

Tears blurred her vision as she stepped up on the sidewalk - or tried to. The top of her shoe made it onto the curb, but the heel caught on the grate below it. She tried to get herself free but it took less than five seconds for her to lose her balance and go tumbling to the ground.

She thought she heard a sickening crack before all the light vanished from her world.


She kept her eyes shut. Who... Who was that? Where was she? What was her name?

"I know you are conscious. Awake, now."

The voice was soft, but with a very dangerous, very growling edge to it. Did she know this person? She wasn't sure. She wasn't sure about a lot of things.

Slowly, she forced her eyes to open. It took a few tries, and her vision was fuzzy at first. But it cleared up, and she looked to see the owner of that voice. It was most obviously a man, and-

W-Was that a giant robot leaning over her?

She mumbled, somehow not even quite believing it. "I must be hallucinating," she breathed.

"Fleshling," the robot hissed, and this was the voice she had heard. Oh and what a voice. So full of power, so... so sultry. Did... Did she know him?

"Where am I?" she coughed, trying to sit up.

"Stop moving." He sounded annoyed with her. "You're going to kill yourself."

"Who are you?"

"You not not my name? My name?" he practically roared.

She trembled. "I... I'm sorry..."

"Stop, stop!" Suddenly there was a quick laser over her. She snapped her head over to see a much smaller but similar robot, this one with lenses over its optics that looked like thick glasses. "She shock! Ve must keep ze girl calm, calm, calm! Und now vith you yell she is not calm, calm, calm! Zen she die! Zen if she die she be no use, Lord Megatron! Keep calm, keep ze girl calm!"

He scoffed. "And how am I supposed to do that?"

The little robot nudged the other's arm with several of his. "Talk to her! Talk to ze girl! Make ze conversations vith her!"

The larger robot made a face that was probably akin to disgust, and huffed out a breath. "So..." Looking uncomfortable with this concept, he waved off the smaller bot and laid his optics back on her. "What do others address you as, fleshling?"

She took a breath, and looked at him, into his glowing red eyes. "You... You mean you don't know who I am?"

He snarled. "I asked you a question! Do you honestly think I would have asked you if I knew the answer? Talk. What is your name?"

She glanced down, and swallowed. She tried to probe through her mind, looking for any name that may fit her. But she couldn't quite remember. She wasn't a Jessica, or an Ashley, or a Briana. "I..." Tears formed in her eyes and she managed to choke out, "I don't know. I don't know."

"Well try to find out." This came from one of the other robots she'd noticed standing against the other wall. "You don't need to be waking us every night with that incessant screaming." He shook his head. "I think you're louder than my siren. Blast our ear drums out, why don't you already."

"And your siren blares louder than anything I've ever encountered, Barricade," the other chuckled darkly.

"Perhaps that's what we ought to call her then," the darker one, Barricade, suggested. "Eh, Starscream?"

"What?" Starscream asked. "Siren?"

"No, I mean 'blare'. We could call her Blare. I do believe it's a fleshling name as well as a word."

"Fleshlings are so odd in their ways," Starscream commented. "What do you think, Lord Megatron? Little Blare? It has a certain shine to it, don't you think?"

"Blare," the robot leaning over her, obviously Megatron, mulled. "The name has merit." He looked down at her. "And what think you, fleshling? Blare?"

It probably made no difference what she thought, he'd call her whatever he wanted. After all, nobody knew her real name, even her. But for some reason, that name sounded... better. Normal. Like people had been calling her Blare her whole life because she'd been loud her whole life.

She nodded. "I... I like it."

"Very good." His face contorted slightly, and she couldn't match that to an emotion. "Rest now, fleshling... soon you shall be my pet. My Blare."

My Blare...

Why did that sound so familiar?

Oh mah God! So Megatron found her.

Um, wait. I knew that. You just read all that, YOU know that now.

But I bet you don't know what's going to happen...~ Maybe some of you have guesses. Maybe some of you have hunches.


So beg, fleshlings. Beg like your very lives depend on it.

Me: *whack* MEGATRON. OFF THE WORLD WIDE WEB. YOU ALWAYS CAUSE HAVOC. *smack* Yeah, back into the garage, you miserable little... *mutter*

See, I keep him on a leash, because he knows I'll write good things about him if he's a good boy. Good things, as in... "MEGATRON IS YOUR LEADER! BOW DOWN, YOU FREAKS!"

Bumblebee: *through the radio* Superfreak, superfreak, she's superfreaky...

Me: BEE! What did I say about that song? It reminds me of Alice! You get in the garage too!

*mumble* Alien robots takin' over my grandpa's lawn-mowin' parkin' space...

Well. Hopefully you'll see it in your hearts to give me a review. And here's a little cheat sheet: the longer your review is, the sooner I get writing and update. Why? Because if you analyze it or say your favorite parts, I get ideas (scary, I know) and I can make sure I play up those parts y'all like.

So, real story begins next chapter, this just gave some much needed background, blah blah...

Thanks for reading! ^^