TWDTH 56.5

Generations

Author's Note: I told you I'd put it in the outtakes. Meet Giant.

.o.

Hogarth stood outside of the door of his old farmhouse, arms crossed over his broad chest. He smiled at the sight before him.

A boy and his alien robot walked up the dirt road to his house.

"Well, now, I knew that the crazy in our family attracted other crazies, but this is special, kid," the old man said with a grin. "Haven't seen you since the family reunion. You were, what, two years old then. With white-boy brillo-pad hair."

Grinning, the grand-nephew walked the final few steps closer to old man Hughes, holding his hand out. He got himself pulled into a warm embrace instead. The old relative laughed heartily, reaching a hand up fearlessly to the boy's Guardian. "I knew that there would be more visitors coming down sooner or later. Never figured that my family would attract them like bees to honey. What's your name?"

"Bumblebee," the bright mech smiled.

"Hah! No pun intended, I hope? Sam, nephew, it is good to see you." He squeezed the shoulders of the boy again before ruffling his hair.

"Grand-nephew?"

"Psh. Nephew is nephew. I have enough grand-kids to worry about. Uncle Garth or Garth will do just fine. Now. Bumblebee. From what I've heard since the Egypt fiasco, you and your kind come from Cybertron, yes?"

The bot trilled an affirmative.

"Hm. And you transform? Can I see it?"

With a flurry of parts, a shiny new Camaro was sitting on the dirt driveway. A teenager bustled out of the door, having obviously been watching. "Oh-Em-Gee, it's the Twenty-Eleven Camaro!"

Sighing, Hogarth reached over to fondly rough the boy up. "Kent, be polite."

"Oh. Hi, Sam. Hi, Bumblebee. Can I come with you guys to the scrapyard, Granpa? CanIcanIcanIpleeeaaassee?"

"Hi, Kent," Sam laughed, enjoying the bright nature of the younger boy.

"How many can you seat, Bumblebee?" Hogarth asked, wanting to be considerate.

"Hm . . . I can configure myself to seat five safely. But I doubt that I will have to shift too much around."

"Go get your sister, boyo."

"Aww, do I have to?"

"You're sounding like you're eight years old. Go get your sister."

Huffing, the boy stalked back into the house, yelling for "sissy" to get her stuff. Sam chuckled. "I wished for eons that I could have siblings. Then I end up with a few metal ones." He fondly kicked a tire, leaning against Bee's fender.

"I know the feeling intimately, kid." Rubbing at his back, Hogarth grinned. He was still spry for a sixty-two-year-old, but was starting to feel the aches of age. "My own kids love Giant, but he's really bonded with my grand-daughter. Long-lived folk tend to have favorites among the younger upstarts and aren't shy about saying so."

Kent reappeared with a backpack, a slightly younger girl beside him. Tears brimmed over her gaze, and Sam sucked at his teeth once. He knew that the older brother was bullying her. Good thing he had an ace up his sleeve. Leaning back, he yelled over his shoulder, "They're good!"

Elita melted out of the treeline, Ratchet and Wheeljack flanking her. Hogarth's jaw dropped at the casual show of chameleon abilities. "Well, I'll be."

Crouching, the femme held her hand out to the older man. "I'm Elita-One, co-leader of the Autobots. Bumblebee is my son, as we would say in your vernacular."

"It's my honor to meet you, ma'am."

"Elita will do," she chuckled. Smiling at the young girl who was now too surprised to be crying over being bullied by a sibling, she held her hand out invitingly. The little girl fearlessly settled into the metal palm, and was raised twelve feet up to Elita's optic-level, already starting up a soft chatter of words back and forth.

Ratchet blinked at the scan he received of the small family, then chuckled and looked to Hogarth. "I'm Ratchet, Chief Medical Officer for the Autobots."

"I suppose we'll be carried?" Hogarth chuckled, taking his time to seat himself comfortably upon the broad palm. "With the wilderness here, I'll bet it feels good to stretch the limbs."

Kent looked lost for a moment, but Wheeljack warbled a laugh and crouched, his white, green and orange armor almost garish in the light. "Well! From what we've hacked into, you quite the gear-head! I saw a video of your science project last year with making an engine from paper. I'd probably never get that far."

"It would have spontaneously combusted, unless you enameled the paper," Ratchet snarked brightly, waiting as Bumblebee sprang out of his alt mode and scooped Sam up to his shoulder.

Half an hour later, Ratchet was staring up at Giant. "Well, slag me twice and call me a fragging toaster. Never figured I'd see one of your kind again."

The white eyes blinked, and a no-longer-rusty voice asked with gentle tones, "Have we met before?"

"No, not at all. Primus, you're in good condition for a slagger who hasn't had energon in who-knows how long."

"But you know what I am."

"An Omega Sentinel. A Guard that predates everything save for Cybertron and the Primes." The CMO looked to Hogarth. "If I'm reading the reports correctly, then you, sir, made a very wise decision in helping keep this mech sane."

"Uhm, care to spell everything out for the rest of us, Ratch?" Sam asked from his perch, one arm resting casually around Bumblebee's neck.

Giant nodded cautiously. He knew that Hogarth was going to be bringing these other-worlders to meet him today. But he didn't expect something like this. To be known? To have someone have a history for him? To be given back a past he wasn't sure he wanted to know?

"Before you . . . before you fill us in, do you know me, personally?"

Ratchet blinked, then shook his head. "Doesn't mean that some of the real old mechs wouldn't know you, though. That bothers you?"

"I am not sure if I want to remember a past where I am used as a weapon."

Elita saw Ratchet's mouth slacken with shock, and took over smoothly, her voice calming. "Giant, an Omega Sentinel wasn't always used as a weapon."

"They why does every inch under my plating consist of ordinance that I refuse to share with the American government?" he asked, leaning closer to the small femme.

She reached up fearlessly, placing a hand over an energy source that pulsed with a strong, stately rhythm. "Self-defense, and defense of your tribe, team, squad, or individual charge."

"Who are you?"

Introducing herself, causing him to backpedal in shock at her rank, Elita smiled and followed him closer, each step causing him to take one or a half-step backwards. "You fear me?"

"No! No . . . I . . . I fear bringing harm to you, if inadvertently. Your . . . your husband?"

"Sparkmate. Soulmate."

"Him. He would end me if harm befell you while you were around me."

Smiling, she reached up and pressed her hand once more to his chest, showing him through her actions that she had no fear of him. "No. He is a fair, kind, and loving Spark, and would see the truth for what it was. I have a habit of jumping headfirst into a skirmish, and he would most likely berate me rather than put you at fault."

The old man watching the interaction saw how his grandchild smiled fearlessly up to his Giant. She held her arms out imperiously, demanding to be picked up. "Giant! Elita's awesome! She's like, the leader of the Autobots, and she's sooo cool! She said that she really wants to be your friend, and to help you keep us all safe."

Holding his hand out for the child to clamber into, the metal man, now revealed to be the Guardian he was, curled his fingers gently around the precious little life. "You protect?"

"Just as fervently as you do."

"Then . . . I will make a bargain with you. I will help you and join with you to protect this sector of my home. If you find out who I am, if you find out my past, and I feel ready to hear it—"

"Which I will do!" Elita promised with a firmness that surprised the humans around her.

"—then I will ask you for it."

"Deal."

They smiled at one another, and Ratchet settled Hogarth upon the ground with infinite gentleness. Shoving fists onto hips, he looked up at the Guardian. "Right. Sit down. I don't slaggin' care what the humans have been mucking around with in your systems, but I want to make sure you're all in full functioning order."

Bright optics narrowed. "Will you need a weapons check?"

"Activated only. You don't have to fire one round. I just need to know that you're not going to have a jam or have something fritz out right when you need to protect your family."

As Giant acquiesced, Hogarth looked over to Sam and murmured, "Kid . . . Giant is one of your aliens?"

"Our aliens," Samuel Prime replied, his voice steady and showing that he was quite sure of Giant's origins, even if he was a completely different build than everyone else that he knew. "They're yours, too, because of Giant."

Grunting, resting an arm around his grandson and glancing up at Wheeljack and Bumblebee, he said, "You know they can survive nukes, right?"

Sam grinned. "Yeah. But the military doesn't know that. And they aren't going to know that. Tactical nukes are a frustration and the resulting EMP from them whites out and burns through everyone's communication for about a week."

"Huh."

"Yeap."

"You got some pretty big shoes to fill, Sam." Old man Hughes grinned and looked up at Giant, whose gaze drifted down to his first charge. They shared a fond smile, and he murmured, "Pretty big shoes indeed, eh, Giant?"

.o.

Author's Note: More of a drabble than anything else for this. There wasn't much else on this subject in my mind.