Hope you guys enjoy! (Sorry, not much time, short author note!)

He had been chasing after the fucking Decepticon for some time now, firing blindly and hoping to get a hit in. And he'd just now gotten close enough to see that the slag had a human child in one hand.

They were both on the edge of the cliff, staring each other down. Blue optics met red, and meanwhile he managed to keep an eye on the child. She looked terrified out of her mind to the point where she couldn't speak. She was holding onto the Decepticon's hand, but probably only out of fear that she'd fall. He could just barely hear her whimpering, silently begging for the thing to let her go.

"I'll tell you this one time, so you listen up, 'cause I don't like repeating myself," he snarled, pointing a cannon at the enemy. "You put the sparkling down now, and I might consider letting you go to the Pit with your face recognizable."

The thing had the audacity to growl back at him, smirking. "Oh? Is this what you want?" He shot his hand up in the air, dangling the girl from it. She let out a yell, scrambling to keep her grip. "Hmm? This... thing right here? Can't see why anyone would want it."

He cocked the cannon. "Put her down!"

"Oh, gladly." In one move, the Decepticon had his hand, and by extension the child, over the edge of the cliff. It was clear that he was fully prepared to drop her right to her death. "Now, I think I've got your attention, Autobot slime. Either you surrender and go quietly back to your pitiful base, tail between your legs like the dog you are, or I... let go of the fleshling. Which shall it be?"

He scowled. "Where... Where did you get her in the first place?"

"Oh, don't worry. No one will miss it, I can assure you of that." He loosened his grip, and the girl screamed as she thought she was about to fall, but the freak grabbed her at the last second. "Whoops. Terrible grip, you know... too much oil."

"Hmmph." He disengaged his cannon, backing up. "Fine, you've got me then. I'll leave, just as soon as you put the sparkling down."

"I'd rather you leave first, Autoloser."

"I'll say it nicely once more. I will leave if you just put. The sparkling. Down."

"Very well." He swung around, and brought the girl to his eye level. "You, you lucked out, you grimy little fleshling. I'm sure you'll make a nice pet for the next one who finds you." And then, he lowered his hand, and dropped her to the ground. As she curled up defensively, the other Cybertronian looked up. "Well? Head back to your disgusting comrades."

His cannons kicked back on in an instant, both of them this time. "Not a chance, you Deceptifucker!"

Without taking barely two steps, he fired several blasts at the bastard. He was nearly blown in half, and fell to the ground. The one with the better disposition (though not by much) walked over and kicked him over the edge, making sure the job was done. He scoffed.

"Next time you freaks wanna harm the humans, do the entire Cybertronian race a favor and go shove a bomb up your aft."

Then he turned back to the child. Where had that aft-hole gotten her from? Had that bastard taken her away from a family? It didn't look like it. Who would keep their sparkling in such condition? Her baggy shirt and shorts barely fit her, and her hair was not taken care of, sticking up in all directions. Plus she was covered in dirt and dried blood.

Anger burned in him. What kind of pathetic people left their sparkling to fend for itself? In this condition? He had to admit, as much as they all loved the humans, he would be simply honored to wipe out all the unworthy ones, like whoever had abandoned this little one.

He knelt beside her, and just looked at her for a minute. For all the filth covering her, she was beautiful. A natural treasure in the world, as sparklings should be. She was so scared, the poor thing, shuddering and sobbing.

He felt his spark slow down, and for the first time in quite a while something warmed it that wasn't anger. She was so little, so fragile, she needed someone to take care of her - someone who wouldn't turn their back and abandon her.

"Oh now, look at you," he said softly, reaching down to cup his hand as a shield around her. "All beaten up, how did you survive on your own?"

She whined a little, and to his surprise she rolled over toward his fingers. She didn't touch him, but she was close. Her body shook as she continued to wail almost silently.

"There there, young one," he murmured as he carefully scooped up her body in his large hand. She felt so cold against the metal that was his skin. "I've got you."

She was so small. So tiny. She was even smaller than a fully grown human, and here he'd been thinking they couldn't possibly get any smaller. How old was this one, anyway? Much younger than Sam or Mikaela. He sensed a similar type of childish innocence in her that was in Bumblebee. He was young, but in terms of their years he was just a little older than Sam. And this girl definitely wasn't older than that - a lot younger, she was. Then again, Bumblebee was just immature, stubborn, and didn't want to grow up.

She looked so tired, like all she wanted to do was curl up and go to sleep, but it was clear to see she was terrified. She didn't know who to trust. He held her close to him, against his chest, in hopes to calm her, and she closed her eyes. He was a bit frightened to hold her, he thought he might drop her or hold her too tightly.

His optics softened a little as he looked down at her. She was so small; she needed protection. She could sense now, obviously, that he wasn't going to harm her. And so affectionate too, her hand and head against his armor. Normally such weakness was disgusting to him, but something was different about this one. Perhaps it was because she was so young, so naïve and mostly blind to prejudices, to the real world.

"You know, young one," he murmured, even knowing she probably wasn't listening, "I... I have always wanted a sparkling..."

She shifted in his arm, and her cheek was pressed against him now. She blinked a few times, up at him, smiled just an inch, then closed her eyes again. She was tired.

He glanced up at the sky, let out a breath, and began walking back toward the base. "Maybe, little one..."

"Ironhide, we can't keep her here. You know that."

The other bot scowled. "Well, we can't just leave her out there to fend for herself, can we? You're always saying how we should care about humans more and take care of them. Now that I'm finally doing it, you don't want me to?"

Optimus Prime sighed, shaking his head. "Ironhide, you know that isn't what I'm talking about. She's got to have a family somewhere, and they're probably looking for her. Imagine you had a sparkling, then one day he wandered off and you didn't know where he was. Wouldn't you be worried too?"

He scoffed. "Hell! No way. I would have raised him well enough that he could fight his way out of any situation."

"And what if it was a femme? Hmm? Would you be worried then?"

"She'd still be a good warrior if she had my Energon in her veins," Ironhide grumbled, crossing his arms. "I wouldn't be terrified, no."

"But you'd still go looking for them, wouldn't you?"

"... I guess you have a point..." He looked in the window at the medical bay. Ratchet and Jolt were fussing around the little girl, who had fallen sound asleep on the way here. "But that Decepticon scum... he said no one would miss her."

"That is what he wanted you to think, Ironhide. They play games with anyone's mind that they can."

"You saw her, Prime. You saw how horrible she looked." He swept a hand at the window, gesturing to the sleeping human inside on the bed. "Do you need to be reminded? I suggest you look again. She's filthy, she's covered in wounds, her clothes barely fit her, and I definitely don't think that hairstyle is 'in', as the humans say."

Optimus heavily carried out respiration a few times, and turned his eyes away from the window that exposed her. "Ironhide, even if she has no family, we can't keep her here. She's a child. She can't stay with us. You know that if she were to stay-"

"Optimus, will you look at her!" Ironhide grabbed his friend by the shoulder and dragged him over to the window, right in front of it. "Look at her. Just look at her."

The other's optics stared inside, at the fragile, miniature human lying on the bed. Bruises. Soil clinging to her skin. Fabric hanging off her frame, one sleeve nearly falling off her shoulder. Long hair tangled, messy, knotted and so very not healthy-looking. And she was pale, like a china doll, as though if you touched her she'd cry out in pain.

"Fine. She can stay. But she's your responsibility, Ironhide. If you fail to care for her, I don't know what will become of her then."

I hope you guys liked the first chapter! Reviews are like crack to me, they get me so high that I think writing more is a good idea. XD

Thanks for reading! ^^