AN: It's almost 3 AM here, oh my gosh. But yay, almost to 20 chapters! Now idea how long this thing is gonna be. Five reviews for the next chapter pwease!~

Reviews: Thanks to all who reviewed! (MissShelz, Tai Prime, Serenity Lhane, Minimus Prime, StarGazingAtMidnight, Bookworm Gal, MissMary, Lady Quickshift)

Chapter 16
Pretty and witty and...Simmons?

Miles couldn't get to sleep. As tired as he should have been after being kidnapped, watching someone die, and then getting nearly scared to death by a couple of fake crocodiles, he just couldn't manage it. Hearing Sam snoring loudly away in the bed beside him didn't help at all, and just managed to irritate him. His friend had conked out sometime around ten, and Miles had started trying to go to bed around eleven with no such luck. Mojo was on base as well, Will having brought him after finding out the teens were missing. The canine was currently asleep with Miles' parents, and would start randomly howling whenever he saw fit, making it even harder for Miles to try to sleep.

On the one hand, he felt completely safe, and yet on the other he didn't. Even while he was lying in bed trying to get to sleep, the thought that Bumblebee was right outside the window wasn't very comforting. He knew that when it came down to it, Sam would be first to the Autobot. He'd never be able to get angry at Bumblebee for that, hell he'd probably be happy if anything actually did happen because then he knew his best friend was safe. He was just too antsy to actually get to sleep, and he doubted the restlessness would leave anytime soon.

So instead he grabbed one of the two phones laying on the nightstand, not bothering to check if it was his or Sam's, and snuck out of the room as silently as he could manage before leaving the barracks, passing the sleeping forms of his parents and the three soldiers. Then he'd needed to sneak past Bumblebee, the paranoid Scout camping outside of his and Sam's window to make sure he could keep an optic on Sam even in recharge.

The moon was out and shining brightly, lighting up the ground enough that Miles didn't have to worry about finding his way around in the dark. The teen checked in the rec-room and didn't find anyone, and only found the Earth 'bots sleeping in the Medbay. He could only assume that the rest of the Cybertronians were recharging or actually working and needn't be disturbed. The last place Miles could think of to go was Barricade's hangar, and when he looked in he found the ex-con resting in his alt mode.

"Barry, are you asleep?" Miles asked, barely making any sound at all. If the Cybertronian was awake he'd hear it, if not then hopefully he'd stay asleep.

He'd only invited himself into Barricade's hangar at night once before, and that had been when Starscream was contacting the mech. Miles hadn't known exactly what was going on, but he knew something was up, and had felt safer in making sure Barricade hadn't been doing anything while he was sleeping by coming and sleeping in the same room as the ex-con. That had failed since Miles had never even thought about the comm systems, but everything had turned out alright, and Barricade was now technically an Autobot.

"No," Barricade said simply, transforming immediately and bending down towards the teen. His red optics provided some source of light for Miles to focus on. "Why aren't you?"

"I can't sleep," Miles replied, "So I came to see if anyone else is up, and it looks like you are."

"That doesn't mean I want company," Barricade growled.

"Awe, don't be mean, Barry!" Miles whined, pouting up at the ex-con. "Let's watch a movie or something!"

"It is the middle of the night," Barricade pointed out, "What do you suggest we do?"

"Let's watch a movie!"

Miles wasn't too surprised when Barricade just seemed to ignore him. He was a bit surprised when the mech lay on his back and gestured for Miles to make himself comfortable, a movie countdown starting to play on the ceiling of the hangar. Bumblebee had played a movie for him and Sam before on the side of a barn, Barricade there mainly to keep him company, but somehow Miles had never imagined Barricade doing it himself.

"Seriously?" Miles blurted out in disbelief, before realizing that he could ruin whatever had gotten into Barricade. "Cool!"

"I was worried." Barricade said softly, "I find it pleasing that you are safe. "

It was said so quick and so softly that Miles almost thought Barricade hadn't said anything at all, the ex-con not even looking at him as he said it. It was the only explanation for this little moment he was going to get, but it was enough.

"Awe, someone gets a hug!" Miles spread his arms wide, heading for a giant servo.

"Don't get any closer!" Barricade snapped, and poked the teen in the chest with a clawed finger, making him stumble back a few steps.

"Just accept my love, Barry!" Miles cooed, and by now he was purposefully trying to annoy the ex-con. It was working perfectly.

"Sit over there!" Barricade ordered, picking the teen up by the back of his shirt and placing him about five feet away.

Miles snickered. Barricade was flustered, obviously not used to what was going on. The poor ex-con wasn't entirely sure how he should react and just opted for shoving the teen away. Miles wasn't sure if Barricade wasn't used to letting someone know he cared for them verbally and then getting a response, or just not caring for someone at all, but either way the teen was pleased. But he decided to give Barricade some peace and turn his attention to the movie.

With a movie to focus on instead of just his thoughts, the teen did just that. Barricade had put on Spider Man, and Miles wasn't sure whether to find it amusing that the ex-con liked super heroes and action movies or not, but he wasn't going to complain. He'd always liked Spider Man, and he wasn't going to request a movie change even if he'd seen it a thousand times already because of a certain friend. Sam had blown up with fandom for super hero movies after the Mission City incident, something Miles could understand now that he was let in on the not so little secret.

Half way through the movie cut out, surprising Miles. When he looked at Barricade to find out why it only took him a moment to figure out the ex-con had fallen into recharge. Miles smirked, he'd teach the ex-con why that was such a bad idea.

Miles woke up Sam around half past six that morning so they could both get ready. They were seeing Miles' parents off, and then greeting Mikaela. Elizabeth naturally caused a small scene, kissing and hugging her 'baby boy' until he couldn't breathe anymore. Bumblebee had left around four to go and pick the girl up, and had then rushed back with her. By the time Bumblebee returned to base Miles and Sam were more than ready to greet Mikaela.


Mikaela had barely gotten out of Bumblebee before she was wrapped into a hug sandwich between Miles and Sam, both squeezing her tightly. She wasn't sure whether to be flattered by the enthusiasm or annoyed.

"Don't hug me too tight, Sam, Bee might get jealous." Mikaela teased, taking a step back from the two. Bumblebee's holoform appeared beside her.

"Too late for that," Bumblebee grinned, wrapping an arm around Sam.

"He's still kind of Mikky's bitch no matter how we look at it," Miles said, "So Bee might as well get jealous now."

"They're both my bitches, Bee just has an easier time admitting that."

Bumblebee chuckled, "Human femmes are quite intimidating when they want to be. I believe even Barricade would fall before one."

"No," Sam shook his head, "Just Miles. Close enough to a human femme to count, though."

"Don't be mean!" Miles whined, going and hugging Mikaela. "Mikky he's being mean to me!"

Mikaela snorted, rolling her eyes. The group of four walked to the rec-room, Bumblebee dissolving his holoform and transforming into his bipedal mode. There they met Epps, Jazz, Sideswipe, and Fig. Fig and Sideswipe waved, the two talking about something, while Epps nodded as he drank his coffee.

"Mornin'-" Jazz started to say, but was cut off.


Barricade's enraged scream shocked everyone and mech who was awake, except for one. Epps ended up choking on his coffee and Fig and Sideswipe ended their conversation in favor of looking at Miles.

"Barry's up!" Miles said cheerfully, "Now, none of you saw me, got it?"

With that, Miles left out of the window, the others staring after him in shock. As it would turn out, Barricade appeared in the doorway just moments later, making the window a good choice.

"Where is he?" Barricade snarled, but the affect it would normally have was completely lost. Everyone had already started laughing.

Barricade's faceplates had been painted on, making him look like he was wearing makeup. Red around where the sound of his vocalizer came out for lipstick, purple around the optics for eye shadow, and a pink for blush. Part of his helm had been painted gold, and then on the gold there were little blue circles. A crown. His claws had been painted green. The ex-con waited impatiently for everyone to stop laughing, growling all the while.

"P-Primus!" Jazz vented, trying to calm himself down. "Miles is a gonah, ain' 'e? 'e left through the window."

Barricade turned around immediately to give chase, but he wasn't quick enough. Bumblebee had recovered enough to find a song clip that fit the mood.

"I feel pretty, oh so pretty! I feel pretty and witty and gay! And I pity any girl who isn't me today!"

Sam was laughing so hard he was leaning against Bumblebee's leg, and Mikaela was desperately trying to hide her giggles behind her hand. Barricade seemed to pause, trying to decide if it was worth it to go after the Scout too or not. He decided it wasn't, leaving the rec-room to find the source of his troubles instead.

"Someone please tell me they got a picture!" Sam said, trying to catch his breath.

"Ah believe we all did." Jazz smirked, Bumblebee and Sideswipe nodding.

"I almost feel bad for whenever Miles gets caught. Almost." Mikaela grinned, shaking her head. "Barricade's never going to go to sleep around an organic again."

It was just after lunch before anyone saw Miles and Barricade again, the teen laid out on the couch in the rec-room and the mech without any unwanted paint on his frame. Sam entered the room with Mikaela, Bumblebee, and Epps, grinning. Miles had his arm over his eyes and appeared to be sleeping, so Epps took that as an opportunity to creep over towards the teen and lean over him.

"And Sleeping Beauty was awakened with a ki-"

"Get away from me you pervert!" Miles shoved his hand over Epps' mouth, pushing the older man away.

"Just a lil' kiss!" Epps cooed, waggling his eyebrows.

"I am not having my first kiss be stolen by some old man," Miles muttered, glaring at Epps as he sat up. He'd have to wait a little more for sleep, but until then he sidled over to Barricade and stood near to the ex-con in hopes it would chase a handsy Epps away.

"Hey buddy, have fun?" Sam asked, snickering at Epps.

"Barry is a slave driver! Do you know how hard it is to get paint off of them? And he's still growling at me, so not worth it." Miles whined, "Then that old fart tries to molest me! Does it sound like I had fun?"

"I think I have to side with Barricade for this one," Bumblebee chuckled, "Though I would not snarl as much."

"Only real mechs can snarl, Insect." Barricade sneered at Bumblebee, and Miles smirked.

"Barry's a lot cuter when he's sleeping," Miles said nonchalantly, "Since he's not all growly and rawr."

"Cute?" Barricade sputtered in disbelief while the others laughed, "Nothing about me is cute!"

"Well you're definitely not cute when you keep me up all night, I'll agree with you there."

Epps grinned, "And what were you two doing that had Miles up all night, hmm?"

"The glitch was painting my face, that's what." Barricade growled, glaring at the 'glitch' in question.

"Don't be so mad, Barricade." Mikaela said, "I thought you looked rather stunning."

"Yeah, you almost made me drop dead." Sam snickered.

Barricade growled again, "All of you go bother someone else before I decide to play squash the organic and their little insect."

"Then we'll just take your little organic with us. He's an innocent right now, hasn't even had his first kiss. We could corrupt him." Mikaela warned, smirking.

"Coming from you, Kaela, I don't think any straight man or non-straight girl would mind a little corrupting." Sam pointed out, only to get smacked on the arm.

Miles snickered, "I dunno, dude. You had her, and now you're not even in the same species anymore."

Now it was Mikaela's turn to sputter indignantly, though she sounded a good deal different from Barricade's sputtering. Bumblebee and Sam were trying desperately not to laugh, knowing better than to get on the girl's bad side when Will rushed in.

"Heads up, badge alert!" Will called in warning.

Epps and Sam groaned, while Mikaela started to scowl and Bumblebee just sighed. Barricade had no idea what the warning meant, looking to his organic for an answer only to find that Miles looked just as confused as Barricade felt. And then one Seymour Simmons entered the room.

"Training bra, Witwacky, Sergeant Robert, NBE 02." Simmons called in greeting, nodding at them each in turn. Then the ex-head of Sector Seven pointed a finger in Miles' and Barricade's direction, growling. "When was anyone going to tell me that not only we have compromised ourselves by showing our location to NBE 03, but also let another stupid teenager know about us?"

Barricade and Sam bristled like a wet cat at the term NBE, Sam from the memory of what had just happened, and Barricade because he had been referred to in such a way. The ex-con was just about ready to teach the arrogant organic some respect when Miles smiled.

"Oh, I imagine about the time you learned their names. Here, I'll help you." Miles gestured at Bumblebee first, "That is Bumblebee. Pretty easy to remember since he's black and yellow. This is Barricade, also fairly easy to remember once you realize that if you piss him off you better pray for a barricade."

Mikaela snorted, "He's too stupid to remember anything besides NBE, Miles. It's a lost cause on teaching him otherwise."

"That's enough out of you, training bra." Simmons snapped, narrowing his eyes at Miles and getting closer to the teen, poking him in the chest. "Don't think I don't know about you, blondie. Witwacky's closest friend, of course you'd come up in a background check on him, Miles Milton Lancaster. Heard that friend of yours in rehab got out, should I worry about needing to start drug tests on base?"

"Why you-!"

"You should worry about pissing off those better than you, organic." Barricade cut Miles off, glaring down at the older male.

"Is that a threat?" Simmons asked, glaring up at Barricade.

This was a huge mistake, as Barricade growled and grabbed the male by his ankle, hanging him upside down as he brought Simmons closer to his faceplates, making sure the man got a good look at his teeth.

"The definition of a threat is a statement of intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done, organic. What I am doing now is a lot more than just a threat." Barricade snarled in reply, giving Simmons a good shake.

"Now, Barry, what did I tell you about playing with your food before you eat it?" Miles asked innocently.

"EAT IT?" Simmons cried in horror, struggling with a new panic. The conceited ex-head of Sector Seven had no idea if the Cybertronians could actually eat humans, but Barricade bearing his teeth certainly convinced him that they would be able to. And no one was coming to his help.

An hour later, and Miles and Barricade found themselves locked in the Medbay. The teen sat on a berth, legs crossed and head leant on his palm as he glanced around the room, still appearing to be in some form of shock at his current situation. Barricade sat on the floor, his position mirroring Miles'. The ex-con's communication system, radio, and internet had been turned off, while Miles didn't have his cell phone or his IPod.

"Dammit!" Miles cursed, "I can't believe we got brig time because of that ass!"

And they had. As much as Bumblebee, Epps, and Will had enjoyed watching Simmons almost piss himself, they had to put a stop to it. Bumblebee had rescued Simmons from Barricade, and without wasting a moment the ex-head had gone and ranted to Optimus about it.

Optimus, like Bumblebee, Epps, and Will, had gotten a secret enjoyment when Bumblebee sent him a databurst with the video, but had done what a leader has to do and sentenced Barricade to brig time. But that wasn't enough for Simmons, the male demanding Miles be sentenced as well. If it hadn't been for the teen's eating comment he wouldn't have been nearly so scared, and Optimus had reluctantly agreed, if only to get the male out of his office and out of ear shot.

An actual brig had yet to be built, so they had been locked in the Medbay instead. Prowl stood guard outside.

"I never thought I'd find an organic I'd hate almost as much as Starscream," Barricade growled in annoyance.

"You are apparently now the unsung hero of everyone who has to or has dealt with that wacko," Miles grinned, "Great way to get yourself accepted, except now you're in the brig."

Barricade shot the teen a sour look, "You're here too."

"Yeah," Miles sighed, "But I probably would have ended up here anyway. For some reason that guy just has a 'punch me in the face!' vibe. Sam agreed with me completely."