I've been wanting to do something like this for AGES... but I wasn't quite sure how to start it. But I figured it out! And I've been asking my friends for ideas, as well as coming up with my own. So hopefully I've got some twists, turns, and awesomeness that will surprise and amaze you!
... Maybe. Or maybe not. I'm not quite sure yet, since this IS only the first chapter.
A few notes... one, this is an extremely long chapter by my standards. I don't know if they'll all be this long, so if they're not, bear with me. :D And Isabelle, she's not just some random OC even though it may seem like it. I helped my mother create Isabelle, because she's a fan of Ratchet and I promised her a birthday oneshot about Ratchet and Isabelle. Once I finish that and get it up, you'll know a bit more about her and Ratchet's relationship. And hopefully more about them will be here too. :)
So, enjoy! And be sure to tell me what you think!
"Prime." His voice was a rasp, barely above a whisper but loud enough to be heard by his brother. "Please, a truce. We can work together!"
Optimus Prime's glowing blue optics scrutinized the other Cybertronian's face for a moment. After what seemed like an eternity for all watching, he disarmed his cannon, and it transformed back into his arm. Then he spoke; slowly, deliberately, with all the authority you would expect. "I will give you one chance, Megatron." He extended his hand out toward the last remaining shred of his family. "Come with us, and swear to protect the humans."
Megatron bowed his head, shutting his optics. "You... are right, my brother. Perhaps I have been... viewing the humans in a way that does not do them justice." He reached over, and their hands clasped.
Neither of them knew how long it had been, but for the first time in a long time, they were in total agreement.
They faced the humans, and Megatron had his arm around his brother's shoulders. "We are victorious," Optimus announced. "We have not triumphed by the defeat of our foes, but by the peace which we have wanted for so long." He looked over at Megatron. "We have lost much time, my brother."
"Years," Megatron agreed with a nod. "But we can replace that time, can we not? We will create better memories, and vanquish those which have held us in hatred for so long."
Optimus smiled, just barely - but for a Cybertronian, that was an immense gesture. "Yes. We shall be one again."
Megatron didn't smile, but he raised his free hand to Optimus - a great sign of respect. Then he let go, and turned to what remained of his Decepticon brood. Starscream, Soundwave, Barricade - all seriously wounded, but alive. And the hatchlings, crowding mostly around Starscream and whimpering in a miserable manner that would be incessant were it not pitiable. "My Decepticon army," he called, glancing back at the Autobots for a moment, then turning his attention back to the others. "We are home."
"This thing is soooo frickin' adorable!" The voice of Ratchet's human assistant, Isabelle, was virtually the only thing that could be heard through the medical bay. She held a trilling hatchling in her arms, cuddling and bouncing it like one would a human baby. The hatchling was about the size of a four-year-old human child, but that wasn't stopping her. She grinned and looked over at Ratchet, who was busy examining Megatron. "Can I keep it, honey?"
"First of all, how many times have I told you to stop calling me that?" Ratchet pulled his hand away from the former Decepticon leader's head. He shifted his head so he could look at his ditz of a sparkmate. "And no, that hatchling needs to be cared for properly. Why don't you take it to Jolt?" He grabbed a scope and continued inspecting Megatron's injury. "He's got the rest of them in the makeshift nursery."
"But you always said you wanted us to have one! And I waaaant it!" She wiggled her fingers near the little one's mouth, baby-talking to it. "Is this one a boy or a girl? Because I was thinking Josh if it's a boy, or Nicole if it's a girl."
"Woman, I said we're not keeping him."
"So it is a boy!" Isabelle continued to play with the hatchling as she sauntered over to the berth. "Joshua Nicholas it is, then." She plopped herself down on the berth right next to Megatron. "Or do you think we should give him a Cybertronian name, Ratchet? I want him to retain his heritage."
"Slag it, Isabelle, I'm working and I said we can't keep him!"
"Oh, now I remember this one." Megatron reached down, intending to stroke the hatchling's head. "He doesn't eat much, but you might want to force him to. He's not as strong as he should be."
Almost reflexively, Isabelle's arms pulled the hatchling off to the side, away from the path of Megatron's hand. "No," she stated firmly. "I don't trust you yet."
Megatron respirated, then looked down at her. "But you can. Do you not understand that?"
"You have to prove yourself to me first." She began to rock the hatchling, and in response it cooed back at her. "You killed my friend Jazz, and you got Ironhide killed by siding with Sentinel. I'm not sure if I can forgive you for all that, I mean... I mean, who does that?"
Megatron nodded. "Yes, I... suppose it will take a long time. But just know that when I killed your friend... I was not thinking the way I should have. My mind was clouded by a thirst for power, and... I thought that the only way to victory was to defeat my enemy. Before now I had never considered... simple integration would bring about peace, and peace is better for everyone. Including you fleshlings and the sparklings."
Isabelle wrinkled her nose at "fleshlings", but decided to ignore it. "Yeah. Well... you're still going to have to prove it."
They were all quiet for a moment, save for the soft trill from the hatchling and the sound of Ratchet working on Megatron's wound. Then, when Isabelle shifted position from merely holding the hatchling to putting him over her shoulder and holding him close, the former Decepticon spoke up. "Tripwire."
Isabelle glanced up, still rubbing the hatchling's back. "What?"
"If you want a Cybertronian name for him, I think Tripwire - that would suit him nicely."
"Tripwire," Isabelle muttered, rolling the name around on her tongue. "Yeah, I like that." She nuzzled her face into the hatchling's metallic head. "Ratchet, sweetie, our baby's name is Tripwire!"
"Isabelle, I told you we can't keep him!"
Night fell swiftly on their base, blanketing every corner in darkness and leaving some uneasy. For most of them, it wasn't difficult to let go and enter stasis. Some stayed up later, in the off chance that the Decepticons waited until they were all asleep to spring a surprise attack. In fact, it was believed that Mirage stayed up all night, awake in his Ferrari mode with the headlights on like some kind of ghost-driven car, not trusting anybody and just waiting to slice up any Decepticon who looked at him for more than five seconds.
For most, it was easy to slip into stasis. For Megatron, it was not so easy.
He had tried, lying on his back in the berth that had been given to him, near the medical bay. His optics had shut several times as he willed them to do so, but they always opened after a few seconds - at the most a minute - even when he hadn't directly wanted them to. So he sat up, fingering the wound still open on the side of his head. It had become a habit now, to just randomly poke at it with a claw when he was thinking... when he was bored, even, sometimes. He knew he shouldn't be messing around with it; that would just make it worse and possibly get it infected. But it made him feel better and eased his thought processes; as long as he didn't do it constantly, it would probably be alright.
Even after sitting up for a bit, he didn't feel exhausted enough to enter stasis. It was nearing the end of a solar cycle for Earth, which he knew was when most humans went to sleep - and it seemed most of the Autobots had adopted that custom. But he was just sitting up, thinking about... everything. So much was changing so fast. No longer would he be the only leader among the Decepticons, or among anyone. They would all be one, and just as on Cybertron he would share power with his brother.
He didn't want this to go wrong the way it had years ago. But who was to say it would be any different this time? All that could be done was to hope.
He got up and began to wander around, thinking that perhaps it would exhaust him until he was ready for stasis. First he peeked into medical bay; the door was open, so he took a few steps in.
Ratchet was still awake, putting away tools. It looked like he was tired, if his pace was any indication. And the woman, his assistant Isabelle, lay on one of the berths, curled up, with Tripwire in her arms. They were both in stasis, it appeared.
"Anything I can do for you?" Ratchet spoke up wearily. "It's a bit late, and I told you I'd try to fix it better tomorrow..."
"I know. That's not why I'm here. I wouldn't suppose you have anything to induce stasis?"
Ratchet chuckled softly. "Unless you want to take a human's sleeping aid, which don't seem to be of any help to us, then no, I have nothing for you. It seems that with all our technology, the only thing that can induce stasis is gentleness - the touch of a femme, or a light, pleasant conversation." His optics flickered over to Isabelle for a nanosecond. "Seems I'll be on my own tonight though."
Megatron took a seat on the berth next to the slumbering Isabelle. "You two are sparkmates?"
"We are, yes. Although she acts more like a thorn in my side half the time. I told her we can't keep the hatchling, and she insists on spending every moment with him, waking or not."
"Mmm." He looked down at the pair again, and noticed how content they both looked. "Why do you not just let her adopt him? He has already bonded with her and thinks of her as his mother. If you tear them away now, he might not develop as well."
Ratchet sighed. "I asked her not to take any of them in the first place, but Jolt was taking them to a nursery room and she was around and he's always been a pushover. When she begs, he can't say no. Yet she can say no to absolutely everyone else. Now they've bonded and neither of them will want to let go - wonderful."
"You don't want a sparkling?"
"Well, you know, I - it's just..." Ratchet stammered, trying to find the right words. "I'm not sure if we're really ready right now. With everything that's been going on." He let out another heavy respiration. "I mean... she just recently found out she's not capable of having children."
"But why not? All that's needed is the combining of Energon."
"No, no..." Ratchet turned around, shaking his head. "Human conception is more primitive, more... complicated... than simply that. It involves two, yes, but it also involves a very intimate act... sexual in nature. Like our relations, except in humans it may or may not result in pregnancy. The woman carries a child for nine months, during which time it develops. From there, it's a live birth."
"And she has a problem with this? She wouldn't be able to withstand the pain of such a thing?"
"That isn't her problem. Her problem is... inside her body. Physically. I did tests on her, and... it turns out that when she was younger, in her early adulthood, she was very sick for a time and that caused her to be infertile. She isn't even capable of conceiving a child, much less carrying it and giving birth."
"I see. So she can't have a sparkling of her own. That may be why she's so fascinated with the hatchlings, and Tripwire in particular."
"I know. She does want a child, that's why she just grabbed one of them."
Megatron shrugged. "Well, they do need to go to good homes."
"I know they do, I'm just a little worried about her... maternal abilities."
"It looks to me like she's doing a fine job so far, at least with Tripwire."
Ratchet nodded. "Yes, but she's never... been a mother before. I'm simply a bit concerned that I haven't taught her enough about Cybertronian needs to the point where she can raise a sparkling."
"How old is she? In the humans' years?"
"Most humans have a family by now, don't they? And if there's something she doesn't know, I would assume she'd automatically come to you for help."
"Yes, well... I don't know." Ratchet walked over, and lovingly ran a finger through Isabelle's short brown hair. "She's a very... interesting person."
"You should let her keep him. I cannot care for him properly any longer, and it seems as though this is the logical choice."
"Maybe..." Ratchet drew his hand away from his sparkmate, and waved it at Megatron. "I'm closing up now. You don't have to return to your berth, but you can't stay here."
"Alright." He stood up and headed for the door. "Stars be with you this night."
"And the moon with you. Don't be up all night, wandering about and attempting to find Timbuktu from here. Find something to get you into stasis."
"Very well." With that, he exited the bay.
He made his way outside, and sat down against the building. He had a compulsion to just look at the sky, as if he could see Cybertron. But of course not, because it no longer existed. He held his head in his hand, once again picking at the wound. Damn... now the emotions were really kicking in.
He jumped slightly, then looked over to see Optimus sitting beside him, in the same position. He took a breath, restoring homeostasis, and rolled his optics up the sky. "Slag it all, Optimus, that was a nice thing to do," he muttered. "For Primus's sake."
Optimus chuckled. "Forgive me, I didn't know you were that on edge."
"Well, I am."
Immediately the joking lilt in Optimus's mood evaporated. "I can tell. What are you doing out here, brother?"
Megatron scoffed. "How did you even know where I was?"
"I decided to do a round to check on everyone. You weren't in your berth, so I went looking for you."
"You thought I was going to betray you."
Optimus sighed. "I'm not going to deny that it crossed my processor, yes. You betrayed me long ago - Sentinel betrayed me. What am I supposed to believe, Megatron? I have to do right by the humans, and that includes making sure you won't harm them."
"I've already said I won't. I see your point in there being something valuable in them, and I will protect them. Same goes for the other Decepticons. I will not be doing any more... backstabbing, I believe the fleshlings call it? And rest assured that if any of my troupe insist on their old ways, they will be taking a very long vacation among the stars."
Optimus shook his helm. "I wish I could trust your words. I wish I could truly accept you as my brother again. But it will take time. There are certain things that I know you are not yet capable of. You have little compassion for the humans as of right now. You are belligerent. And you still lust for power. Don't think I can't see it in your optics. It's all too easy to detect, Megatron - your eyes still have not changed."
Megatron crossed his servos over his chest. "Yes, well, they're never going to be blue," he grunted, looking away from his brother. "If that's what you mean."
"You know that's not what I was getting at. I mean that your eyes still hold much of the hatred they did on the battlefield today. You still don't completely trust the humans - and until you can, I'm afraid I cannot trust you."
Megatron glanced down, then looked back up to the sky. "I suppose that is a fair trade. After all, I still find Ratchet's sparkmate strange."
"Oh, don't worry about that. All of us are hesitant about her... even the other humans aren't sure what to think of her." Optimus continued to look at Megatron, then joined him in staring up at the star-blanketed sky. "What are you doing out here anyway, Megatron?"
"Very deeply, it seems. About what?"
"Oh." For once, this was all Optimus had to say. He couldn't find any other words to sum up that he just knew how his brother felt, even though he hadn't yet said anything about it. "What... about it?"
"About how I'm never going to see it again. It truly is gone forever. All the memories we have of it... that's all they are. Memories stored in our processors. We can't revisit the places that caused those memories."
"I understand. I have collected many pleasant memories of how life used to be, before the war. Training, with Ironhide. Spending time with my Elita. Discussing with you how to improve things."
"It's all gone now." Megatron's voice came out in a faint and shaky whisper, not at all what he had intended and nothing like Optimus had ever heard from him before. "All of it. The training ground, the meeting room, Sparkmates' Mountain. It's gone, and all because of me."
Optimus reached over to put his hand on Megatron's shoulder. "It was not completely-"
"Yes it was." Megatron yanked himself away from his brother's touch, and his face was bitter. "Don't try to shield me from the truth, Optimus. I'm no longer a sparkling, I don't need to be sheltered from the world anymore. Just because you are the eldest, doesn't mean I still need your protection. I'm old enough to have sparklings of my own, and for Primus's sake, I understand that I've made mistakes. How many joors have I spent chasing this? All of that time, wasted. And for what? False hope. If Sentinel hadn't gone senile, Cybertron would be back. If I hadn't been greedy in the first place, if I'd just been content ruling by your side, it wouldn't have needed saving. We wouldn't be here if not for my selfishness."
Optimus was quiet for a moment, looking down at the earth under them, then back up at the midnight sky, then back over at his brother. His eyes still hadn't changed, but he wasn't focused on how much he disliked the humans. For once, his face showed utter disgust with something other than organic life forms: himself. He was ashamed of all he had done, angry at himself for doing such things, and it was clear to see in his face. "Megatron... all you say is true. But that does not give you the right to be so hard on yourself. Do you want to end up despising your very existence?"
Megatron scoffed, and shifted position. He straightened his legs out, and rested his helm against the building. "You know, Optimus... it wasn't just the power that drew me into creating the Decepticons. I always was jealous of you."
"Jealous? Of me?"
"Oh, don't pretend you have no idea what I'm talking about." His tone was half teasing and typically brotherly, the other half was frustration, truth. "Even on Cybertron, you were the envy of every mech - all of us looked up to you. You were stronger than any of our generation. Sentinel favored you because you had so much... you had such potential. You were intelligent, as well, and passed every exam that was sent your way. And on top of all this, you had a beautiful femme on your servo, and everyone expected you to make many wonderful sparklings with her. Me, I... well... I had none of that. I worked and I worked, and it got me nowhere."
"Megatron, you are strong and intelligent as well. You have always been the faster, and I envy that."
"Don't flatter me. You know the genes tipped in your favor, not mine. I had those qualities, but they were lesser than yours of the same." He shook his head. "I could have been making my life worthwhile, so that when I am gone it would all mean something. I could have protected the humans and made a difference. Instead I focused all the Energon in my body on destroying their planet. A pitiful existence, hardly even worth a second thought. When there is information on me after my death, they will take one look, mentally scold, and move on to your information."
Optimus was quiet again. He was still looking up at the stars, in the direction of where Cybertron used to be. "Megatron. Your life up until now... you may think that it meant nothing. You may even be right. But now... now you are fighting for a righteous cause, for the development of humans, for the freedom and life of us all. You will redeem yourself by working for something so noble."
Megatron shook his head again, as if he didn't believe a word his brother was saying. "Only time will tell, Optimus. I don't want to fall back into the disaster that happened last time we tried to rule together."
"We are not ruling," Optimus told him firmly. "We have an alliance with the humans, and we command our troops. Is that considered rule?"
Megatron shrugged. "Are our factions not one now? How do we fairly command one group when there are two of us?"
"We discuss. We compromise. There may be arguing... there may be yelling... perhaps even wounded sparks. But there will also be solutions. Even if we must come to a decision that one of us disagrees with, there will be forgiveness, will there not? We have to do what is best for our people, and right now, our brigade is all that is left of them. We cannot constantly fight as we did on Cybertron."
Megatron nodded his helm. "Yes, I know you are right, Optimus. And sadly it was I who started most of the fights that occurred back then. All of our solutions, they came from you. We always agreed on what you suggested. I tried to get you to agree with something that wasn't best, and why? Because when things were better, I wanted the citizens to think of how it had changed... to think, 'Lord Megatron, he is the one who decided on this, and it helped us.' That's all I wanted, to be recognized for offering help. But I was too busy being jealous that I couldn't come up with the best solution. My processors were clouded by that envy."
"If I had agreed with your solutions," Optimus replied, "perhaps they would have been good. Great, even. They would have helped many citizens. But then perhaps that plan might come crashing down, through some fault you had not seen. Then everyone would be angry, and anguish would reign again. I... did not want you to have to learn that the hard way. I did not want everyone angry at you and you alone. I tried my best to think of any solution that was better... so when I did, I did not stay silent. It was for the good of our people, and for your sake. Perhaps I was not... always right."
"Throughout our lives we have shared almost everything," Megatron commented after another moment, looking down and gathering some soil in his hand. "Our parents, then Sentinel, then the position of ruling Cybertron. Everything. I suppose I just... got tired of having to share. I... regret that it went this far."
Optimus nodded. "Apology accepted." He stood up, and offered Megatron a hand. "We should both probably get some time in stasis, don't you think?"
Megatron stood up by himself, but nodded to his brother as a thank you for the gesture. "I suppose."
"You know, I guess we did share quite a bit." Optimus put his arm around Megatron's shoulders as he'd done earlier. "Do you recall that time we were sparklings, when we tried to share a femme?"
Megatron chuckled. "Because that ended well for both of us," he answered sarcastically.
"That look on her face... do you remember how angry she was?"
"Well, I remember how bad the pain was..."
Hopefully you guys liked that. I loved writing the convo between Optimus and Megatron. 'Twas fun.
Well, off to write more of In Remembrance and My Sparkling... wish me luck and it'd be awesome if you left me a review! ^^