A/N: At last were at an end! I hope this is long enough for you. Anyway, I'll get started on my next story: Curse of the Prime when this is over.
Finally deciding to come out of her room, June Darby walked down the hall to the command center. She was going to give Ratchet a piece of her mind; no one locks up her son, even if he's a giant alien robot. It wasn't Jack's fault he fell in love with Airachnid (not that she could see the attraction, but she might have been letting her limited experience cloud her judgment). She could understand that Ratchet was just trying to protect the other Autobots, both on Earth and out in the stars. If the Decepticons killed Optimus, that would spell the end for everyone and everything.
Upon entering the command center, June's eyes bugged out of her head at the sight before her. Standing there was Megatron, and four other 'Cons she hadn't before. They were standing behind Optimus while Ratchet, Bulkhead, and Bumblebee stood in front of Agent Fowler, Miko, and Raf. What in the world happened while she was gone? She had only been in her room for a day or two and now Decepticons were inside the Autobot base, looking as casual as ever.
Finally she found her voice, "Umm, what's going on here?"
All eyes and optics were on her now. Optimus approached her, kneeling down to talk to her (earning him a wolf whistle from Knock Out).
"Nurse Darby," Optimus said, "I am pleased to inform you that we have reached a truce between our two sides. And that means-"
"You're going to let Jack go?" she interrupted, looking hopeful.
"Indeed, if you agree to the conditions Megatron has set down."
Megatron walked up to her, "If I may, can we talk in private?"
"Fine, but be warned that privacy doesn't mean much around here," she glared at the 'Bots, who shuffled feet nervously. Stepping onto Megatron's hand, the two of them went around the corner. Once they had made sure no one was listening, "Okay, now what are these conditions that I am to agree with?"
"Simple: allow Jack and Airachnid to be together. If you can agree to that, we can finally bring an end to this conflict."
"Hold on," she replied, "Are you saying that you want my son, a human, to be romantically involved with your female soldier?"
"So, their love can bring an end to the war once and for all?"
June remained silent for a moment, pondering this new found information. She had seen what war could do to humans, even though their wars only lasted a few years, some a few lifetimes. But the Autobot/Decepticon War had lasted longer than before their species even existed. The Autobots each had their own way of dealing with the war. Some more calming than others.
Optimus had become stern and stoic after all these years of conflict, rarely, if ever, showing emotion, even during a celebration. June wonder if the Prime would ever be able to adjust to life outside this war, no longer having to put the weight of entire worlds on his shoulders. Arcee had become cold and hard from her torture at the hands of Airachnid, often sulking around base when she was in the mood. Even though she had Jack and June, Arcee did little to change herself. Bumblebee was still very young by Cybertronian standards.
In fact, according to Optimus and Ratchet, he was born during the war, making him the equivalent of a child soldier (something that was far too common on Earth). This would be especially hard for him considering it was Megatron who destroyed his voice box (as well as injuring Raf). Bulkhead still kept a cheery façade, even if he had his faults, such as suggesting leaving Agent Fowler to the mercy of the Decepticon because thought he was "jerk" (which seemed "jerky" when you thought about it). Finally there was Ratchet, perhaps the most jaded of them all. Because their planet was no longer livable, the Autobots were forced to settle with Earth as their home.
Ratchet had more than made his views on humans clear (from what Jack told her of his first encounter with the med-bot). Seeing them as nothing more than violent primitives, Ratchet never tried hiding his opinion of them (even when the children were around). However, things changed when Raf had been hurt by Megatron. She could clearly tell Ratchet was distraught from his inability to help Raf due to his lack of knowledge about the human anatomy. She had also caught his sad expression when June had said she was taking Raf to a "real" doctor right.
Perhaps peace would do them all some good, even if it meant having to get used to the idea of Decepticons being around them twenty-four-seven. The only reason peace was now attainable was because her son had been kidnapped by Megatron, taken to the Nemesis, and fallen in love with Airachnid. Now, all that remained was for June to give her blessing on the matter.
"Mrs. Darby," Megatron asked, "Do you accept our terms?" The mech didn't want to keep this war going, not anymore, but he knew that tensions between their sides would worse than ever if she said no.
"EH! That's so romantic! My son falling in love with an alien and ending an age old war between two factions! It's like something out of a romance novel!" June was gushing all over the place, like one of those Japanese anime shows Jack had shown them.
"I take you accept our terms then?" he asked.
"Of course, now tell Ratchet to get my son out of that cell!"
Web of Shadows
Lying in her berth, Airachnid had finally stopped crying, a feeling of relief swelling in her spark (though it wasn't enough to keep it from aching). Tarantula, her sparkmate, who had been taken from her by the Autobots, had come to her in a dream to let her know that approved of her love for Jack. After eons of seeing her change from a gentle femme into a psychotic warrior bent on killing, Tarantula was grateful to Jack for changing her back. Had she known that 'Tula could see everything through their bond even in death, Airachnid might've thought differently about her actions. But you can't change the past.
"Commander Airachnid," Steve, the Vehicon entered her quarters, "Lord Megatron wishes to speak with you." Before, Airachnid would have just told him to get lost, but 'Tula's visit had calmed her down.
Getting out of her berth, Airachnid approached the door, "Understood. Tell Lord Megatron I will be with him shortly. Taking a quick shower, Airachnid made her way to the ground-bridge control room and was met with a smiling Megatron… and Optimus Prime?
"Lord Megatron," she gasped, "What is-"
"Do not worry Airachnid," he chuckled, expecting this response, "I am here to inform you that we have brokered a treaty with the Autobots.
Her jaw fell slightly, "A treaty? But how? Why?"
"You see Airachnid," Optimus chimed in, "When Megatron saw how much pain you were in over your separation from Jack, he decided to contact me so that we may discuss a truce. You are like a daughter to him, you know."
"Optimus!" Megatron shrieked, "I told you not to tell anyone that!"
The Prime merely chuckled, "You know me, Megatronus. I can't be trusted with a secret, even yours."
"Well, remind me to repay for that, Orion Pax," he growled, "Before our truce becomes permanent."
"Um, I'd hate to interrupt your little love fest," Airachnid spoke up, "But can I see Jack?"
"Ah, yes, about that," Optimus shuddered nervously, "When we overheard him confess his feelings for you to his mother, Ratchet saw fit to lock him up for fear that he might betray us."
"I see," she replied, thoughts shifting to how she would torture the medic later (before their truce was permanent of course).
"Activate the ground-bridge," Megatron instructed Steve.
The swirling vortex opened and the three of them stepped through into an unknown room.
"Where are we," Airachnid asked.
"I figured you and Jack would want to talk in private before seeing everyone," Megatron explained, "His cell is over there. We wanted to surprise him."
"Thank you Lord Megatron," she hugged him, a gesture he gladly (albeit, hesitantly) returned.
The two mechs walked to the command center, leaving Airachnid to talk to Jack by herself. What would she say to him? More importantly, was he okay?
"I was wondering when you'd show up," an too familiar voice called from behind her. She didn't have to guess who it was.
"Arcee," she said, facing the blue femme, who had her blasters aimed directly toward her. She knew she would have to face her eventually, but she wanted to be with Jack right now.
"As I'm sure Megatron and Optimus told you, we overheard Jack confess his "love" for you to his mother," she spat.
"What they didn't tell was that I talked to Jack to see if you had brainwashed him, but he was adamant that his feelings for you were real. We got into an argument, said some things we didn't mean, and I hit him."
"What?," she gasped, "You hit him?"
"Like I said, we said some things we didn't mean and I lost my cool. But that's not the point right now. The point is that while everyone else seems to have forgotten what you've done over the course of this war, I haven't."
"I know and I was planning on talking to you after I see Jack," Airachnid noticed Arcee charging her blasters, "But since you want to talk, let's talk."
"Yes," Arcee hissed, "Let's talk. Let's talk about how you tortured me for information. How you killed Tailgate, my partner, in front of me because I didn't know said information. How you've haunted my nightmares for mega-cycles!"
"I realize that," Airachnid sighed, "You have every right to hate me for what I did to you. For what I did to Tailgate and countless others. If you want to kill me, I won't stop you, but could I at least tell how I came to be the femme you knew."
Arcee lowered her weapons, "Make it quick."
"Before the war, I was an assistant to Tarantula," she began, "I'm sure you've heard of him. After working together for a while, we fell in love and spark bonded. When we returned from our honey moon, we found Cybertron in chaos. The war had broken out, but rather than take sides, Tarantula and I decided to remain neutral, despite living in Iacon."
"You lived in Iacon?" Arcee raised an optic ridge, "You lived in the Autobot capitol, but chose to remain neutral?"
"Yes and we treated several 'Bots and 'Cons who walked in. Someone took exception to it, that someone being Sentinel Zeta Prime. He demanded that we either side with the Autobots or move our clinic elsewhere, but we stood our ground. One day he bombed our clinic and captured us. He forced me to watch as Tarantula was-"
"Executed," Arcee finished for her. She had remembered hearing about the execution from Cliffjumper, who was part of the execution squad who carried out the duty. Sentinel had lied and told them that they were killing one of Megatron's generals. It wasn't until Breakdown, who had been an Autobot , and member of the Wreckers, had told them that Tarantula was a doctor who treated them. The level of outrage was immeasurable, many accusing the Autobots, the Primes especially, of hypocrisy.
That day, several Autobots and neutral Iacon citizens became Decepticons, only a small percentage had remained. They were angry, but remained loyal to their cause.
"Yes, a doctor who had only been exercising his right to choose, or in that case, not choose sides was executed," Airachnid replied sadly, "I know you can't forgive me for what I did to you and Tailgate, but if you could find it your spark to forgive me, I'd be eternally grateful."
Arcee shifted her blasters back to hands, "I can't forgive you, but maybe we can start over. Tarantula saved my life once, so if he loved you, then you must have been a good person once. And it seems Jack has brought out those qualities again."
Airachnid chuckled, "He does seem to have that ability. I'll just go and-"
"Not so fast," Arcee placed a hand on her shoulder, "I should go and apologize to Jack before things get any more complicated between us."
"Fine," Airachnid huffed, "But make it quick. I've been waiting long enough to get my hands on him."
"TMI," Arcee shuddered.
Web of Shadows
In his make-shift cell, Jack was starting to feel better after his talk with Julie. At first, Jack wondered if it was just a dream, but something in his heart told him that it was the real her. She had come to tell her that she never blamed her for her death and that she returned his feelings. The ghost of her lips remained, further proof that she was real. That feeling alone had been able comfort Jack as he waited in his cell.
At first he felt guilt, feeling like he was cheating on Air, but from what Julie told him, she had been reunited with her lost love, Tarantula. That's when an interesting thought crossed his mind. When Air and Jack died, they would be sent back to their respective loves. Would that have any effect on their relationship? Were they subconsciously using each other?
"No," Jack thought, "Even if we are reunited with them, I'm sure we'll still love each other." If he'd learned anything from this last month; it was that love was an emotion, not easily extinguished.
The door to his cell slid open to reveal Arcee, "Hey Jack."
"Arcee? What are you doing here?"
"I came to apologize for hitting you," she crouched down on one knee.
"No, I should apologize for what I said to you," Jack replied, "It was stupid and completely without thought. I guess you could say I had my head-"
"Up your ass?" she finished, "Julie mentioned that."
"You met Julie?" Jack asked, "But how?"
"She came to chew me out for hitting you," Arcee rubbed her chin, "That girl has a mean right hook."
Jack laughed, "Yeah, I remember hitting me when we were kids. I stole her pudding and she nearly beat the crap out me."
"She seems like a nice person," Arcee smiled, "I can see why you fell in love with her. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know that we've brokered a treaty with the Decepticons. It seems like you've been quite the influence on them."
"Really? But then that means Starscream is-"
"I already intend to have a 'talk' with him," she growled.
"Instead of hitting him," Jack suggested, "Why not do this; he has a secret stash of playbots in his room. You could let that slip to the others."
She smiled darkly, "Thanks, partner." She got up and walked out the door, "Oh by the way, there's someone here to see you."
She walked and Airachnid made her way in, a gentle smile on her face, "Hello Jack."
"Air," he smiled, "I see you and Arcee are getting along. I'm glad."
"Me too. I knew if we were going to be together, I'd have to bury the hatchet with her." She scooped him up in a hug, "I love you, Jack."
"I love you too, Air," Jack returned her embrace (as best he could). He knew there would some issues to discuss later, but for now he was content with the way things were.
Web of Shadows
A/N: The End. I'm sorry if some of you are disappointed. I hope the chapter was to your liking. Thanks to all those who reviewed. I hope check out my next story: Curse of the Prime.