What's this? Another pointless oneshot of pure fluff? Why, I think it is! I actually started this quite some time ago, so I think it's about time I got it up and going. The idea came to me quite out of the blue, and, as it seemed like a fairly simple concept, I decided to go for it. It was actually a tad bit more difficult than I had expected, as these are both very well developed characters, but I got it done with, I hope, a fair amount of success. Fair warning, if you don't like fluff, then don't read, as this is a purely for fun oneshot.
The door to the garage creaked faintly on its hinges, the shrill squeeks of rusted metal ringing out disproportionately loudly in the quiet of night. June Darby, clad in a blue robe and holding on to a freshly brewed, still steaming cup of coffee, peaked her head around the partially open door. Sitting rather comfortably in the less than roomy garage was a fully awake Arcee, one servo resting on her knee, and the other on the portruding bump on her stomach. Two bright, glowing blue orbs turned to greet her, momentarily dissapearing as their owner gave a sudden blink. A soft smile appeared on the femme's face, and she gave a nod of her helm in welcome.
"Hey..."June whispered as she shut the door behind her, the hinges creaking less loudly then before. "I had a feeling you'd be awake." Arcee let out a faint chuckle at that, optics following June as she took a seat on one of the old chairs by the desk. "Seems like I was right." She paused, taking a quick sip of her coffee, eyes dropping to Arcee's rounded midsection. "Is the little guy keeping you up?"
"Nah, he's been pretty quiet... Cybertronian Protoforms don't move as much as human prot- er, babies., " Arcee explained, moving her servo gently over the bump in question, metallic fingers sliding over the radically reshaped metal plates. "I'm just...-she gave her helm a tilt-"thinking..."
Ah..." Mrs. Darby responded, looking back down at her mug and giving the contents a thoughtful swirl. "I remember those nights..." She looked back up, human eyes and autobot optics locking, sharing something beyond the words they spoke. "When I was-" her sentance halted, brows crinkling as she took a few moments to recall the term Ratchet had given her. "-sparked, with Jack, I was up late almost every night... I worried about everything, and being a nurse, ironically enough, only made things worse..."
Arcee couldn't stop herself from smiling at the oddly easy to picture image of a much younger June Darby worrying over a still unborn Jack. "I checked his heartbeat every hour... I nearly had a panic attack whenever he was anything but normal." She couldn't hold back a sudden laugh as a long buried memory came back to her. "I almost drove myself to the hospital the day I left for maternal leave, all because he was five beats below normal." The previously silent and attentive Arcee couldn't stop a chuckle of her own, a part of her wondering how Jack would react to hearing his mother tell these stories. Mrs. Darby took another sip of her now cooler coffee, taking in a breath and letting out a sigh. "It may sound odd now... but I think his father was the only person who kept me from losing it..." The femme stiffened at the mention of Jack's absent father, something she had come to understand as an almost off limits topic in the Darby household. Fortunetly, June saved both parties from what could have been an intensely awkward silence with a sudden but still fitting subject change.
"Speaking of father's... How's the dad-to-be been? Knockout, was it?" She asked, looking over the brim of her coffee cup as she took another drink.
"He's... been doing the best he can. I get the feeling he's about as familiar with these things as I am... Or, most of us, for that matter..." The woman tilted her head, urging the femme to provide some explanation.
"Births were rare on Cybertron." she elaborated, drawing a look of surprise from June. "Most femmes only have protoforms ever couple of millennia, and even then it's... difficult."
"I... had no idea..." June responded, setting her mug down on the work bench. Was that why there were so few Autobots? She had just assumed that they were all scattered, not going exctinct. "Are you all..." she searched for the right word so as not to offend, though it took some time. "Infertile?" The femme smirked and shook her helm, giving the impression she had expected the question. Perhaps she'd already had this conversation with one of the kids?
"Nah. Well, maybe by human standards..." she joked, though the subject was definitely a serious one. "But for us, low birth rates are kinda necessary. We live for millions of years, and before the war, very few bots died of anything but natural causes. If we bred at the rate of humans, Cybertron would've been overrun in just a few generations." June was fascinated, but Arcee only shrugged, these were just facts of life for her.
"Is that why there are so few females?" June asked suddenly, her own medical knowledge driving her curiosity. Again, she was surprised by how little she knew of the Autobots, and a little ashamed for not knowing more. They seemed so much like humans, and that often made onw forget that they were, in fact, still very different life forms.
"Probably, yeah." she responded, nodding casually, though her next sentence quickly put a conspicuous amount of distance from the topic, enough for June to notice. "And on top of that, conception in general is nearly impossible. Which is why this little guy-" she held a servo above the expanded plates of her midsection, gesturing to the protoform nestled within. "-was such a surprise." June shook her head in silent awe, remembering well her own confusion at the surprise the sparklings existence had generated amongst the group. Now, it all made sense. Most of them had likely never even seen such a thing, at least not for some time.
"One in a million huh?" she asked, half joking. The femme let out a brief laugh, responding with a teasing tone of her own.
"More like a billion, considering the circumstances." the light remark drew quieted laughter from them both, which continued until Arcee drew in a surprised gasp, her optics going wide as both of her servos gripped her midsection in a sudden panic. Medical experience taking over in an instant, June stood from her chair, her own eyes wide with concern.
"Arcee? Is everything all right?" though she was silent for a moment afterward, the femme relaxed after some hesitation, letting out a sigh. The settling of her once tense features told June that everything was in order, though she did notice that the surprise had left her heart thudding. Lowering a gentle servo onto her stomach, Arcee closed her optics, announcing the source of her outburst with a small, somewhat weary sigh.
"Kicking..." she said as she opened her optics, and June saw her frame shake with the tiniest of tremors as each of the protoforms internal stirrings brought a new jolt of surprise. "He always catches me off gaurd." Smiling softly at the scene, June couldn't help but feel a sense of awe as she stared at the expecting femmes belly. Even though she saw things like this daily, it still drew a feeling of wonder from her, and to know that what she was seeing now was truly a medical miracle...
"Do you want to feel?" as if she had sensed her curiousity, Arcee popped the question quite suddenly. Though she was surprised by the offer, it didn't take her long to nod in response, going over by the femmes side. Looking up at the mother to be for a moment, she placed a gentle hand on the expanded plates of her midsection, and was momentarily surprised by how warm the metal was, almost like what one would expect from a human. There was only a moment before she felt a kick beneath the surface, the solid feeling of metal striking metal tapping under her fingers. A motherly smile was on her lips before she knew it, the feeling of new life stirring just beneath her fingertips leaving her in wordless awe. The femme watched the exchange with a soft smile of her own, feeling the protoforms movements as only an expecting mother could. The moment was interrupted when a less pleasant thought invaded her processor, and a look of deep thought crossed over her faceplate.
"How bad was it? The delivery?" she asked, unable to stop herself. June seemed a little taken aback by the question, looking up at the femme with an expression of confusion that quickly shifted to thought. "I know that it works about the same for both our species, and I was wondering... Is it really as bad as they say it is?" Removing her hand from the protoform bearing bump, June averted her eyes as she carefully thought of how to articulate as response. While she didn't want to unnerve Arcee with the details, she didn't want to lie and leave her unprepared either. A very small part of her wondered why such a battle hardened veteran would fear something all females were designed for, then she remembered her own terror in spite of all the preparation she had had.
"Well, to be honest..." she sensed Arcee tilt eagerly forward just the slightest, but pretended not to notice. "It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done..." She got an optic roll as a response, though she saw the tinge of fear that lurked in the sarcastic gesture. "But it was also the most... rewarding. All those months of waiting, preparing... All of that pain, and then, in just a few hours, there he was..." In a rare turn of events, Arcee was silent, mulling over the mothers words with a look of deep thought. June placed a comforting hand on the Autobots arm, and the femme gave the softest smile in recognition of the gesture. "I know it may be hard to believe now, but they're worth it all in the end, just wait and see." There was a comfortable silence before Arcee nodded in silent thanks, and June sensed that a great burden had been lifted from her shoulders.
"Thank you, June..." she said with true sincerity, looking down at the woman with gentle, thankful optics.
"You're welcome... Now-" moving away from Arcee, June picked her mug off the table, noting that it was already cold and only halfway empty. I can never finish these... "-I'm going to head off to bed..." She adopted a look of mock severity as she reopened the door, though it was ruined by the playful smile that tugged at her lips. "And you should too, young lady, you need the rest more than I do." Arcee laughed out loud at that.
"Young? I'm older than the written history of your entire race, let alone you." June chuckled, but offered no further rebut, instead settling for one last "good night" as she shut the door.
Am I the only one who wishes these two would have more on screen interaction? Seriously, they only had one episode, and that was it. You'd think June would wanna, I don't know, get to really know the person who gaurds her sons life from evil alien robots. But now I'm ranting, so I'll digress. Hope this wasn't too out of character for anyone, or too... repetitive (This is what... the third story I've had Cee knocked up in? Too be fair, she's dated nearly every mech in the franchise at one point or another... And there's probably more coming, as I love the concept of her as a mom...) I may add a second chapter, as I'm also tempted to write some one on one time between her and another favourite character of mine... Regardless, hope those of you who took the time to read enjoyed this!