A/N: Well here it is people, my last chapt for this series :( it is both sad and happy at the same time. Anyway here you are and enjoy
Chapter 14- Epilogue Part Two
Rachel couldn't believe what she was seeing. This had to be a dream, it had to be, yet, she didn't want it to be.
"I..." her words stuck in her throat.
She looked down -a little unwillingly- at Lennox and across to the Autobots.
"I could just punch all of you right now, even you," she jeered at Lennox.
Lennox was just smiling at her, as were the Autobots, all nine of them.
"Yes, because punching us ended so well last time," he said.
"Shut up, Ironhide, I'm not even talking to you right now," Rachel said to the Autobot holding her.
She crossed her arms, feigning anger, but inside her emotions were a jumbled mess.
"She pissed, don't say anything," Sideswipe warned.
"Shut up, Sideswipe, don't help him," Rachel snapped.
Sideswipe held his hands up in surrender. Rachel was glad to see Ironhide was alive, more than glad, but she was also beyond pissed.
"I can't believe you didn't tell me!" she exclaimed to all of them.
She turned to Ironhide, "And put me down, now."
For once the Autobot complied and placed her back on the ground. Rachel's mind was spinning, hopelessly spinning out of control still trying to process what was going on.
"Rachel, we wanted to, but it was for your own safety," Lennox said. "Both of you."
"For my own safety? I'm not mad at you, but I almost let Sentinel kill me because I no longer cared for my safety. If it hadn't been for Sideswipe he would have killed me," Rachel said.
"Hey, you pissed off the Decepticons, the least I could do was save your life," Sideswipe said.
Rachel gave him a disbelieving smile, shaking her head, and then turned to look up at Ironhide.
"And, you," she said fighting back her emotions. "You taunted me!"
Confused replies mixed from all the Autobots and Lennox.
"You made me think you were alive when I knew you weren't!" Rachel said.
"You drove in front of my apartment! And I saw you and I was confused, but by the time I looked back you were gone; I thought I was going insane."
Silence dominated, Ironhide recoiled when Optimus spoke up.
"Sorry, Optimus, I had to see if she was safe," Ironhide countered.
"You weren't supposed to go near her."
Rachel still took joy in seeing Ironhide squirm under Optimus' glance.
In seconds, it truly hit her; Ironhide was alive, alive. The one thing that had been her anchor through everything, from her parents' deaths to her own complications with life in Egypt, was Ironhide, and he had never truly been lost to her like she'd thought. He was here with her, still being his annoying, overly-protective self. She knew that -even though she acted differently- she had always welcomed his protection, the security that he gave her when upon many occasions all hell had seemed to break loose. The emptiness that she had felt since the day of Sentinel's betrayal was so suddenly filled that she couldn't help but break into tears of joy. Obviously this didn't go unnoticed by the reason for the tears.
"I'm away for what? A few months? And you just go all soft like that?" Ironhide joked.
Rachel couldn't even roll her eyes at him right then, she moved closer to him looking up at him with a smile. Ironhide saw she wasn't in a joking mood and bent down to pick her up once more. She let him without protest, actually leaning into his touch. He lifted her to his eye level and she stared into his blue eyes before throwing her arms around as much of his neck as she could. The hug was awkward only for her arms, which didn't reach completely around him, and she put her head against the cool metal next to her arms. She heard him sigh, a good sigh, releasing him with a smile. He put her back on the ground and she looked around at all the Autobots.
"I assume I have Ratchet to thank for this," Rachel said looking at the medical officer, gesturing to Ironhide.
Lennox laughed, "Now, you know he isn't going to take credit for anything."
Ratchet looked at the humans.
"I was considering not saving him, he let his guard down, but I figured if I at least didn't try Optimus would have my head," Ratchet, for once, joked. "Now, I'm glad he pulled through. Rachel, I was worried about you, really worried."
"Thanks," she replied. "For everything."
But, his seriousness made Rachel realize just how lost she really had been. She didn't want to think what would have happened if Daniel hadn't come along. Speaking of her knight in shining armor, Daniel had just walked up to Lennox.
"Daniel?" Rachel asked.
"You knew about this, didn't you?" she asked.
"About what?" Daniel turned to see Ironhide standing a few feet away. "Oh, Rachel!"
He walked toward her, throwing his arms around her and lifting her off the ground. They kissed before he set her back on the ground. Rachel laughed happily, but then stopped abruptly as she realized what she'd just done in front of-
"Ironhide! Put him down!" she yelled at the Autobot holding Daniel off the ground by the back of his shirt.
"So this is what you get yourself into when I'm not around?" Ironhide said with one of his cannons aimed at Daniel.
"Yes, without you around to protect me from nothing every five seconds I could actually had a life," Rachel teased. "Now, please, don't blow my boyfriend to oblivion."
"Yes, please, I'm sorry if I did anything wrong. I- I-" Daniel said nervously.
"Don't try to explain your love for me to him, he won't understand," Rachel said.
Ironhide put Daniel back on the ground, no doubt getting bored trying to intimidate him.
"Excuse me?" he said aiming his cannon at her.
"Oh, please," Rachel said finally rolling her eyes, "we've been through this, you're not going to shoot me."
"You're also no fun anymore," Ironhide said putting away the gun.
Rachel laughed looking at Lennox who also had a smile on his face as he helped Daniel off the floor. She looked around again at the Autobots, her eyes falling on Optimus. He had both arms again and if there were any signs of his fight with Sentinel left they weren't visible. He gave her a small nod making her break into a big grin. Sideswipe was also smiling at her, she walked over to the silver Autobot.
"I'm guessing Ironhide told you to be my new protector while he wasn't able to?" she asked Sideswipe.
"Yeah, he told me to watch you, that you were prone to getting in trouble," he said.
Rachel rolled her eyes, "He's one to talk," she muttered.
Things seemed right again and that she was glad for. The Decepticons could wait now, she had protection from them again; the protection she wanted and longed for. She walked back up to Lennox.
"Looks like my leave of absence is going to be shorter than you thought it would be," she said smiling.
Lennox smiled at her, "I'm glad that you want to come back."
"The only reason I left isn't really a reason anymore, Lennox."
"I'm happy for you, you didn't deserve what happened, I'm sorry I had to keep it from you for so long," he replied.
"Exactly how long did you keep it from me?" Rachel asked, suddenly curious.
"Since a little before Chicago," Lennox said.
"That long, huh, how'd you keep Ironhide from getting near me until recent?"
"It wasn't easy," Lennox said with a laugh.
That night Rachel and Daniel returned to their apartment, Rachel having her job back at NEST. She was glad, that office was boring her to death, at least the office at NEST was far more interesting even when there weren't any Decepticons running around. It wasn't hard to spot the black Topkick not too far away from the apartment. Ironhide had insisted he go with the two, and Rachel no longer complained. Everything that had happened had shown her how much she missed having him around, she never wanted to have that feeling again. Ever. She'd been falling into a dark hole with no way out, but while Daniel had pulled her up, only seeing Ironhide again put her back on the surface. Rachel ran her hand through an already-asleep Daniel's dirty-blond hair, trying to sleep herself. Nightmares still haunted her, though, she knew things couldn't have been better and peaceful sleep still eluded her. Infuriated, she quietly slipped from the bed trying not to wake Daniel, going over to the window. She saw the Topkick parked across the street and quickly headed downstairs. Rachel crossed the road carefully, hearing the locks on the Topkick's doors pop open as she approached. She climbed inside the passenger's side of the truck, getting in the backseat. It was hard to ignore the click of the locks locking again as she laid down on the cool leather seats. Closing her eyes, a warm feeling rushed through her body, still hardly believing what she was doing, who she was with. Finally, she slipped quickly into a peaceful sleep, quicker than she ever had since Chicago. It was the first night since then she had not had nightmares. Rachel no longer cared for her past, no matter how horrifying, for once she didn't blame herself anymore because her future was iridescent.
I want to thank all of my readers who stuck with this story from the beginning. I also must thank Dreamworks and Michael Bay for making such amazing movies. And also to my friends who supported me and in some cases helped me with this fanfic. Sorry if im forgetting anyone else XD. This was prob my favorite fanfic to write, and in my opinion the best ive written, I'm having mixed feelings about finishing it because I've spent many more hours than I can count on this series. So if you're still reading this I applaud you :) So, this is by far not the last fanfic I will write check for updates on the countless others I am writing. Thanks