Heart pounding and a tremble in her voice that Sam should damn well know better than to take as anything but sheer fury, she'd ended it. Three years and done, just like that.

That he hadn't tried to get her back, had just left; that was what had her huddled on a couch in one of the small break rooms, head in one hand and a wad of mascara-smeared toilet paper in the other, cursing that part of herself that so much wanted to be chased.

The door opened; Mikaela didn't look up. High heels click-clacked brusquely to the coffee pot. Liquid poured, a sugar packet was torn open. Whoever it was turned towards the fridge and paused abruptly, finally spotting her.

"Are you all right?"

Mikaela peered up at the woman without entirely lifting her head, very conscious that her face must be a mess. Blonde, slightly older than she, vaguely familiar. They'd probably passed in the hall or something during one of her visits.

"You're Mikaela, right?"

That startled her a bit; most of the personnel at the small Chicago base simply knew her as that kid Sam's girlfriend. "Yeah." Wait. A helicopter ride, Hoover Dam... She did know this girl. "I don't remember your name."

"Maggie."

"Maggie. Right."

An uncomfortable pause. Mikaela picked at the soggy wad in her hand and Maggie's fingernails tip-tapped restlessly against her coffee mug. It was clearly something brought from home, some kind of logo printed on the side, half hidden by tanned hands. Nothing at all like the bland white mugs the base kept stocked. Mikaela thought bitterly of her own things, thrown haphazardly around her shared room, and how long she'd be allowed to keep them there now that she wasn't dating the other occupant.

"Jolt's giving me a ride back to my apartment tonight. I'll be coming back here in the morning, but if you need someplace to go until then, you can crash on my couch."

Mikaela froze, startled, but any protests stuck in her throat as Maggie finished preparing her coffee and left.

When Maggie came back to the break room later that night, Mikaela was waiting with duffel bag packed and a flight home booked for the next day.

oOo

Mikaela lasted one month. Tranquility was stifling, now, the familiar buildings having somehow become a prison of bitter memories. She had to get out. Still, she wasn't quite sure what she was doing, dialing this number. It was just that she'd been offered help with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

Maggie was glad to hear from her, had been wondering how she'd been doing. Yes, of course Mikaela could come stay for a week while she looked for her own place.

Mikaela found work at a nearby garage. One week at Maggie's place turned into several, turned into months.

oOo

Between having the Secretary of Defense on her contact list and the fact that Maggie was just plain good at what she did, Maggie had obtained a comfortable job that included occasional travel and regular enough access to the Autobots for her to have Jolt on speed dial.

Still, it was a little lonely; she had coworkers but not many friends. Certainly not many human, female friends close to her own age.

Mikaela's appearance in her life was a boon.

Maggie started coming home earlier. (So easy to stay at work until midnight or later when there was no one waiting for her except her ride, an alien who had no sense of a circadian rhythm.) Started cooking again. Going out, just for fun. Remembered what it was like to drink with someone who wasn't expecting to get into her pants at the end of the night.

She quite liked it.

oOo

They'd had simple body contact like this a hundred times. Seen each other naked, or nearly so, almost as often; neither of them was exactly body-shy. For some reason - simple loneliness or desperation or perhaps even something more romantic, who knew - this time was different.

They had a movie on, were sitting close to share the nearly empty popcorn bowl. When the bowl slipped they both went after it, snorting giggles. Maggie reached it first, and it wasn't until her fingers brushed the rim that she realized how she was sprawled almost entirely on top of Mikaela, her breasts pressing against Mikaela's own.

Her hand drifted to the line of skin where Mikaela's pajama tank had ridden up. Their eyes met, and she could see the hesitation, was about to back carefully away; while she herself swung both ways, Mikaela had only ever spoken of boyfriends.

It was Mikaela who initiated the kiss.

The bowl of popcorn remained on the floor, forgotten.

oOo

They called this a rebound relationship. Mikaela knew those didn't last. But she was still hurting, still angry, and Maggie didn't care, didn't tell her she shouldn't be. And it was so new, something entirely different from the relationships she'd been in before. Mikaela needed that, loved how kissing Maggie was nothing like kissing Sam, how the soft curve of her waist was nothing like the sharp, chiseled torsos of the various male athletes who'd come before.

At times it was just them, fingers and breasts and mouths. Other times they dug into that one box, kept hidden beneath the bed for easy access, and out came one or two of the various toys it contained.

oOo

Mikaela switched the vibrator on, Maggie letting out a hiss as she settled it into its spot beneath the strap-on. Her hand lingered for a moment, cupping the curve of the little thing and feeling the rumble travel up her arm, the tips of her fingers toying with the soft folds of skin she could reach beyond it. The recent memory of holding Maggie's head against her chest made her breasts ache anew.

She was ready. She'd been ready. She pulled her hand back out, sliding it slowly up Maggie's stomach before circling her belly button, just to feel her shiver. "Come on," she murmured, slipping hands low and back and squeezing rounded flesh. She pulled, leaned back into the pillows. Maggie followed, eyes glittering and hips already moving in round little jerks, trying to press more firmly against the vibrator. When Mikaela pulled her forward, pulled the dildo inside, they both got exactly what they wanted.

oOo

Maggie would be content to leave things like this; just someone to keep company, to be with, no romance required, but that's not who Mikaela is. Mikaela eventually got lonely, despite the fact that they saw each other nearly every day. She wanted to be pampered, wanted to be chased. The hurt started to grow again when Maggie didn't seem to get her cues.

"Doesn't this mean anything to you?"

"What?"

"Us. Doesn't our relationship mean anything to you?"

Maggie didn't quite know what to say.

oOo

She had to think about it. She hadn't honestly considered them in the sense of the long-term. Relationships, in Maggie's experience, have been fleeting things. Now, though, she found herself considering. How relaxing, how exhilarating it was to be in Mikaela's company. More importantly, what it might feel like to loose that.

She decided she didn't like the mental image that created.

Maggie bought flowers on her way home from work that night. She'd never bothered with paying attention to how these things were supposed to be handled. Jolt was no help. She didn't even consider consulting Glen.

Mikaela at first just seemed startled before her expression closed off. That wasn't how this was supposed to go, and Maggie began to get worried.

"I thought about our conversation," Maggie said, standing there with that ridiculous bouquet in hand and feeling a complete tool. "I'm probably going to get this all wrong, and... Oh, forget this." Suddenly angry, she planted the stupid things on the counter, dropped her purse uncaring to the floor. Mikaela's expression remained unreadable even as Maggie's arms went around her waist. "Forgive me for being an idiot?" is the only thing Maggie could think to say, but it must have been enough because a small, pleased smile curled at the corner of Mikaela's lips.

Even with hair freshly wet from showering, the smell of grease and solvents lingered on Mikaela, hid beneath her fingernails, in the blackened creases of the hands she buried in Maggie's hair. Maggie's lips were sticky with the tinted lip balm she put on fresh before coming in, her hairspray overpowering the smell of garage as her hair fell forward into their faces. Some of it got between their mouths and they had to pause while Mikaela pulled it aside, laughing.

"Are we all right, then?" Maggie asked when they eventually parted again, both their hair a mess and shirts askew.

Mikaela's face was flushed with pleasure, but her eyes remained sharply alert. "Maybe," she answered slyly. "If you cook me dinner."

Maggie would be a fool to do anything but agree. But in her opinion, what they do for dessert is much, much better.