Disclaimer: Oh Gawd, I gotta stop doing these. LOL. And yet...somehow I can't seem to do so. If you guys ever get tired of these, let me know. I have MANY ideas involving other pairings, but this one I'm particularly stuck on. But stay tuned. With a devoted fanbase, I tend to be much more motivated to do these a lot. :) Now granted, this was a series of ideas that I originally had for my fic NEVER WILL BE, but didn't work out for the intended plot. So this one will be an AU fic that will work around an alternate version of the whole events of Animated involving Shockwave. So. Yup. There you have it. I promise there won't me too much sadness this time. :)
"A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity."
"A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour."
"...all that unpleasant morality."
-Shockwave, Transformers Animated
Many Solar Cycles Later
Cybertron had resumed its normal pace those passing cycles. Despite the absence of Red Alert, Jhiaxus and the rest of the Shepherd's crew, many were still keeping the events that had transpired close to spark. The only one who seemed preoccupied with the whole thing was Rodimus; he couldn't stop thinking if Red Alert was okay or not. She hadn't contacted him since leaving and he was worried as always.
Rodimus had gathered with Chromia and Moonracer out in the Iacon park that early morning and sat at one of the tables, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Chromia and Moonracer were talking briefly before stopping. Moonracer returned her attention to a data pad in her hand and suddenly smiled. She knew that Rodimus had that distant, thoughtful look on his face and didn't even look up when she addressed him.
"Rodimus, stop it." she said.
He looked at her now, startled, straightening up and looking around in shock. "What?" he asked, in a surprised gasp.
Moonracer smiled up at him teasingly from the tops of her optics. "Just stop it."
He suddenly knew what she was thinking and he sighed impatiently, almost embarrassed. "I can think about her if I want to," he said, quietly, leaning back in his seat.
"Look," Moonracer told him, "I recently spoke with Red Alert. She's doing fine."
Rodimus scowled in protest. "What? She contacted you? Why wasn't I told?"
Moonracer smiled and pretended to look serious. She glanced at Chromia. "Hmm, I don't know, Chromia. Why didn't we tell Rodimus that he's been thinking about another mech's woman? Hmm... that really boggles the processor."
Chromia smirked and got in on the game. "Gee. I don't know either, Moony. Could it be because..."
"YOU'RE CRAZY?" the both finished in a goofy, singsong tone.
Rodimus scowled at their joke. "I'm not crazy just for wondering if she's okay or not."
Moonracer laughed and patted a hand against his back. "Relax," she told him, "It just so happens Chromia and I were planning to make our visit to New Lucifer today anyway. Her parents contacted us and Sill wants to check up on her. You know how she gets. We're going to bring Hot Shot also."
Rodimus smiled and stood up. "Okay." Then, he frowned impatiently at her. "And I'm not crazy."
"Oh no, we believe you." Chromia teased.
Rodimus and the others arrived through the space bridge into a wide, beautiful organic field of flowers. The sun cast a bright glow down upon a colony below the hills where they stood, receiving quite a view. They made their way toward the colony gates where two larger Cybertronians were standing guard. One appeared to wear an old Autobot logo and the other was a Decepticon. The Autobot guard was bright red and worn with battle scars and the Decepticon was green with a replacement leg. When the group approached, the guards stood at attention.
"State your business here," the Decepticon guard growled.
Rodimus looked up calmly. "We're here to see Red Alert."
The guards immediately relaxed. "Oh, you're the bots she talks about," the Autobot said, "Come on. We'll take you to Jhiaxus. It's good to let him know you're here first."
The guards led them through the colony. It was bustling with activity; many Cybertronians were in the middle of trading with others, some were in conversation and even younglings were rushing through the streets, happily playing together. The homes were makeshift huts and some appeared to be remains of old ships and space pods. Everyone seemed to be working happily together without a care in the world.
"I'll still never get used to this," Chromia remarked.
Hot Shot took a swift inhale before he grimaced. "Wow. What in Primus' name is that horrible stench?" he muttered, "It smells like old oil sitting in a baking unit for too long."
A Decepticon had his back to him and whirled with a container of what appeared to be old oil. He glared down at Hot Shot with a low, irritated grumble before moving off. Rodimus looked back at the others.
"How about you guys take a look around while I speak to Jhiaxus?" he suggested.
Sill and Phaeton seemed to agree.
"Certainly!" Phaeton said, "I'm quite eager to speak with a Decepticon on a much more civil basis!"
Rodimus gave him a nod of acknowledgement and followed the two guards toward a makeshift courtyard where sure enough, he saw Jhiaxus in the middle of teaching several younglings. They appeared to be enthralled in a story he was telling them. He was using a lot of hand gestures and voices to emphasis his tale. Rodimus arched his optic ridges with a faint smile.
"In the end of battle, you are only measured in the strength of your spark and your comrades," Jhiaxus told them, "So, in that truth, respect your enemy, honor your enemy and most of all, protect you loved ones." He looked up and spotted Rodimus. "Ah! And look at that, children! Look who's come to pay us a visit!" He leaned down and smiled. "Perhaps he would enjoy having you go to him and give him a New Lucifer welcome?"
The younglings yelled playfully and rushed up to a startled Rodimus, giving him a collection of hugs that knocked him off of his feet. Rodimus yelped in surprise and attempted to cycle air through their small, yet surprisingly powerful hugs.
"Ah!" he cried, "Hang on! I need to breathe!"
Jhiaxus chuckled and approached, helping him stand. "It's quite a surprise to see you, Rodimus." he said, "I had expected a visit sooner given your loyalty to your friend."
Rodimus gave an embarrassed smile. "I'm not that obvious, am I?"
Jhiaxus laughed and put an arm around his shoulder, leading him forward. "My friend... Sixty percent of all communication is nonverbal, body language. You express yourself more than anyone I've ever met in just your actions alone," he explained, "I know how you feel about her. I know how you STILL feel about her."
Rodimus sighed. "I just want her to be happy. Even if it's not with me."
Jhiaxus stared at him for a moment before smiling. "That's good, Rodimus. You're still growing up."
Rodimus managed a small smile before he looked up. "Where is she anyway?"
Jhiaxus gestured down the streets and pointed to a makeshift building ahead. "I believe I last saw her in there completing repairs to Quick Silver," he said; he chuckled softly now, "So many young ones come here and attempt to get a little more reckless than usual."
"Thank you." Rodimus responded, walking away.
He stopped when he noticed Phaeton talking with a bulky Decepticon behind a stand.
"Look, I'm not saying it's bad," Phaeton told him, "I'm saying that I think you added a little too much to the mix."
The Decepticon glared at him. "You talkin' bad on my drinks, old bot?" he threatened, in a gravely voice, "Huh?"
Phaeton warily held up two hands. "No! No! Not at all! I was just a little advice."
The Decepticon immediately relaxed and gave him a funny look, unable to resist a smile at Phaeton's sudden caution. "I'm just fragging with you, old bot. Okay?" he said, chuckling, "Look, we're all friends here."
Phaeton relaxed now and took a relieved sigh. "I thought you were going to hit me for a nanoklick there!"
Rodimus patted Phaeton's back in passing. "Way to commune with the natives, Phaeton."
Rodimus stepped into the building that Jhiaxus had indicated, noticing it appeared to be set up rather comfortably despite its appearance. He paused at the sight of several holo-portraits hanging on the walls. One showed Red Alert with several younglings in a group; it was possibly the younglings sent to her care because none of them looked like her. Another portrait showed Shockwave standing with Jhiaxus. It looked more old than the rest. One particular portait stopped him in his tracks.
It was new. Maybe no less than a few cycles old. It featured Red Alert and Shockwave together; she was sitting in his lap and he had one arm around her and another on one of his legs. They were both staring seemingly at him and Rodimus couldn't resist the urge to smile. He had never seen Red Alert so happy before in his life.
"Quick Silver, if I have to fix that leg of yours one more time..."
Rodimus turned at the sight of Red Alert stepping out of one of the rooms with another smaller Autobot. He was all silver in color save for bright blue optics and appeared to be limping in his gait as he tried to get away from her before darting out of the building.
"Come on, doc!" he called back at her, "Don't be such a buzz-kill!"
Red Alert looked up and saw Rodimus standing there. She blinked in surprise. "Oh, Rodimus. Hi."
He smiled. "Hi."
Red Alert caught what he was looking at and chuckled softly. "Yeah. Jhiaxus insisted on that one," she said, "Shockwave and I really didn't feel up to it, but..."
Rodimus glanced down at her and gave a small, awkward smile. "You look...well."
After a moment of uncomfortable silence, Rodimus furrowed his optic ridges thoughtfully. "Where is he anyway?"
Red Alert gestured for him to follow. "I believe he's still teaching the younglings," she told him.
Rodimus grimaced. "Wow. Cyclops is teaching our future generations? That's a disturbing thought."
"Rodimus..." Red Alert warned as she stepped outside, "I know the two of you can't find ways to get along, but can you at least attempt to keep yourself from fighting? I've already had to spend most of the morning convincing Shockwave to keep himself civil and THAT was an effort alone."
"Okay. I'll try," Rodimus said.
Red Alert smiled and nodded. "Good."
She led Rodimus down the street until they arrived at another building. They stepped inside and there was a small class gathered to which Shockwave appeared to be teaching. He held up black, spherical object in his servos.
"Define a star," he requested to his class. He gestured to one of the younglings. "You!"
The youngling straightened and stood up. "A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter," the youngling said, "For at least a portion of its life, a star shines due to thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen in its core releasing energy that traverses the star's interior and then radiates into outer space. Almost all naturally occurring elements heavier than helium were created by stars, either via stellar nucleosynthesis during their lifetimes or by supernova nucleosynthesis when stars explode. We can determine the mass, age, chemical composition and many other properties of a star by observing its spectrum, luminosity and motion through space. The total mass of a star is the principal determinant in its evolution and eventual fate. Other characteristics of a star are determined by its evolutionary history, including diameter, rotation, movement and temperature."
Shockwave nodded his head. "Excellent work."
Rodimus couldn't stop from looking amazed as well. "Wow. I never thought a little one could learn that much."
Red Alert smiled brightly. "He makes for an impressive teacher."
"Now then..." Shockwave continued, turning, "A variety of different nuclear fusion reactions take place inside the cores of stars, depending upon their mass and composition, as part of stellar nucleosynthesis. The net mass of the fused atomic nuclei is smaller than the sum of the constituents. This lost mass is released as electromagnetic energy, according to the mass-energy equivalence relationship-" He cut himself off when he noticed the two standing in the doorway. Then, he gestured to his class. "Dismissed."
Rodimus chuckled. "Hey there, Cyclops," he said, "Mind if I step in for a moment?"
"Not at all. Do you mind if I leave?" Shockwave muttered.
He left the room without a second acknowledgement. Red Alert looked at Rodimus briefly with surprise before smiling. "Well, that went much better than I thought."
Night eventually fell over the planet and the entire colony gathered together around an enormous bonfire. Two moons hung high in the clear, starry sky. Overall, it was a relaxing evening and everyone was content. Shockwave attempted to make his way toward Red Alert, but Moonracer called him over toward a table.
"Hey! Get over here!" she yelled, good-naturedly.
Shockwave approached her with a grunt. "What is it? I wish to speak alone with Red Alert."
"Alone?" Moonracer smirked, "Why? If you need a tip on a good position, I got a list!"
"Moonracer, your advice has certainly been helpful up until now," Shockwave murmured, his voice low with a glimmer of disdain, "I can assure you that my stamina is quite efficient and I do not need any further tutelage from you."
Moonracer couldn't stop her laugh. "Take it easy. I"m just teasing." Then, she looked serious. "You've been rather jumpy all day. What's up your tailpipe?"
"I believe my bondmate is hiding something from me."
Moonracer arched her optic ridges and glanced through the crowds toward Red Alert in the middle of a conversation with Jhiaxus. She suddenly laughed and looked at him. "Aww, come on!" she said, "You're her bondmate and you think she's hiding something? Red Alert's not that kind of femme. Primus, when we were younglings, she could NEVER keep her mouth shut if she did something bad. It's just not in her. Just go-"
Shockwave snorted gruffly. "You don't seriously suggest that I ASK her if she's hiding something?"
Moonracer smirked. "Aww, you mechs are all the same, huh?" she teased, "You can't talk about your feelings or ask what's wrong. So instead you drive your central processor up the wall trying to figure it out." She laughed for a few moments more before giving him a serious look. "Just go ask her."
Shockwave murmured a Decepticon curse before he stood up. As he did, Jhiaxus raised his hand to the watching crowd. "Attention!" he called, "May I have your attention please?"
When the voices died down, Hot Shot was the only one still making goofy voices to several younglings and the children motioned surreptitiously for him to stop. Then, he realized that everyone was still watching and sheepishly stopped. Sill gave a groan and shook her head with dismay at the sight.
"Primus, give me strength..." she muttered.
Jhiaxus cleared his vocal processor and gestured to Red Alert. "We will be having another young one brought into our world!" he declared, "For I am pleased to announce that our newest arrival and dear medic is carrying!"
Rodimus spat out his drink in shock at the announcement. Many began to cheer and Red Alert's parents eagerly embraced their daughter. Shockwave stood there, stunned by the announcement as well and beside him, Hot Shot was clapping and chanting, "Cyclops is gonna be a daddy" over and over.
Red Alert and Shockwave dodged the crowds to have some time alone in the flower fields. They were laying on their backs and watching the moons above. They had been silent the entire time and Shockwave sensed her unease through their bond. He decided to ease her troubled mind a bit.
"I'm sure you had your reasons for keeping it a secret from me," Shockwave finally said, "I'm quite interested in hearing them."
Red Alert chuckled, embarrassed. "I was a bit worried you'd be upset."
"Upset?" Shockwave made a clicking sound. "Why would I be upset?"
"Well...I didn't know if you were ready to father younglings yet."
"I believe that I had mentioned it before; we have more than enough time." He straightened up a bit and looked at her. His voice carried a bit of doubt. "Though I don't know if I could be a sufficient father for our sparkling."
"Sparklings." Red Alert corrected, with a smile in her voice.
Shockwave grunted in surprise. "Sparklings?"
She smirked at him and held up two fingers.
"My. This day brings more and more surprises."
Red Alert rolled over, propping her head up on her arm and smiling at him affectionately. "You will be a good father. Want to know how I know?" She didn't wait for an answer and lightly petted his chest with one hand. "I know because I've seen what you're capable of. You can be a loving mech when you want to."
"They may inherit my...social skills," Shockwave murmured.
Red Alert kissed the side of his helm. "That just means there's more of you to love."
Shockwave sighed and shook his head. "You love me more than I deserve."
"And they will love you too. You deserve to be loved."
They spent a few more minutes together before Hot Shot poked his head between them. "Hello!" he said, grinning.
Shockwave grumbled with displeasure at the interruption and Red Alert laughed. "Hot Shot. I thought you were with the others."
Hot Shot sighed and nodded. "Well, that's where I was, but I had to go," he told her, "There was a big Decepticon down there who told me that if he had to look at me for five more minutes, he'd jump out of a moving ship. And I really don't want to explain that one to Jhiaxus."
Red Alert gave him a light push. "Get going."
He laughed and rushed off. Red Alert took Shockwave's hand and helped him stand. "Come on. Let's go."
And they walked back to the colony.
Hand in hand.