Title: Permission Granted

Characters: Ratchet, Optimus

Rating: K

Warning: None

Description: Optimus feels like he's running a daycare and Ratchet is his most troublesome toddler.

Sometimes, Optimus Prime feels like he's running a daycare rather than overseeing a military unit. Granted eighty percent of his so-called military is comprised of former civilians. But they could still act like adults as opposed to unruly sparklings.

Worse that he's still wading through the aftermath of Ratchet's unexpected party.

Mechs who showed up late for their shifts or not at all, forcing him to dole out citations, punishments, and brig-time for a select few.

Skyfire moping around like someone's torn off his wings and stomped on his spark for good measure.

An explosion in Lab E which has been blamed, in part, on Jazz being an effective distraction. Whatever the scrap that's supposed to mean.

No one's fessing up to distilling the high grade though Optimus has his suspicions. The designation starts with Side and rhymes with gripe.

Wheeljack left his lab unlocked. Again.

Some mech had taken advantage of Wheeljack's forgetful nature and had gotten a hold of the engineer's superfoam, pinning a spitting-fire Cliffjumper beneath gallons of the constrictive liquid-turned-solid.

And where is Prime's best investigative officer during all this mess?

Unavailable at this time according to the repeated message on Prowl's personal comm.

To top it all, Ratchet is apparently rampaging around the base, terrorizing minibots and Aerialbots alike.

And speak of Unicron...

"Can I help you?" Optimus asks, not really in a mood to deal with any more nonsense this week.

His command staff has gone utterly bonkers. His scientists have lost their processors, and really, Optimus has had quite enough.

"My aren't you in a mood." Ratchet helps himself to a chair, sitting upon it with great heaviness.

"What's the human phrase regarding a black kettle?"

Ratchet arches one optical ridge. "Something tells me you could use a good overload or six."

Optimus sets down his stylus with a purposefully noisy click. "Is that your medical opinion?"

Tread lightly, Ratchet. Optimus is a hair-trigger away from throwing half his crew in the brig just for some peace and quiet.

"Do you want it to be?"

Optimus stares, his battle mask hiding the unamused set of his mouthplates. "Ratchet, I am quite busy. We can trade witty repartee later. Is there a reason you came to visit?"

His undefeatable, short-tempered, and completely confident chief medical officer fidgets visibly. "I need your permission."

Optimus wavers between exasperation and curiosity. "Go on."

Ratchet twitches, optics dropping briefly to the desk before raising them again. "I wish to court Sideswipe and Sunstreaker."

Optimus reboots his audials. "... Come again?"

A scowl twists Ratchet's faceplate. "You heard me."

Optimus leans back in his chair – the comfortable one he stole from Jazz's office some time ago. It's not like Jazz ever uses his office anyway. "I thought I heard wrong. Exactly why do you need my permission?"

"Because it's tradition."

"I don't recall it being a Prime's duty to sanction all courtships."

Ratchet gives him a long, flat look. "Their creators are gone. Dead. Who knows. So I came to you. Their commanding officer."


"Ironhide is my accomplice," Ratchet interrupts with a long, aggravated exvent. "He can't count. Conflict of interest."

Accomplice? How does Ratchet keep suborning Optimus' command staff?

He raps his fingers across his desktop, honestly lacking the words to respond. Cybertronian, English, or otherwise.

"Will it fix your recent behavior?" Optimus finally settles for a query.

In other words, will his permission stop Ratchet's foul-tempered rampaging through the base.

Ratchet has the decency to look embarrassed. One pede toes the floor, the other makes him swivel back and forth in the chair.

"It... should."

Optimus realizes that Ratchet is uncertain. Afraid even.

And Ratchet's usual response to his fear is to be loud, brash, and angry.

Suddenly, it all makes sense.

Optimus palms his face, battle mask sliding aside.

No, he's not running a daycare. He's principal of a fragging high school.

"Is there some ritualistic phrasing I need to use?"

Ratchet's mouthplates quirk into a grin. "Not really. I just need to satisfy my coding."

"Fine." Optimus waves a hand at his chief medical officer. "You have my permission. Need it in writing?"

"No sir." Ratchet's helm dips, self-abashed. "Thank you."

"I'd say anytime but I hope that the madness is going to end sooner rather than later." Optimus picks up his stylus again, dragging his datapad closer.

"I'll do my best."

"See that you do."

Ratchet levers himself out of the chair, turning toward the open doorway.

"And Ratchet?"

The medic pauses, half-turned toward his Prime.

"Good luck."

He honestly means it, too. Ratchet's going to need all the luck he can get if he hopes to rope in those two mechs.

Ratchet nods and takes his leave.

Optimus returns to his paperwork. Sadly, the only thing that currently makes sense in his world right now.

a/n: Special thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed this piece of humorous romance. I'm glad you all have enjoyed it so much. It makes me smile to know that someone is enjoying my writing.