A/N: I've got nothing to do today, so I thought I might make a story that's been eating at me for a while. This has nothing to do with ShadowStrike as you will soon find out.
Transformers Prime: Child's Play
In the garage of her home, Nurse June Darby waited patiently for her son, Jackson to return from his usual visit to the Autobot base. Normally, he and his guardian, Arcee, were late because the femme was either out on a mission or something insane happened at base. If the latter, she hoped Jack was okay and was fully prepared to tear the 'Bots a new one if he wasn't. Miko would call that being an overprotective "helicopter mom", but that was the girl's opinion. Her thoughts were stirred by the bright light of the ground-bridge opening in the middle of her garage.
She held up a hand to block the light that blinded her so she could see as Arcee stepped through, looking rather uncomfortable. She was quick to notice the absence of her son, "Arcee, where's Jack?" Before the femme could answer, June felt something wrap out her legs and she struggled to keep her balance. Looking down, she came saw a small head with black hair nuzzling her lovingly. When the head looked up, two big blue eyes looked up at her.
"Mommy!" the young boy squealed happily as he tightened his grip on her.
June would know those eyes, that smile, and that voice, matter how young anywhere. Looking at Arcee in disbelief for a moment, June took a chance, "Jack, is that you?"
"Yup!" he giggled, "this is my new friend; 'Cee'Cee!" Were the situation not so bizarre, June would have been stifling a laugh at the use of the unique nickname for his guardian. Her motherly instincts kicking in, June knelt down and picked up her, at least five year old, son. He wrapped his small arms around her neck and nuzzled her again. Allowing the situation to sink in at last, June glared at the blue Autobot.
Normally, Arcee would return the glare if it were anyone else, but June had always managed to make her feel uneasy with that look. The femme avoided her gaze as she prepared for a verbal tongue-lashing. But June managed to keep her voice calm as to not upset Jack, "What happened?"
"I think it's better if Ratchet explained things to you," she said turning back to the still open ground-bridge, leading the woman and her son through. Upon entering the Autobot base, she was met by Optimus Prime, who dutifully stepped up to face whatever tirade was bubbling inside of June. Her eyes scanned for the medic, Ratchet, and landed on him over by the monitors, looking more sheepish than usual. Turning her gaze back to the Prime, she raised an eyebrow, awaiting an explanation.
"Mrs. Darby," the Prime spoke, "during an attempt to successfully replicate the Synthetic Energon formula, an accident occurred and Jack was unfortunately caught in the blast. Thankfully, he was unharmed, but as you can see, there were side-effects."
"What were you thinking testing something so dangerous with children around?" she hissed, her eyes narrowing. "And what about Miko and Raf?"
"Jack managed to push them back so they would not be affected as well," he replied. "Bulkhead and Bumblebee have taken them home for the time being."
"Why was I not called immediately after this happened?" she demanded, still cradling her son.
"I felt it best to wait to contact you until we determined Jack's mental state," Ratchet spoke. "He seems to have lost all his memories of us, Miko, Rafael, Agent Fowler, etc. I wanted to wait until morning to handle this, but he started to cry when he couldn't find you, so we sent him and Arcee to you r residence." June felt some slight warmth in her heart at the thought of her son wanting to see her so badly. It had been years since the two of them had been able to be this close without Jack feeling embarrassed. It had only gotten worse when he started spending time with the Autobots; she liked them, but she missed her son. Right now, she was between anger and worry; how long would Jack be like this?
"How long will these effects last?" she asked.
"By my estimations," the medic said. "Seven solar cycles, or a week."
"A week!" she gasped. "He has to go to school and he has a job! How am I going to explain him missing for a week?" June took notice of Jack no longer struggling in her grip as his tiny frame rose and fell with small breaths. From the sounds he was making, he was fast asleep and June didn't to risk waking him.
Optimus spoke again, "I believe it is best that you and Jack remain at our base for the time being. To avoid any suspicion, I will ask Agent Fowler to concoct a proper cover story for Jack's absence from school and his job."
June sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose with her free hand, "Fine. But don't think I'm not going to give you H-E-Double Hockey Sticks about this later. Now, where will we be staying?"
As Arcee walked June and Jack to their room, she snuck glances at her now tiny partner, worry and guilt evident in her spark. When Jack had been caught in the blast, she was so worried that she might have lost a third partner, that she made a promise with Primus to protect him with the all of her spark if he survived. It would seem he answered her prayers; albeit, with a shocking twist. Jack was approximately five-years-old and didn't remember a thing about them, about her. The thought of the memories they'd forged together, all the rides they'd taken together, everything they'd been through being gone was frightening to her.
Even if he did recover, would he still remember her or would be the first time they met all over again? Once he readjusted to this again, would he still want to be with them, with her? These thoughts racked her processor as she led the two of them to their temporary quarters. Finally stopping, she let them by as the door opened, too small for her to get through. She finally decided to speak for the first time since this whole ordeal began, "Are okay June?"
Rather than angry, the woman had a look of pure exhaustion on her face, "I'm fine, Arcee. It's just that… It was hard enough to raise Jack by myself the first time, but to do it again…"
"You not by yourself this time, June," the femme replied, determined. "Kid or not, I'm still Jack's guardian and I'll help you however way I can."
The nurse smiled, "Thank you Arcee." The femme returned the smile as she stood from her crouched position and left for her quarters. June looked around the room; it looked like a standard bedroom, complete with a bed. The sight of the furniture was enough to drain the energy from June's body as she walked over the bed and placed Jack on it. Removing her shoes and top coat, June crawled into bed with her boy covering them both and drifted off to sleep.
June was going over everything the Autobots needed to do to keep Jack out of trouble while she was at work. She was hesitant to leave her now five-year-old son in the care of five giant alien soldiers, but she didn't have much choice. Agent Fowler was married, so showing up with another woman's five-year-old was out of the question. And she didn't trust Miko to keep Jack out of trouble and Raf was a little too young. Besides, at the very least, Optimus would ensure that Jack was safe and Arcee was determined to protect her son no matter what.
"This is absurd!" Ratchet protested. "We are a highly advanced race of automatons! We were designed to fight and transform into vehicle modes. We've survived the destruction of our vey planet for Primus' sake!"
"Then taking care of a five-year-old should be simple," June retorted. "You made this bed, now you have to lie in it." With that, she left, leaving the Autobots with their now five-year-old charge, who was currently entertaining himself by playing with Arcee's servo. He grabbed at her slender fingers, laughing while he did so. The femme had to admit it was kind of cute and at least he was distracted. He moved her fingers around, as if trying to examine them.
Bumblebee and Bulkhead drove into base, Miko and Raf getting out of them so they could transform. The perky young Japanese girl noticed Jack and smiled, "So how'd helicopter mom take the news?"
"Better than expected considering we're all still functioning," Arcee said, her gaze never leaving Jack as he continued to play with her servo. "I thought for sure she was gonna dismantle Ratchet."
"Humph," the medic replied as he continued to work on monitors when they blared, indicating one thing, "Decepticons, they've hit an energon mine and are preparing to seize it."
"Lock on to the coordinates and activate the ground-bridge," Optimus ordered. The four 'Bots readied themselves for departure while Arcee left the young Jack with Miko and Raf. "Autobots, roll out!" The four Autobots shifted into vehicle form and sped through the vortex, leaving the medic to monitor the three children.
As the Autobots returned from a successful energon retrieval, they were met by the sight of Jack sitting in Miko's lap while she watched television. They were surprised by the fact that the girl had not followed them through the ground-bridge, but this was unexpected. She and Raf were watching Marvel's Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, a show based on what they called a "comic book". They watched a robot flew around blasting everything while a giant green human began beating on other robots. Jack laughed happily at the sight, earning some concern from Arcee, who turned to her leader, "Should we be concerned by obvious like of violence?"
"I do not think Jack would attempt to mimic what he observing, even at such an impressionable age," Optimus replied. "Even young, I believe Jack still retains the same qualities that have made him a trusted ally." Arcee gave a small nod, but still looked concerned as she and the others began processing the energon they collected. Once done, Arcee walked over and relieved Miko of the five-year-old, to her relief as she complained.
A/N: I intended for this to be a one-shot, but it might give me something to do when I get writer's block on one story. I hope you enjoyed and as for my other story, "Pheromone", since it is M-rated and contains explicit material (it's not by personal preference, just requests and all that), I won't be updating until I'm sure it won't be taken down. Any ideas for the next chapter would be nice. Category: Jack and Arcee spend some time together. Throw in your suggestions.