(I am incredibly glad that you are all so patient with me; I try and update when the muse strikes, and when I can. Anyways, this is somewhat of a filler, somewhat not a filler. I don't really know. A bit more bonding, I suppose. Its short; it's all I seem to be able to write anymore :/ sorry.)

"No." Ratchet rumbled at me. He was bent over the drone, my old car, and was fiddling with something under the hood.

We had been arguing for the past hour or so; he wasn't letting me in my own shop to do my work. It was making it that much harder to get everything done outside, with a good majority of the Autobots watching me like I was some sort of amusing toy. Weeks working in the sun had made me loose weight; and now I have this goddamned sunburn that refuses to go away. Being sick and tired of being ousted from my own workplace is what brought me here.

I crossed my arms with a scowl. "Ratchet." I grunted, shifting a little on my legs. "I need to work. You cannot have my entire garage to yourself, you fat ass. You don't need it all. I kinda need to be where I can easily access my stuff."

Ratchet stopped his fiddling long enough to turn around and give me the look. He'd started giving it to me whenever I came near the barn if I said anything to him regarding work. "According to you, I'm a fat lump of scrap metal, therefore I'm entitled to as much space as my fat aft deems to be enough."

I threw my hands into the air with a frustrated sound. "It's a day from September! You've had this place since the beginning bits of August, and I've been stuck working outside. Honestly, can't you just move to the back of the barn? It wont hurt you."

Ratchet frowned at me. "It sucks when you get a taste of your own medicine, doesn't it? Now shoo, your distracting me. This is delicate work."

As he turned his back to me again, it made me angry. Because I couldn't exactly just walk up and smack him behind the head to get his attention and let him know that I wasn't finished with him, my body found an alternative method. My hand found itself around my dented crowbar, and before I could realize just how stupid I was being, I had twisted my upper half around, rocking onto the walking boot holding my right ankle in place, and let it fly. There was about a second where I wondered just what threw the crowbar, before my hand came into view, and the bar hit Ratchet on the back of his upper arm, near the shoulder. It bounced off with a loud bang, and then clattered noisily down his back to land with a dull thump on the floor.

The look that Ratchet gave me was something akin to what I thought he might give a Decepticon. My skin crawled, the hair on my arms and back of my neck standing up. When he rotated on his feet, I took a step back from him, towards the safety of the door. Fight or flight is a powerful instinct; I'd already been shown that fighting these things and winning on your own is next to in-fucking-possible, so my body chose the most logical one for me to attempt. His arm flashed out to grab me, and I'm not afraid to say that I ran like a little scared bitch.

Walking boot or not, I booked it. Sure, it hurt, but what I imagined he plotted to do to me was certain to hurt worse. But, unfortunately, human legs are something that lacks the coordination of robot legs, so I found myself stumbling more then Ratchet did. I fled around the barn, taking corners that the big robot couldn't, and when I came to the field, I booked it for the silver solstice form of Jazz.

I slipped under him, wedging under the low riding vehicle, right about the time that Ratchet lumbered around the corner of the barn, having given chase to me. My movements must have woke Jazz up because he rose just slightly on his shocks, giving me enough room to hide well out of sight. I wasn't sure that he saw me, but I figured he could probably sense me.

Ratchet neared Jazz and tapped him with a foot. "I know she's under you." He growled. "And I know you are awake. Move, so I can deal with Torrie."

Jazz's voice very nearly gave me a headache with how loud it was from under the carriage of his alternative move. "She's not under me Doc." He yawned. "You probably sense her because she practically scrambled over my roof."

"And that woke you." Ratchet, from what I could see of his foot, shifted slightly, and he groused at Jazz. "You sleep like the dead."

Jazz grumbled, settling a little further down on his shocks, to the point they had been when I had attempted scrambling under. "Yeah, well when something as big as her flails over your roof like some sort of epileptic squirrel, you'd find yourself waking up from a nice dream too." He groused. "Your scanners must be off. She bolted for the forest like Unicron himself was nipping at her aft. What'd she do to slag you off anyway?"

Ratchet growled. "She hit me." He bit out. I watched from under Jazz as Ratchet stepped over the solstice and headed for the woods without another word.

Jazz let me out with a grunt once Ratchet was out of range. "You are welcome." He yawned at me. "Hit him, eh? With what?"

I crawled out along side his door. "I hit him with a crowbar."

"You have a death wish." Jazz informed me cheerily. "Why?"

"He made me angry."

Jazz hummed at me. "You haven't hit me when you're angry."

"No," I agreed, "but you aren't stupid enough to turn your back to me and ignore me when I'm pissed at you ether."

The car sunk down on his axels slightly. "No," he agreed, "I'm not that stupid. But, Doc is going to be royally slagged at you for the rest of forever." He pointed out.

I nodded. "I kinda suspected that though."

Jazz made that sound he makes when he's thinking in vehicle mode. While he was thinking, I got to my feet and dusted off my ass end and front. Dirt and dry- very dry- dust fluttered from both ends, along with little clumps of dead and brown grass. "One of these days he's going to give you a wallop." He hummed. "Not one that he'd give one of us, of course. He'll probably knock you for a loop though, once he's finished studying human anatomy."

Rubbing my arm lightly on the spot where I had skinned my elbow when I slid under Jazz, I frowned at him. "Somehow the thought of him studying human anatomy scares me."

Jazz hummed and rolled forwards with a small clicking sound. "I don't blame you." I watched his dive view mirror twitch and shift, and then he let out a small coughing sound. "Your cousin Hally is coming this way." He said. "She looks distressed, but she isn't hurt." I furrowed my brows and turned, scanning the field for her. I spotted the bobbing of her bright red hair as it streaked across the field towards me, and moved to meet her, dismissing the silver Autobot.

"Torrie!" Hally called to me. She waved her arms at me, and I bent to pick her up as she sailed into my grasp. The red color of her hair filled my vision briefly as velocity made it smack my face, and Hally buried her face in my neck. She babbled something that I didn't quite make out, but I headed back towards the house, out of view of any observing Autobots.

"Hally, Hally," I soothed her awkwardly, cradling her close to me. "I can't understand you baby girl. You gotta speak to me so I can hear you."

Hally sniffed at me and pulled back, her eyelashes wetted with tears. "Torrie, Skyler doesn't feel good. She went bleh outside, and now she wont come out of the potty, and she wont let me in…" she sniffled.

I patted her back softly and hobble-jogged to the house. "She went 'bleh' outside? Bleh, as in vomit kind of bleh?" I asked her softly.

"Yeah…" Hally murmured softly. "She pukeded and then ran in the house. She wont talk to me ether…"

"She wasn't sick earlier." I said softly. "Did she eat anything or do anything while I was working that might have made her sick?"

"No. We were playin' with the nuff… nurr… nerf?" She asked me. I nodded, and she continued. "Nerf guns with the soldier people. They're trying to get sissy to come out of the potty… But she was okay until a little bit ago, when she said she was hot and dat her tummy felt funny. D'en she got sick."

When I got to the deck, I set her down gently on the steps. "Go to your room and wait for me, okay? I'll get your sissy out, and we'll take care of her."

"Okay…" Hally nodded at me. She wiped her eyes slightly and sniffled.

I patted the mass of red curls on her head softly, and then I headed in the house, leaving the door open for Hally to follow me in. After shaking off clumps of dust on my walking boot while I hobbled through the living room, I came down the hallway to find all four soldiers huddled around my closed and obviously locked bathroom door.

Lennox was in the front, by the door, knocking on it lightly. "Skyler, baby girl, come out please." He said soothingly, with obvious practice and ease.

Scooby whispered to Booby with a small frown. "Do you think Torrie would flip her shit if we just, you know, took the door off its hinges?"

While Bobby shrugged in response to James question, while I scooted near to them. "I would mind if you destroyed my new house, thank you." I clipped. I wiggled through the group of four soldiers and sidled up to the door next to Lennox. "So what happened?"

He sighed at me. "I think she might have gotten heat-sick with how hot it is out there. She didn't mention anything while we were playing with the Nerf guns, but the fact that she got so ill without warning makes me wonder."

I nodded. "It sounds like it." I said. Reaching up, I grabbed the doorknob and studied it. "This is like the one in my old house. It locks by pushing it in on the inside, but it unlocks easily." Grabbing the base of the knob, I used my other hand to whack it three times, making the door vibrate with the force. There was a soft pop from inside.

All four men huddled closer as I opened the unlocked door and stepped inside. I scanned for Skylers blond hair, and found her sitting in-between the tub and the toilet, crying silently. Something pulsed in my heart, a maternal instinct that had been awakening with them, and I stepped over the toilet and knelt to scoop her up gently. Catching sight of the vomit floating in the toilet water, I flushed it and then closed the lid before I sat down.

I felt her forehead softly as she shifted and cried into my shirt. It was hot and covered in a dry feeling sweat. Skyler had overheated herself and gotten dehydrated; too much longer and she could have gotten heatstroke. "She's overheated." I said. I looked up at Lennox, and he nodded at me without me saying anything. Sometimes it pays off to have someone who's already been a parent longer then you have near you.

"I'll get some of your tea for her and some ice water." He said. "Eric, get the fan out of her room for her and put it in the girls room. Bobby, James, the both of you can go get the Nerf darts out of the woods. We've got everything handled here."

With double nods, Bobby and James headed off out of the house while Eric slipped into my room. I nodded at Lennox again and then shut the bathroom door. Setting out a towel with one hand, I tried to get her to let go. When it didn't work, she simply cried harder and damn near choked me with her arms, I sighed. "Wet clothes, here we come."

I turned the shower on cold and stepped in with my back too it. My walking boot would be fine wet; it wouldn't be the first time and it hadn't fallen apart yet. Keeping the sobbing six year old pressed to me, I let the water run over me, cooling me off and soaking my clothes. Skyler sobbed a little louder as I let the water run over her slowly. The water was cool to her heated skin, and was probably as unpleasant as it was relieving. I soothed her softly as I stood there.

When her skin had cooled down and she no longer sobbed, I turned the shower off. I was as soaked as a drowned cat, and so was she. This time, when I stepped out, I got her to let go long enough for me to strip her down and wrap her up in the light but fluffy towel. She leeched onto me again as I finished, and I scooped her up again, thankful that my ribs were mostly healed. I ran my fingers through her damn curls and left the bathroom, finding Lennox heading into the girls room with Eric; the fan was being finagled into the room unwillingly.

I chuckled softly at them as they managed to get it in, and I heard Hally give a soft giggle from within. Skyler gave a soft moan to me, and I walked forwards willingly, following them into the room. "It's alright baby girl." I patted her back softly.

Lennox looked back at me as Eric set up the fan. He walked closer, raising a hand to check her forehead. "You got her body to cool down." He smiled softly. "Is she feeling better?"

I shrugged softly. "I don't know. She's cooled off now, but she's probably still going to feel cruddy until tomorrow… She starts school in two days." I noted softly. Stepping around him, I brought her to her bed, where Hally scrambled over and waited for her Sister.

Settling her down, I kept her unclothed body from the men's view as I gently patted her cheek. I spotted the glass of ice water and the other glass of tea and smiled. I grabbed the tea one and brought it over, giving her a small sip. "There we go."

"Torrie?" Skyler croaked softly. "I don't feel good…"

"I know, sweet heart." I said softly. Behind me I heard the fan start up loudly, the cooling breeze blowing over us. "I know. You got heat sick."

"Heat sick?" she rasped softly. I gave her another small drink and smoothed her hair back. Hally settled next to her sister, pretty much curling around her like a cat.

"It's where you get too hot out in the Sun." I explained softly. I set the tea down and ran my hand over her cool skin. "Your gonna be alright, squirt."

"… Still feel hot…"

Nodding, I shifted the towel covering her. "I know, I know. You need to just lie here though. There isn't much I can do for you, short stuff. You need to drink the tea and the water, but don't drink too fast. Small sips and you'll feel better." I said.

Skyler let her hand come out and grasp my fingers. "Stay with us?"

"Of course." I agreed. "Can I get dressed first? I'm all wet. While I get dressed, you can have Hally help you get dressed in some shorts and a T-shirt."

Skyler nodded with a small sniffle. "Okay…"

I smiled softly at her and stood up. Lennox and Eric left the room first, and I followed, dripping water. I shut the door behind me. Lennox turned to me and quirked up a grin. "You have promise as a mother, you know that?"

I rolled my eyes. "Uhuh. I'll take that as a compliment." I slipped past him with a slight grunt. "Thanks for doing that while I got her cooled down."

He patted my shoulder as I passed. "Your tough girl act is only skin deep." He hummed. "Anytime, Torrie. I don't mind helping with the little ones; you need experienced advice."

I couldn't help the unfeminine snort that erupted from me. "Says the man who claims to have experience, even when he's never home to care for the little one."

(Tired and I have a headache… had to leave it off there… Kids go to school soon, and on September 3rd, Torrie has her 25th birthday.)