Transformers © Hasbro. Not mine.

Thanks to the Hub's massive marathon and the wonders of the DVR, I just saw Rock Bottom. Since I love Miko and Bulkhead, and this episode just oozed those two, here's my take on how it affected our favorite little Japanese girl.

Something That Can't Be Lost

Miko will always readily admit that she is an adrenaline junkie. She's a special kind of junkie, though, and she's always been careful. Normal junkies just like the hint of danger, like a roller coaster or bungee jumping. Sure, there's the possibility of something going wrong, but as a general rule, they are designed to not break. The junkie remains perfectly safe while pretending the danger is completely real.

She can't do that. She's not that kind of junkie. The safeties have to be taken off for her to feel the rush. The danger has to be real, and that means she can't experience it with just anybody. Not everyone can handle that kind of rush, and as a consequence, she stays alone. Only a few acquaintances are waiting for her back in Japan, and no friends.

Then she meets Bulkhead. Bulkhead is completely different. He's indestructible, huge, and he's easily talked into things. He's the perfect companion for her exploits, even if she does frustrate the pit out of him when she follows him into battle. He rages at her afterwards, and she takes it in stride. Lately the anger isn't as intense (unless she does something really stupid) and she thinks he's finally starting to understand.

Decepticon battles are perfect for Miko's type of adrenaline rush. The danger just doesn't get any more real.

Now she's struggling, fighting to dig her way out so Bulkhead doesn't have to hold up the roof anymore. The air is getting thin – she doesn't need Bulk to tell her that she's running out of time. He reassures her that he'll be fine, and that makes her feel better. Bulkhead is the one good thing that's come to her life. She doesn't want to lose him.

"Bulkhead! What's going on!"

"My arms are giving out."

Terror thrills through her. This isn't an adrenaline rush. This is the sheer blood-chilling realization that Bulk might not actually make it out of this alive. She could lose her best friend, her only real friend, and it would be her fault.

Her thrill-seeking has never endangered anyone before; she's never gotten close enough to allow it to. This is her first experience, and it sits in her gut like sour milk.

She hides behind him when Starscream arrives. She no longer as the energy to run, and she can't just leave Bulkhead. He's yelling at her, begging Starscream to hurt him and leave her alone. Tears burn her eyes – she feels so useless – but the worst comes when Jack knocks down Starscream.

"Miko – run! Now! Go!"

She stands there, numb, unable to look away as Jack drags her up the drill and takes off down the tunnel. She watches Bulkhead until he disappears from sight. The tears finally come, tracking silently down her face. "You think Arcee will find him?"

Jack doesn't really answer, but she doesn't miss the way his hands tighten on the steering wheel of the drill. Now that she's looking, she can tell he's trembling, that he's trying to hold back the tears himself. The realization hits her like a punch to the gut, and she leans over the edge of the drill and throws up.

They're going to lose them. Arcee and Bulkhead are going to die down here, and there's nothing they can do to stop it. She knows it's true.

Bulkhead has never told her to abandon him before.

She just did.

/-/

It takes three hours, but Bulkhead and Arcee both come out of the mine. Bulk is covered in dents and scrapes, his arms hanging oddly from his shoulders. Miko's breath catches. She runs up to him and wraps her arms around his leg, crying silently for what had to be the third time that day.

Bulkhead reaches down for her, but a twinge stops him. Arcee chuckles quietly and gently picks Miko up and places her on Bulkhead's shoulder. The little girl curls up in the crook of his neck, burying her face in the warm cables there. She risks a look, about to thank Arcee, but the sight that greets her stops her words.

As tightly as she clings to Bulkhead, Jack must have a tighter grip on Arcee. He clung to her with all the fierce protectiveness that Miko never knew he had in him. Closing her eyes, she returns her focus to her own 'bot.

Bulkhead tilts his head so he gently bumps her with his chin. "It's okay, Miko. We're safe now."

"Don't ever make me do that again." she whispers.

"Can't really promise that, sweetspark." Bulk replies gently. "But I can promise I don't plan on it."

Miko smiles faintly. "Good enough."

She didn't realize her thrill-seeking could endanger the mech. That's something she's going to have to remember.

She can't afford to lose Bulkhead.

/-/

AN: That's it, folks. Another insanely short one-shot, cuz these two just scream short and to the point, apparently. And yeah, the very next episode pretty much discredits everything I just put here, but scrag it, it's my story. Hope you enjoyed!