The morning air was crisp, the rain beating down on the houses and street...

"SON OF A FUCKING BITCH!"

And she was falling down the stairs again.

She groaned as she finally regained her bearings. Somewhat. Did being upside-down and splayed across the bottom of her stairs count as regaining her bearings?

Muttering unpleasant things to herself, she gently pushed herself down the remaining three stairs and onto the carpet, laying there for a moment while regaining her breath. She really, really needed to watch where she was going first thing in the morning.

Lifting her head, she glared at the ever so innocent looking laundry basket that was the cause of her misery.

Of course, she just had to forget that she'd left it there last night.

"Are you alright, honey?" her mother asked, leaning against the doorframe to the kitchen in amusement. She'd long ago accepted the fact that her daughter was physically incapable of walking in a straight line without tripping over something.

"Just peachy." she replied, sitting up. "Your lack of concern always leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling behind, mom."

"I accepted the fact that you're a klutz a long time ago, Leo." her mother shrugged, long copper mane moving with the motion. "I seriously doubt it's time to start worrying now."

"Love you too." Leo rolled her eyes, beginning to go back up the stairs that she had just fallen down. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to replay this scenario with a bit more success."

o-o-o-o

"Leo, don't forget that I'm working late again tonight." her mother warned as she scarfed down her cereal.

She hummed something unintelligent and continued before throwing on a scarf and slipping on her runners. "So, I'm cooking tonight?"

"If you want. I'll leave some money for takeout in case you don't." her mom smiled, kissing her daughter's cheek. "Oh! And Leo! Don't forget to take your jacket with you! You'll get soaked otherwise!"

"Righhhtt." she spun on her heel, shifting her grey messenger back to grab the brown rain jacket and throw it on. "Thanks mom."

"No problem, sweetie." her mother smiled, watching her as she stumbled out into the rain. "And remember the curb!"

Leo hopped over said curb as her mother called out the usual instructions, learned over years of experience, before continuing on, her brown jacket pulled up and the hood covering her copper hair. Her dark jeans, rumpled as always from being left around on the floor, dragged the ground under her worn out runners.

Shaking her head, Jocelyn turned and went back into the warmth of the house, knowing instinctively that Leo was no doubt going to trip over something in the next several seconds.

After all, she always did.

o-o-o-o

Leo glanced at the yellow and black camaro that was parked in front of the Witwicky's, and, as usual, wondered how the hell Sam, the couple's son, had managed to come up with the money to buy such a nice vehicle. It couldn't be stolen, as there had been no cops swarming the place after he'd brought it home, so there had to be some other reason behind how the car had arrived.

Actually, it was one of the many mysteries that surrounded the family. After all, just a couple years back, there had been the classic men in black knocking on their door and all that other fun stuff.

After that, things had kind of gotten...weird.

She could have sworn that she'd seen a blue and red custom painted Peterbilt in the alley behind the Witwicky's once, not to mention a bunch of other really odd vehicles every once in a while. For crying out loud, there had been a SAR Hummer H2 over just last week!

Lost in thought, Leo barely even noticed the yellow and black camaro pull up next to her until a voice asked, "Need a lift?"

Surprised, she jumped, letting out an 'eep' of shock, nearly tripping as she jumped.

"Sorry."

Speak of the devil and he shall appear... Leo thought to herself as she blew a couple strands of now soaked copper hair out of her eyes before leaning over to look into the sleek interior of the vehicle. Sam looked back at her, a friendly grin on his face.

"Uh, you're Leona, right?" he continued tentatively, rolling down the window further.

"Yeah. We're a couple of doors down." she offered simply, shifting her bag higher on her shoulder. "And God yes, I would love a ride. The weather sucks today."

"Hop in." Sam invited, unlocking the doors and gesturing her in.

"Okay, let's lose control...do it now cause time is wasting." the radio played, skipping over a couple of lines in the song that was currently playing. Leo raised a brow, and was about to ask Sam what the heck that was all about. But, he beat her to it.

"The radio's glitching." he apologized. "I keep getting it checked out, but..." he shrugged. "There's not a lot they can do."

"Ah." she replied, reclining back in her seat. "I guess you're headed to school, huh?"

"Aren't you?" he returned quizzically.

Leo snorted out a laugh. "Ah, no. I work a couple blocks from the school at Clay's Parts and Mechanics." she explained. "Although, yeah, I guess I can see where you're coming from."

"I heard everything you said." the radio fuzzed again. "-it's fine by me...If you never leave."

"Wow." Leo frowned, leaning forward in an attempt to examine the machine. "Your radio is really acting up. You should take it in sometime."

"No, it's good." Sam shrugged. "It's usually fine when it's just me in here."

"That's weird." Leo hummed, watching the rain patter againast the windshield, watched the buildings pass by in a grey blur. There was a comfortable silence between the two for several minutes before Leo pointed at a large nook tucked away in an alley.

"You can stop anywhere along here." she said softly, the low rumble of the engine beneath her soothing and warm. Although now she really didn't want to move from the comfortable seat, which she was also pretty sure had a heat setting, she did have a job to get to.

Opening the door with a small click, Leo threw her hood on over her hair and got out, stumbling over the curb but managing to stay on her feet. Turning with a sheepish grin, she waved cheerily at Sam. "Thanks for the ride."

"No problem." Sam replied, his cheeks flushing.

Awwww, isn't he cute.. Leo smiled to herself as she opened the door to the small parts dealership and stepping in, trying not to stare longingly as the gorgeous vehicle sped off.

"Hey guys!" she called, unzipping the jacket and hanging it on the hook available. "I hope you aren't screwing up my accounting!"

"Uhhh...no?" Joes's apologetic face appeared from between a couple piles of catalogs. His greying hair was long, pulled back from his face, and his beard was a similar shade that matched his steel grey eyes. "Not this time, anyway."

Leo rolled her eyes, making a quick stop to the walk in bathroom to pull her copper mane, inherited from her mother, into a high tail, holding it in place with a lime green elastic. Re-entering the shop, she made her way through the piles of catalogs and loose parts to the computor, where a sheepish Joe awaited her.

"I already told you, Joe. The air filters are upstairs now." she rolled her eyes, seeing the screen and seeing a couple of air filters listed. "Stop screwing around with my software."

"Sorry Leo." Joe grumbled, closing the list and backing out from behind the counter. "But Clay really needs to let us know when he starts moving shit around on us."

"I know, but at least I keep track of inventory for you." Leo reminded with a cheeky grin. "Otherwise you really would be getting nowhere."

"Uh huh." he said absently, climbing the stairs to the upper level. Which, in reality, was barely high enough for Leo's five foot seven frame. "Which side are they on?"

"Left!" she called, clicking on the inventory icon and typing in her password. "Careful though- they're behind a really big stack of boxes!"

"SHIT!" Joe yelped. She heard a crash, followed by several words that she had to stifle a chuckle at.

"Don't say I didn't warn you!" Leo rolled her eyes, typing in a couple of the part names that were lying around on the shelf.

"What about warning?" another voice asked.

"Morning, Clay." Leo chirped. "Joe's pissed that you started moving stuff on him again."

The male in front of her paused, wiping his hands off with a rag, trying to rid himself of the grease that came with years of working with vehicles. His frame was wiry, well formed, though there was a hunch beginning to set in between his shoulders. His greying hair was short, and his eyes were a warm brown. Although one could never be too careful around the man- underneath his friendly exterior was a seasoned trucker who knew a good amount of words that many people hadn't even heard of.

"No' ma problem." he shrugged, his irish accent tinging the words. "Wee lad can do w'out a bit o' direct-on."

Leo smirked, grabbing the parts she had already entered into the database and walking out from behind the counter, pecking the elder man on the cheek as she passed. "Behave, Clay." she scolded mildly, pulling out a drawer in a cabinet to place a couple of large bolts back into their place.

"Aye, cub." Clay replied, acting appropriately ashamed of his behavior.

"And don't call me cub. You know it annoys me." she frowned, though at the moment she was trying not to show her amusement at the sarcastic look on the irishman's face.

"And whose idea was it ta name ya Leona?"

"Don't go there, Clay." Leo warned, brandishing something that vaguely resembled a wrench of some kind. The other male grinned innocently, raising his hands in surrender.

"Ach, if ya say so."

"That's what I thought, old man." she jested, putting the part back on the shelf where it belonged.

"Ah may be old, but ah can still beat ya, lass." Clay wagged a finger before grabbing a couple of bolts, heading back out to the shop, where the usual sounds of drills and other heavy duty equipment were coming from.

"Ach, dooncha go there!" Leo said in mock outrage.

All she recieved was a lazy wave from the man before the door closed behind him, leaving her to get to her work.

o-o-o-o

The day seemed to pass in slow motion, and after doing the inventory, Leo was left to her own devices. Which, in her case, meant doodling all over her notepad and occasionally answering the phone.

However, the end of the day eventually did come, and she nearly screamed in relief as she was set free. She now remembered why she hated the rainy summer months here in this tiny city. Hardly anyone came in during the summer, and to be honest, Leo was usually left bored and creating storyboards for her graphic novels rather than redoing the inventory or keeping on top of the heavy accounting that the men had been swamped with before she'd been hired.

Three years later and she was still going through files that should have been taken care of at least five years ago. Wasn't she lucky?

"I'm heading out!" she called, knowing at least one of the several men working in the building would hear her.

As silence answered her, she sighed and pulled out the hair elastic, massaging feeling back into her scalp after being held up all day, and continued over to snag her coat off of the hanger on her way out.

o-o-o-o

Unfortunately, the rain hadn't let up, and Leo was facing a twenty minute trek to get back home, to where her warm, comfortable couch was waiting for her. It wasn't exactly the fact that she was going to be soaked that bothered her, it was the fact that she was going to be freezing and most likely have to have a shower. She wasn't really looking forward to that.

The streets, amazingly, were almost silent. The only sounds were her own breathing and the sound of the rain pattering all around her. The odd car passed by, splashing through the deep puddles that littered every indent in the cement for as far as she could see.

If I get sick, the guys won't even let me walk in that door. she thought crankily. They were like big brothers to her. Really overprotective brothers that came from all parts of the world. And if she became sick, she knew that they would personally drag her home and tuck her into bed. And then lock all escape routes in the freaking house. And then, on top of that, sic their wives on her.

Luckily, she made it home in record time, unlocking the door and letting herself in, automatically relaxing at the feel of the warmth of the heat against her skin. Even though her mother couldn't always be home when she arrived, she almost always turned on the heat for her if it was raining.

"Now, shower." Leo said to herself, making a break for the stairs. The sooner she was warm and comfortable, the sooner she could crank up her music, order a pizza, and work on her graphic novel.

She stripped, cranking up the water to full blast before clambering in, wincing at the temperature of the water before settling in, grabbing the shampoo and getting to work on her hair.

o-o-o-o

"Ah...couch. I've missed you." Leo crooned, collapsing onto the squishy leather contentedly. She was warm, dressed in fuzzy pyjama pants and a tank top, one of her many oversized sweaters thrown on overtop. She'd called for pizza as soon as she'd gotten dressed, and at this point was just waiting for the heavenly goodness that was meat-lovers pizza to arrive on her doorstep.

"But first.." she hummed, hauling herself back up from the couch and going over to her desk, which was situated right in front of the rather large window that looked out on the street. She could see the yellow and black camaro that marked the Witwicky's residence across the street, and she spent several seconds admiring the car before she remembered what she had originally come over for.

Grinning impishly, Leo pressed the 'ON' button on her gigantic stereo, her iPod flashing as it began to charge. Flicking the slide-thing on the screen, she tapped a couple of numbers in before scrolling down the awaiting playlist, a look of concentration on her face.

"Aha..." she murmured, triumph shining in her eyes as she found the song she was looking for. Pressing play, she waited for the music to start playing.

o-o-o-o

Bumblebee was bored.

Beyond bored, in fact. Sam and his Creator had had another bickering match over where he would be staying the night- the driveway or the garage.

Obviously, he wasn't in the garage.

Sulkily, he played his radio quietly, searching the channels to find something that he could listen to.

"She's a girl with the best intentions.."

Hold up.

Pausing in his search for decent music to listen to, Bumblebee heard the distinct sounds of something singing.

"She said, "I want something that I want, something that I tell myself I need- Something that I want, and I need everything I see."

Rotating his wheels, he rolled slightly from side to side, trying to figure out which of the organics 'houses' the sound was coming from.

A small movement caught his attention, almost directly across from him, in the house that Sam had picked up the femme earlier that day. Designation Leo.

Said femme was currently belting out the lyrics to some kind of song while holding an odd tool looking thing. Curious, he went onto the World Wide Web, searching for the object that the femme was singing into.

Web Definition:

A hairbrush is a stick brush with rigid or soft bristles used in hair care for smoothing, styling, and detangling human hair, or for grooming an animal's fur.

Why in Primus' name would she be using something like that to be singing into? Bumblebee wondered, continuing to watch the femme as she moved around her room, apparently unaware that she had an audience.

"It's so easy to make believe, it seems you're living in a dream..Don't you see that what you need is standing right in front of you?"

She was pretty, he supposed, for an organic femme. Her copper hair fanned out around her as she danced around the small space, her lips curved in a large smile, almost glowing with the soft light behind her.

-Prime to Bumblebee.- Optimus' low rumble startled the 'bot, and he squeaked before accessing his comm. link.

-Bumblebee to Prime. What is it?-

-Decepticon's have been sighted in the area. Be alert-

-Designation of Decepticon's?-

-Two. Designation: Starscream and Barricade.-

Bumblebee felt the sudden urge to blow something up with his cannons.

-Understood. Bumblebee out.-

Now he knew why Ironhide always wanted to take out his frustrations on rocks back at Diego Garcia.

Stupid annoying Decepticon's...

He glanced back over at the femme's home, only to find that she was no longer in her berth. The light clicked on out on the porch, however, and he realized that she had merely been answering her door.

Well, there went his entertainment.