With a frustrated sigh, Grimlock reached down, plucking Strafe off the floor. He threw him a little way into the air, making the sparkling laugh giddily, then sat him on his knee, bouncing him up and down. Afterburner then decided it was an appropriate moment to start howling, setting off Lightspeed and Scattershot. Grimlock groaned, scooping all three into his left arm, but having to stop bouncing Strafe. The little space shuttle didn't like that, crying out for attention and playtime.
Nosecone toddled over, petro-rabbit blanket in his balled fist, pressed against his mouth. He looked up at his creator with wide blue optics, sucking on the ear of the fabric rabbit head sewn into the center of the blanket.
"Papa...," He mumbled passed the fabric. "I need to pee...!," Grimlock made a long suffering sigh, looking down at the toddler, cradling his little brothers in his arms. Why wouldn't they stop crying?
"You Nosy can go by self?," He asked hopefully, but the quick, eager shake of Nosecone's helm made him whine. Silently, he cursed the other Dinobots' for their cowardice; battling Decepticons four to one was no problem for them, but babysitting duty made them shake in their transistors. "Okay." He sighed, standing up rather haphazardly with four bornlings in his arms.
As much as Nosecone wanted to hold his creator's hand, it was obvious that would be impossible so long as his brothers were crying, and he was already causing Grimlock enough grief with his fear of falling down the toilet bowl again. So, he just scampered along side the Dinobot leader, taking ten scrambling steps for every one of Grimlock's large strides. The trek through the ARK seemed somewhat longer than usual to Grimlock, with the tiny Technobots crying relentlessly.
"Me Grimlock may have to pummel other Dinobots later...," He muttered, though Nosecone was used to his creator's annoyed grumbling. Autobots scrambled out the way of the on-coming noise, whispering and mumbling to each other as Grimlock passed them. He ignored the stares and the giggling, in favour of his continued attempts to calm the bornlings.
"Papa, I'm bursting!," Nosecone whined, squeezing his thighs together desperately. Grimlock winced and looked down at him; his eldest son had already suffered the embarrassment of wetting himself in the hallways before, but Optimus was kind enough to ban any of the Autobots teasing the kid about it. At another desperate whimper, and Nosecone squeezing his optics shut, Grimlock heaped the four still crying bornlings into his left arm, snatching the toddler around the waste with his free hand and breaking into a sprint for the bathrooms.
"Move! Move!," He bellowed, bowling over a few bots in the process. He skidded to a halt in front of the door, barged in and promptly sat Nosecone in one of the stalls, panting in relief.
Disaster; avoided. Now to solve the crying problem.
He walked out of the bathrooms more calmly, Nosecone skipping along next to him. It was a peculiar sight; great big Grimlock with five little sparklings. Well, the big guy had been feeling the strain of parenthood for quite a while, and was strongly considering asking Ratchet or First Aid for a break. Just for a day, or even a few hours would be alright.
He plonked down onto the couch in the rec room, placing all four babies in his lap and just letting them cry. All they really wanted was attention, he knew, so maybe ignoring them for a little while would get the message across to them; daddy was a very tired mech. His helm lolled back, arm draped along the back of the couch. He groaned, letting his optics power down as much as he could bare with the constant noise. Then, he felt Nosecone tug at his knee. He looked down exhaustedly, sighing. "What Nosy want now?"
"Can I play with Steeljaw?," He asked cheerfully, hopefully. Grimlock nodded.
"Go ask him Blaster, me Grimlock not care." With a happy squeal, Nosecone scurried off in the communication officer's direction, who was sitting by Teletran 1, head-banging to some of his Primus forsaken music. Scattershot had finally gotten the idea, going quiet and sucking his thumb, Strafe and Lightspeed sniffling pitifully, but Afterburner was still going strong. "Me Grimlock want nap... can me Grimlock have nap?," He asked the sparklings. The three none-screaming sparklings looked up at him curiously. "We have nap together, yes? Nap good...!," Letting his head go limp again, he fully shuttered his optics behind his visor. "Me Grimlock think daddy-hood more trouble than worth."
When he awoke, he was staring at the ceiling, somehow having rolled onto his front in his sleep. He sat bolt upright, fearing he'd knocked the sparklings onto the floor. But when he looked down, Scattershot, Afterburner, Lightspeed and Strafe were no where to be seen. Grimlock was still for a moment, then he jumped to his feet, and called out for Nosecone. "Nosy, where your brothers? … Nosy?," No reply. He cautiously walked up to Blaster. "Where Nosy and Technobots go?," He asked gruffly, feeling a little antsy. Steeljaw was fast asleep in his carrier's lap, the red mech looking up at Grimlock, looking puzzled.
"The lil' guy got tired of playin' with Steeljaw here, so went to take a nap with you guys on the couch. They're not there?," He asked curiously. He flinched when Grimlock span around and ran out of the room, staring after the larger mech. "I guess not...!"
Grimlock stormed through the base, yelling and calling for his sparklings. He even roared out in beast tongue, something they'd come to see as a warning that they were in trouble. But unlike usual, they didn't come scampering and toddling back to him. This made his spark twitch a little uneasily. He ran to the Dinobot's cave near the control room, finding his brothers casually cowering in the confines of the sparkling free space. "You Dinobots seen Technobots?," He asked desperately, getting worried. They all looked up at him in horror, then shook their heads.
"Why they not with you Grimlock?," Swoop asked, tilting his head.
"They run off when me Grimlock asleep!," Grimlock howled, clutching his helm agonisingly. The Dinobots glanced at each other; the idea of babysitting their nephews terrified them, but still, letting them get hurt was not an option.
"We help Grimlock look," Snarl stated, transforming to root mode. "You Grimlock no panic."
"Me Grimlock already panicking!," He then turned and ran back down the hallways, shouting his children's names. He wasn't really expecting a reply, maybe a terrified whimper to follow until he found them. He was hoping it would only be fear making them cry.
He paused, asking the Mini-bots, Aerialbots and the twins if they'd seen them, then proceeded to smash Sideswipe and Sunstreaker's helms together when they accused him of eating the Technobots in his sleep, and booting the laughing Brawn and Huffer down the hall.
"Easy, Grimlock," Silverbolt attempted to sooth. "We'll help you look!," They all split up down different hallways, in search of the tiny sparklings. Grimlock was now beyond panic; down right rancid and psychotically bent of finding his sons.
Then, the familiar scent of Afterburner's engine fumes met his olfactory sensors. He followed it promptly, winding up at a particular door that he didn't pay attention to, simply tearing it open, barging into Optimus Prime's office.
"Oh... hello, Grimlock. You could've at least knocked, you know," Optimus mumbled, pausing in his tickling of Scattershot's tummy. Grimlock panted and huffed where he stood, staring at the Prime and all five of his children, either climbing onto the desk, or using the leg gap to play house.
"You... Optimus take Technobots?!," He bellowed.
"Yes, you looked very tired, so I thought you could use a break," The Prime replied, calm as ever. Nosecone then popped out from under the desk, grinning up at Grimlock.
"Papa, look! We made a secret base, we did! See?," He gestured to a pile of empty energon cubes, used to build a small wall by the Prime's pedes under the desk. Grimlock stared at his son, then looked up at the Prime, who began cooing at Scattershot again.
Grimlock walked over to the desk, sitting in front of it but still seemed taller than Optimus, looking over this 'Secret Base' as Nosecone excitedly explained where everything was. The two adults didn't speak much as they let the sparklings play, until Nosecone, Lightspeed and Strafe were asleep in Grimlock's lap, Scattershot and Afterburner in Prime's.
"They're very energetic," Optimus noted, quietly rocking the two children. Grimlock nodded. "You've done very well, raising them on your own."
"Hmph, other Dinobots no help. Scared of sparklings," He paused. "No, scared of hurting sparklings."
"Understandable; they're big and fierce warriors, but they have softer sides. Like you," Grimlock winced, choosing to ignore that last comment. "What would happen if they had their own sparklings?"
"Do same as me Grimlock; try hardest. Wing it."
"I believe most parents do," Optimus chuckled. "Ratchet and Wheeljack certainly have," Grimlock snorted, then shifted so Lightspeed was a little more comfortable. "But they must be proud of you. All of you."
"They be proud if him Slag have kids, then not raise them to be violent idiots like him," The Prime laughed softly. A nice sound, Grimlock thought.
"Now who might bare Slag's sparklings, or have him bare theirs?"
"Him Slag have optics on little jet for while now," He replied. "Him Fireflight cute, apparently."
"That's... a terrifying thought. But somehow quite sweet."
"Suppose," They sat there in comfortable silence, until Grimlock clicked his glossa. "Me Grimlock forgot to tell Dinobots and Aerialbots to stop searching for Sparklings," They stared at each other for a moment, then laughed good-naturedly. "Me Grimlock let them keep looking for another hour or so."
"You're mean," Prime chided, but didn't actually encourage him to call off the search. He cooed at the sparklings, singing softly in Cybertronian when they started to stir. "If you ever require assistance, or simply a break, I'd be happy to take them for you."
Grimlock looked up in astonishment. The Prime barely looked back, in favour of continuing to sing to a slightly whimpering Afterburner. He was kind, and tolerant. Yes, he'd made mistakes in the past that Grimlock believed he wouldn't have, if he'd been in command. But he'd made up for them, throwing himself head first into danger and teaching the Dinobot exactly what it meant to be a leader. And on top of all this, he looked rather lovely when holding Grimlock's sparklings like that.
"Thank you," Was his response. Optimus nodded, stroking Scattershot's helm.
This was something extremely cute I found, that I must have been very tired when I wrote it, since I completely forgot it existed. While it's not really revolving around the "brother" motif, it's Dinobot family related, and really sweet, so what the heck. In it goes!
Don't ask me who the Technobots' mother is... use your imaginations. Besides, Optimus will eventually become their lovely step mother... yes, I really did just say that.
On a side note; I want Nosecone's blanket! O.o
Hail to the princess, baby.