A/N: The only thing that makes this AU is going to be the fact that Arcee survived the battle in Egypt. That's all you need to know. :)

Pairings: SideswipexArcee

Disclaimer: I don't own anything in this other than my OCs. :)


Start of the Trouble

Though he felt the hunger, he knew that he was not going to appease it that night. It wasn't that he didn't want to eat, or he hadn't tried to. No, he'd tried to pilfer a hot dog from the stand near the corner, but again, he'd found himself caught. Jeffrey Devlin hated his life, he hated his existence because it only seemed to be the most depressing thing he'd ever experienced. Orphan: check, homeless: check, constantly being shuffled around different juvie facilities since the day his mother shoved him to the state?: a big check there.

But at sixteen years old, Jeff no longer peddled it around like a sob story. No, Jeff had long gotten over the fact that his life was doomed to end behind bars for some form of crime. After all, it wasn't as though anyone gave a second look towards a homeless kid in Chicago. No, after the invasion four years ago, it seemed as though half the population was homeless, and it'd already fallen into an "every man for themselves" mentality. "There's a chance at a better life out there", that's what he heard every day, every time the Autobots, who had been trying to help build the city back up, wanted to make a public appearance.

Jeff knew that there was no better life in the side of the city the friendly robots had rebuilt than there was in what remained of the city he grew up in. Sure, it was mostly a pile of rubble, a tourist attraction like Ground Zero practically, but to Jeff it was home. Pushing his blond hair from his dark blue eyes, the young man stared around the half-crumpled building in which he had found himself. The quiet sound of engines caught his attention quickly as he quietly turned his head. It was the Comaro and Corvette again, they went on patrol the same time every day, and Jeff did his best to stay out of their way.

His eyes followed them slowly, his body pressed against a piece of rubble. This time, he noticed as they both transformed into their robotic forms, keeping himself down further, he listened quietly. "I swear I was getting an Energon reading somewhere around here." Sideswipe muttered, his silver form shining in the dim glow of the moon "I don't understand why the Decepticons would even go out so far." He added.

"Beats me." Bumblebee, who had recently gained his voice back in full "Why do some of the humans do it? They think they can salvage what's left of their army. Humans think they can salvage what's left of their lives." There was silence for a moment "Do you hear that?" He questioned.

For a moment, Jeff felt his body tighten, believing they may have meant him. But he could hear it too, the sound of beating wings that hadn't been there before. Turning his head, and shifting his body, it took all of Jeff's energy not to scream as he ducked just below the outstretched talons of a green behemoth. The creature was indeed winged, but it was the red optics that caught his immediate attention. As it turned to look at him, a massive and frightening sneer passed over his face as he hunched over.

"Found you." It hissed, standing straight, and clicking it's jaw together like some sort of insect "Mistress will be most pleased with Waspinator, yes most please. Reward Waspinator." Jeff backed up slowly, clutching onto a nearby piece of wreckage "Jeffrey Devlin, yes?" Jeff found the strength to nod "Waspinator do good, very good. You come with me now. Yes, bring you to mist-"

He found the massive bug that called itself Waspinator thrown violently against a nearby wall. To say Jeff was surprised to find the silver robot, Sideswipe, hovering over him would have been an understatement. "Step back." Sideswipe spoke, his optics moving to shoot a glare at Jeff "Listen, Deceptipunk, we've got laws on this planet. One of them is you don't frag with the human population." Sideswipe brought out a sword as Jeff dragged himself backwards "So I suggest you kindly back away before I let my buddy behind you blast you apart."

Waspinator could see Bumblebee close behind, clicking his teeth together, Jeff watched in horror as he tried to lunge for him again. Quick as possible, Sideswipe gripped the sides of his jaws, thrusting him to the side. "Must bring to mistress, must bring to mistress." Waspinator continued to hiss silently "The Devlin boy must be used, yes... Must be used." He added.

"Any idea what he wants with ye, small fry?" Sideswipe questioned, only getting a timid head shake from Jeff, the Autobot frowned slightly "You can tell your mistress that she isn't getting away with taking a child." He rolled forward on his two wheeled feet "The next time I see you anywhere near our city, I'll blast you to smithereens." He added.

"Mistress will not be pleased with Waspinator, no." Waspinator shook his head "But sword bot bigger, hurt Waspinator." He pointed a massive talon at Jeff at that moment and spoke the words that would haunt him for a long time "Sin's of the parent, brought to child. Heed her words fleshling." His optics narrowed maliciously "Not seen the last of Waspinator."

Jeff could only watch as the massive bug of a Decepticon took off into the sky. Confusion filled him as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. He hadn't gotten a foot away from the Autobots before he found a massive foot blocking his path. "Yeah, you're not going anywhere." Sideswipe spoke with a commanding voice "Not until I get answers as to what the frag just happened." He added.


Sideswipe had interrogated a lot of kids in his days since Chicago, but he'd yet to encounter one so terrified until today. Jeff hadn't said a word beyond confirming his name since they'd brought him to Autobot HQ in the heart of New Chicago. Though he had reported what the Decepticon had said, no one had known what to make of it, not even Optimus Prime, and to say the least, the situation only seemed to get worse. "This kid is going to need protection, no matter what it is." Sideswipe finally spoke up as he met with the Autobot leader "You didn't see the look on this one's face. It was like he had personally done something to him." He added.

Optimus peered in the room adjacent to his office at the young boy who had seated himself in a human sized chair. "I do not doubt the child needs protection." Optimus spoke quietly "I simply do not understand the Decepticons need for him. Nor can I find anything out of the ordinary in any records regarding his parents." He added, stroking his chin "Yet it does concern me, we have not had them after someone specific since Samuel." He added.

"He has to have family we can talk to."

"His father was missing in action in Afghanastan. His mother gave him to the state many years ago." Optimus peered at Sideswipe silently "We have nothing to go by, and until we do. I'm afraid taking Autobot-related action during our still uneasy alliance with the humans may be dangerous." The mech shifted a bit in place "We will need to keep him here until we can find if any hidden or distant relations may be found." He added.

Sideswipe stared at Optimus, though he allowed himself to nod. "I could look after him if you want me to. I know many of the Autobots here already have their hands full. Arcee and I can handle him until you know what to do." He turned towards Jeff silently "Can't promise I'll be the best at this whole guardian thing. But I may as well offer up my services."

"I had already planned to ask, after all you two are the only-"

"Couple on base, yeah, I'm aware." Sideswipe grunted "Last week it was babysitting for Epps, before that it was Annabelle Lennox." The mech leaned against the wall, turning his head to look over at Jeff "How long do we have to look after this one? We've got jobs out there too." He added.

Optimus focused his optics on Sideswipe as he mauled it over in his head. Considering it would take a long time to figure out who the mysterious Decepticon was, and find living relatives, the leader was almost scared to tell Sideswipe. It was no secret that Sideswipe was far from the best babysitter on base, nor was Arcee, but at the moment, for a long-term guardianship, they had no choice. "I'd more than likely say a couple of months." Optimus stated calmly "Enough time for me to look into this "Waspinator"." He explained.

"A few months!?" Optimus gave him one of the stern stares that often made Sideswipe give in instantly "Oh joy, what fun it will be to have to look after a human for a few months." Came Sideswipe's poor attempt at sounding excited about the matter "Should I send you the bill for the dents Arcee's going to put in my armor for throwing this on her?" The frown on Optimus's face spoke volumes "Didn't think so." He added.

Sideswipe exited the office silently and made it towards the young boy. Sideswipe had never been good with kids, that was more Arcee's forte, Sideswipe usually ended up being just as immature or cocky as the kids themselves. Yet still, attempting the best smile he could muster he nodded towards Jeff. "Alright kid, we're stuck together. Grin and do what my bond mate and I say, and we just might survive this." He added.

"I don't need your protection." Jeff spoke for the first time, though it was half-muttered "That guy obviously mistook me for someone else."

"With the same name?"

Jeff went silent after that, Sideswipe merely rolled his optics, Jeff just sat there, holding his backpack. Sideswipe already could tell that Jeff was going to be a pain in the butt, probably the biggest pain in the butt, but the fact of the matter was he had no real choice. "Well come on, let's go see my bond mate so we can get her flipping out over with." Sideswipe commented "And I'll see if you make a run for it." He added.

Jeff already could tell his life was about to take a three-sixty straight for the weird.


A/N: So what do you guys think of this one? Good enough to continue? Interested to where I take it? Would love your opinions on this one as it's going to be somewhat-different from my others.