Okay, so this one-shot takes place sometime after I Feel Home and before Free Falling. Enjoy! :D
Disclaimer: I do not own transformers or any of the Autobots. But I own Jaime and the plot idea! :)
"Ugh! Those…those…jerkfaces!" Jaime ranted as she stomped into the med bay. Ratchet looked up from his work, surprised that the girl was in his med bay. She was scared of doctors and hospitals, but it seemed that her fear did not include Ratchet or his med bay. How peculiar, he mused to himself. The girl stalked over to a staircase that led to a counter top. Ratchet observed her with a raised optic ridge. When she reached the counter she finally glanced over at the curious mech.
"What are you working on?" she asked. The medic quickly subspaced the data pad he had been previously bent over.
"Just a side project I've been working on," was all he offered as explanation. "What are you doing here? I thought you were causing mayhem with Jazz and Sideswipe." Jaime scowled.
"I'm avoiding them," she replied, her nose high in the air. Ratchet blinked.
"…Do I dare ask why?" he probed. Jaime shook her head. Ratchet's expression hardened. "Well I'm asking." Jaime glanced at the med bay doors.
"They're laughing at me," she grumbled. "And it wasn't' even funny!...I'd like to get my revenge but I don't know how."
"I get my revenge through maintenance checkups," Ratchet smirked slightly.
"Yea…well, I'm not a huge giant robot," Jaime rolled her eyes. "I can't point lasers, or turn into a car, or project holo…" Jaime trailed as a thoughtful look formed on her face. The CMO debated whether he should ask what she was thinking or not. He'd already been on the receiving end of her "creative ideas" which spawned from that same look on her face. He wasn't eager to experience it again. He would never admit it, but never had he met anyone with a brilliant imagination for pranks. Her gazed turned to Ratchet, who hid his growing nervousness by fiddling with some instruments.
"Oh Ratchet," she began sweetly. The medic froze at her tone. "We're friends right?"
"That depends," he replied suspiciously. Her grin widened.
"How would you like to terrify Jazz and Sides?" Ratchet paused. He wasn't the target?
"What…do you have in mind?" There was no harm in asking right? He found himself unable to pass up such an opportunity without first checking it out.
"Let's just say," a wicked grin slowly formed on Jaime's face, "when I'm done with them…they'll regret making fun of my misfortune." Ratchet dimly wondered why the two bots had been laughing at the girl in the first place, as he thought over her mysterious proposal. Ratchet finally made his decision, hoping he would not regret it.
The silver prankster was still grinning. He couldn't help it. It was just just too dang funny. What were the chances of a small bird getting the best of Jaime, who was much larger and could cause more damage? Sideswipe and Jazz were currently in their holoforms along with Ironhide. They were at the park with the Lennox family. Annabelle squealed loudly as Sarah pushed her daughter on the swing. Ironhide sat on a nearby bench, keeping a watchful eye out for trouble, while maintaining a conversation with Will. Jaime had taken her shoes and socks off and was stretched out on her back, near the lake, gazing up at the passing clouds. Sideswipe and Jazz lay on either side of her. Sideswipe glanced at the girl, a slightly confused look settling on his face. Her body was relaxed, but her gaze was sharp. What was so interesting about the sky? Or perhaps she was studying the large passing clusters of condensed water vapor?
"What are you staring at?" he finally asked, breaking the peaceful silence. Jaime looked at him.
"The clouds, of course," she answered, a grin tugging at her lips.
"Why?" Jaime blinked at him.
"…Why not?" It was Sideswipe's turn to blink. The girl noticed his apparent confusion and tried to explain. "It's calming. And it's fun to imagine what they look like."
"Ya mean like…whatcha call it? Cloud watchin'?" Jazz finally joined the conversation.
"Yea, that's what it's called," Jaime nodded. "You see that one?" she pointed to an oddly shaped wispy cloud. "That one looks like a kangaroo." She pointed to another. "And that one looks like someone skydiving." Both Sideswipe and Jazz looked at her.
"They're just clouds," Sideswipe stated.
"I know," Jaime rolled her eyes. "But it's fun to use your imagination." They looked at her dubiously. "Go on," she prodded. "Try to find a cloud that reminds you of something." Jazz and Sideswipe glanced at the sky once more.
"Eh…Ah guess tha' one looks like a cybuhcat," Jazz pointed at a rather large cloud.
"That's it," she encouraged, assuming that a cybercat was the Cybertronian equivalent of a cat.
"That one looks like one of your human volcanoes," Sideswipe added, not wanting to be outdone.
"Good," Jaime nodded. Jaime pointed to one cloud in particular. "What does that one look like?" Both Jazz and Sideswipe studied the strangely formed cloud.
"Uh…Ah'd say…one of 'em disgustin' porcelain bowls," Jazz finally spoke. Jaime squinted at the sky.
"…You mean a toilet?" she asked uncertainly.
"Yea," the saboteur snapped his fingers. She gave him a disgruntled look, but he just laughed. She huffed and turned her head towards Sideswipe.
"What about you Sides?" she sighed. She tensed when she saw the smirk playing on his lips.
"I think it looks just like one of your terrifying earth creatures," he mused. Jaime glanced at the cloud. "What's it called again?"
"Um," she studied the cloud, trying to imagine what predator it resembled. "I don't know…a bear? A cougar?" Sideswipe shook his head. "A vulture?" Sideswipe grinned.
"Naw…it looks like a duck!" Silence. Jaime slowly sat up and turned to the grinning prankster. She scowled at him. Before she could say anything, she tilted head. Sideswipe wondered what had caught her attention. He turned to see an amusing procession approach them. It was a mother duck leading her five ducklings. Sideswipe cocked his head curiously and stood. He and Jazz shuffled closer to examine the mysterious animal.
"Wha' is tha'?" Jazz asked as they scanned the internet. Sideswipe shrugged.
"That," Jaime muttered. "Is a mother duck with baby ducklings…beware." The bots blinked before roaring with laughter. Jaime flushed. "Stop laughing!" But they were unable to contain their mirth.
She sulked as her 'friends' laughed. They were too distracted with their snickering, that they didn't notice the attention they had garnered from the mother duck.
"Quack!" They glanced down. Jazz crouched down and poked the small bird. He quickly pulled his finger back when the duck tried to chomp it off.
"Feisty lil' thin' ain't ya?" the saboteur murmured.
"Quack!" The duck puffed its feathers. Sideswipe laughed and swiftly picked it up by the scruff.
"Aw, you're a ferocious little beast aren't you?" The duck hissed at him.
"Whoa," Jazz blinked. "Ah didn' know they could 'iss."
"They do that when they're angry," Jaime deadpanned.
"Aw cheer up little guy," Sideswipe gave it a little shake. "You're with me."
"That's probably why she's angry," Jaime muttered under her breath.
"Ow!" Sideswipe dropped the duck. Jaime was impressed; the duck must have somehow bit its captor. The tiny bird was livid. It hissed at the prankster again and charged him.
"Hey, back off," Sideswipe hopped away. The duck repeatedly lunged for the Autobot's bare feet. Jaime couldn't help the smug smile. I bet he's regretting making his shoes and socks disappear, the girl mused darkly. Jazz was hunched over, laughing his head off. "It's not funny!" Sideswipe complained, his feet doing a little jig as he dodged the vengeful duck. Irritated and out of patience, Sideswipe roughly shoved the duck away with his foot. The mother duck gave him the stink eye, before turning to her ducklings and leading away. Jaime gaped at him.
"What?" he asked, noticing her shock. At the same time, Jazz finally stopped laughing.
"You kicked it!" she exclaimed.
"No I didn't. I just pushed it with my foot."
"You kicked it!"
"It wouldn't leave me alone."
"Because you harassed it!"
"I didn't hurt it," Sideswipe defended. "Besides, it's just a duck."
"…You kicked it!" Jaime stomped her foot.
"Jaime," Jazz intervened. "Sides shouldn' 'ave kicked the duck." Sideswipe pouted. "But ya don' even like 'em. Why do ya care?"
"I don't care," Jaime frowned. They stared at her doubtfully. "I just can't believe you kicked a duck!" Sideswipe groaned. "You know what's going to happen right?"
"…Wha'?" Jazz finally asked.
"Karma's going to get you," Jaime said. She whirled around, and marched over to where Ironhide was sitting before they could ask her what karma was. Will had joined Sarah and Annabelle by the swings.
"What are you up to?" Ironhide scrutinized Jaime warily, noticing her growing smirk. She tilted her head at him.
"Have Jazz or Sides ever got on your nerves, and you wanted to get payback?" she asked slyly.
"Every fragging Orn," he grunted.
"How'd you like to make them paranoid that someone was after them?" He looked at her. She had his entire attention now.
"Who?" he asked. Jaime grinned devilishly.
The silver saboteur sauntered down the halls at the Autobot base. It was a few days after the duck incident in the park. Jazz snickered as he remembered the look on Sideswipe's face when the duck bit him. Sure, it was only a holoform. They weren't really in any danger if their holoform was attacked. But the form still had sensors that acted as nerve endings. Jazz had wondered just who "Karma" was. But after surfing the web for a few minutes, he figured it was just one of those human sayings. Jazz strode into a hangar that had been converted into a rec room.
"'Sup dawgs?" Epps, Will, and Ricky—who were chilling on some human-sized couches—turned to the bot. Will snorted. It was one of the many sayings Jaime had taught the saboteur after her adoption.
"Wha's happenin'?" Jazz asked, glancing at the lounging humans.
"Not much," Epps replied, his fingers twitching distractedly. Jazz quirked his optic ridge.
"Ah think tha' this is the firs' time Ah've seen ya'll in 'ere wit'out the TV on," he muttered.
"We can't find the remote," Ricky helpfully added, swinging his leg casually. Movement in Jazz's peripheral vision caught his attention. He glanced to his right. The saboteur tilted his head curiously. What in the name of Primus? he wondered.
"'Ey, 'ow did tha' thin' get in 'ere?" he asked the soldiers.
"What thing?" Will questioned, scanning the room.
"Tha'," Jazz pointed at a corner. All the soldiers looked in the same direction.
"…You mean that recliner in the corner?" Epps finally spoke. Jazz blinked and frowned at the man.
"Naw, the duck," Jazz gestured again. There in the corner, sat a duck. Jazz scanned the corner. His processor halted when he received the results. He scanned the corner a second time. Again, he got the same results. What the frag is going on? he pondered to himself. He could see the duck only a few meters away, yet his scans detected nothing.
"…Um…what…duck?" Ricky asked hesitantly. The confused saboteur didn't even face the soldier, his attention fixated on the corner and mysterious duck. He tried scanning the animal on different spectrums. He received positive feedback on his radar scans but negative pings on thermal readings. And the humans apparently couldn't see the creature. But Jaime had seen the mother duck that Sideswipe had harassed. Perhaps this was a different kind of duck then the one at the park? Something was off. Suspicious, Jazz scanned for electronic pulses. Nothing.
He studied the silver Autobot, wondering what he found so interesting about a sparsely decorated corner.
"Jazz?" The saboteur's gaze snapped to him.
"Where's Jaime?" the mech asked.
"I think she's with Ironhide or Ratchet." Jazz seemed to scan the room. Will glanced at the corner again. Was the saboteur playing a joke or something? What could he possibly mean by a duck? And if it was an act, wouldn't he play the joke when Jaime was present? Yes, Jaime had told him the duck story. He'd found it a bit humorous, but before he could laugh he'd seen the look on her face and reacted sympathetically instead.
"Er, you okay Jazz?" Will called up to the frowning mech.
"Yea, yea…Ah'm fine," he muttered and walked out of the room, but not before throwing a wary look at the corner.
"What was that about?" Ricky asked after Jazz had left the rec room. Will glanced at Epps who shrugged.
"I really don't know," Will shook his head. "And…I don't think I want to."
The silver prankster strolled down the hall of the Autobot base. His outward demeanor gave away nothing as his arms swung casually at his sides, but he was secretly irked. Okay, maybe he shouldn't have kicked the duck. But it was fine, he didn't really hurt it. He didn't understand why Jaime had been so annoyed at him at the park. And now she was avoiding him! It was absurd! Was she expecting him to apologize or something? But it was just a bird. He shouldn't have to apologize about shoving a small insignificant bird.
As the bot sauntered down the hall, most humans walked on the sides by the wall. It was an unspoken agreement that humans would stick close to the walls and the Autobots would stay near the middle of the hall. All the bots kept their sensors on alert to avoid stepping on humans, and they hadn't had any problems, it was just an extra precaution that seemed to put some humans at ease.
Sideswipe paused as a human rushed by him, a little too close to his pedes. The male was carrying a stack of loose papers. He cursed when a couple sheets shifted off and floated to the ground. Sideswipe blinked in surprise as he observed the human. The male grabbed the papers and straightened, grumbling to himself, before continuing down the hall. The prankster turned to watch the human walk down the hall, until he turned the corner. Sideswipe cocked his helm in confusion. Did he really just see that? After a few moments, the silver bot turned and continued down the hall. He happened to glance down at another passing human, a female this time, and halted. He gaped at her as the woman continued walking, as if nothing was wrong.
"What happened to your face human?" the bot blurted aloud. The female paused and looked at him.
"Nothing." Sideswipe stared at her face. The woman growled at him.
"Watch it buster. I don't know how things are on your alien planet. But here on Earth, you never insult a woman's face," she huffed before stomping down the hall. Sideswipe would usually have a comeback, but he only stared at her. He hurried down the hall, and hesitantly glanced down at another passing human. Sideswipe shuttered his optics. But it was still there. Why did all these passing humans have these…duck faces? The bot passed by another human. She had a duck face too. He walked faster, refusing to glance at the other passing humans. What the frag is going on? Sideswipe wondered. Three humans' faces had apparently somehow morphed into duck faces. He rushed into a hangar and skidded to a halt. This was the main command center where numerous humans worked. People rushed back and forth passing reports, tech people analyzed signals from past Decepticon encounters, others worked on erasing any public footage of Cybertronians, and others performed tasks that Sideswipe just didn't care enough about to learn. At least, that was what the prankster had been expecting to see. And although the tasks were still being carried out, there was a slight change. He did not see any humans. Instead, human-sized ducks swarmed the hangar. They quacked to each other as they continued their assigned tasks, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Sideswipe struggled to form a coherent sentence.
"Quack." The prankster glanced down at a duck that was staring up at him. "Quack quack quack?" Sideswipe edged away a few steps. The duck stepped forward. "Quack?"
"St-stay away you blasted bird!" the bot commanded, his voice coming out a little higher than usual. The duck tilted its head at him curiously. It cautiously reached forward with its wings. Sideswipe bolted. He skated out of the hangar. There were more in the hallway! How did they all get in here? the bot thought frantically. He sped by them, keeping as much distance from him as possible. He had to comm. someone. But who? Ratchet and Ironhide would laugh at him. Jolt wouldn't believe him. He was tempted to comm. Prowl just to see the SIC to glitch, but the mech wasn't on base. Optimus would believe him right? He had thought Jaime was joking about Karma, but it must be true. Jazz! Jazz would understand. He was there when Jaime said it after all.
:: Sideswipe to Jazz! ::
:: Jazz 'ere. ::
:: You're…You're not going to believe this…::
:: Try meh mech. :: came Jazz's cool reply. The prankster flinched as he passed by another duck. Where were they all coming from?!
:: We…we seem to have some kind of duck infestation :: Silence. Great, Sideswipe mentally groaned. Jazz probably thought his processor had a malfunction.
:: Ya c'n see 'em too? :: Jazz finally replied. Sideswipe blinked in surprise.
:: I'm not the only one who's seeing them? Thank Primus! ::
:: Don' than' 'im yet. So far, Ah thin' we're the only ones t' see 'em. ::
:: Should we…talk to Optimus? ::
:: Ah'm on mah way t' talk t' 'im now. :: Jazz sent Sideswipe his expected arrival coordinates. Minutes later, the two silver bots met in the same hallway. They stopped in front of the Prime's office. They glanced at each other before Jazz opened the door—he never really seemed to knock—and Sideswipe followed. Jazz suddenly halted. The prankster would have asked Jazz why he stopped, but he could easily look over the short saboteur's head and spot the problem. There, sitting at Optimus' giant metal desk, sat the largest duck Sideswipe had ever seen. His optics brightened in surprise till they were almost white.
"They're everywhere!" the bot yelped, stumbling back. What was happening to him? Was something wrong with his processor? That had to be it! Something was wrong with his processor! He temporarily forgot that Jazz was seeing the same thing.
"Eh…Optimus?" the saboteur hesitated.
"Yes?" the massive duck replied in the Autobot leader's regal tone. Normally, Jazz could handle anything life threw at him. He'd seen many crazy things. But he had to admit, never had he expected to see his leader turned into a giant duck. He was too shocked, he didn't even think to use his scanners this time.
"Oh Primus! They got to you didn't they?! Hatchet!" Sideswipe raced out of the office. "Hatchet!" Jazz tilted his helm as he tried to get over the fact that his leader was a giant duck.
"Um, ya tryin' a new look boss bot?" The duck blinked at him.
"Are you alright Jazz?" it asked him with such compassion. The saboteur stared at the duck, entranced by the detail.
"Jazz!" the saboteur turned around as Sideswipe rushed into the office.
"They got to Hatchet too!"
"They did! I got to his med bay and…" The silver prankster shivered. The giant duck that apparently used to be Optimus stood and walked in front of his desk. He paused when he noticed Sideswipe backing away, ready to bolt.
"Sideswipe," the duck spoke cautiously. "What happened to Ratchet?"
"He's…he's…" the bot trailed, distracted by the giant duck in front of him. Before he could answer, a giant figure blocked the doorway. Jazz's optics widened when he realized it was another Cybertronian sized duck. This one was wider in the shoulders and had a glint in its eyes.
"Quack," the duck's attention was directed at the Optimus-sized duck. "Quack quack quack quack quack quack!" The newcomer raised its wings with pride.
"Quack quack quack quack," the Opimus-sized duck answered with amusement. Jazz's optics snapped to the giant duck. Why ain't he speakin' anymore? Jazz wondered. Another duck appeared behind the one in the doorway. It had a miniature duck sitting on its shoulder.
"Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack?" it asked.
"It's the Hatchet!" Sideswipe declared, pointing an accusing digit at the newest duck. Jazz held his helm in his servos. Now he understood how Prowl felt. Good thing the mech wasn't on base today. Jazz would never underestimate Karma again.
The girl smirked with satisfaction at the scene in front of her. She sat perched on Ratchet's shoulder. Ironhide was standing in the doorway, giving Sideswipe a Jazz a strange look. And Optimus was gazing at the two silver bots, worry evident in his optics.
"Ratchet," Optimus spoke softly. "I think it would be wise if you checked on Jazz and Sideswipe. They seem to be…seeing things…" Ratchet nodded and subspaced a wrench.
"Let's go you two," he stepped forward. Jazz crouched defensively.
"Oh Primus!" Sideswipe backed up. "Make it stop already! I swear I'll never touch another duck again!" Jaime suppressed a grin as Ratchet took another step forward.
"Sideswipe," he growled.
"And I'll never make fun of Jaime's aversion to ducks!" The prankster implored, gazing upwards. Ratchet paused and glanced at Jaime.
"I think they've suffered enough Ratchet," the girl grinned.
"Are you sure? Perhaps a few more days would be sufficient?" the medic asked. Jaime held back a snort when she heard the pleading tone in his voice.
"Oh Primus, please! I never want to see another fragging duck in my life!" Sideswipe groaned.
"I'm sure," Jaime chuckled. She glanced at Ironhide, who hesitated. "Ironhide," she warned. The black mech sighed.
"I have video footage," Jaime offered as consolation. Optimus watched on in confusion.
"Fine," Ironhide grunted. He subspaced a small device and fiddled with the dial. A short buzz permeated the room and the device disappeared from Ironhide's servos.
"Since you asked so nicely," Jaime spoke. Sideswipe blinked at her. Jazz glanced back and forth.
"What in the pit just happened?" the silver prankster asked.
"You," Jaime leaned forward on Ratchet's shoulder, "just got served." Jazz tilted his head.
"How'd ya get Hide and Ratch t' get involved?" he asked curiously.
"I have my ways," the girl smirked.
"Hmmm…impressive," the saboteur admitted.
"Would someone please explain what is going on?" Optimus asked no one in particular. After a few moments, Jazz had explained about the numerous ducks he and Sideswipe were seeing.
"By the way," the saboteur turned to Jaime. "How'd ya do tha'?"
"Holograms," she shrugged. Jazz's optics narrowed.
"Ah didn' detect any traces of electrical impulses," he muttered.
"Thanks to Hide," the girl glanced at the black mech. "Ratchet provided the hologram emitters that I distributed around the base."
"Wha' about the humans wit' duck faces?" Jazz asked.
"I asked a bunch of people to clip the hologram emitters on their shirts. I told them it was part of a low key test today. And the reason you couldn't detect the hologram projectors was because of Hide's little device. I guess it scrambles their signal or something so they don't show up on your scans." Sideswipe scowled. He hadn't said anything since the holograms were turned off.
"You okay Sides?" Jaime asked.
"How could you pull a prank with those two?" he pouted. The girl eyed him coolly.
"You needed to be taken down a few pegs." Sideswipe stared at her a few seconds before shrugging.
"Okay fine," he admitted. Jaime stood on Ratchet's shoulder.
"Up for a game of hallway tag?"
"You bet!" Sideswipe exclaimed.
"Ah'm in," Jazz grinned. Before Optimus could reprimand them, a small figure waddled into the doorway.
"Quack." Everyone in the room glanced down at the creature.
"Haha, very funny," Sideswipe huffed. "Another hologram."
"Um, Ah'm getting' positive results on ev'ry scan," Jazz murmured. Sideswipe frowned and glanced back down at the animal.
"Jaime," Sideswipe spoke.
"…Please tell me you're responsible for this."
"I fragging hate ducks!" Sideswipe skated out of the room, jumping over the duck and speeding away. Jaime blinked before glancing at a satisfied looking Ironhide.
"You wouldn't happen to know where that duck came from...would you Hide?" Jaime slanted him a suspicious look.
"No clue," Ironhide shook his helm, the satisfied smirk never leaving his face plates.
Heh heh, duck attack! I got this idea as payback for Jaime because Jazz and Sideswipe laughed at Jaime's past experience with a mother duck. Many readers asked that Jaime get retribution. Surprisingly enough, they asked that Jaime get Sideswipe back, not Jazz. I included both of them, but it was mostly focused on Sideswipe. Poor Sides :) The outline to Free Falling is done. I'm just working on the first few chapters before I start publishing, which should be soon (assuming school doesn't try to get in my way. It was an annoying habit to do that).