Dreams and Reality

A Transformers Prime Fanfiction

Set After "Evolution"

::WARNINGS::

Adult content-breast feeding-implied past rape-death of children

::SPOILERS::

SPOILERS for "Dying Embers" and "Dirty Little Secrets"

Chaos filled Autobot Base Omega one in the form of Predaking and his two dozen brothers. Raucous roaring and a cacophony of chirps rolled over the slim Asian in waves as she watched the scene before her with a delighted smile from the battered yellow couch. With utmost care she shifted the precious bundle in her arms sighing in pleasure as impossibly soft skin pressed against her bare shoulder. Two tiny feet pressed into her thigh where they stuck out of the blue coat on the cushion beside her. Fierce growling called her attention back to the scarred concrete floor and laughter burst out of her mouth to ripple through the silo. The mighty Predacon glared up at her balefully as his nemesis eagerly chewed on the long silvery helm spikes forcing the noble head awkwardly to one side.

The one small, for a Predacon, sparkling had not lost interest in his older brother's impressive helm gear from the moment his amber optics had come online. Luckily the battle hardened warrior's hide was still marginally stronger than the newly decanted sparkling's teeth and jaws but from the occasional wince that crossed the segmented faceplates of the great Cybertronian dragon that situation would not last long. The human smiled in sympathy.

Predaking sprawled out claiming the majority of the floor for his massive length. Now, in the dark of the night with the base lighting tuned low at least half of his siblings lay curled up under the impressive wingspan and pressed gently to his side. Not sleeping Miko remembered, Cybertonian young did not sleep like hers did, but resting their rapidly growing frame struts. Her fingers drifted down to touch the still warm bundle on the couch beside her.

The remaining eleven Predacons had decided that now was the best time ever to make friends with the rest of the base sparklings and now half, the grounders, were clustered around Skyfire and Stormbreaker. The latter had eagerly accepted their newfound role as older cousins and were chattering away, blue optics blazing, explaining some critically important concept regarding the best way to make Uncle Ratchet jump. The other half, the flyers, were far more focused on the gracefully soaring Cometflare. They chased after the flickering iridescent tail flapping their undeveloped wings comically as the glider called out encouragement, eager to no longer be alone in his aerial journeys. One had discovered the advantages of using their larger brother as a launching pad and now the rest were determinedly scampering up the slate grey flanks and leaping fearlessly from the powerful shoulders. So far they had managed a few short glides, followed by frantic flapping, then a loud crash to the floor. Miko had been a bit worried at first but Predaking had simply snorted at her concerns as the sparklings shook themselves and returned their sturdy frames for another round.

The small mouth on her breast detached with a disgruntled mewl and without looking down the young woman shifted her daughter to the other side, shrugging her shirt back up to cover the emptied breast. Happily reattached the infant continued nursing and Miko sighed in relief at the feeling.

A familiar voice called out drawing her attention to the side. The lanky raven haired youth approached the swarming mass of Predacon sparklings fearlessly holding out a tray piled high with what appeared to be large cookies. Suddenly finding himself the center of attention for a stampede of over two dozen robotic children the human faltered a bit. However before even the swiftest reached him a massive tail swung out and encircled Jack protectively. Still dangling the determined sparkling by one horn Predaking interposed himself between the charging young and their goal. Once they had all stopped and were surrounding the two with pleading optics the massive mech transformed shifting the disgruntled sparkling to one hip.

"Now my brethren," he scolded them gently. "Is this how a Predacon behaves when offered a gift from a friend?"

Twenty-four little helms bowed in shame while twenty-four little sets of optics still locked on the tray Jack was holding up while trying to suppress his laughter.

"What do you say little ones?"

Taking the lead Stormbreaker skipped forward and held up her hands.

"Daddy, may I please have a cookie?"

"Yes Stormy," Jack replied with a smile handing her one of the smaller disks.

The largest Predacon sparkling lumbered up to the raven haired youth. Even in his undeveloped state he towered over the human but Jack never flinched as the razor sharp beak lowered to hover over his head.

"Uncle Jack, may I have cookie?" the low voice rumbled eagerly.

"Of course," without pause Jack handed a dinner plate sized disc into the waiting servos.

One by one the sparklings came to claim their prize, Cometflare even landed briefly on Predaking's arm to accept his, then laughed musically when the massive warrior lightly tossed him high into the air. The eldest Predacon then transformed and spread out on the floor again. His siblings and their friends, distracted by the wooden cookies settled down along his sides, accepting the wings he gently placed over them. Their brother shot Jack a grateful look as the young man climbed the steps to stand behind Miko on the raised platform.

The raven haired human leaned forward and rested his elbows on the couch behind her. One hand reached down absently to stroke the small sleeping form. A soft happy sigh came from the child bundled in his coat.

Don't Look.

Nameless dread filled Miko as time seemed to stretch and distend.

Don't Look!

The voice screaming in her head was her own as the little head beneath the coat began to turn happily into Jack's caress.

"How are you doing Natuski?" he asked fondly.

No! No! You know what will happen if you look!

But inexorably her eyes were pulled down to look at her beautiful daughter. Just as they were every time. Like a roaring flood the realization that this could not be real surged towards her and she began to weep. Just as her eyes fell on Natsuki's little face the dream world dissolved leaving a faint impression of large honey-gold eyes and a sweet pink smile. Miko's breasts gave a spasm of pain where Hikari had been nursing and ice seemed to lance through her thigh where the little feet had touched. Deep gut wrenching emptiness filled her as she bolted upright, stiffing a scream of agony by shoving her hands into her mouth.

It took her a few seconds to reorientation herself as her chest heaved trying to draw air around the fingers balled between her teeth. Pulling her hands out and propping herself up on the hard army cot the girl took several long ragged breaths. Dim orange light filtered through the thin curtains from the parking lot the sparsely furnished room faced. The green LED on her cell blinked with a full charge at her from the side table. Throwing aside the thin green blankets Miko staggered to her feet and clutched at her pink phone.

She had never been allowed the luxury of a stuffed animal or a security blanket. The small electronic device and the freedom and status it symbolized had for some time been her only comfort; until she had decided to follow that blue motorcycle that fateful day. Now she clutched it to her chest as she crouched on the floor rocking back and forth tears dripping onto the worn carpet under her bare toes.

Sleep was not an option. Even if her throbbing heart allowed it the dreams might start up again, or might not and for the life of her she could not think which would be worse. For any other issue she would have called Bulkhead for comfort but the Wreckers were suffering enough over what they had done. If they knew what it was doing to her…The slim Asian shook her head sharply and stood shakily. She would not be the cause of any more pain for her team but still the thought of spending the rest of the night alone terrified her.

There was really only one other person she knew who would understand. Silently she slipped barefoot out onto the cracked old sidewalk. For a girl born in the big city the logically laid out base was child's play to navigate. Over in one corner, sat the rows of officers housing built in the fifties, now sitting unused for the most part; except one. Miko walked across the parched desert lawn rocks digging into her soles and paused at a bedroom window. Her hand hesitated. Why burden him with this? He had his own pains to bear but the cold loneliness in her chest drove her on and cursing her selfishness she rapped softly on the glass.

Shortly a rumpled dark head appeared from behind the curtains and her friend's face gave her an annoyed glare. The old wooden window frame was forced up with some effort and squealing in protest as Jack leaned out.

"No Miko I will not help you prank Ultra Magnus tonight," the raven haired youth grumbled. "It's bad luck to spill paint on a full moon."

"You just made that up," Miko snorted forcing a smile.

"Nope, I have it on good authority that-" Jack cut off in mid sentence staring at the girl's face in the light from his small bedside lamp.

His gaze softened and he leaned down further.

"Miko?" he asked gently holding out his hand and searching her eyes with that soul piercing look he had gotten from Optimus.

The Asian gave a sob and leaned her face into his touch.

"Dreams," she whispered through the tears.

Without another word Jack held out both of his hands and pulled her into the house he and his mother had been assigned. Despite the pain Miko had to smile through her tears as he led them out of his bedroom and to the kitchen table; always thinking about the propriety of the situation their Jack. He poured her something out of a pitcher in the refrigerator and pressed the cool glass into her hands before sliding down into the chair next to her and wrapping an arm around her shoulder.

"You were having bad dreams?" he asked once she had downed half of the iced mint tea.

"No," Miko whispered leaning into his touch, seeking comfort.

Seeing the confusion on his face she clarified.

"Wonderful dreams," her voice caught, "horrible reality."

Still not understanding but sensing her inner turmoil Jack began gently circling his hand on her back.

"I dreamed of Natsuki and Hikari," she continued clenching the glass, "and Stormbreaker and Skyfire and Cometflare," she didn't look up, couldn't stand to see the pain she was causing him but ploughed on. "We were all in the old base together. You were making those hickory wood cookies for the kids. I was," a harsh sob wracked her body as the words tried to get out, "I was nursing Hikari and Natsuki was napping. You had wrapped her in your coat because it was cold and, and your sparklings were playing with the Predacon and his little brothers on the base floor. They were having so much fun. It was so real."

She reached up absently to touch her nipple where she could still feel the ghost contact of her little one.

"It felt so real," she continued tears streaming down her face, "and then I woke up, and they are all dead," her voice rose to a shriek and she forced her fist into her mouth determined not to wake the hardworking nurse.

Jack gently but firmly pried her hand out from between her teeth and carefully examined the marks on her skin. Satisfied that he saw no blood he got up and returned with a tin of slave. Miko sat still while he carefully massaged the soothing ointment into her hand.

"I could hate Guntar for what happened to my daughters," the girl continued when he was finished wrapping gauze around the damage, "and I could hate Starscream for what happened to your sparklings, but the Predacon little ones? They were just as innocent as Hikari and we Wreckers did that to them. I just, I just, I don't know. All I know is that I haven't slept through the night since Wheeljack told me."

This is what she liked best about Jack she decided as warm arms encircled her and pulled her close. He not only knew what to say. He knew when to just shut up. She didn't know how long he held her silently like that but when her eyes flickered open again bright desert morning light was spilling through the kitchen window and the smell of frying tofu filled the room. Stiffly the girl pushed herself up and realized with a grimace that she had spent the better part of the night sprawled across two chairs with her head in Jack's lap. The raven haired youth himself was shifting and blinking blurrily from his seat on the kitchen chair. Had he even slept at all? Miko knew she should feel guilty but a night without dreams shattering her heart in the morning was too rare a gift to pass up these days.