And this is the last of what I had written. I have part of chapter 4 started, but I'm not sure I like where it's going. So unless there's a lot of interest, this is probably it for this fic. XD

Chapter 3

"Looking for my bro?" Butch Witwicky asked.

Goldbug glared through his visor at the cocky human, and held his head higher. The metallic arm that'd had been the center of his charge's distress the week prior gleamed in the dim light. Ratchet had done good work, for a change. Goldbug had indeed been looking for Spike, but Butch didn't need to know that.

So Goldbug didn't answer.

"Fine, fine," Butch shrugged. He smirked in a way that was far too familiar to Goldbug's 'Boss,' and the kid's master. All Butch was missing was the mustache to match Rodimus' facial ornament. Butch tapped the top of his head with a finger. "Silent treatment, I got it. You don't like Rodimus, and he don't like you. Dislike by association."

"Did you need something, or are you just here to annoy me?" Goldbug asked.

"Just making the observation you and my bro have been tight," Butch said. He licked the edge of his lip, and scratched at the connection of metal to flesh at the top of his shoulder. "That's all. And since you're all by your lonesome, I figured you might be looking."

"I think you should go back to kissing Rodimus' aft," Goldbug said.

He walked past the smirking kid. How was that worthless little scratch related to Spike? He had nothing going for him, other than being a cocky little 'Yes Man.' At least Spike was useful company. Goldbug rolled out his shoulder at the turn. He had been hoping to get Spike to check out a loose bolt for him. Having a human with tiny hands and a bit of mechanic skills was saving him many, many nervous trips to Ratchet.

"He's with Lord Prime," Butch said out of the blue, though the smugness in his voice dripped out over every word. "Just so you know."

"Prime?" Goldbug said. He cursed to himself immediately after. Gave too much away.

Butch nodded in affirmation. He saluted with his metal hand, and walked away with the other in his pocket.

Goldbug kept walking. He shoved any worry he had down to the bottom of his spark and smothered it. Making a scene would be stupid for them both.

Goldbug didn't see Prime or Spike for the rest of the day.


The door to his hab-suite swished open, awaking Goldbug and all of his sensors. An intruder would't be the first to try and kill Goldbug in his sleep, and it wouldn't be the last. Goldbug was ready. He kept his optics off, and systems in a mock 'recharge state' to fool the intruder. He listened, and was impressed by the mech's silence.

Maybe it was Mirage. He had that sort of cloaking at his disposal.

The door swished shut again, trapping the intruder inside with the alert Goldbug. He turned the sensitivity level of all of his sensors to max, to catch any hint of approach. The footsteps were light and small...and very familiar.

"Spike?" Goldbug asked, flicking his optics on and leaning up to stare down at the floor.

He gripped the side of his berth, staring down at the tiny human. His spark picked up in his chest, relieved to see that small silhouette in his doorway in a way that should have been downright shameful. Autobots didn't make attachments to such things. But. Goldbug shook his head, and shifted to sit up.

"Don't bother getting out of bed," Spike said, shifted near the doorway. Goldbug settled back down as the kid tapped across the room. Spike huffed heavily as he climbed up onto the low berth via a small chain hanging off the side. He shuffled across the space between the edge of the berth and the mech, collapsing near Goldbug's chest with a wet thud. He snuggled up until he was a hair's distance from the warm metal, parallel to Goldbug's spark. "Go back to recharge."

Goldbug olfactory sensors picked up blood, and he could see a dark patch of something wet spread from around the tiny body. He switched his optic mode and looked over his charge: Spike's clothes were soaked in the human energon. "Spike—"

"It's not mine," Spike said, cutting off Goldbug with a tired voice. He turned and rested his head in his arms. "Not Buster or Butch's either."

Goldbug hissed, "What happened with Prime?"

"You'll find out tomorrow," Spike said, his voice a whisper. Goldbug struggled to hear the restrained words. Spike drew his knees in close, and started to trail a picture in the blood with his hand. Spike sighed, "He wants it to be a surprise."

Goldbug held his hand out, hovering over the shaking boy. "But—"

"Please," Spike begged, eyes wide and voiced hitched. He pulled his arms up over his head, and rolled toward Goldbug. He was a miserable lump of flesh, and Goldbug wondered how such a thing could twist his spark. "I just want to go to sleep."

Against his better judgement, Goldbug turned on his side. He used a hand to cup the little creature near his chest, and gently rubbed the boy's shoulder and side with his thumb. Spike breathed out, the air shaky but relieved. The boy's breathing evened in time with Goldbug's petting, and he was asleep within a few seconds.

Goldbug shoved down his anger as he hid Spike away under his hand. He could never challenge the Prime for this, but Goldbug guaranteed someone would suffer for this.

He was in so much trouble.