I was feeling this fic so here we are. Even if I did just realize that Butch & Buster are younger than Spike in canon and in this fic they're both older. Oh well. Damage is done and I like Spike being the youngest anyway.

But I need to share a Truth: I freaking love Spike x Bee. Actually. Just the Witwickys. No matter how far I stray from the TF fandom, or what other fandoms steal my interest, I'll always come home to this. I need to get this story moving so I can actually justify that pairing tag. This slow burn's gotta' start moving faster!

Well, as fast as it can move when the rating is Teen. Lol. End point: I received inspiration and here's another chapter! I'm glad this story is generally episodic, which makes time skips and stuff like that easier. Like the tiny one in this chapter. Thank you for reading and hopefully I'll have the next one out soonish! :D

Chapter 5

Spike didn't move.

The sounds of Autobots and Decepticons ripping each other apart continued around the small group in other areas of the battlefield, but Goldbug's small corner of the carnage screeched to a halt when his human didn't stand back up.

"Slag!" Rumble shouted, staring at the small body. His pile driver switched back into a hand and the minicon's voice cracked. "I didn't mean to hit him that hard!"

Goldbug and the Decepticons alike stared at the panicking minicon and the too still human.

"Spike?" Goldbug cursed himself for the show of weakness—but it was only the 'Cons around with no backup Autobots in sight. Who cared what a bunch of Decepticons thought? They were bleeding sparks anyway! Goldbug kept his blaster aimed at Astrotrain in case the standstill ended, though. "Spike!"

The kid didn't get up.

"Is he bleeding?" Frenzy asked, standing next to his brother. "That ain't good, right?"

A small pool of red had formed under Spike's head.

"He shouldn't have gotten in the way!" Rumble shouted, taking a few steps back toward the larger triple-changer behind him. "What was he thinking?"

Spike hadn't been.

Goldbug'd been sloppy and took a hit from Rumble's pile driver that knocked him to the ground. The minicon had powered up again for another hit to the back of Goldbug's helm—that he was prepared to counter and already halfway to his feet—when Spike came out of nowhere and tackled Rumble.

"No you don't!" Spike had shouted. The human grappled Rumble and got his yellow boot covered foot between the minicon's legs to trip the brat. "Get away from Goldbug!"

He and Rumble were about the same size, giving the teen an even footing in the scuffle, until Rumble turned and hit the kid with the full force of his prepared pile driver he'd been saving for Goldbug.

Spike flew across the concrete and hit the ground hard enough for a crack to sound, catching the attention of Decepticon and Goldbug alike. The Witwicky family got tossed around by Cybertronians all the time. The Autobots had learned long ago that their little human associates were hardy things, despite their fragility. Spike always got back up after he got hit aside.

The Autobots knew it.

The Decepticons knew it.

He always got back up.

"Spike," Goldbug said, his gun lowering. Spike had been down too long. The red energon that flowed through his veins kept pooling and he wasn't getting back up. Goldbug dropped his weapon and approached the form, a hand out ready to grab Spike's crumpled form and make a run for it. "I've got you—"

"Don't touch him!"

The sharp command from the human running at him held enough power and desperation behind it that Goldbug paused. The man in the bright yellow jacket with red hair shoved his way under Blitzwing's feet and shoved himself between Goldbug's hand and Spike.

"You never move someone with a head injury this badly," the man said. He knelt near Spike and his grubby fingers touched the boy, checking his neck and body. "Severe head wound, bruises already forming, and who knows what that pile driver did to the kid's ribs."

"I didn't mean to!" Rumble shouted again. "Honest!"

"You're not helping," Blitzwing said, tugging Rumble back and pushing him toward Frenzy. Blitzwing approached the human and asked, "What should we do, Coach?"

"What's this we?" Goldbug pointed. "All of you are getting away from him and I'm taking him home!"

"No, you're not," the human said, looking up. He pulled a communication device out of his jacket and the whistle around his neck bounced. "The only place this kid is going is a hospital."

"You aren't taking Spike!" Goldbug said, pointing his gun at the human. "Get away from him."

"Look, you clearly care about the kid," the man said, hand still on the phone. "So I'm only going to say this once: If he doesn't get to a hospital now, he's going to die."

Goldbug lowered the gun a fraction.

"Listen to him," Blitzwing said, nodding to the human. "He's a school teacher. Coach deals with kids like your human all the time. He knows what he's talking about and no one on our side wants your little human partner to die."

But they were going to take Spike.

What if they didn't give him back?

(What if he died on the way back to base and Goldbug lost Spike anyway?)

Goldbug lowered his gun. "I'm following him to the hospital."

"You will not!" Astrotrain stepped up to join his triple-changer partner. "An Autobot near a hospital will cause a full on panic and probably attract other Autobots who won't care as much about the kid's wellbeing. The best thing you can do is to make sure none of your buddies attack the ambulance when it comes to get the kid!"

The triple-changer had a point.

Some might even attack Spike to take advantage of Goldbug's weak mental state.


He stood back as the human called an ambulance.

Goldbug waited on the sidelines, eyes around the area to make sure the other groups fighting didn't near. When it arrived, humans dressed in white with all sorts of equipment poured out of a vehicle that looked like Ratchet's alt-mode. It gave Goldbug a shiver in his spark to see Spike in anything associated with Ratchet.

But the medics carefully transported Spike to a stretcher, calling out medical information and removing the jacket Blitzwing's human had placed to stop the bleeding.

They carried him away.

"The kid'll be okay," Blitzwing told Rumble, still upset for his part in the damage. "The doctors'll make sure of it."

Goldbug wanted to rip Rumble apart for what he'd done.

But he couldn't do it with two triple-changers and Soundwave fast approaching, likely sensing the distress from his cassette tapes.

Goldbug slipped away, forcing himself to head back into the main battle front over following the ambulance.

The Decepticons claimed the Victory, and Goldbug returned to base with his head low and his spark screaming at him to run back into the city to search for Spike.

But what could he do? Tear apart hospitals alone looking for the kid? He could only hope Spike escaped and came back on his own when the doctors fixed him up.

(If they could.)

"That could have gone better," Bluestreak said, his door-wings down and head low. He glanced over his shoulder at the small returning group and twisted his face. "I hope Prime isn't too upset."

Goldbug didn't respond.

Prime being upset was the least of his worries, and that scared him more than the thought of his spark getting snuffed out.

"Better luck next time, fellas," Sparkplug said, leaning against the wall near Ratchet's medbay. He always took delight in seeing if any Autobots were injured enough in the field that they'd have no choice but to visit the mad doctor and his experimental tricks. "But hey, at least you're all back in one piece."

"That's not a good thing," Ratchet said, popping his head out of the door. "How am I supposed to work when no one needs a checkup?"

Sparkplug snickered before he took a closer look at the group. He zeroed in on Goldbug and his eyes narrowed. "Hey, where's Spike. He went out with you guys, didn't he?"

Bluestreak and the others turned their heads toward Goldbug and looked at his feet. "Hey, he's right. Spike's gone."

Goldbug kept walking.

"Hey!" Sparkplug shouted. His small footsteps echoed on the metal floor of the ARK. "Don't walk away! Where's my son?"

Goldbug didn't answer.

He couldn't say it.

"Sparkplug's talking to you, brat," Ratchet said. He grabbed Goldbug's arm and yanked him back, slamming him into the wall. He smiled pleasantly and pinned Goldbug by the shoulder. "Maybe I should check your audio receptors. They could be on the fritz if you didn't hear him!"

"I heard him fine!" Goldbug shouted. He shoved Ratchet back and stepped aside, until he was by himself a few steps down the hallway. "Spike is…he'll be fine."

"What does that mean?" Sparkplug asked. The man stood closer to Ratchet and tugged his hat off his head. "Where's Spike?"

"A hospital," Goldbug admitted. Sparkplug wasn't going to let the subject drop and Ratchet was just itching for an excuse to back the human up. "A 'Con hit him too hard and he…it was bad. They called an ambulance it took him."

"You let the Decepticons take my kid?" Sparkplug's face twisted in fury. "He just turned fifteen! The state'll keep him because they think I'm an unfit parent because I live with you lot! Why would you do something so stupid!"

"He was hurt," Goldbug said again. "There was energon everywhere!"

"Don't give me that! Witwicky's are made of tough stuff!" Sparkplug shouted back. "There's no injury that we couldn't have fixed up here! Where he'd get to stay with us!"

"He was going to die!" Goldbug yelled back, his voice screeching. "You weren't there! You can't judge my decision!"

The confrontation drew the eyes of others in the area. Goldbug didn't care. He only had eyes for the callous man Spike called "Dad."

Who's face twisted in a new and different way, with an expression Goldbug hadn't seen before. Sparkplug's voice was quiet. "It was that bad?"

Goldbug nodded, his hands gripped to fists.

"What hospital did they take him to?" Sparkplug asked, looking up with a determined look. "I'll go get him myself."

"I don't know," Goldbug said. "They wouldn't tell me."

"Just…just tell me where the ambulance picked him up," Sparkplug said, putting his hat back on. "I'll figure it out from there."

Goldbug gave him the coordinates and the human turned to Ratchet.

"Want to visit a human hospital?" Sparkplug asked Ratchet. He tapped the doctor's leg with his hand and huffed. "Your alt mode'll come in real handy for sneaking inside."

"Sure thing!" Ratchet said, with his usual forced cheer. "But you'll owe me one."

"I wouldn't expect anything less." Sparkplug turned to Goldbug and pointed with a growl in his throat. "One more thing: If Spike dies, you're next."

Ratchet laughed and transformed, allowing Sparkplug to climb into the passenger seat while Ratchet's plump holomatter avatar took the wheel.

They sped off and Goldbug calmed himself.

That was a good thing.

Sparkplug would get his son back and Goldbug could see Spike again.

Because Spike would be fine.



Goldbug turned around to face his leader, looking up into disapproving red eyes. He took a step away and stood at attention. Behind him, Bluestreak and the others on their small mission team did the same.

Optimus Prime stared them all down.

"Unless I overheard incorrectly, is it true that you have broken my favorite toy?"

Goldbug's spark flickered in his chest and his optics widened.

"I'll take that as a yes," Optimus Prime said. He put a hand on Goldbug's shoulder and squeezed, denting the metal. "Perhaps allowing you to borrow him was a mistake."

Prime ripped Goldbug's arm off and left him stranded in the hallway before he turned to the others, fist raised to dispense punishment for failing their mission.

Goldbug watched his own energon spill to the ground and stared at the bright glow.

He'd be fine.

Just like Spike.