Chapter One Hundred Ninety Four: Idioms and Idiots
"So while they're off sulking, does anyone else wish to speak about the giant pink elephant in the room?"
Everyone in the main hanger, which pretty much was everyone after Ratchet's rough roundup, stared at Decepticon leaning against Optimus' "desk" in variations of puzzlement. Most of the confusion came from the more recent arrivals as they glanced at one another at the new terminology. Some of them even started looking around the hanger in surprise.
"What's an elephant?" Motorhead asked, baffled.
"And where is it?" Bluestreak peeked down behind one of Ratchet's stands.
Ratchet frowned from where he was scanning Jazz. "I thought it was 'three hundred pound gorilla'?"
"A what?" Skyfire frowned looking between Ratchet and Soundwave. "What are these 'elephants' and 'gorillas'?"
"I thought they were animals," Wheeljack stated from where he was sorting all the data pads his husband was using for the physicals. Optimus had tried to assist him as his own check up was over with but had been banned by both Wheeljack and Perceptor. It seems that they had a "system" that Optimus was disrupting. "Though I've never heard of a pink elephant."
"But why would we have them here?" Perceptor asked curiously. "The only animals we have on the base are the human's pets and Crikey."
"Who's all but Steve's pet," Hound chuckled.
"What did you two do now?" Prowl turned from where he had been staring at Jazz's scans and glared at the two mechs off to the side.
"What? We didn't do anything!" Sideswipe yelped, Jetstorm still squirming in his lap trying his best to get out of his dad's grasp so he could go out and play.
"When would we have the time?" Sunstreaker added, Jetfire on his own lap scribbling on one of Optimus' commandeered data pads for the sparklings to use as impromptu sketchpads. It was clear which twin took after which parent.
Jazz brought Prowl's attention back to himself as he let out a snicker. Even Ratchet was grinning where he was comparing Jazz's sparkling's output with the one he had taken before they had gone to the arctic. "It's an expression babe," Jazz clarified.
Rollerforce frowned at that. "These humans have far too many of those," he muttered. "It's confusing. Why can't they just say what they mean?"
"I don't know, I like them," Motorhead chirped.
Skyfire ignored the two bickering 'Cons and glanced at the snickering Autobot leader. "A what?"
"Expression," Optimus explained. "A turn of phrase. Like 'look before you leap'."
Sunstorm looked completely befuddled. "But we're not leaping anywhere."
"Never mind that," Ratchet interrupted, handing Groundhog the two scans to examine before turning back to Soundwave. "What are you talking about? Who's sulking?"
Red Alert let out a snort from where he was seated at the main computer. "What do you think? Bumblebee, Barricade and Sam of course." He looked over at Soundwave for confirmation.
"They are the only one's not here," Blaster pointed out and Ratchet let out a small growl that had Groundhog taking a subtle step back.
Prowl looked like he would have loved to do the same but refrained himself, remaining next to the still smirking Jazz. It seemed the first team had gotten quite use to the snarling, surly medic during their extended time together because Jazz didn't so much as glance Ratchet's way. Even Optimus didn't so much as twitch at the loud snarl but everyone else had followed Groundhog's lead and was giving Ratchet a wide berth. Though that could have been more to do with trying to avoid their own examinations. Jazz was only the third one to be checked, after all.
"I think he means what are we gonna do about the rather exceptional problem they've gotten themselves into," Jazz chuckled.
"Wouldn't it be best to let them work it out on their own?" Perceptor asked. "It is their problem and it is always best to solve any problems oneself."
"The trouble with that though, is that they're all still very young yet," Ratchet sighed and gave Jazz a little nudge. "Both you and the sparkling are fine. No after affects." Jazz hopped off the table with a wide grin, which Prowl returned with his own small smile… just before he felt a hand snag his arm and he was shoved at the table his mate had just vacated. "Up you go," Ratchet prodded him.
Prowl frowned, preferring to be able to remain standing, at least while others were present. As he looked about however, he realized no one was really paying attention to the ongoing examinations and Jazz was giving him that brilliant smile… With a sigh, he sat on the table and allowed Ratchet to move him into whatever position the medic deemed necessary.
"Don't sulk." Ratchet actually prodded his side as he said that. "It's just a basic check up to ensure the Energon didn't do anything. Not a full blown examination."
Prowl frowned at that. He understood that Red Alert and Jazz's examinations were long due to their unique conditions but… "Then why was Optimus' so long?"
"The more he complained, the more I found needed checking," Ratchet grinned evilly.
"Hey!" Optimus pouted and a few others chuckled good-naturedly before getting back on topic.
"They may be young but so were we once," Wheeljack reminded his mate as he handed him a new pad for Prowl's readings. "Perhaps Perceptor is correct in his assessment."
Ratchet frowned at that. "If it was any normal situation I would agree."
"I'll admit I would love nothing better than to allow them to figure it out on their own but their situation is just too unique," Optimus nodded.
"Is this more about the political implications?" Rollerforce asked with narrowed optics. "The fact that your favorite human is bonded to one of us?"
"Not at all," Optimus quickly denied.
"It is, isn't it?" the 'Con pressed. "You think it would have been better if he was bonded to your Autobot golden boy!"
"Not exactly golden," Sunstreaker muttered under his breath. Sideswipe gave him a small nudge.
"That's not it at all."
"Then what is it?" Groundhog frowned.
"I think it's more to do with all three of them than any single person," Skyfire guessed with a glance at Ratchet.
He received an affirmative nod. "They're all of them young-" Rollerforce let out a snort at that, "-and each of their feelings have to be taken into account."
"Bumblebee in love with Sam, Barricade Linked to Sam and Sam… Who knows," Sideswipe said matter of fact as he helped Jetstorm load a game onto yet another commandeered pad. "Quite a mess."
"Bumblebee himself has to be completely sparkbroken over the whole affair," Ratchet said sadly. "But he's determined to stay back for Barricade's sake."
"They're good friends, amazingly," Soundwave admitted. "Which makes Barricade feel awkward over the whole mess. He has absolutely no idea what to do with this situation."
"None of us would," Inferno admitted. "That's the problem. Their circumstances are far too extraordinary."
"We also have to take in Barricade's stubbornness. There has to be a reason he's denying the situation and it's more than likely for a very, very good reason that none of us are privy to," Groundhog stated as he handed Ratchet a new data pad.
"V-v-very g-g-good!" a new voice piped up and everyone was surprised as Frenzy entered the hanger followed by the rest of his teammates.
No one tended to go anywhere near Ratchet when he was if full medic mode and the smaller 'Cons had been perfectly safe in the human quarters. But then Mikaela and Miles trooped in after them and the others understood. There was an actually moment of silence before Optimus realized that everyone was waiting for another figure to appear and he glanced down at the two humans. "Where is Sam?" he asked curiously and was instantly jabbed in the side by Jazz.
Mikaela rolled her eyes as she headed for the small ladder that allowed her to clamber up to Ratchet's medical table. "Hopefully speaking with the other two idiots. He's not at the barracks." She glanced at the pads Ratchet still had as Miles scrambled up the ladder after her. "You started without me?"
"Well that's good," Prowl nodded, glad for the interruption as Ratchet showed his human apprentice Jazz's previous two scans and turned to face the room proper. "I guess there was no need to worry after all."
Soundwave let out a snort. "Doubtful. They'll probably still be just as confused when they're done talking."
"About the Link," Hound pointed out. "But hopefully they'll stop avoiding one another."
"At least talking to one another is at least a step in the right direction," Inferno reminded him.
"How in the pit did this even happen anyhow?" Rollerforce asked the room at large. "Anyone having a Link with a human is farfetched to begin with, for it to be one of us 'Cons? Unbelievable."
"And yet it happened," Ravage stated, moving towards one of the stairwells leading up to the catwalk, followed by Frenzy and Rumble. The two birds had perched on the railing already.
"What did you mean about Barricade having a very good reason Frenzy?" Red Alert turned from the computer to ask smaller mech. "Did he tell you anything?
Frenzy shook his head before shrugging a bit. "A-a-always has g-g-good reason."
"Barricade tends to focus on the bigger picture," Soundwave told them. "Smaller issues he has a propensity to over think."
"Not to mention personal issues," Groundhog added.
"Bet the boss man is going crazy about it," Rollerforce snorted.
"Any of us would in his position," Inferno agreed before he tilted his head a bit towards where Motorhead and Bluestreak were standing rather close together. "A Link outside of your own faction is rare enough. Even before the war."
"Is his Link with Sam that significant?" Miles asked curiously. "I mean, yeah Sam's human and I get that that part is a bit shocking and everything but…" he trailed off with a small frown, trying his best to searched for the right words. "Well we're all the same deep down, aren't we? Souls and Sparks can't be that different, can they?"
The mechs all went quiet for a moment before Perceptor spoke up. "It is unprecedented, certainly, but Barricade is more than likely concerns about the implications that it may mean."
Mikaela frowned and sent the mech a hard stare. "Such as?"
"What does it mean for us as a continuing species for one."
"What do you mean by that?" she asked surprised before turning towards Optimus. "What is he talking about?"
Optimus frowned. "It can be a bit… distressing," he finally admitted. "All of us remember our lives before the war and none of us are ever going to really have that again-"
"And what does that mean?" Miles interrupted, thoroughly frustrated.
"Our lives, our very existence has changed since the destruction of Cybertron," Skyfire was the one who surprisingly enlightened them. "Nothing we know will ever be the same and it is a very difficult thing to accept."
"So it's not so much having a Link to Sam that's upsetting Barricade but having a Link with a human period that he's having a problem with?" Mikaela asked worried. "Is it that horrific to have a Link with one of our kind?"
"No, not at all," Optimus was quick to reassure her. "While it is a surprise, the idea of being able to share a bond with your kind is not unbearable at all."
"Yeah, just look at 'Hide n Will," Jazz snickered and a few nodded in agreement.
"Ironhide is older however and is more accustom to change in his life," Prowl pointed out even as Ratchet delved into his back service panel and clamped out some cables.
"It's always hard to adapt to change," Ratchet agreed as he glanced down to check the readout on his pad. "And our lives have done nothing but since we arrived on your planet to the extreme. We are reminded of that fact almost daily."
"To be able to sustain a Link with a human is just a testament to how much we've evolved and changed since arriving on your planet," Groundhog added. "And any change can be distressing as Optimus Prime said."
"Please, just call me Optimus." Groundhog gave a small nod of acknowledgement at the request.
Mikaela, meanwhile, had a thoughtful look on her face and began nodding sadly. "I remember right after my dad got arrested, all I wanted was for everything to go back to the way it was." She glanced down and picked at one of her nails. "I was very angry for a long time before I accepted it."
"Barricade will come around," Rumble stated from the catwalk. "He really doesn't have a choice."
"Especially with the bug bugging him about it," Laserbeak drawled and Buzzsaw chuckled in agreement.
Some of the others laughed a bit at that but Optimus just sighed. "That's another issue we'll have to be careful about," he stated. "We have to be supportive but not invasive of Bumblebee's feelings about the situation either."
"It's not as if Barricade meant to steal the boy out from under him," Soundwave frowned.
"I didn't say that, but Bumblebee is still very protective of the boy and with Thirteen's recent attack on the Witwicky home, it is understandable."
Red Alert let out a snort. "The fact that it is Sam in this situation though, out of anyone, is just the icing on the cake as it were," he said and everyone let out a small murmur of agreement even as Miles glanced at Mikaela in puzzlement to see if he was the only one lost with the conversation. She was nodding however so it was more than likely.
"So it is because it's Sam?" Miles asked with a frown, thoroughly confused. "I thought that would be better though that it is him… I mean- any person would freak out over being practically engaged to a giant, err…" he trailed off with a blush as he realized everyone was staring at him. "Or is it because he's friends with 'Bee that Barricade has issues with?"
Frenzy was giving Miles a considerate look before he leaned over and whispered to Rumble who looked surprise. They whispered to each other for a bit before Rumble finally let out a small sigh and turned back towards the examination table. "What do you mean by 'better that it's Sam'?" he asked.
Optimus glanced up catwalk and frowned at the peculiar look that Frenzy was giving the boy, puzzled by it. Jazz however just grinned wider and turned to the boy. "Yeah! What're you thinking about Miles my man? Something cross your mind?"
Miles shifted uncomfortably as he found himself the center of attention again, especially since Ratchet had pushed Prowl off the table and everyone could seem him clearer than before. "Well, I would think out of anyone, Barricade would be more relaxed that it is Sam he has a Link with. Especially since he's practically one of you. Imagine if it had been me or someone with no knowledge of you guys!"
Ratchet chuckled at this. "Sam has taken to our customs pretty well, he had to in order to help us relate with your government and the other humans better." He dropped his smile though as Miles shook his head frantically.
"That's not what I meant," he insisted. "I mean it's almost like Sam has become one of you. He's still human and all," he continued in a rush at Mikaela's odd look, practically tripping over his words, "but I mean, he can use that rock shard and talk to your God, can't he? I mean- he's the only one human who can, right? Unless you can too? Or Will?" he turned towards Mikaela for the last bit and she minutely shook her head.
Red Alert shook himself as if the shake off the daze and turned to Miles with a gentle look. "Is that the reason you thought Sam and Barricade have a Link? Because he can use the shard?"
Miles looked thoughtful. "Part of it. He can drink that horrid pink stuff of yours… though how he and Will could stand it, I'll never know. Tasted horrible when I tried. I know you need it and I'm sure soda would probably taste like crap to you but Sam seemed to enjoy it and Will just downed it so I'm not sure what he thought but…" He trailed uncomfortably as every mech in the room had adopted a look of utter shock as Miles had continued and he glanced up at Frenzy's dark red optics. "Was it something I said?" Frenzy just grinned and gave the boy a thumbs up and Miles relaxed while the rest of the mechs looked to be in some sort of shock.
Prowl turned towards Optimus, a contemplative look on his face. "Could it be possible that the only reason Sam and Barricade have a Link is due to Sam's unique circumstances? That the fact that he can use the All Spark shard means that he is capable of sustaining a Link?"
"Or is it the other way around?" Perceptor interrupted. "He can have a Link and therefore can use the shard whereas the other humans can not."
Bluestreak gave a small frown at that. "I thought it was because of the Prophecy that meant he could use the shard."
"Prophecy?" Skyfire's head jerked up in surprise. "What Prophecy?" He looked towards Optimus. "It seems we're missing some pertinent data in this conversation."
"There's a prophecy?" Motorhead asked excitedly. "About Sam? What'd it say?"
"Even I do not know what the prophecy spoke about," Soundwave admitted. "Barricade simply stated there was one."
Optimus dutifully recited the prophecy for the Decepticons though their reactions were nothing like the Autobots had been. "That's a stupid prophecy…" Rollerforce drawled.
"'Force!" Groundhog yelped, dismayed.
"What? It is! I could write it better!"
"Maybe it just sounds strange being translated into English?" Soundwave guessed.
"No, it's stupid," Sunstorm proclaimed.
"Oh Sunstorm, I do believe it's time for your check up!" Ratchet declared, irritation practically dripping from the fake sweet voice he used. Sunstorm didn't move away fast enough and Ratchet had snagged the flier and had him on the table faster than the mech could blink.
"Hey! Why me next?" Sunstorm growled as he tried to climb back down.
"Hush, I was going to do you next anyhow. I need to check you first before looking over the jet twins."
Skyfire nodded and placed a firm hand on his companions shoulder. "Best to get it out of the way, correct?"
Sunstorm pouted but Ratchet snickered. "Good way to look at it," he smiled. "Especially since you're next."
"It is a strange prophecy," Groundhog admitted, ignoring the now stuttering mech beside him and handed Ratchet a new pad. "Though the gift of a 'new way of life' could mean the sudden pregnancies."
"They are gifts," Sideswipe grinned as he suddenly gave Jetstorm a tight bear hug and the sparkling let out a screeching laughter.
"But what of the guardian bit?" Skyfire asked curiously. "Is it speaking of Barricade?"
"Yes," Blaster spoke up just as everyone else shrugged.
Even Jazz seemed surprised by Blaster’s statement. "How do you know that?"
Blaster was the one who now looked puzzled as he shifted on his feet a bit uneasy by the scrutiny he was suddenly under. "Because it's obvious?"
"Obvious how?" Prowl demanded.
"Well… 'Guardian of the night and of the day'," Blaster began. "Work it out. Night and day. Sun and moon. Light and dark…" he trailed off expectantly. Everyone else still looked blank and Blaster frowned before finishing. "Black and white…"
It was as if a collective light bulb went off over practically everyone's head. "Why didn't we notice?" Optimus murmured agog.
"Barricade is the 'Guardian'?" Miles asked surprised.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Sunstreaker near shouted at the other mech. "It could have saved us a lot of trouble. You’re the communications mech! Communicate once in a while, will ya!"
"I thought you realized!" Blaster yelped, practically hiding behind Soundwave to get away from Sunstreaker's glare. "I thought it was rather obvious!"
"Could that really be it?" Inferno looked incredulous. "Barricade's paint job? Do you really think that Primus himself would have used that as a guideline?"
"Why not? The mech's crazy," Jazz chuckled.
"It is a stretch to be sure," Optimus admitted. "But it is the only thing that fits." He frowned. 'Is Frenzy banging his head against the wall?' He shifted in his seat to get a better view of the mechs on the catwalk and sure enough, the small mech was banging his head against the hanger wall, Rumble beside him practically fretting and the bird mimics chuckling softly. Ravage himself was just staring at Blaster in complete disbelief as if he couldn't believe what had just come out of the Autobot's mouth.
"We're going to have to get them to speak to someone in confidence," Wheeljack stated. "One on one. We're going to accomplish nothing if they keep shutting us out."
"Thank Primus Sam is able to speak to Will," Optimus nodded. "But I wish Bumblebee would open up to one of us. Ironhide got nothing out of him."
"Barricade is the same way," Groundhog agreed. "He won't speak to us since he's our superior but-" He looked towards Soundwave who was already shaking his head.
"He won't speak to me about it either." He paused as he thought about it. "Actually, I don't think he has anyone whom he holds in confidence."
"That's a sad existence," Bluestreak sounded sympathetic.
"But a common one among Decepticons," Motorhead confessed.
"With any luck they won't need our help," Red Alert stated.
"We can only hope," Optimus nodded.
The room became quiet. Only the sound of Ratchet's machines and the hum of the computer filled the room as everyone became lost in their own thoughts. Hound glanced around, taking in everyone's pensive expressions when a notion hit him. "Who's watching the Gremlins?"
Seven heads jerked up at that and Inferno let out a curse as he bolted out the door. Ratchet let out a snarl of his own as Inferno had yet to be looked over and Soundwave snagged Blasters' arm while the others were too far from the door to make a proper escape. Hound let out a small chuckle at the sound of shouting from outside.
Red Alert shook his head as he stood from the computer to go rescue his husband. "I'll bring him back," he assured Ratchet.
Everyone laughed at Ratchet's grumbling good-naturedly when a song suddenly rang out, echoing in the large open building. Mikaela jumped a bit in surprise before she started fumbling in her pocket to fish out her cell phone. A quick glance at the screen and she started gesturing franticly at the mechs who had clustered into a few small groups to discuss the sudden revelation. "Shut up! It's Sam!"
Everyone instantly went silent and watched the girl as she flipped the phone open. "Hey! Tell me you guys worked everything out!"
Everyone leaned closer, hoping the girl was receiving an affirmative when she suddenly jerked in surprise. "What do you mean a seeker found you?" She yelped horrified and everyone let out a gasp of surprise before cramming around Ratchet's med table, much to Sunstorm's chagrin. Horror iturned into stunned amazement as she listened before she blurted out "what do you mean he's asking for help?"
Optimus and Ratchet shared an astonished look at that, mirrored by everyone else. "What do you mean the 'Cons have been kidnapped?" More gasps echoed around the room and Bluestreak placed a hand on Motorhead's shoulder to calm his boyfriend's sudden distress.Mikaela stuck a finger in her other ear and pressed her cell phone closer to the other
n order to hear over the sudden din before she let out a stunned gasp of her own. "What do you mean you're going to bring him here?"
"They're what?" everyone yelped and the murmuring got a bit louder.
Everyone stopped however at the sight of Mikaela's sudden wide eyes and horrified expression, more so then when she had announced that they were inbound with a Decepticon Seeker. She actually croaked her next question due to the shock. "What do you mean he's in labor?" Stunned silence, none the least came from Mikaela herself as she suddenly yanked the phone away from her ear and stared at it in disbelief before she looked up at the mechs surrounding her. "…He hung up on me!"
Before anyone could so much as process her outrage shout, there was a sudden cracking sound from outside followed loudly by a voice only very few recognized. "WHY AM I WET?"
- To Be Continued
Author's Note: I have the next chapter started. Hope to have it up in a week or 2. Sorry for the delay!
PS: Does anyone know what that Spoiler button is next to the Live Journal cut? O.o?