Once again, please let me know if you still wish for me to post the actual chapters here in Live journal or if it would be better to just link to AO3
Chapter 196: Oh Brother!
Skywarp glared down at the water lapping at his sides in complete disgust. Most likely his turbines were drowned by this point and will be about a day or two before they managed to dry out completely. A few wires would also have to be replaced completely at least if not all of them.
"Aw who cares," he finally groaned as another sharp pain rippled through his chest circuits. He had other things to worry about rather than water in his propulsion system. Groaning, he moved forward and literally crawled out of the moat and onto the hard ground.
He completely ignored Barricade and the Autobot still in the horrible liquid as they fired rapid questions at the human, trying to gain reassurance that he was okay. Skywarp let out a small growl. As if his molecular scramble was a three-credit piece of junk. He knew how to warp, thank you very much.
Glancing at the base the Autobots had claimed he frowned at the sight of two red mechs and a large black mech he didn't recognize already running towards them as even more poured out from a building further away. Skywarp didn't even have the energy to be bothered anymore. Ensuring his wings were flat he flopped backwards.
It wasn't a second before there was suddenly a face mere inches in front of his own staring down at him, clicking excitedly. "Oh goodie," Skywarp drawled as he tried to shove the face away halfheartedly. "The scorpion is here."
There was a chuckle from Barricade but it was the approaching footsteps that the Seeker listened too. "Don't move!" a voice snapped with the sound of a cannon charging up to emphasize the point. Skywarp couldn't help but sigh at that. Like he was able to move at the moment even if he wanted to. Obviously he wasn't getting up anytime soon.
"Inferno! Lay off!" another voice snapped even as Skywarp heard Barricade and the yellow Autobot scout clamber out of the water.
"Don't shoot! We need to get him to Ratchet!"
Skywarp frowned to himself. Wasn't that the human's voice? The human was defending him? What the slag?"
"Why? What's wrong with him?" the second voice asked and Skywarp felt Scorponok being shoved off him. The scorpion instead settled down next to side, laying half on his left wing contently. Allowing his optics to flicker back on Skywarp wasn't surprised to find a pair of blue optics staring down at him. The green pair however was a bit startling.
"Err…" Skywarp blinked at the tiny white creature, before turning back towards the owner of the blue optics, "you have something on your shoulder."
The Autobot smiled down at him before a hand snagged his arm, pulling him away. "Damn it Red, stop that!" the first voice chastised. "He's not one of our 'Cons ya know."
"Hey!" Barricade called out annoyed.
"What?" the first voice - Inferno apparently – called back.
Skywarp frowned and looked over at the other mech that had come up on his left next to the scorpion, hoping for some answers. Another pair of green optics stared down at him and the mech began, unbelievably, having a conversation with the scorpion in high clicks and whistles. What in the Pit?
Another small mech suddenly appeared on the mech's shoulder before moving down towards the scorpion. Scorponok didn't even seem to care. 'What the slag is going on around here?' as yet a third pair of green optics looked up at him. The other mechs pulled him back to the conversation, hoping to get some sort of clue as to what exactly he had been plopped in the middle of by searching out the apparently insane Autobots.
He managed to catch Barricade's gaze and he looked back pointedly at the small round thing on Scorponok's back. "What is that?"
Strangely, it was Inferno who answered. "Gremlin." Skywarp just stared.
"Why does he need Ratchet?" the one called "Red", whom he could only assume was the "Red Alert" Bumblebee has mentioned earlier, was asking as he pulled away from the other red mech and moved back to Skywarp's right side, concern evident in his voice as he still looked down at the prone Skywarp, looking for any sign of obvious injury. Even the small mech, the gremlin apparently, looked at him in interest.
"We may as well just wait for him seeing as he's headed this way," Inferno stated before Barricade and Bumblebee could reply. He apparently had given up keeping Red Alert away from Skywarp. However, seeing as how the seeker had barely moved since exiting the moat, Inferno clearly had determined nothing was going to happen. Instead he moved to push the green optic mech slightly back so the there was room around the Decepticon on the ground for the incoming Autobot hoard.
Indeed, what sounded like a stampede of Autobots were headed his way and a voice raised from the din. "What in the Pit were you two thinking?" the recognizable voice of what could only be the Autobot's most famed chief medic shouted at them.
"What in the pit are you squawking about?" Barricade shouted right back and Skywarp had to give it to him. Barricade never backed down from fight. "He's in labor! You would have our afts if we didn't bring him here."
"He's in labor?" Red Alert gasped in astonishment and even Inferno made a small squeaking noise before speaking with one of the other Autobots for confirmation. Something about a "phone call", whatever that was.
"I mean about letting him warp!" Ratchet clarified hotly, ignoring Red Alert's outburst. "Do you have any idea what it could possibly do to the sparkling?" there was a pause. "And SAM! You let him warp with a human?"
Skywarp could feel his annoyance returning. Honestly, he'd been warping since he was a small sparkling himself. Didn't anyone have any faith in something he could do quite literally in his sleep?
"I'm okay!" The human quickly yelped even as Bumblebee replied, "We already asked him and he says he's fine."
"I still want to scan him!" the medic insisted. "Like I was suppose to do to ensure the Energon he drank didn't do anything to him fist thing this morning."
Skywarp shot a look at the small human still seated in Bumblebee's palm in amazement. "Humans can drink Energon?"
There was a chuckle beside him and Groundhog, of all mechs, knelt down beside him. Skywarp wondered vaguely when Red Alert had moved. "Apparently Sam and Will can but the other humans ensured us it tastes rather horrible to them." Skywarp just stared up at him in disbelief and Groundhog snickered again. "Remember that expression, you're going to be wearing for quite sometime around here before you get use to everything."
Skywarp frowned. "Whatever," he huffed before he allowed himself to quick a small grin at the small 'Con. "I see you found your commander."
Groundhog nodded, his own smile nearly cracking his face in half. "We knew Barricade wouldn't go down that easily."
Another pair of blue optics suddenly looked down at him, assessing him in one glance. Skywarp only then realized that he could practically feel everyone surrounding him and looking down at him while he had been conversing with Groundhog. "How long have you been feeling this pain?" Ratchet demanded.
Eons with Hook made Skywarp answer truthfully. "Since yesterday morning."
The medic made a strangled sound as everyone else murmured around them. "That long?" Skywarp simply nodded.
"Wait, but Sunny had his sparklings within hours, not days," a voice called out from the back of the group.
"But Ratchet was right there on their ship with him when he did go into labor," another replied.
"Where are they anyway?"
"I had them stay in the main hanger with their sparklings until everything is sorted and we can give them the all clear." Optimus Prime had finally arrived on the scene. The large mech looked down at Skywarp, an unreadable expression on his face. "I assume congratulations are in order."
Skywarp just looked at the Autobot leader in puzzlement. "For what?"
"For what," Red Alert snickered. "For the sparkling of course."
"Oh don't remind me," Skywarp groaned as another pulse went through him. He looked to Ratchet pleadingly. "You can get it out of me?"
"Honestly 'Warp," Barricade was suddenly over him frowning down. "Believe it or not, this isn't such a bad thing."
"You still haven't sufficiently explained how it even got in me to begin with!" Skywarp growled in annoyance. "I would think I would know if there was another mech inside me."
"Technically it's just the spark of a young one," Ratchet explained, running a scan over the Decepticon's chest. "And it most defiantly is large enough to be taken out. However, we should be having this conversation in my med bay. I'm sorry-" he shot Optimus a glare. "Med-corner."
Groundhog laughed, pulling Ratchet and Skywarp's attention away from the Prime. "We should be able to survive for now with just the corner. It's certainly better than anything I ever had."
Optimus took the opportunity to step back away from the medics and towards 'Bee and 'Cade wanting to get at least some information as to what had happened. "What was that about the other Decepticons disappearing?"
"They didn't disappear, they were taken!" Skywarp hissed angrily as he overheard the question despite Optimus trying to be quite.
Optimus looked surprise but Barricade just nodded. "Seeker hearing," he explained.
Skywarp struggled slightly as he tried to sit up. He didn't get very far however with the scorpion still on his one wing. "They were captured by humans!" he snarled.
"It was Burgen," Sam announced from 'Bee's palm when Optimus turned back to them.
"Apparently one of the Decepticons went rogue and turned the in to Sector Thirteen," Bumblebee continued.
There was a murmur from the mechs but Skywarp ignored them as he turned to Optimus. "We have to get them back!"
"And we will," Ratchet nodded. "But right now we have to focus on you and your sparkling."
"Will have our heads if either of you were hurt," Soundwave spoke up as he moved to where Skywarp could see him. Skywarp just frowned at him.
"The only time we ever saw Thundercracker really mad was whenever you were injured so just allow Ratchet to work for now, for our sake?"
Bumblebee gave Barricade a small kick to the leg. "You suck at puppy eyes," he muttered.
"Hey, you've never had Thundercracker temper aimed at you. That bastard is downright mean when he's mad," Barricade informed him. He leaned over and mock whispered, "Think Jazz in a snit."
"Hey Runner man! That ain't cool," Jazz called out with a frown. Barricade shrugged unrepeated.
Optimus, meanwhile, just nodded. "I have many questions for you about what happened with the Decepticons," he glanced over at the glaring Ratchet, "but clearly they will have to wait for a bit."
"Clearly," Ratchet drawled. "Groundhog, help me get him up and into the med-corner."
Groundhog simply nodded at the command and shoved the scorpion off Skywarp's wing completely before hooking a hand under Skywarp's arm while Ratchet snagged the other. As the two hauled him to his feet, Ratchet was looking around at the gaping Autobot as if searching for someone before he turned to Optimus. "I suppose the other fliers are with the twins?"
Skywarp's jerked his head around from where he had been watching Groundhog's companions waving at him next to Inferno and the strange mech. "Fliers?" he yelped in shock. "There are other seekers here?"
Optimus glanced over at Skywarp hesitantly before turning to Ratchet. "I did ask them to say with the twins and their sparklings. I thought it would be best with yet another new Decepticon arriving."
Skywarp glared at the Autobot leader. "Somebody answer me! You have other seekers?" He looked to Barricade and Soundwave, who were actually glaring at Optimus.
"We did tell you the situation," Barricade huffed.
"You had Sam tell Mikaela you were inbound with a pregnant seeker. You didn't say if there was anyone else arriving with you."
"Not to mention you two had left the compound without notifying anyone of your absence," Prowl added as he stepped up. "You could have been compromised or the phone call could have been a trap. Better to be safe than sorry."
Barricade just jerked his head in Skywarp's direction, "clearly, he's such a threat at the moment when he can't even get up properly."
"Is anyone going to answer my question?" Skywarp finally shouted exasperated before looking at Groundhog pointedly. "Are there more fliers here?"
Groundhog shifted uneasily. "Well, not exactly."
Ratchet just let out a snort as he glanced behind the group of staring Autobots. "Looks like they listen just as well as the twins do."
"What?" Optimus whirled around to see even more mechs headed their way, a pair of humans struggling to keep up but falling further behind. He groaned as he dropped him forehead in the palm of his hand. "Why doesn't anyone ever just stay put?" he muttered.
There was a small laugh. "Where would be the fun in that?" Hound came up beside the Autobot leader. "Looks like the little ones made a break for it."
"Should we be surprised?" Wheeljack snickered as he moved to Ratchet's side; ready to help his husband with anything Ratchet might need him to do. "They get into just as much mischief as their parents."
Skywarp ignored them; too busy staring at the smaller mechs running ahead in shock. If he hadn't already completely flabbergasted by the strange actions of the Autobots upon his arrival, the sight of two little sparklings- Seeker sparklings- just about had bowled him over.
He could feel his jaw drop and his head whipped around to stare at Soundwave who had moved closer to where he was being supported by the medics. The larger 'Con just gave him a small shrug but Skywarp could practically feel the suppressed laughter radiating off of Soundwave's frame.
With a frown, he looked back towards those approaching even as Ratchet tried to nudge him forward so he could get the seeker into the med bay. Skywarp stayed stubbornly put. He would recognize those two forms racing after the sparklings anywhere. The two frontliners who found it such great fun jump on his and Thundercracker's back during a skirmish.
'Wait, what had that mech said about Sunstreaker having sparklings?' he wondered. 'Barricade and Bumblebee said something to that effect…'
He could feel his jaw dropping once more as the pieces clicked and he turned back to Soundwave who was smirking. "What in the name of Primus-?" he began before his processor failed him and his voice trailed off.
It was Ratchet who snarled, "Very much in the name of Primus as it was his doing to begin with."
"Those two…two… morons have Seeker Sparkling?" Skywarp practically bellowed.
"Ironhide seems to think it's a great cosmic joke on the two," Barricade said from slightly behind him. "A way of revenge if you will."
Skywarp didn't know whether to be appallingly horrified or absolutely thrilled at the notion of the pair having to chase after high-strung seekerlings. "They don't know the first thing about how to raise a seeker!" he finally got out.
"Well, they are trying," Jazz grinned, ignoring Prowl standing firmly behind him, a silent, scowling guard watching Skywarp critically. "And we do have some help," Jazz made another gesture towards the new group approaching. "And now that you're here we'll be able to get even more information on Seeker rearing!"
"I think Skywarp is going to be slightly busy with his own," Ratchet grunted as he tried to get Skywarp moving again only to yelp in surprise as he felt his newest acquired patient suddenly go lax in his grasp and started sinking to the ground. Both he and Groundhog scrambled to keep the seeker upright. Wheeljack quickly moved behind the flier and wrapped an arm around his waist, hauling him upwards.
Skywarp didn't even pay any attention to the small group hovering over him apprehensively as he just stared in disbelief. His jaw had gone slack again and his red optics were so bright they nearly appeared white with shock. Optimus looked to Ratchet anxiously before he finally followed Skywarp's line of sight at the mech that had just stumbled in his own surprise before stopping dead where he was.
"You!" Skywarp suddenly roared furiously, startling everyone around him. Utilizing the surprise at his clearly overwhelming anger, Skywarp yanked himself away from the three sets of hands holding him and started running himself.
Ratchet nearly had a spark attack, sputtering in surprise and aggravation before bolting after him with Groundhog, everyone else scrambling to follow. Barricade and Soundwave shared a confused look as they dutifully ran after the pair of medics. Barricade could feel a small touch at his elbow as Bumblebee came up on his other side, worry plain on his face while Sam still seated in his palm just looked confused. The two 'Cons just shrugged.
Skywarp completely ignored the small seekerlings who were staring at him in awe and excitement even as their caretakers scooped them up as he passed. He ignored Ratchet shouting behind him to stop running and the small pains coming from his chest. He ignored everything, his focus firmly placed on the mech in front of him watching his approach with stunned disbelief. He never slow down, he just hauled back his arm and took a swing.
The other mech didn't even try to dodge the blow though it didn't seem to hurt him much, just take him aback. He did recover enough though to snag Skywarp's wrist before the seeker could land another hit. Skywarp, to his credit, didn't give up and instead brought up his left arm to pound against the mech's chest.
"How could you?" he shouted, agony clear in his voice and oblivious to the large group coming up behind him, his focus intent on the mech he seemed determined to beat up. "How could you? You bastard! We though you were dead! He though you were dead! He watched you die! He felt your Link snap!"
A collective gasp went up at that but Skywarp just plowed ahead heedless of the shock rippling through their audience at the mention of a snapped Link. "He told me you were gone! He saw you die in an Autobot raid!" Optimus and a few others gasped at that. "He said that you were dead. Dead! How can you be here? Your dead!"
Skyfire, for his part, simply snagged Skywarp's other wrist to keep him from pounding on his glass canopy chest even as he stared down at the seeker in wonder. "Astral?" He gasped in amazement.
"'Astral'?" Hound tilted his head in confusion.
"I am assuming it is short for 'Astralplane'," Perceptor explained even as he watched Skyfire try to keep a grip on Skywarp without injuring him. "The name of Skyfire's brother."
A collective cry went up from the group. "BROTHER?"
Skywarp just looked back up at Skyfire furiously, the fight seeming to finally drain out of him. "Where have you been?" he asked, his voice now quiet and broken compared to the loud bellows from before.
"Where have you been?" Sunstorm finally stepped forwarded into Skywarp – Astralplane's line of sight.
"'Storm!" Skywarp gasped in surprise. "You're alive too?"
Sunstorm let out a small grumble of annoyance. "Of course I am. You think they could bring me down? Hah!"
"But," Skywarp looked from Sunstorm to Skyfire and back again. "But where have you been?" he asked again.
"With the refugees where we were looking for you!" Skyfire suddenly snapped, his own anger clearly starting to get the better of him. "Where you should have been! Instead you've been fighting the war? You joined the Decepticons?"
Skywarp suddenly yanked back away from Skyfire furious, but Skyfire held onto his wrists firmly so he settled for sneering. "Oh no!" he started shouting again. "You don't get to say anything about that!" he bit out angrily. "You have no say in this."
"I have plenty of say in this!" Skyfire shouted. "Astral, how could you?"
"How could I not?" Skywarp spat back. "You were nowhere to be seen and I couldn't just abandon him! Not with him declining so fast! Fighting the Autobots is the only thing that kept him focused and the only way he could do that was to join Megatron's insane fight. That was the only thing that kept him from finishing himself off completely so he could go to the well of sparks to be with you!"
Skyfire froze at that, shocked. "He's a Decepticon?" he asked, his voice sounding spark wrenching with distress and sorrow. "But why would he-? He would never!"
Skywarp let out a bitter laugh. "Why not. He saw the Autobots kill you. He wanted them dead for what they did to you. That thought has been the only thing that's kept him going all this time."
Barricade and Soundwave shared a stunned look as they listened to Skywarp and began connecting the dots. Bumblebee noticed the shared look and prodded Barricade in the side again before he leaned over and whispered, "Who's he talking about?" Blaster on Soundwave's other side turned at that, wanting to know the answer just as much.
"If it is who I think it is…" Barricade trailed off actually looking like he might purge at any moment.
Bumblebee was surprised to see Soundwave was right behind him in the nausea department and Blaster actually put a hand on the other mech's arm as if to steady him. "God damn it!" Soundwave bit out before turning back to Barricade. "It make's sense. It's the only thing that makes sense. Why didn't I see it? Why didn't we see it?"
"Why didn't Hook see it?" Barricade snarled furiously. "A snapped Link. Damn it all to hell. No wonder he's crazy."
Baffled, Bumblebee looked down at Frenzy, Rumble and Ravage who were guarding both Mikaela and Miles. Rumble and Ravage both looked just as taken aback as Barricade and Soundwave. Frenzy, or Megatron rather, just looked at Skywarp and Skyfire with a melancholy look on his face. Sam gave Bumblebee a small look and he nodded and leaned down to allow Sam to join his friends and possibly get some information from Megatron.
"He would never-" Skyfire was protesting admittedly, though his resolve seemed to be fading. "He's not a killer."
Skywarp let out a bitter laugh. "Then prepare yourself for a shock because he is."
"I'm sorry to interrupt," Perceptor finally broke in. "But who exactly are you speaking about?"
Optimus turned to Sunstorm. "You were searching for two, correct. One was your brother? The one who had a Link with Skyfire? Flareup?"
"Solarflare," Sunstorm corrected absently as he continued to stare at Skywarp.
Skywarp just let out a small laugh. "Not anymore. He changed his designation after he witnessed what he thought was you being killed, we both did." He looked again at Skyfire, his brother. "I took 'Skywarp' so I could have part of your name in my own so I would never forget you. He however, gained his new name another way. The night he spent screaming his anguish to the stars."
"No way!" Jazz gasped in surprise and even Prowl froze in place, staring at Skywarp in disbelief. Bluestreak clung to Motorhead's arm while Motorhead himself leaned slightly on Rollerforce surprised.
"You don't mean…" Optimus' optics were bright and his own jaw had dropped before he glanced over at Ratchet who was looking just as shocked.
Bumblebee jerked upright, stepping slightly in front of Sam and the other humans, shock, anger and sadness all mixed into one as he realized who it was exactly that they were speaking about.