DISCLAIMER: I do not own Transformers, or any of the song/movie quotes used in this story. However, the idea for this story does, indeed, belong to me.
HERE'S YOUR TRADITIONAL, FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD REMINDER THIS IS NOT A SLASH FIC.
NOTE: DO NOT READ THIS FIC UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN DARK OF THE MOON!!! MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUND!
Transformers: Day of the Black Sun
Chapter One-Moving Day
Rating: T (Just to be safe)
CYBERTRON WAS ONCE OUR HOME, BUT THE WAR CHANGED THAT.
Now, Cybertron is gone, but while we all feel the loss, it is not as tragic as it may seem, for we have a new home, here, on Earth.
It has been one year since our final battle with the Decepticons ended with the destruction of both Megatron and Sentinel Prime. Leaderless, the surviving Decepticons have fled, and while we presume that they are hiding somewhere on this planet, they have made no moves to engage us again. I can only hope that they are finally as tired of the fighting as we Autobots are, and have chosen to live out the remainder of their lives in peace.
Our numbers have increased as more Autobots have answered the call and found their way to Earth. The Hatchlings we rescued from the abandoned Decepticon camp have grown, and are now Sparklings. They are loved equally by Autobot and human alike. One day, they will join the Autobot ranks themselves, but, for now, they will be able to enjoy being young.
That is possible, for on Earth, we have finally regained that which we lost on Cybertron so long ago.
We have found peace.
The problem with moving, Sam reflected, was not the time it took to pack everything up into boxes and load said boxes into the moving van. No, the real problem was the inevitable misplacing of a certain object of importance during the packing, especially when said object had the ability to move around and a tendency to hide in places no one would think to look.
With a groan, Sam shoved the box of clothes he had been fruitlessly going through off to one side. Nope, not in there either.
"Any luck yet?" Carly called from downstairs, her voice full of worried concern.
"No," Sam replied, with a barely repressed sigh of frustration. "How about you?"
Okay, back to the drawing board, Sam thought, rubbing his hands together and looking around the bedroom in frustration. Not in any of the boxes up here. Not downstairs. Not in the closet this time, not on the bed, either…
Oh, the bed. Duh, Witwicky, Sam thought with a shake of his head. Obvious. Should've looked there in the first place!
He knelt down and looked under the bed. Grinning triumphantly, he reached under it with one hand and grabbed his quarry. A startled sounding squeak emerged from what he pulled out from under the bed and into his arms. "Gotcha!"
Clicking indignantly at having his hiding spot discovered, a tiny red-armored robot looked up at Sam, bright purple optics narrowing as he pouted. One tiny hand lightly smacked Sam's arm as the other reached back towards the floor under the bed; the little robot wriggled madly as he tried to get back into his hiding place. Sam slightly tightened his grip.
"No, Blaster. You don't need to go under the bed. You need to go back downstairs and stay with Bee while Carly and I finish packing." Sam struggled to contain the wriggling Sparkling as he tried to get back under the bed. "What's up with you today?"
"Pod!" Blaster squeaked, reaching towards the underside of the bed with both hands now. "Pod! Pod!"
"What?" Sam looked back under the bed, trying to see what it was Blaster was making such a fuss about. Shifting his grip so that he was holding the Sparkling with one arm, he reached under the bed and grabbed what he assumed Blaster was trying to get to-his iPod. "Hey, I was looking for this earlier!"
Blaster reached for the iPod. "Pod, pod!"
Sam held it out of reach. "Hold on, little guy. You gotta promise to be good and stay with Bee while Carly and I finish packing. Okay?"
Blaster contemplated this as well as his infantile processors were able to for a minute, the serious expression on his face extremely amusing, before he reached for the iPod again. "'kay."
Sam continued to hold the iPod out of Blaster's reach. "Be careful with it. No breaking, remember?"
"All right, then," Sam relented, turning on the iPod and handing it to Blaster, who held it carefully, staring at it in fascination as music came from its speakers. Sam tucked the little Sparkling under one arm, earning another squeak from Blaster, but with the iPod distracting him he was too preoccupied to wriggle. It was really lucky that Blaster, the smallest of the Sparklings- at only a little bit smaller than Wheelie and Brains would be if one stood on the other's shoulders, he was closer to a human toddler in size than a Cybertronian Sparkling-was the one living with them. He knew that he wouldn't have been able to carry any of the others like this. "Back downstairs we go." He grabbed one of the smaller packed boxes and held it under his free arm as he excited the room and headed for the stairs.
"You found him?" Carly asked in relief when she saw Sam making his way down the stairs with Blaster safely tucked under one arm and a box under the other.
"Yeah. He was hiding under the bed, trying to listen to my iPod," Sam replied, shaking his head. "Y'know, it's a good thing he's so fascinated with human music-now he's distracted enough that I think he'll stay put."
From where he crouched in one corner of the living room, Bumblebee looked up and gave a relieved, thankful chirp when Sam approached him with Blaster. He'd been growing increasingly worried as Sam and Carly's searches-as well as his own, along with the efforts of Brains and Wheelie-had failed to find the little Sparkling. He'd known that the Sparkling couldn't have gotten very far, but seeing him tucked under Sam's arm still made him feel significantly less anxious. The young Autobot held out his hands to take the Sparkling from Sam, and the human obliged, settling Blaster carefully into Bumblebee's upturned palms. Bumblebee clicked reprovingly at the little Sparkling, but Blaster wasn't the least bit fazed; he beamed up at Bumblebee and waved the still-playing iPod at him, squeaking cheerfully.
Bumblebee vented, shaking his head in exasperation, but his optics were smiling. Blaster's enthusiasm when it came to music and his cheerful, loving personality made it very difficult for anyone to remain upset with him for too long. Blaster settled into one of Bumblebee's hands, refocusing his attention on the iPod. Bumblebee looked back at Sam, who was still standing nearby, holding the box he had brought downstairs.
"I think he's gonna behave himself now, Bee, as long as that iPod's charge lasts. You got things handled, right?"
Bumblebee gave him a thumbs-up with his free hand and let out an affirmative chirp.
Sam grinned at him as he sat the box he had brought downstairs on a stack of boxes waiting to be loaded into the moving van that was waiting for them outside the apartment. "Good. Let me know if you need anything, Bee."
"Back to work then, I guess," Wheelie said. He headed towards the door that lead outside to the porch and Brains followed him.
The young Autobot watched as Sam grabbed a few empty boxes and went back upstairs, Carly following him, also carrying empty boxes. Once the two humans were upstairs and Wheelie and Brains had headed back outside to dismantle their little "clubhouse" as they called it, Bumblebee returned his attention to the little red Sparkling that was currently sitting in one of his hands, happily staring at the still-playing iPod.
When the Autobots had found the Hatchlings in the abandoned Decepticon camp in Africa the previous year, Bumblebee had found himself holding the smallest and youngest of the survivors-the then-nameless Blaster. Maybe it was because he himself had always been the smallest and youngest, maybe it could simply be the fact that his guardian protocols were stronger than they were in other Autobots, but Bumblebee had felt an instant connection to the little Hatchling, much like he had when he first met Sam. It was enough to let him know that he wanted to be the one to take care of the Hatchling, and he had volunteered for it long before Ratchet and Optimus had even begun to choose caretakers for their new charges. At first, the two of them had been reluctant-after all; Bumblebee was a Youngling himself and, as a result, would no doubt find the raising of a Hatchling far more difficult than the others would-but they had both relented when they had seen both how much it meant to the young Autobot and just how much of a connection the Hatchling and scout already had. And Bumblebee wasn't raising Blaster all by himself, either-Sam and Carly were helping him, and so were Wheelie and Brains-though Bumblebee thought the two of them were a bad influence on the Sparkling, sort of like the uncles no one wanted around because they taught the kids how to do dangerous things. Ratchet was also willing to provide help if Bumblebee had any questions, and Optimus also stopped by every once in a while to see how things were working out. Having others to help Bumblebee when he needed it made it not as difficult for the Youngling to raise Blaster as Ratchet and Optimus had initially worried.
Blaster was the smallest of the Hatchlings, but he had earned his name by happening to be the loudest. When he was scared, hurt, or upset, crying didn't even begin to cover the noise he made. No, screaming was a far more accurate description. Fortunately, it didn't happen very often-Bumblebee was far too attentive to the Sparkling's wellbeing to let any problems go unchecked. In any case, Blaster was generally well behaved; he was just very curious and this led to his unfortunate habit of hiding in places Bumblebee and the others didn't think to look- the other day, they had found him recharging in a box of clothes, and just yesterday he had somehow managed to get onto the top shelf in the closet. While his habit of hiding was a cause of anxiety, he was always safely found, so there was never any harm done. Blaster's fascination with music also kept him out of trouble; he would sit for hours listening to the iPod or stereo, and whenever Bumblebee would play songs from his radio Blaster would giggle like someone was tickling him.
Blaster had managed to wriggle his way into everyone's heart or Spark-Sam went out of his way to help Bumblebee take care of him, Carly thought he was adorable, Wheelie and Brains, despite not being the best of influences, were actually pretty good Sparkling-sitters and enjoyed entertaining the little guy, and Bumblebee knew he couldn't care more for Blaster if he was his actual creator. Even Buster, Sam's dog, seemed to like the little Sparkling and put up with Blaster's usually loud infantile play.
Two humans, four Autobots, and a dog, Bumblebee thought with amusement. We have the most unusual family I've ever seen.
The size of their odd but undeniably close family was part of the reason why they were moving. As nice as the apartment in DC was, it was just too small to hold two humans, four Autobots, and a dog comfortably, especially when one of said Autobots was still basically a baby and still had a lot of growing to do. Not only that, but now that Carly and Sam were married (which had happened a few months after the battle in Chicago, once everything had more or less settled down and Sam finally realized that Bumblebee knew what he was doing when he had been trying to convince Sam to propose to Carly in the first place) they wanted to find a place which would not only suit the current size of their family but also the potential increase in size that any future children they had would bring. They hadn't found anything nearby, but the solution had come in a way none of them had expected.
During Optimus Prime's most recent visit to the DC area, Bumblebee had told him that Sam and Carly were trying to find a new house, and, to the scout's surprise and gratitude, the Prime had presented a solution.
While the Autobots were still in the process of waiting for their request for a place to build a new permanent base to be granted (Autobot City, as Sam had jokingly referred to it once, was actually going to become a reality, a fact that both amused him and made him happy that his friends would finally have a place where they could permanently stay), they had a temporary one set up in Dayton, Ohio, at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. NEST could find a home of suitable size for them there, and that way, they would be close to their friends. And, if Sam wanted, there would be a job at NEST for him-Mearing had finally relented and decided to give him a chance. It wouldn't be a combat job, as that wasn't really necessary when it had been a year since any Decepticon activity had occurred, but he would be working with the Autobots. And, even though Bumblebee hadn't been active in NEST for a year and was enjoying just being able to stay with Sam and the rest of his adopted family, he liked the idea of being able to live close to his Autobot friends again.
Excited and hopeful, Bumblebee had relayed the news back to Sam, and after a discussion with Carly, they accepted Optimus's invitation and had begun the process of preparing for the move. That had been about a week ago; in a few days, they would leave for their new home. He'd miss the apartment-after all, it had been the first human dwelling he had actually been able to live in-but Bumblebee was looking forward to seeing everyone again.
And plus, he thought as he looked at Blaster, who was still staring intently at the iPod, Blaster will have other Sparklings to play with when we get there.
His attention shifted to the top of the stairs as Sam and Carly emerged from the bedroom, both carrying boxes that were now completely packed and taped shut.
"-wonder if any more Autobots have come to Earth since the last time we saw Optimus," Sam was saying, obviously continuing a conversation that had being going on in the bedroom while they were packing and while Bumblebee had been reminiscing downstairs.
"If they have, we'll see them sometime, I guess," Carly said. She looked thoughtful. "Of the two that arrived before they left for Ohio the first time, we only met one, and he seemed pretty confident that more would arrive soon."
"Oh, I remember him," Sam grinned, the boxes he was carrying down. "The little one that looked like a dragon. He got into a shouting match with Brains over which of them had the better laptop Alt Mode. That was funny."
"It was funny, at least until Blaster thought it was a game and starting screaming too," Carly said with a laugh, shaking her head. "My ears are still ringing from that, Sam. I hope any other new Autobots don't yell as much as that one did."
Bumblebee chirped to get their attention. Once Sam and Carly were both looking at him, he offered, "Th-they d-don't. C-Computron j-just likes t-to g-get into heated d-debates; t-that's why h-he w-was yelling."
"Good to know. Good to hear. As long as it's true, it means that you…" Sam reached over and began to tickle Blaster, who started squeaking and waving the iPod around, "Won't need to exercise those robot-lungs of yours anytime soon."
"I don't think they have lungs, Sam," Carly said, smiling as she placed the boxes that she had been carrying off to one side.
"I was speaking metaphorically, Carly," Sam insisted as he continued to tickle the squeaking Blaster.
"No tickle! No!" Blaster tried to wriggle away from Sam, but the little Sparkling couldn't escape the human's tickling. With a squeak mixed with a giggle, the Sparkling looked imploringly up at Bumblebee, somehow managing to look absolutely pitiful despite the grin on his face plate as he reached up for his caretaker. "Bee save!"
Bumblebee obliged the Sparkling's request, and lifted Blaster out of Sam's reach, playfully waggling a finger at his human friend. "Leave the kid alone."
"Which kid?" Sam questioned with a mischievous grin. "You're also technically a kid, Bee, and I know for a fact that you're ticklish, too."
Bumblebee's optics widened, and he quickly found an appropriate response through his radio. "You wouldn't dare."
"Try me," Sam retorted in a mock threat.
I'll take you up on that, Bumblebee thought. He poked Sam gently in the ribs with a finger on his free hand. Sam jerked back with a noise that was a mix between a laugh and a surprised gasp.
"Retaliatory tickling, Bee? That's not very fair," Sam grumbled once he got his breath back.
"You started it," Bumblebee quoted back.
Carly shook her head. "You two are so immature."
"Hey," Sam protested. "I was just playing with Blaster. Besides, Bumblebee's the one who tickled me, and he's an Autobot teenager, so he's just acting his age, Carly."
"I stand corrected. Bumblebee is acting just fine." Carly smiled. "You, Sam, are the immature one."
As Sam sputtered in indignation, Bumblebee lowered Blaster back down to where he had been before the tickling had started. The young Autobot watched as Sam argued with Carly, but he could tell that they really didn't mean any of it; they were just joking around. And when Sam, determined to prove that he could act immature if he darn well wanted to, came over and started tickling Blaster again, Bumblebee couldn't help but laugh, too.
Primus, he loved his family.
It might have been an ordinary sight on an ordinary day-a police car driving through the streets of downtown Dayton, Ohio. It might have been just your average, ordinary police car-a black and white Dodge Charger with the words "To Protect and Serve" emblazoned on the side. But if one looked closely, it would easily be revealed that this was not, in fact, an ordinary police car. What gave it away as not being ordinary was the unusual symbol that was in place of where the ram's head Dodge logo would normally be on the side of the car.
That, and the fact that no one was driving.
After a short time driving through Dayton, the police car altered its course and headed out of town, traveling in the direction of the nearby Air Force base. It hadn't driven very far when a bright red Chevy Cruze fell in behind it on the road. The Cruze's headlights flashed once at the police car, and the police car revved its engine in reply as both vehicles continued onwards to the Air Force base.
Like the police car, the Cruze had no driver.
Upon their arrival at the Air Force base, both the police car and the Chevy Cruze were waved through the gate without any of the fuss the guards normally made over cars trying to get through. The guards recognized both vehicles; they had access. Once through the gate, the police car shifted, twisting and altering its shape until a robot had taken its place. It was a robot that was recognizable as once being a police car, but it was now undeniably a robot.
The police car wasn't the only one of the two vehicles that was capable of altering its shape. Within moments, the Chevy Cruze had also changed into a robot, albeit a shorter one than what the police car had become. The Cruze robot came up to the former police car, waving its arms agitatedly.
"Did you see that, Prowl? Did you see that? They just let us in-they didn't check us over to make sure we weren't imposters or anything! If we had been Decepticons-"
"Give it a rest, Red Alert," Prowl said wearily. "We have Energon Detectors set up around the base for a reason. If any unauthorized Energon signature approached the gates, the guards would know about it immediately and not let the intruder in. In any case, the Decepticons haven't been seen for a year. I don't think we have to worry about them right now."
"But…but…" Red Alert continued to fret as he stood wringing his hands in an agitated manner-a habit he had picked up from observing the humans they worked with on the base.
"I'm the Head of Security. I know what I'm talking about," Prowl said in a tone that very clearly meant it was the end of the discussion. "We're fine."
Red Alert dropped the subject, but that didn't stop him from muttering and casting nervous glances about as he followed Prowl to the entrance to the hangar that was serving as the main hub for the Autobots during their stay on the base. They were greeted by a small black and silver Autobot that was perched on top of a crate next to the entrance. This particular Autobot looked similar to the deceased Decepticon spy known as Laserbeak, with the differences being that his appearance was less like that of a bird and more like that of a dragon, he was much smaller, and he bore blue optics instead of red. At first, his similar appearance to the Decepticon had been a cause of unease amongst the human members of NEST, but once they had gotten to know him, they had stopped being bothered by his appearance.
Currently, the little Autobot had his head craned up towards the sky as he watched something that was moving across a few clouds very high up.
"Hello Prowl, Red Alert," the dragon-like Autobot said pleasantly, though his gaze didn't leave whatever it was he was watching in the sky.
"Hello, Computron," Prowl responded. "Is Optimus in the hangar?"
"Yes, he is. He just returned from his patrol, actually." The word "patrol" was used loosely; with the war over there really wasn't much to patrol for, but it was a habit that the Autobots couldn't break themselves from, and it helped pass the time while they were waiting for their request for land to build a new, permanent base on to be granted.
"What are you looking at?" Red Alert finally asked, curiosity bringing him out of his worried musings. "What's up there?"
"Silverbolt. Sideswipe and Fireflight are up there with him," Computron replied. "You know how much Fireflight wants to fly-so Silverbolt decided to take him up so he could experience being in the air. Of course, they aren't going to be jumping or anything like that."
Prowl frowned. "Did Optimus approve of this?"
"Yes, as long as, like I said, they don't jump out. Fireflight will be able to fly one day, Prowl. This is a good thing for him to experience."
Prowl vented, the Autobot equivalent of a sigh. "No jumping."
"No jumping," Computron asserted again.
"Yes." Computron finally looked away from the sky and turned his gaze onto Prowl. "Look, Prowl, do you honestly think Optimus Prime would allow any sort of activity that might put the Sparklings in danger, especially since he is a caretaker for one of them himself? I know you're the Head of Security, but come on. Don't worry so much."
"As you said, I'm the Head of Security. It's my job to worry," Prowl commented dryly as he entered the hangar, leaving Computron and Red Alert outside.
Red Alert shook his head. "And he says that I worry too much."
Optimus Prime noticed when Prowl entered the hangar, but he did not move from his position of watching two of the little Sparklings playing with some toy or other that the humans had devised to keep them quiet, entertained, and out of trouble. Instead, he motioned for Prowl to come over to him as he remained where he was. The "patrol" he had just gotten back from had allowed him plenty of time to think, and allowed him to realize just how much time had passed.
One year. It had been one whole year since everything had changed.
When they had arrived at the abandoned Decepticon camp in Africa, only five of the dozens of Hatchlings the Decepticons had been keeping there were still alive. Those five had been spared from sharing the same fate as the others when the Autobots had rescued them, and now, all five of them had grown into happy, healthy Sparklings. Of the five, only four currently lived with their caretakers on base-Fireflight, First Aid, Beachcomber, and Trailbreaker, as they had been named. The fifth, Blaster, lived with Bumblebee, who, in turn, lived with Sam.
Choosing the caretakers for the Hatchlings had been a difficult process, but in the end, the Autobots who rescued the Hatchlings in the first place all become caretakers for them. Ratchet took charge of Beachcomber and First Aid, Sideswipe had Fireflight (and despite his initial uneasiness in taking in Hatchlings whose creators had been Decepticons, Sideswipe had quickly grown to like his young charge), and Optimus took in Trailbreaker. Bumblebee had volunteered to be the one to raise Blaster, and while it had been obvious that there was an instant connect between the two, Optimus had initially been reluctant to allow him to do so. Bumblebee was a trained soldier, yes, but he was still a Youngling himself. Autobot lifecycles were far longer than those of humans, and, in human terms, Bumblebee was about the equivalent of a sixteen-year-old. In the end, however, the young Autobot's earnest pleading combined with the obvious bond he already had with the tiny Hatchling had been impossible to resist, and Optimus had relented and let Bumblebee take charge of Blaster.
And now, he was glad that he had done so. Bumblebee was not only helping Blaster, Blaster was helping Bumblebee. Optimus had forgotten just how much a Sparkling could cheer someone up until he had visited Bumblebee shortly after the young Autobot had taken Blaster home to the apartment in DC, and he had seen first-hand the positive impact of taking care of Blaster was having on the scout.
The death of Ironhide at the hands of the traitor Sentinel Prime a year ago had hit them all hard, but it had absolutely crushed Bumblebee. The gruff old warrior had raised Bumblebee from Sparklinghood, so that was to be expected, but the worst part of it was that it had happened right in front of Bumblebee and the younger Autobot had been absolutely powerless to do anything to stop it. During the following battles, Bumblebee had been an emotional wreck, but he had managed to hold it in for the most part. Once the fight was over, however, he had broken completely down. Not even Sam, who was always able to cheer Bumblebee up, had been able to help relieve Bumblebee's hurt at that moment. Knowing the negative consequences that could result from the emotional trauma Bumblebee had undergone and wanting the help the scout heal, Optimus had taken matters into his own hands and had a talk with the younger Autobot. Having the Prime tell him that he did not have to grieve for Ironhide alone, that Ironhide would not want him to be mourning forever, had helped Bumblebee come to the realization that his caretaker would want him to be happy. Still, even though he had cheered up slightly after his talk with Optimus, Bumblebee had still been quiet and depressed most of the time while they were helping with the reconstruction in Chicago, not to mention that he had not been getting the recharge he needed as every time he tried, he had nightmares.
Optimus had no doubt that staying at the scene of the battle was not helping Bumblebee heal like he should and knew that if the Youngling stayed it was very possible he would never recover fully, so he had not hesitated in granting Bumblebee's request to go home with Sam. When the Prime had decided to come to ask Bumblebee to accompany him to Africa to investigate the Cybertronian distress signal, seeing how much more considerably cheerful Bumblebee had become simply by just staying with Sam had almost made him change his mind about requesting Bumblebee's assistance. Almost, but not quite. And now, he was glad that he had not changed his mind.
When they had found the Hatchlings, Bumblebee couldn't stop staring at them. Optimus had found this both amusing and undeniably sad. Bumblebee had never before seen a Hatchling or any other Cybertronian younger than he was; those on Cybertron who would have been the same age as he was or younger had all been killed-Bumblebee had been the only survivor in the Hatchling-Sparkling age bracket when the Youth Sectors had been attacked. This was the very first time Bumblebee had been in contact with a Cybertronian that was younger than he was.
They'd each reacted to the Hatchlings in a different way. Ratchet had been concerned for their health and relieved when he realized they had gotten there in time to save the five that were still living; Sideswipe had been uneasy about the whole thing as they were Decepticon Hatchlings; Optimus had known that the little ones were innocent of whatever their creators had done and needed the Autobots to care for them. And Bumblebee…
Optimus had noticed right away that Bumblebee was holding and regarding the smallest Hatchling with the same air of protectiveness and affection he had when he was with Sam. It was the beginning of a bond between the two that became clearer every time Bumblebee was around the tiny Hatchling. And that, when the Prime and Ratchet had finally agreed to allow Bumblebee to take Blaster in, had been the deciding factor. Whatever his actual age and inexperience when it came to dealing with a Hatchling, it was obvious that Bumblebee would take good care of Blaster.
When he had visited a few weeks after Bumblebee had taken Blaster back to the apartment in DC, he had been surprised and relieved to find Bumblebee acting more like his old self, and Sam had confided in the Prime that Bumblebee wasn't moping around as much and had pretty much stopped having nightmares when he recharged.
"I know he's my guardian and responsible for me, and since we're brothers, too, I'm also kind of responsible for him. But with Blaster, it's a different kind of responsible, and I think Bee likes being able to take care of someone younger than he is for a change, instead of always being the young one everyone else has to take care of. I think it's because, even though he's never said so, inside he realizes that he can take care of Blaster just like Ironhide took care of him. And that makes him feel better." That was what Sam had told Optimus. He had summed it up perfectly.
Being responsible for someone on a different level than his normal guardian protocols were for, being able to do the same for Blaster as Ironhide had done for him, was allowing Bumblebee to move on.
The other Hatchlings-Sparklings now-were doing the same for the other Autobots, as well.
They were all moving on.
"Did you find anything unusual on patrol?" Optimus finally spoke, turning to face Prowl.
"Nothing. Nothing at all. I know it may be too much to hope for, but I am really beginning to believe that we aren't going to see any more of the Decepticons."
"We can only hope," Optimus responded, returning his attention to the Sparklings.
"Bumblebee and the Witwicky family will be arriving soon, yes?" Prowl had never met the humans, but he had heard of them, and was looking forward to meeting them for the first time-not that he would ever admit it to anyone, of course.
"Yes. They should be arriving at their new home at the end of the week. Which means," the Prime chuckled slightly, "That things will be getting quite a bit noisier around here, and these two and the others will be getting another Sparkling to play with."
"At least we have more than enough Autobots here to keep watch on five Sparklings," Prowl mused.
"Indeed," Optimus agreed, and then stepped forward to interfere with the Sparklings' play, which was getting a little out of hand. "No, Trailbreaker. You do not hit others with your toys, understand?"
Trailbreaker's face fell a little as his caretaker's gentle scolding caused him to realize just what he had done to his friend. Like Optimus, his armor was red and blue, and his optics were the same purple color as the other four Sparklings'. He was the biggest of the Sparklings and the oldest, and while he was a very friendly Sparkling, he often was too rowdy in his play without meaning to be, simply for the fact that he was still too young to realize that he was stronger than the others. "'kay."
"Tell Beachcomber that you are sorry."
"S'ry," Trailbreaker mumbled sadly, giving the other Sparkling a downcast, apologetic look.
"You won't do it again, will you?"
The Sparkling looked solemnly at his caretaker and shook his head. "No."
"Good." Optimus gave the toy back to Trailbreaker, and the Sparkling began to play with his friend again, only he was much less rowdy this time.
Prowl tried to hide a smile at the sight of the two Sparklings playing together, and succeeded only slightly in doing so. Optimus watched them, daring to allow himself to hope that what Prowl had told him about his beliefs regarding the Decepticons was true.
Primus forbid they ever have to experience war, the Prime thought. Please, let them grow up knowing only peace.