"Tessa! Tessa, it's time for breakfast!" Cade called out, looking out the door frame towards the quaint little staircase tucked against the side of his house, pancakes sizzling in the skillet that he gripped. He heard a stifled groan and he chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. Ah, teenagers. He remembered those days. Sleeping all day, doing things he shouldn't have bene doing all night, barely scraping together enough time to go to school and get barely passing grades. It was no wonder he worked as a car reconstructor. "C'mon, baby girl," he chuckled, rolling up his plaid sleeves before turning off the skillet, turning to jog up the stairs after. Their home was small, tucked away in the grasslands of the Midwest, and went mostly unnoticed by most but he enjoyed that. His daughter on the other hand... perhaps not so much.

Ambling into Tessa's room, Cade smiled as he took in the blonde's moptop and her long, gangly limbs hanging off the edges of the bed. Her soft purple blanket was wadded up at her feet, along with the baby blue bed sheets she had begged him to buy her when she was 10 and they visited Chicago for a convention. That was also before the attacks began and most of the major cities went to ruin, including his favorite place to visit. Shaking his head, the father stooped down and cooed softly as he gently shook his snoring daughter.

"Tess... Tessa~" he grinned, chuckling as she whined and rolled over, "Remember something is happening today~"

"I know, I know..." Tessa mumbled, waving a hand, "You're getting another stupid truck..."

"And...?" Cade pressed, arching a brow at how his daughter had managed to forget what today was.

"And?" she asked, turning over to open sleepy eyes just barely to glare slightly at her father, "You're waking me up over an 'and'?"

"Well I guess you don't wanna see Mei today. I completely understand," Cade hummed as he got to his feet, dusting off his hands as he turned before the back of his shirt was gripped tightly and his lips curled into a knowing grin.

"Mei? We're going into the city?" she asked, eyes now wide with honest hope. Since her and her father had moved out into the grasslands after she had finished her junior year of high school, she hadn't been able to see her best friend, Mei, often. She was a little thing, really, and Tessa was often called her "body guard" considering that she could easily push her way through a crowd. Mei was a foreign exchange student who had come to America for a "better" life when she was about 10, moving all the way from Guangyuan, a small ancient city in the Sichuan province, eastern China. Her mother was white and Kiowa on her father's side, gaining her access to the tribe whenever she so please (which she often did since she enjoyed learning about the culture), and her father was full blown Chinese. Tessa was the only girl who didn't tease her for having freckles or for her eyes being "too small" so she clung to her like a bee on a pretty flower.

"Yes, honey. Don't you remember our agreement? You'd let me work on the truck in the garage if I'd take you to go see Mei," Cade chuckled as he turned, gently kissing her forehead, "Now get up and get dressed. Breakfast is almost done. It's an hour's drive into the city."

"Oh thank you, daddy!" Tess squealed as she leapt up, throwing her arms around his shoulders as she squeezed him hard. Chuckling, he patted her back as he rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's always "daddy" when I do something you like, "dad" when it's casual and "father" when you're pissed."

"Daddy!" she exclaimed, hitting him on the shoulder, "You know I told you to stop cursing!"

"Oh don't act like you didn't do it in school 'cause I know you did," he chuckled, shaking his head as he stepped out of the room to turn and walk down the thin stairwell, "Twenty minutes! We can't stay as long as you please!"

"Unless you leave me there to spend the night?" she said, her voice raising in question as she pulled out a pair of light jeans and a casual baseball tee. Cade stopped in the middle of the stairwell and gave out a hearty laugh, making her shoulders droop and her lower lip stick out in a pout, "You don't have to be so mean about it..."

"Keep on dreaming, honey. You know it's too dangerous for me to let you stay there alone without my supervision," he called back, turning to look at the photos draped along the ivory walls, smiling fondly. The wall was littered with sweet memories of years past, namely photos of him and his darling daughter. There had been a mother but she had passed on early on and he didn't want his daughter to believe it was her fault. She had died due to complications after the birth; they had only given her about a month to live. But Sarah was a trooper and had managed to get herself through the early stages of Tessa's life, all the way down to her very first words and potty training. However, one blistering cold winter had left the woman broken and riddled with Leukemia and those "complications" came back full swing. Bleeding organs, tearing muscles, protruding bones. It hurt him to have to see the love of his life so broken. Thankfully she had died (at least he hoped) peacefully in her sleep when Tess was about 4 years of age. Now he didn't mention her unless Tess brought her up.

"Dad?" Tessa called from atop the stairs, toothbrush in her hand and her other hand on her hip as she watched her father, fully clothed and hair somewhat assembled.

"Yeah?" he asked, looking up at her with a chuckle.

"Are you going to keep standing there, starin' at those photos or are you actually going to make us something to eat?" she asked, grinning as he rolled his eyes with a light laugh.

"Alright, alright. I get the message," he said, turning with his hands raised to amble down the stairs once more. Walking into the kitchen, he sipped his now cold coffee as he started up the skillet again, smiling to himself.

He knew today was going to be good.


Mei hummed happily as she ran a brush through her long black hair, smiling as the little chunks of faded red peeped through the thick mass. It was over her shoulder and she was planning on braiding it but she wasn't sure.

"Baba!" she called out, leaning back on her seat at her veranda to look down the hall. Her father walked up the stairs and smiled at her, eyes crinkling with happiness.

"Yes, daughter?" he cooed in his heavily accented English, making her chuckle and smile up at him. "Should I braid my hair or should I keep it down?" she asked, watching him gain a thoughtful look as he slowly paced back and forth.

"Well a braid would be pretty but put it in a bun for a sophisticated style," he said slowly, carefully, making her giggle at his antics, "But keeping it down will keep it loose... How about a ponytail?"

"Baba, you know those make my head hurt," she smiled, shaking her head as she turned back to look in the mirror.

"Why are you all dressed up, anyways?" he smiled as he sat on her bed behind her while she began to separate her hair, taking in her floral skirt and pretty white blouse.

"Don't you remember? Tessa is visiting," she cooed, smiling as her own father lit up.

"Oh really? It's been a while since she's been in town! Oh I'll go tell your mother!" he grinned, doing a little dance as he walked out of the room. Mei could only laugh sofly, smiling at herself as she began to braid her hair. She lived in her own two story house with her parents and her two younger brothers, Zhou and Huang - although they prefer their Western names being Andy and Mike - in Oklahoma city, Oklahoma. It could be cramped at times but thankfully her twin brothers shared a room and she got one all to herself. She remember back in China when they were born she had to share her own room with the sobbing babies and she often lost sleep due to them.

"Mama!" Mei called as soon as her plaited braid was done, looking around for the spare flowers she usually kept on the veranda. She took up many activities, including crafting. Numerous flower crowns littered her room and she figured this time she would actually insert the fake flowers into her hair to create more depth.

"Yes, dear?" her mother cooed as she walked in, clad in her sweats and a tank top for her day off, thick hair tied up in a messy bun.

"Have you seen my flowers?" Mei pouted as she turned to look at her mother, who thought for a moment.

"Try downstairs," she nodded as she moved out of the way, "I made breakfast so you had to come downstairs anyways."

"Oh? Did you fulfill your promise-?"

"I made baozis just for you, yes~"

"Oh I love you, ma!" Mei smiled widely as her mother laughed, rolling her eyes.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," she said, turning to walk down the stairs, kissing the sleepy Andy's forehead, "Looks like the little bears are up~"

"Oh dear, they're going to ruin the house I cleaned yesterday!" Mei groaned as she walked down the stairs, crossing her arms.

"Hush. Come eat," her mother chuckled, guiding the two into the living room where a squat table lied in the center, a large steaming basket in the center of it followed by plateware and cups for the tea. It was more Americanized than anything but Mei's father didn't mind. He was sitting on a pillow at the head of the table, Mike sitting beside him as he rubbed his eyes. The other three took their seats as well and bowed their head in prayer. It was silent and allowed each to balance their minds (more or less, the boys didn't particularly care for the practice) and once Mei's father clicked his tongue, they all raised their head and reached for the basket.

"I also made some rice congee if anyone wants some," her mother hummed, making the boys perk up.

"Congee?" they smiled, looking at each other excitedly.

"Yes!" Mike cried, doing a little dance in his seat before calming down once earning a slight glare from their father.

"I'll go get it," Mei hummed, getting to her feet to shuffle into the kitchen in sock-cladded feet. Ambling into the small kitchen, she picked up the large bowl and set it on the island before spooning up the thick porridge-like food into several smaller bowls. She froze, however, when a large shadow passed by the window and she slowly looked up, eyes wide. The bushes beneath the window above the sink rustled and she spun around to stare out that one towards the street. It was empty. "Wh-What...?" she murmured, brows furrowing as she watched a car slowly drive by, eyeing it to see who was driving it. It was an unfamiliar vehicle and when you live in such a small community, you will know everyone. "B-Baba...?" she called out shakily, eyes widening when she saw the car turn around to pace back, "Baba, there's a strange car outside!"

"Eh?" her father stood up and walked to the front door, opening it to peer outside, "Mei, there's no one."

"H-Huh?" she blinked, jogging over to look outside, "B-But -"

"No but's. You were just probably seeing things," her father cooed, kissing her temple before returning to the table.

"Hurry with the congee before it gets cold!" Andy whined, making Mei snap out of it and retreat back into the kitchen to set the bowls on a tray. After attaching the lid firmly onto the container, she then quietly walked out to give everyone their own bowl, sitting on her own pillow after with her hands in her lap.

"I'm sure it was just someone who was lost, darling," her mother cooed as she gently rubbed her back, making Mei nod and begin to eat to make them quieten. Regardless of what they said, she couldn't shake the uneasy feeling she had acquired. The car had a harrowing message on the side of it.

'To punish and enslave'


A/N: Hey guys! Long time, no see, eh? Here's a really quick beginning to my brand new story "Dawn of the Blossom". Mei means plum-blossom so I did a play off that. Anyways, I hope you all are just as excited as I am for the new Transformers 4! This is very loosely based off of it, seeing as it hasn't been released yet and I've added a few OC's of my own, but it will follow the storyline as it goes along in the movie.

I do apologize there isn't a lot of detail in it now. I did it quickly before I went to a party. No worries, though! It'll get better as it goes along~ I promise!