Authors Note: SO SORRY I haven't updated or anything, but my summer was super busy and then school decided to just f*** up my life. Plus my immune system decided to ditch sooo... Anyway, I haven't really had time to write anything, so I was looking through my old stories and figured this one was at least somewhat finished. Good note is that I hadn't seen, (nor have yet seen) Transformers 4, AoE; so keep that in mind. :) Sorry about the extremely crappy technique, but I was just starting out. I would love some feedback, to get the creative juices flowing again; so to speak. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: No, I do not own Transformers, if I did, Ironhide wouldn't have died! (boo on u Micheal Bay!)

Why do you always lose the ones who you love the most?

From the viewpoint of any human being who did not know Annabelle Lennox, she was a quiet, reserved, and rather antisocial girl. She didn't raise her hand at school, she sat by herself in the library during lunch, and she walked herself home, no matter who tried to offer her a ride.

Her friends watched with frustration when she ignored them and never returned their calls. It was just after that weird government blow up in Chicago. At first they thought her father had died in service. Until he showed up in an army Jeep trying to drive her home. They all watched in disbelief as she turned her back on her father and slowly started the 5 mile walk alone. One thought she saw a tear, but it must have been a figment of the imagination.

Annabelle never broadcasted any emotion except quiet despair and loneliness. They asked her what was wrong, how could they help her. Her only response was "Nobody can help me." That was before she stopped talking altogether.

Her teachers had numerous meetings with Annabelle's parents. "Whatever is wrong has severely impacted her ability to function," they said, "Perhaps you should seek professional help." they encouraged. Mr. and Mrs. Lennox always smiled sadly and left without making any promises. They knew what was wrong, but as their precious little Annie had said, nobody could help.

Nothing affected her, not compassion, anger, pleading, strictness, bribery, praise, or promise. She did not want a shoulder to cry on. She cared little of punishment, she never went anywhere anyway. The only one who could have helped her was long gone.

The "doctor" she visited occasionally did not know what to do. He was not experienced enough with organics, and he too knew that Annabelle was never going to forget. She never cried, after that one week, she never shed a tear. She sat hunched over with a blank look as everyone around her tried to help and failed.

She knew no reality, no passing of time, no hope, and no future. She hadn't expected it to hurt this much. She knew from the moment she saw him for what he was, is that he was a soldier, a warrior, and would always be. She knew the risks, but she ignored them in a truth she thought she could count on.

No one can beat Ironhide.

She was right. In combat, he was the absolute best. But nobody can fight against a shot in the back, even her hero.

Optimus Prime himself tried to revive her, speaking gently and explaining that as much as they tried, they could not revive him with the matrix, his spark casing and processor was rusted through. Optimus even let her hold the matrix, to see if she could move on through its wisdom. She stared at it for several long minutes, as if watching the world within the relic. Then she silently handed it back to the Prime, and motioned to be set down. It was barely within reception, but Optimus could still make out her dry, aching sobs from the hanger where the casket had been placed.

I have heard every line of comfort in the book. From "I'm sorry for your loss," to "He wouldn't have wanted…" to "You need to move on." Every line, every fake sympathy, every single word, I have known. Words, that's all they are. None can see the deep cold hole within my soul where my guardian once took up. They can't feel the aching pain within my chest that threatened to break my mind and steal my voice.

They didn't understand. I don't care how many people said, "We all grieve, but we need to work through it," they would never understand. Part of me cries out against these selfish thoughts, but the grief swallows it whole. They would never know.

My classmates must think me emotionless, but how could they know my tears every night without fail before I was lost to the world of vicious nightmares that now replaced my dreams? I must contain my emotions, or they will consume me. It's just easier to shove them all away. But not forget, never forget.

I will never forget my family, his gruff outward demeanor that gave way to warmth no one could imagine. It was warmth that I basked in, that not many knew of, and only I and occasionally Bumblebee enjoyed. His warm servos, deep voice, perfectly blue optics that never failed to lend me strength.

No matter how trivial, he listened. No matter how ridiculous, he endured. No matter what or when, he was always there. Even when he had to be away, we always Skyped before my bedtime. Only a battle would postpone our daily conversation. Not to mention the millions of texts that were sent and received.

My protector, my guardian, my Uncle, my friend. He was the solution to tense days and acute loneliness from a father always on duty and a mother who worked to help out. No matter what, he would always be there; he promised.

Until he couldn't keep that promise anymore.

I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to work normally again, I wonder why after four years I still awake to expect him sitting outside my window, ready to drive me to school. Until I look, and his absence hits me like a train. Every time.

Why do you always lose the ones who you love the most?

It was a thought I had, continually cycling through my head every waking moment; even the majority of the nightmares were based on it.

My parents expected me home a certain time after school, from following the same routine. They didn't know most of the time I was gone was spent in the barn, softly strumming a guitar and trying to sing my grief away. They did notice that it didn't help, like everything else, and I could never bring myself to answer their questions of why I wasn't responding.

I returned to the barn, it was Friday, so I had a little more time than usual, seeing that my mom wouldn't be home until 6 and Dad was at base nearby. I sat on my stool, held my guitar, and softly spun out a song that was familiar with repetition.

A/N: (This is the point where I would insert a sappy song, but for copyright purposes, I will refrain. Sorry)

As the last notes trailed away, as usual, I felt thickness in my throat, and the tears came down. Usually they withdrew after a couple minutes, but this time they struck with vengeance. I had to place my guitar on the floor and slide from the stool, kneeling on the floor as pent up sadness burst forth in deep, loud sobs that I usually never allowed to escape. I cry with a feeling that I have kept quiet too long, that I can't stop, even though I try. I hug my chest and try to wait them out. Eventually my voice gives out, but my grief is not done. Tears flow down my face, seemingly endless. My body shakes and my eyes are puffy. I can't believe how weak I am. Ironhide would hate it.

A truck drives down a country road, the Peterbilt is a shocking red and blue flame pattern, and pulls a trailer with a strange symbol, almost a crying mask. It is followed by a Hummer outfitted with rescue equipment, and none but a select few would ever suspect the silent conversation taking place.

CMO:/This needs to be approached delicately, Prime. She had deep emotional and mental scarring/

PRIME:/Will this help her recover?/

CMO:/Either it will completely set things right, or it will be the final push over the cliff edge; I cannot predict which/

N/A:/Slaggit all! Tell me what's wrong with her! Why won't you tell me anything Hatchet?!/

CMO:/Keep still! If I have to repair you one more time…/

N/A:/I hate feeling so useless while Prime has to carry me along like a hatchling, its infuriating/

PRIME:/Peace, old friend. I distinctly remember you carrying my weight multiple times throughout the war, you have nothing to be ashamed of./

N/A:/Hmmph. There's a reason you are Prime, not me./


CMO:/And thank goodness for that./

N/A:/Grumpy old medic./

PRIME:/ETA in 30 seconds/

As the vehicles quietly pulled in to the Lennox property, their sensitive audios picked up the noise of a sobbing human, in a barn that once housed a black GMS Topkick.

CMO:/Scrap. She's worse than I predicted/

PRIME:/It is too late to turn back now old friend, she knows we are here/

CMO:/Affirmative, she went silent/

N/A:/That…that was Annie?/

PRIME:/She seems unable to move on, to forget and let go of her grief/

CMO:/From what I can tell, it is a mental block. If she forgets her pain…/

N/A:/She's afraid she'll forget me too…/

PRIME:/It is the only possible explanation/

CMO:/Organic signal approaching, 300 meters and closing/

Fear quieted my sobs when I heard the rumble of a large engine. Dad had taught me self defense at an early age, and Ironhide had no end of teaching moments when fighting was concerned. Dad had to limit more than teach at times, Ironhide had made sure I knew what to do in case Mom and I were targeted by Decepticons.

I kept low as I more or less skidded to the trap door beneath the barn floor, and punched in the code to the weapons safe, and tripped the emergency broadcast for Mom and Dad's phones. I grabbed a handgun modified for sabot rounds, and slipped out the back barn doors.

I kept close to the side of the house as I closed in on the purr of several engines that were far too large to be my parent's vehicles. I kept out of eyeshot till I was at the corner closest to the driveway, then turned and sighted down the barrel of my weapon.

Prime watched the life signal creep closer on his scanners, noting the military maneuvering and use of cover the young Lennox applied to her surprise visitors.

PRIME:/Have caution, she's probably on alert and armed/

N/A:/That's my girl/

CMO:/Great. Another trigger-happy pain in my aft/

N/A:/Learned from the best/

PRIME:/ Annabelle Lennox sighted/

CMO:/With cocked firearm and all, how am I not surprised/

N/A:/We have 5-10 minutes before Will and Sarah get here, armed and dangerous/

PRIME:/We'll make this fast/

"Crap. Sorry about that, I didn't realize it was you." I called as I lowered the gun and placed it on the ground before approaching at a steady pace.

"Our apologizes Annabelle, we didn't mean to startle you." Optimus answered.

"No, I should have recognized your engines; I guess I haven't been to base in a while. Anyway, it's okay to transform, our property is secure." I said as I reached Optimus' front tires. I stepped a couple feet back as metal plates shifted and tires squealed and stopped. I noticed that Optimus had disengaged from his trailer, and vaguely wondered why he needed aerial maneuver gear all the way out here. My attention focused on Ratchet when he started speaking.

"Youngling, how are you fairing?" Ratchet asked as he crouched to lessen the distance between the human and medic, his processor making notes of her red and puffy eyes, as well as the drying saline solution on her cheeks, combined with the evident weight loss and lack of sleep.

She shrugged and didn't answer, staring at her toes. Unknown to Annabelle, a third observer grumbled and revved his engine.

"Look, I tripped the emergency switch, so I need to contact my parents before they come, see Cybertronians, and start shooting. That would kinda suck, and I'm pretty sure Dad would flip out." She explained, raising her eyes to the Autobot insignia on Optimus' trailer, then glancing between the two.

"I have sent Major Lennox and your mother a message explaining our visit." rumbled Prime.

"Well, Dad is still at base, and Mom wouldn't usually be back till 6 so you have some time. Can I help you with anything?" Annabelle asked. Prime watched her eyes, still red, still sad. Her pain clung to her like a blanket.

"Annabelle, we came to see you," Prime replied gently, ignoring her somewhat surprised expression, "We brought someone to see you." Optimus gestured to the trailer behind him.

"Oh, okay. Should I go in?" the adolescent asked in a rather expressionless tone. Prime nodded and Ratchet stood once more as the young Lennox crossed to the back of the trailer, opening the doors and levering herself in, then flipped the light switch just inside the enclosure. The two Cybertronians moved to view the following interaction, and assist with the fallout if necessary.

"Ironhide" Annabelle breathed, as the lights flicked on and her guardian was revealed.

"Youngling" rumbled the black mech, from where he reclined upon a medical berth, surrounded by beeping machines.

Annabelle clutched the side of the trailer, gasping as she struggled not to let the tears fall.

"I…you said that the Matrix couldn't bring him back" she whispered, staring at the Autobot emblem on his chaises.

"Take's more than a rust gun to slag this old warrior." grumbled Ironhide, blue optics intent on Annabelle's quivering form. She sniffed once, then broke into a run, finally letting the tears fall. She flung herself around Ironhide's nearest servo, and clung to it as she sobbed, burying her face in his welded and dented plating.

"It's probably just another dream, but I don't care!" she cried as she hugged Ironhide's limb for all her worth. Ironhide chuckled as he gently raised his servo and maneuvered Annabelle to be resting on the plating covering the gruff mech's spark.

A/N: I know it's full of grammatical errors and stupid, but it makes me want to give Ironhide a hug every time! Please review!