I know it's a little past the date, but I still wanted to work on this Valentine's Day fanfic with some help from SentinelSpockNimoy.
I do not own Transformers. Hasbro does.
NEST base seemed to spew chaos lately.
Soldiers may have been carrying out their normal lives to the Autobots, but little did they know, Will Lennox had been searching for Valentine gifts online. Epps, in the meantime, had been packing some gifts for his loved ones before he could send them in the mail.
The Autobots, meanwhile, were trying to figure out what was so important about February 14.
"I don't get it," said Sentinel, "but whatever it is, it sure makes the male humans nervous."
Ironhide couldn't help but shrug as he polished his gun.
"Lennox told me that he was getting something for his wife on that day," he mentioned.
"Why? It's not the day they got married," Sentinel objected, "I know because you had me clear out their favorite restaurant on that day so they could go to dinner."
Ironhide finished his polishing and put his gun on the rack.
"True," he replied, "but you don't have to have a wedding specifically on that day."
"No, I mean you had me do it on the day they had their wedding. The anniversary of the wedding. It wasn't February because I wasn't wearing snow tires," Sentinel remarked, "humans are so confusing. Now fuel ratios in ship engines, sure. They're either right or your engine fails. No confusion about it."
"I could ask him about the significance of this date," Ironhide offered, "unless you're willing to do it."
"You do it," Sentinel suggested, "he knows you better."
Nodding in agreement, Ironhide left his workplace in search of Lennox. Sentinel turned back to the circuit breaker he was examining that kept glitching and shutting off power to the soldiers' barracks. If anything, this was enough for him to keep himself occupied even for a while. He enjoyed this sort of thing. It was why he became an engineer. When he was younger, he'd get in trouble for taking things apart, even though he always put them back together perfectly.
In the meantime, Optimus searched through the Internet while seeking ideas for Valentine's Day gifts. Maybe he could come up with a fitting one for his mentor. In the background, he could hear said mentor cursing a blue streak at the Terror Twins. He didn't need to ask to suspect they might have caused some sort of trouble…again. A few minutes later, the old mech stamped past him, growling to himself. Optimus made only a brief glance at his mentor before he carried on.
"Optimus?" Sentinel asked, "what are you doing?"
The young Prime paused and tilted his head towards his mentor, giving him a blank stare.
"What are you reading?" Sentinel continued.
"I've been researching human customs," Optimus could only answer.
"So you're confused by them, too. Good, I'm not the only one," Sentinel sighed, "I can't wait until whatever's on February 14th is over. The humans are all goofy and jittery over it, and it's getting annoying."
Sentinel sat down, taking care to not get too close to his successor. Optimus examined his mentor's expression.
"Is something troubling you, Sentinel?" he asked.
"It's just exhausting, trying to understand this slag. Why do they do things that upset them or obviously affect their brains in this way? Most illogical."
Optimus continued to search for details on the upcoming holiday. Sentinel grumbled on to himself about how he couldn't wait until it was over. Once the young Prime had an idea on a possible gift, he stood from his seat.
"You finally understand some of it? If you do, please enlighten me," Sentinel requested.
Optimus tilted his head towards Sentinel.
"From what I understand," Optimus replied, "humans often associate Valentine's Day with romantic love."
"I thought that was Christmas. And Thanksgiving. And…several other ones," Sentinel paused.
Optimus couldn't help but scratch his head.
"What?" Sentinel raised an eyebrow ridge.
"I didn't hear anyone else mention Christmas being associated with romance," Optimus replied.
"They didn't mention it, but they were all over each other, especially when there was missile toad."
"I think you meant mistletoe," Optimus clarified.
"Yeah, that. And then I saw females wearing very little clothing, and what they did wear was red with white fur trim," Sentinel added.
Optimus didn't respond, but he folded his arms.
"Did I say something wrong?" Sentinel paused.
"No," Optimus shook his head.
"Then what's with the crossed arms?" Sentinel pointed out, "am I missing something?"
Optimus tapped on the side of his head with his digit and with his optics, he projected the research he conducted on Valentine's Day, allowing his mentor to examine it.
"Now, chocolates and flowers are common gifts among humans," Optimus mentioned, "but I doubt it would make sense to Cybertronians."
"Energon would make more sense, but the basic concept would remain the same…wait, why would it matter to Cybertronians?"
Optimus would have to find some words for his answer, but the silence was broken when Ironhide entered the room.
"That's just what Optimus was telling me about. Are all Earth females so needy they demand special treatment on multiple holidays?"
"I don't remember seeing Mearing act that way," Optimus shrugged.
"She's not mated," Ironhide replied, "maybe it's just the mated ones. Either way, it's so one-sided."
Snorting, Sentinel stood to his feet.
"It's all nonsense, if you ask me," the older Prime said, "love shouldn't be measured in material things. Flowers die, chocolates go bad or get eaten. Neither lasts very long, so these are terrible ways to represent something you want to last forever. Nothing material lasts. Especially not the Energon I'm going to go and get."
Sentinel trudged out of the room, leaving Optimus and Ironhide to exchange confused glances.
"If we can't use material things to show love," asked Ironhide, "then what other options do you have?"
"He's never been one for material wealth," Optimus answered, "but also, I don't think he realizes what's behind all the, as he would say, 'material things'. I don't think we got it across to him the feeling part of it. He thinks it's a one sided arrangement that is mandatory, like Ratchet's physicals. I don't think we got it through to him about the feelings behind it all."
Ironhide placed a finger on his chin.
"The gift giving doesn't have to be one-sided," Ironhide mentioned, "it can be mutual."
"How do we tell him that without him realizing what I'm doing?" Optimus reminded the weapons specialist.
Ironhide gave his leader a blank stare.
"You're planning to give him something on Valentine's Day?" Ironhide clarified.
"Why else did you think I was looking it up? I already know what it's about."
At that moment, Ironhide couldn't help but smile.
"In that case," Ironhide offered, "I'll go ask the Hatchet for advise on persuading Sentinel to return the favor."
"Ratchet?" Optimus protested, "no, no, those two always end up arguing with each other."
Ironhide burst into laughter before placing his hand on the Autobot leader's shoulder.
"Just kidding," he blurted.
"Good," Optimus replied, "I don't want him to hate me for this."
Optimus stepped out of the room, questions filling his processor. How would he be able to impress Sentinel on the upcoming holiday?
Sentinel had questions of his own. He decided maybe he should go straight to the source. He went in search of the humans. He trudged through the hallway and stopped by Mearing's office.
"Uh-uh. Not the one I need."
He continued down the hallway. However, the elder Prime's luck ran out when the office door swiveled open.
"Scrap," he grumbled.
While the elder Prime started thinking of an excuse, Mearing emerged from the office and made a brief glance at Sentinel.
"And what are you doing?" she asked, "I've been getting tired of hanging up on telemarketers. Apparently, they felt like stalking single people and persuading them into spending money into useless gifts."
"Try changing the answering machine message," Sentinel suggested, "make it say that they've reached your desk phone and say what your job in the government is. If I remember correctly, they're not supposed to call businesses or government officials, or they could be made to pay a rather large fine."
Mearing shrugged as she stepped past Sentinel.
"Fair point," she replied.
"What exactly are they wanting, anyway?" Sentinel asked.
"To convince people to buy unnecessary gifts," Mearing replied, "what else?"
"Unnecessary gifts? What the frag for? Are there really people stupid enough to fall for such an obvious scam?"
Mearing sighed as she shrugged.
"It's advertising considering this Valentine's Day is getting closer each day."
"What is the deal with that anyway? These mated human females seem to be very demanding, enough that the soldiers are all going crazy over it," Sentinel pondered, "personally, I find it rather petty."
"I guess we can agree on something," Mearing nodded.
"Oh good, I'm not the only one," Sentinel sighed in relief, "I can't wait until it's all over and everyone can go back to normal."
Nodding in agreement, Mearing continued meandering through the corridor.
"Hey, before you go, do you know where any of the soldiers are?" Sentinel called over.
Mearing shook her head in disbelief and glanced over her shoulder.
"I suggest you check the hangar."
"Thank you," the old firetruck ambled off to the hangar, limping slightly.
Despite the shrapnel in his leg, the elder Prime managed to make his way into the hangar. However…
"Damn it," he grumbled, "empty."
Well, there weren't any soldiers in the hangar, so now how was he going to get more answers? In a matter of moments, Sentinel figured he should at least Google it, like humans normally did. Once he started looking up Valentine's Day, he found interesting articles on its origins and the customs.
"Ah, I see now. Sentinel said to himself, "the modern world seems to have distorted this quite a bit. It's not about mating or anything sexy, it's about…well, sparkbonds for us. Two hearts that are meant to be one."
An idea started to form in his processor. But he would have to keep it to himself until the day arrived. At least no one else was in the hangar to hear the elder Prime talking to himself, so he wouldn't have to deal with any comments. He took this chance and ambled into his quarters so he could think over the idea without distractions.
Meanwhile, as Valentine's Day drew near, Optimus started searching materials so he could assemble his gift. Only Ironhide knew that they were both up to something. He was helping both of them, but neither knew of the other's plan. The weapons specialist still found himself useful by keeping the twins at bay; one look at his cannons and they were gone. Still, Optimus lifted his head once in a while to ensure no one else interrupted him.
"So, you're absolutely sure you don't want Wheejack's help with," Ironhide looked around, then leaned closer to Optimus, his voice now a whisper, "your you-know-what for you-know-who?"
Optimus made a brief glance at Ironhide and shook his head.
"So what did you decide to do anyway?" Ironhide insisted.
Optimus didn't say anything, but he did show Ironhide a model of…something that reminded him of Sentinel's interest in engineering.
"Is that supposed to be…the Ark?" Ironhide paused.
"Yes," Optimus nodded.
"Ah," Ironhide mused, "that part's a little-oh, that's the part you're not done with. Carry on, then."
While Optimus continued working on his model, Ironhide peeked out the door again. Sentinel was having much worse luck. What could he give to Optimus?
"Ironhide, you're his best friend, you've got to help me here!" Sentinel groaned.
"What do you need?" Ironhide asked.
"I want to give Optimus something, but I can't think of anything."
Sentinel certainly seemed worried. Now would not be the time to point out the irony of his situation to him.
"So what do you need me to do?" Ironhide clarified, "ask him about what preference he has?"
"I was hoping maybe you had some ideas. You know him best."
Nodding in agreement, Ironhide stepped out of Sentinel's quarters and returned to Optimus's quarters. Sentinel grumbled to himself about how difficult this was. In the meantime, Ironhide sat down next to Optimus, catching the Autobot leader's attention.
"Do you mind if I ask you something?" Ironhide requested.
"What would you prefer in a gift?" Ironhide asked.
"Are you trying to get me something?" Optimus paused.
Ironhide stared in a moment of silence. How was he going to explain this without giving away the surprise?
"I'm not sure. I've been too busy trying to figure out Sentinel's…Do you think he'll like it? I made sure every part was correct, especially the engines," Optimus continued.
"I'm sure he'll like it," Ironhide assured Optimus.
"Then I would prefer a sunset out in the wilderness, in my opinion," Optimus replied.
Ironhide tilted his head in confusion.
"You wouldn't want something special, like you are doing for Sentinel?" he paused.
"That was my preference for something special," Optimus clarified.
"Ah. Poor Sentinel, still trying to understand all this. I told him I'd talk to you, that's why I'm asking this stuff. That way I can put it in terms of things he knows." Ironhide explained.
Optimus didn't say anything, but he couldn't help but freeze in his place. Too bad he was Cybertronian, because he would've been blushing otherwise.
"Don't worry," Ironhide assured, "I won't tell him what you're doing, just what you said."
Optimus gave Ironhide a soft smile, allowing the weapons specialist to step out of the quarters. He still had some bit of patrol duty in mind.
Once Valentine's Day arrived, this meant a big deal to the NEST base. Sentinel was trying to hide his panic. How was he going to tell Optimus he couldn't think of a gift? He knew he couldn't avoid it; Optimus had asked to meet him on the beach at sundown, saying it was important. What was he going to do? With all the time available during the day, he could pass the time by from interacting with the other Autobots, couldn't he? That wasn't easy since he would flee whenever someone approached him. This would raise suspicion among everyone in the base. However, he said nothing when asked about it. He just wanted the day to be over with.
Later on that day, the elder Prime met up with Optimus at the entrance to the base.
"What is it you wanted, Optimus?" the old mech asked uneasily.
Optimus turned until his frame faced his mentor.
"Sentinel," Optimus explained, "when I first came to Earth, I didn't think the humans held a custom involving romance. Now that I learned this Valentine's Day, I thought I'd spend it with you, which was why I picked our destination."
"Oh…O-Optimus, I..." He sighed. He might as well get it over with now, "...I researched it some more, and...well...I wanted to give you something, but I couldn't think of anything. I'm sorry."
Optimus smiled and placed his hand on his mentor's shoulder.
"It is all right," Optimus assured Sentinel, "shall we roll out?"
Sentinel let out a sigh.
"I suppose," he nodded.
The elder Prime transformed into his alt mode and Optimus soon followed suit. Sentinel wordlessly followed Optimus. It was obvious his failure to come up with a gift bothered him, as he didn't even swear at other drivers who were speeding or driving too slow, things that usually annoyed him. By the time they arrived at the beach, they stopped at a suitable spot where they would have room to transform. The few beachcombers there merely glanced at the sound of them transforming and continued on their way. Autobots on the beach had become a common sight, no longer worthy of interest. This meant no one would be bothering the Primes as Optimus turned his attention to Sentinel and reached into his subspace compartment.
Sentinel stared at the scaled down model of his vessel, his mind automatically checking its specs against his engineer's notes. Perfect mates, every bit.
"Optimus, what…i-is this for me?"
Despite his sadness, Sentinel couldn't hide the wonder in his eyes at the sheer amount of detail. It was as if someone had shrunk the actual ship, except for a silver plate on one side with a short message from Optimus engraved in the ancient Language of the Primes.
"I thought you might like it," Optimus explained.
"I love it, Optimus. Did you make it yourself? It's obviously someone who's read my notes. Actually, it's a better model than my own prototype."
"Thank you, Sentinel," Optimus nodded.
"No, thank you, Optimus. And I see you wrote something on it here," Sentinel pointed at the engraved plate.
Well, Sentinel had a point there. Optimus responded by placing his hand on his mentor's shoulder.
"I just wish I had been able to think of something just as perfect for you. I am sorry."
Optimus only smiled as he pulled his mentor into an embrace. This prompted Sentinel to rest his head on his student's shoulder.
"I may not have expected much for today," Optimus said, "but I'm most glad you're here…something that matters more than just material gifts."
"I could've at least done something. Look at all the work you put into me," Sentinel protested.
"I did," Optimus clarified.
Without saying anything further, Optimus planted a kiss on Sentinel's faceplate. The old mech looked up at him, a hand gently brushing his cheek as a small smile spread across Sentinel's face. The young Prime took this as a signal so he planted a kiss…this time on his mentor's lipplates. Sentinel accepted this as a sort of forgiveness for his failure, and a chance to make up for it. He could certainly do this for Optimus. Such were his thoughts as he returned the kiss. During that time, there appeared to be peace across the beach. The two mechs' arms soon encircled each other, holding each other close enough that they could feel their spark pulses.
"So this is what it feels like to be in love on Valentine's Day," Optimus murmured.
"I suppose it is," Sentinel agreed, "it's my first time with the whole thing."
Optimus nodded in agreement before he and Sentinel sat down next to each other, gazing into the distance. Sentinel felt Optimus's arm around his shoulders, pulling him close. He didn't resist. Truth be told, he enjoyed it when they could be close like this. It was only logical, since he knew in his spark he loved his student. The elder Prime didn't need to tell this, though as Optimus suspected it already. They still have plenty of time before they should return to base, so the best they did was savor the moment.