It's been forever since I posted Vi's last story. Editing took way longer than I expected. But it's finally here, and I'm excited to share her next story with you. (If you haven't read any before, no worries! Feel free to start reading anyway.)

Side note: It's part of the Keep Transformers Alive challenge! Because who wouldn't want to keep our beloved robots alive through fanfics :)

Time terms used throughout the story

Groon - hour
Orn – day
Tex – week
Quartex - month
Vorn - year


Chapter 1

Darkness settled over the metal planet. The pale light glinted off the new buildings of Iacon. The night was quiet. Most were. The inhabitants had either retired to their homes or gathered in the few bars that had sprung up.

Two mechs enjoyed a drink at one such establishment. One mech, sporting green armour and much older than his companion, removed the cy-gar from his mouth. "I've bin thinking..."

"That's never a good sign," the blue mech sitting across form him grinned.

"Watch it punk," he waved the cy-gar at the mech. "Ya should have more respect for your elders."

"You always were so easy to stir, Kup."

The old mech grunted and continued with his previous thought, "I've bin thinking, maybe we should get outta Iacon. Cybertron's being rebuilt and new cities are popping up all over. Time to get out an' do something, 'stead a sittin' round here rustin'."

Hot Shot snorted. "You think you can even make the trip, you bucket of bolts?"

"Of course I fragging will! I'm not dead yet," he huffed and popped the cy-gar back in his mouth. "I could still beat you in a fight."

"Oh really? Now that I'd like to-"

A chair flew across their table. They turned to see the beginnings of a fight on the other side of the room.

"You wanna try that again, Con? Maybe next time you'll actually hit," taunted a deep red bot, his alt-mode resembling that of a bulldozer.

His opponent, a blue mech, looked ready to tear out the bulldozer's voice box, but instead he snorted and returned to his table.

The bulldozer frowned. Stomping over, he grabbed the shorter mech by the shoulder. "Hey! I wasn't done talking to you."

"Well I was." Yanking himself free, he swung a fist at the red mech's helm, forcing him back. "Now leave. Me. Alone. I don't want trouble."

Recovering from the blow, the larger mech scowled. "You'll pay for that!"

He charged forward, knocking him to the floor and attacking with reckless abandon. Other patrons soon joined in, ganging up on the blue mech.

Hot Shot frowned with disgust at the brawl. "What do they think they're doing? Bunch of fools wailing on one guy. Looks like all he wanted was a peaceful drink of highgrade."

Staring into his glass, Kup muttered, "Maybe somebody should help him out."

"Is that a suggestion, old mech?"

Throwing the rest of the highgrade down his throat, he shrugged. "I'm all for helping out a mech in an unfair fight."

"Even a Con?"

He shrugged again.

His younger companion smirked. "You absolutely sure your rusty aft won't be getting in over your head?"

The old mech snorted, rising to his pedes. "Just try and keep up."

~oOo~

Earlier that day

The roar of the crowd was something to behold; clanking metal and stomping pedes raised a ruckus among the voices. All of it served to make the purple femme feel increasingly nervous. So many optics watched her every move as she walked onto the stage.

Continuing forward, her door wings quivered and heat rose to her cheeks. This couldn't seriously all be for her. She didn't deserve this.

Approaching centre stage, she found herself standing in front of Optimus Prime. His calm, commanding air lent her peace. He offered her a small smile and her nerves melted away.

Optimus turned to the crowd and raised a hand for silence. Once the bots had settled, he addressed them, "We have come here today to honour two special femmes, though they stand before us as one. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty, putting their lives on the line to aid Cybertron. It is because of them, we are standing here today. They helped restore Cybertron and brought peace to our planet. Thanks to her efforts, we have been united."

He held up a medallion on a silk ribbon. "For her contributions, I present this as a token of our gratitude. So thank you, Vi-"

Ka-thud.

Crash.

Violetwind let out a groan as pain shot down her shoulder. Opening her optics as she stared up at the roof of her office.

'What happened to the medal?' asked a groggy Windy.

Glancing at the data pads covering her chest along with a few on the floor beside her. That plus the turned over chair, told her exactly what had happened and she rested her head on the ground with a sigh.

"I fell asleep while working again..."

Her companion chuckled. 'Ya really made a mess this time too.'

Sitting up, she let the data pads slide off her armour, glancing at them in dismay. Seeing them instead of the smiling face of Optimus was such a let down. She much rather have been back in the dream but without the medal.

The soft clink of metal sliding against metal came from her left as she began to clean up. Inclining her head towards the sound, she saw Hubcap approach in his bipedal form. The Predacon had been such a constant companion since he'd become her bodyguard and she was so comfortable in his presence that she sometimes forgot he was there. Other than her sparkmate, there was no one she relied upon more. He wasn't just a loyal bodyguard, he was also a good friend.

"You. Alright?" he asked in the raspy, broken speech of his damaged vocaliser and picked up a data pad.

"I'm fine," she assured him with a slight smile. "Just a bit tired I guess."

Violetwind found her gaze wandering back to her desk. The entire surface was piled high with data pads, or, at least, it had been until she'd knocked some off in her sleep. The work had been piling up since her aid died. Bumper had been so helpful and it was difficult to keep up with it on her own.

Almost as if he'd read her mind, the Predacon uttered softly, "May-be it time. Time for new. Help-er?"

Turning to him, tears welled up in her optics. Two months had passed since Bumper had been murdered and she still couldn't bring herself to choose a replacement. The cheerful young mech had been the perfect aid, as well as friend. It was difficult to think that anyone could replace him.

"I..."

"Me understand. Me miss him too."

Her lips trembled as they attempted to smile. "Thanks, Hubcap."

Together they cleared up the data pads, placing them on her desk. Once they were done, Hubcap returned to his beast mode, smiling up at her with bright yellow optics. She couldn't help but think he looked like a large dog, only metallic and pointer.

Unable to resist the urge, she crouched down in front of him, patting the flat portion of his helm between his optics. The beast let out a low rumble of approval, much like a cat's purr. Closing his optics, Hubcap leaned into the touch, allowing her to continue stroking his head.

'Haha, would you look at that. I think we just found the Predacon's weak spot.'

"It seems we did," Violetwind grinned in agreement. She continued to pat the beast, finding solace in the action, her troubles fading away.

Both femme and beast were so caught up in their own thoughts that neither of them noticed when someone walked in until they heard a teasing voice.

"You having fun there?"

Hubcap scrambled backwards. He glanced at the intruder guiltily, before dropping his head and moving to sit beside the femme.

Not quite as embarrassed, Violetwind simply looked up at the mech. Rising to her pedes, she smiled before glancing at the Predacon. She slapped him lightly on the nose she chuckled, "Bad. You're supposed to warn me when someone's coming."

He whined and hunched over.

"What? Even me?" Smokescreen asked innocently as he approached.

"Especially you," she teased.

He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close as he feigned surprise. "Wow, harsh. And here I thought you liked me."

'You think he would've gotten the hint by now,' Windy snickered, joining the sarcasm party, even though she couldn't be heard by anyone else.

Violetwind chuckled. "Maybe you shouldn't believe everything you hear."

"With that attitude, I certainly won't." Smokescreen leaned down and planted a kiss on her lips before she had a chance to react. Warmth filled their sparks as love flowed through their bond. Slowly he pulled back and smirked, "How'd you like me now?"

"Mmm, I may need to reconsider," she muttered breathlessly.

"You may also want to reconsider falling off chairs too."

"What? I-" she looked away, heat rising to her cheeks, "I don't know what you're talking about."

He chuckled, "You really expect me to believe that?" He rested his helm against hers, "We share pain remember."

"Fine," the femme huffed, "I fell asleep at work again and fell off my chair. You happy?"

Still grinning, he shook his head. "No. You really need to stop doing that. Perhaps you should consider-"

Hubcap slapped his tail on the ground and looked towards the door. A few kliks later there was a knock and it opened to reveal a blue mech. He started to enter but stopped short as he noticed the pair in one another's arms.

"Violetwind... Sorry to interrupt."

Slipping from Smokescreen's grasp, she turned to address the mech. "It's alright, Breaklight. Go on."

"Right," he glanced at her sparkmate before stepping forward and checking his data pad. "Well, I've just got a few things for you to go over before the records can be archived."

She groaned. More work.

'It just never ends!'

~oOo~

Smokescreen suggested they go out for drinks after she was done with work for the orn. While the femme had initially protested, she was quickly won over by the prospect of getting away from everything. Yet even as they drove to Maccadam's Old Oil House, Violetwind couldn't keep her mind off the work she'd left behind.

'Mmm, feels good to be out of that office. Quiet roads and the wind across our frame. Doesn't it just make you glad to be alive,' Windy said in an effort to distract her.

Yeah...

'Come one, get your head out of all that boring old office and enjoy the break. You won't do us any good worrying over it and I can assure you, it'll still be there tomorrow.'

You're right, she perked up a little.

'Of course I am. So enjoy the drive. We're going to have a night out with Smokescreen and Hubcap, and we're going to enjoy ourselves. You got that?'

Yes ma'am! she chuckled.

"You alright back there?" Smokescreen called out, dropping back to match her pace. "You're not thinking of running off, are you?"

"And miss out on our time with you? No way!"

A growl from Hubcap surprised the pair, turning their attention to their rear view mirrors. The beast came to a stop, his optics closed and head tilted.

Violetwind skid to a halt. "What is it?"

Beside her, Smokescreen transformed, his optics narrowed. "What's going on?"

The beast gave a snort but otherwise ignored them. Turning around, he trotted off. He glanced back at the pair, flicking his head for them to follow before running down a side street.

The couple shared a twinge of worry and went after him.

"Stay back," warned the mech, drawing his blasters.

'Hey, you aren't leaving us behind!'

Too right.

Violetwind also transformed and kept close behind Smokescreen. If things were about to get dangerous, she wasn't about to leave his side. While attacks in Iacon were rare, they weren't completely unheard of either.

Coming around the corner, they saw Hubcap staring into an alleyway. The large thick plating along his back rose to their full height almost resembling sails from the side. They only ever did that when he desired to be threatening, often before a fight. As the couple drew closer, they could hear why.

Two mechs were shouting and laughing. While this normally wouldn't be a bad thing, today it was downright unacceptable. The pair fought with a third who was barely fending them off on his own.

Anger welled up in Violetwind's spark, matched by a similar feeling of righteous indignation rose up through her bond.

'Slagging mongrels,' growled Windy.

"Hey" Smokescreen called out, startling the attackers, "What d'you think you're doing?"

The larger of the two glanced his way. "Get outta here. This has nothing to do with you." He turned back to the mech, kicking his knee and forcing him to the ground.

Smokescreen's door wings flared in anger. Worried he might do something rash, Violetwind sent soothing feelings through their bond.

"I'll be fine," he whispered, flashing her a grin. It didn't reassure her. Putting away his blasters, the white mech smirked and stepped closer to the trio. "Come on fellas, don't you have anything better to do?"

"He told you to beat it," the second mech with light blue armour sneered,.

"Just keep moving," growled the mech on the ground, lifting himself up. "I don't need your help."

"Oh really? Well then, I guess that makes all the difference."

'Hey, Vi. Check out their symbols,' nudged Windy.

Violetwind did as she was asked and focused on the trio's chests and shoulders. Her optics widened. The pair wore Autobot insignias. The mech being attacked was a Decepticon.

"But... I don't understand. Why are they doing this?"

By now Smokescreen and Hubcap stood just outside the alley. The mech held up his calm confidence, while the Predacon retained his threatening demeanour. But the other bots grew more irritated by the nano klik.

"Leave us alone!"

Smokescreen chuckled, folding his arms and leaning against the wall. "Yeah? And who's gonna make me?"

The larger of the two Autobots, stepped forward and slammed his fists together.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you. You see my friend here," he nodded over at Hubcap, "He's a Predacon. I guess you haven't seen one before or else you'd be more worried. You should have heard of them before, right? Of course you have. They're Cybertron's legendary creatures! They're some of the meanest, toughest, scariest bots alive. He's stronger than the four of us put together and he can breath fire that will melt the armour right off your protoform."

Hubcap blew a plume of fire about half the size of himself from his mouth in demonstration. And although, it was the largest he could make it, the other bots didn't need to know that. He keep his head down, hiding the visible scars to his neck and chest. These old injuries were the reason he couldn't speak well or create a stream of fire like other Predacons.

The pair hesitated, weighing up Smokescreen's warning. Unfortunately it was only for a moment.

The larger one snorted. "I don't care. We've got no business with you, so get out!"

"Hey, now. I'm just trying to keep the peace around here. Can't have fights going on in the back alleys of our fair city. What kind of bot would I be if I let you keep going?" Smokescreen moved a little closer.

It proved to be a mistake as the larger one shoved the Decepticon to the ground and the shorter one pulled out his blaster to begin firing.

Violetwind ducked to the side and took cover behind the building. A sudden pain ripped through her shoulder and she cried out. Glancing down revealed no injury and her optics widened. "Smokescreen!"

Peering around the corner, she saw her sparkmate on his back, a blaster wound on his shoulder. Hubcap had already sprung into action and fought off the mechs by himself. He almost seemed to be enjoying himself.

"Smokescreen," she called again, starting towards the mech.

He glanced up, "Vi, stay back!"

The femme paused, torn between her concern for him and wanting to do as he asked. A stray shot flew past her helm, making her decision for her. She shrieked and darted back behind the corner.

Smokescreen let out a sigh of relief and turned his attention back to the fight. Gritting his denta, he stood up and took out his blasters to fire over the mech's heads. Dropping back, the two Autobots stood glaring at him and Hubcap. The Predacon growled, spitting out another plume of fire and startling the bots.

"You haven't heard the last of us," the larger mech growled as they ran off.

The danger now gone, Violetwind raced over to her sparkmate. "Smoke, love, are you alright?"

"I'm fine," he shot her his trademark smirk. "Nothing I haven't had before."

'Yeah, but this time we get to share in it,' grumbled Windy.

They approached the Decepticon slumped against the wall. Energon leaked from his chest and a little dribbled from his mouth.

Smokescreen offered him a hand. "Let's get you patched up."

The mech slapped his hand away, glaring at the pair. "I don't need your help. I was doing just fine till you slaggers showed up."

The couple shared a glance as the mech pushed himself to his pedes, holding a hand to the wound on his chest.

"Please, let us help you to a medic," said Violetwind. "Your injuries need looking after."

Wiping the energon from his mouth, he cursed and hobbled away.

Hubcap came to stand beside the sparkmates and transformed. He stared after the Decepticon with confusion. "What wrong. With- him?"