Chapter One: The Act of Bonding
Standing outside a series of hangers within the Nevada desert one might see more than just military vehicles parked amongst the buildings. Indeed, one might find a large, custom Peterbilt semi-truck or perhaps even a Pontiac Solstice sitting unsuspectingly beside an Abram's tank. The militant men and women too seemed nonplussed over the supped-up vehicles.
What attained folks' attention was the swirling dust cloud growing steadily closer to the outer gates of the base.
Within and just slightly ahead of said whirlwind was a 2010 Chevy Camaro as yellow as the Sun with twin racing stripes. Parked in the driver's seat of said Camaro was a hooting teenager, her hair braided back to keep the wind flowing in from the downed windows from repeatedly tossing her hair into her face at the dangerous speeds with which the Camaro was moving. Occasionally her hands would make contact with the wheel for support, but as nobody was around besides the base inhabitants for many miles she allowed her car to show his true colors.
She could feel the excitement rolling off in literal waves from Bumblebee through their bond. It was apparent that he had been itching to truly get the speed he so craved after being confined to either a driveway or parking lot for a little over a week. After they had ditched the main roads she had dropped her hands, a clear signal to the Autobot that he had free reign once more.
"Floor it, Bee." She'd whispered to her friend's dash. In response the radio clicked on to 'Drive' by Alan Jackson. She got barely a single note of laughter out before she was pressed back into the driver's seat with the force of the Camaro's take-off.
They'd gone off-roading for three hours before they finally pulled up to the base. At the gates Bumblebee idled beside the 'valet soldier' as Sam preferred to refer to him as. The soldier grinned widely as he took in the now familiar vibrant sports car as well as her. Every soldier had been introduced to her upon their transfer over into the Autobot's sector of the government and been informed that she was considered a vital member of the team. Many wondered how she, a civilian, could matter so much to the Autobots, but no one offered them any explanations and no one had the courage to ask. They were only expected to follow orders.
The valet smiled brightly at her. "Hello Samantha, Bumblebee."
"Hey." She waved the digits of her right hand at him in a subdued wave. "How've they been?"
"Curious as always." The valet waved the gates open, a clear sign that they were cleared. "Apparently the internet can't cover everything."
Sam laughed a little as Bumblebee rolled through towards one of the larger hangers, the one assigned to the Autobots. The valet was correct; the internet didn't cover everything despite what people might think. The internet gave factual information, it gave off 'logical data', but sometimes the 'bots needed explanations on emotions and thought processes based upon a certain idea. It was with the explanations that they tended to fit in better and not sound quite as 'superior', ancient, and advanced as they were.
A wide smile stretched across her face at the thought of Jazz. That was one mech, the Cybertronian equivalent of a 'male', that could adopt nuances quickly. A few times since their arrival she had all but forgotten that he wasn't human, if it weren't for his sheer size and metallic body. He had adopted a city accent and generally acted more like a 'ganster' than a saboteur for an alien army. The only 'bot she knew that was more adept at adopting mannerisms than he was Bumblebee and that was because he was a scout.
Bumblebee rolled to a smooth stop outside of the Autobot hanger before popping the door open. She unlocked her seatbelt, something that she wasn't permitted to go without wearing within any of the Autobots for fear of being buckled in till the end of time, and darted out. Once clear a few feet from the disguised Camaro she turned to look at him. A frown marred her face.
"Don't change over." She ordered easily, a crease in her brows. A wave of curiosity hit her from her Guardian. A chuckle emanated from low in her throat. "Nothing bad, Bee. It's just that you're extremely dirty."
It was true. His normal honeybee yellow sides were caked with a layer of dust and sand thick enough that she could draw discernable pictures in them. Even his racing stripes were all but hidden in spots under the sheet of evidence proclaiming their earlier fun.
A wicked smile pulled at her lips as she began to walk backwards towards the hanger.
"Just wait there for a minute, Bee. We're going to try something and I'm pretty sure that you're going to like it." Leaving her Guardian alone outside, his curiosity still ringing through their bond she hurried into the hanger.
She hurried through the hanger while waving to various soldiers that stopped to salute her. That was the one thing she disliked about this whole mess…or at least one of the things. With how the Autobots treated her, Will Lennox and Rob Epps had jokingly called her 'Aphrodite', named after the Greek goddess of fertility, sexuality, and beauty. Unfortunately after this one exclamation of the nickname everyone had become absurdly aware of everything that went on between her and the 'bots. They could read the connection between them all and treated her differently for it.
'Different' translated to 'superior'.
Sam hated it when people deferred to her. Sure she could understand that maybe before they talked to the Autobots that they didn't want to look like idiots and therefore asked her for emotional support, but to have them practically clinging to her throughout their conversation? No, she didn't appreciate that. They always looked to her as if they were afraid that the 'bots were going to step on them if they said something wrong.
In a little more than a month that Sam had come to know the Autobots, she had come to find that besides infinite patience, they had a great capacity for understanding and especially directed towards her affection. She'd never felt any grudge-like feeling from the Autobots towards any of the soldiers, though once or twice there had been a twinge of annoyance.
"What's crackin', lil femme?"
The bass words made her freeze in her steps and whirl with a smile to the silver mech gaining on her from one side of the hanger. Once Jazz reached her, an easy feat within a few strides for him, he crouched down and ran an almost claw-like finger over her back. This was the most common contact she got from the 'bots besides being picked up in private and hugged to chest plates they called chassis or spark chambers.
"Nothing much." Her eyes moved around before she pursed her lips. "Hey Jazz, do you know where the soldiers would keep the hoses, buckets, and rags? I know I've seen them bring them in here since they also store the military vehicles in this hanger."
"Pretty sure I saw 'em take 'em int'a the store room ova by the tank."
"Oh, okay." She waved to him before running off for the single tank that had been transferred to the base to be outfitted with the proper saber rounds.
"What'cha doin'?" Jazz asked as he walked behind her.
That was another thing about the 'bots that she and the other humans had come to become familiar with. Whenever she was around she turned into an 'Autobot magnet'. Even Optimus didn't seem to be immune to her particular charms. The 'bots followed her around unconsciously like lost puppies. She was the only one who understood, though, that they did it for more than one reason. Besides feeding off of whatever residual Allspark energy she was unwittingly accessing, they were still learning from her. Just as she was so comfortable with them, they felt the same with her. They learned to be human, so to speak, from being around her most of the time.
"I'm going to introduce an aspect of human culture to Bee." She glanced over her shoulder to give the silver mech a once-over. A smirk pulled at her lips. "Maybe you'll want to try it after him." The same curiosity emitted off of Jazz's bond that had slithered off of Bee's. She laughed, but said nothing more to appease the 'bot.
Sam rummaged through the storage room until she found what she was looking for. When she emerged she waved Jazz's hand down. "You carry this for me please." She ordered gently as she swung the hose over her shoulder. "Just take them out and set them beside Bumblebee. I need to hook this hose up."
She proceeded Jazz from the hanger and snapped the hose into the nozzle outside. Glancing over her shoulder she could see Bumblebee shifting on his axels as if nervous, just like a human would totter from foot to foot. Once again she was awed by the 'bots abilities to mimic the humans they were hiding amongst.
"Calm down, Bee." Sam laughed as she pulled her tank-top off leaving her in only her black and pink training shorts and pale pink bathing-suit top that she wore frequently during the summer when she was always swimming, running, or dancing. It was easier to just keep wearing it than to run around like a chicken with its' head cut off to keep putting it back on only after taking it off. "I'm not about to torture you. None of the items I've chosen could cause enough damage for that."
Jazz chuckled from where he sat with his back against the wall nearby. Sam shot him a glorious smile before filling the bucket he'd set beside Bumblebee with water. Once that was settled she held up the hose and aimed it for the Camaro.
Bumblebee slid backwards out of the arch of water flow causing Sam to cock her hand on her hip and purse her lips. "Where do you think you're going?" She asked with a mock-stern voice.
Without preamble the radio clicked on in Bumblebee's favorite fashion to communicate. Rihanna's 'Disturbia' echoed seamlessly through the speakers, a sound system that superseded any human technology by lifetimes.
A disease of the mind,
It can control you,
It's too close for comfort.
"Are you calling me crazy?" She screeched with a mixture of disbelief and humor. She lunged forward at the same time as she slatted her finger over the flow of water to increase the pressure. "I'll show you crazy you overgrown blow-dryer."
She boomed with laughter as Bumblebee clicked, clattered, and squealed when frigid water made contact with his frame. Even Jazz chuckled from where he sat, both of them knowing full well that the scout was just putting on an amusing front. All of the Autobots had rolls that they slid into when amongst humans, disguises beyond their physical forms that helped to both ease said humans and themselves from what she'd felt from them. It was strange, but adopting a 'human' attitude seemed to distract the Autobots and not make them feel as strained as they would under 'normal' circumstances.
"It's called a car wash, Bumblebee." Sam explained as she rinsed most of the dirt and sand off of his bright yellow paint. "I know that you all have probably seen it and read up on it on the net, but from what I understand none of you have ever experienced it. So, congratulations Bumblebee, you're the first guinea pig."
"First?" He questioned in his true voice, the one lilted with a British accent.
"Yes, first." She reaffirmed while swirling the pulsing water around his rims. "I'm thinking that I might try this out on the others some time if they want. Goodness knows you guys are forever getting yourselves dented and dirtied. At least now when you're getting cleaned there's a bonding process."
"How's this bondin'?" Jazz queried lightly, his head cocked in a curious manner.
"I know that you've seen the soldiers clean their vehicles, Jazz." She giggled, switching to the other side of the stationary Camaro. "This is just the primary rinse. Afterwards I'll use the sponge with the soapy water and then a waxing. You all are very tactile when it comes to me and in this case I'll be the one initiating the gesture. Besides, I'd like to think of this as you guys' own personal message, only on a far lighter scale."
"A Cybertronian message?" Jazz chuckled as his raised one knee to drape an arm over it. "Yer one strange human, Samantha." In retribution she whirled the hose onto him and splattered his chest plates with the cold water.
"Don't go taunting the one human who can truly stand all of your antics, boy." She jeered. If he could roll his optic she knew that he would have. Early on in their relationship she would taunt the 'bots by calling them by her chosen nicknames for them. Jazz was 'boy'. Optimus was 'Big Guy'. Ratchet was 'Doc'. Bumblebee was 'Bee'. Ironhide tended to get a gleam in his terribly blue optics when she called him 'Cujo'.
Jazz remained silent as she switched from rinsing Bumblebee to running the soaped sponge over his frame. When she arched over his hood she felt his engine growl under her chest and stomach making her laugh.
The song that flicked on in the cab caused her to flop fully onto the hood and give up his cleaning in favor of rib cracking laughter.
"You're horrible to me!" She cried once she was able to regain herself enough to make cognitive speech. "You don't play 'I'm In Love With A Stripper' to someone doing you a favor. And I'm not a stripper!" She slapped his hood and huffed, turning her back on her Guardian.
She wasn't mad at him, not in the slightest. Beside the fact that they were a different race from separate planets, the nanites coursing through her bloodstream having no meaning in relationship to each other, Cybertronians had no genders. They had a general idea of mech and femme relating more to physical appearances and chosen mannerisms, but their internal mechanizations were entirely alike. Mechs didn't have a respective male penis and Femmes didn't have a respective female uterus. Sam had to smirk when she recalled that particular lesson she and Mike had been made privy to when the jock had become curious and asked Ratchet. So logically there was no understandable way for any of the Autobots to hit on her.
Bumblebee played the role of repentant child by chirping behind her and rolling slowly up into her calves, gently nudging her. She jerked her chin up and huffed. A high pitched whine sounded through the air and it was Jazz that spoke up first.
"Please, forgive 'im your royal Highness." Jazz laughed.
"Dang straight I'm your royal Highness." Sam flicked her braid in a high-handed manner, her nose raised high. She took on an English accent to enhance her act. "This foolish naïve has insulted my honor. Were it but my kingdom I would have him beheaded for his impudence."
This time Bumblebee's own faint laughter joined with Jazz's. After another few moments she looked over her shoulder and smiled at the Camaro she had come to see as her best friend in the world. Turning on the balls of her feet she patted his hood softly.
"Fine then, you big baby. I forgive you."
She made the best of the rest of Bee's wash, laughing when he played certain sound bytes or dancing when hip-grinding song rolled through the air. Jazz kept her talking, asking various questions about human culture that she took for granted. She'd answer as best she could and elaborate more when asked.
By the time she was done with Bee's wash, wax and all, he was completely content. She could feel his pleasure through the bond they shared. She hadn't felt any Allspark energy overflowing into him, but judging by the completely sated waved flowing through their bond she had no doubt that it had happened. She gave his fender a fond caress before setting her sights onto Jazz. An indulgent grin found its way onto her lips at the eagerness she felt through her and the saboteur's bond.
"Would you like a wash, too, Jazz?" She queried, not even needing to hear a verbal response to know that he did.
In answer Jazz shifted down into his terrestrial disguise that was a Pontiac Solstice. With a lighthearted chuckle she went to work on Jazz as well, taking great delight in the soft music he chose to play for her.
She was just finishing off on Jazz when the curiosity buzzing through the bonds that extended to the three others drew them like moths to a flame. Ironhide, Ratchet, and Optimus Prime came to stand in all their glory beside where Bumblebee and Jazz had settled. She could feel their smiles as they looked down onto her and their comrades.
"Howdy." She cheered, flicking the damp drying cloth over her shoulder.
"Hello, Sam." Ironhide eased out. Her heart warmed at his soft tones. The gruff soldier wasn't as hard as nails as he seemed. While he could be a hard-ass and acted that way most of the time, Ironhide had a real soft spot for those he considered his friends. She had a suspicion that he considered her more than just a friend, just as she was something more to all of them as they were more than friends to her, and she held a special place in his spark even this early on in their relationship.
Sometimes she found herself humbled to be around them. Unlike the other humans that were skittish around the giants that could literally kill them by taking one wrong step she was awed to be around them. Even being the youngest Bumblebee was thousands of years old. They were like tangent Gods in so many ways, yet they were not afraid to learn. They were born to protect as much as they were built to fight. No matter what happened, Sam knew that she would never regret ever meeting the Autobots.
"So, would you guys like to see what the whole new rage is?" She gestured towards the sated sports cars. "I think that I zonked those two out quite well."
"Jazz commed me before he indulged in this." Ratchet stepped forward, a jovial note ringing through their bond. "Quite frankly I could use your particular brand of 'bonding'."
"Then transform away." She looked over Ratchet's slowly changing form to grin at the remaining two. "You two can join as well if you want after I get done with Ratchet. No favors required. Just consider it a friends' benefit."
Sure enough, every one of them was devolved into their terrestrial guises before she had even started on Ratchet's wash. They all conversed easily, some of the soldiers passing through lending an ear when asked. Samantha tried to encourage the other humans to interact with the Autobots more, knowing that she wouldn't always be around to make them feel more comfortable. Will and Rob came out once after she had finished with Ironhide to remark on her excellent work and hand her some hotdogs they snuck out of the mess hall.
All three of them snorted and rolled their eyes when Ratchet remarked on the unhealthy choice of foods they made as a whole. Sam pitied them all when the medic finally figured out all of the ins and outs to human physiology and anatomy. Ole Ratchet was intent on becoming not only the chief medic for the 'bots, but humans as well.
He was hoping for another one of the Autobots to come in, one named Wheeljack, Preceptor, or Hound, that would have the files needed to update their holograms to holoforms, a somewhat physical and tangible form that they could manifest. A nearly indiscernible shudder ran through her at the mere thought of having the medic acting as doctor to not only the other humans but to her…oh no!
Wasn't it enough that the 'bots shadowed her every move already? If Ratchet got his hands on that holoform program then that was going to be the proverbial nail in her coffin. She'd be upgraded from Autobot teddy-bear to Cybertronian magnet. She could say goodbye to whatever fragile hold she had on a normal life.
Optimus took the longest of any of them, but she wouldn't accept help. She figured that they guys deserved it and she was their friend. She wasn't going to do them the discourtesy of passing on the chore of cleaning them to another. They deserved better than that. By the time she had finished with the Peterbilt she was thoroughly wiped out.
With a deep sigh she settled back against the wall of the Autobot's hanger. Her eyes raked over the forms of her alien friends. She let herself fall into the contented feelings flowing to her from them and soon found her eyes drooping.
With a yawn her head lolled back and she slipped into a blissful sleep, taking pleasure in the fact that it was the weekend and she'd get to stay at the base until Sunday night when she'd have to return home.
So submerged into her sleep that she didn't notice when the 'bots transformed to their bipedal modes and circled her. In their own way they smiled, though their face plates could not express the emotion they were all feeling as clearly as their bond could with their human.
Bumblebee maneuvered careful fingers under her tiny form. He was infinitely gentle with their human, knowing almost instinctually deep within his processors how to touch this fragile being. He cupped his hands behind her too tiny back before holding her to his warmed chassis where his spark thrummed beneath. Its power reached out and caressed her as surely as her own power, the one they had all begun to think was more than just raw Allspark energy, embraced his. The others pulsed their own sparks strongly to add their own individual touches to their precious burden.
In the too short time that they had known Samantha Jane Witwicky, they had all come to care for her a great deal. Even before becoming the conduit for the Allspark's power they had connected with her on some basic level that superseded even their most basic programming.
Sam was special to them in numerous ways and they were quickly coming to the conclusion that any harm that might come to her would impact them detrimentally.
Bumblebee carried Samantha into the hanger and settled her as softly as he was able onto the sofa that some of the humans had brought in that she frequented while visiting. Jazz flicked a blanket over her smoothly as he pulled away. Sam mumbled once in her sleep before turning her face into the cushions and snuggling under the blankets.
Oh yes, they were all very attached to their little human.
Note: This is the sequel to 'All the Stars in the Sky'. These chapters will be a series of one-shots that center around Samantha and her building relationship with the Autobots as well as her learning to utilize the power of the Allspark. Keep in mind that I intend to lead this all up to the second movie of which I have written a version of my own that correlates to my first piece as well as these one-shots.
Also, I intend to give everyone my view on how the other Autobots arrived and why Sunstreaker is missing from the second movie. I ask you to be patient and wait for that particular chapter to arise. There will be roughly twelve chapters to this story. Some chapters will be emotional and some will be centered more on the friendship aspect of their lives.
I ask to have eight reviews before I post my next chapter. To any that have read my previous book, thank you for your support and continued reading. To any that have just stumbled across this story, I ask that you read my previous story to better understand this one. Feel free to point out any of my mistakes or criticize so long as it is within the bounds of rationality and not written with cuss words directed towards me or any other readers. I would like any and all feedback even if it is just to say that you do or do not enjoy the piece.
Thank you for reading and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Transformers.