I had written out a long Author Note but the fragging thing was deleted. I'll try to get as much as I remember up here. Please forgive me if I miss something.

Several unsigned reviews mentioned Optimus and him not being in here. I set a few challenges for myself when I wrote this and one was not having Optimus as a main or side character. If there had been some way to message you I would have told you sooner. As much as I love him it would be just too easy and he is used so often. If you want a fic with Optimus in it you could try my Worst Birthday fic, but I just wanted to try something different.

Concerning the other bots mentioned, If I wanted to stick to the theme I could only do so many parts and that meant only so many couples. Some were bound to be left out, especially since I wanted to largely focus more on less used couples with a few faves thrown in here and there. I, again, wanted to try something new.

For those that would like to know I'm going to load it up on y-gallery, Devient Art, and Adult Fanfiction over the next few days probably taking a day or two break in between till it's all completed. It will be listed as one long chapter at the first two or chaptered at the last. However you prefer.

Words: 836
Chapter includes: No real warnings, an OOC character if you look at his comic portrayal.
Disclaimer: Not mine, but if I ask really pretty like do you think they'd let me lick G1 Red Alert?


_(*)_Hope_(*)_

Realigning his joints with a series of short, harsh screeches Ratchet entered his house after an overnight shift at the hospital. Absently picking up the canister of joint lubricant his mate had left out for him he applied it while moving to the kitchenette attached by a low counter to the small dining room.

There was a full kitchen in the place, but they didn't use it unless there was company. Ratchet preferred the companionship while he 'cooked' when the chef didn't make something. Really it was more just warming what he got from the dispenser

Shuffling around to do just that he warmed something to eat before he headed to recharge. Damn Patch for getting his piston headed self down with a virus. He liked spending time with his family thank you very much. The last half orn he'd only seen them in the early joors.

Finishing his energon and programming the dispenser for his mate and sparklings' preferred energon blends his optics shot up and over to the small form in the doorway.

"What are you doing up?" Windshear was being punished. The mechling had stolen several of Ratchet's wrenches then flown over a group of bullies at his school, dropping his payload from his cargo bay. The school had put him on a three sol suspension for it and the medic completely agreed. His son should have known better than to steal his tools.

Anyway, he should have still been in berth for several breems; he was going with Megatron to the Cybertronian Headquarters since there was no point in trying to find a sitter on such short notice and for such a short time. Usually it took one of them going into his room and forcing him out of recharge.

The little mech came over and sat at the counter, planting his elbows on the metal and his chin on his tiny fists.

"Papa Ratchet, do you love papa Megatron?"

What in the pit? What made his sparkling want to know that? Sparing several klicks of suspicion at those bullies his son had tussled with, along with a few dark thoughts, Ratchet tried to think how to answer.

His reflexive reaction was to say Windshear didn't need to worry about things like that. To say he should just focus on breakfast, and leave it at that, but... he honestly hadn't asked himself that for a long time. It hadn't mattered.

Back when Primus had first bonded him to Megatron the first thing he'd done was comm the bot and tell him that he better start peace negotiations with the Autobots right now or he'd offline his own spark, taking the other mech with him, and hopefully his next in-line would be more cooperative.

The Decepticon leader had felt he was serious too, and bargained for co-leadership of Ultra Magnus' position, authorization for Decepticons to come and go on planet like any other Cybertronian and amnesty for any ordered action in the war for both sides. The last had taken some doing, but eventually passed.

After that it was settling in as the spouse of said co-leader.

Megatron had been forced to develop the ability to snatch thrown wrenches out of the air. Prowl had even complimented his skill. And twice his size or not, when Ratchet wanted to speak face plate to face plate with him he'd also learned the red and white wasn't above literally climbing the mech.

They'd lived together for vorns, fought, made-up, and yes, interfaced. How else would they have sparklings like the little ball of trouble in front of him and the ones still asleep upstairs? However... love? Ratchet thought about how he'd cursed out Patch for making him cut into family time; to the lubricant Megatron put out knowing he'd need it; to his programming the dispenser so his family could get their cubes that much faster, even though he'd have been in recharge by the time they got up.

To that he had been looking forward to curling up in the berth with his mate, even if only for a few breems before the other bot woke.

It wasn't passionate and all consuming, more like a rust infection that snuck up without him knowing, but...

Refocusing his optics on his sparkling Ratchet noticed Megatron standing leaning against the doorway, watching him. Suddenly Ratchet knew both why their sparkling was awake, and who put him up to asking that question. Making note to chew the slagger a new intake he made optic contact with his mate over their sparkling's head.

"You want to know if I love your papa? Yeah, I suppose I do. Primus may have put us together, but now I do."

It may not have been the kind of thing you wrote odes to, and it was a little worse for wear and growth, singed around the edges, but as Ratchet walked around the counter towards his mate, patting Windshear's helm as he passed, he admitted it to himself

He loved him.


For those that haven't figured it out, the theme was the stages of grief and recovery.

Please review!