Bumblebee cradled Sam on his back in his cupped hands, carefully watching the boy with desperate optics. Sam was unharmed after his tumble through the air, yet Bee wasn’t going to put him down.

“Bee, I’m fine, please put me down!” Sam whined, for the fourth time in as many minutes. He turned over awkwardly and peered down through a gap in Bee’s fingers at Mikaela, mouthing ‘Help!’ silently. She frowned and pointedly ignored him. He deserved to be held ‘captive’ by Bumblebee for being so reckless and silly.

“No Sam, Ratchet said that while you have no injuries, you may still go into shock. This is apparently a potentially deadly condition to organics, and as your guardian, I wish to be as close as possible to render assistance if this happens.”

“So that means carrying me around like Paris Hilton does to her pet dog?! And you watch too much House, Bee!” Sam was slightly ruffled that he was considered too fragile and precious to stand on his own two feet. He’d done in Megatron for crying out loud! Fallen off a thirty storey building! Evaded being shot at and tossed around like a salad! And Bee thought he couldn’t stand on his own feet after falling off his car hood?

“Aww, I love you too, I’m using extra wax in your next car wash,” Sam practically purred, patting one of Bee’s fingers and giving off kiss-ass vibes, hoping it would convince the Autobot to put him down. “But still, you know, can you...?”

“No Sam,” Bumblebee responded patiently, brushing aside the sucking up attempt. He was watching the others who had the Decepticon Frenzy trapped in the Autobot circle they’d made. Only Ratchet looked up now and again to cast a careful optic over Sam in Bumblebee’s hands.

“Why are you here?” Optimus Prime asked again, his voice was set low, with no emotional overtones. He still had his rifle in his hand, but it was no longer pointed at Frenzy’s head. Frenzy had hastily jammed his head back onto his shoulders after Bumblebee ran him over. Ironhide and Ratchet had helped form a neat circle of containment around the micro bot, both were bristling with unsaid threats. Hide’s cannon’s were spinning their gyro’s noisily and Ratchet did his best bad-ass-medic expression.

“Ffffffffft! Frenzy no t-t-talk to to silly botbots! Go walk d-d-dog againagainagain!” Frenzy snickered, making exaggerated walking motions with his arms. A series of recorded dog bark’s that sounded suspiciously close to Mojo’s characteristic voice came from Frenzy.

“If you saw that, it means you have been spying on us for longer than I previously thought.” And does everyone have to know about the dog incident?! I’ll get to the end of my days and someone will mention it as my poor spark does its last flutter! Optimus thought despairingly. I’ll be the poster boy for Decepticon recruitment – ‘Join us instead of the Autobots, our Leader wouldn’t be caught dead walking dumb Earth lifeforms on a leash!’

Ironhide increased the speed of the energy pulse running through his cannons. His shoulders lifted up and his optics darkened with menace, “I say we kill him.”

“NONONONONO!” Frenzy crouched on the ground, holding his spindly arms over his head and trembling. His optics on the end of their long arms sagged, hanging over his face in fear.

“No, Ironhide,” Optimus said sternly, giving Ironhide a filthy look.

“YESYESYESYES! Agree with dog walking bot!” Frenzy shrieked, his head bobbing around.

“Would you shut up about the dog?!” Optimus growled at him, irritated, taking one step closer. He loomed the bulk of his frame over the tiny Decepticon, cutting out the sunlight. Frenzy ‘eeeped’ and sat on the ground cross-legged, motionless.

“Speaking of the dog... here comes Mojo,” Ratchet murmured, pointing a finger. Mojo had followed them out of the hanger and was sniffing around in the dirt behind Frenzy.

“I’ll grab him!” Mikaela spoke up, walking towards him.

“Mikaela, wait, don’t. At least, not yet,” Optimus stopped her with one hand out, a glint in his optics of something brewing in his CPU.

“No?” She asked the Leader with raised eyebrows. “But he’ll... you know.. on the bad robot.”

Optimus smiled, “Oh, I’m hoping he will.”

Mikaela snorted, returning to her position next to Bumblebee. “I thought you guys didn’t do torture?” she commented.

Frenzy took one look behind him and sprang to his feet. “D-D-Dogdogdog!” he spluttered. He wasn’t afraid of it. The stupid organic creature couldn’t hurt him. Could it?

The Autobot’s and humans watched as Mojo proceeded to sniff Frenzy’s legs.

“You touch or hurt that dog in any way and I WILL give the order to terminate you, Frenzy,” Optimus said coldly.

“Yeah, run over him again, Bee,” Sam added. Bumblebee revved his engine beneath his chest. Frenzy had enough courage left in him to stick up a middle finger at the yellow bot. Bee responded in kind, putting Sam into the grip of one hand and flexing his finger.

“Bumblebee, stop that,” Optimus commanded. He was needing to reprimand the yellow mech too often when reacting to their foes. The youngling was becoming brash. They needed to talk. He pondered that Bumblebee was, perhaps, too good at integrating himself into other alien cultures. While in almost every other way, Bee was polite and conscientious, he was even picking up and assimilating the rude bits.

“He did it first,” Sam muttered at Optimus, hanging his head over the edge of Bumblebee’s fingers. He was guarding HIS guardian.

Someone snickered as Mojo sniffed carefully at Frenzy’s legs. Everyone knew the routine and what was coming next. The Decepticon was holding his arms in the air to keep them away from the marauding canine. Mojo gave a doggy sigh and casually lifted one leg.

A stream of urine splashed over Frenzy’s feet.

“IIIEIEIEIEEEEEEE! NONONONONO! No lubricate on Frenzy!” The Decepticon shrieked frantically.

“Good boy, Mojo!” Ratchet cried. Even Ironhide was smiling. Optimus Prime’s optics glowed with obvious approval. Sam whistled and clapped. Mikaela shook her head; Males.

“Nice work, Mojo,” Prime said, watching as Mojo casually kicked some dirt over his latest victim with a flex of each hindleg and moved on.

“I told you, what did I say, he’s entirely deserving of his Autobot symbol,” Ratchet said proudly.

“Autobot what..? What did you do to my dog?” Sam asked nervously.

Frenzy stood there miserably with smelly wet lower legs, too scared too move. B-barri-c-c-cade... they hurt Frenzy... he wailed sadly over his comlink.

The response was the frantic roar of a Mustang engine thundering down the dirt road. Brown dust kicked up where the black pseudo police car was sliding around the corners and racing onwards at a crazy speed. All of the Autobots spun around, rifles raised and arm cannons transformed. Bumblebee scooped up a surprised Mikaela with one free hand and held both of his humans close to his chest, backing up as the bigger Autobots moved forward. Ironhide had the forethought to pick up Frenzy by one thin arm and dangle him in the air to stop him running.

Optimus put himself at the front of the group, legs splayed with braced thighs, his rifle lifted and pointed. “Get ready, but hold your blasts until I give the word,” he ordered. Sam watched Ratchet and Ironhide respond with quiet efficiency. No words, no sarcasm. One warrior on either side of their Commander and packing heat – Ironhide less one cannon, since one hand still held on to Frenzy.

Barricade jammed on his brakes twenty or so feet from the Autobot group, and sat there, engine rumbling. The car shook, its chassis rocking on its suspension. Sam and Mikaela watched with particular interest. The last time they’d met this Transformer, he’d threatened Sam about the glasses and had to be beaten off in a robot death match by Bumblebee. Sam was curious to see what a robot as big and deadly as Optimus would do to the nasty bot. Bee was smaller and quicker, having to fight for every inch. Sam was proud of his Bee, but Optimus was just something else.

“Frenzy!” Barricade snarled, beginning to transform. His conversion sounded much deeper and more wicked compared to the Autobots. Optimus didn’t react to the car transforming, as long as Barricade made no other movements.

Not moving closer, the black Decepticon looked over Frenzy for damage with narrowed optics. “You hurt him,” he growled out viciously. His voice had a strained digital quality to it.

“We did not purposely injure him,” Optimus responded sternly. “He threw himself in front of Bumblebee and got run over. It was unavoidable.”

Barricade roared, lifting his arms, a cannon on his right arm glowing while a spinning blade was held in his left hand. Ironhide reacted first. He lifted the little bot higher and stuck the open end of his other arm cannon into Frenzy’s face. “Do it and you’ll need to find a replacement mini psycho,” Ironhide dared Barricade.

The bot squealed. Barricade halted abruptly, uncertain. Autobots didn’t generally shoot their captives.

“Cadecadecade, helphelphelp!” Frenzy chanted, waving his free arm frantically. “Annnnnnd, oh slag, look o-o-out behind YOU!”

Mojo was sniffing at the new bot. This one smelt funny. Different from the others. Like donuts? Mojo liked them. He wanted some. Almost as good as pain pills! He started barking.

Barricade stared at the tiny thing bouncing around and making noise. What the pit was this? He caught the glint of an Autobot symbol under the things chin. What the..? A new Autobot? They must be glitched to recruit something as hopeless looking as that, and organic to boot! “Call off your... your.. whatever, Prime,” Barricade demanded. He made as if to kick it to kingdom come and changed his mind. He grabbed at it.

“Ike! Ike! Ike!” Mojo wailed, trembling in Barricade’s tight hand.

“We have an impasse, Autobots. You’ve got Frenzy, I’ve got your... uh..” Barricade’s threat wandered off, red optics looking puzzled. He didn’t know what it was.

“MOJO!” Sam screamed, wriggling frantically to get free from Bumblebee who was hanging onto the struggling boy.

“Your Mojo,” Barricade finished with disdain. “I propose an exchange. Yes or no.”

“YES!” Sam screamed. Bumblebee and Mikaela were staring helplessly at Optimus Prime. Where was the ‘yes’? Optimus looked hesitant...

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