Optimus Prime stared down at the area of floor under his feet.
He was sitting at a table in the Autobots new base of operations, his oversized legs carefully tucked underneath his chair. He was sure he’d felt something brushing his leg. Looking downwards yet not seeing anything, and not even bothering to use his scanner for such a trivial matter, he went back to reading a whole heap of documents provided by Captain Lennox on the progress he was making with the Government over the Autobot’s situation (the Government was wary of using any digital means to send sensitive information since the Decepticons had so quickly and easily manipulated it despite Earth’s best encryption and firewall technology).
A sniffy snuffle sound came from under his feet. Optimus went still, hands going motionless in the act of turning a report page. His head moved to look down next to his seat once more – and saw the tiny tip of a dog tail next to his right foot. He flinched. Defensive tactics were required yet again. His optics went back to reading his report, while at the same time, he lifted his right thigh, leaving his foot dangling in the air above the ground.
An animal squeak of surprise hit his sensitive audios, followed by the sound of claws scrambling at the floor. Something touched Prime’s other foot. Reacting automatically – he’d been through this many times over the past two days – Optimus Prime carefully but firmly lifted his other foot from the floor too. He now had two feet hovering in the air under the table, out of reach of the dog’s aim to urinate. He knew he looked stupid. Safe, but stupid.
A spastic little bark of dismay punctuated the silence.
“Oh shut up,” Prime growled. “You’ve already done me once, go find someone else to lubricate on.” He then felt an instant stab of regret at speaking so harshly to the little lifeform.
“Dog breech! DOG BREECH!” Ratchets flustered synthesised voice filled the interior of the Autobot’s base. It was the standard warning used by them all to signify the fact Sam’s dog has yet again escaped his purpose built doggie sized compound arranged next to Ratchet’s medbay.
“No one step on it! Watch where you’re walking!” Ratchet’s voice was getting nearer. He was now on search and find duty. Ironhide had maliciously called it search-and-destroy duty the first time the dog had escaped, but he no longer used that phrase since Optimus has threatened to off-line his cannons for the duration of Mojo’s stay.
Ratchet walked slowly into the recreation area, his head bent down and optics watching where he was putting his feet with infinite care. Optimus put down his report. Ratchet looked up at the noise; paused to take in the situation; then smirked. He’d found Mojo. The Autobot Leader with sitting looking ridiculous with his legs held up, the errant dog sitting smack underneath his hovering left foot, looking hopeful at the object over his head.
“He didn’t, er, you know,” Ratchet asked. What an indignity to someone so noble.
“No, he did not. Would you mind putting him back in his compound and fixing whatever he did to get out of it this time?” Optimus’ words were calm.
“Of course,” Ratchet smiled, kneeling down on one leg and calling to the dog, holding out one hand flat on the ground. Mojo eagerly left his current game of pee-on-the-big-mech’s foot, and ran to his next new friend. Without fear, the dog sat happily on the medic’s hand while it was raised into the air. The canine had no fear, he was a Chihuahua after all, everything was huge to him.
“Bad dog, Mojo,” said Ratchet, holding the dog up in front of his face for optic contact, and turning to head back to his medbay. The dog agreed with him, his tail waving with so much happiness his body wove back and forth.
“Bad dog. Nuh.” Optimus muttered at Ratchet’s departing back.
They had all listened so carefully to Sam’s instructions when the dog had arrived.
“Two small meals, twice a day, one morning, one night. I know the dog books say one, but he gets hungry, which means he’ll annoy the crap out of you and drive you insane,” Sam had explained, holding a can of dog food and demonstrating how to fill the tiny dog food bowl. “And no snacks, he gets fat. These treats are only to entice him back to you if he gets difficult to handle.” Sam held up a small package of Beef Dog Snacko treats. “And keep his water clean and fresh, change it daily.” A water bowl was popped next to the bed.
“One dog bed, deluxe model,” a fluffy round cushion was pushed against the wall by Sam, who looked down at his dog, “its not the penthouse Mojo, but you’ll survive.”
The Autobots looked nervously at each over. At least, Optimus and Ironhide did. Ratchet was concentrating on listening to Sam while looking nervous. The two other mech’s had already decided this was entirely a Ratchet-only job. Bumblebee was kneeling on the floor, playing with Mojo while he waited for Sam and smothering some snickers at the dog lessons his elders were receiving. Bumblebee had spent enough time at the Witwicky’s house to know how the dog was looked after, he didn’t need to be taught.
Ratchet surveyed the dog set-up, noticing from his research that something was missing, “Where is the litterbox?”
Sam raised his eyebrows, “Litterboxes are for cats, ‘Ratch. Not dogs. When you take him for his walk outside, he’ll do his business then.”
Sam produced a mound of brown rope from inside his backpack, “Speaking of which, this is his leash. Its the best I could come up with, since his normal leash is way too short for you guys to use properly, you being so tall and Mojo so... short.” It looked like something a tugboat would use to try and save the Titanic. “Clip it onto his collar. Only for walks! Not for keeping him chained up, alright? No way. That’s cruel.”
“We would never do that, Sam,” Optimus Prime said reassuringly, standing with his hands linked behind his back, “He will be well looked after.”
Ironhide fingered his left arm cannon casually, getting it to crackle alarmingly with energy.
Bumblebee re-directed the ball he had been rolling on the floor for Mojo so the solid rubber object hit Ironhide in the side of the head at lightspeed.
“HEY!” Ironhide roared.
The Camaro glowered defiantly up at the enraged bot with expressive blue optics and went to lift a middle finger in a special salute while holding a hand protectively over Mojo.
“Finger DOWN, cannons OFF!” Optimus’ voice was deep and deadly, “Now!”. He placed his bulk so he was towering over Bumblebee’s crouching form while being in a position to physically tackle Ironhide who was ready to blast the hand off the yellow bot with his cannons, in revenge.
“Insolent punk!” Ironhide ground out at Bumblebee. “Lets see who helps who the next time Starscream has a missile cluster aimed up your rear end!”
Sam waited apprehensively for Optimus to REALLY deal out some discipline at such a display of child-like behaviour from experienced warriors. Instead the towering commander blinked once, then started to chuckle.
Optimus turned to Sam, bending down on one knee and leaning over as he always did, “I shall personally ensure the well being of your dog, Sam. He will receive the best care and kindness,” Optimus glanced up meaningfully at Ironhide, “we are able to give. Or else some bots around here will certainly receive a missile in the rear delivered by a mech other than Starscream.” The flash of meaning in Optimus’ astute optics betrayed how serious he was.
As if in understanding at what was being said, Mojo left Bumblebee and wandered over to the kneeling Autobot. He sniffed at Optimus Prime’s gently offered hand, who was watching him with interested optics. The dog walked around him in a circle once. And lifted a leg.
Sam screamed and darted forwards, “No, no, NO! BAD DOG! Mojo, don’t!! Stop! No – oh. God no. Optimus! I’m sorry! Mojo is sorry!”
“Yeah, at least do it on Ironhide, Mojo, consistency is everything,” Ratchet said smugly.