“Sit.” Ratchet spoke calmly, hands propped on his hips, head titled to one side as he studied the dog standing on the floor of his medbay.
The Chihuahua huffed a bark, then squatted on its haunches, tongue sticking out in a pant.
Ratchet nodded approvingly, thinking of another command to try. Sit seemed to work well.
“Roll over?” he asked.
Mojo did a yoga pose and scratched behind one ear with his leg, ignoring Ratchet’s command. Finishing with his scratching, the dog yawned and looked around, bored.
“Mojo, ROLL OVER.” Ratchet repeated, leaning over earnestly with his hands propped on his knees. Mojo wasn’t interested. The dog stood up, sniffing the ground, then started to walk around the enclosed medbay room, looking for good smells.
“The play dead command works well, just shoot it. Easy,” Ironhide rumbled from where he was sitting at one of the medbay benches, scrolling through data so fast the computer screen was threatening to explode in revolt.
Ratchet sent him a malevolent glare and followed after the dog, who was snuffling around underneath the bench where Ironhide was pre-occupied. Ratchet tried to scoop the dog up with one hand, seeing how close the mutt was getting to Ironhide’s foot.
Although Mojo seemed to have tired lately of weeing on Ironhide’s feet. Optimus Prime’s regal feet were now the preferred target. Ratchet wasn’t sure that was such a brilliant idea of Mojo’s, since anyone else who had lethally aimed at the Autobot Leader ended up... dead. Or headless, Ratchet thought, remembering what Optimus had done to Bonecrusher on the freeway. Certainly spark-less and non-functioning, anyway.
“Aren’t you supposed to be meeting with Captain Lennox today?” Ratchet said from under the bench, supporting himself on hands and knees, and missing his attempt at grabbing Mojo when the dog danced sideways away from his grasp. The dog started barking rapidly, his tail wagging; new game, fun!
“Yeah, later - Primus! That noise! Make it stop!” Ironhide growled, looking down irritated.
Mojo kept barking wildly and was now dancing and darting back and forth in a zig-zag motion.
Ratchet tried to hush the dog, “Mojo, quiet! No! Stop that! No barking!”
Mojo disregarded the medic. The barking was so rapidfire Ironhide feared the automatic cannon defence mechanisms installed inside the hanger would begin to react.
“Dog! Rodent! MOJO! Shut up!” Ironhide snapped at the dog and stomped a massive foot. Ratchet thought the shock rebound through the floor might jolt the dog into a backflip.
The dog froze at hearing its name from the one that had never before uttered his name, “Urfff?” he questioned, ears pricked, body trembling.
“You said his name...” Ratchet said in a godly whisper.
“Urrmmm?” Mojo said again in a dog murmur.
“That’s right, I said it, MOJO,” Ironhide leaned over from his chair, locking his optics with the dog’s bright eyes, “and the next time you go on a freaking barking frenzy, I’ll let the auto cannons take you out, since Optimus won’t be able to say it was my fault and then I won’t get in trouble. Dog smudge on the floor and lots of blissful silence, get it?”
Ratchet snickered. “He’s too small, all the shots would miss.”
“Then maybe he’d break his organic neck falling into the cannon craters in the floor,” Ironhide grumbled, going back to his data crunching.
“So now you’re saying ‘he’ as well now?” Ratchet quipped. “Its a ‘he’ and he’s called Mojo. Nice. Only took six Earth days to achieve that.”
“What took six Earth days?” Optimus asked as he wandered into the medbay, still looking only half-alert after his two hour recharge nap in his quarters.
“Ironhide called Mojo by his name,” Ratchet informed him. “And hey, I do think you should take a turn at walking him, too. Mojo goes home tomorrow.”
Optimus halted his long slow steps next to where Ironhide sat. His optics looked askingly at the medic. “And why is that?”
“You won’t get another chance, don’t you want to say you’ve walked an Earth dog? New experiences and all that?” Ratchet got his plan together. Optimus was going to walk the dog. Period.
“No.” Prime’s reply was short and a bit snappy.
“Mojo does like you, he’s easy to walk,” Ratchet encouraged.
“He only likes my feet. And no.”
“Just once? Don’t you want to try?” Ratchet said.
“I’ll get him leashed up and ready to go at the hanger doors for you?”
“No.” Optimus was now starting to think leaving his massive laser rifle anchored to his back rather than sitting meekly in his subspace pocket was a much more intimidating look for him when it came to dealing with Autobots who wanted him to walk dogs.
“But you KNOW we only walk him when its dark, so no one will see you with the dog,” Ratchet insisted. The dog was walked around the outside perimeter of the massive hanger just before dawn and after sunset, Autobot sensors making sure there were no prying humans around to watch.
“No.” Optimus put his best ‘don’t crap with me’ expression on. It didn’t usually work with Ratchet though. The medic had spent too many years dealing with the recalcitrant Autobot twins, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker.
“Sam gave the leash to YOU. Not us. You should try using it. Sam will want to know how you went,” Ratchet explained.
“Oh, walk the damn thing, Prime. It’ll make ‘Ratch happy,” Ironhide glared, wanting peace and quiet. First it was the dog barking and now Commander Femme-Magnet (Optimus) and the belligerent Doctor of Pain (Ratchet) were interrupting his work.
Optimus was about to do the automatic ‘no’ answer when it hit him what Ratchet had said. Sam would want to know if he had walked the dog. Even just once. It wasn’t a lot to ask. Stick dog on leash, walk dog around the hanger, hand dog back to Ratchet and that was it.
“...Alright... just this once.” Prime said reluctantly. Ironhide looked flabbergasted. Ratchet bit back a whoop of victory. “But if he goes for my foot or acts up at all, I’m leaving him tied to a tree and you can go fetch him,” Optimus turned his commanding blue optics on Ratchet.
“Sure! I’ll just get him ready for you,” Ratchet bubbled happily, turning to locate the dog and the leash to put the two together.
“Heh, walkies,” Ironhide grinned sadistically.
Optimus felt another horrible sinking feeling in his wide, buffed up, chest like he’d felt when he had first agreed to look after the dog. The same feeling he felt when the Decepticons were doing something he hadn’t anticipated for. He was so sure this wasn’t going to go at all as planned.