The two Autobots stood patiently just inside the hanger doors, waiting. Even the dog, Mojo, was waiting. The sun had gone down an hour ago, taking all the brightness of sunlight with it, making it safe for alien robots to walk their borrowed dog.
“Is everything ready?” Ironhide asked curiously. He made sure to stand on the opposite side of Ratchet to where the dog was sitting.
Ratchet eyed Ironhide, saying nothing and merely holding up the leash to indicate the dog on the end of it, sitting next to his feet.
“No, I mean is EVERYTHING ready?” Ironhide asked in a lower tone, optics glancing back into the hanger. He was looking and listening for any sign of Optimus Prime.
“Of course,” Ratchet said idly, one optic blinking in a human-like winking
Ironhide didn’t say anything further. Their subject (or victim, as Ironhide now liked to think of Optimus) was approaching, his heavy, wide-spaced footsteps causing Mojo to stand up and look around.
“Wuuuuf!” the Chihuahua got up onto his paws and barked a greeting, his tiny brain working out that this was what he and his tall friends had been waiting around for.
“Hello Mojo,” Optimus pronounced politely. Mojo’s stumpy tail did double-time in response. “Alright, lets do this... thing,” Optimus said, waiting to start.
“Leash,” Ratchet spoke, his optics twinkling as he held out the rope expectantly to his wary Commander.
Optimus took it gingerly, holding it between one metallic forefinger and thumb. He looked down at the dog, who had stepped sideways towards him, following the weight of the rope.
“Use the inside of your hand, like this,” Ratchet instructed, bending and shaping Prime’s hand to hold the leash in a more comfortable grip.
“You know how we used to drag the more unhelpful rogue Decepticon prisoners into the brig with a chain? Hold the leash like that,” Ironhide said helpfully.
Optimus looked askance at his Weapons Specialist, “Tell me you DID NOT do that. You know that isn’t how we treat prisoners!”
“It was just the odd one, the unco-operative ones! They wouldn’t walk, what was I to do? You wouldn’t let me shoot them once they surrendered! Against the rules, YOU said.”
“Ahem,” Ratchet had bowed his head, rubbing at his forehead, “Can we just do the task at hand, please?”
“We shall discuss this later, Ironhide,” Prime’s optics flashed. He wasn’t happy.
“Right,” Ironhide muttered equally unhappily.
“FOOT!” Ratchet suddenly shouted, “look out! Hold the leash out sideways, quick!”
Optimus snapped his arm out straight, taking up slack in the rope and keeping the eager Chihuahua from getting within wetting range of his foot. Mojo huffed and sat down, ears drooping, defeated.
“Good, very good! I think you’ve got it,” Ratchet nodded happily.
“I know Sam said not to use this all the time but it seems very good for control of that bad behaviour,” Optimus said thoughtfully, looking down at the disappointed dog.
“Yeah, yeah, just go walk it, enough with the antics already,” growled Ironhide.
There was silence. No one moved. Optimus seemed frozen, his processor going over several thousand options of what to do next.
“Go on, just walk, he’ll go with you,” Ratchet informed him, his hands waving Optimus onwards.
“...Okay...” Optimus took two steps forward. The leash went tight, taking up all the slack. Mojo didn’t follow. He sat there looking disinterested. Optimus gave the leash a tiny tug. However, a tiny tug for a mech with Optimus Prime’s size and strength meant that Mojo got dragged on his bottom for quite a few feet. Surprised by this development, Mojo rammed his front legs into the dirt and ended up falling on his nose in a sudden stop. His rear end swung high up into the air and over his front end.
“Oh no! Mojo!!” Optimus dropped to his knees, hands reaching out and trying to see if he had hurt the little dog, “Are you okay? I didn’t mean to do that! I apologise!”
Mojo got up, shaking his head, trying to get the soil out of his nose and eyes. He did a micro growl and snapped at Optimus’ finger where the robot was hovering it anxiously over his head. Prime put his hands on the ground and ducked his head down, trying to look Mojo in the face. He wanted to check if he was ok but he just couldn’t get his head that low down.
“We don’t drag prisoners, Prime. You know we don’t,” Ironhide said solemnly. Ratchet kicked him in the ankle. “Ow, hey! Lay off ‘Ratch!”
“Is he ok? He looks ok, well, he looks angry, but ok,” Prime asked Ratchet apprehensively, getting to his feet. He watched the dog do a body shake to dump the dirt off. Mojo did a muffled woof as if he was talking to himself, then looked sideways up at the bad robot that had dumped him on his nose.
Optimus winced, his optics dimming, his great head bowed, “I am very sorry, Mojo. Truly. It won’t happen again.”
Mojo looked the other way up at Ratchet, the nice mech who normally walked him. He looked as if he was trying to say, ‘I don’t want this idiot, can’t you do it?’.
Ratchet chortled, “He’s fine, Earth animals are pretty tough. That’s how they play. Just don’t pull that hard, wait for him to move first.”
“How?” Optimus asked.
“Call him. Say, ‘Walk Mojo. Come.’ That should do it. Make a forwards motion with your head.”
Optimus considered this and then followed Ratchet’s instructions. Mojo relented and started to trot past his new leash master.
“Good! Great! Keep up with him, go on! Around the hanger once,” the medic smiled, folding his arms and turning to watch the odd pair turn round the corner into the evening darkness.
“Keep up with him, he says,” Ironhide dead-panned. While Mojo was trotting flat out, Optimus Prime beside him was taking the tiniest steps possible and waiting for the dog to catch up with each stride. “Mojo running at top speed couldn’t keep up with Prime’s walk.”
“The camera’s are on, right?” Ironhide said quietly into the companionable silence while he and Ratchet waited for Prime and Mojo to return. The aged warrior leaned against the hanger wall, his arms folding across his chest.
Ratchet glanced up at the ceiling, “Oh yes. With back-ups and double copies.”
“Goood.” Ironhide drawled. He rarely smiled this wide.
Meanwhile, earlier on the beach...
“We pick up Mojo tomorrow,” Sam said casually, fluffing some sand into the air with the toes of his right foot. He was lying on his back, hands tucked behind his head. His sunglasses were set at such an angle that he could clearly see the wonderful length of Mikaela’s bikini clad body. And what a body.
“That we do.” Mikaela affirmed, brushing at some ants trying to crawl up her thigh, and re-arranging the towel she was stretched out on. “We, er, haven’t had any calls of distress.”
“True,” Sam nodded, sitting up. He leaned forward and anchored his elbows on his bent up knees, looking out at the sea. It was damn hot.
“Are you going to tell your Mom you left her dog with big robots from another planet?”
“I’m still thinking about that,” Sam muttered, avoiding looking at her. “But you know what?”
Sam smirked at the affectionate name, “Ratchet promised he’d get Optimus to walk Mojo at least once, and even better, provide us video footage of it as a memento.”
Mikaela’s jaw dropped open, and she sat up, “Holy god.. are you serious?” While they had used the idea of Optimus walking the dog as a bit of humorous fun, she hadn’t thought it would actually happen. The big guy? With a Chihuahua? The macho mech who had gone robot-to-robot deathmatch with Megabutt Megatron?
Jesus. This was going to be something. Mikaela was so glad she’d gotten into Bumblebee all those months ago.
“Do you think that if poor Optimus knew he’d be looking after Mojo for a week, back when he was beating the crap out of Megatron, he may have let Megatron kill him?” Mikaela asked.
“Oh yeah. For sure,” Sam smiled.