Bumblebee slid to a stop outside the hanger, the rear end of his Camaro form kicking out sideways. Sam had ‘Bee’s door open faster than the Autobot could spring it open himself.
“BLOODY AUTOBOT! Bring back my dog, Ironhide!” Sam leaned on the fence and screamed at the wild Topkick truck doing wild figure-of-eight’s in the paddock with an unrestrained and unlicensed Chihuahua at the wheel.
A looming shadow appeared over Sam’s head. It was Optimus in his towering bipedal form. “Enough, Ironhide. Bring Mojo back inside,” the Leader said, then he looked down and smiled at the human boy who was craning his head back to look upwards, “Hello Sam! Mikaela.”. He let loose a few shrieks and whistles in Cybertronian at Bumblebee in welcome. The Camaro responded in kind with a digital warble, bouncing on his suspension once.
“Inside everyone, please,” Optimus asked as he ducked back inside the hanger, his feet making muffled thuds as they hit the dirt.
Ironhide stopped revving the crap out of his engine and rolled over to Sam at a more sedate pace. Mojo was still hanging his head out the window, but he did look exhausted and not as enthusiastic as before.
“You’ll make him sick doing turns like that, he’ll chuck all over your seats,” Sam said. Standing on tiptoes, he reached in Ironhide’s window and picked up Mojo, cradling the little dog in his arms while making smooching noises in his ear. Mojo was making short quick ruffing barks to Sam and jamming his nose under his chin, overjoyed at getting his Sam back. His tiny dog body shook uncontrollably in the typical Chihuahua way of showing over emotion.
“Chuck? Chuck what on my seats? Dogs can’t throw any better than humans can,” Ironhide was demanding, his engine rumbling loudly.
“Vomit, Ironhide. Um, the rapid expulsion of undigested food from the mouth,” Mikaela explained. She’d left Bumblebee and was reaching over Sam’s shoulder to pet the dog too.
“SLAG! That’s disgusting! It not only lubricates, it expels from the front too! And you make pets out of creatures like this?” Ironhide shook himself on his suspension, trying to shake off as much grass and mud as he could manage.
“So, he’s been good? He has been good, right? Eating his food? No biting, weeing and things?” Sam asked. He’d already counted how many legs Mojo had, holding him up and inspecting him. He was checking if the dog looked like he’d been flattened by a giant foot and then pumped up like a balloon after being stepped on. His mom was sure to notice details like that.
Mikaela was trying to extract Mojo from his arms to give him a hug of her own, but Sam was twisting around in circles and resisting her. “Mine! My dog! My hugging time!” Sam whimpered, cradling the dog while his mouth was still busy with kissing the top of Mojo’s head.
Ironhide revved his engine, moving slowly forwards past the humans and into the hanger. Bumblebee followed him, nudging ‘Hide’s bumper bar several times and trying to shove him along, flashing his headlights angrily.
“BEE! Back off!” Ironhide growled, transforming way too rapidly and turning to drop his hands on the startled hood of the Camaro, pushing Bee’s front end abruptly down into the dirt. The Camaro reversed rapidly out of Ironhide’s reach, his tyres losing traction on the dirt floor.
Ironhide stood back, planting his hands on his hips in a typical battle pose, chin in the air. “Humph. It was HIS order to take the rodent for a ride,” one black, cannon carrying, stocky arm pointed accusingly at Optimus Prime off to the side, “I did not volunteer to do it just to slag you off.”
“That is true, Bumblebee,” Optimus agreed with a nod, “I did order Ironhide to take Mojo out for a drive.”
Bumblebee’s engine went quiet. Thinking. Then he spun his car self around in a fishtail so his exhaust was facing the wary Commander, and let loose with a loud muffler fart. A large black cloud of expelled carbonised particles whooshed out and completely covered the shocked warrior.
There was stunned god-fearing silence. Even Sam had stopped in his Mojo kissing and was staring in disbelief.
“BUMBLEBEE!” Mikaela screeched, hands covering her mouth. Her eyebrows were up in her hairline.
Everyone was expecting the Commander to go ballistic. Guns, missiles, lasers, swear words, deactivation; the whole enchilada.
Ratchet came out of the medbay, holding a tiny metallic disc in his hand that he was focusing on. He looked up and paused next to the soot covered and blackened Optimus. “Nice,” the medic whistled. “Don’t expect me to clean that off. You do that yourself, buster.”
Bumblebee reversed up a few paces and then transformed. He stood up defiantly, hands in fists by his side.
“Don’t you DARE raise that finger, Bee, you’re in enough trouble!” Sam hissed, standing next to his Guardian. “And Mojo loves riding in cars, he would’ve enjoyed going around with Ironhide, I’m sure. He craves that stuff.”
Bumblebee’s baby optics widened in the biggest expression of ‘opps-my-god-I’m-so-screwed’ Sam had ever seen.
Optimus looked upwards at the roof, shifting on his feet. He muttered something too low for the humans to hear but which made Ironhide bark a laugh. Sam and Mikaela looked upwards at Ironhide quizzically. The cannon carrying soldier only shrugged and smiled in a grimacing fashion. “Tell ya later.”
With a final heavy sigh, Optimus stomped forward in damning steps towards Bumblebee. The other’s weren’t sure if this meant Bee was a few seconds away from being forcibly dismantled and sent back to Cybertron in an UPS courier box.
Prime reached out a determined hand and latched the fingers of one hand onto the side of Bumblebee’s head helmet, in the region of his audio receptors. Bumblebee squeaked, sinking down on his leg joints. Optimus hauled him upright again, faceplate-to-faceplate.
“You will clean ALL of this off me, by hand, right now. Do you understand me, youngling?” Optimus’ tone was so deep and deadly even Ironhide looked tinged with fear. Sam knew how he felt. He’d been faced with Prime’s imposing face inches from his own when they had first met in the alleyway. Geez. Someone had to tell the Autobot to stop doing that. It was possible to communicate without being nose-to-nose.
Bumblebee bounced his head in agreement up and down as much as he could with Prime hanging onto it. The song ‘Don’t worry, Be happy’ blurted from ‘Bee’s speaker system as he scrambled to go get a bucket and cleaning cloths when Optimus released his grip.
“And if you EVER pull a stunt like this again, I will put the fruit the humans call a ‘banana’ up your exhaust. It does terrible things to your internals, or so it says on the World Wide Web,” Optimus said sternly, watching his small scout scuttling around and collecting the tools he needed to wash his dirty Commander with.
Sam dropped poor Mojo he was struck so hard by a fit of laughter. Mikaela was smothering her face with his t-shirt, snorting and squealing while stamping one foot. Who ever would have thought the Autobots were such a hilarious bunch of stand-up comedians?
“You keep saying you’ve got two warriors called ‘The Twins’ who play terrible pranks?” Mikaela asked Ratchet, after she’d gotten herself together. Ratchet had come over to pick up and soothe the dropped Mojo. The dog ruffed a few barks and made himself comfortable in Ratchet’s hand. He liked Ratchet. He was safe and warm. And he had dog food!
“Oh yes, those two,” Ratchet looked disgusted, “Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. Brilliant soldiers, they would go a few rounds with Megatron while calling him weirdo femme names. They have awful manners though. Always getting themselves ripped up and needing repairing. No fear or no working CPU’s, one or the other.”
“Did they ever take classes with Optimus?”
“Er, no.” Ratchet responded.
“And thank Primus for that.” Ironhide sniffed. “Then we would have ‘The Triplets’, instead of ‘The Twins’.”