Mojo was tired of waiting. He’d been carefully set down onto his four paws by Ratchet while the big robots yapped insistently with his beloved Sam. Wasn’t it time to go home now? Mojo thought, looking up at the yabbering group. The noise from the big things was irritating.
The dog sniffed around the feet of the group and detected the distinct earthy smell of the big truck that had given him a ride earlier. Unobserved by the others, Mojo followed the scent, his nose to the ground. It took him through the Rec Area, past Medbay and down a dimly lit hallway at the rear of the building. He stopped at the closed door of a small room. Yes, yes, this was where that fun truck was! The smell was all over the door! Maybe it would come out and take him for a ride again? Mojo lay down on his side and made himself comfortable, leaning against the door. It was cool here, away from the heat outside. He’d wait.
Bumblebee had seen Mojo walk off by himself. The yellow bot had thought to make Sam aware that his dog was wandering and decided against it. He’d follow cautiously after the dog himself. He figured Mojo had been here for a week, he would know where he was going.
When Bee crept along in the dog’s tracks and saw Mojo lying quietly outside Ironhide’s private room, the Camaro’s optics sparkled. Mojo seemed to have taken a liking to the big gruff mech. Sam was right, Mojo liked riding in big cars! Brave, brave dog. Didn’t it know how easily organic things got squished if there was an accident? Bumblebee’s audio receptors detected the sounds of Ironhide moving around inside his room. The big black mech had retreated earlier to his quarters and was cleaning off the mud from his escapade around the paddock.
The door opened. Mojo fell inwards and leapt to his feet, a huge doggy smile of love on his face as he bounced up.
“DOG! Dog out! OUT! What are you doing down here?! This is a dog-free zone!” Ironhide bellowed.
From his position at the entrance to the hallway, Bumblebee squeaked in mirth. Oh dear.
“Out I said! OUT!” That was Ironhide.
“BARK!” Annnnnnd that was Mojo.
“GRRRRRRrrrrrrrr! BARK! PPPhhht!” Mojo again.
“Don’t think you can bite ME, you organic puffball from Mars!” Ironhide roared.
Sounds of a scuffle followed. Ironhide was obviously trying to chase the dog out of the room. It wasn’t working. Bumblebee fully expected to see the dog grow wings and come flying through the air into the hallway. Ironhide was good at throwing things. Bee transformed his arm cannon, anticipating such a move.
If ‘Hide threw his dog, there would be payback... hot cannon plasma up his aft.
“What the?! Oh, that’s it! You get on my recharge platform without permission, you’re dogmeat! OFF!”
This time Bumblebee leaned forwards and pressed his left hand to the mouth of his faceplate, attempting to squash the shrills of laughter breaking forth. Too late. Ironhide appeared swiftly in the hallway, one of his hands holding onto the doorframe and crunching it easily, the metal groaning. His optics were glowing with menace. His big black and grey physique was like a terrifying dark spot in the universe, occupying the hallway.
“You!” Ironhide hissed and pointed, “get it out of my room! I bet you planned this. In fact, I KNOW you did!”
Bumblebee arched one optic ridge, shrugging a casual ‘no’. Ironhide’s hands went alternately into fists and back again. “Whatever, just get it out,” ‘Hide thundered with fury.
Bee made a show of rolling his cheeky optics and moved past the smoldering Ironhide. He entered the room. And choked. There was the dog, sitting triumphantly smack in the middle of Ironhide’s large recharging platform. The dog must have mistaken the platform for a giant bed. Like all pets, Mojo knew that he who ruled the bed, ruled the house. Mojo was very much into asserting his miniature male dominance.
“What is all this commotion?” Optimus Prime’s irritated rumbling voice carried down the hallway, followed by his heavy footsteps. The humans smaller feet dashed to keep up. Prime’s head poked in the door. Ironhide seethed. Bumblebee laughed. Mojo pricked his ears. Sam blinked curiously, he hadn’t been near the bots private rooms before. Mikaela grinned, spotting Mojo.
“Well, well.” Prime paused, straightening up to his full height with a smirk, “It looks like you’ve got a new roommate, Ironhide.”
“LIKE THE SLAGGING PIT I DO!” Ironhide’s twin cannon’s began to whine as they charged up.
“Oh for Primus’ sake, turn them off, Junior,” Ratchet said calmly to Ironhide.
“I second that,” Optimus said dangerously, his head cocked to one side, eyeing off the recalcitrant old warrior. He took one step sideways and aimed a slap at the back of Ironhide’s head with one hovering hand.
Ironhide ducked away, growling, “Fine, fine. Just get it out of here.” His arms were shaking with the strain of NOT raising up his cannons and letting go.
“I’ll get him,” Mikaela offered, moving over to the underside of the large platform. “Just, um, can someone give me a lift?” She couldn’t get her leg up to it.
Bumblebee scuttled forwards, offering himself at her service. He flipped his cannon back into his arm in a quick transformation to free his hand, and the girl was lifted with careful hands and lowered down to grab Mojo. Mikaela wriggled free from Bumblebee’s grasp and stood on the platform, picking up and hugging the dog with smooching noises. The dog licked eagerly at her face, whining.
“You owe me five hundred credits, Ratchet,” Optimus said into the silence.
“Of all the slagging... I forgot about that. But hey! She’s an organic! It doesn’t count,” Ratchet pleaded. The others looked curiously at the pair. Ratchet owed Optimus credits?
Optimus folded his arms, unruffled. “You said it would be over ten thousand vorns before any female got onto Ironhide’s recharge platform again, after the last notorious incident. There’s Mikaela,” Optimus pointed, “and she is female, I believe.”
Mikaela frowned and stuck out her tongue, giving the clueless Autobot Leader a nasty look. Well, duh!
“You didn’t specify the female being inorganic or otherwise, and it is under the time limit,” Optimus said and beckoned at the medic with the fingers of one hand. “Pay up.”
“Of all the frickin’, slaggin’, stupid things to do, Bumblebee! Why couldn’t you have put Sam up there! He’s not a femme!” Ratchet grumbled. He could’ve slapped himself. Why hadn’t he put more conditions on the bet?
Mikaela looked warily down at the recharge bed under her feet, “Oh god, I don’t want to know, really. Bumblebee? Get me off here? NOW?” she pleaded, jogging in place like her feet were on a hot surface. The platform was contaminated! Ironhide and a female? URGHH! Gross!
“I didn’t know you really had females! I thought Ironhide’s swearing outside was a joke!” Sam was spluttering next to Bee’s feet.
“Now you’ve done it. Big mouth.” Ratchet grumbled at Prime accusingly, not willing to acknowledge the startled humans. Optimus did look disturbed at himself. It had completely skipped over his processors that they had agreed not to mention the whole femme thing until one actually showed up and they were forced to explain. And none of them thought any femme would show up, so the subject had been moot. Best to keep the nice gentle humans in the dark.
Ironhide had started up his cannons again, “You made a bet?! On me?! About femmes?! That’s it! I don’t care what you slaggin’ say, YOU’RE IT!” He yelled.
“Oh Primus...” Optimus Prime winced. He could’ve punched himself in the faceplates for making such an error.