Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Transformers the 2007 movie. Transformers belongs to Hasbro and the movie belongs to Michael Bay and DreamWorks Pictures. Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I am not making a single cent off of this so suing me would be pointless.
Okay, for the record I am SO sorry about the nearly year long hiatus. First there came school, then messing up in school and stupid members of the opposite sex giving me grief and writer's block and... blarg! However, I'm back now with a new chapter and the next one should be up between Saturday and Monday... I'm not sure. In all honesty, this is not my favorite chapter. I don't really like the way this one turned out but I figured a few things needed to be tied up. Okay, her we go.
Joyce remembered Ironhide. He was the giant obsidian mech who mainly groused at Ratchet. He was also the one who drove her to the hospital after she blacked out. Joyce glanced over at Buffy who had straightened from her position on the wall in interest.
“How can I help you, Ironhide?”
“I heard that you forbade Dawn from seeing us.” He wasted no time getting to the point.
With a sigh, Joyce closed her eyes. “Listen... it's nothing personal. I'm very grateful to you all, you for bringing me here and when I collapsed and the rest of your team for saving me from that woman but I do not want my daughter involved in your war. Now, if it weren't for that then I would gladly let her be around you all.”
“Oh, that's a load of slag and you know it.” Ironhide growled.
Blue eyes widened in shock. “Excuse me?”
“You don't wish for her to become involved in our war? Well, its too late for that. And do you know why? Because your entire planet is involved. Because your eldest child is now directly involved which means everyone she is close to is now indirectly involved, including you. Or have you forgotten what just happened to you at the hands of that femme? She used you to get to her and the Decepticons will be no different. Listen to me, Joyce Summers. Decepticons are cunning, ruthless slaggers. And the one who attacked Buffy is no different. And to get at her he will come after Dawn the same way that femme came after you. To him, Dawn is nothing but a filthy bag of pus he can dangle in front of Buffy to get what he wants from her.”
Fear gripped Joyce's heart as she took all of this in but she didn't back down just yet. “And how do you know that he wants something from her?”
“Because, if he did not he would have wasted no time killing her. Also, we've learned that he is working with a demon. Something Buffy deals with frequently from what we understand. Her enemies and our enemies have joined and now we have to do the same if any of you want to live. Do you understand?”
Breathing heavily through her nose, tears filling her eyes at the thought of what was coming for them, Joyce let out a shaky sigh. “I understand.”
“Mom...” Buffy took a few steps forward but Joyce held up a hand to stop her, waiting for Ironhide to continue.
“So, we will be here to protect her and the rest of you. Though Buffy is strong for a human, she is no match for a Decepticon. That she even survived the battle with Barricade was a miracle, Joyce. You may have caught a glimpse of him at the factory...”
Joyce clearly remembered the horrible black and white mech that tried to throttle Bumblebee when she was held captive at the factory. Those glowing eyes and sharp teeth would haunt her dreams for years to come.
“Yes, I remember him...”
“Well, I do not wish to scare you but I feel it is necessary. As far as Decepticons go, standard ones at least, Barricade is rather small. Probably the smallest, aside from the Casseticons. If others were to come, Buffy would stand no chance.”
“H-how big are the other ones?” That Barricade monster was well over seventeen feet tall!
“Some dwarf even Optimus. Joyce. And they are far more ruthless than Barricade can ever be and they can fly as well. Not all of them can, but some. Starscream being the main one but I'll tell you about him some other time. Your child is strong but while she may be able to keep the demons at bay, she can't handle this. We will be around to protect you all and I'll be keeping close watch on Dawn myself.”
“And I think I know the main reason you don't want her involved. You want her to be different from Buffy, to have what passes as a normal life on your planet? Joyce, any one who raised two femmes such as your younglings can hardly be called foolish or stupid but you do know that the chance for a normal life is gone considering Dawn knows about the things both in your world and beyond it, right?”
“Normalcy is no longer an option, Joyce. At least let her have friends who can protect her as well as help her cope with this. Think about what I've said.” And with that the line went silent.
Joyce sat quietly for a few moments before placing the phone back on its hook. She heard Buffy take a few steps toward her.
“Mom...?” She asked nervously. “What'd he say?”
Joyce just let out a sigh. “Buffy... I need time to thing, ok?”
Buffy wanted to know what Ironhide had said to her mother so pensive but she honored her mother's request and left the room, leaving her mother with her thoughts. As she closed the door and turned around she nearly collided with Sam. “Oh, sorry...”
“No problem.” He gave her a concerned look. “You okay?”
She nodded. “Yeah... Mom just needs a little time to think... Especially after Ironhide called her.”
“Wait what?” Sam was highly curious. “Why would he do that?”
S.S.S.S.S.SAs we go on
All the good times
We had together
As our lives change
We will still be
Dawn sighed and leaned back in Bumblebee's seat, her face damp with tears. “Bee, please stop...” she asked weakly. She appreciated the gesture but it was a little too much right now.
The radio clicked off and it was silent. And that was somehow worse. She glanced out the window and noticed Tara giving her a small smile from the bench before getting up to leave. She was probably going back to the Magic Box. She gave an acknowledging wave before resting back against the seat again.
Why did this keep happening? Why was every single time something good happened, it was snatched away from her? Well, not really... She didn't have that many good things to begin with. Well, I guess this kind of makes me part of the group. No one is really a Scooby until they lose something awesome because of stupid Sunnydale crap.
That thought gave her little comfort.
Well, it might actually be fore the best. If anything she would try to help them and then end up getting in the way, like the dumb little kid everyone thought she was... Ironhide included.
She shifted her eyes to Bee's window, gazing at Ironhide who was parked a few spaces away. He would most likely be thrilled once he found out she wasn't going to be around anymore. But she would still be connected to him. Well, first thing she was going to do when they were gone, she was going to ask Tara and Willow to break this link. It would be pointless being shackled to someone who didn't even want to be around her.
Glory was pacing back and forth, wearing her displeasure like a cloak. She had just finished explaining to Starscream the reason he was here. “Yeah, those giant metal douches totally killed my fun time and trapped me in a bunch of rubble! Look at my dress! It's all nasty now!” She flopped onto the couch like a whiny teenager and folded her arms. “So, yeah... I kind of need you to take care of those losers for me. I got bigger things to worry about.”
Processors reeling, Starscream leaned back against the wall. So, the Autobots were here. More than likely the same ones who were such a pain in his aft during the last battle. Oh, how he would love to rip all of them to shreds.
But, then... did he really want to help Glory? This whore who kept him locked in this invisible prison? The slagger who enlisted the aid of that demon filth who put him in this predicament? She ripped his armor off piece by piece an enjoyed every moment of it.
But then, she was a God... If he were to help her she would probably reward him handsomely. Though he wasn't too sure of that. She seemed worse than the demons and from the research he had gathered on them, they delighted in getting mortals to do what they wished in exchange for their wildest dreams come true only to watch with unbridled delight as it all came crashing down around them. And if that's what demons were like, then what would be in store for him when he finished doing what a demigod asked of him?
“And what would you have me do?” he asked slowly and she rolled her eyes at him.
“I gotta genius on me hands.” She ran a hand through her hair and sighed. “Lookie here, short bus. Why do you think Rina called you and not a random one? You're the Second in Command, right? The leader since Megaturd or whatever kicked the bucket. Get your pals down here, get them to lay the smackdown on the Autobats and the Slayer while I get my Key and get out of this Arctic panty stain. Then whatever you guys want to do to this mud ball... I don't care. I just want out.”
“This Key, what is it?” Starscream asked and she gave him a glare.
“Oh, like I'm going to tell you so you can try and take it from me? Rina gave me a copy of the file they've got on you. You're like the biggest, sneakiest douche in the Decepticons according to the Auto...whatever they're called. I'm not telling you a thing. You're job,” she stood and stalked toward him until she was inches away from his barrier, “is to do what I tell you if you want to live. Because, honey...” she gave him a slow smile, “just because I'm tiny compared to you doesn't mean a damn thing. I can easily hurt you and you know this...”
His Spark lurched and his processor burned with the memory of tiny hands gripping at his armor, and the excruciating pain as she ripped the plating off, piece by piece. She had been talking to him but he couldn't hear a thing over the sound of his own screams. Then she had left him, writhing and screaming on the floor. His jailer Rina had stood a little ways away, a smirk plastered to her putrid face. She had undoubtedly used that filthy magic on him so he could not move throughout the entire thing.If you think I'm going to let you get away with that, either one of you, you are sadly mistaken.
“Fine... I will do what you ask, Glory.” Oh how it took all of his willpower to keep his tone neutral.
“Good!” She clapped giddily then fixed her eyes to his working optic. “And once I get on my seat of power, I'll be sure to fix you up real nice. My power will be infinite and whatever you wish will be yours if you succeed at this. You saw what I used to be capable of... You know I'm not bluffing.” She pulled away. “Dreg! Jinx!”
At their lady's command the two came scurrying out of the woodwork like the roaches they were. “Yes, your most-”
“Shut up.” She reared her fist back and punched a hole into the barrier and pointed to it. “Healing spell on him, pronto.” And with that she left.
The two males exchanged glances and then looked up warily at the injured Decepticon but entered as their Goddess commanded.
“Mia! It's one o'clock. You should get up... or at least eat something.”
Trent sighed as he stood outside of his sister's room. He still couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong with her. His skin broke out in goosebumps whenever he came close to her door. And he could recall having a similar sensation recently, back in the little backwater place called Sunnydale, where his sister first went missing. He couldn't explain it but that whole town gave him the wig. However, it was crawling with hot babes so he opted to stay a little longer. Though some of those girls gave him a bad feeling as well.
“Mia!” He called.
“I'm trying to sleep, Trent!” She called. “I'll get up around sunset, okay?” Her voice held a feral edge that he'd never heard before and tied a knot in his gut.
“Okay, fine...” He headed back downstairs.
A clang from underneath the sink caught his attention. Opening the cupboard, he smiled when he saw Zorro's fuzzy head poke out a bucket. “Hey, you.” He scratched the little cat behind the ears, startled to find he was shaking. He'd been petrified ever since Mia came home.
“You know something's up with her too, huh?” He scooped the kitten up and cast an uneasy glance up the stairs. “Me too, little guy...”
“Are you bothering your sister, again, Trent? After the ordeal she's had?”
Trent's shoulders stiffened at the voice behind him. Setting Zorro down he turned to find his father behind him, the icy blue eyes he and his sister inherited glaring daggers at him.
“I just wanted to make sure she ate, Dad.” His voice tight as he fisted his hands in the pockets of his loose jeans.
Looking at Trent as if he were less than a bug, the older man turned and left. “Leave that girl alone. She needs her rest.” He grabbed his keys and left out the front door.
When he was gone, Trent let out the breath he had been holding and shook his head. “Some day, old man...”
“So, wait... Your Mom forbade Dawn from being around the bots and then a few minutes later Ironhide actually called her?”
Sam leaned back against the wall and let out a low whistle. “Wow...” He turned back to the girl next to him. “What'd he say?
Buffy gave a small shrug. “I have no idea. But whatever he said must've shaken her because she told me to get out so she could think... I hope he convinced her to let Dawn see them. Because honestly, with all the crap that's going on... they can protect her better than I can. I'm not worried about the demon. I killed her.”
“Yeah, but there's another one you have to worry about. I saw her fighting with Spike that night. It sounded like he knew her... and the Autobots are going to question him at sunset.”
Buffy's brows shot up. “Another demon? What did she look like?”
Sam shrugged. “At first she looked like an ordinary girl, brown hair... average face. Then she morphed into this... thing with spikes on her face and piranha mouth. It seemed like she knew that blond vampire guy. The bots wanted to talk to him around dusk.”
The image of Spike being interrogated by four gigantic robots made her smirk despite herself. She'd definitely tag along for more than just business reasons.
The smirk soon melted off her face. So, Spike knew this demon. Well, that wasn't surprising. Spike had been around for a long time and he knew all sorts of nasties. He probably had info on this demon. Buffy doubted that it was the same demon woman she faced against. She killed it with a shard of glass that first battle. Then again, how many demons would enlist the help of Barricade? What if stabbing it through the heart didn't kill it? Well, she'd have to figure out how she'd kill it. This thing had to die and soon. No way was that thing coming for Dawn.
A small sigh escaped her. She had to nip this in the bud soon.
“So... when are you guys going to talk to Spike?”
Dawn was staring forlornly at the ceiling of Bumblebee's interior when the disembodied voice came from the speakers, prompting her to sit up straight. “Yeah, Bee?”
“Maybe you should go back into the hospital... At least to let Sam and Mikaela know what's going on...” he said quickly before she could shriek at him for even suggesting going back in there.
At the mention of her friend, Dawn reached for the door. “Oh crap... I saw her crying earlier. I gotta go see what's wrong with her. I think its the whole thing with Sam.”
As she darted away, Bumblebee watched her sadly. He was certainly going to her miss her.
“Dawn what are you doing back here?” Buffy asked, surprised that her sister came back at all.
“Where's Mikaela?” Dawn asked, eyes shifting to Sam who was seated next her sister. Oh crap, Sam... don't dump Mikaela for Buffy... she so doesn't want you.
“Probably in the hallway still.” Sam answered.
Not sparing either of them a word, Dawn went to go find her friend. She didn't find her in the hallway but she did hear sniffles coming from the ladies room. She pushed open the door and found Mikaela seated on the small couch there, tears pouring.
“Oh hey...” Dawn sat next to her and wrapped her arms around the taller girl's shoulders. “Is Sam being a tool? Want me to beat him down?”
Mikaela let out a small chuckle. “No, it's fine... I totally deserved to have him bitch me out.”
Dawn shifted guiltily. “Is this because you hung out with me last night?”
“And leaving him alone after vampires nearly ate him alive?” Mikaela finished, turning swollen eyes to Dawn who winced.
“Ooh... that's so not good... I'm sorry.”
“It's not your fault.” Mikaela waved her hand over the paper towel dispenser and a new stream automatically came out. She ripped herself a piece and blew her nose. “I was also jealous. I mean, I get that he'd want to know more about your sister since she did save him and all. I overreacted.” Tossing the towel she dabbed at her eyes with a fresh one. “Speaking of which... I thought I heard you two fighting earlier and I saw you storm off. What happened?”
Dawn lowered her head and sighed as fresh tears filled her eyes. “This is about you right now, okay... Not me. You've been dealing with me enough lately.”
“What happened?” Mikaela asked turning the girl toward her. “I heard bits and pieces of it... Your Mom's mad at you, right?”
“She doesn't want me hanging around the bots anymore.” She sighed and wiped at her eyes. “And she probably won't want me hanging around you and Sam either?”
Mikaela's eyes widened in shock, a fist squeezing her heart. “What? Why?”
“I don't know!” Dawn huffed and pressed her back against the wall. “She doesn't want me mixed up in the war and some crap about not making the mistakes she made with Buffy.”
“That's stupid!” Mikaela exclaimed. “If anything because of what's going on that should be all the more reason to let you hang around them. Because seriously, what if Barricade came out of nowhere while Buffy's fighting a demon and tried to use you to get to her? If she's busy staking some vampire how's she going to stop him from running off with you?” Resting her forehead against her fist the older girl shook her head. “God, can you ever catch a break. I mean, what the Hell?”
Dawn rested her chin in her hands and sighed. “I didn't think of it that way... but then Harmony did the same thing a while ago. So did Angelus.” The thought of Angelus brought up another thought and Dawn instantly grew angry again. “And another thing! What mistake could she make with me that she made with Buffy? It's not like I'm going to go screw someone and turn them evil, or run away. All I'm doing is hanging out and having fun and being apart of something awesome and...” Her angry tirade ended in an enraged feminine growl. “This just sucks...” She then turned to Mikaela. “So, what are you going to do about Sam?”
The older girl looked a little startled that she changed the subject but paused to think. “I don't know... he was pretty upset.”
“Did you apologize?”
Dawn fought to think of something to say but she couldn't. “Well, I don't know what to tell you... I've never been in a relationship...”
“Oh, they're loads of fun.” Mikaela said with a roll of her eyes.
Dawn gave a small smile at her sarcasm. “But, I'm sure you two will work it out. You two have been through too much together to let something like this get in the way.”
At that Mikaela arched a brow. “Kind of like you and Ironhide?”
Dawn bristled at that then sighed sadly. “He's probably more than happy to get rid of me.”
“Oh shut up!”
Dawn whirled surprised eyes on her friend. “What?”
“You heard me.” Mikaela said tersely. “He's not going to be happy that you can't be around anymore. And he's not mad at you. He's mainly hurt that you felt you couldn't tell him about what happened. He cares about you more than he'll let on but he's being a douche as a defense mechanism. He's a guy and that's how most of them work... species regardless.”
“And how do you know?” Dawn asked skeptically.
“One, because I know guys and two... he told me this morning.”
The younger girl's eyes widened. “What? Explain!”
Mikaela straightened herself up. “Well, here's the thing...”
The bathroom door opened suddenly and Buffy came inside. “Oh, there you are. C'mon Dawn. Mom says she wants to talk to you.”
Even though she was still livid with her mother Dawn couldn't bring herself to be petty and say she didn't want to talk to her given her condition. “Yeah, ok.” She got to her feet and exited the bathroom, but not before mouthing 'later' to Mikaela.
Buffy turned to follow her sister out but stopped when she noticed how sad Mikaela looked. “Hey...” She sat down next to the young girl. “I don't think Mom'll keep Dawn from hanging out with you and Sam, if that's what you're upset about.”
Mikaela sighed and shook her head. “No, it's not that... I mean, yeah, that'll really suck because Dawn's one of the true friends I've ever had. All of my other friends were shallow bitches and she's awesome. But, that's not why I'm upset.”
That would leave one other thing for a girl to get upset over. Boyfriend problems. Considering the fact that Sam was mainly hanging out in the waiting room kind of angry while his girl was in here, they must have had a fight earlier. However, Buffy left it alone. It wasn't her place to ask, she'd leave that to Dawn. However, she could at least try to get them in the same room together.
“C'mon, we're going to be leaving soon anyway after Dawn talks with Mom.”
Mikaela felt apprehensive about going in the same room with Sam but followed the blond out anyway. When she made it to the waiting room she found Sam sitting in one of the chairs, giving an encouraging wave to Dawn who had just headed into her mother's hospital room. He noticed her and his expression turned carefully neutral which was what he did when he was pissed but didn't want to cause a scene. I faced off against Decepticons and we're dealing with demons now, no way you're gonna scare me, Witwicky.
Standing up straighter. She walked over to him and sat in the chair opposite of him. “So...” she figured she'd start off by getting him to talk about other goings on, “did you hear about what Dawn's Mom decided?”
Sam gave a curt nod. “Yeah, I hope Ironhide actually convinced her to change her mind though.”
Now that was one thing she did not expect to hear. “Huh?”
Sam nodded. “Yeah, right after her mom forbade Dawn to see the bots again, Ironhide called her. Buffy doesn't know what he said to her but she had said she needed time to think. I'm guessing he tried to convince her to change her mind since its obvious he cares more about Dawn than he'll let on.”
Mikaela didn't say anything else for a little while and their was an awkward silence between the two. Sighing in defeat, Mikaela turned away from Sam and angled her body so she had a clear visual of Joyce's room. It was silent as the group waited for Dawn to come out.
S.S.S.S.S.SWhy did I even bother?
Still sitting in the hospital parking lot, Ironhide was mulling over why he troubled himself to actually call Dawn's mother. At first he was perfectly content with being angry at Dawn and her disregarding ways. However, when he had caught a huge gush of anguish from her and then when he overhead what she told Bumblebee as she leaked optical fluid inside of the youngling's interior he had called the woman without a second thought.
Yes, the girl was raging pain in the exhaust port but she had her good points, just like he had told her each of those times she had gotten down on herself...Slagging energy ball... connecting me to a fragging stupid youngling nuisance.
If he was in his alt mode he would've hung his head as he recalled the cruel words he growled out as he left her and she had undoubtedly heard them. The wave of hurt he had gotten from her had confirmed that.
“Ah, slag... Nice goin', 'Hide.”
Trent turned to see Mia coming down the stairs. Her hair was tousled with sleep, and her face was paler than before but she didn't look too worse for wear. However there was this niggling feeling in the back of his skull that kept telling him something wasn't right.
Trying to put it out of his head, he put on a smile as she came forward and wrapped her arms around him. Trent hugged her back and that same chill darted up his spine and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Something was not right and it wasn't just that she was freezing cold in his arms.
Pulling away from her, he guided her to a chair to sit. “So... what happened?”
Mia took her seat and began to tell her story.
“Yeah, Mom?” Dawn asked as she shut the door behind her.
Joyce motioned for Dawn to sit down and sat up in bed. “Dawn...” She began, “I've given it some thought and... I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have you be around the Autobots, especially with these... things running around.”
Dawn's eyes widened in shocked delight, a smile stretching her mouth. “Really? You changed your mind...?” Squealing in delight she bounded over to the bed and gave her mother a hug. “Oh, Mom you're the best!”
Smiling, Joyce hugged her back. “I didn't come by this decision easily. However, what Ironhide said was true and-”
Blue eyes widened as her face shifted from joy to confusion and Dawn lifted her head from Joyce's shoulder. “Ironhide?”
Joyce nodded. “Yes, he called me a few hours ago and talked some sense into me. They'll be able to protect you better than anyone here... Also, he convinced me it was wrong to try and separate from the few real friends you have.”
Pulling away from Joyce, Dawn sat down on the bed and tried to take all of this in. Ironhide actually called her mother and vouched for her?
“I know, I was a little amazed too. And then after a while I thought anyone who would actually do that for my little girl is a true friend indeed. He must really care about you.” Joyce then gave a small laugh. “He even said he would be the main one protecting you.”
Awestruck, Dawn couldn't stop the small smile from spreading across her face. “He's awesome...” She then stood up. “I better go thank him... and apologize.”
Joyce's brow furrowed in confusion. “Apologize for what?”
“We had a fight last night.” Dawn sighed. “I better go fix it.”
Her mother gave a conceding nod. “Well, then go. I'll see you tomorrow.”
Dawn nodded and gave her mother one last hug. “Thanks again.”
When she pulled away, Joyce gave her a confused look and slightly reared back, eyes wide. “You... you don't fit. And, it's all green!”
Dawn's eyes widened and she jerked back, extremely worried. “Mom? Mom, it's me. Dawn.”
After a moment, Joyce shook her head and focused back on Dawn. “Honey... Are you all right?”
Swallowing, Dawn gave an uneasy nod. “Yeah... I'm going to go and... talk to Ironhide. I'll see you tomorrow.” And with that she left out of the room.
When she entered the waiting area Buffy, Mikaela and Sam all gave her expecting looks, wanting to know what her mother had said. Though she was unnerved by her mother's strange behavior she couldn't help the small smile that spread over her face. “She changed her mind.”
Mikaela got up and gave Dawn a hug. “That's awesome!”
Sam pulled her into a hug after Mikaela released her. “Sweet!” He pulled back a bit. “What made her change her mind? Was it Ironhide?”
Dawn's eyes widened. “You knew?”
The boy nodded. “Yeah, your sister told me.”
Shaking her head, she headed to the elevator. “I'll tell you on the way to the Bluff. I want to talk to Ironhide first, okay.”
The two nodded and followed her, exchanging glances at each other. Dawn caught them and sighed. “And you two need to make up too.”
Both brunette's eyes widened and then they sighed, still silent. Dawn glanced over her shoulder. “Buffy, you coming? I don't think Bee'll mind taking you to the Magic Box.”
Buffy shook her head. “No, I'm coming to the Bluff too. I want to talk to the bots again and then we're going to talk to Spike after sunset.”
Blue eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. “You're going to bring them around Spike?” Clasping her hands together at the thought of the mayhem that was sure to ensue Dawn bounced on the balls of her feet. “Can I come?”
“I'm going to go say goodbye to Mom and I'll meet you at the Bluff.” Buffy shook her head at her sister's antics and turned around, a small smile on her face. At least she was happy again.
“Bee!” Dawn sprinted outside and into the waiting Camero. “She changed her mind!”
A cheering audience resounded from the speakers.
“And you won't believe how...” Sam said as he slid into the driver's seat.
“I'm going to get in Ironhide. Mikaela said, figuring she'd give Dawn time to work up her nerve to talk to Ironhide.” She could feel Sam's eyes on her as she headed to the waiting Topkick.
“Mikaela.” Sam called and she froze.
He was quiet for a while and then sighed. “Can we put this behind us?”
Relief filled her and washed over her face and she nodded. “I'd like that.”
“Cool.” Sam seemed relieved as well. “I'll see you at the Bluff.”
Nodding, Mikaela climbed into Ironhide and his door shut behind her. “So, you and Sam fixed things?”
“Mm-hmm.” She nodded and then smirked at the Weapons Specialist steering wheel. “And by the way... You're a total sweetheart.”
“What is this place?”
They were a few miles out of Sunnydale. Following the demon's directions after she had left her grandfather's, Barricade had driven until he found himself in an empty parking lot behind a demolished building. However, he knew it was more than that due to the strong energy fluctuating throughout the area.
Shelly glanced at the steering wheel as she grabbed her purse. “Why? Picking up something?”
“There is a strong energy field here though outwardly everything appears normal.” Barricade's voice held an edge of suspicion. “What is this place, demon?”
With a roll of her eyes, she exited the Saleen. “It's a cloaking spell you're sensing. Can't have the wrong type of people finding this place. Well, that's half of what you're picking up on your scanners.”
“And the other half?” Barricade demanded.
“The entrance to the demonic black market. I have to pick up some special things if I'm to hold up my end of the bargain.”
Demonic black market? He had heard of the human black market, but demonic. He was slightly curious. Barricade ran scans over the building but could sense nothing except for a few nests of rodents. “There's no one here, demon!”
She just gave a small smile and turned her back to him and squared her shoulders, morphing into her true form. She spoke a few words in a language he did not understand. Probably a demon tongue.
There was nothing for a moment. All was quiet. Then the painted lines of the lot begin to shift and swirl, forming a strange script. It was written in none of the human scripts he had downloaded. A wind picked up and script fizzled into the ground, forming a dark portal.
Inside of him, Frenzy let out a string of shocked exclamations, pointing and squealing. Barricade handled his shock in a less obnoxious way and kept quiet. His curiosity died a quick death. No way in the Pit was his jumping into that thing!
“Be back later! Probably a half hour tops.” And with that she jumped into the portal and it sealed up behind her and the terrain morphed back into and ordinary parking lot.
Frenzy cautiously exited Barricade and scuttled over to the painted lines, poking at them and examining the cement. Barricade transformed as well and began running scans over the area as well. He had thought the black market was inside the building, not underneath the parking lot!
“Erm.... Barricade?” Frenzy asked poking his leg.
“D-do you think the lizard can do w-what she claimed?”
Barricade thought for a moment. “I'm not sure. She brought you back from the Pit which was impressive. But, that and what she's promised to do are on two completely different levels. If she cannot, if she's lied to us I'll kill her.”
Frenzy nodded and then poked his foot again.
“But, what if she can...? Sh-should we g-get the other Decepticons in on this?”
Barricade thought about that for a moment. No doubt the others would be pleased if the lizard could do what she said that she could.
Without another word to Frenzy, sent a message out into the stars to the others, hoping for a response soon.
It was nearing sunset and the group was now back at the Bluff. Optimus had called the bots back to this spot and Buff had done the same with her group. Sam and Mikaela were standing near Bumblebee, working things out while Ratchet and Anya were engaged in a conversation about Cybertronian and human sexual practices and the differences between each while Xander, Tara and Willow both looked extremely uncomfortable. Giles and Buffy had just arrived and had made their way over to Optimus. Ironhide was standing a little ways away from everyone else and Dawn had slowly made her way over to the black Autobot, wringing her hands.
Ultramarine optics shifted downward to find Dawn standing a good distance away from his feet. Her arms were folded and she was scuffing the ground with her foot. From the expression on her face it seemed like she was trying to figure out what to say to him.
Her eyes snapped to him and her mouth tightened at being called a kid but she calmed down. She didn't want to start this off angry. Taking a few more steps towards him and settling herself on a boulder, she let out a sigh. “I'm sorry about-”
“Forget about it.” He said gruffly, looking away from her.
Oh, he wasn't about to toss this away. What was it with guys and the way they made important things seem like they didn't matter? “No, listen...” She twiddled her fingers and swallowed. “I wanted to tell you all about what was going on here... But, I couldn't. I'd promised my sister not to say anything...”
What could be termed as a defeated sigh escaped the Autobot. “Its fine, Dawn... I stopped being mad about a while ago. And...” he paused for a moment then sighed. “I should... be the one apologizing. I shouldn't have said what I said.” He the turned to look at her fully and lowered himself to her level. “You aren't stupid, or a nuisance. I'm sorry... I was just...”
“Angry?” Dawn guessed and he gave a small humorless snort and rose back up.
“Yes, angry among other things.”
Dawn then remembered what Mikaela had told her in the hospital. “Hurt?”
He remained silent but that was all of the answer she needed. Standing up, she moved and wrapped her arms around his foot as best she could. “I'm sorry...”
He was still for a moment but then reached down and stroked his thumb over her head the one would a small pet. “It's okay...”
She smiled and reached up to pat his finger then took a step back. “Wanna go back with everyone else?”
Nodding, he stood back up and the two headed back to the group just in time to hear some of Ratchet and Anya's conversation.
“Okay... Now, the wires work like nerves so you can feel...” Anya nodded to herself as she went over what he'd told her then looked up at him. “Explain 'plugging' to me again.”
Ratchet nodded. “Well, plugging is when-”
Anya listened intently and Dawn's eyes grew wide as she listened to Ratchet's description while Ironhide palmed his head and smirked when the youngling's mouth dropped open. He could feel the unease coming off of her in waves and it was kind of funny.
“Um...” Dawn muttered when it was over. “I'm... going to to see how Sam and Mikaela are doing... Yeah...”
“I think you scarred her for life, Ratchet.” Ironhide commented.
The CMO blinked at the retreating form of the younger girl before turning back to Anya. “Now, where was I? Oh yes-”
Unable to take more awkward explainations, Tara retreated to go watch the sunset when she felt the earth shift a bit as one of the bots took steps toward her.
“Tara, may I speak with you for a moment?”
Tara blinked when she heard the deep voice of the Autobot leader addressed her. Turning around she gave the towering figure a small smile and tried to hide her unease. “Yeah?”
“I wanted to talk to you about last night.” At that she tensed.
“Yeah... about that, I'm really sorry I hit you with the dresser.” She heard the bots snickering and Optimus tossed an annoyed look over his shoulder before returning his attention to her.
“It's all right, Tara. I understand why you attacked me, what I want to know is how you were able to do what you did. I know you said you were a witch, correct?”
“Mm-hmm.” She nodded.
“How were you able to move the dresser with your mind? Can all witches do that?”
Tara's brow scrunched in thought. “Well, learning how to do that took a while. Not all of us... And not right away. It takes time, practice and in some cases natural talent. I've been practicing magick since I was a little girl so it's not too hard for me to try to move a dresser. Now, if I tried to move a larger object like a car or something, I probably could but it would strain me horribly, causing a lot of physical damage probably.”
Optimus tilted his head in an inquiring manner. “I don't understand.”
She gave him a patient smile, like she figured he would not. “Well, think of it like this. A runner who is used to only running a few yards goes and runs two miles. You can he'll be feeling the consequences of that for a while. It's the same with magic. A mid-level witch trying a grand master spell would exhaust herself. It would take a great portion of her mystical energies, causing her to burn out. Sometimes trying something extremely heavy when you're not at the level can have fatal consequences.”
“I see...” He glanced over at Ironhide and Dawn. The girl was currently engaged in a dancing competition with Bumblebee while Ironhide shook his head though he could see a small smile tilting the mech's mouth. He turned back to Tara. “Would finding out the nature of the connection between Ironhide and Dawn be within you abilities?”
The girl thought for a minute. “I don't know... I could try. Willow would have to help, she's a lot strong that I am.” Her eyes shifted to the redhead who was currently judging the contest before turning back to him. “But, it shouldn't be a problem. How about after you guys go talk with Spike?”
A small grateful smile tilted the Autobot's mouth plates. “That would be excellent. Thank you, Tara.”
“No, problem.” She looked up and noticed the sun was nearly gone. “Well, if you guys want to go talk with Spike, the time would be now.”
It seemed Buffy was thinking the same thing. She made her way over to Optimus, moving next to Tara so she was in his line of sight. “Hey.”
“Buffy.” Optimus nodded. “You're ready to interrogate the vampire?”
“Ooh!” Dawn scurried over to the trio and turned pleading eyes to her sister. “Can I please come?” she begged. “I'll be really quiet.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Dawn, you just want to see him flip out.”
“Exactly!” The teenager cried enthusiastically. “So, can I?”
“No. The cemetery is no place for you, especially after sunset.”
Rolling her eyes and scoffing Dawn turned and headed back to Bumblebee. “Typical...”
“No worries, we'll hang out with you.” Sam said wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “And you still have to tell us what Ironhide said to your mom.”
“Oh, right...” Dawn smacked her head as she made her way to Bumblebee who had just transformed. She glanced over at Ironhide. “Have fun with Spike!”
Ironhide noticed the uneasy look Ratchet had on his face at the thought of the reanimated corpse and smirked. “No doubt I will.”
Ratchet growled and elbowed Ironhide in the midsection. “Shut up, slagger.” He then transformed and was about to drive off when Anya knocked on his hood. “I'm coming too,” she declared.
Seeing no reason to deny her sense she's dealt with this sort of thing for close to a millennium, he popped his door open for her.
Optimus transformed and popped his door open for Buffy while Xander drove in his own car, no doubt annoyed that he couldn't ride in a cool robot.
Tara stayed behind and waved to the group before getting inside of Bumblebee. She just knew this was going to be an interesting night.
S.S.S.S.S.S.That... couldn't have been real. What happened? I'm having a nightmare. Wake up, just wake up.
But he didn't wake up. He didn't find himself in his bedroom with Zorro sitting on his chest. He was still sitting on his front steps, back against the banister. His neck was still bleeding and the wind was now blowing away a pile of dust that used to be his baby sister as the sun dipped off to the west.
Fighting to get his numb legs to work, Trent pulled himself to his feet and went back into the house. Inside little Zorro meowed at him worriedly but he ignored the little cat and made his way upstairs, tears streaming down his cheeks.I killed my sister...and I don't even know how...
Scanners picked up that same energy field increasing in intensity and Barricade and Frenzy turned to see the ground swirling and Shelly coming out of the hole, a knapsack on her shoulder and a cloth bag in hand. “Highway robbery...” She complained as the portal sealed up behind her. “But, if this goes according to plan, it should be worth it.”
“Will this work, demon?” Barricade asked, lowering himself to her level.
“Now that I have most of what I need, yes, I believe it will.” She brushed her brown hair back. “So, we need to head back to Sunnydale.”
Barricade said nothing to her, only transformed back into his alt mode, popping his door open so the lizard could slide inside and Frenzy sat in the seat next to her. After he shut his door and started on the highway to Sunnydale a message came through over his communication link. He made sure to keep the link silent so his organic partner would not hear. “Message from Barricade received. Soundwave acknowledges.”
HA! Everyone thought that I was going to make Trent a vamp! XD Nope. God, I love doing that. Well, the next chapter should be out within a few days since my mojo is up and running again. Please review people regardless of if you liked it, loved it, hated it or thought it was mediocre, reviews are what actually get me going. Thanks for reading! :D