In the south of Alberta, in a place known as Del Bonita, the first of December dawned bright, clear, and bitingly cold. For a certain Autobot named Prowl, recharging in the parking lot of a truck stop, it was also a very sluggish morning, as the cold and lack of proper recharge made it exceptionally difficult to pull himself back to consciousness. Prowl persevered, however - he wanted to get back to the Ark as soon as possible, and that meant not sitting around in a parking lot until noon.
Once Prowl had woken up entirely, however he became aware of a slight problem in his intention to continue - every optical sensor was covered in ice. Or more accurately, frost. Using his non-optical sensors, he quickly determined that most of his body was covered in it, as well. It wasn't the first time he'd encountered frost - he'd been frosted over several times now, and had put up with Sunstreaker's screeching over being frosted over, as well. Frost and Prowl were certainly, after that, not strangers.
Unfortunately, Prowl's usual remedies for frost were unavailable. The sun was unlikely to get warm enough to melt off the frost before mid-afternoon, and some of his optical sensors wouldn't heat up - were designed not to heat up - enough to melt the frost away. Getting help with the frost was unlikely, as he was travelling alone, and the truck stop was still closed. He could try driving with the frost, of course, but it was covering his Autobot symbol, and a car completely covered in frost, driving down the highway, would scare the human drivers, no matter how well he drove. Besides that, his reaction time wouldn't be as good, and he'd wanted to speed a bit on the way home - he'd been away from the Ark for almost half of November, and he wanted to get back, back to people who understood his need for logic, who didn't find his curt mannerisms off-putting or insulting...who didn't constantly remind him how far away from his real home he was.
Sighing, Prowl decided he'd just have to delay his return to the Ark by another day, and so he pulled out into the weak sunlight of the winter morning, idling his engine in an attempt to speed up the process just a little bit. Then, figuring he might as well catch up while he had nothing better to do, Prowl slipped into a light recharge.
He was startled back into consciousness no more than fifteen minutes later by a lone car sputtering into the gas station, pulling around to where he was and stopping. Though his optical sensors were useless, Prowl observed on his other sensors as a human stepped out, clearly shivering and not entirely awake yet. Shutting their car door, they went to the trunk of their vehicle and opened it. To Prowl's surprise, they pulled out a scraper and walked over to him.
"Prowl, right?" the human asked.
"Correct," Prowl said, brief in his surprise.
"Good morning then." Prowl couldn't tell if the human was smiling, but they seemed genuine enough. "I got a phone call from one of your friends. Said you might need some help with the frost, asked if I could come in early to help ya out." The scraper was waved over his hood in a motion probably meant to indicate the frost covering it.
"Ah, some help would certainly be appreciated, though not necessary," Prowl replied.
"Nonsense. Can't drive with everything frosted over. Or, well, maybe you can, but it'll freak everyone else out," the human said cheerfully. "I'm Matt, by the way. Matt Friedman. I work at the truck stop."
"A pleasure to meet you," Prowl said, still rather confused.
"Same!" Matt seemed amused, if anything, by Prowl's pleasantries. "So, do I need to be extra gentle or anything? Or should I just pretend like you're a regular car for scraping purposes?"
"Just scrape as usual," Prowl said - his more sensitive body sensors had, as usual, turned off when he transformed.
"Alrighty then - windows first!" Matt said cheerfully, and set to. He hummed as he worked, scraping down the windows with practiced ease, then moving on to the headlights, and then asking Prowl where his Autobot symbols were so he could uncover them. He even climbed up and scraped off the lights on Prowl's roof.
"Anything else?" Matt asked once he finished with the roof lights. Prowl considered - a few of his more delicate optical sensors were still frosted over, but he doubted Matt would be able to get to them, and the most important optics - those in his headlights - were clear.
"That should be sufficient," Prowl replied.
"Alrighty. Guess I'm done then," Matt said.
"Indeed," Prowl replied. "Thank you for your assistance."
"Not a problem," Matt said, then grinned. "You should thank your friend Jazz, though, for tracking me down. It's supposed to snow later today - you might've gotten stuck here for a few days if you waited for the sun to thaw ya out."
"I will make sure to thank him when I get back," Prowl said, surprised at that - he'd checked the weather report before he'd started out yesterday, but not this morning, and apparently it had changed. He was hardly surprised that Jazz was the one responsible - since they'd awoken on Earth, the saboteur seemed to have developed a knack for knowing when Prowl was about to get into trouble, big or small. Though, as Prowl said goodbye to Matt and headed out, he acknowledged that finding out where exactly Prowl had parked for the night, then tracking down an employee for the place and convincing them to come in early, just so that Prowl could get back to the Ark on schedule, was a bit beyond Jazz's usual efforts. And for some reason, as he drove, he found his thoughts constantly drifting back to that fact.