He's old now. Old and worn by time and responsibilities he'd never really wanted. Responsibilities he shouldered because there wasn't anyone else. And so he's grown old before his time. Or maybe not. Who really knows how much time they have now.
He used to measure his life expectancy in millennia (well if he'd ever bothered to, he would have), but now in this techno organic body… who knows? The only thing he does know is that this body is old in a way his former purely mechanoid form could never have been. He takes some comfort in that. In the thought that it'll all end. Soon.
He probably should feel bitter. Bitter that he's been robbed of the time he might have had, that they all might have had. He isn't. At least not most of the time. Not because it was the will of the Oracle, but because Optimus believed that this was the right thing to do. Even now, after everything, after having witnessed more than just the newfound glory of their reformatted home, long after Optimus is gone… he still believes in Optimus.
Unlike most of their kind, he was there at the end. At the beginning. He knows that this really had been the only choice.
Maybe if he hadn't had to take up Optimus' role as leader after… but no. There'd been no one else. So then they all came to him. Because he was there, because he knew about these reformatted bodies, because… because there just wasn't anyone , his friends hadn't gone anywhere. But Blackarachnia and Silverbolt, just like Rattrap and Botanica had just found each other and he couldn't ask them for more than they were already giving. Had given.
So he'd insisted that they let him handle things. That they should spend time together. Make up for lost time. They would have been happy to help, but he couldn't ask them to.
And Nightscream… Well Nightscream had just been so young and really, he deserved to be free. No, it had been better that he was the only one to go around with that particular burden left by Optimus' absence.
And now he's old. The limbs that used to be so fast and nimble have gotten slow. And he wonders sometimes how he'd stand up against a vehicon now. But there's no need for fighting anymore.
He'll die soon, he can feel it. But he'll die in peace, surrounded by friends. What more can he really ask for?And then there's that part of him… a part born in a war. It's the part that turned a very young and excitable Maximal explorer into a warrior.
That warrior inside him, the warrior that never completely left him... that part of him rebels at this old age, this feebleness he's fallen into. It balks at weakness and wishes that his strength would return so he can die with honour. Not fade slowly and then die in quiet. A warrior has no business dying peacefully in old age.
Here at the end, when he looks back at his life he can admit that a part of him wishes that he'd been deactivated on that prehistoric Earth. That he'd fallen in battle like his friends, like Dinobot. That death would have held meaning, would have…
But it's a selfish wish. A thought of dying in glory when his life was simpler. He doesn't think he's irreplaceable; if his spark had extinguished during the Beast Wars or later here on Cybertron fighting vehicons, some things would have gone differently, but he doesn't doubt that his friends would have managed. But he still wouldn't want to burden them with the responsibilities he carries. Some things… some decisions… he wouldn't wish them on anyone.
So these are nothing but the dreams of the old. The return of old strength and old glory. No, he's content with his life, with his friends, with his world. They aren't perfect, but they're alive. And if he misses old friends and a time where everything seemed simpler… well he's old and soon his spark will leave this body and join with old friends in the Well of All Sparks.