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There was something fascinating watching precipitation fall from the sky and land harmlessly on one's body (well, not entirely "harmless" but it's the thought that count).

Arcee attempted to track the many snowflakes slowly drift, courtesy of a powerful and weeks-before predicted winter storm that hit their corner of the States quite hard. That equated to heavy rains in most parts while snow in the higher elevations plus other areas that rarely saw the white stuff. It even resulted in snow falling in Las Vegas and of all places, Malibu, to most Southern Californians' surprise. For some, it was appropriate weather, even it it did cause misery on the roads for anyone driving or those down with the bug.

Being their first Christmas, the higher-ups at Edwards had invited the Autobots over to celebrate and after a little debate (Prowl and Red Alert ticking off the dangers while Jazz and Smokescreen citing the advantages), they had accepted. It was also the fact that it rarely snowed this much in the desert.

Currently, almost every Autobot had taken a strange niche of things going about the base. Some were frolicking further out in the desert with several adventurous Air Force and Army personnel, some were inside helping decorate several spare hangars, Skyfire was busy examining the snow as best he could, and Optimus and Elita...

They were just sitting together just a ways from the snow play on a large boulder, talking softly and while not entirely tense, they were far more relaxed than what she had seen the two of them since their war. Politely, the fuschia motorbike kept her distance, giving the two commanders the privacy and time they so truly deserved.

A quick scan before footfalls behind her revealed Bumblebee, but she didn't move her gaze from the dark skies. She didn't even twitch when he sat next to her on the perch without a word.

For several minutes, silence save the sound of snow melting near their audials.

"What was it like," Arcee started quietly, as if afraid to break the tranquility that seemed to wrap around them, "the first time?"

Door-wings dipped low and then back up several times, as if he was deep in thought.

"Terrified."

"Terrified?"

An agreeing warble. "And curiosity. We never had any form of precipitation on Cybertron, and on almost any other planet that HAD precipitation, it was always dangerous. When it rained on my first day here on Earth, I stayed in a parking garage for a whole week. Although the security weren't too pleased with my presence and they kept trying to call a tow truck."

She could imagine the poor humans' faces whenever their target kept moving elsewhere.

"But the first time of encountering snow..." He tilted his head when he heard someone cursed quite loudly, obviously a snowball to somewhere sensitive. "It reminded me of the Crystal Gardens when I examined it and the icicles up close. Although it is occasionally difficult to get out of recharge at times, especially when I was in Minnesota, unfortunately."

"Hmm..." Thank goodness for Mikaela who thoughtfully left a heater in the little garage when the nights got cold.

Silence again, other than an all-out snowball fight in the distance.

"Do you think..."

"Yes?"

Mischief in her optics. "How long do you think it will take Prime and Elita to notice the object Sideswipe had stuck onto him earlier this morning?"

He simply snickered, door-wings shaking off the snow that had accumulated.


He had been wondering what was going on with his companions. It was strange that all of them quickly stepped back or around whenever he tried to approach them, knowing smirks and grins on their face plates. Most notably were the said smirks and grins on the humans, also giving him a wide berth while making parting vague comments as they scurried away. Even Red Alert and Prowl had small smiles, politely keeping their distance at arms-length.

Sam and Mikaela had taken one look at him before letting loose a short burst of giggles and it took them a moment to calm down for them to greet him properly. Yet, they seemed to playfully keep several feet between him and them prior to rushing off to the mess hall.

Ironhide practically backpedaled when he notice his commander walking towards him, hastily excusing himself on some errand involving Chromia that Optimus knew his Weapons Specialist pulled out of his aft.

Several members of the base's personnel were pulled aside by others, mostly Lennox's teammates cheerfully diverting their military siblings elsewhere with polite excuses.

Smokescreen was strangely behaving mischievously, faint amusement coloring his quiet voice during his surveillance report while firmly keeping a hand around his youngest cousin's mouth and for some reason blocking the gunner's comm-lines. Bluestreak's door-wings was certainly fluttering excitedly, although his wild arm gestures revealed nothing to the others' odd behaviors.

The Prime wondered if it had anything to do with the red Lamborghini having slapped him on the back enthusiastically before hopping away earlier. And that strange text message Blaster had sent out soon after to everyone but him and Elita...

"Optimus?"

"Yes?"

A bemused look as the rose-colored Chevrolet Suburban pointed at something above his head and he knew it wasn't just the snow. "May I inquire as to what is that?"

Looking up showed nothing but faint movement at his peripheral vision. Reaching up to tug at whatever was hanging revealed to be what looked like a long flexible pole, with a sprig of green leaves and white berries dangling by a thread of wire.

Quick cross-reference of the plant and it's conjunction with the current holiday brought an amused sigh from the Peterbilt.

"I see.."

"I don't 'see' what seems to be so amusing," Elita spoke, looking curiously at the tiny plant.

"A plant of the order Santalales, where some species feeds off of other trees and is poisonous if ingested improperly." Here, a rumbling chuckle as he drew closer to her. "However, it is associated with varying human traditions on some positive notes, one of which is quite popular during this time of the year."

Optic shutters flickered. "And that is...?"

"It involves two people under this plant." He smiled widely, angling his head down. "I would recommend that you look it up this time."

Elita received her answer before she could even connect to the Internet.