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Deep within space 05/21/2007

 

There were many reasons that Optimus wanted their war to avoid Earth. Avoid it so that an innocent species was not wiped out by a fight that they had nothing to do with, but above that, a secret Optimus, his Conjunx Endura, and their most trust medic had hidden away. A secret in the form of fleshy skin and shining blue eyes. One they had kept underwrap for two reasons, if anyone knew of her existence, especially the Decepticons, the entire tide of the war would be changes, and two she would never be able to be a child if she was raised on the base.

Too many had been forced to fill a role much too large for their age and he would not force it upon his creation. Sure Orion had not ever been formed in a proper time. Not with his mate and hardly with his consent but he would not of traded the cause of her creation. Not for anything in this universe or the next one, and that was the one selfish cause he allowed himself.

“What are the chances she will be discovered if the war is forced to turn to Earth?”

The medic’s optics met my own as he frowned, “Optimus you are hardly a stupid mech.. You know as well as I that Orion stands a full chance of being discovered by either side if the war is to go there. It is better to have our side aware, briefed and actively looking for her than to take the chance he recognizes her spark signature and takes her first.”

“You said you mixed her coding with Ironhide’s so that she would not be as easy to locate. That it would give us time to find her before he did.”

“Optimus! I did, and I removed as much of his as I could but it was a part of her baseline. I can’t remove all of him from her. As far as anyone who is not a medic could tell she would pass as yours and his. No one would suspect a thing, but he is going to look at her, and one reading he will know that she is his. Beside she wouldn’t be able to stay with that family forever. Because I stripped her code so thoroughly, she ages a lot slower than most. She may never be able to return to her Cybertronian form again. Not without someone giving her the rest of her coding back. There are not many options Optimus.”

Ironhide leaned off of the office wall and looked between the two of the mechs, “We are putting her in trouble either way. If we go and try to watch her from afar, we are running the risk that she will be open and vulnerable. She is not a warrior. She is a child. She will not know the difference between the good guys and bad. At least if she is with us, we know she is safe. Not a single Autobot would let anything happen to a newspark.”

“Who is she placed with right now?”

“A good family. William and Sarah Lennox. Sarah is carrying. William works for the American government and the family lives on a farm. By all accounts I have seen Orion looks extremely happy.”

A click escaped the Prime’s vocalizer as he rebooted it. The true idea that someone else, someone who did not know her full history was raising his creation had never fully settled in his processor it seemed, “Leaving the war aside… What are the impacts if we remove her from her current home?”

Ratchet set his datapad down and let out a heavy vent, “It is hard to say. Some kids handle it extremely well and some really struggle with the transition, but given the situation because this war is a very real part of her future, we don’t have the option to leave her with the Lennox family.”

Optimus slightly startled at feeling Ironhide’s arms wrap around his torso, “Ratch is right. It is better to do what we think best now and ask for forgiveness about what happened later. She is young.. She may grow to love the base and her natural heritage if she is given the chance.”

“I only hope you are right ‘Hide.”

 

 

Lennox Family Farm 09/27/2007

“Daddy!”

William barely had time to adjust for the body that collided with his as he stepped into the house, laughing at the brunette haired, blue eyed form clinging to his. This was one of the many things he missed on a mission. His beautiful adopted daughter, Orion Lennox, “Well Ms.Ori aren’t you looking mighty pretty today. You got somewhere to be?”

“No. Mommy made me.” A slight pout appearing on the child’s pink lips, as she scrunched up her freckle covered nose and cheeks, blue eyes light up in a pure joy.

“Well princesses have to look presentable right?”

“Nope. Some like trucks and mud. You said so daddy.”

William laughed as he scooped her up, army bag thrown over one shoulder, Orion on his hip as he pushed open the door, “You’re right buttercup. Come on. Let’s go find your momma.” He chuckled setting Orion down at her squirming. He wrapped his arms around Sarah’s waist hugging her as he pressed a kiss to her neck, “Good morning.”

Sarah laughed turning in her husband’s arms leaning up to press a kiss to his lips, a small bump showing under her dress, “You got scruffy soldier.”

William shrugged and pulled her closer pressing a few more kisses to her cheek, his stubble covered cheeks giving her a slight red tint. He laughed softly as he pulled her closer, “And you got beautiful.”

“Flatterer. You have a letter from Aubrey. You know the one from the adoption agency. I haven’t had time to look at it. It came this morning and I had to take Ori to daycare, she was driving me crazy and it came as we were leaving and then I had my appointment I needed to take care of.”

“Daddy come here!”

“Just a minute Orion. I need to get this finished and then I will be right there Bug!” He set the heavy bag down and sat at the kitchen table picking up the letter. Sliding a thumb under the seal popping the letter open and sliding the thick stack of paper, out and into his hands.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lennox,

It is deeply troubling to have to contact you with an update on Orion’s case. As you know we have been working on getting the custody changed from a fostering status to an adoption. I am regretful to inform you, as I informed you in the beginning, her biological parents can request a hearing to retain their custody. I had to inform them of your plans to adopt Orion and they have filed a return of custody to them. As you know this is not something easy to explain to a child and I have resources to help you with the transition for her. Please give me a call within seven days of receiving this letter.

Thank you,

Aubrey Gray

A hand ran over my face as I set down the paper, a bit of pure anger bubbling up, just barely looking towards Sarah, “Her biological parents have filed a return of custody.. They want to take her back.”

“Is that even legal? I mean where have they been the last four years of her life? No where. They have not been anywhere close! She has grown up here. She bears the last name Lennox. She is ours. How can they just come back in and lay a claim to her?” Sarah said setting her mug of tea down as she leaned off of the counter. How was it fair that they raised this child and someone else would be able to take her?

“I don’t know! I don’t think they can but seriously what judge is going to hand her back to her biological parents if she doesn’t even know them. For now, we just get a lawyer and see what our op-”

“Daddy come on! You promised!”

“I’m coming Bug!” He stood up and gently reached over cradling her cheek and rubbing a thumb across her cheek, “Don’t worry darling. They aren’t going to take her.”

He climbed up the stairs pushing open his daughter’s door and stepped inside laughing at the site. Orion had found his old combat boots, “You know one day you just may be able to fit into those shoes properly. Come on you. Let’s go get the horses fed. Think you can carry a bucket for me?”

“Can I wear your boots daddy?”

“Absolutely.”

N.E.S.T. Building 09/28/2007

If there was one thing that William could do without, it would be early mornings. Leaving home before his wife and child were up was not fun in the slightest but he definitely would not be giving up his work over that one pesky idea. He slid the letter into his front pocket as he moved towards the rec room, “Morning Hide, Prime, Ratchet.”

“Rough night Will?” Ironhide’s field pulsed with amusement as he sat at his chair sipping at a cube of energon, before leaning down to pick William up sitting him on the table.

“You could say that. Sarah and I got a letter last night that we are not allowed to formally adopt Ori. In fact the adoption agency wants us to return her to her birth parents. Who the hell do these people think they are? Ori grew up in my household, she carries my last name. She is mine and after six years they think they can just walk back into her life and claim her.”

The three Cybertronians shared a look as Optimus slowly spoke up, “Will I thi-”

“No you don’t understand. She doesn’t even know that she was never ours. She has a room there. She is so happy. Why would they want to ruin that for her?”

Ironhide set his cube down, “Will, she is ours. We filed for the return of custody.”

William looked between Optimus and than Ironhide, rolling his jaw as he crossed his arms over his chest, “You…You filed to take my daughter away from me? Have you lost your mind?”

“Watch it Lennox. She is ours. Optimus carried her. She has my coding and now that the war is on Earth, it is safer for her to be on the base than with you.”

“That’s bullshit and you know it. She is safer there than on a base! She is a child and you want to raise her surrounded in this chaos. She is mine! Where have you been the past six years of her life? I was there the day they brought her to us! She fit in the palm of my hand, she was tiny. I have been the one there for all her nightmares. All her fears, her tears, her pain, her laughter, her smiles, the memories! Everything that little girl knows is me and Sarah!”

Optimus felt his plating clamp as a hit of sorrow hit his spark, “You’re right William. We haven’t been there for many years. We missed a lot of her life but we gave birth to her. She is ours and if I have to ask her forgiveness later, than I would rather do that than run the risk of the Decepticons finding her. They would tear her apart.” If Megatron didn’t discover her first.

“She is a happy healthy little girl and you two want to take that away from her!”

Ratchet leaned forward, “Tell me Will. How much do you truly know about her health? She is not human. She is Cybertronian at spark. She appears human. My work on her was very thorough but her coding is still there. I can tell you even without seeing her. She is not at average height or weight for her age. She probably is extremely smart. She probably doesn’t bond to other humans beside Sarah and you. It is in her coding. She needs Cybertronians to reach her full potential. We need bonds and human bonds are temporary. She will only get more unhealthy as time goes and she is not allowed to see them.”

“She is human! She has a heartbeat. She eats human food, she requires sleep. She bleeds red! She is like any other child! What do you know? You haven’t even seen her! Do you even know her full name?”

Ironhide let out a slight snarl, “Orion! We named her after Optimus’s lineage! Regardless of what ya think, she is Cybertronian and she deserves to know that!”

Optimus reached a hand up gently placing it on his mate’s back, “Easy Hide. William if there was anything I could do to keep her there I would but it isn’t safe and beyond that.. Without proper bonds she will not live long. Her spark cannot handle it.”

 

The human let out an exhale of air as he pinched the bridge of his nose. He paced a bit as he sighed, “My child will die if.. If she isn’t with you?”

Ratchet looked down at William, “There is a really good chance of that. She is at the age that bonds are incredibly important. When Prowl and Jazz found Bee, he was just past his sparkling frame and without a creator or bond in the world. We had very limited time to get him to bond to someone to keep his spark from guttering. There are a few signs. She wouldn’t be able to keep any food down, she will become extremely irritated over thing that would not normally bother her. She will have a high fever, but any medic, even your Earth ones will tell you when a child goes they go fast. They are resilient little things but their bodies can’t sustain them when under a massive attack.”

“I know. I’ve had a fair amount of those on my tours.. Makes you come home and hug your kid a bit tighter at the end of the day..” A half crooked smile found itself to Wiliam’s look, “Then you two get to tell Sarah. You think I took it bad, she’ll give you a run for your money.”

Ironhide snorted a bit, “That’s the understatement of the century and you know that fully well Will.”

“Don’t tell me my girl’s got you all scared Hide. She’s what 5’1, maybe 5’2 and fleshy as you called her the first time.”

“And she’s crazier than Chromia.”

“I’m telling Sarah you said that… You realize you can’t be all metal around Orion, right? She’s never going to understand that.. Beside she needs a room here. One that she can call her own.”

“We are working on that Hide and Ratchet has helped design forms like hers that she can interact with and we are making one of the old offices into a room for her.”

“Then I suppose you three better come by the house with me. Catch Sarah before she takes Orion to the daycare for the day.” Lennox ran a hand through his hair, dialing Sarah’s number, “Hey babe... No everything is fine... Can you and Orion hang out at the house for a bit? I’m coming home early today and we need to talk... Send Ori out to the barn to play or to her treehouse. Just keep her out of the house for a few hours… Yeah I’ll see you shortly. Love you too. Well come on. I’m not going into World War Three alone.”

Optimus had to hide the excitement he felt creeping into his field. He had waited far too long to hold his creation. Soon he would be able to, “Thank you William.”

The human nodded letting himself be set down and leading the three Autobots out to the bay, not noticing the two young Autobots, spying from the corner. Not aware of how the rumors would fly by the time they returned that evening.

Lennox Family Farm 09/28/2007

“Orion hunny please stop jumping from the couches. You are going to fall and break your neck.”

“No I’m not! I do it all the time!”

“Orion Lennox! One… Two… Th-”

“Daddy!”

Sarah sighed and gave the child a look and then William, who had just walked into the house, “She’s yours for the rest of the day.”

William snorted and scooped up the small child, “Are you driving your mommy crazy today?”

Orion shook her head and stared at the three men with her daddy. Her head cocked to the side as she looked at them. The male in the front had a darker colored blue hair and bright blue eyes. He was taller than her daddy and had a bit more muscle on him. The male next to him had dark raven black hair and the same blue eyes. He was the smaller height and a bit more muscular than the one in front, and the last one had red and white hair and had a more fluffy form and was a bit shorter than both of the other male, “Who’s that?”

“Manners Ori.” He reminded as he turned with her on his hip, “These are some of my friends. This is Ratchet, Optimus, and Ironhide.”

“Your names are weird like mine.”

“Orion!” Sarah called rolling her eyes.

“It’s alright Mrs. Lennox.” Optimus said and chuckled softly, “Do you know what Orion means?”

The brunette haired child shook her head, wavy curls bouncing as she laid her head on William’s shoulder, “No.”

“It means to be rising in the sky.”

“Like flying?”

“Exactly like that.”

“That’s so cool!”

William chuckled kissing her head, “Ori baby can you go outside while we talk for a minute?”

“Can I go play in the barn?”

“Yes but stay out of the pens and the shed.”

“Okay!” He chuckled letting her down and push her way out the front door.

“Sorry she is a bit wound up today. I gave her sugar this morning.” Sarah teased as she sat at the kitchen.

“Sarah they need to talk to you.”

“This is much more your field than mine. What’s going on?”

Optimus was the one to take point on this discussion, “I know that you and Will received a letter yesterday from the adoption agency… I also know how much you love Orion but, but Orion is Ironhide and my own creation.. And we wish to bring her to the base and raise her with her proper lineage.”

Sarah leaned forward, eyes cold as ice as she stared at the male, “Excuse me?”

It was clear Sarah was giving the male a second chance to reevaluate his statement before she gave him what she was truly thinking about the situation, “Sarah..We just want to do what we believe is best for her. She would be far saf-”

Sarah stood and moved to stand in front of the prime. The height and size difference should have been laughable but something about how she stared at the male took away from being scary, “You think because you are a prime, you can come and take my child? Have you any proof she is yours?”

“If you would allow Ratchet to do a spark reading it will be a perfect match to the bond wave that Ironhide and I share.”

Sarah glanced towards William and then outside through the window where Orion was running alongside their massive pitbull. She looked towards him and sighed softly, “Do you understand what you would be doing to her?”

“Sarah… I don’t want to let her go either but Ratchet says without proper Cybertronian bonds, there is a really good chance she will not live a long life at all.”

“Damn you… Damn you all. What were you going to do if you were unable to get to her or if she was with a family that did not know about you?” She said standing up, “I’m not telling her William. I’m not. You can. Hell one of them can but I cannot look her in the eyes and say we are sending her away.”

Ironhide spoke up, “Sarah we are not going to keep her from seeing you, but with the war waging here and her being without proper bonds for so long it is safer for her to be with us than with you.”

“You shut it Hide. You are in just as much trouble if not more than William. I would hope you still bring her around.” Sarah slowly moved to the door pushing the screen door open, “Ori come here!”

Orion looked up from her place on the ground and drug herself up to the house, “Mommy I almost caught a fairy! You let her get away!”

“Sorry Bug but I need you to come here for a minute okay?” She scooped her up and moved to the kitchen rubbing her back, “Your daddy needs to talk to you for a minute while I go grab something okay?”

Orion nodded letting herself swap arms, “I didn’t do it!”

William laughed a bit, “I’m sure you didn’t buttercup.” He watched Sarah duck into Orion’s room and gently held her a bit tighter, “Hunny you know we love you very much right?” Another small nod as he slowly continued, “When you were a baby, you were given to us by a very important lady because your parents weren’t able to have you at that time and not because they didn’t want you, they loved you very much, and they want to take you back.”

Orion stared at William and shook her head, “N-No! No daddy!” She said clinging to his shirt as she buried her face into his chest.

“I’m sorry hunny. I’m so sorry baby girl.. They are really good people and you will love them. You will still see us. I promise.” He hugged her tighter, feeling tears going through his soft shirt, “Hey.. Hey. You don’t have to cry. You’re going to be staying where I work. You will see me every single day. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

Orion shook her head frantically as she clutched tighter at him, “No!” A soft sob escaped as she clung to him.

Optimus very carefully, reached out, giving William a look as he took the small female into his arms. He slightly rocked her and pressed her head over where his spark was laying. He gently hummed as he let Orion cry into his shirt, “You know Will says you like adventures. Why don’t you make it into a whole new adventure? Think about it. You’ve got a whole new area to explore, and many new friends to make. I’m sure you and Bee can find something to get into.”

Orion slightly soothed at the Prime’s actions and soothing voice as she stared at Will with big teary eyes, “C-Can my blankie go?”

Ironhide softly chuckled and nodded, rubbing Orion’s hair, “That sounds like an awesome plan.” He carefully took the bag offered from Sarah, swinging it over his shoulder as he let Orion snatch up the small red fuzzy blanket and bury her face into it.

Sarah gave a small nod, “She’s probably going to crash from her sugar high any time. Best to get her on the road when she is sleepy.” She leaned forward kissing her head, “I’ll see you soon little warrior.”

William gently patted her back and kissed her cheek, “See you tomorrow Bug.”

“Oh and Optimus, Hide, if anything happens to her, Megatron will be the least of your worries.” Sarah said as William wrapped his arms around her waist.

Orion clutched her blankie with one hand and the other waves as she wiped her cheeks, “B-Bye mommy, bye daddy.”

Optimus quietly tucked her back to his chest, stepping out as he looked down at her, “Hey sweetspark do you want to pick where you ride?”

Orion nodded and pulled her head up before pointing at the semi, “Truck.”

They would have to worry about getting a seat for her tomorrow, getting her home was the priority now, “Alright. Ratchet go on ahead and get the rest of the team prepared for her arrival.”

Optimus settled the child into the backsheet, letting her lay down as he took the bag from Ironhide, “It’s all going to be right now.. She’s coming home.”

His mate shot him a small smile, “And before long she will know what she needs to and Megatron will never have claim to this child.” Pressing his lips to Optimus he stepped back, “Lead the way Prime.”

“You just want to stare at my aft on the way.”

Ironhide laughed, “So turn me in to Prowl, brig time is worth it.”

The two settled at the slight hitch in their creation’s breathing before it evened out again and let their holoforms fade away, following the road back to base. Ready to begin as a proper family. Slowly but surely she would be able to see Ironhide and Optimus as her creators. Be happy with their family and find her role among the autobots.

Chapter Text

Ratchet had earned the nickname “Hatchet” for a good reason, and he was about three nanoclicks from knocking everyone in the rec room, over their helms with his favorite wrench, “I said that is enough!”

Gathering everyone in the rec room was hard enough and now no one could seem to shut up. Rumors flying around the room, each one drastically different from the other, and it seemed like a wildfire they could not get under control, “Is it true?” Bluestreak spoke up looking the medic in the eyes.

“I’m not sure what all everyone had heard, so we will start over. It is true there is a child. Her name is Orion. As far as any human needs to know, she is strictly Optimus and Ironhide’s. As for you, you deserve to know why she is coming to stay on base. One of the few times Optimus was in Megatron’s custody, he forced Optimus to become sparked with Orion,” it was quite impressive how disgusted and shocked the resounding silence was, “Against medical advice, he carried her to term. She was-”

“Wait then she is really not ‘Hides at all! Is she?” Sideswipe busted in, shrinking down at the look Ratchet sent his way.

“She is mine and anyone who says otherwise would be wrong.” Ironhide warned making his way to the front of the room, “Orion was stripped of as much of Megatron’s coding as was safe to remove, and was replaced with my own. She is mine.”

There was a clear warning in the tone as Ratchet spoke up, “Now with the war being here, there is a major risk of Megatron discovering her existence and honestly she is safer on base than with the Lennox’s. Until further notice around her, you are to be in your holoforms. Everyone here will be expected to help out with Orion. Things are bound to pop up and we need to know everyone will be there to help.”

The present Autobots gave a soft murmur of agreement. Sunstreaker leaned off of the wall, “She… Megatron wouldn’t hurt his own creation, right?”

Optimus’s deep baritone voice spoke up from the back, “Megatron would do whatever won him the war, even if that meant turning her against us, or taking her life to throw us off our defense. Orion is sleeping in her room, and I expect that when she wakes up, your Cybertronian forms should be in alt modes, parked and holoforms activated. She’s already cried herself to sleep and we don’t need this transition to be any harder than it already is.”

Jazz grinned a bit, “That we can do my mech. It’s been ages since any of any of us have had a sparkling around.”

“I mean since Bee was just barely a mechling.” Hound threw in teasingly as he grinned. Bee made a grumbling sound and leaned back as laughter filled the room. Maybe things really were finally looking up.

 

Orion let out a whine as her sleepy blue eyes, forced themselves open. She sat up as her tiny hands clutched the red blankets, into his little hand, “Daddy?” She didn’t recognize her new room and she, much like most children, did not like that. She slowly looked down at the soft blanket that she was covered with, and she crawled out of the blankets, bare feet hitting the floor as she took in the room. The walls were a soft blue color. A child’s desk set in the corner, next to it a shelf of children’s book, and art supplies. Next to that a small toy box. She slowly opened it, tilting her head to the side in confusion. A lot of the toys looked a lot like her own toys. Slowly she made her way to the closet and pulled it open, struggling with the handle for a moment. Instant excitement filling her eyes at seeing her daddy’s old boots. She sat down and carefully set it down, “Bunny ears, bunny ears, playing by a tree. Criss-crossed the tree, trying to catch me. Bunny ears, bunny ears, jumped into the hole, popped out the other side, beautiful and bold.” She nodded as she finished the rhyme, and actions that went with it. Leading to slightly sloppy laces being tied. She stood back up and scrunched up her nose as she looked back around the room, picking up her blankie. It wasn’t that the room was bad, it even had a big window, but it still wasn’t hers.

Slowly, both because of the bulkiness of the heavy boots, and her own nerves, she moved towards the door. She pulled it open, a bit easier than the closet, and stared out into the hallway before stepping out and starting to leave, “Oh!” Her mommy always said leaving doors open was rude. She stepped back pulling the door shut and nodded grinning a bit. She was on a mission and in that mission she was determined to find her mommy or daddy, but the further she got from her room, the more frustrated, fussy, and scared she got. All these hallways looked the same! She planted herself on the floor as as pulled her knees up, burying her face into her blanket, and broke into sobs, hardly muffled by the well loved fabric.

“No Sunny, I told you I heard something.”

“Sideswipe, you’ve been saying that for the last five minutes. You’re glitched in the helm… Wait… I heard it that time.” Sunstreaker said hearing the small cries.

“Ha! I told you so.” The twins continued down the hallway, following the soft sounds. Peeking around the corner, holoforms activated. Matching in perfect stunning appearance. Bright blue eyes, high cheekbones, clear pale skin. The only difference, the golden and stop sign red hair.

“Ah frag.” Sunny muttered as he took in the sight in front of him. Slowly approaching and crouching in front of the small form, “Orion?”

Orion looked up with teary eyes, “Want mommy and daddy.”

Sunny nodded a bit, “I think we can find someone to help… Right Sides?”

Sideswipe nodded a bit, “Totally. That’s a pretty awesome blanket.”

The small hands clutched it tighter to her chest, “It’s mine.”

Sunny snorted a bit shaking his head as Sideswipe gave a soft chuckle, “And no one will take it from you.” Sunny reached out with his hand, a bit surprised when a small hand found its way into his own, “Come on.”

Orion whined as she was helped up to her feet. Arms stretching up, clearly wanting to be picked up and carried, “U-Up?”

Sunny casted his brother a look before slowly picking her small frame up, resting her on his hip, letting her head rest on his shoulder. Mimicking the pose he had seen many Earth mothers do, “Not one word Sides, or you can sleep in Blue’s room.”

Sideswipe snickered a bit, “But Sunny-”

“No.”

The walk fell into silence except for Orion’s sniffles, “Hey Hide, Prime look who we found.”

The two looked up as the twins approached, immediately zeroing in on the small frame. Optimus gave the pair a look, raising an eyebrow, “Was she in her room?”

“Nah found her down hall F.” Sides spoke up taking a seat.

Sunny went to hand her off to Hide, surprise registering in both eyes at how her grip on his t-shirt tightened, and a whine escaped, “No!”

Optimus tried and failed to hide a soft chuckle, “Looks like you’ve made a friend.”

Sunny carefully sat down, careful not to jostle or drop mini Prime too much, “Yeah well she is less annoying than mostly everyone else.”

Ironhide shot him a teasing smirk as he leaned back, “A bit of a snuggle bug.”

Orion rubbed her puffy eyes shaking her head, “Not a snuggle bug, warriors don’t snuggle.”

Sideswipe snorted as he leaned forward, “Now who told you such a silly thing? I’m one of the best warriors, and I make Sunny snuggle me.”

Orion raised an eyebrow staring at the male, head cocked to the side, “Nope.” Scrunching up her freckle covered nose, and cheeks. Her attention drawn to the door being pushed open, ducking her head back against Sunny’s chest.

“Whatcha got there Sunshine?”

“His name isn’t Sunshine. Just Sunny.” She said giving Jazz, the dark skinned male, with his long dreads and those same bright blue eyes, a slight glare. Not that it was very effective.

Prowl let out a slight smirk as he watched, the male letting his raven black hair drop into his eyes, “Sunny is it? Guess you will have to help me let everyone know that.”

“Are you new? I know my friends forgot my name when I was new. They made us wear stickers with our names.”

Ironhide’s laughter filled the room, “Sunny isn’t new but a name tag isn’t a bad idea pup.”

Orion straightened a bit at the praise as Sunny scowled at the males, “Stop it. You know fragging well what my name is-” However catching the slightly crestfallen, hurt look that was forming on Orion’s face, he sighed, “Yeah Sunny it is.” He was going to kill every single one of them in their sleep, but the grin that filled Orion’s face made the stupid nickname worth it.

Her head came back to rest on his chest as she rubbed her eyes, “The boy’s at school say Orion’s a boys name, but that’s okay. Their names aren’t much fun. There’s a million Tyler’s in my class but only one Orion. Never met a Sunny either.”

::You know her and Blue are going to get along just fine:: Ironhide teased over his bond to Optimus.

Optimus sent back a pulse of affectionate ::If she can melt Sunstreaker’s spark then I am sure she will do that with everyone here.::

Orion looked between the two new males, “Are your names weird too?”

Optimus gave his creation a look, “Orion.”

Orion gave the male a look, and whatever scolding Optimus had written disappeared at the big innocent blue eyes that were staring at him, “Y-Yes sir?” She recognized that tone very easily. It was the one Daddy used when she was getting a warning and she tended to take those very seriously, especially with new people.

Ironhide could easily tell his mate was not going to scold Orion for her brassiness but in all honesty, the kid probably got it from him, “Orion you can’t just ask things like that.”

Orion looked towards Ironhide scrunching her nose up, and he knew in that moment that child was going to have his head strong nature, unfortunately Megatron’s temper, and Optimus’s ability to make anyone who came in contact with her immediately want to follow her, “Why not?”

Jazz let out a snicker as he moved closer to the table, kneeling down to look Orion in her eyes, “I’m Jazz and that’s Prowl.” He held his hand out for her to shake, slowly the small hand found its way into his larger one, “It’s good to meet you.”

Orion smiled shyly a bit as she, tucked her head back to Sunny’s neck. Sunny subconsciously tightening his grip on her, “Jazz.” She turned her attention to Prowl. She already felt standoffish to him, “Prowl.” She repeated as she nodded a bit. Committing the names to memory.

Sideswipe smirked a bit, watching his brother, oh he would be giving Sunny all kind of hell for it, “Orion do you want to play a game?”

Orion looked over at the red hair twin and slowly nodded, “What kind of game? I don’t like the games they play at school. They always make it about math and reading and nothing fun. Even during recess. The boys want to play war but they never want to let the girls to do anything. Michael is always the captain, and holds us as captives and Ally and I always overthrow him, but the teachers always say be nice. It just means he likes you and ick, boys are gross.”

The adults all broke into soft laughter. Sideswipe shook his head as he laughed, “And just how do you overthrow him?”

“Oh! Michael always claims the climbing toy as his, so when we escape because they aren’t very good at capturing people, we wait until he is running and then push him right over the edge. War is all over.”

Sideswipe shook his head a bit, “Alright well come on. I promise this game will be fun but I need help moving the tables. Think you are strong enough to help me?”

Orion rolled her eyes, “I can do it.” She said as she let Sunny set her down, taking Sideswipe’s hand as she helped, mostly pushing the tables against the wall and helping gather the chairs.

Sunstreaker gave Ironhide and Optimus a look, “She’s going to be a handful.”

“Says the mech who just turned into a carrier with her.” Ironhide shot back at the male who glared towards him, “Admit it Sunny. You liked the snuggles.”

Sunny looked towards the two of them, “I put up with that stupid nickname because I don’t want to see her cry, but don’t you dare take advantage of that.”

Sideswipe looked towards the group, “Jazz, Sunny you up for a game of capture the flag?”

Orion grinned a bit as the two requested men, nodded and pulled themselves over towards the two, “Alright, Sunny and Orion on one team, Jazz and me on the other?”

Orion nodded a bit, taking Sunny’s hand, “Yep!”

Sunny gave Orion a slight smile, “Alright fine.”

Prowl took his seat where Sunny had been moments before as the four others became lost to the game of capture the flag, “I don’t think she will be having a hard time adjust. She seems quite fond of Sunny of all people. I think she will bond to the others relatively easy.”

Optimus chuckled watching the game. It was obvious they were taking it extremely easy, but for the child it was challenging, “I certainly hope so. Maybe if she feels like this is home, then we can stop worrying about the what ifs. Lennox is going to stay in another part of the base, unless absolutely necessary to be here. Give Orion time to adjust, and for us to tell her we are her parents.”

“You still haven’t told her?”

Ironhide scoffed, “You didn’t see the kid last night, screaming and crying. She cried herself to sleep. Even curled up with us, she just was so sparkbroken. It was hard to watch and listen to Prowl. Everything she knows was just ripped away from her.”

“Ah I see… She may just need a bit more time to adjust… But I know with Bee sometimes just letting them cry it out is the best solution there is.”

“Yeah night seems to b-”

The sharp cry of pain caught all of their attention. Sunny scooped up Orion, letting her bury her face into his neck as she sobbed, “What happened?” Ironhide asked standing to go check on their creation.

Sunny hugged her closer, looking down at the slightly bloody knee, “She scraped her knee. She’s alright. Just needs a bandage and she will be all good.” He seemed to be ignoring the slight spread of blood onto his shirt as he let her cry.

“Prime, Hide it was honestly an accident.” Sideswipe pitched in, gently handing the small female her blanket back.

Optimus gave the male a soft smile, “It’s alright. Accidents happen. Younglings aren’t the most stable anyway.”

Sunny made his way back to the table, as Jazz grabbed one of the many first aid kits off of the wall, following behind him, “Alright little lady we have to get that all cleaned out.”

Orion shook her head, “No it hurts!”

Optimus careful manavured her out of Sunny’s arms and into his own, rubbing her back as he tilted her chin up, “Look I’ll let you hold my hand and you can squeeze it as hard as you need too.”

Orion looked at Optimus as tears rolled down her cheeks, “Blow on it like Mommy does?”

Optimus nodded, “I think we can do that.” He settled her onto the table, offering her one of his hands as the other took the peroxide covered gauze pad, gently pressing it onto the small scrape. He frowned as she squeezed his hand and a soft sob escaped her. He leaned down gently blowing on the wound once he was sure it was cleaned off. Letting Jazz stick the bandage on, “Look all done.”

Ironhide smiled at Orion reaching up for Optimus to pick her up, “I think we are done with that game for today… Orion I heard a little rumor, you like to read yeah? Think you can come read to us?”

“Any book?”

“Whatever you want.” Ironhide promised ruffling her hair as they excused themselves from the room. Maybe the exhaustion and stress accounted for part of it, but he didn’t care. Something about getting to just snuggle with his mate and creation was more perfect than he would ever open up about. Which was the thought that took over as they settled onto her bed, letting her read one the books, through her shaky pronunciations, and even though she was half gone by the middle of the book, he took the book, finishing the story, not caring if she was awake to hear it or not. That’s what good parents did and he failed once, he would not again.

Chapter Text

Ironhide pulled Orion’s door closed shaking his head. There were very few things that added up to the difficulty of a stealth mission, but trying to sneak out of their creation’s room once she had crashed was a very close second. Brushing back his black hair, a slight smirk playing at his lips, “She gets her snuggling tactics from you.”

Optimus snorted shooting his mate a look, “And all her headstrong nature from you.”

“Yeah well it doesn’t seem that bad.”

“You’d better knock on wood my mechs.”

Optimus casted Jazz a look as he nodded a bit, “Strange human tradition. She carries my previous designation, I hope she takes after me the most.” He had carried her for nine months after all, “Prowl have everything ready to go?”

“When doesn’t my mate have everything in perfect order?”

“Other than the time Blue found you two in his office?” The weapon’s specialist teased laughing softly.

“Nah, everything was in order that day too Hide. We don’t require as much room as you bigger modes do.”

“I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that Jazz.” Optimus said looking towards the special ops commander.

Jazz grinned and winked at the Prime, “Sure Boss Bot.” He stepped forward leading the way to the rec room, before pausing, “What about if Orion wakes up and decides to go wandering again?”

“Sunny is on watch duty for her. William gave us monitor so we can hear when she wakes up. There is one in her room and Sunny has the other part.”

“Makes sense. Little bit seems quite taken with Sunny.”

“Oddly enough.”

The walk lapsed into silence as they made their way into the paperfilled rec room. Prowl looked up from the first file that was in his hand, “Orion still sleeping?” He seemed to relax a small amount at the nods he got as he leaned back, “Good. Optimus, Ironhide I have what you requested from her files here on Earth over there. School, photos that were on social media, doctor notes, anything we could find and pull. You can thank Red Alert for those files. Jazz and I will go over what we pulled from Decepticon chatter and files that may relate to her and what happened to you Optimus… I don’t know that there will be much. Honestly she is a wonderfully kept secret, and beyond that I don’t think Megatron wants just anyone to know what happened. Losing Orion due to someone wanting revenge would be just as bad for him as it is for you two.”

“I highly doubt that. I carried her Prowl, not him. She grew in me. I held her. He never bonded with her. Orion to him would be a piece of property, a way to force our hand. Beside Ironhide’s code is her baseline. He has a very minor claim to Orion. She carries my name and she is good. She is pure. Nothing about her screams Megatron. She has a good spark and that is all that matters. She will never have to know of who helped Sire her or what the circumstances were. She will grow up as every child should happy and healthy and without this war weighing on her.” And yet even with his powerful words, the question of would it be possible nagged his processor.

Jazz nodded a bit, “We know that Optimus. No one here thinks otherwise… You know if she takes after Hide everyone here is going to have their hands full?” He teased taking a seat across from his mate, picking up the next file and a yellow highlighter.

Ironhide rolled his eyes, “Hey Optimus wasn’t always so well behaved himself. I’m sure Ol’Hatchet has any stories of when he was younger. If not I’ve got more than a few to remind people of.”

:Which would be highly advised against:

:I hear you. Ask me again in a few joors if I care:

Seeing the slight smile that filled his mate’s face was worth it as he nudged him towards their own table working through the rather impressive stack of paperwork. Their creation was six, why on Earth was there enough paperwork on her to fill a human bookshelf?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wiping a paint covered hand across his pale cheek to brush the blonde hair back from his face, effectively smearing a cover of blue paint across his cheekbone. There were few things Sunstreaker enjoyed more than spending the day painting. It was a rarity though, between the ongoing war, all his duties around base, and keeping Sideswipe out of too much trouble, time for his own personal activities got backshelved.

A sigh left his lips at hearing the monitor going off, but it was half hearted at best. Orion, well Orion wasn’t a problem. Quite the opposite exactly. She was a sense of light that Sunny had not felt in many years and so looking out for the youngling wasn’t a problem. He hauled himself to his feet, moving down the hallway towards the bedroom, just as Orion was pulling her door open. Revealing the bare foot, bedhead child, “Going somewhere?”

Orion rubbed her eyes and gave Sunny a slight look before holding her arms up, nuzzling his neck when she was picked up, “To find Optimus and Hide.”

Sunny pressed his free hand to her back as he moved down the hallway, “Sounds like a good mission huh?”

A half nod greeted him as he rubbed up and down her back, “You’ve got paint on your face.”

Sunny rolled his eyes as he hugged her closer, reaching up and running a thumb over the slightly damp paint, before running it across her cheek, “And now you do too.”

Orion scrunched up her face pulling her head back before she looked at Sunny, a small smile finding its way to her face, “Do we match?”

“Perfectly.” The blonde twin promised as he pushed open the door to the rec room, once Orion went back to resting her head on his chest, “They’re working so you’ve gotta be super quiet.”

Holding one of her fingers over her lips, she nodded before letting herself be set down, instead stealing one of Sunny’s hands, before spotting the two males she was looking for, pulling her hand free and racing along the pathway and hugging Optimus’ around his torso. Optimus startled a bit before he looked towards the small frame, scooping her up, letting her sit on his lap as he gently rubbed her back, “Hey you. What do you have on your face?”

“Paint. Sunny had some on his face and then put it on my face.” She mumbled as she looked over at the male, and then curled up, head resting on Optimus’s chest.

Optimus let one arm wrap around the small form as he set the file down. Well it was harder to work with his creation snuggled up with him, “Orion are you still tired?”

Orion shook her head, dark hair bouncing as she looked up, “Mmm bored.”

“Do you want to help?” He chuckled at the excited nod that greeted him, “Alright here. Can you take these to Prowl for me?” Crawling back to the floor, Orion took the files into her hands, not bothering to look at them, as she moved across the room towards Prowl.

“How come you get the wake up hug?”

“The same reason you got the sleepy smiles this morning.”

Orion moved along the pathway before she reached Prowl, one of her small hands, pulling at his shirt, “Optimus said to give you these.”

Prowl looked down at his shirt being tugged on before taking the files, “Oh. Thank you Orion.”

Sunny watched amusement in his eyes. Huh maybe Orion was good for everyone else too, “Orion come here.” He watched the form turn towards him and he knelt down, tugging his own hair down turning her away before he ran his fingers through her hair, making quick work of braiding the mess of locks into a presentable state. Taking his paint rag from his back pocket and wiping off her cheek, “There you go.” Nodding his exit towards the other male’s as he pushed open the door as he closed the door behind him.

Orion nodded a bit, “Mommy always uses her spit to get dirt and paint off of my face from school and it is so gross.”

“I’m not using my spit on you.” The tone itself held a bit of disgust in it at the thought. Seriously what was it with humans and wanting to share their dna all the time?

Orion shrugged a bit, “I didn’t ask you too.” Sticking her tongue out as she looked over at the window, “Can we go outside?”

“Not right now Orion. It’s supposed to rain in a bit.” Ironhide spoke up from where he was in the middle of her medical file.

“But mud is the best to play in.”

“I said no Orion.”

The small female let out a groan as she moved away from Sunny, crawling up on the table closest to the window, staring out of the window, tracing patterns into the window as she blew hot breath on it, “Fine.”

Prowl frowned slightly at the squeaking of the window, “Orion please stop drawing on the window. Here come use a highlighter and a piece of paper.”

Slowly Orion placed her feet back on the floor as she moved towards the table, pulling the paper and highlighter out of Prowl’s offering hand, “Thank you Prowl.”

“You’re welcome youngling.” She pulled herself up on the table resting on her stomach. Prowl watched out of the corner on his eyes.

“Prowl don’t.” His mate’s voice rung out as he frowned slightly.

“Jazz there are rules.” His attentions drawn back to the small child, “Orion get off of the table like that.”

Orion gave Prowl a slight glare as she frowned, “But I-”

“Orion there are rules here and they will be followed. You don’t crawl on the tables.”

“That’s not fair! I just wan-”

Optimus watched for a moment before he spoke up, “Orion Lennox that is enough. Chair now.”

Orion turned her glare towards the other male, “I can-”

“Orion one-”

“Fine!” The frustrated child crawled to sit down in the chair, shoving the highlighter and paper away from her as she crossed her arms on the table, burying her face into them, feet dangling from the chair as she sulked.

“Orion I-” Prowl started, a bit startled by Orion’s quick response.

“No! I hate it here! All you care about are the rules!” Slamming her tiny hands down on the table as she stared at the male.

“Orion! Come here!”

Obviously startled by the weapon specialist’s tone of voice, Orion pushed herself to her feet, and turned heading for the door, a scream escaping her when arms wrapped around her waist, her hand coming up to hit the tactician in the face, “Let go! Let me go!”

Ironhide was up in a flash, taking the struggling child from Prowl as he set her down on her feet, grabbing her upper arms, to keep her planted where she was standing, “Orion you look at me right now.”

Orion struggled, tears rolling down her cheeks as she glared at the floor, “No!”

Releasing one of her arms, and using the other to grab her chin, he forced her to lock eyes with him, “You do not hit people.”

“Let go of me!” She let out a hiccuped sob at meeting his eyes, “I wanna go home!”

Ironhide sighed softly as he stared into his daughter’s creation teary eyes, “Orion I am not going to let you go.”

Orion pulled against the grip Ironhide had on her as she let herself lose her legs, sliding to sit on the floor, “No!”

Every single person in that room, beside Orion was thrown into their own memories. Fits they had thrown with their own creators, to watching it happen as they grew older. Memories that they clang to, to give them some sense of home. Something that gave them a reason to fight on. That gave them flashes of hope and memories of love and family. Now they finally had a second chance with it. The ups and the downs it seemed.

Ironhide sat down beside her and shrugged, “Go ahead and throw your fit pup, you’re not embarrassing me.” Orion let out a pitiful sob as she let out a typical high pitched scream, trying to jerk free from the larger frame. Using her free arm to push against Hide’s leg, screams escaping, “We’re not in any hurry pup. You can just scream yourself out as loud and long as you want to.”

“I want Sunny!”

“Sunny is not coming to rescue you.”

Optimus ran a hand over his face watching the pair interact. With both of their stubborn nature’s they could be at this for days on end. He stood up, moving to kneel beside his mate and creation, “Orion that is enough. Sit up.” They were lucky no one thought they were torturing her with all her screaming and crying.

Orion looked up at Optimus as she sobbed, trying to pull free from the other male, “Make him let go of me!”

“I’m not going to do that Orion, but I am willing to listen to why you are so upset.”

“I was just trying to see! I can’t see from the chair! I wanted to draw outside and I couldn’t see to do it but no one was listening to me!”

Ironhide had to hide an amused chuckle. If this was Orion’s attitude as a child, he didn’t even want to think about her attitude as a teenager, “Orion even if you couldn’t tell us that, it doesn’t give you any reason to hit anyone or throw a fit.” Tugging the small frame into his lap, he gently wiped off her cheeks, “Calm down, breathe.”

Orion looked up at Ironhide a soft sob escaping as she wiped at her puffy eyes, “B-But… I just want mommy and daddy…”

Optimus let out a soft sigh as he watched Orion, bury her face into Ironhide’s chest, “I know sweetheart… Do you think you can see if Hide holds you?” A small nod escaped from where she was holding onto Ironhide, “Think you should say something to Prowl?”

Orion gave Optimus a look as she nodded, slowly pulling free from the arms around her form and approached Prowl as she messed with her hands. Staring at the floor before she wrapped her arms around his leg, “I-I’m sorry for hitting you and screaming.”

Prowl looked towards the youngling, gently untangling himself from her arms before kneeling down in front of her, “It’s alright. Gotta watch that temper huh?”

:Kinda makes ya want to have our own creations huh Prowler?:

:No Jazz. We have a youngling here that is partially everyone’s by the look of it:

Orion flushed a bit and nodded, “Daddy says I get it from mommy and mommy says I get it from daddy.”

“Come on Ori. You can color while I finish reading this.” Orion nodded as she let herself be picked up and snuggled into Hide as she worked on her drawing sheet, thumb slipping into her mouth as she worked quietly.

Ironhide kept an arm wrapped around her torso to keep her still as he read from his file.

:You know she doesn’t mean anything by it sweetspark… And don’t forget I can feel your disappointment from across the table.:

:I had simply hoped that she would be more adjusted than she is now.:

:You know since she likes the mud so much. We could take her out after the rain. Get her focused on something else.:

:Then you are bathing her.:

The two eyes locked as they held their conversation, the small form completely unaware. Even with the chaos from just moments ago still fresh in their memories, everyone understood the pressure the small child was under. They were working the best that they could, with what they had and that was just fine.

:Deal:

Chapter Text

It never failed to amuse the Prime, all the ways Orion managed to throw fits. Her newest tactic, holding her breath in protest, “Orion, maybe you should just ask someone to take you outside.” The girls soft brown curls bounced as she shook her head, “Well then you can hold your breath while I work on this file for Prowl.”

A protesting groan echoed around his office, “Daddy please!”

Out of the many times Optimus’ spark had both realistically and figuratively stopped, this was the only time, he had felt it, “What did you call me?”

Orion’s bright blue eyes flashed with confusion, as she cocked her head to the side, “Daddy?”

The grin on the old mech’s face grew, “Come here you.” Orion’s form was easily gathered into her carrier’s arms, “I love you so much.”

Orion nuzzled into the cobalt blue haired male’s neck and smiled, “Love you too.” 

“-Timus?.... Optimus?... Prime?” Sunny’s voice drew over the noise.

“She… She was right there. I looked away for two seconds and she… was gone.”

The approaching form, Wheeljack was fuzzy to Optimus as the harsh reality came rushing back. Orion was missing. The park crawling with Autobots in holoform, and NEST soldiers alike, “Optimus, where was she? Focus Prime. There were reports of Con activity in the area.”

“The swings… There was another little girl. I told Jazz all of this already! Going over the details is wasting time!” Immediately the snarl filled words, sent guilt to his spark, “I’m… I’m sorry. I-”

Wheeljack nodded slowly as he stepped back, “It’s okay Prime. We know.”

Sunny watched the scientist step away, before tugging Ironhide forward, “Jazz is taking Mirage, Bluestreak, Sides and myself on a scouting mission. You take him away from here. If Megatron is behind it, he’ll kill anyone in his way, and Prime is in no state to play hero.”

The weapon’s specialist nodded, just barely biting back the snarl of reminding the young frontliner he could and would take care of his mate, “We… I should be going.”

“We’ve got this. If this goes bad, he doesn’t need to lose his sparkmate and his creation in one day.”

It was not the first time, and definitely would not be the last, that Ironhide had carried the weight of his mate’s pain before, but the amount of sorrow that flooded his system from his mate, he had not felt since the moment that Orion was conceived, “Sweetspark, come on… Let’s go inside. They’ve got this.”

“I just looked away for two seconds Hide… I… She was right there. My comlink went off.”

“It’s okay. She is tiny. She won’t get too far.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The six year old’s normally bright eyes, were flooded with tears, “I want daddy and papa.”

“Primus ‘Warp shut her up.”

A small whimper escaped her trembling lips when the male’s scarred face moved in front of her, “We had a deal Orion. Shut up or I’ll put the rag back into your mouth.”

Orion let out a sob, “I want Sun-”

“Shut up! Primus are you that stupid? Just gag her Warp, and let Megatron or his pet deal with her!”

Orion gagged as the much older male, shoved the rag into her mouth. Her eyes watching the other child, she had been playing with before the two men had approached, muffled sobs escaping her form.

The small brunette child stepped closer as the two males left, slamming the heavy door shut. Her small hands untying, or rather struggling to untie the bonds on Orion’s wrists, “Shush… Be quiet. If they hear you, you’ll have to go back to the closet.” She huffed out in frustration as the bonds remained in tact. Instead reaching forward and removing the rag, “ It’s just me, Rav. We were playing at the park… Remember Orion?”

Orion slowly nodded, “Y-Yes.” She drew her knees up to her chest, “It hurts.”

“I know… Sire will be down shortly to check on you… Then your sire will be do-”

Rav launched back at the door opening, immediately moving back to her place on the wall. The male that had entered had long raven black hair, and beyond strange purple eyes, “Ravage, I told you to stay upstairs. Go, we will discuss this later.”

“Yes sire...” The small form paused at the door, her tan hand resting on the door knob, “Sire please don-”

“Ravage upstairs now.”

Orion let out a small sob as her lips trembled, “I-I want to go home.”

The male’s eyes were cold as the other child took off through the door, leaving only the echoing reminder Orion was alone with the scary male, “You will decrease this struggling, now.”

The cold tone startled her into stopping her movements, “I want papa and daddy!”

“They are not going to form a rescue team for you. You can help yourself by behaving.”

“I wanna go home!”

“You have been told no. Anymore of that behavior and you can stay down here by yourself.”

“No!”

Kids were always the same, seeking comfort from adults. It made them incredibly easy to manipulate. Something Soundwave was blessedly gifted in. Adults broke down at his treatments, and kids? Well they never stood a chance, “I suggest you stop screaming and crying.”

The sobs that racked the child’s frame only grew as she shook her head, “Wasn’t screaming.”

Soundwave crouched down in front of her and tilted her chin up, “ Are you disobeying?”

“Stop it! I want my papa and daddy! I don’t want to! I want to go home!”

Soundwave didn’t let his displeasure show as he pulled the bonds free, and turned slamming the heavy metal door shut. Orion scrambled off of the bed and headed for the door, the chain on her ankle throwing her balance off and sending her crashing to the floor. A cry escaping as she hit the hard floor. Her arm clutched to her chest, as she sobbed into the cool metal. The pale skin bruising, and her lip sending blood dripping to the floor as it mixed with her tears, staining her blue shirt, “Daddy! Papa! Please!”

Yet she her cries went unanswered as she laid there. This was right… Even when she was in big trouble, someone stayed with her… Where was everyone, “D-Don’t leave me!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Jazz leaned over the bench table as he frowned. There were several places nearby to stuff a child if they needed to hide them in a rush, “Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, you take 112th to 57th. Mirage and Bluestreak 115th to 92nd. Check everything… We don’t know what happened. I want to run this as a rescue in any condition. He would want her alive, but we don’t know. Check trashcans, gutters, alleys, abandoned buildings. I’m heading out to their base. Check ins are every three hours. Do not tell NEST anything.”

Sunny just barely kept the fire out of his eyes, “If they kill her, they won’t have a base to return to cower in. Sides let’s go.”

Mirage watched the twins holoform’s fade and listened for their engines before he spoke up, “Jazz, if I may?” A slight nod, let the former noble continue, “If we are looking at this as it was definitely cons, it doesn't make sense to take her back to the base. It is their safe space. They know that is the first place we go looking. They’d have it on lock down. Which means, they most likely took her somewhere nearby, typically within a three mile radius from the abduction spot, to hold her until they could move her. Most abductors wait and move them at night, typically when police or search parties thin out. Meaning, it is most likely she could be in a bunker.”

Bluestreak raised an eyebrow and leaned forward, “A bunker?”

“Yes. Look around the park, woods. Miles of it. We ran the dogs through there right? It picked up her scent for about a mile before they lost it, right on the edge. Vehicle to the bunker would throw off her scent completely.”

Jazz ran a hand over his face, “Alright fine. Run your theory. If it is this close to a military base, permits have to be required… Get all records pulled, you and Blue can run those and search them. I have to run the base idea, but it may be their safe space, but we certainly do not want them to get too comfortable.”

Mirage nodded, “We’ll get in a few hours.” He said as he stepped towards the base, Bluestreak trailing behind him.

Jazz watched as the pair disappeared over the hill, “Come on sweetspark where are you?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Orion was so caught up in her hysterics, she missed the scraping of the heavy door on the metal floor, “Oh my sweet child, what has happened?”

The voice sounded like how cough medicine tasted. Fake sweet, and make stomachs turn. Orion didn’t move from the corner as she sobbed into her knees, “I want to go home.”

The male took a seat on the floor in front of the child, “You are home.”

Orion shook her head, her gaze glued solidly to the floor, “No! Not home! Not home!”

The form reached forward, tilting the small child’s head up. He had an unkind face. Silver, aging hair pulled back from his face into a tight ponytail, a scar placed over his left eye, and his mouth tugged into a forced smile, the teeth hardly looking human, with the way they were sharpened at the tips, “ It is home Orion!”

Orion whimpered at the grip on her face, bringing up her hands to try to push the hands away from her face, “Hurts! Stop! I want daddy and pa-”

“You do not mention them! They don't want you! Why do you think they left you at the park and haven’t come back for you? I saved you!”

Orion’s eyes shined with tears as she attempted to yanked herself free, “No!” She screamed as she sobbed , trying to pull the hand from her face.

Megatron snarled as he watched the child, “Would you rather I leave you here and let Soundwave come back to handle you?”

The child frantically shook her head as she cried, “Why are you so mean? I wasn’t bad!”

An amused snort left the warlord’s mouth, “Oh? I heard you gave my men quite a hard time. Are you calling them liars?”

Orion broke into fresh sobs, and buried her face into her arms when it was released. She was so confused. She didn’t mean to be bad, but she wasn’t lying. She hadn’t been bad but she didn’t know them. Why had no one come for her?

Megatron leaned back against the footrail of the bed as he reached for the child sob. God this would surely be harder, then he had believed previously. What was it Starscream had said? If you want to find an adult, send an adult, if you want to find a child, send a child?

He reached back as he grabbed a small bear that rested on the bed, “Here Orion, perhaps this will help.”

Orion flinched away from the offered comfort item. It wasn’t her wolf or her blanky, “No!”

“You know what Orion, You want to be a brat? I’ll take every nice thing out of here and you can have nothing!”

Orion hiccuped out a sob as she listened to the stomps lead out of the and jumped at the lock clicking into place. Her little hand picking up the dusty bear, as she held it to her chest, the dust rubbing off onto her clothes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ironhide sat beside Optimus, as the words of those who had returned from searching, recounting their findings, or better yet the lack of findings, “Enough! I can’t do this anymore tonight! There is nothing is that what we have? We have nothing! It’s not like she could have just disappeared!”

Ratchet gave the mech a stern look as he stood, “We are trying Hide! We cannot produce evidence where there is none!”

“Try harder!”

“That is enough! Us fighting is not going to help her!” Hound snarled as he leaned off the wall, “ This is exactly what they want. If we are too busy to focus on her, we lose track of what evidence could be right in front of us. Now what about this little girl.”

Jazz shook his head, “No go. All the security on the park was down. NEST is trying to get it back up and running… But there is a gas station across from the park. Did anyone pull that footage?”

“Already done. There was not a single glimpse of her face, plenty of the shots from behind, but her parents made sure to keep her on a tight leash.”

Mirage frowned as he leaned forward, “Hold on. Orion knows stranger danger. She never leaves anyone’s side without big tears, so this kid could have been bait, what if there was something else they used to get her to go with them?”

Sideswipe took in a sharp sound of breathe, “Any kind of animal, and she would have gone quickly and without a fight.”

The room fell deadly quiet as Optimus stood shooking his head, “No. That was only if it was one of us. Epps tried it once and she screamed her head off… They used the little girl. Orion felt safe with her, ran off to play without protest.”

“Well with two kids, they could not have made too much progress in daylight.”

The words blended together as he looked over the map. His hand coming to rest on the coordinates over the park, a sharp pain tearing through his spark, his hand coming to grip at his spark, “Optimus!” He swayed as he let Ratchet force him into a chair, “Optimus what does it feel like?”

“Th-The bo-bond.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ravage watched as Megatron stormed back and forth across the bridge, “She has too much of Optimus in her! I’ll kill that weapons specialist! He thinks he can take what is mine? Optimus and Orion are mine!”

Ravage flinched as another scream tore out of Orion’s room, “Sire please let me go check on her!”

“No! No one is to comfort her! She is to suffer for her own decisions.”

Soundwave watched and for once, the seekers optics even seemed to hold pity. Whether it was for Orion’s sake or their own audios, he was not sure, “Megatron if I may, you want her to bond to you correct?”

“Of course I do or this was a waste!”

“You take baby steps. Allow her to work her way up. We look very different than her normal sites. The Autobots are soft in appearance, yes? Then you send the softest of us in first; Ravage. Ravage did her job the first time, beyond perfectly. Give her five minutes and I promise that the screaming and tears will stop tonight.”

Megatron stepped forward, staring the telepath down, “You better hope so, for your sake. Ravage your time starts now.”

Ravage bounced forward instantly towards the room, struggling with the door for a moment before she got it open, just barely dodging the book that flew her way, “Hey! It’s just me! See?” The black haired girl teased, doing a spin to prove her point.

Orion drew her knees up tighter, “They let you come back?”

Ravage nodded a bit as she stepped forward, “Why are you in the corner? The bed is much softer. You have the same blankets as me and my old bear! Come here let me show you!”

Orion’s eyes were untrusting as she stood, the chain tugging along the floor as she approached the other child, reluctantly sitting on the bed, her eyes trained to the door.

“What happened to your face?”

“I-I… I fell.”

“I’ll ask Mr. Hook to come by and check them later, they look bad, but he can fix it.. He’s grumpy but not bad… Not like some of the others.”

Grumpy… Grumpy like her uncle Ratchet, “O-Okay.”

“You can’t scream anymore, Megatron is very mad and that is not a good thing.. If you don’t scream, I’ll come back tomorrow, but if you do, I can’t.”

“Y-You won’t forget about me?”

Ravage shook her head, “Not if you don’t forget about me!”

Orion’s trembling hand, offered out her pinky finger to link with Ravage’s, “If you break that, Uncle Raj says a fairy dies.”

“That’s what TC says.”

The pair curled up in bed, their fingers locked in a promise, that was invisible to the rest of their very small world, even when Soundwave, came in way after the pair had crashed, and carried his own creation to her proper quarters, locking Orion away, like a bird whose wings had not been properly clipped yet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ironhide sat beside Optimus as the Prime slept in Orion’s room. Normally this was a sight to make the war vet laugh. His warrior mate, curled up in their daughter’s bed, but today, it was cold as he threaded his fingers through the soft hair. He leaned his head against Optimus’ still hand and for the first time in centuries, wept.

Ratchet pulled the door shut and shook his head, “Optimus is sedated… Hide may need to be later, but for now let them be. We can continue working and fill them when the time is right. I’m running point, all information comes to me before they hear it. Am I clear?”

Prowl nodded a bit, “Of course Ratch. I’ll alert the others.” The pair made their way through the oddly silent hallway, trying to shake the sound of Hide’s cries out of their processors.