"You're Goldbug, right?"
The seeker remained still, his frame not giving away his shock. The Middle Witwicky child hovered near Goldbug's head, standing on a thick hanging chain. His yellow boots dug into the metal links as he leaned back like he was standing on a swing. The fourteen year old was wearing his 'Bomber Jacket,' Goldbug's database supplied: brown leather coat with a white furry collar that hung too loose on his frame. Goldbug hadn't heard the boy climb down the chain, nor noticed his approach.
Sloppy, Goldbug thought to himself, as he stared optic to eye with this little human invader.
The Witwickys had been an odd, yet oddly welcome, addition to the Ark.
Sparkplug, Butch, Spike and Buster. Goldbug had memorized their names and personal histories on the first day. His old blackmailing days kept up Goldbug's drive to stay informed, and it wasn't every day your leader permitted a set of "Human Autobot Allies" to move into their sacred Ark.
Not that they didn't fit in, Goldbug relented.
If the Witwicky's had been Cybertronian, those four would have been right at home with the Autobots. Perhaps that's where their leader's curiosity toward them lied. Or maybe their Prime just liked having a set of pets around to remind everyone of their inferiority.
It had been hard to tell some days.
Odd as it was to be conscious of the organic creatures under foot the first few weeks, the Autobots adapted. The four humans wormed their way into the ranks like they had always belonged there, like parasites. Goldbug was caught between being impressed, and concerned by their effect on his peers when they started making requests, and getting them.
For example, Sparkplug had been near immediately absorbed into Wheeljack and Ratchet's bubble of madness. Goldbug didn't think it was possible for a human to be frightening, but with access to Wheeljack and Ratchet's equipment, Sparkplug was managing at least a base level of intimidation. He had suggested some project involving a hand-made Autobot no one wanted any part of, and somehow got Wheeljack's full support. And Goldbug shivered at the thought of the human assisting Ratchet in repairs.
Butch and Buster were less of a threat, tagging along behind Rodimus like ankle biting cassettes. The purple hot rod didn't complain about his additional posse, and rather, his ego had gotten worse lately from the constant affirmation from the Witwicky siblings.
Fourteen year old Spike Witwicky was the odd one out.
Optimus Prime had taken to him early on. Spike didn't so much as interact with their glorious leader, as he somewhat existed as a trophy piece. Goldbug found 'Pet' to be the best comparison for Spike's position with their grand and glorious leader. Spike could usually be spotted sitting on Prime's desk, waiting to be pet, or have his back rubbed absently while their Prime reviewed paperwork. On the rare occasion, Prime would carry him, or allow Spike the privilege of staying in the Prime's private quarters during recharge.
But one day, Prime had placed Spike on the ground and nudged the boy away without looking at him, and that had been that. Whatever amusement their Prime had gathered from the boy, it had been spent. Prime still pet Spike, or acknowledged him every so often, but for the most part, the boy had been free to wander.
So much time early on with Lord Prime made Spike a taboo around the Ark, Goldbug observed. No one wanted to touch something that 'belonged' to their Prime, whether he was being 'used' or not. But Spike was persistent, almost aggressively so. Eventually, he found company in an Autobot here or there in the same fashion as his family.
Most often, he was spotted going along with Hound or Trailbreaker on scouting missions. He bothered Mirage, and annoyed Jazz. When he pushed his luck too far with Goldbug's more dangerous peers, Spike would hang around his brothers or father as his shield. However, Spike didn't belong anywhere.
Until he caught Goldbug watching him.
"So are you?" Spike asked again, shifting on the chain so that he was hugging the one side.
"I'm fairly certain you already know the answer to that," Goldbug said. He clicked the last few bits of information into his report on Teletran. Finished, Goldbug strode away quickly, hoping to escape the boy's curiosity. Spike frowned, and yanked on another loose chain. It tumbled to the floor, and he transferred from one to the other to slide down to the floor. Goldbug heard the small tapping of feet follow up behind him. He sighed, "What are you doing?"
"I've seen you looking at me," Spike said. He tagged along Goldbug's side, with his arms behind his back. His wavy brown hair bounced on his head from the lift in his steps.
Goldbug pushed the boy aside with his foot. Spike fumbled, but not enough to fall over. He glared, and Goldbug asked, "What's your point?"
"Maybe I've been looking at you, too," Spike answered, brushing off his sleeves. He heaved himself up on a piece of pipe running along the corridor to give himself an extra foot or two of height. He wasn't optic-to-optic, but Spike's head came up to at least the same level as Goldbug's spark instead of his knee-joint. Spike turned around on the pipe and walked backwards to easier look up at Goldbug's visor. His yellow boots peeking out from under the dark blue jeans tapped heavily on the metal conduit. "You guys have intuition?"
Goldbug didn't humor the boy with an answer.
"I think you do," Spike said. He waved his finger back and forth between the two of them, and tilted his head to the side. It knocked a wave of hair in between his eyes. "You're too much like us humans to not get gut feelings about things."
"Is this going somewhere?" Goldbug asked. There was something twisting in his spark as he tried to figure out the kid's angle. What did he want?
"I have a feeling about you and me," Spike said. He shoved his hands into his pockets, and turned back around to walk straight. A mischievous smile tugged at the side of his lips, and it made Goldbug wary in a way he hadn't felt since before the Ark crashed. Spike nodded toward Goldbug, and the feeling deepened. "A good one. My gut's telling me that we should hang out. We can be good for each other."
Goldbug stopped. He held his shoulders back straight, pulling up his full height over the boy. He looked spike eye to visor, and rumbled his engine. "And what created that feeling?"
Spike shrugged, and tapped the tip of his boot on the pipe. "Yellow's my favorite color."