((takes place the evening after these threads))
Optimus Prime is brooding again.
Jazz picks Honey up and shows her the big mech where he's standing and staring through the gate at the desert. "Time to snuggle pile on Uncle Prime!" Honey wriggles and squeaks and reaches toward the Autobot leader.
Prime blinks and turns his head. "Eh?"
"I think you need some baby love, my man!" Jazz hands him the sparkling, who sticks to Optimus with her magnets and snuggles for all she's worth.
Optimus holds the tiny femme gently and looks down at her as she purrs. "Thank you."
Jazz gives him a one armed hug. "Ya need it, man."
The Prime sighs and looks out over the desert again. "Am I doing this wrong, Jazz? Should I give up the hope of a home for our people here on Earth? Honey is too young to travel through space, but there's the Nexus...."
Jazz sighs as well. "It's...natural to the humans to behave this way though. They even treat immigrants of their own kind like this at first."
"But there are so few of us... and I could not bear to face myself were something to happen to the young ones who've been sparked here." Optimus's voice is a low rumble. Honey looks up at him and squeaks, then redoubles her snuggling, adding a little tinkling tune.
"Even more reason to be protective and hide from them, let them get used to the idea." Jazz smiles and pets Honey's helmet.
"And if they finish us off first?"
Jazz hisses sharply! "This isn't like you!" He grips Optimus' arm hard. "Give it one more chance, Optimus we need a place to go first."
The larger mech winces and looks at him, remembering the other Jazz who once stood in his place and missing Ratchet's solid presence.
Then he looks skyward. "The Defense Secretary has asked me to submit plans for a more permanant base. Some of the supplies to build it were in that load that I brought the day of the attack."
Jazz's hand unclenches. "I heard. You gonna wait on that then?"
"I think so." Optimus lowers his optics to Honey as he thinks of what Ratchet told him of the SoD's visit to the base. "But you must be on constant alert. And at the first sign of trouble I want you to take Honey and evac again. I'll send Bumblebee after you."
Jazz tilts his head. "You sure boss? I have more experience than Bee."
"You're also possibly more vulnerable." He rubs the green sparkling's back and hands her back to her father, then watches Starforge walk out of the hanger to take a cautious peek over the wall.
Jazz sighs and nods. "Just...If you need me don't discount me." He grins up at Starforge. "Hey, kid! Did you meet my baby?"
The young newcomer turns his head with a grin, his deep voice rumbling into the night. "No, sir, not yet. Just saw her runnin' around."
Jazz grins and holds her up to him to show her off. "Well I'm Jazz, Bumblebee's husband, and this is our daughter, Honey Bee." He tickles Honey. "Say hi, Honey."
She looks down at him as though to say, 'you're joking, right?', then turns back to Starforge and twinkles the fingers of one little hand at him.
Forge chuckles. "Wow... you're like I was."
"Ah? Chromia built you small at first for your baby stage?"
"No. I was always this size. But I had the baby CPU going. Chromia says it made things hard the first few times we ran into Decepticons, because I didn't always come back when she called me."
Jazz laughs so hard he almost coughs. "Oh my. Sounds like you were a handful. Wouldn't expect less with your folks though."
Starforge grins, then looks at Optimus as the bigger mech ducks through the gate, still looking upward. "Still seems funny to think I'm in the same space as the Prime. He doesn't seem any different from the rest of us."
Jazz smiles sadly. "He ain't kid. He's just a bit bigger and a bit older, but he's just as mortal as the rest of us."
The younger mech nods his understanding, then gently pats Honey and walks over to look down at Ironhide where the old warrior is laying passed out next to Chromia's truck form. His face is inscrutable, as though he's not sure what to think of his father.
"Ya both seem a bit unsure about each other." The silver mech observes. "How do you feel now that you've met the old man?"
"Dunno." He shrugs. "He's crazy."
Jazz gives him a strange grin. "We all are."
"He's the only one that stuck a cannon in my face for talkin' to a femme." He turns his head to look at where Arcee's curled on the smaller couch.
Jazz laughs again. "That's cause for a while, Arcee was like his kid. And since you are his kid, he expects you to behave like he did."
"He said it was 'cause she's vulnerable." His blue optics turn toward the memorial that sits by the wall on the far side of the courtyard as he remembers Arcee hiding behind it when he brought her back from their quick flight into space.
Jazz sighs and nods. "She had an unrequited love for my brother. 'Hide may be afraid that you will be a crutch." He shrugs and pats the kid and mumbles to the memorial. "I think you'll be a bolster for the poor thing. She's feelin' almost as bad as Optimus."
"Chromia taught me respect." Forge's voice rumbles nearly too low for a human to hear. Then he cocks his head. "Your brother?"
Honey sighs and beeps herself on the nose, then snuggles close and goes to sleep.
Jazz cuddles Honey and sighs as well. "Yeah. There were two Jazzes at one point. I came from another reality. The Jazz that was already here and I became like brothers."
"Another reality? I don't understand, sir."
"Sir is for war kid. Not right now." Jazz half smiles. "There is this place called the Nexus. It is a meeting point of possibility and probability. I died in my reality and wound up there."
"You went there instead'a goin' back to the Allspark?" Forge frowns.
"Allspark's gone, kiddo. Sam shoved it into Megatron's chest," he says with a tired sigh.
"But...." The younger mech stares at him, feeling a little stunned. "Then... Cybertron...."
"..."Scuse me, please." Starforge turns on his heel and walks inside and down the hall toward the now much smaller dorm.
Bumblebee walks out of the shadows where she'd been watching, her arms going around her husband and daughter. //What a day, huh?//
Jazz hugs her back and sighs. //Like you wouldn't believe, Lady Love.//
She turns her head toward Optimus. //If Elita doesn't come soon... do you think he can take it?//
Jazz's horns flatten along his head. //Primus, I pray so.//
Bee sighs, then lets go the hug to take his hand. "C'mon to bed. It's late."
Jazz follows her obediently. "Yeah." He kisses her as they lay down in bed together. "Be glad you ain't the boss."
"Always am." She returns the kiss, then kisses Honey on the helm, chuckling as the sparkling sighs and snuggles in her nest between their bodies.
Then she starts. "Wha...? Oh...."
Jazz tilts his head sleepily. "What's up?
Bee flinches slightly and chuckles. "Rap's trying to talk. I think he likes your voice."
Jazz smiles. "Ah." He leans forward and rests his head on her chestplate. "Love you, Rap. Don't worry your mama while she is tryin to sleep."
Bee chuckles again as she distinctly feels a soft fluttering against her own spark, then strokes Jazz's head and shutters her optics. "G'night."
He purrs softly. "Night, babe."
Silence falls over the room, broken only by the purring.