Jazz had managed to get himself regestered in the newest crop of police recruits. He could still remember how the training Sargent had introduced him.
"Men, this is Jazz." The greying human had said, indicating the sleek little silver car sitting next to him. "You may remember some things that happened in a certain city a couple months back. Jazz was there. Are there any questions?"
A dark-haired guy lifted his hand. "Uh, is this a joke?"
"Aw, c'mon, man, I ain't that funny lookin'." Jazz chuckled, bringing instant silence to the big room and a sudden fixation on him of every eye in the place.
"No joke," said the Sargent evenly. "I'm dead serious. This is why you had to sign those confidentiality forms before you got into this class."
"So...." A tall black woman tossed her head absently, as though to flip her tightly bound hair back over her shoulder. "We gonna be playing with an ET."
"Something like that," said the Sargent. "He's here to help with your training as well as to work toward becoming a member of the force."
"I can live with that." She shrugged. There was a chorus of agreement from the others.
Over the next couple weeks Jazz had worked closely with the trainees, forging bonds of friendship with many of them despite never leaving his car mode. They came to refer to him as the sweetest ghost car on the Force, and he even found himself invited to a couple of parties. The black woman who had spoken up at the start had a similar personality to his own, and the two of them were soon engaging in the comfortable camaraderie and outrageous flirting that only best friends of a certain character can achieve. Part of the special class included a week of training in the desert, and Jazz was there for that too.
Which is why one desert evening he was sitting on a slight rise with his best friend comfortably cross-legged on his hood, watching as the setting sun painted the sky with scarlet and gold.
Latitia tossed her braids back over her shoulder and leaned back against his windshield. "Sweet show. God's gotta way with colour."
"Hmmm," he said comfortably, contemplating a streak of glowing white that cut across one corner of the display. "He gotta way with everything, baby."
She shook her head and contemplated bare toe prints on his paint, then watched a night bird of some sort fly over. "I ever gonna see what you really look like?"
"What? I not handsome enough for you?" He chuckled and absently played a Toby Mac rap number on his stereo.
She smacked him and chuckled herself. "Maybe I wanna see the ugly side too."
"Baby, you tore my heart out. I love ya so much and you go callin' me ugly?" Jazz did his best to sound grieved.
"Just don't go bleedin' on the ground. We got enough oil stains out here." She stretched out and put her hands behind her head.
He bumped his hood slightly, chuckling again. "You owe me."
"I know." She sat up and gave him another smack, then gently smoothed the place she'd hit. "Dumb bet, anyway."
"You just sayin' that because you lost." He purred a little.
"Yeah, so?" She shook her head and grinned. "I'm glad you're not human."
"Huh? Whyzzat?" He perked and listened.
"Because all this flirting would'a turned my head and got me off track." She stretched and returned her attention back to the waning sunset.
"Oh...." He rumbled to himself a bit and fell silent.
Neither of them had any idea of danger till a bullet hit Latitia in the shoulder and knocked her to the ground.
"Tish!" Jazz shifted without thinking, standing over her protectively as he scanned the desert for the source of the attack.
She looked up at him, blinking with pain. -He's beautiful....-
That was her last thought before the missile hit Jazz in the chest and the night exploded into fire.
Bee beeps absently to herself as she pulls up to the compound, Sam in the driver's seat and Jazz somewhere behind her. Honey curles in the backseat, sleeping soundly.
The yellow Autobot feels content. It's a good day.
"Hey, there's a police car in the courtyard." Sam frowns, feeling suddenly uneasy.
"Huh?" Bee stops beside it, opening the door so that her friend can get out and so that he or Jazz can get Honey. Then she shifts herself and looks up as Prime comes out of the hanger.
The Autobot leader's face is grave. "Bumblebee, Jazz, Sam...."
"What happened?" whispers Sam. "Mom and Dad?"
"No, your family's fine," says Prime heavily. "It's... it's Jazz."
"Jazz?" Bumblebee looks instinctively toward her sparkmate. "What...?"