Categories > Cartoons > Transformers


by Wyntir-Rose 0 reviews

Wheeljack helps Ratchet out after a night of drinking.

Category: Transformers - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama - Published: 2007-04-07 - Updated: 2007-04-07 - 3156 words - Complete

Disclaimer: Transformers belong to Hasbro and Takara, and are licensed to IDW and Dreamworks. My original characters are my own and any similarity between them and any existing characters from canon or fandom is purely coincidental. I claim no ownership by writing this work.

"Hey, Ratch!" Wheeljack called as he knocked on Ratchet's door. "You in there, doc?"

When he received no answer, he knocked again, a bit louder this time.

"He ain't there."

Wheeljack turned and found himself facing an older mech. Or rather, he was facing the mech's yellow and green chest.

"'Scuse me?" Wheeljack asked.

"He. Ain't. There," the mech replied in a slow drawl. "What're you? Slow'r somethin'"

"Uh, no ...? I just wasn't sure I heard you right," Wheeljack replied, taking a step back from the large mech.

The stranger snorted and then reached out to finger Wheeljack's new Autobot sigil. Wheeljack backed up but the yellow and green mech stepped forward and he soon found himself backed up against Ratchet's door. He craned his neck to look up at the imposing mech.

"Uhm ... is there something I can help you with?" he asked hesitantly.

"You went got yerself involved with that new Prime, didja?" the stranger asked. "You gonna get that nice doc involved in this?"

"Uhm ... no?" Wheeljack replied, hoping that it was the answer that wouldn't get him turned into spare parts.

"Well okay then!" the stranger replied, slapping Wheeljack on the shoulder with enough force to send him sprawling to the deck.

"Sorry 'bout that. Ferget my own strength sometimes around you smaller mechs. Name's Hardpress. I'm the good doctor's neighbour," he said, providing a hand to help Wheeljack to his feet.

"So you lookin' fer the doc?" Hardpress asked. "He tore outta here a couple o' decacycles ago. He was in a big ole rush and had a face t' curdle fresh energon."

"Oh. ... Did you see which way he went?" Wheeljack asked.

"Yeah I did," Hardpress said. "He went out."

"Uh, thanks?" Wheeljack replied, more confused than ever.

"No problem," Hardpress replied, returning to his own apartment. "Good luck with findin' him."

Left alone in the hall, Wheeljack shook his head in confusion, then headed out of the complex in search of his friend.


Wheeljack started with the obvious places. Ratchet was a social mech and would likely seek companionship if he was in as bad a mood as Hardpress had suggested. The most logical place was The Repair Bay, a bar close to the Iacon Teaching Hospital. The war had not seriously damaged this area of the capital and it still had some of the shine of the Golden Age. If your blinders were firmly in place, you could even ignore the civil war that raged all around. Most of the bots in this area were still neutral, so the few who sported Autobot insignia were given strange looks.

He entered the bar hoping to find Ratchet, but found the place packed but the medic nowhere to be seen. He sighed and turned to leave but stopped when he spotted a flash of blue out of the corner of his eye.

"Hey Wheeljack!" Moonracer called, waving for him to come join her at a table.

"Well hi there, Moonracer," Wheeljack said, sitting across from her.

"What brings you to these parts?" Moonracer asked, smiling at him.

"Actually, I'm looking for Ratchet. You wouldn't happen to have seen him around, have you?" he asked

"I haven't seen him since his last shift," Moonracer replied thoughtfully, then she paused. "No, wait, that's not true ... I think I may have seen him about a mega-cycle ago heading toward the Theatre District. But I was running off to meet with Highlight and was a bit distracted ... I may be wrong about that."

"That's okay, 'Racer. It's a place to start," Wheeljack replied, patting her outstretched hand. He noticed her optics darken in a slight blush.

"So, uhm ... do you have to go right away?" Moonracer asked. "Would you like to stick around for a drink or something?"

"If it was any other day I'd love to, but Ratchet's neighbour said that he was in a real bad mood," Wheeljack said. He saw Moonracer's smile fade. "But maybe another day?" he added quickly.

"Yeah, maybe," Moonracer replied. "Good luck finding him, 'Jack."

Wheeljack smiled at her and got up to leave. Hopefully he'd get another chance at that drink with Moonracer.


Another half a mega-cycle had passed and Wheeljack was no closer to finding Ratchet. All the regular hangouts had been checked and now he was scraping the bottom of the barrel. It was not that he didn't trust Moonracer, but he had hoped she'd been mistaken. The Theatre District was one of the most dangerous areas one could go to in Iacon. It had once been beautiful, but quickly became a slum after the Civil War began. The once grand operas were dark and empty and debris littered the streets. The whole area had a depressing feel and Wheeljack felt his shoulders begin to bend under an invisible burden. This whole area sucked the life out of everyone.

While many of the bars that Wheeljack had searched in other areas had been busy and loud, there was an almost hysterical quality to the laughter, a panic in the dancing. Everywhere he looked, bots were fearful for their lives, and yet, only a scant few were doing anything. At least here, the bots he saw weren't deluding themselves into believing there was nothing wrong. In areas like this the only way to survive was to face reality head on.

Mechs and femmes alike walked the streets of the theatre district looking like empty shells of their former selves. This area was once the center of civilization, but now, a mech could find himself killed for a few energon goodies. Wheeljack dreaded the idea of finding Ratchet here.

As he looked around he suddenly had the feeling of being watched. He turned slowly and saw lightly built red and blue mech standing just in the shadows of a building a few feet behind him.

"I was wondering when you'd notice me," the mech said. His voice held the slight traces of the refined accent of the Crystal Towers .

"What do you want?" Wheeljack asked.

"Well now how's that for a greeting?" the mech pouted as he began to walk toward Wheeljack slowly. "I'm just here to offer up my services ..."

"No thank you," Wheeljack replied. "I'm looking for someone."

"I'd say you found someone," the mech said softly, placing a pale blue hand on Wheeljack's arm.

Wheeljack pulled away carefully. "No offense, but I'm looking for someone in particular. White boxy mech, red cross on each shoulder, red chevron. Have you seen him?"

"Possibly," the mech said. "But information will cost you. It'd be less if you were less ... particular ... in your tastes."

"What? ... uh, no, it's not like that. I'm looking for my friend. I was told he may have come down here." Wheeljack fumbled in a pocket and pulled out a small picture cube. He flipped through a few shots before presenting one of Ratchet to the red and blue mech.

"I may have seen your 'friend', but as I said, information costs," the mech said.

Wheeljack sighed and put the picture away. "Fine, what do you want?"

"I'd ask you want you're offering, but something tells me that you have no clue how to haggle. So let's make this sporting," the mech said. "You give me one box of energon goodies and I'll tell you what you want to know."

"You tell me where my friend is and then I'll give you the food," Wheeljack countered.

The mech delicately arched an optic ridge. "This isn't negotiable. Food first, information after."

"... I'll give you half the box now, then you give me your information, then I give you the rest if it's worth it."

The mech shook his head and chuckled. "You're not backing down on this are you? Fine. Deal." He thrust out his hand to seal the deal.

Wheeljack shook the offered hand and provided the half box of goodies.

"He's in the Starfield, or at least he was about a mega-cycle ago," the mech said, holding out his hand for the rest of his pay.

Wheeljack looked the mech over. "What's you name?" he asked.

"That wasn't part of the deal. A name will cost you more. Now if you would be so kind as to hand over the rest of my pay?"

Wheeljack did as he was asked. The unnamed mech threw a mock salute at Wheeljack as he walked away.

"Pleasure doing business with you sir. Good luck finding your 'friend'," he said as he slipped into the shadows and disappeared.


The Starfield. The place had once been the most high-end bar in Iacon. Situated in the heart of the theatre district, it had once been the meeting place of the rich and famous, frequented by all the bright lights of The Towers. Wheeljack had had the opportunity to come here a few vorns before the war started. He remembered that the matte black ceilings were dusted with precious stones from around the galaxy set to look like Cybertron's night's sky. The tables were of the finest stone and metal, and even the chairs were lushly upholstered. It was an opulence rarely seen on Cybertron, and Wheeljack remembered it as one of the great beauties of the Golden Age. Now the war had turned the whole area into a sinkhole and he doubted that the Starfield had survived untouched.

He entered the bar and was shocked by what he saw. While he had expected it to be a little worse for wear, he hadn't expected the hole that he stepped into. The once refined décor was now dull and tarnished, the ceiling was cracked and pitted, and everything was coated with a thick layer of ash and dust. Even the staff looked broken, moving like they had given up on everything. Every step was just like the one before, mechanical and rehearsed. These were bots who were here because they had nowhere else to go and knew no other life. Even the few patrons were downtrodden. There was a time when the air in here was filled with music and laughter. Now it was all but silent. The scraping of chairs, the shuffling of feet, the clink of cubes as they hit the tables, were the only sounds now.

Wheeljack approached the bartender to ask about Ratchet when he saw his friend hiding in a booth in the darkest corner of the bar. In the bleak atmosphere and dim lights his white paint seemed to shine like a beacon, announcing his presence to everyone. The medic was sitting with his back to the wall nursing a cube of high-grade. Judging by the empty containers on the table, this was not his first drink of the night, and Wheeljack wagered it wouldn't be his last either. He walked slowly up to the table and slid in next to his friend.

"Hey, doc," Wheeljack greeted.

"Hm? Oh, hi 'Jack," Ratchet replied.

"So what's the deal? I heard that you were asked to meet with the new Prime," Wheeljack asked.

"Yup," Ratchet replied. He drained his glass and motioned for another.

"And?" Wheeljack prompted.

"And we met," Ratchet said.

A pretty young femme came to deliver Ratchet's new drink and take away the empty glasses. She smiled shyly at the white medic, tilted her head coquettishly and made her intent obvious. Judging from her build, Wheeljack guessed that she was a flyer, and he noticed Ratchet noticing her, but then he seemed to deflate further and she left the table and Ratchet to his melancholy.

"Okay ... so is there a reason why you're being so difficult, Ratch'?"

"I'm not being difficult. You asked me a question and I answered it," Ratchet replied sullenly. He lifted his glass in a silent toast, drained it, and stood to leave.

"Oh no you don't," Wheeljack said, standing up and taking Ratchet by the elbow. "You're not going anywhere on your own, and certainly not in this state,"

Ratchet shot Wheeljack a dirty look. "I'm fine, Wheeljack. I don't need any help getting back to my place."

He turned to walk away, swaying dangerously on his feet. Wheeljack followed his friend closely, making it obvious that he was not going to leave him alone.

"What do you want Wheeljack," Ratchet snapped, as they exited The Starfield.

"I want to make sure you're okay. It's not like you to drink alone."

"Well that's nice. Another bot telling me who I am and what I'm like," Ratchet stormed as he walked unsteadily away.

Wheeljack stopped and stared after his friend. "What in the Pit is going on, Ratchet? You go to see the new Prime and now you're drinking yourself into a stupor. And taking it out on me. What is your problem?"

Ratchet spun and managed to collapse against a wall before steadying himself.

"How precisely did you know that I had a meeting with Prime?" Ratchet shouted.

"I ... What?! Bumblebee told me. But what does that have to do with anything?"

"Who the slag is Bumblebee?! ... Look, never mind. What's wrong is none of your business. In fact, there's nothing wrong. Now leave me alone!" Ratchet turned and walked unsteadily away.

Wheeljack sighed and followed his friend.


Ratchet got up to the door of his apartment and began fumbling with the key card. Every swipe was off, and it was obvious that he was becoming frustrated. Wheeljack stepped in and laid a hand on Ratchet's arm.

"Here, let me at least help you get inside," Wheeljack said softly, taking the card from Ratchet's hand.

Ratchet slumped against the wall of the corridor. As soon as the door was open, he entered the darkened room and headed straight to the dispenser. He ordered a cube of high-grade and threw himself on the couch.

"Well, you may as well come in," he grumbled to Wheeljack.

Wheeljack stepped into the apartment, turned on the lights and looked around. The room was a mess. Normally Ratchet kept his space neat and organized, but today it looked like a storm had blown through. Medical journals, art, and energon containers were strewn around; some thrown to the floor while others had been shattered against walls. Even the furniture had been tossed about. As Wheeljack stepped over the mess, he noticed that there were only two things that were still in place. One was Ratchet's certification and the other was a picture cube.

Wheeljack stopped in front of this and watched as videos flashed across its surface. There was Ratchet graduating from the Academy, first in his class. Another was of Ratchet and Arclight dancing in a club, both lost to the music and each other. The next was of Arclight at the provincial fencing championships, taking second place. Wheeljack recognized her opponent as a young tactician named Prowl. There was a candid shot of Ratchet and Arclight sharing a tender moment. And last there was a shot of Ratchet pouring over medical journals, oblivious to the fact that he was being filmed.

Wheeljack turned to his friend slowly.

"What happened, Ratchet?" Wheeljack asked softly.

Ratchet stood and finished his glass. "She was on the Stormchaser. It was an incredible opportunity, and she was going to be back in a couple of stellars. ... You know we were going to be bonded when she got back ..." Ratchet trailed off, then, in an uncharacteristic act of anger, he threw the cube violently against the wall and collapsed back on the couch.

"What happened, Ratch'?" Wheeljack repeated.

"I just got word today. The Stormchaser was lost. Their last message was a request for help. They were being chased by the Decepticons. All hands are presumed lost," Ratchet said, burying his face in his hands.

"Oh, Primus! I'm so sorry," Wheeljack whispered as he sat down next to his friend.

After a long time of silence Ratchet looked up. "I ... I'm sorry I was taking it out on you. ... You just showed up at a bad time. First I heard about Arclight, and then the meeting with Prime. ... I guess it was all just too much."

"Okay, what happened with Prime?" Wheeljack asked, confused.

"He asked me to join the Autobots. ... I know, it doesn't seem like much, but I swore I was going to stay out of this," Ratchet said, standing up and walking over to the dispenser.

"C'mon, Ratch'. You've had enough. Just come back here and talk to me," Wheeljack pleaded.

Ratchet sighed and put the drink down. He turned and leaned against the counter.

"It doesn't seem like much, does it?" Ratchet asked. Wheeljack took the question as rhetorical and remained silent.

"You're the best tool and die mech on Cybertron, Ratchet. We need your help if we're going to end this," Ratchet continued in a passable imitation of Prime's speech pattern.

"Here's the thing," Ratchet continued, in his own voice, "I had promised that I wouldn't get involved. I'm a medic, slag-it! I can't take sides. It would go against everything that I stand for. I swore that I would remain a conscientious objector if I was ever put into that situation. I mean, being an Autobot seems fine for you but I ... Arclight and I were going to stay out of it."

Ratchet slid to the floor and cradled his head in his hands. Wheeljack found himself fingering his new Autobot insignia thoughtfully.

"But when the moment came, all I could think of was the Decepticons destroying the Stormchaser. It was a ship full of refugees. It had no military value. And they destroyed it. ... When Prime asked me to join all I could think was that I wanted every single Decepticon dead. Now how's that for a medic?" Ratchet asked.

Wheeljack moved to sit down beside his friend, placing a comforting arm over his shoulder.

"It's the response of a mech in pain," Wheeljack said softly. "Honestly, I wouldn't expect anything else, and no one will ever fault you for it."

"I suppose," Ratchet replied. "But I can't help thinking that this decision means the end of something."

"Yeah, but all ending are beginnings too," Wheeljack said, standing up. "Now let me help you up. You've got to sleep off all that high-grade."

Ratchet accepted a hand up and into his sleeping chamber.

"How much did I drink?" Ratchet asked as he lay down on his berth. "I'm a little fuzzy about that."

"More than I ever knew one mech could. Remind me to never take you on in a drinking contest," Wheeljack laughed softly.

He turned on the recharger and left the room, intent upon cleaning up the main living area. Ratchet would regret the night enough without waking up to this mess.
Sign up to rate and review this story