Categories > Cartoons > Transformers > Patient H-18

War Wounds

by Beregond5 0 reviews

Prowl tries to talk to H.

Category: Transformers - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-10-08 - Updated: 2007-10-08 - 1500 words - Complete

Pain surged through Prowl and his optics instantly came online. He didn't understand why this happened to him, but his systems quickly notified his processor that he had made the mistake of moving while on recharge. Stopping all motion at once, he waited patiently for the pain to fade away.

And wished Streetwise would come soon with that spare cog.

It was then that he also noticed something else. H was nowhere in the room. Prowl's logic circuits reached quickly to the deduction that the young mech went out while Prowl was recharging. That meant that there was either another emergency... or H got bored having to watch over a mech that wasn't able to go anywhere in the first place.

Prowl never thought that he would have considered this, but he wanted to believe it was the former option.

The hiss of the door opening instantly cut the tactician off his musings. He looked around to see that it was H entering the room, his hands behind his back. The young mech's gaze locked on Prowl, and his expression revealed his shame. He bowed his head in apology.

"It's all right; I haven't been awake for long," Prowl said, understanding what went through H's processor. "Has something happened?"

H shook his head at once and brought his hand forward to show Prowl what he was holding: two small energon cubes. Before Prowl could say anything to that, H placed one on the table and approached the berth with the other cube still in his hands.

"Is that for me?" Prowl asked, pointing at the energon.

H nodded at once, smiling.

Prowl sighed. "I don't think I can drink it. I can't sit up."

But it seemed H wouldn't be deterred so easily. Still smiling, he cupped Prowl's back of the head with his right hand in order to prod it upwards, whereas he placed the energon on the tactician's lip components with the other hand. Prowl tried to protest and say that it was highly embarrassing - not to mention undignified - to be nursed in such a manner; but the moment he opened his mouth, the energon trickled down his throat.

Primus, he had never realised how much his body wanted to get revitalised. As all objections scattered in the wind, Prowl drank in big sips and kept his optics on H, hoping that his gratitude was easily reflected there.

Apparently it was, because H's smile broadened. And as it did, Prowl was taken aback to notice how innocent H looked. It was almost as if...
As if war hasn't touched him.

But when the energon cube got emptied and H turned around to get his own share, the young mech unwittingly showed his misshapen back to the tactician. It took a lot to upset Prowl, especially after all the time he spent in battles, fighting Decepticons. But now, at that sight before him, Prowl felt pity for H.

"It must have hurt a lot," he said softly. "Your back, I mean."

H's whole form grew rigid and motionless. He still held his energon as though about to drink it, but he never touched it.

He didn't turn around to face Prowl either.

"Was it Decepticons?" the tactician asked.

The sound of something breaking filled the room. At the next moment, H was looking at his energon-drenched hand with a defeated, sad look.

Prowl felt his optics widen in concern, something that he never thought possible.

"Are you okay?"

H hardly acknowledged him anymore though. He simply walked towards a small cupboard nearby and opened it to take out a piece of cloth. Prowl watched the young mech wipe his hand carefully, making sure no stains were left. And soon enough, all the liquid was gone.

But H didn't stop. In fact, he started wiping both his hands, whereas his optics were stubbornly locked on them, as though seeing something Prowl couldn't. Until finally, with one last erratic movement of frustration, he let the cloth fall on the floor and then dropped on his knees. His optics reflected nothing as he stared downwards, without so much as moving.

Prowl could only stare in confusion. He lifted his hand, somehow believing that he would get H's attention. He tried to speak, but his vocaliser failed him. And finally, the sight of the young mech on the floor resembling nothing more than a broken doll proved too much for the tactician. He used his right arm to cover his optics, not caring if it was irrational or that he showed traits unacceptable for the second-in-command of the Autobots.

He just couldn't bear looking at the young one's empty gaze.


The moment that Ratchet entered the room, a couple of hours later, H stood up in a weary manner and bowed in a gesture to be excused. Though it was a courteous bow, Prowl noticed that he hardly looked either of the Autobots in the optic. And as soon as Ratchet gave him permission to leave, H left without so much as looking back.

That certainly made Ratchet curious. "Care to explain what happened?" he asked the tactician, as he took out a gauge from his medical kit.

Prowl huffed slightly and shook his head. "I blundered."

Ratchet looked at Prowl sceptically. "You? I find that hard to believe." He leaned forward and placed the gauge in one of the tactician's crevices, where he knew there was an energy distributor.

But Prowl didn't argue. It didn't seem worthwhile.

If Ratchet thought this was an oddity, he certainly didn't show it. He simply continued checking on Prowl's readings in silence. As far as Prowl knew, Ratchet probably welcomed that silence as a nice change; for most of his patients kept answering back.

However, Prowl found out that this wasn't so.

"You know... First Aid isn't bad at what he's doing," the medic said at that moment. "He and his siblings certainly do a decent job around here, and the patients think quite highly of them."

"That's good to know," Prowl said, indulging his friend.

Ratchet was far from finished though.

"The problem is that they lack experience. I suppose they will gain it in time if they treat more patients. It still doesn't seem enough though." He paused momentarily. "They also need somebody to show them the tricks of the trade."

Prowl locked his gaze on Ratchet. "Are you thinking of recruiting them?"

Ratchet shrugged. "It's tempting. And yet if they leave the medical centre, there will be no one left to tend the wounded." He put the gauge close to another energy distributor. "It's because of them that mechs like H are now alive."

"Do you know what happened to him?" Prowl asked before he could help it.

This time, Ratchet looked at the tactician in a curious manner.

"Nobody knows," he answered eventually. "According to First Aid, he staggered on their doorstep one night, his whole back covered in his fluid, and collapsed right then and there. It was as if he had used up his whole energy just to get to the medical centre. And he probably had."

Prowl's optics widened in disbelief. The fact that H was practically dying and still managed to find the strength to find help was almost miraculous. It didn't make sense and yet... there was no denying the living proof.

"Unbelievable..." he murmured.

"You said it," Ratchet replied. "Anyway, First Aid repaired him to the best of his ability, but he could only do that much without the right spare parts and equipment."

"Is that why H's back looks so bad?"

Ratchet nodded.

"What about his vocaliser?"

"That's the oddest thing," the medic said. "His vocaliser doesn't have so much as a scratch on it."

That made Prowl stare at Ratchet in confusion. "Then why doesn't he talk?"

Ratchet sighed. "I'm afraid H is the only one who can answer you that question, Prowl." He checked the last readings and, seeming satisfied, he put the gauge back in his kit.

It was then that Prowl decided to just go ahead and ask what was on his mind.

"Do you think you could fix him?"

That earned the tactician another curious glance from the medic.

"Yes... if we were back to Iacon. Why?"

"You saw him tackle that blue mech. He works well with others. He's strong-willed and dutiful," Prowl said. "He makes a good candidate for a place in our ranks."

"I see," Ratchet said thoughtfully.

There was silence for many moments.

"Is that the only reason?"

The only answer Ratchet got to his question was silence once more. Nevertheless, he understood enough. He rubbed his chin, considering matters carefully.

"As long as he's willing to follow us back to Iacon, I can fix him," he said again, making up his mind. "But it'll take more than just my scalpel for him to heal. I hope you understand that."

And with that he walked out, leaving Prowl alone with his thoughts.

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