Part 2/8 of Transformers: Prime fanfiction based after the events of episode 13 "Sick Mind"
"You okay, 'Bee?"
The black-and-yellow muscle car snapped from his daze, almost surprised to see Raf staring down at him in concern. The human nudged his glasses as he waited for a reply, perched uncertainly in Bumblebee's passenger seat. They were parked at the edge of a ravine overlooking the base the usual spot where they came to play videogames while the scout was not on duty.
I haven't been sleeping, he replied dismissively. He stared out over the dusty canyon, for once glad that his vehicle mode lacked faceplates that might betray what was really bothering him.
Rafael, as usual, seemed to read his mind. "It's about what you saw in Megatron's head, isn't it?" he asked, fiddling with the wireless controller on his lap. Their game was all but forgotten now not that the scout had seemed particularly focused while playing it in the first place. "Kaon
You could say that, Bumblebee muttered. He slowly revolved his steering wheel, tyres cutting grooves in the sand, distracted.
Noticing the lowered pitch of his partner's mechanical voice, Raf arranged his expression into a reassuring smile and linked both hands behind his head. "Well, I'd be pretty scared too if Megatron tried to slice and dice me like that," he laughed.
Bumblebee tensed at the name, something tightening deep inside his circuitry. When Raf's attempt at humour was met by a deathly silence, the human awkwardly lowered his hands again and stared self-consciously out of the passenger window. The scout watched him apologetically, uncomfortable. He lowered his window a fraction, hoping to clear some of the stuffy air between himself and the human.
I think I'm getting sick, he said.
"Sick?" Raf repeated nervously. He thought of Optimus in the med bay, weakened by the plague that had almost cost him his life, and Arcee, infected by Dark Energon not long after he'd met her. He shook his head, not liking those images. "Sick how?"
I don't know, replied Bumblebee; I just
don't feel like myself anymore.
Raf shuffled forwards, anxious. "Have you talked to Ratchet?"
Yeah, the scout huffed; he thought I was playing around said it's all in my head.
"Maybe it's just a bug or something," Raf suggested, tracing the length of Bumblebee's dashboard with his eyes. "You know, a glitch in your system."
And who exactly does that human think he's calling a glitch?
Bumblebee lurched backward in reverse, unable to keep his horn from blaring out in his surprise. Raf, thrown forwards from the abrupt movement, stared out of the windshield in shock as he searched for the source of Bumblebee's sudden fear.
"Whoa!" he gasped, attempting to scramble back into the passenger seat. He sank low into its depths, as if trying to hide. "What's wrong?! Decepticons?!"
The scout eased to a halt in the sand, unable to breathe. If he was in robot mode right about now, he was certain that his servos would be shaking. A few miles away, he detected a speeding energy signature an Autobot one but up here his scanners told him that they were completely alone. In the conventional sense, anyway.
Oh, I'm sorry did I startle you?
Bumblebee turned his steering wheel sharply and jerked forward into drive, pulling a swift u-turn on the edge of the canyon. Raf clung to the arms of his passenger seat, terrified, but the scout breathed not a word of explanation as he sped across the plateau toward a dirt road that would take them to his comrade.
The silent treatment, is it? How quaint.
"Bumblebee what's with you?!" Raf asked, staring demandingly at his partner's frantic steering wheel. Still Bumblebee said nothing as he pressed his accelerator pedal to the floor. His suspension groaned in protest as he tore along the rocky dirt road, but he paid it no heed: his only instinct was to get Rafael someplace safe as quickly as possible.
A dark speck appeared on the shimmering horizon, moving faster than a scraplet out of the Pit. It was Arcee complete with a rather confused-looking Jack. Bumblebee didn't slow down; it was only when the two Autobots almost collided that he slammed on his brakes. Arcee pounced into robot mode and leaped to the side to avoid a crash, catapulting Jack into the air but catching him around the middle before he could hit the dirt. Arcee landed heavily on both feet as Bumblebee screeched to a halt; she set the gibbering human down on the ground before straightening up, folding her sleek arms beneath her chestplate with eyebrows raised.
"Mind explaining why you felt the need to nearly run me off the road?" she asked smoothly, resting her weight on one leg. Beside her, Jack wrenched the helmet off his head and sat down weakly in the dirt.
Bumblebee flipped open his passenger door in response. Uncertainly but without complaint, Rafael clambered out of his partner. Arcee, he began shakily; can you take Raf back to the base for me?
The blue Autobot cast him a suspicious expression. "Why what's the matter?" she countered his question with one of her own. She looked him up and down not that his height was anything spectacular in vehicle mode and transferred one hand to her hip. "Is everything alright, Bumblebee?"
The scout closed his passenger door, fully aware that the eyes of both humans and his fellow Autobot were scrutinising his every move. I'm fine, he lied. He rolled back in reverse, spinning to face away from the others. What else could he say that he was slowly losing his mind? That he was becoming a schizophrenic? A long drive was all he needed fresh air through his vents.
"Where are you going?" Arcee inquired, as Bumblebee eased into first gear.
I'll be back soon, he assured her in falsely-upbeat tones. The last thing he needed was for her to worriedly tell Optimus he'd taken off for no reason, and end up having the whole team out searching for him.
Without another word, Bumblebee gunned his engine and left the others in a cloud of dust. He didn't look back in his mirrors, and nor did he even consider opening his comlink channel. All he thought about was putting as much space between himself and everyone else as quickly as mechanically possible.
What's the matter, little Autobot? Afraid I'm contagious?
Bumblebee tried his best to ignore the voice, and the quiet peal of soft laughter that followed it.
Well, fear not I'm quite secure here, inside your head. Ironic, isn't it
that your venturing into my mind is the reason why we are having this conversation.
It's not a conversation when only one person is talking, Bumblebee thought bitterly.
Quite true! You're smarter than you seem
though not by much.
As he took a gentle bend in the dirt road at high speed, the scout found himself unable to ignore the voice any longer. You can hear my thoughts? he asked suspiciously.
Of course I can, you fool. I'm inside your mind, am I not? Where do you think thoughts are?
You're not real, Bumblebee denied; Raf was right I have a glitch in my system.
Indeed you do
a glitch by the name of Megatron.