This is just a oneshot regarding Arcee coping with the loss of a friend and getting comfort from an unexpected someone. Spoilers if you haven't seen Transformers Prime - Darkness Rising. You have been warned! --------------------------------- The sunset seemed to offer no form of comfort to Arcee as she stood quietly on the Lookout. She had been fine the past few days since the death of her good friend Cliffjumper, but today was going to be one of those days when everything felt like it was going to fall apart. It seemed like just yesterday when Cliffjumper had been declared dead by Ratchet. Arcee had been forced to move on for the good of the Autobots, but when Cliffjumper’s signal popped back online hope renewed itself into her processor. But everything fell apart again the moment that explosion happened and Cliffjumper had been lost once again. Now, several days after the encounter with the Terrorcons and Megatron, Arcee found herself standing quietly on the Lookout of the Autobot base and watching the sunset for a while before she realised that the sunset was no longer as comforting as it used to feel. It just didn’t feel the same without Cliffjumper and she no longer felt like going on patrol like she used to. For three years she would enjoy a good chat with Cliffjumper over the day’s patrol and joke about their close encounters with the humans that might discover their true identities or even talk about their adventure back on Cybertron when they first met each other. The bright blue femme glanced down at the ground. There, at her feet, was the silver horn that she had discovered after the battle Cliffjumper had had with the Eradicons before he had been taken away by the Decepticon enemies. Getting down on one knee, Arcee’s fingers reached for the horn and tenderly stroked it. No matter how much it hurt inside, she knew – deep in her processor – that things will no longer be the same without her old friend. The other Autobots knew that she had been close to Cliffjumper, but they didn’t know exactly how close she had been to him. “Cliffjumper,” Arcee whispered to herself, “how much I miss you.” The femme was unaware that she had a visitor standing right behind her, but she knew that she wasn’t alone in her sadness over the loss of Cliffjumper. She stood up tall and turned to her right, looking at the beauty of land that lay out before her. She had never seen anything so beautiful in her entire life, but she just wished that Cliffjumper was there beside her to enjoy it as well. The hurt swelled inside her spark, threatening to overwhelm her, but she refused to show that she was weak in front of anyone even if she was standing alone. The visitor watched her in silence. His bright blue eyes glowed faintly in the sunlight as he watched with concern. While he had known Arcee since she was a youngling, but he hadn’t known her like Cliffjumper did nor did he know Cliffjumper like Arcee did. To him, the two had been inseparable ever since they had met each other on Cybertron. He thought it was best that he announce his presence before she noticed him. “Arcee,” he gently called in his deep baritone voice. The bright blue femme jumped in surprise when she heard someone speak from behind her. She whirled towards the Autobot commander, her weapon drawn and her shoulder wings bristling. But she soon relaxed when she saw who it was that had walked in upon her during her train of thought. She should’ve known better than to let her mind wander while she was outside. Letting her guard down was something she should never do in the first place. “At ease, Arcee,” Optimus said, raising a hand to show her he meant no harm. Returning the weapon back into her arm, Arcee sighed and looked away, not even bothering to glance at her commander. She just wished that no one bothered her while she was thinking about things that no one would understand. Couldn’t they see that she was depressed over the loss of Cliffjumper? “What do you want?” she asked a little coldly. “Forgive me, Arcee,” the Autobot commander apologised. “I did not know you were out here. I always come up here to look at the sunset whenever I possibly can.” Arcee looked over her shoulder at the commander in surprised. “I... I had no idea that...” She couldn’t say anymore. The hurt was too much and she felt the tears starting to stream down her cheeks. She quickly turned away again, not wanting Optimus to see her tears. Optimus waited patiently for his trusted vice commander to speak. He stood there silently like a sentinel, watching her every move while he too fought with the hidden sadness deep within his spark. The burden of losing Cliffjumper and trying to prevent it from happening made the Autobot commander feel as heavy as a rock. He had dealt with many losses in his long history before. The many battles he had fought had hardened his spark, making it as hard as a stone. Coping with the losses took time, just like it was taking time for Arcee to overcome her loss. Arcee heaved a sigh, catching Optimus’ attention and withdrawing his thoughts from long ago. “Optimus,” she said quietly, wiping the tears away with the back of her hand, “have you ever lost anyone close to you?” The question nearly caught Optimus completely off guard, but he quickly recovered. He shook his head slightly, answering, “I have lost many of our brethren, Arcee. But I have never lost anyone close to me like you have.” He slowly approached the femme from behind and gently turned her around until she was facing him, but her head was lowered and her optics were cast onto the ground, avoiding contact with him. Optimus lifted a hand, placing it underneath her chin and lifted it up until she was looking at him again. “Arcee,” he said gently, “Cliffjumper may be gone, but he lives on in your memories. Take comfort that he will be watching over you for as long as you live. Do not dwell on the past, but look to the future and remember all the good times you had with Cliffjumper. I cannot tell you to move on, but I can tell you that you have forged a stronger bond with Jack. He needs you.” Arcee smiled a little and nodded. “I will do that, Optimus,” she said softly, removing herself from Optimus’ grip. But then, much to her surprise, Optimus wrapped both arms around her chassis and pulled her close to his chest in a comforting embrace. She was a little embarrassed by this, having never received a hug from Optimus Prime before. Normally he was always strong and commanding around everyone. He never showed his emotions to anyone nor did he show his caring side. She sighed softly, accepting the embrace from Optimus. Finally, after what seemed like hours, he released her and gently used a finger to wipe away a tear that was falling down her cheek without her notice. They stood there in silence, not saying anything to each other. Arcee wondered if this was the rare side of her commander that she was seeing for the first time because she was so used to seeing his commanding side. “Feeling better now?” Optimus asked, snapping Arcee from her thoughts. She nodded slightly; still shocked that Optimus would do this for her. She then glanced down at the horn, still lying on the ground in the middle of the Lookout. She knew that Cliffjumper would not want her to be sad over his loss. He would’ve wanted her to move on for him. Although she doubted she would be able to do it in one night, but she did know that she will in due time. Optimus turned slightly and prepared to head back inside, but he was stopped when Arcee wrapped her fingers around his forearm. He turned and glanced down at the femme, watching her with curiosity. “Thank you,” Arcee whispered, “for everything, Optimus.” Optimus felt a tiny smile cross his lips. “You’re welcome, Arcee.” She released him and he continued to walk onwards inside. When she was sure that he was gone, Arcee glanced over her shoulder at the broken horn on the ground. She got down on one knee again and her fingers stroked it tenderly. She then looked up at the sky and whispered a prayer to Primus, hoping that wherever Cliffjumper was Primus would watch over him for her and take care of him. She stood back up and then shifted to her motorcycle form. Revving her engine, she zoomed off down the Lookout to KO Burger where Jack would be waiting for her to come and pick him up.