This is the first fanfic I've ever writen that I've gotten around to completing. It's been posted for a while now in my DeviantArt account, but I decided to post it here just to see what you guys and gals thought of it. Also, y'all might want to overlook the grammatical errors as English isn't my first language. ------------------- 'Til the End. He woke with a start, a stray beam of sunlight coming through the shades and warming his face, reflected off of the windows from the building across the street and into his room. Maybe today, he thought. Maybe today, finally, his oldest and dearest friend would come. Others had told him that he was occupied elsewhere. Fighting the good fight. Helping those in need across countless worlds. Going on mission after mission into enemy territories to get what little information he could that would help finish this already to long war. But they also told him that everywhere his friend went, that whoever he was stationed with, he would talk about “the old days, back on Earth.” The others, those that had been there way back when this all started and where still fighting for freedom, equality and liberty across the cosmos, said he carried a reminder of his friend from Earth everywhere he went. Most of the time, the younger warriors mostly didn’t get it or just didn’t care, but to older warriors, it meant stopping for a moment as a stray memory resurfaced, a reminder for all that they where fighting for peeked over the horrors of the past hundred and twenty years, and brought a smile to their faces. A bird flew by, singing its grateful song, and brought him back to reality. To the cold hard reality of his hospital room, where his body lay, old, weak, envious of youth and days long gone past. Doctors from twenty different worlds had come to see him in recent years. They told him that his body should have given up a long time ago. That to all intents and purposes, he should be dead. Even his people’s doctors couldn’t explain it. But he knew why. It was quite simple, really. Just plain old human stubbornness. That’s what had kept him alive all these years. That and a promise made by his friend some twenty odd years past, on his birthday no less, that he would come back to see him with the best present a friend could give. News that the war was finally over. That this whole horrible affair, for which even his own son had died a senseless death, was finally done with. Buried, forever. So he had waited. Oh, the others came from time to time. Old friends with new faces, one of which he even thought would have looked a little different. They kept good company these friends, staying for days on end, keeping watch as he slept through night after night, talking about how the war was going, the new technologies being developed to help root the enemy and, as usually happened, the all too simpler days from a century past. Once, the ‘Rebel Commander’ had come personally to bring news to him of his best friend’s most recent exploits while under his command. Unfortunately, he had brought his squad with him that day. Oh, the commotion that had caused… Patients and nurses screaming, children rushing outside to try and get a better glimpse of the Commander’s squad, only to be dragged back by scared parents, doctors and the SWAT team the city had sent over thinking the enemy had somehow broken through the defence perimeter around Sol. What a wonderful day that had been. The door to his room opened and one of the nurses ushered a young man into the room. Although he didn’t recognize him, there was something familiar about him. Something that couldn’t be placed, like a half-remembered photograph of a long deceased relative. He stood there, halfway between the door and the hospital bed, looking over the room as if taking in the universe the man lying in the bed had been confined to for so long. Then, after a while, the young man turned his way, looked straight into his eyes, smiled and spoke a single word: “Hi.” And upon hearing that voice, a flood of memories came back as if a great dam had crumbled and the waters it had retained flooded the world itself. Memories long forgotten returning, painful as well as joyous. And the old man grinned as the young man came closer and took his wrinkled hand in his. “You came back. Just like I knew you would.” “Just like I promised I would, old friend.” “So, does this mean…” “Yeah, the war is over and done with. Our enemies surrendered two days ago. It hasn’t been made public yet, but I asked for a special dispensation from headquarters to come here and tell you in person.” The young man’s smile broadened, “It didn’t take very long to get it.” The old man chuckled. “I can imagine. It pays to have friends in high places sometimes. Like the guards you had stationed around the hospital for Lord knows how long.” “How did-“ “Please, I’ve been around you guys for the better part of my life. I saw them the day they brought me here. Even recognized some wearing the same disguise you are now.” The young man stared in disbelief as his friend recounted all the little things that gave the sentinels away. Little things that most humans wouldn’t even take notice of. But then, he wasn’t like most humans. He’d seen, done and been more places then they. Him and his wife, ambassadors to his friend’s homeworld. Living among them. Living with them. And so they talked, of everything and nothing. Of what was to come after the surrender was announced. Of talks of amnesty for some of the more weary of the enemy soldiers. His long lost son and his strange friend. His wife who had died on a diplomatic mission to the Orion sector. Of those that had originally awakened on Earth over a century ago and where still alive to tell the tale. Of the new technologies that had allowed the young man to come so quickly to Earth from his posting on Klo. “There’s something I have to know,” said the old man as he looked over his friend. “Something that’s been bugging me from the minute you walked in.” The young man looked over at his friend, a strange almost knowing look in his all to perfect eyes. “What?” “That face of yours. I know I’ve seen it before, but… I just can’t seem to remember from where.” The young man smiled, “That’s funny. You of all people should be able to recognize it.” “I’m not following you.” “Even before headquarters first released news of these new disguises, I was approached along with two others by the developers to test it out. Although we couldn’t choose the species, we could decide what it would end up looking like. Armor, skin pigmentation, hair follicles… The works.” “I still don’t-” “It’s yours.” “What?!” “I know humans didn’t get to live as long as we do, and as much as memories and holograms are good at keeping friends close by, I went one step further and had them make my shell’s face into yours so no one could ever forget what you and your family did for us over the years.” “I don’t know what to say…” “Don’t. It’s we who have to thank you for all that you showed us. We couldn’t have done as much here in the early days if you and your dad hadn’t been there.” Tears began running down the old man’s face. Tears of joy, happiness and love for his best friend. Tears of hope for a future empty of threat, tyranny and hate that he had helped forge. Tears of sadness for all those who had given their lives to make this peace happen, and wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. A stray beam of sunlight came through the shades, ablaze with the colors of the setting sun, and lit up the room in soft warm tones. But even as night was fast approaching, cheers and joy-filled shouts echoed from the streets outside. Freedom had finally won over tyranny. The war was over. The Decepticons defeated once and for all. “It’s getting late, B. And I’m very tired.” “I know, Spike.” “Thank you for coming to tell me in person like you promised.” “Couldn’t have let anybody else do it.” And Spike smiled as he closed his eyes and rested his head back onto the always soft pillow that was another gift from his best friend. And as consciousness trickled away, he heard the monitoring equipment’s ceaseless beeping growing slower and his friend rising to come stand right besides him. Felt his friend’s hand touch his withered shoulder and half-heard Bumblebee utter a phrase he knew was reserved for those his friend’s race most respected and loved: “May your Spark join the Matrix, Spike Witwicky, with the greatest of Cybertron.” A single tear escaped from the Autobot’s pretender shell as he drew the bed sheet over his best friend’s now lifeless body.