I would have liked to have seen an actual reunion between Optimus and Bumblebee in Age of Extinction. Since we didn't get to see one, I decided that I would right a fanfiction reunion to make up for it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nightly Talks Bumblebee couldn't remember the last time he had actually had a decent recharge cycle. That was just proof of how long it had been. Of course it wasn't easy to rest when you knew that there was someone hunting you down and wouldn't hesitate to kill you. In an attempt at being a good leader in Optimus' absence, Bumblebee had personally seen to it that he was on night watch duty more than Drift, Crosshairs, and Hound. It hadn't garnered any respect from them, well from Drift and Crosshairs, but at least they had ended up more rested than he was. Now he was finally getting a chance to get a good nights rest, and he simply couldn't. Drift, Crosshairs, and Hound were probably all in recharge, and the humans that Optimus had brought were all sleeping as well. With a small sigh, Bumblebee opened his optics and looked around. Sure enough, everyone appeared to be resting. Everyone but the Autobot leader. Optimus Prime was facing away from them, standing guard in case anyone came to attack. Bumblebee figured that he might as well join the mech that had raised him. He was doubtful he would be falling into recharge anytime soon. "You shouldn't be up yet, Bumblebee." Optimus gazed down at him the moment he approached. "N-not tired." He winced slightly at the burst of pain that came from his vocal processor. Truthfully, he shouldn't be using it. His radio or comm-link was the preferred method of communication simply because it was less painful. He could even mumble out words without using his vocal processor, but sometimes he really wanted to use his actual voice. "Bumblebee, you know that you shouldn't be using-" "I'm f-fine." Optimus didn't like the fact that he had said that, he could tell. He knew how much it hurt him to actually talk. Optimus just wanted to shield him from any unnecessary pain. It wasn't all that surprising. Bumblebee had lost track of how many times the Autobot leader had went into "overprotective father" mode during his life. Sometimes it really annoyed him, but right now the scout relished it. He'd really missed him. "You are lying about not being tired, little one. I can tell how exhausted you really are." "I'm u-used to not r-recharging." He could hear the Autobot leader let out a sigh, before sitting on the ground and patting the spot next to him. Bumblebee didn't hesitate to join him. The moment he sat down, Optimus wrapped an arm around him and pulled him close. "I am beginning to think that I will always have to find ways to lull you to recharge." Bumblebee merely shrugged and shifted to get in a more comfortable position. Drift hadn't been wrong about calling him a child. He was still very young by Cybertronian standards and as such, he still craved the comfort and attention that all younglings wanted and needed. He tried to hide it. He didn't want to make anyone feel like he needed to be coddled. Optimus always found ways to get him to act more his age in private – which meant it wasn't all that often. It was for the best though. It was safer for the closeness between the Autobot leader and his scout to remain as hidden as possible. "You're giving them ammo," Bumblebee stated through his radio. His vocal processor was causing too much pain at the moment. "They're going to make fun of me." "You do not seem to mind too much." "Love ya, dad. Missed you. Don't want to move." That earned him a small chuckle from Optimus. "You need to sleep too." "I will, once we arrive in Chicago and find a place to hide." "I could do that too. So you won't be alone." "It will take us at least a few days to get there, Bumblebee and I am doubtful that you will be able to stay awake tonight." "I c-could if you'd s-stop rubbing my h-head!" "So that still works." Bumblebee shot him a small glare. He had plenty of memories of Optimus getting him to fall into recharge when he was younger by rubbing the back of his head. He couldn't figure out why it made him feel so drowsy, and it was certainly annoying knowing that it could still be used against him. Optimus wasn't stopping though. The Autobot leader was clearly determined that he was going to rest like everyone else. "But if I go to sleep... we can't talk. I haven't seen you for so long." "I know, but you know why we had to stay separated." "Doesn't mean I liked it. Didn't know if you were alive. Just had an idea where you could be." "You shouldn't have come so close. Not while we are being hunted." "We needed you back. They don't like me... as leader." "Have there been many incidents between you and Drift, before?" "Couple times. Crosshairs...too." "I'm sorry that you had to bear the burden of leadership, but I'm proud of you for doing it in my absence." Bumblebee perked at Optimus' words. It wasn't every day that he got to hear Optimus say that he was proud of him. "It was nothing. Couldn't do as good of a job as you though." "You did a good job, Bumblebee. You kept yourself and the others safe." He hadn't kept everyone safe though. They had seen what had happened to Ratchet and Leadfoot – probably what had happened to everyone else. He had taken command. He should have done a better job at finding everyone, making sure that everyone was alright. Saying that would just upset Optimus though. The Autobot leader was different now, Bumblebee could tell. He was angrier, and honestly it scared him a little. He couldn't blame Optimus for being angry though, far too much had happened. But right now, he was acting more like how he used to. Bumblebee didn't want that to end. "Thanks. Still glad you're in charge. Don't disappear again." "Perhaps if we have to go into hiding again, I should take you with me next time." If they had to go back into hiding, Bumblebee knew that Optimus wouldn't really take him with him. As leader, Optimus was a bigger target. He would deem it too dangerous to have Bumblebee with him. Still the comment was a good indicator that Optimus wasn't planning on them all going back into hiding. At least not in the near future. "You should. It'd be better than being with the bullies. They're going to drive me insane!" "Were they that bad?" "Kind of. Don't think they could take orders... from a kid. Drift... can't stand me." "This is a stressful time for everyone, Bumblebee. Perhaps Drift's opinion of you will change soon." Bumblebee doubted it, but didn't say so. Silence filled the air for a few minutes until Optimus spoke up again. "Did you have any encounters with the human hunters?" His tone was hesitant, like he didn't want to hear Bumblebee's answer. He probably didn't want to hear it. Before meeting up with Hound, Crosshairs, and Drift, he'd had a close call with the humans. He hadn't been as careful as he should have been. He'd stayed too close to more populated areas and hadn't bothered to change his alt-mode. Bumblebee had fixed those mistakes since then. There weren't as many people in the desert and an older alt-mode and different color scheme kept him from standing out as much. "Had a close call once. They didn't hit me though. I got away before they could shoot.Sorry I didn't do a good job at avoiding them." "You have nothing to apologize for, little one. You did a better job at avoiding them, than I did." Bumblebee remembered Optimus saying that the small group of humans he brought had helped him. The Autobot leader must have been badly damaged. It certainly explained why no one had heard from him for a while. "They hurt you, didn't they. Was it really bad? It's why we never heard from you." "Yes, but it is nothing for you to worry about now. I think it is time for you to recharge. You deserve some rest." Part of Bumblebee wanted to argue that he could stay up longer, but the other part of him – the part that was dying to recharge – was the one that won over. Resting his head against Optimus' side, he shuttered his optics and allowed himself to drift into unconsciousness. He wasn't worried about the others seeing him, he knew that Optimus would move him long before anyone else woke up. Bumblebee knew that he could talk to Optimus more tomorrow. After all, there would still be time for a few more nightly talks before they reached Chicago.