Chapter 13 Moonraider trudged through the trees and bushes of the woods, getting frustrated as some of the limbs got stuck in her armor. She hated this – being on the run from everyone. Both factions hated her and now she had to resort to being a rouge for possibly the rest of her life. Which felt like wouldn’t be long. Her wounds from earlier still hadn’t healed all the way and were giving her pain. Add in the fact that she was running low on energon, as the warnings she was receiving kept reminding her, and finding more was going to be a bit of a challenge, the femme’s future looked rather bleak. Carefully she leaned against one of the trees to allow herself a moment of rest. “Slaggin’ Starscream!” she hissed as one of her damaged door wings brushed against the trunk of the tree. Why did he have to go and damage her door wing? And of all of the places the Autobots’ medic could have ignored when he had patched her up, it had to be that. Would it have killed him to have repaired her wing before she had escaped? Their youngling had door wings; didn’t they know how sensitive the appendages could be when they were damaged? She brushed the thoughts aside and forced herself to get back up. Moonraider wasn’t sure if anyone was looking for her – the Autobots to take her back as prisoner or the Decepticons to finish her off – but in her current state, she didn’t want to take any risks. She had only managed to walk a short distance when one of her legs gave out on her and she started to collapse to the ground. Before she could hit the dirt and grass below her though, she felt someone grab her from behind. “Don’t worry Moony, I got you.” “F-Forest?” she managed to whisper before blissful stasis claimed her. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Forest looked at the femme in his arms with a strange mixture of happiness and sadness. Happiness that after all this time that he had finally found her, even though he certainly hadn’t expected to see her on this planet, but sadness at her current state. She looked so broken… and that wasn’t the way his Moonraider should look. She should look more lively – her armor cleaner and her violet optics brighter with a kindness to them that only he could see. Gently he lifted one of his servos to gently caress her face before removing the shattered remains of her visor. Now he wasn’t sure what to do. He was no medic, but he could tell that most of the wounds that she had were superficial, though that didn’t make them any less painful. She was also low on energon, which was most likely the reason she had fallen into stasis. It was clear to him that the best thing would be to have a medic tend to her, but that presented a big problem to him. He wouldn’t take her to the Autobots without her permission. He knew that would most likely result in her being held as a prisoner for quite a while, which could possibly prevent him from getting to spend time with her. Plus he didn’t know how she had gotten injured in the first place, and whether she was a Decepticon or not, he was not going to let a Decepticon medic touch her beautiful frame, even in its current state. A quick scan of the area told him that there was a nearby cave. He could stay with her there until she woke up and then he could ask her what had happened and if he could take her to a medic. He was careful as he carried her to the cave, taking caution as to not accidently touch one of her wounds. Once inside, he sat on the ground and plucked the twigs from her armor. Forest knew that Moonraider most likely wouldn’t be too pleased with the fact that she was being held when she woke up, but he wasn’t going to let go of her. She had already left his life once, and he was going to make sure that he never lost her again. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The first thought that crossed Moonraider’s mind when she groggily woke from stasis was that she was dead. She had to be, it was the only way any of this made sense to her. Forest was holding her, but Forest should have been dead by now. It had been something that she had convinced herself long ago. But then she realized that she wasn’t dead. If she was dead, she was doubtful she would have been rewarded with Forest being with her. So she was alive and so was Forest. The part of her that had convinced her that he was a weakness and that she couldn’t afford to keep him around, told her to push him away. But the small part of her, that no matter how much she tried still cared for Forest, told her to savor the moment. After all, he’ll probably hate you just like everyone else once he finds out what you’ve done, the voice taunted. For some reason, Moonraider was terrified that the voice would end up being right. “You need some energon,” Forest’s concerned voice brought her out of her thoughts. “I’m fine,” she lied, though her weak, rough voice betrayed her. Forest put a small cube of energon into her line of sight, “I had this with me and you need it a lot more than I do. Come on Moony, please take it.” She hesitated, but eventually took it from him. She was on her own now; she really couldn’t afford to pass up any energon that came her way. After she finished it, she couldn’t deny how much better she felt now that she had something to give her a little more energy. “Now do you want to tell me what happened?” Forest asked. When Moonraider remained silent he got the hint that she wasn’t ready to discuss it. “That’s okay, you can tell me later. I’m a pretty patient mech.” “You can’t stay here,” Moonraider finally spoke. “What?” “You can’t stay here. If any Decepticon finds me, they’ll kill us both.” “You need to see a medic.” “I already have. Unfortunately he didn’t fully repair me before I escaped.” “You were captured?” Well that settled that. There was no way he would be able to convince her to see whatever Autobot medic was on Earth now. He also realized that she did have a point about him not being able to stay. For whatever reason she didn’t want the Decepticons to find her, if they did and he was with her, things would most likely be worse for her. And if the Autobots came searching for him and found him with her, Moonraider would most likely be taken back as prisoner. And he knew that she would not like that. But he wasn’t willing to leave her unless he knew that he would be able to find her again. “Are you going to stay here?” he asked. “Maybe for a while,” Moonraider replied rather quietly. “Will you stay here until I come back?” Moonraider turned and looked at him in surprise. “You’re going to need more energon,” Forest pointed out. “I could probably bring you some and try to get your visor fixed too. Plus I want to get to see you more. It’s been so long…” It had been long, Moonraider could not deny that. But time had a way of changing them. Maybe not Forest, he seemed the same to her as he did the last time she had seen him, but she certainly had changed. Whether it was for the best or for the worst depended. A part of her was screaming that she couldn’t let herself become close to Forest again, while the other was urging her… begging her to let him back into her life. She hated the conflicting feelings that were flowing inside of her and it was beginning to exhaust her. “I’ll be here,” she sighed, allowing him to wrap his arms around her tighter for a moment before letting her go and getting up. “I’ll be back soon,” he promised. When he arrived at the entrance to the cave he paused for a moment. “I still love you Moony, I hope you know that.” He left before Moonraider was able to respond. She could feel emotions that she had kept buried stirring inside of her at his words and she quickly struggled to push them back down. Of course Forest still loved her. He didn’t know what all had recently happened with her and once he joined up with the other Autobots, they would tell him. He may have still loved her now, but she was doubtful that he would after that. If anything, Forest was a loyal Autobot, and it was that trait that had frustrated her to the core. If only he hadn’t of been so loyal or if only he had been a Decepticon… maybe then things wouldn’t have been so impossible for them. At one time she had held out hope that the war would end and they would be able to be together, but she had soon realized that even then it would have been difficult. There would always be those who would ridicule them for being with someone that had been on the opposite side. Once again she had to push those thoughts out of her mind. She needed a distraction, something to keep her from thinking of that. Moonraider never cared much for human culture, she still didn’t in fact, but at the moment their world wide web was the only distraction she would be able to find. Not much of it interested her at first, but then a piece of human literature caught her attention and she began to read it. To say that she was disappointed with the ending would be an understatement. Why couldn’t the human known as William Shakespeare have given Romeo and Juliet a better ending? Her reaction surprised her at first, but then she realized that she had placed herself and Forest in the roles of the characters. She could see why she had done it, after all she and Forest were technically forbidden to be together too. Though neither of them were quiet as foolish as Romeo and Juliet had been. She had been a youngling, probably around the same age as the Autobot scout, when she had first met Forest. It had been one of her first infiltration jobs and things had been going much better then she had anticipated. One of the Autobots, Forest, trusted her enough to show her every inch of the base. But then something had ended up happening and against her better judgment, she had started to fall for him. And then Forest had discovered that she was a Decepticon spy. She had expected that he would hate her and turn her over. He surprised her by not turning her over, but helping her leave. As loyal as he was to the Autobot cause, he had cared enough about her to break the rules. That was part of the reason she had acted the way she had before. After she had realized how impossible it would be for her and Forest to be together, she had also come to the conclusion that this wasn’t their war – it was Megatron’s and Optimus Prime’s war. They were the ones that had initiated it and they were the ones that had all of them pitted against each other. And most importantly of all, they were the ones who made it impossible for her to be with Forest. Of course defecting had always been an option, but was an option that Moonraider never would have considered. Forest would never have joined the Decepticons, and she could never join the Autobots. It wouldn’t have mattered if she had cared about their ideals, joining them would have been a death sentence – not only to her, but to Forest as well. By not defecting, she had been keeping Forest safe… even if it meant that they wouldn’t be together. Moonraider felt a stab of annoyance at herself. She had gone so long without even having a thought about Forest. Sure he may have been the driving force behind her actions, something that would no doubt disappoint him, but she had kept him blocked from her mind. But now that she had seen him and knew that he was alive, all of her thoughts and feelings towards him had returned full force. For so long she had convince herself that relationships were a weakness and that she would never fall for it again, but now a part of her was dying to be with Forest. But maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing anymore. She was alone now… maybe having someone would still be nice. As long as he still cared for her once he returned that is. There was no denying the fact that she loved Forest. No matter how much she wanted to convince herself otherwise, it was impossible. Moonraider let out a sigh, closed her optics, and tried to drift off into recharge. Maybe the conflicting feelings she had would be gone when she woke up.