#Transformers This is a fanfic kids. These aren't my OCs.
It amazed Hound that Earth's precipitation could freeze. Yes, he had that snowball fight with his sparkmates shortly before they met Skyfire, but it still amazed him. He didn't even know what the frozen substance was until Spike explained it days after.
“You're tellin' me this ‘snow’ is solidified dihydrogen monoxide?” Hound had gasped in wonder.
“Water,” Carly translated in Spike's ear.
“I knew that,” He whispered back. He spoke louder to Hound, “Yep. That's why it's so cold.”
The red bot next to Hound furrowed his brow. “Wait, aren't you humans made outta two-thirds water or something?”
Carly couldn't stop herself from answering. “That's why we can only go so long in the cold, and even then we need to bundle up.”
“Huh,” Cliffjumper nodded in contemplation.
The movie shown that week was White Wilderness. Carly suggested it because it was a nature documentary. Spike liked it because it was Disney. At first Blaster didn't care for it, but Perceptor managed to convince him Rewind would love it. The humans had rented the VHS already, was another of the scientist's points. To not watch it would be rude.
Like any bots, Hound, Mirage, and Cliffjumper would show up if it interested them. Mirage and Cliffjumper shared a look behind Hound's back when Carly explained what the movie was about. With the way Hound's plating vibrated with excitement, they could have voiced their thoughts out loud and he wouldn't have noticed.
The trio found a nice spot the three of them could sit together on the left side of the couch facing the wall where the movie would be projected. Mirage leant on the armrest, Hound curled up next to him, and Cliffjumper laid across both their laps, like he was trying to take up as much space as possible.
Next to them sat only two other bots, due to the size of one of them. Red Alert sat between Inferno's legs, not quite on his lap. Carly and Spike reclined on either of Bumblebee's thighs on the floor in front. At a table Skyfire and Beachcomber mirrored each other, chins propped up on hands with a sparkle in their eyes aimed at the screen. The twins had Bluestreak between them at another table. Jazz was with Prowl who twitched his wings every time someone coughed. Even the CMO and Prime himself sat in a corner together.
In the very back was Blaster, getting ready to start projecting the film, with Rewind on his shoulders. Perceptor was seated next to the tapedeck, thighs touching thighs. He had one hand up steadying the cassette's leg with Eject on his own shoulders.
“It seems everyone is here who is interested in viewing this film,” The microscope observed.
Blaster nodded. “Everybody take off a load, let's get this show on the road!”
Sound poured from speakers set up either side of the now lit screen, connected to Rewind's own projection systems.
As always, Perceptor was correct and Rewind loved White Wilderness. The cassette was the one who brought to everyone's attention the one fact the whole Ark would focus on for weeks after.
“How's our little Lemming doing?” Mirage asked Cliffjumper with too much mirth in his voice as he joined him and Hound for morning energon.
Since it was from his conjunx and not some idiot, Cliff let it slide with a pout. The kiss on his cheek and a green hand affectionately rubbing his horns also helped him drop it.
“I wish everyone would stop calling me that,” Except for you two went unspoken in the sigh that followed.
None of them thought anything of Perceptor approaching.
“Excuse me,” he cleared his intake, “Cliffjumper, I have some information you may be relieved to know. You two may come as well.” He turned away to retrieve a cube then returned. “It is about lemmings― Oh!”
Mirage held his sparkmate back automatically. Being in Black Ops and knowing Cliffjumper for as long as he has made it second nature.
It still flustered the scientist. “I assure you, I did not intend for it to be taken that way! I will be in my lab,” Perceptor finished up then practically sprinted out the door.
The lab doors hissed open to reveal Perceptor's alt mode zoomed in on a Petri dish. Rewind was perched on the edge of the workbench, swinging his legs.
“What did you want us for?” Mirage's cultured voice called Perceptor's attention away from the oh-so-fascinating microbes.
“Rewind,” Perceptor prompted without transforming or looking up.
The cassette's full attention was on the trio in front of him.
“Lemmings don't jump off cliffs.”
For once, Mirage did not respond fast enough. Fortunately, he didn't need to.
Perceptor had quickly transformed and blocked Cliffjumper from Rewind. “If you harm a single diode on his head, I will use the shrink ray on you and weld you to a microchip.”
Cliffjumper jerked back with a sneer. “I wasn't gonna touch him!”
“Not helping, Mirage!”
Hound didn't like where this was going. “Hold on, what do you mean, ‘lemmings don't jump off cliffs’, Rewind?”
Everyone settled down. Spotlight was back on the cassette. “The director made them jump. He threw them.”
“Why I oughta―”
“They killed those poor rodents? Why?” Hound's intakes quickened.
“Money,” Rewind shrugged.
Hound's whole body frowned.
“Sorry,” Rewind offered.
Despite his sparkmates' suggestions to go to their room, Hound went back to the rec room. Mirage and Cliffjumper stayed with him anyway. What kind of endurae would they be to abandon one of their own? Hound sat on the couch between Mirage and Cliffjumper.
Cliffjumper knew he should be happy. Lemmings weren't cliffjumpers. His name was not synonymous with an arctic rodent. He wanted to be happy. But there was no way he could smile when his sparkmate couldn't.
“'Sup, Lemming,” said Sunstreaker with a flick to ‘Lemming's’ horn as he walked by.
Hound stopped mid-drink.
Jumping off cliffs.
Hound let out a sob before he could stop it.
Perceptor convinced Blaster, who convinced Jazz, who convinced Prowl, who convinced Bluestreak, who convinced Sunstreaker not to make the mistake of mentioning the so-called habit of lemmings. Sunstreaker's dented abdominal armor from Cliffjumper's headbutt was punishment enough, Prowl decided, and he was free to go.
A bot slumped against the wall on the hanging recharge slab. He raised his horned helm when he heard familiar, naturally clumsy footsteps.
He grinned, “You feelin' better?”
Hound sighed at Cliffjumper. “Yeah. But you know what would make me feel even more better?”
“If your sparkmates weren't in the brig.” Mirage uncurled from his position nestled into Cliffjumper's side to approach the bars. He gave a kiss to Hound through the bars.
Hound laid his hands over Mirage's. “Yep.”
A shout from the other half of the wing startled them. “No touching prisoners.” (“Prisoners!?” Mirage said astonishedly.)
Cliffjumper came up to the bars to shout back, “Hey, I didn't see you not doing nothin' when Jazz was put in here the other week.”
While Prowl was balking, Cliffjumper stole a kiss from Hound.
Bumblebee had to stop Cliffjumper from squishing the humans.
“I knew that movie was bad news! I knew it! You two did this on purpose!”
“Cliffjumper,” Carly started using the tone she used on her neighbors' kid she babysat when they would have a tantrum, “Spike and I had no idea, honest.”
Spike peeked out from behind Carly. “We're sorry.”
Cliffjumper stomped off when he saw how sincere they looked.
Apparently, someone failed to mention to Sparkplug about the lemmings' false suicide. No one thought it would be a good idea before he went on a trip a mile outside the Ark with Beachcomber and Hound.
The minibot moped. Hound looked up from the plant specimen he'd been studying. Sparkplug grimaced and scratched his neck.
Hound faced the human. “What happened?” He tried not to sound too accusing.
Sparkplug scuffed a boot on the ground, knowing if it made the hippy sad, it'd devastate the tracker. “Those prairie dogs just reminded me of those lemmings Spike was telling me about, that's all.”
Beachcomber stared into the distance, avoiding the pack of rodents scurrying across the plains.
Hound started to wail.
Mirage actually jumped when Jazz clapped a hand on his shoulder.
“You alright?” said Jazz without his famous smile.
Mirage shrugged him off. “Of course.”
Mirage wanted to know how Jazz managed to convey rolling optics with a visor. “You know what I meant.”
Mirage sighed, “Hound's quite beat up over this. I never should have let him see the movie.”
“Just between us two, you ain't the only one with a mopey junxy. Those lemmings were awfully cute.”
The crew of the Ark never mentioned lemmings. Well-meaning but forgetful Autobots such as Ironhide and even Optimus only got a verbal assault from Cliffjumper.
Autobots who knew they were hurting Hound and did not learn were subjected something different.
He flicked his doorwings as he entered the washrack and waited for the temperature to adjust. When it settled at a comfortable cool, Smokescreen reached for the soap. He washed himself without even looking at his plating, spacing out during his morning routine like usual.
When he returned to his room he saw something on his berth. A present, wrapped, and topped with a bow.
He opened it.
It expelled a great volume of black smoke and soot with a loud noise that left his doorwings petrified straight behind him. Neat handwriting was at the bottom of the box:
If you discuss lemmings again, I will not hesitate to plant a device, just like this one, inside your circuits. Do not think I will not know.
He scrambled back to the washrack to scrub his singed face.