Author's Note: This story was written assuming that Xavier and Laserbeak have already met, that Laserbeak never hooked up with Terrorsaur, that Laser is with the Preds, and Xavier is an independent. This happens during the first season, and is independent of either authors' series.

Love Found and Lost

I wait anxiously for Laserbeak, the only Preadcon that I have even considered trying to save. I scratch at my beast mode head and my tail twitches. I am in beast mode because it is easier to hide in my mouse/wasp mode. My ears twitch as the sound of soft wing beats reach them through the thin night air. I scan the darkening sky attentively, searching for the supple shape of the female pterodactyl. My sharp eyes lock onto the Predcon's shape as she touches down in a clearing not far from here. I slide silently toward her, my pulse racing in anticipation.

She hops awkwardly around the clearing, her small eyes scanning the area for me. I smile as I slip silently behind her and step out of the brush.

"Xavier? Are you here?" she asks anxiously, obviously worried.

"Yes, I am here." I reply as I slide up next to her. She gives a yelp of surprise and spins around. She sighs in relief when she sees me. I back up slightly and stare at her intently. She shifts uncomfortably under my scrutinizing gaze, my eyes raking her body. There is something about her... Something that calls out to me...

She clears her throat and looks me in the eyes, "I would appreciate it if you would not look at me like that."

I blink in surprise. "Look at you like what?"

"Like I'm some kind of prize cattle or something." she replies.

I stare at her a moment longer and then abruptly turn my back to her and walk away. "Meet me back here in one week."

She begins to protest, but mumbles an affirmative. I walk away and hide in the brush, watching her take to the air. My pulse races as she takes off, and my heart feels a tug as she flies into the distance.

I walk back to my cave, deep in thought. Why do I continue to see her like this? What is this feeling of longing and regret when she leaves? I don't understand it! I should not have these types of emotions! I am a soldier, and one with an alarmingly difficult task. I don't have time for emotions, regardless of what they are. I enter my cave resolute in my new vow to never see the female dactyl again except during combat.

I anxiously again for Laserbeak as she flies to our meeting place. I have long ago given up on my vow never to see her again. We go so well together, it is as if we were long time friends back on Cybertron. She and I can talk of anything, and she feels completely at ease in my presence.

I give a cry of surprise as she lands softly next to me. I turn to her and smile widely, my mouse whiskers twitching. We agreed early on to stay in beast mode during our meetings, so as to attract as little attention as possible. My heart begins hammering in my chest as she turns to me, a smile on her beaked face.

"You snuck up on me again!" I exclaim, feigned surprise on my face.

She smiles and hugs me tightly, "It's so good to see you Xavier!"

I return the hug gently, while attempting to formulate a reply in my mind. My stomach jumps to my throat and I am at a loss for words.

She looks at me worriedly, "Are, you alright?"

I fake a cough and stumble a few paces away, regaining my composure as I do. "Yeah, I'm fine. My blasted beast mode here has got a cold!"

"Awww, you poor thing!" she croons over me, "Your sure you're okay?"

I look into her eyes and get lost in their wondrous luster. I mumble and stutter a few words before finally answering, "Yeah."

She smiles and begins hopping out of the clearing. I follow her to the usual meeting place and sit atop a tree stump. She situates herself on her usual perch up in a tree. She sighs and closes her eyes, lost in the cool night air. I gaze at her, my heart filling with undescribable feelings.

"Ah, it feels soooo good to get out of that dreary base every once and a while!" she exclaims with a sigh, "Megs can get so tiring some times."

I give a little sigh of my own and stare at her, entranced. I follow the curve of her wings, the shrewd intelligence in her eyes, and the heady musky scent of her beast mode. I close my eyes and imagine what I would do if I was a normal 'bot, one without my special task.

"Xavier?" she asks again, "Are you awake?"

"Huh?" I stutter as I am dragged out of my revery. "What were you saying?"

"Oh, nothing." she sighs, "I just wanted to tell you that..." She sighs again, "Never mind."

I nod. "Okay." I pick myself up from the stump and stretch my beast mode's muscles.

She hops down from the perch and looks up at the moon, "Well, I better get going."

I look up in alarm, "You're going? So soon?"

She gives me a chiding look, "You were really out of it, weren't you?"

I grin sheepishly, "Yeah, I was day dreaming, sorry."

"You sure were!" she muses, "I must have talked to you for three hours!"

I stare at her, "THREE HOURS?" She nods. "Wow, I WAS out of it!" I look at her and she has a sad look on her face. "What, is something wrong? Did you tell me something important?"

She moves closer and gives me a quick kiss on the cheek, "No, nothing important."

She quickly takes to the air before I can ask her any questions. I stare after her, holding my cheek with my paw. As she wings over my head, a single tear hits my nose. I look up and see a trail of tears following her form into the distance.

I slip past the outer defenses of the Predacon base, avoiding sensors and auto guns. I pull myself into an outside ventilation shaft and move around silently. My heart hammers in my chest as I search for her. I cannot stop thinking about that kiss she gave me. I want to know what she told me that night. I must know!

I slide into the duct for the troop barracks, and sit to wait. My ears are attracted by the sound of soft sobbing. I begin my trek again and home in on the sound of the noise. It has been almost two days since our, 'parting'. I quietly transform into robot mode and press my face up to a warm air vent that goes into the Darkside's communal sleeping quarters. My heart freezes when I see the scene inside.

Laserbeak is slumped down on a cot, sobbing with her face in her hands. Waspinator is standing next to her, a worried expression on his face.

"Why Lazer-bot cry?" asks the enigmatic insect. Laserbeak brings her tear-stained face up to look at him, and she takes a shaky breath.

"I told him everything!" she exclaims quietly, a pained expression on her face.

"Who Lazer-bot tell what to?"

"I told him what I felt, Waspi! And he daydreamed through the entire thing! He DAYDREAMED through it!" she almost screams. She breaks down and begins sobbing once again.

My heart falls to the sides of me, in shambles. I caused her this much pain? I clutch my head in agony. I caused the one I love this much pain? I Stop and stare in surprise at my own hands. Did I just say... I LOVE... I love her? I slump down against the wall of the ventilation shaft and hug my knees up to my chest and rock back and forth.

Laserbeak looks up from her hands and stares at the wasp, "Waspi, can you promise to keep this a secret?" He nods solemnly. She takes a deep breath, "I told him that I love him. That he means the world to me, and that I want to leave the Predacons and join his cause." She looks away, as if ashamed, "I was ready to betray my friends and my faction for him, and he doesn't even care enough to listen to me!" She is no longer sad, but furious. "Well I don't need him! I'll be happy if I never see him again!" she punctuates the sentence by slamming her fist into a wall.

My breath stops when she utters these words. She, she LOVES me? I resist the urge to burst out of the air vent and proclaim my love for her. I have accepted that this is what these feelings are, as improbable as that may seem. I itch to simply burst into the room, sweep her off of her feet, kiss her, and tell her that I love her more than life itself... But I have better discipline than that. I want to do it, with all of my heart and soul, but I won't... I can't.

I turn slowly from the scene in the barracks, tears forming in my eyes. My task is too great to be stopped by my own feelings, even if it kills my spirit to let her go. The destruction of the Maximals and Preadcons is far too important to be stopped. I can spare none of them, none. I walk slowly down the ventilation shaft, leaving the only love of my life behind. Leaving the one chance I ever had of escaping my fate. Leaving my broken heart in that cold, dark air duct in the Predacon base, to forever rot in loneliness.

I leave the base rationalizing that this is for the best. Saying to myself that this is a sign that I must complete my task soon, before my enemies can corrupt me further. I walk into the fading sunlight, alone and at odds with the universe once again.

"Do you understand, Inferno?"

"Yes my Queen! We will attack the Maximals at dawn!"

"Yes, Megatron out."

I shut down the broad-band radio and turn off the code-breaker. I put the equipment into my cave and transform into beast mode. From what I gathered from the intercepted transmission, the Predacons are going to attack the Maximal base just after dawn. That gives me... I look up at the sky. About, two hours to get into position. I buzz my wings and take to the air, flying in the direction of the Maximal base.

I smile to myself as I land, the best time to pick off the odd Maximal or Predacon is when they are fighting each other. I begin my preparations by disabling the perimeter scanners that the Maximals have set up. It's best if they don't know where I am until completely necessary. I settle down under a bush and wait for the imminent arrival of the Predacons.

An hour passes, than another, and the time comes. The attack begins when Inferno flies at the base, and destroys one of the four auto guns that guard the Axalon. Sentinel immediately comes online and the shields pop up. The ant is summarily shot down by the remaining three guns. As the zealot falls, Megatron and the other Predacons rush out of hiding and begin pummeling the shields while dodging the fire from the auto guns.

The Maximals decend, as if on cue, and rush out to fight off the invaders. Megatron quickly darts out from hiding and blasts another of the auto guns. Optimus Primal takes to the air and engages Megatron as all of the Predacons and Maximals pair up with a counterpart.

Now's my cue. I slide out from underneath the bush and move farther back into the woods. Once far enough away, I transform and pull my sword out of its sheath. I crouch low and slowly advance on the battlefield, which is now ringing with cries of triumph and screams of pain. I drop down on my belly and shimmy forward, laying my sword on my back, ready to strike. I go immediately still as a large form tumbles through the brush past me, smoke trailing from his broken body. Terrorsaur hits a large tree hard as Rattrap swiftly follows his hurtling form through the woods. The rat walks up to Terrorsaur and places his pistol to the Predacon's head. He is about to end it when I act, not able to pass up such a golden opportunity.

The vermin gasps in surprise as the point of my sword seemingly grows from his chest. I place my foot on his back and pull my blade from his body as the spirit inside drains his spark energy, leaving him a dry husk. Terrorsaur looks at me pleadingly through cracked optics.

I place my face close to his and whisper in his ear, "Do not worry, It will be quick."

His cries of feat are cut off as I impale him on the tree, and my sword drains the energy from his spark. His optics flicker one or twice and then go dark as he is sent into oblivion. The two trapped sparks in my sword seem to cry out in protest along with the hundreds of others that were forbade travel to the Matrix by my sword. I turn a deaf ear to them as I stalk toward the battle. My heart is cold now. More so now, after giving up any hope of ever being loved, than it ever was before. I reach the edge of the battlefield and crouch down in the shadows, waiting for another moment to strike.

Megatron had succeeded in grounding Primal, and is currently engaged in hand to hand combat with the Maximal. I look around and notice Rhinox engrossed with attempting to hit a dodging Tarantulas with his chain guns. I slide closer and sneak up behind the large Maximal. He doesn't notice me, but the spider does. He stares at me for a moment and allows himself to be tagged by the hail of bullets. Rhinox, wondering why his quarry stopped moving, spins around at the exact second I strike. His enormous guns take the brunt of the blow, and save his life. He throws the useless weapons aside and swings at me with his huge fist. I duck under the blow and counter with my sword. He takes the blow on his leg, losing the appendage from the knee down.

He screams in agony as his stump gushes gallons of mech fluid and he falls. His cries attract the attention of Airazor though, and she flies over to air her comrade. I forgo killing the rhino, and prepare to meet this new challenge. Airazor swoops low and fires her wrist missiles at me. I use my wings to fly over the projectiles. She changes trajectory and zooms at me as I level out above the battle field. She pulls out a laser pistol and fires it along with a set of missiles. I dodge the missiles and block the laser blast with my sword, absorbing the energy into the blade. As she flies close, I call upon the spirit inside my blade to aid me. I channel the captured laser energy, along with the spark energy of one of those slain by my hand. The transformer's soul is wiped from existence as I use his life energy to boost my physical attributes to phenomenal levels.

I channel the energy into the muscles powering my wings to maneuver closer to her. Before she can react, I let go of my sword with one hand and punch her in the stomach with it. My hand goes clean through her torso, and comes out the other side. Her face contorts with agony as I rip my hand out and smash her in the face with the hilt of my sword, sending her crashing into the ground. She lies still, never to move again.

I barely have time to let the high from the spark energy ware off before I am blasted from behind and sent into a tailspin. I recover a split second before I join Airazor in the dirt. I look up and my heart freezes. Hovering defiantly before me is Laserbeak, a determined grimace on her face.

I stare at her in disbelief. Surely she has just witnessed me tear apart two of the strongest Maximals! Why does she confront me?

"Leave." I say to her with a wave of my hand, "I will forget I saw you this day." Please leave!

"No." she yells, "I cannot leave! I loved you once, but you scorned me! I cannot let you continue in your mad quest!"

No, I love you as well! I beg of you, leave! "Fine, than you will die along with the others." I reply. I ready my sword and my body, doubting my own strength. She throws down her rifle and draws a slim saber out of her subspace pocket. I take the initiative and fly at her, sword swinging in a wide arc. She ducks under the blade and slices me along the ribs with her sword. We part for a moment and I put my hand down to the wound. When I bring it back up, it is covered with mech fluid. I sigh as my arms and shoulder cry out in pain. A side affect of using the sword's true power is that it drains the wielder's energy to replace that taken after the rush has worn off. I falter slightly as my wings struggle to keep me aloft.

Laserbeak's face softens slightly when she sees my predicament, but the moment passes quickly. The loving glow passes from her optics as she flies at me again. I am too drained to dodge, and she spits me on her blade. I fall from the sky, the sword throbbing in my gut. I hit the ground and almost black out. I look up at her descending figure through dimming optics as my body seems to slowly die around me. I open my mouth to speak to her, to tell her what I really feel, but my mouth fills with mech fluid. I spit the sticky substance out and gasp in agony when Laserbeak places her foot on my chest and pulls the blade from my body.

She looks down at my with disgust, and pity. I begin to close my eyes, simply glad to let it finally end. But my departure is interrupted by the shape I see swiftly approaching from behind Laserbeak. The Maximal Dinobot charges her with his sword held high, ready to end her life. I struggle to a sitting position an raise my arm to point behind her, but she kicks me back down. I close my eyes and ears as her piercing scream echos through my head, an her body falls heavily next to mine.

I open my optics and look at her face. She is laid out next to me, her beautiful face covered with her and my mech fluid. She looks at me weakly, and tries to turn away. I lock eyes with her and mouth three words, "I love you."

Her face melts as my eyes complete the message of my inner torment. I quickly fumble for her hand as I feel my life sliding away from me. She grasps my hand in hers as she looks at me with eyes that say more than either of us could ever speak aloud. My vision seems to slide farther away as my body grows more distant. My spark slides out of my tormented shell, and I see the battlefield from above as I float up to the Matrix at last. I am joined by another spark as I ascend. This fellow spirit brushes up against me, and I know that it is her. My mind flutters and I touch her to let her know that it is me.

Laserbeak's spark sends me back a feeling of complete happiness. We meld together as we enter the sacred Matrix, to forever live in joining. To live in total contentment and happiness for an eternity.