So, in Danceverse, I describe Optimus as making a doorstop rattling noise when he recharges. It’s air turbulence in his intake manifolds. Basically, his equivalent to snoring! Well, this is what it sounds like!
TITLE: Tin Man’s Treasure SUMMARY: One trillion years in the future, an elderly bot’s legacy teaches two alien children a valuable lesson about life. RATING: T UNIVERSE: Movieverse (Danceverse) PAIRING: OptimusxMikaela (mentioned) GENRE: angst, friendship, hurt/comfort WARNINGS: This fic is set after Following the Sun with bits of retconning here and there. It features the end of Optimus’ life. He’s an old bot who has lived an extremely long time. Don’t mistake this as me quitting Danceverse, because I’m not. The plot bunny wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it down, and I felt I should share it. I call this the “here’s where they eventually end up” fic because…well you’ll see! SOUNDTRACK: Why yes, this fic has one!
Mikaela remembered how, last year, she woke to what she believed was an earthquake. She’d headed downstairs to ask Optimus if he felt the tremor. Instead, she discovered he caused it.
Hidden behind the mirrored cabin windows, Mikaela watched Optimus cutting loose with an awesome reproduction of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” dance routine. Since he often synced his playlists with her iPod, she hurriedly popped her earbuds in and watched the dance show with proper music.
This was Optimus when he thought nobody could see him. A part of himself he shared with no one. And man, he pulled off an awesome spin-moonwalk-toe balance combo.
Mikaela never told him she witnessed the whole thing. Not even the tumble he took five minutes later while trying the “Smooth Criminal” anti-gravity lean. Although, admittedly, he did look pretty cool spinning himself into vehicle mode.
From my “New Normal” fic.
Because in my headcanon, Bayverse Optimus does all kinds of dorky stuff when he’s sure nobody can see him…or if it’s just Mikaela around.
Hi! I'm a big fan of your Dance to Remember series! I have some questions and I hope they won't be a bother. 1. Why the Optimus/Mikaela pairing? 2. What do the glyphs for their names look like? Do you have art of it? 3. What biologically happened to allow Elita to be conceived? I read Lines; I'm looking for what your imagination did to pull that off because it was awesome. Thanks for your time!
Omg, I’m blushing here. Thanks, Nonny! Hi! Your questions aren’t a bother at all. Here’s my very long answer! :)
1) It started when I asked myself the Most Dangerous Question: “What if?”
Honestly, imho, they appeal to each other on the intellectual level. Their relationship isn’t based on appearances. Mikaela is used to guys being interested in her for only her good looks, so having Optimus want to actually have deep conversations with her and show interest in what she thinks and feels is a huge change of pace. Having lived with hardship, she can understand some of where Optimus is coming from on the emotional level. (Her understanding becomes complete in New Normal.)
Mikaela is the person Optimus can open up to. With everyone else, there’s that extra inch of distance— that’s the leadership mantle getting in the way. With Mikaela, he can take that mantle off and just be a regular “guy” around her. All those silly, dorky moments he has are the moments where he’s being an average Joe and not the Boss. It HAS been a very long time since he felt safe enough to be ‘himself’ like that.
Optimus doesn’t have to hide his feelings from Mikaela, so he doesn’t. The biggest instance of this is in A Road Paved in Friendship, where he goes on that huge rant. She lets him sound off, so he talks to her instead of bottling it up like he used to. He wants to be told it’ll be okay— and she tells him it’ll be okay. Another case in point: Someone Else’s Pillar. Optimus tries the silent treatment on Mikaela, and she yells at him to talk to her. Again, he rants and after that he breaks down in grief. Mikaela doesn’t try to fix it or stifle it, she lets him feel while being there for him.
They honestly don’t see their physical differences anymore when they look at each other. When they make love, it is with full openness. There’s another thing that makes it so fulfiling for Mikaela— Optimus isn’t with her for peer status (“Hey, I banged the hot chick!”). She knows he loves her for her. Likewise, Optimus knows Mikaela doesn’t keep him on a pedestal— she sees him and loves him.
And finally, to be frankly honest, there was a tiny ounce of pre-destiny in their meeting and falling in love. The sole determining factor was choice. They chose each other.
(WARNING: HEADCANON) The funny thing about Mikaela’s name is it just happens to be pronounced the same way their word for love is pronounced in Cybertronian.
My Trekker is showing here, but it’s the same principle as the human name Sean(Shawn) being pronounced exactly the same way in the Bajoran language, but it means “swamp”.
I’m also well aware the word optimus in Latin can translate to “best”. Once again it’s a case of the same word in two languages having meaning to their own native speakers. :)
3) We’re going into major headcanon history here, because for the HOW to make sense, I have to share the WHY. I’ve never written this down before and it’s only touched on in my fics, but it’s all “coming from” here. While Elita’s existence was a huge gamble, the forces behind it were set in motion billions of years before it actually took place!
Also, The backstory of how Optimus found out he was a Prime was given in the ROTF comics, but I didn’t know about them at the time I wrote Lines, so there is a divergence for his past. However, Sentinel showing up in DOTM and the events of AOE allowed me to do some backstory retconning without affecting the ‘present day’ parts of the Danceverse storyline.
Please remember, this is pure HEADCANON.
(Snipped behind a “cut” because this is REALLY LONG!)
TITLE: You Don’t Need Wings SUMMARY: It’s amazing what a man and a twenty-eight foot tall robot can learn from each other. PAIRING: OptimusxMikaela - mentioned RATING: T GENRE: Friendship UNIVERSE: Movieverse (Danceverse) NOTES: This Danceverse interlude is a companion piece for New Normal.
I’m so entertained by the OptimusxCade pairing because I’ve been shipping OptimusxMikaela since the first movie. At that time, people seemed to shy away from botxhuman. Therefore, seeing botxhuman becoming a thing makes me very happy, and I can totally see why people ship CadexOptimus. :)
Top Gun (Deluxe Edition) [Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture]
All Optimus wanted to do was test his human-sized bot hologram and help Mikaela feel better after her prom night went bust. Mikaela figured a dance or two with him wouldn’t hurt. Little did they know this moment under the stars would lead into destiny.
Optimus extended his metallic hand, his optics softly glowing in the moonlight, “May I have this dance, Mikaela?”
Mikaela blinked at him.
Wait, how does he…oh, of course–the internet. He probably downloaded dance steps. Please, please, please don’t try and do something complicated like the tango…
“Um…” For once she was the nervous one whose mouth ran dry. First, she worried about him stepping on her feet and breaking her toes. Then she worried about someone seeing them. Then she worried she'd enjoy it…
His radio whirred to life and strains of Mikaela’s “guilty pleasure” music rippled into the air. Berlin, Take My Breath Away.
“I noticed a few songs from the nineteen-eighties on your Ipod.”
That made her chuckle. He caught her, but he’d never make her admit to liking eighties songs in front of anybody else. She breathed a silent thank you because he hadn’t put on something crazy–like tango music. Phew. “Okay, I’ll dive in.”
She took his outstretched hand. It was as solid as the truck behind him and cool to the touch. Not cold, just slightly cooler than her skin. He drew her close, interlocked their fingers and wrapped his free arm around her waist. She placed a hand on his chest plate. Her head fit perfectly under his chin. Surprisingly, his metal body felt warm like a car left all day in the sun.
Optimus swayed her gently to the music. She could hear the hisses and clicks of his joints as he moved more fluidly than a human with bones and ligaments. His rhythm was perfect. She didn’t need to worry about him stepping on her feet.
“Wow,” Mikaela whispered.
He spoke, his low, powerful voice vibrating through his armor and making her cheekbone tingle. “Wow?”
“You’re so warm. I…thought you’d be–ah–cold.”
“I raised my surface temperature to one hundred-point-five degrees Fahrenheit for your comfort.” One of his optics tilted up, mimicking an arched brow. “Am I too hot for you?”
His question was innocent, but she snickered at the unintentional double meaning. “You’re fine–and…you’re pretty good at this. How’d you learn?”
That smile again. “Youtube.”
Notes and chords continued to float in the still night air. Optimus led her in slow, swaying circles.
“This is rather relaxing,” he mused.
“Yeah.” Mikaela let her cheek rest against Optimus’ shoulder. “Here…let me show you how they do it at a prom.” She pulled her hand out of his grasp, wrapped his arm around her waist and cautiously placed her hands on the back of his neck joints. “Now, don’t move your shoulders so much…just your hips and feet.”
Optimus adjusted himself accordingly. His large, metal hands cupped the base of her spine. “Like this?”
“Yeah,” Her heart pounded behind her ribs. Why this reaction? “You’re a natural.”
His chrome body shimmered under the moon.
“I believe, going by the etiquette of your world, my next statement should involve mentioning that you look…” He inclined his head to look her in the eyes, quirking his mouth plates into a small smile, “lovely?”
Blushing, Mikaela tilted her head to the side. She’d been called many things: hot, sexy, gorgeous…but lovely was a new one. At least he acknowledged her appearance–Sam forgot. She didn’t blame Sam, he always got nervous around her. Most guys did.
“Thanks, Optimus. I kinda wish I’d asked you to the prom,” she mused.
“Somehow, I think your peers would have a problem with that. And there is also the issue of finding a tuxedo in my size.” Optimus chuckled and…winked at her. It looked a little dorky, but his gentle laugh made the gesture charming in its innocence.
She barely concealed an unladylike snort. “How about I spray paint you black and white and wrap a tie around your neck?”
“Ratchet would love that.” He laughed again and twirled her. Then he pulled her close and bent forward in a graceful dip. “Is my dancing sufficient?”
“Better than ‘sufficient.’” Mikaela replied. Again, she felt her face growing warm. She leaned on Optimus and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Everybody else I dance with shakes like a leaf.” She averted her eyes for a moment, sighing, “It’s nice to finally have a dance partner that knows what he’s doing.”
I can work with this in Danceverse. It’ll be a little bridge between this movie and the next. Probably a oneshot like Someone Else’s Pillar.
I already have MSworks open.
Btw, I literally started crying in the theater the first time Optimus appears onscreen in the movie. The condition he was in just…omfg there are no words. Poor babu. ALL of his anger in this movie is JUSTIFIED and I don’t blame him for being pissed off.
Mikaela used a tissue to wipe the lipstick off her lips and gazed teasingly through her eyelashes. “How do you kiss passionately on Cybertron? It’s been eleven years…I feel really guilty for not asking.”
“It’s all right. Heh, heh…I always do it to you while we make love, but I understand why you wouldn’t recognize it for what it is.” Optimus’ low voice excited her more. “It is quite different from you’re used to. Here, I will show you.”
Mikaela tilted her head as Optimus’ face inched closer. At first, he touched his mouth to hers– human-style. And again. A third time. Then he parted his mouth plates and brushed them sensually across her lips, paused at the left corner and went the other way. Another pause, and he shifted back to center.
All at once, it clicked. Yes, he did do that when they made love. She always liked it and knew he was kissing her his way, but never realized it signified something deeper than a simple lip-peck.
“The speed and directional preference varies,” he said against her mouth, “but I like it slow and side to side.”
“Mm…it’s nice. How do I kiss back?”
“Move opposite to me. It is like a dance. We meet in the middle.”
He leaned in again. She followed his instructions and drank in the simple sensuality of it. They repeated the motion several times. His smooth metal glided against her soft skin.
“Good.” Mikaela wrapped her arms around his neck and giggled. “Been wanting to for a long time.”
The one time she tried to French him as an experiment, she cut the tip of her tongue on something in his mouth. It took twenty minutes to quit bleeding, and it made eating painful for a week. They both swore never to attempt that again.
–something I’m working on.
I’m dying of giggles imagining Mikaela holding tissues to her tongue and Optimus hoping she’s not going to die of blood loss. Betcha she cut it on the spinny mechanism in the back of his mouth.
Trigger warning for mention of fictional sexual assault
There’s a lot more to Optimus freaking out about Mikaela touching his chest in Rediscovering You. Yes, his reaction was a reflex, however it wasn’t totally related to the mortar shells that hit him.
In my headcanon, Optimus tried to stay awake and let his self repair systems work as he rolled his wounded self away from the attacks. He finally made it into the movie theater, yet he was followed. Someone from Cemetery Wind assumed he’d fallen into stasis and got under his undercarriage to get at his Spark.
The soldier didn’t know Optimus was awake, but too hurt to fight back. His Spark chamber is held in place by a lot of wires and neural lines. So the soldier was tugging and twisting, trying to snap the wires. Optimus’ injuries scrambled a lot of his sensors. He had a very, VERY unwanted overload(and not very pleasant feeling either), and the electrical discharge scared the soldier away.
Bots who go into stasis after trauma relive that data track over and over. Optimus was basically sexually assaulted, though the soldier didn’t realize he was committing that act. Four years later, he was awakened by Cade Yaeger, and he had to trust him to repair things in his chest. He kept silent, but the flashbacks were flying. Then Cemetery Wind showed up at the farm.
Optimus basically had no time to process the horrible thing that happened to him. Then he learned all but a few of his friends were dead. He was pretty much a volcano about to blow its stack. Most of the anger was due to the senseless deaths, but some of it, SOME of it, is because of what was done to him.
While I don’t equate Spark chambers with a penis or vulva, it’s just as private. Going up to him and poking it is the same as someone coming up to you and poking at your crotch without permission. You’d feel pretty damn violated, wouldn’t you? Yeaaaaaah…
It’s messed Optimus up sexually. He’s fine having ‘intercourse’ with Mikaela in the way that works for them. It’s hands near the Spark chamber that get him. While his mind knows Mikaela’s touch is safe, his body responds as if there is danger. Then he feels really ashamed.
Mikaela is being so sweet and understanding to him. He asks her to touch him, to try and retrain his body to see her as safe, but it’s a slow process. It has taken almost a full year just to let her touch his Spark chamber doors without his armor trying to slam shut on her fingers.
Optimus’ main problem is he looks at the intent of the soldier. The soldier was trying to kill him, not rape/sexually assault him. So Optimus feels like he can’t really direct all his “you touched me somewhere private against my will!” anguish at a human who is ignorant to the psychological damage they did.
That still doesn’t change what happened.
Poor Optimus. He isn’t used to feeling shame about any part of his body.
Holy freaking shit this fic is wrecking me to write.
It’s set billions of years in the future, in the time period where I wrote Following the Sun. Optimus is an old “get off my lawn!” bot who is tired of grieving losses, so he just closes up and lives like a hermit on a harsh desert planet. The natives live in floating domes above the surface, so he is literally the only person on the actual planet. (He likes it that way) There’s one native who visits him occasionally to clean the sand out of his intakes and oil his joints when they get stuck. Beyond that, he is totally alone.
The local kids like to mess with “the Tin Man” by coming down and taking his stuff while he’s not in his house. They dare each other to steal something and show it off at school. It’s a status symbol, basically. The ones who chicken out get teased for being cowards.
Optimus is too old and sick to deal with that scrap, but the stealing hurts because some of what the kids take is all he has left of Mikaela, Elita and places he’s been to.
Then a pair of kids happen to be in the house when he comes home. They’re the first kids to actually MEET the big, mean bot. And oh, man, he gets PISSED! The kids bolt, but the girl thinks about the Tin Man’s feelings and decides he’s mean to kids because the kids were mean to him first. So she takes the photograph her friend stole back to him.
There’s more to this that I’m not telling. Just…GAH, tears everywhere.
This is what Danceverse Optimus’ snore sounds like. It’s caused turbulence in his intake manifolds. Happens every time he’s perfectly comfy and relaxed while in recharge. He even does it if he’s in truck mode. <3
Have some pretty Danceverse fanart drawn by Xireana. It was done in 2012, but it’s cuuuuute. :)
Just in case someone is confused, Optimus is using a human-sized holgram of his bot self. He doesn’t like using human holograms unless he’s in public. He likes to experience Mikaela’s world as himself.