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Fan Fic: Things We Don't Tell Humans
Things We Don't Tell Humans, by Sinead Rivka is an ongoing Transformers Fan Fic that follows the Autobots of the 2007 movie series as they learn to trust their new human allies with more and and more of their culture. As they make friendships and form alliances, it becomes plain that both the humans and the Autobots are more alike than they ever could have dreamed, and that the future of the Cybertronian race is far from over. It is organized into Story Arcs. Some spoilers.

Author's Summary: This was a first for us Autobots; never before have we come in contact with a species like these humans, so eerily similar to our own race and twice as tenacious as Sparklings. The question was, how far can we trust the humans with our culture? Gradual AU


Things We Don't Tell Humans contains examples of:

  • Action Mom: Elita-One and Chromia, so, so much. Peace, Sarah, and Arcee, less obviously.
  • Adults Are Useless: Mostly averted.
  • A Father to His Men: Optimus Prime.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Justified, the Cybertronians learned it through the internet and interaction with humans, and share the information amongst themselves. The Cybertronian children don’t have the capacity to learn human languages at first, though a few patient humans can get through to them using symbols, tone of voice, and body language.
  • Ancient Tomb: The Tomb of the Primes is important during the Revenge of the Fallen arc, and becomes important again when Faust realizes the Primes in the Tomb would have had their own Matrixes with them, not just the one they sealed themselves away to guard.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Ratchet’s reaction to anyone he remotely likes.
  • Angst Coma: Prowl goes into these if he experiences an emotional extreme and/or an event his battle computer can’t rationalize. They can get very serious, especially when they involve the life or death of those close to him.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Ratchet and Wheeljack.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In full force! Especially when Bumblebee decides to remind Jolt exactly why he’s an officer, despite his young age.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Chapter 21: The ascension and renaming of Orion Pax, Ariel, and Megivor to Prime, Prime’s Consort, and Lord Protector. Prowl has a badass speech, and even Sentinel Prime’s revelation that he’s become a Nay-Theist and can’t continue the ceremony only sets the stage for more awesome.
    • Chapter 64, when Faust is named as Sam's Lord Protector, and Elita-One, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Jazz, Hot Rod, and Will all become Primes. Chromia, Barricade, the Twins, Prowl, Ultra Magnus, and Ironhide are their Lady and Lord Protectors, respectively.
  • Baby Language: The Cybertronian children have a pretty complex one that only those with Caretaker programming can understand.
  • Back from the Dead: Detrious he doesn’t let it stick, Optimus Prime, Sam, Megatron (Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen), and Jazz
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Ratchet is a senator. Also a medic, a war hero, a father several times over and doesn’t take nonsense from anyone.
  • Badass Family: The Autobots are practically made of this. Literally, in some cases.
  • Badass Grandpa: Terratron, Jetfire/Skyfire, possibly Kup (although we haven’t seen him fight). Ratchet counts too, as he’s older than many of the adult characters and in human terms he’s Barricade’s, Iris’, and Hudson’s grandfather.
  • Badass Teacher: Terratron, Prowl, and Arcee.
  • Battle Couple: Optimus Prime and Elita-One, Ironhide and Chromia, Prowl and Jazz.
  • Bedmate Reveal: A variation. Wheeljack wakes up wondering why Prowl is in his apartment and giving him an amused look. It takes a moment for it to sink in: he's in Ratchet and Prowl's apartment, he was supposed to have left before Prowl returned, and he was sleeping on the couch with Ratchet in a pretty compromising position.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Prowl subscribes to this, but he always gains much more respect in the ranks when he shows he’s Not So Stoic.
  • Berserk Button: Many!
    • Hurting or threatening children of any species pisses off all of the Autobots and the fathers in NEST. And Megatron too.
    • Sentinel Prime is a walking Berserk Button for Prowl. He irritates everybody else too, but Prowl truly hates him.
    • Another one for Prowl: people nosing about in his personal life. Too bad everyone loves doing it.
    • Don't interrupt Elita-One if she's trying to get some time alone with her husband. Just don't.
  • Better as Friends: Justified temporarily between Bumblebee and Barricade, as the latter is a spy in the Decepticon ranks and the former an advance scout for the Autobots. They eventually decide to throw caution to the winds.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Prowl, Optimus Prime, and Bumblebee. Prowl unleashes Beware the Quiet Ones too.
  • Blood Brothers: Pre-war Megatron and Optimus Prime; Terratron and Sentinel Prime.
  • Came Back Wrong: Detrious. His son, Prowl, has to deal with the consequences. Optimus worries about this when he tries to resurrect Jazz. Given Prowl’s history, it’s not surprising that Prowl panics.
  • Canon Welding: Spinox, one of Terratron's more spiritual students, eventually changes his name to Rhinox and is part of a crashed team in Africa with experimental nanite camouflage technology. (which Ratchet is really jealous that he didn't get to test). Oh, and he's one of Wheeljack's grown-up sparklings. Likewise,from the same continuity,Dinobot is Ironhide and Chromia's wayward youngest child, and "Optimus" Primal is Ultra Magnus/Dion's, and earned his nickname from his habit of acting uncannily like his uncle Optimus Prime.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ratchet, about liking Wheeljack as much more than a friend.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Jazz and Prowl, though they knew about the future romance from the beginning. Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, and Bluestreak, also Bumblebee and Barricade.
  • Cooldown Hug: Prowl sometimes finds himself in need of the Cybertronian version (giant robots can’t really hug).
  • Cool Old Guy: Ratchet, Ironhide, Terratron, and Kup.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bumblebee vs. Jolt, and Optimus and Megatron’s first-ever fight.
  • Culture Clash: This is what drives the original list of “things we don’t tell humans”. The Autobots are slow to share their views on gender, family, relationships, politics and religion.
  • Death Glare: Prowl is really good at these.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Nightbird, once the war begins. Barricade tries this too, but Megatron knows all about him. And doesn’t mind.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Prowl to Jazz, before they finally become friends.
  • Disappeared Dad: Detrious, for Prowl, and Sideswipe and Sunstreaker’s Caretakers (if you could call them that).
  • Doctor's Orders: Ratchet and First Aid.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Happens once each to Prowl and Elita-One, under strict supervision by their friends and medics. It’s mentioned that Prowl takes after Ratchet in this.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Sepia and Sunstreaker heartily dislike their original names.
  • Elective Mute: Bumblebee after he gets his voice back.
  • Fake Defector: See Deep Cover Agent above.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Megatron, and later Barricade in the Peril Arc.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Prowl has one, revealing what happened when he learned that Jazz had died.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: The Cybertronians’ swearing. The humans start to use them too.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Terratron is Master to his students when they’re training, Lord Terratron everywhere else, but Terra to his friends.
    • It seems only Terratron gets to call Sentinel Prime “Nel”.
    • Elita-One occasionally calls Optimus Prime “Orion Pax”, as do the Primes Past.
  • Friend to All Children: Optimus and Sam. It’s a core personality trait of all Primes.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Sam and Barricade, over Bumblebee.
  • Futureshadowing: After Prowl is informed of both sparklings on Earth and Jazz's death he thinks he might adopt a sparkling and rely on that to give himself a reason to live. It becomes a Tear Jerker when one realizes this is essentially what his first caretaker was doing before he committed suicide.
  • Gender Is No Object: For the Cybertronians, despite the fact that "Femmes" are relatively rare.
  • Gender Rarity Value: Femmes are valued as they are the least common of the three genders in a dying race, but they avoid being enslaved or worshiped because they are not strictly necessary to reproduce and because of the above trope.
  • Good Costume Switch: Barricade is more streamlined and graceful around his Autobot family, and paints himself black so that he isn’t confused with his Caretaker, Prowl. After he gleefully scares the pants off Sam, of course.
  • Good Parents: Many –it’s easier to list the bad parents, but there are a few surprises in the Good Parents category: Barricade, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, and Sam
  • Good People Have Good Sex: The good guys generally have healthy sexual relationships. When that starts to go downhill for Megatron and Nightbird, she knows something is wrong.
  • Happily Adopted: Prowl, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, later Faust, Æether, Alchemy, Hudson, Cobalt, Iris, Torch, Quicksilver, Sepia, Viridian, and Wheelie
  • Happily Married: Quite a few of the characters.
  • Hard Head: Played for Laughs when Ratchet conks Optimus over the head with his own damaged armor after a fight. Horrifyingly subverted and Played for Drama with the head injury Megatron received in the second film.
  • Headbutt of Love: How you properly say hello to a Cybertronian child. It seems to be the equivalent of a hug.
  • Honorary Uncle: Epps, for Sepia and Viridian
  • High Priest: Optimus Prime is of the Priest King variety.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Optimus Prime and Elita-One.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes
  • I Am Not My Father: One of Prowl’s deepest motivations.
  • Illegal Guardian: Sideswipe’s and Sunstreaker’s Creators, if they weren’t Abusive Parents instead (or also).
  • Incompletely Trained: Megatron, and it comes back to bite him in the butt more than once. Bumblebee too…but that doesn’t stop him from wiping the floor with Jolt, unarmed, using the fighting style he is half-trained in.
  • Insecure Love Interest: What's keeping Ratchet and Wheeljack (Ratchet especially) from their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Sam is related to Indiana Jones. And Hogarth Hughes, of The Iron Giant fame.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Faust, Æther, Alchemy, Quicksilver, Viridian and Wheelie.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: One of the reasons why the Autobots are wary of sharing their technology.
  • I Uh You Too: Prowl and Jazz becoming friends.
  • Jerkass Façade: Ratchet wields this to make his patients live to “stay mad at [him] longer”.
  • Just a Kid: Starscream thinks this of Faust.
  • Kung-Fu Kid: Prowl and Jazz as children, and any child Prowl teaches. Especially Faust.
  • Lets Wait Awhile: Jazz and Prowl.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Everyone’s first impression of Prowl and Jazz as adults, even before their Relationship Upgrade. There is general astonishment that they actually aren’t official. Ratchet has this with Wheeljack too.
  • Long Lived: The Cybertronians. And now Dana, Tom Banachek, and Sam. More recently, Mikayla.
  • Love at First Sight: Legitimate and physically possible for Cybertronians. Optimus and Elita; Ironhide and Chromia; and Techni and Blues, Jazz’s parents, had this. Also Jazz and Prowl, much to their initial irritation.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: In effect whenever Optimus and Megatron fight, or Bumblebee and Barricade, since they were trained by Prowl and/or Terratron, Prowl’s master.
  • Old Master: Terratron
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Cybertronians.
  • Mindlink Mates: The Bonded (married) Cybertronians. It requires a great deal of trust, and causes big problems if one of the pair dies. This is one of the reasons Prowl and Jazz aren’t Bonded at the beginning of the story, despite everyone’s assumptions that they are. This is also why the mysterious Decepticon Powers-That-Be won’t let Megatron Bond with Nightbird.
  • Mind Rape: Installing restrictive programming (which can create an alternate personality) in someone else’s mind. It’s almost as bad when you do it to yourself.
  • Mind Virus: The restrictive programming that Megatron was under is infectious.
  • Modest Royalty: Optimus Prime, Elita-One, Megatron, and Nightbird
  • Morality Adjustment: Type 2 for Megatron during the Peril Arc.
  • More Deadly Than The Male: Elita-One is physically tiny (compared to her mate –she’s still huge in human terms). She is also much more violent and downright terrifies Megatron and Sentinel Prime. This seems to be the norm in-universe –a traditional femme frame might not be as strong as a mech’s but it is usually faster and potentially more lethal.
  • Mouthy Kid: Torch, Wheelie. Young Jazz had touches of this. Sunstreaker and Sideswipe used to be this, and still embrace it as a persona.
  • Nature Versus Nurture: A big question for the Autobots.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Prowl gives one of these to Juryrig when Juryrig rips Prowl’s “doorwings” off.
  • Not a Morning Person: Optimus Prime
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Lampshaded /inverted. Wheeljack wasn’t supposed to stay at Ratchet's all the way ‘till morning, but he does. An amused Prowl gets them breakfast.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Megatron post Peril Arc.
  • Old Soldier: Ironhide, Ratchet.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Jetfire at the end of Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Megatron in the Peril Arc so, so much. Two words: "Save me.". His first out of character moments in the flashbacks from the beginning of the war as well. Also, Prowl’s breakdown when Jazz dies.
    • Mikayla's breakup with Sam and her treatment of Wheelie and Bumblebee seemed a little abrupt and unnecessarily vicious for her character. We should have been paying attention!
  • Papa Wolf: Ratchet, Optimus Prime, and Ironhide. Optimus scares everyone when he finds out how badly the agents who took Quicksilver in treated him, and Ratchet tries to shout down a general who keeps disrespecting Prowl.
  • Precision F-Strike: Prowl rarely swears, but when he does, it’s heartfelt and spectacular. He learned from the best. (Detrious, Ratchet, and Terratron) Also notable is Ratchet’s Anguished Declaration of Love to Wheeljack, and Faust’s reaction to Starscream’s offer of training.
  • Raised by Natives: Faust, Æther, Alchemy, and Viridian. Quicksilver and Wheelie as well, at least somewhat.
  • Really Seventeen Years Old: Skids and Mudflap
  • Relegated Mentor: Terratron embraces this with grace and dignity. Sentinel Prime does not.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: Terratron, so much so that his students aren’t usually allowed to meet each other. It's a very big deal when he finally allows it.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Pre-War Megatron, Optimus, Elita, and Nightbird are well-known and loved on Cybertron for this. They were working-class before becoming the leaders of Cybertron, and they still like doing things with their hands, Optimus especially.
  • Reverse Mole: Barricade
  • Ruling Couple: Optimus Prime & Elita-One, as well as Megatron and Nightbird. Despite Optimus and Megatron being the ones with the Matrix/official title, their consorts are held as equal (or at least, equally capable) ruling partners. It's Elita who takes over as leader of the Autobots in the Revenge Arc, rather than Prowl, his second-in-command in the military aspect.
    • Now that Elita-One is a Prime in her own right as of Ch. 64, it's a more straight example.
    • Bumblebee and Barricade and Jazz and Prowl, too.
  • Story Arc
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Skyfire loves doing this.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: When the NEST soldiers take Optimus’ body to Egypt during the Revenge Arc, and when Optimus Prime authorizes Ratchet to use nanites to heal Dana.
  • Sex for Solace: Averted with Prowl and Sunstreaker. Not that Smokescreen and Kup believe Sunstreaker and Bluestreak about this right away.
  • Sexless Marriage: One of the reasons Nightbird knows something’s very wrong with Megatron in the Overture Arc flashbacks
  • Shipper on Deck: (also Amazingly Embarrassing Parents ) The Autobots really enjoy this. Ratchet, Wheeljack, Blues, Techni, and Terratron all ship Jazz and Prowl, who in turn ship their son with Bumblebee (Optimus Prime ships this too), as well as Bluestreak with Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. Optimus Prime also ships Sam and Carly.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Hoo boy. Ratchet and Wheeljack’s dysfunctional clan of children and adopted children is huge. Apparently this is true for many Cybertronian families.
  • The Bard: Jazz and Bumblebee
  • The Stoic: Soundwave. Prowl has a touch of this. He exaggerates it as part of his officer persona.
  • Time Abyss: Alpha Trion and Skyfire.
  • Title Drop: After Elita One, Chromia, Springer, and Hound land on Earth, Ironhide mentions this as the nickname for a handbook.
  • Training from Hell: For Barricade and Nightbird.
  • Trial by Combat: A time-honored tradition, both on Cybertron and among the Autobots on Earth.
  • True Companions: Much of the cast, Autobots and NEST
  • Twin Telepathy: Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, probably Æther and Achemy.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Jolt does this to Bumblebee, and Megatron does this Optimus when they have their first fight as Prime and Lord Protector. Terratron’s other students (besides Jazz and Megivor) do this to Prowl –but only once! Starscream underestimates Faust, too.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Bumblebee and Barricade; Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, and Bluestreak
  • Villain Episode: The Peril Arc
  • Wall Glower: Sentinel Prime perfects his when Optimus becomes the ruling Prime.
  • Wartime Wedding: Type II between Jazz and Prowl.
  • Wham Episode: The Peril Arc, especially Chapter 49, where it’s revealed that part of why Megatron is the monster he is because he’s been hacked.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Elita-One calls Sam out on his avoiding responsibility in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.
    • Ratchet and Prowl call Sentinel Prime out on resurrecting Detrious and then ignoring his unstable mental state. And also waiting to reveal the fact that he's become a Nay-Theist until the worst (or best) possible moment.
    • Megatron, Optimus, and Elita give him a what-for for breaking into Optimus' office (and then lying about having called ahead) and interrupting a moment between Optimus and Elita.
  • While You Were in Diapers: Ratchet, Ironhide, and Kup try to one-up each other. Kup wins.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Dana and Tom aren’t worried about this, but Sam is
  • Will Not Be A Victim: Faust, neither of the war, nor of Starscream.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Prowl, Faust, Æther, Alchemy
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