They were... irritating.
To one as used to the hardship and rigeurs of warfare as he was, he was actually mildly surprised that he could be this... unsettled... at such trivialities, but the fleshlings were slowly but steadily driving him insane.
Then again, the way things stood, they were probably not fully to blame.
Sitting next to his brightly colored and mildly annoying comrade, he glared sullenly at the fleshling children as they boarded him and drove off on their usual daily trip to... wherever it was they went. He didn't really care. He was actually rather fond of... Sam, his name was, after the fiasco with the Decepticons. He'd proven his mettle, Bumblebee was fond of him, and while he WAS rather highly strung, he generally left him alone most of the time, so things were nice and civil for all concerned. Mikaela was also generally... civil. Though she did seem a tad too fascinated with his guns and what was under his hood on occasion. It made him slightly uncomfortable to have her lean into him quite that much, but he was thankful she didn't generate the same effect on him that she did on Sam. He looked occasionally as if he was on the verge of a processor meltdown.
Sam's parents, however, were a far different story.
He grumbled to himself a little, a black pickup truck with what sounded like an idling engine.
He'd probably been associating with Ratchet a tad too much, given the 'bot's tendencies to rationalize and analyze. They were starting to rub off on him, and it was getting rather... irritating. For lack of a better word. As things were, he was already so disgruntled his logic centers were barely in harmonic oscillation.
There was, first, the planet. A small world, third in the young solar system in a young nebula. Primitive peoples, primitive technologies, and so much water it made his metal skin crawl. The humidity was generally within acceptable limits, but there were days when the condensation was so bad, he felt his paint was going to be permanently stained and eaten through. He already looked a little the worse for wear, and the last thing he wanted was to start looking like Bumblebee had when he first infilitrated the humans and their cities, all rust-eaten and weather-beaten and looking like a scrap yard escapee. The poor soul.
Then there was the matter of Sam's... rodent. While the boy had called the thing a chihuahua, a canis subspecies, the overanxious, almost hysterical, constantly yapping thing seemed more rodent than dog. He still hadn't completely... forgiven, the human word was... the little mutt for lubricating his foot. True enough to his fears, the patch HAD rusted, no thanks to the little rodent's highly acidic urine. Add that to the fact that the nervous little rat had a tendency to pee on anything whenever it felt threatened... and the thing it peed on tended to be his tyres... He was generally rather pissed. And while he realized that there was a horrendous pun, he couldn't find it in him to be amused...
And lastly, but far from the least, THEM.
A more irritating pair of beings he had never encountered. In all the millenia he had been online, he had never come across anything that came remotely close to the sheer frustration of having to interact with this infuriating pair. The first encounter with them had already been highly taxing, and he'd not totally been jesting when he mentioned that taking them out as an option. He'd actually felt a twinge of regret when Prime went ape on him and demanded to know what had scrambled his processors. Not so much because his fearless leader had been angry, but more because he had said no.
And now that they were attempting to live in hiding amongst humans, and given that Bumblebee had elected to stay with Sam...
He cursed Ratchet for having the foresight of choosing a search and rescue vehicle that could not be driven by civilians. He cursed Prime, though not quite as vehemently, for choosing his rig. Prime didn't really have a choice, given his overall size and stature. You could hardly expect the leader of the autobots to choose a Choro QQ or a Mitsubishi i as an alt mode after all. But most of all, he cursed himself for the sheer stupidity in choosing an alt mode that was so... family friendly.
And speaking of family friendly, THEY were here.
The sound of their bickering as they yapped about the humdrum details of their miserable little lives in technicolor detail. The way their banter fell on his audio sensors made him wish that Prime hadn't warned him, in no uncertain terms, that if he were to attempt to kill, harm, hurt, or even lightly singe them, he would dismantle him personally and reassemble him so his head would come out partway out his posterior.
It was just so tempting.
And the worst thing of it was... the mother was carrying the rodent. And they were both headed towards him in an unmistakable fashion.
Too late, he contemplated revving his engine and tearing out into the street at full speed, claiming there was an emergency and that the Decepticons had returned. In the nanoseconds he took to compute the possibilities of that particular tactic being successful, a manicured hand had pulled open his passenger seat door, while a familiar greasy weight was settling into his driver's seat.
What are you doing, may I ask? he growled sullenly, wondering to himself what would happen if he transformed right now with them inside.
"We need to go shopping at the mall, you silly thing," thrilled the mother, her free hand flapping around ecstatically. "Sam just called and said that he wanted us to join him and Mikaela for lunch! Those sweet young things... I'm sure it was Mikaela's idea, you know, Sam is hardly EVER this thoughtful..."
"But he did get you that nice set of earrings on your last birthday," chimed in the father, shifting his ponderous behind against Ironhide's poor deformed leather seat. "You can't deny that..."
"But he did that after Mikaela suggested that! Remember how he was telling us that she'd dragged him to the store when she found out it was my birthday and..."
"Don't talk bad about your own son, eh? He's a goo..."
Ironhide revved his engine loudly, distracting them.
Might I enquire... why are you asking me to drive you there? You DO have your own vehicle.
"Oh Hide-y, don't be such a spoilsport. It's just to the mall, and you're so much more comfortable than that cheap piece of trash that HE drives."
"Hey! I resent that! It's a classic vehicle!"
Holding back a frustrated sob, Ironhide ground his gears together for a while before finally, reluctantly, starting his engine. It was only a short drive to the mall anyway. The faster he moved, the less he would have to put up with this idiocy.
Then he felt a warm wetness on his back seat, accompanied by a series of yips.
He contemplated suicide at that point. Maybe Jazz HAD gone on to a better place. Any place was probably better than this.
Resisting the urge to test his hypothesis about whether he could function as a meat grinder if he transformed now, he pulled out of the driveway slowly, the mother apologising profusely as she ingrained the rodent's urine deeper into his leather seats.
It was going to be another of those days.