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Log Title: B-Boys

Characters: Buster, Judy Witwicky, Ron Witwicky, Sparkplug, Spike

Location: Buster's house / Buster's Aunt and Uncle's House

Date: 1986 / March 18, 2010

TP: Flashbacks

Summary: As Spike continues to recover from a gunshot wound courtesy of Deadline, the sight of a basketball hoop stirs up a memory of a one-on-one game with Buster that turned ugly.

2010

Spike is at Buster's house as he was picked up earlier from his brother. He's helping unload some groceries. A lot of groceries. He pauses to look outside the window at another house and sees a basketball hoop attached to a garage. The hoop has no net. Spike shakes his head and thinks to himself of a separate memory not too long ago where he did little to ease the brotherly tension.

1986

Buster's Aunt and Uncle's House. Spike and Sparkplug pay a long-overdue visit to Buster and Sparkplug's brother and sister-in-law. Being adults who want to talk about adult stuff, and the fact that it's a beautiful day outside, the family kick Spike and Buster out. Which is totally fine by Spike. Buster - well -

Buster is dragged outside against his will. He squints at the sun like the dayball is his enemy.

Buster sighs heavily at the inconvenience.

Spike is sporting a Van Halen t-shirt and cutoff jeans. He pretty much shares Buster's physique, with the exception of some tan marks and some muscle formation that comes with age...and physical labor. He opens the garage door and fishes around, spotting a basketball, he flinches, noticing the accumulation of dust on it. He blows on the basketball. "Woah, dude, did you realize you even HAD this thing in the garage?!"

Buster makes a face. "Why would I? It's not like I have a dad to throw a ball around with," he practically spits.

Spike shakes his head and is determined to make it work. He knows he has a five-year advantage for Buster, so he plans on giving his little bro every chance he can to score. "Well, your uncle still can play." He tosses the ball to Buster and grins amicably. "0-0 - your shot" - to Buster, this is probably one of the worst phrases in memory next to "Didyah know that Autobots..."

Spike crouches down in a defensive posture, but he makes sure to give his little brother plenty of room.

Buster just lets the basketball bounce off his chest and roll down the driveway, watching it like it's some unwelcome alien thing.

Spike frowns and chases after the ball. He runs back up to Buster and with slight more force, places it DIRECTLY into his hands and lightly slaps his brother's back. "C'mon, you're not going to learn that way..." He crouches down again and assumes a defensive posture. "So...how's school going?"

Buster says, "eh. ok. boring."

Spike nods and backs up, giving his brother plenty of room to shoot. "Any hot girls I should know about?"

Buster scoffs. "None that will look at me." He throws the ball vaguely towards the garage, but some 4 feet to the left of the basket.

Spike frowns slightly but recovers. "Nice - just take a bit more time and give it a bit more *oomf*. He goes to take his shot. "Don't worry...they'll catch on." He tries to think of something else to talk about. "Got a cool group of friends to hang out with?"

Spike moves slightly forward, but quickly spins around Buster and goes for a layup.

GAME: Spike PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Below Average difficulty.

Buster just stands there, making no effort to engage with his brother, physically or verbally.

Spike doesn't wait for answer and tosses the ball to Buster. "2-0"

Buster steps to the side so the ball just sails by.

Spike smirks and crouches down, fingers tingling - his competative edge is creeping up.

Spike shakes his head. "Goddamnit..." He runs after the ball - starting to work up a sweat from running. He hands the ball to Buster. "C'mon..."

Spike nods. "So...you got a good group of friends to hang out with?"

Buster says, "No." He looks at the ball in his hands.

Spike nods and gestures Buster to take a DAMN SHOT. "Well..neither do I really, so I guess we're in the same boat."

Buster scoffs. "Yeah, sure."

Spike smirks. "Seriously! I mean...other than Chip, I really don't have a lot of friends to hang out with."

Buster says, "Oh, sure. Except for about a dozen alien robots." He half-assedly throws the ball, a good two feet short of the basket.

Spike shrugs. He can't help but spill about another adventure. "Oh! Speaking of which...I was with Optimus Prime  ...the Decepticons..." He goes to run after the ball.

Buster rolls his eyes in complete lack of surprise.

Spike gets the ball and then returns to Buster "The Decepticons...they were attacking this HUGE solar power thingee...and SIX - SIX Decepticons formed into one HUGE ASS Robot! They called him Devastator! I thought Starscream towered over me - this guy was the size of eight...no...TEN Starscreams!"

Spike takes a step aside from Buster and shoots.

GAME: Spike PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Below Average difficulty.

Spike clinches his fist as the ball *swooshes in*. He picks the ball up and rolls it over to Buster. "4-0 - gotta catch up..."

Buster says, "Oh, boy. I wrote a report on 1984." He kicks the ball towards the street.

Spike blinks and tries to sound interested - but probably comes off patronizing. "Man, I love that book! Didn't read it until last year...so you're a few years up..." He gives Buster a *dark* look...and chases after the ball.

Spike frowns and says "that's a foul...MY shot..."

Spike runs after the ball and picks it up. The less effort Buster gives, the more effort Spike is going to exert in the game...as punishment.

"Whatyah think of the book?" Spike asks.

Buster shrugs. "Cool, I guess."

Spike bounces the ball a few times, looking to go right at Buster and sink a shot. He runs toward Buster, bound and determined to get him into the game. But he assumes as he's running toward the hoop, Buster will get out of his way.

>> Spike strikes Buster with Bash. <<

The impact causes Spike to miss the shot...and he realizes he's fouled Buster - giving him two free shots.

Buster says, "I was actually tempted to learn Newsp -- ooh!" He gets knocked backward onto his ass, banging his head loudly on the corner of the garage door.

Spike recovers and quickly goes over to Buster and extends his hand. "Oh shit, sorry!"

Buster frowns, slapping Spike's hand away. "Jerk!"

Spike says in a panicked tone "Sorry...sorry!"

Spike shakes his head "Dude...you gotta move!"

Spike gives Buster the ball. "OK...you get two free shots." He points to the crack in the driveway. "You get two free shots."

Buster climbs to his feet shakily. A small amount of blood darkens the back of his blonde hair, as well as the corner of the garage door.

Spike gestures. "OK...you got 2 free shots." He stands far away from Buster. "So...you said 'newspaper' - that's awesome! I always dreamed of being a reporter..."

Buster blinks hazily. "Wh-what?"

Spike snaps his finger. "Your shot...take it."

Sparkplug comes out of his brother's house to check on the boys.

Spike adds "So...you want to be a newspaper reporter? That'd be awesome! We could be a brotherly duo!" He spots Sparkplug and raises a hand, then goes back to Buster. "Oh...speaking of writing, have you seen my journal around?"

Buster touches the back of his head gingerly, coming away with bloody fingertips.

Spike gestures. "Just a gash...don't worry about it - take the shot!"

Spike frowns and claps his hands impatiently. "Now, c'mon!"

Sparkplug comes over, and overreacts to Buster's bleeding head. "Spike! Your brother's head is bleeding!" He hurries over to Buster.

Spike says in his most reasonable tone "He got a nice bump, dad, but it's all right."

Spike says in a rushed tone "Just take the damn shot!" before Sparkplug can reach Buster.

Buster does in fact have a mild concussion, and his dad hurries him inside to ice his head.

Spike frowns and mutters "Goddamnit.." He walks toward Buster "Look...I hate to break this to you, little bro, but this is NOTHING compared to what you may have to endure in jr. high and high school. You either get toughened up from me or be cool with being shoved into lockers and getting wedgies until you graduate!" (seems like he's speaking from experience)

Sparkplug moves to shield Buster from Spike's tirade. "Dammit, Spike! Now isn't the time!"

Spike jumps at attention as Sparkplug comes back - not realizing he heard Spike's tirade. "I'm sorry dad...I was just trying to help!" With that, he hovers over Buster and tries to be of some help. "Do you like...need some water?"

Sparkplug scowls at Spike as his sister-in-law Judy hovers over Buster's bleeding head, dabbing it gently and assessing whether he needs to go to the emergency room or not.

Spike looks at Buster, realizing that his charge may have been a bit more forceful than he thought. He stammers "I'm sorry...I thought you'd move out of the way!" He looks down at Buster. "C'mon - say something!"

Buster says, "Get away from me!"

Spike rolls his eyes and backs away. "He'll be fine" He looks to Sparkplug and says "I'm sorry..." again (but not saying it to Buster)

Sparkplug says in exasperation, "You know your brother is weaker than you, Spike. You have to be careful with him!"

Buster looks up to glower at his dad.

Spike looks down at Buster "I didn't mean..." He clears his throat "Maybe you'd feel better if you just walked around a bit?"

Judy looks up from Buster's head. "I don't think that's a good idea."

Spike flinches and says almost in a childlike tone "I'm sorry Aunt Judy..."

Judy brings Buster out to her car to bring him to the emergency room, leaving Spike behind.

Spike shrinks back and calls out to Judy. "Maybe it's just a real bad bump?"

Judy and Sparkplug drive off without comment, leaving Spike behind with Sparkplug's brother Ron.


A few hours - Buster is probably on his way home. Spike has been following Ron around, telling his side of the story. Ron is tight with his brother, but this is something that is edging close to the breaking point. First, it was a favor to watch Buster for a few weeks. Then two months. True, they've done everything in their power to include Buster in the family, but it's just one more stress on this situation. Finally, Ron, in a controlled voice holds his hand up.

"Look...Honestly, Spike - I don't care right now. I don't care if it's your fault. I don't care if it was Buster's - but right now - I don't want to hear a word out of you. Understood?"

Spike opens his mouth, but Ron holds a finger up. "I mean it..."

Ron goes into the kitchen to get some water because a drink would look bad in front of his nephew. He's tried not to blame Spike for all of this - but he can't help but harbor a bit of resentment that the family has sacrificed so much so that he could live the life he's living right now with the Autobots. Still, Ron has kept this resentment well hidden from his brother.

Spike sits and stews. Spike's fairly bright - not as bright as Buster, but he probably is still too young to figure out if a kid goes to the hospital and needs xrays - even with an OK insurance policy - mom and dad are going to paaaaay.

Buster returns, in the car with Judy and Sparkplug.

Ron, somewhat forcefully, starts to prep a care package for Buster - his favorite soda - starting his favorite dinner. Spike sits and sulks, his face getting hotter and hotter in anticipation of what dad may do. He'll work double-shifts at any job, he'll even take a few slaps, but god, please don't take him away from the Autobots.

Buster trudges into the house, giving his brother a dirty look. He touches the back of his head gingerly, until Judy tells him to stop touching it (sounding like she's said it a number of times already).

Spike gets up and walks over to his brother. "Heyah - You all right?" He looks at dad, hoping if he says the diagnosis, it will come true.

"So – was it just a big bump?"

Sparkplug answers for him: "He has a concussion."

Spike shrinks away from Judy.

Judy looks over. "Only two stitches, tho." She smiles wanly at her husband Ron.

Spike looks at Sparkplug, "Look, dad..."

Sparkplug looks down at his eldest son. "Look, Spike, I think you've done enough for now."

Spike feels like someone just squeegeed his heart - and starts to look like it too. He just stands there, looking at Buster, then Judy, hoping SOMEONE will take his side.

Judy returns to fussing over Buster. "Sit down, honey, and keep your eyes open."

Buster slumps into a chair, touching the back of his head again.

Spike shoots a few piercing glances at Buster whenever dad and Judy have their backs turned.

Buster sips his soda, looking slightly out of it.

Sparkplug turns to Spike again.

Spike looks at Sparkplug's chest...then looks away to...the soda Buster is sipping.

Sparkplug frowns. "We were lucky. He could have been a lot worse. Spike, I told you before -- you have to be careful with your brother. It's your job to look after him. He's a lot smaller and weaker than you are."

Spike looks at Sparkplug briefly "I just...I thought he'd move out of the way."

"I just went for a layup - " he adds in a hushed tone.

Buster gives Sparkplug a 'thanks for nothin look.

Sparkplug says, "Spike, that's no excuse."

Sparkplug says, "You know Buster is no good at sports. You can't assume he's just going to get out of your way."

GAME: Spike PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Very High difficulty.

Sparkplug says, "It's a full-time job keeping you safe from the Decepticons. I can't be worrying about your brother, too."

Spike adds - telling a pretty close version of the truth. "I know what high school is like! And I know if you're not good at least some sport - those kids are going to make each day a living hell for Buster!" He looks at Buster with a mixture of anger and pity.

Buster mutters to himself, "... a..."

Buster looks at Spike. "Like you even remember!"

Spike leers at Buster "Oh, I don't? 'Heyah loser, have a fun summer pumping oil, we're going to the Grand Canyon!' Or 'Heayh - you wear those boots because you're too poor to buy tennis shoes?!'" Spike says fairly oblivious that his father probably hasn't heard those barbs. "My only friend - human friend - doesn't even GO to my school!"

Buster says, "You don't even go to school most of the time!"

"I make up every - single - test that I miss!" Spike counters

Buster says, "Yeah. Big whoop."

Buster says, "'Sorry I can't go to class -- I'm busy hangin' with giant robots from space!' Yeah, you got it real rough, Spike!"

Spike gets up and moves closer to Buster "And you've got a loving Aunt and Uncle who bust their ass for you, but you're too goddamn selfish to get up off your ass and help out! You're too busy moping about how crappy the world has treated you!" He adds "Trust me - that shit will NOT fly in high school!"

Sparkplug glowers over. "Spike! Sit down!"

Spike looks over his shoulder at an incoming dad. His knees get shaky, as he remains standing. "Dad, someone's gotta tell him the truth!"

Spike slowly sits down close to Buster.

Buster tries to glower, but looks a little unfocused.

Sparkplug looks at Judy and Ron. "I'm sorry about this."

Ron looks at his brother and gives an exasporated sigh. "I know.."

Ron gives Buster a protective look. "We'll get through this, won't we, champ?"

Sparkplug looks at Judy. "We're suppose to head back to the Ark tonight, but if you need me to stay, I can tell the Autobots we're not available."

Spike looks at dad and interrupts, "Dad, we can't! They're constructing the Protectobots - they NEED us!"

Sparkplug turns back to Spike. "Well, you should have thought about that before you broke your brother's head!"

Ron gestures Sparkplug into the kitchen.

Buster says, "I'm fine, Dad!"

Spike points to Buster "See?!"

Sparkplug follows his younger brother into the kitchen.

Buster nods his head quickly, then blinks rapidly as he gets dizzy. He grips the table.

Spike frowns and waits to be out of earshot from dad and Ron and Judy.

In the kitchen, Ron pats Sparkplug's shoulder, says he'll be there and he'll take good care of Buster, but for a few days, what Buster really needs is his dad.

Sparkplug nods. "I know, Ron. You mind if Spike and I stay here for another few days? I know you've already opened your home to Buster..."

In the meantime, Spike leans in at Buster. "Just so you know - this is it - I'm not bailing your ass out if jocks slam you into the locker or dunk your head in a toilet in high school - and they will!" He looks to see if dad's still in the kitchen. "You know why I love the Autobots? Because the APPRECIATE me! They actually care about me and that makes me want to help them!" He shakes his head. "They have no use for whiners!"

Buster glowers at Spike. "I'm not a whiner!" he raises his voice, making Judy look over sharply.

Ron nods and makes a quick shot of whiskey for Sparkplug. He nods "Of course..." He gives the shot to Sparkplug. "Buster...he's special...but he's sensitive - and he really needs to know his dad loves him and puts his needs ahead of yours...and even Spike's."

Spike jumps and looks at Judy. "uh..I.."

Spike glowers at Buster.

Judy scolds Spike: "Stop tormenting your brother!"

Spike mutter to Buster, "You're milking this, I know it!"

Buster mutters to Spike, "Am not!"

Spike mutters to Buster, "are too are too!"

Buster says, "Am not!"

Spike gets up and goes into the kitchen. He looks at Sparkplug and Ron. "Hate to do this, but we better start packin' - Bumblebee will be here in about a half hour."

Sparkplug frowns at his son. "Well, call him and tell him to turn around and go back to the Ark."

Spike tries to help dad out. "Cool! Yeah - that's actually good. You can stay here an' help Buster out. Optimus and Jazz and Bumblebee can look after me and I can help with the Protectobots and you can come when Buster's feeling better!"

Sparkplug frowns at his son. "No, Spike. You'll be staying here as well, and helping look after your brother. Ratchet and Wheeljack can get by without us."

Spike 's eyes widen. "But..."

Sparkplug frowns at his son. "No buts, Spike. You're brother is hurt, thanks to you, and we're staying here until he's well again. You can do without the Autobots for a while."

Sparkplug glances at his own brother again to make sure that's still OK.

Spike barely mutters a "yes sir" - but it's a 'yes sir' nontheless. He walks calmly out and walks toward Buster. He reaches into his overnight bag and pulls out a copy of Vonnegut's 'Breakfast of Champions.' He leers at Buster. "Thanks a lot, dickmunch." With that, he storms off into the guest room where Sparkplug and Spike have to share a room due to the closed quarters.

Buster grabs his soda and tries to head up to his attic room. Judy calls him back and makes him sit back down where she can keep an eye on him.

Ron nods approvingly at Sparkplug, noticing though tense, he still manages to keep a relative iron-clad reign on the Witwicky brothers.

Spike slams the door to the guest room again and puts on his headphones, escaping into the accepting, protective world of Bon Jovi's 'Slippery When Wet'

Buster sulks at the table, sipping his soda and wishing he could crawl off to hide with a book as well, and maybe his KISS albums.

Ron goes to get a pillow for Buster's feet to prop up. Ron crouches to one knee and looks at Buster "Tell yah what - once I make you dinner, why don't Judy and I go to Blockbuster - any movie you want!"

Sparkplug crosses his arms, watching his brother deal with Buster, a trace of envy at Ron's easy familiarity with Buster that Sparkplug never really had.

Ron says calmly and gently to Buster - knowing his confidence is fragile. "You just get some rest, OK champ?"

Buster says, "Is Star Trek IV out on tape yet?"

Ron nods and smiles. He HATES Star Trek - why can't Buster like westerns? "I'll go to every Blockbuster until I find a copy." He messes Buster's hair and heads out.

Buster wows. "Thanks, Ron!" He beams happily, and Sparkplug hides his envy by helping Judy with Buster's favorite dinner... which he didn't know without Judy and Ron telling him. Perhaps a few days with his younger son is a good things after all.

Fade back into...

2010

Spike continues to look at a nearby basketball court, lost in a memory.

Spike takes a few sips of Jones Sugar Free Root Beer and smirks to himself, realizing what a knob he used to be - scaring the tar out of Buster years before jr. high.

Buster fusses around Spike this time, setting him up a prime spot (no pun intended) on the couch with everything he'd need for rest and convelescence.

Spike puts some groceries away, but he realizes he can't quite reach the upper cabinet because his range of motion in his shoulder is still frazzed. He mutters "Dammit..." He calls out "Buster!"

Buster hurries into the kitchen. "What are you doing?" he scolds. "Let Jesse and I take care of that! You sit on the couch and rest! I had Alan set up Jesses game system for you and everything -- just don't strain yourself Wii bowling or whatever."

Spike shakes his head and mutters "You know I'm still on the N-64, right?"

Buster blinks. "Spike, YOU know I have no idea what that even means, right?"

Spike rolls his eyes. "Bullshit - it's the console before the Wii." He adds "No - that's the Game Cube - the one before that."

Buster raises his eyebrows.

Spike leers at Buster. "C'mon - you were like...22 when it came out!"

Buster says, "So?"

Spike scratches his head "So..." He winces, realizing not to scratch his head with that bad arm. "So video game console - you...you HAD to have that - or the NES? Or Sega Genesis?"

Buster looks bemused. "Um, no?"

Spike looks at Buster, "But you're...you're like a geek. You've ALWAYS been a geek! Hell, I had the N64 - used to play Goldeneye with my roommates after the bars closed!"

Buster says, "I think the last game I played -- outside of your son's console -- was Chessmaster 2000 on my Commodore 64... before I broke it somehow."

Spike laughs and shakes his head. He looks outside, "You know...you could probably beat me in basketball right now." He raises a brow. "Up for a match?"

Buster chuckles. "No thanks! I still have the scar, I think, from last time!" He touches the back of his head, laughing about it now that years have past and he's no longer a bitter pre-teen.

Spike shakes his head. "I was such a tool. I'm sorry - "

Buster scoffs. "I was an uncoordinated dork, and I still am. I should have moved instead of just staring at you like a jerk. You're fine."

Buster moves to put the rest of the groceries away. "Now, what can I get you to drink?"

Spike starts to wince again and goes to get some meds, Vikodin actually. He takes a bit of rice from the Indian place they got takeout from and flops down on the couch. "Coffee or water."

Buster says, "No flopping! Jesse will kill me! Now, I'll get you some coffee for now, but when you're off the pain meds, well -- I know nothing about alcohol, but I asked Jesse to pick me up some top-shelf stuff to welcome your return."

Spike laughs and says "If this how my other alt. started...with pain meds - I'm in trouble."

GAME: Buster PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.

Buster frowns a moment, then smiles. "You mean Mirror Mirror Spike?"

Spike nods and lies down. "Yeah..." He looks around, forseeing roommates coming. "Heyah look - I can take off to Autobot City later on - "

Buster says, "Heh. Rest. It's nice having you around. Maybe you can even show me what's new in the land of gaming. I haven't had my ass kicked by your son since Starscream came to dinner unannounced."

Spike nods and his eyes get heavy. "Woah..." He gives a stoned smirk. "This stuff's powerful." He looks at Buster. "Heyah, you got Battlestar Galactica or The Wire?"

Buster nods quickly. "Oh, yeah! Let me get my old BSG tapes!"

Spike pauses, still having his senses. "Tapes??! Nonononononononono." He slurrs. "New one...new series. The one critics like - not the cheesy ...70s one."

Buster says, "Oh! yeah. Alan and Jesse liked it. I was too busy will school to check it out yet, but it's on The List."

Spike lies back in the couch and starts dozing. "Buster...?

Buster comes back into the living room with hot coffee, but then just sets in on the coffee table since it might be too late for poor drugged Spike.

Spike takes a sip of coffee and looks at Buster. "You're like...the best effin' brother a brother could ever have...don't let anyone tell you differently? Got that?"

Buster looks amused and surprised. "Uh... thanks, Spike. You, too."

Spike lies back. "Seriously, man! My son effin' adores you. Carly thinks you rock." He takes a gulp and mutters "Just...gimmie about ten minutes and I'll be ready to watch Battlefield Galactica."

Buster nods. "Sure, Spike. You just relax."

Buster goes to set up the VCR while Spike rests... and gives up a half-hour later when he realizes Spike's long gone anyway.

Two hours later, Spike's still crashed, but content to be hangin' with his brother. Of course, his stoned declaration of Buster's awesomeness will be utterly wiped from his mind when he awakes.

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