[IDW] Set. Bait. Trap.

The trick in setting the perfect trap was to apply the correct bait. And a certain former lover cum secret assassin spy turned bar singer and occasional bartender had let it slip that Blurr could be easily enticed if one had the proper bait.

Starscream made a few calls. Bribed a few hands. Outright threatened another. Promised credits to that sleaze of a salesmech Swindle, and at last, found himself the proud new owner of a private, dual-occupancy oilbath. He’d filled with the finest, smoothest oil. He acquired a stack of the softest clothes. He raided Blurr’s supply room at New Maccadam’s for what he knew to be Blurr’s favorite brand of engex, and he pulled two flutes from his own supplies.

There. The trap was laid. Now… to wait for his prey. And the trick to catching his prey was to be absent. Away. So that Blurr believed himself all alone, free to indulge without knowing it was a trap all along.

Starscream hid in the closet with the cleaning supplies — Blurr would never think to find him in there — and he waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally, a few hours before dawn, a very exhausted former Racer dragged his aft into their penthouse. His field preceded him, thick with fatigue, but Starscream had left the door to the washrack open, an unusual enough occurrence that Blurr would feel obligated to peek inside. He never could abide by damp cloths being left on the floor.

Sure enough, Blurr took the bait. His exasperated ex-vent was audible enough even to Starscream, hidden behind the door. “Primus damn it, Star. Really?” Blurr muttered.

Starscream let himself be offended for all of a moment. But then it whisked away when Blurr reacted exactly as Starscream expected he would, by going into the washrack, and flicking on the light. What came next was a startled ex-vent, a spike of surprise.

Starscream was about to step out of the closet when Blurr suddenly popped his head out of the washrack, and Starscream hastily ducked away from the crack in the door, nearly tripping over a broom handle in his haste.

“Starscream?”

Starscream waited, barely ventilating, audials straining.

“You here?”

Stillness and silence. Stillness and silence. There was no Starsceam here. You are imagining things.

After a moment, he heard the washrack door close. Blurr must have gone inside. Starscream peeked around the door, through the crack. He could see no sign of his partner. But he did hear a low splash.

Set. Bait. Trap. Perfect.

Starscream emerged from the closet triumphantly, shaking his pede to dislodge the mop head that had inexplicably entangled itself about his thruster. He swept into the energon storage, gathered up his engex and glasses, and resisted the urge to hum as he made his way to the washrack. He paused at the door, listening intently. The low hum of the oil bath in use was barely audible.

Sometimes, it was just too easy.

Starscream thumped his elbow onto the panel to trigger the door open and sashayed inside. “So,” he said in a tone he couldn’t help was smug, “I see you found my gift.”

Blurr, lounging chest deep in the oil bath, crossed his arms behind his helm. “Oh, yes. I had to search long and far for it. Very hidden it was.” His lips curled in a smirk. “You’ve got something on your foot there.”

Starscream paused mid-step. He looked down.

Well, damn. A few stray strings of the mop had sacrificed themselves in the name of the cause, and that cause being embarrassing the Pit out of Starscream.

“Is that the first time you’ve touched a mop in your life, Star?”

Starscream sniffed and lifted his chin. “I’ll have you know that this is the second time I’ve touched a mop.” The time he tripped on it a few months ago counted, right? He shook himself, buried the embarrassment down deep, and continued forward. “Engex?”

Blurr gave him a suspicious look. “Is that the Perihex Blue I had hidden in the back of the cabinet?”

“It might be.” Starscream juggled bottle and glasses, popped the cap, and deftly poured a little in each one. “Does that mean you don’t want any?”

Blurr held up a hand. “Gimme.”

“You’re so polite.” Starscream snorted and handed down the glass.

“You’re one to talk,” Blurr retorted, and patted the space beside him with his free hand. “Get in here. I don’t have the energy to verbally spar with you all night.”

Invitation extended, however rudely it was. Starscream plucked the mop leavings out of his foot and carefully stepped into the oil bath, settling in next to his partner. The purchase might have been for Blurr, but my, was it an indulgence for Starscream as well. He sighed as his frame was eclipsed in the hot, silky oil.

Blurr scooted closer, closing the distance Starscream had purposefully put between them. He sipped at his engex and then ever so slowly tilted to rest his head on Starscream’s shoulder.

“Thank you for the surprise,” he said.

Starscream’s wings fluttered, as did his spark. “You’re welcome, Zippy.”

Blurr snorted. “I hate when you call me that.”

“No, you don’t.”

Blurr ex-vented softly. “Yeah. I don’t.”

Starscream grinned. He supposed he owed Jazz that favor now.

Well. That was all right. It was worth it.

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