[TIA] The Wicked Game

Chapter Twenty-Four 

Blurr recharged.

Starscream didn’t dare.

He lay there, the Racer curled in his arms, occasional tremors wracking blue plating. Heat still wafted from Blurr in waves. Starscream tasted Blurr on his lips.

For once, Starscream’s thoughts were still. Silent. He pursed his lips together, his spark the maelstrom, rather than his processor.

He… had not planned for any of this.

Blurr let out a soft sigh. His face smoothed over, the tension easing out of his frame. His systems audibly cycled quieter, down into a deeper layer of recharge. The rest of those who felt safe.

Safe.

Starscream’s lips firmed a thin line. His spark warbled again.

He gently worked his way free of their embrace, and eased off the berth. Blurr did not so much as twitch, though he made a low sound in his intake. His field hummed, stuck to Starscream’s own like glue.

Starscream moved away from the berth, the edges of their fields stretching together where they joined. It was an almost physical feeling as they came apart, string by string, until the last tendril dropped away, and Starscream was free.

And shaking.

Starscream backed out of the berthroom, though he left the door open. He told himself it was for security reasons. It wasn’t because he wanted to know if Blurr needed him.

Primus save him.

Starscream went straight into the storage room, dug into the back of the lowest cabinet, and pulled out a small decanter of engex. It was powerful, and bitter, the strongest high grade he had on hand.

He poured half the decanter into a tall, thin flute. He took a swig from the decanter itself, grimacing as it burned on the way down, before he replaced the cap and returned the engex to its hiding place.

He grabbed the flute and returned to the main room, sending the command to turn off the lights as he did so, until the entirety of his flat was bathed in shadows. He passed the berthroom, where only Blurr’s barely-glowing biolights lit the dim.

He didn’t want to sit. He ignored every plush chair and couch. He had no desire for noise. He ignored the fine entertainment center he’d had installed, and now couldn’t remember if he’d ever even turned it on.

He moved to the window. All of New Iacon – rebuilt and still in ruins – stretched out in front of him. The sky was dark as always, but lights gamely flickered from the many residentials and businesses that had cropped up in the wake of Cybertron’s quote-unquote rebirth. He could see, from here, the remains of Maccadam’s, and the lurid splash of graffiti painted on the building next to it. Obsidian – claiming his terrorism.

There weren’t as many mecha in the streets as there were during the agreed-upon daycycle, but there were still some. From this high up, Starscream could only make out vague shapes, traveling together in small groups for the most part. This far, he couldn’t see badges or the lack thereof.

He sipped at his high grade. He pretended he didn’t notice how his fingers trembled. He concentrated on the burn of the engex in his tank. It didn’t even qualify as fuel.

His optics dimmed. His spark gave a tremor. His thoughts were still, while the rest was a storm.

This wasn’t part of the plan at all.

His comm pinged. This late, it could only mean one thing.

Starscream lowered the cube and accepted the comm. “Go ahead.”

“Figured ya wouldn’t be sleepin’.” Jazz’s voice poured into his audial, ripe with amusement. “Got some good ‘n bad news.”

Starscream shifted his weight. “I’m not surprised.”

Jazz chuckled. “Yeah. Anyway, I chatted with the ‘Bots, and they ain’t budgin’, despite my best efforts. They want ya to come to them. Ya want their help, they wanna hear it from you.”

Starscream suspected that would be the case. He would have contacted them on his own if he thought there was a chance in the Pit they’d accept his comm in the first place. He needed Jazz to get through the last barrier, though he’d hoped having Jazz make first contact might grease the wheels, so to speak.

Clearly, he’d overestimated their affection for Jazz.

“Set it up then,” Starscream said. “I’ll be there.”

“Wow. Without an argument and everythin’.” Jazz whistled into the comm, though how he effected such a noise, Starscream didn’t know. “What’s wrong, Screamer? Not in the mood to play games?”

“Don’t call me that.”

Jazz outright laughed. “Ooo, somethin’ is wrong.” Some of the mirth faded from his tone. “When I come back, I better find my boss alive and well.”

“Blurr is fine,” Starscream snapped, his wings raising high and arched behind him.

He cycled a ventilation and gritted his denta. “Nothing’s wrong, you nosy little spy. I’ve had a long day, and it’s late.”

“Sure, sure. Whatever ya say.” Jazz didn’t sound the least bit convinced. “Get some rest then, Screamer. Don’t want ya collapsin’ and leavin’ Cybertron without leadership.”

“Perish the thought,” Starscream drawled and closed the comm.

Silence wrapped around him again. He cycled several ventilations, grasping for a calm he hadn’t had to start with.

He sipped at his engex again, indulging in the burn. He focused on the fire that spilled down his intake and simmered in his tanks. He grounded himself in the sensation, while he counted the throbs of his spark.

He finished the last of the high grade and returned the glass to the storage room. It took all he had not to pull out the bottle and finish the rest. He might need it later. Waste not, want not. The heat in his tank spread through his frame in a slow and steady burn.

He felt wobbly. It was better than the storm.

Time for recharge.

Starscream lurched back toward the berthroom, but he hesitated at actually entering. Instead, he lingered in the doorway. That was his berth and by rights, he should be recharging in it. The plushness was at the perfect level. There was room enough for his wings. It was the perfect height off the ground.

That was his berth.

But Blurr was in it. Blurr curled on his side, one arm reaching for the empty space Starscream had abandoned. His face was relaxed, safe in recharge. His engine was still, but the quiet noises of a mech in recharge were still audible.

Starscream wanted nothing more than to climb back into that empty space, wrap himself around warm blue armor, and return to recharge.

It was a trap.

It wasn’t part of the plan.

Starscream made himself turn away. He went back to the main room. The couch wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t a torture device either. It would suffice for now. It was a small price to pay.

He couldn’t afford to fall into the trap. He couldn’t afford to be that foolish again.

~

Blurr woke muzzily, a chill encompassing his armor, and a tackiness between his thighs. Memories returned slowly, replacing some of the chill with the slow throb of heat.

Starscream had… well, Starscream had brought him to three dizzying overloads, asked for nothing in return, and then apparently left him to recharge alone on the berth.

Blurr frowned. What in the world did that mean?

He sat up, wincing a little as his sore hip protested. But it wasn’t the jagged pain of yesterday. It was tolerable.

He popped his wrist port and flicked out the used pain chip. If he could get away with it, he wouldn’t use another. He hated them. Never mind that the one from last night had given him restful recharge. He still loathed them.

Blurr eased off the berth, tentatively taking a few steps around the berthroom. He limped a little, but not as bad as yesterday. So long as he didn’t get too excited and expend too much effort, he shouldn’t start hurting again. That meant he couldn’t go looking for a new location for Maccadam’s.

Damn.

Well, he could wait another day if it meant he wouldn’t have to suffer another pain patch.

Twisting to ease a kink in his lower back, Blurr groaned. His tank gurgled at him. Time to refuel and greet the day with whatever good nature he could find lying around. He wasn’t feeling all that charitable at the moment.

The door to the berthroom was still open. Blurr blinked. Maybe Starscream had simply woken before him then? Though it was odd he would leave it open.

Blurr inched into the main room which was dim and quiet. None of the lights were activated, so Blurr sent the command for half-power. He didn’t want to blind himself.

Shadows clarified into shapes and furniture, including the couch. Said futon was occupied by none other than Starscream himself, awkwardly contorted into the small space as he lay on his belly. His pedes hung off one end, and his arm hung over the edge. His wings folded oddly against his back, his face buried in a pillow.

He looked uncomfortable. Why in the world was he recharging on the couch? There was plenty of room on the berth.

Blurr frowned and approached the couch. Starscream’s frame twitched in arrhythmic intervals. His vents were shallow, his faceplate creased with discomfort. That could not have resulted in a peaceful recharge.

Seekers were weird.

“Starscream, wake up,” Blurr said, though he was careful not to bark too loudly. He’d learned his lessons about warbuilds.

It didn’t matter how much “peace” there was; warbuilds always onlined ready to fight. Starscream was no exception. Blurr couldn’t blame him, given that he’d been a Decepticon for so long. He’d heard rumors, too, about Starscream and Megatron. If even half of it was true, well, some of Starscream’s waspishness could be explained.

Starscream’s optics unshuttered, dimly onlining. He stirred, wings twitching on his back. “Hm?”

“Wake up,” Blurr said, a bit louder this time. “Why are you on the couch anyway?”

The Seeker fully onlined and pushed himself upright, a low groan escaping his lips as he did so. “You needed space,” he said as he dragged himself into a seated position with a wince. One hand rubbed at the back of his neck.

Blurr frowned. “That berth is more than big enough for both of us.”

“Didn’t want to bump your hip then,” Starscream replied and rolled his shoulders, his wings flicking in various directions. His optics fully lit and he peered up at Blurr. “Feeling better?”

“I’ll live.” Blurr spun on a heelstrut and headed to the storage room.

If Starscream was going to sit there and lie to him, he would go get energon. He reminded himself again that he was here of his own volition. That he’d chosen this. He had only himself to blame.

He dug into the cabinets for a cube of his own and after a moment of debate, something for Starscream as well. Even though the lying liar didn’t deserve it. He shoved the cabinets shut, rattling something on the counter.

It was a glass, one of the expensive looking ones that mechs like Mirage favored when they came to his bar. It hadn’t been out yesterday.

Blurr’s optics narrowed. He gave it a sniff, his nasal sensors burning. Ugh. It smelled like organic perfume. What kind of toxic sludge had Starscream been drinking? Was this from last night? Had Starscream gotten out of the berth and drunk high grade until he passed out on the couch?

Blurr frowned.

He juggled the energon and returned to the main room. Starscream looked a bit more alert now, though he grimaced as he rubbed at his lower back.

“Should’ve slept in the berth,” Blurr said as he handed Starscream the energon he’d gathered.

“I’ll see about getting another one,” Starscream replied. He blinked at the cube before he accepted it. “Thanks.”

Blurr shrugged. “I was there already.” He lowered himself carefully into a chair and sipped at his energon. “What do you need another berth for? It’s not like I’m going to be here forever.”

“Because sleeping on that couch is tantamount to torture and I would not wish that ill on anyone.” Starscream grimaced.

Blurr rolled his optics. “You’re such a drama queen, Star. Just sleep on the damn berth. We can both fit.”

Starscream focused on his energon as though he hadn’t heard anything Blurr said. “I have a meeting this morning,” he said instead. “And since you asked for transparency, I will tell you it is with some mechs who I hope will be allies in the fight against Obsidian.”

Blurr sat up straighter. “Who?”

“Bumblebee and the Autobots,” Starscream admitted, and it was with a little sigh. He shifted on the couch, rapping the fingers of his free hand on the cushion. “Yes, I am that desperate.”

It was Blurr’s turn to grimace. Starscream must be desperate if he intended to go crawling to Bumblebee for help. The same mechs he’d exiled to live out in the dangerous wilds.

“I’ll come with you,” Blurr said. He finished the rest of his energon in two quick gulps and tossed the cube onto the low table in the middle. “Maybe I can convince him to help.”

Starscream shook his helm. “No. Jazz has already done that groundwork. I have to convince them on my own or it’s pointless.” He held up a hand before Blurr could voice the protest forming on his lips. “This, Blurr, is not up for debate. I told you because we are allies. You are not coming because I am Cybertron’s leader.”

Blurr pressed his lips together.

There was a distinction there. It was a fine one, so thin as to be transparent, but it was there.

Fine. Blurr didn’t like it, but he’d obey. He sat back on his chair.

“What am I supposed to do then?” he demanded.

Starscream arched an orbital ridge. “Here’s a wild idea,” he drawled. “Why don’t you rest so your self-repair can actually get to work.”

As much as Blurr wanted to argue otherwise, maybe Starscream had a point. He would heal faster if he stayed off his hip instead of aggravating the joint. Besides, with Starscream gone, Blurr could indulge in the washrack and take as long as he wanted. He was painfully aware of the mess between his thighs, and come to think of it, on the berth, too.

“You’ll tell me exactly what the Autobots said?” Blurr asked.

Starscream finished off his cube and set it on the table. “Of course.” He rose to his pedes, rolling his frame into a long stretch. “We are allies, aren’t we?”

“So glad you finally noticed.”

Starscream chuckled. “I was the one who asked, if you’ll recall.” He stepped around the table and headed for the door. “I’ll be back late probably. If you need me, ping my comm.”

Blurr made a non-committal noise. He watched Starscream go, unsure what to call the twisting, curling around his spark, save that it was there, and it was disconcerting.

The door beeped as it locked behind Starscream, leaving him in stillness and silence, alone in Starscream’s penthouse suite, with lubricant tacky between his thighs.

Blurr cycled a ventilation and scrubbed a hand down his faceplate.

Primus save him.

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