For the fourth time in as many days, Megatron crawls into their berth, reeking of energon spill, plasma discharge, and death.
It should be familiar. Comforting.
It isn’t anymore.
Sunstreaker debates feigning recharge for the fourth night in a row. But Megatron reaches for him, and he’s just weak enough to surrender to it.
He’s made his decision. But there’s nothing in that resolve that can’t be tested, and there’s nothing that says he can’t be allowed to waver. To indulge.
“About time you got back,” Sunstreaker grumbles as he folds himself against Megatron’s frame.
Megatron’s so much larger now. Heavier. He stinks of weaponry abd carries the stench of his bloody rebellion everywhere he goes now. And always back to their berth.
“Apologies.” Megatron’s big hands slide down his sides, and Sunstreaker shivers at the warmth of them. This, at least, is familiar. “Needs must.”
How much he’s changed from the near-shy miner Sunstreaker had rescued from the Pits. He’s bolder. Confident. He no longer yields, but demands. Not of Sunstreaker, no, never. But of his believers, of those who follow him, those who serve willingly…. Yes, Megatron has become quite the leader indeed.
Sunstreaker makes a noncommittal noise. He can’t – won’t – have this argument again. There have been too many stalemates. Too many harsh words.
“Never pay attention to me,” Sunstreaker says as he arches up against his lover, hands slip-sliding along the length of Megatron’s sturdy chestplate. Inches of armor here, doubly reinforced, enough to take a beating and then some.
The work of Shockwave, Sunstreaker hears. He’s never liked Shockwave, and he can’t say that the feeling is mutual because Shockwave doesn’t feel at all. But he’s given Sunstreaker more than one calculating look and has offered on numerous occasions to put Sunstreaker under his knife, too.
No, thank you. Sunstreaker doesn’t trust Shockwave. He wishes Megatron hadn’t either.
Megatron chuckles – dark, affectionate, and amused all at once. “And what a shame that,” he murmurs, and nuzzles into Sunstreaker’s intake, lips caressing his cables, making Sunstreaker shiver. “But I am here now. Ready and willing.”
Sunstreaker’s spark aches all over again. His thighs cradle Megatron’s hips, the heat and mass of his partner bearing him down. He wonders if he sinks into this berth, if he can cling to Megatron and keep him there as well. Keep him where Shockwave’s machinations and Soundwave’s manipulative whispers can’t reach.
“You better be.” Sunstreaker rolls up against him, his heated panel scraping over Megatron’s, for despite the anger, there is still affection here. Affection and want both.
“Missed you,” Sunstreaker adds, because it’s true, and it costs him nothing to admit this, now before the end.
Megatron’s lips wander up and over the curve of his jaw. Bright crimson optics peer down at Sunstreaker, pools of warmth and desire. It is too easy to fall under their spell these days.
“I have missed you,” he says, soft and quiet, like none of his followers would believe of him. “But this is only temporary.”
If only that were true.
Sunstreaker’s hands curl into the seams of Megatron’s chestplate. “Kiss me,” he demands, because he can be selfish right now, can’t he? What does it matter? Everything from this point on is selfishness.
“An easy request.” Megatron’s lips descend over his, in the wake of a soft moan, and Sunstreaker lets himself surrender to it.
His hands wander, tracing and memorizing. He rolls up against Megatron and moans when he hears a click of Megatron taking the invitation. The hot, wet press of Megatron’s spike to his valve is most welcome. He slides in, thick, a touch too large, an edge of pain without prep, and Sunstreaker is glad for it.
The kiss deepens, tasting of their cheap, low-grade and the bags of rust crisps that Megatron consumes when he thinks no one is looking. Sunstreaker knows if he checked, he’d find crumbs tucked away in the tiniest seams of Megatron’s fingertips.
He knows this as much as he knows Megatron prefers to recharge on his side, back to the wall, prepared for any threat. That dark, enclosed spaces provoke nightmares. That he whimpers in the grasp of said night purges.
He knows that Megatron prefers the sweeter engexes, the mixed drinks that the other miners and gladiators disdained. That Megatron likes poetry and romantic ballads, and has memorized all of the constellations despite never seeing most of them.
Sunstreaker knows all these things. He tucks the secrets, the important details, into his spark. His fingers memorize transformation seams, the twist here, and a pivot there, the sturdy lines of a mech built to give and take a beating.
His spark throbs and aches. He moans as Megatron pumps into him, slow and steady, gliding over every sensory node and making them sing. Megatron’s mouth ventures downward, lips and glossa nuzzling Sunstreaker’s chestplate in silent entreaty. Asking, always, and Sunstreaker, denying.
He used to feel guilty for that.
He doesn’t anymore.
It is over too soon, and not fast enough. Sunstreaker gasping as overload throbs through his lines, suffusing his frame with heat, as the wet splatter of transfluid splashes over his ceiling node and draws another crackle burst of pleasure. He tightens his thighs around Megatron, feet drumming the back of Megatron’s thighs.
He holds tight, perhaps tight enough to keep Megatron.
But only just.
Megatron nuzzles him again, his lips seeking Sunstreaker’s for another kiss. He still smells of battle, of fury and might. But he reeks of exhaustion worse. Where once they could have gone for several more rounds, Megatron trembles above him. He slips off to the side, rolls Sunstreaker against him, his hands stroking gentle paths.
Sunstreaker hesitates, here in the dark and the quiet and the affectionate.
“Tomorrow, there is one last meeting,” Megatron says as his cooling fans purr, and the air stinks of ozone.
If one is careful, he might even catch the stench of shame.
Sunstreaker tucks his head on Megatron’s shoulder, tilted to accommodate his facial vents. His valve quivers and aches, that of pleasure acquired a touch too soon. It’s a good ache, he thinks. Something that will linger.
“And then?” Sunstreaker asks as he listens to Megatron’s spark thrum through his armor. It is a steady, sturdy beat. He’s likely to live forever, if one of the Senate’s goons doesn’t put a blade through his spark.
“Our revolution begins.” Megatron’s fingers stroke his shoulder. His field pushes gently against Sunstreaker’s, wrapping around him, thick with appreciation. “Our voices will be heard. They will have no choice but to listen.”
Sunstreaker bites back his disapproval. There need not be another argument. Not anymore.
“If anyone can do it, it will be you,” he says instead. Because this much is true. This much he believes.
Megatron as he is now is capable of anything. Except, perhaps, for seeing beyond his own ambitions, for missing the point, for losing who he used to be in the desperation.
Megatron turns and presses a kiss to the edge of Sunstreaker’s helm vent. “Thank you. If not for you I…” He trails off.
Sunstreaker’s hand curls into a fist where it rests on Megatron’s ventrum. Yes, he’s aware of how much of the blame is his to carry.
“Recharge,” Sunstreaker murmurs, and uncurls his fingers, stroking the reinforced slats of Megatron’s secondary abdominal vents. “You have work to do.”
“We both do.”
Sunstreaker makes a noncommittal noise. It is better than a lie.
He listens, instead, to Megatron falling into recharge. The softening sounds of his fans and vents powering to a slow-state. The quiet ticks and clicks of a cooling frame. The warm buzz of his field, at last withdrawing from Sunstreaker’s, though it does so with tangible reluctance.
Sunstreaker can sympathize. Here, curled next to Megatron, it’s tempting to stay. Tempting to bite his glossa, submit himself to Shockwave’s plans, if only to remain by Megatron’s side. Fight the good fight, stand against fate, face down those who would see them silenced.
It’s so tempting.
He can’t do it.
Sunstreaker gnaws on his bottom lip and gently extracts himself from Megatron’s arms. It’s easy enough. They’ve been slipping out of each other’s berth for decades. It’s come with the territory.
Megatron makes a noise, one of disappointment. Expression flickers across his face before it smooths out again. His field reaches.
Sunstreaker steps back, out of grasp, his spark shrinking and shrinking into a ball of guilt and relief, temptation and resolve.
He works his intake. He pulls his hands into fists. He turns away from the berth, cycling a quiet ventilation. He looks around, though he doesn’t know why he bothers. He’s not taking anything with him. Not even the crate of art supplies tucked away in the corner.
Megatron had bought those for him. He must have worked so hard, making connections, spent creds they didn’t have. They are worth more than the words neither of them could bear to say.
The temptation rises again, so thick it’s choking.
Sunstreaker swallows it down and forces himself into motion. He doesn’t look at the cloth-draped crate in the corner. That is the past. That is the mech he used to be. That is the Sunstreaker who loves Megatron, and he can’t be that mech anymore.
He’s leaving Megatron, and so he must leave who he was with Megatron.
It is cowardly to go without saying goodbye, but no one has ever called Sunstreaker a brave mech. He’s vain and cruel, and he doesn’t deserve anything he’s been given, and certainly not the regard of the mech sleeping alone in a berth much too large now.
He wants to pause in the doorway. He wants to look back. He knows if he does, his resolve will crumble. He will be drawn by that affectionate field, by the warmth Megatron offers him.
Sunstreaker doesn’t look back. The door slides shut behind him and locks. Outside, the corridor is very bright. The lights don’t even have the decency to cast him in shadows.
He has to walk away from here in the light.
So be it.