[CtE] Undaunted 06

“Third place, huh? That’s not so bad.”

The sudden voice from below – interrupting his sulking – made Hot Rod startle from where he perched on a roof. It sent his spark to hammering in his chest, and he scrambled to catch himself.

Primus. Some people were so rude.

Hot Rod gathered the tattered remains of his dignity around him. His spoiler flicked down. “I lost to a medic. A Decepticon medic.” He ex-vented in disgust.

He’d ridden Knock Out’s taillights down the entire track, but at the end, Knock Out had put on a burst of speed and left him in the grit.

Maybe there was something to those damn good luck kisses after all. What kind of world was this where a Decepticon could snag himself two adorable partners, and Hot Rod couldn’t even find one? A slagstorm of a world, that’s what.

“Technically, I guess it’s second place, if ya count the fact everyone knew Blurr was gonna snag first,” the voice replied as someone pulled onto the roof next to Hot Rod without so much as a gasp or a show of effort.

Hot Rod, of course, recognized him on sight. He should have known Jazz by his voice, but the shock had chased away any hope of logical thinking.

“Sir,” he greeted, and scrambled to try and stand, greet Jazz properly as Kup had taught him to. “Sorry, I didn’t realize–”

It was Jazz’s turn to snort. “Sir,” he repeated. “Ain’t no one called me that in ages. Don’t do it again. And sit, I don’t need all of that ceremony.”

Hot Rod sat, albeit carefully. It was a matter of balance. “Uh, what should I call you then?”

“Jazz is my name, last I checked.” Jazz plopped down next to him and stretched his arms over his head. Cables twanged and plating creaked. “Ahh, this is a good view you picked out. Great minds think alike, eh?”

“I guess.” Hot Rod blinked as Jazz made himself comfortable, straightening his legs out and propping his arms behind him. Balance was effortless for him. Of course. “Do you want me to go or…?”

“If I’d wanted ya to go, I wouldn’t have climbed up here in the first place. Unless you don’t want company.” Jazz grinned, his visor sparkling, seemingly unaware of the danger Hot Rod knew lurked in the compact lines of his frame.

Hot Rod tried to smile. It came out lopsided. “It’s okay,” he replied, honestly. “I could actually use the company.”

“Thought I recognized another lonely soul.” Jazz’s feet wiggled, a casual act that seemed intentional. Look at me, I’m not dangerous, I wiggle my feet, too. “What’s your sickness?”

Hot Rod blinked. “What?” He drew his knees up, wrapped his arms around them. It made balancing easier.

“Me? It’s a bit of a broken spark.” Jazz gestured toward his chassis with a thumb before returning his arm behind his back, propping himself upright. “Makes the nights cold, you know. What about you?”

Oh.

“Uh.” Hot Rod scratched at his chin, embarrassment peeking around the edges. Like frag he’d admit the humiliating truth to someone as awesome as Jazz. “Nothing like you. I mean, I’ve never really been close to anyone like that.”

“Shame.”

“I guess.” Hot Rod shrugged and shifted his gaze to the celebration festival several stories below them, lanterns and street lights illuminating the shopping lane and the now quiet Grand Strand. “Helps me avoid the broken part.”

“You got a point.” Jazz abruptly threw his hands into the air, like he was punching it, and fell backward, splayed out entirely casual over the roof. “Eh. You’re young. You’ve got time.” He folded his arms behind his head, his sprawl lazy and redolent.

More than a little erotic, truth be told. Maybe that was intentional.

“What about you?” Hot Rod asked.

“Me? Oh, I’ll be fine. I always land on my feet.” There was something off about Jazz’s grin, lazy though it was, and the wink seemed reflexive.

Hot Rod grinned anyway. “I know.” He glanced at Jazz peripherally, his optics lingering on shiny armor and the glint of cables peeking from his seams. There was something about the jut of that bumper Hot Rod really wanted to explore. “They tell stories about you.”

Jazz perked up a little, the light in his visor brightening. “Good ones?”

“Depends who’s telling.”

Jazz laughed. “Well, it’s all true. Every bit of it.” He drew up a leg and folded the other over his knee, letting his foot bounce freely, as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

“Even Springer’s?” Hot Rod prompted, just to see if that would spur some kind of reaction.

Jazz snorted, and his visor flashed an amused pale blue. “Eh. Difference of opinion.” He smiled, and this time it was all denta, a couple of them looking like they’d been filed down from sharpness – like Drift’s. “He thought he could take me down. I decided otherwise.”

Hot Rod hummed a laugh. It was a popular story among the Wreckers, though one that often sent Springer off into a scowl and sulk session that Kup had to smooth over. Springer was really to blame, if you asked Hot Rod. He could stand to be taken down a step or two. There was confidence, and then there was arrogance, and Springer tended to edge more toward the latter.

“I would’ve paid to see that,” Hot Rod mused aloud.

Jazz slanted a look at him. “He’s your brother, right?”

Hot Rod tilted his head back and looked up at the dark sky, stars whizzing past, perfectly visible with the very thin atmosphere Cybertron claimed. “Yeah. Doesn’t mean he can’t be a jerk sometimes though.”

“He the reason you’re hiding up on a roof?”

Damn. They were right about how perceptive Jazz was.

“I’m not hiding,” Hot Rod retorted with a flick of his spoiler. He straightened out his legs, trying to pull off nonchalance. “I’m–”

“–avoiding,” Jazz interrupted.

“Sure. Call it that.” Hot Rod huffed a ventilation and scrubbed at the roof with his heelstrut, old metal flaking up beneath his scraping. “I’m just, you know, not a brat who needs protecting anymore.”

“You’ll always be that to him, I bet. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t trust you.” Jazz flopped back upright, like it was impossible for him to sit still, and the motion brought him closer to Hot Rod, their thighs nearly brushing.

Hot Rod shrugged. “Maybe.” He didn’t really want to talk about Springer. That discussion – argument really – was a cloud hanging over his head, dulling his enjoyment of the evening.

Jazz nudged him with a shoulder, a small shock passing between them where their armor touched. “Cheer up, Roddy. It’s a pretty night, you got a great view, and if I do say so myself, one hot piece of aft for company. So it ain’t all bad.”

Despite himself, Hot Rod laughed. Jazz’s sheer gall was entertaining. “Think highly of yourself, do you?”

“Just saying what’s true.” Another wink and a shoulder nudge and Jazz’s field spilled over his, warm and charged, with a hint of invitation.

Hot Rod had heard stories, and not all of them were about Jazz kicking aft. Some of them were about the things he could do in the berth. Things Hot Rod didn’t even know were possible and sounded a little impossible, truth be told. Didn’t mean he didn’t want to find out for himself though.

For science.

“Uh huh,” Hot Rod said, and scrubbed the back of his neck, deciding to go for broke. Being bold was never a problem for him. “So if, by chance, after the fireworks were over, would you wanna head back to my place to make some fireworks of our own?”

Jazz’s head swiveled toward him, his visor bright, lips quivering before he burst into laughter and draped himself on Hot Rod’s side. “Oh, mech,” he said, in between giggles. “I like you. I like you a lot.”

“Is that a yes or no?” Hot Rod hovered around bemusement and offense.

“It’s a yes,” Jazz said as his hand slid up Hot Rod’s back, playing with the joint of his spoiler. “That’s a frag yes. Show me some fireworks, baby.”

Baby. Hot Rod could only assume that was some kind of human phrase. Whatever. Jazz had spent a lot of time on Earth after all. Lots of the Autobots from Optimus’ crew spouted out weird vernacular like that. Most of Ultra Magnus’ crew and the new arrivals had just gotten used to it.

Frag, Hot Rod caught Kup griping about not catching any fish the other day, whatever that meant. Hot Rod had teased him about going native. Kup had playfully cuffed him over the head.

“Good.” Hot Rod slung an arm over Jazz’s shoulder, shivering as a hot and fast tingle of charge surged through Jazz’s field and cascaded over his own. “But first, I don’t wanna miss the show. I hear it’s gonna be a big one.”

“If Wheeljack’s in charge, you can bet your aft it is.” Jazz laughed, and his tone turned gleeful, as his free hand slid across Hot Rod’s belly. “But nothing like the show I’m gonna give ya later.”

It was Hot Rod’s turn to laugh, and once he started, he couldn’t stop. It was all so… so absurd. He and Jazz sitting on a rooftop, hiding from their woes, making sexual innuendo out of fireworks.

It was ridiculous.

It was wonderful.

It was a much better end to the night than the way the day had started.

Who knew?

~

Onslaught woke from a stasis nap and the first thing he checked was their trajectory – right on target, as it should be. It was a habit, however, to consult navigation first and foremost. He then consulted his chronometer, comparing it against relative time and the passage of time on New Cybertron.

A thought occurred to him.

“We’re going to miss the celebration,” he realized aloud.

“I doubt anyone will notice, save Vortex, and only so he can make a cutting remark.”

The comment was all around him, but emerged from the console in front of him as well, deep and sonorous as it vibrated through the walls. Given that said voice belonged to the vessel currently transporting Onslaught and his cargo, this came as no surprise.

Onslaught’s fingers danced over the console, though there was really no need. “You have a point.”

“Of course I do.” Some might call Blast Off’s tone superior. Onslaught had grown used to the haughty edge of it.

Spend enough time with your spark tangentially bonded to four other mechs, and you get used to their quirks. Sometimes, you adopt them for your own.

Onslaught leaned back into the chair as it reclined to accommodate his comfortable slump. Haughty though Blast Off might be, but he anticipated Onslaught’s needs well.

“Besides, with the cargo we’re carrying, no one will care that we are overdue.”

“We’re carrying?” Blast Off repeated, sounding as though he was on the route to quite the snit, one that would involve long, awkward silences for the duration of the trip.

Onslaught was glad that the visor and facemask hid his expression, and kept his field carefully tamped to avoid Blast Off sensing it. “Yes, you’re hauling it, but we both found it.”

Blast Off’s harrumph sent a gust through the vents, stirring the usually still atmosphere in the cabin. “Just so we’re clear.”

Amusement trickled into Onslaught’s field, enough that he allowed Blast Off to sense it. “I’m sure Octane will be glad you’ve returned.”

The entire cabin shuddered. “Do not test me, Onslaught,” Blast Off warned in a louder, deeper voice that rattled everything in the cockpit. “Else I’ll leave you stranded in space.”

Onslaught’s gaze shifted to the windscreen, currently opaque as Blast Off’s irritation paid itself in petty ways. “And how will you explain my absence?”

“Airlock accident,” his companion replied, completely blithe, almost as if he’d thought about it before. “Couldn’t be helped. Alas.”

Onslaught chuckled and the enclosure of Blast Off’s field dipped into amusement. “You’re sparkless.”

Amusement that suddenly went ice-cold and withdrawn, falling behind an iron shutter. “I am, after all, a shuttle.”

Damn.

Onslaught cycled a ventilation and scraped a hand down his face. Upsetting Blast Off had not been his intention. The comment had been made in jest, but sometimes, one could touch on a raw wound without meaning to. As Onslaught had just done.

“… Forgive me,” Onslaught said after a long moment. “I only meant to tease.”

Blast Off’s sigh gusted through the vents, stirring the plastifilm taped to the console, handwritten coordinates to their most-recent find. “I know,” he conceded, apology in his tone as well. “There are times I believe I have put such things behind me. And there are times it comes back with a vengeance.”

Onslaught sat up straight, sending a pulse of reassurance through his field. “Well, it’s a new Cybertron. We can make sure those old prejudices of the past never return.”

Like so many things that needed to die with the Cybertron of old, the way shuttles like Blast Off had been treated was one of them. Perhaps it wasn’t so bad for other shuttles in other cities, but for Blast Off, who had been sparked in Perihex, shuttles were degraded for their natural alt-modes.

Any being whose spark-given alt-mode was meant to be used by other sentient beings was treated poorly. Blast Off was considered lesser, because his form was meant to haul and transport, and he could unspace enough mass to carry passengers. He would have never risen above his station as transport mech. He wasn’t allowed to vote, own property, and was forced to pledge his services to whichever owner paid the most for him, and paid his property fees.

In short, he was a slave, and due to the laws, couldn’t escape the life his sparking had given him. He couldn’t flee Perihex. No other city-state would have harbored him, except perhaps Kaon in the midst of stirrings of war, or other darker, more dangerous places.

Joining the Decepticons had been a matter of course. Blast Off had killed his owner at the time, and fled for Tesaurus, where Megatron had been gathering forces. Blast Off was marked then, traitor and murderer. Had the Decepticons lost the war, Blast Off would’ve been executed on sight by the first member of the Elite Guard to recognize him.

No, such things were better left in the past. Now, shuttles were valuable. They were rare. They were treated with the utmost respect. Blast Off had to obey no one, save his own whims, especially now that Megatron’s heinous coding was gone.

“We will make it a better world,” Onslaught added, feeling outraged on Blast Off’s behalf, because Onslaught knew the bonds of slavery all too well. “We have that power now. We have that leverage. We will do what we must.”

“One can hope,” came Blast Off’s reply, deep and echoing all around him.

Onslaught steepled his fingers together. “And if not,” he said, “we can always return to war. You know as well as I do that there are mechs in all three factions who are itching for things to return to that simpler time.”

“I don’t want war.”

“Neither do I. But I’ll not let old Cybertron infect the new either.” Onslaught lowered his hands, resting them on the arms of his chair. “I’d sooner watch it burn.”

Blast Off’s sonorous hum was tacit agreement. In this, they were one. Partners, not romantic for Blast Off had no interest in it, but partners who trusted nonetheless.

“We’ll be home soon,” Blast Off said after a moment, his tone much lighter than before. “Perhaps even in time to catch the fireworks.”

Had Onslaught a mouth, he would have grinned. “Sounds good to me.”

~

The feed ran nonstop, a live cut of all the celebrations raging over New Cybertron. Well, all the things they felt the humans were allowed to see anyway.

Cody couldn’t wait for the fireworks. Wheeljack said they were going to be amazing, and Cody believed him. Especially since he’d seen Wheeljack and Doc Greene giggling together over something.

He hoped New Cybertron had it’s own rescue team because they might need it. He also hoped Griffin Rock managed to stay out of trouble long enough for Cody and his family to enjoy every second of the broadcast. Sure, it was being recorded in case they missed anything, but that wasn’t the same.

Cody sighed and leaned on the back of the chair. He wanted to visit New Cybertron so badly. The chance to visit another planet? He couldn’t pass that up.

“Graham, how much longer will it take to make the safety suits?”

Behind him, Graham chuckled. “No sooner than the last time you asked me, Cody.” He had his head bent over his tablet, stylus darting over the screen. “They’ll be ready when they’re ready. Safety first.”

Cody sighed again.

It was dangerous, he knew. Cybertron didn’t have an atmosphere really, and what it did have was still poisoned from all the war’s fallout. Plus, there were all kinds of mechs roaming around, venting all kinds of fumes, and Optimus Prime wouldn’t let them take any kind of unnecessary risks. It was dangerous for humans, not just because they might get stepped on.

It was already something of a miracle that they’d survived the Decepticon attack and bombardment of Earth over six years ago. A miracle and a little scientific ingenuity by way of Doc Greene’s protective dome. Thanks to him, Griffin Rock – and their sister tech cities – had not only been safe, but hidden from the Decepticons.

When the Autobots returned, there had been a long and lengthy debate as to whether or not the surviving humans should contact them. Many thought that Cybertronians were too dangerous no matter what badge they wore. Remaining hidden forever wasn’t an option though. Griffin Rock especially had figured that if they didn’t stand up and shout, the Cybertronians might try and claim Earth.

No one wanted that.

So they’d tentatively reached out to the small group of mechs poking around Earth. Cody had met Hound and Trailbreaker – and much later, Ravage. He met Bumblebee and Rumble, too. He’d been a little uneasy around the Decepticons at first, but Griffin Rock wasn’t without its own defense mechanisms.

Once Griffin Rock was sure the Autobots wouldn’t be a threat, they reached out to the other surviving cities. Optimus Prime himself came to Griffin Rock and declared that Earth belonged to the humans, and the Cybertronians would only stick around to help rebuild what the Decepticons had destroyed. Oh, and trade for the raw materials they might need to rebuild their own planet, too.

There wasn’t really a President or world leader to tell them they couldn’t. Or that they could even. But the few mayors and governors and princes and chieftains from across the planet had voted and the majority sided with the Autobots.

Cody had been thrilled. He liked the Autobots. He’d met them before once. Or, well, his siblings had. Wheeljack had been here when Cody was a toddler, because he’d heard about one of Doc Greene’s experiments and wanted to babble science at him for a while.

Come to think of it, they probably had Wheeljack to thank for the complete success of their protective dome.

Plus, the peace agreement between the Cybertronians and the humans had brought the rescue bots to Earth! Griffin Rock was the first town to get their own rescue team, and Cody’s family were the lucky ones partnered up with Heatwave and the other bots. Cody had the feeling it was partly because Mr. Prime wasn’t sure what else to do with the younger bots and how uneasy things were back on New Cybertron.

Cody was happy for it though. It had been rough at first, but eventually, the bots realized Earth could be home, too.

The floor beneath Cody rumbled. He clutched to the chair and tilted his head back and to the side, in time to see Heatwave come strutting into the room. Thump-thump-thump. The rescue bots were still practicing their ‘gentle walk’.

“It’s still streaming?” Heatwave asked as he crouched to peer at the small screen. Well, small for a Cybertronian. Ridiculously huge for a human.

“Yep.” Cody wriggled and the chair scooted forward by another foot. “You’ll take me there one day, right, Heatwave?”

The red firebot tilted his head to the side. “If that protective gear’s one-hundred percent safe, I will.”

Cody thumped his elbow on the back of the chair and cradled his chin in his palm. “Who needs gear when we have rescue bots? I know you guys will keep us safe.”

“That’s not the point, Cody.” Thunk-thunk-thunk. Boulder now, shorter than Heatwave, but way heavier. His footsteps made Cody’s teeth rattle. “There are dozens of things that could go wrong. The tiniest mistake could mean you or your family could get hurt. And none of us want that.”

Cody sighed as loud as he possibly could. “I know.”

Onscreen, the camera was panning over a huge open area, where Cybertronians of all shapes and sizes were dancing. There was a mecha-shark and an Autobot singing and playing instruments on stage. The music came through the speakers, but Cody had the feeling it sounded terrible compared to what it would sound like live.

Someday, he’d get to go.

“Don’t worry, kiddo, we’ll get there someday.” Dani’s hand ruffled his hair, and Cody didn’t even have time to duck.

He hadn’t heard her coming. The bots were kind of noisy, even when they were just standing there. They tended to creak and rattle and hiss and clank. Cody had gotten used to it after the first couple months, but still. Noisy.

“If this town can manage not to have an emergency for twenty-four hours,” Heatwave muttered with a snort.

He sounded fond at least. Heatwave acted like he hated it here, but Cody knew otherwise. Heatwave and Kade were a lot alike. It was probably why they butted heads so much.

Dani chuckled. “That’s the fun of living in Griffin Rock, Heatwave. It’s never dull here.”

“I fail to see what sharpness has anything to do with it,” Chase offered, coming into view with a thump-clank-thump.

“Geez, Chase. Try adding a thesaurus to your collection,” Blades said, trailing along on Chase’s heels, his rotors jittering on his back. “Don’t you know that humans have like three different meanings for everything?” He held up a hand and started counting things off on his fingers. “Carpools have nothing to do with swimming and don’t always mean cars. You don’t swim in tidepools but fish do. And playing pool involves a big green table!”

Blades threw his hands into the air. “It’s a miracle they can have any kind of conversation and understand each other.”

Cody giggled. “You get used to it.”

“Do not forget, Blades. You’re only talking about English,” Chase said with a waggle of his finger. “There are numerous other languages as well.”

Blades made a sound of aggravation, one foot stomping the ground and making his rotors waggle.

Boulder laughed. “I can’t wait to learn them all,” he said and looked longingly toward the shelf of books, all a bit too small for him to easily hold. “Humans are fascinating. I only wish I’d gotten to know them sooner.”

“Yeah, well, we all know who’s to blame for that,” Heatwave muttered.

Silence rippled through the room. Cody clutched the back of the chair. None of them needed to say who Heatwave meant. They all knew it. Megatron’s name was as bad to say on Earth as Voldemort right now.

“Say, uh, aren’t the fireworks starting soon?” Graham asked into the quiet, and just like that, the tension snapped and everything was back to normal.

Phew.

“I can’t wait,” Cody said with an excited wiggle in his chair. “Wheeljack said they are going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before!”

Graham chuckled. “I believe it. The scientific advancements that we’ve achieved with Cybertronian assistance is–”

“Yawwwwwwwn.” Kade flopped onto the couch, faking a hand over his mouth. “No nerd talk in the bunker, Graham. Not when there’s a party going on.” He folded his arms behind his head and took up every inch of space on the couch, even crossing his booted feet. His dirty boots.

“Get your feet off the furniture, son.” Dad came in, last as always, because he wanted to make sure everything was secure and routed to the emergency line through their comms.

Kade grumbled but made room on the couch so Dad could sit down. Dani flopped on Dad’s other side, and Boulder was nice enough to turn up the volume a bit more so they could all hear better.

With any luck, Griffin Rock would be peaceful the rest of the night, and they could enjoy watching New Cybertron’s festival without any more interruptions. Even Mrs. Neederlander knew better than to call about Mr. Pettypaws. She was probably in her own house with her own tv on. Most of Griffin Rock was tuned in to the broadcast.

Cody grinned and leaned on the back of the chair.

All of his family, new and old, was here.

The night couldn’t get any better than this.

Well, unless he got to go to Cybertron soon.

~

The dark wrapped around them, broken only by the emergency lights running along the baseboard, and the ambient light of the city pouring through the open window. There wasn’t a breeze, not on New Cybertron, but Optimus could still detect background noise – laughter, chatter, music in the distance.

The celebration was still going strong. Soon, the fireworks would light the night, signaling the official end of the festival, but Optimus doubted the crowd would disperse so quickly. There was too much fun to be had. Too much revelry. Too much of everything they’d all thought they’d never have again.

Fortunately, for Optimus, all he could have wanted was currently beneath him, comfortably sprawled out across their shared berth, his visor a dim glow and his facemask wisely retracted.

“What will they say about us leaving the party early?” Optimus wondered aloud as he leaned down to nuzzle Soundwave’s cheek with his own, deeply in-venting the scent of his partner, as Soundwave’s field stroked over his, warm with affection.

Soundwave’s hands slid up his back, fingers gentle as they dipped into seams and traced the lines of his plating. “Business, not theirs.”

Optimus laughed softly. “Then that is the excuse I will give.” He bent forward, knees digging into the berth, his hands braced to either side of Soundwave’s shoulders. He nuzzled Soundwave’s cheeks, feeling the warm ex-vents against his face.

“Besides,” Optimus murmured as Soundwave’s hands moved to cup his aft before sliding back up his back again, “our view here is just as good as it would be out there.”

“Affirmative,” Soundwave rumbled. His field reached out to Optimus, heavy with need, crackling with heat.

Optimus felt it beneath his aft, the rising desire in Soundwave’s panel. But he held himself back, he always did. Both out of respect for Optimus, and because Soundwave had an authority kink a mile wide. He liked to be told when he could release himself.

Optimus would admit, only in the dark and quiet, that he secretly thrilled at how much power he could wield over Soundwave. Respectfully, of course. He had only as much power as Soundwave gave him.

Optimus’ lips ghosted over the curve of Soundwave’s jaw. He rolled his hips, stirring the heat between them. “But you knew that already, didn’t you?” he murmured.

“Privacy sought,” Soundwave replied, one hand stroking up Optimus’ back, the other curving over his aft before dipping between his thighs. A finger rubbed over Optimus’ panel gently, feeling the heat gathered there.

Lubricant built behind Optimus’ panel. His calipers clicked on nothing, and his ceiling node throbbed, desperate for attention. There was something painfully erotic about curling here together, exchanging soft kisses and delicate touches, drawing each other toward a slow, slow arousing need.

Soundwave was a master of it, as though he’d studied Optimus’ frame design to discover each and every erotic zone.

Optimus had to learn the hard way, the fun way, exploring every inch of Soundwave’s frame by hand. He’d learned where Soundwave was ticklish and where he wasn’t. The spots that made him shake and shiver, and the ones that did little.

And he learned how much Soundwave loved to kiss. How he enjoyed the press of lips, the careful slide of a glossa, the exchange of ex-vents.

Which was fortunate, because Optimus enjoyed kissing as well. So he brought his mouth to Soundwave’s, brushed their lips together.

“We have so little privacy,” he murmured against Soundwave’s mouth as he rocked his hips, tiny circular motions that stirred vibrations into their arrays. “We should capitalize on what we have now.”

Soundwave hummed in agreement, and then moaned as Optimus sealed his lips over Soundwave’s, deepening the kiss, tasting the treats they’d been sharing all evening. Soundwave was not much for sweets, but the tart, tangy goodies they’d found at one of the Neutral’s carts had been a hit.

He’d eaten a whole box of them before they realized. They’d gone back for a second box, just so Optimus could try one. He wasn’t very fond of them, but didn’t fail to notice the second box vanish into Soundwave’s subspace.

He had a culinary weakness after all.

It was absolutely adorable and had made Optimus only fall further in love at the sight.

The kiss deepened, glossas tangling together, his own stroking the inside of Soundwave’s mouth. He felt the tremble of Soundwave’s fingers on him, the blast of heat rising from Soundwave’s frame as tertiary vents opened to circulate air. Soundwave’s field was a rising and falling tide of want, buffeting Optimus like a warm gust of wind.

Optimus trailed away from the kiss, nuzzling into Soundwave’s intake. His partner obediently tipped his head back, revealing the vulnerable cables for Optimus to nibble on. This was a sensitive spot, he’d learned, and a single lick from him could make Soundwave shudder. He suspected it had something to do with trust.

“Open for me, Soundwave,” Optimus purred, his aft grinding down on Soundwave’s panel in secondary request.

Soundwave’s right hand slid up Optimus’ frame, a bare brush of touch, before he cupped Optimus’ face, sweeping his thumb over Optimus’ cheek. “Optimus sure?” he asked, even as a visible shudder rippled over his armor, lust pouring like liquid heat from his frame. He struggled to hold himself back, charge gathering in the seams of his armor.

“Of course,” Optimus murmured and nuzzled Soundwave’s intake, lips teasing around thick cables as if to prove how much he trusted Soundwave. The consideration would never fail to make him feel safe. “For you, always.”

A rumble started in Soundwave’s chassis and rattled out through his frame. His arms wrapped around Optimus’ back, holding him close, as Soundwave’s panels snapped open and his spike jutted against Optimus’ aft. The head of it left a swath of pre-fluid behind, marking Optimus’ armor.

Optimus moaned, his hips rolling down, as he bared his valve and rode the length of Soundwave’s spike with it. Not penetration, not quite, but teasing his rim with the hardness of his partner, tantalizing those delicate outer nodes.

Soundwave gasped beneath him, head tilted back, that rattling rumble deepening into a tune, almost like that lullaby from years past, only with a more erotic cant. It made arousal roar through Optimus, lubricant dripping slick and hot from his valve, painting Soundwave’s spike in a wet sheen. His calipers rippled on nothing, and his own spike throbbed, eager to be freed.

Optimus dragged his mouth back to Soundwave’s, briefly content in this, the rock and grind of their hips together, arousal building to a crescendo between them. Soundwave’s hands roamed his frame with intensity, touching every sensor nexus determinedly.

Soundwave’s field fell over his, warm and tingling, and he made an urgent sound in his intake as his spikehead rubbed over Optimus’ valve rim again, and lubricant was sloppy between them. Optimus hummed, his knees pressing in Soundwave’s sides, his denta leaving sharp nips against Soundwave’s cables.

“You can enter me, Soundwave,” he purred, a thrill racing up his spinal strut at the subtle command and permission all at once.

Hands flexed where they pressed at his mid-back. A shudder ran over Soundwave’s plating, a wave of static falling in it’s wake. One palm smoothed down to Optimus’ aft, encouraging with the subtlest of pressures, and Soundwave thrust up as Optimus rocked down.

Contact.

They moaned in unison, Optimus panting as he rested his forehead on Soundwave’s shoulder, hands fisting the berthcovers. Soundwave sank up into him in one stroke, sending waves of ecstasy through Optimus’ valve which fluttered madly, sensors feeding charge into Soundwave’s spike at a rapid pace.

Primus.

Optimus shivered as his valve fluttered and clamped in alternate bursts, his nodes singing at the touch of Soundwave’s spike, lubricant so slick and sloppy that it conducted the charge all too well. He shifted, only a little, and Soundwave’s spikehead nudged over his ceiling node, sending a sharp jolt up Optimus’ spinal strut that turned his limbs to jelly.

Heat wafted up at him from below. Soundwave was silent, if one didn’t know what to listen for, the quiet clicks of him trying to muffle his cries of pleasure, the trembling urgency in his field as he waited for Optimus to give a sign he was ready to move forward.

Waiting, always waiting, considerate at cost to himself.

“Soundwave,” Optimus murmured, his lips finding Soundwave’s audial as he rolled his hips, grinding Soundwave deep. “Please.”

That exhaled request stirred Soundwave into action. He loosed a sound that was somehow both a growl and a keen. His hands cupped Optimus’ hips, both firm and gentle, and then the world spun around Optimus, his entire self surrounded by Soundwave – frame and field both.

His back hit the plush surface of the berth. His arms wound around Soundwave’s neck, dragging his partner down for a deep kiss, and his ankles crossed behind Soundwave’s thighs. Soundwave braced his weight with one hand, but the other remained on Optimus’ hip, holding him careful for each slow and dragging thrust.

Optimus moaned, arousal and pleasure making him dizzy as Soundwave moved into him, slow and steady, taking great care to touch upon each and every node in Optimus’ valve. His thrusts were deliberate, aimed, and his mouth even more so as he peppered Optimus’ face in kisses and a new song rose in his chassis.

Optimus’ world spun into a blur of color and sensation, a mixture of sound and silence, the caress of Soundwave’s field as erotic as the press of Soundwave’s spike. They moved together in a dance they were still learning the rhythm of, but it was no less pleasurable for it. Optimus moaned softly, into each kiss, and the noises Soundwave made in his intake were both reverent and needy.

Overload came not in a burst, but in an ever-growing wave of pleasure, each one stronger and more fiery than the last. Color danced behind Optimus’ optics, his spark whirling and surging toward the protection of his chassis. He clutched at Soundwave, fingers locked into seams on his partner’s armor, as his hips moved urgently, milking Soundwave’s spike for every last burst of charge.

The hot surge of Soundwave’s overload rushing over his sensitive nodes sent Optimus into another wave of ecstasy, his entire frame drawing taut as a bow as his head tossed back and he moaned. Sounds that were quickly swallowed by Soundwave’s lips as they kissed, fierce at first, then slow and savoring. Soft little presses of lips over the curve of Optimus’ jaw and the gentle rock of their frames together in the aftermath.

Optimus hummed into the kisses, his hands stroking the angular planes of Soundwave’s armor, his chestplate pressed to the cool transsteel of Soundwave’s dock. “There’s something to be said about alone time,” he murmured.

Soundwave’s laugh was a soft huff over his lips. “More will be had soon enough,” he replied and shifted his weight, sliding out of Optimus before he pressed a kiss to Optimus’ forehead. “Rest. Return momentarily.”

And then he was gone, taking the heat of his frame with him, not that he went far. Just to the adjoining washrack, where he retrieved a packet of clean mesh cloths, one of them dampened.

“So considerate,” Optimus said with a smile as Soundwave returned, every action careful and loving as he cleaned the both of their frames free of sticky residue. “I think I’ll keep you.”

Soundwave chuckled as he tossed the used cloths into a bin for cleaning and climbed back onto the berth, pulling Optimus into his arms as he did so. It took some finagling, but they’d learned how to notch their frames together for maximum contact.

As it was, Optimus was able to rest his head on the cool transsteel of Soundwave’s dock, feeling the strong vibrations of his spark thrumming the material. He ex-vented quietly, his own spark dancing in his own chamber.

Outside, the music had gone quiet.

“It’s almost time for the last act, I suppose,” Optimus murmured as he lifted his gaze to the window. The sky was dark and unbroken by any building – for now.

Eventually, reconstruction would restore Cybertron’s skyline. Perhaps not any time soon, but eventually.

Soundwave’s hand stroked down his back, from his shoulders to his aft, like a feline which needed stroking. It was too soothing for Optimus to protest.

“Did you ever think it would come to this?” Optimus asked, more pondering out loud than a true question. “That the end of the war would bring us here? We’ve lost almost everything.”

“Gained, also.”

Optimus hummed in agreement. “Yes, this is true.” His ex-vents fogged the transsteel of Soundwave’s dock, where the Decepticon badge had once been so prominent.

Their fields synced almost immediately, humming to the same frequency. He listened to Soundwave’s steady vents, his frame warm with the aftershocks of their lovemaking. He doubted they were through for the night, but this was nice, too. Just laying together in the dim, peaceful and serene.

And then the fireworks began. Bright bursts of color right outside the window. Optimus shifted to see them better, and felt Soundwave stir to do the same. Explosions of multiple colors lit the night, the loud booms rattling windows and making the berth tremble. Of course, with Wheeljack as the lead explosives expert, each color-laced shell was bigger and brighter and more elaborate than the one before.

Shapes and symbols, colors beyond the visible spectrum of most species even. Optimus could hear the cheering between the pops and booms, and smiled as the echoes of the bright display splashed across his armor and glittered inside the room.

What a perfect night.

Optimus cycled a ventilation and snuggled further into his partner’s arms. “I promise, Soundwave,” he murmured. “There will come a time when I can set aside this mantle of leadership and be yours alone.”

Soundwave’s embrace tightened around him. One arm slid up, hand stroking up over Optimus’ back, over his head, before curving around his face, tilting him up to look at Soundwave, the bright of the fireworks reflecting in Soundwave’s visor.

“Soundwave will wait,” he said, both earnest and sincere, as much a vow as the one Optimus had just given. “I will wait forever.”

A promise then.

To each other.

Optimus smiled and shifted, leaning up to capture Soundwave’s lips with his own. Someday, he vowed, even to himself.

He would have this forever.

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