[G1] Stolen Time

“Ow!”

“Stop squirmin’ and it won’t hurt so much.”

“Wouldn’t hurt at all if you hadn’t shot me!”

“If you hadn’t dove at Bluestreak, I wouldn’t have shot you.”

“Oh.” Skywarp’s uninjured wing twitches, the very picture of indignant. “I see. So that’s how it is.”

“No. It ain’t even.” Jazz shoves a palm against Skywarp’s cockpit, smearing battle soot on the glass. “Don’t start that pitslag. That ain’t how this works.”

“This doesn’t work at all,” Skywarp huffs as his finger gestures between them. He’s doing a fair impression of his mercurial trinemate at the moment, too. “You fragging shot me!”

Jazz shrugs. “Not like it’s the first time.”

“Not the point!”

“You’ve shot me before.”

“I missed,” Skwarp retorts, and his lower lip wobbles, his red optics taking on a soft, pouting hue.

“Yeah, well, I ain’t known for missing.” Jazz tucks away his emergency medkit and smooths his fingers over the makeshift patch. He scoots a little closer, further up Skywarp’s thighs. “Come on now. We only got an hour, tops. You wanna waste it arguin’ the same old slag?”

“No.” Skywarp pouts, but wraps Jazz in an embrace anyway. He reeks of the battlefield, but then, so does Jazz. “I’m tired of this.”

“Me, too, flitterbit.” He rests his helm on Skywarp’s chest, feeling the strong thrum of the Seeker’s spark against his cheek.

“Hate that,” Skywarp grumbles.

Jazz chuckles and rises up on his knees to nip at the underside of Skywarp’s chin. “No, ya don’t.”

Skywarp peers down at him, the light in his optics brighter now, less sulk and more heat. His lips curve into that cheeky grin Jazz loves so much. “Frisky?”

“An hour. Remember?”

Skywarp’s hands move to cup Jazz’s aft, pulling him closer. “I do. It’s enough for a quickie or two, right?”

“Or three,” Jazz corrects and slides his hands around to Skywarp’s back, his fingers sinking into a seam and pinching the cables.

“Three it is,” Skywarp purrs and hoists Jazz into a kiss, one of eager lips and a wet glossa, and feeling oh-so-good.

Jazz hums approvingly, his own spark spinning faster. Maybe only an hour here or there, but still worth it, he thinks. Still worth every second.

[G1] Taking Care of Business

Of all the things Elita expects to see on the secret camera feed she’d had Greenlight hack, Shockwave getting stuffed up the valve by some kind of metallic tentacled thing is not on the list.

Lancer gasps. Chromia leers. Greenlight has the gall to activate the Primus-forsaken zoom, until there’s nothing on the screen but Shockwave’s twitching frame and the writhing tentacles around it.

“What is he doing?” Lancer asks, horror etched into her face.

“Taking care of business, if you ask me,” Chromia says with a laugh.

“I’m jealous. That looks like fun,” Moonracer chimes in.

“Why’s he get all the good toys?” Firestar pouts.

“Fun!” Lancer repeats, close to a shriek. All the color’s drained from her face. “He’s interfacing with a… a….”

“I dunno what that is,” Chromia says. “But old one optic sure looks like he’s enjoying himself.”

“Quintesson spawn maybe,” Greenlight says categorically. A few key presses and the image clarifies, highlighting just how lubricated Shockwave is and how much it glistens.

The zoom focuses on a very thick tentacle with circular bulges. It plunges into Shockwave, pushing deep, and then proceeds to pump. The spheres vanish into Shockwave one by one.

“What is it doing?” Lancer demands. She’s backed away from the screen now.

Firestar laughs and leans closer, her optics bright. “I never took Shockwave for one with carrier longing, but I guess it takes all kinds, huh?”

“They’re eggs, Lancie,” Greenlight says with a shrug. “I mean, probably. Rumor has it the Quints propagated using them.”

Shockwave’s abdominal armor begins to visibly bulge. The tentacle continues to pump more spheres into him. Yet, he makes no move to make it stop. If anything, he looks to be enjoying himself immensely.

“Gross,” Lancer says. She shudders.

“Which part? Shockwave or the eggs?” Chromia snickers.

“I’ll bet they are so big.” Moonracer shivers.

“Probably press so good over all those nodes, ya think?” Firestar chimes in.

Primus help them.

“Enough,” Elita says and leans over Greenlight’s shoulder, pressing the button to disengage their access. “Clearly this secure feed is not showing us anything of use.”

Chromia leers again. “Except that the purple boob must be getting lonely up in that tower of his.”

“I could use one of those things, if you ask me,” Moonracer says dreamily.

Lancer makes a gagging noise.

Elita sighs. She claps her hands together. “All right everyone. Back to business.” She shoos them away from the monitor. “We still have work to do.”

“So does Shockwave apparently,” Firestar says in a not at all whisper to Chromia. They laugh.

Elita sighs again.

[IDW] Of Monsters and Mechs

In his dreams, Terminus was alive, but never the way Megatron remembered him.

Fond warmth turned to icy horror as the war dragged on, Terminus shaping himself into a monster in Megatron’s recharge.

A shambling Empty with black optical sockets, rending claws, and dripping rust. Pawing at Megatron, mouth agape, so hungry. Denta sharp, like a scraplet, and thirsting for Megatron’s energon. Tearing away his armor, tearing into him, sucking the very life out of him.

Or a Sparkeater made of angles and teeth, his field one of raw hunger, his spark core dark, electric fire crackling over his scorched armor. His fingers turned to talons and his voice a song that haunted Megatron’s audials, while a handful of flexible tentacles wrapped around Megatron, drawing him in, closer and closer.

Or even a Dead Zone abomination, his touch as cold as liquid nitrogen, oily ooze seeping from his seams and tainting Megatron’s own, his optics as red as coals, his glossa snaking over his lips as he rasped, “make me whole, Megatron.”

And worse of all, Terminus was sometimes whole and hale, young and vibrant, holding Megatron close, nuzzling against his face, whispering sweetly in his audial. Fingers stroked ever so gentle, a fusion cannon gleaming on his left arm, his field a warm embrace, as he murmured so soft and silky, “Thief.”

Traitor.

MURDERER.

Megatron onlined in a burst, night after night. He trembled, defense protocols humming, his spark throbbing.

He could still feel the deadly kiss of nightmarish fangs, the pleasure-pain grip of thorny tentacles, the icy embrace.

Traitor…

Megatron buried his face in his hands. Night after night, Terminus became a monster of the worse kind.

Just like the one Megatron saw in the mirror.

 

[G1] Compliments

“My, but you make a pretty pet,” Mirage murmured as he dragged his fingertrips over the crown of Tracks’ helm.

Tracks’ engine purred. His optics glowed a bright, adoring blue. He tilted his helm into Mirage’s caress, flourishing under the compliment.

It was one he richly deserved. His plating shone with a healthy, unmarred gleam. The platinum collar around his neck was so polished that Mirage could see his reflection in it. But the true marvel was the delicate chain connected to the loop at the front. It twinkled in the overhead light.

Tracks was amazingly well-behaved. He didn’t need a leash for behavior correction. Mirage simply enjoyed having both for the aesthetic.

Mirage smiled down at his pet and gave the leash a gentle pull.

“Come on then, pretty one,” Mirage murmured and turned toward the berth. “I find I’m in need of some service. My valve, especially, remembers the feel of your glossa.”

Tracks’ faceplate lit with joy, his field buzzing with eager delight. He said nothing — pets did not speak after all — but he licked his lips and rose on hands and knees to follow Mirage.

That, in itself, was approval enough.

[IDW] Aggressive Foreplay

For once, the crunch-growl-snap-snarl in the conference room had nothing to do with Starscream. Though it you asked him, this didn’t please the mercurial Seeker at all. In fact, he stood removed from the action, his arms folded over his cockpit, his optics narrow slits of displeasure.

Meanwhile, in the center of the room, Megatron and Deadlock clashed as though they truly meant to kill one another. Energon spattered the ground around them. One console lay in a sparking ruin. Laserfire pockmarked the ceiling.

It was a miracle no one had been injured yet.

Deadlock bared his denta, snarling like a feral beast.

Megatron laughed, his optics bright and fierce.

They came together again, palm to palm, Deadlock much smaller, his feet screeching across the floor as Megatron forced him back.

“Yield!” the Decepticon Lord demanded, his field lashing the room with excitement and lust.

Deadlock laughed, a dark sound. “You haven’t earned it yet,” he said, and broke off the hold, ducking under and out from Megatron’s sweeping reach. His ventilations stuttered, his own field thick with play and desire. He had no weapons, these had already been crushed by one of Megatron’s massive feet. Instead, he used his smaller size to his advantage, darting always just out of reach.

This would have infuriated Megatron if he were anyone else. But Deadlock occupied a unique position at Megatron’s side. And in his berth.

There was no question who would win in the end, and who would be tossed over the table and fragged until his vocalizer glitched.

But half the fun was in the challenge. It wasn’t about winning or losing.

It was all about playing the game.

[TF] Tricks of the Trade Addendum

The last thing Sunstreaker expected when he returned to the room he shared with Starscream, was to find the charity case sprawled out on Starscream’s berth, napping away as if unaware of the world around him.

The flame-painted newbie was taking up an obnoxious amount of space. He was clean, though his paint was atrociously scuffed and dinged and dented. Sunstreaker itched just to look at him. Snuffling vents indicated he was in recharge, or at least a low-level power down.

What the frag was he doing here? And where was Starscream?

The door to their private ‘rack opened, answering his unvoiced question. Starscream came sauntering out, still a bit damp in the seams from his rinse, a puff of steam accompanying his exit. Liked it scalding, his Seeker did.

“Welcome back!” Starscream said brightly, striding right up to Sunstreaker and giving him a peck on the cheek. “Good client?”

“A regular,” Sunstreaker answered. He tipped his head toward the berth. “What’s he doing here?” On Starscream’s berth. Where Sunstreaker had intended to recharge tonight, because he really wanted to be cuddling his Seeker.

Starscream’s gaze flicked toward the berth. “Recharging, it looks like.”

Sunstreaker rolled his optics. “Yes, I know that. I meant ‘why is he doing that here?’ He has his own room.”

Starscream shrugged, his wings giving offhand flicks, as he spun on a heelstrut and moved toward his berth. “I couldn’t very well leave him alone in his room after we shared a client.”

“Uh. Why not? There’s no rule that says you have to keep any strays who wander your way.” Sunstreaker folded his arms over his chestplate.

He glared as Rodimus made a small, almost cute noise, turning over on the berth toward where Starscream had leaned a hip against it. He nuzzled the pillow.

Starscream’s gaze turned toward Rodimus, and there it was. A hint of fondness in his expression. “I’ll not use him and then toss him aside,” he said. “That’s not how we treat one another.”

Sunstreaker gritted his denta. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

He was treated to a sharp look in return. “I know exactly what you meant.” Starscream hefted himself onto his berth, nudging Rodimus with a hand to the newbie’s shoulder. “Come on, brat. Make some room.”

“Nnn.” Rodimus’ optics brightened as he rolled over onto his back. “You’re making too much noise,” he grumbled.

“Because you should be in your own room,” Sunstreaker bit out.

Rodimus’ optics fully brightened. “I was invited,” he said.

“Then consider yourself uninvited.”

Starscream rolled his optics. “Ignore him, Rodimus. He doesn’t get to decide who recharges in my berth.” He tossed his head and gave Sunstreaker a haughty look. “You have your own berth. You’re welcome to use it.”

This was decidedly unfair. Sunstreaker was exhausted, drained all the way to his spark. All he wanted to do was come back to his room, curl up next to his Seeker, and soak up Starscream’s warmth as they recharged. Together. He had not wanted to come back to find a usurper in their room.

Sunstreaker gnawed on the inside of his cheeks, biting back the urge to whine. Starscream was right, of course. They were roommates and only just. Sunstreaker had no business telling Starscream who could be in his berth, and he couldn’t make demands to put himself there either.

He couldn’t claim Starscream. He already knew that. He just hated the reminder.

“Fine,” Sunstreaker said, forcing the word out and knowing he sounded juvenile for it. “Do what you want.” He unfolded his arms and stalked toward his own berth. His far too large and cold and empty berth.

That was good though. In a way. Clearly, he’d gotten too close. He needed to remember what they were really doing here.

Starscream was his roommate. His good friend, and Sunstreaker felt much, much more. But the truth remained. Starscream would leave eventually, and Sunstreaker would remain, because that was the way things were.

“You know, this is a pretty big berth.” Rodimus’ half-amused, half-taunting tone made Sunstreaker pause and turn toward them.

The little sneak’s lips were curved in a smile and he looked far too smug for Sunstreaker’s comfort.

“I’m well aware of that,” Sunstreaker snapped. “But I don’t want your pity, and I don’t want you offering what’s not yours to give.”

Starscream rolled his optics and slid off the berth. “You can be so difficult sometimes, you know that?”

Yes, actually, he did know that. Had Starscream missed the fact that until he came along, Sunstreaker couldn’t manage to keep a roommate?

“This berth is big enough for the three of us,” Starscream added as he slid into Sunstreaker’s personal space, his field preceding him, warm with exasperation and affection. “Besides, I thought you might give him a repaint in the morning.”

Sunstreaker’s optics widened. “And you didn’t think I’d have a problem with this at all?” he demanded. “You didn’t ask me or even warn me!”

“You were with a client.” Starscream shrugged and something in his expression turned sly. “And you can’t tell me you’re not itching to fix it anyway.”

Sunstreaker folded his arms and angled his frame away from Starscream. “That’s not the point.” He sniffed.

Starscream chuckled and leaned in closer, until the heat and scent of him flooded Sunstreaker’s senses. “I know. Now come on, come to berth with me. He’s actually not that bad beneath the bluster.”

“That’s not the point either,” Sunstreaker muttered. His optics cut to Rodimus, but the newbie didn’t say anything. Just lay there on the berth, lips curved in a half-smirk, watching them intently.

Starscream kissed him on the cheek again, his lips lingering. “Join me if you want. The invitation is there.” He rested his hand on Sunstreaker’s arm, giving it a squeeze. “I’ll even make sure you don’t have to touch him.”

Sunstreaker turned his head quickly, catching Starscream’s mouth for a kiss. He unfolded his arms, cupping Starscream’s face with one hand, as Starscream’s lips pressed firmly against his, a glossa joining the fray. Starscream leaned against him, all warmth and buzzing field.

Sunstreaker caved.

“Fine,” he said against Starscream’s lips, his thumb sweeping over his Seeker’s cheeks. “I’ll join you.”

Starscream nuzzled him. “And you’ll paint him in the morning?”

Sunstreaker sighed. “Can’t have anyone walking out of my quarters looking like that. People might think I was letting my quality standards slip.”

“And we can’t have that.” Starscream chuckled and brushed their lips together. “Now come on. I can tell how exhausted you are by your field. You need to be recharging, not sulking.” He took Sunstreaker’s hand and tugged him.

“Wasn’t sulking,” Sunstreaker retorted.

“You definitely were,” Rodimus piped up.

Sunstreaker glared. But he let Starscream tug him toward the berth, and onto it. Rodimus shifted over, making more space, and Starscream lowered himself to his front in the middle, leaving room for Sunstreaker on his right. It was good enough, he supposed, even though he’d rather Starscream recharge on top of him like usual.

Better than sleeping alone.

He just hoped this wasn’t the beginning of a habit. Sunstreaker didn’t want to share. He only had Starscream for so long, after all. For a limited definition of the word ‘had’ anyway.

The lights dimmed. Rodimus boldly snuggled up to Starscream’s side, tossing Sunstreaker a triumphant look.

Fragger. If Sunstreaker didn’t have so much pride in his own work, he’d slag the brat’s paint up something awful tomorrow.

Sunstreaker edged closer to Starscream and tangled their legs together. He wasn’t defeated.

Starscream was still his Seeker for a little while yet. And he’d indulge for as long as he could.

[TCL] It All Fell Down II

When Soundwave slides him a datapad, wordless and his expression-less face saying as much as his field, Megatron feels a shudder roll through him.

Part of him doesn’t dare turn it on. A larger, angrier part of him flicks the power button with a viciousness he usually reserves for the Prime’s cronies.

The screen flickers before a series of image captures comes into view. They are surveillance footage of the battle yesterday; he recognizes the date and time stamp, not to mention the landscape.

It had been chaotic. How Soundwave had managed to pluck these images from what had to be a mess of data, Megatron doesn’t know. He almost wishes Soundwave were a little less diligent. Or perhaps it’s for the best.

Megatron would have had to face this sooner or later. Better now, when he can have the illusion of privacy to put himself back together.

The datapad crackles in his grip. A hairline fracture splits across the screen, though it neatly avoids the image of his lover, of Sunstreaker, with that badge on his chest. Autobot red, so bright and fresh. He’s got his blaster raised to one opponent, while his energy sword impales another – both Decepticons. Megatron’s own troops. Soldiers Sunstreaker had once fought beside.

The anger is encompassing. The fury Megatron expects.

But beneath it is hurt. Betrayal.

The datapad cracks further. The screen flickers.

Now, Sunstreaker fights alongside his brother, for Megatron recognizes the crimson frame beside him, also marked with the badge of the Senate, the Prime. Sideswipe had never liked him. Had often sneered up at Megatron, blaming him for Sunstreaker’s choices.

Megatron hisses through his denta. He clenches his jaw, tastes fury on his glossa. His spark shrinks and contracts.

The datapad snaps in half, the split jagged and rough, bits of microchips peeking out and the glass of the screen tinkling to the floor. How appropriate.

Megatron’s ventilations are ragged. He is glad that Soundwave had brought this to him in private. In his quarters. Not the one he shared with Sunstreaker. No, he abandoned those the very morning he woke to find Sunstreaker gone. For all he knows, one of his Decepticon soldiers now stays in that suite.

Soundwave remains silent. There is no judgment in his stare or his field. He has always disapproved of Sunstreaker. He could say all manner of things, including ‘I told you so’ and Megatron couldn’t fault him for it.

Soundwave says nothing.

Megatron’s hands shake.

He turns, grabs a wastebasket, and dumps the two halves of the broken datapad into it. “I trust there was no other sensitive information on it?”

“Negative.”

Wise.

But then, Soundwave has always been.

“Orders?”

Megatron startles. He leans forward, braces his weight on the desk. He stares at his dark screen, and his own reflection in it. He looks harsher, more severe. He doesn’t know if it’s because Sunstreaker left, or if that’s the reason why.

Soundwave shifts in his peripheral vision, barely a motion. He waits. He’s patient. He needs an answer.

“Capture if at all possible,” Megatron says. “But…”

He’ll fight, Megatron reminds himself. He will fight, and he will struggle, and he will kill anyone who threatens him. Sunstreaker is an injured predator when cornered. He lashes out, beyond reason, beyond rational thought.

Megatron’s head bows.

“I’ll see no Decepticons harmed,” he says as his fingers scrape furrows into the metal of his desk.

He can’t be selfish. Otherwise, he’ll find himself no better than the establishment he seeks to tear down. He reminds himself that Sunstreaker left of his own accord. Megatron is under no duty to keep him safe or protect him. Sunstreaker lost that right when he crept out of their suite and left everything behind without so much as a parting note.

“No,” Megatron says with another shake of his head, as if he can shake the emotions and all associated with them out of his processor, out of his spark. “I cannot be impartial in this, Soundwave.”

He turns his head, looks at his most loyal soldier. “Make the call. Do not tell me.”

Soundwave’s visor flashes. “Understood.”

It is a cowardly action, Megatron knows. But Soundwave holds no blame in his gaze, or his field. Not castigation either. Only a calm, blank slate.

How easy it must be for him.

Megatron turns away, bows his head once more. “Thank you,” he murmurs. “For the information. Now leave me. I require privacy.”

Soundwave bows, a shallow, short motion, before he spins on a heelstrut and leaves. The silence of his absence wraps around Megatron like the suffocating dark of the mines. Without Soundwave, he can hear his own ventilations, so rapid and shuddery. He can hear the clattering of his armor.

He can feel the tightness of his spark, as though it is shrinking into nothingness, and stealing the beats of life from him at the same time. His world narrows down, tunnels to a dark twirl. He doesn’t see his computer, his desk, his quarters – all grey and utilitarian, perfect for the rebellion leader who is one with his people.

No wealth. No grandiose belongings. He is as common as those he leads.

He’s alone. Abandoned.

That’s the choice Sunstreaker made.

And so, Megatron must make one for himself.

His datanet chimes. There’s an incoming announcement across the Decepticon intranet, kept secure thanks to Soundwave’s expertise. Back to work then, Megatron thinks. There are things to do.

Megatron opens the file, and the moment his processor properly registers the simple declaration, he laughs.

He laughs until he feels like he’s broken, until it turns to something closer to a sob that he’s so fragging glad no one can hear of him.

“Capture not kill.”

Soundwave knows him so well.

Too well perhaps.

He is not worthy of this loyalty.

Megatron grinds his denta until he tastes the energon. His fingers ache where he peels into the desk top. He stares at himself in his monitor, and sees the Decepticon leader who has earned Soundwave’s trust.

He is not worthy.

But he will be.

Sunstreaker has made his choice.

And so has Megatron.