[G1] Before the Thunder 03

The shiver crawling up his spine was Soundwave’s only indication he was not only no longer alone, but he was being stalked as well. He could feel the incisive gaze boring into him, felt the menace lurking in the intensity of the stare.

He stopped mid-stride, head swiveling toward a nearby alley, choked with shadows and debris, and no one. He didn’t for one second think it wasn’t occupied. That he was within a block of Bluestreak’s apartment wasn’t a coincidence.

He knew what danger skulked in the night.

“State purpose,” Soundwave said to the dark.

His shoulder itched for his sonic cannon, but like all of his other visible weapons, it was at home, in his weapons locker. All he could rely on now was centuries of hand to hand and a talent which had made him infamous.

A chuckle slithered out of the dim. “My, my Sounders. You’re getting better at that.” The voice crawled into Soundwave’s audials and made itself a home.

Jazz melted out of the dark, not a wisp of biolight or optical brightness to be found. How he could hide that much white, Soundwave would never know. He suspected Jazz had camouflaging paint, the sort controlled by nanites, that helped him change his colors at will. He wouldn’t be the first spy to rely on deception and tricks.

“What gave me away?” Jazz asked, his vocalizations just shy of a purr.

Jazz started to circle Soundwave, and no fool, Soundwave slowly shifted to maintain optical contact. He didn’t trust Jazz anywhere behind him.

“Menace,” Soundwave replied.

Jazz chuckled. “Ya could taste it, huh? Good.” His glossa swept over his lips, and his grin was sharp, for all that his denta were blunt. “So I know where you’re going, and I know why. I just thought I’d give you a little warning before I let you on your way.”

Soundwave tilted his head. “Threats defy treaty.”

“I didn’t say I was threatening you. Geez, Soundwave. Don’t put words into my mouth. That’s kind of rude.” Jazz’s laughter was harsher than it should be. He looked up at Soundwave, hands on his hips, smug and sure. “I’m just making sure we have an understanding.”

“No harm intended to Bluestreak,” Soundwave replied.

“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear.” Jazz lifted a hand, rapped the back of his knuckles on Soundwave’s empty dock. “Because you’re sincere, right? This isn’t some twisted game to break his spark. You want what he has to offer. And you ain’t gonna hurt him on purpose.”

Concern leaked into the edges of Jazz’s field. This was a warning, yes. Threat, too. But for good reason. Jazz cared for Bluestreak. That much was obvious. They were partners, maybe not monogamous, but they meant something to one another.

Soundwave dipped his head. “Affirmative.”

Jazz’s grin slid into something more genuine. “Then I guess that makes us friends.” He backed up a pace, tucking his hand back on his hip. “Have fun tonight. And tell Blue I said hello.”

Soundwave never took his gaze off Jazz as he edged around the saboteur and continued down the recently repaved road. Jazz watched him the entire time, that grin on his face, a glint in his visor. And when Soundwave looked away only for a moment, just to make sure he was going in the right direction, Jazz vanished, back into the shadows which birthed him.

The chill clotted his hydraulic fluid.

Warning received.

He hurried to Bluestreak’s apartment, pinging the door to announce his arrival. Jazz’s delay had cooled his eagerness, but the moment the door slid open and Bluestreak appeared in the opening, it all came flooding back. Anticipation coiled like a hot hunger
in his tanks, and it took several long moments for his vocalizer to engage.

“You’re right on time!” Bluestreak said with a blinding smile. “Come on in.” He stepped aside, leaving room for Soundwave to enter.

Soundwave moved into the well-lit space, lights giving off a warm glow, and the front room filled with plush surfaces. There was a large entertainment center and a couch designed for a mech with sensory panels. An empty space in the middle of the room suggested it was occasionally occupied by something. Doors to the other rooms were closed.

“You found it okay? Wait, why am I even asking you that. Of course you did. You’re Soundwave.” Bluestreak chuckled and the door slid shut, beeping to indicate it was locked. “Have a seat wherever you want. Whatever makes you comfortable.”

“Preference to stand,” Soundwave replied, his spark hammering faster in his chassis, a thrill running across his armor.

Bluestreak shrugged. “Suit yourself. I have some energon in the cupboard if you’re running low.”

Soundwave shook his head. It felt like the moments were being stretched out on purpose, and now he waited on bolts and brackets, for this thing that had always been nothing more than a dream.

“Fuel adequate.”

Bluestreak gave him a long look. He moved to stand in front of Soundwave, his arms folded under his bumper. “Did you review the materials I sent you?”

In depth. Soundwave had read them twice, just to ensure his understanding. He’d devoured every page, every line, an enthusiasm building in his spark and desire licking like lightning through his sensory net.

“Affirmative.”

Bluestreak’s optics narrowed. His field flickered, pressing inward as though it were surrounding Soundwave, choking him, claiming him. It was thick and heavy and far stronger than it had any right to be.

It was chastisement, as much as any clipped word would be. Soundwave knew, immediately, what mistake he’d made.

Soundwave worked his intake. “Yes.”

The weight of Bluestreak’s field eased. “Good. And did you understand everything? Do you have any questions? Is there anything you’re uncertain about? You can ask me anything anytime, but I want to make sure you know the basics right now before we start.”

Soundwave’s hands began to tremble. “Comprehension ob–” He paused at Bluestreak’s glare and dipped his head. “I understand.”

“I can see that you do.” Bluestreak’s voice dipped in timbre, to something lower, resonating better in Soundwave’s sensitive audials. “I have five rules, Soundwave. Five unbreakable rules. Three of which are general. And two are specific to you. If you aren’t willing to agree to these five rules, then whatever this is can’t happen. Understand?”

Soundwave worked his intake. He nodded.

“Verbal consent,” Bluestreak urged.

Soundwave’s hands drew into fists. They loosened. “I understand.”

“Good.” Bluestreak uncrossed his arms and looked up at Soundwave. “First, my general rules. Number one, nothing we do together under the terms of our contract is to be discussed outside of our partnership unless agreed upon beforehand. Number two, you will refer to me as ‘sir’ or ‘master’ unless otherwise indicated. And lastly, you will use your safeword if you need to. No exceptions. Clear?”

Simple rules. Safe rules. Easy enough to agree to.

The heat building in Soundwave’s lines turned to a boil, filling his internals. His fans kicked on, but hopefully, too quiet for Bluestreak to hear. Bluestreak’s firm tone, his uncompromising resolve, the command in his optics… it made Soundwave’s knees wobble.

“I will agree,” Soundwave said, forcing the words past static in his vocalizer and the spinning of the status quo in his processor.

Bluestreak smiled and stepped closer, his fingertips brushing over Soundwave’s dock. “Good. Because I, in turn, agree to follow those terms as well. I can keep a secret, as you well know, and I vow to always heed your safeword. That, Soundwave is how we start to build trust.”

He couldn’t stop looking at Bluestreak’s fingers. His sensors strained toward the light touch, barely tangible, but commanding for it.

“And the other rules?” Soundwave asked.

Bluestreak’s fingers rapped a light rhythm on Soundwave’s dock. “You will always come alone. I expect there to be no cassettes in your dock during a session. This is not a group effort.”

Fair enough.

“And lastly, this belongs to me.” Bluestreak’s fingers dragged up, until they brushed over Soundwave’s mouthguard, feather light. “The moment you step into my domain, this is mine. You will remove it. I don’t want to see it. I will know, by your behavior, that it’s your submission to me. Your agreement. Understand?”

Soundwave answered by sliding his mouthplate aside, baring the lower half of his face to the warmth of the room, and the delicate touch of Bluestreak’s fingertips. He smelled of gunoil and polish, of sticky-sweet treats and the tang of rust crumbles. He smelled good enough to taste, and Soundwave longed to wrap his glossa around the tip of them.

He refrained.

Bluestreak’s smile curved into devious angles. “Oh, you’re perfect, did you know that?” he murmured as his thumb stroked Soundwave’s bottom lip. “You say you’re new to this, but you seem to know all the right things to do. Maybe it just comes natural to you. It does to some mechs, and that’s okay. Everyone marches to their own beat.”

Soundwave’s engine rumbled. His ex-vents quickened, puffing over Bluestreak’s fingers from his slightly parted lips. He held Bluestreak’s gaze, feeling as though the weight of it was a command in itself.

“More?” Soundwave asked hopefully, Bluestreak’s thumb bobbing where it rested on his bottom lip.

Bluestreak chuckled. “Yes. Eventually.” His hand slid away, and Soundwave immediately mourned the loss. “But we’re going to start simple and easy. Slow and careful. And I’ve got a contract I want you to look over a little later, to decide your dos and donts. Trust is the most important thing.”

“Agreed,” Soundwave replied, and the heat boiled under his armor, static in his lines and crowding around his spark. “For now?”

“For now I want you to kneel,” Bluestreak said and pointed to the floor in front of him. “I want to see how well you respond to commands. What really revs your engines and turns you inside out.”

A keen almost slipped out of Soundwave’s intake. He started to lower himself before Bluestreak even finished talking, joints creaking and hydraulics hissing as he knelt, arms at his sides, his face tilted up toward Bluestreak. Like this, Bluestreak was taller, but Soundwave did not feel threatened. He felt owned. Possessed. Mastered.

Worries slid off his shoulders. Heat pooled in his tanks, warming his entire frame. His spark rippled.

“Good pet,” Bluestreak murmured, his optics warm and approving. He lifted a hand and Soundwave didn’t so much as flinch, instead leaning eagerly into the palm that rested on top of his head. “Your safe word is whirlwind. If at any point you become uncomfortable, stressed, or just want to stop for any reason, all you have to do is say it.”

Bluestreak’s hand was a warm, welcome weight. Both gentle and commanding all at once, it sent a flicker of peace through Soundwave’s frame, a tide of warmth that boiled him over and soothed the tremors of his spark.

Soundwave dimmed his visor and focused on Bluestreak’s voice, the soft cadence of it, and the press of Bluestreak’s field, wrapping around him like a blanket. It felt like relief, like coming home, like everything he never knew he needed until it was right in front of him.

All he had to do was seize it.

Soundwave ex-vented and sank into the kneel.

“Yes, sir.”

Advertisements

[G1] Before the Thunder 02

There was a certain ambient noise present in any bar, the volume of it varying by patronage. Visages was a mid-range lounge, casual conversation just low enough to hear the music pumping through the speakers, and the clink of glass on tabletops. So when silence descended throughout the space, it was enough to make Bluestreak’s armor crawl.

He finished mixing a Toxic Turnover and turned around, optics and sensory panels both scanning the bar to find the reason why. When Bluestreak found it, standing by the door awkwardly like he wasn’t sure what he was doing here, he almost dropped the finished drink.

What in Unicron’s rusted undergarments was Soundwave doing here? He wasn’t known for socializing or going to bars. And yes, Visages was welcoming to all types, former Autobots and Decepticons and Neutrals. But the only member of command of any faction to ever pass through those doors was Jazz, and no one blinked twice at that. It was just who Jazz was.

Soundwave was, as Jazz would say, a whole different kettle of fish.

Bluestreak watched, as did everyone else in the bar, as Soundwave gathered his wits about him and strode through the gawking crowd as if it didn’t bother him. He made a beeline for the bar, pulled out a stool, and sat himself carefully. If he noticed that the nearest mechs to the stool abruptly grabbed their drinks and made for an empty booth, he didn’t show it.

Bluestreak worked his intake and planted a smile on his lips. He slid the Toxic Turnover down to Sideswipe and grabbed the towel from his shoulder, hiding his nervousness by wiping his hands.

“Welcome to Visages,” he said cheerfully as he approached Soundwave, given that his other bartender seemed to have vanished the moment Soundwave appeared. Knew how to clear a room, he did. “What can I get for you?”

Soundwave stared at him for a long moment before he rested his arms on the counter. His mouthguard slid open, baring the lower half of his face to the room.

Bluestreak froze and would only later admit to staring under torture. Soundwave… was pretty. He’d imagined a scarred, horrifying visage. And yes, there were scars. Small ones, like little knifemarks around Soundwave’s lips and cheeks, but they didn’t detract from his appearance. His lips were ones Bluestreak could easily imagine sliding his thumb between. His cheeks tinged a pale blue as if he were blushing.

“–please.”

Soundwave gave his order, and Bluestreak hadn’t heard it. He was too busy ogling. He forced himself back into awareness, coughing a ventilation.

“Sorry, didn’t catch that,” he said with forced cheer, because now everyone in Visages was staring for an entirely different reason. “The noise, you know. What did you want?”

Soundwave shifted on the stool, as if he felt the weight of the stares. “Maccadam’s Special.”

“Simple enough. I’ll get right to it.” Bluestreak grinned a service-grin and whipped around, trying to hide the heat in his cheeks. Damn but Soundwave was pretty.

And it was just weird that he was here. In a bar. Ordering engex. Granted, the Maccadam’s Special was the most basic, least intoxicating drink on the menu, outside of a Weak Spritzer, but still. Soundwave wasn’t one known to desire socializing, and he hadn’t even brought any of his cassettes with him.

Did he even have friends?

Behind Bluestreak, the ambient noise picked up again, now low murmurs rather than the excited conversation it had been before. It was better than the silence, but only just. If Soundwave realized the effect he had on the patrons, he didn’t show it.

There was a treaty, so Soundwave wasn’t here to attack. Or at least Bluestreak hoped not. Soundwave was pretty loyal to Megatron, and was the last ‘Con Bluestreak expected to go against Megatron’s wishes. He wasn’t disallowed from coming into Visages either so he had every right to be here. It was just… weird.

Bluestreak poured the Special into a tall glass and turned back toward Soundwave, sliding it across the counter for him. “Should I, uh, start a tab or…?” He left the question open-ended, hoping to get more conversation out of the mech.

“Tab unnecessary,” Soundwave replied and offered a cred chip to Bluestreak. “Change unnecessary also.”

“Uh, thanks. I guess.” Bluestreak slid the chip into the reader at the register, and nearly boggled at the tip Soundwave offered him.

That was an absurd amount of creds. What the frag was Soundwave’s angle here? Well, his drinks were covered for the rest of his night either way.

The door opened again, with a loud bang, and Bluestreak nearly jumped.

“The fun has arrived!” Jazz announced loudly as he strode inside, hands in the air and a grin on his lips.

His arrival shattered the tension. Or cracked it any rate. More of the ambient noise returned, almost to a normal level. It was as if the patrons felt safer around Soundwave now that Jazz was here.

Jazz, who made a beeline to the bar, pulled out an empty stool beside Soundwave, and clambered up into it. “Sounders! Look at you, socializing with the common folk. I’m proud of you.” He slapped Soundwave’s shoulder, and Bluestreak’s vents caught in his intake.

Soundwave cringed, his mouth turning downward before he buried it behind his glass. He subtly inched away from Jazz, not that it made much difference.

“Hey Baby Blue,” Jazz continued as he rapped his hands on the counter in a playful beat, his visor bright and his grin a little too forced. “How’s it hanging?”

Bluestreak narrowed his optics. “Why do I feel like you’re up to no good right now?” He might have put a touch of a growl to his vocals, enough for Jazz to know he meant business.

His former commander, often lover, and occasional sub, just smirked and leaned an elbow on the counter, propping his chin into his hand. “I am nothing but good, sweetspark.” He flashed his visor in a wink. “Can I get a Pretty Prime?”

Bluestreak snorted. “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Optimus about that.” He rolled his optics and turned back to the cabinet, sifting through the bottled brews for the one Jazz favored. “I don’t think he’s your type.”

“And sadly, he’s taken.” Jazz sighed theatrically. “What’s a mech gotta do to get a hot date around here? A thousand or so mechs on Cybertron and not a single love match to be found. Isn’t that right, Sounders?”

Jazz jostled Soundwave with his elbow, and Soundwave’s shoulders hunched. He curled around his drink, hardly touched, mouth twisted into a moue of aggravation.

Bluestreak pulled the cap off the brew and handed it to Jazz. “Maybe that’s because you’re not looking in the right places.”

Jazz barked a laugh. “You’re probably right about that, Blue. But hey, Sounders. Get this. If there’s someone around here who has no problem getting a date, it’s Baby Blue. Mechs love ‘im. He’s even got a stalker!”

Bluestreak sighed. He hadn’t believed it when Jazz sent him that message late last night. Of course, Bluestreak knew he’d been surveilled by someone, but a secret admirer? It sounded absurd, like some cheesy romantic comedy. If it wasn’t for the fact that Jazz knew better, Bluestreak would have thought it a tasteless joke.

“Can we not talk about that?” he asked as he wiped the bartop with his rag, though it wasn’t at all dirty. “I don’t like thinking about some creep out there following me.”

He glanced down the bar, but Riptide had emerged from wherever he’d been hiding, and was now taking care of the other patrons. It was a slow night. Which meant Bluestreak could sit here and chat with Jazz if he wanted, as long as he helped anyone who came around.

Not like Mirage could pitch a fit anyway. They co-owned this place. Bluestreak had as much say in how it was run as Mirage did.

“Fair enough.” Jazz slurped down half of his brew and lounged against the bar, giving Bluestreak a dopey grin. “But you know I’d never let anyone hurt ya, right? It don’t matter who they are.”

Bluestreak blinked. That was an oddly… intense statement, backed up by the intense glimmer in Jazz’s visor, and the reach of his field. This was as much Fun Time Jazz as it was Third-in-Command Jazz.

“Yeah,” Bluestreak said. “I know.” He slung the towel back over his shoulder. “Let me know if you need anything else, okay? Both of you.” He cut a gaze toward Soundwave, but the mech was staring into his glass like it held the answers to the universe.

Weird.

Bluestreak shrugged and headed to the other end of the bar, where a rowdy trio of Neutrals were being obnoxious in their demands for more booze. Nope. They were cut off. Bluestreak didn’t need customers like them. Factions didn’t matter. Behavior did.

They complained, of course they did, but they dragged their afts out of his bar. Let them stagger on toward Swerve’s. That mech served anyone so long as they had creds. Then again, if Bluestreak had a bouncer like Whirl, maybe he’d tolerate the afts more, too.

As the three idiots schlepped out, a horde of new customers came rolling in, a crew of some kind, recently released from shift. They looked tired and thirsty, not the sort to be rowdy, but the sort to sit in a tired clump and spend lots of creds.

Well, there went the idea of loitering around Jazz and having a good conversation. Booming business was a good thing though. And it would keep his mind off of his “secret admirer”.

Bluestreak planted a smile on his face and moved to greet the new customers, preparing himself for a long night. A good one at least. No one here was the sort to cause problem. Not even Soundwave apparently.

All night, Soundwave was seeming content to sit at the bar and sip at his one drink. He didn’t interact with anyone, and the other patrons gave him a wide berth. Except for Jazz, who seemed to delight to carry on a one-sided conversation with Soundwave.

Up until Wheeljack came inside and gave Jazz such an exasperated look that Bluestreak felt a pang of sympathy. It was a look he often gave Jazz himself, especially when Jazz was being very disobedient. Which was often the case as Jazz enjoyed being punished.

Jazz left; Soundwave lingered. Alone, for the most part.

Engex gave mechs courage, not that Sideswipe needed any encouraging. He spied the vast bubble of emptiness around Soundwave and invited himself into one of the stools, half-soused as he babbled at Soundwave. Who bore it all in patient stride. Even as Sideswipe got more than a little, ah, handsy.

Bluestreak was two kliks from wandering over to save Soundwave, as all good bartenders do, when Sunstreaker showed up like a mech in sparkling gold armor. He hadn’t even needed to search the crowd to find his brother, stalking straight toward the bar with exasperation twisting his pretty lips.

Such a shame they hadn’t worked out, Bluestreak sighed to himself. Too much dom in the both of them. While it was occasionally fun to wrestle about in the berth, it was exhausting in the long run.

Sunstreaker exchanged a few words with Soundwave, perhaps deigning to apologize for his brother’s behavior, before he retrieved his drunk twin and dragged Sideswipe out. No one else dared approach Soundwave. Maybe that was for the best.

Bluestreak kept half an optic on Soundwave, making sure he didn’t need anything else, but for the most part, he stayed focus on his work. They were busy enough that both he and Riptide were kept hopping, and they ran out of several necessary supplies before closing time came around.

Exhaustion tugged at every cable and every strut. But it was the good kind of fatigue. The kind that signaled a job well done. It was better than war fatigue, staying up long past the limits of his processor, running on little energon and even less recharge. Living moment to moment, stress to stress, waiting for the floor to crack.

Riptide escorted the last of the patrons to the door as Bluestreak moved back behind the bar, taking stock of their depleted resources. The soft clink of a glass being placed on the bar attracted his attention. He blinked and turned around, optical ridges raised as he realized that one customer had lingered.

Soundwave.

“You know we’re closed now, right?” Bluestreak asked as he swept up the empty glass from the counter and slid it into the wash bin. “That’s usually the point when the customer leaves.”

Soundwave had yet to restore his battlemask, and another blush stained his cheeks. Embarrassed? Talk about weird. Bluestreak didn’t even know Soundwave could be embarrassed. He was the ice man, as Jazz put it.

“Assistance offered,” Soundwave said, and Bluestreak tried his best not to watch those pretty lips shape each word.

“For what? Last time I checked, Visages doesn’t have any need for a telepath, and Blaster already hooked us up with a state of the art sound system.” Bluestreak gathered more empty cups as he talked.

Soundwave shifted on the stool. “Cleaning needed.”

“You mean the bar? That’s what Riptide is for.” Bluestreak chuckled at his own joke, ignoring the derogatory gesture Riptide threw at him from across the room.

“I’m just picking up the chairs. I gotta date tonight, boss.” Another chair clattered to a tabletop. “I told you that earlier.”

Oh. Right. He had.

Primus, Bluestreak was losing his mind. First, he had forgotten his session with Jazz. That was horrible enough.

Bluestreak waved a hand. “Right, you’re right. Sorry, Rip. I forgot. Go on. I’ll take care of this.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Seems I got a volunteer anyway.” Bluestreak jerked a thumb toward Soundwave, who said nothing as he watched the interchange.

Riptide frowned. His gaze shifted to Soundwave in concern, but Bluestreak waved him on. Seriously. He could handle Soundwave, even if the mech was acting weird. He doubted Soundwave would do anything to upset Megatron anyway. Besides, he had Jazz and Prowl both on speed-dial.

And what was it Jazz had said? Prowl was itching to arrest a Decepticon. He’d probably show up here, guns blazing and handcuffs spinning from a finger before Bluestreak could get out the last few bleeps of a distress call.

“Go! If it’s with who I think it is, you don’t want to be late.” Bluestreak shooed him on, flapping his mesh cloth in Riptide’s direction.

Riptide hesitated again, but love conquered all apparently, because he grinned and shot Bluestreak a thumbs up. “Thanks, boss. You’re the best.”

Bluestreak chuckled. “Yeah, I am.”

Riptide saluted and scuttled out, leaving Bluestreak alone with Soundwave in the odd quiet of the bar. The music had been cut off – a sign to the customers that the lounge was closed.

“He’s been seeing Pipes for a while,” Bluestreak said, to fill the silence, as he snagged a bin from behind the counter and moved around the bar, gathering up abandoned cups and cubes. “They’re the cutest couple, I swear. Pipes is head over heels, and I think Riptide likes that Pipes looks at him with stars in his optics.”

He heard a scrape, and looked over to see Soundwave rising from his stool. He watched for a moment as Soundwave moved to pick up chairs and put them on the tables, as Riptide had been doing, all without a word. He was serious about helping apparently.

Bluestreak shrugged and got back to work. He wasn’t about to turn down free labor. Especially since he’d been left on his own. Riptide and Pipes though, they deserved that opportunity. With the war over, everyone deserved to capture what happiness they could, now that there was less chance of losing it.

“I think that’s what everyone is doing now,” Bluestreak continued, because he couldn’t abide by silence, and Soundwave wasn’t complaining. “We’re all allowing ourselves to have some kind of life. Mostly anyway. I’ll bet even you are.”

Silence.

“I know running a bar isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing to do in a post-war world, but I think it suits me.” Bluestreak dumped all the dirty dishes into the washer and arranged them. “I can’t imagine there’s anything else I could do. I didn’t have any skills when they pulled me out of the rubble. All I know now is killing. That’s no good in a post-war world.”

He started up the auto-washer and grabbed a spray bottle and a mesh cloth. He started to wipe down counters, sweeping metal flakes to the floor.

“Not much use for a sniper now. So I thought, what else can I do? What’s easy enough to learn? What use is there for a mech who only knows war and talks too much and still can’t sleep without a light on. Oh, sorry. Recharge. Then Mirage suggested this. He thought it would be good for me. I figured I’d give it a shot.”

Bluestreak shrugged and smiled softly. “Turns out, I’m actually pretty good at it. I listen as well as I talk and everyone likes a chatty bartender. It’s a good job.” He paused as he concentrated on scrubbing at a stain. “It’s a pretty good life. All things considered. Even if some weirdo is stalking me.”

“Apologies.”

Bluestreak blinked and looked up. Soundwave had finished lifting the chairs and now stood in front of the bar, right where Bluestreak was standing. He’d found the broom and dustpan, too, and clutched the handles of both as though they were a lifeline.

“For helping me close? That’s a pretty silly thing to apologize for,” Bluestreak said with a laugh. Soundwave towered over him, but there was something in the way the mech held himself back that kept him from being threatening.

“Negative.” Soundwave’s head dipped a little, the light of his visor shifting away. His engine warbled an odd sound. “Bluestreak… interesting.”

Bluestreak stared. Was Soundwave admitting to what Bluestreak thought he was admitting to?

He braced his hands on the edge of the counter and stared up at Soundwave, narrowing his optics. “You want to tell me why you came here tonight?”

Soundwave’s lips pressed together. His field was nonexistent, giving Bluestreak nothing to work with. His armor had clamped to his frame, as though he expected to be attacked, which was ridiculous. There was no one else here, and Bluestreak was hardly a match for Soundwave if it came down to it.

His behavior was all too telling. Maybe he and Jazz were a lot more alike than they cared to admit.

Bluestreak squared his shoulders. He lifted his chin. “Let me rephrase,” he said slowly, enunciating each word. “Tell me why the frag you’re here.” He didn’t leave it as a question. He made it a command.

Soundwave’s intake bobbed. “… Partnership desired.”

… What? Was he serious?

Bluestreak stared at Soundwave, who wasn’t meeting his gaze, who suddenly snapped his battlemask shut. Out of embarrassment? Out of a sense of vulnerability? Both?

He tilted his head and rapped his fingers on the edge of the counter. He shouldn’t be so surprised, though that Soundwave would choose him of all mechs, that was the confusing part. And also, he could have sworn Soundwave was involved with Megatron. Though it did explain why he’d felt like he were being watched.

“Just to clarify, you mean that you want a relationship with me?” Bluestreak asked, careful to keep his tone firm. Soundwave seemed to respond best to that firmness. “And not one that involves business, but something personal. Something you think you can only get from me.”

“Affirmative.”

Bluestreak nibbled on his bottom lip. “Do you even understand what you’re asking for?”

Slowly, the light in Soundwave’s visor shifted toward Bluestreak, meeting his gaze with more courage than Soundwave had shown all evening. “Affirmative.”

Bluestreak narrowed his optics. “Stop that,” he demanded, the chastisement falling a little too easily from his lips. “If you’re going to talk to me, I want that mask gone. I want to know I’m talking to a person, not a machine.”

Silence.

Soundwave stared at him, even the sound of his ventilations stilled. His fingers curled tightly around the broom and dustpan.

And then his battlemask slid away, revealing the lower half of his face once more, the perfect shape of his lips, his cute nasal structure, the blush staining his cheeks. The visor remained, but Bluestreak wasn’t going to argue about that. Maybe it was permanent, maybe he couldn’t see without it.

A thrill chased itself around Bluestreak’s spark.

“So,” he said as his glossa swept over his lips, an unexpected hunger curling in his internals, like the first time Jazz had knelt for him. “You do understand.”

Soundwave’s head dipped minutely. He, too, wet his lips. Bluestreak tracked the motion of his glossa, the way it left a sheen of moisture behind.

“Why me?” Bluestreak asked as he dragged his optics back to Soundwave’s visor.

The flush deepened. It was unfairly cute. For a mech as dangerous as Soundwave to blush of all things, where Bluestreak lacked the words to describe how adorable that was.

Soundwave’s vents quickened. His armor fluttered. His mouth opened and closed, and his vocalizer clicked as though he was engaging it, but faltering in what to say.

Adorable.

Bluestreak leaned forward. “Maybe you don’t know the answer to that,” he murmured, keeping his tone warm and silken, sure to vibrate in Soundwave’s sensitive audials. “You want me to help you figure that out, don’t you?”

A shiver visibly raced across Soundwave’s armor. His head dipped, almost a bow. “… Yes,” he answered, his vocals no longer the dull monotone, but something soft and delicate.

Bluestreak almost groaned.

Jazz was as playful and disobedient as a sub could be. Bluestreak enjoyed their times together. He enjoyed twirling Jazz about his finger, and turning the saboteur into a sated mess. Mastery of Jazz was a special talent in itself.

But Soundwave…

Primus, was there ever a mech who radiated a need to be dominated more than him? It all but bled from his field, from his seams. He would submit beautifully. He would never be disobedient. He would take joy in it.

Bluestreak worked his intake. He mastered his fans, so the sound of them spinning faster wouldn’t be audible.

Caution lingered. Bluestreak might be tempted, but he didn’t trust Soundwave. He didn’t trust this.

He firmed his jaw and straightened, pinning Soundwave with a Look, one that never failed to weaken Jazz’s knees.

“We’re under a truce, a treaty, maybe even something that won’t get broken because of a standstill in negotiations, but I’m not stupid,” Bluestreak said as his doorwings flicked up and rigid, mimicking Prowl at his most stern.

He moved out from behind the bar, sliding through the swinging door, delighted as Soundwave turned to watch him. He was a natural at this. Training him would be easy.

“There’s a reason you’re tagged as a loyalist,” Bluestreak added as he moved closer, until he trapped Soundwave between himself and the bar.

Soundwave loomed over him. But Bluestreak still felt as though he were the only person in the room who was a threat. The dustpan rattled.

“Tell me I’m wrong,” Bluestreak purred.

Soundwave’s head dipped, as subordinate as he could be without kneeling. “Loyalty to Megatron separate from devotion to Master.”

“You think you can have both?”

“Yes.”

Bluestreak chuckled, but it wasn’t meant to be a sound of amusement. “Maybe you can. Since the war is over and all. You don’t have to choose. Unless Megatron tells you that you can’t. Regardless, I don’t trust you. And there can be no partnership without trust. It’s the golden rule. And lesson number one.”

“Lesson,” Soundwave echoed, and his engine rumbled. “Refusal or acceptance offered?”

Bluestreak’s lips curved into a smile. “We’ll see. One step at a time, I think. I’m intrigued at least. Though it could’ve started out better. I don’t particularly like being stalked.”

Soundwave’s head dipped further, as though he couldn’t meet Bluestreak’s optics. “I apologize. Soundw– I am unfamiliar with dating protocols.”

“Well, it’s a learning curve.” Bluestreak leaned in, a promise to touch that he didn’t deliver. “And I suspect you’re a fast learner. But for now, we have a lounge to clean and we both have some thinking to do.”

Soundwave’s fans stalled. “Understood.”

“And?” Bluestreak leaned in closer, his ex-vents fogging the clear transsteel of Soundwave’s dock.

A shiver fluttered through Soundwave’s armor. “Yes,” he said. “Sir.”

Bluestreak’s smile could not get any larger. Maybe this didn’t make sense. Maybe it was the weirdest thing to happen to him in ages.

And maybe he was going to dive head first into it, because why not? The war was over, probably for good. He was trying to move on, trying to learn what it meant to be live.

Might as well start with this.

[G1] Before the Thunder 01

It was with a skip in his step and anticipation in his spark that Jazz strolled through the corridors of the habitation wing, a grin on his lips that would have unsettled even the most stalwart of reformed Decepticon. Or supposedly at any rate. They were all of them, Autobot and Decepticon alike, reformed.

Jazz counted room numbers as he went, finding that the rhythm of it made for an almost song-like cadence, and when he arrived at the one he sought, pressed the buzzer with an urgency that betrayed his eagerness. He shifted from foot to foot, a whistle on his lips.

Some of that eagerness died, however, when the door opened and Jazz was met with a wave of field-led confusion. Judging also by the startled look on his face, Bluestreak had forgotten about their session for tonight, and that in itself was unusual enough to make Jazz concerned. Especially as Bluestreak sighed and palmed his face.

“I’m sorry, Jazz. I completely forgot. Things have just been pretty crazy here.”

“Things are always crazy, Blue,” Jazz replied with an easygoing grin, sliding into his investigative role like a second layer of armor. “It ain’t like ya to forget though. Frag, ya usually plan things down to the klik.”

A tired smile curved Bluestreak’s lips before he stepped aside, gesturing Jazz into his quarters. “I do my best. I want to be a good partner. That’s the reason I do that. Plus, for anxiety’s sake, I know a lot of mechs like to know what’s going to happen ahead of time. It’s about trust.”

“I know, Blue. It’s okay. I wasn’t complainin’.”

The door slid shut behind Jazz, tucking him into the quiet dim of Bluestreak’s quarters. Only a single lamp lit the main room, bathing the furniture in quiet shadows. Soft instrumental music played from the stereo system. There was a mound of fluffy pillows draped in soft blankets in the middle of the room.

Bluestreak’s calm down routine, Jazz knew it well. Concern notched into a higher level.

“Something up?” Jazz asked after he turned in a slow circle. He’d known something was wrong from the moment Bluestreak hadn’t appeared at his door at the appointed time, and hadn’t commed Jazz to let him know he was running late. Blue was many things, but irresponsible was not one of them.

He’d assumed that he’d confused where they were supposed to meet, and made his way to Bluestreak’s quarters instead.

Their plans for the evening, he now knew, were not going to happen. It was unfortunate, but Bluestreak couldn’t Dom if he had something else on his mind. It wasn’t safe for either of them.

“Maybe. I don’t know.” Bluestreak sighed and dropped down into his pile of comfort, sensory panels flicking aside at the last second to prevent a jarred hinge. His biolights glowed eerie red in the dim of the room. “I think maybe I’m going mad or I’m getting as paranoid as Red or maybe I’m inventing a problem because I’m not adapting to the peace.”

Jazz blinked behind his visor and plopped his aft on the low table near Bluestreak’s mound. Usually this would garner him a chastisement, but this time, nothing. Something was really wrong. So he leaned forward, elbows braced on his knees, and he pinned Bluestreak a look. Not sub to dom, but former commanding officer to former subordinate.

“Ya ain’t crazy, Blue. What’s going on?”

Bluestreak scrubbed at his chevron. “I don’t know. I thought I was imagining it at first, this feeling of being watched. It was only every now and again, and I figured, I was just antsy cause we were all on pins and needles after the signing of the first treaty, you know?”

Jazz nodded to show he was listening.

Bluestreak continued, “But it’s getting more and more frequent. I can’t ever see anybody looking at me and no one’s following me, but my panels are twitching, and I just feel like I’m being watched. It’s a prickle in my spinal strut and an itch in my processor.” He gnawed on his bottom lip and gave Jazz a hopeful look. “It’s not your team practicing on Praxians again, is it?”

“I wish it were, Baby Blue.” Anger stirred, rising in the pit of Jazz’s internals.

If it wasn’t his team, then there was only one other mech who could be responsible for lurking around Bluestreak where he couldn’t see them. Bluestreak had been trained by Smokescreen to detect spies, and by Prowl to be aware of his surroundings. He was one of the most difficult mechs to sneak up on, outside of Jazz’s own unit. No casual mech could do it.

And it wasn’t Jazz’s team.

Bluestreak’s engine gave a thin whine, a reedy sound of stress. “Of course it isn’t,” he said, hands gripping the back of his neck. “You’d give me warning. You know how I feel about that kind of thing. You wouldn’t do that to me.” He ex-vented, sharp and hot.

Jazz leaned forward, resting a hand on Bluestreak’s knee. “Blue, look at me.”

Optics shifted toward him, flickering around the edges. Bluestreak’s field was a jittery mess, and his armor had started clicking as it settled around his seams. Jazz hadn’t seen him like this in a while. Not since the height of the war, when they weren’t sure anyone was going to survive. Like when Bluestreak had been taken by the Cons, one of Megatron’s numerous bids to trade for energon, and he’d come back to them beaten and damaged, but was never willing to say if it was because of the battle, or if some of the Cons had gotten bored during guard duty.

“I’m going to figure this out for ya. I promise. You don’t have anythin’ to worry about, okay? I’m goin’ to take care of it.”

Bluestreak loosed a shuddery ventilation and offered a smile that didn’t reach his optics. “I should’ve just come to you first. I know that. I just didn’t want you to think…”

“That you were losing it? Never.” Jazz squeezed Bluestreak’s knee and extended his field, offering warmth and comfort. “It’s my turn to take care of you for a change. Alright?”

A small laugh spilled out of Bluestreak. “Alright.” Some of the tension eased out of his frame, his doorwings settling. He had every confidence Jazz would find an answer.

Meanwhile, Jazz buried the fury infesting his spark way down. He hid it behind a smile, one Bluestreak could probably read, but that was the level of trust between them. The anger would be his fuel.

It carried him out of Bluestreak’s quarters a few hours later, after he’d spent some time cuddling with Blue on the mound of comfort, trying to soothe the distressed rattles in Bluestreak’s field. He’d left Bluestreak snoozing in the pile, fleece blanket tucked around his frame, music quieted to the lowest setting meant to calm.

The anger propelled Jazz two streets over, into the residential district that was more Decepticon than Autobot, even though said divisions technically weren’t supposed to exist anymore. Like, however, called to like. And no matter the iron-clad treaty, trust wasn’t so easy to gain.

It sounded like a fairy tale almost.

Jazz went to the highest hab-suite in the highest reconstructed tower, which had nearly a three-hundred sixty degree view of the city they’d chosen to rebuild in. It was the kind of place that belonged to nobility and high caste, ages ago. Now it was a nest for Megatron’s favorite spymaster.

You could take the war away from the spymaster, but not the need to spy and surveil.

Jazz and Soundwave had been playing this game of tag for centuries. It had been a challenge, to creep around one another, spying without being seen, getting into places they shouldn’t. By all rights, Soundwave’s suite should be the most heavily guarded building in the entire city.

But maybe he’d been a little too busy spying on cute sniper’s just trying to get on with their lives. Maybe Soundwave had been too focused on his stalkery behavior to pay attention to security, because Jazz broke into Soundwave’s home with barely any effort.

Alright, so it took him ten minutes to shatter the encryption, but that was beside the point. Jazz invited himself inside, confirmed no one was home, rummaged about in Soundwave’s storage room and snagged a box of candies.

He sat down on the couch, propped his feet on the table – Bluestreak would have flogged him for that, damn Soundwave, Jazz missed out on some good whipping this evening – and waited. He turned on the vidscreen, found a music broadcast channel, and turned on some raging good beats. He ate two boxes of candies, the anger broiling and roiling inside of him, before someone finally came home.

Jazz didn’t move, though he tensed, defensive protocols spinning into action. It was never easy to gauge Soundwave’s reactions. He might shoot first and ask questions later via a little mind-probing.

The door opened and lights flooded the main room, illuminating Jazz on the couch. He popped another fizzy candy into his mouth, gaze pinned on Soundwave as he slipped inside and the door closed behind him. Jazz didn’t see any symbiotes, but that didn’t mean some of the brats weren’t tucked away inside Soundwave’s dock.

Jazz casually lifted a remote, clicked the vidscreen to mute. He tossed said remote onto the table, scraped his feet against the edge of the table, and narrowed the light of his visor.

“So,” Jazz said, enunciating the word with a pop of his lips. “Wanna tell me why you and yer little critters are stalking my boy Blue?”

Soundwave’s visor hardened. He stared at Jazz, pose relaxed, but there was menace coiled in it. He didn’t have his sonic cannon – terms of the treaty, no one was allowed to walk around visibly armed. His sonic cannon was in his berthroom. Jazz had already moved it elsewhere, just in case Soundwave got any ideas.

“Business mine,” Soundwave finally answered, vocals as steady as a cucumber and no hint of surprise in his field.

Cold as ice, that one.

Jazz popped another candy into his mouth and noisily crunched on it. “When it concerns my mechs, it becomes my business, too.” He crossed his ankles and tilted his head. Challenging.

Soundwave hadn’t moved from in front of the door. “Bluestreak not yours.”

“He is where it counts.” Jazz tossed the empty box onto the table and folded his hands over his abdomen. The fact that his hands were visible was a small concession. “Tell me why.”

Silence.

Soundwave stared at him as though he had lasers buried behind his visor. He shifted his weight, barely noticeable, but it was telling.

Was Soundwave nervous? No, it couldn’t be. Ashamed? A stretch.

Jazz sighed and abruptly sat up, his feet hitting the floor. “Alright then.” He slapped his thighs and stood up. “Guess I’ll just stroll right into Prowl’s office and let him know you’re violatin’ the terms of the treaty. He’s been itchin’ to catch a Con in the act. This’ll make his night.”

“Negative.” A single step forward. Panic?

Jazz rolled his neck and pinned Soundwave a look. “Then tell me.”

Soundwave’s weight shifted again. There was a flash of something in his field, there and gone again. He looked, of all things, like he was fidgeting. Which was not something Jazz had ever attributed to the stoic communications officer. Oh. Jazz had stumbled into something tasty here.

“Interest… personal,” Soundwave finally said, as though he’d had to force the words out, through a strangled vocalizer.

“Oh? Now I’m listening.” Jazz propped his hands on his hips, but didn’t sink back into the couch yet. The implied threat to play tattletale was still present. “Tell me more.”

Soundwave’s hands pulled in and out of fists. Another tell. Someone was off their game tonight. “No.”

Jazz laughed. “Oh, Sounders, that’s not how this game is played. You got an interest in my mech Blue and I gotta know why. I ain’t walking out that door still I get a satisfactory answer.” He tilted his head, let light flicker across his visor. “So either you tell me what I want to know, or my next stop is Prowl’s office. I know he’s still there. Silly mech always burns the midnight oil.”

Soundwave’s engine gave a little hitch. Indecision wrote into every clamped piece of armor. In the way Soundwave held himself, still as a statue. He stared at Jazz as though he could intimidate by glare alone. Yeah, that probably worked on a lot of mechs, who knew about Soundwave’s capabilities and feared them.

It didn’t work on Jazz. He just grinned, making sure to show denta. He was the shadow that crept in the night. He was the monster in the closet and under the berth. He wasn’t afraid of an emotionally stunted block of non-personality.

“I’m waiting,” Jazz said, singsong. Because he had to push. That was what made it fun. Maybe it was a risk. Maybe Soundwave would do something drastic, though that seemed more Starscream’s style. Soundwave was far too rational for heat of the moment actions.

Still.

A cornered mechanimal was a dangerous one. And Jazz had the feeling he’d trapped one pretty piece of prey.

“Bluestreak talented,” Soundwave finally said.

Jazz almost laughed. “Yeah, I know he is.” His lips curled into a smirk because he knew it. He fragging knew it.

Pieces fell into place, like a puzzle filling in from the inside out. Dots connected. Plans drew. Victory rang like a bell in the back of his processor.

Like called to like. No fragging wonder. He and Soundwave had always played this game, and now there was a prize on the line. The prize wasn’t Jazz’s to win, otherwise he would have had it already. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t make it harder on Soundwave. Or easier, depending on what would be more entertaining.

Bluestreak was his, in the berth or out of it. It wasn’t a matter of ownership. It was a matter of protecting the things he loved. And like the Pit was Jazz going to let some two-bit Decepticon lay hands on his Blue without knowing for sure Soundwave deserved it.

His grin widened even further. Jazz dropped his hands and strode around the edge of the low table, barely making a whisper of sound.

“Ahh, I get it now,” he purred as Soundwave watched him, lights shifting behind his visor, like he thought he might get attacked. “It’s okay, Sounders. You’re an emotionally and socially stunted machine. Happens to the best of us. But even machines have desires, don’t they? Even someone like you.”

Jazz looked Soundwave up and down. He barely came up to Soundwave’s chassis, frag that height difference, and Soundwave was taller than Bluestreak even. More massive as well. But Jazz could easily imagine Soundwave on his knees. Could imagine the straps wound around his frame.

Submission would suit him.

“The war’s pretty much over you know,” Jazz continued, ignoring the silence. That was the game. “Instead of stalking him, you could try having a conversation.”

Soundwave said nothing, but the sudden burst of heated ex-vent said it all. Jazz almost laughed again. A conversation. Right. Soundwave was known for being a stunning conversationalist.

Then again, Blue was awful good at filling the silence. Maybe they were better suited for each other than immediate appearance suggested.

Jazz leaned in closer, looking up the length of Soundwave’s frame, and poked him in the middle of his undecorated dock. “Tell you what. Not that I think you don’t already know, but humor me.”

He smirked and leaned back, noticing with satisfaction as Soundwave’s defensive armor clamp eased. Silly mech. Just because he leaned back didn’t mean Jazz wasn’t any less dangerous. Clearly this topic had thrown Soundwave off his game.

“Blue’s working tomorrow night,” Jazz said as he planted his hands back on his hips. “Swing by for a chat. Ya never know. It could be a dream come true.” He flashed his visor in a wink.

Soundwave’s ventilations stuttered. “Jazz offering assistance?” He couldn’t have sounded more surprised if he tried.

“I got a thing for lost causes.” He rolled his shoulders in a shrug. “Besides, like you said, Blue’s not mine. Not the way you want him to be.”

If his smile looked like a predator with prey between its teeth, well, Jazz wasn’t too upset by that. He had Soundwave exactly where he wanted him. But most of all, he had an answer for Bluestreak.

Jazz knew he was right.

Soundwave would be there tomorrow. He’d find the courage to set foot into an establishment he’d only seen from a distance, because there was a hunger inside of him. One that no energon could sate.

Jazz knew that hunger. It broiled in his tanks, too. Bluestreak couldn’t be the fuel to fully sate him. Jazz was still looking for his. But maybe Soundwave would get lucky. He only had to be brave enough to find out.

Jazz rapped the back of his knuckles against Soundwave’s dock. “I’ll see you there, Sounders,” he said cheerfully and slipped around the communications mech, inviting himself to use the door to make his escape.

Soundwave didn’t give chase. No, he had far too much on his processor for that.

Tomorrow would tell.

~

Baby Blue,

I looked into your little problem, and I’m happy to report that it’s been handled. No more shall you be stalked. You’re not in any danger, Scout’s honor. Well, except maybe to your virtue, hah. But I know you can take care of yourself. 

You got a secret admirer, Blue. I convinced him to say hello so keep an optic out. And if he doesn’t, well, I’ll handle it. Prowl might get to arrest himself a Decepticon, and you know how much he’s been looking forward to that. I got your back, darling. Anytime. Just give me a ring, and I’ll be there. 

Hugs and kisses! 

~Jazz.

***

[G1] Behind the Scenes 11

Good Boy

Prowl kneels, waiting patiently. He shivers, anticipation like an oil bath over his armor. The craving sets in, as his processor whirls and hums, a predator held at bay against the prey of desperately needed figures and calculations.

Ratchet hums as he starts to work. He has a pleasant voice. It soothes Prowl’s spark.

The first accessory – a thick collar with a heavy loop on the front – snaps into place around Prowl’s intake. With it, comes the first burst of relief. The metal is cold, but warms quickly against his dermal plating. The weight of it is a promise.

Duty slides away, behind the click of the lock.

Second comes the leash, a long, braided length of platinum – more show than function. It clips into the collar and hangs loose until Ratchet drapes the end over one of Prowl’s shoulders.

The snick washes away responsibility and leaves behind a simple command – obey. In Ratchet’s hands, this is always the easiest part. Prowl so often is the one giving orders, leaving that behind to lay his trust in Ratchet’s hands and only obey leaves him weak in the knees.

The trembles increase in earnest. Soon, Prowl whispers to himself. Soon.

“One more.” Ratchet gently, playfully, taps his nose. “Down, please.”

Prowl whimpers, heat surging through his lines. He obeys, sliding his hands forward, palms across the floor, until he presses his chevron to the cool metal. He shifts his knees open, parts his thighs, and presents his aft to his master. He reveals both valve and port without asking.

He’s slick. Air currents tease his damp valve folds, and his port rim twitches. He’s swollen, his main anterior cluster throbbing with need. Lust has soaked him from the moment he bowed his head earlier, nudged himself under Ratchet’s chin, and made the quiet plea.

Pleasure-lust, yes. But peace-lust more. He craves it, and Ratchet had stroked a hand down his back, beneath the hinge of his doorwings, as he nuzzled the top of Prowl’s head and agreed.

This, the rarest of their scenes, and always private.

Well.

Private save for whichever mech watches the video later. Prowl pointedly doesn’t look at the cameras surreptitiously placed, recording to a private server for later enjoyment. His. Theirs. Whomever they trust with the footage.

Fingers glide over his valve rim, tasting his slick, dragging Prowl’s attention back to his master. He chastises himself for letting his attention slip.

“Don’t worry,” Ratchet murmurs as those same fingers circle the smaller rim of Prowl’s port, teasing it. “I’ll make it go away.”

The promise clenches Prowl’s spark, fills it with love. He pants, ex-vents fogging the floor, fingers curling against it. His aft bobs, pushing towards Ratchet’s fingers. He doesn’t have to say please. Ratchet’s field is already agreeing.

Two fingers work into him; unnecessary, but this play has never been about pain like some of the others. Pain doesn’t belong in the here and now.

Prowl’s optics shutter. He pants harder. His fingers curl in and out, scraping the floor. His spike throbs, trapped. It will serve a purpose later.

For now, there is only the brief loss of stretching fingers before they are replaced by the last accessory. The plug squirms inside him, slick with extra lubricant, long and thick, filling him completely. His port clenches around it as it notches deep, his rim closing around the plug’s end. The soft synthetic fur brushes the back of his thighs, black to match his paint scheme.

Guilt is thus buried, deep under a pile of indulgence and care.

Ratchet lifts the end of the leash. “Come, Panther,” he says. “Up.”

All the rest slides away.

Prowl ex-vents and pushes himself to his hands and knees. The plug shifts in his aft, a constant reminder of its presence, along with the sweep of synthetic fur. His valve clenches, sympathetic and empty, squeezing out a pearl of lubricant. The tug on the collar, faint but there, is a reminder.

Command seals itself in an iron cage, and obedience swallows the key. Prowl hides himself, taking solace in the bars, and Panther rises, giving him room to be.

“Good hound,” Ratchet says, his voice rich with approval. He crouches down next to Panther, free hand sliding over Panther’s head. “You’re hungry, aren’t you?”

Panther makes a soft sound of agreement. No words. Turbohounds have no words, only needs.

Care. Shelter. Fuel.

Rutting.

“That’s what I thought.” Ratchet smiles and rises again. “Come on then. I’ve got your favorite. Figured you’ve been so good, you’ve earned it.”

Ratchet moves toward the main room. He doesn’t have to tug on the leash for Panther to follow, on hands and knees, plug shifting and pressing his nodes into singing delight. His engine revs. Ratchet looks down at him and smiles.

Panther’s spark flutters at the sight of his Master’s happiness.

In the main room, his dishes wait, two wide and shallow bowls arranged side by side on top of a small towel. In one is a liquid energon, the other a candied, flaked treat that melts on Panther’s glossa and occasionally crunches as he chews. Panther’s glossa moistens, and a happy whine emerges from his throat. He knows better than to rush forward.

Master appreciates his patience.

Ratchet laughs. “Don’t worry. You can have as much as you want.”

Panther licks his lips. He doesn’t know which to have first, and sniffs at the bowls as Ratchet urges him toward them. He guides the loop of the leash over a small hook nearby. Not that Panther has any interest in running off, it’s more about presentation.

Today’s liquid energon smells really plain. Panther gives it a lick and wrinkles his nasal ridge. Oh, it tastes fine enough, but it’s not a treat. He moves his attention to the other bowl and grabs a mouthful of the crisps. Oh, they are perfect. Sweet and tangy, fizzing on his glossa even.

He hears Ratchet move away. Panther looks up, confused, but Ratchet waves a hand.

“It’s okay, pet. Keep eating. I’m just prepping your toys.”

Toys.

Panther’s engine purrs. He returns his attention to the treat dish, carefully eating bite after bite, occasionally sipping from the other bowl to wash it down. His tanks warm as the pockets of energon give him little bursts of energy. Master always has the best ideas.

He only finishes half the bowl of treats by the time Master returns, slipping the end of the leash from the hook and giving it a light tug.

“Ready to play, boy?” Ratchet asks, his voice a little raspier than usual. Panther knows that tone of voice. Master is eager to get started.

Panther’s hips waggle. He licks his lips and turns toward his master, crooning a soft yip of agreement. He tilts his head as he realizes Master is holding something in his other hand. It’s some kind of board with colorful knobs all over it.

Panther tilts his head to the other side and his doorwings cant with confusion.

“It’s a new toy. For smarter hounds,” Master says, and moves toward his chair, Panther following on hands and knees. His tail swishes behind him, port clenching and keeping his arousal at a low simmer.

Sometimes, he just wishes Master would get on to the really fun play. But he’s also intrigued by this new toy. He’s never seen anything like it before. Usually they play a modified form of Catch or Tug.

Ratchet settles into his chair, hooks the leash over the arm of it, and leans over to set the toy on the ground in front of him. Panther pads nearer to it, giving it a sniff. It smells like wood and something sweet behind the wood. He pokes at one of the colorful blocks with his hand, and the block moves into the empty space next to it. There, in the gap, something shiny peers up at him.

Panther tilts his head and nudges the block again, revealing a tiny little energon treat in the cubby. His optics light up as bends over and snags it with his denta, chomping down on the treat. It’s chewy and filled with a sweet gel.

Panther makes a noise of delight and looks up at his master.

“For smart hounds indeed,” Ratchet says and props his chin on his fist, looking down at Panther affectionately. “Find all the treats and then we can have a new game.”

Panther’s engine revs with excitement. He nudges the toy again, finding it to be rather simple, all things considered. It doesn’t take him long to root out all the little treats, though the one that makes him spin and spin a tiny dial takes a little longer to figure out.

Master watches the whole time, until he leans down and pats Panther on the head. He pets him, rubbing behind his audials and scratching under his collar. It feels so good. Panther leans into the pets, and quivers with excitement as the hand strokes down his back, between his doorwings. He hunches down a little, offers his aft, and clenches down on the plug deep in his port.

He doesn’t have to look to know he’s left little drips all over the floor. His valve has been leaking so much. He knows better than to rush though. Master will get to all of it eventually. He always does.

Master keeps petting him. Panther’s engine rumbles. He snatches up the last treat with his denta and nudges the toy away. He’s done! So he rises up, drapes his front half into Master’s lap, and Ratchet huffs a little laugh.

“Good job,” he says, both hands petting Panther’s head and shoulders and back now. “You really are a smart boy, aren’t you?”

Panther’s engine whines, and he licks Master’s cheek, his field spilling out with joy. Ratchet chuckles and strokes him, fingers slipping into seams to scratch his cables beneath.

“You liked that toy, I take it,” Master comments and grins when Panther licks him again, leaning his weight harder on his master. He tries to crawl into Ratchet’s lap but Ratchet just laughs again and puts his hands on Panther’s shoulders.

“Yes, you must have,” he says. “Down, Panther, you energetic thing. Too bad I can’t take you for a walk right now. I think you need to work off some of that energy.”

Panther reluctantly backs off, recognizing the command. He sits on his haunches and looks up at his master, vents whirring, plug pressing against the floor and by proxy, deeper into him. He whines a little as another burst of pleasure peppers his array. More lubricant pools beneath him.

He looks down at it. Maybe he should lick it up?

“Until then…” Ratchet reaches down and grips his jaw, tilting his head up so that he looks into Ratchet’s optics. “I think I have an alternative, lovely.” His thumb strokes over Panther’s jaw. His other hand pets over Panther’s head.

Panther whines and licks Master’s hand. Master’s fingers taste so good, like his lubricant and like arousal, and Panther licks them some more. He wants to play again. He does!

Ratchet smiles and leans back in his chair. He spreads his knees, making room between them, and pats his thighs, dragging his fingers toward up toward the apex of them.

Panther watches avidly, his optics growing wide, his lips parting in a helpless pant. He knows these gestures very well. His audials listen intently for the command that usually comes next. He doesn’t want to presume.

The soft click of a panel spiraling open makes the need grow inside Panther. His mouth fills with lubricant, his senses canted forward. The scent of Master’s lubricant floats to his nose, so sweet, and when he looks, Master’s hand is between his own thighs, fingers bracketed to either side of his valve.

“Come here, boy,” Master murmurs, crooking a finger toward Panther in a gesture he’s been trained to recognize. The crooked finger tilts down and taps on the inside of Master’s thigh. “I have a treat for you.”

And what a treat it is. Panther whines in the back of his intake and crawls forward, inhaling the scent of his master’s lubricant, his arousal, his heat. The antiseptic scent of him, and weldfire, and cleanser.

He noses between Master’s thighs, his forehead bumping against the back of Master’s knuckles. He looks up in question as Master’s free hand falls on his helm, silently urging him closer, as Master’s thighs push further apart, making more room for him.

His first lick is tentative, tasting even. He swipes the flat of his glossa along the length of Master’s valve, laving the plump folds of it, getting a hint of pearly lubricant. It’s sweet on the tip of his glossa, and he feels the throb of Master’s main node against his glossa. Panther rumbles a growl and dives back in, licking Master’s valve folds and licking deeper into him, trying to get as much lubricant as he can.

He hears Master vent heavily, hears the soft sigh of pleasure. Master’s hand is gentle on his head, rubbing him encouragingly, and Panther purrs as he laps at his master’s valve. Master tastes so good, and his valve pulses against Panther’s glossa, and his hips are rocking. More lubricant leaks out, but Panther licks it up before it can make a mess.

Master’s thighs spread further open as he sinks down in the chair, making it easier for Panther to lick at him. He flicks the tip of his glossa over Master’s node, again and again, and then concentrates on his lower node, too. The little cluster of sensors always makes Master moan.

“Good boy,” Master murmurs and his field washes over Panther, thick with hunger and approval. “You’re such a good boy, Panther.”

A low whine rises in Panther’s intake. He paws at the floor as he presses his face against Master’s valve, wanting to go as deep as possible, make Master happy. Master’s hand wraps around the back of his head, keeping him where he wants to be. His thighs tremble to either side of Panther’s head.

“G-good boy,” Master says, his vocals filling with static now, the chair creaking as he rocks his hips. “Lick my node, Panther. Make sure there’s no mess.”

Orders. Commands. It’s so easy to obey them.

Panther growls and focuses on Master’s main node, licks it again and again and again, stopping only to lap up drips of lubricant before diving back in.

He hears Master moan and pant, faster and louder. Master’s hand clenches and trembles on his head. And then suddenly it moves to Panther’s forehead with a light shove.

“E-enough,” Master pants, scooting back, his valve visibly clenching with denied pleasure. “There’s still one more game, pet. If you want to play.”

Panther’s dripping valve and concealed spike throb in agreement. He nips at Master’s fingertips and licks his lips, feeling the tackiness of lubricant on his face.

Master’s palm cups his head and slides around his face, pressing up under his chin to tilt his head up, ignoring the mess now on his fingers. “You’ve been such a good pet today. So I will allow you to take me.” His thumb rubs over Panther’s lip, and obediently, Panther gives it a lick.

Panther shivers, his spike throbbing inside his sheath. Being allowed to take Master is such a rare treat. His aft wiggles against the ground, tail swishing across the floor, and he licks Master’s palm harder.

“I see you like that reward.” Master chuckles, though there’s strain in it. His field is flush with heat, and Panther can taste the arousal in it.

Master pats Panther’s head and stands, lubricant slicking his thighs almost immediately. Panther wants to lick it, but it seems like Master has other plans. He takes the leash in hand and gives it a tug, guiding Panther toward the berthroom. Panther’s spike throbs harder, head grinding against the panel concealing it, but he knows better than to allow it free.

The door closes behind them, lights activating to a romantic half-brightness. Master kneels in front of Panther, fingers still wrapped around the leash, as Panther sits back on his aft, knees drawn up. It pushes the plug deeper into his aft and a low whine ekes out of his intake. He resists the urge to grind down and whines again when Master reaches for his spike panel, dragging a fingertip across the domed metal. Panther shivers.

“Such a patient, pet,” Master murmurs with a curve of his lips. “You can open now, Panther. Let me see that big spike of yours.”

Panther snaps his panel open almost immediately, relief trickling down his spinal strut as his spike juts free, glossy with pre-fluid and throbbing. Master’s hand curves around it, giving it a squeeze and a tug, and Panther whines, his hips following the motion.

“You’re ready for me,” Master says with a hum. “That’s good.” He lets go of Panther’s spike, ignoring Panther’s whine of rejection, and lets the end of the leash dangle on the floor. “Stay, boy,”

Stay. Every inch of Panther’s being wants to rut, he’s shaking from it. His plating is open to help expel heat. His spike is throbbing. Master is hot for him. And he has to stay.

So he does. He waits as Master stretches his arms over his head, making his joints creak, before he pulls a padded mat out from under the berth. He spreads it across the floor, achingly slow, little drips of lubricant glistening on the insides of his thighs. He slides onto it, on hands and knees, fingers kneading the plush mat. He looks over at Panther with hunger in his optics, his gaze flicking from top to bottom, before his optics light up.

“Oh, I almost forgot.” Master’s grin is devilish as he rummages under the berth again and pulls an item out of the toy chest.

The small, metal ring glints in the overhead light. Panther’s engine revs as Master summons him closer with a crook of his finger, and Panther inches into his Master’s reach. He pants as Master’s hand curls around his spike in two nice strokes, and Panther rocks into his Master’s grip.

“I can’t have you overloading inside me,” Master murmurs as he thumbs the top of Panther’s spike. “That just won’t do at all. Now stay still.”

Panther locks his joints and waits, a low whine building inside of him. He watches Master slip the ring around his spike and notch it at the base, a low pulse keeping it locked in place, and stopping him from overloading.

“There. Much better.” Master strokes his spike again and shifts back onto the mat.

He puts himself in a very familiar position, on his knees and elbows, aft pointed upward, knees slightly spread. He looks at Panther and shifts his weight, reaching back to pat his aft.

“Come on, boy,” he says before he reaches for the end of the leash and takes it in his fingers. “Mount.”

Mount.

An inferno of need roars through Panther’s frame. He knows this command, to the quiver in his spark, the throb in his spike, the arousal in his groin. He licks his lips and crawls over to his Master, guided by the gentle tug on the leash.

Master’s beautiful valve is on display, so wet and open and inviting. Panther wants to lick him, but that hadn’t been the command.

Mount.

He doesn’t have to think about it. Debate it. Weigh the proper course of action. All he has to do is obey.

Panther’s spike twitches. He rises up, drapes himself over Master’s back, lines up his spike to that plush and dripping valve. He can feel the rumble of Master’s engine against his chest. He braces himself on the floor and rocks his hips, blindly searching, rutting against Master’s aft.

He whines as he struggles to find Master’s valve. The tug on the leash becomes a bit more insistent. Master vents heat, his field wobbly with need against Panther’s.

“Good boy,” Master murmurs, his aft pushing back toward Panther’s hips, canting to try and help Panther along. “Just a bit more.”

Panther growls and snaps his hips forward, his spike finding Master’s valve, parting the mesh pleats of it, and sinking deep in one quick push. Master moans and clenches around him, his valve rippling, and Panther moans with him.

Master’s grip on the leash tightens more, as he twists it around his wrist, tugging Panther firmly on top of him, keeping him in place. He can’t do anything more than rut against Master, thrusting into him over and over, deeper and deeper, lubricant slick and messy around his spike. Master’s hot and tight and welcoming and if it weren’t for the spike ring, Panther knows he’d be close to overload.

As it is, he can only throb and thrust, hands pawing at the ground, knees digging in, his spike raking over Master’s sensory nodes. Charge fills the space between, sparking from node to node, until Master is bucking up against him, hungry and wanting. His voice is a drone to Panther’s roaring audials, but there are encouragement and demands in there.

“Good boy. Good pet. More. Deeper. Harder. Such a g-good p-p-pet.”

Master tosses his head. His frame creaks as he pushes back against Panther, lubricant sloppy down the back of his thighs. Static crawls over his armor and zaps against Panther’s own, and Master’s engine revs.

Master murmurs other things, maybe encouragement, but it’s lost to the static, and then he’s overloading, clenching down hard on Panther’s spike, as if milking him for a release he can’t offer. His spike hurts he’s so hard, but he can’t overload. He can only thrust wildly, riding the wild buck of Master’s frame. Transfluid splatters to the floor from Master’s spike as Panther’s frantic thrusting pulls another overload from his Master, who vents scorching heat and abruptly sags, dragging Panther down on top of him.

Panther whines, hips making little aborted jerks. He wants to overload. His spike hurts, swollen around the pressure of the ring. The tug on his collar is intoxicating, and Master is trembling beneath him, his plating vibrating.

“Down, Panther,” Master manages to sputter, his vents coming in heavy pants, his field thick with languid heat.

Reluctantly, Panther obeys, withdrawing from the hot clench of Master’s valve, his spike dripping lubricant. He wants so badly to overload, and can only watch as Master rolls over onto his back, legs splayed, his interface array liberally splattered with fluids and looking so tasty. The end of the leash is limp in Master’s fingers.

Panther licks his lips. He sits back on his aft, grinding the plug deep into his aft, enjoying the pleasure that washes through his frame. His valve feels so empty, and he’s leaving a puddle beneath him.

Slitted blue optics watch him before Master gives a tug on the end of the leash. “Good boy,” he says and his free hand crooks a finger toward Panther. “Well-behaved pets earn their rewards, don’t they?”

Panther scuttles across the floor and all but throws himself into Master’s lap, his spike leaving streaks on the sides of Master’s thigh. Master chuckles at him, running a hand over his head and another over his aft, giving it a light pat. His fingers thread through the fur of Panther’s tail, giving the plug a light tug.

“Yes, good rewards,” Master murmurs before he flicks the tail of the plug aside, exposing Panther’s valve to view.

Panther whines again and spread his knees, pushing his aft up into the air, baring himself to his Master. Whatever he wants to do, Panther will allow it. He kneads at Master’s other leg and rocks his hips and makes hopeful noises.

He moans as Master’s fingers tease at his valve folds, dragging through the lubricant glistening over the mesh. Master finds his anterior node and gives it a pinch, and Panther almost overloads then and there, except the spike ring’s pressure blocks even his valve from overloading.

He whimpers and rubs his face on Master’s leg. It hurts. And he is a good pet! Master promised him a reward, and he wants it.

The hand dips lower, teases at the base of his spike. Panther cants his hips hopefully, ex-venting hot air, his knees scraping at the floor. A finger teases at his valve opening, rubbing the lubricant-wet folds, before Panther hears the tiniest of clicks, and the spike ring springs open, freeing his spike.

“Good boy,” Master murmurs as his fingers plunge into Panther’s valve and curve just right. “Now overload for me, Panther. Enjoy your reward.”

It starts in his limbs, in his extremities. It roars through his engine, through his vents, through his intake. Panther keens as overload throbs through the entirety of his frame, pouring out of his seams in liquid roils of charge, his spike spurting and his valve clamping down tight on his Master’s fingers. His hips jerk, rutting against Master’s hand, and his frame goes wobbly.

His vision whites out. All other senses abandon him to the ecstasy, leaving him floating on air, spark dancing a happy twirl. Time vanishes, or at least his perception of it. He drifts in a haze of pleasure and relief, soaking up the feel of Master’s field around him, and the ecstasy humming through his lines.

He comes back into his frame flopped over his Master’s lap, panting and vents whirring, his entire self thrumming with delight. Master’s hand is petting him, while the other rests on his aft, leaving stickiness behind.

Master murmurs to him, a smile in his voice, “Ah, there you are, pet. You made a mess. I’ve been waiting for you to clean it up.”

Panther stirs and pushes himself upright with wobbly arms. He looks down and sees the splatter of fluids on his Master’s legs, and he flushes with embarrassment. He knows better than that.

Master cups his face with sticky fingers, and Panther licks at them, tasting transfluid and lubricant both. There’s something soothing about obeying the simple command, his engine settling into a quiet idle as he laps at Master’s hand, cleaning it. Then he moves to focus on Master’s legs: knees first, then his thighs.

Master makes room for Panther between his thighs, petting Panther’s head in approval as he cleans up his own transfluid and Master’s lubricant, too. It’s gone tacky, but the taste of it is familiar and welcome. It’s soothing, not that Panther could ever explain why.

Master keeps stroking him, fingers gentle on Panther’s intake, as he unlatches the leash and sets it aside. He reaches for the collar, too, but Panther whimpers and looks up at his Master. He pleads with his optics since he can’t use his words.

“You don’t want me to take it off?” Master asks, his voice as gentle as the touch of his fingers.

Panther dips his head and licks Master’s fingers. No. He wants the collar on for now. He doesn’t want it taken off. He doesn’t want the weight of responsibility back yet. He’s not ready.

“Alright, I’ll leave it on for a bit longer then.” Master’s hand moves away after a pat to Panther’s head, and he draws back, rising to his pedes with a creak of old joints. “Clean the mat, Panther. You’re almost done.”

Obedience is so very easy.

Panther bends over and starts lapping up fluids from the thick mat, both his and Master’s. It’s not the most palatable like this, but it’s not about taste. It’s about submission. Concession. Trust. The feel of Master’s field sliding over his.

Master’s hands on his aft, gently stroking him. Master’s fingers careful as they eased the plug out of Panther’s aft, his port rippling in it’s absence. He misses the thickness immediately, but knows he can’t keep it in forever. Master takes it away, putting it in a bin to be cleaned later. So it can be used again.

Anytime Panther needs it.

Master pats him on the head then, his fingers lingering. “Leave the rest for later, boy. Come on. Let’s get on the berth instead.”

Panther licks his lips and rises out of his crouch, looking up at Master, who has crawled onto the berth with an exhausted whuff of his field. He crooks a finger at Panther invitingly, and Panther gives a little yip before he clambers up to join Master.

This is his favorite part, when he snuggles up next to Master, the collar heavy but comfortable around his intake, a sign of ownership and trust. He’s half on top of his Master, half beside him, an arm around his frame and a hand petting him, the motions gentle and rhythmic.

“Good boy,” Master murmurs, and there’s love in the words, affection as thick as what’s in his field. It warms Panther to his spark.

Panther lays his head down and listens to the thrum of Master’s engine, to the pulse of his spark, and the tick-tick of a cooling frame. He wants to bury himself here, in the warmth and comfort, and he knows the morning means he has to take off the collar and become Prowl again. But for right now, he has this and Master and he’s all Panther needs in the world.

Safe. Comforted. Loved.

****

[G1] Control or Lack Thereof

“You really don’t have much self-control, do you?” Starscream mused aloud, his lips curved in a grin.

“Shut the slag up!” Ratchet snarled, his hips bucking, his wrists tugging ineffectually at the cuffs that kept them bound above his helm.

Starscream chuckled and dragged his lips over the inside of Ratchet’s trembling thighs, bring his mouth closer and closer to the bared, dripping array.

“Haven’t you ever heard that patience yields a sweeter outcome?” Starscream teased as he slid a hand up, working a talon into one of Ratchet’s seams to scratch at the cables beneath.

Ratchet groaned, his backstrut arching. “Just get the frag on with it!”

Starscream clicked his glossa, shaking his helm. “Such language, Ratchet. I’m appalled.” He ex-vented wetly and dragged one finger up the under-side of Ratchet’s spike. The medic quivered. “We intellectual types should be better than that.”

Ratchet growled at him, all of his words unrepeatable to delicate audials. His thighs quivered as lubricant formed a growing puddle beneath his aft.

Starscream hummed a laugh. “Mmm, it looks like I’ll have you begging soon,” he purred and his finger circled the tip of Ratchet’s dripping spike. A ring encircled the base, blinking in accordance with the level of Ratchet’s desperation. “But you’ll be waiting on that overload a while yet.”

Ratchet’s engine roared. The cuffs rattled. “Just remember what they say about payback,” he snarled, his optics flashing fire.

Starscream chuckled. One finger flicked over Ratchet’s swollen, aching node.

“Promises, promises.”

[G1] Behind the Scenes 07

07: When Opportunity Knocks

The invitation was not unexpected.

The offer to attend, with a guest and while in role; however, was.

“And who might this guest be, hmm?” Jazz drawled as he draped himself over Bluestreak’s lap, trying to make an appealing picture of himself.

Bluestreak rolled his optics. “Gee, I wonder.” He rested his hand on Jazz’s belly, feeling his abdominal cables flex beneath his palm. “Well. You wanna go? Up for a little show and tell? Maybe even some playtime?”

Jazz shivered and stretched his arms over his head. He arched his back alluringly. He knew exactly what he was doing, the minx.

“I’m so tempted,” he purred as he folded his arms behind his head and wriggled on Bluestreak’s lap. “I know ya wanna show me off and I’ve heard things about their little shows.”

Bluestreak blinked. “Wait. You’ve never been?”

Jazz shook his head. “Prowl don’t like me,” he admitted with a lopsided grin. “Never could figure why.”

Hmmm.

He remembered Prowl’s reaction to Ratchet’s mere suggestion of Jazz. Bluestreak was starting to get an inkling, and he suspected it had little to do with any of the reasons Jazz had already hypothesized.

It was less to do with liking, and more to do with possession.

“Ahh,” Bluestreak said, and grinned down at his partner. “Doesn’t answer my question though. Why only tempted?”

Jazz squirmed a bit more, until he managed to nudge Bluestreak’s hand from his belly to his groin. “Don’t mind puttin’ on a show or being watched or playing with whoever, and I wanna see ya show off, too.” He hummed as his panels slid aside, the tangy scent of his lubricant filling the air as his spike spiraled out to nudge Bluestreak’s fingers. “But I dunno if I can handle sharing.”

Bluestreak curled his fingers around Jazz’s spike and gave it a long, lingering stroke. Hot metal throbbed in his grasp, pre-fluid beading up and trickling down to dampen his fist. Jazz sighed a moan and rolled into his fist, his frame shivering.

“You don’t mind my sessions with Ratchet,” Bluestreak pointed out, even as his gaze roamed over Jazz’s frame appreciatively.

Jazz’s hips rolled upward, pumping steadily into Bluestreak’s grasp as his plating visibly shivered. “That’s different.”

“How?”

Jazz moaned and his engine purred. “’Cause I’m yours.”

Oh.

Bluestreak had been right.

He squeezed Jazz’s spike, giving him a harsher stroke, and grinned when Jazz whined and thrust into his grip, arms unfolding to to clutch at Bluestreak’s thighs beneath his aft.

“It’s not about you then,” Bluestreak said. “It’s about me.”

Jazz held his gaze, even as he pumped his hips into Bluestreak’s fist, his spike throbbing faster and faster. “Don’t want anyone gettin’ any ideas once they see how sexy you are. Especially not Prowl.”

Bluestreak chuckled. “I don’t think we need to worry about that, but fair enough. We don’t have to play. We can accept the invite without it. It’s an offer, not a requirement.”

Though the idea of letting his pretty play with Ratchet’s pretty was very enticing. All that black and white tangled together made him shiver. Prowl was so eager to serve, too. And he had so much more training.

The mental image of Prowl’s mouth wrapped around Jazz’s spike made Bluestreak’s engine rev.

But alas.

If Jazz was not comfortable, then that was all Bluestreak needed to know.

“Okay,” Jazz murmured and wriggled under Bluestreak’s hand again as if in reminder that he was here and hungry.

Bluestreak hummed appreciatively, thumbing the tip of Jazz’s spike almost offhand. Wouldn’t do to let Jazz know how enticing he was. “Though you and Prowl aren’t so different, you know?”

Jazz’s visor flickered. “Huh?”

Bluestreak cupped Jazz’s head with his free hand, tickling his fingers over the sensitive horns. “He doesn’t mind ‘me,’ but he didn’t like the idea of Ratchet interacting with another sub. You’re both possessive little pretties.”

“Well, I guess that’s cause we know we got the best masters.” Jazz moaned and sucked on his bottom lip. His pedes pushed at the berth. “Ah, babe. Won’t ya frag me?”

Bluestreak squeezed Jazz’s spike and tamped down on his own amusement. He leaned back, admiring the roll and writhe of his lover’s frame. Jazz could put on quite the show when he wanted something, and now was no exception. His spike throbbed needily, dripping pre-fluid, and Bluestreak could already feel lubricant leaking onto his thigh from where Jazz had bared his valve.

“Now is that the proper way to ask me for something, pet?” Bluestreak purred.

Jazz’s engine whined. He clutched at Bluestreak’s thigh and the berth, his abdominal cables flexing. “Ahhhh, please, sir. I’m achin’ and I need ya,” he pleaded. His head turned toward Bluestreak, lower lip wobbling and swollen from where he’d been nibbling on it.

“Close, but not quite,” Bluestreak teased and tightened his grip on Jazz’s spike, squeezing out a steady dribble of pre-fluid. “I want you to overload like this. Soak my fingers. Give me a show, pet.”

Jazz panted and arched his back, hips pumping into Bluestreak’s grip. His hands clawed at nothing, patting over Bluestreak’s thighs, the air, the berth beneath him. His head tilted back, lips parted in breathy moans.

“Any… any time I want?” he asked, his thighs parting as though inviting Bluestreak to dip between them. The sweet scent of lubricant thickened.

Bluestreak’s mouth watered.

Bluestreak hummed approvingly. He swept his thumb over Jazz’s transfluid slit, teasing the tip into the dripping opening. “Yes.”

Jazz’s back bowed. He keened and finally grabbed at the berth above his head, nearly knocking away Bluestreak’s hand from his horns in the process. His heels kicked at the berth as he panted, thrusting madly up into Bluestreak’s grip.

His frame rattled on Bluestreak’s lap, spilling heat into the space between them. Lust spooled in his field, pushing at Bluestreak’s own, and Bluestreak shivered. He watched, enraptured, as Jazz came undone on his lap, plating flared wide, charge crawling out to dance over his armor.

His spike pulsed. More lubricant soaked Bluestreak’s armor. His own panels juttered, threatening to reveal his equipment, and only practice kept him restrained.

Bluestreak stroked Jazz’s helm. He tweaked Jazz’s sensory horn as he purred encouragingly, “Come on, pretty. Overload for me. Let me see your pleasure.”

Jazz gasped, his visor flaring. He thrust up into Bluestreak’s grip and the berth creaked noisily. He moaned, long and low, tapering off into a whine, as he overloaded, transfluid spurting from his spike and splashing down on Bluestreak’s fingers.

He made quite the picture, his visor flaring bright, his faceplate flush, his vents whirring and his armor gapped to reveal tantalizing bits of his substructure. He writhed on Bluestreak’s lap, panting orally, before he abruptly sank down, hips still pumping upward in little aborted motions to slide through Bluestreak’s sticky fingers.

“Very nice,” Bluestreak murmured, and cupped Jazz’s head, even as he gentled his hold on Jazz’s spike.

Jazz nuzzled into his palm, pressing a small kiss to the inside of his wrist. “Is good,” he said, ex-venting heat against Bluestreak’s substructure.

Bluestreak chuckled. “You’re welcome.” He fingered Jazz’s spike a little longer before letting the semi-pressurized length slip from his fingers. “You did, however, make a mess.”

Jazz moaned softly. “Sorry, sir. I’ll clean it for ya.” He licked Bluestreak’s inner wrist, lip curving with mischief.

“I know you will.” Bluestreak offered Jazz his hand, dripping transfluid on Jazz’s chin as a result.

Jazz reached up and curled fingers around his wrist, tugging his hand the rest of the way, wrapping his lips around the first of Bluestreak’s digits. He moaned, field flushing with arousal, visor fluttering.

Bluestreak’s own arousal simmered like a high grade still, but not so much he couldn’t endure it a while yet. He prided himself on his control, and besides, there was something enticing in denying himself the pleasure.

Jazz lovingly cleaned each finger, one by one, before he switched to long laps of his glossa over Bluestreak’s palm, his engine purring as he focused on the task.

“You never answered me,” Bluestreak said as he stroked his free hand around the curve of Jazz’s head. “Do you want to accept the invitation?”

Jazz paused in his cleaning, his glossa sweeping over his lips. “Yeah. I do.”

“In character?”

Jazz nuzzled Bluestreak’s palm, his visor a soft shade of blue. “I can wear my collar?”

Bluestreak stroked the length of a sensory horn, drawing a shiver from his pretty. “And your leash, though it’ll have to wait until we get past the door or someone will stare and you know how much everyone around here likes to gossip.”

“Yeah. I’m good at gettin’ those rumors started.” Jazz chuckled before his tone turned serious. “I wanna go, and mebbe if ya want, I’ll play wit Prowl.” He drew Bluestreak’s thumb into his mouth, giving the tip a light nip. “But you can’t.”

“Fair enough.” Bluestreak slid his thumb free and dragged his fingers down over Jazz’s chin, then his intake, and up over the rise of his bumper. “I suspect Prowl will have the same caveat, which means Ratchet and I will have a lot of fun plotting what we’re going to do to the two of you.” His fingers continued southward, teasing Jazz’s abdominal cables, his pelvic span, and flirting over his softened spike.

Jazz shivered and spread his thighs. “Wouldn’t mind watchin’ the two of ya kiss, though,” he said with a little urgent noise in his intake.

“Me and Ratchet?”

Jazz’s hips canted toward Bluestreak’s fingers, trying to guide them right where Bluestreak wanted to go, which was between his thighs to dip into the dewy wetness gathered on Jazz’s rim.

“Yeah.”

Bluestreak laughed. “I’ll see what I can do.” He circled Jazz’s anterior node slowly, watching his lover’s face flush with heat and his fans slowly spin back up again. Only then did he ease a single finger into Jazz’s valve, purring at the hot clutch of eager calipers. “Until then…”

“Yer gonna frag me, right?” Jazz asked, his thighs clamping down on Bluestreak’s hand as though trapping him in place. “Or am I gonna hafta beg again?”

“I dunno. I kinda like the sound of you begging.” Bluestreak curled his fingers, stroking a bundle of nodes just behind the inner rim of Jazz’s valve.

A low sound rumbled out of Jazz’s engine. “Then I’ll say whatever ya want if it means ya’ll spike me.”

Bluestreak grinned and slid a second finger into his lover, thoroughly enjoying the way Jazz arched his back and whimpered. His valve rippled, more lubricant spilling out to soak Bluestreak’s fingers.

“Impress me,” he purred.

Jazz rocked down against his fingers, his glossa sweeping over his lips. “Give me somethin’ hard.”

“I intend to,” Bluestreak said with a laugh, one that stripped away the building tension of the moment, but in a good way.

Jazz snickered. “Primus, yer so good ta me, Blue. Glad I snagged ya.”

“Pretty sure I grabbed you, but if it makes you feel better to think that clumsy effort at wooing me worked, than feel free,” Bluestreak said. He stroked his fingers around the curve of Jazz’s face. “I don’t mind at all.”

Jazz turned in toward his palm again, giving it a kiss. “So good ta me.”

Bluestreak smiled and reward Jazz with a third finger, one that curled ever so slightly and rubbed along that sensor cluster that made Jazz writhe.

He had to start planning. If Jazz was up for potential playtime with Ratchet’s pretty, well, Bluestreak wanted to give him a fun opportunity. He suspected Ratchet would be up for it as well.

He couldn’t wait.

[G1] Behind the Scenes 06

06: The Importance of Trust

“It’s not fair,” Bluestreak whined and tried not to pout, though he must have failed if Ratchet’s amused look was any indication. “Your pretty is so obedient and mine’s…”

“Currently back in your quarters chained up because he can’t behave?” Across from him, lounging like a king on his throne, Ratchet barked a laugh. “That’s your own fault, Blue. They only disobey if their owner isn’t firm enough.”

Bluestreak’s lips pressed together before he ex-vented a burst past them. “Or maybe he’s just an ornery little brat.”

Ratchet laughed again and leaned back, shifting his foot where it was braced against the table. “Well, that might be part of it.” A shiver visibly raced across Ratchet’s armor. “Mm. Bring him next time. Maybe I can teach him something. Ah!”

Ratchet startled and his optics shifted toward the mech between his legs. His optics narrowed, fingers gripping Prowl’s chevron and giving it a light tug.

“What did I say about your denta, love?” he asked, his tone loving, but something harsh behind it.

Prowl’s sensory panels flicked, first one and then the other. He didn’t say anything, and from Bluestreak’s position behind him, he couldn’t see Prowl’s expression. Which was a pity, because he bet it was a gorgeous sight, coated as it had to be in Ratchet’s lubricant.

He’d been hard at work for the better part of twenty minutes, lovingly licking and suckling on Ratchet’s valve, while his engine purred and Ratchet enjoyed. Honestly, Bluestreak was envious of Ratchet’s never-ending stamina, even if it had annoyed the pit out of him when he’d undergone Ratchet’s training.

Prowl’s fingers twitched where they were tangled together, clasped at the base of his backstrut, a form of self-bondage that Ratchet often utilized.

“Let the sub live or die by their own restraint,” he’d instructed with a devilish grin.

Ratchet’s grip on Prowl’s chevron tightened and Bluestreak winced. Such a sensory laden part and Ratchet held it as though it were a piece of unnecessary kibble.

“Well?” Ratchet prompted.

“No denta,” Prowl finally bit out, and there was a hint of indignation to his words.

Bluestreak was quick to cover his smirk behind his palm. That was the last time he’d praise Prowl’s behavior where Prowl could hear him. Perhaps Prowl had taken it as a challenge.

“And yet what did I feel?” Ratchet asked, though there’s no way Prowl could have nipped him hard enough to hurt. Prowl might have been playing with disobedience, but he’d never be half as contrary as Jazz.

Prowl’s sensory panels shivered. “I’m yours,” he said, by way of answer.

Ratchet tilted his head, but then his chastising expression softened, as did his grip. “Of course you are, love,” he said, stroking his fingers over Prowl’s chevron. “You misunderstood. I meant to supervise and offer feedback, not take Jazz under my own hand.”

Prowl made a low sound in his intake, his head dipping a little as did his sensory panels, flattening against his back in apology. “Forgive me, Ratchet. I presumed.”

“Yes, you did.” Ratchet sighed softly and stroked his palm over Prowl’s head, behind the jut of his chevron. “And that is partially my error as I was not clear. I am offering instruction and nothing less, though I can retract the offer…”

Prowl’s head dipped a bit more, until he was all but bowing before Ratchet. “No, sir. I…”

Bluestreak’s optics widened. Prowl rarely dropped back into the deferential terms for Ratchet. The both of them rarely relied upon the standard monikers, preferring more affectionate designations.

“We’ll discuss it later.” Ratchet’s hand slid back to Prowl’s chevron, fingers pinching the left-most crest and sliding up to the tip of it. “For now, there is the matter of you disobeying me, no matter what you may have presumed.”

Prowl whimpered.

Primus, but Ratchet was a master at this. Honestly, if Ratchet came back and rescinded his offer, Bluestreak would be fine with this. Just watching Ratchet and Prowl together was enough to learn him a thousand lessons.

Ratchet’s optics lifted back to Bluestreak, optical ridge arching as if asking ‘do you see what I mean?’

Bluestreak jerked his chin in a nod. Yeah, he was starting to see. Though, to be fair, Jazz had always been a misbehaving little sneak. A year or so in Bluestreak’s berth and under his thumb wasn’t going to change that.

“On top of that, our guest is going to leave disappointed,” Ratchet continued, his tone full of disapproval now, even as he clucked his glossa and released of Prowl’s chevron.

Ratchet fully straightened, planting his feet on the floor and rising to his full height, not at all ashamed of the lubricants dripping down his thighs, or his bared equipment.

“I’m sorry, Bluestreak. It appears this one is in need of some re-training of his own,” Ratchet said, the tips of his fingers resting on the crown of Prowl’s head.

Prowl whined deep in his intake, his hands tightening around each other. He leaned forward a bare fraction, and the quiet noise of a glossa lapping up dribbles of lubricant filled the space. Not that Ratchet seemed to notice.

“Perhaps another time?” Ratchet suggested.

Bluestreak pushed to his own feet and made a show of stretching as nonchalant as possible. He, after all, knew how to play this game. “For sure. Just let me know when you’re free and I’m free and let me know about that offer for instruction, too. Primus knows I could use some advice from the Master of Masters.”

Ratchet barked a laugh. “Master of Masters, hmm? I might have to borrow that.” He shifted his weight, tilting his leg toward Prowl, and Prowl obeyed, moving to lick the inside of Ratchet’s other thigh.

Bluestreak’s engine purred, lust drizzling throughout his internals. Thank Primus he’d left his own pretty back in his hab-suite. He looked forward to having someone to handle this charge for him.

“It’s yours,” he said with a playful bow and wiggle of his sensory panels. He offered Ratchet a devilish salute. “Thanks for the invite.”

“Anytime, Blue.”

Ratchet, however, had already shifted his attention back to Prowl, and Bluestreak knew better than to address Prowl right now. He was fully focused – or supposed to be – on showing his guilt and apology to Ratchet. As it had been his fault the game was ended, the guest did not even need to acknowledge him.

It was almost a shame. Bluestreak did so enjoy watching Ratchet punish Prowl. The medic was very, very creative. Devious, too. However, given the nature of what had startled Prowl right out of his assigned task, Bluestreak did not linger.

He suspected the punishment here would be less physical and sensual, and more of the hardest thing for Prowl, sitting down and having a discussion of the spark. He and Ratchet had been together a long, long time, but Prowl still found it hard to open himself like that. He probably always would, which was one reason he thrived under Ratchet’s dominance.

Ratchet’s rules, his expectations, that made it easy for Prowl. It gave him guidelines, structures, and when he behaved, performed well, it was a reflection of his own feelings and emotions. Prowl showed Ratchet how much he loved the medic, with every bowed head, bared intake, or bound limbs.

Trust and love were one and the same, to him.

In that, he and Jazz were a lot alike.

Bluestreak paused outside of Ratchet’s door as the realization poured over him, fast enough to make his engine stutter noisily.

Was that where he was going wrong? Had he not fully earned Jazz’s trust? Was that why Jazz misbehaved, acted out, even when it wasn’t part of the game? Was he still holding a part of himself back, wary of putting his spark into Bluestreak’s hands?

Perhaps Bluestreak was going about this all wrong. He forced his feet back into motion, turning toward his tiny, private habsuite, where he’d left Jazz.

He and Jazz had dove right into the games from the start, with a very eager Jazz all but hungry for it, begging for the sweet emptiness in his processor that came from handing over his control. But perhaps he hadn’t acquired full surrender yet, and his misbehavior was a way of telling Bluestreak that it wasn’t working.

He should take a step back, erase the board, and start from the beginning. As if they had just met and were learning one another. Leave the toys and the punishments out of it, and work solely on building and strengthening trust.

Bluestreak keyed his code into the lock and stepped into the room quickly, before the random passerby could look in and get a glimpse of Jazz. This section of the Ark was usually deserted but all it took was a moment of inattention for the gossip to spread like wildfire.

Autobots loved to gossip.

“Right where I left you,” Bluestreak murmured as the lights surged to sixty percent power, when he’d left them on a dim ten. Which was actually for Jazz’s comfort. He flourished best in the shadows. It was the bright lights which unnerved him.

Currently, Jazz knelt on the floor, a small puddle beneath his knees where lubricant had seeped out from his closed panels. His wrists were cuffed behind his back – self-bondage did not work well with Jazz at this point, too disobedient. Though he could get himself free of the cuffs in a matter of moments. Bluestreak was well aware of this.

Jazz’s frame quivered, little shudders running across his armor in bursts. The room was drenched with the scent of arousal, and Jazz’s field was blazing hot when it brushed over Bluestreak’s.

As far as Bluestreak could tell, however, he hadn’t moved. And he hadn’t overloaded. Unless Jazz had some Special Ops trick that helped him disguise the physical evidence of an overload.

Jazz looked up at Bluestreak’s words, his visor hazy. “Welcome back, Master,” he rasped and an urgent whine rose in his engine. “Early.”

“Yes. Someone has been taking lessons in behavior from you apparently,” Bluestreak said as he moved to stand in front of Jazz, nudging one foot between Jazz’s knees, until he felt the damp ex-vents against his upper thighs. “Did you overload?”

“No, sir.” Jazz shuddered again, his vents roaring.

“Are you close?”

That whine eeked out of Jazz’s intake this time. “Yes, sir.”

“Look at me then.”

Jazz tilted his head up and back and Bluestreak shivered as the weight of his lust-filled gaze fell on Bluestreak. Need clawed in Jazz’s field, volcanic and desperate. His bumper nudged against Bluestreak’s leg.

“We will talk,” Bluestreak said as he reached down, the tips of his fingers brushing around the edges of Jazz’s visor. “I owe you an apology, and you owe me an honest answer.”

Jazz’s shaking increased in earnest, and there it was, a treble of fear in his visor, and a small shiver of it in his field. Emotions, Bluestreak reflected, were a far worse fight than any punishment.

“I…”

“Shh.” Bluestreak stroked the jut of Jazz’s sensory horn between two fingers, and felt the crackle of charge with it. “Overload for me, pet. And then we can talk.”

Jazz keened and his forehead tipped forward, pressed to Bluestreak’s thigh. He shuddered violently, engine roaring, as he overloaded then and there, more lubricant spilling down between his knees. The quiet vibrations of the toy lodged in his valve abruptly ceased – triggered, as it was meant to be, by the charge of Jazz’s overload. More proof that he’d not disobeyed Bluestreak for once.

Bluestreak hummed soothing sounds, stroking Jazz through the echoes of his overload, until Jazz abruptly sagged against him. Only then did Bluestreak kneel to unlock the cuffs, remove the toys from Jazz’s array, and set to cleaning up his pretty. All while Jazz panted and radiated heat and leaned against him, as if stripped of all energy.

His field clung to Bluestreak’s, humid and sticky, as if in dread of the conversation to come. Bluestreak murmured reassurance, his own processor babbling at him a mile a minute.

He wanted so desperately for this to work, and communication, he knew, was key.

So it was time both of them stopped letting their frames do all the talking, and opened their mouths and activated their vocalizers.