There was an incessant noise in his periphery. And an incessant irritation prodding at his backstrut, between his wing hinges.
Starscream groaned in protest and blindly swatted at whatever was being irritating. Or at least, he tried to. But his hands were pinned under something heavy and warm, and his systems registered the trickle of another mech’s datastream.
He surfaced from recharge as if he had to claw his way free, sensors slowly booting up, just enough to remind him of the irritation.
“Go away,” Starscream muttered, because honestly, there was only one mech who could be this aggravating.
“No.” Deadlock sounded highly amused. “You two look really cute like that and all, but you’re going to get stuck together if you don’t get up.”
“That’s impossible,” Starscream retorted and forced his optics to online as short-term memory pinged him a helpful reminder.
Rodimus. Data-facing. Recharge.
Starscream cycled his optics as he leaned up, having to unwind his arms from where they’d been wrapped around Rodimus’ chassis. He’d fully blanketed the Firebrand with his own frame, and well, Rodimus must have not minded, because his arms were wrapped around Starscream’s chassis, too.
They were still connected at their arrays, and yes, there was a mess – sticky and dried – between them. They wouldn’t get ‘stuck together’ as Deadlock so elegantly put it, but it would require another scrub.
“Maybe. But it would be hilarious.” Deadlock poked him in the wing hinge again.
“Stop that!” Starscream hissed. He flicked his wing away, but unfortunately, not out of reach. “Why are you even in here anyway?”
“Just doing my duty. Checking up on you. Making sure the Firebrand here was behaving.” Starscream could practically see Deadlock’s toothy smirk, even though he wasn’t looking at him. “There was a flock of drones outside your room, too. Nosy little buggers.”
“Led by Scuttle probably,” Starscream muttered with a snort. The newest drone was so attached to Rodimus, that it bordered on ridiculous.
Speaking of Rodimus however…
The Firebrand was still in recharge. Deep recharge. How he could manage that with so much noise, Starscream had no idea. He didn’t even stir as Starscream eased his weight off Rodimus’ frame and to the side, cables drawing taut between them.
“He’s fine. You’re the one being irritating right now,” Starscream said with a huff. His field flicked out, poking Deadlock with rebuke, though he wasn’t sure why he bothered.
“Awww, I’ve been replaced in your spark already? That was quick.”
Starscream rolled his optics and didn’t dignify that with a retort. Instead, he set about gently disconnecting himself and Rodimus, despite how much he’d been enjoying the shallow link. That Rodimus would so freely offer it made Starscream’s spark twirl with unexpected delight.
Rodimus stirred the moment Starscream eased his connector free. A sharp in-vent and a tiny engine rev announced him coming to sentience before his optics unshuttered.
“Good morning.” Starscream’s lips curved in a small smile as he spooled his cable back into his array. He gave a tiny pat to Rodimus’ port. “Retract your cable, Firebrand. You’re tempting enough as it is.”
Blue optics flickered before brightening. “Tempting?” Rodimus repeated, vocals still layered in static as though he wasn’t quite aware yet. “So you think I’m pretty?” His arms lifted above his head in a full-frame stretch that called to Starscream’s gaze.
Behind them, Deadlock snickered. “Oh, Primus. You two are adorable.”
Rodimus’ optics flashed, and he abruptly sat up, only to hiss and clutch at his head. “Ow, why do I feel like I got overcharged last night?”
“Because you did. In a way. It’ll pass.” Starscream patted him on the chassis, and told himself not to let his hand wander. Even though all he wanted to do was push Rodimus back into the berth and kiss him senseless.
“You’ll get used to it,” Deadlock offered.
Rodimus squinted and looked past Starscream. “Why are you here?” His armor ruffled and his field burst out, as though physically trying to shove Deadlock from the room. His indignation was ridiculously adorable.
Starscream wisely did not say so aloud.
“Just checking in,” Deadlock purred, his optics going half-shuttered in a show of lechery. Of the two, Starscream didn’t know which was the bigger brat. Honestly.
“Well, Starscream’s obviously fine, so you can leave now,” Rodimus muttered, his lips forming a pout that had no business being so cute. He actually had the courage to flick his hands in dismissal.
Starscream managed to muffle his snicker before Rodimus caught it, but the amusement in his field slipped free. Hopefully, only Deadlock picked up on it.
Deadlock shifted his weight, projecting an aura of menace. “Make me.” Peripherally, Starscream caught him baring his denta as he folded his arms over his chestplate.
They’d be friends someday. Starscream was sure of it. Deadlock had a way of getting under your plating, no matter how irritating he could be, and Rodimus had already proven to have the same talent.
“As cute as I find your jealousy, it’s unnecessary,” Starscream said as he shifted closer to Rodimus, who had finally retracted his cable and closed the panel to his array. “And you, stop goading him,” he threw over his shoulder.
“But it’s so much fun!”
Rodimus tossed Deadlock a glare.
Starscream intercepted Rodimus’ attention, sliding his hand up Rodimus’ chassis, between his headlights. “You didn’t tell me good morning,” he murmured as Rodimus’ optics slid back toward him.
“Sorry,” Rodimus said with a sheepish duck of his head. His glossa swept over his lips as he leaned closer. “Make it up to you with a kiss?”
Starscream closed the distance between them, letting their mouths come together in a warm, slow kiss. Rodimus curled an arm around Starscream’s chassis, tugging him closer, deepening the kiss with a sweep of his glossa. His field rose up, surrounding Starscream in a secondary embrace, one thick and heavy with affection.
“Mm, that’ll do,” Starscream said as he pulled back, pressing his forehead to Rodimus’.
Rodimus chuckled quietly. “Good morning, Starscream.”
“Ah, young love,” Deadlock drawled and then made several purging noises. “Okay, I’m out. Star, there’s a tray of coolant and energon for you and the kid here. Don’t forget what I asked!”
“I already did, aft,” Starscream retorted as he drew back from Rodimus and rolled his optics. “But thanks for the refreshments.”
The door opened, and a flood of obnoxious, beeping noises became audible. Deadlock planted himself in the doorway and stooped, lifting something from the floor.
“Oh, by the way, this little guy’s been waiting all night,” he said as he turned and abruptly tossed something in their direction.
Starscream’s optics widened, but it was Rodimus who all but launched himself from the berth, snatched the flying object out of the air, and tucked himself into a roll as he landed, coming out of it on his feet. Starscream’s optics widened in surprise and approval. The Firebrand was not as unskilled as he claimed.
“Why would you do that?” Rodimus demanded, his spoiler flicking up as he cuddled one of the drones against his chestplate.
Deadlock arched an orbital ridge. “I have better aim than you think. He would’ve landed on the bed.”
The drone in Rodimus’ arms honked aggressively, its wheels spinning so fast that they whirred. If it could speak Cybertronian, Starscream imagined it would be cursing.
“That’s not the point!” Rodimus snapped.
Deadlock just grinned, denta sharp and menacing. “It’s exactly the point.” He winked and wriggled his fingers. “Later!”
The door slid shut behind him, cutting off the other drones from entering. Which meant that Rodimus probably held Scuttle.
“He’s such an aft,” Rodimus muttered as he turned back toward Starscream, fingers gently stroking over the drone’s back.
One glance and Starscream knew that it was Scuttle indeed. “He’s testing you,” he observed.
“By throwing a drone?”
“It was barely a toss, and Scuttle would’ve landed on the berth just fine.” Starscream waved off Rodimus’ concern. “I would have caught him.”
Rodimus’ lips drew into a pout. “That’s not the point.” Scuttle beeped and wriggled as if agreeing with him, several long trills coming from its frame like it was complaining to Rodimus.
“Don’t let him fool you. He’s just as attached to the drones, though he hides it better.” Starscream shrugged and shifted on the berth, patting the empty space beside him. “Come on. Put Scuttle out and join me.”
Rodimus looked up and grinned. “Put him out, hm?” The grin turned lascivious. “Did you have something in mind?”
Starscream rolled his optics. “Don’t you start, too.”
Rodimus chuckled and obeyed, though Scuttle protested the entire time. Starscream watched as the drone beeped and honked and tried to run back inside, just as it had last night, before Rodimus quickly shut the door.
“He’s really attached to me,” Rodimus said as he came back to the berth, sliding in next to Starscream with a purr of his engine.
“I’ve noticed,” Starscream replied dryly. He peered at the table where Deadlock had left the tray.
He’d been kind enough to share his stock of grounder-grade coolant with Rodimus, and he’d pulled the treats Starscream had been saving out of the storage bin. There was also a cube of mid-grade and a container of flight-grade coolant for Starscream. It was almost enough to earn Starscream’s forgiveness.
“Does that upset you?” Rodimus asked.
Starscream leaned over and snagged the tray, dragging it over to the berth between he and Rodimus. There was nothing wrong with spending the day lounging around in the berth with a cute partner, was there? Besides, it would be a good buffer for what was sure to be a tense conversation.
“No,” Starscream answered with a shake of his head. “It would, if you treated him badly, but since you don’t, I’m glad.” He could share one of his drones. So long as it was one.
“I promise to only usurp the one.” Rodimus grinned and peered at the tray. “I love that you still have these by the way,” he said as he picked up one of the treats and popped it into his mouth. “Loses a bit of the flavor after awhile though.”
“Then I suppose you’ll have to make more,” Starscream said and urged the coolant toward the Firebrand. “Drink. I’m sure you need it.”
“Oh, you’re a medic now?”
“The closest we’ve got to one.” Starscream smirked.
Rodimus grinned and obeyed. “Oh, but that does remind me! Wrench gave me a box of stuff for you. It’s in my pack. I guess I have his blessing?” He rolled his shoulders in a shrug. “Can’t ever tell with that old rust-aft.”
“I see his charm hasn’t changed over the years.”
“He has charm?”
Starscream grinned, shoved another treat into his mouth, and sank back into the berth, this time on his back, letting it cradle his wings. He’d save his coolant for later.
Both berth and tray jostled as Rodimus clambered over him, only to cuddle up to his side. “So,” he said as he threw a leg over Starscream’s, his hand sliding along Starscream’s chassis. “What’s next?”
“I’m taking a rest day,” Starscream said. He snagged a pillow and tucked it behind his head, making it easier for him to look at the mech snuggled up next to him. “And we… probably should talk.”
Rodimus stiffened, and his field went still. “Is it a good talk?”
“I’m not throwing you out, if that’s what you’re worried about. I just want to make sure we are on the same page, so to speak,” Starscream murmured. He slid an arm around Rodimus’ chassis, his fingers stroking Rodimus’ spinal strut.
The Firebrand melted against him. “Oh. That makes sense.” He audibly cycled a ventilation. “What do you want to know?”
Starscream braced himself. “Are you sure this is what you want?”
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.” Rodimus’ head pillowed on Starscream’s shoulder, his fingers played over Starscream’s belly. “And it’s not because you’re a second choice or whatever. Yeah, I didn’t get my brand, and yeah, I had this whole unrequited love thing going on, but coming to terms with both of those is why I came here.”
Starscream frowned. Unrequited love? He suspected that had something to do with Sunstreaker, and perhaps Sideswipe to a lesser extent. Rodimus had mentioned them enough.
“I’m not sure you do.” Rodimus sighed a ventilation and shifted a little, propping himself on his elbow to look up at Starscream. “It’s like, you think you only have these options, and you think you’re stuck, but then a whole new world opens up to you, and you realize that this is what you’ve been looking for. And you feel stupid-lucky that you found it.”
Starscream’s spark stuttered. He worked his intake. “It was a curious turn of fate that brought you here,” he managed to get out through the static trying to glitch his vocalizer.
“Fate. Luck. Coincidence. Something like that.” Rodimus shrugged and snuggled into Starscream’s side again. “Whatever it was, I’m just glad for it.” His field nudged against Starscream’s, the edges of it trying to knit with Starscream’s own.
Starscream stroked Rodimus’ back gently. “Thank you,” he murmured. “And I apologize for doubting you.”
“I’m getting the feeling you have your reasons. You don’t have to talk about them if you don’t want to though.” Rodimus’ voice was soft and sincere. His ex-vents tickled against Starscream’s intake.
He should at least tell Rodimus something.
Starscream nibbled on his bottom lip. “Someday I will,” he finally allowed. There were too many raw wounds to open himself entirely to Rodimus just yet. “And for what it’s worth, you are welcome here as long as you want to stay.”
“Then I suppose I’m staying forever.” He felt more than saw Rodimus’ grin. “Besides, what would Scuttle do without me?”
Starscream chuckled. “A fair question.” He blindly groped for one of the treats and offered it to Rodimus, who nipped playfully at his fingertips before accepting it.
“So we just… take it one day at a time then?” Rodimus suggested as he traced Starscream’s seams over and over, the touch too light to be arousing, and just shy of being ticklish. “Get to know each other for real. And I guess put up with Deadlock, too.”
Starscream chuckled. “You’ll get used to him.” He curled his arm, stroking his fingers down Rodimus’ backstrut, between his spoiler. “I’m glad you came back.”
“So am I.” Rodmus shifted and pulled himself up, their faces inches apart, and his optics bright and earnest. “It’s the best decision I ever made.”
Another kiss was inevitable, and probably the third and fourth, too. Starscream sighed as Rodimus’ mouth covered his, and his frame, as the heat and affection of the Firebrand surrounded him. It was almost too easy to fall under Rodimus’ sway, to let inexperienced but curious fingers track over his frame, exploring where he’d yet to investigate. Easier, still, to turn his fingers toward Rodimus, tracing seams and kibble still unfamiliar to him.
“Mmmm.” Rodimus hummed into the kiss, heat wafting from his frame to tease against Starscream’s own. “Wait, wait. Before we get started.” He pulled back, licking his lips. “I’ve got something for you.”
Starscream chuckled and leaned in for another kiss, only for Rodimus to lean back with a determined moue of his lips. “Really? Right now?”
“I don’t want to forget again.” Yet, Rodimus’ fingers were no less busy, teasing Starscream’s seams, his frame rocking against Starscream’s as though his processor was of two minds about it.
“Fine,” Starscream grumbled. “If you feel you must. But don’t be surprised if I’m asleep when you get back.”
Rodimus laughed and brushed his lips over Starscream’s. “I’ll just have to find some way to wake you up then.” He nuzzled their noses before he climbed over Starscream and out of the berth. “Be back soon.”
Rodimus left, and Starscream’s berth was instantly colder without him. But the promise of returning sent a flush of warmth through his lines.
Starscream snuggled into the berth, ignoring the tacky, stickiness of his frame and listening to the quiet flutters of his spark. Rodimus had come back to him. For him. He almost couldn’t believe it.
He had no idea what tomorrow or next week or next year would bring. But he was determined to find out, to embrace this opportunity. He didn’t want to lose Rodimus, not as he had so many other things.
He wanted Rodimus to be his.
And he thanked Primus that it seemed Rodimus wanted the same thing.
Rodimus slipped out of Starscream’s room and almost tripped over Scuttle, who immediately zoomed into his left foot. He chuckled and crouched to pat the drone on the top of his frame.
“Yes, you missed me. I get it,” he said. “And I’m not leaving again if I can help it. Promise.”
Scuttle beeped and nudged against his fingers as if to say ‘you’d better’ before he twirled away and around Rodimus in uneven circles. Rodimus laughed again and rose back to his feet.
The tower was eerily quiet. He could hear other drones moving around, in their various stations, but of Deadlock, there was no sign. Rodimus didn’t really know what room was Deadlock’s, or where the other mech could be. Frankly, he’d rather avoid Deadlock for awhile longer yet.
He headed downstairs, where he’d left his pack, only to find it wasn’t there anymore. Had Starscream moved it? Probably up to his room then. But first…
Rodimus retrieved a damp rag from the washroom on the lowest floor. They could do an in-depth cleaning later, but it would be a nice gesture to wipe Starscream down. Plus, it would give him an excuse to put his hands all over Starscream’s frame. Not that he needed the excuse.
Rodimus grinned and took the lift all the way back to the level which held the room he’d used the last time he was here. He didn’t know if he and Starscream were going to share from now on or not, but it was probably a good idea for him to have his own space nonetheless. They were still all but strangers.
That would change with time, but until then, a little privacy wasn’t unexpected. Living together would be difficult enough.
His pack was indeed here, sitting in a dusty pile by the end of the berth. Scuttle squeaked in outrage and ran toward the bag, bumping into it and sending a puff of dust into the air.
“Yes, I know. It’s dirty.” Rodimus rolled his optics and crouched over the bag, digging through the contents, which had left it stuffed nearly to the top.
Between his supplies, Wrench’s gift, Sideswipe’s gift, and Sunstreaker’s gift, there was hardly any room left. The item he’d brought for Starscream specifically had shifted to the bottom of the pack, and Rodimus had a moment of panic that it had been broken. Relief whooshed out of his vents, however, when he pulled it free and it was unharmed.
He rose to his feet and nudged the bag shut with the tip of his foot. He pushed it under the berth in a clump of grit, which Scuttle berated noisily. Silly thing.
Rodimus chuckled, hefted the item, and turned around, only to startle and nearly drop his gifts. Deadlock was standing there, leaning against the wall by the doorway, his arms crossed over his chassis. Rodimus had neither heard the door open or Deadlock’s footsteps!
Rodimus’ spark nearly leapt into his intake. “What the frag!” he snapped. “How long have you–”
“We should talk,” Deadlock cut in with a tone far too mild for the expression on his face. It was a smile, but only in the faintest definition of the term. “Don’t you think?”
Rodimus narrowed his optics and clutched his armful defensively. “Is this the part where you threaten me?”
Deadlock waved a dismissive hand and shifted his weight from one foot to the other, as if to highlight all of the empty scabbards on his frame. “Threatening you is redundant at this point. I think you already know what I’ll do if you’re here to hurt him.”
“I’m not,” Rodimus snapped as Scuttle made a low, confused sound and huddled against his right foot. “Not that it’s any of your business.” His armor flared and flattened around his frame defensively.
A chuckle rolled out of Deadlock’s frame. His denta – his pointed denta, dear Primus – glinted in the overhead light. “You’ve got bolts, I’ll give you that much.” He tilted his head, leaning harder against the wall. “But my Star’s not a toy. If you’re just here to play, you’ll find out who really earned the title ‘Deathbringer’ around these parts. Got me?”
“I don’t have to prove myself to you,” Rodimus said hotly, his spoiler going high and rigid as his spark pounded in his chassis. Menace coiled from Deadlock’s frame, and Rodimus was probably very outclassed.
But he wasn’t going to bow down and give in either. That wasn’t in his nature. He’d never yielded without a fight.
“The only person who’s opinion matters to me here is Starscream’s,” Rodimus added as he directed a glare at Deadlock. “He’s who I came back for and he’s why I’m staying. I don’t care if you or anyone else doesn’t like it. As long as he wants me here, I’m not leaving.”
Deadlock’s smile grew broader. He pushed off the doors, hands sliding down from their fold, every inch of him screaming danger. “Is that so?”
Rodimus tossed his head and stood his ground. He’d trained with Springer and Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. He wasn’t afraid of Deadlock. The aft had nothing on a furious Sunstreaker who thought he’d been slighted.
“It is,” Rodimus said.
“Hmm.” Deadlock circled him, like a predator might stare down its prey. “You sure? He can be an aft sometimes. He whines when he doesn’t get his way, and he’s got a sharp glossa. I know for a fact he built the drones because he can’t clean up after himself, and he’s got more baggage than a cargo hold. Still sound like someone you wanna take home to your clan?”
Rodimus’ optics narrowed in suspicion as he turned with Deadlock, unwilling to give the other mech his back.
“Yes. I plan on claiming him as soon as he’ll let me,” Rodimus replied, getting a sense now that he was being evaluated and judged. A feeling he didn’t like one bit.
His only consolation was that Starscream was going to go through the very same thing as soon as he met Sunstreaker.
Deadlock laughed, and at least it didn’t sound mocking. “That’s all I wanted to hear, Firebrand,” he said, and clapped a hand on Rodimus’ shoulder with more force than was necessary. “So long as we understand each other.”
Rodimus shrugged out from under Deadlock’s hand and twisted toward the door. He didn’t like the idea of leaving Deadlock alone in here, with his pack open and all too inviting, but he disliked being cornered even less.
“You’re an aft,” he said.
Deadlock grinned, wider and sharper. “So I’ve heard. But an aft that protects the things he cares about, so you better be genuine, kid.”
“I’m not a kid either!” Rodimus growled, tightening his grip on the items in his arms. Scuttle twirled around his feet, nearly causing him to trip. “Just back off and mind your own business.”
“Primus, you’re perfect for each other.” Deadlock’s chuckles grated on Rodimus’ patience. But he flicked a hand in Rodimus’ direction. “Go on then. Before Star hollers for you.”
Rodimus glared. “I don’t need your permission,” he spat before he whirled on a heel and stormed out from the room. Scuttle honked in Deadlock’s direction and spun out after Rodimus with a whine of his tires.
Deadlock’s laughter followed him out. Rodimus twitched and forced himself to cycle several ventilations. He knew an assessment when he saw one, and Deadlock was definitely sussing him out. Rodimus didn’t blame him, but that didn’t mean he had to like it.
He returned to Starscream’s room, pleased when it opened for him automatically, and shooed Scuttle out when he tried to follow Rodimus inside. It broke his spark a little to hear Scuttle’s beep of complaint, but he’d make it up to the drone later.
“About time you got back,” Starscream murmured sleepily. He was stretched across the berth, all inviting, and the tray of goodies had been emptied.
Rodimus would just have to make more, he supposed.
“I was waylaid by Deadlock,” Rodimus replied as he dropped Wrench’s box onto a nearby table and kept the item he’d brought. He joined Starscream on the berth. “He’s really protective of you.”
“Mm. The feeling is mutual.” Starscream rolled toward him and offered the sleepiest grin, one that made Rodimus’ spark flutter. “What did you bring me?”
Now that he was here, Rodimus felt foolish for making such a big deal out of it. Heat filled his face as he perched on the edge of the berth, and Starscream pulled himself upright.
“It’s nothing special,” Rodimus said as he scrubbed the back of his neck with one hand and offered the item with the other. “It’s just, I was thinking about you while I was gone and I made this. And it’s kind of a clan-tradition, that if something is inspired by another person, it’s meant to be a gift. So it’s yours.”
He handed it over, this larger and more detailed carving of Starscream, of what he thought Starscream’s alt-mode might look like based on what he’d been told of Seekers and the kibble on Starscream’s frame. He didn’t know how accurate it was. He’d just been thinking of Starscream and let his fingers do the shaping.
Starscream’s optics brightened as he accepted the carving. He turned it over and over in his hands, his long fingers carefully tracing the shapes and edges Rodimus had worked into it.
“It’s not much,” Rodimus repeated, embarrassed now that he’d made such a point to go get it. In anyone else’s hands, the carving would have been a thing of beauty. But Rodimus’ lack of talent showed all too well, in the uneven sanding, the hesitant lines, the disproportionate wings, and the lack of overall symmetry.
“It’s lovely,” Starscream murmured with appreciation in his voice, and it didn’t even sound false. “I found the others, you know. The ones you left behind. They have pride of place on my desk.”
The heat in Rodimus’ cheeks sent sparks up into his finials. “Really?”
“Indeed.” Starscream looked up at him with a soft, sincere smile. “Don’t underestimate the value of something that’s a gift. It means more than you can know. Thank you.”
Rodimus scooted closer, his spark hammering faster in his chassis. “You’re welcome.” He brushed his arm against Starscream’s, felt the heat of Starscream’s plating against his. “I’m, um, I’m really glad you decided to give us a chance.”
“Of course I did.” Starscream cycled a ventilation, his hands tightening around the carving. “I have been… lonelier than I cared to admit. And I’ve spent the last weeks alternating between being angry at myself for driving you away, and convincing myself it was the best thing to do, because you’d only leave anyway.”
Rodimus’ own ventilations caught in his intake. He held himself still, as if moving would shatter the moment, and the obvious vulnerability Starscream allowed him to see.
Starscream looked down at the carving, his optics softening. “I never imagined that you’d return on your own, or that I’d be so happy to see you. It took me by surprise, I’ll admit.” His thumbs swept over the wings of the carving. “I want you to stay, not that I’ll force you to do so, but know that, if it were up to me alone, you’d never leave.”
“Then I don’t want to,” Rodimus blurted out, because the mix of sadness and happiness in Starscream’s field made his spark ache. He put his hand over Starscream’s, squeezing gently. “Leave, I mean. I came back because I realized this is the only place I want to be.”
Starscream turned toward him, free hand cupping Rodimus’ face as he suddenly pulled Rodimus into a kiss, sweeter than all the ones he’d given before. His field swirled against Rodimus’, warm and affectionate and hopeful. It opened to Rodimus, where Starscream had been hesitant and closed before.
Starscream drew back from the kiss, chaste in comparison, but it left Rodimus warm and tingling. “Thank you,” he murmured.
The heat in Rodimus’ cheeks returned. “For what?”
Starscream leaned his forehead against Rodimus’. “For saving me. In more ways than just the coding.” He brushed his thumb over Rodimus’ cheek before he eased back, leaning away to set the carving on the nearby end table. “Now. I do believe we were in the middle of something earlier.”
Rodimus grinned. “Yes, we were.”
There was opportunity here. Starscream was distracted by reclaiming his balance, and so Rodimus pounced, knocking him back to the berth. He ended up perched on top of Starscream’s hips, the Seeker splayed out beneath him, optics wide and a smile curving his lips.
“Oh, no. It seems you’ve caught me,” Starscream said with an arched orbital ridge and nothing of surrender in his expression. His glossa flicked over his lips as he rolled his frame beneath Rodimus. “Whatever are you going to do now?”
Rodimus laughed and leaned over the Seeker, brushing the tips of their noses together. “First, I think I’ll kiss you,” he said. “And then I think I’ll touch you. Since I’ve got a lot to learn and all, I’d like to get started now.”
Long-fingered hands settled on his hips, holding them gently. “We have all the time in the world,” Starscream murmured.
“I know. But I feel like I’ve been waiting too long already.” Rodimus almost felt stupid for such romantic words, but when Starscream’s face lit up with delight, regret was the last thing on his processor.
Kissing Starscream saved him from saying anything else. As did pressing their lips together, the edges of their fields knitting and forming a single, united rhythm. Heat filled the air between them, desire and longing pulsing in tandem in his spark.
Nothing had ever felt so right until this moment. He’d never been so happy. He felt like he’d finally found where he belonged.
Here. In the middle of the Barrens. With the Deathbringer and his army of cleaning drones, in his tower of wonders with the greatest of them all, the Seeker himself.
This, Rodimus decided, was home.