[RB] Ticket to Ride

It was a quiet, calm night. A thin sheet of clouds streamed over the stars, covering the moon, but the sea was still. It was a good night for relaxing.

Which was why High Tide quite clearly picked out the sound of an approaching engine, the distinct click-click-tsche of a transformation, a muttered curse, and the thump-thump-thunk of someone climbing the ladder to get onto his deck.

As he rose from his chamber, High Tide ran through a quick list of everyone his visitor could possibly be, and came up with only one designation that made sense. Optimus, after all, would’ve called first. Primes were polite like that.

A shadow moved about on his deck, a half-afted attempt to creep around. High Tide snorted quietly and flicked on the flood light, illuminating the deck, and catching the bright red miscreant in his tracks.

“Something tells me I’m only gonna need one guess as to why you’re sneaking aboard my ship at this time of night,” High Tide said. “Because I know it isn’t for more lessons.”

Below, Heatwave froze like a cassetticon caught in a spotlight. He scowled, his default expression, but it didn’t hide the spots of warmth in his cheeks.

“Being stealthy isn’t my area of expertise,” he replied, gathering up that attitude High Tide had come to expect from him.

“No, it isn’t.” High Tide snorted and jumped down, landing on the deck with a loud thump. Good thing Servo was with the Blip. “That team of yours, they’re a good bunch.”

Heatwave’s optics narrowed. “Yeah, but–”

“Bunch of sparklings,” High Tide finished, because the kid had a habit of interrupting. Poor manners, that one.

Heatwave’s scowl deepened. “They’re fully capable–”

“Didn’t say they weren’t competent, hotshot,” High Tide interrupted, because Heatwave needed to be knocked down a little. “Just calling it as I see it.” He had an inkling, after all, of what Heatwave wanted. And it had a lot to do with the obvious maturity gap between Heatwave and his younger teammates.

“None of them are adults yet,” Heatwave admitted on the tail end of a sigh.

Ah. That was what High Tide thought.

He barked a laugh. “Hotshot, you barely count as one if you ask me.”

Heatwave’s hands formed fists, his optics narrowing behind his visor. It must have been a habit for him to keep it up, since he obviously didn’t need it at the moment. “If you’re going to mock me, I’m going to leave.”

High Tide tilted his head, looking Heatwave up and down. “You came here, pretty boy,” he pointed out.

“Yeah. And that was a mistake,” the kid growled. His armor flared and ruffled as though he intended to turn around and storm off, yet his feet stayed planted in place.

Wanted it more than his pride could stand apparently. Interesting.

“That temper of yours is going to get you in a heap of trouble someday,” High Tide drawled as he slipped closer to the Rescue Bot. He couldn’t help but admire the planes and angles of the kid’s frame.

He always did like red. Heatwave was brighter than Optimus, maybe a bit too garish for some optics, but High Tide liked it just fine.

Heatwave tracked him, shoulders straight. “Maybe I like trouble,” he said, in that rough-rumble voice of his.

Tasty.

“Hah.” High Tide was close enough to touch now, so he did, gently taking Heatwave’s chin in his fingers and tilting the bot’s head up. “You don’t have any stowaways, do you?”

That Blip had a habit of ending up places he shouldn’t be, entirely by accident of course, but still. High Tide didn’t want any human surprises.

Heatwave vented loudly, but he thumped his windshield pointedly, making a hollow sound. “I’m empty.”

“Good.” High Tide swept a thumb over Heatwave’s lips before he made himself let the kid go. He turned away, heading for the main door. “Come on inside then. Unless you want to finish storming off in a huff. Your choice, tugboat.”

“Don’t call me that,” Heatwave growled.

Stomp, stomp, stomp.

High Tide smirked. Protest loudly the kid might, but he was still following High Tide, which meant his need was outweighing his pride.

High Tide flicked the switch to douse the floodlight as Heatwave joined him in the lift, and it drew them up a level, toward the room High Tide used as his personal quarters. It had all the trappings of home, it did. Big berth, bigger recharge station, a personal console, shelves filled with datapads and vids, a few trophies, a couch, a table and chairs. Wasn’t a bad place to spend one’s time.

“Berth or couch?” High Tide asked as he flicked on the overhead lights, setting them to a level that wasn’t obnoxious, but would still let him admire his potential berthmate.

Heatwave had paused in the middle of the room, looking around like he hadn’t seen a personal hab before. He blinked. “What?”

“I’m giving you a choice, rookie. Since you look so nervous.”

“I’m not–!” Heatwave cut off mid-sentence and looked away, not that it hid the heat glowing in his face. “It’s your room.” His hands formed loose fists again, as though he struggled to hold himself back.

“Couch it is,” High Tide decided. It wasn’t in him to be cruel, but frag if it wasn’t entertaining to to needle the kid.

He flopped onto the couch, settling into it with a hissing vent of relief. Nothing like good old Cybertronian furniture, built for the average mech’s comfort. Beat sitting around in alt-mode like some human’s pet any orn of the cycle.

Heatwave hadn’t moved. Wouldn’t even look at High Tide, despite him patting the couch with obvious invitation. Still a bit indecisive, eh? High Tide supposed he couldn’t blame the kid. They didn’t get along on the best of days, and High Tide wasn’t so vain to think that Heatwave was here because he actually had some attraction. He just didn’t have many other options.

Though the idea of Heatwave approaching Oppie with this kind of proposal put steam in High Tide’s vents. The two of them together? Now that was a pretty picture.

Ah well. That policebot would probably hit maturity before all the others. Maybe then Heatwave could enjoy the one he actually wanted. Until then, nothing wrong with a little charge-venting between allies.

High Tide leaned back into the couch. “Door’s right behind you, if you’ve changed your mind.”

Heatwave’s visor snapped open and he finally looked at High Tide. “What?” He rolled his shoulders, trying to force calm probably. “Can’t you work up a charge anymore, you old rustbucket?”

High Tide smirked. Ah. There was the fire he recognized. Suited Big Red much better than the uncertainty.

“Get over here, and I’ll show you just what this rustbucket can do,” he offered, patting his lap invitingly.

Heatwave stared at him, a cough spilling from his vents. He seemed frozen in place, that confidence gone back behind a shell of indecision. Like dealing with a skittish dweller, he was.

It occurred to High Tide then, that the kid was, well, a kid. And even though he was mature enough for his interface protocols to be giving him several irritating nudges, maybe he’d never had occasion to do anything with them before the war broke out, and he and his crew ended up drifting in stasis.

He peered at Heatwave, eying Big Red up and down as though he could tell from that alone. “You’ve done this before, right?”

Heatwave scowled, an expression better suiting him. “Of course I have,” he growled, and suddenly seemed capable of movement, though it only managed him a few steps closer to High Tide. In tasting range of his field at least. “It’s just… been awhile.”

“Then lucky for you we’re in the same boat.”

A quick how-do-you-do tumble with Optimus didn’t count. Mechs didn’t interface with Primes. They held on for the ride and tried not to drown in the charge.

High Tide patted his lap again. “Come on.”

“Seriously?” Heatwave’s lip curled.

“Well, I could sit on you if that makes you feel better.” High Tide laughed at the absurd mental image. He had more than a few heads on Heatwave, and he subbed a lot more mass than the firebot, too.

Heatwave scowled. He stomped across the room like it was a punishment, and climbed into High Tide’s lap with all the seduction of a malfunctioning dispenser drone.

“There,” he said as he tucked his knees against the cushions of the couch, his aft planted on High Tide’s thighs. “Happy?”

High Tide couldn’t help chuckling. The kid’s attitude was more endearing than it should be.

He rested his hands on Heatwave’s knees and slid his palms slowly up, careful to keep a pace that wouldn’t alarm the kid. The way Heatwave trembled beneath him, he wondered if the firebot would bolt at any moment.

“I’m about to be,” High Tide replied. “And so are you.” He tilted his head and slid his hands up further, thumbs seeking out the panel concealing Heatwave’s array. “Hm, you aren’t standard issue, are you?”

“I wouldn’t know,” Heatwave said.

Well, he was probably sparked right before the war no doubt. Matured in the thick of it. Got his first post right when Orion Pax became Optimus Prime and Megatron’s rage reached no bounds. He was part of the second, maybe third wave before the batch dried up. High Tide reckoned it meant his team was probably part of the last wave ever sparked on Cybertron.

Adorable.

“Then you want to tell me where your cables are, hot shot?” High Tide asked. “I mean, I could go looking for ‘em, but something tells me you don’t want me randomly rooting around in your undercarriage.”

Heatwave rumbled low in his chassis, but he patted his midsection. His front grill split down the middle, and a panel behind it spiraled open. Cables, connectors, and ports came into view, practically shiny new.

High Tide appreciated the view, and let his fingers do a little exploring. He traced the length of a cable, still stiff and smooth from lack of use. Heatwave shivered, a groan rising in his intake, his chassis arching toward High Tide.

“Look at you,” High Tide rumbled. “Barely touched.”

“So?”

“Wasn’t an insult, kid.”

A flush of heat rushed through High Tide’s frame. Anticipation coiled hotly inside of him. His pelvic armor folded back and down, revealing his own array, and Heatwave’s gaze dropped down to it.

He blinked. And blinked again. “What is all that?” he asked, optics wide and bright.

“Live as long as me, hot shot, and you’ll need a few adapters, too.” High Tide chuckled.

What?”

He wasn’t at all surprised that Heatwave was confused. Compared to the firebot’s two sets of port and connector cables, High Tide’s tangle of nearly a dozen different cables probably seemed obscene. Lewd even. But if a mech wanted to ‘face with all kinds, it took all types of lines and all types of wires and all kinds of conductors.

Point of fact, Optimus alone accounted for half of ‘em.

“The more things change, the more things stay the same,” High Tide said. “Don’t worry. You’ll understand when you’re older.” Or maybe he wouldn’t, if Cybertron’s population was as diminished as Oppie feared. “Let’s see what you got.”

High Tide drew out the thickest of Heatwave’s two cables, and Big Red shivered a bit, his field going flush and warm. So cute.

“Oh, a three-pin coaxial, hmm?” High Tide rubbed the conductor between his fingers, and a spark of charge nipped at his fingertips. “Lucky for you, I’ve got a port to match.”

A shudder ran across Heatwave’s armor. “Are you going to start making sense anytime soon, rustbucket?”

High Tide rifled through his own mass of cables until he found the one that would match Heatwave’s. Ironically, it was as shiny new as Heatwave’s.

“Don’t even think it’s been used yet,” he mused aloud.

Heatwave growled. “Are you done playing around?”

“Aren’t you the impatient one?” High Tide said. He fondled the end of Heatwave’s cable and was rewarded with a bright flare of Heatwave’s optics.

And a rather noisy rev of his engine. “I didn’t come here to be mocked!” His field flared as he shifted, as though intending to get up and stomp out.

High Tide tightened his free hand on Heatwave’s thigh. “Sit down, kid. No one’s mocking you and especially not me.”

He rubbed his thumb over Heatwave’s connector cable, teasing into it to brush over the sensitive pins. Charge nipped at the tip of his finger, and Heatwave squirmed in his lip. A shudder ruffled Heatwave’s armor, his field going liquid.

“As I understand it, you came here because you’ve got an itch needs scratching,” High Tide continued as he caught and held Heatwave’s gaze. “And no one on your team can do it for you.”

The firebot’s intake visibly bobbed. His hands lifted, like he didn’t know where to put them, before he finally clutched at High Tide’s side. He made a strangled noise.

“Now, I’m being nice and volunteering.” High Tide pinched Heatwave’s connector and soaked up the quiet moan that escaped him. “So we’re gonna do it my way. Unless you’ve decided you don’t want it anymore. Understand?”

Heatwave rocked in his lap, scooting closer until there were a scant few meters between their frames. His fingers tickled into High Tide’s seams, holding tight, as he vented heat into the air around them.

“Yeah, yeah. I get it,” Heatwave said, and his glossa flicked across his lips. “Just plug in already. I don’t have all night.”

No doubt he didn’t. The way Griffin Rock found itself in all kinds of messes, Heatwave could be called into action at any moment. And then his human would be wondering where his firebot could have gone in the wee hours of the night.

Too amused to be annoyed, High Tide teased Heatwave’s array with his free hand, fingertips brushing over the other ports and cables. He rubbed Heatwave’s coaxial connector between his fingertips, drawing another shiver from Heatwave. Blue optics kept darkening with desire, Heatwave’s field becoming an unrelenting wave of desperation.

Absolutely intoxicating.

High Tide’s fingers shook as he drew his own cable and connected it to Heatwave’s, pins slotting into place with a quiet click. He groaned as Heatwave’s need bowled him over, storming into his system like a hurricane of acid rain.

Primus, but the kid burned hot. He was aptly named.

Heatwave vented orally, and his shoulders hunched forward. He started to rock against High Tide, his hips following the same rhythm as the eager energy pulses across their connection.

“Slow down, kid.” High Tide held Heatwave’s hips, and all he succeeded in doing was tugging the firebot even closer. “Try and enjoy the ride.”

Heatwave panted, and his fingers dug in deeper, pressing against High Tide’s cables. “Slow later.” He shuddered and a wave of charge crackled over his armor. “Need this now.”

He pawed at High Tide’s chassis, one hand hooking on the top of High Tide’s cockpit as if trying to drag him closer. His thighs dug in on the outside of High Tide’s. The pulsing heat came faster and faster across the cables, flooding High Tide’s systems with an unrelenting assault of desire.

“Alright then, tugboat. Take what you need.”

High Tide growled and tightened his grip, almost enough to dent, if Heatwave weren’t so sturdy. He bundled up the charge, and sent it right back across the line. He grinned with satisfaction as Heatwave roared and his backstrut arched, fingers pulling a skreel across High Tide’s armor.

“More,” Heatwave panted. His vents roared, his lips parted, shutters falling over his optics as they squeezed shut.

His cable yanked on High Tide’s charge like he was desperate for it. Like it was an energon infusion for a starved spark. High Tide fed him more, no frills, no coy teasing, just a surge of charge, pulse after pulse.

Heatwave moaned and hunched forward. “S–sorry,” he growled as his thighs trembled and his cables pulled. “I– hnnnn.”

Cascading fire soared through High Tide’s lines. Heatwave writhed on his lap, making quite the pretty picture as his engine thundered. It was all High Tide could do just to hold on, let the poor kid have his first taste of overload in centuries.

Heatwave hooked his hands on High Tide’s coils, gripping them tight enough that his fingers creaked. He buried his face against High Tide’s canopy, ex-vents fogging up the glass.

“That’s it, kid,” High Tide encouraged, tension gripping his frame as he struggled to keep himself under control. “Take it all.”

Heatwave growled and bucked against him. He slurped on High Tide’s charge like it was the sweetest high grade as electric fire erupted over his armor and crackled through their connection, tasting like an enormous fire storm.

It pulled High Tide over, and he shouted his surprise. He crushed Heatwave against his chest as the pleasure wracked his frame, doubling back into the connection he shared with the firebot. Little zaps of electric heat pulsed through High Tide’s lines, his fans whirring madly to dispel heat.

Heatwave slumped against him, venting loudly, his frame trembling. High Tide stroked down his back, the cable swaying between them, charge lightly crackling over their connection.

Until the kid seemed to get some of his attitude back. He pushed himself off High Tide’s chassis and leaned back, flicking his fingers over High Tide’s chassis with a chime of metal on glass.

“Well, would you look at that,” Heatwave drawled with a smug little smirk that had no business turning High Tide’s internals into a knot of need. “I took you with me.”

“I’m not ashamed to say you did.” High Tide was too old to be embarrassed. He slid a hand over Heatwave’s belly, fingers teasing along the edge of his array panel. “Now how about we do this slow and proper? Unless you got somewhere to be?”

Heatwave responded by sending a slow, steady pulse across their connected cables. “Unless there’s an emergency, I got all night.” He leaned forward, challenge in his optics. “If you think you can keep up.”

High Tide chuckled and dragged his fingers down the length of Heatwave’s cable. “I guess we’ll just have to see.”

It was time to learn this tugboat a thing or two. The kind of lesson High Tide was more than happy to give.

***

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[TFP] Taking Chances

Knock Out stomped into the communal washroom hoping that the force of his footsteps and the fury in his field would ensure everyone left him the frag alone. He wasn’t in a mood for conversation, for pointed looks from the other self-righteous Autobots, or for another lecture from Ultra Magnus on proper Autobot behavior.

He wanted to be left alone, to clean himself in peace, and grumble if he felt like it, because this aggravation wasn’t going away anytime soon. And frag Ratchet to the Pit and back. Rusted old scrapheap of a medic! Just who did he think he was?

Knock Out muttered subvocally and trudged to the nearest open rack. He slammed a hand on the switch to activate it and ducked under the resulting spray. Peripherally, he noticed that the room was empty, save for one other rack in use. He glanced behind him, just to see who it was – another newly returned Autobot with groping fingers, perhaps?

No, it was just Bumblebee. The yellow scout either hadn’t noticed Knock Out’s arrival or hadn’t cared, because he wasn’t even looking in Knock Out’s direction. Well good. Knock Out didn’t want company anyway.

He snatched one of the communal scrubbers off the hook and glared at the awful state of it. What he wouldn’t give for a private rack and private supplies instead of making do with these… these substandard tools. And standard, bulk solvent?

Knock Out shuddered. It ruined his paint, but he wasn’t afforded the luxury of a purchasing account with the humans yet. Not until he was more trustworthy or some slag. He couldn’t buy his better cleanser on his own until he had those Earth funds.

Frag them all.

“You scrub any harder and you’ll do more harm than good.”

Knock Out whipped a glare over his shoulder. “Yes, I’m aware,” he said, his tone tight as he stared down Bumblebee.

The scout blinked, his optics cycling in and out. “So do I dare offer help or are you gonna bite my head off?” He held up his hands and backed up a step, eying the door.

Knock Out clenched his jaw, debating. Of all the Autobots, Bumblebee was the most tolerable and the closest to what Knock Out could consider a friend. They’d shared meals a few times and carried on pleasant conversation. He was, at least, polite, and didn’t act like Knock Out was going to stab him in the back at any moment or give him a terrible disease.

Wordlessly, Knock Out handed over the scrubber.

Bumblebee grinned and accepted it. “Wanna talk about it?” he asked as he twirled a finger, gesturing for Knock Out to turn back toward the spray.

He did, tires twitching at the idea of baring his back to an Autobot. But if he couldn’t trust Bumblebee, what was the point of defecting?

“… Your Chief Medic is an aft well past his expiration date,” Knock Out gritted out.

The scrubber swept against his back with perfect pressure, scouring away any dirt that might be lingering in the nooks and crannies of Knock Out’s armor.

Bumblebee chuckled. “Chewed you out, huh?”

“He refuses to let me do anything but the most tedious tasks,” Knock Out grumbled and snatched up a meshcloth, swiping it over his arms and chestplate. There was far too much grime here for his comfort.

Ratchet had him cleaning and disinfecting scavenged parts for hours. And then, after that, he’d had to sweep and mop the floor! Dust the cabinets! Alphabetize the outdated textbooks! And, worst of all, empty the waste tanks.

“I’m a fully qualified medic, you know!” Knock Out declared, as if Bumblebee didn’t know. He waved his mesh cloth, spattering soap everywhere. “I am capable of more than just cleaning and organizing.”

“Yeah…” Bumblebee started focusing on Knock Out’s tires, though he was careful with them, probably because he knew how sensitive they could be. “Ratchet’s always been a bit of a control-freak, as Raf would say.”

Knock Out snorted. “Humans.”

“That attitude probably doesn’t help.”

Knock Out spun around and snatched the scrubber from Bumblebee’s hand. “What about his attitude?” he snapped. “How am I the only one at fault here?”

Again, Bumblebee lifted his hands. “I’m just saying, I think you both need to be more patient with each other.”

Knock Out harrumphed and spun back to the spray. He dropped both scrubber and cloth in the bins and switched to rinse. He didn’t feel clean, but it was better than nothing. He couldn’t take care of himself like he used to here. Cybertron was too much of a mess. The grit got everywhere and rust cloaked everything and every once in a while, it rained acid. Honestly, how was a decent mech supposed to keep himself in shape?

“Look, Doc’s hurting, and he’s taking it out on you,” Bumblebee said, because apparently he wasn’t getting Knock Out’s signals to go away. “No, it’s not fair, but just so you know, that’s where he’s coming from.”

Knock Out twisted under the spray, trying to get every bit of suds down the drain. “If he’s in pain, he should do the right thing and repair himself.”

Bumblebee leaned against the wall, out of reach of the mist. “Can’t fix a broken spark,” he said as he folded his arms. “And not even Ratchet can bring back the dead.”

Knock Out snapped off the rinse and stood there dripping, giving Bumblebee a confused look. “We’ve all lost someone. It was war. He needs to get over it.” He snagged a towel and started wiping down his armor.

“This isn’t the kind of loss you get over.” Bumblebee sighed and scrubbed at the floor with the tip of his foot. He watched the water swirl down the drain. “Optimus and Ratchet were close, you know? I’m pretty sure Ratchet loved him.”

Knock Out stared. “They were together?”

“No. Nothing like that. Doesn’t mean Ratch loved him any less though.” Bumblebee dragged a hand down his face, and the first taste of his field was thick with grief. “In another life, maybe they could’ve actually had something, who knows?” He shrugged, but it wasn’t as dismissive as Knock Out suspected he wanted it to be.

Knock Out frowned. He focused on drying his armor, disliking the way his spark shrank and contracted in his chassis. It wasn’t an excuse, and it didn’t forgive Ratchet his ill manner but…

He did remember the despair in Ratchet’s voice. He remembered how Ratchet had argued the longest, how his gaze had turned hollow the moment he realized what Optimus intended to do. Ratchet had been something of a ghost for a time after Optimus’ sacrifice, even temporarily returning to Earth.

When he came back, he was twice as rude as usual, snappish, and short of temper. Everything was a problem, no one could do anything right, least of all Knock Out, and he spent more time on shift than off. Once, Knock Out swore he caught a whiff of high grade as Ratchet passed, but he’d dismissed it.

Surely Ratchet knew better than to participate in patient care while inebriated. Surely.

“So yeah, I’m not saying you should just take the abuse, but maybe if you understand where he’s coming from, you can figure out how to change his mind.”

Knock Out sighed and bent at the waist to dry the last drips from his legs. “Something tells me Ratchet is not one to change his mind lightly. And I am tired of begging for a chance to prove myself.”

“Then stop begging.”

Knock Out straightened and pivoted to face Bumblebee. “What?”

The scout grinned, sly and rakish. “Better to ask forgiveness then wait for permission. Especially when it comes to Ratchet.”

Knock Out found himself grinning, too. “Bumblebee.” He planted his hands on his hips. “Are you telling me to disobey?”

“No, no. Of course not.” Bumblebee leaned forward, his doors canting forward with him, in a cute display of eagerness. “I wouldn’t do that at all. But if I were, it would be because I’m inviting you to play hookey for the rest of the day and come have some fun.”

“Hookey?” Knock Out repeated. He shook his head. “You spent too much time with the humans.” He tossed the towel into the laundry basket. “But what the Pit. Ratchet can’t get any madder at me than he already is. What did you have in mind?”

Bumblebee pushed off the wall and grinned. “Oh, you know. The usual.” He shadowboxed in place, bouncing back and forth on his feet. “Get our rations then go for a drive. A race if you’re up to it. Maybe even check out Illumination.”

“That new bar outside the reach of the command center?” Knock Out rubbed his chin and tilted his head. “Isn’t that being run by the Vehicons?”

“Last I heard. Doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. Who knows? It’s worth a shot, right?” Bumblebee bounced to a stop and folded his arms, his optics cycling wide and bright. He tilted his head, his expression unexpectedly charming. “So. You interested?”

Knock Out debated for all of a few seconds. Honestly, the alternatives were to either return to Ratchet, the medbay, and his list of cleaning responsibilities. Or play ‘hookey’ as Bumblebee said, by hiding out in his room and sulking as he consumed unhealthy amounts of rust sticks while watching imported movies.

“Let’s go,” Knock Out said, and spun toward the door, flicking his upper tires to get the last of the moisture from them. “I deserve to have some fun.”

Bumblebee jogged to catch up with him, and together, they left the washroom. “That’s the spirit.” He fell in step with Knock Out, matching his pace, which was admittedly a bit rapid, betraying his lingering agitation. “Everything else going okay though? Aside from Ratchet, I mean.”

Knock Out shrugged. “As good as it gets, I suppose.”

They passed a handful of Autobots passing in the other direction. Actual Autobots, not former Decepticons or Neutrals. Their badges had the distinct red that identified them as “true” Autobots or whatever. Not like the newly enacted who had a paler, more pink shade to their badges.

Knock Out didn’t wear a badge. It clashed horribly with his paint scheme. He didn’t care how much Ultra Magnus glared at him about it.

The passing Autobots stared. Knock Out ignored them, though the intensity of their stare made his armor itch. He still wasn’t used to the way everyone watched him. He’d never minded the attention when it was appreciation for a sweet alt-mode or a fine paint job. But this kind of attention made him feel dirty.

He didn’t recognize them, but Knock Out knew, they recognized him. There weren’t many defectors running around the city. And as the only place close to habitable on Cybertron, here was where everyone gathered.

Knock Out swallowed a sigh. “And maybe someday, I won’t get glared at just for walking down the hallway like any other mech.”

“No one’s giving you a hard time are they?” Bumblebee asked.

Knock Out just gave him a look, arching an orbital ridge. Really?

Bumblebee chuckled and waved a hand. “Aside from Ratchet, I mean.”

They turned a corner, heading toward the general mess, the scent of different energon blends floating down the hall. They didn’t have a huge variety, what with energon still being so scarce and all, but they made do with what they could. Additives and flavorings helped a lot.

“If you’re asking if someone is bullying me, I wouldn’t know how to answer that.” Knock Out frowned. Oh, sure, there was the usual.

Graffiti occasionally on his door or the wall outside his room. His schedule being changed without informing him otherwise. Anonymous messages sent to his public contact accounts and mails. Once, someone had even rigged a bucket of tacky orange paint outside his room, so that it drenched him the moment he left for his shift.

He’d had to wash it off first, which took ages and left him scraping his undercoat raw in several places. He’d been late to his shift, which had of course prompted a Ratchet lecture, and Ratchet didn’t have time for explanations or excuses.

Other than that, no. There was a distinct lack of direct attacks and violent reactions to him. Nothing went beyond a sneer or a muttered comment or a glare.

Ironically, it wasn’t much different than living with the Decepticons. Though there were times their form of bullying was a lot more… violent.

“Ultra Magnus will listen,” Bumblebee said, and was that concern Knock Out detected in his voice? For a former Decepticon? “He’s strict, but he’s fair. If someone is harassing you, he’d like to know.”

Knock Out shook his head. “It’s nothing I can’t handle.” And Primus forbid he go running to their interim-probably-permanent security officer like a weakling. If he couldn’t handle a little teasing, he’d have never survived in the Decepticons.

Bumblebee frowned. “The point is that you shouldn’t have to.”

“Clearly, you’ve never spent any time in a Decepticon base,” Knock Out muttered as they turned into the mess, and his comment was swallowed up by the noise and bustle of a packed dining hall.

Seriously, every mech not on duty right now had to be in here. Knock Out hadn’t even realized this many had returned to the planet. They were all Autobot in some shape or form, as every Decepticon had been scooped up and summarily imprisoned as a precautionary measure. To the point most Decepticons didn’t dare land.

Unless they were willing to defect, of course. Knock Out supposed he were lucky. He defected before the Autobots started requiring the humiliating ceremonies where former ‘Cons had to publicly denounce Megatron, the Decepticons, and anything else the current Autobot leadership decided was necessary. They had to cast off their brands, either with paint thinner or tossing the physical brand into a smelter.

Publicly.

No wonder so few were willing to defect. If the Autobots were trying to win wayward Cybertronians to their side, they were certainly going about it the wrong way.

Knock Out had caught a few transmissions, warnings to other ‘Cons, telling them to go elsewhere. There were stirrings of resentment, anger. Another war was brewing out there in the starry black, if the Autobots didn’t get their judgmental afts in gear and start realizing the planet wasn’t theirs alone to keep. There wasn’t anywhere else for the Decepticons to go.

Eventually, they’d come back here. En masse, no doubt. Megatron might be gone, but his legacy lived. There would be another.

A few near the door noticed Knock Out. He was treated to the Autobot Trademark Sneer before they returned to their conversation with one another.

For a moment, Knock Out hesitated. But then Bumblebee brushed his arm as he stepped up beside Knock Out, as if offering comfort and solidarity.

“Come on,” he said, gently taking Knock Out’s elbow. “I see a spot in the back. We can grab that table.”

“You sure you don’t mind being seen with me?” Knock Out asked, and sincerely hoped his tone was more snide than pitying. The last thing he needed was Bumblebee only spending time with him out of some idea of charity.

Bumblebee snorted. “I know my own worth. Everyone else can go frag themselves if they want to make a big deal about it.”

The latter he said quite loudly, almost pointedly, and more than a few Autobots hurriedly looked away, ducking their heads, like Bumblebee had chastised them directly. It was kind of nice, Knock Out had to admit. He didn’t need or want a champion, but it never hurt to have someone on his side either.

“Really?” Knock Out smirked. Down, but not out. That was his motto. “That doesn’t sound like a very Optimus Prime thing to say.”

Bumblebee barked a laugh. “Mm. Probably not,” he agreed. “But there was a lot more to Optimus then he realized. If he were here today, he’d probably be appalled by a lot of things we’re doing.”

They arrived at the table, and Knock Out took the seat tucked into the corner, all the better to see a problem and avoid a potential knife in the back. Maybe it wouldn’t happen, but Knock Out hadn’t survived by being reckless.

“Get comfy.” Bumblebee patted the table with another trademark grin. “I’ll get us a drink.”

He was gone before Knock Out could protest, weaving into a crowd that parted ways to welcome him. Knock Out watched him go, not failing to notice that faces were much friendlier to him without his former Decepticon shadow.

Not that Bumblebee seemed perfectly comfortable at the attention. He kept waving off invitations, holding up a hand and shaking his head. Someone patted him on the shoulder, and he smoothly stepped out from under the touch.

Knock Out knew Bumblebee was considered something of a hero to the Autobots at large. Frag, all of the Bots who’d been there for that final battle were revered in some shape or form. They’d practically turned Optimus Prime into the second coming of Primus! It wouldn’t be long now before the statues would start going up, with numerous of Optimus’ more famous speeches etched into plaques at their bases.

Pathetic.

Knock Out pulled out his datapad for something else to look at. He ignored the alert in the corner, informing him he still needed to review the Autobot Charter and take the exam. He’d been ignoring that particular requirement for months now. The damned thing was a thousand pages long.

In fine print.

Knock Out snorted and swept the screen to his sketching app. It had been ages since he’d drawn something, ages still since he had anything worth displaying. But war didn’t make time for pleasantries or creativity. All of his previous works had been destroyed when Crystal City fell.

That was when he’d seen the writing on the wall. When the Decepticons attacked and the Autobots had been helpless to it. He’d known then which side he’d have to join if he wanted to survive. He’d learned what it would, what would be necessary, but survival… that had always been key.

There was nothing he wouldn’t do to survive.

Bumblebee returned, a cube in each hand, and dropped into the booth beside Knock Out, forcing Knock Out to slide over a bit to make room. “We’ve got windfarm-filtered today,” the scout said as he slid the cube over. “Hope you don’t mind a few bugs.”

Knock Out grimaced and peered into his cube. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“I am.” Bumblebee laughed and leaned forward, cupping his hands around the cube. “No insects – or Insecticons – were harmed in the making of this energon.”

Knock Out shuddered. “Don’t remind me of those awful beasts.” He’d had quite enough of Insecticons, thank you very much. They’d always skulked around the Nemesis, and he swore half the time they were stalking him as if they longed to crunch on his struts.

“You don’t have to worry about them. Last I heard, they were still trapped on Earth’s moon with Airachnid, and she’s not capable of interstellar flight.” Bumblebee grinned a very beguiling grin.

Knock Out snorted. “Who says I’m worried?” He arched an orbital ridge and sipped at his cube, which was barely palatable, but better than nothing. Work needed to be done on that synethetic energon post-haste. Their other options weren’t appealing, and they could only mine so much from Earth and other seeded locations.

Of course, it would help if Megatron hadn’t gone off the deep end and destroyed so much of it…

“No one.” Bumblebee winked playfully and tipped his cube back, drinking deeply of it. His doors fluttered as he did so.

If he noticed the way other mechs stared at them, he didn’t act like it. Maybe he was used to the staring, given how Bumblebee was something of a legend among the Autobots. Even before he helped win the war. Rumors of the way he’d stood up to Megatron, at the cost of his vocalizer no less, were always running rampant.

There was no doubt Bumblebee was as brave as they come. Foolish, too. He completely acted against his own self-interest. How could he expect to survive that way? How had he survived?

Then again, Knock Out knew there was a time Bumblebee did not. Where only a fall into the Omega Lock matter had saved his spark.

Yet, he still treated Knock Out to a smile. Kindly. With respect. Given how much the Decepticons had brought him harm, how could he do it?

“Why are you being so nice to me?” Knock Out asked, or blurted rather. His attempt to stay calm and disconnected swirled right down the drain like a clump of grass once stuck in his rims.

And it wasn’t just today either. This wasn’t the first time Bumblebee had invited Knock Out somewhere, or escorted him. This wouldn’t be their first shared meal or friendly conversation.

This wouldn’t be the first time Knock Out had looked at him and wondered ‘what if’?”

Bumblebee cycled his optics. “What?”

“I’m not stupid.” Knock Out frowned and rested his elbows on the table, leaning forward. “Most other people act like I’ve got the cybonic plague. But you don’t. Why?”

“Oh.” Bumblebee shrugged. “It’s what Optimus would’ve done.”

Knock Out refused to allow himself to be disappointed. He didn’t know what else he expected. Of course Bumblebee worshiped Optimus like everyone else around here.

“Ah, so I’m your good deed for now.” Knock Out rolled his optics and sat back, snatching up the energon.

“My very own charity case.” Bumblebee grinned, but there was an edge to it, like he was teasing. Blue optics sparkled in Knock Out’s direction.

Knock Out snorted. He hid behind his cube.

“Or,” Bumblebee continued, and he started fiddling with his own cube, fingers spinning it around and around the table. “Maybe even a friend, if you want one.”

“And here I was thinking we were already,” Knock Out drawled, praying his tone was dismissive, even as his spark gave an odd flutter in his chassis. Had he actually hoped Bumblebee considered him more…?

Impossible.

The cube stopped with a thump and Bumblebee brought it to his lips. “Well, didn’t want to assume.” He tossed his head and the cube back, finishing it in one good gulp. “Would you rather I wasn’t nice?”

Knock Out snorted again. “No, thanks. I get enough of that as it is.” He sipped on his cube and glanced away, almost immediately catching a glare focused his direction.

Was it because he dared to exist? Because he consumed their energon? Because he betrayed the Decepticons or used to be one? Or maybe, just maybe, it was because he was sharing a table with one of the Autobot’s heroes and that just wouldn’t do.

Knock Out almost sent a coarse gesture the mech’s direction, but decided against it at the last moment. With his luck, he’d start some kind of mess hall riot and be blamed for it entirely. Plus, thrown energon and candies and furniture would absolutely ruin his paint job.

A black blur waved in front of his face. Knock Out cycled his optics and looked at Bumblebee again, shaking his head.

“There you are.” Bumblebee chuckled as Knock Out sipped the last of his cube and set the empty container on the table.

“Here I am,” Knock Out agreed. “Unfortunately.”

“Am I such bad company?”

“Not at all. I just dread the thought of going back to the medbay right now.” Knock Out tried and failed to conceal a scowl. He wasn’t in the habit of changing his mind again, but sometimes, Ratchet made things difficult.

Bumblebee leaned into his field of vision. “Then don’t.” His doors waggled. “I was serious when I said let’s go do something fun.”

“Won’t that violate my parole?”

“Parole?” Bumblebee’s orbital ridges lifted. He slid out of the seat and bounced on his heels. “Come on. No one really takes that seriously. Besides, what kind of trouble can you get into if you’re with me?”

“Quite a lot, I’m sure,” Knock Out drawled. He slid out of the booth on the other side, though with less bounce in his step. “I may be persona non grata around here, as they say, but I still get the gossip.”

“Oh? Do they talk about how handsome and charming I am?” Bumblebee’s doors waggled as he moved closer, nudging Knock Out with his elbow. “Or maybe they’re in awe of my speed. I know I can beat you.”

Knock Out reared back, looking down his nose at Bumblebee, though they were of a height. “Oh, that I highly doubt.”

“Wanna bet?”

Knock Out couldn’t ignore a challenge like that. The confidence in Bumblebee’s field was begging to be knocked down several pegs.

“Let’s go,” he said, and spun toward the exit, pushing through the crowd, or maybe it parted for him. Either way, getting out was a lot easier than getting in. “We’ll see who’s faster.”

Bumblebee jogged to catch up, chuckling at Knock Out as he did. “What’re the stakes?”

“You presented the challenge. It’s up to you to offer the stakes,” Knock Out informed him.

“Fair enough.” Bumblebee tapped his chin. “Fine. Loser buys the first round at Illumination.”

Knock Out arched an orbital ridge. “First round?”

“We’re supposed to be having fun, remember?” Bumblebee waggled his orbital ridges which made him look ridiculous, frankly, but somehow, it amused Knock Out anyway.

Knock Out’s tires twitched. “Alright. Loser buys the first round.” He poked Bumblebee in the middle of his chestplate. “Hope you’re ready to shell out the creds.”

~

It didn’t turn out as well as Knock Out could have hoped.

Oh, he gave it his all. He put pedal to the metal and his engine roared and his tires spun across the ground so fast he could have sworn he were flying rather than on solid ground.

But Bumblebee had spent a lot more time out on patrols than Knock Out, and he knew the landscape a dozen times better. He knew how to avoid the potholes and pitfalls and he was far less studious about his paint.

Knock Out didn’t lose entirely.

But he wasn’t the one currently waggling his aft and pumping his fists in the air in complete victory either. Three laps out of five and Bumblebee had left Knock Out in the dust. He must have gotten some kind of modification because his specs certainly didn’t match the speeds he’d displayed.

Or maybe that dip in the Omega Lock material had done more than just bring him back.

Either way, Knock Out tried not to sulk. “It’s unseemly to brag,” he said, failing in his endeavor to be unbothered by his loss.

“Says you.” Bumblebee snorted and clasped his hands behind his back, sauntering closer. “And I believe you owe us a drink.”

“Do you have to look so smug about it?” Despite himself, Knock Out was grinning. He’d had fun and sometimes, he forgot what that felt like.

It had felt so freeing, too. Just driving. Racing. Speeding across the ground. He was not caged, he’s as free as a reformed Decepticon could be, but Knock Out’s actions were always under constant scrutiny. He’d never admit aloud that he felt uneasy on his own at times. Last thing he wanted to do was wander into the wilds for a quick drive. Alone. Without any backup.

He could take care of himself. But there were a lot more Autobots than there were mechs who cared whether Knock Out lived or died. So he’d missed this simple pleasure, of the wind over his armor, and the road beneath his tires, and the roaring-purr of an engine pushed to the limits and more.

“This is not smug.” Bumblebee pointed at his own face and shook his head. “This is pride! And success!”

“It’s smug. You’re smug.” Knock Out palmed Bumblebee’s face and gave him a playful shove away. “Besides, you get out a lot more than I do. It was hardly a fair race. You just wait, next time you’ll be eating my grit.”

Bumblebee laughed and bounced back. “It’s a date then,” he said, without a moment’s hesitation. He brushed dirt from Knock Out’s shoulder, and for some odd reason, that moment of contact sent a wave of warmth up Knock Out’s spinal strut. “But first, I’m thirsty.”

Knock Out swallowed over a lump in his intake. “Thirsty,” he echoed, and tried for a disdainful look. “You spend far too much time on Earth.”

“I’ll take you with me next time. At least then you can’t blame the state of the roads for why you lost to me.” Bumblebee winked, and another jolt of something went straight to Knock Out’s spark. “Besides, if you actually talked to some humans, you might actually like them.”

“I doubt it.” He still remembered their squishy, sweaty bodies inside his trunk, and how they’d sniped at each other.

Primus.

Knock Out shuddered. No, thank you. Humans smelled and excreted and they talked far too much. He preferred the company of other Cybertronians, thank you very much.

Bumblebee chuckled. “There’s still time to change your mind.” He patted Knock Out on the shoulder. “Come on. Let’s get that drink.”

He felt enraptured by Bumblebee’s pace, and Knock Out couldn’t put a finger on why. He felt swept along, unable to do more than grumble as they slipped into altmode and headed back into the city proper. Or, the outskirts at least.

Illumination had been cobbled together from the remains of several destroyed buildings rather than waste new materials needed for more important ventures. As a result, the entire outside of it was mismatched in terms of both color and composition. The neon sign had been snatched from Earth and flickered in and out as it buzzed noisily. Music floated from the open windows, along with the distinct undertone of chatter.

Two Vehicons stood at the double-doors in the front, probably bouncers of some kind. They’d lost their Decepticon badges, and had repainted themselves, but there was no mistaking that distinct frame-build.

Knock Out couldn’t blame them. Megatron had used the cold-constructed mechs like cannon fodder, treating them as little more than drones. They looked alike because they were sparked that way, made to be interchangeable and Megatron treated them as such.

So maybe they weren’t the brightest bulbs in the bunch, but they were individuals. Knock Out supposed in this post-war world, they now had a chance to show it off.

Still, he wrinkled his nasal structure. “Are they playing human music?” he asked as words in English finally caught up his audials.

“Yep.” Bumblebee’s doors did that adorable wiggle-twitch thing again. He bounced on his heels, optics brighter.

Oh, Primus.

Knock Out steeled himself for what was quite possibly going to be a terrible time. The music was almost obnoxious, and the smell of too many alt-modes venting in too small of an area struck him in the face before they even stepped through the doors.

“Hey, Silverspot, Runner.” Bumblebee greeted the two Vehicons at the door with a fistbump. Their visors flashed at him – a shade Knock Out had never seen before. “Sounds like some good beats tonight.”

“Got a new DJ,” the pale Vehicon on the left said.

“The crowds have been bigger and better than ever,” the one with racing stripes on the right added, their voices almost identical.

“Sweet.” Bumblebee grinned and reached back, grabbing Knock Out’s hand firmly. “He’s with me, okay?”

And just like that, Knock Out was the sole recipient of their attention, and he wondered just then, if he’d ever repaired these two mechs. He’d only known the Vehicons by their serial numbers – Megatron had wanted it that way. Knock Out knew the Vehicons had more personal names to each other, but he’d never bothered to learn them.

It hadn’t been important.

Knock Out spent most of his time bearing the scrutiny of his fellow Autobots. He’d never once thought about the opinions of those who had been Decepticons beside him. After all, they were dead now. Starscream, Soundwave, Shockwave, Breakdown, Dreadwing, Airachnid – all of them gone, in one way or another. Who was there left to face?

No one but Megatron’s nameless, faceless, interchangeable army of not-drones.

“If you say so, Bee,” the pale Vehicon – Silverspot, Knock Out assumed – said, but his voice projected disapproval and distaste.

“Only because it’s you,” the striped one purred and tilted his head toward the door. “You better keep an optic on him, though. We don’t want no trouble.”

“Aw, Runner, now would I do anything dangerous?” Bumblebee tightened his fingers around Knock Out’s and gave him a tug toward the door. “Later!”

“Have fun!”

Knock Out didn’t make optic contact as he passed. Not because he was afraid, but because he didn’t know what he’d find. Contempt, perhaps. He was no better than Megatron, treating them as disposable, but it hadn’t fit with his credo either. He had to look after himself first.

He had to survive.

The doors slammed shut behind them, and a wash of heat attacked immediately after. Knock Out’s vents seized, his optics spiraling in and out, struggling to focus. It was dim in here, well dim in terms of overhead lighting. But there were flashing lights, spinning lights, streams of bright color spilling all over a central dance floor. Bars along the walls were backlit by lamps, and the glow of dozens of biolights added to the dim.

The floor was a bit tacky beneath his feet. The place was packed with mechs of all shapes and sizes – soldiers, workers, a few civilians who had managed to come back, some of the newsparks who were ready for the world. There were Vehicons and Eradicons, too, recognizable by their frames, but not their colors.

Primus, it was loud.

Bumblebee squeezed his hand and leaned in close. “Drink first!” he hollered to be heard over the music. “Then we dance.”

“I don’t remember agreeing to a dance,” Knock Out said.

Bumblebee ignored him. Or maybe Knock Out hadn’t been loud enough. Either way, he found himself being towed through the crowd, Bumblebee easily clearing a path for them. More than a few mechs called out greetings to him, clapping him on the shoulder, acting all too familiar. Just like those guards.

Knock Out only recognized one face in the crowd– Smokescreen, near the furthest wall, shaking his aft without paying heed to the rhythm of the music. He seemed to be having fun, so Knock Out supposed that was all that mattered.

Bumblebee got them to the nearest bar and Knock Out up next to him, squeezing them both into a space between two clusters of mechs. He signaled for the bartender and flashed Knock Out a grin.

“Time to pay up, doc,” he said.

Knock Out rolled his optics. “Brag a little louder. I don’t think the rest of the bar can hear you yet.”

Bumblebee laughed. “Just pick your poison.”

Knock Out glanced at the menu scratched on a board above the wall. This establishment seemed to serve a little bit of everything, from regular energon to high grade to engexes. It even had an approximation of Iacon wine.

It also only accepted Earth dollars.

Of all the humiliations…

Bumblebee pressed against his side, no doubt accidentally since the crowd was so thick that it soaked up any inch of available space. “What’ll it be?”

Knock Out gnawed on his bottom lip. “I changed my mind,” he said and shook his head. He turned, trying to spot an escape through the crowd. “I should go back to Ratchet after all.”

“Hey.” Bumblebee’s hand grabbed his again, like he had no trouble touching Knock Out when everyone else considered him a plague. “What’s wrong?” All teasing was gone from his voice now.

Knock Out growled at his own behavior. Of course an Autobot couldn’t let things lie. No, he had to be concerned and interested, and he couldn’t just let Knock Out go sulk in a corner, brooding about the unfairness of the universe.

No, Bumblebee was too persistent for that. He wouldn’t shrug and ignore things if Knock Out walked away.

Knock Out sighed a vent. “They only take Earth funds.”

Bumblebee cycled his optics and looked confused. “Yeah, most of the new places around here do. Because we don’t have a cred system yet.”

Earth funds were for luxuries and treats. Right now, Cybertron didn’t need creds because every resident was provided the necessary energon, coolant, and shelter without having to “earn it” so to speak. Earth funds, on the other hand, had to be gained.

Which didn’t mean Knock Out wasn’t earning any. He was quite sure he had a bit of a stockpile. The problem was that he didn’t have access to it at the moment.

“That’s all well and good, but since I still don’t have access to mine, I can’t fill my half of the bet, now can I?” Knock Out demanded. He gave a token tug to his arm. “Now, if you’re done humiliating me for the day, I’d like to go.”

“Is that all?” Bumblebee rolled his optics and pulled Knock Out back toward the bar. “Come on then. It’ll be my treat this time, and as soon as they unlock your accounts, you can treat me twice over. Sound fair?”

Knock Out stared at him. “Why are you being so generous?”

“Because I want to.” Bumblebee gave his arm a little squeeze and then let him go, as though leaving it up to Knock Out’s decision. “Because I want to have a drink and a dance with you, and I don’t want you to leave because high command are taking their sweet time accepting what I already know.”

Knock Out tilted his head. “And that would be…?”

“That you’re one of us,” Bumblebee said as though it were the easiest thing in the world. He then turned to address the bartender – an Eradicon whose narrow-visored gaze was cutting between them. “Hey, Razorwire. Can me and my buddy here get a shot of Toxic Turnover each?”

“Sure thing, Bee.” Razorwire glanced at Knock Out, the light behind his visor flashing briefly, before he turned to fill their order.

Bumblebee flashed a grin over his shoulder, his door tilting down so he could see Knock Out over it. “See? Easy as cake.”

Knock Out sighed and closed the distance between them, the press of the crowd making him collide with Bumblebee’s side. “Come here often, do you?” he drawled, disliking the sudden run of jealousy through his spark.

Bumblebee laughed. “I’m not just a stuffy old Autobot. I know how to have fun.” He rolled his shoulders in a playful shrug. “I’m surprised you haven’t.”

“Places like this usually aren’t my first choice,” Knock Out replied. Not that he had the time to waste on having fun. Ratchet usually kept him busy with the scut work, and Ultra Magnus had him studying to pass his Autobot Code exam.

“Why not?”

Knock Out shrugged. He didn’t have a good answer.

Luckily, Razorwire returned with two shot-sized glasses of something glowing a dangerous, bright green. He set it down in front of Bumblebee, and though he didn’t have a mouth, something in his manner suggested a smirk.

“You two enjoy,” he said.

“Thanks, Razor.” Bumblebee picked up the shots and turned back toward Knock Out, offering him one. “Well? You want it? Or is my charity too much for you?”

Knock Out snorted and accepted the drink. “I suppose that depends on what it’s going to cost me.” He gave the drink a tentative sniff, surprised to find it had a sharp, sweet aroma.

“Hmm.” Bumblebee’s finger rubbed along the tiny cube’s outer edge. “How about a dance then?” He lifted his orbital ridges.

Knock Out laughed before he could stop himself. “It’s cheap enough I suppose. A dance it is.”

Bumblebee lifted his cube and gestured to Knock Out with it. “Bottoms up.” He winked.

Knock Out tapped his cube against Bumblebee’s and together, they tossed the small shot of Toxic Turnover back in one fell swoop. It went down smooth, sweet where it barely splashed over Knock Out’s glossa, and sent a wave of warmth through his tanks.

“Good stuff.” Bumblebee smacked his lips, grabbed the empty cube from Knock Out, and set both on the counter behind him, upside down. He clapped his hands together. “Ready for that dance?”

Knock Out glanced behind him, at the seething crowd, frames twisting and churning to a quick, throbbing beat, words indistinguishable above the bass. He cringed imagining how many mechs would brush against him, scrape his paint, leave him scuffed.

But a deal was a deal…

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” he said.

Bumblebee laughed, suddenly right next to Knock Out, pressed up against him, hand sliding down to tangle their fingers together. “Good. Then let’s go.”

He didn’t wait for an answer. Had a bad habit of not waiting, that one did. Before Knock Out could second guess himself, Bumblebee’s hand tightened around his, and they plunged into the crowd, Bumblebee paving the way. Knock Out stumbled and fought to catch up, drafted along in Bumblebee’s wake, as the scout seemed to be heading straight for the middle of the dance floor.

Only then did Bumblebee let Knock Out go and spin to face him. His doors did a quick up and down motion before he started to move in time to the beat, displaying an amount of grace that was not at all surprising. Knock Out had seen him on the battlefield.

“Don’t just stand there!” Bumblebee shouted, because how else were they going to be heard over the music and the crowd and the multitude of revving engines. “Move!”

Knock Out rolled his optics, but move he did. He listened to the beat for a moment, let it soak in through the floor, rattle through his struts and his hydraulics, thud in time with his spark. He danced, letting the harsh throb of the beat chase away everything else, the anger he felt at Ratchet, at himself, at high command. The irritation he still carried everywhere he went. The indecision.

He offered it all to the music – crass and human in nature though it was – and purged it from his field. Bumblebee was right. He was here to have fun, a concept Knock Out had almost forgotten.

Surviving was not enough. One had to live. And living meant having fun.

Knock Out grinned and threw himself into the music, twisting and writhing, occasionally bumping into other dancers, but it was all right. Everyone out here was bumping into everyone else, and no one seemed bothered by it.

Bumblebee moved closer to him, until they were dancing together, and Knock Out didn’t mind one bit. Dancing with a partner was always better, and my but Bumblebee could move. Could shake his hips, add in some fancy footwork, and Knock Out swore Bumblebee was flirting with him. Casual brushes of his fingertips, the brief press of their frames together – hot and vibrating.

The music shifted, turning less frantic and bouncy, to something energetic and sultry, something that called for a closer encounter.

Knock Out grinned and let himself indulge. When Bumblebee spun closer, Knock Out twisted into his path, let their frames collide. He caught Bumblebee’s gaze and smirked, as black hands found his hips and gave them a tug.

Armor connected, heat to heat, and Knock Out felt the rush of hot vents over his frame. He rolled his hips, grinding against Bumblebee, their frames moving in perfect sync.

Knock Out licked his lips as his engine purred. He dipped, letting Bumblebee’s hands on his hips carry his weight as he leaned back, intending to tease. It worked, if the flash of heat in Bumblebee’s optics was any indication.

It worked on someone else, too.

Thick fingers wrapped around one of Knock Out’s outflung wrists. A strong tug and he stumbled backward, out of Bumblebee’s grip and against a much taller, much broader frame. A whiff of road grit, asphalt, and heavy-duty exhaust identified a construction mech of some kind, and Knock Out shuddered at the mental image of what tacky residue must have streaked up his backside.

“A pretty thing like you needs a bigger dance partner,” someone growled down at him, venting hot and greasy, his massive hand pawing down Knock Out’s front.

Of all the–

Knock Out whipped around, but didn’t get very far with his wrist caught by that claw the mech called a hand. If he’d had his electro prod, this conversation would go very differently.

“Hands off!” he snarled and tried to wrench his wrist free without snapping it in the process.

A black and yellow blur slipped between them, and with a single blow to the construction mech’s inner elbow, Knock Out’s hand was freed from confinement. The mech bellowed and pinned Bumblebee with a glare, and Bumblebee revved his engine.

“The mech said ‘hands off’,” Bumblebee growled, his doors high and rigid, threatening if Knock Out had to guess. “He’s with me.”

Pale yellow optics flicked from Bumblebee to Knock Out and back again. He clutched at his elbow, arm dangling limply. One blow and Bumblebee had either numbed or shattered a hydraulic joint. Impressive.

“Fine,” the brute spat. “Don’t want used goods anyway.” He spun around and stomped into the crowd, which cleared a path for him as though eager to get the negative vibes out of the fun.

“Aft,” Bumblebee muttered, just loud enough for Knock Out to catch before he turned to face Knock Out once more. “You’re not hurt are you?”

Knock Out held up the hand big bruiser had grabbed. “Dented, but nothing I can’t fix myself,” he said as Bumblebee gently took his arm and inspected his wrist as though he were the medic here and not the other way around. “Thanks for the save, hero.”

Bumblebee flashed him a grin. “What? Did you actually want to dance with him?” He threw a thumb over his shoulder, half-turning. “Because I’m sure he didn’t get far. I can call him back.”

Knock Out snorted. “You know that’s not what I meant.” He looked at Bumblebee’s hold on his arm, surprisingly gentle for all the violence he’d implied just moments before. “Besides, you weren’t wrong. Tonight I am yours.”

“Really?” Bumblebee’s hand slid up Knock Out’s arm until it curved around his frame, tugging him close. “Then I guess that makes me the luckiest mech in here,” he purred as their chassis bumped.

Knock Out laughed as Bumblebee’s other hand slid around his waist, not that Knock Out minded. “You’ve had too much to drink.”

“Pfft. My tolerance is better than that. One drink doesn’t even get me buzzed.” He waggled his orbital ridges and spun Knock Out to the beat. “I think it’s just your company that’s got me high.”

Knock Out’s mouth worked for several seconds before he decided laughter was the best response again. “You’re ridiculous.”

“Mm hmm.” Bumblebee leaned in closer, his lips curved in a devilish grin that made Knock Out’s internals squirm. “I don’t need high grade to see how gorgeous you are and that’s the truth.”

Heat stole into Knock Out’s face. He blinked, not expecting the direct compliment, and sort of chuckled, trying to laugh it away. Surely, Bumblebee didn’t mean it. He was just that friendly. Look, he even befriended Decepticons.

“Well, that’s because it’s fairly obvious,” Knock Out drawled, falling back on old habits – overconfidence and conceit.

“That, too.” Bumblebee swayed to the beat, hips twisting, encouraging Knock Out to do the same as the distance between them steadily decreased. “So how long do I get you for then?”

Knock Out made a show of sliding his arms over Bumblebee’s shoulders. He toyed with the mount of one of Bumblebee’s doors. “Hm. Two more drinks and a song, I’d say. Can’t offer myself cheap after all.”

Bumblebee chuckled. “Deal.”

His hands squeezed on Knock Out’s hips before he pulled back from the half-embrace. Knock Out swallowed down the strange jolt of disappointment. But then Bumblebee grabbed his hand, as he seemed so fond of doing, and started towing Knock Out off the dance floor, back to the bar where a gap in the crowd allowed for two empty stools.

Bumblebee wriggled between them and slapped a hand on the bar as if trying to get Razorwire’s attention, while he tugged Knock Out to join him. They squeezed between the stools, their legs tangled, frames pressed tight, and heat made a quick flush through Knock Out’s frame. He didn’t know if the vibrations he felt were from the rumbles of Bumblebee’s engine, or the rapid pulse of the music.

“Another round, Razor!” Bumblebee called as his doors twitched up and down, up and down, not unlike a Seeker’s wings, point of fact.

“You know a lot of Vehicons,” Knock Out commented as he leaned against the bar next to Bumblebee, head tilted so he could keep one optic on the room behind them. He didn’t want to get grabbed like that again.

Bumblebee shrugged. “They’re good bots.”

“Is it because it’s what Optimus would’ve told you to do?” Knock Out asked. Partly because he was curious, and partly because he still wondered if Bumblebee only spent time with him because he thought he was doing the right thing.

Bumblebee arched an orbital ridge. “I don’t mindlessly obey, you know. I can make my own decisions. And that includes spending time with a whole group of mechs who got the slag end of life for reasons that aren’t their fault.”

Razor appeared then, sliding two Toxic Turnovers across the bar to them. “I made it extra spicy,” he said with a flutter of his optical band.

If Knock Out didn’t know better, he’d say the Eradicon was flirtingwith Bumblebee. Who, by the way, only snorted and scooped up the two shots.

“If I fall out again, don’t expect me to pay the towing fee,” he retorted and returned his attention to Knock Out, offering up the shot. “For you.”

Knock Out’s gaze flicked from the shot to Razorwire and back again. Extra spicy? What the frag did that mean?

“It’s not poisoned.” Bumblebee chuckled. “He only meant he added an extra shot of engex for me. Since he knows my tolerance is higher than most.” His free hand patted his abdomen as he gave his engine a rev. “High performance vehicle, you know.” He winked.

Knock Out snorted and accepted the shot. “Oh, I know. Since I am one.” He swirled the concoction around the cube, the bright green shade almost nauseating.

“Yes, you are.” Bumblebee grinned and lifted his cube. “Hmm. To a pair of sexy speedsters on the dance floor.”

Ridiculous.

Knock Out raised his cube anyway. “That no one else can touch,” he added and knocked his cube against Bumblebee’s. “Cheers.”

The second Toxic Turnover went down even easier, like liquid candy, flowing thick and sweet over his glossa. Knock Out couldn’t even taste the extra shot of engex in it, but he definitely felt the buzzy burn as it hit his tanks and sent a rev of energy through his frame. He shivered, tires twitching, heat flushing to his face.

Together, he and Bumblebee set the empty cube upside-down on the bar with a near-synchronized tap.

“Another one, my mechs?” Razorwire asked.

Knock Out startled. He hadn’t realized Razorwire never left. Instead, the Eradicon had lingered and watched them, and now there was an odd cant to the way he held himself.

“I do believe he promised me one more,” Bumblebee said as he playfully flicked one of Knock Out’s tires, setting it into a lazy spin.

The tiny action sent a much larger thrill through Knock Out’s lines. “That I did,” Knock Out replied, sweeping his glossa over his lips. “But just one.”

Bumblebee leaned in close, until Knock Out could taste the Toxic Turnovers on his ex-vents. “Hit your tolerance level, doctor?” he asked. A flick of his finger over the inner rim of Knock Out’s tire set it spinning again.

Knock Out locked optics with Bumblebee, leaning in close enough their lips could brush if only he’d close the distance. “Not a chance,” he purred and drew back before temptation could lead him down a dangerous path.

Bumblebee chuckled. “Good.”

Two more Toxic Turnovers plunked down on the bar counter and nudged their way. Razorwire didn’t stay to chat this time though. Instead, he vanished toward another portion of the bar, where a rowdy trio of mechs were loudly demanding drafts of the cheapest whatever was on tap.

Hmph. Some people had no sense of taste.

Knock Out scooped up his own shot before Bumblebee could hand it to him. It seemed even darker, more turbulent this time. Perhaps it had yet another boost of engex in it.

“Hmm.” Bumblebee held up the cube and admired it in the flashing multicolored lights. “This time I think we should toast to… building bridges.” He grinned as he met Knock Out’s gaze, something pointed in it.

Knock Out worked his intake, spark pounding faster in his chassis. “And making it easier to cross them,” he agreed.

Bumblebee’s optics spiraled wider, the blue brightening in hue. He didn’t look away, not even as they blindly tapped their cubes together and sucked down the shots as quick as possible. Sweet and syrupy, heat in his tank, and Knock Out shivered, the world a swirl of color and noise around him.

“Come on.” Bumblebee discarded the cube behind him, his hand clasping warm around Knock Out’s. “I get one more dance.”

They returned to the dance floor, to the fast beat throbbing all around them, up through the floor and into Knock Out’s frame. He felt warm and relaxed, like he hadn’t in a long time, and even better when Bumblebee didn’t let him go.

They danced together, closer and closer, frames brushing, armor coming into electric contact. It felt like taunt and tease. And Knock Out didn’t fail to notice that others watched them, but it didn’t feel like the judgment of the refueling station. It was appreciation and jealousy.

That’s right, Knock Out wanted to say, smug and proud, he’s here with me.

As if hearing his thoughts, Bumblebee pulled Knock Out in close, spinning him so they were back to front, Bumblebee notching himself between Knock Out’s tires. He nuzzled the back of Knock Out’s neck, his arms sliding loose around Knock Out’s waist.

A thrill ran up Knock Out’s spinal strut.

“This okay?” Bumblebee asked, his ex-vents like teasing puffs over Knock Out’s cables.

Knock Out’s spark pulsed, one that seemed to echo much, much lower. To his poor, neglected interface array, which hadn’t seen any action but his own two hands since his defection.

“If it wasn’t, I’d have said so.” Knock Out punctuated his point with a grind backward, rubbing his aft into the cradle of Bumblebee’s hips.

Bumblebee chuckled, his hands skimming over Knock Out’s abdomen. “You know, you can tell me ‘no’, right?”

“What?” That was kind of a weird segue.

“You don’t have to agree if you’re not interested,” Bumblebee said as his hands returned to the relatively safe area of Knock Out’s hips.

Knock Out’s engine growled. “Of course I know that!” Just what was Bumblebee trying to imply? That Knock Out thought he was some kind of prisoner without a choice?

“So you are interested?” Bumblebee purred, right against his audial, otherwise no way would Knock Out have heard it.

He shivered and slid his hands down Bumblebee’s arms, still grinding against Bumblebee to the beat of the music. “Obviously,” Knock Out drawled and pointedly rubbed his aft against the curve of Bumblebee’s groin. Was it just his imagination or was there definitely a tangible heat?

“Good,” Bumblebee murmured with a hot ex-vent. His hands skimmed back over Knock Out’s abdomen. “Because right now, we’re just two Autobots having a good time.”

Knock Out grinned at the confirmation. He squirmed in Bumblebee’s arms, managing to turn around so that they were face to face, and Bumblebee’s hands were on his hips. Though he nearly smacked Bumblebee with a tire. Ah, the perils of protruding kibble.

“A great time, you mean,” he corrected.

Bumblebee chuckled. “Yeah.” He took one of Knock Out’s hands, tangling their fingers together, as he moved them into a few dance steps Knock Out could easily follow. “Though it’d be a shame if it was only tonight.”

“Wouldn’t it?” Knock Out smirked and moved in step with Bumblebee. He was a fast learner. “I guess we’ll have to see if you earn another.”

Bumblebee’s free hand slid back around his waist, thumb sweeping over a transformation seam and making Knock Out shiver. “Awwww,” he said. “And here I thought I was already putting my best foot forward.”

Bumblebee spun, twirling Knock Out with him, and at the last moment, caught his balance and tilted Knock Out into a dip, all to the rhythm of the music. One foot braced against the floor, the other found its way to sliding alongside Bumblebee’s stabilizing foot. Their faces were inches apart, and Knock Out had a moment where he wanted to be bold.

Bold like he hadn’t been since before his defection.

Knock Out swallowed over a lump in his intake. His vents fluttered. He curled a single hand around the back of Bumblebee’s head, and closed the distance between them, bringing their lips together for an electric kiss. He meant it to be brief, not wanting to pressure, but Bumblebee made a small sound, his fingers pressing in on Knock Out’s back plating, before he pressed onward, and returned the kiss.

His glossa slipped out, tasting the seam of Knock Out’s lips, and he opened to Bumblebee, their glossa meeting in a hot, slick tangle. Knock Out clutched Bumblebee’s shoulder, his knees wobbling. A sharp pant burst from his vents, and his engine kicked into a higher gear. He felt the vibration of Bumblebee’s engine matching his.

And then it was over, far too quickly. Bumblebee drew back, pulling Knock Out completely upright, but he didn’t pull away. His hands lingered on Knock Out’s hips, sweeping up and down, their frames in delicious near-contact. His optics were bright, so very blue, and his glossa ran over his lips like he was savoring their kiss.

“Should I apologize?” Knock Out asked because sometimes, returning a kiss didn’t mean it was wanted in the first place.

“Only for not doing that sooner,” Bumblebee replied with a grin. He gestured out of the crowd with a tilt of his head. “Want to get out of here?”

Knock Out brushed his fingertips over the side of Bumblebee’s intake. “You read my mind.”

It felt natural, this time, for Bumblebee’s hand to slide into his, and for Bumblebee to lead him off the dance floor. Just a small point of contact, and Knock Out’s spark did a foolish triple-pulse. He stared at Bumblebee’s back, at the little upward twitches of his doors – happiness, if Knock Out had to guess.

They didn’t stop by the bar on the way out. Knock Out could only assume Bumblebee had some kind of tab here. They didn’t exit by the front door, either, but by a side door that functioned as a one-way exit.

There was another Eradicon here, probably a door guard, to make sure no one tried to sneak in through the side. His optical band brightened when he saw Bumblebee.

“Hey, Buzzy,” the bright-pink Eradicon with horrible taste in paint said. “Leaving so soon?”

Bumblebee chuckled. “Can you blame me?” He held up his hand, his fingers still interlaced with Knock Out’s as though showing him off.

The Eradicon tilted to the side, looking Knock Out up and down. “Well, you’ve got good taste at least. Have fun, you two.”

“Thanks. I’ll try.” Bumblebee winked and tucked Knock Out against his side.

“Which of us was he even talking to?” Knock Out muttered as he looked over his shoulder. The pink Eradicon was still watching them, though now he leaned against the wall with his arms crossed.

“Probably me. Baron’s got a weird sense of humor.”

Knock Out snorted. Did Bumblebee know every Eradicon and Vehicon in the city by their newly chosen names? Did he only spend time with former Cons? What was his deal?

Out of the club, it was easier to walk side by side. Bumblebee still held his hand; Knock Out had no interest in retrieving it. This felt more like a date now, and a part of him wondered if it hadn’t been Bumblebee’s intention all along. Beyond the press of so many mechs, Knock Out could finally pick out Bumblebee’s field, and the miasma of emotions buried inside of it.

“So,” he started, to break the quiet, not uncomfortable, but definitely taut with the expectation of something. “Do you just have a kink for ex-cons or what?”

Bumblebee’s head turned toward him, and he cycled his optics in and out before he snickered. “I know it seems that way, but no.” He grinned and bumped shoulders with Knock Out. “Got a kink for you though.”

Heat flooded Knock Out’s cheeks, and he couldn’t even blame the engex. He’d long since burned it off. “I’m flattered,” he drawled, trying to grasp onto his composure with increasingly shaky fingers.

“Is that your way of letting me down gently?” Bumblebee asked, his tone light, but the heaviness in his field betrayed his disappointment. There was longing, too. Like he’d just let something he always wanted slip through his fingers.

The rest of the puzzle clicked into place.

Knock Out drew to a halt, tugging on Bumblebee’s hand in the process. The scout turned to look at him, expression blank, but his doors canted upward. Expectant.

He met Bumblebee’s gaze, and tried to search for answers in it, but Bumblebee was too good at keeping secrets. Knock Out would have to ask.

“How long?”

Bumblebee’s weight shifted. “Long enough.”

Knock Out looked at their joined hands, fingers knitted together. Bumblebee had been holding him one way or another all night. He should have realized sooner. Primus, he was an idiot.

“You could’ve said something.”

“Point of fact… not as easy as it sounds.” Bumblebee sighed and scratched at his nose. “You’re not exactly…. Uh….”

“–friendly?” Knock Out supplied. Though he didn’t think that was it. He could be friendly when he wanted!

“I was going with approachable.” Bumblebee chuckled, and his thumb swept over the side of Knock Out’s palm. “But yeah. So you can tell me no, and I swear I’ll walk away. I know how to take rejection gracefully.”

Knock Out’s glossa swept over his lips. “Really?” he asked. “Because that’s not the answer I had in mind.”

Bumblebee’s gaze jerked toward him, optics cycling wide and bright. “Oh?”

Knock Out cycled a vent, steadying himself, and stepped closer. Into Bumblebee’s field and his personal space, until their frames were close enough to sense one another’s heat without touching.

“My hab is only a block from here.” Knock Out squeezed Bumblebee’s hand, praying to whoever would listen he wasn’t making a huge mistake. Loneliness clawed so hard around his spark, a slim trail of hope was all he had left. “Interested?”

Bumblebee’s field flushed with heat, and sent tingles racing across Knock Out’s receptors. “Oh, I’m interested. But–”

“I’m not even tipsy, you’re not my commanding officer, and I know I don’t owe you anything,” Knock Out interrupted, able to guess Bumblebee’s hesitation. He was an Autobot after all.

Knock Out moved closer, until their chestplates brushed, and he dragged his fingers over Bumblebee’s headlights. “Though maybe you owe me a thing or two.”

Bumblebee’s free hand closed around his wrist and pulled it toward his mouth. “Or three,” he murmured as he brushed his lips over the inside of Knock Out’s wrist, holding Knock Out’s gaze the whole time. “Or four.”

Knock Out shivered and worked his intake. They were all but in the middle of the sidewalk. Anyone passing by could see them. Drivers in the street were getting an optic-full. Yes, it was chaste, but Knock Out was a known former Con and Bumblebee was a famous hero. Anonymity didn’t exist for either of them.

“However many you want to owe me,” Knock Out said, and surprised himself with the hitch in his vents. “But in the privacy of my hab.”

Bumblebee chuckled and skimmed his lips over Knock Out’s fingertips. “Exhibition not one of your kinks?”

“Not this kind.” He squeezed Bumblebee’s hand, dropping his voice into a lower register. “I’ll be happy to introduce you to some others though.”

“I’ll hold you to that promise,” Bumblebee purred. “Lead the way, doc.”

No doubt Bumblebee knew the way to Knock Out’s hab. But it was nice of him to pretend otherwise. Or maybe it was yet another way for him to be certain that Knock Out wanted this, wanted him. Either way, Knock Out appreciated the consideration.

His hab wasn’t much to brag about, but at least he could be comforted in knowing no one on Cybertron right now lived in luxury. Habitable buildings were hard to come by, so they squeezed as many mechs into each one as they possibly could. Knock Out had a small loft, composed of a tiny, one-stall washrack, a closet with a berth in it, and a larger main room for any other need he might have.

Like the couch, for instance.

The moment Knock Out let the field-reader identify him and give him access to his own hab, Knock Out intended to head right for the couch. But Bumblebee’s arms wrapped around him, and he found himself pressed against the wall instead, the door closing shut behind them and sealing them away from prying optics.

“You can tell me to stop,” Bumblebee said as he nipped at Knock Out’s jaw, his engine revving, and his frame venting heat in hot waves against Knock Out’s chassis.

Knock Out growled and cupped Bumblebee’s head, pulling the scout toward him for a kiss. A serious one. He tasted Bumblebee’s lips with his glossa before he plunged it into Bumblebee’s mouth, catching hints of their earlier drinks. His own engine revved as Bumblebee pressed harder against him, his tires squishing against the wall, another wave of heat running through his lines.

Courtesy was one thing. Delay was quite another. Knock Out had spent far too long alone. He wanted Bumblebee beneath him now.

He pushed forward, making Bumblebee stumble back. Their lips parted, and Knock Out slid off the wall, toward the main room. Bumblebee followed, like predator stalking prey, his optics darkening from arousal, the heat of it tangible in his field.

A thrill ran through Knock Out’s lines. “Right now, all I want to say is yes,” he said as he backed further and further into the main room, Bumblebee following every step of the way. “Maybe even repeatedly, if you think you can manage it.”

Bumblebee chuckled. “I guess we’ll have to see.”

He caught up to Knock Out, arms going around Knock Out’s waist as he slanted their lips together again. This time, the kiss was more hungry, more forceful, and Knock Out moaned into it. His hands slid over Bumblebee’s shoulders, trapping the yellow mech against him. Scorching heat slithered into his array, spike and valve surging online with a pulse of need through his sensory net.

They stumbled together, the couch right behind Knock Out. He bit at Bumblebee’s lips and felt the Autobot shiver against him, his engine revving louder.

Knock Out smirked and spun, setting Bumblebee off balance. Teetering, all it took was a little push for Bumblebee to fall backward, landing on his aft on the couch. He looked up at Knock Out, startled, and his optics cycled even wider when Knock Out followed him, straddling Bumbleee’s lap.

“You seem to be under the impression that I’m some dainty minibot who needs careful handling.” Knock Out rocked against Bumblebee’s groin, his hands slipping over Bumblebee’s shoulders to tease his door hinges. “That is far from the truth, Autobot.”

Bumblebee groaned. “Careful handling, yes. Dainty, not a chance.” He grasped Knock Out’s hips, pulling Knock Out tighter against him. He braced his feet on the floor and thrust up, their armor sliding together. “Though you are gorgeous.”

“Mm. Flattery will get you everywhere.” Knock Out leaned down, brushing his lips over Bumblebee’s. “And you’re not so bad yourself.” He sealed their mouths together, glossa plunging inside, the tip of it tracing Bumblebee’s denta before Bumblebee’s glossa rose up to meet his.

The couch creaked. It was an old thing, salvaged from the ruins of the city. Knock Out had dragged it here himself, cleaning and scrubbing until it was almost new. Maybe it could handle the weight of two frames, maybe it couldn’t.

Right now, Knock Out was willing to sacrifice it to this very necessary cause.

He ground down harder against Bumblebee, knees digging into the couch. He bit at Bumblebee’s mouth, exventing quick, hot puffs of air. Need coiled inside of him, and it tightened into a hot mass as Bumblebee’s hands slid up his back and pinched at his back tire mounts.

Knock Out shuddered, a bloom of charge tearing across his sensory net. He rolled his hips again, purposefully.

“Are you going to open up, or am I going to have to do this by myself?” Knock Out asked as he nibbled his way down to Bumblebee’s intake, lips and denta tasting an arrangement of delicate cables.

Bumblebee stroked his mounts, making a hot fire dance up Knock Out’s spinal strut. “I dunno. I think you’d put on a pretty sexy show if you did all the work.”

Knock Out bit him.

Bumblebee arched beneath him and laughed, his hands sliding back down to Knock Out’s hips and holding tight. “So that’s a no on the show, then? I can take a hint.”

“Bumblebee, open your panel or so help me Primus I will climb off you and go find my energon prod,” Knock Out hissed against Bumblebee’s cables. His own panel jittered, threatening to open, lubricant welling in his valve and pooling against it.

“Mmm. Love it when you use that tone.” Bumblebee cupped his aft, squeezing tight.

But more than that, the distinct sound of a panel opening echoed from below, and Knock Out felt the wet brush of a spike head against his inner thigh. Finally. So he popped his own panel and lubricant dribbled free.

“Remind me to use it later,” Knock Out said as he dragged his lips back to Bumblebee’s, his mouth brushing over his. “Maybe with some rope and a whip. You could stand to learn some manners.”

Bumblebee groaned and bucked his hips, the head of his spike nudging against Knock Out’s valve rim, exciting the ring of sensors.

Oh. Liked that, did he?

Knock Out smirked and purred into Bumblebee’s audial. “I should pin you down,” he said as he rolled his hips, teasing himself with the slick head of Bumblebee’s spike. “Ride you all night. Make you put on a spike ring so you can’t overload. Until you’re drenched in condensation and desperate for it.”

Bumblebee breathed a curse and clutched at Knock Out’s hips, trying to pull him down. Knock Out relented and sank down enough that Bumblebee’s spike pierced the rim of his valve, but only just.

“You’re killing me here, doc,” Bumblebee groaned and his head tilted back against the top of the couch, his optics bright and hungry.

“That’s what you get, for teasing me all night,” Knock Out retorted, though honestly, he felt like he was teasing himself right now. His calipers were cycling down on nothing, and his nodes kept pinging him with urgency.

His fans spun faster, and his thighs shook from the effort of holding himself up. He nudged closer, until his chestplate pinged against Bumblebee’s.

“I’m sorry then,” Bumblebee murmured and nuzzled Knock Out’s face, his hands sweeping up and down, tracing Knock Out’s seams, mapping out his armor. “Really I am. Won’t you have mercy?”

Knock Out chuckled. “I think I like it when you beg.” He could have teased Bumblebee like this all night, if the need wasn’t clawing at him.

Bumblebee groaned, and his field poured over Knock Out like a boiling oil bath. He all but trembled with his own desire, but he restrained himself. He didn’t push. He didn’t demand. He meant it when he offered Knock Out control.

“You’re so mean.” He nibbled his way to Knock Out’s intake, glossa and denta making hot presses against Knock Out’s cables.

Knock Out shivered, his tires twitching. “But I also know how to be nice,” he murmured and he finally, finally sank down, his valve swallowing up Bumblebee’s spike inch by inch, gliding over every internal node until Bumblebee was fully notched inside of him.

Knock Out sucked in a ventilation, charge leaping out from his nodes and sinking into Bumblebee’s sensors. He trembled as pleasure washed through his frame and sensory net, his valve cycling down tight. Primus, he’d missed this. Such a simple thing, the connection of two mechs together, real charge and not false vibrations or the strained curl of his own fingers.

He rocked his hips, stirring Bumblebee inside of him, until he hit an angle just right and Bumblebee’s spike head ground against his ceiling node. Knock Out gasped and did it again, and again, ecstasy radiating up his spinal strut.

Bumblebee groaned and clutched at Knock Out’s tires, his spike throbbing against Knock Out’s nodes. “Frag,” he breathed against Knock Out’s intake, his ex-vents wet and scorching. “You’re right. I think this is the nicest you’ve ever been to me.”

Knock Out barked out a laugh, despite the arousal building in his lines and sending lighting bursts of pleasure through his net. “You’re ridiculous.” But that didn’t stop him from rocking his hips, harder and faster, riding Bumblebee’s spike for every zap of pleasure it could give him.

His knees dug harder into the couch. It creaked ominously. Bumblebee’s hands tugged at his tire connectors, sending more shocks of need through Knock Out’s system. He shuddered, thighs pressing in on Bumblebee’s, his valve cycling faster and harder. Heat burst in his belly.

He slid his arms over Bumblebee’s shoulders and found his door hinges. His palms skated over the interior of Bumblebee’s door, tracing the far too organic lining and the window controls and the cupholders that were surprisingly free of sticky residue.

Bumblebee sucked in a sharp vent and bucked up against him, curling his arms tighter around Knock Out and pressing their frames together.

“Oh, did I find a sensitive spot?” Knock Out teased as he mapped out the contours of Bumblebee’s doors again. He needed the distraction.

Pleasure was sparking through his array at a fiery pace, and it tangled inside him, like a coil ready to burst. No way would he overload this quickly. It would be just another thing for Bumblebee to be smug about. He had some self-control. Time to use it!

“Maybe I can find another,” Knock Out purred and slanted his lips over Bumblebee’s, eagerly sinking into the kiss.

Bumblebee made a muffled moan against his mouth, but opened to Knock Out, his glossa eagerly joining in. There was a fierceness to it, a desperation, and it made Knock Out’s spark throb and his valve ripple with need.

He rocked faster and faster, grinding down and against Bumblebee, his nodes singing with delight. His vents came in sharp pants, even more so when Bumblebee slipped a hand between their frames and his thumb brushed over the swollen jut of Knock Out’s external sensor cluster.

A jolt ripped up Knock Out’s spinal strut. He gasped into the kiss, grinding down hard, the flare of Bumblebee’s spike head catching on his ceiling node over and over again, to the same rhythm of Bumblebee’s thumb on his node cluster.

“Looks like… I found one,” Bumblebee said into the kiss, his tone smug, but his fans spinning too fast and too loud for him to be anything else but on the edge.

Knock Out moaned and tilted his forehead against Bumblebee’s, knees digging harder into the couch as he lifted and dropped himself. Bumblebee’s spike was hitting all the right places, and pleasure tightened inside of him like an overenergized heating coil.

“S-shut up,” Knock Out panted and moaned when Bumblebee’s free hand moved to his back, sliding up to stroke his secondary vents. His rhythm stuttered, and his valve clenched down hard, locking down on Bumblebee’s spike. Charge snap-crackled through his array.

Knock Out’s fingers clenched on Bumblebee’s doors as he slammed down, grinding his ceiling node on the head of Bumblebee’s spike. Ecstasy coursed through him like a lightning bolt, and he overloaded, hips rocking in arrhythmic glee as his valve rippled and clamped.

Yes. This. This was what he’d been missing. And next time, he’d free his spike, too. He’d grind it against the hot planes of Bumblebee’s abdomen, he’d overload and mark Bumblebee with his spill, claiming the scout for his own.

Knock Out shuddered at the mental image, another wave of pleasure shooting through his sensory net.

Bumblebee groaned and his hands snatched at Knock Out’s hips, holding tight. He bucked up, feet planted against the floor, nearly unseating Knock Out from the force of the thrust. His valve throbbed, still sensitive from overload.

There was a ferocity in Bumblebee’s field now, a hunger in the way it wrapped around Knock Out, holding him tight, pulsing waves of heat. His engine growled, vibrating both of their frames, and his hands gripped Knock Out’s hips like a lifeline. He bucked up again, harder and faster, and Knock Out rode the motion, pleasure rebounding inside of him as he geared up for another overload.

“That’s it,” Knock Out panted, hands curling into Bumblebee’s shoulders, hooked on a transformation seam, holding on for the ride. “Give me more.”

Bumblebee’s engine growled. He tossed his head back, doors flicking hard and sharp against the back of the couch. His spike throbbed, hard and fast, and then Bumblebee groaned, low and deep, rattling right to Knock Out’s core.

His shoulders hunched as another overload struck. His valve rippled and he felt the telltale hot of spurt of transfluid, washing over his nodes. Knock Out shivered as it sent more charge racing through his sensornet, extending the overload.

It was perfect. It was so, so good. It was even better when Bumblebee took hold of his chin and pulled him down into a kiss, sloppy and wet, hot puffs of ex-vents teasing over his dermal net.

Knock Out panted into the kiss, his hips twitching in little rocks, his valve cycling around Bumblebee’s spike. His armor had flared, venting heat, and Bumblebee’s had as well, the air almost steaming around them.

“Did I pass the test?” Bumblebee asked around nipping kisses to Knock Out’s mouth and jaw.

Knock Out managed a staticky chuckle. “I’m not sure. I might need a couple more examples. For the sake of comparison.”

Bumblebee laughed. “Do you have a berth?”

“I have a closet. Same as anyone else.” Knock Out rolled his hips in a little circle, making Bumblebee gasp. “Care to join me in it?”

Bumblebee’s hands curled around his aft, scooping him up with seemingly little effort. Knock Out made an embarrassing noise and tightened his thighs around Bumblebee’s waist as the yellow mech stood up.

“Are you inviting me to stay the night?” Bumblebee asked with a ridiculous waggle of his orbital ridges.

Knock Out crossed his ankles behind Bumblebee’s thighs, his engine giving a quiet rev. Bumblebee’s spike shifted within him, and even half-pressurized, it rubbed over his sensitized nodes in enticing ways.

“Tonight, tomorrow, however long it takes if it means you’ll keep doing that,” Knock Out said as he rocked against Bumblebee’s front, holding on to keep from falling.

Bumblebee groaned and staggered away from the couch. “You’re killing me, doc.”

Knock Out leaned in and nibbled at Bumblebee’s intake. “Mmm. But what a way to go.”

They stumbled into the berth room, which literally only had room for the narrow berth and a small end table with a lamp. Knock Out’s back hit the surface, as plush as he could make it, and he purred as he arched up against Bumblebee, ankles urging Bumblebee to take him again.

“You’re insatiable,” Bumblebee said as he blanketed Knock Out’s frame with his own, knees spreading Knock Out’s thighs wide, his spike firming quickly.

“Like you’ve any room to talk.” Knock Out slid his palms over Bumblebee’s belly, chuckling to himself as he grazed over the erotically placed Autobot badge. “Again,” he demanded.

Bumblebee shivered, his optics blue and bright and hungry. “Whatever you want,” he murmured as he slanted their lips together, mouth hot and sweet.

Knock Out melted into it, vents roaring and engine purring, heat a rapid pulse through his lines.

A part of him hoped it never ended. The other, more rational side to him knew that it couldn’t possibly last. The newly growing Autobot side of him wanted to be optimistic, while his lingering Decepticon tendencies reminded him what he used to be.

He threw it all aside and focused on Bumblebee. Even if this was all he had, he was going to enjoy it while it lasted.

Knock Out lost count of the overloads. One blurred into another. He vaguely remembered the berth protesting beneath them – it was barely large enough for one as it was. He remembered a lot of teasing, a lot of laughing, more pleasure than he could measure.

By the time they collapsed together, vents gasping for relief, their frames a sticky mess, Knock Out’s head spun with the whirlwind his day had taken. Or longer, actually, because he glanced at his chronometer and it was stupidly late.

“Don’t you… have patrol in the morning?” Knock Out managed as he sank into the berth, buried beneath a surprisingly cuddly Bumblebee.

The other mech made a muffled sound from where he’d buried his face in Knock Out’s intake. “I’m going to call out sick.”

“Something tells me Ratchet won’t believe you,” Knock Out drawled. He petted Bumblebee’s back, trying to ignore how the smallness of his closet made the heat they vented nearly unbearable.

“I’ll get a doctor’s note from you.”

Knock Out snorted. “He probably won’t trust that either. No one does.” Did he sound bitter? It was only the truth.

Bumblebee lifted his head, something soft in his gaze. “I do.”

Knock Out worked his intake and looked away, feeling more vulnerable than when he’d been letting Bumblebee frag him all over this berth. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

“It doesn’t have to.” Bumblebee shrugged and rested his head on Knock Out’s bumper. “Look. It takes a lot of bearings to do what you did, turning your back on the Cons and coming over to our side. Takes even more to stick with it when everyone around you is being a jerk. So yeah. I trust you.”

Knock Out’s spark hammered a faster beat. “Oh. I… thank you.”

“And I promise,” Bumblebee continued with a little wriggle of his doors. “I meant what I said earlier, too. I like you, and I enjoyed tonight, and I’d like to do it again. But I understand if this is all you want, too.”

Silly mech.

Knock Out stroked down Bumblebee’s spinal strut. “You’re not worried about what everyone will say about you?”

Bumblebee snorted. “Nope. If someone’s got a problem with it or you or me, they can come talk to me about it. I have no issues with teaching them a thing or two.” He squirmed and shifted, crossing his arms under his chin so he could look up at Knock Out. “We’re supposed to be different after the war. I want to follow Optimus’ example. And I’m gonna stand up for what’s important.”

Implying that he found Knock Out something important.

Oh, Primus.

Heat colored Knock Out’s cheeks. He didn’t know what to do with that kind of blunt honesty. It was both refreshing and awkward to him.

“But like I said, it’s up to you,” Bumblebee added with a little smile, one that shot straight to Knock Out’s spark. “If you’d rather not deal with the hassle, I understand. You got enough slag on your plate.”

Knock Out worked his intake. “I seem to remember you owe me a rematch,” he said lightly, unwilling yet to admit how badly he wanted this to work. “We can start there.”

Joy soared through Bumblebee’s field before he reined it in. “And dancing afterward?”

Knock Out chuckled. “Yes, that. And hmm, you passed tonight’s test, but a couple more couldn’t hurt.”

Bumblebee unfolded his arms and pushed himself upright, looking down at Knock Out with something like appreciation in his gaze. “I’ll have you know I’ve always been a good student,” he said. “And I plan on finding every last one of your sensitive spots.”

He leaned down, lips tracing the curve of Knock Out’s jaw.

Knock Out shivered. “That sounds like a good goal to me.”

“Me, too,” Bumblebee murmured as his lips found Knock Out’s in a kiss, this time slow and savoring, like he wanted to memorize Knock Out’s taste.

Knock Out wrapped his arms over Bumblebee’s shoulders and surrendered to it. For a day that had started with so much irritation and anger, having it end like this was a miracle. A gift he didn’t think he’d receive.

Maybe there were good points to becoming an Autobot after all.

The future looked brighter already.

***

[IDW] Tyrannosaurus Wrecked

The calm after the storm is almost as tense as the frenzy leading up to it. Post-battle, Grimlock still feels as if he needs to move. Defensive protocols shift and lurch inside of him; his offensive code claws for attention. The urge to destroy something, anything, nestles in his internals and takes up residence.

There’s nothing and no one left to fight.

The air tastes of ash and ordinance. It’s humid and heavy on his glossa. There’s no wind. Not that there ever is.

Grimlock vents, in and out, frame tense, his gaze locked on the horizon, a hazy shade of noxious gray where the aftermath of spent ammunition clogs the air. Below him, the battlefield is littered with the fallen neither side has the time or resources to reclaim. Behind him, the rest of his team takes what rest they can, preparing for the next battle.

Because there is always going to be another one.

Debris skitters down the incline behind him. Someone curses and grunts, muttering to themselves in an annoyed tone.

Amusement floods Grimlock’s processor. He doesn’t have to look to identify his visitor. There’s only one mech in the battle group with such a naive and innocent field, though perhaps a little less of both after today.

“Why in the world would someone climb all the way up here, Primus,” Hot Rod mutters as he hauls himself up into view, vents heaving from exertion. His optics are pale, though whether from fatigue or because he’s short on energon, Grimlock isn’t sure.

Grimlock stares at him. “It’s usually a sign they want to be alone, kid.”

Hot Rod doesn’t sound the least bit chastened. “Not a good hiding place, if you ask me.” He comes up even with Grimlock and leans over, hands braced on his thighs, spoiler halves limp against his back. “Kind of wish I had wings right now.”

“It’s different when it’s not a simulation, isn’t it?”

Hot Rod snorts. “I’m not that inexperienced. Geez.” He sucks in a huge ventilation and straightens, planting his hands on his hips. He looks around, surveying the landscape below. “Phew. Good view though. If you ignore the death and destruction, I mean.”

“It’s a good reminder.” Grimlock’s smile lingers behind his mask. There’s something charming about Hot Rod, and there shouldn’t be. He’s just another recent graduate, another newbie with grand ideas and grand beliefs about what war should be.

In the beginning, Hot Rod had irritated the slag out of him. Fresh-faced, full of ideals because the war hasn’t stripped them from him, he’d seemed ignorant of the realities of what they faced. Had probably fancied himself a hero, too. But there’s a darkness inside him, a fire and fury Grimlock can recognize. He feels it, too. Familiar and encroaching, threaten to swallow you whole, if you’re not careful.

Hot Rod is not so irritating now. Exasperating perhaps, but Grimlock doesn’t have the urge to punch him on sight anymore, so he supposes that’s progress.

“Reminder, huh? I really don’t think I’m ever gonna forget this.” Hot Rod scrubs the back of his head, his optics dimming. “Just another mental image to add to the album, I guess.”

Grimlock grunts. The kid’ll get used to it. After a while, it all blurs together. Battle and death and scorched energon and exhaustion so heavy it leaves you energized.

“So…” Hot Rod’s hands tuck behind his back as he bounces on his heelstruts. “Do I have your respect now?” He peers up at Grimlock, bright and earnest, and everything fresh-faced recruits are when they first graduate.

“Heh.” Grimlock chuckles, amusement fluttering through his spark all over again. “You’re getting there, but don’t get too cocky.”

“Awww, come on.” Hot Rod grins and rocks on his heelstruts, back and forth and back and forth, his spoiler halves twitching up and down in barely restrained delight. “I fought good, didn’t I?”

“Pah. You’re still green. Nothing but experience will change that.”

Hot Rod sidles closer, his field rubbing up against Grimlock’s in a warm ripple. “Who says I’m not experienced?”

Grimlock barks a laugh and looks down at the charming speedster, who doesn’t seem to fear anything. “I ain’t talking about the berth, kid.”

“Now that’s a shame,” Hot Rod purrs, his engine revving audibly, purring like a finely tuned work of art. His glossa sweeps over his lips, making them glisten.

Kid really isn’t one for subtlety, is he? Grimlock gives him an appraising look because maybe Hot Rod’s not that green after all. There’s a tension in the way he holds himself. His armor keeps fluttering, alternately clamping tight and flaring loose. He’s shivering, too, but absently.

“It’s a post-battle high,” Grimlock says, recognizing in Hot Rod the same uneasy storm racing through his own spark. “It’ll pass.”

Hot Rod’s aft gives a wiggle, and now he’s close enough for their armor to brush together, a spark of charge flicking between them. “More fun to enjoy it though. I mean, we shouldn’t waste it.”

Kid does have a nice aft. Would fit right nicely in Grimlock’s palms.

Grimlock tilts his head. “Bit pushy, aren’t you?”

Hot Rod laughs, wild and free. He has a pleasant laugh. “I like big mechs, not gonna lie.” He waggles his optical ridges, blue optics bright and earnest.

Grimlock shakes his head, laughter rumbling in his chassis. He can’t help it. He likes the cheeky speedster. Sure, he’s not a powerhouse soldier, and he has the kind of confidence only a trainee could have, but he’s determined. And he doesn’t back down.

“I don’t know.” Grimlock eyes Hot Rod top to bottom, tracing the bright colors of his frame, and the curve of his thighs. “You’re pretty small. I’d hate to break you.”

Hot Rod cocks a hip and plants his hand on it. “I’m a lot tougher than I look.”

“I’m starting to realize that.” Grimlock curves a hand around Hot Rod’s head, nearly engulfing his face. Their size difference is almost ridiculous.

Grimlock is tempted. Heat broils off Hot Rod in tantalizing waves. His field is an electric flicker, and the taste of arousal in his field is enough to seduce Grimlock into making what is quite possibly a very dumb mistake.

“All right.” Grimlock’s thumb strokes over Hot Rod’s lips, and the newbie’s glossa flicks over it, wet and enticing. “Since you think you can handle it and all. Don’t got a berth for you though.”

“Don’t need one anyway.” Hot Rod captures his thumb, pins it between his denta, his optics flashing with desire.

Grimlock growls, his engine rumbling. Well, then.

He drags his thumb free and scoops Hot Rod up, easily lifting the slim speedster in one hand. Hot Rod gives an adorable little squeak of surprise, squirming in Grimlock’s grip, before Grimlock sits and gently sets Hot Rod in his lap, thighs splayed wide.

Hot Rod’s elbows swing back and hook over Grimlock’s knees, his lips twisting into a smirk. “You could have said this was where you wanted me,” he purrs as he arches his spinal strut. His heels dig into the ground to either side of Grimlock’s aft.

“Actions are a hell of a lot louder,” Grimlock grunts.

He leans back against the jut of rock behind him, debris pinging down on his shoulders, but it’s a good enough perch for now. Means he can balance the pretty speedster on his lap and still have both hands for touching.

“Course you could always change your mind,” Grimlock adds. Gotta give the kid plenty of outs. The last thing Grimlock needs is some newbie screeching that the big, bad pred tried to eat him.

“No way,” Hot Rod says with a lick of his lips. He tosses his head back, baring the length of his intake. It’s soft and pretty, all but demanding a nibble. “Give me all you got.”

Grimlock drags his palm down Hot Rod’s chassis. Primus, the kid’s so small. He could curve his hand around Hot Rod’s waist. His palm flattens over Hot Rod’s groin, where true to his designation, the full broil of arousal rises from the speedster’s panel.

“Hot little thing, aren’t you?” Grimlock says.

Hot Rod squirms enticingly, his thighs splaying further apart. “Be even hotter if you actually did something about it.”

A quiet snick signals his panel sliding aside, and Grimlock’s mouth waters at the sight of the newbie’s plush, swollen valve. Puffy red pleats are striped with gold, and the sensor cluster at the apex of his folds is a bright, throbbing yellow. Lubricant has already gathered in the depths, glistening dewy and sweet.

Grimlock drags his forefinger through the wetness, teasing the tip of it against Hot Rod’s hot little button. Hot Rod hisses out a vent and arches his back, hands clenching around Grimlock’s knees.

“Tease,” he breathes, his optics bright and hungry. More lubricant drips out of his valve, painting Grimlock’s finger with slick.

“Gotta check and see if I’ll even fit,” Grimlock grunts, refusing to admit that the rising wave of desire in him is more like a flood.

He slips a finger into Hot Rod’s valve, curving it to taste all those inner nodes. Hot Rod moans and rocks against him, thighs squeezing inward, trapping his hand. He rolls his hips, riding Grimlock’s finger, calipers rippling in a restless wave. Primus, he’s so hot, so wet.

Grimlock adds another finger without a hint of struggle. Hot Rod opens up for him, two of Grimlock’s fingers as thick as the spike pressurizing free of Hot Rod’s now open panel. It’s a gaudy thing, as flashy as its owner, with flames painted up the side of it. There’s a spiral of tiny nubby nodes around the length of it though, and Grimlock thinks he might want to explore them later. Specifically with his glossa.

“You’ll fit,” Hot Rod breathes. His fingers rhythmically grip Grimlock’s knees, optics half-slitting.

His lips part, glossa dancing across them, making them slick. Like an invitation. One Grimlock wants to accept.

His engine rumbles. His mouthguard parts before he thinks twice about it, and Grimlock curves forward, capturing Hot Rod’s mouth with his.

Hot Rod gasps into the kiss. His glossa flicks against Grimlock’s, hot and quick, before retreating. Grimlock chases it, demanding more of the newbie’s mouth, as Hot Rod grasps his chestplate, hauling himself closer. He’s riding Grimlock’s fingers eagerly now, his mouth equally hungry.

Primus.

Grimlock eases in a third finger, because he can’t stomach the thought of hurting the kid, and his spike gives a sharp throb as wet heat ripples around his fingers as if trying to drag him deeper. Hot Rod keens deep in his intake, and he nips at Grimlock’s lips, denta blunt compared to the edge of Grimlock’s.

“More,” Hot Rod gasps out, against Grimlock’s lips, his field a blazing frenzy crashing against Grimlock’s.

He nudges his fingers deeper, the longest of them brushing over Hot Rod’s ceiling node, and Hot Rod cracks like a whip against him. The speedster writhes, electric fire dancing over his frame, his valve clamping down hard on Grimlock’s finger. The sharp ozone scent of overload hangs tangy in the air as Hot Rod whimpers and bucks.

Grimlock’s spike spills pre-fluid as lubricant soaks his fingers, getting into his joints, so hot and slippery. Hot Rod rides all three of them, hips working in little rolls, making such delicious sounds that Grimlock’s mouth waters.

He has to taste him. See if his valve is as sweet as his mouth.

A growl rises in Grimlock’s engine as he withdraws his fingers, ignoring Hot Rod’s whimper of disappointment, and grasps those slim hips in his hands. Hot Rod’s so tiny that it takes nothing to lift his lower half up, to bring him close enough for Grimlock to bury his face between Hot Rod’s thighs.

He drags in a ventilation, tastes the sharpness of Hot Rod’s overload with his olfactory sensors, before his glossa drags a wet swipe up the soaking folds of Hot Rod’s valve. Hot Rod gasps and bucks up against him.

“Oh, Primus, more!” Hot Rod babbles, his hands scrabbling at Grimlock’s head and armor and hands, whatever he can reach. His feet drum a nonsense rhythm on the back of Grimlock’s shoulders. “Yes, more, more, more.”

Grimlock growls, the vibrations spilling from his mouth against Hot Rod’s valve. That bright and swollen node cluster throbs against his lips. He dives into Hot Rod’s valve, laps up dribbles of lubricant – sweet indeed, like an energon candy. But still only half as sweet as the way Hot Rod squirms and begs for more.

“Ah, ah, ah, please,” Hot Rod whines, his engine revving to a sharper pitch, vents roaring and fans sputtering. “More.” Without shame, he rocks his hips, riding Grimlock’s mouth, and it’s the sexiest thing Grimlock’s seen in ages.

He grins and grabs Hot Rod’s node cluster with his denta, pins it gently, flicks his glossa across it. Hot Rod’s head tosses, backstrut curving, heels slamming against the back of Grimlock’s shoulders. He gasps, and his valve throbs against Grimlock’s lips, his node so swollen and bright it deserves several sucks. So Grimlock does, locking his lips around it, suctioning pull after pull after pull until Hot Rod shrieks in his grip and overloads again.

He comes undone, uninhibited, babbling praises, his fingers digging tight against Grimlock’s seams. Lubricant dribbles from his valve, and his vents roar. Damn, but he’s a hot little thing, and he’s so open now, so loose.

Grimlock might even fit.

He grins as he gives Hot Rod a delicate lick and then lowers the panting wreck of a speedster back into his lap. He can’t help but touch Hot Rod’s armor, hot to his derma, plating agape to allow for rapid cooling, cables beneath still shiny and new.

Hot Rod splays across his lap, squirming a little, and one hand drags down his frame, fingers curling into his own valve. “Primus, that was good,” he breathes, and bright blue optics look up at Grimlock imploringly. “Gonna frag me now?”

Grimlock blinks. “You just got two overloads, brat,” he growls. He has to resist the urge to palm himself at the sight.

Unashamed, Hot Rod continues to finger himself, little gold digits getting liberally coated in lubricant, glistening. Grimlock wants to lick them clean, because every careful touch of Hot Rod’s fingers makes him gasp and quiver. His thighs splay wider as if demanding Grimlock enter him.

“So?” Hot Rod licks his lips. “I want more. And it looks like you could use a couple, too.” He drags his heels, slides down a bit, until his thighs and the heat of his valve bracket Grimlock’s rigid spike. “Come on. I can take it.”

Grimlock curves a hand around Hot Rod’s waist, pulls him a few inches down, until the head of his spike can paint itself in all that copious lubricant.

“Are you sure?” he rumbles, grinding the thick head against Hot Rod’s valve, lubricant and pre-fluid mingling together.

Hot Rod’s rim flutters against his spike, providing the barest resistance. If anything, it seems to be inviting him inside.

Hot Rod grins and grabs onto Grimlock’s wrist, trying to shove his frame downward. “Positive.”

Grimlock groans as Hot Rod’s valve slides along his spike, slick and plump. He bucks his hips, spikehead grinding on Hot Rod’s rim.

“You say stop, I stop,” Grimlock manages to get out, even as his processor spins with need, and his fans cycle faster.

“Won’t need it. But I got it.” Hot Rod squirms, making an urgent noise in his intake. “Now come on, Grim. I can take you. Do it. Frag me now, frag me hard, like I know you can.”

The kid’s going to be the death of him.

Grimlock grinds his denta, curving forward as he tightens his grip on Hot Rod’s waist and pulls Hot Rod’s hips down, easing his spike into that tight, welcoming heat. Hot Rod moans, his entire frame arching, splaying, guiding Grimlock onward. He starts and there’s no way he can stop, the girth of his spike slowly swallowed by rippling calipers, tugging him deeper.

Lubricant squelches out around his spike. Hot Rod’s field flares, bright and hungry, not a bit of discomfort to be found. Hot Rod tosses his head back and keens, fingers tight around Grimlock’s arm, his valve squeezing before relenting and leaving plenty of room for Grimlock to bury himself to the hilt, to grind against Hot Rod’s ceiling node.

“Yessssssss,” Hot Rod hisses and starts rocking his hips madly, riding Grimlock’s spike like he hasn’t overloaded twice already.

Grimlock groans, his spike throbbing as Hot Rod’s valve feeds him bright bursts of charge with every thrust. Hot Rod’s thighs tremble around his hips, his biolights pulsing in a quick pattern.

“You’re… a menace,” Grimlock grits out.

Heat floods his frame, pulsing through him in ever-increasing waves. His array tingles, fire coiling in his groin. He pulls Hot Rod hard against him, grinding deep against the furthest inset clusters of nodes.

Hot Rod manages a sloppy grin. “Have I… impressed you… yet?” He gasps out before his hips start rocking madly, and his valve ripples in a telltale rhythm.

Of all the – he’s actually overloading again, Grimlock realizes. Hot Rod moans, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, his fingers gripping tight. His valve spirals down, milking Grimlock’s spike, feeding him such hot bursts of charge that Grimlock is helpless to it.

He tries to hold back, to cling to some semblance of control, but it’s impossible. It’s like Hot Rod is pulling the overload out of him, and he stripes Hot Rod’s valve with his transfluid, washing hot bursts of it over Hot Rod’s charged nodes.

Grimlock’s hips jerk as the tremors of pleasure leave him shaky, but not entirely satisfied. His spike is still firm, sensitive now, to the quivers of Hot Rod’s loosened calipers, clicking gently around his derma.

Hot Rod starts squirming again, like his frame can’t seem to cycle down from the pleasure high. He licks his lips, his hands sliding up Grimlock’s arms, leaving prickles of charge in their wake.

“Hope that’s not all you got for me,” he says with a hint of wickedness. His aft rocks against Grimlock’s thighs, his spike jutting proudly from his groin, still liberally weeping slick.

Grimlock’s hands slide down Hot Rod’s thighs, thumbs sweeping inward, caressing Hot Rod’s spike housing. “What kind of batteries do you run on, kid?”

Hot Rod barks out a laugh. “Aw, is the old mech getting worn out?” His spoiler moves up and down in cute little flicks, betraying his restless energy.

Grimlock’s visor flattens. He’s not about to let himself get goaded by some freshly graduated upstart, but there’s challenge in Hot Rod’s tone, and Grimlock’s never let a berthmate walk away unsatisfied.

He slides a hand down to Hot Rod’s spike, curling his fingers around the hot length. Hot Rod hisses a ventilation and rolls up into his fist, which is so large it swallows Hot Rod’s spike. It throbs in his grip, spilling pre-fluid on his derma.

“Hardly.” Grimlock sweeps his thumb over the head of Hot Rod’s spike, the high-pitched whine in Hot Rod’s intake making his own spike throb with want. “Just making sure you can take more of me.”

Hot Rod hums a nonsense note. “I can take anything you think you have left.”

Cheeky brat.

Grimlock’s engine rumbles. He leans forward, so he can ex-vent over those damp, tempting lips. “We’ll see,” he growls.

He takes Hot Rod’s mouth, glossa plunging inside, denta leaving nips behind. Hot Rod’s fingers tickle at his chestplate, gripping onto seams. He pushes his spike into Grimlock’s fingers, fragging his fist as he chases another overload. His energy field flexes and tugs, charged as it batters against Grimlock’s, hot like fire.

Hot Rod’s glossa lashes back at him, turning the kiss into an erotic battle Grimlock had not foreseen. He growls, senses set ablaze by the unexpected spirit, his spike giving another throb in Hot Rod’s valve. His free hand slides to Hot Rod’s aft, cupping the red armor easily, pulling Hot Rod tighter against him.

Hot Rod squirms deliciously, and the smell of his arousal is dizzying. Grimlock groans into the kiss and bites his way to Hot Rod’s intake, feeling the vibrations of Hot Rod’s moans against his lips. His denta leaves little nips behind and Hot Rod makes the most intoxicating noises, his valve clamping down rhythmically and demanding more.

More is what he’s going to get.

Grimlock forces his attention away from the delectable cables of Hot Rod’s intake and grips the speedster’s hips.

“No, don’t stop,” Hot Rod pleads, his frame writhing in Grimlock’s lap, his face flushed and his field coiling playfully against Grimlock’s.

“Just aiming for a change in scenery,” Grimlock says.

Hot Rod blinks up at him, cutely confused. Grimlock grins and easily lifts the smaller mech, guiding him to hands and knees instead, giving Grimlock a nice view of that handsome aft. He can’t help but put his hands all over it, even though Hot Rod’s so small and his aft vanishes behind Grimlock’s palms.

Hot Rod moans and curves his backstrut, rocking his aft back toward Grimlock, his knees sliding across the rough ground. Every motions screams of invitation, especially as Grimlock’s thumbs dip down and taste the swollen pleats of Hot Rod’s valve. He’s still so slick, so open, his anterior cluster a plump little nub of need, and his biolights blinking in fitful intervals.

Transfluid trickles loose, mingled with lubricant, and Grimlock swears he can see up into the depth of Hot Rod’s valve. Biolights blink like running lights, coaxing him inside.

“Are you just gonna look or actually do something with it?” Hot Rod demands as he peers over his shoulder, his optics bright and needy.

Grimlock chuckles and rises up on his knees, looming over the much smaller mech, which gives him a little thrill. “I was admiring,” he rumbles as he slides his hands up Hot Rod’s back and hooks his fingers over that very mobile spoiler. “But point taken.”

He curves over Hot Rod, nudges his spike at that welcoming valve, grinding the head of it against the gathered moisture. Hot Rod’s head dips, fingers digging into the ground as he pushes his aft back.

“Hurry up and frag me then!” he demands, breathless and hungry. “I don’t have all night.”

Mouthy little thing, isn’t he?

Good thing Grimlock likes it.

“Guess you’re too much of a rookie to understand the value of patience,” Grimlock teases, but lust surges in his lines, and he’s equally impatient.

He rolls his hips forward, sinking slowly into the welcoming clutch of Hot Rod’s valve. He likes the way Hot Rod’s back arches, his fingers curl, a low and long moan spills out of his mouth to match the pace of Grimlock thrusting into him. Hot Rod’s field goes all shivery, and his spoiler twitches madly.

Grimlock wants to taste it.

He curves over Hot Rod, bracing his weight on one hand, keeping a firm grip on Hot Rod’s hip with the other. His mouth finds the top edge of the spoiler, lips dragging along it. Hot Rod shivers beneath him, loosing a soft moan. His valve quivers around Grimlock’s spike. His arms tremble.

“Good?” Grimlock asks as he sets his denta upon the edge of the spoiler as well, dragging along the sensitive edge toward the center mount.

Hot Rod garbles an unintelligible noise. His backstrut arches, aft pushing back against Grimlock’s spike, urging him deeper.

Grimlock chuckles and pins the spoiler edge between his denta, giving it a light bite. Hot Rod shudders and charge crackles over his armor.

“Good,” he gasps, words starting to slur together. “So, so good.” Lubricant leaks steadily from his valve, making for a frictionless thrust, and light explodes behind Grimlock’s visor as he starts to move into Hot Rod again.

The change in position adjusts the angle, making him rake across previously untouched inner nodes. It feels like he can go even deeper like this, take every inch of Hot Rod, and the speedster must think the same because he starts making helpless, breathy whimpers.

“Primus, you’re a hot little thing, aren’t you?” Grimlock growls against Hot Rod’s audial as the smaller mech’s aft rocks against him. “Can’t believe how sexy you are.”

“I’m… irresistible,” Hot Rod pants.

Grimlock chuckles. “Mmm. Yes, you are.” He quickens his pace a little, adding more force behind each thrust, driving Hot Rod forward.

Hot Rod gasps and his spoiler quivers, calling for Grimlock’s mouth again. He gives it a taste, glossa lingering on the sweet charge dancing over Hot Rod’s armor. He bites, firm enough to leave a mark. Hot Rod whimpers, his valve spiraling tight around Grimlock’s spike.

Mmm. That’s a nice reaction.

“Pretty thing, too,” Grimlock rumbles, his vocals spilling into Hot Rod’s nearest audial and making the speedster shiver. “Liked watching you on the battlefield. You’re fearless.”

Hot Rod audibly pants. He pushes into the cradle of Grimlock’s hips, pushing his spike so deep, his spoiler twitching against Grimlock’s mouth.

“Did I… impress?” Hot Rod asks, his field spilling desperation and need. More lubricant wells up around Grimlock’s spike, and all he can imagine is pulling Hot Rod up to his mouth and licking him clean.

Grimlock quickens his pace, feels Hot Rod squirm and writhe beneath him, little mewls coming from his intake. Each one was a ping to Grimlock’s spike, throbbing in bare restraint, raking across every sensor he could find.

Grimlock’s fans spin faster. The heat in his groin is an inferno now, and his spark tries to pound out of his chassis. He’s so close. But there’s no way he’ll let himself fall over the edge without taking Hot Rod with him.

He tightens his grip on Hot Rod’s hip and purrs into the speedster’s audial, “Then and now, kid.” He thrusts faster, deeper, grinds on all the nodes, driving Hot Rod into the ground and firmly into his grip. “You’ve got the kind of fire I like.”

Hot Rod moans, long and low, his valve rippling around Grimlock, like the praise was only turning him on more. Charge nips at Grimlock’s spike, and he grunts, a jolt of ecstasy nearly driving him to overload until he reins it in.

“Next time,” Grimlock continues, keeping his voice low, deep, certain to rattle through the rookie’s sensory suites, “You’re gonna ride me. Move those hips and let me see that pretty face of yours.”

Hot Rod makes a choked sound. His head dips forward, and Grimlock can’t resist the call of the back of his neck, bared and trusting. He drags the flat of his glossa up it, feels Hot Rod quiver around him.

“You’re mine now.” Grimlock plunges into Hot Rod, pleasure cresting with every thrust, fans spinning so hard they’re rattling his frame.

He’s close; Hot Rod is, too. Not much longer now. It’s taking all he has not to spill, mark Hot Rod from the inside out.

He closes his denta on the back of Hot Rod’s neck, bites lightly enough to leave a mark but not cause damage. Feels Hot Rod stiffen and jerk beneath him. Hears Hot Rod suddenly wail as his backstrut arches, and his valve spirals into a tight clutch around Grimlock’s spike.

He’s overloading, electric fire dancing over his armor in a yellow-bright wave, arms going limp until Grimlock has to curl an arm around his abdomen, hold Hot Rod tight against his frame. Hot Rod’s overload smells sweet and fiery all at once, tingling as it rushes over Grimlock’s olfactory sensors.

“Primus, kid,” he grunts, burying his face against Hot Rod’s back, against his spoiler hinges.

It takes only a handful of thrusts before he lets himself loose, holds Hot Rod down on his spike, and overloads. Transfluid bursts out of him, painting Hot Rod’s valve in hot spill, and the overload seems to drag into infinity.

Grimlock sits back on his heels, hips making tiny pushes into Hot Rod’s valve, both arms wrapped around the speedster, keeping him in place. He grips Hot Rod’s jaw with one hand, pressing Hot Rod back against him, until his mouth can latch onto the side of Hot Rod’s neck. His denta scrape over sensitive cables, and it takes all he has not to bite down.

Grimlock’s spike throbs, pushing spurt after spurt, ecstasy coursing through him in waves until its spent, and Grimlock sags. He pants for a cool ventilation, Hot Rod limp and venting heat in his arms. He licks the side of Hot Rod’s neck and slides his hand from Hot Rod’s jaw back to his hip.

Hot Rod moans, flopping back against Grimlock’s chest, his fans spinning madly. “Primus,” he pants, hands weakly patting at the arm Grimlock has wrapped around his waist. “That’s… that’s good.”

Grimlock grunts. “Glad you approve.” His free hand slides down Hot Rod’s thigh, but wanders back up again, finger nudging at the swollen, slick rim still wrapped around his half-pressurized spike.

Hot Rod laughs, and his valve ripples. “Hope you got more in you.” He sounds both hopeful and hungry as his hips give a weak, but interested rock.

Grimlock shivers, heat already starting to wind in his internals, but seriously? “Frag, kid, what kind of interface drive they giving newsparks these days?” he asks, mostly rhetorical. He has to admit, the little twitches of Hot Rod’s valve are delicious.

Hot Rod hums and pushes back against Grimlock’s chest, his fingers tight around Grimlock’s arms. “What? Can’t you keep up?”

“I didn’t say that.” Grimlock grabs Hot Rod by the hips, lifts him up, spins him around, plants the cute speedster back in his lap, but this time face to face. “Guess I gotta keep going if I want to find your off switch.”

Hot Rod laughs, and it’s a good look for him, so bright and carefree, like the world is a cheerful place and not one that reeks of ordinance and spilled energon. “Maybe I don’t have one,” he says, mischievous and teasing.

Hot Rod slides a hand down his frame, and he cups his own spike, giving it a squeeze. “Or maybe you’re not looking in the right places.”

Grimlock barks a laugh at the brat’s brashness. It’s amusing as the Pit, and he can’t believe how quickly Hot Rod has clawed under his plating.

“Well then.” Grimlock drags his palm down Hot Rod’s frame, flicking Hot Rod’s hand and replacing it with his own, giving that brightly-colored spike a squeeze. “Guess I’d better get more hands on.”

Looks like he’s going to get his mouth all over Hot Rod after all.

It’s enough to make him forget about the storm, the calm after it, and the jitteriness in his lines. Instead, it’s all pleasure and teasing, and overload after overload, Hot Rod living up to his designation and then some, until Grimlock forgets he’s supposed to be brooding, and remembers what it feels like to live.

~

Morning afters are always hit or miss.

Sometimes, Hot Rod wakes up feeling ashamed and guilty, and all he wants to do is creep out of whatever berth he found himself in and hope that the mech forgets his name, comm code, and his face.

Sometimes, he wakes up and his partner the night before is already going down on him, slurping him back to full staff and full slick and all Hot Rod can do is hang on and enjoy the ride. He’s no idea why his interface drive is powered by an unending energy source, and half the time, his berthpartners are annoyed by it. But sometimes, ahhh, sometimes there are the good mornings that continue into afternoons.

Hot Rod usually ends up stumbling home, satisfied and worn out, with a comm code tucked into his subspace. For a good time call… the next time he’s around anyway.

This morning, Hot Rod onlines feeling warm and sated and not sure what kind of ‘after’ it’s going to be. His berthpartner’s proclivities are a mystery to him, and while Grimlock had kept up the pace last night, maybe he feels differently this morning. Maybe he’s ready to tumble the energy-battery of a speedster off his lap and out of his life.

Hot Rod comes to life slowly and onlines his optics a little at a time. He’s splayed in Grimlock’s lap. The fierce warrior is tucked up against the overhang they’d used a few times yesterday as a wall. He’s got his back against it, frame tilted a little and one of his hands is on Hot Rod’s belly, warm and big, like he just wants to make sure Hot Rod is still there.

It’s kind of nice.

Hot Rod looks up, finds Grimlock staring into the distance, toward the now empty battlefield, his visor half-lit as though his thoughts are elsewhere. If he’s recharged, Hot Rod can’t tell. He’s got to admit he’s pretty comfortable in Grimlock’s lap like this. It really highlights how much bigger Grimlock is.

Mmm. Big.

He’s always had a taste for the big ones. And Primus Below, Grimlock is the perfect size. Fierce and gentle, rough and sweet, all the best qualities in a lover actually.

A shiver runs through Hot Rod at the memory of it. His array gives a little ping, and Hot Rod’s face heats. Damn it. Sure, Grimlock had been all for it last night, but what’ll he say if Hot Rod wakes up hot and ready all over again?

“I know you’re awake.”

Hot Rod startles and looks up at Grimlock. That amber visor is turned toward him, and a smile graces Grimlock’s lips – scarred, Hot Rod realizes, all around his mouth and lips.

Hot Rod wants to lick those scars. He loves scars.

“Didn’t you recharge at all?” Hot Rod asks with a lazy stretch of his arms over his head. He splays over Grimlock’s lap because he can, and Grimlock hasn’t shoved him off yet.

“Enough.” Grimlock’s thumb strokes a small circle over Hot Rod’s belly. “Kid, I gotta hand it to you. I didn’t think it was possible for someone to go that much.” He doesn’t sound annoyed at least.

Hot Rod laughs. He rolls his hips, hoping to encourage Grimlock’s hand to go lower. “It’s a special gift.” He preens. “Do I have your respect now?”

Grimlock chuckles and his hand slides down, obeying the unspoken request. “Anyone that can do what you do definitely deserves it,” he says, in that rough gravel voice. He palms Hot Rod’s array, fingers finding the head of Hot Rod’s spike, peeking into view. “You wake up hot and ready, don’t you?”

“All the time,” Hot Rod says, singsong. He gives a little laugh and hopes his self-consciousness doesn’t show. “I mean, I can dial it down. I’m not crazed for it or anything. You don’t have to–”

Grimlock’s thumb rubs over the head of his spike, and Hot Rod shivers. “We’ve got time,” he rumbles, and his visor both brightens and darkens, lust spilling into his field. “Though I can’t promise we won’t be interrupted.”

Hot Rod licks his lips. “I don’t mind if you don’t.”

Another laughs rumbles in Grimlock’s chassis, vibrating through his frame and into Hot Rod’s. There’s so much power in him, contained and controlled, it makes Hot Rod shiver. He squirms in Grimlock’s lap, his array eagerly cycling to life.

“I like your flavor, Hot Rod,” he says as Hot Rod parts his thighs, and Grimlock takes the invitation, dipping a finger between them. “You’re gonna be a great warrior someday.”

Hot Rod hums in his intake. “You can tell all that from the way I overload?”

“Something like that.”

The world shifts beneath Hot Rod. He finds himself splayed out over Grimlock’s chest, looking down into the warrior’s face, his lips inches from Hot Rod’s own. There’s a heavy hand on his aft, a wrist over his thigh, fingers dipping between them. Oh, and the hard column of a spike poking at his belly. He can’t forget that important detail either.

“Well, well, someone else woke up ready for more.” Hot Rod squirms, the slick head of Grimlock’s spike leaving a streak of pre-fluid against his belly.

A finger traces the rim of his valve, stirring the lubricant already gathered there. “Let’s just see how many times I can make you moan before someone comes looking for us.”

Hot Rod shivers and buries his face in Grimlock’s intake, mouth tasting those strong, thick cables. “Sounds good to me.”

This morning after, he decides, is definitely going in his top three.

[G1] Feels Like Tonight

Peace and quiet are forever in short supply around the Ark. There’s always something going on, and there’s barely any space as it is, so trying to find an opportunity to be alone is as difficult as keeping his paint immaculate.

Luck, however, is on Sunstreaker’s side. Because Sideswipe is off doing something he’s being particularly secretive about, and Sunstreaker has their shared quarters all to himself. There’s no one in the rooms to either side of theirs, and most of the other Autobots are out doing chores or performing their duties or indulging in their hobbies.

It’s nice and quiet and perfect, and Sunstreaker vents a little sigh as he sinks into the plush couch he and Sideswipe built out of scrap. He mindlessly doodles on one of his sketch pads, nothing in particular, just vague lines and colors to keep his fingers occupied while his processor wanders. He’s got the stereo crooning a soft, wordless tune, and the day honestly couldn’t get any more perfect.

Which is why, of course, the door slides open with a rickety creak, and Sideswipe comes strolling inside, having the audacity to whistle. He’s grinning, a bounce in his step, and while a happy Sideswipe is a handsome Sideswipe, Sunstreaker is disappointed his solitude has come to an end.

There’s something in Sideswipe’s field, in his side of the bond carefully shielded from Sunstreaker, that speaks of mischief. Well, Sunstreaker wants no part of mischief today, thank you very much. He prepares a refusal and has it ready on the tip of his glossa.

Sideswipe hums a happy trio of notes when he spots Sunstreaker and grabs one of the chairs they usually have in front of the game station. He drags it closer, two of the legs scraping over the floor, and plants it in front of Sunstreaker. Backward, of course, because this is Sideswipe.

Sunstreaker’s hackles raise.

“Hey, Sunny?” Sideswipe prompts as he drops down into the chair and rests his arms across the back of it, plopping his chin down on his wrists.

Sunstreaker’s in enough of a good mood that he allows the nickname. Just this once. Though the mischief in Sideswipe’s actions threatens to sour his happiness and curdle it into irritation.

“Hm?”

“You know I love you, right?” Sideswipe says conversationally, and there’s just enough of something in his tone to disprove his innocence.

Sunstreaker scowls. Sometimes, Sideswipe says those kinds of things because he thinks Sunstreaker needs to hear it, and sometimes, Sunstreaker does. It warms his spark and makes him tingly, and then all he wants to do is snuggle Sideswipe for a few hours.

But also, sometimes Sideswipe says it because he’s Up To Something ™ and he’s trying to connive Sunstreaker into playing along. Sunstreaker usually ends up agreeing because he can never resist Sideswipe when he’s being cute and charming and lovable.

“I don’t have time for a prank, Sideswipe,” Sunstreaker says.

“I’m being serious here,” Sideswipe insists, attempting to sound earnest.

It still sounds fake.

Sunstreaker snorts. “Right.” He turns his attention back to his random doodles. You know, there might be something to the geometric lines and empty space. Perhaps if he filled it in with color, it might be worthwhile.

Fingers close around the top of his sketchpad, tilting it down and forcing Sunstreaker’s gaze away from it. “Hey,” he repeats. “I love you.” This time, he manages to sound serious.

Sunstreaker looks at his twin, and Sideswipe looks serious, too. The smile on his lips is soft and genuine. The mischief in his field is gone. So this isn’t about a prank.

“And there’s nothing you could want from me that’ll change that,” Sideswipe adds, so earnest it bleeds from his seams.

Sunstreaker’s optics narrow even as his spark starts a weird off-beat rhythm in his chassis. There’s something going on here, and he’s not sure what it is. He’s also not sure he wants to know.

“Where are you going with this?”

Sideswipe’s fingers slide free of the datapad. He grips the back of the chair and starts to rock back and forth in it. “Me and Ratchet both,” he says cryptically. Sometimes he can take forever to get to a point. Especially if he thinks Sunstreaker is going to react poorly to it. “You can ask us anything.”

“Okay…” Sunstreaker peers at his twin, but can’t figure out what he’s trying to say. Still, he supposes it’s nice to know. Maybe Sideswipe is just in one of those moods where he thinks Sunstreaker needs a reminder about how he feels. Sides just knows these things sometimes. Even before Sunstreaker does.

“Right.” Sideswipe nods like he’s solved some kind of puzzle before one hand scrubs the back of his head. “So, uh, is there anything you want to ask? Me? Us? Together?”

Sunstreaker vents a sigh. Whatever this is, Sideswipe isn’t going to let this go anytime soon, which means the quicker Sunstreaker makes him talk, the quicker he can get back to sketching.

He taps the end of his stylus against the datapad. “Stop fishing and say what you mean, Sideswipe,” he says. “Because I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He’d been enjoying his rare peace and quiet.

Sideswipe drags in a big vent and then blurts out, “Kink!” before he rocks on his chair and his little smile turns into a broader grin. “Specifically a messy one you’re interested in. Not that I peeked or anything, but the last couple of times we merged, I got a whiff, and it keeps getting stronger.”

Heat floods Sunstreaker’s face. If Sideswipe caught on through one of their merges, it must have been one of Sunstreaker’s stronger and more frequent fantasies. The ones he buries deep specifically so his brother and their lover don’t find out. Sunstreaker doesn’t even know if he’s ready to admit them to himself, much less his partners.

He’s afraid of what they’ll say when they find out. He fears what it means about him to admit these… these odd kinks. Oh sure, Ratchet and Sideswipe claim he can ask for anything, but they can’t mean it. Once they find out all the dirty, twisted things occupying Sunstreaker’s fantasies, they’ll change their minds fast. They’ll change how they feel about him, too. They’ll see him for the depraved creature he is.

Sunstreaker frantically searches for a way out of this. He tries to think of a denial – which never works when one of your lovers is the other half of your spark. He tries to think of a misdirection, but he’s spent too much time thinking to brush it off. He’s caught, he knows he is, and the energon in his tank starts to curdle.

Sideswipe rubs the back of his head again. “I told Ratch, by the way, and we’ve been waiting for you to bring it up yourself but…” Sideswipe shrugs, his grin sheepish. “You haven’t.”

“Your point?” Sunstreaker asks, his mouth dry and his intake overtaken by a huge lump.

“We’re willing.” The chair rocks closer, and the touch of Sideswipe’s field to his is both cautious and gentle. “If it’s something you actually want, I mean.”

Which fantasy, Sunstreaker wonders. Which illicit desire had Sideswipe seen? Surely, not the darkest of them, the dirtiest. No way would Sideswipe be that eager.

Sideswipe’s voice drops into a lower register then, one that always makes something tighten inside Sunstreaker and bloom with heat. “We thought, you know, we’d tie you down, maybe get out that vibe you like.” He pauses, glossa sweeping over his lips. “Then we’d go until you were so wet, so covered in us, that you can’t even remember your name.”

Sunstreaker’s ventilations turn shallow. His optics spiral wider as the heat in his face turns into an inferno. He thinks he knows which fantasy Sideswipe saw, and it’s definitely one of the tamer ones, which is a relief. He licks his lips with a dry glossa, however, because now the possibilities are spinning inside of him.

“Does that sound like something you want?” Sideswipe asks, so close now Sunstreaker can feel the wisp of his ex-vents, like hot puffs against his armor.

“Yes,” Sunstreaker manages, through static and a tight intake, fantasies spiraling free inside of him, the idea of so much pleasure racing through his system.

“Awesome!” Sideswipe bounces up from the chair, as full of energy as ever, and brushes his lips over Sunstreaker’s forehead. “Then don’t worry about a thing, bro. Me and Ratch’ll take care of everything.”

Sideswipe’s field is a tickling caress pouring over Sunstreaker’s sensitive derma. “Ratchet and I,” he corrects, but it sounds distant to him, compared to the pounding in his audials.

Ratchet and Sideswipe both. Taking him. Filling him with transfluid. Using him. Over and over and over…

Sideswipe snorts and taps Sunstreaker’s nasal ridge. “You’re adorable,” he says, and with a wiggle of his fingers, strides toward the door. “See you tonight!”

With that, Sideswipe flounces out of the room, leaving Sunstreaker to stew in his arousal and anticipation. No doubt he’s gone to inform Ratchet of their plans for the evening, and all Sunstreaker can do is stare blankly at his doodles. His engine purrs at the mere thought of what his twin has in store for him.

He’s beyond thrilled that they are willing to indulge in one of his fantasies. And it’s a relief Sideswipe hadn’t stumbled into one of the weirder ones. Clearly, he needs to batten the hatches and firm up his firewalls if he’s going to keep those fantasies from his brother. At least until Sunstreaker is willing to admit them anyway.

Tonight is going to be great, Sunstraeker tells himself, and puts down the datapad. He has to be presentable. Which means it’s time for a deep wash, repaint, and wax. His lovers deserve the best from him.

~

In between wax layer three and the final layer, Sunstreaker’s comm pings him with an incoming message. He accepts the mail as he works on his right shinguard, smoothing the wax over and over into his armor until it is a lustrous, touchable gold.

There’s not much to it. The message is from Sideswipe and all it gives it a place – Ratchet’s quarters – and a time. Sunstreaker has an hour to finish his waxing and grab a cube to refuel before he’s supposed to show up.

He’s simultaneously giddy and nervous when the time arrives, and he stands outside the door, shifting from foot to foot. He doesn’t even have to knock because Sideswipe opens the door before he can lift his hand. Spark bonds are a convenient thing.

Sideswipe grins and snatches Sunstreaker, yanking him into the room and into a fierce kiss that tastes of solar-grade and sweet jellies. Sunstreaker stumbles against his twin, hands flailing at nothing, even as he relents, mouth opening to the hungry press of Sideswipe’s glossa. Sunstreaker moans, melting against his twin, optics half-shuttering, only barely registering the noise of the door sliding shut behind him.

Sideswipe’s hands caress his sides before he pulls out of the kiss with a light nip. “Hey, bro,” he says, brushing the tip of his nasal ridge against Sunstreaker’s. “Fancy meeting you here.”

Sunstreaker barks a laugh. Primus, his brother is an idiot. He loves the goof so much.

Movement in his periphery makes Sunstreaker tense, until his threat protocols recognize the blur of white and red paint.

“Welcome to the party,” Ratchet says.

Sunstreaker has a moment before he’s spun out of Sideswipe’s embrace and into Ratchet’s, the medic sealing his lips over Sunstreaker’s in a scorching kiss, taking and claiming all at once.

Sunstreaker outright whimpers, clutching at Ratchet’s shoulders, arousal pooling into a hot throb in his belly. Ratchet’s field is like a dozen tiny fingers stroking over his armor, and Sunstreaker’s spike throbs.

Glossa and denta taste him all at once before Ratchet sets him free. Sunstreaker staggers, like he can’t get his tires beneath him, and then Sideswipe is there, hands on Sunstreaker’s cheeks, tugging him into another delicious kiss. His lips are warm and tender, and more heat seeps into Sunstreaker’s frame.

He sags, knees wobbling, until Ratchet is there behind him, nuzzling the back of his head, hands stroking over his armor. His fingers are light on Sunstreaker’s seams, his palms a soft sweep against gold plating.

Sunstreaker moans, dizzy. He hadn’t expected this. He thought they’d get right to the kink and the fragging. But this feels like they’ve been waiting for him all day and are happy to see him. Like their day isn’t complete until he’s been in their arms.

It’s wonderful.

“You look gorgeous, Sunstreaker,” Ratchet murmurs against the back of his audial, his rough voice resonating through Sunstreaker’s processor.

Sunstreaker hums into the kiss. Sideswipe draws back, leaving little parting licks over Sunstreaker’s lips, grinning with pride at himself.

“You definitely do,” he says, and brushes the tips of their noses together. “Love it when you pretty yourself up for us.”

“I always look good,” Sunstreaker retorts, but it’s hard to hold on to his indignant tone when Sideswipe is looking at him like that. His face heats, and he looks away. “So, uh, now what?”

Ratchet draws away from behind him, leaving Sunstreaker’s back chilly, but only so he can step into view. He twirls something around his fingers, which Sunstreaker can’t identify until they settle with a clank of metal on metal.

“Now we use these, if you want,” he says with a smile wicked enough to rival Sideswipe’s.

His twin can get quite creative, but Ratchet is downright sneaky, and damn good at turning Sideswipe’s little prompts into something debauched and delicious.

Sunstreaker eyes the cuffs with nothing short of lust. If anyone else had suggested it, he’d be out the door in a flash. But he trusts Ratchet, and he definitely trusts Sideswipe, and the idea of putting his trust in their hands, letting them have their wicked way with him, it makes his engine rev.

He manages a nod, his optics glazing over as he imagines what all they’re going to do to him. He has so many fantasies, so many things he wants to experience. He feels like someone’s laid out a buffet of sweets in front of him and told him to have as much as he wants.

“I thought you might,” Ratchet murmurs and takes Sunstreaker’s hand, giving him a light pull toward the berth. “Want to be on your back or your front?”

Ratchet always asks. Every time. Like he knows he needs to. Sideswipe knows, of course, because he can sense the anxiety in Sunstreaker’s spark. But Ratchet has figured it out, and that he’s paid that much attention makes something inside Sunstreaker go warm and liquid.

“Back,” Sunstreaker answers. He wants to be able to see them, to watch their faces.

“Great choice, bro.” Sideswipe appears with another set of cuffs and a few loops of chain. “Now we can see everything, too.”

Heat makes Sunstreaker feel like his face is glowing, but he lets them arrange him on the berth, arousal growing heavier and heavier inside of him. His spike demands to be freed, even as his valve lubricates, fluid pooling against his panel. He waits for the plan and denies both requests.

They guide him onto his back and cuff his wrists, pinning his arms above his head. He’s got enough slack that he could get some inertia and break free if he wants, not that he does. The consideration, however, is welcome.

Sideswipe climbs on the berth, kisses him long and deep, making little noises of delight in his intake. He strokes over Sunstreaker’s belly, teasing into ticklish seams, and Sunstreaker squirms. Idiot. Sideswipe’s always like this.

Ratchet tugs Sunstreaker’s aft to the edge of the berth, his knees dangling freely, until cuffs clamp about his ankles. Sideswipe takes the chance to nuzzle into Sunstreaker’s intake, lips and denta leaving sharp nips that make Sunstreaker squirm. He hears a noise, a low and quiet drone, and realize that it’s him, moaning.

He feels dizzy, their fields pressing against his, filling in the nooks and crannies. It’s more than he could have hoped for.

Chains rattle as they are drawn taut. His legs are pulled open, thighs parted to leave ample room for Sideswipe or Ratchet to fit between them, but there’s enough slack he’s not immobile. He’s spread open for their enjoyment, and his valve throbs at the thought.

Sunstreaker works his intake, his vents spinning faster. Especially as Sideswipe sits him up and wedges a pillow behind his upper back, tilting him so that he can see everything they’re going to do to him.

Ratchet presses a kiss to the inside of his thigh, and Sunstreaker moans. His legs tremble as the hot wash of Ratchet’s ex-vent teases his cables. Fingers flirt over his valve panel, and it takes all Sunstreaker has not to pop open then and there. Anticipation coils inside of him like a blaster prepped to fire.

“There’s one more accessory.” Ratchet straightens, one hand stroking Sunstreaker’s thigh as the other digs around in his subspace. He pulls out a small, circular object and taps Sunstreaker’s spike panel. “This is to make sure that the only way you can overload is through your valve. That okay?”

Sunstreaker’s moan is outright guttural. His hips jutter upward as best they can, though he can’t get any leverage. Oh, yes, please.

“Words, Sunny,” Ratchet reminds him.

Sunstreaker sucks in a heavy vent, tries to focus through the need sluicing charge in his lines. “Yes,” he grinds out and turns his head toward Sideswipe, seeking out a kiss. “Please.”

“Then open up.” Ratchet’s fingers slide over his panel, and Sunstreaker quickly obeys, his spike surging free with embarrassing eagerness.

Or at least he would’ve been embarrassed, if Ratchet hadn’t made an approving noise before fondling Sunstreaker’s spike with obvious appreciation. He rubs a finger over the sensitive crown, teasing the transfluid slit, and Sunstreaker makes a noise in his intake, hips rocking upward.

“You’re so sexy,” Sideswipe murmurs as he nuzzles into Sunstreaker’s intake, breathing hot and humid over his cables. “Love how you just surrender for us.”

Sunstreaker licks his lips. He opens his mouth but all that emerges is a crackle of static as Ratchet carefully and gently eases the cap over Sunstreaker’s spike. A dab of medical glue holds it in place. There must be some kind of circuitry in the cap because Sunstreaker’s spike starts to depressurize, and Ratchet guides it back into his sheath.

“Close up,” Ratchet says.

Sunstreaker obeys with a moan. His spike feels full and heavy behind his panel. Like it’s pressurized to fill every available inch within him, and nothing more. There’s a quiet click as the cap magnetizes to his panel. It won’t be opening anytime soon, not without Ratchet’s help.

Something closer to a whine spills out of Sunstreaker’s intake. His valve throbs harder, panel snapping aside, suddenly desperate for contact. He wants Ratchet inside of him. Or Sideswipe. Or both. He wants something touching his eager nodes, feeding the need gnawing at his spark.

“This isn’t a scene.” Ratchet’s voice tugs Sunstreaker’s awareness back outward, even as his fingers gently stroke around Sunstreaker’s valve rim, teasing the outer sensory clusters. “But if you need us to stop or it gets to be too much, just say so.”

“Like a safeword?” Sunstreaker asks. It’s getting hard to focus with the need pulsing through his synapses.

Ratchet’s fingers keep stroking around his valve, teasing the flexible rim, dancing over his cluster of sensory nodes, making Sunstreaker tingle. “Stop should be enough, but if it makes you feel better to have a safe word, how about daffodil?”

“Because you’re a pretty flower,” Sideswipe purrs with a laugh. His hand smooths over Sunstreaker’s belly, and the stroke of it sends tingles up Sunstreaker’s backstrut. “I like it.”

“Daffodil,” Sunstreaker echoes. His glossa sweeps over his lips as he takes in the sheer want on Ratchet’s face. “If I want you to stop.”

“Yes.” Ratchet’s thumb circles his anterior node slowly, and Sunstreaker’s hips rock into the touch, his entire array throbbing as charge crackles through his lines. “We’re going to frag you, Sunstreaker. Over and over again. We’re going to fill you with our transfluid while you overload so many times, you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. Is that alright?”

Sunstreaker’s head tips back, his mouth open on a gasp. All he can focus on is that steady circling and the pressure building behind it. The sharp bursts of pleasure volleying in his node, and the building need to overload. Sideswipe’s mouth is like fire on his intake, and their fields are a double-embrace he doesn’t want to escape.

“Sunny,” Sideswipe murmurs as he strokes over Sunstreaker’s closed spike panel. “You have to use your words.”

Sunstreaker whines, his hips rocking up into his partner’s touch. “Y-yes,” he gasps out, processor spinning, lubricant steadily seeping from his valve.

“Good,” Ratchet purrs. His hand vanishes from Sunstreaker’s valve, and Sunstreaker whimpers in protest, until he feels the pressure of a spike against his rim.

He gasps an encouragement, hands curling into fists, frame straining toward the grip on his hips, one damp and one not. His thoughts are spinning, spinning, his valve rippling frantically. Ratchet slides into him, hot and firm, so slow, and Sunstreaker keens, backstrut arching, as overload spills over him in a hot, crackling fire.

His noises are swallowed by Sideswipe’s mouth, his brother rubbing against his side, hands everywhere. His valve clutches at Ratchet’s spike, charge rushing out, and he distantly hears Ratchet suck in a vent of delight. The hands on his hips tighten, and Sunstreaker’s spark flares, pleasure making sparks dance in his vision.

Ratchet bottoms out and grinds, the pressure of his array against Sunstreaker’s rim forcing out a moan. Sunstreaker bucks up against Ratchet, and the chains rattle, pleasure simmering inside of him, with no chance to cool from the overload.

“Primus, you’re gorgeous,” Sideswipe murmurs as he rains kisses all over Sunstreaker, his hands stroking and touching, caressing every inch within reach. “Look at you, overloading for us, making all these yummy noises.”

Sunstreaker moans and turns his head, trying to capture Sideswipe’s lip, and Sideswipe obliges, kissing him soft and deep. Ratchet starts to move, his spike gliding in and out of Sunstreaker’s valve, reigniting nodes now sensitive from the first overload. His hands tighten around Sunstreaker’s hips, pushing and pulling him onto Ratchet’s spike, each grind so deep against his ceiling node.

Ratchet’s already thick and hot. Charge crackles around his spike, nipping at Sunstreaker’s internal nodes. He can feel the burning wash of Ratchet’s ex-vents, and the need yawing in Ratchet’s field.

Sunstreaker tries to pull his legs in closer, clamp them around Ratchet’s waist, but the chains bring him up short. He groans at the slight resistance of the chains. He’s not helpless, but he is trapped, and at the mercy of his lovers. The idea is intoxicating because they’re safe.

The crackling wash of Ratchet’s overload is almost a surprise, given Ratchet’s usual stamina. Or maybe it is intentional because of their plans for the evening. Sunstreaker shivers as Ratchet’s transfluid paints his valve, and Sideswipe nips his lips.

“Oh, Ratchet’s done,” he says against Sunstreaker’s lips. “My turn now.”

“Until it’s mine again,” Ratchet says with a little laugh. He withdraws slowly, still firm, his spike dragging long and slow over Sunstreaker’s nodes. “There’s one more accessory we need, too.”

“Yeah, I know.” Sideswipe squirms away from Sunstreaker, leaving him feeling a bit cold and abandoned on the berth, at least until Sideswipe notches between his thighs and moves into Sunstreaker with no fanfare.

“Gonna make you overload quick for me.” Sideswipe leans forward, hands braced to either side of Sunstreaker, hips thrusting in the pace he knows Sunstreaker likes best. His optics are bright and hungry, his glossa sweeping over and over his lips. “Wanna watch you whimper and writhe for me.”

Primus.

Sunstreaker sucks in a heavy vent, his valve quivering. Sideswipe sinks into him fast and deep, with little circular grinds that put a delicious pressure on his outer node. More intoxicating is the wrap of his field, pulsing in tune to his thrusts.

Sunstreaker tries to rise up to meet him, but the cuffs limit his movement. All he can do is squirm, fluids making obscene noises between them, lubricant and transfluid both. Molten heat gathers in his valve, pushing him toward another overload, and a keen rises out of Sunstreaker’s intake.

He pants for ventilation, processor spinning. Sideswipe pushes into him, harder and faster, and then there’s a finger on Sunstreaker’s anterior node. It circles with a firm pressure, dragging all the fire straight to that sensitive sensor cluster. Sunstreaker’s weak to stimulation right there. Always has been.

He tosses his head back, grits his denta. Tries to hold on to his reserve, tries not to overload like some eager youngling recently discovering his array, but it’s impossible. Sideswipe’s field is like fire against his, and Sideswipe’s spike keeps jabbing all those nodes perfectly, and those circles are getting smaller and smaller around his node, until it’s just a hot-white flash of pleasure. A burst of it.

Sunstreaker drowns in his overload, making a noise that can only be described as binary as he shudders through a second overload, his valve spiraling down tight and milking Sideswipe’s spike for all it can give him. His thoughts drift in a haze of ecstasy, and it takes longer to find his frame again, as he sinks back into it, and the sensation of Sideswipe pushing into him faster and faster.

That droning noise is Sideswipe’s voice. His face is creased with delight, his optics hot and bright, lips moving.

“Fuck, you’re too sexy like this,” he’s blabbering, Sideswipe starts resorting to human swears when he gets too aroused. “So gorgeous and sweet. Love the way you feel around me. Love it when you overload like that. Love all of it. Love you.” He groans, thrusting faster and deeper, fingers tangling in the berth covers for leverage.

Sunstreaker’s head spins. All the compliments strike along his processor like little flicks to his anterior node. He clenches, engine revving, valve pulsing with renewed vigor. He’s not even the least bit exhausted, and the feeling of Sideswipe overloading, filling him with more transfluid is intoxicating. The sound Sideswipe makes is guttural and hungry, and he suddenly pulls out, a couple spurts of transfluid striping Sunstreaker’s array and landing hot-wet on his node.

Sunstreaker moans, his thighs trembling. “More,” he pleads, his vision hazy, processor spinning in the best kinds of ways.

“More’s coming,” Ratchet says, appearing between Sunstreaker’s thighs as Sideswipe shuffles away, his spike bobbing pressurized between his thighs, wet with transfluid and lubricant.

Sunstreaker wants to lick him so much right now. His mouth lubricates with the thought of it, Sideswipe sliding into him, so hot and thick, panting heavily, careful as he takes Sunstreaker’s mouth. The taste of his brother on his glossa, the sound of Sideswipe’s pleasure…

Sunstreaker moans, one that changes pitch into a whine as he feels the wet swipe of a glossa over his valve, and the careful touch of fingers on his rim, stroking the sensitive plating around it. He cycles his optics, tries to focus, sees Ratchet’s head between his thighs, and feels the gentle kiss against his anterior node.

Oh, Primus.

Sunstreaker’s head drops back. His spinal strut arches, hips squirming where Ratchet cradles them, as his mouth drops a dozen little kisses over Sunstreaker’s swollen valve. His rim ripples, his interior calipers clutching on nothing, squeezing out trickles of mixed fluids.

The berth dips as Sideswipe hops up onto it, snuggling against Sunstreaker’s side, peppering his intake with kisses.

“You have some of the best ideas, bro,” he says, ex-venting hot and wet, his field eager and charged against Sunstreaker’s. “We’re gonna fill you up so much, you’ll be cleaning us out for weeks.”

Sunstreaker groans.

Sideswipe’s hand slides down his frame, over his chassis and belly, across his groin, and then his fingers are on Sunstreaker’s sensor cluster, giving it a pinch. Sunstreaker growls and arches his hips, a spike sliding into him not soon after, Ratchet’s spike at that, bigger than Sideswipe’s, thicker.

Sunstreaker keens as the spike touches his nodes. Ratchet grabs his hips, tilts them a little, so the ridged crown of his spike can taste those nodes only grazed earlier. It sends a shock of fire through Sunstreaker’s valve.

“I brought you a gift, Sunstreaker,” Ratchet says, his voice and field like little drops of ecstasy to Sunstreaker’s processor. “Your brother’s got it now.”

“Gift?” Sunstreaker repeats, processor spinning too much to make sense of it.

Sideswipe’s hand vanishes from his node, and before Sunstreaker can protest, it returns. And it’s not alone. He’s got something attached to his finger, something that starts buzzing and vibrating on the sensitive plating surrounding Sunstreaker’s anterior cluster.

Oh. Oh, Primus.

Sunstreaker tilts his head back, optics squeezing shut, hips bucking, as overload tackles him like a Combaticon on the battlefield, a full frontal assault that leaves him dazed and shaking on the ground. His entire frame arches, charge lighting up his armor, dancing out from his protoform.

Sideswipe eases off with the vibrator, enough for Sunstreaker to catch a vent. He goes limp on the berth, completely surrendering to their touch, to Sideswipe kissing him – wet and hot and openmouthed – and Ratchet thrusting into him, steadier and faster and deeper, his hands smoothing up and over and around Sunstreaker’s legs.

“You love this, don’t you?” Sideswipe asks, his voice dark and sultry, like secret fantasies and the caverns under Cybertron and the taste of the finest high grade.

“He’s suited for it,” Ratchet says with lust in his tone, like a powerful engine turning over, a blaster rising to full charge. “Pleasure looks good on him.”

“It does. Almost wish everyone could see it, see how beautiful you are,” Sideswipe says against Sunstreaker’s audial. “We’d string you up in the common room, black ropes all around your frame, tied so you can’t move.”

“At our mercy is a good plan,” Ratchet agrees with a grunt. His thrusts deepen, ping something deep inside Sunstreaker that makes him whimper with pleasure.

His thoughts spin, caught up with their voices, the pleasure promised in their words.

“Everybody can watch as we make you overload again and again,” Sideswipe murmurs, his glossa tracing circles over Sunstreaker’s seams. “They’ll want to touch, but we won’t let them. They’ll beg us, and we’ll say no.”

“Because you’re ours,” Ratchet pants, grinding so deep, his spike throbbing, the thick head tapping over Sunstreaker’s ceiling node again and again. “And no one else can have you.”

Sunstreaker moans. The claim sounds fierce, genuine, and it rattles around inside his spark. Sideswipe loves him; Sideswipe is his twin. He doesn’t have a choice. But to want to keep him? To claim him? That’s something entirely free.

“Yes,” Sideswipe hisses, hips rolling, his spike rutting against Sunstreaker’s side. And then the vibrator is back, buzzing happily over Sunstreaker’s anterior node, and he arches again, frame caught by pleasure. “All ours.”

Sunstreaker jolts, overload pouring through him like an electric attack, setting his sensor net ablaze. He chokes out a sound as his fans roar, his valve spiraling down tight around Ratchet’s spike, his hands forming fists. The chains rattle as he thrashes, caught up in the ecstasy, with Sideswipe and Ratchet’s hands to guide him back down.

He’s panting as he collapses onto the berth, condensation slicking his frame. He barely notices that Ratchet has overloaded again, and now the fluids are trickling from his valve, soaking his aft. The room smells of interfacing and lubricant and transfluid. His valve aches for more, rim twitching as Ratchet withdraws, and Sideswipe replaces him.

Sunstreaker moans, head swinging toward Ratchet, the medic against his side now, his lips gentle as they catch Sunstreaker’s for a kiss. He tastes like something sweet and wonderful, and his hands are as clever as Sideswipe’s, gentle as he runs the vibrator over Sunstreaker’s most sensitive places, but on the lowest setting.

“We’re going to keep going,” Ratchet murmurs, a steamy promise against Sunstreaker’s audials. “Until our tanks run dry, and we’re spilling out of you.”

Sunstreaker whimpers, processor going bright with need, his worldview narrowing to this and only this.

It starts to blur together. Overload after overload, Ratchet and Sideswipe alternating, taking turns caressing him and spiking him, until Sunstreaker’s entire frame feels as though it’s one big, sensitive node. Until even the touch of their fingers on his knee or his belly makes him wail with need.

He’s never empty, he’s always full. He’s surrounded by them, claimed by them, taken again and again. The berth is soaked beneath his aft. His frame is on fire, blue charge licking out of his seams to light up the room. He tastes them both on his glossa and in the air, and he wishes he could vocalize how much he wants to lick them, suck them, swallow them.

The words ‘stop’ and ‘daffodil’ never cross his mind. Higher processing goes away, turned to mush. His thighs tremble, and his shoulders ache, and he’s floating on air. He’s loose and sloppy and taken so thoroughly, there’s no question who he belongs to.

Sideswipe. Ratchet. Both. Together.

Together, the key word, because somehow in the haze, they’ve unbound his legs. Someone’s crawled beneath him, behind him, cradling his frame. Sideswipe, he thinks, his arms around Sunstreaker’s chassis, his head tilted against Sunstreaker’s, his words a hot puff of compliments against Sunstreaker’s audial.

He slides up into Sunstreaker, path eased by the copious fluids, and Sunstreaker’s so open, he can only manage a light clench. But it’s okay, because Ratchet’s here, too, between Sunstreaker’s thighs, his hands gentle on Sunstreaker’s knees. Pushing them up and back, opening him up, making room for Ratchet to ease into his valve as well, a tight fit but a good one.

Sunstreaker moans, his head lolling back against Sideswipe’s shoulder, his spark heavy and swollen with affection. They move together, a stretch just shy of pain, but it’s better like this. Better to feel them both at once, Sideswipe behind and Ratchet in front, closing around him, holding him close.

He starts to shake, and it has nothing to do with fear, but everything to do with a rising tide of pleasure. It starts in his feet and works up his frame, rattling through his armor. It starts at his head and flows down, over his intake and shoulders and chassis and belly. It meets in his groin, collides, and tangles into a tighter and tighter knot.

“That’s it,” Sideswipe urges, his hand sliding down, over Sunstreaker’s belly, back to his node, all slippery and swollen, twice the size it should be. “Come on, Sunny. Overload for us, baby. Give us one more. I know you have it in you.”

Sunstreaker whimpers, exhausted and limp, barely able to roll onto their combined spikes, drowning in the ecstasy they offer. Ratchet’s lips press against the curve of his jaw, and Sunstreaker’s mouth opens, inviting him inside, the taste of his glossa so hot and wet and fleeting.

Ratchet nuzzles him, so sweet and encouraging. “You’re so beautiful, Sunstreaker,” he murmurs, and Sunstreaker’s spark flutters.

Sideswipe says it all the time, but he has to, because he’s Sunstreaker’s twin, and his brother, and he loves Sunstreaker. Oh, he believes it, too and Sunstreaker believes him when he says it, but coming from Ratchet, it’s something else entirely. It’s someone saying, I don’t already love you, but I find you beautiful anyway, and it makes Sunstreaker’s spark clench with exhilaration and fear.

“One more overload, Sunny,” Ratchet purrs, and Sunstreaker can’t even be angry for the loathed nickname, not with Ratchet pleading with him. Not with Ratchet’s mouth so hot against his jaw. “One more.”

“One more,” Sideswipe echoes, and they both shove deep, push into him at the same time, filling him to the brim and almost to capacity.

Sunstreaker’s valve convulses. It spirals tight before spilling charge in wave after wave, lighting up his internal nodes and licking over his lover’s spikes. Sunstreaker’s breath catches in his intake as he overloads. It strips away everything, his frame arrested by ecstasy and casting him adrift in a sea of it.

Sunstreaker whites out, his spark dancing. He floats outside his frame, every sensor lit with lightning, every line, every inch of his dermal net until he can’t feel anything but pleasure.

Everything goes wonderfully, deliciously blank, and he forgets there is ever a time he feels worthless, undesired, and unloved. Not when it’s here, so obvious, so very present around him.

By the time he sinks back into his frame and stops floating, the world around him is a different place. Figuratively speaking anyway. Unshuttering his optics takes monumental effort, and his visual feed is filled with gray static at first, until he reboots both it and his auditory feed.

He senses Ratchet and Sideswipe around him immediately. Their hands and lips on his frame, peppering him in gentle kisses and careful swipes of a damp meshcloth. The cuffs and chains are gone, leaving him free to move, not that he thinks he can. Every limb is languid, exhausted, and all he wants to do is lie here and soak it in.

His engine purrs, perfectly content, a sensation he hasn’t felt in a long while. Sunstreaker makes a happy noise and tries to snuggle into the frame nearest to him – a heck of a lot of red, Sideswipe he thinks.

“There you are,” Sideswipe murmurs affectionately, and scrubs his cheek over Sunstreaker’s. “We wondered when you’d come back to us.” There’s a hint of worry in his voice.

“Sorry,” Sunstreaker mumbles through static.

“I told him you were fine,” Ratchet says, exasperated. But his touch is gentle as he wipes down Sunstreaker’s inner thighs in short, efficient strokes. And he sounds relieved, too.

“Felt good,” Sunstreaker manages. He sighs with satisfaction. Ratchet’s so good at this, and the strokes of the cloth are soothing. He could easily fall back into recharge like this.

Until he feels the cloth slide further up, toward his very sticky array, lubricant and transfluid both seeping out of him. Sunstreaker tries to twist his hips away, the motion aborted because of his fatigue, and makes a protesting noise. His face heats with embarrassment.

Ratchet pauses and arches an orbital ridge at him. “You don’t want to be clean?”

“No… not yet,” Sunstreaker admits as he commands his panel to close, trapping their combined spill and his own lubricant inside him. It’ll be a mess to clean later but right now, it’s a reminder.

He curls half onto his side, trying to tuck his face against Sideswipe’s intake so neither of them can see his expression. He doesn’t want to be that clean. He wants… He wants them to be close to him, around him as much as they are inside him.

“Just…” Sunstreaker trails off, unsure how to express himself, and tries to curl into Sideswipe again, weak fingers making an aborted paw at Sideswipe’s armor.

“Hold you?” Sideswipe finishes for him. He curls an arm over Sunstreaker and tugs him closer, half on top of Sideswipe. “I can totally do that. I love when you’re all snuggly.”

“Feels good,” Sunstreaker murmurs and lets himself go limp, completely notched against his twin, close enough that he can feel and sense the beat of his twin’s spark. But his back is cold, and he knows he’s missing something. “Wait. Where’s–”

“Right here.” The berth dips behind Sunstreaker as Ratchet appears from wherever he’d gone – probably disposing of the mesh cloth for now. He slides up behind Sunstreaker, curling against Sunstreaker’s back, draping an arm over his midsection.

He’s squeezed between them, the heat of their frames buzzing against his, their fields embracing him entirely. His processor still floats in that wonderful haze of pleasure, and his spark is a content twirl inside his chassis. His array is deliciously sated, and when he twitches, he can still feel the spike cap.

Eh. They can get it in the morning. Sunstreaker doesn’t want to move. He likes this just the way it is. His twin and their lover petting him, two pairs of hands stroking over his frame soothing and adoring.

He never knew there could be this much bliss in a single moment.

“Told you we’d do it,” Sideswipe murmurs into the peaceful quiet, because he can never abide by silence for long, the brat.

“Shut up,” Sunstreaker grumbles. Always has to throw in an ‘I told you so’.

Ratchet laughs, the sound of it vibrating between Sunstreaker’s shoulders. “Anything for you, Sunny,” he says as he strokes his palm down Sunstreaker’s side, his field adding warm and comfortable pulses.

For once, Sunstreaker actually believes they mean it. Maybe he’s not ready to divulge all the other secret desires just yet, but he thinks he might in the future. Someday.

He’s getting closer to it any rate.

Because they love him. He’s sure of it. All that’s left is to trust it.

***

[TF] Strung Up on You

The weird part wasn’t the invitation, but the person who’d issued it.

Sunstreaker.

Oh, sure. Rodimus had spent time in their berth on a few occasions, always by Starscream’s offer. Sunstreaker had been lukewarm to him at best. Tolerant, most likely, because he never denied Starscream anything. He’d never seemed interested in Rodimus himself, instead treating him more like a pet or an intrusion.

Which made it doubly odd he’d sent Rodimus an invitation to come to their shared habsuite. Rodimus rolled the invite around in his head for several days, debating on whether or not to accept it. He believed the offer was genuine; it was just that he didn’t understand the motivation behind it.

Unless, he guessed, this was all Starscream’s idea. The Seeker could be quite devious when the situation called for it, and he loved being a tease. Especially toward Rodimus.

In the end, curiosity won out.

The evening of the invitation arrived. Rodimus finished his last client of the day – tip included again! – and took his time in the washracks, more considerate than usual of his post-client clean-up. He knew how particular Sunstreaker could be and didn’t want the mech finding any reason to see fault in Rodimus.

Even if Sunstreaker had been the one to invite him, Rodimus still didn’t intend to leave himself open to Sunstreaker’s scrutiny.

Clean and polished, Rodimus climbed the residential tower to the nearly top floor where Sunstreaker had claimed one of the larger, better habs. He had the right to, Rodimus knew. Sunstreaker had been here longer than just about anyone else. Rumor had it he was never going to leave.

Rodimus wondered what Starscream thought about that, Starscream who had every intention to quit and move on with his life as soon as he earned the creds he needed. Rodimus didn’t blame him. As soon as he’d paid his own debts, if that ever happened, Rodimus planned to run far and fast from Blue Sun.

Outside Sunstreaker and Starscream’s room, Rodimus hesitated. He nibbled on his bottom lip. He checked his chronometer. Perfectly on time. He raised his hand to ring the chime, and hesitated again.

He’d come this far. No point in turning back now. Honestly, what did he have to lose?

Rodimus pressed the button. He shifted from foot to foot as he waited, wondering what they had in store for him, what the game was this time. Or maybe it was extra lessons? Starscream kept saying Rodimus needed more.

Starscream could be just as much of an aft as Sunstreaker. Rodimus was too grateful to the Seeker to point it out though. They both had really helped him. At this rate, he might actually pay off his debts, rather than get stuck here forever. Every tip was a spit in Turmoil’s face.

Metaphorically anyway. Rodimus knew better than to piss off his former lover by actually spitting on him. Fragging off Turmoil had gotten him into this mess in the first place.

The door opened, and Sunstreaker stood there, perfectly polished as usual, but there was a weird sheen on his lips and face. He smirked upon sight of Rodimus and stepped back, gesturing him inside.

“You’re on time,” he said, his deep voice doing sinful things to Rodimus’ spinal strut. Things that weren’t very fair. “Don’t mind Starscream. He’s where he’s supposed to be.”

Rodimus crinkled his orbital ridges but obeyed. Don’t mind Starscream? What the frag was that supposed to–

Oh.

Rodimus’ optics widened as the door slid shut behind him. The scent of interfacing struck him nearly at the same time as a frazzled, hungry energy field. For there Starscream was, expertly strung up with some red-gold chains dangling from the ceiling. His arms were pulled above and behind his head and chains of the same color wrapped around his knees, tying his ankles to the back of his thighs.

He knelt on the berth. Or actually…

Rodimus looked a bit closer. Starscream was kneeling, but just above the berth. He strained to catch it with his knees, his engine revving, the chains creaking. He was strung up in such a way that his weight was evenly distributed. It didn’t put too much strain on his arms and shoulders, but no matter how he squirmed, he couldn’t touch himself.

Not his pressurized spike, wet with slick, beaded at the tip, encircled at the base by a ring. Or his valve, visibly swollen and dripping, the piercings twinkling as they caught the overhead light.

Rodimus’ mouth watered.

Well. That explained the damp on Sunstreaker’s face.

“Damn it, Sunstreaker!” Starscream snarled, seething. Wide gaps in his plating dispelled heat, his wings flicking in all directions. “Now is not the time to answer the door!”

He was blind-folded, Rodimus realized.

“Have a seat,” Sunstreaker said, ignoring Starscream’s snarled curses.

Have a…? Was he serious?

“You’re kind of in the middle of something, aren’t you?” Rodimus asked, but he obeyed, plopping his aft on the chaise, fixated on the tempting picture Starscream made.

Primus but he wanted to climb onto that berth, put hands and lips and glossa on Starscream, and see if he could make the Seeker writhe for him. The sounds Starscream might make, if only Rodimus could pleasure him.

“Yes, but that’s the point.” Sunstreaker’s glossa flicked over his lips, his attention shifting back toward Starscream. His optics turned both soft and hungry at once. “This is, after all, a reward.”

Rodimus wasn’t sure what to think. Did that mean Starscream had agreed to this ahead of time? Did he want Rodimus here? Rodimus couldn’t imagine Sunstreaker doing anything to hurt Starscream or lose his trust.

“For what?” Rodimus asked.

No answer came. Not immediately.

Instead, Sunstreaker moved nearer to the berth, which had been pulled more toward the middle of the room. All the better to put Starscream in the spotlight, Rodimus supposed.

Sunstreaker’s hand trailed along the berth before it found Starscream’s knee. He dragged his fingers up the length of it, then his thigh, then to his hip and further still. Up and up, teasing him, as Starscream shivered and tilted into the touch.

“Someone passed his exam.” Sunstreaker traced the edge of Starscream’s nearest wing. He pinched the aileron and a pearl of lubricant dripped from Starscream’s valve, dampening the berth beneath him. “He was a hard-working little Seeker, studying all night, practicing during the day. And he passed with flying colors.”

Exam?

Starscream loosed a small moan. He leaned into Sunstreaker’s touch. He licked his lips and his field rolled out, hot and heavy, prickling over Rodimus’ armor.

“This is a reward for that?” Rodimus asked as Starscream’s backstrut arched, and tiny nips of charge spilled over his frame in blue-white fire.

“Rewards are a matter of perspective,” Sunstreaker purred, and Starscream suddenly sucked in a heavy ventilation. He moaned, long and low, like it had been pulled from his belly.

It took Rodimus several seconds to understand why. Sunstreaker’s fingers were between Starscream’s thighs, the tips of them dragging through the gathered lubricant and teasing Starscream’s valve folds.

“Now hush.” Sunstreaker’s fingers slid further up and curled, the tips of them tapping on Starscream’s anterior node. “This is the part where you watch.”

Rodimus worked his intake, his hands squeezing on his thighs. Normally, it grated on him to obey Sunstreaker’s demands, but this time, it felt different. He wasn’t sure why. Something compelled him to keep his mouth shut.

Sunstreaker stroked along Starscream’s valve again, gathering lubricant with his fingertips, and then he pulled away. Starscream made a protesting sound as Sunstreaker stepped around Starscream’s other side, popping his damp fingers into his mouth to suck them clean.

Starscream’s engine growled. “Stop stalling and pay me attention,” he demanded, though it came out pained and husky.

Sunstreaker chuckled and moved to Starscream’s right side. He traced Starscream’s bottom lip with his thumb. “You always have my optic, Starling.”

Starscream leaned into the touch, and his glossa lapped at the tip of Sunstreaker’s thumb, quick like a voltaic cat. “Then stop teasing me.”

“I’m not teasing, beautiful. I’m enticing.” Sunstreaker abandoned Starscream’s mouth, and his finger trailed downward, over the delicate cables of Starscream’s intake to splay across the nearly transparent transteel of Starscream’s cockpit.

Starscream moaned and wriggled in his bonds. More lubricant dripped from his valve, soaking the berth cover. Rodimus wanted to moan with him. Sunstreaker was barely touching Starscream, but he had complete mastery of the room. It was intoxicating. Inspiring.

It made Rodimus want to try for himself.

Sunstreaker’s hand drifted lower still, skating the length of Starscream’s spike. He pinched the tip, swept his thumb over the weeping slit, before abandoning Starscream’s spike in favor of his valve. Black fingers parted the mesh lips, playing in the slick gathered there.

Starscream made a noise, a cross between a growl and a whimper.

Sunstreaker hummed in. “You didn’t greet our guest, Starscream,” he said in a tone that was half-purr, half-rebuke. “I know I taught you better than that.”

Starscream’s hips rocked toward Sunstreaker’s fingers, his biolights flashing faster and brighter. “I know he’s here,” Starscream snapped. “What more do you want from me?”

Rodimus almost laughed. Trust Starscream to be somewhat disobedient, even while submitting to Sunstreaker’s domination. He wouldn’t be Starscream if he didn’t struggle the whole way.

Sunstreaker’s fingers pushed deep into Starscream’s valve, and they must have curled, because Starscream suddenly whined and sucked in a ventilation. His entire frame shuddered, wings and all, as the turbines on his chest started to spin.

“That’s not a respectful tone, Star,” Sunstreaker said. His voice sounded pleasant, but there was a chastisement in it. One that made Starscream’s face flush with heat.

He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. His fingers curled into light fists. More lubricant dribbled down before Starscream loudly cycled a ventilation.

“Welcome to our hab, Rodimus,” Starscream said, his voice steadier than Rodimus expected it to be, what with Sunstreaker fingering all of his pleasure points. “P-please enjoy the show.”

Rodimus didn’t know if he was allowed to speak or not. He risked it. “Thanks.” He rubbed the back of his head, wondering if Starscream could hear the arousal in his voice. “Pretty sure I will.”

Starscream’s lips curved toward a smirk. One that did things to Rodimus, made his internals tighten and heat wash through his lines. His spike throbbed, and Rodimus pressed the heel of his palm to his panel.

He hadn’t been given permission.

“That’s better.” Sunstreaker dropped to a crouch in front of Starscream.

His hands curved around Starscream’s thighs, pushing them further open, completely baring Starscream to the room. He tilted Starscream’s hips up and back, putting his array at perfect height for Sunstreaker to lean forward and give a long, lingering lick to Starscream’s valve.

Starscream’s ex-vents turned ragged.

“Mmm.” Sunstreaker hummed as he swept his glossa over his lips. “My favorite treat.” He pressed a kiss to Starscream’s anterior node before licking him again, deeper this time, more savoring.

Starscream whimpered and rocked against Sunstreaker’s face. Rodimus found himself leaning forward, further and further out of the chair, if only to see better. The taste of their fields in the air was intoxicating.

Rodimus didn’t really understand why the two of them couldn’t admit they were madly in love with each other. It was plain as day to everyone else. Kind of a running joke with some of the temps downstairs and the entirety of the cleaning staff.

‘Cowardice’ some of them whispered. Because everyone knew Starscream was going to leave, and Sunstreaker couldn’t. Rodimus still wasn’t sure why. Just like he didn’t know why Sunstreaker was sometimes sick, and had more time off than anyone else in Blue Sun. There was an answer there, Rodimus was sure of it.

It most definitely wasn’t cowardice. It was something else.

The sound of Sunstreaker slurping at Starscream’s valve dragged Rodimus’ attention back to the erotic show in front of him. Chains jingled as Starscream trembled in Sunstreaker’s grip, more aroused charge dancing across his frame.

“Sun,” he pleaded, and Rodimus shivered. The desperation in Starscream’s tone almost yanked him out of the chair, just so he could soothe Starscream’s need himself.

Sunstreaker made a noise, nipped at Starscream’s anterior nub piercing, and pulled back. He rose to his feet, his hands still cupping Starscream’s thighs before he gently let go.

There was a moment where Starscream rocked in the air before he seemed to realize Sunstreaker’s mouth was no longer on him. He thrashed and spat out a curse Rodimus had only ever heard from back-alley drunks and the rustheads Turmoil dealt with.

Sunstreaker licked his lips and tucked his face into the crook of Starscream’s neck and shoulder. “Do you want to overload?” he asked as he slipped a single finger into Starscream’s valve, not nearly enough to be anything more than a tease.

“Of course I do!” Starscream’s head tipped back, his intake bobbing as he swallowed, another low whine building in his intake.

“Then you’ll have to work for it,” Sunstreaker murmured into Starscream’s audial. His thumb swept over Starscream’s anterior node before he drew back, popping his damp fingers into his mouth.

Starscream snarled an invective and thrashed in his chains. His frame twisted and writhed under the lighting, which Rodimus belatedly realized was a lamp positioned to best highlight Starscream’s frame. He looked gorgeous like this, strung up and desperate, pleasure bleeding in his field, and need so raw and open.

“Why are you being so mean?” Starscream demanded, just short of a wail. His field boiled through the room, his biolights so bright they betrayed the strength of his arousal.

How long had it been already? Since Sunstreaker strung him up and decided to drive him crazy with pleasure? How long before Rodimus arrived? Because condensation had started to gather, and Starscream’s vents were ragged. His valve lips were swollen, his anterior node an angry nub. He was so close to overload Rodimus could taste it in the air.

Sunstreaker nuzzled Starscream’s face. “Patience, beautiful. Don’t I always spoil you in the end?”

Starscream’s lower lip jutted out in a sulk that should not have been as adorable as it was. “I want you to spoil me now.”

Sunstreaker’s soft laugh sounded so fond Rodimus’ spark clenched in envy. “All in due time.”

Rodimus’ hands smoothed down his thighs as Sunstreaker moved back behind Starscream, his hands never leaving the Seeker for long. He traced seams and edges, and the tangle of their fields was intoxicating. Starscream arched and swayed into Sunstreaker’s touch, and what Rodimus could read of his expression spoke of absolute trust.

He wondered if they forgot he was there.

Sunstreaker kept moving, until he dropped down to the berth, twisted over onto his back, and wriggled upward. It took a minute for Rodimus to figure out what he was doing, until he saw Sunstreaker’s hands wrap around Starscream’s thighs from behind and tug Starscream backward, his thighs bracketing Sunstreaker’s face at the perfect angle. Lubricant gathered in the folds of Starscream’s valve, and a single drop slipped free, landing on Sunstreaker’s lips.

Rodimus’ internals clenched out of sheer anticipation. He wondered what it would be like to experience Sunstreaker’s mouth for himself. He wanted to change places with Sunstreaker, be the one to ex-vent hot and wet over Starscream’s valve, and then place an ever so gentle kiss on the swollen metalmesh.

Starscream moaned, his backstrut arching, wings twitching. Chains rattled as he wriggled in their grasp, his hips sinking down against Sunstreaker’s lips.

Rodimus couldn’t tear his optics away, barely found himself ventilating, truth be told, as Sunstreaker’s mouth moved over Starscream’s valve. He licked and sucked, treating Starscream like candy to be savored.

“More,” Starscream demanded, though it barely counted as one, since it escaped on a moan, and his head lolled about on his neck.

Sunstreaker hummed and shifted his focus to Starscream’s anterior node, drawing it between his lips, giving it a lengthy suck. The sound that emerged from Starscream’s intake was positively illegal, and the way he arched, his entire frame lengthening, was ridiculously erotic.

Black hands tightened around Starscream’s thighs. Sunstreaker tugged him down further and buried his face against Starscream’s valve. The sounds he made, lewd licks and suckles, made Rodimus’ face burn as much as they made Starscream squirm and pant.

“Please, Sunny,” he whined. His vents clicked into a faster spin, dumping excess heat into the room. Charge crawled over his armor in blatant display of a fast approaching overload.

Dentae found Starscream’s piercing, giving it a tug and the gasp that wrenched free of Starscream’s mouth made Rodimus jerk. His array throbbed, and he shifted in the chair, swallowing over a lump in his intake.

The blindfold made it impossible to see Starscream’s optics, but the rest of his face made it clear how aroused he was. Totally open, totally trusting, totally dependent on Sunstreaker for his pleasure. His field was a frenzy of need, and little spikes of it filled the room, tapping on Rodimus’ own, as if demanding he see to Starscream’s pleasure as well.

It was so very tempting. But so far, he’d only been invited to watch. So Rodimus kept his aft in the seat, his hands under his thighs, as the need twisted in his internals.

A pearl of pre-fluid gathered at the tip of Starscream’s spike and rolled down the length of it. Rodimus’ mouth watered. He wanted to lick it off, taste Starscream on his glossa, swallow him down, consume every spurt of transfluid.

Lubricant trickled from Starscream’s valve, soaking Sunstreaker’s face. Starscream writhed, his hips rocking as much as they were able given his restraints.

Sunstreaker focused on Starscream’s anterior node again, pressing it between his denta, glossa flicking the tip of it.

Starscream made a sound of pure sin. His head tossed back, his frame going rigid as he overloaded, rocking down hard on Sunstreaker’s face. His wings snapped upright and more fluid dribbled out of his spike.

Sunstreaker’s oral attentions eased, but didn’t cease. He gentled his touches to soft licks, savoring ones, staying away from Starscream’s sensitive node and focusing on his swollen valve folds. Starscream made a little whine in the back of his intake, his hips still twitching, even as Sunstreaker pressed a small kiss to his nub.

“So sweet,” Sunstreaker murmured, his voice thick with that affectionate note again, the one that made Rodimus’ spark ache.

He wondered if anyone would ever talk to him like that, would look at him the way Sunstreaker looked at Starscream, especially when he thought Starscream wasn’t looking back.

Starscream went limp in his chains, little shivers attacking his frame. His armor had parted, widening the seams to vent heat. His wings twitched in minute motions. He made a little noise as Sunstreaker nuzzled his valve.

Rodimus licked his lips, his array burning. He wanted to touch himself so badly, but didn’t know if that was allowed either. Would’ve been nice if they’d given him more instruction than ‘sit and watch’.

A parting kiss and Sunstreaker eased out from beneath Starscream, rising to his knees behind the Seeker. His hands remained in motion, gliding gently over Starscream’s plating. He traced the edges of Starscream’s wings and dragged the tips of his fingers, featherlight, up the length of Starscream’s arms.

“Still all right?” Sunstreaker murmured into the crook of Starscream’s neck, his lips within reach of Starscream’s audial.

A low sound rose in Starscream’s chassis. “No.”

Sunstreaker’s orbital ridges drew down, lips curving into a slight frown. “What’s wrong?” His hands stilled on Starscream’s elbows, lustful teasing immediately shifting into concern.

Sunstreaker couldn’t see Starscream’s face, but Rodimus could, therefore he had a first hand view of Starscream’s adorable pout. “You haven’t kissed me at all,” he complained.

Sunstreaker twitched. The concern flipped into exasperation in the blink of an optic. He vented a sigh and slid his hands down Starscream’s arms.

“You are a brat,” Sunstreaker said as he slipped off the berth and came around Starscream’s side. He tapped Starscream on the nose like a misbehaving sparkling.

Starscream didn’t sound the least bit chagrined. “You still owe me a kiss.”

Sunstreaker’s field flicked with amusement, but there was affection in the way he cupped Starscream’s face and brought their mouths together. Rodimus expected something possessive, maybe rough, but the kiss was soft. A slow merging of their lips, that made Starscream’s vents stutter and his ailerons flutter.

The envy returned with a vengeance, clawing up out of his tanks, into his intake, and tightening around his vocalizer like a vise. He’d had a dream like this once, of this very thing, and like all else in Rodimus’ life, it had turned out to be a fantasy.

Maybe he shouldn’t have accepted the invitation after all.

Sunstreaker’s thumbs swept over Starscream’s cheeks. “Want more?” he asked, his tone half-affectionate, half-amused.

“Of you? Always?” Starscream smirked, his expression smug, which was quite the feat considering he was still blindfolded.

“You’re so greedy.” Sunstreaker chuckled.

Starscream tilted forward, trying to shift his weight toward Sunstreaker. “Well, this is supposed to be a reward after all.”

“The night’s not over yet.” Sunstreaker pecked a kiss on the corner of Starscream’s mouth before he looked over his shoulder.

At Rodimus.

Oh, so they hadn’t forgotten he was there. Rodimus found himself sitting a little straighter, and then scowled because like frag he was going to behave because Sunstreaker looked at him.

“Well?” Sunstreaker prompted with that smug tone Rodimus had learned to hate. “Interested in doing more than looking, newbie?”

Rodimus twisted his jaw. “You actually want me to participate?” Because honestly, that hadn’t been clear from the beginning.

Sunstreaker shifted toward Rodimus. One hand slid around Starscream’s waist, the other resting on Starscream’s belly. “That’s the point of your being here.”

“Don’t act like I’m stupid.” Rodimus’ scowl deepened, and he was doubly glad Starscream couldn’t see the heat of his glare. He was always chastising Rodimus for riling up Sunstreaker. “Your invitation was vague on purpose, and you know it.”

Sunstreaker’s smirk only made the irritation burn hotter. “And yet you came.”

“Not yet, I haven’t.” Rodimus sharpened his smile, wishing he had filed denta to go with it. So what if Starscream didn’t approve? He was too tied up to notice at the moment. “And by now, you owe me several.”

Sunstreaker arched an orbital ridge. “Is that so?”

The hand on Starscream’s belly slid further down, moving past Starscream’s spike to his valve. His biolights still glowed and lubricant had formed a wet sheen around his rim. Black fingers slid through the damp, turning them glossy.

Starscream shivered, his hips canting forward, giving Rodimus a better view of the fingers spreading his folds, and the glittering trail of biolights leading within. Rodimus wanted to follow them with his fingers, trace them back to their prize — the high ridge of Starscream’s ceiling node.

“Does that mean you don’t want to play with my pretty pet?” Sunstreaker asked.

Rodimus paid a bit too much attention to the motion of Sunstreaker’s fingers. He crossed his arms as he could see Starscream’s valve clench, squeeze out more lubricant. His biolights flashed in a seductive pattern.

Damn.

“Not if you’re going to be an aft about it,” Rodimus retorted, but it didn’t have any heat behind it. At least, not the right kind of heat. He hadn’t managed to lift his gaze yet, not while Sunstreaker’s fingers continued to stroke and rub, parting Starscream’s valve as though giving Rodimus a non-verbal invitation.

Starscream’s engine growled. “If Rodimus isn’t interested, then just leave him and focus on me instead, damn it.”

“Mmm. I don’t think so.” Sunstreaker tilted his head, his attention never leaving Rodimus. “If you want another overload, you’ll have to get it from Rodimus here. You might have to beg him for it, since he’s being difficult.”

Rodimus’ jaw literally dropped. “What?”

Starscream echoed him, though his voice was closer to a screech.

“You heard me.” Sunstreaker’s fingers slid free of Starscream’s valve and dragged up Starscream’s frame, leaving a trail of lubricant behind. “I want you to join us, Rodimus. Starscream doesn’t get another overload unless you do.”

It wasn’t that Rodimus didn’t want to join them, because that was certainly the case. Rodimus quite enjoyed touching Starscream, and he considered it something of a challenge to make the pretty Seeker overload.

However, he didn’t much like Sunstreaker’s attitude, or the way Sunstreaker tended to treat him like some unwanted stray Starscream had plucked off the street. Rodimus absolutely loathed how Sunstreaker assumed Rodimus would obey just because Sunstreaker had been the one to issue the command.

So what if Sunstreaker was the most experienced veteran on staff here in Blue Sun? So what if he was Starscream’s lover and obviously, Starscream’s Dom? So what if he was the single, most expensive Dom in the entire building?

So the frag what?

Maybe it was about time Sunstreaker learned Rodimus wasn’t around to be an obedient servant. Maybe he didn’t want to be Sunstreaker’s plaything. Maybe he wanted to show Sunstreaker just how strong his spinal strut was.

“I’m not some toy you can pick up and put down whenever you want, you know,” Rodimus said as he rose to his feet, making a show of brushing off his armor, though his gaze never left Starscream’s trembling frame.

Need wafted off the Seeker in tangible waves. Rodimus could smell the arousal in the air, could taste the previous overloads on the tip of his glossa. His mouth watered at the sight of Starscream’s valve, so swollen and wet again. And his spike, painfully rigid, soaked in pre-fluid. That ring had to feel like a duryllium band around the base of it by now.

“Are you sure?” Sunstreaker’s fingers painted lubricant over Starscream’s bottom lip, and the wet swipe of Starscream’s glossa to clean it was like a shot of charge to Rodimus’ array.

He took a step closer to them before he made the conscious decision to do so. And he knew he’d done it because Sunstreaker’s lips twitched into that infernal smirk Rodimus hated so much.

Sunstreaker crooked a finger at Rodimus. “Come here.”

Stubbornness planted Rodimus mid-step. He was beyond reach of the two of them, no matter how much he wanted to close the distance and steal Starscream’s lips. Either pair of them.

“No.”

Starscream whined, and it nearly broke Rodimus’ spark. “Stop being an aft!” he hissed, and Rodimus wasn’t sure which of them he was snapping at. Maybe both.

“There’s a point to this,” Sunstreaker said, and again, it was hard to tell who he was addressing, because his gaze never left Rodimus, but his fingers were soft as they traced Starscream’s waist. “Right now you have a choice. You can come here, or you can walk out the door. Better decide quickly.”

Rodimus’ optics narrowed. “Or what?”

“Or–” Sunstreaker abruptly broke off and tilted his head toward Starscream as Starscream turned his head against Sunstreaker’s. His lips moved, but he must have said something subvocally, because Rodimus couldn’t hear it.

Whatever it was made Sunstreaker’s smirk slide into a scowl, which was far more unnerving than the smugness that usually cloaked Sunstreaker like an over-bright polish. His hand twitched where it hooked around Starscream’s waist. His optics narrowed, almost accusing, at Rodimus.

“Fine,” Sunstreaker gritted out, like it pained him to do so. He audibly cycled a ventilation and lifted his chin. “Please come here.”

How much had that hurt, Rodimus wondered. Because the polite request definitely sounded forced, and it must have stung Sunstreaker’s pride dearly. It must have burned, and that honestly, was what made it worth it. The verbal slap, so to speak, made Rodimus feel a tiny bit justified.

So he made himself move forward, into Sunstreaker’s reach. Which turned out to be a mistake, because Sunstreaker grabbed him, faster than anyone with a weak spark had right to be, his fingers closing around Rodimus’ wrist. He yanked, and Rodimus stumbled forward, against Sunstreaker, whose mouth fell over his in a scorching kiss.

Sunstreaker tasted like Starscream – and yes, sweet was the appropriate word here – and his glossa was both urgent and demanding. Possessive, if Rodimus had to identify it, and he’d never admit his knees wobbled. His vents stuttered. A low sound escaped his intake as he sagged against Sunstreaker, arousal returning with a vengeance.

Primus, no wonder mechs melted for him. It wasn’t fair.

Like frag Rodimus was going to let Sunstreaker melt him though. So he picked up the dribbled remains of his processor and returned the ferocity of the kiss with an intensity of his own. He shoved his glossa into Sunstreaker’s mouth. He nipped at Sunstreaker’s lips. He grabbed Sunstreaker by the hip and ground their frames together, shivering at the contact.

Sunstreaker’s field flashed with amusement. He grinned into the kiss. “You’ve got spark,” he said against Rodimus’ lips. “I like that.”

Rodimus jerked back and glared at him. “Stop making fun of me.”

“Who said I was?”

A growl built in Rodimus’ engine. He shoved at Sunstreaker’s chassis, putting distance between them. He hated being toyed with, treated like some kind of pet. Especially with two mechs who weren’t supposed to be that way. They weren’t his clients, damn it. They were supposed to be his equals, and in Starscream’s case, his friend. Or at the very least, his mentor.

Rodimus had had enough of being taken for a fool by someone he cared for, someone he dared to trust.

“Stop acting like I should be grateful enough to be here,” Rodimus snapped. He wiped the back of his hand over his mouth, their mingled taste lingering on his glossa. “I didn’t ask to be invited.”

“No, you didn’t. And yet you came.” Sunstreaker tilted his head, his optics cutting as they examined Rodimus like he was a mystery to be solved. “I’ll bet you’re not even sure why.”

Rodimus’ hands balled into fists. “That’s not the point!” His vents heaved.

He was torn, half of him raging, the other half boiling with stilted arousal. He wanted this and he didn’t, and why did Sunstreaker always have to make everything so damn confusing? Why couldn’t he just be nice?

“Isn’t it?” Sunstreaker angled toward Starscream, one polished hand sliding down Starscream’s belly, toward his groin. “You came for my Seeker, didn’t you?” His fingers curled ever so slowly around Starscream’s spike, giving him a loose stroke.

Rodimus swallowed over a lump in his intake, heat spreading across his face. The background arousal surged to the forefront, his spike throbbing in its housing.

“Sun,” Starscream moaned, and the need in his vocals made Rodimus’ internals tighten out of sympathy. “Please.”

Sunstreaker leaned in close to Starscream, his lips brushing over the Seeker’s audial. “You want him to touch you, don’t you, Starling?” He moved over Starscream’s spike in slow, gentle squeezes. One optic glanced at Rodimus. “You want to feel his lips and his hands and his mouth and his array…”

Starscream arched his back with a soft keen. His hips wriggled into Sunstreaker’s grip, his spike weeping more pre-fluid.

“I know you want him.” Sunstreaker’s fingers grew damp with Starscream’s slick, but his pace remained unhurried. “I don’t think he knows though. Tell him, sweetspark. Tell him what you want.”

Starscream licked his lips, and his head turned toward Rodimus, though he couldn’t possibly see him with the blindfold on. “Rodimus,” he purred, still in control of himself despite the arousal trembling through his lines. “Get your aft over here and touch me.”

Sunstreaker chuckled. His denta nipped at Starscream’s audial. “That’s not very polite, beautiful.”

“You didn’t say I had to be polite.” Starscream scowled, though it didn’t last for long, not while charge flickered across his armor. He bucked into Sunstreaker’s hand. “I’m aroused. I’m dripping, and you’re too busy playing your damn games to give me the attention I deserve.”

Rodimus didn’t bother to hide his laugh. Sunstreaker was a controlling aft, and hearing Starscream snap back at him was music to Rodimus’ audials. Besides all that, the tease in Starscream’s voice was invitation in itself.

“Well…” Rodimus closed the distance between himself and Starscream.

He avoided Sunstreaker, taking position at Starscream’s other side. His hand slid over Starscream’s frame, down across his belly, chasing the path Sunstreaker’s hand had taken, until he found Starscream’s spike. He flicked Sunstreaker’s fingers away, smug when Sunstreaker obeyed, and replaced them with his own, grasping the rigid heat and giving it a squeeze.

“How can I turn down such a request?” Rodimus murmured.

Starscream moaned, his turbines giving a little spin. “More.”

Rodimus pinched the tip of Starscream’s spike, his fingers growing damp with Starscream’s slick, but he kept up the slow, leisurely pace. He loved the feel of Starscream throbbing in his hand, the Seeker shifting and writhing as his vents quickened and need roiled in his field. Yet, the gift of pleasure was entirely Rodimus’ own to give.

It was a heady sensation.

“More, rust you!” Starscream snarled.

Rodimus admired Starscream’s face, the way it turned pink at the edges, warm from need. He panted audibly now, mouth open for quicker oral vents.

“That’s not very polite,” Rodimus chastised.

Starscream squirmed. His hips twisted as he hissed another curse better suited to the gutters and the criminals.

Sunstreaker chuckled, his optics bright and admiring. “You’re learning.” He moved in front of Starscream and knelt between the Seeker’s thighs. Sunstreaker ex-vented over Starscream’s valve, making it visibly twitch. “Behave, Starling, or you won’t get a treat.”

“I am behaving!” Starscream snapped.

Rodimus smirked and let go of Starscream’s spike. The neglected unit bobbed in the air, dripping pre-fluid. Starscream’s biolights pulsed a hungry beat.

“No!” Starscream outright howled and thrashed in his bonds, but Sunstreaker’s grip on his hips was firm. “Touch me, damn it! This isn’t fair! I want my reward.” The last was clearly a whine.

Primus, he was beautiful. Rodimus wanted to touch him so badly. He’d been invited, hadn’t he? He could touch if he wanted?

Rodimus climbed onto the berth behind Starscream, immediately pressing his mouth to the edge of a wing tip. He swore he could taste the need in Starscream’s field, and the heat of it against his lips. His hands glided down Starscream’s sides, tasting seams with his fingertips, fondling the pert aft and–

Whoa. Starscream had a plug in his aft port. Decently sized thing, too. Rodimus’ spike throbbed at the sight of it. He’d heard rumors about what it meant to take a port like that, and how tight it felt, but he never experienced it for himself. He’d yet been paid for it either.

Maybe someday, Rodimus thought, and pushed it aside in favor of notching himself to Starscream’s back, feeling the heat of the Seeker against his front. He wound his arms around Starscream, his palms splayed over the Seeker’s belly, teasing the slats of it.

“You’ll get a reward,” Rodimus promised. He slid one hand down, teasing the ring which pierced the node housing at the base of Starscream’s spike. His other hand slid upward, fingers flicking at Starscream’s turbines. “But you have to be a good little mech to get it. So be nice.”

Sunstreaker chuckled, but didn’t contradict Rodimus. Instead, Rodimus heard the wet noises of him licking Starscream’s valve, his glossa slick and hot against Starscream’s array. Starscream rocked against his roommate’s mouth.

“More,” Starscream moaned, the syllables dragged out, his vents a breathy, hot rhythm.

Rodimus stroked Starscream’s spike in a loose fist, his other hand finding the hub of Starscream’s turbine and pinching it between thumb and forefinger. “Ask nicely.”

Starscream trembled, frame arching in all directions, as though he wasn’t sure which pleasure he should chase. “Please,” he begged. “Sun, please!”

“Much better.” Rodimus pressed his head to Starscream’s, nuzzling him.

His array was urgently tight, spike demanding release, and so Rodimus finally allowed it. His spike jutted free, the head of it brushing over Starscream’s aft, leaving a streak of fluid behind. The bare touch was enough to make Rodimus shiver.

“I’m going to take you.” Rodimus rutted against Starscream’s aft, spike slippery and hot. “Do you mind?”

His answer was a moan, a thready one, hips canting back before they thrust forward again, to the welcome heat of Sunstreaker’s mouth.

A laugh bubbled up from below. “I think that’s a yes,” Sunstreaker murmured.

Rodimus tucked his head over Starscream’s shoulder in enough time to see Sunstreaker mouth the tip of Starscream’s spike before sucking it into his mouth.

Starscream keened, tilting back into Rodimus’ arms as he helplessly bucked against Sunstreaker’s mouth. He was gorgeous like this, so hungry for pleasure, handing his trust over to both Sunstreaker and Rodimus. Starscream was usually so guarded, so closed off, like he’d built a titanium wall around his spark. It was a rare treat to see him this open.

Rodimus thrust against Starscream’s aft, until he shifted his angle slightly. His spike plunged between Starscream’s thighs, the head of it sliding over Starscream’s puffy valve. Rodimus moaned, and his hands clamped over Starscream’s turbines.

Starscream whined, trembling so hard Rodimus felt it. His field rose and fell in a scorching wave, one Rodimus met with his own. Maybe not as fiercely hot, but certainly getting there.

Rodimus licked his lips as he watched Sunstreaker suckle Starscream in earnest, taking him deeper and deeper with each wriggle of Starscream’s hips. Sunstreaker’s lips were shiny with lubricant, his intake working effortlessly as Starscream slid deep into it.

Arousal throbbed hard in Rodimus’ lines. It was all he could do to keep up a rhythm, thrusting between Starscream’s thighs and rutting over the swollen slick of his valve. He didn’t want to overload before Starscream, but it was a challenge. Especially as Starscream whimpered.

Sunstreaker grabbed Starscream’s hips, pushing and pulling Starscream out of his mouth, leaving it slick with his oral lubricant. The angle was too awkward for Rodimus to slide into Starscream’s valve, but this was more than enough to have him fighting back overload.

Rodimus shifted both of his hands to Starscream’s turbines, spinning and fondling the hubs with abandon. Starscream keened, backstrut arching as he pushed his chassis into Rodimus’ fingers.

“Oh, you like that, do you?” Rodimus’s vents were ragged as he nibbled on Starscream’s intake. “Will it make you overload?”

A shudder rippled across Starscream’s frame. Rodimus ground against his aft, between his thighs, spike throbbing in the small space. He pinched the hubs of Starscream’s turbines, grinning as Starscream trembled in his arms. Starscream gasped and squirmed, his vents getting sharper, more desperate.

Rodimus eased his touch, scrubbing his palms gently over Starscream’s turbines as Starscream’s shaking increased in earnest. Streaks of pre-fluid mingled with lubricant made a sloppy mess between his thighs, a slick tunnel for Rodimus to take.

“Ahhh.” Starscream whimpered. “That’s… that’s…”

“Good?” Rodimus supplied. He swept his hands up and down Starscream’s chassis, briefly toying with his abdomen before finding the sensitive turbines again.

“Too much,” Starscream whined, but his aft pushed against Rodimus’ groin, and his field was so hungry for overload, that his protest was thin at best.

Besides, Sunstreaker hadn’t given any sign Starscream was in true distress. So Rodimus would follow his lead. He suspected Starscream wanted to whine for the sake of it, sulky little Seeker he could be.

“Is it now?” Rodimus breathed against his audial. “Does that mean you’re close to overload?” He rubbed the tip of his forefinger against Starscream’s hub, like he might a sensor node. “Do you want another one?”

Starscream thrashed in his binds and found no escape. Sunstreaker’s hold was like iron, and Rodimus had enough of a grip Starscream was trapped. Aggravation puffed in Starscream’s energy field in a faint whiff.

Rodimus grinned and pressed on the turbine hub, pretending it was a button. “If I play with these more, will you overload? Will you spill in Sunstreaker’s mouth? Will you shriek for me?”

Starscream moaned. “P-Please.”

Rodimus glanced at Sunstreaker over Starscream’s shoulder, just to be sure, but the other mech just looked up at him and winked with a little smirk, his lips stretched around Starscream’s spike. He swallowed Starscream to the hilt, chin rubbing over Starscream’s anterior node, his intake visibly working around Starscream’s spike.

Well then.

“So you can ask nicely,” Rodimus said, refusing to hide his glee.

He laid the entirety of his palm over Starscream’s turbine, rubbing in large circles. He wished he could get his mouth on one of them. He bet Starscream whimpered when they were sucked on.

“And so prettily, too.”

Starscream panted, his head tossing back, lying on Rodimus’ shoulder. His cockpit arched forward, pushing his turbines into Rodimus’ hands. His field buzzed with arousal, almost painful in its intensity.

Rodimus nibbled on Starscream’s intake and decided to be merciful. He abandoned one turbine to slide his palm down Starscream’s belly, fingers finding the base of Starscream’s spike and toying with the quick release to the spike ring.

“One more time for me, beautiful,” Rodimus murmured, his internals twisting with want at every panted word. “Do you want to overload?”

Starscream whimpered. “Yes. Please.” Chains rattled, and his frame echoed them. His vents roared desperately.

Rodimus was entranced. His self-control threatened to vanish, and only a steadying ventilation kept him focused on the task. His spike shoved between Starscream’s thighs, eager and dripping, and as he looked over Starscream’s shoulder, he could see Sunstreaker. His lips were wet with lubricant, his face was flushed with heat, and Starscream was deep down his intake.

“I think you’ve earned it.” One hand mercilessly fondled Starscream’s sensitive turbine hub. Rodimus suspected he’d be paying for this later, but later was too far away to worry about. “Our pretty, pretty Seeker.”

His other hand flicked the quick release for the spike ring. It snapped open and dropped down, hitting the head of Rodimus’ spike as it fell.

The response was immediate and electric. Starscream tossed his head back and wailed, hips jabbing forward, wings flicking against Rodimus. He overloaded, thrashing in their combined grip. His thighs pulled tight around Rodimus, forming an impossible squeeze, and Rodimus could only hang on for dear life as overload roared through his frame.

He spattered transfluid between Starscream’s thighs. Starscream spilled down Sunstreaker’s intake, his hips jerking in stuttered bursts as his wails gradually rasped into quiet sobs of pleasure. His entire frame went taut before he abruptly sagged, back into Rodimus’ arms, dragging in heaving breaths through his vents.

Rodimus nuzzled Starscream’s head. His mentor trembled, his thighs quivering and his valve rim throbbing where Rodimus’ spike nestled against it.

Sunstreaker pulled off Starscream’s spike with a noisy slurp and rose to his feet, optics intent and hungry. He cupped Starscream’s face and slanted his lips over Starscream’s, a thin dribble of transfluid leaking from the corner of his mouth.

Rodimus hissed through his denta. Starscream moaned into the kiss as Sunstreaker deepened it. The noisy sounds of their kissing made arousal tighten in Rodimus’ belly all over again. He smoothed his palms over Starscream’s belly, his mouth suddenly very lonely.

Sunstreaker eased off the kiss with a smile on his lips, glossa sweeping out to catch a stray dribble of transfluid. Starscream made a quiet mewl of a noise and leaned in, cheek rubbing against Suntreaker’s. He said something against Sunstreaker’s lips, something Rodimus couldn’t catch.

That feeling of being an outsider caught up to Rodimus. He thought he should look away, pretend not to pay attention. Like he was intruding on a private moment.

Sunstreaker swept his thumbs over Starscream’s cheeks. “Speak up, Starshine. I didn’t catch that.”

Starscream squirmed, though it lacked strength. “My arms ache,” he rasped, though for once, it wasn’t a whining, playful complaint, but a soft, and very real, admission.

Sunstreaker’s expression instantly softened. “Then let’s get you down.” He started to reach for the chains.

“No,” Starscream said. “I don’t…”

Sunstreaker paused and nuzzled Starscream’s face, his expression one few had ever seen. Even Rodimus couldn’t believe Sunstreaker could look that tender. Was that what being in love looked like?

His spark gave a pang of longing. He’d thought he’d felt that once. He thought he knew what it meant. But he doubted Deadlock had ever looked at him like that. Not if he could abandon Rodimus so easily.

“It doesn’t mean we’re stopping, Starshine,” Sunstreaker murmured with a touch of amusement in his voice. “You’re still getting every bit of that reward I promised you.”

“Oh.” Starscream sounded, of all things, dazed. It was actually kind of adorable.

Sunstreaker chuckled and brushed his nasal ridge over Starscream’s. Then he pulled back and met Rodimus’ gaze over Starscream’s shoulder. “Hold him while I get him down.”

Normally, Rodimus would bristle at being given a command like that. But even he had to concede it made sense. Besides, it was for Starscream’s sake, so he’d yield this once.

Rodimus nodded, not trusting himself to speak, and wrapped his arms carefully around Starscream, shifting to cradle him as Sunstreaker gave the chains some slack. He worked quietly and efficiently, no doubt because he’d made quick releases. He gently massaged Starscream’s shoulder cables as he lowered Starscream’s arms, tucking them against Starscream’s chassis.

Rodimus busied himself with his armful of languid Seeker. Starscream kept shivering, his frame exuding hot bursts of heat, and his spike was still hard despite his overload. The blindfold stayed, apparently, but Rodimus didn’t mind. He let one hand roam while the other cradled Starscream.

He didn’t often have opportunity to touch like this, so Rodimus took advantage while he could, tracing the seams of Starscream’s armor, tickling behind his knees, trailing his fingers up the length of Starscream’s spike, and rubbing patterns on the glass of Starscream’s cockpit. Starscream started to squirm in earnest, vents hitching, faceplate darkening with heat. His thighs parted as though inviting Rodimus to venture between them.

He ignored the offer for now. Wouldn’t do to let Starscream think he was in control, would it?

Instead, Rodimus made a beeline for Starscream’s turbines, fun as they were to play with. He skated his palm over the nearest one, and Starscream outright wriggled, wings twitching and hands lazily rising, trying to blindly smack his fingers away.

“No,” he grumbled, glossa wetting his lips. “Sensitive.”

Rodimus chuckled. Starscream’s petulant tone was unfairly endearing. “Are they now?” He dodged one protesting hand and cupped a turbine, rubbing the hub with his palm.

Starscream squirmed and tried to bat his hands away, but suddenly Sunstreaker was there, curling his hands around Starscream’s wrists. He held them out of reach, giving Rodimus tacit permission to fondle as he pleased.

“They aren’t that sensitive, Star,” Sunstreaker said, his tone half-chastisement and half-amusement as he brushed his lips over Starscream’s. “So behave and let Rodimus play with you.”

A whine eeked out of Starscream’s intake, and his lips curved into an adorable pout. But any protest he might have offered was lost to a moan as Rodimus took the opportunity to lean over and get his mouth on one of those hot nubs. He flicked it with his glossa first, and scraped it gently with his denta. His free hand slipped lower, curling around Starscream’s dripping spike to give it a squeeze.

Starscream moaned again, the noise swallowed by Sunstreaker’s mouth. He still wriggled on Rodimus’ lap, his wrists tugging against Sunstreaker’s grip in token protest. But his spike throbbed and wept copious pre-fluid, and his chassis started arching against Rodimus’ mouth.

Rodimus grinned around his mouthful and blew into Starscream’s turbine, making the little slats spin. He abandoned Starscream’s spike and slid further down, to the much neglected rim of Starscream’s valve. His thumb familiarized itself with Starscream’s swollen frontal cluster, as two fingers curled into Starscream’s valve, stroking the nodes on the inside of the rim.

Starscream bucked up, making noises Rodimus could only call a mewl. He panted against Sunstreaker’s lips, his lower half squirming, feet scrabbling at the berth as though trying to find purchase to rut on Rodimus’ fingers. His field swelled, hot and heavy, tugging at Rodimus’ and demanding he play harder.

A demand Rodimus was only happy to meet. He snagged Starscream’s hub between his denta and gave it a delicate pinch. Starscream gasped and arched toward Rodimus’ mouth. His valve rippled around Rodimus’ fingers, rhythmic clamps that tried to pull his fingers deeper.

Rodimus chuckled around his mouthful. “You complain and then you respond so prettily. No wonder we get so confused.”

“He complains for the sake of being spoiled,” Sunstreaker replied.

He abandoned Starscream’s mouth in favor of tasting the turbine currently left unattended. His glossa flicked over the hub as he looked up, his optics finding Rodimus’.

“Still up for more, rookie?”

There was challenge in Sunstreaker’s gaze. Fortunately, Rodimus had always liked a good challenge. He especially wasn’t going to back down from one offered by Sunstreaker.

His thumb rubbed harder on Starscream’s node, making Starscream whine. “Of course I am.”

Starscream vented a shuddery breath. “Well, maybe I’m not,” he gasped, but the rapid spinning of his fans belied the protest.

Rodimus grinned and teased Starscream’s valve nodes. Calipers fluttered around his fingertips, demanding more. “This sweet valve right here says otherwise.”

“And I know better.” Sunstreaker touched his nasal ridge to Starscream’s, and Rodimus wondered if he even knew how much affection shone in his optics as he did it. “This is your reward, Starshine. Don’t tell me you changed your mind.”

Starscream’s lower lip jutted out in a pout. “You’re too busy teasing me to give me proper attention.”

“When I tease you, you’ll know.” Sunstreaker chuckled, warm and low, and unfairly, the sound went straight to Rodimus’ groin. Arousal spiked when Sunstreaker looked at him again. “Is that spike of yours any good?”

Warmth quickly turned to irritation. “Good enough,” Rodimus near-snapped. Primus, just when he thought he could start to like Sunstreaker, he turned into an aft again.

“Roddy has a nice spike.” Starscream turned his head in Rodimus’ direction. “And he’s at least willing to pay me attention.”

Rodimus huffed a laugh. “That’s right.” He stole Starscream’s lips for a kiss, grinning into it as Starscream eagerly returned it with a flick of his glossa.

He rewarded Starscream by curling his fingers and stroking the inside of Starscream’s valve, enjoying the flex of hungry calipers around his digits. He added a third, for an indecent stretch, and preened when Starscream moaned against his lips.

A moan that quickly turned into a squeak when Sunstreaker returned to the party, wrapping his fingers around Starscream’s spike. A possessive grip, if you asked Rodimus.

“Is that so?” Sunstreaker’s tone was mild, conversational even. But when Rodimus looked up at him, there was a tightness to Sunstreaker’s jaw. “Then I guess I’ll have to see what the rookie can do.”

“Fine by me.” Starscream playfully nipped Rodimus’ bottom lip. “You’re going to treat me right, aren’t you, sweetspark?” He purred in that silky-sweet tone Rodimus had heard him use on many a prospective client. His thighs closed around Rodimus’ hand, trapping it so he could roll his hips onto Rodimus’ fingers. “You’ll give me a proper reward, won’t you?”

Rodimus groaned as the purred request went straight to his array and made his spike throb. He shoved his fingers deeper, knuckles grinding against Starscream’s rim. “Frag yeah.”

“Good.” Sunstreaker abruptly stood and hefted Starscream into his arms as though carrying the Seeker away to be his bridge. Rodimus’ fingers were left dripping and cold, away from the warmth of Starscream’s valve. “Get on the berth, rookie. Let’s see that spike you’re so proud of.”

Rodimus narrowed his optics. That didn’t sound like a challenge; it sounded like a dismissal of Rodimus’ abilities. It made him feel like the first time he met Sunstreaker all over again, when Blue Sun’s top-rated Dominant had looked down his nose at Rodimus, measured him in an instant, and found him sorely lacking.

“I’m not taking orders from you,” Rodimus said in a low tone. Aroused or not, he could still dredge up a glare for Sunstreaker, though his gaze flicked to Starscream.

Starscream who was squirming in Sunstreaker’s arms, one hand unashamedly creeping toward his unattended array. “That’s not fair,” he pouted. “I was enjoying those fingers.” Two of his own slid around his spike, painting his talon tips in his pre-fluid.

Rodimus’ mouth filled with lubricant. He wanted to lick those fingers clean. Though the idea of Starscream self-servicing while they watched was wholly appealing as well.

“Stop that.” Sunstreaker gave Starscream a jostle. “Rodimus is going to take care of that for you.”

Unsurprisingly, Starscream ignored him, and judging by his little hum of pleasure, he’d already slipped two fingers inside himself. “Not if you’re too busy with your spike measuring contest.”

Starscream probably would have given them a Look, if he weren’t blindfolded. Rodimus could hear the chastisement clear as a bell.

Rodimus hauled himself onto the berth, getting comfortable, if only so he could spoil Starscream, Sunstreaker bedamned. His spike bobbed at the apex of his thighs – he was an escort, what did he have to be ashamed about – and he stroked his fingers over the flames decorating the length of it. He was proud of his spike, not even Sunstreaker’s dismissive look could change that.

“Tell Sunstreaker you want my spike, Stars,” Rodimus murmured, using the sweetest tone in his arsenal, one he’d been working on with Starscream in his spare time. Got him a good tip a couple days ago, it did.

Starscream growled. “I’ll take anyone’s spike at this point!” His field snapped through the room like a whip, stinging where it struck Rodimus’. “Don’t make me walk out of here and bend over for the first person to walk by. Because right now, that’s what it’s going to take to get a spike in me!”

The look on Sunstreaker’s face was one Rodimus’ couldn’t quite define. Almost murderous, it was definitely possessive and irritated and outraged, all tangled up with frustration because there was an ache there. An understanding that he wasn’t allowed to be any of the three.

Because the two of them were idiots, mutually pining for each other, too cowardly to say the feelings they guarded in their sparks. What Rodimus wouldn’t give to have a connection like that with someone. What he hadn’t already surrendered, just for the illusion of it. But to have it right in front of him, real and tangible, he ached for it.

Sunstreaker reacted as he always did to that melange of emotion. He got defensive, and the next thing Rodimus knew, Starscream was tumbled out of Sunstreaker’s arms and into Rodimus’ lap. Carelessly discarded, to anyone unfamiliar with either of them, and Rodimus had to scramble to catch Starscream, struggling with an armful of squirming Seeker who was much larger than he.

Protest darted to the tip of Rodimus’ glossa, but he swallowed it down so quickly he choked on it, at the look on Sunstreaker’s face. The glint in his optics spelled murder, to whomever dared take Starscream up on that blatant offer, touching what rightly belonged to Sunstreaker without his permission.

Starscream was lucky. He couldn’t see Sunstreaker’s expression. And he’d never had any compunctions when it came to expressing himself.

“Hey!” he snarled, and flailed around on Rodimus’ lap, talons scraping several furrows into Rodimus’ paint until he managed to right himself. He straddled Rodimus now, sopping hot valve resting snug over Rodimus’ spike. “What the frag’s your problem?”

Sunstreaker didn’t answer. Not with words. His actions probably made less sense to a thoroughly confused Seeker. He climbed onto the berth behind Starscream, kneeling between Rodimus’ legs as a result, and his mouth fell hot and wet on the top edge of Starscream’s nearest wing.

Starscream hissed, half-outrage, half-pleasure, and his spinal strut arched. His hands blindly clawed the air before he found Rodimus’ chassis and hooked on a transformation seam. Sunstreaker’s hands moved down, curling around Starscream’s waist, as his mouth slid to the back of Starscream’s neck, glossa flicking over the delicate components there.

“Down,” Sunstreaker growled with a dark note to his vocals that should not have been so appealing. Nor the way he nipped at the back of Starscream’s neck, like a turbohound staking a claim.

Rodimus bristled on Starscream’s behalf. “Did you hit your head or something?” he demanded as he resisted the urge to pull Starscream to protect him. “How about giving orders that actually make sense!?”

One bright blue optic glared at him from over the rise of Starscream’s shoulders. Sunstreaker rose up on his knees, his hands resting on the back of Starscream’s shoulders. He gave Rodimus a long, unreadable look, and then he pushed, tilting Starscream’s weight against Rodimus.

Already unbalanced, and with Starscream both larger and heavier, Rodimus toppled backward, his spoiler sinking into the plush berth. Armor clanged as Starscream sprawled on top of him, his spike rubbing against the slats of Rodimus’ abdominal plating. A squawk of outrage spilled from his lips.

“Hey!” Rodimus snapped, but went unheeded. So he focused instead on Starscream, running his hands over the Seeker’s armor and making sure he was well.

Starscream shifted atop him, knees digging into the berth, hands landing to either side of Rodimus’ shoulders. Still blindfolded, he rubbed his cheek on Rodimus’, making a soft purring sound, his field thick with heat and want.

Sunstreaker’s hands moved to Starscream’s hips. They smoothed over his aft and then he bent down and over. Rodimus had no idea what he was doing, save that Starscream abruptly shivered and moaned. His backstrut arched, lips parting as he swept his glossa over them. His talons scraped at the berth, his hips rolling against Rodimus’, their spikes grinding together.

“Sun,” Starscream moaned, his face darkening where it was visible, his vents coming in sharper pants. “Oh, please. More.” He pushed his aft toward Sunstreaker, and the faint wet noises coming from that direction gave Rodimus all the mental image he needed.

Sunstreaker, perhaps having finally slipped free that plug in Starscream’s port and replacing it with fingers and glossa instead. That tiny, snug little port Rodimus had yet to taste for himself.

Starscream panted harder, rocking on Rodimus’ frame, sliding slowly down toward Sunstreaker and no, this wouldn’t do at all. They weren’t allowed to forget he was here.

“Hey, I’m here, too, you know,” Rodimus said.

He would, for now, ignore whatever had crawled up Sunstreaker’s tailpipe. After all, he had a pretty Seeker squirming on top of him, valve dripping and spike leaving a slick mess on his frame.

Rodimus cupped Starscream’s face and tilted it up toward his, within inches of his lips. “Don’t I get kisses, too?”

Starscream shifted to greet him, ex-venting warm over Rodimus’ lips. “You’d better,” he murmured. He slotted their mouths together, his ex-vents hot and wet and stuttered.

Rodimus swore he could still taste Sunstreaker on Starscream’s lips. Not unpleasant, but a stark reminder nonetheless.

Rodimus focused on the kiss, the press of Starscream’s frame against his, knees bracketing his hips, Starscream sinking down until his cockpit pressed to Rodimus’ chassis. His angle shifted slightly, and now the dripping core of his valve hovered over Rodimus’ spike, teasing him with droplets of hot lubricant.

He was aware, tangentially, that Sunstreaker was at the end of the berth as well, his armor occasionally brushing Rodimus’ calves and feet. His ministrations made Starscream tremble and moan, ratcheting his arousal higher and higher.

Rodimus still startled when he felt a hand on his spike. It curled around him, spreading pre-fluid and lubricant alike. A thumb swept over the tip, rubbing in small circles, and a strangled cry caught in Rodimus’ intake.

He broke off the kiss, a startled “Wha…?” petering off into a moan as the hand guided his spike straight to Starscream’s valve, and Starscream’s hips dropped down.

Bliss swallowed Rodimus whole as his spike was wrapped in rippling heat. He tipped his head back, feet digging into the berth for leverage as he thrust up into Starscream, the better to taste those deeper nodes.

Starscream vented and sank a little further down, until it was no longer his arms holding his weight, but Rodimus, who was all too willing to wrap his arms around Starscream. It left his hands free to explore, to trace seams and delicate cables, and make Starscream shake.

The berth shifted, dipping a little on the far end. Sunstreaker came into view again, his expression intent as his hands smoothed up the back of Starscream’s thighs, over his hips, and around his waist. He rolled his hips forward and almost immediately, Starscream moaned. His backstrut arched, forehead rubbing against Rodimus’ shoulder and claws ripping more stripes in Rodimus’ paint.

“Yes,” Starscream hissed, rocking back, forcing Rodimus deeper as he did so, and no doubt Sunstreaker as well. His spike throbbed against Rodimus’ abdomen, and his valve rippled, squeezing out more lubricant.

Rodimus was entranced. He stroked the flat of his palm over Starscream’s wing, swearing he could feel the rapid pulsing of Starscream’s spark where their chests pressed together.

“Tell me,” he murmured into Starscream’s audial, tracing it with the tip of his glossa. “What’s Sunstreaker doing, Star?”

Starscream rocked on top of Rodimus with little gasping vents. “He’s… he’s…”

“Use your words, darling,” Rodimus teased, harkening back to a smirking Seeker who’d taken way too much pleasure in teaching Rodimus all he needed to know.

Starscream’s moans reached another pitch. His field burst with hunger and need alike, intoxicating to taste, and dragging Rodimus’ arousal to new heights. He barely needed to thrust, given the way Starscream clenched and rippled around him.

“Is he spiking you?” Rodimus asked, knowing very well the answer, but wanting to hear it from Starscream’s lips. “He’s filling you. Not in your valve, though, because that’s me.” He thrust upward at that, grinding deep, gracing Starscream’s ceiling node. “So he must have taken out that plug and replaced it with his spike. Didn’t he?”

Starscream’s claws left a deep enough scratch Rodimus was going to need filler. He barely noticed the sting.

“Yes,” Starscream cried, and there was sheer delight in his tone. He moved shamelessly now, rocking on their spikes, faster and faster, seeking overload with delirious urgency.

Starscream went limp on top of Rodimus, his head tucked into Rodimus’ throat. He panted, whuffs of damp heat against Rodimus’ intake cables. His entire frame quivered.

“More,” Starscream breathed, each plea a blurred litany of need, his field crackling over Rodimus’ with unrelenting heat.

Rodimus groaned and wrapped his arms around Starscream’s waist, bracing his feet against the berth. He used all the leverage he had to thrust up, shallow as it was, grinding into Starscream, the Seeker’s spike trapped between them. Starscream’s valve eagerly clutched at him. Charge roared from his nodes, lighting up Rodimus’ sensornet.

Sunstreaker moved, thrusts deep and jolting. Rodimus could feel them through Starscream’s frame, feel the way Sunstreaker’s weight drove them deeper into the berth. Sunstreaker’s field joined the fray, tangling thickly with Starscream’s as though staking yet another claim, until Rodimus could hardly tell them apart.

And then he didn’t bother to try, because with so much lust and pleasure swirling in the room, he was dizzy. He gasped out hot vent after vent, denta gritting to hold onto his meager control. With Starscream panting and writhing on top of him, with Sunstreaker’s field all but demanding pleasure from the both of them, they were impossible to resist.

Sunstreaker leaned forward, bracing his hands over them, caging both Rodimus and Starscream beneath him. His hips never stopped moving, rolling deep into Starscream, filling his port with every thrust.

Starscream’s moans became a litany of words and pants, none of which made sense. He squirmed, spike rutting against Rodimus’ abdomen. His valve rippled and clenched in arrhythmic waves.

Rodimus glanced up only the once, and his spark clenched at the look on Sunstreaker’s face. The way his optics seemed focused on Starscream alone, shining with nothing short of love, and what a pained emotion it was. There was determination in his focus, to see Starscream come undone between them.

Rodimus groaned and tilted his head against Starscream’s, optics shuttering as he surrendered to sensation. He held Starscream closer, rocked up into him, fiery heat curling madly in his belly, in his groin. Warmth choked him, two sets of hot vents against his frame, and their weight bearing him down into the berth.

But their fields! Primus, their fields were intoxicating. Like sticky fingers tangled into his own, pulsing in tandem, dragging sharp bursts of heat against his sensor nodes, impossible to resist. Rodimus’ moans rose with Starscream’s, and if Sunstreaker made a noise, Rodimus couldn’t tell over the song of his own pleasure.

Restraint was something he practiced for his clients. Here, Rodimus only clung to it for Starscream’s sake, though every inch of him wanted to give in to the rippling clench of Starscream’s valve, and the taste of staticky charge leaping between their frames. He held Starscream tighter, rolling up into the Seeker in increasingly frenetic thrusts, and shivered as Starscream gasped into his audial, moans and whimpers and breathy pleas of want.

And then Rodimus found himself pushed deeper into the berth. His optics snapped open to find Sunstreaker leaning against Starscream’s back, his lips mere inches from Starscream’s audials, his optics half-shuttered.

“My pretty Star,” he murmured in a silken voice Rodimus didn’t even know Sunstreaker capable of making, but Starscream abruptly turned wanton. “Overload for us, Star,” Sunstreaker urged, or commanded, it was so hard to tell. “Take the reward you deserve.”

Starscream’s knees dug in at Rodimus’ hips. He shuddered from head to foot, and a breathy whimper puffed against Rodimus’ audial. Sunstreaker’s name might have been in the ex-vent, but it was quickly lost to a growing wail as Starscream obeyed and overloaded. His entire frame went taut, and Rodimus felt the warm splatter of transfluid against his abdomen.s Starscream’s valve spiraled tight around him, charge running up and down the lining of it.

All hope of restraint was swept away in the tide of pleasure swamping Starscream’s field, and the hot zing of that charge nipping at his spike. Rodimus’ head tipped back, hips snapping upward, as he followed Starscream over, spike spurting transfluid in heavy bursts at the back of Starscream’s valve, prompting another, smaller overload from the Seeker.

Rodimus groaned and as Starscream’s head turned, perhaps seeking a mouth to bury his cries, Rodimus gladly captured his lips for a hot, messy kiss. Pleasure stripped his awareness to nothing but sensation, frames moving together, fields thoroughly entangled, and Rodimus only knew Sunstreaker had found completion by the third bright burst of ecstasy where their fields mingled.

The kiss softened, though Rodimus couldn’t seem to stop tasting Starscream’s mouth. Starscream was limp in his arms, thoroughly exhausted and sated, a puddle of satisfied Seeker who purred into the kisses, his frame trembling and fans roaring from exertion. He made little sounds in his intake, hums and sighs. His valve twitched around Rodimus’ spike, half-pressurized as he was.

“Damn.” Rodimus rubbed his cheek on Starscream’s face. “Please say you’re going to invite me to play again.”

Starscream’s tired chuckle carried amusement. “I’ll let you know as soon as I pass my next exam.” He rested his head on Rodimus’ shoulder, rubbing his cheek over an armor ridge. “Primus, I can’t move.”

“You don’t need to,” Sunstreaker said. The berth shifted as he pushed himself upright and sank back on his heels, removing his weight from Starscream and a much relieved Rodimus.

Starscream was heavy by himself, but Sunstreaker was built stronger than he seemed. Had to be. Because Rodimus felt tiny and delicate beneath them.

“Stay right there,” Sunstreaker added as he smoothed his hands over Starscream’s lower back and hips, gentle pets that belied his earlier roughness. “I’ll take care of the rest.”

Starscream purred happily. “You don’t have to tell me twice.” He nuzzled into Rodimus’ intake. “Mm. Pet me.” His aft wriggled, shifting Rodimus’ depressurizing spike in that snug little space.

“Yes, your majesty.” Rodimus rolled his optics, but found himself obeying nonetheless. It was hardly a trial to touch Starscream, and with the Seeker so warm and limp and snuggly right now, he didn’t mind at all.

He let his fingers trail over Starscream’s frame, tracing seams and glyphs on the back of Starscream’s wings. Starscream’s optics drifted shut, his engine settling into a low idle of contentment.

Sunstreaker slid off the berth and stood beside it. His half-pressurized spike was slick with fluids, and Rodimus was not afraid to admit that he gave Sunstreaker’s equipment a look. He wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Nothing special. Sunstreaker was adequately sized for a mech of his frame type, and he didn’t have any special mods or designs on his spike either. It was pretty plain, all things considered. He didn’t even have a piercing like Starscream.

“Don’t fall into recharge just yet, Starscream,” Sunstreaker said, though his tone had lost that commanding edge. One hand smoothed over Starscream’s aft as the other groped around the berth for some reason.

The answer became obvious when he pulled the port plug from the tangled covers and slipped it back into Starscream’s aft. Starscream loosed a little moan and sigh, his aft rising up into Sunstreaker’s hand.

“I’ll recharge if I want to,” Starscream muttered sleepily.

“Not until you’re clean,” Sunstreaker said. He looked fond as he caressed Starscream’s aft one more time.

“Then clean me.”

“And me, too,” Rodimus piped up, because he could, and because he was sticky everywhere. Starscream’s wriggling had caused him to slip out of Starscream’s valve, and while he’d retracted his spike, he could feel the tackiness of drying fluids everywhere.

Sunstreaker didn’t dignify Rodimus with a response. He did, however, roll his optics, and turn away from the berth, disappearing into the adjoining private washrack.

Rodimus chuckled and returned his attention to a delightfully snuggly Starscream. Who, he belatedly realized, was still wearing the blindfold. Oops.

“Keep antagonizing him and see what he does,” Starscream cautioned.

“Pfft. I’m not afraid of Sunstreaker.” Rodimus worked a hand free and tugged at the knot at the back of Starscream’s head. “Let’s get this off you. Can’t believe he forgot.”

He worked it loose and tossed it over the side of the berth.

Starscream blinked rapidly, optics spiraling in and out of focus. It was pretty darn cute, and when Starscream’s gaze finally focused on Rodimus, he broke into a grin.

“Well, hey there sexy. Fancy seeing you here.” Rodimus patted Starscream’s aft for emphasis, and went back to petting Starscream, as the Seeker had started making demanding noises in his intake.

Starscream rolled his optics, much like his roommate, and rested his head on Rodimus’ shoulder again. “You take Recurve as a client far too much, if you’re picking up on his terrible flirtations.”

Rodimus shrugged, bobbing Starscream on his shoulder. “Recurve’s fun, and he doesn’t enjoy smacking people around, so if all I end up with is a couple cheesy lines, who cares.” He tilted his head against Starscream’s. “So why’d Sunstreaker put the plug back in?”

All sleepy and cuddly and pleasure-drunk, Rodimus gathered Starscream might be more willing to be truthful and less caustic. Maybe he’d get a straight answer without some kind of cryptic wording.

“I asked him to,” Starscream replied.

“Oh.”

“And if you need me to explain why, perhaps you’re more innocent than I thought,” Starscream added with a laugh. Amusement fluttered in his energy field.

Rodimus bristled. “I am not!”

The last thing anyone could ever accuse Rodimus of having was innocence. He was at Blue Sun because of Turmoil after all, and there wasn’t a single mech in the entire city who didn’t know who Turmoil was.

Attaching himself to Turmoil was supposed to be safe. It was supposed to be his way out. It was supposed to mean he’d have a future. Turmoil could be charming when he put his processor to it, and they first time they met, he’d certainly laid on the sweet oils. Rodimus had been smitten.

He’d thought, in a way only the foolish and dream-struck could be, Turmoil would change for him. Become a better person. Out of love.

That foolish innocence went away all too quick. But by then, it was too late to escape.

Starscream wriggled on top of Rodimus as though trying to get comfortable. More amusement floated in his field, dragging Rodimus back to the present.

“You did well tonight,” he commented.

Rodimus blinked. “Wait a klik. Did you just praise me?”

“I give credit when it’s due.”

Rodimus narrowed his optics and tickled into one of Starscream’s seams, making the Seeker squirm in restrained laughter. “Where’s Starscream and what did you do with him?”

Starscream flicked him in the forehead. “Idiot. I’m feeling generous for once. Enjoy it while it lasts.”

“I’m not sure I trust a generous Starscream.”

Starscream flicked him again and flopped strutless on top of Rodimus, bearing him further down into the berth. “Shut up.”

Relieved that Starscream sounded amused rather than annoyed, Rodimus laughed and started petting Starscream again, long sweeps of his palm over every inch of smooth armor he could reach. Starscream moved into his strokes and his engine purred like one of the tamed pets rich mechs bought by the dozen.

“You’re like a voltaic cat, you know,” Rodimus commented.

Starscream rubbed his cheek on Rodimus’ shoulder. “I consider that a compliment.”

Of course he did.

The door to the washrack slid open, releasing a roil of steam into the room, though it was quick to dissipate. Sunstreaker stepped into view, gleaming clean, and carrying an armful of mesh cloths, likely damp. His orbital ridge drew down in confusion.

“What are you two giggling about?” he asked as he started to wipe down Starscream’s frame with little compunction, pulling a pleased hum from Starscream’s intake in the process.

“We’re not giggling,” Rodimus retorted, watching them both with a critical optic.

“If you say so.” Sunstreaker shrugged.

Sunstreaker, who was now so gentle and attentive, his expression softer now, his hands careful as he wiped down Starscream’s aft and thighs and probably his array, too. His field was much calmer than the storm it had been earlier. Starscream, for that matter, had a field full of utter delight. He lounged on top of Rodimus like he’d found a throne, and arched into the swipe of the cleaning cloths, his engine purring.

When Sunstreaker finished, Rodimus wasn’t sure what to expect, but Sunstreaker perching on the edge of the berth and pulling Starscream into his lap wasn’t it. Perhaps he should have, given how much Sunstreaker had been mechhandling Starscream all night.

“You’re so handsy today,” Starscream grumbled, but it was good-natured, because all he did was stretch under Sunstreaker’s hands, and arch into the careful swipes of the mesh cloths, now focused on his belly and groin.

Sunstreaker snorted. Verbose as always, that one.

“What about me?” Rodimus demanded as he sat up and gestured to his sticky front, where transfluid and lubricant alike were starting to flake up and form a mass. “Don’t I get some help cleaning up?”

“Washrack is right over there,” Sunstreaker said without so much as looking at him, his optics focused on Starscream only.

Rodimus sighed.

He should have known.

He leveraged out of the berth, pausing only long enough to see if Starscream would protest on his behalf, but the Seeker was too busy being pampered. Oh, well. It was his reward after all.

So Rodimus tucked himself into the washrack and dove under the steaming spray. He braced his hands against the wall and let the hot solvent wash over him for several long seconds. He cycled a few ventilations, loosening his armor, allowing the sudsy fluid to tickle his cables.

He shared a room with two other mechs. They and two other dorm-like rooms all used a communal washrack. It had enough space for four mechs to shower at once, but no elbow room and no privacy, and there was always someone else waiting, so you couldn’t linger. This, right here, was an absolute luxury, one few escorts deserved.

Sunstreaker was entitled to it since he was one of Blue Sun’s oldest, and arguably its most permanent, resident. His fees alone accounted for ten percent of Blue Sun’s overall revenue. He was invaluable to them. Even with his medical issues.

Rodimus didn’t know all the details. He just knew that Sunstreaker got more time off than anyone else. He tired easily, and fatigue often made him grumpier than usual. He saw a medic every other week, and some kind of specialist once a month. Whatever his condition, his skills were enough to grant him serious latitude.

Rodimus supposed that if he were worth ten percent of overall revenue, he’d be spoiled like that, too. Rodimus and his roommates – all of whom he tolerated but didn’t particularly like – together probably accounted for five percent of the total revenue. If that.

The difference in quality, in talent, in experience, was palpable. Didn’t mean Rodimus had to put up with Sunstreaker’s piss-poor attitude though. Primus that mech was an aft.

Rodimus vented another sigh and forced himself into motion, grabbing one of the scrubbers off the hooks – how many did a pair of mechs need, Primus! – and quickly giving himself a wash. He had a feeling he’d overstayed his welcome, if Sunstreaker’s behavior was anything to go by. No doubt he wanted to cuddle Starscream in peace, pretending like it was perfectly normal to be that possessive of your roommate, and it didn’t at all mean that you loved him like he was the other half of your spark.

Nothing to see here, mechs. Just a couple of best buds, roommates, good old pals. Who give each other sparkful looks and longing sighs and painful optics when the other wasn’t looking.

Relationships were complicated. This Rodimus knew all too well.

He slapped the shower pad, changing from solvent to rinse, and stood under the spray, turning to get every inch of his frame. It would do for now. He’d clean up, detail, attack the numerous scratch marks on his paint with filler later. Maybe he could bribe Clockwork into helping him.

Rodimus shut off the rinse and toweled himself dry, a task he’d perfected to finish quickly. He gave himself a onceover in the mirror and deemed he was good enough to head back to his corner of the shared room.

He stepped out of the washrack and into the room proper.

In his absence, Sunstreaker and Starscream had moved to theclean berth. They’d dimmed the lights, with only a single lamp illuminating the dark shapes of the room. Sunstreaker stretched across the berth with Starscream draped on top of him like an avian-themed blanket.

Rodimus swallowed down the twinge of jealousy rising up in his intake. Instead, he planted his hands on his hips.

“Well,” he said, maybe a touch snappy. “Guess this is the part where I don’t bother hoping for a tip and quietly excuse myself?”

Sunstreaker snorted. “Don’t be ridiculous.” One hand lifted from where it was softly petting the back of Starscream’s wings and gestured to the berth. “Get over here.”

Rodimus hesitated, unwilling to obey a command, but the lure of that berth, the warmth of it, was impossible to resist. He didn’t want to leave and go to his berth and recharge alone with the scent and taste of them still lingering around his frame. He didn’t want to feel like what he was: an abandoned mech selling himself to survive.

“Besides,” Sunstreaker added as Rodimus made his way to the berth and gingerly climbed up into the empty space beside them. “You can’t do anything quietly.”

Rodimus shot him a hot glare, but that only made Sunstreaker softly laugh. Perhaps he didn’t want to disturb Starscream, whose shuttered optics and almost liquid relaxation suggested he wasn’t awake, though his wingtips were doing these tiny twitches.

“He asleep?” Rodimus stretched out in the remaining space, on his belly to save a kink in his spoiler later.

“Yes.” Sunstreaker’s gaze turned soft, his fingers carefully tracing nonsense patterns over the back of Starscream’s wings.

That clench attacked Rodimus’ spark again. He folded his arms under his chin, resting his cheek on his wrist. “What test did he pass?”

“No clue. Something for his certification.”

Rodimus blinked. “He’s a student?” That was news to him. It was in poor taste to ask another escort why they worked at Blue Sun, so Rodimus had never brought it up. He’d often wondered though.

“Was,” Sunstreaker corrected, and his expression turned into one bright with pride. “He’s graduated now, but his loans are due, and he’s too practical to have them hang over his head like a prison sentence.”

“And this is the quickest way to pay them off,” Rodimus guessed aloud.

For someone who wasn’t already independently wealthy or well-established in whatever field Starscream had studied, there was no better or faster way to earn money than escort work. Except, perhaps, stimulant peddling.

Just ask Turmoil.

“He’s smart,” Sunstreaker agreed. “Too smart to be wasted here. When he’s made enough, he’ll leave.” He paused, something quietly grieving taking over his face. “It’s a good thing. He doesn’t belong here.”

“And you do?” Rodimus desperately wanted the actual truth. He knew rumors. Whisperings. But nothing concrete. Just that Sunstreaker was here, and Sunstreaker would never leave.

Sunstreaker answered him with silence, however.

“Well, I don’t belong here either,” Rodimus said, knowing that was all the personal conversation he’d get out of the yellow mech tonight. He stretched his frame and settled into the berth. “Soon as my debts are cleared, I’m gone. As far as I can.”

Another city-state for sure. Maybe even another planet. Just somewhere Turmoil and the memory of the mech couldn’t reach him.

Rodimus glanced at Sunstreaker and was startled to see the worried and resigned expression in the stoic mech’s face. It took him a minute to connect the dots, to realize what might have caused Sunstreaker alarm.

“I’m not trying to take him, you know,” Rodimus said, taking a guess.

Sunstreaker blinked. “Are you in the habit of making vague statements?”

Rodimus pointedly looked at Starscream. “He’s fun to play with and it’s nice to have someone looking after me, or whatever he says he’s doing, but I don’t want to keep him.” His spoiler fluttered before settling against his back. “You don’t have to worry about me. I promise.”

“You can’t lose something that freely gives itself away,” Sunstreaker muttered, but his arms tightened around Starscream as though he couldn’t bear to loosen his hold, lest Starscream fly away and leave him behind.

“But you can lose something if you don’t even try to keep it,” Rodimus replied, careful to keep his tone soft and unchallenging. He had a feeling Sunstreaker wouldn’t really respond to testiness.

Sunstreaker snorted. “Recharge, idiot, before I kick you out of the berth.”

And just like that, the moment of vulnerability was gone, and Sunstreaker was back to his usual caustic self. That felt more normal, but sadder, too.

Rodimus let it be.

“As if you would. Have you seen these scratches?” he bantered back as he wriggled his aft. “I’ll tell everyone I left your room like this, too. They’ll be appalled. Sunstreaker’s really getting soft, they’d say. Your reputation would be ruined.”

Sunstreaker rolled his optics. “Brat.”

“Aw, and now I have a nickname, too. You must really love me.” Rodimus grinned and tucked his face against his crossed arms, shuttering his optics.

Sunstreaker didn’t respond. Though Rodimus could feel the burn of his glare despite the dim of the room.

Rodimus kept his chuckle to himself. Best not to antagonize Sunstreaker and potentially wake Starscream. He doubted the Seeker would be in a good mood after being disturbed from his peaceful slumber.

This, Rodimus decided, was far better than restless recharge in the room he shared with two others. In fact, he’d just started to doze off, and was in that twilight state where memory purges threatened to rise, but he wasn’t fully conscious, when something tugged him back toward full awareness.

At first, it was a relentless, low donging sound. Like a door chime. And then he heard conversation, muted and murmured, enough to make him fully rouse. Rodimus onlined his optics and pushed himself onto his elbows, cycling his optics to clear the fuzziness from them. He’d been out for an hour, according to his chronometer, and Sunstreaker was still in recharge, too.

The voices were coming from the direction of the door.

Rodimus squinted.

Starscream stood just inside the doorframe, talking to someone. His wings twitched as though agitated and as Rodimus pushed himself to the edge of the berth, he caught a glimpse of the mech on the other side. It was Streamline, though why he’d be here was anyone’s guess. Far as Rodimus knew, both Starscream and Sunstreaker were off-duty tomorrow, and no one knew Rodimus was here.

Besides, Rodimus wasn’t popular enough to be scheduled ahead of time, or develop a loyal fanbase. Unless you counted Turmoil’s many cronies.

Ugh.

By the time Rodimus had scooted off the berth and padded over to Starscream’s side, the door had shut, and Starscream turned away from it. He blinked in surprise at Rodimus, but didn’t seem annoyed by it.

“Something wrong?” Rodimus asked, keeping his tone low so as not to wake Sunstreaker. Especially if there was an issue. Best not to poke a sleeping Sharkticon.

“Depends on your point of view.” Starscream lifted the datapad in his hand and gave it a shake. “I’ve got a client.”

“Right now?”

“No. Tomorrow.” Starscream’s lips curved into a frown. “My day off.”

Wait. That didn’t make sense. “I thought–”

“If they are willing to double my fee, I consider it. Streamline knows that,” Starscream replied, cutting him off. He sighed and there was resignation as much as acceptance in it. “He tripled it.”

“Whoa.” Rodimus’ optics widened. Starscream’s fee was already not too shabby. And to triple it to start? “Who is it?”

“First time buyer.” Starscream’s fingers flicked over the screen, pulling up the information before he turned it around to face Rodimus. “A merchant, name of Sideswipe.”

Rodimus peered at the screen. A black and red mech grinned back at him, his paint high-class and gleaming, his frame definitely made-to-order. His application listed a few basic facts about himself, including his net worth, and it made Rodimus boggle. The mech could buy and sell the entirety of Blue Sun a dozen times over.

“Handsome,” Rodimus commented, because that, at least, was very true. This Sideswipe had an easygoing grin, bright blue optics, and a kind face.

“And entitled no doubt.” Starscream thumbed the datapad off and set it aside, on a nearby desk.

“Are you accepting it?”

“I’d be a fool not to.” Starscream rolled his shoulders in a shrug, wings flicking. “Come on. This means I’ll need to wash up. You can help.”

“I’m getting tired of taking orders,” Rodimus grumbled, but he followed Starscream nonetheless.

Starscream stepped ahead of him and keyed on the spray, filling the room with the sweet scent of the solvent. “That’s because you’d rather be giving them,” he commented as he stepped under the spray.

“I guess.” Rodimus grabbed a clean scrubber off the rack. Starscream would probably need help with his back and wings the most.

Starscream braced his hands against the wall, offering aft and back to Rodimus. “You had fun playing master tonight, didn’t you?”

“Well… yeah.” Surprisingly so. More than he thought he would. But every time he’d teased Starscream and gotten a response, a thrill ran up his spinal strut.

Starscream tossed a smug look over his shoulder. “I thought you might.” He gave his aft a shake. “Do me a favor and take out that plug? I can’t very well keep it in with a client tomorrow.”

Rodimus’ gaze dropped to Starscream’s aft, and the end of the plug sitting snug in his port. It was a pale blue, a nice contrast to Starscream’s darker navies, reds, and grays. It was smaller up close.

“Are you sure?”

“Sure that I need it out or sure that I want you to do it?” Starscream chuckled and arched his back, putting more of himself under the spray. “Yes to both. Just don’t be lewd about it. This is no time to start something that can’t be finished.”

“You throw temptation at my face, and then tell me I can’t have it,” Rodimus grumbled as gently grasped the end of the plug and eased it free, enraptured by the way Starscream’s port rim contracted around it. “Now who’s being a tease.”

“Save it for a future lesson. Port-play is different from valve-play.” Starscream shivered, his talons scraping the wall, as Rodimus drew the last of it free and set the plug aside, on one of the shower’s inset shelves.

Starscream’s port rim twitched. A small trickle of transfluid eased out of his port, and Rodimus’ internals clenched with want. He would have touched if he could, but Starscream’s boundary had been clear: not this time.

So instead Rodimus sighed and grabbed the extendable shower head, directing the spray at Starscream’s back to wash away the escaping transfluid. Such a salacious situation, wasted down the drain.

“Is that why you invited me?” Rodimus admired the sudsy solvent sluicing down Starscream’s frame. “Was this another training session?”

“In part.” Starscream stretched his arms over his head and slowly turned, claiming the nozzle from Rodimus. “And also because I knew you could keep your mouth shut.”

Rodimus blinked. “You trust me?”

Starscream tilted his head. “Is that so difficult to believe?” He lifted a hand, twirling a finger. “Turn around so I can get your back.”

“I’m already clean.” Nevertheless, Rodimus obeyed.

“Yes, but Sunstreaker will need to fix your paint in the morning, and I can see where you missed multiple spots.”

Rodimus sighed. Sometimes, he wasn’t sure if Starscream treated him like an errant youngling, an exasperating sibling, or a pet.

“He’s going to love that,” Rodimus muttered.

Starscream laughed as he scrubbed Rodimus’ back, more intent than seductive, and it just wasn’t fair. “Don’t worry. He’ll do it. Especially if I ask.”

“Must be nice.” Rodimus hadn’t meant for his murmur to be heard, but the longing had boiled up and over, escaping before he could stop it.

“Hm?”

“To be so close to someone like that,” Rodimus clarified, and hoped he could turn it around, make a hint toward the blindness Starscream and Sunstreaker held for each other.

Starscream shrugged, and the brush gentled over Rodimus’ spoiler, scrubbing into the hinges and sweeping over the edges. “I suppose. Friendship is a luxury for mechs like us, to be fair.”

“For anyone,” Rodimus corrected, his spark giving an unwelcome clench.

Friendships, he’d learned, led to betrayal and abandonment. Being left to bear the brunt of a powerful mech’s anger, and ending up with a debt you couldn’t easily repay.

Starscream tweaked his spoiler, making Rodimus jump and whip around. “You’re mine, too. Just so you know. I’ve claimed you.” Solvent switched to rinse, and Starscream tugged Rodimus under the spray.

“Does that make us friends?” Rodimus asked, and hoped he didn’t sound desperate or hopeful or some mixture of both.

“If you need a term for it.” Hands on Rodimus’ shoulders turned him around and around under the spray, until he was fully rinsed. “You’re not just a charity case anymore.”

“Thanks,” Rodimus said dryly. “I feel special now.”

Starscream chuckled and hooked the nozzle back on the wall. He tossed Rodimus one of the drying cloths. “Well, you should. I don’t spend my time with just anyone. It’s far too valuable.”

“I noticed.”

Damp cloths were tossed into the basket to be collected by the cleaning staff later. Rodimus flicked his spoiler to get the last few droplets off and stretched his arms over his head. He did feel a lot cleaner now.

“Well, we’re as good as we can be without Sunny’s help,” Starscream said and spun Rodimus toward the door, pushing him out ahead. “Now let’s go back to recharge.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet Sunstreaker is missing his berthmate by now.”

Starscream snorted, but didn’t comment. Whether or not he agreed was up for debate. Rodimus, however, knew he was right. Because when they got back to the berth, Sunstreaker was frowning in his recharge. One arm had slid across the berth as though searching for the warm frame that should have been beside him.

But when Starscream slid onto the berth, notching himself against Sunstreaker’s side, the frown melted away and Sunstreaker instantly shifted to accommodate him.

Just roommates. Right. And Unicron wore rusted undergarments.

Rodimus rolled his optics and eased onto the berth next to Starscream, sinking into the plush surface, and letting his field tangle with theirs. It was nice, to be welcomed like this. Felt like good things he hadn’t felt in a while.

This time, recharge claimed him swiftly, and Rodimus sank into it all too willingly. Next time, it wouldn’t even be an internal debate.

Any further invitation would be an automatic ‘yes’.

[IDW] Wide of the Mark

“They target a specific frame type,” Prowl had said as he urged Getaway into the hands of the four-mech team who would alter and adjust Getaway’s frame – paint included. All the better to entice the crew of kidnappers who were like spark-echoes, terrifying the streets of lesser Iacon. “They serve customers who have very specific kinks, and this particular one is the rarest. You’re modified frame will be a sight they can’t resist.”

“And you’re sure Jazz can’t take this mission?” Getaway had asked, hands braced on the doorframe, heels dug into the floor. He might have been resisting. “Jazz’s frame is way better suited.”

Prowl had given him that Look, the one everyone in Spec Ops knew a little too well. The one that meant a table would be flipped because Prowl would neither be dissuaded nor argued with, and woe be unto the mech who decided to push the limits.

“He is needed for pursuit. And though I don’t want to over-inflate your ego, need I remind you that when it comes to escaping impossible situations, there is none better than you,” Prowl had said.

He hadn’t pushed Getaway into the re-fit room, but his look had the physical weight of it. So Getaway had dropped his arms and skulked inside, his mental picture of what the “adjustments” to his frame would entail more than enough to make him cringe. The worst part of going undercover was having to change how you looked.

He had secondary energon storage sacs installed because they were useful, not because they were appealing or sexy or… or… something to be fetishized!

Getaway recalled the conversation now as he sashayed down the street, tossing coy looks to mechs who trundled past, their heads down, exuding disinterest in what Getaway had to sell. Not that these downtrodden, rust-eaten mechs could afford him anyway. Getaway’s persona sought richer clientele, and the swell of his chest, the peek at engorged energon sacs as they jiggled behind the protection of his chest armor, advertised such a thing.

A potential mark walked by, his gleaming paint and high-class enamel suggesting he could afford the kind of look Getaway offered. So he gathered up what remained of his dignity and sidled up to the dark-blue mech.

“Evening, sir. Fancy sharing a cube with a pretty stranger?” Getaway purred, drawing on every lesson involving seduction Jazz had drilled into his processor until his optics swam in his helm.

The mech barked a laugh at him. “Sorry, sweetplate, but you’re not my type.” Blue optics raked Getaway from top to bottom. “A little too soft for my tastes.”

“Soft?” Getaway flirted his fingers over his own clavical strut, drawing attention to the swell of his energon sacs. “But that’s the point.” He cocked a hip, resting his free hand over the dip of his waist. “Curves in all the right places, too.”

The stranger grinned, but there was a sharp edge to it, mockery more than interest. “Like I said, you just aren’t my flavor. Ring me when you earn another two meters and several tons.”

Ah. Big spender liked the big mechs. Pity.

Getaway fluttered his optical shutters. “I’ll keep that in mind,” he murmured, interjecting disappointment into his tone. “You know where to find me if you want something sweet.”

The mech laughed and shook his head. “Thanks, but no thanks.” He flicked his wrist in parting and headed down the walk, still chuckling as though Getaway had told the funniest joke this side of comedy central.

Damn. Not the piece of scum Getaway was looking for.

He cycled a ventilation and scanned the streets again, lower back aching where the change in his pede structure made him walk at an odd angle. He wasn’t a seeker. Why he needed heeled feet without the thrusters to accompany them made absolutely no sense.

“Some mechs just don’t know a fun party when they see one.”

Now that smarmy tone was the kind of thing Getaway had been hunting. He turned slowly, head tilted, armor fluttering around his energon sacs.

“Oh, is that interest I hear?” he cooed as another mech with polished armor approached, a spoiler jauntily sprouting from behind his shoulders, and a cocky look on his face. Racer maybe, or rich enough to be one of their thirsty groupies.

Mech grinned with a mouthful of perfect, even denta. He had a visor, diamond-polished with an iridescent sheen. “The kind that’ll keep the two of us up all night.” He cocked his head and circled Getaway, predator to prey. “Those maxed out?”

Getaway arched his spinal strut, making the energon sacs more prominent. “Not even close, handsome.” He shifted his weight, the heels causing his aft to paint quite the sumptuous picture. “If you’ve got the creds, you can find out just how much.”

“Oh, I’ve got the creds.” The potential customer smirked and paused partially behind Getaway, leaning in and in-venting, as if tasting Getaway’s scent. “Mmm, you aren’t a cheap piece of rust, are you? You’re the real deal. What’s a sweetplate like you walking the street for? Surely you got a patron at home waiting on you.”

Getaway giggled.

Never underestimate how enticing a cute little giggle can be, my mech, Jazz had advised. He was probably glowing with pride right now, listening in as he was. He and the rest of Getaway’s back-up team.

“He couldn’t keep up. So I’m looking for someone with a bit more rev to their engine,” Getaway purred and looked the mark up and down. “Think that someone is you?”

The mech circled in front of Getaway, and his glossa flicked over his lips. “Oh, I do.” He popped a hatch on his right forearm and withdrew a cred-chip, platinum-plating catching a sparkle of sunlight. “Consider this a down-payment.”

He leaned forward, chip pinched between two fingers, before he slid it right into the seam of Getaway’s cleavage, his fingertips copping a light caress as they withdrew.

Getaway tipped his head, coy and offering. “Well, sweetspark. Looks to me like you’re well on your way to a nice night.” He leaned in close, walking his fingertips down the length of the mech’s arm. “My place or yours, hot shot?”

“Mine.” Fingers flirted at the curve of Getaway’s waist. “And you can call me Fallout. Or master.”

Getaway giggled again. Master? Really? How cliché.

“Sounds good to me.” He ex-vented warm and wet into the slightly taller mech’s intake. “The name’s Joyride. And it’s my pleasure to meet you.”

~

“His place” turned out to be a nearby hotel. Either Fallout couldn’t wait to get his hands on his new procurement, if he were a legit customer and not the mark Getaway suspected him to be. Or this local hotel was a front for their illegal dealings, as Prowl had hypothesized some weeks back.

Everything in their research had pointed to the Nuts and Bolts as being a legitimate business. No casual inspections had turned up anything untoward. The structure matched the schematics. The owners passed a very in-depth background check. And yet, mechs had gone missing in the area nearby, often seen going into the hotel but never emerging again, and not seen on the surveillance cameras either.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Getaway ran an internal double-check, making sure both his tracking beacon and two-way internal transmitters were both running smooth as engex.

It was a nice hotel, despite its shady reputation. The door closed and locked behind Getaway’s customer, Fallout. Getaway sent a ping to his team, letting them to know to keep an optic on his tracker, and cocked his hip at his customer.

“So, what can I get you first?” he asked with a flirty lilt to his voice. He dragged his fingers over the seam of his chest armor, where the energon sacs pushed at the edges of his armor. “Full show?”

Fallout rubbed the heel of his palm over his panel. “Actually, I want a taste of that sweet mouth of yours first. Assuming you have one.”

Ah, yes, the mouthguard. Jazz had said it would create a sense of mystery, as if he were giving his customer something special every time he revealed it.

“All the better to swallow you down, master,” Getaway purred and disengaged the locks, setting his mouthplate aside. He licked his lips, his mouth feeling bare and vulnerable. “Shall I drop to my knees?”

Fallout backtracked to the berth and perched on the edge of it, his knees spreading to make room between them as he continued stroking his panel. “Yeah. But where you are now. Crawl to me.”

Getaway would have rolled his optics if that wasn’t a guarantee to break his character. “Oh, an adventurous one I see,” he said as he sank to his knees and crawled forward, putting an extra sway into his aft, aware that it made his energon sacs extra-appealing.

Fallout leaned back on one hand as his panel snicked aside, and his spike emerged, glossy with pre-fluid already, and nothing extravagant to speak of. Blue with a gray twist and a head that had a bit of a hood on it. “We’re just getting started, sweetplate.”

“Yes, we are.” Getaway nudged between Fallout’s knees and ex-vented over the tip of Fallout’s spike. More pre-fluid welled up, dribbling down the side.

A hand rested on the back of his head as Fallout’s other hand held the base of his spike, aiming it toward Getaway’s mouth. Getaway rested his fingers on Fallout’s thighs and leaned in, lapping up the pre-fluid.

It was just oral sex. Nothing he hadn’t done for a job before. So he let his processor wander elsewhere while his mouth performed on auto-pilot.

Lick, lick, suck. A spike was a spike was a spike. Getaway hummed a little as he took Fallout’s spike into his mouth, and Fallout exerted a tiny bit of pressure to the back of his head, urging him even deeper. More pre-fluid slicked his glossa.

Fallout’s hips rocked, fragging into Getaway’s mouth in sharp, quick bursts. He cycled fast ventilations, his fingers kneading the back of Getaway’s head. He felt optics on him and glanced up to see Fallout watching him intently, lips parted, visor a little glazed over.

Hm. Maybe he was just a customer and not a mark after all.

Fallout hissed an expletive, denta gritted and lips pulled back after them. “Damn, you’re good,” he said as he pushed back on Getaway’s head, his spike sliding free of Getaway’s mouth and bobbing against his lips. “But I want to rub over those pretty sacs of yours.”

Getaway licked his lips. “I thought you might.” He rose up on his knees, further loosening the armor half-concealing his energon sacs, letting the heavy orbs spill a little freer.

He leaned forward, and Fallout shivered with a little moan as his spike rubbed over the top of Getaway’s sacs, gliding across the smooth protomesh. He left streaks of pre-fluid behind.

“Oh, those are nice,” Fallout hummed and grabbed the back of Getaway’s head again, directing his mouth downward. “Give it a little lick, won’t you, sweetplate?”

Easy enough.

Getaway let his sacs swell a bit more and rose up higher on his knees, making it easier for Fallout to thrust and rock against them. He tilted his head down, glossa extending, and caught the tip of Fallout’s spike as it rutted over the mounds of his sacs.

Fallout moaned again. “Yeah, that’s it,” he said, hips rocking harder, more pre-fluid leaving trails of it trickling over Getaway’s chest.

Fallout’s grip on Getaway’s head tightened as his free hand tangled in the berthcovers. His thighs pitched inward, trapping Getaway’s shoulders as he thrust harder against Getaway’s sacs.

Getaway tried not to roll his optics, instead licking at the tip of Fallout’s spike as it bobbed against his lips. He arched his backstrut, pushing his chest against the thrust of Fallout’s spike. Judging by the quickening of the mech’s ventilations, he was about to spill.

And Getaway was right.

Fallout groaned as he shoved Getaway’s head forward, and his spike twitched, hot splashes of transfluid painting Getaway’s chest, intake, and the bottom half of his face. It smeared over the top of his energon sacs, sticky and hot.

“Mmm, you’re the real deal, sweetplate,” Fallout said with a lazy grin, his hand sliding down Getaway’s face to lazily trail fingers through the spill painting Getaway’s energon sacs. “Makes me almost feel bad about this.”

Getaway’s optics widened as he jerked his head up. “What do you mean?” he asked, putting a quaver in his voice as he tensed his hydraulics, sending an alarmed ping to his team.

Fallout smirked at him.

It was the last thing Getaway saw before something struck him in the back of his head, striking right against a reset relay with enough force to send him into a hard reboot.

~

Getaway onlined in a haze, a stale taste on his glossa, and his processor spinning dizzily. Static rang through his audials, the buzz of voices a distant noise. His GPS reported back nothing except that it was offline, as was his comm system.

He frantically double-checked the link to his team and nearly sighed in relief. It remained active, transmitting his audio and visual feed to Prowl and the others. But when he tried to tap into it, to contact them, Getaway received only static. Somehow, they’d managed to block it. Wherever they’d taken him, they must have had a communication dampener.

Clarity returned slowly, more details trickling in. His mouthplate was completely gone, as were the panels over his valve, secondary port, and spike, though the last remained fully retracted. The brassiere plate protecting his energon sacs had also been removed, leaving them completely exposed and his feeders extended, a chilly airflow teasing the nozzled tips.

He was lying on his side, possibly on a berth, his hands cuffed behind his back. Peripheral sensors detected four – no, five – other Cybertronian signatures around him, one of which resembled the mech who had been his customer.

So. He’d found his way into the gang’s clutches after all. Prowl would be delighted. Which meant he and the rest of Getaway’s team better be on their way right the frag now. Because waking up without any of his protective plating was not a sign Getaway’s day was about to get any better.

“I know you’re awake, sweetplate,” someone crooned at him from above Getaway’s head. He felt a hand stroke the back of his neck, fingers teasing around the cephalic port which he only belatedly realized was no longer shielded by the protective plate.

“This’ll be a lot more fun with you conscious,” another voice claimed and Getaway followed the voice to an obnoxiously orange and white mech crouching toward the end of the berth, his hand creeping toward one of Getaway’s knees.

Getaway worked his intake. “Wha-what’s going on?” he asked, injecting fear and confusion into his voice. “If all you wanted was a freebie, we could have worked something out.”

The hand stroked over his head, and its owner chuckled. “This ain’t about creds, sweetplate. Or well, it is. But not about the creds you’re going to earn.”

The orange mech crouching near Getaway’s knees pawed at Getaway’s thighs, one hand slipping between them and upward, toward his bared valve. “Fallout already gave ya a trial run, but the rest of us like a little hands on experience ourselves.” Fingers tickled over the lips of Getaway’s valve.

Laughter echoed around him, and Getaway picked out no less than five distinct voices, only one of which he recognized as the mech who had originally purchased his services. He glanced around the room, seeing a bright purple and black mech perched behind an expensive camera. There was another mech, blinding in all white, leaning against the wall near the door. He couldn’t see Fallout and assumed that the mech was somewhere behind Getaway.

Fingers flicked at the panel covering his cephalic port. “Don’t worry. We’ll make sure you have a good time, too,” the mech above him purred, his voice sickly sweet and enough to make Getaway’s plating crawl.

“Oh, I always have a good time, sir,” Getaway tried to purr, injecting anxiety into his voice. Not that it was hard.

Hurry up, Prowl.

“I’m sure you do.” The mech above him chortled.

Getaway felt the cold touch of a plug against his port, connectors buzzing where they brushed against one another before someone plugged into him. The alien sensation of a foreign mind slithering into his own made Getaway shudder and his tank roil. He’d not been prepared for this! Nothing in the intel suggested one of the kidnappers was a mneumospecialist.

“You… you don’t have to do that!” Getaway cried, squirming on the berth, trying to twist his frame away from the mech below him, inching between his thighs.

Said orange mech licked his lips, his hands sliding up the length of his thighs, thumbs bracketing Getaway’s valve.

“I promise I’ll behave!” Getaway whimpered as the foreign presence tiptoed all around his processor, slicing through his firewalls and defenses as though they were cheap chips bought on the street and not spec ops grade.

“I’m sure you will. This just makes sure of– oh, what do we have here?” The rifling in Getaway’s processor paused, and the grip on his head tightened. “Cork, don’t get started just yet.”

Cork, the orange mech between Getaway’s legs, looked up with a flash of anger. “What? Why? You’re such a fragging tease, Lore. Why do you always gotta make me wait?”

“Because I know the taste of a spy when I’m inside one, slagger,” Lore replied as a chill swept through Getaway’s internals. “And what we got here, mechs, is not the sweetplate he appears to be.”

“I thought he was a little too clean to be a street-walker,” came Fallout’s familiar voice from somewhere behind Getaway.

“I’m not a spy!” Getaway said with what he hoped was an enticing squirm and smile. “I swear. I was just looking for some quick creds.”

Lore chuckled, and his grip on Getaway’s head turned into something more like a caress. “I just tore through seven layers of elite firewalls, sweetplate. I know what you are.”

“I figured somebody was going to be on us sooner or later. Didn’t think it’d be this soon,” Fallout said.

Cork frowned and whined. The pads of his fingers stroked along the insides of Getaway’s thighs, making his armor crawl with revulsion. “So what? I don’t get to play with ‘im cause he’s a spy?”

“It just means we can’t sell him,” said the camera-mech. “Doesn’t mean we can’t still make some good creds off him.”

The mech leaning against the wall near the door frowned, his visor reflecting harsh angles of light. “We should just kill him,” he suggested. “The creds aren’t worth the trouble.”

“And waste this opportunity?” Lore almost purred. “Why Equalizer, you have no imagination. Or generosity. Little Joyride came here to do a job, didn’t he? As Playback said, it would be a shame to let him fail.”

“A big shame,” Cork agreed with a bob of his head and a hungry look at Getaway’s array. He licked his lips as he caressed Getaway’s valve, which twitched at the soft touch. “He’s eager for it, even. Ya should see how much he’s dripping.”

It was a program, idiots! Getaway seethed behind clenched denta. It was pointless to argue with criminals. They would only taunt him more, if they believed him to be the slightest bit ashamed.

Equalizer shifted his weight, from one foot to the other, white paint flashing in the bright flood lights. “Then we kill him later.”

“When we’re done,” the camera mech – Playback — agreed, sounding distracted and barely interested in the proceedings. “Vids like this are always a big seller.”

Vids? Fantastic. Getaway’s newly altered frame was going to be splashed all over the darknet, self-servicing fodder for all of the weirdly twisted. His team better get here sooner rather than later. Weren’t they tracking him by now? How far could Fallout have taken him?

Movement in his peripheral vision alerted Getaway to Fallout crouching down next to the berth. “Snuff is a big, big seller,” he said and grinned as he patted Getaway on the cheek. “Now we can’t go killin’ all of our pets so each vid is a hot commodity. That means you’re going to make us a fortune, Joyride.”

“You won’t be free long enough to make that fortune,” Getaway ground out, his plating crawling at Fallout’s touch, and the way Lore above him kept stroking his head and lingering in his port. His presence was poisonous. “My team–”

“Your team?” Lore’s tone was mild and amused as he cut Getaway off. “Oh, you mean the tracker embedded in your system? I took the liberty of removing that. They won’t find you.” His field became a nauseating press, bearing down on Getaway like a physical restraint.

Getaway worked his intake. He didn’t believe Lore for a second. Yes, the slagger had his fingers deep in Getaway’s system, but he wasn’t Jazz, and Jazz had been the one to program all of Getaway’s protocols. No way Lore found all of the tricks and hidden caches.

Maybe he delayed Prowl and the others, but they were coming. Getaway was sure of it.

Lore chuckled, and he pinched at the port where he’d plugged into Getaway. “Trust me, little spy. We’ve been at this too long to get caught now.”

“Wouldn’t it be a waste to kill him?” Playback asked, sounding bored from behind the camera. “You could always rewire him like the others. Sell him afterward.”

“Nah. Sometimes, it doesn’t take. And then we’d have a spy who knows too much wandering around alive. This is the best way to get our money’s worth,” Equalizer said with a smirk, his optics dark and hungry as he watched Getaway on the berth.

He had the look of a predator, Equalizer did. One who liked tearing up his prey and leaving its innards out for the carrion-eaters, while only consuming the tastiest bits for itself. Of the five mechs in the room, Getaway wanted Equalizer to touch him the least.

“I’m not for sale!” Getaway hissed, squirming in his bonds, though his motions were dull and sluggish, like he didn’t have complete control of his frame. Probably due to Lore rifling through his processor, getting sticky metaphorical fingers in all of Getaway’s components.

Fallout barked a laugh. “Is that right, sweetplate? Well, the cred stick in your subspace says otherwise. Don’t it?”

Cork’s hands slid up Getaway’s thighs toward his bared array, fingers stroking his rim. “Who cares?,” he whined, and traced a circle around Getaway’s mostly hidden anterior node. To his relief, it didn’t provoke so much as a stir of pleasure. “Can we get started now? You’re wasting all this time talking.”

Behind them, Fallout snickered. “Go ahead, Cork.”

“The camera’s ready,” Playback added.

Cork’s engine growled and lust flashed in his optics. “Finally,” he said and snatched Getaway by the hips, twisting him onto his back, his bound arms pinned beneath him, energon sacs bouncing and swaying on his chest.

Cork wedged himself between Getaway’s legs, shoved his thighs wide, and smirked over Getaway’s valve. “This poor thing looks hardly used,” he said.

Another bark of laughter spilled from Fallout. “We’ll change that soon enough.”

Getaway clenched his denta. Endure, he told himself. He’d been trained for this. He knew it was a possibility. It wasn’t the worst thing. It was just interfacing.

Cork laughed and leaned closer, ex-venting warm and wet over Getaway’s valve. He licked his lips again before his glossa found Getaway’s rim and gave it a long taste. He hummed in his intake and licked some more, mouth discovering Getaway’s node to treat it to a lingering suck.

It felt… good. Sensation drizzled through Getaway’s array. He swallowed down a strangled moan and dimmed his optics. His hips moved of their own accord, canting toward Cork’s mouth, demanding more. He hated, in that moment, the small programming thread he’d installed to make it easier to play the part of buymech.

That was when Lore stopped fiddling with his port, the sensation of his presence inside Getaway still lingering, like an infection, but his hands wandered. They slid over Getaway’s shoulders, to his energon sacs, and Lore started to grope them, fingers squeezing and sliding over the smooth protomesh. He found Getaway’s fuel nozzles and pinched them, causing a shock of pleasure to burst through Getaway’s sensor net.

An unwanted moan escaped his mouth, his backstrut arching, pushing his sacs into Lore’s hands. They were supposed to feel good. That was how the programming worked, but now Getaway despised that fact. Between Lore’s pinching, and Cork’s determined licking, arousal pulsed a steady beat through his systems.

His spike started to thicken in its sheath. Lubricant gathered in his valve, until Cork was able to lap up the first drop with a pleased hum.

“It’s nice when they squirm,” he said, conversationally against Getaway’s valve. “But it’s better when they enjoy it.”

“It makes for a better video,” Playback commented. If it was possible to sound bored while filming a fragging vid, Playback had perfected the art.

Lore chuckled and gave Getaway’s energon sacs a squeeze. “And their shame sweetens the flavor.”

Getaway growled, his engine revving with a mixture of arousal and fury. “You’re sick,” he seethed through clenched denta as his lower half twitched and rocked against Cork’s mouth, eager for every lick and suckle.

“It’s a mad, mad world.” Lore pinched Getaway’s nozzles and rolled them between his thumb and forefinger.

Getaway gasped before he could swallow it down, pleasure arcing through the entirety of his frame. His plating juddered and more lubricant dripped out of his valve as Cork licked into him, nasal ridge applying a nice pressure to Getaway’s anterior nub. Cork was enthusiastic, determined, and he made sloppy, wet noises as he licked and sucked until Getaway’s spike emerged with a snick, and his vents came in sharp pants.

Cork made a sound of outright glee and briefly abandoned Getaway’s valve, his glossa laving a long lick up the length of Getaway’s spike. He suckled at the tip, glossa prodding at his transfluid slit.

“Mmm, Joyride here’s a wet one,” Cork said around his mouthful, oral lubricant dribbling out of the corners of his mouth. “Tasty.”

“You’re disgusting,” Fallout said with a laugh.

“To each his own.” Cork smirked and closed his mouth around the tip of Getaway’s spike, laving the sensitive crown with several sweeps of his glossa.

Getaway gasped, his spike throbbing, and he thrust into empty space as Cork abandoned his spike in favor of messily lapping at his valve again. Arousal crackled in Getaway’s array like a hot fire.

He didn’t want to overload. Not like this. Not with the camera pointed at him, the five pairs of optics devouring his frame, with Cork’s mouth on his valve, and Lore’s fingers on his sac, the energon-filled mesh bouncing and bobbing on his chest. He didn’t want the noises clawing out of his intake, like whimpers and moans.

But overload he did, tasting energon as he bit his glossa in a desperate attempt to swallow the pathetic sounds in his vocalizer. He bucked against Cork’s lips, riding the eager mouth, his spike bobbing as his valve rippled with pleasure.

Lore chuckled and cupped Getaway’s sacs. He moved his hips, thrusting a little against Getaway’s back, the slide of his damp spike leaving streaks behind.

Cork purred against Getaway’s valve and rose to his feet, one hand working furiously at his spike, pumping himself with eager abandon. He licked his lips as if savoring Getaway’s taste, optics bright and hungry. His face was smeared with Getaway’s lubricant and he made no effort to wipe it away.

“You’re sweet,” he murmured, something in his gaze too wild for Getaway’s comfort. Unhinged even. “I like the way you squirm,” he breathed and then he overloaded, spike spurting all over Getaway’s twitching valve, his pressurized spike, the insides of his thighs and his pelvic array.

Transfluid didn’t burn. But Getaway felt the sear of it splashing on his armor anyway. It felt like being marked, treated as less than, and he despised it.

“Get out of the way, freak.” Equalizer surged into view, rudely elbowing Cork away as the orange and white mech stood there dazed, hand around his depressurizing spike.

Cork stumbled with an outraged hiss, but obediently moved aside as Equalizer pushed his way between Getaway’s thighs, his fingers shoving into Getaway’s valve, three at a time, without any preamble. They burned, and Getaway flinched, and Equalizer laughed, husky and cruel.

“My turn,” he said.

Getaway groaned, fruitlessly trying to squirm away. Equalizer’s grip was hard and unyielding, the press of his field equally so. He was a mech who wanted to hurt, and Getaway had no illusions about how much pain he’d cause.

Lore chuckled and rolled his hips, thrusting harder against Getaway’s back, his spike leaving trails on Getaway’s shoulders. Lore’s hands squeezed Getaway’s sacs, making the energon shift and gurgle and the dermal mesh ache.

Equalizer’s fingers vanished, and Getaway had a moment of relief before they returned, this time prodding at Getaway’s aft port. The smaller entrance would have resisted, were Equalizer any gentler, but two fingers coated in a smear of lubricant and transfluid pushed into Getaway’s aft with a stretching burn that made Getaway hiss.

His legs trembled. A sound escaped him before he could swallow it. A whimper, a whine, pain that burbled up and spilled free.

“Let’s see if we can’t change your perspective, shall we?” Lore purred as Equalizer’s fingers kept fragging a burning stretch into Getaway’s aft. He supposed he should be grateful Equalizer bothered to try and stretch and lube him up even a little.

Something started wriggling about inside Getaway, in his neural pathways and his processor. The painful burn shifted to a liquid warmth. The tension in his hydraulics and cables eased. Pleasure, false as it was, washed through his thoughts, turning them dull.

He felt sick. Nauseous. And no amount of processor-washing could change that. His tanks lurched, even as the desire started to build inside of him.

“There. That’s better.” One of Lore’s hands stroked Getaway’s head. “Isn’t it nicer when you can relax?”

Getaway clenched his denta around the moan pushing at his glossa. His optical shutters clattered as he shivered. His hips rocked against the push of Equalizer’s fingers.

Where the frag was his team? Shouldn’t they be here by now? He’d have checked his chronometer, if only it wasn’t spinning nonsensical numbers at him. Time no longer had definition.

The berth rattled, dipped beside Getaway. He looked, through a haze crowding the edge of his vision, as Fallout clambered onto the berth. As he straddled Getaway’s belly, spike thick and visible, already dripping pre-fluid.

“Can’t let an opportunity like this pass me by,” he said, a breathless need in his vocals, his lips peeled back over his denta as he fondled Getaway’s sacs. “I’ve been dying to have more fun with these since I saw your sweet aft on the street.”

Getaway’s processor spun. It was dizzying, to fight the fake lust and the sensations in his frame.

“Frag you,” he gritted out.

Fallout rolled his hips forward, spike poking at Getaway’s energon sacs, rutting over and against them, leaving smears of fluid behind. “No thanks. I’d rather enjoy these instead.”

Getaway squirmed, vents coming in eager pants, both horror and lust. He felt Equalizer’s hands on his hips, too tight, too hard, too willing to dent. He felt the width of Equalizer between his thighs, and the blunt head of Equalizer’s spike against his aft port, prodding and prodding, threatening to impale.

Fallout was hot and heavy above him, eager and sloppy as he squeezed and fondled, as he thrust between the valley of Getaway’s sacs and squeezed his spike between them. His thumbs swept over the peaked nozzles, and a wave of pleasure made Getaway’s head spin. It was almost enough to distract him from the sudden burn in his aft as Equalizer plunged into him, spike a spear that filled him in a single thrust.

Getaway grunted, backstrut arching as little as he was able with Fallout on top of him. His shoulders ached, wrists strained.

Equalizer pumped into him, a steady, quick pace. His hands slid to Getaway’s thighs, urging his legs around Equalizer’s waist as he leaned forward, higher and higher, until Getaway was tilted and Fallout found it easier to frag his energon sacs. Fallout’s spike plunged between them, tip painting Getaway’s lips with pre-fluid again and again.

Lore seemed content to observe, while the disgusting-oil of his presence continued to manipulate Getaway’s processor, pushing more and more arousal at him, until his valve clenched on nothing, his spike throbbed, and his aft tightened around Equalizer’s spike. Even more so when Equalizer shifted one hand to molesting Getaway’s valve, stroking his rim and his external nodes, making heat blossom in Getaway’s groin.

Getaway’s frame moved, twitching and rolling with the stimulation. He began to meet Equalizer’s thrusts. He rocked up against Fallout’s spike, and the squeeze of Fallout’s hands, and the occasional pinch of his nozzles by Lore’s fingertips. Each touch was another shock of pleasure, another buzz of need in his lines.

He overloaded again, with a bitten off sound, lubricant spilling from his valve, his vents roaring. Purge threatened to rise, until Lore forced it down, smoothing over the disgust and chasing it away with waves of extended ecstasy.

Someone laughed. In the haze, Getaway wasn’t sure who.

“Little spy is made for fragging, isn’t he?”

“He’s overloaded twice already.”

“Probably bends over for anyone even without the creds.”

Laughter surrounded him. Getaway tried to growl, but all that came out of his intake was a moan, one desperate and needy, the result of Lore’s manipulation and entirely false.

A sharp burst of pain radiated through his groin. It took Getaway too long to realize it was because Equalizer had slapped his spike, and then roughly pinched the tip of it. There was no gentleness in that mech, only the urge to cause pain.

“Here.” Movement in his peripheral vision and a greedy voice forced Getaway to sharpen his senses.

Cork moved into view, a contraption of straps and metal dangling from his fingers. He grinned, all denta, as he handed it over to Lore.

“Put this on ‘im,” Cork said with a lascivious look down at Getaway. “Every pretty pet needs a pretty accessory, eh?”

Lore laughed. Equalizer paused in his fragging and even Fallout stilled as they watched the tangle of straps hover over Getaway’s face. Lore’s fingers untangled it, loops and coils of metal mesh unrecognizable.

At least, until Lore started to fit it over Getaway’s face. He recognized it for what it was then, as the wide, metal ring was forced into his mouth and lodged behind his denta. The straps wound around his face, cinching tight at the back of his head. He tried to turn his head, to make it difficult, but there were more hands to keep him still than he could fight and soon his mouth was stretched wide by the gag.

“Better,” Fallout purred as he started to thrust again, hands squeezing Getaway’s sacs, his spike prodding between them, bumping against the stretch of Getaway’s lips around the gag.

Equalizer started to move again, shoving hard and deep into Getaway’s aft, the slap of metal on metal harsh and obscene. He muttered curses, occasionally pausing to smack Getaway’s valve and anterior node with the flat of his palm, making Getaway jolt. It should have been painful, startling, enough to wilt his arousal. But Lore’s lingering infestation turned it all into liquid pleasure, until Getaway was moaning, unable to conceal the noises with his mouth forced open.

Fallout panted, mouth slack, optics glazed. He squeezed Getaway’s energon sacs until the metalmesh threatened to split. He rode them harder and faster, spike spearing between them, jabbing at Getaway’s mouth, until he abruptly curled inward and overloaded, transfluid splattering everywhere. It painted Getaway’s sacs in thick stripes, and coated his face, stray drops landing in his open mouth and on his glossa.

Where was his damn team? Getaway raged inwardly, shame and disgust spilling together as Fallout humped the last of his arousal against Getaway’s sacs. As he rose up, depressurizing spike hanging limp, free hand gathering up globs of his transfluid and smearing it over Getaway’s mouth and cheeks.

Getaway tried to tune it out. He focused inward, on the tenuous connection to his team, still transmitting. By Primus it was still transmitting. Sights. Sounds. Sensations. They could see and hear everything. They were witness to this humiliation as much as that camera was, recording it for prosecution’s sake.

Nausea roiled in Getaway’s tanks. He groaned.

“Someone take over so I can have a turn,” a dull voice said through the haze. Playback maybe. The only one who managed to sound bored while filming a gang rape.

“Wait until I’m done,” Equalizer grunted before he pulled out and gripped Getaway’s hips. “Flip him over, Lore. I want to pound his aft.”

“And I want his mouth,” someone else whined. Cork, Getaway thought.

Did it really matter?

Hands snatched Getaway’s frame. His processor spun as he was lifted, turned over onto his belly without a care for his comfort, sacs squished against the berth, hands still bound behind him. Staticky vision gave him a brief look at the mech still cabled to him – Lore was solid blue with garish green and gold stripes highlighting the blocky angles of his frame. He looked familiar, though Getaway couldn’t place where, and the lack of identifiable kibble suggested he was a monoformer.

Then orange and white moved back into his field of vision, directly in front of him. Cork knelt on the berth, his hand around the base of his spike – garishly orange with thin white swirls that made Getaway dizzy just to look at. Cork moved closer, eagerly clumsy, one hand gripping Getaway’s head, the other guiding his spike to Getaway’s mouth.

“This is my favorite part,” Cork panted as the head of his spike slipped through the ring of the gag and he released his grip on the length, revealing that there was an odd roundness to the base of his spike. It swelled outward, not so much that it wouldn’t get through the ring gag, but enough to be noticeable.

Getaway hoped that bump wasn’t what he thought it was. He’d heard of those mods, but he’d never seen anyone with one.

Cork probably meant to fill Getaway’s mouth slowly, but Equalizer suddenly started to frag him in earnest, plunging into Getaway’s aft with quick, deep strokes. He fragged Getaway like he was desperate for overload, his hands clenching tight enough to leave dents, his hips banging against Getaway’s aft, and shoving him forward, onto Cork’s spike.

Cork gripped Getaway’s head with both hands. “Frag him softer, damn it,” he whined as he eased back, trying to keep to his own pace. “You’re messing up my plans.”

“Shut it, Cork,” Equalizer panted and slammed into Getaway, hard enough for the clang of metal on metal to echo. “I’m doing this… my way.”

Equalizer grunted, spike rasping a searing path through Getaway’s port, scraping over his nodes, and then he slammed against Getaway’s aft seconds before he felt the hot flood of transfluid inside his port. A strangled noise, the bastard sparkling of a moan and a gurgle, escaped Equalizer as he pumped his hips, spurt after spurt of transfluid filling Getaway’s aft, until Equalizer abruptly jerked back and out. The last spray painted Getaway’s aft, and Equalizer’s palm slapped over it.

“Thanks for the ride,” he said.

“Damn it, Equalizer, take over for me,” someone else snapped.

Equalizer grumbled, but the rest of the conversation was lost as Getaway’s attention was tugged back toward Cork and the orange spike invading his mouth. Cork thrust into him deeper now, the head of his spike nudging the back of Getaway’s intake. He rocked slowly, as though he had all the time in the world, filling Getaway’s mouth with the taste of him.

“Playback’s gentler at least,” Cork said, his optics dazed, fingers stroking Getaway’s head in a parody of affection. “Means I can take my time with ya.”

Getaway would have offered a snarky comment, had his mouth been unoccupied, but all he managed was a terrible moan as Lore ramped up the false pleasure and a spike suddenly pushed into his valve, much thicker than all the others, but smooth at least. This, he assumed, was Playback, who filled every inch of Getaway, grinding over nodes with ease.

Playback set up a quick, efficient pace, like he only wanted to overload because he was aroused and it was troublesome. His vents came in sharp, stuttered bursts, his grip on Getaway’s hips perfunctory.

Cork chuckled and started fragging Getaway’s mouth slowly, spikehead brushing the back of Getaway’s intake opposite of the rhythm of Playback grinding on Getaway’s ceiling node. There was never a moment Getaway wasn’t filled, and this parody of a lover’s embrace made nausea roil in his tanks, for all that pleasure seared through his lines and made his valve throb.

“Let’s see if we can’t ramp up the tension, shall we?” Lore purred from somewhere in Getaway’s peripheral vision, and then those ghostly fingers slipped through Getaway’s processor, tugging on command lines.

Getaway groaned as his spike throbbed harder at Lore’s command, spilling more pre-fluid until it came in a steady trickle. It bobbed at the apex of his thighs, swaying to the rhythm of Cork and Playback fragging him. He was desperate, in that moment, for someone to touch his spike, and he started to hump the berth, eager for stimulation.

“Nice work,” Playback said as he ground against Getaway’s aft, and then hands circled Getaway’s spike, pumping him in long squeezes that forced out beads of transfluid.

His frame trembled. Cork pumped harder into his mouth, one hand curling around the back of Getaway’s head to push him against Cork’s groin, until his nasal ridge brushed bright orange armor. Cork’s spike slid down his intake, forcing Getaway to shift to secondary venting.

“This is going… to be… so good,” Cork panted as he ground against Getaway’s face, little jerks of his hips that barely counted as thrusts.

His spike throbbed, and Getaway’s internal sensors registered spurts of transfluid sliding down his intake. He dared think of relief, that Cork was done now and would leave him in peace. Surely his team would be here soon. Surely.

But then the base of Cork’s spike started to swell. Slow and barely noticeable at first, until Getaway’s glossa felt the pressure against it. His mouth opened wider, jaw aching, as the base of the spike swelled and swelled, forming a ball-like knot which prevented Cork from pulling out.

Cork laughed and held Getaway’s head tightly, jerking it against his groin one last time, fully seating his spike in Getaway’s mouth. It hurt. It was humiliating. It was exactly the mod Getaway feared Cork had.

The swelling – the knot – continued, pinning his glossa inside his mouth, straining the limits of his jaw, choking him. The spike remained in his intake, purge protocols rippling in struggle to remove it, and beeping obnoxiously as they failed. His jaw hinge stung, then ached, then sent lancing waves of pain through his mouth, until Lore’s ghostly fingers wisped them away, tangling them into the false pleasure.

Getaway whimpered.

His tormentors laughed.

Cork released his hold on Getaway’s head, now that Getaway couldn’t pull back. He reached down, pinched Getaway’s nose, cutting off what little air supply he could gulp down, forcing him to rely on his lateral vents. Playback fragged into him harder, tugging him back and dragging Cork’s spike with him. His intake ached, scraped raw.

Dizziness attacked from all angles. Pleasure spun through his lines, wild with charge. The hand on his spike was the best sensation of it all, fingers teasing his transfluid slid and pumping him expertly, drawing out the first vestige of real pleasure, to go with the false ecstasy Lore fed him.

More transfluid spurted into his mouth. It slid down his intake, into his tanks. He couldn’t taste it, a small favor, but he could feel it seeping through his intake. His tanks roiled with disgust. Cork laughed, his amusement flavored with lust, his spike pulsing against Getaway’s glossa.

Pleasure built inside of him nonetheless. His valve rippled around Playback’s spike, siphoning charge from the mech’s nodes. His spike throbbed eagerly, pre-fluid making for a slick stroke.

Overload struck him like an attack, it hurt as much as it felt good. It sent static over his armor, made his valve clamp tight, and his spike spurt a load into the fist of whoever was stroking him. Lore’s manipulations ramped up the pleasure, making Getaway’s armor gape, his engines rev, his field scream need, but they couldn’t completely hide the disgust in his field either.

“Oh, that’s delicious,” Lore purred.

Cork’s hand stroked around Getaway’s head as he circled his hips, venting bursts of heat down against Getaway’s face. “You’ve a talent for breakin’ ‘em, Lore.”

“That I do.”

Playback grunted and slammed into Getaway, hips making little jerks as he abruptly overloaded, spilling his load inside of Getaway’s valve, joining the mess his companions left behind. Like all else, Playback was perfunctory. He didn’t linger, withdrawing as soon as the pleasure had passed.

He pulled out, presumably to go back to his camera. Getaway’s bared components twitched at the brush of cooler air against his raw and exposed array. His valve lips twitched. His aft rim contracted around nothing. He felt hot and sticky, dirty.

Someone was quick to take his place, their hand smacking across Getaway’s aft in a harsh meet of metal on metal. The strike was jarring, and it stung. Getaway jerked, his mouth tugging on Cork’s spike, and to his relief, the knot which seemed to have shrank just a little.

They struck him again, open-handed palms, first one aft plate and then the other. Whoever it was vented hotly and loudly. Getaway’s frame jolted. To move backward would tug on Cork’s spike and put him closer to the pain. To move forward would have him crawling into Cork’s lap.

There was nowhere to go.

He checked, again, the link to his team. It held dead air – they couldn’t contact him. But it was active. Transmitting. How long had it been? He didn’t even know.

Where were they?

The mech behind him smacked his ass again, hard enough to leave a dent, for a cry of pain to be muffled by Cork’s spike before it abruptly slipped free. The knot popped past the gag ring, and Getaway’s lips, leaving a trail of transfluid in its wake.

Getaway’s intake immediately rebelled, sending him into a coughing fit, his tanks squeezing as they sought to purge, but Lore’s manipulations refused to initiate the protocols. Getaway coughed, flecks of transfluid dribbling from the corner of his mouth, a low and broken moan wreathed in static surrounding it.

“That’s a good look for you, spy.” Cork flicked Getaway’s forehead and sat back on his heels, spike hanging limp, knot still partially inflated. “Make sure you get a close up, Playback. You know they like to pay big money for coppers like this getting it good.”

Getaway dredged up a glare, but his vocalizer only spat static. His shoulders ached; his hands formed fists behind his back. His processor spun.

No, that was the room. The berth? No, they’d flipped him onto his back, his strut arched, energon sacs swaying and bobbing on his chest. It was Fallout between his legs, pushing into his aft without abandon, a look of crazed desire on his face. He licked his lips as he thrust, and his hands found Getaway’s sacs, giving them a squeeze, hard enough to force a squeak of pain.

Getaway squirmed, tried to wriggle backward on the berth, but Cork leaned over him, putting his hands on Getaway’s shoulders. He grinned as his half-pressurized spike kept slapping the side of Getaway’s face.

There was no getting away from Fallout’s vicious fragging. He plunged into Getaway’s aft with abandon, his hands squeezing and gripping Getaway’s sacs without pause. But that wasn’t enough for him, because he started slapping them, watching them jiggle. His fingers found Getaway’s nozzles and pinched them hard, as if he intended to rip them off.

Pain lanced through Getaway’s frame. His back arched in a soundless scream, an icy fire racing outward from the point of contact. Fallout pinched and tugged, and it was if someone had taken a branding iron to the nozzles.

Until the lancing pain turned to liquid pleasure. Until the ebb of Lore’s connection to him turned into a blinding wave all over again. Getaway stopped trying to twist away from the slaps. He started wriggling toward them, angling his frame to be better struck, all without his permission. He whined like a mechanimal desperate to breed. His valve clenched on nothing, and wept lubricant out of desperation. His spike thickened again, seeping pre-fluid, throbbing for touch.

Fallout overloaded quickly, his transfluid searing over Getaway’s bruised sensors. Or maybe he overloaded slowly, and he’d been fragging forever. Getaway wasn’t sure anymore. Awareness started to dim, fluctuating wildly between pain and pleasure, another overload whiting out sensation until he crashed back into the swollen, hot, aching thing that was his frame.

Fallout pulled out and someone else took his place. Someone who flipped Getaway back onto his belly, face and energon sacs smashed into the berth.

“My turn,” Lore growled, and shoved into Getaway’s valve, his spike modded with ridges and bumps and nubs that rasped over Getaway’s lining despite the mixture of fluids inside of him. It burned and tore and Getaway gasped, going limp.

Or maybe he went limp because Lore still had fingers in his processor and was still turning his thoughts to mush. He wanted to fight, wanted to scream and curse and squirm. But he kept melting and pushing back toward Lore, demanding more of the agony.

Lore laughed, something dark and rasping. He slid a hand around Getaway’s frame, up his body, fingers wrapping around Getaway’s intake. The other arm curled around Getaway’s waist, pulling him back and up. The pressure on his intake made his processor glitch, and he swore he tasted Cork’s transfluid again.

Overload hovered on the edge. His energon sacs swayed and bobbed from the force of Lore’s thrusts. He felt the heaviness of the others watching. The weight of the camera recording. Lore’s spike dragged over his nodes, demanding Getaway’s pleasure, as did the heavy touch on his processor, fingers deep in his pleasure center.

Ecstasy struck him with a garbled, pained sound. A dying noise. Getaway’s vision spun, his fans roaring to dispel heat and useless for it.

Lore laughed again, menacing this time, the tips of his fingers pressing in on Getaway’s intake. “And now,” he murmured against Getaway’s audial. “I really get to have my fun.”

Cold, icier than space, scraped down Getaway’s spinal strut. His spark dropped into his belly as every spark of pleasure in his frame abruptly turned to fear. Dark, drowning terror. He screamed as if someone held a blade to his spark, as if he stood on the precipice of a smelter’s pit, as if someone held his brain module in their teeth.

It wasn’t until he tasted smoke on his glossa that he realized he was screaming and shouting for them to “stop, stop, stop” and “help, help, help” and they were laughing and Lore was fragging him, his fingers getting tighter and tighter. Getaway felt like he were falling into an abyss, no berth beneath him, nothing but the hot, stinging burn of Lore’s spike in his valve, and the threat of a grip on his intake.

Snuff is worth everything on the black market, a small part of Getaway’s conscious reminded him. The logical part that tracked all of these horrible threats to society and made sure they were ended. The work that he did with his team was important for this very reason.

His team.

They must have forgotten him. They couldn’t find him. They wouldn’t find him. It was late. Too late.

Getaway moaned, and there was nothing of pleasure in it. His world was spinning, a sea of agony.

Lore fragged him harder, pounding into him, as though he sought to drive Getaway through the berth. His grip on Getaway’s neck tightened, and the cable connecting them spilled Lore’s commands faster and faster. Pain, pleasure, terror, Getaway couldn’t distinguish any of it. His processor floated, and he felt removed from it all, unable to gasp for a ventilation or notice anything beyond the sensation.

White-hot agony burst through Getaway’s head. He shrieked, thrashing, as Lore’s connection abruptly disengaged, leaving him staggering with control of his frame suddenly his again. His senses exploded: sight, sound, sensation.

His valve burned, his aft port on fire. His shoulders screamed for mercy. His energon sacs throbbed. He heard shouting, the discharge of weaponry, felt the startled bursts of multiple fields, and somewhere in the mess, something familiar. The warming touch of his partner.

His team.

Relief struck. Getaway dropped onto the berth, face-first, and didn’t have the energy to roll over onto his side.

“Getaway!” That was Jazz, shouting his name. “Slaggit, grab him!”

Hands on his frame, turning him. The world a blur of colors and agony and shame. He tasted energon, realizing he’d bit his glossa.

“Damn, partner. Look at you.” Skids’ voice, his face a blur to Getaway’s optics. “Can you hear me? Getaway? Getaway!”

~

“Getaway?”

He snapped out of the memory with a little shudder, one he was too slow to hide. He thanked Primus he’d decided to make his mouthplate permanent after that disaster of a mission. It meant he didn’t have a grimace to conceal.

“Sorry, mechs, got a little lost in thought.” Getaway rolled his shoulders, projecting ease toward his companions. “What was the question?”

Skids gave him a look, like he was trying to piece something together, but given his limited memories, only had a few snippets of it. Lucky for him. Lucky he didn’t have to remember that mission gone horribly wrong. It should have never come to that, the video which still made it onto the darknet, no matter how vigorously they tried tracking it.

Keystroke, however, just laughed and leaned forward, the garish orange highlights of his frame hearkening back to a memory Getaway would have rather soon forgot. “We asked if you were interested in joining us tonight. For a little wet and wild fun.” He winked, mouth stretched wide in a grin.

Beside him, Atomizer leaned back in his chair, one foot braced against the table’s edge. “I don’t know about the wild part, but fun is definitely on the table.” Lust radiated off him in waves.

It made Getaway’s tanks churn. Keystroke’s propensity for group bouts of interfacing, interconnecting cables and nights spent drowning in ecstasy, were starting to become something of a weekly occurrence on the Lost Light. He propositioned anyone and everyone and while they were perfect for letting off steam without worrying about unnecessary attachments… Getaway wanted nothing to do with being bared like that in a room with more than one mech.

“Fun,” Getaway echoed, and lifted his shoulders in what he hoped was a shrug. “Appreciate the offer, but no thanks.”

“Awww, that’s too bad. I hear your kind has all the best moves.” Keystroke grinned and winked, lascivious as always. “If you change your mind, you know where to find us.”

‘Your kind.’ Getaway knew what Keystroke meant, but his processor drifted to that disaster of a mission nevertheless. He still had the mounts for the energon sacs built into his frame, though the mesh pouches were not attached.

He hadn’t worn them since. He’d outright refused. And for once, Prowl had not pushed. The next mission of similar design had been Jazz’s. He’d been lucky. It had gone off without a hitch. No humiliating vids on the darknet to ruin him.

Getaway fidgeted with his engex, straw bobbing up in the glass. “Yeah. I do.”

Keystroke and Atomizer got up from the table, jostling each other as they moved to join another couple of mechs, presumably for the wild orgy they intended to have. In their absence, Skids slid closer to Getaway, a small frown on his lips.

“You okay?”

Getaway flashed calm into his field. “Why wouldn’t I be?” he asked, and took a sip of his engex through the intake valve, something no spike would ever enter again. It wasn’t like Skids could remember why he’d be uncomfortable anyway.

Or that Getaway had confessed to him once, months after the mission, that he still felt Lore inside him sometimes, turning pain to pleasure, making him aroused when he was afraid, and he loathed it so much. Like an itch he couldn’t scratch, an infection he couldn’t cure.

“Everything’s just fine,” Getaway lied.

It was getting easier every day.

[CtE] Full of Yourself 02

His berth kept twitching and rumbling beneath him, not quite as at rest as it should be, Starscream remarked with poorly concealed amusement. Then again, he was equally to blame, as his wings kept pushing into broad strokes, demanding more and more of the soft, soothing pets. Grimlock’s hands were made of magic sometimes, even if his attention was a little half-sparked at best, most of his processing power consumed by the datapad in his other hand.

Reports, likely. Or maybe he was pretending to catch up on his work and was actually reading one of the adventure datanovels unearthed from the bowels of a collapsed library. The wing-petting was likely automatic then, though it warmed Starscream from the inside out and sent a low buzz to his interface array.

It didn’t help that he was sprawled on top of his much larger mate, the resting rumble of Grimlock’s engine against his cockpit and straight to his spark. Grimlock ran several degrees hotter than Starscream, and that warmth had seeped through his armor to the cables beneath. It would be relaxing, were it not for the sweep, stroke, tweak motion of Grimlock’s hand on his wings.

Starscream wriggled. He started to move into the pets, backstrut arching, legs shifting restlessly, turbines spinning with a quiet click, click, click. His own datapad fell from slack fingers, interest in the scientific text forgotten. A purr rose in his intake as he squirmed on top of Grimlock, their armor sliding together in a chirr of metal on metal.

He felt the heat of Grimlock’s gaze shift to him, interest in his datapad melting away. Starscream smirked to himself and stirred a bit more, wing pushing up into Grimlock’s hand, his aft wiggling, one leg sliding over Grimlock’s thigh.

“You know,” Starscream purred as he lounged and squirmed just enough to straddle Grimlock’s belly, the heat of his array pressed over his mate’s abdominal vents. “Thundercracker is on shift now, and Cyclonus takes over after that. I believe that means we have what could be considered free time.” He curled his fingers into armor seams, the tips of his talons caressing the cables beneath.

Amusement rumbled in Grimlock’s chassis, vibrating against Starscream’s fingers. “Is that so?” His visor lit with interest, datapad falling by the wayside. “You look like you have something in mind.”

Starscream rolled his hips, grinding down against Grimlock’s belly, heat in his array building to a hungry want. It was rare they shared two off-shifts back to back, rare he could indulge. He knew what he wanted. He knew he wouldn’t even have to beg for it. All he had to do was ask.

He leaned forward, knees pressing in against Grimlock’s sides, wings pushing into the caress of Grimlock’s hand. “Knot me,” he murmured and swept his glossa over his lips, biting back a smirk as Grimlock’s visor tracked the motion of it.

He wasn’t entirely sure that counted as a request. Not when it emerged more as a demand, and a desperate one at that.

But Grimlock’s field surged, hot and hungry. One hand slid from Starscream’s wing to his aft, fingers stroking the curve of it. “You sure?”

Starscream’s spark fluttered. There was something about the single question, the constant need for permission and reassurance, that made his arousal blaze and the affection he felt for his mate deepen and settle in every inch of his frame.

He leaned forward, draped himself over Grimlock’s chest, finding the edge of Grimlock’s mouthplate with his denta. “Someday, you’ll realize I mean what I say and stop asking me that,” he murmured.

Grimlock’s hand curved around his aft and further down, fingers slipping between his thighs to rub over Starscream’s valve panel. He graciously allowed it to spiral open, letting Grimlock slip a finger into him, the thick digit stirring through lubricant to tease the sensory nodes decorating the metal mesh. Starscream moaned and kneaded at his chest, hips sinking down onto the single finger, his valve cycling tight and milking it for more.

“Never.” Grimlock slipped in a second finger, lubricant rolling thick and slick over the digits, making wet noises.

Starscream sucked in a sharp ventilation, heat winding a thready path through his lines. He ground against Grimlock’s chassis, spike throbbing in its sheath, valve hungry and willing, clenching around Grimlock’s fingers. Their fields intertwined, hot and heavy, pulsing to the same needy beat. A moan caught in Starscream’s intake, threatening to spill out.

Grimlock tweaked an aileron, making Starscream shiver. “Want to stay on top or…?” He trailed off, leaving all of the choices to Starscream, as he so often did.

“Mmm, no.” Starscream draped himself over Grimlock’s chassis, languid and aroused, lips curving into a pleased smirk. Want yawed inside of him, processor supplying naughty images that made his energon boil. “I want you to transform for me.”

Grimlock’s engine roared, as Starscream knew it would. His hand tightened on the edge of Starscream’s wing. His fingers pushed deep into Starscream, knuckles grinding on his valve rim, and heat rose up from his groin like a needy inferno.

Starscream hummed a laugh. “I thought you might like that.” He knew how much his trust meant to Grimlock, because Grimlock knew how hard it was for Starscream to give it. Trusting Grimlock in his alt-mode, so much larger, primal, terrifying, was worth thrice as much.

Starscream’s glossa swept over his lips. He pushed himself upright and leaned back into the cradle of Grimlock’s hand, trailing fingers down the front of his chassis to plunge them between his thighs. He toyed with his anterior node, fingers slippery with lubricant and sending pleasure radiating through his array.

“Knot me, my lord,” Starscream purred, fixing Grimlock with a heated look, slipping another finger into his valve, beside the two Grimlock had offered. “Until you’ve given me every drop.”

Grimlock’s visor flashed, and he growled. He surged upward, strong hands gripping Starscream and turning him onto his front on the berth, sliding three fingers into Starscream all at once, pushing deep to stroke his throbbing ceiling node. Starscream moaned and bucked onto the fingers, knees digging into the berth, fingers tangling in the covers.

The heavy mass of his mate settled over him, the front of Grimlock’s thighs rubbing against the back of Starscream’s, Grimlock’s engine revving a heavy vibration against Starscream’s wings. His mate’s hot vents blasted down through his seams, and Grimlock’s fingers rubbed and curled against sparking nodes.

“I thought you might enjoy that,” Starscream gasped as Grimlock’s palm ground against his rim, a heavy pressure on both his upper and lower external nodes. The tiny nubs throbbed with need, swollen and hungry. Lubricant slopped out of his valve, sticky on Grimlock’s fingers, painting the back of his thighs.

“You are a menace,” Grimlock growled, the hunger in his vocals as evident as the need buzzing through his field, and the way he carefully added a fourth massive finger, stretching the limits of Starscream’s valve.

“I thought that was what you liked about me.” Starscream gasped a laugh and kneaded the berth, knees rocking against it to push harder onto those fingers. It was not quite enough anymore, not now that he’d felt the swell of Grimlock’s spike, and more than that, the stretch of his knot.

Starscream hummed deep in his intake. “Transform, my lord,” he said, knowing how much it revved Grimlock to hear the title. “My valve could use some oral attention first.” He spread his knees further, completely baring himself, wisps of air caressing his valve where Grimlock’s fingers left him.

“Your wish is my command.” Grimlock pressed his head to the side of Starscream’s, his hands a caress against Starscream’s sides before he pulled back, sliding off the berth.

His hands tracked down to Starscream’s hips, pulling him nearer to the edge of the berth, all the better to give him easy access. He palmed Starscream’s aft, thumbs sliding down to bracket Starscream’s valve, giving it a brush. Grimlock rumbled again, and Starscream smirked over his shoulder, watching lust darken Grimlock’s visor, and a spill of charge dance bright-blue over his armor.

Grimlock stepped back from the berth, and his field rippled with hunger seconds before he transformed, his alt-mode towering over the berth and Starscream. Anticipation sent shivers through Starscream’s plating even as he pressed his forehead to the berth and pushed his aft up.

Then there was a snout between his legs, nosing between his thighs, the glossa following, big and thick and wet. It lapped at his valve, caressed his nodes, and more pleasure radiated outward, turning Starscream’s cables to liquid. He buried his face in the berth cover, knees wriggling as wide as he could manage, hips rocking back toward Grimlock’s eager licks.

Front nub to valve fold to lower nub and back again, lubricants mingling and turning him into a dripping mess. Starscream quivered, his valve swelling and hot, pleasure building to a fine throb in his array. He writhed, berth covers ripping beneath his talons, balancing on the precipice of overload. He pushed back against Grimlock, into the plunge of a thick glossa over his valve and the delicate scrape of massive denta.

“That’s– that’s good,’ Starscream gasped out as his aft rocked and his entire frame trembled. “You can… frag me now.”

A growl rumbled in the back of Grimlock’s intake, sounding both smug and hungry. The flat of his glossa laved Starscream’s valve again before he drew back, glossa sweeping over the lubricants painting his snout. His forearms, stunted though they were, patted Starscream’s aft and a following click was barely audible over the combined roar of their cooling fans.

Starscream moaned as he felt the heavy, blunt weight of Grimlock’s spike nudge his aft and the back of his thighs. The dripping tip left streaks of pre-fluid over his armor, painting it in lurid streaks. Grimlock rolled his hips, but in alt-mode, the angle was too awkward for a proper thrust.

He would need help.

Starscream dropped his weight onto his cockpit and reached down, back between his thighs, fingers curling around the bulbous tip of Grimlock’s spike. His mate shivered, releasing a low growl, especially as Starscream guided the dinobot’s spike to his valve, the thick head of it grinding against his rim. As thick as three fingers and ringed with tiny sensor nodes, Grimlock’s spike was a marvel.

Starscream shuddered as he imagined how it felt to pierce him. His lubricant painted the tip, already dribbling with pre-fluid. Grimlock thrust into his grip, grinding against Starscream’s rim and exciting the ring of tiny nodes.

Awkward though the angle might be, Starscream flirted his fingers up and down the length of Grimlock’s spike, ignoring the ridges and bumps, teasing his mate. Grimlock rumbled, venting hot puffs down over Starscream’s frame, his field pushing at Starscream in silent demand to move faster.

Starscream gnawed on his bottom lip. “Now who’s the impatient one?” he asked as Grimlock thrust into his hand again, grinding on the rim of Starscream’s valve.

“You’re being a tease,” Grimlock rumbled.

Starscream barked a laugh and braced his weight on one arm. He guided the tip of Grimlock’s spike to his valve and rocked backward, the head of it parting the pleats of his rim and sinking into his valve. Starscream moaned as pleasure radiated outward, his fingers abandoning Grimlock’s spike to brace himself with both hands now. His knees went weak, wings sinking against his back, as his valve rippled, dangerously close to overload once more.

Grimlock’s engine sent a heavy growl that vibrated them both. His feet braced on the floor before he rolled his hips forward, thrusting deeper into Starscream, half of his spike filling Starscream by the second thrust. Starscream growled and pawed at the berth, blindly shoving back with his knees as Grimlock rocked forward and bottomed out on another thrust, the head of his spike grinding over Starscream’s ceiling node.

Overload shattered through his system. His valve rippled and clenched around Grimlock’s spike, spilling charge into the receptor nodes as it crawled over his armor. Starscream moaned, the berth covers torn by his talons, pleasure spiking through his lines in wave after wave of ecstasy.

Grimlock waited, lingering in Starscream’s valve, frame trembling from the effort of holding himself back, ex-vents scorching where they buffeted Starscream’s frame.

“Good?” he rumbled, vocals rough and tantalizing in Starscream’s audials, making him shiver all over again.

“Always.” Starscream panted, his valve twitching as it fed off the charge in Grimlock’s spike. “Keep going.”

“You’re sure?” Grimlock asked, though his hips moved in a single thrust, rocking Starscream on the berth, stimulating his internal nodes through the thickness of his spike alone.

Starscream moaned. It was all the answer he could manage, through the pleasure sparking in his lines and throbbing in his spark.

Grimlock rumbled at him, field a hot and heavy stroke down the length of Starscream’s. And then he thrust, hard enough to push Starscream a bit further up the berth, his knees tangling in the covers. Starscream moaned again and shoved back, rocking the heavy length inside of him, his aft meeting the armoring of Grimlock’s abdomen. Rhythm soon followed, Grimlock making aborted little thrusts, dragging the nodes of his spike against the crackle-snap of Starscream’s valve.

“F-fill me,” Starscream stuttered, his vocals caught with static, his oral vents coming in sharp pants as his cooling fans roared. He was lost to the rhythm, the press of Grimlock’s spike, the way it ground deep inside of him, building his arousal to new heights.

Grimlock growled, a primal sound, and thrust into him again, shoving Starscream further up the berth. The first hot flush of transfluid spurted into Starscream’s valve, and he felt the swelling at his rim, minute at first, as it always was. Grimlock’s rhythm stuttered, less cadenced and more like desperate humping, the smack of his frame against Starscream’s aft, and the spurt of his spike, hot transfluid washing over Starsream’s nodes.

The knot swelled more with every thrust, filling and filling despite every spurt of searing transfluid, making Starscream twitch and writhe. His awareness narrowed down to a pinpoint, to the ecstasy building in his valve, making him tremble. Grimlock’s spike rasped in and out of his valve, raking over his sensor nodes, until at least, the knot was too large to be removed, and it passed by Starscream’s rim and was trapped within.

Starscream’s mod, only once tested before, contracted immediately. It tightened behind the knot, keeping it within his valve, the bulbous mass of it grinding against the ring of nodes behind Starscream’s rim. He moaned, going limp, as the knot swelled and transfluid filled his valve, stretching the lining, his calipers, straining the limits.

Grimlock sank against him, hips still working in tiny jerks, transfluid filling Starscream’s valve in steady spurts. The pressure built inside of him, the flood of transfluid rushing over Starscream’s nodes, and the tiny opening at the back of his valve, the one that led to his modded overflow tank. It bowed inward at the pressure, until it hit critical and the safety mechanism kicked in, the opening cycling open.

Transfluid rushed into it, sliding over previously untouched sensors along the way. Starscream writhed on Grimlock’s spike, panting as Grimlock spurted more and faster, filling his tank as fast as Starscream’s valve emptied into it.

Grimlock leaned harder against him, mass pinning Starscream’s frame down, his field winding around Starscream and stroking him with intangible fingers. “I love this mod,” he growled.

Starscream couldn’t hide the waves of self-satisfaction in his field. “I seem to remember saying the same thing about yours,” he gasped out as he went completely limp, his frame at Grimlock’s mercy and wracked with pleasure.

Heat crackled through his sensory lines, and his spark whirled and flared with oncoming overload. He was pinned and impaled, helpless almost, and if it weren’t for the trust flooding his spark, he’d have been afraid. But all he felt was arousal.

He deliberately clenched his valve, sending a ripple through the fluids filling him. His calipers strained and fluttered, the shift of pressure like a stroke to his charged internal nodes. More charge crackled between Grimlock’s spike and Starscream’s valve, nodes exchanging energy at a rapid pace.

“I don’t mod myself for just anyone, you know,” Starscream added as the overflow tank started a register its fullness, nearing maximum capacity, the heaviness of it pushing at Starscream’s internals, causing the gaps in his abdominal plating to widen and bulge.

Grimlock rumbled a laugh at him, his tone heavy with arousal. He rocked against Starscream, making his entire frame sway on the berth, the knot so firmly trapped within him that it ground against the interior of Starscream’s rim. It swelled and swelled with every pulse of transfluid, until Starscream’s overlow tank and valve both strained and could hold no more. Not even the rocking of their frames allowed the fluid to budge and Starscream trembled at the sensation.

He pressed his forehead to the berth and panted, claws curled into the cover, rending tears that would have to be mended again. The pressure was intense, delicious, like a constant press on internal nodes no finger could reach, and a spike only rarely.

Grimlock’s engine rumbled. One foot pawed the ground; Starscream could hear the talon scraping the polished metal. Grimlock leaned forward, over Starscream, the weight of him hot and present and arousing. The shift made for the slightest change in angle, nearly minute, except that the head of his spike now ground against a different node.

Pleasure sparked sharp and vivid through Starscream’s array, so startling that it sent him sailing into overload, a low wail escaping his intake. He squirmed, the tightening rim of his modification massaging Grimlock’s knot and milking it. Starscream sagged, panting, a twitch in his lower half.

A glossa swept over the back of his wings, hot and wet. Denta scraped delicately in its wake, and Starscream shivered again. Grimlock growled, the vibrations carrying against Starscream’s wings, as his mate’s spike pulsed in his valve, the knot throbbing to the same rhythm. Grimlock didn’t thrust so much as he lingered, savoring the press and clench of Starscream’s valve around his spike.

Starscream hummed and slipped a hand beneath himself, fingers gathering up lubricant and sliding over his own anterior node. It was plump and throbbing to the touch, eager for stimulation. Starscream gritted his denta, pinching and rolling the tiny tub, little zaps of charge dancing through his valve. Grimlock rocked hard against him, grinding on the outside of his rim, a press of plating on his lower node, and Starscream shuddered.

Overload pulsed through his system all over again, a long, slow wave of bliss that stole his vents. Starscream whimpered with delight as his valve rippled, sending charge racing through the fluid filling him, licking at Grimlock’s spike. His mate growled, low and deep and guttural, and a thick, hot jet of transfluid erupted from his spike, the last of it.

Starscream sighed a moan and slumped into the berth. His valve continued to twitch around Grimlock’s spike, milking the knot to encourage it to shrink. He cupped his abdomen, feeling the bulge of the overflow tank pushing at his plating. It bowed visibly outward, and while that should make him feel ashamed, or ridiculous, it didn’t. Instead it was deliciously erotic, and Primus if he knew why. He supposed it didn’t matter.

He should feel helpless. Trapped. Afraid. But he wasn’t. If anything, he felt erotic, loved, cared for. Grimlock’s field wrapped around him like a loving embrace. A promise.

“It still surprises me you want this,” Grimlock murmured, his vocals rougher in his alt-mode, rasping as they did through sharpened denta.

Starscream folded his arms under his head and manually rippled his valve, making it clench around Grimlock’s spike. He didn’t need to ask why his trust was still a surprise. He could only imagine the ugly things Grimlock had heard over the years, even from his own so-called allies.

“Some probably say it’s a surprise that you want me,” Starscream replied, and was glad Grimlock couldn’t see his face, though his mate could probably read the emotion in his field.

Grimlock growled, bestial and possessive. “Frag them.”

Starscream chuckled. “I’d prefer it if you fragged me.”

His rim mod rippled, massaging the knot at the base of Grimlock’s spike. He supposed this would be odd to the outside viewer, Grimlock in alt-mode, his spike locked in Starscream’s valve, the two of them chatting as they waited for the knot mod to complete its cycle. It still surprised Starscream that it had never once felt weird, only oddly comfortable.

“Isn’t that what I’m doing?”

“And oh so well at that,” Starscream purred. He arched his back, causing the tiniest of shifts to the spike within him, sending out another wave of liquid pleasure.

Grimlock chuckled, and Starscream could hear his tail swishing lazily across the floor. He licked the back of Starscream’s neck again, his frame practically humming with the low-grade pleasure constantly running through him.

He’d described the knotting protocols to Starscream before, how once the knot was fully engaged, his entire array set off wave after wave of tiny overloads that left him floating in a cloud of ecstasy. Focus was hard to come by, and Grimlock managed it only by reaching outside of himself, making sure Starscream was comfortable and pleased.

The knot shrank much slower than it swelled, in incremental shifts. For those who thought Grimlock had no patience, clearly they’d never shared a berth with him. Here they were, tied together for a certain length of time, and Grimlock never tried to jerk away, to urge the process along. If anything, he seemed to relish the time they spent tied.

It wasn’t a strain for Starscream either. The berth supported his weight, and all he had to do was rock a little to stir the spike in his valve, the pressure dancing along his sensory nodes and giving him little bursts of pleasure. It was like a long, slow extended overload for him as well, and he knew when they’d both soaked into it, because conversation vanished. Their fields intertwined, pulsing together, and Starscream hummed as his valve rippled with wave after wave of genuine bliss.

It didn’t end until Grimlock softened enough to slip out of him, the bulge of his knot caressing Starscream’s rim as it eased free, giving him one last strut-shivering overload. Starscream moaned and sank like liquid onto the berth as Grimlock’s heat abandoned his frame.

He heard his mate transform, and the creak of cables being stretched before the berth dipped. Starscream moved to stretch, but was first picked up and deposited in Grimlock’s lap, optics twirling as he was faced with the ceiling and Grimlock leaning over him, worry dimming his visor.

“You didn’t extend your spike?” Grimlock sounded surprised as he traced his finger over Starscream’s spike panel. His other hand palmed Starscream’s belly, curving across the rounded fullness of Starscreamm’s abdomen.

He enjoyed doing that, Starscream noticed. His fingers stroking and measuring the bulge, as if awed and possessive all at once. Starscream thought it was the Earth coming out in him, how he’d been raised on it and all too used on the organic method of reproduction. Something primal, Starscream supposed, about implanting seed into a mate and watching it grow into a new being. Given the organic nature of Grimlock’s alt-mode and his odd field and coding, it only made sense.

“Mmm. Not this time.” Starscream stretched his arm above his head and wriggled until he could turn on his belly, all the better to be draped in his mate’s lap. “Pet me.”

“As if I could do anything less.”

One hand obeyed, stroking Starscream’s back and wings and aft, the steady rhythm a soothing caress that almost lulled Starscream into recharge. Occasionally, it would dip between Starscream’s thighs, stroking the swollen pleats of his valve and dragging through the tiny trickles of dribbling fluid.

Before, playing with Grimlock’s knot had produced a torrent of mess afterward. Since Starscream had gotten the rim mod and Grimlock could fully empty his transfluid tank, however, mess was a thing of the past. A fully-engaged knot contained a compound, in the final spurt, that created a plug of some sort. One which could be dissolved by array-safe solvent at their convenience.

Until then, Starscream would be stuffed with Grimlock’s transfluid, his abdomen rounded, his overflow tank straining, and his valve calipers struggling to grasp the fluid sloshing about. It was maddening and arousing both, but knowing that Starscream was filled with his spill made Grimlock revved beyond belief.

“You’re messy,” Grimlock observed as his finger traced Starscream’s rim, playing in the trickle of fluids gathered there. His tone was less chastisement however, and more possessive, more pride and full of lust.

Starscream smirked. “I guess you’ll just have to clean me up then. It is, after all, your mess.” He arched his aft into Grimlock’s hand pointedly, a lazy curl of heat in his groin from the gentle, exploratory touches.

Grimlock rumbled at him. “Should I take you into the washrack then?” he asked, his voice growing darker, hungrier. “Or would you prefer my glossa?”

Mmm. Decisions, decisions. One was more erotic than the other, but it also would only make Starscream stickier. He was going to have a hard time getting clean in the future as it was. Lubricant was ever so difficult to get out of his joints.

He squirmed onto his back as Grimlock’s hand slid from his aft to resting over his pelvic array. But then, it almost immediately slid up, dragging lubricant with it, to cup Starscream’s lightly rounded belly again. His palm formed a curve over it, thumb stroking strained armor panels.

“Washrack first,” Starscream said and slid his hand up Grimlock’s chassis, one talon tracing the Decepticon badge so prominent there. “After that, we’ll see. We have two whole shifts to ourselves after all.” Barring any emergencies that is.

“Then I plan to enjoy every moment of it,” Grimlock purred and swept Starscream up into his arms, head tilted in for a nuzzle as he slid off the berth heading on a direct route for their private washrack.

Those reports weren’t going to get done in a timely manner, Starscream mused.

Oh, the frag well.