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(Another chapter. Sorry for any glaring mistakes. Enjoy!)

Smokescreen was running late for his patrol.

Cursing wildly at the loud buzz of his communication link in his audio, he jumped up from the couch in his office where he had been trying to organise some of his files and dashed for the door. The door hissed open as he barrelled towards it, letting out a soft yelp as an owlishly blinking Bluestreak stood just beyond the opening metal. He skidded to a stop, grabbing the doorframe, returning the shocked, bewildered look.

"Umm, hi." The grey gunner smiled innocently doorwings gesturing his awkward nervousness, optics shifting to and fro, never making contact with Smokescreen as the resident ARK gambler just stood and stared. "Sides asked me to come and find you; you're running late for patrol by a good half hour. He's anxious to get going, I think Prowl is after his hide again for gluing Ironhide's favourite gun to the ceiling."

"Oh…thanks. I just got immersed in paperwork." He finally voiced, his usual smooth tones shot through with strained static, his grip tight on the frame. They stood and stared at each other, Carrier and Creation, a bizarre scared tension between them as they searched forlornly in each other's identical optics. Smokescreen finally moved, breaking the moment, optics closing and turning away, his strides quick and swift, throwing out a servo in an offhand farewell gesture "Well, I'll be going. I will see you around Bluestreak."

He never saw the steps Bluestreak would take after he turned away, optics sad, doorwings drooped, a servo raised as if to call him back, or the grief when his child would whisper a spark-broken, "Have a good day… Carrier."


Smokescreen finally skulked out of the ARK into the almost unbearable heat of the dusty plain, looking sulky and withdrawn after the fifth time he had been hailed over the Communication Network. If he had to describe the Diversionary Tactician at first glance, he would say he looked worn, as if something had sucked the spirit and bounce he usually displayed when they patrolled together.

"Having a bad day Smokes?" he teased, stretching superciliously as the Datsun offered him a withering glare that clearly broadcast that he was in no mood for their usual banter. "A very bad day then," he whistled lowly an impressed undertone in his voice, "Who's been yanking your chain?"

"Prowl." Came the clipped answer, "The fragger refuses to stay out of my business." Smokescreen hissed, doorwings fluttering up into the characteristic 'v' that displayed a Praxian's emotional anger. Sideswipe was vaguely reminded of the time he had drunkenly propositioned the Psychologist for a one night stand at the last party the ARK threw, having received a dark look and raised doorwings for his flirtatious efforts.

"Mech, your preaching to the choir." The red twin commented as they dropped down into their alternate forms, revving his engine playfully as they departed for their usual circuit. "At least you still have Blue to converse with about Praxian stuff; I'd imagine Prowl's a bit like a metal brick wall when it comes to meaningless chatter."

"Blue and I don't get on very well when our illustrious Second in Command isn't there to mediate." The Datsun replied shortly, black mood lifting slightly as he got to rant.

"Shut. Up." Sideswipe giggled, clearly ecstatic with the titbit of gossip, "You and Blue? Fighting? The mechling's harmless!" He paused a moment, thinking the statement over as they reached the main road, "Except when he is shooting things, or trouncing me and Sunny at video games, but my point still stands!" he amended.

"It is… complicated." The Psychologist eventually said with a defeated sigh his mind wandering, forgetting he was even chatting with the red Lamborghini zipping ahead of him, eating up the tarmac as he talked aloud to himself. "I wasn't the best thing for him back then; I'm still not, despite what Prowl says. Why can't he see that and just leave it be?"

Sideswipe slowed, his voice sounding mildly confused as he pinged the absentminded gambler, "Earth to Smokey? You in there? Want to fill a mech in? What's best for who?"

"Nothing. It's nothing, just thinking aloud." Smokescreen quickly snapped; relaxed tone now tense and anxious. "Let's just get on with our patrol," he decided for them, kicking his engine into high gear and over taking the much flashier sports car, in a rare show of speed. "I have an appointment with Prowl that I can't be late for."

Sideswipe merely accelerated to catch up, internally frowning with concern. He would be talking with Blue later, if not him, then Prowl. Something was wrong with Smokescreen and he was now suitably intrigued.


"Bluestreak came to me after you brushed him off today." Was the greeting he received when he finally dragged himself over the threshold of the Training Room after a quick wash in the wash racks before high tailing it here, the door hissing shut behind him and blocking his escape.

"He came to find me when I was late for my patrol with Sideswipe." The mostly blue Praxian replied as if the answer would quell any backlash. "I was in a hurry."

The familiar thud and clatter of a drone hitting the floor made him jump as Prowl stalked towards him, armour fluffed up in annoyance as the programme finished and the drones retreated. "He is trying to connect with you and yet you push him away." The black and white mech said, not a trace of blame or contempt in his monotone, coming close and herding him to the middle of the pitch with wide raised doorwings. "Why is this?"

He dutifully sat in the metal sand, legs crossed, thinking over his actions before he answered, silently staring at the grains of the floor as the SIC sat across from him, shifting into the classical meditation pose that all Masters did so easily. "I am not ready." He finally said, and even to his own audios it sounded like a question.

"Define ready." Prowl asked, his optics bright and eerie when Smokescreen finally had the courage to look him in the optic, nervous and tense. "You don't know?" he prompted when he received no ready answer.

"I don't think I ever will be ready to accept him as my sparkling, not after…" The Psychologist said, cutting himself off and shaking his helm as if to be rid of the memories that he refused to let go, shifting so that he now mimicked the SIC's position, letting his optic covers slide closed, "Let's just get on with this. I've had a long day."

The Tactician merely sighed, shaking his helm in disappointment before he started to hum them both into the meditation trance.


Bluestreak stared up at the mortified expression on Sideswipe's faceplate, Sunstreaker merely eyeing them grumpily from the other side of the couch.

"What did you just say?!" the red twin gawked, optics shifting to and fro between his brother and their best friend, "Did you know about this?!"

"I found out this morning when Smokey slipped up in our appointment." Sunstreaker grunted offhandedly, turning back to the screen that displayed their paused game.

"I said." Bluestreak said sullen and upset, "That Smokescreen is my Carrier. I grew up with my Grandsire because Smokescreen, his own mechling, was in the Stockades for setting up illegal gambling rings when he berthed me." The sniper paused as both Twins now watched him, his doorwings shaking as a soft keen whimpered out of his running vocaliser. "Even after he got out of Prison he wasn't exactly Creator material, he avoided me, rejected any social contact, even touching him caused him to breakdown sometimes. Grandsire says it is because of some past Trauma. Even now he still carries those scars."

"Wait a nano-click." Sunstreaker rumbled, interrupting, faceplate frowning in thought, "I thought you grew up under Prowl."

Bluestreak offered him a rather impressive 'Are you really that stupid?' glance, resting his controller for the game in his lap while his friends figured his family tree out. "Yes, I did."

"So that means…" Sunstreaker muttered, jolting back as if he had been shot, optics wide as Sideswipe almost shrieked the answer that the gold twin had broadcast through their bond like a hysterical femme .

"Prowl's your Grandsire?!"