A/N: This is from the same universe as Fear. You don't have to read that one to get what's going on here. But I liked the incarnations Jazz and Prowl from that little oneshot enough I think I'll periodically add to it.

oOo

"Jazz, what are you doing here?" Ratchet's tired voice asked softly.

He lifted his head enough to look over his shoulder but didn't stop stroking the side of Prowl's face. After heavy fighting Ratchet always looked…diminished. Like the joors of saving and losing lives literally took something from him. Exhausted blue optics watched Jazz with only a chip of their normal wrath and authority. Jazz looked back at Prowl's prone form. "I almost…I almost lost him," he said softly. His hand stroked down his neck and shoulder to his arm down to his hand with a barely there touch. "Y'know, back in the orn, when we were both grunts you come to terms with the fact each day might be your last, or the mech you're drinkin' with could be in a burial pod the next orn." His hand slipped into Prowl's and gave it a gentle squeeze, the warmth from his frame quiet reassurance that the Praxian was still with him. "Prowl was different. And I didn't realize it until this orn. I didn't realize…even back then he always seemed…invincible. No matter what Pitfire the 'Cons rained down on us, Prowl was there and he had a plan and nothing could stop him."

Ratchet's warm hand settled on his shoulder. "You've both had your share of close calls," he said giving his shoulder a gentle squeeze. "You'll make yourself sick if you worry all night. And he made it through this one like he did the others. You didn't worry about him like this for those. What's different about this?" He pulled up a chair and sat down with a low hiss of pressure releasing from his joints.

Guilt hit Jazz's spark hard. "Ratch, here, I'll head out. You need to recharge." The medic pushed Jazz back into his chair and waved the words off.

"I'm not going anywhere until I know you won't sit in here or in your quarters fretting over him like a creator. So talk fast and we can both get to our berths." Ratchet sat back in his chair, head tilted toward the med bay proper to pick up on the machines' nuances monitoring his other patients.

Jazz slipped his hand back into Prowl's. "I know he's been bad before. I've helped him off the field with his wing half gone and shrapnel and burns and e'rything else." He paused, thumb absently stroking Prowl's knuckles. "He was always awake for that. Maybe not coherent, but his optics were open and he was trying to move. I just…this time…" He trailed off again. "He was so still," he said softly after a long breem passed. "And he was cold from the water. It was like pullin' a corpse out. He wasn't breathin'. No spark pulse. Nothin'."

"Even the Prime is mortal, Jazz," Ratchet said softly. Jazz nodded, letting the truth of those words wash over him. He wondered how often Ratchet had to remind himself of that. He hadn't looked at casualty reports yet, but he was guessing they were pretty bad. The guilty pang came back. Ratchet had lost dozens on this orn alone and Jazz was lamenting almost losing Prowl. It was stupid and selfish. There were families still that would be getting the news that their mechling or femmling was coming home in a burial pod. Prowl would be awake by morning.

Forcing himself to take his hand back, Jazz stood. "C'mon, Ratch. I've never been any fraggin' good at this sentimental slag."

Ratchet stood as well, studying Jazz. He sighed and crossed his arms. "It's not a competition, Jazz," he said at last. Jazz tilted his head to the side in question and glanced back at Prowl. Ratchet gesture to Prowl and then the rest of the med bay. "You don't have to earn your feelings. There are some who lost everything this orn, that doesn't invalidate how you feel about Prowl. You're allowed to be scared. You don't have to measure your pain against someone else's." He sighed and looked around again. "Stay with him," he said nodding at the chair Jazz had risen from.

"By myself?" Jazz asked in surprise. Ratchet never let healthy mechs stay in the med bay overnight when it was full. He considered it too much time for mischief. Or misplaced good intentions.

Ratchet rolled his optics. "Yes, by yourself. Like the grown mech you are. I'm going to my berth. I already checked under the berths for monsters, I didn't see any."

"Did you look in the closet?" Jazz asked sitting down again. Ratchet swatted his helm and Jazz smiled as the medic left for much needed recharge. Scooting closer to the berth he pillowed his head on his arms close to Prowl's head and listened to the mech's slow breaths. His thoughts continued to churn for almost half a joor, but little by little the soft lullaby of Prowl's breathing lulled him into a light recharge. Prowl would be awake by morning and by mid-orn he'd be trying to get his hands on reports and telling Ratchet he was fit for duty. He was okay. His frame was warm against Jazz's arm. Warm and alive and still here with him.

oOo

A/N: Thank you for R/R/F/F!