!! Warning: slash, Megatron/Starscream. Much immaturity and innuendo lies ahead. !!

Summary: Decepticon pranksters know no shame. Decepticon commanders should just know better.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, however much I might wish I did.

Author's note: I'm still not quite sure where this demented idea came from but by the time I'd written half of it, it was too late to stop. Originally done for the crowd on the TF slash list, posted here at the request of KoiLungFish.

Staying on Top

Part 1: Make Merry in Haste...

In the depths of the ocean, for the most part, silence, peace and darkness reign uninterrupted. However, in the waters surrounding the former Decepticon spaceship that was now a permanent ground base, the seas were troubled by the echoes of voices...

"Decepticons forever!"

"We showed them good!"

"Heheheh! Didya see the look on Prime's face? I've never seen anyone look that slagged off!"

"Yeah!"

The Decepticons crowded round, laughing and cheering, congratulating each other indiscriminately. Everyone who had cargo-carrying capacity was laden down with brightly-shining energon cubes, and even those who technically didn't were carrying armfuls of the stuff. The raid had been the biggest success in a long time; the humans manning the nuclear power plant had been caught totally off their guard, and for once the traditional Autobot attack had been beaten back with minimal difficulty. They had come back with three times the haul of energy that had been predicted, and every last member of the strike force was wild with exhilaration.

"Here, has anyone tried this stuff?" Rumble stuck his nose in the cube he was carrying and sniffed, then slurped. "Wow, that's got a kick! Hey, Frenzy," he went on, turning to his brother, "try this..."

"Rumble, stop wasting energon," Megatron snapped.

"Aw, but, boss, I'm not wasting, I'm refuelling! And this is high grade, good stuff. It'll last us ages!"

"Rumble-!"

Soundwave's long-range comm unit beeped, heading off the incipient argument. "Information," the Communications Officer volunteered from his station at the console. "Message from Shockwave. Space bridge malfunctioning."

"What, again?" Megatron growled. Why was nothing ever simple? "How long for repairs?"

"Estimate: six point two megacycles to restore function."

"Too long. Tell him I want it functional in three."

Soundwave relayed the order and paused to listen to the response from Shockwave's end. "Information: suggested schedule not practicable," he announced.

"I'll give him not practicable!" Megatron leaned over and punched the console, calling up the visual link to Cybertron. "Shockwave! I want that space bridge repaired, whatever it takes!"

The monitor blinked his single optic, looking almost affronted - insofar as he ever looked anything. "Working on it, Commmander. Repairs are progressing."

"For your information, Shockwave - the faster you fix that space bridge, the more energon I'll have for you when it's operational again. Take too long and the rest of the strike force will have drunk the lot!"

Shockwave blinked. "Understood, Megatron!"

"Excellent. Megatron out."

"Is it me," Rumble said hopefully, "or did we just get permission to get righteously cratered?"

Megatron turned around from the console and fixed the smaller Decepticon with a menacing look. "On one condition."

"Wassat?"

The glare stayed in place, but a smile tugged at the corners of Megatron's mouth. "Leave enough for me!"

"Right, boss! C'mon, guys," Rumble went on, looking around at his comrades, "you heard the 'Con! PARTY!"

XXXXX

"Y'know wha's the best thing about bein' a Deshepticon?"

"Wha's tha'?"

"We throw one kick-aft party."

"Right. Thunder?" Skywarp blinked and tried to focus his optics.

"Yup?"

"Stay still. Why're you wobbling?"

"'M not. You are, though." Thundercracker grinned drunkenly.

"'M - am not. Shee?" Skywarp drew himself up proudly, lost what remained of his balance and hit the deck in a tangle of limbs and wings. "Ow, shcrap."

Thundercracker folded over in a fit of laughter, but managed to extend a hand to his fallen wingmate. Skywarp grabbed for the proffered support, overbalanced again and dragged his friend down with him, resulting in a glorious crash of colliding metal, several shrieked obscenities and a heap of inextricably tangled Seekers. "Whoopsh!"

"Is this a private game or can anyone play?" a shrill voice chimed in. Starscream moved to stand over his comrades, negligently waving a half-full energon cube. "Primus, you two look so silly!"

"Hey! He'sh got more drink!"

"GIVE!"

Starscream shrieked as he was violently tackled around the shins and hauled to the floor. Thundercracker managed to snag the energon out of his grasp and all three Seekers started a scuffle for the cube, which resulted in the contents being spilled everywhere. Starscream held up a dripping hand, his expression horrified. "Now look what you did!"

"Waste not, want not!" Skywarp answered gaily. Sitting up, he leaned across and caught one of Starscream's energon-slick fingers in his mouth. "Mm!"

"HEY!" Starscream yanked his hand back. "Lick your own fingers!"

"Mine don't taste as nice!" Skywarp grinned.

"Deviant!"

"Spoilsport!"

Starscream glared, and thumped his wingmate. There was a satisfying clang, and Skywarp fell over again.

"Get you... for... that..." the black Seeker muttered, and then promptly passed out. Starscream snickered. Like Skywarp could ever do anything to him! Nobody got the better of Starscream, lord of the skies!

Secure in the knowledge of his own supremacy, he never noticed the look of tipsy determination that shaped itself on Thundercracker's face as the blue Seeker studied his unconscious best friend.

XXXXX

"Hey look!" Frenzy pointed, and giggled.

Rumble followed his brother's indication, and his optics widened. "Wow. He passed out?"

The massive silver form of the Decepticon leader sprawled across the floor of the control room, optics dark, a trickle of spilled energon leaking from the near-empty cube in his hand. Unconscious, Megatron looked oddly even more imposing than he did on his feet, his huge frame taking up what seemed like most of the room. His black fusion cannon was detached from its mountings and lay on the floor beside him.

"Check it out," Frenzy said happily. "He's out of it - and unarmed."

The two cassettes giggled quietly together. "So," Rumble grinned, "what we gonna do? Spraypaint? Cross a few wires? Rig up a bucket?"

Frenzy thought about it. "Nah, all that's too easy. This is the best chance we'll ever have, we gotta do something really special. Uhm..."

He paused as the door slid quietly open and the rather unsteady looking figure of Thundercracker appeared framed in the opening. "Psst, you two!" the Seeker hissed. "I need your talents!"

"Yeah?" Rumble said. "Whatcha want, flyboy?" It wasn't often any of the senior Decepticons asked for the cassettes' help with anything.

"I've got a cratered Air Commander who needs a lesson teaching," Thundercracker explained. "I thought you two might have some suggestions."

Frenzy and Rumble looked from Thundercracker, to the motionless shape of Megatron, and then to each other. Slowly, their faces cracked into matching grins. Frenzy reached out and punched his brother lightly on the arm. "Score!"

Rumble simply nodded. "Well, well," he murmured. "We got something for you, looks like. But you're gonna have to help."

Thundercracker moved to sit beside the cassettes, bringing his head down to their level so he could lean in conspiratorially. "I'm all audials. What's the plan?"

Rumble and Frenzy, finishing each other's sentences in a shared rush of enthusiasm, told him. Thundercracker stared at them, then burst into shocked laughter. "Oh, Primus. That's just wrong."

"Which is the essence of the true prank," Rumble explained, adopting the air of a mad scientist discussing his favourite masterplan. "A great practical joke should be so slaggin' twisted that nobody would believe you'd do it until it happens to them. Right?"

"Right." Frenzy nodded. "An' also, all the best pranks are the ones you never live down. You know, it should be Skywarp doing this," he added thoughtfully. "He's the one who usually works with us."

"I'm doing this for Skywarp," Thundercracker said, grinning. "Last thing he said before he passed out was that he wanted to get the Screamer. I figured it'd be nice for him to wake up and find I'd already dealt with it for him."

Rumble clutched at his chest in an exaggerated gesture. "Aw! You guys are just soooo sweet!"

"Yeah, ain't you dating yet?" Frenzy added with a giggle.

"What?! I -" The Seeker choked, his expression flashing from scandalised to outraged to horrified in the space of less than a second. "We are not -"

"Hey, hey, cool yer afterburners, you look as guilty as Starscream after a takeover bid." Frenzy smirked. "Don't worry, pal. Your little secret is safe with us." Both cassettes grinned evilly.

Thundercracker shook his head in despair. "Oh, believe whatever your glitch-ridden processors come up with, see if I care. Now can we get back to this prank business?"

Rumble and Frenzy grinned and nodded in unison. "Right."

XXXXX