Jazz 1, Prowl 0
Prowl logged off his duty station, double-checking that all was in order for the next shift.
He glanced over his shoulder as "the next shift" wandered in, bleary-optic'ed and muttering darkly under his vocaliser.
"Good morning, Sideswipe.Is everything alright?" the tactitian questioned curiously.
The red Lamborghini grunted sarcastically.
"What's good about it? And yeah, Prowl, everything's just dandy, if you don't count the fact that I room with a 'Bot who's vainer than a peacock in heat!"
Prowl raised an optic-ridge, sure there was more to come.
He was correct.
Sideswipe plonked unceremoniously in front of the vacated console and threw his hands up.
"I get off duty last night, after eight eight hours on patrol riding around in the rain with Tracks moaning in my audio about water marks, mud on his undercarriage, gravel rash on his precious wings and slag knows what else.
Got to our quarters, 'Streaker's whining about a miniscule scratch that, Primus forbid, is not enough to be considered an emergency and can wait until someone has thirty astroseconds to spare this morning.
I go to the wash rack, Sunnyboy decides to have his third bath of the day as well, so he can have a captive-and I mean that literally- audience for his ranting. I go get my fair share of an Energon dinner, come back to the quarters, His Beautifulness is still going. I fill out my week's duty sheet, all the while listening to his sweet, melodious bitching.
It's the last thing I hear before I finally tune him out enough to fall into recharge, and the first thing I hear as I online! The son of a slagger claimed he 'couldn't recharge looking like this!'"
Sideswipe punctuated this last by viciously poking the computer controls.
Prowl, quietly amused, pointed out a few faint anomalous energy readings detected by one of their "eyes in the sky" that needed close monitoring, and then bade the younger Autobot a good day.
"I hope you have a better recharge than me," Sideswipe called as Prowl exited.
Prowl stood in the empty corridor for a few clicks, having a bit of a stretch after the long monitoring shift, and listening to the barely audible sound of the heavy rain.
He certainly didn't envy whoever had been unlucky enough to be on patrol duty this shift.
Then again, there were 'Bots who would probably happily head out into the deluge, such as Trailbreaker or Hound, built for such conditions.
He headed off in the direction of his quarters, passing Wheeljack's lab on the way.
The cheerful Lancia was happily humming to himself, lost to the world.
He'd unearthed a stack of shiny things that needed tinkering with and was in his glory.
Prowl's door-panels drew back subconsciously in apprehension as he passed what had been nicknamed Ground Zero, and, catching himself, reminded his subconscious that 'Jack wasn't looking for a new way to blow himself- and half the Ark- to kingdom come today.
And what would we do without him? Prowl wondered, hoping they'd never have to find out.
This war had already claimed enough of the people he cared for.
"Heyyy, Prowl-san! The Jaws Of Duty finally spat you out!"
The unique voice of the head Autobot saboteur brought the strategist out of his depressing thought, as the black and white Porsche caught up with him.
The dazzling grin Jazz was giving him would have made even a stone statue feel better.
"Jazz. What are you up to?" Prowl said, giving him his own minimalistic smile.
Jazz's grin widened even more, if that was possible.
"I've gotten a stack of happenin' new entertainment, and I've been waiting till we both had a stretch of free time so we could watch together! Time for some fun! What d'ya say?"
Prowl gave a mental sigh, his sensitive door-panels wilting ever so slightly.
Prowl valued Jazz's friendship more than anyone knew or realized.
However, the vivacious Porsche's continual, self-appointed, one-Bot crusade to introduce the quiet Datsun to the Earth culture he enjoyed, tended to just about short his logic circuits.
He sometimes wondered if that was actually Jazz's ultimate goal.
Prowl had nothing against Earth culture, in fact many, many aspects of Earth history and science fascinated him, and were the subjects of immeasurable hours of contented contemplation on his part.
He just couldn't get interested in the plastic fantastic Jazz loved so: warped soap operas (granted, he wasn't the only Autobot guilty of that obsession) perplexing game shows, senseless comedic sitcoms, inane talk shows.
And the Earth music the Porsche was enraptured with, and tried to force-feed him, gave Prowl the shudders.
The worst of it, however, was that Prowl simply did not have it in his being to refuse him, especially when the Porsche pinned him with that special Jazz-brand grin.
"Jazz, your definition of 'fun' varies greatly to mine," Prowl pointed out, almost wincing as he recalled his last session of "fun" with the Porsche; two hours on hands and knees delicately setting up dozens and dozens of miniscule black gamepieces, with varying numbers of dots on them, in some intricate yet nonsensical pattern, simply to watch them topple in a flow of motion that lasted approximately 6.29 seconds.
Somehow that activity just didn't compute for Prowl.
The time prior to that, Jazz had gotten his mitts on a somewhat irritating, repetitive music disc, and performed some odd dance he'd picked up from Carly.
To Prowl, it could have been some primitive sacrificial ritual.
He had been less than impressed when Jazz had given up verbally coaxing him to join in, and physically taken the Datsun through the motions of the Macarena.
Thank Primus there were no surveillance cameras in the living quarters.
"Well what do you do for fun, Spock?"
"I read." Prowl said calmly, choosing not to acknowledge the latest nickname his friend had bestowed upon him.
"That's it? All you do in your off hours, for fun, is sit somewhere-on your own-and download books?" Jazz queried, genuinely surprised that his friend spent so much time alone.
The gregarious Autobot honestly couldn't understand that.
Didn't he get lonely?
It made him all the more determined to spend as much of his spare time as possible with Prowl, for Jazz was positive, he knew for a fact, that one day he'd find something that Prowl would enjoy as much as he did.
It was just a matter of how long that day would be in coming, but hey, Jazz loved a challenge.
"I promise, no dominoes this time, buddy!" Jazz grinned as he practically dragged his friend into his quarters.
Prowl tried not to think of the data pad waiting on his recharge bed as Jazz directed him to a comfy seat in front of his vid-screen.
The data pad that he'd filled to capacity with the ancient history of Greece, and had been intending to peruse while slowly downing some nice, warm Energon.
As though reading his mind, Jazz handed him a serving of nice, warm Energon- he was nothing if not a good host- and gingerly pried open a miniscule plastic case.
He picked the tiny disc out of the casing and poked at the small silver component hooked to the Autobot sized screen until a drawer slid out grumpily.
Jazz carefully placed the disc in it, closed it, and settled next to Prowl with his own helping of Energon.
He was almost immediately convulsing with laughter, while Prowl gazed at the screen, vainly attempting to see the humour in the movie featuring a large green mythical creature and several upright, talking fairy-tale beings.
The next one Jazz screened just served to confuse him: four bipedal talking turtles, highly trained in martial arts by a large mammal he recognized as a rat.
Jazz glanced at him as he removed that disc; the tactitian looked as though his logic relays had become violently one with a brick wall.
"C'mon Prowl, it wasn't that bad!" Jazz giggled, glancing around for a particular movie, then remembering he'd lent it to Mirage the day before.
"I'll be right back," Jazz assured Prowl, zipping out the door.
Now! Make good your escape before he comes back! The thought presented itself in Prowl's CPU, but he hesitated to leave so abruptly without at least a fairly good excuse.
Where are those Decepticon jets when you actually want them?
He sighed, collected the empty Energon cups, placed them in a waste recepticle, and carefully neatened the stack of DVD cases.
He glanced around.
Jazz wasn't untidy, exactly, but his quarters were definitely cluttered, with the Earth memorabilia he'd collected in the short time they'd been on the planet.
Prowl spied another DVD case hiding under Jazz's bunk and retrieved it, the colourful graphics catching his optics as he made to set it with the others.
He hesitated, then slipped it into the player.
Jazz headed back to his room, grooving to a silent beat, chuckling to himself over the state of Mirage's quarters.
One might expect someone so refined to be a paragon of tidiness.
It had taken the spy several minutes to unearth Jazz's movie from amongst the chaos.
He was sure Prowl would like this one: Police Academy- Citizens on Patrol.
Bluestreak and Skyfire traipsed the living quarters hall, on their way to try and stop the west side gun turret leak.
Ironhide and Sunstreaker were tagging along, for lack of anything better to do, the yellow Lamborghini whining about how long it had taken for his huge, disfiguring blemish to be repaired, and how he wasn't going anywhere near even the smallest drop of muddy rain water.
"Then why did you join us?" the giant jet jokingly queried, gently poking Sunstreaker in the shoulder.
"Yeah, I thought you were going to be the one to get up on the outside and pinpoint where the rain's coming in," Bluestreak put in, and dodged a sharp slap to the head.
Ironhide gave a slow chuckle at the banter, then suddenly stopped short, causing Bluestreak to run into him.
"Oof-what's the matter, 'Hide?" the young gunner asked curiously.
The quartet paused.
The sound that reached their audio receptors was rarer than a modest Sunstreaker, a silent Jazz, or a pacifistic Cliffjumper, and stopped them dead in their tracks.
"Well I'll be buffed with a blow-torch," Ironhide drawled, a slow grin spreading over his face, as the others realized the unfamiliar sound was their stoic tactition, in the middle of what the humans would call a full-blown belly laugh.
"Prowl?" Bluestreak breathed, almost in disbelief, hesitant delight glowing on the angelic baby-face.
Ironhide's grin almost doubled at that; he was well aware of how much the youngster looked up to Prowl, and to hear the laugh that was so uncommon must be a very special thing for him.
Shoot, it was a rare treat for them all to witness the quiet 'Bot being so...so un-Prowl-like.
Really warms the old fuel pump, Ironhide thought to himself fondly, as another peal of laughter issued forth.
"I...I don't think I've ever heard Prowl laugh before," Bluestreak realized incredulously, out loud.
Even Sunstreaker looked happily bemused.
"What's doin'?" Jazz asked curiously, returning and coming upon the stunned group.
Ironhide jerked a thumb toward the sound, grinning.
Jazz raised his optic ridges, smiling widely.
"Well, looks like Prowl beat me to it!" he said, thoroughly pleased, ignoring the blank looks of the other four.
Jazz 1, Prowl 0, he thought, going to the doorway of his quarters just as Prowl exited, fighting down a last chuckle threatening to escape.
He looked at his silent, smiling audience.
Sunstreaker recovered first.
"What were you watching Prowl? Human pornography? That's usually pretty funny..."
The yellow mech trailed off as the tactician faced him, giving one of his all-too-normal Looks.
"Sunstreaker?" Prowl said.
Prowl straightened his shoulders and looked him straight in the optics, the others all standing silently.
"Bite my shiny metal ass."
Skyfire, Bluestreak and Sunstreaker's jaws dropped simultaneously, Jazz went into gales of laughter, and another, wider grin spread over Ironhide's face, as Prowl turned on his heel and walked off down the hall, door-panels upright and more relaxed than they'd ever seen.
Jazz tried to gather himself, and glanced at the case Prowl had slipped into his hand as he'd left his room.
"What was he watching?" Bluestreak asked eagerly.
Jazz held up the little box.