Prowl walked quietly to his quarters, aware of the Autobots already in their rooms and settled for the night.
Not that "night" really meant anything to Transformers, he mused.
You recharged once every cycle, and depending on duty roster, it could be any time of day when you crawled into your recharge berth.
Today had seen them face a Decepticon threat in the Southern Hemisphere.
Skyfire had certainly racked up some miles, Prowl thought, as he slipped by the big jet's room, flying them from headquarters to the Australian opal fields, and back again...twice.
Megatron and his minions had discovered a "brilliant" way to extract energy from veins rich in fire opals...which hadn't worked.
Prowl and most of the Autobots had been highly impressed with the beauty and variety of the outback, so different to the Oregon plains they were accustomed to...except now there were a few holes and scorch marks that weren't there before, and a couple of rock formations that had been there, weren't any more.
He entered his quarters, noting his "next-door neighbour"'s light was still on, the illumination glowing from under the closed door.
In his room, Prowl's "neighbour" was on his bunk, front side down, chin in hands, happily rocking along to an "oldies" station he'd tuned in on his cranial receiver.
It was perfect- he could have the tunes as loud as he liked without bothering anyone touchier than himself.
Jazz hated any length of silence, and rarely slipped into recharge without his radio quietly chattering away in his audio.
The light filtering under Prowl's closed door caught his optics and he shut off the tunes with a grin.
Prowl had a set routine for when he entered his room for recharge; Jazz knew it off by heart.
It never failed to amuse him that the tactitian was so precise in something so ordinary, but what really tickled his transistors was that he was almost certain Prowl wasn't even aware of doing so.
He sat up and listened to the faint sounds, mentally ticking off the steps.
Prowl crossing the room to his desk. Check.
Setting his personal log on said desk, for a later step in the routine. Check.
A pause, as the tactitian gave his pathologically neat pad a visual once-over, ensuring all was in order. Check.
Three steps to his wall locker. Check.
Another pause, as Prowl double-checked his acid pellet rifle, and it's spare twin. Check.
Jazz chuckled as he listened to Prowl settle at his desk for his usual fifteen minutes -never more, never less- of writing up his daily personal log, something he was adamant about.
Jazz wondered off-hand if his friend would let him read some of those logs one day, if he asked nicely.
He ticked off the minutes on his inbuilt chronometer, and pinpointed the moment Prowl was just getting set to arrange himself on his recharge bed.
Jazz, grinning like a hyena, activated his personal commlink.
"Jazz to Prowl."
"You forgot to close your locker," the Porsche pointed out, with a giggle in his tone.
There was a slight pause, then "You're correct Jazz, I did. How did you know?"
he inquired lightly, but Jazz could detect the trace of confusion.
Poor predictable Prowl, the saboteur thought, laughing silently to himself, laying back comfortably on his bed.
"That's the first time I've ever heard you miss a beat in your routine, man!"
Most of the Autobots tended to forget that Jazz had superior audio receptors, even for a Transformer.
He may have been created with less than perfect optics, that even with his visor weren't really up to scratch, but his other senses more than made up for them, especially when it comes to giving a certain tactitian a hard time, he thought cheekily.
"My...routine?" Prowl questioned, even as his logic relays went into overdrive and neatly presented the obvious to him.
Jazz's laughter could clearly be heard through the link; he wasn't expecting an answer.
"Good night, Jazz," Prowl said dryly, disengaging communications, though not before a cheery "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!" slipped through.
He turned out the light and got onto his bed.
Jazz listened to the Datsun trying to settle into a comfortable position, he knew from experience it usually took five attempts before he was still.
By this point, the Porsche himself was normally half in recharge, but not tonight; he just didn't feel tired in spite of the mileage he'd put in today; and through hot, dusty, unfamiliar environs too.
Silence radiated from the next room; Jazz assumed the tactitian had flaked out.
He was about to flick his radio on again, when what could have been a muffled curse- although that was highly unlikely- caught his audio, and he heard Prowl slide off his bunk, cross the room, and quietly close the forgotten, offending locker door.
Jazz snickered; anyone else would have gone, to the Pit with it, rolled over, and begun hibernating.
Jazz idly tapped his hand on his knee as the tactitian began the toss-and-turn again; it reminded him of dogs he'd seen, turning on the spot before they'd deign to settle.
When another ten minutes or so had gone by, without seeing the Porsche off into the land of Nod, Jazz realized he was bored.
He wondered if Prowl was in recharge.
He wondered how Prowl, Bluestreak and Smokescreen could rest comfortably with those door-panels.
He wondered if it was possible to slag Prowl off enough to get him to utter a good, healthy curse.
He was one of that rare breed of Autobot that rarely, if ever, was heard to use, uh, colourful language...even Optimus Prime, Mr Virtue himself, occasionally had a slip of the proverbial tongue.
Jazz couldn't keep back an evil grin as he reached back and lightly rapped his finger tips on the wall three times.
He knew how easily sound travelled through the transmetal sheets; he couldn't count how many times he'd been half awaken by Prowl's foot, arm or door-panel making contact with the wall, restless sleeper that he was.
Prowl's recharge bed was against the shared wall longways, Jazz's at a right-angle to it.
He listened; the Datsun shifted slightly, but that was all.
Jazz tapped again, hard enough that he was certain Prowl would hear.
He must be either half dead, or trying to ignore me, Jazz told himself.
The first was pretty unlikely.
Many had tried to ignore the Porscheman; few had ever succeeded.
Jazz smirked, almost feeling sorry for the Datsun. Almost.
Prowl, unsurprisingly wide awake, had no trouble catching Jazz's third attempt at provoking a reaction out of him.
Prowl had no intention of giving him that satisfaction.
In the quarters directly across the hall, a white Lancia was sprawled on his bunk, buried in some engineering diagnostics.
A metallic clunk caught his audio, and he sat up and paid attention.
He heard it again, and stepped into the hall to investigate.
When the sound came again, louder and more persistent, he pinpointed it's location as Jazz's quarters.
Wheeljack saw that Jazz's light was still on, and he knew Prowl occupied the next room.
Now, Wheeljack wasn't a dim Autobot, not by any stretch.
It didn't take long for him to put two and two together, and laughing to himself, wondered exactly how long it would take to get a reaction out of the quiet tactitian.
He went back to his room and settled in to listen to the fun.
"Jazz to Prowl...Jazz. To. Prowl...aw, c'mon man, I know you ain't in recharge!"
Prowl smiled slightly; he knew full well how much Jazz despised being ignored.
"Come ooonn...yell at me, swear at me, anything!"
They're gonna wake someone soon, then it'll be on for young and old, he thought.
Prowl jumped slightly as Jazz, completely forgetting there were other sleeping 'Bots close by, brought both feet down against the wall with a resounding CLANG.
Skyfire jerked out of deep recharge and was halfway off his bunk before he realized the racket wasn't an enemy attack.
Jazz... he moaned to himself, feeling like he'd flown full-tilt into a large mountain.
He dragged himself back onto his bed, feeling at least twice his age.
"Jazz, what are you doing?" Prowl hissed, breaking his 'ignore' mode.
"Making you talk to me," came the perky, unashamed reply, ignoring or forgetting the fact that voices, especially his, clearly carried at night.
"Alright! I'm talking! Happy now?" the tactitian said, also forgetting to keep his voice down.
"You bet," Jazz answered happily.
Prowl briefly considered causing a feedback loop through his commlink, then dismissed that thought as the height of rudeness.
He was loath to switch it off altogether however, that was definitely against protocol.
Tracks sat up on the edge of his bunk, not at all happy about being woken from a delightful dream involving a luxury carwash and a large buffer.
"Mirage...did you hear that? Mirage?" Tracks looked across to the spy's bunk.
He should have known better; Tracks would would bet his wings that his room-mate could sleep through an earthquake.
The chatter came again.
Jazz...I might have known. And... Prowl? Primus, what's got into him? The Corvette thought, surprised and crabby.
"What's up, buddy?"
"Good night," Prowl said pointedly.
"Sure, whatever, man! Been great chatting with you!" Jazz giggled.
Prowl once again settled down.
Wheeljack, laughing to himself, was sure this wasn't over.
"Jazz to Prowl..."
The Porsche heard an exasperated sigh.
"Yes, Jazz?" came a trying-to-be-patient reply.
"Want to hear this joke Sparkplug told me about these two cops in a bar?"
Prowl rubbed his optics with one hand.
Primus, this was turning into a long night, and he hadn't even slipped into recharge yet.
A couple of doors down, a light was switched on rather viciously, as the Autobot medic stomped out of his room and stood in the middle of the hall.
"I SWEAR TO PRIMUS IF YOU TWO DON'T SHUT THE SLAG UP, NOW, I'M GONNA COME DOWN THERE AND WELD YOUR YAPS TO YOUR SORRY SKID PLATES, AND THEN I'LL WELD YOUR HIDES TO THE SLAGGING WALL!!"
"Second that," Skyfire grumpily called.
"Third it," agreed Tracks heartily.
"I'll hold them down for you," chimed in another disgruntled voice, above a general cranky, disagreeable discord of sleepy Autobots from up and down the corridor.
Prowl held his head for a second; there'd be a riot if he didn't do something.
He stepped into the hall, and cleared his vocaliser.
"Uh, this is Prowl...apologies everyone for the noise, I know we're all tired-"
"SHUT THE SLAG UP AND GO TO SLEEP!!!"
Jazz had sat up to listen to Prowl try to soothe the masses, and was currently having the belly laugh of the millennium.
Prowl slunk back to his room, clearly hearing Jazz killing himself next door.
The hall was as silent as a black hole.
The Porsche was thoroughly amused, and, he realized as he contentedly stretched out, sleepy.
Ok, he hadn't managed to get a curse out of Prowl, but there had nearly been a free-for-all.
Good enough for Jazz.
He flicked his radio on at low volume and almost immediately began to drift off.
Prowl got back in bed, for what felt like the dozenth time that night, eventually got comfortable, and listened to the silence.
And listened some more.
He couldn't sleep.
"Prowl to Jazz...."