See, this is what happens when I get positive response. This could be titled 'Bad Comedy: The Unnecessary Sequel'. Yep, it's another Jetly fic, set just after 'Regeneration'. Because I felt like writing something fluffy, short, stupid and utterly pointless. Enjoy?
…Can anyone guess where I got the title from? Huh? Can ya? Can ya? Huh? Can ya?
Disclaimer: This little travesty of fic is mine. Starscream is…Starscream's. Everyone else belongs to HASBRO. Sleep...
I Think You're Gonna Like It Here
Sometimes, Jetfire wondered if Optimus had given him a command position simply as a way to avoid jobs like this.
"And here we have the rec. room", he said, as he door slid smoothly open.
Well, technically, it was true, he justified to himself. That was still its official function, although the large centre had long been taken over by the Minicons, declaring it as their unofficial base. Sonar and his team had set up a makeshift laboratory in one of the corners, from which a mech could now regularly count on being serenaded by the sound of tinkling glass, loud 'woomph' noises and a muffled voice beeping out "Don't panic! Don't panic!".
In another corner, someone had thought to install a ping-pong table. Optimus Prime had questioned the wisdom of this, before Sparkplug had assured him that it would be a useful exercise, helping to channel some of the warriors' excess energy and teaching them valuable hand-optic coordination.
Looking now, Jetfire noticed that the table itself had been deserted. Nearby, however, his optics fell upon Jolt and Liftor, engaged a hearty round of paddle-bat wars. From what Jetfire could see, the rules appeared to consist mainly of scoring as many hits upon your opponent as possible, employing the usage of little white balls as ammunition. The resulting soft clangs and yelps of pain that accompanied this rang out across the rest of the room, which consisted primarily of Mirage and Grindor racing. Possibly the slowest race Jetfire had ever seen, yet spectators had gathered to shout encouragement and/or abuse from the sidelines.
And someone had painted a crude mural on the opposite wall, depicting two large transformers, both being gamely roasted over an open fire. It wasn't quite possible to determine just who these figures were, but one was red and blue and the other clearly had a pair of horns carefully etched onto his head.
Oh yes. And, on the door, the white shuttle noted with some resignation, some delightful character had thought to add a 'w' and a 'k' to the chipped and scratched 'rec. room' sign.
None of this was the problem.
The problem was standing right beside Jetfire, peering around with sullen curiosity. Now he drew back, nodded once and turned Jetfire with a characteristic frown.
"Is it always like this?" Starscream asked, the rasp in his voice almost inciting Jetfire to wince.
"Pretty much", he shrugged, impressed despite his reservations as to the seeker. Even he had reacted with some surprise when he had first observed a round of Ultra Paddle Bat.
"Well, not always", he corrected himself, remembering Prime's attempts to get the more explosive chemicals put into storage-attempts that had been met by fifteen identical icy stares (and nothing in the world could stare quite like a Minicon. Squirrels, possibly.) "Sometimes it's actually kind of quie- DOWN!"
Starscream was smart enough not to argue, and flung himself full length at the floor as Jetfire did the same. The ping-pong ball made a sizzling sound as it zoomed through the space where his head had been, moving at sonic speeds.
"And that", grunted Jetfire as he stood up, "concludes our tour of the rec. room."
Dusting himself off, he offered his hand to Starscream, who ignored it and stood up.
Jetfire sighed. Again he wondered why Optimus had assigned him, of all people, to show the Decepticon traitor around the base. Apart from anything else, he himself had arrived only a month ago.
Despite Jetfire's ignorance, this was the point, as a matter of fact. Being one of the latest arrivals, Optimus Prime had swiftly decided that it was better for him to accompany Starscream. Out of all the Autobots, Jetfire and Sideswipe had been granted the least number of opportunities to learn to fear him.
Jetfire did not know this. What he did know was that, once again, he was being slotted into a crummy job that he had no interest in doing. Showing the creepy new guy around was not his idea of an afternoon well-spent.
"Let's head to the med bay", he muttered, more to himself than to the other. Starscream nodded again, stubbornly refusing to speak any more than was necessary.
Weeeird guy, thought the Autobot, with an internal shudder. He glanced at Starscream out the corner of one optic. The swordsmech had resided in near-perpetual silence ever since the moment of his arrival. Even from the few times they had met in combat, Jetfire could deduce that this was not normal behaviour. Starscream did not, in his very precise opinion, look like the quiet type.
"And heeere we have a hallway…and another hallway…and another one…"
He muttered, largely for his own sake as they walked in uncomfortable silence through the base. It was only, in fact, when they began to draw near the med-bay that Starscream elected to say anything at all.
"What is that?" he asked suddenly, gesturing toward a large door off to the side.
Jetfire jumped with surprise at the sound of the seeker's voice, turning to look at the door towards which he was pointing. Listening closely, the shuttle could make out muffled 'thump-boom-clang' noises, similar to those produced by flogging sheets of metal with pieces of decayed fish.
"That? Oh, that's the squid", he said calmly.
Again there was silence, but this time it was the silence of a mechanism whose supply of words and responses has suddenly run a trifle dry.
"What?" said the seeker at length, staring at the door with orange optics wider than they had been a minute ago.
"The squid. Optimus told you about it, right?"
The look he received for this implied that Optimus had neglected this particular duty.
"Well", said Jetfire, "we're not really sure if it's a 'he' or not. Most species on Earth only have two genders, y'know? So Carlos got hold of this book and he says he thinks it's a male but we can't be entirely sure 'cause it was an old book…"
He trailed off as he realized that the look had not abated. If anything, it had intensified.
"Yeah. Y'know? They're these weird Earth sea creatures-…"
"I know what squid are" Starscream snapped, surprising Jetfire slightly. He hadn't imagined that the Deception had selected Earthling biology as a hobby. "What I was referring to was the fact that you have one in your base. Do you?"
The optics narrowed. "You're lying."
Behind the mask, Jetfire smirked. "Nope. Wanna see?"
The look returned, but it was tempered now with a mixture of amusement and morbid curiosity. "I think I'm going to have to."
Suddenly trying to suppress a grin(and wondering why he found himself beginning to enjoy this) Jetfire strode over and pressed in the sequence code, with a certain measure of aplomb.
It was a simple room. Or, at least, it had been until Jolt and the Air Defence Team had gotten into it. Now it sported a rather nice aquatic mural on the ceiling and about thirty things that Jetfire had been told were known as 'lava lamps'. And in the centre was the tank.
Red Alert had made it himself, upon request from Optimus and the kids, neither of whom wanted to be responsible for a shrivelled aquatic monster. It was partially transparent, allowing the jet to make out only a vague lilac shape floating within the clear waters. It was a large tank, taking up the majority of the room. It was possible, if Jetfire cranked up his audio receptors a notch or two, to hear a faintly sinister sloshing sound.
"There it is", he said lightly, seemingly oblivious to the way Starscream's jaw had dropped.
The next moment, however, the Autobot gave a muffled yelp as the seeker jumped up and darted forward. He appeared next to the tank, hovering thirty metres above the ground, peering in with a light frown.
"Uh…I don't think that's the best idea, Starscream", opined Jetfire with unusual caution in his voice.
"Why?" asked the seeker rudely, not looking at him.
He was denied the opportunity to complete the rest of the sentence by a strange, bubbly growling sound and a high-pitched yell of surprise and alarm. The Autobot Second shook his head as he watched the lilac tentacle erupt from the water.
The next few moments were filled with quite of lot of excitement, accompanied by loud crunching noises. Occasionally there was a crash, as often heard when one smashes a soda can against a wall.
Starscream landed on the ground before Jetfire in a heap.
The Autobot listened carefully. After a moment, he heard the gentle slurping noise that suggested the squid had decided that today's meal was no longer worth the effort. Looking carefully, he could make out the lilac shape resettling on the bottom of the tank.
"He wasn't always that big", commented Jetfire as he offered out his hand. The seeker took it and rose unsteadily to his feet. "Smokescreen started feeding him something weird, and I think it had something to do with those sandwiches Carlos kept throwing him…"
Saffron optics turned to stare at him with the first expression Jetfire had seen him give so far, other than bored irritation. It was, he decided, refreshing. He grinned quirkily at the sodden swordsmech.
"So, whaddaya think of the base?"