Backfire

"Y'know," Jazz remarked as he gazed up at his ceiling, "Ratchet is probably gonna fillet you once he tracks you down."

"I know." a muffled voice called back.

"And," the black and white officer continued with a lopsided grin, "that would most likely be after Ironhide skins ya first."

"I know!" the second voice repeated, louder this time.

Jazz shivered in mock disgust. "And I don't even want to know what Grimlock will do to you after that." He concluded as he leaned back and rested his feet on his desk, fingers laced behind his head. "I really wouldn't want to be in your shoes Sideswipe."

Sideswipe poked his head out of a well-hidden trapdoor in the orange ceiling. "Stop rubbing it in, ok Jazz?" he asked irritably.

"Hey man, a 'bot's got to have his fun." Jazz grinned back. Sideswipe glared back at him then ducked back into his hiding place.

The situation thus far was this: Sideswipe, as per usual, had planned and begun to execute a truly stellar prank that he and his brother had been working on for weeks. It would have made history, if it hadn't backfired in a truly spectacular manner. One that had left it's targets Wheeljack, Perceptor and Hoist completely untouched and had instead ensnared Ratchet, Grimlock and Ironhide.

It was a little known fact that both Jazz and Mirage had constructed small lofts over their quarters, a fact, thankfully, that the twins had been privy to. So once they realised exactly what had happened, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe had immediately split up and headed for the two mech's quarters in the hopes of finding a hiding place until the worst was over. It was only through a good deal of pleading, cajoling, and in Sunstreaker's case, the promise of a jug of high-grade energon liquor, that they were able to procure both protection and silence from their hosts.

Meanwhile, the three vengeful mechs were currently on a hunt to locate the twins before Optimus and Prowl had a chance to get back from a meeting at the UN and stop things from getting out of hand.

Sideswipe stiffened and froze as he heard a heavy pounding on the door in the room below. He couldn't see it, but he heard it as Jazz got up to admit the visitor. "Jazz," Ratchet's way too calm voice filtered up through the chinks in the ceiling tiles, "Have you seen Sideswipe or Sunstreaker recently?"

"Uh, no. Can't say I have." Jazz replied. "What happened to you anyway?" There was a slight pause before the medic answered.

"Just something that I need to discuss with Sideswipe." Ratchet answered, and then his voice took on a sinister edge. "At length."

"Sorry that I can't help you there my man." Jazz replied. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some paperwork to do." There was the sound of the door sliding shut. Sideswipe let out a tiny huff of relief.

"Hey! Whadda ya think you're doing!"

The yelp of protest from Jazz was over-ridden by the squeal of the door as Ratchet forced it back open. Very slowly, Sideswipe wiggled backwards into the confines of loft.

"If there's just you in here," Ratchet's eerily calm voice could be heard again, "Then why are my sensors picking up two spark-signs?"

"Uh, dunno. You tell me Ratch, you're the doc." Jazz replied as he slowly backed away from the medic.

A crash of metal against metal could be heard outside, momentarily interrupting Ratchet's answer, quickly followed by a very Dinobot-like growl and the cries of a justifiably worried Sunstreaker.

"Put me down you Dino-dolt! Let go! Noooo!" The thunk of a door sealing shut cut off the mech's voice in mid note. Sideswipe began to feel very, very afraid.

Jazz meanwhile had decided that caution was the better part of valour and figured that the best way to not join the twins in purgatory was to back off and let the medic look around.

Up in the loft, Sideswipe was hardly daring to let his systems ventilate as he listened to the sounds of Ratchet conducting a very thorough search of the room below. He had just begun to think that maybe the white mech had given up when the trap door flew open and Ratchet's head and shoulders appeared in the opening. "Ah, there you are." The medic grinned as he reached for the unfortunate mech.

Thankfully for all parties involved, Prime arrived just as a kicking and squirming Sideswipe was being dragged by Ratchet and Ironhide to the repair bay, where his brother had already been strapped down to one of the repair beds.

As punishment, and for their own protection, the twins were relegated to the stockade while Optimus and Prowl sorted the mess out.

"Hey Sunny?" The question wafted across the narrow gap separating the two cells.

Sunstreaker looked up from cataloguing the scratches and paint chips sustained while trying to hold off Grimlock. "What?" he asked, clearly vexed.

"You wanna try that prank again? I think I've worked out the problem."

There was a moment's contemplative silence as the yellow twin considered his options. "Alright, let's do it."