Title: When You're a Jet

Author: Tirya King

Category: Humor/General

Rating: PG-13 for language

Feedback: Of course!

Archive: Just tell me where it's going!

Timeframe: Before the movie sometime.

Summary: G1. When you're a jet, let them do what they can. You've got brothers around, you're a family man.

Disclaimer: Screamer is red. Cracker is blue. I don't own Transformers so please don't sue! The song 'When You're A Jet' belongs to Bernstein.

A/N: The idea came from my love of all things jet-like and listening to the West Side Story soundtrack one time too many. And it hit me like a shovel in the face. Ouch! As is quite obvious, this little doozy is about the Decepticon jets doing what they do best.

When You're A Jet

Part One: Cabin Fever

Two weeks of peace and quiet was nearly unheard of when it came to the residents of the Nemesis. Two weeks with now new plan that was 'sure to succeed.' Two weeks with no raid on local human energy resources. Two weeks with no battles involving the Autobots that resulted in very painful recoveries. Two weeks of endless downtime for everyone to relax and recuperate from the stress of war.

Skywarp was in absolute Hell.

The fearless leader had to be up to something big this time. It had to be huge, since he never kept his troops off the field for so long. The purple and black jet could only hope that Megatron would set this plan into action soon. Being unable to strain his engines beyond routine perimeter runs was making him rather stir-crazy. Living under a few hundred feet of water during all this didn't help any. And his only comfort was the knowledge that he wasn't alone in his misery. It helped, despite the sadism in it, that his fellow jets were just as ready to bash their heads against the wall as he.

Rumor had it Dirge was even contemplating painting a target sign on his skidplate and walking right up to the Ark in the hopes of breaking the monotony. But as of now he still clung to whatever shred of sanity that remained and did not act on that urge. A pity, really, because until the gloomy jet did scramble his processor, Skywarp had little source for amusement. One could only teleport the cassettes a mile over the ocean and let go so many times before it lost the tingle of excitement.

Sure, he could always harass some of the other Decepticons not on assignment. But he didn't really socialize with them much and stood a good chance of getting himself in trouble due to his hasty mouth. It wasn't as though the young Seeker didn't get along with his Decepticon comrades. But the jets tended to stick to their own more often than not.

Besides, those who weren't jets were able to relax much more easily than their flying counterparts. And he didn't think they would appreciate him disrupting their rare time off-duty. So that left him with little option.

Annoy the jets instead.

With that noble intention in mind, Skywarp stood from his cot and exited his quarters. A quick check confirmed that none of the other five were in their rooms. He hoped they hadn't all found something to do without him. Chances were that if plans were made by the others, he would have been automatically included. They rarely did something without their fellow jets. Especially when it came to he and his two brothers.

Alright, he had to concede, so the three of them weren't really brothers. Not in the sense that those miserable Autobot twins were. But they may as well be. Skywarp, Thundercracker, and Starscream all met during their time at the Decepticon Military Academy. Three young flyers who couldn't be less alike at first. Thundercracker the calm, quiet bookworm with a mind for battle strategy and methods. Starscream the brilliant scientist whose great skill was outmatched only by his ego. And he, Skywarp, the angry little street urchin with nowhere else to go. All somehow hurt by the Autobots and all vowing revenge. Their common bond was their pain and their incredible flying skills.

High Command had slapped them together early on in the hopes of creating a good team that could use its separate talents to maximum effect. At first the results were far from stellar. They were too different, too used to relying on themselves. But as they continued to work together, the trio became fast friends who learned to compliment each other perfectly. They were the Seekers, the stars of the Academy's flyers. They worked as a set and that's how they came to Megatron when he put his unit together. A working set was difficult to find, and Skywarp knew the young ambitious Commander was grateful to acquire this one.

Skywarp trudged through the corridors of the seabed catacombs. They were built to expand the Decepticon base of operations to make up for the severely damaged Nemesis. The dim lighting in the connecting halls was emphasized by the inky waters seen through the windows.

The young F-15 swore to himself to teleport whoever had the idea to put in windows to the top of Mt. St. Hillary. Not only was there no view to admire, but it served to emphasize the fact that he could hardly be further from the open sky. And that thought bothered him like a bad itch. Frightened him even.

What could the other Decepticons know of this fear? To them it was a stupid quirk the jets had that would one day get someone killed. To Skywarp and others like him, it was the most inexplicable feeling of dread. Like a recharge dream where one's legs malfunction as a heavily armed Autobot runs you down. Sure, all Decepticons had engines installed in their legs so they could fly. But they weren't flyers. It wasn't their life. They didn't understand that if you clipped a flyer's wings, you chained down his very spirit.

Shaking these unsettling thoughts from his processor, Skywarp finally made it into the lounge hoping to run into someone. Anyone who could help him occupy his time so he wouldn't join Dirge in his trip to the Ark with a painted backside. A trip that looked more inviting by the cycle.

A good number of the off-duty crew was there. The Stunticon brothers had control of the TV and its nearby couches. True, very few Decepticons had much love for this strange organic planet and even less for its inhabitants. But fewer still could deny the addictive entertainment that was human television. The cassettes and Constructicons had even gone so far as to join forces to create a way to get the best reception possible. Even Megatron had been known to sneak in an HBO flick in-between reports and recharge.

Today though, Thundercracker, the only jet present, was not to be found enraptured by the adventures of Mulder and Scully or their search for the Truth. He was tucked into one of the corner chairs, feet propped up on the vacant table. He never did finish a good novel he had started, so now he was using the free time to catch up on it.

"Hey, Cracker," greeted the other Seeker. The blue and white jet looked up from his datapad to see Skywarp approaching.

"Skywarp," he nodded in greeting. "What brings you here to the land of the living? Last I heard from Thrust, you were pacing a hole into your floor."

"I'm going nuts, man," his brother-at-arms shivered, eyeing the oppressive ceiling warily. And if the problem were not so real, Thundercracker may have used that line to make a cheap shot. As such, the jittery Seeker did not need to elaborate on what was bothering him, for the other jet was feeling the same way, even if he didn't look like it. In fact, Thundercracker was looking quite serene in contrast to his claustrophobic brother. A fact that did not go unnoticed. "How do you do it?" the purple and black jet demanded. "How can you just sit there like that when the rest of us jets are ready to throw ourselves to the Autobots!"

"We are rarely given this much time off." Thundercracker smirked, "have you tried relaxing?"

"Yup," Skywarp straddled a nearby chair and sighed miserably. "Tried and failed. I don't know, Cracker, I just feel more comfortable tense. Y'know?"

Thundercracker sighed, subspacing his novel. It looked like he wouldn't be finishing it after all. Not when he needed to devote this time calming down his more volatile partner. Skywarp was so worked up right now, he was nearly vibrating, and that never bode well. If he didn't do something soon, then it looked like Dirge would have a new associate on his 'mission,' and he doubted the two would be going alone. Despite his calm exterior, Thundercracker felt the weight of the sea as badly as the others.

"I believe I do," he agreed. "You need some action. We all do."

"Yeah. We weren't built for sitting still," Skywarp eyed the ceiling again as though waiting for it to come crashing down on him. Then his cherry optics lit up in a mischievous sparkle as he turned to his brother. "Let's do something."

This phrase usually led on to…

"Where are the others?"

And now the blue and white jet was certain that the events to come would not only involve local squishy law enforcement which was a real pain in the aft, but possibly the wrath of their superiors. And it was all but assured that what would come next they would later look back on, chuckle nervously, and then change the subject. The Seekers could always count on their mischievous brother to stir things up when it was most needed.

It was for this need that Thundercracker didn't entirely regret telling Skywarp what he wanted to know. "Thrust is trying to talk Dirge out of following through on his threat. Ramjet is busy destroying every practice droid in the training bay, and Starscream is in the lab."

"The lab?" Skywarp's crimson optics widened in surprise. "Why there?"

"It relaxes him," his friend replied gently. "You know how upset he gets when he can't fly for a while."

"Yeah, he's worse than me 'n Dirge," Skywarp nodded sagely. Starscream was nearly impossible to live with when he was unable to fly for long.

"Well, he decided to put his frustration to good use and headed for the lab a few megacycles ago."

The teleporter snorted. "Damn nutjob. How playing with chemicals relaxes that son of a retro-rat, I'll never know."

Thundercracker chuckled good-naturedly. "Yes, it seems you can take the scientist out of the laboratory, but…" he trailed off with humor.

"Well, it's our duty to spring the dear canary from his peroxide prison. Shall we?"

The other jet stood up, nodding. "We shall." If he had to suffer his brother's insanity then by Primus so did Starscream!

End Part One

A/N: I'm having way too much fun with this story just to warn you! I must admit to being a lover of the Decepticon Seekers, and I hope you have half the fun that I am having. Stay tuned for the second part soon.

Trivia Time: Just for fun, I like to quiz my readers. Today's is rather easy I think:

Who is Pearl Forrester and what does she have to do with Mike Nelson?