It seems I am incapable of writing a cheerful BW fic. Curses. Pre-BW, as if the world needed another. This is probably going to become multi-chapter. Great. Now I'm doing three at once. ((sighs and beats herself with a wooden spoon))

Disclaimer: Nope, still not mine. A cookie for anyone who can work out who Scope is.

Beyond The Cheap Colored Lights

"'I think that I've been here too long…'"

The tuneless hum that supported him up the rickety stairs was testament to the universal truth that Decepticons couldn't sing. Even if, technically, they were now classified as Predacons.

"'For all the gods have left me standing…"

The building was in disrepair and had been as long as he'd known it. Living in it for ten years now had done little to improve his feelings towards either it or the city it loitered in.

As he moved up, something on the ground caught his eye. He looked over the dented railing-there was never any wind on Sector 19, so he couldn't pretend that the slight swaying of the stairs beneath him was caused by anything other than neglect and his own weight- and focused his optic band on the evening-lit street below. There was a dead body lying a little way from the middle of the road. He stared at it apathetically for a moment, before leaning back from the railing-wincing as it creaked pathetically beneath him-and continuing upwards.

As he approached their level of the complex, he decided not to tell Scope about it. Knowing him, he'd probably want to drag the shell off to be set alight, or something equally silly. Scorpinok, being mercilessly free of his partner's odd ideals, was perfectly happy to let the dead lie.

"'…the gods are dead, the stars are gone…'"

Coming in, he didn't say very much. The large, dark figure of his rent-mate growled in acknowledgement, before returning to poring over the forty or so info disks that lay scattered on their table. (If a burnt out piece of spaceship hull counted as a table.)

The most positive way to describe their living space was 'cozy'. Granted, 'cozy' implied a certain amount of warmth and comfort, of which the room had neither, but if describing size alone, then 'cozy' was perfectly accurate. It was tidy, in the way that tidy people without many possessions keeps rooms tidy. It had a wonderful view of the nearest building, which would have been a good thing if the nearest building hadn't been even more neglected than theirs. Sitting at one particular point, tilting your head a certain way and looking out the window at an angle that almost damaged your neck, it was possible to make out a patch of the Sector's golden sky. It was a point that Scope always seemed to occupy whilst studying, although the pitiful view had never managed to enthrall Scorpinok.

He put down their rations; six cubes of energon in total, no more or less than any of the other citizens of Sector 19 were allowed. Enough to last them the next ten megacycles, if they were careful. Scorpinok thought it would be alright. Neither of them were greedy or particularly indulgent when it came to over-energizing. Neither of them any longer had functions that required excessive amounts of power.

"I think I'm gonna work on my stuff", he stated after a moment's uncaring silence. The other made a waving gesture with his hand. Unseen, Scorpinok nodded, and slunk away.

They existed like this. Although trust between them was reasonably strong, neither cared to air their thoughts unless necessity called. Scorpinok didn't mind. The judgeless silence was a welcome shelter.

Entering his room, he shivered with relief. In here, it was orderly. Lights flashed cheerfully from the ceiling, equipment hummed gently in the background. The room was filled with the green neon glow of the testing screens he had installed himself. Nothing in the room had cost too much. He'd starved them both for a few weeks in order to obtain the power generator, but after that is own fingers had done the work. Naturally, he'd blundered hugely once or twice; when installing the screens he'd accidentally wiped out all the power for three blocks, an honest mistake that Scope had almost impaled him for. Eventually, he'd built himself a small, barely-adequate laboratory, dark and quiet and lit with soft, friendly lights. It was a stark contrast to the glaring, sunset-stained city outside, and that, if nothing else, he was grateful for.

And there, on the table…

He didn't enjoy anything anymore-neither did Scope, he suspected-but tinkering filled up the gaps that despair would otherwise have drained into. Currently, his tinkering had lead to this. It was small, and oddly shaped. Insect-like and rounded, with rounded wings and large, alien eyes, it almost resembled a toy. He'd taken the design from some peculiar foreign creature he'd once seen, though he could never quite remember where he'd seen it.

A wan smile appeared.

Think I'll call it a Cyber…something…

For the next few hours, his hands worked, his optics focused and his mind forgot.