Recommended Music for this fic: Stealing Rosemary by the Bangles, Doll Revolution album.


It was the one thing he'd been anticipating for a very long time, though Thundercracker wasn't about to admit it to anyone: a relationship with a beautiful, intelligent, talented, and witty Femme. He never believed that this day would come and it finally had. With a hidden smile, Thundercracker got off of his recharge bed and crept quietly out of his quarters to the entry tower.

Being in love wasn't a crime among the Decepticons. Far from it. Having a relationship was perfectly normal and most often encouraged . . . so long as it didn't interfere with one's job. In fact, a good portion of the Decepticons was involved with each other intimately, often mixing business with pleasure. Having a relationship and not having a relationship weren't crimes and Thundercracker knew it.

So why was he sneaking out of the base at some un-Godly hour? Why was he creeping about like a thief in the night? What he was feeling for this Femme was perfectly normal, after all. So why was he hiding it?

I know why, he thought. It's exciting, daring, thrilling . . . and so much more. I love her . . . and I'd do anything for her.

When the hatch opened, Thundercracker took to the air, his fuel pump hammering in excitement. The thrill of flight almost compared to what he was feeling but not quite. Thundercracker could hardly wait to reach his destination.

It was almost one a.m. when Thundercracker landed on a secluded section of forest off of the California coastline. The moon was full and shining brightly. Thundercracker crept quietly through the trees until he came upon a clearing. In the center of the clearing, Thundercracker sat down to wait.

After a few moments, he heard someone approaching and Thundercracker perked up a little. There was the slight chance that it wasn't who he was waiting for and that he'd been caught but he doubted it greatly. Only one person knew that he was even there and he knew that it was her.

"You made it," a soft voice exclaimed. "I didn't think you would."

As she stepped into the clearing, Thundercracker took the opportunity to drink in everything about her. The moonlight illuminated her petite frame, making her teal tones look darker than what they actually were. Starlight reflected in her optics. Just watching her move robbed him of his air and he loved every single moment of it.

"I'd fly into the Inferno and back for you," he murmured as she sat next to him. Thundercracker wrapped one arm around her shoulders and drew her close. "You're beautiful."

"Thank you," she smiled. "It's funny . . . I never thought I'd ever feel this way."

"And how's that?" he whispered, nuzzling her neck. She was simply intoxicating to him.

"Special," she answered. "Whenever I think of you, I feel alive. No one else has ever had that effect on me before."

She managed to place her hand under his chin and drew his gaze to meet hers. There was a fire smoldering in her optics and he felt his fuel pump skip a beat as he gazed into the deep pools of her optics. It was like nothing he had ever seen or felt before. Everything around him melted away. He wanted to take her into his arms and hold her, kiss her until neither of them had any strength left in them.

"I love you, Thundercracker."

He smiled when she said that. Of course, he had known that she loved him. Why else would she even see him if she didn't?

"I love you, too, Trinity," he murmured. "More than you could ever know."

Trinity's smile got a little bigger and a little warmer, and she didn't object at all when he pulled her into his lap. Nights like this weren't unusual for either one of them. They often spent their time together either cuddling and talking or going for long walks and talking. Even the silence suited them.

Tonight, however, felt different to him, like something incredible was going to happen. He felt it in the air, within himself, and he saw it when he looked into her optics. Tentatively, they leaned towards each other, their lips brushing together.

At that instant, every part of him burst into flames and it felt like, no matter what he did, he couldn't get close enough to her, though he held her in his arms as tight as he could. She wrapped her arms around his neck, intensifying what he was feeling. Hungrily, Thundercracker kissed her, his hand slowly tracing patterns from her waist to her Autobot sigil . . .

--

"Thundercracker!"

A very screechy voice shouting his name and someone pounding on his door caused him to bolt forward, nearly hitting his head. His chronometer read eight a.m., and he knew of only one Decepticon who would disturb him this early in the morning: Starscream. Suppressing a sigh, Thundercracker hauled himself out of bed.

"I'm coming, Screamer," he muttered. "Shut yer trap."

Thundercracker had left Trinity around four, getting back to the base around five. It hadn't given him much time for recharge but he felt that Trinity was worth it. You only find the perfect Femme once, he told himself and he smiled when he thought of the Femme that definitely had his attention.

Last night had been truly incredible, one of the best nights of his life! He had been in a state of euphoria for most of the night but he did know that they had taken the next step. Perhaps they had taken it a little too soon, especially since they were on opposite sides, and the war was really starting to become hotter than it had ever been on Cybertron. It was a moot point, however, and they had spent the rest of their time talking and holding each other.

As he approached the door, he quickly hid his smile. Starscream would certainly know that something was up if he opened the door with a big goofy grin on his face. The door slid open to reveal a very irate Aerial commander.

"What is it, Starscream?" he grumbled. "Can't a Mech get some recharge around here?"

"Not when his evaluation is later today," the other Mech sniffed.

"Evaluation?" Thundercracker echoed. What was Starscream babbling about this time?

"Sure you haven't forgotten?" Starscream mocked. "Our unit has an evaluation with Megatron in four Earth hours. And you know we have to beat Dirge's team. "It'd be humiliating for us if those coneheads did better."

For a moment, Thundercracker looked at Starscream as if he'd finally wigged out. They didn't have an evaluation with Megatron today . . . Then it hit him. They did have an evaluation today and Thundercracker had a sinking sensation in his fuel pump. He was in no way prepared for this and he wondered how he had forgotten this.

"We should get to the practice room and get started," Starscream said rather lightly, his expression going from irate to dreamy-like for some reason. "Skywarp should be woken up next. I'll see you there in three breems."

Starscream walked off and Thundercracker watched him go. His sudden change of attitude was worrisome. Who knew what was going on in the Aerial Commander's head. Thundercracker was certain, though, that it was thoughts of grandeur and glory . . . and a chance to rub it in Dirge's face . . . or a chance to overthrow Megatron. One or the other. He shook his head and headed for the practice room.

As he walked, his thoughts wandered back to Trinity and he grinned once more. She was such a witty and beautiful Femme, and he wanted nothing more than to be with her more often. In fact, he wanted her to be a Decepticon but didn't want to pressure her into anything she didn't want to do.

If I have to keep sneaking out to see her, so be it, he thought rebelliously. I love her and will her no matter what!

He made his way to the practice room.

Five hours later, Thundercracker was out on patrol with his wingmates and going over the last even in his mind. Of course, Trinity was still in his thoughts but Trinity was not someone who did not confuse him. Megatron and Starscream did.

They had passed their evaluation with flying colours, considering Starscream was the only one who had been fully prepared for it. How that had happened, Thundercracker didn't know. Sheer luck, he had thought before. However, given Starscream's snarky attitude afterwards, he was suspecting sabotage.

Such is his way, Thundercracker sighed to himself and pushed the evaluation out of his mind. He then began to count down the time until he could see his beloved once more. After all, how could a day end well if you had nothing to look forward to at the very end?

Several weeks passed and Thundercracker continued to sneak out to see Trinity, sometimes in the middle of the day but mostly in the middle of the night. Surprisingly enough, no one was the wiser for it, not even Soundwave, and it was making Thundercracker very, very nervous. Every time he left and came back, he was always expecting someone to pounce on him and demand to know where he'd been or why he was sneaking around and leaving without permission. Tonight was no exception as he crept through the halls of the base.

However, no one approached as he got on the lift and became airborne once more. As he flew through the sky, his anxiety lessened and his thoughts were on Trinity. She, too, seemed a little anxious about something and he feared that she was going to say that it was over between them, that she couldn't handle the sneaking around and secrecy.

He reached their rendezvous point and she was already there. She was in his arms the moment he transformed and landed and holding him tight. Worried, Thundercracker gently grasped her chin and lifted her head up so they were looking at each other in the optics. There were tears in her optics and she was smiling.

"Trinity?"

"Have you any idea as to how much I love you, Thundercracker?" she whispered.

"Of course, I do," he replied. "But what's wrong? Why do you have tears in your optics?"

"I have some good news . . . Very good news but it does mean a decision has to be made. By both of us."

"What? What do you mean?" he asked, worried. He didn't want to lose her, now that he had found her.

"I'm expecting a child, Thundercracker. Your child," she smiled, more tears pouring from her optics. "But I can't stay here . . . We'd be discovered . . . Oh, I'm so happy but I'm scared."

"A child . . ." he murmured. "My child . . ."

"Please . . . don't be upset," she said, misunderstanding his words. "I ran the test myself this morning. I just found out."

"Baby, I'm not mad," he purred. "I think it's great. And you're right. You can't stay here . . . I'm just . . . thinking."

"Thinking?" she echoed.

"Yes," he nodded. "Of where we could both go."

"Both of us?" Trinity blinked. "You mean, you'd leave Earth behind?"

"Absolutely," he breathed. "And Megatron's looking for someone to go to one of the bases in one of the outer territories . . . near a Neutralist colony . . ."

"I could go to the colony," she said cheerfully. "They're always taking medics!"

"Wouldn't this deter them?" he inquired, tracing a finger along her sigil. Trinity merely smiled.

"Thundercracker, my love, I am a Neutralist. I just wear the sigil of the Autobots every now and then, when I want some excitement. It helps Ratchet out but he's getting more help before the week is out. He won't need me anymore."

Thundercracker looked at her, a little awestruck. Then he smiled.

"Let's do it."

Having said that, he kissed her, allowing the night to melt away . . .

888888888

Getting the position at the Decepticon outpost was harder than what Thundercracker had anticipated. He didn't know it was a command position so, when he went to Megatron and requested it, the request took Megatron by surprise. Thundercracker had never shown an interest in commanding others, and he demanded to know why Thundercracker wanted the position.

"Command position?" he echoed, surprised. He had not known this.

"Yes, a command position," Megatron snapped. "Why now?"

"I-I-I didn't know it was a command position," he stammered, still surprised. The truth. "I just want to get off this miserable mudball of a planet." Not too far from the truth. He'd told Skywarp once that he couldn't wait to leave for Earth was too flat and he'd stand by it if anyone asked him.

Megatron looked at him with narrowed optics, as if weighing his words. Then he snorted in disgust.

"I'll make a decision in one week," he said finally and turned away. Thundercracker quickly left the command center and retreated to his quarters, his insides churning. Naturally, it didn't end there. His wingmates soon caught wind of his request and were soon at his door, wanting to know all about it. Skywarp was enthusiastic while Starscream . . . well, he was his usual indignant self. For the most part.

"Is it true?" Skywarp asked, his optics glinting with his enthusiasm. He and Starscream had just entered his quarters. Starscream glowered for a few moments before becoming indignant. "You're going for a command position?"

"Didn't know it was a command position until I applied," he grumped. This just wasn't turning out to be his day, though he felt a small surge of satisfaction when their jaws dropped in shock.

"You didn't know?"

Thundercracker shook his head.

"Not a clue."

They stood there in silence. Suddenly, Starscream's indignant attitude dissipated and he broke out into a grin.

"I hope you get the position," he said. Both he and Skywarp gave Starscream a sharp look, like he had indeed finally fallen off of his rocker. This wasn't like Starscream at all.

Of course, me sneaking out every night to see a Femme is hardly normal, either, he thought idly. I wonder if Starscream has a girlfriend.

"What?" Starscream demanded when he saw their looks. "Can't a guy wish one of his comrades the best of luck?"

"Well, yeah . . ." Skywarp began.

"But we weren't expecting it from you," Thundercracker finished. "What gives?"

Starscream had a look of feigned innocence on his face as he looked back and forth between them before snorting, "Ramjet applied for the position as well." He obviously figured he couldn't fool them. "It'd serve Dirge right if Thundercracker got the position and not his precious little Ramjet."

Both Skywarp and Thundercracker groaned out loud.

"Not this again!" Skywarp cried out.

"Yes, this again," Starscream snapped.

"Just give it a rest, Screamer," Thundercracker stated. "This vendetta you have against Dirge isn't worth it."

"Fine," the Aerial Commander sniffed. "I'll just wait for Megatron to make his announcement and then see your expressions. Ingrates."

With that, he stalked off, leaving Thundercracker to wonder exactly what was going on.

A week later, Megatron made his announcement, as promised. The three conehead Seekers were looking very smug, as if they knew what the announcement was going to be. Thundercracker had already discovered he and Ramjet were the only applicants for the position and that the other Seekers had bullied off anyone else interested in the position. They didn't know that he had applied, though, thanks to Starscream, Skywarp, and Rumble and Frenzy.

Maybe I shouldn't have applied, he thought guiltily. I . . .

Then he thought of Trinity and their baby and his doubt vanished. He was not one to shirk his responsibilities or back out of anything.

No, he told himself firmly. I'm doing the right thing. I need to be there for her and our child. Now if only the slagging announcement would be made already!

He, and the rest of the Decepticons gathered there, didn't have to wait much longer. Megatron, Starscream, and Soundwave walked out, and everyone quieted down. Starscream was looking rather smug for some reason. He and Skywarp exchanged a look. Something was up. Megatron looked at everyone before beginning.

"I'm not going to begin with a spiel as to why we're here," he stated. "You all know so I'll just say who got the new command position then make my other announcement."

Thundercracker cast a quick glance over at the other Seekers. They weren't even containing their enthusiasm. He just sighed and shook his head.

"As there were only two applicants," Megatron was saying, "I went with the best one for the job. Congratulations, Thundercracker, you're the new commander."

There was a murmur of surprise among the other Decepticons and Thundercracker felt relieved. Very relieved. Trinity was already on her way to the colony so he'd be able to join her within the next few weeks, depending on how long everything took to go through. He closed his optics and leaned back in his seat. He was finally leaving this miserable little mudball!

"Finally . . . all sub-Aerial commanders shall report to Starscream within the next five breems. The division of the Seekers stationed on Earth is now at an end. I'm disgusted by most of the performances I saw in your evaluations. Failure to comply with the new order will result in immediate termination."

With that, Megatron, Soundwave, and Starscream exited. Several of the Seekers began to grumble about the new orders while many came over to congratulate Thundercracker on obtaining the new position. It was one of the happiest days of his life.

888888888

Several months later

Blast after blast whizzed harmlessly past Thundercracker as he flew closer to the offending Autobot on the ground. With the trained precision that was so often required of all Decepticons, he locked on to his target and fired. The Autobot fell, and Thundercracker pulled up just in time and continued to fire at anything that had the Autobot sigil. Unable to withstand the onslaught the Decepticons were presenting, the remaining Autobots retreated, managing to gather their wounded as they went.

"All units cease fire," Thundercracker ordered. "If they try anything, though . . . terminate them."

It chilled him to think of how much like Megatron he was sounding but then the Autobots brought everything upon themselves this time. The Decepticons behind complied and he transformed, landing in the middle of the colony and looking around. Several others followed suit while a few others checked the hulled out buildings for survivors. Thundercracker, however, wasn't holding out much hope.

The colony itself was completely demolished. Buildings were riddled with laser blasts . . . at least the ones still standing were. The rest were just smoldering, blackened heaps against the landscape. It was a depressing sight and Thundercracker just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. To think that, at one point, he thought the Autobots might have actually been right to defy the Decepticons.

"Thundercracker! The colony elder survived!"

The shout brought him out of his dark musings and he looked as Dreadnought brought a wizened Mech to him. Thundercracker stared impassively as they approached.

"Blasted Autobots," the elder grumble. "Had no business here! They wanted the Femmes, you know. The Femmes and the younger ones. Said they could protect them and give them a better life. Got angry when we said no. Couldn't just leave it alone. Kept insisting and now this. Self-righteous pieces of slag!"

He smiled a little at the older Mech's tirade, which didn't last long. When he saw Thundercracker, he stopped and regarded him for a moment. They said nothing, just locked optics and stared.

"She was one of the first to fall," the older Mech said sadly, finally breaking the silence. "I watched her. I know how much she meant to you."

"Did she die fighting?" he asked, know who the elder spoke of.

"Aye," the elder nodded. "Killed a few of them before they got to her . . . Said she couldn't believe she usta be one of them before they came back with their guns. They shot whoever they could."

"She died an honourable death then," Thundercracker stated quietly, his voice not even betraying the emptiness he felt inside.

"Aye . . ."

Again, no one spoke. The heaviness of the situation seemed to hang on to everyone and Thundercracker felt himself becoming lost in a darkness where no light could ever hope to penetrate. It threatened to overwhelm him and he just wanted to die.

No! he told himself. Our daughter still lives. She's at the base, safe and sound. I must be strong for her. Trinity's death has already been avenged. I must go on.

"I go now," the elder said, jarring Thundercracker out of his thoughts. "I go to Earth and tell Optimus what his people have done. Before they lie and try to get out of what's coming to them."

He was transforming and taking off before anyone could stop him. Thundercracker watched him go and silently wished him the best of luck. He then took to the air himself headed back for the base, the rest of the Decepticons following him. His daughter needed him, after all.

The End