Camera Care

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Skywarp didn't mean to bother Reflector quite so much. Sure, painting Thundercracker in dazzle camouflage had seemed funny at the time, but now it was a week later, and their third-through-fifth was still avoiding him.

"Hey, 'Flec?" He knocked on the spy's door, box of supplies under one arm. "You in there?"

Silence, but the computer station had reported one camera-component in the room.

"Look, I know you're in there. Let me in."

The door hissed open. A component lay quietly on his berth, optics off-line and hands folded together on his abdomen. Skywarp recognized the pose as signifying that Reflector was cataloging data and not interested in conversation.

Skywarp snuck over to the camera-component and crouched down next to the berth. Okay, this one had the lens in his chest. All right, score one for the teleporter! He had remembered Reflector's duty-schedule! The jet grinned and set down the box.

Reflector did not deign to look at him.

Skywarp opened his box and picked out an old, worn piece of cloth. It was soft and clean and tightly woven with synthetic fibers, and it was the third replacement polish cloth Thundercracker had given him. He toyed with it a little bit, running it along his wing-edges to enjoy the softness. Satisfied, he draped it over his knee. He took out a second one, this one without the slight dinginess to the first, and placed it over his other knee. Finally, he set out a spritzer that contained a mixture of ethanol and methanol. "Uncap your lens, okay?"

"Now why should I do that?" Reflector still hadn't turned his optics on.

Skywarp ran one finger along the curve of his lens casing. "Well... I'd make it worth your while."

Reflector shivered as Skywarp changed the alignment of his lenses just a wee little bit. His lens cap dilated open.

Skywarp steadied himself with a hand on Reflector's shoulder, leaned down, and blew lightly over the lens.

Reflector shuddered reflexively, and Skywarp pressed down on his shoulder to still him. He blew over the lens again, waste heat from his engines rerouted through his mouth. That fogged the lens up, of course, but it was a smooth and even fog. No signs of dust, oils, or fingerprints. Not that he really expected to find any; Reflector took good care of himself.

He chuckled a little as Reflector kicked him for fogging him up. "Come on, don't you trust me?"

One optic flickered on briefly. "Do you really want my answer?"

Skywarp chuckled again and settled back on his heels. He picked up the first cloth and very lightly spritzed it with the mixture he had picked out. Reflector had mentioned it as being the next best thing if what he preferred to use wasn't available.

When the jet saw Reflector had turned off his optics again, he began to rub the cloth in very slow circles on his lens.

The camera's feet kicked against the berth, and Skywarp had to lean hard against his shoulder to keep him from thrashing. He yelped as he heard the tell-tale whisper of the lens cap closing. "'Fleccy!"

"Do not call me that."

However, the lens cap vanished back into the camera's chest once more. Skywarp grinned and continued to carress Reflector's lens with the cloth. "You're such a little slagsucker, you know that? Throwing such a tizzy over a little dazzle camouflage. Sure it's hard on the optics, but aren't you the best little visual-based spy in the whole Empire?"

Reflector trembled, optics flickering on dimly. "Your thoughtlessness constantly amazes me, Skywarp. You were surprised that I reacted that way."

Skywarp pressed harder on the lens, and the camera snatched at his wrists.

"Don't you dare!" Reflector growled. "Your pride at damaging me would be worth less than nothing after I got through with you."

Skywarp drew his hand back slowly and grinned at the camera. He was so sexy when he was riled. It made his optics blaze like nothing else did, not even interlink. He never looked more alive than when he laid out a card from the hand he played and showed you just what he had on you and how much he could ruin you. It made Skywarp just want to...

He kissed Reflector, hard, and energy jumped from the dark Seeker's mouth to the camera's.

Dropping the used rag in his lap, he fumbled for the clean one then swiped it across Reflector's lens. Once that was out of the way, he tossed the cloth over his shoulder and climbed into the berth with the camera-component. He only broke the kiss then, crouching over Reflector with a smirk. "I'm going to make you beg."

Reflector's optics flickered as he took a picture of the dark jet.

The End