Title: Comfort Calling Late

Chapter: Prelude: Play Dead

Author: SBX

Characters: Prowl, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, First Aid, Perceptor

Pairings: Prowl/Jazz, others to come

Rating: PG

Warnings: none

Disclaimer: No character used in this story belongs to me. Fic title comes from the lyrics of "Every You Every Me" by Placebo.

Summary: The road to healing is long and winding, but is it traveled too late?

A/N: This was partially inspired by a Transformers/The Fast and the Furious crossover plot bunny that came out of nowhere, and partially by a drabble that bunnytofu wrote on my request. And I'm not entirely sure how the Artemis Fowl book series got thrown into the mix, but I'm glad it did because it's a very… interesting concoction. So basically this story is a three-way crossover.

Before we start I'd like to make a few things clear. First off, the ship that our staring characters crew is the Steelhaven, a lance-shaped starship from the G1 continuity that only appeared in the Marvel comic. It's crew and their duties are as follows:

Prowl (Steelhaven Captain)

First Aid (Chief Medical Officer)

Sunstreaker (Pilot, jack-of-all-trades)

Sideswipe (Navigation, jack-of-all-trades)

Perceptor (Chief Science Officer)

Cybertronian specific phrases and their meanings are:

Deca-Cycle: Equals to approx. a year

Orn: 13 days (as I haven't found anything that lists this as an official time unit, credit for this goes to Karategal.

Any questions? Please feel free to ask. Now on with the show!

Thinking hurts and thoughts don't rhyme
To those of us who've never tried
To find a face behind our lipstick smiles
And as our pretty faces die
Our broken hearts will wonder why
The make-up just won't hide the scars of time

-"Play Dead," The Birthday Massacre

"Passed away. Departed. Deceased. Dead.
Humans have such ways with words. They sugarcoat meanings into euphemisms, thinking it will somehow make the pain less real, less raw. No words in any language could ever make it better. No single word could ever contain the significance of feeling him (friend. comrade. lover.) die thousands of miles away, hoping against all odds that for once, your heart is wrong."

-gift drabble from bunnytofu


Prowl was losing his mind. The entire crew was certain of it. They had tried to ignore the signs, tried to give their commanding officer time to heal on his own, but now it didn't seem like that was going to happen. For four deca-cycles the usually logical and rational tactician had been descending into a deep depression, the cause of which none of them ever spoke of, and the whole crew had tried to help him as best as they could, in their own ways.

First Aid constantly badgered him about his health, and on six separate occasions had to force Prowl into stasis when he refused for Orns to enter it himself. Perceptor allotted a fraction of his vast processing abilities to performing almost constant scans on their leader so he could inform First Aid of any and all health risks.

While the scientific minded Autobots saw to Prowl's physical well being, the Twins saw to the mental and emotional. When attempts to cheer him up utterly failed, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe settled for making him mad. They pulled pranks and blatantly violated regulations. They did anything and everything they could to get the kind of angry reactions that the old Prowl had been infamous for. Nothing.

They were all at the ends of their ropes when Steelhaven's onboard computer informed them that they were only an Orn's worth of space travel away from their destination. Earth. The planet that the Autobot leader and his team now called home because Cybertron was beyond hope.

This news brought relief to the crew of Steelhaven. They thought that if anybody could help Prowl through the loss of his bonded, it would be Optimus Prime. They thought that nothing could go wrong.

An Orn later they all became intimately familiar with Murphy's Law.