A/N - psychological introspective piece written for the prowlxjazz comm on livejournal. Prompt was "mask"
How many have you killed?
Jazz smiled at Blaster as he laughed.
You don't remember, do you?
His smile turned teasing, poking at an embarrassed but good-natured Bumblebee.
You're a monster.
He laughed along with the others as Bumblebee turned the teasing back on him.
He turned at a tap on his shoulder, grinning up at Sideswipe.
There is no excuse for what you've done.
Jazz gave Sideswipe a playful shove. Sideswipe danced back, impish smirk on his face.
If they knew what you've done…
Laughter broke out again at a mischievous suggestion from Bumblebee.
They should put you down like the rabid dog you are.
No one noticed Jazz's carefree mask become strained.
No one noticed Jazz quietly excuse himself amidst the jeering and catcalls.
They didn't deserve to die.
Jazz walked quickly down the empty hallway, head down and expression serious.
He ducked into his room with a sigh, letting the cheerful mask drop entirely. He slumped against the door, reaching up and pulling off his visor.
You don't deserve to live.
Jazz rubbed his face with a shaking hand
They'd hate you if they knew. Every one of-
A warm hand caught Jazz's. He looked up into worried blue optics.
"Jazz?" Prowl asked, voice filled with concern.
"Prowl – I-" Jazz straightened, pasting a bright smile across his face. "I though you were going over security with Red-"
"We finished," Prowl told him, not at all fooled. "Jazz, stop."
Jazz's smile faltered.
Prowl laid a hand on the side of Jazz's face and leaned closer. "You don't have to pretend. Not here, not with me."
Jazz shivered, leaning his forehead on Prowl's shoulder. "Prowl…"
"I know." And he did – Prowl was one of the two people who knew everything Jazz had done. He was the only one who knew the real reason Jazz hid his optics from everyone, the only one who saw how the carefree grin never quite reached his optics. "It's going to be alright," Prowl whispered, wrapping his arms around his distraught lover and pulling him closer. Jazz relaxed into Prowl's embrace with a sigh.
"I love you," Prowl murmured. With those words, simply and sincerely given, Jazz finally managed to silence the self-accusations that dogged his every waking moment. For right now, right here in his bondmate's arms, he could be at peace.