Disclaimer: I don't, have never and will never, hold any claim over the Transformers franchise. All writings hereonin, apart from my Author Notes, are merely for my own amusement and are not intended in any way to make money or break copyright laws.

Author Note: This was very difficult to write, and I just hope it was worth the effort. Domestic violence is not an easy subject to write about as it is, and the nature of the violence in this story was, for me, the most challenging to put into words because of how repulsive it is. As for canon accuracy and inspiration, I have always had trouble understanding Starscream's persistent bad-mouthing of Megatron while Megatron is standing there listening to him. It's inviting punishment, and from Screamy's whining for mercy afterwards, he doesn't seem like the type who likes the pain. But this was still extremely hard to write.


You, My Killer

"Starscream, come to me." Megatron's voice cut through my audio circuits. I ignored him, bending over the data on the screen in front of me. I was busy, and I didn't want him to interfere and break my concentration. However, when he called again, in a louder voice, I could no longer pretend I had not heard him, and I turned irritably.

"What is it, Megatron?" I snapped peevishly, staring insolently at him. "Can't you see I'm busy?"

My response caused my leader to walk up to me and press his silver face into mine, whispering in a deadly tone that betrayed his ire.

"Insubordinate fool, when I call you, you drop everything and answer me, do you hear?"

"Perhaps I would not be insubordinate if I had a leader worth following." I retorted, turning away from him again, giving him the cold shoulder. Out of the corner of my optics, I saw Soundwave giving me another of his typically impassive looks.

This is a ritual exchange that Megatron and I have repeated many, many times. The other Decepticons suspect nothing. They have no reason to suspect anything. I want it to stay that way. I don't want them knowing how weak I am.

Megatron was radiating a cold fury, and I knew instantly that I would pay for my insolence. Bracing myself for the blow that would surely come any instant, I was surprised when there was no pain. Instead, in a remarkably controlled voice considering the aura that I was picking up, my leader hissed:

"Starscream, tonight at precisely twenty past seven, you will be outside the door to my quarters, do I make myself clear? If you dare to disobey me, then I shall see to it that you are terminated. I have had quite enough of your intolerable cheek. As for my orders now, get your worthless wingmates together and get out there to provide aerial back up to the Stunticons, do you hear me?"

"... Yes, o' mighty Megatron." I snarled, standing from my position and brushing out of the room haughtily.

We've been through the same sort of exchange so many times before. It's a game that we play, the two of us. I don't think that any of the other Decepticons have realised it yet. That's good. I don't want them to know my weaknesses. It's a recurring cycle.

Megatron and I, we are bonded. He is my bondmate. I have willingly given myself to him. I am his property, to do with as he pleases. That's fine by me, I love him, he can do no wrong to me. I love him. He can do anything to me, if it makes him happy, if it gives him fulfilment, he can do what he wants to me because, to me, that is what my bond to him means. These charades that we carry out, we developed them so that my fellow warriors would not suspect we were intimately familiar, would assume that I was simply being my normal arrogant self.

It was fun at first. Megatron used to 'punish' me for my 'insubordination' – basically, I would play the role of a repentant traitor and he would play the role of a vengeful tyrant, not too far from our real personalities, and he would bond with me afterwards. The bonds were not restful, they were exhausting; he demands so much and takes so much from me, and he has never been the caring, comforting type, who would hold me afterwards until I went to stasis. But they were enjoyable, at least. And I was happy with him.

I don't know where my paradise went. I don't know what I changed, but somehow I have angered him, I have wronged him so grievously. Somehow, the games of master and slave progressed into real blows in his chambers, then into physical abuse and humiliation in front of the other Decepticons. At first I thought that I had pushed one of our games too far, said something that had touched a nerve. I apologised to him profusely, the night of the first public beating, but it became more and more frequent, and now... I expect nothing less.

It is different every time. Every time he finds some new way to torture me, to violate me... but I cannot let anyone know. Megatron must do this to me because there is a deficiency with me, for he is still as beautiful as he was before. So I can't let anyone know he does it. I don't want anyone to see my failings.

And so it was with a growing feeling of apprehension that I called my fellow seekers to me and took off out of the Decepticon headquarters to assist the Stunticons on whatever mundane mission they were currently carrying out, knowing that I would have to return and brave whatever hurt Megatron decided to visit upon me.

---

After hitting the wall with a crash that reverberated in my audio sensors and sliding down it to lie in a crumpled heap on the floor, I cringed automatically, waiting for the next blow to come. I had pushed him too far again. I always push him too far, I always make him so angry, I always give him a reason to hurt me.

Upon entering his quarters, at exactly twenty past seven, just as he had ordered, I had immediately started to provoke him, calling him a worthless leader and other such stupid things. Of course, it had only served to anger him further, and I was now paying the price. His black hands caught my neck in a vice grip and I squirmed helplessly as I was lifted from the ground.

"Why do you make me do this to you, Starscream?" He sounded almost repentant as he spoke to me, his voice soft, a caress across my audios. I did not answer him, so he carried on speaking. "Why do you force me to hurt you like this?"

As if to demonstrate what 'this' referred to, he plunged his free hand into the canopy on my chest, brutishly ripping through the delicate circuitry there. I shrieked in agony and terror at the invasion, trying to pull myself away as his fingers probed deeper, whimpering every time they brushed over my inner components.

"P-please... stop, I..." I choked hoarsely trying to pry his fingers from around my throat, but his grip was stronger than my struggling.

"Do you like me hurting you?" He asked, moving his hand from inside my chest up to stroke my cheek, his fingers coming to rest just under my chin so that he could tilt my head up to meet his eyes.

"N-no, of course not -"

"Then why do you make me so angry?" As he spoke, his lips brushed the cool grey metal of my face, and I felt, all of a sudden, so, so guilty.

"I... I'm sorry..." My hands fell away from his arm, and, as though rewarding me for my acquiescence, he released my neck from his grasp. I slumped feebly to my knees, staring blankly at the floor.

I heard his footsteps move away from me, and, when I dared to look up again, he was busying himself with some work on his own personal computer monitor, apparently forgetting that I was in the room. I took this to mean that my punishment was over, and, after standing and brushing myself off, I moved towards the door, trying to act as though nothing had happened.

"Where do you think you're going?" Megatron demanded of me, not turning around, and I stilled my hand halfway to reaching for the door handle. "I have not given you permission to leave."

Bowing my head slightly, I reluctantly turned away from the door and sat myself down at the desk near his recharge berth, my back to him. Waiting for him to notice me again, to come and do to me whatever he had planned. The feeling of fear ate away at my spark, gnawing and causing me to be fidgety and unsettled.

And, after what seemed like an absolute age, I felt his hands fall on my shoulders. I tensed up instinctively, but his fingers began to smooth firmly into the red metal of my body, almost forcing me to relax into his touch. I kept my gaze firmly on the surface of the table in front of me, not wanting to provoke my lover any more than I had already.

"Why do you push me so far, my Starscream?" He murmured gently, one of his hands moving up to caress the side of my helmet. I tilted my head into the touch, repressing a small noise of delight at the attention. And when he brought his lips round so that he could kiss where his fingers stroked, I hid my face in my hands hopelessly. "You know that I have to punish you every time you disobey me."

I did not answer him as I regained control of my emotions and brought my hands away from my face, back to the table. I could not find the words, and I knew that he would never understand my reason. At my silence, he moved his soothing hand from my helmet to my cheek, brushing the back of his knuckles over the contours there almost lovingly. And that touch broke me. Trembling, I brought my hands up to hold his, pressing my cheek against it, trying to absorb that feeling. For a moment, it was as though everything was back to the way it had been.

Megatron ripped the chair out from under me, hurling me backwards across the floor. The impact on landing jarred my shattered canopy painfully, and I cried out, staring uncomprehendingly up at my lover.

"How dare you touch me without my authorisation?" He stared down at me with such an expression of disgust that some part of my soul twinged. "You worthless pile of scrap!"

He continued voicing his displeasure, his foot connecting brutally with my already shattered chest again and again as he kicked me into submission. And I knew that it was my fault, I deserved this – because I loved him, and he had not told me he did not love me. All this disappointment and hurt was because he was angry with me, because I was not good enough.

I don't know what I've done wrong. I know that I talk back at him, that I pretend to treachery – he asked me to! He wanted me to, so that the Decepticons would not see that he had taken a bondmate, so that he would be seen as a tyrant and no one else would try to stab him in the back. I was willing to be his scapegoat because it meant that he would be respected, but the rewards I earned for being obedient to his whim have turned to punishments for snide remarks I don't mean.

When finally he planted his last kick, there was a heavy stream of energon running from the corner of my mouth, down my chin and throat to splash onto the lighter grey of my collarstructure – one of my internal arteries must have ruptured. Gripping me by the shoulders again, he hauled my unresisting body roughly upright, moving his head close to mine so that he could lick away my lifeblood, and I shivered in his grasp.

And when he kissed me, I felt as though I could die right there.

How long had it been since he had allowed me to feel his lips on mine? I had to restrain myself from responding in any way and giving him a reason to deny me my comfort. I fell in love with him all over again. The hurt from my broken body was lessened, somehow – as long as he could keep kissing me like this, I wouldn't care if he beat me to death.

Even the kiss was utterly dominating. I took a huge pleasure from it, but it was still designed to show to me my position in this bond of ours. I am his possession, not his lover. I am an object, not a person. I will never be free to live my own choices again – but if being free means living without Megatron, I... I don't know if I want it.

I'm not a masochist. I hate pain.

"Lie down, Starscream." He ordered me, after breaking away from my lips. Uncertain, I blinked foolishly at him, not moving, and my lack of obedience earned me a crashing blow to my left shoulder. I crumpled to my knees with a stifled whine of pain as the superstructure of the stricken vent collapsed in on itself.

"Wh-what are you going to do?" I asked nervously, my voice small. His response was not vocal, instead it was given in the form of him ripping the two sides of my torn chest even further apart, exposing my spark chamber to the world in the most violent way he has managed yet. I screamed loudly, and at that he chuckled.

He carefully opened his own chest to show his spark chamber, and I was, for but a moment, envious of that little armoured sphere. He treated it with more respect than he had ever treated me. But that jealousy was fleeting; if Megatron ever changed, he would not be Megatron any more – and it was Megatron that I adored. I should not complain. It was not my place to complain.

The energon stream from my mouth had increased at the injury inflicted to my shoulder, and my chest was bleeding heavily. Megatron reached down and slicked his fingers in the life-giving liquid, licking it away and smirking ferally at me as he lowered himself to prepare for the bond. Through a haze of agony, I felt a thrill of apprehension as his fingers again probed in my body, opening the container that housed my soul, his spare hand mirroring his actions in his own chest.

Our bonds were never entirely mutual, he always took more than he gave – but he used to give something. They were enjoyable, once. Now I don't know. Now he takes all he can, until I feel so terribly empty, and he gives nothing of himself, and it leaves me feeling choked and lifeless. I try to enjoy it, for him, I try my hardest, but... my body rejects him. So he forces me, and it just hurts. It's supposed to be the most intimate act that Transfomers can engage in, an ultimate expression of love, but he's turned it into just another form of torture.

"D-don't... please, Meg-Megatron..." I begged desperately. I wasn't ready for a bond, not now. My systems were screaming for me to go into stasis so that my body could carry out emergency repairs on itself, and I was beginning to feel dizzy from the loss of energon. But Megatron didn't listen. He never listens, and he never stops.

It was worse than usual. I could feel Megatron's pleasure at my intense pain, and it sickened me a little. I wanted to cry out, but I knew no one would come, and I knew that to do so would be tempting an even worse retribution. I wanted to retreat inside myself, to shut down and never wake up again, but I knew Megatron would not allow me to. He was forcing me to remain conscious for this humiliation, this violation. I was trembling spasmodically with the effort of not making a noise, and that only stimulated him more – I could feel his spark pulsing heatedly against mine as he took all of my most personal feelings, took my very essence, and let me have nothing of him in return.

I forced myself to focus entirely on the pressure of his spark upon mine, to pretend that it was pleasurable. I used to long for it, to dream of it, to imagine that he would be gentle. Ha. What a naïve mech I had been then. My dream had turned into a nightmare, a nightmare I willingly invited upon myself by provoking my leader.

Eventually, Megatron reached whatever climax he had been striving to by invading my soul with his, and he withdrew, closing the compartment in his chest swiftly to hide his spark from the world again. Then he rose to his feet, staring down at me with such disdain.

As for me, I could barely find the strength to close my own spark holder. I lay there on the ground at my bondmate's feet, staring unseeingly at the opposite wall. I sucked in a ventful of air as I felt his unforgiving black hands pulling me mercilessly into a sitting position, as though he saw my weakness and was embarrassed by it. As though he was silently chiding me for not being able to pull myself together.

I sat still, trying to pull my thoughts together. He had essentially raped our bond again. Again. There was nothing I could do about it. I didn't want to leave this relationship, because I love him so much. And I can't tell anyone. I can't ever tell anyone, I don't want them knowing. Megatron must be compelled to abuse me because of a failure on my part, because he is as perfect as he ever was. I can't ever let anyone else know what a deficient being I am.

Gathering my wits, I forced my battered body into a standing position, stumbling forwards once. Megatron had sneered and turned his back on me. He was done with me now that he had achieved what he wanted; he had gone back to whatever work was showing on that infernal computer screen.

"Megatron..." I rasped for him, staggering across to the chair I had occupied earlier, if only because I did not trust my legs to keep my upright for much longer and did not relish the thought of crashing forwards onto my face. He grunted his disapproval at being disturbed but otherwise ignored me. Aching all over, I decided not to tempt fate any more than I already had, and waited silently for him to return his attention to me.

I did not have to wait long this time. He grew bored with whatever information he was poring over very quickly, turning back to me and striding confidently over. He looked... he looked so perfect. So, so brilliant and godlike and omnipotent and unlike me. Feeling unable to meet his gaze, I turned my optics to the floor in total submission to him.

He laid his hands on the top ridges of my wings, caressing them slowly. I shuddered under the administrations, stuck in the contrasting feelings of fear and enjoyment, though I obediently did not make a noise to distract him – at least until his hand brushed my crumpled shoulder, upon which the tiniest whimper escaped me.

"Don't cry, my precious one..." He crooned, his voice washing over me in waves of painful ecstasy. I was precious to him -! "I don't have any sympathy for the likes of you."

"I... I'm sorry..." I murmured brokenly, and he rewarded my meekness by catching my hand and holding it – just holding it, as he hadn't in so long. And suddenly, all the shame and humiliation seemed worth it. This, this is what I live for now – his hands over me, even if his 'love' is nothing but a joke. I can live with that mockery. I can pretend that he cares about me. It doesn't matter. I live for him, and I live for the moments of touch like these. That's why I make him hurt me. Because he always caresses me gently at the same time.

It's bittersweet. The gentle touches he gives me during our private meetings are never kind. They serve the simple, cruel purpose of driving me further and further down into the role of an utterly dominated item that Megatron seems to have carved out for me. Whenever I act submissively, whenever I allow him to control me, he rewards me, it encourages me to block out my own personality, to become this snivelling wretch for him. Because I so love his touch, even if it is nothing more than another fetter of slavery. His fingertips exploring my body without causing hurt, that's enough to chain me to him for as long as it takes.

That is the reason that, even now, when I know to expect horrible torture as a punishment, I still find myself provoking Megatron. I still find myself talking back to him, being cheeky and insolent. Why I still loudly discredit his strategies and claim myself superior. Because of his touch, the few moments of softness he grants me for every evening of torment, I am satisfied. Besides, if I go for any length of time without acting out of line, he provokes me into disobedience by insulting me in front of the other Decepticons repeatedly until I have no choice but to retaliate, if only to preserve my dignity. He forces me into these situations if I do not force myself.

My energon, my lifeblood, was dripping onto the floor in streams, making a worryingly persistent spattering noise upon impact. I was barely managing to keep myself upright in the chair, and I knew that standing now was quite out of the question.

"Today's disciplinary session has ended, Starscream. Go to your quarters and recharge, and I hope to see you in a more agreeable mood tomorrow, do you hear?"

"B-but Megatron..." I managed, coaxing my pathetic voice to form audible coherent sentences. "I am too weak... I c-can't stand..." My head was snapped to the side as my bondmate backhanded me hard. Rubbing the side of my helmet where I had been struck, I stared up at him pleadingly but saw no mercy in his cold, ruthless optics.

"I gave you an order, Starscream."

"Yes..."

With all the strength I had left in me, I all but hurled myself out of the chair at the door, literally crashing into it in my instability at being suddenly vertical and unsupported. Megatron chuckled at my drunken display, moving over to me and laying his hand on my shoulder in a gesture of obscene comfort. I lost my soul to him all over again.

Let him beat me. Let him shout at me, let him be disgusted with me. Let him hate me, if he does. If he continues to give me those small amounts of touch that I can pretend are from a mutual lover, then I am part caring about anything else. No one else could possibly understand. I wouldn't want them to.

Starscream is made of masks indeed. The Decepticon Air Commander, the jaded warrior, the ruthless sadist, the cowardly traitor, the loud-mouthed egotistical megalomaniac, all of those are but façades. The real Starscream is Megatron's willing prisoner.

I'll escape him and his twisted love someday, but for now, let me dream.