Author's Note: It occurred to me that, for all that they're both second-in-commands, G1 Starscream and Prowl never have any screen time together, unlike Megatron and Optimus, and furthermore, in fanfiction, they hardly seem to acknowledge the fact that they're both second-in-commands. So I thought I'd write a fanfiction about the two of them...this was the result. It tried to be something much longer and epic, consisting of much OOCness for Decepticons, but I squashed it down to this...Now off I go to write on NaNoWriMo...

- Vacations Aren't Evil -

It had started with shared looks on the battlefield, glimpses showing that both Prowl and Starscream were exasperated with the stupid, heroic/villainous actions of their leaders. No one else noticed, because as much as Starscream was a traitor, and Prowl was supposedly 'emotionless', everyone knew that they were second-in-commands for a reason - they believed in their individual causes almost as much as their leaders did. That didn't mean they couldn't get exasperated when battle plans or suggested courses of action were thrown out the proverbial window, if they were even acknowledged, because of the principles involved in the fight. Which was how the glances began.

Inevitably, of course, it grew into sarcastic comments made in passing, or while fighting. If anyone noticed that Prowl and Starscream talked more to each other while fighting than Bluestreak did when he was overcharged, nobody said anything, since they still fought each other, and usually one of them got sent back to their base severely damaged.

From there, it was a short step to 'accidentally' running into each other outside of battle. And Starscream, naturally, always carried a little bit of high grade on him. And really, what better mech for Prowl to try Sideswipe's latest (confiscated) high grade concoction on than the Decepticon Air Commander? Fortunately for both second-in-commands, Prowl was adept at hiding the fact that he was overcharged - hence the rumours that he couldn't even get overcharged - and none of the Decepticons really cared if Starscream came back to the base unable to tell his head from his aft and babbling about how certain Autobots were a lot like certain Decepticons in their off-hours. Neither of them acted any differently towards each other on the battlefield, so nobody had any way to suspect.

There is only so much complaining one can do, however, even with literally millions of years worth of transgressions to pull from. Talk during their overcharged late-night meetings eventually, once they had enough high grade in them, turned to common chatter, and to wishful discussions of what they'd like to be able to do if their leader was either out of the way, or made to listen to, and follow, their advice.

"Oh, I know!" Starscream suddenly announced from where he was lying flat on the ground during one of those wishful discussions. "If - if Megatron had to listen to me...I'd tell him to give me a vacation! And - not one of those 'You have betrayed me again, Starscream! Now I am going to shoot you in the back and exile you!' vacations!" Prowl, leaning against a nearby tree, snickered slightly at Starscream's passable imitation of Megatron's voice.

"You consider those vacations?" the Autobot asked.

"Closest I've ever gotten! Un-unlike you Autoboobs, we don't get vacation time!" Starscream retorted. "Because...vacation time isn't evil!" Prowl snorted.

"Yeah, well, I haven't taken a vacation day" Prowl trailed off, trying to think of the last time he'd taken a vacation, and slowly came to realize that he hadn't, period, and finished with a depressed, "Ever."

"Wh-what? Why not?" Starscream asked, sparing the energy to lift his head and frown at the other second-in-command. "You' the time. Use it!"

"Well, I think I tried once." Prowl said, half-closing one optic to help him concentrate as he went through his truly ancient memory banks. "They had to call me back after half a day because of some crisis."

"Hunh. That sucks." Starscream said, letting his head fall back down.

"I know." Prowl said with a snort. There was a lull in the conversation before Starscream spoke again.

"So what we both to take a vacation somewhere...that we can't be contacted." the Seeker mused.

"Pft, no such place, not with the advancements in communications over the years." Prowl said, then gestured vaguely up into the night sky. "I mean, slag, we can have real-time communications with Cybertron from here on Earth. Pretty much anywhere else in the galaxy is similarly easy to contact, and those that aren't, well, we couldn't get to them, anyways." Starscream considered that for a moment.

"What about closer?" he questioned after a moment.

"Mmm?" Prowl asked, giving the Seeker a puzzled look, and Starscream hesitated a moment before continuing.

"Well, when either of our s-sides...captures someone from th-the other side, they put-put up a...signal-jamming field." he said unsteadily, his face screwed up as he tried to focus his thoughts through the haze of excess energy.

"And then ask them questions and/or beat the scrap out of them." Prowl pointed out.

"Your guys don't. Not unless...Megatron's doing something suspicious and-and that spy of yours can't...figure out what." Starscream countered. "La-last time TC got himself caught...he said you just left him alone (and very bored) while...while Prime and Megatron neg-negotiated for his return..."

"True." Prowl agreed, then considered for another moment. "So is Megatron doing anything suspicious that Mirage won't be able to find out?" Starscream considered. So overcharged were they that neither second-in-command realized that this was the first time they'd ever actively exchanged information about what either side was doing, instead of just complaining about what had already happened.

"No." Starscream concluded after several minutes of thought.

"Right. So. Wanna take a vacation?" Prowl asked with a grin, gesturing widely in the direction of the Ark. Starscream ended up in convulsive fits of laughter as the gesture overbalanced the Autobot tactician, sending him crashing sideways to the ground.


"I don't get it." Jazz said the next morning, staring into the brig in disbelief. Red Alert, beside Jazz, just grunted, similarly shocked. Inside the cell of the brig, the mech of their attention stirred slightly and groaned, optics flickering on weakly.

"Ugh. I need new circuits." he groaned, slowly sitting up.

"I'll say." Jazz put in, and that brought the mech's attention sharply to him and Red Alert.

"What the slag?" the mech asked with a frown, then looked around. Spotting another mech still recharging soundly behind a crate inside the cell, thoroughly out of sight of the other two mechs, the first one stuck out a leg and shoved the recharging one, eliciting a startled yelp. As the second mech sat up, making his presence known, Jazz's optics grew, quite impossibly, larger, while Red Alert's CPU fritzed out entirely, sending him crashing to the floor.

"Ow! What was that for?!" the second mech complained. Complained! Jazz was still struggling with that when the first mech spoke again.

"What the slag are we doing in your brig?" the second mech looked at the first in momentary confusion, as his memories of the night before slowly came back to him.

"Taking a vacation." he finally replied.

"Oh." the first mech said, frowning, then flopped back down onto the floor of the cell. "Wake me up when the vacation's over." The second mech just grunted and lay back down himself, apparently having not even noticed Jazz. The Porsche looked between the unconscious Starscream and the crate he now knew was hiding Prowl, then did the only thing a sane mech could do - he grabbed Red Alert, took him to med bay, and went to check the security camera footage from the night before. And promptly made back-ups - and then back-ups of his back-ups. Later, after several mechs had had the time to realize Prowl was missing and somebody had fritzed-out Red Alert's CPU - and, incidentally, after Starscream and Prowl had both had time to recover from their aching circuits, not that Jazz had been keeping an eye on them or anything - Jazz reported the entire situation to Optimus with a wide grin.