Disclaimer: I do not own any giant robots from space, no I do not.
It was a beautiful day by human standards - meaning it was a horrid, disgusting day in the Decepticon's opinion.
Starscream shuddered with a growl of his engines, resisting the urge to just say "slag it" and return to base, no matter how his aft would be beaten by Megatron for not completing his mission.
But it was so hot, Earth's primary beating down on the planet with relentless fury, heating his metal form so quickly his coolant vents and fans could barely keep up. It didn't help that they were currently flying over the American southwest, and the sun was reflecting up from the desert in waves, baking his topside and underbelly equally. Dust flew in the air, making him dirty and gritty and getting lodged irritatingly in any sort of crevice they could find on his jet alt mode.
And, to top it off, he was stuck following the Autobot's insufferably slow afts as they drove along the human land-born transport conduits, and he couldn't go down to blast them to kingdom come.
Noooo, he had to do surveillance. He had to ride them and stay out of sight, just following the deluded fools in whatever mission they had that day, and report everything back to Megatron. Their leader had decided it was time to step back the brute force a bit and spend some time in good old reconnaissance - something Starscream heartily approved of...if only he wasn't the one doing it.
At least he wasn't alone. But, considering his company, he was unsure to count this as a blessing or a curse.
::It's fragging hoooooooooot!:: Skywarp whined electronically - somehow managing for even the sonic transmissions to carry a petulant tone.
::We're not gonna get any cooler, you slag heap, so deal with it.:: Starscream's only solace was that Thundercracker was as irritable as he, and so was taking it out on their wingmate.
::Both of you, stick an electric current in your mouth and suck on it. You're getting my interior hotter with your insipid whining heating my audio circuits.:: Of course, this did not mean that he wouldn't let them have it for forcing him to listen to the same circular conversation for the past two hours.
::But it's hot, Screamer!::
::I know it's slagging hot! Deal with it, Skywarp, or I will shoot you down to land in the Autobot party myself!::
The black and purple jet lagged behind his formation a few feet, letting his turbines whine discontentedly.
Satisfied that Skywarp would be quiet for at least a few breems more, Starscream turned his attention back to the caravan of Autobots still coasting along down below. He hadn't been paying much attention to them himself, admittedly - what were they going to do, drive around for a whole orn?
But just as he was contemplating swooping down and shooting at least one of them, they began to miraculously slow, pulling off the main conduit - his database helpfully supplied that humans called it a "highway", and Starscream told his database to go to the Pit for all he cared - and down a smaller one to a human settlement that consisted of maybe ten buildings in total.
A quick long-distance scan told him most humans must commute from the many dirt lanes spreading to distant dwellings to congregate here, which Skywarp, in his love of human culture, had endearingly termed "Middle of Fucking Nowhere, Arizona".
Starscream, for all he disliked human terms of speech, had to agree. There wasn't even one of the numerous golden arches or giant shopping centers that threatened to absorb the entire human economy here.
What were the Autobots doing here, then? Some new energon source? A secret human weapon they were collaborating on? What was it!?
Paranoia flooded his circuits where boredom had run rampant before, and he immediately threw himself into a dive, heading for the concealing hills a mere five hundred meters from the one building all the Autobots were converging on.
His wingmates cursed and quickly followed, trying to keep up with their leader and his insane dives - Starscream's flying skill was legendary, making it slagging hard to keep up with him on a good day. This left the leader prone to suddenly throwing himself into maneuvers that they were unable to follow at such speed.
Carefully concealing himself and his energy signal from probing eyes, Starscream transformed into robot mode and crouched behind the hill, staring intently at the Autobots. Thundercracker and Skywarp, still recovering from their much less-controlled dives, followed suit slightly wobbly.
"What are they doing, what are they doing!?" Skywarp whispered eagerly, pushing forward and watching the Autobots eagerly.
"They are..." Thundercracker paused suddenly, staring in disbelief. "I don't believe this. We flew on their afts, overheating ourselves and being bored out of our slagging minds for this!?"
"A car wash." Starscream muttered, staring at the congregation of Autobots who were enthusiastically enjoying the attentions of many young humans, being soaked with cold water and soaped up with many eager hands.
Skywarp and Thundercracker began bickering amongst themselves, debating which was stupider - the Autobots for enjoying being rubbed all over by squishies, the squishies on general principle, or the Seekers themselves for staying on the Autobots for something this trivial.
Starscream, meanwhile, continued staring. The Autobots were clearly enjoying themselves, the humans working industriously to removing all the dirt and grime the disguised cars had accumulated on their journey. They were getting sparkly clean, in cool, refreshing water...he even thought he saw miniature packets of smell - "air fresheners", slag his database, he didn't want to know any more human terms than he had to - being handed out to the expectant robots.
Starscream was tired. And hot. And irritated.
And very, very grimy.
Processor decided in a lightening-swift calculation, he transformed back into alt mode and used his engines to roll himself across the remaining desert very quickly, blasting his wingmates with sand as he rolled himself right up into the lot of concrete in full view. Thundercracker and Skywarp stared after him, mouths hanging open in disbelief.
Starscream's sudden arrival had halted all action - humans freezing in place or ducking and hiding from the sudden appearance of a pilotless jet, sponges falling to the ground and hosing running unused. The Autobots either freezed or tensed, preparing for battle. For the longest nano-click anyone had ever known, complete silence reigned.
Then Starscream spoke, in that high, commanding voice of his.
"Wash me. Wash meeeeee!!"
More silence followed as glances were shared, before buckets and other cleaning implements were hesitantly picked up, and several of the boldest humans bore them over. Hoses were turned on him to soak him - only one or two at first, before the humans grew confident in the fact he wasn't attacking anytime soon. Ladders were brought out so they could climb on top of him, and soon he was being as industriously scrubbed as the Autobots, who had sat back in tense but relenting silence when he proved his intentions to be merely washed.
Starscream let his engines rumble in contentment, turbines making a high-pitched sound of enjoyment. Sure he had squishies climbing all over him and rubbing him, but he was getting fragging clean. By Primus, he'd never take the luxury of joints free of sand for granted ever again.
That's it, he decided dreamily. I won't kill the humans - I'll make them all into carwash slaves.
A good two human hours later, Starscream was finally clean enough to fit his exacting standards - he'd probably terrorized the one young female when he had popped his canopy open on her and demanded that he be vacuumed or he'd vaporize her, but it was well worth it.
He was completely sand-free, every sensor in his body registering relaxation and pleasure. The cool water had solved his heat problem completely, refreshing his body and saving his coolent systems hours of work. His paint job gleamed like it never had before, completely polished and waxed. They'd even oiled where he'd told them to.
With a shuddering sigh of pleasure, he briefly fired his jets, clearing out some residue moisture, before turning his attention to Optimus Prime. The large mech had his doors open as he himself was being vacuumed, and despite his lack of faceplate features in alt mode, the questioning aura was almost visible.
"I, Starscream, second-in-command of the Decepticons, declare this 'car wash' and all such establishments a permanent cease-fire zone." He declared, before backing away far enough to fire his jets, taking off without impeding the humans in cleaning the remaining Autobots. He soared through sky, making electronic clicks of contentment. He made sure to soar over the current wind altitude - there was no way he was getting sand all over himself. The air freshener jangled merrily in his cockpit - "pine fresh" was not that bad of a scent, Starscream decided.
The sound of roaring jet engines alerted him to the return of his Seekers - who were still sandy and grimy, he noticed. He cautiously angled out of their trajectory, making absolutely sure no sand would blow towards him.
::Hey, boss, what the slag was that!? You just let squishies rub all over you, and sat in Auto-geek presence without blasting them to the Pit!!:: Skywarp questioned, Thundercracker remaining silent but obviously adding his agreement to the question.
::That...is the only way humans have made themselves of worth.:: He replied enigmatically. ::And neither of you are touching me until you're not filthy, this polish took five breems to set.::
Yes, indeed. Humans were very useful in this one aspect, he decided. He'd have to see about getting Megatron to a car wash sometime soon - maybe the service would relax their irritating leader somewhat.
With a pleased hum, he engaged his thrusters, heading for the base.