A/N: It's official; I have fallen prey to the upcoming schmaltz of Christmas, as have my Decepticon bad-boys.
Disclaimer: I would happily commit murder to own Transformers, sadly I don't. 'Tis the property of Hasbro and Takara. Most of this fic was inspired by the amazing Skippy list. I own none of it.
Also, there is just a touch of suggested robo-smut, but I'm not sure if it's going anywhere. Yet.
Italics denote telepathy.
Presents: Part 1
Out of all the races in the universe his race had encountered, the humans easily possessed the greatest number of Decepticon traits.
And up until right now, Soundwave had never questioned Rumble and Frenzy's appreciation of most things human.
Video games were annoying, but they kept the twins amused.
WWF was somewhat tame by Pit-wrestling standards, but entertaining nonetheless.
The Communications officer sighed inwardly and stared at the little purple and gold blur frantically circling his subspace console, a red and white fuzzy hat perched lopsidedly on his tiny head.
Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas!
Of all the elements of human culture the twins could've picked up and passed on to their most impressionable sibling, it just had to be this one.
At times like this, the normally cool and logical Decepticon wished for the Chaos-Bringer to simply appear and consume him whole.
Unfortunately, Unicron had only ever seemed to make his contribution to Soundwave's existence when the twins had been sparked.
It sure as Pit explained a few things.
Ratbat was excited beyond all the normal boundaries of natural sparkling-hood as he darted back and forth in the air, twittering in glee.
Rumble and Frenzy said about Christmas and how Santa Claus brings all sorts of presents and he has reindeer and it snows and pleeeeeease can we have Christmas? Pleeeeeease?
Soundwave glared down at his eldest twins, who both gave him their best wide and oh-so-adorably-innocent optics.
'I recall a rule which I imposed on the pair of you with regards to introducing your sibling to new cultures, and new experiences within those cultures.'
Rumble downgraded his big-optics act to a sheepish grin. Frenzy's expression became somewhat fixed as he tried to make a fast exit.
Soundwave intercepted the red Cassette and plucked him up by the scruff of his neck, while all the time keeping his glare fixed on the blue twin.
'Please recite that rule to me, Rumble.'
Rumble pouted and dropped his gaze. 'If it makes either of us giggle for longer than fifteen astro-seconds, we're not allowed to do it.'
'How long has the aforementioned rule been in place?'
Frenzy twiddled his thumbs as he hung from his creator's grasp. '5.6 million years?'
'And the reason?'
Rumble rolled his eyes. 'We told Ratbat the EMP mines outside Kaon were filled with energon goodies.'
He met Soundwave's glare with his own. 'It was funny at the time!'
Ravage cracked open one optic from his naptime perch in Soundwave's lap. Yes, tremendously witty. I found the moment when you both onlined afterwards, specifically when Soundwave lost his temper and threatened to tear out your spark cores if you ever tried anything like that again, to be particularly droll.
'Hey, we didn't know Squeaky'd believe it. And besides, he was fine afterwards!'
The Communications officer raised an eye-ridge before picking Rumble up by the scruff and holding both of the Cassettes at his optic-level.
'What are the precise details that you informed Ratbat of, regarding this human celebration?'
Fluttering down to perch on his creator's shoulder, the little bat took the opportunity to answer the question posed to his brothers.
They said there were trees and presents and Santa and reindeer and a baby squishy in a crate!
Ravage rolled his optics. Ah. All of the materialistic drivel then.
Soundwave didn't lessen his glare. 'I had warned you at that time that should you pass on any of your particular words of wisdom to your sibling ever again, both of you would be placed in separate sensory deprivation cells for three orns.'
The twins both squeaked in terror. Rumble sought and gripped tightly onto his twin's hand.
Not solitary. Anything but solitary.
A rare glint had entered the navy mech's optics.
'This 'Christmas' is of a considerably smaller physical or mental risk to Ratbat than some of your other findings on human culture.'
Ratbat chirruped in glee. He recognised the tone behind his creator's words. Soundwave didn't like it, but he couldn't find any good reason not to let it happen.
So we can have Christmas?
The tape-deck 'Con met his youngest creation's gaze and felt his spark wrench at the sweetly hopeful expression on the little bat's face. Denying Ratbat something was complicated at the best of times. When it came to anything his siblings enjoyed or approved of…
'No, no and no! It's a pathetic fleshling holiday in which we Decepticons should play no part!'
Ratbat looked downcast and cuddled further into Soundwave's shoulder as Starscream strode about the command centre, optics wide in angry disbelief.
The Communications officer gently stroked his youngest creation's head and turned his attention to Megatron, who was watching the proceedings with a certain amount of bored interest.
'Starscream, button it. Soundwave, from where exactly did this suggestion occur?'
'Origin: Ratbat. Concept: explained by Rumble and Frenzy.'
The Decepticon warlord raised an eye-ridge. 'So, the dynamic duo strikes again, eh?'
'And this would be the same Rumble and Frenzy who were both placed on punishment detail for attempting to trade military supplies for 'magic beans'?'
Ratbat giggled. Soundwave held back a long-suffering sigh. 'Affirmative.'
'The same Rumble and Frenzy who routinely insist that they require more suitable host bodies?'
Starscream let out an unimpressed snort. 'That could be arranged.'
Megatron ignored him. 'The same Rumble and Frenzy who were released from the repair bay only yesterday after spiking the Stunticons' fuel tanks with sugar?'
The silver Transformer leaned back in his seat, a contemplative frown on his face.
'What were their motives?'
Soundwave raised his hands up to his shoulder and carefully lifted his youngest creation into his arms. Ratbat snuggled into his creator's hold and shied away from Starscream's revolted glare as Soundwave spoke.
'Their belief: Ratbat would enjoy the event.'
Megatron studied the little bat with a thoughtful gaze. Ratbat put on his most endearing expression, tempered with a healthy dose of fear as he met Megatron's inscrutable red optics.
'They still coddle the young one a great deal.'
'Rumble and Frenzy: both highly indulgent of Ratbat.' He sent a hard look in Starscream's general direction. 'All Cassettes: highly indulgent of Ratbat.'
The Air Commander didn't bother keeping the disgust out of his voice. 'You would ask our Glorious Leader to divert our troops' energies into partaking in a fleshling holiday purely to keep a bratty little flying parasite happy?'
Megatron nodded. 'I believe he would, if purely to keep a highly trained and loyal Decepticon content, not to mention improving the currently non-existent morale. Since on this occasion, I believe the benefits appear to outweigh the risks, I will grant permission for this 'Christmas' to be held on the Nemesis.'
Underneath his face-mask, Soundwave smirked as Ratbat squealed in joy.
Starscream's hands twitched as he rounded on Megatron. 'You…y-you're actually SANCTIONING this?'
The Decepticon commander nodded, smirking at the expression on his subordinate's face-plates. 'Provided it does not interfere with the war efforts, and provided there will be no physical or structural damage done to the ship.'
A nervous tic had developed under the F-15's left optic. 'Are your neural circuits picking up interference from CIA satellites again?'
As both Soundwave and his overexcited little creation made a discreet exit, Megatron's retort by way of fusion cannon could be heard throughout the command deck.
Followed with what sounded suspiciously like, 'Merry Christmas.' (1)
'Mistletoe and digi-cameras?'
Frenzy cracked his knuckles and grinned in delight as he surveyed the haul before him. If they were about to do Christmas, then they were doing it properly, Primus fraggit.
'…I'm workin' on it.'
'Whaddya mean, you're workin' on it? C'mon bro, there's no point havin' all the shiny crap 'less we got somethin' to put it on.'
Rumble shot his twin a cynical look.
'Ya really think something green, live and squishy's gonna survive even five nano-klicks down here?'
'Okay Einstein, so what are we puttin' all the crap on then?'
'It's…well, TC said trees are vegetation, right?'
'And vegetation sounds like vegetable.'
'Vegetable means stupid in squishy terms…'
Frenzy was starting to lose what little patience he was sparked with. 'Is there a point happenin' anytime soon?'
'We just need somethin' big, green and stupid.'
'Forget it bro, Skywarp's never gonna let us paint 'im green and stick a fairy on his head.'
Rumble sighed and shrugged. 'Hey, s'just a thought. But ya never know, Screamer mighta liked it up there.'
Frenzy blinked. Why would…?
He hadn't needed THAT particular mental image before his afternoon rations.
'…Just get the slaggin' tree.'
'You're no fun sometimes, bro.'
''Kay, little to the left…little to the left…other left, 'Saw…'
The yellow condor glowered at his older brother over a beakful of tinsel.
If you don't want my help, then get up here and do it yourself. Oh no, I forgot, you don't have your anti-grav boosters thanks to you and Frenzy's last bout of utter idiocy.
'Hey. One, prank-wars-battle-tag was Skywarp's idea. Two, no-one could trace th' glue and confetti back t' us. Three, tell me Dirge didn't look good in pink.'
The aforementioned Seeker smirked and recommenced digging through the box of decorations for the mess hall.
'I still say blue woulda been better, but meh.'
Laserbeak rolled her optics as she tugged a piece of tinsel into place. Speaking of utter idiocy, all of these decorations…
Frenzy's disembodied voice warbled upwards from a box of holly. 'What about 'em?'
They are all flameproof, correct?
'Duh, 'course they are. Give us some credit, 'Beaky. We ain't that stupid.'
The red condor let out a small snort. Call me 'Beaky' again, and I will personally remove your interfacing leads. Clear?
Rumble was quick to shield his lower body behind a table. Frenzy opted to use the holly as a protective cover.
Skywarp settled with sniggering at the assorted siblings, and looped a few tinsel strands around his neck along with a holly wreath and some hanging stars.
'We nearly done here?'
The blue Cassette consulted his datapad. 'Couple of bits from Swindle need put up when he gets 'em in, but yeah, we're done here.'
'Sweet. And when do we get t'try the ener-nog?'
Frenzy plucked a wayward holly branch out of his aft-plates. 'We gotta try it on a couple o' guinea-bots first. It's still kinda in th' experimental stage.'
Skywarp sighed. 'How many drunk glitchmice do we have now?'
'Six. And still an improvement on the other eight. We've been workin' from 'dead' upwards.'
The black and purple F-15 thought for a few seconds, his face-plates screwed up in concentration. 'Guinea-bots…so we're looking for mechs who might appreciate the finer things in life, coupled with a death wish.'
Laserbeak swooped down and perched on Skywarp's left wing. So you've only got 78 percent of the base to work through, by those criteria.
'Might not kill them, and they might forge a brave new drink into the bargain?'
Buzzsaw narrowed his optics in thought as he glided alongside the group. Down to 46 percent. Keep going.
Down to 10 percent...
Rumble, unfortunately, was well ahead of all of them. He tapped his comm. link and smirked widely.
'This is the Cobalt Cassette callin' on all frequencies for the Pessimist Porsche! Dead-End, buddy! You wanna meet your maker or at least get fraggin' close to it?'
(1) Megatron is an absolute sod to write, so I hope I've done him justice.