Author's Note: This was intended to be part of a larger fanfic, but that larger fanfic is, frankly, never ever going to get written. But this particular scene entertained me, and doesn't have much to do with the plot, so I thought I'd post it as its own little drabble. Because Prowl with a crashed battle computer is entertaining, or so we Prowl fans like to think.

- Design Flaws -

"Slag it, where in the slagging pits are they?" Sunstreaker blinked, sure that his audio receptors had been hit along with his side, because there was no way Prowl had just said that. Then again, Sunstreaker had never quite been a situation like this with Prowl before. Usually, when Prowl was involved, things didn't go to the pits this fast or this spectacularly. Usually, when Prowl was involved, a simple recon mission stayed a simple recon mission. It didn't end up with the reconners, one with a potentially fatal wound, trapped in a cave with 'Cons moving in, and the shaky knowledge that their request for back-up may or may not have been heard before Soundwave started jamming them. No, usually things went better when Prowl was around.

"So what th'slag do you think happened, anyways?" Sunstreaker asked conversationally. Prowl, who had been pacing the short floor of the cave, abruptly stopped and turned to look at Sunstreaker.

"I haven't a slagging clue." he declared perfectly calmly. "Skywarp was supposed to be on the other side of the continent. The chances of him just up and randomly deciding to leave his post to teleport directly above our heads is so utterly improbable as to be almost impossible."

"So there was a guard we missed." Sunstreaker replied logically. Prowl stared at Sunstreaker for a long moment.

"Then why didn't they shoot at us. Only Skywarp shot at us." it wasn't even a question. Abruptly, Prowl twitched violently and began pacing again. Sunstreaker frowned. This was not normal Prowl behavior - this was Sideswipe after he accidentally ingested some human prescription drugs behavior. Sunstreaker shuddered slightly at the memory, and instantly, Prowl was kneeling beside him, inspecting his side - or rather, the wound around where part of his side had used to be.

"It's fine." Sunstreaker grunted.

"Is not." Prowl retorted with annoyance.

"Is too." Sunstreaker replied.




"Primus, what the slag is wrong with you, Prowl?!" Sunstreaker burst out.

"I'm fine." Prowl replied, suddenly calm again. "I just seem to be having a slight problem with my battle computer. Nothing to worry about. Your side is worse, and it seems to be doing fine now, so there's nothing to worry about, really really not. Why would there be? I'm fine." Prowl then returned his attention to Sunstreaker's side, acting as if he hadn't just let loose a string of babble that would have done Bluestreak proud.

"A slight problem...?" Sunstreaker trailed off in confusion, and then he grinned wickedly as he remembered something Jazz had told him once. According to Jazz, there was apparently a very delicate balance between Prowl's battle computer and his logic chips - it was what made him such a good tactician. As the tale went, Jazz somehow managed to accidentally overload that balance one night. Prowl had proceeded to get completely overcharged on high-grade, profess his undying love for none other than Optimus Prime - even trying to compose a ballad about it - then taught the saboteur several raucous drinking songs that even Sunstreaker and Sideswipe hadn't known before falling asleep, using Jazz's mid-section as a pillow. Unfortunately, Prowl had woken the next morning with no memory of the event, and the cameras had been out due to a recent Decepticon attack, so there had been no evidence, and no one had believed Jazz's story. Until now.

Unfortunately, as soon as Sunstreaker realized this, a loud BOOM was heard from the pile of rocks in the former entrance of the cave, and the yellow bot found himself wishing that Prowl had chosen some other time to break down. He batted Prowl away from his side and grabbed his gun, tensing as he watched the rocks. After a moment, he spared a glance over at Prowl, and scowled as he saw the tactician drawing something in the fine sand on the floor of the cave, muttering to himself. If this had been a normal situation, he would have assumed Prowl was drawing up a representation of a tactical plan and left him to it. Now, he craned his head just close enough to see that Prowl was creating a field of flowers, then shot said sand.

"I am so going to get you later for not doing this at a time when I could take proper advantage of it, but for now, Prowl, I need you to focus on the situation at hand." Sunstreaker growled. Prowl blinked at him blankly, then another BOOM shook the rocks at the entrance, drawing the Datsun's attention. Finally, he seemed to come back to where he was and what was going on, and he pulled his rifle from subspace and found cover to watch the entrance from. Sunstreaker decided that the tactician would be fine for now, and turned his own attention to the cave entrance, just as there was a scraping sound as the upper-most rocks loosened themselves and sunlight came pouring in. Sunstreaker barely caught sight of blue optics before Prowl started firing wildly.

"Primus!" Sunstreaker swore. "Prowl! Stop that!" Prowl ignored him, continuing to fire, creating an avalanche of rocks that sent up a cloud of dust.

"Huh. I think it's broken." Sunstreaker twitched as he heard the familiar voice followed by the rattling of a rifle, then several smacks, which he could only assume was Prowl smacking his weapon in an attempt to get it to work.

"Perhaps," Sunstreaker said with infinite patience. "It is out of ammo."

"Oh hey, lookit that, it is." Prowl's voice said cheerfully, and then Sunstreaker groaned, realizing he shouldn't have suggested the problem as he heard Prowl reloading his rifle. There was another pause. "Where the slag did all this dust come from?"

"Oh you aren't going to get a moment's rest." Sunstreaker groaned. Fortunately for Sunstreaker's sanity, the tactician remained silent as the dust settled, and the muffled sounds of bots digging returned. "Prowl, I need you to do me a favour." Sunstreaker said calmly as those sounds reached him.

"What, Sunstreaker?" Prowl almost sounded like his normal self, and Sunstreaker hesitated, then plowed ahead.

"I need you to give me your rifle." he said, still perfectly calm.

"OK." Prowl replied, proving just how not-Prowl he was, and Sunstreaker sighed to himself as the tactician threw his gun to the yellow bot, who only just grabbed it before it hit him in the face. Sunstreaker stared at the rifle in his hand, then at his superior officer, who was currently inspecting a rock intently, and then let his head bang back against the cave wall. It was another twenty minutes, by his internal clock - during which Prowl started chattering like that infernal bot Blurr, fortunately still back on Cybertron - before the rocks at the top of the pile in the entrance began to shift again, and sunlight poured in again. Hesitantly, this time, blue optics appeared.

"I see them!" Sunstreaker had never been so glad to hear Wheeljack's voice.

"Of course you slagging do!" If Wheeljack's voice had been welcome, Sideswipe's was the voice of an angel, though Sunstreaker would never admit it to anyone.

"Stop yelling about seeing us and get us the slag out of here!" Sunstreaker yelled back, and the optics disappeared from the gap. Slowly, more rocks were pulled out of the opening, until a mech-sized opening was made, and a very cranky medic was let through before the hole was widened more.

"What did you do, let him take aim?" Ratchet said incredulously as he saw Sunstreaker's side.

"He surprised me." the yellow bot said with a sniff. "But don't worry about me - fix Prowl." Ratchet seemed to notice, for the first time, that Prowl was wandering around the back of the cave, babbling to himself.

"What happened to him?" the medic asked suspiciously.

"He said he had a 'slight problem' with his battle computer." Sunstreaker grouched. Ratchet sighed, then walked over to Prowl and smacked him in the head. Prowl stumbled, then straightened, and Sunstreaker could tell immediately that the old Prowl was back. "You're fragging kidding me. All I had to do was smack him?"

"The fragile balance between his battle computer and logic chips is a flaw that his creators anticipated, so they build in an easy solution. He gets a hit to the head, his systems do a quick reboot." Ratchet said with a shrug.

"I am right here, Ratchet." Prowl said with annoyance, and the medic nodded before heading for Sunstreaker's side.

"So what set him off, anyways?" Ratchet asked.

"Trying to figure out what happened." Sunstreaker answered. Prowl twitched. "No! You are not crashing again while I'm lying here with a gaping wound in my side, unable to laugh at you!" Sunstreaker snarled at the tactician, and Prowl stared down at the warrior for a moment before suddenly grinning. Sunstreaker frowned, worried that Prowl had already crashed again, but the tactician just let out one of his rare, but entirely normal, chuckles before heading for the cave entrance and beginning to dig on this side. Ratchet grinned and ducked his head, turning his attention to repairing Sunstreaker's side.

- END -