Disclaimer: I no own Transformers, though I do like occasionally playing God with the toys.
Warnings: Extensive Cybertronian swearing and allusions to wrenches being used illegally.
I seem to enjoy making poor Prowl's life hell. It's an addiction, it seems.
On The Warpath
The only thing that told Prowl he had even offlined in the first place was waking up in Ratchet's repair bay.
He'd been out patrolling again, trying to replace their lack of monitor coverage by simply going out himself. The base only had enough equipment to monitor what was inside, and the fact that the fairly large city of Tranquility was completely unmonitored except by whoever was driving through it at the moment had not sat well with Prowl.
At least Red Alert was not here yet. He would fritz himself into stasis lock if he knew how open they were.
So Prowl had taken it upon himself to patrol the city as often as he could, going out every time a break in his normal duties presented itself. To be honest, he would prefer to stay on base and continue working, sorting through the endless backlog of files and reports, but he couldn't just leave such a large area unsecured. And he was the only one with an alt-mode that would not draw attention by repeatedly passing the same places on patrol.
And it was nice, he privately admitted, to just get away from his desk and drive.
So he'd been driving down a main road into the city, prepared for another long afternoon of just following the streets and watching the humans go about their business. And then...a flash of pain. A loud crunching sound might have been there too, but his processor was a little foggy.
And then nothing until his optics onlined to stare up at the concrete ceiling of the medbay.
He consulted his repair systems to see the damages. The normal warning flashes about low energy - he ignored those with long-practiced ease. Various damage and structure warnings lit up his arrays - slag, it seemed like something had hit his alt-mode in the side very hard. A Decepticon attack? No, they would have finished him off and he'd be dead now. But what else could offline him so efficiently?
The warnings were not too bad - obviously Ratchet had begun repairing him. Hopefully the medic would get him on his feet soon, he still had work to do. Prowl struggled to sit up.
A large green hand was suddenly placed on his chassis, shoving him right back down. Prowl looked up at the medic, and suddenly understood with a flash why the twins were terrified of the grumpy medic. Megatron had nothing on the fierce scowl of the irritated Hummer.
"Prowl." Ratchet's deep voice murmured, full of the impression that Prowl had better have a slagging good reason for all of this. "Care to enlighten me as to why we had to tow you away from an intersection in Tranquility, offline with a giant dent in your side and energy levels at only twenty-seven percent?"
Slag, Ratchet had noticed the energy levels. "I am sorry. I do not know what happened, only that something hit me. I went offline too fast to see what it was."
"A car. One that was disobeying all traffic laws known to man and mech alike, but a car nonetheless. I'm sure the human government came up with a good reason as to why the police cruiser he plowed into was driving by itself. That's not what matters. What matters is why your energy levels are so low your secondary sensors had gone offline, you slagger!"
He knew that tone of Ratchet's voice immediately. IT was coming.
"Why are your energy levels low, Prowl!? Primus knows I've told you time and slagging time again that you can't live on sunshine and air! This whole mess could have been avoided if you would just take in energon more than twice a month, but noooo, the second-in-command can't abandon his slagging post for the klik it takes to walk his lazy aft down to the dispenser and get one cube! Even Bumblebee, who has fragging solar power panels to power his weapons, takes in energon like a normal mech. You don't even have those! Do you think your aft is somehow connected to an infinite power supply that magically feeds you what you need!? Slag, even stopping at a gas station once in a while on your slagging little patrols would have left you in better shape! You were so low that your secondary systems had offlined to conserve energy! You were reamed in the side by a human driver because your sensors were gone to save power and you didn't see him in time! In what universe is impaired senses a good tactical move!? If you ever, and I mean from now until the day the Destroyer comes to grind this universe into atomic particles, show up in my medbay with such low levels again, I swear I will show you the face of Primus with my own two hands! If you don't give me one good fragging reason as to why you can't refuel your own aft, Prowl, so help me, YOU WILL BE A ENERGY-EFFICIENT TOASTER FOR THE REST OF YOUR NATURAL DAYS!!"
Ratchet was on an impressive roll. Prowl couldn't help flinching. "Th-The backlog, I have to get it cleared out--"
Slam. Prowl gazed with wide optics at the new, wrench-shaped dent on the table next to his head. He looked back up at Ratchet, and suddenly he knew what the humans meant by the saying "life flashing before your eyes".
Ratchet held up his hand, reformed into a laser scalpel, and shook it threateningly at Prowl. "Time for your repairs, you son of a glitch."
Prowl suddenly had a bad feeling. "My pain receptors are still online--"
"Oh, don't worry about those, this won't hurt a bit."
As the scalpel descended, Prowl realized that the Unmaker was already in their midst, and his name was Ratchet.
Prowl finally stumbled out of the medbay, pace unsteady as he fought with his dignity and the simple need to run from the source of all evil that masqueraded as the Autobot's Chief Medical Officer.
Clearly, he and Prime had organized their ranks wrong. They could have won this war a lot faster if they'd simply strapped Ironhide's cannons to Ratchet and told the medic that all the Decepticons were glitches who refused to recharge or drink their energon, and slagged themselves with stupid stunts. They would have simply had to sit back and watch as Ratchet welded all of the Decepticons to their own recharge booths, and the war would have been over.
Jazz merely grinned as he watched Prowl stumble away, before turning to look at the medic with a raised browplate. "You musta been on a roll, Prowl usually ain't scared of ya."
Ratchet merely smirked as he looked up from polishing his tools. "Oh, I didn't do much, just repaired him and gave him some medical orders he needs to follow for the next human month."
"Oh? And what orders are those?" This was going to be good, Jazz just knew it.
The smug smirk evolved into a grin as Ratchet clacked the claws of the tool his hand was currently formed into together evilly. "Three words. Strictly. Monitored. Diet. Oh, and just...suggestions of further actions I'll take to Optimus himself if he even thinks of disobeying them."
"Meaning ya threatened him with a whole lotta stuff ya can turn him into."
Ratchet made a happy noise that sounded almost like a purr. "I've always wanted to build a human washing machine."
Jazz grinned at him. Prowl glared right back.
The saboteur nudged a glowing cube towards him. "Doctor's orders, Prowl. Ya know ya gotta."
The tactician directed his glare towards the cube. "This is ridiculous. I don't need refueling for at least another human week."
"So ya wanna end up a Maytag front-loader? Ratchet's got the model all picked out an' ready."
Prowl grabbed the cube in a hurry as Jazz gave in and laughed himself silly.
Because Prowl would be the sort to work himself into a energy-deprivation shutdown. Ratchet does not approve of this.