'Cause there's only so far I can go

When you're living in a hallway that keeps growing

I think to myself

30 seconds and I'll be there

Prowl came online slowly, optics still dim, the room far more shadowed than it should have been, and when he tried to move, he only managed to raise his hand, just enough that could see the outlines of his fingers, spreading them, in awe of the movement until they began to shake. With a groan, he let his arm drop to his side, let thoughts seep in. Why wasn't he strapped down this time?

"We thought you would not survive."

No, of course not. Otherwise they would have restrained him, despite the fact that he could do nothing against them at the moment. Soon enough he would be stronger, and they would have anticipated him healing. So, again, why did they leave him free to move?

Barricade shifted on the other side of the room, the sounds dull, almost empty as he finally stood, making his way to Prowl's side, one finger brushing the side of his face. Shuddering at the touch, Prowl was treated to the sound of Barricade chuckling, before he stepped away. "Why?" Prowl had to know that, before he went offline again.

Barricade faded into the darkness, the corners in the back of the room eating all the light, like black holes awaiting something to feed them. "Why did you survive?" There was a thoughtful pause. "I doubt anyone could tell you at the moment."

"Restraints?" Not exactly as articulate as Prowl could have been, but speaking hurt. He kept the words down to a minimum.

Barricade chuckled in the dark. "What would I need them for?"

And really, Prowl asked himself, when had Barricade ever had a chance like this? When would he have a chance like this again? More sounds came from the dark, and Prowl listened to Barricade pace for a while, feeling his own energy drop as the footsteps continued, the slow and steady pace lulling the Autobot sub commander.

Just as he felt himself start to slip again, Barricade changed directions. Prowl strained to stay online, finding it imperative that he know what the Decepticon had planned. He simply moved to Prowl's side, putting his hand on Prowl's shoulder, the touch almost relaxing Prowl. His whole chassis tensed as Barricade's fingers slid under the plates at his shoulder, tugging hard at the wires underneath. He cried out as the taloned fingers cut through the wires, his whole shoulder on fire. His vision dimmed further.

"Very good."

It was the last thing Prowl heard before he blacked out completely.

Prowl's vision had cleared up by the time he came back online, which didn't bode well. Not at all. It meant that the Decepticons had someone look at him. He groaned, finding that there was no pain. None at all, in fact, and he went cold at the thought. After all, what could they possibly have planned for him?

He was restrained this time. Not a surprise. Struggling only accomplished putting scrapes in his armor, and he loathed the thought that he might let his enemies know that he had been attempting to escape. No need to tell them he had expended energy on such a futile attempt. He reached out, trying to send a message to any Autobot who might be close enough to catch it. Useless. They had blocked his signals, jamming them so badly that all anyone would hear was static. No doubt Prime and the others had noticed he was missing by now, but he sincerely hoped they didn't come to the Decepticon base to find him. It would only put more of their ranks in danger, something that they could ill afford.

He relaxed for the time being, as there was nothing better for him to do. As far as he could see, there was no one else in the room with him, although he had no doubt that he was being watched. Video streams, most likely, so he had to assume that they knew he was awake. It would be pure negligence to leave him completely unattended, regardless of how well confined he was.

He started a diagnostic, still bothered by the fact that he seemed to be completely repaired. If any of the Decepticons had a hand in that, it would have given them a chance to plant something - a virus, recording devices, anything...

It ran in the background, giving him something to focus on as all his systems turned up normal - so far at least. He let it run without giving it much thought as the door opened once again. Barricade, again. It made sense. Having only one person actually carry out torture tended to work quite well, making the victim more likely to identify with anyone else. Not that Prowl planned to fall into that trap, nor the one where he actually became frightened of Barricade. And Barricade hadn't done anything that terrifying, which was odd in and of itself. Stranger still was the fact that he now went about undoing the restraints.

"Get up." Barricade's voice was low, gruff, and he took one swift step back.

Prowl sat up at least, watching Barricade, still wary. "Why?" He asked it flatly, but if he was going to go, he wanted to know where at the very least.

"We found your medic."

Barricade sounded far too amused for that to be all. But Prowl couldn't risk leaving Ratchet to any of them.


A/N: Lyrics are in italics and from Poe's 5 ½ Minute Hallway (the situation reminded me of the song thus the huh? Wtf? title). For those who haven't, go get the Haunted CD. And read House of Leaves while you play it if you really want a mind-blowing experience.