Disclaimer: Yeah, as if. I wish I owned them.
Author's Note: Yeah, this pretends to have a plot...but trust me, it degrades into nothing but smut.
- Falling -
"I have about a dozen things I could be doing right now besides this." Prowl grumbled as he carefully made his way along the slim ledge.
"Ya, but would ya have th'same wonderful company for it?" Jazz asked cheerfully from behind him, and Prowl threw a glare over his shoulder at the saboteur.
"Considering how often you come bother me in my office, yes, I would have the same irritating company." the tactician said grumpily, and Jazz adopted a hurt look. "I don't understand Optimus' reasoning in sending his two most senior officers out to do a little recon, anyways. Hound could have easily managed this by himself, or even Bumblebee." Actually, the mini-bot spy would have been better suited for this mission, considering the width of the ledge they were currently on. It was sturdy, for which Prowl was thankful, but it was barely wide enough for them to fit on, and there wasn't an alternate route. The top of the cliff would be too visible, and the bottom of this particular canyon held a fast-moving rapids that would be even worse to manoeuvre through. And the other side of the canyon had no edge, and just as little cover on the top. So, this ledge was the only way to approach the lake where the Decepticons were apparently up to something or other.
"Maybe he jus' didn't wantcha t'forget how t'do this." Jazz commented lightly. Prowl grunted, focusing on where to put his feet next as he got to a particularly slim spot.
"Perhaps. But then why are you here?" he finally replied once he was past the tricky area. Irritatingly, Jazz didn't even hesitate in answering while crossing the same spot.
"T'make sure y'don't get killed?" the saboteur suggested.
"Thank you, Jazz, for the vote of confidence in my abilities." Prowl growled.
"I'm jus' sayin'. How long has it been since you've been out in th'field for anythin' other'n a major battle against the 'Cons?" Jazz asked.
"Two years." Prowl replied without having to think about it. "Which may be a long time to humans, but is hardly anything to us. I have gone an entire vorn back on Cybertron without even seeing a battle. It happens. It does not mean I'm going to 'forget' how to fight, or how to do scout work."
"Aw, lighten up and just enjoy it, Prowl." Jazz said. Prowl just made a sour sound in reply. There was an uneasy silence for a few more minutes before Jazz finally spoke up again. "What's got ya so irritated, anyways? It's just a simple recon mission. You're not even gettin' really scratched up, which is somethin' I'd expect Sunny t'care about, not you, anyways."
"Bad timing." Prowl grunted after a moment. "There was a chess tournament I was going to go watch today."
"A chess tournament?" Jazz said incredulously.
"A human I know is playing in it." Prowl snapped.
"Since when do ya know a human?" Jazz teased. Prowl didn't even dignify that with a response. "Why not just record it an' watch it later?" Jazz asked after a moment.
"It is not a large or important enough event to be tele-cast, and thus cannot be recorded." Prowl replied.
"Y'mean you were goin' in person?" Jazz asked in surprise.
"Yes." Prowl answered shortly, as he'd reached a tricky part of the ledge, where it suddenly narrowed to half its normal width for a few steps.
"Wow...that'll be yer first day off in, what, several thousand years? Not countin' th'millions of years in stasis, of course." Jazz commented.
"Actually, I took two days off last year." Prowl said. "One after the negotiations with China, and the other after Ratchet rebuilt the leg Menasor stepped on." Jazz frowned, thinking back.
"You went straight back t'work as soon as ya got back from China. I know, I remember walkin' into th'command center the next mornin' an' seein' ya there." he said. "An' ya sat in yer office all day after Ratchet released ya after he rebuilt yer leg."
"I didn't say I took a day off after I got back from China. I said I took one after the negotiations were finished." Prowl said patiently. "One of the diplomats offered to give me a tour of the area, and I accepted. We ended up going out for most of the day."
"Oh." Jazz said. "But you can't deny that you were in yer office th'entire day after yer leg was reconstructed."
"Did you see anyone enter my office that day?" Prowl asked, and Jazz frowned, digging through the old data-files.
"Now that ya mention it, no, I didn't..." Jazz said. "Lots of people knockin', but y'never let 'em do more'n poke their head in."
"That would be because I was busy reading." Prowl said. "The lights in my quarters were broken, so until Hoist could fix them, I needed an alternate place to read."
"An' it was rainin' outside all week." Jazz filled in the rest. "Why not th'rec room?"
"Too noisy. I prefer quiet while reading." Prowl replied easily.
"Huh." Jazz said. "Well, sorry fer ruinin' one'a yer two days off a year, then."
"I'll have another opportunity, I suppose." Prowl said with a sigh. "I just hope the Decepticons are doing something out here worth the two of us spending all day trying to get close enough to see."
"I'm sure they're up ta somethin' simply dastardly." Jazz replied, though if Prowl had looked back at that moment, he would've seen the saboteur cringing even as he said that. He didn't, however, and the two Autobot officers continued along the ledge in silence, until eventually they looked up and saw the sparkling lake that was their destination. Prowl carefully quieted his foot-steps, and hugged the cliff-face more closely. He glanced back at Jazz to see the saboteur doing the same, and then at a nod, Jazz activated his signal-dampening field. The field only had a limited duration, but so long as it was up, the only way the Decepticons would be able to find them was if they got close enough to see them, or Prowl or Jazz made enough noise to be heard. It was quite handy - well, when in Autobot hands. Prowl couldn't count the number of times he'd wished that Laserbeak and Ravage didn't have similar dampening fields.
Which reminded him that he should be keeping a look out for the two mech, and he watched carefully for them as he made his way forward. The ledge was beginning to narrow now, so that he couldn't progress any farther, and Jazz stepped forward, pulling out his grappling hook and securing it, then sliding down carefully to the bottom of the canyon, where the rapids had calmed slightly. Prowl followed, and Jazz disengaged his grappling line, leaving it to hang there for their retreat. Then, quietly, the two officers crept forward, peaking out of the mouth of the canyon.
Prowl could tell immediately that there were no Decepticons in the area, and hadn't been for some time. Not only was there a distinct lack of any sort of Cybertronian signals or construction, but there was a small herd of deer grazing on the far side of the lake, and birds flittering around all over the place. It was a surprisingly undisturbed piece of wilderness, in fact, and Prowl doubted that many humans had even been there.
"Well. This was worth the trip." Prowl said dryly.
"Nice piece'a scenery." Jazz commented.
"Very calm. Virtually undisturbed." Prowl agreed.
"Almost feel like we're intrudin' just being here." Jazz continued.
"And we certainly wouldn't want to disturb such a wonderful landscape." Prowl concluded grumpily, then turned and motioned for Jazz to lead the way back down the canyon so they could get Jazz's grappling hook before taking the easy way out, now that they didn't have to creep along and attempt to avoid detection from Decepticons that weren't actually there. Jazz headed back down the canyon, his steps easier now that they knew there were no Decepticons around, and soft music played from his speakers. Prowl shook his head and followed, choosing not to voice his irritation over the lack of Decepticons. It was, after all, a good thing that they weren't there. He just wished this hadn't been a wasted trip.
"Y'wanna climb up an' get it, or shall I?" Jazz asked when they reached the spot where the cable attached to Jazz's grappling hook still hung down.
"I'll do it." Prowl said. "Might as well practice my climbing abilities while we have the opportunity."
"Alright." Jazz said, stepping back and giving Prowl room to climb. The tactician made it up quickly, and set about trying to free the grappling hook. In retrospect, Prowl supposed that he should've anticipated it. The ledge had been narrow already, and while it was sturdy when he first got up there, even rock could grow weak with a few tons of metal shifting about on to, trying to pry a two-foot grappling hook out of a crack that twice as many tons of metal, plus gravity, had wedged it into. Prowl, however, did not think of any of this until later, and so he was completely surprised when he suddenly felt the ledge give way underneath his feet, and the next thing he knew, he was tumbling down the cliff side, followed by a shower of rock.
Fortunately, the water at the bottom of the canyon wasn't all that deep, so Prowl didn't get swept down into the rapids. Unfortunately, the water at the bottom of the canyon wasn't all that deep, and Prowl hit the rocky bottom with a resounding crash. Even more unfortunately, Prowl landed on his back, which meant he also landed on his door wings. White-hot pain lanced through them, drowning out the pain from any other injuries caused by his fall, and an involuntary yelp escaped him. He barely even registered the remains of the ledge tumbling down around - and on - him as his systems screamed warnings about his door wings, and not for the first time, the thought crossed his processor that he was going to have to speak to Ratchet about altering his transformation sequence so that he didn't have them anymore.
"Prowl! Prowl, y'alright?!" Jazz's panicked voice was what eventually broke through the pain, and Prowl realized his optics had turned off at some point. He flipped them back on to find the saboteur hovering over him worriedly.
"I'll let you know as soon as you help me up." Prowl replied with a wince. The pain from his door wings was still excruciating, but chances were that once he was no longer putting pressure on them, it would subside to a level that he could block. So he grabbed Jazz's offered hand and used it to pull himself upright - only to gasp and have his optics shut down to avoid sensory overload as more pain lanced through his door wings. He waited for it to subside, but it didn't seem to want to, and emergency warnings for stasis lock flashed through his CPU. Ah, the wonders of door wings - perhaps the only appendage ever engineered that could send a mech or femme into stasis lock from the sheer amount of pain they could feel. It was no wonder that even Bluestreak had been heard to utter gruesome, Decepticon-worthy death threats against whatever engineer had come up with them.
Regardless, Prowl didn't really want to fall into stasis lock right here and worry Jazz unnecessarily. He wasn't reading any leaks in his energon or coolant lines, so it was likely just that his door wings had been jarred, dislocated, or dented severely. The first two Jazz could fix easily, while the second one would require the saboteur to manually deactivating the sensors in the door wings until they could get back to Ratchet and he could fix it. Since most of Prowl's sensor array was in his door wings, that would render him mostly blind when in vehicle form, but that could be dealt with. Until then, Prowl began throwing up as many firewalls as he could to block the pain, even writing a crappy little program to temporarily convince his systems that his door wings weren't part of him, so that they stopped giving him warnings and threatening to put him into stasis lock. It was crumbling fast as his logic processors found holes in the programming and slowly unravelled it, but it was holding enough for Prowl to turn his optics back on and look into jazz's worried face.
"Door wings." Prowl got out thickly. "Jarred or dislocated. Might need to turn the sensors off."
"Oooh." Jazz said with a sympathetic wince, then he disappeared from Prowl's range of vision, and the tactician shut off his optics to reduce sensory input, waiting as Jazz inspected the damage. "Well, th'right one's definitely dislocated, but th'left one looks fine."
"Fix the right. Left might just be echoing." Prowl said briefly. It was unlikely, with the amount of pain his sensors were reading, but if the right one was fixed, he might be able to sort through the remaining pain signals to find the cause in his left.
"Alright. I'm sure I don't need ta tell ya that this'll hurt." Jazz said, sounding apologetic.
"Just do it." Prowl said, and there was a pause before Jazz did exactly that. Unfortunately, Prowl's little program trying to convince his systems that his door wings weren't part of him failed at the exact same moment, and with a cry, Prowl's systems went into an emergency stasis lock.
Prowl woke to pain, which wasn't really surprising considering how he'd gone into stasis lock in the first place. The fact that he was still sitting upright, and still apparently sitting in the water at the bottom of the canyon, however, was surprising, and as his optics flickered on, he looked around for Jazz with a frown. The saboteur was evidently behind him, and an abrupt alert from his systems told him that Jazz had the access panel to his sensor array opened and was messing around with it.
"What are you doing?" Prowl asked, and there was a startled yelp from behind him. Support that he hadn't even been aware of suddenly disappeared with a splash, and Prowl would have fallen backwards onto his door wings if he hadn't reflexively reached out and braced himself.
"Slaggit!" Jazz cursed. "Give a mech a little warnin', will ya Prowl? I thought ya were in a stasis lock."
"I was, temporarily." Prowl stated. "My systems will pull me out of a stasis lock caused by sensory overload from my door wings once the sensory information has reduced to an acceptable level, however."
"Really? Didn't know that." Jazz commented, coming around to crouch beside Prowl.
"Then what were you doing?" Prowl asked curiously.
"I was gonna turn off th'sensors in yer door wings, since they were causin' so much trouble, an' then pull you outta stasis lock." Jazz replied with a shrug.
"Only medics can pull a mech out of stasis lock." Prowl said with a frown.
"Only medics an' me." Jazz corrected Prowl with a grin.
"Is this another one of those skills I don't want to know where or why you learned it?" Prowl asked with an arched optic ridge, and Jazz nodded, still grinning.
"So, do I still need ta deactivate th'sensors, or are ya good now?" the saboteur asked. Prowl experimentally 'felt' back along the sensors in his door wings and winced.
"You seem to have corrected most of the damage." he said.
"But...?" Jazz asked, frowning slightly.
"They're still a little painful." Prowl admitted. "That's likely just due to the stress put on them - what was wrong with the left one?"
"It was dislocated, too - I jus' didn't notice until I had th'other one t'compare it to." Jazz said with a brief chuckle, then stood and moved behind Prowl. There was a quiet click, and Prowl's systems stopped warning him about the open panel for his manual sensor array controls.
"Thank you." Prowl said, and was about to push himself upright when one of Jazz's hands suddenly came to rest in-between his door wings. Prowl froze, unable to move, as soft magnetic and sonic pulses began emanating from the saboteur's hand, washing over the injured joints. It was surprisingly soothing, and Prowl involuntarily arched into it, his door wings twitching slightly as the residual pain began ebbing away. Jazz let out a low chuckle, but didn't stop, which made Prowl a very happy mech as the last of the pain disappeared and he enjoyed the Cybertronian equivalent of a massage. Prowl was vaguely aware that his systems were practically purring as the pleasant magnetic and sonic waves washed over his door wing joints, but he didn't even notice when his optics turned themselves off because he wasn't paying any attention to their sensory input anyways.
He was abruptly brought back to the present when the 'massage' stopped and Jazz rose from behind him, though, making a great deal more noise than Prowl was sure was necessary, and bringing the tactician back to the less pleasant world around him. He became aware of the coldness of the water, and pushed himself upright as his ran a quick system scan to see what other injuries his fall had caused. It finished even before he turned to Jazz, reporting nothing but minor scrapes and dents to him - nothing Ratchet couldn't fix in a few minutes.
"Thank you." Prowl repeated to the saboteur, and Jazz nodded briefly, then motioned for Prowl to head out of the canyon first. The tactician frowned slightly at Jazz's unexpected silence, but was still too relaxed to worry much about it, and headed out, looking forward to leaving this canyon behind. Of course, to Prowl's extreme embarrassment, he got no more than a few steps before he stumbled, his co-ordination off from Jazz's 'massage'. The saboteur was by his side in a second, supporting him, and that was when Prowl felt the heat coming off the other mech in waves, and heard the revving of Jazz's systems.
Perhaps it was Prowl's relaxed state, allowing his processor to come up with ideas he never would have normally thought of, or perhaps it was the figurative straw that broke the camel's back, as Prowl's processor found it could no longer deny that Jazz had been blatantly hitting on and flirting with him for the past...Prowl's processor skipped slightly as he came up with the time period of several thousand years. He looked over at Jazz incredulously, unable to believe he'd been that dense for that long, but at the same time, knew he had been. All the times he'd had the night shift and Jazz had wandered in with energon right when he was wanting some, despite the fact that the saboteur had a morning shift, he'd stupidly believed the excuse that Jazz just hadn't been able to recharge. He'd accepted Jazz's frequent invasions of his office, telling himself that the saboteur did it to everyone, even if he never heard any of the other officers complain about it. And everyone was always telling him he needed to 'lighten up', so why should Jazz badgering him to watch a human movie, or go to a concert either here or back on Cybertron, be taken as anything other than the mech trying to attempt what the others only told Prowl to do?
But then there were all the unidentifiable looks, the oddly words phrases, the constant attempts to make Prowl laugh, and the fact that the last time Prowl could remember waking up in med bay without seeing Jazz there, waiting, was before they'd met. The signs were obvious, now that Prowl thought back on it, and he wondered if Smokescreen had a betting pool running on how long it would take him to notice. The stakes were probably ridiculously high by now if he did, and several of the bets were probably along the lines of 'when Jazz jumps him after too much High Grade'.
"Prowl?" Jazz asked, sounding worried, and Prowl realized he'd been staring at the saboteur for almost half a minute now. Poor Jazz was looking rather uncomfortable.
"Why didn't you sayanything?" Prowl blurted out, unable to stop himself, and Jazz stiffened, his expression dropping into one of shock, and a bit of fear, as he stared back at Prowl.
"I, uh -" the normally silver-tongued bot seemed to be at a loss for words, until his optics eventually settling on the hand he was still using to support Prowl, and he withdrew it hastily. He would've backed up, as well, but Prowl grabbed his wrist.
"I'm not angry, Jazz." Prowl said reassuringly, then added thoughtfully. "Well, maybe a little at myself for not noticing sooner. But I can be remarkably dense when it comes to these sorts of things."
"I'll say." Jazz said quietly, then gave Prowl and brief smile when the tactician looked at him. "I wasn't sure how ya'd react." Jazz finally answered Prowl's question with a shrug. "An' since I didn't wanna mess with th'friendship we already had..."
"You let your actions speak for you, and if I chose to ignore or was too dense to notice, you could live with that." Prowl concluded, and Jazz nodded, looking sheepish.
"So...what now?" Jazz asked after a few moments of silence.
"I'm...thinking." Prowl replied, letting his confusion be heard in his voice. He'd never really considered Jazz and a potential romantic partner, so the revelation that Jazz viewed him as such was throwing his processor for a loop. He wasn't exactly good at analyzing feelings, even his own, so it was taking some work to figure out, and in the process, he just seemed to be getting more and more confused about the whole situation. He felt his logic chips begin to protest, and with a sigh, he shut down the whole line of thought before his processor froze up.
"Well?" Jazz sounded vaguely amused, and Prowl gave him a light glare.
"You're the only mech I've ever met that can regularly freeze up my processor." the tactician said.
"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Jazz asked lightly, and Prowl was about to snap off a reply, only to stop as he realized what he was about to say.
"Huh. It's a good thing." he mused aloud, then looked over at Jazz, who looked back with a faint, but nervous, grin. It occurred to Prowl that he was still holding Jazz's wrist, and with a light tug, made the other mech stumble forward slightly until their chassis were nearly touching. Prowl hesitated for another instant, then released Jazz's wrist and brought his hands up to cup Jazz's face before leaning in and kissing the saboteur gently. Jazz had frozen when Prowl had tugged him forward, but melted into the kiss readily enough, his hands coming to rest on the tactician's hip armour. When Prowl pulled back, Jazz's smile was lop-sided and not a little dazed.
"Definitely a good thing." Prowl concluded, and decided that this trip had definitely not been wasted after all.
- END -