A/N – A random little ficlet spawned by the random pairing generator. Prompt: Trailbreaker/Thundercracker/Ambition – The generator is feeling cross-factionish today


"Y'know what your problem is, TC?" Skywarp frowned at his wing mate. "You've got no ambition."

Thundercracker ignored him.

"You're one of the best fliers in the entire Air Command," Skywarp continued after a moment. "You're better than me. Maybe even better than Screamer. But you don't do anything with it!"

Thundercracker just shook his head. "What would you have me do, 'Warp?"

"At least try!"

"Has it occurred to you that maybe I'm happy where I am?"

Skywarp fixed him with one of those penetrating looks that always gave Thundercracker the feeling that his wing mate wasn't half as dumb as he pretended. "You aren't," Skywarp said flatly. "And slag if I know why."

Thundercracker didn't answer. After a long moment, Skywarp snorted and walked out.

Thundercracker waited until he knew his wing mate was gone, probably absorbed in some mischief somewhere else. Then he slipped up to the hanger.

This would be easier, he reflected, if I could teleport like Skywarp. Not that anyone cares where I'm going, as long as I bother showing up for my shifts. That was why he never tried to get any higher in the ranks – it's much harder to slip out unnoticed when there's people watching you constantly, waiting for you to show the slightest sign of weakness. Given a choice between rank and continuing these little trysts, he'd stay at the bottom of the heap.

He flew, easily avoiding the humans' radars as he made his way to a remote section of wilderness, high in the Rockies. There... just below the trees... A short cliff cut by a rock slide ages ago formed the side of a sheltered clearing, large enough for Thundercracker to stand in and be shielded from view. Anyone flying up on it would have to be right on top of it before they could see anything, and their engines would be heard long before they got close enough.

Thundercracker landed, settling against the cliff to wait. The terrain was rough enough that he wasn't worried about being found by any casual passerby; there wasn't anything up here worth braving the treacherous mountainside for.

Trailbreaker stepped out of the trees, focusing on the reclining seeker.

Thundercracker smiled. "I was beginning to think you wouldn't make it," he rumbled.

"Got held up," was all the other offered, striding quickly across the clearing. "But I'm here now."

It was worth it, Thundercracker decided as Trailbreaker gently pushed him to the ground, the Autobot's weight settling across his hips. All the times he'd caught the blame for his superior's idiocy, every second of the humiliation Starscream loved to dish out – it was all worth it to have this. Trailbreaker's hands worked their way down the seams of his cockpit, sending shivers through Thundercracker's frame.

Skywarp would never understand. The thought of giving up every privilege that comes with rank, of risking everything he'd ever worked for, for an Autobot... Skywarp would be horrified at the very idea.

Then Trailbreaker's fingers found the seam of Thundercracker's wing flaps, and all thoughts of Skywarp vanished.