Title: Cold Pillow and a Warm Bed.
Rating: PG-13 – Post-movie.
Pairings: Implied Ironhide x Ratchet x Wheeljack. Barricade x Bumblebee.
Summary: Several months after the battle on Mision City, Barricade comes face to face with his 'sparkling'.
Barricade roared loudly taking a defensive position while red optics glared to the frame of the Autobot standing several feet away from him.
It was a bad idea, he knew that. Barricade knew he shouldn't have come to back to Tranquility, he just knew it! Damned be that Autobot that convinced him to return. Why did he bother to show up here again?
But he was back and there was no turning back now, not even as familiar red optics locked on his own. It was so long since the last time he saw those optics this close, and the mere memory made his spark ache with apprehension.
"So," the other figure spoke softly, the soft reverberation and echo of his vocal processor graced Barricade's audios. It was with no little regret that Barricade shuddered visibly, as this was the first time he heard the other Cybertronian speak.
"So what, Autobot?" Barricade spat defensively.
The other mech's features remained leveled, and neutral. "I take it you're Barricade."
"And you're interested on knowing this why?"
"You might as well drop the act now. I know you're no fool." The other mech took a firm step forward "So, please, don't treat me like I am one."
Barricade growled softly again but relaxed his stance, locking his optics with matching red ones in the familiar black and white mech. "What is it that you want, Autobot?"
"I wanted to see you." Barricade studied the facial plates of the mech before him, Decepticon features mingled perfectly with other Autobot traits. His body shape not too different from Barricade's own. Even their alternate modes were a perfect match, down to the paint job, faction insignia and lettering.
"Why would you want to see me?" Barricade's optics narrowed.
"Can you blame me for wanting to meet my creator?" Prowl's expression and voice were calm and collected; some would dare say emotionless.
Barricade was far from emotionless, his faceplates contorted into a grim expression. "Well done, sparkling. How long did it take you to realize you're a Decepticon?"
"I've known since I was a youngling. Ironhide, Wheeljack and Ratchet never lied to me about my origins." Prowl tilted his head lightly, his stance was relaxed but cautious. "Jazz and Bumblebee told me about you."
The Decepticon Saleen tensed when those names were mentioned. Jazz, because he assumed his child had been close to the silvery mech his Lord Megatron had ripped in two. And Bumblebee... well, suffice to say Bumblebee was the reason he was back in Tranquility in the first place.
Prowl took notice of his creator's tension and took a step back to allow him some room. "I bear no ill intentions. I merely wished to meet my creator."
The Decepticon interceptor growled and locked his optics with his child. Why were they so cold and impassive was beyond him; even for a Decepticon such detachment was a rarity. Those cold optics reminded him too much of Soundwave's. "Ah, yes. Jazz..." Barricade drawled with a hint of sadistic amusement. "That little mech Lord Megatron ripped in two. Your lover perhaps, sparkling?"
"We were just friends."
Barricade could feel his spark ache with uneasiness. Why? Why was his sparkling so cold, so unaffected? He lacked the heat and passion of Barricade's own spark if even the mention of this so called friend's demise didn't bring hesitation or even a single reaction from his child. "You're one cold-sparked bastard. A Decepticon at your core."
For the first time Barricade saw a glint of emotion in his creation's optics. "Perhaps," Prowl admitted unabashed. "You need a cold spark in my line of work."
"Is that so? I suppose you do need a cold spark to willingly send other mechs to their demise." And for the first time, Barricade realized Prowl's cold optics and unaffected demeanor were but a mask he wore.
"You're alone here?" Prowl changed the subject, looking around absently almost as if expecting another mech to jump out from any of the several structures that could be used as hiding place.
"That's none of your business, sparkling. I believe this meeting has concluded."
Prowl's door wings drooped the tiniest bit but he nodded and turned to leave, looking over his shoulder. "You don't have to be alone, you know?"
"Is this the part where you'll offer me redemption, sparkling?" Barricade snorted.
"Redemption?" Prowl's voice echoed and shook his head. "I'm not one to offer you redemption. You cannot redeem yourself for crimes you don't believe you've committed."
Barricade watched Prowl turn around to face him once more, removing that mask of cold precision, and allowing his creator to see the true Prowl that laid beneath. The Autobot Saleen's optics were dim, full of sadness and a strange, unexpected hint of loneliness. "I'm not the one to comfort you... father."
Prowl's voice let out just enough amount of truly felt sympathy and turned around once more, walking away. "There's arms open for you among the Autobots. It's up to you if you wish to take them up on that offer."
Barricade watched his 'sparkling' walk away from him, never once turning back. Somehow, Barricade could feel in his spark the weight of the burden that plagued his child's own spark.
Outside of the dilapidated warehouse, Prowl smiled a little and stopped his pace, looking over to a familiar figure trying to conceal itself. "You don't need to hide, Bumblebee."
The Camaro clicked lowly but nodded and stepped away from his hiding place. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop. Barricade, He--"
Bumblebee looked down for a moment before he met the red optics of the Decepticon-born Autobot. "What he said about Jazz --"
"No need to apologize, Bumblebee." The Autobot tactician raised a hand to silence his comrade. Prowl was sharp enough to know why Bumblebee was there, and why Barricade was there. "Go in. He's waiting for you."
"Prowl, aren't you going to talk to him any further? He's your father." Human terminology had become too embedded into his mannerisms, that it was impossible for Bumblebee to catch himself before he spewed such titles.
"He's my creator, Bumblebee. Ironhide was my father." Prowl knew better than to try to wear his mask around the Camaro, but he couldn't help himself. "Right now he needs you more than he needs me. And I have a friend to mourn."
'Bee nodded with understanding. "Ratchet said there's hope once Wheeljack arrives from Australia."
"Perhaps." The Autobot tactician cleared his exhaust and began to walk away again. "Take care of him, 'Bee."
The yellow Autobot watched his friend transform into his alternate mode, a perfect copy of Barricade's own, and drive away. The Camaro shook his head and walked into the warehouse. "I promise I will, Prowl. If he lets me." Bumblebee whispered softly as he made his way towards Barricade, hoping one day he could see creator and creation together without masks or pretenses, and maybe, just maybe, see Barricade and Prowl truly happy.