Amor Est Vitae Essentia (Love is the Essence of Life)

Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. I should think that rather obvious with my college-induced poverty and all. All characters are depicted as legal age.

Warnings: Some OOC perhaps, implied Prowl/Jazz

AN: Based on purajo's prompt over on LiveJournal. The quote was "Loving someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved deeply by someone gives you courage."

He isn't brave. Not really.

Most would beg to differ. Would cite his many exploits, the hundreds of missions he's successfully completed, the battles he has been in. All the stunts he's pulled.

But how can he be brave when there's no fear? Be courageous when he infiltrates Decepticon bases with only a trickle of satisfaction for his accomplishment? When he does absolutely crazy things, nearly dies, and feels absolutely nothing?

He isn't strong. Not that either.

Strength is overcoming adversity. Standing proud despite difficulties.

But none of this is a hardship to him. It's just something to do. Going through the motions because he knows that he has to do something. Anything.

There's a facsimile of joy. Something like laughter. A smug sense of superiority every now and then. Perhaps anger. But little else.

Rather empty. Hollow. Meaningless.

How can he be brave? How can he be strong? He has nothing to lose and doesn't care if he does. He has no family. The 'bots that try to befriend him don't really know him at all. Death doesn't matter. None of it matters.

But then, things change.

He meets someone, a mech, who appears as blank on the outside as Jazz feels on the inside. But there's a spark behind those seemingly lifeless optics. A gleam that speaks of determination and something altogether unnamable. Something he quickly finds that he desperately wants for himself.

He's fascinated, captivated. Never had anything other than music so hold his interest.

It starts slowly at first. Something that could be called a friendship. A few words here and there. Teasing just to get a response. A tingle in his spark when he gets that and more.

And he onlines one day unable to recognize the mech he's become.

His life suddenly has meaning when it had none before. There's a purpose behind his actions, a drive. No longer drifting aimlessly. No longer listless and unknowingly aching.

He goes on missions actually wanting to return. Feels a sweep of dread when something goes wrong, at just the thought that he might not make it back. He has to overcome, to conquer himself, emotions and thoughts churning inside as the world is shattering around him. He has to be brave for once, be strong. And he rises to the challenge, exhilarated for it. Wanting to share his success and elation.

His injuries aren't insignificant, but he doesn't really notice or care, still riding high. But for once, that's alright, not an indication of a deeper problem.

The medbay is quiet and dark, but Prowl's blue optics provide more than enough light. He stares at Jazz for what seems like an eternity, not saying anything at all. Jazz just looks back evenly, spark doing something very odd in its casing as Prowl sits beside him. A shaky hand finds his in the semi-dark and squeezes.

Jazz squeezes back.

And after what seems like a lifetime, he finally allows himself to just to be. Not empty. Just content.

Ever Hopeful,