Disclaimer: do not own Transformers.

Author note: Wow! Finally, an update! Thanks for your interest in this cracky little fic ; )

Smile for the Camera


"We should have seen this coming," Sideswipe radioed to his brother through a private, Red Alert-and-Prowl proof channel. "I mean, look at us. These humans probably never beheld such good-looking mechs."

"I know," Sunstreaker radioed back bitterly. "It's a curse, I swear. And what the Pit are we doing here anyway? Shouldn't we be trying to get as far away from these organic psychopaths as possible?"

"Sunny, Sunny," Sideswipe said, shaking his head and patronizingly patting his brother's shoulder. Sunstreaker's scowl, if possible, deepened. "Don't you remember all that stuff that we looked up on the Internet with Prowl yesterday?"

"There was a lot of human junk we saw. Which ones are you talking about?"

"The ones that said that kids like Sam and Mikaela and Miles enjoy chasing after those who are hard-to-get. Ergo, as Prowl suggested, if we do the opposite—"

"And if Prowl's idea is so good, why ain't he here?"

"Got caught by Miles outside. I guess we'll figure out how he did later."

"If he crashes and the Hatchet gets on our tailpipes, I'm blaming you. You're the one who told him to giggle like a loony every time Miles says the word 'happy.'"

"Well you're the one who suggested that he start talking to Miles using rap lyrics."

Sunstreaker was about to retort, but then he heard faint laughter, then voices. "Mute it," he said. "They're here!"

"Now, remember Sunny," Sideswipe radioed, smirking inwardly when Sunstreaker fought back the instinctive urge to glare at him. "Act nice in front of the humans."

They turned to face the door. Sideswipe leaned casually against the table of the room, a pleasant expression plastered on his face. Sunstreaker slouched, and grumbled about "crazy organic admirers," but stopped when Sideswipe, not dropping his smile, took a fist to his shoulder. Sunstreaker straightened up, and was about to return his brother the favour—but too late.

They were coming.

X x x

Mikaela and Sam wandered into the common room, muttering about their latest story. "No, Mikaela," Sam was saying in response to Mikaela's suggestion to a certain act that they could 'fantasize' about. "Red Alert may be jerk, but even I have standards." A little louder, he said. "You know what, Mikaela? We should totally ask our respective Autobots of affection out for a double date—"

Sam suddenly stopped short, causing Mikaela to bump into him from behind.

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were in the room.

They were looking at them.

"Oh, fuck, I hope they didn't hear me," Sam said, closing his eyes and wincing inwardly."Damn, what are they doing here? This will totally ruin—" Mikaela looked, and stared. She composed herself quickly, however, and ushered Sam forward. "What are you doing?"

"Cameras. They're our targets of affection, right? We can't hesitate too long."

"Wait, what?" Sam hissed back, incredulous. "But, Mikaela, don't you think that now's a bad time, what with Sunstreaker and Sideswipe right here?"

"There's no way that we're losing because of such a small problem."

"And how are you two doing today?" Sideswipe asked, interrupting their hissed conversation. He was leaning casually against the wall, doing the Cybertronian equivalent of smiling.

"Doing fine, thanks," Mikaela said, sending a radiant grin back. Sam had the sense of mind to give a wan smile, at least, upon this reassurance that neither twin had heard his little proclamation. Mikaela's smile not fading a jot, she added, "Especially since you're here."

"So what are you doing here, anyways?" Sam asked as casually as possible.

"Nothing in particular," Sideswipe said. "Nope, nothing to do with anything particular at all."

"Well, that's good, because we weren't thinking of doing anything in particular either," Sam said.

"Nothing at all." Mikaela said.

"Really? That's great. We totally have something in common. The something, of course, being nothing."

"I like nothing."

"Me, too."

There was a very long pause.

"Well, it was great to see you guys again," Sunstreaker said suddenly. "Have a good one. See ya." Sideswipe winked, and with that, the twins were gone, leaving Sam and Mikaela completely baffled.

Slowly, Sam turned to Mikaela, still slack-jawed. "Mikaela? What the hell just—" Mikaela quickly grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him around. "What? What?"

"Adjusting the angle so our faces are hidden by the camera," she hissed back. "Quick, pretend to be giggling in glee, or something."


"Red Alert, remember?"

"Oh. Right." Faking an ecstatic grin, he gave a quick glance to the camera before turning back around. "What the hell was that about? And why did you say 'Especially since you're here?'" What if he thinks that—"

"He won't," Mikaela said firmly. "That was just in case Red Alert was listening and/or reading my lips. Sideswipe won't remember that I even said it."

"If you say so…But they never come here unless they want something! And what was with Sideswipe? He didn't try to talk us into anything at all! And, hell, did you see Sunstreaker's face? That was the strangest, most grotesque expression I've ever seen in my life."

"I know," Mikaela said, valiantly trying to suppress a shudder as she remembered the look on Sunstreaker's face. "It doesn't bode well. That, and the fact that they…asked us how they were doing. Really? That's all they came here for? And the whole—the whole winking from Sideswipe? What was this all about?"

"I don't know," Sam said. "But…but I sense a great disturbance in my being, as if a million voices are shouting, 'Oh fuck why are the twins talking to us and being nice this can't be good.'"

"Star Wars? Really?"

"Hey, you know movies are more applicable to our everyday lives than normal logic."

Mikaela sighed, her palm meeting her face. "As much as I hate to hop aboard your train of insanity, I have to agree with those voices, Sam."

X x x

"Wow, Sunstreaker," Sideswipe said, as soon as the twins were once again in the safety of one of the base's closets. "I've never seen you smile so long before. It looked like it hurt."

"Mute it."

Their conversation was cut short when the closet door opened, and they were joined by a third member. "Hey, Prowl," Sideswipe said. "How'd it go?"

"I was not with Miles long enough to gauge whether or not his affections have sufficiently been undermined," Prowl answered. "And you?"

"Not sure."

"Well, they didn't reject us," Sunstreaker said. "In fact, they were pretty much flattered by our presence. Their persistent affection is really annoying."

"Perhaps we should do more research," Prowl mused. "There does seem to be many articles geared towards helping humans figuring out whether or not their current mate is suitable. Perhaps the humans' Internet may be of more assistance…"

X x X

Red Alert had made a very risky decision. He had asked a human only casually acquainted with the traitors for information on the humans' local judicial system. If his suspicions were correct, they could be tried in an adult court. She didn't seem that high of a risk, and so far he had seen no Decepticon inclinations from her. But now he had to keep an optic on her, just in case she was also a traitor who would alert the others of his suspicions.

He would have asked another Autobot for the information, except that they would demand a reason from him, and he couldn't tell them that until he had concrete proof. Besides, they would have dismissed his vigilance and would have risen to the defence of their 'friends.'

He would have searched himself, had not his first and last sojourn through Internet-land ended with a two day trip to recharge-ville via the train of logic processors completely freezing.

Strangely, Prowl had handled the insanity that was the World Wide Web fairly well. Perhaps millennia of working with the twins had hardened him to such things—alternatively, the time with lunatics had broken him beyond all measure. Red Alert couldn't decide which.

He was waiting for the information, when, on one of the outdoor cameras, he saw Prowl approaching one of the three humans.

He half-rose in his seat, intending to save Prowl, when he saw Sunstreaker and Sideswipe go in the room that the other two treacherous humans frequented. But before he could go over there and pull them out, the two said humans walked into the room.

Caught between these two catastrophes, he watched as Prowl talked warmly, animatedly, intimately…

…As Sideswipe activated his flirtatious mode…

And Sunstreaker…was he actually smiling?

Oh no. They were falling for it. His poor, trusting, unsuspecting comrades, easily manipulated by these humanly wiles, playing right into the trap of Decepticon-sympathizing seducers.

He had to stop it.

Red Alert rushed out…but he did not notice that, in his haste, he had left the door not only unlocked, but also opened a tiny, human-sized crack…

X x x

Maggie walked towards Red Alert's office, the requested information held in one of her hands, her other hand gently massaging her ear.

She could still hear a ringing sound after Glen had yelled in her ear, "Don't you see! The dude's a sick, sick mech!"

She didn't understand what Glen was panicking about. In her opinion, he was just making Bumblebee have an emotional breakdown for no reason. Sure, Red Alert wasn't the most pleasant of the Autobots, but his behaviour, though rude, was not in any other way inappropriate, and there was no evidence of Glen's claim other than his hyperactive imagination, and furthermore—

Her eyes widened as she saw Red Alert's door slightly ajar. Quietly, she slipped inside, and was immediately greeted by none other than the Wall of Devotion.

She gaped, and the folder dropped from her limp hands.

Glen was right, she thought numbly, looking at the viewing screens. Red Alert really is

X x X

Bumblebee approached Maggie and Glen tentatively, who seemed to be arguing and agreeing at the same time.

"He had an entire wall—" Maggie was saying.

"I know," Glen said.

"But that, that's just—"

"I know."

"This isn't right!"

"I told you so!"

"May I ask a question?" Bumblebee interrupted.

"Yeah, sure, what?" Glen said, quickly composing himself.

"It's just that…" Bumblebee said, sounding completely puzzled. "Lately, I've noticed Prowl and Sunstreaker and Sideswipe have been getting really close to Miles, Sam and Mikaela."

"Oh, what, you mean emotionally close?" Maggie asked. "Oh, Bumblebee, you don't need to worry."

"Yeah. You know that you'll always be first in Sam and Mikaela's hearts," Glen said.

"Oh no, I didn't mean that," Bumblebee said. "Just that they've been following them around really, really closely. For example, if they were walking in the park, Prowl and the twins would be behind a tree or something, just looking at them. That kind of close. But, Glen, what did you mean by—"

"Wait, what?" Maggie demanded. "You mean stalking them kind of close?" Glen was quickly losing his composure again.

"Is 'stalking' bad?" Bumblebee asked, completely confused now.

"Bumblebee," Glen said, trying to keep it together. "Look up the definition of stalker."

There was a pause as Bumblebee did so. He became briefly confused as to why Red Alert's designation and Prowl and the twins' designation differed. But then he realized that that didn't matter—what mattered was that four of his comrades were sick, sick beings holding dark, twisted desires towards his friends.

Oh, frag, no. Just no.

Then, for a highly advanced alien robot lacking the physiology to perform such an action, Bumblebee did a great impression of bursting into horrified tears.