A/N -Glares furiously at Jazz- He just HAD to grab this song and ran with it, and made me write this. My Jazz muse is evil.
Song in question: Frozen, by Within Temptation.
It was inevitable. All things end eventually, and so it was for Prowl. It happened as slowly as it did fast. He didn't know where the missile had come from, didn't see it until Sideswipe's frantic screaming had finally alerted him to the fact. It was too late by then.
There hadn't been any time to think before the world disappeared in a upwards waterfall of fire and pain.
It ended immediately and it stretched on forever, burning and curling into his armour, the eternal feeling of being ripped apart, scattered across the earth-face like metal hail.
Until, he was aware of a pair of arms wrapped around him, a slow movement of a single hand gently caressing the edge of his wings, and a fin-crested helm pressed against his neck. The sensations all came through the fire, pulsing like a spark-beat, until finally the flame abated completely, and there was just the other mech.
"S'alright, Prowler. I got ya. Keep coming this way. You ain't goin back the other, that's for sure." The amusement in his voice was trying its best to shuffle the sadness behind its back, and failing miserably.
"...what?" The words made perfect sense as words, but as a sentence, they seemed to be lacking in any meaning entirely. Go back... where?
"Ratchet's gonna be cursin your name a while. You literally went out with a bang – someone might think ya finally decided to take a page outta my book."
Oh, right. Dead.
And Prowl did the only thing that he could think of doing as that dawned on him – he grabbed Jazz and hugged him tightly to himself, revelling in the solid contact he'd so longed for all this time. The ghost touches, the liquid sand embrace, it couldn't compare to truly being able to hold his bondmate properly again.
Jazz laughed, the gentle stroke on Prowl's wings becoming more definite, more comforting. "Missed ya too, babe."
Prowl pulled back a little, resting his chevroned forehead against Jazz's, running a finger across the bar of glyphs crossing the smaller mech's face as he stared through the visor into the optics staring right back at him.
"I guess it had to happen sooner or later, huh?" Jazz asked, dragging a claw across Prowl's bumper, marvelling for the first time at the new armour that he was finally able to touch properly. "All good things come to an end."
"I've got you now," Prowl reminded him, leaning in to nuzzle against his cheek.
Jazz huffed a soft laugh. "Yeah. You ain't meant to stay here, though."
Jazz sighed and pulled back, throwing a half-grin at his mate. "On to the Matrix with ya, lover." Prowl nodded slowly, touching Jazz's forearm softly as he turned slightly, looking around curiously.
"Come on, then."
"Prowl," Jazz took his mate's hand, staring at the white fingers intently as he slowly rubbed them between his own. The former tactician watched the uncharacteristic frown on the silvery mech's face, the slight downturn of his lip components, the dimmed visor.
"I'm not going," the once-saboteur told Prowl's hand quietly. The spike of dread, feeling suspiciously like the wild jump of a spark he didn't actually have anymore, spread through Prowl like a cold wind.
"What do you mean, you're not going?" His hand tightened around Jazz's as the silver mech began to let him go, grasping him tightly. With his free hand, Jazz slid his visor back, meeting his lover's optics with his own.
"Can't go to the Matrix, Prowler. Kinda... kinda stuck here. Like this." That cold-wind dread turned to ice, solid and prickling with shards.
"I decided to come back, or as much as I could. That was my choice, and now I can't go there. Frozen in place, right here."
"S'alright, Prowl. You'll be alright. Once you get there, you're just gonna join with the rest of them, won't remember a thing. You won't miss me, I promise."
"I'm not going without you," Prowl shook his head, grabbing at his mate's shoulders, determined not to let go. He couldn't let go.
A ghost of a smile, a mockery of Jazz's usual expression crossed the silvery one's face. "Aw, mech, you don't get a choice. That was part of the condition. We couldn't both stay." He watched those doorwings fall back, drawing flatter and lower than he'd ever seen them. As much as he wanted to remember the way they were usually held so high, the way they twitched in irritation or amusement, Jazz knew he would never forget the moment they had all but folded away.
Prowl searched those optics, looking so steadily back into his, shining with nothing more than the truth, nothing less than utter sorrow. "Why?"
"'Cos you were hurtin. I couldn't leave you like that. Couldn't just wander off into oblivion knowing that it wouldn't kill you, just slowly drive you insane." Jazz reached up to gently rub that bright red chevron, trying his best to soothe his distraught mate.
"You would have. And I couldn't hurt ya like that." He wanted to impress the touch of the cool metal into his memory for the rest of forever, he decided, wanted to always remember the glint of light on the sharp ruby angles, stark against perfect black and white, contrasting against the glow of cerulean optics.
"And knowing that you're going to be stuck here forever, alone, because of me, I'm supposed to... to be able to live with that?"
"You won't remember it." He wanted to recall that smile, the one that was his and his alone, even though he knew he wasn't going to see it again.
"I won't let you just sacrifice everything."
"It's too late for that," Jazz cupped Prowl's face in his hands, holding his gaze, mapping the glow at the very centre, the hue of the bright flare. "Besides, I'd do it again if I got the choice. I'd give you anything. And now, I gotta let you go."
"You're bein called, lover." Jazz slowly caressed Prowl's face with both hands, tracing every line, every glyph etched into the metal, pressing it all into his memory.
Prowl tightened his grip on the smaller mech's shoulder, and to his panic, found that his grasp passed straight through the silvery armour. Jazz was fading... no... he was.
"Jazz!" he couldn't keep the distress from his voice, the wail from deep within.
"S'alright, I promise. Love ya, Prowl."
Jazz watched his mate's stricken expression fold into pure anguish, watched him try to touch him once again. Jazz lifted a hand to touch what he could not feel, wondering if this was how Prowl had felt all this time. White fingers aligned with silver, passing through each other, touching no more.
"I love you too." Prowl's voice was little more than a whisper, an idea in his processor, but it was there, and Jazz wrapped those words around his memories of this last moment, tucking them safely away. He grinned widely for his mate, claws twitching against rapidly clearing air. The last he saw was the glow of those beautiful blue optics, bright with sadness.
Jazz lowered his visor again, turning back to the other mechs left behind. They couldn't see him, wouldn't see him. No, he was here alone, with just the memories of what had been.
"Anything for you, lover," he murmured to a world that would never hear.