Notes: The plot bunnies attack again. This one was just too good to pass up, though. Please excuse my pathetic attempts at smut; my schmex-muse is simply not what she used to be. tear
I did actually intend to have actual Jazz/Prowl action in this, but damn it all if Prowl just wasn't cooperating with me… bastard.
Looking back, no one really knew how the bet got started. Someone simply brought it up in casual conversation, and it exploded from there. One orn it was safe to take a stroll around the Ark, the next it wasn't, bots trying to see who could interface in the most obscure of places. And no one knew who the cause of the madness was.(But honestly, no one bothered to take the time to ponder long on the identity of the genius.)
There were only three rules. One: provide photographic evidence.
"Easy enough," Red Alert had reasoned immediately, much to the shock of Inferno, who could not believe the paranoid mech was willing to take any part of it. "I can just take a freeze-frame of the security cameras."
Besides the security cameras – of which Prowl was suddenly becoming embarrassedly aware of – there could be no witnesses, for where was the excitement of having a good overload in a storage closet if bots knew you were doing it? No, the thrills had to be kept a secret… until the next orn when the time came to pick a winner, of course.
The third and most important was: don't let Prime or Elita-One get wind of what they were doing. Nothing spoiled good fun and games like a disapproving leader. At first, the involvement of their finicky SIC was also brought into question – he could be worse then Optimus sometimes – but Jazz quickly stamped out that idea, insisting that he should not be cheated of the fun simply because his mate was a stick-in-the-slag.
Nobody had any problems with the rules, and so the games began. There was a sudden scrambling of bots, couples scurrying off to stake claims on their choice of locations. Soon, Prowl and Jazz were the only mechs left in the rec room. The former turned to his bonded with a look of absolute chagrin.
"Why do you never remind me about the security cameras?" he moaned, faceplates heating with embarrassment.
Jazz pulled a face. "Huh?"
"Red Alert probably saw us in the corridor last week," Prowl continued, burying his head in his arms in absolute mortification. "I'll bet that's where he got the idea to freeze-frame the footage to use as proof."
Suddenly remembering the incident his mate was speaking of, Jazz grinned broadly.
"Prowler, baby," he said with a leer, "we so got this'n in the bag…"
"Sides, we can't do that."
"Sure we can. Anything's game."
"Can't do what, Sides?"
"Yes, but that's just suicide. I'm not doing it!"
"Fine! Blue and I will do it without you!"
"Do what? What are you two talking about?"
The two Lamborghinis looked down at Bluestreak in mild surprise, having nearly forgotten he was there.
"The bet," Sideswipe clarified cheerfully.
Blue frowned. "What bet?"
"The bet," Sunstreaker scowled, "in which Sides here staked half our high-grade stash we could capture photographic evidence of us interfacing in a more obscure and risky location than anybot else on the Ark."
Bluestreak blinked. "Oh." He glanced at Sideswipe, then glanced beyond him at the door to Ratchet's office. Optics widening in sudden understanding, he blinked again. "Oh." He glanced back and forth between his two mates, as if pondering something.
"Well," he said at last, "I'll do it. You guys give good enough overloads to make probable death worth it."
For a second time, the pair of melee brothers looked down at their bonded in surprise.
"That," Sunstreaker said seriously, "may just be the sweetest thing you've ever said to me."
"This is so wrong," Chromia gasped. Backed up into a corner, she braced her arms against both walls, letting loose a long, needy whimper when Ironhide bit down on a particularly sensitive tube in her neck.
"Since when has morality ever been a problem for you, femme?" the black mech growled, eager fingers digging into the crevasses of her hip armor in search of the protoform beneath. Chromia gasped in pleasure, wrapping one leg around his waist.
"If I recall correctly," she snarled after regaining her breath, "you were the one who couldn't keep his jack behind its panel on our first date." She punctuated the last two words with clangs against said interface panel with the hand that was not wedged under a gap in his back plating and stroking a bundle of wires.
"Only because you were grinding up against it hard enough to pry it open!" Ironhide exclaimed, hand moving from her hip to run up her spinal strut. As expected, the femme arched her back, pressing her chassis even closer to his, and tightened the hold her strong legs had around his middle. "And this only half a joor after proclaiming you didn't plug in until date three!"
"Just shut up and overload me," she hissed, wrapping her arms around her mate's neck and kissing him fiercely.
"With pleasure," he growled against her lip components. Using the wall of the elevator as leverage, he shifted his bonded, holding her up with one hand on her aft. He pulled open his interface panel with the other, quickly slipping out his cable and sliding it into Chromia's port in one smooth movement.
Ironhide grunted as a wave of transmitted information and emotion hit him. He leaned heavily against Chromia, glad the conjoined walls were there to support their weight. Chromia clapped her hands to her vocalizor, trying to muffle her cries of ecstasy. She clung desperately to her mate with her legs.
Energy arced between them, building and building until neither of their systems could take it anymore. They toppled over the edge into simultaneous overloads with muted cries of each others names.
It did not take them long to recover – they were wise enough not to merge their sparks when they had such a limited time frame. A few chaste kisses later, footing was regained and the elevator restarted.
"Not bad," Chromia said contemplatively as they once again began descending. "Two breems, two and a half tops."
"I can't tell you how glad I am speed impresses you," Ironhide grinned, eliciting a laugh from his bonded just as the door cycled open, revealing Bumblebee, Arcee, and Blaster waiting with rapidly disappearing patience.
"Finally," Bumblebee exclaimed, stepping onto the lift before the pair had a chance to exit. "Someone needs to fix this thing; it stalled on me just two orns ago."
"How'd you get it working again, Hide?" Blaster asked, allowing the weapons specialist and his mate to exit before following the little scout on.
"How he fixes everything," Arcee said before the black mech could respond. "He threatened to shoot it."
Very fortunately for the femme, the door to the lift closed as she was speaking, leaving Chromia laughing and Ironhide pointing a cannon at a blank wall.
"Red, you've finally gone and blown that last fuse."
The Security Director didn't respond. He wasn't even listening; he was more intent on making sure the corridor was free of witnesses – er, passers-by before he slipped quietly out of the room. His mate followed closely behind, very nearly shell-shocked by the thought of what he'd just done but not wanting to get caught (and thus disqualified) nonetheless.
"Didja hear me, Red?" Inferno tried again. "You've lost all sense o' sanity."
"My CPU is perfectly stable, thank you," Red Alert replied with a small chuckle that led his bonded to believe otherwise.
"Then d'ya mind tellin' me just what possessed ya t' go an' do somethin' like… like that?" The fire engine couldn't bring himself to say aloud what "that" was. Never before had he experienced such a reversal of roles. "I mean really, it ain't like ya at all – oof!"
Inferno bumped into Red Alert, who had suddenly stopped dead. The Lamborghini turned, pinning him with a lecherous look that sent a shiver down his spinal struts.
"Sometimes," Red hissed sensuously, "even I feel the need for something a little different." He took a step toward his mate. Inferno took a step back. "Sometimes, I just need a release."
"Some release," the fire truck muttered, shivering again in delight at the recent memory. While rather unnerving to have his sweet little Red suddenly become so bold and dominant, he was liking this side of his bonded more and more. Red Alert's systems practically purred in response to the feelings of arousal and approval Inferno was sending unconsciously over their bond.
"Want to go again?" he leered, running a hand from where it rested on Inferno's hip up to his chest. "I bet we could get another round in before the deadline…"
Inferno, true to his name, felt his systems flood with heat at the way Red was stroking the armor over his spark chamber with one hand, running along a sensitive bundle of wires in his back with the other, the way his mate's optics burned into his, full of raw lust and desire, the way the Lambo flooded their link with images of their encounter and thoughts of more like it …
Inferno suddenly took off down the hallway, dragging his mate along behind him by one hand, saying, "Fine, but we're doin' it in our quarters this time. I wanna enjoy you without havin' ta worry about a fragged-off SIC barging in on us…"
Not for the first time in a very short while, Prowl found himself cursing the security cameras, the over-abundance of them there appeared to be, and the absolute clarity they showed. He stared down at the picture in his bonded's hand with a combination of mortification and pride – he didn't know he was still that limber.
"Not bad, huh?" Jazz said with a grin, correctly reading the subdued emotion that transmitted over their bond. "Though I didn' think I was bitin' that hard."
"Hn," Prowl grunted, trying not to let the memory run wild through his processor. "It looks worse than it felt… which really wasn't all that bad. The edge of the energon dispenser you had me pressed up against was more of a hindrance than your apparent love for eating my neck cables."
There came a small, feminine laugh from behind them.
"Kinky," Chromia said, glancing over the saboteur's shoulder to get a good look at their contribution to the running bet. "Remind me to never use that dispenser again."
"Remind me t'never come in this room again," Inferno put in with a snort. "Red an' I took a while to pick just one shot fer you two. Y'all covered practically ev'ry surface in 'ere!"
Prowl felt another small surge of embarrassment, but Jazz merely grinned and took a bow. The small party of six became nine as the door to the rec room cycled open, admitting Bluestreak, Sideswipe, and Sunstreaker. The golden twin was holding a large – by human standards – Polaroid in his hand. Spotting three others like his, he grinned and waved it in the air.
"Just came back from the printers," he announced.
"And you should have seen the look on the Human's face when we picked it up," Sideswipe added, bursting into laughter. Bluestreak had the decency to look mildly abashed about the whole thing.
"I told them it was a bad idea to use a human camera," he confided quietly to the group.
Jazz was not particularly worried about what the poor human at the printers must have thought. He wanted to see the picture. He snatched it from the golden Lamborghini's hand, vaguely registering his mate's indignant cry of, "You fragger, Inferno, that's my office!"
It was a rather good shot. Sunstreaker had been the one to take it, holding one arm out far enough to get all three of them into the frame. He was the only one looking towards the lens. Sideswipe was too busy running his glossa along the wiring in Blue's neck, searching hands hidden outside the photo's edge. Bluestreak himself seemed totally oblivious to the fact that his overload was being recorded. His back was to Sunny, who had one arm wrapped around his shoulders, body arching into Sideswipe. His head was tilted back, resting on Sunny's shoulder, allowing Sides better access to the cables and wiring of his neck, optics slightly crossed in pleasure and mouth hanging open slightly. He looked to be enjoying himself thoroughly.
"Geez, kid," Ironhide growled, looking at Bluestreak, who was in turn looking intently at the ceiling as if it were the most fascinating thing on the planet. "How many circuits ya fry on that one?"
"About as many as you shattered in Chromia," Sunstreaker answered for him. He was looking down at the Weapons Specialist's snapshot of their encounter in the elevator with a look of abhorrence. "Are you attacking her or overloading her here?"
"What, look a little too rough for you, Sunflower?" the silvery blue femme sneered. "Might scratch your paint?"
"A'ight, 'nough o' that," Jazz cut in quickly, moving to stand between the two bots. "We ain't gradin' you on performance, we're pickin' a location."
Red Alert, who had found a comfortable patch of floor on which to spread himself and the photographs out upon, made a small noise of agreement, not even bothering to look up from the array. He sat quietly for a moment, debating all the possibilities, when a thought suddenly occurred to him.
"Where are Mirage and Hound?" he asked, poking his head up to glance around the rec room.
"They have, most unfortunately, been detained."
Every bot in the room -- save Prowl, who was detached from the main group and sulking in a corner about having his office breeched and defiled, and Bluestreak, who continued to stare up at the ceiling with enforced vigor -- froze guiltily and turned to face the owner of the deep rumbling voice that had answered. It was none other than Prime, though he seemed to appear at least a good ten extra feet tall when viewed from a cowering position. He stood in the doorway of the rec room, huge hands balled into fists and resting on his hips, fixing each bot in turn with a stern glare.
"It would seem," he continued slowly, "they had a death wish, for I found them in my personal quarters… interfacing."
Inferno, having had just about enough of the whole ordeal already, stalked over to where Prowl sat, muttering something along the lines of an apology under his vocalizer. Sideswipe snatched the photographs from a stricken Red Alert's hands and stuffed them in his mouth, trying to eat the evidence that they had been doing the same. Jazz merely blinked in surprise. Prime's quarters?
"They are currently in the brig," Optimus went on with a deadly calmness, choosing to ignore the response his first comment had brought. "They did, however, express an appeal that I deliver something to you. As it was their last wish, I find myself complying."
Then, to the surprise and abject horror of all, Prime pulled from subspace a square piece of paper, one that, as everyone could clearly see, displayed a photo of Hound bending Mirage backwards over the desk in Prime's private study.
"Well…" Red Alert swallowed hard. "Well, I'm certain I have no idea why – or how – such a breech of security occurred. I suppose I should –"
"Well, if that don't just beat us all," Ironhide said suddenly, frowning grumpily at the picture.
"Frag that!" Jazz exclaimed. "They got caught by Prime. They're disqualified!"
This comment elicited a flurry of activity, shouts for and against it ringing across the room. Spare copies of pictures were whipped from subspace pockets. An all-around uproar was raised as each tried to defend their own.
Prime, rather startled by the sudden pandemonium, blinked his optics, opened his mouth to say something, thought better of it, and turned to leave. He had a report to fill out.