Disclaimer: do not own Transformers.
Summary: Oneshot, sequel to "Masterpiece." They had forever. They couldn't ask for more.
Author note: Parts of this oneshot (especially the whole 'game and punishment' part) is inspired by an episode of the anime, Higurashi.
Yay!! It is finally the sequel that should have showed up many oneshots and drabbles ago! This series is complete! (Points proudly, with happy tears streaming down face, to the "complete" status). Thanks for reading!
They were in their favourite building again, huddled on the rooftop. A light rain was coming down, and they took shelter under the outstretched wings of a stone angel, one of the only statues miraculously left standing on an otherwise decimated area.
They loved the darkness, they loved the night, they loved the clouds and the shadows.
But they hated the rain. Hated it.
It had been a while since Hoover Dam. They went there to see their other, and got more than they bargained for. The Decepticons had showed up as well.
They had almost been helpless.
They had almost been victims.
They had almost…
They didn't like to think about it.
By the time they exited Hoover Dam, riding a silver stolen motorbike, the world was minus one Allspark, and one Megatron.
Needless to say, they weren't the most popular humans on Earth at this moment.
Though neither of them wanted to admit it, they knew that they could not hold this up for long. A storm was coming their way.
There were options. The five Autobots that seemed obsessed with finding them had offered sanctuary. The smaller yellow one had nearly caught them once, his honeyed words taking full advantage of their confusion and vulnerability.
They knew that he wanted to take them in, to shelter them.
But they could not take it. The ravens inside them would die in a cage, however luxurious.
So they huddled together, against the cold, embracing the wind.
She was asleep.
And then she woke up.
He realized it the same time she did. Experience had made both of them light sleepers, but they didn't wake up for any old reason.
Their other was coming.
X x X
He entered into the building, transforming as soon as he was out of the rain. Irritably, he shook off the droplets of water, knowing fully well what they could do to his paintjob.
He loved this planet. He did. It was volatile, swiftly running water and quicksilver, ever changing and ever shifting, a very welcome change from the monotonous blacks and reds of Cybertron.
However, he hated the rain—hated it.
At his entrance, a flock of ravens rose, becoming startled at the tremors, and fluttered to settle on the rafters. Cawing harshly, they looked on, their eyes dark and glinting.
"Come to collect us, have you?" one said, voice wafting down the rafters.
He grinned, peering into the shadows, not bothering to turn on his scanners. That would just take the fun out of the situation. "Of course," he said lightly. "Only the best hunter for the best prey, after all."
"Oh, Sunstreaker," the other said, giving an exaggerated sigh. "You're connected to the Internet. You know why it's wrong to take animals from their natural habitats. Some of them are just meant to be wild."
Casually, he unsheathed his claws, and he heard them just as casually activate their charge weapons. "Right and wrong isn't the issue here. Do you know how much you two are worth on the market?" he asked, and caught a glimpse of a shifting shadow. He moved in that direction.
"Dead or alive?" one asked, and he could hear them smiling.
"Preferably alive, but dead works too," he said, shrugging. "I say alive, because dead…well, your species does tend to make a mess."
They laughed, and his spark gave a pleasant pulse.
There was a movement in the corner of his viewing screens. He lunged for it, and felt warm flesh at his hands, before the shadows once again melted into the cold darkness. He withdrew his hand, and saw blood mixed with energon at the tips of his claws, where a thin layer of wiring was exposed.
He regarded it carefully, and then licked it away.
"That better not scar," he told them flatly.
"Same here," they said. He could hear their reluctant smiles as they could hear his.
They had marked one another.
"So let me ask you something," he said, once again peering into the shadows of the staircases. "You're not afraid of Optimus, not afraid of Megatron…Then what is it that you're afraid of?"
He hadn't meant the question seriously. He just needed to keep them talking. However, the atmosphere changed abruptly. There was silence for the longest of moments, though he knew that they were still there, with him.
"A cage," they said softly.
Finally, something made sense to him.
Back at Hoover Dam, where his loves had fallen, if only for an instant, only to soar once again above the madness. Thinking back to it, it was, in fact, Megatron's doing.
Give me the Allspark, and I'll let you be my pet.
That was when the two had gone ballistic. That was when the spell of mortality had snapped.
He never thought that he'd actually thank the tyrant for anything.
He found himself asking, "Then why didn't you go to the Autobots?"
"A gilded cage is still a cage, Sunstreaker."
He frowned, knowing the truth of their statement.
In this state, so soon after the Allspark's destruction, they were frightened, and they were vulnerable. And still, they knew how things were.
Did he love them for that too? Yes, he supposed he did.
"Cages in cages in cages…and people like this. It kind of feels like you're the only one who's sane in a world full of insane people. You ever feel that way?"
Things were getting too heavy. He decided to change the topic.
"You know, I don't think this scratch is going to come out. I ought to punish you for that," he drawled, tone changing, carefully moving over clumps of rubble. "You'll spend the every day for the rest of your lives retouching my paintjob."
They caught the change in tone, and very willingly decided to play. "Like you need it," one scoffed. "You preen yourself often enough, from what we've seen."
"You've watched me?"
"Of course," said the other, and he could hear the grins widening. "We've watched you from outside your window, just to watch you turn your lights on and off."
"Then I'm lucky to have such devoted pets."
"Ah, so finally the truth comes out," said one.
"You want to make us your pets," said the other.
"Was I that obvious?" he asked in faux-innocence. "Let's play a game, then. Your goal is to escape. My goal is to catch you. If I win, then you will be my pets."
Laughter reached his audios, as soft as the raindrops falling outside—thankfully, the building was intact enough to not have any leaks.
"But you might not have it in you to be a human-owner. I just don't think you have the responsibility."
"I do too," he said. "I have everything prepared—food, water, cages, collars, leashes—you name it, I got it." Another movement in the darkness, closer to the exit this time, and he watched it carefully.
"I don't know, Sunstreaker. You see, we're rather high-maintenance pets."
"I didn't expect anything less."
"And the thing is, we have rather long life-spans. At this stage, I'm willing to bet that we're gonna be around longer than most humans. If you decide that you want us as pets, you'd better be ready for long-term commitment."
"I have Sideswipe. You can't ask for any more proof of long-term commitment."
"We're not the cuddly kind either. Don't expect us to be affectionate."
"I'd step on you if you were."
"We're not show-pets, either. Not attractive or well-mannered at all."
"That's alright," he said easily. "I have enough beauty and manners for the three of us."
They scoffed, and he chuckled dryly.
"The best part of it is that I'll always keep you with me," he continued. "So that you're there to cheer for me from the sidelines, say good-morning to me every morning and goodnight to me at night."
There was a pause, and then one asked, "So how about if we win?"
"If you win, then I'll let you go," he said simply. "I'll stop chasing you, and stop others from chasing you. Is that what you want?"
"Sounds nice," one mused. "But we much rather like your idea."
"You want me to be your pet?" he asked, surprised and vaguely disgusted.
"No. Not that. The other part. Where you're just with us. We want you to be there when we wake up every morning, to laugh with us in the evening, and to watch over us at night."
He was still, peering into the darkness, watchful of where shadows were darker than night. "Do you want forever?" he asked softly.
"You are forever."
He gave a small smile, and knew that they were smiling too…and then he lunged for them.
There was a clatter as their charge weapons skittered across the ground, and a small whirring sound as he retracted his claws.
She looked at the hand that had ensnared her, her expression mildly surprised, and he squirmed a bit, vaguely annoyed.
"Caught?" he asked them pointedly.
They looked him straight in the optics, their eyes bright. They grinned, and then, together said, "Never."
X x X
Everyone knew that Sunstreaker had a strange way with humans, but it wasn't until he came home with those two perched on his shoulder, smirking, that the full gravity of it hit them in the faceplate.
Sunstreaker had succeeded where they had failed—where he had failed.
It gnawed on him, strangely, that it wasn't his failure that bothered him so much, inasmuch as it was Sunstreaker's success. It meant something, that Sunstreaker was accepted into the humans' pack where every other Autobot, including himself, was rejected, and he didn't like what that something was.
Oh, he had no doubts of Sunstreaker's ability as a protector. The warrior was vain, arrogant, and selfish, and valued very few, but those he valued, he loved truly. He would never leave them.
There had been a huge debacle, but in the end, they were allowed to stay. He didn't want to admit it, but he knew that if they were forced to leave, Sunstreaker would have followed…and he himself would have too.
Naturally, many of the Autobots, Red Alert especially, held a grudge against them.
Naturally, they were under constant video surveillance.
Naturally, Whitmann and Madsen had hacked into the video feeds, and were happily sharing them with anyone who was interested in the latest greatest tale of love and intrigue.
Not that the three beings in question minded the attention. They just took it in stride.
Several humans and some Autobots, including himself, gathered to watch their latest activity. Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were in the training room, once again facing off against simulations. Banes and Witwicky were there too, blurs of shadows within the darkness, seen briefly as they were silhouetted against Sunstreaker's golden form. They moved and attack in tandem with each other and with him and with his twin, as if they belonged nowhere else.
They might have been caged, if only for the moment, but they were by no means tamed.
They were his little heralds, his demons of darkness.
The various Autobots were watching, some still angry and others vaguely impressed. He couldn't shake off the feeling of…of a lingering sadness.
The humans gathered were simply shocked. But underneath the shock, he was surprised to see a glimmer of satisfaction, and more than a hint of yearning.
"I don't understand it," he said softly, looking at the video screens, Banes and Witwicky in mid-laugh, and Sunstreaker smirking like he knew a secret.
"What's not to understand?" a voice asked. He turned, and saw Ratchet there. The medic looked at him almost pityingly. "They are one of a kind," he continued gravely, and he knew that 'they' was not exclusive to just those two humans. "Kindred, that's what they are."
Looking at them, looking at all of them, at the way they laughed and fought and hated and loved, he knew that Ratchet was right, and that alone made his spark tremble.
He would never give up.
But…but watching Sunstreaker and Witwicky and Banes…but just for this moment…
…he looked away.
X x X
They laughed as they tore through the simulations, knowing fully well that they were being watched.
They might as well give a good show.
They knew that their other was smiling, just as they knew that the other one—the one that was there before—was looking at them in confusion.
That was okay. They were a bit confused too.
They used to be afraid of them, and they didn't know why. They had come to realize that that…that part of it was that they were most afraid of his kindness, for it was his kindness that made the light so tempting.
But they could not be who they were before. They could not be who he wanted them to be, and it was unfair of him to ask. Too many things had happened. They had grown up. They had decided their paths long ago, and they refused to regret their actions. There was nothing to regret.
One day, maybe Bumblebee would accept them.
One day, maybe they would be friends.
But they could not deny who they were. They could never deny who they were.
Perhaps that was why they loved their other so much. He saw the best where others saw the worst, and embraced it.
He loved them as they were.
They fought and laughed and lived with their other, and they were happy.
They had each other, and they had him.
They had forever. They couldn't ask for more.
X x X
He fell in love with humanity in general, and Witwicky and Banes in particular, the first time he ever saw the two. The two soldiers had raced through the shattered streets in a stolen blue truck, laughing in voices high and howling, leaving the enemies' entire ground force behind them.
He hadn't known it was love at first. By the time he realized it, he was lost to it, and quite happily so.
They were winding down now. The simulation was almost over, and ghostly bodies of simu-drones surrounded them.
His brother was at his back, smirking like he knew a secret. His shadows were at his side, eyes bright and teeth bared as they laughed. And just within his grasp, the entire human race burned like newly-formed stars.
And the Autobots looked on, some in shock, others in disgust, and others shaking their head at this display of apparent madness.
It was alright with him. He knew that, one day, they would look upon his work of art, and know, just as he knew, that his masterpiece was beautiful.