A Second Chance.
Summary: Prowl goes to watch over the body of Jazz, but when he finds that Jazz is not as dead as he seemed, he decides to take the second chance he has been given.
Disclaimer: Paramount/DreamWorks, and Hasbro's. Not mine and never will be.
Warning: If you don't like slash, stop reading now, because this story will soon contain more slash than an intelligent, homicidal, caffeine-fuelled octopus wielding a scalpel in each tentacle.
A Second Chance.
Chapter One: Death Watch.
Prowl was surprised at how quickly a human had become his preferred company in his spare time since he had come to Earth.
He was talking to Sam again, a few weeks after he had landed and had found out the painful news concerning Jazz. Had found out how Jazz had challenged Megatron, buying vital time for the Autobots and humans, but paying with his life. Jazz had died a hero, and Prowl hadn't even been there, hadn't had a chance to say goodbye, or sort out the confused tangle of feelings their last meeting had left him with.
It had unnerved Prowl how easily he had found himself opening up to Sam, in a way he could never have opened up to his own fighting comrades. After all, he had known them far longer, so he had been confused as to why he could open up so easily to a complete stranger. He came to two conclusions while pondering this anomaly.
Firstly, perhaps it was because Sam was a stranger that he could let his feelings show. Everyone else knew him as the strong, calm, controlled tactician. If he were to let the extent of his grief show in front of them, he risked unnerving, and possibly upsetting and demoralising, his friends. With Sam – a stranger – this would not be a problem. Sam had enough emotional detachment to mean that this was not a concern.
Secondly, as a member of such a fragile and short-lived species, Sam was no stranger to the concept – and the reality - of death. Sam had grieved for friends and grandparents who had died, and had faced the very real possibility of his own death - from what Prowl had heard from the boy, his mate, and his own fighting comrades - several times within the space of one Earth cycle of twenty-four hours.
So this was another evening – one of several – that he was once again talking to Sam about his feelings for, and about, Jazz. He was in the part of the med bay housing Jazz's inert form. Although it was too late, he wanted to spend as much time close to Jazz's physical form as he could. 'For all the good it will do.' he thought but did not vocalise.
"He suggested that we form an emotional and physical attachment, Sam." Prowl told the human, who listened attentively. "It wasn't that I didn't want to at all, Jazz had a most pleasing shape, and always kept himself looking good, it's just that I thought that it wasn't the right time, that there would always be later, and I told him this. He was disappointed, I know, but he accepted my decision, and we fought side by side as we always had done. A few millennia later, we separated, we had to, we were to lead two separate units. We had hoped to meet again at the next planetfall. That was here, and by the time I arrived – the Mission City battle had happened and it was too late. I thought there would be time for intimacy later, but now he's dead, and now there is no later."
The human leaned over to put a hand on Prowl's leg – the easiest thing for Sam to reach in his seated position - and nodded solemnly.
"That sucks, Prowl. I guess even I, and I know I'm gonna die one day, don't think that it could happen any time. I mean, Mikaela and I have decided to wait before getting married and starting a family. The reality is, that I could go out of my front door tomorrow and get knocked down and killed."
"Not if Bumblebee has anything to say about it, you won't." Prowl stated. Sam smiled at the thought of his protective yellow Autobot guardian, and nodded.
"So I guess that makes it less likely to happen to me, but even taking Bumblebee out of the picture, the odds against it are higher than the chances for, so we don't really think about it. Nobody ever thinks it'll happen to them, but when you think about it, why wouldn't it? It's gotta happen to somebody, so what makes me so immune?" Sam let out a short laugh.
"Mission City was a case in point. Who would have thought that I, boring, ordinary seventeen-year-old Samuel Witwicky, would end up owning a pair of dusty old glasses that would bring giant murderous alien robots down on my ass – er, that is, aft – and end up being contacted and protected by other giant, but less murderous, alien robots? Who would have thought I'd end up face to face with the biggest and most murderous of the lot and survive? The odds against it are astronomical – but it happened."
Prowl's response was low, and barely audible.
"You survived, but Jazz didn't." Then he spoke again. "Not that I would have preferred Jazz to survive rather than you, Sam. That came out the wrong way."
"Don't be silly, of course you would've, you barely know me, but I know you didn't mean it to sound that way." Sam said. "I know what you meant, Prowl."
Sam suddenly felt awkward, like he was intruding.
"Look – have you ever heard of the human night watch or death watch ceremony?" Sam didn't give Prowl time to reply, but carried on talking.
"Friends and family of the deceased stand vigil over their body. It used to be done with the intention of keeping evil spirits away from the body, but now is usually done as respect. Why don't you stay with Jazz's body? Talk to him like you would if he were still alive, pay your respects in whatever way is right for you." Sam headed for the door.
"I'll leave you to it, it's a private thing, I want to get an early night tonight anyway." Sam told the black and white mech. "Night, Prowl."
Prowl watched the human go, then he turned to approach the inert form of his friend.
"Jazz….I'm so sorry." He said, resting a hand briefly on one silver shoulder. He couldn't really think of anything else to say, his pain and remorse were at the forefront of his processors. Of course, if Jazz really had been still alive, Prowl would be doing more than merely talking.
He remembered Sam had suggested paying his respects. He decided he would, and in the custom of their kind, pulse Spark-energy over the body as a way of saying goodbye, and a mark of the esteem he had held the silver saboteur in. Standing in front of the lifeless silver mech, he split his chest plates and shuttered his optics, concentrating on sending out waves of Spark energy to wash over Jazz's body, the last thing he could do for the mech who had been his friend and would have been his lover.
He was so deep in thought he didn't hear the whine of starting up mechanicals, or see the dull visor begin to glow blue. What pulled him to awareness was a slightly off-pitch, quiet vocalisation.
'P-Prowl? Tha' you?"
Prowl's optics unshuttered so fast that they clicked loudly against the edges of his sockets. Jazz's head was turned, towards him, the visor flickering with light. A hand moved, the body quivered, and the thin lips curved upwards at the corners.
For a moment, Prowl lost the ability to vocalise. Then he stammered out 'J-Jazz? Is that you Jazz?"
"Well, I-I'm not M-Megatron." Jazz said with a smile.
Prowl's mouth opened but no sound came out. However his comm. was unaffected, and he called out on it as loud as he could muster: