Update! Yay! XD

A BIG thanks to everyone whose read, faved, or reviewed. So greatly appreciate it!

Warnings: slash

"Vorn" about 1 year, "Stellarcycle" about 6 months, "Decacycle" about 1 week, "Cycle" about 1 day, "Orn" about an hour, "Breem" about a minute

Chapter 10

And then there were two...more

Quickly putting the camera back together, despite the static laced feed he'd still get because he hadn't had the proper time to fix it, Red Alert made his way quickly back to the Security Room. He'd be unassisted this shift, which meant he'd be able to work on a few things of interest. Items he'd found IN the Security Room when he did a sweep. The fewer who knew he'd made this discovery, the better.

Five little homemade cameras lay on his desk. They were puzzling to him. These were not of Decepticon origin and weren't placed in a manner to retrieve any kind of sensitive information. Which made him wonder what their real purpose was for. He'd spent a good few orns detailing the cameras, while watching the monitors, and had started taking one apart when Jazz walked in. Which shouldn't have happened because Jazz didn't have the codes to the door lock.

Jazz came to a stop when he noticed the glare Red Alert was directing at him. "What?"

"Stop hacking the door. You want to open the door, you're suppose to use the set security codes."

Jazz shrugged, unfazed by the reprimand. "Alright, gimme the codes then."

"No. You're not authorized."

The saboteur just smiled. "Then the door gets hacked."

Red Alert sighed. "Jazz…"

Jazz swiped a chair, scooting it next to where Red Alert sat at his desk, sitting down, he leaning back as he watch his friend turn back to the little cameras on his desk. "Whatcha got there?"

"Cameras. I found them here in the room when I did a sweep." Red Alert stilled and glanced suspiciously at Jazz. "These wouldn't be your Ops cameras would they?"

"Nope." The answer came too quick, held too much confidence. Red Alert's optics narrowed. "But you haven't even looked at these, how would you know?"

"Not Ops, Red."

"Are there Ops cameras in this room?"

Jazz leaned forward, looking at one of the cameras closely. "Hmmm, wonder who put these together."

"Because if there are, Jazz, I'll find them."

Jazz gave an all too knowing smile even though his gaze didn't break from the homemade camera. "So, I hear you an' Inferno will be knockin' back a few once shifts are done."

Red Alert stiffened in his seat, shoulders tensing. "How… Did…did he tell you that?"



Jazz glanced up at Red Alert, taking in the frown, the tense posture, suspicion already rising in those optics. He offered up a soft smile. "'Ferno's a friend. Friends talk."

"And plot."

The smile widened as Jazz shook his head. "He's not plotting anything, Red."

Turning back to dissecting the camera, Red Alert mumbled, seemingly more to himself than Jazz. "We'll see."

Jazz leaned back in his chair again, visor taking on a soft glow as he looked at Red Alert. "Ya know what your problem is, Red?"

Not even bothering to look up from his work, Red Alert engaged the conversation. "Do enlighten me."

"You...need to relax."

Red Alert stopped what he was doing to give Jazz a bland look. "Wow, that's just…wow. That's so insightful. Thank you. Thank you, Jazz, because no one's ever said that to me before. This is life altering. In fact, I can feel myself changing on the inside right now. Oh, the time I've wasted. If only someone would have said that to me sooner. Rest assured, I'll be seeking you out when I need such in-depth pearls of wisdom like 'You need to relax' in the future."

Jazz sat in his chair chuckling at Red Alert's sarcasm. Leaning his head back, Jazz gave Red Alert a wide, lazy grin. "Oh, Red...I like you."

Red Alert turned back to dissecting the camera with a soft snort. "Well, go like me somewhere else. I'm busy and I'd rather like some peace and quiet. Not to mention you're here for absolutely no reason."

Jazz sat forward then stood up, grin ever present. "Actually, that's not true! I came here ta let ya know the Twins are back on base."

Red Alert's head swung around to look up at Jazz. "What? N-no one...Prime didn't tell me they where here."

"Didn't wanted to ruin the surprise!"

Red Alert's mouth opened and closed but no sound came out, prompting Jazz's grin to grow. "An' cause I'm so nice, I'm given ya a heads up. They've just been cleared from Med Bay...and they know you're here."

Red Alert opened his mouth to speak but Jazz cut him off. "Well! I'd best be goin'. Ya have a great shift, Red."


"See ya!"


Jazz was out the door before Red Alert could get any more out.



In the end, Red Alert had to give the Twins credit. They actually managed to show a small amount of self control by waiting a few orns before attacking the Security Room door. The loud bang, serving for what the twins liked to call a knock, caused him to jump, halting his dissection of the second homemade camera. Red Alert frowned as he looked at the door.

No way.

Another bang, then Sideswipe's and Sunstreaker's voices rang through the thick reinforced door in an almost sing song manner.

"Red! Red Alert! Come on, we know you're in there!"

"Open the door."

"We're not going away till you do!"

"We can do this the easy way or the hard way."

"Why make this harder then it needs to be?"

There was silence for a moment on the other side of the door as the Twins waited for him. Red Alert looked back at the camera he was working on, determined not to let them bother him. Ignore them, just ignore them. They'll get bored and go away.

Sideswipe's voice rang out and Red Alert could practically hear the mech smile. "Alright! The hard way it is then!"

The two began pounding their fists against the door. Not in an attempt to break it down, only to create a constant stream of aggravating noise meant to break Red Alert's patience down. And it did. To his own credit, he lasted all of forty seven breems before the aggravation became too much. Standing, temper flaring, nearly kicking his chair away, Red Alert marched over to the door and furiously punched the button to open it. With a scowl on his face, he waited for the door to slide open before taking a deep breath, ready to launch into a tirade as he faced the delinquents. "You-oomph!"

A golden hand reached out and shoved him unceremoniously backwards into the room. Both twins stepped inside, letting the door slide shut and lock behind them. Red Alert fairly growled. "You two are not suppose to be in here!"

Sideswipe's grin was huge as he stepped toward the smaller red and white mech, arms spread wide. "Red Alert!"

Red Alert's optics went wide. "No. Don't. Sideswipe, I'm warning you-" He tried to dodge the red twin but only ended up running into his desk chair, giving Sideswipe the ample time he needed to swoop in and pull Red Alert against his chest plate in a big bear hug.

Sideswipe grinned down at his captive, purposefully ignoring Red Alert's snarl and glare and how he tried to squirm out of his grasp. "It's been so long! We thought we'd never seen you again!". Sideswipe actually lifted Red Alert off his feet, snuggling his black helm against Red Alert's red one, optics shuttered, humming contently. He looked like a youngling cuddling a favored toy. Sunstreaker smirked as he walked past them. "Cute."

Sunstreaker pulled up a large plush chair in front of the monitors, pulling out a tin of wax and a polishing cloth as he sat back. At the sound of the tin's lid being removed Red Alert looked over at him. "No, not in my chair."

Looking up, Sunstreaker frowned. "What?"

"Don't wax yourself in my chair. It'll smell of your wax for decacycles."

Sunstreaker bristled. "My wax doesn't smell."

Red Alert huffed. "Yes, it does. It has an odor. I don't-"

"Well, it's a pleasant one."

"I don't care, I don't want my chair smelling of your wax."

"It smells good, it's fine!"

"Not in my chair!"

"FINE!" Sunstreaker jerked out the chair, kicking it to the side as he reached over and picked up another chair, glaring at Red Alert the whole time. He slammed the chair down in front of the monitors, sitting himself down roughly in it. "Happy?" he snarled at Red Alert.

"No!" Red Alert snarled back, slightly distracted from his irritation by Sideswipe's giggling. "Ah, it's just like old times. Hey!" Sideswipe suddenly let go, Red Alert staggered back in surprise at the sudden release. The red twin danced over to Red Alert's desk, picking up one of the cameras, he glanced over at Red Alert with delight. "You found them!"

With a sigh, Red Alert joined him at his desk. "I should have guessed. Only you... You mind telling me why you placed these in here." He paused as he looked at the cameras. "And then tell me how the frag you made them."

Sideswipe took up the chair Jazz had sat in not that long ago. "I put them in cause rumor had it Stripnine was having a little illicit fling with his assistant in here. I had a bet going with Smokie, so I set these up to see if it was true."

Despite himself, Red Alert had to ask. "Was it?"

Sunstreaker, now happily polishing himself, smirked as he looked over at them. "No. Sides lost a good amount of high grade on that little gamble."

Red Alert shook his head, giving Sideswipe a disapproving frown. "Serves you right."

Sideswipe frowned down at the camera in his hand. "I could've sworn it was a sure thing. Hey, Sunny?" he turned, one camera in hand. "I thought we only put three cameras in here."

Sunstreaker shook his head. "No, there should be five, remember? You came back and put in two more when you wanted to get some blackmail on Stripnine." Sideswipe grinned. "Oh yeah!"

Red Alert gasped at him. "Blackmail on a Superior Officer?"

"Yeah!" came the happy response, "Course we didn't get anything good. Just Stripnine fragging different mechs every now and then but nothing really blackmail worthy." Sideswipe turned to him with a gleeful smile. "Wanna know who he fragged in here?"

Red Alert almost said 'yes', but he took a moment to look around the room. He didn't honestly want to know who had done what or done what where in this room when he really thought about it. "No, I'd rather not."

Sideswipe turned back to the cameras. "Good call, nothing real exciting anyway. Mech was boring."

Red Alert sat down in his chair next to Sideswipe. "Care to tell me how you managed to make these?"

"Sure! I started with-"

"Hey." Sunstreaker called from next to the monitors. "Someone's at your door."

Both Red Alert and Sideswipe stopped and looked over to the Security Room door.

"No." Sunstreaker leaned forward and tapped on a monitor. "The door to your quarters."

Both turned around in their chairs, in unison, to look at the monitor Sunstreaker was pointing to. Red Alert could clearly see Inferno standing outside his quarters door, knocking then standing back. Frowning, he checked the time. It was a bit past his shifts end, technically he should have been back at his quarters. Where was Ironhide to relieve him? Then another thought hit him.

"How do you know where my quarters are?"

Sideswipe leaned over toward Red Alert, whispering quietly. "We know everything." Red Alert slanted a narrow glare at him and made a mental note to check over ever inch of his personal quarters before he recharged.

Sunstreaker seemed to regard the mech they were looking at. "I think I know him from some where…"

"Oh?" A devilish grin took up Sideswipe's face. "Is he one of those you slagged good, Sunny, and put in Med Bay?"

"Sunstreaker!" Red Alert's voice held a wealth of reprimand.

Sunstreaker sneered as he turned to them. "I didn't touch him! So both of you just settle down." He looked back at the mech in the monitor. "No, I think I was on some rescue patrol with him some decacycles back."

Red Alert fidgeted with his chair for a moment, optics downcast. "What'd...uh, what'd you think of him?"

That question earned him Sideswipe's attention. Sunstreaker, however, shrugged as he went back to waxing his arm, Inferno walking off screen. "I don't know. Nice, I guess." He paused to admire the shine of his arm plating. "Of course, no where near as nice as me but, then again, I'm just talking aesthetics."

"So, Red Alert," Sideswipe gave him a coy look. "Why's he knocking on your door?" Even Sunstreaker stopped waxing to look over at him. Red Alert turned around sharply, fiddling with one of Sideswipe's cameras. "He…wanted to know if I'd have some energon with him after shift."

He did not miss how Sideswipe's optics brightened. The red twin leaned in closer to him. "Oh! And are you?"

Red Alert hunched over his desk more, giving a small shrug. He didn't want to deal with this, with Inferno, now. It was too much, too soon. Couldn't they just say "Hi." as they passed each other in the hall for awhile? Build up to full sentences. Frag! He hadn't even done a full background check on him. He'd been too busy, had too many interruptions. Who knew what Inferno was capable of doing? No. No, there was no way he was going to have energon in a mostly empty commons room with a mech he knew nothing about. Absolutely not.

"Well, you'd better make a decision. He's right outside."

A gentle knock on the door caused Red Alert to drop the camera he'd been pretending to examine. Both twins looked at him expectantly. Another knock and Red Alert shook his head looking at the desk. "I...I can't. I'm...I'm busy." It sounded meek and pathetic to his own audios.

"Oh! I'm sorry, Red!" Sideswipe suddenly stood up and grabbed the edge of Red Alert's back armor by his neck firmly. "But that was the wrong answer!" Sideswipe pulled a startled Red Alert up out of his chair. Red Alert stumbled and sputtered. "What…what are you doing?"

When he saw that Sideswipe was leading him to the door, he struggled. "No! No, I mean it, Sideswipe! Let me go! Take your hands off me!" Sideswipe merely grinned, almost to the door. "Come on, Red."

Panic seeped into Red Alert's mind. No, he couldn't do this, he wasn't ready for this, he wasn't prepared! "Sideswipe! You…this…this is assault! Assault on a Superior Officer! Do you hear me? I'll…you'll be put in the brig for this! I mean it! Sideswipe, stop!"

Sideswipe pushed the button and the door whooshed open. "Oh, don't be such a sparkling."

"I'm not a- AH!" Red Alert found himself shoved into the hall way. He froze as he looked and saw Inferno's retreating form.

Sideswipe leaned out the doorway and hollered in Inferno's direction. "Hey! Hey, back here!". Then the red twin dipped back inside and shut the door. Red Alert stared at that door in disbelief. This could not be happening.

"Red Alert."

Red Alert turned to look at Inferno as he approached and was once again caught off guard by the genuine smile and warm manner directed at him. Inferno looked so please to see him. It felt…weird. Uncomfortable.

"Thought maybe ya couldn't hear me or somethin' happened to ya." Or you changed your mind...he left that one out. Red Alert shook his head, optics wondering to the floor. It was easier to look at the floor than at Inferno. The floor held no emotions, gave no responses, didn't look happy to see him or...disappointed when he said 'no'.

"So," Inferno stepped closer, foot and leg armor cutting into Red Alert's field of vision. "Ya ready ta go git some energon? Ah know Ah'm ready fer some! An' given how hard ya work, Ah'm sure you are too."

Red Alert forced his gaze to stay on the floor. "I'm sorry. I can't."

The was a pause and he watched as Inferno shifted his weight from foot to foot. "Oh."

Guilt crept in at the disappointment that laced that one word. But it was the truth. Ironhide was not here to relieve him, he couldn't just walk off. Besides, there was no reason for him to feel guilty, he'd meant to say 'no' in the first place. He didn't know Inferno and Inferno certainly didn't know him. Which meant he didn't owe Inferno anything. Certainly didn't owe him an explanation for cancelling on an invitation he never meant to accept in the first place.

So, of course, Red Alert found himself stumbling through an explanation. "I'm sorry but Ironhide was suppose to relieve me and he's not here. Not yet. Not... I don't know when he will be...so..."

He didn't like this. Didn't like how Inferno reduced him to feeling like a youngling, stumbling around and awkward, as if he were new to the terrain of relationships and didn't quite know how to keep his own footing. Ridiculous but he couldn't shake free of it.


And Red Alert really wasn't sure if he liked the fact that his guilt ebbed away some because, this time, when Inferno said that word it held far less disappointment and far more understanding. Because Inferno's feelings weren't hurt. The problem with that was he shouldn't care what Inferno thought or felt, at all.

"Ah kin see the problem then." The smile, the happy pitch, which Red Alert didn't want to admit he liked, was back in Inferno's voice. "Well, how about we try fer-"

"How about ya try for right now?"

Red Alert's head snapped up and looked in Inferno's direction just as the larger red mech turned around. And there, leaning against the wall behind Inferno, was Jazz, grinning at the two of them. "Looks like I got here just in time." Jazz kicked away from the wall and walked around Inferno, giving his friend a pat on the arm as he passed and walked up to Red Alert. "Looks like I'll be relieving ya tonight, Red."

Jazz got a frown in response. "Where's Ironhide?"

The visored mech gave a smirk. "Had a little accident with some newbies on the firing range. He's fine but won't be up for his shift tonight. Prime called me in. And just in time, I see." Jazz wrapped an arm around Red Alert's shoulders and lead him away from the Security Room door. "Ya just go with Inferno an' have fun. Relax. Enjoy yerself."

Red Alert looked back at the Security Room door and hesitated. "But-"

Jazz tugged him closer, whispering to him. "Go. This is good for ya." And all but handed him over to Inferno. Red Alert turned back toward Jazz, a protest forming but it was immediately swallowed when he felt Inferno place a hand on the small of his back. He fell silent and allowed himself to be lead away as Inferno smiled down at him. "Come on, Red Alert, lets go git us some energon."

Jazz watched them go with huge grin stretching across his face till they rounded the corner, disappearing from sight. He shook his head as he chuckled to himself. If there was one mech he knew of that needed to be thrown flat on his back and 'faced good and proper, it was Red Alert. Granted that probably wouldn't be happening any time soon but still his opinion remained.

Sauntering over to the Security Room door, Jazz typed in the code. The door slid aside and he slipped through the doorway, coming to a sudden stop, the door sliding quietly shut and locking behind him. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker looked up and immediately froze when they saw Jazz. Silence fell as the three looked at each other. The saboteur flicked his gaze from the golden twin to the red one.

"Uh…" Sideswipe shifted in his chair. "I got some high grade."

Jazz stared for a second before grinning. "Well, break it out!". He flopped into the chair vacated by Red Alert and took a proffered cube, leaning back and kicking his feet up on the desk, angling himself so he could watch the monitors and still talk to Sideswipe.

Sunstreaker returned to his waxing, ignoring them both.

***Authors Notes***

Ok, so, Inferno thinks Red Alert is the best thing since sliced bread. While Inferno makes Red Alert feel, in essence, like little school girl with her first crush and all the awkwardness and insecurities that go with it. Don't worry, Red gets over it very soon! The relationship between the twins and Red Alert will be delved into. And Jazz, as always, is in the thick of everything.

Reading and reviewing is always loved and appreciated! Thanks for reading!