Title: "Concerning Flight"

Author: Kyra Neko-Rei

Rating: T.

Pairings: Megatron/Starscream, one-sided on both sides, which neither will quite admit to.

Warnings: Sexual tension out the wazoo, Starscream being Starscream.

Setting: Movieverse, mid-war, G1 and IDW elements but not too much.

Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.

Author's Note: This was conceived of for the Learning New Things prompt for Mecha Erotica's August contest, but my creative juices didn't start flowing until the deadline passed. You get to read it anyway.

Summary: Megatron's got a new alt-mode, the Cybertronian jet he uses in the movie, and Starscream is teaching him how to fly.

lj-cut text="There was no greater proof that the Unmaker existed than that he'd created such a mech as Starscream and inflicted him on Megatron"

"You are going to teach me to fly," he'd said.

To Starscream.

Really, what the fragging pits of the Unmaker had he been thinking?

-----------------------

"These," said Starscream, slowly and carefully, "are your wings."

Megatron was all set to growl at him---not two seconds into the first lesson and the Seeker was mocking him---but Starscream's hands flattened themselves against the upper planes of his new wings and passed across them out towards the tips, and instead he gasped air through his intakes in pure shock at the sensation.

"You'll notice," Starscream was saying, "that they are incredibly sensitive." His voice was suffused with a smirk; he was saved from a punch to the faceplates simply by the fact that Megatron was currently in his new alt-form and didn't have movable arms at the moment. Outwardly oblivious to his commander's violent urges, Starscream continued, badly-concealed amusement radiating from him "They are sensory appendages as much as ambulatory ones; they monitor air pressure, movement, cross-currents . . . everything a flyer needs to be completely a creature of the sky, one with the heavens . . ." The Seeker's optics unfocused as he spoke, staring off into the deep blue atmosphere of the planet they currently occupied, voice almost rapturous now, and Megatron was struck with a sense of how much Starscream loved the sky---he was sparked to it, at home in it, one with it. To Megatron, it was just another place, a strategically useful ability to possess---but to Starscream, it was home and paradise and life itself. A twinge of jealousy sparked deep in his processor, not quite acknowledged.

Starscream was still lightly caressing Megatron's new wings. And still talking. "---paying attention, Megatron?"

"Hmmm? Yes."

"What did I just say?" Too much scolding in his tone now, and one claw tapped against a sensor node in his left wing. Megatron suppressed a shiver.

"You were yammering about being one with the heavens," Megatron snapped, irritated with both of them.

"Megatron, it is important that you pay attention to me." The talking-to-a-sparkling attitude was back, plus completely-audible smirk. "I think the rest of the lesson needs to wait until you're ready to listen." The hands abruptly vanished as Starscream neatly about-faced and started heading back towards the base; Megatron reflexively attempted to swipe at him and succeeded only in rocking back and forth on his landing struts.

Now he remembered to growl. Starscream ignored him.

-----------------------

This was it, his first attempt at flying, and Megatron could tell by Starscream's overabundance of cheerfulness that it was going to end with him crashing back to the ground.

No help for it, Starscream had said; there was only so much you could learn from just listening; eventually, you had to fire your thrusters and try, and fly or fall as you would.

Megatron transformed, took a short moment to verify that everything was in its proper place, and, unhesitating, activated his thrusters and took off.

The ground dropped away from beneath him and he found himself in midair. It felt remarkably like falling. In fact, it---

When he regained consciousness, Starscream was kneeling next to him, hands already deep under dislocated armor plating, deft fingers reconnecting wires into their relays where they'd been torn loose. He felt like he'd been jumped on by Superion or Menasor, and Starscream had the sort of happy breathless quality one gets after having a good laugh.

Frag.

"Well, for a first time, that wasn't too bad," came the inevitable amused commentary.

Megatron grunted, wishing he'd gotten somebody else to teach him to fly. Not that it would've worked; Starscream was his Air Commander and the best flyer there was; if Megatron had gone for someone else, Starscream would've found out and asked why he'd learn from an inferior flyer when he could be taught by the best. It would be a challenge, and Megatron would not let his second win it. Ergo, Starscream must be his teacher.

"It would be better if we had a higher launchpad to work with. More leeway for you to find out how your wings work before you hit the ground," said Starscream, looking longingly at the klik-high cliffs just visible on the horizon---tall enough that failure would be fatal. "Ah, well. As soon as you're repaired, we can try it again."

-----------------------

At some point, he stopped dropping like a stone.

It still wasn't flying so much as rebelled-against crashing, but it was a slight improvement. His impacts with the ground no longer produced craters; on the other hand, he tended to stay conscious and thus got to witness Starscream laughing at him.

Stupid arrogant glitch.

Stupid arrogant irritating condescending fragging slagging spawn-of-the-Unmaker, flying down from their launch site with the grace of a lifetime's practice, barrel-rolling along the way and swooping in to transform in front of Megatron's optics, wings flipping up to rest on his back and then unfolding forward to frame his body, and every time Megatron had seen those wings do that, something in him had responded with a wish to catch them in his hands, caress them, stroke them. It irritated him, all the more so that it was Starscream's wings that drew him more than any other flyer whom he could actually have, without complications, simply by expressing an interest.

Starscream's wings often flapped slowly backwards and forwards when he concentrated intently on something, and when viewed from behind him it was compelling enough that Megatron had on occasion caught himself wasting breems staring hypnotized at Starscream's wings. Likely anyone who noticed thought he was just considering Starscream from a tactical perspective; Megatron had never done anything to correct that assumption. He restrained any hint of fascination for when Starscream was undergoing punishment, and when he got his hands on Starscream's wings, he used his claws.

The results were satisfying, and enough to keep him satiated, along with the occasional self-induced overload afterwards, but he did that quite often anyway; so what if Starscream's trembling wings and whimpered pleas featured heavily in his thoughts during a few of them? He was thinking of such things right now, in fact, as his gyros stabilized from having gone tumbling and rolling aft over nosecone across the ground, as Starscream transformed for landing and his wings fanned out; everything in his posture proclaiming confidence and pleasure.

Megatron imagined Starscream on his knees, that confidence somehow preserved, still smiling as he bowed to touch his forehead to the ground, and forgot to be angry. The Seeker usually knelt down to ascertain the damage; three out of four wasn't bad.

-----------------------

Starscream insisted on repainting him after every crash.

It was unexpected---Megatron could just see the vain jet enjoying the scrapes, dents and dust from multiple crash-landings on Megatron as compared to his own perfectly flawless finish. But no, Starscream explained, even the slightest bit of unevenness created anomalies in the air current and made flying all the harder. He could attempt to fly with dents and scratches after he'd managed to fly in the first place.

So here he was, still in alt-form, upside down, sitting docilely in Starscream's lap while the Seeker gently applied paint to the underside of his right wing. It was an undignified position, and the slight smile that hovered on Starscream's faceplates didn't help any. He was forbidden from growling, too---the vibrations would interfere with the even application of paint, or so Starscream claimed. Megatron thought Starscream might be full of slag on that point, but he wasn't sure. So he endured in silence, and tried not to dwell on the soft, pleasing sensation of the brush stroking across his wing, the cool paint soothing against abraded metal. Or how nice it was to have Starscream attending to him like this, for once the dutiful subordinate.

Starscream was probably gloating inwardly about having Megatron in such a position.

The brush continued to apply fast-drying silver paint to freshly buffed, overly sensitive metal. Starscream continued to smile. Megatron fumed in silence.

-----------------------

There was no greater proof that the Unmaker existed, Megatron mused bitterly as he skidded to a halt, than that he'd created such a mech as Starscream and inflicted him on Megatron.

Not in that Starscream was an arrogant, abrasive, sarcastic glitch. Not in that Starscream had a hair-trigger temper that blew like a star going nova, or in that he held onto grudges like they were welded to his processor. Not in that Starscream thought he should be leading the Decepticons, and to that end regularly sought to overthrow Megatron, or undermine him, or simply shoot him in the back whenever the fancy struck.

No, it was because Starscream was all that, and he was the best aerial tactician in Megatron's forces. It was because Starscream was by far the most skilled flyer Megatron had ever encountered. It was because they dominated the Autobots in the air and Starscream was the reason why.

There was nobody in his army who could do what Starscream could do in the air. Megatron not only needed him, he was a blessing of the highest caliber in terms of military might.

Starscream was perfection itself---brilliant and deadly and beautiful---mixed with just enough caustic arrogance, dedicated disloyalty, and furious pride that Megatron could barely stand him---and at times, could barely survive him.

Only Unicron could've put such a flawlessly diabolical combination together and placed him at Megatron's right hand.

"Not bad," came the condescending analysis as Starscream swooped down in front of him, transforming midair and dropping lightly and flawlessly down onto his feet with an impossible, effortless grace that made Megatron's spark flare in his chest, "At least you're skidding this time. Better than rolling, yes?" A cocky smile that told Megatron that Starscream was enjoying this immensely, and he continued, "You didn't compensate for the drag created by the shape of your thrusters. It's a little current, but it'll throw you into an adverse yaw if you're not careful. As you're now aware." His optics sparkled with glee; if smugness were energon, Starscream could provide rations for half his troops.

Damned pit-spawned fragger.

-----------------------

At some point, the strokes of the brush across his wings developed a sensual quality.

It was nothing he could quantify, no change in pressure or technique that he could isolate. The smile on Starscream's face was the same one.

Maybe the sensors were changing---integrating more fully with his body in the cycles since the operation, new metal becoming properly part of him. That was likely it. Primus knew Seeker wings were sensitive to more than just air; they tended to be erogenous zones comparable to the inner casings of a spark chamber. Presumeably that held true for other flyers as well.

Another light, pleasant, teasing stroke swept across the wing, and he couldn't suppress a slight shiver---only to jerk in surprise as Starscream slapped the flat of his hand against Megatron's wing---hard. "Hey! I said don't move!" That was even more arousing, and he flexed every joint he possessed in this form in an attempt to writhe against the smaller jet. Luckily, he failed.

Starscream huffed, snagged a cleaning cloth, and wiped away half the paint he'd applied. "Now hold still."

The brush passed oh-so-gently over metal still tingling from that slap, and Megatron, half tempted to do otherwise, carefully held himself motionless.

-----------------------

Thrusters fired, again; the momentum pressed against his internals and for a brief, terrifying instant nothing was there beneath him---and then pressure against the bottom of his wings, a kind of distinct not-pressure on the tops, and---oh! The turbulence of every previous attempt was there, but this time it didn't upset him; he rode it, tentatively, and it sustained him. Yes! He was flying!

Starscream's voice broke into his exultation. "Careful! You're about to pitch! Pull up, sharp!"

Obeying the urgency in the other's voice, he flexed ailerons up hard---and instantly lost control and plummeted downwards like a dropped bomb.

Fortunately, he didn't have far to fall. The impact still hurt.

He onlined his optics to see Starscream laughing himself sick.

-------------------

The next flight was almost easy.

His body had learned, Starscream said. In that moment where he'd managed to stay in the air, when everything had clicked for him, the core programming concerned with reflex, survival, and instinct had recognized how it worked; deep inside him, he knew.

Megatron never trusted his second in command farther than Frenzy could throw Devastator---but it seemed he was telling the truth in this case. He caught the wind---or the wind caught him---and he flew. He moved through the air effortlessly, buoyant in the grasp of the atmosphere, and exultation rose inside him. This was wonderful. No wonder Seekers loved the air.

He circled around, turning towards the cliff where Starscream waited. Time to land, and this time he was going to land properly, without scraping off any paint. The faint twinge of regret that Starscream wouldn't be repainting his wings this time was buried beneath satisfaction and the pleasure of flight, and he landed and transformed, turning to the Seeker with a delighted, victorious smile that overpowered every expression of spiteful amusement and smug superiority that had crossed Starscream's face since they'd started this endeavor.

Starscream greeted him with a smile of his own, a look that simply floored Megatron for what it conveyed. Joy that was a mirror for his own---and pride.

"Beautiful, Megatron," said the Seeker, with an honesty Megatron had rarely seen from him, and Megatron's smile recovered from his confusion, acknowledging the rare compliment in the spirit it was given. So scarce, these moments of rapport between them, but they were the times that told Megatron he'd made the right choice in choosing his second in command.

Then the Seeker's smile shifted, displaying a hint of wicked delight that should've been present during those teasing, almost-erotic paint sessions, and he said, "Come on, let's go flying" and transformed, and took off.

Megatron, for once not minding it at all, followed him into the sky.