Pairing/Characters: Prowl/Jazz, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Smokescreen

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Author's Note: Incredibly late, but here it is. For Dania, because she wanted Housewife!Jazz. And for Dania, Vejiraziel, and Cazcatharsis, who wanted smut. Has more of a plot than it was supposed to and grew way out of control. Warning: Jazz-crack contained inside. Open with care. Management is not responsible for any liquids spewed while reading. Thank you and enjoy the flight.

- Stepford Porsche -

Most mechs who were transferred to Optimus Prime's unit came with a pre-conceived image of professional, competent soldiers, working smoothly under their leader to help achieve victory over the Decepticons. That image usually shattered within a few breems of them being on the base, and if they managed to stick it through the initial 'Primus, I know why we're losing the war!' phase, they usually became productive members of the unit, integrating smoothly.

Despite this, however, most of them still retained one last idealistic image about the unit - that of Optimus' second and third in command, Prowl and Jazz. While the relationship between the two wasn't exactly common knowledge, it was impossible to be in Optimus' unit and not find out about it, and most mechs saw it as a sign of hope. They saw Prowl and Jazz as the poster couple for the unit, even for the Autobot army. Those mechs that had been in the unit since before the two officer's quarters and offices had been soundproofed, however...well, they had a different view of things.

They also had an uncanny knack for knowing just when the soundproofing was being put to good use, saving many a mech from walking in on a 'private' moment between Prowl and Jazz - or more importantly, saving mechs from the perilous proposition of accidentally finding themselves in the middle of one of the couple's infamous arguments. Even if the warnings were brushed off with a 'ya right, Prowl and Jazz, fighting?', they were usually listened to, and soon the mechs themselves would come to notice the little signs that let the other mechs know what was going on behind the soundproofing - things like Prowl showing up exactly on time for his shift, and Jazz remaining in the couple's quarters, instead of wandering into the rec room to cause havoc on his day off. Because Prowl normally showed up early, unless he and Jazz were 'distracted', and then he showed up just barely late, and if Jazz was staying in his and Prowl's quarters, alone, it was usually because he was sulking and having a very un-Jazz-like fit of antisocial behaviour.

Well, most mechs assumed Jazz spent his time sulking. No one had actually dared to bother him to find out. The truth of the matter, in fact, was that Jazz usually stalked around his and Prowl's quarters, ranting to himself and the walls, glaring at anything that belonged to Prowl and wishing he had lasers in his optics. And, occasionally, he plotted revenge on his mate for their latest argument.

"Glitch-slagged fragger thinks I don't pay enough slagging attention to him, does he?" Jazz fumed to Prowl's side of the berth this time. "He's the fragger I have to drag out of his pit of an office to get any slagging attention at all, usually. So fragging what if I went out on one of his nights off when he actually slagging came home - if he came home more often, he'd have slagging known I'd been planning to go to that fragging concert for months! How dare he say I'm not paying enough attention to him just because I don't slagging drop my fragging plans because he's slagging tired and wants a Primus-be-damned cuddle while he fragging recharges!"

Jazz had moved on from the berth and was now stalking around their quarters, optics not really settling on any one thing as he continued to rant and rail against Prowl and the tactician's unbelievable - in Jazz's opinion - accusations. It wasn't until Jazz realized he was getting low on energy and was debating possibly ruining his good-mood-mech reputation to go get some energon than the saboteur actually started thinking about getting back at his mate. The unbidden, somewhat sarcastic, thought that if Prowl wasn't mad at him, Jazz could have asked the tactician to bring him energon was what did it.

Jazz had stopped short in the middle of the bedroom as the subsequent idea popped into his processor, and a rather evil grin spread across his face. The saboteur slowly looked around his and Prowl's quarters as his thoughts raced, building on the original idea and making a mental list of supplies he'd need, and how much time he had to get everything down. The resulting list was far too long for the time left, even assuming Prowl stayed late after his shift (which he would, he always did after they fought), so Jazz was quickly racing out of their quarters, heading for the one mech he knew could help him with almost all of it.

Wheeljack decided, the moment he saw Jazz's grin, that he didn't want to know, on the grounds of plausible deniability, and just focused on supplying the requested materials as quickly as possible so that Jazz would leave and not get him caught up in whatever he was planning.

---

Prowl stared tiredly at the stack of datapads he still needed to look at, and contemplated whether or not he wanted to pick up the next one. None of them were urgent, or particularly important - he'd done all the high priority datapads much earlier - but it would be something to do besides going back to his and Jazz's quarters. Jazz tended to beat arguments to death, repeatedly, going over them again and again, while Prowl just couldn't spare the energy to keep his anger up for that long. Indeed, his anger over the argument from that morning was already gone, and he was even feeling slightly guilty about it.

Prowl did recall Jazz mentioning the concert before, several times during the last month and always with much excitement. But at the same time, Prowl still clung to a perhaps 'old fashioned' view that bondmates should be willing to drop everything for each other if need be, and he had really just wanted a quiet evening in Jazz's company last night. Instead, he'd gotten an argument, followed by Jazz storming out to go to the concert anyways, and then an uncomfortable recharge before another argument and more long hours of work - which he'd been trying to get away from for a little while - as he tried to avoid going back to an angry Jazz and having the argument all over again.

Prowl couldn't avoid recharge forever, however, especially when he was already running low. So, with a sigh, Prowl turned away from the datapads on his desk and stood, flicking off the lights in his office before locking the door and heading off. Though he made sure to keep his composure as he walked back to his and Jazz's quarters, he absently wondered if Jazz would just let him recharge in peace if he looked pitiful enough. It tended to work rather remarkably well, when he could pull it off, but he didn't think tonight was a night he could do so. So, instead, Prowl resigned himself to another argument and uncomfortable recharge, punching in the door code for their quarters.

The instant he stepped inside, Prowl knew something was wrong. Usually, after a fight, he'd come home to either dark quarters, or Jazz standing there, glaring at him and already starting in on the argument again. This time, the lights were on, but Jazz was nowhere to be seen. And, furthermore, Prowl realized that the main room was...unnaturally clean. Jazz's music collection had been neatly sorted and put away, in alphabetical order judging from Prowl's brief look. The entertainment system, with all its various accouterments, was tucked away, not sitting somewhere in Prowl's way in an attempt to get the best sound or angle for wherever Jazz had decided to sit today. Prowl and Jazz's various Earth and Cybertron paraphernalia and datapads were tucked away properly on their shelves, the couple of posters Jazz had talked Prowl into putting up had actually been straightened.

The chairs were actually at the table for once, and from the lack of a list in one of them, someone had evidently fixed the one that Jazz and Prowl had accidentally broken one night when they'd gotten a little too...enthusiastic after Jazz had come back unharmed from a particularly risky mission. It had been broken for months, and usually Prowl would catch Jazz smirking at it right before a rather enjoyable bout of interfacing. The chair had become somewhat of a constant, a private joke that had Jazz snickering and Prowl smirking whenever someone tried to use it and ended up on the floor, cursing and telling them to get the fragging thing fixed. Actually getting it fixed had never really crossed Prowl's processor, and he hadn't thought it had crossed Jazz's, either (especially after it had dumped Optimus on the floor that one time).

Even odder than the chair, however, was the fact that, though Prowl ran several high-sensitivity scans just to be sure, he couldn't detect more than a few particles of earthen dust in the room, making it seem more Cybertronian to Prowl. There had been little dust on their home planet, and the profusion here on earth had taken some time to get used to. Now it was conspicuous in its absence. Someone had to have cleaned very thoroughly to get the room this spotless, and Prowl doubted Jazz would have gone to the trouble. Who else would have, though? Some of the other bots might complain about the dust, but none of them would have gone so far as to clean Prowl and Jazz's quarters of the stuff. Another bot being responsible was about the other thing that could explain the chair being fixed, though.

Warily, Prowl almost tiptoed through the living room, acutely aware of the dusty footprints he was leaving in his wake, and peered into the bedroom, hoping to find a culprit, or an explanation, in there (but at the same time not, because the bedroom was private). The bedroom was empty, however - but also just as eerily clean. Their more private mementos had apparently been carefully cleaned and straightened, even Jazz's relatively miniature Zen rock garden had been redone. The recharge berth and several of the walls had been fixed up, black-and-white scratches painted over, dings and dents banged out, filled in, or otherwise fixed. Leaning back into the main room, Prowl blinked as he realized the walls in the living room had been given a similar treatment, and several worn parts in their over-sized loveseat had been fixed, as well.

Baffled now, Prowl stepped back into the living room. If he'd been human, Prowl might have wondered if perhaps Jazz had decided to leave, and was just going to come back and get his things later. But a bonded Cybertronian couple wasn't like a married human couple - despite all their arguments, Prowl and Jazz wouldn't have wished the other out of their life. They loved each other deeply, and they loved their arguments, too, or they would have never gotten bonded. So the question on Prowl's mind was not 'did Jazz leave me?' but more along the lines of 'who did Jazz give the door code to and what did he bribe them with?'

The fact that Jazz himself might be responsible didn't even cross Prowl's processor, until a noise behind him broke him from his confusion, and he turned quickly...only to stop and stare in surprise.

"Jazz?" he asked in disbelief, unable to quite accept that the mech standing in from of him, wearing what appeared to be a giant, frilly apron and just now subspacing what was very obvious a dust cloth, could be his mate, despite what his spark was telling him.

"Welcome home, Prowler!" Jazz said brightly, almost skipping as he came over and gave Prowl a brief kiss. "How was your day?"

"Uh -" Prowl paused, entirely off-balance in this unexpected situation and oddly unable to remove his gaze from the apron Jazz was still wearing, and took a moment to think up a suitable response. "Good?"

"Wonderful! Did you get lots of work done?" Jazz's smile was bright and he seemed genuinely interested in the response, and Prowl dragged his gaze away from the apron and up to his mate's face before warily replying in the affirmative. "Excellent, I don't know what we'd do around here without you. You do so much for the Autobots, much more than you're supposed to." Jazz slipped his hand around Prowl's arm as he was talking and tugged the tactician over to the table, pulling out a chair for him. Jazz didn't make the slightest move to force him into sitting, but Prowl felt compelled to, anyways, as Jazz chattered on about how the Autobots would probably fall apart without Prowl and it was a good thing they had him to keep them running. Prowl could only sit and watch and listen in bafflement as Jazz flitted around, apparently doing some last-minute straightening before going over to an energon travel unit that Prowl hadn't spotted earlier.

"Here, some warm energon should help refresh you. Why don't you just put up your feet and rest for a little while? One of those operas you like so much is being televised tonight, I'll put it on and you can enjoy your energon while you watch it. But not on the couch." Jazz wagged his finger teasingly at Prowl and before the tactician could say anything, the saboteur had flipped on the TV and was gone into the bedroom. Prowl debated following his mate, but when he looked down at the energon in his hands, he realized it would probably be better if he drank it before trying to figure out what was going through Jazz's processor. He was going to need every advantage he could get. Besides - one of his favourite operas actually was on the TV, and Jazz wasn't causing any immediate problems. He could spare a few minutes to relax and recover, orient himself in the new circumstances, before confronting Jazz.

That, Prowl realized later, had probably been a bad decision to make. He'd just been relaxing, and beginning to get his processor around to trying to figure out what was going on, when Jazz had abruptly appeared behind him and begun massaging the joints of Prowl's doorwings. The tactician had stiffened at first, but Jazz was really very good at easing the tension from the appendages - he'd had lots of practice at it over the years - and Prowl soon found himself relaxing even more. With a good opera playing, warm energon in his hand, and Jazz's massage, Prowl could barely summon the will to think, let alone figure out what was going on. Eventually, Prowl felt himself starting to slip towards recharge, and Jazz apparently noticed it, too, ending the massage as he came around and held out a hand to Prowl. The only word Prowl could come up with to describe Jazz's smile was coquettish, and half in recharge as he was, he could only smile back and take Jazz's hand, letting himself be led to their bedroom, where they curled up together on the berth and fell into recharge.

---

Prowl woke the next morning feeling oddly uneasy, despite the fact that it was one of the longest, most uninterrupted recharges he'd had in a long time. It took him a moment to recall why he should be uneasy, Jazz's strange behaviour from the night before suddenly filling his processor, and the tactician was instantly awake, looking around for his mate. Unsurprisingly, Jazz wasn't in the bedroom, but when Prowl went into the living room, he found his mate straightening and dusting the shelves, a warm container of energon sitting on the table, the chair in front of it pulled out in silent invitation.

"Good morning Prowler, did you have a good recharge?" Jazz asked sweetly.

"I had a wonderful recharge." Prowl said, able to form more coherent responses now that he'd accustomed to the situation and had a decent recharge.

"Excellent! I got you some energon, so you don't have to go down to the rec room and deal with all the rowdy bots before your shift." Jazz said pleasantly. Prowl glanced at the energon, then returned his gaze to Jazz, continuing to stare at his mate until Jazz finally stopped his cleaning and turned to give him a mildly curious look. "Is something wrong, Prowler?" Prowl considered his answer carefully.

It had occurred to him that Jazz might be under some sort of outside influence, a Decepticon influence, but he'd quickly dismissed that. He could feel Jazz's smugness through their bond, and knew this was some sort of revenge on his mate's part. It was rare when Jazz resorted to revenge against Prowl, but he went all out when he did, so Prowl had no trouble believing that Jazz had gone to all this work just to get back at him. Though really, Prowl had already known that he didn't want the 'perfect' mate - Jazz, acting like himself, was exactly what Prowl wanted, and he wouldn't want his mate to be anything other than the outgoing, opinionated, stubborn, argumentative, and entirely too attractive and lovable mech that he was.

Still. Jazz had deserted Prowl for a concert, and then pulled this, when he had to have known, from the hours Prowl had been keeping, that the tactician would be tired. So, while he normally wasn't the one in the relationship to succumb to the urge for revenge, Prowl decided it was time to see how far Jazz would go, and how much he would squirm.

"No, everything's fine." Prowl said with an easy smile, heading to the table and his morning energon, studiously ignoring the faint faltering in Jazz's smile.

---

It was clear from the moment the two officers reported for duty that day that there was something going on between them. Those that had been around the two long enough stepped cautiously, finding reasons to avoid going to see Prowl or Jazz. The younger bots found this hilarious, and took every opportunity to go see the two officers. By noon, however, they had stopped, and were eyeing the two officers warily, instead.

"It's not even that they're snappy or anything. If anything, Prowl seems to be in a better mood than he's been in in a long time." Sideswipe ranted when he came for his daily session of Pestering Ratchet Until He Bodily Ejects Sideswipe From Med Bay. "Jazz seems even more friendly and accommodating, too."

"Then what's the problem?" Ratchet asked, for once more amused than annoyed by Sideswipe's visit, as the red mech was just sitting on one of the berths, legs swinging and arms gesturing wildly as he spoke. Since Ratchet was doing inventory on some supplies, this was appreciated - it gave him company for a very boring job without getting anything messed up. Very unlike Sideswipe's usual visits, but the red twin seemed rather jumpy around the senior officers today, as if whatever had caused Prowl and Jazz to ask so weirdly was catching.

"It's creepy, how happy they are. And Jazz actually turned down an invite to a party from Blaster, saying he'd have to ask Prowl about it first. Since when has he asked Prowl before going out somewhere?!" Sideswipe demanded.

"They are bonded. I doubt Jazz just takes off to these concerts without telling Prowl." Ratchet replied.

"But asking? As in, asking permission?" Sideswipe needled. "When has he needed permission to go out? And why did Prowl act like it was the most normal thing in the world when Jazz did so? And then why did Jazz turn down Blaster's invite when Prowl said 'he'd rather Jazz didn't go'."

"I don't know." Ratchet said, grinning slightly. "Frankly, I don't want to know."

"You should. I mean, you're chief medical officer, isn't two senior officers acting so out of character a possible concern?" Sideswipe asked insistently.

"I think you're mistaking me for Red Alert, Sideswipe." Ratchet replied with a snort. "Jazz and Prowl have a very old, very complex relationship. And sometimes, especially in new environments, their relationship will come up with some very, very strange things. When that happens, the best thing any of us can do is minimize contact until they sort themselves out."

"But -"

"You remember those two orns when Ironhide and Chromia both refused to visit the wash racks, for any reason?" Ratchet interrupted, and Sideswipe made a face.

"Primus, who can forget? They stank and looked like slag." the red twin said. "Sunny refused to be in the same room as them. And I think Inferno threatened to hose them down at one point."

"But he didn't. And one day they showed up for a briefing sparkling clean, with no explanation, and no prompting." Ratchet concluded, and Sideswipe nodded.

"Yeah, I remember. What's that have to do with Prowl and Jazz, though?" he asked, looking confused.

"Because it's the same type of situation." Ratchet replied. "Just as Chromia and Ironhide randomly decided to stop visiting the wash racks for two orns, Prowl and Jazz are now being excessively cheery and Jazz is letting Prowl act as alpha in their relationship. And just like Chromia and Ironhide, for no known reason, started going to the wash racks again, so too will Jazz and Prowl return to normal. Eventually. When they've figured out whatever's going on between them."

"And what are we supposed to do in the mean time?" Sideswipe whined.

"Avoid them at all costs." Ratchet recommended dryly.

---

Jazz was getting tired of cleaning. Really, really tired of cleaning. After a week of keeping their quarters spotless, Jazz still couldn't believe how impossibly difficult is was to keep dust out of anywhere on this planet, to say nothing of the various stains and marks that seemingly appeared from nowhere. If he hadn't known better, he would have suspected Prowl was behind all the dirt that seemed to accumulate in their quarters every day. Not only did his mate work longer shifts, however, starting before and getting off after Jazz himself, but Prowl seemed content to just let things be, without provoking Jazz any further. It was...frustrating, and more and more Jazz had to stop and try to remember just what he'd been trying to prove to Prowl with this little stunt. He'd be slagged if he was going to cave first, however, so he kept at it, taking mental notes on every event, every outing, he had to pass up on to get this done, with the intention of holding Prowl responsible for every single one later, and making his mate accompany him to an equal number.

Jazz wasn't the only one suffering, however. Prowl had been an advisor to Sentinel Prime before he'd met Jazz, and he'd had his share of femmes and mechs interested in him, some of them quite good looking and intelligent, not to mention important and powerful. They'd all faded into the background when he met Jazz, however, and for one simple reason - Jazz argued with him. Almost everyone else acted as if Prowl could never be wrong. Even the most intelligent bots seemed to find themselves unable to point out the most obvious flaws in Prowl's reasoning - but not Jazz. Their first meeting, before they'd even been introduced, had consisted of Jazz storming into Prowl's office and ranting at him for a full two breems about how his plan for Jazz's team had been irredeemably stupid and flawed and Prowl was a glitched-slagged idiot who shouldn't just be kicked out of the tactical corps, but the entire army. And Jazz hadn't apologized when he'd found out who Prowl was. It had been a startling and amazing feeling for Prowl to meet someone who didn't think he could do no wrong, and he started purposefully arranging assignments so that Jazz would be nearby more often. The constant arguments, the pointing out of flaws in his plans, had kept Prowl on his toes, had actually made him work harder, and he'd come up with better tactical plans as a result.

Now, Jazz was catering to Prowl's every whim, refusing to argue even when Prowl said something totally wrong. Jazz wouldn't even correct Prowl when he purposefully got the names of his favourite singers wrong. And the clean sterility of their quarters, while at first comfortingly like home to Prowl, was beginning to bother him, making him a little homesick and also slightly guilty, like by keeping their quarters as clean as if they'd been on Cybertron, they were rejecting their human allies' friendship. Then there was also the fact that, even though he was guaranteed to have Jazz there to snuggle every night before he went into recharge, they had not interfaced since the whole charade had began, and Prowl was feeling rather...put out. And he refused to believe that Jazz wasn't feeling the same, since they had a rather physical relationship, even after all the vorns they'd been together.

Despite all this, Prowl still refused to give in. Refused to apologize for an argument that Jazz had blown ridiculously out of proportion and he didn't even really think he was at fault for, anyways. He was not, however, above baiting Jazz once he started getting tired of the charade. Nor was Prowl above using his rank to bait Jazz, especially once his mate let things stretch on for an entire week without showing any signs of giving in.

"Prowler, love, do you know why my schedule's been cleared for the next week?" Jazz asked with pleasant curiosity as he and Prowl snuggled on the couch, watching some inane human movie. Jazz had picked it out, and Prowl had only agreed to watch it because he was quite sure Jazz was using it to try and provoke a reaction from him. He'd been right - he could feel Jazz getting more and more frustrated as the movie continued and Prowl didn't react. Though that was mostly because, though he kept it very well hidden from his mate, Prowl was running tactical simulations in his processor - even supposedly good human movies usually provoked Prowl into a scathing commentary, and this one was worse than most. Without Prowl reacting, however, Jazz apparently felt the need to talk.

"Of course." Prowl replied pleasantly, not elaborating any farther as he carefully kept his mildly interested expression in place and watched the movie. Jazz twitched slightly, but didn't show his irritation otherwise.

"What would that reason be, then?" Jazz asked, and Prowl could feel faint echoes through their mutually, purposefully muted bond of how much effort it had taken his mate to sound casually curious just then.

"You've been working so hard lately, I thought you might appreciate the time off. I know how ubiquitous dust is on this planet, and it seems you're always just managing to keep it out of our quarters. I figured with a week off you might be able to actually get rid of it permanently - maybe even move on to our offices." Prowl replied. It took all of his impressive self-control not to smirk as Jazz went very, very still beside him, the bond between them closing entirely.

"Our offices." Jazz's voice was flat, and Prowl smiled slightly as he finally turned from the movie to look at his mate, hoping that he'd finally managed to provoke Jazz.

"Well, it hardly seems helpful that you clean our quarters every day, and then we go sit and work in dusty, dirty offices all day and drag all that back. It just ends up making more work for you." Prowl said lightly.

"Our offices are not entirely to blame. The other rooms and hallways in the Ark are just as dusty and dirty." Jazz pointed out, but there was a shrewd note in his voice this time, and Prowl thought carefully before answering.

"Well, yes, but you can hardly clean them all yourself. Unless you'd prefer to give up your duties to do so." Prowl was careful to add a note of dryness to his voice, knowing that if he seemed even the least bit serious about that statement, Jazz would know he was being provoked and it would all be for naught.

"Of course not." Jazz replied easily, and if he was disappointed that he hadn't caught Prowl out, it didn't show. "The Autobots are much more important than keeping the Ark clean. I have more than enough time to clean our quarters and offices as it is, in fact. You don't need to give me the week off." Prowl couldn't help but give Jazz an incredulous look, and for once since this whole charade had started, spoke his mind.

"You can't be serious, Jazz. As it is now, all you do is work, clean and recharge - less recharge than me, some nights." Prowl said, and it was mostly true - there were little breaks, like the one now, where Jazz would try and provoke Prowl, but otherwise Jazz had virtually no free time anymore. It was half the reason Prowl said no every time Jazz asked his 'permission' to go out - he knew his mate was tired, and didn't want him exhausting himself. "There is no way you'd be able to clean our offices as well as our quarters without extra time off, especially at first."

"You'd be surprised what a Bot can do when he sets his mind to it." Jazz said lightly, but there was a note of desperation in his voice, and Prowl realized that Jazz really didn't want to take the time off. Probably because, while he was on duty, Jazz could be almost normal again. Which meant that maybe, if Prowl pressed this hard enough, Jazz might actually break and they could be done with all this.

"Well, I'm not going to make you work any harder than you have to. So you can have the next week off so you don't have to stress yourself, and then I'll see that your shifts are cut down a bit for the next two weeks after that, so you can figure out the most efficient way to clean our quarters and offices." Prowl said, tacking on the extra two weeks to add pressure.

"Of course. You're always looking out for me, Prowl. Thank you." Jazz murmured, and it sounded only slightly forced. Prowl glanced down at his mate, trying not to let his dismay and frustration show. Three weeks of reduced duty hadn't broken his mate, and there was no way he could tack on more time or conditions now without Jazz getting suspicious. So instead, Prowl turned back to the movie and started working on a new plan.

---

"You. My office. Now." Prowl's abrupt order had the entire rec room falling silent. The tactician hadn't exactly been a common sight in the rec room recently - Jazz had been getting him his energon - so his presence would have called enough attention as it was, but the fact that he was glaring at Smokescreen and ordering the diversionary tactician to his office was completely out of character with the creepy-cheerful-Prowl that the Autobots had been slowly getting used to over the last week. A few bots dared to hope that maybe Jazz and Prowl had settled things and were back to normal, and thus enthusiastically shoved Smokescreen in Prowl's direction. Smokescreen glared at the betrayal, then followed after Prowl with his head held high. He hadn't done anything wrong recently, after all.

Smokescreen spent the walk to Prowl's office planning his defence, but it all shattered as he stepped inside. He didn't even notice the door close behind him as he stared around the room. Prowl had always kept his office neat and organized, despite Jazz's influence, but today it was also incredibly clean. All the dirt and scuff marks that had gradually accumulated in the room since they'd woken on earth had disappeared, and the metal surfaces had been buffed and shined so that they looked as good as the day the Ark was built - better, in fact. The Ark had been built out of whatever parts could be found back on Cybertron, and many of those parts weren't exactly in mint condition.

"What the frag happened to your office?" Smokescreen asked without thinking, then froze as he recalled that he was in trouble and that was probably not the correct way to go about getting out of it.

"Jazz." Prowl replied tersely.

"Jazz cleaned your office?" Smokescreen asked incredulously, figuring that if Prowl had replied, he was safe to continue talking.

"Yes. He's working on his own office right now." Prowl replied, his voice and gaze flat as he looked at Smokescreen. The diversionary tactician paused then, realizing that he was wandering into a place he didn't want to be - namely, the middle of whatever was going on between Prowl and Jazz.

"Oh." Smokescreen said intelligently, then after a pause, attempted to change the subject. "So, why did you call me in here?"

"Jazz." Prowl replied, shooting Smokescreen an amused look. The diversionary tactician's attempt to escape had been noticed and thwarted. Prowl's amusement quickly disappeared, however, as he gave Smokescreen a serious look. "I need your help."

"My help?" Smokescreen asked incredulously.

"Yes. Jazz has blown our argument way out of proportion, and is refusing to back down. I've tried everything I can on my own, and now I need some outside help." Prowl replied, walking over to his desk and leaning back against it. Not sitting in the chair - that was too official for this obviously off-the-record request.

"I really don't think I should get involved in this." Smokescreen said nervously. He didn't want to end up on Jazz's bad side.

"And I really don't think Prime should know about some of your off-duty activities." Prowl said flatly, and Smokescreen hesitated. "Especially the ones with the races?" Prowl said pointedly, and Smokescreen stared at the second-in-command in shock. By-passing how Prowl knew about said activities, Smokescreen went to the next obvious question.

"Are you blackmailing me?" he asked in disbelief.

"The bad part about not following the rules, Smokescreen, is that when someone you don't want to gets wind of it, they can hold it over your head to make you get involved in things you'd rather not." Prowl said solemnly. Smokescreen groaned.

"That's why you called me in here, isn't it? You knew everyone else would find their way out of it." he said, then after a short pause, added hopefully, "What if I say go ahead and tell Prime?"

"Then I'll go to Ratchet." Prowl replied easily.

"Really?" Smokescreen asked brightly. "You'll let me go?"

"I didn't say that." Prowl answered almost casually. "I imagine Ratchet would be even less pleased than Prime about you getting involved in human racing circuits and putting yourself and the humans at risk of bodily harm." Smokescreen froze.

"You wouldn't." he said faintly.

"I would." Prowl replied blandly.

"I hate you." Smokescreen said with vehemence.

"Now that's not polite to say to the mech who's inviting you over for dinner." Prowl said dryly.

"What?" Smokescreen asked in confusion.

"You'll be coming back with me to Jazz's and my quarters once my shift is done tonight." Prowl explained patiently.

"I have a late shift, though." Smokescreen said hesitantly.

"Not anymore, you don't. Your shift is now coincidentally ending at the same time as mine." Prowl replied. "At which point you're going to join Jazz and I in our quarters for some friendly chit-chat about tactics over energon." Smokescreen gave the other mech a confused look.

"Why? I mean, I know you're blackmailing me to come, but how is me coming over going to help you?" he asked.

"Jazz will not know you're coming." Prowl replied with a smirk that was worthy of a Decepticon. Smokescreen still didn't get it, but seeing that grin, he didn't think he wanted to anymore. Instead, he hastily assured Prowl that he would come, and left to the casual reply that if Smokescreen didn't come, Prowl could always invite Ratchet.

Smokescreen hid in his quarters until his shift started, wanting to avoid any questions about what Prowl had wanted him for - and whether or not Prowl and Jazz were back to normal. By the time his shift started, fortunately, the other bots had discovered that Jazz and Prowl were most definitely not back to normal. In fact, they seemed to be even worse today. Prowl, Smokescreen imagined, was excessively cheerful because he was hoping everything would be settled tonight, while Jazz was just plain over-doing his cheerfulness in reaction to whatever Prowl had attempted last - the attempt that had apparently backfired and led Prowl to involve Smokescreen. Fortunately, their increased weirdness took the attention off Smokescreen, and the diversionary tactician took advantage of it, remaining quiet and unobtrusive throughout his shift. He managed to make it all the way to the end without anyone asking him about his trip to Prowl's office, and even then, the topic was only brought up because of the early end to his shift.

"It was nothing, just some tactical strategies Prowl wants to go over with me after his shift." Smokescreen said, then fled before Windcharger, the mech who'd questioned him, could point out all the numerous flaws in that statement. Smokescreen arrived at Prowl's office right as the second-in-command was locking the door.

"Ah, Smokescreen. Good. I wasn't looking forward to ruining Ratchet's evening." Prowl greeted him pleasantly, and Smokescreen grimaced, but said nothing as he followed Prowl. He felt like he was walking to his execution, and it apparently showed, judging by the sympathetic looks of the bots that passed him and Prowl in the hallways. Prowl, however, wasn't going to let Smokescreen get away with that inside his and Jazz's quarters.

"I'm not asking you to get in the middle of our argument, Smokescreen. I just need you to...be a witness, if you will." Prowl said as they approached his and Jazz's quarters.

"A witness?" Smokescreen said with a frown. Then, suddenly, he understood. "You want to embarrass Jazz."

"That would be the simplest way to put it, yes." Prowl replied faintly. "Though if you could make a comment about the chair being fixed, that would help immensely, too."

"You finally got that chair fixed?" Smokescreen asked in surprise. "I thought it was your private joke."

"It was." Prowl sounded irritated, and Smokescreen winced. He was even less happy to be in the middle of this now - Jazz had messed with The Chair, and everyone knew that was serious business. Actually, there were a few bets that Smokescreen would need to settle later if Jazz had really gotten the chair fixed. "At least try to act like you're not terrified of being here, if you can't be cheerful." Prowl murmured to Smokescreen as they reached the door. Smokescreen obediently smoothed out the horror, adopting his polite business expression, and Prowl nodded in satisfaction as he keyed open the door.

Prowl began speaking about some tactical manoeuvre as they entered, and it took Smokescreen a few seconds to recall that this was their cover as he followed the other mech in. He tried to catch up, so he could make a decent response, and thus not end up facing Ratchet's wrath later, but found that momentarily impossible when he got a good look around. He hadn't exactly been a frequent visitor to Prowl and Jazz's quarters before, but he was shocked now by how different they looked. The main room reminded him more of a human show-home than a room that was actually lived in. It was neat and tidy, and spotlessly clean. Smokescreen felt uncomfortably dirty walking in there, and hesitantly followed Prowl to the table, but refused to sit down, even to see if the chair was fixed, standing nervously, the door to the bedroom and private wash rack off to his side.

He was grateful for that a few moments later, when Jazz appeared. It helped him not to stare, though he couldn't move for a few moments, anyways, as he tried to recover from shock. He suddenly understood why Wheeljack had made himself excessively scarce over the past week - the engineer had to have supplied Jazz with the thin plastic to make the frilly apron the saboteur was now wearing. And he had to have known Jazz wasn't going to do anything good with it, considering it was pink. This had to have been what Prowl wanted Smokescreen to be a witness to, as well, since the sight of Jazz in a pink frilly apron paled in comparison to Jazz's expression. The saboteur, like Smokescreen, had frozen in place as soon as he'd spotted the other mech, and for a moment, he'd just looked blankly at the diversionary tactician. Then, slowly, his expression had changed - first to the beginnings of a snarl, accompanied with a glare, then to determination, and finally to an extremely forced smile.

"Smokescreen. What a pleasant surprise." Jazz's voice was flat and unemotional.

"Jazz." Smokescreen said, forcing his own smile onto his faceplate as he nodded at the saboteur and tried his best to keep his gaze away from the apron. "Sorry to drop in on you like this, but Prowl and I had some tactics we needed to discuss, and he didn't want to keep you waiting for him." Smokescreen thought that quite smoothly put the blame entirely on Prowl, and evidently, so did Jazz, as the saboteur turned his attention to his mate.

"How thoughtful." Jazz said. "But you really should have given me some warning, Prowler. So I could get ready for guests."

"Sorry Jazz, I didn't think you'd need time to prepare." Prowl replied smoothly, innocently, and Smokescreen was wondering if perhaps he would have been better off if he'd let Prowl tell Ratchet about his racing activities. "It's just a short ways to the rec room for some more energon, after all." Jazz stilled again, and Smokescreen knew he would have been better off letting Prowl tell Ratchet. He took a quiet, unobtrusive - or so he thought - step towards the door, but in a room where no one was moving, the motion was equivalent to a blaring horn. Prowl and Jazz didn't look at him, but their attention focused on him, regardless.

"Smokescreen. Thank you for dropping by. I'm sure Prowl will be more than happy to discuss tactics with you tomorrow morning." Jazz intoned, and Smokescreen took the provided opportunity to flee. He didn't let himself be cheered by the fact that this probably signalled the end of Jazz and Prowl's weird behaviour, instead heading straight to med bay and a very confused Ratchet, where he confessed everything about his underground racing activities. The medic quickly got over his confusion, and Smokescreen spent the night cheerfully listening to Ratchet rant while he ducked flying tools.

---

Neither Prowl nor Jazz moved for several minutes after Smokescreen left, simply staring at each other. A human might assume there was a staring contest going on. Another Cybertronian who didn't know them well might assume they were having a silent conversation via their comms. Their friends would know better, and would quickly vacate the surrounding ten-mile radius if they'd known what was happening. Because Prowl and Jazz were arguing over their bond, and not with words, but with feelings, and that was ten times worse than when they put the soundproofing to good use.

Jazz started it, with a complex mixture of betrayal, embarrassment and anger. Prowl replied with all of his frustration, longing, defensiveness about being right, and stubborn refusal to apologize. Jazz countered with his own frustration, loneliness, and a longing desire to share his recreational activities with his mate. Prowl couldn't stop the faint guilt in his reply, but reinforced his stubborn defensiveness, adding a slight accusation, reminding Jazz who started it. Jazz spat the accusal back, a touch of the initial embarrassment added as a reminder. Prowl let the cool feeling of his logic creep through as he shot back a calm comparison of their exchanges, silently pointing out that they were tossing the same arguments at each other. Jazz's reply wasn't apologetic, but it was faintly guilty, mostly appalled, and also accusatory - silently saying that just because he'd succumbed to drastic, inappropriate measures, didn't mean Prowl had had to.

Prowl actually snorted out loud, breaking the silence, and Jazz gave him a startled look, surprise and wary curiosity filtering over the bond. In response, Prowl blasted Jazz with every bit of frustration he'd experienced over the past week. First came the frustrated anger from every time Jazz refused to argue with him, over work or personal matters. Then came the more personal frustration, from every time Jazz smiled, every time he snuggled up against Prowl, or Prowl came out of recharge next to his mate, the one time Jazz had helped Prowl clean his doorwings in their private wash rack before disappearing, and the frequent massages of the joints. They'd piled up as Jazz had turned away or deftly diverted Prowl from interfacing, and Prowl had no problem hitting Jazz with the full force of that accumulation now. Jazz physically staggered backwards a step, taking a few moments to recover before beginning to laugh.

"You...you did all this just because you weren't getting any?!" Jazz asked between giggles. Prowl gave his mate an irritated look.

"That wasn't the only reason." he replied irritably, sending a ghost of that first angry frustration across the bond to remind his mate, but Jazz brushed it aside.

"But it is what made you involve Smokescreen." Jazz said with a snicker. "Primus, he would be traumatized for life if he knew that."

"As if he wasn't already." Prowl said, looking pointedly at the apron. "Can you please take that off? And destroy it?"

"I dunno, I've kinda come to like it." Jazz said with amusement, and Prowl glared at his mate, sending a feeling of pure loathing across the bond, accompanied by a slight submission - Jazz had won, he could take it off now. "No, seriously, I thought Smokey was going to crash when he saw me wearing it. It was entertaining." Jazz insisted.

"I'd rather not have to deal with the repercussions of that, thank you." Prowl said with a shudder, already visualizing the uncomfortable conversation with Prime. Any conversation where Prime had to ask Prowl to rein in, or even explain, Jazz's more...interesting behaviour was always uncomfortable. And worse, if Jazz started wearing Cybertronian-sized human clothing around the Ark and getting entertaining reactions for it, Sideswipe might start getting ideas.

"Well, if you want it off and destroyed, you're going to have to come take it off." Jazz said smugly, his stance suddenly saucy, and Prowl arched an optic ridge at his mate. He sent a questioning buzz along the bond - they always ended up speaking more through their bond after getting over an argument - and the reply was pure lust, accompanied by a heated glance. Prowl had been right - he wasn't the only one feeling the lack of 'physical interaction' in their relationship. Prowl smirked, then in one smooth motion, pushed himself up from his chair and launched himself at Jazz. The saboteur ducked out of the way, but Prowl was already anticipating that, rolling as he landed and coming up on his feet. His hand shot out, and he brushed plastic, but couldn't get a grip before Jazz was dancing out of the way, on the other side of the couch before Prowl could grab him.

Prowl turned back to find his mate grinning widely, almost hopping from foot to foot as he silently taunted Prowl to come get him, pointedly playing with the pink apron. Prowl considered his next movie carefully, then dove again - this time for the lights. Jazz realized this too late, lurching forward only to twist away and head for the bedroom - where the lights were still on - as he saw Prowl was going to get to the light switch before him. Prowl didn't mind - it would take Jazz five seconds to disable the light switch in the bedroom, and he could get there in plenty of time. Using the furniture and the corners of the walls in almost sling-shot manoeuvres to give himself more speed, Prowl was through the door to the bedroom in three seconds, and had knocked Jazz's legs out from under him the next second. The wiring of the light switch was hang out of the wall, but Prowl had watched Jazz do this before - it had originally been for a mission - and he knew exactly where the saboteur was. It took him less time to fix and switch off the lights than it had taken Jazz to try and break it, and then the bedroom was plunged into darkness.

Prowl stilled immediately, switching to his sensors. They weren't medical, and weren't as far-ranging as Hound's, but they were precisely calibrated, and could pick up almost anything. They were the reason why Prowl actually had the advantage on Jazz in the dark - Jazz's visor may have allowed him to see in the dark, but unless there was some modicum of light, he was limited to black-and-white or infrared, both of which had their drawbacks, such as lack of depth perception and identification of living Cybertronian versus advanced Cybertronian technology. Prowl sensors, on the other hand, could provide him with everything but a visual, and in such a familiar location, he could provide the visual himself, matching sensor readings to his mental map of the room.

Jazz, of course, knew this, and the first motion Prowl caught was something going flying, followed by a soft whooshing sound, almost like water, and several heavy thuds. He turned his sensors in that direction, and it took him only a moment to realize what Jazz had knocked over - his Zen rock garden, previously sitting up on a small table. The sand and the rocks were scattered across the floor of their bedroom, making the room just that much more different than Prowl remembered it. It was supposed to throw Prowl off, but all it did was let the tactician know that he was still between Jazz and the door, and he smiled to himself before focusing his scans on the far side of the room.

Prowl picked up the anomaly almost immediately, though it was off due to the apron, and he quickly set his sensors to track it as he stalked forward, wary of the sand and rocks on the floor. It wouldn't do to slip or knock one of the rocks - noise was Jazz's specialty, after all. Fortunately, Prowl was close to the recharge berth, and had no problems using it as an alternative to the floor, prowling along it smoothly as Jazz warily, carefully, edged towards the door. The saboteur's head kept turning from side to side, obviously trying to catch sight of Prowl, or hear him, but Prowl could tell when Jazz's visor was pointed in his direction - it was so wonderfully different from the rest of Jazz's body, after all - and froze when his mate was looking his way. He could be almost invisible that way, especially next to the recharge berth, which had more than the usual amount of wiring running through it.

Finally, Jazz had reached the door, and with one last, swift look around, he darted through - and for a split second, his back was to Prowl. It was all the tactician needed, darting forward and latching onto the ends of the bow keeping the apron tied on. A sharp tug, and the bow was undone. The only thing keeping the apron on now was the neck strap, and that would be easy to deal with.

Jazz had, of course, felt the tug, and the loosening of the apron, and cursed, wrenching away, but Prowl, following the tug of the apron that he still hadn't let go of, followed easily. Jazz's own momentum as he tried to get away worked against him, and Prowl managed to spin him around and crowd him into a corner. Jazz's own body restrained one of his arms, and Prowl held down the other, so the saboteur was helpless to stop Prowl as he removed the apron. Prowl spent a split second deciding what to do with the offending garment, and in the end, slipped it into his subspace. Bondmates could access each other's subspace, so it wasn't exactly safe there, but it was out of immediate reach, and pretty soon, if Prowl had his way, Jazz wouldn't be able to put up the extra effort to get the apron out of Prowl's subspace.

"Much better." Prowl murmured in the darkness, and he felt Jazz strain against him. They were pretty evenly matched for strength, so Prowl knew he couldn't hold Jazz for long. He also knew that he probably shouldn't hold onto Jazz for long - the saboteur had been playing submissive long enough. So when he felt his hold breaking, Prowl willingly let go, jumping backwards and darting for the bedroom. His sensors didn't pick up Jazz following, but he knew his mate was. He still didn't stop until he reached the recharge berth, however, jumping up on it and turning, crouching as he began scanning for his mate. His scans were stopped short, however, when the lights suddenly turned on, and Prowl was momentarily disoriented as he tried to deal with all the new sensory data.

Jazz, of course, took immediate advantage of Prowl's weakness, and by the time Prowl had recovered enough to actually do something, he was pressed down on the berth, held down by the weight of Jazz's body. This wouldn't have been a bad thing if his systems weren't screaming at him that his subspace was open, and he tried to throw Jazz off, knowing what the saboteur was after. Evidently his subspace wasn't a safe enough place.

Jazz was persistent, however, and Prowl couldn't shake him. A flash of pink alerted him when it was too late, and he immediately went limp, scowling up at Jazz. The saboteur grinned down at him, raising one hand holding the apron, and that slight shift in Jazz's weight was all Prowl needed to toss the saboteur off. Jazz yelped, but rolled to his feet easily, bouncing up and making a dive for the recharge berth even as Prowl rolled out of the way, pushing himself off the berth. He paused, however, as he felt something catch on his hand - it wasn't very strong, he could probably snap it without much trouble, but as he hesitated, Jazz grabbed his other hand, and pulled it back with the other.

Amused, Prowl glanced under his doorwing, unsurprised to find the pink apron currently tying his wrists behind his back. He tugged experimentally at it, and was suddenly pulled backwards. His legs bumped into the edge of the berth and he fell onto it, but he was caught a moment before his potentially jarring landing, instead being gently lowered. Prowl had a brief flash of a wolfish grin on Jazz's faceplate before his mate's lips closed on his own, rough and aggressive, and full of the passion and lust Prowl had been desperately missing for the past week. The tactician replied with equal passion, and growled in annoyance when Jazz drew away.

"Y'know, I think it looks better on you, anyways, Prowl." Jazz murmured, grinning mischievously as his hands wandering over Prowl's chassis, fondling the tactician's headlights and sensitive seams in his armour.

"Less effective this way, though." Prowl replied as he squirmed under Jazz's attention.

"I wouldn't say that." Jazz said with a grin. "I mean, all I have to do is tell you that you won't be getting any if you break it, and - hm, I think you'd have more luck getting out of high-security energon binders now, wouldn't you?" his mate's grin was positively wicked, and Prowl glared at him, knowing Jazz was right. He also knew, at this point, that the same would have been true of Jazz if their positions were reversed, and that mollified him more than anything else...well, except for the fact that Jazz's hands were still wandering across his chassis and Primus was it hard to concentrate on anything when he was doing that.

Jazz, naturally, knew that, and took full advantage of it, cheerfully continuing talking. Prowl didn't hear half of what his mate said, but he thought he heard something about concerts and parties and owing something to Jazz. He didn't have the focus anymore to catch anything other than that, especially when Jazz started flicking his glossa along those same sensitive spots, one of his mate's hands drifting down to Prowl's legs and pelvis. Prowl's circuits were singing with the sensations Jazz was causing, warnings flashing in his system, and he was vaguely aware that he should be embarrassed by how easily and quickly he was getting worked up. Then, Jazz's mouth was on his again, and any thoughts were gone as he strained his neck cables to try and deepen the kiss, which Jazz was keeping maddeningly light, continually pulling back as Prowl tried to deepen it. Prowl growled in frustration, and Jazz chuckled against his lips. Jazz's glossa flicked out in a quick swipe at Prowl's lips, and then he drew away, moving so that he was straddling Prowl's thighs. The saboteur just sat there, his hands lightly resting on Prowl's waist, looking amused as he watched Prowl's systems slowly cool down.

"Wow, you are deprived." Jazz said when Prowl's glare assured him that his mate was capable of coherent thought again. "You haven't been this easily worked up since we woke up here on Earth."

"You're hardly unaffected yourself." Prowl pointed out, aware now of the heat Jazz was putting off, and of how the saboteur's visor was glowing much brighter.

"Never said I wasn't." Jazz replied with a grin, fingers beginning to play along Prowl's sides, re-igniting the over-sensitive circuits. Prowl groaned, unconsciously squirming into the touches, wanting them to be heavier, more intense. Jazz chuckled again, but this time it was lower, more sensuous, and Prowl made a happy noise as his mate leaned down, kissing him passionately. Jazz's hands were gone, supporting him so he didn't put his full weight down on Prowl and possibly hurt the other mech's doorwings or shoulders, but that was fine, because this was so much better. Even when he wasn't so keyed up, Jazz's kisses could nearly send Prowl into overload, and his mate seemed to be trying harder than usual this time. Prowl's systems were flashing warnings at him within moments, and when Jazz unexpectedly pressed himself down against Prowl, letting his own heated chassis press against Prowl's, the tactician went over the edge.

The world faded away, leaving only Prowl and a vague impression of Jazz above him. Pleasure roiled through Prowl's circuits as his processor tried to shunt the excess energy around to help disperse it, burning through circuits Jazz hadn't even gone near. Prowl's hands twitched, wanting to grab onto his mate, to bring him the same pleasure, but even in the midst of overload, Jazz's comment stayed with Prowl, and he didn't snap the plastic. Instead Prowl arched up against Jazz as his systems admitted defeat and threw open all the circuits, flooding everything and sending so much sensory data to Prowl's processor that it shut down.

When his processor rebooted, and Prowl's optics focused, the first thing he became aware of was the relaxed smile on his face. Second after that was Jazz still above him, pressed close and radiating heat, looking hungrily at his mate and wickedly close to his own overload. Prowl didn't hesitate this time, knowing Jazz's threat was useless now, and flexed his arms, snapping the plastic holding his wrists behind his back. Jazz didn't say a word as Prowl's hands reached up and roughly pulled him down, one hand cupping the back of the saboteur's neck, fingers caressing the sensitive seam between helm and neck cables while he kissed his mate fiercely. The other hand played along the top edge of Jazz's pelvis, a particularly sensitive spot for the saboteur, before reaching up to tease along the underside of Jazz's bumper.

Jazz moaned against Prowl's lips, and the saboteur's arms abruptly collapsed, landing his entire weight on Prowl - who really didn't mind - as his systems burned through their own overload. Prowl pulled away slightly, watching his mate's face with fascination, as he usually did while Jazz overloaded. It was a sight he'd never get tired of, didn't think it was possible to get tired of. It was so incredibly beautiful, and it was always the same and always just slightly different. And then, there was his favourite part, when the overload was over and Jazz was still recovering, and the saboteur had the most peaceful smile on his face, and murmured 'love ya, Prowl'. Prowl smiled as he heard it for the first time in over an earth week, and knew in his spark that he'd never let an argument between them go on this long again. He was all for the daily arguments to help keep him on his toes, but he was not going to let one get in the way of him seeing Jazz like this for so long again.

"Tha's a really sappy grin, I hope y'know." Jazz murmured as he slowly came back to himself, and Prowl chuckled.

"I love you, Jazz." he said, lifting his head to give his mate a peck on the lips.

"Love you too, Prowl." Jazz said, looking amused, then rolled off Prowl, tugging his mate around and up so they were properly on the berth - neither had particularly cared, but they were still laying crosswise on the berth, with Prowl's legs hanging off the side. Prowl readily followed, shifting to his side to take the pressure off his doorwings, and cuddled up against his mate. There was a pause before Jazz spoke again. "Never again." he declared, and Prowl didn't need to ask what Jazz meant.

"My thoughts exactly." Prowl replied, nuzzling Jazz's neck. "I'm sorry I forgot about your concert, at any rate."

"Eh, don't worry about it. It's just a concert. Would just rather you didn't tire yourself out so much so that when you come home and I'm going out, you can come with me without making me feel all guilty for keepin' ya up when y'should be in recharge." Jazz murmured.

"I have a job to do." Prowl pointed out.

"Yeah, and you do it along with half of everyone else's. Let the rest of the Bots carry their own weight around here. I called dibs on your spare time first." Jazz replied with a grin, and Prowl chuckled.

"Fine, I'll try and ease up on the work load." he said.

"Good. Because you owe me six concerts, five trips to the city, and two parties." Jazz said smugly. Prowl looked up at his mate, startled.

"What?"

"One for one, everything you made me miss this last week." Jazz replied easily.

"I made you miss?" Prowl said incredulously. "You had an equal part in it!"

"You're the one who said no, though." Jazz replied primly.

"You're the one who asked! You can't tell me you didn't know what my answer was going to be, considering the circumstances that were a direct result of you deciding you wanted 'revenge'!" Prowl said. "Besides, I only said no half the time because you were already dead on your feet. I was trying to keep you from exhausting yourself!" Jazz gave him a slightly startled look.

"Seriously?" he asked, and Prowl gave him mate an annoyed look. "Well that's a reversal. But you're still the one who dragged it out."

"I was ready to apologize the night you sprung this all on me. Excuse me if I got a little offended that you had to go and make such a big deal out of it." Prowl growled.

"Anyone ever tell you that you're sexy when you're angry?" Jazz suddenly asked, grinning widely and leaning in to give Prowl a brief, heated kiss. The tactician didn't respond, and started back impassively as Jazz drew away again, still grinning.

"You're incorrigible." he said after a long moment.

"And y'love me for it." Jazz said, cuddling closer to Prowl. Prowl made a wordless noise of agreement as he ducked his head for another kiss, letting his fingers begin wandering again. The initial need was gone, but he had an entire week to make up for. Unexpectedly however, Prowl's hand was pushed away, and Jazz drew back. Prowl gave his mate a surprised look, but Jazz just grinned. "Y'know, I haven't forgotten that you accused me of not paying enough attention to you." Prowl grimaced faintly.

"Jazz -" he started to apologize, but was cut off with a kiss.

"Quiet. Let me pay attention to you." Jazz murmured as he pulled away, and Prowl wanted to object that Jazz just had, but Jazz's fingers were on the joints for his doorwings, fondling the cables in there, and really, Prowl decided, what could it hurt to have more attention? Jazz leaned in to kiss Prowl again, his hand briefly leaving Prowl's doorwing joints to tug on his arm, and the intent was clear. Prowl rolled so he was on top of his mate, straddling Jazz's hips. For humans, this might have put Jazz in a submissive role, but with Prowl's doorwings, it was just more convenient. Prowl was perfectly content to lead Jazz lead now, only letting his hands wander slightly, enough to start working Jazz's systems up.

Jazz was more than happy with this arrangement, his hands finding the sensitive spots along Prowl's back that he hadn't been able to reach before, and then he broke the kiss and reached up to mouth at Prowl's chevron. The tactician shivered at the sensation - his chevron wasn't overly sensitive, but it was so thin that it always cold, and Jazz's mouth was very warm. Prowl's hands gripped tightly onto Jazz's bumper as his mate brought his glossa into play, running along the edges of the chevron before planting a kissing in the middle of it and pulling Prowl in for another kiss, one hand resting on the back of Prowl's neck and playing with the seam there, much as Prowl had been doing earlier to Jazz. Prowl moaned into his mate's mouth, his own hands now caressing Jazz's abdomen and looking for sensitive seams.

Jazz, though, apparently still had plans, and gently pushed Prowl upwards. The tactician moaned a protest to that plan, but Jazz followed him as he moved back, licking, nibbling, and kissing along Prowl's jaw and neck, and so Prowl gave up his complaints. Sitting now, Jazz's face was about level with Prowl's Autobot symbol, and that wasn't good for kisses, but that wasn't what Jazz had in mind. Glossa tracing the outline of Prowl's Autobot symbol, Jazz's hands were running over every inch of Prowl, dipping into wheel wells and fondling headlights. It was maddening, and sending Prowl spiralling higher and closer to overload again. Jazz himself wasn't unaffected - Prowl knew from previous experience that Jazz found the sight of him this close to overload intensely erotic.

As caught up in the sensations as he was, Prowl noticed quickly when Jazz's hands stopped their wandering and came to rest on his hips, and they he slowly became aware of the fact that Jazz's kisses on his chassis had moved from his Autobot symbol to the seam where his chest opened. His intakes hitched, and it seemed almost involuntary when the compartment snapped open, baring his spark to his mate. Jazz drew back with a smile, simply looking at Prowl's spark for a moment before looking up at his mate. Love was clear in his expression, and he pulled Prowl down for a kiss before gently rolling and lowering them, so that Prowl was once again on his back, Jazz hovering over him.

"You are absolutely beautiful, love, an' you should throw me in the brig for not spending every moment of my time paying attention to you." Jazz murmured.

"If I did, I'd have to put myself in the brig, or you wouldn't be able to pay attention to me." Prowl countered, and Jazz smiled, leaning down to kiss Prowl again. It was a kiss full of emotion, of love and desire, of apologies and acceptance, and Prowl didn't even notice when jazz's own chest compartment opened, baring his spark to Prowl's. He felt a brief touch at first, Jazz's spark tentatively brushing against his own, then the two seemed to recognize their mates, and all but slammed together, bringing Jazz and Prowl's minds with them.

As close as he was, it was unsurprising that Prowl felt his overload hitting as soon as he felt Jazz's own arousal, but he hung onto his coherency as long as he could. Jazz was doing the same, and together they swirled through the past week, sharing their emotions, their thoughts. Each hurt was soothed away, each disappointment apologized and made up for, each longing acknowledged. It was a true sharing, of their sparks and of their thoughts, erasing the pain of their argument and reaffirming their love for each other. Then they both lost their grip on coherency and succumbed to their overloads, and they were so unlike the needy, passionate overloads before. They were so much better, a taste of true ecstasy.

Prowl knew he'd lost consciousness from the intensity, and when his optics finally came back into focus, he found Jazz slumped on top of him, clearly offline. Smiling, Prowl gently manoeuvred his mate until they were laying side by side, keeping careful watch on Jazz's face for the moment he knew was coming. He couldn't help it, he wanted to see it again - and he wasn't disappointed. Jazz's visor slowly lit up, and he looked up at Prowl with that wonderfully peaceful smile, free of all the cares and worries of the war and his harsh life.

"Love ya, Prowl." Jazz murmured, and Prowl smiled back.

"I love you too, Jazz." Prowl replied, pulling Jazz closer, and his mate snuggled into the embrace. Prowl felt recharge looming, and knew he should probably go turn off the lights, but he couldn't be bothered. One thing did bring itself to his attention, however, and he debated over it for awhile before deciding that they might as well settle everything from the argument tonight. "One concert." Prowl murmured.

"Three concerts, two trips to the city, and a party," was Jazz's sleepy reply.

"Two concerts. One trip. No parties."

"Three concerts and one trip."

"...deal."

- Epilogue: The Chair -

The Ark seemed almost ecstatic when Prowl showed up late for his shift the next morning, and it wasn't long before mechs stopped putting off their visits to either officer. Mechs came and went from Prowl and Jazz's offices in a steady stream, none of them staying long, despite the two being back to normal. They were too worried about being called on their avoidance, Prowl suspected, and shared his amusement with Jazz over their bond. Finally, around lunchtime, Ratchet showed up. The medic didn't have any reports or briefings in hand, coming to stand in front of Prowl's desk with his arms crossed as he scrutinized the second-in-command.

"Was there something I could help you with, Ratchet?" Prowl asked with amusement.

"I figured I'd come see what all the fuss was about." Ratchet replied. "And personally express my desire that you two never, ever do that again. I have had nothing but a steady stream of mechs coming int- ack!" Ratchet's complaint was cut short as he flopped down into the visitor's chair across from Prowl's desk and was promptly dumped onto the floor. Prowl, startled, stood and peered over his desk at the medic, who was glaring at the offending chair, only to move his glare to Prowl. Prowl opened his mouth to say something, than closed it again, unable to think of a single thing to say for once. Ratchet hmphed and stood, brushing himself off.

"Well, you're certainly back to normal." the medic grumbled, then stalked out of Prowl's office. In the wake of the medic's departure, Prowl finally recovered his ability to speak, and opened a comm line to Jazz.

"What's up, Prowl?" was Jazz's cheerful reply.

"How long has the chair been in my office, Jazz?" Prowl asked without preamble. No need to explain what chair he was talking about.

"Almost the entire week." Jazz replied, voice smug. "You don't think I'd actually fix it or throw it out, do you?"

"...I suppose not. Though, I was rather looking forward to breaking another one." Prowl mused.

"We could still do that. Get a matching one for my office." Jazz's leer was clear in his voice, and was accompanied by lust over their bond. Prowl glanced at the datapads on his desk, piled higher now than they'd been in years, and considered. Then, without a backwards glance, he strode out of his office, heading straight for Jazz's.

- THE END -