So Cold, My Dignity's Falling Off

Short, pointless drabble featuring Rattrap and Dinobot. No real warnings -- ambiguous snuggles and snark acidic enough to melt through rock. Can be read as pre-slash, but doesn't have to be.

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"No sign a' lettin' up yet. Rats. Eh, no pun intended."

"Blast this miserable planet! It sides with Megatron against us. I declare war on every rock of this Pit-forsaken mountain--" A shivering snarl interrupted.

Rattrap made his way to the back of the pitch-black cave, away from the howling blizzard outside that he'd been checking. "Yeah, well, I notice your whinin' ain't gotten rid a' the storm yet. Maybe you should complain louder!"

He couln't see the raptor baring his teeth, but he felt the breeze pass through his whiskers as Dinobot snapped at him. He held still, knowing full well that if Dinobot meant to chomp him, he'd be retrieving his missing limbs by now. Neither one of them was too happy with the situation. Their choices were the hostile storm outside, which would bury them forever if it didn't deactivate them outright, and sheltering in this cramped excuse for a cave with each other for company. If Dinobot stopped complaining, Rattrap would simply fill in the silence, and they both knew it.

"Perhaps the planet is not entirely to blame," Dinobot said thoughtfully after a moment. "It was, after all, Optimus's idea to send us on this ill-fated mission."

"Now that I can agree with," said Rattrap, warming readily to the subject. "Aw man, when I get my hands on that stinkin' ape--"

The raptor snorted. "You will have to wait in line, rodent. I lay claim to his head. Perhaps I will leave you an arm."

"Oh yeah? If I get to 'im first, he'll be in so many pieces you won't even find his head!"

"Hm. Explosives. The coward's method of execution."

"It gets the job done, leatherhead. Maybe not as dramatic as sword-swingin', but--"

"Your drivel tires me, rodent. It is enough to endure being trapped with your malodorous presence, without wasting words on you." There was a scraping of leathery hide on rock as Dinobot shifted to a more comfortable position. His teeth were chattering.

He ain't up to fightin' with me? Somethin' ain't right. "You okay there, Chopper?" He risked poking at the raptor's shoulder and was alarmed to find the scales hardly warmer than the icy rock around them. A long tail swatted his paw away, but not before he felt the shivering. Aw, slag. Rattrap was none too cozy himself -- he was small, and therefore lost heat more rapidly than the other Maximals -- but at least his fur, short as it was, offered some insulation. Dinobot had no fur, no feathers, nothing. His internal thermoregulators were trying to compensate, but he'd burn off energy fast like that.

Odds of one or both of us shuttin' down from energy loss before this storm passes? Not the kind of odds I like.

"Do not concern yourself with me, rodent." Dinobot's voice was muffled, as if emerging now from a tightly curled ball of raptor. "And keep to your own side of the cave."

Instead, the rat sidled closer again, wary of a strike as he tried to talk sense into the stubborn saurian. "Look, I know we ain't exactly friendly..."

"Your grasp of the obvious astounds."

"But it's slaggin' cold in here, you may've noticed."

"As does your capacity for understatement."

"Oh, fer the love of--" Rattrap almost kicked him with a cold-numbed hindpaw. "You know what I'm gettin' at! Heat's a resource we haven't got much of right now, an' we need to conserve it. If we--"

"Do not suggest what you're thinking out loud, vermin."

Rattrap sighed. "Look, it's not like I want to. But if you freeze 'cause a' your stupid pride, I gotta explain it to the boss-monkey. 'Sides, what're you afraid of? I won't bite--"

"I will."

"-- an' I promise I don't have fleas."

"They would hardly be able to tolerate your stench. Neither will I."

"So you'd rather be an ICE CUBE?"

"I will manage." Dinobot's thermoregulatory system chose that moment to make him shiver violently, rattling his claws against the floor of the cave. The raptor growled in frustration, and Rattrap chose to bite back a smart comment. He wasn't going to have much luck talking to him anyway. So instead, he crept up and tentatively pressed his flank against the raptor's.

Dinobot tensed, and for a moment the rat braced himself to leap back if necessary. As an added offer of peace, he turned up his heat production as high as he dared, until he was almost boiling under his fur. The heat transferred immediately to the icy scales and slowly Dinobot started to relax. Rattrap could picture the raptor's eyelids growing heavy, and dared to press closer. He almost jumped when Dinobot suddenly moved, but it was only to curl around the rodent and drape his tail over them both.

"Survival does necessitate some... sacrifices," he said with resignation. Rattrap smirked against his neck, and Dinobot growled in warning. "One word, rodent, and I will toss you out into the storm. I assure you I would not stoop to this if freezing was an acceptable death for a warrior."

Rattrap let him have the last word. He even did Dinobot the courtesy of pretending to believe the raptor was asleep when, a few moments later, he felt a clawed forearm wrap around his torso and pull him even closer. Not much more you could do to a warrior's pride when he's already reduced to snuggling a rat.

'Sides, apart from the stench, it ain't all that bad. An' I won't admit it if you won't.

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A/N: No, I don't know WHY Primal sent them up the mountain on a mission, though I assume a stasis pod or Predacon signature was involved. Don't know why Tigatron wasn't sent instead -- maybe this takes place before Fallen Comrades. I didn't give it that much thought. It's SWP: Snuggles With Plot. I'm not even sure about the plot part.

By the by, it's 26 degrees Fahrenheit here and dropping. I totally feel for these two right now.