Now here's a scorcher, if anyone's up to reading it. As I understand it, I've made a few Barricade/Flamewar fans out of my readers, so here's a little treat to you all who've had your hearts captured by this pair of Decepticon lovers.

This fic was originally supposed to be up before Christmas for Lecidre, but I can only type so fast, and there were so many other little projects I had on my hands. Sadly, I couldn't get to everything in time. Hopefully, my dear friend Lecidre, you don't mind my tardiness too much. You've been such a dear and wonderful friend for the last few months that I felt I simply had to do a one-shot for you for Christmas. Although this doesn't exactly have much of a Christmas theme to it, I do hope you like it! Merry Belated Christmas, my dear!

Clean as Sin
"Commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways." –William Shakespeare

The ring screamed with a thousand hungry, piercing voices. Burning optics the colour of blazing suns seared hotly from the darkness. Pounding of metal feet, fists against the metal bars of the cage, metallic voices roaring for energon; the ring was alive with the energy of a thousand watching Decepticons. Lord Megatron stood amongst them, silent and aloof, upon a dais at the far end of the darkened, sweltering room. Starscream and Soundwave stood watchful at his sides. Megatron watched the goings on with a distant interest, as if this were one of his favoured gladiatorial matches of the past, while Soundwave regarded the match impassively, and Starscream remained anxious to see who would win the match, hoping the successor would be an easy bot to manipulate.

Flamewar circled her opponent carefully, guardedly, glaring out through flaming optics hidden behind her battle mask. Her weapons in this battle were her claws, and whatever else on her frame she could turn into a weapon. The energon in her lines was alive again in a way that it hadn't been in vorns; it sang with the craze instigated by the death ring. It had been long since the gladiatorial circuit of Kaon had disbanded, most coming into Megatron's service, and Flamewar had been left without the screaming crowds and the thrill of the fight that she had known ever since she'd been brought online. But this… this was home, in the ring, circling an enemy, an opponent, looking for the weakest point to attack. She was going to win, like all her matches. She was going to win. And the loser was going to die.

Siphon was the first to break the circling pattern, which was fine by Flamewar. As the other femme gave a war cry and leapt forward, Flamewar tensed, readying her stance, and then lashed out as her opponent came too close. The move was lightning quick, one that she's been famous for as a gladiator. Her claws were diamond-sharp, her movements lightening fast, and it gave her the distinct ability to shear off her opponent's armor without any effort.

"That's just a warning," Flamewar said, readying for the next attack.

Siphon backed off to the other side of the ring, one hand holding the oozing bit of her exposed arm while her optics measured up the black-and-red femme. The attack wasn't enough to scare her off, but it was indeed enough to make her rethink her strategy. Weighing her options against the more seasoned fighter, she regrouped herself and launched at Flamewar once more.

Laughing at the repeat attack, Flamewar prepared to take another swipe at the femme. To her surprise, Siphon transformed midflight, and the sudden shift in her form enabled her to slip passed Flamewar's claw with minimal damage. She ran the other femme over, and then, because the crowd screamed for it, she ran her over again. Transforming, Siphon extended her arm-sheathed blade, moving to slice away at Flamewar's neck column.

Having experienced beatings far worse than a little running over, Flamewar shook herself quick and twisted away, kicking out to knock Siphon from her feet. The poison-green femme snarled as she hit the floor. The blade missed Flamewar's faceplate by a breath. The close call made her laugh.

They backed off again, circled, measuring the other. Who was going to be the winner and who was going to be the loser? One would be the dominant femme, the other broken into the submissive.

Flamewar was the first to attack this time, urged by the crowd of roaring Decepticons. Siphon grinned, lashing forward. They collided in a shower of sparks, grappling as they had been for the last joor. They clawed, ripped, punched and writhed. Flamewar was quick and vicious; she didn't think when she fought, she felt. She hungered. She, like many of the Kaon gladiators, had been trained to become a berserker in battle. Sunstreaker, whom she'd fought with and against many times in the gladiatorial circuit, had taken to the berserker side of him more fiercely than she'd seen any of mech do, but she was a close match to his fire. She out-blazed any inferno in the Decepticon ranks now. Siphon was cooler, calculated. She attacked with purpose, meaning to inflict damage in the most vital areas instead of inflicting widespread wasteful damage everywhere. She was not of gladiatorial stock, but she was strong nonetheless.

As close as an intimate pair of lovers could be, they tangled, brawled, roared and ripped. The unsheathed spikes of Flamewar's arsenal drove into her opponent's frame, unleashing spews of energon that slicked the floor and splashed the bars of the cage they fought in. Siphon howled, arching. She fought back, writhing, tearing, her arm wriggling free to transform into a long, pointed device. She wasn't called Siphon for nothing. Before Flamewar could react, the energy siphon drove into her shoulder, passed the armor that protected her interfacial port. The invasion was sickening, but the instant drain of her energy left her nauseated to the point that she couldn't defend herself against the attack.

The crowd hit a crescendo as blue sparks of energy cascaded throught the rancid darkness. Megatron rose from his seat to watch the finale of the match while his followers crushed closer, clamouring to watch the defeat of the vicious Flamewar.

"Submit now and perhaps I'll spare you," Siphon murmured, ready to turn up her siphoning power to drain the very life from her opponent.

Flamewar's answer was a snarl. A gladiator of the death rings never gave up, they fought to the death! And with Megatron watching, the once-proprietor of her circuit, and now her Lord of the Decepticons, Flamewar was going to make sure this was a fight to the death.

"You're going to have to tear my spark out and eat it first," Flamewar growled. She forced herself to move, despite the lead-weight of her limbs. It was only willpower that allowed her to move. Pure willpower and the desire to win. It surprised Siphon enough to allow an opening for Flamewar to drive her claws into the femme's open optics. She tore out the left one and scratched the right before the other was able to kick away. Driven on by mad power, Flamewar leapt, tackling the other femme to the ground. She grasped the siphoning arm tight, and then ripped upwards, tearing the limb from the frame.

The sound of the femme's impassioned screams was invigorating. It gave Flamewar the energy to do what needed to come next.

Kicking Siphon to her knees, Flamewar took her position over her, wrapping an arm around her neck column and placing her claws to the slates in the other femme's armor.

"Submit!" she ordered.

Siphon bucked, trying to dislodge Flamewar. It was no use; the femme was determined to win. She was not going to leave the ring without her prize.

"Submit!" Flamewar ordered again, this time making her point clearer by pressing her claws inwards, into a sensitive neural relay. Siphon cried out, collapsing. Decepticons everywhere went wild, expecting energon to flow.

"I submit," Siphon spat, her frame adopting a self-loathing stance of neutrality.

Flamewar sneered, rising to her feet. She wavered from the lack of energy and energon, but her spark pulsed strong and her will to win kept her standing. She dragged Siphon to her feet, presenting her to the Decepticon ranks. "Say it!" Flamewar ordered.

"I submit," Siphon repeated, louder this time. The thick repulsion in her voice nearly overpowered her words. The crush of bots around their cage evolved into a wild frenzy.

Flamewar beamed, proud and undefeated, before her brethren. She was the best of the best.

The roaring cries ceased as Megatron took his first steps from the dais. Mechs parted quickly from his path, scrambling to get away. He walked with purpose and regal danger, entering the ring as the cage was lifted away, graceful and yet a predator to the hilt. Flamewar and Siphon stood before their lord as proudly as they could, heaving and filthy, as he stared down at them with an indecipherable gaze.

"I won," Flamewar stated.

"Yes, you have." Megatron's deep voice rippled to all corners the silent room. He raised a hand and laid it to Flamewar's shoulder, watching her with optics that held a frightening depth to them, a darkness that invited and repelled. "Congratulations."

He turned to his ranks and spreading his arms wide. "Behold your new Commander of the Femme Division; Flamewar," he announced, and the noise that followed was audio-shattering.

The wash racks that night were taken over by the Femme Division. Anyone who said other wise was shot, beaten, and thrown out into the hall on their afts. And, in some cases, shot again if necessary.

They were a vicious bunch, Decepticon femmes. Femmes in general usually had a certain spitfire temperament, one that drove them to choose the femme model instead a mech's or microbot's. It was something about the need for the specialization that femme frames offered; a lot of bots couldn't handle the immediate and acute specialization a femme was designed for. You had to have the right spark for it. They were quick, agile, and, in battle, more than a little deadly. While Autobot femmes tended to have kinder sides to them, which obviously prompted them to join the weaker side, there was no softness to a 'Con femme. They were all venom, all poison, all dangerous.

Flamewar, their newly inducted Femme Commander, was rightfully the worst of them all.

"Congratulations," was the echoed epithet amongst most of her division. They had been there to watch the fight and knew very well that Flamewar was the most deserving of them all to have won the position. Anyone who thought otherwise didn't bother to object because they knew it would be a fight they'd lose.

Their takeover of the wash racks lasted long into the night. It was their chosen place of celebration because it was several things that the rest of the base wasn't- one, easily defensible if a bot from another division tried to get in, and two, understandably cleaner than the rest of the base, which made partying more enjoyable. Several femmes had raided a storeroom and procured some good-quality cubes of high-grade, while several others hacked into the base's wash rack pressure distribution matrix and shut down all the other facilities in order to get the best of everything, and make everyone else miserable in the process, which was a bonus. Hygiene was not so much an essential part of the Cybertronian culture as it was for many organic planets; cleaning was something done in order to keep up with maintenance and wash racks were more of place for social gatherings where one could chat for a time with comrades while pick slag out of your plating. There was no better place to get to know the femme commander, aside from sparring ring.

There was a long cheque as each femme presented themselves to their new commander, interfacing briefly in order to transfer their credentials. Some, like Moonfly and Nightshade, did it quickly and efficiently without lingering too long. Others, like Harlotease, chose to have a little more fun with her new commander, which was no bother to Flamewar, even if it annoyed the rest of the femmes because it meant they had to wait longer for their turn.

By the end of the night, when Soundwave finally was forced to come and order them out, Flamewar was exhausted and still as grimy as she had been walking out of the ring. She'd scarcely touched any of the cleaning implements of the facility, more inclined as she was to scrapping it out with her new subordinates on the floor so they could get to know her, and interfacing with those who wanted to get to know her better. Really, she and her femmes may have left the wash racks in a worse mess than the Seekers did after they came back from an airstrike.

While the others left, Soundwave refrained from requesting Flamewar to leave as well, seeing as they were of equally high rank now. He offered his congratulations and left.

"Slag, I'm tried," Flamewar growled as she dragged herself to one of the rack stations in the room. She seated herself on the sitting block and let the automated dispenser adjust to her frame's height, and then set in the right pH to get the energon and grime off her- acetic acid sounded like the right acidity for tonight.

A new presence on resonance scanners had her unshuttering her optics, watching as a minibot approximately her height came in. He was scout class, and if her memory files were right his designation was Barricade.

The mech glanced to her once, and then made his way to the rack next to her. "Congratulations on your new appointment," he said as he set in the appropriate ideals for his wash. The tangy smell from the citric acid he'd programmed in filled the immediate area with a heady, sharp sense.

Flamewar snorted, not bothering to acknowledge him. Unperturbed, Barricade simply went about the motions of working out the grime from the slates in his armor. Flamewar did the same, finding her optics wandering from her own task to the mech beside her a few times too many for her own liking.

"You're the scout who came from the Centaurie Tetrax Youth Sector, aren't you?" she ventured.

"Yes, I am," Barricade replied.

"You functioned there as a Guardian?"


Flamewar nodded, watching Barricade with a closer curiosity. Something feral lurked about him, in the sharpness of his faceplate and the blaze of his optics. He was refined in a way that looked forced, like he'd been confined by his function as a Guardian and only now was breaking out. He had a wild spark, she could see it. Fierce, like a fighter. She liked it.

"They say you're one of the best hunters we have," she commented.

The mech shrugged. "If that's what they say." And then added, "I've had plenty experience tracking down wayward younglings; adults are no different."

"I'll take your word for it. I never was a youngling myself."

Barricade, likewise intrigued by Flamewar's seeming interest in him, slanted his head in her direction. "Pre-program?"

"Yes. I've been in Kaon all my life."

Barricade smirked. "It shows. You wouldn't be as good a fighter if you weren't."

"No, I wouldn't." She was growing bored with the superficial conversation, diverting her attentions instead to scouring the slates of her armor, trying to clean out the grime that had accumulated in her back. It surprised her to find another pair of claws there helping to dig out a stubborn clump of slag. Her instant tension forced Barricade to jerk away.

"My apologies," he said formally, keeping his optics averted. He had obviously just been doing what was expected of a lower ranked grunt. The attention had simply been surprising to Flamewar.

It dawned on her that she had power over this mech that she previously didn't have. The knowledge curled a smile across her faceplate. She turned her back to him once more.

"It's fine. Clean me," she ordered, gratified to find that Barricade obeyed without question. As feral as the beast was that lurked beneath his surface, he knew enough to follow orders or risk being sent to the med bay. For such a strong mech, he was remarkably gentle, a testament to his past function in the Youth Sector. Flamewar unintentionally allowed herself to relax as the mech's claws scoured and cleaned with surprising grace.

A few drones wandered in to complete their designated tasks of assisting bots with the cleaning process, but Flamewar waved them off quickly. She was more in favour of exercising her newfound control over this new mech. Barricade, for reasons beyond him, felt no particular desire to resist the Femme Commander's orders. Had it been any other Commander, he would have served the order and been done with it, perhaps with a few curse words and maybe a little sabotage inflicted on the mech. But he felt no such urge to do so for Flamewar. If he dared to think on it too long, he was haunted by the thought that she was an attractive femme. Proud. Powerful. Out of his league, of course, but that didn't stop a mech from admiring. In a hidden recess of his processor, he was bothered by the thought that he didn't mind assisting her.

As if to see how far she could press her luck, Flamewar turned and presented her front to him. Obviously she could clean herself with ease, no assistance required, and it would be an absolute abuse of her rank to try and order the scout to clean her further, but something sneaky told her to try. A resonance with her spark that made her feel heady and wanton. There was no harm in a little abuse of rank and power, right?

Barricade regarded Flamewar carefully, guarded against what she could be thinking. It wouldn't be above any Commander to set a trap for the sole purpose of beating down a bot from another division. She sat expectantly, watching him, and he measured her offer carefully before acquiescing. Putting as little mind into his work as he could, he shifted forward and began his task of working out the dirt ground into the femme's frame. As he was quick to find out, she wasn't as dirty as one would expect from a bot that just spent the orn fighting. The damages inflicted on her made it look worse, even if she gave no sign of being in pain.

Her optics danced challengingly as she watched him. "You're rather good at this," she said. The insinuation that he had had a lot of practise with other bots was not lost on him.

"I keep up my own maintenance fairly regularly," he replied, which was an honest enough admission. From habits developed in Centaurie Tetrax, he was one of the cleanest mechs in the Decepticon ranks.

"Lucky for me," Flamewar purred absently.

"Perhaps." His gaze darted to hers, and they were both left feeling strangely hot as their optics left each other.

Unnerved, Barricade continued with his task until his claws came across the batted interface panel in Flamewar's shoulder. Still damaged from Siphon's treatment, it was made worse by all the interface connections she'd forged with her division. He felt a little pity for the femme, as he would have felt pity for any youngling who'd damaged themselves in play, but he shook the feeling off with a growl. Flamewar was no youngling. A Decepticon Commander was not a creature to be pitied, nor someone to let your guard down around.

Flamewar sensed his pause and glanced to the side to see it. Yes, her interface panel was a little tender, as a lot of her tended to be after such a brutal match, and then repeated interfacing with each of her femmes. She wasn't too concerned with it. The fact that she'd faced much worse had her brushing off most of her injuries. But Barricade's veiled interest did draw her. She took his clawed hand into hers and placed it over the exposed port, letting the appenage rest there, protecting her port from the acid shower.

"You're interested in this?" she asked.

It was obvious the question caused Barricade to pause, forced to think of an appropriate answer. She watched with great amusement as he took hold of his own lurking beast and reined it tight behind a wall of dark civility. He was interested, and loathed himself for it. It took some effort, but he shook his head to indicate that he was not interested.

"Too bad," Flamewar sighed, not believing for a second that Barricade was uninterested in her. A mech like him would always be drawn to a femme like her; they were both forged from the same wild energy that pulsed in their sparks. She curled a hot smile for him. "I'm rather interested in you."

"You are the Femme Commander," Barricade reminded her, as if she could have possibly forgotten.

"Yes, and you are a low class scout. Thank you for that marvellous reminder; I never would have known without it." She flicked open his own interface panel and drew out the cable, watching the mech's faceplate carefully for the smouldering power she was drawn to.

"I wouldn't do that, if I were you," Barricade warned darkly. The audacity he had to warn her made her laugh.

"Good thing you aren't me," she replied airily, inserting the cable into her own port. The immediate surge that took her knocked her from her seat. Shocked and dazed, her gaze shot up to Barricade's optics, who met her with a darkly amused glint.

"I tend to come on strong," he stated without apology.

Flamewar suddenly felt a pit of a lot more invigorated than she had moments before. She captured her own interface cable and inserted into the mech's port, exchanging with him a powerful clash of energy and thought. They discovered quickly that they made a volatile storm when connected like this, like two animals ripping into each other in a battle to the death. Without warning, Flamewar reared, leaping for Barricade in order to force him from his seat. With expert ease, she pinned him to the ground, and then forced herself deep into his processor to assert her dominance over him.

Before Barricade could remember himself, he fought back. The femme's frame, though almost the same height as his, was lighter by design, which made it easy for him to force her to the side. He rolled, taking up position above her. He mercilessly drove into her processor with the intent to fight back with all he had.

Flamewar laughed, glad to have done away with the ridiculous veil that Barricade hid behind. She liked the feral beast more. She reached up and slipped her fingers beneath his armor, running her claws along the neural relays. He arched, and then bowed when her claws curled into them. He roared when she caressed her astral being against his thoughts, rough and grating. It hurt to have his thoughts strained in such a way, as if she were physically touching and scraping against his processor, though the sparks that erupted before his optics were not of pain, but of pleasure. On their own accord, his claws curled into her frame and bent her armor, causing her to snarl, buck, and he barrelled down on her to keep her pinned. It was hard to say whether they were fighting or not. It was so engrained in Flamewar's processor to fight that she made pleasure a battle, and Barricade attacked because his spark hungered for the challenge.

Not caring what would become of him when this was over, Barricade poured as much as he could into Flamewar. With the beast unleashed in him, there was no reining in of himself, only a raw essence that had been cooped up for too long. Even in his other pleasurable interfacing trysts, he overwhelmed his partners. He had to learn to stop short, keep a part of him back, because not every bot was strong enough to handle him. Something told him Flamewar was enough to take him. She was more than willing to take what he was giving, and then return it with just as much fire.

Tired of being on the floor, Flamewar kicked the mech to the side. Quick as lightning, she had him to the wall, dented into the metal. Barricade grinned, meeting her burning optics.

"You're not like many bots," he commented.

"What makes you say that?" Flamewar enquired as she scored her claws down Barricade's front, delving into the slates on his sides to play with the wires beneath.

He shifted, groaned, and felt the temperature of his frame rise several degrees. "Most bots can't take me like this."

She laughed. "Most bots aren't me."

Their fans whined, coolant boiled, their frames writhing against each other in a way that perceived pain and pleasure. Neither found anything wrong with interfacing with a virtual stranger. There were worse things a Decepticon could do. While there was an insistent prickling at the back of their processors that Flamewar outranked Barricade, they ignored the absent thought for now in favour of enjoying their newfound company. Were it possible to find another spark that simply clicked with their own, they would have admitted they found that spark. Decepticons, of course, were the far more practical faction of the war and were the least likely to admit they'd just found the other half to their spark. As it stood, the pair of 'Cons growled and writhed, but did their best to kee their thoughts from straying to how eeriely suited they seemed for each other.

They buried themselves in a world that existed along the fine line of agony and ecstasy. Flamewar fed off the roar she ripped from Barricade's mouthplates, and Barricade revelled in how he made Flamewar twist upon herself. The acid spewing from the showerheads above them heated as it skidded across their metal hides. As they fought along the hard floor, the vapour and the air between them sizzled. Electric ribbons of light danced between them, bursting the steamy haze around them into Technicolor light.

Flamewar, the more tired of the two, ended up with her back forced to the sitting block. Barricade growled deeply, vibrating the air and shaking the femme from the inside out. He was a dark and powerful presence that was consuming her to the point of madness. She briefly considered regretting forging this random interface connection, but Barricade captured the thought and grasped it tight and turned it on its side until the femme was aching and crying out from the intense sense to pure agonized, fiery pleasure that cascaded through her. The loop that their connection created had Barricade curling around her, groaning and growling.

What coiled between them was alive and liquid, bubbling sensually between their hard and throbbing frames. It was an ethereal pressure in their sparks. A pounding rhythm pulsing in time with their energon. They were coming undone from their own frames.

They both sense it at the same time; their sparks suddenly synched in a way that made time stop, their optics wide as they met each other's gazes. In a split astrosecond, they threw themselves at each other in a clash of metal, the screech of grating frames ripping at each other ripping loudly in the confines of the limited room. Barricade mentally threw himself forward, intent on finishing the match, only to find that Flamewar had been intending the same them. They hit like a storm, their thoughts becoming a colourful, deadly maelstrom swirling amongst each other.

As heat and sensation and pressure and presence overwhelmed urged them to the precipice, they threw themselves off into the oblivion of rage and lust and power. Space and matter itself seemed to shake and tremble under the fearsome twin roars released by the bots as their overload hit. The climax was like the center of a star expanding outward into the universe, burning and unstoppable. They found their frames wrapped around the other in inexplicable ways as they rode the surge of radiance that danced and clawed within them.

It took forever, or perhaps it was only an astrosecond, to come back to their frames.

They found their interface cables already disconnected from the force of their overload. Neither felt any inclination to wind the dangling cords back into place. The only thing they felt the urge for was to pant, curled onto their hands and knees, shaking slightly, their worlds tipped onto their sides.

Barricade was the first to rise, silent and dark. He shuttered his optics once, and then offered his hand to Flamewar to help her to her feet. A moment passed where it looked like Flamewar would take up his offer, but then she remembered herself and smacked the claws away. She rose on her own, doing her best to still her quivering frame.

"That… was interesting," Flamewar breathed.

"It was," the mech agreed. In silence, they surveyed the damage they incurred upon the unsuspecting wash racks, finding it no more or less ravaged than what damages usually followed a Seeker invasion.

"Thanks for the wash," Flamewar said, finding no other words coming to mind at the moment. She turned away, making her way towards the exit.

"Any time," Barricade replied just before she was out of audio range. They both knew he was good for the offer.