Fear and Loathing (in New Kaon)

Pairing: Thundercracker/Skywarp
Universe: TFA
Setting: During and after "Transwarped", no spoilers, really.

This pairing is just so cute, I had to write something for it. I may or may not continue this, depending on if I have an idea for it. I wrote it in a kind of snapshot-style thing.

Skywarp is quiet and unhappy while his older, blue clone bickers with the Autobot. The cement - if it even is cement - is slowly creeping into all of their joints and circuits, and not for the first time Skywarp begins to believe he is going to die a slow, painful, and terrifying death as the cement destroys his innards.

He wants to cry out, instinctively, to Thundercracker. He wants his older 'brother' to comfort him, to talk to him, even if only to tell him he's a pathetic glitch that needs to grow a hard drive. But the blue Autobot is arguing with Thundercracker at a thousand miles an hour, and Thundercracker is screeching back in a pitch that would make Starscream proud of him, and Skywarp is too scared to interrupt them.

Then out of nowhere (Skywarp had stopped listening hours ago, lost in his own world of worries), the Autobot has some sort of plan, and Thundercracker acts without thinking. The cement bubbles and bursts, sending Skywarp and the older clone hurtling into a crater.

The purple seeker shivers miserably.

Inside the crater, still trapped in stasis-cuffs, Thundercracker has abandoned him in favour of chasing the Autobot. The asteroid they transwarped onto is quiet as death - no sound of jet turbines, no sound of Autobots running or racing along the dust. For all Skywarp knows, Thundercracker and the blue Autobot are on a distant planet by now.

He sniffs, pathetically, rubbing the cleansing-fluid dripping from his face as best he can with his bound hands.

Alone and frightened, he curls up in the crater and pretends he isn't there.

He wakes up to the muffled clicking of turbine heels. Skywarp thrashes randomly for a moment, trying to sit up in the crater, afraid an Autobot has found him - but then the sleep clears from his optics and he sees Thundercracker shuffling towards him, defeated.

The blue clone is scowling, proud face desecrated with tyre marks, every sulky movement betraying his bruised ego.

Skywarp stares at his sort-of-sibling for a moment. The frown on Thundercracker's face frightens him, promising to take out his ire with verbal and physical abuse, and in his panic Skywarp struggles to think of something to avert the impending beating.

Subconsciously, Thundercracker wanders back towards his fellow clone, letting the pull of the all-spark fragment in his spark chamber guide him. This is the first time he has been defeated. No, not defeated - he won't allow himself to even think the word. The first time he 'let one get away' - much better.

The indignity of it! An Autobot, outrunning him, daring to use his handsome face as a launching platform! Outrunning a jet, a seeker, the fastest flier in all of Cybertron - the new, foreign feeling of shame, of disappointment, of failure, is crushing.

Then suddenly something - someone, rather - crashes into him, rubbing at his face with trembling and awkwardly placed fingers.

"Wh-what!?" Thundercracker sputters in shock and surprise, breaking out of his self-pitying reverie to try and bat Skywarp away from him.

"Y-your face!" Skywarp mumbles in a half-whisper, wincing with every swat of the blue hands landing on his arms. "He…he messed up your face. I have to clean your f-face so you won't be…be mad..."

Thundercracker stares at the younger clone blankly. He sighs irritably.

"Stupid…" he growls, a crooked smile ghosting his lips before shoving Skywarp backwards into the crater, almost playfully. "You can't clean my face with your hands in stasis cuffs."

At last, the stasis-cuffs are off, and Skywarp gratefully shakes his wrists out, inspecting them for any life-threatening scratches or dents. Problem solved, Thundercracker sits back grouchily against the crater-wall, processor wandering back towards his bruised-ego.

The purple clone looks up at the deepening frown on the blue face-plates - directed not at him, for once, but at the dusty ground. As delicately as he can - clumsily and sheepishly - he crawls over to Thundercracker. He drags a shaking finger over the dirty cheeks of the other clone, as if asking for permission.

No reaction.

Gulping, Skywarp shuffles closer, rubbing at the tyre-tracks with his hands.

"Aren't you done yet!?" Thundercracker snaps, and Skywarp cowers back, raising his arms to protect himself. The blue seeker rolls his eyes and flops back against the crater wall, sighing. "I'm not going to hit you, alright? Not worth my time…"

"Y…you're not?" Skywarp asks carefully, one optic peering over his arms.

"You're just taking so long! I would do it much faster! Isn't it gone yet?" the blue seeker grumbles, rubbing at his face-plates irritably.

Purple fingers knit themselves together. "It's…some is gone, just…some tricky bits, won't come off…b-but I have an idea! So…so I'll get it off, don't worry…"

"Fine, just do it," mutters Thundercracker, staring at the younger clone expectantly. Skywarp nods, then leans forwards, pushing his face against the dirty one. The blue seeker flinches in surprise - cheek to cheek, he can feel the purple flier shuddering against him with fear.

"What…exactly, are you doing!?" he chokes out eventually. Skywarp draws back with a small grin - his face is now covered with grime. Thundercracker slaps his forehead in frustration. "Oh you fool! You've just gotten it all over your own face now!"

"B-but it's gone from y…yours now," Skywarp protests with misplaced pride, smile widening ever so slightly. "Th-that's the important thing, right?"

Thundercracker raises a hand to his face with surprise, feeling the now smooth, clean surface.

He can't help it - he does it before he even realizes the code has been executed in his CPU.

He grabs Skywarp and crushes him in his embrace, somehow ignoring every circuit telling him poor, frightened Skywarp isn't worthy to be within a galaxy of him.