Thundercracker clicked as he was depositioned in a metal playpen. He looked around, but didn't notice any toys or blocks laying around. He glanced up at his Creator, and the tall mech smiled at him, petting his little helm.
He didn't get it. Was he supposed to recharge now? But he wasn't tired!
He once again looked around himself, then cooed, standing up onto his peds and reaching up at the mech. He grasped at the large fingers, tugging at them.
He wanted out, it was boring here.
A questioning chirp behind him caught his attention, and he turned around, cocking his head to the side in confusion. There was another seekerlet there now!
He sat back down, watching curiously as the blue and purple mechling chirped again, throwing his arms into the air as he practically bounced in his seat.
He frowned, leaning back slightly. Weird sparkling.
The other one chirped again, clicking rapidly, then got onto all fours, making its way towards him. Thundercracker clicked angrily, batting the other's hands away from him. The black and purple mechling cocked his head to the side, then grinned wildly, throwing himself at him and hugging him.
Thundercracker grumbled sulkily, looking up at his Creator and pleading at him to make the weird thing go away.
But the tall mech had the nerve to actually chuckle. He leaned forward, disentangling the two before pressing a gentle finger to his creation's forehead.
"TC." he said, then pressed a finger to the obnoxious sparkling's helm. "Warp."
"Trinemates." the other's Creator said, then both mechs stood up and moved away.
Thundercracker blinked. Trinemates – he knew that word. The closest, most precious bond to form with another Seeker.
He glanced at 'Warp', who was grinning loudly at him, holding his peds as he rocked back and forth on his bottom.
But was that really supposed to be his trinemate? He whined, standing up again and calling for his Creator.
He didn't want to. Not with him.
Warp wasn't so bad, TC decided several orns later. Then again, with all the time they spent together it was probably obvious the blue seekerlet got used to the other.
The black and purple sparkling still sometimes just grinned at him before hugging him suddenly, but he also always had many ideas for games and such to entertain them when they were stuck in the playpen together, so it was never boring.
And sometimes, TC found himself amused even by simply watching as the other jumped from side to side as fast as he could, trying to be two places at the same time it seemed.
Warp was still a weirdo, no doubt about it. But a fun weirdo.
Then one day, their time together had been interrupted by an arrival.
A new seekerlet, coloured with red, blue and white, was put into the playpen beside them by a mean looking mech. TC's Creator once again made the introductions, naming him and Warp before touching the new one's helm. "Starscream."
Then Warp's creator said that important word again. "Trinemates." And all three moved away.
TC watched as the mean-looking one walked away and away, before turning to the new one.
Scarlet optics were fixed on them, but practically nothing else. This Starscream didn't smile, didn't chirp, didn't twitch his wings – just stared at them.
The oldest sparkling made a face – he was even weirder than Warp.
Speaking of the weirdo, Warp was currently crawling towards the new arrival, cooing invitingly and grinning from audial to audial. TC mentally counted to two, then watched unsurprised as the mostly-white seekerlet was tackled to the floor. The blue mechling smirked in amusement, then chirped in surprise when he noticed how small Starscream was compared to Warp. And TC was bigger than Warp, so that meant...
He crawled closer himself, tugging at the black wings till the other got off, then pulled Starscream back into a sitting position.
Waaa~h! He was tiny! The blue seekerlet touched their hands together, noticing with glee how big his fingers seemed next to the blue ones. He looked almost as big as a mech!
He chirped to Warp, and the black and purple one clapped his hands, chirping happily as he also noticed the difference. But Starscream wasn't smiling or anything, he just sat there, allowing himself to be mechhandled so the other two could compare.
It got a little creepy after a while.
TC frowned, clicking at the smallest sparkling, and poked his shoulder vent, hoping to get some kind of reaction. Nothing.
He huffed in annoyance, then turned around, Warp following after him as he made his way to the other side of the playpen. Warp kept glancing at the mostly-white seekerlet, then grinned at him, initiating a game of 'I'ma touch yer wing!'.
They played together for a while, then stopped when they heard heavy footsteps coming closer. Was it time to go already? They glanced up and Warp hid behind TC with a frightened chirp.
The mean mech was back, leaning over the wall, and reaching towards Starscream. TC watched, little black hands tensing as he waited for the other to hurt the littlest one – he had that look his Creator got when TC didn't want a bath and made it loudly known. A look that promised a spank.
But the mech simply pressed his palm against the other's back and pushed him forward till he was sitting just before the two, then scratched gently at his wing with a "Starscream, at least try." and went away again.
Both TC and Warp watched him go, then glanced at each other in confusion. Weird.
They looked at the smallest seekerlet, who was now not looking at them, just staring at his hands. After a few moments, he lifted his helm and chirped quietly at them.
TC snorted, leaning back against a wall – well, at least it was a start.
A little while later, Warp started playing 'Jump here and there, then here again' by himself again, and TC watched him from his seat next to Starscream.
They were both weird.
Starscream came to play with them a few more times. And by play, he meant sitting still, occasionally chirping, and sometimes crawling after them if they moved away. Nothing more though. But it kinda grew on him, pretty much like Warp's sudden bouts of jumping from place to place had.
One day, when it was time to go home, something kinda unusual happened.
TC yawned, cooing softly as his Creator picked him up and craddled him against a warm chassis. He glanced at Warp, wanting to wave bye-bye, but the black and purple seekerlet was already in recharge, nestled comfortably in his own Creator's arms. He then glanced at the other sparkling, optics opening wide as he watched Starscream being picked up by the last adult. The mean-looking mech wasn't really mean, but one never could be too careful.
And then, instead of saying bye as usual, the three mechs started talking about something.
"I don't believe this is a good match." The Mean Mech said softly, big hands nearly hidding the littlest completely.
"Maybe he just needs more time." TC's Creator said. "It's been only one orn."
"No, Starscream had pretty much the same reaction with the other incomplete trines he was paired with." A heavy sigh. "I'm beginning to fear he'll end up trineless at this point."
"Primus forbid." Warp's Creator piped in. "Maybe the pairing system is faulty when it comes to Starscream. I think you should bring him for the PlayCycle tomorrow."
PlayCycle? TC glanced at the mech holding him, chirping quietly. What was that? Starscream's Creator asked the same question.
"It's when we put all the little trines into one room, to see how they'll interact in a bigger group. And all the unpaired ones will be there also, so maybe your little one will find a trine amongst the ones deemed 'incompatible' before."
"Worth a try." The Mean Mech murmured, then lifted Starscream slightly so their facial plates were on the same level. "What do you say, Star? Last chance?"
A tiny blue hand tapped him on the nose, and he chuckled.
"We'll be there."
TC offlined his optics, snuggling closer to the warmth. Good, they'll all be there then.
Thundercracker loved this!! There were many seekerlets around, and all of them were playing together, they had toys at their disposal, the mechs were away, and this was fun!
He learned at least five new games already, and when Warp was doing his weird 'jumping by myself' thing (now made more interesting by having more room to jump around), TC just needed to decide which game to play while he waited for Warp to finish.
He glanced at the spot Starscream was sitting in, and was satisfied when he met the scarlet gaze staring at him. He waved, waiting for the littlest to wave back before going back to playing.
All three of them were having fun, that was good.
About four games later, Warp had found a box of blocks and the two of them were trying to build the highest tower ever. When it fell down the black and blue seekerlet would clap his servos happily, and they would start again.
Then TC got the feeling something was not right. He looked at Warp, but he was still trying to keep the tower from falling, then turned around to check on Starscream.
He frowned – there was a big green mechling standing in front of the mostly-white sparkling.
As he watched, the big one yanked a little arm up, touching their servos together. TC waited, cause maybe this one wanted to compare, like they had. He still could be nicer about it though, didn't he see how small the other was?
But then the green seekerlet laughed loudly, and pushed Starscream to the floor. TC's optics widened at that. He watched as Starscream got back up, even standing onto his peds as he clicked angrily at the other, but the big bully just pushed him back down again, laughing and chirping tauntingly.
Thundercracker stood up, watching as their Littlest got pushed down two more times, taking in the upset black facial plates and clicking in anger. Warp had noticed what was happening too, and answered with a similar click, also getting up.
He was bullying their trinemate!!
The blue seekerlet grabbed the nearest block, and chucked it at the green bully, catching him in the helm, hard. He grabbed another one and threw it too, then ran up to the pair, and pushed the mechling away.
Then Warp jumped onto the green meany, biting him on the wing, and gnawing at the spot, efficiently keeping him pinned down.
TC walked up to Starscream, grabbing him by the middle and hefting him up, pressing him close. He grabbed the block laying nearby, lifting it in preparation as he clicked and chirped out "Our trinemate, leave him alone!" in seekerlet speech.
Nobody bullied their Starscream and got away with it.
A caretaker appeared a moment later, lifting Warp off the now crying bully, and setting him aside. The mech looked both the meany and Starscream over carefully, then, satisfied that no one was damaged, took the green one away, speaking to him in an effort to calm him down.
TC nodded to himself, then gently helped their Littlest to sit back down, letting him go only to have Warp glomp the white frame, chirping worriedly at him.
The blue seekerlet glanced at the other occupants of the room, noticing they were all staring at them, the room quiet despite the many sparklings in it.
He glared, clicking in warning in case they tried to bully Warp or Starscream, then went for the blocks, putting them back into their box before pushing it to his trinemates, sitting down after he got them back out.
They would play now, all three of them.
Starscream took one block, staring at it for a long time before he added it to their newest tower, cooing with a small smile when it didn't fall.
They spent the rest of the cycle playing with the blocks, making a mini-city when they got bored with towers. Each time a sparkling came too close to Starscream, TC and Warp would click angrily at him, chasing him away. Like they were gonna take any chances now.
And later, when it was time to go, TC watched in confusion as an unusually happy Mean Mech hugged Starscream tightly (he watched to make sure it wasn't too tightly, or he'd bite him), grinning about something called 'A match, thank Primus!', his and Warp Creators congratulating him and smiling widely too.
Ah well. Both his trinemates were weird, it only made sense their Creators were as well.
Okay, here's the scoop. Katsuko has created an AU in which TC is the trine leader, Air Commander and SIC. She gave me permission to use it, and here it is. ^__^