Note - :talking: is over the twins' bond, not aloud

Also, this is my own little 'Twins hook up with Ratchet' version. Not as nice or as thought out as most, but, meh. Take it or leave it.

Title: The Art of Subtlety


Sideswipe peeked over his energon cube at his target, muttering to himself.

"What is it this time?" Sunstreaker snapped at him, more then a little peeved at his brother. Whatever was bugging Sideswipe had been doing so for over a week now, and it was starting to get on Sunny's nerves.

"Hmm?" Sideswipe looked up, looking totally lost for a minute. "Oh. It's Ratchet."

"What about him?"

"Oh, I'm just..." Mutter mutter, grumble mutter.

Sunstreaker frowned as he sipped from his own cube, and shot a quick glance over at the red and white medic on the other side of the rec room. Ratchet was looking quite sleek today, thanks to the complete repaint he'd had to have after the last battle that had left him missing half his paint job.

:Sides, are you telling me that you've... got the hots for Ratchet? Ratchet, of all mechs?: Sunstreaker chose to ask him over their bond; no way in the Pit was he going to say this stuff out loud.

Sideswipe stared into his energon and gave a lazy one-shouldered shrug.

:And what if I do? You gonna laugh at me?:

:Pit no, just wondering what the frag took you so long to pick up on my feelings this time.:

Sideswipe choked on his energon as he stared at his brother's smirking face plates.

:So Sides, now that we're finally both on the same page here, you got any ideas on getting him into our berth? I have one, of course, but it's rather... direct, and I don't think it has much chance of actually working.:

Sideswipe downed the rest of his cube in one gulp, his CPU working overtime as ideas bombarded his processor.

"Oh yeah, I've got a few."

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Ratchet stomped into his office after a rough morning involving the Aerialbots (yes, all of them) and stopped short at the sight on his desk. Six cubes of high-grade, and from the smell, it was probably the twins' best stock. Hah! Looked like Ironhide had finally decided to pay up on his debts.

The medic opened a hidden compartment under his desk and added the cubes to his personal stash. As he was locking the panel again, he heard raised voices from the medbay and scowled. Those damn twins again!

Ratchet moved towards the door, wrench already in hand.

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

The next day, there was a box of energon goodies on his desk. Heh, that was probably Bumblebee again, he always did little things like that after Ratchet had to deal with one of the crankier minibots, and both Huffer and Gears had been in yesterday.

Ratchet sneaked a few goodies before starting his reports, reminding himself to thank the yellow bot later. He stuffed a few more in his subspace for later, remembering that the twins were due in for a checkup that afternoon.

He sighed and ate another one.

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Two days later, there was a new box of tools on his desk. Wait.. new? Ah, they were probably the ones he'd given to Wheeljack a month ago to fix - well, it was about time the slagger got around to fixing them for him. It wasn't as if his own repairs didn't hinge on Ratchet having all the proper tools, after all.

Ratchet took them out to the medbay and gave them to First Aid to put away, noting that Sideswipe was just leaving.

"What did that red demon want this time, 'Aid?"

"I.. don't really know. He was asking about the weather or something."

"Hmf. Well, unless he comes back missing a body part, kick his little black aft out. We have enough work to do without him hanging around taking up space."

"Yes, sir."

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Another two days, and there was a sculpture on his desk.

It was of Cybertronian make, no doubt about that, and Ratchet nodded in appreciation as he recognized the image of the first Cybertronian medic, Fixit. Huh, must be from Mirage - he'd just returned from a stint on Cybertron, plus Ratchet had fixed up his electro-disrupter for him before he'd left. He'd have to remember to thank him.. if he could find him.

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Over the next two weeks, Ratchet had found quite a few items on his desk. More high-grade, more goodies, a new brand of specialty wax, a pile of ultra-absorbent cleaning cloths, gift certificates for a place in town that gave very high-quality car washes, a set of crystal energon cubes, a firm yet very snuggly red and white pillow with a medic's crosses on it, and oddly enough, a collection of memory chips with a selection of his favorite music. From before the war.

Ratchet stared at the assortment of gifts that now adorned his office, and frowned. Was he missing something here?

Oh, and his most favorite gift of all - it seemed that the twins had stopped getting into trouble these past few weeks. Sideswipe hadn't been thrown in the brig for pranking anyone, and Sunstreaker hadn't been in his medbay nattering about damage to his paint.

Ratchet sat back in his chair, sipped a bit of high-grade, nibbled on a goodie, and relaxed to the sounds of Cybertron in its Golden Age. It seemed the crew of the Ark had finally started to appreciate their medics.

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

Sideswipe stared at Ratchet over the edge of his energon cube, twitching slightly.

Sunstreaker glared at his brother and hissed, "What is your problem?"

"He is!" Sideswipe nodded towards the clueless medic, who was currently sitting with Ironhide, Wheeljack and Jazz. "He hasn't said a thing about the gifts, and if anything, he's even nastier to us then before! I dont know how much more of this I can take, Sunny!"

"Fine. We've tried it your way, Sides, now it's time to try mine."

Sunstreaker shoved his chair back and stood, nodding to his brother.

"Wish me luck."

"Sunny-!"

Sunstreaker fixed his optics on the chief medic and strode over to his table, his approach gathering the interest of those seated there.

"What's up, 'Streaker?" Jazz tilted his head at the warrior with a smile, but the yellow mech didn't respond to the nickname as he usually did.

Sunstreaker stared down at Ratchet, his eyes glowing a deeper blue as a smirk started across his face.

"I'm going to give you one minute to finish your energon, medic, before I throw you over my shoulder," Ironhide choked and spit out his energon, "drag your little red aft to our quarters," Wheeljack's vocal indicators went bright pink as he coughed and giggled, "and 'face you so hard you won't know which way is up. Got that?" Jazz just snickered as he leaned back to watch the show.

Ratchet stared up at Sunstreaker in shock, along with the rest of the room, none of whom could believe that Sunstreaker, of all mechs, would say something like that to the medic.

"Thirty seconds."

"Hmf. Well then." Ratchet glanced at his energon, then downed it in one shot and stood. "I guess that's it for me tonight, folks. See you in the morning."

The medic raised an optic ridge at the yellow warrior, then grinned slyly at Sideswipe as the red mech gaped at him around his brother's shoulder. Sunstreaker stopped any other conversation by simply picking Ratchet up, swinging him over his shoulder, and walking out.

Sideswipe just stared.

Jazz laughed till his chair fell over.

Ironhide stared, open-mouthed, until a still giggling Wheeljack leaned over and closed his mouth for him.

:You comin', bro?:

Sideswipe ran.