This fic was inspired by kirin_saga's bunny (#27) found at .com/tf_bunny_?view=1678399#t1678399.
I do not own transformers. They belong to Hasbro.
Let Him Live
Hot Rod groaned. He was sure that there had been times in his life when he had felt worse, but he was having a hard time remembering when they could have been. Vortex was ruthless. He had started the process simply by talking to him, telling him everything that had happened since his capture and subsequent stasis lock. The sadist seemed to take great delight in telling him about all the hot spots the Wreckers had been sent to, and the conditions that they, Springer especially, ended up in.
Hot Rod and Springer's bond was common knowledge, due to an unfortunate leak in security that had allowed a spy to obtain that little tidbit of information and carry it back to the Decepticons. As a result, Hot Rod had been placed under base arrest for his protection. Springer was one of the best warriors the Autobots had, and they could not afford to have him taken off duty. Nor could the Wreckers allow any weakness, namely Hot Rod, be used against him. So the young Autobot had been confined. It hadn't taken long before he was bored out of his processor and looking for something to do. When Inferno had forced Red Alert away from his cameras for an energon break, it left Hot Rod with a few moments to sneak out the front entrance to the Ark. No one had noticed he was gone until it was too late.
He hadn't meant to go so far, but speeding through the desert, enjoying the sun on his plating had made him lose all sense of time and direction. He didn't even notice the Seeker trine until it was too late. Which led to his current situation, as an unwilling guest in the Decepticon brig.
It had taken everything he had not to react to Vortex's taunts about his bonded. Springer always muted the bond while on missions so that he wouldn't hurt the younger bot if he was injured. This meant that Hot Rod had no way to know whether or not the jabs were real. For his sanity's sake, he pretended they were not. After a while, Vortex had gotten bored with his lack of response and moved onto other games. He started with gently running his hands up and down the fiery bot's plating, in a mockery of a lover's caress. Though sick with revulsion, Hot Rod did not let his emotions show. It turned out that not only were the gentle touches a psychological ploy, they also served to stimulate Hot Rod's sensory grid, making him extra receptive to touch. Every strike of the whip, every armoured plate that the Decepticon peeled from his body...the pain was felt tenfold. The young mech did his best not to cry out, to not show weakness, but after the fifth strike of the whip he couldn't handle it. He screamed. Not too long after that, he passed out.
They had left him lying on the floor of his cell, in too much agony to move. His chassis felt tight, and he was having trouble circulating air through his intake valve. Rolling onto his side, he tried to fight the pain as coughs racked his body. A half processed lump of energon came up, pushing against his throat. He choked for a moment, before managing to clear his airway. He vaguely realized that energon was not supposed to come back up once consumed, but could hardly bring himself to care. All he wanted to do now was go to sleep, and never wake up again, if possible. His optics grew hazy, and he prepared to settle down into oblivion. He would have to apologize to Springer. The triplechanger never liked it when he went into recharge while he was injured. It was like he was afraid that his young mate would not wake up again. Wait... Springer! The thought of his bondmate had Hot Rod jerking back to consciousness. He couldn't give up and let go, it would hurt his lover too much. Even with the bond muted he would feel Hot Rod die, and if Springer was on the battlefield, that could cost him his life too. And if he knew where Hot Rod was he would no doubt try to rescue him, even if he was injured. The Autobot thought frantically, trying to find a way out of this mess, or at least, a way to end it so that he wouldn't hurt his beloved mate. He was pulled from his thoughts however when the energy bars deactivated, admitting Vortex and Megatron into the cramped cell. A twisted smile adorned the helicopter's faceplates as he examined the beaten Autobot.
"Well, Scraplet, are you ready for round two?" Hot Rod eyed the mechs warily. He was afraid of Vortex of course, but the fact that Megatron had come to see him was beyond terrifying. Megatron noticed the fear in the mech's optics, and chuckled cruelly.
"I suppose you are wondering why I am here to deal with a pathetic brat such as yourself, hm? Well, although you are not much of a challenge, your mate and his little crew have been a thorn in my side for vorns, so I am here to witness his destruction. I know that you have blocked your bond, but there will come a time when you will be unable to keep it shut and when that happens, your little lover will know exactly what is done to you. He will feel as we take you apart, one piece at a time. He will feel your spark pulsing uselessly, trying to keep you alive. And he will feel as you slowly succumb to death, and the agony that accompanies you to the Pit. It will be easy to destroy him after that, if your death doesn't kill him first. And without their glorious leader, the rest of the Wreckers will be easy to pick off."
'No. No. No.' I was like a mantra, echoing through Hot Rod's head. They were going to kill him. That much he had already figured out. But they were going to use his death to kill Springer and the rest of the Wreckers too, and that was unacceptable. There had to be something he could do. Something that would stop them from harming his beloved, and his beloved friends. But what? The orange and red mech knew that he was going to die. Even if the others knew where he was, there was no way they could mount a rescue in time to save him, but what could he do to save the others? Short of breaking the bond there was nothing. Wait... break the bond. It would be painful on both ends, but it would save Springer's life. He remembered Kup saying that the process was extremely painful, which was why most mechs and femmes chose not to go through with it, even if they no longer loved their bonded. The pain would hopefully be fleeting though, and Springer would live. That was all that mattered. Springer had to live. He couldn't die because Hot Rod had been too restless to stay at the base like he was supposed to.
Decision made, the flame speckled mech concentrated on gathering every shred of Springer in his mind and spark into one compressed little ball in the corner of his mind. He forced that ball as far back into the depths of his processor as he could, before erecting a wall to keep it in place. Then he activated a mind purge. Mind purges were used only to get rid of sensitive information before it fell into wrong hands. It was stronger than simply deleting the file, as deleting always left a back up copy. There could be no copies of Springer left, or they might still be able to get him. As the program began to forcefully expel the quarantined section from his mind, Hot Rod felt white hot flames envelope his processor.
Megatron and Vortex watched in confusion as the Autobot began to convulse, weakly grasping at his processor. Megatron caught on first, and seized the young bot by the throat, shaking him hard in attempt to disrupt the sequence. It was too late, however. As the fire abated in Hot Rod's mind, his vision slowly came back into focus. He could see the furious Decepticon lord, and feel him grasping his neck, but it was detached, as though he was dreaming. The emptiness in his spark was overwhelming, but Hot Rod felt strangely content.
"Can't hurt him now." Megatron let out a bellow of rage, and threw Hot Rod across the cell. He hit the wall and slid to the ground. The silver mech stalked over to the dazed mech, growling angrily.
"That was very unwise Autobot. You will come to find that you have made your situation far, far worse that it was going to be. " Turning back to Vortex, he said, "Do what you will with him. He is yours now." Vortex giggled, but Hot Rod didn't hear him. Mercifully, he had passed out.