Notes : --speak-- is comm-line talking, not aloud.
Warning: Nothing graphic, just the implied actions of mechs doing something slashy.
Title: Some Things Can't Be Unseen
Prowl sighed and entered his office again, tucking his gun away into subspace as he did so. That had been the third time this week Ravage had been spotted slinking around the halls of the Ark, and Red Alert was in a rage that his security alarms had been bypassed.
About to sit down to continue his paperwork, Prowl paused. Something was.. different. Off. A tiny scratch on his desktop made him compare the image of his desk now to when he had left it twenty minutes before. There it was.
His pile of datachips had been altered slightly, with one now sticking out of the pile at an odd angle. Prowl carefully slid it out of the stack and raised an optic ridge at the purple Decepticon symbol prominently displayed on it. Just what were the 'cons up to now?
--Prowl to Red Alert.--
--Red Alert here, Prowl, go ahead.--
--I believe I have something that would be of interest to you.--
--Not right now, Prowl. I'm still trying to figure out just what Ravage intended- --
--I believe I'm holding the answer in my hand right now.--
--I'm on my way.--
"Well, there don't seem to be any beacons, traps or explosives on it, and when I hooked it up to a secure and separate minicomp to run a check, there were no viruses, hacks or embedded programs. In fact, there's only one file on it, and it's addressed to Prowl."
Red Alert sat back in his chair and looked around the meeting room at the other assembled officers. Ironhide looked grumpy, Prime stared at his copy of his report, Wheeljack looked bored without something to fiddle with, and Ratchet simply looked like he was doodling on a spare datapad. Only Jazz and Prowl seemed interested in what Red Alert was saying.
"So are you saying it's alright to look at the file?" Prowl asked, contemplating the small secure minicomp Red Alert had placed on the middle of the table.
"It should be fine, but I still can't be entirely certain without actually viewing the file itself, who knows what it's set up for-"
"Go ahead Prowler, play it! I wanna see what the 'cons are up ta." Jazz grinned. "Who knows, maybe they wanna surrender!"
Ironhide grunted and shook his head at the smaller mech. "That'll be the day, Jazz."
Prowl slid the chip into the minicomp and accessed the file. Everyone leaned forward slightly at the image of the Decepticon icon on the screen, then stared as the file began to play.
Megatron appeared on the display, sitting not on his throne, but behind what was obviously a work desk. That was a surprise, but what he had to say next nearly gave them all fuel pump failure.
"Prowl, I'm sending this to you direct from my hand via Ravage. I'm hoping you will hear me out, seeing as you are a skilled and competent mech, and would not simply dismiss my plea out of hand. Surely, taking into account the way the battles here on Earth have gone, you have noticed that it is your tactical planning alone that allows the Autobots to remain functional. I believe that your abilities are going to waste in such an environment, repeating tiny victory after tiny victory, yet never truly winning the war. I wish to offer you a change."
The group of officers stared in amazement as Megatron outlined his offer to Prowl should the tactician decide to change his allegiance. Ironhide glanced at Prime, who sat stiff in shock and outrage; how dared the Decepticon leader try to lure his officers away from him!
Prowl simply listened to the entire recording - unbeknownst to Optimus, this was not the first such message he had recieved from Megatron. Jazz snickered at Megatron's promises of job security and mentions of the assorted 'perks' that came with the office of Decepticon Master Tactician. Jazz had also seen these messages before; Prowl had let him watch them in progression, and watching Megatron go from arrogant demands that Prowl join him to pathetic pleading and downright begging for Prowl's defection made for some good movie nights. (Jazz even had a drinking game based on how many times ol' Megs mentioned the 'grand destiny' of the Decepticons.)
But then, Megatron said something new. Something he had never said in any of his previous messages, something that made Jazz sit up and really stare.
"As you know Prowl, when defeat comes to those who will lose this war, the officers are usually stripped from the ranks and killed, to lessen the threat of a future uprising. I... have one additional offer to make you, one that I believe you will find... gratifying" Megatron paused, shuffling a few of his data pads, then looked back up to the camera with a slight smirk on his face.
"The offer is this: I will allow you to keep Jazz - as a 'personal servant'."
Jaws dropped around the table, and stunned optics switched from Megatron to Prowl to Jazz and back again. Jazz was just as shocked as the others at the insinuation, but Prowl... Prowl had stiffened and a cold light had entered his optics. Jazz thought quickly - he knew that he had been quietly and discreetly flirting with the SIC for vorns now, but there had never been any sign that his feelings were reciprocated. At least, none that he had picked up on. Had one of the Decepticon spies seen something he hadn't? From Prowl's murderous glare at Megatron's image, Jazz knew that they had - and his spark fluttered at the thought.
"His weaponry will of course be disabled, and he will not allowed outside your personal quarters, but then again, he won't ever need to be outside them." Megatron practically leered at them, then spread his hands and continued. "There you have it Prowl. My usual once-a-vorn offer," at this Optimus made a choking noise and stared at his SIC, "with an added bonus. I await your response, hoping that this time, it will differ from all your past rejections. Megatron out."
The screen went blank.
The room erupted in noise.
"ENOUGH!" Prowl shouted - and the additional shock of Prowl shouting stopped everyone dead.
"Now then." Prowl turned to Optimus. "Yes, this is only the latest offer from Megatron, and yes, I get one every vorn, and NO, I do not ever seriously consider them."
Prowl turned to Red Alert. "This is not the first time Megatron has sent me a message, and no, I will not allow you to confiscate all the past messages. Jazz's once-a-month Megatron drinking game would suffer."
Then Ratchet. "No, I do not need a CPU scan, I am not glitching, and if you even think of pointing a needle in my direction, I'll shove it where the sun never shines."
Finally, Ironhide. "I have never once suggested to Megatron that I would be willing to defect, nor would I ever entertain the idea of doing such. I am capable of sorting out the truth from fiction, and little of what he says is truth."
Prowl sighed and rubbed a hand over his optics.
"Where Megatron came up with this latest 'addition' to his offer I don't know, but I would appreciate some assistance in forming my latest rejection letter to him. I have rather run out of different ways of saying 'No' to the mech, and I do hate repeating myself."
"So you do intend to reject his offer?" Optimus rumbled, still a bit peeved at the fact that Prowl had kept the knowledge of these offers from him.
"Really, Prime. For something like this from Megatron, there are only two answers, and they are, as I believe Ironhide would put it, 'No', and 'Pit, no'." Prowl sighed again and slumped in his chair, glancing at a silent Jazz. He raised at optic ridge at the saboteur.
"I think I'm most insulted at bein' offered up like a prize to ya, Prowler. I mean, really! I ain't a rent-by-the-breem pleasure drone, and I'm certainly not about to become anybot's berth slave, either." Jazz crossed his arms in a huff, then tilted his head at a sudden change in Prowl's attitude. "What?"
"I have an idea... it will take two mechs other than myself to pull this off, but it might just work. If you are willing to play along, Jazz, we might even put an end to these ridiculous 'job offers' of his, once and for all."
A sly smile slowly spread across Prowl's face, quickly turning to a rather devilish grin, surprising the gathered mechs.
"Well, Megatron wants a response that 'differs from my previous rejections', correct? I can give him that... in a way that he will never forget." Prowl quickly outlined his plan, and soon had very enthusiastic volunteers in Ratchet and Wheeljack, one to work the hardware, the other to provide the materials needed.
Megatron accepted the data chip from Soundwave, who simply nodded and returned to his station. Megatron was grateful for that - Soundwave knew of his continuing attempts to lure Prowl to the Decepticons and thought it was a useless endeavour, yet never attempted to dissuade his leader from doing what he thought was right.
Retreating to his office, Megatron scanned the chip carefully, even though he knew Soundwave would have already taken pains to inspect it. Placing it in his desk's terminal, he sat back and hit 'play'.
Prowl lounged in a chair in what was obviously his office, leaning back and shifting slightly from time to time. He made his usual rejection of Megatron's offer, and the Decepticon sighed as he realized that Prowl would not defect. As the camera recording Prowl shook slightly, Megatron frowned; there was something at the bottom of the screen, something black that kept moving, but he could not tell what it was.
Prowl continued talking, outlining his points for rejecting Megatron's offer, sometimes pausing, only to repeat himself a moment later. Megatron frowned again. This was very unlike Prowl! He noted that the Autobot was also toying with a chain, running it between his hands, sliding his fingers up and down its length. With dawning horror, Megatron watched the tactician shift in his seat, playing with the chain. The tactician stiffened suddenly, offlining his optics for a moment, then sat back in his chair, fully relaxed.
Prowl smiled with lazy contentment and leaned towards the camera. Megatron discovered that he was subconsciously leaning away from the display, which allowed him to see the next image more clearly then he had ever wanted to.
"I do admit to wondering, Megatron, about the last 'addition' to your offer. Mainly, what in the world would make you think I would need your help in making Jazz my ... 'personal servant'?" The camera pulled back, revealing the black helm of Jazz as he turned on his knees and leaned against Prowl's leg, one hand raised to caress the tactician's thigh, the other playing with the end of the chain - where it was attached to the wide black collar that was wrapped around Jazz's throat.
The Decepticon leader felt his processor begin to fritz as the image of Prowl caressed Jazz's helm in a proprietary manner, then used the chain to pull him up to where the SIC could claim his mouth with a deep kiss.
"Of course... Master."
Soundwave paused in his work, noting that the mental wavelengths coming from Megatron's office had suddenly peaked - then stopped. Quickly crossing over to the door, he entered the room. Megatron sat in his chair, offline, the message display frozen where it had ended. Seeing the image on the screen, Soundwave quickly turned the terminal off and called Hook, reporting that Megatron needed his assistance.
Late that night, in the quiet hallways of the Ark, there was a quiet tap on a door that slid open almost immediately. A silver chain flashed in the dim light, fingers slid against black fabric, then a feral grin flashed across his face as the mech was pulled inside. The door slid shut, then locked.
This came out of my head after reading many stories where somebody said something along the lines of "we're lucky Prowl's on our side", and realizing that yes, Megatron probably HAS tried asking Prowl to join the Decepticons, if only to stop his aft from getting kicked every month.