Warning: slash relationships, some dub-con in future chapters
Disclaimer: All recognisable characters, places, etc. belong to HasTak and other copyright holders. I make no profit from this.
A/N: The plot was based heavily on a post by hecate_19 to the bunny farm quite a while ago (see my profile page for the full wording of the bunny); the execution is all mine.
"It just doesn't make sense." the tall red mech commented as they watched the cassettes searching the forested area in front of them.
Jazz folded his arms.
"Y'ain't gonna drop it, are ya? Anyone ever told ya how irritatin' that is?"
"Truth, though: you've never sung for him? Even when you're alone?"
Jazz grunted irritably.
"He knows I c'n sing, I jus' don't want to. An' if I had anyway o'makin' ya forget what y'saw in that file y'weren't even s'posed t'be in, I'd take it."
"Says the mech who doesn't know the meaning of 'classified' when it applies to him."
"I might read it, but I don't tell what I know. My history's nobody's business but mine."
"Alright, alright, chill okay? I'll make the 'cording for you. I'm just curious why you want it if you're not even going to jam with it. I'll even... What?"
Jazz had stopped listening, stilling and focusing. The noise had been faint but it sounded suspiciously like...
"Decepticons!" he cried, spinning away and diving for cover.
Blaster took a similar action, and Jazz shook his head ruefully as he unsubspaced his laser rifle.
Typical. He had set up a false reading of Decepticon activity out here so he would have an excuse to corner Blaster alone about all of this before the mech said something awkward in company, and now they really did have Decepticons to contend with. Today was just not his day.
The Decepticon paced back and forth across the small atoll he had landed on, needing to think about his recent discovery and not wanting the complication of being seen while he was distracted. After all this time and in such a strange place to discover now that there was still hope, that there was a chance, was almost more than he could believe. But the surprise would not slow him down. In no time at all he would be living out the dream he had so long believed impossible.
Calm down, he reminded himself.
With Soundwave on the crew here he must be cautious: there must be no hint of what he planned. After all, once this was done he would no longer be a Decepticon and his intended would no longer be an Autobot. To get to that point, though, he would have to be careful to deflect any suspicion.
One way of doing that was to compartmentalise his thoughts by giving himself a new designation and only plan when he was in the role of that personality.
"Obsessed." he murmured to himself. "I am Obsessed."
More of a state than a name, but it would serve. Smirking, he lifted up into the air to head back to base.
"Soon, my love. I know who you're pretending to be, now, and I'll have you by my side at last, after all this waiting. Just a little longer now, and then we'll be together forever, my Symphony."
Jazz slipped into his quarters quietly, unseen by those few in the hallways at this late hour, but the light was on and a voice spoke as he closed the door.
"How was the concert?"
He shook his head in amusement.
"You ask me that every time. Why not just come with me, once or twice?"
"I prefer to hear you describe them. You're later than I expected so I assume it was good?"
"Oh yeah." Jazz sighed contentedly and shuffled over to where his lover was working at the one desk in their room, draping himself over Prowl's shoulders. "Whatcha workin' on?"
"Nothing that can't wait until morning." the tactician told him, turning the pad off and putting it down. "I was just waiting for you to come back before I charged."
Prowl rose and made to move towards the berth, but Jazz did not feel like resting just yet. He grabbed Prowl's hands and swung him close.
"You've been dancing all evening." Prowl made a token protest but moved with him fluidly. "Aren't you tired?"
"Never tired o'holdin' you."
Prowl chuckled softly, sliding his arms around Jazz's chassis.
"You're almost in stasis on your pedes. Did they play that piece you particularly wanted to hear?"
Jazz cuddled in against his lover.
"Yeah. An' Blaster finally got a good 'cording of it. He says he'll splice it for me and save it to the vault."
"Why do you do that?" Prowl asked him curiously.
"Blaster got to ya, did he?"
"I told him it was none of his concern, which is true, but he has a valid point. Why store tunes you won't use?"
"Cause they're pretty." Jazz shrugged.
"They'd be prettier if you'd sing along with them."
Jazz shook his head and felt Prowl's arms tighten around him.
"I'm not going to push." the tactician sighed. "I just think it's sad, that's all. Most of the mechs here don't even know you can sing, let alone how good at it you are."
"I'll sing again when the war's over. Maybe." Jazz mumbled, then pushed away a little. "Dance wit'me."
Prowl shook his head and tugged him over to the berth, guiding him down onto it.
"Rest. We'll dance later."
"Promise?" Jazz asked.
Prowl smiled and pressed his helm against Jazz's intimately.
What he had was contraband. If he chose to share it, he could demand a high price for it and have little trouble negotiating for whatever he wanted. But what he wanted was this itself.
He turned the tiny data chip in his fingers, watching the sunlight sparkle off the edges.
It was that rarest of all things - a holorecording from Cybertron before the war. Specifically, of Vos and of a particular concert in the famous Platinum Spires. A last existing recording of a particular singer-composer who had been revered, and who was lost in the first attacks.
"At least, that's what you wanted us to think, eh?" Obsessed murmured, staring past the chip to the horizon. "Just another casualty, just another victim. But I figured out your secret. You didn't die, you just had yourself reconfigured and changed your name. When you're with me, though, oh I'll have you sing again."
"You're obscenely cheerful this morning." Tracks grumbled.
"How couldn't I be?" Jazz asked, sauntering across the room to get some energon. "It's a beautiful day, I'm not rostered on comms, an' Prowler started late for once."
There were several shaken heads and good-natured groans at his lascivious tone.
When Jazz and Prowl had first announced their relationship many mechs had thought it was just a ruse of some sort. That disbelief had prevailed until one orn when Prime himself had walked in on them in the middle of some rather heated intimacies in Prowl's office. Even that may not have been enough - Prime rarely gossiped, after all - if Sideswipe and Red Alert had not happened to be with him at the time and had seen plenty.
Whether or not they were actually bonded was still unclear. Neither had confirmed it definitively, but Prowl would not deny it and Jazz continued to hint at it.
Regardless, it was indisputable that they were only interested in each other and while most of the crew still feigned weary disgust at the idea everyone was secretly charmed. It was nice to have a bit of stability in the chaos that was war; nice to see a bit of happiness in the misery that was their reality.
"You two're gonna have to be careful." Ironhide warned. "Keep this up an' we're gonna have a little sparkling t'watch out for."
Jazz's grin widened.
"What a fabulous idea! You wanna be a custodian? Jus' say the word, Hide, an' I'll talk t'Prowler."
Prowl was a problem. Quite apart from the fact that he might be able to unravel the plan before it came to fruition simply due to his particular specialisation, there was also the matter of his relationship with Jazz. It would help to know if the rumours were true, but since there was no sure way to do that he would have to act as though they were.
Of course, the Auto-afts were too soft and idealistic to realise that even a bond could be subverted. They believed that once a mech was bonded, he could never love another. Obsessed knew that this was not true - the Decepticons had proven that more than once. Under the right circumstances, a bond could be transferred to another. Not broken, true, but shifted.
He sighed happily to himself. How incredible would that feel, having Symphony's love focused on him? So very good. And really, it would not be that difficult to achieve. He just had to be patient and plan it all out the key to it all working was removing Prowl from the equation temporarily.
It was a shame it had to be just thought of his bright and enthusiastic future-mate-to-be being touched by that near-drone was enough to send him into a rage, and yet it was not time to do that kind of damage.
To kill Prowl now would only damage Jazz while the bond - if it existed - was still in place. No. Prowl had to be removed from the sphere of influence long enough to steal Jazz away and effect the transfer, then returned so that he could confirm Jazz's loss to the others so that they would not come looking for him.
Then he could die.
Optimus sighed inwardly, hearing the unwelcome and strident call from the open doorway to the security office, but did stop walking.
"Yes, Red Alert?"
"They're at it again, Prime!" the agitated security officer complained. "How is anyone supposed to get any work done when this kind of thing is going on?"
"They only ever use their own offices." Bumblebee pointed out, easily guessing what was being discussed as he approached from the other direction. "And never when they're supposed to be on duty, so there's no reason why anyone should want to be in there anyway."
"That's not the point." Red Alert snapped. "They have private quarters for this kind of thing! It's obscene."
"Only if you're watching it." Bumblebee pointed out slyly. "And then I'd have to say that that was obscene."
Red Alert spluttered, caught out, and Optimus took advantage of the distraction to slip away.
The whole issue of Jazz and Prowl using their offices for more than just work was something of a game between them and Red Alert, and he had no intention whatsoever of ending up mediating between them over it.
Red Alert had final say on internal security issues, as he should given his role, but the second and third officers had both indicated their displeasure with having their work spaces constantly under surveillance. There were reasonable arguments on both sides, but since they had been unable to resolve the issue amicably Jazz - at least for his own sanity he hoped it was Jazz and not Prowl - had come up with the idea of scandalising the security director into deactivating those cameras.
Reaching the security of his own unobserved office, he shut and locked the door, then leaned against it wearily. Sometimes he envied Megatron just a little. The Decepticon leader surely never had problems like these.