Ahh I am so behind with this updating lark. This chapter took far longer than I had expected (possibly because DotM has absolutely ruined my mind and broken my heart and all I can think of about the ending is WHY.)

Still, here's the new beastly-long chapter, which I suddenly realise has a little more Optimus/Megatron interaction than expected- which is more than I can say for DotM. They had what, one line each, was it one line to each other? Disgusting, and I thought Transformers was actually about those two opposing each other, derp that I am!
Anyway, aforementioned interaction and seemingly random scenes do tend to have purposes; they will link up with future events. Most things in this fic have a purpose, I tell you! ;)

Surprisingly there's even a little bit of Megatron/Starscream interaction in this, which is again something DotM sincerely failed out. HAHA no it's true. Did Megatron and Starscream have about two minutes of screentime together, most of it advancing the plot? Shame on you, shame on you.

I've got to stop complaining; DotM is great, yeass, go and see it, yeass. Just don't psyche yourself up for truckloads of character interaction.

PS. Formatting hates me. D: Formatting will be savaged once I return from my weekend away.

Hope this doesn't disappoint after the wait!


Sideswipe blinked wearily and raised his helm from the table. Had it finished-? No: Prowl and Sunstreaker were still engaging in a disturbingly intense staring contest with Megatron.

(How he was taking them both on at once was something Sideswipe did not want to ruin his processor by thinking about.)

Prompts to get him to discuss his fellow Decepticons had all fallen horribly flat, and on the last brave attempt by Prowl an irritated Megatron had stopped blinking. In fact, he had stopped moving at all.

The silver Corvette would be quite convinced that he had died were his optics not hatefully bright.

Sideswipe dropped his helm again and considered whether Arcee was going to win their bet (she had claimed Megatron was going to deliberately shut off from them at some point- stupid femme, as if she knew what a mech was thinking). Did this count? He'd never live it down. So the Autobot hadn't thought this would be easy per se, but it shouldn't be this hard just to get the mech to talk.

_Ratchet_ he pleaded desperately via internal digital messaging, _please help_

_I'm rather enjoying watching you all suffer_ the medic responded after a heinously extended delay.

_I'll make it worth your while?_

_I don't believe you._

There was only one way to achieve his assistance: though a severe blow to his pride, Sideswipe couldn't take the current situation any longer. _I beg for your aid._

There was no reply bar a long cackle erupting through his comm. link and then a deathly extended silence. The Corvette sincerely hoped he hadn't reduced himself to pleading for Ratchet only to ignore him and/or record the moment for posterity.

With a quiet groan, Sideswipe returned his full attentions to the mechs before him. Megatron hadn't moved; Prowl was interlacing his fingers; Sunstreaker was narrowing his optics to such narrow slits that Sideswipe was convinced his twin couldn't actually see. Nevertheless, it looked fairly threatening. Now an important decision awaited him: should he join in the staring deathmatch or try and recharge?

Megatron wasn't... feeling currently. He was vaguely aware that the other mechs were looking at him for some unfathomable reason. He himself was simply tired of them. They meant nothing; why would he converse with them?

Truthfully, Megatron couldn't have cared any less about them, much less the ridiculously shiny golden one who had completely screwed up his optics. He looked retarded; how could he see? Pointless. Clearly he hadn't engaged in many staring contests with true combatants before.

Starscream was good at staring contests.

He always cheated.

The Decepticon Commander never tired of the inventive methods utilised by the wayward mech (of course whilst still maintaining visual contact); occasionally Starscream would even launch a physical attack or some missiles at Megatron if he was infuriated enough.

Naturally he'd still be beaten for the offence, but Megatron appreciated the skill displayed and the direct challenge it offered- naturally, he too had to keep his optics locked on the other's.

Drones, that was it. Drones.

These mechs were drones in comparison.

Megatron diverted a small section of his processor's power to continue staring at them and continued to wallow in thought.


Ratchet actually had no intention of going anywhere. He was with Optimus, watching the scene through Prowl's visual-audio datafeed.

'Primus,' the commander eventually said after twenty minutes, 'has the feed frozen?'

The medic pinged Prowl and received a speedy response. 'No. They really are just sitting and staring.'

Prime gestured with a flap of his long arms. 'Ratchet, get in there.'

'Why?'

'Because this is the very opposite of progress. It is like watching evolution, Ratchet. It isn't happening any time soon.'

'Impatient youngling.'

'I'm not impatient!' Optimus refuted, continuing to wave his arms. 'This is just absolutely boring and pointless.'

Ratchet's gaze suddenly snapped onto his right limb. 'Wave that again.'

Suddenly self-conscious, arms dropped to the owner's sides. 'No.'

'Don't be daft, do it.'

Prime wiggled his arms briefly without really raising them at all.

'Optimus.'

'I'll do it if you actually get them talking again.'

The medic treated him to a dirty and powerful glower. 'How about I come over there and raise it myself?'

'Because had it been that simple you would already be lifting it. You want me to do it specifically, ergo, you will enter that room.'
Ratchet suddenly missed the orns when Optimus Prime had no idea how to negotiate and/or manipulate.


And so it was Ratchet strode into the chamber of stares, angular side-burns firmly stuck onto his cheekplates.

Sideswipe snapped out of his recharge with a cry of delight; the CMO truly wasn't as cruel as he seemed. There was a spark made of gold underneath that crusty, poisonous and lethal exterior.

Prowl finally broke his gaze away from Megatron, fixing it at the medic instead. 'Have we news?'

'Yes.'

The assembled mechs waited patiently for the monosyballic response to be expanded.

'Well?' Sunstreaker eventually demanded. 'What's the news?'

'Oh, apologies that you didn't ask.'

Prowl inwardly winced at Ratchet's barely-concealed seething (apparently the medic still didn't approve of The Plan). 'Your evaluation?'

The CMO slapped a folder onto the desk before slamming a hand down onto it aggressively. 'Starscream is a very angry young mech,' he declared in a poor imitation of a subtle whisper.

Megatron's helm snapped in their direction.

'How came you to this conclusion?' Prowl questioned musingly.

Ratchet paused. '...His anger.'

'He displayed it?' Sunstreaker gasped.

'Better than to keep it welling inside of him,' Sideswipe muttered. 'Like a venomous seedling-'

'Will you stop talking about him?' Megatron demanded furiously, claws clenching.

'Check the hand!' Sunstreaker roared instantly. 'Hand! Hand! Hand!'

The Decepticon slowly returned his optics to said appendage, and spasmodically returned the claws to a more relaxed state. As relaxed as claws can be, any road.

'Subject controls anger after brief eruption,' Sideswipe announced.

'You're driving me insane,' Megatron informed through gritted fangs.

Ratchet took the time to give him a glance. 'This is the miscreant.'

'Certainly.'

Sideswipe nodded. 'That would be he.'

'He, the miscreant,' Sunstreaker clarified.

'The miscreant is this he,' Sideswipe further elaborated. 'This he that is here.'

'This he that is here is the miscreant,' Sunstreaker agreed.

'Here is the he that is the miscreant.'

Megatron's optics shuttered slowly.

'You seem on edge,' Prowl accused. 'Are you feeling nervous? Are you feeling depressed? Do you have withdrawal symptoms?'

'Withdrawal symptoms?' Megatron repeated incredulously.

'Withdrawal symptoms,' Sunstreaker clarified. 'Of the 'missing Starscream' type.'

The commander snarled violently at the following implications. 'I do not miss Starscream.'

'Of course,' Sunstreaker agreed. 'That's why you're here.'

'Denial,' Sideswipe whispered. 'He has it. Has it baaaadly.'

'My property was stolen from me,' Megatron said, 'and I will have it back. That is all; no more.'

Prowl sighed sadly. 'I thought we had ascertained that Starscream was a mech, not an object.'

'We had certainly not.'

'No, Prowlie, it's true,' Sideswipe said. 'I really don't think we have.'

'Decepticon sympathiser,' Sunstreaker hissed. 'Support the 'con, why don't you?'

'Boys, ' Prowl growled, 'not the time.' He returned his attentions to Megatron once he'd had some grumbling, disbelieving apologies. 'Starscream is a mech, not an object.'

'It is quite true that he is a mech,' the commander said, 'but he is also a very good punchbag. This is an object, is it not?'

'Note that he is a mech before being a punchbag,' Prowl returned after a moment, 'and that mechs can be many things. This still does not make them objects.' Megatron didn't even look like he was listening, so the second glumly faceplanted into the desk.

'A mech cannot be a possession,' Ratchet said, taking up the dropped gauntlet. He pushed Sunstreaker out of his chair and inspected it before seating himself.

'He certainly can.'

'He cannot, Megatron.'

Optimus propelled himself into the room, complete with neckerchief. 'Freedom is the right of all sentient beings-'

'Prime?' Megatron said after a pause, 'what are you doing?'

Prowl raised his helm warily and joined Ratchet's cautious gaze; he'd seen through the cunning disguise?

'Simply spreading the good news?' Optimus suggested, sounding like a rabbit would in headlights (could a rabbit speak and realise what impending danger it was in).

Megatron stared at his disguised brother for a long moment; one could see him thinking.

Thinking was not good, Prowl realised, Megatron thinking would get them all killed. 'Get that lunatic out,' he commanded of Ratchet before turning to Megatron. 'I am so sorry about this, he keeps breaking loose. Thinks he's Optimus Prime; doesn't help that he looks so much like him.'

The CMO's fingers rippled before he pushed himself up from the chair and strode at Optimus.

'Out,' he hissed. 'Back to the padded cell.'

'But-!' Prime protested.

'Freedom is not your right,' Ratchet continued, shoving him out, 'and if I ever hear you say it again you will suffer.'

After their exit, Prowl noted that the Decepticon was still staring after them. 'Lord Megatron.'

The massive mech's attention finally returned to him after a dismissive snort.


Ratchet was scowling disbelievingly. 'Prime, did you have to talk about freedom? Do you want to ruin our pathetic disguises?'

'But he didn't recognise anybody else,' Optimus pointed out. 'This is completely unfair.'

'We should have foreseen it,' the Hummer said, 'but really Optimus, he's your brother. If he was going to recognise anybody it would have been you. Just be grateful he didn't detect your spark.'

The other mech said nothing.

'...Prime? He didn't, did he?'

'Hang on,' the commander said suddenly, 'I'm receiving a transmission from- from- Soundwave?'

'You can't,' Ratchet said immediately, 'He'll be able to track you and realise something shifty is occurring. Block him.'

Optimus ruefully did so. 'What could Soundwave want with me?'

'I have no idea, but we have another matter to attend to.'

Ratchet and Optimus indeed had something else to do, and it started with 'Star' and ended in 'scream'.

I have no idea what it could be, they're a tricky lot.

The Autobots had stored the Seeker in a room much like the one with other mechs were currently arguing in; sparse with a table and seats.

As the commander and his CMO entered the room, Starscream looked much like he wanted to launch himself at them.

'If you attack us, you will certainly regret it,' Ratchet said. 'These sideburns are not just for show.'

'What is this?' Starscream demanded, glaring about with raised wings held stiffly.

'We're here to make you better,' Ratchet snarled, heedless of the angered Prime-glare directed right his way.

'What sort of mech wears a neckerchief or- or hair?' Starscream demanded.

'We're- hipsters,' Optimus supplied helpfully, recalling a group of carbon-loving eccentric Cybertronians from a long time ago.

The Seeker looked absolutely disgusted. 'Do you know how many of those I hunted down?'

'They were neutrals,' Prime growled. 'How dare you-'

Starscream, recognising a dangerous baritone when he heard one, dived behind the table.

Ratchet shot the other Autobot an impatient look. 'How is threatening him going to help?'

'I didn't threaten him,' the commander said indignantly. 'It isn't my fault if he overreacts-'

He was cut off by a sudden ear-splitting howl from underneath the table, and Starscream's helm popped over the edge, furious. 'How like Megatron you are!'

'I am nothing like Megatron,' Optimus snapped, swiftly rising to his pedes and slamming his hands upon the table. 'Ratchet, I am going to kill someone.'

'That's okay, Optimus-lookalikey,' Ratchet said, 'as long as it's the pathetic excuse of a mech over there.'

Starscream quailed as the flamed Autobot's intense gaze met his own. 'Let us not be hasty! I am sure we can come to an arrangement-?'

'We certainly shall,' Ratchet agreed, 'do not doubt it. Down, Optimus.'

Prime regretfully seated himself, and so the medic continued cheerfully.

'Now, Starscream. Here's the deal: you tell us what we want to know, and I'll keep Optimus-lookalikey from savaging you.'

The bristling Seeker considered this. 'If he's just a doppelganger, I shouldn't fear him.'

'Shouldn't you? He went for another mech's face the other day, just to prove to the nonbeliever he could. Would you like to be his next test subject?'

'...No,' Starscream finally confessed, and then the silence began.

Ten minutes later, the Decepticon had begun incessantly tapping his talons on the surface.

This did not escape Ratchet's notice. 'Stop that, you malfunction.'

It did not escape a more concerned Prime's notice either. 'Starscream, how are you feeling?'

'How am I feeling?' Starscream repeated after a moment. 'How am I feeling?'

'Perhaps I should dismantle his processor,' Ratchet mused. 'His vocal processors are stuck.'

The Seeker hissed at him lowly. 'You have not only removed me from my- home and deprived me of my rank, but also of my purpose.'

'Purpose?' Prime prompted.

'I swore allegiance to that mech,' Starscream said fiercely after a moment. 'And I do not break my word; I am no coward or liar. If he- believes his treatment of me is just, then it is permitted.'

'But it is not just,' Optimus insisted. 'His abuse is ungrounded.'

'What am I to do about it? How does one approach their master and tell them they are wrong?'

'You seem to manage most often,' Ratchet pointed out.

'Over important things,' Starscream refuted.

'You aren't important?'

'I am still alive,' the Seeker pointed out, 'whereas any else who displease him are not. I believe I am important.'

Optimus nearly facedesked. 'He still abuses you.'

'How could you understand?' Starscream asked with a shrug.

'I am quite content not understanding,' Ratchet said. 'Very happy, actually.'

'How would you like to see him?' Optimus asked. 'You could tell him these things, it might help.'

'He'd laugh at me,' Starscream confessed with a protruding lower lip.

'Laughter doesn't hurt,' Prime said comfortingly.

'Being mocked does.'

'We shall all be there; inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated.'

'Truly?'

'Truly.'

'I could leave if I wanted to?'

'Certainly.'

Ratchet rolled his optics discreetly. 'Can we just get on with it?'


'Prowl,' Optimus said over the comm., 'would Megatron be calm enough to see Starscream? Has enough progress been made?'

The tactician thought about it, evaluating the sulky and still Decepticon in front of him. 'It shouldn't hurt. Besides, that might give us some progress by itself.'

'Very well,' Prime said, 'Consider the screeching lunatic on his way.'

Prowl immediately opened another comm. line to a mech sure to inspire progress and warm bubbly feelings. 'I need you here.'

'Done.'

'You will be excited about this,' Prowl told Megatron, hoping to inspire some sort of reaction.

Megatron grunted.

'Starscream is coming,' Prowl informed enthusiastically. 'Though first, there is a- mech I believe who can talk some sense into you. He specialises in-'

'Everythin'!' Jazz cried, bursting through the door with his sunglasses on. 'Now Megs, when he comes in I want yer to fling yer arms 'round him an' give him a big hug.'

'What?' Megatron demanded loudly, a snarl bursting forth without him even noticing.

'Let's remember the Temper Control mantra,' Jazz cried immediately and with too much delight. 'In-ventilation, hold! …Out-ventilation. Sloooowwwwwlly. Repeat with me now- ready? In- hoooooooooooooooldddd- ooouuuuuut- let's go again-'

'Shut up,' Megatron snapped. 'This- what you're asking- is inappropriate.'

'Tell us how,' Prowl suggested politely.

'Personal space, dignity- have you heard of these words before?'

Prowl managed only to flinch slightly as Jazz leapt onto his back.

'Th'closer th'bettah,' Jazz decreed. 'No inhibition, no awkwardness, no restraint! C'mere big guy-' And he attempted to leap at Megatron, possibly to show him how easy hugging was.

With incredible speed for one so large, Megatron side-stepped: Jazz dove neatly into a crouch and found a cannon pointing at his helm.

'I prefer restraint,' Megatron hissed.

'Y'might well do, kinky beast, but there's a time an' place fer it.'

'Why you-' the Decepticon paused in mid-snarl, 'What do you even mean by that?'

'Well,' Jazz pointed out, 'Y'seem t'think ah mean something by it.'

'But you seem to think that there should be something by it-'

'Because y'think that there is-'

'You're trying to confuse me and failing,' Megatron growled.

'Mus' be 'cause ah think yer stupid,' Jazz said airily. 'Wondah why?'

'I can't bear this,' Megatron muttered.

'Subject is talking to self,' Sideswipe announced.

'I can't,' Megatron continued. 'I simply can't.'

'Subject is extremely volatile,' Sunstreaker hastily added.

'Vol-a-tile,' his brother agreed.

'OPTIMUUUUUUUUUUUUUS,' he roared.

Prime appeared unbelievably speedily, Ironhide peeking around him. 'Megatron?'

'I am going to kill these idiots,' the Decepticon said.

'Ah,' Optimus replied. 'Inadvisable.'

'I am aware.'

'So you aren't going to kill them.'

'I would like to. Life would be simpler.'

'You need to accept that sometimes you can't blow obstacles up,' Optimus said meaningfully.

Ironhide coughed.

'I agree with Ironhide's fluffy-cannoned counterpart,' Megatron said.

'I said nothing,' the Autobot claimed.

The silver mech corrected himself: 'I agree with your sneaky objection.'

'Good enough for me.'

'Anyway,' Prime said, 'there's a mech here to see you.'

Megatron didn't even care anymore- or at least he didn't until a scarred Seeker was pushed through the door.

'I've changed my mind!' Starscream wailed, scrabbling at Optimus' forearms.

'Get off me,' the Autobot ordered, and managed to thrust him into the room before disappearing with a relieved sigh.

Jazz looked at Megatron expectantly; the latter was blatantly ignoring him.

'Where's th'hug?' the small mech demanded, unable to take the silence.

Starscream looked at Megatron with clear disbelief and horror.

'Exactly,' the silver Cybertronian snarled triumphantly. 'That is exactly what I told them.'

Prowl eyed the Decepticon warily as Jazz continued cheerily.

'So wha's th'problem with Megsytron, Starscream?'

'Megsytron?' the commander howled, springing over the table to assassinate Jazz. Although he hadn't settled on a method, he was sure that he could think of some delightful, excruciating deaths whilst he leapt.

Prowl grabbed Megatron and attempted to hold him back in a valiant but futile effort; the Autobot was only a quarter of his size.

The only hindrance in The Plan was the table itself- which successfully tripped him with its idiotic legs- but this was conquered quickly, and he reached out to-

'Megatron,' Starscream hissed, rubbing his forehelm in irritation, 'will you control yourself?'

The Decepticon Commander had paused when his subordinate spoke. He thought it all through, then decided simply to growl threateningly in Jazz's face.

The saboteur sat calmly and dinked Megatron on his nasal plating. 'Not yer turn, greedy turn-taker. Hush.'

Megatron nearly went berserk, but Prowl punched him in the face, thus distracting him long enough to avert another Kill Plan.

'Be civil,' the tactician swiftly babbled, inwardly wondering if he was about to die. 'Attacking Starscream's- mech- will produce nothing. It will set us back.'

'...Agreed.'

'And we are ready to continue,' Prowl informed, turning back to the table.

'Fin'ly,' Jazz snapped. 'Mah client an' ah have better things t'do. Starscream, tell 'im why he's retar- upsettin' you.'

Starscream thought.

'See?' Megatron pounced on the silence. 'He isn't upset. There is no reason.'

'P'raps he's tryin' to choose th'main one,' Jazz disputed.

'Please,' Prowl said suddenly, 'could we not debate pointlessly? Let Starscream speak.'

'But he isn't speaking!' the commander justified. 'He had the widest opportunity- wide enough even for him!- and just ignored it! The floor was very much open, and-'

'I think you're unspeakably and unnecessarily harsh.'

'Narh,' Jazz quickly cut in as Megatron rose furiously, 'y'gotta let'm finish, Megsy.'

'I am finished,' Starscream declared abruptly.

'Well,' Megatron said, 'that's good. Nothing much there that's a problem.'

Prowl glanced at the silver mech. 'Let's not be so dismissive; there are more constructive ways to-'

'And you don't appreciate me,' Starscream added abruptly.

Megatron shot him a dirty look. 'Thought you were finished.'

'I am.'

'We needa fresh start,' Jazz enthused. 'Lay aside yer past grievances!'

'We are not like that,' the commander insisted half-heartedly. 'And we certainly do not hug.'

Starscream gave a growl of affirmation.

'So wha' are y'like?' the Autobot enquired. 'Y'like bashin' each other t'th'Pit every orn?'

'He doesn't bash me,' Megatron replied stiffly. 'I bash him.'

'Sometimes I bash you!' Starscream protested.

'And then I bash you into oblivion, Seeker.'

'Bash off!'

'No. Your bash is mine,' Megatron hissed.

'I don't even know what my bash is-'

'Nor do I but it sounds violent.'

'That's just the epitome of Megatron,' Starscream snarled. 'All brawn, no thought, just bashbashbash and if the problem isn't solved you're absolutely flummoxed!'

'Well excuse me,' the commander scowled. 'I never hear you complain.'

'I'm complaining now!'

'You should have complained before.'

'You hit me when I do!'

'Have you no conviction? Now that is the epitome of Starscream: cowardice. Off you trot, spouting nonsensical ideas behind my back and then claiming brazenly to my face that it's someone else's idea; anything that shifts the blame-'

'You hit me,' Starscream repeated sourly.

'Then you should give me very good reasons not to,' Megatron said. 'I want to punch you right now, actually. Come a little closer.'

'No.'

'I'll punch you all the harder.'

'I am a new mech,' the Seeker announced, 'and I will not be ruled by you.'

'Oh,' Megatron said after a moment with suspiciously enthusiastic tones, 'so you're not a Decepticon anymore.'

'I never said that,' Starscream refuted.

'So you are a Decepticon.'

'Yes,' he admitted.

'And who leads the Decepticons?'

Starscream scowled. 'If I said-'

'If you said anyone but I- Lord Megatron- you would be lying and you know it. So, er-' and Megatron inspected a claw- 'You are ruled by me, subordinate.'

'Power levels,' Prowl commented. 'The power levels are unequal, and this must change.'

'Frag off,' Megatron said wearily. 'To promote him any higher essentially results in my rank, and that occurs over my cold chassis. The first mech to comment that this is 'can be arranged' shall meet a slow death.'

'I can arrange it,' came a furious feminine voice over the comm..

(Arcee was not amused.)

Jazz suddenly flickered his visor. 'Ah mus' dispute yer earlier claim, Megs.'

'Dear Primus, what now?' Megatron demanded.

Prowl raised the optic ridge closest to him, indicating that he needed to stay calm. 'Please state your objection.'

'OBJECTION!' Sunstreaker cried, leaping up and throwing his arm out violently.

'You said- an' I quote, "that is the epitome of Starscream: cowardice".'

'Would you like a medal?'

'Megatron,' Prowl said. 'Please.'

'What if I don't please?'

'Then I leave you to fight this by yourself,' the tactician replied warningly.

The Decepticon scowled. 'Very well. Get on with it, shortstuff.'

'Ah shall begin again,' Jazz declared.

'OBJECTION!' Sideswipe roared, jumping up just before Sunstreaker.

'What? No, Sides, you're Prowlie's Object-erer.'

Unsure of when this had been decided, the silver Corvette frowned before grinning triumphantly. 'I'm Prowlie's objecterer, and you're not.'

'OBJECTION!' Sunstreaker cursed himself for his blunder. 'if you don't want to be I'm sure I can- I mean, Prowlie would prefer someone who can do it properly-'

'OBJECTION!' Sideswipe shouted, hands crashing down onto the table. 'I can do it perfectly well!'

Prowl pulled him back into his seat. 'Boys, there is a time and a place for objecting. It is not to be used for personal battles.'

'OBJECTION,' Sunstreaker cried, 'It's to be used whenever appropriate!'

Jazz cuffed him soundly. 'Did yer jus' defy Prowlie?'

The golden Autobot looked down, shamefaced. 'No, Prowlie. Sorry, Prowlie. Sorry, Jazz.'

Megatron glanced at Starscream to find the mech mirroring his disturbed disbelief.

'Tha's better,' the saboteur announced. 'Now, as I was sayin'.'

'Cowardice,' Prowl prompted.

'Cowardice,' Jazz agreed, 'is not what this mech's about.'

Megatron laughed.

Jazz nudged Sunstreaker firmly; after a momentary scowl as the golden mech checked his paintwork, he realised the dig's purpose. 'OBJECTION!' he shouted.

'Did mah client or did mah client not repeatedly stand by yer side in battle?'

Client? Client? Megatron's processor nearly exploded.

'OBJECTION!' Sideswipe howled, Prowl having twiddled his fingers subtly.

'He was ordered to,' the tactician disputed. 'It makes no difference; he did little.'

'OBJECTION!'

'He didn't have ter,' Jazz insisted, 'He coulda just not turned up.'

'OBJECTION!'

'Of course he had to,' the tactician argued. 'It was an order.'

'He would have been severely beaten otherwise,' Megatron added helpfully; Prowl nodded his gratitude.

'That in't fair!' Jazz scowled.

'Well, I never heard him protest,' the Decepticon Commander sniffed.

'Maybe that's because you weren't listening to any utterances that did not convey deference or compliance,' Starscream hissed.

'I see you're finally deigning to speak,' Megatron sneered, anger rising. 'Tired of hiding behind other mechs?'

'Would you rather I didn't talk? Fine.'

'I just don't see why you're making this so difficult!'

'Ha, I like that; I'm making this difficult-?'

'Must you repeat me?'

'Must you be so blind?'

Prowl watched Jazz settle back in his chair smugly. He had to admit they were both satisfied with their 'charges' finally interacting, albeit in a worryingly conflictive manner. Given time,

Prowl thought, his door wings relaxing ever so slightly, they might actually note progression. Subtly, he indicated that his boys were free to leave the small room- some spaces were just too confined for long periods of numerous egos.

Sunstreaker and Sideswipe saluted perfectly to him, then giggled their way out, clearly unable to control themselves.

'Did you see the look on his face-!' the golden Corvette was howling prematurely before the door closed again, cutting him off.

'How do you expect me to tell you when something is wrong, unfair- when you won't listen to me even if I do?' Starscream demanded, his weariness increasingly overcome by ferocity.

'Then mention it repeatedly,' Megatron said stubbornly, 'until I do hear you.'

'You hear, Megatron, you just won't heed.'

'Regardless, my prior statement stands.'

'How can you say that? Nothing has changed; even as we speak now you are still not properly listening. Thrusting your own opinions forth as definites with no concern for-' here Starscream broke off, unwilling to continue.

Prowl and Jazz watched him closely, reluctant to prompt him further should the Decepticons both become reticent. Fortunately. it seemed that they were not the only mechs to notice this.

'Well?' Megatron demanded. 'Continue.'

'You'll laugh,' Starscream said stubbornly. 'I won't say.'

'I will not laugh,' the other said firmly, 'you have my word.'

'Which doesn't mean much when one considers prior experience, your own character and your faction.'

'Yeasyeass,' Megatron scowled, 'but I meant it quite solemnly. Think of it like such: if I do find it outwardly amusing, you know I am not sincere. If I stay true to my word, then that is proof of my conviction.'

'But your use of words indicates you may still find it inwardly amusing, I note.'

He held up a claw. 'Come now, you do provide me with much unintentional hilarity. To swear I will not laugh may actually be quite tricky.'

The scarred mech considered this; there were several potential outcomes.

One: Megatron did not find it funny at all- this was more than Starscream could hope for, actually, and something also improbable.

Two: he found it absolutely hilarious and would not be able to contain himself- this would be incredibly degrading and an unnecessary blow. Starscream knew his commander well, and thought this the most likely result. Did he really want to provoke more humiliation?

Thirdly: Megatron found it amusing but held back laughter. This would certainly be very intriguing; genuine evidence at last that showed that the silver mech did in fact want him back and was able to keep his word.

Starscream had compiled and debated the possible consequences in a matter of astroseconds, but continued his silence whilst visually evaluating his commander.

Megatron was waiting almost patiently, something that Starscream had believed near impossible. What was this? Megatron was not one for quiet nor stillness, no! He was a creature born of explosive movement and noise who simply demanded attention, respect-

Starscream forcibly restrained his wandering, seemingly disgustingly Megatron-needy processor and instead used the revelation to bolster his courage: perhaps circumstances were changing, even if it was dreadfully slow and slightly.

Yes, definitely slowly- the Decepticon Commander had just let out an impulsive growl, albeit a soft one, betraying his internal struggle (Starscream would wager a good portion of him would rather be beating the information out), yet miraculously stayed put.

Being too proud to speak immediately and potentially stammer, instead Starscream carefully gathered both his courage and his words before speaking. 'Thrusting your own ideals forth as certainties without concern for my feelings,' he said finally, warily watching the other closely. 'Content now?'

Megatron twiddled a couple of claws (disturbingly, Starscream could not tell whether he had found the statement comical or not). Eventually he responded orally. 'You have feelings?'

Starscream realised too late he should have expected no less and huffed out a sigh that sounded more like a snarl. 'That's simply rude.'

Joking aside, the commander now looked genuinely baffled. 'But what do they matter?'

'What do they matter?' Starscream screeched, springing from his chair. 'Enough of this, it is futile-'

'Woah now,' Jazz said to him quietly, 'Ah think we gettin' somewhere. You wanna jus' strop out?'

'Strop out?' Starscream hissed furiously. 'I have just been whimsically accused of being emotionless and- if that wasn't sufficient- that any sentiments I might have are of no relevance at all!'

'He didn' say that,' the Autobot replied. 'Ah think he actually has no clue.'

The Seeker snapped his helm around slightly to glare at Megatron, who indeed looked nonplussed at his outburst.

'Did I say something insulting?' he asked of Prowl.

'I believe so,' the tactician replied, 'although I cannot fault your logical questioning. If one does not understand, it is imperative to find answers.'

Megatron had a sudden flash of inspiration, and, although it hurt his dignity slightly to do it, called out to his second. 'Will you explain?'

Starscream stared at him.

'I do not have all orn,' the commander said proudly, though he knew quite well the only reason he was there was to retrieve the other mech. 'Sit, and hurry about it.'

The Seeker's aft met the chair, though he himself was still wordless.

Megatron managed to wait a whole astrosecond. 'Well?'

'...What do you want me to say? What can I say?' Well aware Megatron's already dire and tested patience was probably withering and crumbling, Starscream inwardly cursed himself for not taking the opportunity to 'explain', but he truly didn't know how to. 'I- I don't know how,' he pleaded as the mech rumbled lowly. 'How does one explain feelings?'

'I will show you,' Megatron snapped. 'I have a feeling right now. It urges me to wrap my claws around some part of yours and crush it. I could follow up on this feeling, should you desire.'

'Leading by example,' Prowl noted as Jazz gaped in horror, 'good work.'

'Do you happen to have any feelings at this moment?'

Starscream stammered miserably. 'Fear?'

'Is that a question-?'

'No, no, no,' the Seeker rapidly corrected, 'definitely fear!'

Megatron had a warm bubbly feeling now, one he knew once quite well; he'd missed it. 'Is there no chance I could be left alone with him? One minute?' he asked of Prowl.

'No!' Jazz cried, 'I see th' evil in yer optics!'

'It is not my decision to make,' Prowl said. 'Nor is it my- colleague's.' He ignored Jazz's sinister look.

Megatron summoned his most threatening, pain-and-doom-promising glare and discreetly levelled it at Starscream.

Its potency nearly knocked the smaller mech off his chair; in actuality he sprang off it again with a blast of his thrusters and shot straight into the ceiling; with a cry he fell away and smashed into the floor.

'Well?' Prowl asked. 'What do you say?'

'I- I would love to?' Starscream stuttered, sitting up half-stunned.

'Why th'reaction?' Jazz demanded. 'If yer want t'be alone with him, why jump off yer chair?'

'Because I was so excited,' the Seeker declared hastily, wings twitching.

'I say yer looks like yer on drugs,' Jazz said. 'An' I still say no, 'specially as Megs be rockin' that evil smug look.'

'He is addicted to something,' Megatron said, 'but it is not drugs. Clearly it is my presence and he has been starved enough of it.'

Prowl considered everything. 'No, we cannot leave you two alone on your first meeting. And as such, it is probably time to end-'

He was interrupted by a furious snarl.

'Nonono,' Starscream added hurriedly, 'Lord Megatron wants me to explain. I shall explain.'

'Then hurry,' Prowl said, 'because you do not have long.'

'Let me think,' Starscream said pleadingly, clutching his helm.

'Ah,' Megatron said, 'as if you ever need more time to think, Starscream. Don't I know how fast your little processor works?'

'But I have to translate my answer into words that will not offend you,' the Seeker said, 'and even then I have to pre-plan and tailor my next responses to your potential reaction, so really-'

'Enough,' Megatron scowled, 'I did not desire your inane ramblings.'

'But you have asked me to explain,' Starscream replied defiantly. 'Now you tell me to be silent?'

Megatron laughed briefly then whilst the other mech stood confused, half-tempted to bolt, half-confident he didn't need to.

'There is that flicker,' Megatron said proudly. 'There is the Starscream I need.'

'Then you must ask yourself how many Starscreams are here, and how many you are willing to put up with.'

'All I want is the mech I made my Air Commander. Not the flatterer, nor the coward, nor the incompetent.'

Starscream's face twisted in displeasure. 'Mechs change, Lord Megatron. Are you who you once were?'

'Danger lies in words,' Megatron said lowly, 'so speak them not so freely. You overstep a boundary that is well-guarded.'

The Seeker knew he was being provocative now, but he could not help it. 'Ah, so you would order me to acknowledge my own change whilst you deny yours!'

'I have not changed-'

'Tell that to Prime,' Starscream shrugged casually. 'I am sure he feels the same way. Does he still truly consider you his brother?'

And within a moment he was trying to scramble backwards through a wall before a rumbling cannon pressed against his forehelm.

'Whilst I readily admit I am fond of your repartee,' Megatron hissed darkly, 'I find you forget your place.'

'I apologise, master-'

'Even when warned you seem unable to repress yourself- would you like me to hurt you?'

'No!' Starscream squawked instantly, tentatively pawing at the other's arm. 'Forgive me, my lord, I meant nothing by it-'

'Silence. You meant everything by it,' Megatron said lowly. 'And you and I both know that.'

The smaller Decepticon heeded his commander's order and did not speak, instead averting his optics to somewhere else- anywhere else than meeting Megatron's furious gaze.

Every quiet word was brimming with venom. 'If you speak a word of Optimus out of turn again, you shall regret it every orn until your last.'

The Seeker nodded feverishly.

Megatron patted him gently on the cheekplates- with his cannontip. 'Now, what did you want to say about your feelings?'

Starscream quavered miserably and stammered, optics barely daring to glance to the cannon in case it caused offence.

'What is wrong now-! Starscream, what or who are you not to discuss nonchalantly?'

'Prime,' the sort-of second replied instantly.

'I would assume he has nothing to do with your feelings. Thus, speak as you would.'

'Cannon?' Starscream prompted hopefully.

Megatron stared at him for a moment, unsure as to whether the Seeker wanted to be 'cannon[ed]', whether he wanted a cannon, or- ah, possibly the cannon directly next to his face was off-putting. Feeling ingenious, Megatron subspaced it.

Unfortunately, as soon as the weapon disappeared, Jazz and Prowl were somehow between them, forcing them apart.

'That's quite enough,' Prowl said heatedly as Jazz ushered Starscream away with furious streams of 'How dare yer attack mah client!'

'Couldn't you have controlled yourself?' the tactician demanded once they had gone. 'Thrusting a cannon in his face like that, you clearly haven't learned anything at all!'

Megatron felt like telling him that that was control.

Had he really attacked Starscream? No.

Had he left any physical imprint? No.

This was ridiculous, so he started sulking. And, whilst sulking, realised he wanted to speak to Optimus. This couldn't continue, he'd lose his sanity or kill everyone in the vicinity until Starscream was returned.

With the cheering thought that this might actually work, he calmly stood and blew a giant hole in the wall before plodding out, completely oblivious to the protests of the Autobots behind him.

Now, where would Optimus be hiding?


Optimus was in fact having his right arm inspected by Ratchet, which the latter was convinced had a slight stiffness to it. The former was discontentedly seated on a large crate with the luminous Autobot standing by his side, scanning the limb whilst tugging and rotating it incessantly.

This prodding and staring made the commander shifty; desperately he tried to work out how to distract the insistent medic.

'Say,' he said after some hasty thinking, 'didn't Ironhide have a check-up today?'

'This is true. He is to be seen later.'

'How- how much later?' the tall mech blurted, unable to repress his urgency. 'Soon?'

Ratchet paused for barely an astrosecond to meet Optimus' wide optics. 'Nothing on this planet or any other will divert my attentions away from your care.'

Care? Care?- as his medical officer, his advisor, his friend- Prime appreciated the other Autobot, he truly did, but care was not the right word for Ratchet's ministrations. 'Your conviction is touching, but I know not what you infer,' he claimed in valiant denial as his arm's joints were manipulated this way and that, 'I would never try to interrupt you-'

'Of course not.'

'-in the middle of something important,' Optimus continued, 'but this is both pointless and uncomfortable.'

The arm was held still. 'Uncomfortable.'

'Not now,' Prime said, 'but it was, what with your twisting and manoeuvring.'

'Pointless,' Ratchet then repeated, and the commander noted an offended undercurrent to his tone.

Oh dear.

'Not pointless,' he hastily tried to soothe, 'just- it isn't a massive ordeal and you're convinced it is one-'

'So you're content to let it be,' Ratchet said, dropping his limb immediately and staring at him intently. He didn't seem upset anymore, just... blank.

'Quite.' Had he actually managed to dissuade the CMO? It was a refreshing surprise; clearly Ratchet had realised he was being obsessive. Prime manoeuvred himself off the crate, and was making swiftly for an exit when the other mech spoke again.

'For all your training, I tell you now Optimus, battling with one arm will be difficult even for you.'

The exasperated commander paused to give his arm an experimental twizzle. 'One arm? Ratchet, you exaggerate. My arm is fine.'

'It is not,' the medic insisted, pacing after him (clearly Optimus had wrongly read him as disinterested), 'it is definitely hindered. When you next battle, what do you suppose will happen if this seizes up? Or if it is slightly slower than you are used to or require?'

Optimus eyed his arm in horror. 'Do you really believe that could happen?'

'It is a definite.'

He looked stubbornly terrified. 'How long do I have left?'

'Optimus,' Ratchet said exasperatedly, momentarily considering jumping on the mech and trying to physically subdue him, 'what odious mindset is that? I can treat it now if you will let me and you will not risk it at all.' He watched as the larger mech shifted weight from pede to pede for a couple of moments. 'This is very childish, Prime.'

'You'll never take me alive!' Optimus cried, diving out of the room.

Ratchet rubbed his nasalplating once with a heavy ventilation before following.

Optimus charged away, mentally plotting the fastest route to the outdoors: if he could get there and transform, then he could make a speedy getaway and hide somewhere until Ratchet's arm-obsession had blown over. This seemed like his best option and the only one to avoid pain, so he focused entirely on forming the plan as he moved.

He was so intent on this idea that he didn't notice a massive silver shape step out in front of him from another corridor until it was nearly too late; he screeched to a halt a mere inch from his brother.

Optimus coughed politely. 'So, Megs. How's it going-?'

Megatron kicked a wall moodily. 'Spiffing, Ops.'

'Any progress?'

'Do you see Starscream here?' He gestured manically to his side.

'No,' Optimus admitted cautiously.

'Then there is not progress,' Megatron ranted. 'Progress? What progress can there be without resolution? I want him back immediately. This nonsense must cease! We have Autobots to kill. They could be planning an attack right this moment!'

'I can guarantee they aren't,' Prime assured. 'Besides, think of it more positively. Have you been considering Starscream's feelings?'

'Starscream's feelings this, Starscream's feelings that! Why isn't anybody considering my feelings?' Megatron demanded hotly.

Optimus chose his next words carefully. 'Because you are the catalyst, the cause. If the catalyst- changes, adapts, then there will be a different reaction and a different product.'

The Decepticon listened carefully. 'Ah.'

'Do you see?'

'My actions affect others,' Megatron concluded.

Optimus did not comment that this was something sparklings were capable of understanding. 'Let us proceed slowly, Megatron. Who is to say you have to become completely different to achieve your goal?'

'You mean to say I could pretend to be changed now and then beat him up as normal?'

'No,' he said witheringly, 'as this would only happen again. Think of it more as a subtle change or two in your behaviours and everyday mannerisms.'

Megatron thought about this. 'Perhaps I needn't shove him roughly into walls when we are walking- I say walking, but I suppose I mean when I walk and he waddles. He waddles, Optimus. What sort of dignified Decepticon waddles?'

'Accept him for who he is,' Prime tried. 'He cannot help waddling. He is- wide and oddly shaped.'

'Don't you call Starscream oddly shaped,' Megatron threatened, demeanour instantly darkening.

'Oddly shaped in comparison to most mechs,' Optimus clarified. 'Obviously caused by his alternate, which is rather divine.'

'Want him for the Autobots, do you?' the other demanded angrily.

Here the red and blue mech seemed trapped. To answer yes would enrage his brother, to answer no would further insult him. When had everything become so complicated? 'We would welcome any to the Autobots if they believed in our cause,' Prime said carefully.

'Hang on, what were you doing?' Megatron demanded, suddenly recalling Optimus had been rocketing towards him at some speed.

'Escaping. Yourself?'

'Much the same, were I not Megatron and thus do not flee from anything.'

'Good. Did you require me at all?'

'No.'

'In that case I shall take my leave-' Optimus declared, attempting to walk past the Decepticon.

Megatron moved into his path. 'What do you escape from?'

'I am currently not escaping anywhere much,' Prime pointed out, 'as an escape infers that I am breaking free from some restraint or oppression rather than standing in the corridor talking.'

'Tell me.'

Optimus tried to get by his brother's mass once more and utterly failed. With a growl, he confessed. 'Ratchet.'

'A brave escape,' Megatron evaluated, 'very brave. If not pointless and suicidal.'

'Nothing is wrong with me!' Prime roared. 'Why should I be subjected to his poking and prodding and judgemental stare!'

'I am sure he has good reason.'

'He doesn't,' the Autobot protested. 'Let me past, I must put distance between us lest he find me.'

'One moment, I believe I did want to talk to you.' Something menacing lurked behind those red optics; something unspoken and brooding, something that Optimus felt compelled to be even further away from.

'Do you want me to be subjected to his attentions-? You know as well as I once he starts he won't stop- I'll be forced to undergo his attentions for hours! I'll be lucky if I get away with minor surgery-'

'If I remember rightly, it is always for the best,' Megatron said.

Optimus nearly recoiled in surprise. Instead, he shifted into a readier stance should he need a more aggressive tactic. 'I will pass.'

'As I said,' Megatron repeated, 'it was a brave attempt to flee, Optimus.'

'And a short one,' a low voice said from behind.

Prime turned his helm in horror; Ratchet was approaching quickly. With a wordless cry of despair he once more tried to dive past Megatron; this time the larger mech grabbed and held him firmly by a wrist.

'No-! Release me,' Optimus ordered, pushing at him demandingly. 'Now.'

Megatron gave him a half-amused, half-pitying look.

'Please?'

'Thank you,' Ratchet said to Megatron as Prime tugged desperately with varying grunts and growls. 'For such a child, he is too big; would you mind delivering him a little way for me?'

'Not at all.'

Ratchet clearly felt the need to patronise his commander further. 'See, Optimus? The arm was too slow, hampered your reflexes. Couldn't have avoided Megatron even if you'd known it was coming far before. We'll fix it presently, do not fear.'

'I am not going anywhere!' Optimus cried, attempting to bite Megatron's claws in-between words, 'by Primus I'll not suffer your surgery!'

'It will be this way,' Ratchet said, completely ignoring him and heading back down the corridor, 'if you would, Megatron.'

'Ow,' Megatron scowled at a particularly vicious gnaw and cuffed the flamed mech. 'You horrid runt of a twerp-'

'You can't make me go,' Optimus protested, desperately trying to wrench the claws off with his free hand. 'I'm a Prime!'

'That doesn't work with me; I'm your brother,' the silver Cybertronian said, 'and as such you'll listen.'

'I will not, you traitor!'

And with that, Optimus obstinately dug his pedes in.

Megatron noticed the slight movement with a heavy sigh. 'You'll ruin the floor.'

'I do not care. It can be repaired; my sanity can't. I won't return there!'

'You won't go willingly?'

'You have my wrist in a vice grip; I don't want to do anything you say. I shall go willingly if you release me.'

'I don't believe you.'

'I only ever tell the truth,' Optimus declared frantically.

'Hmm. Then answer me this: the easy or difficult way?'

'Who is it easy or difficult for?'

'For me.'

'As if I would make anything easy for you!'

'Thought so,' Megatron said, sounding completely unbothered. 'Oh well, I don't mind.' And as he spoke, the huge mech simply pulled the resistant party closer, then tucked him under an arm- oblivious to the near desperate struggling opposing him- and started on his way down the corridor.

'Megatron!' Prime shouted after a grunt or two of dismay whilst wriggling manically, 'put me down immediately!'

'Optimus, you know squirming will do you no good at all.'

'Lies, I shall be free of your clutches within moments-'

Moments continued to pass with Optimus in Megatron's clutches.

'You can't do this!' Optimus protested again, awkwardly attempting to punch at him.

'I certainly am. And you know when I said it would be either easy or difficult?'

Optimus refused to answer, and instead focused on trying to pry Megatron's arm away from his waist.

'I lied. This isn't difficult at all. Why,' the silver mech said fondly as- accompanied by a particularly fierce growl- a violent movement nearly connected a vicious headbutt to him, 'you're just like you used to be. A lot like Starscream too, simply less screechy.'

'I do not screech!' Prime howled. 'I cannot!'

'Obviously. But your noises are far less damaging to my audios. Ah-!' he sighed suddenly, and sounded quite pained.

Optimus futilely heaved at his brother's arm once. 'What?'

'Starscream,' Megatron said sadly.

The flamed mech noticed the wistful tone and would likely (under a more normal circumstance) have comforted him. Instead, he saw an opportunity. 'I can help you-'

'Help me what?'

'Help you find him,' Optimus hastily said. 'Just- just let me go and I'll help you.'

Megatron stopped walking- that was the only warning the Autobot had before he was abruptly slammed into a wall, one clawed hand pressing painfully on his throat and the other's clawtips resting dangerously on the centre of his chest armour. 'I swear to you, Prime, I will take my anger out on your spark if you lie to me. Comprehend?'

Optimus rumbled at him, optics blazing; he couldn't risk moving. He doubted that Megatron would attack him, but he certainly wasn't fond of unnecessary pain. No, he would remain still and converse, if that was what the larger mech wanted.

Megatron took his noise for compliance. 'Do you know where he is? Speak up, now.'

'No,' Prime spat. It was true enough; he didn't know exactly where the Seeker was hiding. 'This is wholly unnecessary, Megatron. I would answer your questions without being threatened and pinned against a wall. '

'But would they be truthful answers?'

'Of course they would, imbecile. I can hardly lie to you.'

'I cannot release you,' Megatron said almost apologetically. 'Not until I have my answers; if they are unsatisfactory I will still take you to Ratchet.'

Optimus attempted to push the other mech away again, but he was much too heavy and close; no leverage could be gained. 'If you were organic you'd be obese, Megatron.'

The silver Cybertronian's face screwed up in disgust as he considered it. 'At least I could squash all the meaningless twig-insects.'

'Stick-insects.'

'Enough. Your spark, Optimus.'

'You certainly have a nerve,' the Autobot said, bristling, feeling a brusque psychic prodding at his spark. 'After all this time, you'd abuse our link to interrogate me?'

'I will do what I must.'

'And if I'd rather face Ratchet?'

'Your choice, brother.'

'Then you be honest with me,' Prime risked. 'Your spark for mine.'

'As you so rightly said, I am the one interrogating you, not the other way around.'

Optimus abruptly realised he couldn't risk jeopardising the whole 'operation'; if Megatron had access to his spark he'd know everything. 'Then I refuse.'

'Do you know anything about where my Seeker is?' Megatron repeated dangerously, continuing to press on Optimus over their link.

'I'd guess he was probably on the planet,' Prime retorted with difficulty, though he couldn't even be sure of that seeing as Starscream had actually disappeared after being ushered around by Jazz.

'Have you had any contact with him?'

What, ever? 'We've been battling for eons, I'd say we had contact every now and then-'

'Do not test me.'

'You are accusing me of something I have not done; forgive me if I am a little sharp!'

'You said you would help me find him,' Megatron said suspiciously. 'How, if you know not where he is?'

'Four optics are better than two,' Optimus replied. 'And two factions are better than one. I assume the Decepticons are searching for him?'

For the first time, Megatron looked awkward.

'It is humiliating to have your second taken away from you,' he finally said. 'Soundwave knows the truth; all else think he is on a mission but for his trine who grow doubtful, though they dare not voice it.'

'Surely Soundwave could locate him?'

'Soundwave is inexplicably befuddled and incompetent.'

'I will help you,' the Autobot said, 'if you let me go.'

Blue optics met red in a clear plea.


'Finally- ah,' Ratchet said a minute later, noticing Optimus being hauled into his medbay, 'the puny waist hold. I haven't seen that technique in a while.'

Prime snarled at him.

'It's not overly an insult,' the medic replied. 'Your chassis and shoulders are a little disproportionate to your waist. I'm surprised nobody but Megatron ever used it against you.'

'No one else is as equal a fat prat,' Optimus said, managing to land a kick to Megatron's leg, albeit a pathetic one.

'Hahahaaa,' the Decepticon false-laughed. 'Ratchet, make him hurt.'

'This isn't fair,' the flamed mech cried, 'ganging up on me-'

Megatron cackled. 'Afraid, are you?'

'I am not,' Optimus refuted immediately. 'It- it isn't necessary, that's all!'

'And I have told you that it is,' Ratchet said. 'I can't have a one-armed commander. Restrain him if you would, Megatron!'

'I'm almost sorry for you,' the silver mech said guiltily as he forced a struggling Optimus onto Ratchet's Evil Table of Inspection.

'I am never talking to you again,' Prime snarled, attempting to rip Megatron's face off and failing. 'And certainly not helping you!'

Megatron pouted furiously.

'See,' Ratchet said again before preparing to induce his commander into stasis, 'were your arm in perfect condition you might have been able to make that.'

Optimus swore he would never talk to any of them again.


It seems this fic is fated to be updated (I do love a rhyme) about every ten months or so, thus I leave you in suspense. Only joking! Hopefully it will be out far before next year. (; Tatty-bye till then! :D