Warning to my regular readers: this is so very much not a 'Four' fic, in so many ways. Read the header for your own sanity's sake.
Updated March '10 with some added details:
Anon on tfanonkink requested some Seeker!Will dealing with all the fun issues that come with being one of those builds. I probably fail at this request, since this turned out to be more humour and sort of plot than kink, but eh, I have fun writing it, so I'll post it as it gets written. It's good for unwinding with. Also, it's not properly beta'ed, since my poor beta is overworked enough as is *cough* I'll try to aim for a 2-3k-ish word update once a week, but can't promise anything. Link to original request can be found on my Dreamwidth account, linked from my profile.
In short, this story's basically just for the sheer fun of it. I hadn't originally planned an actual plot but one managed to sneak in, anyway. It's (vaguely) plotted out all the way until the end so this fic should at some point have an actual ending and stuff – I hate leaving fics unfinished. For added fun, I recommend 'Flying' by Nice Little Penguins for a soundtrack.
It's rated M for likely TF-style non-sticky smut in future chapters and because I don't think I can get away with three-, four-, and moresomes under a Teen rating. Even if it's mostly implied. Yay, Seekers!
Title: Trials of a Seeker
Pairings: As it's heading now, Ironhide/Seeker!Will/Ratchet and possible Seeker!Will/Sarah, with some mentioned Ratchet/Ironhide and implied past Prime-getting-it-on-with-Seekers.
Warning: Car fetish, Seeker libido and mating drive, flight-kink, and my general fail at writing anything above PG-13. I also tweaked canon a little bit here and there to make it fit better but it shouldn't be anything huge.
A/N: The all-mighty Wikipedia states that movie!Starscream is around 31 feet tall. I figured the rest of the Seekers would probably be around the same size, then. I'm not sure about all of the fanon (and canon) view of Seeker culture, so if I messed up something painfully obvious, please forgive me.
It was not a good day. Getting killed had sucked, and then it had headed downhill from there, and no, it was not a good day at all. He wasn't sure how he had found himself in his current situation, because all he remembered was light, and a voice, and the distinct impression that the god of the Cybertronians had a sick, sick sense of humour and a very warped idea of gratitude, and then he was in the infirmary, with Ratchet poking him and suddenly looking a lot less towering than Will was used to.
It had really gone downhill from there.
Oh, sure, the Autobots looked alien, but it had nothing on the weirdness of suddenly waking up as one. His processors might insist that his new body was perfectly fine, but the rest of his human thought processes were less than happy with the whole thing. The first uncomfortable realisation was that he was an alien robot now. The second was that the weird-aft slag on his back was wings, and the third one – discovered as Ratchet let him stand up – was that he was towering.
Not just tall. Towering. His sense of perspective was slagged to the Pit, but some processor or another kindly informed him that he had ten feet on Ratchet, eight feet on Ironhide, and that whenever their resident medic would permit him to see anyone else, he would find himself close to eye-level with Optimus Prime.
The fourth realisation was that while his human mind had firmly decided that his new body could best be summed up as 'ugly as frag', his mech mind was already preening in a really, really uncomfortable way. He was a thirty-foot tall alien robot that apparently transformed into a plane. The last thing he needed was his entirely-too-close-to-being-schizophrenic mind deciding that he was pretty.
"Sam," Will said as calmly as he could manage – and Primus, it was going to take a while to get used to hearing himself like that – "got brought back from the dead, too. In his own body. "
"Sam," Ratchet repeated, in a voice that invited no arguments, "actually had a body that could be revived."
Which, granted, was true, and was another reason on the list of why it had really not been a good day. He really, really hated large explosions he didn't cause himself. Fragging worthless Decepticon cowards.
He stared at his hand, flexed alien, metallic fingers as Ratchet watched him and clearly kept an eye on any sign that he was going to freak. Will couldn't blame him. He hadn't even started on the fact that his wife thought he was dead and he'd have to explain to her that she was technically married to an alien now, and that wasn't the only uncomfortable thought demanding attention, because slag it all, he wasn't just a Cybertronian, he was a Seeker.
"Does this make me a 'Con?" he finally asked quietly. He had seen his optics, and they were blue, but...
"A 'Con?" Ratchet repeated, voice questioning, and Will made what passed for a shrug in his new body and tried to make it casual.
"I thought all Seekers were 'Cons by default. They're all on Megatron's side, right?"
Ratchet looked amused at that, which was a nice change from the intense scrutiny Will had been the subject of since he woke up in the infirmary. "Do you feel like a 'Con?"
Still amusement. "Blue optics, Autobot insignia on your wings, no immediate urge to kill innocent beings... I'd say you're clear."
Another pause, and finally Will got a grip on himself and managed to ask the question that had been nagging him since approximately three seconds after he first laid his brand new optics on Ratchet, and if he had been human, he would have taken a deep breath to steel himself. "So, you going to tell me why the Pit I've got slagging heating fans turning on when I think of 'Hide, or Optimus... or you?" he added, because if he had to go for embarrassing, he might as well get it all out in one go.
Ratchet, bless his spark, didn't even look surprised but only pointed at the infirmary bed again. "Sit," he said firmly. "You're going to get a crash course in Seeker programming, and I don't think you're going to like it."
Not liking it, Will realised about half an hour and several data transfers later, was an understatement. It didn't help that most of his objections were dismissed with the catch-all 'You're a Seeker'. Married and not interested in fooling around? You're a Seeker now. Human mind that does not think mechs are a turn-on at all and which is really uncomfortable with fantasising about the colour of Ratchet's plating? You're a Seeker now. Sudden urge to provoke Ironhide into pinning him to the wall and 'facing him into next week? Well, you're a Seeker now.
Seeker were, apparently, the Cybertronian equivalent of raving nymphos, and there was nothing to do but accept it and get used to the thought, or stay moody and biting about not getting anything. Right back to his teenage years, basically, and Will bit back a snarl as he waited for Optimus and Ironhide to get their afts down to the infirmary. Optimus, because he was in charge, and Ironhide because Ratchet apparently felt that the weapon specialist would be a calming influence as Will adapted to it all. Knowing Bumblebee, he was probably waiting impatiently, too – as much for his own sake as for Sam's – but Will really didn't feel up for facing any more people that he had to.
A pause, and his brain groaned.
Meeting. Meeting any more people than he had to.
Slag it all.
The doors opened and thirty-two feet of Prime stepped inside, followed by a weapon specialist that looked uncomfortably small to someone who was used to watching him from a human-sized body. He cringed before he could help it, the soft sound of plating sliding against plating, and Optimus Prime gave him a sympathetic look, and only a firm grip on his slagging heating fans kept them from kicking in as core programming reacted to the sheer strength the Prime radiated.
The Seeker programming purred. The human brain groaned.
Seeker programming found his optics lingering on the lines of Optimus Prime's helmet, curved blue that looked sinfully smooth to touch, and Will ruthlessly pushed aside the thought before it could go any further.
It was Optimus Prime, for Pit's sake. Optimus Prime.
Then his Prime went to talk with Ratchet, and Ironhide crossed the room and if there was any hesitation at all, he didn't show it. Not that Will would have minded. It would have been understandable. He was a Seeker, and Seekers were generally bad news to an Autobot.
"What the slag did you do this time?" the weapon specialist drawled, and Will hadn't even known until then how worried he had been about their reactions, and he shifted, a bit embarrassed.
"Something blew up. We got the building cleared, though."
Which made it worth it. At least, that's what he had figured the moment before it all blew up. Stupid way to die, but none of them had signed up for NEST expecting a safe career, and that was okay, too.
He probably looked stupid, big-aft Seeker ducking his head at the words of a mech about two thirds of his size, but he didn't particular care. Ironhide made him feel human for a while, made him feel normal, and he could add that to the long, long list of things he already had to be grateful for when it came to the dark mech.
It wasn't much, but it was still a distraction, and a moment later his heating fans whirred to life as his attention slipped, and he groaned. Audibly.
Ironhide, bless his spark, merely smirked faintly but didn't comment until after Will had managed, a few painfully long seconds later, to get the fans back under control – and he really, really didn't deserve friends like that, and 'Hide really, really didn't deserve to have Will's new core programming gleefully bring up images of what those strong hands would feel like, and the hum of the cannons as they stroked against his wings, scarred metal following the flawless curves of his new body, caressing wing-tips and lingering on the spot where the wings joined and sensors would spring to life at even the ghost of a touch, and-
"Seeker, huh?" Ironhide finally said, amused, and Will just sighed.
"Seeker," he agreed.
His core programming felt insulted. Will really didn't care.
Optimus Prime's little talk with Ratchet was a lot shorter than the one Will had gotten, but then, he probably didn't need most of it. If Will had figured Ratchet right, a lot about Seekers was considered common knowledge to most mechs, and the less-known parts about it, Ratchet had apparently not seen fit to tell his Prime.
Will was seriously considering finding someone who delivered gift-wrapped high-grade and get a stack for the medic as a thank you for small mercies.
You've got two sets of fans, Ratchet had said, and Will was grateful for his straight-forwardness, at least. Cooling fans, which we all have. They cool you down. And then you've got those. A tap of fingers against his plating, making his point until Will got said fans under control again. We all have internal heating systems, but heating fans are a Seeker-specific addition. It's a mating display, but it's not common knowledge. Cybertronians experience heat when we feel... attracted to someone. You don't need to be cooled down until things heat up, obviously. Your heating fans bring up your surface temperature just enough to show your interest until your actual body response can take over, and the sound is familiar to mechs as a sign of arousal. It's part of why Seekers have a reputation for having interfacing on their processors. The fans are mistaken for a sign of arousal rather than interest. A pause, amused. I'm flattered, really.
Will had ignored that part of it. So he was a peacock now. Strutting his feathers, while everyone around him assumed he was running around with a constant hard-on. Mech-on. Whatever.
Peachy. Just slagging peachy.
It would be unfortunate to have to spend energy in an emergency on keeping your body temperature down, Ratchet had continued. If Seekers were truly in such a constant state of arousal, they would not be as dangerous as they are. It's a sign of interest, a signal that someone is seen as a potential mate and that you would be willing to pursue the idea, but it's only surface plating that heats up, and only enough to get the intent across.
So Ironhide probably had the idea that being around him made Will worked up because Ironhide was a mech, and Will was a Seeker and Seekers were interface addicts and would do anyone, and he wasn't sure at all that would be an improvement to explain to the mech that it had actually been a very specific response aimed at a potential mate rather than just raving nympho tendencies showing themselves.
Rock and a hard place, really. No wonder Seekers liked to let everyone think they just liked 'facing that much. It left them a lot less vulnerable when people didn't think it was anything they meant that seriously.
Anything else I should know? he had asked, just a bit annoyed with the whole thing, and Ratchet had sighed – or what passed for it, in their species.
Seekers do have their reputation for a reason. While you are not in a near-constant state of arousal as some might think, your core programming is looking for potential mates to spark with, and it will react if you ignore it for too long. To be blunt, Seekers who do not interface regularly become unpleasant to be around. You do not have a trine to assist you in that. I would recommend you keep that fact firmly in your processors.
He could have objected that he was married, that he didn't find robots a turn-on, that he wasn't going to let programming dictate who the slag he was, but it wasn't what his brain latched on to in the end.
… Spark with? I'm a chick? Baffled, utterly baffled, because the few femmes Will had seen were all relatively small for Cybertronians, and he was the size of Optimus slagging Prime, and this was not going well at all, and-
No, Ratchet had said, amused. You're a Seeker.
And the day had continued downhill after that.
Two hours later, and Will's day had only improved marginally. The heating fans had reacted to Ratchet, Optimus, and Ironhide. They also seemed to have considered Bumblebee for fraction of a second before deciding against him – and for frag's sake, the scout was barely more than half his size, so thank Primus for small mercies, at least – but still Will had barely managed to suppress a groan.
No reaction around Arcee or Chromia or Flareup – or the Twins, thank Primus – all of which his core programming had dismissed as too small and fragile, and those Seeker instincts had seemed baffled by Jolt for a moment before finally, reluctantly, deciding against him as a mate, too, although Will got the distinct impression that those Seeker instincts also wouldn't at all mind a good ol' 'facing with the mech at all. Sideswipe... attractive enough to make Seeker programming downright purr in his mind again, and while he got an uncomfortable amount of images of just how very much his programming would like a roll in the hay with the mech, the heating fans stayed off. Too small, even if he was dangerous and competent enough, and Will had sighed and accepted that little mercy, too.
Three mechs he needed to watch himself around, then, and he very firmly pushed the thought of the slagging 'Cons out of his mind, because Seeker programming apparently didn't care much about factions at all, either, and while fantasising about allies was one thing, he was not going to acknowledge the images in the back of his processors that informed him just how very good it could be with fellow Seekers, who knew what to touch, what to do; who knew his responses and would spend hours worshipping those wide expanses of beautiful, flawless, sensitive wings and running clawed fingers over delicate sensor nodes, and-
Slag. Slag it all to the Pit, and he was starting to understand why Megatron had all of the flying fraggers. Seeker knew Seeker best, and why make due with only ground-pounders when you could have a trine to bond with; who knew you, who would watch your back, who would bond over purred wing-polishing and send pleasure through your bond when you 'faced with them, and the heating fans whirred to life before he could stop them, and it took Will another few, fumbling seconds to get them back under control again.
Ironhide only gave him an amused look and Will bit back a scowl.
Slag it all to the Pit, and when he got his hands on Primus, someone would fragging well pay for the whole Pit-spawned clusterslag.
He had a human wife. He had a daughter. He had a family, and at least Sarah seemed to have a firmer grip on it that he did, an uncertain first look replaced by raw concern and then a dark glare at Optimus Prime before she had all but dragged him away for what Will assumed to be a very firm talk about the situation. He would normally have pitied Optimus for that, but right now the fragger was their most direct link with Primus and thus a handy target for Will's irritation with the slagger, too.
"Fraggers," Will muttered and levelled another scowl at Ironhide. "Stop looking so slagging amused."
Still faint amusement as Ironhide watched him. "What would you prefer, Will? You didn't strike me as the type to prefer being pitied and coddled."
A jab at his refusal to pick a designation – his name was William Lennox, how fragging hard could it be? Will, or William, or Lennox, or whatever other combination they could think of, and he didn't care, he was not picking a Cybertronian name – and Will glared at the mech but didn't really mean it. Ironhide did have a point, and if he had been given more time to come to terms with his new situation, maybe he would even appreciate having someone treat him normally and not give him those wide-eyed looks or speculative glances, or whatever else the other fraggers had done.
And he was getting seriously annoyed. He desperately hoped it was a delayed stress reaction and not Ratchet's warning coming true that soon.
They fell silent again as they watched Diego Garcia and its surroundings from a secluded hangar as Optimus Prime and everyone else tried to keep their new Seeker hidden until they figured out just what to tell to the governments and the humans on base, and when Ironhide spoke again, his voice was surprisingly soft for the mech.
"Could be worse," he said quietly and his optics were staring into the distance as Will turned his head to look at him. "You can fly, you know. Most of us can't. Even when Cybertron was at its brightest, most of us were ground-bound. Fliers of any kind weren't that common, much less Seekers."
There was something in his voice that sounded almost longing and it made Will's anger fade as he turned his head to stare out at sea as well. "I have no one to train me," he said just as quietly, and Ironhide snorted softly.
"If he brought you back as a Seeker, I doubt he'd have left you ground-bound because you didn't know how to fly." A pause. "It's probably mostly instinct. I always knew how to use weapons, too. I got training, sure, but the first time someone handed me a cannon, it felt... right. I knew what to do, I just had to remember it. I learned fast."
Flying, Will realised. He could fly. Not a parachute jump, not stuck inside a plane, but actually fly, and every instinct in his body sang at the realisation and made him look up at the vast emptiness of the sky above them, just waiting for a Seeker to tear through the freezing air up there and leave intricate patterns of turbulence as it skimmed across clouds.
A hesitant look at Ironhide – just shy of four tons, shorter, more compact than Will's new body, and he wondered just how much he would be able to lift as he flew – and he kept a firm mental grip on his fans as his core programming let him know in no uncertain terms that it approved of the idea, Ironhide pressed hard against his body as they tore through the air together, the exhilaration of being the first to introduce the ground-mech to the wonders of flight-
- And Will bit back a tired sigh and kept the grip on his heating fans and pretended not to notice the questioning look Ironhide gave him.
Out of all the mech-builds, he just had to end up in the sex-obsessed one, and a moment later his new body agreed as Ironhide shifted, the sound of heavy plating sliding, moving, old scars won in battle catching the light of the sun, and his heating fans picked up again before he could stop it, drawing a groan from the new Seeker.
"You have a sick, sick god," he muttered.
And Ironhide laughed.