Title: "Protocol"

Author: Kyra Neko-Rei.

Rating: NC-17.

Pairings: Megatron/Starscream, tiny mentions of Megatron/Optimus Prime.

Setting: Cybertron, pre-war.

Warnings: Sparksex, BDSM.

Disclaimer: They ain't mine.

Summary: Megatron chooses his new Air Commander, and has some fun with him besides.

The Lord High Protector set the datapad on his immaculate and massive desk; stretched lazily, enjoying the feeling of eased tension in his shoulder hydraulics; picked up the datapad again. Service records of every wing commander in his air fleet stared up at him. On the wall across from him, two faces, the symbols of his office and of Prime's, stared across at him in shadow---official mourning, for the passing of Air Commander Skydance, heroically dead, winning a mismatched battle and saving every member in her squadron in the process. A contemporary of himself and his brother, a classmate at the academy, a friend, a fellow warrior who understood the supreme importance of keeping Cybertron safe, just as Megatron did.

A hard act to follow.

Megatron flipped through screen after screen, studying service records, political viewpoints, off-duty amusements, and in-air performance of every flyer who held the rank of Commander, plus a few Lieutenants who stood out amongst their peers. It would set not a few afterburners aflare were he to go against protocol and promote a lieutenant all the way to Air Commander above the Wing Commanders who were directly subordinate to the position, but the office was an important one that didn't change officers often---his choice would hold the post for a small eternity, and that meant he needed the best flyer, the best strategist, the best leader, to have the position, regardless of whether that best person had had time to advance properly when the previous Air Commander had happened to die.

Case in point: a recently-minted lieutenant named Starscream, whose profile he'd just happened upon. Exemplary service record, exemplary academy record before that. Not perfect, but . . . charged---he did everything well, but he did a lot of things his own way, countermanding orders a few times and arguing strategy with his superiors more than a few times. Not surprisingly, was third-in-command in his current squadron---a good place for such a being. Second-in-commands were there to execute their superiors' orders, to second them; third-in-commands were there to play devil's advocate, to point out flaws in their commanders' plans, to argue when needed. Sort of like his own position in comparison with the Prime---although there he was second-in-command, as the Prime had no need of a second to back him up, such was his authority and power, but rather a second to keep him in check, and to keep in check in turn. Megatron thought that this was the better way. Certainly his brother needed no one to mindlessly back him up, and neither did he himself, really.

But now he was choosing an Air Commander, one of his direct seconds---and so the question had to be asked, which did he want for ihis/i direct subordinate, the first such position that was open for him to choose? His predecessor had chosen Skydance, and all of the other living High Commanders. Had chosen Megatron. Had even, slag him, chosen Megatron's replacement in the High Command when he chose Megatron to succeed him. Now, finally, was Megatron's turn to choose, to promote someone to immediately below him. But what did he want? He could have an agreeable, obedient subordinate---or he could have an Air Commander---a leader, not a follower, right under him---and over his entire air force.

No question, really.

He scanned Starscream's record one more time. Politically sound---well in agreement with Megatron on most issues. That was good; military high command was no place for a pacifist or an idealist; such beings were for the Prime's line of command. Excellent strategy . . . records set for flying scores at the academy . . . and good, sound reasoning every time he disagreed with his commanders.

Megatron activated his communications link and sent out a request for Lieutenant Starscream to report to him at his earliest convenience.


"Earliest convenience" turned out to be less than a cycle later---the mech must've been in the building already. "Report" was equally impressive---perfectly in adherence with protocol, Starscream had entered, saluted, spoken the words "Lieutenant Starscream reporting as ordered, sir," and come fluidly to attention, all graceful, perfect military precision without being excessively rigid . . . lilting voice pronouncing the words crisply and with perfect inflection . . . and not the slightest trace of nervousness or fear. Nor arrogance either . . . no, cancel that, there was something like arrogance there. Just below the surface, the subtle pride of someone who's doing everything perfectly and knows it, and knows everyone else knows it too. And there is . . . not quite a complete lack of nervousness, either. That too is just below the surface, the barely-perceptible trembling of someone who is in the same room with . . . hmmm . . . the Lord High Protector? For some people, that's enough; for others, no. Megatron? Perhaps---same thing. Megatron fixed piercing optics on the lieutenant, and there it is again, the slightest of tremors . . . the rapt, tense attention of someone who is in the room with an object of devotion.

Megatron coolly said, "At ease," more to watch him move again than out of any desire to put the mech at ease; he liked this barely-there edginess. Starscream moved fluidly into the wider stance of parade rest and smoothly clasped his hands behind his back. Not for the first time, Megatron felt a tiny thrill at being able to direct the movements of another mech, then took it a step further to contemplate the fiction that Starscream's arms were held behind him by shackles. The idea was very pleasing, and it was with regret that he pushed it aside in order to focus on business.


Starscream was indeed to become his new Air Commander, Megatron decided in rather short order. He'd discussed certain bits of military intelligence with the lieutenant, getting a feel for what he'd do with the job; he'd had the mech justify certain command decisions he'd made---not hard, since Megatron agreed with all of them---and viewed several tapes of Starscream flying; he'd asked for the flights Starscream considered to be his best and his worst, and they'd discussed why each had gained that description, and why they'd happened that way.

Now came the interesting part.

"Congratulations, Starscream," he said, getting straight to the point. "You're my new Air Commander." He felt a bit of gloating pleasure as the other's optics widened, and waited to see what Starscream would do next.

Protocol now offered Starscream several choices for his acceptance of the office. He could salute, he could bow from the neck or from the waist, or he could drop down to one knee---Megatron had added that option himself back when he was just one of the High Command, with his optics on the potential for becoming Lord High Protector, arguing that the holder of that exalted office ought to be entitled to a slightly greater display of respect than lesser officers. Prime was entitled to it as well; Optimus, however, had discouraged its use towards himself, the egalitarian dolt. Megatron preferred it, and this was common knowledge. Starscream didn't disappoint.

Still fluidly, the smaller mech sank to one knee, inclining his head. Megatron purred inaudibly at the sight, and wondered if he could talk Optimus into some fun later on.

No . . . apparently, he wasn't purring inaudibly. Starscream's head snapped up within seconds of the low rumble, optics brightening. So the flyer could hear that. Hmmm . . . that was interesting. More interesting, however, was that Starscream had broken protocol. Megatron smiled, an expression that Optimus jokingly referred to as his "evil delighted look."

Starscream shivered.

Megatron's "evil delighted look" found a whole new level of evil and delighted. Maybe he wouldn't need to pester Optimus after all. He fixed his new immediate subordinate with an arch look, mostly in the optics as his mouthpieces were very firmly smiling, and reveled in the moment as Starscream bowed his head. "Apologies, my lord."



"Parade rest."

Starscream obediently stood and assumed the requested position. Megatron stepped closer, towering head and shoulders over him, and took the smaller mech's chin in one clawed hand.

"You're the Air Commander now, Starscream," he said softly, deceptively gentle. "Everyone will be looking to you for an example, mechs who were your superior officers yesterday, worthless lieutenants like you were five minutes ago, soldiers, airmechs, cadets . . . Your adherence to protocol must be flawless." Starscream's optics blazed slightly at the insult to his movements, which had been perfect until Megatron had gone and started purring.

Megatron grinned. "Ahhh, yes . . . you have fire." Starscream's optics widened fractionally, and then surprised him, pleasantly, by restoring the glare.

"Yes, sir, I have. It is well-documented in my service record, I'm sure. I don't mean to change, Megatron. It's what I do." Steady voice, but . . . was that just the slightest hint of nervousness? Yes . . . and nerve. The other mech was grasping the fact that he was the Air Commander . . . and that the commander he'd be facing off with was the Lord High Protector, Lord Megatron. Elated at both . . . and nervous at both . . . and playing with fire, and loving it. Megatron smiled. Oh, yes, he'd chosen well.

"Indeed . . . that is why I chose you. I want no mindless seconds . . . the second acts as counterpoint to the leader, critiquing his plans, keeping him from getting complacent, just short of challenging him . . . and yet loyally serving the same goals . . . such is a stable system. So it is with the Prime and myself; so it is with myself and you, the first of my High Command."

Starscream nodded. "I'm the first one you've chosen."

"Yes . . ." The Lord High Protector took another moment to savor the occasion, then returned to what passed for business. "That being said . . . your adherence to protocol, while admirable, is slightly less than perfect. We shall work on that, you and I, before you publicly take your command."

Starscream's optics widened again, and he burst out, "You?"

"Who better? I am your commanding officer. Your only commanding officer, now." Megatron let a slight note of promise and desire creep into his voice, and gleefully watched Starscream's barely-perceptible response. Felt the tremors through his fingers, still resting against the Air Commander's jaw. Starscream's ventilators hitched, the edges of his mouth curving upward to form a smile.

"I wonder, Starscream, what's got you so pleased? Is it the power you hold over every other flyer on Cybertron? Or is it the power that I have, now directly, over you?"

He reached out with his other hand and gripped Starscream's codpiece. Hard. Starscream crumpled, shuddering and collapsing inward, letting out an electronic whimper that set every sensor in Megatron's body humming like a high-tension power line. He pulled at it, yanking the other mech closer, and Starscream crashed into him, sending them both staggering. Without letting go, Megatron pulled Starscream around him and propelled him back towards the wall, pinning him with his own greater bulk. The Air Commander made incoherent happy noises and ground fiercely against Megatron; the Lord High Protector grabbed a set of wires in Starscream's shoulder, and squeezed, pulling gently; Starscream groaned. Megatron smiled.

"I asked you a question, Air Commander."

"B--- Both!" Starscream barely got the word out, incoherent with Megatron's claws scraping over hydraulics and joints.

Megatron paused, one hand pressed lightly against a wing. "Both, what, Starscream?"

"Both . . . my Lord Commander." Flawless, this mech was, Megatron thought. At least, he certainly had a talent for the sort of flattery that Megatron, to be honest with himself, really, really liked. Hence the change in protocol to allow for genuflecting to the Prime and the Lord Protector. He liked being bowed to. He liked being deferred to. He liked being called my Lord Commander. He started purring again. Starscream started shivering again---or shivering more, rather, because it wasn't like he'd stopped.

Megatron liked Starscream shivering. He liked being the cause of it. And he certainly liked what he was planning to do next.

He let go of Starscream and stepped back, quelling both protest and attempts to bridge the gap with an upraised hand. "Protocol lessons, Starscream. You will do what I tell you to do, and do it perfectly. If you fail, you will attempt again until you complete it properly. Stand to attention."

He had to give Starscream credit: he had a fast processor even when distracted. Starscream shifted into ramrod-straight attention even as his face was displaying a decidedly stunned expression. In fact . . .

"No. Do it again, without the stupid look on your face." Starscream gave him a dirty look before complying, going completely at ease, schooling his expression into something acceptable, and returning to attention, perfectly. Megatron nodded. "Parade rest."


This was, Megatron decided sometime later, quite the effective form of stress relief. Directing another mech---a member of the High Command, at that---through every military movement in the book was fun. Doing it while said mech was somewhat aroused---and thus more prone to mistakes---was even better. And punishing the mistakes with rough gropes and the occasional slap to something sensitive, thus increasing the arousal that caused the mistakes and generating a sort of feedback loop, was hands down the best way to spend an afternoon that Megatron had ever come up with.

Starscream was trembling head to foot at the moment, standing at attention and probably aching. Megatron had leniently allowed him free reign to vocalize however he wished, and the array of whimpers, moans, and thank-you's the new Air Commander had produced while being stroked and prodded were ringing sweetly in his auditory sensors. Megatron himself was fairly well charged just now, from the delightful vocalizations his touches produced, the feeling of the other mech trembling beneath his fingers, and continued delight at watching Starscream go through the movements he directed, which he still did as gracefully as anything the Lord High Protector had seen in his long lifetime.

Megatron circled the Air Commander, predatory, watching for the slightest flicker of a mistake. There were none; he continued around in front of Starscream, made to circle around behind him again, and brought the flat of his palm across to slap Starscream's codpiece. Starscream squawked and both doubled over and arched into Megatron's palm, with the result that he managed to stay mostly upright; Megatron slapped him again. And again, three times in quick succession. The Air Commander whimpered, pleading incoherently with garbled noises that might or might not have been words. Megatron gripped his chin again, rubbed fingers up and down his jaw, and said, "Kneel to me."

Starscream sank down to both knees---completely ignoring protocol---and touched his forehead to the floor. "My Lord Commander." Fervency and lust in every syllable.

Megatron, looking down at his kneeling subordinate with delight, decided that such a break in protocol was eminently forgivable. Praiseworthy even.

Well, that was what he'd chosen Starscream to do.

"Up." Not waiting for the command to be followed, he reached out, grabbed a wing and hauled Starscream to his feet. The rest of Starscream followed the wing with no resistance and nothing resembling silence---apparently the wings were sensitive, and the Lord High Protector filed that knowledge away where it could be explored more thoroughly later. Megatron gripped Starscream's codpiece again, fingers slipping beneath it to pluck at the wiring behind it, and with his other hand yanked the Air Commander's chestplate open. It gave very easily, and Megatron stroked the other mech's spark casing.

Starscream lived up to his name at a volume that had Megatron's audio sensors shutting down to protect themselves. He reversed the safety measure without a second thought, wanting to hear more of it. Meanwhile, he found himself letting loose a cry of his own as Starscream's delicate fingers dug beneath his own chestplate, finding wires and circuit boards and his own spark casing. The intense tingles, coupled with the charge from dominating Starscream, brought him quickly to the verge of overload, and he wondered how badly Starscream was aching for it, having been played with somewhat longer and harder and more.

No matter. Starscream was going to get it in short order, now, immediately almost---Megatron shoved his subordinate against his desk so he sat down against it, then pushed him down onto his back, climbing on top and pinning him by resting elbows on his wings. Hips followed suit, resting on hips, and with Starscream bringing new meaning to the words loud and incoherent, Megatron brought his spark down hard against Starscream's.

It felt as if he'd connected sparks with the Allspark itself. The pleasure was excruciating, burning through his systems like a star going nova, and he was screaming, Lord Protector or no, screaming at the top of his vocalizer with no regard for dignity or anything else, and below him Starscream was screeching just as loudly and everything was just on fire with the pleasure that was consuming him burning him alive and it was the most glorious thing in the universe.


Coming back online, he found himself on the floor, his new Air Commander on top of him. He couldn't remember falling off the desk . . . or onto his chair, which he must have done, seeing as it had been more or less flattened. Pleasant shocks of residual energy flickered through his systems as he lazily sat up.

Sunlight streaked through the window, and he wondered vaguely whether the soundproofing had withstood that session. He was going to have to get it upgraded if he was going to keep Starscream around . . . and he sure as the Pit was going to do that. Speaking of Starscream . . .

He stood up just as the Air Commander came out of recharge, reached a hand down to pull him up, companionably, and smiled, lingering close. Starscream met his optics, satiated and lazy and pleased with both his commander and himself. Not bothering to keep the pleased rumble out of his voice, Megatron said, "I shall announce your promotion tonight, and a suitable celebration will be put together by tomorrow. Report to me here at the beginning of the morning duty shift."

Starscream nodded acknowledgment and saluted and said, "Yes, sir!" with the faintest hint of a smile.

Megatron added, "And Starscream . . . bring a shockstick with you."

Starscream's face split into a definitely protocol-shattering grin.