Summary: G1-ish AU. Being an adoptive child isn't easy. Especially if you find out that your parents are lying to you about your origins. An OC based look into the Decepticon Uprising.
Disclaimer: I own neither the recognizable characters nor the basic concept. Therefore, I am not making any money off this.
Usual caveats: I am German. If you find any grammar or wording mistakes, please tell me so I can fix it.
Time measurements for this universe: 1 joor = 100 breems, 1 breem = 100 astroseconds or klicks, 20 joors = 1 orn or cycle, 1 decacycle = 10 orns, 2600 orns = 1 vorn
Author's notes: So, originally this came about as a companion piece of sorts to some slashiness. Figures it would be twice as long as originally planned and finished before the other fic. Fortunately, it works as a standalone, so I can post something, at least.
As stated above: this contains slash, that is, non-explicit intimacy between beings identifying as male.
The name 'Tempest' appears courtesy of Borath, though the characters are hardly similar. Go read her fic.
Minus 200 vorns
Already the tower was taller than Topside. He had to really stretch to put the new block on top. It wobbled, and he nudged it with a finger.
"Now you," he told Margin, who was staring at the door of the play center.
"Nuh-uh. Inference is gonna be here soon."
Topside frowned. "How'd you know?"
"I can feel it, dumbaft." Margin patted him on the helm. "We gotta tidy up."
It was just as well. Margin was taller than Topside. Trying to make the tower higher without him wouldn't work. Topside dropped to his knees and pulled out one of the bigger blocks at their tower's basement. The tower toppled over spectacularly, but it wasn't as good a feeling as it usually was.
How come Margin could feel his creators and Topside couldn't?
He sighed. He'd have to ask 'site or something.
"'site?" Topside asked when his creator was tucking him in.
"Margin says he can feel his creators."
"Oh," 'site said. He vented some air in a sigh and sat down on Topside's berth. "That's… well, you see, some sparklings have stronger spark connections to their parents than others, so some can feel them very well and some can't."
"Hmm. So why can Margin do it and I can't?"
"No one can tell. It has nothing to do with how much the creators love their sparkling, or the other way round."
"Oh. Alright." Topside sat up and hugged 'site. "Love you," he murmured.
"I love you, too." 'site bent down to place a kiss on Topside's helm.
Minus 195 vorns
There were jets over Praxus that evening. Topside watched them drawing circles above the outskirts, their paint gleaming in the sunlight.
They were pretty. No, that was the wrong word. With how they always seemed to know what the others of their group were going to do, it was… it made him want to spread his arms and join them, have the air rushing along his frame.
Surely, there was no better feeling than that.
Eventually, a hand on his shoulders tore him back to the ground. "Time for your evening energon," Topic said.
"But." Topside turned to pout at his creator. "I wanna watch them some more."
"They're just Seekers."
Oh. In the stories, the Seekers were always the bad guys. "How'd you know it's Seekers and not some other jets?"
Topic sighed. "All tetrajets are Seekers. They're mass produced for the military, so they all have the same mold."
"But Seekers live in Vos. So what are they doing here?"
"They were probably ordered here to help searching for a criminal or a missing mech."
So they weren't all bad. "That's pretty neat."
"They're doing important jobs, certainly. But they're all programmed to be violent fighters, and to listen to orders, so they're not very bright."
Topside laid a hand on the windowpane. Somehow, those jets didn't look stupid. "I still wanna be a Seeker when I grow up."
Topic made a worried noise. "You don't want to be a flier, darling. They're either soldiers or shuttles. I know they look pretty, but they only get to fly when they're ordered."
"Hmm. Alright." Topside knew arguing was pointless. But really, there had to be a way to become a jet, and if there wasn't, he was at least going to move to Vos when he was older, so he could watch them all the time.
Minus 178 vorns
The Quintessons were acting up again in the colonies, so there were regular air patrols over Praxus. Topside loved it.
"Still watching the patrols?" 'site asked from the door.
Topside nodded without turning to look at his creator.
"Your recharge time started a breem ago."
"But me no buts. Berth. Now."
Topside tried his pout, but 'site didn't relent.
Minus 163 vorns
"… Once the newspark is strong enough, he fissions from its carrier spark. And after two or three decacycles more, he's ready for his own shell!"
The teacher waited a little.
Most of Topside's classmates looked like they were thinking 'eww'.
"So," the teacher continued, "usually, a mech can only produce a newspark once, so only one in three mechs ever has a sibling. Margin is very lucky, because creation bonds taper off eventually, but brother bonds never do. He'll never be lonely again."
Out of the corner of his optics, Topside could see Margin beam.
But something was wrong with all this, so Topside raised his hand.
"How do creation bonds work?" Topside asked.
The teacher inclined his head, as if he'd never heard that question before. "Ah. You see that a newspark is very helpless and can't even speak. So it's only logical he would retain a connection to his creators, because that's how they know what he needs and how he feels. When the sparkling grows, the bond weakens. So adults only have a very basic feeling of their creators, like if they're healthy or not, and that only over short distances."
Topside nodded, but he really felt as if he'd been hit over the head with the teacher's desk. 'site had lied.
'site had lied.
Everyone could feel their creators, so… so that meant 'site and Topic weren't Topside's creators at all. Weren't even related to him.
They'd probably stolen him somewhere, because where else did you get sparklings that weren't yours?
Topside kept to himself for the rest of the school orn, and when 'site came to fetch him he didn't greet him and didn't take the offered hand either.
"Wow, you're cranky today."
"What's wrong? Did you have a fight with Margin?"
"Then what happened?"
Topside stopped to glare up at 'site. "You stole me!"
'site leaned back a bit and looked surprised.
"You're not my creator, and if you don't return me, I'm going to tell the police!"
"I'm not your baby!"
"Yes you are." And just like that, 'site grabbed him and held him close, and Topside kicked and struggled, but 'site wouldn't let go and instead made sounds as if Topside were hurt instead of angry. It made Topside sob, in the end, because it was all a lie and he wanted it to be real.
"Shush, baby. Who said I stole you?"
"Teacher explained 'bout creation bonds."
"I see." 'site kissed Topside's helm. "And you concluded you weren't mine."
Topside nodded and buried his face in 'site's shoulder.
"And you were right insofar as neither Topic nor I are your carrier or code-donor. We adopted you."
"You know how it takes two mechs to make a sparkling?"
"Teacher said mates."
"That's not quite correct, I'm afraid. Sometimes two mechs do spark share without being mates. It's very complicated, but sometimes it happens, and then you have a mech carrying a newspark with no mate to care for him or the sparkling."
"And some of those unfortunate mechs know they don't have the support or the credits to raise a sparkling on their own, so they ask Social Services to find a pair of mates who can provide for the sparkling. And such a couple then adopts the sparkling as their own.
"So I have no code relation to you, but I raised you and I love you just as much as if I'd carried you."
Topside looked at 'site's face, but there was no trace of a lie there. "So who is my carrier?"
"I don't know, baby. It's kept a secret, the law wants it that way. Only when you're an adult, you can inquire it of the Social Services."
"Right. But do you know why he didn't want me?"
'site looked at him, and he seemed very sad. "It has nothing to do with not wanting you. I'm sure he… he would have kept you if he could have. But he thought about your health and happiness first, so he offered you up for adoption."
"So… so he did want me?"
"A whole lot, I'm sure." 'site kissed Topside's helm again. "And I'm sure his decision wasn't easy. But in the end, he thought he wouldn't make as good a parent for you as we do."
"So you're still my sparkling?" 'site looked really anxious, as if he were afraid Topside would say no.
Topside nodded instead. But he was going to find his carrier, later, because he wanted to tell him how good he'd decided.
In the night, Topside woke up because 'site and Topic were arguing.
The words were low at first, but suddenly, Topic started yelling. "I don't care, you selfish slagger! He's ours, you should have waited."
'site didn't yell back, just used his normal voice, so Topside couldn't understand.
But shortly after that, there was the bump the couch always made on the wall when Topic sat down on it too fast. Topside cranked up the gain of his audios, and there they were again.
"… just hoped he'd never find out," Topic said.
"That's not feasible, and you know it."
Topic sighed. "Did you have to tell him he could inquire about his carrier?"
There was no audible answer, so Topside assumed 'site had shrugged.
"He'll hate us."
"He won't. That Seeker didn't sign the NDA because we asked him to."
Oh. Topside was part Seeker. Wow! Sooo wow.
Maybe he could get wings, after all. Only 160 vorns more, and he could go inquire and get wings.
So. 'site had known it was a Seeker all along. But it was so cool, and maybe 'site had forgotten about it anyway, what with Topside so upset, so he'd forgive them.
He didn't really recharge much that night.
'site tried to get Topside to talk about his homework on the walk to school, but he was too tired to say much.
"Well then," 'site said when they'd reached the gate and stroked Topside's helm. "See you later, cranky bot."
Topside frowned up at him, but 'site only grinned and walked off.
"Soo…" came Margin's voice from behind. "What was that about… Crank?"
Minus 76 vorns
NDA. Non-disclosure agreement.
Topside stared at the text and tried to process that information. That 'site had always known no amount of inquiring would get Topside information about his carrier from the authorities.
It was a lie. It was the second lie, and he just didn't have it in him to forgive them for that. There could only be excuses again.
Things looked differently from this angle. The expensive toys, the trips to Iacon on school vacations. He'd always considered himself to have been a fairly happy sparkling, but in hindsight all of it acquired a bitter taste, like energon spoiled with copper.
So… he finally stopped telling people that his name wasn't Crank. At least he had earned that one, and it didn't sound like an obvious and desperate attempt to make him a part of them. He stopped calling Offsite by his nickname.
He heard them arguing about it and conclude that it had to be part of some youngling phase or other; he was reaching "that age", and that at least his grades weren't dropping.
Of course they weren't. Crank was seeing to it. He didn't think they'd finance his stay at an Academy if he announced he wasn't going to be a business administrator, as Topic so obviously hoped.
He did some digging – the information was there, but nobody ever talked about it.
There were generally more couples hoping to adopt than sparklings offered for adoption. Fifty percent of those sparklings came from Vos and Kaon. That was, from fifteen percent of the entire population. It took some very careful re-reading to realize those mechs weren't allowed to keep their offspring. The report said this was because most of them were underage, and that pointed to yet another revelation: someone kept them clueless on purpose.
There were also forums on the net for adoptive parents who'd "only" landed a sparkling from the south, and they commiserated with those who had already realized that their kid wasn't as bad as his reputation. Most of them said they weren't telling their adoptees where they'd been sparked, though.
It was an incredible injustice. There was no carrier making a difficult decision, only some hapless youngling being used as a breeder.
That settled it. Crank would find work in Vos and go looking for his creators, and then he'd create a riot on the media, so people would know. As to the work itself…
Profession orientation orns were coming up at the end of the vorn, the teachers were reminding them constantly that they were to find their 'jobs' without any help and to research different fields, so it was just a matter of a quick search about what the City of Vos was looking for by way of public servants.
Topic offered an indulgent smile at Crank's announcement he'd do his orientation in a hospital.
"It's good you didn't go the easy way and applied with us," he said. "And this kind of social work always looks good in a resume."
Crank nodded along.