Her eyes would not leave him. He sat across from her and sipped his energon. The way that he cupped the bottom of the cup with one hand and his cream colored fingers curled around it. That simple motion brought back memories from years long dead. She loved him for bringing those memories back.
She had taken off her armored shelling, leaving her arms and shoulders bare. Beneath the armor, she wore a tight fitting leotard, which was comfortable and was cool. Though her skin was synthetic, it was interwoven with artificial nerves that provide the touch sense. The skin was reflexive of bright light and was void of faint blood veins. She considered of getting it cut away and replaced with a metallic shell, but something kept her from going through with setting up a date with the surgeon.
For while, no words were spoken. The room was filled deep sense of reunion and dread of separation on her part, but on his part, she was too afraid to inquire.
"Where have you been?" That was the burning question of the hour.
He set down the cup and held it loosely between his hands. She knew those hands could instantly tighten into fists or flex into a pose of martial arts. Right now, she just wanted to hold one of them with hers.
"After I left, I left Cybertron and went to the edges of Autobot territory. I wanted to get away from distractions. . . . "
What I one of those distractions? She bit her tongue to keep from blurting out that question. She was too afraid of what the answer would be.
"My ship was accidentally destroyed. . . I joined a space bridge crew who was going to give me a lift back to Cybertron, but we were sidetracked by Decepticons."
Were you coming home?
"To make a long story short, we were in stasis for fifty stellar cycles. . . .that's why I didn't contact you, and for the solar cycle I was aiding the crew on Earth. That's the planet we crashed on."
He told her the story. They had found the Allspark and had a series of battles with Decepticons protecting it. They also battled human criminals in order to protect the city that had taken them in. He described to her what humans were and she crinkled her brow.
"Soooo, they are small Femaxians?"
"Yes, I was very surprised myself. There are slight differences. Their eyes are smaller and ears more rounded, but they are remarkable similar to your race." Prowl took another sip.
"And their men are. . . .civilized?"
"Yes, in fact according to their history, most of their cultures have where the males lead and the females followed." There was a smile touching his lips as he watched her reaction.
She had never seen a male of her species. She never saw her own father. She vaguely remember her mother telling her that she chose a gentle looking male to sire her child. The idea of men actually taking a lead in society confused her and made her uncomfortable.
There must have been a very confused look on her face because he chuckled softly and it brought a smile to her own mouth. "I think you are teasing me."
"It's true." He assured her.
They talked. He spoke to her of his team on Earth. About the inexperienced, but brave Optimus Prime, a crusty old medic bot, Ratchet, huge, but gentle Bulkhead, and feisty and loyal Bumblebee. He even spoke a small human named Sari who had become their guide on Earth.
She tilted her head and watched him speak of his friends and family. Prowl had never been a social creature, always going it alone. When she was a small girl, he had gotten into several fights with his crew members on Femax. And during their happy years, he usually just kept company with Yoketron and herself. A sprout of jealousy grew in her heart. She preferred being the only one who was close to him.
But then, they couldn't have been very close since he left so long ago.
She told him about her time since he had left, and how she had moved up from secretary to Breakridge's aide.
"Galatics Trade is still in business?"
"Yes, we're the top leading corporation in outer planet trading. But, there have been heavy taxes imposed on exports and imports have to go through a series of screening and sterilization that we end up paying out more than we receive."
"Sentinel Prime?" Prowl muttered. "He hates and fears organics."
"And he spreads his fear through propaganda." Farla curled her fingers around her cup. "You can't go anywhere without hearing his promises of saving Cybertron from the Decepticon threat if he is chosen as Magnus. Breakridge promises that if Sentinel Prime ever becomes Magnus, he is throwing himself off the top of Galactic Trade tower."
"You must be careful. If they find out. . . ."
She touched his hand, and smiled. "Don't. I'm a legal citizen. Yoketron saw to it. But I taken caution and I carry my ID with me just in case."
"Who your friend?" She was startled when he lifted his hand from hers and pointed at round image disc.
The image was of herself in her shell, her facial plate smiling as she stood close to the mech beside her with his arm snugly around her. The mech was a head taller than herself with turquoise and light green coloring. His green optics were bright almost glowed in the picture.
"That's Crash. He's. . . .more than a friend." She whispered.
"Does he know?"
"Yes, I told him before we became involved."
"Does he treat you well?"
"Oh, yes. He treats me very well, Prowl." She smiled at the image. "I think you and he would get along."
He didn't reply. He didn't need to. Likely, they wouldn't be friends due to his lone nature. Crash was clumsy around strangers that endeared him to her. It was Prowl's grace that intrigued her.
"Have you been to Yoketron's Tomb?" She whispered.
He shook his head, his visor slanting inward, his lips becoming thin.
"We could go together. The anniversary of his death is coming up soon. We should go together then."
His voice was empty when he replied, "We could do that."
After all these years, his loss still hurts you deeply.
Was she being disloyal or ungrateful to the elder ninjabot by not being in pain as Prowl was? She had loved him dearly and his loss had devastated her. She prayed and fasted at the anniversary of his death and visited his tomb. Was there more she could be doing for his memory?
He stood. It was a smooth motion that drew her eyes to him. "I must return to Earth now."
"No, you don't have to leave now." She stood reaching out to touch his arm. "Please, it's been so many solar cycles since I last saw you."
"Farla . . . ."
"Fairlight." She corrected.
"Fairlight," He murmured her Cybertronian name. "I have responsibilities that I cannot ignore on Earth. I have a team that needs needs me there."
"I'm sorry if I sound selfish, Prowl. I really do, but I can't help it. I don't know when I'll see you next. I don't know if you'll become incapacitated again, like you said and go missing for another 50 stellar cycles. Can you not just stay for a while longer? Or just stay? Reopen the dojo and train students. Thats what Yoketron would have wanted for you."
"Do not confuse Master's wishes with your own." Prowl replied tartly cutting her off. "I cannot take on students if I am still a student myself. I've yet to complete my training, Fairlight, and my place is on Earth now. There may be a day when I have a place at the dojo, but that day has not arrive, or may never arrive."
She glanced away from him, her arms crossed over her chest. His rebuke had hurt, but there was the bitterness of truth in his words that stung. Then she realized how selfish she was being. Prowl was a free spirit and a loner. What she would accept whole heartedly, he rejected with abhorrence. Domestic life was not in this mech's nature and to force him into it would be a sin.
She turned her face away from him, her hand covering her eyes in her shame. She wished him all the happiness in the universe, but wanted him close too much to let him go with an open heart.
She felt a touch on her shoulder and she lifted her chin to see him standing next to her. He took her hand away from her face and held it in his own. His cool metal felt hard on her synth-skin and she swallowed a lump in her throat.
"Come with me."
"What?" She turned her face to look at him. "Go to Earth?"
"It's identical to Femax. Yet, has Cybertronian like architecture. The Earth is what Femax could have become if the Decepticons never took over."
She wasn't enthused about seeing a planet that would remind her of Femax. The pain of her time living under Decepticon rule had been very dark, watching her mother die a slow death and living in constant fear that one of these metallic monsters would kill her on a whim.
But her going to Earth was what Prowl wanted. She could never deny him, for that he rarely asked her for anything.
"I will go."