Beginnings

Things just couldn't get any worse, could they, Prowl thought darkly. Even Ratchet had abandoned the relative safety of the Ark to join the fray. No Autobot truly enjoyed battle – except maybe Sunstreaker – but this was one battle they could not afford to lose, and Prowl hated the Decepticons for forcing them into this position.

If they retreated, they died. It was as simple as that.

Jazz suddenly appeared beside him, guarding his back. Prowl nodded a greeting to him before firing on Soundwave. He felt a little better now, knowing Jazz was standing close enough that his shoulders brushed Prowl's door wings. If anything happened to either of them, the other would immediately know it. They worked in tandem, and they worked well that way. It had never been any different.

Prowl took a quick survey of the battlefield even as he rained a deadly hail of plasma bullets on Soundwave and Laserbeak. Optimus and Megatron were exchanging blows and insults; Sunstreaker was keeping Thundercracker and Skywarp occupied while Ratchet did some hasty repairs to Sideswipe. Skyfire and the Arielbots were taking on the Constructicons. The Dinobots and the Insecticons were fighting in yet another part of the battlefield.

Everyone was injured. Ratchet was going to have his hands full when this was over.

Suddenly Jazz slammed into Prowl, almost knocking the SIC over. Prowl spun around, hooked his arm around Jazz to brace him, and fired on Starscream. So that's where the little slagger had gotten to. Prowl had been wondering why he wasn't with his trinemates. Starscream transformed and took to the air, allowing Soundwave and Laserbeak to fire on Prowl. Prowl was aware of the deadly plasma bullets, but his focus had snapped to something far more important. The most he could do at the moment was fire blindly at his opponents while he tried to think of a plan.

"Jazz, we have to move!" he ordered, trying to get the TIC to stand on his own. "Come on, Jazz! We need to take cover!" Something was wrong, and Prowl couldn't figure it out with Soundwave bearing down on him. "Ironhide!"

"On it!" Ironhide and Mirage were instantly beside them, providing the cover fire Prowl needed. He gently eased his friend to the ground and took a good look.

"Slag!" There was a massive scorch mark on Jazz's chest plates, evidence of a point-blank shot with a null ray. Starscream had gotten lucky, the little slagger. Working quickly, Prowl forced Jazz's chest plates open, exposing his s park chamber. Several vital circuits had been shorted. Jazz's spark was weakening rapidly. He needed a transfer of energy, another spark chamber to power his own. "Slag!"

"Is Jazz all right?" Mirage asked, never taking his optics from the battle.

Now what the pit kind of question is that?! "He will be." Prowl said harshly, opening his own chest plates. To the pit with the consequences. There was only one way to save Jazz, and Prowl would be damned if he let his friend slip away! He pulled a set of extension cables from a subspace compartment and hooked his spark chamber to Jazz's. He could already feel the electrical impulses traveling between them. "Call Ratchet. Tell him Jazz is currently stabilized, but he gets priority when we get back."

"You got it, Prowl." Mirage vanished from sight to seek Ratchet out. With Soundwave in the area, using comms was not a good idea. Prowl called out a good luck as he left.

He should have been concerned. He was forced to lean over Jazz, bracing himself on the TIC's shoulders, and yet he was not uncomfortable. The on-edge feeling that always came with linking to another mech was fading rapidly. This felt natural, and it shouldn't have.

But Prowl didn't care. Jazz would live, and that was all that mattered.

/-----/

An hour later, Megatron finally called a retreat. Ratchet was quick to find Jazz and Prowl in the mess that was the battlefield. Prowl would never have called a priority unless absolutely necessary, and Ratchet was dreading the condition he would find them in. Prowl wouldn't leave Jazz alone. The two were simply too close.

Ironhide had guided Ratchet in. Now he stood guard while Ratchet checked the two commanding officers. "I'm surprised they're still functioning." he murmured. "Prowl's got coolant in his energon lines, and Jazz – well, if Prowl hadn't acted quickly, Jazz would be dead." He shook his head. "Help me load them up. I'll fix them when we get back to the Ark." Ironhide nodded.

"What about the affects?" he said quietly. "You know what could happen."

"A spark link?" Ratchet scoffed. "Their spark frequencies would have to be similar, and that's rare. Besides, they're complete opposites."

"So are the Twins."

"They have an excuse. They were created that way."

Ironhide shrugged. "If you say so."

/----/

It was two weeks before Jazz came to in the Ark's med bay. He was aware of Ratchet muttering curses on some unknown mech. Prowl was sitting on his own berth not too far away. Probably visiting, knowing the slagger. Jazz had to have scared the pit out of him after being hit by Starscream's null ray like that. He onlined his visor and frowned.

Something was different. Not wrong, just different, and Jazz couldn't figure out what. He wanted Prowl with him.

He turned his head in time to see Prowl shift as if to stand, and Ratchet throw a wrench at him. "Primus help me, Prowl, if you get off that table, I will wield your aft to it."

"Jazz is awake." came the calm reply.

"Traitor." Jazz shot back with a grin. He sat up easily enough and got a better look at Prowl. "Primus, how much energon did you lose?" He was still hooked up to the transfer system.

"Enough to make Ratchet glitchy." Lie. This was his third purge to get rid of the coolant in his system, but Jazz didn't need to know that. Prowl didn't want to think about what would happen if Jazz's systems overheated from worrying about him.

"You're lucky you're my brother, or I would hit you." Ratchet muttered.

"Since when has that ever made a difference?" Prowl wondered.

"Mute it." Ratchet sighed. "Okay, good news/bad news time. The good news is Prowl hooked his own spark chamber to Jazz's, so obviously Jazz is still alive."

"I was that bad?" Jazz murmured.

"Bad enough." Prowl murmured back. "There's a reason we avoid Screamer's null rays."

"Thank you. Next time I'll remember that."

"The bad news," Ratchet cast them both glares. "is that Prowl is now spark-linked to Jazz. Apparently you two have similar spark frequencies – too similar, for my liking. It's a wonder you two aren't twins." He shook his head. "Because Jazz wasn't awake during this, the link only goes one way, and it should dissipate in due time."

"You didn't know we had similar frequencies?" Prowl asked with some amusement. "We figured that out in the Academy."

"Wait, back up a sec – spark-linked?" Jazz demanded. "Isn't that like what the Twins share?"

"Exactly like what the Twins share." Ratchet confirmed. "Just without being related. Although in your case I'm thinking of making an exception. Your sparks might as well have been operating on the same wavelength all this time, even without the link."

"I think you'd know if I had a twin, Ratch." Prowl said dryly. "You are my older brother."

"Hey, this means the Twins aren't unique anymore!" Jazz cheered. "We can harass them more than they can harass us!"

"If we complete the link." Prowl reminded him, but he was smiling. Jazz flashed him a grin. Was there ever any doubt?

"Which you won't." Ratchet said sharply. "This is dangerous, Jazz. You don't know what you're getting yourself in to." He sighed. "Just promise me you'll think on it, all right?"

Prowl and Jazz nodded. The subject was dropped.

/----/

The next day Prowl and Jazz were back on light duty. That night found Prowl alone in his quarters, staring at the ceiling. Recharge would not come. He wasn't surprised. There were too many thoughts racing through his processor, and the feel of Jazz in his spark was simply too raw. He supposed it would eventually fade, but the question remained – did he want it to?

Ratchet had not been exaggerating when he said Jazz and Prowl might have been twins. Even from the beginning, when a sparkling Jazz had come looking for playmates in Iacon and Prowl's creator had thrown him out to go play, something between them had clicked. They had made it all the way to the Academy before they learned about spark frequencies and spark-links. That was when they realized that they must share similar frequencies as well. It was a well-kept secret.

Prowl had never imagined this scenario. He wasn't sure how it should play out.

He was aware of Jazz outside his door before the panel slid back and his friend quietly entered. "Am I botherin' you?"

Prowl chuckled and waved him over. "Since when have you cared what bothers me?" he teased lightly. Jazz laughed and sprawled out on the berth, his legs draped over Prowl's while he used the SIC's chassis as a pillow. Prowl couldn't help but smile. Some things, at the very least, never changed. "Something is bothering you."

Jazz smirked. "Always able to read me like a book, Prowler." he shot back. Suddenly, he turned serious. "I understand where Ratch is coming from." he admitted. "Everyone was freaked out as it was when they found out about the Twins. At least that was natural."

Prowl frowned. "Just because no one bothered to read about twins and spark-links in the Academy doesn't mean anything." he muttered. "Twins are rare, but not unheard of. And neither are spark-links. It's almost like bonding."

"Depending on who you talk to." Jazz reminded him. "I was going back over our notes from the Academy during shift. Ya get different reports depending on what the source is – some say it's stronger than bonding, others it's weaker." He rolled his optics, even though Prowl couldn't see it.

Prowl glanced at him. "I know this, Jazz."

Jazz twisted, finally looking up at Prowl. His visor had retracted, revealing dull grey optics. Prowl didn't flinch. Out of all the mechs on the Ark, Prowl was probably the only one besides Ratchet who knew that Jazz was blind without his visor. "You can feel me, right?"

Prowl nodded. "Acutely."

"Would it be wrong if I said I wanted to link with you too?"

Prowl couldn't help a smile. "No, Jazz." he said softly. "It wouldn't be wrong at all." Jazz's smile then could have lit the room.

They were both very well aware that the others might not accept their decision. Neither of them particularly cared. It was their choice and theirs alone. By morning the deed would be done, and there would be no turning back.

By morning they would be brothers.

/-----/

AN: Okay, so I'm not too thrilled with the ending, but I like this version better than the first one. The other came off too romantic. So here's the prequel piece to Door Wings. I have a follow up to this one-shot planned, and another follow up to Door Wings planned. So if ya want them, you have to review.