This was done for springkink on Livejournal

Warnings: Post-battle, some mild damages and self-harm done to save another.

Word Count: 2230

Prompt: Transformers, Air Raid/Slingshot: Comfort - Alone in the dark

Author's note: In my head verse, Slingshot has red optics and it makes him feel self-conscious because many Autobots already dislike him for various reasons, so he wears his visor so they have one less thing to harass him about. Just so no one wonders when it's mentioned.

It took his systems a painfully long time to reset, and when they did, it took him even longer to realize that he could move. Finally he sat up, only to hit his poor nosecone on something hard and have sharp rocks scrape across it. He gasped and lay back down, a bit too swiftly, causing his wings to jam against more rocks below him.

Whimpering softly, Slingshot slowly edged his way to a sitting position, this time careful not to let any tender areas touch anything around him, which was not an easy task, since everything was dark. He reached upwards and found hard stone not far above. Gingerly, he felt around, moving until he was in enough space to stand up. At first Slingshot thought that he was blind, but bringing his hands close to his face allowed him to see them faintly in the light of his optics. Cursing his lack of proper lights and night vision, Slingshot groped around to see what he could figure out about his present situation. The cave he was in seemed large enough for him, but not by too much, since his radar was pinging constantly and driving him insane. He turned it off, and in the silence, he heard soft whimpers.

"Who's there?" His voice echoed softly in the dark. The whimpering ceased and he heard the sound of someone shifting around nervously.

"S-Slingshot? That you?"

"Air Raid? What happened?"

Air Raid sounded borderline hysterical as he spoke. "I don't know, I woke up here, it's dark and I can't see and there's no sky and I want out!"

"Thanks for pointing out the obvious there, Raider." Slingshot winced as soon as he spoke. All flyers (With the possible exception of Silverbolt) are claustrophobic, and while Slingshot was still too disorientated to register how close the darkness was, Air Raid evidently was not. Air Raid was also the most claustrophobic of the team, next to Skydive, but the tactician could control his panic to some degree. Air Raid was not prone to panic attacks, so when he did have one, it crippled him. "I mean, look, its okay, its just dark."

"Just dark!? "JUST" Dark!?" Air Raid whimpered, and Slingshot heard a scraping of metal on stone as Air Raid shifted around. "Its small and cramped and I can't move."

"Raider, just… calm down. I can move around, I'll come get you loose. Don't stop talking so I can find you." Slingshot wasn't sure if he actually could get to Air Raid, and even if he did, what if he was wedged in too tightly? But Slingshot had to try, so he groped blindly in the dark, seeking Air Raid's voice.

"What am I supposed to talk about," Came Air Raid's tremulous comment, Slingshot carefully started in that direction, hands extended forward so he wouldn't run into anything. "All I can think of is that it's too small and dark and-"

"Anything, I don't care if it's about plants!" Snapped Slingshot, he couldn't take his brother's panic; it was causing his own claustrophobia to manifest. Slowly, he managed to make his way towards Air Raid, but he kept catching his already abused wings and nosecone on protrusions, which was only making things worse for him. Trying to contact his other brothers over the gestalt bond proved fruitless, and increased his distress. Finally, he spotted two too-bright optic lights, Air Raid was still talking about… something, he'd stopped listening after a bit.

"I see you," Slingshot said, Air Raid looked directly at him, probably only seeing Slingshot's optics in the dark. "You can see me, right?"

"N-no… I mean, I can kinda see your visor, but it's really dim."

Visor? Oh right, Slingshot had a visor. Gee, maybe taking it off would have made it easier for me to see, even if only a little, Slingshot thought ironically, reaching up to pull it off. He blinked a few times and sighed, there wasn't that much difference, except that he could see Air Raid's optics better, and a bit of his face lit by his optics. "Okay, I'll be there in a sec, Raider."

He stepped forward, but found nothingness under his feet and fell forward. Letting out a cry of fear, he managed to catch hold of an edge and hung on for dear life. Air Raid let out a cry of his own in response; afraid he'd lost his brother. "Slingshot!? Slingshot! Where are you?"

"Calm down dammit! I fell! There's a fragging hole here!" Slingshot cursed and tried to pull himself up, but there were no handholds strong enough. Suddenly it occurred to him that he could use his thrusters to fly out as long as he minded the ceiling, so he carefully lit them.

"There's light!" Exclaimed Air Raid, sounding stunned, but slightly less panicked now that he could see.

Slingshot would have smacked himself if he could. "Fer Primussake, we always complain how the light from our thrusters draws attention at night when we're trying to fly stealth, why didn't I just use em to see?"

Air Raid let out a nervous giggle and there was a soft whoosh as he lit his own thrusters. The rushing sound became louder and the area brightened. Slingshot looked down and saw the ground was not three feet below him. Feeling stupid for panicking, he let go of his handhold and dropped, stopping to hover a few inches off the ground on his thrusters and carefully made his way back up to his brother. "Alright lets see what kinda mess I have to get you out of."

He looked Air Raid over, finding the weak light of their thrusters didn't go very far; it was too directional to where their feet were pointing, but it was better than nothing. He winced as he noticed that Air Raid's wings and nosecone were trapped under the rock. Leaning over his brother, he carefully reached around to feel how much space Raider had: there was almost none, rock was pressing down on the edges of his right wing while the left was jammed awkwardly back and the rocks under his cockpit must have been causing seriously uncomfortable pressure. Slingshot looked at the wall and scowled; there was no way to take it apart without having the ceiling collapse in on them. No wonder Air Raid was so panicky. Frowning, Slingshot tried to find some way to pry Air Raid loose, but there was none he could see.

The F-15 must have known what he was thinking; he looked silently at Slingshot, blue optics meeting red pleadingly, begging his brother not to leave him. Slingshot leaned forward long enough to brush their helms together reassuringly before returning to his efforts. He reached behind Air Raid and pulled some smaller stones out, throwing them to the side. Maybe if he managed to get the larger stones out from under Air Raid, his brother could slip out. Some of the heavier rocks took some manipulating and tugging that caused them to scrape over Air Raid's fuselage, making him whimper. Slingshot muttered something he hoped was reassuring, trying to stay focused as his claustrophobia started creeping up on him.


"Yeah Raider?"

"Can I move yet?" Airraid looked at him fearfully, wanting to get loose.

"No, be patient Air Raid, it's okay, I ain't gonna leave you, stop freaking out." Which for Slingshot, actually was reassuring. Grunting from effort, he managed to pry a large stone out of the mess that was forcing his brother's wing back. "Any better yet?"

"A bit…" Air Raid murmured. Startled by the sudden quieting and stilling of his wingmate, Slingshot looked at his face; Air Raid's optics were dim and he looked exhausted. Slingshot reached in to feel along the wing with a sense of foreboding and flinched as he felt fluid and a huge gash in Air Raid's wing; the stone had prevented Air Raid from bleeding to death. Frightened by this development, Slingshot grabbed Airraid's shoulder.

"Raider! Raider! Listen to me! Turn off your thrusters!" Even if the energon didn't end up coming into contact with Airraid's thrusters and explode, creating the light was expending too much energy as it was.

"But... then we couldn't see…" muttered Air Raid distractedly, optics dark.

"Just do it Raider," Begged the Harrier. Luckily, Air Raid complied, causing the darkness to creep in again. Slingshot noticed that now he could see a faint glow from where Airraid's wing was and smiled ironically, without any real joy. The leaking energon lit the tiny space well enough for Slingshot to look inside and see a bit. He reached in and groped against Airraid's wing and into the wound, making his brother moan in pain. But Slingshot ignored it and grasped Air Raid's fuel line. It had a tear in it, but it was not completely severed. The Harrier reached into his subspace and pulled out a small medkit, mentally kissing Skydive for insisting that they all carry one with them just in case. He fumbled with it one-handed, and pulled out some flexi seal. The stuff was meant for quick armour repairs, but it'd have to do. He wrapped it around Air Raid's fuel line, and then basically poured all the adhesive in his kit around the edges of the flexi seal, making a messy, but functional patch that would keep Air Raid from bleeding out.

Muttering to himself, Slingshot returned to working on extricating Air Raid from the wall, he leaned forward as much as he could, pressing against his brother as he worked, and he was surprised when Air Raid's arms wrapped around him and hugged him tightly. "Thanks Sling." The F-15 muttered.

"It's nothing." Replied Slingshot, a bit uncomfortably. Actually, Air Raid's arms were pressing his wines where they were tender from scraping against stone, but Slingshot didn't have the spark to tell his frightened brother that. "Sorry Raider, I can't get anything else out."

Air Raid let out a little sob and tried to pull Slingshot closer. "Don't leave me."

"Why the slag would I do that?" Slingshot growled, carefully extricating himself from Air Raid's arms so he could get a final look into the gap where his wingmate was stuck. Satisfied that Air Raid would at least not bleed to death, he looked around and grabbed a sharp rock.

"What are you doing?" Came a soft question. Slingshot glanced up at his brother momentarily before returning his gaze to the rock and scraping it roughly over his knuckles.

"I'm too low on energon to give you a proper fuel transfer, but you need some, so this will have to work." Slingshot winced as the rock punctured his armour and ripped some delicate capillary lines, causing energon to ooze out of his hand. He held his hand to Air Raid's mouth. "Drink."

The F-15 looked appropriately disturbed by the gesture, but Slingshot kept insisting and threatened to stuff his hand down Air Raid's throat, so he bit down on his brother's knuckle and sucked on it to get as much energon as his starved systems could. Slingshot winced, but didn't pull away, letting Air Raid drink. He was at about thirty percent energon capacity, and he guessed Air Raid to be at something close to five, so when Air Raid stopped sucking on his knuckles he examined his hand. His auto-repair had sealed off the lines surprisingly quick. "How much energon do you have in your tanks?"

Air Raid's optics flickered a moment. "Umm… seven… percent capacity…"

With a faint sound of displeasure, Slingshot lanced his knuckles open again and shut off his auto repair system. "Get yourself up to fifteen percent okay?" He pressed his hand to his brother's lips before Air Raid could object or before the precious energon could drip to the floor. Knowing better than to object, Air Raid complied.

They stayed like that for what seemed an eternity, Slingshot crouched beside his brother, red optics checking Air Raid's face to for signs of pain or energy loss, Air Raid holding Slingshot's hand and watching back to avoid remembering how closed in they were. Finally Air Raid pulled Slingshot's hand away. "I'm at fifteen percent now."

Slingshot nodded and put his knuckles into his own mouth so he wouldn't lose more energy and restarted his auto repairs. –Go into stasis- he ordered his brother over the gestalt link, Air Raid shook his head.

-I can't, it's too closed in.-

Slingshot rubbed his optics with his free hand in mild exasperation. Now that he had nothing to focus on, the fear of small places was starting to take strong effect on him too. –Stasis. Now. I'll be right here, I need it too.-

Air Raid didn't answer, but his head slumped and he let out a little unhappy sigh as his optics powered down. Slingshot leaned against the other Aerialbot and settled down to go into stasis and hopefully reawaken in medbay.

His last thought was that Ratchet was going to be so pissed when he saw how Slingshot had patched Air Raid's wing; 'cause really, even the Wreckers did better emergency patch-ups better than that. A faint smile curled his mouth upwards.

He still had that smile when the Autobots finally managed to break through the rock and make their way to where the two Aerialbots slept.