Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers. I make no profit from this.
The lights clicked on and flooded the dark room with brightness.
"Enough of this." Prowl declared. "It's bad for you to brood the whole orn away. You've been upset ever since Ratchet gave you that thing, even before he left. What is it?"
The mech whose memories the crystal held was gone. In truth, he was not sure he was the same 'Jazz' that he had been, either. Vorns of peace and grief had changed him. Perhaps he should consider changing his name again? He may have to in any case or Prime would drag him back to Iacon; the mech did so love to meddle.
Prowl moved around to stand in front of him, hands on his hips.
"Well? Everyone tells me it's juvenile to sulk, so why should you be left to?"
Jazz regarded his companion critically for a moment.
Prowl's pre-adult frame was a near-duplicate of his old adult one, and his spark was the same, but beyond that he shared very little with the mech Jazz had loved. His mannerisms and reactions were different, as were his motivations.
He had finally been given the proper set of emotional coding that any newly activated mech should have, not the limited range his previous incarnation had been exposed to. He had built on that with training and assistance from his mentors. Mostly Bluestreak and the twins, apparently, and that thought made Jazz ache as he remembered the same relationship in reverse such a short time before.
On the other hand, Ratchet had been unable to duplicate the complex valt-split processor without risking the kind of damage that all others with that technology inevitably suffered, so Prowl did not have the advanced tactical programming that had once been the core of him. The medics felt that that might be a large part of the reason he could not access his earlier memories.
Alpha Trion had offered to help, but that offer had been very firmly declined. One orn Jazz intended to visit that mech and have a little chat with him about his ideas. Not yet. He had had to leave Iacon so that Prowl would not sense him nearby and come looking for him, and now with Prowl at his side and dependent on him he could not afford the time. But it would keep, he could be patient. He would not forget and would never forgive. Eventually the right time would come.
Back in Iacon Prowl had been raised with other sparklings of a similar mental age, surrounded by friends who had once been colleagues and now took on roles as mentors and protectors. Bluestreak and the twins, now formally sparkmates and with a young sparkling of their own, had been his official caretakers, but others had helped too, fending off the overly curious who upset Prowl with their questions about things he did not remember and never could.
They would all be concerned when Ratchet returned home without Prowl, especially when they found out he had left him in Kaon. Not that Jazz had any intention of staying here with him: Kaon was not safe enough. Prowl had had to grow up fast the first time because of the circumstances, Jazz was not going to allow that to happen this time. He deserved better than that.
Impulsively, Jazz made a decision. There were more differences than similarities and he was tired of dwelling in the past. He would not forget how Prowl had been, could never forget what they had experienced together, but he could not go on comparing that past with this present.
He squeezed, crushing the crystal, destroying it entirely and letting the powdered remains tinkle to the floor.
"Wait - wasn't that important?" Prowl asked, confused.
"Not anymore." Jazz told him, rising. "Come on, you're right. Enough broodin' an' sulkin'."
"You're sure that wasn't important?" Prowl asked, looking anxiously back at the mess. "Ratchet doesn't like anyone damaging his stuff. What was it, anyway?"
"A remembrance of a friend I lost, but I didn't need it. I remember him just fine."
"Would I have liked him?" Prowl asked curiously, having met several of Jazz's new friends over the last few orns and thoroughly disapproving of most of them.
Jazz was startled into a rare laugh at the bizarre thought.
"Y'know, Sparkles, I'm really not sure. I'll tell ya about him sometime. When you're a bit older, maybe."
"Is it another war story?"
"Nah, this one's a love story."
"You were in love?" Prowl asked dubiously.
"Yeah. Hard to believe, but I was."
"Did he love you back?"
The question blindsided him, surfacing memories of painful revelations on Syrenex: Ratchet's accusations that Prowl had never loved him freely, that it had been a result of the corruption of his spark. But that wasn't true, he told himself. Prowl had fallen for him before they had even kissed. So Prowl had always claimed, and had remained firm in that assertion right through Ratchet's pointed questioning after the extraction.
Which reminded him, he must do something about restoring contact with Quickspan at some point. Not for a few centuries yet, though. Primus alone knew how this new Prowl would react to meeting a mech he had co-created who was thousands of centuries older than his own memories.
Primus below but his life was complicated these orns!
"Jazz?" Prowl prompted him impatiently, bringing him back to the present. "Did he? Did he love you back?"
"Yeah." he responded softly. "Yeah, he did."
"Well that's okay then." Prowl nodded decisively. "I'll try not to get too bored if you want to tell me."
"Very gracious of ya, Prowler, but I think this one can wait for a bit. We got plenty o'time for that. An' I gotta figure out how to tell it first."
"Then we've got time to go watch the barges down at the docks!" Prowl declared, brightening. "Come on, I'll race you!"
He took off on pede - still not yet upgraded with his first transformation cog - and Jazz chased after him, catching up easily and jogging along with him, pretending to fall slightly behind as they rounded the corner.
Everything would be okay. Prowl had another whole lifetime ahead of him, and this time they would do things right.
He would make sure of it.