The room is dimly lit, but it's bright enough to make out the slick silvery walls and the symbols etched into them. Familiar, hateful symbols. The enemy's symbols, staring at him in victory. He's fighting, struggling, but the struggling dissolves into a frenzy very quickly, and soon he's a thrashing and shrieking furiously. He thinks he'll explode, trying to rip out the raw panic. And the purple, menacing signs continue to stare at him when his energy finally burns out.

He pants, slumped against the wall. Optics wide, a caged animal, manacles cutting into his wrists beneath the armor. The door locks whirl and click and slide open as soon as it's clear he's too exhausted to be a threat.

Megatron steps in, and cold optics stare down at him. He glares back as defiantly as he can with his vents still panting and eyes shocked and burning, and he's just barely putting together a coherent sentence to threaten him with when the door clicks again and the Decepticon leader leaves.

Bumblebee listens to his footsteps fade until reality flares back up and he starts to scream again.

Somehow, words now string together and form correctly. His mind seems to have gathered itself back together overnight. He begins to feel back in control, or at least as in control as he can be in such a situation. He's running the facts through his processor again, filtering out yesterday's wild panic: he's been taken captive, a prisoner, a hostage...Megatron has him, and it won't be easy to get out.

Bumblebee is ready to attack when he sees the Decepticon again. Weapons useless, body weak, his optics take in every detail, and his strength coils, ready to give a battle it's all if he has to. Megatron's thick fingers give a rough, experimental tug to the link of his restraining cuffs, and Bumblebee tenses, then jerks with a snarl when those same fingers grasp his jaw briefly and not at all gently.

"I won't tell you a thing." Bumblebee hisses. The panic, the scream threatens to take over again, but he swallows it thickly. "You will regret this, Decepticon scum - "

Venomous red optics seem to narrow in a sure, sadistic promise. Inside, Bumblebee feels the trembles that beg to overflow. He swallows them down, too. He's stronger than this.

Megatron is so big. Everything else has disappeared behind him. He's never been alone with him - aware - the way he is now.

It is normal to be overwhelmed, he tells himself. That doesn't change a thing. You can fight. "You'll get no mercy when they find you." He feels taller, hearing his voice is still defiant.

Megatron's smile is like acid. Bumblebee's words hang in the air, growing heavier and heavier by the second, and he's soon wishing that the bastard would just say something before the weighted silence crushes him.

Those large fingers move again with a deliberate tap of his thumb against Bumblebee's collar plating, before snagging the cuffs again. And before he can even react properly, he's jerked sharply forward and darkened red optics swallow up his vision.

His body presses tight and his voice locks up quickly, burned under the hateful red glow. Thoughts race, all of them useless. He feels more words threaten to break through, but before they fall the Decepticon turns and he's being dragged away.

Digging his heels into the ground, he struggles madly. His ankles sting harshly, and his joints protest as he moves. Bumblebee doesn't care. All he can seem to think is how Megatron's footfalls are so much louder when they're echoing right next to his head.

Everything seems a little less real than it did just a few nights ago. Bumblebee thinks that must be attributed to the silence. The air is disconnected and his voice sounds strange whenever it flares up again. Every word that comes out is given no response, and instead it travels upward to add to the weight about his head. He's starving and shaking and numb, and his hatred feels as if it could tear down the walls. He can't help the way his whole body jolts up, anticipating, every time red optics stop on him.

Bumblebee snarls more furious words, and a little smile ghosts across the Decepticon leader's face.

That harsh silver hand moves toward him again, but now it's a dark claw, a threat. Bumblebee draws back sharply as pain hits him, shocking back into his systems. His optics shudder and a shriek cuts into his air. When his vision focuses again, Megatron's optics are way too close.

It hurts - everywhere, it hurts. Without thinking, he growls, "they'll come for me..."

His body continues to sting dully as the words process through. Megatron's hand rests on him again, painlessly, although Bumblebee's body draws tight at the contact.

"How many days has it been?" Megatron's voice is harsh, even in it's softness. Distantly, Bumblebee reflects that being talked to in return doesn't make him feel any more sane.

The hand shifts slightly, then draws against him so that somehow every fingertip feels like a sharpened blade.

"Answer me." His voice is deep, commanding, dark with warning of worse things to come.

He doesn't think before responding: "It doesn't matter...they'll find you..."

There is no answer. There is no movement. And then suddenly, there is so, so much pain.

The few, torturous touches dissolve in favor of the harsh, powerful beatings he had expected from the beginning. Bumblebee fights back with every ounce he's got, ignoring his injuries and restraints. He gathers every last piece of determination he can find, but each connecting blow jolts away more rational thought. So he begins to grasp at what's left.

Bumblebee thinks of faces. Bright, honest faces. He brings up the name of every friend he can and draws their comforting forms into the darkness behind his offlined optics. They look down at him sweetly, and...and it feels all wrong. Everything is wrong...

Being a prisoner means fighting, means survival, and strength, and determination... But this, all of this, it feels like someone is sucking the life out of him bit by bit and then playing with the slowly diminishing remains. Why is everything moving so slowly? It doesn't make any sense. Why is it so quiet?

He's stronger than this.

Rebellion jolts into his frame, and he fights in sudden anger and hate. His friends faces all blur. They'll come for him, he thinks. They haven't yet, but they will.

Bumblebee feels like every last bit of energy has been drawn out, and he is quiet and close to recharge. The room seems to drift away. He swallows down the bitter feeling that is left, and somewhere nearby, a voice says, "How long?"

Bumblebee's optics flicker and then focus. Did he say that? Or did Megatron?

They are too close, far too close again. Megatron is so big, the room is just a pointless backdrop. He hisses a little, drawing back darkly, despising him, every last bit of him, and relishing the solid feeling of hatred.

I'll kill you. I'll make you wish you never knew my name. He tries to break his gaze away, but the red glow pins him down. "They'll come for me." he snarls.

Megatron's hands rise and then hold him down roughly. He tries to twist under the Decepticon's grasp, but his strength is still drained.

"and when they do - " he pulls himself together into a glare, wishing he could ruin the dark leader with his his optics alone, "when they'll regret - "

His thumbs scratch against the dirtied, yellow armor with a grating pressure. Bumblebee arches unconsciously. "- you - you'll regret - you'll regret this, filthy 'con..!" his voice sounds far-away, different. The strength he remembered from his first days of panic, the belief, it begins to sound worn down and strange. The hate flares back suddenly - overwhelming hate. For Megatron...and then, in a shadow, as the defeat in him begins to creep up undeniably - for himself...

There is a sadistic pleasure sweeping up behind the Decepticon's dark voice. "They're not coming back for you, foolish Autobot..." A pressure against his chassis, rough and somehow so distant. Bumblebee snarls and objects with all he's got. So close, his face. His red optics. So close, he can't see anything else.

"Haven't you realized it by now?" his thick fingers scrape too close to to the latch that opens his chassis, and he jumps with a little shock. "They're never going to come. They haven't even tried."

There's a mocking, lingering touch against the latch again. Suddenly he's struck by claustrophobia, those hands on him, those optics everywhere else. "Liar." he hisses.

"How long has it been, now..." It's not a question. Even if it were, Bumblebee couldn't answer. "How long, while nothing seems you're not so important to them after all."

It's so still. Red - red everywhere.

"You're lying." Bumblebee manages at last. "You're lying to me." at first, it just seems like another weak argument, only there to convince himself, but then it hardens and presses full and desperate. "That's all you 'cons can do is lie - "

Megatron doesn't move as he looks down at him, watching him. Bumblebee looses track of the time so quickly. How long has it been since he was last alone, asleep? How long has he been here?

Megatron is so close to him, it almost feels like he's tied against his hands. How long has it been since someone was this close, unmoving? He closes his eyes so he can't see the first shift of the Deception's body. He knows, when Megatron moves, it's going to hurt again. He wants to block out the face and the name and just lay there, still, while he can.

He can't seem to think correctly anymore.

It's been a long time, because he's stopped expecting a signal to interrupt his thoughts. In the blackness of recharge, his is alone in a blank space, wondering what direction he's moving in. Far away, he thinks he hears voices. When his optics shift into focus once more, he thinks he senses irritation from the Decepticon who always seems constantly nearby.

The room is dimly lit, but it's bright enough to make out the slick silvery walls and the symbols etched into them. Familiar, hateful symbols. The enemy's symbols.

The door locks whirl and click and slide open. He's not a threat anymore.

Megatron steps in, and cold optics stare down at him. Bumblebee props himself up clumsily, his vents panting, each little noise seeming magnified in his head. Maybe something's changed. Maybe something's different. Maybe it's just him that's locked in place now, inside heavy, mocking walls. Maybe he's just failed, let everyone down by falling under those damned red optics.

Let himself down...

Megatron smiles at him thinly, and Bumblebee shakes his head without realizing it.

"No." he whispers before he can even think. "No."

Megatron steps closer and kneels down to him. A cold digit traces his cheek. "Do you think they are shaken without you? You must be dead to them now." His hand feels so powerful against his helm like that, lovelessly tilting his chin up so their optics met.

"How long has it been?"

Bumblebee shakes his head again.

"You are mine now." Megatron says in that hard, commanding voice that betrays nothing. "You belong to me."

When the touch falls away, he seems to stumble along with it, as if he were attached to his fingers by invisible strings. And before he can even form a coherent sentence to send back, the locked door that had blended colorlessly into the space behind him clicks and slides open, and the Deception leader rises and disappears into the darkness on the other side.

Bumblebee listens to his footsteps fade until the shock begins to wear off. Then, the missing noises seem to press in on him from all sides like a suffocating cloud, blurring out everything important.

He stares at the door until he can't seem to see it anymore, then begins to scream until it seems like every last bit of energy has escaped with it.

Slumping against the wall heavily, he closes his eyes to block out the symbols that stare at him from the surrounding walls. He wants to get lost in the blackness behind his offlined optics again, but now the dark spaces just seem to be filled up with the red of Megatron's cold glare. He twists and turns and takes another look at the Decepticon symbols around him before turning away again. Megatron is always so close, even now, when stillness closes in on him from all sides.

It is red, everywhere.