Author's Note: You lucky people! Two for the price of one! But here it is, the grand finale! Well...prologue is more like it, but whatever...Again, it has not been beta-ed.

Title: Tension Release
Summary: With sparklings in the picture now, not everyone reacts the same...
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, wish I did.

Everything had changed.

And Optimus could only accept that it was all his fault. What started as a simple, enjoyable way to relax ended up affecting all of them.

The trouble was, there was no telling if was for better or for worse. Aside from himself, Prowl, Bluestreak, Sunstreaker, Ratchet, Hound, Mirage, and Jazz were carrying sparklings.

Sparklings. Primus above, that was such a strange thought, that after all this time, there would be sparklings born among them. Yet the war wasn't over, despite the lack of any recent battles. How could he bring life into such an uncertain world?

"You're thinking too much again," Prowl sighed from beside him.

At least the berth would never be lonely again. Optimus wrapped an arm around his lover, pulling Prowl onto his larger frame.

"It's just still so much to take in," he sighed quietly. "Prowl, I'm so-"

A finger pressed against his lips.

"If you apologize one more time, I will weld your interface shut," he warned before replacing his finger with his lips. "Besides, I kinda like thinking that the life inside me came from my Prime."

Optimus shuddered and slid his hands along Prowl's frame.

"The world isn't safe enough for any of them, though," he said a moment later.

"Was it ever really safe enough?" Prowl asked before silencing his lover with several more kisses.

Ironhide sat on the berth, just staring at the floor. He still couldn't believe it and he knew he needed to be supportive of his bond mate – it wasn't like he was mad, anyway. Yet the sparkling wasn't his and he felt at such a loss. It should be his. They're bond mates! But no, the one fling with Starscream is what made it happen, no other time.

Ratchet came into the room, frowning.

"Slag…are you still pouting?" he growled.

Ironhide frowned.

"It should be my sparkling," he said quietly.

Ratchet rolled his optics.

"It is yours, you thick-headed slag-for-processor!" he sighed. "Granted, if you take advantage of the window I told you about a dozen times now, you'll never get your code to it!"

Ironhide shook his head, sighing, "I still have no idea what you're saying and I know I've said that a dozen times, too."

Ratchet gazed at his bond mate and walked slowly over to him.

"Sometimes I forget your aren't a medic, too," he said softly. "What I mean to say is…Starscream sparked the child, yes, but a certain period of time, it receives any and all code given to it. A sparkling could have several Creators…they used to do that ages ago, actually."

Ironhide stared at the medic.

"Wait…so if I frag you right now, I could imprint my code on the sparkling too?"

A gentle slap upside his helm. "Yes, you idiot."

Ironhide pinned Ratchet to the berth and proceeded to do so, letting the whole base know as he roared out his claiming.

Sunstreaker paced the room, his frustration obvious.

"Would you please just sit down?" Bluestreak asked quietly. "Everyone is going to assume it happened at the party and that…"

The twin stopped.

"That I would never let you be on top?" he finished, shaking his head. "They don't treat you with the respect you deserve."

"But I'm okay with that, Sunny," Blue replied, holding his hand out. "Now please, don't leave us here alone on this huge berth.

"You should listen to him, bro," Sideswipe said as he rubbed his hands up and down Blue's hips, a quiet sigh following. "We know it's his sparkling and he's okay if nobody else knows. So why can't you be okay with it?"

Sunstreaker just gazed at his brother as Blue lazily rode his hard cable.

"I'm amazed that we're even having this conversation while you're fragging him," he sighed.

Blue just laughed. "Seems to be the best time talk with you sometimes," he pointed out.

Sunny shook his head, a smile pulling at his lips before he moved to kneel behind the blue mech.

"How about we make that sparkling both of our's?" he said to his brother as he released his cable. "Maybe I'll even let you lay some claim to mine…"

Bluestreak could hardly argue as he gasped, a second cable slowly joining the first. He loved it when they went possessive on him like this, making him hurt just enough to savor the pleasure even more. He cried out as Sunstreaker began moving hard inside him while Sideswipe rocked his hips to match the pace.

They overloaded together but were barely recovered when Blue slammed Sunstreaker onto his back and slammed his own cable home.

"Make some noise, Sunny, so everyone knows you're being claimed by someone…in fact, you yell out my name or Sideswipe will never have a chance to give his code to our sparkling."

The twin whimpered and then cried out, giving his lover everything he wanted.

Hound nursed his cube of energon silently, keeping to himself as he idly ran fingers over his abdomen yet again.

A sparkling; His sparkling. He blinked back the tears and considered again sneaking into the med bay and finding something to kill it. Who the frag was he to try and raise a sparkling by himself during a damned-war?

He knew Bluestreak was the sire, but he wasn't about to go and see if the twins would make it a foursome. He didn't care much for the twins anyway. He didn't really care for anyone in that kind of way. There had been some good one-night stands, sure, but an actual relationship?

No, he was alone, just as his sparkling would end up being.

He finished the cube and slipped out of the rec room unnoticed. It was late and he could easily hear Ironhide and Ratchet going at it. He headed for the med bay, knowing he'd be caught but hoping by then it'd be too late.

Jazz blamed the party, of course, for the sparkling. Not that he was upset – far from it. He'd longed for his own sparkling for so long, to raise and care for and teach about all the cool things in the universe.

As it was, he also had already been carrying before the party and it was like he knew it. He didn't drink any of the high grade; he had just wanted everyone to have a good time as usual. Fragging Sunstreaker while sober was perhaps the most delicious part of it, too. But he was fragged enough to know that at least half the Ark could call themselves Creators to his sparkling.

He wondered briefly, as he fingered himself in his quarters, about going to see Prime again and adding to his sparkling's lineage, but knew that Prowl would be very possessive at this point. Which would be interesting, if Megatron really was the sire to Optimus' sparkling.

Jazz gasped as he pushed four fingers into his port now, admitting to himself that it would still be nice to have someone shoving their cable or, oh Primus, their fist, into his port. If Mirage wasn't already dealing with own sparkling via some very possessive Seekers, he'd pursue the noble. Ah, well, one day maybe but for, he had his sparkling and that was enough for him.

The one mech who wasn't tucked away in his quarters for the night was Mirage. He moved cautiously through boulders of the canyon, knowing he was a little early. Engines roared in the distance and he couldn't help but smile as he dropped his cloak. A moment later, he was surrounded by the Seeker trine, hands caressing him gently.

"We heard you're carrying," Thundercracker whispered.

"Mmm, you heard right," Mirage replied as he gave himself over to them.

Skywarp laughed, saying, "So is Starscream."

The Trine leader paused and scowled at the other two.

"Told you not to say anything," he growled.

"Is it Ratchet's?" Mirage asked as he pawed at Star's chest.

The Seeker nodded.

"Megatron isn't too happy about it all," Skywarp noted. "Apparently that little orgy of ours led to several sparklings."

Mirage laughed. "Yeah, same thing has been happening to us. Optimus is all freaked out because it's actually his fault."

"Figures," Starscream sighed.

"Good plan, though," Thundercracker commented.

"Oh would you all just shut up and make me feel like a noble again?" Mirage sighed.

They did.

Wheeljack was sulking in his lab. All these sparklings! Just like that! He'd been creating life the hard way and really…not all that well. The Dinobots managed well enough but that had been such a mess. It was he wanted, to be with another and create a little sparkling. Now with this change happening because of the Prime, everyone seemed able to produce new life – except him.

Not for the lack of trying, either. He'd been at that party too and managed a few good 'faces, but Ratchet confirmed that there was nothing to come of it. It was a problem, one the inventor was eager to figure out and fix.

He got to his feet and made his way for the med bay, wanting to see about any surplus transfluid samples he could test with. Wheeljack hadn't expected to run into Hound of all mechs there – in the dark, near an open cabinet.

"Hound?" he called out and noted how the mech went still. What was he up to?

As the inventor drew closer, however, he saw the syringe in Hound's shaking hand. He recognized the formula quickly and he cautiously pulled it from Hound's hand. He never asked why as he gently wrapped his arms around the smaller mech, offering his silent support as Hound broke in his hold.

"I can't do this," he finally whimpered, tears marring his face. "The sparkling….I can't do this, 'Jack."

"Then let me," Wheeljack said gently. "I…I don't think I'm able to carry like you all and I've always longed for my own and…"

Hound slowly looked up at him.

"Adopt it, you mean?" he asked softly, a note of something more in his voice.

Wheeljack lifted his hand, brushing his fingers over Hound's cheek.

"I can adopt you, too, if you'd like," he offered softly.

He meant it, too. Not in the literal sense, but that he would be here for Hound every step of the way. This was one of the few mechs that took seriously in his quest for knowledge, even if that involved an occasional explosion. They'd always gotten along and, well, they had a long history together which also involved an occasional 'face.

Maybe it didn't need to be occasional, only.

Either way, he shared his codes with the sparkling that night, making it his own. And perhaps Hound, too.

A few months later saw Megatron and Optimus facing each other down. Optimus was just beginning to show and Megatron didn't hide his pointed gaze.

"It's mine, isn't it?" he growled.

Optimus nodded. "Preliminary scans are confirming it now," he replied. "Nine more months and its protoform will be formed and it will be ready for extraction."

On either side of them were their soldiers, but they weren't there for a battle. No, Megatron had called for a meeting. Demanded, really, but Optimus acknowledged the need to speak. The Autobots now had a grand total of twelve mechs carrying; Megatron's had even more. There were suspicions on both sides that there may be twins, too.

Suffice it to say, there were about to be a lot of sparklings born and both leaders were unsure of what to do.

"I'd rather we speak privately," Megatron growled and Optimus nodded.

"That can be arrange," the Prime said.

They ended up in Prime's own quarters with the doors locked. Megatron looked at his brother for a long moment before sliding his hand over the showing abdomen.

"I've been doing a lot of research lately," he said slowly. "About the original cause of the war."

"Pretty sure you started," Optimus said as he slid his hand over Megatron's.

"I picked up where our ancestors left off," he countered. "Anyway, found out it was over a lost bet."

Optimus raised an optic. "A bet?"

Megatron nodded. "I will say my cause was justified enough, but theirs was not."


"So, a truce should be called for, at least until the sparklings are born and brought to a mature age," he went on, his hand moving from Optimus' and traveling lower. "Our lineage shouldn't face the risk of being extinguished so easily."

"I feel I should be involved in these negotiations," a voice said from behind them.

Optimus smirked as Prowl came up to them, his sparkling showing a bit more.

"Fair enough," the Decepticon Lord drawled and they entered into "negotiations."

As both his lovers were still rebooting, Optimus reflected on how, in the end, he hadn't really found a good tension breaker until now. He smiled and tightened his hold on both Prowl and Megatron, content that things were as they should be at last.

Well, folks, thanks for sticking with me! Like I said, it could have been more stretched out and such, but I just can't deal with writing any more smut. Part of me is lying, of course, but it is true that it just is consuming so much from my life that I need to quit. See y'all. ~fin