Thanks to all my reviewers! *gives cookies* made me very happy and eager to continue this! Also thanks for all the favs and alerts!
Now enjoy this chapie!
READ AND REVIEW!
Prowl couldn't believe that he was actually accompanying Jazz to the twins' quarters. And he couldn't believe that the hellions 'cared' about him as Jazz had said. Their actions did not match the recent discovery. They drove him mad; he had to punish them almost every joor; had to deal with the consequences of their pranks, and that often meant dealing with a pissed off Ratchet. No one, not even Megatron, wanted to deal with a pissed off Ratchet.
To learn that he had a crush would make the twins unbearable. They were going to make fun of him, he just knew it.
It was commonly known that Prowl did not date. At all. Some even said he had never dated before. Which was true; but they didn't need to know that. It only added to his rep as an emotionless mech and he wanted to at least maintain some sort of respect towards himself. In reality, Prowl had never been interested in anyone, too focused on his studies and then, in his job. He really was bonded to his duties.
And of course, as much as it hurt to admit, no one had ever been interested in him. Thinking on that made him wonder if Kickstart would even be attracted in him. Had the junior officer already succumbed to the rumor mill about him? Was he already seeing him as the others did? Would he reject him if he ever gained the courage to speak up about his feelings?
Jazz could literally feel the tension coming off his friend like heat waves in a desert. Looking past his shoulder, he saw the tactician deep in thought.
'What could possibly be going on through his processor now?'
Thinking it would be best to get any doubt out of the way before going to the twins, (though, knowing Prowl, he'd probably have them till the end of time), he stopped walking and turned fully to face his friend. "Alright Prowler, what's eating you up now?"
"Prowl, Jazz. Prowl."
The saboteur rolled his optics. "Okay, Prowl. What data code are ya running that's gonna make ya crash?"
"It's just-" He hesitated a bit, unsure if he should mention it at all. But knowing Jazz, the saboteur wouldn't leave him alone until he admitted what was bothering him. He didn't mind confiding in Jazz, the saboteur was the only mech he felt comfortable with to talk to.
"What if he's not interested in me?"
"Well he probably isn't."
Prowl glared. "Thank you Jazz. I feel so much better."
Chuckling, Jazz put his servos up. "Ah mean not now he isn't. Ah mean look at ya! Ya don't take care of yerself, ya lock yerself in yer office and literally kill yerself with work and ya never appear in the rec. room. At least not long enough ta count ya being there. Ya have ta show yer partner that ya take care about yerself and that ya like being around others. Cause if yer not interested being around bots, then why would ya care about yer partner at all?"
Prowl thought about it. There was logic in what Jazz said; that was a first. But did that mean he had to change to accommodate to someone else's standards? That would not do.
"I don't plan on changing my character Jazz." He said somewhat defensively.
"And Ah'm not telling ya too. A bot that doesn't accept ya as ya are is not worth going after. But Ah'm telling ya ta take better care of yerself. That is not something bad ta want ta change. Fer example; if Kickstart abused himself with high-grade, would ya not want ta change that?"
"But he isn't abusing high-grade. He wouldn't be a junior officer if he were."
Palm, meet face.
"Work with me Prowler. There's no war, no rank. He's just a friend and he drinks too fragging much. Would ya not want ta change that?"
"Of course. It is damaging to his health and would probably damage our friendship."
"Exactly! And what yer're doing is just as bad."
Prowl roused his doorwings high. "In what sense?" He asked outraged.
"Well, ya don't refuel, ya don't recharge, ya work yerself in ta stasis, would ya like meh ta continue?" The saboteur asked sarcastically, but he was taking advantage of this occasion to make Prowl really see that what he was doing was bad for his health. Maybe this would actually make him take care of himself for once.
"Refuel and recharge are basic needs fer us. If we don't get enough of both we'd offline. Ya know that but still, ya choose not ta get any of both."
Prowl wilted. Maybe Jazz was right. But he needed the time he took from recharge to do the reports! He had a lot of work to do as SIC and there was just no time for all there was to do.
"That may be true, but I use that time to work on my reports. Would someone not value another for doing their job correctly then slacking off?"
"Mech, ya work during yer breaks. That is not 'doing yer work'. That's called begin a slagging workaholic. At this point, it'd be more healthy fer ya ta slack off."
Prowl crossed his arms meeting Jazz's glare with his own.
"I wouldn't be a 'workaholic' if the mechs in this base didn't wreck havoc all the time, which brings us back to the fact that I do not believe what you said about the twins. Should they actually care about my well being as you imply, then they would do all they can to not make me work. Most of the datapads I receive are, after all, damage or complain reports about them."
Letting out a frustrated sigh, Jazz shook his head.
"Look. Ah know it's important ta do yer job. But mech, delegate, there are tons of bots that have already offered their services which would cut yer workload by half, leaving ya plenty o' time ta recharge and refuel properly. Pit ya might even have time ta appear at one of my awesome parties! The more ya take care of yourself, the more others will start ta see ya cause you'll actually have time ta socialize. Ah mean, Ah'm not telling ya to be Sunny or Tracks but, it doesn't hurt ta have a good appearance and not- " He waved his servos up and down signaling at Prowl's battered armor. -"this."
Prowl glared but relented. This was a discussion they'd have at least once every orn and they always ended up not finding a solution.
"Fine, so what you're saying, is that if I don't take care of myself, no one will ever be interested in me?"
Jazz felt like he'd been stabbed at the pain in Prowl's voice.
"Ahhh, no Ah'm not saying that but- well think of it like this, would ya be interested in someone that's not there?"
The tactician frowned at his friend. He understood what he meant but, surely he wasn't that antisocial. Was he? Many had seen him as a friend, even if they could be counted with his fingers. Jazz for one. Red Alert and he often got together to gossip, Prime was also someone he considered a friend. Ratchet, even if he was screaming half the time, had managed to befriend him and with whom he shared a cube of energon every once in a while. And of course his brothers. But they didn't count. So why had no one else? Or better yet, why had no one tried to cross that line? Was it because he really wasn't seen as a possible mate?
"Would you be interested ins someone like me?"
Jazz froze at the soft spoken words. He knew Prowl meant it as a rhetorical question but, something stirred in his spark at the prospect. Would he be interested? They were friends. Best friends at that. But he had never seen Prowl as something more then friends. Sure he cared reply for the tactician and hated seeing him hurt.
He hated that there were pains he couldn't slag away. Like when Praxus was destroyed; it had torn at his spark to see his friend being yelled at and called a sparkless fragger. But he had known the true Prowl by then and had seen the obvious signs of grief and despair. It was just that no one else had cared to take a closer look. He had been with the tactician in his office when Prowl broke down and cried in his arms later that joor.
He hated it when others bad mouthed him. And contrary to his friend's belief, there had been some mechs in the past that had been interested in him. But Jazz had chased them all away when he learned they only wanted to see how he was in berth. He hated those mechs and was glad Prowl never found out. It would destroy him.
He hated that Prowl didn't take care of himself. And he absolutely loathed it when Prowl tried to hide his emotions from him. He wanted the tactician to confide in him, to tell him his fears so he could help him. To use his shoulder to cry on when he was sad, to yell at him when he was mad, to laugh with him when the twins got caught in their own prank.
But, that was normal with friends, right?
"Ah- Ah don't know Prowl. Ah mean, we're friends right? Ah've never thought about ya that way."
Why did that hurt?
'I knew it.' Prowl thought sadly as his doorwings fell.
"So even you wouldn't cross that line. Maybe I shouldn't do this." He said, resolve dropping below zero.
NO! He hated seeing Prowl sad. If getting him to be with Kickstart made him happy, then Primus damn it Jazz would threaten the mech to go out with Prowl!
"Oh no you're not backing out now!" He said hooking his arm with his friend's and dragging him forward again.
"No mech. Trust meh. I'm gonna make it so he can't get his optics off ya!"
Prowl's cheekplates heated up at that. "Bu- but how!"
Jazz turned his head and smirked. "With the twins' help of course."
Many mechs in the hallways wondered if something was wrong with their second and third in command when they saw the latter dragging the former who was complaining about 'not living it down' and 'blackmail'. Shrugging, they decided they didn't want to know, it was safer that way.
Sunstreaker opened their door with a glare on his faceplates. Who the frag had pressed their intercom and kept his finger on it! The constant *peeeeeeee* was driving him insane! The fragger was going to die, slowly and painfully. After he ripped off his finger of course.
To his surprise, or maybe, not so much surprise, he was met with the grinning and all too joyful faceplates of none other then Jazz. Okay, so maybe he wouldn't be able to rip his finger off. Jazz you probably rip him first and Prowl would slag him next.
"Heya Sunny! Mind if we come in?"
It was only when he said 'we' that he realized the white and black mech trying to get out of Jazz's hold, doorwings twitching.
~ Sideswipe! Hide the high-grade! I think Prowl and Jazz are doing a surprise inspection again! ~ he yelled over their bond.
~ Frag! Buy me some time! ~
"We didn't do anything if that's why you're here." He said outwardly calm, as if the short conversation hadn't transpired, arms crossed, an irritated frown on his forehead.
Jazz chuckled. "Nah, Ah just need ya ta help meh with something." He groaned as he received a sharp jab on his back planting. He took a moment to look back and glare at Prowl, who glared right back.
Looking between the two officers, he decided he didn't really have a choice. Sighing he let them pass. Might as well get this over with.
As the two officers entered the quarters, they were met with Sideswipe sitting on his berth looking all too innocent for it to be true. Prowl's officer senses instantly went haywire. They were hiding something.
"So, to what do we owe this honor to?" Prowl glared at the red twin. Definitely hiding something.
Sunstreaker went and leaned on the small desk at the far corner with his arms crossed, his leg covering the box the high-grade was in.
"Well ya see-" Jazz started rubbing temple as if to come up with a way to say something.
Prowl stared at his friend. Subtle. He thought. Jazz had better be subtle. His pride and reputation were on the line here. The less the twins knew the better. There was on way Jazz would be so blunt as to-
"Prowl has a crush and-"
Sometimes, he wished he could succumb to his fantasies of killing his 'best friend'.
The twins gaped at Jazz, identical expressions of shock on their faceplates. Sunstreaker had slipped a little on the desk and Sideswipe was just sitting stupidly on his berth.
Jazz was smiling and Prowl just knew that he was aiming for a complete innocent and angelic look. The tactician didn't know if he should pray to Primus to strike him now and end it all, or to strike Jazz. He glared at his friend, doorwings twitching.
Sunstreaker was the first to recover.
"Woah wait a nano-klick! Prowl, you're actually chasing after someone?"
Prowl's optics narrowed and he directed his glare at the yellow warrior.
"And what if I am?" He asked challenging, doorwings high and intimidating, even if he was smaller then the front-liners.
The twins shared a look.
'Here it comes.' Thought Prowl, bracing himself for the hysteric laughter that was coming, the jokes and the promise of telling the rest of the crew so they could point and say "Ha! Prowl actually thought he could win someone over!". But he would't let them have their fun. Oh no, as soon as the first laugh came he would start shooting.
"What's his name?" Asked Sideswipe, with a serious expression that puzzled the tactician.
"Kickstart." Jazz supplied just as serious.
The twins frowned.
"That berth-hopping backstabbing aft?"
Prowl gaped at the three mechs. What in Primus's name was going on! But as the words registered he glared at Sideswipe. "He is not a backstabbing aft." He said in a dark tone, daring them to contradict him.
Sunstreaker snorted. "Oh please, show me a berth hopper that isn't a backstabbing fragger." He said crossing his arms.
The room went silent for a moment before Prowl pointed at Jazz with a deadpanned look.
"… he has a point." Sideswipe acknowledged.
"OI!" Cried an indignant saboteur.
"Anyway, what is it to you?" Prowl made a point to ignore Jazz.
The twins exchanged looks. "We don't want you to get hurt."
Prowl froze. What? They, the twins, didn't want him to be hurt? But, but why? It didn't make sense! The twins loathed him! His mouth opened and closed a few times, trying to search for something to say.
"W- why?" He finally asked, obvious disbelief in his tone.
The twins shrugged. It wasn't a secret, but Prowl had never asked and they had never told.
"Look Prowl, we enjoy pranking you and seeing how far we can push you, but we respect you. We don't do it with the intent of hurting you, we just think you need to lighten up every once in a while. And we'll slag anyone you does want to hurt you in anyway. Only we get to drive you mad."
Prowl was speechless. He had no idea how to respond to that.
Fortunately for him, he didn't have to. "Told ya they wouldn't laugh."
The twins frowned. "Why would we laugh at him? Spark business in nothing to joke about." That sounded way too deep for the red twin. Maybe they were already making fun of him and he hadn't realized it?
"So anyway, what's that favor you want form us? Threaten him? Get blackmail on him?"
"Nah, don't worry Ah already got Mirage working on the last part."
"What! I explicitly told you not to!"
"Ah was thinking more along the lines of making Prowler here sexy!" He said ignoring the tactician and wiggling his fingers.
Sunstreaker circled Prowl who stood in the middle of the room, servo on his chin, studying the tactician intently. His optics roamed all over his body, from his pedes to the tip of his chevron. He had to admit that the SIC was attractive. Now, if only he could bring that attractiveness out…
Prowl stood motionless and tense as the yellow twin studied him. His doorwings twitched at the awkwardness of it. He did not like being stared at.
While Sunstreaker studied him, he took out a special datapad and started sketching. In a few klicks, he had sketched Prowl's entire form -minus all the dents and scratches- and started coloring it, making his piantjob actually show. Right now, it looked grey and black, not white and black. He added some minor details that actually made Prowl look more, as Jazz had ordered, sexy.
While the yellow warrior had his fun and Prowl wished he had never opened his damn mouth, Sideswipe sat on his berth with Jazz, both with their back against the wall and legs stretched out. After some moments of comfortable silence and giggles, the red twin looked seriously at the amused saboteur. It was time to broach that subject.
"So Jazz. You really going to let this happen?" He asked, making sure the others couldn't hear him.
"What do you mean?" He asked watching amused how Prowl would twitch and Sunstreaker snap at him to stay still.
"With you helping him and Sunny taking care of his paintjob, there might be more then one mech going after him."
"Hmm, I see your point, they might get in the way."
Sideswipe sighed already annoyed. Jazz so did not get it. Maybe he had to be more direct.
"Are you really going to let Prowl go off with some mech?"
This time Jazz looked at Sideswipe confused. It sounded as if Sideswipe had just asked him why he was throwing his friend into the sharks.
"What do ya mean?"
"Well, he's your best friend. Surely you don't want him to..." The red front liner fought with his processor on a way to better say what needed to be said. It wouldn't do to just go out and say it. No, the saboteur had to figure it out for himself. "Look, if this plan of yours -whatever it may be- works and Prowl ends with the mech that he thinks is 'the one', he won't have to rely on you anymore." That wasn't necessarily true. When Mirage and Hound bonded some of their friends thought they would be left out now that they had each other. This didn't happen to many's surprise; the couple still spent time with their friends, the only difference was that they now had to bare the happy bonded mech's smooching every once in a while. Not that the red twin was going to point that out to the saboteur.
"Pit, with how little time he has to actually spend time with anyone -which he usually uses to spend time with you-; if he and Kickstart get together, he might change 'spending time with Jazz' to 'spending time with Kickstart'" Now that might have been a little unfair to both Jazz and Prowl but damn it anything to make Jazz see that Prowl was way more important to the saboteur then just a mere friend!
Jazz froze at his words. Could it be true? He had realized that Prowl's spare time was usually spent in his company. He felt honored but at the same time, worried that maybe he was keeping his friend from forming friendships with the others. Even if had talked about it with Prowl, the tactician assured him that he did speak with other mechs. He had, with an amused expression, told Jazz that he was not that antisocial. But to completely push him away to be with his 'soon-to-be-partner-because-my-matchmaking-skills-are-just-that-awesome'? He couldn't help but notice the small hiccup in his engine at the thought. Would Prowl still spend time with him if he got hooked? Would they still play small chess tournaments and gossip with Red about all the funny scenes his cameras managed to pick up? Would they still spar and go on patrols together just to escape the base for a few cycles?
A horrible thought came to his processor. Would Prowl still come to him when he was upset? Would he still be the mech he showed his emotions to? Why would he when he had Kickstart there to comfort him? To take Prowl in his arms and kiss away all his problems?
"Ah-" He started, suddenly uneasy. He wouldn't be able to bare it if Prowl pushed him away. But no. This was not about him. "If it's what makes him happy, why not?"
He wasn't sure who he was trying to convince: Sideswipe, or himself. But a small part of his processor assured him that Prowl was not the type to push his friends away, specially his best friend. Yet, a small part of his spark was yelling at him. What? He didn't know.
Sideswipe sighed. He and Sunstreaker would have a long talk after they were gone. He wanted Prowl happy too. Primus knew the mech deserved it. But they had always thought that the only mech to make him happy was Jazz and vice versa. Of course, they knew something drastic would have to happen for both of them to figure it out. The appearance of Kickstart and Prowl's attraction to him were something they never foresaw as happening. And now, Jazz would probably lose Prowl to some stupid, berth-hopping fragger, who probably didn't even know that Prowl actually had a sense of humor!
~ Not if Jazz gets jealous first. ~
Sideswipe sat up straighter as his twin's words registered.
~ We both know Jazz is terribly protective of Prowl. Remember how we had to convince him not to torture and kill that mech that hit Prowl? ~
Oh he remembered that very well. They had been surprised by that dark and dangerous part of Jazz that was willing to do anything to whoever hurt his loved ones. Frankly, it had been somewhat scary.
~ What do you have in mind? ~
No one but Sideswipe noticed the evil smirk that appeared on the yellow warrior's faceplate.
This should be interesting.
Okay now, I need ideas! What do you want Jazz to teach Prowl? Or what situations could possibly make Jazz twitch? XD