Alexis bit down hard on her mouth. She took a step back and another, head going this way and then that as she ascertained things. Her eyes wandered up him and then back down before shifting past the Seeker.
"Starscream? What are you doing here?" Alexis' words were tightly strung and heavy, something veiled underneath them that confused.
"I am here for you."
Her eyes narrowed and she shook her head. Her hair flew back and forth across her shoulders, wind pushing it across her face before she planted it firmly behind her ears. Once more, her eyes shifted as she tried to see past him.
"Where's TC?" Alexis asked calmly, too calmly.
Starscream shuttered as his fists balled, cables tightening. "I am not his keeper," he said with indifference, "and he is unworthy of protecting you."
Mouth dropping and feet finding purchase, she sprang forward. His hand easily stopped her as Starscream blocked her path. Using the opportunity, he effortlessly picked her up, enjoying the sudden contact as she was forced to lean against one of his digits with a firm grip.
Alexis bristled and grew more pale, her eyes becoming bright as emeralds. She let go of him and stood upwards. "I'm free, Starscream. I desire to remain free. If I ever meant anything to you, you will stop this. It was bad enough when I thought you were dead, but at least it let me move on."
"You forget; I have been dead before," Starscream said gently, that tone of voice reserved only for her. Even he saw the stark difference in how he addressed her when compared to how he spoke to his men. Unlike Megatron, he strove to be fair and just to those who served him well, yet unrelenting and indomitable to those who came against him. Still, they would have wondered of the human that was capable of forcing his firewalls down, who held such power over him as he felt like someone else entirely. Someone who power meant absolutely nothing to, someone who had the capability of being uncertain and nervous.
"I haven't forgotten. I will never forget that day," Alexis said with sudden fervor.
"You were only a child..."
"Yes," she sighed.
"You were such a tenacious individual, even then." The Seeker smiled as he recalled. "Full of courage as well, one of the few that ever truly reached out to me, even trusted me."
Alexis' eyebrow's rose, mouth tugging downwards. "You speak as if you remember."
Her eyes locked onto his optics. A breath was brought into her small frame as she held it. "Is it possible?" Alexis asked, a form of despair drawn into her words, a desperation as well.
"Yes. Being shot..."
"No..." Alexis shook her head. Stepping back quickly, she nearly fell completely off. Starscream stopped it from happening though, blocking the near fall with his palm. Alexis turned back toward him. Getting closer, she peered at him. Starscream saw then that her eyes were filled with liquid; her little hands folded over themselves, resting in front of her stiffly. "Tell me something only he would know. Please," she begged when he remained silent, his gaze stuck upon the human as he found his thoughts wandering, an agreeable tension spreading through his frame and delicate wiring.
"Four days, sixteen hours and forty-two minutes after I joined the Autobots, I found you outside the base alone. You were mimicking my movement of earlier in the day when I had trained with my saber. You must have paid attention because you were pretty accurate, although awkward. In fact, when you finally realized I was there..."
Her skin suddenly tinted a rosy peach as she looked away. The tears she had held back, escaped down her flesh. "I was so embarrassed. The most humiliating thing in my young life," Alexis whispered, her mouth trembling.
"You lost your balance, and your aim..."
"And hit myself right in the forehead," she finished for him, smiling a little as she drifted in the memory. "I had a bruise for days afterwards. You always had quite the affect on me, and how you managed to sneak up on me; I'll never know." Alexis looked back up at him, consternation firmly on her features, clear desperation as well. Her fingers shook as she wiped off her face with the back of her palm. She steadied herself as she brought a breath in. "How much do you remember?"
She bit her lip, flushing as she drew up straight. Her hands wrapped around her belly. Alexis looked away. Her voice was low, the despair back. "Then what are you doing here? He never, that is, you never..."
"You remain a part of me."
Alexis' head tilted to the side, her gaze still on the horizon, as if looking at him was too much to bare. "Because of who you were?"
"Because of who you are."
"Starscream... I..." Alexis gulped. More silent tears washed down her face from his proclamation. "I never stopped thinking about you, but I can't..." She shook her head violently. "I can't do this again... Thundercracker..."
"You have mated with him?" Starscream couldn't stop it when his palm cupped inward. Alexis fell forward on her knees, bending before him. His gears stiffened at the position. Alexis righted herself soon enough even as his cooling systems activated with a vengeance. To want her. To have her. To keep her, his and his alone.
"He... he cares for me... he..."
"Did you mate with him?" he asked again, some of his forced calm gone as his tone pitched, his vocals trembling with emotion. He desired her. Never had he been drawn to someone as he was the human. Even when she was a child, he had felt a connection with her, a tugging link between them that would have been dangerous to put a title on.
Alexis flinched as she seemed to be considering on whether she wanted to answer that. Anger flashed through her face, then acceptance, then affront, then calm.
"It's only ever been you."
His servos loosened as he brought Alexis up closer. A little relief filtered through as he realized the extent to her admission. He would make sure that was how it would remain. She would belong to no other.
"I wish for you to come with me," he said as his spark ignited at the thought of her inside him. Knowing her reaction to what he said would determine many a thing. Starscream hoped she understood the importance alone in him making the formal request. However, he also knew that if she refused, he would take her anyway. Yet he desperately didn't want it to come to that.
"But TC, does he know you are here? He..."
"We had words," Starscream interrupted, "he knows full well that you are going with me," he said, a strange irregular guilt washing through the Seeker from keeping the whole truth from her, but it would have deterred the outcome he was determined on having.
"But he shot you surely..."
"We are wingmates." He shrugged off coolly, keeping his vocals in check. "It is not the first time we clashed. Will not be the last. We... understand one another... again."
"I don't know. I shouldn't go," she said, her words such that he could imagine her internal debate. He could see where her answer was leading, and it wasn't the one he wanted.
"I have things I need to show you," Starscream elaborated, his words holding an air of a mystery, something he knew would more than pull at her curiosity.
"Come with me and you shall see."
"I... I..." She drew herself upwards and gazed at him more openly. Some of the distance in her eyes broke away. It was then that he knew she was still drawn to him, then that he knew she felt the desperate pull between them as well. "You will bring me back?"
"Then... then I will go with you." Alexis decided.
Not giving her a chance to change her mind, Starscream placed Alexis inside his cockpit, thrusters activating as he shot violently into the sky. Her hands found purchase as she dug her nails deeply into his seat, releasing once she was able to draw the safety device across her frame. Slowing down a little, his cabin heated as she squirmed. Alexis' scent was already spreading and saturating everything; it was tantalizing and achingly familiar. Desire grew even as she moved inside him, his spark beating hypnotically against his chamber. He knew what he wanted of her, and while the old Starscream had obtained a measure of it, he felt the need to distance himself from the remembering. Feeling as if what Megatron had turned him into was some nightmarish dream that he had barely waken up from. Beyond that he knew what the two of them had done, what Alexis had allowed him to do and had given him, had been real. The two of them coming together was the most vivid of his memories.
"Just because I came with you..." She stopped. Breathing in deep, she tried again. "I don't want to love you again." Alexis finally managed, the words tumbling out of her as they died in a whisper.
What she said ground through him. Pain welled deep under his cockpit as anger came. Identifying the sorrow in her inflection did little to deflect his rising ire. "You would rather love Thundercracker? To engage in this primitive act of marriage, to bind yourself to him?"
Alexis looked up at him, eyes widening. She appeared confused and taken aback. It took her a moment before she could compose herself. When she spoke her words were careful and guarded, "He protected me, kept me safe. I do care for him."
Her eyebrows lifted at that. "No?" she asked softly, her tone filled with a soft affront.
"I still feel you, Alexandra." He remembered soon enough that was how Megatron had addressed her. The anger died within Starscream when she flinched at her own name. His vocals softened as his conviction rose. He wanted Alexis, and nothing, not Megatron, not their past, not anything was going to get in his way. "You linger in my spark. I feel what you cannot say."
He almost didn't finish what he was saying. Halfway through, Alexis pushed herself forward as fingers grazed at his instrumentation, hovering all around as if to confirm it was indeed him. His thrusters sputtered and his speed increased. The Seeker found himself thoroughly distracted. She pulled back when he was forced to turn the panel around. He was already sensitive to her touch and so aware, the reality that she was even there was rousing on its own. His thoughts pushed forward as he thought of them mated once more, wanting more than just another's memory, even if it did in a way belong to him.
"What can I not say?" she finally inquired, her hands back and pressing on either side of her seat. One shifted back and forth, forth and back. She was unaware of what she was doing, such ordinary acts on her part that stirred Starscream beyond simple comprehension. Forcing himself to replay back what she just said, he nearly groaned with dismay when her actions ceased.
"You ask a question when you know the answer," he said softly, gaining ground in his vocalization volume with each ejected word. "You belong to me, Alexis." Heat simmered his words, turning his utterance into a low rasp. "You have since the moment in the cell when we joined."
Shifting, pushing herself deeper into the seat, he felt her pulse quicken as blood rushed to her cheeks.
"But that wasn't you."
"It was my lingering impression of you that had him acting so rashly, and it is enough of me that it remains. Enough of it that I want to reinforce and broaden it, show you what the other lacked, teach you what the other did not realize."
For a moment, he had thought she wasn't going to ask. She was listening to him attentively; he saw that, but she was distracted and nervous. Starscream couldn't tell what she was contemplating. However, he would learn to read her again.
Starscream continued, his inflections bursting with barely contained passion. "That this love you showed is infantile in comparison to what we shall transpire to. We are bound together, you and I. And I will take you to heights past your wildest imaginings."
As if to bring strength to his words, they broke through the stratosphere, higher still as they cleared free of Earth. Space greeted them in its vastness, stars shining brightly before them. The Galaxy opened up to them as the moon hovered nearby, closer than ever.
Picking up speed, he shot around the white orb, a silent communication sent to his awaiting crew. The darkness shimmered around them, a ship taking shape. For a moment, he saw the terror in Alexis' eyes, knowing she believed he was taking her back to the Nemesis. But he had long destroyed that vessel, along with all that remained of Megatron.
"It is called Adversary."
Her nose pinched at the mention of the ship's name, but she pushed herself toward the right window just the same, hands climbing up the cold glass as she leaned against it, utterly enthralled by his command ship.
He had spared nothing in its components, Starscream himself supervising its construction. Power emanated from every last sharp corner of it, a sleek build to its immense frame that hid weapons capable of mass destruction. The ship held an elegance behind it that was unlike any war vessel in its class, one that lulled you in, captivating you even as it spoke of nothing but the danger it was capable of. It was no error that its most dominating feature of all, was the multiple wings on each side of the ship. They cut through the space, large and impressive.
"It's magnificent," she said with awe and wonder, her pleasure at seeing it, worth the building of it alone. Preparing himself for docking, he brought Alexis on board.
"I've almost forgotten how glorious Earth is from space. How beautiful," Alexis said. She was leaning against a view port in the quarters Starscream had brought her to after their tour. Her back was facing him, but her words traveled just the same. She hadn't said much since her arrival.
"It is," he stated, but he wasn't speaking of the planet.
"You speak much of him."
Alexis shook her head before turning to face him. "He is a valued friend. He took care of me even when he was on the ship, and Megatron could have..."
"He was the one that hid you from me."
Eyes becoming wide, she sat down on the bed. The entire quarters were lined with human furniture and necessities that he had seen to. It wasn't just coincidence that the elaborate adornments complimented the color of her own emerald gaze. Starscream hadn't been able to clear his processor of the vision of her standing in the chambers one day, and it had influenced the outcome of the furnishings more than he realized.
"Yes. You terrified me so, I didn't know what to expect. And then there was if Megatron found out- I couldn't stand the thought of. That is..." Her eyebrows scrunched together as her cohesiveness of words faltered. "I... was so frightened for you. And I couldn't seem to help you, couldn't seem to get through to you. You didn't even know me, even after..." She blushed bright, hastily continuing, "And you were so intense, so focused and didn't seem to care if Megatron found out and..." She crashed back on the bed. Legs pulled up to her body; she stared at him listlessly, then down at the soft plush carpet, eyes wandering still as she looked at the rest. "You've prepared these quarters for me?"
Looking up at him and getting off the bed, she wandered slowly around the room. Going to a desk, she opened drawers. Seeing the computer and even television, her hand lingered on a lamp as she turned it on. Her shadow stretched across the wall behind her, the soft illumination cast behind her giving Alexis an illusive, ethereal quality.
Finally, she turned to him with those green orbs of light full and upon him. His CPU stuttered as his processors stilled, circuits warming as his optics burned. Only a year and yet how Alexis had changed. Her hair was longer, her frame fuller, even some of that innocence of hers had made its way back into her eyes. Everything about her tugged at his spark, inviting feelings and impulses that he had been programmed into believing were a weakness. But she didn't make him feel weak, far from it. Alexis was showing him a new form of power that she held entirely in her hands.
"I will take care of you, Alexis. You will never have to want for anything, ever again. Let me provide a place of safety for you, let me protect you."
Alexis was still looking at him, her expression unreadable as her head shifted to take him in. "Once upon a time the only thing I ever felt my life was missing was you, but losing you twice, Starscream... " She closed her eyes, trembling as she winced. "It was bad enough as a child, worse after... after what we shared the second time. You don't know what it was like having part of you inside my head all those years and then left with the silence... even as I convinced myself that was exactly what I wanted." Her eyes shot open, head shaking as she stepped back. "I won't lose you again. I won't allow myself to. You can't expect it of me. I am not that strong."
"You weren't the only one tormented by our separation." Starscream bent down, ready to pick her up. He stopped himself when he saw her flinch. But then she came toward him, hand connecting with one of his digits. Slowly, methodically, she drew small lines down the length of it.
"It is so strange, standing here, touching you... the real you. How long I... how much I... " Contact broke off as she backed away. Not liking the absence, he picked her up. Sitting down, he placed her on his leg. Memories swayed as he remembered the last time he had done such a thing. "Why did you bring me here? Why did you come for me?" Alexis asked.
Starscream brought his digit closer to her body. It was pure anguish not to touch her.
"You complete me."
She gasped at that. Hands covered her face as tremors wracked through her body, soft sobs escaping. He allowed her to release it, forcing himself not to make contact with her even though there was nothing more in the Galaxy he wanted to do at that point. She stilled. Hands dropping, here eyes were still filled with liquid, face shimmering and flushed. He couldn't contain himself any longer. His digit descended, rubbing against her arm, then finding her hand. Alexis looked at him, eyes clearer as emotions spilled upon her continence. It was the inspiration that had him speaking of what he had held in for too long.
"We shall start things over, Alexis." He saw her ready to speak, but he blocked her words with his own. "I know that you were ashamed of what you had with... him," he spoke of his old self and they both knew it. "I will court you properly. I will not take you..." He cursed himself at his own indelicacy. "We will not share one another until you are convinced you want to be my mate. You care for me still Alexis, and I will show you that I am deserving of your regard."
"These quarters are beautiful, and seeing you again is... wonderful. But this is so much, so quickly. I can't help but feel overwhelmed. And... what if I wanted to leave? " she asked softly, more behind the question than just the obvious. But she hadn't denied him, and he felt more encouraged then when he had found out her location.
"You are not my prisoner. Nevertheless, you shall remain for now. You have many questions, and I will answer them." His vocals lowered, a hidden plea in his next words. "Give me the opportunity."
Alexis took a step back and then sat. Her attention turned away from him as her face edged downwards. It was several long minutes before she looked up at him again. Neither said anything for some time. Silence embraced them both, his digit yet beside her. Warmth emanated from her as everything seemed to still.
"What power do you hold over me?" Alexis suddenly asked, her words echoes as if a memory played back, a phrase that not long ago had been the preface of many a change for both. A small, sorrowful smile appeared on her as she leaned against him, palms pressing lightly against him.
"The same one that has me under its control," Starscream admitted openly, wanting to say more. In time, he would.
Her small fingers curled around the tip of his digit. Alexis was still full of reservations and resistance, but he knew it would fade in time. Starscream knew what they would share was worthy of patience.
Eyes locked with optics and Human and Cybertronian were lost in one another as the promise of things to come lingered around them. Starscream realized then that she had gifted him with something of great worth, something that only she seemed capable of stirring.