Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.
He was an absolute pain as a brother.
Megatron had the feeling already- and the fiend had only onlined an orn ago. He himself was currently avoiding the family, quietly brooding in his room.
"Megatron, come and see him!" his mother enthused through the wall.
"There's nothing to see-!"
He had refused to even glance at the bother since it had started ventilating.
It wasn't even as if he could complain to anybody; the parents didn't want anybody to know about the demon just yet. They wanted a moment's grace before Cybertron discovered that their rulers had not only just sparked, but that there was a sparkling Prime to admire and coo over.
It was bad enough already without further cause for attention.
Megatron glanced at the news-screen before him and didn't even bother to hold in a disgusted sigh.
We haven't seen much of the Prime lately, one headline declared, slowly running across the screen. Exactly what is he doing?
"Running Cybertron, you idiots," Megatron muttered, but even he had to admit that he was intrigued. Grudgingly, he began to read.
She's a beautiful femme, the article continued. And he's a fine mech. It's no wonder they've produced one good-looking offspring already. Rumour has it that there may well be another Spark on the way. Let's hope it's another male.
If only they knew.
There's another rumour that hostile Nebulans are preparing to engage in battle with Cybertron, and Sentinel Prime is attempting to avert a war. If so, he has a hard job on his hands. In fact, this theory is very likely- several sources agree that the Nebulans have been extremely and unusually active lately.
Perhaps then, he will need the help of his sparkmate, Helix. We know that this is actually how they met- her skills as a diplomat are only met by her grace and ease of foreign communication.
And if the sparkling theories were true, we're sure we would have seen Prime's Chief Medical Officer attending their abode more often.
Ha. Megatron knew that Ratchet was going to kill once he knew about it all. To be honest, it was rather incredible that he hadn't found out already.
"Don't be such a grouch," his father reprimanded Megatron's earlier sulky declaration, audibly beaming. "How many orns are you going to have a new brother on?"
"Depends on how often you two go at it," Megatron retorted (quietly).
"Oh, don't you worry about that," Sentinel beamed, somehow hearing him anyway. "We're done."
Of course they would be; they had their Prime now.
Megatron trudged his way to them with a loud, heavy sigh.
As he had known, nothing to see.
Just a bland, pale grey protoform.
"My life is fulfilled. Can I go now?"
"Look!" Helix nearly squealed, hands coming together in a clap as she gestured towards the 'sparkling'.
"I am looking." Megatron scowled. "He's small, boring and recharging. Exactly what am I supposed to enthuse about?"
"Well? He doesn't even have colours."
"Give him time," the femme defended. "He will."
"I didn't take this long- he hasn't even opened his optics yet. Gurgling over him is pointless."
Oh no- that was a mistake.
"Maybe he'll take after his beautiful mother," Sentinel sighed happily, an arm around Helix's slight shoulders. "And they'll be a wondrous sunset-glow."
Sunset-glow? Mother's were orange, for Primus' sake.
"Maybe they'll be just like his brother's or his father's," Helix beamed. "A gorgeous Spark-catching blue or a serenely tranquil aquamarine-"
They had blue optics. Blue, blue, without the Spark-catching. What kind of an adjective was that? Megatron certainly didn't feel like he had ever caught anybody's Spark.
"It didn't take me this long," Megatron felt the need to point out.
"You were fast in all areas of development," the orange Prime admitted. "But this little mech might just want to take it at his own pace."
All this made Megatron want to purge.
"I'm going to commit suicide," he proclaimed, turning away. "Have a nice night."
"Have a nice recharge," they replied, busy cooing over the thing.
It wasn't even like it was doing anything. Surely it should be kept in a box until it actually resembled something alive. Just because it ventilated didn't mean it was alive.
Megatron scowled, and tried to think of pleasant things to drift off to recharge to. Like throwing the sparkling out of the window.
A contented smile flickered across his faceplates all night.
Three orns later, it still didn't have colours.
"Perhaps it's going to be transparent," Megatron suggested, peering at the nuisance in his mother's arms.
"Don't be ridiculous."
"Well, three orns is a long time to take it at your own pace."
"Megatron, you need to hold him," Helix suddenly announced, turning towards him.
"I need to do no such thing-" Megatron immediately stepped away.
"You need to spend some time with him," his father agreed. "Else your bond won't be strong."
"It's there already," Megatron hurriedly refuted. "If I wanted to, I could feel it. Wonderful. I'm going to go now-"
"Megatron," the silver femme insisted firmly, gently, "hold your brother."
"Don't stab him with your claws," Sentinel worried. "Remember that sparkling armour is very-"
He was silenced by a glance from Helix who approached the downcast young mech.
Protests were ignored, and the thing was carefully transferred from her arms into his.
Nothing exciting happened. It sort of shifted slightly in recharge before- surprise- doing nothing again.
"Well, this is awkward."
Megatron glanced up uncomfortably to see the adult Cybertronians watching him.
"Our boys," his father sighed proudly.
"Oh joy, sentimentality."
"Do yourself a favour and shut up for once," Helix ordered. "Just be with him."
"It," Megatron corrected under his breath.
"We'll leave you to it!" they cried, hurrying from the room.
No doubt they would be using their scanners to detect exactly what was happening anyway.
Well, at least it was slightly less embarrassing now.
Megatron sighed heavily and returned to his room, flopping on the berth and closing his optics.
The thing- he had forgotten he had been holding it, it was so light- squeaked slightly.
"Sorry," he apologised automatically, glancing at it.
Startled, he looked again- it wasn't recharging. The thing appeared to be looking at him.
"It's rude to stare."
As it lay there, tiny grey limbs sprawled out over his chassis in all sorts of directions, it blinked.
"Ugh," Megatron realised. "They're going to be gushing over those optics. Very handsome. Blue. Bright. Just like father."
It didn't seem overly interested in this information. It just kept staring and blinking.
"PARENTS!" Megatron shouted. "Am I-"
"We're already recharging after such a hectic day!" Sentinel cried convincingly. "Afraid you'll have to look after Optimus tonight!"
"YAWN," Helix convincingly bellowed.
Megatron lay there in the dark, fuming. It didn't help that he could hear them both sniggering hysterically.
It never ceased to amaze Megatron what an absolute paradox his parents were.
In public they were the most serene and wise figures- in private, they seemed to become sparklings.
The sparkling itself blinked.
Megatron looked at the bland, grey thing eyeing him with unidentifiable mood, this tiny lifeform that was going to form opinions and know him and frustrate him and ruin his life.
It clicked, a leg wiggling.
"Hurry up and grow," Megatron scowled. "You're no fun as a half-sparked grey object. And at the same time, you should put some effort into developing your colours."
The sparkling clearly didn't understand a word he said.
"Stop staring at me," he warned, increasingly conscious of it. "...Fine, get off me."
He pushed it roughly off of his chassis- there was a squeak, but no further protest.
Smugness radiating from every part of his body, Megatron closed his optics again, giving one last threat. "If you drool on my arm, sparkling, you will pay."
The demon whistled lowly, and that was enough for Megatron. The mocking sound was just too much, too much.
Megatron picked it up (gingerly and at arm's length), stormed out of his room and into his parents', then dropped it on their berth.
He stomped back out wordlessly, then decided to look out into the night and calm himself slightly- there was no possibility of getting to recharge when he was so uptight.
Crossing to a large window with a heavy sigh, he gazed out into the quiet blackness, tension ebbing at the sight of all those stars with so much life and possibility.
Contemplating the Universe only made him feel stronger- out of all the life out there, he was Megatron.
He would make his mark.
With a sigh, he pushed himself away from the window and padded softly to his room again, then froze at the sight of the demon, back in its original place.
"MOTHER!" Megatron roared. "What is it doing in my room-!"
"I didn't put it there," she called back sweetly.
"Was it FATHER?"
"It wasn't!" he cheerfully shouted.
"It did not get here by itself!"
"I, Megatron!" He eyed it with disgust. "Who put you here, thing?"
If he had expected a reply, he wasn't getting one- the excuse of a brother was deep in recharge (on his berth, no less). Megatron considered his options. He could pick it up and take it out. Not likely- he didn't want to touch it. He could jab it awake and demand it moved. Not likely- all it did was sleep. To ask it to do anything might induce a processor meltdown. He could complain and be a general depressant until one of the parents caved and removed it. This was a possible strategy, although it would take up time.
With a grunting sigh of lethargy, Megatron flopped onto his berth.
Tonight his dreams were full of handing the demon over to Ratchet, who had several painful check-ups to complete.
Too bad this hasn't come to my attention sooner, the dream CMO announced, tapping a syringe. Then it wouldn't be as excruciating!
It wasn't daybreak when he awoke. This wasn't odd in itself- because he didn't actually ever recharge for too long- but why so early? It wasn't even light.
Megatron yawned widely and sat up, then glanced to his right where the sparkling had been.
It was still recharging. Had it moved? No.
Immediately he was aware of another presence in the room- helm snapping to the left, it took a moment to register that his parents were standing at the door and beaming.
"ARGH," Megatron roared. "What are you doing-!"
Dental plates gritted. "I know."
"We just wanted to see you and Optimus recharging together," Sentinel offered.
"So sweetly, as well."
"You sicken me!" Megatron cried. "I am not sweet!"
"You are when you're with him! Look at him, recharging away."
Three pairs of optics switched to behold the sleeping sparkling.
"That's a point- did I recharge this much?" Megatron demanded, irritated by the boringness of it all.
"No," his mother admitted. "But every sparkling is different-"
"You're making a lot of excuses for him. Are you sure he isn't a little slow in the processor?"
"Megatron, we actually need to talk to you."
"'To' conveys I don't get to speak. You must mean you want to talk with me."
Megatron huffed and grouched his way off of the berth.
The parents regarded him for a moment before glancing at each other hesitantly.
Helix decided to attack the problem head on. "There is a situation. Your father and I aren't going to be around very often."
"You're never around anyway," Megatron pointed out. "So that was an unnecessary declaration."
"You do have a penchant for melodrama."
"That's my boy!" Sentinel winked, fist-bumping his son's chassis.
Helix shot the mech a withering look and continued. "We aren't going to be here as much as we had hoped."
"Oh, no." Megatron saw where this was going.
"And we can't justify taking Optimus with us."
"Warzones," Sentinel nodded.
"Not a chance," Megatron breathed.
"So you get to look after him!"
Megatron allowed a moment for the comment to burn and wither, then began his excuses. "I have no sparkling-sitting experience."
"Don't be idiotic," Helix sighed. "You aren't sparkling-sitting him. You're his brother."
"And thus I'm not his parent!"
"This is what elder brothers are for!" Sentinel cried enthusiastically.
"Elder brothers are for sneering and apathy," Megatron disagreed.
"Which you have absolutely perfected already."
Megatron continued, oblivious in denial. "They are for the occasional physical contact as the superior proves how worthless the younger sibling is and always will be in comparison."
"Are you saying that you're going to attack your sparkling brother?"
"Probably not," Megatron answered. "I actually meant in the future."
"Then you'll have plenty of time to train him up to be a challenge," Sentinel proposed. "We don't want to leave you, but our people need us, Megatron. One orn you might have to choose yourself- Primus forbid it."
"Choose between what?" the young Cybertronian asked, slightly irritated.
"Your duty and your own life."
"I don't have any duties," Megatron snorted, trying to ignore how much the fact hurt. "I'm not a Prime, remember?"
Sentinel gave him a small smile. "We all have the duties we seek and the duties that choose us."
Megatron forced a replicate expression and turned to leave. "Well, at least I don't have to compile any mystical Primely sounding phrases."
"They're going to be the death of me," Helix muttered. "He never stops."
Sentinel offered a dorky giggle.
"When are you going?" Megatron asked quietly.
"We'll be gone tomorrow," the red mech replied, at least having the decency to look somewhat abashed. "...I'm sorry."
"What does it matter? You'll be back soon enough," Megatron justified with as much passion as he could muster.
After all, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary; sometimes Megatron thought that the public probably saw more of his parents than he did.
Each time they went, he had always waved them off cheerfully, melodramatically hurled himself at them or sulked until they'd promise to come back soon- he didn't anymore. There wasn't any point now; he was old enough to know it wouldn't make them return any quicker.
But that didn't mean his Spark ached any less.
When he woke in the morning, there was a faint sense of emptiness in his Spark.
Apparently they had already left, then. That was nice of them.
They hadn't even said goodbye, Megatron thought, bristling. Not even to the sparkling.
Upon thinking of the aforementioned menace, he caught sight of the beast.
With faint shock, he realised that apparently it was able to actually be awake.
"So," Megatron started brightly. "Did you know that our parents have left you with me? It won't be the last time, you know. Don't worry; I won't stop you from having wild parties or femmes over." He paused. "Not that you'll ever get a femme by recharging all the time and being bland and boring."
The sparkling squeaked and wiggled an arm at him.
"Yes, nice wave," Megatron agreed. "Now, here's the thing. I've had absolutely no choice in this matter whatsoever. I'll look after you as much as I can, but I do have a life of my own."
The mechling blinked, staring at him.
"I'm not staying in here with you," the young mech informed, suddenly making up his mind. "I am going out. You can even drool on my berth if you want, but you stay here- wait. You look odd." He eyed it suspiciously.
It squeaked again, optics exceedingly bright.
Upon realising that the sparkling had slightly raised nubs on each side of his helm, Megatron triumphantly worked it out.
"You're finally growing. Took your time, didn't you. Eh, soon enough you might actually look like a sparkling."
It blinked at him.
"Anyway, I'm going. Stay. Stay there," he commanded, pointing a claw at the berth. "Just recharge: shouldn't be too hard for you."
The sparkling whistled, waggling an arm.
"I'm not taking you. Anyway, berth is there- recharge."
Satisfied, Megatron ensured that the door was closed- wouldn't do to have said sparkling wandering around- before leaving.
He wasn't quite sure what he was going to do. He didn't particularly want to see anybody; talking wasn't what he wanted. Perhaps just a walk around the city? Again, perhaps not- he didn't want random mechs or femmes stalking him today. As presumptuous as it sounded, the public seemed like magnets; somehow always able to pick him out and prey on him.
He could fly a little- well, not that flying brought him much pleasure.
In the end, he settled for alighting on a rooftop and watching the skies, where he was entirely at peace.
He sat, optics lazily drifting about the expanse, basking in the orn. How long he sat there for, he didn't actually know, but the sky had begun to darken ever so slightly.
Faint spirals of smoke were the first indication that something was wrong.
But that was hindsight.
Megatron saw them from a way off -the curling wisps rising above the buildings- and frowned, his relaxed state slowly tensing and curling in on itself.
His Spark suddenly jolted, clenched in an unreasonable, deep fear.
The huge explosions shook the city a moment later- scalding heat seared across Megatron's faceplates- it took too many precious astroseconds to realise that the origin of the blast was his own home.
Ironhide and Ratchet were already there when he finally arrived- lubricant leaking from their optics in response to the heat.
"There's nothing left," the CMO whispered, voice unusually quiet. "I- I couldn't- there wasn't anything-"
"I'm sorry, Megatron-" Ironhide shuttered his optics.
"W-what?" the young mech stammered, chassis heaving with the exertion of speeding to the area.
Their faces said it all.
"Your parents," Ratchet managed to choke. "I can't- there's nothing left at all; just ashes-"
"No, no," Megatron shook his helm violently. "They're off-planet- they didn't want anybody to know-"
Ironhide blinked. "Are you serious?"
"Would I make it up?" With a heavy, relieved sigh (as if he had for a moment believed his parents were inside and had burned) Megatron glanced at the blaze, then froze. Somehow, it was even harder to choke out. "Optimus?"
He knew it would be too late.
Extensive training told him so.
It just wasn't possible to survive such a ferocious attack- but before he could even register the inescapable fact, he was already standing in the scorching wreckage of his home, heat pressing everywhere and anywhere- fire eager to consume him.
They were shouting, probably following, but there was no time to wait.
Hardly anything could be seen past the flames-
He could follow his Spark, it was tugging at him desperately- and then something cold snapped around his wrists- stasis cuffs?- and movement was no longer possible, and he was being pulled away, and he couldn't move, couldn't save-
"Optimus!" he howled desperately.
Ironhide tugged him resolutely out of the building, back out to the slightly cooler safety of the open air.
Ratchet was there immediately, pushing past some large mechs who knew no better than to try and stop him.
The sight of Ironhide's legendary cannons convinced them to stand back, and the medic was with him instantly.
"That armour of yours is ridiculously protective," Ratchet was shaking his helm in disbelief, no doubt conducting various scans as they started to lead him away. "You need to -"
He was outside; he should have been free, yet Megatron could still feel the suffocating pressure blinding him- and realised they had to understand. "Mybrother's in there!"
Ironhide shook his helm, shouting above the roaring blaze. "You don't have a brother!"
"I do! Just- just listen to me!" Megatron pleaded desperately, voice breaking- it couldn't rise above the noise.
"I do!" Megatron nearly bellowed. "He can't be-"
"How old?" Ratchet demanded suddenly, stopping. "How old?"
Megatron was taken aback by the sudden question. "Five- five orns?"
The medic disappeared back into the thunderous flames.
The next minute was the longest of his life- and even though the stasis cuffs kept him securely in place, a tense Ironhide didn't remove his hand from the young mech's shoulder.
Another minute passed-
And then he felt something. A slight nudge to his Spark-
And Ratchet reappeared from the devastation, headed straight for them- holding something- and Megatron wasn't sure when the stasis cuffs had been removed, but that didn't matter because he couldn't move anyway.
Ratchet reached them, wordlessly handed Megatron the something, and when the filthy, beautiful sparkling squeaked huskily at him, it was all he could do to not break down.
He held tightly onto the most precious thing in his life and swore to him that he was so, so sorry, that everything would be alright, that he'd take care of him, that no more harm would come to him, that he'd always be there.
Because that was what brothers were for, right?
Gosh, this one has been bouncing around my head for a while.
This first chapter has an odd edge to it, I think. I've written some more for this already, so don't worry. Humour ahead. C:
As far as I know, no canon source has confirmed the identities of Optimus' and Megatron's parents, hence I've gone for Sentinel and Helix. I don't usually write OCs, but Helix a) won't be around much, and b) just popped into my head.
Ah yes, I don't own Transformers, nor do I own Anthony Brandt. xP If you can own a human. 8/