Prowl stood just outside of the base, watching the Cybertronian clouds skate across the landscape. Barricade was inside discussing something or another with the spybots. Prowl was alone. A small smile flitted across his face.
Well, not quite. Barricade was still a warm pulse inside his spark, and Prowl had every intention of keeping him there, where he belonged.
"Kinda nice out tonight, ain' it?"
"Hello, Jazz." Prowl glanced at him as his friend came to stand beside him. "I figured Mirage would be keeping you close."
"He was." Jazz didn't even look at him. "Right now I got th' spybots and Barricade keepin' him busy. I wanted ta talk ta ya."
"Ya gonna publically 'cept Barricade as yers?"
"Eventually." Prowl returned his gaze to the sky. "We have agreed that it would be best to keep it hidden until he defects."
Jazz made a choking sound. "He ain' gonna defect, Prowler. Ya know that."
"Perhaps nothin'. Ya know he ain' gonna defect. He's only here cuz he bonded ya. If that hadn't happened, do ya really think he'd have come willingly when ya escaped?"
Prowl smiled faintly. "Jazz – you really shouldn't speak about what you don't understand."
"Then explain it ta me." Jazz pressed. Now his entire attention was on his friend, while Prowl refused to look at him. "Make me understand." Prowl didn't respond, and Jazz sighed through his vents. "Slag it all, Prowler, 'm just tryin' ta get this, ya know? It's so not like ya."
"The 'you' you're referring to never existed until I made him so." Prowl finally looked away from the sky to focus on Jazz. "You need to wrap your processor around this – Prowl, by all technical rights, does not exist. He is a figment of Meister's imagination, and thankfully for everyone, I have an excellent one. Bearing that in mind, it should therefore come as no surprise that this is well within character for Meister. He takes what he wants without regard for the rules."
"So ya bein' such a stickler – "
"Was me defending myself. Galvatron wanted to kill me."
Jazz shook his head. "Ya want me ta still call ya Prowl?"
"That would be wise. None of the other mechs know."
Silence fell between them. Jazz broke it. "Prowl ain' completely imaginary. I know 'im too well. Ya may be Meister and Prowler, but ya ain' one or th' other. I know it. Barricade knows it. One day, yer gonna have ta show us all of who ya are."
Slowly, Prowl smiled. "Maybe one day I'll feel safe enough to do so."
Barricade brushed against Prowl's spark. /Problems?/
/Nope./ Prowl pressed his hand against his chest. /For once, everything is just fine./
An: Hate this chapter, hate it hate it hate it . . . .
Either way, it is done! Now, on to bigger and better things. Until next time, I remain yours truly,