A/N - Set post FFoD, after Blitzwing's exile and Skyfire leaves the Autobots. I've always assumed that when Skyfire disappeared from the series, he went back to doing what he loved, scientific exploration. This is based on the events of a now-closed roleplaying community, based in Iacon pre-war, but I think it's fairly self-explanatory.

It was sheer chance, of billions of stars in the galaxy, that they would both end up here, a small spaceport in a system well off the trade routes. Skyfire had made planetfall here because it was the closest trading depot to the planetary nebula he was studying; he wasn't expecting to encounter old friends. His first glimpse was disregarded; the paint job was distinct, but not exactly exclusive, and the form wasn't the familiar shape he'd known so long ago. A closer look would have suggested an Earth alt-mode, but Skyfire, his mind on luminescent gasses and far-away stars, wasn't paying attention to the other occupants of the spaceport.

But his old friend didn't seem to have any problem recognizing him. The jet shrugged off the refueling probe and transformed, rolling easily to his feet.

"Well, well. Wasn't expectin' to meet you out here, but I'm not exactly surprised either," Blitzwing commented, stepping around the reloading vehicles. He wore a smirk that Skyfire recognized better than the turret over his shoulder, the one that seemed to say that this was all one big cosmic prank, and he was the only Primus had let in on the joke.

Skyfire unfolded from his own alt mode and stood, turning to face the Decepticon.

"Blitzwing," he acknowledged. "It's been a while."

Blitzwing snorted, amused. "It's been a stellar cycle," he said dryly.

"I wasn't referring to Earth," Skyfire countered quietly. He'd known Blitzwing was on Earth, of course, been briefed on his abilities, had even seen him at a distance in the too-frequent battles. He felt a pang when he realized that the tank had finally gotten the one thing he had longed for all those vorns ago – the chance to fly. And he'd wondered, briefly, if Blitzwing still loved it as much as he had the night Skyfire had flown them both orbital for Blitzwing's first unimpeded view of the stars.

"A lifetime, then," Blitzwing agreed. "For those of us who didn't nap through it, at least," he added, chuckling.

Skyfire didn't ask what he found so amusing; Blitzwing had always found humor in everything, appropriate, obscene, or otherwise. They had been friends, two students of very different fields, both transferred to Iacon's premier academy. A science student and a combat student, with little in common besides an enjoyment for debate - Skyfire had enjoyed matching wits with someone so different than anyone he had ever known, and Blitzwing had always been so open, ready to fight with words or weapons. Skyfire had always suspected that Blitzwing liked him simply because he wasn't someone the boisterous tank could bowl over, literally or figuratively.

Skyfire could call up the memory files, but contrasted with the war and desolation that had surrounded him since he awoke, everything from before seemed surreal, more like wistful hoping than a memory.

"A different life," Skyfire said, voice soft and heavy. "Everything's changed." He looked over his old friend, pained. There was a hardness to Blitzwing's smirk now, an unconscious aggressive edge to his stance that hadn't been there before. "Even you," he murmured before he could stop himself. Blitzwing had been fighting a war for millennia; of course he'd changed. It was foolish to expect otherwise, no matter how the younger Blitzwing's in-your-face non-conformism featured in Skyfire's memories of the time.

Blitzwing just shrugged in answer.

"What are you doing out here?" Skyfire asked finally. "I didn't think the Decepticon's reach stretched this far."

Blitzwing laughed outright at that. "These days, I don't think the Decepticon "reach" extends past the base perimeter," he said. "And that's kinda the point."

Skyfire just gave him a confused look, and Blitzwing's smirk turned wry and bitter. "Got exiled," he explained, his tone light, but a dark look in his optics.

"Was it worth it?" Skyfire asked, his voice barely audible. He meant more than whatever Blitzwing had done to earn an exile, and by the knowing look Blitzwing gave him, the other knew it. The war, the death, the destruction of everything both sides had fought for...

Blitzwing chuckled softly. "Still alive," he said, not really an answer. "And I got my wings."

"It's not enough." Skyfire looked pained.

"It has to be," Blitzwing said evenly. "Don't try to look into any further, Skyfire. You ain't missing anything you want to see."

Skyfire absorbed that in silence.

"I'd ask what you're doing out here, but I have a feeling I could guess just as easily," Blitzwing said, breaking the silence, that obnoxious smirk back.

"You're probably right," Skyfire told him, managing a small smile.

Blitzwing cocked his head, looking thoughtfully up at him for a moment. "Want company?" he asked suddenly.

Skyfire started. "I wasn't aware you'd picked up a thirst for scientific exploration," he said.

"I haven't," Blitzwing said easily. "But as I remember it, you still owe me an 'anatomy' lesson." Something in his expression had softened, turned mischievous, and for a moment, he looked like the young student Skyfire remembered, eager and open and more completely alive than anyone Skyfire had ever known.

"If you haven't learned anatomy by now, you're hopeless," Skyfire said, laughing despite himself.

"You haven't answered the question," Blitzwing reminded him, grinning. "You want some company?"

Skyfire looked at him, contemplating the long stretches of space between stars, between lifetimes, old friends and new worlds. "Yes," he said eventually. "I'd like that."