This is the last chapter that I have all edited for you guys. Did you know that ffdotnet only lets you upload fifteen documents at a time? I could only put this on after deleting the first chapter of the Skywarp/Peceptor fanfic I put up forever ago for you guys! I'm actually writing this note on the day before my birthday :3
IT IS FEBRUARY 13 RIGHT NOW AS I WRITE THIS. But it is some other date as you read this. Crazy, right? Right.
Anyway, this is the last chapter of this for awhile until we write more. I'm going through the backlog of fic that needs to be uploaded. I'm sure you noticed that :V I'm not really sure what I'll put up next, since it is all subject to a whim and fancy. We'll figure something out.
Transformers belongs to Hasbro
Their armor shimmers with dust when they online the next morning. They practically glitter in the dim light of the room, and Loki's grip on them is much more loose now that the beast is recharging. Optimus manages to free himself without the sleipnir onlining, and he sighs with relief to finally be free of the hooks.
Even if Grapple's frame had been comfortably warm against him, and he'd recharged far better than he had in a long time because of the berth sharing.
He is about to slip out of the berth when the door opens, and Sari walks in, waving her servo while not looking anywhere in particular, "Optimus, I wanted you to know that we're almost to Ha-" She looks at him, then tilts her head, "Did you sleep with Grapple and Loki all night?"
He nods, trying to get off the berth, only for Loki to slip a leg around him, and he's suddenly laying flat next to Grapple again. "I can't stop him from doing this."
Sari looks at him for a long moment before bursting out laughing.
The sleipnir sits up and gives her a hopeful look, smacking tail and body dust onto the bots again. She fights herself down to giggles, and then snaps her fingers, "Down, boy. No nummy bots for you." Loki sadly shifts off the berth and lets the bots go. "Time to de-dust you again. You look like you spent the night in some bad rave club or something, Optimus."
He stares down at his shimmery coat of dust. "Ah. Yes. I should take a trip to the washrack before I call Ultra."
She nods, "You should. And wake up Grapple for me, would you?"
He gently shakes the cranebot, and Grapple rolls over, away from him, muttering something about another breem. He sighs softly, "I don't think he's going to."
She taps her ped on the floor, "No. Just push him on the floor."
He gives her a disappointed look, "I'm not going to do that, Sari. He might get hurt. He can stay on the berth. It won't hurt him to recharge some more."
Shaking her head, she mutters under her breath and leads Loki out of the room, "Fine. Then he can stay in here with you. I just wanted to let you know that we're almost to Haydon IV. You can get ready however you like, but if Grapple's in here, you'll have to share the washrack, and I don't know how Ultra is going to feel about that."
He rolls his optics, "Grapple is sparkbroken. Ultra won't care."
She shrugs, "If you say so. You're most likely right, but whatever."
The door closes behind her, and Optimus pokes Grapple once. The cranebot mutters something, but doesn't online. Shrugging, he walks to the washrack. He needs to get cleaned up, and call Ultra. He knows his beloved will want to talk to him before he goes on planet.
Optimus scrubs himself thoroughly, washing the paint and dust off of his frame until he's passable. He wants to look good, but not too good. His planet doesn't deserve his full efforts at making himself presentable. He passes requirements for field inspection, and that is all. No special polishes or anything else.
He sits at the console and touches the screen to connect with his intended.
Ultra connects instantly, "Optimus! Now is not a g-" His beloved stares behind him for a long moment, "Why is there a bot on your berth?"
He blinks at Ultra for a little bit in confusion until he realizes Ultra never actually met the cranebot. "That's Grapple, love. Loki trapped us in the room, and he is still recharging."
Ultra's expression is not particularly happy. "I see. I hope it does not become a regular occurence. I do not want to have you going out with other bot's paint on your frame, even though I know you will not do anything with them." He leans back in his chair, "I do not want you to become accustomed to sharing your berth with bots other than me."
He tilts his head, unsure why Ultra is upset. "I guess? I don't have any of his paint on my frame, though."
Ultra frowns, "You obviously just came from the washrack, Optimus."
He keeps from rolling his optics, "Even if I hadn't, there would be none of his paint on me. We never even touched in the night. Loki wouldn't have allowed it."
The Magnus clenches his fist, and then sighs, relaxing himself visibly. "I apologize, Optimus. I feel rather jealous. I know I should not, yet I look at that bot in your berth and wish it was me. I want to hold you in my arms."
Optimus smiles, "You will, soon enough. We just have to be patient." He turns to look at Grapple, who is shifting slightly, starting to online. "I don't intend to share a berth with him again, though I cannot always control what happens. Loki is unpredictable, if harmless now."
Ultra frowns, "I still wish you wouldn't." His intended presses a servo to the screen, "I love you, Optimus."
He smiles, "I love you, too. But you said that now isn't a good time?"
Ultra starts, and nods quickly, standing up, "Yes. I'm sorry, my love, but I need to go now. Shockwave is trying to get Furao back, and the seekers are not taking it well."
He widens his optics, "Understandable! You go! I love you."
His beloved smiles quickly, servo over the disconnect, "I love you, too." The screen goes blank, and Optimus is left staring at a dark screen.
He sighs softly, wishing he'd managed to get longer with his beloved. At least the short time he'd had was better than nothing.
He hopes the issue is resolved quickly, so he can spend more time with Ultra later on. He doesn't like only speaking to him for a klik or two at a time. They're long past that stage of the courtship, and should be spending most of their free time together at this point.
He sighs again, and jerks with surprise when a servo clamps down on his shoulder, "Are you alright?"
Looking at the servo, he blinks rapidly before nodding. "Yes, Grapple. I'm fine. I would like to go home, but we still have to head to Haydon IV."
The cranebot nods, "Sounds good to me. I'm going to go head to my washrack," the mech gestures at his sleipnir dust covered self, "because this is pretty terrible."
He waves at his washrack, "Use mine. Sari said to."
Grapple taps his ped on the floor, "If you say so."
Arching an optic ridge, Optimus scoffs, "You're not worried about sharing a washrack, are you? Ultra saw you recharging in my berth. Any damage has already been done."
Grapple shifts uncomfortably, "Oh. Was he angry? You did tell him it wasn't our fault, right? I mean, I'm- . . I've lost my sparkbond. If there's any bot you could safely recharge with, it's me."
"He wasn't upset. Not much." Optimus isn't going to give credit to Ultra's tiny bout of jealousy. It hardly counts at all.
Grapple nods reluctantly, "If you say so."
He pushes the mech towards the washrack carefully, "I do. Go wash up I already did, so that won't even be a problem. I ha-"
The mech pulls him out of the chair, "We're going to that planet, right? I vaguely remember Sari saying we're amost there while I was drifting in and out of recharge."
He nods, "Yes. We're almost to Haydon IV."
He's pulled along, "Then we're both cleaning up. You look okay, but not nearly enough for a planetside visit."
"I-" his protest gets cut off as he's shoved under a solvent spray, and he shuts his mouth to avoid having it filled with solvents and cleansers.
"Now, if you really don't mind, I'll give you a good coat of polish," Grapple offers, pulling out a bottle before Optimus can reject it immediately. With the bot looking so eager to help, Optimus feels too bad to turn him down, and he stands there mute, letting the bot scrub him and then apply the polish to his armor.
He only hopes it's not the expensive, high quality polish that he's been intentionally avoiding using in the washrack.
When they're all finished cleaning, he smells like energon candy, and so does Grapple. He glares at the mech irritably, "Did you have to do this? I was perfectly fine before."
He's pushed to the door, "I couldn't use it if you didn't." The mech tries to go through the door, only for the fussy thing to beep at them both angrily. "... Is it telling us to..." the bot trails off, unwilling to suggest what he thinks.
He shudders, "It better not. I think we just need energon. If we can't leave then, we will call Sari for help."
Two cubes of energon later, and the door lets them out reluctantly, flashing its lights in some obscure pattern that Optimus doesn't recognize. It was probably scolding him for not servicing his spark that morning.
He wasn't opening his plates with Grapple just a single door away from him. Even if he did have a bit of dubious privacy in the washrack. He wasn't a shameless slutbot, and he didn't go around self-servicing where other mechs could hear him. Frag the room if it wanted him to do that.
Grapple glares at the door as they leave, "I don't like that thing."
Optimus nods, "I don't, either. I'll be glad when I'm home and not have to deal with it."
The cranebot nods, and they start to walk to where Sari is, and she gives them both approving looks, "Good. You're both clean. Are you feeling better?"
Grapple rubs his sparkplates, trying to soothe away pain, "I think so? I mean, I didn't recharge as well with Optimus as I do with you, but it was much better than being alone."
"Being with fragging Loki probably helped you," Sari grumbles, and kicks the sleipnir with her foot. Loki looks up and blinks wide, innocent optics, and butts his head up against her servo until she gives in and pets him. "Sleipnir really are good for damaged sparks. They give off this energy stuff, kind of like I do, but not as much of it. It's part of how they lure virgins to them."
Or how they kept virgins with them back before they turned feral. If you enjoyed being with one, you were less likely to listen to that friendly neighborbot who wanted you to come over for a cube of energon while your creators were away.
He's tugged, oddly gently, by Afterburner to come closer. He's not really sure what this is about until the racecar bot pulls out a polishing cloth and works on polishing his faceplates, "You're streaked around your optics, and I know you wouldn't care, while Grapple wouldn't be thinking about this. Sari told me what you're doing, and you want to look your best for it. I may not like you, but that doesn't mean I want you to frag this up for yourself."
He's silently grateful for the mech's help, he doesn't want to make a bad impression. "Do you think I can do this?"
Afterburner shrugs, "How should I know? You can do it if you think you can, even though you suck at everything."
"I see," he says. "Still, thank you for helping. I will have to hope that my talent in this is greater than my talent at catching turbofish. I do have quite a bit of practice with diplomacy," and you do not, his look adds, and Sari snaps at them both.
"Oh, for fuck's sake, grow up. Both of you grow up and be civil, or I'm going to do something awful. Like make you kiss and make up. I don't want to see you kiss, but if that's what it takes to keep you from acting like spoiled brats fighting over a toy, I will."
Both he and Afterburner make a disgusted face at that, and the racecar picks Sari up to kiss her. "I would much rather stay with you."
She sighs softly, letting the mech press kisses to her frame, "I still want you to stop fighting. It isn't becoming, and we have to head off. They're pretty excited about me taking a sudden detour, but will hate that I have Optimus doing most of the stuff. I don't know what's going on in this place."
"Haydon IV is still one of the largest industrial planets currently producing parts for most model types and is the sole producer of Livnium, a metal used in most ship engines." Optimus has kept up to date on his home, even if he never intended to return there. "It is very difficult to produce, and," he swallows, "the factory where my creators . . . offlined creates very much of it." He had personally pushed through stricter policies for safety in Autobot-allied zones, but Haydon IV is extremely neutral, and he does not know if they have updated their own policies, as they are not a matter of public scrutiny.
Sari reaches over, patting him on the side. "We'll do a tour of the place if you want, Optimus."
He wraps his arms around himself, optics offline, "I'd like to, and I don't want to. I want to know that no one else will have such a thing happen to them, but I don't want to relive the memories."
She pats him again, "If it isn't safe, I can make sure they change it so it is. You can help me make sure that no one suffers like that."
He nods reluctantly, "That seems like the best idea."
Their ships lands in a very wealthy area, one of the places that has flourished due to the credits coming to the planet for their resources. It sickens him to see the oppulent buildings that house such a tiny number of bots when he knows how the bots in the slums were crowded together in shacks that were always on the verge of collapse.
Nevertheless, he smiles peacefully at the bots who welcome them, and then forces himself into a neutral expression, which he hopes to maintain the rest of the visit.
He mentally goes over what he needs to do this sol, and frowns when he realizes he has no clue where Ultra's neice and nephew live. He's going to have to search through the records on the planet to match up where they are to their names, while hoping he's got them right. He has their creator's names, and their creator's creator's names, so that will really help quite a bit.
But he is still worried that he could be looking right at Strafe and Raindance, but not know they're there at all.
"Do you have a library, or a datafile storage facility nearby?" Optimus interrupts their guide, who is happily explaining about the extensive crystal garden just a few blocks from the hotel they will be staying in for the night.
The bot gives him a knowing look. "Ah. So you enjoy datapads, Optimus Prime? Yes. We have a very large public storage facility, but it is closer to the center of the city. If you like, we can have a bot guide you there later this sol."
Optimus straightens himself, trying to look like one of the spoiled dignitaries they often have visit Cybertron. "I want to go there now."
Sari snorts in amusement behind her servo, "I want to go, too. We can check out the garden later."
The guide gives them a slightly confused look, most likely wanting to insist on whatever they have planned. "We are having a dinner at the ga-"
Sari shakes her head, "No energon for me. I know you weren't given enough time to prepare something I can eat."
The mech shifts on his peds, twirling his wheels and shifting his racecare spoiler, "It would sti-..." The bot looks at Afterburner glaring down at him, then nods. "Of course. To the storage facility. I'm sure you'll all love it."
Sari leans over, bracing one servo on Afterburner's armor so she can brush her other servo against the guidebot's spoiler, tweaking the tip. "What's your name?" she asks, and Optimus thinks it is probably a bad idea to let her bond with a bot she barely knows. They can find better candidates for other consorts elsewhere.
Afterburner makes a discontent noise and moves away, pulling Sari with him. "His name isn't important."
She giggles softly, pressing a kiss to her consort's mouth, "Silly jealous bot." She rubs his helmet vents on his headfins, and murmurs something softly in his audios that Optimus can't make out.
"No. I do not want him under me, Sari." Afterburner glares at the other racecar, holding her possessively, "He isn't nearly pretty enough for you."
The guidebot looks like he wants to insist that he is pretty, but Optimus puts a servo on the mech's shoulder, whispering frantically, "Do not do this. It will not end well for you."
The bot falls silent, and Afterburner complains again, after Sari whispers in his audio and pinches his headfin, "No. I won't accept a bot with a spoiler like that. It's gaudy and you know what they say about bots like that? Racecars with spoilers can't last in the berth. They can't even keep their charge up long enough to give you a satisfying overload." The bot sneers at the guidebot, "You'd get a better charge from rubbing your spark on the berth."
The guidebot looks absolutely affronted, "We do not! We're wo-"
Afterburner hisses wordlessly, scaring the mech into silence, "We are not allowing him in, Sari."
She crosses her arms sulkily, "Fine."
Afterburner looks very smug, "Now take us to the datapad storage facility. Optimus needs to do some research."
The bot sulks as they walk to the storage facility, mollified only when Sari leans over and pinches his spoiler again, whispering something at him. "I, yes," the bot smiles a little bit. "It does make me feel better to know you would claim me if you could, but I understand that it's important to keep your First happy."
Afterburner moves so they're on the opposite side of the group, clutching Sari to his chest. "We should request that they not send such obvious prostibots our way in the future."
Sari glares up at her consort, "He is not a prostibot, Afterburner. You're just upset. I'm not going to ever replace you." Her voice drops softer, cuddling against the mech, "I love you. You know this."
Afterburner glares at the guidebot, nuzzling Sari lovingly, "I love you, too."
Optimus is glad that they do like each other, even if most of it was forced on due to the bonding. It doesn't hurt them to be happy, and it is better they care for each other than wanting to kill the other. Even if he doesn't like Afterburner, and wishes Sari had a nicer bot to be with.
He smiles at the guidebot, more inclined to like him now that he's had to suffer Afterburner's scorn. "Don't be insulted. Afterburner hates most bots, though he apparently was capable of basic courtesy back when he worked at his hotel. I doubt it, myself. He's certainly shown no signs of it at all." Not even a little flicker of concern or courtesy. Not unless Sari is involved. He reaches over to pat the bot's shoulder.
The mech gives him a nervous smile, "It's okay, he just wants to be with her. I'm just..." The bot looks down, "I was kind of hoping that she'd take me to her berth for the night, that's why I asked to be the guide. I should have known better."
Optimus raises an optic ridge, "You realize she'd end up marking you as a consort if that happened, right?"
The bot's optics light up, "Do you really think so? I'd love to be her consort. She's so pretty and wonderful, and I know that she's a techno-organic, but I don't mind at all. I mean, look at her."
Optimus frowns, "You've never seen her in her nonbot mode. Be polite."
"But I've seen organics before," the bot says, and then lowers his voice, "and I've seen the images of her organic form on the news. I am not opposed to it at all." The bot flushes up an interesting shade of green, his code obviously running towards that color with whatever paint blend he has. He wouldn't have expected it with the bot's red and silver paint. "I have even interfaced with one. It was very . . . different. But not bad."
That is information he could have done without. He doesn't want to know about anyone interfacing, unless it is him and Ultra. "That's... nice?" He looks up at the datapad storage facility, and sighs, "I need to know where the-"
Sari interrupts, "Vroom needs to come here. He must." She makes grabby motions at the racecar, "Allspark says you are hiding the best thing. The best thing."
The racecar blinks, and walks over to her cautiously, "Y-yes, Priestess?"
She makes a kissy face, "Turn into a motorcycle. Show Afterburner."
The bot flushes green again, and then carefully folds himself down, twisting in that familiar triple-changer way until his frame is compacted down into a cyclebot shape. He's a very sleek motorcycle, considering how compact he must be, and he spins his tires restlessly when Sari reaches out to caress his frame.
He's certainly not designed for carrying organics. No handlebars.
Afterburner's optics dim, and the orange mech revs. Sari beams at that, "See? We're taking him! He wants it, don't you?"
The triple-changer spins his wheels again, "I.. I do, I just hadn't thought you'd wa-"
She jabs a finger at the bot, "Pick him up, Afterburner."
The bot is scooped up carefully, and Afterburner rubs the triple-changer on the undercarriage, "I'm much more accepting of him joining us if he's a triple-changer."
"You should really consider this before you do anything permanent, Sari," Optimus cautions her. "You don't even know him."
Sari traces her fingers over the bot's armor, and Optimus thinks that must be where the bot hides his spark in that vehicle mode. "I know he's going to make the prettiest noises for me tonight. That's all that matters to me right now, Optimus."
He rubs his forehead, "Sari, please think about what you're doing. I'm not telling you not to get consorts, I'm asking you to realize you need a bot with more than just a pretty frame. I'm glad you love Afterburner," He points at the mech as he looks triumphant at that admission, "but that doesn't mean that you should go marking bots randomly. You don't want to be like the other Priestesses, do you?"
She freezes, looking at him with worry in her optics, but cuddles Vroom closer, "But I want him."
He puts his servos on his hips, "Just like how you wanted that jet bot?"
She gives him a horrified look, but doesn't let go of the mech, "... no?"
"I'm perfectly willing, Optimus Prime," Vroom insists, wiggling a bit to rub his side against Sari. "There was a mech in my line, many generations back that was consort to a Priestess. One of the few who offlined from a virus rather than . . the other causes of a Priestess's offlining. He was quite happy, if his datapad records are any proof." He twitches a bit, "If my frame still upsets your First consort, I will be happy to take whatever mods he requires."
She cuddles him even more, nuzzling her face into the bot's side, "No. You're fine how you are." She teases the bot's seams, "We'll be going to mark you after the tour and things, since Optimus does need to do this." She pokes the bot, "Back to botmode. You get to hold me for now."
Vroom transforms, slipping out of Afterburner's arms, and reaching out to Sari, "Yes, Priestess."
Optimus isn't happy with this at all, but it's not his place to interfere unless Sari's in danger of hurting herself. If the bot is willing, and Sari is willing as well, he should let them bond. Or at least think about bonding. "If you can't try and wait a few sols before you mark him. You should get to know him."
Sari turns to him, and her optics are glowing faintly blue, "I'll mark him when I take his spark, and you would be wise not to argue with me."
He sighs softly, "I just don't want you hurt, Sari. You know I care about you. I'd like you to think about it, but this is your choice." He takes a step forward and presses his forehead against her's, optics offline, "You're an adult, you make your own choices. I just worry."
He moves back, and she frowns at him. "I want him. You aren't going to change my mind."
He shrugs, "Then be with him, Sari. I just want you happy." He steps towards the datapad storage facility, "I'm going to finish up my research. Don't wo-"
He blinks in surprise as a mech spots him, interrupting him with a shout of, "Orion! It really is you! I thought I'd never see you again."
Freezing in place, Optimus feels his spark shrink with dread. He recognizes that voice.
"Slag, mech, it's been ages," the mech walks up, circling around him, ignoring the other bots, "and I have to say that the ages have treated you very well. Look at that aft. Not quite as pert as it was when you were younger, but much more," he sketches a shape in the air, indicating curves that Optimus really doesn't have, "you know." Flicker steps back and studies him, finally noticing the other bots, and the expensive coat of polish on him, "Slag, Orion, did you decide to work as a prostibot after all? You kept turning down my more than generous offers for your spark in my club."
His optics turn cold, and he stiffens angrily, "My name is Optimus Prime, and I will thank you not to forget it."
The bot's optics light up, and he gets even closer, "Is that what you're calling yourself now? No wonder I couldn't get you to strip off your armor, not when you were going after the Magnus's spark. It's surprising that anyone thinks you're a v-"
Optimus can not stand to be touched by this mech any longer, his fingers make his plating crawl, and he acts out before he can even stop himself. He's always hated this bot for trying to get him to expose himself for all sorts of prying optics. He went to work in the factory and drank the drone energon so he could leave this all behind. His servo makes a satisfiying sound as it hits the mech's face, most likely damaging it quite badly.
He steps away stiffly, glaring at nothing, muttering angrily, "I fragging hate this planet," and stalks into the storage facility.
Hey guys, last chapter I have for this so far. Tomorrow I'm uploading a new fic, which is all done. You will have a chapter a day for twenty-three days o3o How wonderful. The person that wanted Skywarp/Optimus on the Skywarp/Everyone fic? You aren't getting that. I got frustrated editing it. So I'm not uploading it yet. I will eventually. I have lots of fic to put up.