Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers.

Payback and Alert

At first, Red Alert drove aimlessly, thinking about all the twin terrors had done to him in the past few days. 'I wonder where they got all that paint. Surely they don't keep that much paint laying around. Of course! They must have gone to the paint store. That gives me an idea...' And, with that, Red Alert changed course, heading for the city, an idea for payback forming in his processor.

As luck would have it, Red Alert reached the paint store just before it closed. The owner, who was well acquainted with the Autobots, thanks to the twins, was more than happy to keep the store open for the security director.

About an hour later, Red Alert drove into the Ark, heading for his quarters to drop off the paint he'd just bought. En route, he encountered Ratchet, who looked ready to kill. "There you are," Ratchet said, "how are you doing?" Red Alert transformed, and, smiling wickedly, said "I'm just fine. Who're you looking for?" "The twins," Ratchet replied. "And, when I find them, I'm gonna rebuild them into Gremlins." Red Alert put his arm around the medic and said, "you really don't have to do that. I have something much better in store for them." Ratchet stared at Red Alert, noting the wicked smile on his face and the evil glint in his optics. "Alright," the medic said, "I won't turn them into gremlins this time." At that, Red Alert turned away from the medic and started walking towards his quarters. As he was walking away, Ratchet heard him mutter "this is going to be good...," to himself. Ratchet shook his head, and thought to himself 'I don't know what he's up to, but I almost feel sorry for the twins. Almost.'

Later that night, while everyone was recharging, Red Alert sneaked into the twins' room. He paused to reflect on just how innocent they looked at that moment.'Of course, they're anything but innocent when they're awake,' he thought, as he pulled several gallons of paint and a few brushes out of his subspace compartment and got to work...

Most of the Autobots were in the rec room when Sideswipe and Sunstreaker walked in for their morning energon. Bumblebee took one look at the twins, and spit his mouthful of energon on Gears. "What was that for?," Gears snapped. Bumblebee, who was laughing too hard to talk, just pointed a finger at the door. Gears turned his head to look, and thanked his never-lucky stars that his mouth wasn't full of energon at that time. After staring at the spectacle for a few seconds, Gears started laughing. He laughed so hard, he fell off his chair. By that time, everyone had looked over to see what Gears and Bumblebee were laughing at, and before long, the entire room was absolutely shaking with hysteria.

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker stood just inside the rec room, staring at their comrades in confusion. Gears was lying on the floor, laughing, Prowl and Jazz had spit their energon on each other. Optimus Prime had toppled over backwards in his chair, and like Gears, was lying on the floor, laughing. They had no idea what had come over the other Autobots. Had the twins passed by a mirror prior to entering the rec room, they might have noticed their new paint job. Sunstreaker was sporting a hot pink unicorn on his chest, with a pretty rainbow over his Autobot symbol. Sideswipe had a fluffy kitten painted on his chest, along with a sprig of flowers. In addition, their arms, legs, back, and heads were decorated with all manner of cute things: butterflies, puppies, flowers, fluffy clouds, hearts, kittens, rainbows, bows, etc. All painted in a variety of pinks and pastel colors.

Red Alert was sitting at a table in the back of the room with Hoist, a satisfied smirk on his face. The confused expressions on the twins' faces was priceless. "Of course, it'll be even better when they see what I've done," he thought happily, "oh, how I wish I had a camcorder." What he didn't know at the time was that the whole scene was already being recorded...

Perched on a cross-beam high above the floor in the rec room, Laserbeak was trying really hard not to laugh out loud or fall. As it was, he was shaking with silent laughter and in danger of loosing his balance. This spying mission turned out to be one of the best Megatron had ever sent him on. At first, he didn't want to leave the Decepticon base so early in the morning, but witnessing the chaos that ensued when the newly decorated duo of disaster walked in the room more than made up for the inconvenience of having to get up so early.

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker looked over at each other each one planning to ask what was up. Before they could even start to get a word out, though, they each noticed the others' paint job. "Sunny!," Sideswipe cried, "what did you do to yourself?" "Me? What did you do to yourself?," Sunstreaker replied. At that, they both looked down at themselves. "AAAAAAAAAAHHH!," they cried in unison.

Laserbeak finally cracked like an egg. Unable to contain his laughter any longer, he started laughing really hard. He also lost his balance. As he fell, he managed to keep his camera focused on the twins, even as he wondered just how badly damaged he was going to get when he hit the floor. Just before he landed on the floor, however, he felt someone catch him. The unknown Autobot gently placed him on the table he was sitting at. Then, he heard Red Alert say, "When you see Soundwave again, tell him I want to meet him sometime later today. I have a business transaction I think he'll be interested in. By the way, that was very impressive how you kept your camera trained on the action while you were falling."

Red Alert was really enjoying the show,and really wishing he had a camera to record the action, when he noticed something falling from the ceiling. It was Laserbeak. Moving quickly, Red Alert caught the small Decepticon before he could hit the floor, and sat him on the table beside him. "Maybe Soundwave would be interested in making a deal." He'd just mentioned his desire to meet Soundwave when Teletran 1 announced: "Attention all Autobots! Attention all Autobots! The Decepticons are attacking the nearby power plant!"

"Everyone move out!," Optimus Prime ordered. "But, I can't go out like this!," Sunstreaker protested loudly. "You have no choice," Optimus replied, "let's go!" Reluctantly, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker followed the rest of the Autobots out of the base, while Laserbeak rushed out to join his faction.