Disclaimer: I don't own them, Hasbro does.

Bad Words

"I'm telling ya Sunny, Prowl is the only mech I know that would turn down an interface with Jazz to go do more paperwork."

Sunstreaker raised an optic ridge at Sideswipe over his energon cube.

"And you know this how...?" Sunstreaker blinked. "On second thought, I don't think I want to know how you know how."

Sideswipe waved his own cube lazily and nodded at Jazz across the room; the saboteur was chatting with Blaster, inching closer to the other mech with practically every word. A moment later, both mechs walked out side by side, eyes already darkening with desire.

"Eh, I was walking by Prowl's office and heard Jazz trying to talk ol' stick-up-his-aft into an evening of 'fun and games', as Jazz put it. It was kinda strange, too," Sideswipe frowned into his energon. "I mean, it was so fragging obvious just what he meant, and Prowl acted like Jazz was asking him to play Scrabble or something. It's as if the mech doesn't even know the meaning of the word 'interface'."

Prowl stacked his datapads, finally finished his work for the day. He sighed and carefully worked out the kinks from his shoulders and back, deciding to go pick up a cube from the rec room before the evening crowd got too rowdy. But as he neared the room in question, the noise level in the halls informed him he was too late for that.

The party was in full swing, loud music clashing with louder voices, mechs dancing or just wandering around the room in groups, talking. Prowl frowned slightly, his sensitive doorwings already beginning to ache from the pounding of the beat that Blaster was, well, blasting out over his speakers. He carefully made his way over to the energon dispensers, doing his best to avoid a group of mechs cheering on an arm wrestling contest between Ironhide and Brawn. The crowd kept pushing and shoving each other for a better view of the match, and they were perilously close to the dance floor, where some of the moves being performed were reminiscent of some hand-to-hand combat moves he knew.

Sighing quietly, he managed to edge an overcharged Cliffjumper away from the closest dispenser and reached for a cube. Halfway through filling it, he frowned. It wasn't mid-grade, but high-grade. Putting the cube to the side, he punched in a certain code that re-wrote the hacked programming on the machine, once again setting it to dispense mid-grade only. As overcharged as most of the crowd was, they probably wouldn't notice they weren't getting as huge a buzz off the energon anymore.

Taking his new cube, Prowl headed back towards the door and freedom, passing another group of overcharged mechs on his way. They started laughing and snickering as he neared them, but it was easily ignored - he was used to such behavior, especially when he had the misfortune to appear in the rec room during a party.

The laughing was easily ignored, but the hand on his arm was not.

Prowl stopped and turned to face Sideswipe, who then let go of the SIC's arm.

"So Prowl... what izzit? Do ya only like femmes, or izzit that Jazz just doesn't do it for ya? Hmm?" Sideswipe was obviously overcharged, and the slurring of his words could possibly be blamed for Prowl's confusion, so Sideswipe leaned forward in his chair and leered at the speechless tactician.

"Or is one mech not enough for ya? Are ya one o'them orgy-only types?" Howls of laughter erupted from the gathered mechs, some staggering into their fellows as they lost their balance from laughing so hard. The look of total puzzlement on Prowl's face as he stared at the red warrior had them rolling on the floor.


"You heard me! Think yer too good ta interface with one a yer suber- subbo- bah, one o'the guys you order around?"

"What in the world are you talking about, Sideswipe?" Prowl frowned at the mech, shaking his head. "You're too overcharged to even make sense. Babbling nonsense words will only get yourself sent to medbay, you know. Maybe you need your processor checked." Prowl turned away from the red mech and nodded at the rest of the group. "Goodnight all."

As he walked out the door, he heard the laughter erupt from the group yet again. Laughter was something that he was used to ignoring, and this was hardly the first time it had been aimed at him. Prowl frowned again. Sideswipe though... he'd make a note of the mech's babbling and make sure Ratchet knew that the red warrior may have a processor glitch. He must have, since only about half the words he'd said had even meant anything.

The mech and the femme lay entwined on the berth, slowly rebooting their systems after a mind-blowing overload. They whispered endearments to each other through kisses, slowly beginning to work each other's systems up again, when they heard it, and froze.

The sound of two tiny little hands clapping.

They looked over at the room's open door (it had been closed, really!) and saw the tiny sparkling sitting there watching them, clapping his hands with a grin on his face. When he saw that he'd been noticed, the little one stood up and toddled over to the berth.

"What doing?"

The adults untangled themselves and sat up, the femme biting her lip to stifle a giggle.

"We were, well, uh, we were..." She tried in vain to describe it in terms the sparkling could understand.

"The word is 'interfacing', dear." She whirled on her partner with a glare.

"You don't tell him that! He has no idea what it means to interface yet!"


Mech and femme both stared at the sparkling in horror as the little one tried out the new word again.

"In-ter-face! Inter-face! Innnnn-terface! Interface? Interface!"

"Oh Primus."

"Interface! Interface interface interface interface..." The mech stomped into the room, dragging the sparkling behind him.

"He's doing it again! No matter where we go, no matter what we promise or threaten him with, he still does it! Primus, we were in the middle of the Hall of Art this time when he sees a mural of a group of mechs, points at it, and starts his little chant! I can't take this any more! We have to do something!"

"...interface interface interface interface..."

"What can we do? The medics say he'll grow out of it, that he's just fascinated with a new word, and that every time we react to it, we're just encouraging him."

"...interface interface interface interface..."

"Well, the medics don't always have the final say in things. We're his creators! We should be allowed to do something, right?"

"...interface interface interface interface..."

"Like what? Short of reprogramming him... no, no you can't! I won't let you!"

"Easy, we're not going to reprogram him, I love our little bitling just as much as you do, I just want to..."

"...interface interface interface interface..."

"...do a little bit of editing."

"Okay, so I didn't get the highest marks in coding or anything, but I did learn enough that this should work." The mech finished uploading the file to the sparkling and removed the datacable. "I even put in a bit of code to hide the changes from the medics, so we won't get in trouble, alright?"

"If this works..."

"Hush dear. It'll work. Trust me." He kissed her, and they watched, nervous, as the sparkling stirred and began to wake.

"Hey there little one, how are you feeling now? All better?"

The sparkling nodded, looking up at his creators.

"Bitling? Was there anything you wanted to say?" The femme stroked the tiny helm protectively, still worried.

"Can have nums?"

"Of course you can!"

The tiny form was scooped up from the berth into the comforting arms of his creators, the little one not even knowing why they were so happy, only caring that they were. ...and that he got an extra energon goody before bed.

Later, the three sat on the couch in their quarters, the little one having gone into recharge in the femme's arms.

"It'll be fine, dearest. I promise. The extra coding won't hurt him in any way."

"What does it do? What -did- you do?"

"Well, I just deleted the word from his vocabulary. Don't worry, once he's older, I'll remove the coding and he'll relearn the word. Once he's old enough not to chant it in the Hall of Elders at the top of his voice, that is." They both chuckled.

"What if he just relearns it now, by accident? I don't want to have to do this over and over again, it wouldn't be good for him."

"Oh, don't worry about that. I also removed all references to the word, and added a scrambler, so that every time he hears someone mention interfacing, or something that might lead to it, all he hears is noise. His mind won't even register the words, all he'll know is that he heard something, but it didn't make any sense."

"Hmm, well I guess that's okay, since you're going to remove the code when he's older."

"He'll be fine. Now..." the mech pressed a kiss to her audio and stroked his hand down her side. "How about you put little Prowl in his berth, then come join me in ours?"

"Hmm, that sounds like a very good idea. And this time, maybe we should -lock- the door."

Prowl lay on the table and stared at the ceiling, listening to the mild chaos that was Ratchet's medbay after a battle. He knew better than to try and get up again - the one time he'd tried it he had purged his energon and fallen off the table as the world had swung around him crazily, all his gyros insisting he was spinning in a circle. A full hit from Frenzy's sonic attack plus the near miss from Megatron's latest superweapon had left him with slight processor damage and systems that were going haywire. Ratchet had said it was only temporary, and even the processor damage was easy enough to fix, but there were other, higher priorities right now.

Ratchet and Wheeljack were currently putting Sideswipe back together after getting a full pounding from Motormaster - the frontliner had had his knee shot out by a stray blast just as he had been teaching the Stunticon not to shoot his brother in the back, and with the red twin too damaged to dodge, Motormaster had paid him back for the lesson.

Prowl was concentrating on the ceiling, making sure it stayed in one place, not spinning, not looping wildly, not turning wierd colors, when suddenly his view was filled with the grinning face of Jazz.

"Heyya Prowler! What's up?"

Prowl carefully pointed and answered with, "The ceiling."

Jazz snickered and leaned against Prowl's table. "Mech, you got the most literal sense of humour I've ever come across. Makes me wonder if you're that literal even in the berth." Jazz lowered his voice, almost purring the last few words, only to pause as Prowl's expression registered.

Prowl, for one, was confused. He knew he had processor damage, but that shouldn't explain why Jazz had suddenly garbled his words.

"What... did you say?"

"You okay, Prowl?" Jazz straightened as he considered the puzzled, slightly worried look on Prowl's face.

"I think so... now, what exactly did you say?"

Jazz frowned. Slight processor damage aside, Ratchet hadn't said there was anything wrong with the mech's audios, so why...?

"I said, 'makes me wonder if you're that literal even in the berth'."

This time the look on Prowl's face wasn't just worried, it was inching towards panicked.

"I know you're saying something, but I can't hear it. I can hear and see you say 'makes me wonder if you're that literal', but then it just- I can see your lips move, but I don't hear you say anything! It's just noise! What's wrong with me? Why can't I hear you?" Prowl flailed slightly as Jazz pressed down on his shoulder to keep him from sitting up, and the tactician began struggling to get off the table.

"Ratchet!" Jazz did his best to keep the mech pinned, then suddenly the medic was there, plugging in to the panicking mech and forcing him into stasis.

"Sit down, do not touch him, and make sure no one else touches him. When I have time to deal with his problems, you will tell me everything you just did to make his condition worse. Got it? Good." Ratchet turned back to Sideswipe and continued his work on the warrior as if he hadn't been away.

Jazz sat and stayed put.