The desert sky was devoid of clouds, so the countless stars above were spread clearly over the silky black of the pre-dawn sky. Prowl stood under the stars' blinking scrutiny, feeling detached from the world with the all-encompassing expanse of sky and desert that stretched in all directions around him. His face was tilted up to meet the stars' knowing gaze. They seemed to say, 'You're just like us.' There were so many of them- billions, in fact- in just this quadrant of Beta Zen that it seemed overcrowded, and yet, each star was light years away from its nearest neighbour.

Prowl sighed quietly, the water vapour in his exhalation condensing into soft wisps of mist around his vents. This unexpectedly long stretch of peace had given Prowl enough time to afford a short drive from the Ark at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise. He wasn't so sure what had prompted him to do it, but with each passing moment the reason seemed to make itself clearer to him.

Solitude. He was absolutely and utterly alone where he stood, the nocturnal animals already safely buried in their underground nests and the creatures of the day had yet to rise. And he was standing somewhere deliberately away from any potential patrol runs.

Solitude. It seemed only natural.

Slowly, the sky lightened at the horizon, turning a rich shade of purple, then burgundy, then a brilliant orange as the blood-red star eased itself into the sky. The air around it seemed to shimmer and waver as the sun began to banish the deep blue-black out of the sky. The stars took a last look at Prowl before they winked out of sight, chased away by the sun's harsh rays.

The sunlight spilled across the land, and Prowl's optic sensors calibrated themselves to suit the flood of light that hit him straight on. The cacti stood around Prowl like sentries, their spines sharp golden needles, and Prowl was like an unnatural marble statue among the organic beauty that surrounded him.

Isolation. Why?

Suddenly, his audios picked up a familiar sound. The rumble of a high performance engine and the sound of gravel crunching and sand hissing under tires echoed across the barren landscape. Slowly, Prowl turned to face the source of the noise.

Across the land came the familiar sleek shape of Jazz's alt mode. The dawn turned his plating golden-orange as he sped towards Prowl, coming to a gentle stop some distance away and transforming before resuming his course.

"Hey." He raised a hand in greeting, still puffing slightly from the exertion. Prowl gave a polite nod in return before he looked back at the sunrise.

Jazz, used to Prowl's penchant for silence, didn't feel the need to displace the resulting silence with noise, but he was abruptly reminded of why he had driven all the way out here in the first place.

"Prowl," he said suddenly, and received a curt flick of a doorwing in reply. "I... couldn't find you in the Ark this morning."

Prowl arched an optic ridge. "Need I state the obvious? That's because I have been out here since an hour ago." His voice carried easily in the early morning quietness.

Jazz pursed his lips, annoyed. Why did it feel so awkward taking to Prowl? Was it the silence, this total, blanketing silence, unnatural to mechs who lived aboard a ship filled with so many others? Or was it Prowl himself, gazing pensively, almost with a hint of melancholy and longing, at the sun this foreign planet orbited?


When he didn't elaborate further, Prowl turned to face Jazz, only reluctantly shifting his gaze away from the sun at the last possible moment.

"Yes, Jazz?"

There. That crisp, cool tone. Aloof, and sure. Holding himself at a distance.

"You're thinking."

"Of course I am." Prowl sounded vaguely insulted.

"No, I mean," Jazz rested his hand over his chest. "You're thinking with this. Not that." He tapped the side of his head.

Prowl, finding Jazz's assessment uncomfortably accurate, looked away.

"... Yes," he finally allowed, and he turned back to the sun.

"Something's bothering you-"

"I'm fine, Jazz."

"No, you're not." Suddenly annoyed, Jazz's tone turned sharp, and Prowl abruptly faced him again, surprise flitting over his features.

"You're not fine, Prowl." Even as he said it, he was sure. The tightness around Prowl's mouth. The creased optic ridges. His stance, weary, and optics...

"Let's take a walk." Jazz started to head to a nearby boulder, and after a moment of frowning after Jazz, Prowl followed.

Reaching the boulder, they settled side by side in the sand. Jazz relaxed, stretching out his legs and leaning against the rock, but Prowl opted to hug his upraised knees.

"So," Jazz said after a fashion. "Do you wanna talk about it?"

Prowl glanced at him. "I'm..." he tilted his head to the side, and the sunlight set his crimson chevron ablaze. "I'm just so tired of being alone," he admitted quietly.

Jazz regarded him for a moment more. He had said it with the air or someone saying that they were tired from walking around, with that sort of deliberate, casual indifference that Jazz could see through straight away. His optics. Those ice blue crystals of emotion always gave him away.

Jazz lifted his hand off the sand and rested it atop Prowl's, twining their fingers together. Startled, Prowl glanced down at their hands, then up at Jazz's face.

"You don't have to be alone, Prowl." Jazz's visor glowed softly. "You gotta keep telling yourself you don't have to be alone. Those walls you're putting up all the time keep bots away. I know, and I understand, where you're coming from. Why you're doing it. But ultimately, we're not fighing for ideals- no, listen," he said sharply, when it seemed Prowl would interrupt. "Ultimately, we're not fighting for ideals. We fight for each other. For our brothers... and for our friends."

Prowl stared at Jazz then he looked away, turning to face the Sun once more.

They watched the Sun lift itself over the horizon, pouring its liquid gold over the desert sands. Finally, Prowl spoke.

"Jazz... I want to fight for you." He turned to face Jazz. The saboteur was gazing right back at him, the half of his visor that was in the shadow dimmed enough for Prowl to see his optics.

"I fight for you, Prowl," Jazz smiled.

And the distance between them was small, then it was nothing as their lips met in their first kiss, the dawn sunlight caressing their silhouettes and setting the land sparkling like there were diamonds buried in the sand. Their fingers twined tighter together in the sand between them as their lips moved softly, sweetly against each other, and Prowl felt a warmth bloom in his spark at the knowledge that he no longer fought this battle alone.

A/N: In my headcanon this belongs to another universe, but since it's PJ I'll dump it here. It goes with this: http : / / abarai-san . deviantart . com /art/Love-is-black-and-white-267152902