Pairings/Characters: Jazz/Prowl, Optimus, ensemble

Author's Note: This fic, and my other updates tonight, have all been up on my writing LJ for awhile, but I finally decided to update them here. Sequel to "Ragnarök Rising: Optimus", prequel to "Ragnarök ".

- Ragnarök's Eve : Prowl -

Prowl watched on his sensors as Cliffjumper took the last step out the door, then was gone. The minibot was lucky Prowl didn't care that he was leaving in the middle of his shift, because the tactician clearly heard his engines roar as he sped off down the hallways. It would have been easy for Prowl to lock the doors ahead of Cliffjumper, thus forcing him back to duty. But Prowl had purposefully stationed himself in front of the huge monitor, with his back to the others scheduled for duty tonight, and not looked back once. Sideswipe had, naturally, been the first to ditch, followed quickly by Arcee. Cliffjumper had stayed for a whole hour of his shift, and Prowl had feared the minibot would actually stay for the entire thing.

Now, however, as the sound of Cliffjumper's engines died away, Prowl smiled faintly, then began a last scan through the human channels. They were all focused on the same topics, of course: the Autobots recently going public, and the unwelcome addition to their night sky. Prowl couldn't help feeling smug as the panic and chaos that the American president had assured the Autobots would come of this had yet failed to happen. Oh sure, there were riots in some places, but they weren't nearly as bad as had been predicted. Instead, humanity seemed to be...accepting. Perhaps it was because they knew that, one way or another, it would all be over tomorrow anyways.

At that thought, Prowl returned to business, flipping Teletraan to automatic monitoring mode and then switching through the base cameras. He politely skipped over the security office camera - Inferno had gone in there to 'keep Red company' some hours ago. Since Prowl hadn't gotten alerts from Red about his staff wandering off, he figured Inferno had successfully distracted Red from duty tonight.

Honestly, Prowl was a little surprised that he hadn't had his own visitor, but then, he and Jazz had never been quite that close, and there had been a bit of a wedge between them since Ratchet had managed to bring Jazz back from the dead. Something Prowl intended to remedy. He would not go to the Matrix regretting anything.

Seeing nothing on the security cameras to be concerned about, Prowl added them to Teletraan's automatic monitoring program, then turned and headed for the door, hitting the lights on his way out. It was perhaps the first time the command center had been dark since Teletraan had come online - and if all went well, it would remain dark from now until the humans reached a sufficient technological level. Perceptor and Wheeljack had set up some sort of program that was supposed to detect when the humans were 'ready' to access the computer containing every surviving piece of data from Cybertron.

Personally, Prowl had figured letting the humans access it immediately would be best - they wouldn't be able to understand it, anyways, and human history had proven that they performed at their best when presented with a challenge. Of course, Prime had been of the view that reaching the level to access Teletraan would represent the same sort of challenge. Oddly enough, Megatron had agreed, and had installed Perceptor and Wheeljack's program on all the Decepticon warships in orbit. Starscream had, naturally, had fits. Optimus had beat Megatron to the punch in giving the seeker a good whack on the back of the head, sending Starscream into a sulk that, last Prowl saw, he still hadn't come out of, though Megatron might have been able to change that.

Shaking his head to clear the images that spawned, Prowl focused instead on his surroundings, and to his surprise, found himself almost at his destination. A few more steps down the corridor, and he was there. Feeling strangely calm, Prowl hit the door chime. There was a long moment when nothing happened, and then the door opened.

"Prowl?" Jazz was understandably surprised - Prowl had relieved him an hour ago, after all.

"Jazz. May I come in?" Prowl asked.

"Uh...'course. Who's mannin' th'command center?" Jazz asked, seeming at a loss for words as he stepped aside to let Prowl in.

"No one," Prowl replied truthfully. "I let them all 'sneak' out before leaving myself." At the shocked look Jazz gave him, Prowl couldn't help but chuckle. "I hardly doubt things could get any worse, Jazz."

"Well, th'Cons could switch sides...or th'humans could cause trouble," Jazz said with a shrug as he closed the door, seeing that Prowl obviously didn't intend to go back to duty.

"Jazz, even if they both did so...there's not much worse you can get than armageddon," Prowl said dryly.

"True," Jazz said sadly. "Speakin'a which, I got that movie in th' player if ya wanna watch it with me - only a few minutes in."

"Watching Armageddon the night before our own armageddon? No thanks," Prowl said with a shake of his head. "I had other plans, anyways."

"Oh, like what?" Jazz asked, seeming amused that Prowl was, for once, the one with plans. Usually Jazz was the one coming up with plans whenever they were doing something together. Jazz's amusement quickly fell away to surprise, however, as Prowl closed the distance between them and cupped Jazz's face in his hands before kissing him.

"Like you," Prowl said softly when he pulled away, giving Jazz an intense look, for once throwing logic out the window and letting his emotions show, trying to convey to Jazz how he felt, and how much he regretted not doing this sooner.

"You have lousy timin', love," Jazz breathed after a moment, his surprise melting into a wry smile.

"I know, I'm sorry," Prowl said with a sad smile. "Forgive me for being a stuck-up prick?" Jazz snorted with laughter.

"Only if ya forgive me for callin' ya that when we first met," he said.

"Done," Prowl replied easily, then leaned in to kiss Jazz again. This time, the other mech responded, his arms wrapping around Prowl and pulling him closer. The kiss was both an apology and an acceptance, and when they broke apart, Jazz reached up and took one of Prowl's hands before turning away, pulling the tactician along behind him to his berth. Prowl found the distance between them on the trip there to be intolerable, and they'd barely reached the berth when Prowl pulled Jazz back for another kiss. Jazz laughed into it, but Prowl just hooked a leg around one of Jazz's and tugged, sending the smaller silver mech backwards onto the berth. Prowl followed, catching himself with one hand and using the other to cushion Jazz's impact.

Jazz was grinning now, and Prowl was sure that there were a few pointed comments in the silver mech's processor just waiting to get out, but he didn't let Jazz get the opportunity. He'd known Jazz for so long, it wasn't hard to guess the silver mech's sensitive spots, and he attacked them ruthlessly with both hands and mouth, leaving Jazz far too distracted to say anything. Then Prowl found himself losing focus as he became aware of Jazz returning his attentions, and utilizing the magnetics in his hands to cause some very interesting, very pleasant sensations.

A particularly powerful pulse of magnetics on some very sensitive circuitry had Prowl gasping aloud, and Jazz repeated the pulse a few more times, causing Prowl's optics to go fuzzy for several moments. When he'd recovered, Prowl found that Jazz had wriggled up so that he was all the way on the berth, and was tugging Prowl up, too. Prowl went without complaint, ending up straddling Jazz's hips as he engaged the silver mech in another deep kiss. Jazz responded by reached up around behind Prowl's neck, and then suddenly there was a request for a primary-level connection. Prowl granted it easily, and shuddered as the world opened up between them. Suddenly he could sense everything Jazz felt and was thinking, and he knew Jazz could now sense the same with him.

They both remained still for several long moments, getting used to the connection, and then Jazz let his hand ghost over Prowl's hip, and the tactician decided that was enough time as the touch echoed back over the connection between them. Resuming his attack on Jazz's sensitive spots, Prowl heard the silver mech cry out as he used the connection to find just the right spots. The echoed sensations sent static through Prowl's own CPU, and his fans kicked in, cycling furiously as he systems began to flash warnings. Jazz was near the edge himself, Prowl knew, nearly incoherent at this point, but still managed to hold back, managed to suppress the overload with a sense of urgency that had Prowl hesitating in his touches.

Jazz jumped at the opportunity, activating subroutines that he hadn't touched before now. Prowl's own identical subroutines flared to life, asking for acknowledgement, and the tactician figured out Jazz's intentions the moment before the silver mech's armor slid away from the center of his chest, and his spark chamber split open. Prowl froze at the sight, his logic center, detecting an iminant lock-up, suddenly came back online and asserted itself. He could practically feel Jazz flinch emotionally as cold logic washed over Prowl's processor, and the tactician looked up at the silver mech. Worry, panic, and the beginnings of an apology came across the connection, and Prowl cut them off as he took the solution his logic center had presented him with and nudged it over into Jazz's consciousness.

It was a wondrous feeling as Jazz laughed lightly, both aloud and through the connection, and Prowl found himself smiling as he followed the suggested course of action from his logic center and activated the still-prominent subroutines in his CPU before shoving his logic center back into the corner of his mind. Jazz's laughter trailed off in what felt like wonder, though Prowl couldn't understand why - his own spark was no where near as beautiful as Jazz's. The silver mech was laughing again, a happy, teasing laugh, and then he pulled Prowl down for a kiss. The act also brought their chassis together, bringing their sparks close enough together that they began to react, tugging at each other, pulling each other closer, and just before they met, the stray thought, picked up by Prowl, crossed Jazz's CPU that they'd have to agree to disagree on whose spark was more beautiful.

Then thought was gone as Prowl found himself immersed in All That Was Jazz, and felt Jazz immersed in All That Was Prowl. The sensations, the emotions, the memories, were so strong, Prowl could only go along with them, and then something brushed by him, and he latched on, finding Jazz there. Everything settled, focused, and Prowl felt the world return just in time for his overload to hit. The stress of his systems called his spark back to him, though it stuck to Jazz's for a moment longer, and when it finally came away, Prowl knew he'd lost part of it, and gained part of Jazz's in return. Coherency fled then, as pleasure, echoing back both through the connection Jazz still maintained and the newly-forged bond, surged through him.

It was almost as if time stopped for a moment, leaving him with nothing but the feeling of his and Jazz's overloads. Then suddenly time moved forward again, and Prowl's arms gave out, causing him to land heavily on Jazz. The part of his CPU that was struggling for coherency wondered when their sparks chambers had closed and their armor shifted back over them - the part of him that was still wrapped up in the new bond between him and Jazz simply didn't care. He choose to listen to the latter part, drifting into a happy incoherency where his only concern was being as close to his bondmate as possible, because anything else would be bad. He only came out of it when he heard Jazz laughing quietly, and grudgingly forced his CPU back into some semblance of a working order before glaring up at Jazz.

Not scary in the slightest, love, drifted across his CPU, and Prowl started in surprise. Hey there, the thought was more teasing than the last, and Prowl glared up at Jazz again.

Forgive me if I'm a little disconcerted, he thought back experimentally, and when Jazz laughed again, he knew it had gotten through.

I think I can manage that, Jazz replied, then pulled Prowl over for a kiss. Prowl found himself getting lost again in the wonder of how much more wonderful the kiss felt now...and then Jazz was laughing again.

"Will you stop laughing?" Prowl asked aloud in exasperation, propping himself up on one elbow to give Jazz a stern look.

"Can't help it - you get cuddly, and I find everything funny," Jazz said with a muffled snicker, then tugged Prowl down again, but this time just for a brief kiss before tucking the tactician's head against his neck and letting Prowl snuggling up against him. Prowl could sense the silver mech holding in more laughter as his engine began to purr.

"Oh shut up," Prowl muttered, and Jazz started shaking with silent laughter. Realizing he wasn't going to get any snuggle time with Jazz so giddy, Prowl snaked his fingers in under some of Jazz's armor, and the silver mech abruptly stopped laughing and moaned instead.

Again? came over the bond, both amazed and happy at the thought.

Might as well make up for lost time... Prowl had intended to stop the thought there, but somehow the rest went through anyways...And for the time we won't have.

There is that, Jazz replied softly, sadly, and then he brought a hand up to tenderly trace the contours of Prowl's face. Best we make use of every moment of time we have, then.

Yes, best we do, Prowl agreed, and reached up to kiss his bondmate.

"Jazz, Prowl." It was a simple acknowledgement, but now, Prowl could sense the hidden 'and' in there as Optimus smiled faintly at them. He smiled in return as Optimus' quiet greeting caught the attention of the others around them.

"About fragging time!" The exclamation, impressively, came from no less than six different mechs and two femmes. The fact that three of the mechs were Decepticons was a bit startling, though.

"Toldja even th'Cons could see it comin'," Jazz said with a smirk for Prowl as the tactician stared in surprise at Starscream, Rumble, and Megatron.

"You two have always been worse than Elita and Optimus, and they at least had the decency to be bonded," Megatron said dismissively, then turned back to Soundwave and his interrupted discussion. Prowl shook his head as the other Cons, smirking, also returned to their previous activities.

"We're happy for you both," Optimus said, clearly speaking for himself and Elita, who was across the field, helping ready her ship for launch.

"Thanks," Jazz replied for Prowl, smiling brightly, then glanced around. "But I suppose we'd better get ready."

"Yes, you'd better," Optimus said, deep sorrow in his voice as he looked upwards to the second golden object now hanging in earth's sky. Prowl and Jazz followed his gaze and shivered at the sight. "Unicron has almost finished his transformation. We must leave soon if we are to stop him from consuming this world."

"We will stop him," Prowl said with conviction.

"So everyone keeps telling me," Optimus replied, looking back at them. "I just hope that some of us survive afterwards." The Prime turned away then, looking across the field to his bondmate, and Prowl and Jazz made a discreet exit as they saw him lock optics with Elita. Though the pairs exchange was silent, it was also private, and Prowl and Jazz had the last, greatest battle of the Cybertronian people to get ready for.

- END? -