Title: Play Dates Tara Lynden's Sandbox
Continuity: G1 AU (same as Tara Lynden's stories Checkmate and Immaculate Conception)
Warnings: Smut (tactile, spark, implied sticky), mild cussing, mentions mechpreg and sparklings
Disclaimer:Transformers, the movie Alien, The Cat from Outer Space, and all of Taralynden's works belong to their proper owners. I simply am having a play date.
Notes: Gift fic for Tara Lynden for bidding on my offering at the Help Japan auction. And OMG, she requested that I write ProwlxJazz in one of her story-verses! How fun is that? I picked the story she recently wrote for me, Checkmate, and assumed it to be the same story verse as Immaculate Conception. I also threw in some Story of a Lifetime elements for fun because I couldn't help myself. Thanks TL for letting my play in your sandbox XDDDDD. I hope I didn't get it too messy by bringing the cats with me. You don't have to read her stories to follow this one, but you really should because they are just so good! You can find her by searching penname taralynden here on the pit (ff . net) since I can't post a link.
Story begins shortly following a modified version of events in G1 Season 1 Episode 5 Roll for Itand covers approximately a 3-year period of time, updated to be in our own decade rather than the 80s.
klik = 1.2 minutes; breem = 8.3 minutes, joor = 6.92 hours; orn = Cybertronian day/32 joor; vorn = 83 years
::text:: comm chatter
No beta. Please feel free to let me know about typos, homophones, and other silly things I missed. Primus help me, I hope I didn't misspell Porsche this time ;)
Play Dates in Tara Lynden's Sandbox
"Why're we doin' this, Sparkles?" Asked one black and white mech to the other who was currently bent face down over his own desk, allowing his lover's skilled-servos easier access to the broad sweep Praxian-styled sensor panels.
"Because … it is the most efficient way to achieve overload in a rushed circumstance," the tactician stuttered, his fans kicking up a notch, vents open wide as he gasped in the cooling gases of Earth's atmosphere (which still touched this part of the ship, buried deep under the mountain, even if Earth's sentients never did.)
"I mean," Jazz drawled, running a single finger along the upper edge of the sensor wing as he suggestively rubbed his interface panel against the others thigh support "Why're we hidin' every bit o' affection from the humans, anyhow?"
"I…I thought I had sufficiently explained that." Prowl paused to shiver and groan, biting into his own hand as Jazz leaned down to slide his glossa along that exquisitely sensitive spot underneath where sensor panel met back struts.
"They have a difficult enough time with their own sexual natures…Oh Jazz, yes, right there! Asking them to attempt … Primus! … to attempt to understand this aspect of our … it is hard enough for them … YES HARDER … it is harder … I mean hard enough for them to emotionally cope with aliens in their midst who are mechanical … and live so ….LONGJAZZmmmphh"
Prowl suddenly found himself on the floor, his mouth full of a very demanding glossa, armor sliding against armor with wild friction.
::Kid had t' save your aft after Soundwave slagged ya up, babe. Might've lost ya…I'm tired of not bein' able to take proper care of ya, Sparkes,:: Jazz somehow managed to explain over their private comm in a tone that belied what he was doing, servos roaming every inch of his beloved's far too tense, tired and only recently repaired frame. ::Workin' orn in and orn out, half the time in Prime's office 'cause Primus help us if Chip comes lookin' for ya an' figures out there's a whole mess of this ship they don' know 'bout. 'Tween my missions an' your schedule we don' even get to 'charge together half the time. I'm sick at spark of worryin' 'bout ya not comin' back from the next battle, and I'm tired of not takin' proper care of my bondmate 'cause we're afraid of scandalizin' a few primates.::
Prowl tried to formulate a logical response, but instead he found Jazz's chestplates sliding wide open, filling his office, deep inside the Ark, with a pulsing silvery glow he valued more than his own functioning.
::I'm … we are on duty, Jazz,:: was the only weak protest the tactician could muster.
::Slag duty! Open up, Sparkles. Haven't been alone with ya for more than a few kliks in over a decaorn.::
Prowl stared into his bondmate's intensely glowing cerulean optics; Jazz's visor had retracted the moment they'd begun to was only one possible response, which was made with the distinctive sound of chestplates parting rather than with words…
…followed immediately by an alert on both of their HUDs and ship-wide comms.
"Code 4 alert. Code 4 alert. All officers to Teletran immediately," Blaster's voice echoed through the ship and their internal comms. Ignoring it was simply not an option.
Prowl's chestplates began to close.
"Aw slag it, babe! … they can wait one more breem."
"Jazz," the tactician growled dangerously as he pulled clinging servos from his chassis. He vented deeply, trying to calm the charge racing through his systems. "Jazz," Prowl repeated, more gently, "later. We'll recharge together this orn if I have to get Ratchet to pull a medical override."
"Oh, I'm gonna do more than that," Jazz threatened darkly, his visor sliding back down with the cold finality of an Ops mech on a mission.
It turned out that recharging together was not an option. Code 4 alerts were issued by the United Nations in request for immediate Autobot assistance in the face of humanitarian disasters. Even if no other Autobot was sent, when intervention was approved, Prowl always was the one to go, even if someone else could have coordinated the efforts or he could have done so easily from the Ark. His coolly professional, no-nonsense demeanor, combined with his tactical computer were precisely what was needed to coordinate the often disparate, contradictory, and competitive agencies trying to work in the midst of chaos. The UN estimated that he, alone, had saved two-hundred thousand or more human beings who would have otherwise been lost to non-Decepticon causes since the crew of the Ark had come out of stasis. His own calculations put the figure at 627,933 due to the additional clandestine interventions that were not requested and therefore kept under the radar.
While not every relief effort truly required Prowl's coordination, the chaos following devastating earthquake in Haiti was particularly suited to his skills. It had been hard, often spark-wrenching work, that had left the bonded officers with neither the time nor energy for more than a quick check-in via commlink during the first two weeks Prowl had been coordinating recovery and relief efforts in person from the international command center. Jazz was one of the mechs who made humans inherently comfortable, so he had spent much of his time on the ground in the devastated areas, helping to dig out survivors as well as those not so fortunate, and then, later, spending most of his time trying to bring a sense of normalcy (or at least alien robot awesomeness) to children in several refugee camp.
It was ironic how benign the humans believed his bondmate was. Prowl was certain that even the humans who counted them as friends would avoid Jazz if they really knew what went on during missions and interrogations. His compassionate, fun-loving, light-sparked mate made Jack Bauer look like Elmo in comparison. Like so many other things, the humans were better off in their ignorance. Times such as this, where Jazz's work was simple, clear, and with no shades of ethical gray, comforted him on a level that very little, aside from Prowl, could. If pressed, Prowl would admit that using his tactical computer to maximize saving lives without the corresponding enemy losses had very much the same effect on him.
While many humans, especially those in search and rescue, made every effort to remain calm in the presence of those clearly trying to assist them, others were prone to hysterics. Prowl's sensors could read the chemical and biological indicators of their not-so irrational fear from half a mile away (the humans really did trust too easily, if one asked him). At Jazz's suggestion, the SIC had started bringing two or more of their human friends with them on these assignments to act as his liaisons among the terrified.
An almost-smile ghosted across Prowl's faceplates, his sensor panels twitching imperceptibly with amusement as he heard Chip patiently explaining for the third time to an oil company executive that no, Prowl was not a highly advanced artificial intelligence developed by the US military, and that he, Chip, was not Prowl's kid-genius programmer, despite what had been in the news about two working as a team the day Soundwave had hacked the tactician's processors.
Prowl was, privately, just as shaken as his bondmate over those recent events; he had been closer to extinguishing, or worse yet, taken for reprogramming during that engagement than at any other time in his functioning. Soundwave had never been able to get past his firewalls before, but a lucky shot with a new weapon had provided just the opening the technopath needed, and quite suddenly, Prowl had been fighting not only for his very existence, but also that of his entire faction should Soundwave have managed to overcome him before he'd purged his data.
Fortunately, Chip had collaborated with Wheeljack and Dr. Alcazar on a hybrid computer terminal that uplinked to Teletran 1. There was enough Cybertronian tech in the terminal that Prowl had been able to link to it via the subdural microscopic commlink their human allies now sported. Contrary to the stories that the twins were circulating, Chip had not taken over Prowl's processors and "used Prowl as his bitch to kick 'Con aft." What was true was that in addition to providing the emergency location for Prowl's data-dump that transmitted the data directly to Teletran (enabling Ratchet to fully restore him later), the human boy had looked at the situation with his naive organic creativity, something Prowl could never replicate, and having made the suggestion, was able to have Red Alert use Teletran 1 to implement the tactics via Prowl's frame.
Prowl did not to mention to Chip that the unfortunately suggestive images of him straddling a non-sentient fighter jet had been passed around to every Autobot on, or orbiting Earth (and likely a few Decepticons). The twins had spent seven solar cycles in the brig, but the images, with their ever-evolving captions and manipulations had less statistical chance of disappearing entirely than of Megatron saying he was sorry and asking Prime to kiss and make up for good.
"As I said, our board has agreed to completely fund the transitional tents to house the refugees," the executive whose oil company that had made billions drilling off Haiti's shores was lecturing Chip in a patronizing tone. "But surely you must understand that no organization would make such donation without some form of acknowledgement and thanks. All we ask in return for our generosity are the specifications you use to convert fossil fuels into energon. We will even pay royalties. It will be a partnership."
Prowl forced himself not to vent in frustration. It happened every time they were involved in helping the humans. Corporations, governments, even private parties would come forward offering to team up in their efforts, but at the price of access to technology, hoping for a major return on the investment of 'generosity'. He could simply ban such offers, but there were far more creative and satisfying ways to deal with the double-edged sword of human compassion. He wasn't Prime's chief tactician for nothing.
"Mr. Miller," Prowl began, speaking from a distance to keep the human calm. "We appreciate your gesture. However, the Autobots are already fabricating effective temporary shelters based on our own technology at very little cost. By temporary, we mean they should last a minimum of eighty vorns under adverse condition – that is 6,640 of your years. Perhaps you were not informed that energon is a protected, volatile substance that some species of organics have weaponized, and is thus protected military technology under our agreements with the UN. We could not share it with you and remain on good terms with your planetary governments, though we are freely sharing clean energy research with all interested parties."
The executive gaped at Prowl, and then turned toward Chip, as though he were expecting the boy to gain control over his misbehaving robot.
Prowl could see that his words were useless with the executive, so he quickly transmitted the remainder of his plan to Chip, who picked up the conversation seamlessly. "I'll inform my superiors at the UN and among the Autobots that your company misunderstood our offer and are withdrawing your support, Mr. Miller," Chip began in his friendly, enthusiastic tone. "I'm sure the media will understand that the corporation who profited the most from Haitian resources over the years and who helped prop up some of the worst of Haiti's dictators must keep its economic interests as its foremost concern, especially considering how devastating this earthquake has been to your own profit margins. They only increased by 13.82% this year, isn't that right?"
"What are you trying to imply here, boy?" The businessman's smile turned acerbic.
"Oh, nothing, other than your main competitor has made a $6-million, no-strings attached donation to the relief efforts here, and that, as a gesture of goodwill and thanks, the Autobots have agreed to produce and star in their next series of add campaigns, including the one for the Superbowl," Chip smiled, and Prowl could tell from his heart rate that the boy was having, as Jazz would say, the time of his life.
The businessman began furiously typing on his blackberry, communicating with the CEO, CFO, and other members of the board. Prowl, kindly, instructed Blaster to route the communications through the Autobot network as the human communications grid was still non-functional.
The executive did not look at Prowl, directing all of his attention to Chip. "$10-million, and we want the semi, the Martini Porsche and that little VW Bug for our campaign," he snapped, clearly irritated.
"Make it $20 mil and you have a deal," Chip answered smoothly.
Prowl glanced over Chip who was engrossed with his monitor, contemplating his next move even as the boy absentmindedly ate the fried plantains that had been brought in earlier.
They were playing computer chess, as they did every evening when Chip ended his shift at Prowl's insistence (the boy was inclined to get far less sleep than was healthy for a human teen). Prowl had plenty of processing space left over for a match to help the boy improve his game, even while simultaneously communicating with a dozen agencies, twice that many government officials, and computer systems all over the world. At the same time, he was briefly checking in with Jazz.
::How was you day?:: he asked on their private channel. Through their bond he could feel that Jazz was listening to some form of native music and was feeling particularly pleased about something.
::Not bad 't all, Sparkles.::
::What has you so pleased?:: He asked, sacrificing his knight to counter Chip's bishop.
::Ya know the two-year old little girl I found wanderin' right after we arrived?:: Prowl could imagine Jazz bouncing slightly as he explained.
::The one who has not been out of your sensor range since you found her?:: Prowl asked indulgently. Jazz had become unusually attached to the tiny human sparkling who didn't even know her own name, much less her creators, and whom no one at her camp seemed to recognize. After a group of 'well-meaning' fundamentalists from the United States had tried to 'adopt' her without permission, she had become a permanent fixture in his bonded's hand or on his shoulder."
::The very same. I found her creators today - alive, in a different camp. I started doin' DNA sweeps at the other camps when none of the bodies were matchin' in the area I found her. ::
::And they are well?::
::Already set up in one of the temporaries, no major injuries, an' thrilled to have her back. Wanna know what her name really is?::
::You will tell me regardless, but yes, I would like to know,:: Prowl was smiling softly as he took Chip's rook.
::Kiskeya - means 'mother of all lands.' ::
::Ah, one of the native names, not a French one. An ancient Taino queen, according to the data files. How appropriate when you have been calling her your 'little princess'. You will miss her.:: Prowl smiled as Chip moved avoided the trap he had set. The boy was improving.
::That I will, Sparkles, but she's where she belongs. Takin' care of a little one's sure appealin', though. Got me thinkin' about kindlin' with ya, though. Code like ours should get passed on…aw frag! Prowl? Prowl? Hey, First Aid, Jazz here. I broke Prowl again.::
"Hey iluvoptimusprime," Chip murmured, eyes glued to the screen. "Your move man … oh shit… Prowl? Big guy? How did you break this time?"
"Pardon me, little lady, but is this seat taken?" Jazz asked, climbing up to the observation platform where the young human female was watching the peak of the Perseid meteor showers.
"Oh, hi Jazz! No, not at all. I just was watching the shooting stars," the blond said a little breathlessly, her face heating. Jazz had noticed the response before, directed toward him, and several other Autobots including Ironhide, since Carly had started spending more time on base. He found it quite endearing that one of the organics would actually develop a crush, especially considering how careful they were being to appear completely clueless regarding romantic bonds and intimacy that went beyond 'sparring buddies'.
::Should I be jealous?:: Prowl commented with amusement, sensing his bonded's mood from his office, deep underground.
::Don't know, Sparkles. Should ya be? Ya won't let me knock ya up. A human baby wouldn't be so bad, and they do grow up fast. Maybe I can convince her an Spike ta make one for us.::
::Don't you dare freeze me up again,:: Prowl growled only semi-playfully. ::I'm far too busy, First Aid is on patrol and I'd, meaning you'd, have to deal with Ratchet. All of this sparkling craze coming from the one who thought I was glitched for wanting to bond during war.::
::Ya are glitched, sweetspark. And so am I. Bein' surrounded day in and day out by all of this organic life reproducin' everywhere and all over everything … it's doin' somethin' to my coding. I notice ya aint sayin' no.::
::Mmm, not saying yes, either. Now go flirt with your organic and let me work. I will be off duty in a joor.::
::Ya know me, I've had a soft spot for pretty young things ever since I met ya.::
The entire conversation happened to in the span it took Jazz to go from standing to sitting next to Carly, his legs dangling over the side of the platform that had been built on the upper lip of massive ship jutting out from the volcano.
"I've watched these every year since I can remember," Carly said, glancing up at Jazz's visor. "When I was a little girl, I used to pretend that the meteoroids were aliens coming down to earth, disguised as cats."
"Well, a few might jus' be aliens." Jazz lay down with his arms behind his helm, turning his head a bit to grin at her. "If I were an alien tryin' t' sneak on your lovely planet, I'd likely pick a meteor shower t' hide in. But why cats?"
"Well, I wouldn't expect an alien who thinks that a Martini Raicing Porsche is a good disguise would understand," Carly wiggled her eyebrows, lying back as well and curling on her side so she could face his helm. "Cats always seem like they are hiding something, and act like they're far more intelligent and superior to us in every way. Plus, there was that old movie where the cat actually was the alien."
"T'aint the one where the facehugger alien incubated its sparkling in the guy's belly, was it? 'Cause I didn't like that one at all, Carly. Gave me recharge fluxes."
Carly snorted and giggled. "No, dear. You are thinking of Jonesy, the tabby in the movie, Alien. I'm talking about Jake in The Cat from Outer Space."
Jazz vented, purposefully blowing her hair. "Phew, little lady. I was a bit worried there."
"Oh, come on, Jazz," she poked at his headlight. "You could totally take the alien from Alien, from any one of the movies. Predator wouldn't stand a chance either."
"No way, no how. I'm leavin' that lady t' Ripley. I like my chassis the way it is, thank ya very much."
"I seriously think you are overestimating their abilities to incubate babies in mechanical life forms, Jazz. You have nothing to worry about. But you better protect me if they show up here."
"Uh uh, I'm hidin' behind ya and callin' ya Ripley," Jazz said with a wink of his visor, which got him a smack.
"You are terrible," She said, turning to look at the sky again just in time to gasp as a large, extremely bright bolide streaked across the sky, exploding into several smaller ones.
"Wow," they both said at the same time, and then were silent for a few moments, enjoying the nighttime music of the desert.
"What is a sparkling?"
His pause was not perceptible to her. "It's what we call mechs right after Vector Sigma sparks 'em, sweets, until they have a better grasp on things and don't need a mentor."
"Oh," she sounded vaguely disappointed. "So not like a child."
"Well … sometimes a bit child-like, don't ya think?" he teased, flashing a few quick holo-renderings of particularly juvenile activities involving some of the more recently sparked mechs.
"Yes, but there are much older mechs who seem childlike, too. Bumblebee and Bluestreak to name two," she said thoughtfully, little lines appearing between her eyebrows.
"True, but that's partly a function of their personality matrixes. Both were separated from their creators because of the war, and that has an impact on a mech. When it counts, both of them are serious … and deadly."
"From their creators? Like Wheeljack and Ratchet are the Dinobots creators?"
"Sorta," Jazz said noncommittally. "Do ya think you are gonna have kids, Carly?" he asked softly. "You 'n Spike have some intelligent genes to pass on t' your offspring."
Carly gave him an odd look before answering. "I want kids…someday. After I'm done with grad school get a chance to work awhile. But Spike and I aren't ready to commit like that yet, Jazz."
"Why's that?" he asked innocently. "You clearly want t' mate with him."
She snorted and shook her head in exasperation. "That's just my biological clock trying to get me knocked up, Jazz. For one thing, he's a lot younger than me. I like him, but the boy has a lot of growing up to do before I'd even consider that kind of commitment. When I get married, it's going to be for life, and I don't think most guys are ready to have that kind of commitment until they are closer to 30, if then. I really should be looking for someone older, to be honest."
Jazz made a noncommittal sound. "Spike seems pretty grown up t' me, Carly. Can't always judge a person by his age, ya know. I've known mechs who were little more than sparklings who were far wiser than some of the oldest of us."
Carly gave him another odd look. "No … you're right. But, neither one of us want to rush this. He should probably date around when he goes to college this fall, just to make sure he really wants to be with me."
"Do ya want him? T' be with him, I mean?" Jazz asked, bringing his visor a bit closer to her face.
She blushed, "Yeah … I do. But if I give too much of my heart away while he's still so young, I could really end up hurt."
Jazz hummed his understanding and they watched in silence again for nearly a breem, Carly drifting off toward sleep, but then startling awake again.
"There's something I've wanted to ask … but it is sort of embarrassing, and I don't want to insult you."
"I'm sorry, Carly, but 'm already taken. I get the appeal of an older man, but really … our age different is just a bit too much."
"Oh stop!" She kicked him, covering her eyes with her hand in mortified embarrassment.
"Spill it, sweetspark," he poked her with a mischievous grin. "Ya can't say anything that'd insult or embarrass me."
"Do you all have … romantic relationships? I mean … I'm not trying to be stupid, and know you are robots and don't have real genders and sex and stuff like that…"
She trailed off, blushing furiously.
"Well, before I answer that, tell me what makes ya ask, if ya don't mind?" He said softly.
"Well … it is probably me just projecting my human sensibilities all over you … but it seems like we share so many other emotions, the good stuff and the bad. I just wondered about love … more than just the friendship kind. I'm sorry … it really is a stupid question."
::Do you need to be rescued?:: his bonded asked softly, following every word of the conversation.
::Slag it, yes. But 'm not happy 'bout it,:: Jazz snapped.
"It's not a stupid question … just a confusin' one … slag!" Jazz exclaimed, making Carly jump as below them two mechs emerged from the main entrance, arguing in their native language before laying into one another with vicious blows. It was Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, Carly realized with concern. Those two could really do some damage to one another if someone didn't stop them.
"'M sorry Carly, gotta take care of this. Ratchet'll have my plating if I could've stopped them from getting' slagged up and didn't."
Before she could say a word, he had gracefully climbed down from the platform and put himself between the twins. She sighed, shook her head, and then went back to watching the aliens pretending to be stars falling to Earth.
"Why're we doin' this, Sparkles?" Asked one black and white mech to the other who was currently bent face down over his own desk, allowing his lover's skilled-servos easier access to the broad sweep Praxian-styled sensor panels.
Prowl turned over and sat up, contemplating his sparkmate thoughtfully.
"Doing what, Jazz?" he asked, his thumb running over his fellow officer's cheek.
Jazz vented, and pulled the tactician in for a deep, claiming kiss, before pulling back again, to look him in the optics.
"Why are we waitin' for the war t' be over t' start livin'? I want t' kindle with ya. I wanna tell every primate on this pretty world that you're my Sparkles, an ya make me happier than any mech has the right t' be. I want t' tell the whole world that the same mech who is the calm in the center of every one of their storms, savin' lives when people don't even know they are bein' saved … I want t' tell them that he is the one who makes my internals shiver and my spark sing, and that he is carryin' the sparkling created by our love 'cause we have hope that the little one won't have t' live its whole life fightin'."
Jazz's visor turned dark, as though he were steeling himself for an answer he did not want and couldn't bring himself to watch his lover say no.
The tactician regarded him steadily for nearly a klik, his battle computer running thousands of scenarios before he vented and switched it to standby, reaching out a hand to caress his lover's lower back struts, pulling him close.
"Alright," he said quietly.
"Alright?" Jazz's vocal processor gave a static-filed squeak, his visor blinking on and off several times in surprise.
"Yes. Alright. I'll kindle with you, carry our sparkling … Jazz? Jazz?"
For the first time in their long history, Prowl had been the one to break his lover.