Er, apologies to anybody on my alerts who was expecting something amusing, but this just wanted to be written. Think I might have been possessed at various points.

To everybody else, behold my Megatron character study! Sweet Primus, I only wanted a complementary fic for Kin, but Megs had grander ideas. (Well, he is mega.)

- On the subject of villains, the quotation below just seemed to fit this Megatron very nicely.

- Time-wise, this is retarded. I've vaguely attempted a logically chronological order, but it's a bit odd.

- Oh, if you have some good instrumentals, put them on. Allow this fic a purer reading experience and a little more emotional impact without Lady Gaga or Take That in the background -no offence to either or any bands, but instrumentals are the way to go for this! Try TF tracks such as There Is No Plan, Optimus, Cybertron, The Fight Will Be Your Own, Infinite White, Bumblebee Captured, you know the drill. Go wild and try other soundtracks like Hold The Ice, The Grey Havens, Stillness of the Mind, Black Hawk Down, Letting Go, Injection! I love me some instrumentals, I do.

That is all! :D


I am not what I am

-Iago, Othello.

It was all for love.

(That is possibly the bitterest truth never spoken.)

Megatron does not even care that nobody truly knows the cause of their race's disruption. It used to matter to him; he used to mourn the loss of his noble name, but it truly means nothing when the wider scenario is considered. He suspects that it is quite possible that the truth shall never be known. He has told nobody, so why should they realise- but then again, isn't it more shameful to fall for love rather than for something vainglorious? Perhaps it is better this way.

Yet alone in his mind, Megatron would have saved Cybertron.

(These are no ramblings of an insane megalomaniac tyrant. Heed, heed and all will be known.)

The Council was corrupt, the High Elders fixated on the past and their own profit.

The Golden Age had been long over.

It should have been forever. Megatron and Optimus should have been forever. They could have been, too: neither would have wanted to unbalance the other. It was a harmonious and beautiful balance of strength and soul that only Primus could have envisioned.

So how had it all been poisoned? How had the equilibrium been distorted upon itself?

Yet you must see beyond Megatron himself, for he is not the catalyst.

And when it comes to it, who in all honesty can claim that they would not have fallen too-? to claim that they would have been 'stronger'? You cannot know for sure until you are tested without knowing you are being tested, and then you too will fall. Anybody can fall; all it takes is to let the guard slip, just once.

Are you not the elder? the ancient, unusual mech had asked.

What a simple, innocuous question it had seemed.

Brother? Megatron supplies questioningly, already wrongfooted and so so out of his depth- yes.

And he should have walked away (no, run) but the words that were really the beginning of it all were spoken with such conviction that he cannot help but stay and listen and fall.

You aren't a Prime.

No, Megatron agrees, but something unnerves him about this odd mech and he does not elaborate.

Why are you not Prime?

There it is, that question which has haunted him for so so long but nobody else has ever dared to ask him- yet who was this mech to pose it? His pride rises hotly.

It should have been the first-born. It always is-

Not this time, Megatron replies shortly.

Why? What is special about you?

The Lord High Protector (he did a fine job protecting everything, didn't he) can't repress a deep bark of laughter. Optimus is the special one, not I.

Optimus, he repeats softly as though testing the name, drawing it out in a manner that somehow offends Megatron. He is Prime, then.

Who are you? Megatron demands. Yes, who is he to speak of such things and yet know so little?

There is not an answer that satisfies. (It is little wonder that the Fallen had not shared his name at the beginning. No, he was surely fabricating his future lies and stories even as he spoke next) I can help you.

I do not seek help, Megatron replies. I am content.

Your system is corrupt, the ancient mech claims, and Megatron has no response; it is true. But how does he know?

Despite this, you are not, he muses distantly. You and Optimus; the last white lights of Cybertron.

Megatron feels odd. He wants very much to leave this dark place behind, but something prevents him.

The mech considers him suddenly. Why are you silent?

What have I to say? he responds after a moment. Besides, it is rude to interrupt the elderly, even when they prattle on ceaselessly.

Those slanted optics brighten slightly, although for what he cannot tell. Let me help you.

What do you have to gain from it? Megatron asks first; it does not matter what this mech could bring at the moment. His price is integral. Megatron isn't fully jaded (not back then); he believes that some help others just for personal satisfaction, but these individuals are pure of spark and few and far between. This mech is not one of them.

His question is seemingly dismissed. We are blood.

Are we, Megatron says, the words allowing him time to process and evaluate this information.

You know it is so.

You are no Prime, Megatron says. He senses it, is certain of it. Primes are more than this; there is something in them that is different.

There is a pause. You could be.

Megatron almost feels like laughing at the very thought, but something inside is wrong and it feels heavy and dark and it pools in his systems, and it is not funny anymore.

When Megatron considers it now- the Decepticon Commander Megatron, the insane Megatron- he thinks that even then, he must have known that something was amiss. He must have felt it creeping up on him, lurking, beginning to wrap itself around him.

Primes are born, not made, then-Megatron says eventually.

Nevertheless the lineage is yours. Would you deny it?

I do not deny it, Megatron answers, but I am not a Prime.

Then you do deny what is rightfully yours, he pressed, the title of Prime.

What are you suggesting? Megatron demands. My brother is Prime, not I. I will not turn against him.

I did not suggest that you should.

I will not betray Optimus, Megatron says with all the conviction his spark holds. Not for all this world nor the Universe.

You could save him, the older mech replies fiercely.

Save? Megatron repeats incredulously. If there is a danger to your Prime then you shall make me aware or commit treason and reap its costs.

You know it already. It is the pressure he cannot stand, the responsibility too great a burden-

Enough, Megatron says harshly. (It is that he fears more than anything, that he will be left with a shadow, a shadow to complete his spark.

It is a possibility. Born into the noblest of bloodlines, they had been exposed to the whole world from the moment of their emergence. The people had always been watching, and always would be watching, and friends were sometimes not friends, and people sometimes wanted to use you or hurt you and one tiny action or statement could turn them against you. Most of them loved Optimus, as kind and gentle as he was, but the relationship was volatile, dangerous. One had to know how to deal with them. Optimus could not comprehend how they could think this, then that, changing faster than a spark could pulse; it all affected him far too easily.)

Optimus is stronger than you can imagine.

He will have to be for what is to come.

Megatron would laugh now if it were amusing at all; truer words had never been spoken.

If Megatron had known the events that were to follow, he would have sooner-


No,

no.

There is not much point to if-ing and postulating.

Megatron caused all of this, and that is the fact. He did not intend to, but he did, and that is what matters.

Well, he will be dragged down in the end.

The murdering of the High Elders (it was murder, for the pathetic tribe had lost all true life and fight a considerable time ago) whilst although not pleasurable, offered a grim satisfaction; a justice.

They were domineering, outdated, and wrong. He would be their tame pet no longer.

On all those who strove to control him he sought vengeance and pretended that it pleased him, but all this really amounted to little. He was simply changing hands. Megatron did not know whether he preferred those who pretended to pander and consider him worthy or the explicit master; it is still mostly a pretence of power that he is bequeathed. Puppeteers are all the same.

And as death shocked Cybertron out of its repugnant stasis, rebellion bloomed across its surface in a fiery blaze of sudden energy. Dissenters rose, fuelled to the brim of their sparks with the need to fight injustice and wrong-feelings.

He knows it is too late now; his mind is too twisted, too malignant, and he is dark. He is the darkness and he shrouds Cybertron in death and ill-future. He can be led astray, manipulated and he would not hesitate to kill any one of them if he had to. If they knew the thoughts that slither through his processor then they would not admire him as they do. He is not what Cybertron needs. The people need a beacon. They need hope; the promise of a brighter future. Optimus is that promise.

His brother cannot follow him any more than he can stay by Optimus' side.

Optimus is at stake here now. He is Cybertron's beloved jewel; his unsullied reputation and his precious spark must continue on.

Megatron has fallen, but he will not let this happen to Optimus. If there is one thing he can do it is to protect his sibling from the Fallen (he is certain that it is Optimus who the Fallen truly desires), and he vows that this shall never be the case.

Never is a hell of a certainty spanning a rather long time and every Cybertronian knows it, but such is the strength of his conviction that Megatron truly means it.

He is a broken king, but he is not crooked. He has been led astray, but he is not tainted, not really. This is a small victory, a trifle of a triumph but he clings to it.

And so they must part, almost certainly for eternity.

It was hardest at the beginning. He could hardly bear to see Optimus- the shock, bafflement, and the pain.

But love, love, what does this mean now? How much can a word encompass?

He had thought it was the one last purity left within him, his saving grace, the one thing that nothing could corrupt.

But as much as he strove to protect it, to hold that delicate flaming light above the violent ocean he so feared, it has been for nothing. He and it have been pulled, forced into an endless chasm of a tortuous whirlpool, pressure at all sides and there is no escape and he knows it.

Love cannot survive in this world, no matter how pure the original intention.

And if all Megatron can offer Optimus is a subversion, a twisted and malignant love, he is unworthy to even contemplate it.

Optimus was naive enough to acknowledge or notice no change in Megatron to the point where it was absolutely ridiculous.

He himself thought it was obvious that his behaviour and movements had changed and tied in with direct correlation to the murders occurring across the planet.

This meant either his brother was aware and denying it, or simply repressing every single subliminal warning he was capable of producing.

Surely some of Prime's advisors had mentioned something to him?

This was truly but worryingly amazing.

Whichever way, drastic action had to be taken.

So he engineered another murder; an official outwardly appearing the perfect bureaucrat, yet in actuality as corrupt as any already executed- why should he be saved? No, he is next on the list, irrelevant as the list is.

The perjurer had been selected because it just so happened that Optimus would be in the same place at the same time.

Ironhide had been momentarily called away by another mech, which Megatron was truly thankful for: he was quite sure he could handle the old warrior in a battle, but he didn't want to. Ironhide was a good mech; a fighter, a protector, a father, a comforter and a friend, and Optimus would need him.

The body crumples, and Megatron watches it fall. Now it is out of the way, he can see Optimus opposite him. He drinks in the proximity whilst he can, because this will not last.

M-Megatron? Optimus almost queries, as if he cannot believe what he is seeing.

He has planned this final encounter as brothers for so long, but now he cannot speak.

My brother, what have you done? Optimus cries. There is no denying what the younger mech has just seen. What has this achieved?

Megatron stares at him silently, and concentrates on not breaking and controlling his ventilations because his chassis needs to heave-

It is the beginning of a revolution, he replies softly, voice barely a whisper but increasing in strength as he speaks.

Then- it is you? Optimus asks absurdly, optics disbelievingly wide as he recalls the sheer numbers of all those recently killed.

Yes it is, Megatron snaps, momentarily entertaining the notion that he should wave his cannon above his helm and make a dramatic despotic speech.

But I don't understand-

Of course you don't, the older brother says. You never will.

There are other ways to make a change, Prime says incredulously. Murder? Tell- tell me this isn't true, Megatron. Just tell me this once and I will never ask again- just give me a word, a gesture- that is all I need-

But it is true, Megatron says no matter how much he wants to lie. All of it is true, and that is the last truth I will ever tell you.

If Prime paused to consider that last claim, he might find it very odd, but he is completely absorbed by more pressing concerns. That does not matter, Optimus insists. We can resolve this – haven't we always managed to?

Not this time.

It is not too late, Optimus whispers, and his hand is outstretched. Come with me, away from here. There must be something-

There is nothing, Megatron responds, his voice distant. And it has been too late for a long time.

Never too late, Prime pleads, choking on his words. Brother, do you think I do not love you? No matter what wrongs you have done, I forgive you now and I will forgive you always- please-

Megatron is almost shaking, which is not good; he cannot be swayed now. You know not what you say, Optimus.

Then help me to understand! the other mech cries. Let me in-!

But he is firm here: Optimus cannot be let into his spark again. No.

Why?

Because I am changed, Megatron claims. I do not need you.

This strikes Optimus, he can tell. But I need you, he says quietly, in a voice so broken that it hurts.

Then you are weak.

I will wait for you, Optimus cries desperately. I will wait until the end of time-

I hate you, Megatron says. (For making this so hard. For loving me.)

Optimus flinches. It does not matter, he says shakily. I shall love you endlessly, and I will be with you always, no matter what you think of me.

Do you think this is a game? Megatron demands. Do you think this is some farce? I am not returning. Why don't you understand this?

Prime eyes him and speaks with utter conviction. You do not understand that I cannot surrender you to whatever has taken hold.

You think this will pass? Megatron asks bitterly, the last words choking out on a cold laugh. You think that there is salvation for a killer?

You think you can annihilate our memories with words? Optimus replies. They hurt, but what do they truly mean?

Then I will annihilate everybody you love, Megatron says. And we will see if that means anything to you.

I seem to have lost you already. You cannot- He closes his optics. How have I wronged you?

This is not about you, Megatron lies.

So why do you torment me like this? If you ever loved me, brother, show me kindness and kill me now.

No, he snaps too quickly and must justify it. I want you to watch everything burn.

Do I know you at all? Optimus demands, trembling and verging on hysteria. Where has my brother gone?

Megatron knows Optimus far better than the other could ever realise, for the other is everything that he is not. And Optimus knows Megatron, he does. But perhaps it is simply that his brother does not consider that they have differences, the differences which enable Megatron to place his own priorities above everybody else's. Optimus would not be capable of this.

And for a moment Megatron wants to give in. He knows he and his brother could cover this up somehow, it is possible. But what if they cannot? Optimus cannot be tarnished by his deeds, and besides, then all that the Fallen has told him will come to pass and he will lose Optimus for good anyway.

So with a growing sickening rage coiling within him, he grasps Optimus by the scruff and forces him down to his knees, forces him to look at the still-warm body.

I am not your brother, he snarls.

Does he need to say more?

There is nothing more he can think of to say.

He holds Optimus there for a moment or two longer before blocking his spark off entirely and beginning to move away, shutting down his auditory receptors so that he cannot hear the anguished howl resounding behind him.

He feels the pain too; the last thing he needs is to have it doubled. Imagining Optimus' grief is enough.

There is an aching, searing abyss within him now; a sudden chasm which should be full of warmth and light and goodness. He feels hollow, sick, wrong.

And although he knew life without Optimus, Optimus has never known life without Megatron. Their sparkbond has always been there for him; Megatron cannot comprehend his despairing brother's sudden isolation.

Optics dim, he hides behind a gargantuan pillar and waits to ensure that Ironhide reaches Optimus, who has collapsed onto the floor.

And yes, he is arriving, horror-struck at the sight before him but vigilant, no doubt scanning their surroundings even now for danger.

There being no immediate further threat, Ironhide crouches down by Optimus, who is curled up, quaking and shivering.

What is the matter? he lipreads the black mech, now attempting to hold the Prime still.

His spark feels as if it is being torn apart, Megatron would like to offer, his own knees threatening to buckle beneath him.

But he has tarried long enough; it is time to go.


That seems five lifetimes ago; it certainly was the end of another Megatron's life. He is quite certain he died that day.

But now he does not even know what they are fighting for anymore.

The Allspark is lost.

Cybertron dies.

The Autobots? The last obstacle. To defeat the Autobots you simply must remove Prime from the equation.

But Megatron's spark bridles at this, and he knows he does not want to kill Optimus, yet the idea has been indoctrinated into him.

And what then, after the Autobots are defeated? What is there? What shall the Decepticons rule? The Decepticons can triumph, there is no doubt of that. They probably would have already if Megatron actually believed in his cause like they all think he does.

How does nobody notice it?

Megatron is built for war. One of the greatest minds of Cybertron, treasured before the ending began for his militant strategies (how quickly they have forgotten) and his commanding presence and everything that won one a war- Megatron is sure that if he wanted to overcome the Autobots then he could.

Why doesn't he?

Why does he let this war continue?

Why is it that he cares so little about his own people-? are they still his people if he has betrayed them? No, no they cannot be. He is a traitor, and it hurts more than he could ever articulate. But he has not even gained his treasure, his sole purpose for selling not just his soul but every other Cybertronians'.

He has been cheated, and that coils viciously within his spark.

He has failed in not just his birthright's duty, but his very reason for existence; his duty as a brother.

The truth is nigh unbearable, and only the thought of Optimus keeps him from self-termination.

For he cannot fail his brother again, and if he must live this torture as penance then he will bear it. He will not bear it honourably, and he will not bear it proudly and sometimes it will be too much, but he will bear it in silence and he will bear it alone.

But are the minds of Cybertron so foolish that they have been tricked by his rather pathetic guise?

Do they really believe that this great mind has such a pathetically uncontrolled army, such feebly laid out battle plans?

The Decepticons may fight the Autobots with all the passion and hate they can muster, but hate for what?

What is there to hate?

Not their brothers and sisters whom they loved so dearly once, long time ago.

Autobot ideals?

They were once everyone's ideals.

And what is so wrong about freedom?

There is no truth anymore, and everything is wrong.

Megatron is feared, he knows it.

And he should be; each foe before him he sees as the Fallen, and oh how he loathes the Fallen. Each death is as painful as he can make it- and this bewilders Starscream, who prefers a cleaner kill.

Why make them suffer? he asks one orn. Is it not enough that they die at your hand and know that it is inevitable?

Megatron chooses his words carefully, as he ever does and always will. I must have vengeance.

And it is hard to tell if Starscream knows more than he says, but he does not say anything more.

Megatron is content (possibly too content) to let his underlings do 'his' work. If they are bold enough and think they can conquer the Autobots, let them. They will fail, as ever. He, Megatron, will not be tarnished by their failings if he pays them as little attention as possible.

It is brilliant that he can pass off as such an aggressive lunatic that he isn't ever expected to plan attacks. Of course he sometimes does, but by one way or another intelligence finds its way to the Autobots.

They surely are most confused as to who the leak is. Megatron investigates regularly if they have any new leads, but it seems that the identity is not their main concern; the information is most important.

Relief.

But still, he must ensure that nobody ever comes close to the truth.

An 'Autobot' broke once. His name slips Megatron by, possibly because he did not ask for it and so was never given it. He would perhaps have sought to find out the designation had the Autobot been resilient, perhaps have admired him.

But Optimus did not need a soldier like that; he was disgustingly easy to break.

Did he break? Well, that was subjective; it depended on how you viewed those with traitorous intentions.

The Autobots are very fortunate that Megatron had insisted upon interrogating him alone, for the information that came tumbling out of that deserter would have compromised a great deal.

The would-be Decepticon, so eager to share those secrets that were not his, died in great agony.

Some Autobot captives executed brilliant and daring escapes.

Well, if certain shifts were covered by equally incompetent guards, if there were unexpected power-cuts, if Megatron rambled on during an interrogation in a most lunatic manner and revealed significant information, the most innovative and skilful deserved to run free if they could use it.

Jazz had been very impressive, as Megatron had thought he would be.

There is a leak, Megatron had told him calmly. Who is your contact?

The Autobot had boldly laughed despite his crackling vocal processors. Go ter th'Pit, Megs. As if I'm tellin'.

I am going to the Pit, he had said quite sanely (it was the truth after all). But I would like to know.

The air of insanity worked fairly often.

I feel for yer, Jazz had said with a defiantly giant but brokenly lopsided grin (that tended to happen after you'd been gently roughed by the Decepticons). I really do. But I've no idea meself.

Please try to put me out of my misery, Megatron had encouraged lightly.

Will do. If yer lemme outta these irritating restraints, I'll put yer outta it quite literally.

I'd prefer the designation first.

Ah Megs, Jazz had sighed, yer no fun. Why'd yer go?

There it was! The why. Quite a few of the most courageous Autobots who'd known him asked that, actually, if they had time during the middle of the never-ending war.

And just once, to a mech who'd meant much to him, he didn't have it in him to lie to his face (not then),

And for the first and last time, he might have replied

I had to

But then he realised that this was not good enough; it was ambiguous. So now he ranted on about power and glory and took on a two-dimensional villainous role, which satisfied just about everyone.

Yer a bit borin', Jazz had interrupted whilst Megatron was in mid-spiel. Yer plan t'bore me t'submission? Torture me physically please or send mah pal 'wave back.

Megatron had laughed. Not one tiny hint?

Tell me what yer know, the brave Autobot had replied, an' I'll think 'bout it.

He had thought about this carefully. High infiltration.

Confirmed, Jazz had said. They hafta be fer the info we get. Why don't yer kill all yer officers? I'd even help. Now I'd like ter recharge if y'please. Service ain't what it used t'be round here.

Jazz escaped that same orn, if Megatron remembers rightly.

Isn't it convenient that the Decepticons always fall short?

Isn't it convenient that the Autobots always manage to save the day?

Isn't it.

Isn't it meticulous planning and execution.

Isn't it willing your second in command not to notice what you notice.

It will not be much longer before Starscream works it out.

Unless of course he concludes that Megatron is insane/incapable to lead/a little tired of warfare, in which case there may be a tiny coup. Not to worry though, Megatron never battles more fiercely than when his leadership is under threat-

Because that puts Optimus under threat.

Megatron wonders if Starscream knows more than is apparent; his second is renowned for his wit. In fact, he would not be surprised if the Seeker was compiling a giant collection of evidence, being the idiotic scientist that he is (was). Then again, fear might well be an additional factor discouraging him from voicing his processor. Lord Megatron, says the scowling Starscream in Megatron's processor, why in the Pit haven't you killed Prime yet?

At any rate, his lieutenant has said nothing, done nothing differently. So Megatron watches and he wonders, and perhaps Starscream watches and wonders too.

Megatron can sometimes feel his psyche shatter, but he is put back together again by a resolute Starscream-

At times cowardly

At times infuriating

At times far too rebellious to be his second in command

-but when Megatron can't bear it any longer, when the Fallen goes too far, presumes too much and demands everything and anything, and Megatron surges with power and unanswerable rage, it is Starscream who remains at his side and tames his fury, whispers precious encouragement that soothes his throbbing ego.

Yet who is the Fallen to demand of Megatron? Who is the Fallen to command him as though he is no more than a mere drone, to humiliate him as if the ancient mech is superior, to manipulate and use him as though he is too dumb to tell? To think he can rule Lord Megatron, directly of the dynasty?

He may respect his forbears, but he is (well, was once but not now, not ever again) every sliver as noble and magnificent. To chafe under one's tyrannical rule is something no mech could or should have borne, nor something the Fallen should have expected of him.

Megatron is of the Primes, and he does not serve a master. There is only one Prime who ever has or will truly influence him and only one he would ever swear an oath to.

But that is gone now, long gone, and the Fallen demands servitude as if he is not of aristocracy.

And Starscream despises it too. He does not fully understand why Megatron answers to the Fallen (Megatron senses that Starscream suspects there is more to it than he knows), but the Seeker silently riles against that dictatorship.

Why is it he bothers you so? Megatron asked once out of faint curiosity after his second had managed to rouse him from blind rage. He had not imagined Starscream's disparaging words against their 'leader', nor his tone.

I answer to you, not to him, Starscream responded proudly. I like not the way he treats you, and besides, in no sense should he rule you. None should. In earnest he comes yet closer, hand daring to rest on Megatron's arm as he tries to gain optic-contact. We do not need him, master.

The Fallen's knowledge is invaluable, he replies meaninglessly, refusing to look at that solemn desperation. Put this not to me again, you know not what you do.

Starscream shutters his optics as he inclines his helm slowly, though be it in acknowledgement or disappointment Megatron cannot tell or does not care.

Yes, by now Starscream knows very well when to wisely retreat, but on rare occasion he is the reflection of Megatron's frustration and they must clash in rage and unchecked violence because they have nobody else who can –or will- subsist.

And after the clash dawns a peace and an odd satisfaction that the other depends on them, whether they are aware of it or not. It is then that they are stronger than before.

The Decepticons cannot triumph whilst the Fallen is in control because then that is an eternity of his 'leadership'. If only a Prime can kill the Fallen, then Megatron knows a Prime. He knows one very well, although he doubts that this particular Prime will be able to do what is required- he is not experienced enough.

So for millennia they battle, and Megatron has so many opportunities to terminate his brother it is almost laughable.

But one orn, Optimus will defeat the Fallen and Megatron will be free.

It is hard when other Decepticons target Optimus, because Megatron can hardly shoot his own warriors down for attempting to assassinate a prime target (pardon the irony).

At any rate, Optimus has guardians and bodyguards just about everywhere ready to protect him and even sacrifice themselves, so this doesn't turn out to be much of a problem.

He issues a forceful statement that terrifying orn, declaring that Prime is his to destroy, that nobody else has the right.

This is the only protection he can offer.

It is odd delight Megatron feels when one orn they are battling (although they truly almost blur) and Optimus dispatches two Decepticons simultaneously with a narrow-opticed determination once seen only when he was concentrating on some puzzling matter requiring deep thought.

He is growing.

Optimus is almost elegant in battle now, and his reputation is becoming one to admire, if one admires such things. It does not quite rival Megatron's, but it certainly has struck fear into the Decepticon ranks.

And rightly so: the same energon that sustains Megatron sustains Optimus, and Megatron himself fears that it may run too passionately and too similarly and that Optimus is capable of his brother's feats.

And Megatron watches and he waits, selfishly waits for Optimus to be ready.

The Prime cannot defeat him, he knows it- but he does not have to defeat Megatron, simply the Fallen.

The Fallen will be nothing if Optimus can engage him in close combat.

This in itself is troubling, as the Fallen does not venture anywhere. This does not affect his ability to be everywhere and know everything, unfortunately.

There is no opportunity to strike the Fallen down and Optimus cannot do it. Optimus does not know that his brother is a marionette. If he did, perhaps he would realise that control was never Megatron's and he would be able to head to the source (if the source were not disgustingly over-protected).

What does Optimus think? Megatron occasionally wonders, but it hurts to think about it. Perhaps he thinks his sibling has had a psychotic break.

At any rate, oddly it is not Optimus alone that he cares for. Over the years, he has found a strange attachment to his second in command. Perhaps it is simply because he has nobody else. Perhaps it is because he sees himself reflected in that youthful spirit, in that rage against a world that would oppress you.

None of this is fair and Starscream is no innocent, but Megatron despairs to think that the other would be left to the Fallen should he himself be no more.

The Seeker is of a vehement disposition; anything he does is done with such violent but graceful energy that it is quite breath-taking. He and the Fallen are simply too polar to co-exist. Starscream is too proud to bow to anyone and the Fallen is too demanding to let that be.

Megatron dreads that the ancient mech would break his second, push him too far and take pleasure in doing so.

Starscream, he says abruptly one orn, if I die, I am sorry.

Sorry, my lord? The quizzical glance that meets his own is sharp, as sharp as it always has been.

You will succeed my rank, Megatron explains, but at terrible price. Just as I was, you will be the Fallen's pawn.

I will be no such thing, Starscream spits fiercely before he can continue.

It vaguely passes through Megatron's processor that nobody really dares to interrupt him. Perhaps this is why he values Starscream; he is ardent and adamant enough to speak his own processor.

Do you think that you will have a choice?

Then I will die!

Megatron cannot repress a rare and fond smile at the younger mech's fiery spirit. I wish you would never change.

If he dares think he can control me I shall use all within my power to usurp him, Starscream claims. Even if I die in the process, I shall find some way to bring him down with me.

And Megatron knows that the Seeker means it: although physically untouchable (Megatron has admittedly tried to kill the Fallen before, but he simply was unharmed), Starscream's processor is perhaps unmatched. If anyone could hatch some devious scheme, it would be he.

Still, sometimes he thinks Starscream himself has his own games to play.

It has not escaped Megatron's attention that his generally insolent second is at his most churlish and aggressive when he himself is feeling the strain of all these secrets.

It may be because Starscream can sense weakness and is a snide coward and is lurking around for an opportune moment.

It may be because Starscream can sense something is wrong and is genuinely attempting to help and will loyally remain by him for the duration (ha, the duration. Can something have a duration if it is without end?).

How?

By distracting him, most likely.

Megatron has fought alongside his second too many times, enough to have a mighty sense of the other's abilities and strengths and weaknesses. He knows well which devastating moves Starscream could attempt to confound him with- even Megatron is not infallible- yet none of these are ever employed against him.

Starscream has certainly had opportunity, had he wanted to take it- so seemingly his most wayward is his most loyal.

And that is how it should be, for they might think they are deceiving each other but they genuinely have deceived all others.

If anybody could realise this convoluted pit of lies and truth it will be Starscream.

There is no quicker processor, nobody else daring or close enough to be able to disassemble, pull apart and shred his every action until he has uncovered the truth.

If he does, will Megatron have to kill him?

This thought is too awful, more awful than it should ever be.

It depends on the Seeker's reaction, Megatron supposes. Starscream has his trine; he knows what brothers are.

But even Soundwave does not know!- this irony does not fail to reach Megatron. Unless his Communications Officer, like Starscream, has suspected and theorised but said nothing out of loyalty.

It is hard to tell, but he believes that whilst Starscream's allegiance may lie more with the Decepticons, Soundwave is devoted without fault to Megatron himself.

If Soundwave knows more than he reveals (as he always does), then Megatron might never know if he is aware.

It is probably better that way. He does not want to speak of it. He does not want to be conscious that others know.

The mech thinks about all this whilst he is trapped in the ice. (It is all he can do.)

The ice terrifies him. The thought of being trapped forever terrifies him.

Megatron may try all he likes to convince himself that this may be for the best; he can do no more harm here-

Yet this fails to console him, for he has done enough harm to escalate by itself, and without him to control and guide it, that destructive force will be catastrophic.

Perhaps worst of all, he knows he will not die here in this freezing, agonising prison. He can feel the substance occasionally break through gaps in his armour and trickle its icy trail into his systems and it burns.

Ice is forever,

And Megatron wonders if this is the Pit

Because he has almost never experienced torment like this;

It is eternal spark-break.

All he can do is think

And he is haunted by all he has ever done

And it will never end-

So after a while, he forces himself into languishment; into a temporary stasis. He hates it, hates to be weak like this but he is sure he will lose his mind if he tries to consciously endure.

The first human he ever sees is tiny and round.

He only becomes aware of it when he is suddenly touched, and his processor jolts out of its light stasis.

In the second after Archibald Witwicky makes contact, Megatron's previously-dampened processor jolts into overdrive.

He beholds an astonished carbon-based creature. It is made of flesh and not metal. Fascinating.

This is the only other living being he has come into contact with.

Just what is happening up on the surface of the planet-? No, no time: what if this is the only sentient being he will ever encounter? His secrets cannot freeze with him, not all of them.

He was once Lord High Protector of a world, and even if he has failed his own people then he can still try to help others.

The best he can, he looks at the curious face before him- the wide-eyed innocence of a young species- and he makes the decision, gathers all of his strength; his dormant navigation systems flare into brilliant life- the tiny creature staggers back, clutching at his odd optics.

It is probably completely unaware that Megatron has just gifted it with knowledge sought by an entire race.

Once ensuring that more flesh-creatures have come for the one he has marked, he returns to complete incarceration once again.


Then-! an undeterminable amount of time later (he has not had an opportunity to check his chronometer), there is a horrifyingly brief 'respite' as the flesh-creatures try to move him. They have succeeded (somehow), yet their lack of intelligence is clearly indicated by the melting ice around him. Soon he could be free. This is an abstract concept now, but he dimly remembers that mobility is glorious.

His mind has jolted back into consciousness and is assessing his situation even as they attempt to subdue him.

He screams for his body to awaken, to clutch at this chance for freedom- but it is too slow, too slow, and the tiny beings conquer him with their vapour-ice.

Megatron wonders if they would like how it feels, as he loses control again. He wants to howl, cry out in frustration.

And hope is lost and he is nearly sure that he will be trapped forever.

He is back in the Pit where he belongs.


Megatron remembers the orn he died very well- in actuality, again and again he remembers it and tries to determine whether there could have been any other way.

His reanimation was meteoric. After an eternity of conscious coma, no vocabulary, no string of daintily selected words could possibly describe the feeling of tingling, scorching life blasting back through his systems.

And he feels like energy.

He does not have energy; he is energy, and he must move or implode, and so he thunders away from his place of captivity without thought of destination or even intention-

I live to serve you, Lord Megatron.

It is not sweet liberty that greets him but a familiar messenger.

And Megatron is infuriated; a sharp reminder that he has not been freed but transferred from imprisonment to custody.

He takes what frustrations out he will upon Starscream, who bears it as he should.

Then Megatron is struck by something: now he is acclimatised to this searing energy coursing through him, he can appreciate the delicacies which have returned with it.

The lost mech can feel something- well, he senses everything once again, and feels so alive for the first time in so long a time that for a moment he simply must absorb and be captivated by all around before he can focus on anything.

He is hardly listening to Starscream, who is doggedly sending him databurst after databurst of intel that he probably should care more about. Megatron is aware that the mech is also talking, gesticulating, but how can he listen?

He has managed to control and isolate the overwhelming amounts of information being relayed to him, and the one sense that remains is the lone sense he would ever want.

Where is Optimus? he demands abruptly, interrupting Starscream mid-utterance.

The Seeker blinks, momentarily derailed.

Perhaps Starscream has told him whilst he was not listening; he swiftly checks through all the audio and datafiles sent to him.

No, naught- but what is this?

This is disturbingly inefficient; these records are far too old to be of any significance.

Starscream, Megatron snarls disbelievingly, why are you feeding me this useless backdated information? Recent or critical developments or nothing at all.

His subordinate begins to stutter about something that Megatron has neither the time nor the patience to entertain.

If I do not have some sense from you immediately, I shall test my weapons systems out, he threatens.

Starscream hears this perfectly it seems; he is stilled. Autobots are here.

How many?

Fewer than we. It should not be too hard.

Megatron notices the pause and sends a questioning nudge.

Prime's guard, Starscream admits.

I knew he was here, Megatron declares triumphantly. They move, Starscream following his lead as he blasts into the sky.

More silence. He is a good deal stronger than he was, my lord.

How so? Megatron demands.

He has found something new to fight for.

What?

So Starscream almost tentatively explains and-

Hatred.

Hatred swells inside of him for this- this insect. What right does he have to secure Optimus' love?

He understands that Optimus should hate him, but his brother has always hoped that Megatron could be redeemed, he knows it. He knows that Optimus must love him still, although he cannot comprehend why- no, not why. How. Maybe Optimus himself does not know.

At any rate, it does not matter.

It has been a long time since he has done anything, but it seems that war calls, and he must obey the summons.

Megatron races to see his little Prime, and finds him fighting so courageously, so selflessly and so nobly his spark nearly bursts with pride.

It is not long before he properly faces his brother for the first time in so long a time, and he nearly falters upon seeing those slender flames emblazoned on Optimus' armour. What compels such irony? Is it coincidence?

More importantly, which prevails: fire or ice?

What have you against these humans? Optimus demands almost immediately at their encounter, and he will not be denied.

What shouldn't I have? Megatron snarls, and his detestation is true. How long must one be frozen for and kept as an interesting pet, probed and experimented on for one to assemble rancour? How long should I have engendered warm genial feelings, Optimus? Tell me, do!

I am sorry, he replies after a pause (and Megatron can see his brother will truly and inexplicably burden himself), but this is not Sam's fault.

Who is Sam?

Ah, Megatron thinks, savagely narrowing his optics at the tiny quivering pestilence that apparently deserves a name. The fleshling. He and his began it all, Megatron accuses although it is perfectly unfair. Life is unfair.

He is innocent!

So was I. What had I done to them that they should have imprisoned me?

You would have killed them, Optimus accuses.

They were inconsequential fleas that I would not have considered at all. I would have collected the Allspark and gone.

Prime is uncertain now, and quite rightly.

They shall reap what they have sown, Megatron vows (he must focus, he is amoral), and if you shall stand in my way you too shall burn.

Oh how confused Optimus is.

For a little emphasis Megatron unsubspaces his fusion cannon, but he does not fire. He cannot, for his brother stands quietly, and upon his face -he may have his faceplates drawn, but this means absolutely nothing to Megatron, who always knew exactly what expression existed behind them- upon his face is an ancient sorrow, perhaps even regret.

So Megatron does not fire, because he is rooted, immobilised until his brother speaks.

They took Bumblebee, Optimus says softly.

Megatron remembers that young mech. How could he not? He knows- knew- Bumblebee before it all. None as cheery or enthusiastic every orn.

None as stoic or resolute whilst being interrogated.

None so defiant and resourceful to live life (as it was, anyway) so fiercely after his maiming.

He'll admit he was surprised that Bumblebee did not break, but he was pleased in an odd little way. Optimus truly commanded the loyalties of the bravest and best.

Megatron says nothing.

He told us they put him under great pain, Optimus continues, recalling something so poignant he has clearly forgotten the current circumstance. Why else would he be completely off-guard, frowning in remembrance and not even looking at his enemy? I am sure he under-exaggerated, as is his wont.

Megatron is silent as they both remember that Bumblebee is a true veteran of torture.

Optimus' optics meet his. Did they hurt you too, brother?

And how Megatron's spark breaks as he can see Optimus' loyalties tearing again, and how he wishes more than anything he could open their bond and then Optimus could know everything.

But he can't.

So he doesn't.

And he remains silent once more, and watches Optimus decide what he will.

It is easier that way.

The human is surprising too. He is not an adult. He is merely a boy, an infant who has been sucked into something far beyond his comprehension. But his courage, his courage- or suicidal heroics, which truly means the same thing-

I'm never giving you this Allspark, the child-boy shouts.

His voice breaks,

And it occurs to Megatron that he must be terrified.

He almost admires the boy then. Not many defy him, and to be so puny and resist him still is simply insanity. Where does Optimus find them, these selfless fools?

How can they put their all at risk for something most often insubstantial and improbable?

And the boy stares at him with wide eyes and Megatron is struck by how those eyes stare at him; how closely they resemble another's-

But that is ridiculous.

And surely it is because the flesh-creatures all look the same.


When Megatron dies, it is not as he had thought.

He had almost instantly realised it was too easy to defeat Optimus, disappointingly so. In fact, all of the witnesses mean that it would be unconvincing to somehow turn the battle and either let him escape or be victorious.

Thankfully- but humiliatingly- the boy chooses for him, in the end.

(And if Megatron shifts a little chest plating so that the Allspark has easier access to his spark, who will know?)

The Allspark seems to explode within his core, then it draws, sucks everything out of him towards the point of contact, and he isn't quite sure what he is doing but he might be scrabbling at it feebly, desperately, because it is choking him.

Then there is blackness and silence folding itself around him, and he wonders if it will last forever because it is quite comforting- yet a soft guilt-ridden voice penetrates it.

You left me no choice, brother.

And Megatron curls up in the darkness and shakes.

There is nothingnothingnothing for a good while, but then it is like dreaming and images flash before him, and he thinks he might have seen the noble figures of his ancestors, and he thinks they might have taken pity on him,

But he cannot face them, not yet (not ever), so he turns away-


And then he is alive again, bursting back into the world and he does not understand. Who has deprived of him of death? Need he suffer more?

Is this his punishment, that he must continue as he was?

Starscream gives him resolve to face the Fallen, and Megatron quickly becomes aware that something has changed since his demise.

The Decepticons are drawing too close to a victory; the Fallen even plans to kill Optimus.

The utterance strikes terror into Megatron's spark and he doesn't think he can do this for a moment longer. It is too much: his deception is unravelling, his masks shattering.

Why have I been resurrected? Megatron asks, his resolve cracking.

Because you have been chosen to lead, the Fallen hisses sibilantly.

Why can't Starscream do it? Megatron nearly pleads, mainly accuses.

He can feel the startled Seeker watching him closely but he does not care anymore. Let him work it out. Let them all work it out.

The Fallen eyes him oddly. You are not pleased? You have what many mechs would kill for; a second chance.

I was dead, Megatron says simply, brokenly. There was peace.

You are not made for peace, the Fallen claims. You do not deserve peace. You will finish what you started.

You started this, Megatron cries, not wanting this any longer. The expectation is too much and he cannot bear it. You have taken everything-

I have given you everything, the ancient mech hisses lowly. And you will show me respect.

And Megatron knows he will suffer now, for he has passed the boundaries. All you gave me was a self-fulfilling prophecy, he snarls, futilely preparing to rip the Fallen's limbs from his body. You caused me to ruin everything-

Starscream is there, preventing any attack,

And whatever blurring lies he insists upon to the Fallen- that the resurrection has likely confused Lord Megatron a little, that he will be fine shortly-

Megatron knows that he may have given away too much.

Starscream cautiously rests a hand on Megatron's upper arm when they are far out of earshot. My lord-

Nothing you can say will make anything right, Megatron replies. I have lived too long as it is. Leave me.

No, the Seeker says. I will not.

Obey or I will make you.

But you are not my commander, he replies thoughtfully, disregarding the threat. You do not want to be.

You're quite right, Megatron says bitterly. Clever you.

Sometimes I think I see, Starscream says. Have you ever experienced this- you think that you have glimpsed something, but you can't quite catch it? You think you might have imagined it, yet you are certain that something eludes you.

Megatron cannot look at him. Your optics must be malfunctioning.

Then if I sense it, Starscream persists. But I struggle to produce material evidence.

Then you have nothing, Megatron replies. And you never will have anything.

The Seeker watches him wretchedly for a time. Prime flourishes on the human planet, he says suddenly. We have made several attempts on his life, but all were unsuccessful. The Fallen decided that you were the only one who could accomplish it.

Megatron lets the silence extend before speaking. Did you try, Starscream?

I did. I failed most humiliatingly. Perhaps, his second says, perhaps I was remembering a Prime-related order given by a certain mech a lifetime ago.

Perhaps.

They are still for a long while.

You killed Elita, Megatron abruptly says.

I did, Starscream admits calmly, as smoothly and quickly as if they had been having a conversation the whole time. He is curious as to how Megatron even knows, but he refrains from asking. What of it?

If Optimus ever finds out, he will have your helm.

Hm, Starscream agrees. I had better fly out of his range if he ever does.

And if you can't?

The very idea unsettles the Seeker, who shifts uneasily at the thought of his flight being incapacitated. I will hide behind you, he proposes after a moment. You are wide enough.

Megatron lets out a short and weak huff of laughter. You most certainly will not.

Why?

Because not only would your wings poke out, you will face him like a warrior.

Starscream considers this. Not too agreeable. We could always take him out together.

I do not need your help to defeat Optimus, Megatron dismisses.

Starscream coughs politely, possibly remembering the millennia that they have fought without triumph.

Megatron cuffs him soundly. Shut up.

But the mech shies and cringes heavily at a clout which truly is not a severe blow, and it occurs to Megatron that life has continued whilst he was dead.

Megatron does not apologise. Your reflexes have grown sloppy, Seeker.

It is Starscream who appears apologetic. That is because nobody uses me for their personal punching object any more.

That must be rectified. And with these words, Megatron resumes his role.

I have missed you, master, Starscream says quietly. As hideously unsightly as you are, you do still serve to enhance my own charm.

And the Seeker bows.


How is he evil, then?

Is it because he is guilty for turning mechs into savages? As much as he wishes he could renounce the war, he would not then speak for the Decepticons, the true believers.

Peace?

Peace cannot exist until his death.

Peace will never be again.

It is too deeply engrained within them now; if they ever exist their children's children will bear the scars and the haunting reminders of a fractured society.

Defection?

He will not join the humans.

His pride- call it hubris, it does not matter- rebels against the very thought.

The Autobots would never accept him.

The very thought is absurd.

And all of these reawaken in his processor each orn and each he considers and reconsiders and then dismantles with ease.

In the centre of his dark twisted world, there is Optimus.

It had all been so simple once, so simple and beautiful before Megatron had sold his spark to the devil. It did not burn as some things do, blazing out of control like wildfire and over in its time. It was not heat that haunted him, no. It was bitter. Ice. The chilling frost that surrounded his spark now was surely worse than any fire, for it preserved him. Fire burned out after a time. Ice was without end. The ice sears him with its cold-flame and nobody can relieve the agony because nobody is there, not really. Nobody can thaw him.

Oh, everything is closing in much too fast.

At least he sees Optimus again, in this second unnatural life.

It is easy enough to use the boy against him, and as they clash, they share communications faster than sound, mere thoughtwaves.

Why, Optimus demands furiously.

Be a little more specific, Megatron taunts.

You have no right to this planet, he hisses.

Nor do you.

I have not claimed it, Optimus snarls. We would be at peace here, hiding-

What life is that? Megatron asks. Forever shrouded in secrecy, watching all the fleshlings that might 'appreciate' you crumble and decay? How enjoyable.

Optimus rumbles lowly. We are protecting them from you.

They see you as metal, Megatron snarls, nothing more! What do you owe them?

He is enraged. I owe them the life that you would take from them.

I did not want to come back, Megatron wants to say. I did not choose to be returned to this strife.

But he realises that this is another opportunity to kill Optimus.

Happy chance that the Autobots are not here. There are even no mammals, not that they are capable of inflicting much pain unless one is frozen and helpless. Oh, he forgets- the boy is here, again. His processor works swiftly, analysing the situation and his options. He must prevent Starscream and Grindor from landing any lethal blows. Whilst he will protect Starscream the best he can if necessary, his survival is not the priority.

But at last Megatron has managed to infuriate him to the point where his brother might be not only a worthy fight, but actually be able to triumph.

He is sure that Optimus has never been this furious; he can feel it.

Megatron guards his spark most carefully, a miser of emotion. If there is one thing he cannot give Optimus it is love. It would undo all he has done and destroy the Prime.

Optimus keeps him sane, do you see?

When the darkest orns smother him and he is in danger of becoming what is expected of him, he carefully-barely- feels his brother.

It is less than a graze, lighter than a feather, softer than a gentle breath. It is momentary, for if he dwells then he may lose resolve-

He is certain that those most trusted Autobots will have told him to guard his spark, but stubborn Optimus refuses. Megatron doesn't know whether to be disgusted or take pride in that they believe he is vile enough to launch some sort of metaphysical assault.

The delicate naivety shames him. The quiet purity scalds him. The overwhelming shame cripples him. And the unrequited love tortures him.

But he must remind himself of what he has lost; the truth forces him back into the mould.

He never saw much of a need for compassion beyond those who truly mattered to him. That was Optimus' strength (if it was a strength. Megatron doubted it was. Compassion enabled others to use you).

The Decepticons are of little consequence to him. Fortunately the Autobots mean just as little; he despises and admires them.

Optimus matters.

Megatron prizes his brother above the people. It does not feel wrong.

Do the people serve a Prime or does a Prime serve the people?

Megatron knows how he and Optimus view it.

Either way, Optimus is the selfless type to sacrifice anything for the greater good- Megatron understands this and does not overly begrudge it. But it is one thing to fight for your home planet and quite another to lose yourself to rage over an insect.

More than rage; berserk is the only word that could possibly attempt to describe Optimus.

Every single astrosecond of Megatron's existence is so controlled that he is stunned.

It disturbs him. And he hopes Optimus is not losing himself-

Because if Optimus loses himself, everything has been for nothing and Megatron is lost.

Every action, every utterance, every nuance is considered carefully for every outcome, every possibility.

But the thought that his brother would throw away his life for this brat of flesh is too much.

Liquid fury sears through him, scoring its icy tracks through his entire being- and by the time it recedes, in that short time he is beyond reason-

Optimus is bleeding and dying.


There is a long period after this where he has retreated deeply into his psyche.

He is blank, nothing. He may even be doing things, but he does not acknowledge them. He barely thinks, even less frequently speaks, hardly moves unless coerced.

He is sometimes aware that he is not alone, but he registers nobody. Nobody is of importance.

Then he catches whispers which might or might not be directed towards him, and the one or two words that float through his apathy kindle something within him, and he must hear more.

Matrix of Leadership-

Nobody deserves to hold this except Optimus, he argues in his mind to nobody in particular. Not the Fallen, nor you nor you.

-nears the Tomb of the Primes-

And who has the right to disturb his ancestors? He wishes he had spoken to them now; maybe they could have told him what to do, how to try and make amends.

Star Harveste-

He is sick of the Fallen's schemes.

They are all expendable, all pawns, and they know it. He is tired, so tired, and is about to return to his darkness when he hears one more word, one word which rekindles his fading spark.

Resurrection.

So it slowly comes to pass, and Optimus has not changed, he notes mournfully. It is as if he has been preserved.

In fact, it is as if they have both been preserved, for they immediately continue right where they had previously left off.

Megatron engages in battle with his brother again, wearily. What is the point of death if one can cheat it? Why haven't they both been allowed their rightful rest?

His spark is subdued, and he does not want to fight Optimus. Not to save the life of the Fallen.

He wants his vengeance on Earth's puny flesh-creatures, but this is not satisfactory. They will die too quickly without knowledge of why they are even being punished- no, this is not what he wants.

So he succumbs to Optimus' savagery (when, when did this transformation occur) and how quickly he is overpowered! He plans to make a hasty retreat (unbecoming, cowardly perhaps, but this is never what he had wanted. Earth shall be his victory, not the Fallen's) at the first opportunity-

And such agony!

He is his own shortcoming as he feels the blast from his own weapon strike him across- no, punch into and decimate his face and it burns it burns-!

Brother! he cries out, but the word are so twisted and distorted he doubts Optimus would recognise it. He barely recognises it.

And with the anguish dawns a dim realisation that he could be killed again.

He doubts he will return this time- Optimus could be his end.

In a hazy sort of way he does not mind.

But Optimus will be forever guilty over this, if he does terminate Megatron. It will haunt him, possibly destroy him slowly.

A buzzing resentment builds against the pain, and Megatron decides that he does not want to die. There is much to live for: he wants his revenge. He wants this stalemate to crumple and resolve. He wants Cybertron to be alive like it is in his fleeting dreams.

However, there is little he can do about it for whilst he is bleeding and ruminating desperately Optimus is making his next move.

A brilliant flash and another shocking blast and he is catapulted backwards, smashing through something that cannot stop his movement.

Starscream! he howls then, desperate for some form of anything, for he is struggling to move or see and he can't concentrate with all of these warnings and alarms and blinding lights.

Time is funny now, and he cannot tell how long it has taken- it seems like an eternity, but it must be much sooner - but he is suddenly aware of a familiar presence beside him.

Comforted yet almost frozen again, he is unable to tear his optics away.

And hopes beyond hope that Optimus is capable of doing what he could never do.

His future will be decided now, and oh he dreads that he has been wrong all these years and that Optimus is not ready.

But now the Fallen is dead.

Megatron can only watch, watch as his little brother brutally ends the malevolent being.

What has he done

And he cannot help but think that Optimus is becoming him, because Megatron has never witnessed such hatred and brutality before.

No, no

And oddly enough, Optimus simply stands there once the Fallen is diminished to a heap of ancient nothing by his pedes. He does not turn back still ablaze and return to eliminate Megatron, who he must know is severely weakened.

He stands there, inspecting his clenched fist before then opening it- something sighs away into the desert winds.

Starscream is desperate to leave quickly before Prime returns.

My lord, he practically begs, gently pulling on Megatron's uninjured arm, we must go!

Why isn't he coming back? Megatron asks, misshapen words only just forming.

What does it matter? He is tired, he is distracted, grieving, but he will remember you are here!

What does that matter? Megatron asks, ignoring the blinding pain flashing through him. You can simply fly away. He won't catch you.

Starscream's wings are twitching in his excited anxiety; his already sensitive sensors are stretched to their full capacity for immediate indication of any incoming attack. Without you? A fine second I would be.

You have not been my second, Megatron wearily sighs. I have not been a commander. I have been controlled by a lunatic and failed you all.

Starscream is no less anxious to depart but he senses that something needs to be resolved. Do you think that we followed him?

His 'advice', his orders, his missions. I have been nothing but a mouthpiece.

No, the Seeker hisses fiercely. You have been our inspiration, our commander, our legend.

I have deceived you, Megatron says with a heavy spark. I have made you all think I am what I am not.

I know to which mech alone I swore fealty, and to which one mech I would only ever swear fealty, Starscream says. And he was not the Fallen.

There is a moment of silence as Megatron digests this.

It feels… good. No, better than 'good' (a feeble word if ever there was one).

It brings him hope.

Starscream is still watching him closely, waiting for some response.

One mech, I see. And how many femmes do you swear fealty to? Megatron asks teasingly.

Starscream nearly chokes in shock, and Megatron is not surprised. He is quick, though, and almost immediately sneers in self-assured disgust. Please, he says. They would swear it to me. Am I not second in command of the greatest army this universe will ever know?

For now, Megatron jibes. He feels euphoric, unable to retain his humour.

Master, we cannot tarry. Relieved that Megatron is out of his stupor, he is firmer now. You are not in a fit state for anything and I fear that should we remain more will be lost than has already been.

Lost? Megatron asks with a rising pride. We have lost nothing. I am finally free to lead the Decepticons as I would.

Starscream wants to know more, he can tell, but the Seeker is determined. Not to call you a coward, master- but sometimes cowards do survive, he says, knowing that this will at least provoke a response of some sort.

This isn't over, Megatron vows.

And just before he turns to follow his ally, he thinks that through his one optic he can see Optimus bow his helm. But he might just be mistaken.


And so Megatron must make a choice.

Does he choose Optimus, who he has loved unfailingly from the moment that glorious little mech was sparked? Or does he choose the unshakable faith of his Air Commander and army, who have always believed in him (the false him, really. Or is it? Which is the real Megatron)?

There is no doubt that if he pursues revenge, Optimus will stand against him.

To make his dreams a reality he will need to triumph against Optimus- not necessarily kill, but triumph. As much as he hates to consider ripping his brother from this life, he will not suffer then. He will be with their creators, with all those he has had taken from him, with Primus himself.

He will be a hero, hailed as the greatest leader that the Cybertronians have ever been ruled by. He will be lamented; taken too soon yet struggling for so long. He will be mourned for as long the Autobots exist.

Megatron's brother is a champion.

A trailblazer.

Righteous.

A stoic mech unwaveringly true to his own beliefs, wise and just enough to make any decision required, respected and loved enough to have all trust him without falter, ready to tear apart his enemies in a moment, yet kinder and gentler than any before him.

He is everything that Megatron could not be, and Megatron will make sure that he is not forgotten.

Maybe when Optimus is with Primus, he will be shown what really happened to his brother. Maybe he will be told everything and maybe some of it will make sense.

And although it will have been too late for their first life, Megatron almost dares to hope that Optimus could forgive him in the afterlife and that when they are reunited, they can love as unreservedly and without obstruction as they once did as young mechs.

Perhaps.

If Megatron had had more faith in- no. If Optimus had been stronger, then this would not have happened. Everything could have been avoided.

If I had been a little stronger, Megatron thinks.

If I had been less naive.

If I had had more faith in you.

Sometimes he pretends to lose control over his emotions and he knows Optimus must feel the flickering bolts of hatred burst around his churning spark, because he is always waiting there for Megatron to- to do who knows what.

The hatred is genuine.

And if Optimus does not know who it is truly directed towards, it does not matter, for his imagination provides answers.

Megatron is sure to mask himself. He is a Decepticon, after all.


I only hope that there's Megatron/Optimus exploration in DOTM. This would make me one very very happy fangirl.

Edit, November 2011: Oh dear, DOTM. Oh dear. You really didn't give Optimus/Megatron any time at all, did you. (Crying forever.)

Let's develop our characters, everyone! Don't leave our villains to languish in the fiery hells of hero-fodder, or hide our heroes behind explosions and breasts! :C Actually, that's a challenge, if anybody will pick up the gauntlet. Write me a character study. Make it developed, thorough. Make it IC and believable! But most of all, let Transformers take a depth so far unfound in the movie-verse.

This is long, and kudos to you if you have struggled on through to the end. If you have, as ever please leave a review. It would be fantastic to know what you thought, even if it's just that I must be insane. In fact, I'd really love to know whether this concept seemed believable in itself. C:
Cheers!